Saturday, December 31, 2011

Feelgoodfoto

Kamal, Khalish, my parents and I spent an evening in Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur, yesterday. Thanks to my cousins' visit. The last time all of us met was during their wedding in Brunei, two years ago.

Today, as I posted the evening's photos to Instagram, I realised that there was no photo of Azmi and Nora, all because of a decision to leave my trusted but big DSLR camera back at home as Khalish was extra handful that day. Moreover, I was alone with him for three hours before the others arrived. Time for a good compact camera, or iPhone 4s with its photolicious camera, as an alternative to my photography need, eh. I prefer the latter, a two-in-one purchase. My current phone is too archaic. 

What do I use for Instagram, a friend asked. Yes, I utilise the iPad when Khalish's hands are not on it, heh. That is how much I love Appleography.

With or without photos, we knew how great it was to be together. Nevertheless, photo says the words better than I do. Here is a photo from yesterday, of Khalish with his grandparents, with one of the 142 United Buddy Bears at Pavilion foyer:

People See, People Do.
All to humour Khalish.
Another way to cater to my photography need: simply bring the trusted but big DSLR camera. As advised by a professional photographer acquaintance two years ago. A resolution throughout 2010 and 2011 that I kept up to, unless, as I just wrote, "Khalish was extra handful". 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Love Life

Love Life.

Inspired by a dough play session with my three-year old son. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

35 on 25


  35th Anniversary!

December 25, 2011 marked their 35th year together.
Kamal, Khalish, and I wish them a lifetime of love, always.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, Again

Bird Park Again

Since Aiden's first birthday party at Hornbill Cafe & Restaurant, Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, Khalish has said a gazillion times, "jom pergi jumpa burung." Kamal and I knew that the little boy was fond of the birds when he used the word 'jumpa'. It was as though the birds were his friends. Both of us loved the connotation.

Bird Park Again1

Therefore, just a week after the party, Kamal, Khalish, and I found ourselves at the bird park again. Oh, the post is delayed by two months, but, better late than never, eh. We even decided to have lunch there. Surprise, surprise, the foods were so scrumptious that Khalish sang all the way from the restaurant to the park entrance. 

Once he saw the varied birds, he sang louder. A group of tourists actually stopped photographing the birds and pointed their cameras to him instead. Funny.

Bird Park Again2

"La la la la la la la, la la la la la la la, la la la la la la la, la la la" he went. All the while, he skipped along the pathway. Hence, the lack of his photos here. 

Not as many photos of the birds as I first desired, either. I merely pointed my lens towards a species, half-pressed the shutter release, and shot away in a breath. My priority was to keep up with Kamal and Khalish.  

Bird Park Again3

The birds, except for the peacocks, were friendly, much to Khalish's delight. We started the tour at 1:00 p.m. and reached the venue for The Bird Show half an hour before it began. Long stop at The World of Parrots and the eagles' feeding session. 

Right after we left the parrots' sanctuary to go to the amphitheater, where the main show was scheduled, it drizzled. Kamal and I smiled at each other. We had not been able to watch the full bird show since Aidan's birthday party, during which every guest received a complimentary entrance to the show. Next time, we thought.

Bird Park Again4 

By then, the little boy had already shown signs of tiredness. A perfect time to bid farewell to all the birds. A farewell to the beautiful place, too.

Bird Park Again5



Bird Park Again7

Khalish failed in his attempt to bring a bird home. He remained happy though because we promised to bring him to such park again. Then, there was also a visit to Suria KLCC which he looked forward to. There, he found another animal to sing "la la la la la la la" to.

Pit Stop.

A Thought

Beautiful Weather.

My existence, no matter how symbiotic it is with other life elements, has one certain relationship. 
With God. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Groovy

Us.

He who Guides

Again, assignments have occupied a big portion of my life. I am accustomed to the change of routine. Not Khalish though, and I did not realise the fact until the 'I miss mommy' symptoms worsened. 

Drama King.

