Mother knows

I’m still not ready to talk about it more in details of what happen, but I wanted to share my story because I think it is important for mother’s out there to listen to yourself and seeks for comfort and support.                             

When our daughter Kalia was born, we were thrilled to have a beautiful baby girl. All of her test at birth showed normal results, as did the second one at the age of 7 months.

Kalia had always been a very happy and communicative baby. Then, as months passed, she improved all of her skills and developing as normal and baby possibly can. Even at her 1 year checkup, her pediatricians made comments on how she actually ahead. She masters some skills that normally mastered by a 18 month old baby if not older.

But later, at about the age of 18 months, she seemed to have fallen behind her peers as far as one of her skills were concerned. People around me always assure me that she’s fine and she will master that skills later on and baby develop at different rate and how I’m being paranoid. I heard this many – many times. Even from my husband.

Despite all that, I decided to have a special test done. My pediatrician, bless her heart, support me 100%. She told me to wait until Kalia is 2 but she did say, I shouldn’t ignore my instinct. Even though my husband kinda thinks it’s a waste of time at first, he supports me as well.

We did the test last Friday – I guess because it wasn’t really a medical reason and the test was done just based on instinct; it took us almost 1 month to get an appointment with the specialist, but we finally get in. As I hold her during the test, my heart slowly sink, I just knew that she blew it.

Even though I suspect it, both my husband and I were shocked by the results, it is different to suspect something then to actually hear and confirm it. : Fortunately, the doctor was very nice and professional. She immediately informed us of what the next steps should be. She immediately forwards the results to Kalia pediatrician, to different specialist and county for moral helps and supports. She gave us the entire outlet we need on how to move forward.

It doesn’t makes it any easier, I remember sitting there and listening to the test results and look at my husband next to me who have this stern look on his face and then I glance at Kalia and Tyra who were just happily playing with all the toys at the doctor’s office, my eyes just start getting blurry and I just cry right there and then.

I started asking the why questions… what did I do wrong, what did I miss, what I could’ve done different? What is it… WHY????? Don’t play a blaming game, that’s what the doctor told me. Nothing I’ve done or my husband that causes this, she assures us. It happens….  Things happens…

Doctors told me and my husband that we should not under estimate a support group for us. While we will continue to work on Kalia and her future but it is also important for us to get some counseling and support. I thought friends will do.

While we were waiting to get the test done, I took pictures of my kids playing in the waiting room and I post it on facebook. Some of friends start calling and ask if everything is okay. Friday afternoon was a very overwhelming time for us so I don’t return phone calls until Saturday. Even then I was still mixed with anger and guilt.

After hearing of what happens, I would say most friends are very supportive and sympathetic. However there are few that shocked me more. By the way, I’m talking just a handful of people that knows about it. Some friend thought I was being a drama queen and I shouldn’t fret about it too much. Okay …. But then, some friends who was my longtime friends and I consider a very good friends actually start blaming me, her first reaction was “What the H#@#$ did you do to her? Did you clean her *** too hard that causing this?” She’s actually the only person I reach out too – beside my family. And her respond was not something I expected.

After that I just shut down. I ignore phone calls and refuse to talk. Until Tuesday, blogging friends that become facebook friends invite her friends to rant on her page. I figure none of her readers knows me anyway, I will rants….  The response was so overwhelmingly positive though…. I cry and I cry reading it over and over again….  Some even helps me relate to their situations and some just there “holding my hands”. These comes from strangers.. Literally! And yet, so far they have provided me with comfort beyond believe. I deeply touch and humble by that.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have friends here who also hold my hands an cry with me… and I’m will be forever grateful for them. But the situation between my “good” friend and “strangers”  had open my eyes that we do need another outlets than just people around us. The neutral people that will not judge us, that will listen and offers suggestions, supports from neutral perspective.

My pediatrician calls to check on ME. Not Kalia, but ME and my husbands. She’s confidence that Kalia will be in a great hands with doctors and specialist but she also want to make sure we get the helps we need in order to assist kalia. She let me cry with her and she listen. She is too in a way a stranger..  but she’s there for us.

