Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Aidiladha 2010 in Kedah

Dear Diary,
We celebrated our Aidiladha in Kedah and started our journey home on raya eve. Traffic was at a standing still at a few stretches. Other than that few miles, it was a smooth trip. We arrived in the wee hours of raya eve.
Raya Haji was a family affair. All of my siblings came home for raya. In fact, all of my uncles (except Pak Lang) came and made the occasion merrier. We had get together and makan-makan sessions for two consecutive days (first and second raya). The best part was my mother’s house was the place for everybody to gather since she is the eldest among five siblings.
For Raya Haji, my mother catered nasi tomato, daging masak merah, ayam masak ros and gulai daging. My sister in law prepared somtam.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Where Have I Been?

Dear Diary,

It’s been so long since I update my blog and it’s not my intention to neglect it. I have reasons for my abandonment… I went back to my hometown for Aidiladha and stayed for more than three weeks. My maid didn’t want to join us; so I was alone without assistant. In Kedah, I had been busy jalan and makan sini sana (wait for these stories soon). Coming back from Kedah, I was down with severe diarrhea (due to viral infection) and was admitted to hospital. Alhamdulillah, my health is now restored and I’ll resume my normal routine.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Confinement / Pantang

Dear Diary,

In Malay customs, after a wife gives birth, she’s required to undergo a period of confinement or berpantang for 44 days. Sometimes for 100 days. There are set of rules that she must abide by. It is not the same for every lady since they are those who are stricter and more disciplined than others. Following are some rules that I obeyed and some that I’ve heard being practiced.

1. Bathe with air rebusan daun inai, daun pandan, daun sirih, daun kunyit, daun lengkuas, daun pisang berangan and daun serai wangi. Best tau mandi air rebusan dedaun ni, badan and rambut wangi je. The more types of leaves you can get the better. If not, any combination of the seven leaves is okay. If it is very difficult to get all these plants, just bathe with warm water.

2. Massage and menungku.

3. Eat traditional medicine such as jamu and air akar-akar kayu.

4. Eat a lot of warm food (benda panas) such as black pepper, ginger and turmeric.

5. Eat a lot of ulam-ulaman such as daun and ubi cekur, daun tenggek burung, pegaga and lemuni.

6. Eat ikan haruan or its essence so that your stitches heal quickly.

7. Avoid eating cold food (benda sejuk) such as papaya, banana, cold drinks, cucumber, bayam and kangkung; watery food (benda berair) such as watermelon; windy food (benda berangin) such as jackfruit, caffeinated drinks and tea; acidic food (benda tajam) such as pineapple, lime and tapai.

8. Avoid eating benda gatal such as egg and ikan kembung too early in your confinement since your stitches are still new.

9. Young coconut juice, ice, laksa, pulut, mi and kuayteow are a big NO NO (nanti kembang urat).

10. Use air rebusan daun sirih as feminine wash.

11. Sleep on your back (menelentang), not on your side (mengiring). I paid a painful lesson when I slept mengiring. My uterus ached like hell. When we just gave birth, the position of the uterus is not yet at its usual place and it shifts easily. Thus, it hurts when it is not where it is supposed to be.

12. Wear socks and bengkung/girdle. I usually apply ointment on my feet before wearing socks and apply paste made from kapur sirih and lime juice on my tummy before wearing bengkung.

13. It is important to keep one’s body warm during confinement. Watch whatever you eat because your baby will eat those things too.

For my recent confinement, I was massaged by Mak Munah, a midwife from Puchong. During the massage session, we talked about many things. These are some additional tips that she gave me:

1. For smooth and easy delivery, don’t disobey (derhaka) your husband.

2. Bathe with ginger water. (Boil about 1kg of old ginger – halia tua)

3. Bathe only once per day.

4. In order to have good healthy body (from woman’s health perspective), don’t eat pineapple, kangkung, kailan, young coconut juice and sugar cane juice.

