About Me

My photo
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A 40 something dad of five and a half wonderful kids with amazingly different traits and temperament from whom he wants a break from at times, yet wish they never grow older.....and be with him always.....(howzat possible?)and now wishing that he can be a stay at home dad......

30 November, 2006

Question: Are you the "ING" or "ED"?

This Tim Sanders' article is an excellent one! Dont you just hate the "ING"s? I have staff like that (sigh.....)!

29 November, 2006

Don't say no over email - how true!

Just to share a video clip by Tim Sanders (author of The Likeability Factor and Love is the Killer App) which is very true! Enjoy the video!

Butterfly Kisses - Bob Carlisle

Enjoy the song!

My daughter's wisdom

It's soooo scary today after I read Khadijah's blog of which the caption/brief description of her blog has changed to:-

"this world is not about judging but understanding di[J]ah™"

Gawd...isnt it a bit deep for a 12 year old to say that kinda thing? I certainly had not reached that kind of maturity in thinking at that age....I was still fooling around with my pals, which I do not regret at all! To me, she's still my baby. Geez....is it time to slowly let her go? I'm not ready, honestly. Everytime as i read her blog, I always say to myself - wow....she's grown sooo much, at an alarming rate, LOL! I hope i still have 5 more years to "suffocate" her but then again....come to think of it, she's sub-consciously asking us to slowly let her go and allow her some space......Aah....reminds me of the song Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle; a very beautiful song indeed. Here's the lyrics.


There's two things I know for sure:
She was sent here from heaven and she's
daddy's little girl.
As I drop to my knees by her bed at night
She talks to Jesus and I close my eyes and
I thank god for all the joy in my life
Oh, but most of all
For butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer;
sticking little white flowers all up in her
hair; "Walk beside the pony, Daddy, it's my first ride."
"I know the cake looks funny, Daddy, but I sure tried."
In all that I've done wrong I know I must
have done something right to deserve a hug
every morning and butterfly kisses at night.

Sweet 16 today
She's looking like her mama a little more everyday
One part woman, the other part girl.
To perfume and make-up from ribbons and curls
Trying her wings out in a great big world.

But I remember
Butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer; sticking
little white flowers all up in her hair.
"You know how much I love you, Daddy, But if you
don't mind I'm only gonna kiss you on the cheek this time."
With all that I've done wrong I must have done
something right to deserve her love every morning
and butterfly kisses at night.

All the precious time
Like the wind, the years go by.
Precious butterfly.
Spread your wings and fly.

She'll change her name today.
She'll make a promise and I'll give her away.
Standing in the bride-room just staring at her.
She asked me what I'm thinking and I said "I'm not
sure-I just feel like I'm losing my baby girl."
She leaned over...gave me butterfly kisses with her mama there,
Sticking little white flowers all up in her hair
"Walk my down the aisle, Daddy-it's just about time."
"Does my wedding gown look pretty, Daddy? Daddy, don't cry!"

Oh, with all that I've done wrong I must have
done something right.
To deserve your love every morning and butterfly
kisses-I couldn't ask God for more, man this is what love is.

I know I gotta let her go, but I'll always remember
every hug in the morning and butterfly kisses.

All lyrics are property and copyright of their owners.
All lyrics provided for educational purposes only.

28 November, 2006

Peace at last...albeit in the interim

My boys aka the three stooges, are on their way back to Muar with my parents and our maid. The last time I called, about half hour ago, they were already at Ayer Keroh R&R having early dinner. It'll be a very quiet three days without their antics and clowning about. The upside is that this is the breather that both wifey and I has been longing for but on the other hand it's just a tad too quiet for the both of us at home (but lucky for us we still have the grumpy pot at home aka Khadijah to entertain us). We'll be joining them in Muar for the weekend!

Well...in the interim, no nappy changing and story telling..I get to do the things I like which is lazing around the house without interruption! LOL

Got the tickets....

