Thursday, December 29, 2011

I'm Nominated!

Here's an article about me in newspaper yesterday...

The interview and photo shoot was done last week at the newly-renovated Berita Harian office in Bangsar. During the interview I found out I'm one of the 20 shortlisted for Anugerah Bintang Popular's Pengacara TV Wanita Popular category! Surprise!!

Never in my wildest dream I thought I would ever be in the list along side the other amazing (more popular) hosts. I mean, seriously, little old me? I can bet a lifetime worth of brownies that I will not make it to the top 5. I'll be lucky if I were to make it to the top 15 even! Haha!

I'm not being modest. I'm just stating the reality. I know where I stand. A newbie host versus the awesomely-entertaining otai's with a gajillion fans. But to be in the list is already an honour. Thanks Berita Harian!

P/S: If you want to win that lifetime of brownies bet...go ahead! Buy BH, vote for me and send! :D

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Lil' Reminder For My Boy

Dear Raees,

Hosting Bersamamu is a very humbling experience for mommy. I wish you could learn a thing or two from what mommy's been through..

Mommy had the chance to revisit Persatuan Sokongan Ibu & Anak Kurang Upaya (PSIAKU) Azwar in Gombak recently. It's just a single story corner lot house where moms and their children gather. The thing about their children is, they were born unwell (bedridden). Some may call them 'vegetable' because they cannot move by themselves, let alone feed or clean themselves. Their mommies have to do everything for them. They have to be treated like babies...for life.

Raees, meet Natasha. She's 6 years old and also one of the kids who are unwell. Here you see her leaning on her mommy..
They live in a flat on the second floor...and it doesn't have a lift. So her mommy carries her up and down 4 flight of stairs every single day! Did I tell you that Natasha is 33 kg? It's amazing that her mommy has been carrying her all these years! Although her mommy did mention that they fell at the stairs many times already.

You see, Natasha is one out of about 80 kids that are registered here since 2009. But until today, about 20 of them passed away already. Sad but true. These kids have short life 
expectancy, in other words, they don't live very long. While mommy was there the first time, one boy had seizure! Just because his mommy forgot to give him his medication that day.
I hope I can go back there and bring you along, Raees. You'll see the world in a bigger perspective. You'll learn to appreciate life and not sweat the small stuff. These kids would do anything to be in your position. Be thankful and don't forget to say Alhamdulillah for all that God has given you.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Extraordinary Birthday Party

Raees turned 2 in August. After postponing his birthday party so many times, we finally found the right date to invite family and close friends over to celebrate. 3 months too late but it's better late than never.
Theme this year was Angry Birds. Why? Because Raees is a huge Angry Birds fan and we can find Angry Birds merchandise just about anywhere nowadays. That made searching for party stuff a lot easier. 

So the invitations were sent...
The 'Happy Birthday' banner was up...
The customized Angry Birds alphabet bunting (by TripletsPlusOne) was also up...

The birthday cake (by Beautiful Flavor) was ready...
I personally baked these cupcakes along with customized toppers by TripletsPlusOne, ready to be served...
The helium balloons were hovering at the living room...
More balloons were hung around and outside the house...
The food: baked pasta, shepherd's pie, brownies, mango custard tart (all by Pie Oh My), Angry Birds apam (by Nureimi), nuggets, fried rice and mee hoon were served. Not forgetting the BBQ corner all fired up as well...
All that's left to do was par-tay! Although it rained heavily in the afternoon, it stopped just before the guests arrived.

Due to some reason (which I will explain later), not many pictures were taken of the event. Sad but true. Thanks to my guests for some of the pictures below...
Thanks mommynadia for pictures of the food! I had customized Angry Birds food label thanks again to TripletsPlusOne. I also had some of these posters around the house...
In fact I had had 4 of them...

(click on the posters for a closer look)

 My best friends from school

Ilhan and his gorgeous mom, Suraya Yeop Jr.

