Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Little Cousins

Little Cousins. One in Tenby and the other in Bintulu, born ~ 5 weeks apart, one through a 'short-cut' in the morning and the other naturally in the late evening. Whichever way they came out they are nevertheless beautiful little boys, much adorable, huggable and a joy to the eyes. Don't they just look wonderful? Their elder siblings just can't get enough of touching and stroking them and all, I think, having secret wishes to hold the baby
but are prevented by the parents and grandparents from doing so with the excuse that the little ones are too little and still fragile for them to hold in their hands. I remember Haadieya arguing with me when I said that she is still small to carry the baby that "Everybody says that I am big, so if I am big why I cannot carry baby?) ha ha ha! its true she is big, but only in comparison to those of her age, but not big enough yet to be carrying a baby. Anyway, I managed to coax her to sit cross-legged on the floor and placed baby on her lap to make her happy and indeed she was. Then Hifzhan and Haziq did the same too and I think they all enjoyed the experience. It is the same with Najla. She also requested to hold and carry the baby but we have managed to persuade her not to, so far, but I am sure we cannot keep her at bay for too long.

The little baby in Tenby has not been named yet. The parents are intending to name him Muhd Firas Naufal. So, Hadeef Hafiy and Mohd Firas Naufal are cousins, of almost the same age, who will grow up being compared to each other by many, naturally. Comparisons aside, my prayers are that they will grow up to be useful citizens of this world and receive the guidance and protection of the Almighty always. May the Almighty be pleased.....

MKI Ramblings Unlimited,
Tenby, Pembrokeshire,

Monday, May 25, 2009

Baby's Homecoming

Little baby 1st homecoming from the hospital was on Sunday 24th afternoon, two days after birth. Najla was very excited, not so much that baby is home, but more of mummy being home. She had been crappy the day before when she realised that mummy was not coming home yet and we had to almost continually keep her occupied lest she throws tantrums.

We were at the hospital in the afternoon on Saturday to visit baby and mummy and we brought Najla along. She was beaming when she saw baby and mummy, insisted that we take some pictures of her with mummy and baby and seemed to be overawed with little baby, touching him in trepidation, as though expecting baby to wake up and scream at her!! She remained fascinated over her little brother and kept her eyes over the baby every now and then. At the same time she was throwing questions after questions to mummy. She also felt mummy's tummy and then look at the baby, perhaps wondering whether baby has truly come out from mummy's tummy, ha ha!!

It was very difficult to get Najla to leave mummy and baby at the hospital when it was time for us to go home. She cried in the car and at the hypermarket where we stopped to buy groceries. The hospital is in another town, Heaverfordwest, which is bigger than and some 45 minutes drive out of Tenby. In this town we can get a good variety and choice of groceries and also 'halal' items. Because Najla continued to cry I had to sit with her at one corner of the hypermarket while Ram did the shopping alone. Najla finally fell asleep, obviously exhausted of crying, and I had to carry her and let her sleep on my shoulder. Luckily she is slim, small and light!!

Late Sunday afternoon was when baby arrived home with mummy and daddy and baby was sleeping peacefully in the 'carry-on' car seat on arrival. Not long after that he woke up and wanted to be fed. For the rest of the day and night baby was crying often, and was passing alot of 'wind' his tummy being obviously unsettled. We had to apply all sorts of techniques to make baby comfortable but we were almost up all night through. It was only early in the morning that baby was more settled and had a few hours of sleep. Phewww.... what a night..... I hope this will not be a sign of the many more sleepless nights to come....

Najla, about to hug Mummy on her arrival home

Just Like Tok Bi in that 'Nyonya' dress!!

MKI Ramblings Unlimited,
Tenby, Pembrokeshire,

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Second Child for Sita and Fahrul, Sixth Grandchild for Us

All praises to the Almighty. Sita, due to deliver baby on 1st June, by calculation, has three hours ago given birth to a baby boy, her and Fahrul's second child and sixth grandchild for Ram and I. The baby is about 10 days early. Najla does not yet know that she has a baby brother. She is fast asleep and she is going to be very disappointed when she wakes up and finds that she has a brother. I wonder what her reaction will be.

