Thursday, May 31, 2012

Stimulating your baby

I read this in "What to Expect: The First Year" and found some interesting parts I believed worth sharing.. So, I combined them and came up with these..

Currently reading
Stimulating your baby (below 6 months old)

1) Love unconditionally  
     Even during colic or tantrum.

2) Relate to your baby
     Your goal at this moment is not to teach her, but rather be involved with her. Sing or talk to your baby when you're changing her nappy or when you're bathing her. Play with them, the most educational toys are useless if you don't play with them.

3) Get to know your baby
     Learn what makes your baby happy or miserable, excited or bored, soothed or stimulated.

4) Take the pressure off - and have fun
     Please don't pressure your baby! Let them progress at their own pace.

5) Give your baby space
     Adequate attention is vital; too much can be stifling. As much as Khaira seems to be clingy with me, I realized I am also clingy to her. Urgh! Baby steps.. The tips: spend quality time playing with your baby, but sometimes, just get baby and toy together and watch from sidelines.

6) Follow the leader
     As of now, baby is in lead. Let her choose what to play, when to end the play session (though it's just starting), again try to have fun with your baby.

7) Time it right
     Remember your baby has VERY short attention spans.

8) Provide positive reinforcement
     Hugs, cheers, applause. Khaira usually smile shyly when we did all these :)

Stimulating your baby (above 6 months old)

1) Large motor skills
    Stand on your lap and bounce, pull to sitting, squat, pull to standing, anything physical.

2) Small motor skills
     Soft toys, blocks, real household objects (which they love a lot eventually), balls, finger games, etc.

3) Social skills
     Expose your child to a varitey of people of different ages. Do this while shopping, while visiting your frinds, try bring your baby as much possible when you go out. Teach them to say 'hi' or waving bye, blow a kiss, say 'thank you'.

4) Intellectual and language skills
     Names are recognized first - Ibu, Abi, etc. Then, basic words - Yes, No, Bye. After that they will imitate what you say before saying their own words. You can encourage them by playing stimulating games like peek-a-boo, sharpening baby's auditory perception (emphasize and repeat the same words), introduce concepts (coffee is hot, wates is for drinking, etc), encourage curiousity and creativity, and always remember learning should be fun!

P/S: Also, I read What to Expect when You're Expecting, when I was pregnant, I believe it's a good read, and every pregnant mummy should have it. It makes you feel so normal. Hee :D I shall rate that 5/5 :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Kapal and Ikeen to Bali with baby!

Date: 23rd - 27th May 2012
Time difference: No
Conversion: IDR 10k = RM 3++
Plug: 2 pins (round) - needs converter
Hotel: Tune hotel, Kuta

Flying with baby

I was so nervous to fly with Baby K. Though I was expecting her to sleep throughout the journey as she normally sleeps like a baby when we travel by car, the exact opposite happens. From KL to Bali, she was awake for the whole 3 hours, from Bali to KL she slept every now and then. Guess she was excited, it was her first anyway.

I would really really suggest you to book hot seats if you are travelling with AirAsia. But, please don't choose seat number 1A, 1B and 1C, it's an emergency exit, not allowed if you have infants.

Khaira is born a traveller I guess, like Ibu and Abi. She's so easy to handle, Alhamdulillah. So, we didn't need lots of toys to distract her in the plane. She inherited both things I love: 1) Books. 2) Kacau orang. That was the two things that kept her occupied in the plane.

Tune Hotel, Kuta - the review

For the price, I rate this 5/5. The location is superb! It's at the heart of Kuta where you can find almost everything down the street. We are contented discovering the area around the hotel for the whole 3 days, we need driver for just a day.

But, I wouldn't suggest if you bring in children with you. It's a very basic hotel with no tv, no kettle, no fridge. Too small that Baby K didn't seem to be comfortable in it.

Day 1

We arrived in Bali around 2pm. Took an airport taxi that cost us IDR 80k. That was expensive though, you could get half the price. But not in the mood to bargain since the first taxi offered us IDR 200k.

Check in time at 2pm. Then had our lunch at KFC. (FYI, most fast food in Bali and Padang food are halal. Bubba Gump serves pork.) KFC Indonesia serves their chicken with only rice. I like KFC Malaysia best, but this one is better than KFC Singapore.

Then we went to Kuta Art Market to buy some souvenirs. (10 mins walk from hotel).

What we bought..

Had dinner at 3 Nyonya restaurant near hotel. It said there 100% halal and no MSG. It was delicious esp the Nasi Campur Bali.

