Friday, June 8, 2018

Japan 2018!

I had to fly to Japan due to work the day after election, which to be honest, was the most nervous travelling I’ve had to bear.

Not only I left my whole family behind, but also I left them in a state where everything was uncertain.

But Alhamdulillah everything went well. Well done, Malaysia!! Couldn’t be prouder of us. We changed our government the Malaysian way *cries* I boarded the flight an hour after the sworn in of our beloved Tun M. I didn’t leave my girls government less. I didn’t leave them in chaos. Alhamdulillah, all praise to the Almighty. I was full of emotion on that day, I guess all Malaysians were.

I first arrived at Narita Airport 5am on Friday and went straight to Tsukuba, 2 hours journey by bus. We stayed in Okubura Frontier Hotel, dropped our luggage and started work straight away. Arrived to the hotel at about 9pm (lebih 24 jam tak mandi, so uncomfortable). Had a shower and did a bit of walking near our hotel. Wrapped my Day 1.

Day 2, we went to Tokyo University for a training. After training, we headed to Disneylandd!!! It was a happy place, I missed the girls too much there. I knew at that instant that I just have to bring them at least once, while they are still small.

Had our dinner at Ameyoko street famous kebab stall. Was greeted by the seller who asked me where I was from. The moment I said Malaysia, he beamed and genuinely shouted, “Congratulations Malaysia!!” In reference of our GE 3 days back. Couldn’t be prouder!! For a while, it seems like the whole world is with us.

Day 3, no training. I started the day early with a free market next to the hotel. And it was precious you guyssss!! Look how easy to please these kids. Just ropes and boxes.

And how they taught their kids to be an entrepeneur. I bought one "Japanese story book" from this one little girl at 20 yen and had my friend translated them for me. This is the highlight of my trip. To see their togetherness, I just melt peeps. I felt warm inside, I don't need my jacket.

Then, we went to Asakusa. Loved the temple and the street with lots of souvenirs. Bought myself a kimono, I have zero idea when to use it. But it made me happy and at the rate where I have been working and travelling for work this year (since February, I traveled every other week), I deserve this.

Then, we went to Shibuya crossing but it was raining heavily.

My friends continued to Odaiba and Akihabara, which both places I have been to during my last visit. So, I enjoyed my solo travelling back to Kenkyu Gakuen (the place I stayed during my last visit), specifically to shop for Uniqlo and Daiso since I need to do a bit of shopping for my beloved as I would go back earlier than them.

Day 4, back to training. Shopped a bit after training.

Day 5, headed home and got ready for Ramadhan the next day. But I am so blessed to have the experience of their free market. To witness just a piece of an experience on how they spent time with their kids on weekend. Next time, I'm gonna visit you Mount Fuji, in shaa Allah.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Cambodia with my two toddlers!

I have always wanted to go to Cambodia. But lots of people told me to wait until the kids get older as a lot of walking needs to be done over there. 2018 come, and I'm done with waiting. I have always wanted to go to Cambodia since Tomb Raider game was a big hit back when I was 13.

This trip to Cambodia, particularly Siem Reap was a little special for both Love and I because it is our 10th country together. Our dream is always to travel the world. Also, my parents in law came along and I have always loved travelling with my family. It makes it more meaningful.

Siem Reap's main currency is USD and the plug is the same as us, so don't need a converter.

Upon arrival in Siem Reap, I booked a chauffeur to drive us around for the whole journey. The rate differs day by day according to where you planned to go. But on average, a van would cost us around 35 USD a day.

The moment I stepped in, I have this unfamiliar feeling, ones that I didn't expect. I have been to lots of countries in South East Asia, hence I expected Cambodia to be just like its neighboring countries, Thailand and Vietnam. But no. I feel safe here and the people is so sincere. The moment I arrived at the airport, the toilet is clean with water and all, I know it's gonna be a good trip.

The first day, we went straight to ticket counter of Angkor complex. Price per adult for one day pass in Angkor Park is USD 37, free for children below 12. If you purchase the ticket at 5pm onwards, ticket will be valid for the next day. Which means you can watch the sunset for free on the same evening!! Be careful with your ticket though, not to fold it and make sure you bring it the whole time in Angkor Park, as you will be charged USD 100 if you lose it.

Angkor Archaeological Park is listed in UNESCO World Heritage list and it includes multiple temples inside, among them are the Angkor Wat itself, Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple and other magnificent remains from the 9th to 15th century.

Right after we purchased our ticket for the next day, we went to Angkor Wat to watch the sunrise. It was breathtaking, I feel like in a different world, I almost cried.

