Friday, January 30, 2009

Kantoi No. 2

Why do children always think they can fool their parents and get away with it? My eldest daughter seems to find that a hard habit to break. Yes Nabila, if you’re reading this (which I know you will), please bear in mind that I‘m still mad at you.

My eldest daughter has a penchant for going out with her friends whenever she’s at home and she expects us allow her to go even though most of the times, she’d abuse the privilege that we had given her. Whenever she’s back, she’ll have all sorts of plan lined up for her ~ nak tengok wayang dengan Atikah lah, nak keluar dengan Mimi lah, nak pegi dim sum dengan Dhath lah, birthday party lah, ini lah, itulah, macam macam.

Most times, we’d allow her to go but not without a long line of questioning from the father. If he’s satisfied with her answers, we’ll let her go. Fair enough, right? We need to know our children’s whereabouts when they are out of our sight.

This girl has been at home since last Thursday for the long CNY break. Immediately the next day, the texted me at the office and told me she wanted to go for a movie with her friend Atika at KLCC. Ok, fine. I was not very happy with this because the plan was made too soon after she got home, but I allowed her to go anyway because Atikah is her best friend. Nadira tagged along.

She asked me to pick her up after the movie, but I told her to ask her Baba to get her because I was not in the vicinity. So, off they went to KLCC but they didn’t catch the movie becoz it was too late by the time they arrived. They spent the afternoon browsing the shops at KLCC instead from 4.30 – 8.30 pm.

Then on Wednesday, she wanted to go out again. This time, to have dim sum with her friends from the old school at Mandarin Oriental. Four kids aged 19, wanted to have dim sum at a posh Chinese restaurant in Mandarin. That’s the kind of friends my eldest daughter mixes with. Again, her father allowed her to go because he thought, the boy who had asked them out for dim sum tu were going to “belanja’ all of them. Unfortunately, his guess was wrong.

She had asked me for RM50 because she said she tak cukup duit (MrN was already in JB that time). I told her, “Kalau tak ada duit, buat apa pegi tempat mahal2? Even I pun tak pernah pegi dim sum at Mandarin ok, because it’s expensive. You all ni macam bagus2 saja!” But then she said, usually the others would pay more and she only need to pay a small amount of the total bill. Malas nak argue dengan budak ni because this girl has no backbone when it comes to her friends. So, I gave her the money anyhow and let her go.

On Wednesday, this boy Dhath picked her up from home at 1pm to go to Mandarin Oriental. There were 4 of them ~ 3 girls, one boy. At 3.30pm, I texted her asking if she was still outside. She said she was at Ampang Point buying ice-cream at that time, and was wondering if I would allow her to go to her girlfriend’s house pulak. Eh, ini dah lain plan ni! Kata pegi dim sum je, now dah nak pegi rumah kawan pulak. Tapi sebab kesiankan budak ni and I didn't want to spoil her day, I told her ok, but be back before 6pm (but I had a strong suspicion that would not be the case).

True enough, at 6.15pm she texted me saying that she was still stuck at her friend’s house because the gate could not open. I dah mula marah dah. Budak ni, orang suruh balik before 6, why was she still there at 6.15pm? Ding dong ding dong SMS, in the end, they managed to open the gate (so it seemed) and she reached home at 7.15pm. I was not at home at that time coz I had dinner outside. But when I got home later that night, I didn’t speak to her. Neither did she speak to me for I suspected she takut kena marah sebab balik lambat.

So, Friday dah keluar, Wednesday pun dah keluar kan? And both times she busted her time limit which is so uncalled for had the father been around. I was thinking, “That's it lah. She is so not going anywhere again after this until the next time she comes home!” And I thought she knew better than to try and go out again. But how wrong I was!

Yesterday (Thursday), when I was at work, I kept on thinking about her and her various antics to get out of the house. The other two kids, Nadira & Nadim, bila kat rumah, tak de pulak panjang akal nak keluar. Kalau keluar pun, setakat on weekends for 1 or 2 hours makan2 with their friends at KFC or somewhere standard budak2 sekolah. Tak de pulak lah nak pegi birthday party kawan kat “bungalow” in Bangsar ke, or dim sum at some fancy restaurants ke, unlike their eldest sister. Mengalahkan adults! Hello... as long as you still ask for pocket money from your parents, you are still a kid, ok?

