Errasy’s Birth Story

Earlier this year, I went through some tough times raising my 2 year-old toddler who was in the terrible twos phase. It was a real struggle to face his tantrums almost every single day and night when anything I did couldn’t settle his cry. Once he got disappointed just for a tiny thing, his tantrums would last up to more than an hour with non-stop crying and screaming. Can you imagine?

I was so stressed and felt like giving up. One night I isolated myself away and decided to blog about him and his current temperament so I poured all my unhappy feelings in a note book for me to type later. Today is his birthday. I flipped the notes that I wrote months ago and somehow, it curved a smile on my face. The tough motherhood phase has passed; my baby is now a happy boy! At least most of the time, not like before Alhamdulillah. So I cancelled my intention to write all the things in my notes because today is his 3rd birthday, I wanna reminisce the sweet memories of me giving birth to him.

Errasy was born through a planned C-section. I was all awake during the operation waiting for my baby to be pulled out from my tummy. It was a different experience, scary because when I delivered my first born, I was unconscious. This time, I savoured every moment in the operation theatre (OT) in my nervousness.

The atmosphere in the OT was quite relaxed even though everyone was moving around, here and there. I think I heard music being played if I was not mistaken but that was not my focus. During the operation, these people were having conversations with each other like there’s nothing going on in the room when actually, they were cutting my tummy layer by layer okay. In my mind thinking, maybe this c-sect operation is just like cutting onions to them especially for non-emergency case like this. Haha, my God! What a creepy thinking while on the surgery table.

Now comes the most thrilling part to me. When the ‘cutting’ process was completed, they informed me that in a little while they will pull my baby out. My heart was pounding fast, excited and nervous at the same time. When they took a peek at the baby who was still positioned in my tummy, the doctor’s assistant instantly said to me – “Emmm…..the baby is just like you.” She said it in a very casual way making me feel so curious. What did she mean? What did the ‘like-you’ like? I wanted to ask but I felt so weird to be talking when I knew my tummy was wide open and bloody so I kept it to myself, wondering in silence.

In less than a minute, Errasy was safely born and immediately shown to me. Such a beautiful moment and again the assistant said to me – “See…he is so fair! Justttt like you!” Awww….. Was that what she meant earlier? I was soooo over the moon the second I heard that. Having to see my baby fresh from the oven was already wonderful, the remark from her beautifies the moment even more I was so speechless!

Errasy was then taken by the nurses and the operation continued but I couldn’t stop smiling in bliss. It was one beautiful moment throughout the delivery process that will forever stay in my memory. The words “the baby is just like you, he is so fair just like you” stuck in my mind repeatedly whenever I throwback my second maternity journey and even every time when I look at my baby who now has turned 3 years old, today.

errasy newborn

Excuse this vain mommy people! Haha… the same comment if uttered at any other time wouldn’t make me feel flattered like this. It’s just because it happened at that very time, it created an unforgettable mommy-moment to me and I gotta record it in words, mind me. Hehe.. And I believe every mother also has her own exclusive cloud nine moment when giving birth to each child, right! *Care to explain. Ahaks*

My second baby, my second pregnancy. His coming was a surprise, I didn’t expect that I’d get pregnant again when my first born was only 10 months old. Such an unexpected gift, enlivens our lives with his funny characters I called him an entertainer in this family.

ayadean

Dear Errasy Eddean,

Happy 3rd Birthday my baby! May you grow healthy, wealthy, wise and lucky. Be a good boy now and rise as a good man in the future. Thank you for bringing so much happiness to us, we’re so blessed to have you as that cutie little brother. Stay close and clingy to Mom as you always do, I may seem annoyed with your childishness but please know that, deep inside my heart I’m loving every bit of it!

Mom loves you so much, Ayash Ayadean.. Always, and forever. Happy Birthday. 

