Monday, 30 June 2008

Tagging game

Huwah, dah 2 bulan delay buat tag ni. Mujur Aini tak bising je :P

Senaraikan 5 hadiah yang anda impikan:

1. Rumah berpenataan English Country style
2. Home library
3. Bercuti ke European countries
4. Buku-buku berkualiti dan berharga murah (bawah RM 10)
5. Taman bunga

Senaraikan alasan atas pilihan anda itu:

1. Saya sangat suka English Country style
2. Idaman sejak kecil melihat sebuah bilik yang penuh dengan buku. Selalu berangan kalau dapat home library macam dalam rumah orang Inggeris
3. Bukan sekadar London, saya hendak juga melihat Belanda, Russia dan negara-negara EU lain.
4. Saya seorang ulat buku
5. Walaupun tidak pandai menanam pokok, saya suka melihat taman-taman yang terhias rapi. Dapat destress diri di petang hari

5 impresi terhadap orang yang diminati:

Perlukah saya jawab soalan ini? *wink*

Perkara yang paling hebat pernah dilakukannya untuk anda:

Mengutamakan keluarga dalam apa jua keputusan. Selalu menekankan quality time untuk anak-anak.

5 ciptaan yang paling disukai (tidak semestinya melibatkan teknologi yang maju):

1. Pam susu *wink*
2. Telefon bimbit
3. Komputer
4. Tudung (bervariasi dan berwarna-warni)
5. Buku :)

Apakah perkara yang paling dibenci?

1. Melihat mereka yang belum kahwin berdating seperti sudah berkahwin. Sakit mata akak ok
2. Racial politics. Too much of it menyebabkan saya masih bersyak wasangka dengan bangsa lain. Saya impikan warga Malaysia, bukan warga Melayu sahaja.
3. Mereka yang memburuk-burukkan dan menikam saya dari belakang. (Had a very bad experience about it)
4. Rude people! Tolonglah, mana budi bahasa yang dibanggakan sangat itu?
5. Orang merokok seperti tiada esok bagi dirinya - chain smoking. Sudah-sudahlah mencemarkan udara

5 Orang yang mahu anda tag:

1. My auntie with 7 kids (or 8 kids?) - sorry CY, lost count
2. My youngest aunt
3. My cousin with 4 boys
4. My cousin who is waiting to give birth to her 3rd child
5. My dad, in case you are reading this from Ho Chi Minh city :)

Friday, 27 June 2008

You walk the talk first: Musings by Marina Mahathir

I read this article last Saturday, in The Star. Something to ponder upon.

You walk the talk first

Musings
By MARINA MAHATHIR

The Government wants us to change our lifestyles to cope with inflation. It is easier said than done since most people were having it difficult even before the hikes. The Government must first set an example by doing things it should have done long ago.

WITH the recent hike in fuel prices and the Government’s exhortations for us to change our lifestyles in order to cope, may I provide here some suggestions for the Government and those who work for it to “share our burden”.

1. Stop having meetings, especially out at resorts, far enough away to be able to claim transport allowances. Have online meetings instead or teleconferences. Use Skype or chat.

2. No need to order special pens, bags, T-shirts, notepads and other goodies for those same meetings.

3. No need to order kuih for mid-morning or teatime meetings in government offices, or nasi briyani lunches for those meetings that happen to end just at lunchtime.

4. Cancel all trips for government servants to conferences overseas unless they return with full reports of what they did there, who they met and what they learnt and how they mean to apply what they learnt at home. Ask them to do presentations to colleagues who did not get to go, on the most interesting and important papers that they read.

5. Scrutinise invoices for contracts to make sure they are truly reflective of what those projects or supplies cost.

6. Stop elaborate launches for government programmes. In particular, stop the buying of souvenirs, special batik shirts, corsages, bouquets and caps.

7. Make all civil servants and politicians travel economy class. That means really travelling at the back of the plane and not buying full fare economy class tickets that allow them to be upgraded to Business Class.

8. Stop having the full complement of police escorts to cut down on petrol costs. If they need to be somewhere by a certain time, start earlier like the rest of us. Wouldn’t be a bad thing for them to also experience a traffic jam.

9. Once a week (or more), have ministers use public transport so they know what everyone else has to suffer. This might provide them with the incentive to improve them.

10. Once a week, let ministers go to a market to buy food for their families with instructions to not spend more than RM100.

11. Get ministers to carpool. They might get more work done just by being able to talk to each other to see what can be coordinated between their ministries. For instance, the Ministers of Health and Women could discuss what to do about women’s health issues in the car on the way to work. Maybe have a secretary to travel in the front seat to take down notes on what was discussed. By the time they get to their offices, things can get implemented.

