Monday, April 23, 2018

Leaving 2017

Tad bit too late, but I'm gonna post anyway. And slowly but surely gonna catch up with my blog, in shaa Allah.

2017 has its fair share of ups and downs. I was under a little depression when my first born was warded for the first time, it gave me the scare of my life. Alhamdulillah all is well now.

No more kay?

Was blessed to have been given the chance to visit Brunei for the first time.

I was also upgraded to Senior Member IEEE, was beyond happy.

I've finally finally submitted my PEng application, doa banyak2 all is ok. Went through Route 3 BEM, where I applied to convert my CEng to PEng.

I have one graduated Master student in 2017, alhamdulillah. That feeling in viva room is scarier than your own.

I have also been upgraded to Senior Lecturer A, aiming for Associate Professor next.

And the happiest is that we have got the chance to visit the holy mosques one more time.

Am so blessed.

2018 is gonna be a better year, in shaa Allah. Bismillah..

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Smart IQ: Power Brain for Children - A review

Last December, I sent Khaira for a Power Brain course for children in Smart IQ, Bangi. It was a two days full day course followed by 4 classes afterwards.

Power Brain is a training method where you fully utilize your brain capability to improve focus, memory and creativity. It was said that we are only using 10% of our brain capacity most of the time, so this method helps you utilize more. It wakes up your other senses, if previously we use only eyes/vision most of the time, Power Brain helps you encourage your touch, hearing, taste and smell sensors.

My verdict?

I'll let you judge for me.

This was what Khaira has achieved at the end of the first day.

This was at the end of the second day.

And now, Alhamdulillah, she could do much more. She could even read Quran blindfold. Not only hands, her feet have been sensing more accurately. We are still trying hard to increase the accuracy of her front and back sonar. Soon, in shaa Allah.

This is some of the sharing I managed to type in during the class.

- Kalau tak confident, bakat tak keluar
- Congratulate effort, hug
- Acknowledge and highlight benda baik
- Small change must be acknowledged
- Enhanced from normal to super sensory
- Sense vibration of colours, tangan lebih sensitive, hidung lebih sensitive
- Mata banyak distraction, anak susah fokus
- Focus point differs from one kid to the other, according to VAK
- Besarkan memory, connect cells
- Tutup mata, mudah simpan and retrieve info
- Kalau salah, try again. Bangkit from kesalahan and kepayahan: AQ
- Takut kena marah. Eg. Panjat pagar, say “careful, tangan kena kuat”. To inform that they are in risky situation

- Exercise:
- 1. Tangan kiri peace, tangan kanan pistol, then swap. Bayangkan. Nak sampaikan info, bayangkan. Jangan ada negative thoughts. Absorption kuat. Sebelum ajar, mandi and wudhuk.
- 2. Genggam penumbuk, ibu jari kanan dengan jari manis kanan satu arah, then switch.
- 3. Satu tangan softly tepuk kepala kat atas (must touch) satu lagi pusing kat perut (jangan touch). Then switch. Can even tukar arah. *kalau tulis tekan
- 4. Satu tangan pegang hidung, tangan kat dalam. Satu lagi pegang telinga. Then switch. Can tambah tepuk in between. *kalau susah nk focus
- 5. Satu tangan tumbuk, satu lagi gosok, tapi float, then switch
- 6. Tangan kanan pusing ke depan, tangan kiri pusing ke belakang. Then, switch
- Ideally, can change within 2 weeks. Train everyday

- Food for brain: kismis, kurma, almond
- Kismis 7 biji (kalau budak kecik, less but number ganjil), teknik: kunyah sampai keluar air, then kemam bawah lidah sampai hilang manis, then telan. Bawah lidah banyak nerve sambung ke neurons.
- Hungry/sleepy all the time sbb banyak pakai brain
- Charge energy: minum plain water yg tak sejuk. Jangan minum air sejuk masa belajar. Sebulan no hp game
- 8 jam tido malam.
- Hp drained out energy. Wifi be careful. Malam tutup wifi, jauhkan/matikan hp
- Satu tangan kat dada, satu kat perut, tarik nafas ikut hidung, masuk ke perut, lepas ke mulut, cakap charge energy. Tarik benda positive, buang benda negative. Mesti ada kaler, bila buang kaler hitam
- Jangan lepaskan nafas negative kat depan orang, they will be affected

Monday, March 19, 2018

Leaving the girls for my second umrah trip (T_T)

I remember in 2015, my good friend was telling this every time after solat,

"This year, I want to go for umrah!"

