Tuesday, December 31, 2013

With A Heavy Heart, Bye Bye 2013

Salam All,

How long has it been?

Sbnarnya TERLALU byk cerita yg aku dah miss dan x sempat share, tp most of them mmg perit pon utk aku share, so aku amik keputusan (well, actually there wasn't much time or mood for me to write pon) utk tidak update kan apa2. Ikut hati mcm nak bungkus terus je blog ni, but then rasa sayang sbb dah byk kenangan, plus rasa x fair pd Zayd sbb cerita perkembangan dia adalah next to nothing kalo compare dkt kakak dia, and also, once a blogger always a blogger, x bole nak lari. So, I knew sooner or later akan start balik, biar lah kalo dah x reader pon sbb lama sgt x update habis dah x jenguk langsung ke sini but since 2014 pon around the corner je, I think it's as good time as any to resume writing.

Dah menjadi tradition aku akan wrap up sket entry before new year begins, and also post a collage of the year. I'll skip the collage this year, I think, but will try to compress all the happenings of this year in under 20 minutes or so.

January 2013
* hectic month
* last minute shopping kat UK
* packing brg2 x hengat dunia
* shipping
* SAT FOR MY VIVA (24/1/13)
* PASSED MY VIVA (24/1/2013)
* Flew back to Msia for good (28/1/2013)
* Arrived safely in the arms of my family, at 34 weeks 5 days pregnant with Zayd (29/1/2013)

February 2013
* Lapor diri masuk kerja (1/2/2013)
* Aqiqah my new niece, Husna
* Found out that I was polyhydramniotic (air ketuban terlalu byk). No wonder I was SO HUGE
* Feeling very scared becoz of the risks associated with polyhydramnios
* Finally Hosp. Serdang's Labour Room suggested elective Caeserean, and we scheduled Zayd's entrance to the world

March 2013
* Delivered Zayd!!!! (1/3/2013)
* Dealt with breastfeeding-related pains
* Stitches from the operation was so dodgely done, it was leaking serum from a GAPING HOLE from my abdomen for about 2 weeks!!! Scary and a nuisance to dress everyday. Nasib baik x kena jahit semula.
* In confinement. Berurut was nice. 
* Zayd's jaundice was not going down quick enough. Spent every other day at Klinik Kesihatan so that they could poke his wrist to draw blood to get the readings
* Zayd's bilirubin level was so high, had to be admitted to NICU for 4 days 3 nights. There was even talk about the possibility of blood tranfusion. Very scary, very heart breaking and very nervous moment. Alhamdulillah there was no need for that in the end

April 201
* Pumping milk like no tomorrow
* Was supposed to enjoy bonding and maternity leave to the max, but I promised myself only one month to recuperate, so on the 1st April, started doing my thesis corrections despite still having abdomen pains when sat for a long period of time
* Wrote, edited and submitted my chapter in book. 

May 2013
* Aisyah started school (14/5/2013)
* Getting used to being a mom to a newborn for the 2nd time
* Zayd got another new cousin, Muslihin
* Felt really miserable because of slow progress with thesis correction
* Spent ONE WHOLE WEEK a t the end of the month coming to the office and worked on the correction in the Postgraduate Room bcoz my office wasn't quite ready yet

June 2013
* 8th year wedding anniversary (3/6/2013)
* Lapor diri after 90-days maternity leave (6/6/2013)
* My 32nd Birthday!!! (9/6/2013)
* Muslihin's aqiqah (9/6/2013)
* RM1300 poorer, paid the proofreader to double check my corrected thesis
* Aisyah's 5th birthday, celebrated at her new school (17/6/2013)
* Moved back to our own home in Bangi (moved out of parents' house where we stayed during confinement)

July 2013
* Submitted completed thesis after correction
* Ramadhan
* Zayd was not sleeping well AT ALL at night. Would wake up so suddenly and would cry hysterically throughout the night.
* An Ustaz was called to 'treat' Zayd's 'condition'
* Between Zayd not sleeping at night and trying to chase correction deadlines and also not drinking much due to fasting, I fell ill, and lost my voice completely
* My Mom started coughing really bad, and lost her voice too. I thought she had caught something off of me. 
* Arwah Abg Yee (my cousin) pulang ke Rahmatullah
*Teman my Mom balik Kelantan (with Aisyah and Zayd in tow), as she REALLY, REALLY wanted to go back home SO BADLY. Nobody else in the family could go anyway, so I gladly volunteered. Terpaksa minta Ayah sponsor half tickets bcoz mmg kering kontang, BUT IT WAS WORTH IT. 
* Received email from University of Plymouth that I have been AWARDED PhD in Artificial Intelligence in Concatenative Sound Synthesis. Cried my eyes out whilst still in the workshop at office (24/7/2013)

