Saturday, November 13, 2010

Chicken Pox - Day 6

Alhamdullilah.. When Naufal woke up this morning, he is looking so much more relaxed. As the day goes on, he shows signs that he is definitely back to his old self again. The temperature is gone and he is no longer itching. However, it is still only the 6th day. Hence, there's no way he is ready to mingle just yet. So that also means that mummy is stuck indoor for another day. Infact, I think the whole weekend!!

So how are we keeping ourselves occupied? Again, the coloring books and endless Thomas the tank engine DVDs..
Naufal is really enjoying drawing and coloring. I'm quite impressed that he can color within the lines, will have to buy more coloring books soon. He seems quite content with his drawing pad and some felt tip pens..
Though I really have to keep an eye on him for fear that he would start drawing on our cream-colored leather couch!!
Will need to start applying Vitamin E gel/creams to his skin so that he doesn't have any scars from this chicken pox.

Friday, November 12, 2010

No Pain No Gain..

I just ran 5.4km and burned 141 calories in 20 minutes... and man, am I exhausted!!! Oh I am so not ready for a marathon..
Every Tuesday and Thursdays I make it a plan to join the aerobic classes that are being organized in our office gym. It used to be sponsored by the company which came out from the "Healthy Lifestyle" budget. But since the new organization was created, there were not budget to cover this activity any longer, hence a bunch of the regulars decided to chip in to pay for it ourselves. The instructor also helped by lowering his rates, so we continued to exercise twice a week... and it was paying off. Alot of people noticed the slimmer me, and I am so happy that I could fit into my old clothes again.

Then came ramadhan and the muslims stopped going, my absence continued through the whole of Syawal and even the month after that... My old eating habits are starting to appear and I fear that soon I will loose this waist-line.. I'll go again next week, I promise (that is, if I don't have to go to site)..

Before when Norman worked nearby, we would go jogging at the KLCC park after work. That was so much fun.. but now that he moved to another office, I couldn't find another consistent running partner, so I just quit..

Last month, I had an idea to buy my husband a birthday present... one that I hope I will also benefit from as much as he does.. so I bought him a Reebok Crosstrainer.

I guess we all have our excuses for the lack of exercise. Long working hours, lots of travelling, too busy with dealing with family, can't resist good food etc... I hope that having a machine at home will help us get a little exercise on a regular basis. Even if it means a 15 minit workout, it does make a difference.. The guy who sold it to me reminded me before we left the store that the important thing is not just to own a machine, but to make sure it is used. Need to be consistent and motivated.. I hope my husband and I will continue to motivate each other to use this machine. No pain no gain!! Hopefully we could start the day with some exercise before getting ready for work.. a little effort, goes a long way :)

Even little Naufal is getting excited.. he thinks it's a toy!! I have to make sure he won't get hurt.. So both Norman and I have a target.. hopefully the transformation will be obvious, insyaAllah..

Thursday, November 11, 2010

MEGAMIND.. and a boy's beautiful mind...

It has been afew months since we last went to the movies, so last weekend (before the whole chicken pox series bagan), we decided to go out to the movies. It was the long weekend and my sister came home from Kerteh, and for once our whole family is around. Megamind is playing at the Cathay Cineplex at the Curve, for once we wanted to see the 3D version.

I must say even the adults were excited.. We had no idea what the movie is about but it was the only cartoon playing..
Here's Naufal and his aunts after the movie!!

I must say, watching in 3D is so much fun.. The movie? well it was great!!! Highly recommended, even Naufal liked it. He was laughing all the time, even when no body else was laughing he was laughing out loud, which subsequently made us laugh at him..

I think he got giddy from all the sugar on the popcorn.. in the last 30 minits he started taking his 3D glasses off, and playing about with it. Overall, I think he behaved well.. he's really enjoying these rare treats to the movies. This is his second one after Toy Story 3, I was reluctant to take him before that for fear that he would be restless in the theatre and start bawling his eyes out and stuff.. infact, to be honest Norman and I have not been to the movies much since he was born..

Afterwards we strolled along the street market that connects the Cineplex with The Curve. Once inside we stopped by a couple of stores, then we stopped by at Borders.Naufal loves books, be it coloring books, story books, activity books, you name it...

And his favourites are surely the books about his favourite characters.. Lightning McQueen (Cars), Thomas and His Friends and anything to do with either trains and cars...
Look at him concentrating on the pictures.. He can recognize letters and its phonics already, both in Roman alphabet and arabic letters. It's really remarkable how fast he learns, he's only just 3 years and 3 months. I think I only started recognizing the alphabet after 5 years old.. maybe I'm slow.

