When I was in primary school, Sports Day is probably the most dreaded and miserable time of the year. My parents probably thought it was an exciting time because they showed up and took pictures of me holding a balloon (which I was supposed to burst by sitting on it) while standing in line with my classmates. 

I didn't understand why, but fast forward to more than 20 years later, I couldn't help feeling the same excitement when I received a memo from Khayla's school that they were having Sports Day!

So yesterday, even though I went to bed late the night before, I woke up early to prepare some food to bring for the potluck session after that. I also ordered some pastries from Uli-uli (they bake the fluffiest, softest, freshest and most delicious eclairs and cream puffs I've ever had) to be delivered to the school by 8.30am.

Like me when I was seven years old, Khayla also did not understand why we were super excited about going to school on Sunday. She cried because she was woken up earlier than usual, carried to the bathroom for a shower and then told to eat breakfast.

Parents were already gathering at the school compound waiting for the event to start. The principal greeted everyone and led everyone to sing the national anthem 'Negaraku'. 

Starting the event with 'Negaraku'
 Then the kids had some warm-up 'sing-and-dance' session led by the teachers, including the popular 'Gwiyomi' song! Now I know why Khayla is such a fan of 'Gwiyomi' ^_^

Unfortunately, my kid is the type of person who prefers routine and gets uncomfortable with new or unfamiliar experience. She refused to sing and dance because there were unfamiliar faces of parents and siblings around! She kept whining and then clinging to her father, and even crying when I took her hands and tried to make her dance :P

Khayla's class being the most junior class (N1) was the first to compete in sports. The game/competition was really easy. In the first game, the children have to run and put on 'rabbit-ear' hairband, then run to a bowl filled with flour and dab the flour on their cheek before running to the finishing line. The boys ran first, followed by the girls. In the second game, the children have to pick up one half of a picture then ran to the end of the line and fitted that half to the right half of the picture.

Khayla was not so keen to participate, so she refused to let go of her dad's hand at all! She was better than a boy in her class though, who cried so hard when the competition started that his father had to bring him out of the track :p Can't blame him, this must be his first Sports Day too.

Running while holding to Daddy's hand

Not looking pleased at being asked to run early in the morning!

Of course when she set her mind not to participate, she then refused to run. Rather, she walked, and then let her father picked up the item or dabbed the flour on her cheek, and then had to be dragged to the finishing line! At least she did not cry.

Khayla watching her seniors participated in their games
 Khayla did not win any of the games but we did not mind because we were there only to have fun watching our girl participate in school activity.

She had more fun playing slides and swing at the playground though :p

'Can we go back home now?'



Dear Beloved Daughters,

Another month has passed - my little babies once the size of a peanut in my tummy, are now 27 months and 4 months old respectively!

Dear Khadeeja,

This month you have started to be more contented to be left on your own longer. I first noticed this when I was checking on you during one of your naps. Instead of raising the alarm when you woke up like you normally do, you spent the time inspecting your two tiny feet. Probably wondering where did those extra hands come from? LOL!

But no matter, your feet have become one of your source of entertainment and exploration since you can lift both high enough for your chubby hands to grab. Whenever I put you on your back, the first thing you do is to raise those chunky legs and grab those pudgy feet! Then you try to put your toe (sometimes both of your toes) in your mouth, which more often than not, is a failed attempt. So you will be preoccupied trying your best while I get some extra minutes doing a zillion things until you managed to conquer this feat and get bored.

Another thing that you realise this month is your own voice. Oh yes, how you love to hear your own voice, sweetie. You experiment with various intonations - ranging from normal pitch babbles, to high pitch shrieks that had me hot on my heels because I thought something bad happened to you!

Sometimes I giggle when I catch you babbling and shrieking to your own reflection in the mirror. Those giggles will turn into guffaws the moment you tersengih-sengih macam kerang busuk to your own reflection. Hehe.

