Monday, July 30, 2007

Great Party, Great Food, Great Time

Ellix 6th birthday party was a success. All our effort in planning and organizing the party was worth it. The food was good, the guests had fun and the kids, especially, had an awesome time!

My hubby and I had been planning the party for more than 1 month, even before we went for our Gold Coast trip.

This time our menu are:

Satay & Condiments
Penang Char Kuey Teow

Other Side Dishes
Shepperd's Pie
Fried Chicken Wings and Drummets
Chicken Cocktail
Curry Puffs

Chocolate Fountain (Dippings: Grapes, Strawberries, Marshmallows)
Candies (Jellybeans, Candy Watches, Lollypops ..... bought from Australia)

Orange Cordial
Soft Drinks
Coffee & Hot Chocolate

The satay was really good. Infact most of the guests said that it was better than satay kajang.

The kuey teow too.. was very nice... especially when it was prepared ala-minute (cook upon order). The prawns were big and fresh.

But then I guess the center of attention was actually on the chocolate fountain. We managed to rent the machine and it was a hit among the guest. Too bad that I didn't manage to get a lot of strawberries. By 4.30, the strawberries were gone and soon followed by the grapes. Luckily we managed to get a lot of marshmallow. One of my hubby's cousins even put a cup under the fountain so that she can drink the melted chocolate instead of just dipping it (but then she's pregnant... so that is enough excuse to do so). Come to think of it, I think the adults enjoyed it more than the kids.

While the adults had great time with the food, the kids had an even greater time with the arts activities that we prepared:
Sand arts : 80 pieces
Bottle arts (sand) : 60 bottles
Key chain colouring : 60 key chains

The sand arts, especially, was a blast! The kids didn't even bother their parents. They were too busy choosing what colour of sand to put on the cards. In fact, some of them even refused/forgot to eat. The funny thing is.. we can see some adults among the kids too.

By the way, most of the kids were very sporting. They came in wit their costumes. There were princesses, fairies, butterflies, spiderman, superman, batman, harry poter, cowboy, etc. It was awesome! Even the adults too took the opportunity to dress up. My sister came in Witch costume and she was greeted with the oohs and aahhs from other guests. And another friend came as Jelly Fish which was very creative. They really add color to the already great party.

Even though we were very tired after the party.... we are really satisfied. Altogether, there were about 170 guests who came (adults and kids). The best thing is.. most of them had fun! We even received calls and sms from our guests saying that they really enjoyed the party and the kids can't stop talking about it all the way home!

A my husband said.. if we plan to succeed, then it will be a success!

Friday, July 20, 2007

A Tribute to A Dear Friend

Yesterday, when I went to visit Dahlia at Ampang Puteri, I went to pick up Ninie first. Imagine our feelings when we met. As Ninie said to me over the phone.. "When I see you, I just want to hug you. I miss you so much".

We hugged each other tightly. It felt so good to be able to see each other again after so long.

As anyone can imagine, we just talked and talked all the way to the hospital. We have a lot of catching up to do.

On our way back after seeing Dees, we continued our talk again. This time it was a bit more personal. We talked about ourselves more instead of talking about our family.

I guess it felt good to talk to somebody who understands us. Somebody who knows who we really are. Somebody who will not judge us and somebody who will accept us the way we are.

Something Ninie said made me think.."You know what, when we were schooling, I didn't have other close friends except you. We were always together, even when we were not on talking terms to each other!"

Actually what Ninie said is true. We were always together. What ironic about us is... we were never been in the same class. Neither were we in the same room. We just happen to be two girls who were just inseparable. Even when we fought (yes, we fought .. sometimes over silly matters) .. we still went everywhere together. We still waited for each other to go for dinner and prep. We still shared our food... even though no words came out from our mouth.

After school, we were supposed to go to US together. But then, Ninie decided to quit the program and join local University instead... because of personal reason. I was sad, of course. I thought we would be able to go to the same University together.

When I got back from US for good, Ninie was the one who picked me up at the airport. I remember, it was almost 4am.And there she was.. waiting for me with her parents (somehow I managed to get permission from my parents to let me stop over in KL first before going back to Kuantan).

When I started working, I stayed with Ninie and her parents.. until the day Ninie left to UK to further her studies. It was a sad moment for me, but at the same time I was happy for her.

