Once upon a leap year
40 years ago, today:
Antonio Sabato, Jr was born. He is an actor and model. Born in Italy and raised in US. Not bad looking at all...

Dave Williams was born. A singer in a band called Drowning Pool. Dah meninggal pun, due to cardiomyopathy at the age of 30. So young...

Saul Williams was born. Bukan adik beradik Dave Williams above. He is a poet, writer, actor and musician.

Mike Pollitt was born. A footballer, playing for Wigan Athletic club, as the goalkeeper. Height 1.93 m. As a comparison, Khairul Fahmi Che Mat has the height of 1.71 m.

Pedro Zamora was born. He was a gay, did not practice safe sex and was then inflicted with AIDS (found out he's positive after donating blood). Sad though when you read that his life turned upside down after his mother passed away. He died at the age of 22.

Ivan Garcia was born. An athlete from Cuba. Specializes in the sprint category, 100m and 200m. His best time for 100 m was 10.21 seconds. Watson Nyambek lagi terer la, pernah buat 100 m in 10 seconds. And Watson Nyambek was born on 27th February 1976. Kalau lambat sikit lahir, dapat 29 February jugak.:P

Anyhow, for most of the people I listed above, I don't even know they existed. Thanks to Wikipedia. But this 1 person, I know.

Rosshafinaz Abdul Rahim aka Fifie was born today 40 years ago. Born in Tronoh Perak. My ex-classmates from Form 1 until 4. And I guess it's true what people say about the leapling babies. That they age slower than the others. Fifie has this youthful look, almost childlike look.

Today, yang tak de kena mengena dengan cerita kat atas, and tak de kena mengena nak celebrate birthday sape-sape, few of us met for lunch. My second visit to Bouquet Garni. The first was described here. I arrived quite late. It was raining kittens and puppies (sebab nak kata tak lebat, boleh tahan lebat, nak kata lebat sangat, tak le pulak) and the traffic was terrible. Hemy, Yus, Kaza, Ina and Shiela were already there and have almost finished main course. 

Hasil kerja keras mulut mereka yang dah sampai awal. The adorable little boy is Yus's nephew.

Mas MS arrived shortly after me. 

The little boy was having fun dengar makcik-makcik ni berborak.
I was not really hungry because earlier my office had makan-makan also. So, I decided to just order the appetiser dish ie Murtabak Diraja. Unfortunately, it's not available. Bila tanya masa order, dia kata ada. Alih2 tak de pulak. Thus I ordered Prawn Rangoon dish. Ok la, but sort of incomplete. Should have some kind of sauce with this dish.

And 3-color layer tea.

Shiela ordered this Garlic Prawn dish. Hemy said the Prawn Rangoon should be eaten with this dish. Macam pelik, takkan kena order both dishes?

Sad to say, the Bouquet Garni that we visited today is not the same as Bouquet Garni we visited before. Service was kind of slow. Quite a few dishes are not available. Mas ordered char kue teow. Mula-mula kata tak ada, pas tu ada pulak. And the major setback, lots of the desserts listed in the menu not available. Kaza ordered sago melaka, tak ada. Hemy nak order creme brulee, tak ada. Yang ada, bubur pulut hitam and bubur kacang hijau.

But there are cakes on sale. We tried a slice of this cheese cake.  

Quite a pity BG became like this. Under new management maybe? Well, not sure whether we will ever come again. Not even the next leap year kot.:(
Breakfast like a king
I met with some of the girls from my old school for breakfast few weeks ago. It was a very rare occasion where the RCK members gathered so early in the morning. Well, it started with me wanting to meet one of the girls Zarina Abdul Rahman aka Eena. Haven't seen her for years. She was one of my classmates during Standard 4, in MGS Raub. She was there only for a short while. Tak sempat nak kenal hati budi..he he... But there was one incident which I remembered until now. We had Art class that day. The task, to draw a portrait. Eena was a very cute little girl then (she is still cute by the way) so the teacher, Puan Norsiah? Puan Norasiah? asked Eena to sit in front of the class, and the rest of us had to draw a portrait of her. I am terrible in drawing. And when I finished, the teacher took a look and could not contained her laughter. Tersenggong tau cikgu gelakkan... Tapi the drawing memang terrible!! Anyhow, the question is: Eena tak yah lukis portrait ek that day?? Ha ha...

And few years after that, fate brought Eena and I together again, in STF. (Sungguh drama statement ini...:P) We were in different classes for the first 4 years so I don't think our paths have ever came across. Blok pun lain, society pun lain. But, we were put in the same class during Form 5. And we 'clicked'. After school, we lost touch and was only reacquainted by FB recently. Tu yang berkobar-kobar nak jumpa tu...

