December 18, 2008

Cycling Tip

I haven't been cycling much lately concentrating on jogging.. wished I could cycle more , I actually prefer cycling to running so I decided to cycle last Saturday. It is a bit boring cycling on my own (I really need to enrol in a squad thingy sometime) so I asked dd to accompany me. We went on the bikeway and to the nearest petrol station for some drinks/snacks. On the bikeway, she had to stop at a gum tree to collect exo-skeletons of bugs again. One of her favourite past time with her brother. There were heaps to collect.
Then, we up the rather steep hill. I used to walk up this hill with my bike and now... people ... I can actually cycle up the hill .. no sweat... Just don't ask me to stand on the pedals whilst doing it..
I would have gone further around the bikeway but my bike's front tyre was making a peculiar sound all the way.. prob lacking air. I noticed this at the first road junction out and wanted to go back home to pump them but dd was a bit enthusiastic to move on.
Cycling tip no1# Always.. always pump your bike tyres according to the required air pressure BEFORE you go out cycling.

December 01, 2008

Thing 1 & Thing 2

"Go downstairs and play there. You know papa rented this house so you guys can play in the (spacious) rumpus room and the backyard".

Thing 1 & Thing 2 continue playing and messing up in the living room....

"Stay upstairs and don't come down while I am on the treadmill."

Thing 1 & Thing 2 immediately come down when they hear someone on the treadmill. They play noisily and even ask mom on the treadmill to help open wrappers and tinned food (which she does grudgingly while jogging).

"Wait until I pray Solah Asar first, then you can go into the pool ."

Thing 1 immediately goes down and opens the child lock gate by standing on a chair, and lets Thing 2 in with him.

Mom has to put off solah for almost an hour to watch them frolicking in pool safely. (At least Thing 1 asked permission first to go in there after frequent pet talk. Mental note: Must padlock the child gate again.)

"It's nice and sunny outside. Go and play outside in the backyard."
"It's too hot!"

"Don't go out there. It's raining and you might catch a cold."

Thing 1 & Thing 2 go outside to play happily in the rain...........................

November 26, 2008

Spaghetti Marinara (4 ingred.)

My kids were nagging me. They were hungry after school (they always are). I didn't have time to cook earlier as I was preoccupied tidying up and cleaning ( a bit more than usual) due to a scheduled house inspection earlier on. Now I had to whipped up something real fast . Dd wanted me to cook her spaghetti marinara as I had told her that I just bought a lovely seafood mix of mussels, prawns, calamari and white fish pieces for just under $10/kg at Woolies.

Recipe for this: Oil (EVOO /cooking oil), spaghetti, 1 kg ready mix seafood, 1 jar Leggos pasta sauce (I usually have a jar or 2 of this in the cupboard).
Heat pan. Add oil, add pasta sauce. Add some water/stock and reduce. Add the seafood mix. Cook at low to medium heat. Wallah ! Spaghetti Marinara. Don't hate me purists (ie the people who cook from scratch)! The kids loved it and I made it in 2 batches.

November 23, 2008

Treadmill fixed!

Dh has fixed the treadmill! I am impressed! He had gone to Bunnings yesterday (probably after reading my previous blog entry) and bought a thick wooden plank suitable for the treadmill as well as an electric saw so he could cut it to size. Then he took out the wooden platform of the treadmill ,which was starting to crack and give way under constant pressure of usage, and replaced it with the new plank that he has cut up to size and drilled. Now the treadmill is as good as new! I haven't tried running on it yet as I just took a morning jog on the bikeway. Bu it looks good.
So I guess I am scrapping my current plans to become full fledged member of a gym until maybe in late summer, ie if I decide to join aqua aerobics/aerobics (maybe), boxing fitness (unlikely) or yoga/pilates (na-ah) classes on a regular basis. I know, I procrastinate.....

November 19, 2008

Running /Storm season

It was a very hot humid weekend last week, where temperature rose above 31C , which is quite uncharacteristic for this part of the world. (Ofcourse, in M'sia it would be the norm). Anyways, I decided to run on Saturday , although OMG, it was hurting so bad, running in the hot humid weather. (The treadmill has broken down at home and dh hasn't fixed it yet. I was sceptical of him buying cheaper ones on the net although it was a brand new 4HP). Thank goodness , the lovely, friendly (at the time) magpies didn't attempt to swoop me when I was out jogging although one swooped me on my bike once (I'm still scared stiff to cycle on that route). They probably got a thing for cyclists coz dh also got swooped too and another cyclist even installed straw/spike like objects on his helmet to prevent them from swooping him.
Anyway, after the very uncharacteristic hot, humid weekend , it rained heaps on Sunday night. One suburb got the brunt of it, trees uprooted and many roofs came flying off. They have now declared it a lil natural disaster zone there. This rainy spell has continued thus far, though it seems quite lovely at the moment , apparently it will last til the end of the week. I have made plans to commit myself to a gym (meaning fill in forms and become a full fledged member and pay monthly fees (yikes!) instead of just a casual member ), because of this unpredictable weather. I like the gym at the sports centre I frequent right now , ( because of the beauuutiful 50m Olympic size pool) but I decided to check out the all women's gym nearby. Unfortunately, it is situated in the basement/underground and it was closed when I wanted to pop in. Hmmm, being a bit claustrophobic , the first impression wasn't to my liking so I think I might be sticking to my old gym which has expanded a bit and installed more treadmills a couple of months ago , all of which are facing the beauuuutiful 50m Olympic size pool btw. (Gosh, I have gotto start swimming laps one of these days.)

November 07, 2008

Update

Sorry I haven't updated this blog for quite a while. A bit preoccupied with other stuff and also, facebook. My facebook has turned into a mini high school reunion , I'm finding people I haven't heard from for decades. It is really good to hear from the gals and some of the guys. But they don't know this blog exist, that will be overkill.
I'm also thinking of migrating to a new blog that is more travel or photo based to cater for the masses. Any input welcomed!

