Friday, January 27, 2017

My Grandchildren

I am going to write about my two grandchildren today. No, I don't have a nephew or niece who is about the same age as myself and has recently reproduced, but rather I am writing about my 'academic' grandchildren. Haha.

In the academia, the Supervisor is always known to be a parent figure to the students. So yes, some of my students are having their very own children now, which make me erm.. a grandma. 

So by that definition, my first grandchild is Sara Adelia. Her Mom, Siti Aisah, was my first graduated Master of Computer Science student. Aisah fell pregnant in her final year, but trudged on despite her morning sickness. She submitted her corrected thesis just a week away before she gave birth to Sara Adelia. This is a pic of them from her (their??) graduation later that year.

Here is me from two weeks ago with my recent grandchild Syabil. My Master student Bella came in for her progress meeting at the time. Syabil is only about 1 month old here. Her mom is still in her third semester so I hope I don't get any other new grandchild soon. Haha.

Thursday, January 26, 2017


Twice a week now at work, a group of us ladies get together and we Zumba! It's fun, and most certainly a great way to get fit again. We do Salsa, Bollywood, Dangdut, anything goes, really. Typically we burn around 350-400 kcals a session (a few of us own FitBeats). Hoping that this will melt away my stubborn fat and lose a few kilos in the next three months or so...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Training the 9-year old to fold her own clothes. She is sulking in this pic because she had been very upset with herself for not being able to fold her clothes properly. Moreover, she was frustrated that she had so many clothes to deal with. That sounded like a right spoiled child, so I dropped everything I was doing at the time (more laundry, TBH), sat next to her on the floor, lectured to her about how blessed we are to have many clothes to wear and choose from, and then re-taught her how to fold clothes properly so they would fit her wardrobe. In the end, she managed to do the folding with minimal of help. The frown has turned upside down into a smile. Great success, I'd say. Mission accomplished.

This folding episode made me miss my late Mom. Of course I didn't learn to fold by myself. It was through her that I know how to do the housework as I do it today. And some of that knowledge has been passed on to Aisyah, her eldest grandchild. In a way, it's like her legacy continues. I can only hope that a few years down the line, Aisyah will master these skills, and much later, pass them on to her own children one day.

By then, she will have her own sulking daughter to deal with. Heh. But for now, here's a pic of my own sulking, can't-fold-don't-want-to-fold-laundry-daughter.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Imam Muda Zayd Alhadi

Last Sunday, our neighbour had an Aqiqah ceremony for their newborn grandchild at the nearby Surau, and we attended. Just wanted to commemorate Zayd's first ever pic of himself wearing the men's Jubah. Doesn't he look like a right fit Imam Muda there? This one will melt a lot of young ladies' hearts in the future, me thinks. I know I'm smitten already hehe...

Monday, January 23, 2017

Nightly Routine

Now that school has started, the children have more or less settled into a routine. After school, it would be shower, Solat, play time, dinner, then straight on homework or revision, followed by Solat Isya' (slightly later) and then a quick Tasmi' session, before prepping for bed time, bed time story and finally off to bed. For Aisyah, this is straight forward. The little one, Zayd, is a bit more challenging. But on the odd night where they both surrender easily, I get to enjoy a hot glass of ginger-lemon tea downstairs in front of the telly, watching re-runs of the Big Bang Theory. My kind of night. 

These are pics of Aisyah trying to do some work. Sometimes I feel for her, as Zayd is ALWAYS in her hair. They have a five year gap between them, so clearly they are not on the same mental development stage. Aisyah is more serious and structured, while Zayd has not even started Kindy (though he has self-taugh himself the A-Z alphabets and numbers up to 15, colours, and shapes from YouTube - second child is always a survivor). Anyway, one way or another it always ends with someone crying. I have tried to do separate activities for the boy, but he just wants to do the same thing as his big Sis is doing, but for two minutes only before his boredom kicks in. How do other Mums do it?

But for tonight, they seem to be working and getting along just fine, it merits an entry in itself. Love them to bits...

