June 30, 2014

why moms should never stay in school with their child.

This morning, like most mornings, there was a slight drama just before dropping Luqman off at school. And like most mornings, the drama is not one about him not wanting to go to school, but rather one that involves him wanting to bring all his favourite toys to school, which I of course object to. 

I try to treat him like an adult as much as I can so I don't make him leave his toys by imposing. Instead, I try to negotiate with him way before we even hit the roads and normally, this involves a little bit of role playing;

"Kalau Teacher ambik toy macam mana?" 

And I would take the toy away from him to demostrate.

Normally, he would charge towards me and push me a little to tell me off,

"Tepiiiii!!!", he would shout. 

And if it's running late and I don't have the time to negotiate, I will allow the toy to be brought to the car, and all the way to school, I would psycho him into thinking that someone is going to take that toy. He normally doesn't like it when I do that, but on the good days, this method works and he'll leave his toys with me.

This morning though, he was adamant to not leave his trains. If it was just one train, I may have allowed it but he wanted to bring all 3 of his favourite trains. After our experience with him bringing his Ferrari to school, I wasn't about to let the same thing happen again so obviously, I had to do something about it.

So, I allowed him to bring the trains to school, on the condition that they MUST be put into his bag and can only be taken out when I come and pick him up this evening. He didn't like that. He threw a tantrum and started crying. And because I hate to leave a crying child at the door, I sent him in to his playroom instead.

He was excited to see his friends and momentarily stopped crying but just as I was about to heave a sigh of relief... I caught him pushing another child because the child was staring at him. 

I was so dumbstruck, I swear. Was that really my loving, affectionate boy who planted kisses on my face every night and gave me surprise hugs every time he could catch me from the back? Was that really, really him? 

I walked back to him and told him off, which made him cry harder. But I told him anyway that what he did was wrong. At that point I knew that I had to leave if I didn't want to be late. And just as I was about to go... I saw his classmate pushing him and he was pushing the boy back in defence and then they all started crying.

The mom in me wanted to just run back to my child to scoop him in my arms and protect him in my embrace but I saw one of the teachers come quickly to break up the fight... so I knew I had to walk away and back down my defences.

It's not that he's never come home with scratches and bite marks before... but this morning just made me doubt myself and my decisions. No doubt he has learned SO MUCH since he went to school... but this morning just made me think about whether I should consider that kind of "education" as part and parcel of his learning process or... you know... take him out of that system so that he can learn things that I want him to learn, the way I want him to learn it. 

I know what just happened this morning is probably part of his "survival" lesson and it's always good to have a balance between a happy, loving, safe and secured life with one that is a little bit "rough at the edges" but I still...

I may just be over thinking it. But I guess I just can't help being a mom?

Yang kau pun dah kenapa lah Putrajaya Gengster sangat Luqman!!!! 

Haih.

June 29, 2014

the only way I know things are: Mama

Now, since I grew up mostly with my Mom... all I can say is that in my family's case... it's true when they say that "behind every successful man is a woman". 

If you've met my Mom, you'd agree with me that she most definitely isn't a typical mom or a typical Malay. She has "radical" thoughts and opinions on certain things, but if you really read the Quran or religious books... you will realise how her thoughts are NOT RADICAL AT ALL; it's just the way she puts it across that makes it look like she's radical.

My Mom does alot of the thinking (and doing) in the household; she thinks about the groceries (and buys them), she thinks about her kids and their education and future (she will climb each and every staircase she can, to make sure that we receive the education we deserve), she thinks about our savings (she never spent a penny of the monies we got from our angpaus and the other monies people gave us occasionally PLUS she saved her money for us in our accounts as well) and she thinks about the best way to invest money for the family. She basically drives the ship that we are all in.

Growing up, I admit that I didn't really appreciate her as the person that she is. But now that I'm married and also a mother myself... all I can say is that all this while, she has been grossly misunderstood. There are not many mothers like her who protect her cubs (even when married) like a lioness. There are not many women who can think about the best assets to invest in, not just for herself, but also for her children. There are not many women who are able to think on their feet and provide solutions when people are in trouble. There are not many women who can are willing to use up all their hours in a day to care for her family. And we are definitely lacking women who have a balance of some sort in their lives. 

