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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sara goes to school...YES!!!

We made it. We seriously finally made it. I finally found a school that Sara loves and my little baby has been consistently going to school for the past 2 months. Yeay!

After our unsuccessful attempt with Smartreader, I've been searching high and low for another school for Sara. My parents even said that they are willing to go as far as Putrajaya to fetch her from school. That comes as a big relief for me as I will have variety of options :- Realkids, CIC, Smartreader, and many more. But, if there's one thing I learn from our previous failure, it is that Sara doesn't like big crowd. And the sole thing that determines whether she'll enjoy going to school or not is the teacher. She couldn't care less about making friends, the crucial factor is the teacher.

So. I was doing my own research about the schools in Putrajaya, and by research I mean asking all of my friends who are sending their child here in Putrajaya, I've come to conclude that:
1) CIC in Putrajaya is terribly packed. They have like more than 30 students for every age group. Cross that off my list then.
2) Smartreader was better than Dengkil branch. But, Sara still has phobia over the uniform, haha. Well, cross that also, then.
3) Realkids from what I heard is just so-so. The teachers are friendly, but my instinct told me that they won't go the extra mile to entertain a kid's need specifically my kid's need.
4) A few other nurseries, taska - I just didn't get the positive vibe I'm looking for.

And then, I had a nice long chat with Su about the place where she sends her daughter, Auni. She was telling about the enthusiastic teacher and how the teacher loves Auni, and I'm telling you, I just got a feeling that this could really be it. I smsed the teacher, saying that I would very much like to come and see the place for myself and set the date. I came by the place the next day and from outside, the place does not look like a school at all. It was just a semi-detached house with a lil bit of yard area for the children to play around. Hmm, this looks good. Sara won't even know this place is a school.

I had a very heartfelt talk with the teacher and what touches me most is when she said that she understands how I feel and she promised that she'll try her best to "tackle" Sara. She asked me what was Sara's interest, her favourite colour and favourite food. I was sooo touched. Hehe. At the end of our talk, when she was ushering me out, she said "I'll try my best. Don't worry. I hope I will be able to be her friend. I hope she likes me" and that my friend, got me sold. Haha. She was a kind-hearted soul and not pretentious at all. She genuinely loves children and its crystal clear from the way her face lit up when she talks about her students.

Before I rave about the place some more, I have to tell you that people with high standard of cleanliness might not like the place at all. The place is not dirty per se, but it has the feel of an unkempt place, if you know what I mean.

The first two weeks was the hardest. Sara enjoyed the first week immensely, because I stayed with her all day. I sat in the living room pretending to do my work and in the corner of my eyes, I can see that she's able to make friends, she's chirpy like her usual self, and she loves her teacher. She'd talk non-stop to her teacher, telling her stories about our mundane life. And the teacher was really good with her, she'd encourage Sara to join in all the activities, she even let Sara decide "today's activity" and most importantly, she loves her back.

The second week was the ultimate test, for Sara, for me and for her teacher. After a week of accompanying her, I've told her that I will be dropping her and later at 12, Totok will fetch her from school. I told her from the week before, once a day, but when the time comes, OH MY GOD. She cried from the top of her lung and grabbed hold of me until I almost fell down from her sheer weight. Untangling her from me took us quite a while and as soon as I managed to let loose, I ran and close the grill door. She ran after me and shook the door so hard, I can hear the hinges crying. Haha. I brace myself and go straight to the car without turning back.

In the car, I sms the teacher, saying that if she doesn't stop crying, just give me a call and I'll turn back. She didn't reply. What makes me strong and some of you might think cruel to leave my crying child in the hands of the teacher, was that I know Sara loves the place. She's just sad that I'm leaving her, not because she doesn't want to go the the teacher's place. Oh, that was what we called the school. "Teacher's place". Haha, she still has quite the phobia of "school".

I went back to the place later in the evening to get the details from the teacher and she told me that Sara cried for about 5 minutes because the teacher had told her to just let go, let the feelings out, and when she was finished, she wiped her tears and join in the activity. Hehe. That's my girl. And she reiterate the same story to my parents, so I know that was the truth. She cried again the next day and the day after, but over the week, she'd become accustomed to the idea of going to "teacher's place" and from there onwards, it was a smooth sailing journey.

