How to Curb Your Overspending

Bitten by the buying bug? Try these strategies to curb your spending:

Keep track. Write down everything you buy for at least two weeks: groceries, petrol, even a cup of coffee. Being aware of where your money goes will put you in control.

Quell the urge. Postpone buying what you think you want for 48 hours. If you still want it, make your well-thought-out purchase.

Simplify. Figure out a weekly budget that includes only basics like food and transport. Don't buy anything not in your budget for a month to discover what you can do without.

Quit cold turkey. Put your credit cards away and pay for everything with cash. Even better, institute a buy-nothing campaign.

(from readers' digest, oct 2005)

How To Raise Highly Effective And Successful Children

by Alvin Poh

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How To Raise Highly Effective And Successful

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Many parents would like to believe that there is some
type of magic in raising successful children. Are there
really magic? Personally I don't think so. What I think
there is, are fundamentally sound parenting and life
principles that have proven to work and that we can
learn. If we simply learn and live by these principles, we
can't help but to have highly successful children.

On the contrary, if we don't learn and practice these
parenting principles in our life, it will be difficult or almost
impossible for us to nurture children to have great
characters, mind and ability as well as individuals who
live to their potential.

Allow me to ask you this question - What do successful
people like Tiger Woods (a professional golfer), Stephen
M. R. Covey (a famous author and business leader), Bill
Gates (founder of Microsoft) and Lee Hsien Loong (Prime
Minister of Singapore) have in common?

Here's my personal answer - regardless of their chosen
profession, what Tiger Woods, Stephen M. R. Covey, Bill
Gates and Lee Hsien Loong have in common is not their
race, money or level of education; what they have in
common is good old fashioned, down-to-earth, excellent
parenting. There all have excellent parents.

Quality parenting has nothing to do with whether or not
a child is raised in a two-parent or single-parent home;
what matters the most is the parent’s ability to instill in
their child an impervious sense of self-worth, self-
respect, self-love, great thinking and problem solving
ability and a compassionate heart for others.

Below are a the 7 principles that I truly believe will help
parents raise highly effective and successful children.

In fact, these are the principles that I personally aim to
live by in order to help my family raises great children of
our own. I hope you find them helpful.

1. Model Appropriate Behavior

Model the behavior that you expect from your child.
Many parents believe that it is okay to tell their children,
“do as I say and not as I do.”

However, studies shows that if the parent smokes,
there is a high chance that the child will also smoke.
Don't tell your children to read, when they have never
seen you pick up a book. Don't ask your children to clean
their bedroom when your bedroom is a mess. If we want
to raise children who are honest and have a strong
sense of integrity, we as parents must honor and fulfill
whatever promises that we made to others, regardless
of how minor the promises are.

2. Teach Your Children Self-Discipline

Teaching a child to control their own behavior in spite of
their moods or feelings is the greatest gift that a parent
can give their child.

Self-discipline will give the child the confidence to excel in
every area of their life. Self-discipline is the skill that will
help them understand that they have to finish their
home work first before they go out and play or that they
need to go to bed early so that they can get enough
sleep and perform well on a test the next day.

The secret to teaching self-discipline is to coordinate
must-do-tasks with enjoyable activities. All children
should have a structured schedule at home where time
is set for doing homework, sports, recreation and rest.
Their study schedule should not conflict with their
favorite television show, sports or other activities. Your
child can reward themselves by watching their favorite
TV show or cycling at the park after they have finished
their work.

3. Give Your Children Self-esteem

Children see themselves through their parent’s eyes.
When you smile at them, they feel accepted and loved.
Children are constantly looking into your eyes for
approval and validation of their self-worth.

If the parent refers to their children as dumb, stupid, or
clumsy, they will perceive themselves in that way too.

Do not call your child belittling names because this will
become a part of their psychological self belief. Tell your
children how wonderful and intelligent they are . Tell
them that it is perfectly okay to make mistakes and
guide them to learn from the mistakes and encourage
them to try again.

Let your child help you make rules and determine
consequences for breaking them. Give them chores -
children, like adults, feel good about themselves when
they feel that they are contributing to their own well-
being and to the best of their abilities.

4. Equip Your Children With Mental Toughness

We all heard the old phrase, "Sticks and stones may
break my bones but words will never hurt me." However
this is absolutely untrue - Nothing hurts the human soul
more than words.

You teach your children to be mentally tough by telling
them that the most important person’s opinion of them
that matters is their own and secondly, would be the
opinion of someone who loves them deeply.

Tell your child that people with fake confidence only
believe in themselves when they are winning or things
are going their way. People with real confidence believe
in themselves regardless of the outcome because they
only focus on the things that they can control.

Teach them that they can not control the grade that the
teacher will give them after a test; they can only control
how long they study and how well they prepare before
the test. Teaching a child to be mentally tough is
teaching them to focus on the things that they can
control and to ask themselves honestly, “Did I do my
best?” If they can answer yes. There next question
should be, “What can I do differently next time?”

