Life is…

Be kinds to others for everybody is fighting some kind of battle…

Taken from Yahoo Images

 We probably heard that once or few times in our lifetime. I am no exception and not to the saying either.

This year has been interesting to say the least. It starts off very good. Everything seems to start falls into places and I’m happy.

Comes March.. late march is when we heard about Kalia hearing problem. We learned that our beautiful baby girl is hard –hearing.

At that time, I don’t ever recall hearing more devastating news in my life.

I was so overwhelm with grief and guilt – for whatever reason. It wasn’t a good time.

 April came then things are slowly getting better again, both of my parents are here! I’m so happy I get to be a child again.

I love waking up to the sound of my parents talking about stuff over their breakfast.

It’s such a fond childhood memory where I wake up to see my dad with the newspaper and his cup of coffee on the table

And my mom sitting next to him while putting on make-up commenting on the news…

It’s comforting…

 Then June came, my dad have to leaves. He needs to go back to Indonesia to tidy up some business deal.

We made plan of him returning back in the fall so I can shows him beautiful CO during the fall season    

.. and its Tyra’s birthday as well.

We have so much plan….

 Then July came.. exactly one month after I say good bye to him at the airport, I have to say good bye to him again,..

This time forever…

God decided that it’s time for my dad to come back home for good. Leaving us here grieving, wondering why…

 Now we’re in October.. how time flew…

I survive the first holiday without my dad.. another one is around the corner..

 Leaves are changing, air is crispier. I wish my dad can see how beautiful it is here now..

I started remembering the plan we made…   promises I made to him.. 

 Life is cruel…

 Many – many times I wish I go back to my childhood.. When the life is so care free.

Playing and playing and playing with my friends…

 Life is cruel..

Then I remember something… a saying from Hadist

I said to Allah, I hate life.

Allah replied, who said love life. Love me and life will be beautiful.

A stroll down memory lane…

Have you ever taken back into your past or childhood by a smell, taste, songs or picture? This past weekend, all of that happening to me.

 I just open a bottle of liquid soap that my sister got me from Indonesia. The scent just automatically take me back on the day I still living there, taking a shower at my bathroom in Indonesia.

As I was cleaning my little cabinet where I hold my little perfume collection, a bottle of Este lauder perfume – beautiful fell off and as I pick it up, I spray it little bit on my wrist. It was my mom’s perfume when I was growing up. The scent take me back in time where I spent time in her arms and how I can smells that on her ….

 And here’s the finale:

 One of my good friends told me that The Original House of Pancake has this Dutch Pancake and how I should try it out. So we did, the family went for a lunch there and I order the baby Dutch pancake. OMG, just the first bite, I almost burst into tears; it’s just like how my grandma used to made for me!! As hungry as I was that time, I couldn’t eat a whole lot because I was so overwhelmed with emotions.  I’ll definitely come back!

 I find comfort on things like that… certain songs that my parents used to sing to me can bring me tears and smile at the same time. For example, Andy Williams – Speak Softly love, have you ever listened to it? It’s beautiful love songs that my parents loves to sing together…  if you haven’t listen here.

 On a side note, one night, Kalia was so fussy and refuse to sleeps. I can’t remember what I was thinking, but I do have my dad old shirt still hanging on the closet, so I just kinda wrapped that around Kalia and just within minutes she drifted to sleeps…. That night I spray a bit of my mom’s perfume on the pillow.. and play Andy William songs till I drifted to sleeps…

Should I stop grieving?

It’s not even a month yet, the wound still feel fresh, and it didn’t take much to takes me back to the painful realization that my dad is gone.

Cooking, looking at the green pan that he loves can bring tears to my eyes… seeing a jar of decaf coffee that he likes so much still sitting on the pantry is enough to break me down…

Days and nights come and go and life goes on, the world seems to be spinning still… although I feel so crushed and dead inside.

Nighttime is the hardest, when people around you sleeping and you just lay there with your own thoughts…  thinking, feeling the hurt and anger again… , wondering why. If everything happens for a reason, this is one of the occasions I wish God would’ve told me why…

God how I miss him so….