I take comfort that Kalia will get what she needs and my husband and I will get what we need in order to helps Kalia. What happens to us is a gift, it brings everything into perspective that my children truly is a blessing to us and we will be forever grateful for them.

God trusted them in my hands and I will do whatever it takes to make sure I don’t betrayed that trust.  So far.. (so far..) if there’s any good comes from this is a realization that you should count every blessing and not burden yourself with something small. One friend calls me yesterday and thank me. She thank me for share with her my situation. She told me she can’t sleeps at night thinking what would she done if she were in my shoes. She told me I put things in more perspective for her and she thank me for it.

One thing that my pediatrician says that hits me is: “Thank God for your Mother’s instinct, we caught this early.”

So to all mother’s out there… LISTEN.. those voices that tells you when something is off… LISTEN. Who care about other’s opinion, it is you that can feel it in your heart. And use every outlet provided to you for helps.

Thank you,

Sendie

 

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All that glitter aint gold

 

 

 

I work in Financial Services industry and part of my job is getting financials from our customer and to analyze them. Quarter end or year end is one of busiest day for us. I was just talking to one of the manager here that the worst customer’s attitudes are lawyers and doctors. (No offense for you if you are lawyers and doctors). They have attitude that they are better than us regular people.

10 years working in retail financial services, I couldn’t agree with him more. I always have a hard time collecting needed document from client who is a doctors or lawyers. Lawyers always acted like they are too busy to deal with you and doctors acted like they are God or Goddess and too important to deal with you. Surprisingly they were all nice when they need the loan. Hmm.. go figures….

I understand that doctors and lawyers are smart people. Both profession requires long school years and dedicated. Is that why they acted so snobbish? Because they think they are smarter and therefore they are better than the rest of us?

My first job here in America is QC for MCI and as I listened to a phone conversation between customer and representative. 99.9% of doctors who called, they will immediately identify themselves as DOCTOR and how they waited too long in line and how MCI wasted their precious time and they should be compensated. 99% will tell you how much money they make in an hour and wanted to be compensated for wait in line to get to representative. I’m not kidding, 99% of them will do that! 

Does Doctors really need to be respected more than normal? It is a very respectable profession, don’t get me wrong, but they are no God. They human like the rest of us, and what about teacher? Why don’t/can’t we respect them more? If it wasn’t because of them, they won’t be any doctors or lawyers in the world. Is not like they just sprung out of the ground.

We have to respect each other. They are no question about that. We also have to remember that we are only play a small part in this world. We all have a role to play big or small, that role complete the whole set. We all just as equally as important as the next person. Is what I believe how God intended. In the eyes of God, no one is better than the others. When we all die, we all back to dust, regardless of who we are.

Well, not only doctors and lawyers have this attitude. I truly don’t understand when people think they are better than anybody, periods.  It’s funny but those who do achieve more and had accomplished more in life are mostly humbled. In Indonesia we have a saying or a philosophy called rice paddy philosophy. Rice paddy, when they are empty they stood tall, as they filled with rice, they head bow down…  the more we know and the more we learned, Is when we should realized that we still don’t know anything and that they are still more to learned.

Back to doctors and lawyers… I think sometimes we (regular) people to thinks too highly of them. I remember watching the new commercial for Target pharmacy, where it shows a girl and her accomplishments throughout school and how smart she is? Then she becomes one of Target Pharmacist, well friends made a comment “Well if she is that smart why she don’t just become a real doctor instead of being someone who dress like one?” Really??? They are just as important… oh well.

I did my best

Few days ago I went to a funeral of Mr. M. I know Mr. M as a dad of my colleague, a cool guy who is very fun to talk to, very easy going. Funny and yet very intelligent that you can talk any subject with him.  A proud grandfather who just become a great grandfather. A loving husband who still brags about his high school sweet heart he married for 59 yrs.

Well, he was much more than what I just describe. I found out what a truly great person he was. He was a very successful business man. He was a President for Gates Corporation among other successful career life; he was very active in his church and local community. 

At his funeral, the church was packed! I mean packed with people want to pay their respect. A lot of people want to talk and share their story with Mr. M. How he has touch their life. I was touch. I still can’t believe how humble he was. With all his achievement, all of his success and yet me manage to stay and appear to be just regular guy.

