Saturday, December 31, 2011

Gaaahhhhh!!

It's 23 minutes past midnight. The last day of the year. Everybody has finally dozed off. Emily just got up for another round of vomiting. And now is sleeping on the sofa coz her bed is stained with the vomit. There's a nasty bug going around the house. Medina has been sick for few days. On and off. When she's off she needs her mommy. And only mommy....(SIGH!!). Mr O has just recovered. After 2 days of frequent trips to the loo. And Emily just took over around 10pm. Great. Just what I need.

And I am feeling queasy too. Not quite sure whether it's due to the nasty bug OR the literature review draft that I am working on right now. The literature review is so long overdue that the thought of it makes me wanna puke. And I am going through the same piles of scientific papers again. Trying to understand the molecular mechanism of apoptosis. Trying to make sense of how the down regulation or upregulation of certain genes and oncoproteins leads to the growth suppressive effects of my compound of interest. The more I read, the more confused I became. Gaaahhhhhh!!

It's not easy to be a mother and do your PhD. At 38yo. But I shouldn't be complaining. Some of my friends are in worse scenarios. I am under pressure. But not as much as most people. If I am tied up to any institution and need to start working once I completed my doctorate OR I am away in overseas, OR working under a lousy supervisor from hell... the pressure would have been much2 greater. On normal days, I would count my blessings. But there are days where I would snap. Like today.

I was so stressed with the loads of stuffs that need to be done. Lab works, papers to read, info to digest, supervisor chasing for results and reminding me deadlines for the umpteenth time, house chores, sick kids, sick husband, etc etc etc. The list seems like it's never ending. And seems like it all has to be done by me. ALONE. So I let it out on the kids.

Booohooo!! And now I feel so shitty.

I hate it when I was nasty to them and end up feeling so shitty and wish I could be nicer. And it only start to make sense when I am all alone. Not when u r in the thick of it. It's so hard in real life. To a mere mortal like me. Ain't a supermom or Stepford wife material. Especially when they are constantly bickering at each other, or u need to give them reasons for them to help u out, or u have to redo chores that they eventually did coz it's done for the sake of just getting it done....and shutting me up.....aaaahhhhhh....the life of a mother :P

And ironically, this was the book I randomly picked for Medina's bed time story.
And this was not the first time. I have picked up this book a few times for her bed time story. And that few times happened to be the time when I was feeling as shitty as tonight. Kinda freaky. It's like God is trying to tell me something.

It's a silly book. Told in a very over simplistic manner. On positive reinforcement. How seeing the good in the kid changed Edwardo from the horriblest boy in the whole wide world to the nicest boy in the whole wide world. Seriously, it doesn't makes me feel any better. It makes me feel shittier.

Coincidentally, I read this yesterday. Is your child a stranger?

The writer was asking:
“Do I treat my children with the respect with which I would treat a stranger?”
"Do We Treat Our Children With Respect?"
"Do I treat strangers with more respect than my own children?"
I probably should extend the question to "Do I treat my husband like stranger?"

Her write up makes so much sense. It was a slap on my face. Actually I was thinking about it a lot today. But in moment of stress, and insanity, and dirty dishes and piles of laundry and kids' endless bickerings......I forgotten all about it. And I'm back to my "mommy from hell" mode.

Oh well...let's do it again tomorrow. One bad day. Hopefully tomorrow is better.
At the mean time, let's continue working on those papers shall we??? Let's get it done with.












Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Twin of Faith 2011

It was a 2 days conference organized by Mercy Mission Malaysia. I was so looking forward to it. And as always, my enthusiasm was not shared by others....hahahaha....but I managed to drag the whole family to the event.
Some were more willing than others. Some were wishing they were under the blanket enjoying their weekend in lala land. On the way to PICC, I have to bear with the grunts and the whines...

"What's this event ummi?"
"What is it again? Hahhh??? 2 days of lecture??? Whaaaaatttt???"
"When is it going to finish? 10pm??? Whaaaaattttt????"
And REPEAT the question again. And again. In a very sleepy grumpy cranky voice tone. Ahaksss....