12. Once a month, get civil servants to work with one disadvantaged group in order to be better able to appreciate their problems. It could be blind people one month, hearing disabled people the next, orang asli the following month and people living with HIV/AIDS after that.

We could start buddy systems which pair one civil servant with one disadvantaged person and at the end of it, ask each pair to make recommendations on how to make life better for each other. This might get rid of the problem of desk jockeys, people who never stray very far from their desks yet make policies for people they know nothing about.

13. Have PA systems that shout out the name of the officers who have to serve people at government offices so that people get the services they came for and don’t have to keep coming back just because the officer was out having coffee.

No counter should be left unmanned for more than five minutes before the officer is paged to go back to their stations. This should cut down waiting time for the public and save them transport costs in having to keep returning just to get one thing done.

14. Government officers who lose people’s files should be fined and have their names publicised for being careless and causing inconvenience to the public. Instead of making the public travel to their offices several times to deal with their problems, they should travel to go see their client and deal with it right there and then.

And every officer who goes out of the office should be given a reasonable time to get his work done after which he is expected back in office so he doesn't waste time doing something else.

15. And newspapers should save paper by reporting real news rather than non-news that they carry, particularly nonsensical utterances by politicians.

As they say, we need to do this all together in order to make a difference. So if the Government and politicians make these lifestyle changes, I will do my part and change mine.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Medela Freestyle

Training.. training..
YES, that's the answer why I have not updated my blog this week.

However, since a few people asked me about Medela Freestyle performance, let me review it here. I have been using the Freestyle for about a month now after receiving it from US.


It was a double pump, and true to it's name, it was a handsfree pump. I managed to free BOTH of my hands while using this pump. It was so easy to use, eventhough at the initial stage, I was quite confused on how to wear the handsfree kit that comes with this pump. I managed to grasp the concept after a few tries, and it was very practical when you get use to it.

Performance wise, the suction is the same as my Medela Swing. The advantage however, it is a double pump! Since I have tried Medela Pump in Style Advanced (or known as PISA), I prefer PISA suction - it was much more softer and comfortable using PISA (the downside of PISA, it weighs 4kg!). But for true mobility, I would vote for Freestyle anytime.

Freestyle comes with a rechargeable battery. Since I just came back from a 3-day training course, I would testify that the suction using the battery is as powerful as using electric. I managed to pump for 2 days without any electrical outlet nearby (actually, I pumped in the toilet cube). One session lasted about 20 minutes, so for 6 session with the battery pack, it counted for 2 hours of pumping. I think it can go up to 7/8 session with the battery itself.

I also found out that the valves are different from any Medela models, it was not easy to break.


The machine had a memory button, to memorise our pumping phase during the let down mode (first phase) and the expression mode (second phase). When I on the machine, I only have to push the memory button to get my own rythm. It was so easy to switch between let down and expression phase since I managed to switch between those 2 modes with the let down button (with Medela Swing, you have to off the machine and start all over again to get the let down phase working).

It also comes with a timer, which I found it quite useful. I used to look at the watch to know how many minutes I have been pumping.

Medela Freestyle comes with lots of item (to justify its very expensive price tag):
- Medela Freestyle pump with rechargeable battery pack, electrical cord
- Tubing and valves
- Handsfree kit
- 4 Medela bottles
- 1 cooler bag with ice pack
- 1 shoulder bag

The Freestyle has not reach our Malaysian shore yet, but Singapore's First Few Years already displayed it in their website.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Aduhai Fahri

Fahri demam semalam. Akhirnya, ibu kena duduk rumah dengan Fahri.
Hari Khamis, jam 12.30 tengah malam, dia mula muntah.
Sampai jam 2 pagi, baringkan aje, muntah sampai 5 kali.

Pagi semalam, muntah lagi. Abah dia ada hal, kena keluar rumah jam 10.20 pagi. Elok-elok aje abahnya pergi, muntah dari ruang tamu sampai ke dapur. Kes ibu dukung dia ke bilik air belakang.

Bagi susu, muntah. Bagi makan, muntah.
Bila dah petang sikit, baru OK. Barulah boleh bagi ubat demam..
Bila petang, pergi ambil kakak dengan abang dia, dia dah sengih-sengih dan menjerit. Agaknya nak ajak main.

Kalaulah boleh sakit tu ditukarkan ke ibu, mesti ibu lega. Kasihan tengok anak teruna dok menangis sebab badan lenguh-lenguh. Manjanya jangan cakaplah, jadi berganda-ganda sebab sakit.

Aduhai Fahri..

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Finally

Hubby is back on 9.45 p.m. yesterday!

