Monday 29th February 2016

Ribbit! Ribbit! Ribbit!
It's a LEAP year!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

On Hospitals

*from my other blog at Dilla Speaks Out

It’s just that we have been in and out of hospitals too many times this past two months. And I am getting a little freakish about it. The patients? There has been a few.

Patient 1: My mom

My mommy has been complaining about having a difficult time hearing these past few months so ZZ insisted that she goes over to see the consultant ENT for check up. True enough, after some tests, it was discovered that she has lost 60% of her left hearing. At 57 years old, that was not normal. So, she had to follow-up with an MRI just to be sure. The session was rather a daunting one and mommy was accompanied by ZZ, Illa and yours truly. She had to do the MRI scan twice, once with the dye injected to her bloodstream. We knew that it was not a good sign immediately coz we were told that the dye would only be injected if they suspected something was wrong with her. It turns out that mom has acoustic neuroma , a benign (meaning : not cancerous, alhamdulillah) tumor which is slowly growing in her inner ear. The tumor is now 1.5cm in size and it is slowly encroaching into her brain and is sitting on her hearing nerves. That was the true root cause of her hearing loss. Next, a series of consultation with many many specialists ensued. We were kind of overwhelmed by all the information and I couldn’t particularly process the magnitude of it all at once.

There were basically 3 options at hand: 1. Do nothing. Just monitor the growth of the tumor, ie periodic MRIs to ensure that it is not getting TOO big. In the end, when it does get too big, we’d still have to remove it. However, there might also be other consequences as the tumor is sitting very near to the facial and balance nerves as well. 2. Removal. Go in there and get it out. Finito. There are basically 2 ways to go about it - through the ears or through the skull. Either way they are major surgeries, one that would take at least 12 hours and however you try to word it, it was a scary option for me. 3. Radiosurgery. It involves focused radiation to stunt the growth of the tumor. We were interested with the CyberKnife program in which mom had to come for imaging, both CT and MRI,and then the doctors will do the planning on dosage etc. Mom would only have to go to the place 3 times for the treatment, averaging about 1 hour each time. She didn’t even have to admit herself as it is considered as outpatient treatment. So, she has already booked for an appointment early January 2007.

In a way, I was very pleased that we actually met with a few consultants from different fields. We got the chance to gather enough info to make the right decision for mom. The consultants seem to recommend treatment that is related only to their specialty and not every consultant is familiar with what treatment is available in the whole of Malaysia, you know. Eg, the CyberKnifeis a part of Radiosurgery but there are other methods too such asGammaKnife, XKnife etc. Each procedure is different , some is more technically advanced than others. Imagine if we didn’t know about this CyberKnife thingy, mom would have to fix a metal frame on her face for one of the procedures. Nasib baik, kan? I do think the support from her children, in laws and husband were vital in maintaining her positive attitude and made it that much easier for her and us to accept what has actually happened. I just pray that the treatment would go well for her and in the meantime, I promise to be super nice to her. ;)

Patient 2: Khaleeq

Khaleeq has been getting nose bleed since he was small and occasionally waking up to a pool of dried blood beside him has been quite a normal sight. In this one particular incident however, he was bleeding quite a lot and it didn’t seem that it was about to stop. So, we rushed him over to our panel clinic and got a referral letter to check him out with the paed. Well anywho, it happens that the pead we chose in Pantai was also a neurologist. So, we casually mentioned that Khaleeq is also a little slow in the speech development as he is not actually talking just yet. It’s not that he doeesn’t speak at all. Ada la sikit sikit.. Lately ni, he’s been saying "Oh No!!!" Complete with his hands on his ears. She diagnosed him to have the expressive availability of 18mths and understanding ability of 24mths. That’s a little behind his real age of 28mths. She told us that there are 5 reasons why kids actually talk later than they should. 1 - Deafness, 2 - Deprived / Understimulation 3 -Dysphasic (Impairment of speech and verbal comprehension, especially when associated with brain injury) 4 - Mental retardation 5 - Autistic. Khaleeq is free from cause 3, 4 and 5. So, we only have to be weary of cause 1 and 2.

Khaltest

This is Khaleeq at the Audiologist’s place. He had to undergo the play audiometry and later the sleep test to check his middle ear function. It turned out that nothing is wrong with him. So, that strikes out cause number 1.