We bought two books for him.. that night he wouldn't stop making us read it to him repeatedly until he falls asleep...

Get well soon Naufal..

Woke up this morning and immediately checked on Naufal.. Alhamdullilah, his rashes have gone down.. I hope this means that he is gradually getting better.. Last night his Aunty Fatin came for a visit, today his grandma and Aunty Nora is coming over to cheer him up.. they've both had chicken pox so I hope they are immune to the bug..

The redness have toned down, and he seems less itchy.

His face doesn't look so bad.. I just have to make sure that he doesn't start scratching. Good thing his nails are still short.
I noticed that the red spots also appears on his lips and inside his mouth like an ulcer. Fortunately he's not complaining of the pain, and I keep on lathering on the lotion from the clinic to stop him from feeling the itch.
It must be the chicken pox season, even people from different districts are getting it too. The doctor told us that sometimes even people who have had it could still catch the virus again if their immune system is not strong.. Chicken pox could last as long as two weeks in some cases.
We were adviced to get the anti-viral vaccination, the clinic we went didn't have any stock of the vaccine. I thought of going to the peaditrician but I didn't want to expose other kids to the virus.. so I haven't taken Naufal to get it.
When did you have your chicken pox?
My husband haven't had it yet.. which is why he is being extra careful. He's sleeping in a separate bedroom from me and Naufal for the time being. I don't want him to take the risk. Adult chicken pox could be quite bad..
I had my chicken pox when I was 8.. It was quite memorable cause my brother and younger sister also had it simultaneously, while our parents were both out in their pilgrimage!! So say it was "demam rindu".. maybe it is true, we have never been segregated for so long before that..
But it wasn't just that for me.. while my parents were away, my grandma and my dad's relatives came over to take care of us.. and instead of taking us to the clinic they gave us traditional medicine.. one of the cures for itchiness was to put mashed up leaves which was made into a paste with mixtures of some cold powder (bedak sejuk)... Unfortunately, I must've scratched one of the red spots, and it was bleeding. Somehow, it got infected and turned bigger and bigger..
It was so painful as it turned into a painful wound.. It was on my knee and it was so bad that I couldn't walk. My uncle took me to the clinic and the doctor cleaned my wounds.. soon I was ok.. or so we thought...
Weeks later my parents returned, and I guess I felt alright. But not long later, my parents realised that something was not right. I'm not exactly sure what it was, as I didn't realise that anything was or felt wrong. One day, after my father returned from the mosque he brought along one of his friends.. who happens to be our neighbour, and a doctor. He examined me there in the living room... and told dad to bring me to the clinic for a check-up..
The doctor referred me to the hospital, I remember thinking I was going to die.. I'm not sure if I was in pain, but I was just so scared. My urine is as black as coffee, it's contaminated with blood. My kidneys are not functioning, it is infected...
When we arrived in the hospital the next day, there were so many needles stuck in my arms. They took so many blood samples. During lunch my mum told me to eat green vegetables, and other things that could generate blood. I never liked greenies, but I remember eating them that day. So much as if my life depended on it.. Nonetheless, it was not enough.. At the end of the day I was still admitted.
I stayed in the children's ward for almost a month, a bed by the window overlooking the city. It was so strange, I felt so lonely... especially at night. My siblings were not allowed to visit me and I missed them terribly.

Even when I was discharged, I had to bring back my urine sample. We had frequent visits to the hospital to follow-up on my recovery. My veins on my arms and back hand looked like a drug addicts'.. there were marks from the needles where the nurses took my blood samples, not to mention the bruises.
Thankfully, it's all history now. It's over 20 years ago, I'm fortunate that my kidneys have recovered. I'm grateful for modern medicine, grateful for my parents' love and care. Alhamdullilah.. I'm grateful for every day that I am still alive.. Allah is all mighty..

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Life is full of surprises…

Naufal is sleeping on the living room carpet and Grey's Anatomy is playing on the TV. It's the episode where Meredith dies, reruns from the season before the one where Lizzie had cancer, and Danny is already dead. Funny thing about TV series is the main character's is never really dead. The show is, after all, about Grey's anatomy.. So if Meredith Grey is dead then that would mean the rest of the show is out the window.. So despite what we would think the ending is, the show pulls a "one-eighty" and Meredith lives another day. And that's what keeps us glued to the screens, these unlikely twists of the plot.. but how are we suppose to know, when things suddenly turns to it's lows, that life (as we know it) would always turn out alright at the end?

