Thursday, December 04, 2008

*pause*


I need a hug


It started yesterday morning. I can't remember exactly what had triggered it or when it got triggered.

Was it something on TV? Or did it hit me while I was blog-hopping? Or g00gling for recipes? Or during that mere 5 minutes when I logged on to MukaBuku after abandoning it for weeks?

Perhaps it was during my quiet breakfast when I was enjoying my roti paratha cicah gula and a mug of nescafe. Or maybe when I was loading the kids' baju kotor(s) into the washing machine. Or when I was outside feeding the cats?

Perhaps it is just PMS.

Or perhaps it is due to the fact that it is now the month of December and I cannot confidently tell myself that I have done a good job managing my various roles and responsibilities as a muslimah, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. Saya rasa kerdil dan kekurangan segala.

Whatever it was that had caused it, the 'feel-down-and-start-moping' switch was turned ON and I don't know how to quickly turn it OFF.

*sigh*

I think I need a break. Maybe I should take some time off to concentrate on abandoned hobby-related projects and catch up on some reading. Ohhh but sebelum itu, saya ingin mohon maaf atas sebarang salah-silap sepanjang hayat saya di blogosfera ini.

Maybe I need to take time off to reflect, evaluate and think, without getting all depressed or sad. Tapi saya masih rasa kerdil dan kekurangan segala. It is not about monetary or material possessions, or not about not being thankful and tak bersyukur dengan apa yang dah ada.

It is about the feeling of not doing enough.

Sometimes I feel that I can never measure up to other peoples' standards. I worry about what others might feel, what others might think (or not think?). I tend to put others before me, making their happiness my priority. I can't help it, it's like a disease. I tell myself biarkanlah, pedulikanlah, tutup mata&telinga jelah, but deep down inside I feel totally the opposite. If there is such a penyakit known as the care-too-much disorder, then I think I have contracted it.

Something doesn't feel right, though.

I think I need to start focussing on me. Maybe that should be one of my new year's resolutions.



Selamat Menyambut Hari Raya Aidil Adha to all Muslim readers. Minta diri dulu, buat sementara waktu. Kita ketemu lagi nanti... errr bila-bilalah ya? Y'all take care now. Jangan naughty-naughty. *hugs*


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Mine Had Almonds On It

I finally made Lily's Fuss Free Brownies! Didn't have any walnuts at home, and didn't feel like going out just to buy walnuts, so I decided to use whatever remaining almond slivers from my last 'experiment'.

Brownies

This is a cut-n-paste of Lily's recipe from FB.

Fuss Free Brownies

This is so easy to make. Took us 15 minutes to do. "Us" includes all my kids.
It is a "one bowl" recipe which means you can dump everything in one mixing bowl. Use a wooden spoon to mix. No need to use the electric mixer. This helps make it gooey.

Ingredients:
1 cup butter or vege oil - I used whatever cooking oil I have in the kitchen (whether vege or kelapa sawit or canola)
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup walnuts - I skipped this because there was no walnuts (at home or the nearby shop)

Method:
1) Melt butter (if using butter) or put the oil in mixing bowl
2) Mix the rest of the ingredients above according to order given.

I used leftover self-raising flour from Raya cooking. Just added the baking powder and salt in because the flour would have gone flat by now. Didn't even sift.

Mix until combined. No need to be "fluffy".

Put in pan - I used 9x9 pan. Bake for 20-30 mins at 350F (180C) degrees.

Leave to cool before cutting.


I forgot to mention earlier that I also added a lil sumthin' that made the brownies more chewy and moist: 3 tbsp of chocolate fudge ;)
The end result turned out to be oh-so-yummmms!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Love Close-Ups




I had to stop myself from terkam-ing and kissing his little nose...



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This Year, I Did Not Forget

Nine wonderful years today, Love...

Semoga Allah SWT terus memberkati dan mencucuri rahmatNya ke atas cinta ini, dan semoga kebahagiaan terus menjadi milik kita buat selama-lama. Happy Anniversary Sayang.


Here's a mixed tape (Yes, a mixed tape!!) of 12 new/not-so-new/old/very-old (hahaha) songs that made me think of you. There are many more, obviously, but I got lazy and super-irritated tired of waiting for them to load, one by one by one sebab the internet connection was damn slow and asyik ada pop-up errors. Too bad diorang takde seleksi lagu-lagu Melayu tangkap leleh.

So, urm... Darling, you like?? ;)



MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes



Sheeesh... jiwang pulak makcik hari ni. Tak larat!!! *giggles*


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Creamy Cheesy Seafood Spaghettini

It is sooooo very unlike me to post a masak-masak entry, what more a recipe... Nampak sangat tak pandai masak, kan? *blush*

Anyways... my mom, aunt and cousin have been bugging me for this recipe since their last visit to the famyHome, which was err... many many weeks ago. They'd even insisted that I "type [it] out elok-elok [and] print untuk kami sorang satu, tau!" :P

Since I had (finally) typed out the recipe, I've decided to tepek kat blog and share it with you lovely people.


