Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy 4th Birthday my Little One!

May all your dreams come true my darling child.
You can achieve everything and anything you want to do as long as you work hard and focus your mind on success.
We want you to know that we love you very much!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Its a special day mummy!

Somehow The Little had the inkling that I was having a long weekend.

"Mummy I want to stay with you at home," she cried and she clutched on my arm.

"But darling, if you stay at home then I won't be able to send you to school," I answered.

"And you will pick me up too?" she asked.

"Of course I will," I answered.

And so she slept. She is finally sleeping in her own bed albeit its still in our room. She had requested that she wanted a Charlie and Lola bed sheet and she will sleep with Charlie and Lola.

On the bus this morning she exclaimed, "Oh mummy. Today is a special day isn't it because you are sending me to school," she commented.

"And you will fetch me from school later right?" she asked.

I sure will.

Days like this sometimes make me wonder that perhaps I should be at home with my child.

But its just 5 more weeks before summer holidays and she will be joining me in my school in August anyways.

I have to say that me getting this job is actually a rezeki for her as much as it is mine.

She has blossomed really well at her Preschool. She now recognizes some of the alphabets and all of the numbers. Her motor skills are developing well and her social skills are improving.

Because Mommy has to go to work myself my Little One recognizes that we all have "jobs" to do and schools to go to. There were many days when she was tempted to skip school (as what her best friend often does) but couldn't because there was no one else at home to look after her.

But I have to confess that I do miss my social life. There are friends whom I haven't talked to in ages. Friends whom I used to hangout with, I just see occasionally. I no longer know who my neighbours are because I no longer use the shopping bus. I haven't sewn or done anything creative in ages. I come home tired. I still have to cook and spend time with my child. Somedays I feel like I'm on the treadmill and I play catch up during the weekend for groceries etc.

However, I am very grateful that I am working because I want to, and not because I need to.

And I am grateful that I've been given this opportunity because not everyone who wants to have the same chance.

So I will spend today being grateful that I have the day off and that I can fetch my daughter from school. And be grateful tomorrow that I have a job that I love doing.


Saturday, May 02, 2009

A death and a lifetime of commitment

Dear AM,

I went to a neighbour's house to convey my condolences today. You did ask me where I was going and I said I needed to visit a sick friend. I'm sorry I didn't tell you the truth because I didn't want you to get sad and I'm not ready to answer your questions about death.

The lady is young. Early forties. Her husband, who was 47 died of heart attack at his house about 2 weeks ago. He died about half an hour after having an argument with his 15 year old daughter. His second son is 12 and his youngest son is 9.

Understandably, they are all in shock. Heart broken. Faris, the youngest still does not believe that his dad passed away. Yesterday he asked his mum, if it was true his dad passed away. Khalil the elder son is still grieving. He was with his dad when it all happened. He is probably still traumatized. The eldest daughter, well at the moment, is the cause of her mother's concern and pain.

"I cannot get back the one I lost but I'm afraid I will lose Christina if I don't do anything about it now."

She told me that Christina had always been a difficult child, even when she was carrying her up to today.

Suddenly, I recognize that this will not be the sort of relationship I want to have with you now or the future. I feel for this lady's sorrow. And for me to avoid this, I have to start working with you now.

I want you to know that you can always come to talk to either one or both of us if you have anything in your mind. And we promise to always listen to you with an open heart and open mind.

I promise that I will share the truth with you as much as I can, age appropriately.

I want to give you as much respect and freedom as I want for myself, within boundaries and limits. I want you to always feel that I respect you for who you are and who you will be.

I will love you, unconditionally and try to give you as much time as I can. Especially when you are asking for my attention when I am catching up with my friends or cooking dinner. You are more important, than anything else to me in this world. And I want you to know that.. always.

Please accept that I am still a mother in training. I promise to update myself, as much as I can, to understand your needs, your desires and your wishes.

I will always let you know that I love you and no matter how upset I am, I am upset at your particular behaviour, and not all of you.

