Thursday, April 26, 2018

Hello there!

It's been a busy week at the office (I say 'office' but most of our work is done in outside venues), but rather slow-moving home-wise since I've been under the weather and haven't the energy to do anything productive in the evenings after a day of work. I know I should bring the kids to play outside more often since they get stuck at preschool all day, but the truth is, I am always too tired to even brave a walk in the park. Often, I find myself secretly rejoicing long rainy afternoons when the kids would mope inside and I could potter mindlessly around the house.

Here are some links for this week.

  • I've just realized that I have never read Hercule Poirot. (Or maybe I have, a long time ago, but I forgot? I dunno.) Having got on the bandwagon, though, I can't seem to stop!

  • Have you ever tracked your time? I have a strong suspicion that if I do, I'll find that most of my days are spent watching Nifty videos and picking up after my children.

  • An interesting (if slightly scary) take on menopause.

  • Since Fit and I got married, our possessions have accumulated rapidly. It's gotten so that I'm having trouble finding storage in our once-spacious 1,400 sq ft home! I think our main problem is that we keep bringing in stuff but hardly ever throw out or donate anything. This year, I'm determined to declutter everything. Progress has been slow (we can't stop buying things!), but I'm adamant to see this through! Blogs on small space living like The Tiny Canal Cottage and School Bus Conversion help give me tips on scaling down and realize that you don't need to have a lot of stuff to be content.

See you soon!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Long overdue

I can't believe how long it has been since I've posted!

I've been struggling a lot with my need for privacy and my want of sharing views with others. I've realized that to create a good balance of discussion upon a subject, I need to somewhat offer information on my part, and since most of my experiences are deeply personal (to me at least), I hesitate to give my opinion. By then, the moment passes, and the discussion is no longer relevant, and I am left out.

But for today, at least, here is me gladly sharing a snapshot of my beloved children playing with bubbles in the park on a beautiful sunny day.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Water Claire

In the time that came after, the story of Water Claire took different forms. It was told and retold; things were forgotten, or shaped and changed. Always, though, there was this truth: that she came from the sea, flung in by that fearsome December storm years before.

Some said she was found, later, when the scudding clouds pulled aside and showed low sun in early evening: that she was there on the strip of beach, her clothes half torn from her, and they thought she was dead till she stirred and her eyes opened to show the deep amber-flecked green that later all remembered the same.

Others said no, it was Tall Andras who saw her in the waves, who threw himself in and grabbed her by her long hair as she clung to a thick wood beam, that he swam with her till he could stand, and when they looked her was there in the churning broth of sea with her in his thick arms, her head against his beard, and that he said but one word: "Mine."

Children said she was carried in by dolphins and they made games of it, and rhymes, but all that was just tale-spinning and fun, and no one took it to be true.

Others murmured "selkie" from time to time when she was remembered, but only as a fanciful tale. The selkie stories of seal creatures were well known, oft told, and in all of them there was a shed skin. Water Claire had come in clothing, though it had been shredded by the gritty winter sea. She was human. There was no seal to her.

Or mermaid, either.

She was a human girl sent to them by the sea, who stayed among them for a time, became a woman, and went away again.

Lois Lowry, 'Son'

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Aidil Fitri 2017

I hope it's not too late to wish everyone Eid Mubarak. This Aidil Fitri, we actually managed to get the whole family together on the first day and get pictures of everyone in their Raya oufits. I don't think Arif understood much of everything, but he allowed himself to be decked out and taken photos of rather calmly. Alia, on the other hand, loved the festivities and was proud to show off the clothes she chose for herself. I'd say that this Aidil Fitri was the most successful one so far since we had kids - minimal tantrum throwing and crying, and just lots of laughter and family fun.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Your children vividly remember every unkind thing you ever did to them, plus a few you really didn't.

For the past few days, Arif has been down with a fever. It's not uncommon for the children to get sick, since they go to daycare and don't exactly have the best hygiene habits (picking stuff off the floor and eating it - anyone?), but his fever lasted longer than usual this time, even after medication, and it was worrying. He's all right now, anyway, but it was certainly an exhausting weekend.

While we've been busy tending to Arif (mainly monitoring his temperature and feeding him his medication - that kid fights like an animal every time!), Alia became needy and clingy. With me not getting enough sleep and on frazzled nerves (Fit is not the best person to care for a sick child - he gets panicky at the slightest temperature increase), she was constantly at the receiving end of my short temper.

It broke my heart to see the bewildered look on her face when I snapped at her for leaving her stuff in my way, or for not doing something quickly enough, or for not answering the minute I called. At that moment, I told myself that I would apologize to her and give her a hug later, but then her brother caught my attention again and I forgot. And I keep forgetting, until it is late at night and she's sleeping in her bed and I feel guilty for all the times I've been unfair to her.

I know I need to treat my children better and spend more time nurturing them instead of disciplining them. I get so tired all the time, and when I'm not, I can't seem to be able to just sit down with them and chill without my mind whirring on things that needed to be done around the house. People say that cleaning and laundry can wait, but if I don't clean, the house will be a mess when we wake up and the children will trip over their toys, and if I don't wash clothes, or iron, there will be nothing for us to wear to work and school. It's a conundrum!

