Monday, September 29, 2008

Menjelang Hari Raya

I think, it’s high time I do a Hari Raya posting. Everybody else has done theirs.

For me, the most important question every hari raya is, “Bila nak balik Ipoh?”

You see, ever since I got married, belum pernah sekalipun I beraya with my parents first in Ipoh. It’s always been with MrNordin’s family first in KL, then later in the evening, baru balik Ipoh ~ my parents home. If other couples rotate their balik kampong turn, ours is fixed that way. KL first, Ipoh later.

I didn’t really mind initially, but now I’m beginning to question the validity of that ritual. Is it really fair?

Ok, all these years, it has always been the family’s ritual to beraya at my MIL’s house on the first day of raya. That's tradition. Even when MrsN No. 1 was still around, they’d beraya at MrN’s mum’s house first before they went to MrsN(#1)’s mum’s house, which is just nearby. That is logical because they all live in KL.

My sister in law (MrN’s bro’s wife) would also do the same ~ all will beraya at my MIL’s first. That again is fine because both my SIL’s parents have died. She doesn’t have anyone else to go to during raya except for my in laws. Had her parents been alive (and they live outside KL), I’m sure she would balik kampong as well, without a doubt.

But in my case, I still have a set of living parents in Ipoh, who I’m sure, would like for their daughter to be home with them on malam and pagi raya. Not every year, maybe every other year. To be there with them masa sembahyang raya and celebrate the glorious morning ramai2 as a family, together with my two other brothers’ family. For the past 4 years, it was just my telephone calls wishing her Selamat Hari Raya that she heard every pagi raya. Not her daughter, in person.

I miss bersalam & minta maaf with my parents dipagi raya... I miss following them sembahyang raya at the nearby mosque... I miss my mum’s lontong and sambal tumis ikan bilis which she always served on raya morning… I miss raya morning with my parents and brothers…

I have sort of mentioned it to my husband last year that perhaps we should go back to Ipoh first for raya. That was met with a no answer. I think I was asking for the impossible.


Should we ever do that, I know what’s going to happen:
1) My MIL would freak out
2) My stepchildren would freak out (why balik Ipoh?!!)
3) MrNordin would probably freak out as well.

The only person that would be happy would be just me.

I feel sorry for my mother. I’m sure she misses me dipagi hari raya, but so far, she never complained or said a word about it. Never did she impose on me that I should go back to Ipoh first for raya. She would just ask, “Bila balik sini?” I would answer, “Macam biasa lah mak… petang raya pertama…”. Then she would say, “Tidur kat rumah, ya?” And I’d promise her, “Mestilah tidur, mak..

So whenever raya comes, I won’t be the happiest person on earth. My mind will constantly be thinking, “Bila lah nak bertolak balik ke Ipoh ni?” Usually MrN would take his time. Kadang2 tu, sampai malam baru nak bertolak. Nak visit orang nilah, nak visit orang tu lah. Last year, we only went back on hari raya kedua. I could feel the pain in my mum’s voice when I told her that we were only going home on the second day of raya.

And the children, of course, want to spend more time with their cousins and relatives (although they see each other almost everyday!). Like the other day, I overheard the eldest sister and the youngest boy talking about going back to Ipoh. The sister said, “We’re going to Ipoh petang raya pertama.” (cos that’s what I told the girls). And the boy asked, “Why petang raya? Why not the next day?”

That really hurt. I felt as if they didn’t want to celebrate raya with my family and instead prefer to enjoy it here in KL. Of course boring lah balik Ipoh, kan… nothing much to do. My parents house pun rumah kecik je, bukan macam rumah nenek diaorang kat sini.

I told myself, “Sabar… sabar… he’s just a child.” Kalau ikutkan hati, nak saja I beritau dia, “Kalau tak nak ikut, TINGGAL !” But of course I stopped myself short from saying that. He wouldn’t understand it either. And, kalau turutkan hati juga, today itself I nak balik Ipoh dengan Nizzar, ikut my brother. Lantaklah engkorang nak beraya kat sini sesuka hati, let me celebrate it with my own little family. That way, you’ll be happy and so will I.

But I won’t do anything silly like that. I will, despite my dissatisfaction of following their tradition, put up a straight face and try to look happy on malam raya and pagi raya like I always did in the previous years. Luka dalam hati, siapa yang tahu, kan? As a "newcomer", I have to take a stepback and always beralah in many occasions. It's difficult sometimes, but this is part and parcel of marrying into a family like this. My only wish is for them to be more understanding of my feelings, that's all...

Here's wishing my fellow readers Selamat Hari Raya dan Maaf Zahir Batin. To those friends who are close to me, sorry for anything I did or said that might have hurt your feelings. And to my family, whoever is reading this, I'm sorry if you find my writings a little too frank and unpleasant to read. I'm merely expressing my thoughts and feelings... no offense intended. I love you all the same ~ more infact after all these years ~ and I hope we'll have a great raya this year.

Enjoy your holidays and come back with more stories to tell!

Cheers!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Merajuk

MrNordin has gone out more than an hour ago. He merajuk with me. He wanted to go to DK and look for kain pelikat; I was too tired to follow him.

The traffic was bad today. We've been out the whole day since morning. Repair kereta dialah, beli barang lah, balik rumah, keluar rumah, pegi Sg Wang, pegi hantar maid ke rumah makcik dia lah... By the time we got home, it was past 11pm.

I had a splitting headache. And I knew kalau pegi DK, sure bergasak2 dengan orang ramai nak mencari barang. Finding a parking spot there would be a challenge. And it's hot, and I just didn't want to go.

So he left the house without kissing me goodbye. I told him to bring the house key coz no one is going to wait up for him. I think he must have called his cousin to go with him. With my head throbbing like this, I really don't give a damn who he goes out with!