I still remember how I coaxed Ninie to wear more up to date dresses. Well.. I was the one who was always in short skirts while Ninie, being Ninie, is very decent. I always told her .. "Ninie, you are pretty. Bila lagi nak pakai all these. Now is the time."

Well, those were the days. How different it seems now. Whatever it is, Ninie, you are still my best friend. Forever and ever.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Time to Reflect

Just got back from Ampang Puteri Hospital... visiting a dear friend (Dees) who was diagnosed with cancer. Tomorrow she will be transferred to Gleneagles for her chemotherapy.

I feel sad to know that her cancer has spread to her liver. Infact she was admitted to Ampang Puteri because she felt quite weak. Before going to the hospital, I had prepared myself with tissue papers, just in case it would be a sob, sob moment. But then, thank god, I didn't have to use it. I somehow feel happy to know that she is coping well and seems to be positive about the treatment that she's going to do. Maybe she's putting up a brave face for our sake but I do hope she's strong enough, especially emotionally, to go through it all.

It just happened that when I arrived (I went there with another friend), 3 of our old schoolmates were already there. What a coincidence! Didn't expect to see them on working day at 10am! We had a good time catching up with the latest news and I know it somehow cheered Dees up a little bit.

I realize lately that more and more of the people I know have been diagnozed with illnesses and diseases that I never thought would only happen to 'other people'. How sad.... and it can be frightening sometimes. It makes me realize that we never know what the future has in store for us. Nothing is certain.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ellix Turns 6

My princess is 6 today.

Due to some unavoidable circumstances, we are not able to have ellix's birtday party this weekend, 21st July. It will be on the 28th July instead.

Ellix, as ususal, has been counting days and is really looking forward to it. Last week was spent at her Nen's place doing her invitation card.

It's going to be a costume party and I'm very sure that it is going to be a party that all kids who attend would remember.

(Read it from right bottom, right upper, left upper, left bottom)

The card says:

Costume Party
Come have fun with me on my sixth birthday! Put on your favorite costume and join in the activities!

Date: 28th July 2007
Time: 3-7
Venue: Swimming Pool, Level 3
Location: Sri Acapella, Jln Lompat Tinggi 13/33, Shah Alam
RSVP: Megat xxx-xxxxxxx, Nana xxx-xxxxxxx

You can be a princess, ninja turtle or spiderman but you must not miss out on fun games and creative activities that we can share.
Bring along your swimming costumes and floaters for safety if you want to dip in the pool!

Hope you can make it!
Thank you very much.

From me,
Puteri Ellixafira

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Weird But True

I was talking to a colleague about something this morning when he asked me if I wish I could communicate with my father recently. He said I have something that I need to tell my father and according to him my father seems quite sad.

Maybe it was a wild guess, but it hit the bull's eye!

I looked at him with, surprised, as that was exactly how I felt a few days ago. I was feeling a bit down last week and in my mind I wish my father was around.... I mean, I wish my late father was around. How I wish sometimes that I am able to chat with him and tell him about the ups and downs of my life.

My colleague further said that my late father wishes that we take care of our mum as he loves her very very much.

He asked me if my mum has a sarung (kain pelikat) that she always have with her when she goes to sleep. Again, I was surprised as that is excatly what my mum does. She has this sarung that belongs to my father and use it as her blanket. She has been doing that ever since my father passed away more than six years ago.

My colleague's eyes watered when he heard that.

I told him ever since my father passed away, my mum never spend Ramadhan in Malaysia as it makes her sad. My father passed away during the month of Ramadhan, 3 days before Hari Raya, on his 60th birthday. She would go for Umrah as she feels she is closer to my father there.

I told my collegue that my parents have a special kind of love. He agreed with me. According to him (from what he can feel/sense), my parents are not the type who showed their love openly. As long as both of them knew.... that's enough for them. There need not be words of endearments, etc. They need not hold hands all the time. Their hearts just communicate with each other abput their feelings. Their eyes communicate their love.

I just smiled at him as I couldn't agree more.

In a way, I wish I have the kind of love that my parents have.

This colleague of mine has a special talent. He can sense the supernatural powers around him. Sometimes people go to him for advise or berubat.

Before he left he asked me to tell my mum that my father loves her very very much.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Weekend and CINTA

Last Friday my daughter told me "Mama, I have to watch TV all day long on Saturday and Sunday, until the day ends. There are a lot of new cartoons on Disney channel".

'Are you sure?' was my reply.