Then little voice talk to me, my Tyra told me last night… “Mommy, I don’t want to grow up. “ “but why?” “Well, if I grow up, then you and Daddy will die and I don’t want that, I will miss you so much and I don’t want to be sad all the time like you.”

I have a mixed feeling listening to that. I have been trying to hide my grief from my children. I cry on the way to work, on the way home from work, in the shower.. but somehow she must’ve seen right through me.

Should I stop grieving? Honestly right now I don’t know how or if I can stop…

Then I remember “my dad’s voice” that comes to me in a dream one night….  That tells me to stop crying and to go on with my life, how he’s still around… 

For my daughters sake and my family, I will try…  I will try to grief in different way…

God help me….

My dad June 2012. Fond Du Lac, WI

Will anybody miss me…

I truly does miss this blogging world, I miss reading the very informative KB’s El Morno and miss seeing another cute tea pot collection from Beth Ann, Diane’s story, what’s new with Tien and MB perspective on Hmong’s and woman’s issues and many – many more of my blogging buddies!! . Now that the turmoil in my life kinda over, I hope to be able to blog more regularly and read also comment on my blogging friend’s post more regularly.

I come across this sad news that I would like to share with you guys, it is a story of how a 3 yr old was left alone after her mom’s sudden death in New Zealand. I cry reading the story can’t help imagining how scared that little girl must’ve be!! You can read the full story here.

Luckily the uncle because suspicious after didn’t hear from the mom and contacted the neighbor and police. That’s when they find out how she has passed away and Shylah (the baby’s name) just simply told the police “Mummy won’t wake up,” tell me that doesn’t break your heart??

My husband and I, we have no relative or family here in CO, although I have shared with you many – many times, that I have great friends here but we don’t really hang out every night or everyday. I can’t help but thinking to myself, my gosh what if something like that happen to me and my husband? Will anybody miss me? My husband’s family haven’t contacted us in months! So they wouldn’t know if we drop dead or if something has going on – nor do I think they care.

It just scares me of the possibility that my child can be left alone scares. Am I just being paranoid? Probably. Can’t help it I’m a mom! J Oh… nobody told me the stress and responsibility of being a parents are so huge!!! But the perks does makes up for it and it’s totally worth it.

I better end this before I ramble more nonsense.

Little lump

I have been absent writing on my blog, read comment, reading my friend’s blog and comment…  things took an interesting turn on my world lately. Sadly I can’t say that it took a good turn.

Found a little lump under my armpit, didn’t think much about it until I notice that it didn’t go away. I call my doctor and he scared the $h*#$ out of me and got angry for not calling him sooner and take it seriously.

At this moment I’m still waiting for a result but I’m scared. I’m so scared out of my mind with the possibility. My body can’t hide it. The anxiety took over me that I can’t function or think straight and I can’t stop being nervous that I went to the bathroom more than when I was pregnant!

It does give life a new perspective. Not meant on being corny, but if you ever heard of Tim McGraw’s song “Live like you were dying?” on how I feel is pretty similar. Okay, maybe I won’t be riding a bull named Fu Man Chu or even climbed a Rocky Mountain even though I lived right here in Colorado.

Btw, you know what freaky? I’m typing this at my work during break, and the radio is playing that particular song right now!

I’m scared as hell to be honest, I haven’t shared much of this with anybody not even my friends or family, that’s how scared I am. I decide to write it out and let it out of my chest.

I find myself remind me of my own advice on whatever it is that we’re going through, continue to cling and pray to God, because even though things may seems bad or worse in our sight God may have a much better plan that we just can’t see it yet.

Balance is overrated!

As summer ends, my husband and I have to make tons of adjustments. Scheduling for example, Tyra has started school back in July but we still have our niece with us to help baby sit Kalia, now she’s back to WI and Kalia need to be back at day care. Tyra will also have to go to before and after care and that brings up another adjustment, budget! Having two kids is crazy expensive!!! We have to pay $1600 just for child care alone! I don’t know how others with more than 2 kids can do it, we barely able to afford ours!

