Monday, December 28, 2009

Sorry :(

Like all parents, Esman and I only want the best for our our little girl.
I know that 2010 will be a new beginning for all and honestly, I am already daunted. :S


The past 2 years, Nyla has endured 1 hour bus rides to her school together with me.
(School transport could not accommodate to us because our place was way off.)
On days Esman was unable to fetch us, we would also brave through the crowded MRT and bus during the peak hours to go back home. Sometimes, when it got too exhausting for her, I would trouble either one of my fathers and ask them for a ride home.
So yes, it was definitely a hassle but because Nyla loved school so much, I shushed any voices of displeasure from my family.


2010 will be a busy year for me, with my back to back tuition assignments. I foresee a lot of hiccups should I continue to send her to her current school. It would be impossible and un-clever of me to send her to school, then rush back home to teach tuition and then fetch her from school.

I am no superwoman.

After much contemplation, Esman and I have decided to withdraw her from her awesome pre school and instead enrol her into a kindergarten much closer to home.
When I informed my advisor, my mom, of my decision, she was literally jumping for joy. Like finally after 2 years, her daughter has come to her senses.
1) Nyla would be able to brush up on her Malay.
(Yes her current kindergarten includes the teaching of Malay language. My Wak Gayah will be pleased too.)
2) The teacher-pupil ratio would prepare her for P1.


Nyla really enjoyed herself at Chiltern House during her N1 and N2 years and as I am typing this, I am tearing because I am wondering if I am ‘snatching’ my girl’s happiness.
When I dropped the bombshell on her a week ago, she was initially apprehensive but after much coaxing, she was alright.
Then she asked,'Mommy, can we go to Chiltern House for a while?'
‘Why babe?’ I asked.
‘I want to say goodbye to my friends. Shaun (her bf of 2 years), Trisha, Vera and Desiree will miss me when I’m not there.’

WAHLAU EY!
My heart sank and floodgates opened. Damn it man. I don’t know why but I felt really really bad at that time.
I still do.
I think those words also caused Esman heartache because he asked me if we should re-think this over.

Let's try this our first ok, hubs.


I’ve been receiving a lot of reassuring words from my family and friends who think that this is a wise decision. They are confident that Nyla will have no problems making new friends and will surely adapt easily to her new environment.
I have already checked out her new school which is just about 5 bus stops away. The reading programme is similar to Chiltern House’s.They are also using the Oxford Reading Tree from the United Kingdom as their core reading scheme. They also have Maths, Science, Art& Craft..etc. Pretty impressive.
However, I am still feeling immensely guilty and I cannot seem to shake this horrible, horrible feeling away.
To all the children and teachers of Chiltern House, thank you so much for creating that warm, friendly and stimulating environment, filled with love and laughter for my girl.

















My hope is that Nyla’s new school will be as welcoming, patient, loving and well managed as Chiltern House, and most importantly, my baby girl will be as happy there as she has grown to be in her previous school.


Nyla, thank you for not stamping your feet and throwing a massive tantrum at my decision, which I pray will be a good one, Insyaallah.

I am sorry, babe.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays

We began our Christmas countdown since 12 days ago....


Nyla asked her daddy,' Are we going today?'
Her daddy would answer,'No, baby.'
Then she would ask again,'Are we going tomorrow?'


Esman would answer,'No darling. We will be going tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow,tomorrow,tomorrow,tomorrow,tomorrow,tomorrow,tomorrow,tomorrow,tomorrow.'
And then the babe would be frustrated and she would continue doing her own stuff before asking us the same question again and again and again until it was our turn to get frustrated. Haha.

Yesterday, I asked Nyla to pack her stuff, much to her delight.
Looking at the stuff she wants to bring, I definitely have to do the packing for her. Duh.
Saw her Minnie Mouse luggage? No clothes at all inside it. Only her blue blankie.
Saw the baby on the stroller? That's her son, Crooked. (I know. What a name!)


Babe, we are not moving out of the house sayang.

Well, anyway, the day is finally here and it is our turn for some R&R!
We are going on a vacation with Esman's family.
To be precise, we will be going on a vacation with nearly all of Esman's makciks, pakciks, his cousins, nephews and nieces.


Don't play play ah, there are so many of us, we have to be separated.


The first batch have already just left taking the morning ferry.
The second batch will be leaving at noon.


Of course I chose to depart at noon. Reasons?
1) No morning rush.
2) Stingy Esman refuses to drive to the ferry terminal and pay the overnight parking charges.


