Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Virals: Beyond BRELFIE

Although the title sounds like a new virus, I assure you it’s not as dangerous.

I find the whole thing a bit amusing, and the way our people handle this issue is no different than the way they handle other viral issues. I was in the thick of one viral issue last year in fact, on the front page of Malaysian Insider for “I want to touch a dog”. Thank god the public didn’t know who I was personally. If they did, I would be getting hate mails and death threats.

My mom and dad did get a scolding from conservative family members. Some of my acquaintances were cynical at most. Some were like, “are you okay? They’re saying really mean things about you as a mom.”

I don’t want to get into specifics. Just that the experience was very surreal, like being in the middle of a hurricane. Uncontrollable. Anyway, again, thank god the public didn’t know me personally. The issue of touching a dog is a different matter completely, and people reacted as if the event personally insulted their parents.

Now back to the brelfie issue.

I don’t think people have issues with breastfeeding to say the least. It’s as natural as eating or sleeping. It’s always the norm ever since Prophet Adam had children I would imagine.

So it’s not about breastfeeding. 

It’s about breastfeeding--then taking a selfie while feeding a baby, then posting it to the internet. Here’s the catch. They posted the photos to a private breastfeeding advocates group on FB (undoubtedly women’s). Some jerk came and shared the photos to a popular FB page Amran Fans (undoubtedly men’s).

Guess what happens when men are shown photos of women breastfeeding their babies? Here’s what: Imagination. Exaggeration. As they say, hilarity ensues.

What men see and what women see are totally different things, I get that. The faster everyone accepts that, the more peaceful we become.

So the ladies did post breastfeeding pictures on the private group… You’d say, it’s inappropriate! It’s the internet, so nothing is private! Let me ask you something, have you been to a ladies soiree before? We share tips, we share stories, we compare notes bla blabla. Yes, we breastfeed in front of each other and it’s fun, it makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside. When this gathering goes online, don’t you think it would be the same?

Do you blame women for simply being themselves? Yes, there’s a thin, blurred line as to how appropriate posting a breastfeeding picture online is. The group was supposed to be private. I personally would not post a breastfeeding picture anywhere online, as I am aware that these photos can leak easily. 

But I do think some people genuinely trust the privacy of these groups. About reports that some ladies posted these photos to their FB walls, I’m not sure but if true, then that’s a whole different animal there.

What’s more important though, is how you react to stories like these. Have you heard of the saying, “when you point a finger at someone, there are three fingers pointing back at you”? What does it say about people who respond downright crudely, even vile, beating these ladies to a pulp with their language?

Really how people react speaks volumes about themselves. I’m scared to think how they will raise their children. How they are merciless to mistakes. Sometimes I ask, do people like these really exist or are they trolls? Maybe keyboard warriors. But there’s so many of them with highly specific comments.

The problem of brelfie isn’t as bad as the problem of our self-appointed moral police. Brelfie could be a slight error in judgement. I’m sure they would never repeat it again once they know the consequences. People will start to learn where to draw the line. I’m not trying to downplay this selfie while breastfeeding issue. But here’s a fact: Brelfie will die soon.

The moral policing though? The crude language though? Will they die with the brelfie? I doubt it. Old habits die hard, they say.

I personally hate viral stories because they are seldom good things especially in Malaysia. The dog story, the pig dna in Cadbury chocolate, the diaper as plates, etc. None of them are really beneficial or inspiring, but more like a fun bashing party. Good people are slandered, dissected to be as worthy as garbage.

I know. I was at the receiving end, although by proxy.

I guess in all of this, I’m just hoping for at least one thing to happen. That next time another bad, viral story comes around, just ignore it. It’s not worthy of your time. It’s a sensationalized internet soap opera that will be forgotten in a few weeks’ time. Lost in the abyss of internet absurdity. Gone. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

B is for Bring It On, but Be Kind

Happy 2016 all. It’s another new year! Trumpets. Fireworks! Scratch that. Had enough of that.
I’ve kinda missed blogging. Blogging makes me think of stuff I don’t usually think about sometimes! Sometimes I’ve got so much to say but when looking at a blank white page, it gets intimidating. So I stop. Usually I go get something to eat. Haha.