Noticed anything not quite right? Look at all the pictures again...

The birthday boy was no where in sight! Reason being: he was asleep throughout the party. That's right, he missed it! Noticed anything else? The father was missing too! He was napping by his side.

While both were snoozing, guests were enjoying the yummy food and the kids were happily playing. I was left alone to entertain the crowd. The party committee (read: Mer's siblings) were busy at the BBQ corner. Thus, not many pictures were taken. 

I know some of you would be utterly mad with this situation - all the hard work in organizing a party and the 2 key people slept through it. But I kept my cool. Why? Coz Mer began feeling feverish that very morning and Raees was recovering from another stomach bug attack (bug = virus, not insect). It started about a week prior to the party and the doctor said he will recover within 4-5 days since it's a mild attack anyway. So I thought, he'll recover in time for the party! 

I couldn't postpone the party any further because:

1. It's been postponed one too many times. 3 months after his actual birthday was the furthers we could tolerate. Any later, it will just seem weird.
2. The invitations were out.
3. All orders were in place - food, deco, etc.
4. It was just 2 weeks before my sister in law's wedding. Postponing it any later would clash with the wedding preparations. 

So we went on with the party and that's how it turned out. He napped from 2.30-6pm. He woke up just as the last guest was leaving...
Not 100% well, just woke up and hungry = deadly combination. The attempt to cut the cake turned out this way...
He only calmed down after looking at the aftermath at the living room...
And began playing alone..sadly, he could've played with about 30 other kids just an hour before. 
So that was the end of the Angry Birds party. Not exactly how I thought it would turn out to be but hey, we can't plan these things to happen, can we? Thanks to those who made it to the party and I apologize on the chain of events that led to the belated birthday boy's absence. I personally had a good time catching up with everyone. 3rd birthday party? Hmm, we'll see.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Lucky Number 8

This is one story you thought you'd never hear..

I moved from Taman Tun Dr. Ismail to Bukit Jelutong in 2005. Our house was one of the first few to be built in the area while around us were just empty lands. It sure was quiet without neighbours nearby. 

In 2008 our next door neighbour started building, much to our delight. But they took their time in building and finally completed construction in 2011. In the end, they decided to sell/rent it. So we are still neighbourless :( But something about their house that puzzles us..

We hear weird noises at night! Sounds on footsteps, knocking, screaming...

Kidding! Got you, didn't I?'s actually their house number! We were number 8 and they were 85? Seriously? We've been lucky number 8 for the last six years. I thought, do these chinese neighbours want the ong number so bad that they simply changed their house number? 

Didn't think too much about it and left it as it is.

We had the TM people over to install Unifi and then the puzzle pieces came together. According to them, house number 8 is still an empty land. We are actually house number 83! They couldn't install the high-speed broadband on the wrong address so we had to resubmit our application.

I was dumbfounded when I found out! 83?? All these years we've been missing a digit to our house number? Went to MBSA for an explanation and all they did was giggle and said,"there was a typing error."


That's the DUMBEST mistake anyone could make! And they had the heart to giggle about it. Don't they know how much hassle it will be for us to change our mailing address? My wedding invitation card had house number 8 on it. What do I tell Raees when he grows up reading the card and asks why we were married at our neighbour's house?

The MBSA personnel sensed that we were gonna make a lot of noise about their screw up and was very efficient in clearing all matters pertaining to the house number.

I know this may sound silly, but I liked being in house number 8. Now that we are number 83, it's just...different.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Symptoms of A Breast Milk Addict

1. Latches on 70% of the time when mommy is in sight

2. Wakes up every 1-3 hours at night to nurse (but sleeps though the night when mommy isn't around)

3. Latches on for an hour or more

4. Refuses to consume other types of milk

5. Breastfeeds exclusively at 27 months

6. Will only sleep while nursing (when mommy is available)

7. Could literally latch on throughout the night

8. Attempts 'self-service' anywhere, anytime (tug, pull, lift)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

All That Jazz

Recently I produced a documentary for MagSeven titled 'Jazz For Our Soul'. The feature was mainly about jazz music enthusiasts - Imran Aiman the young saxophonist, Zailan Razak the well-established music director/world-class bassist/jazz guru and Danial his 12 year old son/superb drummer.