The answer is you don't. Nobody gets to read the plots and scripts of their lives before they start the act. You only get to know about it after it is done, after a chapter is lived…

And before that, all we have is hope.. the wishes and prayers. All we can do is plan.

Like how every weekend I plan to fix the curtain that is 3" too long. It is sitting on the red love-seat on the upstairs living room for the past month.. Every weekend I am always too occupied with other plans that I never really got to it. Never would I have imagined that today, on a week day, would I actually finish the sewing that I started a while ago.

There were so many things planned this week.. all the documents to review, the pre-production meeting, the site visits and the pre-commissioning audits.. and I am the lead for this package, my next big "baby" and I have made so many plans of things to do for this week. The site team is being created, CV's flying about, people to interview, and the offshore crew from the last campaign is gearing up to start on this onshore fabrication scope..

On the other hand, Naufal's first sports day will be this Sunday. We just received his sport's day outfit on Monday. Yellow always looks good on him…

Monday was also his last day in school, atleast for this week..

When I got home on Monday night, Naufal was already at my mum's place. His body was warm as he greeted me. As if he is starting to get down with a fever.. he was already coughing that morning, but that's normal when he wakes up. His throat is always a little dried. He had his dinner earlier than us, mum always feeds him while she waits for the rest of us to return from work. This is cause he is always so hungry after playschool, despite the 4 o'clock tea time snacks that the teachers gave him.. Nora was complaining about how he has so many mosquito bites on his arms, and I looked while Naufal starts scratching away. Again, I start talking about how we should put insect repellent in his school bag to give a hint to the teachers that there's mosquitos in the bungalow. It is worrying, especially at this time of the year when it rains in the evenings… but it hasn't been raining in Kelana Jaya, right?

So I had dinner with the others, Naufal was occupied with his toys and the Thomas cartoons that's being played on the TV. It seems just like any other night, until I took him in the bedroom to change his nappy. I wanted to change him into his pajamas, and so I took his shirt off and there it was.. his whole body is filled with spots, the same mosquito-like bites that were on his arms.. then I searched his body for more, his back, his face, his neck, and his upper legs… it's not rashes, it's CHICKEN POX!!

I just can't believe it, just last week our department's secretary's daughter had chicken pox, our prime minister just had chicken pox and now my son has chicken pox!!! I'm positive that the three of them have not been in close contact in the last 7 days, so how…??? I rushed him to our regular clinic to see the GP.. he took one look and confirmed my suspicions.. As I drove home, I realize… I'm gonna have to be home for the next couple of days. Naufal was already scratching in the car, I had to apply chamomile lotion at once.

He just couldn't stop scratching... even his palm was itchy, so we put a plaster on it to stop him from scratching it.

We called his school the next day, and indeed there was another child who just had chicken pox the week earlier. I'm guessing this kid is not completely done with the virus when he/she returned back to the playschool and now my son is the next victim. Honestly, some parents are so inconsiderate!!

So as it turns out, we will be missing out some of the events that are planned this week. It just shows, we can only plan and pray and hope for the best. But life has its own plot in store. Secret twists that we couldn't have predicted. Just have to adjust and move on..

I hope Naufal will get back to his old self again soon. InsyaAllah no complications... Amin.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Riang Ria Berhari Raya..

First and foremost I want to wish all the muslims in this whole world Eid Mubarak!! Ramadan has surely breezed in a thousand blessings, and has left us with a month of celebration in Syawal :) and what a great month it has started out to be!
I hope everyone is enjoying it as much as I am over here.. to me this year, Syawal has brought the family closer to each other. We have just returned from a long, and I would also like to add last minute planned, trip "balik kampung", starting from Subang to Kelana Jaya (my parents' place) to Batu Pahat (my hubby's mother's hometown) to Mersing (my dad's hometown) to Kuala Terengganu (my hubby's father's hometown)... all in all we have travelled 1400++km... We travelled both day and night, until I lost track of what day it is!! But it was worth it, getting to see the family again.

For me this is the 4th raya that I am spending with hubby. The first time we celebrated Eid together was right after confinement, and we took our little bundle of joy for the first time back to KT after spending a few hours with my parents on the morning of the first day of Syawal. Back then, I was so anxious of how I would be accepted in the family. It was the first time I would be sleeping over at his granny's, and there was so many people I still need to know. There's so many things that was running in my mind, will they like me? what if I say something wrong? .. and so for most of our time there, my dear husband was always by my side, or atleast in the same room as me. The only time I would let him leave me (and little baby) alone is if I was already asleep. Back then, Naufal was very dependent on me too, and that made me feel like I need my hubby's assistance even more...

