Monday, September 29, 2008

Iftar Menu...Ayam Masak Bijan

Ayam Masak Bijan by Aina Syasya... following recipe kompilasi Masakan Ayam produced by Alaf21. Alhamdulillah, tak payah masak semalam. Presentation by Abah (Azlin)

Sayur pulak camana? Well, Azlin masakkan, so I dont have to cook at all and can focus on finishing Anis's 3rd baju raya:-)

Alamak! Dirtynya tingkap dapur tu...berminyak.

Anis, dulu dan sekarang

Anis at 7 - showing off her teeth - one piece just fell

As I was browsing thru old pictures in my laptop, i saw this picture of Anis looking so cute and slim. Thought I should record the remarkable changes that happened to her. We never thought that she would change from the slim girl into the size she is now...

Celebrating 7th birthday - Ahmad protesting next to her

This is Anis at 10
Anis started putting on more weight when she was nine. Thanks to appendix removal that caused her to reduce her sporting activities. She dropped her taekwando soon after and only exercise during school PJ.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Seriau aka Seghiau @ "Segh(err)ung"

  • There was once, I was in hiking and camping club - we went out and climb trees during college break. I looked down, felt nothing but wows and wonder of the scenes. Tak seghung pung:-)
  • Then, I got married and we moved back to my old home in flat DBKL at Setapak Jaya. Third floor. I looked down and suddently felt like I was going to fall down. Pening! Seghiau sungguh!
  • Yesterday, the kids wanted KFC and McD for Iftar. So, my other half and I went to Sec 18, Shah Alam where the McD and KFC are across the street of each other. We split. I went to KFC and hubby went to McD. I finished my orders first, wanted to cross the not so big but deep drain, suddenly felt like I was going to fall into the drain! So, I took the longest route, avoid drain hopping. Seriau ahh!

I wonder how could this phobia thing developed. From one who used to be active in hiking activities and now, couldn't even bear to look down even at deep drain. Luckily, I can still watch sceneries down from the airplane. Is there some adrenalin change somewhere that had caused this condition after one gets married or have children? :-)

I checked out from Wiki, this sensation is called vertigo, a dizziness triggered by heights. It is not fear of height (acrophobia) , cos I definitely do not qualify for that. It is triggered by many conditions. It looks serious - some imbalance in the inner ear or sudden change of blood pressure or as a symptom of motion sickness while sailing, riding amusement rides, airplanes or in a motor vehicle. Some conditions comes with vomiting and some other serious symptoms. Merriam -Webster Online said that vertigo is a sensation of motion in which the individual or the individual's surroundings seem to whirl dizzily or a dizzy confused state of mind.

Was I confused? No. Was I dizzy? Yea, you can say that. I do have a history of ear infection that caused hole in my ear drum when I was pregnant with Anis but I had recovered and eardrum is not in the inner ear. But it wasn't serious enough to the point of having other medical symptoms. Maybe I could just attribute that to stress. That's what doctors will tell you if they can't find anything wrong with you after going through series of tests :-)

Friday, September 26, 2008

English 201

Years ago, well, once upon time, I wanted to become a scientist. This only came about only after I had enrolled into UW-Madison, in the Chemistry course. I decided to do professional chemistry which required me to take the intermediate level of English Composition. I guess to prepare us for the scientific papers that we're supposed to write later in our life. So I took English 201.
The course actually make us write from a given theme and then work in a group to improve the writing. The team will comment on what we wrote, facilitated by the lecturer and then we make the 2nd and then the 3rd draft before we finally submitted the final draft.

This is my group - I can't remember any of their names anymore

Well, while unpacking (yeah, after 2 years moving in to this house,still not done unpack!), I found a piece of what I had written and I thought of "documenting" it here. It's kind like a little chunck of my life - of course with a little bit of salt and sugar added on here an there to make it more interesting to read. This was the year my father passed away - while I was still in the US....

