B’s School Trip

Tomorrow Bella has a school trip!!

Her day out without mommy.. Gosh!!

B and her classmate will be going to a fire station!! Hehe..

I think that’s cute!

When I told her babatok, of course, knowing her babatok, he will come out with ideas on how to make things / trip / toys more educational for the kids! My father is very good at that. When I was still schooling, he made me and my siblings write essays everytime we went for a school trip / vacation or anything. Come to think about it, it does help us with memorising, language and writing skills. Those were the days.. This time, for Bella, he suggested us to pre-educate her before her trip. He suggested us to buy some toys or books that is related to the trip (in this case, a fire truck sounds good!)

We rushed to the toy shop and got this for B..

A toy fire truck and a little storybook of fireman (in a shape of fire truck!!)

Hahahaha… Mommy yang over reading this book over and over again to her.. and B was like.. “Mommy, I’m watching Nemo, can we read this later?”

What??? *kiasu mommy mode on*

XO

Umrah Part 2

I believe many of you read the Part 1 of my umrah story.. Here comes part 2 ;)

But I’m not done yet with my camel story!! Haha.. Here’s a short video showing the camel farm that we went to.

You can see a Badwi guy walking in this video and their house in the white tent. If you notice, there was a bed, right in the middle of the desert! That’s a serious sunbathing going on there…

Regarding food for my girls, it’s quite easy to feed them there because my girls loves nasi mandy ( that is something like our nasi biryani) And when they are in the mood for breads, trust Arabs to serve 10 types of bread every meal and they eats lots of yogurt. Problem solved!!
Remember the part about Malaysian food in Makkah in my previous entry? Anyway, there’s only two Malaysian restaurants there. One is D’Saji, the Felda restaurant in Al-Safwah mall. I believe many of you who have been to Makkah may have find your way to this D’Saji restaurant. But do you know there’s another restaurant there inside the Al-Saraya Hotel!!  I bet you didn’t know this!! This hotel is situated next to the La Meridien hotel. It’s only a walking distance from Masjid Al-Haram, about 300 meters I would say. You can actually see La Meridien from the Masijidl Haram main entrance.
The guy in white jubah on the most right in the picture is the owner of this restaurant.
They serve good Malaysian food, ulam-ulam and sambal belacan there!!
Haaaa.. I even took the picture of the sambal. After a few days, I was already tired of Arab food. This is just what I need ;) Feels like home!! Apparently the owner of this restaurant also owns an Arab food restaurant here in Malaysia.
Any of you have tried Al-Edrus restaurant in Bukit Rahman Putera in Sg Buloh? I have actually went to this restaurant previously and they serve good nasi mandy.. Cooked underground!!
I gained 1kg eating all this food in 5 days! Haha.. OK, enough food story..

If you had the chance to stay at the hotels around Masjidil Haram, please do so. All the hotels are connected to the Holy Mosque. You can hear the azan and what the imam is reciting during solat from the speaker in each of the bedroom. You’ll definitely wake up during first azan about one hour before Subuh. You can get up for your tahajjud or get ready to go to the mosque for Subuh. InsyaAllah you will get to solat jemaah on time, everytime..! According to the Saudi’s fatwa, you can follow the imam in Masjidil Haram for solat jemaah from the hotel’s mosque, but not in your room. It’s really helpful if you have small kids because the space is smaller, the crowd is smaller and less likely your child will disappear!! It’s also really good for the elderly, they don’t have to walk so much and safer for them.
That’s us hanging out the the top of Marwah after we finished with our saie :)
Some mommies asked me what medications I brought for my girls. Well, I didn’t actually brought the whole pharmacy with me. I believe God will help us getting through this. I make sure the girls drink a lot of zam zam water, doa for them, make sure they take their meals regularly and getting enough sleep. I didn’t bring them out during afternoon time because the temperature was up to 39 degree Celcius. If we, the adults can get headache with that kind of temperature, I can’t imagine what will it do to my little girls..
How we survived long journey with the girls?
Thank you Steve Jobs!!
The iPad really saves our life. Haha..
Yes, this mom (me!) does cheat sometimes ;)
So, I guess, that is my umrah story and tips. From how we tawaf, saie and solat with the girls to activities we did with them and the food story. Thats all we did over there anyway.. Hope that helps.
Tiring? Yes..
Regret? No..
Experience? Priceless!
XO

Umrah Part 1

Alhamdullillah.. We are back from our umrah trip.

