Friday, March 27, 2020

DAY 9 Movement Control Order Covid-19

3 days ago, hubs tested negative for covid19. That's a weight off my shoulder, especially when I started sniffling and coughing too.

Turns out its just a normal nasty cold.

The days are normalizing. I don't even have to think about what I'll do. It's now almost a routine. Either me or hubs will wake up to make the kids' milk. Then we'll do chore dance effortlessly. If he did the milk, then I start breakfast, feed the kids.

The kids will then shower for 10-15 minutes, usually a bubble bath request.
It's a simple mark in the day. Shower in the morning to start the day. Shower in the evening to end the day.

Yesterday I decided to start making more video content. I don't usually know how to ramble on for a long time because my monologue is in my head. However, no time is better than now to learn rambling about nothing!

I'm starting to form this routine in my house:

wake up, solat
make milk
read quran
make breakfast & feed kids while watching Property brothers or anything on HGTV
give kids shower
Hubs start work via video conference
tidy up house
exercise with kid's video choice
Whatsapp time with friends/ family/ clients

===== 10.30am by this time

Do some kind of activity with kids,
usually to give them a choice.. artwork or toy rotation
sneak away after playing with them for 30 minutes
Start my work - more content creation & breaks in between to handle kids
Kids watch TV or play games on the ipad

===== 2pm

The boys nap for an hour
I'll read a book/latest news browsing during this quiet time
Order food or cook food
Obsessively browse latest world happenings
Whatsapp time with friends/ family/ clients
Let kids active play, jump run, physical activity


kids shower
final kids tv show
make milk
brush kids teeth
Kids bedtime


By day 9, the situation is getting bad out there but I'm very confident with the way the government is handling things. It's starting to make me feel safe. BNM just announced a 6 month automatic moratorium on all loans which is huge for the country. 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

DAY 4 Movement Control Order Covid 19

I cooked breakfast as usual today. Bread is finished. We bought two loaves before MCO and it's gone because my kids constantly munches on bread at home. Online Tesco order is full for the next week, so I have to go out get it by myself.

I went to the first 99speedmart but bread is out of stock. Okay, very convenient. So I went to another 99 speedmart. Also gone. One of the shopkeepers told me people fight over bread when the lorry sends them in the morning. I asked, "EVERY MORNING?" "Yup."


If it doesn't feel like an apocalypse already, that seals it. We rely on bread. I rely on bread. More than rice because rice is everywhere but bread is scarce.

So I went home with a plastic full of buns, cake and biscuits. I still have fish meat and fruits at home.

Had a covid19 gossip session with friends over whatsapp.

The kids made a mess, today is no exception but I let them. What else are they supposed to do?

I did some paperwork in the morning and completely forgot that it's saturday. 

It started raining at 2pm all the way to 5pm and the whole family nap together. It's been awhile since we did that because we are hardly ever home during weekends.

So far, I've been consistent on exercise this week, I think I need it to keep myself going. I did abs, legs and full body the past 3 days and the kids joined too.

Before the whole MCO, I have to admit that I didn't read any updates on the virus, only preferring to listen to the official sources. Funny when you're on restriction order, you simply gobble up every piece of coronavirus news fake or genuine and completely psyche yourself up.

There are moments that I simply take a step back and tell myself grounding statements. This too shall pass. covid 19 is like any virus out there. Be healthy and take care of your mental well-being.

Towards the end of day 4, I miss freedom ultimately but at the same time, it isn't too bad because I'm forced sloww dowwn. Everyday is gift and I'm taking it.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

DAY 2 Movement Control Order COVID19

I don't think I'm the only one thrown by the sudden movement restriction order. It came suddenly as the Covid 19 spread like wildfire out of nowhere. In January, we decided to plan a holiday in March with another family.

The news of a new coronavirus appeared one week after we've booked our flights and accommodation. So we were very 50-50 on that turning into a reality. However, near the end of March, the cases remained stagnant below 100. I decided to tell Naila that we're going ahead and we started counting down the days on the calendar.

The cases then spiked to 30, 41 then 190 a day. I knew we had to cancel then. In the midst of cancelling, our new PM announced that we're having a movement restriction order for two weeks with only one day to prepare.

At the moment of announcement it felt like our lives were upended. I never do things half-heartedly. This mama is staying in with her family indoors for 2 weeks. Yes it's happening. Basically everything must be closed down except for essential services. So our week sitting in begins, and we're not supposed to even leave the house to go to the playground downstairs.

At times like these, I WISHED we're staying at a landed home. So I could at least let the children out to play in the compound.

Let's be real, 3 small hyper active kids under house arrest is not ideal.

Plus husband & I are supposed to work. One day before MCO, hubs came back and said his colleague sitting beside him was suspected of covid19. Then hubs started feeling unwell. I called the covid 19 hotline but was greeted by a really sleepy officer who told me that they will not do testing unless his friend is a confirmed suspect.