Wan Sabrina Wan Mohamad
English 201
Debra Bernardi

Dreams to Dreams
"Dad! I'm back! I got the result. Here!" With bright smile Sabrina gave her father a piece of paper that stated her Lower Examination Certificate of Education's (LCE) result. After months of slaving herself with books, reviewing her last three years of school work for the national exam, she finally made it.
"My teacher said I've got the best result in the whole school." She announced proudly to her father, looking at him with hopes in her bright eyes. Sure enough, she caught a gleam of proud light in his eyes and a sly but satisfactory smile forming in her father's lips.
"Isn't it great? Now, can I apply to that boarding school? Can I?" Smilingly, her father replied,
"Sure Nina, whatever you want. Looks like I'm not gonna see much of you anymore, huh! Nina..." He started to sound serious suddenly. "Don't ever stop studying when you get the chance to. I want to see at least one of my seven children go to university and get a degree. You know what your uncle had been insinuating how educate our family is. Show him that our family is not as dumb as he think we are. Get the highest education that you can get. You're my last hope since none of your brothers and sisters were lucky enough to enter the university and I really want you to be successful in your studies and career for me, our family, and most importantly, for yourself."
"Yes daddy, I understand, I'll try my best."
Even though she told her father that she would try her best, Sabrina was not really serious with her pledge. All that she could think of at that moment was, now that she got a very good result, she was positive that she would be accepted to one of the best science of technical school in the country. She dreamed of going to the school since she was twelve years old. She wanted to make new friends and experienced living outside her home. At fifteen, she wasn't serious about her future. She studied because it was fun to do so and it made her feel special to be the top student in her class. And now, she thought, it would be more fun and challenging to study in a group and live without depending on her parents. Not once, did she think that she would get the best chances of going to university if she got accepted to the boarding school, as her father had hoped that she would.
"Twenty? Is this the best that you can do? You got all As in your LCE. What did you do this time? Nina, Nina.....I thought when I sent you to that technical school, you'll get better results for this exam and better chances of going to university. Now..."
Before her father could finish his sentence, Sabrina interrupted him. "But daddy, it's still a good grade and my teacher said so too."
"Yes! But this is not your best effort! C'mon Sabrina, you know you can do better than this! If only I..."
Sabrina couldn't bear to hear more from her disappointed father, especially when her father started calling her 'Sabrina'. She knew she didn't give it her best shot for the cumulative national exam. This exam, although consists of only two final years of her schoolwork, was much harder than the last one. She didn't study as hard as before because she had too much fun going out to the city and cruising the island on the island's ferry every Saturday. She had what she wanted when she was acceptd to the technical school. She didn't think that she should study very hard because she didn't really want to go to university although her father wanted and hoped that she would. Instead, she went outing every Saturday that she was allowed to because she couldn't stand being confined in the dorm every day without freedom. Dorm life was not as fun as she thought it would be.
And now, hearing her father's disappointment, she didn't want to crush his hopes more by telling him the truth about not wanting to go to university. This two years of living apart had really been good to her relationship with her family, especially with her father. Their relationshop had turned more towards friendship because now, she wasn't considered as a child anymore. She didn't want to spoil her new found friendship with her father, so instead of telling the truth, she told him, "Don't worry dad. Although I didn't do as good as I should, I'm still qualified to enter one of the local universities" She then added silently to herself, "And this time, I won't repeat the same mistake. I will do my very best. I won't disappoint you again. I'll study for you, daddy." She vowed to herself to get the best education. She would try her best so that she wouldn't hear her father's disappointment anymore. And she would try to fulfill his hopes and dreams.
"Nina, take care of yourself. Don't forget to write."
"Sabrina, remember that you're alone in America, take good care of yourself and don't do anything that will shame your family and our country."
"Bye Sis! Don't forget to bring me presents when you come back!"
"Me too!" Everyone seemed to be talking all at once to her as her sponsor's officer was calling every students to get into the briefing area for final instruction before their departure.
"Mom, Dad, I have to go now. I'll miss you all very much. You will come to my graduation, won't you?"
Smiling, her father replied to that by saying, "Nina, can't you see that I'm not as strong as I used to be? What make you think that I'll still be here when you graduate?" He made his comment lightly.
"Oh daddy...!"
"Don't worry dear, we'll be there. Your dad wasn't serious about not being there. Don't forget your family wherever you are." Tears flow on her mother's cheek as she was saying goodbye, even though she was smiling. Sabrina saw her father's grim face and noticed that there was a drop of teat near his left eye. She said her goodbye and kissed their hands in a hurry and left with her luggage to join her friends for final instruction from the officer.
"I won't forget, mom, dad, I won't! I promise! This time, I'm gonna make it. I was one of the best students in the program, wasn't I? And I will give it my best effort in America, just for you. It'll be my gift to you for all the things that you've done for me." She renewed her pledge with determination as she stepped into the Boeing 747 that would bring her to America to pursue her degree.
She still couldn't believe that she was going to America finally. A lot of her other friends in the program didn't make it. She never thought that she would have to go thousands of miles away to fulfull her father's wishes. When she received the college scholarship offer to enter the two years program and then transferred to a university in America, from the Public Services Department, she couldn't decide whether to accept it or not. But when her application to study at the best local university was rejected, she decided to accept the offer. And so, this time, it was not only her parents' hope that she carried but also her sponsor's, who is paying for her education. She promised to herself that her parents would see her graduate and she would study as hard as she could to make her parents' hope and dreams become a reality. And she would show her uncle that her family is not as dumb as he thought.
She was exhausted by the time she reached her apartment. At last! She was done with her lab work and now, there were only reports and a quiz left. " I can relax a little. This summer has been a torture. But I still have to study. I have German exam tomorrow." She said to herself. Just as she was about to put her head on the pillow, the phone rang.
"Sabrina, how are you?"
"A little tired. I just came back from my lab."
"Sabrina, I'm sorry to say this but I think you should call home. Your father..."
"No! No...not my father. What's wrong with my father?" Her heart beat faster as soon as she heard her friend mentioned home and her father. She knew there was something terrible happening. It's just like a deja vu. She'd been getting the dreams of not being able to talk to her father since last week. But when she called home, everything was fine in fact, her father went on a trip with her mother to their home village.
"My sister-in-law just called me. I was worried too because she never called me before. They can't find your number, so my sister-in-law called me instead. She said your father has passed away this morning and she wanted you to call home immediately."
As soon as she hang up the phone, she dialed her mother's number. Tears were blinding her eyesight as she dialed the number. "God, please let it not be true. I haven't graduated yet. He got to see graduate! He just got to!"
"Mom! What happened?"
"Dad. He's gone...Take care of yourself. Bear in mind that you don't have a father anymore. Study hard, don'f fail him." "God! What was she talking about? Father just passed away. How could she talked about studying at this time?" Sabrina thought to herself. Her mother's words weren't very clear because the line was bad and she was crying while she talked.
She took a deep breath and asked her mother, "How did it happen, mom? Was he sick?"
"No, he wasn't sick at all. He woke up around two this morning and ask for a drink of water. When he got the glass, he dropped it and say that he's going to die and then he felled. I don't even know if he got to drink it at all. I called your sister immediately after that." She must have been in shock to talk so rationally. It has been four hours. She must have been rehashing the tragedy over and over again.
"Mom, I'll call you back tonight. It's very expensive right now and the line wasn't good. Take care."
As soon as she put down the phone, she doubled over and burst into tears until her pillow was soaked. She just couldn't stop. Whenever she starts thinking about father, tears just flowed down her cheek instantly. She can't believe this was happening. Her father was healthy. He wasn't sick even though he smoked regularly. And when she called home, everything was fine. What made her even sadder was that she didn't get to talk to her father for almost two months because every time she called home he was out. And the next thing she knew, he was gone.
A sense of lost feeling came over her. "I've go to keep him on my mind. And the only thing that's left now, was his dream and hope of me." Yes, she would make it happen. She was determined more than ever now, to make her father's dream into a reality. She would keep her father's memory alive in her heart by making his dream become hers. Starting at that moment, a new course of life had taken over her. She wanted to get her education for her father and herself. She would graduate and be successful in her career. She could still remember her father saying proudly to his friend that his daughter is going to be a chemist, a scientist.
"When I come home daddy, I'll go straight to your grave with my success. You'll be the first I visit when I got home. It'll be the same as before, you'll always be the first to see my result even though you're gone now." As she talked to herself, she realized now that she wouldn't hear 'Nina' being referred to her anymore, because nobody except her father called her 'Nina'. The only person ever called her lovingly was gone.
---the end---'s not as melancholy as it was meant to be. Of course, I would have written it differently now compared to when I was still in school:-) This is for the grade and to suit the Americans readers who supposed to comment on this paper. i got an AB for this course. Not bad, for someone who couldn't really put her thoughts on paper coherently, I guess.
Note: the @@@ indicate years pass by

