Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Public Display of Affection :))

Dearest Iskandar,
 
Credits
Please be aware that this entry was written after I have finished browsing 100s of Rainbow Cupcake recipes. My intention was to bake Rainbow Cupcakes for our Anniversary to show how much you mean to me. But since you are not a dessert person, I have decided to write a 'sweet' entry tasting just like a cupcake so you can taste the sweetness in our relationship. Because really, I don't wanna end up baking the cupcakes which will only end up in my already fat tummy! Just so you know, when eating cupcakes, people are more interested in the frosting so, I have personally chosen a cream cheese frosting for this 'non existence cupcake'. All I have to say is, expect a whole load of cheesy-ness in here. ;)

Alhamdulillah, we are in our 4th year marriage today!!! After all the hard work you went through during the solemnization (three times akad), it's all worth it as we are still going strong until today, Mahsa'Allah. Even during the 'akad' I knew you were not only winning my heart but also my parents'. Day after day you are only getting better at sucking up to them, I mean, making them love you more ;) Even though we've been together for four years, I feel that our journey has only just begun. THE journey to everlasting love! THE love that we've never seen it before. 

Sorry, I'm allowed to be cheesy and show the blog my love for you, right? ;) I want our kids to grow up and read these entries to always remind us and themselves what love should really mean!

Anyway, I know we say not to make a big deal out of birthdays, wedding anniversaries, couple anniversary or even reception anniversaries :) At least I know you don't. Haha As a lady, I still have that space in my mind to just remember all these unwanted facts! So it's just fair for me to give myself that peace of mind to "celebrate" it even though it's just through my blog. All you have to do is 'hear' me out, like you always do anyway! Hehehe

Iskandar, as the years go by, our relationship has somewhat bloomed into a whole different level. We don't feel the need to have random surprises/presents to make believe that we are indeed still IN love. We are blessed in so many different ways. We have had people not believing in us and not supporting us, but we stayed strong, for Allah's sake. Alhamdulillah, with the kids around, we are left astonished every single second. We will always turn to each other thinking "how in the world did we bring them up this way?". It's all with Allah's will, that's all that we know. We could never have done it all ourselves. Never ever!

Iskandar, we really have Allah to be thankful to for giving us another day closer to each other and most of all closer to HIM. I feel so thankful and blessed that Allah's given me lots of rain and shine throughout this relationship because without those rain and shine, you, My Rainbow would have never appeared. You are THE rainbow in my Cloud 9. Insha'Allah, if I continue to follow your lead, you will lead me and the kids to that pot of gold (Jannah/Heaven) where we all will be living happily ever after. That is all that matters to me! No amount of diamonds or material stuffs can ever buy us the happiness in Hereafter.

Alhamdulillah!
Only Allah knows how thankful I am to always have you by my side w hen I am experiencing my happiest or saddest moments. I always pray that Allah will always guide us to the right path in this world as there's nothing more that I want than to live happily with you in the Hereafter. Our love means a lot more 'there' than when we are here. Let's pray that we will continue to share and help each other through this life for our ultimate goal, THE JANNAH.

I love you for the sake of Allah subhanahuwataala. Thank you for being a great partner and father to the kids.

 <3<3<3<3<3<3<3,

Your inseperable wife, Insha'Allah
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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

THEY'RE OFFICIALLY DIVORCED!!!!

because HE had an affair! Meh.

How many times have you heard of such marriage break ups? I've heard it one too many times! Which has made me think.....

Who do we blame when a marriage ends because of the GUY having an affair? Of course we blame the guy instantly! I mean come on, he's having an affair!!! How bad is that? There's no justification on his side as to why he had the affair. But hang on a minute. Do we stop to ask the guys their reasons for the divorce? Of course we don't. I mean, why should we?? He's made an offence so why should we listen to what he's got to say. Right?

Wrong!

If one is really concerned about someone's divorce, they would take the initiative to listen to both sides of the story. Of course both stories will differ tremendously because there is something that either party wouldn't want to disclose. So, what do "we" do next? We start judging from our own perspective because we've heard it all. I mean, that's what we do best right? We have seen it all in Law & Order, CSI etc etc. After we've heard both parties' story, we, the Jury, will sit down, discuss and give our final thought as to who is at fault. Unfortunately, that's absolutely NOT how our life should be! Even in Hudud law, four PIOUS witnesses have to come upfront and admit that they have witnessed such adultery in PERFECT DETAIL, IF, by any chance their statements do not satisfy the requirements, they (the witnesses) can be sentenced to eighty lashes for unfounded accusation of fornication. That is how bad assumptions and suspisions are perceived in Islam. We as human beings are not given the chance to judge another person.... at all! Judgement day is there for a reason. It's stated in Surah Al-Fatihah verse 3- Maaliki yawmi-d-Deen; MASTER of the Day of Judgement. It's ALLAH's 'job' to put us on the spot and judge the good and bad we have done in our life. Even if we've heard both sides of the story, do you think we can be unbiased? Of course we can't. Especially if we have experienced it before.

Before I got married to Iskandar, I've always told him. If you wanna have 2 or 3 or 4 wives, carry on. As long as you can fulfill all the requirements that you're supposed to. Yes, I am frank when it comes to serious things like this. There must be a reason why ALLAH allow men to marry 4. I have never believed that affairs happen BECAUSE the guy is unfaithful. I believe that it takes two to tango, so it takes two to break a marriage too. There must be a solid reason behind an affair. My Mom always tells me, some people just HAVE to marry 2 or 3 or 4 because there are things in their life that they need to be fulfilled but with one wife, it's not possible to be fulfilled (for example, one wife is only just good at cooking and the other maybe sewing). There must be a reason why ALLAH has matched them together. My Mom has always 'encouraged' polygyny if it has to happen.

So, back to affairs. Why is it always the guys that gets the blame? It's simply because they have higher sexual urges than girls (that's a fact!). Then, of course guys will get blamed regardless of their story. But! Doesn't this mean that there is something that the ladies aren't doing to please the man? This is why I say it takes two to break a marriage. We can NEVER pin point a person for their wrongdoings because we don't know what happen or doesn't happen behind CLOSED DOORS. Why are we so quick at judging the guys for being the bad one? From my point of view, affairs happen because the wives aren't fulfilling their responsible as a wife. It's as simple as that. I'm not only blaming the wife, it's silly for the guy to have an affair but I'm just saying... It takes two to tango! Simple as that. We have no knowledge to just point a finger to one person and look bad on that person because he had an affair.

Ok, let's turn the table for a moment. If a girl has an affair, who would you blame? I'm sure there must be some amongst you that will say "HE deserves it for not treating the wife correctly." "HE deserves it for not showering the wife with lots of love and happiness". Am I right or am I right? Wouldn't the blame still be on the guy? Yes, it will still be. Only because we have been brought up with a mindset that girls are to be showered with lots of love and DIAMONDS! If they're not, they will never be happy. So, who's to be blamed for not showering all this? THE GUYS!!!