I don’t know Mr. M that well and his life story makes me think and look back of what I have done, what is my purpose in life, it change my perspective. Also makes me think of people around me. Unfortunately I can’t help think of someone who just recently got a degree and much better job. No mean to discredit the hard work that was put into getting this degree and a much deserve promotion – but I can’t help think of the attitude change. Someone whom I used to think of being humble change overnight. Money, title and degree do change people. Oh well…

I can only learn from Mr. M. How you live your life reflected at your funeral. Just look at Mr. M funeral. People give him respect not because he demands it or force people to, but because we all wanted to. To respect someone who actually deserve to be respected. A life wasn’t wasted. He lives his life to the fullest and surrounded by people who appreciated, grateful and love him unconditionally. I wish I know him more, I wish to learn more from him. The world truly lost one of its greatest people. A true hero – even if it’s just for the community.

His son asked him one time, what he would want his family to say at his funeral. Mr. M answer, “Just tell them I did my best.”

Well done Mr. M. Well done. Good bye and may you rest in peace.

This song is a tribute to Mr. M. And for all of us … have a good weekend.

Our inner beauty

My radio station KS 1075 talked about children and make up few days ago. They got people calling in about their opinion on children and makeup. Majority of parents share my view on this – they don’t like it!

Parenting is a very touchy subject and I’m not one to make suggestion or giving advice on it. My kids are only 5 and 11 month old; I have a long way to go! But every time I see kids 13 yrs old and younger and they already wear full make up and do their nail, my eyes just cringe. That’s seems to be a bit too early. I remember when I was 5 – 13 yrs old I was still playing outside with friends in the dirt running around carefree with friends all mixed boys and girls.

I understand that times are different, but can the innocence of a child be that much different? Now kids are more into appearance. They already talk about boys since I don’t know how young… and wearing full makeup on daily basis. I don’t even do that and I’m a grown woman in my …. err… let’s stop there.. 🙂

My Tyra is no exception. She loves make up too! Once in a while I let her plays little dress up and wear kiddie makeup but I’ll put the brakes on wearing makeup full time and do fake nail. I try to tell Tyra all the time how she already beautiful without all that colors in her face and lips. Am I too hard on her? I don’t want her to think that only with makeup she look beautiful.

I think in today’s world we all care too much about our physical appearance, and we forgot about focusing on the inside. Our inner beauty. When we focus too much on our outside appearance, we will always find something wrong and that’s when we start getting depressed and hurt because we feel that we’re ugly, no one like us. We don’t feel complete and being accepted by the world.

A lot of young people trying to be someone they are not. Peers pressure is there, no denying but if we start teaching our children that they are beautiful inside and boast their confidence, they will be happy with who they really are.

To me it’s more than just makeup; it’s more about showing my child of her true beauty. Tyra start realizing the physical different between her and her friends. I’d like to show her and teach her that even though we all different and may not be blessed with the same thing, but we all privilege and gifted with existence and we all beautiful.

My beautiful Tyra

Looking beyond someone complexion

I was born and raised in Indonesia. I’m so proud of where I come from and of my country. Indonesia consists of over 13,000 islands. Every province and region has their own language, culture, food and ethnicity. We are so diverse and yet we are one! Unity in diversity – that’s Indonesian slogan. I cannot be more proud of my country that is so rich is culture and natural resources.

On one little negative side, Indonesian have this stereo type that dark skin is ugly or low class and so on…..  Being the only one in my family who has dark skin * (more story on this at the end of this post), I have a lot of insecurity issues growing up. When the stereo type is so strong, you started to believe that you are ugly and start doubting everything you are. I’m grateful for my parents who  always raised my spirit and never stop convinced me that I’m beautiful regardless or as my mom called it my complexion is exotic. Hahaha I still got a crack at it each time I remember it. Makes me just love my parents more and more!

Little that I know, apparently the stereotype is common for most Asian country. That’s why there are so many whitening skin products back in Asia.  I really wish people more concern about other beauty than just appearance. I wish people back home can see through someone complexion.