August 2013
* Raya!!! After 4 years celebrating Raya overseas, we were very happy to celebrate it in Msia with family, finally. Spee nt 1st day of raya at my parents' and the 2nd day on in Muar (Hubs' parents).
* Ayah's 57th bday (11/8/2013)
* Received a call from Ayah on 3rd day of Raya, that my Mom was admitted to HUKM. Rushed back to KL (11/8/2013)
* Very surprised to see that my Mom's condition was quite serious already. She had to have oxygen mask on her at all times. First day we were there, she could talk. The following days, it was only through writing
* Things escalated from bad to worst quite quickly, although the Dr couldn't quite pin point what was wrong exactly. Spent the next 11 days 'berkampung' di Wad Respiratori dan Jantung, HUKM, gilir2 with all family members.
* Zayd was still not sleeping well at night. Seriously, it was VERY, VERY STRESSFUL period of time
* Received PhD certificate in the mail on the very same day that my Mom passed away (22/8/2013)
* Pengkebumian, tahlil dan basically just mourning over her passing
* To be honest, I cannot remember anything much after this. Life felt too void. Didn't even bother to do any office work at this point. The only reason I got up everyday instead of curling up in bed crying was because Zayd and Aisyah still needed a Mom, although mine has gone.

September 2013
* Still grieving, but life still moved on
* SIL bertunang (16/9/2013)
* Hubs birthday, which also was my SIL Sufi's birthday, but none of us felt like celebrating. It was only a month since Umi went. On top of that, we (my side of the family) had actually booked this date to go on a family holiday (my parents, my family and brothers and all of our children), to Cherating. It was Umi's idea, she was looking forward so much to it. She finally felt like our family was complete, with me being home and all of us having delivered our babies already. We had actually booked the hotel and all, but in the end, my family pulled out, but my brother (Sufi's husband) went anyway, which was good for them (22/9/2013). 
* Zayd's night time crying came back in remission. Had another Ustaz to 'treat' the situation
* Digesa kawan2 agar move on and cpt2 hntr application utk Pensyarah Kanan, although I couldn't care less pon (not to mention x de daya sbb x tido mlm for God knows how long dah at this point)
* Was agree at the world, in general
* Serious shit rasa mcm dah kena postnatal depression ke hapa aku nih?
* Only submitted the form, because my KJ said to my friend (who was also applying), ' Saya buat sekaligus nanti bila Oyis hantar borang dia'. Which meant that I was basically FORCED to fill it in, pronto.
* Was assigned to handle lab session for the 'Creative Design Elements' class. A fun course, but it was offered for the first time, so no previous notes and had to work hard from scratch. That took most of my time and mind away from the sadness

October 2013
* Life was slowly falling into a routine - Zayd was sleeping better, lab was going full swing, I was slowly accepting my Mom's passing). Alhamdulillah....
* Was called in and went for the interview for Pensyarah Kanan 
* Arwah Abg Ann (cousin) dijemput Ilahi

November 2013
* Work was slowly progressing
* Attended a Computer Security talk at UM by Prof. Steven Furnell, who came all the way from University of Plymouth, UK. So excited as it felt like a mini reunion with all the ex-Plymouthian students. Also met Caroline from British council. Got talking on SO MANY ideas, she forwarded my name to the UK Alumni to be part of a focus group
* Attended the Text-to-Speech workshop at UM. VERY, VERY interesting and useful!
* Attended the focus group meeting at British High Commission in Jalan Binjai, KL. Met many established and distinguished people. Aku je kot yg plaing cikai, although the only PhD-holder in the room. Academics tak akan kaya, honestly. Kaya ilmu mungkin la. Org lain yg ada kat situ mostly ada degree je, but dah pangkat Dato2 or if not duit berkepuk2. VERY awesome meeting, especially bcoz dpt jumpa org2 kedutaan UK sekali. What are the odds of a laymen miskin like me dpt jemputan khas sebegitu?
*Worked really hard as part of the committee member for the IADIS conference. Was a kick a$$ MC for the Opening ceremony, hehe
* Was appointed the Senior Lecturer post

