Monday, December 31, 2007

Minus One

Sofea's first 'shaky' tooth was pulled out by the dentist

I'd like to apologize for being MIA and not visiting you luvelies for quite some time. I'll tell you why I've been err...occupied, in another post, on another day, okay? :)

Oh oh oh, before I forget... HAPPY 2008!!
Wishing you folks a super-duper wonderful upcoming year. *hugs*

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pecah Kaca Pecah Gelas, Ada Hari Boleh Balas

Last Friday evening, I'd started writing replies to the comments in my previous post when I accidentally chose to 'Close All Tabs' on my opened browser window. Hancus!! Satu comment pun tak save before that. *slaps forehead*

Tried to reconstruct the written replies from memory, struggling to remember what I had written earlier. Gave up after about 30 minutes or so, coz it was actually way past my bedtime and I had started to feel light-headed and my eyes were watery and itchy, and I just couldn't stop yawning.

Last Saturday and Sunday, were spent:
1) Shopping for Sofea's 'big girl' school shoes, school bag, tupperware for tapau-ing food, water tumbler, pencil case, purse, some stationery. We're doing the Disney Princess theme, as long as the prices are reasonable and within budget. Tesc0's got most of the stuff we need, and so far we're still okay in terms of expenses.

2) At the kenduri kahwin in Klang. This is the wedding of famyBoy's cousin who was the pengapit lelaki at our wedding, 8 years ago. Last two+ weeks, we were in Sabah (specifically in Beaufort), to mengiring the groom. Never been to Sabah before.

A thrill for me sebab dapat another stamp in my passport. hee hee hee.

It was a 'first time' macam-macam: our first visit to Sabah, the first aeroplane ride for Aidiin, the first time flying on Air Asia for us. So, thank you and congratulations to Azmi kerana dikurniakan Allah SWT, jodoh dengan orang Sabah. :) And to Siti Sandora, welcome to the family.

I took many, many pictures of course, but belum sempat lagi nak belek-belek and pilih for uploading.

The few days (and nights) after that, I was busy, busy, busy with other stuff, apart from being a single parent again (for the third week in a row). Bukak computer only to work on my latest freelance assignment. Lepas tu terus pengsan. Nak tengok computer after 'working hours' pun tak lalu.

Tonight is the only night I am free, and awake (so far). *grin*

So I am making another attempt to respond to your comments. To ensure 'accidents' won't happen again, I have decided to make this a post on its own. At least can save as draft, before anything happens, again.

Anyways, when I first read your responses, I must say I was deeply touched by your support and encouragement. Terharu kiter, tau. Thanks guys. You're the best!!

Mr. Mosh: Thank you, sir. Doakan my journey towards goddessy life is smooth, ya? :D

Ondeonde: I jadi emo sebab you emo! But thanks, really. I appreciate your support and advice selama ini. You do know, don't you, that you're one of the 'supermoms' I mentioned above. ;)

I bet if and when you become a SAHM nanti, you'd have no problem adjusting and be able to lead the goddessy life in no time.

I was considering purchasing the digital Quran. Masuk dalam wish-list tahun 2008. :)

InsyaAllah, I will check out QuranExplorer itu. Sounds really cool, especially sebab ada meaning and at the same time perbetulkan bacaan yang salah.

And re Martha, I memang terpesona! Makes me want to own whatever gadget she owns in her kitchen. hee hee hee.

FD aka Aliya: Libraries would be nice, yes. But my cravings actually translate to owning those books! *blush* Sebab saya ni compulsive-possessive (ada ke disease like this, eh?) I think Ondeonde pun ada penyakit camni. :P

Staying at home limits my interaction with the outside world; and lately, I kurang tengok TV, so nasib baik ada internet, blog and email. And the working-at-home thingy does keep my mind busy, when I am not occupied with the kids, housework and reading, that is.

Zan: Thank you, thank you! Alhamdulillah. I guess if I happy, orang lain happy juga. Sebab before this, if I cranky, orang lain akan merana. :D

Ohhh your imagination sungguh menariks. ;) Tapi saya belum lagi ada masa membega oven rama-rama itu. hee hee. But buku recipes tu ada lah selak-selak untuk mendapat idea.

p/s: Under the Sea itu adalah project origami terkini.

LazyD: I think I was at the same seminar too. ;) You want to follow my footsteps? *blush*

If you look at my financial commitments, I sebenarnya tak layak quit at this point in time.
But I think kan, even if I had waited, I don't think I'd be able to make things better (except maybe financial-wise). And the worst part is I'd be complaining about my life and how difficult things are, over and over again, and not doing anything about it.

I don't really see my current situation as a sacrifice. Rather as a something I should've planned and done earlier. But like you, I had my doubts, I still do sometimes. Siapa tak rasa suspens. Musti punya. Lagi-lagi making a huge transition macam ni.

