Monday, December 29, 2008

My Hijrah

"Hijrah" means migrate. Maal Hijrah is the new year in Islamic calendar. 29th December 2008 is the first day of the Hijriah year 1430 or 1st of Muharram (the first month of the Islamic year). I will not go deeper into the history in fear of misleading or wrong facts. But Hijrah usually mean migrating from one phase of life to another.. well.. kindof if you read the actual meaning from the history. So let's take it from there. It's a new year, a new beginning.

Apparently, this year is definitely a GREAT hijrah for me. It is a great sacrifice on my part to let go what has been with me for the past 15 years. And a great change of life routine altogether. I myself couldn't believe it! But it is real and it's already happening. And to face these changes, I have to make a lot of changes in:-
1) the way I think
2) the way I do things
3) the way I spend my time, money, energy
4) the way I dress... oh yeah.. I fear for this one as I tend to get really sloppy and sluggish if I'm not dressed for office (this is very wrong.. and worrying!)

I've made some researches and get my mental ready for the changes. But being me, not a very well-planned person.. even with all the info I have, it kinda get stuck in my head just for a while. The tendency to just pass by it is just enormous!

So, to actually overcome this, perhaps I need to list down all the things that I need to do, big goals, small goals, deadlines and all the works. I have it all in my head but when it comes to writing it down.. and actually doing it.. it may take ages. That's me allright!

Perhaps.. I should start now. OK. Goal number one : List down all my goals and target by end of this week. Too ambitious? We'll see.

And now.. my hijrah begins ..

Christmas memories

I don't celebrate Christmas as I am a Muslim but we always have special feast on this day simply because it is a public holiday, at my place or any other relative's house. Furthermore, it'll be too packed everywhere you go! I also hold this day as special as it is the day that we moved into our own house 6 years ago. I also looked forward to this day as I would get re-acquainted with those long lost friends who celebrate Christmas. I have many many happy memories of Christmas that I will not bore you with but will keep close it to my heart. I've had cold white Christmas, rainy Christmas as well very hot ones.

This year we had roast chicken, ratatouille (spell? it's a type of salad), shepherd's pie, as well as custard pudding and bubur kacang for dessert. The kids had fun at the pool. It was really great! It was held at my niece's apartment. Last year we had it at my sister's place. Perhaps next year I could have a bbq at my place!

The boys had their own first Christmas party at our porch on our wooden swing two days after Xmas. A boy named Remy whom they just befriended at the early school holidays brought "the party" to our home. He had two bottles of soda (complete with plastic cups!) and a container of Christmas cookies to be shared with his friends. This, I thought is SO sweet. Well, he could have invited his friends over to his house but instead he carried all those to his friend's house. My kids were very excited about it. We then took out some fried chicken (leftover from lunch) and some freshly homemade steamed chocolate cake. There are 6 8-10 year old boys.. and they finished up everything! I made sure the boys said thank you to Remy and I personally thanked him and wished him and his family Merry Xmas.
I sure hoped my boys learned the spirits of muhibbah!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Top of the world

I'm now officially a stay-at-home mom. This morning I walked my last steps out of the office. Said good-byes to whoever in the office (very few of them since they are mostly on leave), took the last few of my belongings and returned my laptop. Trying to paint the last moments in my head with good final pictures. A bit sad to leave the familiar faces, to face a new beginning.

But as I made my exit, I felt relieved, free, happy.. and a little bit nervous. But the sense of freedom buried my nervousness.

Went to a malll nearby the office to get something with a smile on my face and light shoulder. Had lunch with the kids at home. Just had my afternoon nap with my baby (well .. still a baby at 2.5 years old) and will bring him out for a walk after this. What a nice afternoon to start with.

I'm feeling on top of the world!

Monday, December 22, 2008

THE day is coming!

The time is coming nearer. Too near. I'm busy packing my things, backing up personal files, contacting the ever efficient HR for some last minute clearence, attending farewell lunches and of course thinking and thinking of what it would be like. I'm getting all the questions from friends and colleuges of my plans after THE day. Questions that I myself not sure how to answer. I've got things in my mind but very lack of confidence on whether it will work. I really am not focused!

One minute, I'm all for it.. feel so sure that it would work, the next minute I feel so scared. What if the worst happened?

Take a deep breathe.. focus.. take one thing at a time. This is the time I should study again all the tips and guides I received in my mailbox and take action.

Breathe in.. breathe out...!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Of language and communications

I went to the boys's school this morning to buy their workbook and exercise books. In Year 5 list of books for Irsyad, there's this optional revision set of books that you can buy. I was interested to buy at first until I see the contents. The Science and Math books which are in English have translation after every para and every question! I checked every page to be sure. Of course, I decided not to purchase the set. How are they going to learn in English if they have translation all the way? It will only confuse them.

While the English/Malay medium for Math and Science debate is still hot in the air, and even long before that, I have taken my stand. I'm for the English medium. I believe kids should be exposed to another language other than their mother tounge. It's essential since we live an a multicultural society and it would be a preparation for them to go global. There's nothing wrong learning. It does not make you less Malay/ Chinese/ Indian if you learn another language. And it doesn't mean that you are abondoning your mother tongue! It is best to teach a language at an early learning stage while their grasp of the language is still at a basic level. So their ability to absorb is better.

So I strongly believe teaching Math and Science in English one great way for them to learn the English language. Not necessarily to master it. After all, once they got to colege, most of the resources will be in English, even in local colleges. And most of the materials they search on the net will be in English. It will make a vast different once they got out of school.

Some narrow minded people think that learning/ mastering English makes you another person altogether, straying you away from your own people. What piece of crap! And there's also another group who thinks so highly of themselves just because they can only speak English and stuttered in their own mother tongue. And these I would call morons!

There's also another point that we should look into while talking about language. Instead of emphasizing just the language, what they should look into is communication itself. They should introduce communications subject to teach kids how to communicate, not just speak or being spoken to. They should be taught public speaking to boost their confidence, to be brave enough to speak up and thus to be able to interact to other people.

There're a lot of things that we have to do to improve the language and communication skills of our kids. In school, there should be a better curriculum than it has now, to emphasize more on the development of the chidlren in all aspects.. not just passing the academic subject! At home, parents have to be more involved with their children, communicate with them not simply instruct them.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Beach break in December

Geez! It seemed to be ages since I last wrote an entry. It's been quite a busy 2 weeks with work and the holiday season! And it was wet holiday season too. I was lucky to head north where the weather was surprisingly beautiful, sunny but not so hot! The kids had a blast at the beach and the swimming pool. It was even merrier when a family friend from Perak joined us on the second day.

Holidaying with kids has its tests! Tests of your patience to entertain their "wants", test of your energy and stamina level because they have all the energy and stamina in the world to jump and dive into the pool and move to the beach the very next minute. By the this time, you know how unfit you are to go back and forth from the pool to the beach! They have the appetite too, so you must always make sure food/ titbits/ snacks are always around. In terms of clothings, all you need is swimming/ beach gear! Extras would be nice if you plan to go out from the hotel and venture other things in town or have nice dinner with friends.