It's now 2.30 am and he's still not back yet. Looks like I have to sleep alone again, like the previous few nights. This is the problem when you have a husband who cannot sleep early...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Invisible Neighbour (Part 3)

I've sent our kek lapis to the neighbour's house yesterday evening.

I was quite anxious, wondering how best should I deliver the cake next door. So over lunch, I went out with my officemates looking for a nice basket/box for the cake. Couldn't find any. Wanted to go to Semua House, but my God! The road was jammed packed with cars! I think orang ramai dah start cuti and pegi shopping raya. We turned back and headed to The Mall instead. Nothing nice there..

Then I thought of stopping by at KLCC after work to look for the basket. The after work traffic was equally bad; so I went home straight. In the car, I was thinking hard ~ how should I do this? How to make an impression?

The moment I reached home, Nadim asked me, "When are you going to deliver the cake?" Pressure....! Pressure.....! I was determined to deliver it yesterday. Didn't want to wait any longer. MrNordin was not coming home for berbuka. I told myself, "Hang it lah! Let's just do it!"

So, I took out the cake from the fridge and shoved it in the oven to warm it up (yes, Waterlily, I did just that!). In the mean time, I remembered Nadira still has a few unused boxes from her cupcake days. I searched for the boxes and found one that just fit the kek lapis. Hurray! Perhaps this is gonna be good after all!

Then, I went out to the shop with Nizzar to buy a kad raya. By this time, it was almost 7pm. Orang dah nak berbuka. As I stepped out of the shop , I saw a florist with some nice baskets of lilies. I decided to get one for the neighbour. The lady was closing, so she added a few more flowers with no extra charge. Another hurray!

Sampai rumah, I quickly checked on the cake, which by then was already out of the oven and was nicely warm. I placed it in the box and tied it with a big ribbon. I wrote a short note in the card, thanking the neighbour for their lovely gift, and asked the kids (who were pretty excited about delivering the items) to send the flowers and cake next door.

Nadira carried the basket of flowers, Nadim carried the box of cake, while the maid and Nizzar just tagged along. Then I sat down to have my meal.

Five minutes later, they all came back. Nadim said, "The guard asked, where are we from?" (these kids pegi sebelah pakai t-shirt & baju tidur je, buat apa nak salin, kan?) Kita orang kata, from next door." Hee... hee...! I don't think my kids handed the things personally to the neighbours, but all the same, I hope they like the gifts.

If you read Utusan Malaysia today, our Minister neighbour is on page 5 ~ the one of the right.

And this is what I wrote in the card:

Dear H** & M**,

Thanks for the lovely gift you gave us yesterday. It was very thoughtful of you..

Here's wishing you and family a happy Hari Raya. Semuga murah rezeki dan diberkati Allah selalu..

Kind regards,
Nordin & family


p/s. Btw, I don't think she reads my blog...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Invisible Neighbour (Part 2)

Our Minister neighbour sent us this yesterday:

At first we thought it was a cake..

When we opened the box... Voila! It was a box of chocolates!

Upon closer inspection
(you can actually eat the box, you know? It's made of royal icing)


Looks like they beat me to it! My kek lapis Sarawak (that's the cake I ordered) baru siap malam tadi and was delivered to my house by my dear friend, Tina, at 11.30pm.

Looking at their lovely gift, sigh... it's sure hard to get anything similar or nicer. Theirs is so pretty... and the chocolates are so delicious!

I think, what I'm gonna do is PRETEND as if the cake that I'm giving them actually comes out from my own oven. Like I bake the kek lapis myself? Now, that would make a great impression! Don't you think?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

MrsNordin No. 1 (Part 2)

Busymum notified me of a comment left by my husband's late wife's best friend in school. Her name is Norita. This is what she wrote:

Hello Mrs Nordin? I am Norita & just came across your comment in Sabar's blog. I was Sharifah's best friend when in SMSK before she left to continue in CBN,KL. I used to sleep over at her parents home whenever I visited KL. Later when I was studying in the US & she in UK, she actually made a trip to USA & diverted to our Univ town in Kansas to visit me. We met up again when she was serving Faber Group then thru a chance meeting with my husband then in Renong. We kept in touch till she had her own outfit in Ampang and I got to visit her house once. Feel guilty that through our busy lives we never met as often as good friends should have & only found out about her death when we were about to form our alumni for our batch. I am curious to her daughters...I don't think they can remember me cos they were still small when I last met them. I wonder how similar you could be to Intan...or total opposite...Post a pic....I'd like to say hi to their granny too if Sh. Sheikha's still alive.

After I read that, I posted my reply. Then, I re-read my first posting on my husband's late wife, which is here.

I don't know what to say... Whenever I come across someone who happens to know of arwah or has some sort of connection with her in the past, I always feel kinda melancholic. It's a mixed feeling. Sad ~ for her passing, but happy ~ that I've found another link to her past.

These couple of days, I've been thinking about her quite a lot. As I enter the study room where we still keep her framed photos with the children and MrNordin, I wonder what it would be like if she was still around. As I flip open her old journal & diary, I can't help thinking what was going through her mind at that point of time. What sort of person she was? Would she be my friend if I had known her?

One thing for sure, if she was still alive, I wouldn't be married to MrNordin now. I wouldn't have Nizzar, and I wouldn't be living in that house with my 3 step-children (I hate the word "step"!), 1 maid, 5 cats, 2 birds, some fishes and other living things in the pond and garden. I’d probably never know who MrNordin is, would never know of his existence, and would never know how good it feels to have a doting husband like him… IF she was still alive.

This is what we call fate. Had she still been alive, I wouldn’t have all these now. My life would have been different. I’d probably still be single, bumping around looking for Mr. Right. I’d probably had given up hope on love and would have accepted the fact that I’d die an old maid. Or, I'd probably have married someone who's totally wrong for me and I'm now suffering emotionally coz he's cheating on me. Who knows?

