Under the Knives part deux

February 10, 2014 Leave a comment

3 years ago, when Fateha had her tendon transfer on her Erb’s shoulder, we thought that it would be the last surgery she would have to go through. and me, overnight-ing in the hospital with her. lo and behold, we had to do it again this year but this time, it was to lengthen her contracted biceps.

last thursday, all jittery, i accompanied Fateha into the surgery preparatory room.


that was where she had to change into her operation garment and anesthetic lotion was plastered onto her back hand; you know, just in case she needed an IV line. we were attended by a young Malay male nurse, who was very kind and friendly towards Fateha. he asked her questions so lovingly, like an elder brother to his youngest sister. it made me more relaxed and kind of looking forward to this procedure. once the paperwork were all done, a nurse from the operating theater (OT) came to us with a wheel chair and wheeled Fateha to the OT at the Main Building.

aaahhh, old memories began to seep in as soon as we stepped into the waiting room in the OT.


this time, hubby had to come in to the waiting room too. the anesthetist had to discuss with both of us the risk that we would be facing, should we decided to continue with the surgery. you see, Fateha was having a bad cough, with a little phlegm. so we were warned that she might develop inflammation in her throat and the cough would worsen. we decided to go ahead with it.

and then, we played the waiting game. it was horrible, to sit in the waiting room for more than an hour with a super hungry child. she kept asking for bread, rice, water… she couldn’t understand why she was needed to fast before the surgery, no matter how much i tried explaining. i didn’t blame her.

then a doctor came to us, with a camera in his hands, ready to shoot Fateha’s to-be-operated arm. i tell you, whatever the doc said or asked her to do, she gave him absolutely no answer. all she did was to turn to me and asked for water and rice. i had to turn her down again. and when the doc heard Fateha whining and begging me for food, he promised her chocolate after the surgery was over.

and then she cooperated for a while. after 3 to 4 snaps, we were good to go. for the surgery!

this surgery, similar to the first one, was 2 hours long. thank goodness for the constant technology advancement, in the visitor’s lounge where we were all waiting, there was a screen with the patient’s code and which room the patient was in; operation room or recovery room. our eyes kept looking at the screen, just to check out the progress of the surgery.

after 2 hours, we saw Fateha’s code had changed to recovery room. i was anxious! told our helper to get all the bags ready and within a few minutes, my phone rang. it was the OT, calling me to come over.


right there, in the same recovery room as it had been for the first one, Fateha was still sleeping with oxygen on. i almost burst into tears but i kept my cool. so i called hubby to come in to look at her, while i wait outside. yea, only one next-of-kin allowed. in about less than 5 minutes, hubby came out and called me to come in because Fateha was waking up. the nurse was removing the gas mask from her face and turned off her probes that tracked her vital organs. when she opened her eyes and saw me, the first thing she asked was, “Ibu, i want rice…” and dozed off. my poor, hungry baby!

i was asked to observe her and see if she was doing okay before we wheeled her into the general ward; the same ward and room that we had gotten before. her surgeons came in the evening and explained what they had done to her biceps and nerves, of which was not my area of expertise and i didn’t quite understand. all those medical terminology. Prof Aymeric seemed happy with the operation and kept saying how well behaved Fateha was. awwww, who were her parents again?? :p

Prof also showed me a photo of the surgery, which of course was printed just for us.


i was eager to see this, so that i would understand exactly how it had been done. so now i could tell which ones were her nerves. it was like reading How My Body Works book, with the exposed flesh and bones. i was seeing my own flesh and blood’s flesh and blood!


good thing was, she didn’t have to have a long stay in the hospital. i only brought 1 extra top for myself and if she were to have a few days more, i would have to get someone to get me some clothes. and, the foldable bed that the hospital had for parents who were staying to accompany their kids, was uncomfortable. but hey, it was better than my previous experience, where i had to share Fateha’s bed.


oh i forgot to mention. Fateha got her promised box of chocolate from the doctor who was a part of the surgery team. he was a nice man; came to see Fateha the next morning at almost 6am, just to give her the gift and to tell us that we could go home. luckily, i was already awake, showered and freshened up. Fateha was awake too and the doctor was shocked to see both of us chatting when he came. while other parents and kids, in the room, were still so sound asleep, complete with rhythmic snores.

doc: oh you’re up so early!
me: yea, we are morning people :)) (really, i no lie)
doc: aahh that’s good. anyway, here is your chocolate. you are such a good girl.
me: *smiling*
doc: anyway, she is alright, so she can be discharged today. Prof Aymeric will see you guys again later.
me: okay, thanks doc!

it was such a good start to my early morning because everything had fallen into its place for me. hubby decided to take child care leave so that he could bring us back home. my parents took half day leave so that they would be around when we came back (we went back to my parents’ because it was very near to the hospital). everything just went well for us after that.

tomorrow, we will be going back to the hospital for a review. let’s see how the wound is recovering.

