Friday, October 31, 2008


If yesterday was a real shitty day, today is a real sad day.

Made, MrNordin's pet bird, died today. Made was a mynah bird who could talk and laugh, and was very clever at imitating people's conversation. It was a birthday gift to MrNordin from his late wife.

Made developed some kind of boil or "bisul" near his left cheek, a result of too much iron in his diet. It started before bulan puasa and the boil grew bigger and bigger until it reached the size of a limau kasturi. Round and hard like that.

I got worried and persuaded MrNordin to bring the bird to the vet. I was afraid the puss would infect other parts of the bird's body, which could be fatal. MrNordin didn't want to bring him to the hospital initially as he was afraid the doctor wouldn't know how to treat a bird and the bird would die. But I insisted coz in my opinion, a vet would know better what to do. But he still refused.

At the same time, I asked a few people who own mynah birds if they knew what to do. They told me to just leave the bird as it is as the boil would heal by itself overtime. It seemed, it is a common disease for mynah birds like Made due to possibly too much iron in his food. So, I relented and we decided not to take him to the vet, hoping it'll cure by itself.

But nearing hari raya, we saw there was no improvement in Made's condition. So MrNordin agreed to bring him to the Animal Hospital for an expert's opinion. The senior doctor there was not really sure what to do at first, but gave us a 2-weeks' supply of antibiotics for Made and told us to bring him back after that for further analysis.

With the antibiotics, the boil got somewhat better. From yellowish in color, it turned blackish and rather dry. But it was still quite large and remained dangling near his left cheek. Made however, seemed normal. He was eating as usual. Sometimes he made some sounds but not as frequent as before.

So on Monday, we took him to the Animal Hospital again. We asked if the doctor could remove the boil. The doctor cautioned that they needed to do some tests first coz they were afraid the boil could be connected to other parts of its body, and if that was the case, a surgery was not advisable. We allowed him to do the tests and the results proved positive. It was just external.

So yesterday, Made had the operation. It was a minor surgery. MrNordin called me from JB at 4pm yesterday and told me that the doctor said the operation was successful. Made had just recovered from the anaesthetic and was resting. MrNordin sounded happy. But doctor advised that Made should be left at the hospital for a couple more days for observation. That's fine.

Today, at 2.20 pm, I received a call from the Animal Hospital. The doctor informed me that Made has gotten weak. He was ok in the morning, but as he made the call, the bird could not stand on its two feet anymore. I was shocked. I asked him, "Is he gonna die?" He said, "Possibly."

Oh my God! What am I going to do? This can't happen, Made cannot die! My husband will be so heart broken! That's his favourite bird!!!! I was at GE Mall with my friends at that time. So I told my friends to get in the car quickly coz there was an emergency. My bird was dying!

I drove very fast and when I reached the hospital, I asked to see Made. The doctor on duty gave me a nod and went inside. I waited for a while at the reception but no one invited me in to the boarding area. Then I saw someone bringing a small brown box, the size of Made. I screamed at the nurse, "WHERE'S MY BIRD? IS HE DEAD??" The girl looked at me and when I saw her face, I knew the answer already. "I'm sorry...", she said.

I burst into tears! I went there hoping that I could still see him alive but I was too late. Made has died. Poor thing... I sat down and cried and cried and cried. At the back of my mind, I was thinking how am I going to break the news to my husband? He's gonna be shattered!

To cut the story short, I took Made's dead body home. At home, we were contemplating when was the best time to tell MrNordin. We decided to tell him when he got home tonight.

He just got back and I've told him about it. He was pretty calm tho' I know deep inside, he regretted sending Made to the hospital. I showed him Made's body which we kept in the fridge. He took one look and told us to take it away. I said I'm sorry and I feel so guilty for pushing him to send the bird to the hospital. He said, that's alright.

Tomorrow morning, we'll hold the 'upacara pengkebumian' for Made. We'll bury him in the garden where we buried many of our loved pets which had passed on.

Goodbye Made, you shall be dearly missed by all of us...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lepas Geram!

Today is a real shitty day.

First thing in the morning, Nadim called me up and said he doesn't want to go to school today. I told him to go, no choice coz I don't like him to ponteng sekolah. Then later, he called me again and said Pakcik Mat cannot get him in time coz they're still not back from Shah Alam. I looked at my watch and it showed 11.30am. So I called my MIL.

You see, my MIL, FIL and another aunty went to Shah Alam this morning to send Nabila back to her college. They went with Pakcik Mat in our Naza. I couldn't send her coz I'm at work and when MrNordin is not around, my parents in law would volunteer to send her off. I've no qualm about that. Infact, I'm thankful to them for wanting to send her back.

But they went at 9am this morning and by 11.30am, they should have come back already. But when I spoke to my MIL, she said they were still not anywhere near and had asked my BIL, Nas, to send the kids to school. Upon hearing this, I knew Nadim will not go to school today because my BIL doesn't give a hoot about his kids going to school or not. His kids memang dah siang2 kata tak nak pegi sekolah, why should he go and send Nadim alone, right? So, Nadim pun tak pegi sekolah lah hari ni (much to his delight!).

