Friday, January 23, 2015

Sole Searching

I used to be a shoe collector. Once upon a time, I got a pair of golden round-toe pump, a super high peep-toe pump in neon and a grey platform that was almost impossible to walk on in my possession =)  

But motherhood has changed me. I got too complacent wearing flats during my pregnancy that I decided to stay with the style throughout life after pregnancy.

But I still need the heels for the office and special events. However, post pregnancy, I found that I can’t really wear heels anymore...sob..sob. The most I could go with super high heels nowadays were 3 to 4 steps before my leg and back start to ache.

My 'disability' to walk in high heels had made me ‘closer’ to comfort shoes like Clarks, Snowfly and Scholl. They are all great, but my 2 major dilemma with these comfort shoes are:

It is really hard to find the right design. I mean, they are undoubtedly comfortable, however it was hard to find one that gives us the right combo of 'comfortness and attractiveness'. You see, most of the comfort shoes are quite conservative in terms of design and colour. And we girls really know how a pair of shoes could change our mood right? I mean they are okay for work, but I definitely don't want to look 'aunty' during a night out, or at special events. It's all about the glitz and glamour baby! *Konon* 

And for a person with the unfortunate combo of wide feet + tendency to trip over one's own feet (I could stumble even on the flattest surface!) like me, the search for the RIGHT pair of shoes are even more difficult.

And, even if we managed to find the RIGHT design (that was already a big achievement!), another major drawback is the price. Rockport pumps for instance are great, sexy and youthful, but price-wise, alamak!! And I think that no woman would stick with only one pair of great shoes. 

We NEED one for work that makes us look reliable, professional, could boost up our confidence when enduring the all-important-meeting and yet comfortable enough to be walked-in all-day while we were struggling with deadlines, tonnes of reports etc. 

And then we definitely need one great pair for a dinner and movie-date that gives us that I'm-cool-don't-try-too-much-an-yet-sexy look. We also definitely need a fun-girlish pair for a fun outing or shopping spree with the girls. 

Talk about social functions, of course we need a stylish perhaps luxury pair for the black-tie event, one more humble-and-yet-still-got-a-bling for a kenduri kahwin and not forgetting a very important one for casual outings where a lot of running around after the kids are expected. 

See? A great pair of shoes is a necessity! It's like a trusty BFF that are always there for us, that makes everything right (even if they are not!), to give us the much needed support and to lift up our moods when we are down. 

My point here is that, with that so many pairs that we need, it is almost impossible to spend so much for a pair of good shoes, when you need, let say, 10 of them! I understand that the price are so much cheaper if we buy it from overseas, but then again, to find the perfect match, we need to try it on. To find if the cutting and size fit your feet nicely.

So the search of the right pair of shoes will never ends. It could be a daunting task that I prefer to do the sole-searching alone, no rush for time, no pressure at all.

Therefore, I'm really excited whenever I stumble upon a great deal: a decent looking-comfortable shoes that doesn't cause a dent in my wallet. 

Here is one of my sole-searching story that happened last year. I was some-what outta my mind for choosing to wear a anklet high heels boots for a meeting in KL when I know a lot of walking on the uneven pavement will be needed. And now please meet this the beauty-in-pain that I mentioned earlier. It was from Charles & Keith and I got it at Johor Premium Outlet for under RM50! What a steal! 
Okay, back to my story, prior to the meeting, we had lunch at SOGO and I knew that I would never be able to walk out to get across the road (to the building where I was suppose to have a meeting) in that shoes. So, I frantically went to search for a cheap substitute. Frankly speaking, I didn't really have high hopes on it. I often spend so much time and effort to buy shoes and yet ended up empty handed. So this time around, my main objective was to find a pair of decent shoes that was enough to bring me to the next building safely. 

I tried a few pairs. Not comfortable. Ugly. Too pricey. I almost gave up and then, I saw these two beauties: 

Here what I love about the shoes. I love the colours. I love the design. I love how it fits my wide feet nicely. I love the comfy cushion that it got inside. I love the height - it was just nice, not too low and not too high. And most importantly I love the price. It were on 50% marked down from its original price, and it costs me only RM62 per pair!! That was why I got two, even if I only need one to bring me to the building across the road because it would be really hard to find such a good bargain in the future! The whole process took me about 10-minutes. 

