Monday, December 29, 2008

our 2008 in pictures ...

Sometimes, a lil glimpse is all you need ... to make a moment.
Or, to record a worthy-enough sort of entry in my blog. ;-)

:: Big Z celebrated his 5th birthday at Hong Kong Disneyland ::

:: soon after his 5th, he closed a significant chapter of his life -
goodbye Thomas, goodbye Island of Sodor ... hello Transformers! ::

:: Big Z aptly calls this transition period "transThomas" ... how's that for a 5 year old's wit? ::


:: Baby Patch + Baby Gap keep Baby Z nice and warm many days and nights; a theme of sorts seems to have evolved over the months as far as 'dressing' her up goes ... watch this space ::

:: our Baby Z who makes it clear she's her Daddy's girl - note that grip on the Daddy's tee! ::

:: our Baby Z who is interested (or distracted?) by one too many things at any one time ::

:: then there's the Daddy who travelled more than previous years, albeit to closer destinations than before ::

:: and last but not least, yours truly,
who's STILL struggling to lose the pregnancy weight, 10 months after delivery! ::
......................................................

how was your 2008? i take comfort knowing i have my loved ones to wake up to each day, to say goodnight to each night, to laugh and argue with, to be silly and serious with, to share many more years together. insyaAllah ...

on that note, have a very merry happy new year! may 2009 bring us all better days and nights, more highs and less lows. ;-)







Tuesday, December 23, 2008

: art three-ways : Wordless Wednesday #1

seen this Wordless Wednesday posts floating around in some blogs. seeing as i'm not one of them efficient and frequent bloggers, and that it just happens to be Wednesday today, i thought i'd do my take on a Wordless Wednesday entry. my take sees a theme of sorts for each 'wordless photo' and entry. well, that's the plan at least. ;-)

so. here's the first entry then. feel free to add notes/comments on the photos below.




..........................................................

do tell if you decide to partake in your versions of a Wordless Wednesday entry. should be interesting. :-)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

how strong do you think you really are?

i went. i saw. i stayed composed. i met. i broke down. i recomposed self. i stayed. i said goodbye. i left. i cried again.

................................................

in many ways, i'm stronger than i imagine i could ever be. in many others, i crumble at the slightest twitch of circumstance.

he has always been this strong character in my life. i wouldn't say i've always been close to him personally, but if i had to pick say 5 of the closest cousins, he's without a doubt on that list of 5. so, seeing him sporting a new 'hairdo' and then hugging and kissing him forced me to be this emotionally-strong person. and then i had to utter some words to him as we hugged. and that just opened the dam for me. verbally, i apologized for not being in the know of his condition sooner. i apologized mainly though for having to see him in this condition. i broke down as i was picturing him on his worst of days undergoing his treatments. i broke down as i wondered how much stronger he must now be to face this new challenge. i broke down as after years of failed attempts, they (he and wife) finally have a child to call their own, albeit an adopted one. i broke down as the said-child is just the most adorable 2 year old boy with a vocabulary that matches a 4 year old, at the very least. i broke down as He is as maha berkuasa as He is brought them this child who remarkably really does resemble my cousin and his wife ... it's easy to forget they didn't make this child themselves. i broke down when he said "it's okay ... hey, i'm okay ...", when really, who was he kidding?

all of this spiralled around in my head as we hugged what was possibly the longest and tightest hugs between us. and then quickly i had to brush away these thoughts and almost literally suck back the tears that were coming out and wipe those that were already out.

................................................

i guess all these tests are, cliche as this will sound, reminders to all of us to always be weary of our choices in life, to embrace each day as they come, to fall down and quickly pick ourselves up again, because at the end of the day, we really only have each other's love, support and sincerity to make living that bit more simpler and manageable.

in my cousin, i realise now that i love him that much more than i ever thought i did. and in many ways, realising it even if in unfortunate circumstance as this, is still very precious. i may not be as strong as i think i am, yet still stronger than i ever have been.

being a mother, i strongly feel has a lot to do with this. and for that, i'm thankful. Alhamdulillah ...

Friday, December 5, 2008

of sibling love (and a mother's joy) ...

Moments like these make it all worth the long days ... and nights.

Big Z picks a book to read on his own, nevermind that it's close to 11pm (!!).
Baby Z tries her best to get to her brother's book and to distract him, before finally settling for her toy.






"abua, abua, abuaaa ..." (that's abang in her speak)




:: the book was The Gingerbread Man ::

Thursday, November 27, 2008

parting ways?

this weekend, a part of me will be on display. if i should be so lucky, that same part of me could find its new home in some creative space somewhere, lovingly looked at and cared for everyday thereon. at worst, that part of me would make its way back to me till further offers and/or opportunities come up. meanwhile, this is me, this weekend then. well, that part of me.








the very creative and terribly enthusiastic people here have very kindly 'interviewed' me. just that on its own made my days and week ... and possibly days and weeks to come.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

impacting one from afar ...

for someone who almost never follows the drama that is today's political scene (in any country, i'd say), i found myself glued to the tv throughout the broadcast of the US election results. never have i watched so much CNN at my own will! lol

but tell me who was not moved by the speech that was so humble and real and 'accessible'? it really felt like he, Mr President-Elect Obama spoke to his friends and peers, rather than 'preaching' or presenting a stiff talk of sorts to the people of his country.

a couple of sentences in his speech stood out for me more than others ...