As for me, I was mad lah of course. Firstly, Nadim couldn't go to school. Secondly, other people "dissappeared" with my car, entah mana pegi sampai lambat balik. I was trembling with anger and so, I wrote to MrNordin to vent out my frustrations.

From: MrsNordin
Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2008 12:25 PM
To: MrNordin
Subject: Lepas Geram!

B, today Nadim tak pegi sekolah sebab Pakcik Mat tak sempat balik from sending Nabila. I don’t know why it’s taking so long for them to return home from UiTM when they had left at 9am tadi. I called mak, she said Nas will send the kids to school. But Nas is busy, so he cannot send them. As a result, all 3 (Nadim, Nabil, Jimbo) tak pegi sekolah! (of course, Nabil & Jimbo memang tak nak pegi sekolah)

I’m so MAD becoz last night, I had told Nadim to go to school eventho’ he had said he wanted to ponteng today. Reason being: if at home, he’ll do nothing but play PS2 and I don’t want that. Furthermore, he still has another exam tomorrow ~ Pendidikan Jasmani. It may not seem like a big paper, but the point is, I don’t want him to skip school. Period.

But today, due to unavoidable circumstances, that boy is not going to school. And I’m fuming mad here coz I’ve lost my case. But when I spoke to him just now, I told him not to play the PS2. And I made him promise he will do as I said. Otherwise, he’s so not going to his class party!!

Could you check on him after this and tell him the same? I hate it when budak2 tak pegi sekolah. Duduk rumah pun bukan ada buat apa. Kalau ada tolong tengokkan Nizzar ke, or play with him ke, or kemas rumah ke, tak apa jugak. Ini duduk memerap dalam bilik or TV room with no care about what’s happening to the rest of the world!! Arghhhhhh!! Help!!

Sorry, had to vent this out coz I’m so angry. Analyse this, pls. Who am I angry with? With Nadim (for not going to school?), Mak (for balik lambat from hantar Nabila and using our car for other purposes?), Nas (for malas nak menghantar budak2 ke sekolah?), or myself (for making such a big deal out of it?)

I desperately need a cigarette NOW!

His reply:

From: MrNordin
Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2008 12:35 PM
To: MrsNordin
Subject: RE: Lepas Geram!

Take it easy B, I am sure there is an explanation for the delay. Anyway I was made to understand that they were using their car (Waja) to drive Nabila not ours. Bang Mat left our Naza at Mak’s house and took the Waja instead reason being, Mak finds it difficult getting and out of the Nazar. Anyway I will check on this.

About Nadim, I will call him and find out more on his "programme" today since he has somewhat "prevented" from going to school today.

Don’t get yourself all stress up B, take it easy and go and have a ziggie. Things will fall into places in due time. Will call you later when you have somewhat cool down and more relax ok.

Warm regards,
Nordin J

From: MrsNordin
To: MrNordin
Sent: 30 Oct 2008 12:49
Subject: RE: Lepas Geram!

This is why I love you so…

I broke into tears reading your reply coz you know my weakness and you read me well. Only you can do that and I’m so glad you gave me an immediate reply.

Your reply has somewhat diffused my anger. After reading it, I felt that it’s unfair of me to throw such accusations like that. Nadim not going to school is not such a big deal after all. Why did I get so uptight over it just now? I don’t know....

Don’t bother investigating more whether they took the Waja or Naza. It doesn’t matter anymore. But I’d appreciate it if you could just call Nadim later and find out what he’s doing. The rest – let’s just drop it, ok?

I will go and have my cigarette later. I just wish you were here..

Thanks, B.

From: MrNordin
Sent: 30 Oct 2008 1: 30pm
To: MrsNordin

That's why we make an excellent couple bcos we read each other ups and downs pretty well. Don't blame yourself on the going ons today, its one of those days where you need to vent out your anger and it cld hv been other things.

Me not being there may hv something to do with it too and I feel the same here sometimes when I am not with you and the kids, I think the feeling of missing the loved ones can trigger the frustration and anger.

As for our dear Nadim, I spoke to him and he told me that he has promised you not to play PS2 today. I feel he is genuine and he knows that you are serious abt it. I told him to play and entertain Nizzar and he said he will but I don't know how long that will last - you know how the 'little pengganas' is when he is on full swing.

I will call you later and hang it there B, love ya..... and miss you lots !

From: MrsNordin
Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2008 2:58 PM
To: MrNordin
Subject: RE: Lepas Geram!

I love you too.

Anyway, Nadira is at mak's house now. She sms me just now. She said mak, abah, auntie and pakcik mat fetched her from school. I asked her in which car? She said the Naza and they came straight from Shah Alam.

Well b, next time we should know better, ok?

p/s Btw, they went to Kompleks PKNS beli baju & kain. Nabila took them. That explains it.