If you think we are cabbing, answer is No.
'Don't waste money. Somemore, public holiday, sure pay surcharge,' said my most 'wonderful', 'darling' and 'lovable' husband.
We are taking the MRT la. Yeap from Jurong East to Tanah Merah.
So if you see a family of 3 dragging luggage into the train cabin, that's definitely us. ;)



HAPPY HOLIDAYS YOU ALL!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Balance

Today's Itinerary

1015: Nurul and Nad fetched me at the void deck.


1030: Fetched Ray the ..... *winks*

1045-1130: Camden Medical Centre for a gynae appointment. *winks*


Them: Nura, since your arm is the longest, you snap.
And based on this picture, not only is my arm the longest, my head, face and eyebags are the biggest.
Thanks girls.
Sorry one- eyed(plus 1 frame) Nad!
Aiya give up already la, ladies. Really cannot make it one.
Finally, a decent shot.

1200: Nurul wanted to give us a treat at Carousel.
However we were put on the waiting list. We were starving so we decided to head to
PEPES (lain macam jer nama!) Restaurant for Indonesian cuisine. Awesome food.
Erm based on the above pictures, it looked like we ordered ONLY tahu telor. Of course, we didn't. When the other dishes arrived, it was ngap ngap ngap all the way. :)

1400: Nurul, our Santa Claus for today, decided to give us another sweet treat at Hyatt.

1600: Nurul gave me a lift back home. Thanks babe for everything!

1600-1800: Home all to myself because my parents brought Nyla to JB. WOOOHOOO! Bestnyer! What did I do? Read magazine. Surfed the Internet. Watched E Channel. Coffee break. Read newspapers. Took a short nap.

1800- Phone rang. Esman asked me out for dinner. Just the 2 of us. WOOHOOHOOOO!
Both of us looking our very best! NOT! Haha.

1930- Dad called to say he was on the way to send curly wurly back home.

If you must know, I try very hard not to get caught up with the 'perfect mom' syndrome by not being too hard on myself.
Back then, I used to feel extremely guilty when I left Nyla behind while I go hurray hurray, which I realise now completely defeats the purpose.

Somehow we need to find that guilt free place in our heart and soul, as we truly deserve to relish and cherish time for ourselves.
This in itself can help significantly in rejuvenating our energy level so that we can give back more as a mother.

-Life lessons for Busy Moms

How true!

I am all recharged for you now little Miss Nyla! Yes, I missed you but having that 'me time' just now was truly blissful! :)
Please excuse me while I continue my mothering duties!
To my ladies, husband and my parents, I thank you all for the balance.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Anggun's 2nd :)

Nurul, I know you are so going to laugh when you see this entry because it is really really late.

Not that you are surprised since it's coming from me.
But what the heck! It is still Anggun's birthday month.


Dearest Anggun,
2 years ago, when you were due to make your entrance into the world, I was bugging your mom asking her countlessly, 'Is it time? Is it time?'
I even suggested to her that should she feel like giving birth in the wee hours of the morning, Uncle Esman and I would gladly 'torn' at the hospital.

Do you know why I was so anxious, little girl?
Because I die die wanted you to be out before my Desaru trip.
The night before my trip, I called your mom(to check if she had the bloody show!) and then she joked with me and said,'Sekali baby keluar besok eh!'
I didn't laugh at that joke because I reaaalllly wanted to see you fresh from the oven.
Deep down, I hoped and prayed that you would wait until I return from my short holiday to make your exit from your mommy.

BUT YOU DIDN"T! How could you, Anggun?!

Want to know when this beauty was delivered?
WHILE I WAS ON THE FERRY TO DESARU! Thanks ya!

The whole time I was in Desaru, I was like a cacing kepanasan wondering how this baby looked like...fair ke? mata sepet ke? tembam ke?
By the way, answer is YES to all of the above.

The moment we reached Singapore, Esman and I rushed to Mt Alvernia to see Anggun, much to the amusement of her mom and dad. Hmmph!
Anyway, Anggun, happy 2nd birthday sayang!
Aunty Nura, Aunty Nad and Aunty Ray sayang you, sweetheart.


Kakak Nyla also sayang you too you know... Kadang kadang si kerinting tu step garang je.
If you don't believe me, then you should see how much effort she put into designing and wrapping your birthday gift.




Spot the 'Malaysia' flag?
Initially Nyla wanted to paste 'Mauratania' flag (I didn't know where this country was at first! But now I know liao. A country in Northwest Africa!)
Anyway, I knew Nurul was going to Langkawi for a vacation with her family so I told Nyla that.
The poor girl actually scanned for 'Langkawi' sticker.
Teachable moment here! Alert Alert!
'Langkawi is in Malaysia baby,' I said to her.
So yeah, that's the story of the Malaysia flag.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Twitterette

I started blogging (again) on New Year 2009.
A Twitterette I shall be now that 2010 is approaching!

