Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The verdict is in...

The verdict is in...I'll be returning back to Malaysia for good sooner than we planned. After a lengthy discussion, hubby and I had come to the conclusion that it would be better for us to continue the children's education in Malaysia as we would be able to save more and financially boost our little nest egg. Going back would also be a good move in preserving our children's religion, ethnicity, culture and heritage.
Don't get me wrong, I love living in Abu Dhabi. The abundance of wealth, the scenery, the diversity of culture is intoxicating but like the saying goes, the grass always looks greener on the other side. Despite the high levels of crime and the grime and grittiness in my country, I'll still favor it best over any other country simply because it was where I was born. It's where I grew up and it had made me become who I am today. I love Malaysia and my loyalty will always and forever be for Malaysia.
The downside of the decision though is the fact that the children and I will be apart from dear hubby. He will remain here in Abu Dhabi while we are in Malaysia. Hubby says he can commute at least once a month and perhaps I could try visiting him as often as possible while leaving the two older children with my parents hence avoiding any disruption in their education. They will only be brought over to Abu Dhabi during the school holidays. I doubt they'll like that very much as they have grown to love Abu Dhabi more than Malaysia (which is more reasons to ship them back) .
However, we are torn between the choices of education that we plan to provide our children. The kids are currently following the British curriculum (which I favor very much). We can't decide whether to let them continue by enrolling them in an International School or start them with the Malaysian curriculum (which is forever changing much to my dislike) by enrolling them in a private institution. The advantage of educating them using the Malaysian curriculum would allow them more opportunity for entrance into local universities and local scholarships. The disadvantage, my kids aren't well versed in Bahasa Malaysia which would mean they'd do miserably for the entrance exams into a private school and would really have to struggle in their lessons as their comprehension of the language is really poor. Malaysian curriculum is also a little too academic and restricted for my taste and I don't want the children to feel overwhelmed and stifled by it. Worst of all, it may make them dislike learning. Currently, my children loves learning. They look forward to school and aren't to keen on school holidays.
On the other hand, the distance from my home to various International Schools is quite far and I don't see the sense in purchasing a house near a school when we have a perfectly good house that we are halfway through paying for. The reason for our move is to save money, so buying another house would defeat the purpose. Beside, space in International schools are very limited and I'm afraid that these schools aren't able to accommodate my children.
Aah...the things to think...I'm already having a migraine. Well, at least I have a few more years to thinks about those things so for the time being, I'll just enjoy my time in Abu Dhabi.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A new diet that works!

Eid has come and gone and what I thought would be a miserable occassion proved to be otherwise. Many friends and neighbours had dropped by to help us celebrate and despite missing my family, I felt that I had gained a new family here in my home away from home. All that hard work that I had put into this special ocassion really did pay off...well sort of..:P
A couple of days after the eid celebration, my body had retaliated and I fell very, very ill. I guess cooking a feast while doing housework and juggling 3 small children under the age of 7 had finally taken its toll. Worst of all, it was just my luck that it had to happen when hubby was away.
When our children fall ill, we mothers sometimes wish we would rather take the child's place and be sick instead of our children. Well, after my little episode, I will never, ever have that wish again. Mothers aren't designed to fall sick. If we are sick, we can't function. When we can't function...well, there goes the entire household.
I was too sick to care for the kids. I was feverish and shivering all over and being the drama queen that I am, I swear I thought I was going to die. Every time I closed my eyes and curled underneath the duvet, I could hear various doa being recited in my mind. My children had to scavage for their own food, emptying out the pantry and sinking their teeth into anything that looks edible. It took every single iota of my energy to whip them up a meal. I couldn't even monitor their bathing time and had no clue if they had even taken their baths at all. That was how ill I was. I wanted to ask for help but the very thought of picking up my handphone felt like a goliath task. Luckily (if you can call it lucky) the baby had caught the same bug so all she wanted was to sleep and suckle.
I was ill for four days. Four days of wasting away on my bed. Four days of child neglect. Four days without an appetite. Hubby camehome that night, took charge and brought me to the doctor the very next morning. The doctor confirmed my illness, put me on antibiotics and I was up and running a couple of days afterwards.
Overall, it was a horrible experience but on the bright side, I had discovered that I had lost some weight. Whoopee! I had finally found a diet that works even better than Atkins, its called Streptococcal Pharyngitis and it really does work. Maybe falling sick isn't so bad after all. Although it involves serious child neglect, I actually wouldn't mind having it again...as long as I lose weight in the process. I'm such a horrible mom. lol :P

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Eid Mubarak '09

How time flies. It's been 3 month since my last post and not only have I not lost any weight, I think I've acquired a few more pounds (I'm so delusional...more like several kilos actually lol) to my ever expanding torso. Well, I'm not really complaining. I have faith in myself, I know I'll shed off the weight when I'm truly ready and determined to do so. I've done it a few times in the past so why should this be any different right? Nothing like being truly optimistic.