We started the day early the next day as we planned to see the sunrise at 5am but it was raining, hence we arrived in Angkor Park slightly later at 7am. The weather was Alhamdulillah perfect, cloudy, windy throughout with no rain.

We first went to Ta Prohm aka Tomb Raider’s temple. It was a long serene walk to the temple, the sounds of bird chirping and some faint sound of music, the smell of woods and the greenery around me, one of the beautiful relaxing walks I've walked and I will forever treasure.

We went to Bayon temple, named after Banyan tree where Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.

Dropped by at Phnom Bakheng temple and later to Elephant Terrace. Terrace of the Elephants is part of the walled city of Angkor Thom, carved with garudas, lions and of course lots of elephants.

Left the kids with my in laws in the van and both Love and I spent an hour just the two of us enjoying the beauty of Angkor Wat.

That night, we went to Art Centre Night Market and Pub Street which was next to our hotel for souvenirs hunting.

Then the next day, we strolled along Siem Reap, dropped by at the market and Hard Rock Cafe. But nothing could come close to our experience in Angkor Park.

My kids had fun, running around happily, safely. Enjoying the beauty and learned the art of photography. Long walks didn't affect them as they enjoyed it too much, they didn't even bother with the stroller after a while.

To sum it up, for me.. Siem Reap/Cambodia is the best SEA country I've been and easily made it to my top 3 favourite country list. Tak puas, I wanna go there again.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Aisha in kindy

2018 is a big milestone for Love and I not only because K is in Standard 1, but our youngest baby is in Kindy already!!!! How time flies.

Deciding which kindy to go was another difficult tasks and I have planned for years as well.

Undoubtedly, I love Little Caliph's syllabus but K had the worst history with that kindy.

On the other hand, we have always loved Genius Aulad, but the syllabus didn’t challenge K mentally. I always believe in the old saying, “if you’re the best in the room, you’re in the wrong  room.” Hence.

After years of thinking, we decided to give LC another chance. As the principle has changed, we hoped for a better management.

First day was ok for Aisha, she didn’t magically participate, but she wasn’t crying either. Only thing, she slept half way of the class (and this continued throughout her LC life).

However after a week, she kept complaining about a boy who kept on hitting her. Every day and it finally got to a point that she refused to go to school on the third week. We complained to the teacher and teacher said that the boy had a delay in development as he couldn’t understand instructions and behaved like 7mo still.

But the school principal was so kind to stay with Aisha the next day to make sure she wouldn’t be hit again. But guess what? My baby girl went home half naked, no pants or panties.

Aisha’s side of story, she peed in her class because the teacher wouldn’t let her go to the toilet. And since her backup pants that I provided her was wet earlier as they had water activity, teacher just let her go.

Teacher’s side of story, the principal left the class about half an hour before they released the student home. Teacher was busy releasing the kid when Aisha requested to go to toilet. She accidentally peed which was unusual as she hadn’t  peed on herself for years. No backup pants as there was water activity earlier and lots of parents didn’t bring extra pants in the bag so they need to used the ones in the kindy.

Me? I didn’t send my girl to an islamic kindy just so a teacher would release my daughter home half naked.

I didn’t think twice. I know the principal had done her best, but if her best is not even half of what I expected, I guess the answer was clear. I took a time off. So did my husband. Both of us cancelled our meeting, under heavy pouring rain, I went to A's kindy and decided to pull her out immediately.

And it has been 5 months now, she is more than happy in GA. It's like deja vu all over again. Fully awake throughout her class. And Alhamdulillah shine more than we expected.

Since school, she catch up on her studies very fast, Alhamdulillah. She’s finishing Iqra’ 2, she memorized 8 surahs already, finishing Cepat Membaca 1 and already in Adam Dina 3. She spoke English everyday.

I let her go to her first school trip when she was not even 4. Well, I was reluctant but Love followed her all the way and she only joined half of the time, so, compromise lah kan.

Recently she had a Sport’s Day. And boy, look how happy and energetic she was.

During the sport’s day, one parents talked to me and told me she admired Khaira and remembered her from last year's concert. Too sweet ok! Dah keluar GA pon ada peminat Kakak K!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Khaira in Standard 1

Finding school for Khaira was not an easy task for us. I started looking for one since she was 4.

First, we discussed whether to send her to Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) or private school. International school was not an option for us. Too expensive, might as well save for her university later on.

