Sunday, November 21, 2010

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallow Part 1

I sit alone at the corner spot of The coffee bean & Tea leaf, trying to gather my thoughts with a glass of caramel ice blended and a ham & cheese pandesal in front of me. My hands are shaking and my heart beats so fast as if I just got the effect of caffeine when I haven't even taken a sip of my caramel ice blended. I feel so warm and my brain can't think right. I felt numb all over my body when I ordered my drink just now. I couldn't even mention my order correctly. I thought I was about to get a heart attack or something. These all happened to me because I just came out of a cinema. I just finished watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow Part 1.

I know you think I'm ridiculous.  Unless you are a big Potter fan like me and have watched the movie, only then you would understand why I'm like this. My hands are still trembling by the way. I am still struggling to compose myself and type this post even when my iPad touch keypad is big enough for my fingers. I am trying my best to calm my self down by slowly chewing my ham & cheese pandesal and take a sip of my caramel ice blended.

I'm supposed to write a review of this movie for this post, but honestly, I AM SPEECHLESS. I wanted to tell you how the movie was but what comes out from my mouth is just aaaaaa....uuuuuu.....aaaaa....gaaagaaa...

I definitely lost words to describe the movie. That movie has just blown me away!  
I tried to just write it slowly, taking my own time while calming myself down. 
And the first thing that came out of my mind was thanking The Lord for giving me the opportunity to live through the Potter era. I thank Lord for giving the world J.K. Rowling and her wonderful imagination that she shared with us. I have gone through so many ups and down in my life, happy and sad moments in life, moving house from one country to another, and I am very...very grateful that I have always been lucky to be able to follow the magical journey of Harry Potter in books and in movies. I have always had a personal connection with him and his magical world through these years. 

The feeling that I had when I sat in the cinema half an hour before the movie started, is very hard to describe. As the movie started with the very familiar tune, my brain was rewinding itself to the first moment of my encounter with the most famous wizard boy. I had trouble concentrating to the movie because my brain was busy presenting me flashes of my memories I have kept since the day I watched the 1st movie of Harry Potter, Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's stone, 10 years ago. I actually had to wear my sunglasses in the darkness to keep my eyes focus to the movie playing in front of me. I am sure those who sat next to me wondering there must be something wrong with my eyes... :)  

Oh God...I'm supposed to write the review about Part 1 of the last installment of Harry Potter movies, right? But I believe you don't even have to read my review to decide whether you should watch this movie or not when you have read how my body reacted after I finished watching that movie. Anyway, just in case you still want to know what I think about that movie, I have. one word to say about that movie: SPECTACULAR! 
There...I am finally  calm the same time I finished my ham & cheese pandesal together with my caramel ice blended... :)
I hope I will be lucky again to be able to watch the last & final installment of the Harry Potter saga.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy Halloween 2010

Halloween is very famous in The Philippines. It is a yearly tradition that children are looking forward to because they get a chance to collect candies/treats as many as they can during the trick or treat.

Our house subdivision always holds the Halloween party once a year. This year's theme is "Villains in the Village". We had to dress up like villains in Disney movies/Batman/Superman.

Before the party began, the children from the subdivision would go around the complex for trick or treat, then we would continue with the Halloween party. There were many competitions held during the Halloween Party; such as the best costume, the most original design, and the scariest. There was also a competition for the best decorated house.

I like to make and design everything by myself. I always try to minimize the cost as much as possible. I really enjoyed making the Halloween decoration and costumes with any recycled materials. I halfway made the trick or treat loot basket from the old newspaper, but my son preferred to have the big green pumpkin basket he saw at the mall. That pumpkin basket was the only expensive thing in my budget. It cost me 99 Pesos (= USD2.2). All other materials cost me nothing to less than 90 Pesos (= USD2). 

Since at this time in Philippines is the typhoon season, I decorated my house with Halloween decorations that can stand the rain and the wind. Although my house decoration didn't win, I'm quite happy with it. I have a witch made of garbage bag guarding my gate..:)

As for the costumes, I made my son's Chernabog (from Disney movie Fantasia) costume from garbage bag, leftover wire, and old newspapers. For my daughter's Queen of heart (from Disney movie Alice in Wonderland) costume, I made the skirt from plastic string and from what ever I have in my storage room. 
As for me, I chose to dress up as the evil Queen from Snow White Disney movie. I made my cloak from garbage bag combined with what ever I have in my closet...:)
And for my husband, since he refused to wear anything weird and scary, I asked him to dress up as Lex Luthor from Superman which required him to dress up like what he normally wears to go to work. My husband is balding, by the way, which was another reason why I chose Lex Luthor character for him... :)