So I went back to KL for the summer and you know the saying be careful what you wish for? Well, what I envisioned of an exciting summer didn't quite materialize. Sure, it was superb to get back in touch with my family and friends but the kids were sick most of the time due to the terrible weather and flu pandemic that was hitting the country. The people that mattered to me back home were also quite busy carrying on with their lives and between that and caring for my sick children, I wasn't quite able to hang out and have fun. I was also missing my dear, dear hubby terribly.

So now I'm back in Abu Dhabi and its the fasting month. I came here exactly a year ago during ramadhan '08 and now here I am again in Abu Dhabi for ramadhan '09. Eid is just a day away and this will be my second year in the row celebrating Eid al-Fitr without my family. Last year wasn't so bad as I was occupied with settling myself and the kids here but this year, it's a bit harder. I miss my mom. I miss my sister. I miss my whole clan. What I wouldn't give to be able to be there with them.

I'm on the floor of my kitchen right now cooking 4kg of beef rendang for the big celebration. I had to get a head start as there is no way could I single handedly prepare all the dishes the night before the big celebration. I've invited some friends and neighbours over for the festivities. I want this eid to be special and I'm doing it all for the sake of my children. Eid is about family and relationship, and I want them to experience the magic of Eid. I just hope I'm doing it right. :)

Happy Eid Mubarak all. Lets forgive, forget and be merry! Selamat Hari Raya. Maaf Zahir Batin. :D

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Weight Loss Journey

I had celebrated my 32nd birthday. Took care of the laundry the whole day, went out for dinner and later did my grocery shopping. How wild was that? I'm such a party animal even I amaze myself *roll eyes*.

I had decided that it is time to start getting rid of the kilos on my birthday. First day in, had a platter of buffalo wings and indulged myself in this simply amazing chocolate brownies. It had chocolate fudge oozing out of it. Heaven to my taste buds, hell to my thighs. Okay, not a good start but to my defense, it was my birthday!

Second day, made a pot of delicious ayam masak lemak cili api with rice. Couldn't resist a second helping for both lunch and dinner. Treated myself to some chocolates afterwards. Gosh, don't I have any will power whatsoever? I put myself to shame...

So now it's my third day. so far I've only had a piece of wholemeal bread (with a spoonful of nutella but that doesn't count since it balances out the wholemeal! And it was just one measly piece of bread!) and a glass of low fat milk. I'm doing the whole count my calories intake thing. Thinking of exercising as well but heck, its still early and I've got the rest of the day to do it. (Must remind myself to join Procrastinators Ananimous). So far so good...will see how thing goes. I'm making chilli crab and steamed mussels for lunch (please, please god. Provide me the will power to resist) Must resist. Must resist. Must resist. Aaaargh! The temptation!

Thinking about lunch has caused me to start salivating for no apparent reason. Noooooo! It's mind over matter. I think I'll head to bed now, gotta sleep it off. Bye!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

KL, here I come...

The summer holidays is approaching and boy am I looking forward to it! We'll be returning to Kuala Lumpur for 2 whole months and I've already planned out my day to day itinerary in my head. However, the fact that I'll be without a maid when I return this time around is a bit daunting. My little sister has hijacked my trustworthy maid off my hands and I don't know how I'll cope with 3 kids back home. Here it is easier as I am not mobile. But in KL, its a whole different ball park.

I've decided to enroll Mika in a play school there to prepare him for school come September. Unlike Sarah, Mika has never gone to school before this (Kinder Music doesn't count because I was present for his lessons) and I worry how he'll cope. He is still such a little baby and the school he will be going to is a very big school. I worry that he will be overwhelmed.

