Friday, 29 January 2010

Hats from Ariq...

These are old photos.. but I just had the right idea to put with them.. :-)

One of the best things of having a big brother is that you get to wear nice hats.. the one he made at school and one he made at home..

Aza loved his 'General Hat' and his 'Pirate Hat' from Ariq...

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Smile is out of stock..

Yes, smile has been out of my inventory list for almost a couple of weeks now..

The week before last, it was cloudy and humid for almost the whole week, and the air inside the house was not fresh at all -even when we opened the windows and doors almost all day- and all sorts of insect were starting to be 'visible' around the house..

Not sure which one decided to pick a fight with us, the boys and I got bitten.. and I got the worst case! At first I thought it was the red ants, but red ant's bit usually went away pretty quickly and did not cause a rash this bad..

This insect (we never saw it bit, we just felt the pain afterwards) caused a bite that stings at first, then it became itchy followed by swelling. After being treated with Dettol or Betadine for a couple of days -which accompanied by heavy-like feeling around the swollen parts-, the poison started coming out and the swelling would flatten.

It might sound that it was becoming better, but actually not really yet.. Once the poison was out and the swelling was gone, the area where the insect had originally bitten would be open (I suspected that the sting came out along with the poison), then the wound would start to feel painful, just like when your skin is scraped by accident..

Phew.. my wound is in healing process, as it looks quite dry today, but after I changed the bandage earlier this evening, the stinging still stayed somehow.. It's just making me hard to sleep.. I'm still grateful though because last week, when the wound was still swollen, I couldn't walk almost at all (I got bitten on my foot, near the toes). I'm also grateful that the boys' got less serious cases than mine..

I'm still not sure what had bitten us, but thankfully, the sun has been brightly shining this week and the air inside the house has been much better..

I haven't turned into an angry monster or anything as scary.. it's just it's hard to smile when I wince a lot.. I'm really hoping this wound will completely heal in a couple of days so I can have a beautiful weekend instead of staying at home and bored again...

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Beautiful Sky

These are pictures of one sunset afternoon that I took in the backyard.. I just thought that the sky looked very beautiful and I wanted to take a picture (I ended up taking several)..

I actually took this picture about a year ago, but somehow it ended up being stored in my sister-in-law's laptop.. (could be during the time my laptop was broken).

These pictures are nowhere near as beautiful as the real view, since I was only using a personal (pocket) digital camera and I had pretty much no photography skill at all, but at least I have these pictures to remind me of how beautiful the sky was that day..

Lovely sunset..

Monday, 11 January 2010

Family Day on Motorbike

I have been on motorbike rides (as passenger, of course) many times, but it was always for compulsory travels (getting lift from my parents' driver, to and from work) or going to hawker's place with my husband.

Yesterday, my husband decided to take Ariq and me on his motorbike to 'Cilandak Town Square' for the Kidz Sunday event that the shopping area always has every Sunday. The ride was actually nice, we managed to get there without getting stuck in the traffic too much (the downside of driving a car in Jakarta).

My husband and I decided to take Ariq out for a treat (lunch and Timezone) after receiving Ariq's report book on Saturday and the result was above our expectation!

Nooo.. of course it's not A+ for all subjects, as we still received 'news' from school about detentions, etc., but the fact that Ariq managed to get good grades (especially science and computer) while he was still easily distracted in class during sessions, really surprised and relieved us at the same time.

Ariq's teachers say that Ariq is very analytical and he absorbs the study materials very fast, he only needs to improve his patient in keeping his focus in class -meaning: staying put and concentrating even when the subject being delivered is not his favourite one, and in conveying his ideas in to other people -meaning: he needs to be more structured and more polite in putting his ideas forward.

Gladly, Ariq's school has a special unit to help students with their personal development needs, from simple routine exercises to improve students' learning and/or social skills to specific and advanced treatment for special needs students. (I'm really glad that we have enrolled Ariq in this inclusive school, where students are not only taught about academic side but also the non-academic side of life, which I believe plays a far more important role in every person's life).

Anyway.. Ariq really loved the treat. His choice of lunch was pretty simple actually; his all-time favourite 'Spaghetti Bolognese'. As it was Kidz Sunday at the shopping complex, for any shopping or meal purchased at any outlet in the shopping complex for Rp 100.000,- (about US$12), we would receive a set of game tickets (about 10 different tickets) to play all the games setup by the complex management around the area for free.

After going around with Ariq (from one game to another), my husband and I decided to sit down at Burger King after putting some Timezone credit in Ariq's card. He played there for about 15 minutes then he came to sit with us.