The Halloween party started at 5PM but the trick or treat started at 3PM. It was raining so heavily just before 3PM. I was in doubt if I should send my children out for trick or treating. But then the rain stopped. So, I accompanied my daughter first joining all other children to walk around the subdivision collecting the treats. My son was still taking a nap. We went from one house to another house. Candies were not the only thing to be given as the treats. There were many different kinds of treats my daughter got. There was a cotton candy (with the cotton candy guy made it in front of the kids) given out by one of the house in our subdivision. There was a barbecue sausage, a cup cake, and some juice that were also given out by a different house. There was also a cup of nice lemon tea and a balloon for the children given out by another house.

After an hour and a half going around the subdivision, my daughter and I were exhausted. My left hand was aching so much because I had to carry her all the time. She refused to walk when she was afraid to see any scary figure she met on the street. It was our first time to join this kind of activity so I didn't know that we were allowed to drive around the subdivision instead of walking. I saw many parents drove their kids around subdivision. Lesson learnt...:) Next time I will just drive my kids around for trick or treating...:)

When I entered the house, my son just woke up. I quickly asked him to catch up with other kids to collect his treats, but unfortunately, the rain came back. So, he only managed to collect some candies from my neighbors. I was ready to drive him around to catch up with other kids when I realized that we already had to get ready for the Halloween party in the clubhouse. 
So, every one took shower and quickly wore our villain costumes.Within half an hour, we were already in the clubhouse. There were so many people attending the Halloween party. It was full house at the clubhouse.

When we arrived, I saw every head turned to see me. Their facial expressions were so stunned as if they just saw a ghost! They said I looked exactly like the wicked Queen in Snow White, beautiful but evil...whahaha... :-D Many people took an opportunity to take picture with me. Everyone also asked me to join the Parent-child Best costume competition. They were so sure that I would win the competition.

So, when the Parent-child competition was announced, I went up to the stage with my son. He was all black just like Chernabog from the movie Fantasia in 1940. Every one cheered and took many photographs of us. Honestly, for a moment, I felt like a movie star... :-D

After dinner was distributed, came the announcement for the best costume. I was so surprised when my son's costume won the Most Original design costume for his age category. I never expected that his costume was going to win. But every one told me that his costume was very unique because it was the only one that was hand made and was made out of recycled materials. He won a bookstore voucher worth 200 Pesos...:)
Then, I had another reason to smile, as every one had told me before, my costume won the best costume for parent-child category.... :-D My son and I won a dining voucher worth 250 Pesos from a very nice restaurant. So, total winning prize I received was 450 Pesos. I got back all the money I spent for the costume and decorations... :-D
I felt so grateful that every one was so supportive of me. They acknowledged my creativity and design. I was very happy that night. Wow! I really could not stop praising the Lord for helping me to make all these happened. I always believe in Him even on Halloween. My son and I were already quite sick during the process of making the costume and decoration. We recovered just in time for all of these.

Everyone was very happy. We all had a blast, especially my children who managed to collect 2 big pumpkin basket of candies and toys during trick or treat and during the party. We certainly look forward to attend the same party next year with a different theme... :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Building a better communication with your children

In the past 2 weeks my husband and I really have a hard time talking and educating our son. We see that the older he is, the stronger his rejection towards anything we say and the more difficult to deal with his emotion. Instead of getting him to do like what we want him to do, we would end up fighting or arguing with him because we loose our temper and our coolness. 

We love our son very much and we want the best of everything for him. We want to raise him to be a better person than we are. But then, we were so clueless and hopeless. I always ended up crying at night because I just feel so bad if I have to scream at him all the time. I loose my voice and he will still not listen to me and even resist me stronger. 

As usual, when I am loosing my hope, God comes to the rescue. I received a small booklet today from my son's school about how parents can improve the communication with their children. The booklet uses the book How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish as the reference.

Oh thank you, God! This is exactly what I urgently need for I have completely lost my way to talk to my son. The booklet has every information I need and it is presented in funny pictures that makes it easy to relate to each situation I experience. The language is very simple too. The examples are real so I can understand easily how I would react the next time I am faced with the same situation. There is a practice section too in where I can fill in the blank with the right and proper word to say to make sure that my kids will listen to my words.

