Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Are We There Yet?

Wait.
Me, the first of Syawal 1431, The Venetian, Macao.

The household is waiting patiently for mommy to be done with packing. Daddy and I look forward to spending the first week of Syawal in Kelantan. And, I particularly look forward to wearing my new baju Melayu.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Si Baju Melayu Biru

More about Khalish:

Man in Baju Melayu II.

Khalish loves baju Melayu. His first pair was a gift by my cousin, a preloved item that seemed new. The pair has been worn countless times after he officiated it during Aidilfitri 2010. Nowadays, he dons it as nightwear. Never mind the sleeves and pants that have become shorter and shorter.

Each time he replaced his pajamas with the baju Melayu, Kamal and I thought about our childhood, during which baju Melayu and baju kurung were common nightwears. They usually worn first for Quran classes in the evening, and later, to sleep. I shot these photos one fine morning, as soon as he hopped out of bed.

Khalish in Baju Melayu.

He asked for breakfast smoothie. He drew. He played with puzzles and trucks. He drew again. At first, he drew daddy. Next were traces of shapes and numbers. Afterward, he announced that he was about to draw himself.   

Man in Baju Melayu I.

I expected a big face with an open mouth and two dots as eyes. Almost correct. The big face was there. So were the open mouth and the two dots as eyes. The only difference was the way that particular figure was dressed. The first fully dressed figure actually.

Man in Baju Melayu III.

According to him, the stick figure was himself. He was wearing songkok and baju Melayu. Oh, he definitely loves the latter.
The previous evening, after Kamal bathed Khalish, the former brought out the baju Melayu as requested by the latter. Khalish only saw the top though. He then asked Kamal, "daddy, mana seluar Melayu?" 

Ha ha!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Games Gaga

Angry Birds.

I was only introduced to arcade game during visits to FELDA Residence in Port Dickson, where my siblings and I often battled for the highest score at a Pac-Man slot machine. When our parents bought us a computer to share, we strove for the best level in Prince of Persia. We were already in primary school then.

On the contrary, Khalish is technology-savvy at a very young age, just like other children nowadays. He was a skilled user of children's games on iPhone by one. Now, he claims the iPhone as his. Mostly for Angry Birds.

Yes, the three of us still enjoy other activities that do not revolve around iPhone. More importantly, Khalish himself knows the limit of those games. We better do, he better does.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Once Upon an Iftar II

Patriotic.Iftar with Chums II

My weekend was spent with a workaholic Kamal and an unwell Khalish. No trip to Pahang as initially planned. Not even a blog post although I truly wanted to write about iftar with Seri Puteri chums. These chums who are still as fun as they were 17 years ago. 

Jalan-jalan, Ambil Angin.

Elis and Kamilla.

We chose to break the fast at The Manhattan Fish Market, just like we did two years ago. A tradition that will remain as long as the restaurants are available in Malaysia. The only change was the venue that hosted the restaurant and the attendees. Last year, there were eight of us at The Manhattan Fish Market, Suria KLCC. This year, there were five of us at the same restaurant, Pavilion. The number of attendees did not matter though. We were just as loud as if all of us were there. The early birds took a stroll around the mall after we have placed food orders for everyone. Elis and Nana arrived in time for us to exchange greetings. We only discussed topics after Maghrib prayer. One of the topics discussed: how we loved the seafood platters. Heh.

Yani and Nana.

Elis.

As always, there was never a dull moment with these chums. We ate, laughed, talked, laughed, photographed, laughed. When we could not laugh, particularly with food in our mouths, we would still smile. Yes, never a dull moment. These chums, including those who were not around then, have been my youth serum, what with the high dose of laughter. Of course, we did know when to be serious, too. Only to laugh again when Elis started to laugh. Ha ha!

Platters.

Cheese and chocolate layer cake.

For dessert, we had more personal stories to share and cheese & chocolate layer cake to savour. Thank you, Nana. That was heavenly. In the middle of the dinner, Kamal, who happened to be near Pavilion then, phoned and asked the estimated time for him to fetch me. The moment I said "9:30 p.m.", the chums simultaneously hollered "10:00!" 

Nana.

Delish.

We were among the first to reach the restaurant, and the last to leave. A norm. We have just met, true, but I can't wait for my next youth serum treatment.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

About Khalish, About Eczema

_DSC6874

There are more photos I would love to share with you, but, Khalish has just contracted a cold and a bad eczema on the left elbow that not even the usual aloe vera gel or eczema ointment could heal. A clinic visit today, before the three of us go to Pahang.