We have been brought up with a mindset and society that girls are sensitive and guys are HEARTLESS! No matter what guys try to do, they get the blame. It's just like when a wife gets beaten up, the guys will get the blame because he's just not supposed to hit his wife. It's wrong to smack a lady because they're fragile. But when a lady beats up a man.. it's okay because she can't express it any other way. How is that fair? Yes it's not fair! It can never be fair. That is why ALLAH swt has made it easy on us to not judge another person because we can NEVER be fair! It's not wrong to be concerned for one party, but it is wrong when ties are broken in the whole process. People tend to be emotionally involved till they forget their own flesh and blood.

Even worse when the divorce has finalised and the guy is going out with the so called "affair lady". People without hesitation make a judgement that YES!!! THE AFFAIR WAS TRUE AFTER ALL. Hang on a sec, couldn't it be because that so called "affair lady" has always been there throughout the whole process and has been his 'friend' throughout the downfall? So, it is only right for her to be in the picture and comforting him from his divorce. No? But, most important of all, isn't it ALLAH that has brought them together? Isn't this what they call fate? Just because it's not a fairytale like fate, doesn't mean it couldn't happen. It is all ALLAH's plan. Whether we like it or not. HE, the Almighty has planned it out perfectly for us. So, who are we to Judge that "It's WRONG for him to go out with the so called "affair lady""?

So, let's take a step back if we've gone too far. Let's think in a positive way. Everything happens for a reason. Only ALLAH swt knows the reason behind it. Marriage, affairs, divorce etc, is beyond our control. It's ALLAH's way to show that HE is in control. Doesn't mean you have a perfect marriage, your marriage can never break up. If ALLAH wills it, you have no say! Everything is in ALLAH's hand. Let's think about it, if we are upset with the person's "affair" or divorce, doesn't it ONLY mean that we are upset with ALLAH's decision?? Think about it. And from a cousin's quote: The Mind can be controlled to shift from a Negative state to a Positive one. Just find something Positive to do. Your Mind will follow next. So, think about it in a Positive way and throw out all the Negative views that we have been brought up with from Movies or Dramas etc. Insha'Allah, may we look at things more clearly and not make a 'judge' out of ourselves. Judgement day will come, so let's just be prepared for that day and leave the judging 'work' to ALLAH swt. Don't waste our precious time too engrossed with other people's affair (pun intended ;-).

May we have more barakah in this life, Insha'Allah. AMIN!!

I will also leave this few Hadiths, Insha'Allah. May we Ponder upon it. :-)

Hadith : Bukhari and Muslim

The Messenger of Allah salallahualaihiwasalam said: " Beware of suspicion, for suspicion (may be based on) the most untrue information; and do not spy upon one another and do not try to bare each other's hidden failings."

"O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, ye would abhor it...But fear Allah: For Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful." (surah al-hujuraat verse 12)

"Behold, ye received it on your tongues, and said out of your mouths things of which ye had no knowledge; and ye thought it to be a light matter, while it was most serious in the sight of Allah." (surah al-noor verse 15)

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah : "Beware of backbiting, for backbiting is more serious than adultery.  A man may commit adultery, and drink, and then repent, and Allah will forgive him.  But, the backbiter will not be forgiven by Allah until his companion forgives him." [Suyuti, Al-Jami` as-Saghir, 1/174, #2919, from Ibn Abid-Dunya, and Abush-Shaykh, Al-Tawbikh.]

Monday, October 31, 2011

My life.... Now.

Brother and Sister at Play
Well, Assalamualaikum (Peace be unto you) there! It's been wayyyyyy too long since I last blogged. As you can read from my previous entry, Iskandar is now in a full time; office hours kinda job. I didn't expect my life to be this busy and yet loving each and every day as a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) and Housewife. Oh, I have to say that ever since Iskandar started his job, the term SAHM doesn't apply anymore because I've been "hanging out" in Khairaldin's toy room more than ever and it's like I'm a Play At Home Mom until a few hours before Iskandar gets home. Only now I realised how much Iskandar's been Khairaldin's play buddy. It's not easy taking care of an active toddler. He wears me out by 11am! That soon!

On my first week, I didn't dare to bring the kids out because I thought I could not handle. But then, I somehow had to buy some stuff from Tesco. So I braved myself and went shopping with BOTH my kids!! It's an amazing experience! Khairaldin is such a good brother. He loves to kiss Layina every now and then even when in the trolley. People were smiling at how loving he is and of course he loved the attention too. It has been a breeze bringing both of them all by myself. We've been out and about more often now. Khairaldin is not a stay at home person like me. Because of that we have to go out to Tesco every other day just strolling down the aisles buying little unnecessary things. Once we've done that, he's a happy bunny for a few hours at least.

Excited to try cherry tomatoes!
Of course I have my "can you please just sit down quietly!!!!!!!" moments....one too many time! But this will overcome when I drag both of them into the kitchen. Khairaldin loves to help me in the kitchen as it is the time for him to try new food. Alhamdulillah I manage to cook fresh food for Hubby almost every single day. I feel my day accomplished when all 3 of us sit down at the dinner table for dinner. Layina will be in her swing entertaining herself that time. It's an amazing feeling knowing my Husband and kid(s) are being fed by my 'hardwork'. Alhamdulillah. For sure I couldn't have done it without Allah's will.


Anyways, I've always had people asking me on how I can cope at being a full time housewife and Mom. I've never got the chance to answer that question because I've always had Iskandar or my parents by my side. Iskandar was working part time (4 hours) before this. So, this is the first time I'm handling TWO kids all by myself! Alhamdulillah, it's been 1 whole month of full time Housewife and Mom. One word: AMAZING! SubhanAllah! I am loving each and every moment of it. Now, if anyone asks me about how I can cope as a SAHM and a wife, my answer will simply be "My body is engineered to do exactly all this therefore it is not something impossible to do. Insha'Allah, start the day with Bismillah and all will go down smoothly."

I'll end now and Insha'Allah will start blogging again. I'm slowly getting on track and hopefully will be able to do some reading and sharing. Oh by the way, we visit Iskandar's workplace every Friday for Solat Jumu'ah. And Alhamdulillah, Khairaldin look forward to Fridays because he wants to go 'Masjid'. Also..... I get some time-off from Khairaldin because there'll be a few students wanting to babysit him. So yeah, Alhamdulillah. It's been amazing ( I know I've said this one too many time.. Oh well)! My utmost respect for all SAHM! For those working Mom's without maids too! Hats off to all of you who's made it till today. Definitely not an easy job but to know you're being rewarded by Allah swt, priceless!

Ps: I'm also 'working' on a small project starting today. If all goes well, I will 'spill' Insha'Allah.

Pps: Amidst all those "busy" days, we still managed to get some day off with the kids and my parents in London ;)


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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

THIRD PREGNANCY ALREADY??!

I can remember very clearly the day I announced my second pregnancy. I received mixed reaction from family and friends. There were those who were very excited as if they were the ones that are pregnant and there were also those who were upset for numerous reasons. Some even questioned how in the world I could think about getting pregnant when my Husband was still jobless. Of course I couldn't change people's reaction but Alhamdulillah I was still the healthy and bubbly me throughout the pregnancy. Well to be honest, we didn't plan for Layina's birth. Actually we didn't even really plan for Khairaldin's. All we know was that we wanted a child and Masha'Allah, we're now blessed and living happily with two children, Alhamdulillah. Throughout my pregnancy, Iskandar didn't have a proper job. He was on part time jobs most of the time. Alhamdulillah we managed to live with whatever income that was coming in. Also thanks to my parents for making sure we stay in their house. Alhamdulillah.

