Wednesday, 30 March 2022


Salam my lovelies,

Our long battle staying away from the much feared COVID-19 virus has finally ended with not one but four infections! Our entire household braved it together in one fell swoop from 17 to 31 March 2022.

Here is a short account of how it happened and how we recovered from it.

Bean and Girl attended school in person on 17 March 2022 as it was their photoshoot day for their year book. They both had the most wonderful time at school and came home so happy that day, with lots of stories to share. Bean's Homeroom Teacher noted particularly that Bean was extra helpful and had gone to assist his classmates, one by one, with their cultural diversity poster. His PowerPoint presentation file was saved in his Microsoft Tab drive at home and since he had completed his entire presentation to her satisfaction the day before, he was allowed to "help" his classmates.

I was on the fence about letting them attend the photoshoot at first, but after considering that this counts as a milestone event in their school calendar, I finally relented and agreed to it the night before, at dinner time. You could say I went against my gut feeling or better judgment. Anyways.

At 7:07 a.m. on 18 March 2022, just as Bean was coming down the stairs all dressed up and smiled brightly as he anticipated another exciting day at school, he saw my face fell as I read an email that had just come in from his class teacher.

Yes, the much dreaded school email during pandemic parenting: one positive case had just been reported in Bean's class and that the class was to immediately revert to online learning with close monitoring using RTK until the following Monday. One classmate who was already at school stayed there with the Homeroom Teacher and TA until he was collected later that day. Most had to U-turn whilst on their journey to school. You can imagine the chaos.

Since we were at still at home, we quickly tested Bean and his RTK results were negative. He logged in online while Girl attended school in person as sibling(s) of a close contact with a negative RTK need not quarantine as per guidelines applicable at that time. Girl came home extra bouncy and happy that day. After dinner, we were all huddled closely for our weekly Friday movie night at home. (You will all be thinking at this point: no huddling! You all need to isolate!). 

Saturday came and went without us visiting The Grandparents that day. To err on the side of caution, we isolated ourselves from them and everyone else. Bean's RTK results were still negative and we went on to huddle up for another weekend of movie night at home. (You will all be thinking: BIG mistake! No huddling is allowed!).

By Sunday, Bean started having fever, chills and aches. He was whiny from noon onwards (he is hardly ever whiny!) and his RTK results were still negative. Suspecting something was amiss by late that Sunday night, we decided to bring him in for PCR test at Ramsey Ara Damansara Hospital first thing on Monday. 

The Other Half drove Bean there. They both got tested. They came home and we isolated Girl just to be sure - but you all know that was too late. The Other Half mentioned he had a sore throat and wanted rice porridge for dinner.

That Monday night, after Isya', the hospital rang. Both PCR results for Bean and The Other Half were positive. We quickly rang The Grandparents to inform them and worked out our isolation dates. We nursed Bean of his high fever, sponged him and tried to break his fever. Nothing worked. His saturated oxygen level dropped to 94% at one point and I do not remember sleeping much that night. I only remember constantly sponging his hot body and tried to keep his fever below 38.8C, and fed him paracetamol and water at regular intervals.

I started to have a sore throat by early Tuesday morning and as soon as Girl woke up, I got her changed and drove her to the same ER. The nurses there remember Bean and The Other Half from the day prior, and they swiftly processed our PCR tests. We came home to wait out our results. By wait, I meant care for 3 sickly ones. 4, if you counted me in. My entire day was spent rescheduling meetings.

The much anticipated phone call from the hospital lab came around 11:30 p.m. that night. Girl and I were positive too. We were told there would be no real need to isolate ourselves in the household now but to keep all touch points sanitised as best as we possibly can, and to use our own bathrooms. We were also told not to share any personal items or meals. We declared the COVID-19 party time at home had commenced and our only aim was to preserve as much normalcy and routine as possible.

My nurse duty marathon lasted 3 whole days. One by one started to feel better after that, except myself. I still have the occasional cough and thick sputum now but I am so glad the worst is over now. Having friends who have caught COVID-19 and survived to share their secrets to surviving this was handy indeed. Their WhatsApp support round the clock alleviated a lot of my worries.

Honestly, we were too tired to watch Netflix or read all night like some patients have reported. Even our eyes were sore and the best cure was sleep! We definitely drank a lot of water, consumed many bowls of soup and porridge, ate a tonne of fresh vegetables and fruits, applied RC essential oils from Young Living to our chests and Thieves essential oils also from Young Living with carrier oil to our feet and unbashedly accepted gifts of Manuka honey lemon drops-Lian Hua vegetarian botanical pills-masks-get well soon wishes. Only I took the Lian Hua pills. 2 tablets twice day for two days, after food. My fever broke and my nose started bleeding so I stopped. The feeling of the fever and chills leaving my body was my moment of pure gratitude so I can imagine how the other 3 must have felt too. Everything improved from that point onwards.

The Management Office where we live were most supportive with our double bagged trash disposal and deliveries - all doorstep service with great social distancing. We deeply appreciate their support during such trying times.

On the bright side, we have ticked this item off our 2022 "bucketlist" if there ever was one for catching and surviving the dreaded virus. We survived - syukur alhamdulillah! We also pray we do not catch future variants!

Oh, and we discovered our absolute love for cold soya milk treats from The Soyamilk Factory. Yums! 

The million dollar question now is: are we Ramadhan ready? Yes, inshaAllah. We would like to wish all our Muslim readers a very blessed Ramadhan ahead. Take good care and stay safe!


