Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What's in store for 2011?

Hello! I'm backkkk....home sweet home....

Oh yes, I should have make an entry about our Perth trip but instead I intend to complete and publish this entry first. I have been drafting this entry for the last two weeks but still haven't got time to complete it.

Shall talk about Perth in the next entry...

2011...still another two months to go...but for me here, I could feel the heat already. There's so many things in store for that year which makes me shiver everytime I think of it. Let me see what we got in store...basically there are 3 major events that will take place...

1. To begin with, Ashraff shall enter Standard One next year. That alone is a major shift for us and to Ashraff especially. To Ashraff, he will have to face bigger school, bigger school kids, new toilet, new teacher, handling of his own money, a more hectic timetable, lots of homework, heavier subjects etc.

And to us having to deal with the above could cause a lot of headaches. We have to be stricter serious parents when it comes to making sure that he finishes his homework on time. This means we have to do a lot more monitoring. With another two smaller kids in tow plus no helper, that can be a great hurdle for us..I hope we can managed..and I hope Ashraff can makes things easier for us..

2. seconded to Pasir Gudang for two years...starting this December. He shall be going to Johor to train two new executives. Together this with this secondment is a promotion. The Board has approved for this secondment and Hubby is only waiting for the official letter of appointment. So basically it hasn't 100% confirmed as yet...but big probability is there.

Me, I have no choice but to support him. He is looking forward for a promotion so this is one good opportunity for him. Plus the money is good - increase in salary and allowances. But deep down, I dont like the idea of long distance relationship. I've heard of too many marital problems arise when husband and wife live far apart. My initial plan is to take a 2-year unpaid leave and follow Hubby to Johor. But then, not having any support system in the form of Mak Ampang or a maid could cost me a lot of trouble. Hubby will be working and I will be taking care of the kids alone for at least 10 hours in a day. That could drive me insane! I can never be a typical housewife...I'm not up to the challenge.

So the next best thing is to stay in KL. Hubby will be going back every weekend for his MBA classes. Well, at least for the 1st 6 months of 2011, I'll see him during weekends. After that, it's all up to him.

In this case, let me correct my last sentence in item (1) above. With 2 small kids in tow, no helper, and no Hubby to help, it's a major hurdle for me...I don't know whether I can handle it. And that brings me to no 3...

3. I'm 8 weeks pregnant. I'm due somewhere in June next year. It was totally unplanned. Well, at least not this fast. Dah I accept it with an open heart. So I'm expecting another 20 kilos extra weight next year...just like my other pregnancies.

This time around, the first trimester wasn't as bad as with Aliff or Aqieff. I have minor nausea...threw up few times but other than that, I'm fine.

I have bring up the notion to get a maid. I really think handling 4 kids aged 7 years old and below is something that I could not manage alone.

I don't know..there's too many things to absorb at one go. Seriously, if you asked me, I'm scared to face the incoming days...I just pray hard that Allah will make our life much easier...

Oh yeah, basically the reason why I intend to post this entry first before the holiday entry is because I don't want people to see me in my holiday photos and wondering "gemuknya Rafiqah..."...

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Meeska, Mooska, It's Aliff's Birthday!

Yesterday was Aliff's 4th Birthday!

Dah besar dah budak breastfeed Ibu...

We had a very small do with only the cake and no other guest except for the usual members of the house...and Mak Pontian. Mak Pontian is here, all ready for the holiday trip.

Since Aqieff's birthday in July, Aliff has been asking for his birthday celebration with Mickey Mouse as its theme. The thing about Aliff's birthday is that there is a 2 months gap between his and the rest of the family members (mine-June, Aqieff-July, Ashraff-August, Ayah-September), so his is almost.forgotten...or should I say, the birthday spirit is gone (that's why the plan is to have one in October to bridge the gap).

Aliff wanted to have his birthday at school just like Abang Ashraff, but I somesort of disagree with his request. For me, the birthday celebration at school should be when he is 6 years old since that is his last year at kindy.

So, with birthday spirit gone and Ibu isn't in the mood to make goodie bags, all we did yesterday was cake-cutting of the 1kg Mickey Mouse's cake at Mak's house. Me and Hubby are still wearing our office attire...and Aliff is wearing his day care attire.

"Mana baju birthday Aliff?," asked Mak Pontian

"Aliff nak pakai baju birthday kat Perth nanti...nak potong cake pun kat Perth," replied Aliff dengan muka selambanya...

I'm like what?! Another cake in Perth ke?!

But kids being kids, despite the small do, Aliff was in jovial good mood yesterday..and so does the other two boys.


We all love you dearly.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Countdown to Perth...

We're almost there...4 days to go...

Alhamdulillah, the kids are back in their pink of health. Hubby is currently on his semester break, 3 weeks of holiday for him. So, we are all basically prepared for the trip...except maybe some warm clothing for Ashraff, which we are going to shop by this evening. Yesterday, we've bought a new stroller for Aqieff. It was a good buy, but then again, it's not into our initial budget. Our old stroller..hmm..time2 nak pergi ni pulak buat hal...

