Monday, August 30, 2010

Seven, Eight, Let Us Narrate


A seven months old Khalish and his favourite book.

I could be excellent at Sudoku, but the excellence is due to practice, practice, practice. Nothing natural about me and mathematics. Fresh in my memory is Mr. Wong's dismay at my inability to solve a supposedly simple Modern Mathematics problem when Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia was only a month away. I managed to score A for the subject in the major examination, to Mr. Wong's relief, but such grade came with herculean efforts. 

Last Friday, at a bookshop, I was recalling the titles of books Khalish had at home in order to choose another title. There and then, it hit me that most of the subjects were of numbers. Subconsciously, I actually expected that my child would not be as anxious as I was with mathematics.

He is not, so far. He now counts until 20, and, he recognises the numbers accordingly. Easily.

At the bookshop, upon realising the exertion I had subtly put on my son, I commenced a search for fun methods to nurture the mathematical skills in him. The beat and tempo in music and their interplay with mathematics is a familiar method. One finding that amazed me was the potential of mathematics wizard in a sophisticated storyteller. I have The Math Gene: How Mathematical Thinking Evolved and Why Numbers are Like Gossip by Keith Devlin in my to-read list. The book has indeed evolved into more researches on the "deep connection between mathematical ability and narrative skills". 

A thought crossed my mind. Had the older generation let the younger me continue talking about my imagination, I would have scored A in Additional Mathematics, too. Heh.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Once Upon a Weekend in Rembau, Khalish's Version


Mega Bloks with second cousin, Aniq, upon waking up.


Cousins galore at a gathering afterward.


Me time: a cool(ing) activity, definitely.


Imaginative 'Cendol Turned Fish' game with Pak Teh.


Pak Long & Mak Long's youngest child, Hazim. 
He, too, loves Herbalife shake (in his own bottle, no less).


Meal time, on my own, as I always insist now. 
Notice the different spoons in both photos? Yes, infatuation with gravity. 
I would drop my spoon, followed by a "wow" at the effect.


The so-called chess. More fun with blocks. Wow, too.

Wrant II

The week has been filled with iftar do, to the brim. Yesterday, the 9498 chums indulged in seafood dinner at Manhattan Fish Market. With such indulgence, it was refreshing to have a 15-minute iftar date with Kamal prior to the dinner. Simply shakes, and lots of laughter, by Suria KLCC fountain. After Maghrib, we parted ways.

It was also also refreshing not to carry my camera. Quality time with the people for once. Heh.

Another iftar do today. Haven't I told you that 'the week has been filled with iftar do, to the brim'? I am going to walk to a shop five kilometers away instead of driving. Refreshing, to the brim.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Preloved Quinny Zapp & Maxi-Cosi Cabrio Fix (Sold)

(Sold)



Preloved Quinny Zapp & Maxi-Cosi Cabrio Fix (travel system) at only RM1000. Original price was RM2089. The price tag shown in the photo is the original price for the infant car seat only.


Contact me at aishah@feelgoodfoto.com or 012-3719629 for queries or booking.

The Quinny Zapp in a nutshell:
+ Incredibly sleek and attractive design.
+ Ideal for travelling with any kind of transportation.
+ Ideal travel system in combination with Maxi-Cosi car seat, too.
+ Full size buggy with an ultra compact 3-D fold of 70 x 25 x 29 cm.
+ Highly manoeuvrable front wheel that can rotate 360 degrees and can be locked.
+ Including sun canopy, rain cover, and travel bag.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Close Circle

+ Brief, but meaningful date for the three of us.
+ Hana and her sister chaperoned their mommy,
and the former became my photography subject as her eyes were simply mesmerising.
+ The three of us indulged in the food and beverage, as well as each other's news.
+ I pray that our camaraderie lasts. Amin.

The Remedy

Aloha smoothie, prepared with love by my father.

