Thursday, July 31, 2008

Babysitting

The other day I was downstairs getting dinner ready. Yasmin & Wardah, I requested to babysit Nadeen. Since their baby sister was in a good mood, both gladly took the task without complain. Once done, I rushed up to get Nadeen & found her still in her jovial mood. Her sisters took turn reading her favourite books & to make it entertaining for them, they took a video of themselves using my handphone. Ha! Ha!

In the video, I uploaded the original. No editing at all. My two girls balanced the handphone on a Tupperware container. How innovative... So that explains a few earth tremors. Regret for the unclear image. Don't blame my girls. Blame it on my cheap phone... ;-)

video

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The gift

Yesterday, a week has passed since the passing of my dear friend. Life is unpredictable but we have to move forward. The jokes, laughters & tears that we once shared together preserve as a sweet memory of our friendship.

Her passing is a blunt reminder to us. Those who are still living & sometimes forget. We are no immortals. No mortal knows what he will earn tomorrow. No mortal knows where he will breath his last.

Life is vulnerable. I don't believe in reincarnation. Say & do what you need to. Show & express what you have to. As life is short & time waits for none.

I look at my family with a different perspective now. It makes me ponder... All this while I showered them with love & affection without fail. Not knowing whether it is sufficient or inadequate. Refuse to acknowledge their concerns over my infinite mothering. Gone by phone chats with my parents without once the words "love you " uttered.

Alhamdulillah, my girls are natural in showing their fondness to both of us. Even to each other & their grandparents. HB, you know... there is always a room of improvement ;-O Me? I was not brought up in such way towards my dad (abah). It is a spontaneous act kissing & hugging my ma but sadly not my strict, no-nonsense abah. We know that we do love each other & period.

However, ever since my abah's 60th birthday, I had made the effort to kiss him after every salam. He looked surprised but did not hesitate. Even now, after salaming him, he will be the one ushering his cheeks to be kissed.

Quite recently too I witnessed my brother hugged him before leaving, after our regular monthly visits to our parents'. I felt the warmth between them even though our skin was untangible.

This reminds me of Roosevelt's quote which was recently highlighted in the movie Kungfu Panda. "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift." The best gift is of love & affection. Don't let the gift be an untold mystery. Treasure the gift & don't let it be history.

To my baby, my parents, my girls, my siblings, my family , my friends - I love each & everyone of you!


surprised

Friday, July 25, 2008

Shera Darling, You Are Missed...

In my life, never have I experienced losing a good friend far a close friend. On July 22nd 2008, anyhow, I had to swallow a devastating news. The passing of my beloved close friend Allahyarhamah Shahira Abd Ghani or better known to us as Shera.

Shera to those who didn't know her, was a synonym to felicitousness, sunniness, warmheartedness, unselfishness. She brought laughters wherever she went. She touched our hearts with her affection. I sometimes was amazed with the energy she carried with her. A petite lady who was always on the move & able to juggle time as a mom, a wife, a career woman & a friend.

She was normally among the firsts to drop a comment on my blog. After each posting, I always looked forward to her cheerful & warm remark. She never failed to make me smile. Even though she started blogging only this year, it was quite a drive coping with her lovely posts. They kept on coming. It was really through blogging that we started to reconcile our friendship.

Not only that she boosted up my spirit to keep on posting. She was also the one who introduced me to my latest favourite author. We did not have the chance to talk in person about the books. Nor did we have the chance to do coffee that we planned.

The last time we met was at my house in February. She attended Yasmin's & Wardah's birthday party with both her girls. As always she was as chirpy as usual. Minding both her girls & at the same time catching up with our friends. Not even once she snapped at her girls. In fact at one point I found her away from the group. Her girls wanted to play on a dolphin seesaw I had. In between laughters she told me that her girls insisted to eat at this playground (which was really the seesaw). Did she refuse? No, she played along. I remembered her perspiring under the hot sun feeding the girls, away from the others under the cool shed of a canopy. Come to think of it, she made a beautiful picture with her girls. Why didn't I snap a photo??...

It had always been difficult to pool all of us together. Now that everyone is with family & our priorities change which is normal. Once, we failed to have a get together due to a poor response. Arwah Shera replied "Sometimes when things are impromptu mesti jadiknya". What an irony when most of us were in the end together again, at unfortunately her funeral.

Shera darling, you are deeply missed. Rest in peace my friend. May Allah place you amongst the mukminins. Amin.... Al-Fatihah.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I am a Kinsellaholic!

