Sunday, 5 December 2021

End of T1 AY2021/22

Salam my lovelies,

We are well into the final 2 weeks of the first term. Bean is settled into Year 4 and Girl is spontaneously comfortable/bonded with her new teachers and classmates in Year 7. Moving to upper primary and secondary were definitely remarkable milestones (and school fees increment!). Parent Teacher Evenings are lined up for the week ahead so wish me luck!

The Christmas charity is up and we have sold 50 Sarawak Penan Bags to raise RM1260 for donation to Rumah Charis. Syukur alhamdulillah. The gift pledge cards are hung on the school Christmas tree and steady stream of presents are expected until 17 December 2021. Considering the economic outlook is not as bright as we have hoped, the generosity of many never fail to impress us. May this charity be long and blessed.

Last Friday, the very first COVID-19 cases was recorded in secondary school. The Senior Leadership Team, teachers, staff, students and parents have mostly remained calm and orderly. As of press time, there have been no new cases, no cluster has been formed and we will continue to trace and test. The year group in question are being self-isolated and lessons will continue online. Grit on! Our first school case since March 2020, what an amazing feat while it lasted.

Girl and Bean were in school for total of 2 days during their turn in rotation. The community we live in recorded 2 cases by the end of their second day at school and we immediately opted for online learning/work from home module with trips out to the grocer only when necessary. This self- imposed/strict discipline/err on side of caution have worked well for us as 3 more local cases were recorded. The Other Half stalks the community e-bulleting like a hawk and we will remain vigilant, inshaAllah. May Allah swt grant us all the strength, stamina, financial resources and protection while we ride out challenges of Omicron, Delta and annoying political situation in Malaysia.  

A little note to celebrate: I got my Pfizer booster dose!

In my journey of luxury minimalism, my closet declutter items that went to a local reliable consignment have been sold in record fast time - one Hermes Bastia coin purse which is obsolete now with e-wallet being so prevalent, one red Ferragamo belt with GHW which I bought for Christmas and CNY "uniform" but never worn, one pair of Vara jelly that I never quite broke in because leather shoes are so much more comfortable. However, my brand new Balenciaga City in the classic size is about to come home as there is no taker as yet. Maybe I will ask if I can dye it from denim to all black so that I can make it work better with my capsule wardrobe closet. I feel so light and free from having a smaller but cohesive wardrobe and those of you on this journey will agree with me that less is more.

In closing, our weekends have been spent at The House with The Grandparents. We will try to spend as much time as possible with them while we can. Life is short and best lived meaningfully with loved ones.

Stay safe!

Monday, 25 October 2021

Start of AY2021/22 and Changes

Salam my lovelies,

I hope everyone is keeping safe and healthy. I am glad to see the vaccine working around the world and start to feel just that glimmer of hope.

The academic year started with Selangor being in strict lockdown then quickly moved along Phase 2, 3 and 4 of the National Recovery Plan. We have just received news that both children will return to school under group 2 of the rotation this 15th November 2021, inshaAllah. We made some preparations by buying shoes that fit the children. Hopefully, they get to wear them out instead of outgrowing them brand new in box like in early 2021!

The school ownership has changed hands recently and there is some opportunities for positive improvements to come. Rebranding (livery changes to be expected) matter less than leadership, teachers and special education needs (no changes, thankfully!) so I pray that we continue to be in good stead. I will certainly want to be involved in this exciting stage and make long lasting contributions in charting our new course. 

Lots to do in the areas of social reintegration for now, as the younglings prepare to return to in-person learning at school. InshaAllah, I will share more when I am able to. One day at a time.

Stay safe!


Wednesday, 28 July 2021

End of AY2020/21 and Summer Break 2021

 Salam my lovelies,

Pardon for the long silence as we trudged on the final term of pandemic-online-schooling. Syukur alhamdulillah Girl and Bean both did exceptionally well in their GL Assessments. Girl graduated in our living and dining room. Bean scored an award for Most Improved Student of his class. The Awards Ceremonies were surprisingly interesting! We applied for access to be granted to The Grandparents so they joined us online to watch both ceremonies. Both of the children's homeroom teachers will be returning to England, alas. They will both be sorely missed.