Well that leaves us with cause number 2 to be concerned with. The good doc prescribed a change in diet — more complex carbohydrate (wholemeal bread etc), less sugar and chocolate; less TV (yup, believe you me!), more one-on-one interaction and it would do him good if he was enrolled in a playgroup. I guess, there is less excitement in taking care of Number Two. He’s basically screaming for attention and I have been too lazy to give it. I should have known better, I am a Number Two myself! So, on my part: No more TV for the kids once I get back home and there will definitely be more one-on-one interaction with my dear Khaleeq.Kesian anak aku.. Oh yes, and he’ll be going to Khadra’s school next year! :) My parents cakap, "Biarla.. He’ll speak when he’s ready.. " I think so too.. but going to school would really help speed it up.

Patient 3: Hubby

Following my mom’s footstep, Azrul went to see the ENT to check out the nagging problem he has been having with his ears and nose. So, did up the CT scan etc and it turned out that there was nothing wrong with him. Case closed. :)

Patient 4: Yours truly

Not wanting to be left out, I jumped on the bandwagon of meeting up the consultant ENT. After my initial CT scan, the doc told me there was some indication of blockage of my sinuses which may have resulted in my previous headaches and my morning sokseks. I have a terrible case of sokseks that I have been living with all my life. Every single morning I would be sniffling , my ears and nose will get blocked, I’d let out a disgusting noise and whatever consistency of mucus that is clogging my nose. Not a very pretty sight. Lately, add the headaches that I have been getting on my fore and behind my head. (?) Whatever. Basically, it is very annoying. So, I do agree with the specialist that I do have a problem. The solution? He would open up my sinus opening and that would make better drainage for the mucus. He then put me on a Steroid Challenge to see what the effects would be after I get the operation done. After three days on the steroid, I suffered fom massive frontal headaches complete with vomitting. I called up the ENT and he asked me to cut down on the steroids pronto. On my next follow-up session, we scheduled for my operation to be on the 27th of December 2006. We also took some blood for a complete work and a chest X-ray as well seeing that I have an underlying asthma condition. Anyways, I will be doing the FESS (functional endoscopic sinus surgery) and the septoplasty. I did ask the good doctor if rhinoplasty (buat hidung daa - ni Nip/Tuck la yang ajar) is also on the table. (kidding only..)

How am I feeling at the moment? Pretty mixed up, I guess. Fear for one, relieved that I am finally getting it done and that it is not something worse, restless, anticipating the unknown and mainly afraid of what is to come. Still got a lot of reading to do on the procedures and stuff. I will catch you later, then.

-dillz blogging out-

Friday, December 15, 2006

Happiest Feet

*from my other blog at Dilla Speaks Out

Hfkhadra Hfkhaleeq Happyfeet

One movie preview. One night filled with fun, fun, fun.. The happiest feet were the tiny ones; belonging to Khadra, Khaleeq, Naqib, Teyta and Aisya. [At least whilst they were still awake.. Khaleeq slept 20 minutes into the movie and Khadra slept at the end of the movie. All other kids were wide awake.. Baik pulak anak-anak aku.. heh heh heh] Thank you, Thank you, Thank you X-Fresh! :) (Moga-moga, dapatla tiket lagi di lain kali. Amiiin!)

The preview started at 9pm, but prior to that we had to undergo a strict security measure. Seeing that it was, after all, a PREVIEW; we had to deposit :

-all handphones (regardless of the camera function in it. Even your old granny phones had to be declared)

-all cameras (be it the digital type or otherwise)

-all other electronic devices

After that, we we subjected to a metal detector screening- You know the magic wand that can detect metal? That one.. – Adakah POYO? heh heh heh

I think that’s quite a good treatment for people who just don’t get it.. Please understand that previews are not avenues to cilok someone else’s movie and get it to the cetak rompak scene faster. Thank you very much.

-dillz blogging out-

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Bye Bye Baby!

*from my other blog at Dilla Speaks Out

Byecrv

She’s the first car we got as a unit. Our very first baby, bought in January 2003. Sedih la pulak..

We said goodbye to our CR-V a few weeks back as a matter of a strategic move. Azrul is anticipating a major price cut in second hand value once the new CR-V in in town. So we figured we’d better get rid of it while it could still fetch an acceptable price. We’ve been going around in my MyVi most of the time, backed up with the company car.

Anywho, we made a booking at the local Toyota dealer for the new Camry. God knows how long that’ll take…

-dillz blogging out-

Friday, December 08, 2006

Presenting Our Latest Addition

*from my other blog at Dilla Speaks Out

BabytrioBabynenek

Here she is. Fresh out of the oven. The latest addition to the Zaghlol clan — grandchild Number 8 :Heleyna Zahra Mohd Nazrin. Well, I think it is coz the name isn’t registered with the Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara as yet. She was born on December 1st, 2006 at about 2:42pm. I didn’t really look at the clock in the delivery suite as I was busy manning the videocam. Mom, Nazz, me and Illa were there to witness the birth of baby Heleyna.

