Monday, December 03, 2012

Hachi nen me no kinenbi

It's been ages since I last wrote - and I must admit that it's not because I've been that busy - it's only because I've never really committed myself to make time to write. For that, I'm sorry.

Still, I figure, like birthdays, anniversaries are good time to pause and reflect - and for that, here I am.

8 years! Masya Allah, already? Coming from a background when one's own parents had their divorce for the third and final time when their eldest child was eight - 8 years is a feat, alhamdulillah.

We've gone through ups and downs - but there was one incident this year that got us shook up. I guess it's true - love will be tested, even in the sturdiest marriage. You know how life is. It can be like a teacher, who from time to time puts us through tests and exams - and when we pass those tests and exams, we found ourselves achieving new levels of understanding. The same goes with marriage - there'll be tests every now and then. And hopefully, when we pass those tests, we will also achieve new level of understanding and benefit from that to become better and stronger.


I was so saddened when Ayah, with tears in his eyes, actually apologised to me - "I'm sorry I made a bad choice for you". Ayah felt guilty because, like I've explained before - hubby and I were introduced by a family friend (Ayah's ustaz). Both Ayah and Mak were already keen on the prospect of having hubby as their son-in-law when I was pretty much still feeling blasé about getting married. But as it happened - we did istikharah, some soul searching and it didn't take long for hubby and I to agree to get married after the initial introduction.

For Ayah to feel that he should be blamed should anything went wrong with our marriage - it's just simply wrong. "It's not your fault. You didn't forced me to marry him. I married him out of my own free will," I tried to reassure Ayah.

"Yes, but it was Ayah and Mak who chose him in the first place and you just went along with our choice".

There was no words to console Ayah. I found myself in tears because being a parent myself, I could imagine, if it's possible, my parents would have taken my burden of pain and bear it for me - but  they could not. They could could only make a lot of doa and give us lots of blessings, so that Allah will make it easier for us...


In the first place, hubby and I did not marry each other purely out of love for ourselves. In the first place, we married each other because we believed that Allah has given us jodoh together and we got married because of Him. Since we married because of him, when in trouble, we returned back to Him in finding the root cause of the trouble that plagued our marriage.

And, alhamdulillah - I believe that we have overcame that test.
We are both humans with weaknesses. We are both humans that need reminders from time to time to correct our mistakes, to improve ourselves. When we were tested - we tried to look for common grounds that could bridge the gap between us. We do love each other. We do want to raise our kids together. And we do want to be together and try to make our holy matrimony bond last - till jannah, insya Allah.

All these hopes and wants mean we have to commit ourselves to it. Apologies and forgiveness were exchanged. Regrets and repents were accepted. Promises were made. Changes were vital.  

And so we try to move forward and fall in love with each other again - because after all, a successful marriage requires falling in love over and over again, always with the same person.


Alhamdulillah I tuned in to that Monday afternoon, after work and on the way to pick the kids from the nursery. Ustaz Pahrol Mohd Juoi was on air, in the "Mukmin Profesional" slot.

"Dua prasyarat untuk mendapat jodoh yang baik.
Pertama, jadilah orang yang baik, insyaAllah, akan dapat jodoh yang baik.
Kedua, ikutlah pilihan orang yang baik-baik. insyaAllah, jodoh itu jodoh yang baik."

I was stunned. Okay, it was nothing new - but at that moment, I knew exactly what I needed to convince my parents. To stop them from feeling guilty for making hubby our 'pilihan bersama' as my spouse.

I know my husband, and despite all our differences and weaknesses and all - I'm convinced that he is a 'jodoh yang baik'.
I know my parents, and despite all our differences and arguments and all - I'm convinced that they are 'orang yang baik-baik".

Hence, I believe that hubby is indeed a 'jodoh yang baik' because he was the choice of my parents, people I believe to be 'orang yang baik-baik', insya  Allah.


It was past midnight when I awoke in an empty bed. I went downstairs - there he was, on the couch, baby Aqil sprawled asleep in front of him and 3-year old Asim asleep on the sofa next to the couch. Akif and Huzaifah were still awake - intently playing game on either Ayah's or Ibu's phone.