Day 2

Book a driver suggested by our taxi driver on day 1, cost us IDR300k nett in a 2 months old new Avanza. What I had in mind was to Nusa Dua and Tanah Lot.

Our driver, Wayan first brought us to Nusa Dua, by the beach..

Then, we had a breakfast at one of the Padang restaurant, it was so not good. The food in Bali was quite costly as we had to choose proper restaurants after being warned by our doctor. (We met our doctor beforehand and asked her to prescribe some medications for both Baby K and us.)

After that, our driver took us to another part of Nusa Dua where we took a glass bottom boat for a ride to Turtle Island. It cost us USD 25 per person. The boat ride was bumpy; which was fine by me. I super love boats!! But it was not fine by me since they did not provide any safety jacket, esp when I had a baby with me.

Must try the calamari there. The marination is superb!! Anyway, here you must pay IDR 5k per person as donation for the animals, tips to the boatman and the tourguide.

Then, the driver bought us to Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK). Cost us IDR 6k per person. Nothing much there. Some boring dance, some statue, beautiful view though.

Since Tanah Lot was quite a distance from GWK, we went to Uluwatu instead. The entrance was IDR 2k per person, you need to wear the sarong first. The view was breath taking, I love the view so much. Would have stayed longer if not because of the monkeys.

Afterwards, to Krisna. Souvenirs here were super cheap!!

What we bought in Krisna..

We ended our day with a romantic dinner by the beach at Jimbaran. Super romantic, nice view, nice weather with live band!

Khaira and Abi on a date
Day 3

It's a day we pamper ourselves, yay! Went to Sole spa (walking distance from hotel)! Took turn with Love. I had Balinese body massage IDR 90k for an hour and reflexology IDR 35k for half an hour. Love had head shoulder and neck massage for IDR 60k an hour and half an hour reflexology. Verdict --> The best massage for both of us and we love massages a lot!!


Love discovered a shop called MBM outlet where I bought my Zara shirt for IDR99k (about RM30++) and Love's Fred Perry shirt with the same price.

Had lunch at Pizza Hut, I like the Pizza Hut there a lot! Much better than Pizza Hut in Malaysia!
Abi candid this pic
Then to Discovery Mall, nothing much there. Books are cheap.

To Kuta Beach afterwards, where people were there to watch the sunset.

Had dinner from Burger King, I like Malaysian Whopper better.

On the way home, I had these custom made from Aussie's coin.. Bangle for Nurul Asyikin, pendant for Khaira Asyikin. Both for IDR 200k.

Day 4

Had a brunch at Coffee Bean and last visit in Kuta street. Bought a painting for Homer.

Then, headed to airport that cost us IDR 45k using Tune taxi. Luckily we still had enough cash as the airport tax cost us IDR 150k per person. Khaira was not being charged though.

Alhamdulillah, we arrived safely in Malaysia where Khaira been missed by everyone back at home. All praise be to Allah, our journey was a smooth one. Alhamdulillah, syukur sangat.

Bali is a religious country. I'm inspired to be a better Muslim from my trip here, insya Allah.

Fun facts about Bali

♥ Every hindu house in Bali has a beautiful temple or pura outside.
♥ The buildings there must not be higher than a coconut tree aka 5 storeys.
♥ No highway or flyover there as it opposes from their adat.

Bye Bali, next year Goldcoast, insya Allah!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Another gold, alhamdulillah!

Pardon me, been busy with this for the whole week..

ITEX 2012

Since I was the youngest in my uni (and surely one of the two who were about to get our doctorate) to participate, I needed more time to prepare compared to all the sifus.

But it's surely worth it!! Result was out yesterday, andd...

The most bottom

Alhamdulillah. :)

Now, I'm on leave for the whole week next week and a couple of days for the week after.

Been too busy with work, it's time to make up to Little K and Big K, and then...

BALI! :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Oh my Khaira!

Dear Khaira Asyikin,

Masya Allah, how I miss you at this very moment! (Am now in APR's retreat, but too blur to concentrate).

This morning was by far the hardest for Ibu to go to work. You refused to let me go. I am very sorry, but I have to.

If I'm not working, who's going to teach all my students? I am sure you understand. I know you're gonna do better tomorrow.

It broke my heart seeing you crying that bad every morning. Ibu feels demotivated to go to work if you continue like this, Khaira.