Since Eena has a narrow window of free time, preferably in the mornings, after the kids are all in school, we decided to meet for breakfast. And the venue, Uncle Lim's at Subang Parade. 

And of course, geng2 RCK yang lain pun join sama. Emy, Kaza, Meque with her 2 kids, Zie, Aiz, Iderk and baby Zafira, Mas MS, Yus, Ein, Elin, Noni with baby Ain, Zaira with Udyn and Nor with Marsya.

The appropriate breakfast dish:


and egg


Nasi lemak, boleh la... yang makan tu, Kaza, very the slim one.

But I had this. 

With milo followed by this 3 layer drink.

Breakfast ke lunch ni? But as the saying goes..breakfast like a king queen...

The breakfast carried on until lunch hour. And we later moved to Secret recipe.
Iderk and Kaza shared this cheese cake.

Hemy ordered these dishes of starter.

Elin had pasta.

And Nor and her daughter had fish and chip, this drink and ice-cream.

I had this black pepper lamb pie.

Lunch like a prince princess?

Mujur tak sambung sampai dinner. Can't guarantee dinner like a pauper. Coz most possible, dinner like a king queen again.:P

On another day, Ein, Eena and I had another get together. Mission: shopping tudung di butik Maira.

We had breakfast at Ubi Kayu.

I just had kuih 2,3 ketul. No breakfast for king queen this time.

The mission continued after breakfast. We were joined by Iderk when we were at Maira.

Bought a few pieces of tudung. Masa beli, I was wondering, which baju to wear this tudung with. But the others said, beli dulu, matching belakang kira. Ha ha... Worst case scenario, kena beli baju baru.

Besides tudung, they also have blouses.
 Pic with the owner.

Later, we had lunch at D' Serambi.

Ein had this set.

Eena had this.

I had this.

Definitely fit for a king queen or prince princess.

And recently we had another breakfast meet. With Eena and Ein. Ein or Azreen Ahmat was my classmates for 4 years, from Form 1 until 4. And Ein and I shared lots of memories together during schooldays. I am positive that she sat besides me in class during Form 4. Unless I have worse degenerated neurons than I thought. And again, years after school, FB reunite us again.

We had breakfast at Dome in Subang Parade.

Ein ordered scones.

Eena ordered bruschetta. A vegetarian dish.

I ordered this spicy olio.

We shared the dishes amongst us. The scones are nice. Bruschetta pun sedap unless you don't like the soury tomato taste. Olio memang sedap.

We also shared this fruit salad with yogurt. I don't fancy the sour taste of yogurt so kurengg sikit.

Ein and Eena had English tea. Masing-masing tunjuk skill tuang air.

I had this honeycomb goldrush espreski. Dengan alasan, ibu menyusu kena makan and minum banyak. But coffee?? isyh... But the drink is nice. I love the honeycomb chunks.

Another breakfast fit for a king queen. And honestly, that was also my lunch. Sebab lepas tu, dah tak larat nak makan lagi. Kenyang...
The best planner
I would be lying if I say I don't wish for a son. I remembered years ago. If my memory is still good, I think I have delivered 3 daughters then. My eldest daughter said something like this, 'Along doa dapat adik lelaki'.

I said my little prayer as well. I prayed to Allah that if a son is what is best for us, please grant us a son.  I have also put in extra effort as well like Chinese calendar la, ovulation time la and macam-macam lagi. Two daughters later, I'm sure, this must be the best for us. Well, I have to admit that I may have felt a little bit of disappointment when I found out that I'm going to have another girl.

And once, I came upon this FB status on a friend's wall who shared it from a mufti, which I couldn't agree more:

Mufti Ismail Menk
When things do not go exactly the way we wanted, when we do not achieve what we have tried so hard to or when we feel so let down by others then always know that for as long as we have faith and trust in the Almighty, He definitely has something better in store for us, has saved us from a calamity or disaster that would have been in our path or has elevated our status through surrendering to His Decree. We are not considered believers until we are pleased with the Decisions of the Almighty. This will save us from much anxiety and depression. Try your best and leave the rest to Him.

Alhamdulillah, I'm more at peace now and proud to say I have 5 daughters.

Cuma orang lain je yang tanya, tak nak try lagi for a boy? Naahh... my family is complete as it is. I feel so blessed to have these daughters. Alhamdulillah for this tremendous rahmat.

