Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Inktober 2018: DONE!!!!

Finally!!!! I did it! I FINALLY FINISHED INKTOBER 2018!!!! :)))) I've tried doing this one-month-drawing thing since a long time ago yet I always failed to finish it. But in the beginning of this year's October I promised myself to do it again. AND THIS TIME I FINISHED IT!!! :))) Not that I want to promote or gloat or anything... But I think personally it has something to do with doing it on an iPad and using Apple Pencil :D Why?? Well... First of all it's more practical. When I go out I didn't have to add more stuff inside my bag. No drawing book and a pencil case. What do I already have in my bag? Oh just the usual... Like a wallet, pills, iPad, chargers, a novel, sometimes my diary and some women stuff. Yes. I do carry around a big bag :))

Anyways... The Inktober2018... Yes. I did it and it was a lot of fun! Sometimes I couldn't stop drawing! I could draw 2 dates in 1 day. Many times I couldn't stop drawing even if it was already past midnight. And I'm very sorry to say that every so often I even kind of negleted my precious Godsend :D I found the Official Inktober Prompt List on Pinterest. I started to draw and failed. Then I tried to do it again and again and again. But nope! Couldn't do it :))) It turned out I'm not THAT talented. But I refused to give up. Then it occured to me that the main reason I gave up was because I didn't have any idea what to draw really... :)) After some time I had this idea. I decided to cheat by searching-looking-copying from other people's drawings. I searched on instagram, Pinterest and Google Images, everywhere. I was amazed by how many people have done the Inktober and their drawings are astonishing! So many talented people out there! At the end I decided to just copy the drawings that I like and gave a little changes here and there. Some personal touches if you might say... If you know me very well and pay attention to the drawings, you can see the insights I've put in them. So yeah... That's basically how it started! Everyday I checked the list of Inktober 2018, searched for drawings that I really liked and copied them one by one. One day, one drawing :D

Copy... Sound so easy but trust me! IT'S NOT!!!! Especially if you have high expectations of yourself. Of your ability, your discipline, your concentration, etc :))) The drawings that I liked were obviously so beautiful, creative and many of them are extremely complicated to even copy it!!! But I tried. How hard have I tried? Well... Check them out, in random order :)

Now these... Are my personal favorites. Why? Oh just because :)

And finally today.... It's DAY 31: SLICE

The last time I went for a check up, I told dr. Rocksy about this "project" and she was quite impressed when I showed her my drawings. To dr. Rocksy my drawings were...very informative. This activity is good for me because it involves a lot of things. One of them is boosting my confidence, which apparently I'm quite lack of. And also by looking at some lines that I did, my doctor could see that my hand was shivering while drawing. Some lines are tolerable. But some... :( I told her some lines were so "jiggly" I almost use a ruler! :)) 

So... This is it. Finally I would like to thank everybody who had encouraged me and showered me with very sweet and generous compliments about my drawings. I would also thank the people whose drawings I've copied. Now all I have to do is find a new project to draw. Or... Finish my writing which have been neglected for a long time. Wish me luck! :)

Thursday, August 23, 2018

"No Phone, Be There More."

This is my new... Well... You can say it's a motto or whatever. It's just something that I’m trying to tell/remind myself. Especially when I’m together with my loved ones, like families & friends who really matter to me. Why? Because lately I just don’t get it. You say you want to spend time with your families, your friends, or whoever it is, yet you’re busy with your cell phone. I’m not saying that I’m throwing my iPhone away or totally keeping it inside my bag like 100% whenever I'm spending time with someone. Because for those who know me well, I really like to take pictures. First of all I’m a photo hoarder & photos help me to remind things (another way to cheat :D). Especially moments that are to me personally are too precious to forget. BUT playing games or talking or chatting on the cell phone while you are actually WITH someone? I think it’s totally rude. Sadly it’s becoming a common sight though… Where everybody is busy with his/her phone instead of having a real conversation with the person next to him/her. A family gathering for example looks more like people being in a same room but don’t really care about each other's presence. 

