Husband went to Japan for 13 days and left me with the kids.

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In my HoboMinci

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Yup. He was 3,188 Miles away. I had to make it work. In fact, I was already planning on how to go about my daily activities a few weeks back. My main concern with Mr Husband being outstation was SECURITY for me and my kids.

My second concern was of how well I could perform my duties as a wife and mother to protect MY AMANAH. And this not only involves protecting the kids but also our home, his stuff and of course – MYSELF.

 

 

THINGS I DID FOR SECURITY

  1. KNOWING HIS WHEREABOUTS –  stalking my husband through Watsapp. I made sure I knew his flight details, his place of accommodation or person of contact during his stay in Japan. This part was kinda easy because Mr Husband likes to send a lot of photos and voice messages through Watsapp. Therefore, I had a rough idea of what he is up to there. I could also in turn update him regarding the happenings around the house (like our leaking water pipe in front of the house) and about our munchkins. It was also important for me to identify key people who could help troubleshoot my problems should I encounter any. These were my parents in law of course who stayed nearby.
  2. WENT GROCERY SHOPPING EARLY – I stocked up on non-perishable goods and big stuff like juice boxes and rice packs. And toiletries that may be on low supply for the next few days. Canned items. Ninie’s milk powder and baby wipes. Technically, things that require muscles to carry them because I do not want to burden myself to do all these things later with Baby Ninie in a carrier.
  3. SETTLE ERRANDS – for instance, opening up a bank account (Tabung Haji) for Ninie. Or fueling up the car.
  4. HANG MY LAUNDRY WITH INTENT TO SHOW OFF – meaning I hang up Mr Husbands clothes as well. His work shirts, his pants. I even put out his Size 9 shoes and slippers (or is it a 10?) outside the door. Just so potential burglars could think twice before attempting to break in.
  5. SLEEP IN ATTIRE READY FOR A FIGHT OR FLIGHT RESPONSE – full pants with my hijab nearby. Complete with bra. My car keys at hand, just in case I need to sound the alarm to scare away threats. Some says I’m paranoid. I call it being prepared.

THINGS I DID TO PROTECT MY AMANAH

  1. THE KIDS. Apart from ensuring the kids are safe at all times, I also have to make sure they are clean and well fed. It can be tricky with Ee hence the reason why I resorted to making Bento. Hoping to spur that appetite of his.
  2. THE HOME. I was tempted to just postpone laundry and cleaning till the days for him to come back draws near. However, a dirty abode will attract negative spirits and JINs, so I had to keep up with the cleaning. And I get to mop more frequently than ever.
  3. THE WIFE. Which means I had to protect myself from the seducing words of men.  kang tergoda. Not that I’m drop dead gorgeous but we never know with the works of Shaitan. Never ever allow a man to enter the home even if he is from the water company. Or Poslaju. For safety reasons too of course. In short, jaga kelakuan diri sendiri jugak. Jangan nakal. Dont install wechat no matter how lonely. huk huk.. 

Alhamdulilah. Nothing horrible happened during Mr Husbands absence. It was a bit exhausting though with the baby and from the adrenaline, as I was always in a Hyper Vigilant state. I was so glad when it was over. Takut weyyyyyy kalo ada anak. 

Mr Husband bought us souvenirs. I got 2 new Coach handbags, an Italian leather purse, cute socks and a Baby-G watch. With plenty of Meiji chocolates. Ee also received lots of goodies – Tamiya cars, Bento containers and swords. Ninie had pretty dresses!

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I have another stint of Mr Husband being absent again soon. He will be performing the umrah with his parents and sister. (my social support all going for umrah.. *cry blood). It will be more challenging afterwards because my leave was only granted for 3 days out of the 7 I applied for. Mana aku tak stressssssss. But I believe in miracles. I will find a solution to make it work. I always do.