By the way, I have a situation here:

A mother of Khalish's friend in Q-Dees saw Khalish's elbow and asked one of the children sitters whether or not she might take a look at the medicine the parents used. She said her child had suffered the same case of eczema. Upon seeing the gel and the ointment recommended by Khalish's pediatrician, the ones that have prevented severe eczema and healed rare cases for my little boy, she simply told the sitter that she had better cream.

The sitter has been great with Khalish, and, because she cared, aside from being known to be naive, she followed the other mother's advice to apply the new cream on my son's affected elbow. I was not frustrated with the sitter. I was frustrated with that mother. Even if she was a doctor, she had no right to just advise the sitter what was best for another parents' child.

Did Khalish look as though he was an abandoned child? No. For her information, this is only the second time in three years that Khalish got such bad eczema. Thanks to his pediatrician's recommended gel and ointment. We, the parents knew that if the gel and ointment did not help after a week, we must get a different remedy from a certified practitioner of our choice.

We agreed with our pediatrician that eczema on a child as young as Khalish should be treated with least drug, if possible. The reason for slow but sure healing. Now, a reminder to myself as well: please, please talk to the parents themselves if you believe you have better solution to another child's illness.

If you do so nicely to us instead of simply throwing advices to a naive sitter, we will bring the new cream to our usual pediatrician or doctor for further advice. At the moment, I, on Kamal's behalf, have talked to the sitter about the situation. To not follow others' advices or instructions without consulting us first. Unless Khalish has an accident, Nauzubillah.

Nevertheless, I take Kamal's words that the mother meant well although he also agrees with my opinions. Think positive, eh. To Khalish, get well soon and stay happy.

_DSC6878

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Once Upon an Iftar

Iftar with Chums.

The main reason Kamal, Khalish, and I were in Suria KLCC last Saturday: iftar with my charming chums and their families. The previous Ramadhan, there were only seven seats at the table, three of them for the children. This year, there were seventeen. Five ladies, four children, and three gentlemen. 

Khalish and Ellery.

It was a colourful iftar. Not because of the food variety at the buffet tables alone, but also due to the children's characters. Kamal later commented that the ladies did not talk much to each other, the way he anticipated. We were more occupied with our respective children. True and untrue. 

Mas and Mirza.

Similar situations every time we met, I explained to Kamal. I added that we simply needed to be in each other's presence nowadays, to experience the solidarity only ladies understand. If one of the children, or all of them, turned the restaurant into a playground, we never judged. We empathised with the situation, took it under our control, and laughed about it, simultaneously. 

Khalish and Aidan.

Yet, we managed to find the perfect time to share our stories and exchange ideas. We went back home full with inspirations, not only for ourselves, but for the families as well. Of course, we ended up with a lot of beautiful photos, too, courtesy of the glow on our faces from much laughter all evening long. Heh. 

Loved Ones I.

The photos came with a trail of history: 
This time around, Khalish would love Kamal and I to be by his side all the time. Both of us guessed he was not his usual happy self because 1) we woke him up too soon from the afternoon nap, and 2) we denied him access to the escalators. Neither of us had the liberty to photograph others the way we liked it. My chums were full of empathy though, I told you so. Rai and Di took turns to be behind my camera and the results are fabulous!   

Us Plus Many.

Kamal also photographed us once Khalish could be on his own. Too bad he refused to be in the photos. Too bad, too, that Zura and Ellery had to leave earlier. We want more of our chums, thus more children and more spouses, to be in the photos next year. 

Mother and Child.

Tiqa was supposed to join us, but, she had a more important matter to attend to at the last minute. The children missed the adventurous Inas. Particularly Mirza. The ladies missed your infectious laughter, Tiqa. Ah, for the second time, I state here that we missed all of our close chums indeed. 

Farewell Photo I.

Di sent mobile photos to those far, far away from us that very evening. That reminds me to install WhatsApp to my phone soon. Needless to say, they wished they were with us, too. 

Loved Ones II.

We concluded the get-together with more photos. I eventually had a photo with Kamal, thanks to Rai. I encouraged Rai and Di, as well as other chums who love to photograph, to take my camera from me when we meet again. Love, love the captured moments from others' point of view.

Loved Ones III.

Now I miss all of you. Khalish has been viewing the photos every day and it is confirmed that he loved the men's company, remembering Madir well. To my surprise, he even remembered Rai's husband, Sham, although he sat at the other side of the table. Gentlemen, you are much welcome to our circle.

To my chums, thank you for the camaraderie. I should blog more about my other circles, whom I love equally: The Gu, The 9498 Circle, The Other Alma Mater Circles, The 1/2005 Circle, The Herbalife Circle, and The Circle with Mutual Interests. Once Khalish has his own mobile media device, I promise. Now, I blog about last Saturday's event, and at times, last year's events, a week or a year later, all because the little boy has claimed ownership on my computer. Mainly, to view photos in slideshows, yes. A post about him next.