And MrNordin? He’d probably be bumping around, too, in Ampang with MrsNordin No. 1 and 3 children in tow. If our path crossed, I probably wouldn’t notice him (a bald guy with a wife and 3 children in tow? No way!). He would just be passing through my life without me knowing that he is actually special and meant for me. What a shame, huh?

And if I had known MrsNordin No. 1 as a friend during her lifetime, I probably wouldn’t marry MrNordin either after her passing. It’s a bit awkward, don’t you think? He’d probably marry someone else, and I’d just be another friend to the family who’d come visiting the children once in a while. Oh wow...

When I think back about how I met MrNordin and how he eventually became my husband, I would almost always get overwhelmed by emotions. The circumstances are mind boggling... the coincidences are unbelieveable.... From complete strangers, we have now become family. He has become a part of my life... the children have become a part of my life...



And how did it happen?



Just by a simple twist of fate.



That's why I believe in miracles.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Invisible Neighbour

Our Minister neighbour held a berbuka puasa function at his house last night. How did I know that? Because I saw a white kemah in their garden eversince Saturday and there were many cars parked outside our house yesterday evening.

I was admiring their white kemah from our porch. Very nice… with scallops and a grand chandelier attached at the centre. “Cantik kan kemah diaorang, yang? I wonder where they get it from… “, I asked MrNordin. He said, “Alah… menteri2 ni, adalah supplier diaorang…” I guess so.

I was looking for that particular kemah & chandelier for my party last July ~ I first saw it at MrNordin’s Datin friend’s house during her birthday party ~ but I couldn’t get the exact same one. Chandelier tu ada lah, tapi I think ours was a cheapo one. (of course, my husband is not a Dato' or Tan Sri. He's just an Encik. Mana nak lawan their chandeliers, kan?)

If some of you were wondering if we were invited to the berbuka puasa, the answer is no. We’ve never been invited to any of their functions (not that we want to go anyway!). Neither have we invited them to ours eventho’ my MIL kept on pestering us to invite them whenever we do ours. Oh please lah, mak! I feel it's a bit awkward to suddenly invite them over. Maybe because he is a full Minister. Kalau ajak karang, dia ingat kita nak favours from him (which is usually the case). Anyway, I don't think they have time for social gatherings like ours because they have had enough of the official ones already.

I guess having a Minister as your neighbour, one can’t expect him to behave like your normal neighbourhood friend. So far eversince I stayed at that house, I’ve never met the Minister himself. His wife and kids adalah, even then, at the club or when we were driving out. The closest I got to the Minister was the other day when we left for work at the same time. His official car was just behind me. But when his car overtook mine, I could not see him because there was a drape shielding his rear window. Cis!

So if you asked me if I knew my neighbour, I would say yes, from the newspapers only.

However, our kids are friendly with each other ~ “Friendly” in the sense they talk to each other through their bedroom windows (it's THAT close!). Sometimes I heard them shouting at each other, or asking one another this and that. They were neighbours even before the Minister became a Minister and before they moved to the current houses. I guess that's how they knew each other. Their maids are also friendly with my maid. That one no need to explain lah, kan?

Eventho’ I’ve never met my neighbour, I know of their existence because every once in a while, the lady of the house would send us some goodies, usually kuih or other food stuff. Every hari raya, they’ll send us a hamper or gift, without fail. Sometimes we balas, sometimes we don’t.

And sometimes, we would receive strange things from them in the form of fishes, turtles and the like. These, I know, are from their children. That day, when I got home from work, I saw a fish bowl on the table with two gold fishes in it. I asked, mana dapat ni? Nadim said, “F*** gave. (F**** is the neighbour’s youngest son). He said the oxygen supply for the fish ran out. He was afraid the fishes would die and so he gave them to us.”

I think his parents were not at home at that time and he couldn’t go out to get it fixed, so he gave the fishes to us knowing that our house is a pet sanctuary. And the other day, the boy came over at the gate, asking if he could borrow some turtle food palette for his tortoise. Things like that…

Despite being strangers living side by side, we are thankful to them for the existence of their security guards and policemen who do their rounds 24/7. This provides some sort of comfort to us whenever we are not at home for we know burglars may think twice about coming to our house (nak mampus?!). Actually, along that stretch of road, we are the only one without a guard house. Rumah orang lain semua ada guard!

So, the other day we were joking, let's just build a guard house infront of our house. Then we put a dummy inside (you know, like the one you see by the road side, waving a flag to caution passers-by of road works?) to deceive burglars that we also have a security guard 24/7! Hee.. hee... and he's FREE!!

Anyway, I'm going to make a difference this raya. I've ordered a special cake as a raya gift for my invisible neighbour. My first time. And why am I doing this? Because I'm feeling a little generous this year...

And I'm trying to be a good neighbour.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sunday Drama

I went shopping with my stepdaughters yesterday. Not for baju raya as they have those already, but for beads for our baju kurung (jahit sendiri, hantar upah mahal sangat). I’ve been meaning to take them out shopping, just us girls, but the little boy at home always prevented me from doing so. I rasa berat hati nak tinggalkan dia, even for one hour, coz I kesian kat dia tinggal kat rumah sorang-sorang.

But yesterday, I told myself I have to do this. I want my time with the girls too, right? So, pagi-pagi lagi I dah bangun, mandi and got ready while MrNordin and the little boy were still sleeping in bed. Then I quietly knocked on the girls’ door and told them to get ready as I planned to leave the house before the boy woke up. They got ready very fast and waited for me downstairs.

Just as I was about to walk out of my bedroom, the little boy woke up. “Mummy!”, he called out. Alamak…. Budak ni dah bangun pulak…! Seeing me all dressed up like that, of course our friend insisted that I go back to bed.”Mummy, sleep! Sleep!”, he said, signaling me to lie down next to him. I looked at the watch, it was almost 9.30am. Kena keluar cepat ni sebab nak pegi kawasan Masjid India. Kalau lambat nanti, sure ramai orang.