My buddy, Ana Hayer said to me last week, 'Nura, you're a new media parent hokay. Better start twittering.'
I blushed.
Wahlao.
Technology is advancing so rapidly, that Ana ah made me feel as if I was still carrying a pager around.

Funny how 1-177155-4 or 143 was uber cool back then but lame now.

Which reminds me how very irritated I would be whenever my mom paged me 9999999.
Urgent sangat la tu ye mother...
And whenever I saw those triple set of triple 9s, I'd be desperately looking around for the classic orange public phone complete with those kopishop ah peks' breaths lingering on the phone. Eeew I know.
When I returned her page, she would holler, 'Pukul brapa nak balik hah?!'
Oh how I miss my teenagehood. Haha!

Anyway, I feel very very very behind, very ketinggalan zaman all because I don't tweet.
Even bro Ariff feels that I should tweet when we exchanged sms-es a week ago.
You see peeps, I am a Facebook fanatic.
Hence I feel that twitter is pretty much similar to Facebook Status Updates until I came across this very useful website:
http://randomsarah.com/twitter-is-not-the-same-as-facebook-status-updates/
I was especially enlightened about the Audience part.

According to her, Facebook is a great way to see what your friends are doing.
Twitter is a great way to see what the world is doing (friends included).

Wanna follow me, peeps?
Ikot je la! The more the merrier!

http://twitter.com/NuraJEsman

Sunday, December 20, 2009

COPYKITTY

Yes! That's narcissistic me taking my own picture.
Just like many of you, I am also guilty of framing myself at arm's length and then snap my own picture.
What to do?
Sometimes Esman just refuses to join me in my journey of self expression and help me take pictures of.. erm myself. So I do it myself lor.

And that's my girl also taking part in digital self-portraiture just like her mommy.

The pictures below were taken on Esman's birthday.
The moment Nyla saw me in this maxi dress, she rushed into her room.
It wasn't difficult for me to guess the reason behind that immediate reaction.

She too wanted to look pretty for the birthday boy.
Two minutes later, she was beaming in her very own maxi dress.

Who looked 'hotter' in Esman's eyes?

NYLA: 1 NURA: 0

Since becoming Mrs Esman, it is compulsory for me to balik kampung on the 2nd day of Raya.
And it has also been a tradition to pose, pose and pose throughout our duration at Kampung Separap.





My niece, Shof, then suggested that I pose on this tree trunk.
Cool picture it turned out...until......

the babe decided that she too would like Shof to snap her picture on this tree trunk. Sibok je!

And if you think Nyla is only imitating her mommy, aiseyman brudders and sistas, you're wrong lah.


Apparently, she also looks up to her daddy as well. Hah!
Sorry hubs! :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Independent Girl





Hey peeps!

Sing along the lyrics below to the rhythm of Independent Women by Destiny's Child.

Question: Tell me what you think about me buying my very own happy meal at Macdonalds.....

*Skip to chorus*

The fries on my tray
I bought them!
The nuggets on my tray
I bought them!
The apple juice on my tray
I bought it!
Cause I depend on me!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Thank You

*Jay* (not real name) sauntered into my classroom with a sparkling diamond ear stud (sure fake one!) on his left ear on the first day of school and fixed his stare at me.
Thank God he blinked his eyes and thus, didn’t see me gulp.
I just tapped on his shoulder gently and told him that I would appreciate if he were to abide by the school rules.


As he had to live up to his reputation of being the Chief Rebel of the entire school, he turned up the next day, with the bling bling still intact on his ear.
The rest of the pupils were just sitting there waiting to see me falter.

Jay was probably expecting me to turn into Miss Trunchbull, pull my hairs out and scream at him to remove that earring.
Calmly, I searched my bag for my most favourite pair of long, huge and dangly earrings I only wore to jemputans.

I walked to his desk and told him to instead put my earring on because it was way much nicer and shinier.

The class let out snorts of giggles.
It was truly a ridiculously funny moment.
Unforgettable too.

And then Jay let out such a sweet and charming senget sebelah smile as if to say, ‘Okay cher, you win!’
Phew.


When I was deployed to teach a Primary 6 EM3 class a few years ago, I was nervous.
I was only a 4 month old teacher.
I got extremely worried at the thought of appearing on the front page of ‘The New Paper’ with headline which read
‘TEACHER BEATEN UNCONSCIOUS BY HER P6 EM3 CHARGES.’

For those unfamiliar with the term ‘EM3’, it was a stream which grouped the weakest pupils together.

