Monday, December 27, 2010

Never too late to say I love you Mama dearest

Another December baby - my Mama, my World. Happy Birthday Mak Wan.

In my hurried life - managing own home, career and family - I may not have express clearly nor often how much you meant to me. The sacrifices, the love you put in to raise us all throughout the years and continue to do so with my own children. Having my own (children) now, I know truly the virtue and worth of a mother's love. Absolutely priceless.

Although we have our differences in way we view life choices, know that I always value your opinion and advice (though some I chose not to adhere). You know best, but being the stubborn me, I like to wander and see myself where the choice leads too. Some are good, some's never a wrong choice when you learn something along the way. I may not be as close the wonderful mother you have been to me but I sure hope Kya would think the world of me as I of you :-)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ode to a special man - Wan Halim

Born 65 years ago this day, this man holds a special place in my heart. My father, my hero. Also my landscape director (cum gardener), my kids chauffeur and companion, my handyman and everything else a father could possibly be!

He worked tirelessly over the years to make sure we have everything we need. As I remembered, he never fell sick and missed work. His attitude and working ethics was an exemplary that I could only emulate by maybe 50% (talk about those MCs!...but I was sick, really).

In a nutshell, Ayah as I dearly call him, has painted such beautiful colour in my life. His positive attitude, diplomatic and kind nature, down to earth sensibility spilt onto me and in a way shaped my life perspective.

On this day, I wished nothing more but for Allah SWT to bless him with many many more years of good health, happiness with us and most importantly, the very special tidings of place of exceptional nearness to Allah in the Hereafter. Amin.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Just A Prayer

That's the best gift I can give to you, my baby on this special day of yours. A mother's prayer. Praise to Allah the Almighty, you came to us exactly a year ago as a gift from Him. Kaiden Ikliluddyin which former gives the meaning of companion (in Arab) and warrior (in English) whilst the latter is "Mahkota Agama". True to your name, you are my companion day and night, my warrior (especially when it comes to crying your heart out!) and I hope you will uplift your religion and live your days as the humble and diligent servant of Allah (SWT).

The past year with you my love have been nothing short of miracle. I tought I lost you when I was bleeding, even worst than my miscarriage I had before you. But here you are, in my arms healthy and strong. You amazed me with antics and smiles that just blew away all my blues. You are every bit mine (and daddy's) and I love you nuts! What nuts I love about you? Here's some of it:
  • You have the loudest scream and cry compared to your big sis and bro (which drove me up the wall at times!)

  • Your monstrous bites - yes, the time you bit me while you fed on me and I bled... and those times you went around biting people.. you scare the pants out of me with your no mercy bites! Come to think of it, you had your vampire teeth first rather than the middle ones. Guess Mama watched too much of twilight and dreamt of Edward (shh ..don't tell Papa)

  • You called out mamama when you're about 8-9 months. A sweet song to my heart. You make big sis jumped when you clearly uttered "kaakak!"

  • Your development is amazing, turning on your tummy at about 2-3 months, first tooth at 4th month and by the time 8th month- you have full grown 8 teeth! Though you were doing you commando crawl till about 7th month, you're took tottering steps few weeks back and on this day, you're walking on your on own two cutie feet! Soon, you'll be running... but not too soon my darling :-)

  • You're the champion of shortest napper and lightest sleeper in the whole wide world. Oh boy... sleepless nights, I was baby brain for many months. Still now, you hardly sleep like a baby.

  • Our snuggly moments. You're such a big snuggler, you would snuggle and snuggle till you fall asleep. How I love that!

  • You love azan. You would stop whatever you do to listen to azan till finish. It must be the miraculous connection there with Allah (SWT), your Creator

Mama can go on and on how you colour our life this past year. You, your big sister and brother are my jewels. You all make me a better person and I'm so privileged to be your mother. And I thank Allah (SWT) for every minute of it.

Be well my love. Be a good Muslim. Be kind to all, no matter background, race or religion. Be kind to animals. Give back to the society as much as you can.