From: MrNordin
Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2008 3:11 PM
To: MrsNordin
Subject: RE: Lepas Geram!

Ok, we just leave it at that. I gave Bang Mat RM50 yesterday for petrol money regardless which car he drives Nabila back to UITM. I am sure Mak will call me and tell me the whole story.

Warm regards,
Nordin J

From: MrsNordin
Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2008 3:30 PM
To: MrNordin
Subject: RE: Lepas Geram!

Ok, I'm sure she will.

B... I miss you so much!! You know why I feel this way? I think becoz you're not around and they're not telling me what they were up to. And I feel sidelined. I think, they should at least inform me why they were late.

I don't care if they want to shop the whole day pun, but at least let me know coz when you're not around, I feel I'm in charged and I should be informed. But no, mak will only tell you and not me. And why is that? I'm not important??

Oh well.. I could very well pick up the phone and call mak now and ask her what happened. But malas lah... I shall just leave it at that. Anyway, the girls had told me the real story, so I know already.

B, just bear with my ranting, ok? It's a healing process. I don't know why for some reasons, I'm hyper-sensitive today. I've nothing against mak and you know that. I hope you wouldn't think bad of me for writing all this.

How I wish you're here.... you will keep me stable.

Btw, a juvenile from a nearby primary school 'dropped' a stone on my car's windscreen (from the flyover dekat Bismillah tu) as I was driving out for lunch. It caused a big crack. I managed to catch the boy by the roadside and gave him a piece of my mind. I told him the police will come and get him from his house later today. He was scared shit! Hee.. hee... To change the windscreen will probably cost me another RM1,000+..... sigh... apa lah malang nasib hari ni...

Then he called me and I broke down in tears...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Girls Day Out - Part 2

So, Mdm Tai Tai came home for a short while last week. She was on holiday in Singapore. I didn't get to see much of her this time except for the outing we had last Wednesday with 3 other friends. Sigh... what to do.... time was not on our side. But when I saw her this time, it felt as if I just met her a week before. As if she never left at all. That familiar.

As usual, she brought gifts for us. She gave me a beautiful black necklace and Superwoman got a lovely string of pearls. Mdm, next time you should stop buying for us. You just made us feel bad about ourselves!

Breakfast, or rather brunch, was held at one of the Cafes at The Curve. I can't remember the name but it's opposite Italiannies. Sharinaz brought along her daughter, Yasmeen, who's turning 3 in November. My God, the girl is so well-behaved! We were there from 10am until 1pm (a good 3 hours!) but the little girl just sat there silently beside her mother. No whining, no crying, no attention grabbing tactic. I was amazed at how easy it was for my friend Sharinaz to have a good conversation with us despite having a toddler in tow. Kalau si Nizzar, I don't think I could even finish my coffee!

As I sat there watching the little girl, how I wish Nizzar would be more like her so I could bring him along whenever I meet up with my friends. Unfortunately, that will not happen for now lah, kan? My other friends said, a child's behaviour depends a lot on the parents' behaviour. Really? Well, in some ways, maybe they are right.

My friend Sharinaz is the most gentle person I've ever met. She is so soft spoken and ever so lembut. I've never heard her raised her voice or screamed at anyone before. I always envy her for her finesse and always wished I could speak as gently as she does. But that's just my wishful thinking. Although we were born on the same day (23rd July 1968), our characters are different. She's soft spoken, I'm loud. She's gentle, I'm rough. She laughs sheepishly, I laugh out loud. The only thing that's similar is, our husbands used to and are working in the same organization now! Who would have thought of that, huh?

So, I'm not surprised if her daughter is so well-behaved. Like what my stepchildren used to say, "Alah... you dulu masa pregnant, mana lalu diam, Aunty Yati...." Well, point taken.

Although we didn't get to do much this time, it was always nice to see Mdm Tai Tai. I don't know when we'll meet again, but hopefully, not too long. Thanks for a wonderful time, dear friends. Until we meet again, take care.

MrsN, Mdm TT, Superwoman, Jojie, Sharinaz, little Yasmeen

The roti ikan bilis

The adorable and well-behaved Yasmeen

Mdm TT and Superwoman striking a pose

Jojie & Sharinaz


The empty plates

Me & Jojie

Raya With The CEO

It's been a week since I last blogged. Been busy... busy... busy...! I thought of updating something over the long weekend, but with the little boy hovering around me all the time, I just couldn't find the time.

Two main events happened last week. One was our hari raya open house at the office, and two was meeting up with Mdm Tai Tai.

I guess by know you should know where I work already, so there's no need to hide. Just don't let my boss know what I've been doing behind my PC when work is not loaded. Hee.. hee.. I don't want to lose my job!

Beginning last year, it has been our company’s practice to do raya open house, department by department. So, for the past two weeks, we’ve had at least one open house each day and that means free lunch.

