Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mimpi

I dreamt of my father last night, talking about my small sister. It was a funny dream. Kata orang - mainan tidur. Ermm...maybe it has been a while, maybe it's time to go home.

I texted him soon after I arrived at the office this morning. After Suboh back home, he texted me back, telling me he almost fainted on the way to the Surau :-( He's much better now. Hmm...the power of dream. May Allah, protect all my family in Malaysia and around the globe, Amin.

A/T: All the best to my cousin, Abang Long & family, arriving home from Japan this week. We wish everything will go as planned. SELAMAT PULANG KE TANAHAIR! :-)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Thoughts of a wandering mind

Coding is very boring, draining and mentally exhausting!! So here I am on my research break writing away all these negativity thoughts.

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Lately, I have been seriously fed up with some people whom I considered as 'attention-deficits' people. I guess there's just not enough warmth and love surrounding them when they were raised. As adults they indulged in all sorts of attention craving activities that scream LOOK AT ME!!!  I am this, I am that...worst still if all their 'moments' in the spotlight are all based on negativities and along the way they dragged others into their web of self-pity or 'self-designed negatived-glorification'.

Don't they know that negativity breeds negativity??!! It doesn't make them any better that they were before. They think everything in this life, and I mean this life - is all about them! They can't even think pass their bedroom doors. No wait,  they can't even think pass their self reflection in the mirror. Come on!! There's more to life than YOU...YOU...and YOU! Please, please, please STOP it already!!

If you believe in Allah (swt), then go back to HIM. Stop whining! Say your prayers and stick with it. Istiqamah! I really believe in the powers of Doa. All my life, I started my doa practice when I was 14. I prayed for almost everything, explicitly at times and work hard at achieving it. When my doa was granted, I said my thanks and moved on to another doa. In fact, for the past 10 years, I have been praying for one very explicit thing (no, no..it's not the Phd) asides from all my other doa (including the Phd he..he..he). I haven't been fully granted that thing as yet. I blamed myself for not being Istiqamah sometimes and not putting in enough action towards it. But I have not given up and I promise myself to continue praying for that one thing. I have made it my mission in life now.

Doa is a strong thing, a good thing. It instill humility in yourself. It reminds you that you are a mere servant of ALLAH (swt) and you'll always remained at HIS Mercy. I know some people who have never say their doa (and meant it) all their lives. I know some people who actually do not believe in repetitive doa. I know some people who are sceptical in the concept of doa. And I believe that they are wrong.

I think when in doubt, say your doa, when in pain, say your doa, when you are stuck, say your doa. When all is well, say your thanks and offer your gratitude to ALLAH (swt). This life is but a test and trial for your final and lasting place in the Hereafter. What you do with it matters not only to yourself but also others around you.

Remember that ALLAH (swt) never puts any burden on you that is beyond your ability to bear. ALLAH (swt) is fair. There's no point in testing your level of faith and commitment to HIM with any test that you are surely to fail.  Therefore, no matter how difficult your situation  is, you should have absolutely no doubt in your mind that you will have the ability to deal with the trial. Stop complaining, take a step back, reflect, say your doa and face it patiently.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Vision 2020

Yesterday afternoon Uwais finally got his initial eyetest with an optometrist at the Australian College of Optometry (ACO). 4 weeks of anxiousness were built into yesterdays' appointment. Only God knows!

23 Februari lepas, Uwais dijadualkan utk menjalani checkup 3 1/2 tahunnya dgn Maternal Child Health's nurse, sepertimana Aliyah sebelum ini. Tapi checkup nya lebih simple drpd Aliyah dulu dan yg paling ditekankan adalah ujian penglihatan. 

