And Off They Grow…

You always think of your child as babies. I think that’s one undeniable thing about being a parent. That’s what my dad says when my sister was getting married. He says, “Are you sure you want to get married? Aren’t you a little young to be married?” Well dad, considering at that time she was over 25, she is most certainly not anymore 😉

Baby no 1 saying hello to a plant

So now I have babies of my own. I have 2 little babies who are on their way not being a baby no more. But you know, you live with your kids, taking care of them day in-day out, manage their sibling fights and what nots, and somehow they stay babies in your mind. Until you take them to school.

Baby no 2 enjoying Granny time

Once your kids enter school… that’s it, no turning back. Every time you see their friends you’re reminded how fast they are growing. You may deny it at home, but at school it is harder. They get taller, chattier, more independent. Why can’t they just stay young forever?

Ah but they can’t though can they? Nor can you. Yes you 😉 Not much you can do about it, I’m afraid. So you know, just enjoy the time you have with them. Enjoy being with them, reading them stories, dropping and picking them up from school. Enjoy mealtimes together. Take family trips, have birthdays or whatever it is that you want to celebrate together. Have fun, have memories.

One day they will be out of your hair, they’ll move on and have family of their own. Gasp! My baby having their own babies! Not anytime soon I hope. But as my dad has shown, no matter how old you get, you’re still their baby. You may be out of your parents hair, but not of their minds. Never.

So here’s to parents and babies! Have love, have faith in this one big unstoppable journey.

Tada! Baby 1 and baby 2 slowly easing out of babyhood.

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

My Mama’s Porch

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With a steaming cup of tea or warm chocolate milk, it is the perfect spot to enjoy the rain.

I lost count how many rainy afternoons and nights I spent sitting on this porch. Almost always with my mom next to me. When I was younger she’d make me a cup of chocolate milk, particularly on rainy nights. Now that I am way older I usually make us a pot of tea to enjoy. And it really is bliss. Just sitting there, enjoying the view and the rain.

We moved to this house when I was 11 and couple year later my dad was offered a job abroad which he accepted and off we move. We didn’t sell the house, my older sibs live and took care of it while we were away. As it turned out, our little adventure abroad took just a bit longer than expected. My parents returned a few years earlier than me. Still, I leave the house as an 8th grader, I moved back in permanently after I got my Master. Though we returned there almost every summer holidays I really didn’t spend a lot of years there, particularly since I got married less than I year after I returned.

But one thing that I cherish the most about my parents house is the porch. It is not big, in fact compared to say the Desperate Housewives’s type of house it is positively tiny but it is large enough to hold 3 chairs and a small table. And that’s where my mom and I like to perch with our teas.

Porch conversation ranges from trivia to serious stuff, whatever we feel like talking about at that particular time. Sometimes we don’t talk at all, simply enjoying each other’s company. The rain never last long, even if it did, my mom always have a tons of thing to do. I used to get annoyed. That is until I became a mom myself. Then I cherish whenever we got the chance to have our sit-down time.

We don’t just sit there during the rain of course. We’d sit there even when there’s no rain. Usually on holiday mornings or rare afternoons. We were lounging there when my sister’s then boyfriend suddenly made an appearance and got to be grilled by us before my sister show up. He pass the test just fine. He went on to be my brother-in-law.  Another memorable moment was the time that a total stranger come out of a becak selling his homemade layered cake door-to-door. My mom invited him to the porch, he told us he originally came from Bangka, then he moved to Jakarta and now starting a cake business. He proceed to tell us about his layered cake, how it is made using traditional methods and recipe handed down from his mom’s family. Then he cut a small slice for us to taste. Man it was delicious! My mother instantly knew he was telling the truth. You see my mom used to live in Bangka when she was young and the cake taste of her childhood. She’d come to her friends’ house and their mom would offer her their version of the layered cake.  My mom sign on to became a lifelong customer immediately.

Every year he would come to our house to deliver the cakes for Eid. We witness his business grow from his mode of transport, he started with the humble becak, then bajaj, until finally he has a minivan to transport his goods. His daughter now handles the order but every now and then he would come out himself to deliver our cakes. Our family is such a longtime customer that there are certain cakes that are now off the menu except for us. How can we not love them?

I visit my parents a lot, and I do have dates with my mom, so it’s not like I don’t see them at all. Even so, opportunity to sit at the porch is not as much as it used to be. What better way to preserve the memory then? How about you? Do you have a porch that you love?