Registration counter.
The plenary theatre. I was told there were close to 4000 participants. Yeah!! Malaysia Boleh!!! :)

There were lectures and workshops. The speakers line up makes me dizzy with excitement....hahahaha.

Personally, from my very limited experience attending religious lectures, I have always prefer foreign speakers. I can relate to them. Their speech have substance and structure. There is introduction, content, and conclusion. Not some random babbling that halfway through the lecture I will be wondering..."what was the topic again???" They are good in public speaking. They keep to their time. They don't go on and on with the introduction and then rush their content coz they are running out of time. They know how to get your attention. They sandwiched their lecture with some witty jokes. Jokes that me and my kids can understand. And get it. Not lame jokes that u can never understand. They speak with passion. They inspire u. Not monotonous that u struggle to stay awake. Don't get me wrong. There are a few local scholars that I can relate to, but very2 few.

Luqman was so inspired by Syeikh Hussein Yee. The fact that the syeikh inspired my 14yo son, and makes him look forward to another lecture by the syeikh, makes me very2 happy ;) More local scholars should learn how to talk from him. Sharing some great stuffs from the syeikh.
"If you follow the majority, the majority will lead you away from the path of Allah."
"ISLAM=I Shall Love All Mankind"....Neat huh??? :)
"The sources of our knowledge should be the Holy Quran and Sunnah. We r ahli sunnah wal jamaah NOT ahli sunnah wal bida'ah wal jamaah"
Syeikh Hussain Yee elaborated a lot on the importance of seeking knowledge from the source. Every household should at least have the Sahih Bukhari & Sahih Muslim. Okay...let's go book shopping again :)

The workshops. I attended Dr Harlina's session. Such an inspiring lecture.

There is no better way to start your Sunday morning than listening to someone so inspirational. She spoke about women from the eyes of Allah, the eyes of man, the current perception, global women issues...I wish I can share all but there were just too many. Some of the gems that she shared in her lecture; 

5 questions that u must ask yourself. And must teach your kids to ask themselves esp at adolescent stage- the stage of finding meaning in life and finding your purpose in life.
1. Who am I?
2. Who created me? (Al-Hujurat;13)
3. What's the purpose of my existence? (Az-Zariyat: 56 & Al-Anam; 165)
4. Why am I here? (Al-Anam; 162-163)
5. Where will I go after my death?
Submission to Allah is our focus. Women never submit to men. U don't belong to your husband. U don't wear hijab bcoz of men. If u do, then u r not doing it right. U can have the worst man as your husband (think Asiah & Firaun) OR have no husband (think Maryam), u still can be the best woman in the eyes of Allah. OR u can have the best man as your husband (think the wife of Prophet Lut a.s and Nuh a.s), and u still end up so screwed. So your worth is not defined by men. Men is just your ticket to jannah. Whoaaaa...!! I like that so much...that's TRUE feminism ;)

Somebody asked her during FAQ...how do u juggle? Considering she's doing so many things. And she actually anticipated the question. Her reply; "If I am a man, would u ask me how do I juggle?" We seldom questions a man how he juggles life, career and family. But that's the favorite question being asked when u confronted a successful career woman. She eventually answered. She decides what she wants to do with ther 24hours. And she believes her family is her strength NOT her liabilities. If we keep giving family and kids as excuses for not doing this and that...then think again. It's all in the mind. How others perceive u depends on how u perceive yourself. Women is like the sun, u energizes people around u.

And she gave advice to all the single ladies out there. Although u don't need a man to attain jannah, and u don't need a man to be the best and reach your maximum potential, don't close your heart to man. Allah has promised for every toyyibat, He will send a toyyibin. SO pray and believe He will grant u the toyyibin :)

They also provide facilities to accomodate the families. Mother's room. For those with babies and toddlers. And u can follow the lecture live from the room.
Kid's Zone. For the young ones. There are ample activities to occupy them.

