How Tests Are Meant To Be

January delayed post

I was away from my country around these dates a year ago, I brought myself to the most grandiose place of worship in the world; Mecca. It has been a year?? It feels just like yesterday! Everything was still so vivid, so near to my virtual vision sometimes I don’t feel like I’ve left the place. But it’s been a year already I can’t believe.

My trip began on 20th January 2017, we were supposed to touch down Medina on the 20th itself, night time. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, we only arrived at noon of 22nd January. Two days of delay? Read here to know what’s happened.

Five times of flight delay with so many problems in between Astraghfirullah I couldn’t believe it happened. I’m not a frequent traveller, I never faced travelling issues and I’m not a flexible person. As much as I know everything is not under my control, I’m still very dependant to my plans and hard to tolerate uncertainties. Still with all these facts, things happened and became an experience to me. Now that “I’ve been there” for such cases.

My feelings throughout the first three delays were actually very okay. Because you know, we’re about to head to perform ibadah I was so in a peaceful vibe. I’ve cleansed my heart from hatred and dissatisfaction weeks prior to that and set to face everything with an open heart. So when things like these happened, I was so in control and kept faith that everything would be okay and we’d fly through eventually.

Even though we had to be waiting so long, even though we had to move back and forth to the hotel, I was all fine. I took everything as a blessing in disguise like we’re compensated with a nice hotel room, we got all day free delicious buffet spread and that we’re still safe in our country. Plus, I was all the time with my mom so when Mama is around, what else matters right? We spent our free time discussing about our schedules in Saudi, my mom recalled her experience and all that jazz.

Everything was initially, fine.

Until the 4th delay.
Until the fuss that went on with the tardy passengers.
Until I had to sleep on the floor at the waiting area.
Until the 5th delay.
Until we had to return to the hotel for the second time, with our checked-in luggage.
Until the system down for 3 hours on the 6th attempt to check-in.
Until the technical issue with the printed tickets.

Until alllll those, my patience ground finally became uneven. My hopeless-self started to get into character. The positive vibes in me had scattered around the airport and evaporated nowhere. I was all annoyeddd…!

But what to do? What did I get to do when everyone was also facing the same thing like I was? I had my mom there, I had my relatives there and other pilgrims too I can’t be blowing up my anger right in front of them all, no?

Zikr, zikr, zikr….and reflected.

I know those all were tests from the very first delay. But when I think again, the first and second delays were actually not ‘real’ tests. Because it’s something I could easily face. It didn’t test my patience level, it didn’t break my hopeful heart, it didn’t even make me cry. Those were not actual tests for me.

Tests; are meant to be hard, are meant to shake us and are meant to suffocate our faith if it’s not too much for me to say this. When we’re in a ready position to face come what may, we could actually be tested with something out of expectation. And we cannot say things like “I can tolerate if things were the other way around but not this, particularly not this!”. We cannot say “It’s okay if  the delays happened on the return flight, not this!” No! We cannot design the tests, can we? It’s specially designated to us and we’re meant to feel shaken by that in the first place before we find the way out. That’s why it’s a TEST.

Tests can be in many forms but one thing is for sure, they’re meant to be hard. If it happens to be easy and we can face it with no or less trouble and feel that we’re strong enough, hold back; remember how tests are actually meant to be. Though we might feel that we’ve gone through a lot in life, always remember that was not the end. The end is yet to come; all that we hope for is The Help for us to go through everything well and bring us nearer to Him. After all, “Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.” [Quran, 2:286]

It was so touching arriving in Medina two days from the supposed time after so many obstacles. We couldn’t rid from feeling sad of losing two days of precious time in Medina because schedules were not adjusted. But the very first thing that the Mutawwif reminded us was to remove any remorse and be all grateful that we finally made it there safe and sound. It made our journey became more meaningful and much treasured. Thank you Allah.

Life is a test. That’s what it’s meant to be.
Tests are hard. That’s how they’re meant to be.

