Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Groovy, Baby!

I love it when the kiddos are affectionate to one another. Just happened to capture this moment last week whilst picking up Hubs (he needed some time to pack, so we had a few minutes to spare before he exited the building).

The car radio is blasting in the background of my currently fav song 'Gadis Jolobu' by WARIS feat Dato' Hattan. Aisyah is always great at babysitting, most of the time she does it without much protest, but it is extra cute when she dances to occupy her baby brother.

Zayd, in return, really loves it too when Big Sis dances. Mengekekkkkk... je... Oh, and is that a HUG there at 00:27? Oh my, my heart just melts again and again everytime that scene comes up! (PS: groovy moves actually start only after 00:42)

Aisyah definitely has the groove, no? She actually feels the beat and sways like you'd expect from a raggae-ish song. I have no idea where she picks the move from. All I know is that much as I love dancing (used to, at least) I've never found the time to do it anymore. So, it's either in her blood or it's from YouTube! (I doubt it's YouTube, we really control what she watches, and it's the likes of Care Bears and My Little Ponies, I swear).

Mind you, this isn't her first time dancing whilst looking after her baby brother (click herehere  and here for past videos of her in the act), so maybe that's her fool proof approach to babysitting, who knows?

As long as they both are enjoying themselves, I have no reason to object!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Since You've Been Gone (For Six Months)

It's been six months since Umi left us. Sometimes, it still feels so surreal. We haven't really put away her stuff yet. I don't know, I guess part of us is still in denial. Honestly, it sometimes feels like any day now she will walk back into our lives and life will resume like how it was six months ago.

Oh, how things have changed! How is it possible that the very same house looks and feels so different after her departure? That's the effect that a doting mother and wife has on a family home.

Last night I dreamed of her again. It was us family doing things together, and she was there. She didn't say anything, but she looked like she'd always had when she was with us. And every time she came up in one of my dreams, I would wake up feeling a mixture of emotions. Happy to see the face that I miss, but sad that it was only a dream that ended too soon.

Needless to say, I miss her. So, so much.

I try to be strong, and on most parts, I am successful. But sometimes, late at night like tonight (it's 2.45 am, but I'm forcing myself to stay awake bcoz Zayd has been throwing up since 9 p.m., so I feel better if I monitor him while he sleeps), I stayed up and wondered, 'Why?'

I know, I know. God has planned it this way. And I have accepted it as a fact, but the way she left was so sudden (she hadn't even been ill for two weeks), we didn't really have enough time to comprehend the fact that she's gone forever. And she was so young. She only lived to be fifty-six. 

I look back into my pics folder, and randomly clicked under the file 'February 2013' (a year ago). Oh what a happy, happy time (Husna's Aqiqah - my niece). Then there was Muhaimin's 2nd birthday. Why wouldn't we be happy? We had just rejoiced with our home coming in January 2013, three more grandbabies were on its way set for 2013, and oh the yummy food. Just how immaculately clean and organised the house was. The space radiated of warmth, and love, and happiness. But did we know at the time that she would've been gone in six months time (she left in August)? Certainly not. There wasn't a sign, or at least none that we noticed of. 

My Mom was the lady in green in the earlier pics. I was huge here bcoz I was 36 weeks pregnant with Zayd

I shouldn't let myself get carried away in writing like this. It can be very destructive. But I guess this is an outlet. Other than my SIL who has also lost her mom in 2012 (I have no sisters, see) I rarely grieve to anyone so openly. Not even Hubs. You know how it is, guys don't do heart-to-heart well enough, and I don't feel connected talking about it to someone whose parents are still alive. People who haven't gone through this usually becomes very awkward when the topic arises, and people expect you to suck it up and move on, not to wallow for long. Which is also why I don't talk to my friends either (most of them still have their parents around). I see them planning birthdays for their Moms, or casually having lunch dates or couriering their Moms around on short errands during their lunch breaks, or conveniently leaving their kids for an hour or two with Grandma while they get things sorted (like me, most of my friends live within 20 minutes drive from their parents, so our lives very much intertwined with our parents), and I feel that familiar pang of loneliness all over again. 

It's 3.13 am now. I'm going to stop here. Zayd is sleeping much better now, I think I can have a little shut eye too. 

Al-Fatihah to Umi....


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Ingat Masa Lena, Apa Mimpi Mu?

Zayd sometimes smiles in his sleep which is cute (to me). He's asleep at the mo, but I am reminded of a video I caught of him doing this awhile back, so I'm posting this here.

Okay, now back to my notes. This Monday lectures start again, people, arghhh!!!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Little Update on the Kids, Post New Year

Haven't talked for awhile about these kids of mine, so I'd thought I'd give them an update.