I don't want Sarah to be stuck in front of the TV the whole day either which is why hubby and I have decided to enroll her again in a few enrichment classes. So when I'm in KL, on top of caring for the 3 kids on my own, I'll need to do the whole soccer mom bit as well. I really can't imagine how I'll cope especially with little Hana in tow. But then I keep telling myself, if I aspire to become a super mom, then I'll have to at least try and put myself for the test and juggle it all. This will really put my capabilities to the test. What the heck, I'm up for the challenge! My life has been pretty mundane all this while, so what's a little chaos right? Hehe..:P

One of the challenge is deciding on a school for Mika. I've got my eyes on the Early Learning Program at Kizsports but distance may be a problem. I refuse to get up 3 hours earlier just to get the kids ready to drive them all the way there only to find my self rushing back to pick him up a little over an hour later. I'm looking at the kindies within the neighbourhood but I worry about what the school is like as I want something more similar to the school that Mika will be attending in September in order to ensure a more smoother transition for him. I seriously need to put more thought into this.

On top of her maths class, Sarah has requested for me to find her a speech and drama class. I found one in TTDI, but they haven't replied to my inquiry so I'm yet to decide. Kizsports offers the program so perhaps I could enroll her there and if Mika is there, then it'll be better for me. I could also enroll Hana in their babysigns program. Gosh if all the 3 kids are there, I'll end up hanging out at One Utama every single day. Don't get me wrong, I adore One U, but I'm just afraid I'll end up bankrupt! My will power is close to none. All those nice, clean, bright shops are pretty enticing. :P

So then I'm brought back to the issue of becoming maid-less. The timing of the classes would obviously differ, so while I'm in class with Hana for instance, I'll still need someone to keep an eye on the other two. Aaargh. I could take my ex-maid (now my sister's maid) but that would mean adding another screaming infant on top of my out of control brood. Uh-uh. That's a sure path on the route towards insanity and this wannabe super mom ain't so keen on going there.

Aaargh! Decisions..decisions. I really can't decide. I guess for now, I'll just settle for what I do best. Procrastinate and leave the decision making for tomorrow. :P

Friday, May 22, 2009

Supermom vs Kryptonite

If there is any time for me to start contemplating suicide, I'd say the time is now. I have three children generously contributing to my already messy house with their smelly puke and poo. Both Sarah and Mika had caught some sort of stomach bug which makes them purge and barf continuously. The small cough that baby Hana had has developed into a full scale one with loads of plegm and snot to accompany it. Since she can't spit out her phlegm and blow out her nose, she had chosen the barf out all the gross icky sticky stuff method.

I have done the laundry 3 times today, bath and changed all three children twice, cleaned up vomit from my floor and carpets, wash the powder room of poo and vomit, prepared lunch twice (since the kids puked out the first) and I did it all before noon! If that's not Super Mom, then I don't know what is! Oh, and I'm still in my smelly pajamas which is now covered in food, puke, spit & milk. I'd better lock the doors, I don't wanna risk scaring any visitors if any decided to pop by. (Dear God, please send any visitors away...I'm so not in the mood to entertain!)

The worst part of it all is that hubby is in Toronto and won't be back till Sunday! Hmph, the lucky bugger. Where is the equality? Waaaaaah! I want my mommy! I'd rather go slay some dragon or monster at this rate. They're much easier to handle than 3 sick children. I'm a wannabe super mom and I have found my kryptonite!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Typical Housewife