We have not seen the baby yet but Fahrul has passed some photos just after birth. We shall wait a few days before taking more photos as by then baby should stabilise.

I am happy, and all praises to the Almighty, that I now have four grandsons and two granddaughters. More postings on the baby to follow.....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cold Cold Cold Tenby

Ram and I are already in Tenby. The temperatures are supposed to be > 15 Celsius in the day hours, which is long and > 10 Celsius at night but no no no. The actual temperatures were like 12 Celsius day hours and single digit night time. Sun up is at about 3.30 am and sunset at 9.30 pm. My body clock is misbehaving and I do not know if I am jet-lagged, tired or just plain sleepy. So, when I sit down and relax, and if my eyes droop I will just let sleep happen. I will not fight it.

We left home early on Sunday 17th morning to catch the 10.00am flight from KLIA to LHR. Tessa sent us to the airport and we had a preflight ‘flight’ to the airport at ~ 170km/hr on the freeway. In spite of that there were several cars that were faster than us but not a BMW Z4 driven by a young man (I wondered if it was his car as he looked too young to own such a car!!) with the soft top open. Perhaps he was just enjoying an easy drive or just cautious with a borrowed car!!

Check-in at the flight counter was a breeze as I used my upgraded frequent traveler card and I did not have to queue. Yes, flying off to Tenby so many times over the last six months or so and to Bintulu twice in a month for the last six months and the three or four return trips to Terengganu per month six months before that have earned me enough recognition to be upgraded. We had more than an hour before we have to report at the flight gate so we took the opportunity to relax and enjoy lovely breakfast at the airline lounge. Flight was on schedule, and there was an empty seat next to Ram’s, so it was pleasant extra space. There was a strong headwind, somewhere between 120 to 160 kilometers an hour, throughout the journey and I think the pilot had to overwork the engines to keep schedule. He overdid it I think, because we arrived London half an hour early but the pilot came on the radio to say that there is bunching of flights to land at Heathrow and we have to wait our turn. In the end we landed a quarter of an hour behind schedule. The bunching of flights landing in LHR caused a long queue at the immigration and it was a good hour before we cleared our passports and retrieved our baggage. That aside the flight was pleasant, with good service provided by the cabin crew, and easy passage through customs. We were quite apprehensive as we brought some herbal treatment stuff for Sita to use during her confinement and we expected customs to give us a hard time. But, as Sita always says, “Do not worry too much. Whatever it is, things will usually work out in the end. Just put your heart to it and a little prayer of course”.

Sita was waiting for us, beaming end to end when she saw us, at the exit of customs, happy to see all our baggage intact and to learn that there was no custom check. Fahrul was then driving around the airport area as Najla was then sleeping and did not want to wake her up. She continued to sleep even when we got into the car and only woke up about half an hour later, maybe awakened by our conversations and laughter. It’s a 5 hours drive to Tenby from London, including ‘toilet service and pit stop’ and I fell asleep part of the way. We arrived in Tenby at about 10pm and it was just getting dark!!

The next day was a confusing day for our body clock, don’t know whether to sleep in or go out. The rainy and ‘balmy’ weather does not help any. It was much nicer to snuggle in between the bed sheets than be up and about. However, today was a much nicer day and I could go for a walk around the area in the late afternoon just in my long-sleeved T and ordinary pants. Temperature was about 15 Celsius but it did not stay that way long. By 7pm it became cloudy and balmy again. I hope the weather will improve as the spring moves on to summer…….. maybe a little farfetched a hope for UK, knowing what the weather here had been over the years!!

