Sunday, August 23, 2009

First of Ramadhan 1430

If you've read my blog in previous years, you'd know that my first day of Ramadhan usually ends in chaos. I would usually still be cooking when the adzan maghrib is called.
Well, guess what, this year I was all ready!! I actually got to sit at the table to break my fast :) yay!
What's different?
This year all my kids helped out.

I got Ilham and Ihsan help me make the samosas (Ilham made the potato ones, Ihsan made the cheese ones). I laid everything out on the kitchen table - the samosa leaves, a bowl of water (to soften the leaves and act as glue to seal the edges), the cheeses and curried potatoes at different 'stations'. I showed them how to carefully peel the samosa leaves, how to position the filling, ow to fold it into a neat triangle, how to seal it and how to arrange then neatly in tupperwares. I now have enough samosas to last me .. maybe 3 days.

Anis helped me peel garlic for the sambals (sauces) and bumbu (spices) for chicken rice. She also helped out in miscellaneous tasks as in taking out required ingredients from the frdige, and re-arranging the samosa in the tupperwares because somehow her elder brothers do not have the aptitude to 'arrange neatly'. She also helped prepare the salad to go with the chicken rice we were having, and helped me make air cincau (grass jelly drink).

Most suprisingly, though, was Izani. I guess watching everyone help out, he wanted to help out too! His motor skills are not adept enough yet for folding samosas, and it took him forever to peel one clove of garlic, so I got him to do something I knew he'd enjoy thoroughly. I got him to pound garlic and ginger with the mortar&pestle.
You should have seen him, sitting cross-legged on the floor, holding the mortar with both hands, just pounding away. After a few minutes of pounding while sitting down, he decided to do it while lying flat on his stomach. I kept asking him if he was okay or if he needed any help, but he said he was doing fine. At one point Anis asked if she could try pounding and he possessively said "No! I do it!". He did quite a good job, actually. I only needed to pound it a few times more to make the ginger&garlic finer, but he definitely did most of the work. While I did the actual cooking, he went upstairs and fell right to sleep!

At the dinner table, everyone was so proud of their work. They pointed out to Taufik which dish they helped make. (I had to point out to Anis which dish had her garlic in it).
Perhaps I could have them make murtabak today.
tee hee.

Ramadhan Kareem, everyone!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Staying In Love

A few weeks ago someone asked me how I could still be so in love with Taufik even though it's been almost twenty years since we've known each other.
Hm.. sometimes I wonder too. I mean, after knowing someone for so long, and seeing him day in and day out, how is it that I never get bored of him or being with him? (but then, I also wonder why he's not bored with *me*)

Rather than giving you tips because I don't feel I'm qualified, let me just share what I do and how I feel about my husband Taufik. If you see something you can learn from, then, go for it. If not, consider it just entertaining reading (if it doesn't make you puke *lol*).

Focus on the good stuff
. I love looking at Taufik. He's very easy on the eyes, especially when he was younger. Even now that he's older, I still look at him as if I'm looking at a superstar heartthrob. I admire his good features and try not to dwell on the less appealing ones (not that he has a lot). I think if you look at person long enough, I'm sure you will be able to see the beauties in the person and appreciate them more.
. I look at him when we talk. I notice that sometimes I forget to look at him when we are having a conversation, perhaps because I'm doing something else. I recently make it a point to really look at him and absorb every little thing he says, not just with his voice, but also with his eyes, with his mouth (smiling? frowning?), the tilt of his head, his gestures. I think it makes me understand him more.
. During gatherings, sometimes I take a peek at him when he's across the room. I like watching him interact with other people, sharing a joke or discussing a serious topic. I give myself bonus points if I catch his eye and we exchange even a little smile or a slight twitch of the eyebrows.
. My most favourite thing to watch is when he's physically working on something. Be it mopping the floor, building me a closet, plumbing, gardening or mowing the lawn .. something about watching his flexing muscles just turns me on :). Sometimes even watching him hold a pen and write seems very appealing.
. I love listening to him chat with the kids. Especially when he's teasing them or sharing a joke. His laughter sounds so happy.
. Even though sometimes I complain about it, I am actually comforted by his snoring at night. Irregardless of whether it's just the sound of his breathing or the all out thunderous snorts, I would rather hear that than silence.
. Even though my husband may not be the sexiest man alive, it doesn't matter, because *I* think he's the sexiest man alive. I don't need other people to think so, just like I don't need other people to think I'm the most beautiful woman on earth as long as my husband thinks I am :)
. I don't know whether it's pheromones or his deodorant or what, but dayummm my man smells good...!

