Sunday, November 25, 2007

guess who got mail today?

:: Baby Z's first ever mail - first packgae of pretty lil things ::

Baby Z! :-)

Surprises, packages, gifts ... don't we all just love them?

Sent Big Z to school this morning, went over to my parents', fetched my mom and had morning tea with her at BV, fetched Big Z, sent mom home, then came home again. Parked the car, sent Big Z inside the house, picked up some fallen leaves in the driveway, checked the mailbox and saw this lovely package from a good dear friend. A special something from Australia - she and family now reside there.

Baby Z has just received her first gifts. *big smile here* Has to be said though, it's not a complete surprise of sorts, as just couple days back a mutual friend mentioned I should be receiving a lil something from the said-present-giver sometime soon. Surprise-pooper, ey? But no no, not quite. See, I was meant to know about it so I could make sure I'll be in to receive the package. No one at home to receive it, Mr Postman may just scoot away with the parcel. So, it's a good thing, my mailbox was large enough to hold in the package, as Mr Postman DID come by while I was still out.

:: teeny-weeny pretty lil girly-wear ::

:: the lot with the attached note - thanks so much, Lyn ::

Seems so odd holding and folding baby girl's clothes. It's been all boyish blues for me the past 4 years and a bit, seems almost unreal to have these girl's clothes in the house. *excuse the obvious excitement that is me now*

Monday, November 19, 2007

the homemade story ...

"Tell Me A Story, Mummy" written by Carl Norac and beautifully illustrated by Mei Matsuoka. This is Big Z's current favourite bedtime read. The main character though, the Mummy's child here is a girl. So, for obvious reasons, when I read the book to him, I replace the said-character to Big Z's name and change the character's friend, to Big Z's pick-of-the-night friend. He gives me the name, I'll just insert it in the story.

After reading this book, he'll ask for the other current favourite. This other one has no book though. It really can't be found anywhere in print for that matter. It's a purely made-up one by yours truly. It's called "The Cereal, The Pasta & The Biscuit". *LOL* This story has many different episodes and takes on it. ;-)

It all started with Big Z not satisfied after reading some 3 or more books to him one night. With the lights off, he insisted I tell him another story. For short of idea and mind you, I was extremely tired by then, I came up with this spur-of-the-moment take on a bedtime story. (no guesses what's on my mind most nights - naming characters after food .. haha!) Most nights, it gets pretty ridiculous a storyline, but I always try my best to include some good moral behind the created story. The most common one is how in life, no two characters or people are the same, yet they can still live together (in the case of the cereal, pasta and biscuit - they all live harmoniously in the kitchen cupboard) and be friends with one another. I've also gone down the also-very-true route that not everyone can get along well with each other, but you'll always need to be nice to people regardless of their differences. Be nice to others, and they'll be nice to you. Or so I'd like to believe and have been brought up to have such a mindset. And what better way to introduce this than through such important characters as the cereal, the pasta and the biscuit, ey? ;-)

After a round of the story (each night is a different storyline, and I really don't know what I've gotten myself into now ... eeek!!), Big Z gives me one of his made-up stories too. A fair trade, I suppose. Haha. And only after that, will he finally agree to go to sleep. Tiring? You don't say!


I was scribbling about in my notebook (as I normally do) one fine day when I came up with some lines. Read them and it sounded like a good (for my kids at the very least) enough piece of short story. This was some months back. Today, I finally had them printed out. I attached a piece of Big Z's earlier paintings to each of the story's 'page'. My next step is to get these framed up and then have them displayed in Big Z's room. It's another made-up story, another homemade story, if you like. Instead of binding the pages together into a mini book, I thought I'd have them framed up and thus will double up as some unconventional artwork in his room. More home-projects on my end then.

Below, the 4 'pages' to the story. I'm calling this one, "The Bedtime Routine".

