Friday, November 28, 2008

Penang - Balqis's Birthday & The Train Ride

We are home. The trip to Penang was OK despite its infamous one way streets. The girls had a spectacular time. I tantalised my tongue to the variety delicious local foods & now I'm a kg heavier! Chit! HB? He had to enjoy the workout carrying our only luggage of more than 15kg in weight ;-)

This time around HB suggested to travel by train. I agreed knowing that it would be an amazing experience to the girls & even to their parents.... hehehe! I bought the tickets online for 2 cabins. It was pretty simple & I have to give credits to the customer service staff who were very helpful & patient answering to all my questions via phone. Including...

"Just to confirm, I booked a ticket from Sentral KL to Butterworth. Is Sentral KL, KL Central?"

"Yes, ma'am"

"Does it mean that I do not have to go to the old Railway Station?"

"No, ma'am. We now operate from KL Central."

Imagine, a hundred people like me... Hahaha!

OK, I can't write long. Am hosting a birthday party tomorrow & I have loads to do. Enjoy this pictorial post.

At Putrajaya Central, we were late for 5 minutes hence needed to wait for another half an hour. Even though we did manage to get the ticket, to ship my whole troop will take at least 10 minutes...!


Here is the birthday girl.


Told her to pose but she made this butt slapping pose. Wonder from where she learned that from... Any idea Wardah?



Her T, says it all!


Remember? I wanted to get Balqis a small cake. We found DDonuts.


I distracted Balqis whilst HB lit the candle (which I brought from home!).


We were singing to her the birthday song but Malaysians will be Malaysians, none of the staff joined us. Well, my voice was loud enough to make a dozen.. ;-)



Make a wish!



We made do with this muffin. Something for a change ;-)



Nope, this one is mine. Get your own muffin!



But, who could resist Nadeen?


The time showed quarter to 8pm. On the ticket we were to depart at 8pm. This is something that KTMB needs to improvise. I understand the delay but the system was rather sad. We were at KL Central & I expected at least for a screen monitor like at the airport. But there was none (or did I miss it?). According to the staff, we had to wait at Platform 1 & 2 (which both share the same staircase & elevator) & someone would announce if the train were ready to be boarded.


Picture this crowd.



Imagine how my small girls were to get through those impatient people.



And HB did not look happy... Ooo! Oh!


I did not hear the announcement. But I saw those people reacted to a staff gesture & almost all rushed either towards the staircase or the elevator. We chose to wait. Did I miss the announcement to give the priority to children & elderlies? Hmmm...

Anyhow, the poor system was forgotten once we saw how excited the girls were. Especially knowing that they were putting up the night on a train. Balqis called it the "moving hotel".




Including Nadeen was in a cheerful mood!


It was small but we didn't mind. I was thrilled. Not only the girls' first time, HB's & mine too... hehehe!




Pictures of the small cabin & mind you, this was the First Class. OK laa



The size was approximately 8 X 4... I think.



There was a TV but we were not fortunate enough. The TV was on service. The fan could not oscillate but it was air-conditioned of course.



The top bunk bed



The bottom bunk


The elder girls begged to stay in a cabin. They pleaded & pleaded & pleaded. We gave in... but once Wardah & Balqis were asleep I went to the next cabin with Nadeen & Yasmin. The cabin next door slept soundly! I wonder how did they (HB, Wardah * Balqis) do it? Yasmin & I are both light sleepers so we were awake most of the time...

We were to reach Butterworth at 440am the next morning. Yes, at the wee hour of the morning! How did we manage with the girls? .....

* to be continued

Monday, November 24, 2008

Princess Balqis is 4!

My 3rd princess turns 4 today. Happy Birthday darling! I did not bake any cake neither did I make any fuss over her gift. We are going to Penang later this evening. The trip by train in a private cabin is kind of the present. The all in one present... hehehe. Balqis's birthday, to Nadeen who will turn 1 next Monday & to Wardah also Yasmin for their good results in finals. Such cheapskate parents!

We are having a party this coming Saturday & of course there will be a cake & presents. That was why, I didn't feel guilty for not baking her a cake. My plan was to get 1 cupcake at any cafe in KL Sentral (hope there is one..), light a candle & we will sing her the birthday song.

In fact, I am rather occupied today. We are leaving for Penang tonight & have some packings to do. Something which I hate to do but do not trust others to do it for me. You know what I mean? Oh no! I forgot their swim suits!! Be right back... OK. I have a checklist. InsyaAllah I wont leave anything behind.

