Thursday, December 20, 2012

24 hours is NOT ENOUGH in a day

That is of course if I let go my precious sleep time then I guess it's enough.

But I'll be the wicked witch from the west if I do that and my kids and husband will hate me because I'll just be bitter and angry all the time.

Sigh.

And Arfan is already 9 months old and I didn't realise it.

My baby's growing up too fast.

And Azalia's school is starting in more or less a weeks time and I haven't gotten her school stuff yet or enrolled her in the madrasah nearby.

Did I say I need more time??

p.s: Japan trip was good. First work trip abroad and though I've enjoyed the experience it has confirmed what I've already known about myself. I.do.not.like.to.travel.for.work.





Saturday, November 24, 2012

Leaving on a jet plane.

When a father leaves home for a few days for work, he packs his bags, kiss the kids and wife goodbye .. and leaves.

when a mother leaves home for a few days for work, she

1. makes sure the kids food are readily available for the next few days,
2. makes sure their logistics are sorted while she's not around
3. makes sure there are clean clothes for the husband and kids
4. prepares detailed instructions on what to do for the husband about the kids
5. packs her bag

and then leaves.


Monday, November 5, 2012

4th Quarter

Rough 4th quarter of the year. Hence my absence in the blogsphere. Missed my dateline to register for my exams. A blessing in disguise it was. Otherwise I have no idea how I'm going to find the time to study.

Due to what's been happening in my professional and personal life, I now have a better perspective of what I want to do with my life. What makes me truly happy.

Now its a matter of setting up goals. A relatively new thing for someone who has always lived her life one day at a time. I have no idea how to start. Sounds easy isn't it. Set a target and pursue it. How come i find it difficult to commit to it.

But the year has not ended yet. And there are still loads to do. Im hoping that by the year end things would have settled by then. I sooo need a break from work.

Azalia will turn 6 next year. Just one more year before she enters primary school. I still need more time to be a better mother for her but she's growing up so fast. Time. That's one thing I'm lacking these days.

Arfan is currently the apple of my eye. My source of joy whenever I'm feeling down. Don't get me wrong I love both of my kids unconditionally but Azalia is at that stage where she's testing my patience everyday where as Arfan simply lights up everytime he sees me and that makes my day every single day.

Yes. This is what makes me happy. My kids. To see them grow and develop into happy, strong individuals. To love and be loved by them. I pray they become the best muslim and muslimah they can ever be.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Be present... seriously.

When you're out with someone, you should really make the effort to be with them . seriously. Just being there physically but at the same time you're checking out facebook or twitter or your mail is just plain rude. You're basically ignoring the person you're with and refusing to make conversation with them. I understand if there's something important you have to attend to but if its only to check on updates come on.... what's the point of hanging out with others if you won't even bother starting a converstaion with them. 

This is particularly important when you're spending time with the kids. 

P.s: this is a reminder to myself too. 


Thursday, August 30, 2012

A tribute to friends

In life you need a good set of friends. Those you can count on and you can be yourself and won't judge. Those that will drop everything to rush to your side to make sure you're ok. Those that won't push you if you're not ready, will give you a tissue when you cry and when things are bad they will say "what do you need".

Yes... you have your family but you still need your friends.

And I am blessed to have a bunch of them.

You girls know who you are. Thanks.

:)

Alia and recycling

Asa is very into recycling. I'm not against it but it really bothers me when he hordes the stuff he wants to recycle in the room until it turns into a mountain of rubbish. Like seriously. Pack it and recycle it already.

Anyway, Asa wanted to instil this habit on Alia so he kept telling her to recycle things instead of telling her to throw things. And now...whenever I say she's not getting any new toys because she has so many already,  she happily, without much thought goes to her toy boxes, and say "I want to recycle my toys" and proceed to the recycle bin.

Alamak.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I want a dollar store... eh a RM1 store


Malaysia should have a RM1 store. But that will never happen because you can't buy anything with RM1. Although sometimes they do have a RM1 stall in front of Giant in KJ.

But still. They don't have the knicks knacks I'd like to find to do some DIY for the kids or anything that's mentioned in DIY blogs.

Of course we have Daiso - the RM5 shop. But still..RM1 would be nicer.

Urgh why is our ringgit so weak.

Alia and instructions


Was watching Azalia playing a game on the Ipad and diligently following the instruction.

Me: Alia, why when the game gives you an instruction you follow, but when I give you an instruction you don't

Alia: (smiling cheekily) Because game is more important.

ERKKKK..

Nampak sangat sengaja ignore mak dia.

Tips to bringing an active toddler and a baby to Universal Studio Singapore.


1. Bring a backpack to keep everyone's stuff in so that your hands are free to carry the baby whenever he's fussy

2. Bring 2 strollers. Yes, your 5 year old can walk and run but if you're spending the whole day there, chances are, she/he will be tired at the end of the day and will want a place to crash. If you don't mind a cranky toddler there's no need to bring one. USS does provide a stroller but it's not as comfy.

3. Baby wearing not recommended. Because you will want to take turns to go on rides and its just a hassle to take turns baby wearing. So keep the baby in the stroller. Plus you'll be on your feet most of the time and the weight can take its toll on your shoulders.

4. A mini fan for the stroller with new batteries. We got two fans because the toddler wants one and it kept her occupied on a really hot day. The mini fan kept the baby comfy in the stroller and he slept according to his usual schedule.

5. Comfortable slippers. Yes. Slippers. For everyone.

6. Bring water bottle. Drinks are not cheap but there're water dispensers outside of every restroom.

7. Ask about child swaps. Basically tell them you need to take turns taking care of the kids so they will give you a fast pass so you don't have to queue up again after your partner has been on the ride. We did this with the transformer ride because if I had to queue up again it would have been an extra 50 minutes.