No doubt Iskandar was looking for jobs. He wasn't choosy of the job as long as it pays Halal income. He tried so many places and yet were rejected or no replies. We didn't give up, we believe that Allah WILL shower us with rizq when and how HE wants to. Iskandar kept searching high and low for a permanent job but the rezeki was just not there...yet. We didn't lose hope. We kept praying and asking for HIS help everyday and night! Come Ramadhan, we prayed extra hard for HIS help because only HE can grant us the best in life. Iskandar was so determined to look for jobs. He's on the PC every now and then looking for Islamic Banking jobs or even as a lecturer. He's applied almost everywhere, be it in Malaysia, UK or even in the Middle East. Noone replied to his application. Personally I know how much he's been hunting high and low for a Halal job. Trust me, it's not easy.

As the days go by, I finally gave birth to Layina with 
a "jobless" husband beside me. I was not afraid of the idea that my husband was still jobless. In fact, my faith grew even stronger! I know for a fact that Allah will not burden us with what we could not handle. HE has promised and repeated this in the Qur'an time and again. I felt everything will fall into place if not now, Insha'Allah in the hereafter. To know that we now have a baby girl could only mean two things, Rezeki and Barakah is on our side. In Islam, having a daughter is something special. It's mentioned in a Hadith; 

Jabir ibn 'Abdullah reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Anyone who has three daughters and provides for them, clothes them and shows mercy to them will definitely enter the Garden." A man from the people said, "And two daughters, Messenger of Allah?" He said, "And two." [Bukhari]

There I was thinking I don't have the luxury that everyone is talking about but what matters most is Insha'Allah I will have that luxury in the afterlife. Having said that, it doesn't mean we have given up with our life now! Of course we can't do that. Whatever we do it has to be for Dunya and Akhirah. There must be balance in our life. So, Iskandar was still with his job hunting. We were also thinking of going back to Malaysia for good if he doesn't get a job anytime soon. We were ready to hijrah to another country if he still doesn't get a job. It is good to do hijrah with the niyah for Allah Ta'ala.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a friend of my Dad e-mailed my Dad saying he wants to meet up with Iskandar as they have a job that he might be interested in. This person is a Director at MIHE (the place Iskandar was awarded his Masters in Islamic Banking, Finance and Management). Without hesitation he met up with the Director and was offered a permanent job there and then. It's nothing fancy but definitely a start for him. Who knows he might get connection from MIHE and can further his career or even do PhD there? Only Allah knows.

So, Insha'Allah, Iskandar will be starting his permanent job with MIHE this October.

This job offer has opened our eyes even more. All the places that he's applied for didn't even bother to reply to just say that they are not hiring or anything at all. However, the place that we'd never think of offering him a job suddenly contacts him and offered him the job. We have always believe that rezeki is from Allah swt even when people gave us the reason to doubt this. Who says you can't suddenly wake up and stumble upon a pot of gold? I believe that miracle do happen if Allah wills it. Nothing is impossible but of course, first we have to work and pray hard for the miracle to happen. Always believe that noone can give nor take anything away from you without Allah's will. If HE has stated that your rezeki will be there, it will be there. Sometimes HE is just testing us to see how far we would go to worship him.

Of course this is a reminder to myself too. Even though Iskandar will be in a permanent job, this doesn't mean we should stop worshipping HIM. This is the reason we should continue to worship HIM more as HE's given us something we least expected!! It just goes to show how powerful HE is and SubhanAllah there is just no reason to defy HIS power! We are really thankful to HIM and to those who's been praying for us. May Allah bless you all with goodness in this life and hereafter, Amin!!!!

If you are still reading and waiting for me to officially announce about my 3rd pregnancy, sorry to say, I'm not pregnant. At least not for another few years, Insha'Allah. I'm sure if I suddenly announce my 3rd pregnancy there will be people out there who'd say something like "3rd pregnancy already??!" Even with a "working" husband people will find excuse to just mock about another person. Sometimes we just forget rezeki comes in many shapes and form, it's not just money/wealth wise.

Like I always say, we can plan all we want but in the end of it all, Allah has the last say. :) 

Ps: wish me luck on becoming a FULL TIME HOUSEWIFE and MOTHER to a toddler and soon to be 3 months old baby. Please pray that Allah will make it easy on the 4 of us, Insha'Allah. JazakAllahu Khair!

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Khairaldin's journey to diaperless bottom!

Khairaldin at 5 months old in Cloth Diaper :)
Alhamdulillah! Khairaldin's been diaper free for 1 month + now!!!! Never imagined this day coming true but Alhamdulillah, here I am writing about his diaper free journey. He's now 2 years 3 months. We started potty training him on 5th Ramadhan at around 4pm. I remember this clearly because I had a break from fasting so since I couldn't fast, I thought I might as well start as soon as possible and not procrastinate anymore. The reason I wanted to start him then was because it was Ramadhan and I had more free time also, things somehow flow perfectly during Ramadhan. And I was right! Alhamdulillah it's been a month since then!
Some CD Stash
Just so you know, we started him with going for number 2 as early as 1 year 10 months. Since he was wearing cloth diaper, both Iskandar and I became disgusted with him poo-ing in his diaper that we decided to firstly train him with number 2. Khairaldin is a creature of habit. He does everything in routine hence it was easy to train him. We knew when exactly he goes for number 2 since he does it around the same time everyday. It's easier on us because we are with him almost all the time. Training him for number 2 wasn't hard at all. Personally I think he found it disgusting to poop in his cloth diaper that's why he cooperated with us. Number 1 however, was difficult! We've tried one too many ways, for examples rewarding him with stickers, putting him in nice training pants so that he'd not wee in it and putting him straight in underpants. We failed miserably with those styles! I gave myself a deadline of 2 months because I wanted him potty trained before Layina's debut. We didn't succeed and were running out of time as I was already very heavily pregnant and just couldn't be bothered to train or even argue with him anymore. We then left the potty training at just doing number 2 in the toilet and number 1 was still in his diaper. That was good enough for us newbies. After Layina was born, we still felt disgusted with the smell of his wee every morning!!! We constantly told him to tell us when he wants to wee. Everyday when he wakes up we just kept going on and on about wee-ing in toilet. It didn't work. We felt that he's just wee-ing in his diapers to irritate us because I was irritated with our whining!! Then, on that particular day when I decided to train him, I just felt enough is enough! I can't deal with washing 2 batches of diapers everyday. People would say, "who ask you to put him in cloth diaper in the first place?" But may I just say, if it's not because of the cloth diaper, my son will probably be in disposable nappies till he's 5 years old or more! Really, thanks to cloth diaper as we are where we are today, Alhamdulillah!

