Saturday, September 29, 2012

Asthma - symptoms and precaution

It is that time of the year again, when the haze phenomenon is back to haunt us ..everywhere you look is hazy ..with this lingering white-ish cloud hovering at the background ...blocking your view could barely see the blue sky ...but not only that, the haze is not a good news to asthma sufferer ...and I am speaking from  the point of view of an asthma sufferers ....

since my attack 2 weeks ago, I was advised to my doctor to be extra careful as the haze season is back ...and coz of the seriousness of the last attack, I am (I hope) more careful now ....and i was given lots of things to read about asthma ...I guess the Doctor is fed-up with my couldn't-care-less attitude all these while...she even commented that I don't seem to take it seriously ..and said hope these phamplets will open your eyes to the fact the asthma is a chronic disease and it can get worst if uncontrolled ...and then Liz told me of a passing of an aquaintance's son who died of asthma a few weeks ago kecut perut akak now ok ...and I think hard about it ....and did what I do best ...look for extra information regarding asthma ....

Most of the readings indicate that one should control one's asthma should not be left unchecked (like I did before), i found lots of medical related website on asthma and learn new things .....but most importantly, I think now I know the signs when it is about to attack ...

Signs and symptoms (from this website)

• Coughing, sneezing, itchy throat
• Tight chest, wheeze
• Shortness of breath
• Wake up at night
• Fast heartbeat and breathing
• Headache

Being in this hazy condition is certainly detrimental to my health ...can feel the itchy throat, shortness of breath and feeling really tired despite not doing anything much ...even walking from my entrance to my car (less than 100m) is tiring ...and going up the stairs in the house is also tiring for me i am taking extra precaution by keeping my inhaler ready and with me all the time ....

I was also advised to avoid things that can trigger asthma ....I have remove nearly all of the carpets in my house (when adik has asthma 2 years ago) ...there is only one carpert in my hose now - the one in the living room ...I seldom use that area, unless we have guests ...and we also have a helper coming in once a week to clean and clear the dust and what not I read that, the type of detergent used for washing clothes and bed linen may also act as trigger due to its content ...I have never heard about that before and I will read more on this ....and another thing is to avoid the outdoor when there is haze, pollen season etc etc ....

i am hoping that I dont have to see the doctor too frequently about this ...i am hoping that I would be able to control my asthma and prevent it from getting worst first asthma attack was in 2006 when I was on a field work to Baram area ....that was mainly due to over exertion and lack of rest ...but then I only ever saw the doctor like 2-3 times a year for neb ....nowadays the rate has gone up is more like 4-5 times a year ...but the doctor say it is still manageable as I only had this attack when I am overly stressed and do not have enough rest ...or when the weather is bad ..either too hot or too cold masih ada harapan bagiku

Friday, September 28, 2012

avoiding Coffee @ Week 2

me and my coffee addiction ...

 maybe i should have this huge photo in my room ...tak minum tapi tengok pun jadi laaaa

it has been two weeks now that I have to reduce my coffee intake. So far, I managed to cut down on my intake of coffee ....from 8 cups or more a day to just 2 cups a day in the morning and another one when I get home from work ....there was no coffee in between these hours and certainly no coffee before bed! At first it was hard ..but it gets better now ....

I substituted coffee with lots of different drinks ...i need to find the drinks that can replace coffee in my life now :-) Nowadays, my lunch will be accompanied by hot barley drinks or lemon honey drink ...and I am avoiding carbonated drinks and ice as well I said, hilang nikmat dunia ...but one got to do what one got to do ...i want to be healthy, so have to make some sacrifices ....

honey and lemon drink @ OldTown

and my supply of H20 in the office today is ......

mineral water and non-carbonated drinks

I just recently discovered this passionfruit tea ...nice! especially cold but as I am avoiding all cold drinks and ice, I had this at room temperature ...also nice! This Heaven and Earth brand is actually a product of Coca Cola .. there are a few flavours but my favourite is passionfruit ...

so, so far so good in avoiding coffee ...hope it will last this time!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Going gaga over bread!

Not everybody has the time for leisurely lunch ...or even a good choice of eateries near their workplaces a dear friend always said, she is stuck with her canteen food and have not much choice either ...

