Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dubai's New Year a Foggy Start

mr khairul went out last night to check up on our new apartment in dubai marina and was faced with heavy fog around dubai as the night moved on to 2009. it got worse by the time he went out to go home - by then the fog had enveloped everything within 100m! dubai is a city FULL of skyscrapers and none can be seen! visibility was bad but alhamdulillah he got back safe and sound.

foggy dubai picts from gulf news

it was so befitting as just earlier that day, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of dubai, called off any new year festivities. he said "all public new year’s celebrations" should be stopped "in solidarity with the palestinian people, who are currently enduring death, suffering and destruction in gaza". no awesome fireworks, then! even if there is any, the blasts and spurts of lights would be so blurry and malap.

dubai was one of several arab states to cancel lavish multi-million dollar new year's eve celebrations in solidarity with the people of gaza who suffered a fifth straight day of bombardment from israel. the luxury hotels in dubai have been told to cancel their new years celebrations, with many of them revised and made alternative indoor celebrations instead.

picture taken on the palm jumeirah from gulf news

seems that even david beckham and the rest of the AC Milan team who are in town on a friendly match with hamburg ready to celebrate new year had it cancelled. bummer.

as if the weather reflected the somber mood of the new year celebration in dubai - and concur with a gloomy fog. some people felt that 'yeah we're sympathetic and saddened - but noone can stop new year coming - we'd feel bad if we go out and celebrate tonight, and yet we want to welcome the new year with a bang. probably go to house parties."

my take on it is we celebrate the new year because we CAN, but it's not our priviledge when hundreds others suffer. (the death toll to date is about 400 which includes women and children) it's a really small thing to do away with a little bit of celebration - and sit in silent reflection of how fortunate we are that we live to see the new year.

gulf news reports that instead of noisy celebrations, hundreds of people gather around the parking lot opposite the jumeirah beach residence with candles - the one close to our new apartment - in silent protest against israeli's aggressions.

well, to me dubai needs to tighten its purse string anyway, and go easy on the lavish spendings...

how did i celebrate? mr. khairul snoring on my right, kahfi dozing on my left and khaleef asleep at the foot of the bed after a marathon of tom and jerry. i couldnt ask for more.

my boys

i got my own fireworks. ;-)

Hello 2009, Goodbye 2008

is it that time of year again?
time to make new resolutions?
time to reflect on past mistakes?
time to rejoice on recent successes?
time to forgive?
time to forget?
time to reminisce?
time to change?

being critical of oneself
  1. i try not to be too hard on khaleef. i am an absolute witch when it comes to disciplining him. he has had it hard enough with a new baby in the family to deal with a psychotic mom running around. also without any other vocabulary than, "khaleef, no!"
  2. i will try new recipes. being a full time homemaker now has given me the gift of time. use it!
  3. i will...i will...i will tell you when i think of anything else...

resolve to do something i would normally do anyway
  1. keep fit post-pregnancy. i am under pantang anyway.
  2. walk more. i am not driving in dubai anyway, and living in dubai marina soon would give me the gift of space (wow, i have a gift of space AND time - in the words of chandler - i can get those two together and make a continuum..)
  3. write more! do what you love. now i have a blog anyway.

food resolution
  1. i am proud to report that my 2008 resolution was to eat less McD - and i did! i couldn't believe it myself - as i'm a McD freak - but it shows nothing is impossible! (but don't ask me to give up on mandy rice just yet..)
  2. i will drink milk! good for mommy, good for baby, good for milk company.
  3. i will eat yoghurt. NOT!

sneaky resolution
get mr khairul to buy me a bigger ikea bookrack. period.

a new year message to mr khairul
honey, we have been through quite a mix of sunshine and hailstorm in 2008 - we braved it, got through it and i know it made us stronger than ever. i love you always!

2008 also witness us growing up as a young family - we bought a house in the beautiful alam budiman. we made so many plans for the house and yet sacrifices had to be made. we left to brave a whole new world; dubai.

may 2009 brings joy and happiness, as we face another adventure in a foreign land, with a new addition to our family as we welcome baby Kahfi. as for Khaleef, he will start school this year - a big leap for our young man.

doakan kami, make doa for us - we wish our dear friends and family a very happy new year and may all your dreams come true.

