Saturday, October 31, 2015

What To Expect When You Get Dengue

Yes, the second edition of my better half dengue adventure. I will try to make this short and sweet given what I will be sharing with you is something you have heard before from those who had their own dengue adventure.

3 top things you need to expect the moment you are confirmed being diagnosed with dengue.

#1 - Advise, Advise, Advise

Yes, expect anyone and everyone to give you advise. Like I said, almost everyone had their own dengue encounter. Sup ketam, jus daun betik, kiwi juice, 100 Plus among others. To be really honest, it was overwhelming for me. With an infant at home, 2 more school going kids and a sick husband at hospital, as much as I valued the advise, I was secretly wishing for more help. I was fortunate my parents rushed to our rescue the moment they received my call,  aaking care of my kids when I need to make my trips to the hospital and my youngest brother who became my driver taking me everywhere. That is exactly I need. I reminded myself, next time if anyone close to me got dengue, I will definitely make Sup ketam for them, prepare the jus daun betik and try to make life easier for them.

And yes, I didn't follow the 100 Plus advise. Just doesn't sound right to me and it's validated by many of my friends who are medical doctors. Instead, I make my better half to drink lots of water to stay hydrated.

#2 Before it goes up, it will go really down

When my better half was first diagnosed with dengue, his platelet was 42. And it went down as low as 17 when he was admitted. Of course, for someone who has no medical knowledge, I panicked, and panicked really bad. However, doctors assured me that's a normal trend and we just need to get him to stay hydrated. Apart from the drip treatment, my better half need to drink so we monitored his fluid in take. Alhamdulilah, within 5 days, his platelet went back up.

#3 I need to take care of myself too

Sometimes I forget I need to rest, eat and take care of myself too. It will not help if I also fall sick. Running around here and there, sometimes I forget that. My mom was the one who gave me constant reminder I need to make sure I eat on time, I sleep well and I rest. I know it's easier said than done, but it is important.

What did we do first the moment my better half recovered? I cooked Chilli Crab, Sup ketam has been eliminated from our menu until further notice :).

In all honesty, I don't want anyone to go through our experience. Even people who I don't like that much. Maybe I don't have anyone I hate so much that I want to see them suffer like that....

So, people, prevention is always better than cure. Make sure your home is not a breeding ground for mosquitoes. No one should ever go through dengue experience if we can help it.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Our very own dengue adventure

Almost everyone I know has their very own dengue experience. Either they themselves have gotten it, or their spouses, children, or someone related to them. As for me, my youngest brother was infected by dengue few years back. 

I must be lying if I tell you I am prepared for this. Yes, I have heard of many related stories however, nothing prepared me for this experience. And to make it more interesting and less traumatising, I decided to call it adventure.

My better half's temperature began to rise on last 2 Sundays. It started right after he came back from his shop in Johor. Usually, he is a man full of energy. However, this round he just wanted to sleep. I thought he was just tired. As the night progress, I don't feel good and I have a feeling it might be dengue. Early Monday morning, I forced him to see the doctor, my preference is to go to the hospital but he insisted it's nothing and to go to a clinic instead.

However, the next day, his condition got worse and he is still not wanting to go to the hospital. That night, his whole body experienced cramps and I know I can't wait anymore. With my son help, we got my husband into our car and I drove him to the nearest hospital. 

He got his blood checked and it's confirmed as dengue. The hospital however asked us to go to another hospital as they have no bed. This was the start of my frustration. The service was so bad, no empathy whatsoever from that particular hospital in making sure my better half is well taken care of. Anyone in medical line would know dengue patient need to stay hydrated. I asked for some water and the nurse told me, "Takde, mesin air rosak". Unbelievable for a private hospital has no source of water at all. What is clear, they just want to get rid of us as we are no longer their problem.

I went to another nearby hospital and got rejected again. I called few other hospitals, either they have no beds or they can't accept my better half as his platelet is too low. In the middle of the night I was crying alone in the car driving my better half around praying for him to get the necessary treatment. 

We ended up in KPJ Kajang and this was the time I broke down when they can't accept my better half. I was begging and pleading for them to help as it's clearly my better half was in great pain. Despite not having any bed, I am glad they are willing to help. They know I am not in position to drive anymore, so they offered to send us to Hospital Kajang. They are the only hospital that explained to us, due to his platelet was low, the SOP is to send him to government hospital for treatment. No other hospital explained that to us.

Finally, my better half got accepted in Hospital Kajang. Condition of the hospital is not conducive but at least he is getting some treatment. It was 3.30am, I was sorting out the necessary paperwork before he can get admitted. As the hospital is full, he didn't get a proper bed, he was placed in a store on a stretcher which can only fit his body and his hands are literally dangling. Though I wish he is in a better treatment place, after what we went through, I am counting my blessings. At least, he started to get the necessary care and treatment.

Will continue to blog about the rest of the adventure later.

Pusat Rawatan An-Nur, despite having islamic approach and ambiance, the way you treated my better half embarrassed our religion. I no longer wish to seek treatment at your center and will not recommend my families and friends to do so either. I usually take my son for his monthly jabs here, well not anymore. 

Dearest nurses in KPJ Kajang. Only Allah can repay your kindness. You showed us you are not just a a profit oriented medical center and you really care for your patients, in our case, we are not even your patient yet. Thanks for sending us safely to Kajang Hospital, though you know you don't have to. We will be forever grateful. My apology for not getting the nurses names. I will surely write officially to your management so everyone who helped us that night will get the necessary recognition.

Ok, gottta go. Stay tuned for the next dengue adventure :) 

Friday, July 31, 2015

The day I feel like a bad mom....

I started working after giving birth to Isyraf about 2 months ago. I tried my best to juggle my life with this new responsibility. I'm no longer mother of 3, I'm now mother of 4. To be specific, 3 teenagers and 1 baby. And I must confess it's hard.

Yes, I'm lucky and grateful my employer allows me to be on flexible working arrangements. That  of course, helped. However for those who have or are now working from home will know it's not as easy as what other's think. That is another story for another time...

However, off late I feel like I'm failing as a mom. I feel tired easily and not diligent in my role as a mom, the most important role at all. Few days ago, Ilham nearly missed school cause I can't wake up in the morning, woke up at 7.15am instead of my normal 5am. Our house is in a mess, since we came back from UK I did not review my kids homework. I tried cooking good dish, however I feel I cooked like c**p. I can just pray things don't get any worse.

I don't know what is getting into me. I'm glad my better half is supporting me a lot. This week he woke up at night to feed Isyraf cause he saw how tired I am (he said I snore in my sleep, that shows how tired I am) and tak sampai hati nak kejut.

Motherhood is the most important part of my life. Nothing is more important than that. Taking care of my family is my top priority. Nothing beats that. My better half said I'm being hard on myself, I don't think so. I really feel I'm not doing enough.

Am I getting sloppy at my number 1 job? Am I getting less competent? Have I lost it?

Maybe I just can't multitask anymore. Maybe I should..........

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

That moment when I decided to do MBA

I must confess, I am one of those who tak reti duduk diam individual. I'm not satisfied with doing just one or two things in my life at any one time. I must do more and multitasking excite me. Yes, I'm a crazy person and definitely glutton for punishment.

In 2011, some major down turn happened in my career. In short, all my projects were frozen and taken away from me due to some internal change in direction. I would be lying if I tell you I was not devastated but in working life, company's interest will always supersede individual's preference (read that young people, it's not all about you) and accepted the decision. However, me being me, I need to find something to keep me occupied and that's when I decided it's the right time to develop myself. I applied for MBA with 4 universities and Alhamdulilah, got accepted by all 4. I then decided to choose Manchester Business School due to their tagline "Original Thinking Applied". In my whole career journey, I love developing projects and then be involved in the operational part to see whether what's on paper do actually work. That will give me full satisfaction. And this time is not an exception.

