As Bree Van De Kamp says, "I work too, I'm a Home Maker." (pix of Rosie The Riveter copied from

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

Wow... it has been a year since I've posted anything here...

It seems like only yesterday that I was helping Damascus with his scrapbook project. He has since celebrated his 9th birthday last 15 April 2014, and his younger brother Marrakesh had also completed his scrapbook project. But Marrakesh's was not the experience I had with Damascus. Marrakesh had wanted it simple, "I want to write a story, and I want to draw, I want it simple". Even after I had explained to him the concept of scrapbooking, that is "booking scrap", he insisted that he wanted it the way he wanted it. So be it. And it was all cool :)

And today is another Mother's Day. As I posted on my FB, being a mommy is not just about having been pregnant and given birth, it is about doing and feeling all those things that a mommy does. So, to all mommies, birth mothers, grandmas, aunties, ladies and gentlemen, you know who you are...HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! We may not have guns like Rosie there, but I'm sure you all agree that we are surely among the toughest.

Being a mommy is also not just about being sweet and gentle and nice and loving and dedicated and a dependable cook, it is also about surviving all those heart wrenching heart breaks, kickboxing those fears that make you sick to the bone, and then rising time and again above and beyond, feeling like you have experienced the worst Judge Dredd task ever, but looking instead like you have had the finest day of your life, having gracefully danced the waltz of the Blue Danube. With that invisible cape, of course... and with never ending prayers... In syaa Allah :)

That, and then some...coz you would also then need to deal with the father of your children too, and that ladies and gentlemen, is another level of finesse altogether.

Indeed everyday should be mother's day, and perhaps everyone agrees it is, but today is the day when your brood actually has to acknowledge it! And they would, with lots of love and adoration for mommy. So appreciate it, and cherish the love... I love you my darling boys... Alhamdulillah... XOXOX :)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

My Boys Growing Up...

I've been helping Damascus with his Scrapbook Project during the recent school holidays, and their ayah and I came upon some old photos of our 3 boys, and I just couldn't help falling in love all over again... :)

Philippines ~ Manila, 2007 ...Marrakesh was still on his bottle and in diapers, and we traveled with 2 strollers! Esfahan was the big boy :)

Singapore, 2008 ...Marrakesh was still in diapers but almost off his bottle, and we still traveled with a stroller; both Esfahan and Damascus were big boys :)

Bali, 2009 more diapers, bottle and stroller, but Marrakesh hadn't quite achieved big boy status yet :)

Then we went local for our enrichment trips, mainly due to boys' "unfavourable" behaviour, as well as time and budget constraints.

Our most recent foreign enrichment trip was to the awe inspiring Nepal... :)

Nepal, 2012 ...this has been the most fulfilling family enrichment trip thus far, coz all 3 boys were able to read the guide book and maps, and they were able to grasp the whole gist of the trip. They even caught on the Nepali language! All 3 are big boys now :)

For 2013, mommy is still researching destinations and calculating the possible expenses. All 3 boys want Japan, but we will see how things go, InsyaAllah... :)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day 2013!

So, we're finally settled in for today. It's Mother's Day, well, almost the end of it really, yes, and I've been a mom for 12 years this year, Alhamdulillah.

I'm feeling a little sad, coz I didn't get to spend it with my Mama, although I did talk to her on the phone and wished her Happy Mother's Day, and my kids wished her Happy GrandMother's Day. Today's agenda was rather full, so it would have been hectic for us to make our way to Klang, zig zagging around; and yesterday my whole day was spent doing something very significant for Jules, plus with all the boys' activities, so it was not practical to make a visit to Klang yesterday either.

So this morning when I awoke I thought of my mom, but I also had to get my brood moving first, to ensure everything goes on smoothly according to schedule. You see, in this household, if I don't sound the morning beacon and give the first command, no one moves. So, today would start with Damascus's Speech & Drama at KLPAC, then birthday gift shopping for Zara, Zara's Birthday Lunch, and then perhaps some refreshing Java to end the day, before going home and getting things ready for school the next day, with exams happening the whole week for all 3 boys.

I have no energy to iron their uniforms now, so I'll do that at 5am tomorrow. Now I sit and write while all 4 boys are out having dinner. Mommy wants to be alone for now to do this; but I've asked them to tapau me Tipah's fab curry chicken and steamed bread. Yes, that would be my Mother's Day dinner.

