A story where… 

Sometimes fiction brings out the story in you.

The thing that scared her the most is his eyes. She couldn’t see him. He’s there but he’s not there. She wanted to cry inside mostly because of that. She looked into his eyes but could not find that man she knew and love.

She could hear words, angry tones. Non stop. It was like an angry Duracell bunny … his hands gesticulating everywhere. Him pacing around the room. He was worried about his car this time or was it his phone. She couldn’t keep track. He has been angry last few hours and she decided silence is the best answer to these situations. 

Do not aggravate.

Make silent movement.

Do not make eye contact.

She found it ironic that it sounded like advice when encountering wild animal. Sad actually, sad mostly but ironic too. 

She wanted to reason with him …  That he can’t fork out another large sum of money on an unnecessary house improvement project. That she can’t give him his phone or credit card. They have gone way past intellectual, sensible reasoning by this point. It was like talking to a wall … she could talk but he wouldn’t listen. 

She’s tired. She wanted to go for a nap but he burst into the room to tell of his latest rant. 

The tone of his voice intensified. Perhaps because she became silent for too long. She felt a sliver of fear. Her amicable, gentle grandad… never did she think that she could feel that for this gentle bear. He wasnt gentle now for sure… she wrapped her arms around her baby protectively, feeling somewhat in conflict. Surely he will never hurt her baby, he would never hurt a fly. She felt bad even doubting that fact. Right now though she’s not too sure. Right now he seems capable of doing anything. 

TBC…

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With love from Geneva 

I can’t sleep. It’s a bit too warm and I want a cold drink.


We are currently in Geneva where we’re on a weekend couple trip away. *cue shocked face* 

We went to Copenhagen last year for 2 days and 1 night and we vowed to have an annual weekend retreat just the two of us. It’s been five years and long time coming!

What I’ve been looking forward to the most is not having to wake up in morning to attend to someone else’s breakfast/bath/a heavy nappy/someone hitting my face to make them breakfast (no, not M). 

I actually miss them now. And part of me wished that we’re on holiday together cos the kids loooveeee a holiday and plane rides (but of course). It’s like going through an adventure and thinking ‘Ah Zayan/Ayman would like this’. 

A part of me lah.

The other part is happy that my schedule is my own and I can eat in peace! Haaa. (I love you boys, I really do. But sometimes mama needs personal space and I’m like Joey… I dont share food. Except for you guys. You guys help yourselves…)


We spent 30-40 mins actually playing checkers (I dont know how to play chess). This is one of the parks… people were still playing at 9 pm! For the records, I beat M…. I think he’s shocked his wife have more brains/cunningness than he realise. 

More updates tomorrow (maybe)!

Lotsa love

Me

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Yasmin’s talk (cos we’re on first name basis now)


Yesterday I attended a talk by Yasmin Mogahed, which was titled “Mending Our Past: Finding Our Road Back to God”. But what I took of it was “Changing perspectives on why bad things happen to good people”. 

I made some notes because I’m geeky like that. And this is what I’ve written (the bold comments).

A believer- gratitude at good times, patience at bad times.

Please see below.

Defining good and bad.

She explained on how we define good and bad things/experiences. Losing wealth, losing a loved one, winning lottery, being president of xxx, buying expensive bags, birth of a child. These are our definitions of good and bad things. But we believe the ultimate good is  getting closer to Allah. And if something good happens and you are in gratitude, inshaAllah it will make you closer. And if something ‘bad’ happens and you are patient with it, inshaAllah it will make you closer. So really it is how we change our perspective on things. 

The flip side is that when something good happens, we can turn arrogant and that makes us more distant from Allah. So it’s how we make of things.

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. asked protection from the eyes dont shed tears. 
Which means that we shouldnt be afraid to cry. We should not be in denial and just pretend it didnt happen or we’re ok with it. We need to deal with the emotions to heal and one way to do it is to shed tears. Our prophet Muhammad s.a.w himself prayed to ‘have protection from eyes that doesnt shed tears’. We’re not supposed to be ‘hard’ in our heart – we need to deal with emotions to move on. 