But she didn't make any preparation for that. Come December, her brother in law (BIL) was supposed to go to Umrah, but had to be cancelled due to work, guess who went to replace the BIL and his wife?

Then 2016, this same friend of mine was telling me again, every time after solat,

"This year, I want to go for Hajj!"

Again, she didn't make any preparation and about two months before Hajj, guess who was invited by the Almighty?

One day I asked her, "How?"

"If you want something good bad enough, Allah will help you!" Her level of faith and dependency, I cried!

"I did want it bad enough.." I said.

"What hold you back then?" She asked, smiling. I thought hard. It was the girls. I am one hell of clingy mom, so does my girls. "You have to let go. When you know it is a good thing to do, your niat is for Allah, Allah will take care of them."

I took it to heart.

I let go, sincerely for the first time, let loose, give all the control to Almighty and left them for Umrah for 6 days. And my heart is totally peace in Makkah and Madinah, I missed them. But I wasn't paranoid, it didn't ache.

I am blessed to be constantly reminded by good people surrounding me. Love said, that is also my form of rezeki. Mufti Menk said sometimes, Allah gave a reminder to us via normal people and normal event.

So how was it to leave them?

I told them earlier of my plan, reminded them every day.

Left them love letters, so they could read one by one every day. One side of the letter was coloring page, one side was my notes.

Left them homeworks, day by day.

In return, Khaira made us a box with letters from her day by day as well before we left. It was priceless.

Aisha was crying almost everyday at night before we left, but once we were in Umrah, she was doing ok. Khaira on the other hand was cool and all before we left. But on the day, she cried for half a day. Was inconsolable at the airport.

But, Alhamdulillah for my strong family support. One of my brothers and my SIL took leave to cheer them up. They brought them to Petrosains the next day. My parents in law visited them every now and then at my parents' house. Everything was smooth sailing.

Every day, K would write us letters and send us the photo. A sent some too, but of course, it was just some sketching of something that we could not make sense of.

We would call them everday via Kakao as apparently Whatsapp Call was blocked in Saudi. It was quite difficult to get the sim card as contrary from the previous year. Booths in airport was offline, so we waited until the next day to buy sim card in Makkah. I had to roam for two days.

They would send us videos and pictures and voice messages. This was my favourite!

By day 6, K was already super sad. Cried at night a bit and all, but it was ok, because we reached Malaysia the afternoon of 7th day :)

Alhamdulillah, the longest I left them and the first time both of us were not there. Thank you Alllah for taking care of them while I was gone, and for taking care of them all these while 24/7 :)

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Kapal + Ikeen 2017's short customized umrah trip!

I have been missing the Holy Land too much after my first umrah trip 2016. I felt incomplete. Like something was missing. Everyday I thought about the holy land. How it felt like to stay there for hours, how does masjidil haram looks like without the temporary mataf, all sorts of things. Every single day.

I pray every day to have been given the chance to be there in 2017. Plan A did not go well, and after Plan B, I basically stopped planning but continued praying.

Day in, day out and it was October. But.. I have no plan yet to the holy land. So as days went by, I felt sad and empty.

A few days before my birthday, Love suddenly managed to get a long leave and said, "Jom pergi Umrah!"

We were psyched. We resolved our issue one by one. From the fact that I have insufficient leave to the extra fees we need to pay as we just went the year before.

We opted to go via Shahid Travel and Tours as they organized a private package for us. We managed to cut short to 6 days trips and managed to leave the girls with my parents. Alhamdulillah, we were able to book a date when I was free from my menses and also on a week of semester break.

Unlike our Umrah the previous year, this time we entered Makkah first before Madinah. I felt comfortable with Saudi Airlines previously, so we did the same for this trip.

So, to Makkah first or to Madinah?

Considering I have experienced both, I choose Makkah. Because, I feel like it is more natural to perform your ibadah first, while you are still healthy and then take a little slow in Madinah as it is a peaceful land indeed.