The thing is, I've been thinking of my Pah, how one day she was here and the next she wasn't. I know my mom's missing her very much too; Pah was like a mother to her as she lost her mom when she was very young. And I was talking to my cousin yesterday and she was showing me the last photos she took with Pah, at a recent family wedding. And I also miss my sister this Mother's Days coz she's in JB now working her ass off at an event, and I don't know, maybe it's also that time of the month, but I'm just not feeling so jubilant or overzealous like I always do at this time of the year. Hmmm, I think it's that time of the month lah ha... :)

Anyway, I just spoke to my mom again and she's telling me about my brother and his kids and how my sister must be wrapping up her event pretty much now and should be coming back to KL tomorrow. And my boys just called to say Tipah is closed so no curry and steamed bread for mommy; so I choose Ameer Ehsan's maggi goreng instead!

No, I don't mean to write dreary, I actually wanted to share with everyone how much having my Mama in my life has meant to me, especially since I became a mommy myself. I think this dreariness is really coz of that time of the month lah, I'm quite sure of it and I really cannot help it, heeee...

Anyway, the things I want to share...

My mom not only still breaks bread for us, she still BAKES bread for us! When her grandkids want cake, she'll bake her famous butter cake. When I want bubur sagu, she makes bubur sagu. When my husband wants keropok, she fries keropok. When my brother and sister want her nasi goreng, she makes her nasi goreng. And she would simply and happily bake mini buns coz she knows it would occupy her grandkids' time and make them happy.

She always reminds me that family is most important and precious. She reminds me that we 3 siblings, my eldest sister, my brother and me the youngest, must always keep close ties with each other and with each other's families. That her grandkids, our kids' cousins, must grow up close and united. That the younger ones must always respect the older ones and that the older ones must always guide the younger ones. She always reminds us to never forget to include each other in our gatherings and celebrations, even if not everyone can join in; the most important thing is to keep each other in the loop and never to leave anyone out, coz she says a family doesn't forget each other, a family always thinks of each other no matter how busy or difficult, a family sticks together and stays strong together.

And she still gives each of us birthday money on each of our birthdays, children, menantu, cucu-cucu, without fail!

When I let out to my mom about HOW MESSY MY KIDS ARE!!!, she calmly tells me, "Adik tolong la diorang kemas jugak, sabar, diorang besar nanti ok la semua tu, you have good, wonderful boys, syukur Alhamdulillah..." Or when I confide in her about matters concerning in-laws, she also always calmly says, without any bias or taking any any sides, "Memang macam tu la, sabar, they are good people and they are good for you, else you would just be stuck with us!" Hmmm, somehow that seems rather funny now, hehe...

Anyway, so now I'm thinking, will I ever be a wonderful mommy like my Mama? When my boys are grown and married and have their own children, will I bake brownies for them? On my own free will? If they asked me for nasi goreng, will I make them nasi goreng or will I say, "Hmm, tengok kalau Tipah buka boleh tapau kat Tipah. Or tapau kat Ameer Ehsan ke..." If they came to me with in-law problems, would I advise them maturely and unbiasly, or will I say, "I told you so..."

Will I be able to keep my family together? United and strong? Call each son or daughter-in-law or grandkids everyday or every other day, just to say Hi and to make sure everyone's fine? Will I remember everyone's birthdays and special days, and call them and give them each birthday money, of the same fair and equal amount, every year, without fail? Will I remind Esfahan of Damascus's or Marrakesh's birthdays, or of everyone's birthdays and special days?

It's really not easy you know. Well, some may say my mom only has 3 kids so it's not so hard for her to keep in touch with only 3, compared to those with 5 or 6 or 7 or more. But then again, I think there are mothers who don't call their kids, maybe coz they think it's the kids who should call them. But my mom calls, and asks me how my day is, then in the afternoon when she knows my kids would be home from school, she'd call again and talk to them, and remind them to keep their things neat and do their school work. And she and my father would seriously make sure they catch my kids' VO work on the radio or TV as much as possible. Seriously. Then my mom would call again and remind me that I have been truly blessed with such gifted kids and that I should feel very blessed and that I must take good care of all my kids, harta dunia akhirat...

Oh, will I ever truly be a good mother in the truest sense of it? After 12 years, my kids' room still perpetually looks like a tornado's hit it, I still send some of our laundry to Mr. Clean, and I think soon Ameer Ehsan will give us loyalty cards!

My father told me to learn to make bread from my mom and to start making bread myself; but I actually know how to make bread already, I just don't want to make them myself coz Mama can still make them for me.

I don't know, I guess I will only know in time. Perhaps. But if you ask me, I'll tell you that I don't think I'll be a good a mom as my own Mama is to me :)

Happy Mother's Day! xox :)

Seated in front, in the yellow baju Kedah is my Pah; this pix was taken end 2012. And there's my Mama in blue, standing on the most right... xox

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2013!