It was a short one but I believe a visit to the Holy Kaabah will always be memorable for me. We brought Bella and Tasha along with us. I have to admit, they can be quite handful sometimes but the thought of leaving them behind is… unthinkable! Haha.. 

We flew to Jeddah via Dubai. I was sooo thankful because Frozen was shown on the in-flight tv. That one will keep B quiet during the flight, and I only left with Tasha to deal with. Haha..

I get a lot of questions from mothers out there on how to manage toddlers while in Tanah Haram. I’m not an expert, I’m just a struggling mommy like most of you.. *cheers* and of course with the help from my dear hubby and God’s willing, alhamdullilah..
B is already at the age where she can understand what what we are trying to tell her. So it’s quite easy to bring her around for solat at Masjid Al-Haram.. We can tell her not to run around, where we gonna pray so she know where to find us, or the easiest way to make her sit down and quite… the ipad!!! Hahah.. I know I know you’re giving me that you-give-your-child-ipad look ;) I rather let her play with ipad next to me than losing her.. So pls, if you wanna judge me, go ahead as long as my kid is safe!!
But on the other hand, T is still young. She only 15 months old, really active and her hobby is running around and climbing whatever she can climb and not to mention picking up anything that looks edible on the floor and shove it into her mouth…! That is the challenge!! Hahah.. I got T a harness where I can strap her to myself. She can still run around but only as far as 1 meter away from me. So, during solat, it’s either she’s attached to me or my husband will hold her during solat (and put her down during rukuk and sujud). That’s the only way to survive. Haha..
We decided not to bring stroller for this trip since we are not going around so much and I tend to forget about the stroller easily.. (Almost lost a stroller during our trip to Jordan/BaitulMaqdis before!!) And my girls prefer to run around rather than sitting in the stroller. When they are tired, we just carry them ourselves. No baby carrier ok!! B is about 14kg and T is about 8kg. That will definitely tone up our arms!! Haha.. Many parents put their child on the wheelchair available in Masjidil Haram. I didn’t see many stroller there. I don’t know whether it is allowed to bring it inside or not..
We did our tawaf and saie after subuh when the weather is not so hot and the crowd is not too big. During tawaf, B loves to sit on her daddy’s shoulder and I will carry T. When I came across a crowded area especially in front of Hajar Aswad, I tried to carry T a little bit higher to make sure it’s easy for her to breath, or else she will cry..
Saie is quite fun for B because she  can walk on her own (without people pushing her) and stop to drink zam zam water and walk again.. B loves to just hold the tail of her daddy’s ihram, and Tasha will be carried. B can walk for about 3 trips to-and-fro between Safa and Marwah before she demanded us to carry her.
B and T taking a break drinking zam sam water during Saie..
By the end of the tawaf and saie, my legs were already shaking. It’s like going to the gym!!
In front of Masjidil Haram, there’s a huge road/empty parking space (facing the Royal Palace) where pigeons always come to eat, bird food were provided for them by the general workers. We brought our girls there in the evening just for them to do kids stuff (and that is running around!) So, in between asar and maghrib, they will be chasing the pigeons.. and feeling tired after that!! Speaking about smart parenting ;) Haha..
My husband has a Malaysian friend there who owns a Malay food restaurant. (We will get back to this restaurant story later..) One morning, he brought us to the camel farm (Hurmmmm.. Is it called farm? I’m not sure..) Anyway, he brought us to see this big fat camels who are taken care by the Badwis. Seriously.. These peoples are Badwi!!! They live under the tent in the desert, like Rasulullah SAW time but I saw one of them holding a mobile phone!! Haha.. Not bad for people who actually lives on a desert!!
Having fun with camel, I was just actually playing brave in front of Tasha!! Haha.. Mommy must show good example, right?? ;)
Diancam camel.. hahahah…
I seriously think Tasha is much more brave than me!! Hehe..
Fresh from the camel!!
For the first time, I drank camel’s milk!! Surprisingly, it doesn’t have any funny smell and it taste quite good. One funny-but-real fact about camel’s milk.. You can’t get any milk from the mommy camel until the kid camel drank from the mother first!! Isn’t God great?? MasyaAllah..