October 15, 2008

Triathlon Done!

I have completed my first short distance (200m/6km/2km ) women's triathlon! So I can now claim myself to be a triathlete albeit a very , very, slow one. My cycling and running time were pretty deceit as a first timer and considering I couldn't train much during Ramadan. I only managed intensive training during Eid, which wasn't really a good time to train as there were rich, fatty food to eat around the clock! My swim was overall in slow motion, people might have thought I was doing taichi in the pool! I elected to do breaststroke most of the way and only did free style (old school) on the last lap while most of the women competitors powered away at the start (though some of them lost steam half way). It wasn't amazing, after a 6 months hiatus due to the cool weather. I only jumped back into the pool the week before the race. I also lost a lot of time during the transition, ie just walking to transition area ( it rained heavily the day before and the ground was wet ), changing clothes etc, need to improve this especially in a short race. Overall, it was okay I guess (I didn't get last surprisingly). But I so need to commit to my swimming next year!

October 01, 2008

Eid Mubarak!

I just got my connection back. My service provider did a major migration exercise.. whatever that means... , it just means no internet to us for 5 measly days.. Anyway, hope it is not too late to wish all muslims out there. Are there anyone who actually have time to check anything on net on Eid Day like myself.. My dear son has not been well for the past weeks but he is recuperating, alhamdulillah and today I have to look after him again while other members of family go out for social visits etc.
What better way to spend Eid.. with my son! Happy Eid!

September 19, 2008

Chronic Hunger

Tell me have you ever experienced chronic hunger?
It is the month of Ramadan and I am fasting daily, but in all honesty I have not felt the feeling of chronic hunger. I have a substantial breakfast before dawn and break the fast at sundown with enough food to satisfy my family of five's appetite. Although I admit I may feel a bit peckish during the day sometimes but it seems to me that it is nothing compared to the real thing...
You see I am reading this book called "A small corner of hell, dispatches from Chechnya" written by a Russian journalist, Anna Politkovkaya, who documented the plight of refugees and people of Chechnya at the turn of this century. One account is of Khazimat Gambieva, a 51 year old woman whom she described is the first person she encounters that is swollen from hunger, an image she can't dispel from her memory . Khazimat is a grandmother who used to work as a nurse for twenty years but as a refugee fleeing from the atrocities of war, she gave most of the food that came her way to her eleven children and grandchildren, and now the disease dystrophy or chronic hunger has turned her in Politkovkaya own words, "into a living woodcut... Woodcuts , as everyone knows, are drawn in one color. Khazimat Gambieva, a withered old refugee with swollen joints and an inflated stomach, looks exactly that way-- as if she had been drawn in black and white , with her black wrinkles standing out on her parchmentlike skin. "
Politkovkaya goes on to explain that there isn't really enough food for everyone in the Chiri-Yurt settlement, as they only receive humanitarian aid called a '3 day ration' every couple of months. How could a person, let alone a family with 3 cans of evaporated milk and 1 can of processed meat each, survive for a couple of months at a time?

September 14, 2008

Kitchen Helpers

I now have two lil kitchen helpers as my sons have volunteered to help me in the kitchen. Toddler is quite independent and likes to cut and eat his own food like cheese or fruits. At first I was a little apprehensive about him using a knife but he is coping beautifully (I only let him use a butter knife). Apparently, there is nothing unusual in letting them use a knife, as my neighbour, a qualified teacher, also mentioned that her toddler uses one to cut his food up.
His older brother, ds likes to help me stirfry veges, adding the bits and pieces enthusiastically into the pan. He can also make his own omelettes. I think it might be because he is used to baking cookies at school that he is not adversed to the idea of helping in the kitchen . He tells me he wants to learn how to cook so he can cook stuff for me when his older. How thoughtful! I think he might have a knack for cooking when he growns up.

September 02, 2008

Ahlan Ramadan

Ramadan Mubarak! Kul aam wa antum bikhair!

August 21, 2008

Friendly Aussies II

I went to the gym as usual this morning to work on my upper body. As it was a week day, there were slightly more people exercising before going to work. I could not help noticing a vivacious young guy walking and talking loudly (about Olympics etc) on the treadmill with two oldies who were also on treadmills beside him. He was wearing the sports centre's blue-green polo shirt. Almost the whole time I was there he was chatting with them. Then the oldies decided to move to the other stuff in the gym. So the bubbly guy went to sit on the rowing machine next to me. Apparently, he is the new gym manager! And he asked me if I'm a member and if I would fill the gym's questionaire. So this new gym manager is going round the gym chatting and actually helping people to use the weights and machines properly! I never seen anything like it , at least not at this particular sports centre. The previous 2 gym managers either sat at their desk or were not really present in the gym!

Another bubbly Aussie is a pretty shop proprietor in the suburb where I used to live. Everytime my toddler go into her shop she would call out to him and try to(mis)pronounce his name. I think she takes a shine to him even though he always hide from her when she says Hi . She had given birth to a cute baby boy this year and is always comparing him to toddler. I always have to stop and chat with her at the checkout even though I am in hurry to pick up kids at the school nearby. Btw, she is originally from Vietnam.