8. Come before 10am, queue up at the entrance, and the moment you enter race to the transformer ride first to avoid long queues because this is the IT ride.

9. Bring ponchos. Because it can rain any time. And if you don't have a rain cover for the stroller, the poncho will do just fine.

Overall we had a blast at Universal Studio Singapore. Azalia's most memorable moment is when she walked out of the transformer's ride and proudly told me

"Mak, the blue and red robot said I was very brave Mak. I was very brave. "

Alolololololo.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Motherhood


Being a mother changes you. It turns your life upside down. You're basically responsible for another person's life. Another human being is solely dependant on you. Well at least for the first few years of their life.

My children brings me immense joy and agony. They bring the best and the worst out of me but I love them. God.. how much I love them.

"You think that true love is the only thing that can crush your heart....The thing that will take your life
and light it up...Or destroy it.Then you become a mother."

Meredith Grey, Grey's Anatomy

Friday, August 17, 2012

Siblings

Azalia has been asking for a sibling ever since she knew what a sibling was. Hence when Arfan was born, she dotes on him almost immediately and want him to be by her side every second of the day.

Now that Arfan is 5 months old, he has become more aware of his surroundings and you can see he looks forward to playing with his sister as well. Whenever Azalia would come into the room, his eyes would follow her, he laughs when she laughs and enjoys being tickled and playing peek a boo with her. sometimes when i carry him he would lean towards Azalia as if asking for her to carry him much to Azalia's delight. Of course since he now weighs half of her (yes my daughter is skinny..) she can't possibly carry him but sometimes i would let her hold him in the carrying position while i assist and you could see both siblings loved it.

Azalia loves him so much that she cried the first time Arfan was shaved bald. She didn't want anyone laughing at her brother and call him 'botak'. Apparently only she has the right to tease and make him cry. Azalia would also roll to his side of the bed every morning, sometimes putting her arms around him. Watching this every morning certainly melts my heart.

 Azalia is also very attentive whenever Arfan cries. She would take it upon herself to try and cheer him up. At first it was just calling out his name and say shh shh shh. Now she would clap the twinkle2 song and Arfan would stop crying and just stare at her.However Azalia can also be quite rough with him. She would come out with all sorts of ways to play with him. From the harmless tickling his tummy, to the heart-stopping jumping on the bed with him lying down between her legs. Yes the latter is so so terrifying that I screamed when I saw her doing it. Arfan on the other hand seems like he can take anything she throws at him. He seldom cries despite how rough she is but instead rewards her behaviour with a hearty giggle. So of course I look like the bad guy for scolding at them when they are having so much fun.

Regardless... I love watching them play. You could see Arfan happily observing Azalia when she's around. He looks more calm when his sister is around. I foresee both of them to be best of friends. Sibling rivalry is of course unavoidable but maybe because of their 5 year difference, Azalia would be be the sort of sister who would always always have her brother's back.


Monday, August 13, 2012

A repost: Why marriage


7 years next week :)

Why Marriage? Mari Nichols-Haining

Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body...

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won't hold them against me,
Who loves me when I'm unlikable,
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the divine potential of me...

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night
With someone who thanks God for me,
With someone I feel blessed to hold...

Because marriage means opportunity
To grow in love in friendship...

Because marriage is a discipline
To be added to a list of achievements...

Because marriages do not fail, people fail
When they enter into marriage
Expecting another to make them whole...

Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness
I create me, I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
Together we create our marriage...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Works everytime

Hope I'm not jinxing this by blogging about it but Arfan would fall back to sleep everytime after playing with his little caterpillar friend.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pass the hat - Activity to do with my 4 month old baby

This time around I've decided to subscribe to Babycenter.com for funsies. Just discovered they have age appropriate activity suggestions on a weekly basis. So I decided to try it with Arfan.

This week activity suggestion, since Arfan is 4 months : 4th week, is Pass the hat.

Pass the Hat

At this age, your baby is thrilled to be able to hold things in her hand. A game of pass the hat – or rather, grab the hat (or the nose) – will send her into smiles of surprised delight.
Appropriate for: 4 months to 1 year
Skills developed: Sense of cause and effect
What you'll need: A hat with a brim
With your baby on your lap facing you, place a hat on your head, then lean in close. Let your baby reach up to the hat and grab it off your head. She may even manage to put it back on your head (with a bit of help from you). You can switch to another brimmed hat, but don't do it too often, which can confuse your baby. When she's done playing with the hat, give her nose a gentle pinch, then wrinkle your own nose and lean as close as you can. Once she reaches for your nose, she may be surprised to find that she can't remove it!

Instead of using a hat I decided to let him play with my spectacles instead. We had a good 10-15 minutes doing this as he looked in awe how he could take my specs of. Azalia joined in and put her hat on and let Arfan take it off. 



Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Helping my child to spell

Azalia is now being taught to spell by her kindy. Every week the kids will be tested to spell 6 words. 3 Malay words and 3 English words. Azalia finds it harder to spell in Malay. Maybe because I exposed more English books than Malays books to her although we speak mostly Malay.

Anyway, parents are being tasked to make sure they practice at home. So I've been trying to come up with fun ways to help her spell. Plus I read somewhere that if you learn with all your sense you tend to remember them more

1. Phonics. ( hearing/listening )
Telling her to repeat the sounds of the letters in the words and figuring what letter they are.

Eg. to spell Ayah
Repeat the word slowly, A....y...a...h and figure out what letter makes the sound aaaa yyyy aaaa hhhh

2. Use of wooden alphabets puzzle.(hearing, sight and touch)
I used this to help her see what she's spelling. She would arrange the letters to make the word. I have to have 2 sets of alphabet puzzle to do this.

