Monday, May 31, 2010

We are Under Construction

we interrupt your daily dosage of syigim's weird piece of mind to bring you this breaking news :

HoW dO i SPeLL ThE WoRd
under construction

so pardon the haphazardly placed pictures and widgets on the sidebar. oh, also - i should tell you that this blog will suspend its postings for one month.

just kidding!

brought to you by syigim's youngest sister, azi.

Missing Kid : Then & Now

i didn't see the 'cerekarama 21 hari' but from what i read, it's about a missing kid. with what's happening in our society these days, it's our worst fear as parents, without a doubt.

kak arin wrote about the importance of keeping physical and eye contact with our kid because just a second off might be too late. read her posting here. like her, i too 'dump' khaleef and kahfi in the shopping trolley while buying grocery. now it's even more mandatory with kazim added to our family.

meanwhile, another friend yus saw the cerekarama with her daughter. interesting enough, though the little girl was worried throughout the tele-movie, but i think in a way it's good that she watched it with her mommy because yus was able to explain, while reminding her daughter what might happen if she strays from her parents. read her posting here.

the comic above might be intended for humor, but there's nothing funny about a kid gone missing. with kak arin and yus's posts, i can't help but going back in time when life was much simpler. and safer.

when i was 5, staying in ttdi, i was often left home alone after kindy - yong schooling, mak and abah working. no worries - my makcho's (abah's eldest sis) house was behind ours. after kindergarten, i will change my clothes at home, then walked to my makcho's house. alone. 5 years old.
leave a 5 yr old kid at home like that for at least 3 straight days, chances are some sick person is gonna 'mark' that kid and make their move.

* * *

still in lower primary school, now in ipoh, i would often walk alone to an apek's house (he made his house into a small grocery shop) to buy chocolates or snacks.
walk alone to ANYWHERE, and that kid is making him/herself an easy, open target.

* * *

upper primary, to go to a newly opened supermarket near my house, i would have to pass by a field of tall lalang as high as myself! now the field had been cleared and shophouses were built.
anyone could've hidden among those tall grass. the kid is as good as gone.

* * *

as kids abah would make it a point to take us to the public library on weekends. abah and mak would just let us walk around the public library looking for books we like.
kids. alone. distracted by books. anything could've happened. even in a library.

* * *

remember when we're younger, everytime the school organized a walkathon, or jogathon, we students can go around the neigbourhood knocking on strangers' doors asking for donation? well, i did that with my neighbour ani. just the two of us. walkin around. 2 girls. barely 13.
ANYTHING can happen. abducted by car while walking. dragged into a house their knocking on. it's good that just a year after, a new policy was enforced - kids cannot go around by themselves to get donations.

* * *

with the same neighbour, we would often wake up really early and jog around a pretty quiet neighbourhood even before the sun is up. to top our session, we had a fun time at the playground. (pagi buta takde orang tak la malu sangat nak main swing ngan see-saw hahahahaha)
are you kidding? it's dark. noone's around. open playground. 2 girls. distracted with playing. we can see where this is going.

* * *

when in secondary school, i had to walk quite a mile to get to a bus-stop to go to school, or ipoh town.
again. easy target.

* * *

we do live in a different 'time' and 'place', our kids and us. nowadays, we can NEVER leave our kid out of our sight, even for a moment - and yes, not just when in a crowded mall - but even while playing in our very own front yard.

there are bad, bad people out there, and they need to know that. do not underestimate our kids' understanding of the world. explain slowly, patiently, in a way they can relate to. what to do, what not to do.

their world in which they're growing up now might be more dangerous than what we've experienced as a child, but trust that they're also much smarter - may Allah protect our children!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mr. Khairul in Tripoli, Libya

it's travel-time with mr. khairul yet again!

remember he bought our anniversary present in libya? so there he was, flying 6 hours from dubai to tripoli, the capital of libya. woah, libya? ape ade kat libya?

* * *

this building, the dath el emad towers are used for commercial purposes has a somewhat precarious design! just look at the bottom of the tall building - it narrows downwards, like an upside down water bottle, according to mr. khairul.

tak terbalik ke bangunan tu?

* * *

tripoli, libya is - believe it or not - just an hour or so from italy. an HOUR! that's like driving from ipoh to taiping! i've already warned mr. khairul not to go to italy without me. hihi.

anyways, since it's very close to italy, the food has the italian influence all around. pizza parlour can be found here, there and everywhere. macam kedai mamak kat msia kot. merata ade.

this particular one served its pizza on a legged wooden board, which they put on top of another if you order more than one. save space, eh?


mr. khairul said their pizza may be the unknown 'branch' but it tastes as good, if not better than domino's or pizza hut!

