December 31, 2013

seek and you shall find.

Last night, throughout the whole way from Melaka back home, I was reciting the syahadah.

You see, I may not seem like the most pious person physically, but I think about death all the time. Not that it makes much difference to my level of piety I know, but like any other believer, I'm scared that my sins will outweigh my deeds at Judgement Day. I am scared of having to live my "afterlife" (which is forever) burning in hell.

Worst thing is that I have always imagined that I would die in a car accident. 

So, last night was probably one of the scariest nights of my life because I was the one driving. With sleeping baby beside me and my sick husband lying at the back, it really was nerve-wrecking.

When we finally reached home, I was ever so thankful that we made it in one piece, that we were safe and spared any hardship.

Be that as it may, although the whole experience exhausted me, I couldn't sleep. It was past 12.00 a.m.

I did a round of laundry, boiled some water, packed Luqman's school bag, ironed my clothes, laid my weary head on the sofa bed, shut my eyes together real tight and still, I just couldn't sleep. 

Husband suddenly woke up, searched for me and told me he needed something to eat. I fixed him a hot drink and some biscuits and made sure he ate them. Then, my baby called for me and held out his hand for me to scratch, which of course I did, until the itch subsided.

Finally, my baby wedged himself beneath my armpits and fell asleep and my husband then joined us on the bed. Sandwiched between my boys, that was when I finally fell into a slumber, in peace. 

Woke up this morning slightly later than usual, but didn't feel tired. Fixed my husband a simple breakfast, sent Luqman to school, and here I am at work. 

Sometimes I wonder where I get the energy from but of course, it's silly to wonder because I know where it came from. Of course, it came from the prayers answered, from the blessings granted and from the one who lends His help to those who ask for it. 

 I asked that I be granted health, strength, calmness, sincerity and the will to just keep going. All you need to do is ask-

"Is He [not best] who responds to the desperate one when he calls upon Him..." 
Quran, 27:62

And because I knew I couldn't do it alone, I asked. Seek and you shall find.

***

I admit that there are times when wonder why I am tested in certain ways in which I don't understand especially at times when I have already preplanned the way I'd like to feel. Like for example, 3 years ago, I had planned what I'd like my December to be like, how happy I was going to be, how wonderful I was going to look and how much I'd love for my loved ones to be just as happy as me.

But, like I previously said, we can only plan. Maybe I wasn't meant to feel so happy to the point of being delirious because I tend to forget to say my thanks and to count my blessings in such state of euphoria. Perhaps it has been preordained by the "higher forces" for me to "suffer" before I am "relieved". 

Because it is in times of helplessness such as this that I always seek for spiritual guidance, more than usual, in whatever form possible. I guess therein lies the answer; that I am tested so that I will not run astray from the right path, so that I will always remember to be grateful.

This time, instead of feeling sorry for my state of being, for the calamities that have befallen me, for the plans I have planned in my head that will probably go un-executed, I feel thankful for the realisation that I am tested because He loves me and that I have started to come to terms with the purpose of living -

"When someone begins to understand his purpose in life, he will know that he is being tested either to gain reward from Allah or to gain atonement for his sins."
- La Tahzan

So here's to hoping that my sins will be expiated and my good deeds will be rewarded and that my New Year will begin on the right foot towards Jannah.

Amin.


December 27, 2013

I can relate.

“But what if my version of good is not your version of good? Perhaps I think what I did is good but you may think it is not good enough? That got me thinking about how people define or perceive good. Perhaps they think there is no real definition of good and it is up to the individual?

I personally believe that good work or good products and services can be easily defined. My litmus test is always to put ourselves in the other person’s point of view and ask ourselves if we will pay money for what we are selling or providing and if yes, how much.” 

-Being Good Matters, Jeanisha Wan


I can R E L A T E.

I actually found this article a while back, but in this couple of days, I've come to realise that we make too many excuses. Both for ourselves and for other people. 

