December 31, 2012

college grounds.



I have to say I have mixed feelings about TKC  moving. As skema as I was back then, which caused me to not explore the compounds as much as I should have, I have memories everywhere. The biskut krim in the Sickbay which I gobbled down each time I was on duty, Dewan Budiman where we burnt the midnight oil preparing for ED, the lanes in college on which we used to sneak on in the wee hours of the morning to get to some place we weren’t supposed to go. And of course, the Form 3 study room in Block E holds so many warm memories.

I grew up on the grounds of Bukit Merbah.

So, it’s only natural that I’m sad that I wouldn’t be able to relate when people refer to TKC at Enstek.

But.

Having said that, for the betterment of the school, I think it’s a good move. Our TKC population is growing and so must our grounds. With the advancement of technology, it is only fitting that we improve our facilities and infrastructure.

We should be proud of this positive progression and always know that no matter where we reside, we’ve got to keep the flag flying high.

Still sad, I know.

Which is why I’m super glad we have photos to keep the memories alive.

top: at Dewan Budiman, bottom left: ♥, bottom right: mommies and babies
top left: Balsam, my first dorm, top right: Kesidang, my Form 3 dorm, bottom left: Mahsuri Lounge, bottom right: From the Lounge of Block D Mahsuri
top: Ada Aku Kesah? Siapa nak fine pun? Haha. p.s.: I miss Syood! bottom left: Block E Form 3 Lounge (now, Rosebay), bottom right: Dining Hall
LOVE-HATE. BAHAHAAHAHA. (note: NOT with the person of course!)
so many fond memories~
Bottom: kiri tu mama anak sorang, ehemm (tak sedar diri lagi tu, hehe)

It was good to grow up here. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

//p.s: all the while, Atok (my dad) taught Luqman how to use the horn in the car. So, throughout the time we were taking photos here, he honked me to hurry up!!! That cheeky boy!

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Rainbow High

Adik said, "OhmyGod, Kakak, your batch so beriya!" Hehe

First and foremost, I’d like to say kudos to the Organising Committee for planning such a beautiful event for us all!

This 10th year reunion has always been one of the things in 9802’s pipeline, but it never really kicked off, much “thanks” to “initially nominated” OCs like me, whose life went on a fluctuating spiral after I gave birth.  

Yesterday’s Rainbow Party was superb and it was such a wonderful way to end 2012!

So many of us turned up and it felt like old times all over again. I’m sure the Plus Ones, who were mostly husbands and partners were shocked to see the true colours of their wives! (and for that, I’m sure my husband is mighty glad that he’s escaped the chaos, haha!)

There was so much shrieking, laughing and hugging to compensate for the many years we haven’t met.

Of course, there were (one too many) photography sessions, which I’m sure we the mommies would have loved if it were not for our babies wiggling like mini octopuses on our arms

But all in all, I had such a blast! Almost felt like a teenager all over again! Well, almost because it was kind of impossible to ignore my excited baby who looked like he couldn't wait to join his older Abangs and Kakaks running around the Grand Ballroom.

We both went home "high" on rainbow.

He slept smiling last night ;)

This reunion wasn’t only to celebrate the 10th year after leaving college and 15 years of friendship, but also to visit TKC Bukit Merbah for the last time before it moves to Enstek, Nilai.

Which is why, after the Rainbow Party at Allson, we adjourned for an "after party" in TKC Bukit Merbah.

p/s: I was nominated best-dressed for all 3 categories tapi tak cukup vote! Aiseh~

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Dear Santa,



 Susulan mesyuarat terdahulu, berikut merupakan wish list saya. I've been good, I promise ;)

Since I am now all covered on top,
I still think that I should look great,
At that place where all looks now pop,
I can fit in a six to eight!

So many things, give you headache, aiyooo!
Perhaps “V.R.” would make you less glum,
It’s size 38, its colours glow,
But be forewarned, I have the plum!

But if you really want me to love you,
I’d like a Braun Buffel bag, the one in blue!

Eheh.

It doesn’t hurt to wish, no? I love this time of year.

Come on, people! Tell me watchu want! Hak hak!




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December 28, 2012

you remind me of a girl that I once knew.


There was a time in my life when it was okay to share everything.


It’s really not okay to share everything, but it was interesting that I did.

When I first opened a blog, I didn’t really think of sharing anything with anyone, let alone everyone.

But the prospect of having other people “read you” was a real thrill.

Now, it’s like a thriller.

People can be so insanely psychotic. And judgemental. So, they literally read you like a book. And gossip about you and your life, even if they didn’t know you at all.

Which is why I stopped being so honest about things, I guess. Which is why I also started writing things which I thought would inspire. And also dedicated my writings to my so-called travelogues and events only.

When really, my head is singing, “Liar, liar, pants on fire.”

My life is not all drama all the time. But it’s not perfect all the time either.

And most of the time, I wish I were more open about things, like I used to be.