Allah knows best!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mak ~ 270357 - 311203

it has been 5 years already since mak passed away. we all miss her everyday.

mak in 1977 and mak in 2000 - beautiful as always

my mak. what a fascinating person indeed. she looked like your typical housewife, mother of 5 exceptionally unique girls (esp the second one! hihi) - but deep down she's my walking dictionary of life.

she is the best person i can really *talk* to. she didn't just understand me, but she *speaks* my language and we can borak in english like heck. man, we can chat about a lot of stuff - from normal happenings in college to intimate details after a hot date! like what my youngest sister once claimed, mak is a 'best friend' any daughter could want.

she's a really simple person. despite being able to afford stuff a typical housewife would pester her husband for, she didn't lavish money on unnecessary wants. she didn't insist on gucci or lv - she shopped smart and spent wisely. all of us girls grew up in her simplicity and i would definitely nurture my sons to live life simple yet meaningful.

with mak on our trip to sydney

the one with mak's habits
how much did she KNOW her daughters? mak would cut out articles from newspapers and kept them for her daughters. for her, man - she had tons of scrapbooks - from movies to updates on piala thomas. from recipes to comic strips. i remember was it cik or aunty na (mak's sisters) who told me that even in her teens mak would keep scrapbook on song lyrics. what can i say? she was a 'collector' - like me!

for me, she would keep everything about english or weird stuff like 'why do buttons on girls and boys shirts on different sides'. for azi, maybe on local music scene, gossips or sports. if its syima then science articles would be put aside for our family microbiologist. for yong, it's business and when it comes to syida - i guess it's recipes for butter cake. recently esp, she does show a lot of potential in trying out new recipes...

bottom line, she would customized her findings according to the interests of her 5 daughters who are all different as day and night and unique as snowflakes!

the one with mak's yummiest dish
how i miss these cookings - the best of the best! fortunately yong was able to cook the rendang to taste exactly like mak's so every raya she's the appointed rendang cook. it wouldn't be raya without her rendang...
  • ayam masak merah (terbaik!)
  • pulut durian (the lumps of sweet gravy!)
  • rendang ayam for hari raya (incomplete without!)
  • nasi lemak (never taste anything quite like hers)
  • cucur udang
  • karipap daging (oooo the rich buttery taste)
  • bihun goreng (simplest ever - tomato, daging, egg. period)
i like english because of mak
it's safe to credit mak for my incredible passion for language. she and i both did shakespeare's macbeth in high school and i cannot think of anyone else i can talk about shakespeare with. (mr. khairul would start merepeking using 'thee' and 'thou's in all the wrong ways when i started with him!) she's the reason i wanted to take up literature in english way back when i was in form 4.

she really encouraged reading and in my posting about books, i did mention that she introduced a lot of authors to me - including richard adams' who i am yet to read. all in good time, mak.

with mak on yong's wedding day - busy lady!

the one about what she likes
mak liked to play computer games. period. her favorite computer game was burger time. another game in her favor was scrabble - man, she could play scrabble even when noone's around to play with her. she just loved words - and so do i. i really miss that.

she liked to cook this plain luffa soup - (ala sup petola ckp orang melayu) which was just luffa, prawn and onions boiled in water. she just loved to eat that lauk.

and man, she loved football. yes, she did. she even had her own 'dream team' with her fav striker and goalie. only yesterday i was chatting with my sister syida about this - and we were debating on which football team she was rooting for in one world cup. she said it was argentina and i claimed it's italy. weh yong, syima, azi - korang boleh verify tak?

us @ mak's fav (syida called it) 'thinking couch' - ngan bau minyak angin mak

the one about our everlasting memories of mak
5 girls and infinite number of memories - all in the name of love for our beloved mak.
"..yong akan miss nak cerita to mak all about haiqal n haqeem...mak kan jaga haiqal dulu.." ~ syimee, puteri sulung

"a'ah la..lupa nak add. mak pun suka gile tgk....HINDI movies!!!! and also FOOTBALL! ingat tak mak paste poster italian footballer masa world cup fever? and we stayed up really really late tgk football ngan mak. and when whose line is on mak akan panggil suh tgk.." ~ syigim, second born

"kalau dengan ma, mak selalu bgtau citer2 hindustan yang best2 n tgk sesama....tgk world cup...kalau time sekolah dulu study mlm2, mak pun stay up jugak..paling tak lupa masa sek rendah dulu masuk lwn congkak...sebab mak yg ajar mcm2 trick....mak sebenarnye yg beria2 suruh masuk...dpt number satu... tp syg dah lupa..." syima, middle child

"mak will wait for me each year from form 4 sampai matrics kuala nerang to watch the lord of the rings together... and syida stayed up late tgk tv dgn mak malam2 tgk sitcom2 and tv dramas like ally mcbeal & west wing" ~ syida, fourth kid

"mak suka tengok cite yg boring tu, the west wing kot (xle kaco kalo tengah tengok) dan suka kumpulan carefree kot. haha dan suka tengok bola, pastu demam bola. tengok cite kuci2 hota hai smpai 5-6 kali.." ~ azi, adik bongsu

"i still remember vividly our last hug b4 me off to london. dat was da last day i saw ur mom. She was a remarkable lady. I have always been one of her favs..u hafta admit dat ok. May Allah grant Mak Cik Jannatul Firdaus, ameen." ~ niraku - my best buddy

with mak on our raya open house

i would like to share a beautiful excerpt i got from this sasteraful blog. i find this blog wonderfully engaging in its bahasa melayu simplicity. i'm not one for poetic malay style of writing but this blogger can really write! reading this particular excerpt never failed to make me shed a tear...