Growing up, I never saw my mom sit still. If she wasn't trying out a new recipe, she was spring cleaning, if it wasn't that, she would be reading, or sewing or playing with us. In my mind, there never existed the word "tired" or "lazy" in her dictionary. She was always up to something. 

Now that my Mom is older... she's slowed down in some ways but in alot of ways, she's still the same person she has always been (with more wisdom), sometimes making me question my competence as a mother.

And since my Mom is the way she is, every time I meet another mom who is not like mine... I tend to think that what the other mothers are doing (or rather not doing) is... wrong(???). And though deep down, I know it's not really wrong... I always think about how well my mother drives the ship and think about how every mother should be like her; a mother who her children are able to rely on for anything imaginable and is the epitome of how strong women are and should be.

Because that's the only way I know how (real) mothers should be; like Mama.
And for that, I hope and pray that the highest of Heavens is waiting for her.


June 28, 2014

the only way I know things are: Babah.

Growing up, I can't remember much of my Dad being around. I remember being scared of him an awful lot and we're both not sure why... but yeah, all my life, I remember being with my mom most of the time. My Dad isn't the type to mengopi/mengeteh without a solid reason (most of the time anyway), he most definitely isn't a womaniser, he loves coming back home and he never failed his responsibilities i.e. my mom's allowances and our study fees. So, why was he always away?

My mom told me that Babah worked many jobs to make ends meet. And now that I'm also working, I always wonder how he worked multiple jobs at any one time because even with just one job, I can barely keep my head above the water sometimes. 

Just last year, we all attended my Dad's PHD Graduation. It may not seem much to everybody else, but it was a big deal for me because at the time... he was working full-time and running 2 companies. 

Now that he's done with his PHD, I often ask him how he feels about having so much free time in his hands. Turns out that Dad doesn't appreciate the free time as much as I thought he would and is now running a 3rd company to make sure that he's always "using his brain" (in his words).

Occasionally, I would see my Dad taking a nap in the afternoon but this has only been happening since like... 5 years back, maybe (as far as I can remember) and I'm guessing it's only because old age is catching up on him and well... after all these years... I reckon the old man also needs some rest. 

Otherwise, he would be on his laptop searching for job opportunities or on the phone or teleconferencing; sealing deals. Or, he would be reading some article online and filling us in with general knowledge. 

And just in case you're wondering... yes, my Dad does observe his relationship with his Creator and goes to congregational prayers and reads the Quran and he also jogs to keep his health in check too.

Since my Dad is the way he is, every time I meet a father who is not like mine... I tend to think that what the other fathers are doing (or rather not doing) is... wrong(???). And though deep down, I know it's not really wrong... I always think about how hard my father works and wishes that every child in this world would be blessed with a father like mine who works that hard, even now, when he almost has it all. 

Because that's the only way I know how (real) fathers should be; like Babah.

And for that, I hope and pray that Heaven is waiting for him. 

June 25, 2014

some waffles and a pecan pie.

Since this year is a year of frugality, we have not been living it large.

And I don't know about you lot out there, but for this couple (re: us), having a 2 way conversation with each other these days has become one of life's greatest luxuries. I can't remember the last time we were actually able to talk to each other without Luqman interrupting us for like a million times in each sentence... so yeah...

So, with us keeping it low and not having any real conversations, it does get a little difficult to express our feelings to each other these days.

Having said that though... I do realise that my husband and I will never be this young again and by the time we finally have the time, we might have lost our youth and we might not want to even talk to each other then and that worries me... so... I knew that I had to do something

As I have mentioned many times in my previous posts though... egotism is my biggest problem. Maybe it wasn't much of a problem previously, but over the years, due to life lessons I have had to experience, I have become more and more wary of opening myself up to people for fear of being taken for granted. 

And I know it's silly to apply my wariness across the board... but I seem to have a huge, huge, huge problem right there. 

xxx
Couple of weeks ago though... I went to Alamanda for some grocery shopping and while I was there, I thought about the many times my husband mentioned out of the blue how he would like some waffles. I didn't think much of it when he mentioned it and I even thought he was thinking about some waffles sold near his office or something... but on that day, I thought, "Why not!". It definitely wouldn't hurt to surprise him with something he's been constantly talking about, would it?

gambar sekadar hiasan. waffles from another outing.

