Thursday, July 31, 2008

Nak Adik Boy?

Last night, at the dinner table, Hanna said something that nearly made me choke on my pistaschios.

Ibu, Hanna nak Adiklah...

What??? What was that again Hanna???

Hanna rasa Hanna nak Adik sorang lagi lah.

(Was she for real?)

Betul ke ni Hanna?? You have 3 younger sisters now... and one Kakak and one Abang... nak lagi ke? Lagipun it’s a lil bit too late now for that... Apasal sekarang baru Hanna request?

Entahla.. Hanna rasa Hanna nak Adik boy lah... Hanna teringin la nak Adik boy...

At this point, Hasya was vigorously nodding her head... A-a lah Ibu, Hasya pun nak Adik boy jugak Ibu....

Girls, I’m too old for that now... if only you girls requested this yearsssss ago, bolehla Ibu beranak Adik boy... Lagipun, would you change his diapers now that I’m too old for that?

EEEwww.. tak naklah Ibu... diapers...eewww.. busuk laa...

So, nak tak Adik boy ni?

Eewww.. nak kena tukar diapers... tak jadilah Ibu....

Okay that settles it.


Hehe... Children... so easy to convince them...

Monday, July 28, 2008


Once upon a time, there was a 36 years old woman who thought that she needed to prioritize things up in the pamper-yourself department. Freshly out of her confinement of her 5th child, she signed up for a package of 10+1 sessions of microdermabrasions at a dermatologist clinic in Subang Jaya. She had the micro sessions done, and stopped going there after the 6th session.

Six years later, the woman who is now 42, decided to give a call to the clinic. She managed to squeeze in to get an appointment for her micro. The beauty consultant, Joanna was surprised to see her. The expression on Joanna’s face when she first saw the woman was like -

“My God, it’s been so long, I thought this woman was dead”.

Anyway, the woman had her microdermabrasion done that day and made an appointment for her 8th session, scheduled three weeks after that. She was determined to finish off her remaining sessions. And be done with it. After all, she would be left with only 4 more sessions to go. Pejam-celik mesti habis punya...

Came Saturday July the 26th, she went for the appointment. The first thing Joanna did was to show the woman her log book. Apparently, Joanna did some checking and realized that the woman had signed up for another package of 20 sessions of microdermabrasions, during one of her sessions a few years back. And that too was already paid in full!

The woman was dumbfounded. How could she forgot about the second sign-up?

And yeap, that dumbfounded Pudding Head was ME!

As I’m typing this, I’m still mulling over the 23 microdermabrasions sessions that I have to go. Not that I don’t want to look pretty...(as if!) but I don’t know how I’m going to finish them off. What with the Non-Transferable written smugly on the clinic card, definitely can’t give them out as birthday gifts to my good friends. Looking at the history of facials I’ve done in the past, I had my facial done ONCE a year! If I were to keep the pace as it was, I’ll be 65 when I have my last session... if I lived that long!

We don’t want that to happen, do we? So I better cease this chatter and give Joanna a call....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Goodbye Gabby

I was waiting for the red light to turn green when I realized there was a missed-call on my handphone. It was Kenny, our good friend whom we’ve known for 14 years. Since the traffic light was still red and the displayed numbers showed 56, I knew I had time to return the call. 56 seconds was enough... so I thought.

We did a quick hello. However I could detect a different tone in Kenny’s voice.

Kak, do you remember Gabby?

Gabby... the one who did the landscape? Sure I remember her. Why?

Dia sudah tak ada, Kak.. sudah meninggal...


Sudah lama Kak... Chinese New Year.. I pun baru saja tau...

I wanted to ask more but the traffic light had just turned green, so I had to say goodbye and disconnect the call. All the way home I kept thinking about this young girl I met in May last year. Gabby did the landscaping for our house. She was a landscape towkey’s daughter in Bukit Rimau. Even though she had a few Bangladeshis working for her, she preferred to roll-up her sleeves and dug in the soil and filth. An example of youthful exuberance. Sometimes she would come alone and did the work around the house. And I would always tease her when she could easily pick up heavy pots on her own.

Waa... Gabby... you kuat macam jantan la...

And she would laugh at that.