5. Help Your Children Discover Their Sense of Purpose

In almost every of my parenting talk, I always encourage
parents to discover what their children are naturally
good at and give them as many opportunities as
possible to express their natural gifts and talents.

I highly recommend all parents read and study Howard
Gardener’s 9 Types of intelligence and analyze which
type of intelligence best fit their children. Learn about
the different learning styles and determine the way your
child best process data in terms of whether the
information is auditory, visual or kinesthetic.

Some children do not fit into society’s standard mode of
intelligence and hence they are labeled as academic
poor achievers. However these same children may be
gifted at building things, drawing, painting, singing,
dancing and creating music.

It is important for parents to tell their children that they
were born with the perfect physical and intellectual gifts
and talents to make their dreams come true. Let your
children know that there is a special place in the world
just for them. Teach them to appreciate who they are
when no one is looking.

6. Teach Your Children Critical Thinking

Teach your children to ask questions, gather facts and
make decisions on their own regardless of the source of

For example, after you have watched a movie or a TV
program with your children, ask them if they think the
show should have ended differently and why.

Read stories to your children and ask them whether or
not they think the story is reasonable. Ask your child
their opinion about various topics and ask them to
support their answers with evidence. Giving your child
the ability to think critically and analyze situations from
various perspectives and viewpoints is the greatest gift
that you could ever give them to live harmoniously in a
multi-cultural society.

When child are able to critically think for themselves and
make rational sound decisions; they will be less likely to
engage in morally wrong and irresponsible activities
such as premarital sex, abusive use of drugs or joining
of gangs. They will be able to determine if their actions
are taking them closer to their life goals or further from
their life goals. Most importantly, they will not make their
decisions based on whether or not they will be caught or
punished by authorities; they will make their decision
based on their conscience of what is right and wrong.

Teach them that greatness is not always about having
the right answers or pleasing others. Greatness is
about asking the important questions and doing what is
right. In our home, we teach our children the true
meaning of integrity as "doing the right thing, even if
nobody is watching."

7. Help Your Children To Develop A Compassionate

Compassion is the universal language of feelings,
emotions and morality.

Teach your children that if they want to know how
someone would feel or whether or not an act is right or
wrong, tell them to ask themselves, “Do I want this to
happen to me or someone I love dearly?” Their answer
will connect them to the sincerest form of compassion
that is connected to all of humanity.

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**A very good article. Really like it.


IF by Rudyard Kipling

if u can keep ur head when all about u
are losing theirs and blaming it on u
if u can trust urself when all men doubt u
but make allowance for their doubting too

if u can wait and not be tired by waiting
or being lied about,dont deal in lies
or being hated dont give way to hate
and yet dont look too god nor talk too wise

if u can dream ~and not make dreams ur master
if u can think ~and not make thoughts ur aim
if u can meet wit triumph and disaster
and treat those two impostors just the same

if u can bear to hear the truth u've spoken
twisted by knaved to make a trap for fools
or watch the things u gave ur life to,broken
and stoop and build'em up wit worn out tools

if u can make one heap of all ur winnings
and risk it on one turn of pitch and toss
and lose, and start again at ur beginnings
and neva breath a word about ur loss

if u can force ur heart and nerve and sinew
to serve ir turn long after they are gone
and so hold on when there is nothing in u
except the will which say to them "hold on"

if u can talk to crowds and keep ur virtue
or walk wit KIng~nor lose the common touch
if neither foes nor loving frens can hurt u
is all men count with u,,but none too much

if u can fill the unforgiving minute
with sixty seconds' worth of distance run
urs is the earth and everything that's in it
and~which is more~u'll be a Man ,my son!

@ Tanjung Balau

Semasa cuti CNY baru2 nie, we went back to our "kampung" or hometown in JB. What a relaxing long weekend! Saat yg dinanti2kan...sebab only at kampung, I can really relax and rejuvenate myself. :))

All my siblings were there back home. We had so many catching ups for the three days. It was so fun to exchange stories, gossips; and also teasing each other. My kids were also enjoying themselves. Mana taknya, my mom cooked all their fave dishes.

We also went for a picnic at Tanjung Balau. We had a BBQ there, set up a tent and sunbathing on the hot sunny day (muka mama mia teruk sunburn). Unfortunately, tak boleh nak mandi manda sgt di laut cos' the waves were so hi and strong, and the lifeguard kept on bunyikan seren kecemasan...tak benarkan mandi di laut. Rupa-rupanya, the nite before we came there, 4 people died in the sea. Kesiannya. Tapi, ombak di laut mmg kuat. The kids only played with sand and water by the sea, of course under adult supervision.

Seafood BBQ, done by Papa
** papa memang rajin& expert bab BBQ nie**

Nampak tk ada 3 org peminat setia cooking show hosted by Papa? :))

My siblings with their beloved new niece

loving u...

