Sunday, April 24, 2011

International Book Fair

Twice in a row we visited PWTC. Last Sunday is for SmartKids expo & today is for the International Book Fair.

Seriously it's been a loooonggg while I visited the Book Fair. I remember Mak used to bring me to the International Book Fair when I was young. That time it was held at Changkat Pavillion.

Anyway, book has been the family's common we burn quite a hole in our pocket for purchasing books today.

And somebody decided to get 'jiwang' a bit, so I bought myself this Malay novel. I can't remember when was the last time I read Malay novel..I think it's more than 5 years ago from my favourite Malay author, Lamia A1mal entitled 3 Wajah.

After that I always hesitate on buying one..afraid that some fictions have over-the-top lovey-dovey, too sentimental storyline.

But this book seems to attract me and it so happens the author is there to promote the book..

So just put on my reading gear, find time and start reading...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My brand new gadget

I'm not a gadget freak..I don't have a capacity to do it..

So I will only get a new gadget when my old gadget is dysfunctional. And this time it involves my 3-year old phone. The casing broke, the screen got off and most importantly, the system keeps on hang/stuck so at times I could not received sms/calls on time.

So after almost two weeks of browsing the net, reading reviews, asking friends for feedback, I finally got myself a brand new gadget.

Wuhuuu! Eventually, Rafiqah is on smartphone...I hope it is a wise investment.

Currently, still in the godek-godek many things to explore, it can be overwhelming at time. Yelah, kami budak baru belajar..

Thank you so much Nokia 6220 for your wonderful companion for the past 3 years..I'm gonna miss you...

Oh by the way, Mak also got herself a new handphone today, after more than 5 years. Nokia X3 with touch-and-type function.

Canggih mak aku!

Friday, April 22, 2011

How do you shop for a Girl?

My dream, even before I got married, is to have a daughter. Primarily is of course because of the lovely girlish, pinkish, princess-like clothing. And then I have this visionary of accompanying them for a manicure, pedicure, spa and go into the you-comb-my-hair-i-comb-your-hair routine.

The thing is I grew up mostly with girls. Out of my 33 cousins, only 7 of them are boys and they are all way younger than I do. And I went to an all-girls school. So the thought of having a boy of my own, never seems to interest me.

But after having 3 wonderful boys, I lost touch of the 'girl world'. I learn to be tough and more aggresive, just to acclimatize with their world so that I do not feel left out.

I hardly look at the girls session everytime I shop. It's always t-shirts and pants with bright colors - red, yellow, blue, green and design with cars, balls, Ben10, Ultraman, Spiderman, Batman (and macam2 Man lagi).

Now when we know that it's going to be a girl this time around, we know that we have to start shopping before I get even heavier.

Okay, one thing, I still couldn't get over the fact that it's a girl. It's beyond my imagination. I need the gynae to tell me the gender everytime I went for a check-up..and I think I need to have at least two more ultrasound sessions before I'm betul-betul convinced (kes teruk ni). Only then, I'll really shop for one. And trust me, by that time I will be very heavy.

There was this one time when it so happened me and Hubby past by M0thercare. I told him let's see what we can buy for our girl (if it's really a girl).

So, after 7 years of ignoring completely that session, for the first time I actually touched and belek-belek a girl's dress...and I went completely blank!

"Kenapa tak menarik pun?"

As opposed to the bright colours for boys, girls wear pastel colours - pink, lilac, aqua, soft yellow..


"And femininenya...ada butterfly, ada flower..pastu gambar princess and fairy...

"Lepas tu ada leggingslah, skirtlah, dresslah..ishk tak pandai nak pilihlah!"

Hubby laughed hearing my comment.

At last, we ended up buying the boys' clothes.

Seriously, what happened to me after 7 years of buying boys' stuffs?

If I'm convinced enough that it is going to be a girl, I better learn to shop for one...and I think I need a companion who can show me how to shop for a girl coz now I'm totally clueless!

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Boys and Life

It's been a very long while since I update on the boys..So beware, it is a long entry...

The Matured and Serious Ashraff

Do you know that Ashraff is currently wearing glasses? Yes! He does...since November last year. His eyesight is deteriorating and we noticed it since he always read very closely to the book. And when his kindergarten teacher told us that he always walked in front of the class to take a look at the whiteboard, complaining that he could not see at the back, we had to bring him to see an eye specialist. And goodness me, he currently has the power of 200 for each eye. That's a lot for a start! And this is not my proudest moment.