December 2013
* Was part of the committee member for the ISDA conference. 
* Went to see and mark my students at their industrial placement sites - VisualXtreme and Animasia, both animation studios producing the likes of Bola Kampung, Tadika Ustaz Don, Taman Laut, etc.
* Received an invitation to come with a friend at the preview of the Big Bad Wolf book sale. Went craaaaaazy sbb finally rasa mcm duk UK balik bole beli buku2 dgn harga murah 
* Attended HCI Day. So fun and informative!
Co-organised Multimedia Day (and dare I say it was a success with the students? Their production were REALLY good, some of them, leaving me feeling like I've imparted some kind of useful knowledge to them)
* Decided to start blogging again

It's a long one, this entry. But it sums up 2013. Bittersweet, I would describe it. The same year that I got my PhD, promoted to Senior Lecturer post and blessed with a son, I was tested with the loss of my dear Mom, financial strains, sleep issues and many other little challenges. 

Praying for a more Barakah year in 2014, Amiin.....

Happy New Year, everyone...


Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Joy of Music

Aisyah has recently discovered the joy of music making. A cheapo toy piano and a free musical notation at the back of one of her work book are responsible for bringing her this newfound happiness. 

The notation was for the 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' tune. I whipped out my marker and mapped the numbers on the keyboards and taught her how to press the key as she reads the number on the sheet (it was a simple number notation, not a proper musical score). After a few demonstration, she got the hang of it, but of course, it being her first time ever, she needed a lot of help, but at least understood the concept well. Just need to polish on her eye-finger coordination, and also the speed of her play (tekan satu2, slow2).

After about 15 minutes, she got bored, and started cheating. The cheapo toy piano had a built-in library of tunes, including the one she was practising, so she put that on instead of playing herself and started miming, much to my disappointment.

Me: Hey, that's cheating!

Aisyah: I don't want to play the piano like this anymore

Thinking that she is giving up, I started a lecture on how to persevere when doing something challenging.

Me: You have to be patient. All the great musicians learn this way. They practised again and again really hard until they got really good at it and could play music very fast (effortlessly)

Aisyah: No, I don't want to play the piano like this. I want to play like THIS [shoves a piece of paper under my nose].

Oh, she meant dia tak nak yg toned down punya notation. Dia nak yg proper musical score, yg ad taugeh2 tu. Wah wah wah... seems like someone's ready for paid musical lessons, hmmm...

Friday, July 26, 2013


A few post back I wrote how Aisyah can be a natural at entertaining his brother. Well, I caught a video of her 'baby-entertaining' (as opposed to baby-sitting) her little brother.

Cute, no? 

Rasanya dia tgh berangan tap dancing kot, sbb she shouted 'Tap, tap' ke apa benda ntah. Yang adik plak,tgk x berkedip. Siap tergedik2 kaki. Kalau lah dia tu dah vertically stable, sure bgn join jgk aku rasa hehe.

Tapi ada jgk time2 kita mintak tolong tgk kan adik dia tu, Aisyah amik kesempatan utk membuli plak. I asked if she could make sure Zayd doesn't roll around on the bed as I go to wash my hands in the bathroom 2-steps away (this was after a quick poo-filled nappy change). Nampaknya adik tidak mendengar saman dan acah2 nak golek jgk. So Kakak pon amik baju adik yg dah tanggal dan tenggekkan atas kepala si adik. Adik stopped mid-roll. Terkedu dibuatnya sbb x tahu nak respon mcm mana. Enough time for me to come back and tgk sorg terkulat2, sorg terkekek2 ketawa x leh nak berenti. Haih, org suruh entertain adik, this is more like entertaining herself plak Kakak ni. Macam2...