I know we had a lot of fun last weekend. We sat next to each other most of the times, you held my hands; i held yours; we were bonding like never before. As much as it is hard for you to let me go, I feel equally hard to let you go.

But, we have to move on. And you know we'll spend more time once I'm home, and we'll be bonding again by the weekend. In fact next week, Ibu will take a leave just for you ok?

Be patient, my little ones. The time will come when I get to spend every minute of the day with you. Soon, insya Allah. I owe a lot to you, I know. I'll try to make it up, it's a promise.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bagaimana Akhirnya Saya Bertudung - A review

I just finished reading this book. A colleague of mine planned to give it to me way before I started wearing, but I guess she did not have the courage. Hehe. So, she gave me afterwards, with lotssss of beautiful tudung; in fact most of the tudung that I owned now (I don't have many) was a present from her. May Allah SWT bless her.

So, back to the book. I have to be honest, it was just ok. I guess I was expecting more, considering the title is so Wow. It was a compilation of stories from those who decided to wear hijab. Honestly I could not really relate to as it was about those people who wore hijab on the 70's where the acceptance was very different from nowadays.

Now, the ones that holding you back is not the people around you. It's you yourself!

Sigh.. I started to have the idea of wearing hijab wayy back in Uni. I guess it was my first year. A very good friend of mine, who was sitting next to me in high school suddenly asked me in a casual way when we were on the phone, "So when are you planning to wear a hijab?"

That was random. And very direct. Especially coming from him, he was not the most religious person I know, even more, we once planned to go clubbing together.

"I don't know!" Did not even bother to take his words seriously until he replied me with this sentence,

"You know, you have to set time, and set yourself towards it. It doesn't matter if it's years from now, just set a time."

I was stunned. So I told mysef, "Ok perhaps after I got married." And I worked my way through it. Started not buying short sleeves, started to not shop for earrings. Never told a single soul about it, too shy, not even my better half.

Thennn.. I got married. But I guess I overthink about what would people say about it. So, I ignored the guilty conscience inside.

You know, the day I started working was a big turning point of my life. The first couple of months I worked, I had no friends. I started working before I finished my final exam, so you know.. no one in my batch started working at that time. Hence no friends.

Afterwards, people from my batch started to work with me and walla, I have friends!!!

But, the moment they came, I already stayed in a lab full with my seniors who were wearing tudung labuh. Every Zuhur and Asar, we would pray together, after Asar we would recite Ma'thurat together, and I was so contented that it made me excited to go to work everyday. I never experienced that kind of feeling before.

I used to be so scared of these kind of people, but the ones in my lab never judge me. Not once. Not ever. I don't even have to pretend to be that good in front of them, I am myself and they accepted ME.

I was touched. And these people were brilliant. They succeeded in their career. And even they spoke really good English. Haha! Ok, I was being judgemental towards these kinda people before, ok bad!

So, when friends who were as crazy as me started working, I had two options; whether to stay with them or with the seniors. I liked them equally much, but I guess because my mind was set towards wearing hijab, I stayed with my seniors. I need the courage.

Very subtly, the little things that these seniors do melted my heart. Andd.. these past few years have been such awesome years for me. I was the first in my batch to get a Master degree, I got married with the love of my life, then we bought a house, money was more than sufficient for us, afterwards I got pregnant, and gave birth to the love of my life. And I gave birth so easily, (Alhamdulillah! Alhamdulillah!), that I thought, "Have I been thankful enough?"

 I told hubby and my two seniors; Dr. Sumayy and Dr. Iza. The three of them supported my decision and helped me a lot.

I had no idea what to tell my family, so I just wore hijab without telling them anything. Anddd afterwards.. Nobody asked anything anyway. No awkward stare, NOTHING. Not from friends, not from relatives, not from family. The most, they just whispered in my ears, "Alhamdulillah!"

And I thought, what was that again? Years of years contemplating on wearing just because wondering what to answer if people asked.

Semuanya dipermudahkan, Alhamdulillah.

I wouldn't say I'm a whole different saint person nowadays. Pretty much the same. Trying to be a good Muslim. Sometimes not sure if I try hard enough. But in life, we need to always change, to a better person.

I'm not saying I'm satisfied with the way I dress now, or the way I behave as a Muslim. But, I'm still trying to change. Very slowly. Baby steps. I know Allah SWT will help me through it. Insya Allah.

I would like to thank these three people who supported my decision; Love, Dr. Sumay and Dr. Iza --> May Allah SWT bless you guys :)