Sunday, August 31, 2014

Happy Birthday Malaysia!

Assalamualaikum wbt..

We always hear phrases like "Proud to be Malaysian". But what are we proud of and what makes us truly Malaysians? 

I totally understand what makes myself proud of.

I definitely love the Malaysian Food and I can tell you exactly what and where are the best foods in town that we can get. We have many delicious food. When the general meeting among  friends is weyy dah makan ke? and people travel for hours just to get good food, you know you're in the right place. Yes, its here; Malaysia!

I have an Indian friend who can speak Mandarin very well, and a Malay friend who can speak Tamil fluently..and mind you..Malaysians are usually bilingual or trillingual, making us 1Malaysia. It was special how sometimes we Malaysian could use three different languages in the same sentence and still be understood by friends. Haha! 

Malaysian also get to celebrate and experience different festivals and dress up in Baju Kurung, Cheongsam, Punjabi suts and Sari. I remember during the Ramadhan month last month, some of my friends at the office would avoid eating and drinking in front of us Muslim. These sensitiveness to others religious beliefs help foster a sense of tolerance and respect. As a Malaysian born, this great country will always hold a special place in my heart. I have lived in Kuala Lumpur and there is no doubt that many of my core values has been shaped by life in Malaysia. I know its been a tough year for Malaysia for what had happen with our national carrier Malaysia Airline (MH370 and MH17). MAS has given us great service all these years carrying us afar and bringing us back home. It is only natural we will stand by it during this difficult time. I am not giving up on MAS. Simply because I am Malaysian and I love my country. 

Happy Birthday Malaysia!

Monday, August 25, 2014

MyPhD Journey: My first paper for the Copenhagen conference

Assalamualaikum wbt..

I am currently struggling with this dilemma as I work on what will be one of my research for my PhD. On the other hand, I am still working with the company and the closer it is to my last working day, the more workloads are coming and unlikely that I'm going to handover my tasks to my subordinates now. I have to attend meetings, review reports from consultants, attend interviews, Kebenaran Bertulis to DOE for WTE Plant, respond to the CEO for my long delayed MSW analysis report and currently been chased by the HR to carry out appraisal for my subordinates before I leave on my last day. So much paperwork.

It can be hard for me to respond with lightning speed to journals and formulate a well-crafted paper for one of my research objective within 1 week. I received an email from my supervisor couple of weeks ago about the Copenhagen conference that will be held next year. We need to submit a paper for a new proposed research and my supervisor has selected my research to be submitted to the conference committee before the end of this month.

The objective of the research is clear however the method need to be firm up and by firm up, I mean I need a better direction of doing it. I have not write any academic paper for the past 4 years except the proposal I wrote for this doctorate study three months ago.  I referred to my supervisor Dr. S, and she gave me a clear direction on the method and few references to refer. So I begin to write. Dr. S introduced a co-supervisor for my research which is the Dean of the Faculty. I submitted my first revision of the conference paper to Dr. S and Prof. Z for their review and I received few comments from them for amendment.

In my paper, I tried to develop a mathematical model for water and wastewater design network. Previous research has been done mainly focuses on water system integration which has been widely used to minimize the freshwater consumption and wastewater generation and assist organizations to maximize water savings and minimize the potential impact of effluent on the environment. However, the focus has been mainly on minimizing the water and wastewater without considering the wastewater treatment network. So this is where I have to come with a mathematical model using a software to develop an integrated water and wastewater design network.

I've been reading my paper to make sure that I have maintained the flow and argument of my paper even after having made the revisions. Two days later I submit the paper to Dr. S and Prof. Z.
Prof. Z being the expert in this water and wastewater design network has given a lot of suggestions for improvement. I only had minor amendment after the second revision and ready to submit.

I can say it a success when I myself been juggling my work at the office while reading journals and write paper after Aulia' has asleep at night. I received positive comments from my supervisor and co-supervisor and they are already have something for me to do once I started my full time study next month.

I wish I can cope with the coming workloads at the Faculty and I'm praying hard that I am able to understand more on what I am doing for my research. Writing a paper is one thing, developing a math model is another thing that I really want to be competent with as soon as possible.

Okay, the paper has been submitted. Alhamdulillah!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Aulia''re Three!

Assalamualaikum wbt..

Here we are, one year older.

I just re-read Aulia's two years old birthday post and it's funny. Not a lot has changed in a year. She's just gotten bigger. All her favorites are still favorites.. pocoyo, barney, counting, hotdog, biscuits, chocolate milk. She loves to dance, singing, snuggle (oh my goodness, she LOVES to snuggle), she's obsessed with Frozen, her dolls & princess dresses. She's getting better at dressing herself.

If I had to describe Aulia' in one word it would be sweet. She's the biggest little sweetheart. She's silly & sensitive & does what she's asked & just loves to be home and cozy and comfortable. She's my little homie. Sure, she still has her moments..if there's something she wants she'll ask and ask and ask until you come to realize there's just no doing anything else until you've taken care of whatever it is she wants. She's persistent. Her favorite word is "why?" so many of my answers are just met another "why" until I finally ask her why she thinks it is and that's usually buy me some time.

Aulia' supposed to be joining the preschool earlier this year but due to some reason, we didn't enroll her to preschool. We weren't in a hurry to get her in one so she's currently not in any school. I think she needs something, though. Whether we do swim lessons or playground session, she needs some sort of challenge outside of the walls of our house and we're excited to enter that stage of involvement in our family.