“Ok, ok.. “ I said and lied down next to him. I tepuk2 dia, tapi dia tak nak tidur balik. Dia suruh kita nyanyilah kat dia, cerita lah kat dia, nak airlah, nak susu lah... macam2! Orang dahlah lambat ni..

“Mummy, Lion & Mouse”, he said (he wanted me to read him his Lion & Mouse story). After that,

“Mummy, ai-lee-you” (he wanted me to sing that Barney song “I love you.. you love me…”). Then,

“Mummy, brother John!” (he wanted me to sing “Are you sleeping, brother John… “)

Adoi… naik penat I melayan dia. MrNordin was still snoring away. Budak2 dah tunggu kat bawah, this boy was not letting me go. Last-last, I just got up and go. I told the maid to distract him while we made our dash. Of courselah he cried, kan? He was screaming out loud when he heard me starting my car engine. “Mummy! Mummy! Nak kut! (nak ikut)!!!”

Punyalah sedih hati I when I heard that. Sampai keluar gate pun masih dengar dia menjerit sekuat hati. I felt like turning back, but I told myself, tak apa, kuatkan hati. He’ll be ok in a few minutes time. I drove out very fast so I won’t change my mind.

True enough, when I called the house half and hour later, my maid said he’s ok already. Tengah tengok TV while having his breakfast. Lega… then baru I could start the outing with a peace of mind.

So we got the beads from Semua House. Then we went to Megamall MidValley for a hair cut. I desperately needed to do my hair and the girls wanted a trim. Since my stylist was free that morning, I decided to bring them all there for their hair cuts. Usually, they'd do theirs at W, a hair saloon near our house. But since W was closed on Sunday, I thought might as well they follow me.

I got a new hair colour and cut, Nabila got a relaxant and cut and Nadira just had a trim. It was quite costly, but tak apalah, sekali sekala. Nabila said, "Mummy, just a hair cut for me lah... no need relaxant (coz it's expensive)..." That's very thoughtful of her, but I wanted her to have it coz it'll make her hair more manageable. And it's not often that she gets such treatment anyway. So that's ok.

Just as we were about to finish, I got an sms from MrNordin saying that they (the boys) were at Bangsar Village. So we met them there after the saloon. It was raining when we left MidValley. I was so happy to see Nizzar, tapi budak tu macam indifferent je. This morning when I left him, meraung bagai nak rak. Now macam tak ada apa pun... So much for the drama this morning, huh? Lain kali, I should have known better.

Lesson learnt: Do not feel guilty about leaving your toddler behind when you need to have your girls' day out.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Plaza GM

Yesterday, I went shopping with my mum. She's in town with my dad, visiting my brother's wife who is admitted at Assunta Hospital for denggi. My SIL is getting better and will be discharged today. So, no worries.

My mum told me she wanted to buy something for her mengaji friends coz they are going to hold this khatam quran function after raya. You see, my mum is one person who likes organizing functions ~ kenduri kawin lah, khatam quran lah, moreh kat masjidlah, jamuan makan untuk anak2 yatim lah, family birthdays lah, macam2. She especially loves orang kawin ie. buat gubahan, bunga telur & pelamin. Kadang2, orang tak suruh pun, dia sendiri offer herself to do it!

Those activities keep her occupied and save my 2nd brother from her constant nagging of, "Bila lagi kamu nak kawin?" (my brother is still single at 36). I guess, coz she can't wait to become the wedding planner for his wedding after she did mine some 4 years ago. Anyway, that day she told me she wanted to buy 30 things for her mengaji friends. Budget is RM10 sorang. For that amount, I told her, "Let's go to Plaza GM !"

Do you know this place?

Plaza GM is this multi-storey building which sells barang2 at wholesale price. Located at Chow Kit, it consists of 7 floors, each selling different things from handbags, watches, tudung, brooches, accessories, shoes, textiles ~ all at harga borong. I think, it's the place where those people yang jual barang kat pasar malam get their supplies. The price is a lot cheaper than what you can get from pasar malam or outside. Say, tudung ~ outside dia jual RM15, kat situ you can get for RM8. All these ciplak LV handbags/purses, kat luar jual RM45, kat situ boleh dapat RM20. Bangles/accessories - kat luar, the same one I nampak kat Ampang Point was selling for RM7 satu. Kat situ, you can get it for RM2 each! I'm not kidding!

I discovered this place by chance with MrNordin. One of those days when we were hunting for his watch case, ada orang kedai ni beritau we all to try and look for it at Plaza GM. Plaza GM? Never heard of it before. He gave us the direction, and when we got there.... wahlau! It's a shopping heaven! So far, MrNordin had bought 5 wrist watches from there (sampai orang kedai tu dah kenal lah dia), my girls had bought several handbags and accessories, I've bought a few handbags and such.

We kept this place a secret for a while because we don't want other people to know our shopping heaven. Kononnya nak buat business lah... buy from there, and sell to others at mark-up price. Tapi nampak gayanya, we are not into that. We like to buy, but not to sell. So I told my friends about this place. When they went over, they went nuts! They bought tudung berkodi-kodi coz they said it's cheap (I wouldn't know, I tak pakai tudung).

My mum pun semalam, dapatlah 30 helai tudung for her mengaji friends at RM8 satu. I was practically sitting down on the floor with my mum and the shop keeper, rummaging through the piles of tudung for her to choose from. We got some nice ones and I think it was worth it. My mum was extremely happy with her purchase, and I think the next time she comes down to KL, I'm sure she'll go there again.

So, in this festive mood and masa barang2 tengah mahal sekarang ni, try and check out this place (for those who haven't been there lah...). Or, kalau ada yang nak bagi hadiah kat makcik2 or sedara mara kat kampung ke bila balik raya nanti, carilah kat sini. You can get some nice stuff as gifts.