Ashraff has been counting days since last month. He is the most excited one in the family when it comes to this holiday trip.
Me...I'm wishing for a good health. Hasn't been well for the past two weeks...and it's getting worse...

Unlike for the Sydney trip, where the 'holiday folder' was prepared by me, this time around, I just leave most of the planning and organizing part to him. You see, to us who travels with small kids, a 'holiday folder' is important so that the trip is planned well.

But Hubby's holiday folder is excellent! He took the extra mile to come out with a neat and exciting folder. Check it out!

The Cover (for your fierce eyes only...hehe..)


The 4 days itinerary

General Info - weather, prayer time, halal butchers and restaurants

Apartment booking confirmation

Car rental booking confirmation

Bus timetable

City Map

General info - on places to visit

Ashraff's reading material - sea animals to be found in Aquaria (or whatever they called it in Perth).

Now that I look at it, where's the air flight confirmation?! Itu yang utmost important!

Ok now, I'm excited to go.

Cuma tulah, the anxiety part is still there, which like most airplane trip, I'm afraid of Aqieff's behaviour in the flight. The last trip we had to Kuching in April, he was crying non-stop during the touch down. Berpeluh jugak masa tu. Now that he can walk, I hope he can tolerate being stuck in a confined space for about 5 hours. Praying hard that everything went well...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

About My Mothers

After looking through at my archives, I've realized one thing...I've hardly make any entry about my mother(s). Yes, I did mention them numerous times but not a single dedicated entry about them. I guess it's about time I post a memoir as a tribute to their dedicated time and patience throughout the years as my mothers.

You see, when me and Hubby got married, we decided not to label our mothers as "Mak I-Mak you" or "My mother or my mother in law" instead we opt on using Mak Ampang and Mak Pontian, so both of them become 'our' mothers.

My Mak Ampang

We are 30 years apart, which makes my biological mother 63 this year. Yeah, she got me when she was 30 not because she got married late but it took her 6 years to conceive.

When I was small, I remember Mak as being a fierce and strict mother. Tak sporting langsung! She is good at disciplining the keras kepala me. She prefers to adopt the canning system -rotan, hanger, belt - semuanya dah pernah rasa. Pernah kena cili mulut, pernah kena toreh tangan dengan kaca sebab pecahkan pasu kesayangan dia, pernah kena duduk luar rumah sebab bila dah Maghrib tak reti-reti nak masuk rumah, pernah dia habiskan semua makanan kat atas meja sebab tak makan dinner on time. Yikes! To think of it, Mak sangat garang, macam harimau!

But she will come to you at night untuk sapukan ubat kat tangan yang dah berdarah kena toreh, atau kaki yang berbirat kena sebat, or she will cook a simple dinner in the middle of the night so I don't go to bed in hunger.

Despite the fierceness (hehe), you hardly hear her voice. She does not nag. She does not scream. She is the quiet type. She hardly laughs. Paling kuat pun setakat ketawa dua harkat. But she smiles a lot. That is something that I learn from her. Smile to anyone that you came across with, regardless of age, race and status.

All in all, she is a total opposite of Abah. Abah pampers me to the core, Abah loves to make jokes, Abah laughs out loud. Yet, I'm pretty close to Mak because her patience balances the darah Bugis in me.

To all of us, Mak has always be known for her patience, and yet firm in making her decision. I think being an eldest of 8 siblings contributes to these quality traits. Her sisters (and a brother) looks up to her for advice..her mother who lost her husband at the age of 42 (when Mak was 24 yo) also looks up to her for almost anything.

So when Abah passed away, she remains her composure..and keeps her strength in going through her days without Abah around. She is even stronger than me coz it hit me pretty bad when Abah passed away! Yet, what saddens me everytime I look at her is you can see a void in her life that cannot be filled. She is becoming thinner by the day...and ages really fast. She does not jog in the morning like she used to with Abah. She hardly does her gardening.

I let the elder two boys sleep at the her house every weekend just to keep her company. At least having them around keeps her busy (sometimes terlebih busy pulak..). And we decided to send Aqieff to her house instead of sending to the nursery, so she has someone to play with during the day. Every night dinner is at her home.

Oh yeah, the boys has also forced her to act beyond her norm. Now you can hear Mak screams.

"Aik, sepanjang jaga Ija tak pernah dengan Mak menjerit. Kali ini menjerit pulak."
"Anak Ija ni nak kena jerit baru dengar. Kalau tak jerit tadi, ada yang jatuh tangga." tak salahlah kan kalau Ibu jadi commando kat rumah tu.

Back to Mak, we are trying to make her happy as much as we can though we know it could not replace the tender, loving and care given by Abah. Special days like her birthday and Mothers' Day we will celebrate with her..either by treating her for dinner or buy her something special.

My Mothers' Day Gift - DIY specially for Mak

My Mak Pontian

The first time I met her was during my convocation 9 years ago.