Loving u..is easy cos u're beautiful...

Mama...i sakit tekak..

Last week was declared as the "sakit tekak " week. mana taknya, both Wafitos and Afafita were inflicted by severe sore throat. Tak blh mkn, demam teruk and tak pergi sekolah. Afafita was absent from school for 4 days. Hmmm... duduk rumah....bukannya berehat, tapi dok melayan adik dia jer. Si adik pun happylah, ada kwn main. Usually, kalau dgn mama mia je, dunia adik tklh semeriah mana. Kalau dgn kakak, adik mcm tgk cartoon network or channel kids kat tv singapore. A lot of fun, enjoyable songs and movements.

After a few days Afafita sakit, berjangkit pulak pd si abang. Mama mia pening kepala nk msk apa. Kena msk bubur jer cos itu jer yg diorang blh mkn. But till, I had to cook some usual dishes for papa. Leceh juga kalau bebudak nie sakit. Mcm2 karenah diorang. Kesian pun ada, cos diorang nie jenis kuat mkn, bila tj blh mkn, terseksalah diorang. Mama mia plg tkt kalau fichita terjangkit jugak. alhamdulillah setakat nie tak. mudah2an dia sentiasa sihat...

No specific title...

Ironically, since I have my own internet line account, I felt quite "tak berapa rajin" to update this blog or post new entries. Hmmm....that's human nature, biasanya, sebelum dpt sesuatu, punyalah bersemangat, tetapi bila dah ada tak dihargai dan digunakan sebaik mungkin.

Orang kata...begitu juga halnya dlm perhubungan. Apabila lelaki dan wanita hangat bercinta, biasanya makan tak kenyang, tidur tak lena selagi tak berada dekat dgn pasangannya. Namun, bila sudah berkahwin, sebaliknya yg berlaku. Jika selalu dekat dan dek kerana tiap2 hari nampak muka..akhirnya kebosanan mula melanda. Betul ke mcm tu? Entahlah...

Perangai manusia memang sukar dijangka dan diduga. kadangkala...apabila kita baru berasa hampir2 memahami seseorang, kita mungkin akan dikejutkan dgn sikap2 dan reaksi2 baru yg tak pernah kita jangkakan. Tak kiralah berapa lama kita kenal akan seseorang...sebenarnya masih banyak sisi individu tersebut yg kita tak dpt fahami dan kenali.

Oleh kerana itulah mengenali hati budi seseorang merupakan satu proses yg panjang, a never-ending journey. Mungkin keperibadian seseorang yg kita kenali lima tahun yg lalu boleh berubah 360 darjah sekarang. Faktor rakan pergaulan, persekitaran, lingkungan hidup, didikan dan pengalaman boleh memberi impak terhadap perkembangan keperibadian seseorang individu, secara sedar ataupun tidak.

Kadang kala, personaliti kita juga berubah, meskipun kita tak menyedarinya. Apabila berlaku sesuatu konflik dalam perhubungan atau ketika berinteraksi dgn org lain, kita seringkali menuding jari terhadap pihak lain. Hakikatnya, kita sendiri yg sukar dimengerti dan telah berubah personaliti.

Fichita @ 2 months 2 weeks

How your baby's growing:

If your baby is sleeping through the night (five or six hours at a stretch), you're one of the lucky few. Most 10-week-old babies still wake up in the wee hours. But even babies who aren't sleeping through the night at this stage should be sleeping and staying awake for longer intervals rather than cycling back and forth so much. Your baby will probably have two to four long sleep periods and as many as ten hours of awake time in 24 hours.

An interesting note: Whether your baby is a night owl or a morning lark, a long sleeper or short sleeper, that pattern will probably stay the same throughout childhood.

(fichita alhamdulillah can sleep up tp 5 or 6 hours at a stretch at nite. howeverm her sleep pattern during daytine is still unpredictable)

Your baby is growing stronger every day. She may now be able to lift her head, chest, and shoulders off the ground when she's on her tummy. Your Superbaby will look so proud and happy while she's "flying" this way. If she's especially strong, she may be able to push herself up using her arms while lying on her stomach. She won't crawl until at least 6 months, but these precrawling motions are her way of developing the necessary muscles.

(alhamdulillah, now she's able to lift her head and loves being on her tummy)

Some Facts...

Extracts of speech by Hafez A.B Mohamed: Director-General, Al Baraka Bank.

o World Jewish Population. 14 million
o Distribution: 7 m in America
5 m in Asia
2 m in Europe
100 thousand in Africa
o World Muslim Population: 1.5 billion
o Distribution: 1 billion in Asia/Mid-East
400 M in Africa
44 M in Europe
6 M in the Americas
o Every fifth human being is a Muslim.
o For every single Hindu there are two Muslims
o For every Buddhist there are two Muslims
o For every Jew there are 107 Muslims
o Yet the 14 million Jews are more powerful than the entire 1.5 billion Muslims


Here are some of the reasons.

