Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Goodbye 2008

Time does fly. It is just a couple of days before we welcome the new year. It feels just like yesterday we celebrated Wardah's birthday (she is a new year baby!).

2008 had been a year full of curiosities looking forward to Nadeen's milestones. Adjusting my life with a 4th child in the family.Managing my daily routines with the elder girls schooling & Nadeen at home. She is almost 1 year & a month. I am still nursing her & alhamdulillah her supply of milk is more than sufficient. I'm ashamed though to admit that I do not fully breastfeed her. She settles with formula whenever I leave her at home with my helper.

The girls did good in school. Am proud of their involvement with the school activities too. Yasmin will remain as a school prefect next year & Wardah will follow suit. She is soooo looking forward I can tell. Balqis is happier in her present kindergarten. I once asked whether she wanted to go to her previous kindergarten. She refused despite the kindergarten offered a swimming pool for her to dip in.

HB exceeded his mount climb excursion this year... (I still know my Math!). He went to 3 instead of an annual event promised. OK lah 2... one is only a warm up or like you stated - the practice. And I know you can't wait for what awaits you next year. You have my consent dear.... provided, you take us to for a holiday first ;-)

Still remember my cats? Blanco is 5 months now & Bonita is close to 3 months. Getting along very well together. Too well actually... I have to take them to the vet for a vasectomy soon! Am too young to be a grandma!

My helper agrees to continue for another year. That is a relief...! (not only that good help is rare nowadays but the amount I have to invest for a new one is ridiculous!) Her daughter is recovering very fast, alhamdulillah. I really do not want to be a barrier between a mother & her daughter. But that was her own decision & we welcome that with open arms!

As for yours truly, this year has taught her to look at life differently. Losing my dear friend made me reflect upon my being here. Not for long I'm aware but I hope long enough for me to touch the hearts of those I care deeply.

To everyone, may this new year brings us the best of what we wish for. Ameen..

Monday, December 29, 2008

Maal Hijrah 1430

Kepada semua umat Islam, Selamat Tahun Baru 1430H.

Ya Allah, muliakan & sayangi pembaca ini, berkati keluarganya, sihatkan tubuh badannya, limpahkan rezekinya, jauhkan daripada fitnah, penganiayaan & penghinaan, suburkan benih keimanan dengan penuh rasa kasih sayang serta taqwa tanpa alasan. Makbulkan cita-citanya yang murni. Amin, Amin Ya Rabbal A'lamin.

This new year I had the opportunity meeting my old buddies back in college. Thank you Cik Ly & Nina for hosting such event. It was a wonderful do & we definitely have to do this again. Perhaps annually or maybe biannually... hehehe. So, who was given the honour as the new host... ;-)

Of course the photos... Enjoy them!

Isn't this the same old pose? This seems like a dejavu...

Snuggling pose is must eh?... ;-)

Apparently someone was holding to a glass of water while posing for the camera. Well... accidents do happen!

Some of the spread

Sunday, December 21, 2008

11 precious years together...

Alhamdulillah.... today marks the 11th year of my marriage to dearest HB. It feels just like yesterday but no doubt I can no longer fit the baju kurung moden I wore for our akad nikah... hehehe. Neither can he buckle up the waist to his baju Melayu trousers! Oh well... but doesn't that validate our happiness? Thank you Honey Bun for your ridiculous humour, your persistent support, your remarkable patience & most of all for your gift of love.

I was browsing through you tube the other day when I found the song I dedicated to HB alooooong time ago. I was only 17! Hahahahahaha.... (Seriously! Now, I'm worried for my girls. It's very likely that one will inherit their mom's bold certainty).

It was our first song together, followed by a cassette recorded of his acoustic guitar attempt with Unchained Melody. This song in a way answered to the song I dedicated. The Love Songs Language, I would say ;-) Come to think of it... I've known him for almost 17 years. Of course there were hiccups along the way but making it this far on our 11th wedding anniversary, you HB have indeed granted me with want I asked for in our song, The Gift of Love by Bette Midler. Enjoy the song & lyrics.