One moment, he was his happy, chirpy self walking hand in hand with me at The Gardens, yet, a moment later, he threw the worst tantrum in his life when he saw that we were heading for a table full of my chums. During tea time, at a cosy corner in a little cafe, I photographed the little boy with his favourite iced chocolate and cheese cake. Seeing his smile then, nobody could guess the drama he created only a while ago. I asked him, "are you happy now?" and he replied, "yes, because I have chocolate dream, cheese cake, and mommy!"

My bad. He has tolerated my attachment to the papers and the computer, yet, I did not understand his contained need for the mommy. I was eager to spend a great time with my chums, yet, I did not regard the boy's expectation of the little trip. He must have stopped listening to my raves on the date with the aunties and their juniors at the mention of the phrase "we are going out and about tomorrow." Emphasis on we.

Please, Mommy.



:p

Motherhood, for me, within these three years and five months, have been a joy that arose from a mix of emotions. A highlight of the son's cheekiness in three paragraphs yesterday, a whirlwind post of cheerfulness tomorrow. For this week, it is about the tantrums.

And the utmost lesson I learned, or re-learned, from them: he could be in an impossibly ugly mood, but, a smile is possible if the person he looks up to stays calm. Extremely challenging. Doable though. 

A day ago, he refused to sleep even though it was hours past his bedtime. He cried a river and shouted incoherently at every single item he could find fault with. Although I was just back from a lecture and Kamal was nursing a neck, shoulder, and back strain, we tried our best to soothe the boy. When our efforts met dead end, I was tempted to simply send him to the thinking room. 

Nevertheless, I could not forget that trip. How the boy smiled as he eventually had the mommy all to himself after a busy week and a long lunch with the chums. Then, there was an episode during which the daddy rushed to him after my patience could not tolerate his tantrum any longer. He reached for my hand instead and sadly said, "I want mommy." 

Back to a day ago, I opened my arms to Khalish. Miraculously, he smiled and curled himself in my embrace. We ended up on the bed, surrounded by story books. One of them was Elizabeth Verdick's Calm-Down Time. He slept with my arms around him, lullabied by my chant of "Ya Latif, Ya Latif."

The book, the chant, were actually more for myself. I missed being a calm, gentle mommy. Khalish, thank you for your guidance.

Hi There.

Balance.

Friday, December 09, 2011

A Smile a Day

 Solo Hour.

Happy Friday.
Smile a lot today.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Semuji

Last weekend, a group of postgraduate students from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia gathered at Semuji Agro Resort for an academic programme. The place was truly beautiful that we were encouraged by the Programme Manager to bring our respective families, too. I did.

Although day one ended at midnight, the fatigue was replaced by gaiety as soon as Khalish welcomed me with a spirited "mommy is back!" No, the fatigue was not caused by the programme schedule.
It was due to my incessant coughs, which hammered my system and limited my words.

Yes, Khalish was still awake past midnight. He must have been waiting for my sweet dreams wish. Thank you, Kamal, for attending to the boy's needs all day long.


Sunrise.


I loved the concept of the programme. To disclose yourself and to be at the end who received were moments precious to me. Remember the incessant coughs that hammered my system and limited my words? I thought "how I wished I was able to share more."

Nevertheless, just being there, surrounded by the nature, was enough to calm my heart. How the nature took my little family's breath away. When we reached the resort, I pointed to Khalish a deer farm across the main lake. He instantly asked me the way to be among the deers.

Son, I wanted to be among them, too, but, I had a schedule to follow. I only photographed the surrounding as I walked from the chalet to the hall. Vice versa. 

Semuji Agro Resort.

The place reminded me of such places I have been to in the past. Mainly for community services or work courses. Two prominent names: Kem De Bana and Kem Bina Negara Ulu Sepri. 

Asked by a friend about the best experiences at Semuji Agro Resort, apart from the academic programme and the presence of my little family, I enthusiastically narrated to her about its Ikan Patin Masak Tempoyak and Kerabu Ulam-ulaman. Delicious. Not to forget, its hilly terrain as well. A good exercise.

