Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

For the umpteenth times

Swimming is normal for me. I'm relaxed. I'm comfortable, and I know my surroundings. It's my home. ~ Michael Phelps
Swimming is a sport you can enjoy whatever size you are. ~ David Williams 

Whether running, biking, swimming, or dancing, I just like always be on the move. ~ Karlie Kloss

This life is like a swimming pool. You dive into the water, but you can't see how deep it is. ~ Dennis Rodman

Swimming is a confusing sport, because sometimes you do it for fun, and other times you do it  to not die.  And when I'm swimming, sometimes I'm not sure which one it is. ~ Demetri Martin

Water for me is so essential, like swimming. ~ Nastassja Kinski

Swimming is one of the hardest sports. ~ Stephanie Rice

The water doesn't know how old you are. ~ Dara Torres

Swimming is a sport.  Everything else is a game. ~ Anonymous 

Work hard, dream big. ~ Nike

Push your limits!

The man who swimming against the stream knows the strength of it. ~ Woodrow Wilson

Every race is an opportunity to measure yourself against your own potential. ~ Bud Wilkinson

It is just you and the pool.

Venue: Pusat Sains Negara
Date: 19/1/2013
Why we love it: It's cheap.

South America. It's like America, but south. ~ Young Ellie


We spent our last two weeks watching UP.  We are so in love with Carl Fredricksen and little Russell.  The girls called Carl, Grampa.  This movie brought me tears.  I hardly cried when watching a movie, but this movie Up really touched my heart.  Saw me crying, the girls asked me why.  I simply answered "Mummy sedih." The truth is, I was able to relate this movie to my life.  Here, I'd like to share the wisdom nuggets from the movie.

  • Don't keep postponing your dreams - Do it now! If you feel like travelling, hiking, learning sign language, do them now! Don't wait till you have 'enough' money and time.  You would never ever have enough money and time.  You'd probably can't hike when you have knee pain in your 60s.  
  • Spend your money now! - Don't keep them all in the safety box. Spend, dear, spend! If you feel like spending on Lego Friends, then go for it, get rid of the guilt and splurge on yourself. Use your money to make others happy and you too!
  • Get out of your comfort zone - Hike a mountain!
  • Keep the memories - In his last years, Carl smiled and hold onto the photos of Ellie (his wife) and him.  He smiled at the photos of them hugging, holding hands together, sitting on their favorite chairs and clouds watching.  You know how much we love to flashback things. So keep the memories; blogging, or journal writing, or keepsake box, anything.  
  • To get you moving, you need to leave things - On his way up to rescue Russell, Carl had thrown up all his stuff in the house; from the mirror to Ellie and his favorite chairs. Let me relate this to my life. Hmm, perhaps I need to leave out the iPad, the gadgets, the temporary entertainments and such to enjoy real life! (And to finish my studies?)
  • Adventure is out there! - Quoted Firdaus, "Abang rasa macam nak masuk pengakap balik bila tengok movie ni." Everyone of us born Boy Scout and Girl Scout.  Don't let money stop you, instead use them for, umm, going to the Paradise Falls!
Ahh, I feel so up whenever I watched this movie. Get this movie and watch it with your family. Do it now! :)

So true!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

How to listen?

I've never known a human being who can be as still as Nelson Mandela.  When he is sitting or listening, he does not tap his fingers or his foot, or move about.  He has no nervous tics.  When I have adjusted his tie or smoothed his jacket or fixed a microphone on his lapel, it was like fussing with a statue.  When he listens to you, it is as though you are looking at a still photograph of him.  You would barely know he was breathing.

Richard Stengel in Mandela's Way, page 5

You would barely know he was breathing.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bye-bye Balloon!

We don't need super fat wallet to make the children happy.  When we have extra money, then go buy Lego Friends. And when we don't, letting go the balloons would make them kids enjoy it so much!  All you need is  a helium balloon and a clear blue sky.  Be prepared with the questions throw by our children after that; "Belon tu pergi mana?", "Belon tu sampai syurga tak, Mummy?", "Mesti semua kanak-kanak di syurga dapat belon Iris ni, kan Mummy?".  I highly recommended this!  It is so much fun!

