Saturday, June 25, 2011

What I learn from 'outsourcing kitchen work'.

Alwani LOVES pasta. She can eat any kind of pastas everyday! And this weekend, she was asking for spaghetti and meat balls (and it was not in my cooking schedule!!) But hey, why not? They need an activity anyway during the weekend. Light bulb!!

I'll outsource the tedious part for them to do! Yee haaa! They have to do their own meatballs!! 

Yes, they did. After washing and brushing their hands with soap and water, both Al Fateh and Alwani sat down while I demonstrated the way to make the minced meat ball-like. They are fast learners, so after a couple of meatballs, they're off on their own!

I believe there were a few lessons learned from this simple event.

Lesson 1: Do include your children in the kitchen activity - the simple and far from dangerous ones. They will appreciate the food more, since they put their own effort in 'making it happen'.

Lesson 2: Trust me, sibling rivalry will happen. And during this simple meatball-outsourcing activity, they started to compare who 'balled' most meat. Counting and more counting, and rechecking others' counting occur continuously, till the last of the meatball. Great indirect math lesson!

Lesson 3:  Appreciate the kids after their hard work. I rewarded them with cold yoghurt drink (which is rare in the house. They (are force to) live by plain H2O)! When they are appreciated, they do ask if they can help more in the house, which is a wonderful thing. It's really magic how simple 'Can I help you with anything, Ummi?' washes away the tiredness. Seriously.

Lesson 4: Furthermore, they'll learn about cleanliness - prior to, while and after food prep. Of course those are basic skills, but if they are not exposed to it, they can't practice it.

Lesson 5: Raw food is yucky to be eaten! (Hard lesson learned by Yusuf!)

'Cooked food is wayyy better then raw!'
Lesson 6: Have trust in your children small hands. They can do it if you trust them and show them what and how things should be done well.

Lesson 7: Don't be a perfectionist. There might be odd shapes and sizes, but hey, just chuck them in the pot and cook them! Nobody will notice it when they're all jumbled and stirred in the pot!

Lesson 8: Praise them, and tell their wonderful effort to their Abi, and grandparents! 

Hard work pays off!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What I learn from 'bitter sweet symphony of June'

I was indulged in an emotional and physical roller coaster for the past few weeks.

Symphony 1
We were surprised with another pregnancy news, since we were not planning to have one this soon. Alhamdulillah for Allah's gift(s).

Symphony 2
However, with that, came a huge sacrifice that I had to make as a servant of Allah. Subhanallah, it was not an easy task for me to climb the stairs of the Tabung Haji building in KT to decline the hajj offer. We were looking forward for this great event in our lives and has been preparing for it for some time. But Allah knows best. I believe in His design of my life's journey.

Symphony 3
I willingly told my husband to perform the Hajj pilgrimage this year without me, though many of my family members disagree. However, I believe that it was not easy to get a grand invitation from Allah to perform one of the essential pillars of Islam, so why must we decline it without a valid reason. It's me who will be 8 months pregnant during Hajj period, not him. So, alhamdulillah, we stand firm with our decision for my husband to go first, and insha Allah, my turn will come next, maybe as a PhD gift from Him, wallahu'alam.

Symphony 4
From the beginning of the pregnancy till now, I experienced three events of bleeding. It was scary. It effected my supervision meetings with my supervisor since I wasn't able to commute regularly from KT to Nottingham, Semenyih. Another huge alhamdulillah, for my supervisor was very understanding and instructed me to do my work at home and submitting my reports through emails. He advised me to bed rest and took the break I needed since health is an essential tool for me to complete my PhD process. Oh, alhamdulillah.

Symphony 5
When I was spotting for the third time, I went to the usual clinic and another HUGE news came to us. I AM still pregnant but not with one fetus, but TWO! There you go! TWINkle, TWINkle little star(s)!

Symphony 6
I've got serious coughing issues in this pregnancy and I wheeze at night which makez it very hard for me to sleep or rest during night time. Hence, I needed afternoon naps, which made me lag behind my work as promised to myself and my supervisor. I have promised myself to complete at least 100% of my chapters 1 and 3 and at least 90% of chapter 2 before my EDD (which is mid December, 2011 - yes, this year). I need to work on my pilot study report so that I have a clear idea on what to expect during my data collection this September (pre-test) and December (post-test).

Symphony 7
Yes, you read right. I need to collect post-test data in December, the exact same time I'm due with the twins. And another round of huge alhamdulillah for I have super wonderful colleagues in at my workplace, who willingly volunteered to do it for me. I'm indebted to you, Shayda and Husna, as well as the gurus, Kak Sham and Kak Ti, for willingly helping to ensure my research data collection journey sails smoothly, insha Allah.

