Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Dear Kukka: Welcoming Stroppy Sevens

You are approaching 7. My friends with older children “warned” me about kids turning 7. It sounded like the “Terrible Twos”. And FYI you were NOT terrible when you were two. You were adorable! Now you are 4 months shy of 7. And I’m buckling up now for...a super exciting ride! :))

School drama: checked. 
Resistant to bluffs: checked. 
Teasing and being teased: checked. 
Having problems with friends: checked. 
Debating with me about silly stuff: checked.
Arguing with me with about important matters: checked.

I’m all about standing up for your opinion, babe. But widening your eyes angrily at me while you’re at it? Not nice. But hilarious! I almost burst into laughter when it happened but as a mother I just had to keep my cool. And your arguments? Some of them I accepted, but some which were out of the context and didn’t make any sense at all? They were just too cute not to be made fun of :)) 

But okay, let me be serious now. Honestly you are getting tougher for me to handle. And you are one of the few sweetest, well-behaved kids I know! I don’t know what’s going on inside your mind right now but I imagine it’s overwhelming. It’s hard to be a kid. I know. Now let me tell you this. 

It’s hard to be a mother too. Especially to an intelligent, witty, super curious and strong-willed girl like you. I’m pretty sure you will outsmart me in no time. You’ve been correcting your Nini and your dad’s english since 2 years ago. You've started to challenge my knowledge about our religion since 4yo. I can only imagine what you will criticize about in the next couple of months. My hair? My writings?? My rules?????????? You used to just accept my motherly lectures. Now you’re questioning and refusing some of them. Which later leads to me giving you the I-AM-YOUR-MOTHER look and the magic words: BECAUSE I SAID SO. Which you don’t always accept and then comes the never-ending YES! <--> NO! fight. It’s exhausting and frustrating for me. Seriously. 

Soon you will have even less fear of the list of consequences I’ve made for you if you break our agreement. Like yesterday, when you were grounded and had to sleep by yourself. You accepted it with 1 condition: I had to open the door a little bit. I agreed. I didn’t hear a peep and half an hour later you were asleep. Just like that. No drama. What happened to “You always have to sleep with me, Bubu. I will be very sad if you don’t.”??? I wonder if you've learned your lesson there since you took the consequence pretty lightly :))

I’m having mixed feelings here, kid. I’m excited and I’m looking forward to see you grow. I can’t wait to be able to share, do and talk about grown up stuff with you. But I’m also scared and very sad because it means that you will outgrow the baby inside you. The baby who I've prayed and waited for and love and adore sooooooo much... I’m so not ready for this. Not yet. Then again... I wonder if I will ever be... 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mayo Diet Survivor

I’m the kind of girl who loves to eat. I eat big breakfast - lunch - dinner and everything in between. I eat fatty, greasy, deep-fried food anytime. I rarely cut back on my portions and I never count calories on my food and drinks. I guess that’s why I never be that skinny-slim girl. I think it’s in my genes too. One time I heard someone in my family said that it was okay to spend money more on food than on anything else. I agreed. I love food. Absolutely. And everything was fine (except the size of my butt and waistline).

Then things happened. Things that later on affecting not only my mind but also my body. My back and shoulders started to hurt a lot and I rarely slept through the nights. To make my back and shoulders feel better, I started to take pilates classes. And these last couple of years my stomach finally went on strike too. Every day I was feeling bloated and nauseated. Sometimes I threw up without reason. I didn’t know what to do. 

Until one day I came across a friend’s posting on Instagram. She took a picture of her lunch set from a certain caterer and her caption mentioned something about Mayo Diet. I heard about Mayo Clinic Diet but I didn’t know much about it. I stalked on the caterer’s account (@kelincitertidur) and I googled around. I immediately decided that this Mayo thing was the answer to my upset stomach. Maybe there was too much going on inside and it needed a clean break. Long story short, I began my Mayo Diet on November 10th, 2014 for 13 days!!!

It wasn’t easy. Not at all. Even before I started, almost everybody who already experienced it whined that Mayo Diet is really, really, really hard. The food tastes terrible because of the NO SALT rule. The first 3-4 days are critical. Many failed on Day 5. So you see, mentally I was supposed to be down already. But I wasn’t. I figured if you have a strong willpower to do something, you can do it. No matter how hard it is. Even for me. The food lover. And so it began. 