Get, set, go!

Bye-bye balloon!

Can you spot the balloon?

Einstein in me:
A smaller balloon, the kind kids play with, can go up maybe 5 miles, at that point it will start to freeze due to the dropping temperature and expand because of the decreasing pressure in the atmosphere. The balloon shreds into pieces due to the brittle effect.

Note: Thanks YonCapture for the moment in print.

Lesson of Tauheed

Me: Abang, Abang betul ah!

Firdaus: Apa dia?

Me: Cara Abang jawab bila Iris tanya di mana Allah. Ye-lah, She ingatkan macam complicated bila kita jawab Allah di Arasy.  Dia baru 5 tahun.  Bila Iris tanya She selalu jawab 'Allah tu ada di mana-mana.'.  Article tu kata kita tak boleh jawab macam tu, just in case anak-anak tanya 'So, Allah pun ada kat dalam toilet-lah?'

Firdaus: You cannot simplify Tauheed, She, just for the sake for the girls to understand.  

Now I know.  

Friday, January 18, 2013

Benda yang digerami harus dipenyet!

My Way

It's drizzling funny!

Light rain sprinkled on us yesterday evening.

Iesha: Habis basah otak kita kan Mummy?


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Read aloud: Allah Made Them All

It is creatively written story of Allah to teach the young minds and even for the old ones (me).  It has beautiful illustration.  All the creatures in the world are created by Allah; small or big, tiny or huge.  My girls love the idea that Allah is so powerful that He can create all these animals, insect and fish.  With the little knowledge on this matter myself, (creation), I tried to deliver and answer all their questions the best I could.  And if you have any good answers, please do let me know.  Really appreciate it! Here are their questions.

  1. Macamana Allah buat monkey?  Dia guna tangan Dia ke?
  2. Allah ni kreatif kan, Mummy? (Nek Ma taught her the word kreatif)
  3. Rumah Allah ni sebenarnya kat mana Mummy? 
  4. Kenapa Allah buat lightning?  Iris takut-lah.
  5. Allah ke buat buku ni, Mummy?
  1. Macamana Allah buat monkey, Mummy? Ye guna tangan Ye ke Mummy?
  2. Allah ni kreatif kan, Mummy?
  3. Rumah Allah kat mana Mummy?
  4. Kenapa Allah buat lightning?  A-cha takut yah.
  5. Allah ke buat buku ni, Mummy?
(Note: She repeats after Iris)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

True Rest

This is in fact, so true.
When I was 19, I remember all Oasis's songs by heart.
Slip inside the eye of your mind, don't you know you might find, a better place to playyyy...

In my 20s, I never get jaded with Aerosmith.
Hey, j-j-jaded, in all it's misery, it will always be what I loved and hated...

I thought that by singing all these songs would give me inner peace.  My thought is wrong.  And so I tried and keep trying new method; by remembering Him.  I talk to Him in congested traffic on the way to work, I beg for Him to grant my wishes to be able to finish my studies, and be a good mother, a good She to Firdaus, to find cheap Lego, and to grant me ultimate gift, Syurga, and many other wishes.  I found peace when I read His Book.  I found peace when I do small givings to the unfortunate.  I found peace when I share good words about Him.

Yes, by remembering Him, I do find rest.  So, let us find true rest.
Note: Once in awhile, Firdaus and I took half day off, and had our karaoke time.  We left the girls at school, and brought our husky voice over to the RedBox. I would choose my songs and he, by contrast, sang My Way by Frank Sinatra and Nyanyian Serambi by Ramli Sarip.

Keluar pagi balik petang, adakala sampai malam, cari rezeki bawa pulang, buat orang yang tersayang, oooo bersabarlah...

By the time we done with the karaoke, he would suggest"Abang rasa She try nyanyi lagu yang chorus tak tinggi sangat lepas ni."