I've been reading some people's opinions about a typical housewife. Most implied that a typical housewife is a woman who fails to take care of her appearance, watches TV all day, doesn't have many friends, isn't able to hold a decent conversation other than topics regarding their kids and household chores. They've also expressed that housewives tend to be uneducated and lacks intelligence. As a housewife, I find their opinions rather offensive.
However, these people have also written that rather than be a typical housewife, its better to become a stay at home mom instead. What??? Duh. Some people are such idiots. Don't they get it? It's the same bloody thing! Well, that goes to show the power of rebranding.
Well, I must admit that as a stay at home mom, I sometimes do let myself go. Trying to look like a million bucks every single day is hard work. Lounging at home in a pair of old T-shirt and sweat pants is pure bliss and I'd recommend it to everyone. However, I doubt that my favourite uniform will cause anyone to scream and run away in fright by the sight of me. Well, at least my hubby doesn't complain. :P
Anyway, the one thing I would agree with those people that just because you're a housewife and you are stuck at home, it isn't an excuse for you to live in seclusion and not mingle with the outside world. I'm lucky that I have my friends and neighbours from various walks of life to fill me in on whats going out there and enrich my life. Although most of my conversation does revolve around kids and my daily chores, I do talk about other things as well such as religion, society, education and politics although I try to shy away from the latter as much as possible. Politics is just too dirty for this typical housewife's own liking.
Bottom line is, yes, I do tend to talk about my kids and chores a lot, but only because its a topic that I'm passionate about and only to people who enjoy listening about it. People who are in the workforce talk about their work all the time too but I don't hear anyone complaining. I am also interested about various subjects and am also able to talk about other things whenever I choose to. Like I said, my main interests are kids and the home life. I may not be dressed as if I'm going to the Oscars or have a red carpet function everyday, but I think I'm rather presentable enough (well, at least presentable enough to open the front door if someone comes knocking lol) although I may sometimes look a tad disarray. But can you blame me? I'm a mom with 3 kids and a husband who is constantly away plus, I've no domestic help to ease my burden. I do watch TV but I'm limited to watching Barney, Kipper, Hannah Montana and whatever kiddies show there is on TV. Not so much because it is entertaining to me, but because I'd like to be able to keep up with my kids. And although I don't have a gazillion friends, I have a handful of really good friends who truly understands me and and whom are all near and dear to me. So if you want to call me a typical housewife, then so be it. I may not be out there with the rest of the population trying to save the world or whatever, but I'm doing my share for the community by trying to educate and shape my children into responsible and caring individuals. That's a hard job of its own.

Just to share, a poem I keep close to my heart.

If I had my child to raise over again
I'd fingerpaint more and point the finger less
I'd do less correcting and more connecting
I'd take my eyes off the watch, and watch with my eyes
I would care to know less and know to care more
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites
I'd stop playing serious and seriously play
I'd run through more fields and gaze at more stars
I'd do more hugging and less tugging
I would be firm less often and affirm much more
I'd build self esteem first and the house later
I'd teach less about the love of power and more about the power of love
~Diane Loomans

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Picking Favourites

I've always known at the back of my mind that I am not my mother's favourite child. Maybe when I was younger, I had felt a bit disgruntled over it and became quite rebellious but overtime as I get older, I'm more accepting and understand that just because I'm not her favourite doesn't mean she loves me less.
My mother has always been more affectionate with my little sister. I've always wondered why. I've been told that I wasn't an easy baby nor was I an easy child. My mother was depressed due to some unfortunate circumstance while she was pregnant with me and I came out into the world underweight and angry which would naturally make my mother feel anxious and exhausted taking care of me.
As a middle child, it wasn't easy to compete for my mother's attention against an older brother who is the only boy, and a younger sister who is the baby of the house. However, I had never felt the need to compete for my father's attention because with him, I had always felt equal. I guess my father had that special natural ability to make everyone feel special and inspire to be able to be like him.
While I was in KL, I brought up this topic with my girlfriends. Most of them admitted that although they love their kids to death, they can't help but to show preference to one child over the other. That got me thinking. Do I have a favourite? I am after all only human.
I have three kids and honestly, I'm not sure if there is any particular one that I prefer over the others. I fell heads over heels in love with each one the moment I first laid eyes on them. All three are special and dear to me but in very different and distinctive way.
My eldest Sarah will be 6 years old in less then a month. I have such high hopes for her and am delighted with every little achievement and progress that she has made. Everything about her just fills me with pride and joy. My second is Mika. So far he is the only boy. He is such a cheeky little fellow and never fails to entertain me and lifts me up with his little antics and adorable charm. The youngest is darling little Hana and although she is still a little to young for me to judge, my darling little baby is very easy to care and she delights me with her tenderness. She just takes my breath away with her little smile and coos.
All three of them are very special and dear to me. It amazes me how I feel so much love for them yet my love for each one is absolutely unique.
I can't wait to see them all grown up and become wonderful individuals. Although I adore children, I think the dinamic of my three kids are already perfect. Sarah will always be my favourite because she is my firstborn. Mika will always be my favourite because he is the only boy and hana will always be my favourite because she is the baby. I just hope that they'll grow up knowing just that.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hana's First Milestone