Movers of Current History
o Albert Einstein Jewish
o Sigmund Freud Jewish
o Karl Marx Jewish
o Paul Samuelson Jewish
o Milton Friedman Jewish

Medical Milestones
o Vaccinating Needle: Benjamin Ruben Jewish
o Polio Vaccine Jonas Salk Jewish
o Leukaemia Drug Gertrude Elion Jewish
o Hepatitis B Baruch Blumberg Jewish
o Syphilis Drug Paul Ehrlich Jewish
o Neuro muscular Elie Metchnikoff Jewish
o Endocrinology Andrew Schally Jewish
o Cognitive therapy. Aaron Beck Jewish
o Contraceptive Pill Gregory Pincus Jewish
o Understanding of Human Eye. G. Wald Jewish
o Embryology. Stanley Cohen Jewish
o Kidney Dialysis Willem Kloffcame Jewish

Nobel Prize Winners
o In the past 105 years, 14 million Jews have won 180 Nobel prizes whilst 1.5 billion Muslims have contributed only 3 Nobel winners

Inventions that changed History
o Micro- Processing Chip. Stanley Mezor Jewish
o Nuclear Chain Reactor Leo Sziland Jewish
o Optical Fibre Cable Peter Schultz Jewish
o Traffic Lights Charles Adler Jewish
o Stainless Steel Benno Strauss Jewish
o Sound Movies Isador Kisee Jewish
o Telephone Microphone Emile Berliner Jewish
o Video Tape Recorder Charles Ginsburg Jewish

Influential Global Business
o Polo Ralph Lauren Jewish
o Coca Cola Jewish
o Levi's Jeans Levi Strauss Jewish
o Sawbuck's Howard Schultz Jewish
o Google Sergey Brin Jewish
o Dell Computers Michael Dell Jewish
o Oracle Larry Ellison Jewish
o DKNY Donna Karan Jewish
o Baskin & Robbins Irv Robbins Jewish
o Dunkin Donuts Bill Rosenberg Jewish

Influential Intellectuals/ Politicians
o Richard Levin, PresidentYaleUniver sity Jewish
o Alan Greenspan , US Federal Reserve Jewish
o Joseph Lieberman Jewish
o Madeleine Albright , US Sec of State Jewish
o CasperWeinberger , US Sec of Defence Jewish
o Maxim Litvinov , USSR Foreign Minister Jewish
o DavidMarshal , Singapore Chief Minister Jewish
o Isaacs Isaacs, Gov-GenAustralia Jewish
o Benjamin Disraeli, British Statesman Jewish
o Yevgeny Primakov, Russian PM Jewish
o Barry Goldwater , US Politician Jewish
o Jorge Sampaio, President Portugal Jewish
o Herb Gray, Canadian Deputy - PM Jewish
o Pierre Mendes, French PM Jewish
o Michael Howard, British Home Sec. Jewish
o Bruno Kriesky, Austrian Chancellor Jewish
o Robert Rubin , US Sec of Treasury Jewish

Global Media Influential
o Wolf Blitzer, CNN Jewish
o Barbara Walters ABC News Jewish
o EugeneMeyer , Washington Post Jewish
o Henry Grunwald, Time Magazine Jewish
o Katherine Graham , Washington Post Jewish
o Joseph Lelyeld, New York Times Jewish
o Max Frankel, New York Times Jewish

Global Philanthropists
o George Soros Jewish
o Walter Annenberg Jewish

Why are they powerful? why are Muslims powerless?

Here's another reason. We have lost the capacity to produce knowledge.

o In the entire Muslim World (57 Muslim Countries) there are only 500 universities.
o In USA alone, 5,758 universities
o In India alone, 8,407 universities
o Not one university in the entire Islamic World features in the Top 500 Ranking Universities of the World
o Literacy in the Christian World 90%
o Literacy in the Muslim World 40%
o 15 Christian majority-countries, literacy rate 100%
o Muslim majority - countries , None
o 98% in Christian countries completed primary
o Only 50% in Muslim countries completed primary.
o 40% in Christian countries attended university
o In Muslim countries a dismal 2% attended.
o Muslim majority countries have 230 scientists per one million Muslims
o The USA has 5000 per million
o The Christian world 1000 technicians per million.
o Entire Arab World only 50 technicians per million.
o Muslim World spends on research/developmen t 0.2% of GDP
o Christian World spends 5 % of GDP

o The Muslim World lacks the capacity to produce knowledge.

Another way of testing the degree of knowledge is the degree of diffusing knowledge.

o Pakistan 23 daily newspapers per 1000 citizens
o Singapore 460 per 1000 citizens.
o In UK book titles per million is 2000
o In Egypt book titles per million is only 17

o Muslim World is failing to diffuse knowledge

Applying Knowledge is another such test.
o Exports of high tech products from Pakistan is 0.9% of its exports.
o In Saudi Arabia is 0.2%
o Kuwait , Morocco and Algeria 0.3%
o Singapore alone is 68%

o Muslim World is failing to apply knowledge.