"There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how theyll make the mortgage, or pay their doctors bills, or save enough for college".
that to me, was very much reaching out to the ordinary neighbours and offering words of assurance and hope, having first identified and acknowledging the issue at hand. maybe because i am a parent myself now, and maybe too because since the arrival of Baby Z, my thoughts and concerns on the upbringing and provision of a good home, health and education is of upmost importance to me now, that this sentence in his speech stood out a bit more than others.
...
"And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way its been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand."
this one was like a promise of a better many days ahead. and who knew an innocent cartoon character would inspire Mr-(too-handsome-i-can't-seem-to-wipe-the-smirk-off-my-face-whenever-i-watch-him-or-read-on-him) President-Elect Obama so much? taking his cue from a certain builder (known fondly for his talking tractor, crane, cement mixer, snow mobile and their other friends), Mr Obama gave hope and promise to his people that they too can overcome whatever barriers previously built, whatever limitation to equality previously lived by and whatever dreams previously crushed. in three simple words, he once again gave much assurance to his now-moved-but-overly-joyed people; "yes we can".
...
i'm not an American, nor did i spend some time there in my tertiary education years, but i can imagine the pride as well as the humility the Americans must have felt and possibly still do at the outcome of the results. as an onlooker, who no doubt will benefit or otherwise from the election results (only coz the US is such a powerful nation to the rest of the world), i'm just thrilled for them and am hoping for only better years to come for all of us and all of our children too.
there's hope still. yes we can. insyaAllah ...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

i'm done

... seriously

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

but they'll still always be our lil ones, yes?

Big Z now goes to the loo by himself. He wants no help from us and insists he's big enough to clean up after on his own. It's been this way since early this year, but with the occasional shout for help (to clean up) every now and again. But the past month, he's suddenly decided he's all very grown-up; goes to the bathroom, locks the door behind him, sings while busying himself on the throne (yes, one should not waste time not singing, just because one is occupied ;-)), flushes and then washes up. I on the other hand, will be the restless mom waiting outside the bathroom for him to come out all clean or to call me in to help. So far, it's always the former though. He comes out not only having cleaned down there, but so too his arms and legs and sometimes hair. He might as well take a shower after each session!

It's always been "pee" in our household (as opposed to "shee-shee" or "pee pee" or "kencing" - do excuse my lingo here for a minute). So, imagine my surprise when I heard him say as he walked hurriedly to the bathroom some 3 nites back "ohhh ... i really need to urinate now". "urinate" ... like seriously?? Even I don't use the word. It's good, yes, but wow ... I didn't see that coming.

...................................................

And Baby Z will turn 7 months day after tomorrow. SEVEN months??! Explains her very lip-smacking ways when she sees us eat. I guess a bigger meal portion for her should be seen to now.

Monday, September 15, 2008

a trip to the paed's ...

The lil one isn't at her happiest and healthiest. After a restless and sleepless night, coupled by a bit of wheezing, we brought her in to her paed this morning. A quick check and the doc confirmed she's got acute bronchiolitis. The poor girl. According to her paed, it's contagious, so she must have contracted the virus from someone. The good news is, it's common apparently to have this, among babies and toddlers. on that note, the paed wasn't too worried and assured us it'l be fine with the given medication. The bad news is, she needs to be on the nebulizer twice a day for three days straight. it wasn't the most pleasant thing to watch your 6 month old baby experience. But Zayaan was quite the champ, not budging or crying till the last 5 minutes on the thing when she clearly had about enough of the mist blowing to her face the way that the nebulizer works. So, after breaking fast, dinner and prayers tonight, we'll be making our way to the ER at the hospital then for her treatment.


This is what she has, as per according to The Medical Dictionary:


Bronchiolitis is extremely common. It occurs most often in children between the ages of two and 24 months, with peak infection occurring between three and six months of age.Children who attend daycare or who live in crowded conditions and those who are exposed to second-hand smoke at home are more likely to develop bronchiolitis. Bronchiolitis is caused by several different viruses. The most common of these is respiratory syncytial virus (RVS), which is responsible for about 100,000 hospitalizations of children under age four each year. Two subtypes of RSV have been identified, one of which causes most of the severe bronchiolitis infections. In addition, bronchiolitis can be caused by influenza, parainfluenza, and adenoviruses, all of which are common from fall through spring. These viruses are spread in tiny drops of fluid from an infected person's nose and mouth through direct contact, such as shaking hands, or kissing. The viruses can also live several hours on countertops, toys, or used tissues and easily infect people who handle contaminated items. The time from infection to the appearance of symptoms varies from two to seven days.
Just referring to the above, we don't send Zayaan to any daycare centre, we're a family of four an it's just the four of us living in the house and both the Daddy nor i smoke, so she isn't at all exposed to second-hand smoke. But, we have been going out, meeting people, family and friends, even the chance 'contact' wit stangers at some local mall could have triggered this in her. On the one hand, it seems pretty unfair, but then again, as pointed out by a friend, we're humans after all; only so much you can do to prevent such things. Let's just hope this won't overstay their welcome in her lil body for much longer now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

never too young to be ambitious ...

back in my school days (circa '85 to mid '90s) when we had to fill in those yearly school forms indicating our ambitions (3 to be precise), it was always 1.architect, 2. interior designer or kindergarten teacher and 3. housewife. that's right, yours truly was never really one with such great big ambitions and/or a taste for many things. i carefully picked my interest and narrowed it down. the second choice alternated between the years; one year i thought i'd give interior design a go, the next, the thought of surrounding myself with keen and innocent kids to teach in colourful environments that are preschools seemed very appealing. if choices 1 and 2 failed, i'd resort to being a housewife; a safe bet, and nevermind that i wasn't too big on the idea of getting married though ... but that'll have to be another blog entry.