Personally, I think it’s a waste of money. The company could very well organize one big open house for everyone instead of having more than 10 over two weeks. The invitees are the same, makanan pun almost the same, cuma the concept maybe different. Hence, every time we go to the different department’s open house, we are bound to meet the same people, floor by floor.

This year, our raya concept is Ghazal Spa. What?? Well, it’s Balinese concept with Ghazal playing in the background. Kinda weird, isn’t it? But it’s our CEO’s request, so buat je lah. My office is sharing the same floor as the CEO’s office, so every raya, our open house will be the most attended.

It was quite fun this year, very meriah. There were lots of food and lots of people. The Ghazal made it more happening. At first, the CEO’s secretary wanted to invite Jamal Abdillah to sing with the ghazal (oh my! I’d surely die!), but since it was a very last minute decision, Aziz Bakar said, he could not make it. If not, memang I akan pengsan kat situ! I’m a very big fan! Elok pun dia tak datang..

We also had 4 masseurs from Samsara Spa attending to those who wanted a shoulder rub. Mana nak dapat free massage at people's open house, kan? Only at Celcom (so, port at Celcom people, come on!) There were also lucky draw prizes which include free holiday for two and RM500 cash voucher. I, of course, did not win anything.

Here are some photos from our raya open house. So, nak datang tak next year?

The main entrance

The ladies in waiting

Sila masuk! Sila masuk!

The view from my window

Lord of the Lemang took centre stage

The food spread I

The food spread II

Our contribution ~ pasta salad

The Ghazal members

No, they were not dancing. Just posing.

The cool dudes

Our MC. On the left is my boss. Tall guy.

The masseurs

The penyambut tetamu yang ayu dan kacak

Me & girlfriends from office

Me and the CEO

Monday, October 20, 2008

How do you keep a toddler entertained?

Every Saturday & Sunday, my days would be filled with looking after Nizzar. I cannot do anything else but to keep an eye on that little boy. Last weekend was no exception. From the moment he woke up, all he wanted was “Mummy! Mummy! Mummy!”

So, while other people could do their own things like watching TV, read books or just do nothing, I couldn’t even sit down for 5 minutes to rest. That little boy always had something to touch, pull or destroy, much to my annoyance especially when I see other people in the house relaxing and did not offer any help. It's so unfair!

That little boy has picked up a new activity last weekend ie. Facial for Mummy. He would instruct me to lie down ~ “Baring, Mummy… baring!” ~ and then we would take a face towel and place it on my chest (but not before he “kibas” the towel first, like how the Indian barbers did when they cut his hair).

Next, he would pull out a facial tissue and place it on my face. Using his little fingers, he would slowly press the tissue. Then, he would take entah apalah that came in handy (at one time, it was a water flask), and made a circular motion on my face with seriousness showing on his face. When I asked him, “Dah?”, he’d quickly retorted, “Jap… Jap…!” (as in “kejap, kejap!”) and he’d take something else to continue the ritual.

Hee.. hee…. Macam tu lah sampai 4, 5 round. Lastly, he would take a comb and comb my hair, and with his small hand, he would lift the back of my head, and push me up in a gesture that the facial has ended. And he’d finish it with a sweet, “Thanks, Mummy!” and smile.

Ahhhhh… he’s so cute…!!

Weekend Update

I had a nice weekend. Husband came home earlier than expected on Saturday morning. I was very happy to see him!

Saturday was spent relaxing at home mostly. MrNordin cooked cantonese noodles for lunch. I was busy running after Nizzar the whole day.

At night, we went out dating. Makan nasi lemak bungkus at Kelab Sultan Sulaiman. Hee.. hee...! Then coffee at Starbucks. Stayed there for a while to chat. Then we went for a drive, and chat some more. Husband didn't want to go home yet...

Sunday morning was spent as my MIL's house for breakfast. We brought some nasi dagang & nasi lemak. I baked a cake that morning. MIL complimented my effort tho' she said, I could do with less flour to avoid the cake from breaking at the top. Fine. I shall take note of that.

Went home at 2pm, and MrNordin started cooking. We had guests at 4pm. Guests stayed until 7pm.

Later at night, MrNordin & I went out to a friend's house for raya. We were treated to a very nice meehoon goreng tomyam ("...because you like meehoon!", she said), served on her finest Noritake dinner set. Yummy!

Funny how these days, I get a lot of offers from people who want to serve meehoon goreng whenever I say I want to come visiting... My friend's meehoon goreng made me realised how inferior my meehoon goreng was ~ mine was soooooo simple!

I asked her for the recipe, which she gladly gave, and I shall attempt it to impress my next guests. Thanks for having us last night, Dada. You are such a wonderful host!

Came home dead tired. Changed and straight away hit the pillows. And it was still drizzling outside...

Friday, October 17, 2008

On Nadim

Last Tuesday was Nadim's birthday. He turned 14. Only 14? I always thought he's older than that.

Nadim doesn't like me to talk about him in this blog. And, "No pictures, please!", he warned. Well... this is my blog, right... and I can do whatever I like. So, if you don't like it, Nadim, tough luck!