Sunday, 20 February 2022

Start of T2 AY2021/22 and Omicron Uncertainties

Salam my lovelies,

Please pardon my being away from this blog. As a family, we have been making an effort to stay offline to make time for our in person presence with The Grandparents. This long drawn pandemic is starting to feel a wee bit harder than it was as we now battle the raging Omicron. Luckily, Girl and Bean have received their first dose of vaccination and we cannot wait till the next dose. Whilst we understand vaccination is not 100% protection, we also understand that reduction in symptoms and complications from infection are key to their wellbeing. I know I would feel less anxious about letting them attend school in person if they have been fully vaccinated.

School has been most supportive with offering them online schooling option even when in person lessons are available. This hybrid mode has been key in our recent "circuit breaker" for 3 days and co-existence with the virus so far. Personally, we have 6 more weeks of this to contend with and we shall review our family coping strategy again in early April. April because it will be the second dose vaccination appointment for Girl and Bean. By then, Term 2 would have come to its tail end and we hope to start Term 3 with more confidence!

On the bright side, Girl and Bean have both attended 100% of all their online lessons and we are so proud of their resilience. Their discipline in being punctual with the attendance register, access to lessons, attention and diligence have surpassed all our expectations. They keep producing satisfactory, quality work and remain happy with the occasional healthy expression of "When is it safe to go out again?" or "Can we go swimming today?" Usually, we take them out to the park.

Bean is still getting 2 hours of extra help with his English language (he is a native speaker but can do better with structure and sequence). He also keeps a two online playdates per month with his friends from Early Autism Project Malaysia. Girl spends 3 hours weekly with her artistic gymnastics coach and fellow gymnasts. They both still take piano lessons once weekly. Looking at these detailed breakdown makes me realise that they do get sufficient outside world contact, albeit done online, for now. That is also why I have not signed them on to any extra activities on top of their school CCA. Down time is crucial too.

Like most families in our community, we take calculated risks during occasional outing to the quiet, clean and relatively safer local malls. These sporadic meals at a family café and window shopping allow us all some form of semblance to our pre-COVID19 lives. Strict compliance to SOPs have worked in our favour so far, Syukur Alhamdulillah. Daily park and play time allows us some much needed fresh air and sunshine, I cannot highlight this enough. There is no denying that we miss our aeroplane travels so that is definitely still in our bucket list. Something to look forward to!

Here is wishing everyone our very best belated wishes for 2022. Stay safe, my lovelies.

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Lunar New Year: Year of the Tiger

Salam my lovelies,

Happy Lunar New Year! We are happy to share our gratitude all around despite the rise of cases due to Omicron.

Reunion dinner was a simple but warm family gathering. We hosted The Grandparents for a simple Prosperity Toss, homecooked dinner and tea ceremony followed by board games. They brought over cookies, chocolates, fruits and hong bao. It was a fun evening!

On another related anecdote, Girl turns 12 soon and we are so excited for her first cycle of the 12 zodiac signs. Such a bittersweet milestone it is for her as she grows into a fine young lady with grit and grace.

We are also grateful for our team success in helping the school PTA raise more than RM2000 from our cookies and crackers fundraiser for Ti-Ratana Welfare Society. It was definitely a proud moment for this community achievement considering there was a flour, sugar and egg shortage leading up to delivery time. Milky Way Food Industries Sdn. Bhd. has never let us down and we strive to continue our collaboration with them for the foreseeable future.

Here is to wishing everyone a safe and happy year filled with prosperity, good health and abundance of wealth. Gong Xi Fa Cai, Xin Nian Kuai Le!

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!

Here is a quick update on my journey of luxury minimalism. Many of you know that I am an investment-conscious, work-from-home mother with no helper and have limited fund for frivolous spending. I used to purchase luxury purses and shoes using my annual bonus and this habit stuck. In 2020, I started curating my items mindfully, adding only a couple of key classic pieces so that I have a good rotation to choose from.

By 2021, my closet declutter items that were identified had been sent to a local reliable consignment company known as Labagatory. They sold some of my items in record fast time - one noir Hermes Bastia coin purse in Epsom leather which is now obsolete with e-wallet being so prevalent, one red Salvatore Ferragamo belt with GHW which I bought for Christmas and CNY "uniform" but never wore, and one pair of black Salvatore Ferragamo Vara jelly that I never quite broke in because leather shoes are so much more comfortable. I also sold a carmine red Salvatore Ferragamo shopping tote and black Anya Hindmarch work tote to another luxury reseller at Bangsar Village.

However, there were also some items from Carolina Herrera the wonderful people at Labagatory assessed and decided not to take on. I guess these will be donated, same as I had done with the bundle of Coach, Oroton, Braun Buffel, Frankitas and several other contemporary branded intems that were quickly snapped up in my neighbourhood preloved group.  

My consignment success also did not extend to a brand new Balenciaga City Classic. Maybe I will ask if I can dye the distressed lambskin from denim to all black so that I can make it work better with my capsule wardrobe closet but I know that denim colour can work just as well with my casual/weekend pieces. I just need to put in some coordinating effort when dressing myself?

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. I do not understand how I ever "lost" my capsule wordrobe as I always had one since small until my early 30s. Boy, am I glad I hit my resume mode?

Pardon my rambling on. I better get back to decluttering. I bet I have a whole lot more items to donate, if I care to properly assess. I am already looking forward to less clutter.

Stay safe, everyone!

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!