5. Roast lime used to make paste for tummy first before squeezing the juice out so that your tummy won’t itch. No wonder it itches so bad every time I take off the bengkung.

6. To plan your family, drink mixture of honey and yeast/ragi (that have been pounded). After “being” with your husband, put your right heel on your left toe and touch right toe with your fingers. Repeat with your left heel. Another method that can be practiced is sitting on your right leg while straightened your left leg and touch your toe with your fingers. Kedudukan kaki seperti duduk di antara dua sujud tapi sebelah je, sebelah kaki lagi melunjur, jari sentuh ibu jari kaki. Repeat the method with your other leg.

Am I making any sense at all? Well, I documented all these for my future reference. You guys out there, who read my humble blog, are more than welcome to share all these petua. Feel free to add to the list if you have any tips to share.

ps: Pizza masuk kategori mana ek?

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Dear Diary,

My parents came down to KL a few days after I gave birth to see their new grandchild. As usual they brought along many food. One of the things that they brought was this fruit. Do you know what fruit is this? This is buah tampoi. I have never seen this fruit being sold in KL. I remember eating it once or twice during my childhood.

Buah tampoi has thick orange-light brownish skin and white flesh. The same method to open a mangosteen is applied to this fruit as well in order for us to get to the flesh inside. The taste is sweet + sour… ala masam-masam manis gitu.

I didn’t really enjoy eating the fruit because the flesh is not much. Buah tampoi is seasonal and it has seed. It is not advisable to eat the seed because it will cause constipation. Macam tak puas je makan sebab biji besar isi sikit.

Ages ago, buah tampoi was known as jungle fruit but now it is planted commercially; for example in Sarawak. For more info regarding this fruit, please refer to Wikipedia.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

An End of A Chapter

Dear Diary,
January 2010 - Imran entered pre-school. First day of school, I was choked with emotions. Felt like only yesterday I held him in my arms for the first time, he was still a baby. All of a sudden, there he was walking into his classroom. He was so eager to start learning and meeting new friends. I waited outside his kindergarten on the first day just to keep an eye on him. Fortunately, he adapted well to his new environment. He looked happy every time I peeked to check how he was doing. So, second day onwards he was on his own.
February 2010 - Imran started taking school van to kindergarten. Uncle Low, his van driver, is a very responsible man.
May 2010 - Hubby and I went to Imran’s kindergarten for his report card. I already wrote an entry about this before. As days went by, his writings and reading improved.
November 2010 - Hubby and I took another two trips to the kindergarten. The first trip was for his report card. Imran’s results were not as good as previous semester; however, he’s still among the top ten in his class. The second trip was for his graduation day. Jangan tak tahu, tadika sekarang ada konvo tau! The same mushy feeling I felt on his first day revisited me and I had tears in my eyes. Ermayum, a friend of mine, wrote in her blog about this uncontrollable motherly feeling. I totally understand how she felt because I experienced the same thing. Whenever Imran’s eyes searched and found mine, that feeling surged and tears welled up my eyes.

The school term ended in the middle of November. Imran was sad to part with his teachers and friends. Eh, sentimental gak anak teruna aku sorang ni. He has his ups and downs. Along the way, there were days when he showed so much enthusiasm and there were days when he needed pushes and coaxes. The graduation day marked the end of a chapter in his life. He got many more chapters to go through. I hope he perseveres and pray he’ll succeed in life.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

For the Love of Cheese

Dear Diary,

Let me tell you a secret. I have a weakness for cheese. It doesn’t matter the cheese comes in what form, be it in cakes, buns or dishes, I simply love it. So, when I read that Pizza Hut’s latest promotion is Extreme Cheesy 6 Pizza, I went berserk. This is crraaazzzyyy!!!!! Who would ever imagine six types of cheese on one pizza? Well, brilliant people at Pizza Hut made this wish come true. No way I’m gonna let this promotion ends without me tasting my dream cheesy pizza.