That time me and Hubby are just friends. Kau dan Aku type of friend. But I've known all of my close university friends' parents (including me it's 6 of us). Kalau tak pernah jumpa live pun, at least I've picked up one of their phonecalls when we were in Aussie. These parents seemed to know, if the boys are not at their home, then they must be at the girls' house, so they will call them there. Yeah, at that time handphone is a luxurious item.

Plus, the 6 of us during our 3 years in Aussie usually talked about our personal life including what it was like growing up with their parents.

So when I finally met my future mother, it was like we've known each other for so long. She must have known me from Hubby (harapnya dia tahu cerita-cerita baik jelah..hehe). In fact, our parents have also become good friends. So, if me and Hubby do not marry each other, Mak Ampang and Mak Pontian will always be close friends. Just like the way Mak Ampang does with Nissa, Sheila and Atan's parents (cuma Radzi's je yang tak rapat coz he himself pun has been away from Malaysia for so long).

Mak Pontian is 65 this year. She marries late but got Hubby during the first year of their marriage. The thing that makes me comfortable with Mak Pontian is she is a Johorean, so there's not much different in terms of language, food and culture. Plus, she's an easy-going type. She is not as sensitive as Mak Ampang. If you forgot to do something that she asked for, she'll just say 'takpelah'.

One thing that I respect her most is her efficient time management in managing the household. By 11.00 am lunch is readily cooked, by 6.00 pm dinner is ready. So, you can have your lunch and dinner at exact time everyday. If you say you are going to leave the house at 10 a.m, she'll make sure she's ready by then. Her time management is superb! And that's where Hubby got this quality traits from. And naturally, he expects me to be like his mother and him! Gosh!

I was brought up in a very lenient way when it comes to time management. Kalau Abah cakap nak balik kampung pukul 9 pagi, pukul 11 pagi baru bertolak. Mak pulak, kadang2 settle masak lunch pukul 12.30, kadang2 1.30..or later than that...

No one makes a big fuss out of my Ampang family.

But things are different in my Pontian family. When I marry Hubby, he expects me to keep up with the time. I got to know this from the time we were engaged coz there's this one time, Mak Pontian actually 'tegur' me through Hubby by saying "suruh Ija tu cepat sikit. Ini belum nanti ada anak." MasyaAllah! Pedihnya...but that was the moment that I make a vow to myself to change and be punctual because I know that be on time is very crucial to my Pontian's side of family.

Another thing, Mak Pontian does not sleep much. She will only doze of to sleep at night (usually in front of TV) to wake up 3 or 4 hours later, and starts doing housechores. So, that's another thing that sampai sekarang I could not catch up. How can me yang kuat dan suka tidur adjust to this type of sleeping pattern? I can be very cranky! But I guess Mak Pontian has got used to the fact that menantu dia yang seorang ni (well, the only menantu yang dia ada buat masa ni) pentingkan tidur yang cukup untuk menjadi seorang ibu dan isteri yang efektif..hehe..

Unlike Mak Ampang, Mak Pontian is rather talkative. He can greet almost anyone...either at the kampung itself, or at pasar malam, or in town...everyone in the Pontian seems to know who Makcik Rahmah is.

But one thing that Mak Pontian and Mak Ampang have in common now is that both are single parents. Mak Pontian lost her husband 9 years ago. It was a tough arrangement for Hubby to make when it comes to managing his family. Unlike Mak Ampang who lives about 5 mins away from us, Mak Pontian lives alone, far away from the buzzing main road (about 4 kms inside). Our kampung house was located about 200 metres away from the neighbours, seperated by big trees which makes their houses hardly visible to us. We were contemplating on taking an Indonesian maid to accompany Mak, but upon discussing with her, she refused to have one. "Lagi bahaya, kita bukan boleh percaya orang yang kita tak kenal." We buy her reason. So things remain unsolved, until one day, Pak Lang (Mak's brother) extended an offer to rent his house that is located at the heart of Pontian town.

Now Mak Pontian lives at her rented house which is just in-front of her brother's. That gives us a peace of mind knowing the fact that she is safe and sound. So our kampung house will only be opened for Raya or everytime we balik kampung.

So being single, both my mothers are pretty close to each other. Mak Pontian usually comes to KL to visit us (since we hardly go back to kampung because Hubby has classes on weekends) and since we are working, Mak Ampang and Mak Pontian will enjoy each other company like good old inseperable friends.

All in all, my life is blessed for having two good mothers. A biological mother who is always there for me and a mother-in-law treats me just like her own daughter (just as I treat her as my own mother).

The thing is I can't imagine my life without them around...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bila dua orang budak sakit...

...Ibu dia pun rasa macam nak sakit jugak...

Yup, Aqieff has joined Aliff's club. He was diagnosed with HFMD yesterday. His is worse than Abang Aliff. He has red spots (and blisters on his lips) all over his hand, feet, leg, arm and buttock. But the thing that makes him cranky (and minta digendong seperti anak koala) is his mouth ulcer which apparently is all over his mouth.

