Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wisteria Lane, ours isn't, but Big Lime ain't that bad either ;-)

i've neglected this blog much too long. the last post was of the Z starting the big school. he's now on his year-end holidays having completed his first year in the big school. a year goes by too fast. and what a year this has turned out to be! i won't bore you with the details that has been my most eventful (not particularly happy events, mind you) year yet. maybe for a later post. when i get to it.


for now, i'll instead share with you a happy + pretty neighbourhood i came across. how fun blog-hopping gets!
this is Daybreak in Utah.

(all images via 6th street design school)
don't you just feel like packing your essentials, bring a loved one or two, or the whole clan (you might as well), spend some happy days there sitting in brightly-coloured homes, walking in pristine streets with the brightly-coloured homes + mountains in the background and all the while photographing your days there. picture perfect. looking at these photos, i drew a parallel to Wisteria Lane. it reminds me of The Truman Show's set too. both of which are crisp, bright, a little superficial, but happy all the same (ok, so maybe not quite in both instances, given their storylines, but in the aesthetic sense, they're pretty surbabia sets, yes?).

closer to home, here on Big Lime (street), there's the calmness + silence, albeit for the occasional cries + laughter from the youngest in the street (my Zs included, though to be fair, they may jusssst contribute a bit more than the other kids here *tsk tsk*), some random music from the back house, the knocking + drilling from some homes ready for their makeovers. it's not as pretty a street as the above neighbourhood in Utah, but it's liveable and mostly safe and clean. and most importantly, we're lucky to have great neighbours.

now, remind me again why i'm limiting my house to just plain white walls? what's stopping me (besides the husband's head-shaking + remarks, that is) from having mustard or taupe or even pink walls? there's the playroom i'm so keen on tweaking + adding colour to. think happy Daybreak houses ... maybe then i'll have the courage to turn this into a school holiday project.
what's your neighbourhood like? what's your holiday (dream) project like?
*on the Z front, he's fared reasonably well this first year. of course, there's still room for improvement, but it could have been worse too. so, chin up, and let's work harder + smarter next year onwards*

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Big Z starts the big school ...

(this post goes out to, specifically, parents sending their firstborns to the big school ... and all other parents in general)

having your firstborn in the big school is something new altogether. you prepare yourself for the transition - days, weeks, months prior ...

: packing only the sharpest of pencils + colour pencils will now be a daily routine :

... but it doesn't fully equip you still till (in my case) after the fiasco of the first week has phased out.

as newbies, us parents were allowed to be in the school (albeit, by the canteen area only during class hours) throughout the first week. we chose to come every recess time, saw Z through his recess meal + playtime, and left after he's sat back in his class. we were back in school in time to see him pack up, line up, thanked his teacher and said his goodbye to his friends each day. but this week, starting today, we're only allowed to do the drop-off and fetching sessions. fair enough ... this is after all, NOT a kindie.

so. this morning called for a strong mommy in me. in truth though, i had wanted to be able to stretch the morning routine a bit. steal more glances, hold onto his hand longer, watched as he took his pencil case out and sat patiently for the day to begin. and then later on mid-morning, i had wanted to walk him to the canteen, see that he washes his hands properly before and after his meal and walk back to his class (and not be confused and walk into some random class, because well, you know, Z's a lil funny like that). but of course, had i gave in to all these 'wants' that i had, it'll only leave me looking like a fool, and a rather spoilt mom too, while at it. instead, i took the 'tunjuk berani + calm' route. walked him to class, saw that he settled in OK (bag down, then lined up with the class outside to make their way to assembly).

before i left, i reminded him where to wait for me after school, and looking back at me was this confident lil young man. it hit me then. sure, he'll always still be my lil boy needy of my every assistance. reality is, he's grown up. he's learning to adapt to things, new people, new surroundings, new routine, and he's done me proud thus far to have adapted to all of these 'newsies' so well.

: my resident BFF all grown up now :

on that note ... here's to school runs, PTA meets, mommy breakfasts, homework checks, exam revisions, sports days, school competitions, and all the other wonderful things that make up your typical local big school. (i'm conveniently pretending that only good things happen in his school ... none of those bullying + cheating + over-competitive parents issues to live through)

Ya Allah, give me much and much strength to fully embark on this new chapter ...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

have you had your cuppa?

sometimes, what does the trick is a simple impulsive act. not 'simple' in its literal meaning. rather, in the monetary and material sense of things.

the past couple of weeks have been rather hectic on my end. both emotionally and physically exhausting, putting it short. i've all sorts on my mind, and it's really been affecting my body in more ways than i can handle. but i'm still just riding it through, pretending it will all pass by soon enough. for starters, i haven't slept at night in almost a month now. if you call half an hour to an hour's nap at night (anytime from 8pm to 6am) sound sleep, then that i've managed to achieve. otherwise, i'm almost an insomniac, if i dare self-diagnose my current state.

at just after 2 in the morning couple nights back, not able to sleep yet again, and needing a little distraction (from work), i found myself in the kitchen dicing potatoes + onions + carrots + stirring in corn kernels + crabmeat + ground ginger + pinches of salt ... all to make this ...