Farewell Photo II.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Khalish and KLCC

The Towers (He Loves).

Saturday was about work for Kamal that Khalish and I felt the need to remind him again and again about our iftar at The Apartment, Suria KLCC. I just could not wait to meet my chums, as promised, and Khalish was eager to be near The Petronas Twin Towers, as always. He did not mind being abruptly awakened from a deep sleep in the car seat as soon as the three of us reached KLCC because the twin towers were more precious than the afternoon nap. Nevertheless, the interrupted nap did affect his mood later. He was not as friendly with my chums and their families.

Where do we go?

Before iftar, the three of us watched the fountain display at KLCC park. Because of the gloomy weather, Kamal and I cancelled our plan to photograph Khalish around the park. The post-rain cool breeze was perfect for a slow stroll along the fountain though. Thanks to such weather, the little boy did not protest adamantly just being outdoor, despite his frequent requests to ascend and descend the escalators inside the mall.


Look!

In the end, the two of us still went trigger happy with our camera. Khalish as the subject, as usual. Never mind the non-existence of smile. At home, when I asked him whether or not he had fun, he smiled and said, "yes!"

The Boy with No Fear.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Next Nick Matthew

_DSC6739


Kamal and I caught Khalish sleeping with the daddy's squash racket for the whole half-an-hour journey from Bandar Baru Bangi to Suria KLCC last Saturday. From his love for the racket, it is a possibility that Khalish could be the next Nick Mathew, the current world number one in me's squash. As much as other possibilities of him becoming a chef, a surgeon, or a businessman. For now, Kamal is happy enough to have yet another squash opponent. Real soon.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

For Camus, Just Because

Shared Zone.
Western Australia, 2009.

For you, there will be no more crying
For you, the sun will be shining
Because I feel that when I am with you
It is alright, I know it is right

To you, I will give the world
To you, I will never be cold
Because I feel that when I am with you
It is alright, I know it is right

And the songbirds are singing
Like they know the score
And I love you, I love you
I love you like never before

And I wish you all the love in the world
But most of all, I wish it from myself

And the songbirds keep singing
Like they know the score
And I love you, I love you
I love you like never before
Like never before, like never before

Beautifully written by Christine McVie

Friday, August 12, 2011

My Father is 57

Happy 57th Birthday, Ayah!
My lovely parents. 

Today, Ayah celebrates his 57th birthday.
Our best wishes for you, Ayah.
We also wish to age as gracefully as you do.

Love,
Your daughter and your son-in-law.

Your grandson will wish you live in Chini next week.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

D.I.Y.

Late Tuesday evening, after Khalish had reached dreamland, I perused my favourite interior design magazines. With uninterrupted time on my side, each detail on every page was admired. One magazine caught my utmost attention for its warm layout. Not only it amiably welcomed me into the featured homes, it also eminently inspired me to be creative with my abode. The one in Bandar Baru Bangi has been under repair though due to the consequences of pipe leakage. It will only be in truly livable state by October 2011.

That left me with another abode. The one on the World Wide Web. The blog. It is, after all, an abode to my experiences and my thoughts. Therefore, it deserves a personal touch.

Blog Header

Welcome to the new Chech: Eccentric. Layout is by Blogger in Draft, which was very generous with its choices of templates and customisation. Now, the more personal touch: the header.

The urge to create that sizzled within me was stronger than the lack of Photoshop knowledge. I had zero clue about the concept. Oh, I did not even have a clue about the recommended size. Yet, I needed to channel out the creative energy there and then.

When Kamal was not around, Google took his position as my IT Guru. A note for Mister G, if you read this: I am still the labelled IT illiterate who is fortunate enough to co-exist with my husband and Google. That said, how glad I was to be introduced to Songbird and its concise tutorial on blog header. With its guidance, I let my spirited ideas roam Photoshop for an identity. 

A pat on my shoulder for the efforts. The final product is so simple, no doubt about it, but, what matters is my motivation to learn, eh. More pats on both shoulders, followed by back flips, somersaults, and my own eccentric dance.

To maximise the creative energy, I added introductions to the blogger, id est yours truly, 

About Me I

and the guest blogger, id est yours truly's husband.

About Me II

This little project, by the way, reminds me of a template my husband designed from scratch for my blog, in 2005. Remember my IT illiteracy confession? Here are more: I did not print any screen of his masterpiece, neither did I save the HTML.

The reason he busied himself with work the moment he heard I intended to refurbish Chech: Eccentric. Kidding. Truthfully, he encouraged me to be independent. To assimilate myself in my designs.