So how did we start and succeed this time round? Well, at 4 pm, I decided to change him in just his underpants and t-shirt. I lifted his t-shirt just above his pants to supposedly see when he felt like wee-ing. But that didn't happen. I couldn't see it and the next thing I know, he's wee-d on the carpet in his toy room at 5pm. Oh by the way, I didn't dare to let him go anywhere around the house so we just stayed in his toy room for few good hours. When I first trained him, I always brought him straight to the toilet every one hour. I've somehow come to realise that he only does his business in his toy room so I brought his portable potty downstairs in his toy room. I even asked him if he wanted the potty downstairs and he said yes! Anyway, when he wee-d at 5pm, I instantly timed how frequent he wees. The 2nd time, he wee-d at 6pm at the same spot whilst we were learning some Arabic alphabets, really there wasn't any sign that he needed to wee. He was just standing up, talking to me and suddenly wees. He let's go when he feel like it without thinking of the consequences. Now that I know he needs a wee every hour, I asked him "do you want to sit in the potty and wee?" at about 7pm. He said yes. I brought him to his potty and he comfortably wee-d in there. I did that again at 8pm and again he wee-d in his potty. Then I stopped for the day because it was nearing his bedtime. He was back in diapers by night. Oh yeah, after every wee I rewarded him with sweets/marshmallows. So he had just 2 on that day because he managed to do it twice.

  • On day 2, I brought him straight to the toilet when he woke up. Again, I asked him every hour if he wanted to wee in his potty and I got a yes every time. This time I varied his reward with sweets and watching his favourite Youtube videos. I didn't want him to do it because of sweets so I varied his reward. By night time, he was back in diapers. I was also monitoring his diapers at night and it's still wet.
  • On day 3, I tried asking him every 1 and 1/2 hours. He has now learnt that wee time is only when I ask him if he wants to go or not. I managed to make him control for 1 and 1/2 hours. His reward was just Youtube videos on this day. He looks forward to watching his videos hence wee-ing in the potty was ok for him.
  • Come day 4, we (the parents) were slacking a bit. We became overly confident that he can hold his wee that we sometimes forget to ask him if he needed the potty. So there were a few accidents in his toy room. Thankfully he don't dare to have "accidents" in the living room because the carpet in the living room belongs to my brother. He knows that he can't mess around with people's things if we tell him not to. After we came to realise our fault, we started asking him again and this time it's every 2 hours +.
  • By day 5, we brought him out to Tesco. Told him he has to tell us if he needs a wee as people will get upset if he wee's in Tesco. He decided to hold for as long as he could and only told us he wanted a wee at home. I've noticed until today that he doesn't like to wee at public places unless we tell him that he's got to go because of long journey. If it's just in town or groceries, he'll hold until we get home. By now we were confident that he can hold his wee for more than 2 hours. So we decided to train him in the toilet. I kept the potty away and everytime he says he wants to go potty, I'd say the potty's upstairs and that we'd have to go to the toilet. After a while, he just asked for the toilet instead of potty.
So that's our potty training journey. After 2 weeks, he can hold his wee for a maximum of 4 hours and we hardly get any wet diapers at night. Until today he's still in diaper during night time just because we've got spare disposable diapers and didn't want to waste it. We call it "special pants" and he knows he can't wee in it or else he will get drenched.

Ok, just so you know we didn't only have 2 or 3 accidents. We probably had about 5-6 accidents at the most. I've come to learn that he have accidents when I am sleeping because he doesn't dare to ask Iskandar to bring him to toilet. One time he also forced himself to wee because he wanted my attention when I was cooking. Other than that, he's doing great! It is difficult at first but don't give up too quickly. Give it a few days and you and your toddler will get the hang of it eventually. ALSO, it's better if the Mothers are control of it until you see the successful point. To be honest, Mothers level of patience is absolutely different to Fathers. Iskandar for example expects Khairaldin to be a professional wee-r by second day. He didn't have the patience. It became slightly difficult because Iskandar was pushy and gets upset when he had accidents. So, Khairaldin became scared of him since he gets told off everytime. As for me, I do get upset when he have accidents but I can tell myself that he's only 2 years old and that I can't expect much from him. After Khairaldin was comfortable with his potty training, he didn't mind going to the toilet with either one of us. So my advice is, make sure only one parent is active in the training and that only one style is being used. Having both parents active during potty training could only confuse the child. Like with Khairaldin, he goes to potty every hour at first so I didn't want Iskandar to accidentally ask him if he needs potty after 30mins because then he will change his routine to every 30mins or so. This doesn't mean Iskandar wasn't part of the training. When I needed to do something myself, I told Iskandar to only ask him at so and so time. This way it kept the ball (or in this case child) rolling at the same pace.

Diaperless big boy on 1st Shawwal :))
I hope this entry has been helpful to you Mommies and Daddies who are planning to potty train. This style might or might not work with all. I tried so many ways with Khairaldin too but one day I came to realise that patience was all that was needed to make the potty training successful. Also, need to know what's their interest if you're planning on giving reward. If you're scared they will just do it for sweets then vary the reward slightly. When we first started, with stickers, it was a downfall from then because he wasn't interested with stickers yet we were trying to impose to him that it stickers are fun. Know your child. Some say wait till they are 'ready', but really, how are you to know when your child is ready to go to the toilet? There's not harm in trying or introducing them with the potty/toilet. If you are determined to diaperless their bottom, Insha'Allah, there will be a way for you too.

All the best to you Mommies and Daddies!!! This will be one of the easiest task we'll have to do for them. Once they are an adult, our task becomes more difficult. Insha'Allah we'll all be able to get through this challenge! :)

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Kabsa Rice Recipe (Nasi Kabsa Resipi)

Two words for Saturday meal: ALHAMDULILLAH SUCCESS!!! At least that is what Hubby complimented. When I cook, I feel everything is just not right. I'm never satisfied with my cooking because I'm just annoying like that. ;) Anyway, I got my recipe from this website. She has A LOT of gooooooooddddd recipes! I can just drool looking at her blog. Since it's in Malay language, I decided to translate her recipe onto my blog. So for my British friends, you guys won't miss out on this yummy food! Do try it out!!

Kabsa Rice in a HUGE pot! NOT ENOUGH!! ;)

Ingredients:

1 kg beef + bones  
(or 1 whole chicken cut into half)
3 cups Basmati rice (wash and soak for 30 mins)
5 cups of hot water
(or you could use the water from boiled beef)
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 tbsp Ghee
1 cinnamon stick
3 cardamoms
3 pieces of cloves
2 onions- diced
3 cloves of garlic- diced
1 big carrot - grated
1 whole tomato- blended 
(I used the canned chopped tomatoes)
2tbsp tomato puree
1 teaspoon yellow/orange food colouring (saffron)
2 tbsp kabsa spices for recipe click HERE
1 whole lemon- make a whole in the middle
(get the most riped lemon as you want it to be sour-est!)
1 red bell pepper- diced
1 tsp black pepper
2 whole red chillies
1/4 cup raisins
Salt & sugar to taste