MKI Ramblings Unlimited,
Tenby, Wales, Pembrokeshire

Saturday, May 16, 2009

We are back in PeeJay. We have a series of medical checkups, over three days before the weekend when we will fly to Wales. We received uneasy news however and had to take some consoling actions before we leave. Ram’s younger sister, Rashidah, was diagnosed with and confirmed to have an early stage cancer of the breast. She had earlier checked with her regular doctor of some problems she had and the doctor recommended that she does a thorough check. Through the niece who is a doctor in one of the specialist hospital in KL, she went through proper scans and x-rays to determine the problem and it was confirmed to be cancerous. Now it is decision to make on the timing for removal of the cancer. We had a free Saturday and spent time with her and Ram’s other sibling in their Shah Alam apartment. We brought lunch along on the visit and had it with them. A little after lunch another niece, the younger sibling of the specialist doctor, came to visit with his son. So we had a pleasant meeting with close relatives that day and I think it sort of cheered up Ram’s sister a bit. We still do not know what the outcome will be but we hope and pray for the sister, that when the doctors do open her up will not find much of a problem and that she can get on with her life unabated. She appeared to be taking it positively and strong and we hope she will remain so. May the Almighty keep her under guidance always.

Ram had her regular eye check up at THONEH on Wednesday and went away with fresh supply of eye drops. Her eyes were ok, and the doctor is just waiting for the proper occasion to do her left eye. The hospital is still waiting for the new and latest equipment to arrive and to use on her left eye operation. So she will have to continue with just one good eye for a little while longer.

Our own annual, full, medical checkups turned out quite some surprises though. Ram has improved on her blood pressure and blood sugar level but her backbone shows a little deterioration. She will have to be careful when bending down or lifting heavy stuff. On the other hand I have better controlled bone mass structure, an improvement from the last check up a year ago. It is no wonder then that I found much less need for the walking stick recently and that waking up in the mornings has been sprightlier with less pain in the joints. The abdominal aneurysm seems to be holding on with no deterioration, so, no worries there. We shall continue with our routines, be more aware of what we eat, and of course we must not forget our exercise routines. We have not practiced regular Qi Gong and must now make it more regular. We had resolved sometime back that we should cut down on our meat intake and increase our veges and fruits, more proteins and less carbo, increasing nutrients over fats. Results of the medical tests also suggested that we reduce our seafood intake. Luckily fish does not fall under the category of sea food and is a recommended food in our case.

Our next check up is at the Government Community Health clinic. We obtain our regular medicines there and with the results of the full medical checkup the day before we went to the clinic very early. The doors were already open when we arrived at the clinic and our queue numbers were 32 and 33. Nevertheless, with the systemic flow of checkup process at the clinic we were done in about an hour and a half, complete with doctors’ consultation and our prescriptions filled up. We received a three month supply of medicine. That should cover us for the period Ram is away in Wales with Sita and impending arrival of the baby and I, away in Bintulu to continue with my obligations at my former place of work.

We will be off to Wales on Sunday 17th and I will try to continue posting on this blog while away in Tenby. Meanwhile, May the Almighty protect us all and may He provide guidance to Rashidah in these apprehensive times…….

That's Rashidah on the left

Just Before A Dinner Outing In January

MKI Ramblings Unlimited
Petaling Jaya

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thanksgiving Prayers for the Newborn

We decided to hold a thanksgiving prayer session to mark the arrival of little Hadeef Hafiy and it was held in the late afternoon of Friday 8th. Shaffik invited his colleagues and I had some of my old acquaintances in Bintulu to join in. It was a joyous occasion and the centre of attraction was of course the little baby. We had a group of elders from a local mosque to lead in the prayers and we perform a simple ceremony of cutting Hadeef’s hair and ‘introducing’ him to zam zam holy water and dates. Most of those present took turns in cutting the hair, wiping dates on the baby’s lips and putting a few drops of holy water in his mouth.

The elder siblings were busy the whole day preparing packets of goodies to be distributed to all present that late afternoon. They were enjoying the job as the goodies consist of chocolates, sweets, cakes and biscuits and hence, one or two got into their mouths while packing, ha ha ha! They then proudly carry the packets in decorated baskets and presented one each to all present during the late afternoon occasion. Afternoons of the week had been very hot every day, and the heat continued until late evening but on Friday, the day of the prayer session the weather turned out to be pleasant. It rained in the early morning of Friday and the weather continued to be mildly cloudy the rest of the day. So, it was a pleasant afternoon after all.

