Month: June 2013

Little Things that Encourage

Little Things that Encourage

I received this card cum bookmark (so I thought) the other day from Isa’s creche. It was a simple gesture that makes me think.

The administrator of the creche wrote an email to us parents a while ago applauding the parents turn-up rate of the previous parents-teacher one-to-one meeting – it was 100%. At first I thought, why so much noise about it? In my mind, it is just natural for parents to go and meet the caregivers and discuss about their children’s development, and full attendance is something normal. Expected.

Then I heard stories about parent (who sent children to the same creche) who just could not bring herself to meet the caregivers in sessions like this. That’s why 100% turn-up rate deserves a little souvenir like this.

The creche is trying to do its level best to provide the best care for the children, and I could not be any more grateful than that.

That is why next time when we are having another one-to-one session, I will definitely drag my husband to come along as well, just like last time!


The Daily Reunion

I look forward to seeing my husband at the end of each working day. But now it seems that I am not the only one who treasures the daily reunion moments – Isa gets so happy whenever he sees his ayah, sometimes happier than when he sees me.

I managed to capture some of those moments, this was one at the bookstore.

One Hazy Day

We in Malaysia are having our hazy days lately. So last weekend, despite Isa trying to drag us parents outside (can you believe that little man who just ‘got his feet’ 2 weeks ago now has the nerve to pull our hands towards the main door?), we stayed indoor. Isa got sleepy at around 11 and fell asleep, and since I prepared our breakfast which was also meant to served as lunch AND dinner early in the morning, I had the afternoon free.

And these two happening at the same time was rare.

So I, in the effort to seize the moment, switched on the air-conditioning, got on the bed, had my body blanketed, reached for my book, called the husband (who was reading manga!) to come in and listen to me reading some portions of the book (it was not any romance book unfortunately, it was ‘Einstein Never Use Flashcards’), and there you go – you have a overly pleased woman!

It was a pure bliss – that moment – one I have not been having for a long time it seems.

I guess that is what they call a life simple pleasure, yes?

A Retired Diarist

I was reading an article on Anne Frank yesterday, and it had me thinking about my long-lost daily routine – writing in a diary.

You see, I was a consistent diarist.

But for the past seven years, I have personal, written notes whatsoever. And I feel that due to that, I am lacking in something.

I was a consistent diarist. I started writing in my primary school years
through secondary school (or high school) and foundation college.

Then blog and blogging came.

I had my first personal blog in my first year of University (which I used for six years) and then the idea of writing in a diary just vanished.Unfortunately that comes with a cost.

Many times throughout my blogging years I know I should have started back with recording and structuring my real, deep and personal thought. I have to emphasize those adjectives. Writing for a blog is different, especially as I was not writing anonymously at that time, and most of my audience were people I knew. I consciously filtered what I wrote – not really because I wanted only some parts of myself be revealed, but because deep inside I am still a private person. I wrote about issues, and my thoughts about certain things but nothing really personal.

It sure has its advantages. My articulacy in conveying my ideas in English (despite it being my second language), is largely contributed by my writing a blog. It helps me to structure my thoughts, present my ideas, improve my vocabulary (I do research before writing a post, not just randomly!) and that allows me to talk more eloquently in the real ‘offline’ conversations.

But a blog is a blog. Even if I write it anonymously (which I did not at that time, or even now), it is a platform where the whole world have the chance to see it.

I don’t feel comfortable writing about the spiritual side of me (or the lack of it). I don’t feel easy sharing publicly about my deepest hope, fear and ambitions. I obviously will not write a simple note on how I should plan my day for instance, which I know is something I would write in a diary. I am in no rush to join the bandwagon of sharing my secrets online.

When I found all my old diaries from those high school years and foundation college days, I could see how these jotting-downs of thoughts helped me. In many moments I could see notes of my frustrated teenage self on how I had been astray spiritually, my so-called crushes, new resolutions that I made from time to time, some copied quotes I found inspiring, some ‘5 steps to become XXXX’ I picked up from my reading. I learnt to find my own strengths and weaknesses, put them down in writing, and started my detailed action plans. Putting them down on a piece of paper is a reaffirmation.

In short, I became more aware of myself through writing a diary.

All of these are done freely, knowing that there is no one who will judge me, no one will ‘like’ or ‘hate’ it, not trying to woo readers or increase hits.

I tried to maintain a blog and write a diary before, but it didn’t work. Too much time needed. So concentrated my writing effort for my blog.

