Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Conversation Post-Obsession

on ariff's bed, me (watching thomas with akmal on my lap) & amir (holding his new leapster 2)...

me: amir, tengok ni, mummy ada baby comel
amir: tu baby amir lah
me: ni baby mummy
amir: baby amir jugak
me: amir, mummy sayang lah baby mummy
amir: amir pun sayang jugak baby amir
me: mummy sayang amir tak?
amir: sayanggggg
me: mummy sayang asyraf tak?
amir: sayanggggg
me: mummy sayang ariff tak?
amir: sayangggg
me: amir, mummy sayang amir ke sayang akmal
amir: sayang dua-dua lah, amir pun sayang, akmal pun sayang
me: banyak-banyak ke sikit-sikit?
amir: mestilah banyak-banyak
me: kenapa orang semua cakap mummy sayang akmal je saja?
amir: ish orang semua niiiiii...

*sigh* amir's grown up and so abang long...

Sunday, October 24, 2010


there are a few things i'm obsessed about - lists, laundry, and that one boy - engku akmal izzat. i am tremendously, whole-heartedly obsessed with him. anything and everything he does bring tears to my eyes, swells my heart with pride and makes me smile like a goofball.

i am obsessed with him, to a point where it irritates hubby who would rolls his eyes, to a point where i would just look at him sleeping in his cot, to a point where i would hold his hand while we're both sleeping.

it doesnt mean i have a favourite out of the four. they are all different yet the same. ariff's the learner (at the moment), asyraf's the brilliant one, amir's the big one who's slowly understands and taking on the abang long responsibilities. akmal's just the baby, the one who follows everyone around, the one everyone adore and would just stop to hug and kiss, the one everyone would fight over.

one reason why i'm so into akmal now is because i was not into the pregnancy when i was carrying him. dont get me wrong, it wasnt going to lead to hating the baby or hurting the baby even, but i was just not into the pregnancy. i was not prepared to be pregnant, i was not prepared to welcome a fourth baby when my eldest was just 3 years old. my heart and my mind wasnt keeping up with my body and i was feeling down quite often. it got so bad at times that i willed the baby to just come out and started getting contractions as early as my 24th week. i even willed myself to deliver at the 36th week as i just could not carry on being pregnant.

delivering akmal was also very emotional. i was faced with the possibility of another 'dongak' baby like asyraf, i bled a lot, i had effects from the epidural, akmal's umblilical cord was wrapped around him. it wasnt a difficult delivery but i was too overwhelmed by the whole 9 months and the delivery and the thought of another baby to look after that i felt that it was all so difficult.

then when i was at home during confinement, i realised what an angel i had. akmal was so small and so easy (apart from the dribbling problem he had) and was so on schedule and just so 'a baby'. akmal was and still is a sensitive baby. he would get the sniffles and cough and flu and the ultimate fever (he can shoot up to 40c in a heartbeat) but he was never difficult. he can get diaper rash and bumps and reddish spots but he was never difficult. he would be in and out of the hospital (he has been admitted 9 times (or was it 10) so far) but he was never difficult. taking care of him is easy. he would drink and sleep, sleep and drink.

its such a turnaround, the difficult pregnancy to this easy baby and that makes me feel attached to him. he doesnt need cuddling, but i would cuddle him. he doesnt need to be rocked to sleep, but i would rock him to sleep. he's very independent and i guess i cant let go. akmal's able to nap on his own, just put him in his cot, give him a towel, switch on a thomas dvd and close the door. a peep into the room after 10 minutes will see him fast asleep. he doesnt even need a bottle before dozing off. if he wakes up and i desperately need to rest, he can continue sitting in his cot watching thomas for another hour. akmal can sleep on his own, play on his own, he's just so easy and i'm just so proud of him.

sometimes i miss him so much even though he's right next to me, sometimes i wake him up from his sleep just to see him smile. i've given him many, many names - amal, imal, malmal, mamal, mimal, maljat, ajat, ijat, jatjat, jijat, jajat and the infamous, adik baby.

i know, i am a mummy and four and i love, love, absolutely bloody love all my four boys (none more than the other). but this akmal izzat...there's just something about him...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pre-Balik Kampung

i've been talking about this for-like-ever! my balik kampung trip. since 2000, when i returned to malaysia after 5 years in sunny ol' england, i've been putting this on my no-dateline-to-do-list. i must go back but when, i really dont know. then of course one thing and another cropped up - jobless hence no money, new job hence no time, boyfriend hence berkepit (kah kah kah), engagement, marriage, new house, sabbatical, new job, baby-baby-baby-baby hence combination of no money, no time and no energy.