3. Writing it down. (hearing, sight and touch)

4. Using suku kata / syllable (hearing, sight and touch)
I would write the syllable of the words in pieces of paper and she would have to match them to make the word.

Eg: EMAK = E + MAK

Currently I'm only using this with the malay words because her english words are still 1 syllable.

Azalia loves doing her homework, but she loves playing even more so making her homework look like a game keeps her motivated.


Monday, July 30, 2012

My tools for exclusively give EBM.


After my experience of exclusively giving Azalia expressed breast milk (EBM), I knew I needed a few things to make it easier for me to do this long term with Arfan.

1. A really good breastpump.

Previously with Azalia, I used Spectra 3 and I had Avent manual pump. I bought an extra breastshield so that I could double pump and it definitely saved a lot of time. The Avent manual pump I only used when there was no electrical point available, ie in the car, in the movie theatre (yes i did.. haha) etc.

But this time around I wanted something more efficient. It's expensive but its efficient and saves more time. So I bought the medela freestyle. I bought it directly from mothercare UK website and asked my friend who was visiting  London around the same time to pick it up for me.

2. Bottles and plastic milk storage.

To store the milk of course. Got a good deal from anakibushop and the service is excellent. I bought bottles, autumnz double zip lock milk storage, cooler bag and icepack from her.

3. Extra shields.

Yes freestyle is already a double pump, so what do I need the extra shields for? For convenience. Since I'm pumping at work AND at home, I just wanted an extra pair of shields for convenience. Bought it from mybreastpumpshop

Hope this helps.


Friday, July 27, 2012

TOYS....Renting vs Buying


I started using the rentatoys service when Arfan was around 1 month because Arfan wanted some stimulation and since my mother is taking care of him I wanted things to be easier for her. But buying a RM500++ worth of swing set to be used for a few months was not financially practical. Yes I know we can use it for our second baby, but who knows when that will be and meanwhile where can we store it?

So when I found out about rentatoys. I decided to try them out. Found the swing set I wanted and the monthly rent was only RM39. I had to put in a deposit of RM300 but I'll get that back so its not like I'm paying RM300 for the thing anyway.

Their service was excellent. I texted them and they replied almost immediately. Confirm amount to pay, and after the transfer is done I texted them back. And 2 days later I got my swing. It was clean and in good condition. EXCELLENT!!!.

Arfan ended up loving the swing set. So I decided to extend my rental for another 2 months. All I did was email them and that's it. And sure enough, nearing the 3rd month of my lease, Arfan no longer wants to sit in it anymore. So we returned it. I used their pick up service. Told them when and where I wanted them to pick it up. And in the website they did say it will be picked up within 3 days after the date I gave them and sure enough, on the 3rd day KTM called and the item was picked up. And although I was charged RM15 for this service it was worth the convenience as I don't have to  lug around this bulky item to a courier service.

But recently Arfan has learnt that standing up is fun!! So I thought it would do him good to have an exersaucer or something similar. Browsed the site again and saw the leapfrog learn and groove activity station. Deposit was RM200 and monthly was RM39. So again I texted them and since my deposit was still with them (this was a day before my item was picked up) they just deducted the monthly rental for the new item from my previous deposit. SO EASY!!!

Now Arfan is happily using his activity station and I'm planning to get the bumbo seat next.

Savings??

Instead of paying RM500+ for the seat, I only paid RM132 for 3 months use.

And the activity station could have easily cost me RM500++ too if I were to buy it, but to date, I only paid RM39 for it.

It's a win win really. :)










Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The art of rolling over

Arfan rolled over when he's about 3.5 months. It was amusing to see his effort. He lifted his legs, turned it sideways, his body followed and he flipped. But wait. One hand is stuck under his tummy. He struggled for a few minutes, taking breaks now and then before whimpering for help. I could see he is more patient then Azalia because when she first rolled over she cried after struggling for only a few seconds.

Anyway, I can see there was a thinking process going on in each effort to roll offer. He tried different ways to make sure his other hand wouldn't stuck. He tried lifting himself but couldn't yet. He tried rolling himself faster but his reflexes are still not fast enough for him to pull his hands from beneath himself. Finally he found a way. While still on his back, he would clasp his hand together in front of his face and then roll his body. That way both hands would be in front of him instead of one getting stuck under him. SUCCESS!!

Video of him successfully rolling over.
video

Monday, July 23, 2012

How to make DIY slurpee at home

Azalia loves slurpees. So instead of going the the nearest 7-11 I decided we should do our own. But there's no way she's willing to wait for them to freeze in the fridge for a few hours before having one so I googled how to make DIY slushies and we found this site.

We followed the instructions, and Azalia put on some music on youtube and we shake for 10 mins and ta daaaa we got our own ribena slurpee. Yummzzz..

p.s: I used the Autumnz double zip lock milk storage because ! ran out of the normal zip lock back. And instead of using a bigger zip lock bag to put the ice and salt I used an ikea food container.



Friday, July 20, 2012

Outsider

That's what I've been feeling lately. An outsider. At my workplace to be exact. I wonder if I did something wrong. Did I say something I shouldn't have? Did I offend anyone? Did I do something? I hate not knowing. And I know something is up. Seriously I can take it. Just tell it to my face and I assure you I can take it.

That's what I don't like about work.. they don't say what's on their mind be it personally or professionally. I'm tempted to ask what's up.

Should I?


Online educational games for 3 - 5 year olds

These are the ones I recommend purely because my daughter enjoys them.

1. Starfall
At first we only played the free games but then I decided to subscribe to it for 1 year because the games are quite beneficial for her to learn maths, reading and spelling.

2. Nick Jr
The games are familiar to her because of the characters. Most of the games are free and they have new ones every few months or so.