Alhamdulillah, my family and I have safely made it through another year. There were some cuts, bruises and a facial palsy along the way, but they are well healed now without any unfortunate scars.

My father has always taught me that life, while precious, is very simple, and while most times we need to trust our inner gut feeling, we must also always try to substantiate it with rational logic. My mother always reminds me of the importance of family, and to bring up my 3 boys to love and respect each other, and to keep strong ties with other family members and relatives, coz at the end of the day family is what matters most. And some friends who are in no way related to us by blood may even be the closest family we could have.

This year has brought me much joy, Alhamdulillah. Joy, as defined in Jules Modern Life Dictionary, means good and bad, happy and sad, pretty and ugly, slim and fat, healthy and sick, smart and dumb, sane and crazy, and all those things that make us wiser and fuller and more worthy of this life that the Almighty has bestowed upon us.

Some of the most meaningful things that filled my 2012, in no particular order...

We flew to Kathmandu and caught the Himalayan view!

Lunching with my Darling friends from Matrik UUM...

Getting together with my KGV friends...

Hanging out with my OSK gang!

Partying with super fab ladies!

A memorable gathering of my Kelantan kins in Melaka...

A riot with cousins in Janda Baik!

Quality time with the Said Clan at Raziq's birthday celebration in Putrajaya...

Celebrating Darling Husband's 40th Birthday with family and friends...

MEETING TUN MAHATHIR!!! My true dream come true :)

Teachers are among the most important people in my life, and this was the final year with the Darling Teachers of Krista Taman Nirwana/Putra Sulaiman, as it was my youngest goon's, Marrakesh, final year at kindy...

I pray that 2013 will make me a better person, a better mommy. I pray it brings me and my family as much if not more joy. I pray this for all of us...

And I pray for more peace among mankind around the world, so all our children, will have better and more meaningful things to grow up to...

Happy New Year, and God Bless :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Seven Years In Tibet

This morning I sent my eldest son to his first formal motivation camp held outside of his comfort zone. In Broga, somewhere amidst the jungle where I didn't have my Digi coverage. 4 days 3 nights. He was happy and excited and he moved in very well into his group and his activities. He was brave. I was jelly. This would be the first time he'd be away from me for more than 1 night, with complete strangers who promised me my son will be fine. In the jungle. Well, to be fair, their chalets looked cool. Still, in the jungle. Even a Lulu Guinness and the Balzane couldn't work therapy on this one.

Tonight many Malaysians are watching football. I'm not a football-ie. Well, people call themselves food-ie, Trekk-ie, good-ie, so football-ie should be accepted. I am happy when Malaysia wins, so I think that's good enough. So I am watching "Seven Years In Tibet" that darling husband had downloaded earlier. We bought the book recently in Nepal. It looks like only darling husband will be the one finishing it now. I'm happy with Brad Pitt :)

This morning the personnel at Esfahan's camp passed around a tin for the Gaza Relief Fund. Yesterday I read an update on FB about a school girl being robbed of her school bag at knife point, I also put in RM10 into the donation box at the Tesco checkout counter for kids with leukaemia. My parents home were ransacked last few months. My aunty had robbers in her home who almost broke down her bedroom door with a gas tank, while they were inside. And I just heard a talk this morning at Esfahan's camp about how we must make the utmost effort to give our children the best.

Now I am thinking, what is the best?

At home here in Desa Pandan after a heavy downpour, our direct water supply will disappear. Apparently it is due to flushing; yes, so we will have the same answer again in 10 years. Electricity will just suddenly be cut off without prior notice even when we've been paying our bills diligently. Motorists won't stop at the PedXing in front of my boys' school. Cars zoom through the housing area like it's F1.

So, how do I give my kids the best?

Am I selfish to have had my children? Having them was one of the best things I've ever experienced because they give me so much joy and meaning in life. Is this selfish of me? Having them just so I can be happy? What happiness do I guarantee them? Yes, we try to give them the best that we can, especially in health and education. But for what? So that they cannot walk freely and safely to their school which is just some 100 metres away? So that when they go out riding their bicycles I'll have to tag around too so that they're not taken by sickos who abduct children and sell them as sex slaves? So I risk exposing them to robbers who don't care who they hurt? So that they cannot feel safe crossing the roads on their own coz there are motorists out there who couldn't care less about other people's children?

So that when they finish school they can come out into the world that loves war? Or in a country where people who drive brand new Toyotas and Hondas throw rubbish out the window? What is the best for my children? Keeping them safe in the house or showing them only the happy things and happy places?