They come together as part of Jazz Community - a weekly gathering for jazz musicians to showcase their talents to the public (for free!).

I was shooting at Jazz Community Cyberjaya. One of the performers, a busker in fact, requested me to sing a song. I looked through his song book and found a song that I'm familiar with. Well, it may not be much of a jazz number but it's one of my favourites. Mind you, I'm no singer nor performer. Hence, I merely moved in place. Back and forth, light head banging...haha! Ah well, this is me giving Cranberries' Zombie a go...

Later at night we had Zailan's band to perform as climax of the show. While I was shooting with him and his son 2 days prior to the event, he had requested me to sing during Jazz Community. I had 2 songs in mind. But on the day of the event, he said he wasn't familiar with them. So on impulse I thought of a retro song that I liked (but usually requires a lot of practice before being able to pull it off nicely). I gambled with my song choice and sang I Will Survive 4 keys lower...

Professional singers would've danced through the whole song...but I'm no dancer. Not particularly satisfied with my performance but ah well, I survived it. And now I can say I've performed with one of Malaysia's best bassist! :)

So here's the full documentary that I did for MagSeven. I don't mean to carry my own basket (angkat bakul sendiri) but it's one of the most enjoyable stories I've done. Editing it was torturous though because I had 8 hours worth of visuals that I needed to cut down to 24 minutes (within 3 days!). But i completed the script within 2 hours only, mainly because there's not much scripting involved. Just a whole lotta music.

So here it is, Jazz For Our Soul.. I'm sure you'll enjoy it too :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Breastfeeding Journey

OMG! I’ve been breastfeeding almost 2 1/4 years! I never thought I would go on THIS long. Thinking back, I still remember being very clueless about breastfeeding. I didn’t prepare for it much and no one told me to. All I did was buy a manual pump. I didn’t even have any breastfeeding attire to wear post delivery.
My mom didn’t breastfeed my siblings and me very long. It’s mainly because she received free supply of formula from the company my dad worked with. So she didn’t pay much attention in my breastfeeding preparation either.

But the moment I started breastfeeding, I didn’t stop. Along the way, I did a lot of reading about it and knew I was giving the best for my child. I doubted my ability to exclusively breastfeed after I return to work and put a formula on standby. It remains unopened until today.

On the other hand, I am known as a very picky eater and hardly took any vegetables when I was growing up (heck, until my 20s even). This (could’ve) resulted in me being a very small sized kid, which got my mom worried. At one point, she got my blood tested by a doctor to ensure I am not malnourished (results came back OK). 
Yes, I don’t eat as healthy as I should. I’m a big time sweet tooth. Gimme ice creams, cakes and chocolates anytime, I’ll take ‘em. Garden salad? I’ll pass. My favourite part in a buffet? The dessert table. I don’t even step foot at the salad bar. You get the point.

Anyway, this got me thinking, if I’m not exactly a healthy eater, am I giving my child enough nourishments? Or if all the nourishments go to him, what’s left for me? After over 2 years of breastfeeding, I now realise what I could’ve done to make things a whole lot better for both my boy and me.

Running through the Dumex website, I found out that Mamil Mama is formulated with essential vitamins and minerals to help refill the body’s nutrient stores. So now I’m an expert in breastfeeding (chewah!), all I need is that extra boost to provide my next child the right and adequate amount of nutrients for him/her even when he/she is all grown up.

And NO, I’m not pregnant.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Talk The Talk

I'm jealous.