3. Islamkids.my
This one is not free. But it's not expensive either. She learnt her Arabic numbers from this site. I ended up buying the cd set when our subscription expired.

I have a shortcut for each sites on my desktop for her.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

What I want to do

A friend posted about reaching for her dreams and I just had to wonder what are mine? TBH I've never been a dreamer. Most of the time I live in the present and not dwell on the coulda shoulda woulda. I don't even have a list of what I want do. But I did have one when I was 13. Found it while I was cleaning up my things and I think I've ticked most of them. Except wanting to participate as a sprinter in the 100m event in the Olympics. Hehe.. but I no longer have that as my dream. Stopped running when I was 17 I think.

I used to have targets laid out in front of me as I was growing up.. example,  in school aim for good results. Then it's college, university, a job and get married. Although for me the married part came in between uni and the job. After that kids and more kids? Hehe. But these are given targets.

Now what? While pondering about this in the lrt on the way back from work, I came to realise that throughout my life I've always done exactly what I wanted to do at at the time. I studied what I wanted to study, I went to the college/uni I wanted to, I dabbled in business( although at a small scale but it was still gratifying), I married the person perfect for me, I have two wonderful kids, I have a job which I'm good at, I'm surrounded by those I love, I travelled, watched musicals, went camping, bought a house(although renting it out at the mo but still I love that plc) I'm actually happy and contented with what I currently have in my life.

Maybe one goal that I have currently in place is to have financial freedom so that I know my kids can study what they want without worrying about the cost and we can retire happily and we have a system in place for that so God willing we will achieve that in the near future. InsyaAllah .

But really all I want to do right now is to be with my kids. I want to chauffeur them around, sit down and do their homework with them, come up with fun and interesting activities for them to do at home and read to them. Yes right now that's all I want to do. I do not want an expensive car, I do not want a big house all I want is time with my kids. And although my current job is not as flexible as I hoped it could be but at least I have an understanding boss that enables me to do SOME of these things.

Time.. yes.. thats what I want... more time with the kids. They grow up so fast.

P.s: oh ya I have yet to go white water rafting and bungee jumping so I maybe that can go on my list. Hehe.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Resemblance

Sometimes when I look at Arfan I see my grandfather. Especially when he has his solemn look on. And everytime that happens I can't help but feel sad that he's not here to see his 3rd great grandchild. He witnessed my losses and eagerly waited for my second born but God loves him more. May we meet each other again in Jannah Tokwan. Amin.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Is it ok to not want more. To be contented with what i have now and to just stay still and enjoy the present for awhile.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Anya

I've always been quite level headed when it comes to spending. But I notice a pattern that whenever I'm stressed I would splurge. Lately I've been overspending. A lot. Although I can afford it but honestly speaking that money can be put into better use like for example my kids future education. Seriously.

I've not only been spending on myself but also on others. I actually find myself finding excuses to buy people stuff... Bahaya betul. Asa pointed out that I might be stressed out and he might be right but I can't for the life of me pinpoint on what. Sure I just had a new baby but Arfan hasn't been much trouble. Other than waking up 2-3 times a night for feeds, I would say he's quite an easy baby. Then there's his sister which has become more and more chatty and I find myself not having enough time in a day to spend time with her which also causes her to be more rebellious. I think she's trying to get our attention. She's also been telling me how I don't play much with her anymore. Aaaaah the guilt tactic. She's really good in making me feel guilty to get her way. Clever girl. Too clever for your own good sometimes.

Then there's work. Only the first month and I suddenly have a pile of things to do due to people taking leave and my boss giving me extra work. I find myself making reckless mistakes and that annoys me. A lot!!

Maybe its a little bit of everything but whatever it is... I should really stop. I'm getting too many bags for myself haha. Hence the title. I love her bags. And right now its on sale and the prices are just too tempting.
Sigh.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I've been:

1. Busy at home ( kids,chores etc.. I don't even channel surf anymore.. saaadddd)
2. Busy at work ( Suddenly work piled up (ceh suddenly konon..tak sedar yang satu tu dok procrastinate till the very last minute.. kekeke)
3. Gasping for air.

Enough said.

Will be MIA for awhile. My thoughts are all over the place.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Money

We're trying to teach Azalia about money. How to earn it, its value etc. She's been earning some by not crying to school, help me with little things around the house and I let her spend it on anything she wants. Asa is trying to make her save them but I think its too early for her to grasp that. But she's come to realise that she can't afford much with what she's getting. We told her she needs to save up and she's not too happy about that.

So yesterday I got Azalia the wallet she's been asking for awhile which I promise to get her hoping to encourage her to learn about the value of money. She asked for some money to keep it in her wallet. I gave her RM5(the smallest note I had at the time. If not she would have gotten RM1) After a while she gave it back to me. I ask why? She can buy things with that money I said. And she said " I don't need it mummy. I have you. You get me stuff."

Erkk....Still a looonnnggg way to go.





Loud

Azalia has become a bit unruly these past few days. She would scream at people whenever they tease her or speak very very loudly and brashly. So I decided to have a talk with her when it was just the two of us in the car. I was very calm, spoke to her very softly, explaining to her that we are both very similar, we have very loud voice and people like to tease us because of our animated reactions towards being teased at etc. but we have to try and keep calm, respond properly etc because people don't like it when you scream at them.

Guess what she replied.

Azalia: Mak, I am very special you know. Allah gave me this voice and I can speak so loudly and it will never break. So I have to use this special voice. No one have this special voice. Only me. I am special you know mak?

Me: *Silence*

GOBSMACKED!!!!

But later I told her about how people don't like being screamed at and its disrespectful and asked her if she wants to be a special girl that everyone likes or a special girl that no one likes and she she said the former.