Keep in touch
. Whenever I miss Taufik, I would just open his closet and pick out one of his 'worn but clean' shirts (he has this habit of putting a shirt that he has worn for only one day but is not really dirty yet, back into the closet, to be worn another day), and bury my face in it and inhale. Heavenly.
. I love snuggling up to him just to get sniff.
. We're not the lovey dovey text messaging kinda couple. I would usually send Taufik an sms saying I've reached my destination or home, but mostly I would send him the list of groceries for him to pick up on the way back from the office. He would usually just reply with a short 'Ok'. Occasionally though, I send him a message that would make him reply "Be back in 15 minutes" and he would really be back home in 15 minutes ;)
. I believe in the power of touch, so I try to touch Taufik at every opportunity I can. I mean, who else can I touch but my husband, right? I don't grope him in public, of course. Even just tapping the tips of our toes under the table would satisfy me.
. Whenever I need a hug, I would just hug Taufik. I'd be guaranteed a hug back. :)

Communicate honestly and sincerely
. During the early years of our marriage, I used to be scared of telling Taufik how I really felt, because I was not confident of his love for me. But ever since moving to Saudi and having no one else to talk to but him, that fear slowly eroded away. I am now more honest and forthcoming about my feelings and opinions. I think Taufik appreciates it, because it takes a lot of the guesswork out of loving me :) and I am more satisfied in the relationship because he knows exactly what makes me happy. (Sounds easier said than done, but I keep working on it)
. I tell Taufik I love him, all. the. time. I use to care, but nowadays I don't, whether he says I love you back.

Take the time, and savour every moment
. Maybe it's because we were apart most of the time during our courtship and before Ilham was born, I have learnt to treasure every moment we spend together. If things needs to be ironed out, I try not to drag it for too long and resolve it as soon as possible, so that time is not wasted on arguing over something. With his job, I don't know when he'll be away next, and I don't want to regret not saying what needed to be said when he is away.
. When we were both working (me in PJ and him in KL), I would apply for half-day leave about once a month or so and ask my sister to pick up my kids (or pick up my kids and leave them with my mom or sister), then take the train to KL and have a date with Taufik.
. I don't have the luxury of leaving my kids with anyone in Saudi, so we haven't been on a date for a long time. We can still do activities together in the privacy of our own house, though. It can be simple things, like watching TV or reading together, but I take that opportunity to cuddle up or bermanja ;) (gedik dengan husband sendiri, dapat pahala tau!).
. I also love weekend mornings, when Taufik need not rush off to work and I need not rush the kids to school, and we both could spend a few minutes in bed talking about anything we want.
. I love taking it slow, savouring every moment, every single sound, every single sensation, every single scent ... just breathing and swallowing everything in.

Don't compare, be aware
. Just as no two people are the same, neither are two marriages the same. Things that work for other couples might not work for Taufik and me. I don't expect Taufik to treat me the same way my friends' husbands treat them, because I am not like my friends, and Taufik is not my like friends' husbands. I just have to accept that Taufik loves me in his own unique way, just like I expect him to accept that I love him in my own unique way.
. We've had our share of arguments, outbursts and sulkings (and we probably will always have them), but what I noticed is that, if I remind myself of what the goals of our marriage is, I don't waste my energy on arguing about stuff that does not lead us to that goal, and focus on resolving stuff that would.
. Whenever Taufik does something to hurt my feelings, I try hard to remember that he loves me, and that he doesn't do it out of malice, he's probably just not aware that he's hurting my feelings. I think it has saved me from a lot of resentment.