* * *

ulp! when i first saw this picture, i was like, "kubur ke?" and it's actually a house! there's a stairway from above, leading down towards the opening in the ground.

agak scary pulak kan?

it's supposed to be a traditional libyan house, set especially for tourists. there is one long narrow room inside, displaying pinggan mangkuk and furnitures as well as the setting of an old libyan house.

mr. khairul said it's really cool once you get inside the 'house' eventhough the weather was very hot! natural air-conditioned!

* * *

ikan bakar libya? yes, there is!

looking at this picture, i asked mr. khairul - "ape you buat kat pasar?"

but it's really a seafood restaurant just like in malaysia - mr. khairul picked a fish fresh from the display, the libyan dude cut 'em up and grilled it there and then.

the grilled fish is served with creamy, spicy seafood soup and bread. mr. khairul ordered rice to along with the fish but it did not taste good. period. it was too bland, with all the wrong spices.

the grilled fish, however, was excellent, he said.

* * *

mr. khairul said this is as far as shopping mall goes for them. no 'libya mall', 'mall of tripoli' or such! this is IT.

erk. macam pasar bulat ipoh je. or kompleks yik foong. so malaysians, be thankful for our one utama, pavillion, mega mall and suria klcc!

* * *

now this is pretty interesting. air kacang. literally.

mr. khairul described it as tea plus a nutty entity that tasted like kacang rebus, with mint. owh. ingatkan air bawang putih ke ape tadi! and mr. khairul thought the same thing when he first saw this funny drink.

he said the tea was super-pekat, like a tea-bag that's been sitting in a cup for too long. nevertheless it was sweet and actually rather delicious!

* * *

i was looking at these pictures and thought they looked suspiciously like malay dishes. memang pun!

mr. khairul met up with a fellow mckk old boy who's working in tripoli. he invited him for dinner at his home, which explains all the malay lauk i saw.

and it's not just one old boy, but two of them! so abah, if you go to libya, ade mckk boys sana ok. ish, merata-rata diorang ni!

mr. khairul said that he was told it was very rare to have malaysian visitors to libya - so, his presence was really a big hoopla! hihi.

furthermore, unlike in dubai (yang ramai malaysians), over there in tripoli there is only a small group of them. and unlike dubai, there's absolutely no entertainment - no cinema, no big malls, no hoo-ha.

so again - the fact that mr. khairul came was really appreciated by the malaysians in libya!

* * *

where to, next mr. khairul?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Khaleef Photographing a Lamborghini

like me, my eldest son khaleef love to have his picture taken, and love to take pictures. when he gets hold of either my yellow olympus or his bapak's canon, he'll snap away - anything from what's on tv, the pillow or the insides of his mouth.

click here to see some of his earlier works!

on our way to a makan place or the mall, he'll be holding on to the camera - ready to snap at anything interesting - under bapak's strict supervision.

mr. khairul wants khaleef to have a focus - an actual object before taking any shots. so for example when khaleef spots a nice flower bed, he'll ask his son to wait, and gives the cue to snap when the car stops at a traffic light junction.

khaleef in action

flowers, birds and buildings - yes. but khaleef's favorite shot while on the road are fast cars. in dubai, it's easy to spot a ferrari and its adik beradik on the road.

when we went out the other day, khaleef spotted an orange car, and it was a lamborghini. like ferrari, it's one of those sleek type of cars that has become symbols of wealth.

the lamborghini story is interesting because this italian guy - ferruccio lamborghini is already rich from his tractor business, and owns a lot of expensive cars from ferrari to maserati. since he has this passion for fast cars, he decided to come up with his own!

while ferrari's emblem has the horse, lamborghini chose the fighting bull on his emblem. personally, i prefer ferrari - a yellow one!

"bapak, hurry up!" as the lamborghini sped between traffic. and when the timing and distance were right - snap! snap!

* * *

dubai is a hot zone now. 51 degree when we went out, which turned 52 soon after - and it's still may! bahang! around june last year, it did go up to 53 - click here for evidence!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Tag : Get to Know Your Blog

i love being tagged. answering tag questions is no doubt, one of the easiest ways to write a blogpost - you don't have to crack your head for a topic to write about, you're just answering questions and you have fun coming up with answers!

some people might find it quite taxing, answering all those intrusive questions - but i enjoy every minute of it!

thanks aisha for the tag!

ok, first put this up before you answer the questions.

1. Where are you?
dubai. oh, you mean, where i am exactly? on my bed.

2. What do you do?
i've been a lecturer, a mag editor, and a mentor at a kids' development center. now i'm trying to stay sane as a fulltime home-maker to my husband and 3 boys.

