Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Asthma and Eczema

Last week Zayd seemed to be wheezing and coughing and finding it hard to sleep through the night. he had also had an allergic attack (to what we never found out) and a small patch on his skin seemed too dry and rough and itchy. This had all seemed too familiar, so we took Zayd to the clinic.

The Doctor confirmed our suspicions. Zayd, like his sister Aisyah, is most likely asthmatic, and thedry patch on his skin is of course, eczema. Although he hasn't been fully diagnosed as asthmatic (in Malaysia they don't diagnose asthma untul the child is 6), Zayd has been prescribed with Salbutamol and Ventolin syrup (no inhaler yet), hydrocortisone and aquous cream for his eczema. When Aisyah was about Zayd's age (3.5 yrs old), she had her own inhalers (one is brown coloured for prevention, and a blue one for when an attack takes place) with the volumatic paediatric chamber and we had to chart her breathing nightly. She couldn't use normal soap and was prescribed with bottles and bottles of the aquous cream (see pic below - from the pharmacy in Mutley, Plymouth). Alhamdulillah as she grows older, it doesn't flare so often and asthma attacks are very rare nowadays. We pray Zayd's case never gets as severe as what Aisyah had been and that it will slowly disappear as he grows older too. In the meantime, we just have to monitor things for him and figure out ways to reduce the attacks.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Out to Lunch at Ayer 8

Had a lovely lunch out with friends last Friday. We went to Ayer 8, Putrajaya. Ayer 8 is this really nice shopping area with plenty of restaurants. Since it's by the lake side, the view from any of the restaurant is spectacular, especially if it's on the outdoor deck.

The lake side is a great place to take the kids out in the afternoon. I must really make an effort to take the kids here to play outdoor more often (I keep forgetting how nice it is here). They would most definitely love cycling their little bikes to their hearts' content or just simply running around enjoying the nice view here.

Visiting places near the water makes me miss Plymouth oh so much. Plymouth was a time where the sea was only a 10-minute walk away, and when time seemed to go at a slower pace (life was simpler). In contrast, time in Malaysia seems to tick faster (the rat race is megafierce here), and the stress level much, much higher. I feel for the kids...

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Brain Power

Just capturing a nightly routine with Aisyah - Tasmi' session. Tasmi' is where I listen and correct Aisyah on her hafazan (memorization) of the Quran. Her teacher will WhatsApp the parents 2-3 verses which the students have to recite and memorize as a a recap for the day's lesson in school or as a preparation for tomorrow's class. So far, so good. But at 8, Aisyah still needs a lot of guidance. If I don't invite her to sit and start the Tasmi' session, she will gladly 'forget' it, but I will be sure to get a WA from her teacher tomorrow reporting that she has struggled for the following lessons. So best we all keep it a half hour date, every night :D

Aisyah is looking away from me in this pic because she is reciting the verses from memory and insists that she is not cheating (she isn't). It is amazing how fast children learn and remember. Half an hour is enough for memorizing several verses, with the least of effort. They are pure and innocent, that's why. Wish they could stay this way forever ...

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Happy 60th, Ayah!

Naturally what comes a day after compulsory retirement in Msia is --- the pensioners' 60th Birthday!!

So to celebrate this occasion, our big family went to have dinner at Johnny's on the 11th August 2016. Growing up, there are only three of us siblings - my two younger brothers and I - so it is really awesome to see how the once small sized family has grown larger - with each of us siblings blessed with a spouse and two children of our own (a total of 6 grandchildren), and also since Ayah married Cik Ni, I instantly have another stepbrother too.

So, here we are... all of us...

After the hearty meal, we all went to Dataran at Putrajaya to enjoy cake. It was quite late, but no birthday would be complete without a cake, so cake we had haha. It was nice being outdoor late in the night, not much cooler than the balmy (it was a very balmy night), but at least it wasn't scorching hot like during the day. The kids really went wild, running around chasing one another, a sign that they were on the loose as they never really got to go out that late at night, to scoff down cake, to boot.
We sang Happy Birthday to Ayah and he then opened up his birthday pressies, consisting of a shirt, a pair of Pelikat pants and a pair of sunglasses. The grandkiddos thought their grand dad looked hilarious wearing all three items in one go!