Till the next post,
SALZY

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Toastmasters : Ice Breaker Speech

This is a continuation post from the previous one. Feel free to read it first – Finding the Old Me

1st speech1

First and foremost, let me make an important disclaimer here. In the speech Finding the Old Me, I actually added a spoon of seasonings to enhance the flavor finely. Haha! Actually, the part that I said I spoke in front of many people – no, I did not speak in front of many people back then. The part that I loved to volunteer in class – no, I never volunteered in class. Hahaha…I exaggerated! Yes I was active with clubs and societies but I was just a regular committee and I just led small teams once or twice. And yes I enjoyed class presentations and yes my work life was right as described. My point was actually to distinguish these two positions so I exaggerated the U part a bit. Just a bit, mind me! Haha okay done with my confessions. Let’s move on to a more constructive discussion.

SPEECH WRITING

Ice Breaker speech is very basic. It’s talking about yourself so in terms of the contents, you don’t have to climb the Google mountain. The difference is how it’s being delivered. Through my observation in the meetings :

  • They talk about their lives based on chronology –  from the time they’re born to the present, highlighting significant facts along the way.
  • They pick only two or three things about them and they elaborate further.
  • They tell a story about an incident or an experience they went through and what they learned that made them who they are today.

I was interested with the second one and I also wanted to tell a story. And so that’s how it turned out.

PREPARATION & PRACTICE

I practiced a lot! Within two weeks prior to that, I acted in front of the mirror every single day. At first, I wrote my text and memorized it line by line but I found it so hard to flow. I sought advice from my hubby and a friend who are very associated with this speaking thingy and they told me not to memorize everything but just remember the points and structure and keep on practicing. I did just that! Thank guys.

TIPS & IDEAS

Okay these are random tips and ideas I scooped out from here and there that might be useful for you :

  1. Volunteer to speak during Table Topic sessions prior to the day as a practice to overcome your stage fright.
  2. Have a mutual interaction. Throw a question and self-answer. That would spare a pause for you to hold a moment.
  3. You may want to use the projector. Display interesting pictures of yourself and share the story behind them (e.g : pictures of you travelling to other countries)
  4. Describe yourself based on astrology, chinese zodiac or favourite colors.
  5. Tell the meaning of your name and elaborate the elements that make you you.
  6. Begin or end your speech with a quote.
  7. Conclude yourself in 3 words.
  8. Don’t forget to relate your stories with the audience. Offer something for them to take home.

EVALUATION

I was evaluated by the Mr. President himself. One good point I want to remember is that he said I began my speech with a big smile. Some people forgot to smile when in nervous state. So yes, smile! And these are some rooms of improvement for me to note :

  1. “Too much hand gestures.”
    This is the most obvious. That’s my habit anyway but during the speech, I even overdid it. Gotta watch these hands next time. The evaluator said, every gesture should be purposeful.
  2. “Too static.”
    I did not move.  I purposely did not move. When practicing, I tried to casually move a step or two but the risk is that I would get distracted and go blank at all. No way! So I glued my feet on the ground. Will practice on this later.
  3. “Less pauses.”
    Those who knew me in-person surely know that I naturally speak like a train. So this is what happened live. Actually I controlled this in my practice. I timed myself and every time it was all reaching 6 minutes. But on real play, my time recorded was only 5 minutes 17 seconds. I was speeding obviously. He reminded us to use the power of pauses for the audience to absorb what we say. Okay!

EXPERIENCE & FEELINGS

All in all, well done, self! I’m so glad I did it anyways. For once I broke through my fear, my self-doubt and timidity with this challenge and what I can say is, knowing my level and competency, I’m pretty satisfied with my first performance. Thank God, Allah eased my say. I’d less fumbles and most importantly I didn’t forget my script because I didn’t bring any notes with me. Because this is the first one, this is the best so far. Hahaha. Now, I’m on to the next. Bring it on!!