Despite my strong desire to try the cheesy pizza, I’m in a dilemma. You see, I’m now in confinement after giving birth to my third child last month. Can a lady in confinement eat pizza? What harm can an innocent piece of pizza do? Furthermore, my confinement will end in just a few days.

After much deliberation, I braced myself and together with my family gave Tesco Ampang’s Pizza Hut a visit. Without hesitation, I ordered Extreme Cheesy 6 Combo 2, Sweet & Spicy Chicken Wings, Primavera Spaghetti and Hot Milo. My pizza has pepperoni (Cheesy Pepperoni) as topping since I must consider everybody else’s taste as well.

When I took my first bite, all six cheeses which are parmesan, mozzarella, romano, cheddar, provolone and Monterey Jack, came together in my mouth to create a perfect harmony. “This is heaven,” I thought to myself. The pepperoni added an extra zing. The Extreme Cheesy 6 Pizza is very scrumptious that I ate four (yes, you read correctly) slices of pizza. Never in my life, can I finish that much pizza at one go. Even my six year old son enjoyed his pizza tremendously as you can witness in the pictures.

Shhh, don’t tell anyone I’m still in confinement. “Sorry Mama!” but “I’m crazy about Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese!”

Address: Lot No. 8, Ground Floor, Tesco Hypermarket Ampang, 68000 Ampang, Selangor. Website: www.pizzahut.com.my

Friday, November 12, 2010

How to Look After a Baby

Dear Diary,
Let Miss Zarra show us how to look after a baby…..
Testing je

Dodoikan baby
Sapu minyak yuyi sebelum pakai lampin

It is another story when it comes to her little brother. Lately, her jealousy is becoming more apparent. If Baby Irfan is sleeping soundly (what else baby does right), she’ll shake him or purposely talk very loud to wake the baby up. If she’s holding something for example teddy bear or toys, she’ll go near the baby and hit him. One more thing that she really likes to do is poke his brother’s eyes. Again and again, I tell her that all she’s doing to the baby are not good and she should pity and love her little brother. Also, I need to remind her that both Abah and Mama still love her. If only everything stuck in her head….hopefully as time goes by, she’ll come to terms of having a little brother.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Wedding (Bride)

Dear Diary,
(continued from The Akad Nikah)
I’ve been delaying in continuing my life story. This post has been in my draft for months but somehow I just couldn’t care to complete and publish it. Sorry for the delay….not that anybody is actually following my life story. Never mind, I’m writing all these for my children which was my intention in the first place.

After the akad nikah, we rushed back home. The groom’s entourage went back to Hotel Seri Malaysia. Both sides had to get ready for the bersanding ceremony in the afternoon. When I got home, some of the guests had already arrived. The first thing I did as soon as I was home was to have my lunch. Who knows what time my next meal would be and I wouldn’t want my tummy to start orchestrating its own music when I am on pelamin. Then, the mak andam started putting on make up and helped me with my silver colored songket wedding dress and my long bluish veil.

After Zohor, the groom side arrived escorted by kompang group and girls carrying bunga manggar and hantaran. As their group reached my house, I came down the stairs following the trail of two flower girls and my maid of honor. Only Allah knows what I felt at that exact moment. So many emotions running through myself, fortunately I managed to walk to the pelamin and sat without any glitches. Once I was comfortably seated, then only Mr. F was allowed to join me on the pelamin.

Next on the agenda was the merenjis ceremony. The groom’s family and relatives started the merenjis followed by my family and relatives. After the merenjis, both of us were led to meja pengantin to eat together with the groom’s entourage. I did not really enjoy the meal because I was very nervous, such a loss because all the lauk pengantin were very delicious.

After everybody had their meals, the groom’s group bade farewell leaving Mr. F or should I start call him Hubby behind. The kenduri went on until late in the evening. It was one wedding that I would remember for the rest of my life….

ps: to be continued in The Wedding (Groom)