See, I ordered something online. Though these episodes don't always turn out pretty (like how I bought a pair of Skelly in the Closet pants from Fashion Valet, a size too big for me but I couldn't exchange because I used  a discount coupon but luckily a nice belt came to my rescue!), this is probably the only way I can enjoy any kind of shopping for myself. Plus the guessing game I play where sizes are concerned is such a thrill (NOT) and I feel like a lil' kid getting a parcel of goodies when it finally arrives. In short, when I get to shop, even online, it provides the much needed (temporary) therapy. 

So far, although the things I pick don't always fit perfectly, I haven't had to experience what I've experienced just recently.

"Out for delivery from Bangi Branch"

What does that mean to you?

To me, it means that my parcel has been sent out for delivery to the designated address.

But what do you do when it never reaches your address? And no one tells you that they've probably come to your house to deliver when you weren't around (highly unlikely) or that they've left a "Please Pick Up Your Parcel Note" in your postbox (checked everyday, it wasn't there). So, what do you do?

Do you just sit around and wait to see when it'll arrive (or if it ever will) or do you act on it?

At first, when I got the notifications that my parcels have been sent "out for delivery from Bangi Branch" but never ever reached my address, I thought, "Perhaps it's the Christmas traffic."

Then, I stopped myself from feeling sorry for them.

They are a service provider, and the only way I was going to get my parcel is if they did a good job out of the job they are entrusted with. If I kept on making concessions for them and tell myself that it's okay, and the other 28 million people in Malaysia are just like my old forgiving self, then our service industry might as well go down the drain. 

For me, if you are in the business providing courier services, your job is to deliver. If it's Hari Raya, deliver those cards. If it's Christmas, deliver those presents. People are relying on you as the means to get their festive mood and cheer across Malaysia (at least) and you know that you are in the business of providing such service, so PROVIDE SUCH SERVICE. You are after all, a service provider and that should be your so-called expertise and specialisation.

Although I didn't need my parcel for Christmas and I didn't send anything to anyone via courier service during these festivities, I need my parcel pronto! I don't think it's too much to ask since I've waited since the 19.12.2013, which is when I placed my orders and that means that it's been a week! A week after the service provider actually said that my parcel has been sent "out for delivery from Bangi Branch".

From my correspondence with them just recently, they informed me that they are really lacking in manpower, but is that my problem or theirs? Here I am on the receiving end, waiting like an idiot for something that was supposed to arrive last week and here I am told to wait until tomorrow or next week before I would get my parcel.

NO WAY!

It's not my job to wait for the parcel and it's also not my job to go pick it up from their office if the courier service actually delivers when I am not at home, since I was home the whole time it was supposed to deliver! So, I think it's not too much that I sent about 10 emails to the courier service and called them 10 other times also, demanding that my parcel be sent to me today, notwithstanding the means and time.

I think Malaysia needs to learn to stand up for their rights; these kind of rights especially, for us to have a much more improved delivery system. If people are forever complaining about how rude Public Servants are and our counter services have been improved so much (while no one has to pay anything for our services), I think it's fair that we demand the same out of those in private sector, whose services we actually pay for.

My word of advise is - if you want anything delivered, don't use GDEX. This applies especially to those providing online services with option to deliver.

Total waste of money and time. And not to mention, unnecessary heartache as well. Totally unreliable too. Most certainly, their version of good is not good enough of a good for me. I don't wish for anybody else to suffer the same fate as myself.

Oh, you'll be hearing from the National Consumer Complaint Centre soon, too you know. Because I had to do, what I had to do.

When the customer is me and she says that she's always right, she probably is. Because you're talking to someone with a high tolerance threshold. And that threshold has been exceeded. Wrong move. Wrong move indeed.