Shaffik arranged for food through a regular caterer consisting of yellow rice, mutton curry, beef dalcha, chicken in tomato sauce and honey, salads and other condiments, several types of fruits, several types of local sweets and cakes, soft drinks and the ever popular ‘teh tarik’. There were about seventy adults and counting the kids there would have been about ninety people. There was more than enough food for everybody and we could pack some to give away too. This was because several invitees could not join us as that weekend was a long weekend when many in Bintulu took the opportunity to travel out of Bintulu.

Hadeef was a good boy throughout the occasion. He seemed to relish the attention given. He was awake all the time but did not make any sound. He just lay there in the comfort of his dad’s arm while being taken around to each guest present and later in his grandma’s arms while being taken to the ladies present.

In closing the ceremony an acquaintance of mine, who is a religious teacher and preacher, gave a talk on the virtues of starting proper in child upbringing, of leading the children in a balanced atmosphere both worldly and spiritually, of setting good examples to the children and not be overly indulgent and so on and so on……

Every one partakes in the food spread at the end and there were lots of merriment and laughter. Amongst the crowd were some people that I have not seen for some time and it was in deed a joyous occasion. We caught up with ‘lost time’ and promised to meet up again soon. How soon will that be I wonder…….

MKI Ramblings Unlimited

Friday, May 01, 2009

Watchful Eyes of a Little Girl

Hadeef Hafiy is now one month old, our youngest grandson and brother to Haadieya, the only girl of four siblings in Bintulu. Little Hadeef does not seem to need much attention and is also quiet. He hardly cries and only made baby sounds when he is hungry. Generally he cries when he is being cleaned and when being bathed, especially when his private parts are touched. Will he grow up to be a private person? I wonder.

The elder sister, who wanted a little sister very much but made do with a little brother instead, tries not to show any emotion when attention are showered to the little baby. However one day Mummy told me that Haadieya confided that Tok Bah and Tok Mi does not love her anymore. I asked Haadieya why she said so and she scolded her mummy for telling me that fact:

Haadieya: “Mummyyyyyy, I told you not to tell Tok Bahhhhhhh” and was about to cry
Mummy: “Sorry, sorry, sorry”
Tok Bah: Holding Haadieya tight, “Why do you say that Tok Bah and Tok Mi don’t love you anymore?”
Haadieya: “Because you always hold baby and call baby only……” Yes we do that often and I had to think up a good answer to diffuse her negative thoughts,
Tok Bah: “Now, now, you must always remember that Tok Bah and Tok Mi love you very much and still love you very much”
“Because baby sleep always, Tok Bah got to keep calling baby to attract his attention”
“That does not mean that Tok Bah and Tok Mi do not love you or for that matter your elder brothers. We still love you very much”
“We continue playing with you, do we not?”
Sometime later, I hugged her again and with her lying down I held her supporting her neck in my left hand and hugging her at midriff with my right hand called “Haadieyaaaa, Haadieyaaaa, where are you” several times and rocking her while doing that the way I called baby every time I hold him. I can see the change and brightening up of Haadieya’s face enjoying the attention given to her. Ha ha, an overgrown baby, certainly jealous of the little brother. I must remember to keep her attention going always…..

Hadeef’s little belly button came off clean within a week after birth. Our experience was that when belly buttons of his siblings came off clean there was a slight change in the baby’s condition, like a rise in body temperature or baby becoming stressed up, crying and noisy but not with Hadeef. He was very quiet and showed no change at all. I do suspect that he is going to be a very private person…….
Shaffik made it a habit of taking Hadeef for a short ‘sunbath’ several mornings, on his first week at home, at the gazebo as his skin showed a tinge of yellow, a possible indication of ‘jaundice’, but it was only a tinge and does not look serious. It is common to note that babies had to be retained in hospital for several days after birth, to treat for possible ‘jaundice’ infection. The tinge of yellow on Hadeef’s skin however disappeared soon enough and nothing to worry about, but he does seem to enjoy the morning sunbath heh heh!! He was awake but kept wriggling his hands and feet, with eyes closed and no sound from his mouth….. starting to enjoy life a little early doesn’t he?……….

MKI Ramblings Unlimited