Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A lil bit of this and that

For an Ikea freak like me, I feel happy just to walk aimlessly around the showhouse even without any purchase. But I feel happier if I return with a few flat-packs;).

November 19th is the first day of year-end/Christmas sale. And I must have their Baked Salmon dish and a peaceful meal alone. I went there just and only for that, but I had this delivered the next day!

No, not the kiddos but the Mamut cot!

Well, that's not our first cot. We had a playpen that we used as a cot. I hate it after a while as when the bed is at the lower height, the baby does not get good air circulation. It was never my idea to get it, it's hubby's! The girls used it for a while and we just left it in our old house when we moved. Now, I'm so glad that sister-in-law asked for it. I'm sure she will hate it too haha!

I'd been eyeing cots in Ikea but Mamut looks the sturdiest of all. Think Atef can use it till he is at least 3 years old. Adel is happy with an extendable bed, also from Ikea but it's a discontinued product now.
It was a surprise purchase as I found it in the As Is, heavily discounted for almost invisible few chips. I just love As Is!

I could just dismantle it and drive it in the MPV but I'm not very keen on re-assembled it at home. Was too lazy for that! And since I hate paying RM65 for the delivery charge for only one thing, I threw in a few more stuffs.

When I first designed the cabinets for the kitchen, I left a part of the wall bare as I just could not find a cooker hood that suited me, and I was not sure of the design. I had forgotten that I purchased a hood at a Teka warehouse sale a few months ago.

And I had this installed on Monday. We were not allowed to hack wall for ducting but we purposely designed the grille to have some space for that. Before this, we had only a ventilation fan, a small one that does not work well for my heavy oily cooking. Hubby just pulled the ducting above the cabinets and attached it's end to the fan with some modifications. So we have two ventilation systems now, the air from the hood is further driven out by the fan. And the hood has 1200 m3 suction power. I'm not sure if you can imagine it, but it looks ugly and that's why no pic is taken of that. And I will always try not to look up.
That's how hubby does it, functional but ugly DIY. It's ok to me, as long as a man can do some DIY, it's good enough;). And I'm not going to spend more on cabinets to hide it.

I wanted some color, that's why the Applad orange door. But now I have 3 colors, orange for the new horizontal cabinets and the beech worktop, white for the other new cabinet and now yellowish (due to accumulation of oil and dust) old doors. The good thing about Ikea is, for slightly over RM1k, I could change new doors for the entire kitchen....but, I'd wait for that. Sabar, sabar...

While I'm excited about my kitchen, I'm a bit worried that Atef is not feeling well. Think he caught the bug from Bea3, who had only slight fever and cough. I never exprienced any kid that get sick at this young age. I drove to an A&E at 5am on Monday. His temperature goes up every 8 hours. Last night it went up to 39.1 degrees C. Off to the A&E again as I also could not distinguish noisy breathing (due to phlegm) or wheezing. The doc said he would be fine but asked to return if the breathing gets noisier and if I detected wheezing. I talked to the doc with my eyes closed as I was just so sleepy. Returned home at 1.30 am.

Today, I just spent the day with the boys. Hubby sent the girls to the kindy for Children's Day party and he's off for golf *rolls eyes*.

Atef's temperature still fluctuates but he looks a lot better today. He is having a good time that mama would jump at his slightest squeal *sigh*. I had to cancel a fieldtrip yesterday and Alhamdulillah for the postdoc and Masters students, at least I got something done today in the office.

And finally, I would like to share with you that we've just had our first bloom in the house. After 3 dead plants here and a few others in the old place, hubby said I should give up already. But a few weeks ago, Bea1 and Bea2 persuaded me to get some mini-roses, yes also from Ikea. I thought it would wither away with the falling flowers but no, I saw some buds. And yesterday, one of them opened up nicely....lovely! I just have to keep it alive.

Thanks for reading;) and happy holiday!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What I got myself into today!

I have a journalist friend who has been bugging to make a story out of me for years. Stories of a lady geologist, a mother, a breastfeeding mom, a blogger mom, stories from my work/research. Most of the time she wanted to put pics of me and the kids. My excuses are "Tak mau la glamor2 ni!", "You can find someone better", "I can't let reporters write about my research before a proper publication", "Husband tak bagi la..." or anything you can think of;).

Today, she was just desperate and needed someone to do some cooking demo. And I couldn't think straight and had ran out of excuses. So, in between work, fetching/sending Bea1 from/to schools, I had her and a photographer at our home. I mentioned that I have access of eggwhites in the fridge and a Pavlova was what I made

It was kind of amusing that for someone like me who normally just 'campak-campak' stuffs when I cook, was told to act for the camera. And it was really time-consuming.
It was only the second time I did Pavlova and I'm still experimenting. Anyway, my friend said ok as long as it looks good. And I think it can still be improved.

I love everything with cream on, so as the kids. And now, it's Pavlova no more;)

This is how it looks before the attack!