I still remember the first introduction to the course session held late 2011. That's when I met my classmates and to my surprise, I was the only female! Alamak! No gang. However, I was really lucky, I have amazing classmates who are always looking out for me, making sure I am coping well, knowing I have to balance work, family and study all at the same time.

The journey was ok at first. I was not that tied down with work at my new work place. There were just several projects and I managed every elements in my life quite well. The classes were not that taxing, only about 3 days for every subject and usually it's spread over the weekend. However, things changed when my workload started to picked up and what made it more challenging was when I got promoted.

There were few occasions I felt like quitting and not continuing. I know I have paid a lot of money for this (FYI, I paid this with my own money, no scholarship, loans or what so ever). I decided to use my own money so I can motivate myself to complete what I started. The course after all is not cheap. It's super freaking expensive, however, it's worth it. Despite all this, I wanted to stop and just focus on work and family. This was when my classmates repeatedly came to my rescue and continue to motivate me to go on. Little bit more Liza, we can do it and we will do it together. Apart from that, support from my better half really helps. When I need to complete my assignments or study for my exams, he will take over my function at home so I can focus. How can I not love this man so very much!

And just when I thought it's tough, it gets tougher. I got to know I am pregnant in my final semester where I am supposed to complete group final year project. Battling with morning sickness and fatigues the first 3 month, I just have to keep on pushing myself. I felt guilty many times, felt like my team members were doing most of my work. Alhamdulilah, I got better and managed to play a bigger role and complete the project.

Yes, I passed. Yes, I graduated. And most importantly, yes, I finished what I started. Alhamdulilah.

It was tough, it was very challenging, it was tiring. However, I'm glad I went all the way and complete it.

I owe this to my family and my classmates, my colleagues and my boss. Without their support, I would have given up LONG time ago!

And now, to move on to the next phase, taking self development to another level. Let's wait and see if I get to do that. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

#IsyrafZayd survived first long haul flight!

When we decided to attend my graduation, one thing we are very worried about was the long haul flight. When I received the confirmation that I will be graduating, Isyraf was only 1.5 months old. And he will only be 4 months plus when we board the plane. I was not sure if he is up to it. Like most mothers, I felt he is too small and too soon to experience this. However, my better half convinced me this is my big day and I worked really hard for this so we will all go, Isyraf included.

Few weeks before the journey starts, I talk with Isyraf everyday about it. Told him where are we going, why are we going and what he can expect. Yes, I know, some may feel, mana dia faham. Dia kecik lagi. I believe otherwise actually. I know he understands and I know he will listen to what I am saying to him.Told him he needs to behave, no crying on plane cause it will disturb other passengers. Told him it will be a long journey and he can take that opportunity to rest and sleep.

Few days before the journey starts, my main focus was to pack Isyraf's stuff. His diapers, milk formula, toiletries, clothes and other related items. I have 2 separate bag for him ; one for on flight and another one for the rest of the journey. I find being prepared will cause me less stress and try to anticipate what is coming my way. I know my better half sensed how stress I am and he tried his level best to calm me down. I know he knows my main concern is whether Isyraf will be comfortable and will not throw a tantrum during the journey.

When the day has finally arrived, I can only pray for things to go well. I was reciting few prayers I know to pray for safe journey. We boarded the flight and my better half and I were given seats right at the front so Isyraf can be comfortable in the bassinet. However, bassinet can only be used after take off and before landing. While on air, should the seat belt signs are on, we need to remove him from the bassinet and to sit with us, with his seat belt fasten. His seat belt is connected to ours.

I read a lot as well to prepare me for this. One tip I received was to make sure he is sucking something during take off and landing so he don't feel the pain in his ears. So, I gave him the pacifier for both occasion. It worked well Alhamdulilah, He was calm, even calmer than me. I fed him right after that and he went to sleep. I can see there are other parents with toddlers who were trying their best to handle their young ones. One couldn't stop crying. I feel for the mother and I can only hope other passengers empathise with her condition, traveling alone with a 1 and half year old boy who just cried and refused to sit still. I am lucky Isyraf is making it easy for me.

The moment we touched down at Heathrow airport, I can only recite Alhamdulilah many many times that this part of journey is over. Isyraf did very well and hardly cries unless he wants milk and needs a diaper change. Other than that, he either sleeps or just lie down in his bassinet. I really believe the conversation I had with him before the trip helps. Yes, I know he understood.

So, now to enjoy the rest of our 16 days vacation in UK. At the point of me typing this, we are already in day 5 and about to leave Manchester for London in couple of hours. Will blog about my graduation ceremony later ya.

For now, need to pack before the drive comes. Till then!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Leaving June and No Looking Back

I can't remember being really tired for a whole month like how I am tired in June. So many life events which caused me to be so exhausted, either physically or when handling the emotional roller coasters drama called life. I feel like everything has to happen in June ; death, siblings rivalry, business predicament, children's issues, work problems....You just name it. All happens in June. I should not however speak too soon since there are 2 more days left in June and I hope my drama streak is over, at least for this month.

I have this one issue. When things are wrong, I just have to say something. I can't just sit and be quiet and see all this wrongdoings happen, especially if it happens in our family, be it our core family and extended family. Many occasions I get in trouble for speaking my mind. However, one good thing is I have improved on this subject ; I can still tell myself, "Liza, this is not your place to say anything. You are an outsider. You are just the in-laws etc". However, couple of days ago, I just couldn't hold myself as the person who others are hurting is my better half. Sometimes, I feel many people are just not grateful for having such a wonderful person as a brother, who really takes care of them, never failed to be there when he is needed and will do everything he can to help his family. And again, I speak my mind and got into trouble...AGAIN!

My hope for July, though my lecturer once told me "Hope is not a strategy". Well, what can I do when hope is all I have ;

1. I am graduating in less than 2 weeks time. After 2 years trying to juggle and complete my studies, finally I am done. Alhamdulilah, though it has not been easy. Will I do it again, well, as crazy as it may sound, I think I will. #PhDFTW

2. We will be celebrating Aidilfitri abroad. First experience for the kids and my better half. After what we have experience, and maybe still experiencing depending how this couple of days will be, I secretly as glad we are not in the country on Raya days. I personally feel I just have to get away from few ungrateful individuals.

3. Kicking start the second half of 2015 and focusing to meet work related KPI. Last year was a horrible year as far as work is concern. This year so far looks promising, however lots of work need to be done to meet the numbers apart from driving high impact projects that will benefit the graduates in particular

Not to be over ambitious, I will just stick to the above for now. I, of course, have thousands of other hopes. That has to be saved for other times, or accurately other months to come...

So July, please be kind. I am tired, I am exhausted. I am drained. I need recharging and I hope you can do that wonders for me....Insyallah

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Spreading the wings of Ilmiya Enterprise

Many may not know, I have been in business with my better half for quite some time. In my previous working places, I used to sell Nasi Lemak and kuih for breakfast. That time, it was more to make ends meet. Alhamdulilah, it helped to cover the expenses of kids milk and diapers. Yes, it was tiring. We have to wake up at 4am to cook and pack. However, it was indeed satisfying.

My better half also used to have a stall that sells mee rebus and other Johor delicacies. That was another tiring phase in our life. Before we left for work, we had to prepare all the ingredients and the moment we are home from work, we quickly prepare all the related items for my better half to bring to the stall. He went to the stall while I stay home and take care of the kids and prepare the next day's ingredients. His stall was a hit and until now some customers still recognise him and missed his mee rebus, mee bandung and rojak. He got to stop the business as he got promoted and the work became more demanding.

When Raya approaches, for many years we were selling kerepek and kuih raya. Some we made on our own and some we got them from suppliers. I had many regular customers and the profit from the sales were kept in kids savings account so this can be used for their education. We have not been doing this business for few years due to my work load which require lots of traveling.