But this place is only recommended for those who like to look for bargains and enjoy searching for small treasures from pasar malam. If you are a Pavillion or KLCC-type of shopper, you probably wouldn't like Plaza GM. But I think, barang2 yang jual kat KLCC tu pun (esp. accessories), semuanya from Plaza GM jugak. Mark my word.

So, apa lagi. Hari minggu ni kalau tak ada buat apa2, try and scout this place. Happy Shopping!

For more information, click here: Plaza GM.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Meehoon Goreng

I love meehoon. Meehoon goreng ke, meehoon sup ke, cantonese meehoon ke... everything meehoon I tak kan tolak. I can eat meehoon for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and I really don't mind...

But I cannot fry meehoon. I've tried it so many times before tapi selalu tak jadi. Sometimes the taste is there but rupanya tak macam meehoon ~ selalu "bergumpal2" macam sanggul. Bila tanya orang macamana nak goreng meehoon, they all kata, "You tak tau goreng meehoon? Ya Allah... punya lah senang!" That really put me off. When my MIL found out that I don't know how to fry meehoon, she said, "Ya Allah menantu aku... tak tau goreng meehoon?!" That made me so determined to try and get it right. Not so much to please her but to satisfy my own taste bud.

I paling suka meehoon goreng. For variety, I like meehoon yang warna putih tu ~ I don't know what it's called tapi orang selalu makan dengan cili hijau jeruk. Ada rasa masam2 sikit. Yum! Yum! Lagi satu meehoon yang taruh tauchu tu (apa nama dia?). This, I remember doing it masa SRT kat sekolah menengah dulu. Sampai sekarang mengidam nak makan tapi belum pernah jumpa kat mana2 kedai/restaurant.

So yesterday, I tried to make meehoon goreng again ~ after 4, 5 years lapse. Itu pun after a long consultation with my officemate, T***, who have tried this recipe the day before. She said hers turned out well (makcik ni memang pandai buat meehoon goreng... pejam mata pun dia boleh buat!), and her youngest daughter siap makan 4x tambah! When I heard that, I straight away thought of Nizzar. Yeah, maybe I should try and make a nice meehoon goreng for him to eat. He likes meehoon goreng, tapi he has never tasted the one that his mummy cooked. Usuallynya, beli from kedai lah, apa lagi.

So dengan semangat yang berkobar2, I went to buy the stuff after work yesterday, and terus memasak didapur (tak salin baju pun!). My friend said, "Just follow the recipe, sure jadi punya..." So I followed the recipe je lah. I pakai perencah daging & udang instead of ayam as suggested by the recipe. I think ayam tak sedaplah kalau buat perencah meehoon.

Dah tumis bahan2 semua, dah masuk sayur segala, bila time nak masukkan meehoon, I panicked. I was so afraid I would get it wrong again. I asked my maid to standby (dia pandai juga goreng meehoon) and watch while I goreng the meehoon. Berpeluh2 lah jugak! Susah betul nak menyeduk meehoon tu so that it's well spread sebab dia macam liat, kan? Habis satu dapur berterabur dengan meehoon yang terkeluar dari kuali!

Bila I dah penat, tukar pulak dengan si Sri. Bila dia penat, I take over balik, sampai lah jadi rupa meehoon. First time my meehoon turned out well!!

Wahh... I was so happy! Rasa pun ok. Bila dihidangkan, Nizzar makan, Nadim pun makan sikit (he's not really a meehoon fan), Nadira, Sri and I tambah 2x. Nadira said, "Wah... this is nice.." Hooray!! I made it, at last!!

I'm sure for those of you yang memang expert buat meehoon goreng will be wondering what's all this fuss about. But for me, being able to concur my fear of menggoreng meehoon is a BIG deal indeed coz now I know how to do it right. I think, the trick is to add water selagi meehoon tu belum masak/lembut (which I never did before). That's why my meehoon dulu selalu keras.

Now dah tau macamana nak buat, boleh lah try buat meehoon yang putih & yang pakai taucu tu. I'm so happy! I'm so happy! I'm so happy!!!

Here's sharing with you all the meehoon recipe that I used yesterday. Selamat mencuba!

(Note to Mdm. Tai Tai: Sorry, this posting seems similar with your rendang posting. I guess, we were thinking along the same line, huh? Hope you don't mind.)


BIHUN GORENG

INGREDIENTS:

600 gm bihun [rendamkan lembut dan toskan]
200 gm isi ayam [hiris nipis] - i used daging & udang
200 gm sawi [potong pendek]
250 gm kobis [racikkan] - I opted this out
1 batang carrot [potong halus saperti batang mancis] - opted out
3 keping tahu [gorengkan dan hiriskan nipis]
3 s/b minyak
sedikit kicap
garam
air

BAHAN MESIN / TUMBUK:

10 biji ciliapi
6 biji cili merah
2 ulas bawang merah
3 ulas bawang putih

METHODS:

1. Panaskan minyak dan tumiskan bahan mesin sehingga wangi.
2. Masukkan isi ayam dan kacau rata.
3. Bila nampak masak masukkan garam dan air. Kacau rata.
4. Masukkan kobis, carrot dan bihun. Kacau rata sehingga sebati.
5. Bila nampak bihun lembut masukkan sawi.
6. Gaulkan rata sehingga nampak bihun lembut. Rasakan garam.
7. Bila menghidang, taburkan hirisan racik daun bawang dan daun sup.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Baju Raya

I went to Ampang Park during lunch break. Ingat nak pegi Metrojaya sale preview, tapi sebab tak cukup quorum, I decided to follow my friends to A.P. Jenuh jugak nak cari parking (you know lah, Selangor cuti) but my friend managed to find an empty space somehow.

I bought a baju kurung for my maid plus a pink tudung. It think they are nice. Got it from this shop ~ SHL, I think nama dia ~ located on the ground floor opposite the cassette shop. This shop mainly sells ready-made baju kurung batik Kelantan. Every year, without fail, I'd surely buy one pair because the prints are nice and the price is reasonable. Cuma this year je I stopped myself from buying one because I've already got so many baju kurung yang belum dipakai lagi.