Creamy Cheesy Seafood Spaghettini


Kids and husband tested, mom and mom-in-law approved :)


Ingredients:
1 packet spaghetti (or another type of ‘stringy’ pasta)
8-10 cloves garlic – finely chopped
1 (small) box cooking/whipping cream
2-3 cubes ikan bilis stock
1 can sliced mushrooms – fresh mushrooms would taste better, but I didn't have any at the time
1 tomato – sliced and diced
seafood of choice – I chose squid (cleaned and cut into small pieces), shrimp (peeled and deveined)
broccoli – cut into chunks
3 or 4 sticks of carrots – sliced
dried herbs – I normally use McCormick's Italian Herbs 
extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) – I used about 5 tablespoons
fresh english parsley – I chopped a whole bunch
grated cheese (either parmesan/cheddar) – I used about 3/4 packet 
salt and ground pepper
(optional) chicken balls – cooked according to package instructions and quartered


Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt; return to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente according to package directions.
2. Heat EVOO in a large saucepan over medium heat, saute garlic. Do not let garlic burn.
3. Add squid and shrimp, tossing until squid is cooked and shrimp is opaque throughout. Add mushrooms, carrots, ikan bilis cubes (also add chicken balls, if using). Toss and cook for about 5 minutes until veges become tender. Sprinkle in about 4-5 dashes of McCormick’s Italian Herbs.
4. Pour in whipping cream. Stir well, let simmer till gravy mixture starts to go blup blup blup.
5. Stir in broccoli (or bell peppers, if using) and tomato. Continue stirring for about 3-5 minutes.
6. Add grated cheese, continue stirring till cheese has melted. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Add pasta, and chopped parsley. Toss well in gravy mixture to combine. Best if served hot.


Additional Notes:
- I have tried making this using only 'stringy' pasta(s) like vermicelli, linguine, spaghetti, fettuccine. Have not tried using other types of pasta (like farfalle or them springy-curly ones) so I don't know if the outcome will taste the same.
- I used broccoli as the 'green' vege, but you can also use bell peppers -- green, red or yellow, sliced and quartered.
- I sometimes add chicken meat (sliced into stir-fry strips) but I didn't have any chicken breasts in the freezer when my mom and cousin came over last time so I used chicken balls instead.
- I was asked before if it's okay to substitute the '1 box cooking/whipping cream' with the ready-made-off-the-shelf carbonara sauce keluaran Prego. Rasanya boleh kot, but I think the dish will not be as creamy. Anybody nak try guna and confirm this? Then can share the result with us.

Happy Trying!! :D

Come to think of it, perhaps this dish can be a 'pandai' (clever) version of Elisa's spaghetti bodoh?? ;)


Friday, October 31, 2008

Menjawab Pertanyaan Madame Zan

(Cut-n-paste) Zan's message in the chatbox:
29 Oct 08, 11:57
zan: weiheeii gf..apasal senyap saja?? busy sangatkah??


Briefly put, yes, I *have* been busy. But not 'busy' in a workaholic sort of way, but 'busy' due to various reasons, so to speak.

Health-wise, I have not been feeling well the past week or so. Ntah kena jangkitan virus apa. Ada hari feeling feverish seram sejuk lenguh sana-sini, ada hari ada coughing and runny nose, ada hari ada tummy-ache yang senak macam nak beranak, ada hari ada rasa loya semacam, ada hari malam sampai muntah segala-gala, ada hari rasa bloated like Bloat the Pufferfish from Finding Nemo.

Before y'all pop the question... No, I am not pregnant :P

Also caught another type of 'jangkitan', similar to that of Intan's. hee hee hee. Been making attempts to 'friend-friend' with my (now-sorta-repaired) electric oven. I still have err... issues regarding the temperature settings and baking times and stuff sometimes err... undergo combustion unexpectedly, *malunyaaaa!!!* but I am getting the hang of it. A bit better, now that I finally own an oven thermometer (yay!!).

Anyways, last week's 'experiment' yielded these:


Beginner's Luck Chocochip-Banana Muffins


Not a disaster (Alhamdulillah! hahaha) but not cantik-looking at all methinks. Nonetheless, they tasted yummmms especially when hot&fresh from the oven. I think I'm gonna modify the original recipe slightly the next time I decide to make these (or a variation of them) coz I think the batter was a bit too sweet, even for a sweet-toothed person like me.

[EDIT]
Ohhh!! I think I'm gonna try making Lily's brownies. Intan has succeeded in making them (yummmms!) and Elisa made a peanut butter version (double yummmms!) Nanti kena copy recipe Lily dari MukaBuku dan tepek kat blog.
[/EDIT]

I have also been reflecting on my past year as a SAHM, the ups & downs (& in-betweens), the Yang Best(s) & Yang Tak Best(s), particularly the changes in me. Nak/Dah jadi domestic goddess? Perghh. Jadi chaotic goddess bolehlah for now :P I still have a long, long way to go, with much much much room for improvements. Let's just say I am in between 'missions' at the moment. Exhausting jugak pikir banyak-banyak strategy dan action plans nih. Plus I have so many personal hobby-related projects to work on.

And lastly, I am panicking (yikes!) due to final exams season. Biasalah tu, anak yang nak amik exam tak stressed out, mak dia yang risau tak tentu pasal (who wouldn't be, kan?). Bukan nak put pressure on anak sendiri, but kalau tak monitor, tak strict giler sikit, alamat tengok TV jelah kerja dia. I constantly tell myself it'll be over soon, it'll be over soon, it'll be over soon. Next week will be her finals at SK. KAFA finals will be in mid November. *sigh*

Within these few months, famyBoy has several outstation trips, and quite often too. I don't want to sound whiny (nor paranoid) but the thought of having to hold the fort on my own nanti scares me. But c'est la vie, like it or not. Quoting Aidiin, "Ibu kena jadi strrrronggg!!! Nanti Ibu boleh lawan raksasa!!"