Back to the main point, let us remember Allah with all our hearts.  There are times that we don't, but when we do remember, try to be as close as we can to Him.

Note: I created the poster using this.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Read aloud: The Cuddliest Cuddle in the World

I read the title with all my heart, "The Cuddliest Cuddle in the World!"  
I got their attention.  
They waited for my next overacting gesture. 
I read the names of the writers, "By Sarah Nash and Daniel Howarth."
I explained a bit. "Sarah-lah yang tulis buku ni.  Daniel pulak lukis semua gambar dalam buku ni."
We discussed the cover page.  Who hugs who, how many dragonfly.
I stopped for surprised questions by Iesha, "Kenapa kuku Mummy Ye-ped tu tajam, Mummy?", "Kenapa dragonfly tu ada satu, kenapa tak ada dua?"
I needed to be quick to answer such questions with the best answers.  
When my brain didn't working at its best, I asked them back, "Iris, Iesha rasa kenapa ye?"
Pointing at the first empty page, I asked them, "What color is this page?" 
They answered me in unison, "Orange!"
Then I started the read aloud session. 

The book is about a lonely baby leopard.  His Mummy is off searching for food.  He misses Mummy's cuddle.  Bear, snake, and monkey all try to make him better with their hugs, but none seems to work.  The bear hugs him too tight.  The monkey's too swooshy.  The crocodile's too snappy.  The hyena licks him.  The spider offers to hug him too and that makes him smiling, "You are too small to hug me, Spider."  This is a nice and warm book, albeit the scary illustration of hyena and python.  We would have our group hug at the end of reading.  The tightest and cuddliest cuddle I could ever give to them.  I'd love to be the hyena too, licking Iesha on her cheek, she would scream, "Jangan-yah Mummy!!!  Dirty-yahhhh!!!"   Hehe, funny.

I want these!

Only Once

Monday, January 14, 2013

Happy Monday!

Note: I created the poster using this!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Recommended Taska in Kota Damansara

We love this nursery!
Why do we love Taska Ameen?
  1. It is legally registered.  Check here!
  2. It has good reputation.  Kak Ummi, the founder of the nursery will cry if the children get sick. Of course they sent the children to the check up after that. I mean, is it just a good sign?  Well, at least for me.  They also let us in whenever we drop by, unannounced.  
  3. They have clear policy.  They will hand us information on daily activities, the menu, the holiday break. And they have strict illness policy for when there's a contagious illness like last time they took 2 days off since there was Rotovirus attack.  
  4. They have varieties of activities.  The girls brought back their colorings, the paintings, the cupcakes and donuts and many more.  They even have once a year big field trip to fun places.  Last year they had a trip to Kidzania.  Iris and Iesha also showed me how to chicken dance which they learnt at school.  Gosh, how I love silliness!  
  5. They have trained staff.
  6. The staff are forever smiling.  
  7. They have their fair share too.  There were times when Iris or Iesha was bitten by some other kids, but the staff were honest to tell the truth.  (#whatgoesaroundcomesaround.  Perhaps I was cheating on my job that day?  Online shopping or facebooking, hence I got my share.  I believe it that way.)
  8. They have report cards.  This is super fun!
When I told Kak Ummi (the owner) that Iris would registered for preschool, she cried.  That's that.  Taska Ameen, we love you!

Note: I created the poster using this.

Edited (as of January 2015): We have moved somewhere outside Kota Damansara, and we no longer transited here in Taska Ameen. As we may not be able to reply each of you guys, here's the number to contact: Kak Ummi Taska Ameen - 010.220.4748

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Journey to Literacy

Began yesterday, 9th January 2013.

Read! In the name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists) -96:1
Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous- 96:3
Go Iris go.  Learn to read and please our Lord!

