i love the month of ramadhan. i love the peacefulness, the serenity, the togetherness (be it the sounds of neighbours waking up before dawn or the rush of the working crowd to get home in time for iftar or the mushroom-ing of pasar ramadhan or the sight of ballooning crowd at the mosque for terawih prayers even the daily status update of 'what to eat, what to cook'). i look forward to ramadhan more than syawal. syawal's become too commercialised, too full of 'forgiveness but repeating', too much of 'puasa sebulan so must raya sebulan' notion.
this year, ramadhan's passed by quite fast. the start of ramadhan was sweet yet sad. sweet as amir was ready to fast. i talked to amir about fasting a couple of weeks before ramadhan. told him what it would be like - the early morning sahur, the abstinance of food and drinks, the waiting for iftar. he seemed to be open to the idea and was more determined after his teachers talked about fasting in school. but it was very sad that i could not experience the first sahur and first iftar with amir, as ariff and akmal have not been discharged.
alhamdulillah, at the age of 5 years and 7 months, amir managed to fast for 10 days. on saturdays and sundays, we asked him not to fast as his brothers were not fasting. he also had his cooking class 2 saturdays of the fasting month and we didnt want to let him watch his friends eat when he could not. there were a couple of days where he was not feeling well and now that we're coming towards the last 10 days of the month of ramadhan, hubby and i decided not to let amir fast. he looked a bit tired but, alhamdulillah, it was more than we expected of amir at this age.
our daily routine is pretty much the same every day during ramadhan. hubby leaves his office at 4:30pm and heads off to a pasar ramadhan. menu is roughly the same every day - laksam, nasi kerabu & lompat tikam for hubby; laksa for myself; 2 packs of nasi goreng or nasi lemak shared between the 4 boys and kuihs (usually popiah, seri muka, kuih ketayap and onde onde) more for the boys than us. then he'll meet me at kelana jaya, pick up the boys and we'll be on our way home.
once we get home, hubby takes the boys upstairs to bathe, i pack their bags for the next day, start the washing machine, pick up the laundry and set the table. then they all come down, hubby would feed them while i fold the clothes. when we break our fast, the boys would be watching telly or be at the island, eating the kuihs. before we go up, i'll air the clothes and usually everything's done before we perform our maghrib prayers. everything's done quite fast, by 8 we will be upstairs watching telly and helping the boys with their homework or just watching them run from one room to another.
i would love to cook during the weekend but i've only cooked three times so far - making beef stew the 2nd weekend of ramadhan, the second time we had grilled steak and chicken and most recently, i made lasagna (which akmal & asyraf seriously loved).
preparation for syawal this year was pretty smooth. we've tried to keep spending at its minimum and i think we've achieved that. generally we have 2 pairs of baju raya each - red for the first day, blue for the second. the boys were given jubah from their nenny so maybe that can be the baju for the afternoon of the first day. i bought t-shirts for them to wear on the afternoon of the second day. pants would be something already in their wardrobe, not getting new full outfit this time. samping is also not on the list, they'll wear last year's. but i did get them songkok - amir requested for them, actually. no new shoes too - they still have their adidas sandals, except for ariff who outgrew his. that's it basically.
cookies, of course, must be bought. i cant imagine the cleaning up that comes with making my own cookies. i love making them but i hate cleaning up. again, i bought my cookies from shida of sweetfrosting. the menu for the first morning of syawal has been decided - nasi minyak, gulai daging, ayam masak merah & hubby's acar.
everything's pretty much settled and prepared except for the car. i do hope the car will be ready on time because we really need it for our holiday on the 3rd day of syawal.
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