So there's that. Too much to process in a day. I think I thrive on routines. When the routine is disrupted I feel really lost. I know I'm supposed to wing it like many many others out there but it feels unnerving. I've never read so much covid 19 news as much as the past 2 days and it's easy to feel a little doomed.

Real estate and stock market are talking about a bear market. This is inevitable. This will be the first real recession I'll be going through as an adult. It's scary. My whatsapp hasn't stopped pinging from covid 19 updates from ALL groups. It's unnerving. I can't stop scrolling looking for answers from more experienced people in the industry and they're hopeful of a light at the end of the tunnel.

Yesterday was a somewhat productive day in terms of nurturing the kids. I distracted myself by cooking, cleaning up the house by mopping every few hours because you know, kids. I even finished editing a home tour video.

Hubs was literally out cold the whole day yesterday. Like he didn't wake up in the morning and continued sleeping until evening. I checked his temperature but it was fine. Last night he finally woke up and we ate instant noodles and watched the titans.

I woke up this morning in a blur. Like, what am I going to do today to entertain my family? I cannot let them watch tv all day. They've already finished the new puzzles and coloring books I've bought them. I'm supposed to get back to work.

I made pancakes for breakfast and announced that I don't want to cook anymore for the rest of the day. Hubs woke up this morning, announced that he's doing SO MUCH BETTER today. He took 2 pieces of pancakes and said your pancakes are good. And went straight to Skype meeting with his colleagues.


He takes care of the kids and even housework but somehow I'm shouldering the responsibility in terms of activities, what to eat, kids well-being. And I panic if I don't work. As we go into MCO, I realize that my situation is vulnerable. I'm not supposed to go out for viewing. And if there's no viewing and meeting people, then there's no close. No close, no salary no money.

There's no guidelines as to what to do in a situation like this. That's why I'm going back to writing. When in doubt, write.

Today the covid 19 cases is at 110. No signs of going down yet. First 2 deaths happened yesterday. I hope everyone is finding solace that we're all going through this together. Stay safe & stay home guys! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Feet In the Ground

In my twenties, I was so focused on my own problems. Going into 30s, It finally dawned on me that everyone has real struggles, most times even more so than me. And also sometimes, the world feels bleak, especially when you read too much news. I don't really read the news anymore. Except property updates and the only time I actually listen to the live news is during the budget presentation.

I'm slowly getting a sense of self again, finally emerging from the fog of diapers. Sometimes I don't know who I am and how am I supposed to act. I feel so young inside after going through everything. I'm still hopeful and I can see the person I used to be before the kids.

I think it's so important to retain a sense of self when you're going through tough times. I'm not talking tough times as in raising children, but a culmination of what happened in the past few years. It's so important not to be fearful and continue to let passion drive you. I'm hoping that the dark days made me wiser. At the time I remain positive and still willing to try new things.

That's why it's such a hoot to meet arrogant punks once in a while. My head is reeling with comments such as, "you've NEVER fallen, just wait. And you'll never be the same again."

Always be humble, keep your feet in the ground. Dig in and bury your feet even. If the slightest arrogance creep into your head, punch it dead.

p/s: It's funny I talk alot in my head. But it takes so much effort to talk alot in real life.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Brainy Bunch Mahkota Cheras Kindergarten Review

*Disclaimer: This review is based on our personal experience and opinions only. It does not reflect others opinion, as everyone can have a completely different view based on different needs. Also brace yourself for a long post. 

So where we left off in my post 2 years ago was that I enrolled Naila into Brainy Bunch Mahkota Cheras, at the time, a newly opened branch. After reviewing other options, me and hubs really liked the Brainy Bunch concept.. Montessori and all that.

The classrooms were attractive and fun to look at. We also learned that they teach classes in mixed-age groups which I thought was unique.

First, to talk about what I expected from Naila in 2 years.
I wanted her to:

1. make friends
2. be able to communicate with teachers (not scared etc)
3. be exposed to Islamic values with a progressive and modern approach.
4. to have a fun learning experience


In 2 years, did Brainy Bunch reach my expectations? I'm going to answer with a simple yes. There were hiccups and challenges without a doubt, but the end result is beyond what I expected in some aspects.

Naila was 5 when she joined Brainy Bunch. I asked the usual question "anything interesting happen today in school? Did you have fun?" She always has stories to tell.

In the first year, I noticed that there was a period of time that she refused going to school. She was really upset on some days. The teachers would say nothing out of the ordinary. So I prodded Naila a little bit. Then I found out that she was feeling a little bit left out because "she doesn't know how to read her ABCs and 123s" whereas her friends who started early from 4 years old are already well versed.

She was so stressed about being left behind and even cried about not wanting to go to school.

At that time, I met with teachers and discussed about Naila. I feel that the teachers really took into consideration the things I shared with them and Naila's mood improved considerably from then on. Naila has the tendency to clamp up in fear of being wrong. I just honestly said, I can't do it but I hope that you're patient with her and try to encourage her to keep trying. The teachers took it in stride.

