Sunday, February 27, 2011

Baby Stuff

i have a lot of help around the house. not a helper aka maid aka bibik. but help in terms of baby stuff. i love looking out for things that would be of a help with the boys, i know i buy more than normal malaysian parents would.

a large number of malaysian parents still use the 'my mother didnt have this when she raised me' phrase and shy away from a lot of things in the market. well, if these things were available when your mother was raising you, she'd prolly buy them too. plus most of us use things our parents didnt, lets see if one could survive without the handphones, laptops, ipods and ipads. so dont compare - live in the now.

back to the matter at hand, i depend on quite a number of these things heavily. because of some of them, my children are kept occupied and i can run the house without assistance of a maid and i'm proud to say that my house is more well-kept than some houses with 2 maids or than some houses with 1 or 2 kids - all because my children have their 'space'.

but now the boys have all grown, more specifically, outgrown the baby things i bought. i have started letting go most of the things that i used when the boys were younger. out of the lot, only 2 are still in use far beyond their "useable" years - the cot and the changing table. i initially thought they'll be in use until akmal reaches 2 years old but it looks like he (and his parents) are still attached to them.

we've said goodbye to the rest - the baby carrier, exersaucer, kicker, harness, playpen, bumbo, aquarium, sling, bathtub, cot mobile, bouncers, the flat baby pillow, the baby comforter set, high chair, twin stollers, the blue buggy, the orange stoller, the blue car seat and orange car seat (the last 2 items could still be in use if not for asyraf). thank you for being part of our family. your help will always be remembered and treasured.

the current buggies (with buggy boards) & car seats are also still around. i dont know when we'll let go of them. as long as they still play a role in our daily life, they'll still be around.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Double Whammy

i saw this note on a facebook page:

"Permohonan Pendaftaran Kemasukan Ke Tahun Satu Sesi Persekolahan 2012 dan 2013

Adalah dimaklumkan bahawa mulai 1 Mac 2011 sehingga 30 April 2011, permohonan pendaftaran kemasukan ke Tahun 1 sesi 2012 dan 2013 hendaklan dibuat melalui aplikasi dalam talian (online) dengan melayari laman sesawang (web) Jabatan Pelajaran Selangor.

Permohonan ini adalah pada kanak-kanak yang lahir pada:
  1. 02.01.2005 - 01.01.2006 (Sesi Persekolahan 2012)
  2. 02.01.2006 - 01.01.2007 (Sesi Persekolahan 2013)"
to register both amir and asyraf at one go...already?!?!


p/s is it just me or is the note above reeked with grammatical errors? maybe me since my written malay is kinda crap...

Should We...

i come from a family of cat-lovers. we have loads and loads of felines in the house. tssc used to say there's more cats than people in the house. despite the fact that most of us are actually allergic to cats - i remember covering the bump that appeared when i did the allergy test - and the fact that my sisters and i are on inhalers, we still bring more and more cats home by the day.

now, i fear going back to damansara. once i enter the front door my eyes would buldge and itch and tear up. then i start sneezing and coughing and would start wishing i was at home. before i moved out, i would sleep with the late hoggiey on my chest, now i cant even have a stray fur 20 metres from me.

the boys, too, love cats. amir loves stroking a cat, asyraf loves chasing a cat, ariff loves the wiggling of a cat's tail, akmal loves screaming 'ma-uuuuuu' everytime he sees a cat. amir has been bugging us to get one, to keep one at home. with akmal and his 'condition', i'm not at all for that idea. even without a cat, he's already on ceretide daily. when i took tiza's car after last year's accident, akmal would have trouble breathing because there were cat fur on the floor carpets.

now that akmal's bigger and is less 'sensitive', its got me thinking...should we??

