The show

I am now lying wide awake on my bed typing away as my husband is already drifting miles somewhere in his dreams. I couldn't get back to sleep as I am constantly awakened by what I believe is the start of my labor contraction. I am now timing each contraction between intervals at the same time I am typing. My heart is beating fast too!

Earlier yesterday evening at about 7.30pm, I was shocked when I discovered the show (blood stain) appeared on my panties. I shrieked because one, I was panicked and two, I was somewhat relieved. Relieved that the time has finally arrived.

You see, I have been anticipating the obvious signs but there seemed to be none eventhough my EDD is nearing (it's today!). My water does not break yet, no painful contraction whatsoever, and no show. So you could imagine my feelings when the show finally appeared, an indication of labor is nearing.

However, I still did not experience any pain which was why I was somewhat unsure whether or not we should dash to the hospital. I remember reading that you should only make your way to the hospital when the pain is stronger. The midwives from the antenatal class said the same thing.

Mum obviously urged us to and a close friend shared the same view. They definitely didn't want us to take the risk since it's our first baby, so after Isyak we drove to DEMC.

I was surprisingly calm, anticipating what's going to happen soon. But my husband was quiet, I know he's more nervous than I am! So once there, we made our way to the labour room where we were greeted by a pleasant looking nurse. I told her about the show and the next thing I know I was lying on the hospital bed, strapped to a CTG machine for 20 minutes. This was done to monitor the baby's heartbeat. Alhamdulillah, he's fine. The sound of his heart beating is just beautiful, mashaAllah! I can't believe we will be meeting him soon, insyaAllah!

Then came the dreadful part where the nurse had to check my opening. I am telling you, I can never be ready with such procedure because it was so daunting the last time I had it that I freaked out this time too. She poked me (I gulped!) and thrusted her two fingers inside me (godek2 inside) and said what I already expected - there is no opening yet. False labor, rupanya. We were allowed to return home but to rush there if I experience strong, persistent labor contraction or if my water breaks. We have to be on standby mode because we can never be sure.

So here I am at home on my bed, after 2 hours of our return, experiencing the start of labor contraction. That's quite soon isnt it? It is somewhat mild and bearable, period pain like, coming in at every 15 minutes tops. And the brownish stain is still there.

So, pray for me friends. I am going to continue timing and probably get a nap in between. I am actually very tired and sleepy (and hungry too!). Hopefully the next time you hear from me is when the baby is safely wrapped in my arms, insyaAllah!

Occasional boredom

I am allowing myself to be bored because I seriously cannot find anything interesting or better to do. Besides, waiting is making me anxious day by day, (when I should be relaxing myself) so yes, I am just going to do nothing.

Only it is not that easy.

As it turns out, it is something impossible to do! For many of us, our lives are filled with so many stimuli and responsibilities that it is impossible for us to just sit still and do nothing, much less relax even for a few minutes. True much?

"People are no longer human beings. We should be called human doings"

I guess we all should learn to relax - there's a difference between that and hours of laziness - with the first of just 'being' rather than 'doing', don't you think?

Like I said, it was difficult because I am so used to doing things every second that I struggle to relax (like really really relax). For many of us, we allow our body to relax, but not the mind. Our bodies are idle but not the mind. We are constantly thinking, working our minds that in retrospect, we are not actually relaxing at all. True isn't it?

I have been spending so much time at home, I dont't think there was ever a time that I truly relax, be at peace, allowing my mind and body to rest. Many times, I would think what's going to happen next, what am I going to do when I'm done with this or that, when I am going to complete this or that chore, or what's for dessert even, once I am done with dinner. We are constantly thinking, pushing our minds to work unconsciously. I am sure everyone's been through this one way or another.

"The beauty of doing nothing is that it teaches you to clear your mind and relax. It allows your mind the freedom 'to not know'.... and it takes enormous pressure off you..."

Great! Let's be bored once in a while :)

(Excerpts are taken from The Big Book of Small Stuff - quite an interesting read! )

Mood swings

Been having mood swings for the last couple of days. Probably the last thing I would expect to deal with right now.

My emotion has been very brittle if I may put it that way. I feel elated, at times, very anxious. I don't think I have gone as far as being depressed but little little things seem to upset me much. Then I'll snap. And then I'll cry.