Anyway, things were very quiet in the home front yesterday becoz I didn’t receive any call or SMS from the kids. So, I thought I nak balik cepat lah semalam and take the other two kids out because they’ve been staying at home mostly. Nabila tak payah ikutlah because she has had her time out kan?. That was my plan. And so I left office at 4.30pm. Imagine my surprise when I found out that Nabila had gone out again yesterday without my knowledge!

This is how I found out. As I was coming down the elevated highway at about 4.45pm, I saw our Naza passing by. “Eh, the Naza? Dari mana ni?” It was driven by Pakcik Mat, my MIL’s driver, and it was heading towards our house. “Dari mana Pakcik Mat ni? Tak kan hantar Nadim pegi tuition kut because tuition tak ada this week...”

My mind kept on wondering where Pakcik Mat had taken the car as I followed it closely. I was right behind the Naza and I was very sure whoever that was in the car at that time would have seen me. “Takkan Nabila keluar lagi, she didn’t tell me anything…”, I wondered again. Hati I dah berdebar2. I was praying hard that my assumption was incorrect.

Sampai rumah, it was raining heavily. Pakcik Mat dropped off “someone” first at the porch before he reversed again to allow me to park my car. I didn’t know who “that” was but I was so hoping it was someone else other than Nabila. I really had no mood to scream at her yesterday. But when I got out of the car, I saw Nabila ~ clad in her baju kurung, sitting on a chair infront of the door ~ her face as pale as a corpse....

You went out just now? Where did you go?”, I began the line of interrogation.

I went out to Bank Islam for my appointment.”

“What appointment? Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I did tell you! I did tell you last week!”

Last week? I remember vividly she told me about her Bank Islam visit when I picked her up from KL Sentral last Thursday…

Why can’t you remind me? You told me last week and you expect me to remember everything? Why can’t you just tell me before you went out just now?”

I thought since I’d told you last week it was ok for me to go.”

I could feel my face flushed with anger.

What time did you go just now?”

12 o’clock. Then I met my friend and after that I went to Wan’s house for a while.”

Oh, so Wan knew about this outing but you failed to tell me?

Nabila, semalam you dah keluar balik lambat. Baba bising when he found out about that. And today you went out again without EVEN TELLING ME! Who do you think I am?”

She kept quiet.

Whenever Baba is not around, I’m IN-CHARGED, ok? You must tell me WHEREVER YOU GO! Tengok, Tuhan tu nak tunjukkan? I balik cepat and I found out you went out without my knowledge. Had I not come home early, I wouldn’t have known, right?”

I was screaming on top of my voice. I had never been that angry before.

I would have told you..”, she said.

Yeah, after the fact nak buat apa?!” I screamed back at her.

Nabila, you always do this, you know!” Bla, bla, bla… entah apa2lah I membebel lagi semalam.

Pakcik Mat, who was still outside at that time, must have heard the commotion. I didn’t give a damn.

My body was trembling as I walked up the staircase to go to my room. I slammed the bedroom door and locked myself in the bathroom. I’ve never felt so angry before! I dialled my husband’s number and let out my frustrations over that girl’s chronic attitude problem. He told me to calm down.

Actually, I know why she didn’t tell me and I’m sure you all know too. She was afraid I would make a big fuss about her going out again after her over-extended outing the day before. And she also failed to remind me about the Bank Islam appointment because she was afraid that would spoil her chance of going out with her dim sum friends...

So, she “conveniently forgot to tell me” and just told her Wan that she wanted to go to Bank Islam coz she needed to use Pakcik Mat. And that old lady must be thinking, “Bagus nya cucu aku ni….” Had she known that her granddaughter had been gallivanting in town with her friends the day before until after Maghrib, she would’ve straight away called me or Nordin and gave us a proper shelling!

So this girl thought she had been clever and played her cards right. She kept mum about her outing yesterday and made sure she came home early so that I wouldn’t know about it. But little did she know (and neither had I planned for it), that I would be home slightly early yesterday, just in time to watch her step out of the car….

It’s amazing, kan? Now I firmly believe that if there’s anything yang anak2 buat tak betul, memang Tuhan tu akan tunjukkan, especially to us mothers. No doubt I’m not her real mum, but I think the motherly instinct is the same. I was surprised as well. I kept on thinking what was God trying to tell me by letting me see my daughter’s misconduct? Hari tu Nadim kantoi, sekarang Nabila pulak. Will Nadira be caught in the same shoes? I don’t know.