When I first met him, way back in 2001, he was this cute little boy aged 7 years old. Very fair and chubby. Wherever he went, people would say how cute he was and pinched his cheeks. They'd complimented him by saying, "Nanti bila dah besar, sure handsome ni!", and without fail, his cheeks would turn red.

He was very manja with his father. Apa nak, semua dapat. He was the only boy in the family and his Baba doted on him like nobody's business, much to the annoyance of his two elder sisters. Because of that, the girls liked to bully him.

For his first birthday (I mean, my first time celebrating his birthday), I gave him a red baseball cap with his name on it. He wore it very often sampai kepala dia dah tak muat pakai cap tu.

He was the first one who called me Mummy after I married his Baba. He asked me, "What shall I call you after this?" I just said, "Mummy?". And he said ok, just like that. He was so sweet.

Sometimes I feel sorry for him because he lost his mum at such a young age ~ 7 years old. And I couldn't give him the same affection and love that he craved for from a mother because I didn't know how to.

Now that he's a teenager, his character has somewhat changed. He can be temperamental sometimes, and degil (kalau sehari tak jerit kat dia, tak sah!), but overall, he's the one that has given me the least headache.

He also has the least needs. He's quite happy with a Korean meal for his birthday. Doesn't need a new handbag, a new pair of shoes, or a new baju every month. His money is mostly spent on PS2 games. Food wise ~ give him rice and chicken, he'll be very happy. Paling suka beef. Other than that, he'll eat very little.

Anyway Nadim, if you're reading this, here's wishing you a happy 14th birthday. Wish I could have been a better mother to you but you've done well on your own and I'm happy for that. I love you, and hope you'll grow up to become a fine young man with many girls wanting to make you their boyfriend! (but you be nice to them, ok?)

Nadim throughout the years...

Posing atas bukit at Clearwater Sanctuary, Batu Gajah (2004)

His 10th birthday, with my nephew (Hafiz), in Ipoh (2004)

With friends on his 10th birthday party (2004)

Clowning around with Nadira (Bandung, 2006)

Majlis Berkhatan at home, with his cousin (Nabil) - 2005

Lepas berkhatan, with his proud father (2005)

With Nizzar, as we got home from the hospital (2006)

With Nizzar again

First day masuk sekolah menengah (2007)

His 13th birthday (Raya 2007)

That's him now (July, 2007)

Is it just my imagination? (Update)

I spoke to husband last night. He called. Many times. I was on the phone with Nabila. When I asked him what was the matter, he said he missed us. The work sucks. The travelling is taking a toll on him. He's thinking of changing job.

Funny how I was thinking the exact same thing on my way home yesterday. That he should get another job which is based in KL permanently. The travelling is ridiculous. Every week, at odd hours. I worry for his safety and health.

Talking to him like that made me realised that I missed him so much. He sounded very down and vulnerable. Poor husband... I told him what I wrote in my blog (which he hasn't read yet), and that I hoped he won't be angry once he reads the contents. He said he understands.

I guess we still have it, the sixth sense. That's why the phone call.

So, the dream was just my imagination, then... phew!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Adegan Sebelum Tidur

MrNordin left for JB at 11pm last night. While tossing and turning in bed, I managed to record the little boy's antics, who was having trouble sleeping. Don't you think he's clever?

Part 1 - The Alphabets

Part 2 - The Body Parts

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Kugiran Nizzar

I have a musically-inclined family. Last Sunday, after a satisfying meal of lontong and sambal tumis ikan bilis, we decided to make some music together.

Here's sharing the video with you all. Watch the little boy closely. He's the band leader.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dinner with the In Laws (Update)

The dinner went well. For the first time, I slogged in the kitchen from morning til evening to cook the meal since my husband came home very late. Hentam je lah. Nasi tomato, ayam bali, dalcha, shepherd's pie.

Whenever I cook at home, MrNordin would do the final tasting or the quality control, so to speak. This is because, his taste bud is so much better than mine. I'd cook the pot, he'd taste it and make the final adjustments. Tambah brown sugar lah, cili api lah, this and that, in the end, baru kena rasanya.

This is what happened yesterday. He came home at 7pm, I forced him to masuk dapur and asked him to rasa all the dishes I made. Then he made the adjustments. Barulah ayam bali I & dalcha ada kick! My FIL said, "Kalau macam nilah Din, engkau memang boleh bukak restaurant!" Hee.. hee...

Tapi sorry, gambar tak sempat ambik because I was busy entertaining the guests. My MIL didn't complain much, so I guess it was alright. She brought me some kuih tart.

Here are some pictures during the cake cutting. I got the birthday boy a durian cake. It was a hit!