now that i'm all of 30 years (ah yes, the big 3-0 greeted me nice and well on the 30th of last month), it's enlightening to see how even from the tender age of 7 to the not-so-tender-but-still-young-nevertheless age of 15, i had clearly seen 'housewife' as a job of sorts. an ambition and role noteworthy enough to be listed on such forms.

as it turns out, i obligingly met my list. the third option, no less, but that counts still to meeting my ambition, yes?

just a bit of background check here ... i did get myself into architecture school at uni, but having spent all of a semester there (that's right, shame on me!), i realised it wasn't really me after all. i could appreciate the field in itself, but i really couldn't see myself practicing it. i ended up graduating with a degree in Marketing Communications, something i had never thought i'd have an inkling towards, but as it turned out, was something i had a lot of passion for and considering (i wasn't your straight-As student in school), i did pretty well in uni with the degree. ok, but that wasn't my point. not quite at least.

...........................................

see, the past few days, Big Z has been asking me lots. as per usual, i guess. lol ... but this time it's been on ambitions and one's job. this conversation took place between him and i (and my dad).

we were watching my er DVDs one night ...

Big Z : so what are they doing there now? is the kid gonna be alright? is he still going to feel the pain?

me : no ... if they look after him well enough and he takes his medicine, he'll be well again

Big Z : oh, ok then. so that's the doctor's job, right? the kid's gonna be well coz the doctor is helping him, right?

me : yup, that's right. when you're not well, you see a doctor and he'll make u feel better, but u must take the medicine he gives you. ... do you like watching this? you like er?

Big Z : yes! i like it. i like it coz i see the kid not well and then he's well again. .... i think i want to do this la, Mummy.

me : do what? be a doctor?

Big Z : yes. so i can make people feel better.

me : ahh .. good. that's nice, Zarif.

Big Z : oh, but wait, Mummy! ... doctors ... do they have a lot of money??

me : hahahaha .. yes ... they'll have money, yes.

Big Z : ok. i think i can be a doctor then.

..............................................

at a later date, one night before going to bed ...

Big Z : hey Mummy ... what's Atok's job again?

me : ok ... what does Atok do? do you remember?

Big Z : yes! he built my house ... and his house ... and other houses too, right?

me : that's right. and offices and hotels and mosques too. he's an architect then .. he designs and builds buildings.

Big Z : whoa!! ... yes, architect. i forgot. ok ... what bout London? did he build London?

me : no ... (thinking by saying this i'd end conversation early ... how wrong i was!)

Big Z : what??!! he didn't?? .... awww Mummy ... you call Atok now, please. call! ask him why he didn't build London.

a quick sms to my dad relating this query from his grandson, my dad calls me up ...

Big Z : Atok ... why you didn't build London??!!

Atok : (in between laughs) i didn't build London .. but i DID design some buildings there .. some offices.

Big Z : whoaa!!! really?? ... hey Mummy .. he did laaaa!

me and Atok (on phone) : laughing at the enthusiasm that is the Big Z

Big Z : so did you build Thomasland too? in London?

Atok : no ... but i also designed some (buildings) in Maldives and Bangkok

Big Z : yea?? ... what land is Bangkok? is it Thomasland? (notice how Thomas is still his top priority in life! haha)

Atok : what land? Bangkok is Thai-land

me : (was containing my laugh at this point and my dad was already cracking up on the other end .. haha)

Big Z : heyyyy ... what land is that again?? (and then looks at me strangely, holding the phone away from his face a bit while giving me this look as if to say his granddad is mocking him ... haha)

a short while later, he ended the call with my dad.

Big Z : so ... can architect have money?

me : yea ... they can. you want to be an architect then?

Big Z : hmm ... okaayyyy .. but, i also want to be a train driver so i can drive my own train. but Mummy ... i build the tracks and the buildings too, and then i drive the train.

me : (trying hard to just be supportive and not laugh at 5 year old son's innocent ways) ok sweetie ... you do that then. what bout being a doctor?

Big Z : aawww man! ... so many things i have to do now.

lol


...........................................


that's my son then. makes me wonder what else he thinks about in his busy head.
going back to my own list of ambitions/jobs ... i wonder if he'll end up as a train driver, an architect or a doctor. any of those, none of those, or if he had it his way (his 5 year old way, that is), all of the three! haha ... though let's be real here .. i'm not sure how to react if my child ends up telling me he really truly wants to be a train driver, and nothing else. oh.dear!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

6 months!

almost as fast as Big Z turned 5 last week, Baby Z turned 6 months couple days ago. of course, really, technically speaking, that first sentence doesn't make sense, but you get where i'm going, yea?
if there's one word to describe Baby Z, it'll have to be 'big'. Baby Z really is rather on the 'big' side. them baby's growth progress charts you have on the medical record book thingy ... let's just say her dot to represent her growth since birth has always rocketed above the average line. she's both heavier and longer/taller than the average baby at her age.