She tried to talk to me last night after I had my shower, but I refused to talk to her becoz I was still very angry. I couldn’t even look at her! Then she left me a note in my bedroom ~ itu pun I malas nak baca becoz I know what she’s going to say: Sorry.. will not do it again…” bla, bla, bla.. The storyline is the same.

Then just now, I received an e-mail from her ~ Can We Talk?, apologizing and explaining her side of the story. She said she admitted she was wrong for not telling me, but truthfully, she said her real reason was, she FORGOT.

Somehow I find that very amusing...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bedtime Stories

Having had a wonderful weekend frolicking with my husband on the heavenly bed at the Westin, I’m still in the mood for love. There are days like this when I’ll be thinking about nothing else but getting him into bed and …dot… dot… dot…. (as in Mamma Mia). Unfortunately, he is not around. He’s in JB this whole week and I miss him like crazy. Valid reasons to fantasize about him, right?

Do you talk about intimate moments with your husband/spouse to other people? Do you share these things with girlfriends? I don’t usually do that, but with a few close friends, yes, I do confess. People say, we should never discuss our bedroom stories with anyone else, but I think it’s ok. There’s nothing disgraceful about it. In the process, we learn new tricks and tips to make us a better lover to our husband/spouse.

Yesterday, I met up with SW for lunch. It's always nice to meet up with her because she's a funny character and a very dear friend. After that, we went ‘lingerie shopping’. Hee… hee… I usually went alone, but this time, I know there’s another friend who’s also into this! We didn’t buy any, but I saw some nice ones which I could potentially buy when money permits.

I like sexy lingerie. I have many. But of late, I’ve stopped using them because we’re sharing the same bed with a 2 year old. I feel funny wearing it when he’s still awake and I think it’s rather rude, too. Like the other night, I was lying in bed in my teddy when he saw me and said, “Eeee…. Mummy tak pakai shluar!!!”

So, these days, I’ll only put it on when he’s fast asleep, but this usually means it’s after midnight when both of us are already too tired for any strenuous activities. Thus, all my pretty lingerie is just hanging in the cupboard, untouched.

To date, I’ve collected more than 20 I think, in various colors. Red & black are my favourites. It all started as gifts from my girlfriends for my wedding. I like weird ones, but my husband seems to like the simple ones although he doesn't mind seeing me in a more outrageous one. He has bought me a few, too, and he's got quite good taste.

One Valentine’s Day, a couple of years ago, I bought a new one to surprise him on Valentine’s night. It was white in color, baby doll style, with white marabou trimmings (bulu-bulu warna putih) around the edges. I thought it was really sexy!

So that night, as he was lying in bed, I turned down the lights and told him to close his eyes...

I’ve a surprise for you...”, I said.

Hmm… what is it?”

Nantilah dulu…”

Then, I slowly crawled onto bed and sat next to him.

Now, open your eyes.”

As he opened his eyes, he looked stunned.

Apa you pakai ni, yang?” , he asked.

Don’t you like it?”

No lah... tapi apa bulu2 ni? Macam bulu Budin!" (my cat). And he broke into a giggle.

Ada ke? Bulu kucing dia kata?

I was so embarrassed but I didn’t want to stop. The show must go on! So, I pinned him down and moved my face closer to him. In the process, the bulu-bulu brushed against his face (and I thought that would surely turn him on). Suddenly I heard....

"AAAH CHOOOO!!”

Dia bersin babe! What a turn off! It was supposed to be part of the seductionlah, honey…. How could you not like it?

Anyway, he asked me to take it off and since that night, I’ve never worn that piece again.

There are a few others which I really like but that white furry one is a classic. Every time I teringat that incident, I’d surely laugh.

Does anyone want to try it? I’m willing to lend it to you for free!



It's not exactly like this, but the trimming is.
(And the model is NOT me!)



Monday, January 19, 2009

Anniversary Weekend

Good morning! Nice and sunny today, huh? I'm having my Nescafe tarik while reading all your posts and updates. The office is still very quiet but I figure it's gonna be pretty hectic afterwards. So might as well update now.

I had a good weekend. It was our wedding anniversary on Saturday, the 5th one. Yes... baru 5 tahun, tapi kadang2 terasa dah 15 tahun! I feel like I've been married to him for a long, long time. I guess, it's the diversity and complexity of things that we deal with over the past 5 years that make me feel like we are an old couple.