So now, with my better half left his job and he became an entrepreneur, we started this business journey again. And it goes without saying, I am part of it. I honestly am enjoying it.

Don't get me wrong, I do love my current job. My job gives me lots of satisfaction, nurturing young talents and guiding them to a suitable career path. Also giving chances to graduates who may not be as lucky as others in securing employment. However, there's something about having own business which are difficult to explain.

My better half opened his own Mini Market September last year. It was his long time dream and I am so happy when he got to fulfill it. And now he has expanded his physical shop to virtual presence. And I am of course a social media junkie, supporting him all the way. We are now selling more than just groceries items. We offer kerepek, snacks and also textile items aka kain ela. Alhamdulilah, so far things are heading towards positive response. We are of course long way to go before can even be defined as successful. Insyallah, we will get there one day.

Of course I need to end this with my pesanan dari penaja paragraphs. Please do follow us on FB at and We also have our own Instagram account, @IlmiyaEnterprise. If you are interested to order things we have to offer, don't be shy and whatsapp 0196976174. We will be more than happy to assist.

The journey is still very far. Insyallah, if we continue to work hard, we will get there eventually. And never forget to also pray hard. Allah is there to make it easy on us, Insyallah....

"Rabbi Yassir Wala Tu'assir, Rabbi tammim bil khair"
"Allahumma laa sahla illaa maa ja'altahu sahlan, wa anta taj'alul huzna idza syi'ta sahlaa."

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Day Out With The Kids

I am so happy today and I can't lie. I also can't pretend I am in deep depression after all that has happened the past couple of weeks. Yes, it scarred me but the important thing is I am still in one piece Alhamdulilah. No point pretending to be sad just to satisfy others or so that others don't judge me. Not my problem any way.

This weekend we decided to reward the kids. They have been very patient supporting us during difficult period we went through. While my better half and I running around settling so many errands, my 3 adorable kids helped to take care of Isyraf. Never once they complained though we know when Isyraf cries, he can really cry! My kids also helped to make sure our home is in order and few times they had to prepare their own food. I am so glad the training we gave them since they were small make them independent.

So this weekend it's all about them. Started Friday after work. My better half picked me up from work and we went straight for early dinner at Chilli's Citta Mall. Kids love to eat at Chilli's and it's been quite some time since we last had our meal here. One thing I observed, when they order food, they ordered in moderation keeping in mind "jangan membazir". Another positive attitude I see they are adapting.

And today, another day out with them. Started with breakfast at a random stall we stopped by. One thing about my kids, they are not fussy when it comes to where to eat, gerai, restaurants or hotel, all can one. After that, my better half had to run some errands. Life as entrepreneurs may seem to look easy, but actually there are challenges that come with it. We waited in the car while he settled what he needs to do.

What we had for lunch is the most interesting yet bizarre. We went to the durian buffet place in PJ and that was our lunch. It's located at Jalan Harapan, Section 19 PJ. Some may say, gila ke tengahari buta makan durian. Tak ke panas. Well, night traveling is not conducive for Israf so we had to settle for day travel. It was really good. Paid RM20 to makan durian sepuas2nya. I may not be a big durian eater but my better half and the kids really went all out and enjoyed the king of fruits. It was worth every ringgit paid!

One reason why we love taking the kids out, it's our opportunity to experience performing solat in mosques. We usually don't like to pray in shopping malls surau unless we have to. This time Zohor was at Masjid Wilayah when we made our way to Publika for tea.

I have been wanting to enjoy Boat Noodle. Didn't get to do so when I was pregnant and finally for the chance to try it today. One thing which I don't feel too great about this is the place is not ideal to bring Isyraf. Quite cramped for stroller to move, not to mention quite warm. We are glad we got a table right at the entrance so it's not too hot and ample space to put Isyraf's stroller. How's the food? For the price we paid, it was not too bad. Since we are still full from our durian fiesta, we didn't order that much. Even that is enough to make us feel kenyang giler. I love the Thai Iced Tea. Now I know what's the fuss about reading the reviews.

We asked the kids if they want to go home or go to other places and they chose to stop by Subang Parade. This time no food involved since we are super kenyang. Performed Asar at Masjid Subang Jaya and then proceed to Subang Parade. Ilham wanted to get some T-Shirts and the rest were just window shopping. We left after that so we can perform our maghrib at home, just in time by the way.

Yes, today has been good. Kids deserved this outing. They have been very accommodative and helpful. Yes, both my better half and I are still feeling sad, we did loss someone very dear to our life and my better half's shop got broken into the day after. However, life has to go on and what we can do is to continue to pray for all good things to happen. Moga Allah terus permudahkan...

Islam itu mudah. Jika anda memilih untuk berkabung, terpulanglah pada diri masing-masing. Adalah kurang bijak menghakimi orang lain hanya kerana mereka memilih untuk hidup gembira dan bahagia. Wallahu a'lam....

Friday, June 5, 2015

An emotionally draining week

This couple of weeks have been very challenging to me. So many things happening which at times made me want to just run as far as I can and disappear while wishing it will all go away. However, I kept reminding myself this....

“ Allah tidak membebani seseorang melainkan apa yang terdaya olehnya, ia mendapat pahala kebajikan yang diusahakannya dan ia juga menanggung dosa kejahatan yang dilakukannya (Al-Baqarah:286)
After 3 months of being 24/7 with Isyraf, it's time for me to return to work. I must confess, I was not ready to be away from him. Part of me feels like tendering my resignation so I can take care of my Isyraf while another part of me trying to be reasonable. My better half's business just started, one of us need to have steady income in case things get hard. And that's how I comfort myself.

Just when I started my first day of work, got a call from my mother in law, my brother in law got admitted in hospital and in critical condition. I was in an event and rushed home to pick my kids and went straight to Batu Pahat. What we feared the most happened, he lost his consciousness and was surviving on life support. We tried all we can to save him. We wanted to transfer him to private hospital so he can have better treatment, however the private hospital said his condition was really bad that even they can't do anything to save him. All we can do is pray he will gets better. That's when the family decided to take him home. And few days ago, we lost him.

And only when we thought things could not get any worse, we were wrong. While we are still mourning, my better half was tested again. This time, his shop got broken into. He was so kelam kabut leaving the day before, he forgot to take the money home. My only comfort is that happened while no one is at the shop, so no one got hurt, Yes, sometimes when bad things happen, we need to look at the bright side.

We just need to look forward and continue living. We can't change the past but if we are smart, we learn from the experience and improve ourselves. What I learned is never take any relationship for granted. You don't want to live with regrets, and to feel we could have done more to manage the relationship, like how both my better half and I are feeling, we could have done more for Arwah Din. We will continue to live with regrets....

I also learned the meaning of patience. Patience when being tested. Patience dealing with others in time of crisis. Patience and pray things will get better. And patience to know this too shall pass...

And for now, let's take it one step at a time....

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Fastest 3 Months

And the day has finally arrive. The day I have to return to work after 90 days of maternity leave. The day I definitely don't look forward to.

Mothers who went through this would know how it feels. And to find a trusted babysitter is a huge challenge after reading all the horror stories on the news. I don't know how my day will be tomorrow but definitely it will be filled thinking about Isyraf. What is he doing,  has he had his milk, can Papa console him when he cries. Will he sleep well. And thousands of other questions popping up in my mind. Sigh....

I am lucky though. I get to be on flexi working arrangement. So I get to rotate with my better half to take care of Isyraf ie no daycare for him. Ideally, I would want to be the one taking care of him 24/7. However, that option is not available now, so I better be grateful with the current option I have in hand.

I know many would say I'lI be bored staying at home. I have one secret to tell you.  I am not an ambitious person career wise. I just want to be good in what I do and give my all when I am in that position. However, if it comes to a point I have the option to leave and focus on my family,  I am not afraid to let everything go. I know my priorities and I am not chasing to climb up the corporate ladder. I don't want to miss important phase of my children's life cause I am too busy working. Those moments will not come again. Moments like their first step, word and other part of them growing up, there's no repeat. None!

