Saturday, 29 September 2007

Thank You Ann

Our neighbour rang our door bell and handed us a parcel from Switzerland! it came when we were in the UK.

It was from Ann, my first blogger friend. we've been reading each other's blogs for quite sometime now, and we managed to meet up during our last trip to Zurich last June. it was a pleasant meeting together with Aidan and Alesha.

Ann was very kind to send Aidan a birthday gift. gifts actually! it was very kind of you Ann. thank you very much! we hope you'll have a good raya back home (we envy you!) and hope to see you guys again soon! have a safe trip, have fun and enjoy yourselves, which i'm sure you guys will.. 8 weeks!!!!!

(Pictures of Alesha and Aidan during our 1st meeting in Zurich)

You can read about Ann here and here.

Thursday, 27 September 2007


When the doctors pulled Aidan out from me a year and almost a week ago (c section) i didnt expect he would be weighing 4.28kgs. we were told by the doctor after our last scan that he was gonna be big.... but not that big, way above the size of average dutch babies. it must be the potatoes, pasta and nuttella! it probably would have been more if i were back home eating apam, ikan bakar, harisa and laksa..

It was slightly easier for me to handle him (then) but struggling to carry him (now). we hope he'll walk soon (he has started walking, holding our hand).

I just read about a woman in Russia, who just gave birth to a whopper!! a 7.75kg baby Nadia. read about it here.
7.75kgs!! my god.... 7.75kgs!!!!!

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Aidan's 1st Birthday

Our son is now 1. how time flies so so fast. it was a year ago that i had the most tiring day of my life after a 24 hour labour and 3 epidurals (dont ask me, ask the dutch doctors!), it was a year ago that i felt the pain of contractions, and scratched hardy's hands whilst lying down on the hospital bed, and it was a year ago that i first held my most beautiful precious baby. it was a year ago we welcomed our son Aidan into this world. and then all the pain dissappeared. how time flies.
I wanted to write a poem for Aidan but i'm not much of a poet. not at all in fact. but anyway, here's one i composed a few mins ago:

1 year of buying pampers,

1 year of smelly diapers,

Panic, blur and helpless at first,

But now we hope we're less clueless.

Much to be said on the past 1 year (trust me, we've gone through quite a bit) but these days, i try to focus on what we have now.

Anyway, back to Aidan's day.. i didnt want to plan anything for Aidan's 1st. all i had in mind was just to be with the people who loves him most, and enjoy each other's company. that weekend was simply dedicated to the people who cares for him most, and making the best of it. what we have now.

We opened the presents one by one with all of us in the living room at kakak's (a few of us still in our pjs). i dont know who enjoyed it the most, Aidan or us! even Ferran enjoyed himself, with the balloon attached to his moses basket! he even wished Aidan happy birthday whilst on the changing mat!

They even ordered Aidan a cake. and i absolutely loved it! loved it loved it loved it! i almost cried when i first saw it. it was just so special.

Our son is now 1. and i still cant believe it. i am grateful, and very thankful that all of us are safe and in good health. extremely proud of Aidan, and looking forward to many many more birthdays to come (together with Ferran's next year!)

Uncle Ian, thank you so much for the walker. it was very thoughtful of you and how we are all so very touched. it now adds another 10 mins to my resting time. aidan loves it, especially the screw on the steering wheel!! see you in a couple of weeks and hopefully you and the walker will add an hour to my resting time (i.e: you+aidan+walker = play = zaza rest)

Ez, thanks for remembering and thanks for the lovely shirt! we're gonna wash it and make surre Aidan wears it to school this Friday. thank you so much (next time please dont worry about the box!)

K.Na, Nigel and baby Aiesha, thank you so much for driving all the way to see us! gosh isnt it amazing now the 3 of us are now holding our babies!? thanks so much for the present and spending time with us last weekend! we should do it more often k?

Adik, thank you so much for remembering and calling us. wishing aidan and wishing us love. you are most thoughtful and we really hope you and the girls will get to meet Aidan soon! abang and i love you very much.