Till the next post,
SALZY

Arranging My Bookshelves on Goodreads

I think I’m funny. I played around with the Goodreads apps browsing and adding books only to know that I created 10 shelves in total! Haha… Who on earth needs 10 virtual bookshelves when you can actually load thousands of books in only one default Read shelve with no-collapse assurance? Me, and I have my own justification. :p

Here’s the list of my shelves :

bookshelves

Four Read shelves labelled by years? That’s triggered by my date-oriented nature that really thinks I need to group my books based on the year read. If possible, I wanna sub-group them by months, hehe. But of course it’s not necessitous and as years pass by; it’s gonna be so messy to have these 2018, 2019, 2020 and so forth. I think I will just cancel the rest and only maintain the current year and the default read shelve for older books.

Just for now, I wanted to see my collections since 2015 – the year I revisited this hobby after abandoning it for quite some time. My God I’m so good at abandoning things even they’re some sort of entertainment to me. How could it be, self?

Well, I can say that was since I got married or more factually, married to a no-bookworm. My husband, he doesn’t read books! We still remember a moment in the beginning of our relationship; the ice-breaker phase. On the phone, we talked about our favourites and I told him about my reading pastime. I went on and on talking about my favourite books, this book and that book. And he was like.. clueless. Didn’t know what to reply vis-à-vis books and so he tactically diverted the topic into movies. So then we talked about movies. No more books. Haha. It’s funny to recall it now yet funnier to realize that I didn’t grasp that hint telling me that we’re so contradict so why did I marry this man?! Hahaha..

And so 2015 was the year I returned to reading as I was setting up my goals for the New Year, I searched for things that could activate my brain other than just fulfilling my to-do list with the never-ending house chores and life errands. My current collections are all starting from only 2 years ago and it’s growing I’m loving it!

Moral is, even though we don’t marry someone who shares the same interests with us and even if our spouses are more dominant in influencing us to follow their stuff, it doesn’t mean we have to give up things that we love to do. Sometimes we tend to abandon them just because we donned our head with multiple hats. But hey, don’t let our concerns toward others steal the concern over our own selves, okay? While my husband is not a book lover like I am, that wouldn’t space a distance between us.

Till the next post,
SALZY

Riddle Time

You’re about to use an elevator from Ground Floor to go up. There are three elevators; elevator A, B and C. You must use elevator C because you’re bringing a furniture so you must use that Fire Lift. There are 16 floors in the building.

Now, Lift A and B are at Level G where you are now. While Lift C, the one that you want to use is at Level 10, all idle. Every time you press that ‘Up’ button, either Lift A or B will open but not Lift C. Lift C stays idle at Level 10.

Question is – How do you wanna make Lift C comes down to you? Hi hi hi.

Thinking_Face_Emoji_grande

Think think think….. or give up? Yes, I know it’s hard. Because this is a Cambridge-level riddle. Hehehe… Scroll down!

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That was my own situation yesterday. My landlord delivered a new fridge to our home so I ushered the fridge boy from his Hilux. While waiting for him to push the fridge, I ran to the lifts and faced the above problem. I kept pressing Up but had no response from Lift C until the fridge boy arrived and I sighed, “Hmm.. I think we gotta wait so long. This Fire Lift is not coming down!”

The fridge boy said, “Oh, no problem” and steadily he pressed the Up button, Lift A opened, he pressed Level 16, got out and the lift moved. Did the same thing to Lift B and it went up too. Pressed the Up button again, Lift C moved down and…..opened!!!

Jawdropping I was like.. Wowwww…so clever!!! Clap clap clap!! Hahhahahha.. I felt so useless. Not only that I couldn’t help him lift the fridge, but also fool I was. Ashamedly yet in cool I said, “Wa you’re so smart, huh”. He said, “Oh no it’s common..always do that in offices and all.” Aw so humble.. and pheww…! I’m not fool then. It’s just his everyday thing. Ahaks.

