Friday, August 27, 2010

Keropok Lekor; Made in Leicester

The Husband's been having some very 'extravagant' cravings lately. As you all might already know, I don't really cook. I only cook when I feel like it and it's mostly easy peasy lemon squeezy dishes. But somehow, on Ramadhan I love to cook and try new things. I think it's because I have all day to do it, so I don't have to rush. Also, I believe that people will be famished from fasting so, no matter how bad my cooking is they will still think it's the best food ever! :D

Right, so what are his cravings..... so far?
1) Kuih Cara
2) Cucur Ikan Bilis

(Apparently it's mackerel crackers on google)
I didn't mind the first 2 cravings as it was a bit straight forward.Even though, I had an accident whilst frying cucur ikan bilis; that's a different story altogether.

Let's talk about his craving for keropok lekor. One day when my Mommy was cooking dinner, he said "it smells like keropok lekor downstairs". Suddenly he felt like having keropok lekor :| So, he started google-ing for keropok lekor recipes. Thankfully we found one that was easy to make!! Without further delay, well, actually the next day we went out to buy the ingredients and started making keropok lekor! Never in my life have I ever imagined myself making keropok lekor from scratch. But wow, yesterday marked history on Iva's cooking book. Hehehe

Below are the pics of my accomplishment. I don't normally take pics of the things I cook but this time I just had to take pics! For a first timer, I think I did quite good. SubhanAllah! Personally, my idea of successful cooking is when the food appears good in pictures! Let the picture do justice, but seriously, how good is that?! As for the taste, well, everyone was fasting so obviously it's goooooooodddd! Also, we didn't have any other choices so they had to settle with my cooking. Hehehe

Alhamdulillah, I'm so thankful for being blessed with such luxury in life.

Again, if any of you want any of the recipe, don't hesitate to message me yeah.

Have a blessed Ramadhan.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tommee tippee

Alhamdulillah, finally found the perfect bottle for him!!! Although, it's only Cadbury Chocolate drink for him allowed in that bottle. No such thing as fresh milk. Begh. Will try again some other time. As for now, I'm happy he's drinking other drinks than just "Nenenenen"!
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

The hidden meaning of cake cutting during wedding receptions

Here I am again, talking about wedding customs :) I forgot to add this section in my previous entries. Anyway, as we all know, cake cutting is normally an event on it's own. Bride and grooms would buy a different outfit just for the cake cutting event which is a mere 5 minutes event! So, what is the big hoohaa about cake cutting? Why do we Muslims follow this foreign tradition just because the Westerns are doing it? Let us decipher the true meaning of cake cutting from the Westerns point of view.

(100% Copied from the Wedding Customs & Non Islamic Traditions book)

1) The idea that it is the first joint action on the part of the newly weds.
2) Sharing richness with friends and family. The wedding cake is traditionally shared amongst guests so that blessing and happiness can be shared 10.
3) Cutting the cake, wrote one correspondent, was the couple 'takig the plunge' into their new life. It suggested that the cutting severed the couples links with the past and prepared them for their future together.
4) A psychologist who researched the social behaviour and significance of cake cutting suggested that the cutting of the cake meant the bride losing her virginity; the way the groom puts his hand on the bride's, so it's not just her, it's him too.

It is the cutting however which is given the most striking new significance if the cake is identified with the bride. Plunging the knife into the centre of the cake breaks through the 'virginal white' outer shell. It is something the couple do together.

Some might not take this symbolic interpretation seriously. However, if there are amongst the guests that take it seriously, it could only be an embarrassment of doing such a thing publicly. As a Muslim, we should give this a thought for concern. Insha'Allah.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

When I cook, I cook real good! ( I WISH!!!!!)

Looksie what I cooked today!!!!

Kuih cara berlauk and kuih cara manis. Thank you Allah for giving me the chance to cook all the yummy food!

I was just browsing the net whilst still fasting and saw these cutie pies. So, showed it to Mr Hubby and he was drooling over it. What more could a wife do to make a hubby happy? Find a way to satisfy his cravings! LOL!

Thankfully my sis in law's got the container for it. So that's how I managed to do these delicacy. :) if you want the recipe, don't be shy to msg me and ask for it. (I wanted to do a 'picture recipe' on it but it was my first try so I needed a bit more concentration. But it's super easy to make it.)

Anyway, I've 3 hours to fast. So I better shoot off and do something more beneficial.
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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Breastfeeding Dad!

Whenever a group of ladies sit down and talk about breastfeeding, the men will feel as if it's an obscene topic and start to excuse themselves. Most of them feel that 'breastfeeding' topic should only be discussed strictly amongst ladies. PERIOD. In reality, the key to successful breastfeeding begins with the Husband. Truthfully, without the husband's support it could end up in failure.

