Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Ironed Out


My mother wanted to blog about this earlier but she didn't have the time nor the mood. For the sake of the story, this entry will be narrated by me, Aidiin. *waves Hi to everyone*

We were invited for a foursome birthday celebration cum dinner at the Hotel Singgahsana on Sunday evening to celebrate the August babies in the family -- Aidiin (that's me!!), my grandma, my aunt and uncle. Naturally we all wanted to look our best, so Ibu had picked out our what-to-wear-to-nice-family-events items hours before the dinner.

While Ibu was busy ironing the chosen clothing items, my curious self decided to find out how Ibu's Nescafe looked like (and maybe taste it a bit), and why Ibu is so addicted to it. So I tipped the mug-full of Nescafe which was conveniently placed within my reach, and the mug of (Thank God it wasn't steaming hot anymore) Nescafe spilled on the floor and onto the carpet. The next thing I remember was Ibu's panicky voice screaming my name... "Aidiiiiiiinn!!!!! Noooo!!!!"

Ooopps... sorry, Ibu. But it's no use crying over spilt Nescafe. If I could, I would make you another mug. Don't worry, don't worry, shh shh shh... I'm okay, I'm okay. I just smell caffeine-y now, that's all. Okay, you can let go of me now, Ibu.

*guilty*

Ibu's scream woke Kakak and Ayah up, and both of them came running out of the bedroom to see what the fuss was all about. I noticed that Ibu was still upset and angry... I don't think she cared too much about the spilt coffee. She sounded like she was angry at herself for not placing the mug wayyyyy higher so that I could not reach it. She asked Ayah to help clean up the mess while she went to get my porridge.

Hmmm... let's see... what can I do now?

*curiouser and curiouser*

Now where's that green thingy that Ibu used just now? It looked like a toy plane or maybe a bullet train. Ahh.. there it is. Oh, what's this long rope-like thing that's attached to it? I wonder what'll happen if I give it a strong, firm tug...

*ouch!*

Uwaaaaaa!!!

I heard Kakak scream for Ayah. I heard Ibu's footsteps running up the stairs. I saw Ayah rushing into the room to pick me up. Then Ibu started talking non-stop, I think it was something about an iron? Was that the thing that had hit my foot?

Oh oh... I think I'm in BIG trouble...





My foot a few hours after the accident



My swollen foot the next day, after the skin had peeled off


I was sent to school on Monday since Ibu and Ayah felt that the burn was not too bad-looking and since I didn't make a big fuss out of it by crying uncontrollably. Come Monday evening however, the burn looked really gross since the skin had peeled off (I had peeled it off myself, mind you) and Ibu freaked out when the teacher passed me to her. Ayah decided to take me to the clinic right away because Ibu was saying that the burn area might be infected.

*eeeewwwwwwww*

The doctor gave Ibu medical leave on Tuesday so that she could stay home to look after me. I was given antibiotics to help reduce the pain and to make my foot go back to it's original size (it was swollen, you see). Ibu was also told to apply some cream on the scar 3 times a day. I wanted to touch and find out how the cream tasted like, but Ibu grabbed my hand and scolded me.

*sigh*

Oh well...

It's Independence Day for Malaysia today. Ibu and Ayah need not go to work since it's a public holiday and Kakak and me get to stay home too since our school is closed. Happy 48th Birthday Malaysia!!

Last but not least, a little advice from me to you... Never mess with a hot iron right after you spill your mom's coffee. I am talking from experience. It never brings you any good, believe me.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

My Journey into Hijab-hood

Some time ago, I promised a particular someone that I would blog about my journey into hijab-hood.
So, particular someone, this one's for you...


I started to don the hijab when Sofea turned 2 months old (back in 2001). That was after my confinement (after my maternity leave), and it was my first day back to the office. The surprised oohh-n-aahh looks and comments from the non-muslim office mates were neither discouraging nor encouraging... I guess most of them were more surprised to see me actually back at work... as in "What? You're back? Has it been 60 days already!??"

I did not have a heart to heart talk with my husband (then fiancé) prior to wearing the hijab to seek his support (or consent?), mainly because he was the one who coaxed me into putting it on in the first place. I don't know whether his 'coaxing' was influenced by his family members, not that it mattered anyways.

I was never forced into donning the hijab by my parents. I guess I managed to convince them that I, eventually, will do so myself, willingly... some day.

Hubby Dearest never shoved the hijab issue in my face, even after we got married. He would once a while casually ask when I plan to do so, and I would normally tell him "when I am ready"-lah. Now that I think about it, I don't even know what I meant then by 'ready'.

