Saturday, 31 May 2014

A Deux

The Little Girl had been playing up at piano lessons. Pun intended.

Today, we hit a breakthrough by coincidence. She was playing up and excusing herself from class the minute she walked in, citing that she needed the toilet first.

So I yanked her off the studio and told her off while she went for some relief. 

As we were about to exit the washroom, we bumped into the administrator from the music school.

The administrator then suggested that I leave her alone with the teacher, and I need to decompress (totally agree!). She assured me that The Little Girl would be safe. 

So off I went to try on some palazzo pants at Zara. Disappointingly, they didn't have my XS size but had plenty of other attractive items I was not planning to buy. I walked out from Zara empty handed but satisfied. Weird.

Then, I thought I had a few more minutes to spare and went to purchase a hot mocha for myself at Starbucks. I even bought The Little Girl her orange juice for an after class treat!

Subsequently, I went back to the studio at 5 minutes before class ended. The teacher commented that The Little Girl was much better without my presence. She played Mary Had A Little Lamb; both treble and bass! 

Couldn't be more pleased. 

Alhamdulillah, and in sha Allah more independent lessons coming our way! Can you tell I am just excited to have some time to myself? Just me? 

Have a blessed weekend!
Friday, 30 May 2014

One On One

The Little Girl and I have impromptu dates sometimes. They are mostly free too!

Like the time we went to Galeri Petronas at KLCC while Bean was eating his meal with The Other Half. 

We do not include groceries and errands as dates; although we should. Now that the weather is slightly less humid, maybe we should resume scootering and brisk walking at Titiwangsa.

We would escape the norm just for about 15 minutes for a simple exhibition (paintings and abstract) and longer if it is something which interests her (notably, science and architecture).

Her pace, her questions, her hands in mine. 

Just the two of us.

Do you have a one on one with each of your children too? Please share how it feels like and what do you enjoy doing together?
Thursday, 29 May 2014

Basic Questions

I am full of shortcomings that need to be made good.

I must learn to put a stop to reading and commenting on "controversial" issues.

It pains me to see others divide fellow ummah using various issues, letting each small nothing spin into an important something.

Honestly, my Ustazah is so patient with me. I must have talked her ears off during our one on one sessions, loaded with questions, admission of my failings and shortcomings; and often asking her for guidance.

Her standard reply to help guide me be an independent Muslimah is simple: as follows:

1. Is this source from the al-Quran? Ignore if it is being misquoted, misinterpreted and being abused. 

2. Is this source from Hadith sahih? Ignore of it is being misquoted, misinterpreted and being abused. 

3. Which mazhab is this from? Keep to only one, or else I may be lost and misguided. 

Note to self: Totally need to work on myself before anything or anyone else.

Mode: back to silent/thinking self for more self-reflection and inward growth. 

Take Two

The Little Girl is 4 years 2 months today and she is moving to her own bedroom. 

It has always been hers, on loan for 11 months to Bean, as she preferred sleeping with me on my king size bed.

I am praying so hard this time she will stay in her room. It was her request and initiative so I hope she remembers her covenant. 

Piano, doll house, personal toys, own bed with favourite sheets and duvet! She even get the privilege to invite two soft toys to cuddle. We still need to add a desk with seat for her activities and later on for studying.

What age do you deem appropriate to allow children to have their own bedroom and space? Are you one who experienced Gina Ford success from birth? Pamela Druckerman? Dr. Spock?

Please do share your valuable tips and experience!
Sunday, 25 May 2014

Achingly Sweet Note

I love you too, baby, I love you too!

Note from The Little Girl to me one rainy evening, spent indoors and doodling while I cooked dinner.



My pantry and storage, post six monthly spring cleaning. 


Get Organised

This keeps my life as a work from home mum a little bit more organised. Sure, I have the same app in my devices but seeing the hard copy filled with scribbles saves me having to look at the devices too often. 

Do you use this traditional method too, or am I the only pencil-saurus left roaming in this modern tech and gizmo age?

Closet Tidy & Beaba Bath Tub

We bring those on holidays with us. Yes, closet tidy and portable bath! 

Call me OCD, but the closet tidy helps us organise our clothes at hotels and serviced apartments faster, neater and easier than battling those 6 hangers and leaving the rest of our clothing to crumple over the duration of holiday.