semua ni buat aku terkenang arwah bunda.

siapa yang pernah hilang ayahbunda, mari pegang tangan saya. kita sama2 kuat...siapa yang masih punya mereka, jaga sementara ada. kita tak akan tahu sampai bila sempat kita rasa kulit kering mereka.


tuhan, jagakan mereka.
temukan kami di akhirat sana.

mom, see u in our rendezvous.
by the milky lake, dressed in white and pink,
like u said.

tunggu kami, mak.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Well-Wishes Via Facebook

i love facebook. it is by far the best social network that helps renew ol ties and strengthen current friendships. my friend put went to do her masters in durham uk and suggested that i registered for an account. darn you, put! i'm freakin addicted now!

what follows are well-wishes from friends and families on the birth of our new prince, Kahfi.

put my classmate & good gal pal who just completed her masters in law - guess i have a back-up unit just in case i decided to break the law. kak arin my gal pal back in melbourne days and JUST had a baby girl too and kak lala is yong's classmate in ol convent days. thank you, guys.

yong! i'm waiting the day kahfi can meet husna too!!! the first sharifuddin's grandkids born on the same year. aisha and zaharah aka zaza my batchmates in uia and buddy abby my unimate - we both went to melbourne uni. thank you all!

rini, my cousin (i crash at her place for spaghetti n nasi ayam countless times!), fauziah my junior and coursemate in uia - now staying in dubai too, lovely cik - my mak's youngest sister and fatimah my ol ol friend back in my primary school years who has 2 little girls herself! thank you bunches!

abg mat - yong's husband, jo and mohana - the bestest work buddy anyone can ever have and nurin the only buddy i can hang out with for theaters back in melbourne days. thank you peeps!

syaira aka yaya or kaya or buaya or malaya is my gila cousin, anneeza and syu my dear just10 buddies of mgs days (i'll have a posting soon just for just10, k?) and izwan the charming pilot i knew in melbourne. thank you, man!

suz my wacky bunkmate in uia, kak saniah yong's convent buddy & our neighbourhood friend yang sama2 gi terawih tapi terkekek2 and jessica my classmate in mgs. thank you a bundle!

anis and quilla, friends i got to know while in melbourne and rozy and mardzuani, my mgs pals. thank you girls!

yom, an ol friend from rapat setia, ezza my batchmate in uia, uncle rosli my enigmatic uncle and jennifer, my work buddy who just had a baby girl, caitlyn. thank you everyone!

syida, syima and syimee - 3 of 5 sharifuddin girls. syida, an eccentric question mark of a girl who's doin her masters in deakin uni. syima, a mad scientist working on some microbiology thingy while doin her masters in upm. syimee my yong, a purdue graduate who just got tired of the rat race and currently opted for the slow-paced teaching job at raja perempuan school. azi my youngest sister experienced high fever, vomit episodes and constant visit to the toilet so she had not gone online in recent days. love you guys and miss you so much!

zuraidah aka wai is my best bud niraku's workmate in utp, dora my sweetest s'wakian workmate, mei kuan and thilaga my classmates in mgs and another just10 gal pal, doc safira who is expecting a baby girl soon! thank you ladies!

hani, my flaky just10 buddy and kak we, my bunkmate in uia. thank you, you two!

in his facebook, mr khairul was not short of well-wishes himself.

tina and kay, mr. khairul's younger siblings. thank you!

thank you for all others who called and sent congratulatory notes through sms, e-mails and other means of communication. thanks a bunch for those who left little messages in my blog. also those who sent in flowers! i haven't received any pigeons with messages tied to their feet but so far it has been overwhelming.

thank you all from the bottom of my heart - not just for the messages, but for the very thought that, cliche as it may sound, really really counts.

baby kahfi is doing very well except for the occasional tantrums and plans to escape from being bundled tightly - mr khairul called it 'doing the hulk'.

thank you again. take a bow and pat yourself on the back for making someone happy today.


Back-up Unit From Malaysia

in his facebook, mr khairul wrote his status as "...expectin "back up unit" from Malaysia..ETA 1740pm - DXB airport."

at the time of writing i am waiting for him to pick up my mother-in-law and sis-in-law from the airport. far from home and family, at a time of need and 2 tiny terrorists holding me hostage at home - it's a relief to know that they are coming. my mother-in-law bore 6 kids - mr. khairul is her eldest - so she knows all there is to know about berpantang and such.

actually i'm looking forward to eat her ayam masak merah and homemade kaya...