I am lucky in a way coz we have a number of eateries just outside the campus ...but the downside is we have to drive there and sometimes it is just not convenient ...especially when the timing clashes (when my lunch buddies are free, i am stuck with classes or other errands) ...or when i have classes during lunch hours ....or it is just plain maniac busy that I'll have to sacrifice lunch and just sat in front of my workstation all day trying to finish my work ....the scenario sounds familiar right?

and today I am bringing packed lunch to work. Bemen has a full schedule today, and that means I'll have to do lunch on my own. I dont to go out by myself (I always thought that only loser sat out to lunch on his/her own ...without friends hehehehe) so my solution was to pack my lunch. Since there are two loaves of fresh bread that has yet to be sliced at home, I decided to make myself a sandwich ....

 hahaha i had already taken a few bites before I remember to take a photo :-)

a simple sandwich ...with chicken slices, lectucce and tomatoes with a dash of coleslaw sauce to gel them together .....yummy! but most importantly, it was quick and easy!

My brother had his breakfast of eggs and chicken slices with this yummy bread as well this morning fact the whole family is going gaga over this loaves :-) Al had this with his favourite nutella spread and mom had hers with peanut butter and grape jelly spread ...while jane and dad had theirs with eggs (dad had poached eggs and Jane took some of my scrambled eggs to put on her bread). All these can be done in seconds and will make a filling lunch or breakfast treats :-) I might be having tuna and sweetcorn sandwich for lunch tomorrow all time favourite since my uni days ...

talk about uni days, bread and sandwiches were my good friends ...had them nearly everyday ... tuna sandwiches, tuna and sweetcorn sandwiches ...sampai muak! but now that I am home, i kinda miss those moments ... tuna pun tuna lah asal dok overseas hehehehe ....

who knows, I'll revert back to this routine when I am in NZ?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

chubby cheeks and nearly ready blanket

Oo.My.God!!! My little neice is turning out to be so cuteeeee ...and, chubby- of course! My sister sent pictures of her everyday ...for us to ooo and aaahhh over despite the distance .....

look at that chubby cheeks!!! (taken from my sis's FB)

just 3 months old and already 6kg

My mom was busy over the weekend ...she was sewing Umang's patch blanket is 80% done. My mom is very quick on the sewing machine ...and is planning on having another one made up for Umang to take back to KL as well .....and Al also asks my mom whether she is going to make one for him and adik, of course my  mom was touched and said she will make them one each is just that she'll have to figure out a different design for them :-)

the green one ...the other one will be purple or red I think

I used to make patchwork blanket before ..if i am not mistaken i made 2 extra large ones ...when I was waiting for my SPM results ...I left one in Penang and I am not sure where the other one is now. Maybe at the cottage on one of the boxes ...I am thinking of making one blanket for myself, but I am too busy ...I dont ant to start something and left it hanging and unfinish ....

anyway, another photo of the chubby baby (a.k.a. my neice) ....sooooo sweet!!!

Have a great day people ...whatever your plans are :-)

Monday, September 24, 2012

cutting down on coffee

was advised by the doctor (yet again!) to cut down my coffee intake, instead of 8 cups a day, I am down to 2 cups a day ...that's the best I can do! I cannot (and I repeat, CANNOT) go cold turkey on this ...

I have tried it before....i will suffer like an addict who is experiencing withdrawal symptoms if I were to go without coffee is a torture, believe you me! But i usually managed to cut to coffee to 1 -2 cups (cup NOT mugs) of coffee a day ...and then, like an addict ..I will increase my intake of coffee when I am feeling better and night, the moment I wake up and a big mug of coffee before bed ....and Starbucks takeout almost everyday ...

But it has been a week since I cut down on coffee ..and i am craving the foamy, delicious aroma of Starbucks Caffe Latte ...should I stop by on my way home later? I am still unwell - I can feel this mucus thingy in my chest and am still coughing ...but the craving is too strong ....arghhhhhhhhhh

mind over matter. mind over matter. mind over matter. mind over matter ......

who is this awful looking gal? just a reminder to self - DO NOT DRINK COFFEE IN HUGE QUANTITIES ....i hate being sick ...and that was apic of myself during my neb session at the clinic ..when my asthma was at its worst ....

i really need the willpower to cut down on my coffee intake ...maybe i need to find new drinks that can rival coffee in my life :-(

Happy Monday people. Be safe.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

spending time with family

the weekend is here again ...seriously, time flies really fast nowadays!