Question is, do I want to be that person. Am I really still that person? Do I mind if some random stranger thinks I’m not that skema person they thought I was?

Because in truth, anyone who’s met me in person knows that far from skema, I can be crazy. In fact, most times, I am crazy.

Oh, youth, where art thou?

I really miss that free spirit.

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December 24, 2012

BF 101: Your Pump Plan



Or rather, what the majority of pumping moms call the Pumping Schedule.

Do I have one? Of course I do.

It goes –

8.30. 11.30. 1.45. 5.15. at work.

And on a good day,

11.30 p.m (power pump). 6.45 (a.m.) at home.

30 minutes per session.

Thing is, for most working moms, it’s really not that easy to keep to the pump plan to a tee, isn’t it? Not impossible, I agree, but also not to a tee.

Most breastfeeding enthusiasts suggest that we act all gung-ho when sticking to the pump plan. Don’t bother about what people think of you. Don’t bother about what people say about you. To hell with the rest of the world. Just leave the meeting. Or bring the pump into the meeting. No excuse for not pumping. Mom’s milk is best. Baby deserves mom’s milk. Formula is poison.

Yeah. I know right? If you don’t agree that this is how most fully breastfeeding mothers sound like (because you might be one yourself), maybe it’s time for you to muhasabah.

But that deserves another post of its own. Point is, how important is that pump plan?

Very important. Very, very important. It’s very important to tell your b(oob)s to be full at the same time every single day (especially) when away from your baby, and the only way to do that is to stick to the plan.

When I got back to work, this was one of the issues which caused a lot of anxiety to me. For one I didn’t know how to break the news to my boss about my pump plan. And secondly, my job involves a lot of meetings. I most definitely can’t simply leave the meeting or not attend it altogether. I may be gung-ho but I most definitely am not irresponsible.

And so began my anxiety episode which eventually lead to stress, which eventually led to borderline depression which eventually led to having to supplement with formula.

So, after I supplemented, I thought long and hard about my pump plan (which used to be a different one from the above). I knew that I had to do something and to stick to something which is workable for me. We may all be working mothers, but our jobs, despite being similar, may not be exactly the same. After reassessing my situation, the schedule I mentioned above is the one I stuck to.

But like I said, it was still difficult to stick to it with utmost perfection. So, what I did to ensure I got the amount of milk I target for every day is to replace every missed pump session with a power pumping session. For example, I normally am forced to skip my 11.30 because of meetings. So, what I do is, when the meeting ends (at say for example 12.15), I dash back to my room and start power pumping until 1.15. Then, I run down to the café to get some lunch (tapau whatever’s left there) and then perform my Zuhur prayers and then stick to my next scheduled pump session. Of course, for the 1.45 session, I’d get less than I normally would, but what’s important is that at the end of the day, I’d get the amount I targeted.

The most I’ve gotten so far per pump session? Is 7 oz. at 2.00 p.m. Don’t get all excited just yet. That only occurred twice and it’s only because I skipped 2 earlier pumping sessions when I had to attend a course.

Now, while breastfeeding may be natural, lactation is a science. And I couldn’t agree more.

This is the other reason why pump plans are extremely important. Though we might not be able to observe the schedule perfectly, it is important that our b(oob)s are told to produce a certain amount (no matter how little) at certain times in day. So, when we’re forced to skip a session or two, the accumulated amount would still be the amount we would normally get from the sessions we missed. Faham kan?

The part about telling my boss and colleagues about my pump plan was one of the things I stressed out about previously too. So, how did I combat this issue?

By being honest. Totally and completely honest. Especially if I had to decline non-work related invitations.

“Puan, saya tak join ye. Nenen saya rasa nak pecah dah ni.”

There.

With curious male colleagues, I made sure I treat breastfeeding and pumping as something which is totally and completely natural (though only God knows how difficult it is to keep up that brave façade.)

When they dash into my room –

“Apakebenda bunyik tu?”

“Breastpump saya.”

“Hoh, napa awak tak tutup lampu ke, kunci pintu ke?”

“Kenapa nak kena kunci? Awak nampak apapa yang tak patut?

“Emm. Tak.”

“So, kalau saya tak rasa malu, kenapa awak pulak nak malu?”

There.

These days, they’ve learned that it’s okay to come for discussions with me although my FS is buzzing away.

And so, although my success is incomparable to those who have deep freezers full of EBM, to me, these little things, such as my pump plan and honesty, makes me just as happy to still be breastfeeding.

So, happy pumping milk, everyone! Even if your journey isn’t as perfect as others. Trust me, when you're so used to pumping milk, half an hour seems like such a short period of time!



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Unwind.

I’m not the type who spends after working hours with my colleagues, especially so after my good friends left Service. Call me paranoid, but I seem to have some issues of trust (or rather mistrust) when it comes to the people I work with. Plus, in my opinion, spending too much time with the people you already spend so much time with is unhealthy.