So, how could you be a breastfeeding Dad instead of formula-feed Dad?

  • As soon as you've got confirmation on your wife's pregnancy, discuss with her about breastfeeding. Ask her whether she wants to breastfeed and if so, how long does she want to do it for? After getting the consent from your partner, pray to Allah to make it an easy journey for your wife and you during the pregnancy, labour and also breastfeeding stage. Let Allah know of your intention wanting your wife to breastfeed your child, tell HIM how many days/months/years you would like your wife to breastfeed for. Try to make du'a after each and every prayer, Insha'Allah your prayers will be answered by HIM. Within that 9 long months (trust me, it's not long enough), research as much as you could about breastfeeding with your wife's presence, don't expect her do the research on her own. The only reason is because researching could be long and daunting process for her to grasp it all by herself! To make it easier, try and research within these topics, what food to eat, how many litres of drink a day she should consume, when should she be feeding the baby, WHY she should breastfeed! These will make it easier once the baby arrives.
  • Once the baby is out, you're an official Breastfeeding Dad!!! Your duty to make sure both your wife and child gets enough nourishment begins straight after the birth. By this time, your wife would be too frail and tired. The research both of you did beforehand will come in handy by now. Make sure your wife gets enough rest whilst you do the running about (get the baby/breast pump, water/drink ready by her side, and whatever in betweens).
  • Give breastfeeding a try for a month or two before you think about giving up. If you can handle nicely by this time, Insha'Allah it'll only be easier from then on. Nowadays, parents give up straight after the baby is born. No doubt, I was almost one of them. I wasn't being advised much on breastfeeding by my midwife and nurses. Khairaldin had to drink formula milk on his third day and at that time I thought, that's it, I haven't got any milk! Tried pumping and there was only a few drops coming out. Little did I know, most breasts will produce milk on the third or fourth day!! So, try not to give up before one week if your wife still haven't enough milk in them.
  • Here's a fact, at one day old, baby's stomach is only about a size of a marble. It's impossible for baby to drink a lot of milk for the first few days. When the baby reaches 10 days, the stomach should increase in size and by now it should be about the size of a ping-pong ball. That is why it is normal for the milk to produce later after the birth.
Mommies, normally, babies who doesn't get enough milk could suffer from jaundice. If your doctor advices you to give them formula milk, carry on, don't resist. Think of it as a medicine to make your baby well. The doctor would also need to monitor the baby's milk intake so that is why it's easier to give formula milk from bottle. In the mean time, keep pumping your breasts for milk. Since baby doesn't suckle from your breast, it will only make the milk production slower. By pumping your breasts you are sending signals to the brain that "baby" needs milk therefore produce. In no time, Insha'Allah your milk will produce normally.

All the best newly Dads and Moms!!! Let's make this journey an interesting one for your little new family. :)

Friday, August 13, 2010


Somethings are better left unsaid. I'm not going to elaborate but today I made the worst parenting mistake anyone could ever imagine! I'm not very happy with myself but hey, let's move on and learn from it.

Khairaldin, Mommy and Abah love you muchoooo! Sorry for what happened to you tonight. I hope you'll never have a memory of what happened tonight. Just know that we love you and that we're normal human being that tend to make mistakes!!

Love you always, Khairaldin! Mwah!!
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Second day of Ramadhan 1431

Alhamdulillah, we are now in our third day of Ramadhan, Insha'Allah. A few minutes to go before Iftar(break fast). Anyway, second day was rather painful! Khairaldin and I was both down with diarrohea in the morning. I was still determined to fast, regardless. At about 6pm I had a really bad tummy ache, gastric like. I guess all the food I had during Sehri has been emptied. I kept telling myself it was only couple of hours to go so let's try and ignore it. Put some ointment to let the air out and Alhamdulillah within minutes I was OK.

It was hard but both of us managed it. I guess that happened because Khairaldin was also demanding for more milk since he emptied all of it in the morning, twice! Gah! But Alhamdulillah, I am still grateful that I managed to finish it up with everyone else. I dread having to make it up again when everyone else doesn't have to.

Third day, today, is also OK. Weather has been pretty cool so it could be a plus point during day time. But after 7pm we feel like it's already time for Iftar when actually we still have approx 2 hours left!! So that's why I'm on here rambling about. :)

Insha'Allah tomorrow I am planning to get on with some rather serious entries. I have a few lined up and I can't delay it any longer. Gotta get it out of my chest and share it with all of you. That's a huge Insha'Allah though as Iskandar works on weekend so I have the baby all to myself.