I walked purposely towards the couch - took his hand, raised it and kissed it. Then I kissed his face - both the cheeks and the forehead.

"Tahu tak kenapa?," I queried, wondering whether or not he still remember our wedding anniversary.
Eight years on, four boys, two miscarriages and all...

"Tahu.... Kahwin..."

I grinned. Alhamdulillah. He might not be a romantic, but he remembers. That should count for something.


Here's making lots of doa that we will be blessed by Allah in our joining, that we will be the qurratul a'yun for each other and that we will grow old together, be with each other always - from earth till jannah, insya Allah.

I love you Abang!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

3 years left to still be in my 30s, insya Allah

I missed writing an entry on my birthday last year - and since I cannot recall what it was like last year, I thought I'd better write an entry this year. A birthday is a good day to reflect on the past - and it's easier to reflect when you have some previous notes rather than nothing at all...

I watched the first half of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai for maybe the 12th time last night but as it reached midnight I thought to myself that with just 3 more years to go before I reach the big 4-0, I might want to consider doing something more valuable than re-watching a Hindi movie on love and friendship - so I hit the bed. Ha ha. 

But having a 10-going-11 month old baby means one won't be getting a long uninterrupted sleep. And baby Aqil's sleep last night was full of interruptions. It took quite long for him to fall back to sleep last night - and I must thank Pak Ostad for being thoughtful enough to spend some time to coax baby Aqil back to sleep (which I must add, not a usual occurance but for which I am thankful anyway) after I was too tired to do iton my own.  

Alhamdulillah, I am thankful for all that is good in my life - family, friends, career and all.

I have four children now -  boys aged 7, 5, 3 and a baby who is going to turn 1 next month insya Allah. Four sweet boys who could be boisterous, energetic, over active kids who drive me nuts at times - but who during their tender moments just make my heart melt. Yes, we mothers are weak like that - we might yell, nag, scold - as part of the intention to teach, educate, discipline, coach, mentor - but our heart melt by little things like a rongak smile from a boy who's waiting for his new adult teeth to grow, or a baby smile with newly-formed 4 upper teeth and 2 lower teeth, or a tight hug from a five year old who had just recently been diagnosed as being in the Autism Spectrum Disorder and a 'Thank You Ibu" (instead of a "Thank You Abu")  from a still pelat three-year old. I am still trying to figure out how to be a 'good mother'. Not an easy task and still a 'work-in-progess'.. And I think it's going to be a lifelong 'work-in-progress' because new tips and tricks keep coming in as I keep growing up with the kids - and catering to their different needs and wants.  

I have a husband who is considerate enough to share the household chores now that we are maidless for a year. It didn't happen overnight - but slowly and gradually things started to change, alhamdulillah. Being maidless was really difficult the first few months when one still doesn't have the hang of it - but now we have gone through the routine for a year now, it's almost a blessing in disguise because for one I think it has helped hubby and I to bond better with the kids and with each other. I could usually rely on Pak Ostad to handle the laundry now - or at least, the washing and hanging the clothes to dry. (We continuously have mountains of clothes to be folded and ironed - but at least they are all clean). And I am really thankful that he is not a fussy eater. It's acceptable to have plain white rice, with some instant fried chicken or BBQ chicken that could be cooked using the Air Fryer plus a vegetable dish. I am still trying to be a good wife and I am glad to note that Pak Ostad too is trying to be a good husband and father to our children. After all, good relationships/marriages/families don't just happen - they take time, patience and commitment from all parties involved. All with Allah's blessings, of course. 

I am in a good office - with a really down-to-earth Big Boss that one can really look up to, and an understanding supervisor who allow me to take quite regular time-outs (now that Humaidi needs to go for his Occupational Therapy sessions, paediatric appointments, psychiatrist appointments.) Not to mention the occassional time-outs a typical mother with young children need - for visits to the clinic, meeting with the school teacher, this and that. But I am not worried to leave the office every now and then, because alhamdulillah, I have good subordinates who get along well with each other and work great as a team that I can rely on to produce results.

