Selfie selfa


Almost midnight and just about to head home after seharian library date with boyfie. Rasa jakun pulak. Maklumlah masa sekolah dulu tak pernah bercakap, masa undergrad pjj UIA Kuantan/UPM, masa sama sama blaja dekat Illinois, anak anak pulak masih merah merah. Sekarang anak anak dah besar sikit, sibuk sibuk pun, tudung pun dah blh pakai lilit lilit balik. Sikit masa lagi, bila dua dua dah masuk kerja semula, boleh la main dating dating lagi :lol:

Tp sbb ambil gambar, buat buat la sengeh sengeh mcm ni. Sebenarnya kepala & badan memang rasa dah nak barai.


on being unorthodox



The past five email correspondences have only been with this 80-yr old Atok, my mentor extraordinaire, working on so many different things all at the same time. Many more emails to come within the next few days! I will definitely miss this.

But right now, I am also palpitating like crazy. One does not normally have 3 defenses in a single week, defending three research work on top of your doctoral dissertation all at the same time. It’s usually spaced out across semesters.

But you can be the unorthodox student and make it work, he says.

And yes, you can make it work, even though you’re far, far away from campus. It’s all up to you.

alternatives to “good job!”

I was looking for this today, and found exactly what I wanted. I think most of you know that praising our child “clever”, “pandai” is actually detrimental to his/her cognitive development, but instead, we should be praising for efforts. But then again, I always run out of good things to say other than the standard “good job!”. So here’s to sharing what I found:


Say thank you when you mean it – explain why you are grateful for your child’s actions.

Thank you for helping with…
It makes mornings/dinner/outings easier when you…. thank you
I really appreciate it when you…
Thank you for doing that… it means I/we can now…
Make an observation based on facts – just say what you see without emotions or judgment.

We did it together.
Wow! You made a building/drawing/etc.
You did it on your own.
You did x and then y and worked it out.
You used lots of red paint/blocks/tape/etc.
You made it really big/small/colourful/complicated/etc.
That took you a long time, and you did it!

Extend and encourage – extend learning and encourage conversation by asking questions about what you see while also recognising their efforts.

How did you do that?
You did X, what will you do now?
Can you tell me about it?
What is your favourite part?
How did you think of that?

Put feelings into words – explain how something makes you feel, help your kids notice how their actions make others feel and acknowledge your children’s own feelings.

I really enjoy doing this with you.
I love watching you create/help your sister/play soccer/ etc.
I’m so proud to be your mum, every day, no matter what.
Look how happy your friend is when you share/help/smile/etc.
You kept going, even when it was hard.
You look so pleased to have done that!
You made X feel so pleased when you did that.
It makes you feel good when you do X.

Say nothing – we don’t need to praise every little action, or fill every space with noise. It is enough to sit back and watch our children’s delight in their own achievements

Say nothing – just smile.

For a ready-to-print version, click here:

Post-op update

In pre-op room. Getting his mood ready to get changed into hospital gown.
His child life specialist from the pre-admission tour came to check on him that morning, bringing a hospital gown specially tailored for Optimus Prime.
It was quite a wait in the pre-op room, but he knows something's just about to happen and decided to be extra clingy. It was heartbreaking when he kept uttering, "Ayman takut.." every other minute.
Five years from today we will look at this shot again with a smile :-)
Alhamdulillah everything went well. We were transfered to a ward room to stay for the night so he could be on IV. This was to ensure he's hydrated, to minimize risk of hemorrhage. This was also about the time we switched the tv on and learnt about the tragic MH17 incident. :sad:
All is well the following morning, ready to discharge, after a very torturous night with the IV machine malfunctioning, and having to go through another procedure with his other hand at 2 in the morning.
We're very grateful to have atok and ibutok around otherwise things wouldn't have been this easy. We don't have to worry about who needs to take care of Ayra at home (Atok did).
I have had my tonsils removed when I was 5 due to tonsilitis. Looking at how slow and painful the recovery process is with Ayman, and how much weight he has lost over the past 10 days for being on liquid diet, I now come to understand why mom says it's a no joke thing. We had to administer super-icky narcotic medicine every 4 hours to help him deal with the pain. And I felt bad at some point because removing the adenoids and tonsils were optional. But now that he's getting better, I certainly can spot a significant difference in his voice and clarity of speech. Just can't wait to plump him up again!

Raya will be just as is as he is still halfway through recovery and our focus is very much still on him. But it’s really nice to have my parents around, at least there’s still reason to make some lemang and rendang and what not. If they weren’t here and I have to deal with the whole situation alone with Nashriq, raya will just be another day you go to the masjid for prayers. :-)

Eid mubarak everyone, and safe travels!



It can be concluded as of today that I now have developed fear of flying. Oh dear, dear. 20+ hours of flight time, transferring from plane to plane, airport to airport, to get home is definitely a legit reason to be afraid, no? Going home has been a yearly routine for the past 4 years, except this summer. But in the event that I am not allowed to extend my stay here, it only means that I will be traveling home alone with the kids, pretty much soon. On a different note, I wish my parents can just stay here and not board that long haul flight to Manchester to my sister’s place, and back home. Although this is not until mid-September, the sheer thought that such air tragedies can happen to just about anyone (and there’s nothing you can do to save yourself) gives me the chills.

Nonetheless, my heart, thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the victims and families of the MH370, MH17, GE222, and AH5017. And to the people of Gaza – Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike. May God give them continued strength. We can only help as much as we can, from afar.