So, I happily ordered some plain waffles with butter and honey to-go and carefully brought my groceries and waffles home. 

When my husband arrived home that evening, I told him I had a surprise for him and proudly presented him with the RM7.50 plain waffles I had bought for him. His reaction? Priceless. I could see how genuinely happy he was with this tiny gesture of mine and how much he appreciated me remembering. He offered some to me first (bless the man for being so thoughtful!) and then shared the rest with our boy before coming back to me in the kitchen with an empty box, beaming from ear to ear. 

xxx

Couple of days ago, he sort of "returned that favour".

He told me that he needed to get a haircut and since I forgot to defrost anything for dinner (and couldn't get away during lunch hour to do so), I jumped at the first opportunity I got to suggest that we have dinner outside. Of course, since we've been married for a while now, he sensed that I was up to something and didn't hide the fact that he knew.... *sigh* So I admitted that I had no idea what we were going to have for dinner and that I was done wrecking my brain and I still couldn't figure out what dinner would be.

So, we ended up having dinner at Puffy Buffy in Cyberjaya, where he caught me eying the pecan pie... and sneakily asked the waitress to pack a slice to-go. 

xxx

As we sat there talking to each other about our day (he left his handphone at home on purpose...) while waiting for Luqman to enjoy each and every bit of his dinner... I knew that we were actually, right there and then, although not literally, "living it large." 

It wasn't anything fancy and didn't involve alot of money, but in that moment, despite our differences and all the arguments we've had, I thought, ... "This man was made for me."

June 23, 2014

under the weather.

Last month, I was on overdrive. I sealed the deal for 2 big (non-work related) transactions (probably 2 of the biggest and most important I'll ever deal with in my lifetime), I managed to leave very little pending work to carry forward to the month of June and it was the last leg of my #100happydayschallange.

Last month was probably one of the most fulfilling and well-balanced months I've had in a long, long time.

And then... June came along. 

And to be honest... I thought that I would be able to keep up the momentum, but just 5 days into the month, I was struck with illness after illness, showing me what a stark contrast this month is to the previous one, while also teaching me that I can only plan so much... but I really know so little.

Right now, although I'm getting better... I've got a feeling that I've been bitten by the L Bug; the Lazy Bug because it's so difficult to even start on a given task!

There are days when I just stare out of the window, watching the world pass me by and there are some days when I'm aimlessly surfing the net (well, not too aimlessly really, but I'll reveal what fills up my time and interest these days, in good time). But what's certain is that I seem to have lost interest in doing any of my work. 

Could be because this is the longest I've gone without taking leave from work or could be that I'm just burned out. 

Either way, I'm hoping that I'd get out of this "trance" soon as I'm feeling really tired from feeling tired if you know what I mean?

"I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell. I know, right now you can't tell. But stay a while and maybe then you'll see, a different side of me."

But for now... I'd really appreciate if someone just shoved a pillow under my head... because some sleep would be so. so. so nice.

*zzzzZZZZzzzzzzz*
 

June 13, 2014

snug.

"Akak dah tembam kan", said my brother who I just met last week. 

Probably not the best thing to hear after not seeing him for a while, but it was probably what I needed to hear?

Adamant that he was wrong, I told him of my new routine of climbing up and down the stairs at work daily and how my diet hasn't changed at all i.e. I am not eating more than I used to and that I drink loads of water and that I don't snack at all. 

Nonchalantly, the just told me that it's probably no longer enough. Period. 

*Sigh*

Brothers can be so brutally honest, right?

Still a little shocked (well, not really) and in denial (mostly) I turned to my husband for support. And I know because he loves me and doesn't want to hurt my feelings, he was really diplomatic about it, all the while telling me that he didn't see the "slight" weight gain as a problem at all. And to prove that I was just drowning in my own paranoia, he told me to take the weighing scale out. He stepped on it first to make sure that it was working i.e. his weight was correct, and then came my turn. 