Kakak, Redza, you guys have done so much for us last weekend. thank you for planning and organizing everything. we love the presents!! and again, thank you for being the perfect host to the 3 of us. we had a really good time! see you in a couple of weeks for raya!! yeyyy!! we love you both very much!

Mum, Dad, how does it feel to have a 1 year old cucu now? hehe. thank you so much for all the presents! especially the kassa! we had a wonderful time and we're glad that the both of you are here with us, on Aidan's 1st! love you both so very much!

Ferran, thank you for keeping Aidan's baloon! thank you for making all of us laugh. we've got loads to plan for your 1st!! hugs and kisses!!

And to Hardy, thank you for being the best dad, the coolest, full of love and support to both of us. thank you for driving us to the uk. we had the best 1st birthday! we love you soooooooooooo much!!

Last but no means least, you guys, the thoughtful you lot, who remembered, who wished, thank you ever so much guys!!

Aidan, we're very lucky! we have so many things to be thankful of. we love you loads and loads and hope you had a wonderful 1st birthday!


Friday, 21 September 2007

Vandaag is Aidan's Eerste Verjaardag!

From a day to a year......

21st September 2006 - Hello world Aidan Hardy is geboren

Oktober 2006 - I need sleep, lots of it Aidan 1 maand

November 2006- Sultan Aidan 2 maanden

December 2006 - Don't mess with me Aidan 3 maanden

Januari 2007 - On all four, world in a correct perspective Aidan 4 maanden

Februari 2007 - Future football star Aidan 5 maanden

Maart 2007 - Growing and growing Aidan 6 maanden

April 2007 - Getting bulat-er Aidan 7 maanden

May2007 - Ground explorer Aidan 8 maanden

Juni 2007 - Aqua lover Aidan 9 maanden

Juli 2007 - Through the glass Aidan 10 maanden

August 2007 - Relaxing Aidan 11 maanden


Monday, 17 September 2007

Aidan Goes To School

Hardy and i both had decided to send Aidan to a playschool as soon as he turns 1. we have set our minds to one particular playschool, about 10 mins drive from our home. we told the school of our intention and plans and then we were told that they'd put us on the waiting list with a slight possibility that there might be one or two spots by the end of the year (yes, you have to book your preschools, playschools as early as possible. waiting list might be up to a year!). two weeks ago, they told us that they have one spot for Aidan and we were invited to view the school.

We were both thrilled! happy that Aidan can now mix with other kids who doesnt speak 'rojak' like his parents, thrilled that Aidan can now at least interact with them, learn a few dutch, have some friends.

That night, after we were told that they have a spot for him at the school, it then sank in me. it hit me that my son's going to be cared by others. my son's going to be somewhere else without me, my son's going to school! during dinner, i then told Hardy,"maybe we should wait till he turns 2. i'm enjoying him now more than ever" my voice started to crack, and if i blink, tears will be pouring out of my eyes...

what if i'll miss some of his firsts - first steps, first dutch word...

what will i do when he's at school?

what if he needs me still?

what if he doesnt like to play with other kids?

what if he wants to play with me?

Hardy reasoned things out with me, reminding me that this was what we have discussed and agreed on. this will be good for him. good for his communication skills, socializing with other kids. and this is for Aidan, we're doing this for him. i kept on saying but.. but this... but that...

After a long silence on the dining table, i then burst out... "what if i'll miss him?" with tears rolling down my eyes, crying like a baby...

Hardy comforted me right away and said, "ok, lets view the school together first, with Aidan, and see if he likes it. then we decide when to send him".

Deep down i knew now is the time. it's a good time to send him to school.

I kept telling Aidan when we were playing, that we're going to send him to a playschool, mentally preparing him as well as myself! that week, i was all emotional when putting him on his bed for his nap, knowing that someone else would do it other than me. i get all emotional when feeding him, knowing that someone else is going to do it other than me. i get all emotional laughing and chasing him around the house, knowing that someone else will play with him other than me...