PS: Aisyah is wearing shoes in the house in the video bcoz it's new, never jejak tanah lg and she loves them too much. And err... abaikan rumah bersepah itu. I was doing laundry at the time, hence bakul baju di tgh balairong seri. Yg atas kabinet tu, unpacked boxes lg. Aci tak dah nak masuk 6 bulan balik x habis2 lg unpacking? And wonder why Aisyah is not facing her brother masa dia menari2 tu? It's bcoz she is checking out her reflection dkt cermin kabinet tu. Oh such vanity!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Berbuka Bersama Keluarga

After four years of living far away from our beloved families, Alhamdulillah this year we can spend the weekends in Ramadhan with them.

The first weekend in Ramadhan, we went back to Hubs's side of the family in Muar. Biasalah, trave; dgn anak kecik, penuh boot. 

Now check out our medicine kit. Masa tu aku x berapa sehat dan Zayd plak selsema, so we had a lot with us traveling. Paracetamol, baby Paracetamol, Cetrizine, nasal drop, nasal spray, Vicks baby balsam, cooling gel, our trusted Braun thermometer, Aisyah's inhaler and the bulky spacer that comes with it, Aisyah's epi pen, and of course, Mopiko for the gerenti-kena mosquito bites.


Ptg hari pertama sampai tu, wahhh... abah dah sediakan pecel ikan pari, Hubs fav menu, and also dah x tahun punya x hadap la kan. Mcm2 lg lauk, from ayam goreng to masak sambal, to bubur lambuk, tp punya la kepala ni fokus kat makanan je (puasa kan), so mmg x ingat nak amik gmbr dah. Apa2pon, pecel ikan parinya adalah yg terbaekkk!!!

Aisyah had a lot of sun kat kampung, especially bila Mak Usu nya start membancuh kek. Aisyah amazed me sbb pandai dan rajin rupanya dia when it comes to baking (a turf I am a failure at). Paling memeranjat, bila aku offer nak gi beli kuih utk berbuka ptg keduanya tu, dia bole kata x nak ikut sbb nak tunggu kek dia siap, padahal masa tu dah masuk oven pon, kalo dia ikut pon my SIL ada nak jaga. Smgt sungguh buat kek. Siap je terus dia ngap, x sempat amik gambar full cake hmm...

I also amazed myself sbb this is the first time EVER, aku drive kat Muar. Hubs was busy siapkan kerja opis dia (tsk tsk..) so I offered to drive, as long as another SIL followed in car to guide me the way. My MIL, SIL and then Zayd followed. Kedai kuih nya mmg marveles, rambang mata tgk kuih, murah2 plak tu, seringgit dpt empat fuhhh... dah la lama x jumpa kuih tradisional like tepung gomak, taik minyak, masalodeh, kuih bakar dan mcm2 lg aku dah x ingat, tp yg nyata, mmg kalo berbuka mkn kuih je hari tu, dah cukup mengenyangkan (astaghfirullah, kes lapar mata).

The following weekend plak berbuka at my side of the family plak. Kali ni ingat plak nak amik gmbr sbb aku masa tu x terkocoh2 sgt nak berbuka hehe.My mom asked for potluck so ada la menantunya yg buat ayam goreng berempah, ada yg buat kari kepala ikan, dan di top up dgn lauk2 lain mcm teur masib, ikan selar celup tepung dan sayur goreng yg mmg masak kat umah my mom dah. Aku bwk ikan kurau di masak halia sbb itu yg mudah dan satu2nya lauk yg ada dlm peti (gathering ini adalah agak impromptu buat aku sbb hari2 pon singgah umah my mom to drop off the kids, jd it's no biggie, but it's a chance to kumpul all adik beradik and cucundas together under one roof).

Last Wednesday,my Dad got back from a business trip in Klate, and I was so langkah kanan sbb dia tgh buka2 kotak and bahagi2kan stuff he brought from there masa I went to pick up the kids. The food, Masha Allah, made me smile and buntang mata, sbb menunya adalah yg tipikal Klate, I was waiting for it forever. Among them, ayam bakar kuah percik style Klate (ya Allah, heavennya), akok, sekayo, and my Dad even bawak balik ketupat uols. Ketupat daun palas yg tiga segi tu. Oh belum raya lg dah ngappp... bestnya... Like I have mentioned before, yg pulut2 ni mmg fav aku, altho Hubs mmg turn up his nose lah to ketupat daun palas, bcoz to him, as a Muarian, ketupat hanyalah refers to ketupat nasi, which I, a Kelantanese, thinks is so wrong sebab ketupat nasi tu kita panggil nasik himpit lah (or nasi kapit, dlm bahasa Klate). Never ending debate in this household, I tell you. Again x de foto sbb khusyiuk makan beradap sorg2 hehe...