I notice our trends of holidaying have started to change since there was no baby in the house. Now we can easily include outdoor activities such as the beach or maybe jungle trekking next. Not that we cannot do all these if there's a baby around, but being me, a very particular mom ;}, I would avoid bringing baby out under the sun especially the beach! Yeap.. me very conservative one! I know one great lady who went up to Mount Kinabalu with a six-month old baby on her back. No thank you, not me.

Back to our holiday, my dream holiday sort of coming near. OK so this is what I really want to do with the kids: camping at the beach with campfire and all. No luxury of a hotel room. Or camping in the jungle near a waterfall. It would be perfect! The idea is, the get the kids (and perhaps daddy too!) to love the nature, appreciating God's creation. I have succeeded to make them love the beach (I think!) since they are no longer afraid of the splash of the tiny little waves (let's introduce them to the "safe" beach first!). Except for little Omar who at first so scared to even step on the sand... he only step down after nearly one hour clinging on daddy! Must go to the beach more often. Will wait for Omar to turn at least 5 or 6.. then the camping trip will be planned ...

Now the kids are back to the modern world... back to computer games, PSP and PS2!! And I was down for two days with low blood pressure... too stressed and tired perhaps!! I wish we can stay longer and really get them hooked to the nature. Perhaps some other time, longer time spent at the beach. And I will make sure to be fit first before I'm out there with them!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Kids playtime vs success?

I have a new role this school holidays. I supervise kids in my neighborhood during their playtime! OK, call me paranoia (spell??) or overprotective parent, but hey, in this day and age somebody gotta watch them. Gone were the days kids can freely roam the kampung or taman without giving a hoot about the preying eyes of the criminals. They no longer have the freedom. Criminal intentions are lurking everywhere.
The funny thing is, and rather ironic, I am the only parent around. I wonder whatever happens to other kids parents? There are at least 8-10 of them including my 2 boys, going around on their bikes or playing football or simply gathering around the playground. I make sure I know who are they, where they live, who their parents are, which school they go to, their age. By now I know them by face if not remembereing their names. These boys mostly have working parents, of whom are not back yet from work at 6pm (unlike me who will try my best to reach home by 6pm). But I also know that a few of them whose parents are stay-at-home mom or teachers. Really, I have never seen any other mom other than me walking around the neigborhood. Of course there are maids bringing some toddlers at the playground. There are also some girls of the boys's age playing at the playground, without any supervision. True, they are big enough to be supervised, but .. still!

On the days that I'm really tired, I hate this new role. Simply bcos I have to walk around the whole taman pushing Omar in his stroller, and holding Syasya's hands. But at the same time, it is good walking exercise for me. But many many times, I question myself? Why am I the only parent here? Aren't they worried about their kids? Do they know where their kids are? Who they are with?

Why do I allow them to play outside in the first place? I could just say, just stay in the house. But I was thinking, hey the kids do need to play! Play is important for their physical and mental development. I don't want them to be cooped up in the house watching TV and playing computer games. It its so unhealthy! At the same time, somebody needs to watch them. I for one, will not take any risk of losing them to anything or anybody.

There's a good article in the STAR today which emphasize the importance of play in a child.. read here :

There's also a good view in the Sun today on how a parents involvement in a child's activity that can shape the child's success in the future - "Parents must bite the bullet". The writer cited Nichol David as an example. Her parents spent a lot time with her at the court, the gym and any training sessions. And look at where she is now. The point the writer is trying to make is, don't expect your child to be a footballer if you just drop him off at the football clinic or at any game and pick them up later without actually being there to support them. To ensure their success, you must support them in their activities, in any of their hobbies, not just academically. We have to shape, otherwise they may turn out to be what they want to be or what you want them to be.

So after all, I am in the right track. I try as much to be there for them. And I hope my kids will be successful in their lives (this is subjective!) with my little (if not fully) supervision.

Next step, perhaps I should watch their favorite TV programs as well? Ultraman, Digimon, the nonsense but most favored Hagemaru? Oh no...!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Yoga Uproar

I feel compelled to write about this after reading and hearing many many comments about the new fatwa (on hold at this very moment) and after being asked what do I think about it.

What is a fatwa? A quick check on Wikipedia:

A fatwā (Arabic: فتوى‎; plural fatāwā Arabic: فتاوى‎), in the Islamic faith is a religious opinion on Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar

How does it work? Again, according to Wikipedia:
According to the usul al-fiqh (principles of jurisprudence), the fatwa must meet the following conditions in order to be valid:
** The fatwa is in line with relevant legal proofs, deduced from Qur'anic verses and hadiths; provided the ahadith was not later abrogated by
**It is issued by a person (or a board) having due knowledge and sincerity of heart;
**It is free from individual opportunism, and not depending on political servitude;
**It is adequate with the needs of the contemporary world.

What is Yoga?
Yoga (Sanskrit: योग, IAST: yóga, IPA: [joːgə]) refers to traditional physical and mental disciplines originating in India; to the goal achieved by those disciplines; and to one of the six orthodox (āstika) schools of Hindu philosophy.[1][2]

The definition of Yoga is rather elaborate but all pointing towards Hinduism.

I am not a Yogi (a person who practise Yoga). I was... I took the class for a few months then I stopped. Nothing to do with religion or faith, but merely because the class always ended way after the schedule making me late to pick up my son from school. My experience in Yoga - it does have some mantra that you have to utter while doing it but to me it's a matter of between you and God. Whether you really mean it or not. Then again when I was doing it, I did feel a little uncomfortable to be saying those mantras! Even though it may only mean the positions of your body.

But the real question here is.. why this sudden fatwa came about? It has been practised in Malaysia for so so long. Did people just realised this? Or did some pious person joined Yoga and suddenly thought .. oopss.. maybe I should bring this up and save all the muslims from being deviants? I respect the decision, but why just Yoga? How about all other acts than can deviate Muslims from their faith? From my readings and discussions on this, this new fatwa has created a lot of confusion among the non-Muslims who lacks the knowlegde about the religion.

To me .. Islam is simple. You follow the Quran. What is being said in the Quran is the truth to the Muslims. You should stop doing whatever that would stray you away from your faith, and you should not do whatever that is haram as stated in the Quran. Same as Yoga, if you think it deviates from your faith then it IS haram. But do we need a fatwa on it? It's the same like zina (pre-marital sex), it clearly HARAM, but is there a fatwa? How about tomboy and lesbian, why need fatwa when the Quran clearly said it's a BIG no no? And there's aurat, how come there's no fatwa saying that not covering your aurat is Haram when it is clearly so. How about those who goes clubbing, drinking and socialising between men and women who are not muhrim? I can go on with my list of things that should be fatwa-ed if they can start having a fatwa on one.

It's the inconsistencies that people are making noise of. You ban one thing and yet others you close one eye. Yoga is one of it, and some people think it's harmless. The same as when they say Malaysia is an Islamic country, I'd say.. I don't think so. There are too many un-islamic things that are allowed in this country. Why bother announcing it Islamic in the first place?

I hope the people are smart enough to decide on this. A muslim, not an orthodox Muslim nor liberal Muslim or whatever Muslim you may want to call yourself, is a Muslim, you believe only One God, and there's only One Quran. None other.

