Saturday, February 27, 2010

For The Love Of Cooking

i'm not a very good cook...i can cook well enough for the boys (they are easy enough to please), can cook ok for hubby (limited dishes) and can manage to cook for guests (they dont have much to choose from). i can cook for Raya morning, i can do a simple dinner for close friends and families, i can rustle up some things to be grilled...kira boleh lah.

because i cant cook many things, i try not to make the same thing over one weekend, ie rice on saturday lunchtime, something grilled on saturday night, pasta for lunch on sunday. i hardly every cook on weekdays, usually hubby would buy dinner for the boys or we'll have a simple bread with chocolate spread dinner.

i'm not fond of having other people in the kitchen with me while i cook. for one, i dont like people, what's next. pandai-pandai sendiri lah whats next. another is i dont like people telling this do that. dah lah nak cepat, panas lagi tu, kena dengar orang pulak. so leave me by my lonesome and i'll whip something up in a jiffy. the only person i can cook with is hubby. that's because he likes doing what i dont like doing - dicing onions, peeling potatoes, mincing the garlic, cleaning the fish, cutting the beef...that's his forte. then he goes away and comes back during the tasting phase.

over the past few long weekends, i spent most of my time in the kitchen. the boys are now at an age where they love to eat, can experiment with new tastes and are always full of compliments. hubby was craving for crabs, so i made chili crabs more than once. he also asked for beef stew and nasi lemak. we over-used the grill, making grilled chickens, prawns, veggies, and the oven, baking shepherd's pie, baked pasta (asyraf 's favourite) and brownies.

crabs and crabs and its accompanying dishes...

eggs & grilled veggies...

food from the grill...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


i get a lot of 'how do you' questions. how do you manage the boys, how do you work and handle house work, how do you survive without a maid. sometimes i answer...sometimes i wonder, is it so difficult? i mean, honestly, susah sangat ke? i'm not saying i'm so blardy good, i'm far from the superwoman some people label me.

but, do we do it...routine. plain and simple. do something many, many times, you'll be good at it. do something many, many times, you can do it with your eyes closed. do something many, many times, its bound to get easier. i do simple work, simple things so that my life is easy and well...simple.

in the morning, i never fail to:
  • wash akmal's bottle (only 1 that he uses before he sleeps, akmal doesnt get up for night feed, so i dont have bottles and bottles to wash)
  • clear his hot water flask and put the water in a tumbler for his nestum dinner
  • clear plates from last nights dinner
  • change akmal's diapers
  • put the boys' pajamas for the night on the bed

when we come back in the evening i would:
  • pick up the clothes from the clothes line
  • take out all the clothes worn during the day from the boys' bags
  • put in all the clothes set aside on the dining table in the boys' bags
  • leave the bags near the stairs or the front door
  • clean akmal's 2 bottles (i only put 2 bottles for him to bring to school)
  • prepare the boys' snacks for the next day - usually cookies or bread with chocolate spread
  • feed akmal
  • boil water to put in akmal's flask
  • fold clothes
  • start the washing machine
  • set aside amir and asyraf's clothes for school the next day
  • and just before going to sleep, i would put the clothes on the clothes line

while i do all these (except sidai kain), hubby would:
  • feed the boys
  • put the bags in the car
  • bathe the boys

my list seem longer but hubby's tasks require more patience. i dont have 3 boys to scream at and to run around after. after 4 years of doing the same thing, takkanlah tak reti-reti lagi nak handle kan?

so there...easy peasy lemon squeezy. to me, its whether you want or you dont want. if you want, its do-able. if you keep saying i cant and its difficult then cant and its difficult. you decide...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


when amir was younger, he showed tendency to use his left hand and leg. he first held a pencil using his left hand and til now, would kick with his left leg. over the years, he moved his pencil to his right hand and have continued to primarily use his right hand.

