29 June 2011

Meeting old friends

Yes, my youngest son had just completed his final exams. Then he was busy making preparations to present his Final Year Project. But in between he managed to seek employment too. I am proud that my children has succeeded this far.

Busy as he was.. he was still obliging when Mama asked him to accompany her to meet some old friends. First we had to pickup Kak Nani at BTHO. With minimal directions, we found the location. Meanwhile I was on the phone trying to convince Aya Idris to come along. (Didnt know that she was taking care of her eldest son who is dependent on dialysis.) Her husband gave her the green light (thank you Azmi) and so we picked up Aya too. 

Then we were blindly travelling towards what we thought was the entrance to TBS (Terminal Bersepadu Selatan). But we confused it with Tasik Selatan Station. In the end, we did manage to find the correct route, and we were lucky enough to get the car parked at level 4. Ex boss, Nurul was waiting for us in front of her new shop. From then on, it was chatting and bringing each other up-to-date with all of the other friends that we have not met for so long. Penat bersembang di kedai, kita adjourn ke kedai mamak for a drink. Faiz was hovering as a reminder that he needs to get back to college (since he was in his blue jacket).

Nurul and I

From left, Aya Idris, Nurul Nuriah, Kak Nani and I

From left, Faiz (in blue), myself and Aya Idris

From left, Kak Nani, myself, Aya Idris and Nurul

Kak Nani and Nurul

We left with a promise to meet again.. maybe at Mohd Nor Haq's daughter's wedding early July.

16 June 2011

Maid Story - Baby Sitters

I recall sending my son to a baby sitter in one of the government quarters at Jalan Cochrane. The BS's husband is a staff at my husband's office. The BS has many small children herself and she took in several other kids to care. The quarters/house is not that big but the lower floor was unfurnished. In one corner, there was a neat pile of thin mattress and a baby cot in another. Another room had plenty of toys in it. BS's older kids will help keep an eye on the smaller kids.

Every night, I would prepare a basket of clean baby clothes and nappies (in those days, disposable diapers was unheard of). There will be another basket of biscuits/food and baby milk/juice. We have to make a quick and early getaway in the morning, to avoid the traffic jam and to be able to reach the office in time. Most mornings, my son goes to BS's house still in his jammy. No time to bathe him. Some morning he goes poo poo and the whole car stink sky high. Whenever there are visits to the clinic for his scheduled jabs, we will leave a message and pick son up. It is quite convenient since, BS's house is still in KL. That is when I see the kids sleeping (or pretending to sleep) before lunch time. In the evenings, we will fetch son back, with a pail full of dirty nappies/clothes.

But we did not use BS's services for long since it is expensive and we still come back to a messy house and I still have to cook and wash. And we both agreed, our children should grow up in his own home.

Another time, in between maids, we seek the help of the mother of my husband's worker to take care of the boys. This mak cik's house is near the main road but behind the house is secondary jungle plus rubber trees plus fruit trees. I always make sure, we pick the children up before dusk. I have heard many stories and some related to this mak cik's family. I heard that there is a python the size of a coconut tree trunk, slithering across the road. And the occasional roar of a tiger in the jungle, but the tiger is not like the ones we find in the zoo!

But in any case, I am thankful, the mak cik agreed to care for the boys when we asked her.

Fatin And I ~ tolo

Fatin is very choosy about her food. Living with a grandmother (definitely not I) who is a wonderful cook, she has upgraded her taste buds to accept spicy food. Her current favourite is nasi lemak but dont you dare remove the sambal. She loves it hot and she must get extra boiled eggs.

One time when we (bangi family) were busy looking elsewhere, she went to the fridge and helped herself to the eggs. She thought they were boiled eggs. She tried breaking the shell and panicked when the runny egg flowed out. But smart girl that she was, she quickly put it inside a small basket (that I got from a wedding), and then said, "Fatin nak tolo".

Tired Mama had to get up and boil her an egg and cleanup the mess. After feeding Fatin the boiled egg, she asked for another. 

Early this month, Azhar was recovering from his tonsils op and Mama had to work (assignments and datelines). Atok and Nenek were off to Indonesia, so Azhar brought Fatin over to bangi. 

My main worry was feeding fussy Fatin. Bought her nasi lemak but it remain untouched. I made her an omelete but she refused it too. Boiled an egg but that she turned that down too. 

Oma : "Oma give up lah. Tatau apa Fatin nak mkn"
Dengan selamba Fatin menjawab : "Baguslah!"
Ish..ada yang nak kena nie.