Another friend, a regular there, recommended a visit within the tropical fruit season, during which visitors will be served with endless buffet of durian, manggis, and rambutan, to name a few. Oh, I already had a plan to return. The way I did with other lovely places.

Birds.

"In the end, what matters most is not what you see, but, the way you perceive it." 
My-true-self

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Escapade

Khalish by the beach.

Istana Pasir si Raja dan si Putera

Sea, sand, and sun,
thanks to a work commitment in Kuantan. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Alhamdulillah

Majlis Zikir Kesyukuran Rakyat

"Be grateful to Allah. And, whoever is grateful, he is only grateful for his own soul."
Surah Luqman

Kamal, Khalish, and I were thankful to be a part of Majlis Zikir Kesyukuran Rakyat (Sempena Belanjawan Negara 2012) hosted by Sahabat Zikirullah Surau Batu, Ujong Pasir, and Tanjung Dirt Bike Club on November 12, 2011. Prior to the event, both hosts held a mega gotong-royong, during which they cleaned and refurbished the surau and its surrounding. Surau Batu has been declared a wakaf in 1894 and has been utilised by Sahabat Zikrullah around Melaka as well as Negeri Sembilan since 1990s to practise congregational prayers and zikir.

Majlis Zikir Kesyukuran Rakyat1

Ayah Soh, a father figure among Sahabat Zikirullah, delivered a beautiful speech on gratitude. How he spread his spirit to the audience. Thank you for your wisdom.

Majlis Zikir Kesyukuran Rakyat2

The representative of the Chief Minister of Melaka applauded the efforts to keep the surau alive with various religious activities. Insya-Allah, we will. Thank you for being with us.

Majlis Zikir Kesyukuran Rakyat3

Everybody worked hand in hand indeed to make the program a success. Too bad I was not in the pink of health then. Otherwise, you could view more photos of people at work behind the scene. I fervently hope this is the start to more similar events. 


Majlis Zikir Kesyukuran Rakyat4

A little story on Khalish that day:

He was happy to be in his favourite attire, baju Melayu. The moment the three of us reached Surau Batu, the little boy followed Kamal to the men's wing. I took a peek. 

There he was, at the back of the wing, right behind the last line of adults, following each step of the prayer attentively. After the zikir ended, I went out of the women's wing to find whether or not Kamal needed my help with the three-year-old. Only to see him asleep in my mother's arms, at the verandah.

According to Kamal and my mother, Khalish chanted along to the zikir until he fell asleep. He was awake again came dinner time. We will bring you to more congregational prayer and zikir sessions, son.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Date with Him

Happy Me

Friday Onward

Friday again. Each Friday in November 2011 has been hectic. I vividly remember the start of the hustle and bustle of life, Friday, November 4, 2011, two days before Aidiladha.

Kamal and I decided to spend the festive holiday in Kelantan, with our parents. As always, we preferred to travel after office hour. More specifically, after Maghrib. Not that Friday though. Of all dates, my friends and I needed to present our analysis paper at a seminar scheduled on November 4, 2011, from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. At 11:00 p.m., my little family braved the traffic congestion to Kuala Lumpur to fetch Joey, Khalish's half brother.

The four of us joined the balik kampung exodus half past midnight. Twelve hours later, we eventually reached Ketereh. Double the normal travel hours. Hello, Saturday afternoon!

Aidiadha Holiday 1

Once in Ketereh, the knackered co-drivers and passengers were treated with lunch. The best treat, of course, was Ayoh and Mok's happiness. The next two hours were as heavenly, thanks to a siesta. 

Aidiladha Holiday 2

The household was up and about again for the latest addition of our big family's Majlis Aqiqah. Khalish, well rested, was hyped about every single thing around him. Thank you, everybody, for humouring the little boy's antics. 

Aidiladha Holiday 3

Special thanks to Ayoh and Joey, Khalish's closest chums throughout the holiday. They were never tired of Khalish. Even when the little boy seemed impossible to handle. 