my mom-in-law wif khaleef; khaleef & his auntie teh and auntie tina

only one of my 3 sis-in-law is accompanying my mom-in-law as she is currently waiting for her spm result. lucky you, teh! mr. khairul suggested that she works in starbucks or the nearby lebanon shawarma place to earn extra money! her name is diyana shireen, nicknamed 'teh'. with thick black specks, she is always pictured as the brainiac of the family. in my opinion she's crazy-funny and i'm sure khaleef would be glued to her for the next 1 month!

at a time like this i must admit i miss abah and my four sisters. i wish they could be here. well, yong is well-occupied with marking exam papers and with the newborn nuna. syima is busy with her master thesis, syida will be going back to melbourne and azi has just started classes in UPM for the new semester.

of course, most of all, i miss my mak. she passed away 31st december, 5 years ago. watch this space in 2days time. a tribute to my mak.

in the meantime, i wish my mom-in-law and teh would wait until my 44 pantang days are over before trying mandy! i want some!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Tale From the Land of Kay : Brotherly Love

once upon a time, in a faraway land where McD is the staple food and not listening to anuar zain was an offence, a young prince was born. he was named Prince Kahfi. he had a brother named Prince Khaleef, the heir to the throne of Kay. Prince Khaleef was spoilt and selfish - and threw his lego parts out the palace window in his spare time. he did not like his new brother one tiny bit.

but then, one winter morning something historical happened when they were left alone in the king's carriage. it was enough that Prince Kahfi had now taken over the entire section of the passenger seat (which used to be the place where Prince Khaleef jumped around and do amature somersault), he had to be content in sitting in front, strapped to a seat-belt! it was the ultimate humliation to be confined as such! that just won't do!

just when Prince Khaleef was contemplating a remedy to his unfortunate situation of not being the baby anymore, he heard a cry. it started soft; a squeeky whine coming from the tiny bundle. Prince Khaleef looked on nonchalantly, unmoved by the sound. secretly he was reciting a spell to turn his brother into a lego set. then it became louder and sharper, in a crescendo.

"cry all you want - see if i care.." Prince Khaleef was too sleepy. he had missed his morning dose of mickey mouse clubhouse and was moody and pissed off. the crying continued and persisted. finally Prince Kahfi opened his mouth loud enough and the loudest scream escaped his lungs.

something in the ultimate scream triggered a small part of Prince Khaleef. he hated to admit it, he was feeling a little sorry - sorry that he did not have any earmuffs to block the annoying sound! he tried to think of ways to shut Prince Kahfi up. it was done purely out of selfishness. he was getting tired of hearing all that racket!

and then he found his old fluffy ball!

"hmm. this is my ball. mine. not yours. belonged to me. i am the owner. but i think it would keep you busy enough to stop making that awful noise." Prince Khaleef stared at his ball and was hesistant a bit to let Prince Kahfi have it.

"wait, i think there's a little bit of dust here. i wouldn't want know...sneeze or anything.." and then he realized what he just said - "..wait, i'm not supposed to care! here! go ahead, take it - i'll tell mom and dad you snatched it from me!"

Prince Khaleef had wanted to share his toy! sharing is one of those things that used to be an alien thing in Prince Khaleef's life, and Prince Kahfi had brought out that trait from him.

Prince Khaleef handed over the ball and still Prince Kahfi cried.


Prince Khaleef was out of ideas! he finally whispered loudly - "fine! you listen here, you little punk. i've figured it out and i'm gonna do something i've never done before. i'll do it this one and final time only! and you have to stop this ruckus ok!" Prince Khaleef looked left and right, making sure no one was watching.

"..and i am warning you, do not - i repeat DO NOT repeat this to anyone. not even mom and dad. this never happened. i never did anything, capisce?"

Prince Kahfi was not listening. he was busy ook eek-ing.

Prince Khaleef looked around one last time - and plant a soft peck on Prince Kahfi's forehead. he kissed his little brother. it was the most endearing thing he had ever done in his life for anyone.

something magical happened. Prince Khaleef felt...strange. but wonderful.

..and Prince Kahfi stopped crying!

"i love you, little brother." Prince Khaleef was slowly falling into a pleasant sleep. "you know i've always loved you.."

yawn! and they slept together, side by side. and so it was in the land of Kay, the two brothers united in love and care on the wonderful day of maal hijrah, living happily ever after.

may this new year brings us closer to friends and families; mending ties and strengthens bonds!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

New Crib in Dubai Marina

spot our new home and our old home

do you know we're moving to a new place? mr khairul got the keys!

no, not shanghai or london. for months, mr khairul spent countless hours browsing, calling real-estate agents, driving in and out - when we finally put our foot down and signed a lease.

we're moving from our ol home in bur dubai to a super-chic, urbanized waterfront living of Dubai Marina. dubai marina, or al-marsa dubai in arabic is a completely man-made *marina set to be the world's largest (hey, it's dubai - kalau tak largest, biggest, tallest - tak sah!) it is even sought out to be the 'new dubai'. it's actually built for 6 billion dollars on the desert sand.