:: month 0 - was only 2 weeks old here ::

:: month 1 ::

:: month 2 ::

:: month 3 ::

:: month 4 ::

:: month 5 ::

:: month 6 ::
................................

but with big (physical), comes big in personality too. baby Z has always appeared very alert and aware of her surroundings. this, something i'd observed from her 1st month. she'd notice and respond when you call out her name and at times will wriggle or kick her legs in approval and enthusiasm when you call out her full name. on that note, it's good to know she likes her name too. ;-) while rather shy and reserved with other people, at home, when it's just the four of us, she's full of laughter. and recently she's added some 'words' to her vocabulary too. i swear she's been trying to say "hello" and "alright" a few times now. hard to believe, yea? hehe. but both the Daddy and Big Z heard her attempts too on separate occasions. so, either it's true, or we're all very much disillusioned here. lol

at 6 months old, Baby Z's able to sit up unaided, though i still fear a tumble of sorts, so cushions around her are aplenty when placing her seated anywhere. she's also very much in love with her chubby lil hands and loves studying her fingers, bringing them up close to her eyes, and then away from her and back again to her eyes. putting her on her back for a change will see her roll over almost immediately and then getting stuck, not knowing quite how to roll back. there are times she rolls over and back again in lightning speed, but often it'll be just one way and then will kick away waiting for someone to come to her aid. quite an adorable sight, if i may be so bold to brag about here. ha-ha!

to date, there's no visible sign of any tooth making their debut in her cute lil mouth, but she does push her finger(s) in her mouth quite a bit; first with soothing happiness, then escalates into anger and annoyance. and i'm thinking: why push it so far in then, my dear?? Big Z never sucked his thumb or pushed fingers into his mouth. people say it's sign of teething, but Baby Z's been doing this since 4 months-ish and still, no sign of teeth .. so i'm taking it as purely habitual fun for her.

as mentioned above, she's rather pleasant and happy at home. her biggest smiles and laughs though are reserved for her big brother. all he needs to do is walk into a room she's in and those happy feet and legs will start kicking and dancing. the smile almost immediately too cracks up some comical laughter and soon both Zs will be laughing together. on a mommy's viewpoint ... watching such innocent joy from her kids just makes it (motherhood) all that much more worthwhile. i do wonder how their relationship will be over the years. there'll no doubt be the sibling squabbles, and i'm anticipating the bulk of such squabbles be when they're 7 and 2 respectively (if not sooner!). but generally, as a whole, i hope and pray that theirs (relationship) will be one filled with much love, care and respect for each other. i'd like to see how they'll defend each other at times when either one of them or both are caught (by the Daddy and/or myself) for some naughty lil act they've done.


:: laughing at her brother's antics ::

:: the closeness that is Big Z and Baby Z ::


..................................................

now that Baby Z's 6 months old, i'm reminding myself to start thinking up and preparing the necessary for her 1st birthday party. will there be a theme? of course! it's her first, and i'm going to go all out (budget permitting, naturally) with her 1st birthday. i already do have the theme and party favours in mind, but i haven't started making/preparing anything just yet.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

and he's F.I.V.E.!!!

you hear it often - "time flies", "has it been that many years already??!". true enough, time really did seem to fly past us. we now have a 5 year old son. how did that happen, ey??

.................................................

previous years, we celebrated Big Z's birthday with the whole commotion, excitement and tiredness that are big birthday parties.

held a month after moving into our own home, Big Z's 1st birthday party also served as a housewarming party. there was no theme that year, but i did have fun preparing favours for the kids. i bought plastic beach pails and filled them with toy cars for the boyss, lil girly accesories for the girls, plus some candy and a lil book for all.

his 2nd birthday was my first attempt at organising a themed party. theme was 'colours' and i had prizes for most colourful guests according to gender and age group. favours were packed into colourful wrapping paper folded into lunch bag type of bag.

my personal favourite was his 3rd party. 'polka dots in blues, greens and dark browns' was the theme. i had so much fun making the favours and invites, i don't mind doing it all over again! how's that for utter mommy madness? haha ...
:: favour bags, each 'polka-dotted' differently; filled with polka-dot DIY wall art kit, handmade doodle book amongst others ::

his 4th birthday saw a different venue. held at my parents', it was the first party i had incorporated games with lots of prizes to give away on top of the individual party favours i had already prepared for all kids. the theme was 'pyjama party in red, blue and white'.

:: favour bags filled with bedtime lotion, toothbrush + chocolate cookies ::


so when this year started, i was gearing up to prepare another themed party for him. turning 5 seemed a rather big deal to me. 4 is still all-too-cute and cuddly an age, but 5 to me, is like the start of a new lil man. 5 year olds are old enough to understand things better, to think for themselves (and often this comes with the consequence of having to put up with their countless of opinions on everything under the sun!) and to show more of what they'll possibly be like in the near years to come. so, while on the one hand, a party to plan and host promised some good fun on my part, i was equally keen on keeping it low-key; just within the family. having a new baby in the family was key to my final decision. it was decided then (with Big Z's approval, obviously!) that we keep it low this year, that Big Z would be celebrating his birthday with just the family. of course, there was also the birthday do he had in school (which the school does for all kids come their birthdays). but big themed party was not in the works at all. nope. not this year.

...................................................

his turning 5 started with the lil party held in school. nothing grand and big, it was just among his immediate class/group mates. the teacher narrated his life to date (as per my notes to her prior to the party date) as he performed the birthday walk to mark his 5 years. following this, the class sang to him and he cut the cake which was very simply decorated by yours truly. he then picked a book to be read to the class during storybook time and then party favours were distributed. short and sweet, enough to leave him happy and shy all the same.