I cherish the additional time with the kids. Tapi kan, I think my kids dah pandai take advantage somehow. :P

Masalah cravings tu masih sedang diusahakan. Year End Sale, discounts merata-rata benar-benar menguji kesabaranku.

Butterflutter: Awak ni memang sentiasa senyum, sebab tu awet muda. Doakanlah agar saya persevere dan berjaya, In shaa Allah. Dan awak ada setahun saja lagi, kan? ;)

Mommyalif: Inspiring ke? *blush*
Rezeki dalam bentuk kesihatan anak-anak? I didn't look at it that way before, thank you for pointing that out. You're right, Allah memang Maha Adil dan Mengetahui. Alhamdulillah.

Rotidua: I'm happy for me too! Penat yang berbaloi, saya bersyukur.

OLAB: Best! Tidak dinafikan. Cuma terkilan (sometimes) dengan income yang amat sedikit. Tapi it's a choice I made, and I'm planning to stick with it.

Dory: You should have written VERY healthy. Saya tak berani weigh myself. :P
I have cut down expenses on clothes, magazines, books and eating out. Magazines I will only buy after browsing through, i.e. if deemed kena beli, baru beli. With valid (and acceptable) justifications only.
To tell you the truth it's the disciplining part yang I am struggling with, too. And procrastination (cannot run from this one!).

Thank you all for the goodluckallthebest wishes. I will doa for all of you, yang ingin menjadi goddess, may it be the 'ideal' goddess life, or the 'working' goddess life, semoga cita-cita anda tercapai, sooner or later. :)

*hugs* untuk semua.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The Chosen Path

Less stressful, definitely; no boring moments, and interestingly demanding.
That would correctly describe my current at-home life.

It's been about 3 months since I resigned from my job at that multinational company to become a stay-at-home Ibu.

So what has happened since then? Meh sini saya cerita...

Firstly, a brief background... I was working fulltime for a multinational/IT company doing server support and project management. Last September (my 10th year working there, after 5 bosses and the outsourcing), I decided to quit and stay home. Why? Many reasons, actually.

But the main reason was (and still is) because my daughter will be attending Primary One next year. Without a helper (we chose never to have one), and non-flexible working hours which included weekends and public holidays, I didn't know how I'd manage. I thought that I, too, could be a supermom, like some of my friends, but I couldn't... what was I trying to prove?

Aidiin drew Thomas the Tank Engine

My husband and I have had lengthy discussions about the matter for some time. Deep down, I knew I didn't want to be stuck with that job forever. And finding a different (full-time) job, although it may pay much more, would still land me in the same dilemma. Serba salah makcik dibuatnya. Pening kepala toksah cakaplah.

I prayed and prayed, asking Allah for guidance. And come last September, I found/was given a petunjuk, the urge to quit and stay home had never been stronger. It just felt right and seemed the best thing to do.

A decision was made, and I have been a stay-at-home-mommy since then, and I'd like to think, a goddess-in-the-making, too. *grin*

You see, I do not have the luxury to be a full-time goddess. I still have loans to pay apart from my credit card bills. Before I decided to quit, I used to have plastic urges all the time. Nak buku yang ni, swipe. Nak buku lagi satu, swipe lagi. Teringin jubah tu, swipe. Jumpa tudung yang matching, swipe. Terasa nak beli toys and clothes for the kids or something for the husband, swipe. Swipe, swipe, swipe. Plastic urges, they all were. *hangs head in shame*

And (fortunately?) I am not married to a super-kaya man. But personally, even if he could afford it, I don't think I'd be asking him for money, especially to pay MY bills. It just wouldn't be fair. And plus I have a big ego. heh heh.
Also, I think he'd mentioned this to me before, "Lubang yang sendiri korek, sendiri kambus balik". Sungguh profound statement itu.

I still often get my cravings, although they have become more under-controlled and manageable nowadays. Instead of 5, maybe I'd buy just 2, or even 1. Sometimes just spending some time at the store (without buying anything, mind you) would suffice. Orang yang 'ketagih' macam ni pun ada kat dunia ini, kan? hee hee hee.

Anyways, as mentioned earlier, I am not financially free, so the 'ideal goddess life' is out of the question (for now). Therefore, I resorted to the next best thing, to become a work-at-home-mommy. A goddess who works freelance, whenever she can find the time. This is in addition to the existing event management company that I co-own with Elisa, by the way. I need the freelance job for a more predictable income, as opposed to the events thingy which only happens once in a while.

Under the sea

So far, things are working out, not too bad at all. I still make some money to pay my debts, and more importantly, I get to work from the comfort of my own home. But it still requires a certain amount of disciplining, a quite strict time-management and a juggling of work-work and house-work at the same time. I am still struggling with all that.

Initially, I felt slightly terkilan, financial-wise, because now, I have a very ciput income, with no such things as medical-benefits, no year-end bonuses. Which translates to no buying on impulse, no unplanned shopping or cravings. Give in to temptations? Definite no-no.