So, Zan dear, does this entry answer your question, gf??
:)


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Because the Modem Broke Down

Our modem broke down the past few days. Mati kutu jugak jadinya, although I had the day-to-day domestic tasks to complete. I kept myself occupied with reading, napping :P, some TV-watching and this:



Aidiin decided to do an Ultraman pose at the very last minute


Just like previous years, we celebrated the first day of Eid-ul-Fitr at my in-laws' home in Shah Alam. After Eid prayers and beraya di rumah Opah (my in-laws' neighbor), we visited aunties, uncles and a grandma sedara in Klang (famyBoy's side). At around 3:00pm, we headed to Melaka to my grandma's house where my parents, cousins, aunties and uncles have gathered together-gether. The traffic report on the radio mentioned the PLUS highway being 'sesak tetapi terkawal', especially the Pedas-Linggi stretch up till the Ayer Keroh exit, so famyBoy decided to use the coastal rode along the town of Port Dickson instead. We drove by beaches, golf courses, resorts, hotels, condominiums and abandoned bungalows. The journey took 3.5 hours approximately (it was raining and there were quite a few cars and lorries using the same route). Sofea slept throughout the entire journey while Aidiin took short naps in between waking up and asking for keropok. My back and a$$ hurt from sitting down too long. Ugh.

We went beraya at the homes of aunties and uncles (my dad's sister & cousins) in Melaka the next day.

The various raya spreads were simply yummmmehhhh!! :D

This year's Eid-ul-Fitr was also 'different' in some ways:
- My kids received duit raya from their PakSu (famyBoy's youngest brother) for the first time sebab dia dah start kerja. :)
- I made raya cookies!! *beams* But just ONE adunan though, kira sebagai 'experiment' munchies for famyFamily je (dah habis dah pun). I am not confident enough to make big adunan(s) to be distributed to family members and sedara-mara terdekat. Maybe next year's Raya? We'll see how-lah.
- I received duit raya from my younger sister. I am old!!!! Huwaaaaa!!!

Of course, this Raya is also different because TokBa is no longer with us. Although it was still somewhat meriah bila semua family members berkumpul ramai-ramai and kepoh-kecoh gitu, I felt that strange 'missing' feeling, that sense of loss and longing. Al-Fatihah untuk TokBa.

BTW, semua orang dah start/complete puasa enam?? Saja tanya... Saya sendiri baru sempat puasa sehari. Saya sebenarnya jeles kat famyBoy sebab dia dah raya last Tuesday.

Lots of blog-hoppin' catchin'-up readin' to do (apart from the upcomin' PKSR2-exams panickin'), so I'll see you when I see you, okeh?? *hugs*


Friday, September 26, 2008

We Wish You...



Dengan Ingatan Tulus Ikhlas daripada famyGirl, famyBoy, famyKids (and famyCats too!)

Izinkan saya memohon berbanyak-banyak Maaf Zahir & Batin atas segala salah-silap sepanjang persaudaraan dan persahabatan kita, especially atas segala yang ter-ambil, ter-gossip, ter-mengata, ter-makan, ter-minum, ter-patah, ter-jatuhkan, ter-pinjam tanpa kebenaran, ter-mintak tapau (tanpa rasa malu), ter-mintak belanja (juga tanpa rasa malu), ter-lambat/lupa reply SMS, return call dan respond kepada emel serta MukaBuku messages.

Juga mohon berbanyak ampun & maaf jikalau ada ter-salah tulis dalam blog and/or comments and/or chats, ter-tickle, ter-cucuk, ter-lebih gurau/usik/sakat, ter-peluk, ter-cium, ter-conteng kat dinding, ter-ganggu masa tengah sibuk ada meeting/discussion, ter-mintak advice, ter-baling Justin Timberlake, ter-hantar bunga/beg tangan/ais krim/e-card/rama-rama/barang kemas lip-lap-lip-lap dan haiwan-haiwan comel yang berlebihan.

Hope y'all have a great, fun and safe Cuti-Cuti Raya. *hugs*


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Entry Banyak Category

It has been quite a busy week for the famyHousehold. This entry would sum it all.

The (Almost) Return of the Stomach Flu
Aidiin got sick last week during the Nuzul Quran break and had to miss school for 2 days. It started with vomitting, then diarrhea, then vomitting, more vomitting, and even more vomitting, displaying very clear signs of stomach flu. Nothing stayed inside, and he continued to purge any food or fluids that I fed him. Dan yang tak bestnya, it happened while famyBoy was away in Melaka attending a series of meetings and discussions. But Alhamdulillah, he recovered the next day after a dose of tahan muntah medication inserted into his a**.

Kit Kat Kitty Kitty Kat
Gave Misha and Harry their overdue kitty baths. Dah 2 bulan (or maybe lebih) depa dua ekor ni tak kena shampoo secara besar-besaran. Misha seemed appreciative of the bath and didn't bother licking herself dry afterwards. She seemed to enjoy the cool breezy 'after mandi' feeling, especially during the heat the past few days. Ohh... I think she approved the new collar I got her. *smiles*
Harry managed to get himself all dirty again (all his fur got tangled and covered in dry leaves) about 2 hours after his bath by playing near my pokok bunga pots. Boys!!! *geleng kepala*

Twins Spotting
My nephew got the chicky pox last 2 weeks so we haven't been able to visit my in-laws at their house for the last two weekends. Sofea hasn't gotten the pox yet, so her Ayah is very reluctant to take any risks due to the upcoming raya and October being the final exams month. Ingatkan this weekend dah boleh get together-gether, but as it turned out, spots have been spotted (for the lack of a better word) on my niece the day before yesterday. Tapi it's expected-lah kan? This disease *is* contagious. Pity my mom-in-law, sure pening kepala dia what with raya coming and all.

Not The Usual Mosquito Bites
After sending off Sofea and Aidiin to school this morning, famyBoy & I made a quick stop at Glen3agles to visit my aunt (T1t1) who was admitted for dengue fever. Must be them nyamuks at her new house. She looked a bit pale and weak but seems to be recovering. Alhamdulillah. She was just about to email her presentation slides to her staff for a presentation tomorrow when we arrived. :P
Note to T1t1: No working masa sakit!!!