With just a few days away from my EDD, I worry about this sudden mood change of mine. I know family members are trying to let me be, for they either understand or they simply are being oblivious. My husband's been putting up his 'silence' whenever he senses my moodiness, but even that backfires - I became more upset.

So tell me mummies, is this normal? Have any of you gone through similar experience?

The books said nothing so I googled about this. Apparently, it is normal. Mood swings flares during the first trimester, eases during the second, and reappears at the later stages of the third trimester. Hurrm, question has been answered I guess.

I also think it could be stemmed from fatigue, too. Sleeplessness, anxiety, and well, fatigue.

I continuously recite the dhikr and istighfar. I just hope that I will feel more at ease on days leading to my due date.

senyum


"Your teeth is not aurah, so SMILE"

How true!

I actually smiled to myself upon reading this quote which I came across somewhere, I forgot.

It is one most effortless act yet when doing so, we will be rewarded with pahala. It's charity, it's free. It's sunnah. Prophet Muhammad S.A.W said,

"Smiling in the face of your brother is charity (Sadaqa)"
(Jami Tirmidhi)

Even Rasulullah SAW used to smile the most, why can't we?

Abdullah ibn Haarith, radi Allahu 'anhu, said,

"I have never seen anyone who smiled more than Allah's Messenger."
(Jami Tirmidhi)

We don't lose any by moving those muscles on our face, in fact we gain more.

A smile beautifies our face. The smallest distance between two people is smile. A smile begets a smile and so on. It is infectious. And the world will smile back at you.

So lose that frown and smile as a step to following the sunnah :)

Pictures are from Google

once in a while

I am not an avid online buyer or shopper to begin with. Actually, I don't even shop online. However, I do browse on websites that offer online shopping. Though tempting most of the time, I just don't dare to start indulging in what I thought would be an addictive hobby.

Until I discovered Groupon and MilkAdeal not too long ago. Yeah yeah I know, lambat tahu! Oh well, better late than never kan. I'm sure most of you are aware of these sites.

Groupon homepage

MilkAdeal homepage

They're not technically online shopping websites. They offer customers great deals and bargains on almost everything (food, travelling, gadgets, retail and services, etc). If something catches your eye, you buy the voucher and redeem it within a period of time. That's all. I subscribed and I have been getting daily updates on great deals which somehow tempt me, especially the getaway deals! However, the redemption period does not allow me to purchase the vouchers as most of them would be during my confinement period - much to my husband's relief.

So, everytime I browse is the time when I salivate looking at the deals and discounts offered, waiting for the time when I would actually purchase a voucher.

Then, I came across this offer at MilkAdeal :

RM89 instead of RM333.90 for 360° Rotating Pu Leather iPad 2 Case + LCD Crystal Clear Screen Protector + Stylus Pen from All 2 Buys Enterprise [73% OFF]


Click here to view more (the redemption period has ended, however)

My heart jumped because this is what we (read : mostly me) have been searching for. Not so much of the cover but the screen protector. For only RM89, you will get 4 things when the real deal is actually double the price for a cover and a screen protector sold separately. To me, it's a fabulous deal.

Of course, my husband with his skepticism refused to give in. So, I work my words with him yada yada yada and he agreed! So yes, it is our first time dealing/purchasing something online. We still have to wait until the item arrives at our doorstep to really be convinced that their service is up to what they promised.

There's another item at MilkAdeal which I think is really cute and worth buying. This goes out especially to the 1st time mum-to-be's :

RM37.50 instead of RM49.95 for Baby's First Year Record Book from NZT Saujana Enterprise, Bukit Jalil [25% OFF]


Don't tell me you're not the least tempted?? Hehe I could have bought that if I hadn't already have my own personalized baby journal/scrapbook. This would be something treasurable and memorable, don't you think? You could even buy this voucher as a gift for someone else!

Click here to view more of the inside.

So, have a click. Feast your eyes on things that might interest you once in a while :)

Put on hold

3 years have passed since I graduated. With a Bachelor of Education (TESOL) scroll in hand, it has gotten me this far.




3 years of teaching experience in a suburb school has somewhat moulded me into becoming an individual that has matured in thinking and behaviour. At least I'd like to think so. I am still revolving, am striving to be the best and make a difference for I know I haven't quenched every fibre of my being into becoming a very dedicated teacher. I have challenges of my own just like friends in the 'jungles' and the 'rurals', but I know I have touched some lives and I know I have brought a wind of change where learning English is concerned.