Both Love and I are very pro of SK as both of us were from there. I have faith in the system, the teachers, the facilities. I believe no private school can beat that. But, our priority is for her to be in an islamic environment. Having said that, we need to send her to KAFA. And thinking about her transportation and transit, we decided to send her to private school instead.

After thorough consideration, we filtered out to two options: SRITI Bangi or SRI ABIM. SRITI is a tahfiz school. We extremely love the syllabus, but not the facilities. It is a shop lot. Khaira took the exam and she loved the school a lot.

Still on mask as her lung was still recovering

SRI ABIM on the other hand was initially just a backup for us, it is an islamic school, not tahfiz. But, the moment Khaira did her exam there, we fell in love immediately. It was systematic and well organized, we loved the environment and it just felt right. It has the feel of SK there, though K preferred SRITI and she said ABIM's entry exam was too easy, she felt SRITI can challenge her intellectual better.

We reached to our final decision when K's paed was telling us that K should avoid air cond as her lung was still recovering at that time. That made our life easier. Convincing K was an easy task, she is still at the age where she pretty much still know that we only wanted the best for her.

Her first couple of months, as expected has not been easy at all. She hated to be away from home for such long hours (7.50 am - 4 pm).

On Mondays and Thursdays, she had her Tae Kwon Do class, after school until 6pm which got her separation anxiety really badly. Plus, no Std 1 girl was enrolled to the class other than her. So, recently, we skipped her class on Thursdays, make it just once a week. So, all is well.

She recently got a Yellow belt. I pray so she had the perseverance to achieve black belt, unlike me. (I stopped at Blue belt).

She did extremely well at school. She is the class assistant monitor. She aimed to be a prefect (so unlike me, I hated prefect. But I was one in primary, I don't know why).

Her academic, Alhamdulillah was well. She recently became the top in her darjah.

And when I asked what present would she like, her answer was Buku Rampaian. A one ringgit buku rampaian. (T_T)

But most of all, I am very happy that since she is in SRI ABIM, she would not go out without her tudung anymore. Though, we need to revamp her wardrobe, it's a good problem. I hope soon, she would take care of her solat, in shaa Allah. Baby steps.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Leaving 2017

Tad bit too late, but I'm gonna post anyway. And slowly but surely gonna catch up with my blog, in shaa Allah.

2017 has its fair share of ups and downs. I was under a little depression when my first born was warded for the first time, it gave me the scare of my life. Alhamdulillah all is well now.

No more kay?

Was blessed to have been given the chance to visit Brunei for the first time.

I was also upgraded to Senior Member IEEE, was beyond happy.

I've finally finally submitted my PEng application, doa banyak2 all is ok. Went through Route 3 BEM, where I applied to convert my CEng to PEng.

I have one graduated Master student in 2017, alhamdulillah. That feeling in viva room is scarier than your own.

I have also been upgraded to Senior Lecturer A, aiming for Associate Professor next.

And the happiest is that we have got the chance to visit the holy mosques one more time.

Am so blessed.

2018 is gonna be a better year, in shaa Allah. Bismillah..

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Smart IQ: Power Brain for Children - A review

Last December, I sent Khaira for a Power Brain course for children in Smart IQ, Bangi. It was a two days full day course followed by 4 classes afterwards.

Power Brain is a training method where you fully utilize your brain capability to improve focus, memory and creativity. It was said that we are only using 10% of our brain capacity most of the time, so this method helps you utilize more. It wakes up your other senses, if previously we use only eyes/vision most of the time, Power Brain helps you encourage your touch, hearing, taste and smell sensors.

My verdict?

I'll let you judge for me.

This was what Khaira has achieved at the end of the first day.

This was at the end of the second day.

And now, Alhamdulillah, she could do much more. She could even read Quran blindfold. Not only hands, her feet have been sensing more accurately. We are still trying hard to increase the accuracy of her front and back sonar. Soon, in shaa Allah.

This is some of the sharing I managed to type in during the class.

- Kalau tak confident, bakat tak keluar
- Congratulate effort, hug
- Acknowledge and highlight benda baik
- Small change must be acknowledged
- Enhanced from normal to super sensory
- Sense vibration of colours, tangan lebih sensitive, hidung lebih sensitive
- Mata banyak distraction, anak susah fokus
- Focus point differs from one kid to the other, according to VAK
- Besarkan memory, connect cells
- Tutup mata, mudah simpan and retrieve info
- Kalau salah, try again. Bangkit from kesalahan and kepayahan: AQ
- Takut kena marah. Eg. Panjat pagar, say “careful, tangan kena kuat”. To inform that they are in risky situation