Reaching home, I could see the three Fox Tail trees she planted for us.... looking tall and proud. While walking towards my Hanis who was cheering “Ibu balik, Ibu balik”, I realized that the Java Palm, the Mother-in-law’s Tongue plants and the grass that I was stepping on - all had been planted by her. Suddenly I got teary-eyed. This girl who was not of great importance in our lives when she was alive had actually left something behind for us to remember her by.

I believe that every person who enters our lives - significant or insignificant that person may be - will surely leave a mark behind, whether we realize it or not. And dear Gabby did just that. She planted those plants and trees, and as long as they survive, her memory will still be with us....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

For my Hanna

This short entry is for my daughter Hanna.

Hanna, remember the talk we had last night? This is just to signify the things we spoke about.. so that one day when you read this entry, you'll know when we had that talk.

I love you Hanna.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


I have Uban!

That’s the depressing fact I came face to face this morning. not Depressing.. let me make a correction to that. It was rather an Eye-Opening fact.

Yes, I know I’m in my 42nd year.. Yeah..yeah at this age, I am supposed to have uban. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always grateful to Allah for giving me this life that is full of love and laughters. And I’m always thankful for the blessings and challenges He bestows us because whatever good or bad, I always believe it’s forever for the best.

Anyway, back to the significant encounter I had this morning, since I’m short sighted, I’d just see my blurry reflection in the mirror everyday while combing my hair and put the compact powder on. I’d only see things clearer when I wore my glasses, which would only happen after I dabbed some lipstick and had my tudung on. No second glance in the mirror. Then off to work I’d go.

So there goes. I seldom looked at myself closely in the mirror. And I’ve never scrutinized my hair ... UNTIL this morning...

There they were - on the right side of my temple. Waiting to be greeted and seen by the owner... And I just couldn’t help myself – I burst out laughing!!

I’m officially older (and wiser) now, Thank You. Not that having more white hair will make a person wiser, but that's what I'll stick to at the moment.. LOL.. Although I’m not Anak AYAH in this category, since my father (AYAH) didn’t have uban until he was in his 60’s. People thought that he colored his hair. Little did they know that AYAH was/is just a Brylcream brand loyalist!

And just now I proudly show my uban to two of my girls.

Remember girls, see my uban? I am getting older and uban ni is the proof. So puhleeeez after this, no more fightings ok.. Kesian Ibu dah tua..

Hasya and Haifa looked at each other and touched my hair.....

OK Ibu, promise..

As if! But it’s the thought that counts, right? :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Craving for Air Tangan Mak

I was having chicken lasagna and a cuppa cappuccino with my friend Ila this afternoon when I suddenly craved for Mak’s cooking. The craving came just like that. Like when I was pregnant and lusted for Swensen’s icecream in the middle of the night. You just gotta have it, no matter what.

I’m so ashamed to admit this, but I haven’t been back to Alor Setar since October Raya 2006. But everybody in my family understood the reasons behind that. Last year (2007) was a bad year for us.

- I changed so many maids. This, if put into writing, would require 1GB of memory. How about that?
- Got ‘robbed’ by my temporary maids – RM13K in jewelries and cash
- We were busy with the renovation of the house we bought
- We were busy with the moving-in/settling-in

We were lucky because Mak and AYAH would come and visit us from time to time. I knew they understood our situation, thus no hard feelings. Especially when I'm the only one living this far from them. All my other siblings either live in Alor Setar or Sungai Petani.

And when I had this Mak’s-food-craving attack, I felt sad. I wish I could see her more often. Mak is 66 and AYAH 71 but they have so many activities back home. AYAH is forever being a judge (for Pantuns etc), providing talks on Pantuns etc, attending Clubs, (Persatuan Sejarah, Kedah Museum), attending dinners etc. Mak will be busy with her Masjid, Wanita and Club activities. Sometimes she goes fishing with her neighbors, and I know she loves every second of it.

I wish I could eat what she cooked for dinner tonight. Maybe tonight’s menu will be Gulai Telur Ikan Plotan, Ikan Temenung Goreng, Sotong Goreng Letup and Kerabu Tembikai. Not forgetting the compulsory item on the menu which will always include Sambal Belacan and Ulam for AYAH.

I’m drooling. Gosh... I really crave for Mak's cooking...

Friday, July 11, 2008

My Ramblings on Parenting

I was feeling out of sorts earlier today. Nothing I did seemed right. Even a simple SQL statement didn’t extract the correct data. And the network wasn’t functioning well - intermittent all morning. Crap. And when the network was slow, the users would start complaining. Your system’s slow. As if they didn’t know the reasons. It was the network, dammit, my system had nothing to do with it, ok!