One thing good about him is he is still make an effort to eat and drink plain water. So I hope with that, he'll have a speedy recovery.

As for me, I'm pretty much sleep deprived. Aqieff is very restless at nights due to pain and hunger. The last two nights could drive me up the wall, having to cradle him to sleep just to see him waking up about 15 - 30 minutes later, crying. The process repeats throughout the night. The only thing that keeps my sanity is the thought that my baby is sick and it's just a temporary situation while some other parents might have to go through a lot more hardship than this (especially to those who have a permanently sick child). Thank God Hubby is such a great helping hand, where we switched task in the middle of the night. But seriously, I do want to bother him that much coz he has exam this weekend, and he needs to study. So, I'll bear with the task as long as I can and keep on praying that Aqieff will recover soon.

So now, I'm on leave just to make up for the lost sleeping time at night (as Mak and Bibik are there to assist). And at the same time to take care of two 'very silent' boys . Yup, they are indeed not talking. Semua main tunjuk2 je sebab mulut sakit nak bercakap. That's the funny part about Aliff. He's so used to talking (and eating) that having this disease actually bothers him to the core. Pity him.

Now, our biggest challenge is to make sure that Ashraff doesn't get the disease. After all Perth trip is only 14 days away...Keep praying...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Unplanned Plan

Sounds ironic, aye?

Well, kita hanya mampu merancang tetapi Tuhan yang menentukan...

Tetapi apabila kita tidak merancang, maka jadilah sesuatu yang tidak terancang...

What's with the philosophical mood this morning? Go figure!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nak sakit, biar sakit sekarang...

...dan bukan dah nak pergi bercuti nanti baru nak sakit.

Yup, the boys had their fair share of sickness lately. Aqieff had slight fever two weeks ago followed by an episode of runny nose and phlegmatic cough (and of course, restless nights). Still has slight cough since we opt not to take antibiotics this time around and let him recover by himself. So it took quite a while (and lots of restless nights for him..and us), but lately and finally he's back to his good cheeky self.

Ashraff, about two days ago, has started having blocked nose and asthmatic-like cough. Has started on cough medicine coupled with Ventolin.

Aliff...hmmm...lagi best. Just diagnosed with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease today! Yikes! Now we are trying our level best to separate him from the other two, which is not an easy job! Thank God Mak decides to help us by letting Aliff sleeps with her, so that makes our job slightly easier...

And esok, well rasa macam nak take emergency leave since Aliff is not feeling well. Tapi submission of Board papers is due my colleague is on leave..and my manager might also be on leave. So, no choice but to go to work. Harapkan belas kasihan Mak. Plus I think Aliff will be fine. He is still active, cuma a tad quieter than the usual him. Sakit mulut nak cakap, kata dia. One thing good about him is that he has higher tolerance against pain as compared to his older brother yang baru kena paper cut pun dah melaung satu Popular Bookstore boleh dengar!

Yeah, let them be sick now so that by the time we are leaving for Perth, everyone will be in good health, I hope.

So to work tomorrow. Yelah, nak buat macamana...I'm a dedicated staff that is committed to work...yeah, WHAT-E-VA!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Corporate Teambuilding Programme

Last week, my company sent me to a resort in Janda Baik for a corporate teambuilding programme, compulsory for all staffs. This programme started right after Raya where each session, the participants are required to spend 3 days and 2 night at the resort. There is about 10 sessions altogether, and mine is the 3rd session. Yeah, the sooner the better.

I guess the word 'teambuilding' itself is self-explanatory. Work-in-a-team-to-achieve-one-objective kinda thing. Despite the negative impression over this teambuilding programme (yelah, company dah sakit tapi masih ada hati nak buat expensive course), if you accept it with an open heart, you will enjoy every minute of it. Plus, the 2 nights away from the family is like escapism for me (evil, evil..). Having a jolly good time with other mothers who also shared the same feeling...bestnya!

The 3 days 2 nights was a hectic schedule. Not a time to take a short nap. 80% of the course is done indoor, while the rest are done outdoor. This is unlike what I had in mind when you talk about teambuilding, but for me who the only time I exercise is going up and down the stairs doing housechores, the course outline suits me perfectly.

Well, as expected, in most teambuilding (or similar courses), there is a group performance to be done. Somehow or rather, one week before the course, I have envisioned myself performing dikir barat for group performance. I thought "kalau diaorang suruh each group perform, then one good performance will be dikir barat." So I have recalled most of the dikir barat songs (and bunga) I've performed before. Cuma lagu opening je tak ingat...and lupanya nak tanya Sheila (my mentor in dikir barat) at that time.

Pucuk dicita ulam mendatang. Yup, we were asked to perform dikir barat in two groups. Each group consists of 50 individuals. We were given 1 1/2 hours to prepare, starting from 4 p.m. By 5.30 p.m. everything must be up and ready.

