Monday 29th February 2016

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

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Of family reunion

Despite sleeping around 6am this morning *buat report la apa lagi* we made our way to Taman Tenaga to attend the "Majlis Waris Dan Keturunan YAM Pengiran Sura Negara Pengiran Anak Badarudin (Jurai Tok Mamat)" at 10am this morning.


Apparently kami adalah bau-bau bacang dengan the Brunei royalties. The details were presented during the workshop. The presenter is actually the seventh generation coming from Jurai Syarifah. *I think* I am on the other hand, the fifth generation from Jurai Tok Mamat. Our clan (i.e. starting from my grandfather - comprising of my dad's siblings) all came decked in white and/or black. Ramai kot. Kitorang je dah berapa orang, considering that dad had 11 siblings.. (2 passed away when they were little)


Had a blast though. So, what does this mean? Nothing much, really. Ancestry. It's always nice to know about where you came from.. Kalau ikutkan we are all Pengirans. Pengiran @dillazag , Pengiran Khadra, Pengiran Khaleeq and Pengiran Khaleeda. My hubby could carry Pengiran Bini @azrulx. ;)

Gotto get back to the talk now. ;)

-dillz blogging out-

Testing saja

Hubs decided that he's getting an iPhone 4s for himself. He got one for me as my advanced birthday present. Sapalah saya untuk menolak rezeki. ;)

Sedang sesi menerai. Having a blast with Siri. Lawak siuts.


iHappy.

-dillz blogging out-

Monday, December 05, 2011

Focus! Focus! Focus!

So much to do. So much to do.

There has been quite a lot that has happened this past month, concerning the kids. Especially concerning the kids. As usual, mommy hasn't had time to update, has she? hihihihihihi

It's been pretty hectic at the work front too. I have finally gotten some things finalized and am still gungho with several more projects in hand. Insya Allah. Dipermudahkan. Aminn.. I have also picked up on my reading in the past month. Somehow, I gravitated to malay fiction this time around. Finished reading several #BukuFixi publications - Jerat, Pecah, Kougar, Dendam and Kasino and @elviza's Kerna Terpaksa. In my reading list currently is FauziahAshari's Ombak Rindu and another #BukuFixi Ngeri. :P

At this juncture, most of the kids activities has slowed down somewhat. To date, we have completed:
  • Khaleeda's 4th birthday celebrations - this time around she had it at Barbie Store. Beria, I tell you. But, the princess had a great time with the makeovers and catwalk with her friends. :)
  • Khadra's Kickstart Internal Grading for her rhythmic gymnastics. The grading determined whether she could go up to Grade 1 level from Little Gymnast level.
  • Khadra completed her School Holiday gymnastics program - with a Russian coach. Woohoo!
  • Khadra and Khaleeq's TTG final performance for this year, in conjuction with Didance's year end showcase at KLPAC.
  • Khadra and Khaleeq performed their yearly drama at KLPAC last week, on the 30th November and 1st December 2011. This year's title is T3 = The Equation. The endangered animals in the highlights this year were the tapirs, tenggiling and tembadaus.
  • Khaleeq undergoing his prelim diagnosis for his condition. Insya Allah, will be concluded by month-end.
  • Khaleeda started her mengaji. Yeay!
Till I get more time to type in this space. I'll definitely try to elaborate the above points. With pictures too, if I have the might! Too-da-loo.

-dillz blogging out-

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Junior Masterchefs

The two Khas entered a Scottigami competition at their school early this month. In simple terms, the kids had to fold Scott kitchen towel into an object. Thus, the name Scott + Origami = Scottigami. Khadra wanted to make lillies and Khaleeq wanted to make frogs. So, we googled how to fold them and spent some good time making them. Thanks to the abundance of accessories (pipe cleaners, flower cutout, feathers and googly eyes) to decorate the kitchen towels from our trusted Doodle drawer, we were able to come up with the following.

Tadaa.....

Boleh tahan, la... Seni tu ada...

Best part was, the Top 30 most creative entries stand a chance to participate in a junior cooking workshop with a celebrity chef and they were both selected. Wey-hey!!! So, mommy dengan penuh bersemangat ambil cuti hari tersebut to accompany my little chef Khaleeq and @azrulx was Khadra's partner-in-crime. (@azrulx cooking? Of course, I HAD to see this. hihihihihi)

Anak-anak, ibu-ibu, bapa-bapa - all excited for the workshop to start. Ampun, ada pulak gambar kaki ibu-ibu. Motif???

Inside the hall. Getting ready to cook. Aprons ON.. Let's go!
First menu: tortilla wrap. There wasn't actual or proper cooking per se - no pots nor pans needed - more like chopping, mixing, squeezing, whisking and assembling. I let Khaleeq do most of the steps, with guidance, of course. Especially while chopping stuff. Adoi, seriau acik... Tak sempat nak menjeling meja sebelah to see how the father-daughter duo was doing. OK lah tu. Cik mek Khadra tu boleh diharap. We successfully completed the wrap and both kids completely devoured their fruits of labour. Sedap juga.. Mommy dapatlah merasa beberapa bites.

Next up was smoothies making. Can't believe how simple the steps were. The chef encouraged the kids to try a few different combinations. Personally, I liked the banana-oreo the best. And I have also concluded that peanut butter does not go well into a smoothie. Period!

Session ended with group photos and interviews. Kids were happy. Parents were happy. Mana taknya, kenyang perut, suka hati lah...