I promise to always see your true and hidden potential.

And there is nothing more I want in this world, to have a wonderful journey with you and your dad into your adulthood, to see you bloom into a sensible, loving and wise adult.

No matter what happens, I will never place the blame on you. I will accept the situation as a life lesson for me to learn. So that I can share with you better directions or instructions.
[This does not mean you will not have the face the consequences of your actions though!]

I hope you understand why I didn't bring you along. This was my life lesson to learn. I had to concentrate on the experience so I will be a better mother.

With lots of love,


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The perils of reading to your child

"When I grow up I want to be a painter."

"Will you be a famous painter who sells her painting for millions of dollars?"

"No mummy I want to keep all my paintings, I don't want anyone else to have them."

What brought this on, I pondered.

And then I remembered that we have been reading her Reynold's The Dot. The Dot has inspired my child to paint everyday. Sometimes much to my annoyance really.

She once decided that she wanted to paint just before bedtime.

On the following day she decided that she needed to paint just before we left the house to go for dinner.

She managed to paint when she comes back from school.

She even insisted on painting just before we left for the airport to send the ILs off.

Who knew books could put in such strong inspirational ideas into children?

Then we read her "The Princess and the Pea." After we finished the story, she quickly pleaded that "Mummy please do not put a pea under my mattress. Otherwise I will not sleep very well."

I guess I don't have to worry about her being a princess then. A good night's sleep is more important for her.

Just yesterday she told me, "Mommy I missed you while I was in school just now. I don't think you gave me enough kisses in the morning."

I guess she thinks Rosemary Wells' Timothy gets more kisses from his mum than she does in the morning.

Have you been asked to read Mem Fox's Where is green sheep in the morning, lunchtime, afternoon and bedtime? In the car, at the kitchen table and on the bed?

If your child is anything like mine, she will not leave me alone and will ask me repeatedly until I manage to negotiate for a suitable time.

Luckily she hasn't asked me why the sleep were multi-coloured and did all sorts of things.

Some days I get detailed request from her for books, "Please bring me a book about a bee, a giraffe and a bear."

Is that all in one book or 3 different books?

Then there was the time when I got her A Cow, A Bee, A Cookie and Me. When she found out that the recipe for the cookies was at the back of the book, all I heard for 3 consecutive days was "When will we make the cookies mummy? Is it today"

And when I finally found the time to oblige the cookies were her precious possession. I was allowed two because I helped her bake them. Her dad could have one to taste.

She kept her box of cookies someplace in the cupboard and told us that "Its a secret place I put it mummy so one else can eat them but me."

Even when daddy asked for a second cookie to taste again, she said no. "Sorry Daddy they are mine and they are very special. Only for me."

I am lucky that I work in a library and have access to children books. But I am terrible in the sense that I love to purchase our own copy of her favorite tittles so our house is bursting with books.

So my advice to all parents is, if you want lots of free time alone for yourself to surf the net and everything else, don't start reading to your child. Because once you do, they will never want you to stop and they'll be very disappointed when you tell them you don't have the time for such trivial pursuits in life.

Especially when you start introducing to them the joys of reading, they'll be hooked. Possibly even for life. And you'll never have peace until perhaps when your child learns to read to himself/herself.

You've been warned!


A mother of a 3 year old

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Missing an Editor Lite software and Dongle

My DH bought me the Bernina Aurora QE 440 as a gift after my Little One was born. He knew I've been eyeing it for ages and decided that we should go ahead and get it. To sweeten the deal he bought the embroidery module as well to go with the Aurora 440.

But I didn't open the embroidery module. I've been wanting to test it out but never got round to do so due to many many reasons. Motherhood. Everyday life. Didn't have the space on my sewing table. (Got a new sewing table.) Didn't have the computer to load up the software to go with the machine. Didn't take a project in mind.

Whatever my reasons were, I've left it in the box it came in until yesterday because M@rie called to say that she will be teaching a class on how to use the software.

