Thursday, March 31, 2011

One Fine Weekday


One fine weekday it was, and, fine here is defined as happy hours outside of the norm for Kamal, Khalish, and I. After work, instead of the common Playhouse Disney, colours and sketch pads, slideshows on iPhoto, children's stories, and, selected escalator YouTube videos on iPhone, Kamal and I treated Khalish with a mall visit. Mainly for the real escalators. The boy was happy, and, that made a pair of happy parents, for hours.

Of course, Kamal and I did not prefer Khalish to be too hyped with his number one obsession. If you happen to be in the same car as us on the way to a place with escalators, you will hear the following conversation a hundred times:

"Khalish, kita guna escalator bila perlu saja, betul?"
"Betul!"
"Kita tak boleh main atas escalator sebab ada orang lain perlu guna, betul?"
"Betul!"

So, yesterday, the conversation took place again. I, the more verbal parent, reminded him how the escalator is to be used only when we need to be a level up or down, and, nobody should misuse it because that could be troublesome to other users. All the while, Khalish would agree with the facts. Yesterday, he surprised Kamal and I. 

"Khalish, kita guna escalator bila perlu saja, betul?"
"Betul!"
"Kita tak boleh main atas escalator sebab ada orang lain perlu guna, betul?"
Silence. Then, an excited voice.
 "Mommy, Khalish pun perlu guna escalator, macam orang lain perlu guna!"

Great, my 2.7-year-old has learned word manipulation at play school. 
There were not many people in Alamanda last evening. For that, I humoured the little boy's wish to ride the escalators while waiting for Kamal to complete bills payment. Came dinner time, Kamal and I managed to lure Khalish to the outdoor area with the fountain, phew. 

Hey, great time there, too. He ran and ran, sometimes from Kamal, most of the time, for Kamal. It made my wait for a vacant table at Sushi King worthwhile. Khalish insisted to sit near the conveyor system, yet, all the tables were occupied. Thus the wait. There is a thing about such system that amuses him, eh. Back to the run and chase game, someone, who realised that his physical was no match to the bigger and taller man, used yet another form of manipulation to catch the opponent.



And, the former did not only catch the latter, he tamed the bigger and taller man, too. 
Moments later, a table near the conveyor system was available. Khalish, having been at Sushi King twice prior to this, quickly climbed onto the seat, refusing the usually favoured high chair. Yes, him and any conveyor system are inseparable.  


 Since Kamal has had a big lunch with his colleagues at work, he volunteered to help Khalish with the sushi. Furthermore, he would like to know how true was my claim that Khalish loved Japanese food from the first time he tried it that I did not manage to eat what I favoured because the boy kept saying "nak, nak" the moment the plates touched the table. Now, Kamal believes.




I was full with gratitude for the decision to bring another friend along, namely Mrs Camera, because it would not be much joy if Kamal and I were the only ones to be able to witness Khalish's rare patience as he waited by the conveyor system for his favourite sushi. I quote Kamal, "he is at his best behaviour around a conveyor system; no cry, no word, not a single sound - just admiration." We suspected that he was not really waiting for a so-called favourite sushi. He was simply admiring the continuously moving belt.


We suspected so because he ignored the sushi he often screamed for. He sat still, yes. Eyes fixed on the belt.


By the way, I am also thankful for Mrs Camera for documenting Khalish's first moment with wasabi. It started with my shout of "no, Khalish!" Which was followed by a reach for his hand. Too late. A generous dollop of wasabi had melted on his taste buds by then. I gulped while finding assurance from my friend, Mrs. Camera, that he was fine. Kamal, who was about to enjoy his snack when the chaos happened, calmly offered a shocked Khalish a bottle of mineral water. Mrs. Camera did assure me that he will still have wasabi in the future, with her photos:


Right after that, he asked for more sushi. Kamal, the pure Japanese food enthusiast, a name I give to anybody who eats sashimi, was proud that Khalish did not cry from the incident. It was a generous dollop of wasabi, let me remind you. More sushi until the little boy himself announced "Khalish kenyang."




Did I tell you that Khalish and I went for a mother-and-son outing a day before the family outing? Kamal knew. I spilled the details to him. Same mall, same outlets. Khalish was not at his best behaviour, and I honestly had no expectation for that particularly, but, what mattered to me was how he only remembers the best memories from the outing. 

"Mommy, seronok sangat jalan-jalan dengan mommy."
Aye, he has a knack for bahasa Malaysia baku, thanks or no thanks to my preference for it as well.

The point is, he remembers. The best memories. No matter how simple they could be.