This week is a longish 3-day weekend. So far x de plan, makan kat umah sendiri je lah. Selamat berbuka semua!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Time for My Fruit Hearts

How do mothers with more than one child divide their attention equally among their offspring? Haish, baru anak dua rasa mcm tunggang terbalik dah. It is even more apparent sbb skang ni bulan ramadhan, so mula2 rushing nak balik masak, then berbuka. Then I hoist the kids upstairs, mandi, get dressed, and sort out myself, solat dsb nya. Azan Isya' je, Hubs off to the mosque, leaving me to tend the kids. Haaa... masa ni la agak menduga minda, especially kalo adik nak didodoi and kakak duk whining non-stop psl dia bored. 

I try spending time with Kakak, buat art stuff, homework, read storybooks and even ajar dia suka2 like qiraati, mathematics (she calls it 'metik metik') and even spelling.  I make it a point to do qiraati every night sbb cikgu dia kata that's where she needed help with most. Masa kat UK it felt like x de masa sgt leh spend time dgn dia, skali balik Msia, lg la terasa cpt sehari2 tu berlalu.  It is not easy sbb I usually have to entertain adik, and sometimes mid-mengajar I would to pause sbb adik berak, and we had to change his nappies. Sometimes rasa bersalah sbb byk kali minta diri from whatever activity yg tgh buat dgn Kakak bcoz nak tend to adik dulu, baik poo, susu, or even nak tido, tp Kakak Alhamdulillah cool aje, she even found it funny. It is a blessing jgk la gap umur diorg ni jauh, Kakak is so understanding and very doted when it comes to his brother. Cuma time with them rasanya so little je tiap2 mlm, yelah, by 10 pm dah lights-off for the kids to prepare for an early day tomo plak.

Kadang2 aku terlupa plak Aisyah ni baru 5 years old. So many times a day aku lafazkan,'Kakak, tengok adik kejap' or yg sewaktu dgn nya sbb aku nak mandi, masak etc. Sbnarnya, kalo apa2 jd pon, dia mmg bole TENGOK aje la sbb dia x pandai lg nak jaga or dukung adik. Cuma yg terror sket jd tukang report - adik berak, adik tarik rambut, adik masuk mulut benda yg x sepatutnya, etc.

Tapi satu bole puji. Kalo bab entertaining adik, wah, she's a natural. Kdg2 dia menari2 utk adik dia, kdg2 dia mengajar, kdg dia nyanyi, kdg ngaji, ikut sedap dia lah. Skali aku tgk tu, mcm cheerleading pon ada jg, belasah la labu, asal adik x nanges. Yg adik pon, melopongggg... sgt la attentive hehe. So kat situ dpt la beli masa utk diri aku sket, kot nak membersihkan diri or get the colon content moving :P


These two... my fruit hearts (buah hati hehe)... Alhamdulillah...

Monday, July 22, 2013

License to Thrill

I received a few encouraging words from friends (online and offline) regarding my last entry. Many have also confessed to shedding a few tears reading the post. Some have commented that it reminded them very much of their own PhD journey. Indeed. Setiap PhD tu ada cerita suka dukanya sendiri. In no way did I mean to say that my journey was harder than most. No, no, no. I wrote it down bcoz this is my blog and I wrote my own story lah nak write your own story, in your own blog lah hehe. I wrote it down bcoz like another fellow blogger (Liyana) had said, may the experience keep us grounded. Kira mcm peringatan utk diri sendiri. And also utk anak2. Esok2 kalo ada yg kurg rajin belajar, aku re-direct je suh baca balik blog Mummy. Tengok, tengok. Bukan senang nak berjaya. I know it should work, bcoz I drew a lot of inspiration from my Dad, also another PhD holder. When it happened (masa dia buat PhD), I didn't bat an eye lash, x faham pon pengorbanan dia. But as I grew up and experience things myself, barulah terang sebenarnya. 