So I finally opened the box until to find the dongle, and the software missing. Two things needed to make the embroidery module work.

I do accept that it was my fault that I did not open the whole thing right away.

But at the moment my heart is just bleeding. I am upset.

On the other hand, if its meant to be mine, it will be returned to me in other ways?

Life lesson for me, open whatever you buy right away.

In the meantime if anyone is selling theirs cheap, I would consider all offers.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

She is saying grass...

"Did you know that our daughter says grass in school?"

"Grass? What grass?" I muttered, caught by surprise.

"So what do you do when you say grass in school Little One?"

"We thank God for our friends and our food," she answered as she hopped around the kitchen like a bunny.

Bells were ringing a little. Some how saying grace (to us) does have a Christian connotation. Is my child being taught values of a religion which may be different from ours? So how come I didn't blink when they had Santa come to the school and I am somewhat uncomfortable that they are saying grace?

Surely it is a Muslim quality to be thankful and grateful for what we have? Isn't it why we are encouraged to say Alhamdullilah as much as we can?

So we had to ask her exactly what they say when they say grace.

"We say thank you for our friends and our food." Is that all? Anything else?

Its not that I mind her being thankful for her friends and her food. In fact I do encourage her to appreciate and be grateful for what we have.

Just last week she has begun to ask me questions like, "Can we eat pig?"

"No darling, we don't eat pork because we are Muslims."

Should we explain to her more? How much more?

I guess she is telling us it is time for us to teach her more about our faith. She understands that when we hear the prayer call, its "Solat" or time to pray and often asks to pray with us.

I am grateful that she is sent to us not only to bring us joy and strength, but also a reminder such that we can be better people ourselves.

I pray that God gives us the strength and light to teach her the best we can. Not just values of the religion but values that will build the strength of her character that will allow her to make good choices in all aspects of her life.

I would like to think that I am teaching her a world full of unity and similarities and not be afraid of diversity and differences, be it culture or religion.

My daughter, you do put me in a pickle sometimes. It is a precious gift that a person give to another when you make me want to be a better person so I can be a better example for you.

Its tough being a parent! And I am grateful for the opportunity

And most times times it is my little one who is teaching me to be a better parent!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Always for a reason

I cannot tell you how many times I walked past the bookshelf with the books, "Tuesdays with Morrie." It is something that I would normally pick up but I didn't. The time didn't feel right. The book did not call my name.

It just happened that a friend had borrowed a book from a neighbor and I was the intercessor. And the book came to me. I had a weekend when plans had to be shelved. My body seemingly tired. Sulking I buried myself in the book. And oh boy, the words just snowed me under.

If anything, it pointed out to me that I have nothing to sulk about. I have everything to celebrate about my life. And I should embrace and celebrate every minute I can before the inevitable happens.

Here are some of my favorite bits of the books which I want to remember. To remind myself every now and then because the book would have to go forth and bring wisdom to the next reader.

"Do the kinds of things that come from the heart. When you do, you won't be dissatisfied, you won't be envious, you won't be longing for somebody else's things. On the contrary, you'll be overwhelmed with what comes back." pg128

I believe in paying it forward and I believe what you put out there is what you get in return. And I always must remind myself, whatever it is i do has to be Ikhlas, or sincere. From my heart. I should not recount it later but just to cast it out to the wind and forget all about it.

"Part of the problem, Mitch, is that everyone is in such a hurry," Morrie said. "People haven't found meaning in their lives, so they're running all the time looking for it. They think the next car, the next house, the nest job. Then they find those things are empty, too, and they keep running."

Once you start running, I said, it's hard to slow yourself down. Pg 136

I must remember to slow down. To take each day as it comes and not try to rush and cram everything in all at once. Sometimes I feel bogged down by implied expectations. Implied because I know too well myself that its an expectation that I thought was expected of me.

I must remember that its OK to say no. That I don't have to say yes all the time to please other people.

To always take a moment and ask my heart, myself, do I want to do this? So that I am not constantly running on a treadmill on a road to nowhere.