Durian! Durian! cake

Birthday boy blowing the candles

Nizzar sibuk nak blow candles juga

MIL with her cucus and menantus

Everyone in MrNordin's family

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dinner with the In Laws

I'm cooking for my in-laws tonite. We've invited them over to celebrate my FIL's birthday. I'm still not sure what to cook. MrNordin is out since 7 o'clock this morning ~ ada Board meeting at 9am, katanya. On a Saturday?! Crazy!

My MIL is a fussy eater. She doesn't eat chicken, doesn't take anything with cuka, and she's a damn good cook. Becoz of that, I'm terribly worried. Last night when MrNordin spoke to her, I could hear her asking, "What's cooking?" Orang ajak datang rumah, tak payah lah tanya apa yang nak dihidangkan, betul tak? No... she'd ask and make sure everyone's favourite dish is catered for. I diam je.

I'm thinking nasi tomato, and ayam masak merah. But MrNordin tak berapa suka ayam masak merah agaknya, that's why he asked me to buat ayam goreng saja (Ayam goreng? So tak challenging!). Perhaps I'll try Ms Hart's ayam bali, since ramai orang dah try her recipe and they said it's good. Plus it looks quite easy. I think I'll do that.

Then I'm gonna make dalcha to go with the nasi tomato. MrNordin will cook the daging when he gets home (I tak pandai masak daging). For extra, I'm gonna make some shepherd's pie. Then beli kek, siap. Oh yes, my maid is busy cleaning the house coz my MIL likes to do spot check.

I'd better go to the supermarket now. Wish me luck, people!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

My new found friends

I met up with Busymum and her friend Norita for lunch just now (refer to here if you don’t know who they are).

It was nice to finally meet them. Me and Busymum have been planning to meet since months ago but due to her busy schedule, it was postponed many times. It so happened that both of them were free today, so Busymum arranged for us to meet at Madam Kwan’s. She arrived first; Norita arrived only after I finished my food.

To tell you the truth, I was very nervous about this meeting for two reasons: 1) that was my first time meeting a fellow blogger whom I’ve never met before; and 2) they were old friends of MrsN#1. I asked Superwoman to come along, but she had another lunch appointment to go to. What the heck… I’ll go alone then. Anyway, Superwoman advised me to stop referring to them as MrsN#1 friends, instead think of them as my new found friends. With that in mind, I felt much better and ready to face the music.

As I was driving to KLCC, Busymum texted me saying that she has arrived. When I arrived, I saw her sitting down with her back facing me and I noticed her tudung. Slowly, I went up to her and tapped her on the shoulder. She looked up; and when I saw the wide smile on her face, I knew I’ll be alright in this woman’s company.

Busymum is a lovely lady, full of zest. She likes curry laksa, and told me she’d finish a whole bowl of cendol at one go when she saw me taking my time finishing mine. We talked about her daughter’s experience in getting a scholarship to read Medicine, her travels and her family. Now I know that to do Medic, you need at least RM500k to complete the course. Wah lau… mana nak cari duit?

Then the second madam arrived. She’s another perky lady who speaks in an alternate slang of Kelantanese and Bahasa Malaysia to suit the person she was talking to. When she spoke to me, she used the normal Bahasa Malaysia but when she spoke to Busymum, she switched to the Kelantanese dialect. And they’d be laughing away reminiscing their good old days at school. She also brought along some photos of them with MrsN#1. That’s very thoughtful of her.

As we probed further on each other’s background, I found out that her husband comes from my kampong ~ orang Parit! And they know my parents’ friend, Cikgu Ros! What a small world! Her husband would probably know my mother as well, but this, she has to confirm with her husband. Norita also used to work in the same organization as me, but I've never bumped into her before this (different department lah).

And Busymum, she used to stay in Ipoh at one point of time, at the same taman perumahan where my parents are currently staying! Oh wow… I couldn’t believe the coincidences! Does this normally happen when strangers meet? I doubt so. But in our case, it did.

I'm sure there are other coincidences that would have been discovered but I couldn't stay longer to chat. As I took my leave, Busymum presented me with a package, "For the girls.. ", she said. That's very sweet of her. I promised to invite them over to the house one of these days. I hope we'll stay in touch and continue to remain friends.

So today, I made two new friends. I hope there'll be more to come. Thanks Busymum and Norita... it was lovely meeting you two!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Children's Education

I read a friend's posting this morning about her children's schooling. Currently, all her children go to a private school in Ukay Heights. Now she's thinking of taking out the eldest one and put her in a normal govt school so she could mix around and possibly earn a scholarship after Form 5.

Sigh... children and education... why is it such a headache these days?

I used to take it for granted that if you did well in school, you'll automatically get a scholarship from JPA and will be sent overseas to pursue a degree of your choice. This was the situation when I was schooling last time... some 20 years ago. Unfortunately, times have changed. One can no longer get a scholarship easily coz students have gotten smarter and study places have become limited. So, one has to compete and the competition is really tough, I tell you.

I have 3 children at home who are currently at various stages of education. One is in her first year of univ, one in Form 5 and another one in Form 2. These three children started schooling in a private school at first because their parents believed in giving them the "best" in education. Fair enough... if you can afford it, why not, right? So, the eldest was there until she was in Form 1 while the other two were there up to Std 5 and 2, respectively.