My mom was a model, and I was surrounded by people in the modeling and movies industry in Jakarta. It’s not uncommon for mother and daughter to pose together but that never happen to us – honestly not that I wanted it though – but my sister receive a lot of offers to pose with my mom well you guess it, she have MUCH lighter complexion than me and personally I think she’s very beautiful too.

When I live in Australia, believe it or not, few modeling agency actually give me summer job. Once as one of the girls on billboard ad for Benetton. United Colors of Benetton – It’s United Colors so I don’t think much about how I get the gig.

Then, I remember the time when I was just arriving in America, I remember meeting a lot of new people and making new friends. On that memory, one person stood the most – a stranger but so friendly and has asked me this question “You have an amazing skin color, where did you get your tan?”  Based on the enthusiasm, this person wasn’t joking. It’s a genuine question.  “I would love to have your skin!”

And it’s start from there…

That time wasn’t the last I heard of that comment. A lot of people have been telling me how I have a great complexion. I can tell you how amazing it is to get compliment on something that you used to be ashamed of.

That comment truly brought up something inside me. I really wish other girls with dark complexion in my country – or in any other country – can hear what I just heard! We are not ugly! There are people out there who wish to have something that we thought was so shameful.

Complexion aside: I am proud of myself and what I had accomplished and what I’ve become. I owed that to my parents and I can tell you that I had accomplished more than some friends & family that used to “tease” me on my skin color. So “beauty” doesn’t guarantee your future… Hmm.. who knew? 🙂

As most of you know, my husband is Hmong, so naturally he has a light skin colors. When we’re pregnant it was mention once and twice by my husband family wishing that our kids will get his complexion instead of mine. Well… unfortunately when it comes to my kids I’m already biased, to me they are the most beautiful children in the world! Now I understand how my parents feel and think of me.

*Little story… I was born and raised in Indonesia. I went to college in Sydney, Australia and now I somehow landed here in US. Talking about journey of life. Indonesia just like any other Asian country is full of superstitious. One of them is when you’re pregnant you better not speak ill or bad about other or your child will look like them. Sound silly… well according to family member, while pregnant with me, my Mom always call one of the servant’s son a nick name of “dark skin” nothing bad intended, that is his nick name that other’s call him as well, but since my mom was pregnant at the time, people always remind her not to do so or her child will be born with dark skin… and here I am… her first born daughter came with yep.. a dark skin. I’m the only one in the family with dark skin.

Benetton Ad

Islam = Terrorist, the park51 debate

Islam is THE boogeyman….

I honestly don’t know completely how I feel about this. I wrote about this weeks ago when this issue first came up, but then I never publish it.

I’m a Muslim living in America, while I was still living in my home country and Australia, I always heard the horror story on American view on Islam. As always, I give it benefit of the doubt. Most of the time nothing really happen, but my experience living in Colorado Springs Is far from hate free especially towards my believe. Even before 9/11 happen, I went through an unpleasant experience.

America is pride themselves with freedom. Freedom of speech, freedom of choosing, freedom of practicing your religion – whatever it is.. etc… this freedom is what (supposedly) the terrorist after. Freedom is why American is now at war, sending troops to Iraq & Afghanistan in order to protect this privilege rights of freedom. Also to free the local people from the tyrant leadership.

9-11 happen. It happen because of the work of 19 hijackers – who happen to be Muslim. But of course, even though it’s not in the name of Islam, its Islam at fault, Islam is to blame and therefore every Muslim is a terrorist. Am I right? You don’t agree that you think every Muslim is a terrorist?? Well, if you don’t agree, then why there’s so much misconception about Islam, why there’s a term of Islamophobia? Most recently why there’s a debate over the park 51 project or what people call the ground zero mosque?

Here’s few arguments I read in the media over the past months:

And by the way… project Park 51 is not about Mosque, it is a community center project that will be open for the whole community. Much like YMCA.

The distance – too close to the ground zero. How far away would be far enough? Two blocks (Manhattan block), it is nowhere near the actual ground zero, you can’t even see the ground zero from the purpose location or vice versa. Should Oklahoma City not have any churches (or, as pointed out in the post, buildings with affiliations to religious organizations) within two blocks of it?