Since the beginning of school year 2014, Aisyah continued going to the same kindergarten as the previous year. The only difference is that now she goes full time (8 am - 6pm) as opposed to coming home at noon. It was a tough decision for me to make, because 10 hours at school a day is a LONG time for any kid, but with my Mom's passing last August, child care had been really difficult. I had always envisioned that Aisyah would transited every noon to my late Mom's house, until she is well into high school, at least (my Mom and I had sort of discussed this and both parties were happy with it), but Allah had other plans for her, and part of me being 'redha' or accepting His plans include adapting well to the changes and challenges which lie ahead.

Alhamdulillah, she really loves school, and has been progressing well, much much better than last year, it seems. There's still a lot of catching up work needs to be done, but I'm no kiasu Mom so I just kinda lay back and see how's she's doing on her own. If she's happy, I'm happy. And boy is she very happy that she gets to stay at school until the evening, proudly telling everyone who would listen that she's 'bigger' this year, hence the longer hours at school (isn't it cute how little kids are so eager to grow up fast?). Having said that, we (by we, I mean, I, it's always the mother who initiates these things) do try to get her to do exercises (Qiraati, Maths, writing, reading) at home, and on most nights, she looks forward to them. Doesn't she look like six going on sixteen in the photo below? I can't really point out what, but she looks much mature than her age here, perhaps it's the wrist watch that does the trick or her relaxed posture whilst studying (much like her Mom's preferred position to study when she was sixteen and studying for her GCSEs).

Zayd, my boy has also had to adjust to a few changes in life as well, this year. He used to spend his days at my Mom's while I was at work, but with my Mom's passing, followed by the helper who had quit too, Zayd was left at the mercy of his aunt (my SIL) during the day. The temporary arrangement didn't work too well, mostly because my SIL had another two children of her own under the age of two at the time, so it was much too stressful for her. So in the last week of December we finally found a child minder whose willing to take Zayd in, and it's been less chaotic since, Alhamdulillah... 

Although he does cry at drop off every morning, he's well and dandy in the evening at pick up time so I gather that he's doing fine. The childminder is an experienced lady, and she looks like someone who really likes and can be patient around small children. And she's used to handling expressed breastmilk-fed babies as well as formula-fed babies, so that's a plus point. If a man's indication of happiness is in proportion to how much he eats, then Zayd must really be happy at her place for he can easily down 6 bottles of 5 oz breastmilk a day, okay??!!! and that is on top of the cereal, porridge, rice, crackers and what nots he consumes a day (he's a rather big eater, my Zayd). Needless to say, at almost 1 year post-delivery, I am still pumping like mad to ensure that he has enough to go by. He can now stand unsupported for about 5 seconds before he plops butt down on the floor, and that's about the only time you will catch him standing still, because but he is otherwise VERY mobile and does not know how to 'duduk diam' haha!

Enough updates for now. Will write again when I find the time soon :)


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Neither Asleep Nor Awake

Just woke up from my sleep (I fell asleep while pumping milk, now that's one sure sign of being overly exhausted). As I had to clear up everything when I woke up (sterilise bottles, store away milk), I am now fully awake. I's thought I'd update my blog. But my mind is blank. I keep looking at the blank screen, and scrolled my pictures folders to get the mojo going, but there's none.

Let me try for one last time.








... and still nothing.

Oh well, guess I'll just have to go back to bed.

Would putting a recent pics of the kids count as an entry?

It's almost the weekend anyway. Hehe.. Have a great one, y'all!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Splashing Out At Malacca Wonderland

Okay, continue part 2 dkt Malacca Wonderland.

First off, the water theme park is located in Ayer Keroh, so if your staying in Bandar Hilir, it can take up to a good hour of driving to reach. For a place that's well promoted online (Groupons, etc), it really had ridiculously small signs (about A0 ish size, no larger than an academic poster, don't ask me why they skimp on this), so finding the place might be a bit tricky.

I didn't have much expectation of the place, because, come on, this is Malaysia ;P

But it actually was quite pleasant. Water was clean (the one at A Famosa Water Park a few people wrote that the water were GREEN, so that was why we didn't go there), the changing room and toilet were also frequently serviced so it wasn't nasty at all. Best of all, we went on a weekday, so there weren't that many people to begin with. 

On the downside, the park was rather small, and with limited choices of water slides, but even then they do have tram rides to take you from one side of the park to the other, for free and very frequently too (~5 minutes or so). They don't have rides (log rides, roller coaster that dives into the water, floaties that carry people into tumble dryer like current, etc), so don't believe that this is the next Sunway Lagoon. But at RM28 (adults) and RM22 (child) tickets, it was okay-ish. Besides, our eldest was only six, so this was the perfect scale of terror-ish fun for her. Food can be expensive (e.g. Milo Ais = RM3.50, Nasi Ayam = RM12), but this was expected. Other than this, I cannot fault the place.

