Back to first loves.

What’s life without social media?

Honestly, full of curiosity but it definitely gives me a breather.
✖️ Facebook ✖️ Instagram ✖️ Whatsapp
Although I cheated on whatsapp when I have to call Bibik to video chat with Mum. Other than that, here I am back to basics with texting, emails and letters. Back to writing and journaling of which I used to love.
“Back to my first loves” he said.

My sincere apologies for unanswered messages on Whatsapp (im hardly on it) and social media. Texting me is the way to go.

Back to first loves, also meant for the love of libraries. If only, the State library was merely a walk away. The whole idea of immersing myself with a book; finding my little cosy corner in the library full of character which I feel is part of a good meditation on a Saturday morning. I knew Azura will agree with me on this one.


Ayden and Ali decided to come with me to the Library the other day, Ayden was happily glancing and hopping through the library and picking out picture books with cars and buses on its cover. And Mummy is thoroughly happy with her Marie Kondo‘s books that came in at the most apt timing! Also very excited to try out some kitchen experiments with Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings cookbook!


Marie Kondo’s Life-Changing Magic: A Journal – Spark Joy Every Day, is all about the KonMari method of decluttering and tidying. I am only halfway through the book, but acts of thanking each item before discarding them off, working through categories instead of places and most interestingly does the item sparks joy? If they are not, thank them and discard them. You’ll find it easier to discard them. I am quite a sentimental hoarder and find it quite effective using the KonMari method to declutter my clothes. With her method, folding is one of the highlights and the way to go. She can fold anything and everything. And using her method of folding too; you will learn to love folding in no time and find yourself maximising your wardrobe/drawer space! Can’t wait to finish reading her books and as you can see someone love it too! 😂


Ayden’s all time favourites are the Maisy books as well as Spots but these days anything with cars and buses really. And sometimes helicopters or aeroplanes too. Like any active toddlers, his attention span can for from 5mins to 0 in a second! Some mums are lucky enough to incorporate bed time storybook routine, for me, I’m just content if he sits with me reading a couple of books a day without any distractions. Our goals for 2018!

 

xoxo

ana

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Ayden + Friends

This week we have been having several play dates which were only penciled the night before. Glad we all made it work!

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We had a great New Years Day with the Syeds. These days I fell in love with impromptu barbecues and picnics all over again. We checked out the Valley Reserve this time at Mount Waverley as they called it an award winning Playspace. I thought with the hot weather, the beach may be a lil too crowded! And the boys would love some adventure play area!

It was the tops of 26 🌤 We had a picnic mat full of noodles, pastries, fruits and snacks! It was such a relaxing day under the sun catching up on life and family getaway plans. It was just a great day to chill.

Ayden enjoyed himself thoroughly, that he even missed his nap and he just fell asleep as soon as we drove off from the park!

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It was my last day of the holidays, hence, we decided to drive to Werribee to stock up on my crafts only to realise after an hour drive, that they decided to close early! Boo! We’ve been planning to meet Ana & Ali (yup! A couple with exactly the same nicknames as us!) for a while now, but never got around to it! So we finally got to meet up at the Wonderland Playcentre for a play date and we had a late lunch at Ummah Thai with the family of 5!

I realised that Ayden loves the outdoor playground more than the indoor ones. Not sure why. He seems to be more intimidated and less motivated to play whereas he’s more eager at the outdoor playground, running around, climbing and trying out all the different slides.

The next day the hubs and Ayden decided to spontaneously join Ali’s fambam and Mai (and her girls) on a lil Adventure to the Zoo. Definitely in envy, since I was stuck at work the whole day! They had so much fun, I can tell from the photos and his laughters! Glad that he had a Baba bonding session! Looking at all the photos, glad the Ayden could join in the trip and immerse himself with all these animals he’s been watching on TV and reading in his books! Am actually going to sign up for the Zoo membership soon! Its really worth the price for just $9 a month!

Definitely more #AydenAdventures coming into 2018! Probably more impromptu picnics and road trips! Who knows?

xoxo

ana

2018.

How Social Media broke me.

Where friendships were based on the number of followers, likes and who made it on each other’s ‘ social media.

No one will admit to it. It’s too embarrassing, one said.

That’s the only way to show the world that they belong and to themselves for achieving their own sense of belonging.

For some, that sense of belonging turns to a social dependency. You depend on this circle for support, for constant sanity rants and invitations. And the opposite effects of them can be bitter.

Yasmin Mogahed’s words can’t be more apt. Below was an excerpt of her article. I don’t blame anyone but myself for these feelings that I had. I’ve been debating this all year to detoxify myself from social media, people and the world. I gave in to my worldly Nafs too soon every time.

