Thursday, July 26, 2012

Our little Iftar

Yesterday was the first time for this Ramadhan that we had people over to the house for Iftar. For understandable reasons, I can't invite people more often (read: overwhelmed). So I was very happy to have my close friends Huda and DB (and their kids) over because as working mothers themselves, I knew they would understand and not expect too much. Since all of our kids would be there, we decided the theme for food would be "what our kids would eat" (note: there was even a loaf of bread and a jar of Nutella on standby). To make things easier we did a pot luck, so all I had to prepare was some spaghetti. 

However, as always, Murphy's law also came to dine. While I was frantically cooking the sauces, there was a little pfft.. and my gas stove went out. Thankfully, I had the Petronas number on hand to call. My guests did arrive before the delivery guy though but since we still had plenty of time, things worked out well in the end.

Jejaka Melayu terakhir- Huzaifah
As we waited for Maghrib, the kids had a great time playing with each other, since most of them are "classmates". There was of course Yousof, Aishah and Hamzah (mine), Huzaifah and Habib (Huda's) and Farhana and Shahmi (DB's), also recently dubbed as The Tarawikh Gang. Huzaifah was quickly the centre of attention as both the girls were intent on getting his attention haha.

Imagine my house after 7 kids- thanks for cleaning up kids!
Abang Yousof- the only kid waiting for Maghrib
Our Iftar fare was very simple: spaghetti, nasi goreng, nugget, bubur cha char, doughnuts. I didn't take any pics of the food, mostly because I decided to implement a personal "no food pics during Ramadhan" rule. I'm not against other people doing it but sometimes, it does cross my mind that some people may not have the opportunity to eat at fancy restaurants or have splendid home-cooked meals or like me, will probably eat our normal daily food for the whole of Ramadhan, and looking at the flood of gorgeous mouth-watering food pics flooding FB and IG might make people uneasy. But hey, that's just me.

The only exception I will make to this rule is to say that the only non-simple item on our menu last night were nested pavlovas baked by Huda. They were delicious and light and just delightful. So if you guys are in Kuantan and are craving for a pavlova fix, she's definitely your gal. Me? I saved a piece in my fridge and can't wait to eat it today hehe.

Amazing Amazing Amazing - I can still taste it! (credit to Huda for the pic)

PS: Let's do this again!

Hamzah and his bag from Tok Wan (credit to Huda for the pic)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ramadhan Kareem!

Three days into this blessed month and all is well Alhamdulillah. My parents spent the first two days of Ramadhan with us. Yousof has been stellar and managed to fast both days despite temptations from his younger siblings. 

We are looking forward to a wonderful, peaceful and enriching month. May we emerge as better people insyaAllah.

Getting ready for tarawih

From Turkey with love. Thank you Tok Wan & Tok Ki

A very important issue. YouTube it NOW.

Well done!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Man and Boy by Tony Parsons

The basic plot

Harry Silver is a lucky man, the problem is, he doesn't know it. Or appreciate it. One foolish night and his perfect life is down the drain. Only then does he begin to realize what is truly important in life.

What I liked about the book

The story in itself was predictable but the writing made the story come to life. A friend told me that I would be able to see things from a guy's perspective by reading this book and in some ways I did. There were some really touching moments in the book and Harry's relationship with the other characters were very well explored especially his bond with his father.

What I disliked about this book

I think many people who read this book will be moved by it but as good a read as it was, in the end I was not swayed. I found it very hard to feel sympathy or empathy for Harry, especially since his story is so common. There are numerous husbands (and wives) out there who take their life, their marriage and their kids for granted. They wake up every day to the same routine and instead of counting their blessings, see only monotony. They forget to notice the small (and big things) that other people do each day just so their lives can be exactly what it is. They do not realize that it takes teamwork and when one person feels none of the stress or pressure of keeping everything as it should be, it usually means that the other person is straining under the sheer weight by themselves. Most of all, they cannot imagine how lucky they are to have a beautiful family until it is taken away.

Reading the book, I could not get past the fact how easy it is for people to make excuses. How much the writer (and other writers/screenplays out there) wanted us to believe that it is acceptable for someone like Harry to not appreciate his life as long as he learned his lesson. I for one, do not agree. It is not enough to just chalk up a failed marriage in "One of life's lessons" column and move on. It should never be that simple.

A quote I liked in this book

You can't compete with blood.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Enduring Love by Ian McEwan

Basic plot

A romantic picnic turns into a great tragedy within the blink of an eye and that was just the beginning. Little did Joe know that a chance encounter with a random event could trigger something deeper, darker and beyond his understanding. When things start spinning out of control, nobody believes him because he barely believes it himself.

What I like about this book

This book was lent to me by my Head of Department. The initiating event in the chapter was indeed shocking in it's sheer randomness. Without giving too much away, what followed was also quite strange. The book covers the topic of obsession quite well, especially from the perspective of the victim and the impact it has on his life. 

What I disliked about this book

The build up was not as intense as I would have liked, mainly because I felt that although the stalker-victim relationship was described in great length with both the psychological and emotional aspect addressed, not enough actual events took part to solidify the feeling of impending threat. Perhaps Daniel Craig brought more life to it in the movie.

A quote I liked from this book

Perhaps it was self-pity after all: a maniac was trying to kill me and all the law could suggest was Prozac.

Rating: 3.5

Saturday, July 7, 2012

IIUM Educare Sports (hot) day: Tears, Sweat & Wardrobe Malfunctions

After days of hearing how fast everyone can run, pick up balls and basically smoke the competition, Sports Day finally arrived. This year, instead of being held in the Indoor Sports Complex, the venue was the under the scorching sun at the Stadium.

Hamzah and Aishah were excited and rushed immediately to their respective teachers to wait under the shade of the big tent. Yousof and I sat on the seats and waited for the events to start. Of course, some of the little kids (2 year olds and 3 year olds) were bawling their eyes out. It is amazing how any child will  almost immediately start crying when separated within visual distance from their parents. They are usually nonchalant when left at Educare each morning but when told to sit less than 100m away, immediate abandonment issues. I am so thankful that my kids never have this prob....wait, is that Hamzah crying? Yes, it was. And he did not stop crying or being clingy even up until we were on the race-track. When the whistle blew, we were the parent-sobbing child couple left at the starting line that I had always felt sorry for previously. 

I have no idea what happened, whether it was the heat, or the crowd or just some imaginary switch that was inexplicably flipped that turned my usually upbeat and independent toddler into a small ball of tears superglued to my side. To add insult to injury, the sole of Hamzah's favorite sports shoes decided that this was the perfect time to suddenly rip apart from its body. With no contingency plan (Yousof's shoes were too big for him), he had to be persuaded to borrow Aishah's distinctively girly red/pink shoes for the race. Come to think of it, no wonder he did not want to run. Just goes to show, we can never take anything for granted. Kids will always be kids. Unpredictable. Sometimes when they haven't talked about anything else the whole week except for running in a race, when the time comes, nothing can make them move even a single step. Smile, laugh it off and just hug it out.

Aishah had a great day though. She won her egg sorting race and managed to bag a gold trophy. Hamzah came away with a consolation trophy ("everyone is a winner") and we survived the day. Thanks to Faizah for helping out and Za (a.k.a Mok Nik) for showing up to cheer the kids. Congrats to Habib and Huzaifah, Shahmi and Maryam for winning their races in style (good job to Huda and Solah, DB and Kak Sidah). 

We'll do better next year Hamzah... next year...InsyaAllah. 


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