I have a long way to go, still, and I am determined to prove others and most importantly myself, of what else that I can contribute.

Beneath all that, however, lies a dream. A dream I have longed dreamt that it has eventually become a promise to self that I am yet to fulfil. I have carried it with me even before I graduated, made a pact with a few close friends about it. Thinking about it now makes me feel ashamed of myself for not grasping it like some of my friends who already did.

My dream is simple. Just like you (and many others, I am sure), I wish to pursue my Masters. No, I want to pursue my Masters.

Those three years could have been a good start, but I didn't make a move. I don't know what was holding me back but I know I was too focused and too tied up adjusting myself in my career. Fatigue and countless frustrations have shoved this dream at the back of my head for a while, until it was eventually forgotten.

Then, I was busy preparing for my wedding. Another reason not to even think about it. In the midst of it all, I still had conversations with a close friend about it and the question "Whatever happened to your enthusiasm and your promise?" was like a shot to the heart. I didn't have an answer. "Promise me that you will pursue your Masters ok" was all she said in return.

And I took her words and remember them until this very day. Thanks V, I promised myself that I will.

pictures from Google

When would be an issue itself, considering the circumstances I am in right now. But I think I have to stop making excuses. If I want this, I have to live my dream and go for it. I know this has to come with some sacrifications, but I believe in faith and rezeki and I know mine is there somewhere.

It's either you want it or you don't.

The nesting instinct

I am now experiencing what is called The Nesting Instinct. I guess the book bears some truths after all. In my earlier weeks, I didn't quite believe that I (or any heavily pregnant ladies) will be capable of this sudden emergence of the 'nesting instinct'. By now, most women are simply too tired and worn out. Me included.

However, it is just so surprising that I suddenly feel the urge to clean every surface in sight - that's the nesting instinct. Organising the cupboards, scrubbing the toilet floor, dusting and wiping every surface, arranging the slippers and sandals, and making sure that the cushions are in order are just some of the things that sometimes I find myself frantically do.

As well as the physical signs of labour, a common clue that labour is just around the corner is the sudden emergence of the "nesting instinct". If you are close to your due date and find yourself frantically cleaning out drawers, organising cupboards and dusting like crazy, it may be that you'll soon be welcoming your baby into the world. Nesting is probably prompted by your pregnancy hormones and the instinctive desire to prepare the 'nest' for the new arrival. In the animal kingdom, female animals and birds have similar patterns of cleaning and preparation before they give birth. By having the house spotlessly clean, your baby's room ready and all her clothes organized, you are ensuring that she will have the best chance for growth and survival once she is born

Hurmm. It does make sense, doesn't it?

Naturally, I am a tidy person. Close friends would second that, I know. Throughout my pregnancy, tidiness somehow doesn't really click well with me. I am just too tired to even bother if everything is in place and in order. And people don't really mind - pregnancy makes you get away with things a lot! But of course, there are things that appear bothersome and such a nuisance especially when my husband makes the room a shipwreck - that I cannot tolerate, so gagahkan juga diri untuk tidy everything up. And that's as far as it goes. My sister once said, " Rina ni mengandung jadi pemalas and tak heran dah kemas- kemas". Something that I don't get everyday ok!

Though I am now in the home stretch, being tired and breathless are the things that I can't get away from. With the 'tightening' - Braxton Hicks contraction - ever so frequent now, it makes it really difficult to move about quickly. However, the nesting instinct proves to be so empowering that those things do not come in the way. There is always something to do to please this pregnant lady and I might just tidy up my sister's room after this post is published!

I know some of you would say, "Hey, don't push yourself too hard". No, I am not. I am doing all these within my capability and I certainly take that rest to save my energy for labour (and the wakeful nights that lie ahead!). Besides, it makes me move around so I don't become that lembik, inactive pregnant lady and you know what the old folks normally say, "Aktif sikit dah nak akhir-akhir ni, senang beranak". So there. Habis aktif dah nih! :)

The next 10 days will be an exciting time and a bit apprehensive too. I can't believe it!

Moga-moga dipermudahkan, insyaAllah!