3. What is your blog name and why?
it's 'how do i spell the word' because i'm a language major and i love to write, so that phrase just came out.

4. When did you start blogging?
circa october 2008, i quit my job, moved to dubai, and i was pregnant with my 2nd boy - so new place, new baby, new life - what better time to blog all about it!

5. Give the link when you were the happiest to blog?
i'm generally a happy person with the occasional bout of raging temper that drove me to the brink of insanity (what with living together with four boys!) - so about 90% of my blog content is hoppity happy - especially when i go makan, write about my honey, my kids and my sisters.

owh, ok. nak sangat baca posting gembira - i guess it's when i had kahfi and kazim!

6. Give the link when you were the saddest to blog?
you would think it's all the posts about my mak, right? but surprisingly not. contrary to what you might believe, i LOVE writing about my mak. there were tears, no doubt, but i wasn't sad when i blog about her. i was keeping her memory alive!

so i guess the saddest i've been when i blog was about the last day before azi and syida left dubai after spending a fun one month here. sob! sob!

7. Give the link when you were the angriest to blog?
i seldom write angry posts. i had a most terrible experience on the emirates airline on the way back kl-dubai last year, but i didn't even write about that. malas nak bising-bising dalam blog.

and also, i DON'T write about the current political situation. however, during the perebutan kuasa in perak, i was angry. i wasn't really taking sides, but i was angry at the whole thing. especially since it involved my beloved state, where i was born and raised.

so wanna read an angry me, read my posts on the perak drama here and here. you have been warned.

8. Give the link when you were most in love?
like aisha, it's obviously all posts under the tag 'love' - duuh! - but this one takes the cake. a little romantic note written in japanese that sealed the deal - i was his forever!

do NOT click here if you're this close to throwing up! haha.

9. Give the link of a post that turns out to be very meaningful to you?
on the eve of the new year of 2004, i lost my best friend, my good listener, my walking dictionary - my mak. this post is my small dedication to this wonderful person who played a huge part in my life. i miss her everyday.

truly it's the most meaningful post of all. click here to read.

10. Tag some friends to know about their answer?
kak arin, fida, fairus, ica, anneeza & hidayah - time to korek-korek the old posts! i wanna know!

* * *

i'm a total blog-addict, especially to mine. and yes, i do browse through my old posts, just to reminisce, and to just - read. so this tag gives me a reason to do that again! hope it does the same for you!

and since i was already rumaging through old posts, here's one of my many favorites of all time since the first day i blogged - click here for khaleef and kahfi's trip to a kampung barber - with black and white photographs, and old skool malay writing. enjoy.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chicken Rice Syigim : 1st Try!

sure, i can cook. nasi putih. basic lauk. simple sayur. pasta. maybe one or two cakes. burnt some muffins once.

but i can't make rendang, pulut kuning, sayur lala or gulai sembilang salai like fairus. you gimme ketam and i wouldn't know what to do with it. gimme daging and i couldn't tell when it's done. some people know up to 10 different lauk using santan. i probably know only one.

so when i say i tried to make nasi ayam for the first time, it is a big deal.

* * *

i wanted to do this for our anniversary. a suprise. mr. khairul went to work that sunday morning, and off i went on an adventure which involved a dell notebook, an actual notebook and multiple windows opened - mostly with the words 'nasi', 'ayam', 'resepi' and 'senang'. hihi.

i googled, and i googled hard. i looked for the simplest way to make chicken rice, using the least complicated ingredients. and this was what i came up with. the end result was satisfactory!

* * *

ok judge me all you want but i was very proud of myself! making nasi ayam for the first time and it tastes pretty okay!

the rice was the usual soft and sweet-smelling but had less chicken-taste lah. can anyone help - give tips or tell me what i might have done wrong, and what you usually do differently?

the chicken was finger-lickin-fantabulous - marinate with oyster sauce, kicap tamin, garlic and honey - but i wish it had been double-fantabulously juicy like fairus's chicken. ayam dia juicy gile!

i can't get over how wonderful these dips turned out! the chilli sauce sweet and spicy, while the garlic soy sauce emits a most tantalizing smell, especially when poured over the freshly fried marinated chicken.

khaleef checkin out the chicken in the kitchen (try saying that twice as fast!)