The portable bath is steady and keeps Bean safe too. 

I know, we have a somewhat "weird" practice when travelling and holidaying. 

What is your "weird" practice? Do you pack your own towels and linen? Do share!
Saturday, 24 May 2014

Fabric Play

Some of you are aware that I have been busy experimenting and revamping my headscarf style lately.

It is one part of my outward growth which reflects my inner faith. Of course, it takes slightly longer to dress this way, but with practice, those pins and clips are not that scary to master. Having the right inner scarf to hold all my hair seems to be the secret no one has really taught me before!

Let us all say Amin to being fashionably modest. May this journey be one that strengthens our Iman and may our Ibadah to please Allah swt be accepted by Him.

Indian Mangoes

This has to be the easiest way to serve fresh mangoes that I know of. The Little Girl joins us adults in scooping up a square serving at a time, cutting it really close to the skin to get the most morsels out each time. 

This being the peak season of Indian mangoes, we serve them chilled whenever the grocer has fresh, firm ripe supply. Bean is more than happy to chew on a smaller bite as we still scoop his for him. The chill is able to soothe his irritated gums without giving him stomach cramps. We avoid eating this late into the evening just in case his bowels feel irritated and rob us all of precious sleep. 

How do you serve your Indian mangoes? Juice? Lassi? Ice cream? Please do share your recipes!
Friday, 23 May 2014

The Chance Encounter

The annual pap smear appointment with Dr. Seri Suniza Sufian was made about 3 months ago and the appointed day finally arrived. Yes, I am  always excited to meet her.

The pleasantries were exchanged, Nurse Fiza remaining cheerful with Dr. Seri looking more radiantly youthful than ever (those air wuduq is a serious elixir of youth!).

Procedures then began as standard as it could ever be. Everything looked good in the ultrasound scan. No unplanned pregnancy, fully healed cervix, ovaries with normal follicles etc.

Kegels were good, I could even see my  pelvic muscles doing its round of exercises. Bladder control was neat. Passed with flying colours, so to speak.

The most comfortable pap smear was to follow.

Then, a little piece of surprise showed up.

Something "had casually grown on my uterus wall...something small and shiny...something abnormal like a cyst ripe enough to be pricked and its liquid contents withdrawn into a clinical syringe and had to be sent to the laboratory right away kinda something" caught her keen observation.

She advised for the pap smear to be done first, and it was noticeably comfortable as a small speculum was used, complete with a gentle swab which felt like an ant bite with no embarrassing or strong protests from myself.

With that agenda of the day out of the way, she presented my treatment options.

We decided very quickly as impromptu and quietly as the cyst had grown, to have it removed there and then with just local painkiller. Some light bleeding followed, sufficient to be taken care of by panty liner. No medications, no hospital stay, no antibiotic. It went as swiftly as it had come. I paid, then drove home with the rest of the day being up and about as if had nothing happened.

Life goes on.

No news is good news.

I am praying so hard it is benign, with nothing more to worry about. If it is malignant, I will have plenty to worry about with my family and children being so young. Thank you also for your kind du'a.

Moral of the story is: Annual pap smear. Please do not overlook this simple self-care step. Book your appointment already!

Those White Lies

Allah will accept the repentance of His slave so long as the rattle has not yet reach his throat. [Al-Tirmidhi].

I have to research those white lies I tell The Little Girl when pacifying/soothing/reassuring her.

"There is a bug in your hair, let me shampoo and wash it off!"

"If you do not eat any dinner, the worms in your tummy will go hungry."

"If you do not play both bass clef and treble clef, your piano voice will not sound very nice."

Have. To. Stop.

Now, I just need to find a better, effective way of rendering those requests.

Please do share your parenting tips! Thank you.
Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Goodbye, Denim Pants


Skinny jeans.


Jeans were put aside and waiting for their final goodbye. They will go with me to UK this summer and at the end of the trip be placed with Oxfam.

Skinny jeans haven't been worn outside the confines of my home since I lost all my pregnancy weight. They have all been donated some months ago.

Shariah compliant wardrobe soon, in sha Allah. The Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said, "Allah s.w.t.'s curse us upon women who appear like men and upon men who appear like women" [Sahih al-Jami].