A Beachy Life

January 31, 2014 Leave a comment

I love beaches! We had some connections; between me and the beach. No matter how much I try to go against it, I will always end up in the water. And since I was a toddler, my family had always been planning for a beach picnic. And not just a mat and a basket kind of picnic. We’d bring a tent kind of picnic. And even charcoals and tongs and ice box and whathaveyous.

Last weekend, we did just that.








My paternal family is a beachy kind. We love beaches and after one beach picnic, plans for another one will come up as we are done with the current one.








Our favourite haunt is the Changi Beach. It beats me why we always come back here. Maybe because it is right outside of the World’s Number One Airport. Our uncles, aunties, cousins and even kids will go crazy when an airplane zooms by right above our heads with the thunderous roar of the engine. Though it can be VERY deafening, it is fun.

Other beaches like Pasir Ris Beach, East Coast Beach or even Sembawang Beach are in the “No Go” list.





And talking about food, my aunt (dad’s eldest sibling) will have everyone plan and discuss what kind of food they can bring. We whatsapp each other for the list of food – chips, sausages, dendeng, chicken wings with cajun seasoning, corn beef, bread, potatoes, bottled drinks, and even nasi lemak!





And we will never miss this one out. We love dipping ourselves in the water. When we get hungry, we walk back to our tent to get some bites of this and that. Minutes later, we’re back in the water.

And one of my favourite past time (recently discovered) is…


collecting sea shells. I have never done this before. I mean, yea, I used to pick them up, examine it but I would throw them back in the sea. This time, I brought them home. Lots of them.


Remember our last picnic here, celebrating Fateha’s 4th birthday? We encountered those ooey gooey jellyfish? This time, something else came to us.


A little sea star. Unlike the jellyfish where we caught more than 5 of ‘em, this was the only sea star we ever saw. I though that this is so raw. I mean, the only time I’d get to see a starfish would be at The Touch Pool at Sentosa. But this is a real encounter, swimming with us!!!

My brother accidentally stepped on it while he was in the water and he thought he stepped on a stone or something. Only when he tried dipping his hand into the water and picked it up, he realised it was a sea star.

We kept in it a cup with sea water of course. No we didn’t bring it home. Like good, compassionate citizens and animal lovers we are, we let it go – back into the water.


And whaddaya know. There is already a plan for the next picnic. I think you can call us orang laut, sea people.

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being six and abled

January 23, 2014 Leave a comment

(damn the lazy bones and nerves in me!)

it has been 13 days since she added another year to her age. i feel proud and grateful for her. putting her setbacks aside, my little preemie has proved me wrong (and other times, right) that there are things that she can do on her own as well as determined to do them by herself.


her walking without support is improving well, although it is progressing rather slowly. but hey, i am not complaining. instead, i am glad. i finally get to feel how normal parents are feeling – walking behind their children, without the need to hold their hands and getting them to lead the way. Fateha refuses to let me hold her hand and walk together with her. she doesn’t want me to hang on to her. masya Allah, i remembered waiting for this day to come, 4 years ago, and thought that it never would. now it seems like i wasn’t waiting for it that long. alhamdulillah!

all i ever have to do now is just to watch out for her, in case she falls. oh yes, she is prone to falls. and i just cannot do anything to her tip-toeing and i am out of my wits, trying to get her to put her feet down. we have tried positive reinforcements; giving her praises when she was working hard to walk with her feet flat on the ground. talking it out with her worked for a while and then it went back to square one. but i cannot blame her, can i?

i am the kind of person who will fall back to the diagnosis and accepting the fact that it is like that. so i tell myself why she walks that way every time i fail at getting her to do it properly. and i am still trying to explain to others why she walks on her tippy toes. it gets very tiring when people just do not want to understand her condition and our situation. very tiring!

in 2 months time, she will be getting her Botox treatment to reduce the tension and hypertonia in her calve muscles. her treatment is scheduled for only her bad leg, that is her left calve. but hubby is thinking of asking the doctor to do it for both. i know, some would say, “ohh poor thing, can’t you just let her be and not doing it? it is so painful.”

i know that some are concern and pity Fateha that she has to go through all these. firstly, she is not like any other normal kids. she requires a lot of help and support from family as well as community. secondly, it is because we want the best for her and we are thinking about her future, which is why we are willing to go through these tough times. we just want her to be as normal as she can be. she does not need to be perfect like other kids because she is perfect in her own ways.

i am praying and hoping for the best. nothing beats than to see my preemie being independent.