Now that I am still in a limbo, not knowing when (if ever) I will be leaving, I plan on enjoying every available moments with my family ..coz I may be "directed" to go as soon as possible - only Gods know ...and it is weekend already ...and weekend seems to be the time when everyone is relax and just be there with each other ...there is no rush to do anything, no rush to take shower in the morning (hahahah) that everyone may still be in their PJs well into the afternoon rush for lunch as we will be sitting round for heavy brunch (am planning on cooking something this weekend  - not sure yet what it will be though!), then a relaxing afternoon ...and leisurely time for dinner ....and same thing again on Sunday ...sound peaceful, right?

well, there were times in the past when all that is just a dream ...I was always busy with my work ....if it is not preparing for lectures, I will be involved in some research - which means my weekends will be spent poring over books, writing reports - or even field trips away from Kuching ...this year, all that has gone.Not time for family activities ...but part of that years, I was alone...with mom and dad in KL taking care of Al and what not ...then Airell came along and stayed with us ....I tried to make time, but it was hard ...but this year it all changes... Basically I have not been that busy this year coz I have decided to cut down my research as I am concentrating more on applying and preparing for my PhD ..that's why my weekends are more relax compared to previous years ...

and that's why this year, I have more weekend trips with my family ....

 beach side break during Easter this year

 walk at the park

 and I have more time with the kids ...they have this habit of barging into my room first thing in the morning ..and play in my room before they go to bed ... adik likes to watch DVD in my room, play on my bed, same with Al....he even run to my room if he is quarelling with his parents ...and sometime he choose to use my bathroom to do his business! If that is not a close bond, i dont what else to describe it :-)  I know I will them terribly when I am gone!!! I have yet to go, but i can feel that I will miss them so much ....

I am about to cry now (such a watery faucet!) and i better stop writing.  But yes, i am planning on spending as much time with my family nowadays .. and next weekend we will be gong for another shortbreak - this time at Damai Resort. To celebrate Adik's belated bithday and Dom's birthday ..and my belated birthday as well  ...

Guys, dont work too hard. Stop for a while and enjoy your time with your precious ones ..coz once it is gone, it will be lost forever ....time and tide wait for no men, so get your act together. Work is work, and it will always be there ...but family? your kids will grow up and you might miss the moments ...your parents will grow old, and you'll miss seeing them the way they used to be ....

Happy weekend people!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Adik is 4 years old today

Happy birthday to you,
you live in a zoo,
you look like a monkey
anddddddd you smell like one too!

That is adik's favourite birthday song - from Madagascar Movie ....

My boy is 4 years old today time flies ....and he will be going to kindy next year ...i am so proud of him. He really is a very special boy to me, always has ..and always will be. Mama loves you, Airell.

We are not planning on having anything today - just our usual makan2 ...but we will be celebrating his birthday belatedly - by going to spend next weekend at the beach!!! yeayyyy ...looking forward to that ....and will keep it updated in future postings.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


have you ever experience something that really knock you down? one event after another? and there is noe relief time for you to pick up the pieces and re-gather your thoughts? well, that is how I felt right now ..have been for months ....i just felt like I am on a rollercoaster ride that has no ending minute it is good news ..then BOOM ...a dose of cold shower hits me and it is not a good news ..a few months of nail-baiting moments I'll get some relief ...tham BAMMMM another knockout has been going on since February and, today when I analyse it over and over in my mind, I dont give a damn anymore ...lantak lah ..apa nak jadi jadi lah .....if it is meant to be, if it is my rezeki, I will get it ...but if it is not meant to be, what more can I say ...

having said that, I believe that one human being - who is heartless and brainless - is responsible for all this mess ...and aided by a bunch of idiots who just follow orders ...well, guess what ....I am through with all this nonsense .... i dont care anymore ..and right now, I just want some peace and quiet to do my own thing, pests please stay clear of my way ....

that's that ...and that's all I want to get out of my chest today ...may tomorrow be a better day for me. Amen.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

tall or short??? Fat or Thin???

Al's vocabulary is definitely increasing in the past months ...he would recite what he learns in school and tries to teach us on his new words ...we often hear him asking questions - whereby he sounded more like a teacher and we were his students ...

   Everybody please be quiet and sit down.

   Please stop talking and do you work ...

   well done, that is very nice

and it goes on and on ....

Four nights ago, he was playing in my room. I was reading and he was playing with his Thomas and Friends train set. Suddenly he asked "mama, are you tall or short?". Aikkkk, I was gobsmacked ...height is a big issue for me ok! So I ask him, what do you think ...he sort of think for a while and said (with a smile) "mama is tall, Al is short" ....phewwwww was happy that he thought I am tall ahahahaha  that was until he said, "mummy is tall; daddy is tall; Adik is short; Mama is short" ....pulak!!!