Hana is 4 months old and has reached her first milestone. She can now roll over on her own. She's done it 4 times so far and I had missed it all. It seems like she'll only roll over whenever I'm not around. After the second roll, I kept my eyes on her for a whole hour but nothing. She only kept rolling from side to side. Then I had to take Mika to the loo and when I came back, there she was on her tummy again. Hmph. I've equip myself with my trusty camera just waiting and waiting to take that photo of her rolling over but little baby seems shy to show this mommy her newfound skill. The waiting is getting a bit ridiculous and at this rate, I've almost given up. I can't just sit here and stare at her the whole day waiting to see her roll over. I've got two other kids to attend to so I'll just settle for a picture of her on her Bumbo seat instead. :)

Coming Home

It has been 2 days since I left Malaysia. It was great to be able to go home and see familiar places and faces again. I satisfied all my cravings for the local food there and I've manage to gain 5 kilos in less than 2 weeks! What I didn't miss was the weather. It was so humid there it bordered on torture. I guess I've gotten so used to the weather here that the Malaysian humidity was a shock to my systems.
It was great to be able to catch up with my friends and family and it was really exciting to meet my brand new nephew Imran. He is truly precious. Had to teach my lil sis a thing or two on taking care of a baby and by the looks of it, she's going to be fine on her own. I found it hilarious that her baby and her shared one particular trait-both of them aren't too keen on bathing!lol
If I had to summarize my trip, I'd probably describe it as an eating frenzy. I ate and ate and ate some more. Who could imagine that the chance to buy banana fritters by the roadside could be such an exciting task. I only ate at home once and that was because I was craving for my mom's specialty fish dish. It was magnificent. I feasted on char koay teow (which is my favourite #1 dish) almost everyday together with either iced milo or iced milk tea. ( gosh no wonder I've piled up the pounds..)
I was like some crazy tourist snapping up pictures of all the food that I was about to devour. Unfortunately, either Mika or Sarah had accidently deleted some of it much to my dismay. We ate out everyday but the prices of food is malaysia is so low in comparison to Abu Dhabi that in all, I think we had spent only about RM500 or less on eating out throughout the entire duration of our stay. That would be the amount that we would normally pay for eating out twice or thrice in Abu Dhabi.
I felt so reluctant to go back to Abu Dhabi as the time drew nearer but I didn't have much of a choice. My kids enjoyed their trip back as well but Sarah was also looking forward to returning to Abu Dhabi because she was starting to miss her friends.
So on the day of my departure I bid tearful farewells to those near and dear to me and said my goodbyes.
Once we stepped into Abu Dhabi, my first thought was, "Gosh it's good to be finally home" and felt comfortable and at ease almost at once. I guess I had made the transition after all and although I've really enjoyed myself in malaysia, Abu Dhabi is now my home away from home. Its good to be home. :)

Hanging out with my hommies~BFF minus one

Yummy Cuppies!

Es Teller...yummm...

Sweet Imran

Mika enjoying iced milo

Char Koay Teow...my favourite...mmmm

Butter prawn..

Sweet & Sour crab

I love durian!

Belachan Fried Rice

Curry Mee

Nana's grandkids

Thursday, April 02, 2009

I'm off..

I'm going off in 3 hours and if it wasn't because I'm excited with whats to come, I'll be bitching here about a particular incident but thats for later. For the time being...KL here I come :))

Nightmares, Bad Dreams and a pair of Scissors.

Sarah has been bunking in our bed for several nights now. Every night she'll beg and plead to sleep with me. Sometimes I would relent but other times I'd give her an adamant "No" and send her sniffling off to bed only to find her snuggled in between my legs in the middle of the night. Although I sleep in a king size bed; 2 adults, a toddler, an infant and one small child all together on the same bed is absolutely ridiculous! Every morning I seem to wake up feeling sore from the cramp space and this situation makes this aspiring supermom a super grumpy mom instead.
I've recently found out that Sarah and some friends have been swapping ghost stories that they've heard from the adults or movies they have seen and scaring the bejeebers out of each other. Apparently, without my knowledge, the Indonesian helper that I had hired during my first few months after birth was showing these children mini clips of 'The Exorcist' on her phone. If that Indon lady was still with me and had I known, I'd make sure to scare the bejeebers out of her!
I persistently told Sarah that there are no ghosts in Abu Dhabi because it is full of mosques. That sort of work for a little while until she started pleading to get into my bed again, this time it wasn't due to the fear of ghost but of bad, scary dreams instead.
I explained to Sarah that dreams are never real and it is only make believe. Sarah said she understands but the bad dreams keeps coming back.
So how do I keep the bad dreams away? Suddenly I remembered a malay old wives tale about putting a scissor or a piece a blade underneath the pillow to prevent bad dreams. I took hubby's nose scissors which was blunt, rounded and pretty safe due to its inability to poke through pillow case or any type of cloths for that matter. I told Sarah that this will keep her safe from bad dreams and if she puts this underneath her pillow every night and recite "Bismillahirahmanirahim" 21 times, Allah will keep her safe at night from ghosts or bad dreams. Miraciously, it worked!
Now, Sarah can't sleep without her scissors and reciting "Bismillah". When she came back from school the other day, she told me that one of her classmates was telling her that she had had a bad dream and Sarah suggested this little English girl to put a scissor underneath her pillow and recite "Bismillah". Sarah said her friend just looked at her oddly and said, "How wierd".
I guess I've to be ready with an explanation from now on in case little English, Swedish or Australian girl starts sleeping with scissors underneath their pillows. lol In the mean time, I think I'll let that little girl of mine climb into bed with me tonight...a bonus because this mommy is starting to miss her. :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Falling Sick