Beli dan Belah
Been running around doing errands and some last minute raya shopping. Bukannya shopping sakan pun, just the essentials and necessities (mostly stuff untuk others). Only got baju raya for the kids memandangkan bajet raya tahun ini agak limited.

Upgrade
Sofea came home today and happily announced that she has passed her 'ujian alih tahap' from Qiraati 5 to Al-Quran. Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah. Since next week is cuti week, she'll start her mengaji Quran classes the week after next. I should also note that (since she might stumble upon this blog in future) she has managed to puasa penuh so far. Tinggal 5 hari je lagi, Kakak! :) I admire her perseverance. As her Ibu, I am very proud of her, for both her achievements dalam bulan yang mulia ini.

Ramadhan Reads
As for me, I am hoping to make a habit of reading the Quran after subuh prayers. A routine that started this month and hopefully gets carried over to the months that follow, In shaa Allah. I happened to catch a segment of Al-Kuliyyah on TV the other day and the Ustaz mentioned that although 'quantity' is good, 'consistency' is even better. Biar baca sikit-sikit tetapi berterusan. May Allah guide me in my efforts.

I don't think I've mentioned this before in my previous Bookworm posts. After reading Lif3 is an Op3n Secr3t and Ay4t-Ay4t C1nta, I have started looking out for more 'pembangun jiwa, pembuka minda' books. Recent (unread) purchases include Ketika Cinta Bertasbih I & II, Tunggu Teduh Dulu, and Khadijah Cinta Abadi Kekasih Nabi. These books will be great 'penutup' readings for my 2008 Books-I've-Read list, dontcha think?

...

Sheesh... this entry is sooooo rojak. Macam-macam pun ada.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I Made Him Blush *giggles*

** Meant to be posted on September 13, 2008 **




To famyBoy: My Love, Cinta, Darling, Sweetheart, Intan Payung, Buah Hati Pengarang Jantung, husband, Imam, lover & sleeping partner; my best friend of the opposite sex, chauffeur, shopping buddy, carpenter, plumber, garbage man, gardener, sanitary engineer/inspector (trained for kids & pets alike), official food-taster, electrician, finance manager cum auditor, fashion critic (not certified tho), furniture mover, gadget buddy and trusted resource for geeky stuff, late-nights susu and nescafe/milo-maker, consultant for matters of concern, shoulder-provider and hug-giver whenever I needed to cry my eyes out, bookshop lepak partner, motivator, ear-lender whenever I needed to talk; my badut whenever I needed a good laugh, my hand-holder when we get opportunities to go out on dates.

Watching him check on sleeping Sofea to make sure that her comforter is snuggily keeping her warm, makes me proud that he is the sperm and gene contributor for my children. Watching him wrestle Aidiin, tickling him and making him laugh till he cries, makes me feel all mushy and cintan-cintun inside.

He is not really the romantic type but I know that he loves me, in his own (unromantic) way, despite the fact that I am several kilos heavier than before my weaknesses and occasional bouts of stubbornness itu. He might not know this, but his smile still has the ability to make me go cair with lurrrrve. Shhhh... don't go telling him about that coz he might abuse this power of his. heh.

He is my pillar of strength and confidence, and I love him love him love him for that. Happy 35th Birthday Sayang.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Until We Meet Again...

First and foremost, I'd like to wish my Muslim readers Ramadhan Al-Mubarak and Selamat Berpuasa dan mengerjakan ibadah. I realize that it's a tad belated, but I wasn't really in the 'right' mood to get online. And I'm sorry for not visiting your blogs for the past few weeks.

Today marks the 14th day since TokBa (my grandfather) has left us and this world, to begin his new life in the hereafter.

He went so very peacefully that day, that fateful morning of August 27, 2008. His last breath on the hospital bed of Putra Specialist Medical Center in Melaka, was slow but steady, both his eyes closing slowly as if falling into deep sleep. He went while his three daughters (my mom and my two aunts) were sitting beside him, reciting surah Yaasin by his bed.

I was glad (and somewhat thankful) that I had felt berat hati to return to KL the night before his passing.

He'd just turned 86 on July 5th this year.

A few weeks before his demise, I had this recurring memory of him picking me up from kindergarten. I was 5 or 6 at the time and we were living in Penang then. He had arrived in his motorbike and was waiting for me outside the kindy gate. I remember running towards him, both my hands hugging tight to three small kittens. One was grey with black stripes, one was orange with darker orangey stripes. I can't recall exactly the color of the third one. Maybe it was black, with some white patches. I don't remember. Stray kittens they were, abandoned. Ada orang buang kat kawasan sekolah tu kot.

"Nak bawak balik anak kucing ni. Depa takdak mak..." I looked up at him. Innocent but insistent.

He hesitated at first. "Satgi Mak hang marah."

I ignored him. Without delay, I placed the struggling kittens into the carrier (yang macam bakul tu) at the front of the bike. Covered the top with my school bag, afraid that the meowing kittens might climb out. I gave him a questioning "So, boleh bawak balik, ya?" look. I don't remember if I had subconciously also added a pair of puppy-dog pleading eyes for special effects.

He didn't say yes, but he didn't say no either. He didn't scold me but he didn't show any signs of disapproval. He just told me to climb up, take my seat behind him. He started his bike and rode off. I remember clinging on to him, my grandfather, on his motorbike, as we rode down and up the valley roads, passing by some anak bukit hutan area and Customs quarters. I was the happiest little girl in the whole of Bukit Gelugor that day.