As ever,
SALZY

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A Travelogue of Flight Delays

delay

Day 1 ~ Friday, 20th January 2017

Flight was scheduled on 1:30pm. The moment we arrived at the gate, we’re told that the flight was not yet ready; we gotta wait for a while. (1st DELAY)

2:45pm. We were told the flight was delayed for 2 to 3 hours. We’re given a free Burger King voucher for lunch. (2nd DELAY)

Went to Burger King to redeem our food and the queue was? Let me just tell you that the whole passengers of the flight were given the same vouchers.

Got our food, sat somewhere and ate while eagerly waiting for the announcement.

5:00pm. Announcement – Flight was still not ready and the departure for today was cancelled. (3rd DELAY)

Being unsure of the next departure time, we’re told not to wait at the airport anymore. We’re given a hotel stay to check-in and rest.

6:40pm. Arrived at Everly Hotel in Putrajaya by bus, had free buffet dinner, and checked-in the room. Cleaned up, solat and rest.

9:45pm. They called to go down at the lobby at 10:30pm. We’re going back to the airport!

Day 2 ~ Saturday, 21st January 2017

12:00am. Arrived KLIA, checked-in. Departure time would be at 3:00am.

1:40am. Went through security, accessed waiting area, waited for boarding.

2:20am. Still at the waiting area, still not called for boarding and we heard a bit of a fuss going on – that some of the passengers were left behind at the hotel! These people; when others we’re rushing down with the hustle, they slept! Either they didn’t get the call to go down or they ignored the important call for being too tired maybe, I don’t know. But obviously, headcount was not done by the team (not our group).

40 minutes away to departure and this happened. And you know how long did it take to go back and forth from the airport to the hotel? 50 minutes times 2! Not including the time taken to walk in the airport from the gate to the check-in counter, security checkpoint until the boarding area. My God.

3:00am. The time we’re supposed to fly already, an announcement aired – the flight was delayed to 4:30am. This was sure because of the late people! With all the hassles since the day time, I started to become tired physically and mentally already. Not giving a damn about those people, I decided to sleep on the floor spreading my brother’s sarong and covered myself with a sweater. Zzz.. (4th DELAY)

4:10am. My brother woke me up to get ready to board as it’s almost 4:30am. 20 minutes to fly, the gate was still closed.

4:30am. The time we’re supposed to take off already, another announcement aired – that the flight was AGAIN cancelled. We’re not flying today due to – technical and safety issue on the plane. T_T (5th DELAY)

And again, we’re told to return to the hotel again and worse, we had to retrieve our entire luggage that we checked-in the first time and bring them together to the hotel. Imagine the trouble guys.

We arrived at the hotel at Subuh time and the whole day until night we were just there, stranded. Not knowing whether we’re actually gonna make it for umrah or not…….tsk tsk tsk

10:00pm. An announcement to gather at the lobby, we’re heading back to KLIA!

Day 3 ~ Sunday, 22nd January 2017

12:00am. Arrived KLIA, waited for check-ins. The flight was scheduled at 4:00am.

2:00am. Still not checked in – system down!

3:00am. System was up and running, but there’s a technical problem – wrong date stated on the boarding pass for all passengers! We’re still not checked-in, including all the luggage.

3:30am. Problem solved, we’re checked-in! Runnnnnn to the gate and, on board!! We’re finally seated on the plane!

4:45am. TOOK-OFF! Flew to Madinah Al-Munawwarah.

As ever,
SALZY

First Month of Kindy

Where has the time gone? The first month of the year has passed at all, there’s no more January 2018.  How has it been with you, this year? Mine, hurm.. There’s a lot going on but one that I wanna talk is about my kids’ first month of kindergarten.

Do they like school? Well I can’t tell exactly. In the first two weeks they were pretty cranky sometimes but towards the end of the month, I can see they adopted the routine already. Let me analyse them.

EDHANY vs ERRASY

Edhany is 5 and Errasy is 4. It’s so obvious that when it comes to school, Edhany is more compliant while Errasy is somewhat the opposite. Edhany understood the idea of going to school even months prior to it. So when it started, he’s kinda ready physically and mentally. He’s compliant I can say.

Errasy has lots of tricks!

He didn’t want to wear his name tag.
He didn’t want to tuck in his t-shirt.
He wanna bring his toy cars in the bag.
He wanna eat something on the way to school.
He didn’t finish his colourings.
He removed the sticker on his name tag to identify siblings.