One for the pic:

I don't mean to be sappy, but big milestones or celebrations like this one is always leaving me feeling a mixture of emotions. I keep thinking of how things would have been if my late Mom was still with us, you know, like growing old together with my dad and stuff, and that makes me extremely sad. But then I remember that is about making the most of what and who you still have, and that I'm extremely blessed that there's no shortages of happy moments like this one, and I am happy and grateful for that. 

I guess it's true what they say about love - it is always bitter sweet. I'm just praying that there's more of the sweeter bits than the bitter parts ;)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Ayah's Retirement 'Do

Last Wednesday (10 August 2016), was my Dad's last day working as a civil servant. He retired after serving the Government agency for more than thirty years, at age 60 years old. He has always been a very hardworking and easygoing person, and well liked by his colleagues.

This past week, I was soooo busy with attending the curriculum workshop at work that I didn't plan properly of Ayah's Big Day. It was only that morning that I realized it was going to be his last day, so I rang him up to see if he wanted me to take some photos of him clocking out for the last time. He'd said yes, and I didn't think much of it.

Later that afternoon, with a self-made A3 banner saying 'Life Begins On Your 2016 Retirement' in hand, I drove to his office. I was shocked to see there was a Send Off party going on at full swing, with his colleagues giving off speeches and praising him, photoshoot sessions, food, balloons, prezzies and cakes. I felt like I had gatecrashed a party of some sort and so underdressed, at that. But some of his collegues knew me and the rest were all friendly and treated me like I was on their list of invited guests huhu.. (a bit embarrassing to be honest).

I didn't stay long as I had to go pick up the kids from school. But I'm so happy to be part of Ayah's big day. He's been there for all my major milestones -- wedding, birth of children, BSc, MSc and PhD graduations, and many more, so I really wanted to be there for him too.

Happy Retirement, Ayah. I hope he finds peace and the time to do things which he loves now that he doesn't have to conform to the office hours anymore. May you be blessed with love, health, wealth and happiness always!


Friday, August 12, 2016

Port Dickson - Short Trip with Hubs' Office

Last weekend Hubs' office held their Family at Port Dickson (at the Port Dickson Sanctuary Apartments and Training Camp). We knew this wasn't going to be a typical relaxing holiday at a 5 star hotel (the term 'training camp' gave that away), but we braved it and went nonetheless. And boy were we glad we did! Although the accommodation could have been improved (so, so many opportunities), but the facilities weren't too bad. And the acitivities planned were fitting for families with small children. The first day (Saturday), Hubs and his office mates had a motivational talk, followed by some roughing and toughing activities like Flying Fox and obstacles race. At night, we had a BBQ and what would a BBQ be without a karaoke session ahha! Turns out that there are many, many hidden talents at Hubs' office. Their singing and dancing were at par with many Malaysian pop singers out there, I kid you not!

The next morning, fun games for children and adults alike were planned. Aisyah and Zayd entered a few, such as the collecting the most sweets race, carrying a pingpong ball in a spoon race, etc. The adults played games like lawn bowling (with a coconut as the bowl), three-legged race and many more I just couldn't quite recall. I got to play several of the games and won too woo hoo...! 

Afterwards, the kids went to have a dip in the kiddie pool. They just LOVED the water!

After lunch,we checked out and made our way to the beach, where we resumed the fun with just the four of us. We didn't planned on swimming or getting our outfits wet, but the combination of the sand, sun, sea and waves, were just too much for Ahmad Zayd to contained himself and listened to instructions that he went right into the water just completely immersed himself in it like a duck. So we ended up buying the kids new PD t-shirts and pants, and so we got to act like we really were tourists and we really love PD (we do love PD, actually). 

The kids didn't really want to go home yet, but we had too as the evening was drawing in. We got everyone ice creams and then headed home (easiest solution is to bribe with ice creams, it always works).

PD used to be a really icky beach. So much so that we never went there anymore for maybe more than 10 years! But it's so much cleaner and pleasant now, we both agree that we should take the children there more often, seeing that it is only an hour drive's away. I'm glad Malaysians are generally more aware of keeping the beach clean. It's such a shame if we lose a beach this pretty.