Growing up, I don't think I have ever seen him get angry or lose his temper, you know, like reaaaaaallly angry, the naik suara meninggi kind. He was always the patient one, whereas my grandma was the garang one. I think I inherited my garang-ness from her. And to a certain extend, so did my mom.

A chunk of my (study) life was spent overseas, so I sorta missed those growing up years with him, but each time I got to meet him, during our balik kampung sessions, he never failed to express how proud he was of me for being offered the scholarship to study abroad. Haaa... ni lah dia cucu Pak Mansoor yang pi belajaq kat Amerika tuu... It often made me go red in the face, although deep down I felt extremely pleased (and sedikit kembang) to be able to make him feel that proud of me.

I am thankful that he was around to share the joys after the birth of my two children, his cicits. When he was still strong and healthy, he enjoyed conversing and playing with them. Layan-ing all their antics. He'd ask Sofea about school (kindy) and ask Aidiin to say his (Aidiin's) full name out loud. Both of them called him Boo-ba.

It was from my grandfather that my kids learned a valuable life lesson. MUST BRUSH TEETH EVERYDAY. Otherwise, semua gigi will cabut and jatuh macam gigi Booba. Sofea and Aidiin would shriek ketakutan dan kegelian when they witness my grandma carrying, in a bowl, their Booba's full set of false teeth, over to him before his meals.

...

After two weeks, I still find it awkward and difficult to refer to him as 'Arwah'.

I still cannot complete reading surah Yaasin without having to stop in between to wipe my tears and blow my nose.

Sometimes after performing solat, without realizing, I still panjatkan doa to Allah to ease his pain and sufferings, agar Dia dapat sembuhkan penyakitnya.

I still have trouble writing and editing this post, having to think about him in the past tense.

I don't know how Aidilfitri this year would feel without his presence.

I still remember how calm and peaceful he looked after his mandi jenazah. I still remember kissing him on the forehead, for that very last time.

And I shall cherish the memory of that motorbike ride for as long as I live.

I can only offer him my prayers. Semoga roh Hj Md Mansoor Hj Abu Bakar, my TokBa, ditempatkan bersama-sama mereka yang beriman dan bertaqwa. He will always remain in the hearts of those who love him.

Al-Fatihah.


[EDIT]
Thank you all for the ucapan takziah smses, text prayers and comments left in my shoutbox and in Zan's blog entry. It meant a lot to me and my family. *hugs*
[/EDIT]


Monday, August 18, 2008

And Then My Baby Turned Four


Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to Aidiiiiiiiiiiin,
Happy Birthday to you!!!



He turned four on August 14th. I am a BIG boy now, he says. He even refers to himself as Abang Aidiin when talking to his cousins, the twins.

How would I describe him at four? Let's see... He is definitely more sociable. I noticed that he is less reserved with strangers, regardless of age or gender. I even get remarks from friends, from immediate and not-so-immediate relatives, "How come he is sooooo chatty nowadays, aaa?" Tidakku sangka, talkative sungguh anak terunaku kini.

He is still very cheeky and manja, no doubt about that. Still very energetic and lively, except when he is sick. Still curious about new places, things and new faces (people). Still likes to play and hang out with (and tag along and usik barang and conteng buku) his sister, even when she insists on being alone. Still prefers running to walking from one point to another. He still sleeps on the double layer tilam on the floor, in our bedroom. He still asks for his two bantal bucuks (named Blue & White, respectively) before going to sleep.

He likes watching Tom & Jerry and Mr. Bean. And those shows on Astr0 Cer1a. Oh and he also likes Ultraman... Ada Dyna? Tiga? Cosmos? I didn't know there were so many of them.

And of course, he is still VERY passionate about his trains. I should also mention that he is able to complete a 100-pieces jigsaw puzzle all by himself!! I thought it was endearingly amusing to find this Sofea-ness trait in him.



He complains that he is "penaaaaaat...." when he refuses to do what we tell him to do. Grrrr... it makes my blood go upstairs each time he says that. He can sing all the tunes in the Thomas sing-along soundtrack CD, and he usually sings them in 'repeat' mode (Adoiii!!).

In school, apart from learning to write and count, he has started learning to read. At home, when he is in his 'rajin' mode (which is very rare, mind you), he would practice reading on his own. He is able to recognize and read aloud two-syllable words in BM. Words like ma-ta, bu-ku, ka-ki, Li-li, a-bu, ma-ma, da-du, bo-la, me-ja, i-bu. You get the idea-lah.

Some of the words in his bacaan book are accompanied by pictures, and I can't really tell if he had conveniently used them as references while reading. Ada one time tu, he pointed to a picture of a wheel, and said "ta-yar", when it was supposed to be "ro-da", hee hee hee.
But most of the times, he was able to read and pronounce the syllables/words correctly. I am biased obviously, but I found his bahasa baku reading very comel. :)

This year, I made it a 'top priority project' to celebrate his birthday at his school. Why?? You might ask. If you've been reading me these past four years, you'd realize that my 'lil prince has not once had a party to celebrate his day of birth. Not even a small one. *hangs head in shame*

So this year, I told famyBoy we HAVE to make it happen, to make up for the last three years.


  

   


Despite still tired from the accumulated less-sleep nights working on the sukan props (which I have yet to write an entry about) and the tension-ness due to Sofea's exams two weeks in a row, I made effort to prepare about 85 personalized party packs for the kids in his school. Apart from store-bought candy, sweets and chocolate bars, I made mini coloring books with pictures of Thomas & his friends to include in the favors. My left thumb looked deformed due to too much scissor-handling and cutting. Oh and I also got Madame Gart, the neighborhood baker to bake train-shaped cookies. She didn't want to make all Thomas frontal cookies because she felt that they didn't turn out nice (but I thought they looked cute, regardless) so she made 'generic' side-view train cookies in Thomas' colors instead.