Anyways, for me personally 2015 might’ve been the hardest year in my whole adult life. The economy took a hit last year to put it simply, and the family finance is forced to take a squeeze. I didn’t get to cross a few things on my 2015 goals. It stared at me with unrelenting eyes on the 31st Dec. Makes me a bit sad. But I’ve moved on.

I’ve been a work at home mom for 2 years now, before that a work at home housewife. Just to be clear I run a few small businesses. To be clear--micro businesses. And it’s not easy seeing other people doing small businesses making it big and sounding like they’ve never failed. I guess you’ve got social media to thank for.

I don’t think anyone in the world would feel happy seeing other people having the things that you want on a daily basis. And for that reason, I don’t think successful people actually spend any time at all on social media EXCEPT to post their own stuff. So. That’s my personal resolution this year: no moping on social media EXCEPT to spread some love. Except during weekends. Fair enough?

Speaking of weekends, I’m also putting it in my resolution to dedicate the weekend morning to recreational activities. So far we’re doing good on that. Even Naila my two year old is on board. Yesterday before drifting off to sleep, she actually mumbled, “ride bicycle at the pork.” Pork is park. We’ve been going to the park every single weekend to make our rounds and sometimes we ride bikes. Naila loves it!

Thank you god for the small pleasures in life.

I have a feeling 2016 isn’t exactly going to be a walk in the park. In fact it’s the year of tough decisions, and much adjustment. I feel like I took a beating in 2015. Something like the school of hard knocked life. If one day I look back, and can begin to think that last year was a little funny and bittersweet, I might tell you a long story about it. But for now, the wounds are still fresh. I’m still bleeding.

Please be kind 2016. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

No TV Lifestyle


At first it started out as just as a temporary thing when we just got married. It didn’t really matter. I have my laptop, and hubs got his. UNIFI was much more important back then. So that’s how we lived without a tv for the first year. In our second year, an aunt gave us her unwanted tv. You know, just something laying around. We enjoyed that for some time. I think it was like 6 months.

We started a homestay shortly after. Not wanting the homestay to be 18th century, we decided to give up our own tv. So the homestay has a tv, but we don’t. To be honest, it didn’t really matter. We went to the movies, and we had our laptops. Life was good.

Then we had Naila and I officially became a work at home mom. Man, thinking back I don’t know how did I survive the first year without a tv. I was probably too busy and too tired to even care that I didn’t have a tv. It would’ve been a good distraction tool for the baby. Whatever.

I don’t know how, but we ended up not having a tv until now! 4 years! It sounds so draconian.

I promise it wasn’t intentional. Just that we got used to not having a tv at home. I didn’t think it’s weird until people coming to our house started commenting, “NO TV??”. “Oh yeah I forgot to mention. Sorry. Now you would have to use your imagination to survive.”

Even my grandma says my house is quiet(?!?). I think she meant that as a compliment.

Yeah there are many times I almost caved and demand a tv. But to think of all the positive things happening because we had no tv. Naila doesn’t demand for a tv at all, same goes to both of us.

We read books a lot.

We do motor sensory activities.

Hubs have his fish aquarium hobby.

We play with Chanel our cat.

We do fair amounts of outdoor activities maybe 4-5 times a week.

Besides, there’s a lot competing for our attention even without tv. Like phones, and laptops. I’ve read somewhere that people have greater quality life without looking at screens. I hope so. I just feel like it’s a positive thing at the moment--this not having a tv.

Who knows what happens in the future? We might get a 60” inch tv to compensate all the years without it. Haha. Really I don’t know, but right now, this feels good. It’s effortless and we don’t think too much about it.

Everytime I fantasize having a tv, I’ll picture all three of us sitting on the sofa for 2 hours without moving or going anywhere. Or I’ll picture watching a tv series marathon on weekdays, while eating cookies and ice cream and ignoring Naila. No I really don’t want that. I was once a couch potato many many years ago. That ain’t pretty. So, no thank you.