Those fixated on past – analogy of looking at rear view all the time . This means not moving on and end up crashing because we’re not looking in front.

On other hand, after dealing with the situation and emotions, we can’t keep looking back and being fixated on it. Hence the analogy.

Last third of night and Allah comes down & Allah is looking for ppl asking. 

Along with (singular) hardship comes (many) eases.

We know the ayat of ‘along with hardship comes ease’ and many including myself think of it as ease  coming after the harship. But actually it comes as well as the hardship except we dont think/realise of it. And this is explained below.

We’re not focusing on the ease whenever we are suffering. Shifting the focus on ease instead of hardship. Practice on gratitude. Write 5 things you’re grateful each day- study found that this helps in depression. 

On Praying istikharah : pray istikharah on anything. 

And not just before getting married (which is what I did).

The prayer during istikharah:

Ya Allah, You know and I don’t know. If this thing is good for me, make it happen and make it easy for me. If its not good for me, take it away from me and take me away from it. Bring me whats good for me and make me pleased with it.
I love this and I remember praying this before getting married. Going into a inter-cultural relationship on someone from a different country than you- I was so so worried of what it would bring. Differences on how we think, cultural differences, etc. And I was worried that he wouldnt wanna go live in Brunei or he wouldnt be happy there. I was so so scared and I just prayed that Allah will make this relationship easy for me if it is indeed good for me. I remember praying it several times over the course of months because I felt like there was no SIGN — no dream, no big ‘Aha!’ moment. It then dawned on me that each time after I prayed, M would do something thoughtful that makes me all melting inside. So I thought that’s it – I should stop doubting and go with it. 

Be wary of :

The sin makes someone go to Heaven (repent) and the good deed makes someone go to Hell (arrogant). 

No explanation needed. 

We are taught that ‘A good Muslim dont mess up ever’. Good muslims don’t commit sin – ever. 

And that is how we teach our kids too. Dont do this and dont do that. Just dont. Dont. 

But instead we need to train kids on what to do when they fall. This is what you do when you fall or commit sin. You’re there for them and ultimately don’t give up on Allah’s mercy.

Oxygen for heart is the remembrance of Allah – particularly solat. Remember Allah standing, sitting, on the sides.

There is a dua for everything. The prophets make dua on everything – before eating, before a journey. There is a dua for going into the toilet, going out of toilet. This proves a point that they remember Allah in everything.

I’m so bad at this – when it gets busy at work, sometimes I forgot to pray. Like lupa banar kan Allah sampai lupa solat. 

Anyway that’s what I’ve learnt and I’m glad I went. Not only because Yasmin Mogahed is one cool speaker (like the female version of Nouman Ali Khan) and makes things relatable and current. But also because my heart, my iman needed it.

Take care y’all,

me



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Ayman Ali

Have to post this for memories sake.

Ayman turned two three weeks ago but we’ve been working in the weekends and this weekend was the one time nobody is working and the in laws could come over. So we had a belated birthday get-together, but really just an excuse to have cake.


I think he enjoyed the cake but mostly because Elmo was on it and you can eat (a very thin) slice of it! I’ve been wanting to eat a rainbow cake sal nyaman usulnya on pintrest/instagram. It seemed easy — make a cake batter and divide by 6 and make it to different colours! I wanted to make it the day before but I was so tired from the last shift (finished at midnight, arrived home at 1 am) that I ended up favoring sleep rather than baking. So betungkus lumus lah ku Saturday morning. Pikir sekajap and simple tah ni … kan 3 jam yoooo. Simple pulang tapi mesti cuci tray and bowls (ada 3 saja tray) and divide by 6 atu. Inda tah lagi kanak2 kiri kanan. Imagine ants climbing on you .. cematu tah tu. Di kaki, kana ambil stool next to me … “can I mixxxxx? can I help youuuuu?” And because the stool only fits one kid and our kitchen damit and inda muat another chair next to me.. only one kid can join and so the other one will cry/sulk. Now why didnt I just bake the day before when kids were not around???