I swear there must be an outbreak of tonsillitis and pharyngitis out there. Every other person from London to India to Abu Dhabi to Malaysia seems to have caught the bug. After my kids and friends caught it, I was sort of bracing myself for my turn to acquire that disease and today, sitting in front of my PC, shivering and feeling extremely fatigue, I have finally caught that darn bug that has been going around. It had decided to infect me just as I was starting to feel neglected and unwanted. :P
Fortunately I was well prepared. I woke up this morning with swollen tonsils and a burning throat. I had to quickly get ready to take Sarah to her classmates party but was already starting to feel quite fatigue (and I just woke up!) That very evening, I felt the fever kicking it and made hubby take me to the hospital where I was diagnose with acute tonsillitis and acute pharyngitis. The doctor said it was quite good that I manage to catch it early because judging by the looks of it, it has the potential to become pretty severe.
I don't like to fall sick especially since I have 3 little kids and a pretty large one depending on me to get things done around the house on top of having a lot to prepare for my trip back to Kuala Lumpur end of this week.
The one good thing about my illness right now is that I can't swallow! I do feel hungry but my throat hurts so bad that swallowing is seriously painful. Hope I'll get to shed a couple of kilos this week. ;)
Anyway, I'm really excited about going back end of this week so I'm not going to let some illness get in the way. I'm going to be strong and nurse myself back to health so I can prepare this delicate throat of mine for some heavy duty consumption of char koay teow and durian! Oh food glorious food! :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

9 Days to Kuala Lumpur

I'm starting a countdown. 9 more days and I'll be back home! It's been almost 7 month since I left Kuala Lumpur for Abu Dhabi. I can't wait to feast on my beloved char koay teow, nasi goreng USA, Johnny's steamboat and durian. No more phrata, nasi beriani or whatever nonsensical food they serve here. Hubby has left for Kuala Lumpur tonight to collect little Hana's passport. The prospect of going home is getting so close that I can even smell Kuala Lumpur. No more sand storm and stifling heat. I'm so looking forward to the heavy downpour they are experiencing in KL. Yay to rain!
I am also looking forward to meeting my little nephew who was born a week ago and to just hang out with my family and girlfriends. I've missed them so much! Although I'll only be in KL for less than 2 weeks, I'm going to enjoy every single second of it. No more cooking or cleaning just some rest and relax and tender loving care from my mom. Kuala Lumpur...here I come!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Planning Mika's 3rd