Part two coming soon, insyaAllah.. till then..

XO

Leaving On a Jet Plane

Insyaallah, we will be leaving for Umrah this coming Thursday..

We = Bella + Tasha + daddy + mommy

This is my first time bringing these two girls there. Last time we were there, B was about Tasha’s age and Tasha was about 6 month in my womb. So, my first time handling two toddlers in Tanah Haram. I know it’s not gonna be easy since both of them are very active and I need to keep both of them in my sight all the time. I pray to God to ease things for both me and my husband taking care of our children especially when we are there so we can focus on our ibadah and being parents at the same time.

I’m quite nervous actually..

May Allah ease..

Amin…!

XO

Is It Time?

OK mommies..
Let’s just straight to the point..
How soon do you wait for no 3?
I’m just curious. I wanted to have as many children as I can.. InsyaAllah but I think Bella and Tasha still needs attention in term of educating and managing them..
Tasha is 15 months now and B is turning 3 years old in 3 months time.
At home, my husband and I managed the girls ourselves even we have a kakak staying with us to help. And these two toddlers are quiet a handful. Bathing, feeding and play time really taking a lot of time. Night time is spent playing with them.. building blocks, pretend cooking, flash cards, play doctor and watching Doc McStuffin (hahah.. must teach them early!!) I haven’t watch Glee for soooo long! Hahaha.. American Idol? Forget it.. too much commitment!!
Imagine when I’m away and my husband doing this on his own..
(God, I’m so thankful for him!!)1-photo 1
This is what happened when I leave them with daddy..
All sorts of adventures.. Hahaha..
And now Tasha is at the stage where she wants to feed herself. The mess after meal is like..
*I have no word for it!*
and I keep telling myself “she’s learning.. let her learn..” over and over again.. Haha..
And if we leave them alone, they will definitely look for us.. There’s no where to hide at home. It’s like they have GPS tracking to look for us!! Trust them to stuff their face behind the glass door until we come and get them..
So, how long do you wait?
What’s your experience with having 3 children (and two hands to hold all three!) Haha..
XO

Keeping Fit and Healthy..