What do you conclude? no need to tell the figures are speaking themselves very loudly we are unable to listen


Please educate yourself and your children. always promote education, don't compromise on it, don't ignore your children's slightest misguidance from education (and please, for God's Sake, don't use your personal contacts or sources to promote your children in their education; if they fail, let them and make them learn to pass; b/c if they can't do it now, they can't ever).

We are World's biggest and strongest nation, all we need is to identify and explore our ownselves. Our victory is with our knowledge, our creativity, our literacy...And nothing else.

....Wake up...

(got this via emel from one of the yahoo groups members in Singapore.)

Hold on, Palestinians....May Allah Protect You


(Song for Gaza)
(Composed by Michael Heart)

A blinding flash of white light
Lit up the sky over Gaza tonight
People running for cover
Not knowing whether they’re dead or alive

They came with their tanks and their planes
With ravaging fiery flames
And nothing remains
Just a voice rising up in the smoky haze

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight
You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools
But our spirit will never die
We will not go down
In Gaza tonight

Women and children alike
Murdered and massacred night after night
While the so-called leaders of countries afar
Debated on who’s wrong or right

But their powerless words were in vain
And the bombs fell down like acid rain
But through the tears and the blood and the pain
You can still hear that voice through the smoky haze

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight
You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools
But our spirit will never die
We will not go down
In Gaza tonight

Ini merupakan lyric lagu khas untu masyarakat Gaza yg sedang bertarung nyawa menghadapi kekejaman Israel.

**Diambil dari iurf....**

Disiplin dan anak-anak

Your 5-year-old now

What's the big secret to disciplining a 5-year-old? Consistency. Kids this age depend on familiar routines and structure, and that applies to understanding your expectations for their behavior. A child gets confused when a behavior that warrants a time-out one day gets a quick "Stop that!" the next. The best way to reinforce the rules is to apply them reliably.

Of course, there will sometimes be exceptions, such as a special occasion when you decide that this time, it's okay to pull down the sofa cushions to build a fort. That's fine, as long as you make it clear that this is an exception — and why. "It's raining outside, so you can make a fort even though the usual rule is no pulling the sofa apart."

It helps if both parents are in synch about the big household rules, so there's no confusion and no playing one parent off the other. But it's okay if the rules vary slightly between home and school, or at Grandma's house. Your child is old enough to understand that different situations have different standards.

Memang benar. Mendisiplinkan anak2 merupakan satu perkara yg sangat 'demanding' dan memerlukan consistency dan kesabaran yg tinggi. Melalui pengalaman Mama Mia membesarkan Wafitos dan Afafita, meskipun beberapa rules dan regulation telah ditetapkan untuk mereka berdua, namun sejauhmana mereka mematuhi peraturan2 tersebut sebenarnya banyak bergantung kepada faktor personaliti mereka sendiri.

Sebagai contoh, sehingga berumur 7 tahun setengah ini, Wafitos masih mencampakkan tuala dan pakaian ke atas lantai hata kemana saja selepas setiap kali mandi. Namun, sebaliknya, Afafita dengan tertibnya akan mencari hanger dan menggantung 'robe' yg telah digunakan, ataupun paling malas pun mengantung robe dan tuala di combol pintu bilik. Meskipun mereka berdua telah diberi penerangan akan peraturan yg sama dan telah dimarahi, di teguri malah sesekali didenda jika melanggar peraturan tersebut, namun Wafitos tetap Wafitos, dan Afafita tetap Afafita. Bagi saya, personaliti juga memainkan faktor yg penting bagi menentukan tahap kesedara dan kepatuhan seseorang anak dlm disiplin.

Wafitos, dgn perwatakan yg clumsy, suka menyepahkan brg2 sejak dari bayi lagi....masih sukar untuk diubah dan mengikut arahan serta disiplin tanpa dibebel mahupun diugut. Sebaliknya, Afafita yg suka berhias, pembersih dan berhati2 dlm melakukan sesuatu kerja, lebih mudah untuk mematuhi arahan serta lebih berdisiplin. Having said that, sebagai ibu, Mama Mia perlu konsisten dlm menjalankan disiplin dan peraturan dlm rumah.

Hadis daripada Abu Hurairah ra., bahawasannya RasuluLLah saw bersabda,

“Terdapat tiga golongan yang tidak diperhatikan oleh Allah SWT pada
hari kiamat kelak; Mereka tidak disucikan Tuhan. Mereka ini akan mendapat seksaan azab yang sangat pedih. PERTAMA : Orang yang mempunyai lebihan air tetapi tidak mahu memberikan seteguk air pun kepada orang yang sedang haus dalam perjalanan. KEDUA : Orang yang mengadakan baiah (sumpah setia) dengan pemimpin yang mementingkan dunia sahaja. Apabila diberi sesuatu, dia suka, tetapi dalam masa yang sama bila tidak diberi, maka dia marah, dan KETIGA : Orang yang masih menguruskan barang dagangannya walaupun setelah hamper habis waktu asar".