His Ayah and I opted for chewy chocolate brownies instead of a birthday cake, coz the guy at the shop advised us that 24 pieces of brownies would be bigger in size (i.e. more to share) than a 1.5-recipe cake.



Thomas & Friends Birthday Brownie for the Thomas fanatic


We had the birthday brownie-cutting event and did the birthday stuff at his school on August 15th. Semua orang insisted nak makan part yang ada Thomas hahaha, but Teacher Imah gave Thomas to the beaming birthday boy. While cutting through the brownie, Aidiin asked me why his birthday cake is 'keras'? :P

I thank Allah for blessing me with this little badut (clown) who never fails to make me smile, even when I am angry at him for ignoring me when I asked him to take his bath. Eiiiiii gerammmmnya!!!! Or when I specifically told him not to disturb Kakak doing her homework. Or when he punggah-ed all his toys and books and made a huge mess with all his railway tracks and trains accessories until I cannot even see the carpet in the family hall.

I thank Allah for this little individual who never fails to make me laugh (kekadang sampai nak guling-guling) when he attempts and insists to construct and speak long & complete sentences in English, made up from a string of familiar words from his (limited) English vocabulary.

         

         


I thank Allah for this little person who never fails to make me feel all mushy and lembik when I watch him in his sleep, or when he calls out "Ibu, ibu, ibu..." when he is excited and eager to show me his just-drawn picture of Thomas, or when he flashes me his ever cheeky smile.

Happy 4th Birthday Little Darling. X0X0X from Ibu, Ayah and Kakak.
** More birthday pictures here, in the album at multiply.


Other birthday-related entries:
- when he was three
- when he was two

Friday, August 08, 2008

Say My Name




Aidiin wrote out his name in full for the first time after I taught him how to spell 'Muhammad' and 'Najmi'. He had memorized them after 2 sessions of repeat-ikut-Ibu, and could spell them correctly on his own since then. Yayyy for the clever boy!! :)

I am very proud of him (can you tell?? hee hee hee). Before this he only remembers how to spell 'Aidiin'.

Tapi lepas tu dia start lukis gambar Thomas Si Kereta Api merata-rata. And insisted that I take pictures of his 'masterpiece'. Hmmmpph.





Nak marah pun tak jadi bila tengok cheeky face ini. *sigh*






Lately, he's been showing interests in babies and telling me about his friends' younger siblings.

"Aliff, kan, dia ada babyyyy... Nama baby dia Qistina."

"Aidiin nak baby ke?"

"Nak!! *smiles cheekily* Aidiin nak baby... urm... boy!"

"Kakak nak baby girl!!!!" <---- menyampuks="menyampuks" nowhere="nowhere" of="of" out="out" sofea="sofea">

"Okay-lah, Aidiin pun nak baby girl-lah."

"Betul ke?? Okay, esok kita pegi kedai, kita beli baby girl."

"Taaaak, bukan beli. Nanti perut Ibu pecah, dia ada baby-lah."

*speechless*


Is it time?? I wonder...


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Ups, Downs and Somewhere in Between

It was a rather busy week for me last week. I was mostly occupied with helping Sofea prepare for her KAFA ujian bulanan #2 and searching for materials to make bunny props for Aidiin's school sports day last Sunday (will write about that in a separate post).



A week's worth of bunny crafting


Managed to make time for a social break to meet up with the Yummy Ladies for lunch at Ik3a. It was nice to see the biz woman, the Qtar goddess, the rawkin' mama, the ever super-hot dory babe (where is she blogging now ya??), the super-patient mama yang tidak penat-penat mengejar active lil Pasha. And of course, the lovely t'was my office/lunch buddy. Many *hugs* untuk semua. I had a great time, although I wished it had lasted longer. Banyak benda nak tanya kat Ery Olab and Lollies sebenarnya.

Later in the week, my aunt visited my ailing grandfather in Melaka and brought back some heartbreaking news. He has been sick for quite some time but now he is so weak that he is almost 100% bed ridden. The last time I visited him, he was already feeling weak but he still managed to get out of bed to interact with Sofea & Aidiin, his great-grandchildren. He hasn't been eating much except by force, by my grandmother. Quoting my aunt, "only skin and bones left". He's having trouble hearing, seeing and recognizing people. It saddens me that I cannot do much from here, what with the current obligations, life situations and such. I pray that Allah SWT will protect him and my grandmother, always.

Then, there's the situation with my dad who was supposed to undergo cataract removal surgery next week. Last informed by my mom, the results for his earlier blood tests did not look good and the doctor advised to postpone the surgery. All the unnecessary stress is definitely not welcomed for someone like my dad who is already dealing with heart problems. Again, I can only turn to Him, for strength to go through His tests, to chase away my worries by remembering the blessings that He has bestowed upon me and my family.

At times like these I try to constantly remind myself that only He knows best, and He will not put any hardship or burden any human being with more than he can bear.

*sigh*

Come Saturday, I was emotionally, mentally and physically drained. Nak turn on my computer pun tak larat.

This week is ujian bulanan #2 week at SKBeeJay, and today is the last day (phew!!). Budak nak amik ujian, mak dia yang tension berlebihan. I am still nursing headaches during the day due to problems getting good & restful sleep at night. Hopefully this 'phase' will go away soon. Dah nak start puasa tak lama lagi.

There are upcoming birthdays this month to think about, especially for that special someone who is turning 4 next week. I still have stuff to write but I'll have to save them for next time-lah. It's almost noon and I need to go prepare Sofea's lunch.



Saturday, July 12, 2008

Disaster Recovery Plan

Is efx2blogs really... gone??