OK ladies.. here is the top three questions I get in my mailbox..
1) What skincare do you use?
2) Is Secret Skin White Kawaii any good?
3) How do you lose weight after pregnancy?
Haaa.. now this blog entry will  answer question no 3!!
Will get back to the rest of the question soon ;)
How do I lose weight after pregnancy? Yes, I know I was super huge during pregnancy, I gained almost 30kg over 9 months of both pregnancy. Hahahaha.. MasyaAllah… Thanks to my husband who’s non-stop feeding me! I’m blessed. He kept telling me.. “It’s for the baby..”  and I believed him.. Hnnshh… Alhamdullilah both my girls were born healthy. And now my issue is the post-baby weight.. Who doesn’t right?? Even Britney Spears and Cristina Aguilera had the same issue.. Hahaha..
*seriously I don’t understand how Gisele Bundchen and Miranda Kerr were able to get back to their pre-pregnancy figure in only 6 weeks after delivery!! That’s very inhumane!! Hahaha..*
Anyway, I believe there are three ways to lose post-baby fat (or any kind of fat)..
1) Exercise
2) Exercise
3) Exercise
Definitely no short cut.. Forget all those slimming tea or drink or pill or whatever. You have to exercise. Period.
And do you know when you reach 30 years old, your metabolism rate reduces by 1% every year?!!
*insert loud cry here*
Here I want to show what motivates me..
I know finding time to exercise is… not easy. With work and house chores and spending quality time with family.. Exercising sometimes doesn’t really get the utmost priority. It always at the bottom of “to-do” list.. and somewhere in the middle of “to-do tomorrow” list. Haha…
I found this iPhone app (yes, whatever works!!) called “Argus”
Here is the screen shot of my day, March 17. This app is amazing.. It can track your steps, like pedometer. It can also document your activities like playing badminton, tennis, cycling, basketball, treadmill and yada yada yada.. you get me, right? It calculates based on the average calories burned during certain activity..
 And it also has reminder of your things that you do everyday that is important to your health like amount of “cup of coffee”, “glass of water”, your weight and lalala..
You really gotta check this out. It’s good to at least achieved 8000 steps of walking everyday. And the most important thing, it is free for iPhone user. Not sure about Android though..
Keeping fit is really important. Even you can’t make it to the gym everyday, knowing that you’ve walked at least 8000 steps everyday helps to keep yourself fit and healthy.
If I have extra time, I make sure I go to the gym. Cardio and resistance workout is important in losing weight and building muscles. If I don’t have enough time to go to my power plate training at BodyTone, I’ll still make time to do some work out at my apartment’s gym. 30 to 45 minutes exercise is good enough to make me drench in sweat.
For cardio training, running on the treadmill is my favourite (no not really, I’m just faking it! Haha..)
I usually do this 20 to 30 mins per session.. Now my aim is to run 3km in 30 minutes non-stop. I’m not there yet. A bit slow but surely, insyaAllah.. Hahaha.. By the way, my husband told me, his training in Russia before requires them to run 3km in 11 minutes. Homaigawdd.. that must be like Rocky style.. (you know, Rocky the boxer!!)
I use this iPhone app (again!!) called C25K (i think it stands for Coach to 5K) which trains you (or me in this case) to be able to run 5K in certain amount of time..
Here’s the screenshot of the app. It makes you jog and walk alternately until you are able to run 5km non-stop.
For me all these app helps to guide and push me to do better every time. The running time is longer every next session and the walking time is shorter..
Weight training / resistance is important in building muscles. No, my aim is not to have bulky muscles, I just want a lean muscles. But why having muscle is important?
That is because, muscle works like the engine to our body. The bigger your muscle is, the higher your metabolic rate.. that means more calories your body will burn. Get it? Thats why having muscle is important..
I’m really not good in just carrying weight. It’s so boring and torturing for me. I like to combine weight / resistance training with cardio, also called total body workout. When I’m on my own, I love to follow the instructor video from YouTube. Yes, hahah.. Everything is available on YouTube nowadays..
My favourite training series are “Catching Fire 30 Days Challenge”
It’s only a 12 minutes exercise but it will be an intense 12 minutes training if follow the workout properly (and that means no cheating!! Haha..)
Go figure..
And last but not least, healthy diet!! As what they say… Abs is 30% made at the gym and 70% in the kitchen..
Or the other way round.. Can’t remember.. Whatever it is.. that saying means diet is as important as exercising..
Try to reduce on white rice / white bread cause the carbs in it are the killers. Take lots and lots of green vegetables, fruits and lean meat for protein supplement.
And for me personally, support from your loved ones and friends are equally important as the exercise and dieting itself. I’m lucky to have healthy conscious people with me all the time. Someone to tell me to stop munching on junk food (it’s the hormones ok!).. to compete with me on Argus (the app, remember?).. who has the higher step count, burned more calories.. It’s all becomes a competition now!! Haha..
Trust me, exercise is addictive, once you’ve started.. You’ll really enjoy it because exercise releases endorphins and that is actually a hormones that makes you happy.
“Exercise releases endorphin. Endorphin make you happy. So, happy people doesn’t kill their husband”
- Elle Woods, Legally Blonde-
Haha..
So, ladies, get your cute butt to the gym or park or anywhere and releases your endorphin.
Stay healthy and keep fit.
And have a happy day ahead :)
XO

Chicken Pox!!

Yes.. Both B and T are down with chicken pox!!

Well, I may write here “down with chicken pox” but to be honest, they are not “down” at all!! They are up and about, super active and cling to me like gam cap gajah!! Haha.. Alhamdullilah…

Last week, B had 3 spots on her face. No fever, just mild runny nose. Well, kids who stays in nursery are bound to have runny nose, right?! So, I didn’t actually take note about the runny nose. Even when there the spots on the face appeared, I still haven’t got any clue!! (doctor mommy here!! Hahaha..) I thought maybe it was just an insect bite, (or even scarier.. mosquito bite!!) So, I started to spray the whole house, and put mosquito repellant all over the place I can!! Until.. it turned into a vesiculopapular rash..