Yup, finally managed to book three tickets for CINTA this Thursday. Watching it with wifey and Khadijah at GSC, Mid-Valley. Will update! In the mean time enjoy this video clip - Perpisahan.

Everybody now..."Food Glorious Food"

The Buffet spread

Left to right : Rebung & Perut Masak Lemak;
Daging masak asam pedas with daun limau purut

Clockwise from right: Ikan masin, kacang botol and sambal belacan

My Plate

The only disappointment of Memeng's wedding reception, to me, was how the food was served - buffet style. I was hoping for the dishes to be served at the dining table like the good old days; but you do need a lot of people to help serve all the guests, though, of which help is difficult to come by nowadays! However, the buffet spread titillated my sensories to the max which inevitably made my displeasure somewhat negligible.
After the "silat pengantin" session, both bride and groom were ushered to the dais area (the groom's family inclusive) for the "bersanding" and "tepung tawar" ceremonies and we had to walk past the food area which of course got me more excited than to witness the said ceremonies. I, of course made a quick detour to the buffet spread and started sampling the food (no offence Memeng!). We had the choice of plain rice (cooked "kawah" style) and saffron rice. There were "ayam goreng berempah" (deep fried chicken marinated with spices), beef rendang, rebung and perut masak lemak cili padi, daging masak asam pedas, sambal belacan, ikan masin and ulam to go with the nasi. I'm sure the dishes were not cooked by caterers but by the hosts with the help of their neighbours which explains the yumminess of the food. Had it not been my conscience which was playing tug-of-war with my heart, I would have stuffed myself crazily with the offerrings. As you can tell from the picture of my plate above, I was very restrained, to my surprise!
BTW, I had the first taste of "perut" during this ocassion as i did not even realize it was one of the ingredients. It was ok......and i dont think i will consume it in the near future.
All in all, a very satisfying sunday lunch for me..........

27 November, 2006

Cinta The Movie

With reviews like "a very urban movie"; "will appeal to the malaysian public at large"; and "love stories as never told before" got wifey and I tingled (more me than her actually - mmm....sensitive man of the millenium LOL!) to watch CINTA when it premieres this coming Thursday. The last time I watched a malay movie on the big screen (not counting Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam coz the kids harassed us to watch it on the silver screen) was probably Adik Manja or Mekanik (I dont think wifey has ever watched a Malay movie in a cinema!). It took a lot of convincing from me to persuade wifey to watch this one. For one, I absolutely love one of the soundtracks from the movie; Perpisahan by Anuar Zain (enjoy the song!).
We'll see how it fares this Thursday!

26 November, 2006

End of Part One..and the celebration continues






Well.....I truly enjoyed myself today attending the bersanding ceremony and the reception at the bride's place despite the heavy downpour. Yup the bride indeed has a name, Dilla!

When we (my family and I) arrived, no one else was there and we decided to park our car by Tasik Biru to enjoy the scenery while waiting for the entourage. A slight hitch which caused the delay - my dear cousin misplaced his blue "songket" which he was supposed to don during the bersanding ceremony. We waited patiently (my kids not included- the three boys were busy attempting to inflict injury amongst them. Boys will be boys!.....LOL) for almost an hour. We were met by a group of kompang boys who accompanied us for the procession to Dilla's house. I have not been to a kampung wedding for a loooong time...It's always the sterile, well planned with complete boring protocols weddings in KL. To me, weddings which do not have the flaws and hitches are not weddings ( I know super melancholy guys (read Littauer's Personality Plus) will cringe at this thought!) E.g. yesterday's wedding - there was the groom who misplaced his "kain samping"; the heavy downpour which caused flash flood (yours truly walked barefoot to get his car to avoid his suede shoes being drenched) etc...That's what make a wedding a memorable one!