Also, byk benda dlm blog ni aku cerita psl happy2, jalan2, makan2, etc. Yang pahit, yang pedih, hanya Allah yg tahu. Little by little I will share, Inshaa Allah. Dulu2 malas nak couped up dlm aura negativity, so I dismissed the thoughts. Skang dah lps, bole la reminisce balik. Bittersweet gitu. Most importantly,I put pen to paper bcoz, whilst going through the journey myself, byk blog2 PhD org lain yg aku baca, utk motivasi diri. Some were funny, some were inspirational, some shared good advice, some rambled on about kerja dia that I had no clue what of, and some were even downright depressing and suicidal, so I got a good picture of what is 'normal' for a PhD student. This is kinda my way of giving back to what I had received from others. Hopefully, my ups and downs kat sini bole lah membantu those yg masih fighting for victory utk buat bacaan ringan bila2 bosan or demotivated. Ok, panjang plak disclaimer aku nih. 

Sebenarnya, nak buat just a very quick post today. Finished submitting the most very final version of the thesis to the University of Plymouth's repository. And had signed off the license form. And that should be the end of it. Lps ni yg hard bound copy tu, kalo nak bagi pon, just as a favour for my SV je lah, bukan Uni nya requirement pon. Alhamdulillah... 

Makan masa one and a half working day jgk lah buat, nak upload ni, bcoz I have TOOOOOOOO many sound files to upload with the thesis. The sounds are important bcoz they are referred to in the thesis, sbb my work is on sound synthesis, of course nak dgr beza sound yg aku synthesised dgn method2 yg sblm ni. At least it doesn't take too much neurons to do, just so very time consuming. Now bole la relax sket. Perhaps it's time to think about the Graduation ceremony? To attend or not to attend.Or the more suited question is, ada duit nak pi, ka tadak duit..? Tsk... how sad...

OK it's 5 pm. Gotta go. Ramadhan ni, time flies gile laju. All day today hanya buat ini sahaja., even x melagho pon buat benda lain.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

End of Quest

Have been neglecting my blog for awhile now. Mula2 tu x sihat, then when Ramadhan started, mmg super busy. Ye la, mana nak kejar utk berbuka, taraweh, get the children ready for bed, prepare sahur lg. Tambahan pula, minggu ni dah 3 hari berbengkel saja kerjanya, so all out 8 am - 5pm xde masa nak mengular di alam maya. Even waktu lunch plak kitaorg join tadarus, then aku sempat melarikan diri utk bg Zayd direct feed susu badan sbb sejak posa hasil susu aku merudum teruk sampai tahap 2 oz je bila pam, so utk menambahkan supply and make sure Zayd x kebulur, kena la balik utk susukan dia. Badan pon letih awal2 so better rehat aje, maklumlah yg demam hari tu pon x brp sembuh lg.

TAPIII... gagahkan jua tulis entry ni, bcoz I received a very important email.

Alhamdulillah, Syukur padaMu ya Allah....!

Masa baca emel tu, of coz I was stuck in the bengkel, without a laptop or any means of connecting to the Internet (me no got smartphone yet). So time break tu, I asked my colleague yg duk sblh if I could use her laptop (which she had smartly smuggled masuk dlm dewan) just to check my emails, in case students ada contact coz mmg budak2 ni ada owe assignment dgn aku. 

Imagine my surprise bukak2 emel kuar statement yg di atas. Dgn x semena2 badan aku jadik cam terketar2. so I excused myself masuk surau and then did a Sujud Syukur, followed by Sunat Dhuha. Masa rakaat yg ke-last tu I started to become emotionally overwhelmed, and that's putting it mildly lah. Okay, okay, I confessed, I SOBBED. I sobbed and cried like a 5 year-old who lost her puppy. 

At that moment, my PhD journey played back like it was movie in my head. 

I saw myself kelek Aisyah ke hulu ke hilir in the cold when she was just no bigger than Zayd.

I saw myself bgn mlm tending to Aisyah (teething!) and then sambung bercekang mata nak siapkan deadline.

I saw myself crying in frustration over programming errors and bugs that i had no clue of how to fix.

I saw myself berpeluh2 guna segala kudrat tenaga tolak cleaning trolley when I had to work as a cleaner just to make ends meet bcoz the scholarship was barely covering our cost of living.

I saw myself braved the night facing drunks on the street masa balik rumah pkl 1 pg sbb stay back kat lab coz siangnya I had to take care of Aisyah while Hubs worked becoz we couldn't afford full-time nursery.

