A crabby Khalish suddenly smiling at Kamal as soon as the latter took the former from me for a diaper change.
Khalish attempting to wake Kamal up in the morning with sloppy kisses. If the sloppy kisses failed, gutsy taps on the face there would be.
Kamal trying to put Khalish to sleep again, to no avail, resulting in the former being fully awake finally.
Khalish wiggling his buns while in crawling position when he heard Kamal said the iqamat out loud.
Khalish greeting Kamal with a most charming smile and a "hey!"
Kamal carrying Khalish while toying with a ball.
Khalish laughing when I chased Kamal and the ball.
Khalish intently watching Kamal intently watching Formula 1. The former distracted the latter eventually.
Kamal imitating Khalish's latest verbal skill of rapid "klaklaklaklakla" and Khalish enthusiastically responding to Kamal's attempts, as though they were in deep conversation. We thought Khalish was sending the message that baby language is strictly for babies.
Khalish telling the neighbourhood i.e shouting "I want to play outside!" when Kamal tightly embraced him on the bed, in the bedroom.
Saturday, May 16, was set for Kamal's fitness training, until the fitness trainer cancelled the appointment due to flu scare. At the spur of the moment, we took out from its plastic a swimming suit bought for Khalish the previous day, and dressed a drowsy Phelps junior in it. Instead of protesting over a disturbed sleep, he posed for the camera in back stroke style.
At Equatorial swimming pool, Kamal showed him the free style as I supported his upper body for him to imitate the daddy. Once he does not treat the arm floats as teethers, and one of us could resist the water temptation, there would be photos of him in the pool. Another solution is to get ourselves a waterproof camera.
During our babymoon at Guoman, Port Dickson, Kamal and I acknowledged the fact that Little C's presence would be a life-changing experience. Love life, particularly. Parenthood magazines, as an example, never failed to annually feature cover articles on 'Is There Sex Life After Baby?'. In reality, the question shall be specified to 'Is There Date Life After Baby?'.
As for Kamal and I, our date life was placed in Intensive Care Unit for the first two months of Khalish's arrival. Out of the hospital where Khalish was born, both mommy and baby headed for Rembau. Kamal became a fatigued visitor in the middle of the week, before drowsily driving to Bangsar or Petaling Jaya offices the next day, to come again once work was over on Friday evenings. Although we resorted to text messages and telephone calls like the courting days again, both of us knew well that we were new parents, desperate for each other's support.
We were lively souls again when the transition from Rembau to Bandar Baru Bangi was made as soon as I completed the postnatal confinement period. I thanked my mother for her care, but I have not told her that my next confinement would be spent where Kamal is. So lively we became that we were able to redefine date life; from an outing for two to an outing for three, with activities both of us love yet friendly to an exclusively breastfed baby. There were also dates right at home with cosy projects, like enjoying Sex and The City the Movie as well as chocolate cake on the comfort of our bed while the baby was asleep in the cot.
Khalish was seven months old when I had to wean him off the breast milk due to outstation commitments. The blessing in disguise was in the form of a four-day trip with just Kamal to Bali. Date redefined again. Kamal and I found ourselves indulging in the us time whenever we could. Once on our car-pool week, on the pretext of waiting for Putrajaya-Bangi traffic congestion to subside, with the nursery's green light for Khalish to stay there longer, Kamal and I watched He's Just Not That Into You in Alamanda.
Initially, it seemed too indulgent, thus sinful, to put our baby in the nanny's care while we were experiencing one of the best times in the post-baby life. Nevertheless, we realised that being parents is similar to being in a career, too. One deserves a break now and then to appreciate life and each other to the fullest. The time the baby spends with others serves as a socialisation ground for him.
Therefore, Kamal and I made a space for such a date last weekends because Khalish was in Rembau and will stay there for the whole week. The house in Bandar Baru Bangi is under a minor yet dusty renovation, thus it being unfit for a baby. Back to the date.
It commenced with an appreciation dinner at Thai Thai, Sunway Pyramid, held by Kamal's colleagues. I was glad to be invited because the people inspired me to be more adventurous for the rest of the evening. Next was a bowling tournament, where I decided to give the game a try again after eons of the thought that bowling equalled boring. It was Kamal The Diligent Coach who changed my perspective towards the sport. Now, I am hooked. Simultaneously, I am surprised at how diligent Kamal could be as a teacher. The evening was ended with a midnight movie that both of us have been eyeing. Angels and Demons.
The date continued the next day. This time, at home. Kamal read to me the previous day's New Straits Times and I explained to him my obsession over Adam Lambert's performances as I caught the American Idol marathon. He prepared our protein shake breakfast and dinner. Lunch was at Wong Solo, where I introduced him to the real Jus Alpukat.