(Title quote by Mignon McLaughlin.)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Weekly roundup

I have been struggling with time. I know, every parent does, but sometimes I feel extremely overwhelmed by the things I don't have time to do. And by 'things', I don't mean hobbies like reading or scrap booking or gardening - I mean essentials for a sane, organized life, like ironing work clothes or putting away clean laundry or purging two-week-old leftovers out of the fridge. I can't remember the last time I mopped the floors or  cleaned the kids' car seats (no one spilled chocolate milk yet, so they're staying for now). I'm looking for tips, any tip, as to how I can cram more into the few hours I have at home after work every day, without sacrificing time spent with the children (and sleep, this mom needs her sleep!).

Some things I discovered this week.

  • People usually say child birth is an enlightening, powerfully spiritual act - I have never heard it being described like this article did. To be honest, though, I feel the same way too.

    'Child birth didn’t feel empowering to me. It didn’t feel un-empowering either. Instead it felt to me mostly like a biological process — a difficult one, but one that my body was designed to go through. I didn’t necessarily feel pride at what my body did because I didn’t feel like I could even take credit for it. (In fact, if I did take credit for it, then would that mean that women who couldn’t experience the relatively easy kind of births I had should feel the opposite of pride? Shame or guilt?)'

  • I pinned these tips on Pinterest, because, for a long time after Arif's birth, Alia went through the 'anxious preschooler' phase, where she was desperate for attention and threw tantrums at the slight dissatisfaction. One minute I was pleased that she's able to pack her own backpack, or cook an egg, or read a long word, and the next I was frustrated and yelling at her because she refused to take a sip of water or because she is screaming for her favorite jammies that are in the wash. I felt guilty (still do!) because I felt like I was too strict, but often she really tried my patience so!

  • This book is absolutely awesome. Now I feel sorry for not giving my kids really long names, because then they'll have a thicker book! I want badly to get one of these for Alia, but the steep price (especially when converted to Ringgit Malaysia) gave me pause. Maybe on her birthday?

Monday, January 09, 2017


Is it too late to wish a Happy New Year?

I have been neglecting this space, as I have done with all my online spaces. Sometimes I am tempted to just shut it down, but this blog has come so far and it feels like such a waste to just... end it. I am an introvert who expresses herself better in writing than in conversations, and that is why this place is still sacred to me. My main problem, as it often is, is motivation. Every day I struggle to write something, anything, even in my personal journal. There are days when I succeed. Most days I don't.

The kids, when they're playing nice.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

His first year

A couple of days ago, this boy turned one.

In a blink of an eye, he is no longer a baby. He amazes us daily with his cunning and perseverance. Nothing deters him from his goals. If he wants something, he'll try for it (reaching, climbing, pushing it over), and if he isn't able to, he'll just leave it and attend to something else, but then always coming back again with another plan (which often includes a makeshift equipment of some sort).

He's extremely cheeky, always chuckling and laughing and making others chase him around. He's never shy with people and is always looking at them with open curiosity. He loves having a crowd around, and enjoys going to school and getting together with his cousins.

He also loves to tease his sister so! He's always following her around, tailing on her heels and demanding to be let in whatever she's doing. He likes to watch her read, although these sessions often end up with him sitting on the books and making her impatient. And he just can't get enough of cuddling and rolling around with her, which is causing me a lot of headaches come bedtime every day.

Happy birthday, our darling Arif! May you grow strong and healthy, and have a long, happy, prosperous life.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

No man has ever lived that had enough
Of children’s gratitude or woman’s love.

Time sure flies. In a blink of an eye, months has passed.

Nothing major has happened in our lives - I've been focusing hard on our day to day and trying to establish some sort of routine with both Fit and I having busy, erratic work schedules. The kids have had two weeks off in the past two months because both of us were unable to send and fetch them from school, resorting to them staying with their grandparents in KL while I'm working. The children, of course, loved it, but it sure is a pain to settle them down again once we're back home.

Also, because of Fit constantly working, I've been toting Alia and Arif on flights to and from KL. I'm starting to enjoy traveling with them. Arif's just started walking and is always excited to waddle off on his own, and Alia is now old enough to not need a stroller all the time. They both still need their naps, which can be cumbersome during travel, but I try to arrange so that they'll get some rest upon arrival.

Alia's reading is progressing well, and she's started learning the Qur'an too. Fit has commented that she's more eloquent, and I notice it too, since she loves telling stories about her day in the car ride home. She's still shy around strangers, but is definitely more confident in herself, and she makes me so proud every time she's able to ask and pay for things over the counter.

Arif is almost one! I can hardly believe it. When Alia was a baby, the days seemed to pass by so slowly as I watched her grow. With Arif, it seems like only yesterday he was a creeping on his tummy, picking up pieces of fluff off the floor (and eating them), and today he's a toddler, running around in circles and hanging precariously off the child gate. He's understanding every word and have opinions on every thing, and talks back like a sassy teen.

The best of part of everything, though, is just how much these two love each other. I wish for them to always love each other this way.

(Title quote by W. B. Yeats.)