Come to think of it, I have 5 new bajus yang belum pakai lagi. Plus just now, I collected two more from my tailor, so that makes 7 new baju for raya. Hooray! Belum pernah terjadi lagi sebelum ni MrsNordin ada sampai 7 helai baju raya! So boleh pakai satu hari satu. Hee.. hee...

Now everyone has got their baju raya already. Tak ada theme ~ all will be wearing different colours. The girls will be wearing purple & pink, Nadim will be wearing blue, MrNordin ~ green, MrsNordin ~ orange, budak kecik tu ~ red. Tapi materials lebih kurang sama lah.

Actually, I'm not very good at co-ordinating baju for raya. The one that I got almost right was last year's raya, after 3 failed attempts. The first raya was supposed to be blue, tapi my baju and the girls' baju tak siap & tak elok. Gara2 hantar kat a new tailor who promised he could finish it in time tapi by malam raya pun tak siap2 lagi. I was too mad to even take delivery of the baju and hence, I told him to just keep it.

The second year I tak de mood langsung nak beraya because I was 4-months' pregnant with Nizzar. Asyik bad mood saja! Rambut pun tak best, badan pun rasa tak best.. I hate my raya pictures of that year. We were supposed to be clad in green.

Third raya was mix & match. I bought all our baju off the rack, senang cerita. Only the boys sent theirs to the tailor.

Last year, I put in a little bit more effort by planning early. I chose off-white / cream colour as the theme. Beli kain sekali harung kat Jakel and terus hantar tailor. Not just any tailor (as I've learnt my lesson earlier on) but a good tailor who I still give business to until today. It cost me a bomb, but I was fully satisfied with the end results. Hence, the photos of that raya also turned out very well indeed.

This year, we'll see how it goes. I think it should be ok since baju semua dah almost ready. The boys' baju will siap next week. What I need to do now is just go and get a new hair colour. Uban dah sprouting like nobody's business on my head ni! I plan to get it done next week.

Tapi kuih belum beli... langsir belum tukar.... nampaknya banyak lagi duit yang kena keluar ni. Our salary masuk today but I have a feeling by the end of this month, sure dry. Raya... Raya...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sahur

As I predicted, I've stopped waking up for sahur. I just couldn't get up.

This morning, I heard MrNordin waking up for sahur. That was about 4.45am. Usually, he would give me a nudge and ask if I wanted to come down for sahur. But I think, after getting no respond from me for the last 2-3 days, he gave up and just went down alone. I continued sleeping, dreaming of eating Frosties...

In the car going to work, he told me, "Tadi pagi I dah bising dengan si Sri & budak2. Tiap2 pagi asyik2 cereal, cereal, cereal. Tak boring ke? Tak boleh ke be creative sikit with what to eat for sahur? Buat lah scramble egg ke, pancakes ke, nasi goreng ke sekali sekala... Ini tak, letak je cereals kat situ, dah. Ini semua kes pemalas! I told her, kalau rumah orang lain, kena masak nasi pagi2 for sahur and lauk segala, tau. Ini, kerja senang pun susah sangat nak buat. Bukannya tak ada barang kat rumah.. bla, bla, bla..." (dia membebel).

I felt guilty. It should have been me that he's screaming at, not the maid. Terasa jugalah tempiasnya, although I knew dia bukan marah kat I.

Then I asked him back, "Maybe the kids tak nak makan benda lain for sahur tak...".

He replied, "Tak nak apa? Bila I dah bising macam tu, baru terkocoh2 buat corned beef. In less than 10 mins dah siap. Habis semua orang makan..."

I diam.

Dalam perkara2 macam ni, I tak boleh komen banyak sangat sebab I sendiri tak bangun sahur, kan? So I let him mengomel and I mengiyakan saja.

Ok lah, nampak gayanya, pagi esok kena bangun sahur lah. Nak makan apa, yang? Nasi lemak?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mamma Mia! Movie Review

I watched Mamma Mia! last night. Surprisingly, it was very good! I enjoyed myself tremendously, serenanded by the tunes of ABBA and the superb performance by the A-list cast (Merryl Streep, Julia Walters, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth, among others).

At first, I didn’t think it was going to be entertaining. You know, musicals… boring… But this one is different. I stayed up until 2am to finish it. Maybe because I was familiar with ABBA songs, that’s why I enjoyed it so much. I don’t know…

But whatever it is, I love it for it’s a story of mother and daughter, about girlfriends, about love, about old flames, about happy times, about letting go, and good music. It’s like, how we used to do crazy things when we were younger and our children don’t know about it? And when they found out, they're just amazed at what we're capable of doing. It’s like that...

(Well I’m not a movie critic, so I don’t know how to do a film review. This is as good as it gets.)

Shot on a Greek Island, the film is produced by Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and Benny Anderson (of ABBA). All the more reason to watch it, right? So, if you’re looking for a light entertainment or something to make you smile, go and get this DVD. It’s worth staying up for!

Some scenes from the movie. Pictures courtesy of divxplanet.



Girlfriends dancing away

The return of the old flames

The wedding

Friday, September 12, 2008

Iklan Raya Petronas

I suggest, you grab a tissue first before you start watching it..


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Nak Susu? Tak Nak!

The little boy has lost interest in milk. He refused to drink it even though I’ve bought so many different brands for him to try. His regular milk is Isomil , it’s soy-based. I thought he might have outgrown the taste and now want something else. So I bought Pediasure, chocolate flavor, since he seemed to love drinking that chocolate milk from the carton. He refused that too.

Previously, I’ve tried so many different brands for him. Reason being, milk is getting more expensive and so I thought, bagi budak ni minum susu yang murah2 je dah lah since he’s already eating normal food. But he refused ~ still want his Isomil. Fine. Although the price now is about RM54 per tin, terpaksalah berkorban. Satu tin habis seminggu (or less). So in a month, I’d have to spend RM220 on his milk alone. Tak termasuk pampers lagi. Hish... mahal betul lah nak raise a child these days!