You ask me what I want
You ask me what I need
It's nothing you can buy,
My heart's not ruled by greed
I don't love a diamond,
Diamonds you see through,
I want you to hold me,
I want you to be true.
Give me the gift of love,
Look me in the eye,
Say I'm the one you're dreamin' of
That'd be the best surprise.
Give me the gift of your sweet love
In the light of the day,
In the dark of night.
Like the colors of the sun
The feelings in your heart
That's all I want from you,
And when the sky is dark,
I'll have you beside me
Who could ask for more
I'll just wear a smile
When you walk in the door
Give me the gift of love,
Look me in the eye
Say I'm the one you're dreamin' of
That'd be the best surprise.
Give me the gift of your sweet love
In the light of the day,
In the dark of night.
Give me the gift of love
Look me in the eye
Say I'm the one you're dreamin of
That'd be the best surprise.
Give me the gift of your sweet love
In the light of the day,
In the dark of night.
Give me the gift of love
Look me in the eye
Say I'm the one you're dreamin of
That'd be the best surprise.
Give me the gift of your sweet love
In the light of the day,
In the dark of night.

Happy Wedding Anniversary! Am looking forward to the years to come. InsyaAllah....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Should I or Should I not?

I'm sure many of our makcik & kakak bloggers, pakcik & abang bloggers residing in Klang Valley are looking forward to the very gathering as proposed by Mrs.Nordin (you can read the invitation here). I do too. Heard that some even took the trouble to buy & even make a new attire. How sweet...! Of course... isn't first impression the utmost important? ;-)

I was in doubts though. No! Not doubting meeting all of you... I always look forward to have the chance making my virtual friends tangible. Just that the date is not convenient to me & not fair to HB especially.

If you've been following my blog, you should know the nature of HB's work. He is seldom home. It is whenever he's away that I take the opportunity to have the time to myself. Name it... hang out with my friends, enjoy a relaxing spa & facial, retail therapy... hehehe or even blogging. Whenever he is around, we spend quality time together. With or without the girls.

We are so comfortable with such arrangement for almost 11 solid years. Yes, this Sunday the 21st is our 11th wedding anniversary. And... unlike last year, it is his off day this Sunday. We have the chance to celebrate together without any rain check or whatsoever.

The gathering mentioned earlier will also take place this Sunday. True that HB plans to take me out for dinner that night. I am sort of available in the afternoon. But leaving him with the girls at home? Or worse, let him take the girls out with my helper tagging? That is not the picture I like on my anniversary!

I choose to stay. Knowing him, he may have other impromptu plans. Normally, they will include the girls which after a decade I am so used to having them as a part of our anniversary celebration...

To my friends in blogsphere, I am sorry I have to turn down this opportunity. The chance to put faces to your familiar names, to open up my arms & replace the many cyber hugs I posted. Do me a favour though.... snap as many photos possible & update on the get together ASAP ;-)

Have a wonderful time!! Jealous nye.....!

Monday, December 15, 2008

What a weekend!

It was a long Saturday for us last weekend. Tiring yes but we ended it with something amusing... well, to the kids it was.

We had 2 engagement
kenduris to attend to. One was my niece's & another was HB's cousin. The timing was not on our side though. My niece's at 10.30am & HB's cousin at 11am. Whereabout? One in KL, somewhere in Jln Ipoh & another in Klang. We also had a birthday party invitation at 4.30pm. Luckily it was in Klang too, a walking distance from HB's cousin's.

OK. After the meeting between HB & I adjourned, we agreed to go to both receptions. How? One would advantage having us at the the early hours (
macam lah penting sangat pun...) but the other had to be satisfied having us just on time for meal... ;-)

We left the house at 930am. All of us, including Nadeen & my helper. Reached the first
kenduri an hour after that. We witnessed the meminang (marriage proposal) & the bertunang (engagement). Helped ourselves for an early lunch & by noon we were back in our old MPV heading to Klang. The traffic was siding us though. When we reached Klang, the ceremony had just ended & guests were ushered to the canopy outside for lunch. What a timing ;-)

After our second lunch for the day, we rested at my PILs'. HB not only rested but slumbered away. I joined the postmortem members discussing the ceremony ;-) Merely a listener...!

