Sunday, 2 December 2012

Off to Work

I'm going back to work this Wednesday after three great months with the little guy. Last week I cried every time I drove him to child care. I felt like a bad mom. Every morning I looked at his face and told him that I loved him with all my heart and I would be back as soon as I could. Who knew I would become that kind of mother. But really, can you blame me for being so mushy when it comes to our Osef? I mean, look at this face!

Gosh, Wednesday is going to be super hard.

Monday, 12 November 2012

I'm a Mama!

You know how I always apologised for not writing as often as I used to because I was busy? This time I won't; not because I enjoyed every second with my beautiful baby (any first-time mothers would agree that taking care of a baby is not the easiest thing), but because I loved every second just being with him. Yes, there were moments that I didn't enjoy such as giving birth (oh THE pain!) or when I couldn't for the life of me understand why he was crying incessantly (turned out he just needed a diaper change, silly mama!). Nonetheless, I love this little guy to death and so each moment with him is simply precious. No matter how tired I get taking care of him, I will never trust a stranger to even hold him.

The fateful day was Monday, on the 27th of August 2012. I had submitted my last work task that morning (received a call  from the boss on Friday asking if I was still strong enough to work from home and I said yes, because I felt totally normal). That afternoon at the family home with my two younger sisters exactly after we finished watching Batman the movie, my water broke at 3pm. It was like a waterfall down there and I wet the floor as I rushed to the bathroom. I was both nervous and excited, making frantic calls to Rafiee, Ayah and Mama. 

I knew from the antenatal course both my husband and I attended a couple of months before that I had a few hours so I showered and had an early dinner. When the husband came home after work at 6pm, he drove me to the hospital with Mama. That was when the pain started, prompted by the doctor who shoved his hand into you-know-what to check for dilation. That wasn't the worst part, of course. The 45-minute push surprisingly wasn't it as well. The worst was when the doctor shoved his hand again to further break my water bag and the contraction leading to the 10-cm dilation. 

My knees were shaking and I was biting my towel the whole time. It was so painful that I couldn't even cry. I just wanted someone to knock me down so I could skip the pain part and just wake up with a baby by my side. I think I was in pain from 6.30pm and as I requested for an epidural, the doctor confirmed that it was too late and I was ready to push! With my husband comforting me on my right  (he was the only one looking at the wall behind my head; he can't stand blood and blood was gushing out of me profusely) and my mom on my left giving instructions, I pushed with all my might and voila, he was out at 10.15pm. Our gorgeous baby, all bloody and icky.

I was told that all the pain would go away once you lay your eyes on the baby and guess what... they were wrong! Mama was like "Look look, that's him!" and my first two words were "Phew, finally!". I could still feel the pain down there as the doctor stitched me up, but later that night when the nurse handed me Youssef, I felt tremendous love rushing in. I felt like I wanted to protect this little creature and I couldn't stop staring at him as he slept. I still do, but now I fall asleep watching him as I don't get my 8-hour slumber. I still get six hours of sleep, but not continously as he wakes up every two to three hours. At least I don't have to change his diaper in the middle of the night, that's Rafiee's scope of work. He's a wonderful husband and even a more wonderful father, so that makes everything much easier. 

After a few days, I still didn't feel like a mother. I was, what my family described, like a robot. The baby cried and I instinctively fed him. Everyone else was speaking to him and I just felt silly having a one-sided conversation with someone who couldn't understand a word I was saying. Then somehow, gradually, without even realising it, I grew into it. I was thinking out loud whenever I was with him, like "Gosh that Kim Kardashian is so spoilt. I like Khloe, she seems normal. Urgh, I'm hungry again. Maybe I can find chocolates in the fridge." I still do that, but now I also sing. It was some boy band songs at first (since their songs are so catchy I don't even have to try memorising the lyrics) but now I can also belt out a few nursery rhymes.

So this is my sweetheart, not even a day old yet...

And this is him in his first month, enjoying the view of birds flying past the window before his bath...

And this is him at two months ++!

