11 Sekawan Ber-Iftar

Saturday, 20th Aug 2011

I played host for my 11 Besties to have our Iftar (breaking of fast) at my house. Good thing too cause I'll be one of the few who would be making the mains of this potluck session, none other than my... BEEF MEATLOAF & Mashed potatoes!!!

In preparation of their arrival (9 besties + 4 of their husbands + 8 children under 3yrs), I vacuumed and mopped and arranged all Tufeil's toys in categories. Wanted to try like what Happygrub did. I guess either it doesn't work for such big crowd or i didn't organise properly. LOL

Guests started trickling in at 6.30pm with 45min to go to dusk.

Husainy, being one of the early birds, gotta ride on the trike
As well as the "laptop"

"Tufeil tak nak yang ini!!!"
"I don't want this one!!"

Chatting before the call of azan

Mummy Y trying to gobble a ball!!

Preparing the mat to safeguard the carpet.

Just about 3/4 of the final spread!

From below: KFC's egg tarts, Fried Pasta, Fried chicken wings (complete with lettuce!), on its right my meatloaf, above that my mashed potatoes, some otak2 (Fish paste bbq?), Dengdeng (sliced beef BBQ), fruits and assorted cookies.

Not pictured: Mee Rebus, Pengat (Pisang?), and Grass Jelly w Longan dessert.

Alhamdulillah, the guests enjoyed my Meatloaf =)

I managed to sit down and eat for a bit!

Syifaa' was being very sisterly to Husainy as well as others.
Syifaa' was the excited one when she saw Husainy's picture on Okto's birthday dedication on TV! And she was especially nice to all the kids that night, showing them how to play with some toys and asking after them. I think next time we have a gathering, I would prolly bring Syifaa' along too!
The only girl in our 10 kids brood!

The husbands were watching a very important soccer match - was it Liverpool VS Arsenal?

"Mr Hisyam, please tell the non-Arsenal fans what you intend to do with this glove."

"We KAPOW them!" LOL

Mass Prayer time!
My parents have already gone out for an evening class, so the head of prayer is Zarn! Tufeil was clingy that night, refused to play alone or with his friends so I had to carry him most of the way.

And then, we proceeded with our Agenda for the night: iron some glitter on Nan's top and a tutorial on headscarf fashion (lilit tudung).

In between, the kids entertained themselves: jumping on the bed, running around, etc.

Me, I tried to feed Tufeil his dinner properly. And the other boys joined in too. Apparently, they ALL loved the SAUCE part of the meatloaf and didn't care so much for the mashed potatoes. haha. Afterwards, they continued jumping and jumping until Tufeil vomitted! Poor dear. He was coughing quite a bit.
Loitering along the corridor while the ladies were all in my room doing the tutorial

All of the girls and some of the kids in my room!
In an effort to wean Tufeil off breastmilk, one of my friends tried to tell him that she has added some medicine (the thing he hates the most!) in my milk. Coincidentally, Tufeil was extremely sleepy at 9.30pm before the guests were gone, so I was not able to lay with him on the bed. So i just carried him till he fell asleep on his own. 2 hours later when he cam awake, he didn't ask for the milk! I carried him around too. but by the 2nd time he woke up, i thought, "It's ok, i'll give in this time. He's not feeling very well."

Anyway, while I was carrying Tufeil, I was totally incapacitated. All the girls helped to pack the leftovers for all of us to bring home. They even helped to take out the trash! What gems they are!

It was very nice having you guys over. But next time, I wanna go out. :P

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Holiday in the making...

It is truly unfortunately that I have to arrive to the decision of scrapping the 12D trip to Turkey at year end. The trip for one adult costs more than my monthly salary! Now that Tufeil is more than 2 years of age, his plane ticket alone is $1,800 excluding the land tour fee.

That means I'll be missing these...

Topkapi Palace

Blue Mosque

Grand Bazaar

Sighhh... well better that than plunging deeper into debts.

Instead, now I'm planning to go for Qodariyah's 5D to Shanghai. I think it's winter there too in december, right? Even if no snow, temp lower than say 10 deg c would be good. hahah And it costs only $858 per person! (Budget airline???)

Afterwards we can still go for a beach resort...