Since Mika had never had a proper birthday party in his life, I thought it would be nice to throw him one for his 3rd. I had initially planned out a small intimate get together for his birthday, but being me, I tend to over think things and my ideas turned into one grandiose affair. Hubby wasn't let in on the plan and nearly had a heart attack when I told him of my plans ( albeit last minute). Thank goodness my man was a good sport and was very cooperative.
Back in Malaysia, organizing a birthday party was so easy. All I had to do was find the right people and hire them! There was an abundance of caterers, party planners and entertainers. Here, I just didn't have a clue especially being new in foreign country and all. I tried to do some research but what I found was mediocre and ridiculously expensive. So I had to improvise. I had to conjure all my past memories of the birthday parties I had been to as a little girl before the whole party planning mania hit Malaysia.
So I began the task of sorting out the guest list (which seems to grow every time I thought about it..hmm), planning out the menu, searching high and low for a cake maker and devising activities for the kids during the party. Who would have thought that the task to search for a decent loot bag would be one complicated mission? I guess that's one of the cons of living in this hick town called Abu Dhabi.
I've always loved pinatas at parties so I thought, "Why not have one?" We searched high and low for one and when I finally found a shop that sells pinatas, I was astounded to discover that they were selling it for a whopping Dhs180 for one very small pathetic looking pinata! WTF?!!
So I figured, if I wanted a pathetic looking pinata..instead of purchasing one, I'll just make one! I studied the pathetic looking pinata closely to find out the materials they used. Polystyrene, crepe paper and construction paper. "Well, this looks easy enough.." I thought. So after purchasing the materials (I spent like less than Dhs40 for the stuffs, and that included polystyrene glue, glitters and a blades. Sheesh, that pinata shop was truly ripping people off!)
Armed with what little amount of creativity skills I have in me, I started the task of creating a pinata. Half way thru, I was seriously doubting my so called 'bright idea'. Never thought it would be so tedious. No wonder they were selling it for RM80 in Malaysia. If it was up to me, I'd probably charge like Dhs100 for one but Dhs180, heck, I'm no con artist.
After the whole pinata saga, I started to doubt my abilities in cooking for a lot of people. Could I really do it and complete it before the party began? So I did the smart thing and begged some friends to help me out. Luckily they took pity on me and agreed. Those friends of mine are truly god sent. Bless them all!
The morning of the party, I woke up early to prepare the spring rolls, chicken curry, jellies, chocolate fondue and fried vermicelli. On top of those, I had to pick up the cake as well! Perhaps I am taking my super mom aspiration a tad too far. But being one who is always up for a little challenge, I succeeded in completing my tasks in time for the party. However, I ended up looking like a train wreck. I didn't even have time to wash my hair and groom myself nicely for the guests. Well, it doesn't matter really as kids can't really tell the difference. Heck they eat food they pick up off the floor so I'd guess they wouldn't notice your ordinary disheveled mom..
It was a nice party after all. Everyone seemed like they were having fun and most importantly, Mika had a really good time. So all that hard work was not in vain. The kids played pass the parcel, pin the tail on the donkey, dancing statue and not forgetting the pinata. A couple of kids got hurt during the pinata wrecking process. I had thought about blindfolding them at first but I guess it was a good idea after all to leave that out because considering how much damage they could do with their eyes wide open, imagine the damage they would have done when they are blindfold and equip with a weapon. Seriously scary.
I'd say it was an overall successful party. I'm proud of myself that I was able to pull it off. Everything went smoothly except that I forgot to serve the jellies I had painstakingly made that morning. Mika had never receive so many present in his life and couldn't stop gushing about it days after the party.
So I guess I do have it in me to plan a nice party and for that I'll give myself a pat on my back. However, for Sarah's upcoming party, I'm doing it in some playland where I won't have to lift a finger. I'm done planning parties. ;)

Pinning the tail on the donkey. I drew the donkey...not bad eh for someone who had never drawn a donkey in her life :P

Passing the parcel game. The kids were all good sport and willingly performed the forfeits. They displayed a good sense of camaraderie and support for each other.

My pinata!