Now we all have to wake up super early I’m sure my husband beat the rooster (if we would’ve own one) waking up sleeping kids and baby are another thing I have to do, waking up Tyra is easier than Kalia, I mean, how could you wake a peacefully sleeping baby? So cute and comfy snuggle in her blanky and here’s come monster mommy waking her up? Oh.. breaks my heart every time! Good news is kalia normally wake up as soon as I’m up as if she can sense it. So I hardly have to wake her up.

 I do enjoy making and having breakfast with the family though.. even if it’s just as simple as cereal and milk. Once a while pancake or waffle is on the table, depend on my mood and how early we can get everybody ready.

The first few weeks, I got to work exhausted. Mostly mentally, thinking about what to prepare for snacks tomorrow, what the kids will wear, what’s for breakfast, what’s to cook for dinner tonight. Etc…. I drive myself crazy.

Then coming home to a messy house, the house I clean every morning and every night, it will miraculously messy again by the time I get home around 6pm. My husband is pretty helpful, he do dishes, laundry, vacuum and mop. However he and I have different concept on where toys and dirty clothes should go. It’s not on the floor!

Few weeks ago I broke down and have one of the biggest fights in our marriage life. It’s so big that it almost involve elder (it’s a Hmong thing) not that my husband believe in the elder but almost. Good friends talk to me and calm me down and we manage to get through this. I think everything just happen all of the sudden the change the adjustments we have to make and it’s all built in to the point that I can’t take it.

Finally I talked with my Mom and just cry myself out. Then, this is what my mom told me “having balance at home is over rated! There are no such things as perfect balance in life and in marriage. It’s all about give and take. The house will always be messy – you have two kids and two dogs what do you expect? – and you will always have disagreement but that’s what life is. Talk it out and work it out, that’s how you get through it.”

She said it’s okay to have a messy home once in a while, that’s mean my kids actually have fun and bring the house to live.

I always compare my life to my mom’s and have the image of a perfect marriage and perfect household should be. My mom told me to stop and remind me how even her life is not perfect. Once my mom and my dad were separated, they get back together and work it out. It hits me even my “perfect parents” have problems too.

She also remind me that she have plenty of helps back home with maid, gardener and drivers at her services.. (my dream life!) and most importantly all the family back home. She also then told me how proud she is of me and not sure if she can do the same if she was in my position. She thinks of me as a strong woman who is able to manage a family life with just me and hubby and we have as close to perfect as a life should be. That is the biggest compliments I heard from my mom! Over and over again I learned from my Mom. What will I do without her?

So last night, I let it all lose, I watch as Tyra and Kalia play together, this time instead of worrying what they will break or what they will spills, I just watch and listen. I listen as they both laugh while they were chasing each other. I watch Kalia do silly dance mimicking some TV commercial and then her laugh…

It’s beautiful and the house wasn’t all that bad. Just pick up few things this morning but I have the best night ever! As I quote my mom ‘Balance is over rated! Have fun, laugh often, build memories is more important than have your house looks like Martha Stewart Magazine.” Love you mommy!!

Tyra & Kalia being silly

Sendie-Lou’s musing

Yesterday marked the 10th year of the 9/11 tragedy. I still remember what I was doing that day. I was off that day and after saying good bye to husband for work, I watch Golden Girls – Yes, I’m a fan of the Girls! 🙂  then my husband call told me to switch to the news. At that time it wasn’t sure of what happen yet, we know a plane crash the twin tower but not sure whether it was an accident or what.

Later on that day, the pieces started coming together and it sickens me. It was a very dark days for a lot of people including me. I was grieving for those who lost their life, I was grieving for those who left without a husband, wife, mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sisters… those who lose their family.

I also personally grieve in the name of my religion. A group of small minded people decide to do this in the name of religion, in the name of God. It angers me. I was angry for a long time and I’m still angry. To be honest for a long time I was so prejudice against people from Middle East thinking they have ruins my religion.