ZZ has been in the ward since the wee hours in the morning, I think she was admitted at 1.30am. Imagine the wait and pain until God knows what time… Hmmm… Historically, ZZ had the epidural with the first boy and went without it for the second girl. Epidural or no epidural? - that is the question. I guess, we all go into the delivery suite wanting to do it au naturel — without the help and magic of pain relievers. Baru ada feel sikit, kan? Imagine our moms and grandmamas who delivered us and our moms — they could do it without all this epidural, pethidene, laughing gas business, right? Well, that’s all well and good, for them.. With the advancement of technology and the availability of numerous pain relievers, going into labour is not as easy as it used to be. There is so many decisions and you don’t know whether it is the right one or the wrong one. The truth of the matter is,there’s no one right or wrong way of doing it. It’s just the right one at the time, and it’ll be a different case for every delivery. I guess, the turn of events will finally decide on which pain reliever you’ll opt for or the lack of it. Just remember that it doesn’t make you a bad mom for wanting to feel less pain.

Anyways, sometime midday, ZZ opted for the epidural. Might as well get some sleep, I’d say. I remember during Khadra’s delivery I was soo glad when I finally took the epidural. Azrul would recall this exact moment when I actually said, "Yeay! Boleh tidur" and slept I did until it was finally time. The only immediate downside to this epidural thing is the side effect that both me and ZZ get from taking it. My hands would shake noticeably up to a point that I was afraid to hold my newborn child for long. ZZ was shaking near the end and even more so when the dosage was stopped. Anyways, I think epidural is still well worth it though if you can’t stand the pain anymore. Just bring in an extra cardigan and a loving body who’d rub your hands into the delivey suite. You’d do fine. :)

-dillz blogging out-

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Mat Bon

*from my other blog at Dilla Speaks Out

I just love him. What’s his name again? Oh yes — Daniel Craig, right?

Bond

When the trailer first came out I went, "OMG. Who’s that guy?" He was a nobody, at least in my books. My hubby said maybe it’s a strategic decision to cast him as the new Bond. Strategic ke bende nya? Then, after a little reflection I could see where they were coming from. I mean, aren’t you just a little tired of the "Look at me. I’m all that, suave, good looking, lompat-pun-jatuh-macam-gymnast" kinda secret agent? For one, I think I am. What is this surfing-in-the-sky and landing-in-a-helicopter-about-to-crash and pulling-it-up-in-time-to-land-on-a-boat business?Sungguh tak logik sekali! In short, the audience is no longer stupid. They have to come up with a different formula to capture the audience. Revamp Bond. And after seeing the movie last night, I AM CAPTURED! :)

"Casino Royale" shows us how Bond was promoted to the Double-O status. Basically, just forget the old Bond that you know of and give this one a clean slate. This brand new Bond was brutal, rough, mysterious and didn’t really give a rat’s arse about things. When requesting a martini from the bartender, he was asked,"Shaken or stirred?" His reply was a very cool "Do I look like I give a damn?" heh heh heh. There’s no Q with a string of gadgety inventions. The only one I noticed was the very cool telemedicine link up with MI6 HQ with the defib when he had the heart attack. Really loved his dry and cool sense of humour — especially so at the torture scene. (another heh heh heh) No worries though, he is still very much asgatal as before. They had to leave something from his old movies, right? The whole set up is very much up-to-date, really, with a string of Sony adverts– the Sony digital camera, Vaio laptop, Sony E handphones.

My verdict is — Go watch it on the silver screen! You’ll find that he’s the sort of guy that grows on you. Just be prepared to sit through the 3 hour long movie. It really felt like I was watching 2 movies back-to-back. heh heh heh. Can’t wait for the next Bond movie, though. ;)

-dillz blogging out-

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Open House Oh Open House

*from my other blog at Dilla Speaks Out

The first Syawal weekend made me feel rather unpopular due to the very small number of invites we received to Open Houses. My sister, ZZ, on the other hand, had 7 invites to attend and we only had one. Sad? Close to pathetic, actually…

"It’s okay la..After all, people are still fasting, what.. There’s probably some next week..", I consoled myself.

True enough(nasib baik , rather),the invites started rolling in the week after. We had invites on weekdays and weekends. :) (terasa glamer la pulak) My dad always told me to go to people’s functions if you want them to come to yours. So, we always try our darnest to fulfill these invites. Tu yang sampai sesat la.. Datang on the WRONG DAY la.. We even went to one house TWICE, sebab salah hari! Boleh tak? Talk about commitment, man.. Unfortunately, we had to pass on some invites due to time constraints.. It was waaay easier when there were no excess baggages (read: 2 cranky kids). Managing the kids after a long day was just not a pretty sight. Simply not possible, man.. So, I’d also like to take this opportunity to apologize to the hosts we didn’t manage to visit. We truly tried, but we just couldn’t make it.