and the following day, he was waiting for me at the door when I arrived home from work ...his very first question was "mama, are you fat or thin?" aiyooooo soalan maut ok! then he answered his own question; "mama is thin" hehehe i love that boy!!!Coz to him; the fat ones in the family is daddy and Mama Atun hehehehe am so excited that I have been categorised as thin by a 5 years old win some, you loose some :-)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

babysitting weekend

Yup, I will be babysitting this weekend ....mum and dad and my brother will be away to the cottage and to Sri Aman to check on our house. They dont to bring me and the kids as the haze is getting worse. My asthma is a concern as I am feeling a bit unwell these last few days ..and adik has just recover from a long, persistant cough ..mum thought we better not risk it and stay at home. Plus, Jane will be working this Saturday, so there wont be anybody at home with the boys

adik is obsessed with this flyer of Thomas and Friends train (we took the flyer from Toys R Us)

So I can foresee a weekend of babysitting chores - bathing them, feeding them and make sure they take their nap ...maybe if the weather is nice, we can ride bicycles outside the house with the neighbours' kids ..wait and see lohhh ....and if Al is up to it, maybe we'll do some "studying" ... but it is no big deal ..I mean, I have been looking after adik since he was 1 months old ...he is like my own baby ...only recently that I have been less involved in his daily routines ...i miss the old times!

talking about homework - Al is the same as before...he has to being a very good mood before he is willing to do his homework ...otherwise it will be done in a really bad handwriting ...lots of erased works and torn exercise book! But when he is happy and willing to study, his work is ok of the ways to encourage him to write or do his homework is by buying him "special pencil" for homework far it works well; so fingers crossed!

examples of his work

Friday, September 14, 2012

Umang is 3 months

yeayyyyy my little niece is 3 month old today....she has grown tremendously ...with porky legs and chubby cheeks hehehe

chubby to the max!

My parents' first granddaughter ...and they always talk about this chubby princess everyday ...they were miles apart ...but technology keeps them close sister calls my parents everyday so that mum and dad can hear Umang's cries in the background etc ...and everyday there will be pictures of Umang sent to us via Whatsapp ....we miss her ...even al asks about Umang when he look at the photos - mama, why is Umang not here? that's the most frequent question ...and it will be followed by "Al want to geram Umang" ...his way of saying he want play with Umang ....

see, how chubby she is! This was taken a few days ago

We all love you Mang ...and cannot wait to see you in December :-)In the meantime, happy 3 mth birthday sayang .... muahhhhhh xxx

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sunday's lunch and household chores

My mum has been unwell for the last few days ...she gets tired easily and I fully understand her needs to have a rest over the weekend, as much as possible, we are trying to do most of the chores over the weekend so that my parents have a little time for themselves, as always, will be doing his Soduku and mum just potter round the house ....

Jane decided to cook main dishes over the weekend ....said she wanted to try so new recipe that she found in the magazines .....she cooked fried chicken mamak style (marinated with curry and curry leaves) ...she has the patience to fry the chicken ...I am a complete opposite much as possible, I would try to avoid any deep-frying recipe hehehe i hate the fact that the floor will be splattered with grease after the process ...and I am not a fan of mopping floors! If i really have to do some frying, I always do it on a Sunday ...coz our helper comes every Monday ..and our floor will be super clean and shiny again .....clever tactics, right?

the fried chicken wings

When I was thinking of cleaning the fridge, I saw a few vegetables there that must be used ....haven't really decided on what to cook till I found my kuah kacang instant, decided there and then to make gado gado for lunch as well was simple dish ...just assemble a few veges and pour the kuah kacang (peanut sauce)

i put in some boiled potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, fresh tomatoes (only found 1 tomato in the fridge!), and some long beans was a hit dad even requested that dish again soon ...he said sekali sekala tak makan daging atau ayam atau ikan laaaa, am planning on buying satay one of these days and ask for extra peanut sauce :-) that would definitely simplify the process for me ....the kitchen goddess (NOT!) hahaha ...

now I am thinking of making some masak lodeh but dont know how ...might have to google it and maybe have lodeh over the coming weekend :-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

First day of class - hilarious events!

After 3 months break, today is my first day delivering my lecture for the new semester ...As I am going to "leave soon", I was given one one subject to teach - and I am co-teaching it with my mentor - none other than Dr M. So we (or rather I) made the arrangement - I would teach the first 7 weeks covering 7 learning units and he'll handle the rest of the LUs after the mid-term break, I was keen to start today in the spirit of "cepat mula, cepat siap"

On top of that we had this one Raya feast at the uni today is an annual event at the uni ...not wanting to miss out on the festivity, I went to the event at 10.30am and had decided to go back to my office by 11.45am ...but, one thing lead to another, and suddenly it was 11.50 hahaha so I was rushing for my class. I had the slides prepared already and my notes were already saved in the pendrive ...considering that I dont have time to rush to my office, I just walked quickly to the lecture theatre was fill with students ...I am supposed to have 70-80 students, only 50++ showed up today ..a good turn outs actually compared to previous semesters....