Born 3.2 kg, he was so tiny in my arms. But now he weighs 6.3 kg and giving him a bath is a backbreaking feat! Motherhood is not as easy as I thought (I can understand why some full-time housewives still have a nanny) and one needs a lot of energy to keep up, but one thing for sure... it's extremely rewarding.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Almost There

First it was the morning sickness. Then publishing The Longest Honeymoon and preparing for our baby's arrival. Now I'm putting the blame on the exhausting third trimester for not updating the blog. 

Yes, it's the final month! I can't believe I'll be meeting my little one very soon, insyaAllah. The first four months was the worst. I lost my appetite (I force fed myself a lot just to avoid being starved), everything I ate ended up in the toilet bowl or sometimes on the bathroom floor when I couldn't reach the proper outlet in time and I felt tired like I had been running a marathon the whole day. The next three months was much better. I still couldn't eat much but I didn't throw up as often as before and I had some energy in me which propelled me to shop for myself and the baby. Ah yes, I could fit most of my usual clothes until towards the end of the second trimester so I didn't have to buy any maternity clothes until then (except for the work pants). Even now after 37 weeks, I weight only 49kg which is only 4kg heavier than before I got pregnant. Our baby is growing at a healthy rate though at 2.4kg which is all that matters to us and the doctor (not too big please!).

My baby bump is obviously small, but I still get back pain and sleeping trouble. I can't imagine those women with a bump that looks like it can fit three babies! I get leg cramps now and then but I still drive to work. Mama was still driving a few hours before she gave birth to my youngest sister so it's hard to spoil myself. Rafiee also hasn't indulged me silly which is a good thing actually. I don't want him to be like some husbands who become extra nice and help around the house just because the wife is pregnant and then resume to the original self later. Since we got married almost four years ago, he has been consistently the best husband one could ask for and I'm forever grateful to the almighty for that. The only thing that I miss now is he no longer carries me on his shoulder and we don't wrestle anymore (for obvious reasons but I now-not-so-secretly hope he remembers our little routine once the baby is out!). For years he let me believe that I was physically stronger than him until one day I insisted that he and Mama compete in arm wrestling. He defeated her in a second and Mama has always been much, much, much stronger than me! I was baffled as it usually took him one whole minute to beat me. He grinned and told me that he enjoyed watching me brag like a little girl. Pfft! 

Well, it won't be long now. We're starting a new chapter together with an additional significant character. Changes are inevitable but we'll take one step at a time, together. One thing for sure - the baby will be born into a happy and loving home.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Ready to Order!

Yes, The Longest Honeymoon is ready to order wherever you are! Just go to for details. Please please please support me, I'd really appreciate it!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The Longest Honeymoon

Some of you may already know that my first book is coming out very soon, yaaaaaaaaay!!!!!!! And it will also be available on Amazon, double yaaaaaaaaay!!!!!!!

Sorry for not updating the blog as often as I used to, the book production has been time and energy consuming (especially now that I'm also in my third trimester - two months to go!) but I enjoyed every single moment. I'm also putting together a website that will have all the important details. I'll let you know the link once the book is ready to order. Until then, have a good week!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

So Many Things, So Little Time

I've been so busy with the book I haven't had time to blog. So here's a quick update. The manuscript is now being proofread and edited by a native English speaker. I'm hoping to get it printed and promoted somewhere in July. I'm so excited to be very involved in publishing my book as I'm learning so many things - new skills, software and knowledge. Gosh, I'm such a nerd. Pregnancy-wise, I've completed my second trimester and now I feel like I'm running out of time. I still have no idea how to change a diaper or breastfeed or burp a baby or the most important part for me, how to train the baby to sleep when I want to sleep. Ha-hah! And I'm starting to get the jitters of giving birth so I need to equip myself (and Rafiee too, but first I have to convince him to join me in the delivery room!) with everything that we should know. I've finished a book on it but I still feel it's insufficient. We also need to get all those baby stuff soon. It was only last week that I started buying maternity clothes and I'm so stressed out as I only got two that I like (and one of them takes ages to iron!). Shopping really is a waste of time and energy. Alright, have to go and check if online shopping is a better idea.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Book is Coming... Sooner or Later