I am actually very grateful that we got this opportunity to participate in this kind of workshop with the kids. It showed them that cooking is really not that hard to do and every single one can actually whip something up in the kitchen. In fact, we already bought a smoothie blender last weekend. Made a few batches of smoothies with the kids' help. (I added a few scoops of Bulla vanilla ice-cream into the recipe though. hahahaha) They are very interested and I hope to get the kids more involved in the future too. Sebelum ni pun, ada la jugak tolong sikit-sikit, especially when baking cookies and brownies. Part goreng-menggoreng, potong-memotong ni, I tak berani nak let them in yet. Maybe I should get them a safer knife macam dalam Junior Masterchef tu. Mana nak beli, ek?

-dillz blogging out-

Thursday, November 10, 2011

apebarang?

apebarang? Apa barang? Ha... tu dia.. Kalau tak tahu, sila tanya..

apebarang has now become one of my favourite online art shop selling cutesy art pieces. They have paintings on canvases as well as coasters. If you remember Stoodle from way back when, the artist who doodles based on facebook status(es). I've even written about them here, here and here. Tu lah dia.. si mimi @stoodlerist. She's the one who came up with all the genius designs.

LOVE.LOVE.LOVE.

During their opening launch recently, I bought 3 pieces from their I<3 series:
I <3 Books, I <3 Coffee and I <3 Monsters.

It's art on a 10cm x 10cm canvas. When it came to our doorsteps, we immediately that we need MORE, MORE, MORE. I was thinking along the lines of making a 3x3 matrix and framing it for our library.

Mimi advised us to go the commissioned way - we custom ordered 6 other designs, yakni:
I <3 Chili's, I <3 Cooking, I <3 travel, I <3 Golf, I <3 Apple and I <3 Roti & Egg. The actual object / wording commissioned was upon consultation with the other members of the family. A few days later, it arrived at our doorsteps. :)

Lihat hasilnya. Tarra!!!
Cantik kan?

So, anyhoots... Yang nak cerita ni is because apebarang arthunt is back. mimi had just uploaded her latest pieces, AND.. up till 11 November 2011, shipping is free!

It started yesterday at 3pm, and believe it or not, I actually missed it too. Baru ternampak dalam timeline tadi masa tengah training. So after I got my bargains below, I cepat-cepat la bagitahu uols. :)

Jangan jeles... ;)

-dillz blogging out-

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

It's Back! It's Toffee Nut Time!

Ketahuilah sekalian manusia. Inilah air yang kutunggu - tunggu sepanjang tahun.


Toffee Nut latte is back!


Woot!

I was pleasantly surprised today actually coz we were lepaking at Starbucks yesterday while waiting for the kids to finish at Kizsport BV2. Takde pun ura-ura this Christmasy beverage would be available in a very near future. Today, tup, tup, ada pulak. :)

Along with the Christmas promotion, of courselah juga the anticipated "race" (dengan sapa saya racing tu tetap menjadi tandatanya) to accumulate the stipulated number of stamps to get the complimentary Starbucks organizer, kan? Soal whether diary tersebut digunakan atau tidak throughout the year, tidaklah menjadi persoalan. (My 2011 one was probably used up till February only) Yang penting, HARUS dapatkannya terlebih dahulu.

This year is no different. However, you'd have to do it in a slightly different manner. You gotta:

1. Purchase the Starbucks Card
2. Buy 15 handcrafted beverages
3. Redeem your 2012 diary

OK, apakebendanya Starbucks Card?

It's a kinda pre-paid card for Starbucks which actually holds some amount of cash. Like a cashcard la. So, from now on, I pay for my drinks with the Starbucks Card. Why should I bother, did I hear you say? Sebabnya mudah. You will get a complimentary grande handcrafted beverage with every purchase of any 10 handcrafted beverage OR any tumbler OR any whole cake. Dan macam-macam lagilah benefitnya. On top of that, there's an ongoing promotion for a free card caddy if you top up RM100 into the card.

Being a sucker that I am for all cards in this world and any chance to get stuff for free- haruslah acik membelinya. Ya, dengan card caddynya sekali. Sekian terima kasih.

Saya sudahi dengan ucapan, "Selamat berlumba" bagi other suckers out there just like me.

-dillz blogging out-

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Photobook Craze

Hey there peeps! Seems like I am on a roll right now. Memanglah banyak nak cerita, am just finally putting it down. Like finally, right?

This morning, I wanted to share this other craze that I have been working on a lot, a lot, a lot! I started fiddling with Photobook quite a while back. When I thought I had to finish 5 books in 2 weeks, quite frankly. That was sometime in March 2011. Turned out I didn't have to and the expiry was really a year away. Duhh!!!

But it did force me to start using the downloaded application and make our very first Photobook. I made two albums circa April 2011 - one on our family photoshoot back in 2006 and the other one was our first stay in Hard Rock Hotel, Penang. I call these two my First Generation photobooks. :) Once we ordered the albums, it really only took about 4 days for the books to arrive. Of course, Khaleeda was the most excited. (Siapa lagi, ya tak? )

For me, when ordering the Imagewrap books (the one I was working on are called Imagewrap Medium Landscape books) , the cover is important as it gives the reader the first impression. Does it attract your audience or doesn't it? Then, the layout and flow of the whole book. How do you want to organize your pictures. Next is the first and last page. How do you start and end your story telling?