I am really grateful that I got that booklet today. That means I can start to learn to build better ways to communicate with my son before the anger and the emotion destroy everything. I think every parent should really know the way to properly communicate with their children so that they can have a wonderful relationship with their children all the time. For the children, they will have a very good memory about their parents because their parents have become their best friends too. I recommend to every parent to read How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. As parents, we need to have a clear guideline on how to win over our children. We have to initiate the good and proper way to talk and to listen so that our children can see and follow our path. This is important because just as James Baldwin said,
"Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them."

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Nama untuk warga dunia

Keluarga kecil saya terdiri dari berbagai macam kewarganegaraan. Saya orang Indonesia yg menikah dengan orang Malaysia keturunan cina. Ke 2 anak kami pun berbeda kewarganegaraan; yang besar berwarganegara New Zealand, dan yang kecil berwarganegara Malaysia.

Seperti umumnya orang Indonesia, saya tidak punya family name. Family name saya dapat dari family name suami saya setelah saya menikah. Nama asli saya (given name) pun tidak berbau Indonesia.

Sedangkan suami saya, meskipun dia keturunan cina, dia tidak memakai nama cina. Namanya lebih berbau international seperti kebanyakan nama orang America/Eropa. Cuma family namenya saja yang menggunakan nama cina.

Anak-anak kami dinamai berdasarkan film yang kami berdua suka. Supaya adil, kami berdua memberi nama anak2 kami. Anak pertama , nama pertamanya (first name) saya yang kasih. Namanya sama dengan bintang film ganteng idola saya...:) Nama tengahnya (middle name) yang memberi nama suami saya. Berhubung dia tidak terlalu kreatif dan tidak siap, dia ambil dari nama tengahnya sendiri.

Untuk anak ke 2, kebalikannya, first namenya yang kasih nama adalah suami saya. Suami saya mengambil nama leading lady di film kesukaannya untuk first name anak kedua kami. Middle namenya saya yang kasih. Nama tengahnya saya ambil dari nama karakter di film kesukaan saya.
Nama keluarga harus diberi mengikuti nama keluarga suami saya.

Nama anak-anak kami pun tidak terlalu aneh-aneh dengan pertimbangan karena kami keluarga United Nations dan kemungkinan untuk travelling keliling dunia cukup tinggi. Jadi, nama anak-anak harus mengikuti template nama di passport supaya mudah dibaca dan diterima di seluruh dunia.

Sebagai orang Indonesia yg tidak punya family name, saya sudah tahu bagaimana repotnya kalau berurusan dengan imigrasi terutama di luar Indonesia. Ditambah lagi nama saya sama sekali tidak berbau Indonesia. Kalau sudah keluar Indonesia, tidak ada orang percaya kalau saya orang Indonesia. Orang asing mengira saya orang Fiipina karena nama dan wajah saya yang seperti kebanyakan orang Filipina.

Sebelum saya menikah, agar saya dapat membuat passport, saya harus menciptakan nama keluarga (last name/family name). Tapi berhubung di akte kelahiran pun tidak ada nama keluarga, jadi yg ada nama baptis lah yg dipakai untuk last name karena kebetulan saya menempatkan nama baptis saya diurutan belakang.
Setelah saya menikah, saya harus mengganti susunan nama saya agar sesuai dengan template passport di seluruh dunia. Suami saya yang membantu menyusun ulang nama saya agar saya punya first name, middle name, dan family name. Akhirnya, sampai sekarang saya memakai nama yang baru tersebut.

Berdasarkan pengalaman pribadi, saya tidak mau anak-anak saya mengalami kesulitan di masa depan dengan nama mereka. Jadi saya dan suami saya sepakat memberi nama yang mudah diterima oleh masyarakat dunia. Saya dan suami pun sepakat untuk tidak menambahkan nama cina untuk anak-anak kami dengan pertimbangan yang sama. Kami berharap agar anak-anak kami dapat memiliki kesempatan lebih luas di bagian negara manapun tanpa harus pusing dengan nama mereka dan kami juga tidak ingin mereka dikategorikan dalam salah satu kelompok masyarakat di dunia.

Bagaimana dengan anda? Pertimbangan apakah yang anda ambil ketika memberi nama anak-anak anda?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Preserving the tradition in foreign land

On my birthday I woke up so early exactly at the same time when the sun rose that day. I felt so fresh and so full of energy I could run in the park longer than I usually do. Then I heard my cell vibrated indicating that someone was texting me. It was from my friend wishing me Happy Birthday. I was so surprise that he woke up so early but it turned out he was on his night shift at work so at that time he was still in the office.