In my previous post I shared my involvement in the reading business had come up to a new fresh beginning. Well, not only that reading is listed in my daily routine, I have also a new category in my addiction database. I am crazy over Sophie Kinsella's novels.


Seriously, her writing is spontaneous. Not complicated, easily read & most importantly no repetitive flashbacks. (That's one point why I cannot appreciate Sepi. Perhaps that's the beauty of creativeness? Don't count on me when it comes to arts though. Still, kudos to VI, NA & AS). OK, back to Kinsella. As a mom of 4, my hands are full. I need a book that can cheer me up & put a smile on my face. Nothing associated with tragedy or catastrophe. I am avoiding books which have the possibility to make me relate tragic storyline to the girls. That is definitely not for me. I do not want to stress myself with whatsoever nonsense happening out there.

Kinsella's work suits me perfectly. I have to thank Shera for highlighting Kinsella in one of her posts. When it comes to novels I need to trust the author first then only his/her writing. Once I have fallen for one, I make quite an effort to read all.

In this case, I have completed Kinsella's Shopah
olic Series & now beginning to read "The Undomestic Goddess" (even the title is catchy ;-D). Chic Lit is so for me. I bought the whole series of 5 & Yasmin is itching to read too. Been asking for my permission. When I answered no, she asked for the exact age she could start reading. Frankly, the storyline is decent with message yes, but maybe too much cursing using the 4-letter-word. I told her that if she started reading my books at such young age, she would run out of interesting books when she reached my age. That somehow convinced her & she is back reading Enid Blyton's & Linda Chapman's.

I mentioned of owning 5 Shopaholic books but the truth is I have 6. It is so funny for a novel to have 2 different titles. Different covers, I heard but titles? One title for the UK edition & another for the US. So "Confessions of a Shopaholic" & " The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic" are really the same book also, "Shopaholic Takes Manhattan" & "Shopaholic Abroad" are again the same. Annnnnnd... I own both STM & SA.

Do I blame the girls for this? Whenever we are at a bookstore, they confidently head straight to the children's shelves. As I wrote earlier, once I love an author I don't mind reading any of her work. So, I came across SA. Grabbed it (without reading the synopsis) & little did I know it was the same STM book which was
on my bed. Grrrr...

Anyhow, if you are looking for a novel to read, give Shopaholic Series a try. You will love Becky! She did not only make me smile but laughed my heart out. Whenever HB & I are reading next to each other, I think we make a beautiful picture. Him with Grisham, his frown prominent. Me with Kinsella, my dimple conspicuous.

Happy Reading & watch out for the movie!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy Birthday B...

We celebrated HB's birthday yesterday. Of course when it comes to birthdays, the girls are the ones who get overexcited. As their mom, I am always at their service being the medium of the excitement.

They made a special birthday card the night before. Told Yasmin to put the card inside HB's pilot case (He left for work at 530 in the morning on his own birthday) but the card was hidden among my novels instead. They got too engrossed with card making & totally forgot such simple instruction... never mind that. I just wanted to cheer him up in the wee hour of the morning. Pictured him smiling with pride & showing off the card to his colleague. Anyway, I had to proceed to plan B - present the card when we surprise him with his birthday cake.

This is the front page of the birthday card (joint effort between Yasmin & Wardah)


Inside (Wardah's)


The back page (Yasmin's)


Yes, a birthday cake. That is a must to us especially the girls. As usual, I baked the cake. Moist Chocolate Cake with chocolate topping. Didn't plan for any deco at all but Wardah insisted. I settled with edible beads forming the big number ;-)

HB's birthday cake

He was home by noon. Did a short sector to KB & back. But I still have to wait for all the girls to be home only to proceed with the plan (in fact, the cake was not fully completed - no topping yet). Whille HB took his nap, I sneaked to prepare the topping.

It was only in the evening after Wardah reached home from school that we finally sang the birthday song. Frankly, it was really no surprise... HB saw the toppingless cake in the fridge but somehow was surprised with the number on the cake though.... hahaha!

Here are the girls celebrating papa. I love these photos. Just look at their contented faces! But Nadeen was of course confused with what was happening... Check out her irresistible cute frown!


We totally forgot about the birthday card. Another surprise backfired. HB was scrolling through the photos in my camera when he saw a picture of the card which I snapped earlier. Silly us!