/ / oh just so you know, I've always had issues with our delivery service because there was a time when my junior sent me birthday cards every single year and I never got them and I suspect it's because my birthday almost always coincides with a festivities so it always gets lost in translation. I've got a stinking feeling that my posts are part of those they once found "dumped" by postmen in KL.

another baby.

What? Another one? Whose? Mine?

Nah. Not ready for another one tapi sengaja buat onar di pagi Jumaat. 

What I actually meant is the other baby.


Theodore. Yes, you remember him, right? You should. He used to fill this blog with my "aspiring to be photographer" photos. 

I haven't seen or attended to Theodore much since I gave birth to Luqman though I honestly thought (and wished) that I had taken more photos with him since he does such a great job of capturing moments. As an act of rebellion, Theodore went all dead on me when I picked him up from his bag just the other day. 

I've been toying with the idea of selling Theodore since forever, but I just couldn't. So, I thought I'd bring it out to play for a while, since I had the time.


What better way to spend time with Theodore than to bring it out to play on a public holiday, at my most favourite place - the airport. 

Airports. I love them. Barring one horrible incident in Karachi, I've had pleasant experiences where airports are concerned. Even at the ridiculously crowded, chaotic one in Abu Dhabi. I love airports because of the endless opportunities they depict; I can sit there for hours, just watching people pass me by, just wondering what their stories are, dreaming of my own dreams. Of course, I love it most if I'm at the airport because I'm the one who's going places, but point is, even if I wasn't, I wouldn't mind being there, just because. 

I thought it was time I instilled the same love in Luqman, after all, it's never too early to start, right?

Of course, the whole experience had to begin with him riding in the train. 



Which he loved! 


He was marveling at everything that we passed by and I'm mighty glad he enjoyed it. 

And when we arrived, the abundance of space gave him so much freedom to run around, so much so that I didn't have the heart to say no to him each time he thought it was funny to turn around and restart his journey from a new point each time we were heading to the Menara Tinjau. 

And when we finally reached the Menara Tinjau... wow, Subhanallah. It has always looked the same and hasn't changed that much from the last time I saw it, but yes, if the airport as a whole was amazing, the Menara Tinjau just makes you dream even more. 


We stayed there for a considerable amount of time and for a moment of brevity (of course when Luqman was having his milk), all 3 of us just stared out the huge windows in silence; a comforting, therapeutic silence. 

My husband and I then both agreed that should any of us feel down and in need of a "getaway", we're allowed to jump on the train and make our way to the airport.

The night had to end with a cranky baby who insisted that we got out of the moving train, but I didn't mind. I had such a great night and nothing could take that away from me. 

the dotted sky.

December 20, 2013

monkey see, monkey do.




My son is that “spongy” age. He soaks up everything he sees and spills out everything he soaks, since he’s still unable to wholly differentiate between what’s right and what’s wrong.

Just last night, after dinner, some milk (for Luqman) and a light bath, we played kejar-kejar at home. I love these sessions with him because he gets all excited about the game and at the end of it all, bedtime would be so easy, since he would be all zonked out from all the running and teasing.

So we played. Again and again and again. And then at one point, he ran a tad too fast, causing him to crash into my back! He was actually okay with it, ye la mana tak nya, pipi pau tu yang terkena belakang Mama dia, but to be honest, my back kind of hurt.

It didn’t hurt enough for me to start crying, but I thought it would be nice to troll Luqman a bit, just to gauge his reaction. So, I mock-cried.

That boy never ceases to amaze me.

He rubbed my back and started patting my shoulder and went all, “Mama, Mama, Mama” on me while shushing me and rubbing my face and cheeks with those chubby little hands at the same time. I told him that my back hurt so he started rubbing my back again. I told him that I wanted a hug, so he gave me a huge, huge hug. I told him I wanted a kiss and he shoved to me his cheek for me to kiss (we’re still working on that), but still, it was just so sweet. I continued my mock-cries and I could see that there was genuine concern in his eyes. When I wouldn’t stop, he started to cry a bit with me as well, clearly confused why I wasn’t getting better.