I went downstairs and called one of my maids to accompany me to go to wet market. I never got a chance to go to wet market so early like that day. When I arrived in the market, I was so happy because all the vegetables were still complete and very fresh, and so were the fishes and everything else. Suddenly I saw a big round rattan tray like the ones the Indonesian always uses to make nasi tumpeng. In Indonesia it's called tampah but in the Philippines it is called bilao. So I bought the biggest one. I thought of making nasi tumpeng for my own birthday party. It would be great surprise for everyone because I never tried to make this thing before and no one in the house has ever seen a nasi tumpeng. I have bought the other ingredients a day before. Oh, before I forget, nasi tumpeng is an Indonesian yellow rice (turmeric rice) cone shaped buffet style dish served on round rattan tray. The cone shaped yellow rice is usually surrounded by 7 kinds of side dishes that represent the wealth, dedication, and the glorious time. The side dishes usually are chicken, prawn, perkedel (mashed potato with corned beef fritters), mixed vegetables, eggs, mixed fried peanut and anchovy, and some kinds of tempe (soya bean cake) dish. But there is no tempe in Philippines so I didn't cook that one item.

With the recipe from my beloved mother that she sent through smses, a picture from an old Indonesian recipe magazine that I brought to Philippines, I was determined to complete this nasi tumpeng for lunch birthday for me and my family.

At 7am, I started the work together with the maid I took to wet market. I chose her because she has passion for cooking. She is a Filipina and never knew and never saw a nasi tumpeng before. I had to give her very clear instructions and had to make sure that she could follow through properly so that the result would be just like the picture.

Since I didn't plan ahead, I didn't do any preparation nor making any decoration for the tampah for this nasi tumpeng. I understood that nasi tumpeng is a very complicated Indonesian dish. It was an elaborate complete Indonesian dishes in one tray but I still wanted to do it. My mom was a champion of nasi tumpeng creation. She won an award for making the most beautiful nasi tumpeng in the competition of nasi tumpeng during one of Indonesian Indepence day celebrations when I was only 10 years old. I witnessed how she created all. I wanted to be like her. She was so excited too when I informed her about it. She kept on texting me with so many tips.

Finally, at around 12.30pm, everything was completed and fully decorated. I had done my magic in the kitchen and it was time to show off the result...:)
Everyone was so surprised, especially my husband. Everyone said the nasi tumpeng was very unique and beautiful. The candles were lighted by my husband. He gave me 2 dozen of red and pink roses for the birthday gift. He also bought 2 boxes of Collete's buko pie to compliment my nasi tumpeng. My Tagalog teacher and my 2 maids were present too. After we sang happy birthday for me, I blew the candle with the help from my beloved son. Then I gave the honor to my husband to cut the peak of the cone rice. Everyone said the nasi tumpeng was a blast. The dishes were delicious and beautifully presented.

I was so happy and satisfied with the result. I could not believe I did it without any preparation. I know that my first nasi tumpeng is far from perfect but the pride I got from being able to preserve the tradition in the foreign land for non-Indonesians to enjoy was hard to describe, especially tomorrow is the Indonesian Indepence day. In fact, this nasi kuning was not the only tradition/culture of Indonesia that I carried to Philippines, I also introduced batik attire. I wore batik once to the Parents and Teachers Association meeting and I had many compliment from my filipina friends that my batik dress was very beautiful. I felt so heroic for I managed to introduce my Javanese tradition in The Philippines. No matter how far I am from my country, I still love my Indonesia. Although in my family, I am the only  Indonesian and I do not live in my country for many years, Indonesia is still in my blood and my way of life. Merdeka! Happy Independence day, Indonesia! Selamat Hari Merdeka Indonesiaku tercinta!

To end this post, I would like to write down the lyric of the beautiful song that always reminds me of Indonesia that was composed by Ismail Marzuki:

Indonesia, tanah air beta (Indonesia my homeland)
Pusaka abadi nan jaya (greatest long lasting heritage)
Indonesia, sejak dulu kala (Indonesia since a long time ago)
Tetap dipuja-puja bangsa (is always be praised by other nations)

Disana tempat lahir beta (it was the place I was born)
Dibuai dibesarkan bunda (raised and sang lullabies by mother)
Tempat berlindung di hari tua (it is the place for my retirement)
Tempat akhir menutup mata.(it is the place for me to rest in peace)

Sungguh indah tanah air beta (What a beautiful my homeland)
Tiada bandingnya di dunia (nothing compared to it in the whole world)
Karya indah Tuhan Maha Kuasa (Beautiful creation of God the Almighty)
Bagi bangsa yang memujanya (for the people that praise His Holy name)

Indonesia ibu pertiwi (Indonesia the motherland)
Kau kupuja kau kukasihi (I adore you I love you)
Tenagaku bahkan pun jiwaku (My energy and even my soul)
Kepadamu rela kuberi (I give them to you all willingly).