If we saw each other as more alike, we might be eager to join in one big human family in this world, and to care about that family the way we care about our own. pg 156

Its Ok for me to love other people and its OK for them not to love me back. Because the love will come back to me, in other ways and avenues I can't anticipate.

There is no formula to relationships. They have to be negotiated in loving ways, with room for both parties, what they want and what they need, what they can do and what their life is like.

Love us when you are as concerned about someone else's situation as you are your own. pg 178

If not, more ...

I am grateful that the book came to me. Right to my door.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

All I want is .....

To provide the best I can, with all the information I have, for my child.

I want her to have a good stable foundation and grounding for her future.

I do this by loving her unconditionally on beautiful days as well as on cranky days.

I try to educate myself as much as possible to equip me for this role.

I must remember that she too has her own destiny and that the Universe, our creator will take care of not just her but us as well.

I will accept that everything happens for a reason. And often enough it is revealed to me the good or the reason something happens or don't happen.

There will be many times that I may not know what to do. But I will explore all possible options and look into all avenues to see what I can do.

In the meantime I must trust that things will work out. One way or the other.

And often, the test is to see how and in what way I will react to the tribulations of life.

I promise to keep an open mind and accept whatever journeys that may come upon us and to learn in whatever way I can, either from the journey itself, from the people I may meet or the places I may see.

I am truly grateful that there are always people around me who are like my angels, who helped to light up my path, one way or another.

I like that she has brought my journey to different paths and makes me see the world and the people around me in a different light.

You make me want to be a better person. You make me want to take care of myself so I can love you better.

And that is the greatest gift anyone can give to another.

Its a huge responsibility my child, and I love you more for it.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Remembering to be grateful

The days in a week seemed to just fuse and melt away together. The weekend is filled with errands and things to do.

I was asked recently, "Why are you so busy?"

I was taken aback by the question.

"Busy right now? Because I am ordering teh tarik or being busy in general?"

Busy because I am working?

I am often surprised when others remarked to me, "Its good now that you are working, It gives you something to do so you're not bored."

Bored? Something to do?

Thing is, I was already busy even when I was not working. I always had something to do. Books to read. Blogs to read. Projects to do be it sewing or other craft related. Travel plans. Emails to write. And most importantly, raising my child. I do not believe that one can ever be bored while raising a child. There is so much to do. Meals to cook. Cakes to bake. Books to read. Activities to plan. Research to read, plan and implement.

I apologize if I cannot empathize with people who says they are bored and claims that they have nothing to do. There is always something to do. Even prayers take time and boy I have lots of prayers to do. Doesn't everyone? Irregardless what religion they are?

Of course some questions were raised before why I needed to work. For me, the opportunity came by chance, through the goodwill of friends and acquaintances to my lap. And perhaps I am one of those people who is always game to try something new and/or different. (Perhaps thats the reason I seldom have time to be bored?)

I did it both for me and my child. I needed to know that my brain still works. There were days I could not string sentences properly together. There were times I thought some brain cells were permanently lost. And I wanted my child to see that women can work too if they wanted to. And to give my child the space so that she knows she is capable of having fun without mummy around.

I've seen how she is a different person when I am not there. It made her grow up a little so to speak. She is not whinny when I'm not there. Suddenly she sees me, she goes, "Mummy please carry me."

This works for us. I may not recommend it for everyone but for the moment this works for us and I am grateful.

Of course there were many mornings I wish I could just sleep in. Or when my child is sick I wish I can tend her at home.

Whatever it is, I constantly have to remind myself as I am doing so now, is that I must always be grateful for the life Allah has given me. For the opportunities he presented to me. For the people and friends I get to meet. For the good health we have. For the happiness we enjoy. For the wonderful food on our table. For everything.

I am only human and I try to do my best with whatever I can. Its very easy to get into a complaining mode (which I initially thought I was going to do) but I must constantly remind myself, how much more wonderful it is for me to be grateful.