I have never ashamed to be a Muslim that even that day, but I was ashamed Islam connections to Middle East. I’m not sure why I took my anger out to Middle Eastern people I just do. Later on that same year when we celebrate EID, at the mosque after the prayer and the sermon that’s the first time I feel like I can let go of the anger.

All Muslim – the true Muslim – regardless of where we came from condemn this act of violence. Including Arabs and the rest of the Middle Easterner. They hate it as much as anybody with the right mind.

It hits me, I was no difference then the terrorist for having that small minded. I am no difference then bigots for being so prejudice towards Middle Easterner. I feel so ashamed. I guess I was so angry and somehow direct my angers towards Middle Easterner. I apologize for having such a small minded.

There were (and still are) so many anger towards Islam and us Muslim, there are so many hate and unanswered questions. I can honestly say I understand the feeling, I understand the anger and even the hate. However as times goes on, I also wish that people will see that 9/11 wasn’t the act of a true Muslim and bring the message of Islam. As times goes on I wish that people will and can see that even Muslim was hurt by this.

Instead of linger with anger and hate; I try to see the message behind this tragedy. It’s about life. How life is short and it can be taken anytime. As corny as this might sound, but really I am trying to live my life as humble as possible, forgive often and be grateful for everything I have.

Life really is too short, let’s makes it the best possible way, so by the time we end this chapter it will be a celebrations of life instead of memorial services.

Love always,

Sendie

The story of Sebastian the crab

Tien posted the recipe for chilli crabs and I’ve been dyin to try it! So I’ve been on a quest (in my limited time) going to one grocery store to the next trying to find Dungeness crab or blue crab. Regular grocery store in CO doesn’t really carry them on normal basis – yeah shocking! The asian market is almost a sure bet to have them but it’s 45 minutes away.

Finally, just a day before my family from WI came over I went to the Asian store and saw those little crabs in a huge bucket and they’re on sale! One drawback – at least for me – it’s all alive! I don’t have the guts to kill them! I ask the store clerk if they can maybe put them to “sleep” for me cause I’m too scared. After the guy finish laughing he told me they don’t have any steamer or boiling water to do so and that by the time I get home they should all be dead. Hmm.. reassuring.

But my willingness to cook it and serve it to my hubby and the family overcome my fear and I bought 4 huge one. Well, at least I thought it will overcome my fear, it didn’t. Those suckers are still alive by the time I get home! So I sat down and research the internet on how to put them to “sleep” in the most humane way. Finally a friend told me that if I put them in the freezer for just 30 seconds it should kinda numb them so that when we “prepare” them they won’t feel a thing. Okay.. that sound humane – right?

So, finally I get myself mentally ready to do this. I made all the preparation and then I put them all on the kitchen table. At the same time my Tyra came down the stairs and squeals in delight.. “Mommy you got me a pet!!!! Thank you Mommy Thank you!!! Ok, this is Sebastian the crab, this is Ouya, this is ……” Her voice just slowly disappear from my head…  Now, how do I tell them that they are not pets and that they’re actually dinner for tomorrow?

Apparently I’m conservative

I had lunch with one of my colleague/friend yesterday and somehow we end up talking about politics and religion. My friend is a reform Jewish and as you all know I’m a Muslim. She asked me what my religion means to me and how I feel about the negative connotation it has with the world.

As for the negative connotation, yeah, I’m pissed. Not at the world, but at the small group that caused that negative images of my religion. I hate when people call me moderate Muslim or moderate Islam. To me there’s only 1 – ONE Islam and that’s me. People often mistaken or confused some countries culture with Islam. Just because the majority population of that Country is Muslim it doesn’t mean that their culture is acceptable in Islam. Honor killing for example. It is not part of Islam teaching at all. Or the Jihad word that been misused by group of terrorist. Btw, I read the Quran from top to bottom and there are no mentions in it of the 72 virgin and pool of honey.