Happy first birthday Kaiden Ikliluddyn.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Its Big and really really Bad!

The wolf is laughing all the way to the bank by now. Another book sale. The Big Bad Wolf Sale. It's the best sale I've been to. What's not to like, great books at 70-90% discount. I went nuts!

We (mommy and kiddos) were anxiously anticipating this day since we knew about it about a month ago. So the minute... no, the second Kya returned from school today, we jumped into the car and wooshhhh to South City Plaza (I seriously wished we had a magic carpet).

Arrived circa 2p.m. Parking madness. People were coming out with boxes and boxes of books. Some taking own sweet time to load in the books. Some even browsing their books by their car boot, blindly ignoring those awaiting for parking (note to kids:be sensitive to others!). Alas, a parking near the lift. Alhamdulillah.

With kids , I must head to the children's section first. And there we were for an hour plus. With a box full of books and kiddos excited to go back and rummage their loot for the day, there's no way for me to cover the adult section then (note to self:I need to come back for my own... alone!)

Now the queue to the cashier. Another hour. But we didn't mind. With books in the box, we killed time reading. That's the wonder with books. Have book, will travel. And we travelled through time without realising it, we reached the cashier. Our damage? 40 over books at RM250. In my world of books, that's hardly any damage, not even a dent! (note to self again: must come back).
Here's our collection for the day. Can't wait for our read aloud sessions. And shoot, I think we need another billy bookcase!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Billy Bookcase

Another reason to be smiling today. I found out that the IKEA billy bookcase price is reduced to RM169 from RM185! To book lovers, this simple means - new case = lots of new shelves = lots and lots of new books! Yay!
Do you know that to date there's more than 41 million Billy Bookcases sold worldwide? Wow! A simple case.
What does your bookcase say about you? - an article from TIMES about the Billy bookcase and to my wonder, what we choose to display or have on our shelves speaks about personalities. Ye ke? I'm a bit shy to post picture of my bookcases - some are quite organized, some remained untouched for yonks of years (terselit katak mati pon tak tau), and some are just upside down (esp with the kids shelves)!
All in all, I love the sight of my bookcases in my living room, study room and kids room. In fact, the cases are the centrepiece item in my living room, far more valuable than the big tv or a 20k art painting! (errr no, I don't have one).

And here's a pic of my ultimate dream wish to have bookcases!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I'm the supermom!

My day starts as early as 6.00 a.m and ends just after midnight. In between, I juggle the tasks of being a mom, wife, teacher, cleaner and cooker. On lucky days, I get to shower more than 5 minutes! It's a bonus if I get online and check my emails.

It sure is tough being a full time mom without a maid. Still, I never felt so contented before than now when I'm able provide my lovelies the basic necessities with my own bare hands. Sure it was nice to be able to buy them anything when I was earning 5 figures income, but to hear from your son this "Mama, you're a great cook!"... priceless (tho's it was just a mini pizza using jacob crackers!).

To my mama, I truly understand now your pains raising us without maid back then. Thank you loads and no words but only prays that I can offer for all that you've done for us. Then, now and forever. Love you much, Mama.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Mother-Daughter Book Club

I'm over the moon with my latest books. Its for my little girl actually but if I had these books when I was growing up and spent time reading together with my mum, I reckon we would have a somewhat different (closer) relationship than now. Not that we're estranged but I wished we would connect better at some level. And that's what I will do differently with my girl.

I've come to love these books of late when I've taken interest in children literature. My most favorite bookstore on earth - BookXcess - are selling these two lovely book sets at unbelievable RM49.90 each (with 5 books in each set).

Set 1 (reading age 9+) contains Bridge to Terabithia, Ida B, Little Women, Absolutely Normal Chaos, Ella Enchanted.

Set 2 (reading age 10+) contains So B.It, The Luckiest Girl, Sister of the Bride, The Great Gilly Hopkins, The Secret Garden.