“Social Media strengthens another dangerous focus: the focus on other people, what they’re doing, what they like. What they think of me. Facebook feeds the preoccupation with others’ assessment of me. Soon, I enter the orbit of the creation. Inside that orbit, my definitions, my pain, my happiness, my self-worth, my success and my failure is determined by the creation. When I live in that orbit, I rise and fall with the creation. When the people are happy with me, I’m up. When they’re not, I fall. Where I stand is defined by people. I’m like a prisoner because I have given up the keys to my happiness, sadness, fulfillment, and disappointment to the people to hold.

In a profound hadith (Prophetic teaching), a man came to the Prophet ﷺ and said: “O Messenger of God, direct me to an act, which if I do, God will love me and people will love me.” He ﷺ said: “Detach yourself from the world, and God will love you. Detach yourself from what is with the people, and the people will love you.”  [Ibn Majah]

Ironically, the less we chase after the approval and love of the people, the more we gain it. The less needy we are of others, the more people are drawn to us and seek our company. This hadith teaches us a profound Truth. Only by breaking out of the orbit of the creation, can we succeed with both God and people.”

One of my goals and priorities this year is this exactly. Part of my detoxification and to declutter my life, from these worldly Nafs and the creations.

As the three of us lay here on our bed laughing counting down to New Years and Ayden’s bedtime. Here’s wishing everyone  a blessed and less social media frenzy 2018!

xoxo

Ayden’s Pooh Party {Long Overdue}

It’s almost 6am. And I can’t go back to sleep.

I realised I haven’t document anything about Ayden’s First Birthday! Indeed it’s long overdue my apologies! 10 months!

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Because I am practically obsessed with Winnie The Pooh naturally Ayden is showered with anything Pooh since the day he was born. No guesses why the theme of the party is Winnie The Pooh.

We practically DIY his birthday favours for all the attendees. Ordered the wooden honey sticks from EBay, jars from IKEA, tubs of Honey from the local supermarket, fabric from Spotlight and print the “HUNNY” labels from home! The husband did that so it was great! I think from a less crafty couple, we did quite well as a team!

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We opt for simple decor; hunny gold foil balloons from EBay, red and yellow tablecovers from the local dollar shop, red/yellow cutleries and plates from KMART. I can’t stress enough that if you are putting tablecovers, you definitely need these babies, it helps a lot especially those unexpected winds! Cheap and practical!

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We try to use whatever we already have at home to reduce our expenses, so we used the light box that we’ve had for awhile and the Disneyland frame we bought from Disneyland Paris which we insert our favourite Winnie The Pooh quote. At my baby shower, I was gifted a Winnie The Pooh storybook and I added that as a prop on the table as well!

We were rummaging through my MIL’s cabinets and found two bowls of honey 🍯 like drips on the sides and we used them to put pretzels and lollies. And found whatever lolly bowls we could use for the party.

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Our cake was made by Mas Creations who have been amazing to accomodate to our requests! Oh my, i didn’t expect to be that huge! I managed to bake meringues, honey joys and butter cookies with the Winnie The Pooh Cutter i got from our holidays in Singapore.

Our food spread consist of noodles lovingly made by the Mother In Law. While I put together the fresh orange almond salad and the boys have been awesome barbecuing rump steaks, lamb cutlets, sausages and chicken wings! We even had Salmon steaks for our Vegetarian friends. I’m glad everything sufficed and we managed to feed everyone!

I must admit, planning and executing a kids birthday party is very tedious, tiring and can be costly if you haven’t done enough look around.

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First Cake Smash!

7 minutes

Wednesday; Heart stopped for a total of 7minutes before she was revived by CPR.My heart sank.

3 days prior; she was rushed to the hospital and no one knew what she had was more serious than her asthmatic episodes. Her heart was weak. Mum was placed in the ICU straightaway. To be exact Ward 28; Coronary Care Unit.

Honestly, I thank god that her relapse happened when she was in the hospital. If she was at home, just like the doctor said; she won’t survived.

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The family wasn’t informed about her near death experience until the following morning which angered all of us. But what’s done is done. She survived.

I was at lunch then without my phone when messages flooding in. Just reached my desk when The husband called to ask me to read my whatsapp messages.

I knew something wasn’t right. I cried reading each line of the text and my fingers automatically scoured for flights on Skyscanner’s website. It was so emotionally painful. I tried so hard to focus, getting the right flights and the correct names on the booking. I could even control my tears anymore. Booked flights, Called husband to confirm my plans of returning home, run to my Manager looking like a mess that I needed to go back to Singapore urgently. I don’t know when I’ll be back.

The husband decided to fly home with me knowing that I will be a further wreck and with Ayden tagging along with us . He’s afraid I’m just going to crumble. I can’t thank him enough to do this for me even when his job circumstance was tight.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in one of His hadiths:

“Three supplications are answered without doubt. The supplication of the oppressed, the supplication of the traveler and the supplication of the parents for his children.” (Tirmidhi)

The whole time on the flight, I kept praying and Dhikr. Of course, Ayden had to be excited on this flight and refused to sleep!