Initially I planned to keep quiet and let the experts i.e. the Kelantanese to do the job. They want to do it the pure Kelantan version, while mine is more of a commercial dikir with a mixture of Kelate and Nogori songs.

But by 4.45 pm, nothing seems to be done. Not even the lyrics. The only thing done is the rambu-ramba for our hands. So with the permission of my group leader, I decided to take charge. We decided to dikir with 'Ewa bulan'. Easier. Everybody knows that song.

And who is the Tukang Karut? Hmmm...siapa lagi kalau bukan moi. Actually we have 3 Tukang Karuts. One for the opening, one for the 'Ewa Bulan' song, and mine was the lenggok2 part for the closing.

It has been years since I perform on stage be it singing, acting or dancing. Seriously, it was one hell of a stage fright and I can feel my voice trembles when I sang. Whateva...janji perform as asked to.

But the best part, after the performance, people came and asked me "Rafiqah orang Kelantan ke?". Excuse me..tak dengar ke bunyi macam orang Siam tadi...hehe..

Well, I'm going to make sure that that is my last time performing in the Bank. And please do not ever show me the video of us performing. Malu banget!

Photos? I didn't bring my camera along, so I am waiting for the courtesy of our Training Dept for some photos taken during the programme. Nanti dah dapat, akan diupload di sini dan Facebook, insyaAllah.

Updated at 6.45 pm (sementara menunggu Hubby yang tak kunjung tiba)...

Different story altogether, but I have to at least note it somewhere...

Ashraff managed to puasa penuh selama 16 hari last Ramadhan. Not bad, considering the fact that he (and his friend) are the only one not fasting at school the first few days of Ramadhan.

When I got to know that he asked his teacher for his lunch when other students are all busy fasting, i refused to talk to him the whole day. Buat malu je!

And another no-talking-to-Ashraff day, when I received a call from the teacher asking my permission to give Ashraff his lunch coz he was screaming for food. I could hear him screaming at the back. Bengangnya ibu!

But he gradually improved then on...from breaking fast at 12 pm, extended to 2 pm, then 4 pm...then the whole day!

I guess incentive in the form of money does work. And also the thought of Ibu transforming into a tiger if he doesn't do it...hehe..

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Trip to Perth

Another holiday trip to Downunder after 3 years...this time around our destination will be Perth due early November. Our 'support system' will be my Mak Ampang, Mak Pontian, my mak saudara and cousin. We need a good 'support system' to assist us or else either barang yang tercicir...or the boys yang tertinggal...

So let me see...

Passport - checked.
Visa - camne ye, Yang? Semua approve ke?
Car rental - checked.
Accommodation - checked.
Itineraries - checked.
Clothing - so-so, need to shop for the boys clothing especially for Ashraff. Aliff and Aqieff can wear hands-me-down.

Money? Errr...gaji bulan ni sempat lagikan untuk cukupkan tabung?

Monday, October 04, 2010

Something I wish I got it from my boys... their long and thick eyelashes.

Ashraff has long and slightly curled eyelashes.

Aliff has the longest and thickest among the three. But his is straight...macam tirai.

Aqieff has the shortest among the three, but then again if people see him alone without the brothers, they will make remark such as "panjang bulu mata dia."

Ye, siapa lagi nak puji anak kita kalau bukan mak bapak dia sendiri. But yeah, the boys have long eyelashes. It's like a combination of mine and Hubby's. I just wish I have them so I don't have to invest in a volumizer mascara..

And also I wish if I have a girl, her eyelashes will be as long and thick (and perhaps curled) like her brothers...

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Raya 2010

2010..our Raya are back to the same normal routine where we had our 1st Raya in Pontian and the next day went to JB to meet Mak Ampang.

Last year, as Abah had just passed away and Mak was still in her edah (idah?), we had our first Raya in KL, which wasn't that fun due to the fact that all family members are in Johore..and Abah wasn't around.

This year, Mak drove all the way back to JB with her brand new car. Alhamdulillah, she's still able to drive and independent enough to live her life without Abah around. Nevertheless, eventhough Abah has left us for more than a year, she still misses Abah dearly (me too!). You can tell it from her lonely eyes...

Ok back to Raya story. This year, we choose a champagne-brown as our theme colour. Initially, I planned to have a black and white theme this Raya, where all the men in the family will wear black Baju Melayu..and I'm the only one with a hint of white (biasalah yang unik adalah Ibu seorang saja..and outnumbered!). But since champagne will be my cousin's wedding theme in December, so we decided to opt for that colour . Tak payah buat baju Melayu dua kali.

My Pontian Family - 1st Raya

My Ampang Family - 2nd Raya

During this Raya, Aliff discovers his interest in playing blocks. You see, we seldom buy toys for the boys since their collection is already huge, plus we found that they easily got bored with new toys. They prefer TV to toys. Now their toys are basically laying idle in the box, untouchable.

But when we visited a relative house during Raya this year, Aliff was indulged in playing blocks. He can sit still at one spot constructing buildings, guns, robot etc with blocks. On the way back, we decided to get one for him...well, at least with the blocks, he doesn't bother his elder or younger brother who got irritated with him easily. Aman sikit dunia...