But when their mother passed away, MrNordin decided to take them out and put them in a govt school because: 1) the fees were getting too expensive, 2) the teaching quality in the private school was deteriorating, and 3) the students' exam performance was declining. Their friends were also showing some disciplinary problems; hence the best way was to take them out.

I was there when the children started their first few days in the new school (we were still not married at that time). The second one protested and refused to go to school, while the first one stayed on for another year in her old school because she couldn't get into the same school as her younger sister and brother. They didn't like it at first but after a while, things picked up and they began to like their new school.

The thing with govt school is that the student herself has to take her own initiatives to learn and grab every opportunity there is to excel. There are a lot more things offered by a govt school compared to a private school (depending on which school that is), but one must know how to get involved. Bottomline is this: if your child is good, you can put them anywhere and they'd still do well. It's not the school, it's their own effort that counts.

One thing good about govt schools is the children get to mix with a wide range of students from different racial background. And the atmosphere is different. I noticed when these children were at the old school, their characters were different.. their friends were different. They didn't know how to mix around and their only friends were the ones who were at par with them (if you know what I mean). They can also be snobbish and rude sometimes, and tend to mix with the same group of people only, which in my opinion, is not healthy.

Thankfully, the few years spent at the govt schools have changed them a lot. They learned to make new friends and have tried their hands at a lot of activities offered by the school. My second one is very active in co-curricular activities; the boy is also showing much enthusiasm in his photography and silat club, albeit seasonal.

When we asked them if they'd go back to their old school, they'd say, "NO!!!" They told me they don't think they'd achieve what they have achieved today had they stayed on at the old school. Their friends pun dah jadi entah apa2 back there, with some having serious behaviour problems. At least MrNordin can take comfort in the fact he has made the right decision by taking them out earlier on.

Having said that, I've nothing against parents sending their children to private schools. Like I said earlier, you want the best for your children. If you can afford to send them to private schools, which have a smaller no of students in each class (20 vs 50?) and the teachers can give more attention to the students, why not. At the end of the day, it's your children. So you decide what's best for them. As for Nizzar, I think I'll send him to St John's for Std 1. Ok tak?

Meanwhile, my eldest daughter is adjusting to her new college life. If we could afford it, I would very much like to send her overseas. Unfortunately, we can't. With her results (5As), it was quite hard for us to push for a scholarship at that time. Further, our combined salaries wouldn't qualify her for a scholarship either. So, she had to settle for a local U. Quite sayang actually... but what to do. Itulah, I told her last time, if you want to go overseas, you have to study hard and make the grades (10 As, at least), then we can try and push for it. But no... dia releks saja. Now, susahlah sikit. Anyway, a local U is equally good, if only she knew how to make the best of her time there.

Now, we're banking on the second one to make it overseas. That girl has got potential. She has been a consistent straight A student from Day 1 and is quite active in co-curricular activities as well. If she's sitting for the JPA scholarship interview today, I know she'll get it, only if they don't check her parents' salary slips. Tak de lah banyak sangat, but more than JPA's requirement of RM1,500 and below (for direct award). How to qualify?

So now, I'm having sleepless nights trying to figure out how best to send her overseas. Her SPM trial results are out this week and when I asked her last night, she just gave me that big smile, indicating that it's better than her expectations. I know she'll get through her SPM with flying colours and that is why I so much want her to go overseas (although she has applied for local matrics quietly). She wants to do Medicine or Bio-Technology. Can anyone help me?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Back at Work

I’m having my second cup of Nescafe while staring at the PC, feeling bored and sleepy. Why is it that when I was fasting, tak ada pun rasa mengantuk? I could work straight through lunch and continued working until it was time to go home at 4.30 pm. Never did I complain of sleepiness or hunger; I was very ok.

But today, my first day at work after the long break, I felt hungry at 11 am when I’ve already had breakfast of roti canai and kari ikan at 8am with MrNordin. I couldn’t wait for lunch break at 1.00 pm, and so I went down to have my lunch at the cafeteria at 12.30. I had nasi with ikan kembung goreng, sayur kobis masak lemak putih and telur masin, washed down with a glass of teh ‘O’ panas.

For desserts, it was a bar of chocolate and a packet of sweets (I know... it's bad...). Yet, I’m still craving for food right now. No, I’m not pregnant. I’m just bored.

MrNordin is going to JB tonight, coming back on Thursday. So tonight, Nizzar and I will have the bed all to ourselves. Yahoo!! (sorry yang, it’s just the extra space meant a lot to me these days...) That boy tidur lasak. Sekejap kepala ke sini, sekejap kepala ke sana, habis semua kena tendang terajang.

Now, his favourite position is right at the bottom of our bed, between mine and MrNordin’s legs. At that spot, he’d sleep peacefully until morning. Otherwise, he’d be tossing and turning all night long.