It was the worst stream as far as academic inclination is concerned.
The children from this highly unpopular stream faced labeling and stigmatization that comes from fellow schoolmates, some teachers (sad right?), family, friends and society at large.

Even our local filmmaker, Mr Jack Neo, recognised the social stigma and negative impact streaming places on kids, hence inspiring him to produce the popular film ‘I NOT STUPID.’

Kudos to you, Mr Jack Neo!
The film portrays the lives, struggles and adventures of three Primary 6 pupils placed in the EM3 stream.

As of 2008, schools have introduced ‘subject based banding’, bidding good riddance to the EM3 stream, much to everyone’s (especially the poor kids!) relief.

Along the way, I have discovered that these children with lower ability are a unique bunch who has ended up in the bottompit because they have struggled unsuccessfully with so many personal problems.

They tend to be rude and rough around the edges, hardened by their respective tough lives.

However, I must say that they are by far the most honest and caring people I’ve ever encountered.
Once they realise that we sincerely believe in them, they give you a deep level of respect and will do anything to make you proud.

I'm sure many of you form teachers of the end classes agree with me.

I have also learnt that lessons should not only be focused on grammar, fractions, simple machines etc.
My hand and the whiteboard had been merely a vehicle for something much much more profound.
Teaching may in fact have less to do with skills and more to do with loving.

Sometimes, it’s not always about a teacher touching pupils' lives.

Sometimes, it’s vice versa.

Over the years, I have received ‘Thank You’ letters from these kids and their parents.


Strange because I should have been the one thanking them.

Mdm Nura will never ever forget you my former pupils.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Nura-J-Esman

If you should know one thing about me is the fact that I am quite a messy person.

Ask my ex working colleagues and they will definitely agree to this fact.
Everytime my buddies in school walk past my work station, they will laugh and tell me that I seriously need to do something to my tsunami-hit desk.
My working desk was in a complete mess.
It definitely halted/put brakes on me trying to do work so I would usually end up either marking workbooks at Nad's or Ray's desks. Nurul, you don't talk so much. Your desk also gone case like mine.

At home, I have a tendency to just 'chuck and hide' whatever things I could hide in whatever cupboards/wardrobes available at home.
So if any of you should come to my house, never ever ask me to open the cupboard doors unless you want an avalanche of clothes, newspapers, ring files falling on you.

I am not kidding.
Come on man.
To have your mother in law enthrone you as the 'Queen of sumbat' is really something right!
And might I add that this legacy still lives on at Sengkang despite me moving to my own home.
Yeap! Esman's 2 nieces are now the 'Princesses of sumbat'.
Based on the pictures below, they are also the sleeping beauties. (the ones on the extreme left and extreme right)
Haha! Sorry girls. Have to put this up! Ye la, takkan nak letak gambar yang jambu jambu je!


Anyway, I pity Esman sometimes, especially on Monday mornings when he needs to rush for work.
Usually, he will leave his work documents on the dining table.
I will always make sure the house is 'spick and span' before I go to bed.
I will do what I do best. Chuck or sumbat lor!
The next day will be a mayhem because much time is wasted on which drawers I have 'classified' his work documents in.
Sorry hubs!

If you must also know something about Esman is the very fact that he is an IT expert.
He is the one who will do the technical aspects of my blog.
About 2 weeks ago, he told me that he found my blog messy. Sensitive word tu doks!
Yes, till today, I don't understand which part of this blog is messy!
According to him, my blog is becoming like rojak and he was worried that my other baby, Bottoms Up!, will invade this personal blog of mine.
Esman knocked some sense into me (as always!) and suggested that I have my own name as my domain, which I thought to be a brilliant idea.
A website which separates my personal life and my career.

I'm fine with it on one condition: that I continue writing on this very same blog.

We then embarked on a shopping spree on the names to use.
I wanted nuraj.com....Unfortunately, it was taken.
Then we tried nurajesman....Of course, it was available but I don't want people to think I am Nura anak Pak Jesman.

In the end, we settled for www.nura-j-esman.com

I hope you all like it.
I love it! Like totally! :)

Credits go to my Esman as well as Lustmonday and Lawrence! Thanks so much ya' all!

PS: To those friends in my Facebook, this is the 'reveal' I was referring to when I updated my status last Sunday.
Kumar, sorry to disappoint you ya! Haha!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Then and Now

When I was young, my ambition was to be a mother and a teacher.
Playtimes during my childhood would be me role playing as a mother, sometimes a pregnant woman, other times a mother of one. (to my poor younger brother)
If I got bored being a mak mak, then a teacher I would become complete with my mom's handbag and heels.
Yes, I was a teacher to only one pupil. (yes, that same younger brother. poor boy.)