Anyway…. Ayman…..

I love watching this little man grow. Whilst Zayan is a little ball of energy (kinda like that rabbit duracell that never stops), Ayman is the opposite. Reserved and watches from a distant for while. Can be smiley with strangers but cautious.

He was a quiet baby, he was a ‘good’ baby. Nangis only when he wants a feed, would sleep 2 hrs or so in between. Relatively easy to put to sleep. He would sleep through the night before he was one and even now (after periods of on-off sleeping with me at night), can sleep by himself through the night. 

Sometimes I wonder if this was our ‘balasan’ after our initial difficulty in his newborn days. For those not in the know, he was born with Oesophageal Atresia with Tracheo-Oesophageal reflux — ie his gullet wasnt connected to his stomach and there was a connection between his gullet and airway. He had an operation to repair it on the second day of his life. Alhamdulillah, our stay in hospital was a mere two weeks. I’ve known cases of weeks and weeks in hospital before surgeons can repair defects like his. Or sometimes there’s other problems and complications.


Pictured: His transport incubator before going to operating theatre. Day 2 of life.

He can now eat pureed and mashed food and very tiny solids. Because of the defect/surgery, his gullet can’t contract as normal as well, you and I. So he has to eat slowly or have it more liquid-y so food can pass through easily. But try telling a two year old he needs to 

1. pace himself

2. chew lots and lots of time before swallowing 

3. drink lots between each solid food swallowed. 

You think ya paham? Kalau kana bagi makanan proper solids (eg nasi), makin gelojoh ada pulang. Takutnya kana ambil balik kali. Better eat this before mama takes it back! So mestitah pureed saja or kaau solids pun, damit2 putungan nya. Macam kalau makan nasi atu, dapat di hitung berapa butir rah piringnya at one time. Kalau too much or too fast, guarantee muntah or ter-stuck. 

And the thing is… he is such a foodie!! Majority of the time he cries because inda kana bagi makan, or sikit saja at one time or denied certain food. So for his two year birthday day, I made a simple cake that was bit mushy and he had a whole slice to himself. He was sooo happy.


A proper slice!!! 

Anyway so this boy…. I thinks he takes after his dad. Macam cool and reserved. And he likes things that requires more thinking — like puzzles. And he is happy just to sit there if kana bagi things that he can put in and out of a box (or like a packet of coloured pens… he would spend ages taking them out and putting them in). He is talking a lot! Well one word sentences. And only when strangers are not around!

Also unlike Zayan, he doesn’t put his heart on his sleeves. Perhaps it’s because of that or perhaps because I spent less time with just me and him (I worked part time after my mat leave with Zayan whereas now I work full time from the start), I find him a bit more difficult to read. Like I have to guess why he’s irked or upset. And I can’t predict his reactions to my emotions. I know how to guilt trip Zayan and I know how to make him listen to me. Ayman …. he’s bit more difficult to read. 

I love you all the same, my lil man. 



New movie coming to town. Baby’s Day Out – The sequel. (Though baby has grown, turned oriental and moved to Lesta).

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What’s your childhood memory?

I saw this pic on fb and it brought back memories of my childhood. By that, I mean memories of me playing with my cousin’s toys and wishing I can have one of these one day.
It got me and Big Bro 2 talking on how we didn’t have plenty of toys as kids. For me, I actually cannot think of any toys that I have. I mean I probably have small toys but cool ones like Polly Pocket…. nawww. My dad put a stop to those dreams. 

I remember wanting roller blades/skates so bad too. Nawww of course not. I even wanted one of those educational laptop-like thing but my dad said no to that too.

My brothers had bikes and we had a loooot of books. If I think back of my childhood, this is what I remember:

Playing outside with the neighbourhood kids

Reading encyclopedias

Reading Asterix, Archie comics and Tintin (we had complete set of these 3).