What did we do? We spent a night at Westin. This is something which I've been wanting to do for a long time. Just the two of us, away from the kids, to rekindle romance. It's been a while since we had time alone to ourselves. With him busy at work and me ~ always exhausted after chasing that little boy, where got time for romance? At night, the moment I hit the pillows, terus knock out. The same thing with him (if not spending time infront of the computer). The intention to do something wild and raunchy was always there, but that's only in our dreams.

So, I was determined to make it happen this time. I was thinking, if I don't do this, my husband would probably look elsewhere and I'll be deprived. So I booked the room without his knowledge and told him to set the date free. He said ok. I was thrilled but quite nervous at the same time takut tak jadi. (you know, over expectation?)

Although the kids told us to "disappear" early (why don't you both go out the whole day?), we took our time. Morning was spent at the pasar ~ my maid nak beli cincin emas for her mother & herself (I never knew Pasar Keramat ada kedai emas!). Came home and MrN cooked lunch. We had a late lunch (I sempat tidur). Main dengan budak kecik tu sekejap, MrN pulak tidur. At 6.30pm baru we left, but not before buying a new Ultraman toy for the little boy (kena bribe, babe!)

Driving to the hotel as night falls made me feel very contented. At last, we can have a night to ourselves. Tak payah nak fight for space with the little boy. The traffic in Bukit Bintang was pretty heavy that evening but that didn't deter our spirit. After checking in, we rested for a while in our room and watched the news.

The room was very nice, overlooking KLCC. One thing about Westin, the bed is heavenly and it's right smack infront of Pavillion ~ a shopping heaven. What more can we ask for, right?

Since it was our anniversary, the hotel gave us a tray of strawberries dipped in melted chocolate as a welcome gift. The strawberries tasted really nice! I've never liked strawberry dipped choc before (because they were Siti's favourite?), but these strawberries were surprisingly good. They went very well with the chocolate and MrN siap bawak balik yang lebih nya! (THAT good!)

We had dinner at La Bodega that night. I like the atmosphere at La Bodega ~ good food, good music. It was there when I felt I was transported back to the time when we were dating. It's a different feeling when you know you don't have to rush home after an evening out, don't have to worry whether or not the children have eaten at home. It was just so relaxing. We held hands, played footsies underneath the table.... those little, little things.

We agreed that we should do this more often. Perhaps once every two months. We need this to rejuvenate the LOVE and I seriously recommend it to all.

After dinner, we strolled down Jln Bukit Bintang and stopped by for a foot massage at one of the many reflexology outlets along the street. RM25 for 45 mins. Ok lah. It was almost 1am when we finished but the street was still crowded and robust with people. So we walked back to the hotel.

I tak payah ceritalah what happened in the room, ya? Suffice to say, the next morning, MrN said, "Malam tadi best!" Hee.. hee...

The next morning, we were woken up by a call from my MIL who was frantically looking for us. She called the house, she called my kids' hp, but no one seemed to know where we were. My maid cakap lain, Nadira cakap lain, so she freaked out.

Well, we didn't tell her the truth because my husband wanted to avoid a long lecture from his mother. But in the first place, why should we tell her, right? We don't live with her. Suka hatilah kita nak buat apa! Tapi sebab malas nak dengar dia bising, so we told the kids, "Kalau Wan call, kata we all keluar". But the maid didn't hear this. So when my MIL spoke to her, she said, "Tak tau. Malam tadi keluar tak balik2." Habis!

Then I heard my phone rang, it was her on the line. I didn't pick up. Dua tiga kali dia talipon, tapi I tak jawab. I wanted my husband to settle it with his mother. A few minutes later, my BIL pulak called, trying to find out where we really were. MrN told him where we were, but BIL said "Don't tell Mak we spent the night at Westin coz she's freaking mad at home!"

I was pretty annoyed by then. Why can't we just tell the truth? Why do we have to come up with all sorts of excuses for this? If my mother, senang saja. I told her the other day, it was our anniversary and she said, "Oh really? Happy Anniversary! You're spending the night at a hotel? Well, good for you!!" But, with his mum, memang kena cover line. All the time! I tak faham lah!

MrN tried to call his mother but couldn't get through. When he finally got her, kena tembaklah of course. But I told him to just say, "Iya... iya..." to whatever she said. Entah apalah dia goreng mak dia (he said we went to the pasar), last2 orang tua tu mellow down. We told her we'd visit her later that evening.