August 15, 2008

Ekka

The whole family went to EKKA on Wednesday. I think nearly 100,000 other beings decided to transcend upon the RNA Showgrounds on the same day too. It was jam packed! We didn't go last year as there was a serious flu virus flying around. Maybe we should have gone then because of the smaller crowd . (I don't like crowded places.) But get this, the dh and kids wanted to go there specifically to get SHOWBAGS! The kiddoes got 2 each. (Dd insisted on going again this Saturday to get more!! but I object. ) Hubby wanted to get the Pepsi bag and I was wandering what is so fun about getting 3 pepsis and freebies in a bag ? Anyway, I should of let him get it if it makes him happy. (Btw, I asked him to get me one bag too with 2 mags ie Woman's Weekly & Good Health plus some healthy snacks , for a bargain at $10 as not much choice of bags for oldie like me.)
The kiddoes also liked to play at the fun fair as they get small stuffed animals as prizes. I think the game arcades there are rigged though as not a lot of people seem to win the big plush stuffed ones.

August 12, 2008

I come from there

I just learnt of the Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish passing. Innalillah wainnailaihirajiun. Below is just one of his excellent Arabic poems translated into English.

I come from there
and I have memories
Born as mortals are, I have a mother
And a house with many windows,
I have brothers, friends,
And a prison cell with a cold window.
Mine is the wave, snatched by sea-gulls,
I have my own view,
And an extra blade of grass.
Mine is the moon at the far edge of the words,
And the bounty of birds,
And the immortal olive tree.
I walked this land before the swords
Turned its living body into a laden table.
I come from there.
I render the sky unto her mother
When the sky weeps for her mother.
And I weep to make myself known
To a returning cloud.
I learnt all the words worthy of the court of blood
So that I could break the rule.
I learnt all the words and broke them up
To make a single word: Homeland.....

August 07, 2008

Charity Drive

Heads up from DrBubbles . Ramadan is fast approaching and if you are in a charitable mood, please direct your monies/in kind to Islamic Relief (M'sia) to help make the "Feed the Fasting " Campaign a success.

August 03, 2008

Friendly Aussies

Well, after living a couple of years in Oz, I thought I'd capture the spirit of the Aussie people from my day to day dealings with them.

Did you know that before you could pay your merchandise at the counter, you have to follow the ritual of the cashier saying "Hello, How are you?" and you answering "Good, thanks. How are you?" before you can actually pay for anything?? Many a times, I'm at the cashier counter and I forget what was it that I wanted to do there in the first place coz the cashier are so darn friendly... This lil ritual of saying how are you blah blah blah... can even last a bit longer than you'd expect. I mean I've seen cashiers and customers happily chit-chatting like they are old chums from waayy back...

Aussies also like to make jokes. When I was stuck in a lift with an Aussie family, one guy had a look at my supermarket trolley which was full to the brim with groceries and said, "You have enough food in there to last you for 12 months." I had to grin and say that I had a big family (if you can say having 3 kids is a big one). And the guy quipped back, "That is your fault!"
... ..ummm, I guess it is the fault of my husband and I for having them in the first place, lol.

July 18, 2008

Kite Runner vs Da Vinci Code

I'm suppose to do some outdoor activities this week but unfortunately it rained a couple of days. So my plan got derailed momentarily. Sometimes the winter is miserably cold , sometimes warm. Nonetheless, it is perfect weather for a bit of reading under the warm duna and watching movies. One of the books I just read was The Da Vinci Code. I had to read it to see what the fuss was about (my sister had read it last month and sms- ing me that she was engrossed). To be honest, the book was quite good and well researched/informative. After reading it, I had to see the movie too so we rented the DVD of the same name. It was soo predictable. I could say it is mildly entertaining, you know, the run of the mill Hollywood action film ie police chase supposed fugitives until at the end they realise that the supposed fugitives are actually the heroes of the day. *yawn*.
Last year, I read The Kite Runner during the winter months and I wrote it in one of my blog entry. It has to be one of my favourite books by far. (Blogger Tasmiya also read this book and sobbed all the way through the book). I also read the other book by the author titled, A Thousand Splendid Suns, a heart wretching story about 2 Afghan women bound by a common destiny. (Usually, I steer away from stories of battered women syndrome but the more you read the book , the more you had to finish it.) Well, anyway, my hubby rented the Kite Runner DVD for me to watch. A few minutes into the film , I was already sobbing, and nothing was happening yet , it was just the opening scenes of Afghan kids playing with their colourful kites in the streets of Kabul. **sob, sob** (I guess I am a softie where children are concerned) .
Verdict: The Kite Runner wins over Da Vinci Code , hands down!

Update: Dh just watched kite runner movie and he said it was a good movie (coming from a guy who loves action packed movies like Rocky/Rambo says a lot).

July 11, 2008

Survived (school hols)!

School hols is coming to an end , woohoo. Let me see. What did we do. Went to 2 libraries (almost got kicked out of the first library, boys were NAUGHTY while we were waiting for dd to finish her course), went to the mall twice (quick visits mind you), picnic, parks, went to the movie (cool movie, kungfu panda) and they also met their school friends so they can redirect their energy some place else.................................
Next week I'll be so happy to shoo them to school.

June 30, 2008

Chocolate Cake Recipe


As requested by Swahili (I'm sure you have a couple of them up your sleeves!), here is a simple recipe of a chocolate cake that I usually bake for my kids (taken from a basic cookbook). My family prefer I bake this choc cake as opposed to buying the ready made mixture from the shops. I think it might taste better as they always finish the former but not the latter.

Recipe:

125 g butter (room temperature)
125g caster sugar (half cup)
40g icing sugar (one third cup) sifted
2 eggs , lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (fresh vanilla pods would be exquisite if you can find them in the shops)
A quarter cup/80g blackberry jam
1 and a quarter cups self raising flour
Half cup/60g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 cup milk (full cream preferably if it is for a special occasion, skimmed milk if you're on a diet.)

Chocolate buttercream:
50g dark chocolate
25g butter
3 teaspoon cream (I usually add milk if no cream in stock)
A quarter cup /30g icing sugar, sifted




  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease the base and sides of deep 20cm square cake tin and line with baking paper.