A couple of days ago my aunty came to our house with her daughter & son in-law. I didn’t invite her. She was just passing by. I was surprised, in a good way of course. I was delighted that she made some time to visit me. But it didn’t take long for me to be disappointed or should I say…confused? Why? Well… Because almost the entire time she was here, my aunty was busy talking on her 2 cell phones on both ears. Yes. I say it again: 2 cell phones, 2 ears. Obviously she wasn’t talking to me, her niece who was sitting right in front of her. I did however had conversation with my cousin & her husband. But there were definitely lots of awkward moments. Such as silence or they were busy with themselves instead of talking to me. The person who they visited. I didn’t know what to do. So I started to walk around the house, playing with Moochi & I even went to my bedroom, closed the door & sat on my bed for awhile. When they said goodbye, I was actually relieved. 

Yes. I’m very much aware that my aunty or at least my cousin would read this posting. But I’m not worried. Am I sorry? No, I’m not sorry for writing this. Why should I? I'm not doing anything wrong. This is my way to tell everybody who wants to visit, meet or spend time with me that: if you DO want to meet me, then BE here with me. Spend time with me like... Oh I don't know! Just talk to me, tell me what’s going on in your life lately, where are you going to, what’s happening, what’s the latest movie you’ve watched, what are your plans, who is your latest crush, ANYTHING!!! JUST. TALK. Don’t come here or tell me that you want to see me but then your eyes are more fixated on your cell phone. Because if you do that, you’re wasting my time. 

Yesterday on Idul Adha day Hubster, Kukka & I went to Bogor to visit Mom & Dad. And alhamdulillah my big sister & her family were also there. It was such a great time. We had some coffee. We talked about the kids: Namira, Alyna & Kukka, who were also there & shared their stories. We had meals together. We talked about the past. We laughed, hugged & kissed. There was a moment when it made my eyes all teary. When we were all set to go home, I hugged & kissed my mom. Then she said “Sering-sering atuh ngumpul kaya gini… Kan seneng ngobrol, cerita-cerita. Mani rindu…” (More or less: “We should spend more time together like this. It’s fun to share stories. I miss it very much.”). I still shed some tears when our car was already far away from Mom’s house… Heck I'm crying right now as I'm typing this!!!

Anyways later on I tried really hard to remember everything & wrote the things that happened in my diary. It was really hard but I took it as a brain exercise. I must say I did pretty good :) Minutes later when I was reading my writing (I always do this because many times I write the same stuff over & over again.), something just hit me & I had to write it down: “No phone, be there more.” And I was like... Okay I have to blog about this & share it. Maybe it'll do something good. Maybe by reading this piece, you'd realize that you actually spend more time with your cell phone rather than with your kids, parents, other family members or friends in real life. Then that sad day will come, when you can't be with your loved ones anymore. Together. Ever again.

And then you'd finally fully aware that you certainly can't turn back the time.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Just Another Chapter In Being Parents

Let me take a deeeeeeeep loooooong breath, iiiiiin & out...........................................................................................................

Okay. I'm ready. So here's the story. The last couple of weeks have been stressful & very tough for the three of us: Hubster, Kukka & I. Why? Well... Some of you who know us (quite well) must notice (by now) that we are the kind of family who like to do things... Differently and mostly without any planning in advance :)) The latest unplanned "thing" is about Kukka's education. Which iiiiiiiiis: to move Kukka to another school. Yes. You read that right. Kukka doesn't go to Sekolah Cikal Cilandak anymore. The school she had been going since she was in Kindergarten (Junior & Reception Year). Why so sudden??? Right when Year 5 just started & there's only 1 year left? Well... There are lots of reasons. 

But if you ask Hubster why, his answer is simple & consistent: SiBapa wants his beloved baby girl to be happy & have fun :) He wants Kukka to enjoy her childhood & do things that she loves. Of course without neglecting the Must-Study subjects like...math :p Yes, Kukka. You still have to STUDY FRACTIONS EVERYDAY! Me? I totally agree with my husband. So after a long & well-thought-out discussions, we started to look for schools especially that are closer to home. It was very difficult. Especially because lots of schools don't accept new student anymore since the new semester has began. Kukka already missed 1-2 weeks of studying. Also there are many schools which don't accept new kids anymore because they already reached their quota. Fortunately though there were schools that still have seats & are able to accept Kukka as their new student. BUT of course, nothing is THAT simple. Kukka had to take some tests: english, math & Bahasa Indonesia. .............. Yeah :D It was totally predictable in which subject Kukka received a low score. Yes. Bahasa Indonesia. :D It's funny to think that at first Hubster & I were more worried about Kukka's math. That's why Hubster gave her a private "intensive math course" at home with the motto:


As you probably can predict from the picture above, there were tears but also laughters during this course. Kukka said her beloved Bapa is better in math & explaining things than me but he is very scary :)) Oh yes girl! I bet lots of people who knows your dad will totally agree with you :))) But everything paid off. Kukka's math is getting better. Thanks to her beloved SiBapa. Meanwhile I am in charge in teaching Kukka Bahasa Indonesia. This is not easy for me because I'm never good in teaching. Hell in some cases I'm not even good in explaining simple stuff!! :)) And since I got sick, there are 3 languages that mixed together in my brain: Bahasa Indonesia, english & german. Sometimes even sundanese!!!! Many times I have to struggle to stick to 1 language while talking to other people. It's easy when I speak in Bahasa Indonesia AND english because most of my family & friends speak english too. But not many of them speak german! So it's easier for me to chat through apps than to talk face-to-face because I have the chance to look up in the german-english dictionary first! :)))

Now back to Kukka! 

Alhamdulillah after Kukka went through observations & trials at potential schools & SiBubu spending lots of sleepless nights, finally on Friday, July 27th, I received a message that Kukka is accepted in Sekolah Alam Tangerang. For you who don't know & curious about SAT, just click on the link. The second we got the message, Hubster & I were sooooo relieved & obviously grateful. Because unlike Kukka, who btw IS THE ONE who DIDN'T HAVE any school at that time, was totally cool about it -_- She was just like "Yeay! I got in Sekolah Alam!" and then back doing her own thing. Kids nowadays. Unbelievable. Well... Kukka was actually more worried about my condition rather than hers. She was worried because I was very stressed out & many times she saw my hands shaking uncontrollably. I even had diarrhea for days!!! :))

Aaaaaaaaand of course not long after I received the news that Kukka is accepted in SAT, other schools sent me messages too. Guess what? Kukka is accepted. Yup. Life likes to have fun with!!! :))) First you're sooo stressed out that your kid might not get accepted in ANY school. The next second you're confused about how to write a polite & friendly Thank-You-But-No-Thanks note to decline others. But thankfully the other schools were nice & understanding. Thank you very much :)

Now here we are... The Ica Lawendatus. Ready for a new adventure. Because in SAT apparently the parents are expected to be very involved. Once a month, on a Sunday, parents have to come to school to know how their kids are doing. No excuses. This is going to be very interesting. Right Bapa??? :)))

As to you, my precious Godsend, congratulations! Have fun in learning at your new school & be a good girl :*

-Kukka ready for her first day of school at SAT- 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Dear Kukka: Happy 10th!

10 years ago I gave birth 
To the most beautiful human being I've ever seen
Never once in my life I knew that such thing was possible

Not even did I dare dream to happen
Not even once did I feel to deserve
That I would or ever could have the chance to be the mother 
Of the most precious and beautiful godsend 
Who changes my life, my views 
And forever takes most of the love I have in my soul 
Only for her and her alone

Happy 10th birthday my beloved Kukka... 
Being your mother is the greatest gift I’ve ever received
Giving you the most sincere prayers a mother ever could
And protecting you from any harm, inside and out
Would be the best things I can and will ever give you back 
As long as I live

 And I thank ALLAH SWT for this once in a lifetime chance 
I love you

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Being Bubu

Lately I've been thinking about parenting styles. Eversince I wanted I child I promised myself to be a good mother. An ideal one to be precise. You know... The kind who never scold & yell but give encouragements instead. The kind who is not spoiling the child by giving her everything that she wants. The kind who will only give the child the things that she deserves. The kind who makes a list of must-dos & must-don'ts & make damn sure that the kid follows them all. You know... A too-good-to-be-true kind of mother. For example... I want Kukka to know that if she makes a mistake, she has to realize it & apologize. I don't want to be the kind of mother who thinks that her child is always right. That if something is wrong, it must be the other's side's fault. Or even worse, I don't want my child to realize that she makes a mistake & doesn't even WANT to apologize. But of course there's no such thing as an ideal parent.