Hm .. this has been very interesting, writing all of this down.
I hope that it has been as much fun for you reading it, as it was for me writing it :) Hope you didn't puke too much.

p/s Happy Anniversary, Sayang :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

La Dolce Vita

I've been watching this Korean Drama Series on mysoju.
It's about a housewife (Hye Jin), who upon discovering that her husband is having a long-standing affair with a younger woman, decided to go to Hokkaido, initially to kill herself. There, she is relentlessly pursued by a younger man (Jun Soo), who made it his mission to save her life, whilst in turn, saving himself. As the story progresses, I watched who these two people were prior to the trip, how that few weeks in Hokkaido absolutely turned their lives upside down, and how they worked on living on with their lives. It's a love story and psychological drama all rolled into one. I found it quite intriguing.

From an ahjumma (makcik) point of view though, I was thinking, wahhh this must be the ultimate fantasy for a housewife lah kan? I mean, even though the housewife acts all aloof and reluctant when seduced by this younger man, you know deep inside she's really very flattered. It's Lee Dong Wook, siut. It's no wonder why this drama was so popular.

Jun Soo's (Lee Dong Wook) character was very interesting. Being so used to watching one-dimensional characters on TV, initially I didnt know what to make of him. Is he a psycho? Why is he pursuing this older woman with such passion and determination? He definitely had demons and a sordid and tragic past. He seems to be looking for a mother figure, or something. Maybe he's just out for revenge. One thing for sure, he definitely knows how to capture Hye Jin's heart (and the viewers'!).

This series is also different from other Korean series I've watched (though I haven't watched many) in terms of public display of affection. Most Korean series I've watched only implied sexual tensions and at most would show closed-mouth kissing scenes, usually towards the end where the boy finally gets the girl. But this one had kissing *and* bedroom scenes as early as the third episode. Nothing expicit lah of course, they were all very arty and respectful, but I must say they were quite sensuous and must've caused quite a sensation with the very conservative viewers in South Korea. Incidently, I think the most sensuous scene of all occured when the two were fully clothed, and they were only touching their faces. (Episode 16, if you're going to look for it. Tee hee).

Aside from Lee Dong Wook's success in showing his range of acting capabilities in this drama, I also began to realize another reason why I liked watching him so much. He so reminds me of Taufik. I mean, he is pale, thin, tall and in this series, rides a CBR. How crazy is that lah.
After every episode I watch, I couldn't wait for my husband to get home. Macam nak terkam aje. ha ha ha.
(Please dont get me wrong. Lee Dong Wook reminds me of Taufik ya, not the other way round. I dont think of LDW when I look at Taufik. Anyways, I think Taufik is way hotter. tee hee. )

Unfortunately, there are some episodes missing on mysoju. So I'm kinda 'lost' in certain story lines in the drama. I hope I can get a DVD of this drama when I get home. Ada tak?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Mixed Nuts

I have no excuse for not blogging.
I mean it's not like nothing is happening in my life that I've run out of blog fodder. Lots is hapenning. Just that .. hm.. I dont know where to start and nothing in my head is coherent. On top of that, every time I try to blog, a part of me tells me I should be doing something else.
Maybe I should write in point form.

. Our last day here is going to be November 22nd. We'll prolly drop by Dubai for a bit and visit Sharlee and her clan. And then we'll head home, just in time for Eid Ul Adha. I hope my mom is around and won't be off somewhere again.

. I still dont know which school my kids are going to :P
Except for Izani. Izani is definitely going to Salsabiila.

. Business is doing okay. I am so happy to see that there are people out there who likes my taste in clothing. I tend to pick stuff I like, so it's kinda hard not to take it personally when something goes un-sold. I know I shouldnt really do that to myself, but I still do. Sometimes I wonder if I'm cut out for this.

.Oh, I am also trying to figure out how I can still do this when I go home, but I'm kinda a control freak. How now brown cow lah.

. I have lots and lots and lots of ideas in my head, but I do not have the drive to make it come true :P I sit here in front of the computer and become lost in it.
Something needs to be done about that.

. I wish I did more stuff with my kids during the holiday :P They are kinda neglected and I am tired of telling them to clean their room, so I just ignore ignore ignore and drown myself in other stuff.
Something needs to be done about *that*.

. I am amazed at how my husband is still in love with me.
I am not amazed at how I am still in love with him, coz dayum... he's hawt.
*tee hee*

ok lah ok lah. dont puke.

Gonna go masak maggi for lunch now.