In his cot? Sekejap je dia boleh tahan. The moment we’re dozing off, kepala dia akan tercongok keluar and he’d shouted, “Mummy, nak peluk!” Kalau nasib tak baik, tengah “project” dia akan bangun! Hee… hee… nasiblah Labu…!

Nizzar and his Baba ~ before they went to sleep

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Post-Raya Posting

Hi again! It’s the 6th day of raya already. My God… how time flies! I only managed to check my blog today. Read all your comments on my previous posting. All I can say is “Thank you” for your kind words and encouragement. This year’s raya is not that bad after all, you know… :)

I see there are several new readers making their appearances on my comment box. Thank you. I’m glad to know that you enjoy my stories.

Now, back to my cerita raya.

After I wrote that last piece and read some of your comments, I was telling myself, “There’s nothing much that I can do about this balik kampong for raya…so, why don’t I make the best of what I have?” With that in mind, I decided to just enjoy every minute of it and don’t complain too much. And that’s what I did. And you know what? It felt so much better than the previous rayas.

As usual, malam raya was spent at my MIL’s place. I stayed until late and waited until my MIL siap masak ketupat when usually, I would balik rumah dulu sebab tak larat nak tunggu dia (pukul 10 malam baru nak masukkan beras dalam ketupat, siapa larat tunggu?!) But this year, I persevered. Thankfully, my MIL also started early on her ketupat. So everyone went home happily just after midnight.

Back at home, MrNordin stayed up to cook his rendang ayam. I slept, but woke up early on raya morning to cook my ayam masak merah. Both turned out well (last year, I tak masak apa pun). Went to my MIL’s house after sembahyang raya, we spent the whole morning eating and ambil gambar.

In the afternoon, pegi ziarah kubur ~ MrNordin’s late wife, late MIL and late FIL. MrsN #1 is buried next to her father in Jln Ampang while her mother is laid to rest in Bukit Kiara. She passed away last year (a very nice lady), so this year, we have one more kubur to ziarah. After kubur, usually we would visit MrsN #1’s sister’s family, but this year, she’s celebrating it with her daughter in Melbourne. So, there’s one less house to visit this year.

We spent the rest of the afternoon at my MIL’s house again before saying goodbye at 5pm. Balik rumah, pack barang, dropped Seri at her auntie’s house, and we left for Ipoh at 7pm. Reached my mum’s house at 10pm. It wasn’t too bad. My parents were happy to see us. We went out again for McDonald’s that night because my mum’s kitchen has run out of food. Finally slept at close to midnight. Really tiring…

The next day, we went back to my kampong in Parit. This was my maternal grandparents’ house (both have passed away, unfortunately). My mum’s youngest sister lives in that house now. All my uncles and aunties came back this raya, so it was nice to see all of them again.

I'm sure some of you are wondering how are my stepchildren's reactions towards this balik kampong business. Well, all I can say is they are taking it very well. This raya, especially, they are such sweethearts. Usually, one or two would show their long faces whenever we all balik kampong but surprisingly this year, they are very accommodating. I didn't hear any complaint or silent protest.

And this year too, they didn’t seemed awkward sitting there in the living room of my opah’s house, surrounded by my uncles, aunties and many cousins. They seemed relaxed and I was so happy to see them behaving that way. We are talking about these 3 city kids sitting there in a rumah kampong, ok? They stood out in the crowd like a sore thumb! Seumur hidup diaorang, tak pernah masuk kampong – all their aunties and uncles duduk rumah batu in the cities ~ but their stepmum here grew up in a rumah kampong. What to do… kena belajar lah tentang penghidupan orang lain.

Was I nervous? Honestly, I was a bit apprehensive the first time I brought them home to my kampong (this was in 2005) ~ afraid that they wouldn’t know how to behave and they would look down on my relatives. Fact is, these kids have spent all their lives in KL. Their kampung is KL and they’ve never set foot in a real kampong house before this. Who wouldn't be nervous?

But they did me proud the first time around. They seemed uncomfortable at first (of course, that’s understandable), but they didn’t do anything that would embarrass either me or their father. For that, I was very thankful. This time around tho', I had nothing to worry about. They just knew what to do.

Sometimes, these kids surprise me in many ways, when I least expected it. That’s why I kept on saying they are good children…

As for MrNordin, he was as sweet as ever. "Sentiasa menurut perintah" (as he likes to tease me..) I didn't cry that much either when I kissed his hands that raya morning. I told him maybe I tak banyak sangat dosa with you this year. But truth is, the fact that I decided to take things positively this raya do make a lot of difference towards how I feel this raya. No resentment, no heartache, no anger. Just happiness. And I like this feeling..

Here are our raya pictures. Hope you can post yours too. Cheers!

In my MIL's garden

In my MIL's living room, with some of my BIL's children

"Sorry, Baba... I always kicked you out of bed.."

" Selamat Hari Raya from Mr & MrsNordin