Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Retrospective Wisdom: Post Natal Depression

I was suffering from PND after the birth of The Little Girl. During confinement and many months after, I was perpetually tired, easily upset, hyper-sensitive and filled with crippling negativity.

The Little Girl had colic, and we didn't know what to do. The Little Girl would not sleep through the night, and we didn't know what to do. The Little Girl had cow milk protein intolerance, and we didn't know what to do. The Little Girl had stork marks on her forehead between her brows, and we didn't know what to do.

I felt disabled.
I felt stupid.
I felt useless.

What set me off? Hormones, physically being confined to the limited space upstairs at The House without wifi for 44 days, being dictated by my well-meaning MIL who came across as hovering helicopter, erratic meal times which suited my MIL and not my hunger after breastfeeding, not having time to shower, close friends who could not visit, acquaintances who overstayed their welcome, etc. Almost every small thing set me off. It was painful.
Then one day, after 13 months, the fog lifted.
We were away for a Spring family holiday in Yorkshire during the Royal Wedding and magically, just like that, I could savour my mocha from Starbucks again, one fine Spring morning. It was a blindingly beautiful morning.

It was like a new lease of life.
Just like that, Allah s.w.t. healed me, and reminded his humble servant of how beautiful life really is and that life with all its busyness is also worth persevering for. Patience is a huge part of faith, indeed.
Retrospective Wisdom: I learnt early on after the second delivery and confinement to surround myself with lots of positive affirmation of what I do well, ignore the negative remarks and focus on how perfect The Little Girl and Bean are. The Other Half is a true gem in braving this storm with me, including the many tedious solo trips to shop for my downsize clothing. There was a tough period we had to spend more time with The Little Girl in reassuring her of our love and affection (that Bean is not a threat but her loving younger brother) but I knew deep inside my heart, that was not PND. Not even close.
How did you handle your PND? Was it tough? How long did it last? How did you recover? When did you realise that you had come out of it? Did you get any clinical help? Do share! 

Gratitude: Social Media Fasting

My birthday gift to myself this year.
And it is free, but highly valuable.
Time. Alone time. Down time. Recharge time. Dream time. Do nothing time.
Brief, and already the benefits are immensely felt. It is a continuous purifying exercise for my mind and soul. What started as device-free weekend quickly escalated into social media fasting.
The hours seemed to pass by more slowly, the laughter from my growing children seemed amplified. Counter productive tasks felt less despair provoking. Practising a new headscarf style seemed less tedious.
It is shocking how much I miss spending time with myself.
Admittedly, with lesser antagonising material input into my brains, the burden I have been feeling somehow just lifted. The return to iqra, fardhu ain classes and solat are too beneficial to enumerate here. It is not a big surprise how much I miss "talking" to Allah s.w.t.
Try it, and experience this immeasurable gift to yourself. I acknowledge rationing too little fodder for my soul, and that is surely changing. 
One step at a time.
In sha Allah.


Thursday, 13 February 2014


I am back to my introvert self. I have tried being more extrovert and I just don't feel 100% comfortable.

At my age, my priorities have shifted. Time with my young children. Time with family. Time with Allah s.w.t. I crave those more and more.

Every few days, I feel like closing down my Facebook account for good. The only reason why I haven't is because of group information which I need in my course of research for private international school. Close friends. Family abroad.

I have been hurting. It is not doing me much good. I wish some folks have the decency and manners online as they would when they are offline.

Sometimes, I feel like reverting to the good old email (which I do with a few friends, you know who you are) and it really is possible.

Pardon me if I am not leaving comments on your blog until further notice. It is not you, it is me. I am just tired.

Just spiritually dry and tired. 

I want to retract to my inner shell where I can feel His immense Love and Protection. I know He wants me to talk to Him more, comment about the Surah more, like the Hadiths more, follow the way of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. more.

Think of this as social media fasting. 

In the mean time, pray with me for Goodness and Graciousness to return.

Thank you.
Friday, 7 February 2014

Gratitude: Reversion

Today I am thankful to be a Muslimah.

Five years of repentance, relearning, reshaping, reevaluating and constantly improving self to be a better person both in deeds and thoughts.

The journey of my deen continues.

Keep me in your prayers, thank you.

Gratitude: Day Trip

Today I am thankful for an enjoyable day trip.

The Other Half and I brought the kids to Colmar Tropicale at Bukit Tinggi, Pahang today.


The weather was just right. Bright, 26C, not as humid as downtown. We were able to wind the car windows down slightly for The Little Girl to "touch the sky and feel the breeze". Alhamdulillah.

The deer, guinea pig and rabbits at the Animal Park were gentle. One rabbit tried tasting a purple skirt The Little Girl was wearing but not untoward incidents happened. Alhamdulillah.