Reading to your baby

by Ron Afable

Remember how you felt the first time your secret crush looked at you? That is nothing compared to your baby’s gaze at you. He looks at you in the eyes and you feel like you’re in heaven. You are then compelled to talk to him. It’s an automatic reaction. It is as if the baby is expecting you to interact with him. The truth is, your baby is really expecting something with that eye-contact!

In these moments, your “cootsie-coo” or the cute but utterly senseless “dah-dah-dah-dah,baby?” or “ ah- ba-ba-ba-ba...” babble, wouldn’t be enough. Of course, another way would be to make your baby giggle endlessly with your “peek-a-boo” However, you’re not waiting till your baby turns blue before you stop, are you?

The totally senseless sounds you make just to entertain your bundle of joy could only go on if you don’t mind being totally senseless for a longer period. Usually, it is you who gives up first. And the baby looks at you as if telling you not to stop. This is the time when you usually start talking to your baby with real words -- This is where the story-telling comes in handy.

.... and then you read to your baby.

If you have been talking to your baby while he was still inside his mother’s womb, unbeknown to you, something almost magical is unfolding with this first time face-to-face talking and reading to your baby.

He remembers your voice!

According to the latest scientific findings, a developing fetus can hiccup and actually reacts to loud noises as early as on its ninth week. Your baby dreams, can taste the food that the mother eats, and he actually starts hearing by the end of the second trimester. In fact, he can distinguish the voices of his Mom from another person.

Research shows that a fetus’ heart rate slows down when his mother is speaking – this means he is calmed by the mother’s voice. Furthermore, the fetus responds to a familiar story (a story that has been repeatedly read to him while he’s inside the womb) and he prefers to listen to it over a new story read to him after birth.

Although there are no scientific findings to show that the baby appreciates the story that you read, reading to your baby (especially if you start while he is still inside his mother’s womb) becomes his first social encounter with you – this is your first bonding. Your voice becomes one of the first stimuli that he can identify with and connect to you. It would then become very important for the Mom to read aloud to the baby while he is inside the womb. Well, you can just talk but it would appear crazy, right? Besides, if you just ramble on, you might forget yourself and you might end up talking about something that pisses you off.

Here are some simple tips for reading to your baby:

• Pick a book that will become your baby’s favourite. Don’t worry if you find your baby prefers one single book read to him over and over. Don’t insist on introducing new ones if it is not welcomed. Babies learn by repetition. They may not even understand anything about it – they just love to hear the sound of your voice, and the familiarity of the words read to him. Pick a book that has simple, repetitive words. It would be better if the words rhyme, so you can read it in a sing-song voice.

• Pick a book with simple and large pictures of familiar objects against solid backgrounds. It would also help if it is one of those board books that could survive the baby’s hands, spit, and bites. You would also want to make sure it is always clean as the baby would always want to put it in his mouth.

• When reading, you don’t need to always start from the first page. You can immediately go to the baby’s favourite page (it might be because of the picture, or it might be because it is the part where your reading becomes very expressive – read with exaggerated voice expression; use different voices for different story characters; make animal sounds, or say “chug-chug-chug...tooot! toot!” when you’re reading about a train. You don’t have to finish the book in every sitting, too. Remember, the baby still does not understand the story.

• When reading, you don’t have to totally leave everything to what the author has written. You may interrupt the story every now and then to interact with the baby (this is specially so if the baby can already respond or point), e.g., “See? There’s goes the baby duck...Where’s the baby duck? Yes...that’s the baby duck. It goes, ‘quack! Quack’. What’s the sound of the duck?” Or point at the drawings or pictures and say, “This is the house. It is a red house...” etc.

The first five years of a human being’s life are a time of incredible growth and learning. Reading to your child gives him his first encounter with words, colors, numbers, letters and shapes. Constantly reading to your baby imprints these concepts in their minds. Reading becomes a part of your baby’s life. As months pass, notice how your baby behaves when he sees you holding his favourite book. He may even try to grab it from you, may help you flip the pages, point at objects, or he may even surprise you with a “Quack! Quack!” when he sees the duck.

(my wafitos have been exposed to books n reading since he was about6 months. The same goes with afafita. hopefully, this time around, I can start read to fichita earlier)

Anak Mama yg suka "bergayut"...