Practising her range of pitch
My Deeja-licious babe,

Earlier this month, I brought both you and your sister for lunch at a nearby restaurant. You were dressed in the dress below, purple with white polka-dots. Needless to say, you attracted quite a number of admirers from a group of aunties and uncles (who are actually Mak Yeng's age). They practically melted when you excitedly gurgled and made impossibly-adorable noises trying to catch their attention!

That's you, my precious gem. Always so friendly and ready to give everyone a smile so sweet you can give us diabetes.
Sweetest baby on the block
My buah hati pengarang jantung,

So many things fascinate you at this age. You like watching me going about doing housework. In fact, you like to be a busybody too. When I have you in the baby sling and trying to wash the vegetable, you tend to grab the vegetable and make my work difficult. You also can turn your body to see what I'm up to next. And when I put you in the rocker, you get easily tired of the hanging mobile and want a more complicated entertainment or you will shriek to be in the baby sling again!

Turn this here, twist that there. Genius at play.

Last but not least, like your sister, you love to be brought out of the house. Whenever it's time to fetch your sister from school, when you see me put on the baby sling and then my head cover, you squirm in delight and your face breaks into a HUGE grin - that made those moments the best part of my day - any day.

And to my firstborn Khayla,

If Adik made some huge discoveries of her own body parts, you also started to learn about your own body parts.

You can name your own body parts and point to it too. 'Nose!' while pointing at your button nose. 'Mouth!' But when it comes to eyes, you get it mixed up with 'forehead'! LOL!

A few weeks ago, your teacher wrote in the communication book that you refused to join in painting classes. You told your teacher that paints are dirty and flatly refused to get in contact with it. Seriously, you can be very quirky and funny!

Refused to join splashing in the pool because you hate to get splashed by others

I am glad that you show some progress and are joining painting activity in school now, but secretly wondered whether you pester your teacher to wash your hands every minute, like when I engaged you in our own painting activity at home (and you keep asking to wash your hands).

Little Picassa

In terms of your possessiveness, this is something that you have to overcome. You seem to view Khadeeja as a competition, and hate it when we give her toys to play - everything belongs to you. So when you see Khadeeja grabbing anything (from stuffed toys to books), you get agitated and will take it away. Any resistance will be met with loud cries and drama!

Bapak is your daddy only, not Khadeeja's

My adorable tot,

You still love to imitate my actions, and getting good at it. One day I was standing in front of a mirror while staring sadly at my bloated tummy. You observed me patting my tummy three times, and you followed suit. Needless to say, I forgot all about my misery and roared in laughter!

What would my life be without my entertaining copycat, God please tell me…


Sayang,

While you seem to be growing perfectly fine and making wonderful progress of your skills and knowledge, there is one area that concerns me deeply. Your social development. You hate people touching you (you will cry if anyone dares to touch you) and when I fetch you from school, I rarely see you acknowledging your friends or teachers despite their best attempts to communicate to you. Your principal even commented of how 'cool' you are towards people, which made me wonder - is this something that I should worry?


Nevertheless, despite your strong protest at being touched or even looked at by Khadeeja, at times you do show your affection towards Khadeeja, and vice versa. Khadeeja adores you, I can tell by her smile and how she loves watching you.

The two of you are starting to develop that sisterly bond. Sometimes after coming back from school, while I carried Khadeeja in my arm and you trailing behind, you will call out cheerfully to her, 'Khadeeja!' and Khadeeja will giggle and squirm excitedly at being acknowledged by you.

Loving the big sister moment
Maybe some day both of you will learn to love each other, just like your Wa Liza and I love and look up to each other.

Grow well, my beloved stars. Thank you so much for giving me plenty of TLCs every day of my life.

Love,
Mak

Yesterday my dearest life partner turned 34 years old :) Happy birthday my man! When we first met, he was 25 years old and it has been 9 years since then. How time flies.