I'm not trying to be the subject matter expert but just stating my views. Please correct me if I am wrong about the fatwas again!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Oh please help..

My hands are so itchy to tap the keyboard, my head is brimming with things to write, and my heart is screaming that I need to let go! It's like an suppressed thing in your body wanting to go out and yet it just stayed there. Heheh! It's just an entry in a blog.. what the heck. I just want to write... let go of what's in my head and my heart but I have neither the time nor the resources to do it.

I'm loaded with office work that I can no longer write an entry during breaks. Eheh.. I know I'm not supposed to write an entry during office hours! And at home it's another story altogether. I'm fighting to use the computer with Irsyad who now spends his holidays playing on-line games with his friends!! I can't believe it.. ! He now knows how to chat using YM. He's in front of the PC the minute he got home from his agama school in the morning. The PC will be on until bedtime. The rest of his siblings can only stand AROUND him watching him play. And this is only coming to the SECOND week of the school holidays! Eussuv and Syasya were also not happy at all with because they couldn't get their hands on the computer without Irsyad screaming NO at them.. and they couldn't get Irsyad to play with them on whatever off-line games (like skipping, cards, or simply their usual "siblings" concert that they sometimes have!). And Mommy also.. at the same time, is having a rather "mild heart attack" looking at this situation. But thanks to Daddy, starting this week, they will have a roster of who can use the computer at what time. BUT.. Mommy's name is not included in the roster! Wuahhhhahah..

I need my router back!!! Gone were the days that I can sit quietly tapping away my laptop while the kids asleep. I lost the router to the lightning and it never regained conciousness nor did I make any inititative to replace it.. perhaps this is the time..

And this is one entry of no substance... just purely heart pouring..

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Facing the music

The more I think about it, the surer I get of my decision to stay at home. Even though I'm getting some confusing, scary thoughts about it.

These are the things making me glad of my decision:
1) Office workload and office politics getting worse than usual. Dissatisfaction everywhere. "Injustice" everywhere...
2) Kids wanting more and more of my attention.
3) The lesser time I have for myself!
4) My maid is getting more and more efficient as though the house is hers.. and I become lazier to do anything in the house
5) The frequent time off I need to take from work due to trips to the pedic or trips to schools..

But there are also things that make me go hmmmmmm ..maybe I should reconsider?
1) My indecisiveness and ficklemindedness (if there's such word) over what to do after I "retire"... surely I can't sit pretty and do nothing.. surely I got bored!
2) The lilttle patience I have with the kids..
3) Some friends asking me "are you sure you want to do this?" ... errrr...
4) The financial hiccup that is sure to come.. make do with whatever we have? Sure.. but how about shortage?

Both list can go on. But in my heart.. how scary I got, how not sure I am .. I am very sure that I want to go through it. I'm quite determined to at least try. And I really really hope, it will work out eventually. The biggest hurdle and worry will be the financial part, but hey.. who doesn't have financial problems?? There must be a way to resolve it if you play the cards right.

I pray hard for this to go well. With all the support I could get.. I will face the music.. dancing!

Friday, November 14, 2008


I'm feeling a bit nostalgic today. Since last nite actually.

I'm driving back to my hometown tomorrow with the kids with an extra helping hand, my nephew A. And this nostalgic feeling is because of A. I looked after him for a while when he was one year old after the passing of his young mom due a tragic incident. He was in there too but his life was spared. He is a healthy and, rather cheeky, 15 year old boy now. My very first "son"!

I still have the "soft-spot" for him these days. Never forget his birthdays and any other important days of his life. From a young cute boy, and very much pitied-for for the loss of his mom, he has grown to young handsome man. And tomorow, he's gonna be my co-pilot and entertain the kids while I drive! How time flies!

Semoga Allah mencucuri roh A's mom. Amin.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

GP vs Pedic

GP = General Practitioner
Pedic = Pediatrician

Having 4 kids, among other zillion things, also meant numerous numerous trips to the clinics and hospitals. Specialists and non-specialists. Some short wait and some long wait. All these experiences have made me sometimes acted through instinct on which doctor should I visit, or which clinic and doctor should I go to or ban! I now have my own favorite doctors. I know the prescriptions by name, I sometimes prescribe them on my own.. based on experience and some research on the internet. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. But of course I don't go overboard! Like I never prescribe antibiotics for them like some mothers would!

Most of the time, I would bring the kids to a pediatrician if they are below one year old. Simply because I think a pedic treats a child better than a GP. They handle the kids better since they are trained to do so I guess. And also they explain better. But of course I have met a mean pedic who would glare at babies and prescribed the strongest dose of medication! But most of the pedic I met are nice ones. There are also nice and experienced GP who's had many kids as patients.. but I am still comfortable with a pedic.

There's this one GP who scolded me because he couldn't handle a crying baby Irsyad, "you see, how can I check him like this?" he said with an angry tone towards me. How am I supposed to know.. you are the doctor!

And there's this lady doctor who raised her eyebrow and shook her head when I told her Eussuv was still breast-fed at the age of 2 (at that time) and said "don't you think he's too old already to be breastfed?" .. and that came from a lady doctor who's supposed to support breastfeeding! And by the way, she's a gynae operating a GP clinic. For this one, it's not about being a GP or a pedic, but being a doctor itself. Aren't you supposed to be supportive?

I try to stick to only one pedic and one GP these days. Just to make sure they have our health history. Since they are 4 of them, I would try my trusted GP first. Then if their sickness prolong then only I bring them to the pedic. Most of the time, the pedic's prescriptions works better, not necessarily faster. Of course a GP would be a cheaper choice.. but who wants to compromise a child's health? While I still can afford it! I pray hard all of them will stay healthy and there will not be the day when I have to compromise their health to $$$$!

Not trying to generalise doctors.. just telling my stories!

Ear Infection

Ear infection is something common among children, and even sometimes adults. But not all children will get it. And I think some kids are more prone to it as compared to others. I will write this based on my own experience.. not as a doctor as I'm definitely not one.

The symptoms are just high fever and ear-ache. This is easier detected if your child can explain where the pain is. But for babies or toddlers who can barely speak, you can suspect through the high fever and a non-stop screaming and wailing! From the pediatrician's explaination, this infection is very very painful for kids. Thus the screaming and wailing.

The treatment for the fever and pain is simple, paracetamol or any pain killers for kids. But for the infection, probably antibiotics as prescribed by your pediatrician. Though I read in one website about ear infection which says antibiotics is not always required for it, believe me.. the doctor always prescribed one.

I had to face a few rounds of ear infection with my kids. Irsyad had one when he was three.. he had high fever and was screaming in pain. Being first time mother, I had no idea what to do except to bring him to an emergency at the wee hour of the morning. Only to be told he had ear infection. The doctor inserted "the bullet" into his anus.. and prescribed some antibiotics. He was OK the very next day.

Eussuv had it worst at 2 years old. His fever was really high that he was babbling nonsense. I panicked.. brought him to an emergency and this time at a Government hospital because it was a Sunday nite and that was the nearest hospital. They admitted him.. stayed there for 3 nites with very little improvement on his fever. Only the fourth day they found out that it was JUST ear infection. My usual pediatrician could have detected it in seconds!!! Not to say anything about government hospitals, but really... 3-4 days to detect an ear infection??