- Exercise:
- 1. Tangan kiri peace, tangan kanan pistol, then swap. Bayangkan. Nak sampaikan info, bayangkan. Jangan ada negative thoughts. Absorption kuat. Sebelum ajar, mandi and wudhuk.
- 2. Genggam penumbuk, ibu jari kanan dengan jari manis kanan satu arah, then switch.
- 3. Satu tangan softly tepuk kepala kat atas (must touch) satu lagi pusing kat perut (jangan touch). Then switch. Can even tukar arah. *kalau tulis tekan
- 4. Satu tangan pegang hidung, tangan kat dalam. Satu lagi pegang telinga. Then switch. Can tambah tepuk in between. *kalau susah nk focus
- 5. Satu tangan tumbuk, satu lagi gosok, tapi float, then switch
- 6. Tangan kanan pusing ke depan, tangan kiri pusing ke belakang. Then, switch
- Ideally, can change within 2 weeks. Train everyday

- Food for brain: kismis, kurma, almond
- Kismis 7 biji (kalau budak kecik, less but number ganjil), teknik: kunyah sampai keluar air, then kemam bawah lidah sampai hilang manis, then telan. Bawah lidah banyak nerve sambung ke neurons.
- Hungry/sleepy all the time sbb banyak pakai brain
- Charge energy: minum plain water yg tak sejuk. Jangan minum air sejuk masa belajar. Sebulan no hp game
- 8 jam tido malam.
- Hp drained out energy. Wifi be careful. Malam tutup wifi, jauhkan/matikan hp
- Satu tangan kat dada, satu kat perut, tarik nafas ikut hidung, masuk ke perut, lepas ke mulut, cakap charge energy. Tarik benda positive, buang benda negative. Mesti ada kaler, bila buang kaler hitam
- Jangan lepaskan nafas negative kat depan orang, they will be affected

Monday, March 19, 2018

Leaving the girls for my second umrah trip (T_T)

I remember in 2015, my good friend was telling this every time after solat,

"This year, I want to go for umrah!"

But she didn't make any preparation for that. Come December, her brother in law (BIL) was supposed to go to Umrah, but had to be cancelled due to work, guess who went to replace the BIL and his wife?

Then 2016, this same friend of mine was telling me again, every time after solat,

"This year, I want to go for Hajj!"

Again, she didn't make any preparation and about two months before Hajj, guess who was invited by the Almighty?

One day I asked her, "How?"

"If you want something good bad enough, Allah will help you!" Her level of faith and dependency, I cried!

"I did want it bad enough.." I said.

"What hold you back then?" She asked, smiling. I thought hard. It was the girls. I am one hell of clingy mom, so does my girls. "You have to let go. When you know it is a good thing to do, your niat is for Allah, Allah will take care of them."

I took it to heart.

I let go, sincerely for the first time, let loose, give all the control to Almighty and left them for Umrah for 6 days. And my heart is totally peace in Makkah and Madinah, I missed them. But I wasn't paranoid, it didn't ache.

I am blessed to be constantly reminded by good people surrounding me. Love said, that is also my form of rezeki. Mufti Menk said sometimes, Allah gave a reminder to us via normal people and normal event.

So how was it to leave them?

I told them earlier of my plan, reminded them every day.

Left them love letters, so they could read one by one every day. One side of the letter was coloring page, one side was my notes.

Left them homeworks, day by day.

In return, Khaira made us a box with letters from her day by day as well before we left. It was priceless.

Aisha was crying almost everyday at night before we left, but once we were in Umrah, she was doing ok. Khaira on the other hand was cool and all before we left. But on the day, she cried for half a day. Was inconsolable at the airport.

But, Alhamdulillah for my strong family support. One of my brothers and my SIL took leave to cheer them up. They brought them to Petrosains the next day. My parents in law visited them every now and then at my parents' house. Everything was smooth sailing.

Every day, K would write us letters and send us the photo. A sent some too, but of course, it was just some sketching of something that we could not make sense of.

We would call them everday via Kakao as apparently Whatsapp Call was blocked in Saudi. It was quite difficult to get the sim card as contrary from the previous year. Booths in airport was offline, so we waited until the next day to buy sim card in Makkah. I had to roam for two days.

They would send us videos and pictures and voice messages. This was my favourite!

By day 6, K was already super sad. Cried at night a bit and all, but it was ok, because we reached Malaysia the afternoon of 7th day :)

Alhamdulillah, the longest I left them and the first time both of us were not there. Thank you Alllah for taking care of them while I was gone, and for taking care of them all these while 24/7 :)