I saw myself (and Hubs) 'ikat perut' dan berjimat cermat and even tolak most invitations from friends utk makan luar bcoz we had to skimp on lavish food. 

I saw myself declining various social invitations bcoz I didn't have any time for leisure, sometimes mistaken for being 'sombong'.

I saw myself walking uphill in the cold everywhere bcoz we had no car.

I saw myself berteleku di meja in my lab for hours, day in, day out.

I saw myself with Aisyah as my sidekick everywhere - the library, the shop, the printing office, presentations, seminars.

I saw myself hunched over the laptop, typing my thesis furiously, with arms that slowly stretched further and further away from my keyboard everyday as my tummy grew larger as I was carrying Zayd.

I saw myself staying up late at night as everyone was asleep, adamant to meet the deadline.

I saw myself (attempting to) walk across the Uni ground with a huge basketball under my shirt (Zayd, kamu sgt besar okeh?)

I saw myself typing the thesis on the bed when it got to the point that the chair at my office desk was starting to give my very pregnant self a backache.

I saw myself typing the thesis in thick coat and wrapped in duvet as it was winter but we couldn't foot the huge heating bill.

I saw myself dropping Aisyah at after school care, sacrificing a huge portion of our savings just so I could have a few more extra hours working in solidarity. 

I saw myself walking hands-in-hands with Hubs that cold January morning to my viva room. He stopped just outside of the room and gave me the look that says, 'I believe in you'.

I saw myself looking like a crazed woman in confinement (errr... I guess I didn't just look like the crazed woman in confinement, I WAS the crazed woman in confinement) pushing myself to sort out the corrections even though I clearly was not at my best.

It all just kept playing over and over in my head.

I must've looked like a wreck bcoz my colleague was quite concerned after and she asked if I was alright. Hehe...

Truth is, I think this is more emotional than my viva bcoz with the viva, I was already exhausted answering the examiners that it didn't quite sink in when they said I'd passed. My mind was also half-occupied at the time sbb nak balik Msia dah in 4 days, dgn nak beranak lg, so kegembiraan tu x de la terzahir sgt. Plus, result viva instantaneous, abis je viva dpt tau terus lulus ke x. So feeling tu mcm masih kat awang2an lg. Also, dah tahu ada pembetulan lg, so it didn't feel like dah tamat betul. 

With thesis correction ni, I have been nervously waiting to hear from my examiner after I have re-submitted my thesis. There is always a chance that it has not been corrected up to the satisfactory level and kena tambah lg, so mmg all the while berdoa sgt semoga pembetulan diterima as it was, bcoz to be honest, aku dah x larat nak buat lg now that I have started working and family pon kena jaga jg. So the waiting tu part yg menyakitkan dan mendebarkan. And when they let you know yg everything dah diterima, it means it's finished. Selesai. Tak payah buat kerja apa lagi dah on the thesis lps ni. Tggu scroll sahaja. The relief, Allah sahaja yg tahu.

Masa tgh drive tghari tu dgr plak lagu Tegar 'Aku yg dulu bukanlah yg sekarang' kat radio kereta. Sekali lg nanges. Ntah apa2. Kalah wanita mengandung yg hormonal. Tp bait2 lirik dia ada jgk la membuatkan aku rasa tersentuh,walaupon skang hidup bukanlah senang mana pon sgt... 

'.. bersyukurlah pada Yang Maha Kuasa
memberi jalan utk semua

hidupku dulu seorg pengamen
pulang malam selalu bawa uang recehan
mengejar cita-cita paling mulia,
membantu keluarga di rumah

sekolah dulu ngak punya biaya
terpaksa ku harus mencari nafkah
tetapi aku tak berputus asa
pasti Yang Kuasa memberi jalannya...'

Aku rasa yg buat tambah emo tu sbb I realised, when I started this journey 4 years ago, Aisyah was only 4 1/2 months old. And I finished this journey just as Zayd turned 4 1/2 months old. It feels like a closure.

That's all I wanted to share today. Sorry for the self-centred post and for being too emotional. I couldn;t help but shed another tear as I wrote this entry. I know I'm a wuss for crying, but I couldn't help it. That's 4 years worth of work and a lifetime worth of permanent head damage we are talking about!

Alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah, walillahilhamd...