Keeping Clean House ;)

I am fascinated with Style Network’s Clean House. If you haven’t seen it, the premise is so simple, a makeover team of host, designer, organiser, and handyman, go visit a very messy, cluttery house. The host work on the psychological aspect of why they become that way and the rest work on re-styling the house. They then have a yard sale, selling as much excess stuff as they could. The unsold stuff go to charity, the money raised from the sale goes to redecorating the house. Yep, it is another of those home makeover shows 🙂

I guess why this show struck a chord because I could easily be a contestant there. Left to my own devices I probably would, though luckily I do have some sort of mechanism that stops me from becoming a full blown hoarder. Any of my former housemates would attest that I’m in not a Martha Stewart wannabe. My modus operandi is to let clutter grow until a certain point. Then I deep clean. The neat moment would stay for about a couple of days, then the whole cycle starts again. I’m not actually that bad (yes you were!!! – I can hear you former roomies) in my defense, I know how to do laundry 😀 err… right. Solid gold defense there.

I think being neat is in the genes. Because my sister is total opposite and yet we grew up in the same household.  I’d like to say that I’m messy because we have maids, but that won’t fly with my sister. So the final explanation has gotta be my dad. He’s a pack rat. His study is just one mountain of papers. Mounds and mounds of it. The maids are probably my saviour. How? See, i got lazy because I’m used to having a maid cleaning after me. By the same token, I’m used to a certain standard of cleanliness in my house. There’s this switch that’ll go, ok this is too much, time to roll off your sleeve and get cleaning girl!

When we’re dating, I admit this fact to my then-boyfriend. Hubby thinks he’s neat. The thing is, hubby is neat when it comes to the outer stuff, ie.the living room and the bedroom, but his wardrobe? I’m amazed he can find anything there! So division of labor comes naturally when it comes to house chores. He does the heavy stuff, I do the lighter stuff.  Yay! Love you lots babe! 😀

Back to the show, I’m glad that it is on. It does inspire me to be neater, to let go of things. Watch enough episodes and soon you’ll declutter your home too. So here’s to Clean House, don’t clutter don’t hoard. Live!

Moving Day

Moving is always chaotic no matter how small or how big the move is. Even though you’re prepared as much as you can before hand there’s always last-minute things to be packed, last-minute things to take care of. If like me you’re doing in on the budget, you hire bodies to help you. Not movers, not those efficient people who make moving effortless, but bodies you command to carry heavy stuff for you.

As it is we were helped by our domestic crew; the cook, the maid and the driver goes to a bar… eh no, though it does sound like the beginning of a joke doesn’t? Then my hubby called his cousin, hire 3 extra people to help with the moving. With 6 people you think it’ll go fast, but noo… again, doing in on budget we manage to rent a truck virtually free. Then the truck came. Our SUV is probably bigger than that. It’s so tiny it’s the art truck – the vehicle I used to rent for the art dept in productions. So it came in many loads and one day was not enough even though we started from the morning.

To my husband’s credit, he was a real trooper. I was exhausted around noon, and when 3 pm rolls by I was a mush. He kindly told me to just take a nap and don’t worry about it. Love you so much babe! So I did. When I woke up I realise that he had managed to move most of our belongings. but where is our bed?

I went downstairs and there was the bed. They couldn’t move it upstairs. All of them racked their tired brains and the way the house is constructed the only way to get in the bed was to take out a long side window. The stairs were too narrow to make it though and they couldn’t pull it in from the balcony like they do in downtown Amsterdam. Of the two kids’ room, my son’s room were the neatest (meaning not so many boxes were in there) I proceed to hunt down 2 clean sheets, made the bed, sweep the room, generally tried to make it clean and comfy for the night. Thank God our children were staying over with their cousins so they don’t have to sleep in the mess.

Around 6pm we called it a day. Took shower, grab dinner, then went home. How nice that sounds, went home. To our own home. But of course that’s not the end. As I was getting ready for bed, I heard hubby was moving stuff around. I thought, oh give it a rest babe, we can continue tomorrow. But then… Voila! turned out he was installing the tv. Look, he said, we can watched TV! I had to laugh. The man loves his tv. Bless his heart. Thus ends a very tiring day 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Moving House

The main agenda for my family this summer is to packed up and move from our rented house into our own house! Yes, our very own. We got a mortgage to prove it 😉

What I didn’t or in denial about is how effing chaotic moving is. Sure I move about in my youth but moving oneself from one student digs to another, which is just one room, is quite different to moving a whole house. Somehow I got moving amnesia since it was only 2 years ago we moved from our apartment to the rented house.

So anyway, for a whole weekend and the week afterwards the house resembles a warehouse. Boxes upon boxes everywhere. There’s no ready internet connection in the house so I haven’t been able to go online for about a fortnight and it was awful. More on that in another post tho.

Now, a lot of boxes have been unpacked. Majority of things have found their places, our cats have returned and resume fighting among themselves, in short things are gradually returning to normal.

I installed the internet yesterday so can start blogging again. Yipee! The house has really turning into a home and I’m so grateful for that. Thank you thank you thank you so much dear Allah. Alhamdulillah.