Oopps.. sorry for my language... I guess I got carried away with this morning’s mood I was in. It all started last night when I got pretty mad at my Hanna, Hasya and Haifa. Sometimes they just don’t listen. I hate the yellings that I have to make every single day –

Wash your hands (after playing with the bugs and what nots in the garden)
Take your shower (before 7:30pm)
Play your piano (exam’s around the corner)
Go to Sleep (c'mon, I’ve got to wake you up at 5:45am tomorrow)
Stop fighting (it’s not music to my ear, ok!)


Why do I always have to do that? Why can’t I be like my Mak? All my 42 years, I can swear that Mak has never even once pinched me. Never raised her voice at me. Never smacked my behind. Never scolded me.

So why am I doing to my girls what Mak has never done to me? Why do I have this little patience in me?

Am I a bad mother? Is my way of teaching my children a wrong way? Do I lack parenting skills?

Then at lunch, while nursing my cephalalgia, I stumbled upon this website. Gosh...that’s EVIL. With a Capital E in bold. I just can’t imagine any parent could do that to their children. It’s unthinkable and totally crazy!

What happened there actually? Some wires in the 3lb got short-circuit?


Somewhere along the line, some of us forgot that our children are the gifts from God. Amanah Allah untuk setiap ibubapa. As parents, we have to nurture them to become good human beings. Nurturing will include not only by providing them with the basic needs such as food, lodging and education – unwavering love, TLC, huggings and kisses, etc etc should also be packaged together.

And I’m sure Ayah and I have done all that. So why was I so cranky last night (and this morning)?

Then it hit me.

There’s nothing wrong with my Hanna, Hasya and Haifa. And there’s nothing wrong with me either. That’s how growing children behave... that’s part of the growing up thingy. And how I felt was pretty much normal to some parents with this level of patience in them. So my Mak has a higher degree of patience, thus no screaming at her children from her. Unlike me. But it’s okay coz I know I’m a good Ibu to all my children. I’ve done my best in my children’s upbringings.

And I know that their growing up era will definitely be colorful ones. I just hope that I’ll be there for them all the time...

Hmmhh.. It was like yesterday when I felt them endearingly small in my arms...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Still too Early for Raya?

I was buying the Beef Serunding at my favorite Pasar Tani on Saturday when the serunding seller mentioned that the fasting month was just around the corner. Ayah and I went like “WHAT???”

The nice Pakcik got questions shot at him by these two Ignorant Fools...
Bila Puasa?
Bila Raya?

He explained that we have only 7 weeks to go before the Holy Ramadhan comes. Yeah, right!

The Zakat calendar was the first thing I snatched when we reached home. Holy Macaroni! The Pakcik was right! So the first day of fasting will be on the 1st of September and Raya will tentatively be on the 1st of October...

Okay, I know I know... some might say that it’s still a loooonnggg way to go before we’ll start fasting. But to this Ibu, it’s like a bit too late. I’m not talking about the Raya cakes and biscuits, I’m talking about the children’s Baju Raya!

The Baju Kurung for my five girls... my God, surely most tailors won’t be accepting any more orders! What should I do now? Perhaps the ready-made ones this year?

And how about Ayah’s and Haziq’s Baju Melayu?
First - I’ll have to buy the material at Nagoya Textiles
Then - mail them to Mak in Alor Setar
Later - poor Mak will then have to go to the shop in Pekan Rabu and (really) beg the tailor to accept the late order
Hope that will work (crossing my fingers here..)

My Baju Raya? Well, mine doesn’t matter. If I truly want a new Baju Raya, I’ll grab one later. Subang Parade and PKNS Shah Alam will definitely do wonders to satisfy a female’s yearnings... he..he...

Speed Trap

And I just can't help giggling when I got this pix from a friend today. Notice the police traffic officer?

That's a Fruit Stall. Pretty creative, huh..

Speed-trap at Sabak Bernam. Look out people!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Do you Believe in Miracles?

Ibu, Ibu percaya tak miracle? Haifa asked me yesterday.

Do I believe in miracles? Of course I do! I believe everybody will at least experience it once. Whether they realize it or not.

My miracle experiences? Other than giving birth to 6 wonderful children, I do have three.