The performers were awesome. By the end of Day 1, kids officially proclaimed themselves as huge fan of Boona Mohammed, Muslim Belal & Abdullah Rolle.

Boona Mohammed rapping Heroes.

The lyrics were so profound. Few speakers talk about this issue. Muslims don't need fictional heroes coz we have so many great true heroes. The only question is whether we know them, and whether we educate our kids about this heroes.
Muslim Belal.

Seriously this dude is awesome. He didn't write down his song. He get inspired with stuffs around him, come up with the song and just memorized it. His first performance was about his journey to Islam. How a 19yo Jamaican boy from London embraced Islam. As he was rapping about it, my kids were in awe. They think British accent sounds so cool and intelligent. By the time he reached the part "my momma says her syahadah" I was in tears.....sniff2...excuse me...it's my momma's hormone.....hahahaha.

On the 2nd day, in response to a request, he spontaneously rapped about woman.
‎"Walking with the black veil, talking with the low voice, she got no smell, ....her beauty is amazing, but she doesn't want it public...she wears flats, cos the heels bring attention, she must be the one my book used to mention, she doesn't wear make-up, her face is clear, and her eye brows have not been frayed for a year, she got a head full of knowledge, and her heart is full of flair, eyes full of love, and hands full of care...

Ain't that wicked???? I LOVE it to bitsssss. Still makes me smile everytime I listen to it. And it was so obvious he was so shy reciting it..which makes him look so cute ;) I hope he works on the piece and make it a full song. Such an inspiring song for little girls and teenagers. The great Muslim woman ;)

And fittingly, Sheikh Alaa ElSayed talked about the exemplary women of the past. The relationship between husband and wife. Like Khadijah r.a and Rasulullah. The first thing Rasulullah did after he received the message from Jibrail was to run to his wife.

So the syeikh jokingly asked.."In moment of needs, does your husband run to u? OR run away from u??" I can't help laughing coz I can visualize how when he's stressed, Mr O will slowly withdraw while politely telling me "I need my space, babe!!"....wakakaka :-) Yeah2...got to improve myself....ahaksssss.

The syeikh made me see Khadijah in a very different perspective. She supported Rasulullah from every aspects; physically, financially and mentally. It makes me think...coz we "the liberated woman" of today always complain when men earn less than us. We start to look down on them coz it's not the norm. But Khadijah was a very wealthy woman. And beautiful. And influential. And she never once look down on the husband. Always have faith in him. And she's the one who asked his hand in marriage. And that's why she's the woman Rasulullah love most. Masyaallah ;)

Similar goes to the relationship of father & daughter. Like Rasulullah & Fatimah. Does your kids run to u ? OR run away from u? :) And how relating the stories of Aishah and Rasullullah teach us a lot about how woman can be angry or jealous to the husband but still obedient. His end note was so inspiring. Be like this women. Khadijah. Fatimah. Aishah. Sumayyah. Dress like them. Behave like them. Be with them in jannah!!

Kids have been good. It was not all smooth sailing. I was stressed. Need to learn to chill. Not to sweat on small stuffs. But generally, they have been good. It was a long day. Understandably, some will be tired and cranky.
Playing chess during break. And woot2!! Did u notice somebody in hijab??? Yeahhh!!!...Ms Hajar has decided that the time has finally come for her to be officially a hijabi. And I am over the moon :) Pray with me she will istiqamah and stand proud to be a Muslim woman who uphold Allah's words and do it solely for the purpose of pleasing her Creator.
I have always been greatly indebted to the late Mr Job. I used to bring so many things to occupy my kids. Books, drawing stuffs, computer to play movies etc etc etc. And I still can't get them occupied throughout. With the ipad, all I need is a power point to recharge. The ipad has been so helpful in keeping Medina occupied throughout long prayers like terawih and long lectures like this. It has been a marathon of Rapunzel-Toy Story-Gnome & Juliet for 2 days. The thingy has been efficient enough to occupy her and let me follow almost all the lectures "in peace" from the plenary theatre. Whatever that works ;)