So guys, if you’re facing this kind of situation, use this trick and be the hero, okay! Don’t be like my husband. I quested him this riddle this morning and he gave me the funniest answer ever! He said, he will use Lift A or B, go up to Level 10,  get in Lift C, go down to Level G. Hahahaha!!! Who would do that?? What if you go to Level 10 and Lift C moves to other levels?? I was imagining him chasing lift from floors to floors like a cartoon! Hahaha… Worse than me because I’m less tired – me with my thinking face, I would wait at Level G forever, okay! =D

Till the next post,
SALZY

A Ride Full of Messages

grab

Since a year ago I guess I can say I am a regular customer of the increasingly popular public transport – GrabCar, or UBER sometimes. Not a routine but quite frequently I’d rather ‘grab’ than drive just because I’m lazy. Do you usually chat with the driver? I usually only take short trips around 10 to 15 minutes to arrive so normally it doesn’t really spare time to chat. Being in cars without having to concentrate on the road is the time we should steal to do our little things or just – scroll the phone, right? But today’s experience was completely different.

Today I took the longest trip in my record – a 50-minute ride involving highways so I had set to read a book all the way to kill the time. But then, after 10 minutes of muteness I felt really awkward because it was so quiet, the radio was low volume and the driver seemed bored. It’s still a long way to arrival so I thought let’s say a word just to break the silence if it’s cold, I can continue with my reading. Little did I know, from just a typical question “Hey do you do UBER as well or just totally Grab?” it turned into a conversation about life!

It went on and on to talking about doing it full or part-time, to his current other job, to his job prior to this, to why he’s doing this. This guy was really a talking personality he talked talked talked so openly. Haha. But of course because I also kept asking from one question to another just to relate anyway. He told about a major accident he involved years ago and that now he’s wearing an artificial backbone! It was so incredible that he broke his spine and not paralysed? MashaAllah.

After the accident, a series of drama happened in his life from having to quit from a governmental job, on how unfair the employer treated his situation, the tough recovery process, the devastation of not able to do his favourite thing before – cycling, he was an active cyclist by the way. After he somewhat recovered and found himself jobless, he went to Perth, Australia to find luck. With his brother and cousin, first they got cheated of 15 thousand dollars, which was another drama, but still managed to get there. The trials of getting a job there was another hardship so his brother and cousin couldn’t survive, because they have families, so they went home leaving him alone. It was really a rough journey he even told that sometimes he cried in shower. Erp, my God. An astonishment not because of the crying-in-shower thing but for telling a stranger so!

He managed to secure a job, and worked and lived a life for I’m not sure how long but earlier this year he returned to Malaysia to urgently settle his insurance case pertaining to the accident. It involved lawyers to fight for his rights but in the end, for what he’s gone through since then it only compensated an undeserved amount of money for him. How awful.

So there he was. Starting over in Malaysia with this GrabCar service almost full-time and also another job. With GrabCar was another challenge as well but I’d rather not continue here or it’s gonna be a novel, haha.

The ride was one of a kind. It left me reflective with a deep thought that how life can be so tragic for some people. Everyone in this world is tested, we all are. But for certain people we somehow would say they’re the chosen ones. Some tests happened once and they changed the person’s life completely after that. But some tests happened in a way to generate problems after problems like a never-ending story. Either way, that’s what life is! This life is a test for the believers and from time to time it will be difficult. And for as long as we live we in fact don’t know when actually the turning point of our life is. We could think we have been tested enough and that made us stronger but do we actually know Allah’s plans on us? Who might not know for one day people will look at us and say we’re ‘the chosen ones’? Honestly it’s scary to think of.

It was coincidence that we, husband and I, came across this ayah just two mornings ago so when I had this conversation in Grab, it instantly reminded me to what we just tadabbur. Allah mentioned in ayah 214 of Surah Al-Baqarah; “Or do ye think that ye shall enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those of faith who were with him cried: “When (will come) the help of Allah?” Yes! Verily, the Help of Allah is near!” – Telling us how difficult the trials of the believers (may Allah bless them) were for Allah to let them into paradise so what about us? Wanting such an easy life with a trial or two, getting over and expecting paradise? Shame now. We actually just forgot what we were here for.