This set also comes with a book club kit by Dodson whom started a book club with her daughters and invited some other parents to share and discuss on the books they've read. The results were astounding - it not just any book club, its an avenue they've come to love and grow together. Brilliant! Heemm, that's an idea worth pursuing.

This is such a wonderful opportunity to have bonding moments with my gal through our love of reading together. I'm sure its a journey we both will cherish forever. What more these lovely books have impacted many successful people today and they say "everything I need to know I learned from a children book".

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bibik Oh Bibik

Can we Malaysians survive without our bibiks? Tough but possible with a bit of hair pulling, I suppose. Well, at least that's my story for the past week. And yep, that explains the M.I.A part. Our maid has gone back for good and left this mommy all the pleasures of keeping the house together. Yes, pleasures. My oh my, I can't hardly take a breather (on this note, I salute all housewives and standing ovation to those without maids - my cuz Ica for example).
As much as I appreciate having a maid, but I am relief she's gone. She was good with kids but slacking on houseworks. And to my surprise, a has been carear woman like me actually enjoyed cooking and cleaning though I wished sometimes I have ten pairs of hands! There's just not enough time and yes speaking of time, we need to be tip top on time management or your kids don't get feed nor clean clothes. So who is to say stay at home moms are not good with management skills. In fact I reckon being at home makes one good at some of the critical management skills - people (the art of negotiating, managing expectations and exerting influence to get your kids and even spouse to do what you want them to do) - time (like I said, you have hundred things to do in such a short time, so prioritize! and multi-task and constantly finding the most effective way to do things).
Now back to bibiks. Much debate on this lately. Should we continue to depend on them and should we pay them more? Because the demands of our work, we do need them and when you calculate per hour basis like say if they work effective 12 hours per day and 6 days per week with average RM500 per month = RM1.60 per hour. Wow, value for money, eh? But of course it comes with perks like food and shelter. So we Malaysians are lucky (esp those with super efficient maids) to have access to these blue collar workers. Still, we need to be tacky when to comes to handling our bibik. Can't be too nice and you can't be a slavedriver either. They are human with feelings and thoughts. And when its about raising our kids, we must shoulder that role and responsibility, not bibik's. Our values are ingrained and deep rooted in our kids or we have a society raised by maids!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A different model

From spending hours constructing 3G related business models, now I'm cutting paper and putting together dinosaur models. Fun but I must say it's also a headache as my new project manager is even more demanding than my previous boss! Mr. Kashfy comes up every 10 minutes or so asking "Is it done yet?". Pressure lar mommy!

When I started out from a book, I thought it would be just a task to complete. But as I went along cutting out the pieces and gluing them on, I actually enjoyed every minute of it and I persisted till wee hours to complete all 5 models. And the look on his face when it's done was priceless:-) See we don't need Mastercard to get those priceless joys! Oh yes, the book only cost RM14 at BookXcess. Fabulous! Now at first mention, Kash knows all the dinosaur's model name (which I'm still grasping at times). That's my paleontologist! Bijak, bijak.

Que Sera Sera

What will I be? An art director? That's according to Ms Kya. I always knew she has a knack for it. I, on the other hands, hopeless in arts. If that's her interest, then I will do my best to fuel that interest. Not an accountant. Not a lawyer or a doctor (tho' I still wish for one doctor in the family.. hush,every parent's dream). The point is, to explore every talent they have and harness those potentials within. Unlike deciding on a sole suspection like "Ok, you did very well in account for SPM considering you're self tought, let's be an accountant!"

So, I imagine whilst my son is off on an adventure in search of fossils, my daughter will be busy preparing for her art gallery opening. And here's my darling with her first winning art competition.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Books galore - yummy

I love books. I love sale. So when it's book sale, it's fantabulous and nothing in the world can stop me from going there. So it is. It's Book Xcess 3rd Anniversary Book Sale. So we went and we conquered. Yeay! Here's the loot for the day:

Believe it or not, all this just costs me RM150. Not too bad, eh? Book Xceess sells overun book production (and unbelieveable some are even new titles) at really bargain price. I just discovered the place at Amcorp Mall this year. A gem, indeed.