Sunday, January 22, 2017

January Birthdays

Last night, we celebrated my niece, Husna's and my step-brother, Alief's birthdays. Both were born on the 20th and 22nd January respectively. Husna turns 4, while Alief 16. Very challengeing for me to find pressies for a young men, I must say. In the end we got him a sling bag and several toilettries (essential for those young men hormones haha). I thought I was hip but apparently I have no clue about what teenagers these days are into.. (?). As for Husna, it was a breeze. The moment I walked into this gown shop I knew which dress to get her.  The fabric, colour and cut reminded me of the little three-year-old Aisyah whom I missed so much. Since it practically jumped in front of me and pulled me by the hand, that was that - sold. Isn't it weird how you can miss someone who is right in front of your eye (literally - Aisyah is sprawled on the floor in front of me, watching YT on her tab, what else?). But yeah, I do miss her toddler self, and certainly miss buying her cute frilly gowns and dresses... She lives in skinny jeggings and T-shirt now, with the exception of the occasional dress depending on the event. How time flies...

When we got there, the party was already in motion. The guys were BBQing out the back, the ladies minding the children and setting up the table with food. It was a simple 'do with close family members, but it was a hoot with the children. Definitely the best party of the year (thus far, it is still January, after all, hehe). Here's to more parties with families in the future!!!

Happy Birthday, Husna and Alief!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

My 'Now' Look

Yesterday, my child minder had a family emergency so couldn't look after Zayd. I had no choice but to take EL myself from work. Around 11 am I got a call from my colleague, who was also my former SV for my Master. She was working on a project, and would like to invite me aboard. All sounded good. Except that we needed to sit down and discuss there and then because the deadline for the application was next Monday.

I agreed to drive in to work, but Zayd had to be in tow with me. I had a Zumba class at 4 p.m. nearby to work anyway, so it wasn't like I was driving in just for her. We discussed, but close to 4 p.m. we still weren't done. My colleague insisted that I go for Zumba first, then come back to continue a bit more. Again, lugging Zayd with me, I went Zumba-ing.

We continued as planned after Zumba. Finally done around 6 p.m. My former SV profusely apologised for kinda rushing me into everything. I told her it was fine. Sometimes opportunity comes and you just got to roll with it on the spot. She asked if I wasy Ok or was I tired from the Zumba, since I looked really tired. She said she remembered me looking a little different (more energized and enthusiastic, I suppose). I just laughed and said, 'This is how I look NOW'.

My Master was reserach-based, and that was 13 years ago. For three years, I would meet up with her (my SV) every other day to discuss my progress. When I was done with my Master, I knda lost touch with her, since I flew to the UK for 4 years. When I came back, she flew to the UK for her sabbatical, and we didn't really have any collaborations since. So it's not a shock that she remembered me from all those years back. Clearly, my look has changed somewhat over the years. Studying for my Master, and then PhD, and also children and crazy KPIs at work, all made the change more apparent. 

So, to commemorate today, I'm posting a pic of myself (and Zayd in the background, he insisted).

The outside may have changed and weathered, but the inside is still the same. Chewah...

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Kiss More

Ahmad Zayd Alhadi is going on four this year. Alhamdulilah... he speaks very clearly since he was two (talking is his gift, I believe), but there are some words which he still mispronounce and I just refuse to correct him just yet because I find them too cute. One of them is 'Chipsmore' (as in the cookie). It just makes me all buttery inside when he says, 
"Mummy, Abang nak KISSMORE".

<3 div="">

Monday, January 9, 2017

Impart Depart

Yesterday afternoon (8 January 2017 - a Sunday!) I had to be on invigilating duty. My own paper, SKM4311 (Animation for Multimedia Production) was on, and apparently it was the last exam paper scheduled for this semester. Tried to convert the solid two hours of utter silence into something useful such as reviewing postgrad students' written work and the Final Year Project students' theses (but two hours was not enough). Who says lecturer goyang kaki saja? Weekend pun kena kerja tau T_T

Towards the end of the two hours nobody had left the exam hall (it was a handful paper, I admit). Which was quite a coincidence, as one of the students put up his hand and whispered to me if I could take a pic of them in the exam hall - one last time. Then it dawned upon me, these were final year students, sitting their very last paper EVER, in their whole career as an undergraduate student. I obliged, seeing the significance of the moment. And of course, me being me, I went a bit further and asked them all for an impromptu pic session outside of the building right after the exam finished.

So here we are. The SKM4311 students of Semester 1 2016/17. Multimedia students Cohort 2013/2014. The next time I'll see them, they will be in shirt and ties, in a much more formal setting, doing their Industrial Practice outside of UPM. Hopefully I have managed to impart some useful knowledge to them, before they depart to face the real world and the challenges it will bring.