All this started when we got engaged... I remember telling him lepas kahwin (after we get married). Then when we got married (still no changes made), and when I got pregnant with Sofea, I had told him lepas beranak (after giving birth). The last few days before I was supposed to return to work after my maternity leave, he'd asked me teasingly, "So, bila kita nak pegi beli tudung?" (When are we going to shop for scarves?) And strangely enough, at that time I didn't feel like giving any excuses any more. I only knew that I was overwhelmed with thankfulness when Sofea was brought into our lives, and each time I looked at her, I was being reminded of the greatness of Allah SWT, more so since the Nur Addina prefixing Sofea means cahaya agama kami (the light of our religion).

As it turned out, instead of asking myself "Why?", I was asking myself "Why not?".

Sometimes the good/best things are the most difficult (initially) to follow/do... sorta like people telling you to quit smoking, or that consuming too much sugar (and them goodies yang sewaktu dengannya like chocolates, sweets, caffeine etc etc etc) is not healthy and thus, one must reduce intake yadda yadda yadda. Although to date I am still the super sweet-toothed, chocolate-n-brownies-loving-coffee-drinker-person that I was before. I guess to a certain extend, my naïveté then had me become overly concious about what others (my husband, especially) would think of me or how I looked, with the mistaken impression that the wearing of the hijab is an indication of inferiority.

I am very thankful that my husband, in his own subliminal means, had guided me towards the 'right way', so to speak.

I do realize that by putting on the hijab (apart from praying, fasting etc etc etc) does not mean that I am already perfect in the eyes of Allah SWT, but to me, it was like a another step towards achieving that 'goal', and to quote handsome dude Moez of Parables in the Quran and Stairway to Paradise, "If you take one step towards Allah SWT, He will take ten steps towards you..." In shaa Allah.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Much Ado About Dora

Dora is a little Latina girl. Together with her friends, she encounters many thrilling adventures in her little world (i.e. the Nickelodeon world).




Lately Sofea has found much interest in Dora and her many adventures. I found her often talking back and responding to the TV screen, answering Dora's questions, pleas or calls for participation. It's probably the interactive 'play along' aspect of the show that draws her to it. I admit that sometimes I was a bit curious myself.

Being the inquisitive little girl that she is, I suppose my daughter could relate to Dora's eagerness, curiousity, determination, suspense and joy when she attempts to solve problems/puzzles based on her observations, while applying some basic logic and intuition skills. She also learned about friendship and social skills by watching Dora interact with her friends Boots the Monkey, Diego, Map, Back Pack, Tico etc. And oh yes, she we also got to learn some basic Spanish words and/or phrases from this show too. I learned that "Ilo Hicimos!" means "We did it!" and of course, "Hola" means "Hello"... you get the idea.

I normally do not prevent my daughter from watching educational programs like these repeatedly. But yesterday I noticed an alarming thing...

... simply TOO MUCH of Dora the Explorer!!!




One's a cartoon and one's a real live little girl. The uncanny resemblance, however, is actually somewhat scary.


Sunday, August 14, 2005

One Year Later

When I first decided to have a sibling for Sofea, I had secretly hoped that it would be a 'she'. I have always wanted to have two girls in the family. I don't know why, I just do... I even have a name for her (Sofea's sister) already. heh heh.

Aaaanyways...

When the doctor did a thorough scan during my 2nd trimester of my 2nd pregnancy, I had hoped to see what I saw (or did not see?) during Sofea's ultrasound. But he showed me a dicky instead. I can still remember his exact words... "and over here is the left thigh, and this is the right thigh... *zooms in* and this, looks like a penis. You're having a boy, insyaAllah."

Errr... okay. I seriously did not know what to say. famyBoy was grinning from ear to ear. I was still in an unexplained state. Happy? Yes, of course. Surprised? Definitely. Hoping that the scan results were wrong? A bit. But don't get me wrong... I was very thankful to see a healthy-growing baby, but just a teeny bit disappointed in shock.

So, it *might* be a boy. Hmmm. Interesting.

I had never dealt with baby boys before. I do not have any brothers and my one and only (close) male cousin is 6 years younger than me, lives in a different state and hence, we did not grow up together. Also, I did not have nephews that needed baby-sitting. So the thought of getting a son made me nervous. Firstly I did not know what to expect. Secondly I underestimated my budget (you see, if it were a girl, then I'd be able to save on clothes and toys since we could recycle Sofea's belongings... instant cost-saving!!!).

You could say I was afraid of The Unknown (and was trying to practice good spending habits while I was at it).