The elder girls did make a card but I told them to wait for papa to return home this afternoon, only then we hand it to Balqis. They agreed. So just now, I was in the kitchen preparing their lunch & I found the birthday girl at a corner in our study room. No, she was not crying... Instead, she made me almost in tears.

Balqis was on the floor, with a glue, colour pencils, scissors & a piece of paper. Asked what she was doing... She answered she was making a birthday card for herself. How would you take it? I hugged her, kissed her, cuddled her. Instructed her sisters to get the card that they made. It's not that we didn't wish her. We did! Very early in the morning but without a cake, without a present, without a card... Sorry darling! I promise to bake you the best cake ever!! And... you can choose your gift in Penang! ;-)


This is the card. At 4, she is still as demanding as always. Upon looking at the card, she put it aside. Told us she wanted the girl's hair in the card to be longer not short. Wardah made the hair transplant in record time... Notice the pic?




Here is the birthday girl. She continued making her own card which was left unfinished as usual... ;-)


We love you Balqis! Mmmmuah! Mmmmuah! Mmmmuah!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Same Old Friday

It was Friday night again last night. We did the usual... Sent off Yasmin & Wardah for their Mental Arithmetic class & Balqis to her Art class. By the way, have I told you that she did amazingly in the class. Her last week's work was pasted on the wall! But I was too excited & totally forgot to snap a pic to share here. Well.. perhaps next week.

By 8pm, it was just HB & I. He wanted to take me out but I declined. We had to get the girls back by 10pm. Plus he just got back from work & I knew he was tired. The truth, it really was me who felt rather not in the mood & a little fatigued too.

The cause to my weariness was due to my helper laaa. It is not everyday I check on the cats' cage or HB's gardening tools or whatever things she considers "arranged" outside the house. It started when I found cat litter scattered near the cage. When asked she answered that she just swept the floor & perhaps one of the cats just did its business. OK. Fair enough. I took a broom & started sweeping. You know when I sweep, I really sweep. Anything that puts a stop to my broom needs to be carried or if too heavy, dragged aside. That was what I did with the cage and... I found the crystal of cat litter (we use crystal based cat litter) near the wall, behind the cage & when I pushed the heavy cage, there was even more crystal (kalau boleh buat gelang satu cerita!) underneath the cage. Mak sudah naik angin!

If she admitted her mistake when I first asked, I doubt being that angin. Ini siap jawap... "Saya sudah tarik keluar dan sapu" which was not to my liking. Punya banyak kristal bawah cage tu... Obviously, she did not tarik keluar. Kalau dah buat salah mengaku aja lah.

My weakness is whenever I naik angin, I become extraordinary rajin. It's like my mouth & my hands work together in rhythm. Mulut pot-pet pot-pet, tangan kemas itu ini. But I'm not that stupid laa for others to manipulate my weakness. Somehow, yesterday not only that I swept the floor near the cage & HB's gardening tools shelf, I also transfered 4 bicycles, a scooter & a see saw (nasib plastik..) for me to do real sweeping! The best part was when asked "Mesti dah lama tak sapu lantai dekat basikal-basikal ni kan?" She answered "Tidak begitu lama, tapi tidak juga begitu baru". How do you respond to that? Adoi...!

You know I didn't plan to write about this. How did I get myself to rant about it? Ohh.. why I felt extremely tired. OK, back to what I planned to write.

Instead of going somewhere else, both HB & I ended up at our normal hang out on Friday night.. McD's (boring betul!) whilst waiting for the girls to finish class.

We had dinner.

I briefed him how the girls were that day.

He shared with me about work.

We finished dinner & watched the news aired from a big screen in the restaurant.

I commented on the newscaster's attire.

He expressed his concern over the local politics.

After the news, Scenario was showing. He took his Steve Berry's novel & I reached for my Sophie Kinsella's The Undomestic Goddess. He read & I read.

It was like after a few pages flipped I realised what a couple we made. Obviously, very obviously if someone were to observe us they would know that we are a married couple. 100% married! Not for a year or two but for a decade at least!. It was when changing chapter, I stole a look at him & ... Hey! This could be a blog entry! Hahaha!

Enjoy your weekend everyone...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Balqis's night

We had a marvellous time last night. Attended such an incredible concert. Not only that it was entertaining, the admission was also FOC. But HB had to sponsor some $$ for one of the dancers' outfit laa. I'm sure you can guess... True enough! It was Balqis's kindergarten concert.