Mia Fichita sekarang nie dah masuk 2 bulan dan dua hari. Alhamdulillah, selain dpd kuat "bergayut" (istilah yg Mama Mia gunakan untuk menggambarkan betapa dia milkaholic susu ibu), dia sebenarnya baby yg baik. Biasalah kalau kekadang nak manja. Tapi Fichita masih boleh dikategorikan sbg baby yg tak byk meragam. Having said that, she's a colicky baby. Sokmolah kembung...walau dia buang angin berpuluh2 kali mcm peluru machine gun, dan burp after every feeding, dia tetap kembung. Jenuhlah Mama Mia sapu minyak telon ker..minyak yuyee ker..sama jer. Bila dia kembung...dia nak didukung jer. Mujurlah Mam Mia beli babysling from babyloft, so blh digunakan untuk dukung dia.

Baru2 nie bila bawak Fichita gi clinic for hep B jab, doctor bagi infant colic drop. Tapi tak berkesan sgtlah. Tak dpt menyembuhkan sepenuhnya kekembungan Fichita nie. Besides that, satu perangai Fichita nie ialah tak suka tidur....hah, sebijik mcm perangai abang dia si Wafitos. Susah betul nak tidrkan di siang hari..siang hari average waktu tidur dia cuma 2 hours..itupun bukanya straight 2 hours. paling lama setengah jam...kelam kabutlah Mama mia berhempas pulas nak buat seberapa byk kerja dlm masa setengah jam. Dahlah tak blh bising2 time dia tidur...so cuma dptbuat kerja yg senyap jer.

Dia juga sgtlah memilih. Tak nak pacifier, walaupun dah 3 jenis pacifier Mama Mia belikan...tapi still dia resisted. Still dia prefer mama's natural pacifier. Ni yg susah nak hantar dia ke nursey. Dia tak boleh tidur kalau tak bergayut kat Mama dulu. So setakat nie masih blm hantar ke mana2 caregiver or nursey lagi. masih lagi mengharap kalau2 maid sampai dlm masa terdekat nie. Tapi kalau maid takder gak..tak taulah camner, terpaksalah hantar ke nursery jugak. Masalahnya...sanggup ker nursery nak jaga? Takut jadi mcm abang dia, s Chichi dulu waktu baby dpt bertahan dua minggu jer kat nursery. Caregivers kat nursery tak tahan nak jaga dia lagi, suh hantar tmpt lain. Chichi asik menangis jer....nak dukung jer all around the clock. Sedih betul Mama Mia bila dpt tau rupanya selama 2 minggu di nursery, Chichi merana sesangat. Cuma dia baby, tak blh nak ckp, tak sangka dia terseksa.

Thats why takut Fichita pun mcm tu jugak. Tapi Mama Mia mesti cari jln jugak untuk buat sesuatu berkenaan penjaga. Mama tak blh sentiasa dok study dia rumah. Pertama, banyak sgt gangguan....dan house chores. Kedua. Mama kena jgk hadiri talks, seminars, gi library, etc.

Mudah2an Allah tunjukkan dan mudahkanlah jalan untuk menyelesaikan masalah nie.

Fichita dah masukkan tangan ke dlm mulut kicking her legs up, dah pandai chooing, menyahut bila kita berbual ngan dia dan senyum (tapi dia tak pemurah senyuman). Dia suka main kat playgym dia....tgk toys dan rattle yg bergantungan. Dah boleh ikut suara/ bunyi, turn around to voice and sound, suka dengar kakak Afafita nyanyikan all kinds or songs and nursery rhymes, suka angkat kepala, berangan nak cuba2 meniarap, etc. alhamdulillah setakt nie developmental progress dia baik dan agak cepat juga.

Mudah2an dia membesar jadi anak yg sihat, pintar dan beriman. (tak kisahlah walau kuat bergayut...tapi berbaloi)


Ini merupakan sebahagian brands yg perlu diboikot untuk kita menjalankan tanggungjawab kita sebagai Muslim bg membantah kekejaman Zionis. Sejauhmanakah kita dpt melaksanakannya?

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Mama...then what can we eat?

Sejak di sekolah baru ni, (chichi ditukarkan ke sekolah baru tahun nie) chichi sering bercakap tentang Israel, Palestine dan perang. Alhamdulillah..nampaknya kesedarannya terhadap nasib umat Islam di Semenanjung Gaza sudah mula berkembang. Mama Mia bersyukur..dan berharap kesedaran ini akan berterusan, bukan seperti kebanyakan org dewasa yg lainnya, yg hanya "sudah terhantuk baru terngadah", yg hanya kelam kabut tersedar dan bangun dari lena yg mengasyikkan bila berlakunya pembunuhan dan kekejaman yg terlampau seperti di Gaza sekarang ini.

So, dia sering bertanya kepada kami berdua (Mama Mia dan Papaya) tentang barangan US dan Yahudi yg perlu dielakkan daripada mengguna atau membeli. Antara yg ditanya kepada Mama Mia....

Chichi: We cannot eat MacDonalds anymore, right?
Mama: yup..