I'm not gonna lie, the first half of two was a little tough. It was true, the terrible two's had nothing on three but once she rounded the 3, she mellowed out. And I hear really good things about after three. She can be reasoned with or bargained with and she's just so much fun. It's so fun to see the world through her eyes and I completely understand how kids get spoiled. When they start "getting it".. ya know, it's amazing to see them get excited.

Happy third birthday to my little first born. Can't wait to watch you grow one year older. I think this year is gonna be a good one. Pray :)
Happy 3rd Birthday sweetheart!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Happy Birthday Singapore!

Assalamualaikum wbt..

We were having a gathering at my auntie's home at Sims Avenue watching the parade on Chanel 5 during Singapore's NDP. We have planned to go and watch the fireworks at night but unfortunately we arrived a bit late due to traffic congestion. We strolled around the Olympic walk and watched people hanging around with their family and friends at Marina Bay Sand while watching the beautiful bright light of Singapore city.

Happy Birthday Singapore, from your fellow neighbourhood.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Eid 2014 Celebration: Aulia's Raya money [Packets]

Assalamualaikum wbt..

 So after more than 1 week of celebrating Eid, non-stop of eating kuih raya and other wickedly wicked things, the parents must have been so busy attending the open houses everywhere. Although celebrating is on everyone's mind, kids have prioritized something else during the festivities; Raya money. Or in Aulia's case; the raya money packets. lol.While every other kids lines up to collect their raya money, my lil girl only obsessed about the colorful packets! Well, what does a 3 years old kid knows about money btw. I'll bet she'll tune into her loan shark spirit when she turns 4. Ahah!

You see the Upin Ipin's money packet? She loves that the most. She didn't event let me take it from her.

Anyway, thank you unties, uncles and grandparents who gave Aulia' Raya money this year. All goes in to her Yippie account straight away!

Thank you again from Mak Jemah! See ya next year!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Eid 2014 Celebration: Open House & Aulia' Birthday Celebration

Assalamualaikum wbt..

Finally, after a month of fasting, Ramadhan gives way for Syawal to shine. And you know what that means! It's Raya Raya Raya!! This year my in-law decided to host an open house to celebrate our Eid festive by inviting all the relatives and neighbors on the third day of Syawal. This 'open house' is also in conjunction with our Doa Selamat event and to celebrate our daughter 3rd birthday.. 
We called in the caterers and I did the DIY 'mini candy buffet' for the guests. My MIL made rendang and we bought lemang to served to the all the guests. As usual, everyone has their own task. My FIL is in-charged with the invitations, the boys with their furniture arrangement and housekeeping while the girls are busy with the food preparation. Well, everything is organized when everyone gave a helping hand I can say :)

The open house begin at lunch hour and people starts to filled up our living hall. We served tea and cookies for the unties and cousins while other guests have their lunch outside.
Sorry for the overexposed 'thighty whities' because somebody is way too focus on enjoying her dipped chocolate apple! Can't get her away from chocolate. Of course after a while someone decided to wiped her dirty hands on the dress. Sigh!

Then it's time for the cake cutting and presents opening session. I just love seeing how these lovely kids look so excited singing the birthday song and wanted to blow candles even there is no candle on that cake. Aulia' was a shy, meek little thing and clung to me when everyone singing her the birthday song. hehe. But somewhat after few minutes she started to really come out of her shell when she received her birthday gifts.
The Sophia First cake was sponsored by Mak Yang!

This is Khalif, Aulia's second cousin from father side, giving a helping hand to unwrapped all the gift. So cute! 
She's quite a patient girl when it comes to opening gift. So much class and self-control, like her mother. lol.
 Thank you to everyone who gave presents to Aulia' on her birthday :) Hope ya'all had a GREAT Eid. I know we did.

And here to a blessed gathering... one last time family photo before everyone's leaving.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Eid 2014 Celebration: Forgiving & family photo session

Assalamualaikum wbt..

Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Walillah hil Hamd!

Syukur Alhamdulillah! I managed to perform my Aidilfitri prayers with my husband's family at a Masjid nearby our homestay in Jitra, Kedah. We went back to Ipoh on Saturday (two days before Eid) and we drove to Jitra on the next day. My husband's Tok Wan is staying in Kodiang Kedah but we only managed to get the homestay in Jitra. The traffic was congested all the way from Kuala Lumpur when we went back to Ipoh but Alhamdulillah it was clear all the way to the north the day before Eid. I bet many people have arrived to their respective hometown on Saturday.

The masjid was quite packed and overflowing with worshipers but I still managed to make it to the inner hall with my SIL. The prayers went smoothly and I enjoyed my visit to the masjid on the morning of raya. Alhamdulillah!

After prayers we went back to our homestay and had breakfast together. It is a tradition that we seek for forgiveness from the elders before visiting our relatives. I assumed that this year Raya is a special one to my husband's family since their lil brother (not so little actually) who studied overseas came back home for good after graduating.

Everyone looking so dapper and stylish in their Baju Raya outfit..and this is our freestyle family pose of the year, Hehe!

The forgiving session...

We then headed to Tok Wan's house in Kodiang and visited my husband's side relatives until evening.

Guess who's the most excited one that get to collect her Duit Raya and being pampered by the unties, uncles and her grandparents...

I bet you can.
Well, this little makcik get to collect her duit raya more than we do when we were young. Mom is jelly melly!
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