IInsyallah, the opportunity for me to stay at home and focus on my family and this will also allow my better half to focus on his business will come eventually. I believe. ..

Need to be mentally prepared for tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Life After Isyraf

After 14 years of the last pregnancy, it feels like the first one. Someone told me it's like riding a bike, that person lied. Handling a baby is nothing like that at all. And yes, that's life after Isyraf came to our world.

When I got to know I am pregnant, the whole family was excited. Especially Baby who have been bagging me for a little brother for the last 3 to 4 years. One time she got upset when I told her no, we are not having any. And she said "Am I part of this family, why am I not consulted".

We got to know I am pregnant during last year's Ramadhan. And when I had my first check up, it was 5th day of Raya. The whole family went including my Abah and Mummy. It was a wonderful news for us, everyone just want to be part of it.

That moment, Isyraf had already changed our life. We were excited to welcome him. My better half however not wanting for us to prepare too early. Though he said "tunggulah, ada orang bagi hadiah nanti" deep down inside he just don't want to jinx it. I am above 35 and it can be high risk pregnancy so he just want to take care of me and making sure both Isyraf and I are doing well.

The moment we welcome Isyraf in our world, things changed so much. Isyraf is one lucky baby. He is love by everyone around him especially his brother and sisters to the point that they are spoiling him. He makes any sound no matter how tiny the sound is, the sibblings started running to him to make sure he is alright. When he cries, everyone wants to carry and console him. When we go out to the mall, all four(yes, my better half included) rushing to push his stroller. When he cries for milk, no one ever complain they have to stop what they do and make milk for him. Bath time is the best. Everyone will help to prepare his clothes, bath cream and powder as well as his diapers. Then it's like an unofficial family gathering where they just sit and watch I give him a bath.

Yes, life has changed for us. When we go out, it's not like before where we just go. We have to prepare Isyraf's bag, make sure we brought hot water in thermos, enough supply of diapers and wet tissues, extra clothes among other items. We also quite selective where we go. Kids will do research to make sure the place is baby friendly. When we eat if Isyraf is not sleeping, we take turns to look after him. Alhamdulilah, so far when we go out Isyraf behaves well and we get to have our meals together.

Isyraf has definitely changed our life for the better. There's so much love at home, so much laughter, fun and happiness. I could not ask for more. Alhamdulilah....

I am forever thankful for all the blessings....

Monday, May 18, 2015

The entrepreneur blood in him

For those who knows me, would know how I love to be involved in business. I just love doing transactions and earning income from this. I have been doing this since I was in school. When there's opportunity arise, if possible, I will grab it.

When my better half shared his passion more than 10 years ago to open his own business, I fully support that. My better half works hard and very creative. He will do well doing his own project. Yes, employment provides security however, self employment if done right and if you are lucky provide security and satisfaction. I must say, however, it's not easy.

After saving money for 10 years, he finally got the courage to open his own mini market. He intentionally open it in Simpang Renggam, Johor so he can also share this opportunity with his sister and her husband. After working with one company for more than 20 years, he tendered his resignation after Raya last year. Some may not see it yet, but I believe it's the best decision he has ever made.

 It has been good Alhamdulilah however not all smooth sailing. Issues with manpower (not so much about the number of person he needs, more on trust), time management, vendors among others filling up his days. Yes, some may say it's nice to be your own boss, however, when you are an entrepreneur, you are not only your own boss, you are also your own kuli.

There are good days, there are bad days. As his wife, I give him fullest support. I want to see him succeed so whatever I can do, I will do it.

And today, he has expanded from mini market to also being distributors for kerepek. He started that more than 2 weeks ago, Alhamdulilah, the outcome has been overwhelming. He manages his time between the mini market, collecting kerepek from supplier, packing it, taking orders and delivering it. I can see he is tired but his determination amazed me.

What I can say to the ecosystem of new entrepreneurs, if you can't make it easier on them, please don't make it harder than it is. Especially for those who have just started, we should understand if they are not able to make time for you. The least you can do is to try and schedule whatever events around their schedule. And please don't think they are trying to be arrogant. They are not, they are just trying to gain back the capital they spent to start the business.

My better half is an amazing man. He tries very hard to make everyone happy that I feel sometimes people are just taking advantage of him. I know he tries very hard to balance everything, some people tend to forget he is just human after all. And as his wife, I hate to see his heart gets broken and to see the sadness in his eyes. Unfortunately, I am not as forgiving as he is. I feel like, you mess with him, you mess with me and I take longer time to be healed.

Enough of that. So, call for action for this entry :

1. If you are in Simpang Renggam area, drop by Azman Hamzah Mini Market. Get your groceries there as well as other household supplies. If you want to know the location, like Azman Hamzah Mini Market Facebook.

2. If you want to buy kerepek and consume it immediately or want to order for Raya, just call or whatsapp him at 0196976174. He offers many types of kerepek at very competitive price. And if the order is alot, he will deliver it himself for free to certain areas in Klang Valley.

Thanks everyone for your support. My better half has been working very hard all his life providing good life for us, this is his time to do what he loves the most. It's his time to shine and I know he will be a huge success.

And to all homo sapiens out there, related or not related to us, try not to have ill feeling when you see others are doing well. And don't step on them when you see them falling. Allah is great. What goes around comes around. If you want to succeed as well, work hard towards it. Don't build your success by taking people down. Rezeki di tangan Allah, bukan di tangan manusia...

Closing statement, jangan lupa order kerepek suami saya!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I am a great mom and let me tell you why!

I don't understand the whole fiasco about we can't celebrate Mother's Day. Since I can remember, I always get or make something for my mom on Mother's Day. Since her birthday is somewhere near that day, we also have good meals together. Like a double celebration. Yes, true, everyday is Mother's Day. However, imagine this...

On Mother's Day, when all Mother's around you get gifts and you don't, how does that make you feel. Yeah yeah yeah, of course your children love you so much however, deep down inside, of course you want them to show it. And Mother's Day is one way for them to show their appreciation. So, please enough of this "Every day we need to appreciate our mother" talk. We all know that. And by adding one special day, it doesn't kill anyone.

Coming back to why I think I'm a great mom.

Well, going through pregnancy (and one of it was full of complications, frequent bleeding) would be one proof. Carrying a child while trying very hard for that not to affect your daily life is not easy. Sticking to all the routine while trying to make sure you eat right, maintain your health and take care of your other children can be tough. My recent pregnancy, I was diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure. I need to make sure not only I take care of my health, also remember if I don't it will harm the baby. At the same time, other components of life go on. Business as usual...

Then comes the day to deliver a child to this world. Alhamdulilah, all my 4 kids were delivered normally. Isyraf's delivery almost require C-Sect however, it turned out to be normal despite all the pre delivery complications. And his was the less terrifying thanks to epidural. Why was I so dump not to have that for the first 3 delivery. It doesn't make me less of a mother. Like a friend told me, it was invented for a reason, to help us women endure the pain. Don't feel bad about using it, cause there will be other type of pain being a woman...I am glad I followed that advise when I delivered Isyraf. It makes delivery less scary and I am not afraid to go through it again #eh

To me raising children is the toughest of all. It's an emotional roller coaster experience. Happy, sad, scared, worried and if I am "lucky" all that feelings came at one time. Every stage of my kids' life come with different type of challenges. When they were small (Isyraf's current stage) we just have to deal with the fevers, coughing and all the normal babies and toddlers sickness. Managing own heart attack every time they fall and bleed, every time we need to take them to be stitched, every time we see their school or day care number appearing on our phone screen. When they get food allergies....and many more other stuff. Not forgetting when they throw tantrum in public and we try our very best to discipline them. Yes, that too

And of course the moment they enter teenage years, the stage where potentially "I hate you Mama" period. Where we try to give them freedom at the same time controlling them. A very fine line there and extremely difficult juggling act. Trying to understand their latest craze, what are they into. Understanding their problems and issues, which usually are small but the way they reacted as if world is going to end. Listening to all this after a long day at work and you just got scolded by your boss and went through a bad day in the office. But, you can't tell them you think their problems are not big, they will think you don't understand them. Not easy and I am still learning.