so, there I was standing in front telling them about the regions ...and then I realised that I cannot see them clearly coz I did not have my glasses with me ..I assumed that the glasses was in my office ...and continue with my lecture ...a good session, if i may say so myself, when I suddenly saw something dangling around my necklace ....i look down and there was my glasses!!! Aiyooooo was hilarious ..coz when I said, aikkk i have my glasses all these times ..and the students just laughed! Hilarious moments completely put me out of my tempo ....had to re-group and get my focus on the notes after that ....and i had 3 students coming to see me afterwards saying that they saw the glasses but didn't know I was looking for the glasses hahaha ...

that puts a good laughing moment in my class today - at my expense! hopefully the class will remain joyful in the future - or at least till i finish my teaching :-)

Monday, September 10, 2012

buying new camera

One of my "need to do" thing before leaving for NZ (whenever that maybe) is buying a new camera. The one I have now is about 5 years old ..and somehow, I just get the urge to get a new camera ...but my criteria remain the same ..i want something that I can just plonk inside my handbag that I'll have my camera with me all the time ...

and i dont want a cheap camera which does not have the quality that appeals to my eyes ..hehehe you can get great photos if you have the skills regardless of the quality of the camera, but having a good quality camera adds the extra miles producing awesome photos! and i need that when I am in NZ (amin, amin...)

some photos taken from my friend's collection ...he is using a GREAT (and expensive) camera ..and just love the sharpness of the pictures!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

next project - patchwork blanket

My mom is on a mission ...she is very keen to make something for her only granddaughter. My family had this habit of giving something that we make ourselves as gifts for each of the newborn in my family - Al, adik and now Umang. When we knew Al was "on his way", my parents and I were busy making something for him made him some pillow, with nice, handpicked, material for the pillow covers ...while, dad and I started to make him a patchwork blanket ....and the blanket is still in used to this day had been 5 years already!

Now, mom is planning on making a patchwork blanket for Umang. She asked me to drive her to MJC last weekend to get the materials that she need. The reason for this sudden urgency - well, my sister told my mom that Umang will be coming home at the end of the year ...and mum, being my mum, says that she must have the blanket and pillows etc ready for Umang ...her first visit to Kuching ...

here are the materials that my mom has chosen.

 this one is for adik replace his pillow cases (for his bantal busuk)

 the one with the floral print is for me ...hehehe am planning on having a simple baju kurung made for me to bring to NZ ...

I am not sure what the design of the blanket is going to be...guess I'll be updating this blog when the blanket project is completed! and here is the latest pic of my neice:-)

the things that grandmothers do for their only granddaughter **sighhhhhhh

Friday, September 7, 2012

my birthday - come and gone

Hi everybody ...

I just had an age transition (i.e. my birthday) a few days ago ....I am officially older than I was a year ago (ayat mengada ngada) ...and had a small celebration with family. It was also my parents' 40th wedding anniversary ...had a small makan makan at home just for us. But we will be celebrating again by going for a beachside weekend at the end of the month - as we are also celebrating adik's birthday (21st) and my brother birthday's (29th) by then, in my family, September is a great month of celebrations!

my birthday wishes; or rather a checklist of 10 things that I want to do before i turn 50 (am giving myself 11 years to achieve this!!!):

(1)  study and complete my PhD. I want them to called my Doc in 3-4 years time ...tak jadi Doktor betol, jadi Doktor Falsafah pun jadi lah

(2)  i want to have my photo taken in front of Angkor Wat; Taj Mahal; Borabudur Temple

(3) I want to explore NZ- both south and north islands

(4)  to make my parents proud and happy (and i think #1 should do it, but am planning on taking them with me for #2 and #3)

(5)  will not focus solely on work - I need to have a life outside work. So, will do more travel and visit friends and family (hint hint - who wants to travel with me?) So, I would not have to say "sorry, i was busy for that ..." all the time - like what I am doing now!

(6)  renovate my house - to make it more me, me, me :-)

(7) learn at least two new skills - who knows, I may take up scuba diving!

(8) try new hobby/activities - other than eating, tv watching and travelling .....

(9) make my life more meaningful - so that when I am gone, at least I know that I have done something to help other people ...and not just wasted my life ...

(10) enjoy life - and to learn that there are things I can change but there are others that I just have to accept

and i am thankful for the life that I had - am truly blessed on all front - my work, my personal life, my family ...and i am so blessed with family and  friends who are there for me and ever willing to lend their hands/shoulders whatever to support me .... i love you guys!