And Little Missy found the theme tune so catchy that she will be dancing to the tunes everytime they played it. First We Need the Love by Zain Bikha. In fact, at times, I have to restrained her coz she get so excited and started doing some break dance move. Erkkkk!! Not here okay??? :P

So overall, the event was great. In fact, it was better than great. At the end of the day, Mercy Mission raised $RM1.9 million for their Madinah project. Medina was very excited everytime her name was mentioned when Syeikh Tawfique Chowdury was explaining about the Madinah project. Please excuse her vanity ;)

While we were driving home after day 1, tired and sleepy, I can hear Luqman talking to Medina about the "one"ness of God...recapping some points from the lectures...trying to explain to his little sister the concept...etc etc etc. And he told me, I want to go again tomorrow. I smiled quietly. That makes my day.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Give a gift day.

Few days ago, I found this note on my fridge. And somebody even marked it on the calendar.

I can always count on Hajar to come up with ideas like that. Every year, on 21st December it will be "Give a Gift Day" in our house. GAG day....hahahaha...how I wish :P

It started last year. Everybody will have to give a present to each of the family members. Definitely influenced by Xmas. I relented because I thought it would be a nice family tradition. A random day to give. No celebration. Just a random day to make somebody happy ;) Besides, it's a noble excuse for me to shop....hahahahaha.

Last  year, the response was lukewarm. Not everybody think it's a great idea. (READ; the 2 men in the house...booohooo!!) And most of the gifts were their art & craft work. This year, they had their pocket money. So they have been thinking and shopping for the past 2 weeks. It was quite nice actually. Coz it makes each of them think about the respective person.
"What does Luqman like?"
"What makes Emily happy?"
"What should I get for abah??"

So tonight, after dinner, they exchanged gifts. Everybody participates...except Medina who only received gifts...and Mr O who still think it's a silly idea...such an anti climax right??? :P

You should listen to the squeals and giggles from the girls. I never see them so happy. Actually most of the gifts were cheap stuffs..(READ: Daiso)...coz they don't have much money to begin with. But I guess it's the thoughts that count ;)

So let's see what's everybody is getting ;)
Luqman's stuffs. The novel was actually sponsored by dearest Mak Lang :) He has been eyeing for it for quite some time, but holding back because it's so expensive. So big brother is pretty excited. Went in to his room straight away to start reading.
Hajar's stuffs. A needle felting starter kit from me & a skeleton necklace from Luqman. She has been nagging  me for the starter kit for agesss.
And she wasted no time to get started.
Tadaaa.....the product after 1 hour of poking needles. A bear brooch ;)
 Medina's stuffs
And coincidentally, she had her Xmas celebration at school today.
And we got a bit carried away over the weekend and bought her this.
Ahaksssss.....and now she has Buzz, Rex, alien & pig to join Woody & the gang. To be honest, the happiest person was not Medina. Mr O has been playing with the toys for days. Childhood deprivation...hahahaha.
Then Little Missy told me...oh I wish I have Slinky and Mr & Mrs Potato Head too....aiyoyoyo!!! :P

Emily's stuffs
I hope the excitement will translate to some delicious dishes. What's for breakfast tomorrow Emily??? ;)
Despite being such a "good sport", Mr O still got some stuffs. Next year, please start giving okayyyyyy??? :P
  Hajar bought me a plate rack. Yeah...I like functional thing. And it's only $5 ;)
So I guess maybe we should continue the tradition next year?? aye?? It's the time to be jolly ;)

Merry Xmas ;)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

So we have decided to do both.

Talking to the homeschooler's parents are really inspiring. Thanks to the internet, access to people knows no boundaries. And it's more inspiring to see the product of homeschooling. I started rethinking about homeschooling after I stumbled upon this kid's blog. He's 12yo. He writes in Malay and English. I am impressed by the depth of his research on each subject that he wrote and his passion on the subject matter. Then I get connected with the homeschooler's network on facebook. And I stumbled upon more inspiring blogs. Like 13yo Karen who is pursuing baking and cake decorating seriously. And 15yo Amrita who is chasing her dream to go to Nashville to attend the 41st CMA Music Festival next year.