We left Malaysia at 1210 noon, Saturday Malaysia time, arrived in Jeddah 415pm (Saudi time) and finally reached our hotel almost midnight via bus with the other jemaah. We stayed in Hotel Saraya Iman also with the rest of the jemaah, a bit further away compared to our previous hotel in Maqam, hence we didn't really have the luxury to go back and forth to our hotel every prayer time like we did. We didn't quite mind as it was just the two of us and it gave us more time in the mosque.

We performed our first umrah of 2017 at 1am and the feeling was beautiful :) Like everything you dreamed of and more.

A lot has changed in Masjidil Haram within a year. No more temporary mataf, the zam zam well was renovated, only those with ihram can do tawaf in ground floor and you thought things will be really chaos, but no. It was really REALLY peaceful indeed. I must applaud Saudi government for the way they manage this, thank you.

Our food was all taken care by Shahid Travel, 3 times a day in the hotel. But, we did not follow the tour as our focus this time not to ziarah, but more to exploring the mosque. And we did just that. We Sai'e at almost every floor, solat at almost every corner of Masjidil Haram where Kaabah is visible, we stalked the imam so that we could solat close to them, after solat, we stayed at the rooftop where it was windy, looking at Kaabah and how synchronize and peaceful everything was from the top.

We took a taxi from outside our hotel to Tan'im for us to perform our Umrah. Tan'im was about 10-15 minutes away from Masjidil Haram and it costs you around 50-60 Riyal (About RM60-70).

This is pretty much our timetable everyday in Makkah.

We left our hotel at 3am to Tan'im, performed Umrah and had our Subuh prayer. Back home for breakfast and sleep for about 3 hours. Woke up about an hour before Zuhur, shopped for about 15 minutes for souvenirs back home and rushed to the mosque for Zuhur prayer. Come back to the hotel for lunch and after lunch, freshened up for about half an hour. Then, we stayed in the mosque before Asar until after Isyak. After Isyak, we had dinner and normally by 9pm I have already fell asleep so I could wake up at 2am the next day and the cycle continued.

I also come out with plans on what to do every solat time. Typically would be Solat Sunat Tahajjud (before Subuh), Solat Sunat Dhuha (after Subuh), Solat Sunat Taubat, Sujud Syukur, Solat Hajat, Solat Witir, Solat Jenazah, Zikir, specific doa, doa from friends, recite Quran (I have specific target for every solat) if I have extra time, I will sedekah Fatihah for my family member that have passed away especially my grandmother. You need to have strategy, a good friend of mine who have been there multiple times always advised me and that was just what I did.

We stayed in Makkah from Saturday until Wednesday. Right after we performed our last umrah in Makkah that year, we performed our Subuh and Tawaf Wida' (probably one of the saddest feeling I had), waited outside hotel where Shahid Travel prepared a cab for us to Madinah. It took about 4 hours to Madinah via car, where it was almost 9 hours previously by bus!

Our scenery for hours in the cab

We stayed in Bahauddin Hotel which was right in front of the mosque just before Zuhur. We purposely requested to arrange our own food as we thought of trying the local food in restaurant, but boy.. there was not much restaurant in Madinah. But I really REALLY love the food in the only dine in restaurant visible from our hotel, hence we ate that almost every time.

After Isyak, I waited to get in Raudhah, Alhamdulillah was given the chance to do that. Alhamdulillah, I was a bit nervous as I was alone. The previous year, I went inside Raudhah with the jemaah. But I found a friend there, we were both clueless so we just go with the flow. I managed to get in, was protected by some group from Pakistan, may Allah swt bless their soul (T_T). After Raudhah, we had dinner with our good friend who was also a representative from Shahid Travel and came there to greet us at the hotel.

After Zuhur the next day, we packed up our things and waited for an Uber driver together with Shahid's representative (our good friend, Mus) where he personally sent us to the airport to leave the peaceful Madinah.

Goodbye Mus, thank you for the hospitality. Goodbye Makkah and Madinah, dear Allah swt, please allow us to visit your holy land again.

To end my post, I highly recommend Shahid Travel and Tours especially if you opt for customized umrah like us. I rate the 5/5.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Love’s 32nd birthday

November is the month of our anniversary and Love’s birthday. However, since it came three days before our big trip, we didn’t really celebrate it.

I sent a bouquet of chocolate to Love’s office via Living N Chocolate which btw is highly recommended!

Then, I took a half day off, shopped some stuff to make him a homemade caramel cheesecake. I got the recipe of caramel from Food Network.