  2. Beat the butter, caster sugar and icing sugar with electric beaters til light and creamy. (They don't tell you this but the butter has to be at room temperature, not straight out of the fridge.) Add the eggs gradually, beating after each addition. Add vanilla essence and jam and beat til combined.

  3. Fold in combined mixture of flour , cocoa and soda alternately with milk. Stir until mixture is combined and almost smooth.

  4. Pour into cake tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 45 mins or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre. Leave in tin for 15 mins , then cool on a wire rack.

  5. To make the buttercream, combine the chopped chocolate , butter , cream and icing sugar in a small pan. Stir on low heat til mixture is smooth and glossy. Spread over cake with a flat knife.

Wallah!


June 29, 2008

Semolina Cake

I made a semolina & lemon syrup cake today- right after I came back from cycling- (ouch! my legs still hurts). I thought I'd do something with the semolina I bought ages ago when I wanted to try to make them. This cake does not contain wheat flour whatsoever, only semolina, grounded almonds, butter and sugar. (Good heavens, didn't think that was possible). Thought I'll do some baking as school is out and I have been requested to bake a chocolate cake for a picnic in the park this week. Hopefully, I still remember how to bake one !

June 24, 2008

Winter blues

(Sorry I haven't been updating my blog lately. I was a tad distracted with a new forum I 'm currently on, (my old secondary school forum actually).. well, it is down today so no chitchatting with old schoolmates today.. )
Anyways, it is winter in Oz and I am feeling the chills. It is freakin cold especially in the morning/evening. Thus, I haven't been going very regularly to the gym as the warm duna/duvet seems more than tempting. Having said that, I have managed to rid of all the holiday weight gain by using the treadmill regularly now. (Should thank the hubby for investing in one.) Though I wonder if it is all going to stay off, as I am also baking muffins again and gobbling them up at alarming rate. I made some plain muffins and also banana and oats muffins. Dd and ds seem to like the plain ones best so I might do some more tomorrow and probably give some to the extended family.

June 06, 2008

Update

Went back to KL and came back in one piece, Alhamdulillah. Kinda hectic living at my mum's place for a few weeks (though we have our own place but not much furnishing there unfortunately). Tis a bit rowdy having our 3 kids and their cousins in one place. Seriously.. not much rest at home as they keep barging into our room. I think the nephews equate us with fun and pleasure of some sort! But the good thing is someone else is doing the cooking, washing and cleaning up. :) Now back in Oz, no more nephews to contend with but have to do own ..you guessed it , cooking, washing and cleaning. :(
I also have to work on my exercise routine again as all that M'sian food did a bit of damage to my waist line again although I did go to to the gym a couple of times a week there, even on vacation in PD and Melaka, I think it wasn't enough , I still suffered from all the fatty nasi lemak and roti canai (dh's favourite breakfast btw.. he took 1 hour to finish with his buffet breakfast (I was timing him)whereas I only took half hour, yet it doesn't do any serious damage to him except perhaps his wallet). I am so glad to be far away from all that food , tis a blessing in disguise teehee.. Although dh will miss his roti canai , he says I make better nasi lemak than the M'sian stalls. How nice of him to say that .. Too bad I don't make it as often as he'd like.

June 02, 2008

Pink ribbon for a friend

I learnt about H's condition a few months ago and tried to find out how she was coping then and whether her health was improving. However, information about her was still rather vague at the time. So when I went back to KL, I called a friend who was a doctor at the hospital treating H's condition. She told me H had received the all clear bill of health and was able to return back to work a month ago . This seemingly meant that her health was improving for the better... but the very next day , I received an sms that she was back in the hospital. So I arranged to visit her the next day with my old schoolmate friend.
It was harrowing to see her again after all these years, as her health was deteriorating before my eyes . How frail she had become and the excruciating pain she was suffering from... what could I say to make it better? Not a darn thing, as tears welled up in my eyes that very moment...
At the end of the visit .. I said my formal goodbye saying I will be going back overseas but assuring her I will ask of her wellbeing from our mutual friends... wishing and hoping in my heart she would recover for the sake of her diligent and loving husband by her side and her two lovely children, but at the same time thoughts crossed my mind whether I could see her again.. alive.. before the end of the week....
The next day my schoolmate friend sms-ed me that she passed away...

I didn't have the nerves to write on the tribute placard the names of people I knew who suffered from cancer when I was running for breast cancer research last month. So this lil blog entry is dedicated to Era, the pretty and fair-skin girl from the East Coast, who always had a sweet laughing smile and not one mean bone in her body, not one! That's how you'll be fondly remembered by your old schoolmate friends. Dear Era, may you rest in peace now in the kingdom of tranquility. Aamin.

May 12, 2008

Mother's Day / Funrun 2

I did another charity funrun in conjunction with Mother's Day while dh and kids did the 4.5k walk. I think the kids enjoyed it a lot. The atmosphere was electric and they even met their school teachers who did the longer 8k walk.
Anyway, I'm quite happy with my time AND I also managed to jog all the way even though I felt like stopping especially at the first k. I had a stomach upset the day before eating too many samosas at a fete/carnival. I didn't really want to go to the fete for fear I might overindulge. Thankfully, I was okay the next day otherwise I don't think I could have run the race.
The kids also gave me lots of cards/mugs they made/bought plus ds picked some tiny wild flowers and dd presented me with her marigold flowers she grew herself! They also made toasts and fruit salad for dinner for me on a tray. My lower legs hurt badly after the funrun so when toddler and his brother started playing with lotion, I just let them smother it all over my legs etc while I had a snooze. Bliss!