I am grateful that my weekends are just so fast that it seems something just pops up for us to do.

Good or bad, I am grateful.

Alhamdullilah. Alhamdullilah. Alhamdullilah.

What's on your gratitude list today?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Ideological difference

I met A* 5 years ago at an embassy function. We had very little in common except that we were both born in a small tropical island and now stranded in the middle of the desert.

A* is married to a middle eastern gentleman. They met in S/ngap0re when he was working there, their romance blossomed and they got married and she followed him since.

What I find most difficult is that she does not have a mobile phone herself or a home landline number. Her only connection to the outside world is through her husband's mobile phone which he carried with him everywhere he went including work.

"So if you want to call me, you can call him after 9 or 10 pm when he gets home from work and he can pass the phone to me."

"Why don't you get your own? Its easy enough to get a SIM card now and phones are cheap?"

"Well my husband said its not easy. He is busy at work all day long and he comes home tired and stressed out."

"So what is something happens to you in the day should you fall sick or faint or fall?"

"Well I can go to my neighbours and ask for help. Most of my neighbours are his countrymen so they know him well."

At first I thought well if she wants my old mobile, perhaps I can give it to her. But then I realize that perhaps it was not a question of economics or logistics but rather a control and/or emotional issue.

I always prided myself as someone who can empathize other people, their situation, culture or even economic circumstance. However this goes beyond my personal tolerance.

It makes me so mad that she accepts her situation. I have little respect for a man whom I consider controlling.

Last night I met her again and she looked very thrilled to see me. I however had to restrain myself very hard from shaking her into her senses, "Whats this woman! You still have no phone?"

Granted I don't know them well and has not made any effort to bridge the gap.

And what did I learn from this lesson? That I can be very judgmental and prejudiced much to my own chagrin.

If she is happy, why burst her happy bubble. Sometimes the feminist in me cloud my judgement of other people.

My child, if you meet a suitor who cuts you off from your friends or family and controls how you get access to them, run! Run as fast as you can! I am raising you to be a person who can have her own opinion and her own choices. Liberty is your birthright! Work hard to maintain it and don't give it away to anyone. Liberty does come with responsibility like everything else, but once you let it go, it may never come back. You may be a chained changed person forever.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Of a mum's guilty feelings and slings

I cannot explain what has come over me but some days I just feel guilty about not spending enough time with My Little One.

It feels like she is growing up so much each day and I often wonder if I am letting precious moments pass me by.

Did I do enough today? I do sometimes wonder.

Just the other day she gave me a hug at the skate park and declared, "Mummy I am so glad you are here with me." And somehow that just made my tiredness melt away.

She has been a little unwell and just the other day I put her in our Didymos sling again because I needed to cook dinner and she wanted to be carried. And I think she enjoyed being carried in the sling again.

My child, some days you are 3 going on 20, and on other days you remind me that you but a baby and need her mummy to pamper her.

I must say, the sling has been and still is a lifeline for me. We decided that she has outgrown the Ergo as she was complaining that they pinch her. The didymos however does spread her weight well except that the amount of fabric is sometimes inconvenient to deal with.

Dear Little One, I want you to know that I love you all day long. I love you when we are together and I love you when we are apart. And I love you even more when you are being brave!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Surviving on miracles

"We'll be out of debt by the end of the month," she declared.

What's this I thought. It turned out they had to repay the bank for a loan they took out for a business plan that went bust. And all this time she never breathe a word about it.

And so I had to ask.

"How did you survive all that time your husband lost his job?"

"On miracles. We have a supportive family," was her answer.

I first met this lady about 10 years ago during a training stint in the civil service. Of course during that time I didn't realize that we would be as good friends as we are now. But looking back, all these years, I never heard her grumble. She has had many trials and tribulations in her life.

As I told another friend, we all have our own struggles in our lives. What makes it different is how we deal with those struggles.

Do we learn to grow up and deal it with maturity and grace?

Or do we sulk and begrudge others whom we think are better off than us?