I'm jealous every time I hear other toddlers talk. Because I don't get that from Raees. I know, I know, kids grow up at their own pace but I can't help feeling that way. Who wouldn't when your 2 year old has delayed speech?

Raees babbles but doesn't say much actual words, although at one time he did say a few. Now they're mainly sounds - nananak (asking for milk/food), nonono, tatata, papapa, didi (daddy). But one word he says often is Elma (Elmo). Once I forced him to say 'susu' when he was begging for milk but that didn't work. When he watches Sesame Street, he tends to imitate the tone, not the words.

Is it because I'm not at home most of the time? Is it because he's the only child?  Is it because he doesn't socialise as much as he should? Is it because we don't talk to him enough? 

The doctor said wait til he's 2 and a half years old and see if there's any progress in his speech. If not, we may need professional intervention. Please Raees, save mommy and daddy's pockets and say "Mummy!"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Before And After The Bug Attack

I see Raees' bug attack as a blessing in disguise. It feels like all that vomit somehow flushed out 'unwanted residues' and his tummy is finally showing its full potential. Because of that also, Raees changed so much!

1. Appetite
Before: He didn't eat much. Very picky and takes small portions at a time.
After: He's been eating like there's no tomorrow! We must always have some food on standby because he will get hungry really quickly and when he does, he cries or looks for me to breastfeed. I never thought he could eat as much as he does now! Here's his sample menu for a day:

Breakfast: 2-3 pieces of bread, 2 rusk biscuits, banana, whole lotta cornflakes
Lunch / Dinner: Rice with chicken and vege, nasi tambah (1 or more portion)
Snacks: rusk biscuits, cornflakes, fruits

2. Self-feed
Before: Hardly feeds himself. Relies on us to hand feed him every time.
After: He can eat finger food by himself. Finally! :)

3. Sleep
Before: Usual bed time was at 12-1am. Woke up every 2-3 hours to breastfeed.
After: Sleeps as early as 9.30pm! However he still wakes up at night. Until I wean him, I must endure this a little longer I guess.

4. Formula
Before: Refused formula all together
After: Despite the initial protest, Raees eventually settled down with the formula when I was away for 3 days! Because of this significant progress, I have stopped pumping at work as I foresee there's no need to store EBM anymore. I only direct feed him now. Am I not afraid if my supply drops, you ask? Well, I see this as part of the very slow process of weaning.

In all, I would say he is a much happier boy now. With all that food he's consuming, I bet he's gonna gain all that weight again, insyaAllah :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Not A Very Healthy Birthday

I know, I know...I've been slacking, big time. Oh well, I'm here now, aren't I? :)

Raees celebrated his 2nd birthday on the 25th of August. But this time around we didn't celebrate or plan things as much as we did for his first birthday. Here's why...

1. Unwell
What a bummer to be sick on your birthday. But that's what happened. Raees is the kind who seldom falls sick but this time it just happened on his special day. His lost his appetite, had fever and infected tonsils, again. The last time this happened was when I was quarantine for chicken pox. If back then I didn't get to look after him, this time around I was with him the whole time. So much for a birthday..

2. What party?
I remember taking a whole week off from work to prepare for his first birthday party. Maybe that time work wasn't as demanding. But with my hectic schedule now, I don't have that luxury any more. Plus over the last few months, Raees' social skills wasn't as good. He hated crowded places and noise, including the birthday song. So I thought we should skip a party this year coz I have an image of him crying while people sing his happy birthday song.

However with the coming of age, he has shown tremendous improvement in recent weeks. When we had people over for Hari Raya, he was totally cool and mingled with the other kids amazingly. This got me thinking of a belated birthday party for him. Hmmm...

3. Stomach Bug, Free For All
So with a belated birthday party for my boy in mind, I thought we could celebrate together with Mer's and my birthday (2nd and 28th Sept respectively). I was shooting in Penang when I received a text message from Mer at 5 am saying Raees vomited every few minutes within an hour and they were at the hospital to get emergency treatment!! There was vomit all over my mom and Mer while getting to the hospital. Doctor said it could be food poisoning. But he wasn't purging though.