The outcome? After seven years being a retired diarist, I feel that I have lost touch with my very deepest self.

I am thinking of making a comeback, trying again to find my innerself. I need to again be in touch with it.

I need to, like urgently.

Maybe at the expense of this blog.


10 Things I Learned in One Year of Parenting

Isa is 13 months today, and looking back I am certain that I have learned and changed a lot. But here some lessons I have been taught (there is a lot more of course) since Isa arrived:

1. Fully breastfeeding for two years is doable. Though I failed at it (Isa was supplemented with formula milk at 8.5 months old, though now at 13 months he is yet to fully wean off), I have learnt my lessons and I think – should the next baby come – I know better on what to do. As a working mom, all that I need is extra effort to pump and stock up expressed breast milk during maternity leave, and be more disciplined in following the pumping schedule.

2. Using baby cradle is not a must not get your baby to sleep. I never own one, never tried one. And Isa seems to learn not to like it too.

3. Not using a baby walker does not make my baby walk later than other children. Isa took his first step at 12.5 months  and now eager to run. That’s not any later than other kids I believe? We own no baby walker, but I know that the crèche does use it. However, I have been told that Isa could not stay long in a walker, he prefers crawling and moving around freely!

4. I can teach my kid(s) to love books and reading by introducing books and reading very early in his life. I read to Isa since he was two months old (or to be particularly precise, since he was in the womb), and lately many have noticed that he treats books with huge interest and imitates what looks to me like reading – well, he babbles while flipping through them.

5. A kid’s love for TV (which I have seen everywhere) can be controlled. I am not sure if we parents can take any credits for this, but Isa does not appreciate TV other than as a machine that he could poke, push and play with. He never look at what those on screen more than a few minutes so I’d say he is never seem glued to it. We are not avid TV watchers for a start (average time spent less than 12 hours per week), and we don’t subscribe to any children’s TV channels as suggested by many parents I have met. I have made a pledge very early on not to use TV as a soother for my crying child, because I think TV is very mind-numbing, but even when we are watching our favourite shows, Isa does not seem interested and is mostly comfortable playing on his own in his playing area, which is next to the TV area in our living room. I hope his disinterest in TV will continue – I am not banning TV completely but I made a pledge to control it as much as I can.

6. The arrival of a child can both make or break a marriage. People say that children make the tie stronger, but I know from my brief experience there are many circumstances that could lead to frictions between spouse. Parenting style, child caring chores… all these can add more stress to the relationship. Or it could make you both a better team. It is how we navigate through this storm that determines the outcomes. Love and mercy are essential I reckon.

7. Being a mom means that I should always have the end in mind with whatever I do in relations to my child. I want to him to be an excellent servant of God, I want him to be a person benefiting those around him, I want him to grow up in this challenging world knowing that he has all what it takes to brave through it and make an impact – and the fact that whatever I do to him, whatever I teach him, will lead to whether these could become real or not.

8. Babyproofing your home makes learning easier for the kids. More freedom to move around, more freedom to explore and more freedom to be independent – well, without anyone keep shouting ‘No’ to whatever the kid touches.

9. One of the best things I could give to my child is a happy marriage. I could see this first hand nowadays. Isa will laugh whenever he sees us laughing. Every single time without fails. And he will look upset whenever me and my husband get into arguments. He becomes quiet straightaway.

10. A child imitates. Get yourself right first.


Isa and the Beaches

My husband’s grandmother was terminally ill when we took our emergency leave, only to find out that she peacefully passed away 30 minutes before we reached the medical centre where she was treated.

As she lived in the East Coast of Malaysia, it was a 6-hour journey to get there, but despite the sadness of her leaving us, the beautiful scenery did soothe us a bit. We spent three nights there, each at a different place – and Isa had the chance to go to the beaches nearby on all three days of us being there.

I have to proudly say that Isa carries our beach-loving genes quite well. He loves the sand and the waves, and I think the sensation of stepping onto the sand, and the sea waves touching his little feet thrilled him.


Disciplining Yourself 101

isa 2013 504

Black seed oil.
Vitamin B Complex.
Vitamin C.
Obimin Tab.

I have never been someone who religiously take pills or supplements. But upon getting the results of my health check-up, I know I could not delay disciplining myself into taking those pills without fail.

I am taking the first step – getting 7 Sided Weekly Pills Reminder.

Dear God, help me.