Day 1, 2, 3, 5... I felt fine. I still woke up at 4AM from Monday to Friday, I took care of everything for my daughter, I went to my pilates classes twice a week and my instructor kept the sessions (hard) as it is, I hung out with my friends at cafes and restaurants and watched them eat. Everything was okay. The toughest thing I had to go through during the diet was the fact that I was only allowed to drink coffee ONE CUP every morning. I didn’t mind the bland taste of the beef or chicken, the boring salad, the liters of water and I’ve never cheated, not even by a grain of salt!!! But only ONE CUP OF COFFEE A DAY???? That was.......T O U G H. So every morning for 13 days, after I smelled its mind blowing aroma, I sipped on my one and only cup of coffee niiiiiiiice and sloooooooooow until the last drop :))

One week passed by. I’ve lost around 2kg and 3cm on my waistline. And the most important thing was my tummy felt goooooooood!!! No gassy, super bloated feeling. No throwing up either! And I slept through the nights like a baby. But on Day 9 I started to feel lightheaded. After picking up my daughter from school, I took a long nap that felt more like I was collapsing. Luckily, Ayi, Miss @kelincitertidur herself, was always available for questions. She gave me some advices and I was always on guard of my health. On Day 10-11 I felt better but still a little bit lightheaded. I started to think that my already-low blood pressure must have dropped even more and maybe the lack of salt in my diet had something to do with it. I almost quit but I had only 2 more days to go. I couldn’t quit now!!! So I kept on dieting!!!

Alhamdulillah, last Saturday I’ve finally completed my first diet ever!! I’ve lost 4kg and 5cm on my waistline. I feel great and happy to have lost those extra weight. But above all I’m proud of myself, of my determination, my strong willpower and of my patience. I believed that I could do it and I did. 

I’m officially a Mayo Diet Survivor!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Dying Breed

Dear perfect gentleman, 

Where are you?

Where is the man who opens the doors for women, doesn’t offer to help yet does it anyways, and carries our excess baggages instinctively? Where is he who accompanying us (and waiting!) to the ladies room in the middle of parties and makes sure that his drunk or sick female friends are returned home safely? He who holds our hands while crossing the street, doesn’t kiss-and-tell, and avoids opportunities to be alone with maried women because he respects them (and their spouses)???

No. These things don’t just happen in the movies. I’ve seen it, I’ve experienced it. Lucky for me, I’ve met one true gentleman, who is fortunately a dear friend of mine. Yeah. ONE. In my entire adult life I’ve only met one. I’ve heard that men are from Mars. But we’re from Venus!! There’s only one planet that separates us so that makes us practically neighbors, no?!? Is it so hard to treat women nicely? 

Many times I wonder and even worry, why certain men (read: pricks) act the way they do. It’s so sad to think that one day my daughter might find an image of a stereotype-looking perfect gentleman next to a picture of a roaring T-Rex... In a museum. Who is to blame? The mother? The father? The world? 

I realize that not all men are bastards and yes, some women are definitely sluts. Yes, the mother, the father and her world might be the one to blame too. But honestly, I don’t see respectful women are on the verge of extinction like gentlemen do. So, I’m asking you once again, my dear gentlemen. 

Where the hell are you???

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ramadan Now

A few weeks ago I had a very lovely dinner with my family in Bogor. Like always we had coffee and tea in the living room afterwards. As I was resting my head on my sister’s lap, she asked me about how my Ramadan was so far and what have I been doing differently this time. I didn’t expect that kind of question and I needed a minute or two to answer. Finally I said “I don’t know...

Her question kept repeating itself in my head for days. I was thinking “She’s right. Looks like I’ve been doing the same things every Ramadan. Fasting, praying, reciting the Al Quran, asking (read: begging) for this and that and such. You know, the normal stuff. But what if the things that I’ve done so far is not enough? Or worse, what if I’ve been doing it wrong?”

In 2 days Ramadan will be over. Sadness is creeping in. Will this be my last Ramadan? Will I have the chance to experience that distinctive strange, beautiful and exciting feeling again? Will I get the chance to collect the rewards of Ramadan next year? And again, my sister’s question came to mind. Suddenly I remember... 

I was staring at a blank blog page on my birthday last month. I was thinking about what I should write on my 38th. I got nothing. At all. I kept wondering why. I usually had so many wishes. But no, not on that day. I got nothing because I wish for nothing. Nothing for myself, at least. What I did wish was for my daughter's best health and happiness. I wished for her humility and braveness. I wished for her intelligence and strength. I wished for her sincerity and compassion. 