Children do as they see. Children treat as they are treated.

And I’m so proud that this lil’ sponge of mine has learned compassion from all the life lessons we try to lead him by example.

People always say, “monkey see, monkey do”. I guess it’s more than true.

So, let us teach them well. Because that’s the least that we can do.


December 19, 2013

facepalm kuasa dua.

So, my husband's on a long leave. But I'm not. Pelik tapi benar but he's got to finish his leave because he's got no use for them anymore, whereas I'll be needing mine a whole lot. 

So, my husband went out for a basketball game this morning and came back home hungry. Obviously he called me up, telling me how hungry he was, how nice it would be if his wife (read: me, of course) could come home with some nice hot lunch and if I can't make it tak apa lah, kesian lah suami kelaparan. Pffft. Who can say no to that, of course I ran back home for lunch. Takut suami murka, kot!

So, we had lunch together at home and I made him send me back to work, since I was too lazy to park my own car. Hehe. Tit for tat, butter for fat. 

On the way to the office,

"Awak, Nestle kan, diorang kan ada launch kopi baru smooth latte tu."

"Oh, yeah? Smooth latte?"

"SMOOVLATTE. M O O V."

"Oh, okay, okay. I don't know. Why eh?"

"Just now saya cari kat kedai tak ada pun?"

"La, ye ke? Kedai apa yang awak cari tu?"

"Kedai Petronas"

*facepalm*

"HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, I'M SO GOING TO BLOG THIS!!!"

"Eh, betul laaah, Petronas jual semua benda okay!!!"

"I don't care, I'm going to blog this, hahahahaha!!! I thought you cari kat Cold Storage ke kat mana!"

*straight face* "FINE!"

So, I got back to the office and after a while, I got a little sleepy. So, I decided to blog about this but I had to see what this Smoovlatte my husband was raving about. 

Found this. 

|image Googled|

Oh. 

Hey, it should already be in Petronas lah!

*facepalm kat diri sendiri!*

Look who's laughing now! Lain kali jangan lawan cakap husband, tahu!

p.s.: where can we find this? we're coffee junkies! ;)

December 18, 2013

the girl by the window.



 “Good things come to those who wait.”

... is a notion I’ve never really believed in. Okay, it’s not so much that I don’t believe in it, but it’s more because I hate it when it translates to leaving everything to fate, which in turn translates to us not having to do anything at all to achieve anything. Well, at least that’s how some people look at it anyways, leaving some portion of the population to become overly complacent. 

I don’t believe in such notion because I’ve always conditioned myself to believe that everything only happens with hard work and patience. Always.

So, about 5 months ago, when I was transferred to this new department, I knew that I had to keep up my hard work. Yes, having been in this playing field for a while now, I know that no matter what your grade or position is, it was going to be hard work, with the first barrier to break; the “trust wall”. I knew that once I broke that barrier, I would be okay. And to do that, I had to play the game and play it clean. And by clean I mean that I have to uphold whatever work ethics that I previously held.

But when I came here, I admit that a part of me wasn’t entirely true to my heart. There are certain things that I don’t do as a matter of principle but I did them because that was part of my so-called game plan, which is, first and foremost to fit in. I jumped onto that bandwagon, just to see what people "normally" do.

After a while, I couldn’t keep it up. I got so tired of  "normal". 

So, I toned down and went back to the old quiet self I was more comfortable with. 

That was when things turned out for the better. 

I became more productive, more disciplined, more focused and I started to understand things better, faster. 

Of course by doing that I probably spooked some people out, as they probably now think of me as less friendly than before (now that I keep most things to myself), but it's okay. I like it like that. 