Thisss boy..…. Always gets us shaking heads with his characters of all kinds! But anyhow, he’s just 3 something right; we don’t put high expectations on him anyway.

MORNINGS

Edhany has always been a morning person we don’t know from where he inherited it. Definitely not us, haha. Even on weekends he would get up early and sometimes straight to shower. To get him ready in the morning is usually not a problem.

Errasy is on the other hand. To get him under the shower is real struggle I give up sometimes and let my husband handle him. But that is the only morning problem actually. Right after he gets dressed and set, he will be in the mood already and one thing so good is that, he has very good appetite in the mornings he eats breakfast a lottt..!

I’m getting used to the routine by now and I enjoy sending them to school. The crying scene only happened on Day 1 and no more after that. Thank God!

WEAN-OFF BOTTLES

I never thought it’s this early but it was actually just coincidence and happened to be, they’re officially off-bottles now. I thought of buying new ones to them but they kept saying no, they’re big and schooling now and insisted to have milk from the cup. This is a good milestone I know but somehow it’s also affecting their milk intake. They drink lesser now and are turning very thin, both of them. This is no good but also not reversible. What I can see now, they have better appetite on foods, they eat more but I don’t know.. I always have this thought that milk is the main contributor for the kids’ physical growth that even if they’re big eaters but if they don’t consume enough milk, it won’t help the same. Hurm… I gotta monitor their weight by time.

NIGHTS

“Once your kids start schooling, they’re gonna be tuned to sleep early at nights!” – This is such a popular statement I received from mothers of schooled kids, and it’s my favourite! I couldn’t wait for the time to see my kids on ‘low battery’ mode as early as 9pm and effortlessly go to bed without me having to drag them off.

But that’s not what happened! They’re still very energetic as usual and always refuse to sleep early. I got thwarted a little of my unrealized high expectation but when I think again well of course? The school duration is only 3 and a half hours. In the PM, they’re at the babysitter’s house the whole evening and they’ll have day-nap. That’s when they’re charging for the nights and so with us at home is play time and it will lastttt up to 11 or 12! Breathe outtt…. Cool Mom, cool….

HEALTH

Oh this is so worrying. On the very first day itself after coming back from school, Edhany was down with a fever! And the first two weeks were all about us dealing with their fever, cough and flu that came alternately on both of them. This is so odd to us because our kids have always been okay all this while, most of the time. They have been at the babysitter’s place for years and there’s no other kids taken care under the same roof so they’re quite safe from diseases.

But now they’re exposed and so easily infected. I began supplying vitamins to them just in hope that it could protect their health and increase their antibody. Things got better in the 3rd and 4th weeks and I hope they’ll always be fine. So far just in January, they’ve skipped school for 3 days for being unwell.

LEARNING & PROGRESS

I was first so shocked when the teacher told me that the school doesn’t give any homework for the kids. I was in between of feeling weird and yeay as well. Haha. Yeay because I’m also afraid if let’s say they have homework and I couldn’t make time after work to sit and teach them what’s due tomorrow then we’re gonna be in trouble. But hey if they don’t have homework then when do they revise things they learn? I was all ‘blur’ and clueless in the whole first month about what they do in school. Are they just singing and playing all day? Do they learn something? When are my kids going to be clever? Hahaha.

I contacted other mom-friends of the same school programme of other branches and states asking about this and I’m calmed to know that the homework thingy is the same with them too. They told me the concept they’re applying and it makes sense in some way. They also reminded me that the year has just started so relaxxx…!! Hahaha.. Such a knotty mom I am.

FAST READING TECHNIQUE SEMINAR 2018

seminar

Finally, finally… At the end of the month I attended this seminar that they held for the parents of Little Caliphs. The seminar aimed to give exposure to us on their learning technique, on how they teach the kids reading the fast way using the phonics method so that we understand and can teach them the same way too. The seminar was so educative to me and I’m not ‘blur’ anymore! Hehehe..