Papule = raised lesion on the skin

Vesicle = fluid- filled cavity

Therefore, vesicopapular = raised lesion on the skin which contains fluid!!

I know that spells T.R.O.U.B.L.E!

I mean.. chicken pox!

I immediately separated B’s stuff from T’s.. like their dirty clothes in separate laundry basket, towels hang far apart, no more sharing water tumbler, cutleries and lalala coz the virus, Herpes Zoster can spread via two routes..

1) air-borne respiratory droplets i.e. sneezing, coughing, runny nose..

2) Vesicle fluid: …. remember that skin lesion containing fluid!!

That dot.. is highly contagious. It will spread the virus if you have direct contact with the fluid inside it. That’s why I tried to separate their clothes and all…

But 3 days later..

Taddaaaa..

T has the same lesions on her trunk! Hahaha…

I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.. but I’ve decided to take it in a very positive way.. it’s good that both of them had the chicken pox at the same time.. easier to manage!! :D

I’ve consulted my good friend, Dr Zahilah Filzah from doktorbudak.com , according to the expert, antiviral (i.e. acyclovir) only works if it’s given within 24hours of the appearance of the vesicles (Za, correct me if I’m wrong!) if it’s later than that.. there is no scientific evidence that shows the antiviral works. So, forget the medicine, we treat symptomatically only.

What does that means?

That means.. fever medicine is your child is having fever, calamine lotion to help reduce the itchiness, drink a lot of water, try to maintain good oral intake and hand washing is very important to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus.

We were supposed to go to Sabah with my husband because he had an event there but all our plan got cancelled because of these two girls with dots on their body.. Haha.. And I’ve sent the kakak who stays with us balik kampung because we thought we gonna be in Sabah -_-

Here I am having the best time at home taking care of these two angels, being a full time housewife.. even if its only for two days :)

Please excuse me, I’ve got a pile of clothes that needs to be iron, grocery shopping and preparing for dinner..  before my husband comes home. Phewww…

*salute to all stay-at-home-mom*

XO

Dengue. Let’s End This!!

Hi all..

I had a bad ICU call few days ago. It was horrible. I was just mega-exhausted. Our ICU is 22 bedded, and one person taking care of 22 beds during on call is mad. Really.. It’s the Intensive Care Unit.. not the normal ward. if one patient collapsed is still do-able. But there was one time, I was on call, and I had 3 patients collapsed and needed CPR at the same time!! MashaAllah.. The angel of death must be really busy that night in the ICU..

Anyway, back to my on call story. My ill patient that night was a dengue patient.

Dengue nowadays are so much different. It’s getting more and more difficult to manage. They need ICU care just for dengue. At the place where I work, we even have a dengue ward. The load of dengue patient in the hospital is getting worse over time.. and mortality or death due to dengue fever has increased significantly. Since January 1, 2014 until now.. there’s already 22 people died of dengue!!

Yes, it’s because of this mosquito called Aedes Aegypti

Image from Google

If you happened to find this mosquito with black and white stripes on its legs. Kill it!!

Kill!!! Kill!! Kill!!!

If you can’t.. then run for your life!!

This Aedes mosquito is the carrier of flaviviruses. (Yes, dengue is a viral fever!), so, no antibiotic needed unless you have a secondary infection..

But seriously, all of us have to play part in helping to eradicate the mosquitos. When you use the mosquito spray, it only works on the adult mosquitos. But it doesn’t kill the mosquito eggs!! This is the part where you should ask me.. where does this mosquito eggs live?

The mosquito eggs live in stagnant water!! Yes, probably it’s in our flower vase, or the kolah air in our toilet, clogged drain, rooftop gutter or construction areas. Please, I know we can’t go and clean the construction area but at least what we can do at home is remove all stagnant water in our house / compound. Change the water in the flower vase everyday  (yes, you heard me!!) Make sure the drain around your house is working well, no leaves or anything that can clog the water flow in the drain..

Aedes usually comes out twice a day, during dusk and dawn.. What I do at home, is to close all windows and doors early. And mosquito repellant to prevent mosquito bites. Sometimes the lotion repellant, sometimes the sticker repellant. For the toilet that we rarely use, I keep the toilet seat cover on, so the stagnant water in the toilet bowl won’t be the ground breed for this  Aedes fella..