:: favours for the boys ::

:: favours for the girls ::

............................................

three days before he actually turned 5, we had the family over for tea. both sides of the immediate family came and it was again, very simply organized. a bit of food to keep 'em tummies happy, bubbles for the kids, lots of toys from Big Z's ridiculously huge collection (of trains, mainly!) and a lot of running around and screaming was the scene for that day. again, it left him happy and satisfied with the celebration. this time round, we ordered a Thomas the Tank Engine cake since he's been asking for one and seeing as there was no theme to the 'party', a Thomas cake would fare well.


:: favours for the cousins; persoalized ::

...................................................

on his birthday, at precisely 1:36pm on Wednesday 20th August 2008 (incidentally, it was also a Wednesday on his actual birth date, 20th August 2003), Big Z was waiting for his fried noodles in Hong Kong Disneyland's Plaza Inn restaurant. that's right. at the very last minute, we decided to fly to Hong Kong for a quick holiday for our family of four. Disneyland was to be the highlight of the trip and that we were to visit the park on his birthday. so visit the park on his birthday we sure did. it was a 'no frills' holiday for us; we flew in, took each day as they came by with very little planning done for each day. relaxing to a certain extent and a good 6 days of spending quality time with only each other. Hong Kong was never a holiday destination i had wished for. never. but in that last minute of wanting to go away somewhere, i had budget, plus amusement for Big Z in mind. Hong Kong was the closest and cheapest. at the end of the trip, i asked Big Z if he'd like to come back to Hong Kong some time. his reply, "no Mummy .. enough of Hong Kong already. too many days in Hong Kong. it's someone else's turn now". lol ... fair enough, i suppose. and by 'someone', he really is referring to some other city/country.



:: Big Z + Baby Z on Main Street Hong Kong Disneyland ::

:: the happy 5 year old ::

..................................................

i still on occasion find it hard to believe my son's already 5 years old. as a baby, he wasn't the easiest to care for, for the simple reason that he only really wanted me. honestly, i pretty much did nothing else besides tending to his every need. social life was as good as none for me in his first year especially. but despite the lack of sleep, the abundance of stress and emotional challenges, i wouldn't trade it for anything else.

in Big Z, i not only have a boy to call my own, i now have a lil man to call my best friend (i'm his best friend too, by the way .. though it comes with lots of condition!). he amazes me with his innocent child-enthusiasm for life in general. his meticulous self when drawing trains and designing new tracks is inspiring too. his wit and sense of humour is just entertaining and his love for his family is what i'm most proud and thankful for. i'm looking forward to watching him grow more and to jot his coming antics, interests and pet peeves as he clocks in 5 more years and many many more to come.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

mixed plate

a bit on Big Z, a bit on Baby Z, a bit on the one responsible for giving birth to both Zs. haha ...


.............................


me : what's your number 1 favourite animal?

big Z : snakes!

me : eeeewwww ... why?

big Z : coz i like it!

me : k, what's your 2nd favourite animal?

big Z : oso snakes, Mummy...

me : ok ... your 3rd?

big Z : the killing snakes (u'huh ... coz the previous two snakes don't kill, i suppose?)

me : and what's at number 4 ?

big Z : the snakes again ... coz you know ... they don't live in our planet ... so i have to like them too ... they're on another planet, but they can be our friends too, Mummy. (ok ... now planets come into the equation too, i see)

me : and the 5th?

big Z : panda!!!

me : eh? no more snakes??

big Z : no ... enough already with the snakes, Mummiiieeee. it's panda's turn now.

me : haha ... why do you like pandas then?

big Z : coz it's funny, right? you know, like Kung Fu Panda. see ... funny!

me : haha ... and your 6th?

big Z : ohhhh Mummy! that's enough. only 5 times, ok.

me : hahahaha


.............................


and a lil question on Baby Z. any of you have babies or had babies on soy milk? Baby Z is now on soy formula as her previous milk caused her pretty bad eczema. since the switch of milk, her skin's improved but have we got ourselves quite a poop machine now! honestly, her poo has never been more foul than it is now that she's on soy. it's like everytime she takes a dump, it's for the whole week's consumption! haha.


.............................


for those interested in paintings, or possibly just like clicking on links from any one blog you're reading, do click on my 'patterned' blog for some latest paintings i've put up.

Monday, July 21, 2008

for the love of all things handmade ...

i'm a fan of handmade crafty things. i love the creativity and sometimes imperfect look that can be seen through a handmade item. to me, that's part of the beauty of buying, making and/or owning a handmade piece. it's simply unique.

towards the latter part of my pregnancy with Baby Z, i 'stumbled upon my cousin's blog. crafty she is, alright! growing up though, i had never thought she'd be the crafty type. while i always knew she'd be good at writing and anything computer-related, crafting away wasn't something i had envision her to do. so it was a surprise of sorts when her blog revolved around her knitting hobby. before any of you think it's a grandma-esque type of hobby, think again. these days, it's all about embracing the art of handmade products. knitted items is no exception. it's altogether modern, cute and functional, i kid you not.
earlier in the week, i came home to discover a package had been mailed to me, but that i had to collect it from the local post office since i wasn't in when Mr Postman came ringing my doorbell. i knew it was a lil something from my cousin as she had emailed me telling me to look out for a gift she'd made. i was occupied with some many things over the week, so i only managed to collect the parcel on Friday.


i was prettily greeted by this thing of beauty. just look at it. isn't she pweee-teee?? :-)

:: her brilliant work of art; hand-knitted with love ::


my cousin attached a letter with the parcel. she explained how the gift was inspired by the lil things i had created and made for Baby Z's corner. she took the colours i used as her cue to knit the cardi, and i personally think she'd interpreted it so well. i absolutely love that bit of lime green injected in between the otherwise very-much-girly raspberry shades. just pretty, i say.


