Much ado about a tudung!

I attended a cousin’s wedding on Sunday. As it was being held at the mosque, I thought I should just wear the tudung (headscarf). Not only would it be respectful, it would be most convenient to have the tudung on instead of just having a scarf to cover my hair when necessary. With the boys and the stuff I have to lug around these days, it was just better to have the think pinned to my head.

Me in a tudung wearing my kitty cat baju kurung and carrying my Ipin

What i didn’t expect was the response! As there WERE gals who didn’t wear the tudung, some family members and friends were taken, somewhat, by surprise. And some even asked me whether I was wearing the tudung for good, not just for the event!

I don’t mind, if you are a close family member or friend to ask me. But there were those who barely know me, and even they had the cheek to ask me!

If I want to wear the tudung, it is my decision and mine alone. It is of no consequence to you! And so what? Do you behave any differently to me, now that I do or do not wear the tudung ‘fulltime’?

I didn’t regret my decision that day. I felt comfortable that I was appropriately dressed for the venue. I didn’t feel awkward when I had to go look for a place to change my son and sit at a prayer hall to put Upin to sleep. It was the right thing to do for ME!

And just for the record. NO. I have not put on the tudung ‘fulltime’. It is still something I am thinking about and when I do decide to do it, it’s not going to make any difference to you anyway!

Time for Lime

Me: Hun? Did you plan anything (special) to celebrate (our anniversary) tonight?
Mr Eveel: Ya, of course.

about an hour later….

Mr Eveel: When you asked me if I had planned anything, were you expecting like a planned dinner somewhere romantic and stuff?
Me: Err…..
Mr Eveel: Cos I thought we could just go have a nice dinner, I didn’t make like arrangements in advance or anything……(voice clearly getting softer and more fearful)
Me: Well, did you have a restaurant or somewhere planned?
Mr Evee: Err…I plan to go to the lobby now and google ‘romantic restaurants ko lanta’

*FACE PALM*

Well, his googling led us to Time for Lime at Klong Dao beach and it was AWESOME!

Wonderful setting for a person who’s fav colour is green!

It’s a restaurant, bar and cooking school all wrapped into one! And when we arrived, there was a cooking class going on. So not only did we have a great time munching on the lovely food, we also had free entertainment.

Cooking glass going on!

The thing about the place is that it serves fusion Thai food. And it serves a 6 course tasting menu only. There are no ala carte options. They’re also very sensitive to food allergies and preferences and can accomodate your needs. My gal pal imp would be pleased to learn that they also have vegetarian options!

Grilled prawns with basil and sweet chilly sauce! YumZ!

While most fusion Thai places or ang-moh type Thai food usually suck. The food here was really good! I really enjoyed the flavours they presented. I’m no food snob, but I know food I like and I enjoy, and this was really good Thai food.

And the Lemongrass Mojito was to die for! And I only had the virgin version. I bet the real version is..really to die for…lol…

A great thing about this place was also that ALL THE PROFIT goes to an animal welfare shelter on the island. Isn’t that just fabulous?

With the wonderful food, nice breezy decor, sounds of the waves lapping on the beach, delicious virgin mojito AND the great cause it is dedicated too….the evening was a wonderful celebration.

My hubby, Mr Eveel, once told my girfriend that he hates to plan, cos when he plans, it always inevitably never goes as plan. Who cares that he didn’t plan our celebration to a tee? It was a perfect evening and a perfect way to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary!

*heart*

Sunsets at Ko Lanta

This is a long long long overdue post.

We made a commitment to each other, long before we got pregnant, that we would always do 2 things for the rest of our lives together:

#1 We will always have 1 date night a week.
#2 Every year, we will go away, even if it’s only for a weekend, to spend some time alone with each other.

Promise #1 has been defaulted on almost every single week since 05 Feb 2011 (the day the twins were born)! We definitely have to work on that!

Promise #2 was also defaulted on last year. Not that anyone should be surprised, really. Raising Upin and Ipin is no simple feat, and leaving them while they were less than a year old was just something unfathomable and downright irresponsible, I think.

But this year, THIS YEAR, I knew for certain would be different. I’ve told sooooo many friends that when they turned 1, Mr Eveel and I would definitely go away to celebrate surviving 1 whole year of parenthood. Yessss…it HAS been that hard!

So we decided to celebrate that and our 3rd wedding anniversary by taking a trip to our favourite neighbourhood country- Thailand.

Since, we had the luxury of travelling without strollers, nappies, milk bottles, formula, slings, etc. We decided we could afford to go off the beaten path. Okay, maybe not totally off…but far enough, I suppose. Instead of just heading to Krabi, we decided to go to Ko Lanta. Ko Lanta is an island about 2hrs away from Krabi.

From Krabi int’l airport, you’ve got either a fast speedboat option which is pricier or a ‘car-on-a-ferry’ option which is much slower but cheaper. If you can afford it, take the speedboat option. We took the slower option headed to Ko Lanta, and the bumpy journey in a car with terrible seats made me feel like my spine was being crushed one section at a time! Anyway, speedboat cuts the travel time from 2hrs to about 1hr! You can also take a 3hr (i think) ferry from Phuket Island.

Ko Lanta basically means Big Island. It’s next to a smaller island Ko Noi (small island). It was such a thrill for me to visit as a friend who worked with me in Phuket used to tell me about how serene the island is. And it iS!

Basically, Ko Lanta is just like any other island in that area, except that it’s supposed to boast more pristine and beautiful beaches. Personally, I think Phuket has beaches that are just as pretty (if you know how to look for them..hehehe)...but one thing Ko Lanta IS that Phuket IS NOT, is it’s quiet and it’s not-too touristy. Which is such a refreshing change!