Aidiladha Holiday 4

In Bunut Satut, all the attention was on Muhammad Abid, the one celebrated during the Majlis Aqiqah. His mother commented that he has Unclish's lips. Kamal and I replied, "Abid is way more handsome than Unclish." Yes, Unclish is a short form for Uncle Khalish.  


Aidiladha Holiday 5

Congratulations, Nazri and Farah. Welcome to the clan, Abid. We love you.

Aidiladha Holiday 6

Aidiladha on Sunday, in Bukit Mas. Sumptuous breakfast was followed by solat sunat and majlis ilmu. Alhamdulillah, Kamal and I learned more about our-true-selves from other knowledgeable friends and family members who shared their voices in the majlis ilmu session. 

Aidiladha Holiday 7

Khalish stayed still with crayons and papers, but, he requested for a brunch in the middle of the session. Joey joined us. I later stayed outside the hall to let the boys play. Iina and her children kept us company. Before Ayoh, Mok, Kamal, Joey, Khalish, and I went back to Ketereh, we had tea at Jack and Sha's new place. We returned to Bukit Mas the next day for a wedding. When we were not elsewhere for events, we chilled in Ketereh. Kamal and I want to be back there for a longer period next time, just to relax with Ayoh and Mok.
 

Aidiladha Holiday 8

When Tuesday arrived, the four travellers packed our belongings with heavy hearts. There was the sadness of farewell. There was also the anxiety of another exodus on the highway. One of Kamal's elder sisters came to Ketereh to help Mok with breakfast and lunch preparation. You read it right: lunch. How Kamal and I enjoyed the delish Nasi Goreng Kerabu up until dinner time. For the children, we made a number of stops along the East-West Highway. 

Aidiladha Holiday 9

One compulsory stop for Kamal whenever he used the East-West Highway was Yut Loy, a Chinese restaurant famous among Malay College Kuala Kangsar old boys. Unfortunately, the only food immediately available was toast. Forty-minute wait for other food. Thus a late lunch in Tapah. Quick dinner in Sungai Buloh.

Aidiladha Holiday 10

All in all, we had a good break from the norms. Alhamdulillah, not only we survived the unfamiliarity, we also had a great time. O, Fridays of December 2011, may you be kinder, please?

For the photo templates in today's post, my thanks go to:
Little Pink Strawberries for the glitter banner in gold,
Pugly Pixel for the fabric strip in grey, and
Three Paper Peonies for the paper in Adore series.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Golden Moment

The three of us watched the final of SEA Games 2011 football on Astro Arena that Monday evening. With millions of Malaysians elsewhere, we channeled our support to the Harimau Muda squad, who played their best against the host, Indonesia.

In the end, we stood for Negaraku, and sang along. The proud voices of the young Malaysians on the podium, with gold medals on their respective chests, inspired my son to request for an illustration. 'The Golden Moment' I interpreted it.

It might merely be on a doodle board, but, I am sure that Khalish has also sketched the gist of the illustration on his dream board. To strive for one's goal, score it, inspire yourself, inspire others, and, strive for more goals, score them, inspire yourself, inspire others. Tahniah, Harimau Muda. 

The Golden Moment

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dr. Khalish

How to Cheer Up Your-sick-self.

I must learn from Khalish the ways to cheer up one-sick-self. 

The fever I contracted was gone within two days. Not the cough and the flu. I only feel 99 percent better today. Thanks to my parents' effort to come to Bangi all the way from Rembau just to deliver a traditional remedy that came with my mother's testimony. Do not tell them though that I suspected a hidden motive behind their visit. They must have wanted to play with Khalish above all else. 

Children are fabulous. 

I remember how Khalish drenched half of the bed with his vomit one Friday night. The next day, he was feverish. I wanted to stay at home, but, the boy just wanted to be out and about. Needless to say, he enjoyed himself no matter what. That weekend, he made himself at home at Harvey Norman and befriended Mister Imagination at Ikea. 