Please, please, let there be no more news of this nature. Definitely not an Eid to look forward to, never imagined 2014 would be this dark a year for us all.



Prepping for the big thing



I went to the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin today for a pre-admission tour. I met with a child life specialist who let me be doctor to Optimus Prime, my current favorite toy. I get to play with real doctor stuff today, and even made Optimus wear the hospital pajamas.

Tomorrow, Dr. Robey, my ENT specialist for the past couple of months will have me as his surgical patient. Optimus Prime will be with me. So will mummy and daddy. Mummy says it’s a really big deal for a 3 year old to undergo 3 major surgeries back to back. But everyone in the family can’t wait to meet the new me. So please make dua that things will be alright. :-)


I found a hidden gem at the Asian store today. This is one of my dadah, my ubat pandai, my tranquilizer. Before I moved to Milwaukee in Dec 2012, the local Asian store we go to in Champaign stopped carrying these. And when we moved here, I couldn’t find it either. So i was really surprised with this find. The only place I know to be carrying these on a continuous basis is in Chicago. So greed got me and I emptied the shelf today :lol:

My daily Milo moment will be more heavenly from now on :)

Biskut lemak Hup Seng, 69 cents per pack.


discovery of the day


A friend posted the Jung/Briggs Myers’s test on her IG today, which reminded me of something I enjoyed doing occasionally over the past ten years or so to check on myself. It’s a 4-letter type scaled-based test which translates into a possible combination of 16 different personality types. We sometimes use this before working on a group project so that we’re mindful of each group member’s personal disposition (tekun buat kerja ke, verangan je lebeh and cakap je banyak tapi isi takdak ke..cepat makan dalam ke (me la tu).. kejam tak bertempat nak semua siap on time ke..(me jugak)..  suka present present depan orang tapi kerja sebenar buat sikit je ke. Ok that’s not me.. :lol: ) etc.

The test is free, if you would like to know more about yourself. Do be surprised to see how accurate it is! Well, provided that you answered all the questions honestly that is. :cool: I am not that good with psychometrics, but I do know this is one of the most stable tests out there, hence reliable enough. Here:


I have an ordinary personality: an ISFJ. The typical teacher-mummy kind of person. And it’s been like that since the first time I took it. (Good? Bad?). Other than an empirical study noting that ISFJs typically score highest in college GPAs regardless of major (which I wish it’s true all the time but it’s not :lol: ), there’s nothing quite outstanding, from my POV. But anyway, after 10 years of being together with Nashriq, I finally made him answer this test today and so grateful to have been destined to marry an ISTJ :-) . It seems that we are two very similar individuals in so many ways that make things work well and yet different enough to complete each other and make things so exciting. Cewah. Well, the results weren’t that surprising, I could guess he is an ISTJ right away anyway, but having him go through the scale and receiving a confirmatory result is still thrilling. :-)


Now what’s your 4-letter combination? Does it suit aptly with your current job? Are we that different as a person? Perhaps that’s why you like (hate?) me so much? We prefer people we think are similar to ourselves than those who aren’t. And there’s also a science behind that,  too. :lol:


Good day!


Weekend DIY

I’ve always wanted a tent that I could snuggle nicely with the kids. After months of contemplating, finally decided to make it happen over the weekend. Just uploading some random shots I took for memory. For a complete how-to, you can simply Google up and you’ll know how quick and easy it is to make one (provided you have one other person to help out. Well, you have to have at least one other person to help out during the tying up process).

The only money you should spend on: the poles. It costed me just 5 bucks. I bought it online and within the hour, the store sent me a text message to notify it was available for pick up. Used leftover twines from my gardening stuff to tie up the poles together (which was first drilled with small holes).
I don’t have the slightest knowledge on sewing so I settled for hot glue instead – which I don’t really remember owning one at the first place. That’s to “stitch” my Queen and Twin flat bed sheets together as the tee-pee’s canvas.
Used left over ribbons to tie up the front openings to the side. And glued one of Ayra’s infinite number of hair clips .. just for the heck of it.
Their new piece of heaven. Mummy’s too. I think I’ve taken a nap/fallen asleep in there twice. Yeah, it’s that large enough! :D — Later added another two of Ayra’s hair clips .. again, just for the heck of it.

Looking forward to other easy peasy upcycling projects in the near future. I am quite a bit of a Pinterest addict over the past couple of years (hence my significant withdrawal from FB and the rest, even in here — because it’s my own little place of liking what I only like and following what I really want to follow, and virtually hoarding things I find cool) but I think it’s time to stop pinning everything and start doing! Till the next project, which I don’t know when and what just yet. AM

Of kebun and poisson



Today’s friday which means no-library day. When you have your small kebun literally just next to you, it really is so difficult to focus on this darn hierarchical poisson modelling thingy (why oh why did I decide for non-normal measures last time!! :evil: )

Happy weekending everyone. I’m telling myself that if I can’t get through this, then there’ll be no ice cream outing tomorrow. Even though tomorrow’s flavor of the day is tiramisu! Oh the sheer thought of it makes my tummy churn.


You are the ave…

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.


Hmm. Now let me see. A 29-year old. A 3 year old. And a one year old. So what does that make me? A primary school kid? :lol:

Well yeah, choose wisely. People can inspire you – or drain you. When necessary, delete the negative ones from your life. Because some people are like black clouds. When they disappear, it’s a brighter day.


"Sometimes," said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart".

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