That's it from me for now. To all my UK readers, have a great Iftar and May Allah accept all your deeds today and beyond. As for my Malaysian readers, happy Sehri! May Allah give you the strength to do loads of good deeds today. Amin. As for the rest of the world, Ramadhan Mubarak wherever you are. :)
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

First day of Ramadhan 1431

Time is like a river,
You can never touch the same water in a flowing river twice,
The flow that has passed will never pass again,
Therefore make the best of the time that Allah has given us during this Blessed month, Insha'Allah
(Mom received this forwarded SMS and I think it's a real good one)

First day of Ramadhan went smooth sailing. Managed to do tadarus Al-Quran with Mom, Dad, Hubby and Nephew in spite of Khairaldin roaming around the room and bumping into things to distract all of us. But Alhamdulillah, he's such an understanding baby.

I planned to do as much good deeds this Ramadhan as I feel it's a waste not to take this opportunity given to us once a year. There are many ways one can choose to change and maximise oneself. First and foremost, try not to go beyond what our Imaan could handle. For example, if we hardly sit down and read the Quran regularly, try not to go to an extreme of wanting to khatam this Ramadhan. Not that you can't, but if you have family to care for, they will also need your attention, yes? So it could be rather stressful trying to entertain the family and at the same time trying to read the Quran. If you can, by all means go ahead. I for one read really slowly so it could take longer than a month for me to khatam.

So, here are a few things I would like to share with all of you that I have chosen to do this Ramadhan, Insha'Allah. May it be beneficial to everyone of you too, Insha'Allah.

1) To read the Al-Quran starting with the short surah
2) Read du'as in everything I do
3) Abstain from Facebook as much as I can
  • "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say [something] good, or he should keep silent." [Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah](will write an entry on this, Insha'Allah)
4) Eat sahur
5) Pray terawikh, at least 8 + 3 witir daily
6) Pray tahajud & hajat after Sahur
7) Eat reasonably during break fast
8) Try very very hard not to gossip
  • "O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, for some suspicions are a sin. Do not spy on one another, nor backbite one another. Would one of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, you would abhor it, [so similarly, avoid backbiting]. And fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful." Qur'an, [49:12]
9) Spend as much time with beloved family
10) Enjoy Ramadhan as much as I can

Insha'Allah, Ramadhan is just a starting point for me. If I am able to do all this during the month of Ramadhan, Insha'Allah it's possible to carry on even after that.

So, how was your Ramadhan? Do share on what you have planned this Ramadhan as Insha'Allah it would be beneficial for every one of us too. May we gain knowledge everyday of our life. Insha'Allah.

Ramadhan Mubarak.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ramadhan Kareem! Insha'Allah.

Ramadhan Mubarak my dear brothers and sisters in Islam!! ALHAMDULILLAH, I am thankful that Allah has given me another chance to experience Ramadhan. Last year was easier for me as Khairaldin was only 3 months old so most of the time he only sleeps, sleeps and sleeps. I'm sure it'll be harder this year as he's more aware and active. So, I will try and take the opportunity to do more whilst he is sleeping. Please remember me in you du'as. Insha'Allah I will do the same for all of you out there. :)

My only advise to myself and all, please do not only fast and miss out on prayers. There is no point of fasting if we still do not pray as the whole point of fasting is to get closer to our Creator, Allah subhanahu wa taala. It saddens me everytime I see those who doesn't pray as I think "what will happen to us when we leave this world??!" But Alhamdulillah, Allah swt have given us this chance to start over and Insha'Allah be a better Ummah. Let us all not waste time and take this opportunity to do more!! If not this Ramadhan, when else? Are we sure we will witness another Ramadhan? Let's assume this will be the last Ramadhan for us all. Ramadhan Kareem!!!!!

On a slightly different note, I received a note from my niece yesterday about fasting. It's just too cute what she wrote that I have to share it on here. After all, she said not to lose the note and I guess this is the best way to keep it, yes? :D

"Hi Aunti Iva. Thank you for the note. I hope you will handle fast. I'm sure you will. By the way, I really love that note. I hope you keep this note. Anyway are you sure you can handle it bress feeding a baby? I hope you do :) Anyway back to fasting. I can't wait until tomorrow because we are all fasting. Love from Ainur <3 lots of love :) XXX"

**I find it amusing how she actually asked me about if I can handle breastfeeding and fasting. I'm glad she's aware of this at such a young age :)

Friday, August 06, 2010

Sleep time is me time!!

It's Khairaldin's afternoon nap time now. It's been a while since he looked for me whenever he wants to sleep. When he was a baby, he'd only fall asleep with me whilst breastfeeding. But now, to him, I am his play and fun time "friend". He refuses to go to sleep with me.

:'( I miss being his only one!!

I'm glad he's so much closer to Iskandar now though. He'd watch Sesame Street or Football clips with Iskandar, then he'll fall asleep after about 5 clips. Even though they didn't have a father-son bonding before, I'm glad that they have finally found something they can enjoy together.