As a beginner who is not able to wholly create yet, I would love to thank these sites for their free resourses:
deviantART for the wood texture.
Free Scrapbook Fonts by Kevin and Amanda for the No Mystery font.
Font Squirrel for the Pacifico font.
Pugly Pixel for the tapes.
Now, I feel more at home.

Next blog project: links.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Ke Kelantan

Gege Riuh.

Kamal, Khalish, and I had an incredible time in Kelantan two weeks ago, thanks to the hospitality of the people in Ketereh, Bukit Mas, and Bunut Satut. Khalish wanted to bring an aunt, at least, back to Bandar Baru Bangi. The one with Mitsubishi Storm, preferably. He reserved a seat in Kamal's car for Cik Na. That was how special the experiences at the daddy's home state have been. He was even in love  with an inanimate feature at Ayoh and Mok's place, demanding to be photographed in various poses against a bright wall.

Cheeky.

Oh, yes, he loved the wall that much. More walls will be featured after our next visit, I am sure. The boy was extremely fascinated with all the newly painted walls that he climbed a bed just to touch one. He surely knew how to be discreet about a super power. He climbed the bed as I helped my mother-in-law with lunch preparation. He also knew that Kamal, too tired from a non-stop five-hour journey, would, at one point, drift off to sleep while keeping an eye on him. That moment, Khalish found out that the super power was still at beginner level. He fell and hurt his gum. 

Another Birthday Gift.

No complaint was heard from Khalish though. He was often happy. Particularly because of a new birthday gift that he received the previous day. Thank you, Mas. Kamal and I had as much fun as Khalish did with the car, seeing who could bring it forward the furthest. I did pack the car for Khalish when the whole family went to Bukit Mas for congregational prayers and zikr, but, to my delight, the boy who was once timid, chose to play with other children instead. That left me with space to catch up with my own friends. 

Kamal & Laksa.

Another new experience: varieties of Kelantanese laksa at Abang Zi and Kak Yah's place. Laksa Kelantan and Laksam. I salivate just typing the names. Imagine savouring the tastes. Everyone agreed they should be the staple dishes for each social function in Bunut Satut. By the way, true Kelantanese laksa enthusiasts eat the dishes with their hands. I tried the authentic way for the first time that day. 

Anak Pantai Melawi I.

On Saturday, Khalish reminded us of a promised trip to any beach in Kelantan. Kamal suggested Pantai Melawi. Ayoh and Mok proposed a picnic. Nasi Kerabu, Keropok Ikan, and Susu Soya gave Khalish much energy to roam around the beach despite the heat. Too bad the extreme weather caused a severe headache for me. I simply lay on the mat and appreciated my mother-in-law's massages. Now I knew the origin of Kamal's healing hands. 

Little Charms.

The headache limited the use of my camera, sadly. I was delirious enough to have only one photo of my son at yet another local beach. It was Khalish who encouraged me to take more photos. His interests were animals like the swift dragonflies and the minute crabs. He did spot horses, but, my headache worsened by then. The only relief was Khalish's antic. He requested to bathe in the sea in his birthday suit. Kamal and I let him be.

Picnic.

Ayoh and Mok labelled Khalish 'Anak Pantai Melawi'. The boy seemed so at ease with the surrounding. He only minded it if the fine sand found its way into his mouth. Otherwise, he stayed true to the new name. Kamal associated Khalish's seamless existence with the beach to the fact that Mok was born and raised in Bachok itself. So was the boy's paternal great grandmother, who happened to be Mok's friend.

Anak Pantai Melawi II.

Khalish remained without clothes for the rest of our visit. No diaper either. The perfect place for toilet training, Kamal and I thought. Heh. It was too hot, perhaps. After a while, Khalish preferred to draw the waves than enjoying them. If I were well, I would wait for the sunset. I was still unwell, so, we concluded the picnic an hour before Maghrib. As we packed our belongings, Kamal joined a number of chalet operators to clean litters off the beach. We prayed for other visitors to be grateful about the beautiful Pantai Melawi, to not mar its beauty with thrashes.

Gestures.

The three of us left Kelantan on July 31 with good memories. Alhamdulillah. We look forward to being there again to have the last iftar in Ramadhan 1432 and to celebrate the arrival of Syawal.  

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Further Forward

A Reminder.
An old stationary bicycle that Kamal saw at my uncle and aunt's place.
Iconic.
The seventh day of Ramadhan 1432. Good, healthy diet, so far, Alhamdulillah. Note that it is only good, not excellent. Bad achievement when it comes to physical exercise though.

Equally important is, of course, the capability to exercise self-control, particularly, with behaviours. A reminder for myself. Just a post-sahur contemplation.