A happy camper!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Having Hana

I'm now officially a mother of 3. Reading my old postings, I recalled swearing off childbirth after I had Mika but here I am 3 years later with another child and I've discovered that being a 3x mom isn't as bad as I thought it would be.
Found out I was pregnant after hubby got the news of the job offer with Etihad Airways. We had initially decided that I would stay behind in Malaysia with the kids until after the baby was born but seeing that getting a place in a desirable school here in Abu Dhabi is rather difficult, we had to jump on the chance when Sarah got offered a placement in a school of my choice. So being 6 months pregnant at that time, the kids and I had to quickly pack up our stuff and make the move to Abu Dhabi and quickly started scouting for ob-gyns.
Looking for a suitable doctor here in Abu Dhabi was short of a nightmare. The first one looked like a painter and I'm not talking of the artist Da Vinci sort of variety. This one looked like she worked in a construction site with her dirty stained denim overalls. Yup, she wore denim overalls to work. So she got scratched off my list even before I saw her...I didn't even bother to give her a chance...first impressions does matter.
The second one was this old Iraqi man. He had a very thick accent that I couldn't make out whether he was speaking in English, Arabic or whatever language for that matter. I had to give 100% concentration when he spoke trying to look for clues or keywords to even attempt to guess what this man was saying. In addition to that, he was rough and had the largest pair of hands I've ever saw in my life! So that one is definitely out of my list.
I've almost given up when hubby decided to take me to this new hospital at the airport road. I felt certain that all the doctors here in Abu Dhabi was a lost case but went anyway since I was already 8 months and didn't have much of a choice. When I inquired at the reception of a female doctor, the one that was available could only be available 3 weeks later, Feeling seriously dejected, I asked the receptionist if there was any other doctors who was immediately available. She told me that they had 2 men doctor but one was away on leave so would I like to see the remaining doctor? What the heck...what do I have to lose? So I agreed and there was my chance encounter with Dr. Marwan Kamil.
So fate had stepped in and here I was with...lets just call him Dr. Hottie. ;) This doctor was a babe! Gosh , he is truly one very handsome man, not too old, perhaps in his late 30s or early 40s, quite the gentleman and was most impeccably dressed. In addition to that, when the man spoke, I could understand every single word he said. I am blessed!
We had build quite a good rapport between us and I was so comfortable with him that he even made the whole birthing experience quite pleasant! I had a normal vaginal delivery without any sort of medication!(Nevermind that the baby was overdue and I had begged to be induced to get me out of my misery..LOL :P) I was sober and alert throughout the whole thing and actually really listened to my body. I could even laugh and joke with the staffs and the doctor in between contractions and the pushing part.
The doctor also commented that I was a most cooperative patient, quiet, confident and very composed. He admitted that he was very impressed. What he didn't know that I had to force myself to maintain my composure because I didnt want to look like such a wimp in front of Doctor Handsome here. :P
Baby Hana (I wanted to name her Maya actually and had been calling her that until the 8th month of my pregnancy but due to some glich, she is now named Hana) was forced out into the world after being 8 days late on the 20th of December 2008 at 7.30pm weighing a hefty 3.6kg and measuring a good 50cm. Welcome little baby, I'm truly most happy to meet you! :D

Welcoming me back to Blogosphere!

I haven't blogged for the longest time. And now that I've decided to return to blogosphere, I've discovered I couldn't just picked up where I had left off. I had made a few attempts to blog, but just couldn't find the words or even the heart to write. I even started a new blog only to have it deleted because I discovered I had a huge case of writer's block and starting a brand new blog won't cure it.
I discovered so much changes to blogspot and decided if I wanted to start blogging again, I'd perhaps start with changing the look of my blog. Then I came across my old postings and got curious what in the heck did I write about previously. I started to read all my posts and recalled so many forgotten memories. Those posts made me laugh and cry as I started to recall my past experiences. When I looked at the date, I was shocked to discover it dated back to almost 4 years ago back in 2005 while I was carrying my second child Mika.
Now I've found a reason to return to blogging. To document my thoughts, feeling or whatever so I'd never forget. Thus here I am, continuing where I'd left off after a very, very long break.
So much have happened since my last post. I have completed my studies, sold my home, see my little sister get married, relocated to Abu Dhabi, made some wonderful new friends, have had my third child and celebrated both hubby's 39th and my son Mika's 3rd birthday.
It's been 6 months since I made the permanent move to Abu Dhabi. Although apprehensive at first, I found myself to be embracing the norms of this country. Sarah started a new school and I'm happy to report that she is thriving in this new environment. Mika isn't the little baby I keep thinking he is and has grown to be quite the cheeky little fellow. My new baby Hana is absolutely beautiful and with the experiences I have gained through raising the other 2, she seems so much more easier to handle thus making it so much more pleasurable to take care off.
Today I was greeted with the wonderful news that my little sister just gave birth to her first child. A little boy she and her husband had decided to call Imran. I feel bad for not able to be there for her but if the saying is true, distance makes the heart grow fonder, I am truly looking forward to our reunion in April and to meeting my brand new nephew whom based by the MMS my sister sent me, is truly one gorgeous baby.
Being in Abu Dhabi, I am able to experience an enjoy a better quality of family life. After reading my old posts, I began to recall how much hubby would usually shy away from spending time with the family, prefering to hanging out with friends till the wee hours of the morning instead. Here, he is almost constantly with us whenever he is not flying thus becoming more and more attached and hands on with the kids.
I've so much to write about and can't wait to continue asap. For the time being, I'll just be contented with the fact that I have found the heart to blog again. Welcoming me back to blogosphere. :)