Today, we are separated by Kamal's work. The renovation will only end by the time we travel to Kelantan for our niece's wedding, so no Khalish around still. What makes me smile despite the lonesome feeling is the memories of our time together. Of Khalish, Kamal, and I. Of Kamal and I. Each is special.
Hello, world. Here is a photo and a post on Khalish being nine months old. A month late, as he is now ten months old. Nonetheless, better late than never, eh.
As the photo suggests, Khalish is one chatterbox, particularly with people he knows best. Number one in his best people list, is of course, daddy. If I were the one who noisily entered the house while he was sleeping in the hall, he would wake up crying, which Kamal and I later concluded was a desperate call for me to hold him as soon as possible. However, if it was the daddy doing the same thing I did, he would wake up cheerful. Because of such nature, I have passed the task of changing his diaper post midnight, which requires face-to-face interaction, often, between a drowsy parent and a crabby baby, to Kamal. Meanwhile, I would relegate myself to a corner and perform a less daunting task, preparing five ounces of milk. Yes, he usually drinks that much, as frequently as two-hour interval.
The most was eight ounces, during which he found eating uncomfortable due to swollen gum. The least has always been four ounces, which he consumed an hour after a main meal. The photo below is of him enjoying water. I love no drip technology.
By the way, Favourite bottle:NUK Orthodontic
Favourite milk: Enfapro A+
Although he had flatly refused Isomil Eye Q Plus, the first formula milk I bought for him five months ago, he has now been more adventurous towards new tastes. Last week, when he faced difficulty to do number two, my parents plucked a papaya from their backyard, blended the flesh, and diluted the juice with water. After half a cup, he asked for more. The same went for other tropical fruits that he had tried. Banana and watermelon in particular. Once, he begged to taste a slice of starfruit in my hand and tasted it he did. The expression on his face indicated that the starfruit was sour, but he insisted for another bite. I plan to introduce him to yogurt for infant next weekend.
He could sit unassisted, albeit it lasting merely for seconds. Boy being boy, he always prefers to be on the move, even when he is asleep. No crawling on all fours yet although he could stand up on his own, aided by items around the house. Kamal and I would need a safety gate for the stairs very soon. At the moment, we instructed the maid not to bother herself with other chores. Just concentrate on the speedy Khalish. Which reminds me of a concern. I rarely let Khalish feed himself because I do not want to tire the maid unnecessarily. Yet, he has shown interest in holding the spoon used to feed him each time it passed his face. Then, whenever he held a teething biscuit and created a mess on his hand, face, and even the head, he would cheekily glance at me and created a messier mess. A typical nine-month-old. He appeared cheekier with a shorter hair-do. His hair curled as it grew, and the end of the fringe sometimes pricked his eyes, thus the number four cut.
Now, according to Kamal, he loves Star Wars. Why 'according to Kamal'? One fine early morning, Khalish woke up while I was dealing with basket after basket of laundry. Kamal, in the mean time, was watching Star Wars on the desktop. Obviously, he was more available to attend to Khalish, who was by then more curious with the item on the computer screen compared to the piles of clothes. To our surprise, he managed to sit still in Kamal's lap for more than fifteen minutes. Yes, a record. His eyes fixed on Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. It left me with no choice but to catch the series, too. One down, five to go. I love Ewok, the series for children, better though.
Aside from science fiction, he has shown interest in real people. The reason why he often looks forward to an evening stroll around the neighbourhood. Favourite pit stop is the playground. Favourite ride at the playground is the infant swing. Nevertheless, he always ignored my gesture to get his hands on the handles, preferring to wave a good bye to those around him. "Ta ta" he would say, now with a melody. Kamal and I suspected that he picked up the melodious tone from the Bruneian relatives. Sweet. Not so sweet was the way he kissed others. Mouth wide open, no matter how I taught him to pout the lips, and his saliva smacked on our faces. Sweeter was the way he greeted Kamal and I the moment he woke up in the morning, all smiles and babbles. If you happen to see a chubby boy with a cheeky expression, waving and simultaneously babbling excitedly at someone, it could be Khalish.
The last event of Azmi & Nora's wedding was ambil-ambilan, held on Sunday evening, at Orchid Garden Hotel. One cosy, casual reception. Being early, the Hafneh & Aznah clan posed for family portraitures. There are occasions when the Bruneians would come to Malaysia and vice versa, but this was the only occasion before Airul's wedding that almost all of us were under one roof.