So after all this, regardless what people say, I know I am a great mom. I am there for my kids, through their sickness, hugging them when they feel the whole world hates them just because one friend refused to speak to them, listening to their stories every time they come home from school, attending their sports events, concerts, competitions and many more. Telling them I am proud of them no matter what.

To all moms out there, never let idiotic judgmental people make you feel like you're a bad mom. You went through a lot to raise your kids. What do they know. They don't live your life.

The next time some people judge the way you raise your kids or manage your family, just turn to them and smile and say thank you and then just walk away. This people don't deserve your attention at all.

Happy Mother's Day everyone. You are an awesome mom and nevet let people let you think otherwise!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Traveling Throwback ~ Top 5 international cities I love!

It's no secret I love traveling. I love going places ever since I was very young. Of course, back then budget was limited so movement was limited too. Mainly domestic travel. However, I am fortunate, my dad used to work for MAS and one of the employees benefit was flight tickets to travel abroad FOC once a year. Thanks to this we get to visit many countries.

There are however 5 cities I have visited and fell in love instantly

#5 Barcelona

We went to Barcelona in 2012. It's part of Western Europe backpacking tour I experienced with my better half. We went there during spring and the weather was just amazing. We walked around the city and of course use the cheapest way to see any cities i.e. via Hop On Hop Off. We also get to enjoy the seaview and hillview. Being a football fan, of course we visited Barcelona Stadium Camp Nou

We also enjoyed walking along La Ramblas. We were looking for halal tapas, unfortunately could not find any. There, we get to experience many street entertainment. We get to experience great architecture portrayed from the buildings around Barcelona.

Halal food was not a problem in Barcelona. Almost every street we walk through, there will be at least one restaurant or cafe that offers halal dishes

#4 Lucerne

There's nothing not to like except for how expensive things are! We love Lucerne. It's just so beautiful. Again, we were blessed with such good weather. Waking up and get to see a beautiful lake and mountains making waking up is not so bad after all. Like many other cities in Europe, we walked a lot. The highlight of course taking a cruise to Mount Pilatus, then took a train up. We enjoyed the amazing view going up and down the mountain.

Walking across Chapel Bridge was another interesting experience. We get to enjoy sunset from the bridge and it was really beautiful. Some may say it's cheap to buy watches and chocolates there. However, based our experience, it's not really that cheap. Even food was super expensive. I guess we are also paying for the view hence why the price is super high

#3 Gold Coast

I may be bias in choosing this city simply because I love beaches. Beach holiday has always been my kind of holiday. And Gold Coast beaches are just to die for. I can just sit at the beach for hours accompanied by good books, I am happy already. Kids of course love Gold Coast because of the theme parks. You need to spend whole day for one park. We were fortunate we came during off peak hours. So the queue was not long and kids get to enjoy rides they love few times.

One experience I enjoyed was strolling through the Pasar Malam aka Night Market on the beach. The items sold there were unique and majority of this were home made. Food was accessible anywhere as many joints offer halal food.

#2 London

 Yes, London. How do I even begin to tell you about London. This is a city I feel most comfortable with. This is the city I feel right at home. I just know where to go, what to do, what to eat. It's just so simple. Changing from one tube or train to another visiting many interesting places. Walking along Hyde Park every morning after breakfast is never boring. There is nothing I don't enjoy in London. I can go to London every year and still don't get bored. Planning to go again this year Insyallah.

#1 Oxford

First time I came to Oxford, I fell in love immediately. I went there for work and it was not a long trip and yet I enjoyed it. I told myself I can imagine living here and raising my kids. I made promise to myself I will be back with my better half and kids. True enough, I came back with them and went there again. Since 2011, I managed to return to Oxford every year without fail.

I love the architecture. I love the buildings there. I love the parks. I love the morning market. I just love Oxford. I got inspired and planning to pursue my studies there soon Insyallah. And if everything goes well, I do hope both Mira and Ilham can also study there. Yes, Insyallah

Of course, there are many other amazing cities apart from this 5. We do hope we get to visit more cities soon. In our bucket lists we have Istanbul, cities in East Europe, Scandinavian cities among others. Insyallah...Soon....

And traveling don't have to be expensive. Plan well and go for cheaper options. Save money. Insyallah even you can travel!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Throwback Entry ~ Canteen & Childhood Food

The way my better half and I give pocket money to our kids, we don't give it on daily basis. We give them monthly allowance which they use to buy daily food at the canteen, buy their phone prepaid top up or other stuff they want. We will still cover their education and other needs like books, stationery and kawasan2 sewaktu denganya. Should they need more than what they receive, they need to present a case to us and work for it. We are trying to teach them to live within their means so they can be better prepared for real life.

So, last night during dinner, we asked them about canteen food, whether they experience price increase. We read somewhere some canteen operators increased the price of their food and gave GST as the reason. Wanted to see if their school is affected. Alhamdulilah, the school still maintain the same price. Both of them then shared what food is good to eat and what are just big No No!

It reminded me of the childhood and canteen I consumed when I was in school. Unfortunately, on canteen food, my memory is failing me, somehow I don't remember much memory on primary school. I went to SRK Kelana Jaya and all I remembered was the hawker outside the school that sell junk food aka jajan. I don't remember about the canteen food at all.

However, for secondary school, I went to SM Seaport before I entered MRSM. I told my kids I was fortunate as the canteen did serve descent food at affordable price. They had like food court concept. I love the Mee Kari there. Next to it was the Yong Tau Foo stall. I usually buy Mee Kari and then go to Yong Tau Foo stall and buy 1 or 2 dumplings. I will request for the dumplings to be added directly to the Mee Kari. I usually eat a lot at the canteen since highly likely I don't get to eat lunch at home. Both of my parents were working so if I wish to eat, I have to cook myself. Hence makan kenyang2 then balik rumah :).

Many may say MRSM food is bad. However, as far as I can recall, it was not too bad. I remember I love the Friday menu the most, Ayam Bumia with special rice, I think that's the name. Of course, Friday is ice cream day so makin best! I also love Soto Pasar Gesel. It is still the best soto I have ever eaten. I think many of my MRSM mate can vouch to that.

I then went to college in MSM Trolak and what I remembered the most was Kuey Teow Hailam with chicken. There's this couple who sold goreng2 food and I remembered how I enjoyed their Kuey Teow Hailam. They also sell Nasi Ayam so I requested for the chicken from Nasi Ayam to be added on top of the Kuey Teow Hailam. Yes, people, I love to mix and match my food. Somehow, I was not bored of this food and I ate it almost everyday unless I am broke.

Of course, I have childhood food I miss till this day. I was brought up in Kelana Jaya and back then they were lots of food which I enjoyed. Everytime after kelas agama, I will buy goreng pisang from this Pak Cik whom all of us call him Pak Cik Goreng Pisang (duh!!). He also sell Cucur Udang and whenever I ordered the goreng pisang, I would ask the Pak Cik to add the sambal for Cucur Udang. Here I am, mix and match my food again.

If you are from Kelana Jaya, you should be familiar with Goreng Pisang garam (the only goreng pisang I know that sprinkle salt before handing it over to customer), Nasi Lemak Mak Cik Muka Masam selling next to 7-11. Though this Mak Cik is not so mesra alam (hence the nickname), she always give generous portion of everything like sotong, ayam and of course rice!. With the price we paid, the portion is super huge!. This Mak Cik only opened her stall from 6pm onwards.