The older Kukka gets, the more I realize how hard being a mother can be. Sure. Most of the times we get along very well. For example Hubster & I always make sure that Kukka greets everybody & says thank you. Like every morning when Kukka meets our housecrew she would say "Selamat pagi Mba Dewi. Selamat pagi Mas Ari." She also says "Tolong" & "Terima kasih". Alhamdulillah she does all those things just like we taught her to do. Kukka almost always asks for permission. Even if it's just whether she's allowed to eat Nutella sandwich or drink milk between meal times. Or if she's allowed to hear music while doing her homework. Kukka goes to bed at 8pm, accompanied by me until 10pm with the lights off. If it's passed 10pm & Kukka is still jumping around, I leave her to sleep by herself. She doesn't whine or worse, cry. Sometimes Kukka just asks whether she's allowed to turn the lights on or not. After she finishes her meal, Kukka cleans up our dining table & picks up the scattered food on the floor. Before putting the dirty dishes on the sink, she throws the left-over in the trash bin outside.

Kukka loves to ask questions & I try to answer them...age-appropriately. If I don't have the answer, I ask Kukka to give me some time to find out. We share lots of stories before bedtime like my mom & I used to do. Kukka's idea of bedtime stories are about my childhood and lately it becomes more like a Q&A session. It can be about anything. Starting from love like my ex boyfriends or how I met her beloved Bapa to "Bubu, have you ever wondered why some things are satisfying & some don't?".  Or "Bubu, what happens if Donald Trump & Hitler teamed up?". Kukka is also curious about religion. One time she asked me if it's true that there's absolutely nothing that can kill ALLAH SWT. So yeah...  Parenting is difficult & I'm trying to be the best kind of mother that Kukka deserves. 

But of course now that she's getting older, things are getting tougher. Especially when it involves school stuff. Good god! I think 80% there are yelling, screaming even tears involve when it comes to homeworks! "I don't know." & "I don't remember." Everytime I hear those sentences I feel like pulling out my hair! One time things got very dramatic, Kukka cried & screamed "You don't love me anymore!!!" I must admit it was a pretty dilemmatic situation. I wanted to cry but also laughed my butt off when I heard Kukka said that. I mean... Seriously?????? :))) Anyways, as for punishment, the worse I can give to Kukka is no game time. This is like the end of the world for Kukka. One time she said "I'm sitting in sadness." I think it was because she wasn't allowed to play game before she does her Kumon sheets & Bahasa Indonesia. Yes. I can be tough like that. Meanwhile her Bapa can ruin everything by bending the rules. That's why lately Kukka loves to go out with Bapa even when he's actually working.

I don't know about you, other mothers. But lately I feel like I'm the bad guy here. I'm the one who say NO. I'm the one who say it's bathtime, it's bedtime, it's homework time, it's no-tv time, it's Kumon time, it's Bahasa Indonesia time. I'm the one who is not fun. I'm the one who want only the best for my baby.

Yeah. I am the mother. :) 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Forty-Two In Bengkulu

A typical day at The Ica Lawendatus. No plan, no talk whatsoever. Suddenly Hubster said "Let's go to Bengkulu!" :)) So... We did! We spent June 21st - 25th in Bengkulu City. Hubster wanted to revisit his junior highschool memories, starting with staying at Grage Horizon Hotel. He said he used to go there with the whole family. Kukka was not very impressed though. Probably the only thing she loved about Bengkulu was the beach. It was like having the whole beach to ourselves. The saddest part about the beach is the trash. There were lots of trash on the sand and in the water. How can people be so careless I simply don't understand. But yes, mostly the beach is beautiful. Kukka enjoyed her time in Pantai Panjang. Me? I enjoyed our time in Bengkulu. Delicious food, tasty coffee, beautiful view, interesting language and accent. It was the heat that was too much. Honestly I didn't think that Bengkulu would be THAT hot! I must say I didn't pack the right clothes for it :D

There are many historical sites in Bengkulu. Too bad we couldn't visit all of them. I did make a list but I threw it away because I thought the trip was canceled. So when we did go, I mostly relied on Tripadvisor. Historical buildings, culinary must-tries, tourists sites, etc. And of course we also relied on Hubster's memories. We visited his house at Jl. Indragiri and his junior high school, SD Sint Carolus. My favorites must be the Rumah Pengasingan Bung Karno (Bung Karno's Seclusion House), Danau Dendam Tak Sudah (Neverending Grudge/Revenge Lake) and Fort Marlborough. 