Pics are those from my camera only. The demo will be out in an insert of a major daily next week, according to my friend. For all that I did, it's better be published, or else my friend sure kena...*evil laugh*

And regarding what I wrote earlier, I was just being frank and casually said that I just envy my colleague (muka tak malu hehe). Earlier, another professor also suggested that I should go too. The lord replied and wrote this:

I noticed that the Air Asia flight last Saturday was only about 60% full. If you feel like a bit of winter?s chill, you could try for a late cheap ticket and join the tea-party at the House of Lords !

He either can read my mind, or also thinks it would be once-in-a-lifetime experience for people like me or reads my blog *shudder*.

Hubby would let me go but very reluctantly, and he just killed it off by reminding me it's Eid's time. Anyway, at the temperature of 2 C I couldn't think properly in Bristol, and was in delirious state at -8 in Budapest. So, I will continue trying to avoid winter.

Some other time, maybe!

I'm green with envy!

And the green is the greenest of green!

I have been running around with my colleague, the PhD student this past few days. And that also means putting other important things on hold. She is preparing her trip to London and Leiden next week for a month, and due to some urgent matters, I have to be on my toes getting things done too for her.

She will be working in the British Natural History Museum and Museum Naturalis in both cities, with the British lord (who managed to her grants for this trip), and I just received a forwarded email. The lord just came out with a programme of part of her stay there.

To be able to work with people in the museums is enough to make me green and in between the work in the museums, I saw "Tea in the House of Lords...". To me, that could be once in a lifetime experience!

And luckily for her, kids are big enough and can be trusted to be left with the husband. But I'm sure they would miss their mom. And I will be making more samperit, that they really like. Hope it would cheer them up a bit before the mother leaves. The mom has asked me for the recipe twice but I'm sure she does not have the time to do it. She is just as ambitious as yours truly;).

She promised to send me emails on every little detail of her work and finding while she is there, I just can't wait to get some results from her.

But, I'm still green....!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

School term is almost over

And yes that means Bea1 will enter Standard 2 in less than two months. I remember how jittery I was at the beginning of the year when she started Std 1. Time sure flies fast and it is not bad at all.

I promised to get involved in educating her, and I did just that. I did because I think any mom should do that and frankly I don't 100% trust the school;). And please don't say that I should send my kids to private school. For some reasons (money definitely one of them), that is not an option for us.

Anyway, I'm trying to avoid of having that "my-kid-is-doing-well-because-of-me" feeling. Bea1 did well throughout the term. No, I'm not referring to grades that she got, or her place in the class. She is developing and absorbing and looks happy with school and friends.

And while a friend already said 'Tak dapat no 1 lagi, siappp!" to his Standard 1 kid, I still can't bring myself to explain what the numbers mean to Bea1. I'm a little worried that she would get pressured. Or maybe at this stage she knows that already, I never asked;). Am I being too protective. But once she showed that she was having a peer pressure already. Peer pressure at 7 years old!

Anyway, I still want to take some credit. I still think that all the practises/reading that we did together has complemented what she receives in school. And I also can't help it but to blame myself when she didn't really do that well in Pengetahuan Ugama. The reason was while her hand-writing is better than mine, I'm not patient enough with her Jawi writing. So I didn't really go through the subject with her. My bad:(.

And that also does not mean I spend a lot of time with her, just everyday I try to make sure she finishes homework and after each test, we went through the sheets again.

At the beginning of the term, I remember she memorised my phone number. Thought of some day, I might teach her to use the public phone. But before I did that, she surprised me one day and it was so good to hear her ecstatic voice from the other side. Then, she called me every recess and the moment she finished classes in both schools.

Think I could go on and on about my complain on the education system. But now, I change my mind, the system is ok but maybe not the people who are implementing it. For example, Bea1 was already asked what colour change happens on a tree if it is not being exposed to the sun. All are given in textbook but no experiment...yilek, nothing! I don't know if they would do it later on, but at this stage think kids are required to memorise. The same with the box with a hole (it is about light, they put some objects, and see through the hole with the lid on and off), taste (Bea1 knows bitter gourd is definitely bitter but she got confused with seawater and mango, ripe mango of course sweet, she said;)).

And one question that I would ask the teacher come the Open Day "Does this mean that all the experiments must be done at home, supervised by the parents (kalau macam tu buat apa saya hantar anak saya pegi sekolah...cikgu buat apa ya????).

Luckily, we had some withering plants at home that I have shown to my girl.

One of the teachers once boasted that the school set a higher standard for the students. Even my babysitter agreed with that when she looked at Bea1's test papers. I still can't assure myself if that really is a good thing.

Am not going into that any further and I'm still grateful for a year full of adventure for Bea1 and myself;). Now, I start to get jittery whenever I think about2011 when Bea2 will join her too. And in 2014, Bea1 in Std 6, Bea2 Std 4, Bea3 Std 3, Adel Std 1 and Atef in kindy....pengsan!!!!

But being a muslim, one thing I must remember Allah will provide;).