I waited for Aidiin's arrival with full anticipation. The doctor told me I might be delivering earlier than my due date so I started my medical/maternity leave early. I waited and waited some more. No baby. I even wrote Aidiin a memo. I prayed really hard so that he'd be born healthy, and that I'd have an easy and quick delivery. But Aidiin decided that he would break his sister's record. With him, I was in labor for 30 hours, six extra hours compared to the delivery of his sister. I had written all about it in 3 looong blog entries last year.

Aidiin, 53.5 cm in length and weighing 3.27 kg at birth, was born at 4:24 PM on Saturday August 14, 2004.



Dearest Dearest Little Darling,

When you finally arrived, and when you were placed into my arms, I felt nothing else but love when I first looked into your eyes. I knew you couldn't see me then since your vision was still a blur, but I held back my tears when you immediately started to suckle, wanting to be breastfed. Right then I could feel that the 'journey' with you was going to be different, special. Was I prepared for it? No way. But I was truly looking forward to learn.




Happy 1st Birthday, Aidiin!!!


It's been only a year since you became part of Ibu's life (and Ayah's and Kakak's lives), but that one year has been filled with so many fascinating emotions and learning experiences and stories to tell (or blog about for that matter). Ibu, Ayah and Kakak love you oh-so-very-very much!



Before Aidiin came into my life, I didn't know that I could fall so deeply I-give-u-my-heart in love with another male figure besides my husband (with the exception of Keanu Reeves and Johnny Depp).

And now I ask myself, how could I possibly not??

Friday, August 12, 2005

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

No, this post is not about that song by The Platters.

The haze in Malaysia (Klang Valley especially) is really, really bad. And it seems that the condition had worsened. Imagine having poor, smoky visibility and breathing dirty air in your own home. I feel like I'm living in a house with chain-smokers.

Most schools in the Klang Valley are closed, today and tomorrow. But my kids' nursery is still open, otherwise I'd be posting this entry from home. Secretly I wish they would close so that I am forced to take leave.
This is what I can (or cannot?) see from the balcony of my house. The first picture is my neighbor (the house in front of mine). They are about 20 footsteps away, across the street. This picture was taken on the evening of August 10, 2005.




The second and third pictures are of the high school in my residential area. The school is located about 100-120 meters away from my house, i.e. about 3-6 minutes walk, depending on how fast you walked. If you were running, it would probably take you about 1-2 minutes to reach the front gate. I could not even see the gate clearly from where I stood. I even tried squinting my eyes to focus but it made no difference. I took the picture below yesterday morning (August 11, 2005).



Now compare it with a picture of the same school taken on a non-hazy day.



During non-hazy, non-cloudy, clear-blue-sky days, I could even see the KL Tower and the Petronas Twin Towers from my balcony. Now all I see is smoke. Smoke, smoke, smoke. See smoke, smell smoke.

Lately, I quite often get headaches. My eyes are irritated and watery. My nose is itchy and twitchy, but not in a magical way.

I know I did not forget to put on my contact lenses. This time my blurry vision is not self-inflicted.

Helllooooo... Bila nak declare Darurat nih??


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Are You Desperate?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Blurred Reality

So much to do, so little mood to do them.

This week (so far) has been slightly less hectic than last week. Well for one thing, the big seminar is over. From where I was standing (i.e. at the registration table handling registrations and whatnots) it looked like the participants had really enjoyed (and hopefully benefited, too!) the talks given by the speakers. Paling tidak pun they made new friends. The speakers, too, appeared to have enjoyed presenting their materials... we (the organizers) had to make time-to-wrap-up-soon gestures from the back of the classroom to remind them that their 1-hour slots each are almost over.

For me, personally, it was a good learning experience as it was the first time I had to manage an event (the pre-tasks and post-tasks) alone. It wasn't as bad as I'd imagined. In fact it turned out pretty well... Alhamdulillah.

Next on my To-Work-On list: party favors for a friend's son's 1st birthday party. This is going to be a fun To-Work-On task... *wink*



When walking into the office building earlier today, I felt a little dizzy, and my vision was somewhat blurry. I attributed the vision problem to the gloomy, cloudy weather this morning and the dizziness was probably due to the lack of sleep the past few nights.

I wasn't able to concentrate much on work since my mind was dizzy and blurry too, which justified why my day has been unproductive, which then also explains why I was working on that other thing on that other server. Since I also had minor neck pains and my shoulders felt tensed, I also toyed with the possibility that I have been straining my eyes too much and googled for ways to relief the stress on my poor eyes.

Later I realized that I had come to work today without my contact lenses. Duhh me.


Monday, August 01, 2005

New 'Do


Entering a new phase in her life...



The Bob - simple, sleek, flattering, classic.



 

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