All of us went out for dinner. Besides dinner, I had to pay another visit to the place I bought HB his gift. Apparently he has lost weight. I bought a size bigger. Didn't really plan to buy that really as I have something else in mind. But to my girls, a cake, a card & a gift are a complete packcge of a birthday. I can't agree more... (Eileen, he gets double gift this year. Can't bear to wait until August for his real gift which obviously is a belated ;-D)


The birthday boy with his gift for life. Hahaha!

Monday, July 14, 2008

We Owe It To Facebook

Yes, I have to thank Facebook. Not the addiction, No....! (am ashamed of that though... hihihi) But for being the source of me getting reconnected with friends whom I have lost contact with.

Over the weekend I was at my parents' & somehow, managed to sneak out from the girls. (Apparently none of them bothered about me at all. They were busy turning my parents' house to a shipwreck with their cousins). The plan was to meet at a cafe near Ampang Puteri but at the last minute I changed the venue to a Fish Spa at Carrefour, Wangsa Maju. ( I was driving & read a bunting about a new Fish Spa. The words I saw were "Fish Spa", "Carrefour", "Wangsa Maju". Confidently changed the venue without considering what was the preposition used, "near" or "at"). To make a long story short, we could not find the spa. Obviously the preposition I missed was "near". Still we failed to look for the spa near Carrefour... ( Could the preposition be "opposite"? I really didn't check what was opposite Carrefour!). In the end, we agreed on a kopitiam - Hometown Coffee Station or something...

My friend whom I was searching high & low for is not other than Sheena Sara Aini. Such beautiful name matches her in person. We were in school together. Way in 1983 to 1986. One of my very good buddies when I was in primary school.We totally lost contact & in FB,we found in each other. She shares the same profession as I am & our 2 hrs meet definitely needs a follow up.


Sheena, any plan yet for next weekend? ;-) Perhaps this time we can include the kids. To my other friends whom I found in FB but have not the chance to meet yet... let's have a rain check! ;-)



This was what we had. (Well... I can't recall what it's called. Care to help me here Sheena?)





Here is my dear friend Sheena




This is Sheena with her good friend ;-)




Friday, July 11, 2008

m, a, ma.... t, a, ta .... MATA


I blogged about Balqis's newest kindy (you can read about it here) & this is an update. It has been a month & there was not even a single day she hesitated to go to school. Always cheerful in the morning, looking forward in meeting her friends & teachers.

I have to say that I am satisfied with the kindy. Homework is given daily & my girl has no problem at all completing it. But of course, after her day nap & mama has to be next to her with lengthy words of encouragement.. ;-)

Nowadays, when I caught her playing on her own, I could hear that she was speaking in English. In fact, she now is willing to reply in the language though still speaking with a lisp. Is also practising her words bilingually. There was once I failed to comprehend the word she was uttering. "Itte.." which somehow sounded like eater. She repeatedly pronouncing the same thing but I was clueless. Suddenly she changed to "Ekgu.."! Teacher! Really..! She must have thought what a thick-skulled I was... Normally, my interpreter is Wardah. She understands most of Balqis's unique phonology.

Balqis is now able to recite
doa makan. She never misses one at every meal & gets offended if anyone recites another doa after hers.

Today, on the way back home I asked her about school. What she did, things she learned... Then she started spelling.
"m, a, ma... t, a, ta... mata" ( I was very impressed.. & very proud)

She continued...
"m, a, ma... t, a, ta... nasi" ( I corrected her but was ignored)

She went on...
"m, a, ma... t, a, ta... oren" (Again I tried to correct but it was pointless)

She persisted...
"m, a, ma... t, a, ta... pisang" (That did it! I went red controlling hard not to laugh)

She wore this confident look which deterred me to play teacher. Instead, gave her a compliment. I played along & said out loud "m, a, ma... t, a, ta... mata". Give her a break... she's only 3!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Reading - The Journey

Listen up! I am here proud to announce that I have pick up READING again....! Yes. After like soooo looooong , I finally won the battle against whatsoever lame & unintelligent excuses I came up with for giving up the hobby I used to love so greatly.