Relieved. But this is going to take awhile. She won't change that attitude overnight.

And I suppose I have to watch what I'm doing too.

Sigh.



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

On Arfan.

Arfan is 2 months plus now. Or 66 days to be exact. And I've started work already. BOOOOO

Haven't written much about Arfan because.. well.. he's a baby. And what do babies do? Eat, sleep, poop and sleep some more. But lately he's awake time is slightly longer so he would insist on being help upright in front of our face and chat. or cooed more likely. I love the sound of babies cooing.

Anyway.. he's growing like a champ. Last we weigh him using the home weighing machine (ie by minusing my weight with him and my weight without him.. haha not so accurate but boleh lah) he was slightly more than 5kg. That's my big boy!!.

When he's awake he looks like Asa with that big wide eyes and chubby cheeks. But when he's asleep or his eyes are half open, People say he looks more like his sister.. and some would say me. But I still think he looks like Asa most of the time.

The first few days, I thought he would be a crier because he cried.. A LOT. Turns out he was just hungry. I suppose baby boys do drink more than girls. Once we got him on the bottle (still on mummy's milk of course) he cried way less.

Arfan is to a certain extent a fussier baby than Azalia. He likes to be clean. So we have to change his diapers quite frequently. I noticed that he uses up almost a pack of diaper a week because even when there's a tiny amount of poo (as in a light streak of poo) he would demand to be changed. And if we don't change him he would become restless and will not drink his milk which would lead to a baby tantrum. I considered cloth diapering him when I calculated the cost of disposable diapers used but when I think about the amount of time that needs to be spent on cloth diapering I just can't. The image of a huge pile of cloth diapers to be washed at the end of the week just scares me. Too much work for a maidless working mom who can only be home from work earliest by 6.45pm.

Arfan has a less cheeky expression on his face compared to Azalia when she was his age. I foresee him being more like his father. Merajuk pun mcm bapaknye. He's also less chatty. Azalia was very chatty. She cooed all the time when she's awake. Arfan's more of an observer. He would just look around for awhile.. and later on ask to be picked up and play with. But even then..he makes less noise. Put him in front of your face and he would just stare at you. Like really stare.

Arfan loves being in a moving car. The first time he was out and in his car seat, he was quiet when the car is moving but as we approached the first traffic light he starts crying. And then when we moved... he stopped. And as we approached the second traffic light, he cried the moment we slowed down. And cried louder when we stopped. He did the same thing when we approached a junction, another traffic light.. etc. I jokingly told everyone he has a motion detector.

Everytime I look at Arfan I feel so blessed. I was this close (thumb and pointer finger close together) to giving up. But Allah knows best. Both he and Azalia are my miracles.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

2 kids


I've always known that having a child is not easy. And just because you had one before, the next one does not make it any easier. Handling two kids, despite what ever age gap, is not easy. Although having one that can follow instructions is more helpful but it depends if she's in the mood to obey them. Oh well..

Living with parents certainly help. Especially retired ones. No I don't expect them to be available for the kids at all time but having an extra pair of hands most of the time certainly help in making things more manageable.

I did have my share of having both kids all alone when my parents went on holidays and Asa is away at work. And there were days when everything goes as planned and there are days when your baby just clings on you and you can't get much done and you eat with a screaming baby beside you. Having Azalia around sometimes help. She would help me fetch things, keep a look out on her baby brother while I bathe although sometimes she would take it upon herself to soothe him which I do not encourage becuase she is five and does not know her limits. Karang ada budak tu kene angkat mcm patung.

I caught her trying to pick him up when he was crying and decided to teach her the correct way of picking him up because I know she would do it again the next time I turn my back. No amount of scolding can change that girl's mind... she wants what she wants so better teach her the correct way.. yes? But of course with a lot of warnings.. A LOT!!

Anyway...waking up in the middle of the night is expeted when you have a baby around. But its worse when you have an ill toddler too. And I had to go through it alone without hubster. I'm amazed at myself for holding up the next day without any naps. That was last night by the way and we'll see how tonight goes.

Despite all that, nothing beats the feeling of having both kids in your arms, dozing off at the end of the day.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

1st Olympiad.

Azalia had her first Olympiad on Sunday 6th May. I went alone because Asa had to go to Kuantan and man it was so hot and humid. I almost pitied the kids for having to wait and stand at the stadium's track and do their march pass but then I remembered I went through it too when I was their age and it was an experience so yeah... I stopped worrying.

I underestimated Azalia's abilities sometimes. You see when I'm around she can be really clingy and whiny. But what I observed yesterday was that she is independent and a trooper when she's around friends. I should really loosen the leash and let her explore the world more on her own because she can do so much more if I just sit by the sideline and observe from a far. Which I did yesterday and I enjoyed every minute of it.

When some kids were already crying due to the waiting and the weather, Azalia just stood there and make funny faces to her friends. When the song played while waiting for the VIP to come, she wiggled her bum and persuaded her friends to join her as well. She followed instructions very well and had so much confidence in her and was not overwhelmed at all but the huge crowd. She was also very focused in completing her event (she had to make teh tarik and ran..) and was a very good sport too.

It rained heavily in the middle of her event so her group couldn't complete their run but at least she completed her run which is awesome because I got it on camera.. woohooo!!! But they couldn't do the medal ceremony in front of us and had to it under the tent. She was so proud of that medal and wore it the whole day that day. Even to sleep. And she get to play in the rain because we had to go through it to get to the car. It was raining cats and dogs... kesian.

But over all she had a lot of fun. Although I think today she's paying for the rain. Terrible flu and cough.. oh well.. life is tough. Treated her to a fun day at Kidzania on Monday (yesterday) since school was closed. Will write more about this trip.