Practising chasing my youngs kids wearing my long skirts...praying so hard I will never get caught in escalators, supermarket trolleys and strollers. Praying so hard I will never trip over the hem of long skirts. May the wind never blow my skirt upwards.



Did I share with you how I have been stuck in the unstylish slip on headscarf aka "tudung express" for 5 years?

I have finally ventured out of my comfort zone (stumbling block in the faith and fashion sense) after not being able to find anything to suit my style and lifestyle. Increasing difficulty of buying anything suitable has "forced" me to throw caution to the wind and experiment.

And experiment I did!

One day, whilst crossing the link bridge from Ikano Power Centre to The Curve, I chanced upon Bokitta! 

In a stall! Free to touch, feel, try on and cart home without the anxiety of missing the PosLaju delivery, what fabulous answer to my prayer this must have been.

I tried on a few and bought about half a dozen. Two long volume skirts as well, being the shopaholic I am.

Now after a couple of months, I am happy to report that I love the convenience of Bokitta slip on headscarves. A few seconds and I am out the door!

The choice of colours and fabric excite me as much as the lack of pins as wearing the traditional stylish headscarves with pins can be quite hazardous to Bean and his ever curious fingers. The perfected pincer grip is quite a threat to my hijab, sad to say.

The cotton maxi Bokitta covers my chest properly but I must also confess that the chiffon maxi Bokitta feels lighter, softer and prettier whilst serving its purpose of providing proper coverage.

My only downside is that I have a high forehead with thin, silky hair. This biological combination poses some trouble with the hair band which comes with the set. I have resorted to wearing my Bokitta with an inner cap purchased separately to catch all my hair, especially those fine fly away ones. Made of light polyester material akin to those used for swimwear, the likelihood of finding a shade to match the Bokitta is relatively high. I tend to buy the entire rainbow palette when I chance upon comfortable inner cap as this basic item is just staple in any muslimah's wardrobe.

If you are contemplating whether to don the hijab or find that the traditional styles too tough for a beginner, do give this a shot.

Let your inner faith shine and be reflected in your outerwear. Beauty with modesty! May Allah swt grant you ease in this wardrobe journey! Marathon of faith, meets sprint of fashion. You have my very best warm welcome to donning the hijab!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The Eleventh Month

It took me forever to get to the eleventh month with The Little Girl, and comparatively shorter with Bean. Being busy with life, laundry and school run had led me to this illusion. 

The days and nights have merged into passing months without me fully grasping weeks and dates! Such flurry. Such haste.

Bean now says, "Dadadada" when calling The Other Half, utters what clearly sounds like "I want my Dadadada" when The Other Half is away for work related matters (utterance of which makes me swoon at his full sentence since a couple of months ago).

The swooning does not stop there. Bean reserves his happy squeals and mischief for The Little Girl, whom he addresses as "chechecheche" which sounds like Jie Jie in Mandarin. Bless! She is a very loving sister, territorial and possessive at the same time. Sibling rivalry has toned down but not dwindled into oblivion. Not just yet.

The most special sentence to me is at night before his night feed at bed time. "I want my mama" with the unmistakeable and distinct cry for milk if I were busy reading to The Little Girl. His way of asking for my undivided attention, direct latch and cradle to sleep before The Other Half places him into his cot for the night.

The point is, babies grow at their own pace. While Bean is only standing up by pulling himself up and gently lowering himself down again, others have started walking. 

Some eat better than others.

Some sing more than others.

Oh, Bean! We would not have you any other way. Thank you for brightening lives with your cackles and antics. Alhamdulillah!
Monday, 19 May 2014

Back to the Grind

Happy Monday, folks! Have a great week ahead loving what you do and doing what you love.

As for me, my Mondays are my Fardhu Ain class day one on one with Ustazah at home. It always jogs my faith stamina and springs my steps for the rest of my week. 

Of course, I realise my journey ahead is filled with terrains and uncharted tracks, so I need my faith compass even more.

My wish for you today is to have a great week ahead. Be it a new school for the young, a new business venture, meeting a new lunch mate from the office, or taking on a new role of your dreams.

Be forfeited in His Love. He's got your back. Always.
Friday, 16 May 2014

Disconnect to Reconnect

When we dine out during weekends, we get stares from strangers and fellow diners seated around us.

We make some mess, but of course, for we have 2 kids under 5 at our tables.