Gen 1: Photoshoot 2006

Cover: Three selected pictures on a black background. with a caption "Azlul Clan Photoshoot 2006". Simple and classic. The back is a picture of Khadra and Khaleeq walking hand-in-hand. Agak comel.
Flow: I divided the book into two. First half is the indoor family photoshoot we had commemorating our graduation from MBA. The other half is the outdoor photoshoot by the poolside.
Layout: I used patterned backgrounds to give it a more scrapbook-y feel. Frames. Lots of frames. When I have a certain picture that I wanted to highlight, I let it take the whole page.
First and last pages: A picture of me and Azrul on the first page and a nice picture of Khadra during the outdoor shoot for the last page.

Gen 1: Hard Rock Hotel 2009

Cover: Full picture of HRH on the front cover. For the back cover, I put on a cool Elvis quotation I got at the lobby entrance that says "Welcome back my friends, the show that never ends". I also included a picture of the three kids playing sandcastle by the beach.
Flow: It started with pictures of our roadtrip - the drive all the way up to Penang. Then the hotel ambiance, the awesome pizzas at the pizzeria, Lil Rock, kids having fun in the pool - basically all thhe stuff we could do there.
Layout: For this album, I stuck to just plain white background with black frames. Had a few captions here and there. I still highlighted a few pictures that I really liked - those ones take a whole page. We also had the view of the sea from our room. Two beautiful views captured at different times of the day next to each other. <3 <3 <3 I also liked a spread I made on the food we got from breakfast at the King's Club. I even added the breakfast menu there. :)
First and last pages: First page says "December.2009 roadtrip! Roadtrip!" Last page is a picture of the kids sleeping in their car seats on our way home with a caption "'till next time!"

Come early October 2011, two more vouchers were due. I got a real deal from Groupon Malaysia, something like RM54 for an RM256 worth of Photobook. Sangat berbaloi-baloi. The only thing is the expiry comes around a few months after. OK la, just have to organize your time a little better and get it done in time. That's all. Anyhoots, for this Generation 2 albums I have upgraded a little of my skills and decided to finish up the Melbourne trip and start on the Hong Kong Disneyland album. It has some obvious improvements from Gen 1, I think. So I really do recommend that you only work on a few (one or two) Photobook(s) at a time as your designing skills will improve over time. :)

Gen 2: Melbourne 2004

Cover: I chose the best two pictures that depicted the trip and made it as cover. The compulsory pose by the Great Ocean Road and the 12 Apostles.
Flow: Very much like the earlier HRH album, it's a story of our short stay there. As the page progresses, it showcased the things we saw and did.
Layout: This time I used plain black background with white frames and text. I started experimenting on opacity, whereby the pictures become slightly blurry and transparent. It makes other pictures layered in front of it pop out more if they are in full colour.
First and last pages: A made a little narration as the first page. A little summary of what the album is about. Last page was a picture of my mom and all her grandchildren in Melbourne at the time, Khadra, Nelysa and Naqib.

Gen 2 : Hong Kong Disneyland 2011

Cover: Picture of the whole family in front of a Mickey Mouse statue. Back cover is a smaller picture of me and the kids walking out of the theme park with a visible "Thank you for coming" on the arch.
Flow: Divided the album into two halves. First part is on our activities and pictures from Hong Kong Disneyland while the other half was on the hotel.
Layout: More opacity techniques applied. I experimented with different patterned backgrounds, frames with captions and scrapbook items sprinkled sparringly throughout the album. I played around a lot on the layout - trying to squeeze in as many pictures i possibly could in one page. :)
First and last pages: It's like a Table of Contents (ToC) kinda thing, 3 pictures of us at hong Kong Disneyland and 3 pictures of us at the HK Disneyland Hotel. I especially liked the last page as I simply dumped layers upon layers of pictures in different orientation. Looks like a snapshot of many photographs of the holiday being spread on the floor. Very nice.

I'm currently working on my Gen 3 photobook. Will share the resources, my inspirations etc when I'm done, ok?

-dillz blogging out-

Friday, October 28, 2011

Rumahku Syurgaku - Part 2

Rumahku Syurgaku series | Part 1 | Part 2 |

One of the things that have kept me busy the past couple of weeks have been the furnishing of our home. If you can recall earlier, we bought the condo unit next door to ours and the major infrastructure works (complete rewiring, plaster ceiling, lighting, kitchen, toilets etc) has been completed sometime in February 2011. Come October 2011, the furnishing is still not done. hahahahahaha... But we have, however, made some very very significant progress. So, housewarming is not in the calender as yet sebab forevernya Work-in-Progress. Makanya kawan-kawan if you wanna, just drop me a BB message, sms or call ibefore you come visit. Amatlah dialu-alukan. :)

It has to be stressed that I am one who tries to find a "home" to everything that we have. For example, the heaps of stationeries need to be sorted and housed into a specific container / drawer. I need to know where to find them and I can be quite anal about it. So, it has taken me long-er than most to complete the furnishing. Plus, no Bibik in the world can help me with that. The "Mem" has to decide and carry it out. Darn it!

Also, we have applied the "don't buy anything until you are sure of it" and "mix and match furnishing". Maka, it is not as easy as buying the 3+2+1 sofa set for us. Hasilnya, there has been a number of rights and misses along the way, but it's OK. We do learn along the way.. :)

Anyways, the main objective of this post is to share with you what we have added to the house since. So far, I have not shared any "after" pictures here, so I can very well start anywhere, right? hihihihihi

Great!

The new "wing" now constitutes of the new Master Bedroom, Khaleeq's room, library, my "dry" / show kitchen and laundry area. We also redid the two toilets. The living area (with no TV) and main dining are in this wing too.