Playing hide and seek

Riding with my bros on their bikes

Playing kayu tiga

My bro did have an organ! 

Playing with slinky

Soooo erm, I dont really remember  playing with toys much. Either I’ve suppressed the memories or it wasn’t as an enjoyable/sticking to my mind as much as playing outside. Which made me think …. are toys really worth the fun? Will my kids think back one day on how awesome their childhood is with the toys they had? The best memories I had are of those playing with other people. Of the fun we had. 

Makes me think on how I should cut down ipad time.

What’s your childhood memory?

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You only miss it when you lost it

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Longing for a holiday and get me out of this October winter! Why can’t I live in San Francisco and have these stunning views from my window?

I’ve come down with the flu the last few days. I am coughing and sniffling and having rigors in between hours of my shifts. When I bend down to listen to the chest, the snot actually trickles down and threatens to drop and so I can’t bend my head down much anymore in order to look professional in front of patients/parents. Yes I am feeling sorry for myself. I am wallowing in my snottiness and headache.

Due to swaps and covering for other regs last week, I have been working in the Children’s Assessment Unit a lot more than normal (5 CAU days btw, of which 4 were on call). And this week I am on twilight shifts (4 pm till midnight). As a result of the constant working and my (man-)flu, I have been  pretty much on survival mode: eat, work and sleep. And trying to appear living with my boys. I cannot keep up lah, all I want to do is sleep when off work but I do miss them and they miss me too!

When you’re on survival mode, other things don’t matter so much. Social media. Other work commitments. Hobbies and sports. No, no, you just focus on keeping moving. Keep moving and do the next task.

But today I have the morning off whilst childminder looks after Ayman and I can CHILL before my afternoon shift. I miss these times. The luxury of not doing anything. Like I don’t care that I have to fill in some monitoring exercise. I don’t care that I need to hand in a draft of guidelines in a week’s time. I don’t care that I haven’t updated @bruwomendo. I don’t care that I haven’t done any work based assessments recently. I don’t care that I haven’t even started on finding a new childminder because our current one is pregnant (sobs…I mean, I’m happy for her but….sobs….).

For a few hours, I just want to do NOTHING. And think NOTHING.

Except for that monitoring exercise. Ugh.

During my current illness (flu), I have also been reflecting. You know how when you lost something, you start missing it. Yeah man, I miss my healthy body. I miss my non-sore throat and a clear head that doesn’t feel like cotton wools are packed in it. I miss feeling so energised ready to take on the world (oh wait, I think I left that in my twenties). It’s true what they say. You have losses to appreciate the good things in life.

I’ve also been thinking… I need to write more in here. I miss writing here. I’m gonna make a vow – I will write here EVERY week. Ok so I always break my own vows but I will try to follow this through!!!!

Lotsa love,

Me

 

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Say hello to Editor

So I don’t think I’ve written it here before. But I am the editor of East Midlands Paediatric School newsletter. When I say School, I mean the institutional embodiment that covers paediatric trainees in East Midlands. A ‘trainee’ in whatever specialty , once passed all exams and goes through each level of training, ends up having ‘CCT’ in their specialty and this gives then the full creditation of being a specialist. I am currently an ST 5, which means I am in my fifth year of training. I need to get to ST 8 before getting CCT. 

Anywaaaay, I am editor, for no reason except that I am more tech-y than others and there werent many of us to begin with. I am actually technologically challenged and le husband has more knowledge and skills in IT and designing. But hey, I just use his skills to work for me hrhrhr. I guess I do have a blog and used to design my blog layouts. I remember I used to design my blog to have a forum and all as well. 

In a way, I do enjoy being editor. I’ve always love writing and playing with words and being editor gives me the time that I dont normally give to writing. It also forces me to read more, to get inspiration to quotes and book reviews and journal articles. 

I love writing and I wish I can write more. And this gives me an avenue to write, even if only for mundane paediatric news! But hey dont a lot of editors write books as well? (haaa perasan) 

Lotsa love,

me

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