I also love Nasi Lemak Mak Cik Garang, near the SS6 PKNS Apartment. She only opened for breakfast. She operated her stall with her husband and daughter. Though she has them helping her, she don't really allow them to help her. She always wants to do things herself. And very the garang one! Her sambal was so awesome. And I love her sambal sotong as well.

There are also pasar malam food which I really miss. Mee Soto at Wak Soto stall which has the best sambal cili api ever, this sambal guarantees you to sweat like you are under the hot sun. I also remember vadey and idli which we call gerai anak dara. If you consume this while it's hot, it's one of the best food experience you'll ever get.

And how can I not include the Aunty Gemuk Kuey Teow, Lau Wan Kuey Teow, Lontong at Restoran Jaya among others. There was also Nasi Ayam bawah pokok near what used to be the building of Jerry's tuition center. Also Rojak in front of Giant lama.

My mouth water just by blogging this entry. I better stop now before this crave becomes unbearable. Haih!

So my ex-schoolmates, college mates and Kelana Jaya people, do you remember the food I listed above. I bet you do!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Weekend Wonders ~ How To Make Burger Patties

Maternity leave is a good time to catch up on many things. Catching up with cleaning, putting our home in order, all the TV series I may have missed, blogging and of course what I love doing the most, cooking!

For those who don't know what to cook this weekend, try to make your own burger patties. It was my first time trying to cook it. I referred to few recipes and decided to improvised to suit my own tastes, and the kids also....

I always prefer beef than chicken so for this one, I am sharing beef burger patties recipe. Beef is much simpler, chicken if not cooked well, it can get a bit dry and not so delicious. Please also note when I cook, I don't really use specific measurement, more like a secukup rasa kind of thing

Ingredients (To make 4 burgers)

500gm Beef, please choose the part when it combines the meat and the fat so the patties can be moist and juicy
3 Garlic
3 Shallots 
1 egg
Black Pepper
Paprika Powder
Anise (Jintan Manis) 
Worcestershire sauce
Soya Sauce

Step 1 

Mince the beef. Please avoid using blender as it may get too watery. Use the food mincer instead. If you don't have that (cause we don't) use the part that usually is used to blend the nuts. Sorry, I don't know what that part is called. When you buy blender, it will come with 2 main blending container, I used the small one

Step 2

Blend the garlic and shallots. Then mix that with black pepper, paprika powder, coriander and anise 

Step 3

Mix ingredients all including the beef and items in step 2. Make sure you mix in well with your fingers so all the spices are well segregated

Step 4

Mould the beef to burger shape. 

Step 5

You can choose to cook it either using pan or oven. We were hungry so I decided to pan fry it.

Step 6

Garnish it with buns, onions, salad, cucumber and tomatoes. Add cheese if you want to

Tada! The burger is now ready to be served. Do give it a try and share with me the outcome ya! 

Have an awesome weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

See The World, Open Our Mind, Go Travel!

I love traveling. Every chance I have, I will try to fit traveling in my life itinerary though I do wish I can travel more. Many thoughts the moment you have kids, your traveling will be limited. I beg to differ to certain extend. Yes, of course financial level is key, however if we plan and do our budgeting well, it is still doable.

I still remember the first time I took my then 3 small children on an airplane. We have been planning that trip to Kuching for more than 6 months. We also took time to save money for the trip. Given our budget was not that large, we settled for 3 star hotel and took Air Asia. It was an eye opening trip for us.

Some of our traveling experience....

1. The Kuching trip. Back then, Air Asia has no seat booking facilities and we were not aware of that until we saw everyone running to the plane when announcement was made. Not knowing why people run, my better half just grabbed Ilham and run while I was walking super fast with my 2 girls. Apparently, everybody was running to book seats. If we don't do that, we may not get to sit together. I remembered my better half managed to book seats though he looked like he was about to faint due to the sprinting :). Traveling with 3 small children was not easy, however we managed to make the holiday enjoyable. From there we learned to improve the way we plan our holidays

2. Next, we had our first "abroad" holiday. Not that far, to Singapore. Still abroadlah kan. It was also the first time kids had their passport done and stamped. We decided to take the bus cause we can't afford to fly. It was quite taxing on us, kids were not that big that time. We had to all go down for immigration check together with our bags and then boarded the bus again after all that was done. We, however, enjoyed our time in Singapore. We went to Universal Studio, Night Safari and get to experience the Christmas Parade at Orchard Road. Halal food was a challenge but because we did our research and planned well, we stayed in the hotel near to halal food joint and MRT so that saved us a lot of time and money (and less stress!)

3. We then become more adventurous and of course has more money. We went to Australia, Sydney, Brisbane and Gold Coast. We also learned that shopping for holiday packages are best done at MATTA Fair. We got really good deal and it was indeed an enjoyable holiday for us. Kids love all the theme parks and I enjoyed the beach. Again, because of good planning again, food was not an issue. We already know where to get ours.

4. Since the kids got bigger, my better half know it's the right time for us to go for holiday, just the two of us. We make it a point to go somewhere every year. We started with Bandung, then Ho Chi Minh, Singapore and in 2012, we did our Europe tour to 9 Western Europe countries. That was indeed an amazing experience. And last year, we went to London. We love London and we think we will make it a point to go there when we can.

5. So far, apart from Singapore and Australia, we have also taken the kids to Bali, Hong Kong, Krabi, UK and Paris. We also had 2 bigger group holidays where we took both of our parents to Medan and Ho Chi Minh.

6. Actually come to think of it, I started to take them traveling when they were really babies. Due to work commitment, I have to travel across the country to meet clients. Baby was still breastfeeding so everytime I travel, I take all my 3 kids with me. So they have been to all states in Malaysia by the time they were 5!

7. I have also been to few parts of US due to again, work commitment. Can't say I enjoy it though, not just because the traveling was due to work, also the stereotyping I faced by some of the people there just because I wear tudung. One waitress even asked a friend of mine while we were having dinner if I can speak English (pfffttt!!!). Every time I need to take domestic flight, I will be subjected to "random" checks by security. I guess I am not that random anymore. If I even want to go to US again for holiday, I will definitely consider San Fransisco and New York. I did not enjoy California including LA, Chicago, Boston and Wisconsin.

Why do we love traveling and encourage kids to travel?

1. It will teach them to respect other cultures. We are not the only one living in this world and with respect world will be a better place. I can see significant difference when we start to take our kids traveling. They tend to be more patient and able to accept different ways of doing things by people from different backgroud

2. They also become less choosy. When you travel especially abroad, you just have to settled with what you can afford. Current exchange rate is a challenge when we go to countries exchange rates are higher than ours. However, if we plan well, it is still manageable.

Now, traveling is much easier. Flights are more affordable, there's lots of hotel bookings portal which can compare prices before we decide where to stay, reviews we can read so we can plan well and also facilities like AirBnB so you can choose to live in a house or apartment which allow you to cook and clean. You will then save more money.

I always feel the best part about holiday is the planning part. Maybe I should consider that as a career. I can get paid to plan for people's holiday without having to go with them. I can book their hotels, prepare their itinerary and up to the point listing down place of interests and where to go....Hmmm....Sounds like a good proposition....

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Protecting Vs Guiding ~ Where Is The Line.....

Pardon for my tardiness in updating this blog. Isyraf has not been well since Sunday and he just wants to be hold all the time. He is my priority so other things just have to wait. Alhamdulilah, he is better now and this allows me to do my daily routine while I am on maternity leave including updating this blog :).

Anyway, in our home, we make it a point we sit together for dinner. For the past 4 years this have become regular since work commitment is more manageable. Where I used to work, I hardly get to see my kids, usually by the time I am home the kids would have slept. Of course there will be occasions I miss dinner, however that occasions are very rare.