*marina is a fancy dock for small yachts and boats

let's play spot it!
spot our home
spot our mall
spot our path to the beach
spot jumeirah beach residence

Jumeirah Beach Residence
you can see for yourself that this dubai marina area will contain over 200 high-rise buildings including ours! also included is the JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residence) buildings (circled in yellow on my map) which is a stretch of exclusive apartments that directly faces the sea. right adjacent to the building is 'The Walk' - a cool walkway much like our 'bintang walk' - from exclusive restaurants to relaxing cafes and fast food joints - a great place to hang out after or before heading straight to the opposite beach.

a very small part of 'the walk' - depan tu beach

on one side of JBR, there's the beach. on the other side is a generous, landscaped pedestrian walkways which also has numerous restaurants and cafes'. the marina to park yatchs
other than the exclusive Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai Marina (which is nearly 4 kilometers long) has yachting ports parked at the artificial lake. there are also walkways here lining the waterfront. you can cycle, you can jog, you can have a romantic date - i've seen a couple of kids skateboarding along here! (you can see from the video below, i took when we went one fine night before kahfi was born)

so there are so many places for me to take a comfy evening stroll with kahfi in the pram and khaleef on his bike while waiting for mr khairul to come home from work. i can either go to 'The Walk', the pedestrian boardwalk on the other side, or the walkway lining the marina itself.

Our New Apartment
as pointed out in the map, our apartment building is just a step away from the beach! ours means, 'Pearl of the Marina' in english. ours overlooks the boardwalk of the JBR. we can't see any speck of the marina nor the beach from our windows - but try standing on our apartment rooftop (where the pool area is) and enjoy unobstructed views across the marina, the sea and the freakin man-made island, palm jumeirah!

yup - you can clearly see the palm jumeirah and the atlantis from our rooftop. i wish we could see it right in the comfort of our home but this works for me too.

The Dubai Marina Mall
see our neighbourhood mall? just like OU to the peeps in damansara and taman tun, dubai marina mall would be just a stone throw away for us living in dubai marina. it opens just recently - in fact it opened on the 22nd, a day before kahfi's birthday. it's quite a mall - complete with cineplex and children's entertainment area. so if you guys come over, we can head on to marina mall to check out stuff, eh? i hope they've got mcdonalds...

kenduri doa selamat for kahfi
we will officially be moving by new year 2009. insya-Allah, when everything is in place, we will be having a small makan-makan as kenduri kesyukuran at our new place for bestowing us another wonderful gift of life in a form of Kahfi bin Khairul. it also doubles as a house-warming do. hopefully a whole lot can come and help warm up our new crib...

saying goodbye to Bur Dubai
currently our home is a snug, cozy Victoria Residence in Bur Dubai. despite my extreme excitement of moving to a new apartment, i will always remember this place as my first home in dubai. right from when i stepped out of the airport arriving from malaysia; where i unpacked countless of heavy boxes AND unwrapped a couple of furnitures while 7mths pregnant - he wanted to help but i wouldnt let mr khairul to do anything - he'll just wreck my 'system'. (hihi)

bur dubai also used to be a hot-spot for expats but has cooled down over the years. in my opinion it's very family-friendly with its quiet, laid-back surroundings with many established buildings that has been occupied for years.

6 things i'm gonna miss about my ol home:

  1. a minimarket and pharmacy just an elevator away, right downstairs
  2. walking distance to spinneys (much like giant/tesco in malaysia)
  3. very near burjuman mall
  4. 5mins drive to a lot of shawarma/mamak/indian restaurant
  5. near our favorite mandy restaurant, al-tawasol
  6. ..also, khaleef & kahfi's first home in dubai too!

new baby, new house, new neighbourhood, new year - bring it on!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Kahfi at Home

when we first arrived back home from the hospital, i proudly told mr khairul how well-behaved kahfi was at the hospital - hardly any noise, barely temperamental and i even had to wake him up for feeding.

"dia nak kasi can je tu.." replied mr. khairul.

how true.

the one on the first night
for he did not give me ANY chance of sleep on the very first night at home! i barely put him down for few minutes of winks when he squeeked and demanded food again! i put my head down for 5mins and i can hear the ooks and eeks once more. it was a real challenge!

the one on the second day
however, he did cut me some slack on the 2nd night - at least i had a good 2hrs of sleep! yawn! he was a sleepy yawny baby and i got my long-awaited rest!

the one on his baby garb
we did buy a bunch of excessively adorable clothes - including one that reads 'little devil' (you'll see) for kahfi but we're saving that for when he's ready to go out to see the world. for now we're stuck at home (yeah, you and me both kahfi!) so i dress kahfi up with hand-me-downs from khaleef and his cousin haiqal.