It's all in the mind

Fear and worry are the misuse of the imagination. I read that somewhere. It is true.

At this point of time, I am trying really really hard to not fall for those two and let them swamp me.

Fear. The more you think about how everything will be, how much your body can handle the pain, or just how scary the experience will turn out to be, that's what you will get.

Worry. The more you worry, the scarier it gets. They are related.

Like I said, it is all in the mind. It can play tricks on you. So I have to be positive, shut every negativity out.

It is all in the mind.

InsyaAllah!

my holiday

I am so happy that my career has frequent breaks. A teacher definitely needs that rest after a semester or a few hectic months to pump themselves up for the upcoming schooling session.

Though it is deemed as a privilege, others might not know that it is not our right (hak). That is why holidays is sometimes not a holiday after all. Being 'bugged' is common and expected. That is why you would still see teachers going to school on every other day during the break and that is inevitable.

Throughout my teaching, I have never had a peaceful holiday so to speak. I still made my way to school for some unfinished business and as one who is supposedly 'yang menurut perintah', you can't say no.

The first year, I was invigilating and I made my way back and forth to school because I had to accept a new post as one teacher got transferred. So I was in school for a few briefing sessions (handing over of duty). The second year I was on duty for Koperasi and my school's invigilator. The next thing you know, it was already time for the teachers' meeting and others and then school reopened without you even realising it. Luckily it was also the year I got married, so I wasn't 'bugged' that much.

This year, the holidays is very much looked forward to because it would be the start of my long break. That is why, this year I am so so relieved and grateful that I am due during the holidays (talking about good planning, eh?) - which means, no phone calls or no text messages that require my being in school.

Only that didn't exactly happen.

I still had to be on Koperasi duty with the students - only I was given the privilege of a 2-day duty and at the start of the holiday. Then, I had to come for a short HEM meeting regarding next year's class arrangement since I won't be around when school starts (nak jugak buat meeting masa cuti). And I was called by my PK1 regarding Headcount and its folder (Examination Unit) because apparently she couldn't find the data. I don't blame her though, because it was in my keep at my place. So, I made my way to school to give her the file and update it.

Last Friday was my last dealing with school as I 'officially' handed over my duty and post as Penyelaras Headcount & SAPS to a colleague who (thankfully) accepted my 'offer' over a short briefing session at Starbucks. It was the only time she was free as she was involved with the SPM marking, so it can't be helped - as long as it is not in school!

So, right now my mind is school-free! I try not to think about it too much ( I still do at times especially regarding Headcount and SAPS) because I know my colleague will do a great job. InsyaAllah, all will be fine.

I don't want to envision the workload once I get back to school after 90 days (aaahhhh, such bliss!). For now, I am just going to enjoy my break and anticipate the great joy that is coming anytime now :)

click! click!

On the 7th of December, I had the privilege to be captured at my 37th week. It was not quite in the plan all the way to have this maternity shoot. However, since my brother's friend offered and he was willing to spend the time, my husband and I thought, "Why not?"

After many rescheduling, last Wednesday was the day. Fikri came over to our house and the clicking session began.

The setting up :




It started off with shots of yours truly as my husband was still at work, and my sister was still at her uni. I didn't have to move that much, but even that was tiring enough.

The photography session :


It's been quite some time since I was photographed 'professionally' so to speak, so I was a bit awkward in my poses and it took me awhile to relax hehe I was more concern on how 'fat' or 'chubby' I would look :) I guess, that can't be helped!

The silhouette pose :

(my personal favourite)

The session was continued at night when my husband and my sister were home. It was super fun because everyone was so sporting (including my husband) and who would have thought that our living room would make a perfect studio!

I can't wait for the final product. I am sure it will turn out great!

Thanks Fikri for your time and offer. And I love your creativity. Check his link above. He's good :)

The waiting game

Yesterday night was the second time the pain did tricks on me. At my stage, labour could start at any time now, so you could imagine how alarmed I was - not to mention the husband.

The first time I experienced what I thought was the first stage of labour pain was last week. My stomach was unexceptionally queasy - almost like what I'd feel when I am about to get my period. It's been awhile so I didn't quite register the kind of pain I was feeling. I was restless almost a quarter of the night, tossing and turning, only to discover it was nothing because I somehow fell asleep.