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Now he got a friend for his Thomas!

Last month, Taska Salsabiila had their biennial (betul ka?once in 2 years?) sports day. During that month, something must have snapped Alif off. He refused to go to school. I think in that month, he went maybe about a week - sporadic days. After sports - absent till end of the month. Not even Aidin's birthday can motivate him to go to school.
So, I showed him the pictures that's in Famygirl's scrapbooked. My intention was to show him what he's missing. But, his first words after seeing Aidin's picture was "NOT FAIR!", "He got 2 Thomas, I only have 1". Then he went and disturbed Abah who was asleep. Aiyo..lain yang plan lain pulak yang jadi. Well, to avoid him from continuing disturbing Abah, I made a deal with him. He go to school without fail or cry for many days and I will buy him his second Thomas. Of course he agreed.
I totally forgot about it the whole of last week. But come into new week (this week), I was reminded of my promise by the little Alif. He wants Percy.
Today, we went to Toysrus at Subang Parade after school to get his Percy. But after looking at the choices available, he decided to go with James instead. Selamat 10 bucks! There were no cheaper Percy version - only the special chocholate train edition which costs RM39.90.
Here's Alif, happy with his loot.

Then of course,must show off to Aisya ...who were actually thinking hard whether she could really play with the toys or not:-)

Alaaa...bole la main, Abang Alif tak marah pun. Dia mesti kasi kat Aisya...Alif loves to build then call Aisya to knock it down. He would stack the uno stacko and then Aisya will come with one swoosh and down the stacko go. Finally...she reached out and play with Alif's collection. These are less than half of the hot wheels that he has. Most of the time, he would arranged his hotwheels cars on the sofa and noone is allowed to sit on the whole length of the sofa after that. Ignore,"HEAR" the consequences! It's really loud and can go on non-stop for hours until the person who make him wail come and pacify him.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

And my son is now back to .... normal size

Makkah marked the beginning for my boy Ahmad Sirhan. I guess the long walk during tawaf and saie made him realised that he needs to slim down. Just suddenly on one night after returning from solat Isya' he said from then on he will not have a second helping and will only eat little rice. And he really sticked to his word. He only ate less than a scoop of rice compared to 2 full adult plate of rice. was tough at first, he complaint of hungriness, though we told him to go and eat more, he refused. I asked to add on a little bit more rice - make it one full scoop, that also was refused by him. Since April till September, not much improvement can be seen physically, though his weight has been stabilized.