So, where to start, where to start? How about I start from the library? I love that room. I love the fact that we even decided to have one to begin with.

We decided that a book shelf is key! Therefore we custom built one complete with a ladder and the switches for the lights, air-conditioner and fan embedded at the side. When it first came, the space for the books resembled more like tempat baju, too deep, if you get what I mean. And it made the entrance too cramped and the room much smaller than it is. So the builders took it off once again and cut them to the size that I was happy with. The other end of the room opens up to a little balcony ala Juliet's. We decided to paint the doors white and up till now we have not decided on what to do to that area as yet. I probably want to have my pots of herbs there. We'll see..

When I started putting my books in, I realized that they were not all the same size. The novels were smaller, while the illustrated encyclopedia types were much larger. So it didn't quite make sense that all the shelves were the same size, right? Some words with the builders later, I was given a better organization for my books. It could fit much more without having to "make do" with stacking two lines of novels in one shelving. The ladder itself was a genius idea. It made reaching to high places a breeze. The construction is quite sturdy, it glides from one end to another by lifting the ladder a little before sliding it. My kids have tried climbing up and down the ladder but I try to keep their books within the lower portion of the book shelf. So, I'm quite happy with how it turned out in the end.

The wall that opens up to the balcony? Well, we decided to drape it all with patterned curtains and sheers to give that feel that it's larger than it is. (Curtains adalah one-stop solution from Macy's, Sungai Besi.) We decided on a simple wall light and a clock piece we found in a quaint shop in Solaris Mont Kiara. It worked well with the 4 white downlights and T-5 lights on the ceiling.

To finish it all up, we have only just installed the wall paper treatment some 2 weeks ago. The motive is the outline of skyscrapers with white background. It gives it a clean, coffee shop feel to the room. To complete the look, I moved my 2 arm chairs over (kidnapped from the living room). I think it now needs a little coffee table and maybe a stand lamp yang cantik to complete my reading experience. :) I'll be on a look out for that. On the other wall, I have the kids' schoolbooks and worksheets, our stationery cupboard and a doodle drawer . I have yet to finalize the arrangement and feel. As of now, we are just using what we already have in the house. Can lah.

Pictures a through d are the arrangement of the stationery cupboard. While e and f is of the doodle drawer.

a is where you can find the normal stationery stuff - pencils, erasers, rulers, highlighters, markers in one drawer and adhesives, tapes, stickers, stapler bullets in the other.

Warning: These items are chargeable to my kids. I find it a very effective learning tool. Kalau tak asyik hilangggg aje pensil, rubber and pembaris. Acik dah tak tahan. So, every lost stationery is charged at 50sen per item. Itu pun dah kira subsidi tau. My rulers cost RM1.80 each. hihihihi So far, even Khaleeda has to pay. It's so cute, she'll come with her tabung to buy a pencil. Tu la, lain kali, jaga elok-elok sikit..

b keeps all the colours. Pencil colour, crayons and magic colours.

c
is all that you need to paint - smocks, aprons, old cloth, pastel colours, water colours, brushes and pallettes.

d
is my A4 - sized printer paper and coloured paper. As well as the place where I stash the loot I got from the Big Bad Wolf sale. Shhh....

e
is of course my favourite. We have googly eyes - small/medium/large, pipe cleaners, pom-poms, ice-cream sticks, feathers (small/large), stickers, scrapbooking stuff, laces, remnants, plasticine, tools like glue gun, styrofoam cutter, leather puncher, cutters, cutting board, etc. Basically, all that you might need for arts and crafts. We call it our Doodle Drawer (ambik feel Art Attack sikit)

f is where I keep the arty papers - crepe papers, manilla cards, wrapping papers...


The work is not done, however, I still have to sort out the mess that is pictured above. Old mails, recycleable items etc. Good to see that the pile has lessened from a mountain to a hill and hopefully soon to a mole. Entah bila lagi la nak buat tu, but I shall trudge along and keep at it. :)

Here's another project that we have been at. I bought three pieces from #apebarang by the very talented @stoodlerist. We fell right in love with the I LOVE series and commissioned 6 more! hihihihi.. So, we now have 9 to be framed and displayed in the library later. I am looking for a frame shop as I type this. So, when the space is all ready, I'll update it here lah, ya. :)

That's all we have so far from the library. Next Friday cerita pasal bilik lain pulak. :P

-dillz blogging out-

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Back and Moving On

This would have been our 15th or 16th week. Second trimester? Yes, I think that should be about right. I stopped counting a while back already. I had my D&C procedure last 18th of September 2011. My third miscarriage in the span of 1 year and 2 months. Taking quite a toll on my body and also my heart...


I THINK I have moved on. Sudah redha dan sudah move on. Insya Allah..

When it first dawned on me that it was not meant to be (again) this time, I felt more confused than anything else. So, here's the story.. (I just had to pen it down for myself. So bear with me, ya)

I spotted some bleeding that Thursday night of 15th September 2011. Multiple small spots of bloody stains. I was just glad I got to complete my Puasa Enam. Was supposed to beraya sakan thereafter. I started to get an uneasy seeing the similarities in my previous experience. Talked it over with my husband, spoke over the phone with Lily. We decided that it's best that I rest and get it checked as soon as I could.