Eussuv had another round of the infection just recently at the age of 8! So I was wrong to think that it could only happened to babies and toddlers. I suspected it could be ear infection when he complained of ear pain just before he went to sleep and followed by fever the very next day. Brought him to a GP and this is the exact words of the GP - "Ear infection is very dangerous. It's in the middle ear. Rather close to the brain. There's only one thin line separating it from the brain. So we have to be very careful. We don't want to the infection goes to the brain.. you know what it means!".. Boy, was I scared!! And for that he gave me one "good" antibiotic (his words again.. GOOD ANTIBIOTIC). We've had this antibiotic before for other infection, you only take it once a day for three days. So I was satisfied.
But Eussuv did not recover for the next three days. He was tired, sleepy, no apetite and still feverish. So I had to bring him to our usual pediatrician. His ear infection is still there. I told the doctor that he already finished a round of antibiotic (I mentioned the name of this GOOD antibiotic). And guess what the doctor said. "Oh that antibiotic is not suitable for ear infection.." HAH" What can I say.. we learn something new everyday? He is fully recovered after a few days. I hope he won't get infected again.

Oh.. and what's the cause of the infection? Both doctors said it's due to a backflow of cold into your ears. When you blow your nose too hard, the mucus goes into the ears and stay here, thus causing the bacteria to develop. So .. next time you or your kids have cold, don't blow too hard.

I hope Syasya and Omar will not experience the pain of ear infection. It will be painful for them.. and sleepless nites for me!!

You can read more, official information on Ear infection here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Holiday for kids... not so holiday for mom

Exams are over. The year end school holiday is here. As much as I'm glad school is over, I wish I'm at home to enjoy the holidays with them. I would have a lot of plans for them if I'm not working.
-I would balik kampung and stay there for a week..
-I would send them for any seminars or owrkshop for kids..
-I would simply stay at home and cook for them.. and watch over them..
-They could play outside since Mummy is at home (no one is allowed outside the gate if Mummy is not at home!)
-I would go out for a movie or simply lepak at the mall (really??) ..
-Go cycling in the park..

Oh how nice to dream...
Perhaps next year?

While the holiday is really here.. the auditors will be here as well.. in my office.. thus.. no time off, no leave for the next two weeks. Patience.. patience.. this is one last one! 7 more weeks to go. Will make it up the next school holidays where I'll be free free free... (I really do pray so!)

Have a good school break everybody!!

Of Syasya and Adam

Syasya and Adam are best of friends. They first met at Eussuv's birthday party late 2007. Adam is the little brother of Alif, Eussuv's good friend from his agama school. Alif came to the birthday party with his family including parents, and two little brothers, Adam and Aiman. Aiman is the same age as Omar. From then onwards, we become family friends. The family of 3 boys is such a lovely, well-mannered family with a beautiful and soft spoken lady of the house.
OK back to Syasya and Adam, they hit it off instantly when they first met. Adam is rather a shy boy but seemed to be very friendly towards Syasya. In January 2008 they went to the same pre-school. This is where the friendship develop. Syasya was a bit apprehensive at first going to a new school and meeting new people. But with Adam around, she adapted quite well. Eventually, they became inseparable! Syasya will not sit with anybody else but Adam, and vice versa. For any activities in the class, the teacher had to pair them together.. otherwise, one will not move! They do have other friends, but they will still be around each other. They are like a support pillar to each other. When either one is absent, they will call each other to ask why.. and say.. "you must come to school tomorrow ok..." Cute huh!

And.. here they are. Looking very playful.. like true friends.. I hope they will remain friends for a long time. I hope they will remember each other when they grow up.. And I hope they will value their friendship just as I value mine...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


How do one control his/her anger?
How do one de-stress?
How do one has so much patience?

If there's no anger, no stress and lots of patience, the world would be a perfect world to live in...
There'd be no violence, no crime, lots of love...

Then again ... life will be so dull.. no ups and downs..

The beauty of life is in its colors.. white, black or grey.. they are still colors but adding blue, green, purple and red will make it perfect!

40 tips for a better life

I decided to cut and paste these tips which I got in my mailbox some time ago. To be shared with my fellow bloggers as well as readers. Take note: these are only tips.. you might have more, and you may not agree with some..

Here they are:

1. Take a 10-30 minutes walk every day. And while you walk, smile.
2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
3. Sleep for 7 hours.
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
5. Play more games..
6. Read more books than you did in 2007.
7. Make time to practice meditation, yoga, and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.
8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
9. Dream more while you are awake.
10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
11. Drink plenty of water.
12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
13. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
14. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
15. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
16. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
17. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
18. Smile and laugh more.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
22. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
23. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about. Don't compare your partner with others.
24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
25. Forgive everyone for everything.
26. What other people think of you is none of your business.
27. GOD ! heals everything.
28. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
29. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
30. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
31. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
32. The best is yet to come.
33. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
34. Do the right thing!
35. Call your family often.
36. Your inner most is always happy. So be happy.
37. Each day give something good to others.

38. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
39. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
40. Share these tips with everyone you care about.

I would also like to add some:
41. Cherish the moment.. not the past nor the future
42. Love unconditionally

Live life the way they are. You are in charge of your own life, emotional and physical being!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My growing up boy

Irsyad turned 10 last July. How time flies! I still remembered his face the first moment I saw him fresh from my tummy. And now he is 10. He has turned out to be such a wonderful boy though having bouts of tantrum (yeap still!). Instead of still being "my baby", he has become an individual on his own, having his own needs and wants.. no longer needing his mommy around. It's rather sad.

Hey.. wait a minute.. he's only 10! How come I have all this feeling? Of course he still needs mommy around! Perhaps he has changed so much this year that makes me feel this way. These are the obvious change:

1) Refuse to wear any cartoon character t-shirts or PJs. No more Superman or Ultraman. Would only wear those abstract t-shirt or with "cool" words on it.. like "Quicksilver" or "BAM", "GAP".. or cool phrases like "My life rules..." or the likes.
2) Loves jeans and t-shirt for outing.. no more slack.. (slack is considered "nerdy"!).. he hated jeans last year and wud only wear slack! Short shorts is a big no no except for Bermudas
3) Shirt and pants.. must match in colors.. has become very color coordinated!
4) Started chatting on YM with friends.. and wud invte all friend to be on YM. This... is a bit scary, I must always be watching
5) Search for real songs (like Letto) on YouTube instead of Ultraman, Ben10 or Digimon
6) Think Std 2 kids are small KIDs!!
7) Stay up late for movies or simply YM.. and wake up late.. (this is a no no really.. the latest I allow is 10am)
8) Cannot live without his handphone!

And the list can go on and on!

I did not really notice this as I treat them all the same.. my babies. But with all these changes, I have to treat him differently. One is because to ensure that he understands that I understand him, thus he will not stray away from me as his MOM and start seeking for his friends' advice instead! I have to be his friend as well! Two, because to let him grow and develop as a "good" teenager with our guidance. To guide him to face the cruel world outside. Perhaps he's not quite there yet but a strong foundation shouldbe instilled from now on.