May 03, 2008

1st Road Accident

My car was involved in its first road accident in Oz a couple of hours ago. It was at a T junction near our house. We were coming back from the park after feeding ducks in the pond. I was waiting at the T junction to go to the right. A car from the left wanted to turn right into the road I was coming from. I don't think he stopped even though cars were streaming down from the opposite direction so he collided with a car. Oh my god , both the 2 cars looked really screwed up in front of me. My car was lucky ... actually very, very lucky to sustain only a dented number plate as the guilty party's car bumped into the front portion of my car. I came out to assess the damage and as I saw there was oil leaking from one car , I asked one guy in the front seat to come out of his car as I was afraid his car might catch fire though he looked like he had severe chest pains. Poor Guy! His daughter was in total shock , (poor girl!) as she went on about that she was on her way to swim class etc so now how is she going to go if her car is looking like that? Her mum was getting the swim bag out of the car so I helped carry her daughter across to the road side ( I think she forgot about her partner who was in pain! and I had to remind her to help him.) The guilty driver was on the phone calling RACQ etc. I don't think he lended a hand other than that. There was one passerby who came and helped with the parties involved and he even helped by directing traffic flow (bless him!) before the fire engine and ambulance came. The police were the last to come. I had to wait for them to give my details and then we were free to go. We met dh on the way back as he was working on a Saturday and it took him a while to come over. Hmm.. he missed all the action!

April 23, 2008

ANZAC cookies

I guess I'm writing too much on sports these days and less on cooking coz I haven't really done any great recipes lately.
Well, it is almost ANZAC day in Oz which is a very important memorial day here and older son kept pestering me to make ANZAC cookies from a recipe in a kid's mag his friend gave him. So I baked some last weekend with his help. It wasn't that difficult and it is rather nutritious with rolled oats, dessicated coconut and honey. I could bake more cookies if the recipes are not that cumbersome. (you know many cookie recipes need to use cookie cutters and rolling pins etc ).

April 19, 2008

Cross Country

[ So okayyy.. I missed my weekly update last week. I also missed a very important dinner this week. I might as well inform everyone on the blogosphere as EVERYONE in dh's dept knows that I had toothache due to to wisdom tooth plans to emerge out of my gums. (So who's big idea was it to call it wisdom tooth? I can't find any wisdom in it except intermittent throbbing pain!) ]
Back to the real world. The kids had a lil cross country at their school this week. I missed ds' event as had an appointment with the dentist to reevaluate my wisdom tooth but I came just in time for dd's event. I was quite pleased to see her run, She was about position number 5 or 6 in her age group. When I asked her what position she got , she said third last. I guess there was only 8 girls in her age group. Oh well , I think this was an improvement from 2 years ago, when she got last or second last was it? My friends' daughters , wow.. they were really good getting placing between 1st to 3rd. (Amazing when you see some of them running with gutso in their lil hijabs.)
I like to see schoolchildren enjoying sports and playing in the field at the school every time I pick my kids up. School isn't just about sitting down and looking at the blackboard in the classroom all the time. Fitness and character building is important too.

April 06, 2008

Blur Week

It has been a bit of a blurry week. My head was spinning from a slight cold coupled with some other factors. My 2 lil heroes weren't well either, with older son receiving the full brunt of it with a nasty cold/cough. (I think it might have something to do with him eating too much ice cream.) The weather had changed decidedly cooler during the evening and early morning. With ds at home most of the week, I couldn't do anything much except care for him and his bro and appease their appetite (or lack of.) Ds even in sickness, couldn't even stay in bed like one would expect a sick child should do. Always out and about!
His sister had to go to a music camp at the high school nearby so sick or not , all 3 of us had to pick her up each day after camp. At the end of the week, we let ds go to school (as school break starts next week and he would be wondering why he hasn't been to school yet). When I went to pick him up, I noticed more kids than usual were riding bikes back to their house. (I like to watch them pedal their lil feet up the hill with zest!) I realised they were doing this as it was bike week and they were encouraged to ride to and fro school. This in turn reminded me that I had a 10km bike ride to do with dd and ds on Sunday. I vaguely remember this due to too much things going on.
Well, the time came this morning. We were late or shall I say very punctual, as we rode to the starting line from the carpark , the wave of riders from the starting line came from the opposite direction! We let them past. Went to the startline. Talked to some marshalls. Decided to follow suit with no numbers stuck on the bike. The boys were a bit behind dd and I, so dh said we could go ahead to catch the masses so we did. I must say it was a bit of an art for me trying to ride slower than dd and some other lil girls. My seat was lowered at first so I could put my legs on the ground if I had to stop suddenly etc and then I brought it up at a higher position half through the course so I could ride better wthout my feet feeling cramp but ehem.., this wasn't a good idea as there was once/twice I stopped some other people on their track behind me. It was such a tight space there next to the cliff and I was trying not to collide with dd in front of me. Oh well!
We came back to start/finish line where dh and boys were waiting - they went back after riding to/fro the goodwill bridge.- only 2km ride while we did about 10km. I think dd did quite well for her first attempt at riding by the masses. Her dad said he'll like to do this again next year after the boys become better at riding (and also wake up earlier in the morning). I was a bit surprise that he wants to enter again as he was all excuses- weather, sickness etc before the event.. while I am not to sure I want to do it again!

April 01, 2008

Penguin of the Month

Dd has received recognition online as the penguin of the month. She has been a member of an online club for barely a month and she has received the coveted award.( I think it is similar to adults receiving employee of the month for a club/organisation.) She was soo excited to learn she won it. Probably has something to do with spending a LOT of time in front of the PC playing games and meeting her school friends online. I think she spends much more time online than her mom now, lol. But it is not that bad as she also learns to type words quickly and create funny stories about penguins and puffles, and learning to surf! I do wish she would do her homework beforehand though.

