Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Home Alone

Yesterday, for the first time ever, I left Nizzar home alone with his two older siblings while I went to work. No choice, because the old maid dah balik kampong while the new maid will only be back tomorrow from Tanjung Balai.

I’ve never left Nizzar alone at home with his brother or sisters. There was always a maid present because I didn’t trust the kids with the little boy.

From my observation, I noticed that the older kids had very little patience for their little brother. Even in my presence, budak kecik tu selalu kena marah or yelled at for being naughty or demanding.

The older kids prefer to do their own things without interference from the little one. The maid will be the one looking after him the whole day.

The older children never seemed to want to do anything around the house except eat, sleep and do their own things. Suruh jaga adik will be met with much hesitation.

So, now you know why I was paranoid about leaving him alone with his kakak and abang? I always had this cynical feeling that if I left him alone under their care, his stepbrother and sisters would torture him like in Cinderella. No, I dare not risk it!

But in the past few days, we have been deprived of a maid since my old one had eventually gone home last Friday while the new one still hasn’t returned from Tg Balai after more than a week. The agent said, esok baru sampai. So, I had no choice but to leave the 3 kids at home alone.

I was very worried. What if the little boy threw a tantrum? What if he misbehaved? Will he be punished by his sister/brother? What if there was an accident and the house was on fire? All ridiculous thoughts crossed my mind.

My husband said they’d be fine although I knew deep inside he was a bit apprehensive about leaving them alone at home. But we had no choice and we didn't want to menyusahkan orang lain.

On Sunday night, we had a trial run when my husband and I had to join some people for a surprise birthday party in PJ. I was reluctant to go but I told myself, let this be a tryout. If not now, bila lagi?

When we left home that evening, the little boy was playing with his big brother. He didn’t even realize that we were gone. During the party, I kept on thinking about the kids at home, whether they were ok or not. I had my Blackberry next to me all the time just in case Home called, but to my surprise, there was none. When I called home to check, Nabila said everything was ok. The boy was still playing with Nadim.

Hmm…strange….

When we got home later that night, the boy was still awake, lying on the floor in my bedroom, watching TV with Nabila. He looked at me and pulled a long face. Merajuklah tu sebab kena tinggal! But he was fine after that and I was happy that they all survived the 4 hours that we were gone.

And yesterday was the real thing...

I left home at 8.30am, after leaving behind a “To Do List” for the two older kids:

To Do (Mon, 21/12)

1) Take out the wing chair yang dah kena kencing kucing to dry
2) Lipat kain (Nabila)
3) Masak nasi (Nadim)
4) Bagi Nizzar ubat (Nabila)
5) Note: When changing Nizzar, just use a wet towel to wipe his face and body. DO NOT bathe him!

I drove to office nervously because I wasn't sure how the day would turn out to be. In the office, I waited for phone calls from home but there was none. When I spoke to Nadim later, he said everything was fine. No worries. Then it was quiet for the rest of the afternoon.

When I reached home at 6.15pm, the house was quiet. Nabila came out to open the door for me and when I asked, where was the little boy? She said he was sleeping. Sleeping?? You must be kidding! Budak tu susah nak tidur siang, tau! So I went upstairs to check, and yes indeed he was sleeping.

The house was in order. Nothing was broken, all chores were completed.

To tell you the truth, I was so happy to see Nadim's and Nabila's faces yesterday evening. The first thing I said was, "You survived!!"

I was very impressed that they managed to look after the house and their little brother on their own devices. The kitchen was clean, the rubbish bins were empty, the wing chair dah kering and kain dah berlipat.

The only complaint I heard was from Nabila who now realizes that melipat kain is hard work. “I hate lipat kain!!”, she said. Don’t we all? Hee.. hee…

Again, they caught me by surprise, these kids. They’ve proven that my worries were unfounded, and that they are capable of taking care of their little brother when I’m not around.

I was also surprised when they told me they had no problem giving ubat to Nizzar coz when I tried, that boy put up a very strong resistance by kicking his feet and clamping his teeth to avoid being fed with the cough syrup! Aiyoo.. what does that tell you?

Anyway, we went out for dinner last night to give them a treat for a job well done.

Actually, life without a maid can be a blessing because in some ways, it does bring the family closer. Each family member would have their own role and duties and together we do it to help each other out.

Like the other night after we came back from the party, I had to hang the clothes out to dry in the backyard. It was almost midnight but there we were, all 5 of us in the backyard helping each other out. Nabila helped me with the clothes, Nadim helped his Baba feeding the angsa, while Nizzar sat in his toy car watching us. You can never get this when the maid is around!

It’s just a different feeling when there’s just you and your family. It’s nicer. But of course it’s tiring. The kids can’t wait for the maid to come back. I can’t wait for her too so I don’t have to do ironing!