The food choice was limited but The Little Girl, well-known to be a finicky eater, enjoyed her soto ayam from L'Orient. Alhamdulillah.


Bean slept so well in his Ergo Organic Baby Carrier during our afternoon walk at the Botanical Garden. Alhamdulillah.

It was a day of manageable moderate drama and beneficial detours. Alhamdulillah.

Don't you just love days like this?

P/S: Shortly after posting this, The Little Girl threw up her very first McDonald's French fries and Milo snack consumed at Genting Sempah R&R. Luckily, everyone was in high spirits and laundering soiled sheets did not seem overly laborious.
Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Gratitude: Blue Skies

Today I am thankful for the big blue skies with a little chance of rain. 

How gloriously wonderful is His Creation when not polluted by man.

More so when this enables laughter to fill the air, laughter and happy shrieks from two little ducklings learning to paddle and nose.

Alhamdulillah, life can be so simply beautiful!
Tuesday, 4 February 2014


The Little Girl sometimes forgets. 

Poster for you, my dear. Good manners matters.
 It will take you far, so much further beyond your wildest dreams.

Gratitude: Pre-pregnancy Body

Today I am thankful for the return of my pre-pregnancy body.

I was hovering at 52 kg for the last few months and felt like another 4 kg off would be nice (I wanted to feel like I can perform my tashahud seating comfortably, feel more energised and lean, lose the baby flab, lose the sluggish feeling, have glowing hair and skin, a whole lot of other reasons).
Obviously, something had to be done and I made the pact with a group of awesome ladies to eat healthily.

Sugar was the first to be sent off the list. No more Milo and Horlicks for now. Coffee and tea for me are much better off sans sugar anyways. 2L of water is now 4L of water daily. Does wonders for milk supply too.
Since sugar is off the list, baking cookies and loaves with The Little Girl had to be adopted as well to something less sugary.

Since rice has high carbohydrate content, we sent our brown rice off the list for a few days of the week. We were not eating much brown rice all that often anyways but now it is almost zero. Cous cous and quinoa are our new best friends.

Pasta? Bye bye. One of the easiest and fastest meals to whip up in my kitchen is now served to only The Little Girl when she specifically requests for her favourites (mac 'n cheese, carbonara, pasta bake, Bolognese, pesto).

Potatoes? Airfried.

Sweet potatoes? Airfried.

Salads made a huge comeback to our diet. We eat all colours of the rainbow again. Very satisfying to regain clean taste buds. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds tossed with some extra virgin olive oil or lemon juice and Manuka honey. No store bought dressing.

By now, you would have realised that we have become the accidental organic vegans. Protein sources from quinoa, lentils, beans, tofu, milk, nuts and cheese are so plentiful that we hardly miss meat, chicken, seafood. Watch Food, Inc. and you will see what I see too.

That was just food and drinks.

Exercise. Gosh! Try handling 2 kids under 5 without a helper. Lifting weights, 8+ kg and 15+kg every time, at Gymboree. No kidding. They do bestow the most appropriate name for that happy place.

Housework. Some naysayers claim that housework does not count. Come to my humble abode and witness yourself if it counts. Especially when one of the kids vomits. At midnight. Onto the bed, floor and wallpaper covered walls.

There, it took me 39 weeks and 3 days to my big, pregnant body growing another life within me, and 230 days to return to my old clothes with a  healthy baby in my arms. I feel like myself again. This weight loss has done my soul so much good.

I repeat: I feel like myself again, alhamdulillah!
Occasionally, we do dine out, or indulge with extended family members. This balances life out, and we do not feel the slightest deprivation. Consistency is key, so commitment to health is important.

How has your journey been? Do share!
Saturday, 1 February 2014

Dental Care

Bean has 4 teeth. Bean gets his teeth cleaned during his evening routine bath with the Banana Toothbrush. His paed is pleased as a plum that he has teeth and that some maintenance and oral hygiene care are bring employed to ensure he doesn't get any cavities as Bean now eats a fair bit.

During daytime when we happen to be out and about, he gets a wipe after meals. We were cautious at first, fearing that he would vomit his entire belly content up. However, the verbal caution of, "Let's clean your teeth. Oh, what a big  boy you are now with 4 teeth!", seems to work in our favour.

He has been willing to co-operate, thank God!

Yes, one more item to add to the diaper has evolved over the last few months to accommodate the growing needs of a young man! Books, toys, staples, food and water...but I digress. Pardon my randomness!

So, I tried the wipes on my own teeth before applying them to him as trial run. I smiled a very "fresh, just ate some grapes and smell like a baby" smile!

Now, what puzzles me is how do I clean his teeth after his direct latch feeds. The young man is asleep and I don't want to wake him up. Like duh! Sleeping through the night is like Mercy from Allah to tired parents like The Other Half and I.

How do you keep the pearly whites of your little bub clean? Do share!