I got married young hence my ovaries had plenty of plump and fresh eggs excited to be fertilised.
My husband on the other hand was not that young.
So when we didn't get pregnant after 2 months of marriage, he was freaking out.
I was just about to embark on my teaching career when I found out I was pregnant.
We hit jackpot on the 3rd month. No need to see a fertility specialist. Alhamdullilah!
I was happy beyond words.
Over the moon. On cloud nine. Absolutely delirious.
Immediately, I started waddling.
I started hopping from one baby boutique to another, already shopping for my 6 week old foetus, whose gender was not known.
I bought pregnancy magazines not to read about taking care of a newborn.
Instead, I paid attention to hoards of details on how to look like an amazing teletubby.
As I looked back at how immature I was, I cringed because motherhood is not about the brand of your baby's stroller, the fanciful (and tight!) headbands on your bald baby girl and pretty dresses which your kid will outgrow within a month.

My mom always said to me, 'Kin, your child will turn your life upside down.'.....to which I'll reply 'Yes, mom! For the better, surely.'
Mothers know best and my Puan Rokiah was (and will always be) god damn right.

Nyla changed my world upside down.

Nobody warned me about how sucky motherhood can be in the beginning.
Of course my mom did but I was too consumed seeing pictures of blissed out and sexy celebrity moms proclaiming in unison that motherhood is the best thing that ever really happened to them.
Kuang asam. Tipah sungguh tertipu.

Being a new mommy is a tough battle, man.
The initial 3 months was excruciatingly tough.
Pads were my best friends. I've never been so well armed down there and up there my whole life.
Funny I just assumed that my babe would be the most perfect angelic baby.


Perfect? Yes.
Angelic? No. (Yes, I know she looked pretty angelic back then. Do not be deceived!)

She was a colicky baby whose ambition was probably to be a night shift security guard.
She would cry, cry and cry.
All she wanted to do was to lie on my rubbery stomach.
Whenever she cries, tears would also roll down my chubby postpartum cheeks due to the sleep deprivation.
Her persistent cries made Esman's snores sound like a sonata.
She refused to be separated from my gigantic and swollen (now shrunken) boobs.
Then time flew and Nyla the baby was developing a personality .
She no longer cried for hours.
She started eating well.
She started sleeping through the night. (Hellloooo beauty sleep!)
I started to feel the overwhelming love for her.
I became her paparazzi, with my camera on my hip always snapping pictures of her.






Fast forward to today.
To my mom, I totally get what you mean now!
My life has definitely changed.
And mom, might I add, although there were difficult times, I owe what I am today as a mother to those tough moments.
If this entry is scaring the s*&% out of you pregnant ladies, I'm sorry.
In fact, I hope this entry will prepare you for motherhood.
Read up on breastfeeding, breast pumps, handling colicky babies etc.
To new mommies out there, hang in there because time will fly. Hey, look at me. I survived!
All thanks to a wonderful support network!
Motherhood is challenging. No doubt about that.
However one thing I can assure you is that it definitely gets better and better!

Thursday, December 10, 2009




PS: I am also considering to open up a tuition class for Primary 4 kids due to special requests from keen clients. *winks at Ms Hafizah, Mdm Asrina and Mrs Adrena Lim*
There are 2 vacancies available, so if you have a child/nephew/niece in P4 next year and he/she is struggling with English and Maths, please do not hesitate to email me.

The new year is approaching and I can't wait to 'mould' my Bottoms Uppers!

CHEERS you all!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Primetime Morning- Channel News Asia

video


Special mention to the lady boss of www.lustmonday.com for the simple yet stunning dress. :)

If you are unable to view the video, you can always log on to the CNA website: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/ptm/interviews/index.htm

Just click on 'The New Media Parent'

Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bundle of Joy

Someone who is far away in Norway is expecting baby number 2 in her tum tum.
Fast game indeed, considering her firstborn Danial aka the thunderthighs is only just seven months! Hehe!
She has always wanted a big family so, she and her hubby, Jon are obviously, absolutely thrilled.
Take care makcik! CONGRATULATIONS!
The only downside is that she will not be returning to Singapore next year. Bummer.
I'm gonna miss you more, babe. :(

Us at her mom's eating her umi's lemak cili padi on the day she touched down last September.
Us hanging around town on one of the few days she was in Singapore.
And yeah, I suffered from severe backache when I reached home. Thanks ah Danial!
Okay, I'm heading to bed soon.
Got to look fresh for tomorrow's live interview with Channel News Asia. Ehem ehem.
Once in a while, want to show off, can?
Good night lovelies.
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