So basically everyone had a blast, Aisyah particularly. I never would have thought my meek, overly sensitive little girl is a little dare devil in her own right. And I never would have thought that moi, who once never feared any roller coasters in her yonder years (I've tackled all the mean ones at Blackpool, Disneyland Paris, Genting Highlands, Berjaya Times Square, you name it, I've been on it), suddenly found herself too chickened out to actually go down the slides where Aisyah had non-chalantly went down. Those chutes scared me, man!!! I actually did go down because my maternal instinct beat my fear, as I needed to make sure Aisyah was alright on the other end (couldn't make out if she came out safely at the other end from the top of the chute/slide because it was loopy and twisted right around). But by golly, it was a really fast one, and scared that I was, I didn't brace myself properly (I actually gebang my elbows mcm kepak ayam in an effort to slow down the thing by introducing friction, BIG MISTAKE!!!), so my elbows banged numerous times on my way down (at high speed, nonetheless). They are still very much bruised and sore as I am typing this. Ah, things mothers do for their offsprings...

After that scary slide down the chute, I got a bit braver and tried several other mild-ish ones. Aisyah was of course, having too much fun, she just didn't care at how steep the slide was, or how high the top was, or how dark the chute was (seriously, it really was like putting all your faith in God that you would come out of the darkness eventually). We also tried the wave pool. This was when I'd had enough for self-inflicted pain for the day. 

Overall, I would recommend this place for a little fun with the lil ones. Even Zayd enjoyed it. It was just so cute how he hugged his little turtle buddy like his life depended on it. First time in the water since birth, for him, and glad to see that he's loving it!


Monday, February 3, 2014

Impromptu Holiday in Malacca

The family and I went for an almost impromptu trip to Malacca on Wednesday. Chinese New Year’s holidays were approaching that coming Friday, so on Tuesday I booked a hotel in midtown Malacca for 3D2N, arriving on Wednesday (booked less than 24 hours previously, what a gamble, yikes!). Thank goodness there was still rooms available, and we even managed to get a sea view room. We were initially torn between a hotel near town (Bandar Hilir) or near to Ayer Keroh where several fun touristy attractions were located. But I was hard headed and went to book Hatten Hotel in Bandar Hilir anyway , just because the pics and reviews looked good from several websites.

And we are very pleased that we had opted to stay at the Hatten Hotel. The room was so nice and comfy, and it was smack in the middle of town next to Mahkota Parade Shopping Mall and Dataran Pahlawan Shopping Mall (okay, so we did a lot of 'window shopping’ this holiday, hehe). But it was also 5-10 minutes anywhere else worth visiting like the Taming Sari Tower, the Stadhyus, A’ Famosa Fort, the river cruise, Jonker Street, etc. And did I mention that the hotel and the malls are linked via a bridge so you never really need to out much in the Sun? So convenient hahah…


First afternoon we checked in, we spent much of the time at the mall (dinner, shopping, arcade). Mostly quality time with family. We came back around 10pm and relaxed in the nice, cool room on our lovely big King sized bed and for some bizzare reason, watched Bol Bachan (a Hindi movie that was shown on telly). It was hilarious and since none of us could remember when the last time we all just sat and watched funny shows on TV together (thanks to the invention of iPads, now everybody just watched what they wanted, when they wanted, WHERE they wanted, ALONE --- including Aisyah, huhu ---  coz iPads is really only good for one pair of eyeballs and one set of ears, come on, admit it), so watching the TV together was a good way to just de-stress together as a family.

The next day we had complimentary breakfast at Chatterz, the hotel’s 12th floor dining room. The food was so-so taste-wise. This might be the only thing I am unenthusiastic about the hotel, but since we’re used to just being served croissants and cereals for our breakfast menu back in the UK and Europe, a spread of Bihun goreng, Nasi Lemak, Mee Kari, porridge, cereals, toast, pancakes, waffles, sausages, chicken balls, fried egg, half boiled eggs, fruit station, egg station, juices station made us felt spoilt for choice.

Overall I think Zayd ate the most number of food (we let him tried most things from fruits to cereal but no eggs, nuts or seafood yet, all in teeny portions because he just kept saying ‘Nakkkk’ (translated: I Want) whenever he saw any of us popped something into our mouths. But for the most volume of food, I think Hubs and I were at tie hehe…

Afterwards was the hour long drive to Malacca Wonderland, which I will resume in the next entry coz I need to catch up on my sleep!