I really fell flat after 3 days with the kids. I wonder how one of my friends managed to do it with her 4 kids.

Hah, my husband bought back a box of fresh vegetables. Now I have to cook it to finish it.

Ah never mind, at least I have another extra hands (from my husband) to manage the kids! Yipee!

Monday, 16 June 2008

I will survive

What I have been doing last weekend? I cooked some instant chicken rendang for my hubby and cleaned the house (yes, I am sort of Bree alike. On a scale from 1-10, I would say I am at 6. My mom scored a perfect 10 while Aini is on 8, I think).

Anyway, hubby is outstation at Kundasang, Sabah. He left us in the wee hours of the morning.. around 5.15 a.m., I guess. The kids woke up and noticed he's gone. He will be back by tomorrow's night. Yes, this is the first time I have to handle the kids alone for 3 days :P

Fawwaz was the first to notice and said, "Abah pergi kerja. Tapi dia tak bawa motor ngan kereta." And I explained that your father is going with an airplane ('Ooo.. abah naik kapal tebang').

And he said that abah will be back by this afternoon. Ah, no dear, he will be back by Tuesday. Today is only Sunday (yesterday). He was waiting for his dad all day and before he went to sleep, he said his dad is still not going home.

Amni, as usual, just keep on her silence.

And Fahri, nope, I hardly doubt he noticed about his missing dad since I am around :P.

They had a splashy time in the bathroom that morning. That's when I did some kemas-kemas katil stuff. Anyway, both of them went to my mom's house ('Tok ayah demammm..') and I ate there for lunch.

Well, dear, if you are reading this from Kundasang, I miss you.
Here are some pics on what they did last night when you are not around.

Fahri panjat meja. He used my breastpump backpack as a tool to climb the table.


He is practicing his skill very hard. Now it was so hard to keep up with him, since he got an idol with the name of Fawwaz.


Yup, the guys had been playing with my backpack. Fahri was stunned when he heard the sound of my breastpump when he sits on my bag. He accidentally turned it on without realising it.
Cheeky Fawwaz, he had been running like mad (with the backpack) when he noticed Fahri wants to play with it!

Amni, the ever obedient daughter. Hah, at least I have not lost her. Phew :)

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Plant a tree for the planet!

Thanks to Lynn for alerting her blog readers about it, I entered the program from WildAsia.net and buy 2 trees for the planet :)

Summary
Name: Plant a tree for the planet!
From: Wild Asia
Cost: USD 15
Ref: WA_Trees

What you can do
You can make a difference by lending us your support. As individuals, you can purchase trees that we will ensure are planted. As a corporation, you can sponsor your own tree event that will involve your staff and our local partners.
A short tazkirah where Lynn mentioned in her blog about planting a tree, please see no. 9 :)

AL SADAQAT AL JARIYAH - THE ACTIONS WHICH OUTLIVES YOU

1. Berikan al-Quran pada seseorang, dan setiap dibaca, anda mendapatkan hasanah

Give a copy of Quran to someone and each time they read from it, you will gain hasanaat

2. Sumbangkan kerusi roda ke hospital dan setiap orang sakit menggunakannya, anda dapat hasanah

Donate a wheel chair to a hospital and each time a sick person uses it, you will gain hasanaat

3. Berbahagi bacaan yang berfaedah dengan seseorang

Share constructive reading material with someone

4. Bantu Pendidikan seorang anak

Help in educating a child

5. Ajarkan seseorang sebuah do'a. Pada setiap bacaan do'a itu, anda dapat hasanah

Teach someone to recite a doa . With each recitation, you will gain hasanaat

6. Berbahagi CD Quran atau Do'a

Share a doa or Quran CD

7. Libatkan dalam pembangunan sesebuah masjid tenaga atau harta

Participate in the building of a mosque thru wealth or strength

8. Letakkan pendingin air di tempat umum

Place a water cooler in a public place

9. Tanam sebuah pohon. Setiap seseorang atau binatang berlindung dibawahnya, anda dapat hasanah

Plant a tree. Each time any person or an animal sits under its shade or eats from the tree, you will gain hasanaat

10. Bagikan email ini dengan orang lain. Jika seseorang menjalankan salah satu dari hal diatas, Anda dapat hasanah sampai hari Qiamat.

Share this with someone. If one person applies any of the above you will receive your hasanaat until the Day of Judgment

Monday, 9 June 2008

Decisions.. decisions...

Since last week, we just touch our home base, we decided that staying at home during weekend is much fun rather than going out window shopping. Attended one wedding kenduri at Sentul (we met Roslin Hashim, Malaysia's badminton player. He was actually good friend with the groom's brother), an aqeeqah (I met my 7 m.o. 'daughter') and a house warming.