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Little Chef

who says with 4 boys there wont be anyone helping the mummy in the kitchen? well...quite a number of people but what do they know eh?

ariff's shown that he has interest in cooking since a young age. when he was young, about 4-5 months old, if he was in a foul mood, he would immediately feel better if he was brought into the kitchen. he would also accompany me in the kitchen, sitting quietly in his high chair till he falls asleep, while i cook.

while his abangs showed interest in handheld games and puzzles, ariff would be in the kitchen, helping me clean up, or more often, stuffing his face with food. ariff loves eating. he is always at his best behaviour when there's food in front of him. he would be quiet, not caring what goes on around him, very much into his food from the first to the last bite. that's ariff.

because of that, hubby and i would dub him, the little chef. for the longest time i've been wanting to take ariff into the kitchen with me. but to do cook what. i dont spend much time in the kitchen. i go in, cut this cut that, mix this mix that, cook this cook that, and that's all. simple and enough for a one meal. i usually do rice with accompanying dishes or pasta, that's it basically. nothing that would require a 3 year old's help.

then one day i thought, ok...let's do something simple and 'safe' that ariff can help me with. i didnt need to think much...chocolate chip cookies was my first thought and i just went with it. i asked ariff if he wanted to help bake cookies with me. i really didnt have to ask. he said yes and went down the stairs straight away. well, that was a week ago, before i even bought the ingredients. and he's been asking every day since then.

come saturday, when akmal was asleep and amir & asyraf in their game-mode with hubby, ariff and i went into the kitchen to start our project. ariff was mega excited. he dragged the chair to the mixer, he held on to the mixer - as though he's actually doing the mixing. he helped me drop in the sugar, the butter and his favourite ingredient, the chocolate chips. he helped mix the flour while i measured. he helped put the dough on the pan, while i rolled the dough into ball-shapes. he helped open and close the oven door, he helped look to see if the cookies are ready, and of course, once it was done, he helped eat half of the first batch.

he asked a lot of questions - what happened to the sugar, why did the butter become soft, why was the egg yellow, where did the flour disappear to, why do we have to put the chocolate chips in there, why couldnt he eat the cookie dough. a lot of questions but at least it shows he's interested.

his cookies turned out lovely - a bit hard...the butter wasnt enough, and the first batch was a bit burnt...ariff's mummy spent a little too long picking up the clothes. but its great. not bad for his first try. we're already making a list of what we want to bake after this - cornflake cookies, muffin, cupcakes, brownies. at least now he's showing where his interest is and i'm so happy for him.

after that he went back to what he loves best...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Same Ole, Same Ole

one of the things i detest about facebook (yes, there are quite a number, actually) is the fact that people tend to think they know a lot about you and those close to you. all from mere pictures and statements and tags and comments.

a comment is merely that, a comment. it doesnt potray one as a whole. it doesnt show what one is like. its just a reaction to something posted on facebook, at that particular time, at one particular moment. yet with that particular comment, some people have the power to create a picture of you, usually a creation made up of assumptions - oh she said this, she must be like this. when its directed to me, i usually ignore it. when its on my page, i usually delete it. seriously, you dont have to create a mini me in your mind, save that small space in your mind for something else.

what irks me till kingdom come is when they start to shift that assumption to my children. oh that touches many, many nerves. puh-lease do not go there. one simple picture posted attacts comments like - ehhhh, he must be like this, oh i know he's like that. from a picture? and why exactly arent you a nobel prize winner again?

another still picture posted gets replies like - eh, he's so cool like so and so. errr hello brainiac, its a STILL picture. which particular pixel oozes coolness, tell me? i mean, for crying out loud, some of those that comment dont even know how my boys look outside the virtual world, let alone know their names, but oh the assumptions and the comments.

another is, oooohhh just like my son, when a picture of one of the boys playing with a toy car is posted. righhht...and your son is like the one and only child in the whole wide world that plays with a toy car? i mean, its a picture with no accompanying statement, with no explanation of what the boy is doing, comes a comment like 'oh my son does that too'...does what? he's just sitting there playing with a toy car. and majority of boys do what then, if not play with a toy car?

can pictures like these say anything about the boys?