Finding your passion, chasing your dream and living life to the fullest are luxuries that many people are deprived of. Many of us are still stuck in the rut. Dragging ourselves every morning to go to work on the pretext of earning money for a living. Ironically, we hardly live our life. Coz to most of us, life is work and work is life. So reading about these passionate fearless youngsters are very refreshing to me.

So last week, while I was really gung-ho on homeschooling everybody, I did few things to get into the mood....to get the feel of it...hahahaha...excusessss :)

A long overdue visit to BookXcess. Mr O has banned me from buying books coz we literally have no more space for new books. The bookshelves are overflowing with books. And I am too possessive to give away any books. So until we officially get the next door unit, break the wall and have more space for books, I "legally" cannot buy anymore. BUT I was thinking to myself...to homeschool, I must at least have some resources right??? RIGHT??? Okay...maybe just check it out...just look see look see...
And maybe buy a few...hahahaha. But seriously, it's so difficult to resist. Those hard cover Kingfisher's encyclopedia are selling at $11+ each. Don't u think it's insanely irresistible??

Then I brought the kids to the National Museum. It's one of those once a week excursion promise.
Entry fees to the museum is darn cheap. Free for kids 12yo and below. $2 for adult. There is also Orang Asli Craft Museum next to the National Museum. Entry is free of charge.
I love history. So I naively thought....okay...maybe this will be interesting to the kids. Kinda stuff that u do when u homeschool your kids. Right? How can u not love history??

I actually enjoyed the trip. But I have learnt a few lessons too.

Lesson #1
Some kids are probably too small to appreciate the museum.
The one who found counting pebbles was more interesting than scouring old artifacts.
Or dancing to the beat of orang asli's music.

Lesson #2
Some kids found history interesting.
Especially if there is quiz or any competitions
With attractive prizes which gives her the opportunity to hone her competitiveness.

Lesson #3
Some kids are really not into history (AT ALL!!!)
The one who was forced to watch the documentary and trying in vain and was probably thinking "when is this going to end???"

And suddenly colouring with his baby sister looked way more interesting than understanding history.
And he thinks Hang Tuah need some style make over :P
Lesson #4
And some kids found it really torturing.
The one who got frustrated with the quiz and started wailing. Can u believe it?? She wailed in a museum. I was horrified. To say the least. Breathe....in.....breath.....out :P

So after the trip, I need some therapy to get back my sanity. Hot latte, pastries and yummy gelato will do.
So the whole week was spent on scouring the internet, talking to people, digesting the information on the options available, reflecting on our limitations and capabilities and a few days of istikharah prayers. Finally, we have decided to do both. Homeschooling & schooling.
Hajar, her BFFs (Arina & Najiya) & her fellow stompers after their performance in 1Utama last Friday. 

Watching her performed with her friends made me realized she really thrives in a competitive environment. So we decided that Luqman & Hajar will continue schooling in their current school while Emily will be home schooling. And Medina will be enrolled in her new kindergarten. We finally chose her kindergarten. Little Missy thinks it's awesome. She was totally sold after seeing the iguanas and parrots in the school compound. Okay...there goes my dream to put her in an Islamic kindy...pooofff!!! ;( So ummi has to work harder to supplement the Islamic bits at home.


I really want to finish my research and submit my PhD thesis next year. Looking at my current progress, it will be an uphill task to accomplish. So I figure the most I probably can handle to homeschool is one child. If it works with one child, maybe I can proceed with the rest. We'll see. I don't know how long will Emily be homeschooled. But we will go with the flow.

One thing at a time. Que sera sera....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Should I homeschool my kids?

Think. Think. Think. Maybe I should just do it. The Nike style ;)

Mr O and I have discussed home schooling for quite some time. Again and again. And every time we discuss it, we will brush it off as an option that is probably too complicated for both of us. Truth is we have too much doubts on ourselves. It sounds so intimidating.