House work is really hard work, so I have very high respect for full time housewives. Imagine doing all those chores alone… day in day out. Letih !!

That’s why I always tell my kids, help out whenever you can even when we have a maid. Don’t expect the maid to do everything. Dahlah dia kena bersihkan rumah, basuh baju, lipat baju, iron baju, basuh tandas, basuh pinggan, kemas bilik, masak, jaga baby, jaga pets… banyaknya kerja! Even I can’t do all that on my own! That’s why we must help her.

Anyway, today is the second day they are home alone. No calls so far, so I guess they are ok.

Alhamdulillah…

Monday, December 21, 2009

Jalan-Jalan

What have you been doing so far during the holidays?

We were in Sunway Lagoon last weekend as MrNordin’s company organized a Family Day for the staff. We were given 2 rooms at the Resort and free passes to enter the Theme Park.

I haven’t been to Sunway Lagoon in a long time. The last time I was there was maybe when it was first opened, sometime in the early 90’s. The place is cool, man! The rides are awesome and the slides are only to be tried by those who do not have any heart condition. I’m serious!

We arrived on Friday evening after sending my maid (the one who’s getting married) to LCCT. It was quite sad to see her go after being with us for 7 years, and as expected, there were lots of tears at the airport.

But if she had to go, we must let her go... I kept on telling myself that we’ll see her again (yes, we will), and so the farewell did not turn out to be too dramatic. For me, at least.

Sunway Lagoon provided a good diversion from the farewell. Soon after that, we were having fun walking along the corridors of Sunway Pyramid and had a late lunch at Tarbush.

I think, if you needed a break with your family, Sunway Lagoon is an ideal place to be. Everything is under one roof. The hotels, shopping mall and theme park are just walking distance from one another and there are just so many things to do. Yes, there are a lot of people especially now it’s the school holidays, but it’s worth the ride. Your kids would love it!

We came home on Saturday evening, all tired and bruised. Nizzar had a slight temperature and was having runny nose sebab lama sangat main dalam swimming pool. We knew he was going to be down after the swim, but tak apalah… we let him have his fun first, suffer later, ok?

The previous weekend, we were in Penang. I didn’t post about the trip earlier because I had lost all the photos taken on that trip. Geram betul! They were deleted by none other than the little rascal lah, who else!

I went out, left the camera on the dressing table, when I got home and checked the camera, the photos are all gone! I was so upset, tapi nak marah siapa kan? It was my mistake too for not keeping the camera in a safe place. I should have known better.

But I did take a picture of him at the Ultraman kindy (it was awesome!!) and I did find a great place to eat Nasi Kandar, ie. Kassim Mustafa.

Actually, we were looking out for a different restaurant (Hameediyah) but couldn’t find it along Jalan Penang when we saw “Kassim Mustafa - Nasi Dalcha & Nasi Kandar”. Then, I remembered muteaudio telling me that I should try Nasi Dalcha when in Penang and so I forced my husband to stop by.

It was a wise choice because the nasi dalcha was very delicious indeed. It tasted a lot like nasi minyak but not as heavy. The gulai ayam that accompanied the rice was very tasty too, making the meal simply heavenly.

The rest of my family members had the nasi kandar and they said it was very nice too. Habis licin semua pinggan! I will definitely go back to this restaurant the next time I’m in Penang.

We also tried the Nasi Kandar Beratur near Masjid Kapitan Keling since this place was heavily promoted by a friend. However, that was a bit of a disappointment because rasa dia biasa saja lah. I have tasted better nasi kandar in KL.

Maybe the timing was not right, tapi orang memang beratur lah kat situ!

We only managed to try two nasi kandar eateries this time, but that was just fine.

So now, the Top 2 in my Nasi Kandar list is Kassim Mustafa (Penang) and Kudu (KL)!

And the search still goes on…...

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Julie & Julia

I saw Julie & Julia last night. It’s a story about Julia Child and her conquest to master the art of French cooking during her stay in Paris in the 40’s. It’s also a story about Julie Powell, who aspires to cook all 524 recipes from Child's cookbook, within 365 days.

Both are true stories...

What’s amazing about the story is the determination that each woman had to complete something and to do something meaningful with their lives. Both actually had zero knowledge of cooking, one can’t even fry an egg! But they both decided to challenge themselves and put their skills to the test.

I always believe that if you put your heart into doing something, you’ll do it very well. And just like Julie and Julia, they both did.

Many of you can relate to this story. It is an inspirational movie. With Meryl Streep as Julia, one shouldn't give this a miss.

So, if you are a food lover, romantic at heart, kitchen goddess and blogger, Julie & Julia is a must see! Go and get it today!