Method:
  1.  If you're using beef, then boil the beef first until soft. Possibly for an hour.
  2. Heat oil and ghee. Saute cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves, onions and garlic until you can smell the aroma.
  3. Then, saute the blended tomato, tomato puree, lemon, food colouring and kabsa spices.
  4.  Put the beef in with the rest and add salt & sugar. (If you're using chicken, then put the raw chicken in at this stage and leave it in till it's cooked)
  5. Once the beef/chicken is cooked, put in carrot, red bell pepper, chilli, raisins and rice. Put in the hot water to cook the rice.
  6. Leave the pot closed and make sure you keep stirring every 4-5 minutes so that the rice won't get burnt at the bottom of the pot. 
  7. ENJOY YOUR MEAL WITH YOUR LOVED ONES!!!! :))
Hopefully you are able to follow these steps. It's my first time writing out a recipe! Do let me know how you get on with it. If I've missed out any parts or you have better ingredients for the recipe, do leave a comment to share with all of us! Wishing you the best of luck, cooking monsters!!! May your cooking bring you closer to your loved ones....tummy & heart! ;)
 
Oh, in case the rice ain't spicy for your liking, you can make some sauce with it. I didn't try the sauce because I don't really eat spicy food. So this recipe is just nice for my liking. Try this:

Sauce: Blend tomatoes, green chillies, corriander, sugar and salt. Once it's done, squeeze some lemon into it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Chicken Shawarma & Nasi Kabsa Recipe (Arabic Cuisine)

Every Ramadhan, I will suddenly turn into a cooking monster! Somehow I only dare to try new cookings and bakings during Ramadhan. I think the reason why I dare to try new recipes is because people will be famished by Iftar (break fast) and I'm sure anything I cook will be absolutely delicious to them, Insha'Allah. So, that is why I try new cuisine only during Ramadhan.

Anyway, since a few people have asked me for these recipes, I decided to make an entry out of it because there's just so much to write! Unfortunately, I am not able to post all of it today because I'm only gonna make it for Saturday Iftar with the whole family, Insha'Allah. Today, I am just going to share with you the spices recipe. You can basically use this spices with any Arabic Cuisine. So here you go.

Ps: PLEASE be warned that you will sneeze a lot by just blending these spices. Too aromatic!! ;) Have fun cooking!

Rempah Kabsa Recipe (Spices for Kabsa rice) 
 
Click pic to enlarge
Ingredients:
1 tbsp cengkih (cloves) *
1 tbsp lada hitam (black pepper)*
1 tbsp jintan manis (fennel) *
1 tbsp jintan putih (cumin) *
2 tbsp ketumbar (corriander seeds) *
1 tbsp buah pelaga (cardamom) *
1 tbsp pelaga hitam (black cardamom pods) *
1 tbsp serbuk cili (chilli powder)
1 TEASPOON kunyit (turmeric powder)
From left: Corriander seeds, black pepper, black cardamom pods, cardomom, fennel and cumin.

Click pic to enlarge


Method:

1. Fry the ingredients marked * until you can smell the aroma.
2. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
3. Add in chilli powder and turmeric powder into blended ingredients.
3. Keep aside the blended ingredients in a tupperware as you only need one tablespoon of blended ingredients every time you cook. You will get plenty of it with the ingredients above (refer picture below).



Blended Kabsa Spices

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Post-natal depression AND terrible two???!

Alhamdulillah it wasn't me who suffered from postnatal depression! Before I gave birth to Layina, I have read a lot about people whom suffered from postnatal depression. According to a few sources, postnatal depression "target" people with second baby, so they say. I was scared that it could happen to me. I mean, come on, how am I supposed to cope with post natal depression and this so called "terrible two" son??

In case you didn't know, I have a Degree in Psychology. After my second year of studying Psychology, I feel that most (not all but most!) of the things taught were a whole load of crap. Don't get me wrong, I love Psychology!! I believed most of the things being taught but I truly hate it when they teach us things that doesn't make any sense. For instance, Freudian's theory was being taught at A-Levels up to second year degree. Who doesn't know his theory, I am sure you've somewhat heard of his psychosexual theory, yes? You can read about his theory here if you are interested. There are also other modules that gives me the icks when I learn them. I find it rather pathetic that they're teaching us these theories when they know that it doesn't make any sense or even that it is very controversial. To me, it was like they were trying to brainwash us into thinking in those terms. Anyway, enough about that.

Like I said, there are some parts of Psychology that I could agree on. Basically, I 110% agree that the brain controls each and every part of our body. Our brain is the most important organ in our body. So when I was scared about the postnatal depression cases, it got me 'ready' for it. What did I do? Well, I convinced myself that I can definitely handle my 2 kids with Allah's will. Would Allah have given me another child if he didn't believe in me? I'm sure I've done something right for him to shower me with another child right? Of course I wasn't boastful. I couldn't have done it without Allah's help.

Depression and stress happens because we over think things. Say for instance if a person lose a job which I'm sure this is one of the many reasons people become depressed nowadays looking at the state of our economy. People without beliefs will feel that this is all their fault, as if they have failed in life! When really in Islam we are taught that Allah is the one that has control of every single thing in our life. Yes you can be sad, not a problem. But get over it quickly. Don't moan and groan over it too much. Get back on your feet and think of your next step. First and foremost though, thank Allah for everything that's happened to you. There's always a blessing behind every thing that He gives or takes. Like this ayat suggest; "....... it may well be that you dislike a thing even though it is good for you, and it may well be that you like a thing even though it is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know." (Surah Al-Baqarah:216)

I believe that everything we say or think is du'a (supplication) to Allah swt. So if a person thinks of negative things, they are clearly channelling their feeling towards that particular situation. Like post natal depression, if you think too much about how tiring it is to take care of a child, you will definitely not have the time to enjoy the child that you've just given birth to. No doubt being a Mother is tiring (not much for fathers though)! Having to wake up every now and then for feeds, diaper change or even just checking that baby is sleeping soundly is REALLY tiring! So why think about it and tire your brain even more when you know it's tiring? Instead try and think about the joyful things you can do with your baby when he/she is awake. Think about how lucky you are that the baby wakes up to feed/diaper change etc. I'm sure you know that being a Mother/Father consists of being there for your child almost 24-7, right? Since you have asked Allah for this child of yours then enjoy bringing them up with lots of love, hugs, kisses and positivity!

Although, these aren't the only things that we should bring our child up with. Of course there's Syaitan to mess about with our mind. That is why whatever we do we should think of Allah first. After giving birth we are more likely to feel depressed because we are in a 'dirty' condition. The post partum blood is dirty and so we are not allowed to pray. Nonetheless, our Worship towards him does not stop there. We should continue our 'zikir'. Glorify him so that the Syaitan will be scared of us and will not dare to come near us. Insha'Allah with Allah's protection we will be safe from the Syaitan! After all, in Surah Fatihah we mention that only in HIM do we seek for help and therefore we should always seek HIM in whatever sad or happy situation we are in.

On a slightly different topic, I did say 'terrible two' son didn't I? Well, to be honest, I feel that this word is being used to make us feel that they are terrible. How is it that they've been our 'bundle of joy' for 1 year and suddenly when they reach 2 they are terrible? This term is negative and we should really change it to a more positive term like "terrific two". Well, just because they cry more and are a little bit clingy doesn't mean they are terrible! To be honest, I was also conned into the "terrible two" term. Whenever Khairaldin cried, I almost gave up and just said "Oh well, it's just a phase. He'll get over it." When really I think all he wanted was someone to listen to him and just give him cuddles! Since we don't carry him that much, he then throw tantrums to get attention. He wants to still feel that he's being loved. We can't just take it for granted that "he'll get over it." HE WON'T . Give the attention that they need. Children don't cry for no reason.  