And I tell ya, the food was damn bloody gorgeous not to mention a wee bit wicked (i will post later on this). We, then, adjourned to one of my aunts' house in Kg Melayu Subang for tea (we had bubur teochew; pisang goreng; popiah goreng; kuih kasturi and of course kopi kampung!). Well it's the end of part one of the wedding......and the celebration continues this coming weekend in Muar; cant wait for the briyani.....yum..yum.....As for now, back to the rat race!

Tasik Biru - but not so blue like 5 years ago....

This is where we went yesterday (for the solemnisation of marriage for Memeng) and today (for the "bersanding" and reception). I used to go to this place five or six years back on some Staurdays while waiting for my kids finish their classses at Taman Tun Dr Ismail (my main reason was to find a plot of land to buy with an old traditional house already built thereon- no it did not materialize, unfortunately; but come to think of it, fortunately, because this place has lost its old charm).
True to its name, it (the lake) used to be so azure but not anymore. It's a bit greenish now. Pictured clearly here is how the place has been developed with some blocks of condominium units (still under construction) at the fringes of the lake. The price you pay for development, huh! This lake used to be Phillippa Yoong's (and I heard Alex Yoong also jet-ski/water-ski here too) jet-ski and water-ski playground (my ex-secretary from Kuang told me this). You can still see a ramp portruding in the middle of the lake in the picture above. When we went yeterday there was one jet-skieer having fun in the lake but not today; it was empty.
I think it is still a good place to go for the weekend. There are lots of food stalls around the south side of the lake. I didnt see any form of activities which families can indulge in, though. May be a picnic for the kids. I saw a "wakaf" quite near the edge of the lake. But then again, with the development around it, it has lost the quaintness but heck.....enjoy it while it lasts!

25 November, 2006

Tis the season to get hitched.........

Weddings....and more weddings.

This school holidays mark the end of singleton days for at least two of my cousins. Geez...I can still remember carrying them around in my arms and feeding them with bottled milk. How time has really flown past. In 15 years time it will be my turn to give away my daughter....(sigh.....), provided that she stops saying "I hate boys!". My Yusof has vowed that he will never get married so that he can look after us....aint that sweet. I know this will be transient and the minute he reaches puberty ....it's a different story altogether (Dont you just want to give this stage a miss - all the explanation and stuff! I'll cross the bridge when the time requires me to do so. As for now.....reading a lot of materials to get myself prepared).

This avo will be the "akad nikah"" (solemnisation of marriage) ceremony for Azmir aka Memeng some where near Tasik Biru, Kundang. I was to contribute fruits for one of "hantaran"/gifts to the bride which I almost forgot yesterday; thank god for my mum reminding me. Hit Avenue K after work about 8 pm to get them and got like three huge plastic bags worth of fruits. This fruit stall at Avenue K is worth a visit. They sell the fruits fresh and prices are very reasonable. If you are looking for bargains, visit them 8ish p.m coz they will be clearing items of the day; like last eve. I bought fresh dates at RM10 for 4 packs which otherwise would have been 3 packs for that price. This is our fruit stall haunt for the past one year. Whoops...I have digressed...

Anyway, can anyone tell me why are weddings predominantly held during schools holidays? Once the school terms starts, the urge in the brides and grooms also halt? It's not as if the weddings are held during weekdays during school holidays? I tell you, my parents normally receive 6-7 wedding invites a day for weekends during the school holidays and I truly admire them for making the effort to go to each and every one of the "khenduri"/wedding reception. We have one "akad nikah" today and two receptions tomorrow and I'm like already feeling exhausted reading the invitation card. Ah well.....like my mum always says "Kalau tak pergi khenduri orang, orang pun nanti tak datang your khenduri". Yup we are going to both the receptions tomorrow. Will post some photos of Memeng's akad nikah l8er!

24 November, 2006

What a load of crap!