March 30, 2008

Earthhour

Last night we participated in earthhour and switched off the lights from 8 to 9pm. Kids and dh had a steak and chips candlelight dinner during that time. (Usually kids would have their dinner earlier but it was a weekend). It wasn't so bad without the lights. The kids even practiced switching off all the lights the night before. Light is necessary for comfort and safety but do we really many lights in one focal point? Too many lights on can/will create light pollution . (Eg. I could hardly see the stars in the night sky at my home near the centre of KL because of the city's brightness... which is a pity.)

March 22, 2008

Chocolate eggs anyone?

Dd and ds won 2 baskets of chocolate eggs in their school's lucky draw. Their dad had submitted their tickets on the morning of the draw (in other words last minute!) and then when we picked them up from school , an admin lady was helping carry the baskets to the car. We weren't really expecting them to win anything but both of them got one each! We usually lose/misplaced the tickets somewhere and couldn't give them on time but I insisted dh to give it in this time as the school needs funds ( as they didn't do a fundraising fete last year). It seems there are all sizes of chocolate eggs in the baskets; large, medium and small. Dd who won the 2nd prize basket gave some to her fave neighbour and still there are heaps left. Does anyone want some? (Sorry I can't post them worldwide!) I think I'll give some to the family with the 6 girls whom I consider my extended family here. I sometimes give my kids' things to the family as so much of their stuff accummulates in the rumpus room.

March 16, 2008

Family Bike Outing

So dh finally bought an MTB (multiterrain bike) for himself and a new bike with gears for dd as she has outgrown her old bike. At first dh was adamant that he would only need a stationary bike for fitness and he won't have time to ride a bike around the neighbourhood but he finally succumbed to pressure to get one as all the other family members had bikes to ride now including me! We decided to venture out to the local park yesterday to see how the older kids coped biking in a group(while toddler had to sit on a mounted child seat on his dad's bike). I plan to enter them in a 10km family bike ride during the bike week if they were okay. I guess they did not too bad for a first outing. It lasted about 2hrs. (1 hr biking + 1 hr at playground for the kids.) We'll probably go for more bike trips on weekends now it is convenient that their mum and dad has one each. Anyway, when we were going out today, I noticed one of our neighbours had got all their old bikes and accessories and were fixing them up on the front porch. They never did this before! I guess our family's bike enthusiasm had caught on to these neighbours of ours!

March 09, 2008

Fun Run 1

Woohooooo! I completed a 5km fun run. I wasn't really thinking about doing one in March as am still a beginner (and I suffered shin splints ( ie horrible lower leg pains) for a couple of weeks) but what the heck, so I signed up a week ago after finding out about the International Women's Day funrun. I only jogged about 2/3km a couple of times a week for the past weeks and only managed a 5km jog 2 days before the event and the good thing is I finished the funrun 5-6 minutes than my 5km training time! How good is that! There were also hills and bridges to climb in the course when I was really hoping that it was a flat, flat course. The contor of my neighbourhood is a bit undulating (perhaps easier than the old neighbourhood I lived in which was super hilly). Now perhaps I need to fine tune my jog for the next fun run probably in April/May.

March 04, 2008

Geckobusters!

My kids on their quest to keep something (ie anything that breathes) as pets sometimes like to hunt down and catch house geckoes (or cicak in Malay). Yesterday, a gecko on the sliding door startled me. When I proclaimed it to ds, he totally forgot about his dinner and called dd to help him catch the gecko. They have become pros in catching the geckos and have handled and kept 3 or 4 big & small geckoes before dh and I asked them to let the poor things go eventually. I don't really fancy touching these creatures (ewww!) but my kids have no qualms about it. I think this was since they found a blue tongue lizard in the garage last month and had captured it with their dad and placed it in a plastic box before releasing it back in the backyard (It was as huge as a small monitor lizard but harmless and a slow moving creature obviously.) Thank goodness they decided not to keep that lizard as a pet!

February 26, 2008

Fitness

I haven't been able to update as frequently as I would like. That's because I'm currently doing more sports and this is taking over the time that I blog. Sometimes, I go to the gym or walk-jog early in the morning ie before dh goes to work. (I tried going to the gym with toddler but he didn't settle well in the creche). Dh is planning to get a treadmill soon inshA. (He already bought a stationary bike for himself.) I think he doesn't really like the idea of making breakfast and preparing lunchboxes for kids and getting them ready in the morning. When I came back this morning , he didn't cook french toast as I requested but just dumped plain sliced bread on the table for them with baked beans. (However, the kids do get ready much quicker for school on days that I go to gym !)
I'm trying to be a lil more proactive so I can improve my overall fitness and also lose all the residual pregnancy weight that hasn't banished from my system yet. I had put on > 20 kg when I was pregnant with my sons. (I had 3 of them.) Although I lose 20kgs , there are some still stuck some where. It is fun to do sports here. I think I'm getting addicted to running, in my case slow jog and am still lousy at it. There are lots of parks and bushland to walk, run or bike. I think I'm going back to my outdoorish self which I got partly due to my dad. (My mum claims she was a sport woman and runner at school but I've never seen her do any sports in my life time! Sorry mum. Well I saw her wearing sports attire once probably for a social badminton game.) My dad , the jack of all trades, is actually very outdoorish. He likes camping and hunting in the jungle and he also used to scuba dive and go abseiling. He brought us along sometimes. In fact, dh got the rockclimbing bug while practicing abseiling near batu caves a few years ago.


Note:Ladies, for those of you who plan to go to umrah or hajj this year (or travelling anywhere else), and if you're not already doing some program, try walking etc a couple of times a week as you have to be fit for the walk from Safa and Marwa hills 7 times totals more than 2km plus tawaf and maybe you're walking 3-5km each time you perform umrah. Interesting that islamic rituals like solah, tawaf and saei etc demands some physical and spiritual interaction.

