Sunday, February 23, 2014

An ache in my heart

Assalamualaikum wbt..

My subconscious is nuts. For the past few weeks, I've been having dreams several times a week that I'm pregnant. For the record, I'm not (although that would be a good explanation for my recent weight gain!). But maybe subconsciously I want to be huh?

I think I'm just really struggling with my baby growing up. The dreams started when we separate Aulia' from our bed. I was no longer rocking her before bed, like I had done just about every night since she was a baby.

Reality smacked me in the face- I'll almost certainly never have another baby to rock to sleep. To tuck into a crib. To nurse. To diaper (but not sad about this one). There's been an ache in my heart that I now realize has been growing every time Aulia' hit another milestone that further her (and me!) from babyhood.

It's half crazy/ half understandable because I know in my mind that 3 is the right number of our family right now. I'm good with that, even with the fact that my husband is going for an outstation for a year soon! But it's so hard to say goodbye to something that has been such a part of my life for the better part of 3 years, including the time I was pregnant. Yes, I even miss being pregnant.

When Aulia' hit certain milestones, I think it felt different because I knew in my heart it wasn't final-or I didn't want it to be. I don't know yet how to balance my joy that my child is growing up (that's sort of the whole point to this parenting thing-raising a child) with the pain that she's not sweet cuddly baby anymore, wholly dependent on me for everything. Maybe it's selfish that I want her to stay little and stay with me forever. But it's easier to protect her that way.

Maybe the part of the ache is fear of the unknown and moving out of my comfort zone. I was good with baby (ies). But toddler---> tween---> teen? Yikes. I know I'll learn as I go, just as I did with babyhood, but I'm still so nostalgic for that time in my life. The time when I first became who I now realize I was always meant to be. A mom.

I know I'll be a mom forever, but I have to get used to being a mom without a baby. I just got to learn to live with the ache.

Ibu love you with all my heart, Aulia'. You left a foot print in my heart that will never go away, you will always be my baby girl.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Spicy Smoked Catfish with Coconut Milk

Assalamualaikum wbt..

If you are one of those people who have always been intimidated by making your own traditional spicy coconut milk stew and have always just used store bought or nicely-express-wrapped-in-plastic a.k.a "Brahim's", this post is for you :)

This homemade spicy smoked catfish with coconut milk is seriously so, so easy to make that you will cook this again and again for your family. My dad and husband are a spicy food lovers and they raised their thumbs up for my home cooked dishes :) 

Sonia Rumzi; a book writer used to said " I cook to inspire my husband to pay attention to me". Yeahh, you're right women! y.o.u a.r.e r.i.g.h.t!! Be prepared for your family to "ooooh" and "ahhh" over this. Haha!


What you'll need: ( I double up this for our lunch since I'll be serving 6-8 peoples)


-2 medium shallots, cut in chunk (a)
-4 cloves garlic, peeled (b)
-2-inch piece of turmeric, peeled and sliced (c)
-20 bird's eye chillies (d)
-1 teaspoon salt (e)
-2 stalks lemon grass, outer husks removed and inner core cut in chunks (f)

-2 pieces of dried tamarind slices 
-1 cup (250ml) thick coconut milk
-2 cups (500ml) think coconut milk
-1 piece of turmeric leaf
-10 pieces of Bilimbi, cut into halves and crush a bit to let the juice out
-7 smoked catfish (main ingredient)

 Turmerics
Bird's eye chillies 
 Garlics
 Bilimbies
Shallots
Smoked Catfishes
Coconut Milk

Directions:

1. mash/grind (a) + (b) + (c) + (d) + (f) until fine.

2. Transfer the puree into a pot and stir in with thin coconut milk, dried tamarind slices and torn turmeric leaf. Bring to a slow boil and simmer 10 minutes, stirring often. Taste, adding more of any of the spices as you prefer. 

3. Add smoked catfishes and simmer until the gravy thickens, 3 to 5 minutes. Add thick coconut  milk and salt to taste. Just before serving, stir in the bilimbies, taste and adjust seasoning. 
Tadaa..Happy trying!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Ipoh Street Art

Assalamualaikum wbt..

"Art is the Queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world" ~ Leonardo Da Vinci


Hey Ipohrian! You've got a nice wall graffiti here in your town! 

 Recently, when we were back in Ipoh for Chinese New Year holiday, my husband brought me and my  kiddo to this place somewhere between Jalan Sultan Iskandar and Jalan Masjid Panglima in Ipoh town. Because of my insanely poor sense of directions, we just get the GPS help to get here.  Aulia' was sleeping during half of the tour, ahaha!
Such lovely murals, isn't it great that Ipoh has them too, not just Penang! Surprisingly there isn't a whole lot people checking out the murals, not a craze like in Penang as my friends said, but this is definitely worth a visit :)

Oh, I just love these intricate master-pieces! Its perfect for a quint town like Ipoh. My favorite being the water fall mural. It's very very nice. I just hope other states in Malaysia will follow suit and attract more tourist.

Getting here by GPS:

4° 35' 36.44"N   101° 04' 56.28"E

Thursday, February 6, 2014

You Turn 21

Assalamualaikum wbt..

Remember when we thought grown ups were real? When we were kids we'd say stuff like: "When I turn 21, I'm going to be cool and eat ice cream all day"... Sheeeshh!! I used to do that!

Well, you have turn 21 last week Chi'ah, and I think we just love you being YOU- the most happiest and cheerful one in the house and always entertaining and fun being around. You are a wonderful sister-in-law and may all your wishes come true and may you success in your study.

Happy 21st Birthday Sissy!!




02.02.2014

Monday, February 3, 2014

Hello, Beach!

Assalamualaikum wbt..

When we were down at the beach last weekend, we had an amazing day, it just wasn't enough time. I told hubby that next year, we should go down for a long weekend and spend 3 full days out on the beach instead of just one (or maybe half!). He totally shocked me by suggesting that we should plan to come down in July when we had Raya holiday, which I hadn't even considered. This is a big deal coming from someone who never bring me for a beach holiday . 

Hello, BEACH!!
Honestly, we have been so incredibly lucky with amazing beach trips- great weather, home cooked foods, tidal pools that are perfect for the kid, lots of fun with the in-laws, and even some relaxing sun tanning with my MIL, heehaa! Not to mention, photos out the wazoo.
 
 

Aulia' spent several hours in the water and had her fair share of chattering teeth and blue lips after playing in the water for a while. She enjoyed playing with the sand with her aunt and uncle. I have to beg her to sit still for a picture. I told her that one day she'll be glad I made her do it so she'll have pictures to remember me, and know that I was actually a part of all of these fabulous memories she's making.

Short vacation can be tough because you really have time to settle and soak in all the fun, and it's time to leave. But the fact it was 33 degree and hot weather in the afternoon made the goodbye a little easier. But on top of all, we had such an amazing time that I think we're even planning to do another trip in July when we have Raya holiday and make it an extra long weekend. Can't wait! But until then, bye beach!


(And thanks for the shells..and a car full of sand.)
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