:: page 1 ::

:: page 2 ::

:: page 3 ::

:: page 4 ::

Thursday, November 15, 2007

over hot cuppas, juice, pastries and nasi lemak . .

the start of another weekend. another busy and function-packed weekend.

all i really want to do is to lie in bed, hot tea by the side, good book in hands, cool aircon air filling up the room and then doze off in good, much-deserved rest. not that much to ask for, right?
but alas ... things to do, places to go, people to meet. but it's all good.

maybe next weekend, i'd be so lucky to indulge in that envisioned weekend-long rest.


on a separate note, Big Z went on another school field trip this morning. this time, it was the National Museum. i don't remember the last time i visited the place - must have been when i was 8 or 9. picked him up from school just now and he was telling me about some cat and bus (was it train?) he saw at the museum. haven't managed to dig out for more stories off him, but he was in good chirpy spirits and said that it was fun going to the museum. for now, that's a much better review than his feedback on the National Zoo - his school trip earlier this year. when i fetched him that day, he came in the car and complained - "the zoo's toilet is so dirty, too dirty, Mummy! ... why why??". wasn't too impressed by the animals either "monkeys were not behaving themselves". hmm.... but isn't that what monkeys do anyhow?

while Big Z and the rest of his schoolmates were at the museum this morning, some moms from the school met over a terribly-long-but-nevertheless-great breakfast session over at D*lish in Bangsar Village I. at many junctures, topics chatted and discussed by us moms sounded very much like one of them momsie-chic-lit books. it was interesting as within our group, we're all pretty different in terms of background and age, yet it all comes down to that common hat we each put on - being a mom! from comparing our kids' bedtime rituals and after-school activities, to the highs and lows of our pregancies and labour-room stories, right down to our (*clears throat*) bedroom episodes post-giving birth, it really was a scene just cut out for moms. throw in any one of the daddies to our kids into the breakfast club, i doubt such detailed stories will see us through a cuppa tea, let alone a whole 3-hour-long breakfast. *LOL*

within the group, there are 3 of us currently expecting. one of them had only just announced to the rest of the group she is in fact pregnant - much to everyone's surprise. (the said-mommy: told you i'd keep it to myself ;-)). and myself and another mom just found out our due dates are pretty much a day or two apart. of course, looking at us together, i look double her size! *LOL* one mentioned it would be great if we're having our babies in the same hospital and possibly even be next door neighbours in the maternity ward as it'll ease the other moms visiting us when we pop. :-)


on that note, i shall leave this entry for now, and go peek on Big Z. i hear lots of moving of things coming from the room. he's been busy building "my a-partners". for the rest of us, that'll be apartments. :-)


have a good weekend!

Monday, November 12, 2007

week 24

Had my scheduled check-up with the gynae this morning. Happy to note all's fine and dandy with both baby and me.

It was the longest ultrasound scan performed since the start of this pregnancy. Can't say I wasn't the least bit anxious as Dr G went through each section of the baby meticulously, explaining the growth of each part in detail. Alhamdulillah, all's growing normally and at the right rate for this stage of the pregnancy (24th week). Despite me whining and complaining that I'm feeling incredibly huge, Dr G assured me it's all OK and that I'm doing just fine. He says it's a natural thing and concern for many second-time moms-to-be to be feeling larger than life. I'm thinking now, he could be all honest there, or he could have sugar-coated it (his reassurance) a wee bit. Haha . . . Whadya think?

Back to the scan - it was all normal and good ticks across the major organs. I was most concerned when he closed in on the brain, spine and the heart. Which is expected, I suppose. It's only natural to be that bit worried, no? So it was such a relief when all was found to be in the right place and growing accordingly. Nothing abnormal noted.

My next appointment will be a month from now. We've yet to buy anything for the baby. It's Baby Z, by the way. We've decided to pick Z names for all our kids. Did I say 'all'?? How many AM I expecting to have? *LOL* Hubs has said he'd love 4 kids, ideally. I'm happy to stop at 2. But we'll see. If rezeki comes knocking on my door, or rather, my belly, I'd definitely answer and welcome in the good news.