2,214

To the driver, I may be just another passenger that came in and out of his car like the others. But to me, the ride was full of messages that still left me thinking about life.

Till the next post,
SALZY

A Dream Job You’re Wishing For

BP

I received this letter last week unexpectedly, just because I forgot my anniversary with the company that I stepped in 5 years ago. 5 years! A complete set of fingers to tell me that I’ve been here for such a significant duration. 5 years of undeniable blessings I can say. Having a job, a solid source of income is really something we can’t take for granted of that we should be thankful every day, not only on paydays okay. In total, I’ve been working for 8 years since I graduated and this is the second company I work for. 8 years and 2 companies – pretty loyal, no? Hehe, or maybe just unaggressive in finding opportunities.

I began my career journey in 2009 and what I can say is it was not a good start. The first company I worked for taught me the harsh truth of working life. Unreasonably heavy work load, bad boss, stupid system and sickening people surrounding me every day. It was so stressful and in fact the most stressful period of my life making me traumatic if I throwback the moments. Driving to work felt like handling a cable car – so heavy and the weather was always gloomy all the way to the workplace. In those 3 years, I lost appetite badly and turned from an originally thin girl to almost anorexic. That’s how ugly a bad job could make of me and that’s a true story.

Of course there were still good things I should be thankful for – the knowledge, the experience and there were still nice people I could talk to – and yes I did, thanked God for every little thing I gained from the company. And thank God I have my mom, she was there listening to my whine every time I came home crying. That was all my motivation when dealing with the depression with the hope that things would change for me even though I thought it was impossible. It was my first job and that concluded an impression that working life was never a good thing. I wanted to go back to my wonderful and happening university life but that was just impossible. And it was also impossible for me to not work because I am an adult already, so adults work, adults must work, we have bills and loans now, a pile! So all I thought was, then on and for as long as I’m w.o.r.k.i.n.g, my life is miserable. Nuff said.

But who actually said so? It was just a blind assumption of a hopeless young girl who just began to ‘live’. Who just hasn’t realized and truly believed the power of the Lord who can do miracles. After three years trapped in such a destructive environment, I married my husband and moved to KL. A few months of job hunting, I finally secured a position in here where in the beginning I brought with me the assumptions from my previous work life to the new one, just to be ready to face the “norms”. Amazingly as the days went by, my guesses got all wrong. This place is bliss! The people, the environment, the culture and the boss are all so nice I never thought they existed. Things totally changed as different as night and day. I turned to a positive person, happier and fatter! Haha.. that was due to another reason as well –  being married, exactly.

Alhamdulillah I’m happy here. At the moment, I’m surrounded by the people whom I can call friends, not just colleagues. Work-life balance is something really necessary for employees and this company has it ready. Flexi work arrangement and tolerant superiors who understand our commitments at home, not just all work. Some days are bad days and some people are unpleasant which can’t be avoided anywhere but I choose to focus on the good. This place is my comfort zone.

Of course not everything is perfect and I’m not telling those means to brag that I am the lucky one to have the best job ever. No, I’m still at a moderate level of the career ladder and in fact I am not a good employee enough so how could I boast? What I’m trying to tell is, guys, if you’re having a hard time at your work place or have been going through such a disappointing journey to find the right job I truly, truly understand the feelings, because really I’ve been there. If you could see, Allah tested me for three years to grant me with such a wonderful gift I couldn’t ask for more. If you’re tested even longer or harder, imagine what’s awaiting for you in the future! Allah’s arrangement is beautiful. When He tested me with the stressful job, I was single and had less commitment. My focus and weekends could all be spent at the office and no one got affected. Now that I have a family to look at, He gave me a work-life balance job, a company that’s so supportive towards mothers. Our stories are different but believed; the best is yet to come, right on time.