Because of that little drama, I seriously had no mood to continue with our weekend rendezvouz. I quickly took my shower and packed my bag. So did MrN. We checked out and went to Pavillion for lunch and a little shopping.

Sigh... tak tau lah nak kata whether it was a memorable weekend or not. But I did have a good time with my husband and I can't wait to do it again. But next time, we must plan this properly so that we can have a truly peaceful weekend. MIL - please harass someone else!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Photos

Just sharing some photos I received from a friend today. They were taken by her husband using a Nikon DSLR. These shots were taken when we were in Desaru last June.




The two sisters







The little brother





MrNordin & the boys







Me & my girls



Many people say we look alike, the girls and me. Do we?

Nabila always claimed that she looks like me. Maybe a little bit ~ size wise and hair wise. But feature wise, no. She's so much prettier. She takes after her mother the most. At certain glances, she does resemble her late mum and that can be quite scary sometimes! Nadira ~ her hair is different. She has this beautiful curly locks which she derives from the Arab side of her mother's lineage. She gets compliments everywhere she goes and she likes it.

I suppose, once you are joined as a family, we tend to "look alike". Size lebih kurang, height pun lebih kurang... so when we take family photos, one can't help thinking that we do look alike.

When I first got married, I always found it hard to explain my status. Whenever I was out with the girls, the question that never failed me is this, "Ini anak you ke?" When I said, "Yes.." , they'd go, "Oh, dah besar nya!", and went quiet. I knew at the back of their mind, they were thinking, "Betul ke ni? Muka macam tak sama. Sorang rambut curly, sorang rambut wavy...", those kind of things.

Initially, I would feel very uncomfortable with the silence and would explain myself out quickly. "Oh, mak dia dah meninggal etc, etc...". Then the person asking would go, "Oh... I see..", but in their eyes, I knew they were saying, "Now, that explains it!"

But after a while, I changed my tactic. I'd play along with the game and leave them guessing what the situation really is. When they asked, "Ini anak you ke?", I'd answer, yes, and leave them with their imagination. Then they'd go, "Wah... muda lagi dah ada anak dara, ya?". I'd just smile and continued with my daily business.

Or, better still, they'd ask, "Ini ADIK you ke?" Hee.. hee... that'll make my day!

Until now, those who don't know me would be surprised to know that I have two grown up girls and one teenage boy at home. The other day in the lift, one of my colleagues was asking me, "Yati, you tak cuti ke? " I said, I dah cuti. Then he continued, "You mesti tak ada anak yang masuk sekolah, kan?" I said, "Ada. Form 3." "Haa? Form 3?" He was shocked. I senyum saja.

I'm sure right now, he's still wondering how old I was when I first got married. Kira lah... jangan tak kira!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Kacang Tanah

Why do I keep on losing my temper to the ones I love most? Why can’t I be more tolerant to avoid unnecessary squabbling in the domestic front?

Yesterday, I realized that I am a very impatient wife. Yesterday also I realized that I cannot be in the kitchen together with my husband.

The day started off very well. We woke up early and went off to the nasi lemak stall nearby to buy some paru and sambal sotong. I’ve asked Sri to cook nasi lemak and we were supposed to bring it to my in-laws’ house for breakfast along with other lauk pauk which we will prepare at home.

While waiting for the makcik to bungkus the lauk, we decided to sit down and have our Nescafe tarik. MrN ordered nasi lemak, I had this kuih appam manis, which was very nice. Talk, talk, laugh, laugh… then we went home happily with 2 bungkus sambal sotong and paru goreng.

Sampai rumah, I ordered Sri to cook the rice. 6 pot (usually, our family eats just 3 pot). But since we were eating at my in-laws and my BIL’s family were supposed to join in as well (2 adults + 5 children), I decided to increase the rice portion to 6. Alah… orang bukannya makan banyak sangat pun. Lagipun sure banyak makanan lain. Takkan my BIL tak bawak apa2, kan?

No, my husband said, tambah lagi 2 pot. Cook it in a different pot.

My maid just looked at me coz she knew her tuan memang suka masak berlebih2. I tried to voice out my disagreement, “Cukuplah 6 tu yang, buat apa banyak2 sangat. Nanti tak habis...”

His answer, “Biar lebih, jangan kurang.“ I wasn’t happy.