Here's the thing. I've finished editing my book and I approached a few publishers (not all, as most make it clear that they only publish Malay novels). I was given the same reply though - that an English novel by an unknown Malaysian author generally doesn't sell. One even told me that I can publish the book when I become famous. I guess if it was authored by Kim Kardashian then they wouldn't even read the manuscript before agreeing to invest in it. Money makes the world go round which is true to a certain degree so I can totally understand their standpoint. Of course I couldn't help feeling defeated in the beginning, but not for long. I got to meet a few aspiring and also published writers who told me how they struggled for the first few years. FEW YEARS! I've been trying to get my book published for just a couple of MONTHS! 

I will still get the book published. It may take some time (but still within this year Insya Allah), a few thousand RM (everything requires money these days), energy and time, but I will get it published. If there were only five strangers buying the book because they think it's worth getting then I would've already achieved my goal.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

After Midnight

It's 1.30am, my favourite time to write. It's so quiet, save the sound of my husband's breathing. Which is a good thing of course. The girls are probably asleep in the living room; the growing kittens Tumas and Munee. We usually let them sleep on our bed until they get too hyper. Then it's always me who has to take them out because hubs tends to sleep like a log until Tumas wakes us both up at around 4 in the morning with her loud meow and door scratching, wanting to come in. I guess that's how it would feel when we have a baby. Sleep becomes a luxury. 

Speaking of which, I'm five months along in my pregnancy. My appetite is equivalent to a squirrel's. Deep-fried food disgusts me the most, just writing about it makes me feel nauseous. Thank goodness for the milk for pregnant women and oat. My tummy has started to grow now. So far people can't tell I'm pregnant unless I wear something smaller in which I rarely do because it's already uncomfortable as it is. I still feel bloated most of the time and even sleeping is made uncomfortable. The only consolation is I don't throw up as often as I used to so at least whatever little I manage to eat stays in. 

And myth or not, I think I may have developed the baby brain syndrome. I forget things, I can't stay focused and I seriously feel like my brain is working slower. It's like my brain is taking a break and now swinging in a hammock by some beach so whenever I need it to work, I have to pull it away and slap it out of the dreamy state. I hope my boss can tolerate this new (and hopefully temporary!) Izni.

Time to go back to sleep. I feel hungry and a little thirsty but I can't go to the kitchen, lest Tumas would hear me. That little monster can be so annoyingly loud and persistent, but I love her anyway. Already I feel like a mother, heh!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Room Service to Celebrate

Under normal circumstances, I'd have gone out to see what the locals have to offer but my morning sickness is still a friend of mine even in my second trimester so I decided to order room service instead. It's just a simple dish and juice that you can easily get from any food stalls outside at one-ninth of the price but preggy woman wants what preggy woman wants. I've been spending on average RM10 for lunch every day at work just because I can't stomach the greasy, deep-fried Malay food that I used to have before. Now it's quiche, lasagna, etc. which I didn't particularly enjoy until now. Strange things happen when you're carrying a child. 

I'm currently in a small town in Sarawak on a site visit. The road from the hotel to the site is a little bumpy so I have to lift my body most of the time because it may harm the womb. The boat trip tomorrow will be even worse and I was warned that I would get wet, but the small boat can only carry one person at a time in addition to the boatman himself so my colleague decided it's safer and practical for him to go instead while I wait on the jetty and take the measurements. The same colleague also made me declare before he booked our tickets that I would not hold him responsible should anything happen to me on this trip. The fact that our site is infested with crocodiles didn't make him any less worried but pregnant or not, I don't think the reptiles really care. Most people asked if Rafiee was alright with it but he was the one who encouraged me to go. That's my man, always with me 100%. It's like there's practically nothing that he thinks I can't do. 