or these?

or these even?

seriously, get over it. you dont know them, they can walk right up to your bloody noses and you still wouldnt know them. so quit with the cheap comments like you've got a window into our lives.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Better Good

its good...when you get to the car and still need to wear the sunglasses
its better...when you get to the car and your sunglasses is steaming hot

its good...when ariff makes conversation in the car after a long day at work
its better...when ariff and akmal converse and laugh with each other after a long day at work

its good...when you're picking up the boys and you hear the call for maghrib
its better...when you're open the car doors to let the boys out and you hear the call for maghrib

its good...when the boys have eaten and bathe and you have time to perform maghrib prayers
its better...when the boys have eaten and bathe and you can sit down and rest before performing maghrib prayers

its good...when you are able to spend an hour with the boys before its their bedtime
its better...when you get to eat and bathe without rushing and help the boys with their homework and still able to spend an hour with the boys before its their bedtime

its good...when you can do a load of laundry, dry the clothes and fold a load while the boys eat their dinner and go up together
its better...ok, so there's nothing better than that

i've been going home late the past few weeks, reaching home even later. its been terrible, i hate the working hours i have and the fact that i need to work late. i've been very unhappy lately, even feeling terribly depressed. i really pray this will phase will pass and pass quickly. i dont know how long i can handle these feelings.


got this today. hubby's friend snapped this when we were at the park 2 saturdays ago.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

it pays to plan ahead

i love planning. sometimes when i'm doing nothing, i just jot down my 'to do' plans. i dont just do a 'to do' list. that's just too easy. mine comes with detailed descriptions, notes to refer to and a rough budget (followed by a detailed one once i get an access to an excel sheet).

early in the year, i usually have plans of what i want to happen throughout the year. my plans usually come true because before i pen down the plans i must make sure they are achieveable. none of those overly dramatic plans just to spice up the list without actually achieving anything - that's just a waste of paper and precious planning time. they must also be realistic in terms of budget. once i made plans to renovate my whole entire house. that was a bit too ambitious, and come mid-year i restructured my plan to fit my budget and other things on the list.

last year, almost all of what i had planned was i-ed off. the big trip, minor house reno, clearing debts (i dont have major debts as i dont hold credit cards to my name anymore and i've settled my housing loan but i managed to pay off certain small owings here and there), akmal's birthday. alhamdulillah, it was a good year. made even better since i wasnt superly going overboard.

i've listed down my plans for the year early last month. but i didnt have time to properly analyse them and assign some budget codes to them so once i had time, i managed to look into detail and come up with the following '2011 plans' (oh so wonderfully original...)

plan 1: september
this plan will happen in september, insyaallah.

plan 2: project airway
this is one of the house renovation plans that was shelved due to 'tidak berapa penting pada ketika ini' reason. last year i madeover the bedrooms because we were reorganising the top floor. this year, i aim to look at our living room and adjust where i can. i have a couple more things i want to do, especially to the upstairs hall and the dining+kitchen, but that requires major hacking and banging and i think we shouldnt be around when that happens so detailed and thorough thoughts need to be put before that were to happen. for now i'm just looking at closing the airway, decking the floors, closing the windows near the stairs, repainting some of the exterior and some of the walls inside. i plan to settle this by may, when we're not too busy at work in case i need to take a few days off.

plan 3: baby photos
i feel very bad that i stopped printing baby photos after asyraf. for asyraf and amir i printed almost all of the photos we took of them before they turned 1. they are all kepts nicely in 7-8 albums each and the rest are saved in cds. i also printed and framed various pictures in 4R and 8R sizes and hang them up around the house. i dont have any of ariff and akmal. due to serious lack of time and energy. i think i need to start the baby photo project once again. dont think it would be a huge task - its not that difficult, i reckong, putting in some 3,000 photos in 15 albums. the framing up of pictures isnt difficult. i think per frame would only take about 5 minutes, so to do 8-10 frames would be less than an hour. the target for this plan is mid year, june, july around that time.