The birthday party started after
asar prayer. We were served curry noodle, the best in town. 20 minutes to 6pm, we managed to get into our loyal MPV & drove to my parents' in Keramat. We were putting up the night there. But the day had not ended yet. My SIL bought us tickets to watch a theatre.

Which theatre? The Children Musical Theatre - Sinbad! Hehehe... School holiday maa!

It was on the way to my parents' that I realised the attires that HB & I were to wear for that night were still hung at my closet. Great..! What we had in our weekend bag were only round neck T-shirts...

About an hour after leaving the birthday party, I dropped HB at the latest Aeon Shopping Centre very nearby from my parents' place. He had to get a new pair of pants as the only thing he had was a pair of his rugged, faded jeans.

At my parents' I managed to get hold of a BI blouse which I normally wore during maternity & loaned from my mom a pair of slacks. I looked like... a pregnant mom but with high-heeled shoes. Good that I didn't bump into anyone!

The show was surprisingly entertaining. Ok... have to admit, I did sort of doze off for a couple minutes. It was too long & it was a long day for me. The girls enjoyed themselves though. I could tell from the looks on their faces. Even Balqis paid full attention to the 2 & half hour show. The casts of 81 were all children except for 1 adult. Loved the props. The songs were not bad too. Thanks Inda for the treat ;-)

Thanks to Yasmin & Wardah for being the shield to my maternity wear.. hehehehe!

Wardah & her cousin, Nuryn.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Penang - Day 2 (26 NOV 2008)

OK, hope I have not bored you with the sequels of my recent trip yet. No worries... This is the final episode of Penang. To my new readers you can read the 1st sequel here & the 2nd here.

Now, back to the journal. The following morning we were supposed to start off early. The latest was 8am. HB planned for us to explore the Botanical Gardens before it got too hot. We however managed to get ready only half an hour later... With 4 kids on tow, a half an hour buffer was an accomplishment. No? Hehehe...

Surprisingly it only took us another a half an hour journey to the garden. I remembered visiting there as a child with my parents. What was still vivid in my mind were the monkeys.... It was my first close encounter of its kind!

We had breakfast outside the entrance to the gardens. Found a stall selling
nasi lemak, tosai & chapati but no roti canai (it seemed that roti canai was not as common as it isARFs in KL?) My girls are not really fans of nasi lemak, unlike their papa. They could have opted for the nasi lemak but all came already packed together with the sambal (chilly paste). So, like it or not they had to try the chapati (tosai they tried before but didn't like it).

They loved their chapati as much as I loved my nasi lemak (sorry no pic of the nl... I finished it up in record time! Hahaha!)

And Nadeen agreed on how yummy the chapati was...

Once done with breakfast, we herded towards the entrance. The garden was not as I remembered. It was huge unlike how I pictured it. Of course my mind then was only focusing on the monkeys but as an adult I noticed the greeneries, the nature & the peacefulness. Peaceful? Well, only for a few seconds... "Mama! Mama! Look!" "Mama... what's this called?" "Mama... Mana monkeys ni?" "Mammmmma..." Quite familiar in your household too I bet ;-)

The lush green of flourishing vegetation.

As I was so captivated by nature, HB brought the girls down to this green field. They had fun running here & there whilst I chose to follow the trail down the hill & snapped snapped snapped.

A close up of the girls

Wardah volunteered to snap a photo of me & HB with the greens at the background ;-) Err... Wardah, what happened to the lily pond behind us?

We also found this brook.

I was somehow attracted to this plant.

A close up of the flower

The fruits. But I had no idea what they were.

A group of preschoolers had fun with the water nearby.

Balqis was in one of her best behaviours.

Again her T explained why... hehehe.

The long walk was tiring. This picture says it all...

HB piggybacked Balqis & at the same time pushing the stroller with Nadeen inside.

HB was leaving for another one of his mount climbing excursion in less than a week. Piggybacking the girls was somehow a good workout... Here is Wardah.

Next was Yasmin.