The weighing scale no longer showed the figures 51. It showed more than 51. And since there are 2 weighing scales in my parents' house, it showed more than 51, TWICE.

"That's not so bad!", says my husband (a little too) jovially. 

Well, if it were 51.5, I would still be okay (I think) but you can probably guess by now that it's way way way more than 51 right?

So, that day was spent in alot of confusion. 

Like, seriously. 

I suggested to my brother that all that weight was probably from the muscle I was building from climbing up and down the stairs. He dismissed it as being bollocks! He just simply said that the climbing is just not enough. Not anymore. 

xxx

I know for a fact that the struggle is different for every person. And my struggle is that I have never had a problem with eating whatever I liked as long as I drank enough water daily and as long as I didn't snack, which really isn't a problem for me at all.

 But lately... I've noticed that no matter what I did... everything I put on feels a little snug. Tummy, arm, hips, butt (basically sounds like everywhere right?) and I don't know why. Well, okay maybe one of the main reasons is that I'm in the process of weaning Luqman of the B so his consumption is less... but this weight gain is really rapid, especially after I reached 51 the other day. 

And regarding exercise, I know for a fact that the thing that works best for me is actually brisk walking, but hello, let's get real here... unless I have a maid to pick up after me and complete all the housework while I'm away, I will most probably never get the time to work out. Like seriously.

When I get back from work, I take out the food I defrosted earlier for dinner. Meanwhile, I put in a batch of laundry in the machine while cooking dinner. And then, I serve dinner and later wash the dishes and clean the table and clean the kitchen. And then, I pray and I put the kettle on. And then I iron our clothes for work and pack Luqman's school bag. And then, the washing machine beeps and I hang the laundry. And then, I soak Luqman's clothes and wash his bottles. If I'm lucky, I'll get to bathe, if not, Luqman would already be hanging by my feet asking me to play with him, which I normally oblige. And he would play and play and play until his eyes cannot take it anymore (usually around 11 p.m.) and he would want his milk. And he would want me to be right there with him. Sometimes I would fall asleep with him and awaken in the middle of the night to perform my prayers. I used to be able to stay up right until morning, but my body can no longer take it so after that I sleep until Luqman wakes up again for his next round of milk, which is normally not long after. And then my day repeats. 

Oh, no, I digress. But seriously, after reading all of that, can you see me slotting in brisk walking anywhere? Nowhere?

  xxx

Because of that, I tried searching for alternative work-out ideas that might work for full time working mothers and wives like myself. I had to make sure that I got more exercise, in whatever way possible. People say that you've got to find the time, right?

And that's when I came across Freeletics Malaysia (on Instagram). 

They have this program (previously free) where they would suggest an exercise routine daily which you have to complete under a certain number of minutes. Since they also suggested a routine for beginners (I assume like myself), I decided to give it a try. 

75 jumping jacks (sounds like aerobics hari sukan to me!)
30 squats (berak pun squat kan, how hard can it be??)
30 burpees (burpees sound so cute!)
30 seconds planking (30 seconds je kecoh?)

I basically spoke too soon. I'm definitely not even a beginner!!! Definitely below par!

After I tried all of the above, not at all minding the time (except for the planking part), my body basically got a shock of it's life! Jumping jacks are no longer fun, I never knew how crazy difficult doing squats can be, there's nothing cute about burpees and those were most probably the longest 30 seconds of my life!

I didn't continue with the other routines for the days after that because my whole body ached so badly and I was suffering heartburn and was constantly gassy. I even thought I was pregnant! Yes, that's how badly I was affected and how unfit my body really, actually is!

I know I shouldn't give up just yet, but don't you think it's just too extreme for me to jump into the whole thing when I am getting zilch nada zero exercise right now? I think if I am currently exercising (even just a little bit), those routines wouldn't have been so difficult for me. I wish I could figure out a way to just slot in brisk walking somewhere in that tight schedule because I've tried my best to walk to everywhere; bank, shop, everywhere, but nothing seems to work!

Unless this means I'll be seeing double bars when my Ms P is due at the end of this month? (don't think so)...

But until then... I'm seriously bummed as to what I should do. 

Sincerely, Confused Ms Snug (size) 8.

p.s.: my journey will now be under a new label linked here!