* * *

okay, when all was done, it all boiled down to what this one man says. after all i was cooking for his tummy!

yay! nanti bole masak lagi!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mak's Little Soldiers

colonel khaleef, captain kahfi & cadet kazim

mak's little soldiers
by syigim

soldiers should wear green
and must look really mean
we fight, we kick, we punch
and eat bad guys for lunch!

colonel khaleef heads the boys
in puting back the books and toys
captain kahfi makes a mess
spilling water and his food no less!

cadet kazim follows order
making sure things are proper
after that he sleeps all day
and then wakes up only to play!

we may look very small
it's no problem at all
there are the three of us
warn those who makes a fuss

so those bad guys out there
be very scared, beware
do not disturb our mak
and even our bapak!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesdays With Khaleef

my first born, khaleef is getting cheekier by the minute! conversations with him is far from boring, and always amusing!

belum masuk skolah lagi. once he starts schooling this september, i bet he'll be picking a million more smart-ass questions and answers!

my cheeky abang long

khaleef on the birds and the bees
there's a time in your life as parents, that you have to tell your kids about where babies come from. i never knew it'd be this soon for me! hihi.

khaleef : mak, who put kazim in your tummy? (surprised to hear his question. long silence). who, mak? mak, or bapak? or bapak? or mak? which one?

me : ha....yes....bapak...bapak... (hoping it ends there).

(khaleef stared at kazim again, and popped another question that sounded more like a concerned worry).

khaleef : but whyyyyyyy? why bapak put kazim in your tummy?

how to answer?! i just hope that 'who' and 'why' don't eventually go to 'how'!

* * *

khaleef on crime solving
we were watching CSI together.

khaleef : mak, what is CSI doing?

me : they catch bad guys.

khaleef : but how? the bad guy is gone! oh, i know! we look at the darah!

me : why?

khaleef : we look at the darah, then we follow follow follow the darah.

they've got CSI vegas, CSI miami and CSI new york. how about crime scene investigation, dubai, eh?

* * *

khaleef on sharing
we bought half a dozen krispy kreme. as usual we bought 3 types - two for me, two for mr. khairul, and another two for khaleef. and it's always the same - chocolate for me, custard-filled one for mr. khairul and colorful sprinkles for khaleef.

when we came home, there were only 4 left. at the mall and in the car, khaleef already ate his share. at home, he tried to get us to give him OUR doughnuts.

khaleef : (opening the doughnut box) this one and this one for mak. and this one and this one for bapak.

me : but you cannot eat, khaleef. yours is finished already.

khaleef : (paused for quite some time, staring at the irresistable doughnuts) ok, how about mak share with me, and bapak share with me?

...and straight away he put my chocolate doughnut in his mouth, without waiting for an answer. hmmph!

* * *

khaleef on imitation as a form of flattery
khaleef was playing with a toy gun. he 'took a shot' and immediately blew on the muzzle, macam dalam citer koboi tu!

me : khaleef, why did you do that? why did you blow here? (i did the action with my finger)

khaleef : because the uncle also do this. (and he did it again)

me : (uncle mane pulak ni) uncle? which uncle?

khaleef : the uncle in the story. in the movie.

la! ingatkan uncle koboi mane la yang ajar dia!

* * *

khaleef on table manners
i always pokpek when khaleef do two things at once; for example play toys while the tv is on but nobody's watching. or toys all over the place or surrounding him but he's reading his books. i will always ask him 'which one do you want to do? if you want to read books, then keep your toys."

one day, i was eating fried meehoon WHILE reading a book at the dining table. khaleef approached, with a little frown.

khaleef : mak, which one? (nada lain macammm je)

me : which one what?

khaleef : which one do you want to do? you want to read book or you want to eat? which one? you must do one only! (alamak! sebijik-bijik macam aku selalu bising kat dia!)

me : (saje nak usik dia lagi) but whyyyyy, khaleef? why cannot read and eat?

khaleef : becauuuuuse....then mak tumpah and the book will be dirty!

me : okay, how about if i put the book far, far away?

khaleef : owh ok. be careful, mak.

i got a taste of my own medicine - and it's bittersweet!

* * *

khaleef on logical thinking
currently, my facebook profile picture is the supermom cartoon. khaleef likes it very much. the funny thing was, i thought of names like supermom, of course, wondermom and even ultramom - but only khaleef can think of the best name for me -

khaleef : wow! mak, you are captainmak!

me : no, i'm supermommy!

khaleef : no, you cannot! you cannot be supermommy!

me : why?

khaleef : because you cannot fly!

i guess he associated 'super' with 'superman' and the ability to fly. and his mak can't!

logik, pe

* * *

khaleef on patriotism
mr. khairul has a lapel pin of the jalur gemilang. he must always wear the malaysia flag lapel pin on the collar of his coat especially when he travels abroad. proud to be malaysian!

when not in use, he will put the pin up on the book shelf. now what did khaleef do when he saw the pin?

khaleef : mak! mak! bapak! look at me!