:: this lil piece of personalized art and origami cranes were the inspiration behind the cardi ::


so now that we've this piece of knitted wear in Baby Z's wardrobe, one would probably wonder when she'll actually use it, right? well, even before i read my cousin's letter, as soon as i opened the cardi, i was thinking how it'll enhance Baby Z's corner real well. just as a decorative piece of element. whether or not she actually wears it out isn't my priority. just having it in her posession i think is wonderful enough. reading the letter, turns out that was also my cousin's intention; that in the event Baby Z won't or can't ever get to wear the cardi, it'll be a perfect and pretty accent to her corner or nursery (yes, she's still in our room, a nursery she hasn't got one just yet).


:: how it'd look hung (though really, a much much prettier hanger should be used here .. heh) ::

..................................

oh, i got a lil something too myself. a tub of hand cream from the very uber-cool Lush store in London.
cream does smell great, dear. and thank you SO much for the lovely gifts. love them! :-)


Monday, July 14, 2008

got name?

I had just finish feeding Baby Z and was just cuddling and playing with her when Big Z came into the picture.


Big Z : hey Zayaan ... hey Zayaan Atiyaaaa ... is that Zayaan's name, Mummy?

Me : yea, that's her name .. her full name's Zayaan Atiya Izmet Iskandar ... what's YOUR full name?

Big Z : Muhammad Zarif Izmet Iskandar ... right, Mummy?

Me : yup

Big Z : ok, what's your full name, Mummy?

Me : it's Sabidatul Mrika Hajeedar

Big Z : (pauses and smiles with startled expression in his eyes) ... hey ... but that's Atok's name, Mummy!! (looking startled and smirking this time finding it hard to believe his mom) ... and it's your name too??!!

Me : (laughs with him) yes, Zarif, that's Mummy's name .. my full name .. my full name has Atok's name too coz he's my Daddy.

Big Z : (can't quite wipe the smirk off his face) ... sigh ... oh, okayyyy Mummy (still not able to believe his mom completely)


......................................

I guess for Big Z, there's only one Hajeedar .. that's his Atok. So to hear that his Mummy has his Atok's name in her full name was just that bit difficult to grasp. After a bit of staring into space and singing, he resorted to "OK Mummy ... i think i'm going to sleep now ... i'm going to have my Iggy Arbuckle dream now ... OK ... good night Mummy, love you Mummy". And off he went to bed. That was about a quarter to 9pm. By far, the earliest he's gone to sleep! Maybe if I 'shock' him with such facts each night, he'll sleep as early as before 9pm. Heheh ...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me!!


Big Z last night. Was telling him to stop playing. It was almost nine and he had to get to bed. This was his response.


"if you scold me, Mummy ... i'll go away. i'll go to all the hotels. everywhere! aalllllll the nice hotels only. and then you come with me".

Say what?

"yea, you come with me to aalllll the nice hotels coz i love you, Mummy .... much and much always".


Glad we got that sorted then! He'll take me with him on his hotel stays, but following him getting scolded by me for not behaving. ... Now for us to rope in the Daddy in this plan. LOL

Friday, July 4, 2008

know your mother tongue, my dear ...


Big Z thinks in funny ways, I'm starting to think that. No wait, I most possibly knew that all this time, but humour me, why don't you? :-)


We generally converse in English to each other. Of course there are the Malay words thrown in between our sentences, but truth be told, it's pretty much English rest of the time for us. Big Z though has decided he should be fair and kind to the maids (once a week I borrow my mum's maid to help me with the housework; rest of the time, I'm THE chief maid at home ;-)) when he's something to say in front of or to the maid. The following were some things he said at different times; the ones I managed to overhear.


.................................



Big Z wanted some cold water ...

"Kakak, nak air cold please. Muhammad nak air cold please".

Firstly, note how he says 'cold water'. It becomes air cold, like one would say in Malay, air sejuk.

Secondly, when he uses a bit of Malay, he's suddenly Muhammad more than he is Zarif.



Big Z was lying next to Baby Z and I was trying to get him in the bathroom for his shower. The maid happened to be just outside the family room we were in at the time ...

"Oh Mummy ... wait just a little bit, ok. Jap je ...... Muhammad nak baring next to Zayaan. Just a lil bit, Mummy".


Again, the Muhammad name is put to use here.



.................................



It was his school's Open Day earlier this week. Had a chat with his teacher and while he's doing well in school overall (for which I'm very thankful and glad), once a week he has a one-to-one session with his teacher for Bahasa Malaysia. Says the teacher, she speaks to him in Malay, he replies in English. He understands Malay, but just thinks quicker and replies accurately in English.



:: Big Z showing me his school work at the Open Day

(more photos over on my Facebook page) ::



So there you have it. My Big Z who thinks he needs to use his first name when conversing in Malay. I just think it's interesting how he's chosen Muhammad to be the 'Malay' name and Zarif the 'English' name. LOL

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Big Z speaks ...

Big Z after finishing his sandwich.

Mummy : Zarif, did you wash your hands? ... I don't think so, I didn't hear the tap on.

Zarif : (ponders a bit, complete with index finger on his chin) Hmm ... No, I think so. Yes, I think already. Yes. I think.

Mummy: OK ... you didn't wash your hands. Go wash them now.