I'm sorry if the English translation is not perfect.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Learn to appreciate your other half

It is four minutes to 10 o'clock at night, my husband is still outside for some office work and my 2 children have been asleep for more than an hour. Not every night they go to bed so early like right now. They must be exhausted for I took them for swimming this afternoon for 2 hours. So, now I am having my me-time all alone in this cold quiet night. I have many things I want to do now that I can concentrate fully on what I do, such as reading the novel, continue writing my blog, watching TV while munching some Ipoh peanuts I got from one of my husband's colleague who visited Malaysia, or I could just play game on Facebook. These are things I would not be able to do when the children are awake. Let me start by continuing on writing my blog so that I will have a new post. Let's see if I can fight the temptation of playing games, especially playing Bejeweled Blitz that I love very much...:)

Yesterday one of my contacts in Facebook wrote the status like this, "Thanks to my wife.  Love you full!" Apparently they just finished moving house and this friend of mine felt grateful with all the help he got during that period, especially the help he got from his wife who has done the sorting, packing, and taking care of everything else including their 3 children all by herself.  He himself had to take care of his work in the office most of the time. He knew it was not easy for his wife to handle things by herself and the fact that she managed to complete everything and has made the transition to the new house as smoothly as possible was something great that he really need to appreciate.
Nearly a month ago I moved house too. This was my 8th time of moving house. Among the 8, this was quite the easiest one because I didn't have to move house to a different country across the sea as in the other 7. Also this time I had some help from my 2 maids.  The previous 7 times, I had to do the complete set of moving house procedures all by myself.  The hardest was the 5th when I had to move house from New Zealand to Kuching, Malaysia. At that time, I also just gave birth to my first child and was all alone. So, compared to the 5th, the 8th transition to the new house was the easiest one.
Even though it was the easiest one, still, the complete set of moving house procedures have to be followed. Since I had 2 maids, they were the ones to do the packing and the moving for me while I took care of all important stuffs such as dealing with the house owner, making sure the new house was livable, and buying the furniture since the new house was unfurnished. I also had to take care of the children. As usual, my other half could only take care of his work in the office. Even this time, he was overseas for a month. So, I tried my best to work together with the house owner to make sure everything was fine in the house before we started to move or at least, before my husband came back. Every single thing in the new house that didn't work properly, I would point out so that it could be fixed. Praised the Lord the house owner is such a wonderful man. He was very helpful and cared about my requests very much. I felt great that he was willing to listen to me and he made sure everything was done properly.

Finally, when my other half came back home, things in the new house were ready and everything has been moved to the new house, except for the TV and the stereo system. My husband was very surprised that I managed to take care of everything by myself. He was very satisfied with the new house. He said he liked the new house better. I told him that is because I have made sure that the new house was ready for us to stay. I have learned my lesson from the experiences of moving house many times; especially the fact that I always had to do everything by myself. Thank God, my husband understood that all these moving things are never easy for me. He gave me a hug and kissed me. He said, "Thank you very much, dear. I know I can count on you." He didn't announce it on the Facebook though and neither did I because I think that is enough for me to see that my husband has appreciated my hard work and my support for him. I felt really good and I remember that every time I enter the house. Many times my husband asked me why I always smile when I enter the house. I told him that's because I remember the time when you hugged and kissed me and said Thank you to me. He said I'm crazy…:) Oh well, he may not realize that his simple act has done wonder to lift up my spirit. I know it very well that appreciating someone's hard work always brings a positive energy to that person and to the relationship with that person. So, I am also trying my best every time to appreciate what my husband does to me. I believe that a simple word like 'thank you', especially when it is added with an act of love such as hug or kiss, it will help to maintain the relationship. This is important for our marriage. So, yeah, start to learn to appreciate your other half. It will do the magic to help you to bring her/him closer to you.

Friday, July 16, 2010

When being paranoid is a good thing

I am a very paranoid person. In my life, I always think about the worst case scenario, especially if I am faced with the unknown situation. Very often my other half think that my paranoia is excessive and very disturbing. He can't understand why I am like that. He finds it really unnessary to be so paranoid about everything.