See April - real chubby. Had to get adult size pants for him.

Ok, follow up from the Aisya's case of diarrhea last week, Ahmad too has not been feeling well. He started with headache, then a little bit of fever for a couple of hours followed by diarrhea. Sampai 7 kali on that one day alone. But he was still active, so that doesn't worry me much. Then he started vomitting after iftar. All the little food that he ate didn't stay. And during sahur, he only took a half mug of milk. That goes on for 3 days. Throw up after iftar and no more food. Just 3 days are enough to slim him down. I can see his neck now, and his behind is not as full as before:-)

Ahmad today...can see the neck now:-)

So, I can say that ... inilah hikmahnya all the frenzy of diarrhea and vommitting last week. Ahmad had slim down to his normal size. Only need to work on his stomach, now. That one kena exercise but he said, "Ahmad tak mau penat"...*sigh*...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bahasa Alif (this will be updated from time to time)

My Alif started to speak English since he was 3. We didnt realised it at first. Suddenly all those phrases like "oh my God", or " I got you!" came out from his cute little mouth. Then only we realised that he had self-learnt English from his morning show with either NickJr or Playhouse Disney. We didn't really speak English at home but ever since he started speaking "cartoon" English, we (myself, Azlin, Anis, Ahmad & Aina) will try to speak as much English as we can with him.
Azlin asked Alif - "do you think in English or in Bahasa Melayu?", his response was "English, of course".
This is the history that I think I should record...

"Mesti basuh Alif tangan, nanti ada kuman kat Alif tangan, kan" - as he was playing with the soap in the bathroom after I instruct him to wash his hand

"Mummy, where's my shoes...dah hilang dah Alif kasut tu..."

"Mummy, daddy - why do grown ups like to where that?" (pointing towards the kain pelikat that guys wear to Masjid) - while walking up the sloppy road to Masjid negeri Selangor. I can't recall what my husband replied to him though.

"In my family, I have daddy, mummy, one sister, MORE sister and one brother, I love my family!". Do you have baby?, "Yes, baby Aisya". mengaku pulak Aisya tu baby dia.

Anis started a story, so, Alif pun nak bercerita, here's his story...."Once upon a time, there is one happy girl, name Syaza. One day...that's the end of the story!". We all laughed and so did he. Then I asked, lagi? "I'm sorry, I can't tell you! it's a secret. It's myyy secret!" Then he laughed.

We went to Subang Parade and at the car park Alif wanted to show off the colors that he knew. "Umi! Eh, Mummy! That's pink and green and black cars!" . You see, when he speak English, it is a must for him to change the way he addressed us. Umi becomes Mummy and Abah becomes Daddy.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cookies anyone...

This is the fruit of labor today....Baked 3 types of cookies today. Here's 2 of them Lemon Cheese Nestum

(doesn't look like lemon but smells like it)

Snow Heart Suji (this one without the snow and no heart shape). Alif said that this is Harp shape

This one with the snow - it's actually just milk powder. Still no heart shape ...ada rupa harp ke shape ni?

Chocolate almond cookies...

I've tried writing this topic for umptenth times today and keep on getting error. Finally! I'm in. Had to clear all the temp files and cookies, then only it works. Seeing that I was getting nowhere, I went back to Aina's baju getting closer to finishing the chiffon lined jubah. Just as I was gaining more motivation to finish up the baju, Alif called - twice before he finally called with crying voice "Umi, naiklah sekarang!" compared to "Umi, bila nak naik, dah lama Alif tunggu", few minutes before. Well...I since I am in my room, I might as well come back to this post - not until I had given Alif his ritual full body massage before sleep!
OK, I've been looking for guaranteed sedap biskut nestum recipe with no success so, I am now resigned to use the best look good recipe that I can find - thought Lemon Cheese Nestum looked good. But somehow I got sidetracked and tried this chocolate almond pulak. This one need to be refrigerated first so, I thought, I would just prepared the dough first on Friday night and then cut and bake on Sat morning. But having bad headache on Friday night doesn't really help. A small nap became dead sleep - only woke up at 4:30am the next morning and the butter was left on the kitchen counter overnight - so, I had to work on the cookie dough right away! Well, after I had completed the sahur course laa..

It was not complicated to make. Real easy actually.

Just mix the following:
250gm butter with 185g icing sugar -- beat till mix just nice, then add
1 egg, 1/2 tsp coffee paste (1 used mocha paste instead, couldn't find coffee paste), 1tsp chocholate paste (again, had to improvise -use choc emulco instead). Cream them - just a little bit - no need to make it light. Then
sieve together 400gm cookie flour (plain flour also can), 1/2 tsp baking powder, 15 gm chocolate powder and add them into the mixture. Add and mix manually. Finally add in the 180gm almond flake (I only have 100gm - pun dah cukup actually).