Khaleeq3LilykashKhadra3

Due to storage limitations, I could only post the pics I snapped at Lily’s place. That’s me and Khaleeq, Lily and Kash, and Khadra at the koi pond.

Thank you Datin-boss, Lily, Rita, Inalim, Boye, Azalene, Sujack, Aunty Sally, Illa, Abg Suhaimi, Reza, Hasanah , Abang Amran and Mira for the invitation. Don’t forget to invite us again next year, okay?

-dillz blogging out-

Saturday, November 25, 2006

My Heart, Your Heart…

*from my other blog at Dilla Speaks Out

You guys ever heard of YouTube? Well, this amazing creation has managed to bring to you Khadra - L.I.V.E.Click there –> Khadra’s My Heart

My sissy, Kira ‘youtube’d this little clipping of Khadra’s rendition of My Heart over one noisy family time in Pondok Azlul a few weeks back. You can actually hear we were clapping to one of the kid’s performances in the background. (I think it was Naqib’s) The little kids are always ‘performing’ there. They take turns singing, dancing or doing a little magic act. They’d go up the makeshift ’stage’ (read: staircase, table or any raised platform), do their little thingy-magit and curtsy/bow to the audience. So sweet, eh?

It’s not a surprise that they are doing this now. I remember back in the Gullimard years, the three of us (ZZ, me and Illa) would also do the same thing on the raised platform in our garage. (Author’s note: Gullimard is now known as Persiaran Ledang. That’s where we stayed until I was around 6 years old) I can remember quite vividly we also recorded "Rindu Bayangan" through my mom’s mini recorder -

"… berputar-putar membelitkan kata-kata, hanya linangan ayer mata yang menitis.."

Ha ha ha… Now you know why she’s such a drama queen. I was one too!

-dillz blogging out-

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cooking Like Jamie

*from my other blog at Dilla Speaks Out

I must say that I have been rather good at this cooking thingy. Seeing that I have quite a chronic case of the hangat-hangat tahi ayam syndrome (I am recovering, you know..) I was expected to be doing it for only a while before I get bored and move on to the next ‘thing’ I term as my passion. Seal the not-so-new Zanussi ZOE535 Electric Oven / Grill (refer if you have forgotten how it looked like ) and shelf the expansive cookbooks. However, I beg to differ in this particular case, my friends. By the way things are going, I can see that this ‘cooking’ thing will be a very frequent event in my life. ;)

Most of my recipes hail from three main sources:

1. My Mak Langkawi : She is THE resource person back in the heydays when I started cooking - when I was a bachelor living amongst the Mat Salleh in the UK up until now as I have already become a mother of 2 kids. Her dishes are simple and she can make SOMETHING good out of whatever raw material taht is left in the fridge. She cooks a mean dish of Ayam Masak Cili Kering, Ikan Bawal Masak Halia and Pajeri Nenas. But of course, she can make just about anything under the sun. :) This lady doesn’t use measurements, "Bawang sikit.. halia sikit.." and PRESTO! The dish is done..

2. My Datin-boss : She LOVES to cook A LOT. (In terms of both frequency and quantity) My first tried and tested dish from her was the Steak with Mashed Potatoes and Buttered veges. I got raved reviews from hubby, so I decided to offer them to my siblings, in-laws and nieces. They also agreed. :) Since then, I have been referring to my Datin-boss for dishes such as : Daging & Ubi Kentang Oyster, Nasi Beriyani, and I am due to learn how to make my own Beef patties.

3. My Jamie Oliver’s cookbooks :I have two at the moment.Jamie’s Dinners and The Return of the Naked Chef (So you know what to get me for my next birthday :6.1.2007 *hint hint*) I love his books ‘coz there’s not much preparation that needs to be done and he just BASICALLY chucks things in and it gets cooked. The instructions are easy to follow too. Sure, he uses parts of ‘the animal’ that we can’t eat, but the is easily replaced with all the alternatives available in the market now. Case in point: streaky bacon with streaky beef bacon. I have to admit he uses a lot of ingredients that are not available / grown locally but you can find most of them at Bangsar Village’s Village Grocer or Jaya jusco Supermarket in One-Utama. The best part is it tastes really really good. And that’s what matters in the end, right?