I wanna stay in a villa with private pool

Get in house massage...

and snorkel!!!

Tufeil would be delighted to see the fishes up close and personal! Wait, would he be able to snorkel?

I just can't decide which beach. PLUS most of the nearby islands would be affected by the monsoon season or something in December, isn't it? So WHERE would be a good place???

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Seletar Reservoir

Sunday, 14th August 2011.

After making 2 more packets of Kuih Layang2, I made two batches of Butter cookies for my sister. And by two batches, I mean like... two separate batches bcos I wasn't sure if two would be too much.

It was past 2.30pm when we finally got ready for a ... Drive To Nowhere. Well technically we went all the way to Tampines for a few errands... but effectively, me and Tufeil just slept in the car. *bliss*

T woke up just in time for a walk by the park at Seleter Reservoir. It was soooooo windy... with quite a handful of Banglas/Indians sitting there too.

The grass/weeds were long too. I was pleasantly surprised that Tufeil didn't notice them much even though he was wearing a sandal.

We saw 3 dead fishes washed ashore... and there was even one that was DYING. My dad said "Inilah dia nyawa nyawa ikan" (Malay proverb)

And then we went to the River side of the water.

It was low tide. There were a couple of people with GIANT cameras that you see a football matches. My dad thought they were waiting to shoot crabs or something.

Mum suggested to come here one day for a picnic and perhaps do our prayer under the sky. That'd be nice.

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Kuih Layang-Layang

We spent the whole weekend making a total of 7 packets worth of Kuih Layang-Layang (Literally: Kite cookie) well minus a few sheets ended up torn and in our mouths. I totally regretted letting Tufeil and Syifaa' taste the raw sheets cause then the entire time we were rolling them, they bugged me for some pieces. *padan muka aku!* (Serve me right!)

Anyway, I thought I'd document how it is done, for memory's sake. We think it's been at least 2 years (Tufeil's arrival) since the last time we made this.

First, a short video on how to roll the sheet.

Sorry I instinctively spoke in Malay with my Mum.

 It is imperative that you NOT choose the BLUE packet from this brand because they tear easily (a lot ended in our mouths!) The green one was good. There are orange one too but I'm not sure what it is. BTW, i think its a local brand.

I'm not an expert at rolling the sheet. My job would be to help peel the sheets and fold into almost half so my mum could just roll and stick the ends with glue (I mean, flour and water mixture, haha).
And then I would be the one cutting them slanted.

It is important to keep it from getting dry from exposure. So we used damp cloth to cover the not yet rolled sheets.

Now, it's time to fry them
I like them kinda deep brown as opposed to pale.

My mum said "toast" but I think the right word is to STRAIN it once
And then another time to make sure excess oil is gone

And then stir in caster sugar as desired

Cool and store!

We found that frying immediately after preparing them would result in crispier texture as opposed to a bit hard when we waited overnight (due to time constraint) but they all taste the same.

Oh and between my mum and me, we could finish rolling a packet of 40pcs in 30minutes. Frying them is the tough bit.

Try it if you haven't already!!

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National Day 2011 & Discplining Tufeil

Tuesday, 9th Aug 2011

What a relief to finally have a Public Holiday after a dry season in Jun and July! HAHA Badly needed sleep. Me and T slept till 11am after our pre-dawn meals for the fasting day ahead.

I made a double batch of Sarang Semut (Literally: Ant's Nest), a cookie made of castard flour and Chocolate Rice. Somehow, my second time of making this turned awry. (Read my first attempt here - includes recipe.)

It was very very dry!!

The last time I made it, it was extremely soft!! This time around, I bought the normal Bird Eye's Custard Powder. I dont have the weighing scale at home and I think somehow my conversion from gm to cup is wrong.

200 g castard flour = 1 2/3 cup?
100 g plain flour = 3/4 cup?

Before baking
See.. I hardly needed to grate them, it crumbled on its own! haha. I baked 3 full trays before calling it quits. I saved the dough. Am thinking of adding more butter but not sure how (Like should i melt it first or something?) and how much. Thankfully, my sisters said it still tastes nice, it just doesnt stay together.

Because Tufeil had woken up late this morning, I had a thought of not letting him nap so that he could sleep early that night, so I took him out to the playground. We went from one to the next to the next until we ended up at a a Woodhaven condo showroom across the next street (quite far) because T saw this intriguing snake balloon.