Once all mixed up nicely, press it into square tin lined with grease paper or cookie paper so that you can take it out easily. Then refrigerate overnight or until firm. I didn't really wait overnight. The dough was done around 6am and I started cutting them out in the afternoon. Once firm, take out and cut them into long rectangle - about 1.5"x8" and then cut thinly to get small square or rectangle shape. Place the cut cookie onto greased baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 mins at 170C. I used shortening to grease coz the tips given said that if use butter to grease, the cookie might become more brown than it should at the bottom. And if use dark baking sheet, it should be done at about 15mins (that's what I use) but if aluminum it'll take a bit longer, probably 20 -25 mins. Let it cool on wire rack so that it'll stay crispy longer coz all side of the cookie steamed off equally (that's another tip).

The cookie is very crunchy - most refrigerated cookies are. Alif loves it so much - he took one bowl of it and ate in front of TV and really finished them all!
Here's the final look - in the cookie jar - recipe from Alex Goh's Joy of Baking Cookies Book

Friday, September 19, 2008

Diarrhea and the after effects

Monday (15 Sept 08)

Aisya Nayly, the baby in the house (actually she's Nini's baby - I just used her presence whenever the children ask for their own baby:-) got sick since yesterday. She had diarrhea and vomitting with a little bit of fever. When we got home from work/school that day, found out that Aisya were not at home - Nini (my SIL) took leave to take care of her, so, she didn't send her to Kak Su (my live-in assistant). When I called Nini that evening, she said that Aisya had not been eating well, she just want to sleep, not active at all and still had diarrhea and vomitted after milk. I told her to bring the baby back to the doctor since she's not active. That actually reminds me of the talk show in radio IKIM about diarrhea. There's a caller who said that his 1-yr old baby passed away because of diarrhea. He brought the baby to hospital when it was already too late - the baby had organ failure due to dehydration, just about a week after the diarhea episode started. So, if baby has diarrhea and not active, better get treatment -they get dehydrated faster compared to adult.

Well, at about 8pm, Nini called for advise on GL (my knowledge on Freescale's admins still laku lagi:-), I directed her back to the nurse on duty, of course. After 10pm, got sms from her saying that Aisya is admitted to SJMC. I dreamt that my hubby told me his parents are coming. And then I dreamt again that he said that they've arrived. The next thing I know, it's already time for sahur. And then I realized that those info are not dreams. My in-laws drove all the way from Alor Setar after Terawih/Tadarrus to KL and plan to arrive in time for sahur. Just when I started to get worried if we have enough food for all, Azlin said that Mak bawa makanan from Alor Setar...oh ok!

Tuesday 16 Sept 2008
Only Alif go to school today. Anis still has stomachache - she came back from school yesterday looking really sick with tear stain on her face. Doctor said, it's just wind in the stomach - probably gastric. Ahmad complaint of headache. Then in the afternoon called me to inform that he's having fever, 38.4C but refused to break his fast. But eventually gave in and took a drink. Fever subsided in the evening. Mentioned that he had diarrhea - twice. But Anis still has stomachache though I can't gauge how bad since she looks like she's not sick at all. My in-laws took care of Aisya in the hospital so that Nini can go to work. I took Alif to see Aisya in the hospital on the way back from school. That's a promise I made to him if he go to school. He cried when Azlin carried him to the car in the morning and said that he wanted to go to school later with Abah, after he watched his cartoon. He promised. On the way to school, Azlin mentioned that he "tercirit" in his underwear but he still wanted to go to school. I guess the motivation of visiting Aisya in the hospital really works. He had fun in the hospital...finished up Aisya's soup. Aisya couldn't stomach the hospital food at all! Poor girl. But she was happy to see her Abang Alif.

Aisya was finally released from the hospital. By this time, her cousin, Kimi who came to see her in the hospital with Azreen's parents had also started vomitting. Ahmad vomitted a couple of times on Wednesday night - after berbuka. He still go to school today but called me in the afternoon telling that he felt like vomitting but nothing comes out and he has headache. The kids always wanted to call mummy first even though I told them to go to see teacher in the first place and let the teacher call mummy if something was wrong with them...they still prefer to call me. Anyway, that night, Kak Su pulak pening and by the time sahur, she couldn't get up much.

Kak Su slept almost the whole day today. Mak said she get up only a couple of times, probably to get the laundry and then go back to bed. She was in her room most of the time. Looks like she's on MC la today. It was a bit frenzy in the kitchen, I have to do everything now. Anis is of not much help coz she said she still have stomachache. Luckily Azlin came home early and helped out with the cleaning. I cooked the simplest meal -- kembung goreng + kembung goreng masak kicap. And then run to bazar ramadhan across the street from our block to get ayam percik for Ahmad since he refused to eat fish. Until iftar time, Kak Su still baring in her room. I brought her dates and make her get up and break her fast. Then, she went back to sleep after Maghrib prayer. I guess I miss having Kak Su around to help me in the kitchen. I am pampered since the last 9 years!