Girl and Bean somewhat enjoyed their online Sports Day as the novelty had worn off. We will suggest that the programme be updated next year as repeating the same routines and challenges from AY2019/20 annually were not exciting nor engaging for the most part. Morion, their sports house, did not win this year but put up a good fight. Sportsmanship can be tough under pandemic-fatigue as we witnessed first hand.

International Week came and went without much pomp and gala as the overall spirit was dampened by high daily new cases and long-drawn lockdown. Girl's class was assigned Thailand, and Bean's year group was again assigned China (same as when they were in Year 1). Girl's Thai costume arrived after International Week Dress Up Day, and Bean donned his Lunar New Year red costume. There was not much decoration of study space, except reusing all our Lunar New Year deco items for Bean's China-theme. I must remind myself to order Bean's new costumes as he is outgrowing them soon.

We cooked some masa harina pancakes (the recipe is a keeper) and ordered Thai food during International Week. Bean missed his xiao long bao and la mien so much he kept reminiscing his meal at Din Tai Fung KLCC when we could last venture out.

Summer break is finally here and we are spending every single day indoors, same as most Klang Valley dwellers. Our 9.2 acre park is still shut but we enjoy the greeneries and fresh air. This is our first holiday-less indoor long break. We ordered a whole series of The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer and a few more titles for Girl, including a new release from David Edward Williams (David Walliams). Bean is working on his Horrible Histories series, still. His stamina for reading is nowhere near that of Girl's, not that I am comparing.

Personally, I am working on re-motivating myself. I have a lot to be grateful for and reaffirm myself of this fact daily. Although The Other Half and I have been fully-vaccinated, we are not taking our chances and are very aware of the fact that both children have yet to reach their respective vaccination threshold age. We are certainly taking all precautions and coping the best we can with what we have.

On the fluffier side of life, our balcony plants are thriving and they bring much joy. Both children are painting, colouring, crafting and playing online games. They usually transition into movement breaks without cue. Dances and balloon-volley indoors are so fun with them! We must include more of our stationary bike and rower considering we have been eating well could use some extra exercise.

We hope to spend the rest of this summer break in good health and happiness. All school fees have been paid and their books for Y7 and Y4 are arriving from the warehouse. Hopefully, Girl's new secondary uniform will be available as soon as the bookstore is allowed to open (on-site at School and it is not currently permitted under Phase 1). I am still in awe she is going to Y7 and knowing me, I may get all emotional come September.

Ending this post with much love and peace to everyone. Stay safe and healthy. May happiness and joy come your way daily. 

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Term 3 AY2020/21

Salam my lovelies,

Girl and Bean commenced Term 3 AY2020/21 on 12th April 2021 for in-person learning but we quickly made a family decision to keep them learning online soon afterwards when the number of new COVID-19 cases in Selangor kept rising. We have been self-isolating since. Thank goodness for work-from-home and online purchases, without which, self-isolation would have been near impossible.

Both Girl and Bean miss being out and about but have come to accept this as their way of life. They look forward to life as they knew it pre-pandemic and we often have heart-to-heart talk as to when that may be possible again. Perhaps with new adjustments.

They resumed the final second half of Term 3 after Eid/mid-term break and are now well into preps for GL Assessments. Due to MCO3.0 and FMCO, all their school events will be held online. We are looking forward to a series of webinars this week on inclusion policy, GL Assessments and oral health for families during pandemic. June and July look packed with transition classes, parent-teacher conferences, Sports Day and International Week. 

Bean will have a couple of projects for Family Day this year at Early Autism Project Malaysia, albeit on a smaller scale compared to last year. He is learning independently for most part now and we only assist with printing, the occasional hiccup of broken wifi connection and submission of assignments. His English Tutor from Inception Learning Space (fully online) has worked out well and we are grateful as he now has better self-esteem in speaking up during his lessons, especially to ask for help. Thank goodness for both EAP Malaysia and Inception Learning Space!

We do not have a proper plan for summer break yet as we are still unsure of how FMCO will pan out. We hope to add a bit more to our roof-deck space for some summer fun especially in the morning when it is at its coolest. It is definitely time to brainstorm and plan ahead if we wish to enjoy some breathtaking sunset view there. 

In parting, we would like to encourage our local/Malaysian readers to self-isolate, practice self-lockdown and bring the number of cases down as we did before. Stay safe, my lovelies!