But since last Saturday, this boy has refused his milk. Everytime buat susu, he’d just take a sip and said, “Tak nak.” I thought it was the bottle teats ~ perhaps the flow was too slow for him until he had to bite it off to make the hole bigger (he likes to gigit his puting botol susu). I pun pegi lah mencari puting botol yang baru. Bawak balik, still dia tak nak minum susu.

Why is that so? Is he weaning off milk? Tak kan lah kut. He’s only 2years 4 months old. Makan pun, kadang2 nak, kadang2 tak nak. Risau I! I get very worried over his unpredictable eating pattern. Sometimes, makan nasi boleh habis dua mangkuk. Sometimes, langsung tak nak makan. Kekadang tu, the whole day tak makan apa2. Asyik minum air je kerja nya (and nak air yang ada color and cold!)

Can anyone tell me what’s wrong with him? It all started after dia demam 2-3 hari minggu lepas. After that, terus tak nak susu. Sigh...







Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Movie Buff

I watched Sex & The City the movie the other night ~ one of those rare occasions when the little boy sleeps in early and Mummy can do the things she loves doing. I used to love the TV series before, but after a while, I naik jelak. There was just too much sex, and it put me off from watching it.

But the movie was ok lah... a bit overrated, I think. And Carrie Bradshaw is getting older, so she was not as perky as how she was when the series first started. For those who have not seen it and plan to do so in the near future, be careful if you watched it on DVD with the kids. There are some uncensored scenes which I myself found quite disturbing. So, exercise extreme caution.

Actually, I'm not really a movie buff. Unlike some people I know who loves going to the cinemas, I'd rather watch the movie on DVD at home. It's more relaxing. Movies have not really been my favourite thing to do when I was dating MrNordin either. Our first movie together was Mummy Returns (on our 3rd date, I think). And then another one in Singapore ~ Lara Croft (this, on my friend's recommendation. But I seriously didn't like it).

After we got married, I would accompany the kids to the cinemas sometimes. We like to watch cerita hantu (scary, but best!). Now that they have all grown up, we'd just drop them off at KLCC whenever they want to watch movies. MrNordin doesn't like sitting in the cinema for too long either because he can't have his cigarettes. So, we strike a common ground there.

But whenever there's a good Malay film shown at the cinema, which I know the kids wouldn't watch or we wouldn't buy the DVD, I'd go and watch it alone. Like Cinta, and Sepi. I watched both films alone at the cinema after work. Cried my eyes out sorang2, but who cares? It was dark anyway. This way, I could really enjoy the movie. Tak ada orang nak kacau or bagi komen.

Sometimes, I'd go with friends. I remember watching Embun with Gina and my mother (yes, my mother likes to do this kind of things also sometimes), Jangan Pandang Belakang with two of my office mates (I walked out half way because it was so boring), Soal Hati with Gina as well and a few others. As I see it, Malay films are light entertainment. You can't expect too much or be too critical about it because otherwise, you'll be disappointed.

But my best movie ever is Pretty Woman. Ahhh... Julia Roberts and Richard Gere! "Welcome to Hollywood Boulevard!", said the opening remark. I watched it with Gina (again..) in Canterbury after our final exams way back in 1991. That was awesome! We were crying buckets in the cinema, and after the movie, I was forever imagining myself as Julia Roberts. Shopping on Rodeo Drive, being ferried to the opera in a private plane, wearing that bright red dress and diamond necklace. ... And Oh! Making love on the piano, at the bar, with Richard Gere ?! Who wouldn't want that ?!!

I think, to date, I've watched that film close to 20 times. Whenever I was bored at home (masa zaman sebelum kawin dulu lah..), I'd put on the VCD and just while myself away in that film. Nice!

People say, the kind of movies you watch speak a lot about your character. So, do you like to go to the movies and what's your favourite movie of all times?


Richard Gere playing businessman, Edward Lewis, and Julia Roberts as pros******, Vivian Ward, in a scene from Pretty Woman

Friday, September 05, 2008

Snap shot

First time ever ~ I break fast at the office today!

My boss was breathing down my neck. Need something urgently. I had no choice but to stay and do it. I did it, alright, just in time for berbuka. Luckily, another colleague was here as well. She had bought some food earlier on (roti arab) and I shared that with her for berbuka. Made myself a cup of Nescafe, and here I am, still in the office waiting for her to finish her prayer before we go off.

It has been a tiring week for me. I've been working non-stop ever since Tuesday coz there are so many things to submit at one go. The moment I masuk office je, terus start work and I will not leave my seat except for pegi toilet. In between, ada juga jenguk2 the blogs, to release tension. I'm so glad it's Friday.

I'm going home now. Can't wait to eat the hot meals, see my little baby and wait for MrNordin to come home later tonight. Have a nice weekend, y'all!!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

3rd Day Puasa

Hello! Third day puasa today, huh? And my second day in the office this Ramadhan. The office is so cold, I tell you. I had to bring a cardigan from home. Ada orang siap bawak kain pelikat to keep warm! I yet have to see someone using a muffler. Hee.. hee..

Yesterday, we berbuka with simple dishes je. Ayam goreng, kuah lemak semalam, pecal (yang tak habis dari hari tu) and sambal tumis udang & petai. Tercapai jugak cita-cita I nak makan sambal tumis udang after reading some of your juadah berbuka.

After berbuka, releks.. watched TV while Nizzar was busy playing in the room. MrNordin was busy fixing the TV downstairs which had some problems with the transmission. I heard him going in and out of the house (pegi kedai) several times.

By 9.30pm, budak kecik tu dah nak tidur. So I lied down next to him in bed (hoping to get up again after he had gone to sleep), but the next thing I knew, MrNordin woke me up for sahur! Hee.. hee... tak sedar langsung! I was completely knocked out!