My journey of the reading kingdom took me way back when I was 8. (lost to Yasmin, hers started at 7). Then I was a member of a library which was abolished to make way for IJN-Institut Jantung Negara. The books of my choice were books with colourful pictures & should not exceed 20pgs. Obviously, I could have finished reading those thin books within 10 minutes... but it was so cool checking out books with your own name written on that small piece of paper at the back page ;-)


At the age of 10 or probably less, I started to appreciate Enid Blyton's short stories. "Anytime Tales", "Bedtime Tales" & Amelia Jane series. Hooked with EB, I continued with Famous 5, Malory Towers & St.Clare's series (no Yasmin, I didn't read Secret 7 then). At 12, I felt that reading EB was rather uncool. I changed to "Nancy Drew Files". A year after, introduced myself to "Sweet Dreams", "Sweet Valley High", "Sweet Valley Twins" & fell in love with those. Other books untouched. I remember my brother whom I hired as my walking library. He was then in VI, wld pass Central Market daily to take the mini bus home. There was this bookstore inside CM, selling pretty cheap books. In fact we could rent out books. If I found any interesting book, I would look for the oldest of its batch. The older the book, the cheaper the rent. Sometimes, I managed to get 50sen for the rental but the condition of the book was very sad. But who cared, as long as readable...

After SRP, I was into Danielle Steel's & then Sidney Sheldon's (or was is Sheldon's first...). Steel never failed to make me cry. That was how engrossed I could be with the protagonist & even with the plot.


At 16, I came across a novel left by my aunt in her room. I sneaked reading the book & fell in love totally with the story. It was my first Jude Deveraux novel - "Highland Velvet". But by this time I had to restrain myself from reading too many novels. Had to put my studies first - SPM.

This was the Highland Velvet that made me so curious to read. Hahaha...!

This is the copy that I bought for myself somewhere last year. Hoping that the cover is not that inviting... ;-)

After SPM, I went back to reading business. Then, was head over hills with Jude Deveraux's & Judith McNaught's. Was really really crazy over their novels! What more... I was in a relationship... & love was in the air! Hahaha!


In college, I ventured other authors'. LaVyrle Spencer for instance and Jackie Collins too. Still cannot runaway from the same genre. Well... love was still in the air! I am definitely a fan of Spencer. Then still made my regular visits to the same bookstore at CM. I think, I have covered all Spencer's books that the store had for rental.


Familiar with Mills & Boon or perhaps, MB? I skipped this era. Tried reading it once... OK, the truth! I found loads of MBs in my aunt's room. I chose one MB & somehow was attracted to the cover of Highland Velvet. Whoaa... MB was very dull! Of course, what was MB in comparison to the genius touch of Deveraux ;-)

I do read biography/autobiography books too. The books will I never touch are thriller & horror. OK... am the coward type. I do sometimes get eerie watching CSI! Go ahead & laugh... I doubt , Harry Porter is a good read for me!


I married early (well...). After having Yasmin, my reading materials were more to books about parenting & babies. My magazine changed too from Cleo (I own the 1st Malaysia issue!) to Mother & Baby. I tried reading books but felt guilty. I was not the type of reader who is discipline with time. There was once I didn't sleep all night just for the sake of finishing a novel which I had read before! Imagine that! So, once becoming a mom I tried my best not to get involved with novels. Now, I opt for Women's Weekly. Malaysian issue of course... cheaper ;-)


Once, Yasmin refused to read a Famous 5 book which was given to her by my friend. She did not like the title, sounded scary - Five Go To Mystery Moor. In order to convince her, I read the first few pages of the book & ended up reading it till the end!

Along the way, I have influenced one person. Not Yasmin. That's inheritance... hehehe. It's HB. He failed to understand the luxury of reading. However, a couple of years back, he joined the boat voluntarily. He's more into Grisham's & Archer's which are not really my cup of tea.

Now, my target is Wardah. She is very much like her father. Not into books but like father, like daughter... easily influenced. I will slowly include reading as one of her hobbies. Time will tell but so far she is making quite a good progress. Will keep you updated ;-)

As for now, I am a Kinsellaholic... hehehe. Thanks to Shera. Will blog about this another time ;-)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Nadeen at 7 months

My Nadeen turned 7 months yesterday. She is now slowly trying to get around on her own. Making a lot of effort to reach for things that she is curious to explore. Besides her own toys, I observe that this one loves paper. She will simply turn her attention from her colourful toys to the book Yasmin is reading while babysitting her in the play centre. Or Balqis's homework which she loves to do on my bed while I am breastfeeding Nadeen. Even the bills whenever HB is paying online with Nadeen on his lap.

She has figured out how to use her knees to move backwards( not forward though...) & is an expert. Quite often lifting up her torso & do balancing which her sisters think is hilarious. Her favourite person is still HB. Even though how long he is always away, she recognizes his voice the minute he enters the door.

Here is the latest video of Nadeen. Check out how fast she is now reaching for her toys & I just love the way she made her 3-point-turn... ;-)

We love you Nadeen... mmmmuaaaaahhhs!


video