Nurse starting off the screening test - so kena pakai sepek mata pirate yer ;-)
Testnya sgt mudah dan ringkas. Tutup sebelah mata dgn cermin mata yg disediakan oleh nurse. Tengok kad dipaparkan oleh nurse yg berdiri dlm 2 - 3 meter drpd meja Uwais duduk dan Uwais hanya perlu tunjuk objek atau huruf yg serupa di atas kad yg diletakkan di atas meja di hadapannya. Pada permulaannya, apabila semua objek besar dia dapat tunjukkan semua objek & huruf berkenaan dgn laju dan tepat. Tetapi apabila objek/huruf tersebut semakin kecil, sebesar ibu jari dr kejauhan 2-3 meter, dia mula teragak2 dan lama kelamaan dia sudah tak berminat nak bekerjasama. I guess hearing some form of distress in my voice in trying to encourage him to continue the test, dia terus lost interest. Bila buat mata sebelah lagi, the same thing occured. Semua yg besar dia tunjuk dgn betul, then bila dah mengecil, dia mula nak main2 which indicated yg kemungkinan besar dia tak nampak objek2 tersebut.

Goofing around lepas fail test ;-P
Ahhh, my heart just sunk, there and then. Looking at the nurse's expression made me feel worst. It might not be such a big issue for others. But trust me it very much bothers me. I have been wearing glasses since I was 10, even earlier than when my mum started wearing hers. I started having myopia (rabun jauh) & in my case a high dose of astigmatism too since I was 9. So I know how much myopia & astigmatism can have an effect on your life.  And to wonder that perhaps my young son would have to wear them even sooner, very much upsets me.


Anyway, the nurse tried to comfort me by saying mungkin Uwais penat dan got somewhat distracted. She suggested I come back again in the next two weeks. I was apparently feeling very disappointed with the result because I text my mum later that night. I wanted the family to know first hand.  DH just couldn't register at all nor accept it. So he designed a 'home test' for him and tried to 'train' his vision on the small objects, with hope he'll passed the next screening.

Two weeks passed and on the 9th of March, I brought Uwais in for the checkup again. This time, it was a different nurse, more child friendly and cheery. Tapi, resultnya tetap sama :-( The nurse suggest to bring him for a professional checkup to assess whether Uwais ada rabun jauh, ataupun ada masalah lain dgn matanya. I got the referral and chose to bring him to the Australian College of Optometry (ACO) in Carlton near Melbourne City in two weeks time. ACO is one major teaching eye/optometry institute in Melbourne, and have specialized clinic for children regardless of their nationality. Further, the institute is subsidized by the government, so I figured if he needed glasses, it's going to be a whole lot cheaper there. In the mean time, I have accept the fact that perhaps he has too much of my 'eye' genes ;-P. I don't feel so bad anymore. I figured so what if he needed glasses. It's not the end of the world for him. It may as well be the start of something good for him. He will look even 'dashingly cute' he..he..he and improve all his learning capabilities. 


ACO

So off we went, driving for the first time to Carlton. (On a side note: teruknya dah 3 tahun dok sini, baru nak belajar bwk keta masuk bandar hu..hu..hu..nak buat camne, tiket public transport kat Melbong ni naik lagi last few weeks. Ada pulak sehari sampai AUD7 sorang compared to AUD5.80 masa thn 2008 dulu. Mahalnya lah, dah lah lama pulak tu nak menyampai ke bandor, kena mengangkut pram & budak2 pulak). Alhamdulillah, selamat sampai, parking pun free for 2 hours.  

Seriously, I was very impressed with the ACO. Ini Optometry centre tau, bukannya Opthamologist (Doktor/Surgeon Mata), tapi clinicnya begitu besar dan professional sekali. Tunggu pun tak lama. They keep to their appointment time strictly, unlike some public hospital in Melbourne!

Playing while waiting...

One more si botak also have to tag along :-)


Ujian mata Uwais mengambil masa almost half an hour. Macam2 lah Cik Optometrist, Miss John tu tgk dan test. I like her very much. Cakapnya laju mcm bertih jagung. Tp sangat comforting to two stress parents and two botak boys he..he..he. So I was waiting for her to drop the bomb ;-) drum roll!!! 