I think, I'm a hopeless wife/mother when it comes to bulan puasa. Selalunya, emak2 yang akan bangun dulu for sahur kan? She'd go to the kitchen, jerang air, panaskan makanan or prepare the meals, and then kejutkan suami and anak2 untuk makan sahur. But in my household, I'm usually the last one to go downstairs for sahur. The maid will prepare everything, and then she'll wake us all up (alah.. bukan prepare apa sangat pun, keluarkan the boxes of cereals je and glasses of water...)

And I yang paling susah nak bangun. Why? Because I hate to be disturbed in my sleep. And I cannot really eat anything that early. Dulu masa kecik2, my mother would force me to sit down at the dining table and eat nasi for sahur. Now, husband and kids eat oatmeal/cereals for sahur (I guess, it's tradition). Yeah, it's healthier but I can't take it. My tekak rasa kembang semacam whenever I eat oatmeal in the morning. So, I'd just go for a slice of bread or kurma. Enough.

But my "bangun sahur" ni usually lasted for a week only, at most, in the beginning of Ramadhan. After that, I can't be bothered anymore. I'd continue sleeping and just woke up for a glass of water/kurma (if I ever woke up) and then I'd go back to sleep. MrNordin would accompany the kids for sahur every morning (coz they must eat sahur) while I sleep like a log. So, after the first week of puasa, they won't set the table for me anymore for sahur coz they know I won't come down.

Teruk, kan I? Sometimes I feel bad about myself, but cannot help it... Sleep is very important to me. I suppose, kalau I tak ada maid, I would have no choice but to wake up and do what other wives/mothers usually do. Now ada maid, biarlah dia yang buat (kalau my mother tau pasal ni, sure I kena lecture!)

Entahlah, sampai bila nak berubah jadi isteri mithali... Niat tu ada, tapi tak berdaya... I wonder what the kids say about me. "Hopeless Mum!", maybe? :)

But I make up for my lack of presence during sahur in other ways. For berbuka, I'll make it a point to prepare something for the family. That time, I'm more alert. In the morning, I'd send Nadira to school and let MrNordin sleep in (when usually, he'd be the one sending Nadira to school). When he comes home from work, makanan dah terhidang. Dia cuma perlu basuh tangan je & terus makan. Lepas makan pun, he can just wash his hands and go up to rest. I'll do the clean up.

So, I'm not too bad lah...

Today, MrNordin is leaving for JB, coming back on Friday. Petang ni berbuka, makan simple2 je lah, just the 4 of us. And for sahur, err... I'm already planning not to wake up. Boleh?

Monday, September 01, 2008

First Day Puasa

Alhamdullillah... the first day of Ramadhan has passed. Surprisingly, it was not too bad. Usually, I'd get a splitting headache by mid-afternoon (no coffee syndrom), but this time, I was completely ok. I even got to spring clean the guest room, which was strewn with Nizzar's toys, and clean up the bathroom as well! That was unbelieveable! (for a first day of puasa)

Maybe because yesterday, I was confined in bed most of the time because I was really sick. I guess, the Krabi trip, Desaru and office work had really taken a toll on me. I slept the whole afternoon, went to have a massage in the evening, and when I came home, I almost fainted in the bathroom. I quickly stepped out of the bath tub, dried myself up and lied down in bed. And that was only 7 pm. I didn't wake up until sahur. Nasib baik today ok. Boleh puasa.

MrNordin, as usual, tidur sepanjang hari. Every year, on the first day of puasa, dia sure lemah punya (nicotine withdrawal syndrom). And he'd get very cranky whenever anyone wanted to have a conversation with him. So I let him sleep. But in the evening, we all went out to my MIL's house. He seemed ok pulak, tak de lah crabby sangat. He was surprised himself.

So for berbuka today, we had ikan senangin masak lemak kuning, sup tulang rusuk, goreng ikan masin and pecal. Kuih: I made ondeh-ondeh (first time, ok?), my MIL bagi kuih ketayap, and I bought vadai from Pasar Ramadhan. The vadai now cost RM0.40 each. Last year, 3 ~ seringgit; now 3 ~ RM1.20. Mahal nak mampus! Bukannya besar pun, biasa je... Kalau besar macam kat Sri Paandi punya tu, ok jugak lah. (I wonder how much that Sri Paandi's vadai cost now...)

And we also bought that bubur lambuk from Kg. Baru. Tapi tertipu, sebab the one I bought (from this one makcik selling near the masjid) did not taste like the usual bubur lambuk. I think that's HER bubur lambuk, not the one from the masjid. And I thought everyone who sells bubur lambuk kat Kg. Baru sells the one from the masjid. I should have known better!

Anyway, my ondeh-ondeh turned out ok, but the kids said, "Tak de rasa gula.." I said, don't complain. That was my first time making it. Cannot compare with their Wan's (my MIL). Anyway, ondeh-ondeh is not really my favourite kuih. I had an overdose of ondeh-ondeh when I was small coz my mother loved making this kuih. And every time, I kena potong gula melaka tu into small cubes, and I hated that. It turned out, MrNordin pun selalu kena suruh potong gula melaka dulu masa dia kecik2. My MIL memang suka buat kuih ni, and the kids love it. "Wan punya ondeh2 "meletup" dalam mulut!" (as in melt in the mouth)

That's why I tried making it today. But I know lah it will not be as nice as their Wan's... and I've forewarned them. Never mind... kalau I rajin nanti I akan buat lagi. Nak pandai buat kuih ni, kena selalu2 buat. The taste will improve over time. But for me, ikut mood. Kalau tak de mood or tak rajin, sorry lah kids... wait for your Wan's or beli je kat luar!

Ok, I'm going out for nescafe tarik with MrNordin. Tell me about your first day berbuka puasa, ok? Cheers!