Anyway, I decided to have a special dinner celebration for him - just the four of us. Of course it would be fab to celebrate with friends as well just like what I organised a few years ago (surprise makan-makan at Bagan Lalang) but we would have to make do with a small-scale celebration since I'm not working and earning any income this year :p Besides Mr Hubs actually rather not have any celebration like he always does, but come on, how often does one turn 34, right? Besides it gives me perfect reason to get out of the house occasionally.

I've been reading a few blogs that raved about Alexis' menu especially its dessert (Pavlova, tiramisu, fruit meringue among others). Plus, many seems to think it has the classy yet cozy ambience so I decided to give it a try.

We arrived at Alexis around 9pm and were immediately ushered to a table with comfortable cushion seats. I have a good first impression of the service at Alexis mainly because when we arrived with a tandem stroller, one of the waiters helped us to lift the stroller as the dining section was slightly elevated.

We were also given the menu immediately after we settled ourselves at the table. By the way, Khayla could not stay still and kept wanting to climb the seat armrest and leaned over the divider!

For starter, we ordered their seared scallops and button mushrooms (we forgot to take a photo of the button mushrooms though):

Seared scallops and asparagus

The seared scallops flavour was nicely-balanced and the chilli condiment goes perfectly with it. I ate most of it because halfway, Khayla insisted to go to the restroom and Mr Hubs has to bring her! LOL

The baked button mushrooms were served with toasted garlic roll. The mushrooms itself were soaked in creamy sauce and sprinkled with parmesan cheese (I think). It was also quite nice but a bit salty for me.

For main course, I decided to try their Carbonara pasta while Mr Hubs ordered his favourite, a lamb dish:

Carbonara pasta with beef bacon bits (right) and Moroccan style lamb rack with roasted aubergine and pomegranate salad (left)

There is nothing special to shout about the pasta - it's creamy, slightly salty (again) and quite filling (I didn't manage to finish mine). When I asked Mr Hubs about his lamb, he could not say whether it is delicious or the opposite. He cut a piece and fed it to me and I understood why. Suffice to say, it's not your ordinary Western lamb dish because obviously, it's Moroccan-style! :p The Mediterranean spices really overpowers your palate when you try this dish.

We also ordered mashed potato for Khayla, but it never arrived (thank goodness!). We were so full by then that we wondered whether we would have room for dessert. Luckily, it was just a slice of Pavlova and Pavlova is light enough, right?

Since it was Mr Hubs' birthday celebration, I asked them to serve the cake with a lit candle to mark the celebration. While waiting for the cake, Khayla had climbed the cushion seat and suddenly fell backward and bumped her head on the table! She cried loudly, of course. Hish, budak kecik ni…

So she sat sulking in the stroller, but when the cake arrived complete with a lit candle, she forgot her misery (and painful 'benjol'!) and wanted to blow the candle, of course! Hehe.

Me and equally-active Khadeeja

Budak jatuh pastu benjol kepala with Mr Hubs

I have to say the cake presentation was quite pretty even though it arrived with half of the cake falling! I had high expectations (and anticipation) of the much-raved cake, but it turned out quite disappointing. This was not my first Pavlova, but it could not compete with the Pavlovas that I had before. The creamy filling was too thick and rather bland, thank goodness for the white egg outer crust. Even the black berries were tasteless! Hmmph.

Overall, we had a pleasant dinner, but the meal was really quite ordinary. The service was fast, and the waiters were helpful.

On the other hand, perhaps you might want to repeat the orders with the waiter who take it because like I said, we did not get our mashed potato (which luckily did not appear in our bill). Also, when the bill arrives, it's good for you to check carefully. When I checked mine before signing it, I noted that they included hot water in the bill even though we did not order it. Since it's FOC, I did not bother to raise it to the waiter.

My rating would be 7/10.

Happy Birthday, Hubster! Love you and hope you enjoyed my treat ^_^
Lama sudah tak merepek dalam bahasa Melayu. Terasa jakun dan awkward (muntah darah!)