His first competition and 5 lessons

When I was younger and participated in various school competitions – to me they were just stuff you do to win a prize. Little did I know that all these activities serve certain purposes and was part of an education. These were learning processes beyond the classrooms 4 walls. Even colouring activites are of benefit as we can ascertain whether a child can colour in the lines, recognize colours and use them appropriately. for instance, not colouring a cow purple and those sort of things. When I had a child myself, I began to discover the beauty of extra curricular activities. 

Ee participated in a Nasyid competition recently. He was apparently chosen by Teacher Zara because he was one of the few who memorized the song well. All they needed to do was practice and boy little Ee learnt a few things while training.

He learnt to;

  1. Accept criticism – in the beginning, he was a bit shy although he have been in the company of Teacher Zara and his friends for nearly a year now. Hence he was singing initially in a whisper. Teacher Zara chided him gently on that but instead of taking it in, he did the normal toddler thing. He sulked, muted his voice and refused to participate. He said he wanted out. He merajuk long time. Until we made him see the importance of singing out loud. Of how he could help his team and Teacher Zara to win. He understood and went to see his teacher – apologized comically and was back in the group.
  2. Obey instructions – he was able to move according to cues. He listened to Teacher Zara on when was the appropriate time to speak, eat and even pee. He was learning to respect authority accordingly.
  3. Be part of a team – he was engaging with his friends as a team player. He acknowledged his team-mate as the group leader and himself as a team member.
  4. Interact with a wider group of people – that the world does not evolve around him per se. That there are other preschool kids just like him at a different place.
  5. To win, you must make an equally good effort – his team won 3rd place in the competition and the prize came with a mini trophy. He was so proud of it he posed a selfie with it quite frequently. He also had a bonus lesson; that life is unfair sometimes. He was surprised when his cousin who fell sick on that day could still get the trophy despite not singing the nasyid. Ha ha ha..

As a young mother, I am looking forward to more life lessons like these. Congratulations Ee, Mummy is very proud of you.

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Carboot Sale – What I learnt from the experience

Our car boot sale would not have materialized if my sister was not on board.

major players : my sister and her husband

major players : my sister and her husband

We read about carboot tips from experienced car booters online. We screened our items for any faults – even if one shirt has no button on it, it will not be included in the sale because kita bukan nak jual sampah, kita nak jual barang baik punya at a low price. If say after 3 attempts at selling it off, the item is not bought – the stash will go to charity for those in need. In Malaysia, there is always someone in need. We just have to know where to find them. Some are easily found through charity organizations. Others may be missed out due to location or other factors we have yet to discover.

We booked our spot early

We brought our floating money – those small change you give to buyers

We folded our recyclable plastic bags from home so buyers need not worry about how to bring back home their goods

We brought our breakfast to the site and shared it with our ‘neighbours’ – then we kept our food trash properly in our trash bag so we wouldn’t litter the area unnecessarily

We brought chairs for us to sit down and mini fans to combat the dry and hot weather

We labelled our things well and are open to negotiations

We followed every single advice we gathered through the world wide web to make our sale a success. Once our boot has been set up – there were only a few things to do

  • wait for customers
  • people watching and profiling

It seems that our area is heavily populated by generations like ourselves. Young parents with toddlers and preschool going kids. There were not many elderly parents nor were there many teenagers. Perhaps the latter were still in bed on a weekend which left us wondering where the younger uns are. It’s like if we  have to go to war, there will be a lot of widows and orphans left behind. So our baju nenek2 were not selling fast enough including my stickers and planner related items. I should just pack them and sell them online. Or have a try setting up a booth at a planner related event.

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Then I noticed that we have a lot of young foreigners working as domestic maids and contract workers looking for cheap clothing. The contractors were looking for worn out T-shirts they could use for their daily work whereas the maids were looking for fancy blouses. What we were not expecting was that the ladies were not looking for the sizes that we have – in fact even the locals were the same. They wanted bigger sized clothes. I almost forget Malaysia is an overweight and obese country as compared to the other ASEAN nations. So yeah.. my kurus clothes did not have as many buyers as opposed to my maternity clothes.