"Tengok, machine gun, Ibu!"

Then again, it is a tiring Raya for us due to the fact that we are maidless and Aqieff has a strong stranger anxiety...berkepit macam koala. We never encounter this kind of situation with Ashraff and Aliff before, maybe because we have a maid when they were Aqieff's age or they are more extrovert as compared to Aqieff.

Budak takut orang ada tanda kat dahi...jatuh on the 1st day of Raya.

Despite that, like any other year, we make it a point to visit all uncles and aunties from both sides of the family who lives in various parts of Johor - Pontian, JB, Kulai, Pasir Gudang, Muar and Kluang (and Melaka). After all it's only once a year we managed to do it.

And yes, my cousin Tina gave birth to a baby girl on the 2nd day of Raya. We visited them at my aunt's house in JB. Welcome aboard, Airra binti Raihan!

Comelnya Airra! Bilalah aunty nak dapat macam Airra ni...

Well, this weekend will be the last Raya weekend. Yeah, like any other weekends we have few Raya open house invitation that we need to attend to. And knowing Hubby, he'll try to attend to as many invitation as possible in between his classes and heavy road traffic. So yeah, all geared up for makan free time. Chiow!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Do not leave him alone!

When you leave Aliff alone, a disaster bound to happen any's like a ticking bomb, once exploded will cause a major shock and blow to the family.

And that's what happened two weeks before Raya...29th of August to be exact...His newly Raya haircut has been further HIM!

He was sitting all alone in Bibik's room while Ibu took care of Aqieff who has crave on perfecting his walking skill. Aliff came out occassionally with a comb in his hand and a cheeky smile on his face.

"Rambut raya, Ibu!"

"Ha'ah..cantik.." replied Ibu, not noticing any different with his mane...until it's too late...

Bibik's drawer was full of his self-cut hair..

Apa lagi darah bugis Ibu pun mula mengelegak. Ibu was so berserk and refused to see his face.

Ayah who just came back from Pasar Ramadhan with Ashraff, was also angry to see his new hair.

"Buang duit je potong rambut Aliff tadi. Botakkan je rambut ni!"

By then this lil lad was crying coz everybody in the house could not hide their anger with him...

Aliff, Aliff...seriously our lives are more meaningful and full of colours having you on board...

So here it is, introducing our Budak Tobek Aliff...

We brought him to the barber to repair his hair one week after Raya...Thank God it wasn't that bad during Raya except most people who knew Aliff would ask "kenapa pendek sangat rambut Aliff ni?"

Monday, August 30, 2010

Me...working today?

It was smooth sailing to work today..good choice to drive...

And the office..gosh it's almost empty!

To top it all off, PC pulak buat hal. Bukak-bukak je blue screen and the IT people will take about one or two days to resolve the problem.

So where do I blog from then?

My friend's PC! He was on leave today...and due to boredom, I called him up to ask for his username and password so I could have access to the internet.

And now blogging...and goggling happily.

Yes, I do have few work to do, but the mood just isn't there...not when the office is so quite and you are using someone else's computer...alasan..alasan...

Plus, now that my blogging mode is on, I better post up some entries no matter how merapu it sounds..

The mood to blog came from spending my lunch hour during this Ramadhan month reading through my archives. I noticed that I heavily blog in 2005, 2006and 2007 with more than 30 entries per year. When I read through, it was nice to take a stroll down the memory lane and to reconnect with my past rants and rambles about life.

Then I found that I hardly blog in 2008, 2009 and this year. Reason being, increase family commitments, expansion of C.M.O.G, and the rush of Facebook era, which leaves blogspot unattended to. There's so many interesting (and not interesting) events in my life that I do not pen down.

And I seems to have lost touch with my blogger friends whom I have became a good friend of mine. Tau2 ada yang dah masuk anak tiga dah...emmm...

So now, I make an effort to start blogging (although dah berkarat) and pay a visit to my friends' blogs. This pretty much explains the three consecutive entries made within 4's a like a surge of addiction to blog:)

Next...blogspot makeover! Googling for free blogger template...found a good link from Eiseai's blog...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Where is this ship heading to? - Part 2

Referring to Part 1, I mentioned that my goal for now is to obtain my long service award.

Why is that so?

You see, beginning of this year, I have this intention to retire early and become a stay-at-home mum. Well, this intention is always at the back of my mind since I became a mother 6 years ago. In fact, when I read through my archives, I saw this interesting tagged that I did way back in 2005 and somehow have this envision of me being working at home mother at the age of 38.

When I was a lot younger, the thought of becoming someone who stays at home and look after her kids 24/7 never came across my mind at all. Instead, I see myself as someone successful in climbing the corporate ladder. Someone at the age of 40 has become a head of department, leading about 20 or so subordinates. Angan-angan mat jenin..