February 21, 2008

100th post! (book giveaway)

So okay you guessed it , it is my 100th post on this blog and I thought I'll do a book (or two) give away (so I can have more space on my book shelf). Just register your interest in the comment box by the end of Feb for a chance to receive a copy of an unread book, "The God of Small Things" by Arundhati Roy ( A story about a family set in India which won the booker prize) or "The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (a wordy almost long winded yet beautiful transliteration of a Spanish bestseller set in a creepy mysterious setting). I can post worldwide. Regular commenters and blurkers welcomed!

February 14, 2008

Horizontal Acceleration

[I haven't updated dd's gifted blog much. I'll just copy and paste this later. ]
I've decided to go with horizontal acceleration instead of vertical acceleration for dd like her class teacher suggested to dh last year. That means I'm in view of developing other aspects (beside literacy and numeracy) namely the sports , social and the arts. She excelled in the literacy and numeracy test last year, her results being over and above average than the state level and in the majority of her numeracy subjects, her marks was high off the charts! (I can't figure out what that means?) I don't want to concentrate too much on academic stuff as if/when we go back to KL, it will be all about marks in school as it is highly exam oriented there. (I mean how many exams a year do kids have to do there?) Me being the antithesis of all this, I'm of the opinion that young childrens should enjoy their school years instead of stressing too much about exams. So no extra tuition for her this year even in Maths or English. She'll just do what interest her. That's a lot of stuff that she likes and she can excel in them fairly quickly eg the arts, music, science, foreign language. Dd and her bro sometimes attend the fun activities/workshop organised by the Gifted and Talented Children Assoc too and I think I have more than enough things going on a daily basis.

February 07, 2008

Heaviest Downpour

We had by far the heaviest downpour yesterday. Cats and dogs I tell ya. It started when we were arriving for my kids swimming lessons at the sports centre and we had to walk a fair bit as it poured. Toddler was all soaking wet even though he wore his bro's big school legionaire hat. We left straight after the class. Good thing we didn't wait as it was flooding in the car park and the water almost reached the car's exhaust!
I think it poured for nearly 3 hours. When it stopped , heard a ding dong bell. Neighbour was concerned a lot of water coming in his backyard. Wondering where it was from? (How about looking up in the sky?) His family's house was sort of down the hill/road so water was gushing down (It's call gravity.) He was concerned that our pool was full to the brim and maybe this might be perilous for his home/backyard.(Believe me the water will trickle in my house first before it does go into his. And I was hoping to do a few cannon balls with kids). I told neighbour that (workaholic) hubby wasn't home yet and I was waiting for dh to do something about it. (Not a good idea if our houses were on the verge of flooding.) I offered to sweep the water puddling in my backyard into the drain a bit, if it helps. He offered to jump over my gate/fence to help open the pool's valve so the water level recedes a bit. Cute. Go on! Jump over the fence! Break a leg!
..............................
Oh, for heaven's sakes! Use the gate. It's not locked!

February 04, 2008

Lazy week /rainy weather

I had a lazy week last week. I didn't do any sports. The kids also just started schooliing again and was a bit busy. However, I managed a walk-jog on Saturday as I noticed my post-kids flabby tummy bulging more than usual. (*sigh* I wish I had those really post-kids flat tummy genes sometimes). I wanted to do a walk-jog on Sunday morning too but it rained heavily.(Very unusual rain for Oz btw, maybe the effects of Lanina?). By the time the rain stopped, workaholic dh had to dash to work so I had to be content with swimming in the backyard pool. Today I couldn't get to gym either as dh's took my car to work as his need some repairs. He owes me big time!How about he get me a bike so I can ride it to the park/gym?Plus it is more environmentally friendly you know. (Yes, I so want a bike at the moment, teehee. Does anyone know what model of a mountain bike is good for a full figure not very athletic kinda woman?)

January 25, 2008

End of School hols soon (YaY)

YaY, the kids had their last swimming bootcamp lesson today and they are going back to school next week. Phew!! I am so glad the school hols is almost over. My friend whom we met yesterday and went to park near the river together, was also glad that school is starting soon. (She has 6 kids, mind you). There is absolutely no way I could go to the mall to do grocery shopping and take a leisurely tea break with 3 kids all of whom have vested interest in going to any toy shops and book shops they see.
Anyway, I am very pleased with dd and ds swimming skills as they have improved immensely and their competency level has gone up. I spent more than $300 for 3 weeks for 2 children so I think it was well worth it. Dd is now learning how to do the butterfly stroke and I think she was quite good at it for a beginner. (Hey, I 'm still struggling with this stroke myself.) Ds also has improved and can do freestyle/front crawl and backstroke well. Being nimble, he is also very good at somersaulting and diving in the water too which wasn't even part of his lessons. Maybe I should sign him up in synchronise swimming squad at the aquatic centre if they will have him!!!
Today there was a pirate pantomine at the library so I promised to take the children there. Sadly ds didn't have enough stamps to qualify for a reward in the summer reading program yet so this was a quick way to get a stamp. They had to dress up like a pirate somewhat. Dd brought along her bandana and a plastic sword along. When we arrived at the library , the pantomine had already started and I noticed dd holding an unidentified brown object in her hand. It turned out she was holding her dad's underwear which I have no idea how and where she planned to use it as part of her pirate costume. I confiscated it right away. So there you are , she was holding it from the carpark all the way to the library and I didn't even realise it as I was busy calling out to ds on his scooter and toddler. I hope nobody else realised it either!