Among my accoplishments so far:

Steaksarnie_1Lamb_1Roastchic_5Pesto_1

From L to R: Scottish Pete’s Cheesy Steak Sandwich, Lambs with Chickpeas, Yoghurt and Tray-roasted veg, Roast Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary Roast Potatoes & Pesto.

Not in the pictures: Super Tasty Lamb Cutlet & Salmon and Couscous

Quite an impressive list, eh? heh heh heh

-dillz blogging out-

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Khaleeq Is A Big Boy

*from my other blog at Dilla Speaks Out

Very happy to note that Khaleeq has successfully weaned off my b**bies for the past 9 days! No more +=+=< for Khaleeq! Yeay!!!!

Khaleeq

Khaleeq turned two on the 30th of July 2006, so, that makes him 2 years and 3 months when I started to wean him off. I breastfed him exclusively for 11 months ( –> stopped breastfeeding Khadra when she was 7mths coz I was pregnant with Khaleeq) After which I introduced the formula milk and kept on breastfeeding him when I am with him and especially during sleepy-time. It’s not that he is getting much milk from me. Sometimes, after a nursing session with me, he’ll happily go off and get a drink of water from his tumbler. :)~~ I guess it’s more about snuggling close and having exclusive WE time with me, eh? 2 years and 3 months… I mean, cukup cukup la tu, kan?

2 good friends told me about their method to wean off their kids involving blood-red lipstick, biji sawi and a whole lot of acting. Hey, it worked for them! ;) I decided that I’ll take the straight forward route - I’ll tell Khaleeq straight out. I’ll tell him that:

1. He is a big boy now

2. Big boys don’t drink from mommy’s +=+=<

3. If he succeeds , we’ll get his him a blue bike, complete with training wheels..

I have to say that it wasn’t easy, though. The first night was filled with clawing and shrieking and yelling and crying and biting and hair-pulling, but I kept at it. "No more +=t=k for Khaleeq, coz he is a BIG boy now, right?" More clawing and shrieking and yelling and crying and biting and hair-pulling. I just kept on patting his butt to put him to sleep. He’d keep on crying, while placing his hand around me, hugging me as he tries to go to sleep. I’d just keep on patting him and telling him what a good boy he is, what a big boy he has become… His cries gets slower, softer.. until he finally falls asleep, his hands still firmly placed over my shoulder. Sedih la pulak dibuatnya.. At about 3am, I find him beside me, with more clawing and shrieking and yelling and crying and biting and hair-pulling. I was almost willing to give up and shove ‘it’ up his mouth but I kept at it, yet again.. "No, Khaleeq, you’re a big boy now.." The cycle continues.. and once again at 6.30am — I just brought him out to watch whatever is on Playhouse Disney Chanel, made him a bottle of milk and sat in front of the tv with him, while I slowly run my fingers through his hair and try to catch a little bit more of sleep. But, in summary, he finally did it! ONE full night without my b**bies. :) Well done, Khaleeq boy!

The coming days got better though - less clawing and shrieking and yelling and crying and biting and hair-pulling until there was NO MORE… :) Khaleeq truly is a BIG boy now and he deserves that little blue bike with training wheels.. [B, are you reading this? :)]

-dillz blogging out-

Monday, November 13, 2006

Belated Selamat Hari Raya Post - Take 2

*from my other blog at Dilla Speaks Out

Both my parents, my brother Boy and sister, Kira were away for umrah during Ramadhan and only returned to Malaysia on the 4th of Raya. That went quite well with our plans to beraya in Kelantan first. :)

Have you ever noticed that the yearly question ; "Beraya kat mana tahun ni?" — actually means where will you physically be on the morning of the First of Syawal. So important is the morning of First Raya — nothing beats the Mohon Maaf session and the theDuit Raya session that comes together with it.

After their return, we decided to recreate the feel of First of Raya and so, the Nazrins, the Azruls, the Wafis and the singletons gathered in Pondok Azlul one Sunday evening all dressed up with Duit Raya packages in their pockets.

Raya1Raya2

The only thing missing was the Takbir Raya — I normally look forward to the Takbir Raya in Pondok Azlul .. We would normally have a session on the night before together with the Khatam Al-Quran (Normally, dad would have at least completed one round of Al-Quran during Ramadhan, sometimes 2 or 3). At this event, the small kids (cousins, nephews and nieces) would be practically fighting over the shortest surahs and it is sort of a showcase on how well they have progressed in Quran reading.The next morning , there’ll be another Takbir Raya session, before going off to the mosque for Sunat prayers. The final one would be after prayers when dad would start off and then ask his sons-in-laws to take over. That would be when butterflies will flutter away in my hubby’s tummy. ha ha ha - I miss those days!!!

-dillz blogging out-