Affirmations, Attitudes, Actions, inspired by Reiki Healthy Lifestyle:

I am aware of my decisions.
I lead a healthy lifestyle.
I am worthy of peace, bliss, and abundance.
I know how these easily flow into my experience.
I open myself to healing and happiness. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Laksa



My mother has prepared Laksa Penang for today's iftar in Rembau. She delivered some to Bandar Baru Bangi, for the grandson and the maid, via my father, who was on his way to Kuala Lumpur. There are accompanying desserts, as well. Agar-agar Pandan and Kuih Denderam. For iftar do at Wellness Offers Wonders, Kelana Jaya, she prepared Samosa. Fried with canola oil, and to be taken in moderation. Just a reminder to myself.

About Laksa, I remember the delicious Laksa Kelantan served for lunch at Ayoh & Mok's place one fine Saturday. I had always preferred Laksam because, in my opinion, the rolled flat rice noodle captures the creamy texture of the fish gravy better than the string rice noodle variant, as used in Laksa Kelantan, does. Until that fine Saturday.

According to Ayoh, Laksa Kelantan was once a special treat served by paddy field owners to the farmers, and at times, fellow villagers, to celebrate the end of harvesting season. Another fact about the delicacy that amuses me: it is traditionally consumed using one's hand, not fork and spoon. As shown by my husband in the photo above. Eccentric.

My favourite laksa, in this order:
Laksam
Laksa Kelantan
Laksa Penang (particularly the one Kamal and I found by the beach at Teluk Bahang, Pulau Pinang)
Laksa Johor
Laksa Sarawak

The Bachelorette II

Each potluck do unveiled the gastronomes in us. To some, the chefs in them. All in all, an indulgence, once in a blue moon. Food aside, the potluck parties served as venues for us to indulge in each other's company as well. With the convenience of letting the children loose. Not to mention the non-existent time limit, unlike dates at shopping complexes. 



Back at Lat's bachelorette day, we practically had fun, fun, fun. Fun with the food and beverage, fun with the latest scoops on our lives, fun with the children's frolics. 
Oh, fun with the adults' frolics, too. Heh. The former Imam back in school expectedly came late, but unexpectedly came fashionably late. We can never forget those belts, Ibah. Not to mention your latent loudness, combining red details on the veil with bright turquoise. Love the sportive spirit, definitely. 

Our deepest gratitude to Yani for the hospitality as well as the beautiful key chains from Mekah. With each potluck do, I shall say that we crave for more gatherings. Our heartiest congratulations to Lat and Saiful on your wedding. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Bachelorette I



One cosy pajama party later, Elis, Lat, Nana, Yani, and I surprised ourselves with an early morning. We were excited for Lat's bachelorette day. Double the fun.

Yani was a gracious host. Not only she offered the best mattress and bedding to us, she also prepared breakfast. French Toast, savoured with chili sauce, and chocolate milk. Not to forget, Sweetie's chocolate bun bought at 7-Eleven while waiting for Lat's arrival the previous evening. Oh, the bun holds memories of high school. As for me, I really love my usual breakfast of Herbalife Tea Mix and Formula 1 & Formula 3 smoothie that I packed them from home. Thank you, Yani, for lending me your new blender. 


Yani's Spaghetti Bolognese and Ribena Longan were ready by the time the other chums arrived. Thanks to Nana and Elis who helped the busy host by guiding them to the venue. They brought along their own specialties, and the dining table was covered with various food in no time. That soothed me as I was the only one without food or beverage contribution. I was only available for the potluck do at the last minute due to a cancelled travel arrangement. Even Khalish was not around as I had sent him and the maid to Rembau to ease the supposedly speedy trip to Kuala Kangsar. The chums said that my contribution are these photos. Sweet of them to say so.

Menu for the day, aside from the host's Spaghetti Bolognese and Ribena Longan: Elis' special-recipe Samosa and Curry Puffs, Ainul's healthy Baked Macaroni, Fathin's crunchy Curry Puffs, Nana's moist Steamed Brownies and Mashed Potato, Nini's hot and spicy Chili Chicken, Kamilla's sumptuous Viennetta ice cream, Ibah's refreshing honeydew, and Huda's delectable cake.