Two years back, the oil and gas industry was having downturns and that affected the company as well. As a result, it worked through a few cycles of retrenchment that impacted even some of my lunch buddies from other department. It’s so devastating to know that from a steady position you held for years, suddenly being told that you’re out of place. It somehow threatened everyone’s security and belief on the company’s stability, including mine. Things improved after that but the incident somehow serves as a constant reminder to me to rely everything on Allah because anything could happen and that a good job does not guarantee a fine end. While I’m cherishing my time here on this anniversary, I pray that if you’re seeking, soonest Allah will bestow you with the dream job you’re wishing for. Ameen.

Till the next post,
SALZY

Congratulations, Lia

17.7.17 – A beautiful date to remark a beautiful memory. Today was my best friend’s big day! After almost 4 years struggling to achieve her dream to receive that doctorate in Accounting discipline, she finally made it last year and today was the official graduation. It was held thousand miles away in UK but we, the friends, in Malaysia did not miss to witness the ceremony broadcasted live through the web. Like wow, technology! With the very clear video plus a 360 virtual reality live stream show, we really could feel the heat in the University of Manchester’s hall. Hehe really, the music sound was ding ding ding making me feel extra nervous that I would miss the moment. But with the friends on What’s app group together updating each other to get ready, it turned into an excitement. This friend’s graduation is a shared happiness, and a shared success too! Hence, we also own partial of that Doctor of Philosophy, yeah? Hehehe.

CONVO1

Congratulations my dear!! You did it!! I’m sooo proud of you. A PhD completion in less than four years? It’s a big wow. This journey wasn’t easy, you nailed it. Come what may, you got it. You deserved to be happy, you deserved to be proud of yourself. Well done, doc!

Last year I went to UK to visit her when she was still there in her final year. I flew alone and it was my first time travelling out of the country. From just a normal text conversation, suddenly she came out with an idea to drag me to her place like it’s just next door. This is how it started. I went to Genting Highlands with my little family and it was night time. It was soooo cold I couldn’t stand that 17 degree temperature outdoor. In my mind was – this is only Genting, not UK! UK is definitely colder but I wasn’t sure how low. So back home, I texted Lia and asked her what’s the normal temperature there in Manchester she’s living. She said “7 – 8 degree at the moment, why?” I was like whattt?? That’s damn cold how do you breatheee?! She replied “Why, are you coming??” I laughed and told her about Genting and so.

Three weeks after the conversation, I touched down UK and breathed in the coolness myself. That’s how simple a partner in crime worked the impossibility. It was spontaneous but timely, the day I arrived was the day Lia had the green light to submit her final thesis. So the very first place she brought me to visit, out of many interesting places in Manchester, was the printing shop! Haha.

UoM  MBS

I’m glad I was part of the journey, the very least one. The highlights of today’s occasion in some way flew my mind way back in our college time when we were students, pursuing our first degree. Those years we talked a lot about the future, our goals and dreams, like an open book. Our plans and preferences differed, making it fun listening to each other. Lia had always wanted to continue studies to the highest level, PhD. Who would’ve ever thought, after 10 years, the ordinary talk finally took its turn into real play. All praise be to Allah who listened and willed the plans as she wished for.

 

Convo2

Being the witness from day one she voiced out the wish, I felt touched because I know the ride wasn’t easy, it’s flawed and bumpy. Not everything worked out the way we wanted it to be as we hoped everything would be smooth but Allah shaped it with a mix of sweet and sour of life. After all the sweats and tears, He finally handed the final result wrapped in the most beautiful package of persistence and determination. At this point, we couldn’t be any happier and more grateful. Indeed, Allah is the best of planners.

Today was one of those days that I sat with my chin cupped reminiscing the good old days. We’re blessed.

Till the next post,
SALZY