I am blessed with many good friends and relatives. And one of the best things about birthdays is the realisation that you are being remembered by those who genuinely like and love you. Which cause you to wear goofy grins all day long as you read all those incoming warm messages posted on your FB wall, or messages sent via phone or e-mail.

Thank you all. Thank you Allah. I seek Your forgiveness for all my sins and wrongdoings. I am only a 'dhaif' servant of yours, but you have given me so much in life that I could never thank you enough...
La ilaha illallah
Allahu akbar.

Thursday, March 08, 2012



All of the above are words used to greet - in the case of salam, it goes further to be a prayer for the receiver. When I was in Japan, there was an emphasis on aisatsu (greetings). Classmates loudly greet "ohayo!" as they fill in the classroom. Neighbours smile and say "konnichiwa" as we briefly pass each other on the corridor. Customers are welcomed with loud "irrashaimase" every time we enter a shop or restaurant.  

Now that I'm back in Malaysia, I can honestly say that one of the things I miss a lot was the cheerful greeting. It's just not in our culture that somebody will quickly and cheerfully greet "selamat datang" as we enter a shop or restaurant (at times, it might take ages just to wait for somebody to bring the menu to our table).

It's a culture for teachers in Japan to meet and greet the students at the school gate. I remember reading a Japanese board book to Huzaifah on going to the kindergarten which ended with the kid in the book happily greeted his smiling teacher "Ohayo Gozaimas" at the kindy's gate.

Now I've heard of a new circular asking teachers in Malaysia to do the same, among other things listed as 'amalan guru penyayang". Which I personally think is great, but unfortunately, based on some postings on blogs and FB, many Malaysian teachers feel as 'melampau'.

What puzzled me more is that some teachers even went further to claim that it's because they love the students that they scream, punish, pinch the students. And now they are being asked to greet the students, to wish happy birthday, to straighten the students' neck tie, help closing a missed button hole and other 'unimaginable' things spelled out in the loving teacher circular.

Well, I don't know about others - I personally don't mind a teacher correcting my son at school by handing out appropriate punishment. But I also don't expect a teacher claiming that the way for them to show love for the school children is by screaming at them, punishing them, pinching them, all in the name of educating the kids and stop at that. Where's the warmth of a teacher? What is wrong with greeting the students at the gate? Why should it be considered 'melampau' to wish the kids happy birthday? What is wrong with teachers smiling warmly and openly at the students?

One of the things I'd always enjoyed witnessing in Japan was watching teachers walking with their young students in parks. The students would take turn asking the teachers this-and-that questions which would be patiently answered by the teachers. Anyone could witness the atmosphere of warmth and friendliness, the obvious camaraderie among them. Something that I've yet to witness in a Malaysian government school.

I think we should go back to basic in dealing with kids. Children learn what they live - chances are a child who often gets a gentle touch and smiles would grow up to be different than a child who always get screamed at and stern looks all the time. The adult actions give a massive impact to the brain development of the child, that's why we have been reminded that it's up to the parents to determine the "colours" of their children who had been born a "clean white sheet".

I feel it's a pity that teachers are feeling burdened by being asked to execute the 'loving teacher circular'. Teachers all over the world are doing exactly what is being spelled out in the circular voluntarily. Parents who send their children to public schools in Japan, Australia, UK (to name a few) would be able to confirm that  yes, their children are met and greeted daily at the school gate, that kids get to celebrate their birthday in school with their classmates during monthly parties, that teachers become not only their coach, mentor, counsellor, but also to an extent, the children's friend. 

It might all started with just a warm, friendly greeting, but in the long term, it might be valued more than we realize. It might be just easier to persuade kids to love going to school from a young age because they feel really welcomed and appreciated at school. Oh, and while at that - every smile that accompany a teacher's greeting in the morning could  be one of his/her earliest sadaqah of the day. And as sadaqah, it means a smile would never be in vain even if it returned by a sulk or surly look...