But only one thing uncertain at that time. I don't know what I want to be. Doctor is definitely out of the story...what more in becoming a celebrity...haha..

You see, when I completed my SRP (Form 3), accounting is not something that I would love to pursue. My interest was in Science..Math and Science to be exact. I wanted to take Pure Science when I was in Form 4 (despite me hating Biology subject). But Abah insisted I took Accounting subject. So when I was offered a place in MRSM I took Applied Science - dropped Biology and take Accounting instead.

At that point of time, I did not have the slightest idea of what Accounting is (I'm not in commerce stream when I was in Form 3), so the notion of taking Accounting in Form 4 cringed me. Kena-kena pulak cikgu yang ajar tu assume all of us have basic in accounting. Come on man, I don't even know the difference between assets and liabilities..what more double entry...

I flung the first quiz we had. It was my first failure, so it hit me really bad. I cried hard, almost gave up on the subject. I called Abah all the way from Terengganu, blaming him for forcing me to take the subject. But I remembered Abah being so calm and convinced me that I am bright enough to master the subject. Then the good side of me took place..I put extra effort to catch up with the rest of the students. Pergi menuntut dengan kawan-kawan yang pandai, forced the teacher to have a one-to-one personal coaching session with me. It's not long before I managed to grasp the subject really well.

Despite the better score in Accounting, my love was still in Physics and Chemistry (and Additional Maths). With my trial result, I was offered to pursue my study in Canada, doing engineering course. I was happy for the news, but Abah was not. He wanted me to continue in Universiti Malaya to be exact. What??!!

We had a great argument that night. I said I want to pursue study outside Malaysia.

"How about Singapore?" I remember Abah saying.
"Singapore? Taknaklah...dah selalu pergi..and what with you and UM?"
"Abah fikir UM adalah yang terbaik. I can buy you a car if you study in UM."
"I don't want a car. I want to go to Canada. Not everyone got this kind of opportunity." "Canada is too far."

I'm in the verge of crying at that time. I guess Abah saw the huge disappointment of my face, so he then compromised...

"Ok, kalau nak study overseas jugak, the furthest you can go is Australia..and buat Accounting ye, nak. Abah kalau boleh nak Ija jadi Accountant."

So Accounting it Australia...Now that I think of it, kalau pergi Canada, mesti tak jumpa Hubby..hehehe...

And then worked in a Bank...a development Bank..because Abah refused to let me work in a commercial Bank. It's a lot more pressure, he said, especially when you are at a revenue center.

So like I said, been there done that for the past 10 years...

Now back to the original topic, with the current turbulence and the not-so-nice working environment, I want to pursue my new dream. The goal to become a work-at-home mom, just in time to be there for Ashraff when he enters the mainstream school. Though one thing is always at the back of my mind - if Abah is still around, he would definitely go against me in this. And just like before, I would buy his reasons and follow what he said.

But looking at the ship I'm boarding now, it is going to sink anytime soon if the captain is still uncertain of its direction. So before it does, it's better if I jump to a new ship fast. But I need to grab some token from the current ship first i.e. my long service award first which I hope to obtain before the ship sinks...

In the meantime, an employment agency called me up to set me for an interview. This has drived me to update my CV which hasn't been updated for the longest time. Now that everything is updated, the thought came into my mind...hey, why don't I test the market and see what's I'm worth now?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Where is this ship heading to? - Part 1

I know it's okay for an organization to undergo restructuring every two or three years to be in tandem with the change in economy, technology and government's policy.
But what with restructuring every two weeks?

Isn't that unhealthy?

You see, when you keeps on changing rapidly, somehow or rather you seems to have lost your direction, target and goal...and there's an exorbitant price that comes with it, which is in the form of low staff motivation that leads to unproductiveness!

And that's what an executive cabuk like me hates the most!

I hate living in a situation with no goal or motive. I'm the type that if I choose to go to a place, there must be something that I intend to see. I guess that's why I choose to marry Hubby in the first place, as for me he has a vision in life..a proper planning..a target. (Or do I marry him because he is a chatty type?)

So when this situation happens, I'm doomed. I'm like in the dark...buat kerja tapi tak tahu untuk apa...dan ke mana...

And after having to go through numerous numbers of restructuring process and throwing money outside the window, the latest rumours that I heard was we are going to be taken over by another institutions in October!

Oh come on! What happened to my long service award that I've been waiting for since the beginning of this year?

And to be eaten again? Gosh, the last 5 years memory is still fresh in my mind, and now I have to go through this again? Is this like an every 5 years event for me?

But when I ponder deep and long inside, a part of me wants this merger to happen fast. I can't stand having to work with no goal, no KPIs, no direction. With a so called new organisation, then there will be a breath of fresh air...i hope..

You see, when I first started working 10 years ago, I set myself a target My target was to be promoted every 3 to 4 years (considering I'm a fresh grad with no experience at that time). And because of that, I was self-driven. Pushed myself hard to achieve my level best. And I made it at the end of 2003! Took CCP course in 2004 to enhance my value, target to pass all papers at one go but terberanak pulak masa last paper tu..