Having said that, I had my doubts. This is my first pregnancy but I wouldn't know if I could handle a site visit at this stage unless I went for one so I'm glad I did and I'm grateful that everything went well today. My only regret is that I lifted my own hand luggage into the over-head compartment on the airplane because I was too proud to ask for help. What a stupid reason. Anyway, I guess that's why I don't mind ordering the over-priced dinner to be served in the comfort of my hotel room. It's like my little celebration. Maybe it's too early to celebrate considering that the hard work is not done yet, but today looked promising so I'm going tomorrow morning feeling positive.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

My Favourite Time of Day

9pm onwards is the time I look forward to every single day. It's the time I love most. Yes, it's also when I'm truly and extremely exhausted and bloated but at least I'm home. At least I'm fresh from the shower and I've performed my prayer and recitation. At least I've spent quality time exchanging stories, hugs and kisses with my husband. 9pm onwards is when I lie down on the fluffy bed, turn on my laptop for some quick reads or read my monthly book and the kittens will be playing around me or taking a catnap on the same bed. Bliss. Until the morning comes.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

A New HUGE Chapter

Here's why I haven't been updating my blog as often as before. And why my book is way behind schedule (but it's almost done, 5% more!).

I've been sooooo knackered. Apparently that's what happens when you're pregnant. 

Yes, you read it right. I... AM... PREGNANT! I guess when I wrote that I didn't mind getting pregnant as early as this year, God couldn't agree more. I'm now into my 14th week and I've been dying to write about my first trisemester. If only I could muster up the energy to do that. I read that usually you start feeling better in the second trisemester. I'm still waiting.

I'm going to be a mother. Can you believe that? I still can't wrap my head around the idea and I think Rafiee is still in shock too. When I first told my ayah in January, the first thing he said was "Yeah, right." I guess he too found it mind-boggling that his little girl is going to have a child of her own.

Well, you have to start somewhere.

Friday, 10 February 2012

The Trouble with the World...

" that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."
-Bertrand Russell (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) 

Most people believe everything they read or hear, don't they? Like Facebook is closing down or a so-called religious ritual to get a spouse heard from some ustaz of dubious credibility or a minister's wife buying a million dollar handbag read on a blog, etc. Come on people, do some research first before you start spreading the news that only makes you look ignorant and downright silly. Sorry for my harsh words, I guess I just got sick of those posts that are sprouting like mushrooms after the rain but I don't want to sound like a snob by pointing it out to the particular individual. This is just to rant so that my husband's ears don't bleed from listening to it. If only everyone takes their time to question and research instead of taking things at face value, we can all achieve great things in life together.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

A Working Adult's Guide

This has to be the easiest way to get the five daily servings of vegetables and fruits - smoothies! You can basically throw in any fruits or vegetables that your heart desires but of course fruits with a high water content and green vegetables are recommended for better results. In the photo above, I used the following:

125 ml yogurt drink
250 ml low fat & high calcium milk
1 pear
1 apple
2 bananas
A handful of spinach
A handful of cereal & nuts
1 scoop of protein powder

The ingredients produce 900 ml of smoothies so that will last me one whole day at work. It only takes about ten minutes to make it so it's perfect for a lazy busy working adult like yours truly.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

In and Out of Love

Before you start assuming that the title refers to my marriage in any way, stop! Rafiee and I are happier with each passing day. Still giggly like on our first date almost six years ago, still madly in love like the newlyweds three years back and in sync like an old couple. Alhamdulillah and insyaAllah we'll keep improving from this point on. In fact, this matter wouldn't cross my mind if not for some divorces going on around me including celebrity couples that I think are too sweet to be separated.

Why does it happen? There can be so many reasons and they may differ from one couple to another. We just try to do our best and trust that whatever happens has a good reason. How to maintain a happy relationship? Well, google it and you'll get endless sources but it doesn't matter how many books you read; if you don't practice then you're only wasting your time. Being married for only three years doesn't grant me the right to say that I've got it all figured out but to me, the key is being able to communicate and screaming doesn't count. People stop listening when they're being yelled at. Of course if one partner refuses to communicate then there will already be trouble in paradise but that's the thing. Marriage takes two people to make it work so when at least one stops trying, then that's the end of the road for them.