That's the story on how Sara found her "teacher's place". Alhamdulillah... :)

Oh, the actual name for "teacher's place" is Smart Little Bee Childcare Centre and it is located at Presint 11, Putrajaya.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

13th General Election, whose side are you on?

Putting my serious thinking cap on.

Okay. What do I know about general election? I know that I've registered as a voter, I know my rights as a voter and I voted once before. I read the news, mainstream and alternative. I think the mainstream media is too much in-your-face, if you know what I mean. But, the thing is, the alternative is no better. I know that a lot of people are looking for the so-called truth, the unbiased information. And guess where are they looking for it. The web, of course.

The problem is, you really can't believe everything you read on the web. Out of 10 "facts", only two are probably true. And people hide behind anonymity all the time. And the words they use just never cease to "amaze" me. Just when you think they can't stoop that low, they went even lower. So, how now brown cow?

I've heard about the "better the devil you know than the angel you don't" concept, and its true, up to a point. Call me conservative, but I'd rather be stranded on a godforsaken island with my officemates (who I sometimes dislike, haha), rather than my neighbour who lives at the end of the road whom I knew nothing about (except that he is supposedly a doctor).

But then again, a tiger can never really change its stripes now, can they? I'd have a hell of a time stranded on the island with my "dear" officemate, having to listen to his unfunny jokes that never fails to get on my nerve EVERYTIME. But, beneath all the cocky facade, he actually cared about my well being and I can rely on the fact that he'd definitely try to save us both from the island.

What if I decide to give the benefit of the doubt to my unknown neighbour? What if I decide to "change"? Who knows, my unknown neighbour could've conjure some magic spell to rescue us from the stranded island. But, on the other hand, what if my unknown neighbour turned out to a serial killer? Ripping off people's head for the sake of enjoyment? What then?

It was different back then, where I would only think of myself. What would I have got to lose. But now, I'm responsible for the two little lives I procreate. I'm responsible for making better choices for them, to provide them with a safer future. The choice I'll make could very well shape their whole lives ahead of them.

Would I risk my children's future for the so-called change? But what's there to change, when what exists now is not at all bad to begin with. I'm leaning towards progress, rather than change. Maybe the tiger couldn't change its stripe, but it can certainly take a dip in the lake to cleanse it.

Should people ask me, whose side am I on? I'll answer with full conviction "I AM ON MY CHILDREN'S SIDE. I AM ON MY OWN SIDE". Saya pilih mengundi. Heh.

pics are googled and doesn't mean anything :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

The very belated third birthday and aqiqah for Dina

I am in the midst of drafting a post on the the kids' birthday when I realized I didn't even blog about their previous birthday. Haha. For memory's keepsake, here we go..

We had Dina's aqiqah and Sara's third birthday somewhere in December 2011. I even hired a photographer for the event and I have hundreds of photos that I found just now after rummaging through my very tidy workstation. We started off the ceremony with marhaban and the usual ritual for Dina's cukur jambul and continue with Sara's birthday celebration later in the evening.

Since this picture was taken, one got hitched and one lost 20kgs. Haha.

"Kakak, pujuk adik please..."

After she failed in her attempt to console her sister, she cried. Oh, well...
The cake that I made for Sara's birthday was the biggest cake I've ever baked. It was a three layer red velvet cake with whipped cream and cream cheese frosting. I used three recipes and 1 recipe is about 1.2kg so that makes the whole weight of the cake almost 5kgs.

Yep, my cake was THAT good. Haha.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Trip to Pulau Sibu

We actually had quite an adventure in December last year. We don't really like going out, but in December alone, we managed to go to Johor twice and to Aquaria KLCC once. Hehe, every trip with the two little munchkins is considered an adventure and I am sure all parents would attest to that.

One would really need good negotiation skills to deal with Sara and as for Dina, selective hearing is the skill one would have to adopt. Sara talks a lot. No, that's an understatement. Sara talks NON-STOP. Haha. And she expects that we entertain every thought and musing that she has. As for Dina, she whines. A lot. And the cute little whine can turn into full fledged crying if she doesn't get what she wants or if we are unable to distract her fast enough.

So. When hubby said that his company is arranging for a family day in Pulau Sibu in Johor, I hesitated. We just went to Johor the week before and that trip alone is enough to last me for two months. But, being the "good" wife that I am (hehe), I packed our things and make plans to go in the wee hours. You see, my hubby and me, we had a pact: each time we had to travel by car, hubby would sleep early and I will pack all our belongings, arrange them in the car, get the children ready and wake him up around 4am. By the time he's ready, Sara and Dina is safely sleeping in the car and off we go. I might have pulled the shorter stick in our deal, but hey, I get to sleep all the way to whatever place we go, so no complaints there.