asyraf (and now ariff) is the same. asyraf's left hand dominated when he was younger but unlike amir, asyraf have continued to depend on his left hand to write and draw, even when eating. he cant seem to hold on to a spoon with his right hand. hubby wasnt as excited as i was with the prospect of asyraf being a leftie, mainly because he feels there's limited positions for them on the pitch. i, on the other hand, loved the fact that there was a leftie in the house. i've said many times before, being parents is not just about teaching but is also about learning...and, being a lefthanded, asyraf would teach us a thing or two.

i have since read a few articles on lefthanded people and what they go through. they explain a lot about asyraf:

  1. he doesnt take to bicycles as fast as amir (Left-handed people find it harder to keep their balance than right-handed people do -;
  2. asyraf has trouble writing (Learning to write may be more difficult for left-handers than for right-handers for a number of reasons. Our culture’s left-to-right progression favors right-handers. It is easier to pull a pen or pencil across a page than to push one -;
  3. asyraf holds his books upside down (English text reads from left to right and this is consistent with right-handed individuals naturally looking and moving to the right. Left-handed individuals naturally look and move to the left, thus reading text left to right has to be more intentionally learned -
  4. asyraf seem to have trouble putting his sentences together compared to amir (Stuttering and dyslexia occur more often in left-handers -

i'm not sure whether asyraf wearing his right shoes on his left foot and vice versa and wearing his clothes back-to-front are due to him being lefthanded. i find this picture explains a lot of the differences between amir and asyraf.

to help asyraf, i've spoken with his teacher to avoid forcing the use of right hand to write but encourage the usage of his right had for eating and to salam. there will be other things to face - holdings scissors, sharpeners, knives, tying shoelaces.

i found a funny statement about lefties though, "Left-handers are generally more intelligent, better looking, imaginative and multi-talented than right handers - based on discussions among members of the Left-Handers Club!" well, okayyyyy :)

and another useful fact, august 13 is the left-handers' day. hope i'll remember that this year.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Stress Reliever

i know i blog and fb about it wayyy to much i love doing laundry. its my time alone, its my theraphy (except when ariff tries to help and end up ruining everything). time time off away from the screams of the botak boys, away from all the toy throwing.

i have my laundry schedule, daily, weekly schedules. the boys clothes need to be washed everyday. considering each wear 4 outfit a day (uniform, pajamas & 2 day outfit), i have 16 outfits a day. if i wash once in 2 days, that'll be 32 pairs. imagine hanging them, then folding. i might as well do a small load but daily. at least, i dont get swamped at one go.

before i go off on trips, i make sure my laundry basket is empty. i'd wash everything i can, even the clothes worn the night before the trip. i'd wait by the boys' bathroom for them to throw thee pajamas, then quickly run down and start the machine. at least when i come back the laundry basket is empty and i can start washing the clothes worn during the trip.

folding is also a passion. i love folding clothes. sometimes i get irritated with the small underwear but they add colour to the load. i can fold clothes almost anywhere, standing at the island in the kitchen, standing at the dining table, outside the boys' bathroom while watching them bathe, on my sejadah while i wait for isyak, standing and draping clothes over my thigh...anywhere. clothes must be folded in pairs, pants must be put with (actually folded into) the tops. that's to make hubby's job easier. he doesnt need to worry about matching.

one thing i dont do, though, is ironing. i hate ironing. more so ironing shirts.

a normal (2 day) load for the boys...

all folded and ready to be kept...

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Closed For Renovation

my blog is so boring. honestly, it is. i commented in my last entry that i really dont know who read my entries. sometimes, when i read back, i'd cringe and go...errkkk...did i write that?! as ariff would say 'mayuuuuuu...'

i'm not a writer...i'm not a dreamer. i know there's some bloggers out there who live a separate life while blogging (oh...i'm sooo tempted to name names here but i wont stoop that low). i know there's some who brag about their work, their life, their purchases but behind they cry, they whine about how miserable they are, about how much 'little' money they have (arggghhhh... again i sooooo am tempted to link their blogs here).