It's a terrific two because they are clever to know how to get our attention yet we are so silly not to give them the attention they need!

So parents, don't be caught up with all these terms or label that has been put out to us out there. We should really think positively and not let anyone label us. After all this "terrible two" and all other stress, what next? Mid life crisis? Are we just gonna live our life by letting people bring us down all the time? So get up! Live your life to the fullest. Positivity is the way to go! There's nothing wrong with having a positive mindset. Doesn't mean you're positive you don't feel sad. You still do and it's ok to feel that way as it's a test from Allah swt to appreciate HIM even more. If you're too happy, you might forget HIS existance. So, he has to bring you down and test you every now and then. It is how you get back up and continue worshipping him that matters! Insha'Allah.

My du'a is for all of my readers to be more positive in life and to not let anyone label and judge us except for the Allah swt. Insha'Allah. Amin!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I HAVE A FULL-TIME JOB!!!!!!!! :))

Yes, I have a full-time job ever since I got married to the love of my life and hereafter. I am a wife and now Alhamdulillah a Mother to 2 adorable and clever children, SubhanAllah! Would I ever want to quit my job?? Seriously?? Doing something you love and not dreading having to wake up for it every single day IS a job. Yes, A MOTHER is a full-time JOB! Don't insult us for not following the society's 9-5p.m rule. Just because we love doing what we do doesn't mean we are jobless. Try doing it for a day, at least, and see what you have to say about "your full-time job".

Watch the videos and you will know what I mean. I LOVE MY JOB! THIS is my rizq from Allah swt! And I can never ever complain about it. Alhamdulillah!

video
video


Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
Albert Schweitzer

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Confucius

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

World Breastfeeding Week 1st -7th August 2011

In case you didn't know, it was the World Breastfeeding Week last week. Funny and sad how such event has to be conducted to raise public awareness about breastfeeding. Truthfully, breastfeeding is supposed to be a natural way of life whereby everyone's aware of it. So, what is this event all about? Let me tell you, not everyone has this perception that breastfeeding is natural and a way to fulfil the child's right. Some perceive breastfeeding as being rude when you do it at an open space. I have to agree if one strips off and don't breastfeed discreetly, then yes that is rude and inappropriate. Personally, I have never come across any 'breastfeeders' who shows off their boobs when breastfeeding their child, I think we Mommies still have our dignity in tact to know we shouldn't shove our breasts to the public eyes, yes? The only way you'd know the baby is having his/her feed is when their face is somewhere near the boobies area, right? So, how is that obscene/rude/disgusting if you can hardly see any skin or nipples sticking out??

THIS IS NOT NATURAL ;)
Seriously, our society has to STOP THINKING about breastfeeding as though it is an unnatural thing to do. Especially Muslim society, we should know that breastfeeding is so natural that it is even being prescribed in the Quran: "If they (ie; the fathers) wish that the period of suckling for their children be completed, mothers may suckle their children for two whole years......" (Surah Al-Baqarah:233) "We enjoined upon man to be dutiful to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness upon weakness and his weaning lasted for two years........." (Surah Luqman:14) 
 
 
Would the Quran "write" such a verse if it is rude and obscene? So, in the Quran, Allah advices us to breastfeed for at least 2 years. Tell me, how could a mother achieve this if the society isn't helping them to do so? Imagine this, if a mother is having her meal at a restaurant and suddenly the baby wakes up for a feed. Would you expect the mother to get out of the restaurant, find a nearest nursing room or TOILET to feed the child? I'm hoping you'd answer NO at this point. Now, try imagining a starving baby yelling her head off wanting her milk and the mother has to run around to find the nearest "appropriate" place to breastfeed. Isn't that just stressful? What's wrong with letting the Mom and baby have their meal peacefully.. anywhere?
 
In my opinion, to achieve a great breastfeeding journey Mothers have to attend to their babies need as soon as their babies demand for feed. They don't need to wait until the baby scream their lungs out before giving them their milk. This is because, when the baby starts to cry (or even give signals wanting to be fed), the Mother's brain will instantly pass the message onto the breasts to produce milk. This is the time when all the nutritions are being produced and it will start to flow as soon as it's being produced. So would we want to waste the milk to just flow onto the breast pad? I'm hoping that people could understand why mothers need to feed where ever and when ever. There is no such thing as just feeding in nursing rooms, toilets or even bedrooms. Do you even have your meals in these places?? So why should a helpless child be stuck just in those rooms.

Now that you've understood why mothers MUST feed their child, please, I beg, don't give those nursing mothers the disgusting look when you see them feeding and attending to their child's need. The least you could do is give them the 'gratitude' look to tell them they are doing the right thing for their child. I'm sure breastfeeding Moms wouldn't want you to be looking at them when they are feeding their child anyway. So you don't have to look if it bothers you that much. After all, you wouldn't stare at people when they are having their meals now would you? ;)
 
And because they're being fed where and when they want to be fed, this is the outcome that we get. How could we stop them from their rights ey?
 
Khairaldin

Layina
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Monday, August 01, 2011

Ramadhan 1432

Ramadhan Mubarak everyone!!! 
 
Let's make full use of this blessed month. Here's a tip I'd like to share for those of you who'd like to khatam the Quran in this month:

Try and read at least 4-5 pages after every fardhu prayers. That will make it 20-25 pages per day. Insha'Allah by the time Ramadhan ends, you'd be able to khatam the whole Quran.

The Quran was revealed to our Prophet SalallahuAlaihiWassalam in the month of Ramadhan, that is why it's such a blessed month, Masha'Allah. So, the best way to appreciate this month is by reading and understanding the Quran! Insha'Allah. There's just so much we can learn from the Quran. Ramadhan is not a month to abstain from food, drink, sexual intercourse etc. In fact, it is THE month to learn how powerful Allah swt is (if we don't know already). This is the month when all the devils are locked away and it's just us and our Creator. No devils to provoke us to do evil things. Always remember that Allah swt is listening to us intensely, so make du'a for ourselves, families and friends. Insha'Allah, HE will 'makbul' our du'as and good intentions.

May Allah swt help us through this month by giving us Imaan to do great deeds! Insha'Allah it'll be a stepping stone to a new way of life after this, Amin ya Raabalamin!

Let the battle with ourselves begin, Insha'Allah!

Wassalam.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sorry that I am such a positive person :)

In spite of my very positively chripy, lovely and heartfelt writings, I sometimes have the urge to just sit down and write a very harsh entry on how my heart really feel about a certain someone. But everytime I think of doing it, my brain tells my heart not to do such a harsh thing because the purpose of this blog is to share my Islamic parenting experience and moral values with other parents (to-be) out there. It is also a place where one day Khairaldin and Layina (Insha'Allah their other siblings too) can look at and Insha'Allah appreciate what we have done for them. I do not ever want them to grow up with hatred in life. Yes, life is tough but it's how we deal with it that matters the most. Like the saying goes, "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade". Something so sour could still turn out sweet if you know the perfect recipe to it.