For the first time I did not have jitters at all. Seriously, all these years whenever the girls were to perform in a concert, I would have this 'butterflies in my stomach' syndrome. My hands would turn cold & my heartbeat fast. Hahaha...
kelakar tak? But last night I was so relaxed. Didn't even play the hiding game like I normally did with Yasmin & Wardah (when they were in kindi of course!). I even waved at her on stage (Which was not to HB's liking.... I think he too was scared, Balqis might follow Yasmin's step. Yasmin's first performance in front of the audience... she didn't make it to the stage.)

As some are aware Balqis just shifted to this kindergarten last May (you may read here). One thing unique about her kindi is that the concert is held right in front of the kindergarten itself. They have the advantage since the road facing it is a dead-end.


The kindergarten



The stage



Zooming out



More zooming out...



Now, does that look familiar to you? No? Hahaha! You know before I enrolled Balqis here, HB & I used to make fun of the stage. It was seriously very much like the one that Opera Cina uses. Betul.... no kidding. Who would have thought this year we attended as audience?

Moral of the story... don't judge a book by its cover! The show was incredibly amazing & I loved the costumes. Custom-made, OK. Unlike the the other preschools my elder girls used to go, where they bought the attire somewhere & creatively put on accessories to suit the theme. But... the accessories would only be on loan. Last night, Balqis went home exactly as how she was dressed on stage.

Another thing that I just have to highlight about last night is the songs. There were no latest hits at all.Nil! The most recent number played was Michael Jackson's Heal the World. OK, that was early nineties, correct?

Balqis's class danced to an oldie - "Where's your momma gone" .Googled for the title of the song - Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep. Seriously, what year was that? There was also a P.Ramlee song - Nasi Goreng Bubur Kacang. The one that goes like "Hoi nasi goreng, Hoi bubur kacang..." and a few of the evergreen 60's Pop Yeh Yeh songs. What else? Hmmm.... Irene Cara's "What a Feeling". One class performed a Carribean dance. Wanna guess the song? Yup! Day-O (Banana Boat Song). Even during a break we were entertained by Wham! "Wake me up, before you go go.." Hahahahaha! Do you get me now? ;-)


I just have to share this with you. Pssst... this man was the Disc Jockey!



No! I have nothing against the choice of songs. I enjoyed myself so did Yasmin, Wardah & HB. I even heard Yasmin just now humming to the "Hoi nasi goreng" song. Hehehe! But why did Wardah say it was Apek's song??? Don't tell me he did a remix...!

Balqis had a wonderful time on stage despite her most of the time looking at her partner not the audience. Hehehe! Wardah backed her up though. According to her the partner was doing the counting for their dance steps.(
Ye lah, you might be right.) Balqis however, refused to look at me even though she sensed my existence.

These are a few of the many photos I shot... hahaha! (I was like a photojournalist that night!).


Balqis in action!



Her dancing partner, Yu Siong.



This was went she responded to my many waves & thumbs-ups. Notice the slight smile?



During the Grand Finale, singing along Heal The World with friends & her teacher Miss Aina.


I simply love the costumes & performance! Well done teachers...





Stand still to the National Anthem.



Balqis was really treated like a superstar! She even had her personal bodyguard... No lah! That was her Principal, Ms. Ching - a very enthusiastic lady.



The superstar waiting for her chauffeur to get her home.



At home, Nadeen was scared of Balqis. "This is not my sister!!!"



My angels posing with the superstar... ;-)



What is a superstar without a manager mom... hehehe!



Enjoy the video.

video


video

To the Principal & teachers, congratulations! It was a superb concert..

To Balqis, it was an awesome show darling!!! Mmmmuah!

To Capt. Amri & Dr. Hafizah, thank you for letting me use your internet connection - jasamu dikenang!

ps- As I was busy uploading photos just now, my modem went kaputt due to a lightning strike. A Makcik Blogger like me just have to complete what she started. Paid my wonderful friends' place a visit to finish up my post & to publish... Hahaha!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Results!

Today is another Hari Jalinan Mesra in the girls' school. Whatever name they call it to us, it's still another name to a Report Card Day...

Wardah did pretty good but failed in her many attempts to beat the defending first place(DFP). This DFP has always been first, ever since in Year 1. In Year 2, things are still the same. This time however, I had hopes for Wardah to get No.1. She is highest in a couple of subjects instead of DFP. But again, her BM2 pulled down her marks... 88%! So, she has to be happy with NO.2... Only 8 points more to win the battle. Never mind Wardah... we try again next year! OK girl? ;-)

Yasmin, on the other hand is quite frustrated with her results. She had been the DFP for finals ever since Year 1, so I understand her frustration. Not only BM2 (88%) pulled down her marks, her Maths (89%) too. She is 6th in class & surprisingly, her rival is 4th. All the first 3 in her class are not school prefects.