The Symphony

A song aptly titled Allah Knows by Zain Bhika and Dawud Wharnsby is the anthem to my bitter sweet symphony this June. The simple words, so simple, so frank, so direct, yet so true;

When you feel all alone in this world
And there’s nobody to count your tears
Just remember, no matter where you are
Allah knows
Allah knows

When you carrying a monster load
And you wonder how far you can go
With every step on that road that you take
Allah knows

Allah knows

No matter what, inside or out
There’s one thing of which there’s no doubt
Allah knows
Allah knows
And whatever lies in the heavens and the earth
Every star in this whole universe
Allah knows
Allah knows

When you find that special someone
Feel your whole life has barely begun
You can walk on the moon, shout it to everyone
Allah knows
Allah knows

When you gaze with love in your eyes
Catch a glimpse of paradise
And you see your child take the first breath of life
Allah knows
Allah knows

When you lose someone close to your heart
See your whole world fall apart
And you try to go on but it seems so hard
Allah knows
Allah knows

You see we all have a path to choose
Through the valleys and hills we go
With the ups and the downs, never fret never frown
Allah knows

Allah knows


Every grain of sand,
In every desert land, He knows.
Every shade of palm,
Every closed hand, He knows.
Every sparkling tear,
On every eyelash, He knows.
Every thought I have,
And every word I share, He knows.
Allah knows.

And I believe, Allah's Knows!

Friday, June 17, 2011

What I learn from 'bubbye bottle'.

Yusuf managed to say goodbye to his Avent bottle today. We're so proud of him. He's 2 years and 5 months old and we believe that he should be able to drink from a cup - and he proved us right!

I know it's not an easy thing for Yusuf to do, especially when he has been depending on milk from the bottle starting from 6 months old, to comfort him to sleep and it became his savior from hunger (if Ummi takes too long to cook!).

Remembering what the nurses in King Eddie Hospital back in Perth advice, which was to teach the toddler from the age of 2 to let go of their bottle, in order to protect their teeth from rotting and to ensure a better sleeping pattern at night and better brain growth (since no waking ups for milk in the middle of the night) - it gave us strength to prevail, though Yusuf actually asked for his bottle (only) twice during the first day (and both were not caused by hunger, but merely to comfort him to sleep).

Steps for 'Bubbye-Bottle'

Bubbye bottle, Hello Wiggle cup!
  1. We comforted and praised him that he is a very good, big boy, and big, handsome boys don't drink from bottles. They use cups. And we asked him whether can he be a good big handsome boy. Of course he replied, "YES!' without understanding fully the consequences of the answer.
  2. Then we asked him to find his bottle from his cot and asked him if it was dirty. And of course, another 'YES,' from him. So we reasoned him that it's not healthy anymore to drink from the bottle. Grown-ups like us (includes the older siblings in the conversation) do not use bottles. He then told us, 'I'm a big boy! No yucky bottle!' (Phew, correct answer from him!) And we asked him to throw the bottle in the rubbish bin (himself). <--- This step is important so that he'd remember that he chucked it away himself.
  3.  Then we introduced to him to his new pals, Elmo and Wiggle straw cups, just like his sister's. Alhamdulillah, he accepted it. (Alwani did not approve of her cups when she was younger, so we drove to Target in Carousel, Perth and asked her to choose her own cup! And she was stuck to it for a looong time. <---This was another tip given by the nurses at King Eddie's which was to reward the children for their sacrifice.)
  4. Be persistent. Some kids (like Al Fateh) take a bit longer to adapt to the new situation. They might rebel. But some (like Yusuf) understands well and reason with himself when he was in need of the bottle. Some of his monologue; 'No bottle, I'm a big boy', 'Wiggle cup but same milk', 'I don't want bad teeth'. 
  5. Though Yusuf transformed exceptionally well, his milk consumption became less at the beginning (4-5 days), which actually worries the nursery carers. But he'll gradually learn to drink more from the cup day by day. Both my children, Alwani and Yusuf, enjoy the chocolate flavoured milk in the cup, as compared to the normal flavoured milk. I can't answer why. Al Fateh only drinks full cream milk, even till now.
  6. For us, because we knew and believed on why were doing the this, we symphatised when Yusuf desperately sought for his bottle, but we didn't give in. Patience and perseverance are essential to both mom and dad.
    We are proud of you big, handsome and good boy Hamza Yusuf!

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...