Read aloud: The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Sophie was having tea with her Mummy when suddenly there was a knock on the door.  Sophie's Mummy wondered, "I wonder who that can be?".  It can't be the milkman, or the boy from the grocer, or it can't be Daddy.  So they opened the door and much to their surprise, the tiger with a big appetite dropped by to eat mostly everything in their house!  The tiger didn't eat just one bun.  He ate all the buns on the dish, and all the cake, and all the milk, and all the drink on the tap, and all the stuff in the cupboard!  Then he left and said good-bye to Sophie and Mummy.  There was nothing left for Daddy when he came home.  So they went out to have their supper.  Later on, they bought basket full of groceries and Sophie bought Tiger Food in case the tiger should come to tea again.  But guess what?  He never did.  Last night, after finished reading this book, Iesha had asked me, "Boleh tak Mummy beli tiger kat Iesha?"  I blamed my education and imagination, that I never have thought such a thought.  Not to displease her, I started googling "How to purchase a pet tiger."  Here we go.

How to purchase a pet tiger (
  1. Go to the Get Pets Online website.
  2. Be prepared to pay up to RM 90, 000 for the tiger cub.
  3. Have a veterinarian on call to treat your baby tiger as needed.
  4. Purchase a suitable cage for the tiger.
  5. Obtain the legal permit to be able to keep the pet tiger in your territory. 
Then I told her, we can purchase the pet tiger, but "Mummy tak cukup duit, tiger mahal sangat."  She seemed a little bit upset, but then Iris suggested to have a cat.  Well, we'll see.

Another firm favorite book of my girls.  Tell me how could not it be favorite?

Iris and Iesha will trace the word good-bye.

Few First Stories

Me: How's school Iris?
Iris: Tadi ada monster datang kat sekolah Iris, Mummy!

I was like, what?

Then the teacher approached me.

Teacher: Akak, Iris nak join taekwando class tak?
Me: Of course!

It is Master, not Monster.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Read aloud: Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed

It is about the colony of the naked mole rats which dislike to dress up, except Wilbur.  He likes to get dress because then he can be a clown, an astronaut, a cowboy and a non-naked mole.  But his friends did't like the idea of dressing up.  So they went to see their Grand-pah, the oldest, wisest, and most naked mole rat ever. It turned out that their Grand-pah loves the invention and since then, all the naked mole rats get dressed!  To be honest, this book is somewhat a struggle to finish.  Yes, it does have a good illustration and story line, but looking at these naked mole, I seemed to "Aduhai, page berapa-lah tikus ni nak pakai baju." I can teach the girls about clothing; pants, shirt, shoes, tie, underwear, bow, hat, mitten, gloves, and tuxedo.  Guess who likes this book the most?  Iesha.  She-is-a-fun-girl!

Another date to remember

Iris will start her first school experience tomorrow.  I had my usual anxiety disorder last night, "Abang rasa tak cepat sangat ke Iris masuk tadika?", and he answered a short no.  If not of Iris's eagerness to read, I will register her next two years straight to Standard 1.

Oh Allah, I hope this will be a good start for her, for us, and for all.  And oh, for You!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Funny Iris

Read aloud: Thumbelina

Thumbelina is just another fairy tale loved by my girls, besides Cinderella and Snow White.  This book retold by Bryan Alderson and illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline.  The story is still retaining Andersen's details, and so you'll find out Renaissance's kind of words.  Besides its' beautiful illustration, the story is kind of jumble here and there.  We definitely need to read the whole story by Hans Christian Andersen.  This retold version heightens the role of the swallow a bit, rather than Thumbelina herself.  But huzzah the illustration!  You can feel the easy breezy pace on each page.  Tell you that I'm not fond of old fairy tales.  I seriously feel that they were created to correct the morale of the people at that particular time.  It is more a social satire to me.  As it happens, most of the story will be having a "The king and queen gave birth to a beautiful baby girl", which isn't saying much that all babies are cute.  Like in the Snow White, she hadn't been killed by the hunstman ordered by Elthel June.  Perhaps she was a flirt and besides, the hunstman was only human, and what's more, a male.  And a name Snow White?  She would be teased up regularly from kindy to fifth grade. I'd rather choose books authored by Mo Willems, Eric Carle, Michael Rosen, Oliver Jeffers, and all books from and Learning Roots. I'm not being critical, but giving view from my corrupted mind.  Just so, I'm still reading this version with all my hearts.  Iris loves the maybugs, while Iesha wishes she's a spider making wedding dress to Thumbelina.  (Like seriously, getting married while you are a fifth grader?)