I guess this runs in my gene as I started wearing glasses when I was in Standard One. Just like me, Ashraff has to wear specs because he read books with no proper lighting, which is very bad for the eyesight. Not because of using PC as he seldom does that. Anyway, is there a way to improve his eyesight especially at this tender age?

Oh yes, my boy is currently in Standard One for the past 4 months. It was rough start especially in the first few weeks as he had trouble finding his way to the right van to take him home...and then there is money issue - duit hilang, duit orang ambik, wallet tertinggal etc. There is also this classic situation where he left the entire school bag at school, and since he is in the afternoon session, so Ayah has to search for his bag at school during the night.

But now he is coping well, alhamdulillah. We have trained him to pack his own schoolbag so that he could and would not blame us if we left certain things or books. We also tell him to listen carefully to the teachers' instructions as this is no longer kindergarten where there is some form of written communication between teachers and parents.

Ashraff is no longer the tak-buat-homework-pun-takpe boy like he used to during his kindergarten days. Nowadays, he is very concern that he finishes all his homework as given. 'Takut cikgu marah', katanya. I hope he'll stay this way forever.
And why I said he is serious? Because indeed he is. He cannot take joke lightly. I always tell him to chill, but I guess he is the studious one in the family..and being a big brother, he matures fast as he knows he is the role model to his siblings. And now that Ayah is in Johor during weekdays, he has to take up the role of the man of the house. If Ibu tak sempat monitor kerja rumah Aliff, then Ashraff will be the one who do it. He will teach Aliff and make sure Aliff finishes his homework.

Now I'm training him to pray, at least Maghrib and Isya'. I told him that he is 7 years old now so if he doesn't do it that I will have to hit him with a cane/hanger. But so far, he is very cooperative in performing his solat. He has basic knowledge of it since he was in Islamic kindy for two years, except that after a while leaving kindy he tends to forget how to do it. We just need to remind and encourage him to do it..and hopefully if I can do it religiously enough, he can perform solat independently.

The Cheeky and Talkative Aliff

Aliff is going to be 5 this November. Still a chatter-box and I think he has the most word count in a day. He knows his ABC, 123 and Aliff, Ba, Ta well..and now he has started to spell and read simple words. He is still weak in spoken English. And I guess part of it is contributed by us. We seldom practice talking English with him.

Being a 2nd child, he has the 2nd child syndrome with him. He loves to bother his brother, both older and younger brother. Rasanya KPI (key performance indicator) dia ialah "dalam satu hari kena buat at least one of them cry". Seriously, that irritates the brother..and me.

He is not the type that you can slow talk to or negotiable. He just would not listen. Frankly speaking, he is the hardest to manage for the time being.

But he is also the one who knows how to melt your heart with his smiles, action and soothing words. Unlike Ashraff who is more individualistic, Aliff is more sensitive to how I feel. He knows when I'm feeling down. In fact, he is the only one who always come to me and massage my feet, back and shoulder and talk to the baby inside my tummy.

He is also the joker of the family. He doesn't realize that sometimes the words that came out from his mouth are funny enough to make us laugh.

Aliff is so into 'susu kalsium'..a name he called for fresh milk. He no longer an eater like he used. Pretty hard to make him eat, so I'm now resorting to giving him multivits with lysine to increase his appetite. He hates it so much because of the sweet taste - both the tablet and liquid form.

The Sweet Aqieff

Aqieff is going to be 2 in July, right after his sister/brother is born. Among the 3, I have to say that he has the slowest development in terms of speech, which worries me. Most people say it is just slow development, but I'm worried if it is more serious than that.

We went to see peaditrician last week and we were told that by this age, he has to know at least 10 words. I don't think he is anywhere near that. Yes, he understands instruction well and babbles a lot, trying hard to communicate with us, but no proper word comes out from his mouth. I'll wait until he is 2 years old and if things remain the same, I shall bring him to the speech therapist. Maybe, just maybe, it is slow development after all.

And lately he falls sick a lot. Almost every month he is on antibiotics. He is just like Ashraff at this age. I guess not breastfeeding them for long contributes to that, as Aliff isn't anywhere near that, so far. And just like Ashraff, he is also a choosy eater. Even at this age, he is still on cereal. We tried giving him porridge, but he will just throw up. But these few days he has started to show some improvement by wanting to eat rice. We gave him bit by bit as he still needs to learn how to chew and swallow. I think he will skip porridge completely and straight to eating rice.