The children shared toys among themselves. The adults shared stories. Occasionally, we humoured the children's requests for this and that. Vice-versa. Ha. All while having appetisers. It was relaxing and we could imagine organising potluck weekends for the rest of our lives. With or without special function.

For Lat's bachelorette day, we set a theme for fun: the ladies were to wear turquoise apparels. Remember my last-minute availability for the do? That meant no preparation. Yes, neither food nor beverage, nor anything turquoise to don. Being naughty, I did a quick survey on who else was without anything turquoise. I found Kamilla and we made a pact to wear another mutual colour available in our respective closets. We ended up wearing red. The others suggested that we shop for clothes in every colour then onwards. Heh.


Before the main course, we decided to have a group photo, knowing how messy the children and us could be later.

Here are photos of us, excluding Ibah and Huda, who were late due to personal commitments, and yours truly, who was the photographer, who really should remember her tripod or remote control for the camera:



To be continued: The Bachelorette II.

William's



Nana was responsible to introduce the four of us to William's. I purposely reduced my calorie intake during the day to splurge at the famous joint. So excited was I that I volunteered to fetch Nana, Yani, and Kamilla from their respective places, and Elis, from a train station, despite my limited sense of direction. 

By the time we found a table at the crowded stall, all of us were famished. Thus an immediate "no, thank you" to the owner's suggestion to "share your food." We regretted our greed. The food portion was enormous by our standard. They were too delicious not to finish though, so we pushed the dishes around the table to minimise a surging weariness with our own order. My vote went to a particular spicy pasta. As for the beverage, two thumbs up for the avocado with strawberry drink. 


Other than the food and beverage, one of the main attractions of the otherwise dreary stall was its friendly and funny owner. After posing with Elis, Yani, and Kamilla for my camera, a conversation took place: 

Mr. William: Gambar masuk dalam blog ke?
Me: Ha ah. Facebook ya, blog pun ya.
Mr. William: Saya pun ada blog.
Me: Really? Address?
Mr. William: Goblok!

*Laughter*
Elis, Nana, and I had decided to spend a night at Yani's place. Lat was to join us, too. We fetched Lat at a 7-Eleven adjacent to Yani's. Oh, the five of us only slept at 4:00 a.m., and the sole reason we retired to bed at all was the potluck do scheduled at 11:00 a.m. with the rest of the chums. 

Girls will always be girls.

Picnic in Putrajaya

February 20, 2010. Saturday. A potluck picnic for four of the 9498 chums, despite knowing the others' absence. The weather was too fine not to have one. At Putra Perdana Park, I laid the mega mat and the rest who came earlier laid the feast. The mosquitoes, meanwhile, had their own fiesta on Elis and Nana's hands, which was a blessing in disguise as those insects were too sated to bother Ainul's son, Khalis, by the time the duo arrived.
To simply chillax was a bliss. Little chat, fun with food. Too bad I could not bring Khalish along as he had to be quarantined at home for measles. We became Khalis' playdates, pretending to be children at a tea party game. Khalis was the one who humoured us in the end. 


As a reward to Khalis for being a good sport, Ainul, Elis and Nana unveiled their football alter egos -Ainulampard, Eluis Figo and Nanaldo - to coach Khalis. The four of them used the vast park to their advantage. Oh, how we loved the Breeze ball that Aunty Kamilla gave to Khalis. 


As I mentioned previously, the weather was too fine that I actually asked their favour to pose for my camera. Khalis still wanted to play with the ball, but the mama and the aunts have mastered the art of enticement that the boy finally tugged himself among the ladies and smiled beautifully at my lens. I wished the rest of the chums, as well as Khalish, were there. 