Apparently, Kamal wanted to be a big part of Khalish's best memories, too. Not only did he feed Khalish, he also led the boy throughout the rest of the escalator rides later. I, I took blind shots from where I stood, and, unconsciously wrote a bedtime story in my mind, somehow knowing how tired Kamal could be to take part in the storytelling session.



That night, my bedtime story began with "one fine weekday..."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordful Wednesday

I was truly wordless when I posted Wordless Wednesday: The Never Ending Laundry this very morning. No, I was not truly wordless because of the never ending laundry alone. I was busy. In addition to the never ending laundry were Kamal and Khalish's needs, home, books, papers, and plans. All I wanted, just for today, was a meaningful achievement. A wordful blog post not included.

As I stepped out of the house to keep my son's school bag in the car, I was stunned at what I beheld. So stunned, I suddenly forgot about the never ending laundry, Kamal and Khalish's needs, home, books, papers, plans, and the scheduled post. Yes, I postponed the time to publish that particular photo of Khalish's clothes hung to dry because I might change my stand about it being wordless. True enough, I felt the urge to write, although I decided to do so on a different topic: the beautiful morning that should not be wasted by thinking of anything else. Just the moment's beauty.

I would accomplish a momentous day if I took my time to smell the roses, I decided. To thank God for such an inspiration. I eventually relaxed and enjoyed the sight of rain drops on the plants my mother grew when Kamal and I first moved here, the presence of a neighbour's cat who would greet Khalish every day, and the humour of a little boy's expression when he was awoken too soon from his sleep. Hence, a Wordful Wednesday. The inspirations:








The simplest things in life keep me gratified, Alhamdulillah.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Good Memories are Made of These

Our Sunday.

I might not be able to be with my parents in Chini for the weekly congregational prayer and zikr there, or, be with my chums at Ellery's first birthday celebration, but, the weekends were great. One of the reasons: a photo of Khalish and I, eventually. Thank you, Kamal. Usually, I would be the person behind the camera.

Back to the weekend, they were wonderful. For many reasons. Among them were these:




Saturday

Kamal, Khalish, and I woke up extremely early as we were excited about a day out. Uqaiel's birthday celebration. How I wished we could be at the party venue exactly at 3:30 p.m., but, Kamal had two guests at the Premium Herbalife Opportunity Meeting, Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur. A good opportunity for me to bring Khalish to Pavilion though. Not for the shops, but, for the boy's number one obsession, the escalators. We only took a break when he could no longer bear the thirst from three hours of ascending and descending all the escalators there were and the hi he exchanged with the people he met more than twice along the way. Nevertheless, all he wanted were smoothie and mineral water. Back to the escalators afterwards before another stop for the ladies' and the baby room. A talkative someone still needed a diaper change.

I decided to introduce him to the escalators at Starhill Gallery, and later, Ritz Carlton, mainly because I was already tired of the same surrounding sans the retail therapy. At the hotel, Khalish and I were excited to see a grand piano next to the grand ballroom. The hotel personnel did not mind it when Khalish amused himself with the piano keys. Because of that, we even sang songs we knew to the unfamiliar tunes composed by Khalishoven, ha ha. It kept us happy albeit the long wait for Kamal.

On the way to Bukit Utama for the birthday do, Khalish and I slept soundly in the car. I was merely half awake when we reached The Club. For that, I forgot my camera. Once at the party, the beautiful place, the cheerful people, and the scrumptious food hyped me up again. There were also music that kept children and adults alike on their feet, as well as games that induced more fun. Meanwhile, Khalish could not tear his gaze away from the big, colourful children wading pool. Seeing Omera, Aida and Hazwan's adorable daughter, geared in her swimsuit at the end of the party, Khalish willingly let Kamal and I dress him in his suit despite the initial struggle as he loathed the top.

Bakar and Liza, thank you for the invitation. Kamal, Khalish, and I love the exuberance. Too bad I could only get the camera during the swimming pool session, close to Maghrib. A dim sum lunch one fine day?

Oh yes, we love, love, love the exuberance:

Uqaiel, the birthday boy, was given the honour to shoot the water gun at the rest of the attendees who stayed for the pool. Khalish wanted the water to be pointed at him again and again that the daddy seemed bored already, heh heh.

The birthday boy, his elder brother, Qayyuum, and their friend. My son, as usual, would be where the fun was.

Happy on his own, too. Again, thank you, Bakar and Liza, for the nice party venue. 

Boys everywhere. My son and Fauzi et Nurul's sons.

"No, I don't want to go back home yet. I can stay here forever indeed."