June 12, 2014

the one with the flying trains.



It's been a while since I last posted anything about Luqman, hasn't it? I've been complaining about work and weight gain and all things else, it almost seems like I've "lost touch" where being a mother is concerned. Or have I?

Truth is... of course I haven't! That's the most absurd thought! But honestly, after he hit the 18-month mark, it has been a little bit difficult to keep up with his developments to the T because he has become so (pleasantly) unpredictable! Hence, I took every day as it came and posted his daily antics on Instagram since he has so many aunties there who continuously wonder what he's up to. And since they were so kind to me throughout my pregnancy and beyond, I feel like I owe it to them :)

But I think this story is one that's worth telling.

Yesterday evening, when we got home, Luqman wouldn't let me do anything else apart from playing with him. After how he spent the weekends getting abundance of extra attention from his paternal grandparents and his uncles and aunty, I kind of anticipated that he would expect me to keep up the (attention) momentum. 

Since we're on some sort of a "TV-fast" at the moment, I decided that the best thing to do was to just entertain him because a happy baby makes a mommy happy, yes?

So we played. He has a set of favourite things that he cannot do without, some of which are his trains and cars, so we sat down and imagined that the trains were going through Daddy Mountain (basically my husband was forced to lie down sideways while we used his body as a track) where they would then take off and fly into the air onto Black Baby Mountain (our black sofabed) and from thereon they would chase the Baby (Luqman) who had to run away from those flying trains and the cars who were also ganging up against Baby. So he had to be fast to avoid being hit by them. 

(hahahahah insert amused icon) 

I felt like that that was the silliest story I have ever made up but you should have seen how frantic Luqman was, running away from the "flying" trains and the cars that were "chasing" him. Hahahah.

After such an fruitful playtime session, he slept like a log (expected) and I too, slept like a log. 

It was about 4.30 a.m. when I noticed him stirring in his sleep. He turned towards me and landed his palms on my cheeks and he then started touching my nose. I saw him peering through slit eyes to make sure that it was really me. And then he started laughing! It wasn't the scary kind of laugh, it was the kind of laugh he'd give every time he was thoroughly enjoying himself. And because I didn't know how to react... I laughed along with him!

from Pinterest.

HAHAHAHAHA, seriously the things that mothers do!

After all that laughing, he told me he wanted some milk so, I told him to wait while I made some for him. 

When I came back, I laid beside him while he finished his milk and as I was about to slip away from him (I no longer felt like sleeping), he turned towards me and plopped his right leg over my body. The more I inched away, the closer to me he came. And again, he would peer through slit eyes to confirm that I was still there with him.

xxx

I admit that I sometimes get a little frustrated with how clingy he is, especially with me. While he would let his Daddy read or do work in peace, with me it's a different scenario altogether. Mama only breathes and lives for Luqman (which really, isn't that far from the truth). But just like other women, I like my moment of solitude; the occasional uninterrupted bath time, some time to read books, going online on the laptop at home, you know... the likes... and having a clingy child limits you from doing those things. 

But I guess nothing can beat the feeling of having someone love you so boundlessly, right? I constantly remind myself that this phase shall pass and in time... I'm going to miss this constant neediness. I'm going to miss him calling me "Mama" in that particular tone when he wants something from me and that although he's all bright and smart (I'm naturally biased), he really is... very, very little. And most importantly, I was the one who decided on having him by choice (and of course with Allah's will), so why should he suffer my impatience and my selfish needs?

xxx

With him being 26 months now, every day is a new adventure for us. Every day is a learning process, not just for him, but also for me. Like I said, I take every day as it comes. Because with everything happening around us in the world right now, I don't know if today would be my last day, or his.

Cherish the love we have. We should cherish the life we live.

Especially the one with the flying trains ;)

June 10, 2014

beyond content.

I'm at that stage in my life where I'm just beyond content.

It's like nothing can really make me any more happier than I already am.

Well, okay, no doubt I have my crazy cravings for handbags, yes, crazy because I want 3 different colours of the same style and type, just the thought of owning more clothes makes me high and I love good food, but at the end of it all, I'm really happy as-is, even in the absence of those things.