More games involving the ball afterwards. Khalis naturally became my favourite subject to photograph as he amused us with his antics. All the running, shouting, hopping, laughing, and photographing called for a second helping of the food. We were only a few steps shy from the mat when the amiable weather turned funny, and when it rained, it poured. Nana offered her umbrella to Ainul and Khalis so that they could run to the nearest shelter. Then, she helped Elis and I to pack the food and beverages. We left the mat. It was big, and therefore rather heavy to carry while running. 


When I described the weather as being funny, I really meant it. As soon as we reached the shelter where Ainul and Khalis were, the rain stopped, and when it stopped, it was extremely sunny, too. My, we could not stop laughing just thinking of the way we tried to run with arms full of food. And how Nana helped me to salvage a box of brownies that I dropped. And how drenched we were.

So, when life gives you a sunny day, make photos out of it. At least, that was the philosophy then. We only made our way back once we thought we had had enough photos. It was then that Nana discovered her latent talent in photography as she beautifully photographed me carrying the mega mat from behind. Except for my big bums, which Nana was not responsible of, the photo was splendid.

One fun picnic it was. There must be a repeat with all the chums. Not to forget, the children.  

Iftar, Wellness Now

We are approaching yet another Friday by tomorrow, which will be the day for an iftar do, as well as congregational Maghrib and Tarawih, at Wellness Offers Wonders. Which reminds me of last Friday's similar do at Wellness Now, Section 7, Shah Alam. 

Kamal and I arrived half an hour early, so we got to mingle with the club members. Among them were Ayah and Ummi. After seven days replacing their breakfast, and later, iftar, with more water and Herbalife Tea Mix & Formula 1 shake combo, Ayah and Ummi have been more energetic. Exercising at Section 7 lake garden also became a more pleasant routine for them.

While the guests talked to each other, the club owners ensured there were sufficient Aloe Concentrate drink and Tea Mix. Formula 1 shakes galore, too. The simple yet nutritious iftar was followed by congregational Maghrib, and afterwards, tazkirah.

Then, time for colourful meal. The club owners served scrumptious fruits, Nasi Arab, Yong Tau Foo, and traditional kuih-muih as desserts. The guests came with other food, too, a la potluck do. Popia Basah, Bubur Cha Cha, and Bubur Durian with bread, among others.

What a merry occasion. Kamal and I had the opportunity to know new friends as well. Not to forget, new testimonies. Our dear friend's 12-year-old son, for example, amazed us with his product results. He has lost 14 kilograms with Herbalife. He is so in love with the shakes that he even prepared them for his parents at times. Alhamdulillah, his teachers noticed the positive physical change and one of them has started her own weight and health maintenance programme.



Firdaus, from KAOS Nutrition Club, Seksyen 18, Shah Alam, is another truly inspiring weight-loss and health testimony with Herbalife. From flab to fit. He is from a different group of independent Herbalife distributors, but he came to our group's event with fellow clients simply because we are one big happy family in Herbalife. How Kamal and I love to surround ourselves with positive people in Herbalife circle. We are also grateful that our parents and family members are with us.

By the way, it was one great get-together by Wellness Now Team. We look forward to more gatherings and activities by the team. See you soon.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Mother's Prayer

Sahur and Iftar with Herbalife

“Our meals should be nutritious, kept as simple as possible, and eaten according to our needs. The diet should be such that we maintain our normal body weight. However, if one is overweight, Ramadan is a good opportunity to lose some weight.”

Rokiah Don
Director of Public Health Department
Nutrition Division
Ministry of Health

The Star, August 17, 2010
Alhamdulillah, Kamal and I have found the perfect meal for sahur and iftar. High in nutrients yet low in calories. Healthy colourful meal after Isya'. As suggested by the following chart:

Those in weight-gain programme may take the healthy colourful meal prior to the shake. Formula 3 Personalised Protein Powder may be added accordingly in the shake for all programmes. We also have Omega 3 Fish Oil with each meal. Refer to your Wellness Coach for more information.