Hence the "I must learn from Khalish the ways to cheer up one-sick-self". 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Combo Mambo

Unlikely Combo.

Fever, cough, flu, and sore throat. 
Whole grain cereal, soy milk, and grapes.
Assortment of pills and bittersweet syrup.
Class this evening and early tomorrow morning.

Unlikely combo.

The only combo that can never go wrong in my life is Kamal and Khalish as one team, being their cheeky, cheerful selves around me. One is away at work, and one is happy at the day care center. At least, I have nutritious smoothie both of them prepared for my dinner.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Cotton Kurung

Cotton Kurung.

My mother visited Vietnam a while ago, and, naturally, she was enthralled by the vast and varied selection of cotton fabrics there. Don't we love anything cotton? Unfortunately, my mother did not prefer to shop meticulously.

Being practical, she chose a few patterns nearest to her, which she liked, and asked the other ladies in the travel group, "are these as beautiful as I thought?" They were. My only comment was, "no wonder ayah calls you Mek Bungo; there are only floral patterns." She laughed at my honesty and said, "these denote my taste and those who receive the fabrics from me will remember me, me, me when they use them." More laughter.

Last Friday, as I packed my clothes for an Aidiladha holiday in Kelantan, I saw a paper bag neatly tucked at the base of the wardrobe. In it was a new pair of baju kurung tailored using a cotton fabric my mother gave. I remembered that I had not tried it.

The next day, I donned the baju kurung and I had to admire what I saw. The tailor might have forgotten that I specifically requested for no shoulder pad, having sewed the baju kurung while she battled with morning sickness and her two sons aged five and three. Nevertheless, even with the shoulder pads, which I removed once I found a pair of scissors, I loved the apparel.

Mainly because I instantly thought of my mother. The spirited and vibrant Mek Bungo. The one who fights the storms to grow, not only for herself, but also for others. The one who dares to show her true colours. The one who lives life to the fullest, in her own ways. The one who blooms. My mother and I may be different in innumerable manners, but, I pray that I am blessed with qualities as beautiful as hers. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Specialty

Khalish and Kamal.

When I needed extra me time, Kamal always created a space between his work and social schedule for Khalish. The man told me that he had no talent with children. From what I saw, he was actually excellent with them. With the help of the things he himself loved. One of the things: computer, of course.

For Khalish, Kamal has not only saved in the computer a number of movies and videos of the boy's interests, he has also developed games that could keep the boy captivated for a long, long time. Khalish loved the games so much, no matter how simple they were, that he would stop playing just to kiss Kamal over and over again, with occasional "I love daddy!" I am sure Kamal is addicted to those kisses and "I love daddy!"

Oh, I really want those candid kisses and "I love mommy", I am determined to learn Sketch Up to compete with Kamal's 'Popcorn' and 'Baik-Baik Jatuh'. Yes, the games could be absurdly funny, too. Nonetheless, first and foremost, I myself would love to plant more kisses on Kamal's cheeks and say "I love you" with all my being for the me time he has granted yours truly. I also look forward to uploading more photos of Kamal and Khalish with the computer to my Instagram. Heh.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011


Happy Together.


Thursday, November 03, 2011

That Day

Nine more days before Khalish turns a month older. He is now three years and three months old. Now, the nostalgic mommy longs to write about her son.

Although I love to read long, old posts on Khalish to re-live the happy, and most of the time, hilarious moments, I am not here to write about him in great details. My mind capacity sadly put aside those little aspects once I decided to take a rest from the blog to make way for supposedly big aspects of my life. Before the mind makes that a habit though, I choose to create a space for those little aspects again, here. Let me start with the day Khalish first wore one of his current favourite pajamas. 

Bedtime Story.

At home, as sleep time approached, he could be found by the book shelf to select books for story session. A routine both the listener, namely Khalish, and the reader, namely yours truly, love. Nevertheless, lately, my evenings have been occupied with either a class, or an assignment, or a presentation. Often, I found myself being carried away by all three. Way past Khalish's sleep time.