once the baby(ies) era are over and done with (ok...there's so gonna be a post on WE ARE STOPPING AT FOUR soon), hubby and i sat down and said 'its gonna be this year'. this will finally be the year when i get to pack up my bags (change to "we" and "our") and start the journey balik kampung. and its really been a good decision, alhamdulillah, as everything seemed to fall into place once we decided.

primarily, this would be the last year where we can take it easy when it comes to school - at the end of next year we'll be preparing for amir's standard 1 so a year-end trip would not be a good idea. the boys are also big enough to enjoy a long holiday, with 2 being diaper-less (1 in the process of being toilet trained) and 3 are now formula-less (1 taking only 2 bottles a day). some would wonder why would that be a factor, believe me, stopping every now and then to prepare a bottle of milk is not a laughing matter with 4 boys in tow. the fact that we no longer need to do it more than once when we're out and about is blissful! plus we no longer need to heret a thermos and formula here and there. finally (and honestly the most important) the financial aspect. alhamdulillah, its been a good year, that's all i'm going to say.

so there...everything seemed to be going our way. earlier in the year, we planned, we googled, we surfed. as the months passed by, it became more and more intense. planning started to get more detailed and my list kept getting longer. now as we're about to enter november, i've finalised 93% of the preparation, booked almost everything on the list - except tickets to 5 tourist spots, bought almost all the pre-travel items and prepared a booklet (i have gone beyond just a simple itinerary) of 65 pages (yes, you read it right...65 freaking pages, people!)

its been a wonderful phase, this planning. its very therapeutic. its very calming. its very educational. and its excellent to have a partner who shares my enthusiasm (although sometimes he gets shocked at the amount to be spent and start screaming) and even more fantastic to have 3 boys (akmal not included) who are as excited about the trip and the weather and the journey as the parents.

we still have a bit more to do, still a few things left to purchase, to book, to finalise and to research. but insyaallah, we'll be able to settle everything before the end of november. the first couple of weeks of december will be spent clearing off our work, ensuring things for the new school year are settled and tieing up some loose ends.

for now, its these items that keep us going...
part of my travel booklet...

the four we're doing this for...

Monday, October 18, 2010


the time has come for us to find a new kindy for the boys, mainly for amir & asyraf. we're happy with their current daycare / kindy. they have learned so many things, become independent and more confident being at taska tadika ibnu soleh. we absolutely love the teachers, love the activities and love the fact that the boys are well taken care of (from our point of view, at least).

but with amir about to enter standard 1 at the primary school nearby, we thought it would be better if we took him out of his current kindy and send to another nearer the house, nearer the primary school so that he would know and make friends with his future standard 1 classmates. we never want to send only 1 so wherever and whenever amir moves, asyraf follows.

so first part was send amir and asyraf to a new school. the second part was not as easy...which school? we had 2 choices before us, 3 actually but i was not so keen on one of the kindies in our area. so it was down to 2 - ad-daris or bahtera ilmu. we compared both from the perspective of monthly fees, registration, medium used, school hours, teachers, area and decided on bahtera ilmu.

price-wise, either one we chose, we had to prepare to tighten our budget in the upcoming years as both schools were far more expensive than the boys' current kindy. school hours were roughly the same, both schools used english and both school had islamic studies (of course nowhere near the level of tadika ibnu soleh, which is excellent when it comes to basic islamic curriculum). after discussing and deliberating, hubby and i opted for bahtera ilmu. we took the boys to see their new school when we settled the registration and they seemed to like it.

during the next few years, we'll be joining the crowd of parents queueing up at schools the first week of january; starting with new kindy for amir and asyraf next year, then its standard 1 for amir in the following year, then standard 1 for asyraf and new school for ariff and akmal (all in one year *gasp*), followed by standard 1 for ariff then finally, standard 1 for akmal. non-stop!

for now, we're just looking forward to a new phase in the boys' life and a change to ours. hopefully, everything will go smoothly and we'll be able to manage all bumps and dips, insyaallah.

the boys new uniform, the little sailors, and their outdoor outfit, complete with little hats. too cute! only pending items on the new-school-list are shoes, socks, school bags & stationeries, which i will start buying next month.


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
Images by Freepik