Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Sunny Day at the Beach

It's summer here in Ireland, but we hardly get really nice hot sunny days. But when we heard on the radio that today was going to be a nice one, we instantly decided to go to the nearest beach in Portmarnock to celup celup kaki (my friend's definition of lounging at the beach without getting ourselves wet). Yup, I personally have no intention of swimming in the ocean but it doesn't mean everyone else would have the same view.

Usually, even it is a hot, sunny and bright day, the water can still freezing cold by Malaysian standards. Playing with the sand and getting a feel of the water would be more than enough for the kids. Or so I thought...

My husband who is a keen swimmer, tested the water when we arrived and to our surprise, said the water was just nice and not too cold to swim in. Not exactly lukewarm but at least you wouldn't walk out of the water with a head that was numb from the cold.

Unfortunately, I didn't bring any spare clothes and towels for the kids. Well, that wouldn't stop them from getting themselves wet, would it? In a space of a few seconds, everyone was soaking wet and covered with sand.

Ah well, it's OK I suppose - once in while. We won't get this kind of weather too often and to promise the kids that we'd come back another time isn't a good solution. So, dip in kids and enjoy yourselves. Mummy will always be here on the mat watching you guys from afar. Honestly, I don't really like to do the cleaning process afterwards, so I rather sit still and wait.....

Friday, July 22, 2011

Art Activities at Dublin Mosque

Before the school holidays started, Ameera handed me a form about summer activities that will be held during holidays. Basically, by paying a small, nominal fee kids can attend a summer camp of sorts while at the same time, Mummy can get some much needed time off from minding the kids. Great idea.

Unfortunately, the place where the camp would be held is quite far from our house. So basically, if I wanted to send her to the camp, it would mean that I would have to sacrifice my day dropping her off and then picking her up within the space of a few hours.  It doesn't sound like a big problem but having to drag around my two relatively active boys in town while waiting for Ameera to finish is not something that I look forward to.

Hmmmm...but being a good mum (well, I do try) and as I had sort of promised Ameera, I went anyway and surprisingly, even though Husayn was not yet old enough, they accepted Husayn as well. He gladly decided to go along under the impression that he would have his big sister to mind him all the time but unfortunately, that was not the case.  The two were separated into their relevant classes and Husayn was less convinced of his initial decision.

Well, too bad for him. I had already paid the non-refundable so, reluctantly he stayed. So, that  left me alone with Hisham. A much more manageable arrangement.

As most people might know, over here you can see huge red SALE signs everywhere in a shop. Very tempting indeed but, being a good girl, I decided to stay away from all the shops even though I did see a few things that I really like but weren't actually that necessary to have. So, I decided to chill and get some coffee instead.

With hindsight, it wasn't actually the best of ideas when I had my little cranky Hisham with me. He was in the buggy for only the first two minutes and soon after started screaming and climbing on the table like little Tarzan running amok in the African jungle.

When time was up, I went back to pick up the kids from the mosque and they were both so excited, especially Husayn.

He "survived" the day at camp and even made some friends. He did lots of arts and crafts and still can't stop talking about it until today. That's his version of the Ka'bah in the pic above. Ameera was kept busy too and was excited about her old-school string phone (it actually works!).

Friday, July 15, 2011

Inter-Cultural Day at the North Dublin Muslim National School

Before Ameera finished her school this year, lots of things happened. From Healthy Eating week, school-arranged tours and the biggest event in her school's calendar, Inter-Cultural Day.

The event itself is a sight to behold as the school truly is a melting pot of nearly all the Muslim cultures around the world including Malaysia and Ireland, of course.

As usual, the day would start off with some performances from the kids. Then, it was on to the most important item on the agenda - food! Parents from the various countries were asked to work together and  were asked to bring along a sample of dishes from their country of origin. Not surprisingly, as national pride was at stake, there was never any question that the kids, teachers and visitors to the school would go hungry. In fact, it did get a bit competitive...

So, not wanting to lose out (and maintain Malaysia's pole position at the school) this year, I opted to make some yellow glutinous rice (pulut kuning) with sambal ikan bilis. I was too lazy to cook rendang which, would have been the more appropriate accompaniment to pulut kuning. But, I prefer a good sambal over rendang when I was little kid back home so, I certainly thought it was an acceptable alternative. Of course, the sambal ended up being too spicy so not many people liked it. Boohoo.