Sampai ke 'tanah' cik optometrist tu menge'test' Uwais. 
Yg berkot putih tu, optometrist trainee observing the session


Yes, he said Uwais got some myopia aka rabun jauh. Tapi pada dia, Uwais masih muda, masih ada masa untuknya memperbetulkan kekurangan ketajaman pandangannya. Dan kemungkinan juga matanya belum develop sepenuhnya. Lagipun, kedua-dua belah matanya mempunyai kekurangan yang sama level. Bukan sebelah rabun dan sebelah lagi tidak ataupun ada masalah lazy eyes. So Miss John mencadangkan kami dtg kembali dlm masa 3 bulan untuk melihat sama ada mata Uwais ada sebarang perubahan. Tetapi setakat ini, dia tidak mencadangkan sebarang pemakaian cermin mata dsbnya. Cuma perlu kurangkan penggunaan peralatan yg ada too much glare mcm PC dsbnya. So Abg - no more PC games!! Luckily he goes to kinder now, so that solves the problem partly. We'll see how it goes in June. Hopefully, Insya Allah it does not deteriorate and who knows he'll have that 20..20 vision after all, Amin :-)


A/T: TAHNIAH to our cousin Ainaa for scoring 10 As in her SPM. We suggest that she trained to be Doktor Mata lah - there's just too many 'clients' in the family ;-)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sahabat Lama di Melbourne

Akhirnya selepas berbulan2 menunggu matawang dollar turun (tapi tak turun2 gak) maka akhirnya sahabat lamaku dari zaman sekolah (Puteri Wilayah & SMAKL) sampailah ke universiti (UIAM), Pn Laily Shahreniza Labai,  selamat tiba dan menjelajah bumi Melbourne :-)

Hari Selasa, sehari sebelum rombongannya pulang ke Malaysia, barulah aku & Iza sempat ketemuan di Melbourne city, kerana itinerarynya yang begitu padat sekali. Bayangkan Laily dan tour groupnya sampai ke semua major destinations di Victoria, dlm masa seminggu shj -Great Ocean Road, Philipp Island, Dandenong, even Puffing Billy dia dan naik (aku pun lum lagi kesampaian) Sungguh hebat, tak bernapaih dibuatnya hu..hu..hu. 

The 3 of us @ Swanston Street
Sebab masa terhad, hari sekolah pulak tu, sedihnya tak dpt nak borak lama dan bwk jalan2 ke suburb2 Melbourne. Anyway, cuaca sgt baik sekali, dan sempat lah kami belanja makan Laily dan teman2nya, Kak Liza & Kak Syarifah di Esteller dan meredah ALDI Franklin Street untuk memborong coklat ;-)

Laily yg comel - pekena Jus Alpukat ;-)
Semoga nanti panjang umur jumpa lagi di Malaysia, Insya Allah. Takpun nanti mana tau boleh dtg lagi, dgn family pulak, he..he..he.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rejuvenation...

As the scale of Japan's catastrophic disaster (mother nature plus man-made) unfolds, I couldn't help but feel that 2011 has been rather a difficult start for the world. I predicted early in the year that it's going to be 'whirlwind' for me, but with every month marked by some of sort of a natural disaster starting with the floods in Australia and then the chaos in Egypt (later Libya), followed by New Zealand's earthquake and now this, it seems the world is suffering too :-(


So the signs of Qiamat are getting more and closer together! It makes me ponder and reflect at the state of my life now and wonder whether I am a worthy servant, wonder whether I have been taking a lot of things for granted, wonder whether this is all that I can offer (whatever that is???)

I suddenly feel rejuvenated!! Although I have considered all kinds of options and worst case scenarios in my journey finalising this research, I no longer feel 'stumped'. This PhD is just one of those 'things' you go through in life to be a better servant. And that's what it's all about. If you don't emerge from it, a better person, then I guess, you've missed a 'big' point! You've wasted 3-4 years of your life (and money) for nothing, then. Look at all those people around you in your life (and the world!!). Don't you wish you can be there for them, be a better person for them?? Come on everybody, let's finish what we started!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Laundry Day Out


Luqman navigating the laundry route ;-)


Ruang 'Menunggu' Community Laundry yg tak child-friendly

Kadang-kadang dalam menjalani hidup sebagai pelajar di negara orang, banyak benda2 yang berlaku seharian yang selalu diperlekehkan atau paling tidak pun dipandang sebelah mata. Contohnya macam hal2 rumahtangga, memasak, membasuh kain, mengemas rumah dan menjaga anak (MBKJ). Bagi surirumah sepenuh masa, kesemua ini mungkin adalah 'bidang tugas kepakaran' mereka. Tapi bagaimana pula kalau anda seorang pelajar sepenuh masa dan pada masa yang sama perlu jadi surirumah jua. Dan bagaimana pula kalau anda diiringi oleh 'surarumah' bersama anak2 kecil? Bagaimana mereka menghadapi kehidupan seharian sebagai surarumah yang 'berjaya', sementara si surirumah menjadi suri separuh masa, dan pelajar sepenuh masa ;-)