He is also the easiest to manage so far, right from the day he was born. If not because of his illness which caused him to become cranky, Aqieff will usually play on his own or watch and interact with TV. Other than that, he will play with his brothers. He loves to dance to the music and I must say, he's good at it.

Despite the easy-going him, he still rise to the occassion everytime his brothers turns aggressive. He knows how to protect himself by turning himself into an equally aggressive little boy. He is catching up real fast with Aliff's height. If Aliff doesn't speed up, Aqieff might turn out to be taller than he is.

He is still my sweet lil Aqieff who loves to smile...

The boys common interest

1. Books

We don't have much toys in the house. But when it comes to books, it's a different ball game together. We have tonnes of them. We have a wall-to-wall bookcase, which placed all our books. Hubby of course with his CPA and MBA books. And me with my novels, arts and crafts books...and the boys, well, their books take the whole section...

I bought the set of Time Publishing Encyclopedia when Ashraff was about 3 years old. Paid by installment for 2 years, and only now, I can see it put to full use. The two boys love it.

Not only on the shelves, but on their study table as well...

Specifically, Ashraff loves to read books about animals...encyclopedia that is. He knows detailed facts about how many types of snakes, which is venomous and which isn't, and which snake can be found where. And there are five classes of animals - mammals, reptiles, amphibians, bird and fish...and what makes each classes different. What is vetebrata and what is inverbrata...the difference between herbivor, amnivor and carnivor. Wow! He is like a our in-house zoologist.

Aliff, on the other hand, loves robotics stuffs...machines, aircrafts etc. He told us he wants to be a pilot when he grows up. We told him to study hard and take care of his eyesight, don't fall into Ashraff's trap.

Above is the kind of book Aliff loves, other than the normal colouring and sticker book.

Aqieff has started to follow suit. He not only look at the picture, but he also pointed at the words, and sounds as though he is trying to read. Bunyi macam mengeja pun ada. Funny. Of course, he is on board books, hasil peninggalan abang-abangnya. Most of them are still in good condition.

2. Drawing and scribbling

The boys adore drawing according to their interest. Ashraff will go for animals..and sometimes cartoon characters. He can even make out simple quiz for us or Aliff to answer.

Apart from that, he can write stories based on the illustration made.

There's this one time, he made a complete book with illustration and storyline.

Aliff is into robots and building. He is improving really fast in drawing.

Aqieff, emmm...just scribble. But at this age, he already knows how to hold pencil properly, just like his brothers.

3. Balik Kampung Trip

The boys are always looking forward to a getaway at kampung. The things is we hardly could fulfill their request because Ayah has classes during weekends and even on long holidays. But now that Ayah has completed his MBA, we intend to go back to Pontian as often as we can. Plus, I look forward to the trip too.

The boys like to main batu every morning...evening...

Fuhh! Finally...I've managed to complete this entry..after taking about 4 days drafting and editing. Now it's time to publish...tadaa!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tooth Fairy datang rumah?

12 April 2011 is another milestone for Ashraff.

Buat pertama kalinya, gigi susu dia tercabut! Ayah dengan cekal hatinya telah menjadi dentist lalu mengikat dan menarik gigi yang goyang itu dengan benang. Ibu telah menutup matanya kerana berasa sangat gerun. Yikes!

But it's pretty stubborn to fall, so the permanent teeth has started to grow..dengan buruk..alignment lari!

Seriously kena simpan duit for orthodontic treatment.

And today another teeth fall out on its own. Bangun2 tidur je, gigi dah ada dalam mulut. Nasib baik tak tertelan.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Life as a 'Single Parent'

It's been one week since Hubby is off to Johor for work. I survived the first one week...yeay!
But it's not as smooth sailing, which is what I expected. It is a tough life..