Anyway, Monday selamat datang! (diterjemah secara terus). Eh, tak penah-penah menyambut hari Isnin dengan sangat ceria kan? Selalunya I hate Monday. Tapi Monday kali ni ialah cuti semester. Suami Terchenta tak ada kelas malam ini. Horey!

Pagi tadi agak kelam-kabut. Menyiapkan princess kesayangan ke sekolah. Malam semalam dia tidur lewat kerana menemankan si emak membuat kerja sekolah. Akibatnya pagi tadi berlaku sedikit drama sebab dia enggan bangun dan enggan mandi. Merajuk di sofa. Huhu.

Oleh sebab Monday ialah hari membawa snek ke sekolah, maka saya pun terpaksa la bangun awal jugak. Berdiri di tengah dapur, berfikir snek apa yang boleh dibawa. Oooh, cucur lemak manis! Syukur emak saya ada membeli tepung cucur lemak manis Adabi. Maka saya rebus sebiji telur dan bancuh tepung cucur.

Si Khayla suka bangat! Biasanya pagi-pagi dia pandang sarapan pagi sebelah mata je. Hari ni dia boleh telan 3 biji cucur. Amazing!

Telur rebus sepatutnya dikupas panas-panas dan terus dimasukkan dalam acuan pembentuk 'teddy bear'. Tapi sebab saya sibuk, saya cuma kupas bila dah suam-suam kuku. Akibatnya, telur itu berbentuk aneh. Heee…



Malam semalam sebelum tidur tergerak hati menyemak buku Chatbook. Buku chatbook ialah buku komunikasi antara ibubapa dan guru. Nasib baik saya semak, sebab cikgu nak gambar binatang / benda yang bermula dengan huruf 'D'.

Lalu dengan mata yang mengantuk saya membelek majalah lama, mencari gambar yang sesuai. Akhirnya terjumpa gambar 'Drink'. Cepat-cepat gunting dan masukkan dalam buku sekolah Khayla!

Khadeeja kesayangan juga bangun awal sebab malam semalam dia tidur pukul 6.30 petang sampai esok paginya! Dia memang bayi yang sangat baik, sangat heaven bila bayi tidur awal tau! ^_^

Khadeeja, 115 days. Bayi yang awesome.
Oleh sebab terlalu asyik makan cucur, Khayla terlambat ke sekolah. Tapi sebelum keluar rumah, seperti biasa dia bersalaman. Selepas itu melambai-lambai tangan dan memberi 'flying kiss' beberapa kali sampai la saya tutup pintu. Heaven punya anak-anak macam Khayla dan Khadeeja!

Semoga minggu ni berterusan dengan sangat bahagia seperti hari ni, ya Allah. Amin :)

Salam everyone!

Just like everyone who is working, weekends are the time that I look forward to. Yes, yes, I may not be working this year but my other half is, so weekends are the only time that we can spend bonding as family. Now that we have two kids, an outing sometimes is a must because our elder daughter tends to get restless being cooped at home all day. Even the 3-month old will get 'tergedik-gedik' (over-excited) whenever we prepare her for an outing and practically drools at the sight of the stroller! 

So this weekend after doing a little bit of research online (keyword search - budget-friendly attractions, kids-friendly attractions, free admission. Okay you get it. Suami Terchenta said since this month we have to fork out A LOT of $$ to renew our car insurance and road tax, we can't go somewhere expensive so shopping mall is a no-no T_T), we finally settled on Planetarium Negara (National Planetarium). Not only it is nearby, the admission to the gallery is free and 3D theatre film is at nominal fee (RM6 per adult for Malaysians / RM12 per adult for foreigners, free for kids aged 2 years and below).

Of course in our family nothing ever happens without some drama. Before we began the journey, I checked with Suami Terchenta:

Me: Do you know where's the Planetarium?
Suami Terchenta (dengan nada yakin / with an air of confidence): Yes.

So off we went to the Planetarium supposedly, I was breastfeeding Khadeeja and watching Madagascar, therefore not paying attention to the route taken by Suami Terchenta. When Khadeeja finally fell asleep, I looked out the window and realised that we were on the way to Damansara. Soon we reached a place and...