However, the conversation tends to come up more frequent lately. Especially when we face certain "recurring" issues. Like Emily's continuous struggle in school. Or Luqman's lack of interest in everything that has anything to do with school. Or my frustration of finding a "suitable" kindergarten for Medina that fits my requirement. Or Malaysian's crazy obsession with the exams. And the politician's fickle mindedness in deciding how the Malaysian education system should be.

The school has been a babysitter to me. I know my kids don't learn much but those hours that they spend in school gives me some breathing space. I "thought" it helps to keep me sober throughout the day. The only motivation for Luqman to go to school is his friends. The best part of school for him is time spent outside the class room. On the football pitch. In the canteen. Break time. Emily's favorite subjects are art, music and swimming. All the non academic subjects. From time to time Medina will refuse to go to school. With all sort of excuses. School is boring. I am too shy. etc etc etc. Some excuses sound lame, some sound more valid. So the only person who really enjoy school is Hajar. But again, Hajar gets excited about homeschooling too. She got excited about a lot of stuffs ;)

We thought they will change once we put them in a private school. It has been 2 years. There are changes. But the p value is probably insignificant. So I ask Mr O the same question again and again, should we continue? Should we change?

All that matter to me is they grow up to be a person who loves learning, loves what they do, find their niche to make the world a better place, and most importantly be happy. So does school help them achieve that?
Sir Ken Robinson doesn't think so. So does Muhammad Luqman Avicenna ;)

Last few weeks, I had a chat with 2 fresh graduates in my lab. Both graduated from Australia. Let's just call them A & B. After graduating from Australia, A applied for scholarship to do Masters in Monash Sunway but didn't get it. There were too many applicants. Lucky for him there was a vacancy in the technical department. So they offered him a job. But he still didn't know what he wants to do. So he's going to go with the flow. If he likes the job, he will continue. If not, explore other stuffs.

B is applying for a PhD scholarship. Still waiting. In the mean time, she's living on the Research Assistant's allowance. A measly $1700++. No EPF. No SOCSO. To supplement her earning, she does extra jobs like tutoring some kids at night. I asked her if she's really interested in research. She had no idea. Just going with the flow. But she's feeling the pinch. Living on your own in Klang Valley with that much income is tough.

I am pretty sure A & B are brilliant. Well, at least brilliant enough to get a government scholarship to study in Australia and graduated with a decent result. But they are struggling to make end meets. So how is it going to be for my kids in 10,20 years time? The quote from John Holt keep popping in my mind.

"Since we can't know what knowledge will be most needed in the future, it is senseless to try to teach it in advance. Instead, we should try to turn out people who love learning so much and learn so well that they will be able to learn whatever needs to be learned."  John Holt

I have exactly 3 weeks before school reopen. Time to think hard. It's probably long enough for me to deliberate and let the thoughts ruminate. To talk to few people that have done it. To dissect all the pros and cons. To pray and listen to my kids. And my instinct. We shall see.

Friday, December 9, 2011

ALL play NO work is NOT right.

The first 2 weeks of the school holiday were so hectic. Kids had a blast camping in Lanchang. Then we went down south for a short get away. Did the obligatory Singapore trip, attended a wedding and spent 1 night in Desaru. It was tiring but totally worth it. 
Looking at shot like this makes me feel it's all worth it. Priceless ;)

By the 3rd week, to the kids' dismay, I am back in my tiger mommy mode....hahahaha. ALL play NO work will not be fun right??? RIGHT ??? wakakakaka ;-) So the schedule was up on Monday.
Guess who is the most unhappy with the schedule?? Ahakssss....;-)
"Ummi, it's a school HOLIDAYYYYY for goodness sake!!!!"
The rebellious teenager was whining and complaining....
"Why do u have to make it a chore???" WHHYYyyyyyy???? followed by...ergghhhh...urrgghhhh....aaarggghh...(think of all the possible grunt u can imagine)
"Well dude....I just have to...coz if I don't, u would just turn into a real life sloth, and probably rot on your bed covered with moss due to prolonged hibernation" (I honestly can feel the horns growing on my head) :P