... (my version of) sweetcorn + crabmeat chowder

stillness of the night, absolute silence with everyone else fast asleep. the cold of the air-conditioning, Desperate Housewives on play while i took a break from brushes + acrylics ... it was a good cuppa soup for one.

i say, anytime of day or night, indulge in a cuppa. if nothing or no one else puts a smile and that happy feeling in you, your choice of cuppa will. try it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

my constant 'Wonderland' ...

we were away the first 2 weeks of December.

it was, in some many ways a holiday of firsts. first long flight for Zayaan - her previous flights had been to Bali, Hong Kong, Jakarta and Bangkok. first UK trip for Zayaan. first least-spent (shopping-wise) UK holiday for me - been back 4 times since coming back home for good, and this recent trip saw me spend the least. shocking, but it was somewhat planned. i decided to make it more of a walking-down-memory-lane kinda trip, rather than a shopping spree one. the husband was there mainly to attend some meetings - hoping for post-meetings good news during the first half of 2010. *fingers crossed*

below, my personal picks from the hundreds of photos i took.

: watching London wake up :

: picture perfect from our apartment balcony :

: happy lounging kids :

: tired mummy + sleepy Zayaan :

: Flashdance! :

: when in the cold, sing your lungs out! :

: kitsch-vintage-y Christmas on Carnaby St. :
: after the rain on Regents St. :

: Leceister Square magic :

: Daddy + Zarif after some bumping fun :

: the Z-sibs :

: Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland 2009 :

: at St Pancras Station - Z1 teasing Z2 :

: Z2 defending herself :

: Z2 walks away a champ! :

: the trusty daily :

: the trusty transport :

: grandeur at the Natural History Museum :

: our lil man :

: o'curious one :

: favourite breakfast :

: reunited :

: very London - pretty petals :

: very London - bikes parked in a rush :

: very London - pigeon line-up :

: very London - red + black :

: very London - cold platform + lonely cup :

: the old address :

: the park facing the old apartment :

: the arrival home :

Sunday, November 22, 2009

down to the last 2 weeks ...

the school holidays have already begun ... for most kids, at least. Z's school closes for the end-of-year break in 2 weeks time.

last weekend, i found myself in a store looking at clothing items i last had close contact with some *ahem* more than 10 years ago ... let's just say lah.
my 6 year old is now the proud owner of 4 white shirts + 3 dark blue pants ... all set to officiate come late December (on the orientation day). that's right. rather than wait till the mad rush period later on, my friend and i decided to bring our boys (best friends to each other, they claim to be, by the way) out to get their (big) school uniforms, ready for their first day in January.

this second last week of his school term, they'll be introduced to the less-fortunate kids, those living in special homes + orphanages. there'll be talks + activities related to this topic and parents are encouraged to contribute certain items - mainly food stuff and toiletries - to the pre-selected homes. i'm looking at getting them bags of rice or sugar and possibly Milo and some simple plain biscuits. i should really find out if they'll welcome some old books and toys as well. what better way to let go of your unwanted things.

next week, his very last week in CH, there'll be a little farewell do for him. i'll be handing out some gifts for the teachers, as well as his classmates. they aren't big gifts, rather, ones that i hope will come in pretty handy at some point. more on this later on.

next week is also when we leave home for a much-needed holiday. well, work and holiday, though the work part only involves the husband really. i have yet to pack our things, the most i've done is to take out and air our suitcases. there's still more than a week to go ...

till the next update ...
to all moms with schooling kids, my thoughts are with you. having them at home those extra hours can always get a little ... challenging, shall we say? happy holidays to all!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

sibling love

a common sight at home will be of the Zs teasing each other, picking on each other, sharing food + snacks, fighting over the same toy or a limb of mine, laughing together and if luck's on our (my) side, soundly asleep next to each other. oh so rare! but we hope still and cherish the two, three times that that actually happened.
here's a typical Z-sibs moment together ...

: that'll be her laughing, not crying :

Thursday, October 29, 2009

the Zs at Big Lime ...

no excuses this time. i got to a point where i realised i just never was prompt and efficient enough to update this blog. each time i had a 'story' in mind to share, i got distracted by someone or something. kept putting it on hold, till finally last night i decided to 'pretty up' the blog's look a little. now that it's slightly more lively than was the previous layout, i may just be more inclined to update it as regularly as i did before (which was never all that regular to begin with).

will summarise the Zs' developments in this entry.
so. picking up from where i left you ... May, was it? talk about 'putting things on hold'!