when i had khaleef in 2005, i spent the final 2 weeks of my confinement at my eldest sister's house. it was so much fun having a whole huge room all to myself, with yong's boys going up to see (read : disturb) the baby and yong's maid 'makcik' making yummy lauk. yong gave me tons of haiqal and haqeem's ol baby clothes and napkins for khaleef to use.

kahfi menggayakan baju abang haiqal

and now kahfi is using them! here is kahfi happily (and sleepily) modeling one of bro haiqal's ol baby clothes.

thanks yong. i got a whole bag of them!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Kahfi Got His Arabic Birth Cert

mr khairul went out today to settle few pending matters; our new apartment in dubai marina and kahfi's birth certificate.

in UAE, to register the birth of a newborn, mr khairul prepared 3 important documents:

  • original copy of parents' passports
  • copy of *attested marriage certificate
  • discharged letter from hospital of mother & child (in our case, dubai hospital)

the procedure is as thus:

  1. go to a counter in that hospital where your baby is born, which issues arabic birth cert (ask around for directions!)
  2. hand over the documents
  3. receive arabic birth cert immediately
sempoi gile!

mr khairul paid 60dhs for the service and it took about 10 minutes only. make sure the name of your child is spellable in arabic - kahfinye ejaan arabic of course easy pizzy - so the process was smooth.

now that kahfi has got an arabic birth certificate, mr khairul must go to the preventive medicine department at al-baraha hospital - for only in this place they will provide the translated version of the arabic birth cert. (why does this sound like an 'amazing race' episode?)

this would cost us another 50-60dhs.

mr khairul did go at 2pm but it was already closed. better go in the morning!

according to the dubai gov portal website, the english birth cert must then be taken to the ministry of health counter at the same hosp to get it *attested.

finally, mr khairul should be checking with our malaysia consulate to confirm citizenship and to apply a passport for kahfi!

all of these stuff must be done within 30 days after birth.

* to make sure it is genuine

oh, by the by - according to this birth certificate, my name is 'sizrin sihim sharifuddin'. peachy.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sunway Hosp then - Dubai Hosp now

perkarangan dubai hospital

Khaleef was a sunway hosp boy, while we went milions of miles further and had Kahfi in Dubai Hospital.

now that i have personally experienced giving birth at a foreign hospital, i can safely say that it was a good one. before we even came to dubai, there were few sok-sek about giving birth in here - some are positive, some negative. most people adviced us to just have the baby in malaysia - just in case.

well, we're risk-takers, aren't we?

i was taken care of very well by everyone that i met in the hospital. from nurses to doctors, guards and cleaning lady - everyone was warm and friendly, ready to lend a hand.

the service was top-notch, so were the facilities. the doc did take some time for my injection but i understand it was more of a hectic-day thing plus my impatience coz of the pain - and not lack of professionalism. i can easily overlook that over everything else that was pleasant in the hospital.

there was one doc who actually refered to me as 'ya habibi' when she asked me questions. it was just lovely.

basically the procedure for me when i came in was as such:

  1. straight to emergency ward since i was already experiencing abdominal pain
  2. was 'interviewed' by nurse at obgyn clinic - what time pain starts, bla bla bla while mr khairul registered me n paid (forgot how much)
  3. lie down - doc ran ultrasound tests to check up on baby
  4. checked how many cm opening
  5. strapped to the heart-beat observation thingy
  6. when pain worsens, i was admitted, brought to labor room on 2nd floor
  7. put in 'waiting' room (single bed) where i wait til i was ready to deliver and take to labor room
  8. wait wait wait - then cannot wait anymore! baby is coming!
  9. nurse delivered Kahfi there n then at the waiting room (complete facilities for delivery)
  10. nurse showed me kahfi, cleaned him up for mr khairul to azan
  11. brought to private room
  12. time to rest...

i opted for the private room which was snug and comfy - enough for us. the door itself showed how much privacy we would be enjoying - a curtain with decent spacing separates the corridor and the door to my room - it blocked the noise from outside; or rather blocked the *noise from INSIDE my room from outside!

* khaleef actually played ball in the room, we watched DVDs and switched on the tv - and when mr khairul was on the phone - a guy in a coma on the 5th floor could hear him.

the food was just delicious - they gave me briyani with ayam merah for lunch, it was cornflakes and croissant for breakfast and grilled burgers and fries for dinner! beat that! drinks? every meal accompanied by a bottle of mineral water, fresh milk, orange/mango juice and hot tea. yeap, all four served. take your pick.

i take this opportunity to thank a very special person, one of the senior nurses of dubai hospital emergency unit - Ms Beena. she was introduced to us by mr khairul's staff Radha - and from then on became a great big help whenever matters of hospital and my check-ups are concerned. she made sure everything went smoothly everytime i went for check-ups till the very day i delivered Kahfi. her gentle care and concern really make me feel everything is going to be fine.

thank you, Beena!

proud mom & bro right after being discharged

Big Bro Khaleef meets Little Kahfi

Khaleef welcomes a brother into the world at precisely 01.44am dubai time on the 23rd of december 2008 in dubai hospital. The cutest thing was he pointed at my tummy and asked, " where?"