But seriously, he is one of the main reason why they need a schedule. I am hoping that the schedule will get his mindset ready for the PMR. Help him discipline himself and set his own pace. Cover some topics during the holiday to be ahead of the class. So that life will be much easier for him next year. And he will not need any extra classes or tuition. God willing. I seriously not in favor of tuition. UNLESS really necessary. Not after him spending a whole day in school. We did that with Hajar. Hajar didn't go for any tuition or extra classes for her UPSR because we felt that school was enough. And she's disciplined enough to study on her own. Life is not just about books and exams. But only if u can discipline yourself. So dude, u see...I am actually doing u a favor okay???!!

I faced lesser resistance from the sisters. Hajar & Emily were more obliging. Maybe because I am not asking that much. There are breaks okay...and time for other stuffs too!! Yeah...I am trying very hard to convince myself here ;) But seriously, time is too precious to be wasted. I have learnt that if I leave it to the kids to decide on their own to manage their holiday time they will just do nothing throughout the day. Sleep-eat-fight-TV-face book-tumblr-manga-games-and repeat....not to mention the sink will be full of dirty dishes and the house will be messy beyond your imagination. It's not so much of me being ambitious. But I strongly believe they should put the precious time to good use. 

And I faced different challenge from the youngest one. Due to the prolonged holiday and the fact that bigger siblings are home, it makes it harder for us to send her to her kindergarten. I insist she go to school coz she will be a distraction to the siblings at home (though they are  more than happy to have her home and use her as an excuse for not being able to follow their schedule). There has been intense heart tugging drama every morning. The crying and sobbing and wailing and shirt pulling and clinging to mommy. Everyday she makes me make a pact. The same pact. I promise to send her to the door. And she promises not to cry and throw tantrum. And everyday, I keep my promise and she doesn't. It was so stressful.

One day, I told her I will not send her to school anymore. Mr O will send her instead.
"Why ummi?"
"Coz everyday u promised me not to cry, but u break your promise"
"Oh it's OK ummi. Don't worry. I can glue back my broken promise and it will be alright" (with a sheepish grin)
WT&*%^#@??????
Thank god Ms Loyar Buruk Drama Queen finally come to her senses few days ago. So the morning trip to school is back to normal.


I promised the kids that if they follow their schedule diligently, I will spend one day during the week with them. Do some fun stuffs like excursion or trip. Well, they have not been diligent. But it was not that bad either. So I thought, okay...maybe just do it to motivate them. So on Wednesday I brought the kids to the National Science Center. There is a Science Festival going on from 3rd-11th December.
 There are lots of things going on.
Kids kept comparing with Singapore's Science Centre. Well....even though ours are not as good as our neighbour's, I seriously think it's not bad. And the kids did have fun.
There are 2 exhibitions going on. The Dinosaur and Robotic show. They are not free. We went to both and I personally felt it's a rip off. Don't think it's worth the money. The dinosaur show is just replicas of less than 10 dinosaurs with some sounds and some movements. Could have been much better.
The robotic, or actroid was another let down. It's basically the history of the development of robots and the robot itself. Babbling some scripted dialogue again and again. I won't be whining if it's FOC. Since I am paying, I did expect a bit more. Maybe I expect too much ;)
But I wouldn't recommend these 2 shows. I think the free stuffs are more than enough to occupy your kids. If u r looking for activities for the kids, do check it out.


Meanwhile, life goes on. The whining is getting lesser. Some seem to get the hang of it better than others. Some still needs to be knocked on the head. Whatever it is, I will P-E-R-S-E-V-E-R-E ;-)
A hand phone pouch. One of the products of Hajar's early attempt in learning crochet. 

Things like this convince me the schedule is the "right" thing to do. At least they are doing something. Still a long way to go, but considering she is a self learned beginner, ummi thinks Ms Hajar deserve a pat on the back ;-) Enjoy your weekend people!!



Sunday, December 4, 2011

Raising an early riser.