... and the most challenging but full with pleasures (just admit it!! hahaha...!) was this exclusive shot by Yasmin.

Done laughing? Hahahaha! We were almost hopeless looking for the monkeys which explained us monkeying around... hehehe. But! As we were leaving we found a group of them at the exit. Not friendly at all! Scared my girls off.

We had to check out by 2pm & it was only 11am when we left the gardens. Requested HB to take us to town. Wanted to buy some souvenirs & goodies to take home. We searched the map for Chowrasta but failed in a couple of attempts. Of course it was due to the infamous one way streets in Penang. But I managed to shoot this beautiful ancient Masjid Kapitan Keling. Sorry, lacked of sharpness. It was a quick stop in the car shooting this & forgot to change the ISO of my dslr. Grrr...

We managed to find Chowrasta after the third attempt. These were some of the pickles snapped.

HB & Wardah, busy making choices.

But Balqis just could not stand the smell... :-)

Nadeen? As long as her human bottle milk was near her... she had nothing to complain.

By the time we were done shopping, it was already after 12pm. We were in hurry big time! True that we were allowed to check out by 2pm but the flight was at 3pm. The latest to check out would be half past one.

Still HB refused to miss the chance to help ourselves to the famous
cendol in town which was very nearby. Since we were in hurry & none of the girls including me was not really a big fan of this mouth-watering dessert, I told HB to order only 2 bowls. One for him & another for the rest of us to share. Normally the girls & I would take merely a couple of spoonful of the cendol & HB would clean it off for us. Not this cendol though. The best we ever tasted...

The girls & their cendol.

The superlicious cendol!

Wardah, slurping...

Balqis, having her share & Yasmin was rather impatient for her turn.

HB finished first & hurried to get our lunch with Nadeen. I rushed with the other 3 girls to our rented car once we were done. Reached the car in time with HB , Nadeen & our lunch tailing behind us. Once at the hotel room I double checked the ticket & the flight was really at 4pm instead of 3pm. Now... that was a relief.

By then it was almost one. HB packed up our belongings whilst I fed all the girls who were at that time done with shower (in the car I had already briefed the elder girls on what to do once we reached the hotel room). Through with packing, HB hit the shower & I had my lunch of
Nasi Kandar with chicken earlier bought at Line Clear. Even in hurry & hungry I managed to shoot this photo. Hehehe!

Nasi Kandar Line Clear

It might look simple but the taste was beyond delicious! Once HB was done, I too had completed my lunch. Rushed to bathe Nadeen. Dried her up & passed her to HB while I took my turn freshening up.(Very systematic eh? ;-D) We managed to get ready at quarter to check out time... Pheew! It was fun rushing! Hahaha... The girls? They are used to it.

Since it was quite early, HB took his sweet time driving to the airport. We savoured our last ride in Penang. Managed to see the Penang Bridge in broad daylight, found Penang Free school & passed Penang Snake Temple.

The girls at Penang International Airport

HB - "Let's go!"

We were early. Right in front of the entrance to the departure hall, there was a McD's. The girls wanted to snack on ice cream & some fries. I'm sure I had written before how Wardah & Balqis were the best of friends but also the worst of enemies? Well, I managed to capture them in happier time & in mmm... not so happy moment.

Balqis here was given the honour by Wardah to be the first, shaking on her McShaker. But when Wardah requested for her share in shaking, Balqis refused & ...

this was the outcome of the incident. Hahaha!

I left Penang without a chance of eating the stir-fries, the rojak , the laksa, the nasi briyani... HB, at the last minute had to mention about how delicious the Char Kuay Teow was at a cafe next to McD's. With ice cream in my hands, we proceeded to the cafe & ordered one Char Kuay Teow for yours truly ;-) Anyhow, it was not up to my expectation. HB agreed. Must be a different cook... Just not my day.

The Char Kuay Teow

The girls in the flight back to KL.

Goodbye Penang. Even in such short time & missing the chance savouring many of the locals specialties... I gained a kg! And that stubborn 1 kg is still there... grrrr! My girls? They had a wonderful time. In this trip alone, they experienced 5 means of transportation! ;-D

The End.