We had the MASiF rehearsals that night, kids were supposed to be at KLCC concourse area by 10pm. After the rehearsals were over, we headed back to Ziezi's house for a sleepover. I didn't feel quite right about it. So, Ziezi and Zurin took me to Gleneagle's A&E at around 1am. The MO told me to rest, to take it slow. I asked if there were anything that they could give me to stop the bleeding for sure, which by that time wasn't that much anyways. She said that there are some things that could be prescribed, but she'd rather if I waited for my OB/GYN's advice. In any case, they can't really tell that much until an ultrasound is done to see the current condition of the fetus. So, OK lah. We went home.

The next day, the bleeding seemed to stop, it reduced to brown discharges and I went about my business as usual. Kids had a lot of fun during the MASiF festival but unfortunately, around Maghrib time that day, I noticed that the bleeding was back with a vengeance. We headed to Pantai A&E and the MO consulted my OB/GYN - I was administered an injection to the butt and was admitted for the night.

Next morning, Dr Hamid came to see me. He said to be sure, we need to do an ultrasound and the next course of action will depend on the results. It the embryo was stable, then he would suggest a week's worth of bed rest. Which means - stay at home, on the bed, leaving only if you need to pee and such.

I was wheeled for Ultrasound in my pajamas. Alone this time. Hubs was still at home and making his way to the hospital. Wah! Masa tu, perasaan memang tak keruan. I was, obviously, fearing the worst. When the radiologist was taking more time than I thought she should, I knew for sure, my nightmare had turned into a reality.

Dillz: "You tak jumpa ke?"
Radiologist: "Why do you say that?"
Dillz: "My uterus is retroverted, so it's quite hard to locate it"
She smiled and said, "Let me check for a while"
Jantung aku dah dup.dap.dup.dap. kencang gila.
She went about taking multiple positions, stopping and scanning and moving the probe around my belly once again. The silence was deafening.
Radiologist: "I'm sorry, but I can't seem to find the fetus. The sac is empty."
Dillz: "Blighted ovum, ya?"
Radiologist: "Seems that way. I'm sorry"
"It's OK" was what I heard I say out loud, but it really was NOT OK...

I BBMed my husband straight away. I appeared OK; I guess, but the emotions that was really bottled in me was really intense and confusing. Rasa nak menangis, but not even one tear materialized. I guess it was just waiting for Azrul to get there and hug me and tell me that it will all be OK.

Wheeled back to my room, to my waiting adik bongsu who kept me company for the night. Just told her that it was not meant to be and I patiently waited. He was there within a few minutes, but it really felt like eternity. As soon as he hugged me, whispering that "It's OK, dah tak ada rezeki", the tears came pouring down like I just turned on the tap. I was crying and sobbing, finally letting me feel my loss.

So, itulah ceritanya. Blighted ovum.


What that means in layman terms is that the fetus did not develop at all. I only had a growing sac in my uterus, with nothing inside. Not a blob, no heartbeat, nothing. It's one of the common reasons for early-term miscarriages. Dah memang tak ada rezeki. So, saya pun redha lah.

Buat masa ni, I am on a break. My uterus obviously needs it. Only time can tell whether temporary mahupun permanent. ;)

-dillz blogging out-

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

There's Something Baking in the Oven

Alhamdulillah. Just discovered that I am pregnant with my fourth child last Friday. How I actually took the test is another drama in itself. (Typical me, apa yang tak dramanya)

I wasn't feeling too well last Friday, with my sore throat and had a fever developing. But, I had an interview with my auditee that I just could not cancel at the office. So, kugagahkan juga untuk bekerja. Tengah hari comes and the throat is getting sore-er and the temperature had gone higher. I felt miserable - must've looked like shite too. At one point I had my hoodie up and my hands tucked in the hoodie jacket coz it felt so cold.

On the same day, we had a sembahyang sunat tasbih for the muslimah scheduled at work. A very special once-in-a-year type of event that I didn't wanna miss. The seminar room was filled to the brim, it kinda reminded me of my days in STF. Lagi pulak the ustazah was excellent! Sangat syahdu. Especially masa dia baca doa. Memang mengundang air mata, maka dengan itu teresak-esaklah daku menangis. So, conclusion is my emotions memang dah tak stabil at that moment. What with my sore throat and fever. Nak telan air liur pun took a lot of effort. Sakit. Every single time.

Sangat emo. Sangat, sangat emo.

After some poking by my BFFs - Mira and Kynne, I decided that I would then go back to the doctor and get some antibiotics for the infection. But, since I was 4-5days late, I asked the doctor to run a pregnancy test so that he could prescribe me with the right kind of antibiotics that would be safe for pregnant ladies. Maka, kubuatlah test itew. And alhamdulillah, positif. :) I took the home test just this morning and the Clearblue pee stick showed a very strong + sign that indicated that I am indeed pregnant. Yeay!

Anyhoots, I am taking extra caution this time around in view of my 2 miscarriages last year in August and October. It doesn't hurt to be extra careful, kan?

So, the plan of action is as follows:
1. Make an appointment to see Dr Hamid Arshat as soon as possible. He might want to prescribe me with some other medicine as well as the normal dosage of folic acid and/or obimin and what have yous.
2. Jangan merenyah. Kena maintain ayu until at least the first trimester is over. That means I need to walk less and not carry any heavy items.
3. Sort out my remaining PT classes. Have to postphone it till the baby is here.
4. Just relax and enjoy my time. With loads of tidur. Lots and lots of sleeping. I loike. (Kudapat rasakan yang Imma be very tired most of the time. Dah berumur lah katakan)

Here's to a healthy and smooth pregnancy. Insya Allah...