Kamal and I roamed the hall for other photo opportunities after the brief family portraiture session. The hosts entertained the guests. The children made the ceremony merrier with their antics. All were enthralled by the live band's performance. Khalish, as always, danced to the music, with his grandfather.
The bride and groom entered the hall to a love song. Doa selamat recited, and ambil-ambilan ensued, during which Nora received a gift from her mother-in-law. This was followed by cake cutting, and soon afterwards, dinner. More love songs serenaded the guests, including a special request by the bride, Kaulah Segalanya. It was sugar and spice, and everything nice. The feel good vibe was further spread with a song dedication to the bride and groom, from the bride's nieces, the groom's youngest sister, and their girlfriend. Sweet.
Azmi and Nora, lots of love and best wishes on your wedding!
A post a day on Azmi & Nora's wedding is no procrastination on my side. I have been occupied with life as a traveller's wife. Then, there are Khalish and fitness training to enjoy. Nonetheless, those are merely excuses in Kamal's dictionary, thus a Hit List, downloaded to my notebook yesterday. I like.
Oh, Azmi & Nora's wedding. Sanding was held on Sunday, after a relaxing Saturday. By now, my mother and I had a mutual understanding that she kept an eye on Khalish, and I kept my eyes on subjects amiable to the lens. In return, I taught her how to apply blusher and such.
The guests' arrival was welcome by Hafneh & Aznah's clan. Once the tents were full, doa selamat was recited. It was followed by luncheon.
Figuring out that Nora must have been completely made up by the time doa selamat was recited, I went to the bridal room to have a photo of the bride. Neither Kamal nor I went earlier because we did not want to be in the official photographer's way. In the room, Nora was also surrounded by the little bridesmaids. Beautiful.
While lunching, the guests were entertained with traditional music played by a local band similar to calempong group in Malaysia, guling tangan. Khalish particularly enjoyed the entertainment. How he swayed non-stop to the lively melodies.
Anyway, here is a matter I forgot to mention earlier. I decided to be myself and not don a hijab for this ceremony onwards. I actually almost decided against it when every lady I saw coming through the gate donned one. Fortunately, I asked for a second opinion from a confidante. She asked me to go to the opposite house where Nora's friends were stationed, and there, I felt at home. You know why.
The lunch was sumptuous, but more subjects beckoned to be photographed even while I was enjoying my platter of food glorious food. Right in front of me sat a vase of fresh orchids, courtesy of my uncle and aunt's neighbour. Next to me was a lady who immensely enjoyed the lunch, that her nose was literally deep in the plate, and her feet were curled every time she munched. There were also children who were charmed by the camera. Meanwhile, Kamal caught the bride's father standing in between the tents meant for male guests, facing the entrance, ensuring every single thing was satisfactory while simultaneously readying himself for the groom's arrival.
The groom entourage arrived at 1:00 p.m. Once the bride's father gave a go signal, Azmi stepped out of the car and wowed everybody with his poise. Before entering the house to fetch the bride, the groom was guided by his Penganggun to walk three small circles. Let us google the reasons later.
Another observation: candles, of long variety, yellow in colour, play a vital role in Bruneian Malay wedding. Google that, too, shall we?
The next agenda was siram kaki. For the ritual, the bride put her foot on top of the groom's, and the feet would be placed on a parang and its sharpener. Each guest who would love to bless the couple would then pour a ladle-full of scented water onto the feet. To do so, the guest must hand an amount of money into a tray. After the siram kaki ritual was the sanding event. No merenjis. Close family members would shake hands with the bride and groom and extend their wishes before having a photo taken. My cousin cried when it was her father's turn.
Our heartiest congratulations to both of you, from Kamal, Aishah, and Khalish.
I, as usual, would play with Khalish once the whole ceremony for the day was over. Syok.
Azmi & Nora's wedding, continued. As mentioned in a previous post, I chose a casual scarf for the day so that Khalish would not reject the woman in veil. My mother volunteered to take care of him anyway, seeing that Kamal was carrying two cameras. Not that we were the official photographers. We only needed a fix to our addiction, aside from focusing on photographing our family.
The cameras served as great ice-breaking tools when it came to approaching our second nephews and nieces, whom we rarely met due to distance. These shots are by Kamal, before the ceremony started. I was in Pak Lang & Mak Lang's room then, playing with Khalish while waiting for his grandmother to finish her early lunch.
The ceremony started on time. Kamal, first time attending a wedding in Brunei, was in awe with the Bruneians' punctuality. All of the guests were dressed to the nines, too. Gentlemen in samping songket that glittered, while the ladies depicted glamour. None of them smoked throughout the event.
All in all, it was a beautiful ceremony. Khalish and I danced in the hall afterwards.