But to me, my paranoia really helped me to prepare myself especially on Wednesday night when the first typhoon of the year, typhoon Conson (or Basyang in Philippines) made a surprised landfall and directly hit the area I live. Many people were not prepared as the earlier track shown that it would not hit our area directly and the warning signal given was only signal no. 1.

When my husband informed me on Wednesday morning that there was a typhoon heading our way, I made sure all the emergency survival kits were within our reach and ready to be used anytime. My emergency light and torchlights were fully charged, my candles and matches were ready too. I also have full stock of emergency food. The last year typhoon experiences have taught me never to underestimate the power of a typhoon.

On that day, we didn't see the sun at all the whole day. It was very dark, wet, and cold. But since no one expected to be a direct hit, life went by as usual. Tree branches were not cut, and I even got my new satelite disc installed :)

At 11pm when everyone was already asleep, the wind has become very very strong. I haven't been able to close my eyes since 9pm when I put my kids to sleep. My six sense telling me that the typhoon was going to stop by our area. I started to feel scared and nervous especially when I saw the tree in front of my house swaying violently left and right. The sound of the strong wind pierced my ears. I had a strong urge of checking the typhoon path at and when I did, I was so surprised to see that the typhoon was heading directly to our province and at 2am, it would make a landfall with strong wind and rain.

Oh my God! I was paranoid again. I was afraid that my emergency preparation was not enough. I quickly woke up my husband to get ready the emergency light. But he was too sleepy to care about my paranoia. So he just continued sleeping. I got up and went down to get my emergency light. I put all candles and matches on the table, and I even had time to update my status on Facebook informing everyone that Conson was here already. Just when I completed everything, the electricity went off. I opened the curtain in my bedroom so I could see the situation outside. And it was getting worse with the wind blowing so hard. Never in my life I saw how strong the wind blew it could bend the big mahogany tree in front of my house. But that night I saw it happened in front of my eyes. I was very scared my heart bumping so hard too. I was afraid that the mahogany tree root would loose its grip and the tree would fall to my house. I literary screamed everytime the strong wind came and swept away everything outside my window. My husband woke up and asked me to close the curtain and return to sleep.There's no way I would be able to sleep in a complete darkness knowing that outside, a violent wind swept accross our region. Then at nearly midnight, I received a text from my neighbor informing me that the warning signal has been raised to signal no. 2 and there would not be any classes on Thursday. So my son would not go to school.

Just before 2am, the rain came down together with the strong wind. I never stopped praying asking protection from God the Almighty for my little family that I love so much. The rain and wind, plus many mahogany fruits that dropped down on my roof made so much noise. My son and my daughter woke up, screamed, and cried because they were frightened by the darkness and by the sound of the wind. My husband hugged and comforted my son while I sat down rocking back and forth to comfort my daughter who held my shirt so tightly. I tried to sing for her but my weak heart didn't even want to stop thundering. My daughter could feel it and she got even more frightened. With all my might I tried to calm myself down so that my daughter would not feel how scared I was with the situation. My daughter and my son finally went back to sleep. Not long, my husband also snored; but not me :( Although my eyes were extremely heavy, my mind didn't want to rest. I prayed and prayed that the typhoon would be over soon. But it worsened instead. I stood up near the window and tried to see the situation outside but I could not see a thing. The rain and wind blurred my vision. I gave up and tried to sleep. I kept on teeling myself that God never leaves me alone. He is always there at the right time and on the right moment according to Him.

Finally at around 3-4am, there was no sound outside my window. Everything went quiet as if nothing had happened before. I knew the typhoon has gone away. I closed my eyes at around 4.30am just when I heard my maid got out of the house. She told me that my neighbor wanted to borrow our candle and matches because they had none.I managed to sleep for 2 hours before my children woke me up at around 6am.

When I woke up, I saw the road in front of my house was in a mess. Tree branches and mahogany fruits scattered everywhere. I also saw everyone started to clean up the mess created by the typhoon. The black out continued the whole day. We were forced to finish 2 litres of ice cream that has melted and to cook all the chicken, meat and fishes. The electricity was restored at around 10pm. I really thanked the Lord for protecting us always. I thank Lord for I am so paranoid about anything and this makes me prepared always.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

You have completed my life.