"Yes, mama. I'm sure. And I cannot miss them. It's going to be fun, Mama. Please, please. Can I have the TV?"

Hmm... looking at her with the hopefull look in her eyes (by the way, she uses the same tactic all the time and still... I succumb to it..), I said to myself.. well, forget about watching movies on Astro. She's going to be glued to the TV all day long. So, better find other alternatives.

With that in mind, I started digging into our DVD collection and as you may have guessed... spent my weekend watching reruns of the movies. Managed to watch 3 movies, by the way, and one of them is CINTA.

The first time I watched CINTA I didn't really watch it thoroughly. I missed some of the parts and most importantly, I didn't pay much attention to the scripts. But yesterday was different. I really 'menghayati' the movie and I admit to myself taht the movie is good. No wonder people gave good comments about the movie.

CINTA comprises of 5 stories in 1 movie. It is a story about love; the different kinds of love.
1. Dato' Rahim Razali and Fatimah Abu Bakar - Extraordinary CINTA: Age does not diminish one's capacity for love or need for companionship.
2. Eizlan Yusof and Fasha Sandha - Unexpeted CINTA: Love sometimes happen when you least expected it.
3. Nanu Baharudin and Que Haidar - Eternal CINTA: The sacrifices you are willing to make for the one you love.
4. Rashidi IShak and Rita Rudaini - Unconditionally CINTA: True love means letting go of the one you love the most.
5. Pierre Andre and Sharifah Amani - Pure CINTA: Sometimes the love that we desperately seek is not pur true love.

The list of casts are great and teh soundtracks are just wonderful especially CINTA by Misha Omar and Jac Victor (original singers Melly Goeslow and Kris Dayanti).

There are some parts of CINTA that really touched my heart:

1. The part where Cikgu Elyas said to Mak Bi/Rubiah and Rahmah (scene at the restaurant): "Bukan senang nak dapat teman hidup yang sanggup terima baik buruk kita, sanggup berkorban untuk kita, sanggup hidup bersama sampai ke akhir hayat. Isteri bukanlah hak milik, tapi anugerah".

2. The part where Mak Bi/Rubiah said to Amin (scene at Rubiah's house): "Satu hari bersama orang yang kita sayang, macamana susah pun lebih baik daripada seumur hidup dengan orang yang kita tak sayang".

How true. I couldn't agree more.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

What's Next?

Lately I have not really looking forward to to go work. When I mentioned this to a few colleagues at the office, I discovered that I am not alone. They also voice out the same sentiment. Some of them are demoralized and feel somewhat demotivated to work.

Being in HR department, I don't take this matter lightly. What staff feel is important to us. We believe that staff is our assets and happier staff means an increase in assets value (hence, increase in productivity).

Since the new management took over the organization, a lot of speculations are in the air. Rumours are spreading like crazy. Office politics, which was something quite rare before, has become the 'talk of the office'. Staff are wondering when is the new management going to make announcement about the restructuring. Very often we were asked if there will be any offer on VSS or better still, will there be any retrenchment?

Those who are at the higher position often asked us about the new management's directions. What are the mission and vision? What are we going to focus on? Are we going to maintain the current ones? Why there is no session held between the new managemtn and the HODs?

So many questions and so little answers to give. Why? Because we ourselves don't know.

But then one thing some of us do notice is that lately some people have shown their true colours. They use the opportunities available to get what they want. No doubt, some people are just lucky. But then, in my case, I would rather not have the luck than having to kiss people's @#$.

I still believe that we have to be honest in whatever we do. Our job is our amanah and we are paid to make sure that we carry out our amanah properly and sincerely.

But then the question of 'what's next' is still left unanswered.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Awesome Time!!

The trip to Gold Coast was good. It was awesome. Will furnish the details of the trip later.

22nd June
Our flight to Singapore, which was scheduled at 5.45pm was delayed for 20 minutes. Luckily the connecting flight to Brisbane was aropund 9.30pm. Still had a lot of time. By the time we boarded Qantas flight to Brisbane Megat and I were sleepy and hungry. Luckily Ellix had some snacks while waiting for the flight. At least I had one less problem that I had to handle.

The flight to Brisbane was OK. Ellix, as usual, was a bit excited as it was her first long trip (the furthest that she went was to Bangkok and it only took about 2 hours). She had fun time with the flight entertainment, switching from movies to games and to movies again. In between, she would do her coloring on The Wiggles activity book which wa given out to all children.