Khadijah is moving to secondary school next year and we, as for now, have not secured a place for her. A lot of bureaucracy for us to deal with at the moment. Khadijah and Yusof are currently enrolled in a non-government school in Gombak. We are planning to move her to an established government school as, I dont think that I can give her support at home with secondary education (left this era looooong time ago). Her school which she attends now is a fairly young school and I think that an experienced and fully trained teaching personnels are required for this level.

I have been making a lot of phone calls to inquire the steps and procedures which we should embark on but, as I found out yesterday, it's relatively easy......There's this pro-forma which we need to fill in "Permohonan Kemasukan Murid Ke Sekolah Menengah Kerajaan/Bantuan Kerajaan Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia" - a two pager but with loads of documents to support the application. One phone call to the relevant department to inquire the schools which we can apply for Khadijah was met with "Owh.....dari sekolah swasta tak boleh pilih2 sekolah. Sekolah2 yang bagus langsung tak da di dalam list untuk budak2 dari sekolah swasta. Cuma ada sekolah2 "biasa" sahaja". I was like....? Excuse me, I also pay tax every year without fail and why the discrimination? My hunch is that all the controlled schools are reserved for the well connected despite the fact that the "candidates" do not meet the grades required for admission (got to know this from a teacher who said that it's difficult for the teachers to ensure that the grades for major exam are within the government's expectation because of this whole load of crap admitting students not based on merit.....). Ah well, I have yet to explore further on this as I still have not started filling in the form.....That's for this weekend!

22 November, 2006

The long awaited secretary

Have to make this quick entry.....Hooray....I have a new secretary today after almost 3 months of horror without a secretary. Actually one came in last week on Thursday, i think (unfortunately I was not around looking after Ib at the hospital). Well, she must have bored herself to death that she didnt turn up on Friday - talking about perseverence, here (young work-force, nowadays)! Lucky for me that there is another experienced candidate whose CV i received after i offered that 24-hour-shelf-life secretary (LOL) and she is here today! Yeayyyyy!

21 November, 2006

Yup.....13th Anniversary

It's our 13th year of marriage anniversary this year today. I'd better enter this quickly before wifey reads my blog today to make up for the present which I have not gotten her due to my voluntary & temporary (????) memory lapse (hint hint: may be you'd want to get me tubs of gingko biloba to avoid this from recurring next year daahling! LOL).

Anyway here's to good 13 years & more to come, with God's grace Insya Allah!!!!

20 November, 2006

Maids - Don't you just love them

Dont want them
But have to have them.....

Well, our maid has just dropped a bombshell tonight that she wants to go back on a half month's leave (she's only been with us about 8 months now?)! We are already freakin'....Her dearest mum has taken ill and she wants to take care of her. What about her other 5 siblings and not forgetting her dad? Apparently they all have their work commitment and as if she does not have any obligation here in the household???

Will update on the progress...As for now my decision is "muktamad" that she has to stay put. I offered to send some money home since she said, initially, it will cost money to get a nurse to take care of her mum but she refused. We'll see........

18 November, 2006

My Yusof - the domesticated and thoughtful one

You know how your lives are coloured by interesting and vibrant characters; and without them you basically lead bland and nondescript lives? Well, Yusof is that character in our family. Thank God for that; we are truly blessed!

He is truly an amazing individual with inexhaustible energy. He vaccums, mops and cleans his room every other day.Washes his shoes, cooks nice egg and butter fried rice (mind you, we are talking about 12 mid-nite some times, when his hunger pangs hit him out of nowhere and nothing in the fridge would satiate his empty tummy), scrubs his bathroom spick and span and the list just goes on and on. Khadijah if you are reading this entry (which I'm sure you are coz you are my numero uno fan, right?) , I'm not pressuring you dear..I still live by the creed that "each individual has his/her own strengths and weaknesses".....(Isn't the hint gargantuan enuff, Ms Khadijah?- mmm the last time i used this word was for SAT some 20 years ago). LOL!