Today I think I have to let her stay in because I think she had too much excitement and need a lot of rest and recover from her flu. Hopefully it doesn't escalate to bronchitis like before. Did I say I'm proud of my girl?? hehehe wished her father was there to see her first Sports Day.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Arfan's ride

I'm currently scouring the internet like a hawk searching for a particular stroller that I have in mind. The one that we had for Azalia is already 5 years old and in tatters. The cloth all torn up and the leg support is gone. That stroller costs me RM69.90 and it has served us very well for 5 years. It has traveled on boats, roads, malls, airplane, we brought that thing everywhere and Azalia loved sitting/sleeping in it. And now its time to find Arfan something that he would love too.

I did think of getting the exact same one for Arfan but couldn't find it in the stores. So I'm off searching for something similar. But currently I can't even find something close to that price. Of course I'm looking at a different brand because the previous brand don't carry it anymore. And this brand will cost way more that RM69.90.

Oh well. I can't really expect paying the same price I paid  5 years ago right? hehe.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Grow

It's one of those things that people say, you can't move on until you let go of the past. Letting go is the easy part, it's the moving on that's painful. So sometimes we fight it, try and keep things the same. Things can't stay the same though. At some point, you just have to let go. Move on. Because no matter how painful it is, it's the only way we grow.

 Meredith, Grey's Anatomy 820.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Exclusively pumping

So again I've decided to exclusively breastpump for Arfan just like I did with Azalia. I did it for Azalia ever since she was 4 days old till up to 10+ months old and for Arfan I hope it will be longer.

With Azalia the decision was made because my nips bled. Azalia was a biter. Don't lecture me on her not latching properly because she did and you're not at the receiving end of it, I am and I know she bites. She latches properly but she bites. Heck, she tore the Avent nipple when she was barely 2 months old. No teeth yet ok.. she did it with her gums!!

I thought that maybe this time around I'd be able to breastfeed. But again, I only did it for 4 days. Arfan refused to latch properly and one nip bled and the other cracked. Luckily this time around I was prepared at the hospital and brought my pump along. One lactation consultant was supportive of my decision but the other thought my decision was premature. I couldn't care less with what she thinks. I did this for Azalia and she was a healthy baby and now an active and healthy toddler so I didn't see anything wrong with it. Plus its my body, my life and my child.

Besides... who says I'm taking the easy way out. You're talking about pumping every 2-3 hours to make sure your supply is up (1-2 hours the first few weeks to build the supply in the first place) and waking up in the middle of night just to pump even if your baby's not up and not to forget the endless amount of washing up to do. Oh and planning is key to ensure efficiency.

Read this article about mothers who chose to exclusively breastpump instead of direct breastfeeding and I could identify myself with some of them. So I guess if I have a third I'll just go straight to the pump.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

12th March

My dad's birthday and now... my son's birthday.

Arfan B. Azhari was born at Pantai Hospital KL, on 12.03.12, Monday at 3.20pm via elective cesarean, weighing at 3.22kg. A lot of 3s and 2s innit.. haha.

There was not much drama, everything went quite smoothly and as planned. I was in and out of surgery in maybe around 2 hours.

I felt less during surgery this time around. Maybe they gave me a higher dosage of epidural compared to last time but I didn't feel them poking around my insides. But I did feel them taking Arfan out and what a relief it was when I heard him cry. And when they put him near me to show me what a lovely boy he is I just choked. After 3 miscarriages I finally have my second child. I never thought this day would happen. All praises to Allah. Syukur alhamdulillah.

The healing process was faster and better this time around too. Maybe because I already knew what kind of pain to expect that it felt more manageable. Whatever it is, I was walking by the 2nd day and was back at home by the 4th day.

But whilst I was discharged, Azalia was admitted to the same hospital due to bronchitis. My parents are a gem and I am forever thankful for having them as my parents. They took turns taking care of her at the hospital and arranged all the logistics for me and her so that I don't have to worry about anything other than recuperating at home. She was admitted for 4 days 3 nights and for all 3 nights my dad took the night shift and slept on the hospital floor to accompany his grandaughter. Apparently Azalia wanted to sleep with him on the floor too. Like camping she says.

My mom took the day shift and kept her entertained. She did ask for me but we had to tell her a little white lie. We told her I was also in the hospital and was recuperating there and couldn't see her and she couldn't see me because both of us are not well and if we want to go home soon we have to stay apart. She bought it, and willingly stayed at the hospital. But I did go and see her on the Friday because I was worried and missed her. And my worries were put to rest when I saw her smiling away and was her usual active self. Apparently she was a very good patient and took her medicine and nebuliser willingly.

And finally, on Sunday, when Arfan is 7 days old, everyone's back at home. Azalia dotes on her baby brother. She did after all prayed for him. She wanted to smother him with kisses every day and hold him and sing to him and bathe him. And she also has asserted her authority as the big sister by telling him to stop crying, drink his milk etc etc. haha as if Arfan knows what she's talking about. But I can see that Arfan knows his big sister and is already familiar with the sound of her voice because he would listen intently whenever she sings or talks to him.

And now we've more or less settled in some sort of a routine as a family of four and I'm loving it.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Today's the day!!

Today's the day and I pray that everything will go smoothly. I'm trying to brush away any negative feelings.. aaahhh it's hard being a worrier. You tend to focus on the worse things that could happen.

The operation is scheduled at 3pm and if it's anything last time, it shouldn't take more than an a hour.

Told the doctor I want epidural because I want to be awake when my son is born and hold him immediately after.

Thinking about the whole thing makes me nervous so I'm just going to take it one step at a time. I hope I'm better in handling the pain afterwards... huhuhu.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Last meal... well not really.