Zarif : OK. yea, I forgot, yea ... but don't tell Daddy, ok Mummy??

Yes, he is a lil afraid of the Daddy; with me, I can be screaming away, he thinks I'm still playing. *does he EVER take me seriously*


...................................


Zarif's been having a bit of a sorethroat and cough.

Zarif : (clears his throat quite a bit) Oh Mummy. See! Now I have to do the M, M, M. See, like this. (clears his throat again, this time shaking his head in disbelief)

He can be such a fuss pot and an old man at times!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

a (short) tale of two siblings . . .

This was us last weekend along Gurney Drive, Penang. Guess who was more keen to stay in the hotel room than take a night stroll. Guess whose patience was tested as a result of said first person. ;-)




Earlier that day, in the hotel room, this pair of siblings were enjoying each other's company. Well, one more than the other. See how the lil one shows her big brother she's not to be fussed and dolled over! Hehehe ...


video

Sunday, June 8, 2008

a confession ...

:: photo courtesy of apartmenttherapy.com ::

This florist. This road. Those cute red minivans. The matured buildings framing the picture.

A florist on Westbourne Grove, London.

Oh, I miss you (London) so!

........................................................

One of the things I enjoyed most back when I was in London was buying fresh flowers from such florists. It'll either be on a weekday, on my way back home from college/uni, making a stop at the Hammersmith's station (District Line exit) resident florist or my stop's (Stamford Brook) florist, OR it'll be on a Sunday morning stroll, getting my supply of fresh flowers from the florist set up at the corner of Stamford Brook road, a mere 3 minute stroll away from my front door. Sigh ... such bliss from life's simplest pleasures. Yet I miss it terribly and long to go back there again ... and again ... and again (with or without stops at florists), just so I can take in all that London has to offer me. Silly, simple me! :-)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Zayaan doing her thing ...

There's also this lil girl's happy chatty self keeping us happy at home. It's all pretty happy with plenty of smiles until she had about enough of watching the Mummy record her, that is. Apologies for the dark image - I obviously didn't consider lighting at the time of recording the video.


video

"let me read this book now, Mummy ..."


This book. He picked it up, sat next to me and started reading. He managed most of the words correctly on his own. It got me teary-eyed. My son is reading already. I am a happy mom now, just because. :-)


Friday, June 6, 2008

slowly but surely ...

Couple nights back, while watching the TV, I decided to test Zarif's reading. Using his Thomas etch-a-sketch toy, I wrote simple words such as sun, run, hot, hop, ball, tall, fun, train, the, book, look. After these few words and him able to read them, he decided to test me. "OK Mummy. My turn now. I write, you do the reading". His words were friends, taste, tracks. I was amazed! He could spell these words and well, knew what they were too. Yey!

After I tested him with more words, he took his turn and wrote the amazing, info, menu. At this point, I was channel-hopping and checking on the programmes. The blue box came on the TV screen. If you guessed The Amazing Race was on at the time, yes, you're absolutely right! He had gotten them words from the blue info box. ;-)

He can read, a bit, yes. But the instant amazing appeared on the etch-a-sketch, it was a notch too advanced for me to believe. Hehe ...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

the modern dad ...

I never envisioned my husband to be the type. You know the type - the one who 'clocks in' to work anytime of the day really coz he works from home. And before you go "aaawww... how lucky you are to have him at the house", let me just paint you a clearer picture.

Yes, The Husband does work from home, he's his own start-up firm and is doing just fine exploring what he loves most - working for himself, servicing client's financial needs. Working from home - that simply translates into working anytime, all the time. There's no fixed working hours with him. It's 'work for as long as I'm up' kinda thing. What's good though is, he's taken quite a bit of responsibility in attending to the running errands part of our home - mainly the school run and the getting take-out food for us. Before Baby Z came along, I cooked a bit. Now, I cook so rarely, our pantry might as well be empty. I do the rest of the cleaning up around the house, and the cooking, when it happens. Haha.


Oooh, but I digress. This entry is about The Husband, not about me. Back to it then ...
In those typical mom-lit books that are ever-so-popular these days, often there's talk on moms managing school runs. Sometimes, lending a hand to fellow mommy friends in ferrying their kids as well. Car-pooling at its best, if you like. And then, in some of those said mom-lit books, there's one Daddy-cool who does the school run. Often, the portrayed Daddy-cool also just happens to be pretty darn hot for a Dad. So hot that the mommies 'secretly' outdo each other, in the hopes for even the slightest of glance from the Daddy-cool.

It's all fiction of course, but now that The Husband frequents Big Z's school more than I do, now that he does the school run, it would be rather amusing to have my other half as the Daddy-cool of the school run community. ;-)


It's a modern day tale then. Days when Daddies working from home, doing school runs and grocery shopping are common sights. I just hope, on my part personally, he won't take my place in attending morning brunches with my mommy friends. LOL.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

before he turns 5 ...

I realise i haven't done much updating on Big Z - not the way i used to before Baby Z came into our lives. It's the obvious really. The inevitable. You welcome a new baby, and suddenly your attention is split both ways, and many times, as much as you try to be the fair parent to both, often each child has his/her own agendas. So, it's not that i've abandoned spending time with Big Z, nor has it been that all I do is spend time with Baby Z. It's a balance that I've learned and still am grasping really to meet. One which entails me as equal as possible my time, my energy, my attention and my updates on both my lil ones, both my Zs. Any mother to more than one child I'm sure can relate to this. Well, at least, i'd like to believe there ARE those who can relate to this. There are, i suppose exceptional moms out there, who regardless of their herd size, still ace at managing their selves in between their respective young-lings. To those, many kudos to you! :-)

..........................................................