Sunday

Still tired from Saturday's happenings, the three of us allowed ourselves to enjoy Sunday at a leisurely pace. We had breakfast smoothies topped with cereal and dried fruits; Kamal and I watched a movie on a promising self-taught dancer and Khalish approved our choice because he happened to love Angelina Ballerina; Khalish cycled on his own within the perimeter of our small porch; and, Kamal kept an eye on Khalish with another eye on a book as I did the never ending laundry. All in our pajamas, right until 2:00 p.m.

By 2:15 p.m., the three of us needed fresh air. Perfect. It was lunch hour, by the way. Kamal suggested Siakap Kukus Limau and Kerabu Sotong at Village View. We first went to the restaurant with Bakar and Liza one fine midnight to celebrate our new level in Herbalife business. How we loved the varied menu and the delicious food that we went there again and again with other family members and friends. Khalish has always loved the fish surrounding the place. So, today, another meal, another family time there:

The best seat for Khalish was the one near the fish pond, and, most important of all, near to daddy.

Khalish did attempt to join the fish in their pond. Which little boy wouldn't? The fish were friendly.

"Look left and right and all around. Nobody is watching me? I will attempt to join the fish in their pond again."

The simple yet sumptuous food. The little boy actually tried to feed the fish with the steamed fish.
"The fish do not eat their own kind" Kamal told Khalish.
The boy then tried to throw other food on the table into the pond.
"Nobody is allowed to throw food, which they ordered to eat, into the pond" Kamal translated a signboard to Khalish. The boy seemed to understand as he chewed his food instead of feeding the fish with them.
Only to shove his head to the pond and open his food-filled mouth wide so that the content fell into the fish's mouths.
Khalish oh  Khalish!


All I could do was to smile, looking at the boy's cheekiness. He did not bother to wait for the fork and spoon.
Oh yes, he had to eat at light speed because the fish needed his company, so he said.

Kisses from the fish for Khalish.

Ah, contented!
So tired he was from all the activities during the weekends that he slept as early as 7:00 p.m. today.


Alhamdulillah, I am surrounded by beautiful people who have made my days in various ways. The birthday do invitations, with one, that my family and I missed, gave away a mini aquarium with a fish as memento for each guests; the brief sushi session on a one-hour lunch break; the hunt for Saba' in Cyberjaya, only to find it close for the day, thus, Iranian specialty; the Secret Recipe lunch with the compulsory dessert on a long Friday lunch break; the visit to kiss a friend's newborn; and, even the dream to have durian feast together during one of the weekends. You now know that I am exceedingly fond of good memories.

Now and Then

Particularly yesterday, I wished I could transport myself to two other places simultaneously, apart from where I actually was.

To Chini, with my parents.
To Ellery's first birthday celebration, with my chums.

I was happy where I was, but, I would be happier if 'I could transport myself to two other places simultaneously, apart from where I actually was.' Heh.

Before I post about the happy, happy, happy me (with my little family) during the weekends, I would love to post photos of one birthday celebration that Kamal, Khalish, and I were invited to last Aidilfitri (on the same day that we went to Zarul's place, thus the similar clothes - in case you wondered): 


Inas' First Birthday Celebration

Happy belated birthday, Inas!
My phone (the one that was misplaced, and then, stolen) somehow could not receive SMS. I only knew about the invitation to an 'open house' from Facebook, and later, Tiqa's call. Imagine my surprise when the Aidilfitri open house was also a birthday celebration - I was there without any present. So, I owe you one, Inas. Especially after that wonderful wondermilk cuppacake, my favourite.


The birthday girl and her mommy. The girl used to love Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I am not sure what is her favourite song now, which means we must meet soon, chums.


Birthday tiara or birthday angpau?
Both!


From left: Di, Lampu (who is also a Di) and her son, me and my son, and Tiqa and her daughter.
Kamal, Khalish, and I had to go back sooner than the others as we had to be back in Rembau that evening.
It was so nice to be where my chums were, be it a brief encounter or a long chat over lunch.

Open House at Yus and Zura's Place

Two weeks later, the same set of chums met again. This time around, at Yus and Zura's place. A cosy lunch was followed by a free and easy day. The ladies had ceaseless chat about every single thing in the universe, the men got to know each other better, and the children made themselves right at home. There was a stretch during which I had to disengage myself from the others because my son cried his heart out as he wanted to be out to a place with escalators, but, in the end, all was well again. 

The photos:

Zura and Mas, and their respective Mini Me. Cuteness.

Tiqa and Di, the ones who were always together that all of us dubbed Di as another mommy to Inas.
What are friends for, eh.

Inas (and her new, gorgeous hair). I do miss the old one though.

Khalish and his best friend, Zura! Lucky you, Khalish, that Ellery was cool about sharing her momma.