The same thing is happening now. The difference about this year's Ramadan is that I’m not begging for anything for myself except for His forgiveness. Because I'm thinking that I'm not worthy enough to ask for anything else. That's why I've been focusing on others like a certain family member or a dear friend. Most particularly on my daughter. It's quite strange what age does to me. Or life for that matter. Life as in a child. A daughter. She changes me in the most unexpected way. Suddenly nothing else matters. No one else matters. Myself the very least. The feeling I've been having lately, like the one I wrote here, is still there. It's a bit scary. But thank God, the scare hit me. Just now. On the last days of Ramadan. 

If I didn’t wish myself well, then who would take care of my daughter? If I were sick, then who would wake her up in the morning and take her to school? If I were weak, who could protect my girl? If I were scared, who would teach her to be strong and brave? If I didn't consider myself worthy, then how could my precious Godsend value herself? 

So, dear ALLAH, on this Ramadan, 
Please let me do the same thing again, and hopefully better, with a twist. 

Please bless me with Your forgiveness and the ability to forgive others.
So that I can show my daughter how to be a humble person.

Please bless me with an abundance of patience. 
So I can teach my daughter one of the most difficult things to do in life.  

Please bless me with a hunger of knowledge about anything. 
So I can satisfy my daughter’s curiosity of everything. 

Please bless me with the best of health, body and soul.
So I can take care of my daughter's well being and nurture her mind.

Please bless me with the highest level of peace and happiness.
So I can give my daughter a full and happy life. 

Wow... It turns out that as my life is getting shorter, my prayers are getting longer. 


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dear Kukka: Happy 6th Birthday!

Sometimes I wonder, how can this be happening
How can I be this fortunate
How can I be this lucky

I have an angel by my side
One that I can hold
One that I can kiss so lavishly

The kindest, the sweetest
With the prettiest heart above all

She shines like a star
She brightens my days
She's bursting with love
For me, unconditionally

Loved by so many 
And of course, so crazily by me 
She spreads her wings of joy and laughter 
To us all so effortlessly 

Baby, you're it 
You're the one 
The only one for me

You are my inspiration 
You are my definition of love

Happy 6th birthday, my Precious Godsend
My angel of hope, my gift from God

You are the closest to a constant reminder
That I should be grateful to ALLAH SWT
In every breath I take

Remember what ALLAH has blessed you with
Keep counting and nourishing His blessings 
And ALLAH willing, He will only give you more

So much more

My unconditional love and never ending prayers are with you
Forever and always

Sunday, June 22, 2014


To us.
To health and happiness.
To you and I, love.

ALLAH willing.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dear Kukka: Congratulations!

Throw your graduation caps in the air!! You are now officially a first-grader!!

My SiBaiyi! 
My baby girl! 
My chubby cheeks! 
My love, my life, my love of my life!

Oh, my, it's sooo surreal! I knew you would grow up but not this fast! It seems like it was just yesterday when I took you to your first day of preschool. And now you're graduating from Kindergarten already! Next month I'll be taking you to the "big kids" class. That's how you are referring to the Primary kids. The "kaka" or the "big kids". Well, what do you know... You are a kaka now yourself, kiddo :) No, not high school yet. I don't understand why you are so eager to get to high school. Almost everyday you asked me "Am I going to high school after the holiday??" ELEMENTARY, Kukka. And then you still have to go to junior high first (THANK GOD!). 

I have so many prayers for you. Too many to write actually. So I will just keep it to myself for now and tell ALLAH all about it later :) But I do want to say something to you. Nothing new, really. You probably are bored hearing about it already. But.... Here goes...

I'm so proud of you, my darling girl. 
So so proud. I feel sooooo much pride it feels like my chest is about to explode. I'm proud of what you have achieved and what you have become. 

I love you, my precious godsend. 
So so much. I love you sooooo much it feels like I need to invent a new word for love. Because what I feel for you is so much more. 

And I am ready. I'm ready to take you to your new adventure. I'm ready to guide you whenever you need me to. I'm ready to give you hints about how to handle different types of people you're going to meet. I'm ready to show you more about life. Just don't ask me about Math. Ever. Other than that, bring it on! 

Let's have more fun, babycakes! :*