There are too many social ills out there involving youth these days and it really scares me. I can only guide my children to some point of their life, after that their lives is in their own hands. Without a strong foundation of faith, good values and partly education, they can easily get strayed away.

Having said that, I believe I myself must change my parenting style to suit the age. We have to behave accordingly to their age as well. Treat them as an individual.. no longer the baby we carry in our arms.. but rather the one we guide with our hands and heart.

I hope I will be the "abled" parent to do this... now for Irsyad and later for the rest of his siblings. Nevertheless, no matter how old they are.. they are still my "babies" in my heart!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Imaginery friends

In the early 90s, (when I single.. young and vibrant!!) I watched this movie featuring my favorite (though a shortie) hero.. Robert Downey Jr. He was an adult with 4 imaginery friends who followed him from his childhood. Can't remember the title of the movie. But at that time I thought.. hmmm .. imaginery friends.. crap! I don't remember having any. Must be another American syndrome!

But when I have kids... oh la la.. believe it or not.. EACH of them have their own favorite "friend". I was kinda scared then thinking that my first-born was actually seeing things... but sharing this with my sisters who already had kids at the time, I was surprised to know that having imaginery friend is a normal thing.

This imaginery friend(s) would have name(s), they would play together, talk to each other (though you can only hear your kid talking).. they would have requests.. you will have to prepare food for them, or bathe them or do whatever you do to your kids. It's kind of fun. It's pretty safe (I guess) to do this as long as you know how to draw the line. I "entertain" all my kids imaginery friends as I believe it's good for their creative imagination, communication, learning and social skills. Sounds weird huh..

I can't remember the two older boys' friends name as it was quite some time ago. But Syasya's was "KOFU" (beats me how this came about).. she had it for quite some time at 3yrs old. KOFU somehow dissapear as she turned 4. She said she left KOFU behind at Jeddah airport on the way back from our trip there. Poor KOFU.

Omar has just started having his "friends" some time this week. Quite a number of them by the name of "oh-oh, ah-ah, chi-chi, aeh-aeh" .. the list can go on whenever he likes. How do I know these friends? Bcos if I ask him to do something (i.e eat or sleep) then he would ask if all of these friends are doing the same thing! Cute huh!

Here's a good article :
Another one :

Monday, October 20, 2008

I wish...

It's Monday AGAIN!

How I wish it's Friday!
How I wish I can just stay at home and read a good novel or watch a good movie.. (why did I agree to stay on in the office in the first place? BADDDD decision!)
How I wish I have more time to spend leisurely.. (not stressed!)
How I wish the kids can study on their own for their exam next week!

And how I wish my other half is here to share my burden!! Wuaaaaaaa!

Friday, October 17, 2008

THE Hari Raya

Since we are still in Syawal, perhaps I would write something about it.

We had our raya this year in my hometown. Something I always look forward to now. Though not very "meriah" this year as only me and my elder brother with grown up kids and another single brother and sister at home. IMHO, raya would only be meriah if there are kids and kids, marching around the house.

Raya has been better when I have my kids.. ever since I am a mother. Since I label raya=kids.. then of course I feel that way. Even though raya is a religious celebration, to me as a person, raya was rather meaningless since 1992 (can't remember the Hijriah year then!). My mother passed away on the last day of Ramadhan 1992. That year onwards, there was no actual raya for me. I don't remember hearing any takbir nor having the raya dishes and biscuits that year. Raya 1992 was alomost non-existent. All I remember was reciting quran for her, preparing her for burial. This was all on the eve and the morning of Hari Raya. There were solat raya as well as solat jenazah. My house was full of people paying their last respect to my Mom, not visiting for Hari Raya. Most of my relatives and cousins came back for hari raya and that year they came to my house with tears. I spent the last two weeks of her life with her. With no regrets of missing 2 weeks of Spring classes. But I was a zombie for the rest of Syawal. I don't remember having any celebration even back on campus but one kenduri tahlil arranged by one of the PhD students who happened to be my second cousin.

For the next few years after that, I did not look forward to Hari Raya. Especially having to go back to my hometown.. the video of raya 1992 kept playing in my head. Raya 1995, my sisters and I decided to celebrate Raya elsewhere. We went to Jakarta.. for holidays!

I guess, over the years, after I got married and have kids, the memories slow down. Of course it's still there, it's not as strong as before. I kind of get over it. Though it still bring tears to my eyes whenever I think about it. And the radio never fail to bring the memory up! Every ramadhan, without fail, there'll be a segment in the radio asking callers to call in and relate their sad stories in ramadhan!! I was ever tempted to call but never did so because I would cry even before I made the call.

So.. that was THE Hari Raya. These days, I made efforts to make raya a happy one for my kids. The usual thingy of having new clothes and such. And this year the learnt the meaning of "counting" their duti raya. And keep asking for more! That's the meaning of raya for kids these days!! The only happy thing that I cannot create for my kids.. to kiss their grandparents hands on Hari Raya as when we got married, both my parents and my hubby's parents had passed on!

Whatever you are feeling on Hari Raya, I wish you all a blessed Hari Raya. Hope it was and will be a good one.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


If this blog can talk, I'm sure he felt abondoned! I have no time nor the passion to write for the past one month. Blame it on the festive season and the office workload that I have!

But I've been doing some blogging in my head.. really! These are what I wanted to talk about but never get around to sit down and write:
1) The famous hari raya (0f course)
2) My extended "retirement" .. duhhh!
3) Hand Foot and Mouth (something the kids infected with just before puasa)
4) Ear infection (something Eussuv is prone to since he was a baby and having it at this very moment - he has 4 days of MC this week)
5) The growing up boy - this is rather a sentimental feeling of a mother!

And really.. there are other tons of things that I can write about but never get around to do it.. (excuses.. excuses!)

Oh well... perhaps some day!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Final countdown postponed!

Have you ever been in a situation when you feel like you were riding so high and suddenly you just crushed down, free fall! That's what I'm feeling now! Well it's kinda expected but at the same time I was hoping I would continue the ride. Well... I have a choice. But perhaps it was meant to be that way.

I'm rambling like nobody's business. Then again.. it is nobody's business. I AM writing MY own blog anyways!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The unfortunate ones

I wrote this last week but never get around to publish it until now. Better late than never!

A three year-old boy fell into a big pot of boiling "gulai" yesterday. 50% of his body was scalded. Even the TV footage was dimmed as to hide the boy's pain (I guess!) This boy was playing alone while the parents were busy preparing dishes to be sold at the Ramadhan bazaar, including the gulai kawah. He was lucky to have survived!

On the same day, another boy lost 4 of his fingers while helping his father with the sugar cane machine to produce the sugar cane juice to be sold.

This is the price these boys have to pay to "help" their parents to earn a living. But how about their own future? What will become of them?

I shuddered thinking of the pain the boys have to go through. How did the parents feel? Guilty? I'm not trying to blame the parents but at least, they have to think in the best interest of their children. They shouldn't expose the children to the high risks of being hurt and eventually affecting the children's future. I guess they have no choice.. but still.. !