Speaking of knocking, Baby Z's been pretty active past couple of weeks. The most movements are felt from late afternoon (3pm onwards) right up till about midnight. But last night, probably in anticipation of today's scan, there was a whole lot more acrobatic moves going on. It's at that funny, ticklish stage now where the slightest of nudge, turn of even a hiccup leaves me in awe of the funny wave-like shape my tummy turns into, followed by a quick rush to the loo (this, the less-exciting part though). *LOL*

As far as my 'nesting' instincts are concerned, I'm currently thinking up and rearranging things a bit around the house to utilise our living spaces as best as we can to accommodate a second child in the house. The rate I'm growing, I should (in a perfectly-orchestrated world) get most things done by year end before I triple in size and can only afford to supervise from afar. I've paintings and little prints lined up to dress up the lil nook in our room which will be 'converted' to Baby Z's corner.

Until the next update then, here's a couple of images from the scan this morning.

:: a very shy Baby Z kept covering her face with her hands ::

:: after much nudging by Dr G, she finally moved her hands ... but ever so slightly; these images show both Baby Z and Big Z having the same full lips ... like brother, like sister, ey? ::

Oh, and yes, it's a girl. Yippie!! It's the 5th time the doc has confirmed it, so technically, it should be right, yes? We'd love to think so, as he's told us we're safe to start buying all things pink for the baby now. :-)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

8 years together, 5 years married, 4 years as parents and another on the way ...

Thought I'd do the soppy-mushy tale that is our (dare I say) 'love story'. Why the sudden urge to blog on this? Well, yesterday marked our 8 years together as a couple, a pair, an item.

So, story goes like this ...

The year was 1999. I was living on my own in our humble lil square of an apartment in Stamford Brook, London. Loving the independence of being on my own, tending to my own needs, waking up and going to bed at my own time, shopping for groceries that may not necessarily read food to others but to me - cereal is just ideal for all 3 meals in the day - , enjoying morning weekend walks to get the papers and fresh flowers, it was all just lovely.
I was basically your typical foreign student living in a foreign land, attending lectures and classes and then doing a bit of socialising over the weekends. Those who know me from back then will recall that by socialising, it's purely trips to the shops and cafes and the movies. Am no party girl at all. Not the clubbing type either. Have always preferred smaller, more intimate crowds of friends rather than throwing myself all glammed up in some club and/or party scene to be seen and noticed and chatted up. If you like, I was, put simply, a very dull undergrad. *LOL* Which correspondingly explains a lot of things.

I know of some parents who'd remind their kids to slow down in their relationships, to finish their studies first, then only think about being in a relationship. In my case, it got to a point where phonecalls back home were often dotted with queries on who I was dating and more specifically, why was I not dating anyone yet. (!!) It's simple, really. I don't go out as often as I suppose I'm allowed to, I don't talk as much and open up as much as I'm allowed to and I just really did enjoy the time I had to myself. Of course, the longing part of having a decent guy to call your boyfriend, your date and possibly your future life partner was all very appealing too, but I was pretty much accepting the fact that I'll only meet my man after graduating, and possibly through my parents or siblings arranging something for me once back home for good.

But then things took a different route come October '99. It was just over 2 months in my 2nd year at uni when I was entertaining the likes of online chatrooms (something a fair number of M'sian students indulged in over in the UK). They were all petty chats on my part. Until that one night when I ended up chatting with this guy who was studying in Southampton. Let's call him Mr M for now. Turns out he had heard of me before. That got me talking to him longer. I was curious to know how he knew me. Or rather, know of me.