It was quiet in the kitchen when I go downstairs to prepare for sahur. I think this is the first time in almost 9 years Kak Su has been living with us that she missed heat up the leftovers for sahur. Even rice was not cooked - well, I cooked quite a lot for iftar so, there were enough leftovers. I was really tired Friday night, after iftar, I just told Azlin that I need to take a nap for awhile. The usual headache on one side of my eyes was on per its monthly schedule:-) I was planning to mix the chocolate almond cookie dough so that I can bake it the next day - it has to be refrigerated overnight. The next thing I knew, it was already 4:30am and time for sahur. So, frantically, I heated all the lauks needed, and then go back upstairs and wake the children up. Had to do it twice for Ahmad. During all this time Kak Su was still asleep or just lie on her bed. She refused to eat, said that her mouth tasted bitter. I advised her to force herself to eat and drink lots of water. She was still running fever though not as high as last night. And I added a note about having to stay in hospital if she continues lying on the bed, without energy like this. That actually gave her the energy to get up and eat. I haven't seen her eating anything else except date and her coffee during sahur, but today, she took kurma and then all the vitamins that I gave her (peppermint-ginger, garlic + multivit) and to add to that some watermelon. Just to show that she's trying to get better. In the morning, I see up and about, though her still look sick but she's not sleeping all day anymore. I think the thoughts of having to get into a car motivate her the most...

Up till today, though I know and kind of believe that diarrhea and vomit can be contagiuous, I had never experience anything like it. I thought it would never happen. But this week witness the most diarrhea and vomitting cases in the family. First it was Aisya who being a baby had to be admitted. Then Anis...then Ahmad & Alif. Aisya passed motion and her watery stool get on her Mak Tok's dress and tudung (Azreen's mom), who later on who her grandson (Kimi) from her daughter and the day later, the grandma got sick and then the cousin, Kimi pulak get sick. Ahmad vomitted in the bathroom which Kak Su cleaned later on and the next day, Kak Su pulak starts vomitting. As I am writing this, Ahmad had just finished 2 rounds in the bathroom. He doesn't look sick but his stomach couldnt hold food much. I can see my son is shrinking back to his normal size within this one week oh my...

Aisya on her hospital bed...just woke up from sleep

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dah nak habis Al-Imran

Aina called me last night just to tell me that she's going to finish memorizing Al-Imran by end of next week. Only Allah knows how proud I am of her.
She has really grown! I looked at old pictures of her and wonder where has all these years gone. From a tiny little baby she was, she had catched up with most of her peers in size, well maybe overtake most of them in terms of size. There's still hope that those are all still the baby fat showing up:-)

Aina and Anis...11 years ago

Anyway, from only a 2As score in her trial (it could be 3As or 1A only, there were so many trials that she had actually lost count which one to report to me) and to the actual 4As and only Jayyid Jiddan for PSRA that really got her nowhere to any of JAIS's school. She went to IQKL with a goal of getting into a classroom that has aircond. Even having to get up at 5 am in the morning couldnt make us change her mind. She had actually set her mind to go to IQKL when she entered Year 6. The goal was to be comfortable in a classroom with aircond. She didn't really like to do hafazan when she was in SRIIMDE. Cried most of the time when I tried to get her to recite the surahs that she was supposed to remember. Gosh, even Ahmad who was in Std 2 can beat her in hafazan when she was already at Std 6 last year. So, I had not much confidence of her surviving in IQKL - doing hafazan half of the time, waking up early in the morning and being away from family, on her own at that tender age. But because there were not much choice and she really insists on going there...we let her be.

The first week in asrama IQKL was a torture for her. I remember the first time she was already Thursday. We sent her off on Sunday and waited for her to call. When she did call that Thursday, it was night and all I heard was a cry from her. She couldn't even talk! She had to hang up and call again a couple of minutes later. I cried together with her. Apparently, there is only 1 phone and the queue was long and only that Thursday she got her chance to make the call and thus the long cries. I missed the time when she was around..she's young, at the tender age of 12++ and had to leave home to pursue her studies. I missed scolding her to hang her towel or to walk faster or to put her cups in the sink or to help me out in the kitchen. The second call, we couldnt talk much. She just asked us to come and see her on Sat or Sun coz she can go for a day outing in the weekend and in her cries she asked to tell all her adiks..."Aina rinduu...". But ..Aina is happy in IQKL.

She started her Hafazan with Al-Baqarah. It was difficult for her at first. She was kind of left behind compared to her other friends. Mainly because of her tajwid. She can't move on until her memorization of the verses were recited with the correct basic tajwid (all the panjang pendek and dengung at the right place). When she did start to move on, she had catched up with her friends and even beat few of them. At one time, she was just behind the fastest girl in her class. But when she started getting her period (boy, was I really surprised, even though we had been waiting for this to happen when most of her friend already gotten theirs - my baby is a teenage girl now), the speed reduces a bit.