These days, when I come to the office, I smile at the abundance of natural light overflowing my room. Yes, after all my hard work and patience, my boss finally directed me to move to a room (with quite a huge window, really), after 5 months of being stationed at a cubicle (yeah, yeah, big deal right? but it is to me so yeah). I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with sitting at a cubicle, in fact, I rather enjoyed it while it lasted, but some people thought it rather demeaning that I got a promotion, but was given less "perks". At first, I admit that I felt that way as well, because I had to give up such a lovely room, a new PC and my lightweight laptop at my previous work place. Those things are important to me because it makes coming to work more bearable. Now, with a window as an added bonus, you can guess how much more productive I have been, right?

So, I guess good things do come to those who wait. Tapi jika tunggu rezeki datang macam bulan jatuh ke riba tanpa usaha sewajarnya, what is there to be proud of when anything is achieved? It was all luck, and no hard work, so what's the point, bukan?

Jadi, usaha, usaha, usaha. Never stop believing in hard work. Never stop being sincere. And never stop believing that Allah hears your prayers and will reward you accordingly for believing (and being hardworking). 

"And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know." (Quran, 2:216)


So, Alhamdulillah, Allah has answered my prayers at the time I needed it the most and gave me a window (literally) for me to marvel at his mysterious ways. Subhanallah.


December 16, 2013

forever young, I wanna be

So I’ve been talking about taking some time off my mommy duties for a while now. And last night I finally got it.

And what better way to spend it other than “growing young” with my girls (and husband).


Weddings for us are always reunion first, wedding later. Last night was obviously no different. Had it not been a proper sitting down dinner, I have a feeling that there would have been much more shrieking, chaos and “misbehaviour” on our part. Hahahaha. We never really learn now, do we!

But even so, we really had fun. Laughing, talking non-stop all the while trying to top the volume of the music, catching up with each other, taking countless amounts of photos, one camera after the other, going crazy, comparing mommy notes and basically just slipping back into the friendship like those years apart never ever happened. There were times when I saw the bride stealing glances at the 5 tables we were sitting at. She was probably jealous at us (or most probably wishing her loud friends would tone it down a bit! I'm inclined to think it's the first reason! SHE IS ONE OF US, YOU KNOW!)

Even if TKC was the place where most of my regrets lie in, going to TKC itself is something I will never regret.


Who can ever match these years of friendship, crazy companionship and sisterhood? I’ve got a feeling that nothing can come as close.

***

Anyways, yesterday was actually one of my bestest friend’s wedding reception. It was such a bittersweet feeling; with me not being able to attend her nikah and not getting to spend as much time with her before the wedding as I would have liked. It totally sucks and I feel super sucky about it. But seeing her so happy brings so much joy to me. For the person that she is, the sister that she’s always been to me, the friendship that she selflessly offers and after all that she’s been through, the only thing she deserves is all the love and happiness in the world. And I pray and hope that Adib would be the one to give it to her.

I love you Nadd, you know I do. Here’s to hoping that your union will be blessed with Jannah and that we would be friends forever, and forever be, forever young (at heart).  

***

On another note, I was so excited to be able to wear white yesterday since I left Luqman at home with my mom. Thing is, I didn't even have to wait for the night to end before the top got stained! Kit Kat was smudged on the bottom hem of the top when I got out of the car and the sleeves got dipped in ayam masak merah during dinner! Turns out that Luqman had nothing to do with me being comot all this while! Sorry, Sayang! Mama yang comot rupanya. Hehe. I initially intended to get myself something new, this being a special wedding reception and all. But, from my silence from this blog, you can guess how crazy it's been at work so I had to settle with whatever we (read: Adik) had in her closet. Next time, I think I'm going to get something from First Lady Zalora since it's probably the only brand so far which fits me very well (I wear an XS btw *chewwwah budget kurus tapi memang pakai XS pun!*). I've got my eyes on this one so I hope they won't run out of stock (tak habis lagi kempunan baju raya purple haish! haha)! At the end of the night, those who have met Luqman before wished he was there because he would have gleefully danced to the liveband, I'm sure. Besar sikit Mama bawak kenduri camgini ye. Hehe.