Basically, this is my daily weekdays schedule as a single weekday parent:-
  • Wake up at about 5.30-6.00 am., prepare breakfast for Aliff. Just a simple breakfast - nugget or sausage or sandwich..depends on what he wants and usually he tells me one day before.
  • Subuh prayer. Gosok tudung (I prefer to do this myself instead of asking the maid to do it).
  • Prepare Aliff's school bag (if it was not done during the night) and Aliff's uniform + underwear + socks on the bed.
  • Ensure that the maid woke up Aliff at 6.30 to prepare him for school. Ok, this is the most tedious task in the morning. Crying, wailing, nak-tidur-lagi and tak-nak-sekolah from Aliff.
  • Make Aliff eat his breakfast and drink his milk.
  • 6.50 am - woke Ashraff up, ensure that he brushes his teeth and make up his bed (lipat selimut, susun bantal, tegangkan cadar). Ashraff is a morning person so he has no problem in that area, alhamdulillah.
  • 7.00 am - angkat Aqieff from his bed and leave the house for Mak's. Mak shall send Aliff to school as it is a bit too early for me to send him directly.
  • Park our Innova at Mak's house..and borrow Mak's Honda to work. Sorry, I'm still not confident to drive an MPV to work. 7.10 am - leave for work. I have to leave early to ensure that I have the perfect parking spot. You see, I don't have a dedicated parking space at my office as I never drive to work before.
  • 8.00 am - reached office.
  • 9.00 am to 6.00 pm - work, work and work.
  • 6.30 pm - reached Mak's house. Sometimes I'll fetch Aliff at school but most of the times, Mak did it for me.
  • 6.30 - 7.00 pm - take a lil bit of rest. Lie down, put my feet on pillow.
  • 7.00 pm - Ashraff is back from school. Ensure that he takes a bath, while I have my Maghrib prayer. Ensure that Ashraff performs his Maghrib prayer. For the time being, I'll monitor and guide him.
  • 8.00 pm - we had our dinner - me, Mak and the boys.
  • 8.30 - 9.00 pm - reached our home.
  • 9.00 pm - ensure that Ashraff does his homework and do a little bit of revision. Aliff usually will join his brother - either learning to read, writing or drawing...or join Aqieff to watch TV. I'll ask the maid to look after Aqieff while I change to my nightwear and perform Isya' prayer.
  • Ashraff will pack his own bag based on his daily timetable. And I'll check to make sure his homework is done and the bag are packed accordingly. At times I just trust him as by then Aqieff is crying for me to put him to sleep. But Ashraff insists on Isya' prayer before he goes to sleep. So I'll carry and try to soothe Aqieff, while guiding Ashraff with his prayer.
  • 10.00 pm - the boys are ready for bed. Kiss them goodnight...and put Aqieff to bed. ZZzzz...
Well, now that I put it in writing, it doesn't look tough as it sounds. But of course, in the middle of it all, there comes the time when the boys fight, cry, refused to listen to instruction etc, which in my condition, could drive me up the wall! And there are also time which I have to drive Ashraff to stationery store as he needs to buy some material for his Seni subject.

Plus, Aqieff has not been well. He has a runny nose, cough and fever. Now he is still on antibiotics. And because he does not feel well, his sleep is disrupted. He will wake up few times at night crying and I had to soothe him. So, I haven't got much rest even during the night. There are two nights which I have to leave Aqieff to sleep with Mak's maid because I badly need a rest. Do I feel guilty? Yes! Yes! Yes! I never leave him (or any of my children) to sleep with maid, except at one time when I was admitted to the hospital. But I have to accept certain things in a positive way...just to keep my sanity.

And I was still lucky as compared to many parent who are of the same situation as I am. One, because I have my mother with me. She helps me a lot, especially in terms of meal. At least, as I came back from the office, dinner is ready to be served. Two, Ashraff is kind, helpful and mature enough to alleviate my burden.

Hubby does his fair share of responsibility, remotely. He ordered our groceries need online so at about 8pm at night, the things shall arrive at Mak's house. "Takyah lah you pergi G1ant," katanya.

And for maid, well, I still need to send her home middle of this month. And so far, fat chance of getting a replacement in time. So I intend to move to Mak's house once the maid is no longer around. I don't quite prefer this notion as there is proper facility for the boys like study table or their own room. They have to sleep at Mak's room, and usually they'll wait for Mak to put them to sleep. Mak pulak has her own schedule, some late night TV series that she loves to watch. So, the boys will usually sleep late at night and ended up waking up late...Aliff will normally go to school at 8.30 or 9.00. Seriously, I don't quite like the arrangement. But I have not much choice, do I? I don't think I have the energy to handle all three + my big tummy alone especially during the morning rush.

For now, all I can hope and pray is for Allah to give me good health and energy so I can handle the situation well. Have to admit, they are few times that I almost breakdown and cry as my body could not take it feet are aching as I'm on my foot most of the times and my back is killing me. I'm not strong...but I'm trying to be one. I just hope that my kids..and Hubby appreciate my effort so far.

Praying hard for things to get better...