And this.. is just the tips of an iceberg. I'm sure there are many more out there having the same fate or worse!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Countdown begins ..

10 more working days and counting...

I really feel like dancing.. yeap.. in the rain.. but of course I hope it will not rain forever. I hope for lots of sun too...

Words cannot describe how I feel. A mixture of happiness, sadness, anxious, nervous.. everything.

InsyaAllah things will be well... in many ways.. in any ways!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Fasting Eussuv

Ramadhan is here again. Alhamdulillah. I guess every parent would face a tough time teaching the kids to fast, well at least in the beginning. Same here!

Didn't have so much problem with Irsyad (as usual).. as it comes naturally to him. At 6 years-old he managed 15 days.. could have completed 20days but he got chicken pox on the last week.

Eussuv on the other hand, had only 1 day last year - he was 7 then. This year, I am quite determined that he must at least try - a few days. I did not expect much becos I don't want to force him. But I have reminded him many many times that this year he must be strong and try to fast as many days as he could.

So, this is how it went for the past 3 days:

Day 1: Happily bangun sahur and eat rice, slowly. Kept himself busy with TV, PS2 and computer games during the day.. Mummy kept asking "Eussuv, are u OK?". And he confidently smiled and said "I'm OK!". Fine. The day before the boys have discussed that they wanted to go play football at the playground as usual. I said, we'll see first, surely you'll be too tired to play, it's the first day of fasting!".. Well, I was wrong! Both of them went off to play football! Eussuv was very happy and playful as usual. No complaint at all. I was VERY surprised. By the time they got back from the playground, it was already close to 7pm. I could see Eussuv's tired face. But still no complain. He managed to complete it till the end with no complaint, no whining!! Well done! By 8:30pm, he's already deep asleep.. what a day for him..

Day 2: School day. Sahur with rice, mummy suap.. ! Reached home from school at 6pm. looked at the watch and said .. "lambatnya!! Baru pukul 6???" .. and keep saying that until berbuka. He had 4 different types of cold drinks in front of him (buat sendiri!!) ..and keep stirring it while watching the clock! He completed day 2.

Day 3: Another school day. Looking more energetic. Bought himself cold drinks from a stall near his schook while waiting for the van. Completed day 3. Down by 8:30pm.

So.. it was OK after all. I'm glad I did not force him last year and it seemed to be quite natural to him this year. Perhaps he's a bit babyish.. perhaps his maturity comes later as compared to Abang.

We really should not underestimate our kids. Though I know I should also not compare Irsyad and Eussuv, but when you have a good benchmark to start with, you cannot help but compare. By now, I really understood that they are different and have different paces of development, of which I should be able to know and guide them accordingly.

Not easy being a parent huh!

Merdeka Kids

This is rather a belated entry but I insist to write about it.

The Merdeka Day, recently celebrated by the nation is one of the few events my kids enjoyed. This is what it meant for them:

1. Raising flags.. everywhere they like, in the bedroom, on top of the car, on our gate.. or even have one small flag outside their bags. This year they begged me to buy them one small flag each and one big one for the house. Yup I complied. They waived the small flag alright.. but the big one.. they wrap around their body and do the lion dance!!

2. Sing patriotic song and march in the living room. This will go on for at least 2 weeks, before and after the actual day. Oh yeah.. they love those songs, and they would sing them on top of their voices. This year they learn one new nice song.. Perpaduan Teras Kejayaan.

3. Watch Merdeka Parade and Fireworks.... on TV. I will never bring them to the real one due to the big and "rowdy" crowd. They love to watch the parade as they get to learn about all sorts of accupations according to the uniform, different types of policemen, firemen, soldiers ... and different types of cars they use. They really can learn something from this parade.. of course providing that Mummy watching with them and answer every question they ask.

4. Watch all those patriotic movies screened on TV. They especially love those with the Japanese soldiers. Again I have to explain a lot of things the Japanese did!!

This year they also get to learn about all the Malaysian states from a newspaper pull-out which has details of each state, the flag, the state song, the main town, etc..and so on.

Though I am no history buff able to tell the real history to them.. at least I do try my best telling them about this country, here and there. The most important thing is, it's an educational thingy. And perhaps inject some patriotism in them.. to be loyal to the country. I hope I feed them the right facts though!!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Me, my other half and the kids were on the way to a relative's house when this conversation took place. Talking about Irsyad a.k.a Abang, asking him if he has the interest to go to a boarding school after his UPSR.

Mom : So you think you want to go to a boarding school?
Abang : I don't know
Mom : I think you should try
Abang : Why?
Mom : Well, you'll have more friends, better environment for studying, better study discipline (not studying whike watching TV) .. etc etc
Abang : Oh really? Or is it "Abang menyusahkan korang je duduk kat rumah"??
Mom & Dad : HUHHHH???? How could you say that? We never even thought about it... never ever crossed our minds!! Bla bla la....

And he definitely had a GOOD one from me about it. It made me so sad to think that I have made hime think that he's a burden to us. How could this happen? I think I need to make myself clear to them. I definitely have to spend more time with them and let them know how much they meant to us, to me especially. And this is a PERFECT example of not being a good enough mom!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Not good enough

I always thought that I am not a "good-enough" mom. Not that I don't try, I'm ALWAYS trying. Then again, perhaps thinking that I am not good enough is good so that I'm always trying to be better. And why do I think that I'm not good enough? Oh well, a few things here and there. Like the fact that I sometimes have no patience at all with them, or thinking that I don't spend enough time with them, or even the fact that my other half sometimes thought I did not do a good job on something related to them.. etc etc.

I had a good one week break last week which I spent most of it with them, without much help from the maid. And this is what I observed:

1) Omar definitely preferred me to the maid.. and not so "tantrumatic" (if there's such word!) In normal days, he would have a lot of tantrums the minute I got back from work.. obviously trying to get more attention .. and of course testing my patience!
2) They behave better if I have more patience
3) I have more patience with them when I don't have to think about going to work! My concentration is only on them.
4) I managed them pretty well without the maid's help - though a bit kelam kabut at first..
5) They are a happier camp of children when we are around

I can go on and on.. all leading to positive behavior. I have noted this before and again. It's a proven example of how kids need us around them, well not all the time but most of the time. I guess they feel more confident and more loved. And this.. is the simple reason why I should forgo the my so-called "career" and stay with them at home...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

View of life..

Have you ever thought of how much we take our life for granted? How much wealth and health we have as compared to the unfortunate ones? I shuddered to think of the sufferings of other people when I hear one and always be so so grateful to Allah for whatever that I have and don't have.