He returned to the hospital 3 days later because he hardly ate. This time the doctor said it seemed like a bug attack that targets the gut. He will recover after he does a major 'no.2'. True enough, he did so the next day and he was all good after that!

But that wasn't the end of it. Soon my mom, dad and Mer got the 'bug'. A few days later my brother, me and the maid got it too! Crazy infectious bug we had going around the house!

You'll never guess how the bug attack left an impact on Raees.... (to be continued)

* decided on cute and healthy pictures instead of the sickly ones, just because.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Money Matters, Really!

Have you read? There’s RM1.1b worth of PTPTN loan that is unpaid! Glad to say I don’t contribute to that amount because I didn’t take loans during my MMU years. Phew! My parents had a bit of funds put aside that was enough to cover my foundation year. And for my degree, I didn’t have to worry as I received a scholarship.
My mom (especially) is very particular about savings – she made an effort to save up whenever possible. So I try my best to follow in her footsteps and save up the little money that I have left monthly by doing some investments.

One reason why we took our time to conceive Raees to begin with is because of our family and financial planning. When Mer and me got married, both our careers were taking off and we needed to further strengthen our financial (plus, my parents were out of the country – don’t want them to miss out on their very first grandchild right?).
When the time was right and the timing was perfect, Raees was born. I’ve been giving him a solid health foundation via breastfeeding him for 2 years (yes I’ve reached my target and so far going beyond it!) and soon to be on formula like Mamil Gold to continue strengthen his immunity.
Health – check. How about his future expenses?

Well, I made an effort to set up his own education fund when he was young as 6 months old. Talking about solid foundation, I’m amazed how Mamil Gold have thought so well for us as parents. They now are putting up ‘A Solid Foundation Contest’ with mechanics, with every purchase of Mamil Gold you will stand a chance to win WEEKLY, MONTHLY and GRAND PRIZE of MORE THAN RM600,000.
Hmm…Raees can have more than just 1 savings right? Maybe this is something you can look into too! Contest period starts from 1st September to 31st December. Now I have found an alternative solution for my boy’s education expenses.

Monday, September 05, 2011

iRaya With iPad

Hey there! That's me down there...

...with my buddy, Raees. Yeah, I'm his trusted iPad 2.

Most of the apps in me are dedicated to him, thanks to his dad for downloading them. Raees has gotten a hang on handling me and figured out how each application works.

Screen shot

Since then I go where ever he does. For instance, I was there when he went out for the last iftar with the family...

I was there when they went searching for his raya attire...

I was also there when he (finally) got his haircut by his grandma on Hari Raya morning...

I figure you could pretty much guess why I'm always around. It's the most convenient way to make him sit still and keep him occupied for a period of time. His parents sure got a lot to thank me for!

Ah, here you go! A much neater and manageable hair especially for Hari Raya and a complete baju melayu to go with it too...

Taking family pictures used to be a breeze. It would usually go on for what...10 minutes to get a few shots? Well, not with a 2 year old in the picture! For this year's family Raya picture, I became part of the family (sort of).

Go green!

Of course I did get breaks once in a while. While he went off playing or seeking forgiveness...

But when ever his parents needed him to stay put, I came to the rescue! Usually his cousins join in the fun too. OK, now I feel like a babysitter...
As usual, Raees needs time to warm up each time we get to other people's houses. Here you see him clinging on his mommy for dear life...

And then I made my entrance and tadaa! He's all sociable!

His parents could even leave him behind to eat and he wouldn't even mind. And it's all because of me. Sometimes there are those kids who like to hog me, much to his dismay. That's when he practiced sharing...or blocking.

Notice his leg?

It has been quite an awesome Hari Raya so far and I believe I played a big role :)

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri Maaf Zahir Batin from the rest of the family!