Our sahur and iftar, for the whole of Ramadhan:
The Aloe Concentrate drink, Tea Mix, and Formula 1 & Formula 3 above were prepared by my father for those who were in Rembau last Sunday. Special ingredient for the shake: dragon fruits from my parents' backyard orchard.

Khalish surely loved Atuk Ali's special shake, as always. So did we. Managing our health and weight has never been as enjoyable indeed. My father shared with us how he is more energetic leading tarawih at the local surau this Ramadhan as compared to the previous year's experience. Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Write + Rant = Wrant

A day with Khalish. Just the two of us. Now, I feel like writing, but this is all that I manage to write.

Khalish is way more energetic. He even pulled a So You Think You Can Dance's Paso Doble routine. In his funny way, of course.

The wanting to write, or rather, rant, here might keep me motivated to stay awake after sahur, by the way. Let's hope I would not be tempted, as I usually did, to stare at my son sleeping so serenely until I myself follow him to dreamland. Wrant, I do.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

9498: Introduction

Anything for a good company, and a great chat of everything and nothing.
Potluck do for a longer version, and dinner do for a shorter version.

Interesting Blog Award!

Thank you, Iskandar and Fizi, for the Interesting Blog Award. Every now and then along the timeline that I did not post anything in Chech: Eccentric, I thought of friends who have been thoughtful to give me simple pleasures in life, like this award, and I would have the motivation to write again, to spread more love. Just like the friends did.
The award comes with an entitlement for yours truly to write seven personal stuffs of my interest:

I am enthusiastic about early childhood education, for the benefits of my children, Insya-Allah.

2

If I were to choose a cause to stand for profoundly, at a publicised level, it would be childhood education and childhood obesity. I wish there were the likes of Adventures in Nutrition with Captain Carlos in place of the Ultraman series during my childhood. I have always been overweight and to lose the excess fat percentage during adulthood has been a struggle.

3

I am grateful for being aware of the importance of wellness now, with better understanding of how precious my body is for healthy soul needs healthy body. Nutrition and exercise have become more enjoyable.

4

I still have a single-digit fat percentage to shed, yet the final phase had been a challenge despite the reducing centimeters where it matters. This is the time when I reach for stronger support, and Alhamdulillah, you may have similar access to such solidarity once Wonders of Wellness starts operation. Real soon. The interesting fact is: the nutrition club is a place for everybody. Not just for overweight person like me.

5

Oh, I do enjoy regular, colourful meals. In moderation. Not in uncontrollable amount like it used to be.

6

I am Miss Sunshine, alright, with the intermittent rainy days. Therefore, I prefer to project positivity. Unless the rain leads to storm. That would require a channel for a possible flood.

7

With such positivity, I am cruising through the challenges to lose the final single-digit fat percentage with ease, and again, thanks to a support system that keeps me optimistic. Hey, I love the entitlement to rant about my main interests at the moment, which makes me wonder if that still makes this blog interesting to Iskandar and Fizi. Heh.