Boys and technology. Mirza was solely focused on the recording of his mommy's nursery rhyme rendition while Khalish was kept entertained by Peekaboo Barn.

Girls and fun. Look at Inas. She is so, so, so cute.


Ellery - the one who saved her best smile for her momma.
However, Tiqa and Di surely knew how to steal a smile from her - songs with actions!

The happy, happy, happy bunch.
You could tell that we were about to leave  as I was a mess, no thanks to Khalish's many demands.
Another sign: the bare coffee table.
There were delicate decorative items on the table before the children turned it to their concert stage.

Ellery turned one yesterday. How time flies. So cliche, yet, so true.

My house next time, definitely.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday!



A special birthday shout to dearest Ellery, Uqaiel, and Azfer, whom I have not met yet, therefore, no photo available. Happy birthday, sweethearts!

Friday, March 25, 2011

One of My Favourite Photos of Us


I love, love, love this photo of us. We glowed. It could be the oil on our faces, heh, but, I would love to think that the radiance came from happiness. Of being together.

We were at a party held in conjunction of Herbalife University 2009. We did not even know we produced enough sales volume points to be entitled entrance passes to the party, as written before, "As for us, the party qualifiers who did not know we qualified for everything was going at the speed of light, we were relieved to find out that the party theme was career. Fadzil went as an entertainer. We went as, well, photographers."


I remember how we just wore what we had worn the whole day because there was no time to shop for new clothes. I even had merely basic make-up of face base, sheer blusher, and lip gloss. Then, the only person who also qualified for the party we knew was Fadzil, the one who braved the crowd and shot this photo for us. 


We made a lot of new friends from all around Asia Pacific though. We also had a great time by just enjoying the food and beverage, the music, and the energy. Best of all, we cherished each other's company. 




Yesterday, Kamal came back home late, no thanks to more work for another presentation. He did not even make it to a weekly gathering with our close friends. Nevertheless, as opposed to the day before, he did see Khalish before the boy's bedtime. Just because the boy slept way later than usual last night. Being the candid me, I suggested a breath of fresh air, no matter how brief it would be. 


Kamal brought Khalish and I to a cosy cafe with open terrace near our place for supper. The food and beverage did not matter. Khalish loved the new, albeit extremely brief, experience. Kamal and I, we simply treasured our togetherness. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Apple of Our Eyes


That was Khalish yesterday, after a fun day at play school, and, later, daycare center. He continued to have as much fun back at home, with mommy. We enjoyed our dinner at his little desk. It was followed by art time, as he requested. We drew 'Khalish in bird t-shirt' and 'mommy in aeroplane t-shirt'. Oh, yes, the boy names all our clothes. Next was independent session. I with my house chores, and, him with the television, or books, or toys, or all at once. In between, he would go to the laundry area and asked, "mommy, where's daddy?"

The boy was curious because daddy's car was parked in the porch, but, the man was nowhere in sight. I told him that daddy was only back to change, and, the man was out again with a friend, for work. He did repeat the same question for confirmation. There was a time when the doors upstairs squeaked while we were at the ground floor, and, he gazed at the ceiling with an obvious question mark on the countenance before asking me, "itu daddy ke, mommy?", to which I candidly answered, "bukan, itu angin yang tolak pintu."

The truth is, it was. Kamal was upstairs, in the study room, the whole evening. He locked himself in there to complete a presentation due today, and, primarily, to avoid Khalish's request for iPhone and the computer that stores our photos. More primarily, he wanted to avoid Khalish's wail of frustration each time the escalator videos on the iPhone's YouTube buffered too slowly.

Only with Kamal did Khalish ask for escalator videos on YouTube. The daddy obliged merely once or twice. Then, Khalish himself found the YouTube icon on the phone and hit 'history' for the videos. The boy did play with other educational applications, but, he was still obsessed with escalators.

Only with Kamal though. With me alone, he could be an angel as long as I kept him entertained with activities, particularly while I was occupied with house chores. If he was not fond of one activity while I was doing the house chores, he would request for something new.

Our last activity together before bedtime routines was a mini treasure hunt. I allowed him to scour the fridge for a snack. He chose an itsy-bitsy apple that perfectly fitted his teensy-weensy grip. I almost called Kamal then because he looked so angelic, keeping himself comfortable at a corner, meticulously creating patterns on the apple with each bite, a new activity he must have picked from a friend at school, and, not bothering anybody at all. Just him, the apple, and their own world. Ah, an apple is good enough to replace the Apple iPhone, I joked to myself. This morning, as he was still soundly asleep, I told Kamal to hide the iPhone if he was home early tonight, if he wants Khalish to remain the angel he was yesterday, an apple in our eyes.