At the same time, he said he wanted to grill the lamb which he had bought the day before to bring to my MIL’s house. Hello… aren’t we supposed to just eat it at home? Kalau nak masak sampai 2 periuk nasi lemak and grilled lamb sekali to angkut to my MIL’s house, might as well ajak diaorang datang rumah, kan? Tak payahlah susah2 nak bawak berbekas2 barang to my MIL’s house!

So there he was making himself busy in the kitchen with the lamb while my maid was busy shuffling in and out of the kitchen with the rice pot. I hate it when he does that. Bila nak pegi rumah mak je, dia sibuk nak masak ni nak masak tu. Nanti my MIL akan kata, “Alah, semua ni Din yang masak…Yati tak de buat apa pun...” Anak dia jugaklah yang pandai masak, anak dia jugaklah yang rajin…

Memang betul pun, tapi tak payahlah nak “show off” kat mak dia yang dia pandai masak, kan?. “Haa. Mak, ini saya yang buat. Yang itu pun saya yang buat…” Orang tahu lah you terror masak, no need to fish for compliments lah!

Because I wasn’t contributing anything to the main dishes for yesterday’s breakfast, I decided to goreng the ayam, ikan bilis and kacang tanah. Hati tengah panas jugak ni, tapi sebab tak nak nanti my MIL kata I tak contribute apa2, I pun buatlah sibuk2 panaskan minyak. I still wasn’t talking to my husband who was, by then, busy arranging the ribs on the grill pan.

Bila minyak dah panas dalam kuali, I couldn’t decide which one to fry first. Kacang tanah or ayam. Minyak ada banyak dalam kuali ni. Kalau goreng ayam dulu, nanti tak best pulak baunya bila goreng kacang. Kalau nak masukkan kacang dulu, banyak sangat pulak minyaknya. Ahh… hentam je lah! I threw in the kacang tanah first, thinking that sure this one would take very fast to fry. So, in went the kacang tanah into the hot frying pan. Menggelegak lah minyak tu!

A few seconds later, I heard MrN warning me, “Kuat sangat api tu yang. Nanti hangus...” I buat tak dengar je! Dah lah he criticised me for the nasi lemak tadi and now he’s going to tell me how to goreng the kacang? No way! I’m going to do this MY WAY and I’m going to do it ON MY OWN! No one is gonna tell me how to fry the bloody kacang!

I buat derk je and continued frying the ground nuts. I was praying SO hard that the kacang would not turn black, but it did, of course. Memang sah hangus! I senyap je and terus angkat the burnt kacang from the kuali. My husband was watching. Then he asked the maid, “Ada lagi kacang tanah?” She said, “Tak de…” Then they went quiet.

Dengan perasaan yang marah bercampur geram (actually, I was trying to make it more dramatic!), I took the whole pot of burnt kacang goreng and threw it all inside this plastic bag which I hung on the window sill for rubbish and shouted, “I’LL GO AND BUY NEW ONE LAH!!”.
And then, the most despicable thing happened ~ PROOOOOMM!! The whole plastic bag pecah!!!! And the kacang goreng yang hangus tadi tu habis berterabur on the floor!!!! Oh my! Just when I thought I was making a point, the whole damn thing gave up on me! MrN shouted, “B! Apa ni….!!” That’s when I ran out of the kitchen!

At that point of time, I told myself, “Please leave the kitchen and do something else. You’re better off elsewhere than in the kitchen!” So I went upstairs (not before I cleaned up the mess), took my shower, made up the bed, and mandikan the little boy. While in the bathroom, I imagined my husband talking to the maid about my silly acts and I felt so awful!

After the shower, I held my head up high, took my car keys and went out to buy a new packet of kacang tanah. “Nah Sri, goreng kacang ni!”, I told the maid while avoiding contact with my husband who was busy turning the ribs in the oven. I’m sure he must be laughing at me. Tak apa…gelakkan lah. It was my fault anyhow, I deserved it.

Itu lah kisah nya...I noticed this a few times already. Every time we are in the kitchen together, sure akan ada perselisihan faham. Mainly because of our insistence of doing things our way. I think next time, I should take the cue from him and just leave him alone whenever he's in there. Better be safe than sorry.

Anyway, back at my in laws' house, they were all busy tucking into the nasi lemak. Habis semua 8 pot nasi ~ so my husband was right. The lamb was a hit too, everyone was scrambling for it. I didn't eat any because I takut pening (it was also a symbol of protest!).