As soon as we landed, we rushed back home. It feels so good to be home despite it being hot and humid. I was tossing and turning, I couldn’t sleep. I just couldn’t wait till the morning comes so that I can visit Mum. 9am arrives so much slower than I anticipated.

I had all these emotions in me, words that I wanna say when I see her. As soon as the ICU door swung open, I walked in so nervously. My heart literally dropped to see how thin she has become, her jawline was more defined as compared to 3 months ago and she looked so frail with the machine hooked up to her heart. The moment I kissed her hand, she was surprised and slightly unhappy that I came back. Waste of money she said. I had to. My mum hates when bad news of her reached me. All the time. She knew I will always drop it all and returned. Usually, She will use all her might to stop me. This time she failed.

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Our routine has been hospital-home all day. The husband and I agreed that it was just something about hospitals, maybe the vibe; it makes us all very tired and depressed even though we stayed for a while. Because it’s an ICU as well, Ayden wasn’t allowed to be in the ward. It helps to have the husband around.

But then Sunday came, his flight home was due that night. We were contemplating to send Ayden home with the husband while I stayed. It doesn’t help that Ayden was extra clingy since the moment we landed. And he hardly wants the husband which is not normal. Maybe he sense I was in distress? God knows. Since mum’s bypass surgery keeps getting delayed, I wasn’t sure when I’ll be back. It’s gonna be a nightmare putting him to sleep on nights that I’m not around. And so Ayden stayed with me.

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Even when we said our goodbyes, Ayden just ran off and not interested in saying goodbyes to his Baba. If this is in Melbourne, he would cry his heart out; wanting to follow him.

What this means was; we had to organise a carer for Ayden. We had so much helpful hands who are willing to sacrifice for us. I called all the childcare centres around the area and near the hospital that offers Emergency Care (I know right! I only found out they had such service through the Singapore Childcare Site!). We found one! The last one on the list of centres! We kept reviewing our list of our options. For the distance and convenience, we chose to send him to childcare.

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Putting Ayden in Childcare was the hardest decision we had to make in order for me to be able to care for mum. It wasnt the kind of first day of school experience we want to witness as parents and even for Ayden to go through. We did what we had to do and to trust my own maternal instincts. Our typical daily routine is Home-Childcare-Hospital -Childcare-Hospital-Home every weekday. It was exhausting I must admit.

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Thank you to all the staff at Genesis Childcare who very much love and nurture Ayden while he was there and who was willing to take in emergency cases like us.

Finally, after a week, Mum was wheeled in for her Bypass Surgery. It was a 6 hours operation. She was wheeled in at 2pm and got out at 9pm. I took the time to visit the husband’s grandma and by the time we got home it was already close to 10pm with a cranky toddler of course!

Dad and the rest of the siblings went to the hospital to catch a glimpse of her after the Operation. I wish I did, but Ayden was just being too difficult we had to stay home and put him to sleep.

The next morning after dropping off Ayden at the Childcare, I rushed to the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU). the Sister told me to prepare myself as the current view of mum’s well-being is quite heartbreaking. Don’t get me wrong, everything went well with the bypass even with a few hiccups due to internal bleeding, even in the doctor’s exact words “MasyaAllah your mother is such a challenge and I love it!”, seeing the amount of tubes on her, is very much overwhelming.

The first day was ok, got myself together, keep talking to her, fed her, silently cried at the side of the bed when she took her naps and trying super hard to keep it positive.

But at the end of the second day post surgery, things get a lil bit too emotional. I knew it must be stressful for her to hear my uncontrollable sobs while she were lying in ICU with so much tubes and wires from head to toe! I was coming in to just kiss her hand and forehead to tell her that we’re heading home and we shall see her the next day. And It just happened as I took her hand, I broke down. I guess I’ve been holding it in since I landed just to be strong for her but my walls crumble and I finally got my emotions out. She kept saying to pray for her health. I just kept crying and telling her that she had to be strong and recover. Not recommended to let your emotions got hold of you in-front of someone who is in a very vulnerable position.

Gradually, Mum got posted to a normal ward, daily we try to talk to her although the drugs in her system caused her to hallucinate (this literally break hearts!) and having nightmares. We try to refresh her memory daily asking her the date and time, perform her exercises with her and encourage her to finish her food. I am immensely proud of her. She has been such a strong, independent woman. You can tell she’s trying so hard to be discharged. Trying a lil harder during her rehabilitation sessions, finishing up her food, try to be more active in the day with less naps and interact much more with people around her. Amidst all these, with her limited vision, made it much harder for her to move around or interact but she persevered on.

I am thankful that our whole family is such a close knit. Supporting and be a team in any given situations. Mum is currently discharged. She’s eating so well and happy to be in her own home. Alhamdulillah. Life being away from home, hard.

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That 7mins of unconsciousness and no heartbeat feels like forever. I never ever want to lose you again.

PS: It was also my first time to see my dad teared. It puts me in tears each time I recalled this event.

xoxo