* months before Kahfi came, we prepared Khaleef by just pointing to my buldging tummy and asked, "who's this?" Khaleef would answer, " baby" then i would point to him, and ask the same question, and he would proudly say, " abang!"

and then they met.

mr khairul took Kahfi and put him in my arms. Khaleef looked curiously. amazed-curiously. Kahfi immediately opened his eyes and made eek-ook sounds, while Khaleef looked on.

"diorang tgh communicate tu.." mr khairul said. it was the cutest moment in a life of a mom and dad.

Khaleef proceeded to observe Kahfi for a second before saying, "hello baby.." and then the excitement grew. he approached closer and was very amused with Kahfi's features that he decided to name the parts - "ni babynye nose. ni babynye mouth.." and then Khaleef poked Kahfi's closed eyelid! "ni, ni babynye eyes.." hey! both of us freaked out and cautioned him to be 'gentle' with Kahfi.

"kalo dah 3 tahun nanti bole la ko terajang dia.." mr khairul and his 'brotherly-love' talk.

Khaleef continued to 'experiment' with Kahfi - touching his fingers, his forehead - gently now - and then plant a kiss on Kahfi's forehead. Khaleef's smile when he did that tells all - he's gonna be a wonderful brother. abusive, of course. bullying, definitely, cari gaduh and berebut toys, sudah semestinya - but wonderful.


now i have two boys!

Khaleef Khairul and Kahfi Khairul - play nice and be good boys, ok!

The New Gang Member in the Kay Klan

ladies and gentlemen, friends and family; meet Kahfi Khairul, born 3.3kg on a crisp, cool dubai morning of 23rd december 2008 at 1.44am.

the day before was quite hectic. i was going in and out of the car about 8-10 times, looking at apartments around dubai marina as we were looking for a bigger place now that the baby is coming.

*for those not in the know - we've finally signed a lease to rent 'pearl of marina' apartment which overlooks the palm jumeirah and just walking distance to the beach across jumeirah beach residence and the walk.

the place is just fantastic. nways, i'm saving that for another day.

the one where the pain started
in the morning after i felt the first pang of contraction pain. called yong to confirm. after a lengthy description of possible contraction pains and a re-telling of her past labours (yong has 2 sons and a newborn daughter), i was convinced this could be IT.

the one where we first arrived
went to dubai hospital as soon as mr khairul got off work. upon arrival i was admitted to the emergency gyne ward and was told my opening was 3cm - which meant quite a long way to go still. they strapped me to the baby-heartbeat-checker thingy and told me if the contraction pain worsens, they would admit me - otherwise i could go home. it was already 8pm.

yeah, right! it was freakin throbbing every single vein in my tummy and i ain't goin nowhere!

the one where i waited
and so i was admitted, and from that emergency check-up room i was taken to maternity ward and was put in a 'waiting' room - when i'm 'ready' they would take me to the 'labour' room - all changed into hosp garb and the baby-heartbeat thingy strapped around my tummy again.

the pain worsens.

what was worse than the pain was that mr khairul had to wait with khaleef outside of the labor room. obviously kids are not allowed inside. thankfully there was a kind ol gramma nurse (who can't even speak proper english) urged mr khairul to go in for awhile to check me out and let khaleef be with her.

so for that few minutes i had an emotional, physical support - holding hands and squeezing his as the pain heightened. when he left, the pain became hell. and where the heck is the doc with my pain-relief injection! the nurse gave me the gas in the meantime - and i got all high...

just my luck that there was a clock right in front of me. my eyes afixed to the second hand - watching every inch as the pain came and went. hour after hour. after 12 midnight, i knew he would be born on the 23rd instead of 22nd.

mr khairul came in again and made silly jokes about the gas. i can't remember the details as i was dead stoned - but it was so comforting. he left again.

the one where Kahfi came out
this time the pain was excruciating. unbearable. inexplicable. well, excruciating, yes. now i can feel Kahfi pushing out - as the contraction pain heightened to the max. i had to buzz the nurse and when she checked me it was like code red - "prepare for delivery!!" and she continued to guide me through the delivery - all the pushing and breathing and pushing and slowing down and deep-breathing again...

it was so on-the-dot-on-a-hectic-day that no doc was available as they were attending to other patients! so - guess what - this sweet-natured nurse named sis Vasalma helped delivered the baby. she had been in service at dubai hospital for 25 years, as old as the hospital itself. in fact, when mr khairul interviewed her, she said she was there on the very opening day of dubai hospital. so, kahfi and i were in good hands!

back to my labor - i can FEEL everything! the lump of head trying to peek out, got stuck as i grew tired of pushing, then the pushing, the shoulder, pathway opening, stretching, body writhing in pain, pain, terrible pain..! and then.......i can feel an extreme sense of relief and surge of exhaustion as the last part of Kahfi left my womb.