** After the nasty accident when Fatin helped herself to the raw egg, I installed a child-lock on my fridge. She was caught with her body pulled backward, trying to pry it open.

11 June 2011

Maid Story - #4 Sarah

Just before Embah left, we had to get a new minder for Faizal. Azhar was living with grandma in JB, so Faizal was our main concern. 

We didn't have to look far. Hawa lived with her husband, children and her younger sister just next door. Since the sister, Sarah was not studying or working, we asked if she would like to be the children's minder. Sarah ended up working with us for almost 2 years.

She would hop over in the morning and go home when we return from work. She would attend to the children's needs. She also cooks for the family. Being a fellow johorian, I especially enjoyed her mean asam pedas.

The only problem with Sarah was, she is quite fragile in health. So whenever she is not well, her sister Hawa will take care of Faizal together with her own children.

But soon enough Hawa and family decided to move to Cheras. So we were maid-less again. Thus began our search and enduring the short stints of various types of maids.

09 June 2011

Khairin And I - Kaeru

As I was reading, I came across an article which mentions "Kaeru" or japanese for frog. The frog is viewed as a harbinger of new beginnings since its name in japanese, kaeru, is a homonym for the verb meaning "change".

Baby Kero

My doter is sometimes called "Kero" and she so does love the frog character. This time round it really means something for her. We even bought Baby Kero (above) to mark the change in her life. A big move in her academic life. The move from being a student to being a siswi. From being spoon fed to having to do her own research. The move from sharing her room with mama to sharing her room with someone of her own age. This includes getting her own meals and washing her clothes, to taking care of her health.

I pray that Allah will take care of my darling baby..amin

p/s Bila nak bawak Baby Kero dok sama2..

06 June 2011

Dont read and eat..or Dont eat and read

For as long as I can remember, I have this habit of reading while eating. It could be the nasi lemak wrapper, (when they use to use the newspaper to wrap the nasi lemak), any document that needs to be read (while in office) and if I happen to have the internet right in front of me, I will be browsing through. Nowadays I will put in a small magazine or a novel in my handbag, so that I can indulge in reading while waiting for my order to arrive or for my number to get called up (at the Post office or bank).

When eating at the mamak, I will first check my FB (most mamak comes with free wifi) and then open my novel and continue reading where I left off. When my mee goreng arrive, I will just squeeze the lime and start eating...THEN... I accidentally bite on the fiery cili api. Huhuhu..

On night, my doter and I walked into a restaurant to indulge in cakes. My doter, just before she left for college, said she wanted 'choc mud cake' (her favorite). Besides the cake, she also ordered the gourmet pie. My order was the chicken currypuff and durian cheesecake. Oooo..the durian cheesecake was to die for. It was like eating seedless D24 on a biscuit crust. Then I opened my book and started reading as I ate the currypuff. Halfway through my doter whispered, "Ma..what's that?"..pointing at the chicken in my currypuff. I put the book down and peered at the piece of chicken (I had put it aside as I don't like eating chicken that much). 

Arghhhh....horrors... I saw a few telur lalat on the piece of chicken!!

Called the supervisor and showed her the 'masterpiece'. She was all apologies and asked if she could give me a replacement. I told her to pack it up. All of a sudden, I lost my appetite. 

Had I been alone, I might have swallowed it all up and end up with an upset tummy. This act of reading and eating at the same time can be dangerous..hmmm..

04 June 2011

Annie & The smart Alec ~ Peribahasa

Umie :  "Apa erti..'sambil menyelam minum air'.."

Afnan answers in english, of course.

Afnan :  "someone who is trying to drown himself".

Umie : ..sighhhh.. its gonna be a looooooonnggg school holidays.

Note from Umie.. I have gained unbelievable insights into how misleading our peribahasa can be by testing them on afnan..

01 June 2011

Annie & The smart Alec ~ New Year

Ayah was explaining the difference between the chinese new year and the "normal" (gregorian) new year to Afnan (Note: Afnan is my 10 year old smart-alec-nephew) and how one calendar uses the sun and the other uses the moon but with an "adjustment" every couple of years. 

Then Ayah asked, "What is another calendar that we use?" (expecting the answer to be the Muslim calendar and wanting to explain the hikmah of the shifting seasons in which muslims perform puasa).

Afnan answered, "The Subway Calendar!!! Cause we tear out the free subway voucher every month and used it to take Askaree out to dinner at Subway".

Umie : Apakah????