We reached home close to 6.30pm. He scraped his knee just a few metres from home on the way back. and became very cranky... he was sleepy I know. So I let him watch the National Day Parade which was just starting.
Finally, he saw real soldiers marching
 I don't know why everytime I see a contingent of soldiers in the parade, my heart will swell and my throat choke with pride. LOL

LIfe-sized Food Costumes
 Even till today, Tufeil still asks me, "Mana soldier nye?" (Where are the soldiers) "Oh dia dah marching eh?" (They've marched away?)
We were so engrossed by the show that we missed iftar by a few seconds. Astaghfirullah!!!

These canons looked impressive on this vessel
But somehow it kinda disappointed me. The sound was very faint!!! *Yawwwwnnn*

By 8pm, Tufeil was already asleep! But at 10pm he woke up and was FRESH!!! He wanted to play and play. At 1am, I decided enough was enough. He had to sleep, or else! So i took away the iphone and commanded him to lie down and sleep. He cried hard. So I left him in the room in semi-darkness and closed the door. And waited about 5 seconds before entering again.

He still asked for his hippo (and dog) on youtube and I said NO, YOU MUST SLEEP! IT'S LATE! When he started crying again, i left him in the room again. After yet another 5 seconds, I came into the room again. I gave him an ultimatum, he could stay in the room alone or nurse to sleep. He cried for a few more seconds while I lied down shutting my eye... and then suddenly he snuggled up beside me and promptly fell asleep. It was 2am. But only after 3am did I finally sleep myself, on the floor, due to a hardcore blocked nose. (Am still having one as I type now 3 days later!)

I can tell you that this is quite a bold move from me. I'm learning to be a FIRM mother by reprimanding Tufeil when need be. I used to just ignore his wails and tantrums, tuning it all out. But I realised that this won't help Tufeil in distinguishing what's good and what's bad as he is in the phase of testing boundaries.

So I consulted with my 11 Besties (on whatsapp as we've been for the past 3 months or so) and we exchanged ideas on parenting and disciplining children. I feel much better now and in control of the situation, sort of, instead of being bullied by my own 2 yr old!

Wish me luck in discplining Tufeil!

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Break Fast w Yot

Sunday, 7th Aug 2011.

As tradition dictates, the first weekend of Ramadhan, we will break our fasts with my maternal grandfather, Tufeil's great grandfather (Yot). This year, it happens to be at the new penthouse. Whoop!

It is on this rare occassion that all the kids get to gather (even during Eid, our timing always clash) and they are at an age where they can all entertain themselves. The only worry I had was if Tufeil looked for me and climbed down the spiral stairs on his own.

Other than that, it was very peaceful (read: managed to eat without much disruptions) even entertaining. Tufeil sat down quietly beside me having his macaroni a piece at a time.

Tufeil entertaining the girls with his "forced" laughter

Uncle Ben giving T a ride on the rocket

He conquered this. Luckily the others were too big and Syifaa' had plenty of other toys to play with

The 2nd floor living area

T cried when it was time to leave cos he just discovered the keyboard and mic!

Again, Tufeil was entertaining the adults by repeating everything he heard and then turning it into gibberish.

We made our way home at about 10pm.

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Tufeil, 2yrs 4 months on...

Tufeil is such an extrovert. I don't know where he got it from cos I certainly was an extremely shy girl. Prolly still is.

This month he's shown me how he can make friends anywhere young and old.

A makeshift swing from an adult's "gym"

He's good at drawing circles...
He recognises numbers (thanks to school) 1, 2 & 4 being his favourites.
At a carpet shop in JB w Syifaa'

At last, he can listen to a specific command "Smile at the camera".

Sitting in his laundry basket

He's discovered that he can rest his head in the bathtub.

That's not poo but Chuggington's Puffer Ol Pete

Other than these, I DIG that he can finally climb on my back while I give him a horse ride.

And there's a National Day celebration as school today and he's dressed like this:
Nan will find this shirt familiar

This bag is good for his size
The bus attendant exclaimed, "Wah macam Fandi Ahmad sey" LOL

Now we can't wait to see how Umar will turn out.

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