At one point, it did cross my mind... Could it be because she is now a prefect? Was her time taken that she does not excel as she did before? I reminded myself that she was still 1st in TEST 2. In fact, she obtained all As in all her subjects. Isn't that what's important?

I remembered an entry about Yasmin when elected as a prefect (you can read here). The deal was for her to maintain an A in her percentage. Hers is 90.8%. I believe, that is still an A. So Yasmin, it's all up to you. You decide . To remain or to quit as a school prefect. You know best darling...

As for Balqis, her Report Card Day which is called Parents' & Teachers' Day was held last Saturday. Guess where we went instead? Ice Pyramid. Took the elder girls skating & totally forgot about it. Hahaha! Ish... Ish.... Was rather embarrassed when her teacher enquired on Monday morning. Of course I mentioned nothing about taking them skating... hehehe.

Here are the remarks given by her teacher in the report card-

"Balqis proves to be an intelligent student. She is able to adapt to new environment fast. Balqis is also a fast learner in her quiet way. At times, she can be restless & moody. Keep it up all the way, Balqis."

Moody? Hmmm... wonder where that came from ;-) Looking forward to your concert this Saturday!

Yasmin, Wardah & Balqis. Am proud of you girls.... love you all! Mmmmmuah!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yasmin's Story Telling

At such a limited time to prepare (you can read here), Yasmin did tremendously well in her first attempt telling a story in public. I could sense she was nervous... what more when her performance was only after the prize giving ceremony. The audience, especially children were getting restless. At one point I was even afraid that the story telling was canceled & if that did happen the admin will surely get a word or two from Yasmin's mama... ;-)

I finally managed to upload the video which needed some editing as the original size was way too big. My apology for the poor image & the lack of stability... hehehe. I don't know why but my tripod sort of blends together with a corner in our study room... hahaha.



video



video



video



Receiving her prize for being 1st in her class.



A consolation prize for her story telling.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My Picasso In The Making

Friday is quite a hectic day. Apart from them schooling & mengaji in 2 different sessions, Yasmin & Wardah also attend a Mental Arithmetic class in the evening. Since it is like a half an hour journey from home, I very seldom go back after sending them off. I chose to wait for them.

Friday night is also the night I have either my double cheese burger or merely a McChick at the 24hr McD's outlet nearby. My date had always been Balqis (if HB were around she will be the kacau daun laa). But last night I sort of missed her presence at McD's. Why is that so? Because my soon to be 4-year-old girl has now enrolled for an art class.

It had been quite some time that I'd been wanting to register her. She has shown a great interest in colouring which she used to detest. Frankly, HB & I agreed on next year but knowing me the forever anxious mama, I just couldn't wait for another couple of months. Hehehe!

In fact, the art class is very convenient in terms of time & venue. It is in the same building as the elder girls' Mental Arithmetic class. Starts from 8pm, ends at 10pm. Such a perfect arrangement...

However, I did feel worried. What if the 2 hour class would bore Balqis? What if she couldn't get along with the teacher & friends? What if she wanted to go to her sisters, knowing that they are just a class away????.. Good thing HB was around last night to hush me up & drag me away to... where else? McD's ;-)

A quarter to 10pm I rushed to check on my little girl. She was doing marvellous with her work. Even her teacher complimented on her neatness & independence. Talk about independence, I later found out that Balqis didn't even once mention any of us but... there was someone who checked on her. This someone used the reason of being thirsty, remembered that her little sister was just next door & she did bring her tumbler with her.

Any idea who that someone was? On the dot... yes, it was Wardah, who else? It was not because of thirst, neither because of her concern over her sis. She was curious over her sister's new crayons, new bag & new art book. Am I not right Wardah...? But I also knew you looked forward to see Balqis's work too... ;-)

OK, these are the pics I shot. Enjoy them!


Balqis with her new friends


The master piece of the students.


Making new friends


Balqis in action...



With her new teacher



That was so beautiful darling!


The end product


I can't resist sharing this photo. These 2 girls were very excited with my big cam.



Her friend at work.

Since I was already there, I might as well shoot some pics of Yasmin & Wardah. In their Mental Arithmetic class, they use the abacus. They will later do the mental calculation of the abacus in their head. Pretty fast, especially Yasmin.

The gigantic abacus the teacher uses to teach in class



The 2 girls... too bad their friends had gone home.



The girls with their teachers, Alice & Esther.