I found my perfect match, my sole-mate!! =)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Maidless and (Still) Surviving

Today marks the 15th day that we're maid-less. Hahaha itu pun ada milestone kan? Well, this is not the first time. We've been in this situation before - about a year ago where we were left with no maid for almost one month. But the situation was different then. We were expecting for the replacement maid to come, but there were delays, hence the 'maidless period'. 

But this time around, there is no replacement or even back up plan. We terminated the service and that was it. No plan at all. No preparation. The circumstances that we are facing (which is too complicated to be explained here) has made us to the conclusion that getting a new maid is not an option, at least for now.

How are we doing so far? Well, quite okay if I can say so myself. Our house is still in order: 

  • NO piles of dirty dishes and clothes - This is my proudest achievement as it proves that the amount of time and effort that I had spent in front of the kitchen sink and washing machine was worth it..hahahaha
  • The floor is still clean despite the fact that it is not as sparkly as before - Well, it was used to be mopped at least once a day, now it has been down to once a week, what do you expect? Hehehe
  • But the were some corners in the house that are in serious need of dusting - Well, I could still live with it for the time being...
  • Our small lawn needed to be tended - That'll have to wait until MH come back
  • And yes, I have 2 baskets full of clothes that need to be ironed - This is somewhat haunting me. So far, we survive on our stock of readily-ironed clothes, but I know that in no time, we'll be running out of this 'privilege' and we will have to tackle the ironing job. 
My main mission after office hours!
Well, house chores are not really a major concern for us so far. Even if we sometimes ran like mad doing the dishes, 
wiping, scrubbing, and everything in that has 'cleaning purpose' in it that left us so exhausted at the end of the day.
Cheap thrills!!
Our biggest concern about being maidless is about childcare. Both Adeelia and Aydeen had never been to nursery before. Adeelia is already in a kindy, but she’s in school break right now. Alhamdulillah, we managed to find a nursery for immediate placement of both Adeelia and Aydeen. But, both MH and I broke into tears when we first sent them to the nursery. Until now, I secretly cry inside. Because we both know that my kids will be in a whole different situation after this. They were so used to be at their own house where they could open the fridge and eat and drink everything that they want, any time, all the time. They had the freedom to play, explore and did things that they like, any time, all the time. The familiarity. The freedom. Things like that.

I'm trying really hard to take this changes positively. Perhaps, with my kids being at the nursery, they will be more disciplined. They will get used to routines. They will learn to share, to tolerate, to communicate better with other kids. In sha Allah. I was really nervous during the first week. Asking the caretakers how were they behaving, especially Aydeen. Alhamdulillah, so far I received very positive feedback from the caretakers. They are, as they put it 'cerdik-cerdik', Aydeen loves to clean-up, makan tak mahu disuap, he wants to do it himself. Really independent. I pray that they will continue behaving well, dilindungi keselamatan, diberikan kesihatan yang baik dan disayangi semua. Amin...

It was (still) quite challenging to adjust ourselves and our routines to a 'maidless situation'. MH is really helpful, doing his bits to share the workload with me. As for me, I really need to be super-organized and efficient now. Will have to have everything well-planned, can't procrastinate anything. If we missed anything - say one cycle of laundry, it will affect the whole system -- the kids might run out of clean clothes for the nursery, I'll get upset etc. 

On top of that, the adjustment also include arrangement for the kids. One of us REALLY need to make it on time to pick up the kids at the nursery. This is quite challenging as MH does not work normal hours and I sometimes have late meetings or need to attend meetings/programmes outside Putrajaya. So no outstation work for me, for now. 

Well, it takes a lot of work (and sweat!), effort and most importantly PATIENCE in dealing with the sudden change. I know a lot of people including my dear friends who are full-time working moms are doing it as well, and they are doing great. Even sometimes I wonder where do they got so much energy to do it all? But knowing this really keeps me going. If other people can do it, why can't I? Yakin boleh!

