thoughts and reflections
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
rania's first words
Saturday, March 06, 2010
work and kids
My plan for 2010 was to slowly start getting back to work, i.e getting involved in some kind of architecture project. Now that Rania is 15 months old, it seems like quite a good time to do so. Strangely enough though, both my father and my in-laws have now decided to renovate their homes too (my dad's project is their village home in India so my involvement is not full swing). Still, I seem to be busier than expected nowadays having three projects running at the same time on the drawing board! I just hope I'll be able to manage it without sacrificing too much time with the kids - as that clearly is still my priority.
She can be a sweetie pie, but most of the time she is the gangster in this house, screaming at the top of her lungs if she doesn't get what she wants and looking at me straight in the eye when I attempt to feed her (most of the time she only wants to feed herself) while saying "No-No" complete with her index finger moving to the sides in all firmness. What can I say, I knew it from the start - this one is going to be a tough cookie!
Saturday, January 09, 2010
Many people find it hard to believe that I have never been to
First and fore most, contrary to what I thought before, there is so much more to the popular tourist destination than its beaches. Bali's rich culture mainly stems from their practice of the oldest form of the Hindu religion. And this is seen not only through the many puras (temples) there but in their everyday life. Every shop we went to no matter how modern and 'westernised' would have a little place of worship with offerings.
The people are very nice, warm and genuine. No doubt some can be a little pushy like these girls selling knick-knacks at the paddy terrace in Ubud, but I guess that is to be expected in a place that is full of tourists! Plus they are so sweet as they are and just so pleasant, it is almost impossible to get angry at them.
Although the beach (at least the one that we went to) is not as nice as some of the beaches we have here, I do understand why surfers flock there all the time! The waves are pretty amazing and in fact can be dangerously choppy. Both Imran and Rania enjoyed having a play in the sea when Imran especially usually prefers to stay near the sand building castles and what not.
On top of all that Bali has to offer, I have to admit that I find the mix of old and new and of east and west particularly fascinating. The many Europeans, Australians and Japanese who fell in love with the place and decided to live there by virtue of opening villas, shops, restaurants and bars not only create a vibrant international community there but also inject a very unique flavour to the place. And the fact that most of these people have a pretty much similar outlook towards life, i.e relaxed lifestyle and appreciation for culture of others - I certainly think I wouldn't mind staying here for a few months just to pause from our hectic schedule and simply enjoy life for a while!
Lastly, the villas which is dotted everywhere in
But one thing is for sure - we will certainly be back to Bali especially when it's just a few hours away as it's hard to beat the place with all its attractions.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
rania's birthday in perth
We just came back from a 10 days break in Perth. The trip co-incided with Rania's birthday and so we decided to take the family out for lunch at one of our favourite haunt 'Secret Garden' especially when the weather was so beautiful.
We had Rania's birthday party at the foreshore in South Perth the next day and although I planned it from Malaysia a few weeks prior to the day, I really had to thank my mother-in-law for organising all the food! We used one of the BBQ pits to cook up some steak, chicken wings and sausages, and served them with some fried rice cooked by Tok Mama and fried Mihun by Tok Wan themselves. Her delicious birthday cupcakes were made especially by the meticulous hands of Angela and the birthday girl had her very first own cupcake all to herself!
It was really meaningful for us to be able to share this special milestone with close family and friends which we have spent some of our significant years before in Perth, although I really wished my parents would have just jumped on the plane to join us even if for a few days! As they had scheduled work and travel commitments, they had to turn down our 'invitation'.
Still we had a great time and certainly a lovely holiday. Imran really loves it there at this age being able to play at the playgrounds which is covered by sand (his obsession!), feed the ducks and birds at the park just in front of the house and of course the farm. After reading lots of books about farm animals and tractors, it was like a dream for him to actually 'work' at one - well in his imagination anyway! Eventhough he has been there twice before, I don't think he quiet enjoyed it as much as he did this time around. In fact he didn't want to leave and was breaking into tears while suggesting that he could stay there all by himself!
Rania developed a lot during the trip too. Thanks to plenty of practice of walking on the sand at the beach and playgrounds, she walks really well now and in fact seems to be running sometimes! I am so proud of my girl the good eater - she was so easy with food that we didn't have to cook any special food for her. She ate whatever we ate - nasi biryani, oxtail soup, nasi tomato, seafood chowder - she was even crazy about the capers we had in the pasta at one of the restaurants!!
The cute thing was she knew excatly where her Tok Mama's cookie jar was located at the kitchen table top and would always stop right there and point upwards while saying "this" or "nak!". The girl is certainly vocalising these days and also knows how to say "no", which is probably not a very good thing! Her understanding has developed so much too with her being really upset if she gets a scolding. Her ability to interact is becoming more and more apparent like when she wants to have her nap. She would touch her hair and rub her eyes while waving and saying the sweetest "bye" to announce that she is quite ready to have a nap!