Typical symptoms of dengue is fever, bone pain (myalgia), joint pain (arthralgia), loss of appetite, common flu-like symptoms, headache and pain behind your eyes (retro-orbital pain).

The technology nowadays can even detect dengue at day one when you started to have fever. There’s a blood test called NS-1 to detect dengue virus in your body. Usually, during first of fever, your platelet count will not be so low. (Lucky there’s this NS-1 blood test that is very specific for dengue fever!). So, if you live in a prone-dengue area, and having dengue symptoms, get yourself check early.

Please, please, please..

Let’s do our part. Don’t let the mosquito breed easily. Enough people dying of this illness. Prevention is better than cure.

#MsiaEndsDengue

For more information on dengue and other health issues, you can follow @mimpatwt on Twitter or download their Malaysian Medical Gazette app on your iPhone and android.

Piercing T’s Ears

Tasha had her ears pierced yesterday!!!

That is like her birthday present for turning one!! Haha..

We did the same for Bella when she turned one. At that time, I was scared because.. Bella was only one! But this time, I was the one who is over-excited and keep reminding my husband over and over again that we have to pierce Tasha’a ears!! Haha.. Well, Bella turned out fine. InsyaAllah Tasha will too..

So, yesterday was my post call day.. after coming back from work, getting the girls ready (my best personal record is 23 minutes to shower and get them dressed!!) It’s not easy you know. Of course it involves running around, pretend hide-and-seek, singing and rolling PlayDoh in between.. just to get them to shower and dressed! Haha..

The shop that we went is in Ampang. We looked around many places before when we wanted to pierce Bella’s ears but they don’t want to do for a year old kid. So, we travelled all the way to Ampang just to get this done..!

Just to answer some of the questions I got from my instagram.. This is the shop that we went to.. Kedai Emas Rasa Sayang..

If you’re coming from Jalan Ampang, you’ll pass Ampang Point on you left hand side, there will be the first traffic light in front of Ampang Point. Just go straight until you reach the third traffic light, that shop is at the shop lot row on your left hand side. Quite easy to find actually.. Exactly beside the main road.

That’s Tasha not knowing what’s gonna happen..

And that’s her sensing something is not right.. probably she was already planning to run at this time.. Haha.. Before piercing the ears, ethyl-chloride was applied to numb the earlobes area so the child will feel numb rather than pain.

She cried for a while and then got distracted by the cartoon Little Einsteins. No more crying after that ;)

Here’s the young lady…

That’s my girl!!

XO

Read!!

Getting the girls to read nowadays is not as easy as before. There are so much distractions like the tv, ipad and even the phone. It has becoming quite difficult to get Bella and Tasha to lie down in bed and listen to bedtime stories anymore (or is it because mommy fell asleep before them?? Haha..) They always wanna play with each other, poking and laughing and singing..
It’s really entertaining to see them having fun but you know, the first 7 years of their life is so important because this is the time which their brain develop the most and absorbs everything we teach them easily. Being a (almost) kiasu parents.. we always wants the best for them. Hence the effort to make reading fun!!
Yes, reading is fun!
 But how do you make it fun for a toddler?
 (two of them actually!)
This is actually an advice we got from a professional..
Besides the usual advice like colourful books, big fonts, interesting pictures, 3D is even better to stimulate their senses.. it’s also better to leave the books on the floor instead of keeping it neat and tidy on the book rack!
 Say what??
 Yes, leave it on the floor!!
 *clean-freak mommy alert!!*
And let them choose themselves…
i
It gives them the option to choose..
They might change books every few minutes but it’s ok..
The most important thing is actually to develop the interest to read.
Yes, the keyword is interest!!
Once the interest is there, it is much more easier to get them to sit down and appreaciate the book!
But of course, having said all that, parents or guardian guidance is very important, try to sit down with them while they choose their book and read together.. That is equal to quality time!!
So, forgive me if you see my children’s playroom is in a mess.
That is the part of learning!!
And me, slowly learning to be less clean-freak!!
*breath mommy breath*
XO