If there's one thing I learned during my years of working as a systems engineer in that big multinational company, it would have to be this:
ALWAYS ensure backups are in place. ALWAYS. No excuses. ALWAYS do backups, regularly.

Therefore, kira macam out of habit-lah, I had started posting some of my entries here, in bl0gsp0t, in case 'disaster' strikes like last time when m0dbl0g when kaput. Truthfully, I'm really glad I did.

I didn't expect efx to be short-lived, so I was happy when efx2blogs was brought up, almost instantly lagi. How long were we there? A year, perhaps? I have not been able to see my blog or the other blogs I had subscribed to since last week. I can't even get to the log in window. :(

Oh well, I guess I might as well settle down and get comfortable here. This has proven to be the most reliable place in terms of uptime so far. I should start transfering over some of my older posts if I have not done so already (I might still have a copy of the .txt file from m0dbl0g days). I should start updating my (outdated) links too, kena kumpul semula semua refugees dari efx2. Maybe you can help me with this? If you don't see your (new) blog under my links, leave a comment with your new blog's URL, okay? Thanks much!! *hugs*

But most importantly, I need to also think of a backup for this blog, no? W0rdpress boleh kot, although I have never logged in there after my account creation last year. Any other suggestions?

Meanwhile, let's enjoy this plate of hot-from-the-kuali udang goreng tepung while I figure it out.





Thursday, June 26, 2008

CCL '08 - Before We Say Goodbye

I think no visit to Langkawi would be complete until you've set foot at and taken pictures with the huge eagle at Dataran Lang (Lang Square).

So, that's exactly what we did on our last day.

It was super-hot that day. So very unlike the previous days when it rained and rained until we had to forgo our plans to build sandcastles at the beach.

We chose to eat KFC for lunch at the restaurant near the jetty. The place was crowded with people.

According to our 'itinerary' we were supposed to also visit Taman Lagenda (Park of Legends) for more picture-taking sessions, but the place was closed due to some major renovation. Apa lah. Instead we headed to one of the malls nearby, just to look-see-look-see. Tak shopping apa-apa pun except for some chocolates.





And with that we bid farewell to the historical Island of Langkawi.

CCL '08 - Horseback Riding (Langkawi Island Horses)

The stables are opened daily (except on Mondays) at 7am-11am and 3pm-6pm. 11am-3pm are the horses' mealtimes and resting times.

We actually had to go there twice. The first time we went (it was around 10am I think) we had to get on a 'wait list' because two other groups were already there, and they had made reservations earlier. The lady at the stable told us we could get our turn at 11am if we wished to wait. Since we didn't have anything else planned that morning, we decided to lepak-lepak at the stables to look around.

Sofea was very eager and kept repeating how "tak sabar" she was.

We watched the first group (a family of 5) climbed up their horses, took the reins and galloped away. Actually, the horses tak 'galloped' pun. It was more of a 'they trotted away led by rope held by experienced trail-leaders on foot'. :)

Clippety-clop, clippety-clop, clippety-clop, off they went into the jungle. The ride (for inexperienced riders) was supposed to last about 15 minutes. Masuk hutan, then trot along a riding trail that would eventually pass by the entrance to The Seven Wells Waterfall, then continue along the main road, and lastly back to the stables.




There was a boy about Aidiin's age in the group that just left, and that boy looked happy and excited as his horse trotted away. So I casually asked Aidiin if he was interested (and felt brave enough) to ride the big horsey. I pointed out the different horses that were there.

"Aidiin tak nak yang black, Aidiin nak yang brown tu", he pointed to a light brown stallion. I later found out that the horse's name is Milko.

I was doubtful (such a teruk Ibu I was), but I didn't want to sound discouraging and I had no intention of dampening his spirit so I told him okay, we'll ask the aunty to give you the brown horsey. He was very pleased.

At around 10:50am, it started to rain. And rained, and rained some more. :( It seemed impossible to go riding in that kind of weather. Cari pasal buat demam je for nothing. So we told the nice lady that we'll come back in the afternoon. Hopefully the weather would be more pleasant then. And Alhamdulillah, it was. Not too hot and not very humid. Just nice-lah.

We were the first ones to arrive for the afternoon sessions. We were asked to choose proper-fitting safety hats (helmets?) while the trail-guides prepped our horses with saddles.




The suspense was building up (fast!)


Sofea was the first to climb on her horse, a gentle black stallion by the name of Don. Then it was my turn, then Aidiin and then famyBoy's. All four of us were supposed to go riding together.



She couldn't stop smiling


Aidiin's horse took four steps forward before my 'macho' son decided to break into tears. He cried out for his Ayah and wanted to get off. Aiseyyy... I knew it was too good to be true. Sedangkan nak pegang burung kecik pun takut, inikan pulak nak ride a big, tall horse! :P



Kakak's and Ayah's horses trotted into the jungle


As it turned out, famyBoy stayed behind to accompany Aidiin while Sofea and I went riding first. We decided that since we'd already paid for four, I'd stay behind with Aidiin later when it's famyBoy's turn to ride. Sofea (ever-willingly) got to ride twice.



He became very quiet and moody


Overall, it was a fun activity albeit a bit expensive (RM45/person for a 15-minute ride, which includes one horse & one trail-guide). A memorable experience, especially for novice riders like us.

Before driving back to the hotel, we stopped for rojak and mee rebus at the gerai-vans near Kok Beach. That was the closest that we got to a beach, without getting caught in the rain.