Suami Terchenta: Here we are. Pusat Sains Negara!
Me: ????? We are going to Planetarium! Not Pusat Sains Negara!
Suami Terchenta: Isn't it the same thing?
Me (outrageous look at him): No, it's different!
Suami Terchenta: Well.. I figured because of the domed roof…

Thank God for GPS afterwards.

NOTE: Pusat Sains Negara is not the same as Planetarium Negara, people...

Anyway…

We reached the correct place half an hour later. Planetarium Negara is a blue-domed structure situated on top of a hill. Getting there requires a bit of walking from the car park which is located down hill. Since we have two small kids, the security personnel allowed us to drive in for drop-off at the entrance. The place has a funny design where the car drop-off is not exactly at the main entrance since visitors have to climb stairs to get to the main entrance. When we realised that there is no ramp for strollers, we were a bit put off - until another security personnel approached us and told us to drive further up to the authorised parking area, where there's an entrance to the building for people using wheelchair.

I seriously think the management should incorporate more wheelchair- and stroller-friendly amenities because most of the visitors are families with young kids. Otherwise, they should provide self-explanatory signage informing where to enter if visitors bring strollers because we saw a group of foreign tourists having to lug their strollers up the staircase because there was no one around to tell them the same thing when we arrived!

Activities at the Planetarium Negara are limited to browsing the gallery and watching 3D documentary in the dome theatre. According to the official website, there's also observatory with telescope and accessories, viewing galleries with binoculars and other stuffs but we could not find those areas. Plus, like I mentioned earlier, the place is not stroller-friendly as some areas are only accessible by stairs.

There was only a handful of staff around and most of them are working in the theatre only. Unlike the Petrosains, there was no guide to explain some of the exhibits and visitors are left to figure out / read the exhibits by themselves. This place is in bad need of marketing strategy to rejuvenate and entice more visitors to come! Wait a minute *check the organisation chart*, they don't have marketing director. No. Freaking. Wonder.

Khayla was not so thrilled at the gallery (probably because she's too young to appreciate the displays and information?) and was only interested in the anti-gravity room because there is a slide exit :) Our girl loves the slide and can play on it endlessly if we didn't stop her.

At the gallery. Khadeeja couldn't care less.
Nevertheless, it was not entirely a waste of time coming here. The key highlight of the trip is watching 3D film at the dome theatre. It was awesome! They have 5 films which they played at interval slots - the one we watched at 2pm was 'The Sun, Moon and Earth'. 

Camwhoring before the movie started - my face looks huge!

It was interesting to watch large format film played on the dome because it feels like we were on the outer space ourselves! Unfortunately, Khayla got dizzy after a while and started to cry while Khadeeja who was fascinated watching moving images played on the roof began to get startled every time there were loud sounds!

Eh. Looks like only the parents syok sendiri with the theatre :p

After the theatre, we spent some time going through the exhibits at the gallery and spent most of the time at the section where there is a "mock-up of the interior of the International Space Station showing the sleeping and toilet arrangements" (quoted from malaysia-traveller.com).

Entertaining Khayla with the buttons at the experiment side. Why does this blouse looks so loose? Ececey...
We spent an overall an hour and a half at Planetarium Negara. Overall, I would say it's a good place to go with older kids who would appreciate the scientific displays and everything space-related. Actually this was my second trip to Planetarium Negara. During my first trip more than 10 years ago, they even had this training rotating equipment where you sit strapped to it and a staff will spin you 360 degrees to give you a taste of how it feels to be in space. I almost puked after that!

We saw the same rotating equipment but it was only for display (too bad, I wanted to spin my husband hahahaha!). Furthermore, some of the touch screen displays were out of order, like the equipment to detect pulse rate. So it was really disappointing.

Before we left, we took a family photo at this booth:

The Junaidi clan :)
So that's how we spent our weekend. Hope you have a happy weekend too :)