Stripes & Swirls

Yet another potluck do for a circle of 9498 chums. A celebration for our respective sons and nephew's second birthday. As well as two July ladies, for the do was held on July 25, 2010. Monsieur Camus was attending Herbalife Supervisor Academy and Leadership Retreat in Bali then, thanks to my father's treat as a token of appreciation for introducing Herbalife to him. Yes, the chums had the house to ourselves all day long.
So, the theme was Stripes & Swirls. Food and beverage consisted of Ribena Blackcurrant & Apple with Longan & Nata de Coco (inspired by Yani's unbeatable Ribena longan), Spaghetti Bolognese (courtesy of my maid), Kentucky Fried Chicken and its condiments (courtesy of Fathin), Coconut Cupcakes with Lemon Juice & Zest (courtesy of Ainul), Donashi Doughnuts (courtesy of Lat), Rojak Buah (courtesy of Yani), homemade Dadih with Nata de Coco (courtesy of Elis), mangosteens (courtesy of Ibah), and fried cempedak (again, courtesy of my maid). Decoration was a patch work on an existing framed mirror, of recycled gift wrappers with an additional fancy paper from Papier Love, and photos of birthday boys printed at home.
Those with children came the earliest, with the exception for Yani, who was early because she needed to be back by 3:00 p.m. for a task. Khalish (my son), Khalis (Ainul's), and Akmal (Fathin's) played together while the mommies and aunty exchanged life updates. Then, Nini came. No Ucop the fourth birhtday boy in sight. According to Nini, he had to stay at home because of visiting cousins. We really wished he was there. Nonetheless, Nini brought along birthday gifts. Bubble guns for the boys and collapsible containers for the ladies. Big hits.
All of us marvelled at the bubbles. We experimented with various methods to produce the most and the biggest bubbles. It was hilarious just watching the children trying to cope with the adults. In the end, they resorted to their own ways with the bubble guns, assimilating other toys in their games. Khalish particularly loved the balls Fathin bought for all of the boys, while Akmal and Khalis teamed up to play fashion police. They were directing their guns in all directions, garbed in bangles which were truly stacking rings and teethers. Khalish momentarily joined the duo before leaving for Lat's wedding album. Later, he was back at the gun again, but with a different twist to the game. The bubble gun was now a camera.
The trio kept inventing games after games. The girlfriends had formed a circle around the wedding album. Then came Kamilla. With more birthday gifts. Thank you for the children's story books and the pretty vase. Back at the album: those who could not make it to Saiful & Lat's wedding felt like we were actually in Mentakab, thanks to the narration that followed each album page.

We were only interrupted by a series of burst balloons. The boys comically raved about the loudness non-stop. They were even inspired by the incidents, drawing their guns in true cowboys' manners, and shooting at the most fun target. Who happened to be Yani. Three against one. Hilarious.

When Nini assembled the collapsible container for me, Khalish rushed to her, eager with every thing new. He stored the gun. Took it out. Stored it again. Took it out, and Nini had a better idea. She closed the container with its hard lid and seated him on the top. The latter liked the friendliness and stayed there for a while, expecting a story-telling session to come from the former. It did. At the end, satisfied, Khalish thanked Nini by photographing her. With his new camera invention.

All the plots, plays, and poses brought us to candle-blowing and cake-cutting time, eventually. Yours truly's wish for a homemade cheesecake was granted, thanks to Ainul's Blissful Sweetness oven. It was one scrumptious Fruity Jelly Marble Cheesecake. There will surely be a repeat order.

As for the candles, I wished I had found a 'nine' to put beside the 'two', just for the birthday ladies. No 'nine' meant we were free to put any number though. Heh. So, I could forever be 21. Then, I wished I had prepared Khalish for the candle-blowing and cake-cutting. He was extremely excited to behold his favourite alphabets on top of the cake that he went around, telling everybody at the top of his lung, in loop, "ada huyuf!" which translated to "ada huruf". Khalis, meanwhile, was very cool. He blew the candles with little assistance from Kamilla. Akmal was still fascinated with the bubble gun.

Akmal joined Kamilla and Khalis for cake-cutting though. Not Khalish. Not yet. His eyes were fixed on the alphabet candles. At last, I asked for my maid to guide Khalish with the cake-cutting. He obliged, albeit very cautiously, from afar, so that the alphabet candles stayed still.

Lunch afterwards. Second round for the early birds, including the children, who were soon hungry again, thanks to the hopping, running, trotting, and shouting. The mommies and aunties just let them be. After all, that was the purpose of potluck do. To have every single thing our way, limitless. Yani went back earlier, as mentioned. Her absence was replaced by Ibah's presence.

Once full, the boys settled down at a corner, sharing toys that required them to sit still. At another corner, the girls formed a similar circle, sharing thoughts on the latest happenings among us. An occasional cry could be heard among the boys, but we skillfully handed them keropok or dadih and it would be peaceful again.

At the moment, I crave for another potluck do among us.