For mommy - notice below I have wide spread in books selection- from suspense and thriller to light hearted and romance to even cookery! (Siap ada spatula and baking tin). That'll keep me busy (oh yeah as if the kids are not full handed already!)

For my little diva. Note - must have beautylicious book. Her pick, as expected, and mommy tried to slot in a classic as well!

For my little paleontologist. Note - must have dinosaours. And cars too. And dragons.

Also, not forgetting something something for my baby Kaiden!
Here's my loot just the week before at Kinokuniya.
I was planning to get only 2 titles but instead came back with 4! Me and books...hopeless. But then I justified to myself (as I usually do) that these books are important, both to my kids and what I am planning to do with my future. As I firmly believe, when we give the right book to our children at the right time will make a huge impact to their life. Inspire them to have great minds and set them for great purpose in life. That's the best gift ever, apart from our love and care. So read on my child!

Ramadhan - it's a wonderful month.

Yes it is. Alhamdulillah, we're all in pink health to welcome yet another month of Ramadhan. Another chance to purify ourselves through self-restraint and good deeds.

This year, insyallah, my little diva - my first born will complete a month of fasting. Last year she made it with 11 days. Well done my sweetie! I must say, she started earlier than me. I was only fasting at the age of 9, I think. Even then, by 4 p.m I was so weak I couldn't talk. Of course, my older brother helped a lot by taunting and calling out all my favourite food!

It's not just about fasting - I really hope my daughter will understand the true meaning of Ramadhan. And I try not to promise her rewards in return but instead firming her belief that true rewards come from Allah S.W.T. (Note the word "try" because kids being kids, tangible and instant rewards are most gratifying to them). What matters to me now is that she tries her best and embrace the meaning to it. That's enough for now. I know she'll be a good muslimah. Better than me, I hope.

Here's my girl at sahur, eager to bake for breaking fast :-)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Nak Jadi Apa? Part 2

A conversation that took place in the car today between a 5 year old boy and his grandfather.

Abang Chik: Wan, when I'm big, I want to be a paleontologist (with perfect pronunciation ok)
Wan: What will I be?
Abang Chik: Wan jadi atuk jer lar, Wan dah tua...

Image taken from here

Thursday, August 5, 2010

10 blissful years

Yes, we hit 10 years this day 5 August 2010. Who knew these two stubborn and strong characters can end up together and stay together till this day. Well, actually Elly my ozzie days roommate knew. She in fact made this statement " I akan gelak tergolek2 depan pelamin the day you guys bersanding". Well the known fact was we were not the best of friends during our Uni days. We were at each other's throat but a twist of fate, we got hitched! Well, I knew deep down that my other half had a crush on me long before (haha! perasan weh).

What can I say about the past 10 years? Of course, every road has ( in the case of Malaysian roads) potholes! But we're good, despite numerous account of misunderstandings (and loads of miscommunication) and at bitter times, clash of the titans! And lucky us, Allah S.W.T blessed us with 3 charming and challenging kiddos - Kyasatina, Kashfy and Kaiden. Kids, you guys spin our world crazy with your antics and manipulation mastery (I wonder whose genes) - but above everything, you guys are our universe and we love you no matter.

What can I say about the man? Well, orang tua pesan, to know whether your man will make a good husband, look at the way he treats his mother. True indeed. Some girls may find this a turn off, mommy's boy means tug of war with well, dearest mother in law. Lucky me, my MIL is a super duper wonderful mother and credits to her, she raised a fine man.

It's shocking to see how fragile marriages are these days. One can simple ask for divorce because her husband didn't tapau food and another because the wife didn't put sugar in his coffee. Silly but true.

I sure hope we'll have decades of blissful marriage, and may our love grow stronger year on year. Till another decade then...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Nak Jadi Apa?