I’m sticking to the no-tv diet for the moment!

On a side note, the other day, we hung out at ioi mall in Putrajaya. I underestimated this mall because the first time we got there, I wasn’t that impressed. It felt like any other big malls. Fast forward a year, we went for a family weekend outing of bowling, ice skating and dinner. I was amazed that the mall was so alive! There’s a lot of things to do with kids or on a date. By that I mean halal date. With the hubs.


We ate at the magnum place for the first time. My verdict? The price is exorbitant for a ‘Magnum’ ice-cream eaten with pricey biscuits. We ordered something that costs RM30, and I expected more.


Well, maybe the view of the water fountain justifies it. But I’m still sticking to Haagen Dazs for a dessert treat after this!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Relationship Dynamics

The other day I opened my sleeping laptop and I saw Florence and machines on the screen.

Hubs.

We’ve got such different tastes in music. I’m more of a top 40, pop music person. He’s more.. I don’t know.. angst, sad, weird electro music kinda person. Because we have such different tastes in music, we have a rule. Whoever drives gets to have his music on the radio. Although in the end we end up listening to ‘If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands’.

He loves savory flavorful food. I love mild, soupy things. He hates them.

On parenting, he takes my queue because I read way more than him. Hah.

We’re married for almost 4 years now. But every time we get into the argument of it’s my way(!!!), I always wondered how did I end up marrying a person so different than me!

You think you know someone after 10 years. Nope. Still get flabbergasted.

I mean you know, it’s fun that we’re different. Like sometimes I get to eat cookies and cream ice-cream, sometimes it’s strawberry. If it we’re up to me, it will be chocolate all the time.

When we just got married, moving in with each other was interesting. I went,”we’re using Dove body shower and shampoo right?”

He went, “I like tough soaps like Dettol.”

So I went, “Dettol strips off moisture. No good. I can’t use that.”

“We’ll just keep our soaps then.”

We ended up having 2 sets of body shower, shampoo, toothpastes and other toiletries. We can’t even agree on the same toothbrush brand. Imagine the toiletries bag when we travel. That’s not counting Naila and her bag of organic things.

I must admit there was a lot of power struggles in the early days. I was used to having my way or the highway. Nowadays, it’s okay, fine your turn now, but my turn later.

Or we’ll have two of everything! Problem solved.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Weekend Getaway: Port Dickson

Once upon a time, I did not believe in short vacations. Then reality kicked in. Between family, work and other commitments, we just ran out of time! So much to do, so little time!

the beach

Last weekend, I posted about packing for the beach. We went to Port Dickson for one night only! We stayed at a homestay in Corus Paradise together with our friends and their 3 year old. Our unit was facing the sea. It was perfect!

That night we had barbeque on the balcony. Yummy.

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Early next morning, we went to the beach. Our favorite beach in Port Dickson is in front of the Regency. The water is really shallow, so the little ones get to enjoy the sea as well. When I was little, my parents used to take me and my brother there. Awww good old times. Can’t believe it’s been more than 20 years!

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The getaway was short and sweet. Just nice to escape the city for a short while. For now, this is our getaway style. Close to the city, affordable and short. Us parents enjoyed the chill out time, the kids enjoyed each other’s company and everything else!

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All’s good.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Turning 2

So last week, I took out the old birthday banner. I said, “happy birthday Naila!!!!” Now she thinks happy birthday means the stinkin ol’ banner!  

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So far we’ve celebrated with 2 birthday cakes at two different locations. All before her birthday. I’m expecting a few more cakes in the next couple of days.

mommy n naila

Apologies for the messy room.

I can’t believe my little baby is now 2 years old! She loves to jump and dance. Sometimes she says the most surprising things. The other day she bumped into me, she said, “sorry mommy.” And she claims everything she holds is “Naila’s”. She’s also a lot nicer to Chanel. Such a big girl already.

Then you know when your baby turns 2, people start asking about when is the next baby coming. I guess we’ll just wait and see for now. Naila is old enough, and she would really appreciate a sibling. So yeah, who knows? Please doa for me!

naila darling

Officially two!

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