Fortunately, the minute I got home, a few of my friend decided to come over and in a few seconds the rest of the dish was finished. Phewww...I was seriously beginning to doubt my own cooking abilities right before then.

Food-related things aside, one of the school teachers asked me to help out with the arts exhibition on the day. Not being to great on the subject of art I volunteered to my bit by applying some some henna for the girls in school. I was told I was quite popular during the day and had queue of girls waiting to avail of my services. Here's one that I did for Ameera. I'll let you judge my work for yourself...

Oklah, I suppose. Not too bad, hahaha...Well, the kids can't really complain especially when you say that the henna looks absolutely gorgeous on them.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Food Market in Farmleigh

It's been long time since we've paid a visit to a food market as a family. My husband and I used to go to gourmet-style food markets when we used to live in the city centre, a long, long time ago.

As most people would've guessed, the food markets here aren't exactly like the food markets in Malaysia so you people back home, don't even try to imagne a scene with Nasi Kerabu, Chicken Rice or even Keropok Lekor. It's an Irish food market that we visited so it's basically local people (and some not-so local ones as well) selling their home made produce like bread, juices, pies, flowers, jams, etc.

All I wanted to buy at the market was a simply gorgeous baby mozarella and sundried tomato combo (with a dash of olive oil) but luck doesn't always seem to be on my side these days. By the time we arrived at the market, the seller had sold all that he had for the day.

After a quick round of the market where we scanned each stall for anything of interest, we decided to get this wood-fire baked vegetarian pizza. The thing that attracted me the most was the fact that the owner had put all the effort in bringing his giant traditional oven to the place. Isn't it cool?

We ate the pizza straightaway in the nearby park while the kids enjoyed the open space. They were just so happy to be doing a simple thing like this with Mummy and Daddy. To my Mr. Hubby, how about going there again before Ramadhan starts, OK?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Good Bye to Ana-bella

I've known her since Ameera was in my tummy and since then, we've been quite close as she's in a way, been like a younger sister to me.

Unfortunately, it was time to say goodbye to her yesterday. I wish you all the best and good luck with your future back home in Malaysia. I know with your friendly, bubbly personality and style, you will have no problems of making it in life.

At Dublin's old Terminal One

I hope will meet again soon. Most definitely...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Talent Show

Ameera: Mummy, do you have a minute to watch our show?
I didn't know what to expect but playing the role of obliging mother, I went along, took my seat and enjoyed the show...

Aren't they just full of ideas?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Husayn's Graduation day

Time flies by so quickly. A full school year has now passed and now it's time for Husayn to say goodbye to all his teachers and friends from his Little Stars playschool. All I can say is, even though the school is quite new, I am so impressed with the progress that Husayn has made while at the school. He did so well in school and was so happy to be there.

Taken a few weeks before the graduation by a professionl photographer

Unfortunately, he won't be there forever because very soon, in September to be exact, he will be going to his "big school". The same school as his sister. He just can't wait and can't stop talking about it.

To the teachers in Little Stars, especially Rodica and Arlene, thank you so much for everything you have done for the kids. The Graduation Day and the party was awesome and we were so happy to be there. Very happy and at the same time, I am so proud of him.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The School Holidays Have Started!

Lots of things happend over the past few weeks and I've been busy with pretty much most of those things. One thing's for sure though, the school holidays have officially started yesterday. Mmm... I guess from now on, the Mummy-On-Call duty will never stop.


As usual, the kids have lots and lots of energy and ideas for things to do. Thank God the weather was kind enough to us allowing us some outdoor time. Nothing worse than kids being stuck indoors for hours on end. So, apart from some general fun in the back garden, this was the kids's first activity for the day.

Well, that's Day 1 over. One down and another 62 days to go! Ideas, ideas and ideas. That's what I'll be needing to get through the summer as a mentally sound person. The kids will be asking/crying/demanding for more fun things to do. If I don't think of things to do, I'll go mad just listening to all the whining...Waaarrrgghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Wish me the best of luck, OK? And, if you have any tips, do pass them along.
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