..and i heard what was, arguably, one of the best sounds in the world - the first cry of a newborn member of the world. the first act of recognition to various stimuli around a new surroundings.

he was perfect.

i was dead tired and groggy but managed to whisper "call my my husband.." the nurse passed me the icky, gooey Kahfi and i said my first 'hello'. when he was finally cleaned up i gave him a good look - "you look just like your brother.."

mr khairul came, did a little 'dance of joy' and recite the azan upon Kahfi's teeny tiny ear.

khaleef? khaleef was asleep, poor thing. it was already nearly 2am. he didnt meet his little brother. mr khairul went with me to check out the room i was going to be in for the night, and left to get some rest. he had not even taken his dinner.

i love you bunches, honey!

tomorrow will be a brand new day.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Theater Termites

my beloved theater booklet - infos on the peeps on stage & behind the curtain

this is my second installation of my list of collection.

1> tissues (have you read about it? well, go ahead then!)
2> theater tickets & booklet

i love the stage. i love theater. i love plays. i love everything about it. ergo, i collect every single theater ticket stub i've gotten - and the theater booklet as well.

..and like all of my collection, each tells a story...

theater ticket stubs

1> St. Michael's 'The Sound of Music' first - it was a day where a group of progesterone-high giggly girls went to an all-boys school. you get the picture. i was in form 5 and it was the cheapest stage-play i've been to - being a school production. i've always into school production as i LOVE to be involved in one, and imagine their blood-sweat-and tears of running their own school play. i had the best time with keet mei, kit yee, keat li, eric, irda, put - this was my *nasi tomato* gang. (nasi tomato in our school canteen that time was *expensive* and only served on rare days - it was a real *occasion* for all of us to be sitting down eatin a plate of nasi tomato)

2> the instant cafe theater staging shakespeare's 'twelfth night' watched this with yong and her then-boyfriend-now-hubby abg mat. in fact he was in my favor that time because he was the one who helped bought the tickets. biase la, bodek bakal adik ipar...the wonderful part of this theater experience is not just watching my first professionally-staged shakespeare play, more so as it was staged 'out in the open' (at night under the stars!) in
no less than carcosa sri negara!

3> siti zubaidah @ istana budaya the first malay play and the first play i watched in istana budaya. and well hey, believe it or not - yong, my bro-in-law and i wore full-fledged traditional garb - thai songket and top, and abg mat in baju melayu. haha. people thought we were under special invites! nways i remember a super-gorgeous tiara jacq and a rather stiff-acting halim othman.

all the world's a stage; and these are the three shakespeare play i've seen

4> royal shakespeare's company staging shakespeare's 'the merchant of venice' this was a big freakin deal since it's staged by the highly mighty acclaimed royal shakespeare company. if you're a shakespeare geek, it can't get ANY better than this. they don't even need fancy props - all they had was a couch and a couple of screeens for actors to go in and out - when you're good, you're good.

5> bell shakespeare staging shakespeare's 'twelfth night'
a biggie play that i caught when doing my masters in melbourne. saw it at the arts centre - much like our istana budaya. this one was a bit off for me as it modernized shakespeare. and it had a bit with an aging dude showin off his butt. yikes.

irda, put & me

6> countless of other unforgettable plays wif my loyal theater gal pals, put & irda like 'the importance of being earnest' with an ALL-MALE cast! hillarious! gavin yap in cutesy braid! also 'the three trials of oscar wilde' staged in the *range club where irda started her crush on rashid salleh..

klasik kontemporari or klasik mak yong?

7> konsert klasik for anniversary & my first mak yong show
i actually did go for an instrumental *gig* at syuen hotel, ipoh when i was still schooling. i remember going with erika. but it was a small performance. during my anniversary, mr khairul treated me with a classy night of orchestral magic. it was OK but not my cup of tea...

mak yong was a completely exhilarating experience - the kelantan accent was enough to *amaze*. but at least i can tell people that i've seen one...

cintailah pentas bahasa ibunda kita!

8> plays in bahasa melayu : usman awang's 'uda & dara' & the long-winded extravaganza, 'merdeka! merdeka! merdeka!'
adlin aman ramlie is brilliant in this piece as utih. honestly i didnt know who he was when i watched him do his thang. it was staged in a simple setting - actors merely wore black and white.
the 'merdeka!' play was awesome for the sets. it's really a walk down memory lane (macam la penah actually 'walk' down that era!)

i used to browse for updates. sigh. miss those theater shows and girls night out, put! irda!

here in dubai i have yet to experience any cultural aspect of it in terms of stage performance. the theater spot here is at the top floor or mall of emirates - the Dubai Community Theater & Arts Centre. you can visit for more information.

check out these postings too!

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