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Akif Humaidi's first (2) days at kindy

Day 1

"Tengok Ibu, oh, cantiknya baju..."
New shirt, new pants, new socks (used pair of shoes though- hands-me-down from Abang Ujai)
"Ibu, Akif nak pergi sekolah. Akif nak berjaya"
Ibu was pleasantly surprised by the declaration (and made a quick do'a that he will grow up as a success in both dunya wal akhirah)

Class was a bit chaotic - but we found a place for him.
Immediately saw a box of Lego - and started playing
Which prompted others in the class to also join him playing.

I left when the situation looked to be a little more in control and the kindy's grille was closed.
Security is a major concern when Akif is known to have gone wandering on his own.

When I picked him after work - he was crying.
Apparently he had gone out of the classroom twice!
Oh dear.
Once, when the students who are only attending the morning session went home.
In the midst of them, Akif went out on his own and went to a convenience shop.
Found by a kind makcik who even paid for a toy robot for Akif and returned him to the kindy (known from the name tag he put on)

He slipped out of the kindy again when a fellow student was about to leave in the evening.
A teacher immediately ran after him - and he almost made it to the main road had not a passer-by stopped him.
He started crying in protest when he was taken back to the kindy/transit.
And that was the condition I found him in - in tears of protest...

Day 2

Moody right from the very beginning.
Wanted to put on his "baju Tom & Jerry" (pyjamas) after shower.
I pointed out that 'baju cantik' is nicer to put on, as "baju Tom & Jerry dah kotor"
After a struggle, managed to make him wore the white t-shirt and navy blue track bottoms on.

When we stopped at the nursery to drop his younger brothers, he went inside the nursery.
The care takers had to convince him that he had to go to 'sekolah lain' as 'Akif dah tak sekolah sini dah'.
He didn't want to bulge so had to forcefully dragged him into the car.

When we arrived at his kindy, he refused to bulge.
Had to pick him up and carried him like a baby all the way to the front door.
And then he started wailing "Ibu, jomlah kita balik rumah".
Tried to negotiate with him.
Didn't work.
Tried to distract him by asking him to join his peers wiggling and swaying to song as taught by the teacher.
Didn't work.
In fact he only cried louder.
"Akif tak nak sekolah... Jomlah kita balik rumah, Ibu..."
Another girl who had been observing him looked alarmingly like she was going to start crying too.
So I knew I had to make a quick exit.
A teacher hold him and signed it was okay for me to leave.
And I left.
And I could hear his loud wail even from behind closed door.
It was not easy to walk away.
I waited for a few minutes until the cry seemed to subside - outside the kindy.
It didn't last very long.
But still, it was not easy to walk away...

Monday, December 12, 2011

To blog or to stop

A lot had happened and I didn't blog about them.
It has been so long that it feels almost strange to be writing this.
In the past, this blog had been an outlet for me to share my thoughts, feelings and experiences as they happened. This year, it almost seem like nothing had happened when I did not blog.

Many times, I talked in my head as if I was blogging, but I did not blog in reality.
Not about how difficult it was for Huzaifah to adapt in the new school, of his 'keluar sekolah' episodes and how we had to meet and discuss with the school's headmistress and different teachers to sort stuff out.
Not about how adventurous Humaidi had grown to be - so much so that it has been 3 times that he had to be fetched from the police station and I've lost count of 'missing' episodes in shopping malls when I had to seek help from security officers to help me find him.
Not about the 'supernatural' disturbance at home that caused upset as much as fear.
Not about the arrival of our fourth addition to the family, Muhammad Aqil Hazim, in June.
Not about the death of my biological mother, Ummi, on the day baby Aqil turned 5 months.
This year, there was no entry on my birthday, on my children's birthdays or  on our 7th wedding anniversary.

I am pondering now - whether to keep on blogging or to say adieu for good...
After all, I had already missed blogging for almost one whole year...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mak buyung

Remember when I was pregnant with Humaidi and people had trouble telling that I was actually carrying a baby in my tummy?

Back then, at 6 months pregnant, I looked like this:

I didn't even have to wear a materity jeans. That pair I wore in the above pictures is a normal pair of jeans, not a maternity pair with extended spandex panel.

Fast forward 4 years later and this is how I look being almost 6 months pregnant with the 4th child:

(Ya, bola yang dipikul dan perut yang di depan sudah hampir sama bulatnya)

(Dah, dah, lepas ni dah tak boleh pakai baju kurung. Sila keluarkan uniform ye, puan...)