All in all, I am really proud of her achievement. Even though, she is still living in her own world (I'll write what I meant by this in another blog, later:-), she ...really, I am really proud of her. She accomplished what I thought she could never do. I have to put more faith in her. And hopefully, she will become a Hafizah, one day, Amin.

Aina and friends - nasyid, she's at the far right end

Aina and friends choral speaking about life as Hafizah

What's on 16 Oct?

Per my work plan, I need to go and visit one of the worksite at Sapangar Bay in KK. The tentative plan is ready, so, I requested the travel agent to make the flight and room booking at Sutera Harbour Resort in KK. Excited was I to go to Sabah for the first time in my life, I think I was more excited to stay at Sutera Harbour and looking forward to meet my long-time-never-see friend, Patricia G.
Anyway, the travel agent came back to me initially saying that the Pacific Wing is fully booked on the 16th Oct, so, I had to get the more expensive deluxe room at Megallan. Few minutes after the email was sent out to tell her to go ahead, she called back saying that now, only the club house is available....that actually force me to go to another hotel, rather than move hotel after one night.*sigh*:-(

What will happen on 16th? Why suddenly the big Sutera Harbour has no more rooms on the 16th of October? I this something to do with the 16th Sept...or 16th Oct...or 16th Nov thing ke? Or was it related to the announcement by Dato' Yong Teck Lee today? Maybe I should avoid my future travel plan from the 16th of the month..hmmm...


I place my personal laptop in my room where Alif has a little portion (eh..not so little la, the size of a queen mattress) of his own space. Well, once upon a time when the children's desktop was still the old slow one, I had almost no chance to use this laptop coz the children, especially Alif, hogged the computer most of my free time. Kalau tak anak-anak, kena rebut dengan abah dia:-)
Anyway, Alif loves to play disney games or nickjr (Dora,etc) games from this laptop and just cry out for milk when he felt tired. And the next thing we know , he will just dozed off on the chair in front of the computer. Most of the time, this happen during weekend afternoon. So, last weekend, he did it again. I took the opportunity to capture this moment...

You can do anything to him at this time..he wont wake up coz he was in deep sleep already. At four, he still take only 4 oz of milk ..the same amount when he was 6 or 7 months. The only different was the bottle. He said, big boy drink in big bottle, so the small bottle were thrashed away.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bubur Lambuk oh Bubur Lambuk

I was longing for bubur lambuk. Bubur lambuk was one of the special dish during puasa time when I was young. Che' (my mom) makes the best bubur lambuk. Our bubur lambuk is not the same like any other that you can find in Selangor. Like my neighbour said, it is unique with all the leaves and vegetable inside it.

Last weekend, I was so happy that the needed ingredients were available at Sect 6 Market. So that Sunday evening I set to make my favourite bubur lambuk while busy sewing Anis's baju raya and teaching my friend, Lela how to make her daughter's baju kurung. I checked back with Che' on the recipe. I thought I had written it somewhere in my book - turns out I didn't. I asked Kak Su (my helper) to pound black pepper and the roasted fish (ikan kembung). I just told her 1 tablespoon since Che' said for 2 pots, we can put in 1 spoon. When I put in the pounded stuffs into the porridge, it looked like there were too much black pepper. But once I put in all the vegetables and ulam and coconut milk, and more water, it looks ok-lah, I guess. By the time I put in the last ingredient, Budu, the porridge smells so good and looks so nice.... well, it may turn out ok. I returned my neighbor's bowl with the bubur and send 2 more containers to my opposite neighbor and another neighbor who is Kelantanese.

So with high expectancy, we buka puasa with the bubur lambuk plus other dishes - we have more dishes when Kak Lin (my neighbor) gave us 2 more dishes to add on to what we have. Alahai...tak terbalas pinggan mangkuk dia:-) Back to the porridge - when I ate it, I felt so down. The taste was too overwhelmed with black pepper. It tasted good but there was a bit of bitter after taste because of pepper. Azlin add rice into it and said it tasted better. I just couldnt stomach it down coz I dont like black pepper much. I told my helper that the black pepper is really too much but she said, it's good to have extra black pepper, "lebih pedas, jadi ubat kok, lada hitam". But then, you cannot believe someone who did not even eat the food!

Anyway, we had the modified porridge - I added more rice porridge to tune down the black pepper tast - for the next 2 days. My in-laws are here today coz baby Aisya (Nini's baby) is down with diarrhea and is hospitalized and they helped us to finished off the modified porridge.