-dillz blogging out-

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Ahlan Wa Sahlan Ya Ramadhan 1432

Salam! Salam!

Tup tap.. Tup tap.. Dah Ramadhan sekali lagi. I feel so blessed that we are given this chance yet again to welcome this holy month of Ramadhan. Alhamdulillah. Masa untuk beribadat. Berlatih untuk jadi lebih baik. Moga-moga amalan di bulan yang penuh berkat ini dapat dipanjangkan into bulan-bulan yang seterusnya. Insya Allah.. :)

Khadra and Khaleeq are back at fasting again. Alhamdulillah. We did not promise any incentives for fasting this year as we did back in 2009/1430H. (Read my post for welcoming Ramadhan in 1430H here , the DSLite post, the challenges for fasting kids and last year's post for 1431 here) So, we'll have to see how they fare this year.

Not much drama coming from Khadra. She really is a big girl now. I am trying to get her to solat 5 kali sehari now. It'll be easy when I am around. She'll just follow me when I perform my prayers. Masalah problemnya bila dia keseorangan - when I am not there due to work or whatever. Hmm.. Camna nak buat ni. Try je lah. Kot-kot berhasil.

Khaleeq pula. Well, he has many questions for me this year. I took leave on the first of Ramadhan, so I was there when he had a little meltdown. Wailing and crying and asking out loud, "Why did God ask us to do this? I am hungry. I am thirsty." Kesian tengok dia, but it was a little comical too. I instantly goggled images of "starving children" and shared it with him. He stopped his drama immediately and asked what was the matter with those kids. Boleh dikatakan menjadi jugakla tactic itu.

Khaleeda? Well, she'll be 4 in November this year. I asked her whether she wanted to try to puasa this year and she replied "No". Adoii... However, she does follow me to the mosque for Terawikh. Sometimes pakai telekung, sometimes just duduk aje kat tepi saya. OK la tu dik. Pelan-pelan kayuh.

Anyhoots, have a blessed month of Ramadhan to my readers yang seciput ini. Selamat berpuasa. Selamat berbuka. Selamat beribadah. Selamat bersahur.

I think I am finding my writing modjo this month! hihihihihi.. Talk to you soon..

-dillz blogging out-

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Late Night Mini Adventure


Ladies Market.

Khadra and I had set this as our destination of the night. Right after we left the younger Khas in their pajamas with their daddy at the hotel, that is. :)I was told that the operating hours were until 11.30pm so when we headed out of the hotel at 10.45pm (walking, mind you) we would had just enough time for some girly shopping of oh you know, the usuals - tops, dresses, pants, vest etc. Wee-hee!

The receptionist told us to head "Thataway" down Nathan Road.
"Very near. Only 5 to 10 minutes walk", she said.
Adventure pun bermula. Just me and my firstborn child. Let's go.

Walk, walk. Turn right at Portland Road into Nathan Road.

Turn left and walk, walk, walk somemore.

Walk, walk, walk...

We started the walk very near to Yau Ma Tei MTR, down Nathan Road. Then, we passed Mong Kok MTR. That sounded about right. Dah dekat lah ni. :)

Walk, walk, walk.

Walk, walk, walk somemore.

Walk, walk, walk...

Then, another MTR station appeared. The Prince Edward MTR stop. Hmm... Ada sedikit musykil di situ.

Walk, walk, walk.

Walk, walk, walk...

We walked right to the end of the road, coming up to a cross-junction. By now, it was already 20 minutes of walking and I felt like I have just lost my legs. And it doesn't look anywhere near the Ladies Market. Ayyoo... :( (Sila refer to Leg 1 of the journey in the map below)

So, decided to be smart and turned back to Prince Edward MTR to take us back to Yau Ma Tei MTR. That turned out to be a good decision. At the end of Leg 2 of the adventure, we noted a map distinctly showing where Ladies Market were. Sebenarnya, dekat aje from the hotel, okeh! Just take the second turn to the right and then you could see the buzz already! Ayyoyo.. Awatla tak tengok map, makcik oi!!!! Gungho bebenor... Leg 3 of the journey, barulah kami tiba di destinasi. :)

It reminded me of Petaling Street, really. With hawkers setting up their booth in the alley. There were a variety of stuff on sale. Tops, shirts, pants, dresses, socks, jade, watches, etc. I was only interested to get some outfits for Khadra and/or me. We checked out a stall which tried to sell us almost everything on display at "Cheap! Cheap!' price. Tapi, rasanya macam kena ketuk je... Memula tu memang dia bukak price mahal. I started to haggle, macam nak dapaaat je.

Pastu, dia tambah lagi
:
"Take this one nice."
"This one also nice."
"This dress look very nice on you."
"All , 6 pieces, HKDXXX"
Aku macam kena pukau, ambik je semua. Dah habih bayar, kira-kira macam, "Wei! Kena ketuk la! " Doink!

We were walking back to the hotel, when I noticed a shop (like a proper shop) in one of the alleys. Macam menarik je baju-baju dia. And best of all, the price was sooo blardy much cheaper. And very very nice too! So, demi economies of scale, I had to buy a few pieces to lower the average, right? And we did! Khadra had a fabulous time choosing, as well. Here are some of our catch!


Tu je lah cerita nya. Macam ya-ya je suruh tunggu. hihihihihihihihi

Next on the Hong Kong Travel-log would be our days in Disneyland. :)

-dillz blogging out-

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 2 in Hong Kong : The Day of Transport!