Everyone in their right mind enters marriage with the best intentions but it doesn't always work out. You just have to try your best to make informed decisions every time - to marry or not (we dated for three years before tying the knot), to tell your secrets or not (Rafiee and I do, it's easier to live together without having to cover up), to have a baby immediately or not (a child is a huge responsibility so I personally would like to make sure we have spent enough time with each other before we both start focusing on another person), to fight over issue A or not (very subjective but we always try not to drag any issue for more than a day) and well you get the idea. A healthy relationship is supposed to make you happier, calmer, safer and better. If you can't find this in yours, then sometimes letting go is the best you can do for both of you.

Saturday, 14 January 2012


This blog has been temporarily abandoned as I haven't been feeling well since last weekend. Now I still have a nasty sore throat that's making me sound like an old lady. I finished two bottles of cough syrup and now on my third, this time a Chinese medicine given by a colleague as he felt responsible for bringing in the virus. I'm so exhausted from coughing that I have to drag myself to work. I hate to take medical leave, it makes me feel useless and weak. I'm trying a new remedy next week, lemon and honey.

Apart from that, Rafiee and I got Tumas a new friend. They got along within a couple of days and even though we have to put up with a messy apartment everyday now that we have a double force, we strongly feel it's unhealthy for an indoor cat if it's left alone in the house all day. And they look so cute together as you can see right here.

Two is always better than one when you have the right match, isn't it? Her name is Munee after her rescuer. Okay, can't write anymore. My chest even hurts now when I cough. I'm not taking any chances, I'm going to the clinic (again) tomorrow.

Sunday, 1 January 2012


They say a vacation rejuvenates your tired mind and body but why do I feel more tired after a four-day holiday? I guess they mean a 100% selfish retreat because I had a day of selfless acts and though I was happy at the end of the day, it left me feeling battered. 
Hubs and I went on a road trip to Johor on Thursday. We had a wonderful time stopping for food and singing in the car. Then we had a great dinner spread on a floating restaurant overlooking Singapore. The next day was spent there where we skipped the touristy Universal Studios and armed with a map and an endless supply of cold water (from most 7-Eleven that we came across), roamed the city to immerse in the local essence.

Organised and sterile, Singapore has little in common with Malaysia compared to my initial perception before the Kuala Lumpur tour. First, the service of the KL hop-on hop-off tour bus is ridiculously slow. The conductor thought we were foreigners and with other tourists around us complaining, we didn't correct him because we were too embarassed to be associated with KL. 

Second, the sellers in Petaling Street are anything but customer-friendly. Rafiee almost got in a fight because one of them forced him to buy the sunglasses that he tried on. 

Third, we saw a foreign couple holding some decomposable fruit seeds trying to find a waste bin as an old Malaysian man just right behind them tossed his big empty plastic bag on the pavement like it's the most natural thing to do. I still don't understand people who litter. Is it lack of education or common sense? I think it's stupid, disgusting and reflects the person's upbringing. The parents most likely do it too so they fail to see how morally wrong it is. 

Hoping that things will gradually improve (unless you want to get beaten up for telling some ignorant strangers off), we concluded that KL can learn a thing or two from Singapore although I still prefer Malaysia in general because we have so much more to offer.

On Saturday we went to a small town in Johor to help out with Rafiee's cousin's wedding so by the time the clock struck midnight, both of us were already snoring like a bear. A kitten that we fell in love with in Johor Bahru was also sleeping in the same bed, a little girl we named Tumas after our two favourite kittens that we lost recently, Dumas and Tamas. It's a Hungarian name so it's pronounced as Tu-mash. We decided to keep her in our apartment when she started licking our fingers as if to say "Thank you for saving me from the street" or so I'd like to believe. 

As I try to motivate myself to keep editing the book (now 70% completed) in my family house right now, I can't help thinking about the pants and shirts I have yet to iron. Thank goodness I love my work so that takes away any post-holiday blues, but I honestly don't mind having more vacations. Ah well, don't we all?