Planned to sit for the final paper in the next sitting but at that time the Bank went into deep shit - change of management, restructuring over and over again, semuanya serba tak kena, so my motivation level dies of naturally. Eventually the Bank was taken over by a bigger capital Bank.

And after that, I worked like a robot, with no heart. Kerja sebab dibayar gaji.

I wanted to leave the Bank but the conservative Abah said "Sabar...things happen for a reason."

So here I am after 10 years, masih di takuk lama seperti 7 tahun dulu...

Now my goal is only one...I need my long service award! be continued...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Look who's walking now!

Finally..the day we've been waiting for has arrived!

On 1st day of Ramadhan (11th August 2010), my baby walks! Wobble, Wiggle, Wobble, Wiggle all the way..The whole family was excited to see him walking...

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Lotsa Birthdays!

In June

It's mine! My 33rd Birthday..old already, aye? There's no such thing as age is just a number. Dah tua, tua jugak..but I want it do it gracefully:)

For me being a wife and mom, having to hear the wish from my family is the best thing to happen on my birthday, but Hubby decided to give it an extra ummphh. He asked me out on a dinner to Favola, La Meridien Hotel. It was an Italian restaurant, headed by a close friend of Hubby's, Chef Ayie. So basically he got a special price from him..But anyway, without the special price, I find the price of food there is reasonable and affordable.

Here are some of the foods that we ate:-

Wow! To me that's more than enough for my birthday.

But that's not enough to him. Hubby handed me a birthday card. As I opened it I was mesmerized as the first thing I saw is Ashraff's sweet handwriting.

And I as I looked further down, I can see a birthday voucher for a day of pampering at my favourite spa.

Gosh! I almost cried. Thank you so much the most romantic guy I've ever known..for making my day on my birthday!

A very happy birthday girl..

Anyway, I've used the voucher last Sunday. What a bliss!

In July

It's Aqieff's 1st birthday! As per my previous entry, his birthday falls on weekday. But we decided to celebrate it that weekend at Bukit Tinggi, Pahang since we are heading East to attend my friend's wedding in Bentong.

Bukit Tinggi is a place where I wanted to go for the longest time but hadn't got the chance to do so. I thought of making it our honeymoon destination 7 years ago (7 tahun dah!) but Hubby opposed to that. Then, on our anniversary this year, I asked him again, still the same answer. But hajat tercapai when I proposed to him to make it a venue to celebrate Aqieff's birthday. So that weekend, we headed of to Bentong first.

Aik! Aqieff ke yang drive?

The bride, Ila looks extraordinary beautiful clad in a combination of pink and green wedding dress. Her partner pun apa kurangnya. Bagai pinang dibelah dua:)

Pengantin Baru dan Pengantin Lama

Then on the way back, we dropped by at Bukit Tinggi. First a visit to the rabbit farm. Aliff was crying when we reached there. It turns out that his foot was sore. Laa..kasut dah sempit rupanya..kena beli kasut barulah nampak gayanya...

We changed him to his normal Crocs, and he was back to his normal cheeky self.

The kids had a marvelous time feeding the rabbit.

We then visited Colmar Tropicale, which is a must if you visit Bukit Tinggi. Lovely place. I found that they maintained the place quite well.

We stopped at a restaurant to have a short tea time and decided to cut the cake there.

The birthday boy was in a jovial mood all the time, alhamdulillah.

"Aqieff, I'm sorry that we do not have a bigger 1st birthday celebration for you unlike your brother's. After having three kids, Ibu Ayah thought it's just not worth it to have a big do for a one year old. We'll have yours when you are bigger. How about next year?"

In August

It's Ashraff's 6th birthday! Also my 6th anniversary as Ibu.

This time around the celebration is done at Ashraff's school, as insisted by the birthday boy himself. He wants a Spongebob Squarepants theme for his birthday celebration.

Ibu took about one week to prepare for his goodie bags, selit-selit dengan buat orang lain punya order.

Ashraff was happy despite the small and brief do. He was surrounded by his friends, his brothers and teachers. Ibu, Tok Mak and Bibik pun ada.

Despite the happiness, Ashraff is not feeling well. You can tell it from his eyes. He was down with measles that evening. Poor boy..sakit ni dah sebati dengan diri dia..

So birthday in June, July and August are over and done with...

Coming up next..

In September

It's Ayah's birthday..during 1st week of Raya..

In November

It's Aliff's. He has been waiting too long for his birthday. When we bought a cake for Aqieff, he will be asking Aliff punya mana? And same goes when we did for Ashraff's. He didn't cry asking for his to be done immediately as he accepted the fact that his is in November (eventhough he doesn't now how long that's gonna take).

Cuma everytime there's birthday in the house, he will say
"Aliff nanti nak birthday Mickey Mouse tau Ibu."
Ok Aliff...I got you...

Having to think of it, the only month missing is kalau nak try for no 4, kena aim for October delivery..hehehe..