Mr M was flatmates with a male 'cousin' of mine. I knew no male cousin studying in Southampton. Incidentally, I did have a cousin there, but a girl and in her 1st year. Mr M told me my alleged cousin flatmate of his is in his final year there. Hmm . . . He then told me it's my 'cousin' Iskandar. Iskandar? At the time, the ONLY Iskandar I knew was a close friend of my parents. Went on to say he lives in Bangsar. Again, a Bangsar-ian myself, I really couldn't think of any relation of mine by the name of Iskandar. After some 10 minutes or so trying to put a face to this so-called cousin, Mr M (who, incidentally by that time, we had discovered we'd met previously in London through a mutual friend) told me he'd get the said-Iskandar to chat with me. Waited a bit for him to call his flatmate and soon enough I was chatting away to my-apparent-cousin Iskandar. He finally introduced himself as Izmet, anak Uncle Ramli and Auntie Maznah. Aaaahhhhh ... yes. Yup, I DO know you after all, I was thinking. So it turns out, his full name's Izmet Iskandar. I know him as Izmet, but people in Southampton know him as Iskandar. And yes, he'd mentioned me to his flatmate, Mr M, once or twice before, which was how he recognized me almost immediately. (when i asked Izmet later in our relationship why he had mentioned me to Mr M before, he said he had spotted me once in London, when I was talking to his sister, but that he was too shy to approach me ... hehe)

We continued our online chat over the phone. And the phonecall lasted 6 hours! It was somewhat refreshing to chat to a guy I hadn't met in years, but one I knew of since practically forever. See, his dad is related to my mum through marriage. Not the closest of relations, so if anyone of you reading this is shaking your head and thinking how it's all a great big no-no of a union, rest assured, it's all OK. We caught up on each other's lives - what each was studying there in the UK (he was a final year Accounting & Finance student, I was a 2nd year Marketing Communications student) as well as how our respective families are doing. He then mentioned he comes up to his family's London apartment once every 2 weeks to check on things - namely the bills and to water the plants. He suggested we meet the next time he was up in London.

And met up in London we did. Izmet would gladly tell all how I arrived 10 minutes late for our first date. In my defense, I blame it on the District Line - fondly known for it's less-than-punctual services. Date was Italian dinner followed by the movies. Not the most romantic of movie choice though - it was The Sixth Sense. Dinner was great, movie's one of my all-time favourites now (and no, not because it was our date movie). After, he sent me home as it was pretty late at night, and he didn't want me to take the tube on my own. Fair enough. Sent me home, and we both immediately agreed to meet again the next day before he took his train back to Southampton. So, before he left for his apartment, we made arrangements to meet a second time the next day. The next day's 'date was lunch followed by us (boring) students finishing up our respective pieces of assignments before the Monday arrived. We said goodbye late afternoon. I took the tube home, he the train to his uni halls.

It was a good weekend. I could talk to him easily. No doubt, there was that shy streak in me still, but I suppose knowing each other's family since childhood helped a lot too. I knew here's a guy I could trust. Someone I need not go all out to impress as after all, he already knows who I am. Following that first weekend date then, we were on the phone with each other everyday. We'd speak briefly in the mornings before heading to our respective campuses, and then a longer phonecall at night, before going to bed. Our email inboxes were filled up too in between lectures and classes. Seeing how it all seemed to work rightly, we finally decided to 'go official' on the 11th November 1999 - this, 2 weeks after our first phonecall and first weekend date.

Which brings us back to yesterday. Yesterday, the 11th of November 2007. It's been 8 years. We've been together for 8 years now. I told him it feels more like 20 years as on our not-the-greatest-of-days, it's definitley been tiring dealing with each other's neediness and pettiness and fussiness. But, what's marriage without all of the above-said gloriness, huh? *LOL*
Most days though, I'm just real glad I've a certain Iskandar to call my life partner. He's definitely one who keeps me grounded, supports me and cares for me. We aren't romantics at all, but I'm confident of his loyalty towards me. He's a great dad too and my ever-willing-to-but-rarely-prompt assitant around the house. Well, it could be worse really. So yes, am thankful for that online chat, the fact that Mr M remembered my name and quickly called his flatmate Mr Iskandar, the phonecall which followed, the first date, the subsequent phonecalls and the decision to live our lives together.