We went home after getting t-shirts for Aza. This little guy is now at the stage of choosing his own outfit after every shower and the whole house is getting a headache because he won't wear anything with tags at the neck, and he won't wear anything without transformers, ben10, dragons, ghosts, swords or skeleton (no, the t-shirts don't have to be scary, but they have rules!).. so, we were happy to find one with Voltus-V holding the sword, one with cartoon Hellboy, and one with Chewbacca (I told him it was a nice ghost, and he loved it!).

Ah, it was a very nice day altogether.. :-)

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Done?? Is it? Really???

Wow! I can't believe it!

The 86-page journal of my mother-in-law performing the pilgrimage to Mecca with her parents (who at that time were already over 80 years old), is completely done and ready to be taken to the publisher.

Mother actually had taken the first 'final' draft to the publisher before the New Year, but the people in the publishing company were already busy with catching up with last minute work and year-end reports, so they informed her that they were not going to start new readings until after the new year (it's really nice of them to be honest)..

Therefore, mother gave the journal another look and made a few final adjustments (little ones but I agree with her that these changes are important to make). I edited her adjustments over the holiday and today, the draft was finally done! (I even managed to give it a new-and-better cover page).

Yay! I'm happy about it.. :-)

At the same time, though.. I'm getting a feeling that I often have after completing a big task/assignment.. it is almost like an anti-climax when reading a suspense story.. It is done! But is it really??? Did I forget something? Do I need to come back again later?

Mother is now in the middle of her new book. This time it's about.. (ouch! I'm not going to reveal anything yet).. Anyway, it is a very interesting book.. I really can't wait to read and edit it!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

End-of-Year Holiday

I was away from the internet for a little over a week, since my husband and I are trying to make up for Ariq's sad holiday (last end of academic year in June). Gladly both Ariq and Aza have been well this holiday so that we managed to have a wonderful time together...

The best trip was last Saturday to the Miniature Park of Indonesia (Taman Mini Indonesia Indah), where all Indonesian cultures are shown in the park (real size traditional houses with manequins (is it the correct spelling?) wearing the traditional dresses inside the houses with scheduled shows of traditional dances in the open spaces of the traditional houses.

In the park, first we went to see a 4-D movie, where we didn't only see the picture in 3-D images, but also feel some of the effects (like wind breeze and sprinkle of water). The kids were very excited and tried to reach and grasp all the images 'coming out' of the screen..

Then, we visited the Reptile Museum and Komodo Park. Various live snakes, lizzards and crocodiles were displayed. In most of the reptile's cages, there were also a few little chicks for the reptiles' prey. At first I felt pity for the little chicks, but then, I understood that it was the chain of food at work.

The reptiles did not disturb the little chicks at all, even when they were running around and often accidently walked all over the sleeping reptiles. One cobra was freightening the 'all too loudly chirping' little chicks by standing up and hissing for a few minutes, but then, it just pulled its head underneath its curled up body (I associated it with humans hiding their heads under a thick pillow when putting up with kids' screaming and shouting, after trying to tell the kids to quiet down)..

We were lucky to see a komodo dragon, who had just shed, and the keeper was kneeling next to the dragon pulling some of the old skin left unshed. It was an amazing sight that we don't come across every day.. so I took a picture of it and gladly it came out well..

We also had a chance to touch a big live snake (a constricting one), who also just shed and was sleeping deeply.. Ariq and Aza saw the 'touch area' and we thought there would be little non-venomous snakes and tame lizzards for kids entertainment.. How surprised we were when we realized that the snakes they displayed there were big sleeping ones!! Ariq was a little scared of touching the snake, but Aza did not hesitate to lie down, roll around and patting the snake.. .. We kept saying to him, "Gentle, Aza.. Gentle.. you don't want to wake the snake!" ..

The keeper was sitting next to Aza, smiling and saying to us not to worry, as the snake would sleep for a long time and touches and pats would not disturb it at all..

After the kids had had enough playing in the Reptile Museum, we moved on to the Kids' Castle, where there were various kids rides and a fairy tale-like castle. The castle had a upper ground area where people could take pictures with the surrounding areas as backgrounds. Ariq and Aza chose a little fairy hole under a castle tower to have their picture taken..

It was really an exciting and full-of-fun holiday for the four of us..

Oh, a little note for all of you.. it seems like middle of the rainy season (end of year) like this is the time for tropical reptiles to shed and rest. So, if you are considering to travel to tropical places and have a glimpse of reptile lives, this time of year would be the perfect time to plan the trip.. the reptiles' skins are new and very beautifully shiny.. and they are all in very deep sleep, so there is a very good chance that visitors of reptile parks can have an experience of touching or sitting next to the reptiles and have photographs taken..