(when we finally looked at him)

khaleef : tada! (he smiled and gave a very enthusiastic SALUTE towards the malaysia flag lapel pin that's on the cupboard!)

i was very surprised! wonder where did he pick that up!

* * *

we spend the first 12 months of our children's life teaching them to walk and talk. then we spend the rest of their lives telling them to sit down and keep quiet!
~ an american comedian

sigh. these are priceless moments!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

World of Water @ Aquaplay, Mirdiff City Center

last weekend we braved ourselves for a great adventure - FIRST DAY OUT at a mall with all our three boys. did we manage?

well, we're still alive, for one! hihi.

the mall interior

we went to dubai's latest mall, the mirdiff city center - a big, fancy mall kind off like the mall of emirates. the most interesting thing about the mall is probably its claim that it has diaper-changing room even in the men's toilet! coolness.

now dads have no excuse not to be doing it!

it also has the first branch of 'pottery barn' in the middle east! (thanks fairus for reminding me!) it's a popular brand of home furnishing from the usa, and i heard it first in 'friends' - now i can see what's all the fuss about, or why phoebe hates pottery barn!

we headed on to the foodcourt and had chinese food. as usual, foodcourts in dubai would be adorned with fake palm trees in an outdoor-feel environment.

the foodcourt

kazim was asleep the whole time while we were eating. so no unwanted incidents there hihi.

after we're done eating, we bought krispy kreme after constant pestering by mr. doughnut-freak khaleef. yes, without adult supervision, he can eat 4 doughnuts in one seating!

before starting our jalan-jalan, we stopped by the movie cinestar just to get some caramel popcorn. big, huge one for us, and a small box for khaleef.

wish we could actually go watch a movie. 'clash of the titans' was playing. ouchy!

* * *

then we headed on to 'aquaplay'. a place where i wanted to go ever since i read about this mall's new opening. even before kazim was born.

it's an indoor waterpark, the first of its kind in the middle east - and you don't need swimsuits, you don't need sunblocks and you don't exactly need to get wet.

it's a water-based theme park with rides, a space where kids can learn the mechanism of the water in the rides, and a play-area which is also water-based.

as you can see it has the usual mid-east touch as its interior - palm trees all around! complete with mock beach houses, and white seagulls.

inside aquaplay

each game will cost you from 10aed to 30aed. you need to get a card, and simply swipe it at the particular station you're interested in joining or activities you wanna do.

currently they're running a promotion - buy 'credit' worth 100aed, and get 40aed bonus added into your card. however, the catch was, you need to use this within a month.

we got that one for the boys, and figured we're definitely coming again within this month.

the one i've been eye-ing was this kayak-like boat ride that goes around the aquaplay area through narrow corners and even a small 'ridge' that the kids love the most. the kayak goes slowly up - and then down with a splash!

it looks completely safe, and the kayak moved over knee-high water.

lining up for kayak ride

after a reasonably long queue, the boys finally get their own 'kayak'. mr. khairul helped them into it, and expressedly reminded khaleef to hold on to his younger brother.

he happily obliged.

the boys we ecstatic. frowns of concerns and curiosity at first, but turned into giggly laughter as soon as the kayak moved!

happy happy happy!


as expected, they both enjoyed the part with the ridge - the kayak went up and down with a hard splash that sent kahfi laughing loudly!

* * *

we tried the bumper boats next!

don't judge me - but i have NEVER even been on a bumper car before. really. i have an unexplained fear for bumper cars. the concept just creeps me up. bump cars. stir your way into another stranger's car just to 'hit' them!

if they feel that x-box games like 'grand theft auto' might have bad influence of kids because it's a game about stealing cars, then why hasn't anyone question the influence that bumper cars have on potential road rage-rs? haha.

anyways, since khaleef badly want to, and kesian kahfi if we don't let him join in too - so i had to 'sacrifice' and overlook my 'fear' by going into the bumper boat with him.

adoi! bole terbalik ke boat ni?

but this too, looked positively safe - it doesn't feel like it would topple easily, and the water level was also - just knee-high.

i was impressed at how khaleef handled his boat, with such ease! i spent the entire period trying to chase after khaleef and 'bump' into his boat, as i really don't feel comfortable at 'bumping' on other people!

kahfi gelak je the entire time!

nak join abang!

kazim? kazim so sedih because he wanted to go on the bumper boat too! waaaa! hihi.

the aquaplay area was smaller than i expected, since i read somewhere that a portion of aquaplay was actually currently closed for maintainance. i hope it re-opens by the time we go there for a second experience.

and yes, i think i'd go on the bumper boat again!

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