Two years ago every time I went to the mall, my heart ached. I saw there were many beautiful dresses for little girls. It was not easy to find great cloths for my little boy. Boy's attire was very plain and boring, not like those for little girls. I told myself, "If only I had a little girl, she would be very beautiful wearing those beautiful dresses." I felt that there was something missing in my life without the presence of a little girl that I could dress her up like a little princess.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Holiday tickets from God

I am finally back in The Philippines after nearly a month taking vacation in Indonesia. Even if the situation here similar to my home country, it is still Home sweet home :) and I have a wonderful story to share with you about this trip.

I truly believe now that God was the One to reserve the plane ticket for this Indonesia trip. It was the answer to my prayer. But before the departure day, I was not so sure if I should really go because I was so paranoid with the comfort and health of my children in my home country. I was so paranoid until the day I departed from terminal 3 Ninoy Aquino Int'l airport. I got a terrible stomachache, panic attack, nervousness, nausea, etc. I dreaded going to Indonesia. I really wanted to cancel it. But on the other hand, I also didn't want to miss this opportunity.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Melahirkan

Sebagai seorang wanita, pengalaman hidup yang paling menakjubkan bagi saya adalah pengalaman mengandung dan melahirkan anak-anak saya. Ingatan saya segera meluncur ke saat saya mengandung dan melahirkan anak pertama yang sudah saya tunggu-tunggu selama 5 tahun. Meskipun peristiwa tersebut terjadi 6 tahun yang lalu, saya masih ingat segala perasaan campur aduk yang saya rasakan: rasa bahagia, takut, panik, dan cemas. Saya bahagia dengan kehamilan ini tetapi saya tidak terlalu PD untuk melahirkannya karena saya tidak memiliki pengetahuan dan pengalaman melahirkan karena ini adalah kehamilan saya yang pertama. Lagipula saat itu saya berada di negara orang, tidak ada sanak keluarga yang mendampingi saya dan saya sedang berusaha keras menamatkan sekolah. Selama hamil pun saya lebih berkonsentrasi pada studi saya karena saya tidak mau menunda kelulusan. Satu-satunya yang menjadi pegangan adalah buku tentang kehamilan dan melahirkan yang dikirim oleh suami saya. Saya juga berdoa tiap malam agar semua berjalan lancar. Puji Tuhan karena doa saya didengar. Saya melahirkan dengan normal tanpa ada komplikasi, tanpa C-section, dan saya pun tetap bisa lulus sekolah tepat waktu dengan nilai yang sangat memuaskan. Tiada saat yang lebih membahagiakan daripada saat saya menggendong bayi saya dan menyusuinya untuk pertama kali selepas dia dilahirkan.

Berdasarkan pengalaman tersebut, ketika Meidya Derni dan We R Mommies Indonesia menerbitkan buku ebook/audiobook yg berjudul “Happy Melahirkan”, dengan senang hati saya menjadi reseller karena ebook/audiobook ini berisi segala informasi komplit yang dibutuhkan oleh semua ibu yang hendak melahirkan, meliputi persiapan sebelum melahirkan (dari pertimbangan memilih tempat kelahiran dan ahli yang akan membantu kelahiran, bagaimana kalau posisi bayi sungsang, atau bayi lahir premature, sampai metode-metode melahirkan yang dapat mengurangi rasa sakit saat melahirkan) dan sesudah melahirkan (pemberian ASI, babyblues, perawatan selama 40 hari setelah melahirkan), termasuk juga informasi untuk sang ayah agar dapat berperan aktif dalam membantu mempersiapkan kelahiran si bayi yang sudah dinanti-nantikan.

Selain itu, terdapat juga sharing cerita dari mommies anggota We R Mommies Indonesia mengenai pengalaman melahirkan mereka. Komplit sekali kan? Rasanya semua pertanyaan bumil tentang melahirkan akan dapat terjawab oleh informasi yang diberikan di ebook/audiobook ini.  Selain itu, dengan menerbitkan ebook/audiobook ini, We R Mommies Indonesia ingin membantu pemerintah Indonesia dalam rangka menurunkan angka kematian ibu dan bayi saat melahirkan karena apabila si ibu yang akan melahirkan mendapatkan cukup pengetahuan tentang persiapan melahirkan, si ibu akan merasa lebih tenang dan kuat untuk melahirkan. 

Oleh karena itu, jangan sampai mom semua seperti saya saat melahirkan anak pertama. Kalau moms ingin PD saat melahirkan, langsung saja klik disini untuk mendapatkan informasi terlengkap tentang cara pintar persiapan melahirkan ini.