My son loves anything about dinosaur. So I coached him to say the word paleontologist (hemm somehow Rose Gellar comes into mind) as he kept telling me how he would love to go and dig up fossils. He said the word beautifully when he went up to say this to Wan Halim in the first hour. The next hour:

Mama: Abang chik, tell Mak Wan what you what to be when you grow up.
Kash (proudly): I want to be a Trojan!
Mak Wan: Trojan? Tue kena pergi perang abang chik tau.

Kash gave a stone look and in his mind he probably thought Mak Wan didn't know better. What does fossils got to do with war?

On another note and a bigger lesson in life is to nurture our kids love and interest from the very tender age. No matter if it changes over time, we must encourage what they love to do. I had to learn and unlearn this the hard way. I became a professional accountant simply because I did well in my SPM whilst studying on my own (was in science stream). It was never my passion. I just followed the flow. Scholarship - uni - the bond - employment and as they say, the rest is history.

Now, before I can convince the kids to pursue their dreams and passion, I must first be happy with what I'm doing. So back to the drawing board! In the mean time , here's my little Trojan sound asleep! Till then....

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Turning Point

It wasn't like an over night decision I quit the rat race. I've toyed the idea since lifetime CEO (aka the hubby) was given an opportunity to further study overseas (Plan A). When I tendered, plan A was still a probable GO. Then things changed - too painful to elaborate here - Plan A is a definite NO GO and by that time I have set my foot out of the office. Then my boss's voice rung in my head..."if you ever change your mind"... and immediately another louder voice screaming in my head "NOOOOOOO!". Me rejoining the rat race? No ma'am. I've got to figure out Plan B super fast.

I loved being SAHM but I have other dreams too. Also financially, CEO and I were earning quite comfortable paychecks and when that's cut into half now, painful adjustments are painfully required. No more impulsive spending and entertain. And so far that's a tough feat. Bugger.

We were both putting obscene amount of hours into our work and as much as we enjoyed our financial status then, we figure the kids need our attention especially during the growing up years. I know many out there working parents are doing commendable job juggling family and corporate world. Kuddos! Which ever way, there's no right or wrong. It's only wrong if things are not right for you. And I figured that. The only thing I love about my job is the money.Shoot! It's true what they say, money ain't happiness (well maybe gratifying at times when you get to purchase that lovely Choo or LV).

I'm determined still to make this new phase of our life more fulfilling with better qualitative aspects. And I feel I'm a happier mommy and that's important for my kids. I hope they understand the sacrifice we have to make from monetary status and that's said, this is a chance for our kids (and us too!) to value money and be thankful on what we have now. We may not have the luxurious things in life but our children will never go without and have everything they need. Till then....
My happy campers

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Welcome Aboard

Alas, I'm here after years of thinking on whether or not to start one. Yes, I'm such a laggard. Still, its never to late,right? Now, I have the reason - well not that one should have reason/s to blog, Seinfield is super rich with a show about nothing - to start my own. Blog, like journal is nothing new to me. It's the part making it public to others that I don't quite accustom to. I'm a private person (yep and introvet in nature but extrovert by professional). Privacy is so sacred that I feel I'm thrown off the cliff it it's violated. But I'm stepping out because I'm turning around my life. Hence, the blog title.

I'm 35, blessed with wonderful family and have up till recently a brilliant career. Brilliant but not quite fulfilling. Ask any mother, your child takes the centre stage of your life the minute you see the cute baby fingers and toes. To cut long story short, I finally gave up my corporate heels for comfy crocs (mind me, though crocs have a product line for office wear, I always associate my crocs to casual and freedom). So here I am.

What this blog means to me? As notations on my new course of direction, a fantabulous way to exchange notes with others (hey I need all the free advices I can get!). Also, above all, as an avenue for my loved ones to know me better - my emotions and thoughts - and perhaps, a legacy for my children to understand what their mom was trying to do and achieve. As long as she lives, their interests are the cornerstone of her life.
Wish me luck folks! Till then...

p.s A special tribute to cuz Ica for the crash course 1 hour in blogging :-) Thanks babeh.