Since I already have a definite date on when the baby comes, I've been drinking all the cold water I can and am eating the things I know I wont be having for 44 days (am thinking of cutting it down to 30days... is that ok you think??hehehe).

And with 3 days to go.. I'm thinking what else should I have that I haven't had for awhile and wont be able to have for a month's plus?

SUSHI!!!!!!

So I guess I know what I'm having for today's lunch time.. hehehe.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Prayers

Azalia's doa after prayers

Before my pregnancy

Azalia: "Ya Allah kasilah aku adik. Amin."

During pregnancy.

Azalia: "Ya Allah, biarlah adik aku keluar dgn sihat. Sihatkanlah Atuk and Tokwan jangan mati dulu. Amin.

Have to remember to ask her to include us too in her prayers.. hehe

Little things

Its amazing how its the little things your little one do that makes you proud of them.

Last night, I saw Azalia ate, washed her hands and cleaned up her mess all by herself without me telling her to. And she even went to the loo (the lights to the bathroom is a bit high so she took her stool and switched it on herself), washed herself, brushed her teeth and changed into her pyjamas all by herself.

And she did all this on her own because I told her I needed to take a nap because I was exhausted.

And of course when I woke up I praised her, thanked her for being considerate and gave her lots of hugs and kisses.

Friday, March 2, 2012

No.2 coming soon!!

So had my MRI result today and apparently I have to go for c-sect. Again. Surprised? A little bit. Sad?? Not really. Relieved? I think so.

I'm not as scared as before to go through it'll be my 2nd time. So I already know what to expect. I was actually very very nervous to go through normal birth this time around because it'll actually be my first time. Initially the doctor was very supportive of me having a normal birth because at the end of the day the natural way is always the best way. But due to my history, he did warn me he'd do an MRI nearing my EDD just to make sure. And yeah... apparently no normal births for me.

So.. looks like this one's coming out the window too and I have the opportunity to set a date. And I chose my dad's birthday, 12.03.12. Coincidently it's 3 days before my due date and having the ops before that is just too soon because I need to sort out a few things so that my mind will be more at ease. And it's also the school holidays so that's one thing I don't have to worry about. Azalia has already made plans to stay up late when I told her she might have to sleep with her atuk. Oh no!!

The only thing I'm not looking forward to is the healing period because it takes longer for me to be fully mobile. Which is annoying. Plus I don't want to stay in the hospital for so long. So my aim is max 3 days. Last time it took me 4 days. Oh well.

I pray baby and myself will get through this safely. Can't wait to meet baby A.

And I finally sent the nomination form to EPF just in case, told Asa where all the important docs are and my passwords... Yeah I'm a worrier like that. At least my babies will be taken care off if anything happens to me. I'd still be doing the same thing even if I'm having a normal birth.

So to a new life!!! Bring it on!!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sama je

It was just like any other day of making Azalia sit down and eat her dinner properly. This time it was noodle soup. She requested for them and instead of using the fork and spoon she used her hands.

My mother: Azalia!!! don't use both your hands!!!
Me: Use your fork laa
Azalia: But I like using my hands (note: she's using both hands to eat)
Me: Than use your right hand only. I told u already kan when eating don't use both hands.
Azalia: This one (showed her right hand) or this one (showed her left hand).But I don't know which one. Both also look the same (buat muka monyok)
Me: (tried to keep a straight face)
My mother: LOL!!
Me: (terus tersembur milo tergelak)


Azalia...azalia.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Homework

When it comes to homework, Azalia enjoy doing hers.

She would voluntarily do it and even told me excitedly that she has one.

Yesterday night I wanted to crash early. Asa as usual was at work and Azalia decided she's not sleepy yet so she wants to play her computer game, (starfall.com - we subscribed it ever since we had unifi because loading is much faster and its educational too.. try it!!). Just as I was about to fall into deep slumber Azalia suddenly said "I haven't done my homework mak!!"

And I told her to go do it herself at my table.

She went outside, took her bag, brought her book to the table in front of the computer and did her homework (I was still in bed, groggily listening to the whole action). Then she woke me up and I groggily saw her work and said "ok good girl go keep it now" and she put it back in her bag, brought the bag outside and switched off her computer, the lights and came to bed.

Dah big girl dah.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Questions and answers.

Azalia has started to ask me questions which for me falls under the category soalan-soalan cepu emas.

Example:

1.Q: Where do humans come from?
- My A: told her about Adam and Hawa.

2.Q: Where do babies come from?
- My A: Allah. and how he create them inside mummy's womb.
- Asa's A: Abah peluk mak kuat2 pastu Allah kasi baby (sheesh)

3.Q: Who is Allah
- My A: God who made us. Like man make toys, houses etc. Allah made us and everything in this world.

4.Q: Why do some girls wear tudung and some don't
-My A: Allah says we should wear them. But sometimes it takes longer for other people to follow what Allah say. But that doesn't mean they don't love Allah. Just like you when I tell you to do something and you take some time to do it. You still love me and I still love you kan. But you know you should do what I tell you to because I'm your mother.

5. Q: Who is Syaitan?
- My A: Again told her about the story when Allah created Adam. And Syaitan's reaction to it and what they promise they would do.

6. Q: Why do we have to pray?
- My A: Its a way for us to show our thanks, to ask for something or to ask for forgiveness etc.

Kids are naturally curious so when Azalia started to ask me these questions I knew I had to answer them. Of course there were times I had to pause and really think how best to make her understand, in her own language and I knew that telling stories are the best way to make a toddler understand.

I find the book, "Just for kids Quran Stories" by Goodword books helpful in answering some of these questions. I love the books by Goodworks. The hardcover ones are a bit on the expensive side but I feel that it's worth it. They also have paperback options starting as low as RM9.90. You can get them from MPH or from ALIMKids.bookshop.com. Azalia loves the stories. It is written with kids in mind and to make Islam simple for them to understand.