Whenever I get excited, kids will start rolling their eyes and let out a big sigh...Oh NOOooo, what is she up to now?? Coz most of the times it will mean something they need to read, to do, or whatever. Ahakssss......bear with me okay. It's for your own good...like seriously SERIOUSLY!!...hahahaha.

So anyway I was very excited when I found out few weeks ago about Jom Subuh @ Bukit Jelutong Mosque campaign. I thought it's really creative. But then, waking up early for Fajr prayer is not an easy task for me. And Mr O. Our Fajr prayers are usually late. So I imagined that to get the whole clan to the mosque before Fajr will be a herculean task for me. To do it soberly. So I was very apprehensive in the beginning.
 The campaign was launched yesterday. 
With a wide range of interesting activities lined up throughout the month. Kudos to the organizer.

The response was quite impressive. I think there was at least 300-400 people attending the Fajr prayer yesterday. And today. And there are lots of kids too. Which is a very heart warming sight.  Kids rising early in the morning, praying in the mosque, as part of the congregation, the jamaah. It's truly a blessing. 

As for my clan, it was surprisingly much easier than I thought. Maybe I worry too much. Maybe they are just too sleepy to argue with me. Maybe I am getting better with brainwashing my kids. Whatever it is, we got everybody to the mosque on time. With not much resistance. Yipeeeee ;) Medina has been very cooperative. Brought along her blanket, pillow and other stuffs that she would need to keep her sober and she slept at the back quietly. So all is well. But of course, not everybody is as excited as ummi....hahahaha...nothing new there ;) 
Ms Hajar wasn't very happy with the interrupted beauty sleep. Yesterday, she told me in "a matter of fact tone"...."Ummi, we slept during the Quran class. Coz this Jom Subuh thing just doesn't FIT into our schedule." wakakakaka....she's probably more annoyed since my curt response is..."Then make it FIT" ;) 
The ones that need a bit of technology to stay awake and sober and quite throughout the lecture.
Notice that the happiest one is the one in her pyjama??

Luqman has taken his morning walk 2 days in a row. During the lecture. On the pretext of staying awake. And has been complaining...
"Why is the dude so long winded??"
"Is there any foreign speakers??"
"I didn't get it...what does pistachio have to do with solat??"
But, he has also commented..."I never realize how beautiful the sky is early in the morning" 
Yeah dude, it's hard. The lectures can be boring. It's not perfect. Nothing in this world is. U just have to learn to look at the bright sides of things. 

Unless your kids are a saint, as a mother, you know it's not easy to get the kids to wake up at wee hours in the morning, bathed and all dressed up, especially to go to the mosque. So, it doesn't really matter to me that they fall asleep halfway through the lecture, or they are playing outside the mosque after the prayer, or they are sulking coz their beauty sleep are interrupted. What matters is they are there. Awake, up and about ;) Hopefully, eventually they will see the beauty of it and make it a habit.

So far, I like it. A LOT. Would love to continue and keep thing this way. It used to be a chore with series of screaming to wake them up on weekend. Now, it's much simpler. Everybody is awake and ready to go by 5.45am. We prayed and listened to the lecture. 
Then off to breakfast. We have ample time to have a leisure breakfast before we send them off to their respective weekend classes. And the best part is I am not grumpy and annoyed. So it's a great way to start the day.

There are many hadiths on the benefits of attending Isya' & Fajr prayers in congregation.
The narration of At-Tirmidhi says: `Uthman bin Affan (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that he had heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying: "He who attends `Isha' in congregation, is as if he has performed Salat for half of the night; and he who attends `Isha' and Fajr prayers in congregation, is as if he has performed Salat for the whole night.''
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him)reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "If they knew the merits of Salat after nightfall (`Isha') and the morning (Fajr) Salat, they would come to them even if they had to crawl to do so.''[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]    
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "No Salat is more burdensome to the hypocrites than the Fajr (dawn) prayer and the `Isha' (night) prayer; and if they knew their merits, they would come to them even if they had to crawl to do so.'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

So wakey, wakey. If u r in the neighbourhood, join us. The more, the merrier :-)