Yup, I weigh more now than I used to weigh at full term with Humaidi or Huzaifah...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Conteng conteng

"Ujai tolong cuci kat sini," he said, pointing to a purple blot of circular scribble.
"Ibu cuci kat atas ni," he pointed to another a lot larger black circular-and-longitudinal scribble.
I passed a small scouring pad to him with a dash of Cif on it and agreed, "Okay".

His father had asked him to clean up the wall after he scribbled on it before, so Huzaifah usually is more reserved about scribbling on the wall compared to his younger brothers. He knows that it is no easy task to scrub the wall and he knows that it's not that we are angry with him scribbling - it's just that we don't like him and his brothers scribbling on the wall, because it makes the house look dirty and uncared for.

For a child of 5, I think Huzaifah has been showing lots of potential to be a responsible big brother. When I had no bibik to help around, he would assist with picking up the laundry from the clothes line. As I fold the clothes, he would help with finding matching socks or t-shirt-and-pants pairs. If I had to mediate and divide toys such as bulding blocks between Humaidi and Haniyya, Huzaifah would ensure that his brothers play fair, by being the level-playing big brother. For instance if I had given some blocks to Haniyya and Humaidi took them away, Huzaifah would make it up by giving other blocks to Haniyya - to Humaidi's chagrin of course, but to my pleasure as I observe how Huzaifah has developed a sense of fairness and respect the notion of sharing.

I know that he hasn't been given any task by the current bibik who claimed that he only 'kacau' her in carrying out chores. I wish she would give him more chances to prove his worth, but then again, I guess that's part of the price we pay when we are not stay-at-home-mom.

Anyway, can anybody share tips to avoid young children from scribbling on the wall? Like most young children I know, my sons are no exception to the "whee-the-wall-is-clean-let's-doodle-on-it" syndrome. Like most caretakers of young children, we - bibik, hubby and I - didn't always manage to stop the boys in time from doodling and scribbling on the wall. We usually offer the alternative of scribbling in books - note books, activity books, colouring books. But for some unfathomable reason, they always prefer scribbling on the wall. Or on the floor. Or on any other surfaces - the dining table, dining chairs, bed sheet, fridge, washing machine, sofa - but for on paper. Duh.

Not that we don't have any white board in the house, but the boys, especially Humaidi, could be unpredictable at times, and there are reasons to worry about the kids' safety should one decide to just topple down the white board for fun.

I know that scribbling is good for the kids - it helps to express their creativity , raise their confidence, improve their eye-hand coordination, develop their imagination bla, bla, bla. And to be honest, I kind of enjoy looking at their scribbles too - 'flowers' that resembled Godzilla head, "sun" which was scribbled with black crayon instead of the cheery yellow or orange, assorted dots and scratches in multiple colors that resembled sweets and candies. It's just that I wish they would enjoy scribbling in books rather than on the wall or the floor or any other supposedly 'off-limit' surfaces.

Bibik claimed that she's been cleaning the wall a few weeks ago, but the scribbles refused to fade.
"Bibik guna apa buat cuci dinding?"
"Saya guna clorox. Banyak pun, tapi tak hilang-hilang juga"
"Tak payah guna clorox Bik, guna krim kuning ni," I pointed to Cif, the lemon cream cleanser formerly known as Jif.
(The truth is, I doubted that she actually did any wall-scrubbing since there was no left-over smell of Clorox when she said she did, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt)

When she complained again last night about the wall being an eye-sore with all the colourful scribbles made with crayons, colour pencils and marker, I just took a scouring pad and Cif and started scrubbing the wall, beginning with the one closest to the front door. Bibik quickly followed suit by 'rinsing' the freshly-scrubbed wall with a wet towel.

The house still currently smells strongly of Cif. Like it ocassionally does everytime we have a wall-scrubbing session. In fact last night, there was an incident when Haniyya scribbled on a freshly-scrubbed wall, which meant I had to re-scrub it.

Hmm, wonder when will they learn that it's okay to scribble, but not on the wall?


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