It's never too early to start educating kids on Islam. In fact, it makes it easier to nurture good values in them. And sometimes they will surprise you with their questions. And also maybe stump you. But that's good because than you will also learn more because you will also go and read up on it yourself so that you can answer their questions. Plus I've also decided to relate anything on any subject that she's curious about to Islam.

For example, she loves playing with water. And she was asking why some things float and some things don't. I told her the scientific side of it (simplified version of course) and then I also added, "Allah wanted some of these things to float and some of them to not float because etc etc"

Answering her questions this way really needs a lot of thinking because it doesn't come naturally to me to explain things this way because I wasn't taught like this. In school each subject was taught separately. Ape lagi subject agama.

I have yet to start Azalia on the Muqaddam or the Iqra'. Azalia doesn't really listen to me when it comes to formal education. That is why I prefer to tell her stories, give her some songs/nasheed to listen to, or play games with her and just expose her with random things and wait for her questions.

Even the short surahs that she learnt was taught as a habit before sleep ever since she was a baby. And just like how easy it was for her (or any child for that matter) to memorise songs, it was easy for her to memorise the surahs. She might not know the meaning of the surahs yet (and I'm actually waiting for her to ask about it) but I'm sure that time will come anytime now.

All in all I find when you educate a child, you are also educating yourself not to mention trying to improve yourself because at the end of the day a child's first education is in his/her mother's lap.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rollercoaster

Yesterday I felt depressed. Was sobbing uncontrollably without any reason. All I wanted to do was sleep but instead I had to drag myself out of bed and carried my responsibilities with a sour face. No plus points for me yesterday for sure because I was sulky the whole day.

But today, I woke up and felt blessed. No complaints even when I'm worn out due to being on my feet the whole day. Happily carrying out my duty as a mother, wife, daughter and niece. Didn't even think of taking a nap in the evening.

I'm blaming the hormones. Here's to the 34th week/

Thursday, January 19, 2012

In need of motivation

Have some datelines to meet but can't seem to get myself moving. In need of some motivation hence 30S2M: Closer to the edge is on full blast today.

"Don't regret anything that you do, because in the end it makes you who you are"

-some guy on the "Closer to the edge" clip-

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Time or things?

Read this article in the star this morning and it reflects what's on my mind recently.

I totally agree with the author when she wrote:

Providing the best for our children is not about being a stay-at-home parent. It is about being an aware and always present parent, and about allowing children to be children and ensuring that above all else, they feel loved by the foundation of family before they go out on their own in life.

When children come from a home that is full of love, patience, discipline and respect, they always have a place to come back to in their mind and will forever be blessed with having the best life has to offer.


Some days I can be one of those parents who would give what my daughter wants just because I felt guilty for having to work late, or not spending enough time with her etc. But at the end of the day, I knew giving her that toy she wants are just temporary. I could see the difference in her when I give her my full attention and just play with her or have a decent conversation with her instead of just giving her stuff. Time spent with her even if it just means spending time doing some activity book with her for an hour is always time she loves more than her playing alone with that expensive kitchen I got her.

I also realise that even if I'm at home the whole day but I'm busy with errands or doing work from home, it's still not time spent with her. Time spent with her is time playing with, doing things together and not just her at one corner doing her own thing and me doing my own thing.

It took my strong willed daughter to make me realise this because she told me..straight to my face.. when I was surfing the net.. hehe. And I'm glad she did. (although she still wants those toys but I have to play with her laa.. aiseh)

I realise that whether I'm a FTWM or a SAHM.. I can still give them my best. My daughter understands I have to work because I took the time to explain and tell her what I do and why I do it. But she also knows that when I'm at home.. I'm hers.

Monday, January 16, 2012

You've got to find what you love

'You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says
This is a prepared text of the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it's the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

Change

(after Little Miss's wedding]
Andrew: Sir, is everything all right?
Sir: Umm. They've both gone now, Andrew. Well, things change, things always change. People move on. It's as it should be. But, what I realized today is that I'll never stop missing them.

-Bicentennial Man-

There is a saying that in life the only thing that is constant is change. Thus we should embrace it, welcome it, accept it, so that we can evolve, grow and improve ourselves,and hopefully be a better person.

However I find myself trying to protect my daughter from it. Worrying how she would accept change, hoping that nothing changes and everything remains status quo so she wouldn't have to go through the stress that comes with change.

But life must go on and I have to learn to let go. That for her to grow to be the best she can ever be she must welcome change. Change is imminent and it is a natural process for everyone. To grow, one must accept change. To learn, one must embrace change.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Why would I unfriend(on FB) a person.. just to clarify.

Had an outburst on FB (which I rarely do because I do not want any conflict on the web because I always felt virtual expression causes more harm than good) due to my disagreements with someone's statement on her FB regarding a product she's selling.

Felt the claim was irresponsible. I mean sell what you want.. seriously.. but make responsible claims about your product. If you argue about the halal and haram of your product... your product might be halal if you put false claims about your product it becomes haram because you are basically deceiving people.

If doctors can't say that a particular medication can cure you 100% of a disease because it is irresponsible for them to do that.. what makes you think u can say that just because a few claim it 'works' for them.

Oh well..

I've unfriended the person (on FB). Not because I no longer wish to talk to her. I would still say hi if I see her personally... but the unfriending on facebook is just so I stop seeing her status and seeing her account and get myself all worked out about it since we're not on the same page about certain or rather most things. I did unsubscribe but my curiousity always gets the better of me especially when I'm bored.. so that apparently didn't work. I'm only human and this is what I can do to be a better person.