A quick update on Big Z then.

In just slightly over 3 months time, he'll be all of 5 years. FIVE years!! How did that happen??

He's showing more interest in books and reading and is able to read a bit better now. Again, let's not get overly excited, he still has a long way to go, but i'm pretty happy with where he is now in terms of his reading progress. His teacher has assured me once more that he's able to read sentences on his own now. Of course, at home, he favours me pampering him, thus shows me little of what he's capable of reading, but in school apparently, he's doing better. So that's a good start then.

He also has a keen interest in numbers - number puzzles as well as simple sums. He was working on some simple addition and subtraction sums the other night and wanted me to watch him while he worked out the sums. He was using his fingers to count and just watching him do that made me proud of him. To me, it was a whole other accomplishment, a new milestone for him and proof that my lil boy really is growing up.

Academic progress aside, Big Z is getting more familiar with the concept of male and female, boys and girls, and the attraction which could very well take place between the two species. That's right. He's at THAT age. Every now and then, i'll get remarks like so from him -

"I like Bob and Wendy. Together. Coz they'll kiss. Together!".
(that's Bob and Wendy from Bob the Builder)

"Hey Mummy ... I think I want to kiss Nakita. Coz she's a girl. And she's pretty and so cute!
So i think i want to kiss her. And then she kiss me too. Together!"
(Nakita's his classmate in school, and she really is pretty and cute, i must say ... hehe)


I related these statements to The Daddy. He laughed and said we should embrace it, knowing that our son is heading the right direction. Haha.


This time last year, I was busy preparing for Big Z's birthday party. To this day, I'm torn between his 3rd birthday party and his 4th birthday party as my personal favourite project. The 3rd was a polka-dot themed party, while the 4th was a pyjama party (for photos of the parties' details, check my other blog, http://mommylovespatterns.blogspot.com). I think I worked equally hard on both, but I spent much longer preparing for the pyjama party. After the party, and the tiredness that came with it, I remember telling many I had enough of themed parties and that I wouldn't be organising and hosting a party for Big Z this year. That was then. Now, as we're days to welcoming the month of June, just two months away from his 5th birthday, I'm undecided as to whether or not I should host a party for him. Of course, I'd need to be in super-efficient mode if I choose to have one for him. The realistic me is saying I won't be able to do it. The ambitious me though is saying there's this, and this and oooh ... what about this (!!) for the party theme. A dilemma I've put myself into, yes. I'll give myself till mid-June then to decide. In the event I DO decide on a party for him, it'll definitely be a much smaller one compared to all his parties thus far.


.........................................................


That's Big Z then (just 4 days away from our much-needed trip away from home), and a bit of me, and Baby Z and The Daddy thrown in too. :-)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

always go with your instincts ...

she came, she took, she has to go. she HAS to stop. no two ways to it.

am pissed, am shocked, am stressed and it isn't helping with my headache one bit.

i had my suspicsions, i felt uneasy.

my instincts were right then, my mind was dropping hints.

i allowed myself to be fooled once more. well, never again, thank you very much.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

'coz SAHMs are humans too ...

Being a full-time stay-home mom has its obvious perks - namely, being the first (and sometimes sole) witness to your child's key milestones. And just for that simple reason, I can't imagine myself ever going back to the 'true' working life.

Having said that ... humans as we are, I think full-time stay-home moms (especially those without maids, like yours truly) do need the occasional break from the constant no-break 'career' that they have. In light of the said break, I've 'dutifully' proposed to the husband that we reward ourselves (well, OK ... i pretty much told him I need to be rewarded and treated to) once a month. So, one night a month, we'll go out for dinner. Sans our two Zs. For now, we're dedicating a Friday night, once a month. It'll be our date night, if you like. It may sound cruel, but I like to think of it as more of a positive thing. Besides, it'll only be for (at the most) 4 hours - a long dinner, dinner and a movie or dinner and an after-dinner coffee session. Our Zs will be at either grandparents' while we pretend we're young and still dating each other. Haha.

So. Any suggestions where we should have our first Friday night date then?

Friday, April 25, 2008

reality check

am too fat!

.................................

need to lose weight ...

need to push aside all temptations in the form of Starbucks and well, everything else really ...

need to look like i just had a baby, not about to have a baby ...

need to like what i see when facing the mirror ...

need to be able to wear wedding rings once again ...

need discipline ...

need more discipline ...

need to act fast ...

need to act extra fast as Big Z's having a ball calling his Mummy "a big and fat bear"!!

a fine Friday ... Alhamdulillah ...

on the day this one turns exactly 2 months old (to the date - she was born 25.02.08) ...







this one attended his first Friday prayers at the mosque.



according to the Daddy, he did all the different praying positions, but after one particular sujud, decided to lie down on his back for a bit before resuming the standing position and joining the rest of the jemaah. LOL also, after each sujud, instead of just coming back up to stand, he'll jump up and stand, and depending on his own two feet's temperament, his new standing position may not necessarily be the same as in the previous rakaat's standing position. haha ...



ah well ... a start, i guess. he came back from the mosque feeling very pleased with himself and said "yea, see .. i'm a big boy now, i'm going to be 5 years old ... yes, but not now, only in 6 months time" (mind you, it's been 6 months to him since February! haha ... his birthday's in August btw)