I am still watching "Seven Years In Tibet"; the mean and angry people just simply cannot leave the peaceful people alone. Kids of wars around the world are dying like lame sitting ducks. We give money to Gaza, to cancer, to orphans, to the poor; we send our kids to motivational camps, to Kumon, to sports workshops, and all those tuitions. What for? So that they will throw rubbish out the car? Ride on motorbikes without helmets? Never bother to recycle and let the landfills keep on piling up? What?

Well, thank goodness Brad Pitt is right smack on my TV screen now, with the majestic Himlayas in his background. :) But then there are the scenes where people get bombed and children get killed, and I am right back to reality. Sigh...

Don't get me wrong, I still keep my faith, I will always have my faith, my faith is what drives me, InsyaAllah, but sometimes when I think about things, sigh...

I will go back to finishing some handbags now that are long overdue, million apologies to dear friends and patrons, and thank you millions too for your kind forgiveness and understanding, God bless you all.

And I am still thinking about what it is really, that is the best, that I can give my children...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Moms Know How To Have Fun!

Of course we do!

It is true that I do love being a SAHM. I made the best decision for myself and my family when I left my job 8 years ago. OMG, it has been 8 years! Ya well, in 2004 I only had Esfahan, and after being a SAHM only did I start on the younger 2, so yes, I guess it has been that long.

While I love Mommy-ing my 3 goons full time, I always tell darling husband that I do look forward to any chance I get to be around grown ups. So, when this fabulous group of ladies, who are also fabulous moms, created this super fabulous Bollywood themed Ladies Gala Nite, I couldn't be more excited! I roped in my fab sister and my eldest niece too.

The fabulous Bollywood ladies...and as my mother quipped when she saw our event pix, in her Kelantan tone, "Chomey-chomey nyo..." :) (Thank you Nora for these photos...)

My 2 best gals, my sister Roslin and her daughter Medina...

Me and Medina, my eldest niece...

The fab crowd was made up of a good mix of ages, the teens, 20s, 30s, 40s and ++! Everyone made the effort to dress fabulously for the occasion; from the Sari, Ghagra Choli, Salwar Kameez, Churidaar Kurta to the Pattu Pavadai, complete with matching traditional Indian bling blings. Each of the fab ladies there that night was set to have a good time,the young ones in their youthful ways and the more mature ones some even wilder than the young! Hehe... Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Chammak Challo, Mohabbatein, Khabi Kushi Khabie Gham, Ledja Ledja, etc., and we had the vivacious Sathiya Group of Dancers to keep us on our feet the whole night long. There were games and lucky draws, Most Sporting and Best Dressed, but best of all was the amazing sisterhood and camaraderie that came about from all of us getting together and letting loose to the fab Bollywood ambience.

And like other good things these fab ladies do, the gala night not only provided a dance floor for many moms to let loose, it also managed to raise funds towards their charity pool and various benevolent efforts.

So at the end of the day, we moms are fun people and we know when and how to have fun. No, we don't have Bollywood parties every night, but when we do, we usually create some good out of it, InsyaAllah :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mommy's Restoration Works

Aarrgghh!!! It's been really busy, busy, busy!

Esfahan asked to continue with his Speech & Drama class; Esfahan also didn't do too well in his Bahasa Malaysia during the last exam, the B that pulled him down in his class's "Hall of Fame" standings; Marrakesh's teacher pointed out that he is not understanding some of his school work, namely general knowledge and mathematics, and she admitted that she got rather impatient with him; Damascus...well, this one hadn't shown any problem with his school work but he is really becoming more of a rascal especially to his brothers.

So, on top of the existing Quran, piano, horse riding, swimming, school co-curriculum, etc., for Esfahan now, it is Speech & Drama every Saturday morning, Bahasa Malaysia workbook exercises every afternoon; Kumon Mathematics for Marrakesh every Tuesday and Saturday, not to mention the daily homework; and Damascus is still quite idle and getting more restless, especially since we took away their TV coz they weren't keeping up with my housekeeping standards, so he's missing his Backyard Science and Adventure Time.

Under these circumstances, I think I don't have much choice but to reinstate their TV privilege, so that at least Damascus will stay out of Esfahan's and Marrakesh's hair while they're both doing their additional work. He's used up all the origami paper and depleted the A4 papers in stock, so I think I just have to give them their TV back. Damascus's Saturday is still open, so I must find something to fill it up quickly, before he decides to create his own big bang!

All this to restore stability and equilibrium in everyone's lives... :)

And talking about restoration, I am so glad to say that I've found the experts who can restore our wonderful upright C.Steinbert back to her original glory, at a cost that's well below her market value :)