We depart from our home at around 4.30am and I was totally exhausted and sleepy and ready to doze off. But, as luck would have it, Dina woke up the moment hubby start the engine. I think at that moment, only my hands are awake, my eyes and all other parts of my body have already fallen asleep. Anyway, we made it safely to Tanjung Leman 5 hours later. I bathed my kids at the yucky public toilet, seriously it was so dirty even Sara refuse to enter the toilet.

Our boat was scheduled to leave at 10am and the ride was super bumpy. I'm soooo lucky my kids didn't get motion sickness. Dina fell asleep moments after we enter the boat and Sara thoroughly enjoyed the ride.

Pulau Sibu welcomed us with a soothing serenade by the hotel staff and refreshing drinks. We had a villa with 1 queen bed to ourselves and is spacious enough to accommodate my small family.

In fact, everything there was really nice. I don't particularly enjoy nature (I've had my touch with nature during DPA course that would last me for my whole lifetime ;p), but it is a good opportunity for Sara and Dina to get up close and personal with nature. There are peacocks, deers and monkeys everywhere and they were very friendly too. But well, erm..due to my aversion to moving animals, lets just say we didn't make the most out of  our so-called interaction with the animals. We'd run instead of walk to get to various places.

There's a really nice swimming pool for kids complete with slide but the pump was broken, so the water was really dirty. And I've discovered that Dina is not only averse to water, she also hates sands. Haha. We played by the pool, by the sea and had dinner in which Sara fell asleep and hubby had to carry her approximately 300 meters to get back to our villa. Hehe, it was "good" for a very much needed workout. I'll let pictures do the talking since I think I rambled too much on this post. Makes up for the long hiatus perhaps? :p

Riddle : How to shut up a whiny kid? Answer: Give her two spoons to play with :)

Its hard to believe that they are only two years apart, isn't it?

I look soooo fat in this picture, but I promise you, I am not this fat in real life. Mode: denial.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Hello Kitty and Little Big Club Johor


Wow, the trip has been sooo long, I forgot when it was exactly. Hehe. Wait, let me check.

Yep, we went last year, in December 2012. A tip from me, if you have toddlers, please avoid school holidays. Really not worth the queue and the hassle. And please buy the ticket online beforehand to avoid disappointment as the tickets are limited on daily basis. We saw a little girl crying while her parents are negotiating with the counter because the ticket for that day is already sold out and that was as early as 11am. Or as late as 11am (hehe, late/early is entirely subjective ;p)

Overall, Hello Kitty was "fun", but only to avid fans. If you are like me, who don't give a rat's ass about Hello Kitty's house, Hello Kitty's dresses and what not, just don't go. For the RM55.00 price ticket, its really not worth the money. Will never go there again. Heh.

See, even Dina was sleeping out of boredom. Haha.

Little Big Club on the other hand, is a really nice place and suitable for kids. BUT, only for kids from the age group of 2-5 years old. I highly doubt that older kids would enjoy the place as much as the younger kids.

Sara really enjoyed the ballet class by Angelina. She twirled and turned like the graceful ballerina that she is. Not. Haha.

Riddle : What does Pingu, Sara and my husband have in common? Answer : Their bellies. Haha.

Hubby said he had to suck in his stomach to close the safety bar. Time for some exercise perhaps? Haha.

Even though I said that the place would appeal to younger children, most of the rides have minimum height that starts from 100cm, which roughly translates to 4 years old above. Lucky for me, Sara is quite tall for her age, so she is able to go to all the rides. So, therein itself lies a bit of inconvenience, because the rides are not so thrilling, childish (would appeal to kids below five) BUT the regulatory of having to be taller than 100cm would forbade the kids from that age group to enter.

We brought strollers and also baby wrap, but I think that baby wrap is a better option. Dina is able to sleep peacefully and woke up happier. The place is stroller friendly, but getting to the place from the parking spot is a major disaster. The lift was under maintenance and we had to carry our stroller through two flight of stairs.

The place was nice, but would we go again? To Hello Kitty, never. But to Little Big club, perhaps when Dina is a lil bit older.

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