Last week I had a chat with the boys' religious school principle. Her husband had gout and I proposed to her to give her hubby some supplementary honey which has proven to cure gout. I have never had a real conversation with this lady before except just a passing how-are-you. Delivering the honey, I had a real, long conversation with her talking about many things and getting to know each other. She is one great courageous lady. She once had a tumor in her brain when was pregnant with her last child (now aged 11). She survived, the tumor gone. She has a very strong cancerous gene in her family. She even said that she has miraculously passed "the age".. means, she is 42 now and still alive. Most of her family members did not even reach 40. She also had 6 cousins who died in road accidents, and mostly she had to identify their body (because she's the "healthy" one in the family!). And all the time she was telling me this, she was being very cheerful about it. All the time praising Allah for what she has today. She is still undergoing treatment as of today for something that her doctor detected in her body recently. Another cancerous cell. She told me, in a happy voice, this morning that she has a heart check up next week, and another check up for breast and pelvic cancer!! She is running two branches of KAFA school, with highly qualified teachers and a nursery, Quran reading classed both at school and her home. She also councel and help any problematic individuals. Where does she have all the energy from? MasyaAllah!

I have read about people like this in magazines and newspapers, but I have never met one. I'm so glad I have met one now. She has really made me think a lot of life in general. It gives you the wider perspective of life. I'm sure people like this view life completely different.

I should not complain too much for whatever I have now, I should not stress about kids not doing well at school, played too much or even having messy room. I should be thankful for the wealth (no matter how much or less) and health that I have now.

I pray to Allah that she will live longer to continue the noble thing that she does for the community today and to be able to raise and see her boys (she has 4 boys, all in religious school) grown up. Ameen.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I do love you...

I'm having a "cold war" with the kids since the weekend. I know ... bad mom! The thing is, they simply ignore what I say and simply do whatever they want. So I thought, pushing them so hard will not make any difference anyways. Having no more patience, nor energy, I let them be. Let them do whatever they want though my heart is tugging me to bother them with their studies. No no.. that I want them to study all the time, but it's their exam week. Eussuv however, is the one got "hit" at the most. Not hit as in HIT.. but as in nagged the most. Why? Because this is one boy who is in his own kid world who thinks the world is all about play! Nothing else matters.

Being a mean mom, I nag and nag and nag at him.. and of course nothing works! Another tips for parents, NEVER nag! Because it definitely brings you nowhere. Your kids simply won't listen. You have to try another approach. Like talking, telling stories, slow-talk... or whatever approach you may take.. but not NAG.

So, what did I do to Eussuv? I had a slow talk with him just before his bedtime. I told him how much I love him and how long he was in my tummy, and how long he was breastfed.. (the longest among all of them!!).. and how could I not love him (he thought I didn't love him and honestly I do feel he's getting further away from me).. I just want him to understand why I'm doing what I do to make him study for his exams. It's not a punishment but an effort that he has to take to learn .. though I don't believe that studying will make him learn, but at least he has better grades or maintain his current grades.

I don't know what's the outcome of this talk yet as it only happened last nite. But I do really hope he understands what I was trying to say to him. He's still such a baby at his age. I'm trying to make him understand what's going on around this world. I did not have this difficulties with Irsyad because he's always the matured one.

I hope I will make some progress with him no matter how long it takes.. I have to try. Please God, give me the patience .. I lack it so much!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Painted colors

I've got so many things to say but I don't know which one I should say first. I want to talk about my dull weekend, what I thought about the kids, what I thought about life cycle, what I thought about love stories, love songs, and interestingly first loves!

But I think I'll talk about the kids. My life is soooo revolved around them that talking about them would come more naturally than other topics.

Gone were the days when parents were the most respected people in one's life that disobeying them is almost the same as disobeying God.. (now I said, almost). These days, it's like your kids are your parents if you don't play the cards right. They are so demanding that you might fall into their trap of giving in to all their demands. I think I'm in between giving in and setting the rules right. I can be very strict at one moment and yet giving in to their demands in the very next minute. All the parenting tips I read tell me that I have to be consistent in whatever I do while bringing up the kids. If I said no the first time of their demand, I should say no also to their next one, but hey.. I am the most normal human in the world. I do give in once in a while. So I think this had made them think that.. Hey, Mom is the coolest.. she would let me do it, if not now later! They read me well, and hey, I read them well too. Interestingly, when I did not give in, they had to follow and they adapt quite well. That's what they say about children come to this world as a white cloth, we, the parents paint them. So it really up to us to paint the white cloth, whatever color we paint on them, that's what they will become.

Up to this moment, I don't think I'm painting the color that I want them to be. The older they get, the more difficult it gets. And at some point I thought I've put the wrong color altogether. And how can I repaint them back. Is it too late? It is me who has to change, it is me who has to know what color or even what brush should I use!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Word twister - "gossip monger"?

One of Syasya's teachers (let's call her Mrs A) simply loves to chat with parents. I avoided talking to her at one point beause of the wrong thing she said to another parent of whom I was very close to. And because of that this parent came apologising to me for something that both us did not do.. and luckily we had the same understanding and in no time we were good friends again.

Yesterday Mrs A did it again! She started chit chatting after taking Syasya out from my car. Asking me this and that. I (without any intention) told her that I had resigned and now serving my notice. And she went on asking me what I'm going to do after my "retirement" and giving me some suggestions and told me some other parents also quit their jobs and bla bla. She suggested that I open a branch of kindy, the same as the one she's teaching now (Syasya's school).. then I said "... yeah I thought about it but it's too much work handling kids, parents and such. Then you need to have some kind of qualifications .. and bla bla bla". I was sure my answer led to a negative answer rather than a "oh YES I would open one!".

This morning another teacher, Mrs B - a more quiet and reasonable teacher - greeted me with this .. "oh I heard you quit your job!".. then I said yes.. and she said again .. "so you are going to open a kindy?" At this point you should see my face.. my eyeballs popped out and jaws dropped!!!! But since this teacher is the nice one .. I quickly regained from my shock and tell her nicely.. "no laahh.. it was just a thought, I'm going to take a break first!

Geez! Some people just like to put a lot of juice to stories! This is first class gossipmonger! I sometimes thought of how words were twisted around and how you can misinterpret people. And this is a classic example of one. Either Mrs A didn't understand what I was saying, or simply she wanted to show off to her fellow colleuge that there's an opportunity around the corner and she got there first (well she told me that if I ever open the kindy she wanted to come and work for me!!!). Oh gosh, when I think about it now, it's kinda hilarious. But surely,

1) I will definitely not have a "nice" chit chat session with her again
2) I will better be careful of whatever I say to her if I ever talk to her again!!
3) I will not believe whatever she said about other parents too (this I learnt my lesson well!)

I bet there are many people like this out there. I just hope that I'd recognise one when I see them so that I can watch what I say!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

When the goings gets tough ..

I went to a pasar malam for some food to break my fast yesterday evening. I stopped by at this stall selling all kinds of rice by a couple who has 3 kids. These kids are between 1-5 years old. How did I know? I asked! Why did I bother? Because they were all there playing around happily under the evening sun, AND around a deep frying pan drizzling with fried chicken in it!!!! Woahhh.. ! I was so scared of them that I watched them all the time I was there! I was so scared if any one of them especially the one-year-old tripped over the pan, GOSH!! And the parents were so busy with the customers.. but once in a while they would call out for the kids to "behave". At one point the two older kids sat on a stool (adult size) with their legs hanging down, then the little sister also wanted to do the same. Again, I was on the brink of saying.. no.. don't put her on it.. she's too small to be on the stool and can easily fall down. But upon her whining, her father scooped her and put her on the stool. And true enough, just a few minutes she just simply jumped from the stool, and fell down on the tarred road. And amazingly.. she DID NOT cry. I made a remark to the mother of how tough her little girl was. And the mother replied, yeah she's very tough.. and very active! After that the father scooped her again, this time onto a stroller.. phewhhh.. what a relief.. away from the frying pan!