The Sum of 2013… (the last bits only)

January 1, 2014 Leave a comment

if i were to talk about the adventures i had in 2013, i would need a year to do that. so i am only going to touch on the last bits that i did the previous year (that sounded as though it was long ago, ain’t it?). anyway…

we had three rounds of celebrating the little girl’s first birthday and another round will be this Sunday. ain’t she lucky? we did the same with her big sister 6 years ago (till now) because it was just so hard to do it once and for all when you have a big family.


the second time was together with my aunt, whose birthday was 2 days after Fateena’s. one of my cousins would have joined in as well, if he was around, because his birthday was 2 days after my aunt’s. our December “babies” have nice dates; they’re all even and 2 days apart from each other. Fateena – 20 Dec, Aunt – 22 Dec and Cousin – 24 Dec. we should plan for a birthday get together next December!



we had good food, of course! all home-cooked and prepared by another aunt, the eldest among my dad’s siblings. there were spicy fried noodles of 2 kinds, jeneket (Jenny Cake), KFC’s popcorn chicken (not home-cooked, of course) and of course, the birthday cake from Secret Recipe sponsored by the birthday lady.


and the third one was with my in-laws.


we had lunch together at a halal Thai restaurant – Jai Siam, at Dhoby Ghaut Xchange. the lunch was on my in-laws but the cake was on us. and because Fateha’s birthday was nearing, we added her name onto the cake. the cake that we had forgotten to take a photo of. it was a small chocolate cake of Tom & Jerry. because it was the only cake with the characters that suited these girls. Fateha being Tom and Fateena, Jerry. it was just them, except that they were females.

one last bit of 2013 that i absolutely love the most is definitely got to be this.

on the eve of new year’s eve, a small parcel was delivered to our home; late at night after i sent Fateha to bed. i asked hubby what that was and he said it was his. he ordered something from Qoo10. i gotta say that both of us are addicted to online shopping at Qoo10. we have been purchasing stuff one after another, be it for the home, the girls, birthday gifts for others and even for ourselves. i gotta stop this addiction – NOT!

the parcel was on the table so hubby asked me to get it for him. and then he told me to open it. wha-? why would he ask me to rip off the plastic wrapper? unless it was for me. and indeed, he said it WAS for me!! awww, it was a sweet surprise from him, who just kept a straight face. without even a smile or that loving, romantic look after seeing that i melted from his sweet gesture. that, everyone, is my husband.

after ripping off the wrapper, this was what i saw.


it was the awesomest gift he gotten for me. like, finally!!! something that i could feel good about when using. not that i didn’t like all the gifts i got from him. but this one, went on top of the charts like instantly. the smell, as the name suggested, was indeed seductive. i fell in love with this almost immediately. aaaahhhh, thank you husband!

but, hey, it wasn’t my birthday. and no, it wasn’t a Christmas thingy cos we didn’t celebrate. nonchalantly he said he got it for me just because. no reason behind it. but he did joke a little and said he had too much money! hahaha. yes, that, i already knew.

the following day, he sent me to work cos we planned to have breakfast together. while we were getting ready that morning, i thought of spraying just a bit of that beautiful and seductive eau de toilette. i asked him if i smelled good and he only said, “hmm.” as in agreeing with me “hmm”, not that “mmm” of  inhaling the sensational smell. my husband.

i need to get him to a crash course of how to express himself. or maybe i should do it myself. after learning the theory, he could definitely and absolutely apply the practical with me, which would be very beneficial for us.

it has been a joyful, tearful, jerk-full, stupid fool and bloody fool 2013. would i ask for more? no, no more of 2013 cos we are already in 2014. new year has begun and i hope to get that good news that i have been hoping for. my new year’s resolution?

just to be myself.

HAPPY 2014, people!

the one who is One

December 22, 2013 2 comments


she turned one two days ago. and since daddy was on his off day, we brought the birthday girl, and her sister, to an ice-cream treat at Swensen’s.