Life, at the moment, is just really wonderful.

And it's at times like these that I find a void in my brain; I'm supposedly happy, supposedly grateful and supposedly ecstatic with the way things are turning out with my life (which in all honesty, I really am!), yet for some inexplicable reason, I can't seem to appropriately express my happiness (in words) without it coming across as me being indifferent or nonchalant or totally opposite to what I am feeling. 

While I have absolutely no problem pouring words out of frustration, happiness seems to have the opposite effect on me, which is fine because this isn't exactly new to me as I've always been this way, but it is still just as frustrating considering how happy I really am!

Gah, isn't it ironic that my happiness is making me annoyed? Faham tak ketidak logikan fikiran ini???

Well, whatever the case may be, I'm going to continue with this post, so you'll have to excuse me if I seem a little peeved (in my post) despite my (actual) happiness.

xxx

We're already half way through the year 2014.

And I guess it's just one of those days where I feel like there's a need to do a "semakan semula sasaran" for all the things I had aimed for myself earlier this year (excuse all of my work terms being brought into my posts, I pretty much breathe, eat, sleep them, so yeah).

Have I achieved what I had set for myself this year? Did this year turn out as I thought it would? 

Well, yes and no, I guess. But in a good kind of yes and no. 

I entered this year having only one simple resolution, which to be responsible for my own happiness, which I think many would think to be absolutely silly because how can you aim for something which should come naturally for every person?

Well, I thought so too in the beginning, but believe you me, happiness is actually a force to be reckoned with. I mean, take this post for example; didn't I say that I was am happy and yet, I still have problems showing gratitude for it? Yes, that's exactly what I wanted to change about this year.

 And through the 100happydays challenge I signed up for (which I successfully completed on my Instagram *bow bow*!), I was able to achieve at least 85% of the happiness level I had aimed for this year and I think that's pretty amazing, considering the fact that it's only June!

What's even more amazing is that my happy spirit seems to have trickled down to all other aspects in my life in a way I never thought it would.

xxx

So, question is, did I do anything differently this year to achieve that one thing I aimed for earlier?

Oh yes, of course I did.

I had to change many innate characteristics in me; things that I thought were naturally me, so they should not and could not be changed, which apparently should and could be changed.

I also managed to identify one of the things that made me most worried i.e. money and made a pact with my husband to not splurge unnecessarily on each other be it for our anniversary or birthdays and even for our son's birthday and I had a huge reawakening from sticking to that pact - it was definitely an eye opener which changed the dynamics of our family, which in turn, has made us really, really happy.

This year, I also revived the inner "kiasu" in me. For a while, it took a backseat until I recently suddenly realised what an idiot I was to let all those missed opportunities pass me by. I got up from the dream that things will eventually fall into place naturally because let's face it; you don't expect something to just happen, you have to make it happen.

And based on that premise, I became the go-getter I once was; I went out to get the things I wanted, I worked on them and prayed that they would turn out as well as I had hoped for or better, I took my head out of the sandbox and then I faced my fears. Turns out that those fears were mere games my mind played on me, which makes them totally and completely baseless!

Which brings me to the next thing I did this year; which is to realise the true potential of the brain that Allah has given me. My modus operandi so far has been to look at things "mind over matter". Anything the brain can think it, the body can do. And so, I have pushed through each and every day and found that there's always time and energy for everything, if you put your mind to it.

xxx

Having said all that, is there a downside to being all... positive?

Well, of course.

 The downside of being all positive is that you forget that there's only so much your body (and even mind!) can take. 

With every happiness I was blessed with, I was equally tested. There are times like yesterday when I just fell really sick without a reason and there are times like today when I feel so overwhelmed to the point that I just don't know what to feel anymore, that make me realise that it's either time to stop or slow down because Allah will not give you what you cannot handle, so you must be sure to never bite off more than you can chew. 

xxx

Be that as it may, if I had a favourite year to pick apart from the the year when I turned 22 (which was 7 years ago), this year (so far) would be it.

And yes, that's how good this year has been to me.

So, Alhamdulillah. Let's hope the next half of 2014 will be as equally happy, exciting and blessed. Amin to that!