4 aktiviti utama ini 'MBKJ' adalah sangat penting sebenarnya utk keharmonian berumahtangga. Ketidak-seimbangan salah satu drpnya akan menyebabkan kehidupan yg sudah sedia stress sebagai pelajar PhD bertambah kacau! Alhamdulillah, walaupun selalu tak 'terasa' dan mengakuinya, DH sgt2 membantu dlm bab MBKJ ni, terutamanya aktiviti membasuh baju. Di Barnes Way, penginap tidak dibenarkan mempunyai mesin basuh dan dryer sendiri di dalam rumah. Maka semua aktivti 'laundry' perlulah dilakukan di Community Laundry (CL). Memandangkan unit kami berada di tingkat satu dan 100 meter dr CL dan tempat jemur baju,  aktiviti membasuh sebenarnya adalah pada aku suatu aktiviti yg payah dan melemaukan. Apatah lagi apabila baju2 seminggu utk 5 ahli keluarga dah berlongok2 dan beratnya sudah melebihi 5 kilo. Bayangkan perlu mengangkut bakul baju (yg berat) dan sabun (beserta pelembut, sepit baju dan hanger), kemudian ke hulu ke hilir (dr CL ke rumah) menunggu mesin tamat cyclenya dan kalau cuaca mengizinkan perlu dijemur pula. Dan selepas dijemur, perlu dibalik2kan dan diangkat pula dari jemuran (Tidakkkkk!!!). Maka bersyukurlah anda2 yg hanya perlu ke ruang laundry belakang rumah utk melakukan aktiviti BASUH BAJU!

Tapi DH sgt suka aktiviti ini (daripada di Malaysia lagi). Kadang2 tak perlu disuruh pun. Aku pun tak tahu kenapa..he..he..he. Mungkin ianya merupakan satu rutin 'stress relief therapy' agaknya. Atau mungkin padanya kalau tunggu aku, maka berjaman lah baru terlaksana dan ada pulak tak berbaju nanti ;-) Sampaikan ada hari2 yang aku terpaksa 'mengadjust' waktu kerja, kerana DH mahu membuat aktiviti laundry dan mengejar panas mentari. Sesungguhnya, aktiviti ini mungkin sesuatu yg selalu dipandang remeh, tapi kalau lah aku tidak punya seorang 'sura' yang sededikasi my DH in his laundry multi-tasking, aku rasa mungkin aku bisa jadi separa atau suku gila hu..hu..hu. So to my beloved DH - Many...many...many...thanks for making our choice of everyday dresscode easier!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Seasonal Change...

When the children started having a viral infections one week after another and the sky is starting to turn grey, it meant the warmer season has ended! This time around, summer has been very mild, indeed. I could count the days when it was really warm. Soon the leaves will start to change colour and fall. Not to mention the temperature too :-(

In one month's time daylight saving ends and time will be reverted back one hour, making a difference of two hours with KL, instead of three hours currently. It also meant daytime is going to be shorter. Shorter days, less sunshine, lower temperature equivalate - DEPRESSINGLY COLD! The bureau of meteorology is also forecasting a lot of rain in the next two months, which means the weather is going to be CHILLY too! Before I came to Melbourne, I didn't even know there was a difference between flat out cold and the chilly winter wind brought on usually by rain. When both of them combined, you'd feel like buying a flight ticket back home!!

So the thermal blanket has been laid out on our beds yet again. And when the heater started coming on in a month's time (or maybe even sooner) we will officially be in the colder seasons of the year. The utilities bills always double in the cold season, because of heater usages and what made it worst, the provider charges double rates throughout the winter seasons. CISS!!

Anyway, since I moved to an office with self-controlled heaters recently, I'm planning to do quality work there this winter. In the last 2 and half year, my former office had no indoor heaters, and we had to rely on portable ones. It's not very effective. Most of the times I can't feel my fingers because of the coldness, and thus I can't do much typing or thinking!! I would be spending half the time trying to get warm. It's not very productive.