Chichi: Becos its American and every cent that we pay...theMacdonalds bos will give to Israel to fight theMuslims in Palestine right?
Mama: Yes.... (terkejut.cos dia dah mula faham)

Chichi: What about Pizza, KFC dan A&W?
Mama: The same thing.

Chichi: Then, what can we eat, Mama?
Mama: Eat at Malaysian restaurant.....

Chichi: Dont want!! Tak best lah...

Afterwards.dia terus berfikir2..mcm mana nak mkn sedap mknan fast food tanpa makan di restaurant 2 yg perlu diboikot....Itulah yg difikirkan oleh kanak2. Bukan mereka saja..kita pun sebenarnya dah terlalu byk bergantung selera pada makanan fast food oleh restaurants tersebut. Kan bags kalau jadi mcm kawan bloger Mama Mia...mamafiza. She's a superb mum, who can cooks variety of Western food for her children...home made.

2-month-old: Week 1

Your baby can tell the difference between familiar voices and other sounds, and he's becoming a better listener. He can also show you that he's in tune with his environment. Notice how he looks to see where certain noises are coming from.

An ongoing conversation (although seemingly one-sided) can help your baby develop his sense of place. He may even watch your mouth as you talk, fascinated by how it all works. You'll be amazed by his ability to communicate with a growing repertory of coos (musical, vowel-like sounds), smiles, and unique cries to express his different needs.

How Your Baby Grows

Basic Milestones of Infant Development

During the first year, each child’s cognitive, hearing, language, visual and motor skills develop differently and can vary by several months. The following is a general outline of basic milestones. If your child does not demonstrate most of these age-appropriate activities in the general time frames outlined here, discuss your concerns with your child’s doctor.

Cognitive Skills
1 to 3 months –
Cries for comfort or feeding. Anticipates that distress will be followed by comfort. Makes associations (for example, crying results in being held or fed).

4 to 7
months – Finds partially hidden objects. Explores with hands and mouth. Struggles to get objects that are out of reach. Understands that he can cause things to happen.

8 to 12
months – Understands concept of “in” and “out.” Is anxious around strangers. Associates mental images with words and pictures. Remembers where a toy is when it’s hidden under something.

Verbal and Hearing Skills
1 to 3 months –
Grunts, coos, squeals and makes other noises. Cries when put down. Cries differently for different needs. Draws out vowel sounds, such as “aaah” or “oooh.” Smiles at the sound of your voice. Turns head toward the direction of sound. Identifies a person by his or her voice, even if that person is in another room.

4 to 7
months – Responds to own name. Begins to respond to “no.” Distinguishes emotions by tone of voice. Responds to sound by making sound. Babbles chains of consonants.

8 to 12
months – Responds to and uses simple verbal requests. Says “dada” and “mama.” Tries to imitate words.

Visual Skills
1 to 3 months –
Watches faces intently. Follows moving objects. Recognizes familiar objects and people 8 to 12 inches away. Starts using hands and eyes in coordination.

4 to 7 months – Has full color vision. Can see things at a distance. Can track moving objects.

8 to 12 months – Sees small objects. Can spot the tiniest crumb on the rug. Has an increasingly good sense of spatial relationships – for example, what is up and down, inside and outside.

Motor Skills
1 to 3 months –
Stretches legs out and kicks when lying on stomach or back. Opens and shuts hands. Brings hand to mouth. Takes swipes at dangling objects with hands.

4 to 7
months – Transfers object from hand to hand, and can bring it to her mouth. Uses her fingers and thumbs together in a claw-like grip. Lying on her back, she can grab her feet and toes and bring them to her mouth.

8 to 12
months – Uses a pincer grasp. Bangs two objects together. Takes items out of container. Pokes with index finger.

Learning to Walk
The time frame for learning to walk varies from child to child. The information below outlines basic progress.

4 to 6
months – Rolls in both directions when on stomach. Gets to sitting position without assistance.

6 to 9
months – Crawls forward on belly. Creeps on hands and knees.

8 to 10
months – Pulls self up to standing position, usually holding on to furniture. Stands momentarily without support.

12 to 18 months –
Walks two or three steps without support.

(from www.parenthood.com)

Mama Mia...the return.

Rasanya dah berkurun lamanya tak jenguk apatahlag meng'update' blog ini. Hampir sebulan Mama Mia bergelut menyesuaikan diri dgn ahli baru dlm keluarga...Mia Fichita. Terlalu byk peristiwa dan suka duka yg nak dicoretkan dlm blog ini, tapi keadaan benar2 tak mengizinkan. Tambahan pula....Fichita yg "very demanding" nie sgt memerlukan full attention, sehingga kelam kabut kehidupan mama Mia yg dulunya aman dan tenteram.

Anyway...I'm trying to make a comeback (wah..mcm artist pulak!!). kalau boleh nak catat developmental progress Fichita nie...nak tulis mcm2. Tgklah...kalau terlarat dan ada peluang.