We visited the school. and we loved it. only 12 kids in one school. each child has their own bed to sleep in. the school's so clean and well organized. with an animal farm closeby, potato farm, basically, the school is surrounded with greens, tucked away far from the city. it's a good place. having work as a preschool teacher myself, i knew it was a good place for him, and i knew it was time.

Last Friday was his first day at school. Aidan was in good hands of the 3 lovely ladies, and so was his mama. hardy took leave that day, just to keep both (mainly mama) of us happy and to see that everthing goes well.

It went well indeed. (Aidan cried the first 15 mins, and mama cried the first hour whlist holding and smelling his bib!)

I cant imagine sending him to primary school in a few years time, where the hours are longer, and later to a secondary school, saying goodbye to him when he leaves for college, and later on off to uni, and i cant imagine him getting married... oh well, i suppose you have to let them go sooner or later!

And all that, for once a week, half a day i.e 4 hours at school a week!! zaza... zaza...

(oh! and aidan will be 1 this friday!!)

Saturday, 15 September 2007

More from the Dutch Dictionary


The Dutch use of the prefix 'bio' - as in bio-industrie - may make you think of green fields and happy lambs, but in fact it means factory farming. However, bio-vlees means organic meat, not meat produced by a factory farm. To confuse the issue still further, the Dutch word for organic food is biologisch.

I must say that the organic food wave is not that big here compared to the UK. Initially we generally gave it a miss due to its pricing but we started to re-visit biologisch food, mainly for Aidan. Amazing what we would do for our love ones...

Weekend Breaks

With our location being strategically located in the most southern part of The Netherlands and hence within 10 mins drive to either Belgium or Germany, we have quite a number of cities within reach - either for a day trip or a weekend break. In 1 hr range, close to the major airports are Brussels, Dusseldorf, Cologne and Eindhoven. 2-4 hrs will bring us to the likes of Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt and even the UK. One of the first few trips was Brussels. Z loves it, mainly as it boasts many shops, and in particular a huge Chinese supermarket.

Manneken Pis or Pissing Boy in Brussels. Legend has it that in the 14th century, with Brussels under attack, a little boy named Juliaanske, also a spy, urinated on a burning fuse of the enemy and thus saved the city! weekend breaks offers such a possibility. Being one of the UK's top travel companies, they offered cheap flights, city breaks, short breaks and holiday offers among others to countless destinations like Barcelona, Venice and Prague. And of course, there are also possibilities for hotels, car hire and travel ideas. Now, one unique thing about it, unlike other websites, is that you need to call them to book. Now, it may look to you that it is a step back in the ever more interactive-less internet world but that is exactly what they are offering. Their well-traveled & experienced consultants can advice the best package to suit your needs - a tailor-made service.

I skipped Scotland on our last planned UK holidays, due to the miserable weather. Well, I'll certainly give them a buzz to see what they could offer me in the small town of Crieff, where I sat for my A-Levels some years ago, well 15 to be exact (gosh....that long already....?)


Thursday, 13 September 2007

1 Ramadhan

Ramadhan has started. this is our 2nd ramadhan here, in the netherlands. i couldnt help myself but to think of all the food that we have back home and how the atmosphere is buying kuih at the pasar ramadhan, with the smoke from ayam percik, ayam golek, and the stalls that sells murtabak and roti john.... and not to mention rows and rows of drinks in those clear pastic fish tank containers with colours from white to black!

But anyway, now that we're here and gonna spend many many more ramadhans here, its time to get adjusted to the way it is far from nasi kerabu and bubur lambok. Maghrib is at 8pm and we broke our fast with some dates first, our multifruit drink and kuih vlaai!

Now that we're here, perhaps we can concentrate more on what ramadhan is all about i.e NOT food! its time to be thankful with what we have. grateful with all the blessings and enjoy the moment that we're all together.

Today, i walked to town, to find our kuih for berbuka puasa. not exactly kuih lopis but my favourite vlaai! rijstvlaai.