As for the children, we need to get them some raincoats and boots, two items, which have long been forgotten from Victorians dress codes due to the 10 years-drought. Well, the drought is officially over, and the rain keeps falling and falling that it's flooding all over regional Victoria and the CBD itself nowadays... hmmm...much like KL. I also vow that they must attend their school every day (or twice a week for Uwais) this year, unless they are down with a fever. There's no way they will build their antibodies against flu and cough or any viral infections, if they keep hiding indoors when the 'goings gets tough'. That said, regardless of season - I still have to drag Aliyah out of her bed every morning, whilst Uwais jump off his bed and wake everyone else up! Talk about not comparing your children ;-)



Sian Luqman pun demam gak - tempias kakak & abang,
semalaman tak berapa lena tidur, sejuk pulak tu :-(
 
But bila siang, dah boleh senyum, maksudnya demam dah ok sikit :-)

Bila dah boleh gelak, mama pun rasa lega sikit :-). Semoga adik cepat baik! Amin.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Nuts!

Sepanjang merantau di Melbourne ni, byk sebenarnya belajar common issues berkisarkan isu makanan. Not so much peningkatan kepada skill memasak. Bukannya tak minat, sangat berminat sebenarnya. Tapi masa tak mengizinkan. Pulak DH pulak tidak cerewet tang makanan. In fact kalau lagi simple, lagi bagus pada dia. In his opinion, Asian style cooking takes too much preparation time and creates too much mess! Maka menu2 aku di sini adalah agak terhad dan tahap kemahiran memasakku remains as it is ha..ha.. ha...Malah kalau ada yg lebih handal di sekelilingku kat sini mahupun di M'sia, tetiba skill kemahiran aku jadi 'reduced' secara automatik he..he.. Awal2 lagi aku dah tarik diri dr dapur ;-), dan lepas tu kecik tapak tangan, dulang aku tadahkan bila makanan sudah siap dimasak ;-P

Tapi kat sini, tak der dapur or chef 'jemputan', maka secara paksa rela kena lah masak setiap hari. Yang menambah stress, sbb kena fikirkan apa lunch atau snack yg perlu disediakan utk Aliyah dan yg terkini Uwais utk dimakan di sekolah mereka. Kadang2 sampai kebuntuan nak buat apa, sbb Aliyah tersangat memilih dlm bab2 makanan ni. Alhamdulillah, sekolah Aliyah ada kantin yg jual makanan halal, maka ada hari2nya aku ngelat jugak, hulur jer duit buat lunch order. 

Di sekolah Uwais pulak ada sorang dua kawannya yg allergic kepada segala jenis 'kacang'! Ia tersangatlah serius, sampaikan terhidu pun akan menyebabkan mereka2 ini akan sesak nafas dan boleh membawa maut. Maka dah jadi satu hal lah pulak, setiap kali memikirkan bekal Uwais, aku perlu teliti semua bahan2 dlm makanannya. Macam dia pulak yg allergic kacang. Ini utk mengelakkan cross contamination atau dlm istilah kanak2 - aku makan makanan kawan, kawan makan makanan aku ;-).

Masalahnya kebanyakan snack2 mcm biskut2 yg aku selalu bekalkan Aliyah, bila diteliti semula, mesti bahan2nya ada traces of nuts, peanuts dsbnya, atau pun paling tidak, akan dimaklumkan bhw kilang tpt proses snack itu ada menggunakan produk kacang di mesin2 mereka. Adoiyai! Sampai begitu sekali maklumannya. Abih canner?  Last2nya, aku dah tak tahu nak bungkus apa, aku letak biskut kering dan fruit stick jer utk snack dia, no more "Oreo", "Teddy Tots" or "Dippits"! Sbb semuanya ada kesan2 peninggalan kacang.

Maka moral of the story, bersyukurlah anak2 anda tidak allergic kacang, kerana tanpa kacang, hilanglah satu nikmat dunia dan you can go nuts sorting your child's lunchbox... or in my case, although my son is not allergic to nuts, but it's still driving me nuts anyway!!