If I were not in class, I would be in front of the computer, eyes fixed on the screen, and fingers pasted on the keyboard. Until the boy brought his books to the table, and peeled me away from the work station. Not that I was a workaholic. I was merely clueless of the new field I have chosen to explore, thus the need for extra efforts.

That day, nobody came to my rescue. I was at the work station up to 10:00 p.m. Then, I noticed a familiar music, magically intertwined with a man's voice. Sometimes, a narration. Sometimes, dialogues. There Khalish was, in the living area, with a sleepy face that struggled to focus on the iPad screen. He was listening to Toy Stroy Read-Along as a substitute to our story session!

Khalish, I have bought new story books for us to read together during the university's mid semester holiday. To make up for those evenings you turned to Toy Story, or Oobie's Space Adventure, or Cooper's Big Bear Hug, or Moon Secret, alone. Oh, how I missed you.


No School, Please.

The next day, Khalish helped me with the family's breakfast smoothie preparation. The three of us enjoyed the smoothie together. I even read to the little boy while waiting for Kamal to bathe. As soon as Khalish saw the daddy clad in work attire, he realised that I was not ready to bring him out to a park or a mall. Instead, I was ready for yet another class.

He pleaded to stay at home with me. When the plea failed, he launched a silent protest, as seen in the photo above. It was both funny and sad.

He actually cried when I carried him into the car. 'No car seat, please', he pleaded with his body language. Arms secured around my neck, head on my shoulder. Still sobbing. This time around, the plea succeeded. 

In the car, I held him tight with one hand, and wiped his tears with another hand. We looked at each other deep in the eyes. That was when I told him, with all my being, "Khalish, daddy and mommy are always in your heart no matter what, and you are always in our hearts, too." That miraculously consoled him. And me. Oh, one more day before the university's mid semester holiday starts.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Lagu Tiga Kupang, a Cover by Khalish


After a whole day of classes and assignments (yes, my life seems to revolve around them for the past one month), I thank God for Khalish. He always reminds me that life is a breeze. The moment I started to be overwhelmed by the long hours spent in front of the computer for academic works, the boy would charm me with the thing he did. 

Here are videos of him, just being fun.

More than a Chair was recorded during one of those times I had my head buried under a pile of papers (a note: I am still adjusting myself to the sheer volume of papers to write - which I love, but, have not been used to after that break from work). Khalish has been playing on his own that Saturday evening. He cooked for Kamal, had a trip to Hong Kong with the grandmother, and talked about every thing under the sky with Iskandar and Aira. Imagination is now his best friend. The boy eventually brought me out of the pile of papers with a sketch on the use of his chair. He has used the chair as a slide before, so, it delighted me that he has found other 'uses' for the blue thing. I told him to keep the imagination as his best friend, for life.

_________________________________________________________________________________


Lagu Tiga Kupang (a Malay variation of Sing a Song of Sixpence) is Khalish's favourite local nursery rhyme. One day, after the last class, I drove to the daycare center to fetch Khalish. I remember being on an auto-pilot mode, thinking about the endless assignments and how blissful it would be to indulge myself in a more creative activity instead. At home, the same thoughts filled my mind until Khalish said, "mommy, I want to sing for you."




Sunday, October 30, 2011

Aidan is One: A Pictorial Story II

I love weekends. Particularly those with events where I can socialise either with family or friends. Just like this weekend.

Aidan is One 11

You are warned though. The post is loaded with photos. A lot of them.

Aidan is One 12


Aidan is One 13


Aidan is One 14


Aidan is One 15


Aidan is One 16


Aidan is One 25


Aidan is One 17


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Aidan is One 20


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Aidan is One 22


Aidan is One 23


Aidan is One 24



Us!

Us.
Those who were not there were sorely missed.

Thank you, Katrina Tan of Pugly Pixel, for the nice photo templates.