My FIL did make some cynical remarks, saying that, "Yati tahu masakan orang Perak je, kan Yati?" Di sambung pula oleh my MIL who said, "Haa... lain kali kalau buat masakan Perak, bawaklah ke sini. Mak tak tahu apa masakan orang Perak!" (I think at the same time, she sindir my FIL who's second wife hailed from Perak too).

I pekakkan saja my telinga. My husband was smiling ~ either he found those remarks amusing or he felt sorry for me. I hope it was the latter! I forced a smile but deep down, I knew what I'm capable of doing. I don't give a hoot whether or not I'm a fantastic cook. And I'm not trying to impress anyone. Kata orang, "Ada ubi, ada ubi ada batas. Ada hari boleh balas." We'll see!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Agreement made on Gaza cease-fire resolution

(CNN, 30 mins ago...)

An agreement on a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an Israeli-Gaza cease-fire has been reached, Arab and Western diplomats said Thursday afternoon.

A preliminary draft of the resolution obtained by CNN on Thursday expresses "grave concern" at the growing humanitarian crisis and heavy civilian casualties in Gaza as well as civilian deaths in Israel from Hamas rocket fire.

Roughly 765 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began its military assault on Gaza on December 27, according to Palestinian medical sources. Thirteen Israelis, including 10 soldiers, also have been killed since the military operation began.

It was not clear immediately when a vote on the resolution could take place. The resolution draft "stresses the urgency of, and calls for, an immediate, durable, and fully respected cease-fire which will lead to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza."

The draft also welcomes efforts by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to broker a cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians in current talks in Cairo, Egypt. The draft calls for the opening of corridors to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, where food, water, electricity and medicine shortages have worsened already poor conditions since Israel's offensive in Gaza began.

The council's wrangling over the resolution centered on wording. Arab countries generally pushed for language demanding Israel cease attacks, while Western diplomats wanted more neutral language.

The U.N. General Assembly postponed a meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday in anticipation of a vote by the Security Council.

"We will closely analyze the resolution and determine whether it is serious, and contemplates the pertinent measures -- both to ensure the immediate cease-fire and the unimpeded access to the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people," assembly President Miguel d'Escoto said in a written statement.

Source: CNN News


MrsN says: While they haggle with the "wording" of the resolution, more Palestinians are being killed by the hour. But at this point of time, any positive development in Gaza is most welcomed. Let's hope our prayers are answered sooner than we expected.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Of MrN and Ultraman

First day at work for 2009. Time moves very slow! The 5-day break for New Year didn’t see me getting much rest or sleep. Most of the time it was ~ in, out, in, out ~ ada je benda nak buat. Letih lah!

MrN is still on leave until tomorrow. I like it when he’s on leave ~ he will be at home when I get back from work.

One thing good about the long break is, it gives me a chance to catch up on lost times with my husband. I got to go to the pasar with him, buy groceries with him, he masak for us… best! The other day he made roast chicken, then sup tulang rawan. Yesterday, it was gulai ikan senangin. He said, “You sebut je nak makan apa, I’ll cook it for you!” Hee… hee…! Those are the things that I miss about him whenever he's in JB.

The little boy is ok ~ still obsessed with Ultraman. No, he hasn’t gone off the phase yet. Infact, our house is now swamped with Ultraman paraphernalia. Everywhere I turned, sure ada nampak kaki Ultraman lah, tangan Ultraman lah, CD Ultraman lah…pening!

This boy has a habit of pulling out the body parts of this mute superhero. Kadang2 tu, baru beli sehari, dah hilang satu kaki. Right now, all the Ultraman in the house has only one hand and one foot. Even the Godzilla is headless!

Our TV is perpetually on Ultraman mode. Thanks to the father who bought a 52-episode Ultraman DVD. Bangun pagi nak tengok Ultraman, nak tidur kena tengok Ultraman, dalam kereta nak tengok Ultraman. Tak muak ke??

And he knows the episodes so well. He knows what is Ultraman's next move, which episode ada hantu, which hand goes where, what action comes next, the songs, the sounds... he scares me sometimes! At 2.5 years old he already know all that, what else would be pick up when he's 10?

Due to an overdose of Ultraman during the day, this boy tends to have nightmares at night. He'd wake up in the middle of the night crying, “Na nak Ultraman!! Na nak Ultraman!" (Nadim thinks he dreamt Ultraman was chasing him!)

