Month: July 2013

His First Night Away

It was on Thursday when we went to visit parents who were in my sister’s place. We had iftar (break-fast) together that evening. Since the next day was Friday, and my parents planned to visit us on Friday evening I thought I could leave Isa to spend a night over there – I knew he would love it with his cousin there, both my sister and brother, as well as the ever pampering grandparents. And I was correct about that.

Earlier before the iftar he was already having a great time playing – particularly climbing up the stairs – we don’t have stairs in our apartment, so you can understand how novel this activity is to him – and laughing at his cousin’s (6 years old) acts.

Then he fell asleep, which was when we decided we could leave him there. He doesn’t normally wake up if he is already asleep around 8-9pm.
At least I could spare him from having to wake up early tomorrow, and the horrible 45-minute journey to the creche that was my thought.

So we left him at my sister’s place, thinking that he is going to be awake tomorrow morning.

We were wrong. After 15 minutes we left the place, he woke up, and NOT looking for us. AT ALL. He didn’t want to sleep (though my sister swore she tried to make him to), and continued playing, until 1 am, when he tripped, fell down, cried, given bottle, and suddenly fell asleep.

So the next day when I was at work I could not help but calling my mother just to check out on him, only to find out that he’s busy playing (again), refused to nap but a little, and didn’t seem to miss us parents. No tears whatsoever.

Well, I could feel rejected if I want to, but I think did a good job raising a pretty much confident and independent child.

Maybe.

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Healthy Food Challenge 1

As what typically happens to married men, my husband gains weight quite a lot since we got married. He explicitly put the blame on me (haha) for that citing the fact that I love to eat but it is always him who has to finish the food, and that I cook unhealthy food – well, I kind of love oily sambal and such, how can I help it?

So since the last two days I’m trying to prove that I am not the only one at fault – it could be his sedentary life as well – so I made a resolution to cook meals as healthy as I can for ifthar i.e. break-fast.

Day 1: Singaporean Fried Vermicelli with Seafood and Vegetables  

Recipe source: http://polkadotfiza.blogspot.com/2013/03/bihun-goreng-singapore.html, with minor changes (no chicken essence cube, instead I used blended dried shrimps), served with shredded omelette and sweet soy sauce with chillies.

Verdict: Husband likes it.

Repeatable in Future ?: Yes.

Ease: Medium

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Day 2: Steamed Black Pomfret with Ginger

Recipe source: http://zalinah.blogspot.com/2013/04/ikan-bawal-kukus-halia.html

Verdict: Husband loves it.

Repeatable in Future ?: Yes, highly

Ease: Easy peasy

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Let’s see what I am going to cook today!

Ramadhan Note Day 13: Be right or be kind?

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I have an ego the size of a mountain. It is a constant struggle to overcome and tame it. The worst thing about having huge ego is that I’ll be blinded and unable to see the truth.

Yesterday I told my husband on certain things I have been feeling, with regards to my in-laws. It’s not much a problem, it is just a matter of how I deal with it really – but to not respond on certain things they say is hard for me.

My husband calmed me down.

“You see, the trick with the elderly is to just listen to whatever they say. Respond with whatever you think they want to hear. Sometimes they don’t even know what they are saying, and all you have to do is say things that make them happy. Whether you do what they think you should do or not, that’s another story.’

“I can’t. I have the urge to respond to whatever they say that I think is wrong,” I told him.” I know that being kind is more important than being right, but it is hard.”

“If you feel that being right is more important than being kind, then you have to say the right things, and the right thing to say is whatever that makes them happy.”

Hmm.

Ramadhan Note Day 7: Mission Almost Fail but I will Work on it!

I am working on making this Ramadhan better. It’s supposedly a festival where Muslims multiple their good deeds for the rewards promised are also increased. Well, not a festival where food becomes the major feature. It should be the last.

I made a resolution on certain areas in my life. Maybe I could say that the focus is to work on my manner with my husband. Well, he has been very patient with me all this while with many of my bad habits, and I think he deserves to have a better wife starting this Ramadhan. I will work on it, I promise!

But yes, while I aim at NOT getting angry with him or anyone. I failed, just a few minutes before the break-fast.

The only reason I was angry was that I wanted to cook hence would like to reach home early. He didn’t seem to have that sense of urgency. So on the first day of fasting even, upon reaching home 10 minutes before break-fast, I could not cook. And I was frustrated.