Thursday, 20 May 2021

Eid Mubarak 1442H

Salam my lovelies,

Wishing every Muslim reader here a very happy Eidulftr.

The COVID-19 positive cases, ICU cases and deaths were reported at an all time high since this week and we have had a relatively low key Eid celebrations. No house and grave visiting was permitted and so we missed visiting my PIL and visiting Abang's grave for the first time since 2009.

We ushered in the spirit of Eid with online school assembly on 11th May 2021 before mid-term break started the following day. Girl and Bean had one day rest before Eid. We let them nurse their pandemic fatigue with all day iPad pass, unlimited Netflix, park time, play time (most memorable being their self-initiated board and card games) and Movie Night with popcorn every single night right up till the second night before school resumed on Tuesday the following week. It was a proper chill time from school and the outside world. Yes, syukur alhamdulillah for their sheltered time at home during such public health crisis period.

Looking back, we had a cheerful mini photo session just the four of us, all dressed in soft seafoam green from 2019's Eid. My small blush Lady ABCDior even made its brief 5-minute appearance in a few photos, just because. We were all dressed to the nines with nowhere to go.

Our Eid lunch spread was so simple, perhaps that embodied the true spirit of moderation. I was in no mood for a big feast and you could tell Girl and Bean were perfectly content with not having to stuff their faces full with traditional "raya food". The highlight of the meal was a video call to see The Grandparents. We later exchanged photos in our family group chat.

School has since resumed for Girl and Bean, the routine is helping us keep structure during such abnormal times devoid of social interaction. Girl is starting to feel the bane of not seeing any of her classmates in person, with some video calls starting to feel awkward/not having much to share. Bean is relatively unaffected and only too happy to be playing games and catching up with YouTube games reviews. On the bright side, he now has learnt to be independent during his online classes. The only help he needs from us are wifi connectivity and printing of worksheets. We are proud of him sitting nicely, staying focused and asking questions/asking for help. Both are asking for more cuddles than usual, and we are happy to indulge them whenever they ask for one.

On a personal note, I am replacing my fast, slowly but surely. InsyaAllah, may this be easy on me. May our good deeds be accepted and may Allah swt forgive us our sins. Selamat Hari Raya and Maaf Zahir Batin.

Until next time, stay safe and stay at home if you are in Malaysia. Take good care, my lovelies.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Ramadhan Kareem

Salam my lovelies,

Ramadhan is upon us again, alhamdulillah. May Allah s.w.t. accept our fast and good deeds. Aamiin.

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Happy Lunar New Year 2021

Salam my lovelies,

Happy Lunar New Year!

Girl and Bean were attending online classes with assessments followed by Assembly on Lunar New Year Eve before we converted the huge dining table now also known as "the office/Girl's classroom" into a table decked in all things celebratory and set, fit for reunion dinner at 5:30 p.m.

The MCO2.0 SOP allowed for The Grandparents to come over (2 in a car, perfect!) to save us from the hassle of travel (2 per car, family of 4, you get the drift!). We are thankful for living within 10 km of each other now, although we certainly miss the convenience of a hospital and nearby facilities within the city centre where we were. 

A joyous time was shared with prosperity salad toss, reunion feast from an ex-school mate's restaurant and tea ceremony-hong bao exchange. Girl and Bean are now used to this routine/complied 100% with happy hearts. Syukur alhamdulillah!

The was a health scare in the week leading up to the Lunar New Year though.

I found a large engorgement/swelling on my left arm/armpit area and went to consult my specialists. 2 ultrasounds at different hospitals and a week of antibiotics later, now, I am waiting for MRI with contrast at Prince Court Medical Centre (the injector battery spoilt just after I registered that morning!). Prima facie from ultrasounds, neuro tumour. Let's pray it is not malignant, as the blood test came back in my favour (meaning CA markers are negative).

Let's enjoy the week of breather now before the hustle bustle resumes.

Have a lovely NIU year ahead and wishing all an ox-picious time with loved ones.

Till next time, take care and stay blessed.

P/S: I went back for CT Scan and a surgery at Prince Court. The surgical team and nurses at Ward 5G were a huge blessing. Highly skilled, helpful and cheerful. Wonderful service with great bedside manners. Catering was excellent. Housekeeping was responsive. Best part of all: my biopsy report is negative for malignancy. Syukur alhamdulillah.