Last night, as MrN and I baru nak start projek, this boy suddenly woke up screaming, “Ultraman Dyna!!! Ultraman Dyna!!!” Hish… Ultraman Dyna apa pulak pukul 1 pagi macam ni? His eyes were still closed. Sekejap lepas tu, he shouted again, “Monster! Monster!” while frantically moving his hands and legs as if he was fighting a real monster!

Hee... hee... funny! Terus tak jadi projek!

My second daughter, who just started a blog, wrote a nice posting on her observation of her two brothers at home. Read here.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Welcoming the Year 2009

1st January 2009. A new year has begun. How do I feel about it? Anxious ~ that’s the best word to describe it. The economic uncertainty, the health condition of family members, financial issues, MrN’s career prospects… all these were playing on my mind at this present moment.

I believe this is going to be a tough year. We all have to play our cards right. No more lavish spending, no more impulsive buys, no more extravagance. For the first time in many years, I’ve set myself a few resolutions to guide me through this year: 1) eat out less, 2) be more spendthrift, and 3) seek spiritual guidance.

Less eating out is obvious ~ eat home-cooked food. I save money and my family gets to eat healthier food. I noticed that in my in-laws: they are very healthy at 73 years of age. Why? Because my MIL makes sure her family eats home-cooked meals. She doesn’t eat out (only on special occasions like her birthday, but even then, she’s very picky about her food), choose only the best fish/meat/vege for her dishes, and very particular about what you eat.

MrN used to tell me, when he was schooling, his mum made sure he ate in front of her during recess at the staff room (she was a teacher at the same school at that time). “Jangan haraplah dapat makan makanan kantin…”, he reminisced. She’s tough, but her discipline towards what she/her family eat ensures her long life.

When I think about what my family eats, Ya Allah… rasanya tak lama boleh hidup! The amount of junk food, take away, and dining out that we indulged in are sure proof of a not-so-healthy lifestyle. Dahlah tak exercise!

Junk food and take away are easy, especially for lazy wife/mother like me. Bila malas nak masak, beli je dari luar or order take away. And you know how outside food are prepared, right? High in grease, high in salt, but the taste is not that great after all. Home cooked meals are always the best and they are healthier. So, I resolve to cook more often in 2009 and reduce eating out. In other words, eat healthier food.

Be more spendtrift ~ has always been my resolution at the beginning of the year. But as time goes by, I somehow tend to forget about it. This year, I resolve it will be more long term in nature.

Seek spiritual guidance ~ this one is rather personal. Of late, I’ve been questioning my purpose in life. What am I here for? Religious wise, I’m not very religious. I only do what’s basic and that’s about it. But everyday before I go to sleep, I’ll be asking myself, is this all there is to it? Is this what my life is all about?

I feel empty inside, I’m not at peace with myself. I long for that contentment which says, I know what I’m doing, and I know what I’m praying to. I lack the spiritual knowledge that can take me to a higher level as a Muslim. I suppose sembahyang dan berzikir will help, but I just don’t feel it whenever I do it. And that worries me.

So far, Alhamdulillah, God has not tested me to the point beyond bearable. And I’m thankful for that. I must have done something right somewhere. But I believe, there will come a time when luck will not be on my side anymore. And when that happens, what am I going to do?

I look at my children, they are all growing up. One will turn 20 this year. I also have a little one who will only turn 3 this year. They all look up to me and to my husband for guidance. What can I offer them? What can I teach them?

In our race for modernization, we tend to forget the reason for our being. We tend to take it for granted that whatever we do is all channeled towards one thing, that is, worldly materials. And this is wrong.

When I look at some of my friends who are continuously seeking knowledge, both religiously and spiritually, I envy them. I want to be like them. I want to fill up this emptiness within me with spiritual knowledge and guidance that will make me come to peace with myself. How am I going to do it? That is something which I need to find out.

For a start, I can see my husband slowly moving towards that direction and I’m glad. He is actually a very knowledgeable man, religiously and spiritually. But he’s a slow starter. As I said, it’s all due to our race for worldly materials.

He comes from a religious family background. His great, great grandfather was a very pious man, well-known for spreading the tarikat Ahmadiah. I’m not sure how important this man was, but the makam/tanah perkuburan on a hill in Seremban is named after him. I guess, he must be very important.

So from my husband, I know I can seek the proper guidance. I hope and pray that I will be able to fulfill this need to be a better person, both religiously and spiritually. Insyaallah...