Semoga Allah SWT mempermudahkan urusan kami...amin.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Let It Go Adeelia!

Undoubtedly, our children’s firsts will always bring excitement to the parents. The first smile, first word, first step, first tooth and the list will go on and on. Nevertheless, whatever milestone, achievements or occasion, it will definitely make us, the parents to squeak with joy, brimming with pride and happiness. Aren't parenting make us more sentimental?

So the last couple of weeks had been about Adeelia’s few firsts. First, it was her first school concert. Adeelia just loves to perform. I suspected that she had watched Barney and Hi-5 a little too much that she might think that we are all living in a musical-where-everything can-turn-into-a-song world..hehehe.

Even though we had seen her voluntarily performing ‘Let it Go’ (well sort of, the lyrics was quite a mouthful, right?) during family gatherings, on top of her thousands of times rendering the song in the house and in the car, attending her first school concert was still exciting as we got to see her perform as a group, in a more formal occasion. Furthermore, Adeelia had been working really hard for the concert. She practiced the lyrics and the act that been taught by the teachers everyday at home complete with the opening chant! We heard it too much that MH and I had memorized both the lyrics of 'Rama-rama' and 'Bismillah & Alhamdulillah' ourselves!

While waiting for their turn to perform
Watching her so diligently practicing, we decided to further boost her morale by giving her full support and encouragement. We asked her about the preparation every day. Since it was musim demam and the kids were prone to catch a flu or bad cough, we made sure that she avoided icy drinks prior to the 'big' day and she even voluntarily gave up her favourite ice-cream because she didn't want her voice from 'rosak', hehehe. See the effort? We also got her a new blue jubah for the concert to match with her blue school tudung. Well, actually that was because I can't stand a mismatched outfit...hahaha. We were so impressed with her effort that I practically harassed the teachers by asking about the date of the concert every other day until they blasted out the information. Talked about being a pushy mom =) 

Adeelia with her proud  Mama =)
Receiving her prize

With her BFF: Aina

The following week, was Adeelia's first time entering a contest. Muslimah Cilik Fashion organized by Taman Equestrian Putrajaya. It was my sister in law who suggested Adeelia to enter the competition along with her daughter, Regina. As we didn't really have any plan for that weekend, plus MH got to work, so I said yes. 

The event: Mahabbah Horse Carnival
As excited as any mom could be, I rummaged through her wardrobe that instant only to find that she had nothing to wear! It happened that my colleagues and I went to check out the new shopping attraction - IOI City Mall Putrajaya after work on Wednesday, so I did a little shopping for her, heheheAdeelia was so lucky that her great aunties from work had helped me out to pick up her attire for the contest. We unanimously decided getting her to wear a dress or gown was too cliche, so we put together a more hipster look. And this is it:
Adeelia with cousin Regina 

The rest of the participants - Muslimah Cilik
She got the 4th place (even though I secretly think she deserves better, *devil grins* but who doesn't right?) But we had fun at the carnival despite the heavy raining. After the show, we watched the horse-back archery demo and left for home as I got another wedding to catch that night. 

Overall, it was a great experience for both Adeelia and us, the parents. Yes, she didn't get to be the lead singer for the performance, didn't collected as many prizes for her achievements at school and wasn't in the top 3 for the fashion contest, but the whole thing has given us some invaluable experience

For me, I learn a lot about her character through out the whole experience. I am so proud that she was so calm and collected during the process, while her over-protective and over-action Mama got all nervous and excited about the whole thing..hehehe. I also realize that she's now a big girl (sob..sob) and knows exactly what she wanted. She refused to wear the headband ala Erica from Suamiku Encik Sotong that I had got for her (no matter how hard I insisted!) and chose to wear a different hijab style for the fashion contest instead.

The exposure helps her to understand the importance to focus on the task given - in this case it was to sing her heart out while doing the act for the song or sashaying in a the fashion show while some kids got distracted heheheI also believe that by joining such activities will help to make her more confident, sociable and to adapt easily into different situations. The most important thing is we want to inculcate to her that efforts should count more than the results. I definitely don't want her to be so kiasu in life that she forget the values and the real essence of life. Insha Allah...