i rue the circumstances where i came into contact with them, i feel like washing myself everytime i 'ter-click' on links that lead to them. they shouldnt affect me, seriously but they do. for a while i didnt want to blog. i felt that a lot of readers, a lot of genuine writers are being penalised because of these 'wanna-be' bloggers, who write things out of their imagination to cover their insecurities, to cover their real lives, to cover their shortfalls.

hence, my blog started becoming inactive towards end of last year. but then i realise, the reason i opened this blog was for my boys. i wanted to pen down what they did, what the learn, what they teach me, what i go through for them, because of them. and these people shouldnt ever have an effect on my life.

so to start the new year (in february), i'll renovate my blog. the formatting in my earlier entries will run because i am so not IT-savvy and i'm stopping myself from editing them hah! i'll be strong and put up my invisible shield. my advise to the readers out there (if there is any) - jangan lah terpedaya dengan gambar-gambar handbag, kasut, kereta yang cantik ye...ehem ehem. not everything you think is nice and beautiful are actually that!

on a side note - another renovation of some sort will take place next month, insyaallah. more on that later-later...

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Chapter Closed

akmal izzat (yes...i actually call him by his full name) turns 11 months today. another month and he'll shuffle his way into toddlerhood, leaving our house baby-less after 5 years. hubby and i have decided that we'll stop at four. i know there are people who say try for a girl, never say stop, we'll miss having a baby in the house, yada yada yada. but for us, we've reached our limit and we want to move on. yes, maybe we'll get emotional somewhere down the road about having babies but that'll pass. for now, we'll enjoy not having to wake up for night feeds.

as we slowly move into this new phase with akmal, there's a few thank yous i'd like to make. thank yous to all that have helped me throughout the 5 wonderful years of being a mummy to little babies (at times with big voices)...
  • enfalac, enfalac AR, enfalac LF - before the A+ took over, now i hate them!
  • enfapro - for a while, once the transition has been done, they move on to dupro
  • enfagrow - just for a while because they smell so 'sweet'
  • dulac - much better priced than the mead johnson range
  • dupro - akmal is stopping this soon
  • sustagen - amir had this for a while before he completely stopped taking formula
  • gerber (all sorts) - amir only ate gerber
  • heinz - and heinz
  • farley's rusk - the boys still eat this though
  • nestum - asyraf can only eat plan nestum (nestum beras) before he turned one
  • pampers - only amir wore this brand
  • drypers - i hate their zap
  • huggies - i love them: ultra, dry, dry comfort, swimmers, pull up pants
  • nappikleen - i love the smell
  • sebamed - good for eczema, dry skin-prone like the boys
  • first teeth - the boys first toothpaste
  • mittens & booties - a killer to wash and dry and store
  • baby napkins - for swaddling, which only last between 2 weeks to a month
  • cotton wools - for cleaning doo doo
  • baby carrier - served us well since amir was 3 days old til akmal turned 6 months old
  • graco stroller - amir's stroller that asyraf used for a while
  • ikea baby tub - amir's first bath tub
  • clothes - newborn, sizes 0-3months, 0-6months, 6-9months, 6-12months (though some akmal's still wearing)
  • hooded towel - a tad too small for akmal now, time to buy yellow towels for him (yellow is his colour)
i honestly cant wait to close the lid on the baby storage box. i've taken out the 1 year old clothes and have washed them during my long medical leave. soon i'll put all the below 12months clothes in the box and put them at the back of the closet. i've also moved the boys clothes around, putting amir's clothes into asyraf's drawers,asyraf's into ariff's drawers,ariff's into akmal's drawers. one of these weekends, i'm going to spend some time clearing their shoes at the cabinet outside.

a month shy from akmal's birthday party, i'm about 80% done. i've set the date and time, decided on the theme, ordered the favours, ordered the invites, booked the cake, booked the photographer, ordered t-shirts for the boys, booked something 'extra'. the only pending items are the food (and the canopies and tables and chairs) and things for deco. another 32 days and counting...


the value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults - peter de vries

grown-ups never understand anything for themselves and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explainning things to them - antoine de saint-exupery
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