Last but not least, to those who are reading this, may you have a blessed Ramadhan where ever you are.

Read more on Ramadhan here


Monday, 10 September 2007


We live in Sittard, the southern part of the Netherlands. We're quite fortunate in the sense that we can be in Germany, Belgium and Netherlands all in one day (we've done 5 countries in a day!). we sometimes shop for Aidan's baby stuff at Aachen, Germany, which is just 20 mins away from home. we get our halal meat in Belgium, and we live in the Netherlands. But if you go to Vaals, you can be in 3 countries at once! that stone in the picture represents where the 3 countries meet.

This is trully a tourist spot. loads of people by the bus loads come up here to witness the view and stand on that sad stone represending the boarders. you can climb up the tower to get a clearer view, if not just stop your car in a safe bay to snap a few shots (like what we did). we were really lucky as that day, there werent many people. the rain had just stopped and it was dinner time, most tourist were gone... we got to snap loads of photos of Aidan posing!

Vaals is actually a mountain. going up to the 3 point country reminds me of going up Frazer's Hill and Cameron Highlands. this is where the 3 countries meet, giving the summit the name of Drielandenpunt ("Three-Country Point") in Dutch, Dreiländereck ("Three-Country Corner") in German, or Trois Frontières ("Three Borders") in French.

There's a cafe, a couple of restaurants, a fritur shop, a gift shop, a woody forest, and activity grounds for kids to play. ample carpark!

Here's Aidan, on the Belgium side..

And Aidan on the German side..

And Aidan on the Netherlands side..


Sunday, 9 September 2007


The letters that form the name of Eindhoven football club PSV stand for Philips’ Sport Vereniging (association) - the club was set up in 1913 for workers at the Philips factory as a celebration for the Dutch 100 years independence from France. Outsiders first played for the club in 1928 which took the first of its many national titles the following year. Currently Dutch premier league leader, the club’s golden era was in the late 1980s when it took the Dutch league title six times between 1986 and 1992.

(Electronics giant Philips was founded in 1891 in Eindhoven. I also learned that they claim royalty for every DVD produced!)

Well, they took about 70 years to be one of the Europe's major football club. Now, here's a thought....let's say Petronas started the same in Kerteh back in 1980, do you think Petronas Sport Club or PSC Kerteh be one of the Asian major football club in 2050? Wouldn't that be something eh?


Thursday, 6 September 2007

Something from the Dutch Dictionary


Beta might be the second letter of the Greek alphabet, but in the Netherlands it is used to mean 'science' in terms of education. Thus schools and universities talk of beta-onderwijs (science education), beta students and a betafaculteit (science faculty). The arts and humanities are known as alfa subjects. The Netherlands is constantly grappling with a shortage of students wanting to study beta subjects – perhaps they should change the name.

Talk about being hip-hop-ranggi eh...?

Our Man In Black

Just an update on my uncle (refer to my august post - much on plate).

He's been discharged. He went back to KL for the oath taking ceremony held at the Palace of Justice yesterday. My parents are still in th UK with Fifi and family, so we dont have malaysian papers in our hands in the mornings, so the closest is to get home news and pictures online.

We havent seen him or any photos of him since the accident, so this was the closest we could get. searched on the internet and found his photo here. he looks very thin but well. another photo was in today's utusan. too small though (he's 4th from right, backrow).

This is definitely not to brag or show off but just to share with those who knows me, knows my family and those who care. and somehow i have the strangest feeling that he would read this one day. And if you are, we want you to know that we're relieved to see you up again, happy that this has finally come true, proud that you did it and thrilled you could attend the ceremony!


Home Improvements

My bro-in-law is a DIY kind of guy. Equipped with most tools, he did most of the home improvements together with his good buddy Ian. I think they did the bathroom, internal doors, kitchen, flooring and painting among others. When we were there over the summer holidays, I noticed that the British loves conservatories, a feat that is not that popular here in Holland.