The 2nd Eid we celebrated, I was still wary of my actions. I'm still in doubt whether I'm part of the crowd yet, and at times I am not sure whether everyone I met remembers who I am... But it was fun getting to meet not only his side of the family but also his friends too. At this time one of his friends whom I met earlier in Dublin, on my visit from the States, was getting engaged.

The 3rd Eid was much more relaxed, I am much more comfortable with people and Naufal is starting to mingle with the other kids.

This time around, as you can imagine, I am more of myself. Naufal is no longer interested with hanging around with me cause he has other kids to play with. I don't mind Norman leaving me with others anymore. I'm open for discussions and talks, I can say NO if I feel like it, and I really feel like a member of the clan :) Finally, we're on the same wavelength, hooray!!

To all my friends out there, SELAMAT HARI RAYA, MAAF ZAHIR & BATIN

Friday, August 13, 2010


Other than the start of Ramadhan, the Malaysian Independence month (yes, the flags have already been hung at home, probably the first house in the neighbourhood who has the flags up), there is another memorable celebration for us in the upstream EP (exploration and production) business in the red-yellow pecten oil & gas company. For us lot in KL, the celebration is not as grand as in Miri, where the history all began..

I myself started my career in this business in Miri before transferring to KL to venture in the high profile deepwater project, which is the first for Malaysia for this company. So I understand the truth when people say that “in Miri, almost everyone living there is either working for Shell or related to someone working in Shell”.. Some of my friends from Miri are 3rd generation Shell staff whereby their parents and their grandparents used to work for this company. This is not a norm anywhere else in the country, so it is quite unique. Coincidentally even in my immediate family we have 3 members working for this multinational company, there’s colleagues who joke that perhaps one day my son will also be working for this business.

If anyone out there is wondering how Malaysia started to venture into oil and gas, well here’s a little history (that I have extracted from the PC Sign-On screen…)
It was exactly a century ago, on August 10, 1910, that a group of curious local inhabitants of Miri in Sarawak gathered on top of the hill overlooking the small fishing village. Back then, Miri consisted of 20 scattered houses and a few shops.

The villagers were watching a small party of Shell employees and thirty local labourers undertake the slow and laborious task of drilling by the old cable tool method, first used in AD 421 by the Chinese to extract salt. While the occasion was cause for great interest, none of the onlookers could have realised what tremendous consequences the event would have for Sarawak.

Four months later oil was struck at a depth of 136 metres and brought into production. The wooden derrick, erected at 79m above sea level, began to produce an initial 83 barrels a day. The well was Miri Well No. 1 – which came to be called the “Grand Old Lady” - on top of Canada Hill. The company was the Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Company, forerunner of Sarawak Shell Berhad and part of the Shell Group of Companies formed in 1907.

As the birthplace of the nation’s petroleum industry, Miri would be transformed by the landmark event into one of Sarawak’s most developed towns post-independence. In the course of the last 100 years of upstream business, Shell has recorded remarkable achievements in the development of oil and gas resources in Malaysia. Contributing capital, advanced technology and skilled human resource to the country, these achievements are milestones that the company continues to be proud of today.

Today, Shell operates as upstream contractors to Petronas after the national oil company was established to look after the nation's hydrocarbon resources in 1974. Since the signing of the first production sharing contracts in 1976, Shell has continued to achieve firsts in Sarawak, among them the development of E11, the country’s first gas field in 1982. The company also started Shell MDS, the world’s first commercial gas-to-liquids plant of its kind in Bintulu in 1993.

The 100-year journey would not have been possible without the support of the community it operates in. In giving back to society, Shell has implemented a diverse range of events, projects and programmes - commencing with the construction of the Miri-Lutong road and the Miri hospital in the early part of the 20th century - which evolved into today’s corporate social responsibility initiatives in human capital development, educational excellence, sustainable development and road safety awareness. Flagship programmes include the Shell Scholarship Awards, Project Link (a coded welder training programme), the Shell Traffic Games, Nature Education Camps and the Shell Kenyalang Press Awards. Through its signature “We Care We Share” programme, the company funds staff volunteerism for community projects in areas of large operations such as Miri and Bintulu.

As Shell celebrates the centenary of the “Grand Old Lady” and its first hundred years of upstream operations in Malaysia, it looks forward to the next 100 years of powering progress together with its partners and the community, confident that its second century will be just as memorable, exciting and successful.