This is the opportunity for us to have good conversation with the kids. At their age, they need to have someone to listen to them and provide them with guidance on issues they are dealing with. This time is also a great opportunity to receive updates on what's going on at school, beyond academic of course.

Baby shared this one interesting scenario she faced last week.

It's a condition in Baby's school you can't hold 2 positions at one time. This is to give opportunity for others to also gain experience in assuming leadership positions. Baby came home so excited she got to be the asistant monitor for her class as the class monitor got appointed to be pembimbing rakan sebaya so the assistant monitor will be made monitor. The class then voted Baby to become the assistant monitor to which the class teacher agreed. And because of this new nomination, Baby got to go for leadership camp. She asked me for RM23 to pay for this. I happily obliged, I do want her to get exposed to many things while she is still in school.

However, the next day she came home disappointed. Her class teacher changed her mind and changed the rules. The class monitor can still be the class monitor despite holding another position in school. What disappoint her the most is now she can't go for the leadership camp. She then returned the money I gave her.

As a mother, of course it's my nature to protect her. I was silently upset on the treatment she received. Rejection is never easy at any age and she is only 14! I felt like going to school the next day and meet the teacher requesting for explanation. Not only she disappoint my daughter, she also gave her false hope which is wrong and a big sin in any mother's dictionary.

However, when I see how calm Baby is despite the disappointment shown in her eyes, I know she just need someone to talk to, to vent her anger and sadness. And I know, in life, she will face more disappointments and I can't protect her from all that. She just needs to deal with it.

I did ask her, to show that I support her, if she wants me to go and speak to her teacher. With a very relaxed tone, she just replied "It's ok Mama. The teacher just missed the opportunity to have the best Assistant Monitor she will ever meet. I don't think it's my loss. There will be other opportunities and those who choose to give me one will be glad they did".

Yes, though she is called Baby, she is more matured than some adults I know. I know she is sad, I know she also feel humiliated in front of her class for not being appointed when she was given hope she will be one. I am glad she finds it in her to accept, forgive and move on. And move on she did, move on to be a better individual.

I also learned one good lesson. I need to let go and trust my kids are able to take care of themselves. They know when they need my help. And they know I will be there for them when they need me.

Yes, parenting is tough. It doesn't come with a user manual. No matter how many parenting books you read, courses or talks you attend, it's not the same when you experience it.

And I am proud of Baby. She will definitely be a great role model to Isyraf. May Allah continues to guide her in doing the right thing....Amin....

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Most Powerful 7 with No More Excuses

I have been wanting to lose weight for the longest time. My weight loss journey is like a yoyo. It goes up then it goes down and up again. Before I gave birth to Isyraf, I loss a lot of weight. I must admit, though some may say I am perasan, I look good.

When I got pregnant, I even had this conversation with my gynae. It was half serious and half joking. I asked my gynae whether I can have a healthy pregnancy and not gain too much weight, you know like Fasha Sandha, her tummy is the only thing that got bigger(Yes, I did quote Fasha Sandha when I spoke to my gynae). She did not grow side ways and look so good. My gynae just gave me the stare and did not even entertain my question.....

My weight on the day of my first pregnancy check up was 65kg. I then wiegh 72kg one day before I gave birth to Isyraf. After I delivered, I weigh 64kg and today after 45 days, I am 62kg. My better half told me not to be too skinny and of course his speech about loving me no matter how fat I become ( Yes Sayang, how sweet of you but you know very well I need to lose this extra weight). I am doing this so that I can be healthy and able to take care of my 4 kids. I can't afford to fall sick especially after having Isyraf.

This pregnancy is also an eye opener. I was diagnosed with both high blood pressure and diabetes. According to my gynae it's mainly due to my age and if I don't start to have healthy lifestyle (eat right, exercise), I may have this for the rest of my life which is not good. How can I take care of my 4 babies when I can't even take care of myself. So, that's a good motivation. I will do anything for my kids, Yes, anything!

After I delivered Isyraf, I followed pantang diligently in terms food consumption. And of course breastfeeding helps to lose that extra weight. As much as I wanted to start exercising right away, I was advised to wait until my pantang period is over to ensure I recover well from child birth before I can start. So, today, my pantang has officially ended and my weight loss journey has officially started.

I acknowledge it's not easy. There will be temptations and also godaan sekeliling (you know what I mean). However, if I remind myself of my original nawaitu on why I need to do this, I believe it can be done Insyallah....

Ting! Day 1!

Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Still learning to be a mom

One thing I usually avoid is to give advise on anything related to parenting. Maybe because I had given birth 4 times, people tend to ask me what to do during pregnancy and child birth. I usually hesitate to give any comments mainly due to the fact I believe all pregnancy and child birth are different. Even my four pregnancy and child birth experience were not exactly identical. What I usually say when people ask, this is based on my experience which may differ from others.

I must confess (yes, another confession). It irks me when people say my life is easy cause my kids area all grown up. And now when I have a baby, some may say my life is still easy, cause I have 3 kids to help me take care of the baby. Well, from the look of it, I don't experience any hardship in my life, do I. Let me tell you the issues when you have small and later big kids.

I mentioned many times before I got married young. And I got kids at young age too. I have 3 kids by the time I am 25. Mira and Ilham gap is about 1 year 2 months while Ilham and Baby 1 year 9 months. Surprised huh? Yes, before my kids got big like they are now, they were small #sarcasm.

So raising all three of them was indeed a big challenge. And not having a maid added to that challenge. Every morning before going to work, we have to get them ready, bathe them, dress them, prepare milk and breakfast, get them and their stuff into the car and then send them to daycare. All that to be done under 1 hour including time for us to prepare ourselves. Of course, like other babies and toddlers, they threw tantrum, refused to get into the bathroom, fight among themselves and all the dramas you would know if you have young children.

When they enter school, it will be new set of issues. Making sure they do their homework, get their school items ready everyday, also reminding them not to lose their stuff like their lunch box, stationery among others, go to bed on time so they won't feel tired the next morning. Let's not forget the school drama about their teachers, friends and not so friendly people around them. Yes, you don't have to bathe and dress them. But let me tell you this phase is more complex. When they were smaller, you need to hear them. Now, you need to listen. Those 2 are different. You need to listen how their day went. Who is now friends with who, what are they up to. The kind of activities they do in school and what subject they hate and enjoy. Yes, you need to pay attention no matter how busy you are and you have to juggle this with your work since you still need to earn a living.

And now they are teenagers before you know it. They will have different needs. They want freedom at the same time they want you to be there for them. They are in a confuse state at times and expect your guidance. They want you around but they also want to look cool in front of their friends. Sometimes, you will be in a confuse state trying to guess what do they really want. They are trying to find their identity and who they are. They are discovering people from opposite sex and as muchs as you try to guide and control them, you can only pray for them to make the right decision. Yes, pretty complex. We all went through that before. We should be able to relate that.

Now we are re-entering the first phase while managing the teenage space. So, it gets tougher. Yes, we have 3 extra helpers but you do know these helpers need to go to school, do their homework, study and hang out with their friends. They are your kids, not your maid. So, we need to be sensitive with their needs. I am blessed Mira, Ilham and Baby love spending time with Isyraf. But I must also make sure they have their space too. They need to also enjoy teenage life and not forced to play the parents role. I want them to continue to enjoy having Isyraf's company, because they want to, not because they have to.

Some even say at least with bigger kids we will not be sleep deprived. Guess what, occasionally you will lose sleep but for different reason. Like worrying about how they are doing in school or when you have disagreement with them and you worry if they will start to distant themselves from you. And they do get sick so that will also keep you awake. You'll know when you get there.

Hence, that is why I am not the right person to ask about parenting. I am still learning myself. I am not even sure how my kids will turn up when they get bigger. Will they do well in college, will they get good descent job, will they have amazing life partner are some of many questions I constantly ask myself.