Anglianhome is one of the leading specialist in Conservatory, doors, garage conversions, driveways and of course, heritage doors and windows - to give your house a traditional look. As most houses are unique individually, conservatory can be custom made fitting to your liking. And this type of house extension does give a boost to your property value. The closest interest that I had about a similar 'glass' structure is when I was a the local DIY store - well, I just want a small hut for my plants and vege's.......

Back home in Malaysia, I tried hard to recall if I ever been in one. The closest structure is like at Z's former house no. 21 - a roof is extended from the house facing the garden, without walls. I miss it since we had breakfasts there every morning....especially the tosai!

This Post Is Sponsored by Anglianhome

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Bad Move Mama!

I feel very proud that Aidan can say the word "jatuh"* everytime something falls. the first 3-4 days i get all excited, i'd go "awwwww" and kiss him everytime he says "aaatoh". by then he knows that he would get a kiss and mama will be happy when he says the word.

But now..... my oh my. he will keep on throwing things from the table. not with force but with just a slight movement of his hand and finds it very entertaining that the stuff are off the table. his reaction towards them would be such amusement. perhaps he's proud putting the word and action together, therefore knows the meaning of "jatuh". but there's a slight problem. where? well, the problem is when mama has to pick up all the stuff on the floor and explain to him that he is not suppose to do it on purpose. and being a mama that dislikes messy-nes, and hearing everything all drop to the floor, that's an even bigger problem!

We make sure we explain to him that if you dont want to play with your toys, then we'll put them aside. and if he complains, we just have to say the word "dah jatuh, you threw them away", and if its out of his sight, "they're all gone now and if you still want to play with them, dont make them jatuh!!" so now if he throws everything down the table, we just leave it and explain to him why we wont be able to get it for him. i now hope he understands the consequence of "jatuh".
This was what happened yesterday. i told him he could use his hands for the last few bits of his food.. (practising makan like melayu!) And towards the end.. the bowl was on the floor...

("jatoh! err.. oh no.. mama's tone of voice is going to change.. what should i do?!")

("what? it wasnt my fault mama, it slipped!")

("but mamaaaaa.....")

("can you clean it up for me pleasseeeeee.....")

("sorry mama..")

Now, what do you say to that face ey?

So therefore introducing the word "jatuh" is not a good idea afterall. bad move mama!! bad move... (but it is good excercise for mama!). now, the struggle to teach him how to clean up his own mess begins.... (this is where my montessori experience kicks in!).

Wish me luck!

* jatuh means fall


Sunday, 2 September 2007


Europe's summer holiday has traditionally been different to the rest of the world. A 2-4 weeks break is typically normal. Back home when I was working in KL, a week away from the office can be tricky, often approved with slight hesitation, let alone a couple more. So, you end up taking an extended public holidays, joining the other zillions and when you notice that the roads and hotels are crowded, you tend to stay at home or meeting friends and relatives. Holiday planning in the months to come is unheard for most, except if you're getting married!

So, when we moved here last year, I quickly adapted to the fact that July-August are the long summer break months. Everyone is almost gone for 3-4 weeks. And the Dutch, they tend to scatter all over, with France, Spain and Italy being the top destinations. For those without kids, Far East, Africa and South America are quite popular.

Hotel Reservations is global travel site offering a one-stop service for such a break. What do you need? Hotel? -yes. Flights? -yes. Car Rental? -yes. And they even arrange for any combination of those three. There's also packages, vacation rentals, cruise and destination guide. With global covering (though I didn't see neither Antartic nor Artic in their offering yet(!) ), you have thousands to choose from, in fact more than 70,000 properties. Price-wise? Up to 70% discount and their Special Internet Rates guarantee the lowest price available. On top of that, you can get up to $100 rebate via online coupons.

One thing I like about the site is the ability to do a quick check on most popular criteria. As I tend to optimise the value of my money, such feature is useful to compare facilities, prices, locations and if breakfast is included! (I know....most hotels in KL have a mile long of breakfast buffet included in the price....). In the coming years, we look forward to more family holidays with Fifi, Redza & Ferran and of course Opa & Oma!