Or sink in depression with a woe is me attitude?

I realize more than ever now, the true character of my friend is her strength and resolute to be happy with the life she and her husband have built for themselves. Lesser people would have let this get in the way of their lives and their marriage. But not the Ss.

Congratulations my friend. You both are an inspiration to me. May this signify a new beginning in your lives. May the new year bring you more happiness and prosperity! Good luck.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Death of my N93?

It all started when I brought my N93 phone to the Singtel Mobile shop in AMK. I wanted to know if its true they would give me SGD200 as a trade in value. It turned out that they could not give me the trade in value because I did not buy the phone locally.

Which was fine by me really. Because I was only 30% sure that I would buy a new phone.

My N93 has served me very well but lately it has not behaved itself. It sometimes turns itself off. Which is not a very useful feature on a mobile phone because sometimes other people may want to contact you. Without the "ring when someone is calling you" facility, my phone would be no better than a low resolution camera and video thingy.

But after I had brought my phone to that counter that fateful day, it has behaved more badly than ever! Just today it turned itself off just as I was having a conversation with a friend. Previously, it would do so after perhaps 10 mins of talking, and I had previously blamed it on the uncharged battery. But just today, after I made sure that the phone is fully charged, it still reset itself, turned itself off as I was talking and my time is spent making sure that my phone is still turned on!


Hubby dearest is leaning towards the iphone which I am reluctant because I am a faithful Nokia user. I did think of the blackberry but I just haven't put much thought into these sort of gadgets lately. [I'd rather get another sewing machine to be honest.]

One thing for sure I'd better extract all the phone numbers in there while I still can because I haven't stored the phone numbers else where.

I found some suggestions online on how to revive my dead Nokia N93, whether it works or not, I'll have to find out.

If anyone else knows how to deal with a hurt mobile phone's feeling please share it with me. Otherwise may I suggest you refrain from bringing your phone to ask its trade in value in case its feeling gets hurt like mine.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Hello 2009, good bye 2008

How quickly time flies!

2008 presented me with wonderful and new adventures. The ever pending dreaded move did not happen in 2008 and I've decided that no matter where I am or will be, I will learn to adapt and love the place I live. I shall fear The Move no more. If it happens, we'll deal with it. It not, I'll enjoy the wonderful things about living here as much as I can.

I am truly blessed that I've had many opportunities to meet people who inspire me, who teach me a little bit here and there about life. Some became friends along the way, some became my sounding board. I am truly grateful for that.

My motto for 2008 was to invest in myself, doing whatever I can to make myself a better person. To my amazement, the change happened quite quickly, much quicker than I ever anticipated. Opportunities sprouted like wild mushrooms.

For the year ahead, I hope to live a life of gratitude, to see life as a glass half full. I must appreciate what I have and live in this moment and not yearn for the things that are not here or I cannot get.

Contentment is the state of the mind and I am determined to live a life of contentment rather that of discontent.

I will concentrate on what I do and do it well. I will ignore any sort of politics, gossip and Chinese whispers. And I will stop thinking of what others may think of me.

The only person I can control is me and I will work on me. I will continue to work on myself, to make myself a better person mentally, spiritually and health wise.

I hope to live in the here and now, at the same time work on my goals and dreams.

I will continue to reduce my clutter and not keep things that I can no longer use. Things are what I use to make me live well, they do not definite me as who I am. They are my tools.

I will eat well and eat healthy. Will try to prepare as many meals I can myself rather than resort to eating out.

I will keep positive people and positive energy around me.

I will continually appreciate the wonderful things I have in life; family, love, wonderful friends, great job, comfortable life, wondrous travels.

I began to learn not to over commit myself in the second half of 2008. I hope to continue to do better in 2009. I'm not at my best when I spread myself too thin.

We will save a lot more for The Little One's education. We will endeavor the best we can afford for her.

The round the world trip is still in the IN tray. Perhaps it will happen in 2009?

SO what do YOU have planned for 2009?