After the seminar, then only they started to bring a book home every day. The only thing we need to do is to revise the pages that the teacher marks as a revision of what they’ve learnt earlier. That is meant as the homework and it’s only reading; not writing or colouring all that so it can be done casually. I’m also equipped with the fancy learning kits to aid my teaching hope it helps! They advised parents to spend only 5 to 10 minutes per day and with that I pledged to myself that I must do it. As much as I’m committed to this, it’s also very tricky to get the boys’ focus but this is what I gotta do for the sake of them. Go, go Mom!!!

KIT

OTHERS

Edhany kept bugging us to bring a cake for him for the Birthday Party when his birthday is two months away.
Errasy peed in the pants on the second day of school.
They don’t know their friends’ names.
They acted like teachers at home.
And for the record, they have never been late to school so far! Well done to us because we’re always the late-comers to work but will not let the kids behave the same! Haha..

One month down, way to go!

As ever,
SALZY

A Boy or a Girl?

I am now at 16 weeks, exactly today. Tomorrow I’ll be going for my next antenatal check-up which is the third one. Tomorrow, my two months long of curiosity might end. Tomorrow, I’m expecting to see the gender of my baby. A boy or girl? I’m so nervous now!

Can we already see it? Well, based on my last twos, both were already revealing at 16 weeks and they were so clear and thank God cause I can’t be wondering about this for so long. I really hope this baby too will cooperate tomorrow and show us your ‘tutt’ cause Mom’s gotta start shoppinggg…!!

Now, what if it’s a boy and what if it’s a girl?

Look, my first twos are boys. Since I got to know about this pregnancy and started telling my close people that we’re expecting #3, most of their responses were like ‘oh hopefully it’s a girl this time!’. Girl, girl, girl from like almost everyone. Haha. It’s okay, I wasn’t annoyed at all though it’s pretty biased to my baby, I know it’s just a common reaction.

Honestly guys from the very start, my own preggy self really wasn’t mind if my third one is gonna be another boy. Of course a girl is gonna ‘complete’ our family but a boy is also gonna make a cool trio. I tell you, I really love to see family pictures of grown-up children with all boys or all girls. It’s so smart, right? Especially when they’re all wearing same colors. But well, all boys or all girls or mixed or boy first or girl first, boy last or girl last; it doesn’t really matter anyway. It’s not our job, right? It’s not like we can “engineer” it? It’s Allah’s arrangement, it’s up to Him.

But when I thought I should just leave it all for Allah to destine the best, somebody mentioned this to me – “Salz, if you hoped this to be girl, just pray for it.” Just a simple reminder but I forgot?

I was like yeah, why can’t I just pray for it? It’s not wrong after all to talk and ask from the Most Merciful? He indeed listens, who knows He will fulfill my wish for the effort I made to pray to Him? I really love this one quote I once heard from a wise lady – “Whatever you want, it may be just a prayer away. So pray!”

Then I began doing the necessaries. My first trimester was filled with this specific prayer and hajat, asking for a baby girl. But, but, but…. I made it clear to myself that whatever it is, in the end I’ll leave it to Allah and whatever is destined, I’ll be fine and happy and will not be disappointed if it turns out otherwise. I do what I gotta do as a slave; the rest is up to Him. I made it clear to myself.

But, but, but then again. When I did all these praying continually, kept asking for the same over and over, I became different. The prayers became hopes. From a neutral self who wasn’t tended to a boy or a girl, now I become really hopeful for what I was praying for.

I then…. really want a baby girl!!

And I did so much needless thinking. That this is gonna be my third caesarean, this might be my last pregnancy. If it’s a boy then it’s gonna be all boys, I won’t ever have a mini me. My first twos are boys of close gap, they will do everything together and this little one is gonna be kinda left out. He will be playing alone and so kesian. And the most worrying thing is that – I’m out of E names for boys already!! Hahaha… How NONSENSE mommy!!

I’m sorry, I’m sorry if this is offensive to anyone and I know this is not appropriate. But in all honesty, this is the roller coaster ride I’m having throughout my early pregnancy in quest of the baby gender which is a normal guessing game for anyone, right? It’s just a bit exaggerative to me cause my curiosity is always on level 999.