Mari sambung ceritera
Hong Kong. (You can read the Day 1 post here)

Couldn't exactly wake up early on the second day of our mini holiday, but what the hey... We were on vacation, man... Our mantra was, "Have a plan, but be ready to just wing it" ;) Kids were decked in purple today. Saje je, kasi theme colour sikit... :)

"We are ready, Dad! Let's go!"

Annnnnyways.... According to the second day plan, we will be going to The Peak to visit Madame Tussaud's. So, even early on, we knew it would involve a whole lot of transportation. MTR, taxi, double decker bus, ferry, tram.. You just name it. :)

Seeing that we were already running late, we had our breakfast at McD in Nathan Road (ya, kami jalan kaki) with Khadra enjoying her hotcakes as usual and Khaleeq discovering that he actually likes Filet-o-Fish. Since we were there during the breakfast to normal menu transition time, Khaleeda was able to have her fries. as well Apa-apa je lah labu, asalkan makan.

Breakfast at McD

We had a very loooong day ahead of us. We took the taxi (couldn't bother to figure out the public transportation, I guess) straight to the Star Ferry Jetty.

At the jetty, we were approached by a Big Bus Tour representative. We figured that hop on - hop off bus was a good way to know the city, right? We immediately bought their package inclusive of:
  1. ferry tickets to Hong Kong island
  2. the Red tour route (this route goes thru the city and stops over at Lower Tram Terminal to go to The Peak)
  3. return tram tickets to The Peak
  4. the Green tour routes (this route goes over to the Ocean Park dan kawasan sewaktu dengannya)
  5. sampan boat ride at Aberdeen
  6. the Night Tour (for Kowloon area that ends at the Avenue of Stars)
On hindsight, we didn't actually have enough time to go through the Green route, so if you wanna complete both routes, it's probably wise to start earlier on in the day. There's also the option of the 48hour validity if you wanna spread the tour out a little bit.

Anyhoots, sebelum naik ferry to Central, masih sempat lagi kami buat nama anak- anak in Chinese calligraphy. Me and Azrul got ourselves a stamping block of our name in Chinese. Pretty cool... Since it took a while to complete, we decided to come back later on that night to collect the items. No pictures taken at the store as the sales lady strictly showed me the signs - "No Photography" Hmm, O.K! *but I could upload a picture of the finished product later*

The ferry trip was very short indeed. Probably around 5-10 minutes. Tak sempat pun nak mabuk laut. I terasa ala-ala naik ferry kat Penang je, but much briefer.

Mengembara naik feri. Mak bapak pun jakun sekali. Sila abaikan ilusi gemuk saya ittew.

We got down at the Central ferry jetty and looked for the Big Bus Tour stand. We had just missed the Red tour bus and had to wait for the next one. Good thing about it though, we found a Halal kebab store at the terminal. Yeay! (Tak beli pun coz we were still very full then. But we bought it before the Night Tour started and it was oh so sedap!)

Moral of the story here: Please check the timing for the tour as the bus leaves at an interval of 30 minutes for the Red route and 45 minutes for the Green route. Jangan dok sibuk nak beli souvenir aje. *Sheesh*

The hop-on, hop-off Bus Tour was pretty awesome. They had a narration going on about the places we visited with the option of getting off the bus at the pre-determined stops. There were many anecdotes told, one even pointed out that we could buy some kind of misfortune spells. Once you are done exploring the area of attraction, just hop on to the next bus according to the schedule given. We were pretty happy at the roof-less top, even though it was so darn hot! Adoii... Touristy betul lah!
Touristy mode. Biarlah panas pun tak apa..

As planned, we came down at the Lower Tram Terminal to catch the tram up to The Peak. there was a photobooth set up near the ticketing counter where you are able to snap a picture of you and/or your family/group with a backdrop of the tram and the view. They will print out the pictures in an A8 size and also make it into keychains or snowglobes. Being the suckers that we were, we bought them, at about HKD130 per picture and 3keychains for HKD165. (I think) On hindsight, I think that photo op was totally unnecessary as you are able to take nice pictures in the tram, up on the Peak etc. So, tak payah pun tak pe sebenarnya. Tahan ajelah naluri tourist tu..

Posing - posing sikit...

By the time we got up there, we were rather famished. So we went for a little loo break and attacked Bubba Gump. All things seafood. Yumms. Cuma a little pricey, which is to be expected lah since we were up in the hilltops! :) Did a little bit of reflecting and looking at the time we had left, we decided to skip the rest of the Red route as well as the Green route in the Big Bus Tour. So, we had a little time to spend in Madame Tussaud's before catching the shuttle for the Night tour later in the evening.

Madame Tussaud's was next. Each adult tickets cost HKD160 and kids HKD90. (I think la, tak berapa ingat) Tapi kami amat jakun dan teruja sekali. Main activity was camwhoring lah , apa lagi.. There were soo many famous (and not too known by us) faces in such unique settings. Celebrities, dignitaries, accomplished sportsmen, artists.. Eh, tapinya kitorang tak jumpa Justin Bieber pun. Tak cukup glamer kot.

Of course, there were opportunities for the museum to make some quick bucks too. There were photographers stationed in various strategic exhibits all around. They will give you a little photo chit that you shall need to preview your pictures near the check out. We bought a few photos (but of course) and even took one with a Madame Tussaud's photo frame.