At Rumah Pengasingan Bung Karno I felt kinda sad. Especially when I looked at his bed... And the whole house just feels so...lonely. Who knows how Bung Karno felt when he stayed there... And I must say I was quite impressed AND happy to see that the house is very well taken care of. Everything is clean. Nothing is smelly as you would expect in an old house. I didn't sneeze at all!!! That really is a good sign! :))

Fort Marlborough. The view is definitely nice. We were lucky it didn't rain. In fact it was quite hot. But the sky was blue and Kukka had fun. She was somewhat shocked when she saw the tombs of Charles Murray, Residen Thomas Parr and Robert Hamilton. She asked "There are dead persons in there?" :)) Meanwhile I was impressed with the cannonball. I didn't know that cannonball is THAT heavy!!! I also find Fort Marlborough to be somewhat... Exotic. I don't know... Somehow I felt like I was visiting an inca temple or something :))

Danau Dendam Tak Sudah or if you literally translate it: Neverending Revenge Lake. It is mesmerizing. The water is dark it almost "got" me. I mean... I kept looking at it, hoping to see something emerging out of the water. Like... A woman's arm pulling me to the water! Or creepy face quietly grinning at me!!! :))) I know it's stupid but yes. Danau Dendam Tak Sudah is definitely a must visit if you ever go to Bengkulu. I just wished I could spend more time there. Like maybe sitting by the lake, reading a book and drinking coffee. 

Let's see... What else is interesting in Bengkulu? ... Coffee! Ah yes! I can't write about Bengkulu without mentioning the coffee. I love the coffee!!! It's so delicious and fresh. Before we went home I made sure I bought a couple pack of local brands. Yes. I will enjoy cups of Bengkulu's coffee at home beside my favorite Liong Bulan. During our short stay in Bengkulu we already have a favorite cafe which served delicious coffee. It's called Bencoolen Coffee House. We kept coming back because it has delicious ice coffee. As for the pempek, we went to a couple of supposedly famous places. What interesting was the way they eat pempek. The sizes are small, no noodles and cucumber pieces. The pempek were small I HAD to order 6 pieces in 1 go. And yes. I finished them all and sipped the cuko until its last drop. Too bad I didn't buy and bring some to Jakarta... 

As for my birthday... I received lots of messages from my friends and families. This year I even received best wishes from people I didn't expect. The messages started to fill my inboxes since June 22nd, 00:00. Right that second I felt very grateful to be surrounded by kind people. I also got cuddly surprises from my loved ones :) I didn't expect it because... I don't know... I didn't expect much from this year's birthday. I didn't think or feel special. Maybe because it isn't... I don't know... This year feels different. I must say it's kind of sad. I used to think that birthday is a special day. That it's a day to celebrate with your loved ones. A day to spend...differently. But not anymore. And the saddest part about it is to think that Kukka will probably think and grow up thinking that birthdays are not special either. It might not a be big deal but I always think that being indifferent is sad. That some days, some events are worth to make fuss about. Even if it's silly. Why? 

Just because. 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Why Wait?

It's just another Sunday night... Nothing new really. I put my baby to sleep, played some games, read books, watched the news, Netflixing, wrote some stories, replied messages etc.. Still. I'm having a hard time to sleep. Might as well make the most of it by blogging about stuff. There are so many things going on in my head right now. Statements, questions, random words... And just minutes ago I had this...thing in my head which I have to get it out. An epiphany? Maybe... All I know is that if I don't start writing about it, I'd be up all night. 

You see... Don't you think it's kind of sad that most people tend to say nice things about you but only when you're already gone? Gone as in... Dead. Deceased. Passed away. Even if you don't know that person very well but still. When you die and your friends are asked to make a comment or say a few words about you, I bet it will be good things. Well... Nowadays you don't even have to ask! I bet she would leave touchy goodbyes on your twitter or Path. He would share thoughtful prayers on your Facebook or apologies to your Whatsapp. She'd blogged about her sweet experiences with you, the deceased. He would let everybody know how he truly felt about you but only when you're already gone. It makes me wonder. What's the point? Why not now while you still can hear it? Why not now while you are able to say something back? And same thing goes to you!

Why don't you tell her NOW that you love her? Why don't you tell her NOW that you are sorry? Why don't you tell her NOW that her hair looks pretty? Why don't you call him NOW and tell him that you miss him? Why don't you tell him NOW that his writing is mindblowing? Why don't you tell him NOW that his pictures look cool? Why wait? Or even worse, why don't you say anything until all that's left will be if onlys and regrets? So again...