The whole time then I was thinking, this is one tough family, a rather young couple with 3 small kids, selling rice to make their living and raising the kids. These kids are tough kids, they basically spend their time not in a comfort of a house but under the sun and the moon, or maybe in their parents' van. They are oh so exposed to lots of things, dangerous things like the frying pan (THIS really give me a loud and fast heartbeat!!), strangers in the market, god knows what in the drain near the stall, and possibly virus in the air! There is no comfort of a bed for their afternoon nap, no cooling fan, no freshing up since late evening to nite, and toilet... where is the toilet in pasar malams?? And what time is their bed time if their parents are there until maybe 10pm? And yet.. these kids survived and they are the tough ones. And their parents are tough parents too! To have the heart bringing the kids, and exposing them to all sort of things.. just to make ends meet! I pray that nothing bad will happen to them and wish they will have better lives (then again who am I to judge whether they have a bad life!!)

When I see and think of all these, I tend to feel so lucky for myself and my children. To have all the comfort of life and to be able to raise my kids not in the "hard" environment. And making sure they have the best of things. I really hope that my kids would be able to appreciate the comfort that we've given them without complaining so much. I hope someday they would understand the pain, the hardship that other kids go through.

Perhaps one way to teach them to be more appreciative is by showing them the hardship experienced by other people, or let them feel what it's like for a while or so (send them out on the streets??).

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My baby is 10!

Irsyad turned 10 last week. I couldn't believe it! He is one BIG boy.. he was our first joy (now we have 4 joys). I can still remember the day I delivered him. I believe everybody has "a sentimental" feeling for their firstborn. He/she is the first of everything that you do as a parent. In fact I think it's not too much to say that the firstborn is the most previleged but very experimental. He gets all new things, he has the most pictures in your album, he gets the most of your attention as a baby, and naturally you practise perfection following all the guides in the book as you are still learning as a parent. And as a result, firstborn normally would be a perfectionist.

As in the case of my firstborn, he is everything of a firstborn that I described above. We want the best for him when he was a baby, we try everything on the book on him. And the results is very encouraging. He is one "good" son - very proper, follow "the rules" accordingly, mature, well liked by friends, doing well in his academics (very competitive too!), as well as VAIN!! And this is one case of perfection I have to mention. This VAIN thing is sometimes killing me. He would change his t-shirt if there's one drop of drinks or whatever that stained his t-shirt .. no matter how small, or it's just plain water. He would arrange his bookshelf nicely and neatly all the time (even if it means messing up other ppl's bookshelf!). He will not wear pyjamas out of the house. He will make sure his hair is nicely combed, his shoes is shiny, and his bag is clean - before going to school. Everything must be in order and perfect. Even though all these are good practise, sometimes it just drives me nuts!!!

As opposed to 8 year-old Eussuv who is the total opposite, he couldn't care less about anything as long as he gets to play whatever he wants to play. And he doesn't even care if the whole t-shirt that he's wearing is stained to the max! This one is a result of us the parents kinda know what being a parent is like after having the first one. So you kinda relax a bit on "the rules". It is proven that the kind of parents you are really shape your children's character.

Back to my firstborn, I hope he will be the exemplary lead to his siblings as he already is now. And my wish for him that he becomes the soleh son and the successful one, both in the world and akhirat. Amin.

Stressed mom..

I read a few articles on raising happy kids. I even bought a book on this. The reason being? At one point of time (ok.. even now) I was so stressed taking care of them that I shout at them a lot. And I know the results of me shouting at them - they will follow suit, shouting at each other, or at me. Also I'm creating an unhealthy environment for them to live in, as in they might become "depressed" children, then it will effect their childhood, their development as a baby to toddler to kids then to teenager. It may definitely develop their character! All these made me shrink with fear. True enough, what I fear is definitely listed in the books and articles. Yeah, as if I don't know the effect of shouting at kids to begin with.. it's just that, you know when you are angry, the anger just enveloped you and you just forget about everything else and voila.. you are on top of your lungs. And when it's over, you feel like banging your head on the wall with guilt on what you have done. But then again it's too late.. the damage is done. This happened over and over again that I'm afraid now that it already has set some characters in them. Though I believe it's not too late to change.

Perhaps I should go some counselling session?? I may have all the love in the world, but i think I lack the patience... very much lacking in that!

But somehow.. apart from the "shouting sessions", according to the articles, I'm doing quite well in raising happy kids. Hmmmhh... I do have all the "5 languages of love" applied to my kids. What are these 5 languages of love? Don't have it now in my head but it's one of those things that you should have to raise happy kids. Might post it here one of these days. And are my kids happy kids? Yeah .. at some level. Then again, what's the definition of happy kids?

Friday, July 25, 2008

What does it take to be a parent?

I remember asking my sister how do I take care of my baby if I have one (I have none at that moment). And this is what she said "easy, if he's wet you change him, if he's hungry you feed him, and if he's sleepy, you put him to sleep". Oh.. it's as simple as that? Yeahhhh.. it's as simple as that PLUS millions of other things....
And even now, after having 4 kids, I still ask myself, what does it take to be a parent because most of the time I think I'm not good enough as a parent. So this is what I came up with based on my experience:

1) Love - LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of love ... and you have to show them, shower them with love. It's not material things, it's not money.. it's just feelings.. and these feelings must be shown. Research and statistics have shown that children who grew up surrounded by love are better persons, more sucessful in life and have greater self confidence.
Believe me, there are people who have children but never loved them under some circumstances!

2) Patience - Kids are god's greatest gifts and challenge. With them you feel the joy, at the same time you have to endure some pain . As such you must be strong and patient to face whatever coming your way from them. When they are babies and toddlers, you have to endure their tantrums and sleepless nights, and when they are teenagers you have to deal with their unpredictable behaviors in searching their true identity, and when they are adults, you have to be diplomatic enough to treat them as another adult knowing that they were once babies! And all throughout their phases of life, you have to be there. It is a long joyous and meaningful journey, with some pain here and there no doubt! And this really require lots and lots of patience.

These are the 2 most important ones that I can think of. The rest I believe would come naturally becos LOVE would conquer all. You would do research of their sickness, you would find out about about their medications (and remembering the medication names and purpose). You will buy parenting books, you will want to cook for them.. and do and learn everything else in the world in relation to children. With the feeling of love of your children, you will do anything for them. You will change to a better person insyaAllah.

There are many guides and tips on being a parent, how to treat your kids, how to educate them, how feed them, even how to potty train them. But at the end of the day, it's all about how YOU do it. Each child is unique thus some tips may and may not work for them. Only you can decide what's best to raise your children depending in your environment.

There's no right or wrong parent, they are just different parents.

So what does it take to be a parent, just be yourself with lotsa love to give away!