Last night was similar only the pain was stronger. At one point I could feel tears forming in my eyes because it was painful. I was overcame with fear when the pain kept on attacking. However, I was also so sure it wasn't really labour contraction I was feeling because the pain wasn't persistent. It didn't occur at regular, increasingly shorter intervals and longer and stronger in intensity. It's just a more painful crampy premenstrual feeling.

Pheww!

I am so grateful that I have many mommy friends that I could turn to for advice (besides my mother). I love listening to their labour experiences, which to me don't differ that much ( in terms of their signs of labour pain). Their stories have helped me be more mentally, physically, and emotionally prepared as a first-time mum. Sharing stories and discussing my worries prove to be fruitful because I think I can sense the fear gradually fading and I am now anticipating to give birth. Alhamdulillah for the strength!

Also a reason to go out on more dates with girlfriends.

I also turn to these two books (my pregnancy bibles) for information. To me, they are the ultimate guide from preconception to birth and after (how to handle our newborn). What you don't get in one, you get in the other. They equipped yourself with knowledge you're supposed to know and especially to prepare youself with whatever is coming your way. Plus, you know what to ask your doctor and you don't feel too lost when your doctor explains about something with those jargon hehe


(bottom) A book I bought on recommendation, (top) A wedding gift

Right now, it is the waiting game for us. Our baby could arrive any time, any day and my husband has to be ready for that 'drop-everything' call :)

Asam power

I was first introduced to this restaurant by my in-laws. Didn't know what to expect, I thought Thai Asam Fish is just another eatery with Asam Fish as their ultimate dish attraction. Boy, was I wrong. This restaurant is the one where Asam Fish is concerned. This has become my favourite eat out that serves the best Asam Fish after Sri Thai.

Thai Asam Fish is a restaurant that offers Thai and Chinese dishes (with a contemporary twist) which are absolutely affordable and delicious. It is Halal. All the dishes come in three sizes : small, medium and large. One would never judge its outer simple look because you'd be surprised at how excellent the dishes taste.


So, my husband and I brought my family to this place after many canceled plans. It is located at Section 7 Commercial Centre, Shah Alam (near Jakel). This restaurant is just one out of many other eateries one could find at the Commercial Centre. We went there for dinner. So, let's see what we ordered.

Crab meat with tofu soup (de.li.cious!). It warms your whole body and the taste is superb!

Boneless chicken with dried chili

Sotong goreng tepung (serve with mayo and chili sauce)

Dried chicken curry

Butter prawn
And now, the ultimate dishes :

Thai (steamed) Asam Fish (we chose siakap)

I don't normally eat steamed fish, but this dish is an exception. The asam gravy is something I can never explain because it tastes so so good - masam, manis, semua cukup! - and I like the fact that it comes with long beans, tomatoes and ladyfingers, which blend perfectly with the gravy. The fish is cut into half and it is served boneless so it is easy to just scoop the sweet, fresh fish!

Deep fried siakap with mango and sweet chili (a must try!!!)

This is also my ultimate favourite. It's like kerabu served with deep fried fish. The sliced mangoes are so so sweet and sour, together with the red onions and parsley - out of this world! The gravy at the bottom is actually sweet chili sauce, but the sweetness does not drown the taste of the mango. The fish itself is perfectly deep-fried. I can eat this alone, like seriously.

See how full our table was? We also ordered three dishes of vegetables : Kangkong belacan, Mixed vegetables, and Broccoli with mushroom in oyster sauce.

Scraping off the last bit of fish and asam gravy :)

These are just some of the many many dishes offered. I can't wait to try the others on the menu which I bet are just as tasty. Oh, and the fruit juices are so refreshing. We ordered one jug of watermelon juice. They also have Chinese tea. I can assure you , you will not regret coming here.

Overall :

Cleanliness - 4/5
Ambience - 3.5/5
Worth the money - 5/5

spreading the word

I'm doing my dear friend a favor.

She has just launched her online business named Smashing Scarves.


So to all shawl lovers, have a click and check her online blog if you have the time okay!

She is just starting, so keep on checking for more new collection :)

The Writer

The Writer
I am a wife, a mother, and a teacher by profession. At times a pessimist and one who is easily amused. I find comfort once entering the threshold of my bedroom. I write because I want to and it makes me feel good :)