The recipe

Ikan kembung - dipanggang (roasted?), the amount depend on how much rice and the size of fish, maybe 2 atau 3 ekor
Rice - cooked till it becomes porridge like (pecah nasi) - i used 2 full cups since I was planning to give to neighbors

Pucuk paku merah
Daun Kesum
Daun pucuk kayu (dont know what others call it here)
Pucuk manis
Coconut milk (about 1 bowl)
Shallots and young ginger - sliced thinly (ginger - you can sliced into thin long strips)
Budu - satu senduk

How to make it -- pound black pepper (just a bit) with the roasted fish. Add the pounded stuffs into the rice once it has become porridge. Then add all the vegetables, if you like more vege, put a whole lot of it - there's no actual measurement but I put a lot of pucuk paku merah and daun pucuk manis and daun kayu. A little bit of daun kesum for the smell. Throw in the coconut milk and the sliced stuffs. Finally put in one full senduk (ladle?) of budu. Dont use the red budu. Find budu cap ketereh, brownish one. Put salt to taste.

Here's how it looks like -- this one taken without flash...

"I can't sleep"

We were just "lepaking" on the bed and Alif was getting ready to sleep. All the lights were out. But the TV was on. Azlin was watching the Alam's story. I pun tumpang sekaki. We have additional queen size mattress next to the window for Alif since he still refuse to sleep with his Abang Ahmad in their own room. We were actually watching the show from the living room downstairs and continue up to our room coz it's already late. Alif told us to go ahead and watch the show, he'll sleep on his own.
He had the pillows covering his face and his whole body faced the window the last time I peeped at him. Suddenly, I heard the sound of paper being torn. Another peeped saw Alif tearing a piece of white A4 paper on his mattress and I saw some white stuff in his ear. He was actually putting the piece of paper into his ear. When I asked him what he was doing...he just said in his TV acquired American accent, "I can't sleep mummy, it's too noisy". What can we say ...sorry dear and then we just mute the TV and fell asleep somewhere in the middle of the show.

As I was minuting this event, Alif keeps on coming up with his excuse to go downstairs, first it was his homework -- he insisted to finish up his homework tonight, at 10:45pm. Then, after he got his book and start writing on it, he suddenly remembered the chicken ball that he didn't get to eat this morning. Again, I had to take him downstairs to look for it and of course, couldn't find it coz teacher didn't pack the tupperware back into his school bag. He went upstairs and try to continue with his small alphabet homework but I guess he was really tired coz instead of writing, he kept on looking at the ceiling and suddenly he just dozed off.....he's asleep now.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Korea (S)

Korean langueage used to be a foreign thing. 8TV always show the korean drama series in Mandarin so, the language was not appreciated much. Ever since I started watching the series on DVDs, courtesy of my dear friend, Yat, I had started to learn and like the language and the culture and thus the country. And now, I have the yearning to go and visit Korea. I had even started a "Visit to Korea" fund for the family. Promised the children that we will go to Korea winter next year to play with snow and so much more, once Umi had saved enough money.

2 programs that I coordinated and is still coordinating with another colleague from Petronas brought me closer to Korea. Assoc. Prof Park Doo Yong, who had contributed so much to the professional association that I had a big role in its formation and growth - MIHA, become the one and only Korean that I know of professionally and personally. Almost once a year since 2004, we arrange a course that gave him the opportunity to contribute to the association and also bring his whole family over for vacation. Always, everytime whenever they're here, the wife will bring me some gifts. The first year was origami paper set which was very popular in Korea. And then, some toys, aeroplane set in the 2nd year. I can't recall what's next but the latest, late July this year, I've got beautiful Guy Laroche towel set. Knowing that we had problems to gather participants for the course this time, he even offered to teach for free! Such hospitality is hard to get. That shows the giving culture that people of this country have. And that's what I saw when I watched korean drama. Similar to ours, "buah tangan" is a must have when visiting. The gracious and polite way of talking to the elders no matter how hurt you are with the words that the elders said to you. I believed what they portray is part of their culture even though it's all just a show/entertainment.

I'm now given the opportunity to learn what Korea has to offer in Industrial Hygiene to Malaysian. On top of it being a learning trip, it would give me the opportunity to visit the country that I had come to learn and like -- heck, I even bought 2 books on korean language and phrases! Now come to the point of whether I would be able to go or not. Since I am very new to the company, it's not really justificable for them to sponsor me for this trip but they do support on me going and other than monetary support, I could get other support like, unpaid leaves. But then, would my husband allow me to go if its on my own cost? I knew what the answer would be. What would be the outcome of this trip for me? I guess more development in my profession as Industrial Hygienist - the few lots in this country. Is it more of personal development or more beneficial for the company? Maybe both, not to mention to the association and Malaysia as a whole...I'm deviating. Now, how can I justify and get the permission. My husband already said "suka hati ayang..kalau tak bagi pun ayang pergi jugak, nak buat apa tanya lagi!". Well, I do really want to go, even though I would feel guilty leaving the family behind for a week, but the urge to go is stronger - they will be fine.... But when my husband said that I know he is very reluctant of me going and at this point wouldn't want to care anymore. I would say this study trip would be online with what I wanted to do once I am done with working. I want to go into writing and teaching, and this experience would be most valuable and precious addition to me, which eventually would benefit the family as well. To go or not to go...would he ever give me a straight yes no matter how reluctant or adamant of him of not wanting me to go? *sigh*..