plan 4: family wall
i have a wall where i hang framed family photos. not the frame one can get in ikea but the frame that designated frame shops would do. i have several of amir and hubby and i and now i need to do some of asyraf, ariff and akmal. selecting the photos would take time so i'm giving myself til maybe october-november of the year.

plan 5: short breaks
i hope to tick off some short breaks during the year. i got the cny break done. since this year there's quite a few 3-day weekends, maybe we can shoot off for a getaway nearby. hubby's eyeing redang or perhentian. maybe tioman too where we can just hop on berjaya air at nearby subang airport. we're also looking at sentosa island for the boys but maybe that can wait til next year. i'd like to do cameron highlands but not with the car in its current condition.

plan 6: project pay-off
there's this one item that's really bugging me and i need to clear it off. hopefully by july i can settle it.

plan 7: the getting-akmal-off-susu-and-diapers plan
that's so a plan, isnt it? things are looking good for this. akmal's been taking less formula for a long time. he's drinking 3 bottles (of only 2-3 scoops), his first bottle is at 10am and his last bottle is around 7pm - all in school. he doesnt drink at home during the weekdays since he hasnt asked for susu before he goes off to bed anymore. on saturdays and sundays, he would drink once, sometimes in the late morning, sometimes before he takes his afternoon nap, sometimes in the evening before dinner. it varies. sometimes, like today, he doesnt drink at all. and sometimes, he's given a bottle if i foresee dinner would be late, like last thursday, even though he didnt ask for a bottle. all depends but what is certain is that the amount he drinks is decreasing. akmal eats a whole lot, he can finish an adult portion of rice so i'm not forcing formula on him if he doesnt ask for a bottle. i hope i can throw away the avent bottles by june this year.

the off-diapers plan may not happen anytime soon. akmal's older brothers were toilet trained when they turned 3, some picked up faster than others - asyraf fully toilet trained at 3 years old, amir at 3 year and 2 months, ariff at 3 years and 3 months. so if akmal can be off diapers by mid next year it would be wonderful. its in this year's plans because his teachers may staff training him during the year-end school holidays even though the final outcome will only be seen next year.

so that's it. not many plans for the year. but not having many may result in all being achieved and that's of course better than having a whole bunch of items carried forward.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Mini Project 1

"project!" - cher horowitz

i have a few projects on my list for the year, which i would blog about in a few days.

being away from the office is great, 1 day is definately not enough. i had a little bit of time to myself in between sending amir & asyraf to and picking them up from school, so i visited ikea and popular at ikano to get the bits and bobs for one of my mini projects.

i get easily distracted by mess. i hate things being all over the place and untidy and not in order. the boys' rooms get me in a state everytime i spend more than 2 minutes in them. so the long-awaited day off, i quickly drove myself to ikea, grabbed a few things (literally grabbed because in total i spent less than 25minutes and got so many things!).

my 1st mini project was to clear the mess in the boys' room. coming back from london, we added to the boys' toys & dvd collection. i'm not a toy collector, i do spring cleaning on the boys' toys almost on a monthly basis. we only have 4 boxes of toys but after the london trip, the 4 boxes were becoming too full and i desperately wanted to get more. their dvds were also in a messy pile on their chest of drawers. majorly irritating everytime i pass by the boys' drawers.

after an hour to myself, the room look much, much better. the massive pile of toys...

all cleared and boxed up and labeled.

the messy pile of dvds...

all cleared.

i bought duvets for the boys who are now into toy story.

i also got a couple of things not on the list - tupperwares for me and new curtains for the tv room downstairs.

i started another project, which is to frame up pictures of the boys. i have lots of pictures of amir and asyraf but almost zilch of ariff and akmal, so its my mummy mission to put up more baby pictures around the house. i started with amir's frame and got tired so i shifted my energy to another project, ie famous amos cookies. ok, so the frame project is to be continued on another day.


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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