Halfway through the flight, I guess she felt a bit tired. She kept asking how much longer are we going to arrive in Australia. According to her, she can't wait to get there. Can't wait to go to the beach. Hmmm... despite telling her that the weather would be too cold for us to swim, she still insisted that we bring her to the beach... just to play with the sand.

23rd June
Finally, we arrived at Brisbane airport around 7.15am. Ellix was excited. Considering that it was still around 5.15am Malaysian time, she was already very chirpy and kept asking about this and that.

After getting our luggages, we had to queue at the Immigration. The queue was quite long. It was OK as we were not in a rush but it just happened that we had to endure somebody's body odor. Gosh.. how can some people are not sensitive about this. All we could do was, I tengok kat Megat and Megat tengok kat I .. and both of us geleng kepala.

The immigration process went fine and around 8.15am we were safely admitted to Australia.

After a brief visit to the restroom, we went ahead to the car rental section. After comparing the prices, etc, we finally decided on Thrifty Car Rental. As they were out of compact cars, we had to settle for the normal, medium sized family car. The total amount for 1 week rental was AUD371. Seems a lot but actually if we were to take public transport, it will cost us about that much also. But then, having a car if much more convenient to move around.

Around 9.30am we were already in our rented car, Mitsubishi Mivec (much to Megat's delight), and leaving Brisbane Airport towards Gold Coast.

The 1 hour drive to Gold Coast was quite smooth. Considering that both Megat and I had never been to Australia, we didn't have problems getting there as there are road signs everywhere. The traffics also are much better compared to KL's.

Locating our apartment block (Santana Holiday Resort, courtesy of Leisure Holidays) also was not difficult. When we arrived, the unit was not ready yet. Sue, the resort Manager, suggested that we go get our breakfast first while waiting for it, which seemed like a good idea.

We went to a cafe nearby and ordered fish and chips and hot chocolate . .. Our first meal in Gold Coast..:) It was ok but we have tasted better.

When we got back to the apartment, the unit was ready. We were showed where to park our car and how to get to the unit. Too bad, it was located at the top floor (3rd floor) and it was a walk-up! So, getting our bagages up was quite a chore.

The apartment, to our surprise, was quite cosy. It was a one-bedroom unit that came with full kitchen facilities, washer and dryer.

Megat decided to go for a short nap. I thought it was a good idea, but ellix , being ellix, asked me to play with her. So, nak tak nak.. had to layan her for a while until my eyes couldn't tahan anymore. Told ellix that I need my nap badly. Surprisingly, she joined me and slept on my arm, as usual.

We got up around 2.00. Actually I woke up first and then had to wake Megat and Ellix up. Maybe it's the exciteent of being in a new place, I didn't have much problem this time.

We had quick shower, and by 3pm, we were already out of the apartment and headed to Pacific Fair Shopping Complex, which is about 10 minutes' drive.

We had our lunch (more like very late lunch) and then when to Coles for some groceries. Bought loads of drinks (juices, milk, choc milk, etc), some breakfast items, toilettries, etc. As usual, ellix took the chance to get something for her too .. one of the stuffed animals.. (we found out later that everytime we went out shopping, there must be something for her even though she insisted that..'this is my last one'.... ) .

By the time we left the shopping Center, it was already very dark.

Didn't go out after that. Still felt a bit tired.

24th June

Woke up quite late.. around 8.30. This time I had problem waking up both of them.

After I had showered, went to the kitchen to prepare some breakfast. By then, thank God... Ellix woke up and I managed to persuade her to wake her abah up... which she did in her own way... shouting!

While waiting for both of them to get ready, I planned for our itenary for the next one week.

Once breasfat was done, we went out to our first theme park... the Movie World. When we got there, the car park was already half full. Luckily the queue was not that long.

As expected, ellix was so excited. She kept telling us that so and so said we should try this ride and that ride (it seems that she told her friends that she's going to Gold Coast and two of them happened to go there before).

First we went to Batman's Adventure but we have missed the first two trips. The next one would be at 1pm. Ellix saw the Batman's spaceshot and wanted to go on it. Luckily it has height limit and she's not tall enough to qualify. If not, we will be in trouble. We have to company her to go on that dreadful looking ride. No way I'm going on that one and knowing megat.. he is even worse.

Next we went to Shrek 4D Adventure