**View other pictures that I took at the stables.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

CCL '08 - Crocodiles and Fishes

The Crocodile Farm

I was a bit disappointed at first because the Crocodile Farm appeared to be a run-down, almost deserted attraction place. Macam ghost town pun ada. I don't remember the place being so poorly kept during my visit in 1997. There's a souvenir shop but it was dark, as if in a blackout. The cafeteria was empty, none of the stalls were opened. It was 12:30pm at the time.

The environment was too quiet, probably because there were no other visitors there except for the four of us and one mat salleh couple. I slightly regretted suggesting the place but how was I to know, aye?

We walked in and came to a row of pens, some had many small crocodiles in them, some had two or three medium ones, and some had single big ones. We stopped to look at one medium-sized crocodile and as I was reading the almost tercabut sign, the animal made a sudden move, opened its mouth wide and closed it shut with a loud 'snapping' sound followed by a really loud 'roar'. Macam kebulur je mamat ni. The kids were alarmed. Aidiin actually cried and started clinging to my blouse. It was quite a scary experience but personally I felt that those 5 minutes made it worth the money we paid for the entrance tickets. Otherwise it was just blerrgh.

After the live 'demo' by the man-eating crocodile, the kids were hesitant to go near other crocodile pens.

The main attraction was this giant crocodile. Or was it an alligator? Tak sure pulak. Not only was it fat, it was also super huge. The walk-on-a-bridge-across-a-pond-of-crocodiles was not too bad. I think that covers everything that's worth mentioning. There wasn't any special shows or feeding sessions or anything. Perhaps we were there at the wrong time.

This picture doesn't really portray the massiveness of this reptile. But believe me, it is HUGE!! Quoting Sofea, "It is as long as Ayah's car!"



A crocodile version of Garfield


Overall, I think the management (if they have the means and budget) should do a better job in maintaining the place (dah nama pun tourist attraction), and taking care of the well-being of its aquatic occupants too.





The Underwater World

This big aquarium was a must-visit for us because:
1. We have not set foot in KLSeeSee's Aquaria (although we've been to the Underwater World in Sydney)
2. The place was conveniently close to the hotel

There is an indoor park at the aquarium (I think it's fairly new) where they have pink flamingos, ducks, and some other species of birds that were either flying above our heads or hiding in some bush or sitting high up in branches of trees. They have the world's smallest monkeys there, too. These monkeys are as big as and looked like squirrels, minus the bushy tails. Their tails are exceptionally long and stripey.

We found most of the cast of Finding Nemo. Oh and also the cast of Happy Feet. :)

We didn't get to witness the shark-feeding show because that entire section of the aquarium was closed for renovation. Bummer. So the kids didn't get to walk through corridors with sea creatures swimming above their heads. Instead, we got to watch a short 3D documentary yang agak pathetic.

I think the highlight of our visit was seeing 'Mr Ray'. This huge stingray fascinated the kids. Mak diorang pun ada sedikit terpegun.



Just imagine how many pieces of ikan bakar cecah air assam this would make


Overall, could be better-lah...


**View other pictures related to this entry here and here.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

CCL '08 - Cable Car & Oriental Village

Eh? Takde orang ke? Ini sudah baguuuuussss!!!

That was the first thing that crossed my mind when we got off the car. Around us, there were four cars (including ours) and one van parked in the parking lot. It was rather strange that the place was so empty and quiet, especially since it was the holidays and all. The last time we were here, in 2002, the place was super packed with people.

Very good-lah if tak ramai orang. No need to queue panjang-panjang like last time.

But boy was I proven wrong.

Rows and rows of a mixture of eager-looking and anxious-looking folks were already there at the ticket counters queueing to buy tickets. And many more already in long lines awaiting their turn to ride on the cable cars. Imagine queue yang berlapis-lapis dan berlingkar-lingkar macam ular itu. From my observation, macam sama ramai je foreigners and locals (Malaysians). But where did these people come from??


As it turned out, we had accidentally missed the first entrance to the Oriental Village (yang lalu under archway Berjaya Resort tu) and drove to the second entrance instead. The first entrance's parking lot was fully parked with cars, vans, Bas Persiaran(s) dan kenderaan-kenderaan yang sewaktu dengannya.

Ah well, c'est la vie. We had come this far so nak tak nak kena queue jugaklah. It was too good to be true anyways, thinking that the place would be crowd-free during the holidays. :P

In the end, it was all worth the wait (we had to stand in queue for almost an hour) to see the excitement on the kids' faces as we started climbing uphill Mount Mat Cincang.



This is one of the times you SHOULD pandang belakang


When we reached the topmost stop (there were two), we got off the gondola to have snacks and drinks at the small makan-makan place up there, which is said to be 710 meters above sea level. The previous stop was at 652.5 meters.

We spent about 30 mins walking around marvelling at the view and taking pictures before deciding to go back down.

Coincidently (or perhaps it was just plain luck), the gondola that arrived to take us down had the number *1* printed on it. An excited little voice had pointed out, "Macam #1 Thomas kan, Ibu?" No prizes for guessing who that person was. :)



L-R: My fat finger. A view of the Oriental Village from gondola 'Thomas'


We had our lunch at the food court in the Oriental Village. The rest of the afternoon was spent browsing through souvenir shops, taking more pictures and playing with bunnies. Lerr... tak cukup ke main dengan arnab hari tu?

The albums@multiply contain pictures taken during our cable car ride and those taken at the Oriental Village, including the ones with Aidiin on a step-n-go bike. :)

We stopped at the Petronas Station at Telaga Harbor to refuel and buy jajan before heading back to the hotel. Since the petrol station was located at a harbor, there were a few boats anchored there as well.



Teringat kat Ikea


More boat pictures here. Orang 'jakun'lah katakan... hee hee hee.

 

Copyright © Scrapbooks and More 2013 | All rights reserved | Blog Design by Krafty Palette.