Some of the exhibits had additional costumes, wigs and props that one could use for a great pose. For example, the crown and robe near the Queen of England, the fat suit near the supposedly famous sumo wrestler, robes at the exhibit for Rembrant. It was rather fun trying to create funny poses. Well, we certainly did. I especially liked @azrulx's Marilyn Monroe pose. hahahahaha

My regal pose nect to the Royal family, cheeky Khaleeda with Janice, Albert Einstein and also the potrait by Rembrant. Check out Khaleeq smiling away sebelah perempuan sexy ittew.

Mahatma Gandhi, Spiderman, Obama, Captain Jack Sparrow and of course, @azrulx Monroe -only thing missing is the white dress!

Me in the sumo fat suit and chilling with Gaga. @azrulx with Tiger woods and The Beatles. Kids balik kampung jumpak atok Jepun.

Once done, we went up to the Sky View for some more picture opportunities. There's a minimal charge going up as well, but the view is breathtaking. Even when it was a little misty (hazy?), one is able to see a 360degree view of Hong Kong island and it's amazing skyline.

At the 360 Sky View, taking in the sights of Hong Kong from the Peak.

We quickly took the tram down and caught a taxi back to the Central jetty to catch the shuttle for the Night tour.
Sudah mahu pulang...

The route for the Night Tour explores the main attraction in the Kowloon area. Famous for their neon signages, we got to experience the Kowloon night life up close and personal. They also pointed out the Ladies' Market , Kowloon's famous street market where almost absolutely everything is for sale. We ended the tour at the Avenue of Stars to catch the Symphony of Lights at 8.30pm. Make sure you stand near the Intercontinental Hotel to catch the neon and laser lights from the Hong Kong island buildings dancing to the tune of the selected music. Pretty, so very pretty.

Kowloon Night Tour

We took a walk along Avenue of Stars (again) to the Star ferry Jetty to collect our souvenirs. Then, we decided to embark in a little "Jalan-jalan cari makan" to find halal food. Budak-budak dah kemaruk nak makan ayam, so upon some consultation through blog reviews and stuff, we decided to check out Islam Food at No 1, Lung Kong Road, Kowloon City. It is one of those places where the locals get their food, so don't expect anything fancy, yeah. A lot of pointing at the menu afterwards, we got our food and it was yummeh! Kids had the fried rice with shredded chicken. Worthy mentions are the Curry mutton with Pot-pan with scallions and the beef with spring onion. I really wanted to try the veal goulash but there wasn't enough room in my tummy.

Jalan-jalan cari makan

Hari sudah malam, perut sudah kenyang..
So, balik hotel la... Just that me and Khadra had a little mini adventure later that night. Ceritanya? Tungguuuuuu..... ;)

-dillz blogging out-

Monday, June 06, 2011

Meet Our Mini Snow White!


We are already back from our short vacation in Hong Kong and boy am I glad that we ended it all in Disneyland. Kids were on high and great positive vibes were all around. :)

One of the activities that we signed up for at the hotel was the "My Little Princess" program - a makeover session for your little princess into Cinderella, Aurora, Tinker Bell, Giselle or Snow White. Seeing that we will be checking out of the hotel at 11am on Saturday, 6th June 2011, I had already booked a slot for Khaleeda on Saturday 9am right from our check-in day. Booking and reservations can be done via the phone or at the souvenir shop in the hotel lobby.

When the day came, we marched to King Triton room at Level 3 (i.e. Ground floor).
There were three packages - Value (HKD 350), Deluxe (HKD630) and Premium (HKD830) Khaleeda chose to be Snow White which is a Premium package, but she gets to keep the costume, tiara, wand and wig at the end of the day and given one free photo (8" x 10") to bring home. Here she is trying out the costume for size in the changing room. :)

Make over in progress - Face, Eyes, Lips, Hair and even a wig and tiara! During this time, the sales assistant will offer you the accessories (wand and glove and trendy bag) for another HKD190 and princess shoes for HKD200. Since Khaleeda already got a wand included with the package, we said no to the additional accessories but she really liked the silver shoes, so we got a pair for her.

Next was the photoshoot. The photographer had an assistant who helped coach the child to do different princess poses. Put your wand up, hold your skirt, play with the curtains, face on hand, princess pose, etc. Wah! So professional... Looks like they'll have quite a collection of good pictures to choose from. It'll be difficult to just choose one, (or so) I thought.

I was trying to get some of the shots myself with our oun trusted camera. But it was rather difficult with the assistant being so close to her and I didn't get any of the tight shots.

True enough, they did offer another package for photography. A complete photo album of 10 additional photos and single use instant camera and Disney princess pouch for an additional of HKD1,600 (or so). Adoiii... Tapi, memang gegar iman la bila tengok the shots. So beautiful.... So professional... Can't believe it's my daughter. So, yeah. We succumbed to it and got them too.

But I truly believe the experience was well worth it la. Just to make all that investment lebih worth it, we took many more pictures of Khaleeda in her costume around the hotel. Nampak macam tengah nak pergi ball, kan? She put those coaching to good use. She knows a few princessy pose already. hihihihihihi

She also kept it on all the way back to Malaysia. Yes, the plane ride included.

She was lapping up the attention too. Many strangers stopped to take pictures of her, say Hi to her and pointing at her. "Princess, Princess" , "Hi Snow White" and there she was, replying to her subjects "Hi!!!!" siap dengan wave lagi. :) After touching down on Malaysian soil, we dropped by my parents' place coz she wanted to show off to her Tok Ki and Nenek. After about 10 hours in that dress and complete makeup, baru bukak. Barulah worth it...

That's all for now. Will get back to my Hong Kong travel-logue in the next entries. Tarra!

-dillz blogging out-