No matter how angry annoyed I am with this particular person, I have to thank him/her for making me the person I am today. I have been putting up with lots of harsh comments from him/her not only about Iskandar and I but also about my innocent children. Try this, Layina is only 1 month old yet she's already getting negative comment. Layina, don't worry, it's not your fault that you get such nasty remark. Mommy hope you'll not be offended with it but in fact take it as a reminder that it's not easy to please everyone. In the end of the day, just try your best and the only one you should always please is Allah swt. So, be strong babycakes. :) Anyway, back to where I was, all these negative comments I have been getting is not only making me stronger but it is also strengthening my Imaan (faith). It makes me want to turn back to Allah swt and Prophet SalallahuAlaihiWassalam and "listen" to what they've got to say by reading the Quran and Hadith.

Like I said, I sometimes feel like writing negative entries but because of this particular person also I have learnt that it is wrong to do such a thing. It's not only wrong in a way that "yeah you are talking bad about a person" but it's also very wrong to conceal one's sins. One day, in the hereafter that is, my blog will be revealed to every single one of us that's living on this planet and others. In one of the hadith narrated Abu Hurairah radi Allahu Anhu: I heard Allah's Messenger SalallahuAlaihiWassalam saying, "All the sins of my followers will be forgiven except those who commit a sin openly or disclose their sins to the people. An example of such disclosure is that a person commits a sin at night, and though Allah screens it from the public, then he comes in the morning and says, "O so-and-so, I did such and such evil deed yesterday," though he spent his night screened by his Lord (none knowing about his sin) and in the morning he removes Allah's screen from himself." Basically, if I were to go on and on about this person in public, it will only accumulate my sins and doing it OPENLY will only make matters worse in this world and most importantly HEREAFTER!

Even though this person tries so hard to bring my self-esteem down, I have to say it's only bringing it "up". I live my life the Islamic way therefore I would turn to the Quran or Hadith and see how our Prophet would react in every situation. (Narrated Tariq: 'Abdullah said, "The best talk is Allah's book (the Quran), and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad SalallahuAlaihiWassalam.) Be it a happy, blissful, angry or sad situation, I try my very best to make sure I don't react in an extreme way. So, I turn to the Hadith and read words that will help me with my emotions. As we all know, emotion is very difficult to control. Even though our mind says one thing, our heart (especially the female gender) would have the last say and most of the time it's not a nice one if we are in an angry mood. Before we regret saying one thing, sit back, grab the Quran or Hadith and ponder upon it. Insha'Allah we will live a happier and more Barakah life. :)

Below are the quotes that have helped me get through my difficult days. I hope it will also help all of you and comes in handy when you are feeling at your lowest mood. Believe me, it's not worth it to take up with the person you are angry with as they would definitely have their opinion and it'll only end up in a fight. Another way you can make yourself feel better is by taking everything in a positive way. Like what my li'l brother would say to me "What happened to your funny bone? Chill!" :) There's a reason why we have a "funny bone", try hitting the nerve and you'd definitely feel ticklish. If a person hits your nerve, remember, there's a funny bone somewhere in your body. You just need to look for it. ;) Sometimes it is difficult to just let go of what you have worked hard for but then, it's best to leave some things broken than hurting yourself trying to fix it. ;) Move on whilst knowing that you have tried for the sake of Allah and Allah swt is happy with your intentions.

May Allah make it easy for us to do good deeds in this life in order for us to prepare for the Hereafter! Amin!

"Tell them (O Prophet): "O you servants of mine who believe, have fear of your lord. A good end awaits those who did good in this world. Allah's earth is spacious. Verily, those who persevere shall be granted their reward beyond all reckoning." (Quran 39:10)

Narrated Abu Musa: The Prophet SalallahuAlaihiWassalam said, "None is more patient than Allah against the harmful saying, He hears from the people; they ascribe a son (or offspring or children) to Him, yet He gives them health and (supplies them with) provision." (Hadith Bukhari)


Beautified is the ife of this world for those who disbelieve and they mock at those who believe. But those who have taqwa, will be above then on the Day of Ressurection. And Allah gives (of this bounty, blessings, favours and honours on the Day of Ressurection) to whom He wills without limit. (Quran 2:212)


Narrated Abu Hurairah RadiAllahuAnhu: Allah's Messenger SalallahuAlaihiWassalam said, "The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger."


Ps: I could go on and on with the quotes but time is something I am lack off nowadays, therefore I shall leave these quotes with you and hopefully you'd continue by reading it from the Quran or Hadiths. Insha'Allah.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

2 years and 10 days.....

Raja Khalid Khairaldin & Raja Aizah Layina ( <24 hrs old)
That's the age gap between Khairaldin and Layina. When I found out I was pregnant, I thought Khairaldin will be about 1 year 11 months or younger by the time I was due. Then, we had our first scan. First estimated due date was 16th June 2011 after a few weeks, they changed it to 22nd June 2011. But in the end, Layina 'sealed the deal' with Allah swt on 26th June 2011 at 3:54pm. So, that makes her 2 years and 10 days younger than Khairaldin.

People's been asking us, "how are you managing with a toddler and newborn?" To be honest, we've not really hit reality. My parents have been around to supervise and help us around. Khairaldin's been pampered by his Nana and DaddyTok unconditionally! They've been going to Tesco almost everyday! My parents bring him out whenever they're going out. Alhamdulillah, I have been getting occasional quiet time a few days a week. I am sure things would be different if they weren't around. You just don't know how thankful I am to still have my parents even though I'm married with 2 children. Shukur Alhamdulillah!!

Since I've "spoken" about my labour/delivery, I think it's just fair to speak about how Khairaldin was doing whilst we were at the hospital. On the day of the delivery, we left Khairaldin at home with my Mom and brothers from around 6am - 11pm. I didn't prepare anything for Khairaldin as much, only bought some disposable diapers for him since it'd be a hassle for my Mom/brothers to change him into cloth diapers. They were coping alright during day time. My second brother even bought an inflatable pool to keep him occupied for good few hours. Thankfully it was also the weekend for my nephew and niece to be with us (my eldest brother's divorced in case I didn't mention :). So Khairaldin had his loved ones with him. Alhamdulillah he can speak fluently for a 2 year old, he made it easier for them to look after him. He knows what he wants in terms of food, drinks, toys and etc. Hence, it was "easy" to look after him when need be.

After speaking to Khairaldin :(
My Mom said he was fine the whole day but when it was night time, he started asking for Iskandar and I. The initial plan was for me to stay at the hospital for a night so the DR can monitor my blood loss. You see, the only thing I HATE about giving birth in the UK is that when I have to overnight at the hospital, I have to overnight ALONE with the baby! I HATE it soooooo much! It doesn't help when I called Khairaldin and he was asking our whereabouts. He was telling me about what he did the whole day. I cried and sobbed whilst on the phone with him. Iskandar even took a video of it! BOooo! It was really sad!! I've never left him behind for that long. I knew he wouldn't be able to sleep if I wasn't there. So I insisted on being discharged that night itself. Alhamdulillah the DR allowed except I had to sign a few stuff in case anything were to happen as it would be my fault then. I took the risk, packed up and left the hospital.