And the most critical questions, when I die, will they be the one to manage the funeral, will they be the one mandikan my jenazah, kafankan and solatkan. Will they be the one to carry the coffin and walk me to my final resting place. Will they be the one praying to Allah to forgive my sins and grant me Jannah.

Parenting goes beyond what life has to offer. If done well, it will be carried to the hereafter...(OMG, it rhymes! )

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The most trying time

When it comes to child birth, there are many phases we need to go through. Major phases would e pregnancy and what comes with it and labour pain and what comes with it. Many thought labour pain is the most trying time, maybe to some. Not to me at least, epidural or no epidural.

As shared earlier, this round of pregnancy was quite taxing on me. I never had diabetes or high blood pressure when I was carrying Mira, Ilham and Baby, however, I was tested with this 2 diagnosis when I was carrying Isyraf. That was when I had this theory whoever said when you are pregnant, you can eat anything is a damn big liar. This pregnancy, I don't get to eat many things. Thank God I don't have any critical cravings. Otherwise, bak kata orang tua, meleleh air liur anak.

Most trying time for me is confinement (noticed I use IS since I am still in confinement, 2 more days 2 go). This round of confinement, unlike the first 3, food was not the issue. I am ok not having to consume many food I like. Having to eat fish cooked in certain way, nothing spicy except if it comes from black pepper, there are forbidden fruits and vegetables when I am hantu fruits and veges. I am just ok with it. Maybe because of that, my weight now is much lower than before I got pregnant the 4th time.

Why I find this time around confinement is the most trying time is I can't go out and do things I love even if I don't mind going anywhere wearing socks (still wearing them as I am typing this). However, I had to make this confession (sorry Mummy, I did go our few times cause I have to, not because I want to *yeah right*)

1. I won a contest organised by Shape Malaysia magazine and I got to have merchandise worth RM800. Condition is I had to go and collect the prize myself and I have to do this within 1 week. So, I had to go out. The collection place is in PJ. At the same time, my phone screen got cracked and Samsung had an offer which is only for that week where I had to pay only 50% of the actual price which is a lot. So yeah, I had to go out. I went with my better half and we took the kids including Isyraf as it was school holiday. Kids got hungry and I had to feed them. So we had to go to the nearest mall and feed them lunch (don't worry, I was still consuming pantang food, though I don't know why you should be worried)

2. It's a tradition we eat out to celebrate birthdays. And this time around it was Baby's birthday and it's only fair we take her out for the normal makan do. I need to show the kids even with the arrival of Isyraf, we will still maintain whatever family tradition we have. So we went out for 2 hours to celebrate and then went straight home. My better half parked our car at the nearest spot to the restaurant so I don't have to walk too far. And yes, I was still consuming pantang food

3. There were some issues with my better half's shop in Johor which need to be settled fast and my help is needed. So the whole family went back Johor to sort things out. Isyraf made his debut to my better half's kampung. It was a short day trip. We came, we solved and we went home. No stop over except for lunch at Mak's house and Friday prayers at the nearby mosque. Yeah yeah, still consuming pantang food

4. This one, is within my mom's knowledge. My Pak Lang passed away. I went back to Kuala Selangor so we can give our final respect. Of course, I am not allowed to go to the cemetery therefore Isyraf and I stayed in the car. Despite the sad reason to get together, I wanted to take advantage of this to have family lunch with my 2 brothers and my parents. It's a rare occasion for all 5 of us having meals together. And the best thing is without the kids (except for Isyraf, no way I am leaving him behind) so we can have good descent conversation and not worrying for someone to pecahkan pinggan mangkuk kedai makan or running around, falling and injuring themselves or losing any of the kids. My mom has always wanted to makan at Aaron Aziz's restaurant, Kidz and Creme so we took mom there. It was really worth it. Both of my parents were at their happiest mood seeing all their 3 kids in front of them. Oh I forgot, I was still eating pantang food (gila ko! Mummy ada situ, ingat boleh lepas!)

5. This one was entirely me wanting to go out. I was bored. I was (and still am) really really bored. So, I pujuked my better half to take me out and kids for lunch. We went to this new shopping mall in Cyberjaya, D Pulze. Good choice, not crowded and have nursing room. Had good lunch and went back. Yes, still pantang food ouls!!

Of course, in between I get to go our for doctor's appointment when Isyraf was diagnosed with jaundice and when he had to go for his jab. That one doesn't count ya cause we just have to kan? (like it matters)

So I told my better half, I am willing to go through the pregnancy and labour pain (only with epidural ok!) again. I know if I were to get pregnant again it will be tough as I am OLD! But I am still ok to go through the journey, my only worry is if it will affect the baby. But, no way I want to go through confinement ever again.

This is the long answer to your short question. No, I don't plan to have more kids. Of course, kuasa Allah kita tak boleh menghalang ketentuanNya (chewah, bahasa drama dah kluar dah!). If Allah decides for me to have more, I will accept the rezeki. If it's up to me, the answer is NO!

You stop asking, I stop answering ya!

Monday, April 6, 2015

I think I wanna write a malay novel.....

One thing that I do whenever I am on long leave, in this case, maternity leave, I will watch malay dramas. Many many malay dramas. Yes, I do enjoy malay drama. On normal days, malay dramas would be my lipat kain moment. It makes lipat kain more enjoyable. Before you know it, 2 baskets gone while I enjoy giving live commentary on how stupid the hero is or how mean the b**** who likes to kacau suami orang. However, given now I have so much time to spare, I get to watch more malay dramas.

Off late, I noticed few common trends in malay dramas. One trend is the title. Some how, many would have suami or isteri on the title. Either Suamiku something or Dia Isteriku or Suamiku. Like the one I am watching now while I type this, "Isteri Separuh Masa". Last week, I followed Suami Rumah Sebelah and Teman Lelaki Upahan (TLU) (which I have yet to move on from TLU, Kyra and El are 2 characters which are unforgettable, yes, I have not moved on). I also watched Suamiku En Perfect 10. Baby was complaining I have become more Mak Cik since I got pregnant and got worse after I delivered.

Another trend in malay drama which I noticed is secret marriage. Either parents not aware their OWN kids are married, or they got into arranged marriage and don't want others to know or something in between. Of course some of the story line are not logic. Well, that's the beauty of it. It's not logic and yet we still enjoy watching it and got addicted.

This give me an idea, maybe I should start writing malay novel while I am on confinement. I can write about some cliche marriage arrangement. It can be due to tangkap khalwat which of course not the fault of the 2 main characters (adalah orang aniaya diaorang) or the main character cannot claim CEO position or some harta pusaka until s/he got married or fulfilling parents or atok nenek wasiat. Of course, one part of the couple is from the city and another one orang kampung or some sopan santun gadis who is so naive and senang kena tipu.

The title must have Suami or Isteri in it. Since many are taken, so I need to squeeze my brain harder to get a catchy title. Suamiku CEO, Aku Orang Kampung or Isteri Vogue Suami Selebet or Isteri Terror Masak Kari Kepala Ikan...something like that lah. Still got time to think about the title. Some title already in the market don't make much sense, at least not to me, so why can't I choose one title some where along that line.

It must also have comedy elements. And then followed by sob stories. And this two has to blend in. Barulah can make more than a dozen episodes. Oh, didn't I tell you the reason why I want to write the novel so that it can be converted into drama. The longer the episode the better. I can then choose who I want as the main characters, Izzue Islam ke, Aiman Redza ke, Adi Putra ke or Emma Maembong, or Ayda Jebat....It's so scary I now know the name of these actors or actresses. Before this I only know them by their character names. You may call it progress, I may call it "I'm Bored" moment.

I have less than 2 months to go before I start working again. I better start the novel soon, otherwise sure tak sempat to finish lah!!