Now, tunggu menantu je la. Dapat ala-ala Seth Tan pun jadik la...:P
Ups and Downs of a Breastfeeding Mother
I have 5 kids and I breastfed all of them. At least for a year. In fact I'm still breastfeeding my youngest child who is now 8 months old. Breastfeeding is supposed to be an enjoyable experience for the mother and I'm enjoying it. However, I have my share of frustrations and despair.

1. The first few weeks are the toughest. Milk flow is still insufficient. The baby seems not getting enough. And you tempted to turn to formula milk. But the key is, you just have to continue feeding the baby. Until your body recognize the demand induced by the baby sucking and more milk is produced.

2. During the first few weeks too, it was vey painful to feed the baby. And sometimes I dread breastfeeding time. In addition, the nipples could bleed. And it freaked me out when I saw blood smeared on the baby's lips. They said you have to feed the baby in the correct position to avoid this painful and bloody experience. Ntah la, dah anak 5, and dah try adjusting the position, still sakit jugak. The key is, let the bleeding and throbbing nipple heal. It heals quite fast. In the meantime, can express the breast milk and give it to the baby via feeding bottles. With time, the pain will cease and bleeding no more. But frankly, the thoughts of giving up occured numerous times in my mind.

3. When my maternity leave was about to end, I started to stock up on the EBM. But when the baby refused to drink from bottles, susah hati woo... 

4. On working days, I have to find time to express the milk, at least twice. For convenience, I have a mini bar fridge in my office room. But sometimes, I have to travel to HUKM and some other places for meetings and teaching commitments. I have to standby ice and usung Coleman ke hulu ke hilir.

5. Sometimes, working commitments delayed milk expression. And left wet spots on my clothes you know where.

6. Sometimes the delay in milk expression will cause engorgement. Boleh demam dibuatnya. And I have to swallow Panadol to relieve the feverish state.

However, there are a lot of benefits. Such as:
1. It's money saving, no need to buy formula milk.
2. No need to wake up at night to prepare milk.
3. Maintain body weight. Ye ke? I still have to work on my abs... Lemak degil tahap maksimum.

There are other benefits but the best is the bonding between mother-child. The way the child holds on to your fingers or your hair or your clothes during feeding and the way the child looks at you with doting eyes and the lalok expression the child has on his/her face as he/she breastfeed. Priceless...

For those who are breastfeeding and plan to breastfeed your child, remember the up and down of breastfeeding: when you're feeling up, milk letdown would be easier, InsyaAllah. :)

Life begins at (almost) 40
It was Federal Teritorry holiday the other day and both hubby and I had the luxury of a day off from work while our kids were at school. Hubby suggested this really crazy idea of a holiday. Just the two of us.

We got in our car and entered PLUS highway south bound. At 10 am, we had breakfast at R&R Ayer Keroh. This restaurant is located on the overhead bridge, hence the name OB Restaurant.

I had this egg sandwich dish while hubby had a tongkat ali + ginseng drink.

Then we got in our car again and traveled further south until we reached this place.

Johor Premium Outlets.

From the highway, exit route 253 Senai (U). Immediately after the toll (RM40.90), take the 304 exit (Senai). Soon after the exit, you will see the JPO signboard and the building itself on your left. We arrived there at 12.15 pm.

JPO, the one stop center factory outlets for branded items selling items such as handbags, shoes, clothes, lingerie and watches at discounted price. The building and the landscape is beautiful. Even though nampak mcm tanah gersang sikit especially the surrounding area. Besides the shops, there's a police station, Maybank, praying room and kids' playground.

One can easily go gaga in this place. Too bad I'm not one of them. Honestly, we didn't go into any of the handbags or shoes or lingerie shops. Rugi kan... Travel jauh-jauh, tak beli. Well, there isn't a necessity to buy one, so better avoid. If not, nafs override needs. He he...

We only bought 2 items here. One of them are chocolates. For the kids.

We had lunch at the food court.

There are also other eateries such as Starbucks, Coffee Bean, Absolute Thai and few others.

I had this Chicken Ramen. Lebih kurang macam maggi kari je rasa dia.

Hubby had this fried rice from the Thailicious stall.

We left the place at 2.45 pm. It was a fine day. But very hot weather. And it was a challenge to my sleep-deprived hubby who was driving. Tu la, sape suruh stay up tgk bola the night before.... And he refused to let me drive coz for sure, we would have arrive much later then. We made several pit stops, mainly for hubby to refresh himself. These keris are available in Pagoh rest area.

We finally reached Sg Besi toll at 5.40 pm and arrived home at 6 pm. Ample time to pick up the smaller kids from the nursery.

Pheww!! Crazy eh? But fun. Well, they say life begins at 40. Almost la kan... And hubby had other crazy-fun ideas up his sleeve. :)