Since coming back from Indonesia, my husband enrolled for Arabic communication class at UIA. He has been longing to enroll for it like 2 years back, and since Fahri is already 1 y.o., it's high time for him to be in it.

I am thinking to enroll myself in a swimming class. Mom said to ask Aini about it, after I bought Muslimah swimwear at Jakarta for Aini and myself. Aini said to wait for her exam to finish first :P

Anyway, on the way to our office today, I was saying this to my husband
"Aida rasa macam nak buat masters la, tapi nak buat kat MMC."

Now, what am I thinking to delay applying for my masters? I am still thinking about doing it oversea, and about getting scholarship. I wish I could get Chevening's like my uncle did :). Looking at Aini finishing her masters, I feel an inkling of wanting to pursue it. My aunt even jumped the band wagon and did her masters as a full time student.

Hm.. so many decisions to be made.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Jakarta & Bandung trip: 28 May - 4 June

It was nice to have a long holiday once in a while. Since I do not take many pictures, and our main agenda is about shopping all the time, we took some pictures only in the last day of our trip :P

28 - 31 May, Jakarta

Our flight arrived at Jakarta on 28 May. We stayed at a 3 rooms apartment at Ibis Hotel, sitauted on Mangga Dua Road. Location wise, it was really near to the major shopping complexes (Pasar Pagi, Mangga Dua, ITC Mall).

We went shopping the next day at Mangga Dua Mall. The highlight was when we went to Tanah Abang, another shopping complex (which we had to travel by taxi). There are lots of muslim's apparels. One blouse costed me 120,000 rupiahs (which is around RM 44) and my husband bought a Hugo Boss jacket for a mere 150,000 rupiahs (RM 54). Funnily, the traders closed their shop at 6 p.m., on the dot! And I told one of the traders, that in Malaysia, the malls would be open till 10-11 p.m.

Our taxi driver was so nice, and showed us the Jakarta monument, the presidential palace (obviously, they are having a demo over there on rising oil price) and other government buildings.

If you have to travel using a taxi, you should insist on taking the Bluebird taxi. Obviously, only these taxis use metres and you would be charged accordingly.

About the food, they liked having pucuk paku with rice as their staple diet. I did went to a McDonald's, and it looks like a 1990 restaurant. The chili sauce tasted funny, imagined having your burger with sambal. That's how it tasted :P

31 May - 4 June, Bandung

Our next trip to Bandung was via train (imagine your days using the KTM). We took an executive seat and it costed us 35,000 rupiahs per person (RM 12.60). Bandung was 200km apart from Jakarta. And the views when the train entered kampungs and rice fields was really stunning. The 3 hour train ride was worth it! We were greeted with beautiful sceneries.

We stayed at Holiday Inn, Bandung. Fawwaz was crying non stop waiting for the long hours after check in. The hotel, unfortunately, could not allocate any room for us when we checked in at 3.30 p.m. We managed to get a room after 4.30 p.m. when my mom said to the front desk receptionist, that her grandson (Fawwaz) was making fuss all over. Magically, Fawwaz transformed to a joyful boy after we got our room :P

The next 3 days was spent with more shopping at the factory outlets. I was imagining that we will be at a factory buying clothes. But, it turned out that when my mom meant factory outlet, it was a boutique styled shop. Nike, Adidas, Emporio Armani, Hugo Boss, Edward Forrer or Hogl's at bargain price!

My husband bought a complete blazer set (Emporio Armani) at a mere 990,000 rupiahs (RM 360), which is a steal! Since most branded stuff were made in Indonesia, they are selling it at factory price. Even Edward Forrer boutique had discounts in the early morning and late evenings.

My siblings found a bookshop in front of Bandung Indah Plaza. It was called Grameda. I found out that the Indonesians love to read and their book price was a steal! Habiburrahman El-Shirazy books was priced around 50,000 rupiahs (RM 18). The Laskar Pelangi tetralogy (3 books) was just a little bit over 100,000 rupiahs! Educational original VCDS was just around 5,000 to 12,500 rupiahs (RM 1.80 - RM 4.50). I bought plenty of it.

We travelled back and forth from the hotel using a van. They called it Angkutan Kota. We went to Pasar Baru Trade Centre and found lots of textiles at smashing rock bottom price. Sampai tauke kedai kain kenal muka kami when we went there the next day. My sister remarked, she found it quiet embrassing actually to face the shop owner.. :P

We left Bandung on Wednesday. Thank God, there is no excess baggage. Aini's stuff alone weighed 20 kg!