Sleeping on Abah's chest is much comfier than Mommy's now eh boy? Whatever it is, we will always pray that you'll be this dependent regardless of your age. We will try our best to be there for you like how Nana and DaddyTok has helped us through, until today. We'll be here for you love. As for now, sleep tight! :* mwahhhh!
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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Part 2: Ramadhan and breastfeeding (or pregnant) Mommies

Alright, since we now know that different scholars and circumstances have different views about fasting while breastfeeding (or pregnant), let's continue reading if you have made your choice to fast this year regardless of your situation.

Here are my personal reasons as to why I chose to fast last Ramadhan even though it was a long day (16 hours) and also the fact I was a newly nursing Mommy:

1) I think Ramadhan is such a spiritual and blessed month that everything is just possible to be achieved in that month.
2) I definitely won't be able to pay back my 29/30 days within a year because I was planning to breastfeed Khairaldin till he's 2 years old.
3) Since Iskandar is working part time and I am not working, it'll be a struggle for us to pay Fidyah as we have enough income just for the family.
4) I was only nursing one baby, so I was convinced it's doable.
5) If I don't fast, I would then have to get my meal ready all by myself and at the same time take care of a 3 months old baby, that's tough!

Seeing my pros outweighs my cons, I then decided to fast! Here are the tips that got me through fasting the whole month (except for 7 days period):

Mental preparation.
I live my life with this quote from a Hadith: "Acts are valued in accodance with their undelying intention" (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim). Basically, this means that whatever your intention is, Insha'Allah you will be able to do the things you have intended to do. Furthermore, believing in it is the key to success!

1) I kept reminding myself my intention (Niat) on wanting to fast. Which was to be closer to Him and to grab as much reward (pahala) as possible in the Holy month.
2) I believed that Allah would not put burden on me if I could not bear it. As mentioned in Surah Baqarah verse 286: "Allah does not lay a responsibility on anyone beyond his capacity. In his favour shall be whatever good each one does, and against him whatever evil does." In the Surah there is also a prayer "Our Lord! Take us not to task if we forget or commit mistakes. Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden such as You laid on those gone before us. Our Lord! Lay not on us burdens which we do not have the power to bear. And overlook our faults, and forgive us, and have mercy upon us. You are our Guardian; so grant us victory against the unbelieving folk." Amin. It's best to read this after each prayer. Insha'Allah, He will help us through it all.
3)Believe, believe and keep beleiving that He is there to help us. Ask for guidance from Him as that is the only ONE that would undestand us and really, that could help us!

Physical preparation
Of course we can't only leave it in God's hand (tawakkal) to let everything fall into place. That is just unfair. We also have to find a way (ikthiar) to get through the day. So, what did I do?

1) During Sahur, I made sure that I snack on lots and lots of dates (kurma) as it gives lot of energy which will be needed during the day.
2) Drank lots and lots of water! I try to have at least 1 litre during Sahur and 1litre during break fast and keep drinking in between break fast and Sahur.
3) I'm not a rice (or anything heavy) person for Sahur, I just can't consume rice at such early hours. So, I choose to eat cereals instead. Be it Weetabix, Quaker Oats, Nestum etc etc.
4) Make sure you don't over eat to "stock up" for the baby as this in turn will only make you feel lethargic.

Spiritual preparation
To be honest, I wanted to do Tadarus Al-Quran with my family but that was highly impossible because Khairaldin's routine was still haywire.
1) Do not miss any prayers!! Prayers are like your "food" during Ramadhan. If you don't pray, there's no point making yourself hungry.

These are the only steps I took during last Ramadhan and also during this year's puasa ganti. There will be a change with the baby's drinking routine, no doubt. Like Khairaldin, before fasting month he drank every 4 hourly but during fasting month, he drank 3 hourly. However, since now he's on solids, he only drinks about 3 times a day. Insha'Allah it'll be easier for me this year than last.

Having said all that, every baby and Mommy is different!! Khairaldin might not be a fussy eater so he might be easier to please. Give it a try for a few days and see how your baby's routine change. If you can't handle it, try to at least fast every other day so that the baby have a break as well. But Insha'Allah, the milk production will not stop even when you are fasting. Allah is fair! There's a reason why he wants us to fast. Since I am a SAHM, it's also easier for me to attend to Khairaldin whenever he wants his milk. It's definitely tougher for working Moms as I know EBM can be tiring mentally and physically. But hey, if your intention is good then INSHA'ALLAH! :)

That's it from me for now. Do not hesitate to ask correct me or ask me questions if I have not covered your query. If any Mommies have any other tips that have helped them through Ramadhan, again, please do share with us!

All the best Mommies!! Hope you will all have a blessed and easy Ramadhan even with the Li'l One, ameen!