Anyhow, rest assured, I’m still wise and sound. I am a matured soon-to-be mother of three and I assure this overthinking-ness doesn’t win. After all, no matter if it’s a boy or a girl, it’s a gift from the Almighty and His arrangement is forever the best. It also has never been a big issue between me and my husband; we are always excited for what’s coming. What most important is the health and wellness of our offspring, may Allah protect my pregnancy and baby all the time. Ameen.

So, a boy or a girl?

baby1

SURPRISE!

As ever,
SALZY

The End of First Trimester

It’s gone! Finally the challenging first 13 weeks of pregnancy have gone altogether with all its packages. Alhamdulillah, I’m still pregnant and much healthier. Time to story about it.

IT’S POSITIVE

Almost a week of missed period. Ding dong! Am I pregnant? Erm…that question must come to mind because my period has always been consistent. When it comes to this late period thing, I can never wait. There and then I must do the UPT check just to confirm it soonest – even if it’s positive or negative, I don’t mind. But to stay in denial or keep on wondering for weeks whether it’s actually coming or not, I just can’t! Haha… Curiosity kills. So I detected this pregnancy as early as 4 weeks plus. It’s positive, Alhamdulillah.

PREGNANCY REVEAL

I announced this pregnancy to my husband through a piece of card. He was so surprised and did not expect it at all. Soon-to-be a father of 3, he’s more excited than I was! 😀

fo3.JPG

MORNING SICKNESS

I experienced morning sicknesses in all my pregnancies, no exception. But this one was reallll guys! It started as early as 6 weeks and got me so fatigued all the time. And it lasted for like 5 weeks? Yeah… 5 weeks of me being weak and fragile was so dispiriting. Housework, kids’ activities, reading, blogging or even leisure outings; all being put on pause just because I had no energy and mood for all those. The only thing I could and had to focus on was my work in office just to make sure no compiling backlogs despite me taking MCs for many days.

Thank God it’s slowing down by time and I gained my energy back. But one thing, even though I was always having nausea, my appetite was still so good. Haha. I got hungry all the timeee oh my God I’m so gaining triple weight from this pregnancy! Scaryyy…. but hungryyy…!!

CHECK-UPS

My first antenatal check-up was done at 7 weeks 3 days. The first visit to confirm my pregnancy through scan and to officiate the pink book. Because I haven’t decided where will I be giving birth this time, I’m having my check-ups just at a private clinic nearby. Maybe I’ll start seeing hospital gynae by the third trimester.

Alhamdulillah we could see the sac and the ‘baby’ during the first scan but because it was still too small, the doctor couldn’t detect the heartbeat yet. Only during the second visit at 11 weeks 5 days, we heard the heartbeat and it has shaped a ‘baby’ but it’s still very small…just about 5.05cm. Everything was okay, Alhamdulillah except my weight gain. Errpp…Haha.

BABY BUMP

I know this shouldn’t be a topic yet in the first trimester, haha. A baby bump or a fatty bump, it’s already showing and I have started wearing maternity pants as early as 11 weeks! Haha…helpppp…!! I have also started collecting belly photos of myself of this pregnancy. Fatty, chubby or what…let’s just face it!

KIDS’ REACTIONS

This is the most interesting one. Edhany has always been asking for a baby since months ago. When we got to know about this pregnancy, we thought of keeping it a secret from him because we know he’ll be bugging us for 9 months to see the baby out for real. But how could we? To see his excitement is so priceless. This boy is gonna make one good and kind big brother for the little ones, insyaAllah.

Errasy? Yeaa he’s excited too but still being the most manja as always! For now, there’s no signs of jealousy detected. Let’s see how it goes!

THE FIRST TRIMESTER HAS PASSED

Pregnancy is a journey that I will cherish joyfully no matter it is the first time, or the tenth time. I will not be forever pregnant and I also have limited chances to carry a baby in my tummy hence for every opportunity Allah is giving me I’m most grateful and will try to make the best of it, insyaAllah.

This time is more precious as I’m sharing this closely not just with my husband but with my two children who already understand about welcoming another family member. I hope everything will go well with this pregnancy, safe and smooth inside and outside, till the day and after. Now, welcome second trimester!

As ever,
SALZY