"Mix the brown sugar, half-and-half, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until it gets thicker. Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off the heat, cool slightly and pour the sauce into a jar. Refrigerate until cold."

At night, as usual, we ordered food in, had dinner at my parents'. And guess what I get him for his birthday?? (One of the items, will talk about the other in my next post).

Khaira's birthday present printed on my birthday present and he loved it a lot!

That pretty much sums up his birthday, simple and sweet becauseeeee... we were busy preparing for our umrah trip in a couple of days.

Until the next post on our 2017 Umrah, in shaa Allah!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Khaira’s kindy graduation

Remember those times when I left K in this one kindy and she had the most miserable time of her life. Quickly she became inteovert until I saw one picture of her, under the table alone while the other kids having the time of their life.

I talked to the teacher and she made a remark saying somewhat like Khaira was always the weird ones. Then, I found Genius Aulad and slowly but surely Khaira gained her confidence back.

It was 2 years and 4 months ago.

Last month, Khaira had her graduation. Her last in Genius Aulad.

A few days before the concert, we received the agenda of the event. 

Love realized that K’s name was in the agenda. She told me she would recite some surahs, I didn’t know she was selected. I couldn’t be prouder. I have been training her to recite surahs since 1. And at 6, she had her first public recitation!

When we arrived, the teacher greeted her with a bouquet of chocolate, and I thought it was really thoughtful.

Khaira together with her classmate, were the emcee for the day. She was so cool on stage, not nervous at all. I was impressed!

Look at how much our girl has improved. If you were to ask me 3 years ago, when I was worried sick looking at her having difficulties socializing, I wouldn’t even dream of getting her to this stage.

I was almost in tears. It is a loonggggg tiring journey for both Love and I and also the teachers to get her to this level. Of course we know it is worth it in the end.

Seeing K in her graduation robe, somehow brings somewhat a relief for me that her first training to socialize, to be a good team player as well as a leader and to be a good student has somewhat completed. I always told the teacher that I am not worried about her academic as she is just six (of course I never for a moment took it for granted), my priority is for her to know how to socialize and differentiate good influences and the not so good ones.

Anyway, right after Khaira was on a month leave when she was infected with mycoplasma, the teacher nominated her for “Cabaran Bijak Membaca 2017” to represent GA Bandar Putra Permai reading challenge among Genius Aulad nationwide.

5 months after, I have totally forgotten about it. But during the ihtifal, the winner was announced and guess what? Alhamdulillah, K won “The Most Sparkling Reader” award!

I was speechless and couldn’t thank the Almighty more.

Her performance with her friends was entertaining. It’s hard to see her leaving her best friends.

And her teachers.

And her cook and her transporter, they are all super nice people, I cried on her last day. So bad.

Thank you Teacher Rozita and all the teachers, Mak Su, Encik Sopi and Encik Mat the transporter. You have all worked together to bring in the confidence in my lil girl, I could have never repay that. I pray may Allah swt bless all of you always.

Khaira Asyikin, one day, I am sure you are going to read this.. remember these people always, keep them in your doa and prayers for we have been blessed with their kindness to get us here. Alhamdulillah.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Khaira turns six!

Can you believe it? My first born turned six on 17th October 2017.

Some of you might be following me since my first hypnobirth story and guess what, it was six years ago.

I feel so humbled and blessed to have been given the chance to raise up such lovely brilliant girl like you, Khaira Asyikin.

We invited our family over for a small birthday party for Khaira and had a small celebration at her school.

She is at the moment obsessed with a cartoon called “The Loud House”.

Previously, she was obsessed with “The Powerpuff Girls” partly because I used to be obsessed with PPG and our bed sheet and decos in my room at my parents’ place are filled with them.

Every year near their birthday I would asked them what they would like to be when they grow up. It’s fun to see the answers getting mature each year. It’s no different this year.

“I want to be a Professor,” was K’s answer. Professor was a big word for a girl her age. She was way too mature than I thought, well at least at that point of time. I thought she was inspired by me, because you know at 32, and at the field where I am, of course my ultimatum in terms of career is to be a professor.

“Do you know why I wanna be a Professor, Ibu?” She asked.

“Why?” I asked her back, grinning.

“Because I wanna create Powerpuff Girls just like Professor Utonium!” She replied excitedly.