Wifey goes to "Pasar Tani" (weekly market which sells local produce) every Saturday and we are talking 6.30 am Saturday mornings here..and guess who accompanies the wifey? yup it's Yusof alright (occasionally I do; but I have got other portfolio to cover at home....LOL). The only setback if he follows is that he tends to be one hell of a compulsive shopper wanting everything which whets his appetite ranging from nasi lemak with three hard boiled eggs (all for himself) to keropok lekor. But, he remembers what his other siblings like and would buy for them on mummy's account! Yup he is indeed a very unselfish and generous lad (He also remembers that I love pisang berangan from Pasar Tani; aint that sweet..[sigh])! Just the other day, I brought him yet again for food shopping (don't you think kids are just like walking incinerators? The fridge becomes like it is just delivered from the electical store every other day. How I wish I had that walk-in-bottomless fridge, which our OZ friend once fantasized about, for my kids at home.LOL), to a local supermarket and was choosing a tub of margarine and I finally settled on Vitalite "Lite" (mmm....to reduce daddy's waistline) - much to his objection he said "No not that one daddy. Ibraheem and Umar love the Vitalite "Buttery" (no wonder I always catch these two sitting in front of the fridge contentedly, digging in to the margarine tub stuffing this fattening stuff in to their mouths); don't you just hate to see the "digging" trace in the tub. Gross! This is yet again a classic example of how Yusof remembers the nitty gritty - on which ocassion daddy would have scored an F (read "fail") had it not been for his thoughtfulness and intervention. Thanks matey!

Yusof is one big dreamer (see my first entry). But we have to change his value system a bit; he believes that whatever with expensive price tag is good.....Ain't that bad......! Well as parents we are here to lead and guide. Once you have done all you possibly can on your part, it's the working of God thereafter! That's what I truly believe!

16 November, 2006

End of agony

Khadijah's days of nightmares are finally over....Well she deserves it! With all the hardwork burning candles through a lot of nights albeit a bit last minute, I dare say (see, that's her style of studying - when all of as are asleep). Apparently, as narrated by wifey, Khadijah was a wreck before the results were announced. Nationwide results were already available just after 10 am today...But no, her school decided to hold it until about noon today.

When wifey arrived at school Khadijah was in tears expecting the worst...Yours truly, so unlike me, was terribly late to witness this. When I arrived both wifey and Khadijah were in tears hugging and kissing..and the minute Khadijah saw me, she practically grabbed me (for a minute I thought I was to be made her punching bag to let go of her frustration) by my neck and hugged me and kissed me.....(whoa.......! whoa.....! That was really touching, man. But had to keep my cool; deep inside I was crying...tears of joy. The feeling was awesome)....Congratulations darling!

Happy Wheezer

Do these pictures accurately depict a supposedly sick child?I for one fail to understand that everytime Ib is hospitalised, he is more active and happier at the hospital.... ( he used to call the hospital "hotel" when he was about 2/3). His paediatrician calls him a"happy wheezer" because despite difficulty in breathing he can still jump about, run and climb, mind you! He's recupertaing alright and just today his phlegm are all "loosened". Due for 2 physio sessions today to make his chest less taut. At the rate he is going he may be able to get his discharge tomorrow but will miss, sadly for him but hooray for his dad, his year- end party at school..Thank god for that (as he will miss his asthma-trigger tid-bits (read : sweets chocs crisps and the like)!
p/s btw these are all Ib's self-portraits using yours truly's cell phone! There's still hope to have Rio Helmi in the family.....LOL

15 November, 2006

Ib.....down at the hospital

Ibraheem also known affectionately as Ib or Ibus (to Umar) was admitted to the hospital this morning. He was perfectly alright last night until he screamed his lung out, about half one this morning - an indication of his always-dreaded athma attack! Groggilly I woke up to administer his dose of steroid to clear his airways and later to be woken up again about five am by his thunderous and piercing cry for oxygen..... With three nebuliser sessions between 8.30 am and 11 a.m, the doctor had to take him in as his coughs are too chesty ! He is at the very moment being taken care by the maid whilst yours truly is at home replying office emails and trying to upload this short entry....
Ah well......I'll be spending the night at the hospital tonight hoping to catch GUBRA on vcd which i bought this afternoon alone with Ib! But most likely I'll be stuck watching Playhouse Disney on cable courtesy of Ib.......! Aint life wonderful being a dad.....!