I didn’t get harassed at all! Not once! In fact, hubby and I went into a shop wanting to buy something but ended up leaving as there was just noone to sell the goods to us. Yeah, all the stuff were were just sitting there waiting to be stolen!

But it also means that there’s not much night life. Yarrr….shops close at 9pm OK! In Phuket’s Patong beach, the night would only just be starting at 9pm! But, i really liked the slow pace of life….it was really a good relaxing change.

We stayed at Crown Lanta hotel. Our Sunset View room had a spectacular sunset that I still long for today. Right now, I am wishing that I was lying on the deck-chair, a cold drink in one hand, just staring into this beautiful sunset!

Can’t wait for our trip next year! =)

A piece of home-made art

There’s a little space between our front door and our living room where my hubby’s electronic piano sits and the beautifully painted blue wall was just to bare for me to bear.

So faced with the fact that we hadn’t any budget to spend on art, I realised that I had to get creative.

One of my favourite things to do is to peruse crafting blogs which feature interesting interior decorating ideas. And one piece I saw inspired me to create a personal piece, which we’ve really come to enjoy.

Hey! Like real art!

Inspired by this project I found on www.shelterness.com I headed to Ikea to find a suitable frame- not very expensive. Rummaged through the bomb shelter/store room for nails and bits of twine. Found inexpensive wooden pegs at Daiso and fabric on sale at Spotlight.  I also needed to stop by at my favourite photo shop to get my favourite prints, and with my hubby’s hammer, I put together this beautiful display.

Isn’t it truly awesome?

I teared the moment this went up on the wall. It was all the happiest moments in the last few years of my life!

The best thing is, we get to update the pics as and when we want, and so everytime you visit, you may just get to see something different and something new.

The boys love this board. They’re always pointing at it, and calling out to the pictures of themselves, or their aunts, uncles and grandparents. It’s quite an interactive board and it tells our story.

*heart*

My relationship with God

I’m having a challenging time at work this week. I’ve had to channel all my positive energy into convincing myself that I am capable of helping the team through this big piece of work and achieving what we set out to do.

I’ve never been a very very religious person. I believe in God yes, I profess myself Muslim yes, but do I pray 5 times a day every day? I’d like to say I did, but I’d be lying. I’m not a perfect Muslim, then again who is?

On the advise of, well advise wouldn’t be the right word, cos my friends have never outrightly advised me. But did, by sharing with me how they would rely on their faith in God to get them through challenging times, that I’ve been inspired to seek more solace in my faith. Much more than I have for a long time now.

It doesn’t surprise me that those who have inspired this are friends of the Christian faith, rather than my Muslim friends. Maybe because I’ve grown up in a mission school all my life, I’m more comfortable talking about my own religion and faith with non-Muslims rather than Muslims.

Anyway, tonight while I was doing my post-prayer reflection it dawned on me that the relationship that I’ve always had with God has always been one based on fear. Not on love.

I’m thinking that I don’t want that for my children. They should learn to love our God, not fear him.

Twin Mommy Meltdown

I have a ton of post ideas…akin to an editorial plan…but the ‘plan’ will have to wait. This post is about the now.
I had a mommy meltdown. I’ll admit it. It’s not easy to do so- admit it that is. But I will. Cos I’ll be stupid and selfish to pretend that everything is ok.
I’ve been sleep-deprived since our trip to Krabi (sigh, many posts on that trip still to come..when i finally find the time). The boys had fallen ill and also started teething again, and their sleep schedule had become all messed up. They’ve also learnt how to scream. Like really scream! Like Jennifer Love Hewitt in the movie Scream, screamed. Err…no…that was the other chick…she (Jennifer) screamed in ‘I knew what you did last summer’. Well you get the point!
And a lot of this screaming happens in the middle of the night. And i’m new to this HDB etiquette thing. Am i allowed to let my child scream all night long, even if it wakes up the upstairs, downstairs and next door neighbours? Soundproofing in new HDB flats are almost non-existent and its got me all wound up like a big fat furball…. erk….
Anyhow, after many many night of multiple crying episodes which, frankly, my husband was handling, cos I had lost it…gone off the rail… I mean I’d just sit and stare at either twin who was screaming at the time, using all my energy not to do something I’d really regret, and then feeling guilty that I had such terrible thoughts running through my mind…I was feeling totally useless AND exhausted.
The cumulative lack of sleep resulted in a terrible migraine on Monday morning. Not quite able to face the world, or myself for that matter, I called in sick. Phone in hand, I just couldn’t help but check facebook (I am sooo addicted) and then stupidly clicked on the video which some friend shared below.
Guess what happened? I started bawling my head off…and didn’t stop crying for most of the day. Mixture of guilt about not being able to cope, feeling relieved that I wasn’t the only one who thought this was the hardest job in the world and fear that my child won’t be successful and in the olympics like these moms…but instead in therapy blaming their life problems on their mum …ME! (yar, i know that it’s so ‘divine secrets of the ya ya sisterhood)

Major mommy meltdown moment!!

Thank god for Son who spent an hour on the phone, all the way from Sydney, telling me that all was going to be ok.

And thank heavens for the girlfriend who happily met me for coffee, at Food for Thought at Singapore Botanic Garden, later that afternoon. The chat helped me feel more centred and more confident that I wasn’t going to necessarily ruin my children’s lives.

Of course the slice of red-velvet cake didn’t hurt either. The sugar rush, was perhaps, the very thing I needed.

Mr Eveel was also so supportive, let me head out to spend the evening at a colleagues farewell, assuring me he’d have everything under control, and that I should just hang loose for the evening. And i sure did.

I’m feeling better. Still tired, not quite wonderful and perfect yet, but better….

One step at a time I guess…