January 19, 2008

Gym & Sing

I'm happy to say that I am no longer saving up for a liposuction as my swimming and walk/jog routine has toned my body like never before. All I have to do now is to keep this up a couple of times a week. However, the only downside to swimming is that my skin has turned a beautiful dark tan like never before. (beautiful ie if you are a proponent that a dark tanned skin is desirable, an unlikely thought if you are M'sian/Asian woman.)
I opted for a gym session yesterday. Gym isn't really my thing honestly as I get kinda dizzy using the treadmill but I managed it for half an hour( I only read the notice that we're only supposed to use it for 20 mins during peak hours afterwards) and a bit of cycling. I think I need to do some upper body exercise too so probably I'll do rowing next time. There were many guys doing weights and stuff in the other room. I tried one for a few seconds which I saw a woman do, where you sit and pull the weights down to your shoulder or something. (I'm clueless about weights. Where is the gym instructor when you need one? )
On another matter, when I picked up my kids at the sports centre's creche, the childmilder exclaimed to me that "your children have such good singing voices!" and she hoped they will be back to entertain the creche again! It turned out they were singing songs from High School Musical 2 which they have watched countless times now. (Countless as I've given up counting how many times I heard the songs from the DVD since last week.) So okayyy, so they are hyperactive talkative kids and they make me a little embarrassed sometimes in public, but admittedly, they do sing quite well!

January 17, 2008

Ready Set Go!

As I was lying on my back floating on a lap one fine day( they should invent waterproof magazines for this sport), I noticed a girl on the next lane pass me by with her backstrokes. Now, I 'd let all the free stylers and the people with snorkel fins and floaties pass me on my laps and I wouldn't give a hoot. But a backstroker?!! Backstroke was my best stroke when I was a kid and I was at par if not better than the best swimmer at school (who was also extremely envious at me for my dedication in class work that she did some naughty things to me but I digress). Anyway, I couldn't let this backstroker pass me without a bit of friendly competition so I began doing backstrokes to see if I could beat her to the end of the lap. She was probably about 5m ahead of me when I started but I increased my speed and I managed to swim up to her side. So guess who reached the end of the lap first?
*Big grin*

January 15, 2008

Pool Obsession

I'm obsessed with the Olympic size 50m heated pool at the local sports centre. It is perfect for swimming for rainy, hot or cold weather! (Well, I haven't tried it in winter yet).
My personal best in KL was probably doing 25m x 25 laps. However, last week I managed 50m x 20 laps twice (after the first session, my body ached soo bad) and yesterday I pushed my ability a bit more and tried swimming for perhaps a mile (1.6km). I wanted to do more up to 2km but due to technical problems I had to stop (In other words -I had to answer nature's call). Of course, I did them mainly in breast strokes and back strokes as I am working on my new free style technique. Hopefully when the new DVD/books I ordered arrives, I can do the drills (somewhat). Then... only then, I might be able to do more laps in free style without being out of breath, and I don't have to give way to those power swimmers passing me on my laps too often on early morning laps.
My obsession with swimming pools led me to the city's aquatic centre to check out all the pools there. They have a diving pool 5m deep, 25m , 50m and wading pools under a climate control environment. While my kids and I were there, we had a glimpse of the aussie national team practicing their synchronise swimming routine. Hmmm.. interesting. Ohh.. I also checked out sally's blog on swimming pools she's been to. It is soo good to know that I'm not the only person going googoo gaagaa over pools teehee... Now, did I mention the local Olympic size pool is heeated?

January 10, 2008

At the pool side

Bubbly dad of 2: Doesn't he (toddler) want to go in the pool?
Trying to be bubbly mum of 3: He's not feeling it.
Bubbly dad: (Big ??? on face).
Trying very hard to explain mum of 3: He's not feeeling it.
Bubbly dad: (Big blank face).
Snappy mum of 3: Hedoesntwanttogointhepool.
Bubbly dad: Ooohhh.

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Dd: There are a whole group of grandmas and grandpas over there ! (pointing at deep aqua aerobics class).
Ds: Oh yeah.
Ds: There is a whole meeting of grandmas ! (looking at a group of ladies at the canteen where we are sitting next to AND within hearing distance).
Me: Don't say that! (Embarrassed as usual being a mom of loud mouth kids!)
( Those ladies are young at heart. They are totally fit and can beat me at free style anytime coz my freestyle totally sucks at the moment).
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Dd : Why is he wearing underwear? (pointing at man wearing speedo).
Me: Don't point at people. ( avoiding dd's question).
Dd: Why?
Me: Some people don't like it.
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Me: Ssshhhhh! (before entering changing room with dd).
Dd :(gawking at a bare woman's posterior).
Me: Sssshhh!
Dd :(still gawking quietly).

January 07, 2008

January 04, 2008

Postcards from NZ



Palm Beach, Waiheke Island

Auckland City (taken from ferry to Waiheke Island)

Pohutu and Prince of Wales Geysers


Simmering Mud Pools


Champagne Pool, Wai-tapu Thermal Wonderland/Area



Champagne Pool


Artist's Palette



Devil's Bath






(Special Thanks to dear hubby for taking the marvellous pics)

January 02, 2008

Back from NZ

My family and I just came back from NZ . It was awesome! My kids loved it. (They were extremely talkative the whole vacation). On the first day, we stayed at Auckland CBD and it was quite depressing there, with glooming, dark and boring looking buildings. However, the next day we managed to venture out to the harbour and caught a ferry to a beautiful island named Waiheke and met a friendly local bus driver who gave us a wonderful private tour of the island's beautiful coastline. It was a public bus btw but we were the only people on the bus at the time. Then, we went to Rotorua to see mudpools, geysers and boiling, steaming rivers and pools.
NZ is a terribly scenic country subhanallah, with rolling hills, cattles and sheep roaming around and green pine forests on top. Dh kept asking me to take moving photos of the scenery while he drove. (He might as well have the digicam continuously on 24 hrs). And there were so many European tourists in Rotorua, I could swear I was in Europe. We plan to go to NZ again sometime to explore more of the country, godwilling ( coz one week isn't enough). Meanwhile, please excuse me while I take to a more important and *glamorous* task of doing the laundry for the one week of soiled clothes...