One thing stood out though on that day of how a foreign contract worker was looking for books to read. I love people who read and this particular man was looking for an English novel. I handed him a few to choose and he bought one off the shelves. It was a rare sight but I thought it was cute to have this big man in his safety helmet and boots, looking all rugged and bulky  – having in his hand a pink plastic bag with my book and 2 free owl bookmarks and a self-made calendar. I hope he finds the book interesting. I was a bit disappointed that no one wanted my older edition of Reader’s Digest – where are all the bookworms? It’s only RM5!!!

My sister and I were not there to make big bucks. It was more of an activity we can do together as sisters. Married with kids plak tuh..  At the same time decluttering our home. We felt like we achieved something at the end and now we are planning to do a Sarawak themed car boot sale. It would be interesting the next available weekend. Time to plan! Where is my washi and stickers!!

Later I will tell you what I did with the money I got. It’s got something to do with my Tabung Minci.

Thank you Andalusia for taking care of my parents…

“Absence makes the heart grows fonder”

Alhamdulilah.. my elderly parents had returned safely from their Umrah last weekend. It worries me that both are ASA 2 and are travelling to a country with the Mers-coV outbreak at the moment. On top of that, they chose to stay and perform the fast in a very humid country.

However, I convinced myself that Allah knows best. And he will protect them regardless as they are going there to get closer to Him.

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Prior to their departure, I had bought each of them a 1L water bottle to quench their thirst. Also, supplies of essential medication on top of their usual anti-hypertensives and anti-diabetic drugs. So it was a pack full of :

  • paracetamol
  • chlorpheniramine
  • benadryl
  • lomotil
  • metochlopromide
  • oral rehydration salt

… just in case.

In fact, these are part of my routine meds that I bring with me whenever I go travelling. I’d bring syrup paracetamol and kool-fever patches for my son too.

Despite my worries, I believe they are in the safe hands of Andalusia. After all, this is a reputable company with their Umrah packages. Mom told me they were in good hands and they have the experience to handle large groups of old people. They also provide complimentary classes prior going for the Umrah so that the jemaah would have a more meaningful ibadat there.

Now that my parents are back, I can’t wait to pay them a visit this weekend!

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5 tips to overcome burnout

“You feel fine, and then, when your body can’t keep fighting, you don’t.” 
― Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember

I have been experiencing a moment of being burnt out lately. I am tired of my job. I am tired of being second best to the dad, Mr Husband.

Quitting my day job is not an option. And I don’t have a night job to go to. Which is a blessing to most people as some have to do up to 3 jobs to earn a living. Oh wait, I do have a night job but well.. I don’t get paid that much to be oncall. The admin people wouldn’t give a damn if I decide to quit. There are after all lots of other fishes in the sea that could fill in my position as a Medical Officer. I am after all just that. A common,chronic MO.

Either way I must pull myself together as tomorrow is a new day. A new page of my autobiography. LOL. Here is one can do to get through the day.

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  1. Eat well in a company of people – Eat proper food. Have breakfast with the husband eventhough you despise him cause your child loves him more at the moment. Surrounding yourself with people tends to remind you that others may have problems bigger than your own. On top of discouraging suicidal or depressing thoughts.
  2. Talk to somebody – it doesn’t have to be about the cause of burnout per se. You just need an outlet to burn out that negative energy.
  3. Go crazy. Safe crazy – Get that haircut. Or click on that dress you’ve always wanted on Zalora.
  4. Find a distraction – Work on that long abandoned novel. The halfway knitted scarf. conjure magic in the kitchen and bake that 3 tier cake from scratch.
  5. Or just relax – Slap on a face mask. Sit yourself on the massage chair. Light up the aromatherapy candles. (this is the time to use it) and listen to meditation music.

As a bonus. Do not forget to pray to Allah and hope that this difficult phase would pass. Quick.