My religion is a big part of me, it define who I am and how I acted. I’m far from perfect, but with religion I have guidelines of what’s right and what’s wrong, what’s acceptable and what is not and the realization there will be consequences later on.

That was my answer. She seems surprised. She said I was so easy going that she would never guess that I’m actually very conservative. Now that’s a first, no one has ever thought of me as conservative and I’m always leaning towards liberal more. I guess, I’m conservative when it comes to me, does it sound selfish? Maybe. In my mind, I have my choices and my believe and what I think it’s right or wrong based on it but I’m not one that will judge people based on their choices.  We are adult with realization of the consequences of our actions. God teaches us to Love and to Forgive and that’s what I tried to do.

The same feeling I have for my parents, love, respect and fear – especially to mom, is the same feeling I have for God and more knowing he’s capable of throwing my @$$ in hell 🙂

Why do I even talk about this? Who knows, I guess the conversation with my friend yesterday still stay in my mind. Her reaction when I bluntly told her I was still a virgin until I met my husband.

As for politics, I mention I always lean towards liberal more, my friends told me liberal is gutless. I chuckle at her comment. No matter what side you are on, left or right, at the end we all have a common goal to bring better life and better place for this country.

For friends and colleges who always engage in deep heat discussion of politics, I’d like to point out of what I think is the beauty of America. The wonderful result of democracy, each election here in US is unique and different and no same party will be in powers for more than 2 terms. I can’t imagine if 1 ideology stays in powers forever. Well, yes I can, look at Iraq, look at Indonesia during Soeharto regime or North Korea. When you look at that, you will realize how we have it “perfect” here in US. God Blesses the USA.

 

Decisions.. decisions.. decisions…

We’re only in July of 2011. We’re more than half way through the year! For me it’s time to look back and reevaluated everything.

This year has been emotionally hard for me. It might sound very silly, but the realization of living far away from family just hit me hard this year. Maybe watching my dad cry as he say good bye to us at the airport few month ago, maybe the lost of my brother and uncles? Maybe now my priorities just change? I don’t know…..

I can say this that even though I live far away from family, I’m one of lucky one to be surrounded by friends who are so good to me & my little family. Most of my weekends – if not filled with invitations or celebrations – are mostly spent with them. For no special reason or occasion, just relaxing together, playing volley ball, children plays together and normally we’ll have pot luck and dinner together. And talk… we talk about everything. Giving input to each other, advice, talk about past experience, hope for the future…

Being with this awesome group of friends helps tremendously, no one can understand how crucial those weekly traditions were for me in times when I felt down hearted or homesick, especially after my last home visit. Not even my friends themselves will ever know.

At first, after coming back from Indonesia my husband and I wanted to be closer to family, but moving to Indonesia will have to wait few years. There are a lot that need to be done before we can pack up and move across the continent.  So moving to WI seems to makes more sense, that’s why we decide to sell the house. Now that we’re much closer to the big move, we’re still can’t made a concrete decision whether we wanted to stay in CO or move to WI.

There are also a “unique” history between husband and his family in WI which I’m not going to bore you with the details. Unfortunately the uniqueness is not all good just leave it as that.

My sister in law was here few weeks ago and she met all of my friends and hang out with them. We also talked to my sister in law about moving and her respond was surprising to me, she said (pretty much), “If you’re moving to be closer to the family in WI and leave that awesome group of friends, then you’re stupid. I wouldn’t do that.” Keep in mind of the “uniqueness” history between the family and us.

Forget about the adult… there’s the kids.. nieces & nephews, cousins for Tyra & Kalia. Ugh.. my heads hurt just to think about it. We are getting closer to moving time and still have a lot of things hanging over our head. This is probably the most stupid and unorganized plan I ever did in my life.

I pray more and more now… pray for guidance. I know that God will listen and will somehow help me makes clear decision.  Someone shares with me this bits of wisdom about prayer: When God say YES, then our wish has comes true, when God says NO, then He will give us something else, something musch better than what we originally wanted. If God says WAIT, then we will receive the best at the right time. God knows not to give right away but at the right time. Amien.