The first one was sometime in July/August 1997. I was 31 and was 8mo pregnant with my third child Hanna and we decided to go for our Umrah - Ayah, my MIL and my special child Haziq (who still couldn’t walk at 3y10mo). Heavily pregnant and not wearing a tudung yet then, I was somehow given discouragement by my office colleagues.
Very hot in Mekah, you know especially when you’re not used to wear a tudung.
Aren’t you afraid of giving birth in Mekah?
Doktor Arab kasar tau...
Eh, nanti you bersalin dalam flight, tak takut ke?
Can Haziq cope?
How are you going to do tawwaf with Haziq?
Boleh ke – pregnant 8 bulan, dengan Haziq tak boleh jalan – boleh handle ke?

Somehow that didn’t deter me. I was given the encouragement by Ayah and a Pak Haji (Arwah Hj Mohd Noor) who had been Haziq’s tukang urut and was like a grandfather to us at that time. He told me to think positive and to ignore all the negative remarks.

We had to leave our other special child, my sweet Husna (who still couldn’t walk at 2y9m0) with my parents in Alor Setar.

Everything went on smoothly in Madinah and Mekah. And no, I didn’t give birth to Hanna there. And no, Haziq didn’t trouble us at all. And my head didn’t even sweat in those tudungs. Alhamdulillah.

When we reached home, the first thing I did was to call Mak to inquire about Husna.
Mak, macamana Husna Mak?
And I still can remember what Mak said as vividly as ever:

Ja, Miracle Ja!! Hari tu Husna bangun dan terus berjalan dari dapur sampai ke depan. Bukan jalan jatuh pun. Sampai la ni dia berjalan macam tak dak apa-apa!

I was speechless. I could feel my eyes stinging with tears. And I called out for Ayah - Abang, Mak kata Husna dah jalan! Ayah was very excited and quickly called his brother to pick up my MIL. We drove back to Alor Setar to see our Angel who just started walking... I just couldn’t believe that she could walk...

Later when we calculated the time and date when my Husna started walking, it was the day when we were infront of the Ka’abah. Terima kasih Ya Allah kerana membuat do’a kami do’a yang Mustajab...

The second miracle was Ayah’s. He saw something totally out of this world. He was asked to share his story with a reporter who happened to know about it... but Ayah refused. Segan, he said.

It happened in 1998, when I was 32, while performing our Hajj a few months after our first Umrah trip. Hanna was born in Sept97 and was only around 5-6mo when we went for our Haji. This time we went there with Ayah’s relatives and my MIL. We got our Visa Ziarah and managed to do our Haji. We did an Ifrad and although Ayah and I shared a room while in Mekah, nothing indecent happened..he..he..

After performing our Hajj in Mekah, we proceeded to Madinah. This was when it all happened. Ayah came back from Masjid Nabawi to the hotel one night telling us of his experience. He had just finished his Maghrib prayer (or was it Isyak?) in the sacred Raudhah area when this Indonesian guy who was a few feet away doing his do’a (he was extending his hands out for the do’a) received a bundle in his hands. Apparently one Pak Arab just walked by him and put the bundle in the guy’s extended hands. Nobody could see that Pak Arab after that. And guess what was in the bundle?? It was a newborn baby!

Everybody near the Indonesian guy was ecstatic. Including Ayah. He went to see the baby... who was indeed a cute one. Out of thin air, another Pak Arab came running and grabbed the baby from the Indon man. People started chasing him but he was gone .. * poof* just like that!

God is the Greatest. Perhaps in his do’a, the Indon man was asking to have or hold a child even for one second. And Allah granted his wish? Only God knows..

The third miracle that happened to me was in 2001. We went to perform our Umrah again, this time with Ayah, AYAH(my dad), Mak, MIL, my Husna (7yo) and my Hanna (4yo). My Haziq (8yo) and my Hasya (2yo) were left in SP with my older brother, Benjie. At this time Haziq could only walk with help - like when we hold his hand or when he leaned against the furniture. But never on his own.

And guess what? Back in SP, my Haziq walked without help! Although his left leg is shorter than the right, he managed to walk on his own. Coming back from the trip, seeing him walking really made me very proud. My only boy’s now walking!


In short, I really believe that a parent's do’a will make a difference in a child’s life. Regardless of the place where the do’a is made, Allah listens. Even if the do’a is not granted, remember that it’s always for the best.

And when such thing as a miracle happened, it is also for the best.