We are multi-lingual and multi-racial, sure, but we are eating in peace and harmony as a family without a care of what the latest political spin is.

People stare. 

They don't ask.

Honestly, we feel that they find us odd - that devices are not being used at our table during meals.

I let The Little Girl doodle with her colour pencils, fold origami and stare into space if she likes.

I let Bean make music out of table drum and laugh out loud at his elder sister.

They eat knowingly and aware of what goes into their little mouths instead of numbing it all down with screen time.

We are odd, yes. We have not invited the iPad or iPad Mini or iPhone to meals with us for a long time now.

We don't even have a data plan (on purpose). Those who need to reach us know how and when. The stock market is shut on weekends so our work is not really affected. 

We do disconnect to reconnect.

Family. Friends.

Face to face. Hand in hand. 

For real.

Yes, we are admittedly odd. We know that.

We are so proud of that!

Would you dare attempt this for just one weekend and report your experience? Let me know how it goes!

Disconnect to reconnect. Try it!

Toxic Input

Just as well I am fasting. Every time I refresh my Facebook newsfeed (limited to once a day now, without any group membership), I am faced with bits and pieces of toxic information.

Unforgiveness, hatred, jealousy, greed, gluttony etc. (this is beginning to sound like the 7 cardinal sins so I'd better stop summarising). 

When was the last time someone gave thanks or unconditionally forgave someone else?

Do make an effort.

Post something nice.

When the toxic stops, your heart will fill with goodness more than you can ever imagine. 

Think twice. Be nice.

Have a great weekend, peeps!

*device-free weekend starts in a few hours*

Happy Teachers' Day!

Many thanks and gratitude to all teachers who had taught, motivated and moulded me into who I am today. 

I would have been nothing without their love, devotion and undying confidence that I could proceed beyond times table and alphabets, doodles and treble clef. 

Many prayers and hope for great teachers to walk into the lives of my little ones. The Little Girl and Bean both alike, will be needing these lovely guiding angels in their lives forevermore.

Happy Teachers' Day! May Allah swt bless and reward your kindness. 
Thursday, 15 May 2014

Purposeful Praying

Do you have a cause or person so dear to you it calls for intervention of the highest degree to resolve?

Mine is a simple prayer for His Will to be done. That seems to be the answer to every cause and person that troubles or burdens me.

Oh my cluttered mind, distracted time, diverted energy, heavy heart and tired limbs can only achieve limited results.

To all in my prayer list, remain steadfast. 

Let His Will be done.


Social Media Fasting

Each of us has a different journey.

Each of us has a different test.

May our journey and test happen in ease as opposed to hardship. 

This is one tough journey for me at the moment. Spiritual fasting, that is. Specifically narrowed down to social media fasting because this is my ultimate comfort and I would feel the most amount of sacrifice (I don't watch the television so unsubscribing ASTRO doesn't jolt me).

So I chose the very thing with highest degree of 24/7 escape, enjoyment and distraction. 

Firstly, I had to leave a very strong bond within a group in Facebook. The direct and immediate results were fascinating. I freed up time for non-online activities and started to smell the coffee again, so to speak. 

So it is true that if we find it hard to cut a negative activity, we can fill it up with a positive activity. It being time. Scarce. How scarce. Irreplaceable.

Why fast? Specifically why spiritual fasting?

My intentions are simple. I need to be ready soulful and mentally for Ramadhan. Freeing my mind and leaving it to be as clean as possible a canvas is vital in purifying my heart and thoughts in order for repentance, forgiveness and glorification to come into my dry spiritual life, by His Mercy and Grace. 

Oh, how my weary soul heals for He is so Forgiving. So abundant is His Blessing I cannot possibly enumerate every single one.

Today is Day 3 and I cannot wait to embrace more rejuvenation.

Next up: purposeful praying.
Monday, 12 May 2014

Happy Mothers' Day

May yours be a very happy one celebrated with those close and dear. 

A prayer for all mums to be even more superb, blessed, healthy, happy, strong and full of iman.

May your year be filled with even more joy and laughter from the little ones!

Sunday, 4 May 2014

New Bibik

No, not a human bibik. A robot bibik!

Thank you, my love. This is even better than 

Having both wouldn't hurt though.

Happy Mothers' Day!