14 November, 2006

A dad's hope

This past one week has been a nightmarish one for Khadijah ever since "IT" was announced in the news..... - her first major exam results, UPSR (for the uninitiated :- Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah or loosely translated Primary School Assessment Examination), is coming out this Thursday! I am not ashamed to say that I too have been fretful almost to a point of being manic and frenzied, thinking that the results will be out in three days' time and to prove this statement - just the other night, according to my other half, I hollered, mind you while still sleeping soundly, in the wee hours of the morning "Results is out tomorrow!". Geez.....

These few days, my sincere question to Khadijah about how she feels is always met with "Dont wannna talk about it" even though my questions are general in nature... Hey, excuse me for asking and being a concerned dad, albeit overly! Kids nowadays (sigh)...! Not as if we are pressurising her whatsoever expecting her to get straight As? But as parents, in our zeal to seek the best for our children, we stand guilty of not allowing them space to grow...... (sigh...). But where do you draw the line ? This is the million dollar question! Well as for me, it's really trial-and-error parenting and a mixture of what worked for my parents (well I certainly have come out alright.....!) and adapting it to this globalisation era...My hope is that my children will be wholesome individuals who know how to enjoy and savour every minute of their lives and live life to the fullest and not just being mere above average straight As scoring individuals! C'est la vie!

13 November, 2006

My quest for a perfect family portrait

Every Syawal, without fail, means a photography session, after the Syawal prayer and a heartful meal, to immortalise supposedly the happy faces of my kids and the wifey celebrating Eid. Yet, year in year out my quest for a perfect family portrait is too elusive. Take this picture as a testimonial to that statement....! Pictured smilingly happy are only wifey and yours truly. On your left (sitting next to me) is my eldest daughter, Khadijah (12 y.o) whose moodswings are almost akin to that of a yo-yo or may be the corkscrew ride I had in Alton Towers eons ago! On my lap is Ibraheem (who is in K1) who is a terribly perfect melancholy (if you have read Florence Littauer's "Personality Plus" - basically a highly organized individual who is a creature of habit and loathes that his routine being disrupted); hence the awkward pose in this picture; he was receiving his usual dose of Playhouse Disney when yours truly had to interrupt his audience with the royal highness, Blue the dog on "Blue's Clues", I think! On mummy's lap is my youngest, Umar (turning 4 this coming January) who was crying his heart out because he wanted to be on the other side of the picture.. This is the phase, believe you me, all my kids go through....with the exception of Khadijah, wanting to be the next Rio Helmi or Luca Invernizzi Tettoni, which I fully support, except that to my disappointment, it only lasted, based on my older two boys, until they were four! D***! There goes the golden opportunity to have a famous photographer in the family! Lastly but not least my happy-go-lucky Yusof ( 9 y.o) who thinks that life is all fun and nothing else and who aspires to be at least an MD of a company emulating my dear brother, Man, who incidentally is one of his idols. He bullies his brothers at home to be his drivers or PAs in his role-playing sessions at home. HE THINKS BIG, definitely, wanting an empire like Trump's (minus the women)! As a dad......I always tell him (and to the other three of course) that "Impossible is Nothing" (to quote Adidas)! Well......it's one more year to go in search of A PERFECT FAMILY PORTRAIT and in the mean time enjoy this 1/3 perfect family picture which is the piece de resistance at the moment! LOL!

on my mind certainly constantly

on my mind certainly constantly