Audiobook Happy Melahirkan dapat didengarkan kapan saja, sambil masak, sambil kerja, sambil tiduran pun bisa mendengarkan. Kan lebih enak kayak dibacain buku cerita. Musik pengantarnya pun sangat menenangkan. Udah gitu si bapak juga bisa ikut mendengarkan kapan saja. Kalau malas mendengarkan dan lebih seneng membaca, buku ini bisa dibaca di computer atau di perangkat mobile lainnya. Tulisannya gede-gede, bahasanya pun tidak terlalu formal  dan kaku. Yakin seneng deh bacanya. Lah saya saja yang tidak sedang hamil pun senang bacanya. Jadi teringat masa-masa menakjubkan itu.

Harganya murah banget kok. Cuman Rp89ribu. Yang lebih asiknya lagi, bukan cuman dapat ebook/audiobook ini, tetapi juga bisa daftar jadi reseller. Lumayan untuk tambahan uang saku. Sang ayah pun boleh loh menjadi reseller. Kalo tertarik, silahkan langsung klik disini atau klik di banner Happy Melahirkan di halaman ini.

Kalau mau nanya-nanya, silahkan kirimkan pertanyaan anda melalui email atau comment di artikel ini. I’ll be very happy to answer your queries. Silahkan email saya di coffeeliqueur[dot]gmail[dot]com. I look forward to hearing from you all. Saya berharap semua ibu-ibu Indonesia mendapatkan pengalaman melahirkan yang paling membahagiakan.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Summer vacation to Indonesia

Next week I will fly back to my home country, Indonesia. I haven't been back for nearly 2 years. This time I will go back only with my 2 children, a 5 years old and a 1.5 years old; no hubby and no maid to accompany me. I know it won't be easy but I will have to try to manage the situation well or I will never be able to go back home. My other half is very busy working and I don't even want to waste my time wishing he would join us. I hope the children will cooperate with me so that it will be easier for me to take care of everything. This time it will be my daughter's first time to visit her mother's home country. My parents really can't wait to see us. They are so excited. The last time they saw my children was Christmas 2008, before we moved to Philippines.They are counting the days and texting me everyday. :)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Happy Easter

Hello! Happy Easter everyone! How was your Easter celebration?

I had a wonderful Easter though we missed the holy Thursday mass because I have read the mass schedule wrongly. When we arrived at the church, everyone was leaving the church.
This is my first Easter here in Philippines. I feel great for I was able to experience how this country observed the holy week and Easter as the majority population is Christian Catholic. Before I moved here I could only follow the news in the newspaper.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Puntafuego beach resort, Nasugbu, Batangas

I'm in the mid of a project called "keep my son away from the computer and games as much as possible". It has been 3 weeks since the last time my son played the computer games. I want my son to see that he can have fun by doing other things than just playing computer games. His addiction to the computer games has changed his attitude and behavior to the negative side although he is still one of top five in his class with the highest grade for the computer subject. I'm not proud about it at all. I am very concern about the changes in his attitude and behavior more, and this has led me to plan a family vacation out of town for the weekend.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

My driving licenses & me

For the past 13 years of my life, I have been living away from my country. I moved from one country to another looking for a better opportunity in life.

For 13 years I have learned to adapt to the local ways of living so that I can be accepted and feel home in the new country, and that include the local way of driving. If there's a need for me to drive in the new country, then I have to make a local driving license.

Monday, February 01, 2010

I'm not a local (yet)

I'm entering the 9th month of my stay in The Philippines. I'm happy to say that my family and I have adapted to everything here pretty well. We have collected many friends also. In fact, I personally have more friends here now compared to when I was in Malaysia. I think 1 good reason why it is easier for me to find friends here is because I do look like one of them. Everywhere I go people always come to me and start to speak in Tagalog and since I have learned to speak the language, I can reply to them with my broken Tagalog, and (to my advantage) no one will notice my broken Tagalog because of my face...wha..ha..ha.. They always forgive me and keep talking to me... :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Welcome to the year of 2010

Happy New Year everyone! How's your new year celebration? Mine was great. It was my first time to celebrate new year here in The Philippines. My family and I were happy to see so many fireworks right in front of our house lighted by our neighbors. It's our first time to see fireworks so near like that. We just had to stand in front of our gate and we could see so many kinds of fireworks and firecrackers. My son was scared but he loved the fireworks show. My daughter was sleeping so well when the fireworks show happened. She didn't even move an inch though the fireworks made so much noise.