December 12, 2013

something's on my mind.

We always felt so good, together.
The days just roll on by.

Something's on my mind. 

Can you tell? 

Can you tell from my silence that there's actually something really huge in my head right now; so huge that I'm not so sure whether or not I should tell.

But I guess for now, I shouldn't. Though, just to make things clear, I'm more than happy with the "huge something in my head". It's not bugging me; I'm just a constant worrywart. Haha.

On another note, I honestly think I'm lucky in so many ways.

***

Defrosted a ready made, store bought pizza for my husband's breakfast last night. 

Woke up slightly later than planned but still managed to preheat the oven and put the pizza in the pan to... "burn". 

It was an easy enough feat and it should have turned out wonderful. 

But this is what it turned out to be. 

Looks horrible I know but I didn't throw out because it's still edible. Just didn't have the heart to pack this for my husband though.
I was so upset, I ran back to our bedroom. Told my husband I was so sorry I burnt his breakfast that I didn't have a Plan B and whether he would like an egg and cheese sandwich instead. I was really upset to mess up such an easy task. 

He called me to him, gave me a huge hug, kissed my forehead and told me that it's okay. "Can I have some bread and nutella for breakfast, please?"

As simple as that.

***

I guess life is actually less complicated that we assume it to be. 

We make it what it is. 

So, I guess it's our job to make it easy. So, let's just take it easy. 


 

December 03, 2013

I'm so (not) romantic.



Our next wedding anniversary coincidentally falls on our bonus month.

The other day my husband kept asking me whether I would like a handbag or something else.

Having just baked 4 oreo brownies in a one morning (yes, I can be crazy when I’m in the mood), you can just imagine the amount of “leftovers” I’ve been licking off the mixing bowl, so I was kind of bewildered when he asked me if I needed another handbag.

Looked up from my mixing bowl with mouth smudged with brownie mix, raised my eyebrow, smiled and said,

“Aw, thanks sweetheart, but I’d rather you buy me a treadmill.”

 Like, seriously. I would be so upset if he got me a handbag.

Apart from my (terrible) habit of licking leftovers from the my mixing bowls, I also happen to have colleagues who love to either eat or cook, or both. And I fall in the "Both" Category. Certainly doesn't help me with this situation I'm in. Yes, I consider this a situation; THIS being my expanding appetite and with that, my expanding midriff and jiggly thighs. I'm not lying.

I told this to some of my colleagues and they just rolled their eyes. They keep telling me that I’m not fat and each time they say it with so much conviction, I feel like stripping naked in front of them so that they can see exactly what it is that’s making me feel so bad.

Sure, I’m not fat, but hello there, is that a muffin top? Sure does look like one to me.

Yes, underneath those loose blouses are excess baggage, embellished, kept hidden, "nipped" and “tucked” safely from the eye of the public. I’m so glad people say I don’t look so bad for a mother of 1 and that I’ve been mistaken as a fresh graduate before, but you know what, at the end of the day, only you really know your body.


And that body feels like it can do better.

Of course it can do better. 

This body used to run 4 x 100 and was a school athlete. This body used to play futsal every single Thursday night. This body also used to go for brisk morning and evening walks around the huge park nobody else attempted. This body also used to go up and down stairs, even when it was heavily pregnant. This body used to sweat profusely at least twice a week, now this body doesn’t even see any sunlight anymore, let alone sweat!

So, yes, I am dead serious about the treadmill. 

Kalau tak, bagi kasut jogging baru pun jadilah. 

my not so secret colour. | image googled.

Ewah dead serious betul ni Kak.

Why so serious.

image googled.
Well, I don't like no muffin (top), do you?

***

Oh, by the way, what will I be giving him as an anniversary present, you might ask?

That's easy! Treadmill for me, I give him hot, hot body!

Aw aw awwuuuu! ;)