Oh well, I guess I have to accept reality that my girl is one now and is no longer a baby. And what better way than to turn this chapter during such a wonderful holiday in Perth. I can't help but to feel extraordinarily lucky to have such an ideal holiday spot and home there, and these kids sure are very lucky too!
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
the halloween birthday party
We decided to do a Halloween birthday party for Imran this year as I thought it would be fun to get the kids to dress-up. Sure enough the birthday boy - Superman Imran was in his element in that suit and truly believed he was a super-hero for a day! Baby elephant Rania however wasn't very keen on her head-piece and really, who can blame her for that? It's not really fun having a trunk coming in between your eyes!
Imran and some of his classmates have been discussing about what they were wearing for the party too as he would come home from school to report to me - and I think the build up of all that excitement resulted in him being super excited and one happy birthday boy and the end of it!
We had 28 kids on that day dressing up as batman, bat-woman, Bumble-Bee, pirate, baby monkey, ballerina, angel, bunny rabbit and of course some 'princesses' also made it to the party! It was great fun to see the kids in their outfits and I wished I had taken more photos of them, but handling that many children and making sure their parents relaxed and had something to eat kept most of us occupied especially when I was ambitious enough to get the (mostly) three year olds to play 'pass the parcel'!
It was nice that all the family members contributed in making it a special day for Imran. Aunty Nelly made mini cottage pies and sandwiches which was sponsored by Dada. Dadi made the most popular item cucur udang. Tok Jenny made her famous risoles but specially mini ones only for the party. And Tok Mama organised some of the other foods and the lovely fruit 'cocktail'. It was a good thing that I delegated all the food items and ordered the birthday cake and cupcakes, so I could concentrate in getting the house and kids ready in their costumes!
There was slight drizzle that appeared from time to time which didn't allow us to play the games in the garden, but considering that it has been raining heavily pretty much everyday nowadays in the afternoons, I would be very greedy to have asked for better weather that day!
Imran received many nice presents too including a bicycle from Uncle Ben and Aunty Nelly, a tractor that he can ride on from Uncle Niki and Aunty Elma, a police station tent from Aunty Nor, Aunty Raz and Aunty Ainnal and some are still being hid in the cupboard to be opened only when he has settled down a bit more! I am worried now that he thinks he can get this all the time and have told him that he has to wait for one whole year now for a new set of toys.
I hope we didn't spoil him too much but I think the boy deserves it as his party was canceled at the very last minute last year when I had early contractions from Rania! So for the last three nights now, he has been telling me before going to bed "I had a great party!" And that makes me so happy beyond words - as long as he doesn't expect it all the time!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
imran is three
Imran turned 3 today and I can't help but be proud of what my boy has grown into. Although he can do better at sharing his toys with his little sister and be more friendly to people he meets, he is such a sweet little thing at heart.
He says things like "I love your SO much Mama" and my favourite one is "You're MY best Mummy!", which is a little strange but melts my heart regardless. Then there are all these conversations with him which I keep meaning to write down, but never got around doing. But I will document this particular one which we had a few days ago on a typical afternoon while playing at the patio.
He was climbing all the way up the ladder to 'fix' an artificial cobweb stuck on the grill which was meant to be part of the decoration for his party on the weekend. The thing is flimsy and fragile, and we have just put it there to test and see how the thing works.
So I said, "Imran, you're not touching the cobweb!"
Somehow looking a little surprised he said, "But why Mama?"
To which I answered "Because that is supposed to be for your party and we don't want to spoil it before your party, do we?"
His face turned sour with dissapoinment and he slowly came down the ladder before crying some real tears which was rather unexpected. Didn't think he was so set on the idea! But anyway he settled quite quickly after a cuddle and an explanation.
However about an hour later, he came up to me to receive yet another cuddle before saying, "Mama, I really feel sad when you get SO upset with me. That's why LAH I cried just now."
So I said, "Oh, don't worry Imran. I'm not upset anymore now"
And then he said something which I thought was so out of line!
He said, "But I really feel like making you a card, put it in an ENVE-LOPE, and give it to you"
I was slightly confused about such a random idea, and asked him,
"And the card will say I'm sorry?"
He then answered, "No, the card will say - I LOVE you, will you come for my party?"
At that point I just smiled at such strange but cute randomness and tried very hard not to laugh, and said "Sure I'll come to your party!"
Happy 3rd birthday little muchkin!! XOXO
*The photo is of him 'helping' uncle potong rumput - his all-time favourite besides the chinese speaking contractor!