Just to mark the date, we got engaged on the 11th November 2001. Incidentally, it was my dad's idea we picked that very date as he knew it was a significant date for us. And I'm glad that we did. Not only does it make it easy to remember when we got engaged, but it also brings me down memory lane each year thereon. We got married on the 8th of August 2002. Another nice date, I'd like to think.

Yesterday, to 'celebrate', we had dinner at Mizu in BV (minus the Big Z - left him with my parents and sister). It's nice to just have that one quiet dinner alone. For someone who almost never leaves her son behind, such dinner dates are most welcomed. But, as soon as we picked Z up, I was hugging and kissing him non-stop. Am such a soppy mom, I tell ya!

So. That's my soppy story for today then.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

my working 4 year old

Big Z:see you later Mummy ... i'm going now
Mummy: where you off to, my sweetie?
Big Z: work! i gotta do my tracks, i really need to do the tracks now, Mummy

'briefcase' in one hand...

essential work equipment in his pyjama pockets...

a very smug and eager boy heading off to work in the morning ... *LOL*

Sunday, November 4, 2007

a word (spelt) a day, keeps Mummy happy ...

I just had to post this photo and accompanying lil story up here.

I was busy around the house - either when I was cooking lunch or giving the downstairs a good sweep and tidy-up. It was only when I finished my Zohor prayers, folded my telekung and placed them on the table did I notice this lil piece of work. It left me with a big smile.

if you look closely, note that the first 'm' in 'mum' is actually a 'w' - he figured it could well be an 'm' when turned upside down. hehe...

I'm thinking, he must have decided to practice his spelling - he's in that stage of asking me how to spell this and that now, and often his name is always in the 'spelling discussion'. Hehe. Nice to later discover that quietly, the ordinarily-noisy Z does come up with some productive work when left on his own while Mummy busies herself around the house. Sigh ... :-)

Friday, November 2, 2007

morphing into the bear ...

At almost 23 weeks now, I'm the size of a definitely-NOT-tiny-preggie-mom. I'm looking more and more like the bear my son has so affectionately labelled his mom. *LOL*

Just roughly comparing this pregnancy to the last one, I'd say this is a lot more tiring. Obvious factors are accountable here though - living on our own without a maid (read: i whole-heartedly try with all my might to carry out all household chores on a daily basis), having a 4 year old boy to tend to and ferry to and from school, and the fact that I started this pregnancy much heavier than I did when I carried Big Z. So yes, not hard to conclude here that I'm not a pretty picture at all this time round, have a lot more complaints to make and put simply, a less-nice person I think. Having said that, I'm heaps more active and sleeping less this time round.

Physically, I'm practically ring-less at the moment. At the end of my 4th month, I had to sadly abandon wearing my wedding rings. Yup. That soon into the pregnancy! Gone are my long, crooked, skinny fingers. They're still long and crooked, but with much more fatness wrapping them now. NOT pretty. But this, if you like, is the icing on the cake for me, as what's REALLY NOT pretty are my feet. Puffed, broad, just really plain fat and ugly la! I'm down to just one pair of flatties and sandals - all other shoes of mine are just waiting to meet my feet once again. This is another notable difference in this pregnancy compared to the last one. I wore my rings right till my due date before, and while I couldn't quite fit into the slimmer fit shoes, I could still wear most of them.

For now, the ONLY good physical change my body is going through (besides carrying a baby, that is ;-)), is my graduating to the next cup-size. *GRINS SHYLY* With the last pregnancy, I was your modest A-cupper throughout the pregnancy and even through the whole breastfeeding period (which was an unbelievably long time, mind you). So yes, this time round, I'm a B-cupper - woohoo for me! To many, this is still minute la, but it's the biggest for me, so let me have this teeny-weeny bit of joy while it lasts. *LOL*

Till the next update then ... Have a great weekend all!