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we’ve never really let her eat ice-cream before; just a few licks were all she had. but 2 days ago, we gave it a go and fed her some small, itty bitty scoop of the dessert.


and instead of swallowing, she spat it out and let it sloppily slipped off her mouth. and dirtied her onesie. aaahhh, i had zero tolerance for kids dirtying their clothes. but because we were in the public, i shrieked a lot lesser and cleaned up the dirty spot like nothing happened. and like a good mom should. hahah!


the rest of us ate a big bowl of 8 scoops of ice-cream like there was no tomorrow. i wondered whose birthday we were treating for. lol. surprisingly, i couldn’t help them to finish it up. i left them to finish the eating job.


happy 1st birthday to my little BamBam.



p/s: sorry. i just can’t produce enough words for this post. because we’re off to celebrate her birthday, again! but this time it will be together with her grand aunt, who turns XX today. wait for it in my next post. more words and lengthy, i pwomise.


December 13, 2013 Leave a comment

i hate the fact that our vacation this time went by TERRIBLY fast. how come??? we were waiting for it like ages and then it went by just like that!

anyway, my whole family (including my folks, brothers and sister in-law) went up the hill towards Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. this was my second time that i went there and my first was when i was 12. yea, back here again after 20 years. any changes? i couldn’t tell the difference. blame it on my goldfish memory.



i thought it was much colder in December than in other months. the rainy season was probably the cause of it but i loved the fog that formed across the mountains. they were pretty. our stay at Strawberry Park Resort was great. i loved the ambiance, scenery ad the room decor.

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there was a balcony, with lush greenery a forested area blocking our view of beautiful green hills. but i still love this place. the room was spacious enough to fit in a wide 2-seater sofa and a coffee table. the room was as big as my own living and dining room combined.


the bathroom was big as well! (but i do not have any of its photo)



we were at the tea plantation, a place where a friend of mine recommended to visit. the visitor centre was where we could taste some samples of different flavoured tea. HOWEVER, we did not go up there. yes, we had to climb up a hill to go up to the visitor centre.


i thought that the steps to the visitor centre were very steep. no way i could go up there, although i would really love to. why not? it was the place where Aaron Aziz shot his scene for Ombak Rindu! but looking at how i would end up exhausted with aching muscles, i declined the climb.



there were not many ripe strawberries hanging from the vines. probably because it was not its season. we were lucky to get to see a handful of them red ones. the rest were mostly small and green. there were already picked strawberries that were dried and cut into small pieces for tourists to sample at their small stall.

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we bought some of them and two strawberry heads followed us home.

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we saw huge, beautiful potted cacti at Cactus Point.

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unlike Singapore, there were always plenty of stalls lined along the streets, selling all kinds of food here in Malaysia. from finger food to snacks and even full, complete kampung dishes. and each time we traveled to this part of the world, we would always go hungry. there would always be enough space in the stomach for all kinds of food. and even junks.



the aroma of the charcoal-grilled corns were to die for!

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unfortunately, we didn’t spend enough time here in Cameron Highlands. i wished we had a whole week for our stay because i had fallen in love with Strawberry Park Resort. 3 days here were just not enough. even hubby was complaining. LOL.

i would come back here again but definitely not gonna wait for another 20 years. what say you, husband??

it’s good, all good

November 30, 2013 1 comment

in less than a month, my little baby will be turning a year old.

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her development has been progressive so far although, i must say, she is taking her own time to grow her teeth. i have been waiting to see some pearly whites to pop out but nope. her first tooth is still not showing any signs of eruption. her gums are still bare but i gotta admit that they are quite hard already. she bites while nursing but lucky me she is still with bare gums. or else, there would be a crime scene.

and yes, we are still nursing. YAY! we are so close to reaching my goal and i am so excited! i am not ambitious enough to setting a goal of nursing for two years. one year is already good enough. and i will let nature take its own course, yea?

talking about nature. these days, i simply cannot be bothered to religiously pump every 2 -3 hours. i am still producing which i think at an amount that is adequate enough for Fateena. i used to get 240ml in one session, which of course i divided into two feeds. then the volume gets lesser. on good days i can get 160ml – 180ml. on lousy days (that is, days when i am too exhausted, too busy with assignments etc), i will pump out 100ml. yea, that amount is good enough.

i know i get envious looking at pictures of full-to-the-brim freezer with breast milk but when i think about it, i got no space in my freezer for that kind of crazy milk production (though i wanted to get like that)!! some moms would go to the extent of getting another freezer to store their milk. looking at my tiny kitchen, i cannot find a suitable corner for another freezer. so, no thanks.

for the fact that i have beaten my old record, back with my firstborn, i think i am doing good this time. but i will certainly want to make it better next time, when my 3rd one comes.

(no i am not expecting. i am just saying.)


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