That's where it all started, said the swallow.


Listen to your heart

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, ...
And I shall have some peace there, ...for always
night and day I hear lake water lapping with low sounds
by the shore; While I stand on the roadway, or on the
pavements gray, I hear it in the deep heart's core."

-William Butler Yeats, "The Lake Isle of Innisfree"

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Playing Dead

Last night, I was happened to play dead to test the girls' loves to me.  I said to them, "Iris, Iesha jadi anak yang baik.  Nanti Iris, Iesha tolong Bapak okay.  Mummy dah nak pergi syurga." (See how Malay drama has corrupted my mind).  I kept my body still and closed my eyes.

I heard Iris said with a true sad tone, "Mummy jangan mati.  Iris sayang Mummy." Okay Iris loves me.

I managed to play dead for 2 minutes until suddenly Iesha dug my eyes and I can't stop laughing.  Was she making a hypothesis that a dead man will have dilated pupils?  Brilliant.

We all laughed our hearts out.  We still have each other.  I know we have to be careful for what we wish for, and so I wish for a long and happy life!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome 2013!

In 2013, I reclaim my health.  In 2013, I reclaim my health. In 2013, I reclaim my health. (Eh nak azam ke tak nak ni?)

Read aloud: Rosie's Walk

Rosie is a hen.  She leaves the chicken coop and sets for a walk.  A fox slyly following her and she doesn't seem to notice about it. Unwittingly, she leads him into one disaster after another.  This is a good book to teach preposition to the children.  Rosie goes across, over, past, through and under.  The girls enjoy this book so much as they get thrilled to what will happen next to the fox.  To add extra excitement, all you need to do is exaggerate your gestures and speech while reading.  (Trust me, if you are depressed with "life not treating you good", read aloud a storybook to the kids calms you.  You can scream as loud as you can, and cry a river if you feel to.)  Our version comes with audio CD, so the girls can listen while they flip the book.  Our favorite post-reading activity is that we would search for the book in the YouTube to watch the animated version of the story.  

Quick Updates

  • She loves drawing so much.
  • She would pretend reading whenever I haven't time for it.
  • She loves baking.
  • She can recite Doa Belajar and RobbiShrohli.
  • She manages to follow Bapak solat from start until salam.
  • She loves bubbles.
  • She loves cat.  She will hug a strayed-kurap cat.  An animal lover.
  • Her vocabulary is growing.  
  • She can write her name.
  • Speak clearly using one sentence.
  • She wakes up 6.15am every morning and bathes before go to school.
  • She can recite Doa Makan with the translation.
  • She manages to off-diapers when she's at school during daytime.  She seldom do this at home.
  • She loves imitate what Iris does and says.
  • She takes time to get along with guests and strangers.  People would see her as a shy girl, no, she's a whole lot of fun and talks a lot. I really mean a lot.
  • She loves bubbles.
  • Her vocabulary is growing.
  • She fears of cats.
  • A sensitive girl.
  • She can draw sun and rainbow.
  • She can count up to ten.
  • She knows primary colors. 
  • She can dress and undress without much help.
  • Her favorite line is "Oh my god!".  She said she learnt this at school.  
  • She has her first upfront tooth on November 2012.  Now she has four.
  • She can stand alone.
  • She can use everyday items correctly, including a spoon, telephone and hairbrush, although her aim with these things is not perfect.
  • She still breastfeeding, but last month she started her first Pediasure as an extra milk since she's a Thumbelina baby.
  • She eats like a giant.
  • Fond of her Bapak.  Would sulk easily if Bapak shows no interest towards her.