Honestly throughout the year when she was 5, I wasn't worrying about her reading and math because I knew she could do it once she's ready. But she did slowly started to hafaz some surahs and sometimes she'd read her zikir while playing.

By the time she was 6, most parents concern was about being able to read. I can tell you that by the end of the year, she progressed by leaps and bounds and she had been reading Enid Blyton books herself during the school holidays. She was also doing well in math, doing addition and subtraction. She's started memorizing the timetables for multiplication.

I know some parents in other Brainy bunch schools took their kids out and put them in intensive maths and reading classes. It's a pity because honestly, kids will eventually grasp reading and math when the time comes, but they seldom get to learn in an immersive Islamic environment where they learn to pray together, and being taught Islamic values on a daily basis that it becomes second nature.

Anyway, by the time Naila was 6, I knew that she loved the science activities in class and she looked forward to it. She had good friends and aunties (teachers in brainy bunch) reported that Naila is doing well in school.

At home, she's a loving sister to her 2 younger brothers, always helping out. She's physically active and gets bored easily.

Which brings us to the cons.


Naila was in the full day program which means that she stays there until 6. She often complains her day is boring because after 12 there isn't much to do. She told me that she couldn't "run and play" and having to sit down and do quiet activities. She also complains about having to "nap" even though she doesn't want to.

At night, she goes to sleep at 8.30pm, therefore I didn't think the nap was necessary for some kids, although I understand that they probably needed some quiet time. Teachers allow her to lie down quietly without having to nap, provided she doesn't disturb others.

One of the things that me and hubs complain about since she was 5 is the management of sports day, school trips and concert. First, we had to pay an extra RM100 for each extra event which we wouldn't mind if other points are addressed. Second, the Brainy Bunch HQ lumped many schools together during these extra events and always held it at Cyberjaya. Frankly the experience for us parents aren't very good.

What I didn't like about them: 

1. The sports day isn't very competitive. I'd have preferred traditional games such as running, gunny sack, even ping pong in a spoon. Or anything that made the kids sweat and maybe shout. It's called a sports day after all. Both years, the kids were smiling shyly while going through the intensively built course that's overly safe and not competitive.

I expected the kids to at least fall down on their knees, or run helter skelter. But alas, at the end of the course, they're all dry and gets to collect a medal. I'd prefer them to be all out of breath and dirty marks on their knees and maybe crying. Or am I just being extreme here? There's also no parading around the field. I don't like the segmentation and the parents lined up all the way blocking each others view. Frankly, I don't like the sports day at all. It wasn't a good experience for us parents and worst of all, the kids couldn't care less.

2. We opted out for school trip when Naila was 6. Because we didn't want to pay RM100 for a trip to a place we didn't know about. I expected trips to the zoo. The petting zoo. The fire station. Something along those lines perhaps.

3. The concert day was too long for 3 hours. We were surrounded by so many food and toy vendors. It felt like a trap we couldn't escape from. We loved watching her perform and Mahkota Cheras performance was so outstanding that us parents can't stop raving about it on whatsapp group afterwards. Credits to the dedicated teachers who tirelessly trained the kids every day. However it was too long by combining 3-4 school performance at once. Again it wasn't a good experience for us parents, especially when we also have smaller children to take care of.

We stood by the school particularly for it's environment, dedicated teachers and Naila's friends. We closed our eyes to the Brainy Bunch HQ bureaucracy and some things we didn't agree on. At the end of the day, Naila only sees her teachers and friends everyday and we only occasionally have to go through the other things.

So do I recommend Brainy Bunch Mahkota Cheras? Resounding yes. Naila experienced the things I expected and academically, she's ready for standard 1.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

You Won't Be Able to Stop Time Even If You Want To


So this is the year that Naila starts her standard one. I can't believe I've been a mom for 6 years! 6 years since my life changed forever and having to be an adult. Before long, my two boys are going to follow suit. Oh please slow down time!

I'm going to miss my boys saying "I Loove Mommy! Love Mommy!" before going to sleep. I'm going to miss Naila say "I want 3 kisses." Yes! they do that every single day. And it makes me laugh that lately, Ibrahim's way of softening a blow when he wrecked something is by starting with "I loove mommy" out of a sudden.

Life is fleeting, kids are tiring but wonderful.

And though they're very young, I try to be as transparent with them as possible. Naila's starting to rationalize and is a keen observer, so I keep my explanations honest and simple. Sometimes she gives her own explanations and I get dumbfounded by how insightful she is. I'm like, I'm raising a smart kid... I have to buck up.

The other day, she asks, "why does Allah let good people die." It took me a second to answer that.

Where to enroll for standard one is one big question after preschool. She's had such head start by attending Brainy Bunch for 2 years and it's such a pity to not continue her studies in that direction. All the surah's, the ideology, the theories, stories, is something that I can never teach her alone. So this is the responsibility that me and hubs are taking for her. We enrolled her in a private islamic elementary school which I might share about later.

As of now, I'm enjoying the December slow down, cuti-cuti Malaysia and all that. Looking forward to a new year full of challenges and possibilities. 
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