: on Zarif :

: he's all of 6 years old now, attending his last month in kindie

: he'll start the big school come January ... it's the Mummy who's feeling anxious + excited, he's mostly just excited, especially now that his best friend's been accepted to the school too

: he's showing more sides of him that make me go "aawww ..." (even if just silently to myself), growing more independent by the day ... of course, with that comes a lot of "but i know it already, Mummy ... you don't have to keep telling me how to do it" moments

: he was in the hospital for 4 days, for severe dehydration + food poisoning + high fever back in June ... 2 weeks of bad health, was a real champ in the hospital though despite going to the loo over 20 times in a day! it was heart-breaking to watch, especially when he kept apologising for being ill, thanking me over and over for taking care of him ... (insert "aawww..." here)

: he's finally started his menagji class which he seems to enjoy ... granted, it's also a once a week playdate with his best friend

: had "the best birthday party ever, Mummy" when he turned 6 couple months back, where i indulged in planning + hosting a (very!) last-minute Transformers party for him

: he is his sister's biggest fan, but manages quite a bit of sibling fights + jealousy just the same

: has a few times asked me to have another baby, ".. because ... i already have a baby sister, i need a baby brother now ... so that i have 1 girl and 1 boy .. and then enough, Mummy. no more babies!"

: is starting to show some interest in football now .. pretty late, considering the Daddy's such a footie fan

: still eats anything and everything, and still is fussy with drinks .. only water, occasionally Milo or chocolate milk

: started to puasa this past Ramadhan ... though only puasa makan, he still drank ... and only for 3 days

some random photos of Zarif since May ...

: enthusiastic :

: focused :

: his 6th party :

: precious #1 smile :


: on Zayaan :

: she turned 20 months few days back

: as far as weight charts go, her current weight at 20 months is at the very peak of the curve ... healthy, let's just say *wink*

: she's got as much enery as her abang has, and then some!

: she's very alert + observant, which as a result can impress + amuse you and then annoy you soon after when she mimics every.single.thing you do, i kid you not!

: her vocab's pretty good though, dare i say ... she's definitely picked up language at a faster rate than the brother did at this age ... as much as i can recall now, some words + phrases she can say now include mummy, daddy, abang, nak, tak nak, no, ya, here, there, this, that, what's this, what's that, who's this, who's that, where's this, where's that, apa tu, come, open, tutup, cushion, bam (when she wants to lie down), baby, car, daw (doll), susu, te-gen (Vitagen), ball, shoes, duduk, take out this, u'oh, jatuh, tow (throw) bottle/botten, spoon, bowl, cat, eyes, teeth, tummy, poo-poo, Pooh, Emma (Elmo), bear, tees (fish), atok (my dad), nana (her girl cousins), ama (all maids), book, down, one, too (two), tee (three), kaiiss (five), teex (six), sebben (seven), A, B, tee (C), hewwohh (hello), bye

: she adores and idolises her big brother too much ... she'll follow his every move, making her quite good at the whole Transformers acts and poses and "boom-ing" of cars and such

: she fights considerably with the brother too, often bullying him ... the bullying is more her to him, rather than him to her

: she has very little toys ... after noticing her favouring everyday household objects (bowls, colanders, spoons, cups, books, boxes) more than she does pretty girly dainty toys, we basically haven't bought her that many toys ... but she does like them wooden puzzles and building blocks though

: besides her occasional reaction to extreme heat and certain foods with high egg content, she pretty much eats anything and everything ... i'm blessed, i suppose, having kids who eat anything, nevermind that it's almost constantly too!

: her current favourite cartoon characters will be Pocoyo, Elmo and Pooh

: she's very much her Daddy's little girl ... everytime he's out of town for work, she will almost immediately fall ill, leaving me with mad sleepless nights, he comes home and she's back to her healthy self ... it's weird, but according to my parents, i was just the same as a little girl; would be down with high fever when my dad went away for work, he gets back into town, and i'm fine again ... funny watching how your kid(s) inherit your certain trait(s)

: she'll be turning 2 in 3 months time ... this time last year, i was already busy preparing + making little bird things for her 1st BIRD-day party ... this year, i haven't done a single thing yet for her party, but have finally decided on a theme ... yay me! (more on this as i progress along with the party preparations)

some random photos of Zayaan since May ...

: observant :

: intrigued :

: meticulous :

: focused :

: precious #2 smile :

quite a 'summary' that was!