Ever heard of familiarity breeds contempt?

 So, yes. I try to avoid spending after hours with my colleagues, just to get a breather from them.

Last Thursday though, I thought I’d make an exception.

Despite the bleak weather, it was too beautiful a day to pass up the opportunity to socialise over a cup of good coffee and some cake. Anxious as I was (especially about the things we were going to talk about, as I hate talking about work and people at work with people I work with), my anxiety proved to be baseless. Thanks to a few good books, and our children, of course, conversations didn’t seem to run dry.

Turns out to be one of the best evenings I’ve had in a long time.

It was good to get to talk and get to know each other on a more personal basis. I’m happy to report that I’d probably (albeit only occasionally) be joining to such evenings again.  

Especially if coffee’s not on me.

LOL.
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December 19, 2012

this makes sense.



"If God had wanted us to talk more than listen, He would have given us two mouths rather than two ears.

Good listeners respond by keeping the focus on the speaker.

Poor listeners “sort by self”. If you express a concern you have, they will express a concern they have."

 - Ken Blanchard.

Makes so much sense, it instantly brought a smile to my face.

No doubt it'll take a lot of practice to not be "poor". But it's doable, I'm sure. Got to kill the "I like to hear but not to listen" habit. Pronto.
 
So, happy listening, everyone.

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December 18, 2012

the domino effect of happiness is happiness.



My son is the centre of my universe.

For such a small person, he exudes so much joy! No doubt I may be biased (well naturally), but everyone who’s met him seems to think the same as well. My mom thinks I’ve done a job well done (so far at least) to raise such a balanced baby despite our circumstances. And I’d like to pat my own back also for being strong for the both of us. That’s the least that I can do for now.

After he started rolling when he turned 4 months, our life went on a roller coaster ride. Things were moving even faster (probably faster than I would have liked it to be) when my son reached his 6-month mark. When he started eating solids, the possibilities were endless with him.

Sometimes, I get inferior when I see other parents recording their children’s milestones to detailed perfection. But note that this only happens sometimes.

It’s not that I don’t care, please don’t get me wrong. In fact, anyone who dares to say that deserves a tight slap from me. Of course I care. I bore him in my womb, how could I not? Thing is, I’m not the kind of mother who’s bothered about his developments just yet. It doesn’t matter that he’s 8 months and still doing a commando crawl instead of being on all fours. In fact, it really doesn’t matter to me if he decides to skip crawling altogether.

Which is why I sometimes get so annoyed at overly paranoid parents who ask, “my baby is 8 months so why is he not crawling yet?” kind of question. I always wonder if it has ever occurred to that parent that that alone is not a determinant of how well (or not) a baby is currently developing. 


The factors which I give emphasis on in bringing up my baby are very few but major. Health, good appetite, established sleeping patterns, recognition of who Mama and Daddy are, ability to differentiate condescending tones and affection, and of course, he must be active and alert. In fact, while many think my baby is lasak, that’s the one thing I’m truly grateful for, actually. It makes him a handful to handle, no doubt, but at least I know that he’s curious and aware of his surroundings.  

And most important of all, I emphasise on safety, like any mom would (probably I’m worse because I’m protective like a lioness)

The other thing I’ve decided to agree to disagree about with other parents is about “spoiling” a baby. In my opinion (of course you may agree to disagree with me as well), it is IMPOSSIBLE to spoil a baby. Note that I’m talking about a baby. Yes, new born to at least one year old babies.

Because despite knowing how to differentiate various emotions, and being born geniuses, to me, babies pretty much don’t know what on earth is going on. For the most part of their early lives, they don’t really have a choice; we make those choices for them.

Which is why my baby doesn’t sleep in a cot, doesn’t get scolded for climbing on me, isn’t told off when he starts unravelling what’s inside our travel bag, is allowed to kiss the floor and also the table to his highchair. And of course, he can throw everything onto the floor and I will pick them up without even sighing. If you don’t let them try, they will never learn.

Oh my God, manja nya anak kau Kak?


Oh, yes, he is manja. But also be reminded that he is a baby. And he’s not going to be a baby forever. I already miss his “newborn smell” and it’s only been 8 months into motherhood. Imagine how I’d feel when he turns 1, or when he starts school and starts getting embarrassed by my nonsensical mommy antics and sloppy kisses and long, long hugs?

Of course, I’m no angel with a halo over my head and there have been meltdowns (not just by him, by myself as well), but I let them come far and few in between. I always remind myself that I’m the bigger person (literally), so I should be the one in control.  

There are many ways to discipline a child and for me, “spoiling” him (at least at the moment) works wonders for me. It makes me happy. It makes him happy.

Happiness seriously has a wonderful domino effect, so please, let’s all try it.

In the end, mothers are an amazing race and our decisions are our own.

So you may agree to disagree with me if it makes you happy. No need to justify.


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