But that's okay. Seriously. Because now I've learned (the hard way?) the value of money. The necessity of managing time carefully. The importance of making the right choices, depending on situation and time. Spend long hours blogging or do extra freelance work? Hmmmm....

And Alhamdulillah, so far:
- I get to ensure famyBoy and famyKids get to eat home-cooked meals as often as possible, albeit taklah sesedap mana.
- I attempt to perform solat pada awal waktu as opposed to rushing to perform '2-in-1 zuhur & terus tunggu asar' masa kat surau office dulu. Constantly reminding myself about one of Ondeonde's older posts about the benefits of reciting ayat-ayat Quran walaupun sikit-sikit setiap hari (OO, if you could provide the link to that post that would be great!), I try my best to regularly read the Quran after performing solat.
- I get excited about experimenting with new recipes and thinking about home deco and practicing 'good things' homekeeping techniques. This is the penangan from watching way too many Martha shows!!
- I don't have to worry about applying for emergency leave like that time or that other time, nor do I have to deal with the guilt of having to delegate work to colleagues whenever I am away from office, for whatever reasons. Alhamdulillah, setakat ini the kids tak sakit demam yang major-major since the past 3 months!
- I am very much up-to-date in keeping up with laundry :) except when we come back from long distance trips or when it's cloudy or rainy for days.
- I think I multi-task better nowadays, too. I think, lah.
- Apart from famyBoy and famyKids, famyCats and famyPlants get more attention from me. Sebab now can multi-task better maaa...

Pokok kari pun ada flowers, eh?

I feel blessed. Seriously I do. Alhamdulillah.

But if you ask me, I still have a looooong way to go. Not easy to become established goddesses like Madame Elisa@Khobar and Madame Lollies@Qtar. Izinkan saya tabik spring kepada mereka berdua.

Kesimpulannya, I am still learning to manage the time, handle the stress and fulfill the demands. And the best part is, I couldn't be happier. :)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Concert & Graduation Ceremony 2007

Ukhwah itu bermula dari pandangan mata.
Terbit kasih di dasar hati, dan berakhir dengan
jalinan kasih mesra sepanjang hayat.

Sals@biila's "Malam Graduasi & Jalinan Kasih" took place on Sunday, November 4th, 2007 in Hotel Singgahsana, PJ. It was a dinner, concert and graduation ceremony combined.

To share the joy, we invited grandparents from both sides as our special guests. We had a table to ourselves since there were 8 of us altogether (including Sofea & Aidiin).

Like all previous events held by the school, the concert opened with bacaan doa, first by the invited Ustaz, then by a 6-year-old boy, one of Sofea's classmates. The Ustaz was there to also present a short but informative ceramah on parenting.

The first kiddy event was a cute performance by the toddlers (2-year-olds) singing the teddy bear song. They were simply adorable!! Most of the little teddies were cooperative on stage, but some were crying and had to be consoled by their mommies. Although it was only one song (about 10 minutes, I think), towards the end, some teddies had started yawning and rubbing their eyes. hee hee hee. Comel-ness.

Adorable teddies

Next, it was the performance by the 3-year-olds. Aidiin is part of this group. He and his friends sang "Bapaku Pulang" (My Daddy Comes Home), complete with the car-driving actions using cut-out steering wheels, made of cardboard. I had initially thought Aidiin would have stage-fright or become shy, refusing to sing when he'd seen us, but he surprised me by being totally the opposite. He performed really well (and sung pretty loud, too!) and seemed to really enjoy himself. Difficult to accept the fact that my 'lil prince is no longer a baby. *sniff*

Bapaku pulang dari kota, bapaku belikan kereta...

The other performances were by the 4-year-olds, the 5-year-olds and the 6-year-olds.

Here is a video from one of the 6-year-olds' performances. This was taken from the Dikir Barat performance, which Sofea took part in. Apart from this, she sung in the Choral Speaking and was the yellow 'Musical Princess' Robot in the Robotic Show. She also played the kompang as one the background musicians in one of the singing performances.

Throughout the many performances by the 6-year-olds, I could see how much my daughter has grown over the years. I couldn't really see it when she's at home, what with her manja-manja, occasional mengada-mengada, sometimes lazy and over-dependent behaviors.

Sofea and her girlfriends

But on that night, when she was amongst her friends and teachers, her maturity, independency and leadership qualities were displayed. Guilty pulak rasanya, coz at home, her Ayah and I sometimes nagged her for not acting her age. l stilll worry about her going Primary One though. Susah betul jadi Ibu ni. *sigh*

As usual-lah, I was occupied with taking pictures (check out the Graduation & Concert album) that night, sampai tak sempat nak makan puas-puas, although it was a buffet dinner. I didn't even get to desserts!


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