Of course we had a fair amount of left-over from our pre-dawn meal that day, and my husband was more than happy to eat that.

I think it was my ego. I do not know whom I am trying to please by pushing myself hard to prepare food for the family when my husband is happy with me not cooking. He in fact made it clear that I don’t have to cook if it makes me tired (partly because I’ll get very grumpy when I am tired).

I suspect it is my ego.

I think I am influenced very much by the standard people unnecessary put – homemade food is of course the best, but that’s not the only thing that marks a good housewife, a wife or a mom! I am pretty sure that me being able to smile and treat my husband well is more valued  than a homemade food served by an exhausted wife.

So yes, it could be my ego.

Which I have made a pledge to tame and control.

It’s Ramadhan, anyway.

Ramadhan Note Day 2: Feels Like Home

It has been quite some time since we last went back to my hometown. I went back with my son in early May to vote during the election day, but visiting my parents as a family – three of us – it has been a while. Put my husband’s exam, Isa being unwell, my parents visiting us and all other emergencies and weekend activities, I think it is almost 5 months.

I yearn to go home.

But home is where your family is. Now that I have my own family of my husband and son, what happens to my family of my father, mother and siblings?  How different the homey feeling would be?

I realise then, that being at home is being at ease.

Family don’t judge. You can act crazy, you can act silly – they will still love you. You are a failure, you are a winner, it mostly doesn’t matter to them.

Feeling at home is when things are unconditional.

Parents’ love is unconditional. It’s given. No ifs, ands or buts. I know it well now that I am a mother. Your children and your parents are Divine choice.

Spousal love, on the other hand,  is not. They become your family once you marry them. And you marry them, I hope, by choice. And who made the choice? You. How did you make the choice? Perhaps because they met some set criteria. And criteria means conditions.

But of course, it can grow unconditional.

It’s complicated, you know. But I’m glad I feel at home with both. So you see, maybe I have come to love my spouse unconditionally.

What a milestone to realise that this Ramadhan.

 

Ramadhan Note Day 1: The Day I Become Poorer

Yesterday we signed our deal of purchasing a new car. I mean, we received our ordered car yesterday.

My husband said it out loud: It doesn’t feel any difference driving a new car. No excitement whatsoever.

I felt the same way too – it doesn’t make me happier, not making me sadder, but it surely makes me poorer!

Oh well. We can’t do away with cars in Malaysia, the public transport system is not impressive here. And we are forced to live with a super expensive prices of cars.

This one took a quarter of my monthly salary – on a seven year loan, and more than 10% down payment.

I would like to curse the stupid policy-makers in this country, but hey, calm down.

It’s Ramadhan.

Dads are for playing… AND sleeping

Your baby’s main job is to learn by playing and exploring, and she often picks dad for the task. It starts right after birth when your little bundle of joy notices that he looks, smells and sounds different than you. She won’t know what to think of him right off, which is why she stares at him. As the weeks go by, your baby will learn that you are protective and calming, while dad is more playful, physical, and often surprising. You will pick her up when she is fussy, and dad will more likely tickle her or lift her into the air. When she hears her father’s voice, she’s likely to raise her shoulders and eyebrows, or begin kicking her legs, in an invitation to have fun.

Her father, perhaps due in part to maturity issues, is naturally designed to be her perfect playmate. Tickling, flight lessons, peek-a-boo and wrestling all come naturally.  Playing is also bonding at its finest. Dads elicit radiant smiles and infectious belly laughs, sometimes with just a wink. And finally, playing teaches her how to laugh and take risks, develops her motor skills and speeds the development of her brain and nervous system. It’s a dirty job, crawling on the floor, barking like a dog chasing her around, and its dad’s job.

-You don’t want assistant mother

That is absolutely true, I have always knew it observing how easy Isa would laugh at his father’s slightest movement.

But I didn’t know that he also needs the father badly – to sleep.

My husband woke up for early morning prayer last Saturday when Isa was awaken too. A few minutes later I found him crawling to his ayah who has finished with his prayers, sat on his lap, and fell asleep.

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First position. Ayah fell asleep too. Sitting.

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Adjusted position 1

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Adjusted position 2 (Excuse the background). Ayah finally surrendered

My husband maintained the final adjusted position for an hour or so – with both of them sleeping while I had the glorious opportunity of having the bed to myself!

I guess Isa just missed his dad so much – his dad missed his bedtime 3 days in a row.