On the way home, I had a slight guilt. Whilst I was carrying Layina, I have read a few stuff and heard people's experience on how to 'tackle' the elder child to like the newborn baby. One famous tactic was to buy a present and to tell the elder one that the present is from their newborn sibling. I thought that was good, I'm gonna do that. Sadly, I didn't prepare beforehand so ended up with no present for Khairaldin. I was really worried because we were 'out' for hours and didn't inform/explain to him that I was going to the hospital to deliver baby (because he was still asleep) and then suddenly I'm coming home with another human being? That would definitely make him jealous, so I thought. Since it was already 11pm on a Sunday, we had no choice but to just brave it and go home to see Khairaldin.

Brother & Sister getting to know one another :)
As soon as I entered the house with Layina, Khairaldin was already expecting and welcoming Layina with a hugeeeee smile on his face! He was surprised that Layina was no more in my tummy but definitely loving the newborn baby. He kissed her, talked to her and was just being a big brother really. I was in tears, again! Blegh hormones! It was amazing how he could love and connect with Layina straight away. The only way he knew about "baby" was when we taught him to 'talk' to "baby" when I was pregnant. He will come to my tummy and kiss it and call "baby, baby, baby" with his own tune. Even when he was playing the iPod he would stop and talk to baby whenever we ask "where's baby?" It's like he knew that one day this "baby" will be his blood brother or sister. Truthfully, Khairaldin is not a gentle person when it comes to other children or babies. He will be all possessive and hit the kid whenever I am holding them. So, I was not surprised if he were to do the exact same thing to Layina. Then, he managed to surprise us by being such an adorable child/brother! He touched her with such love and care. He held her hand so gently (I still had fear that he was gonna break her tiny li'l fingers or sum'n, but he didn't). No doubt he can be a nuisance to her but only by kissing her every 5 mins! We were all so surprise by how loving he has been with Layina. SubhanAllah (Glory be to Allah) and Alhamdulillah!!!

Their afternoon naptime
As days go by his love for Layina blooms even more. There are occasions when he feel we are concentrating more on Layina than him. For instance if my parents say "Assalamualaikum Layina", he will go to my parents and say "Assalamualaikum Kha-din". It's like, just in case you forgot my existence kinda thing. :) Also at night, since he's always slept with me he becomes rather stubborn and start to cry whenever I'm nursing Layina during his bedtime. What I normally do is feed Layina and let Iskandar put her to sleep. Khairaldin just cannot sleep with anyone during night time because I've always pampered him and wanting to do everything on my own :D Now, it's Iskandar's time with Layina. ;)

Blessed to have us in her life ;)
Most of us (even myself) are scared to have a second baby at such close gap. Since I've experienced it now, I feel 2 years difference is a perfect age gap as the elder one is too engrossed learning new things and they are not too pampered and attached just yet. I think the longer the age gap, the more difficult it would be as they've been too attached and can't accept the fact they have to 'let go' of their parents. Then again, I'm sure everyone has different story to tell, and this is mine. :)



Ps: Don't worry, I am ready for their sibling rivalry days. I'm sure that day will come but for now, I will embrace the moment when they truly love one another.

Friday, July 15, 2011

My breastfeeding journey with Aizah Layina

 

Alhamdulillah, Aizah's 18 days old today. Yesterday she was down with cold and I blame myself for not covering her up properly when we went into town. Of all days, it had to be a windy day yesterday and she didn't have her fleece or any jumper on. Today she's all well and kicking again, Alhamdulillah. Mom was surprised that Aizah could catch a cold since she is exclusively breastfed. Of course it is very rare for breastfeed babies to get cold or fever for the first 6 months because there's all the nutrients for the baby in breastmilk. Then again, if other precautions weren't taken, the baby can easily fall sick too, right?

Full and content face
Other than that one day, Aizah's putting on weight and very healthy, Alhamdulillah. I still could not believe that she's been breastfed from Day 1 and have not needed any milk supplement ever since. With Khairaldin, I had to feed him formula milk for the first week. He was suffering from jaundice and wasn't getting enough milk from me, so the nurse said. It's all a learning curve with Khairaldin. Whatever I've failed to do back then, I am hoping to do it better with Aizah, Insha'Allah. Even though it was a tough decision for me to feed Khairaldin Formula Milk, I kept insisting that it's Allah's will.

Mommies to be, don't hit yourself if you can't breastfeed your baby. Also, never ever give up! Formula milk is ok if it's desperately needed but don't make it as a choice. Try and breastfeed the baby as much and as long as you can. Yes, breastfeeding is very tiring. Think of it this way, when else will you get the chance to be *that* close with your baby? Once they grow up, that's the end of it all.

Aizah's feeding position
I love my feeding sessions with both Khairaldin and Aizah. The stare in their eyes and scrutinising my face makes me feel very much appreciated. Knowing that I am the only person that could satisfy their hunger and thirst is amazing! Getting the chance to just pick them up every 2 hours and spend the whole 20 mins together is priceless! I kid you not, the first week of breastfeeding is P.A.I.N.F.U.L!! No words could describe how painful it is. Trust me, Insha'Allah after that it'll be smooth sailing. So take this opportunity to just breastfeed your baby. Allah's given us the breast and milk to feed our child, let's try and make full use of our body as how we do with the rest of it all.

Like I said, with Khairaldin it's all a learning curve. Before giving birth to Aizah, I recalled why I didn't manage to exclusively breastfeed Khairaldin (even though it's only that 1 week). Here's some tips for all of you in case you've not done your research. As soon as you give birth, try and eat healthily and drink lots of water. Bear in mind that your milk will only be about a teaspoon full or less for the first 3 days. Don't take it as though you haven't got any milk. By the 3rd day, Insha'Allah you'll feel your breast fuller. Even so, there will be just enough for the baby. Their tummy is soooo small. So don't expect to produce a glass full of milk. Insha'Allah your milk will be sufficient. Make sure the baby's latched on properly!!!! Youtube breastfeeding positions if you haven't already, this could be of some help for you. Lastly, feed on demand. As soon as the baby wakes up, feed him/her. At this stage they're not up to play with you just yet. All they want is milk, milk, milk! So feed, feed, feed!

4oz of EBM at Day 3, Alhamdulillah!
With Aizah, she's being fed every 2 hours in the day time. Easy for me since I don't need to pump that often. I also realise by doing this, she sleeps better at night. Her feeds at night is about 4-6 hourly. She starts her day at 7am and feed every 2 hourly. Her last night feed is at 11pm and the next one after that is around 4am. That too sometimes I have to wake her up as I am too engorged. Don't feel that when you baby's constantly feeding means she doesn't get enough milk. Again, look at the size of their tummy and how often they poop, that's why they need to refuel. This is why they have to feed ever so often. Formula milk will make them "fuller" only because it has too much sugar in them. It doesn't make them any healthier!
 
Please please please give the baby their right to be breastfed for as long as you can. Make du'a that Allah will make it easy on you to breastfeed and also to shower you with abundance of milk. That is the only way your breastfeeding journey could be a breeze. With HIS will.