Here’s another blog that cover this issue. Where do you put a Mosque,  and by the way there is already a mosque within 800 feet of ground zero. Also on the other ground zero (the Pentagon), Muslim have been praying there daily with no conflict.

The sensitivity of the issue. For some, the proximity isn’t the real issue. The controversy lies in this proposed centre being Muslim, if they were build another YMCA, this wouldn’t been an issue. Now why is that? Did America really blame Islam for 9-11? Is Islam really at fault and part of the terrorist? I understand that 9-11 is a tragedy. It affected the whole world. I myself was crying when it happen. Little did I know, one of my childhood friend die on that American Airline plane, but even before knowing that, my hearts goes for all the victim and condemn the people or the group behind it, but that wasn’t Islam.

Now if they don’t let this through because of the controversy of the base of the religion, then its anti-American, and anti-Constitutional. And it would be a disgrace. This also mean, no matter what American will always see Islam as a threat, as the bad person, the blame behind 9/11.

The building is part of the sacred ground. The building was occupied by Burlington Coat Factory and now, I just heard that a piece of metal coming from the place landed on this building and that makes it sacred. Is that mean some porn shop and strip club in that area that was damage by the debris is also sacred? The zoning committee obviously doesn’t think the area is part of the sacred ground. Otherwise they will code it.

Where they get the fund to build this place? Well first of all why should we care? Oh wait… We do care because it’s a Muslim center!!! We need to know because everything related to Islam most likely to receive funds from the terrorist! Isn’t it what’s in everybody’s mind? If people will always make that kind of ridiculous connection then think about this, next time you ate at German restaurant, you also contribute to the Nazi, and when you buy a cookie at the Catholic Church bake sale that’s mean you also funding the cover up act of the priest in their pedophile case.

FYI, just for the argument sake, the man who apparently funded the Park51 Project is the Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. He is also the second largest shareholder in Fox News. Oh NO!!! Should we closed down Fox News as well???? Is kinda “funny” Fox News is the main media that stir up this nonsense, just few days ago, our lovely own, Glen Beck thinks that the mosque should be banned from the area because of its questionable funding but now we know that same man who is funding the mosque is funding Beck’s paycheck …hmm… I wonder if he start questioning his own paycheck now?

Still speaking of Glen Beck, he claim that that a mosque anywhere near Ground Zero would be terribly offensive to the 9/11 victims’ families, you know because all Muslim is terrorist and all…. But did he forget what he said on his own program few years ago? He said he “hates” the 9/11 families. And that he is “so sick of them.” That they should just “shut up” because they are “always complaining.” Wow… speaking of being insensitive!

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No matter how you look at it, the whole argument – whatever it is – lies of the basic fact that this center is for Muslim. It depends who you think was behind the 9/11 attack. Islam was first to blame for Oklahoma attack. It was American very own Tim McVeigh – A Christian Irish American.

I can’t help but think some of this negativity is based on ignorance, majority American don’t really know the real Islam, I have one client that was surprise to know I’m a Muslim. This is what he said “Wow, you don’t act like one.” Umm… How does one suppose to act? Carrying a weapon and wrap my head in a turban? Or since I’m a woman, I should cover my whole face and body with just little peep hole?

The Park51 Project is actually trying to heal wounds, spread a true form of Islam and reach out to everyone in the community. Somehow I think they are failing in that endeavor just before it even started. I fear that this project will only trigger more bigotry and hatred towards Islam.  The proof is already in the making, this debate is one proof and also the Muslim cab driver that was stabbed in NY, and there’s Pastor Jones of Dove World Outreach Center – a peaceful organization they say – who will be hosting an International Burning Quran day on 9/11.

Need I remind people that there are Muslim who also dies in 9/11. There are Muslim dies all over the world fighting terrorism. There are Muslim in US Army who is fighting to take down Al-Qaeda. We are in this war together.

Based on this argument it seems like the war on terrorism is a losing caused … the soldier fighting, sacrificing their life to help the Iraqi and Afghan citizen so they can have freedom, yeah… they can come to America the land of freedom, ups … just not in lower Manhattan.  

Somewhere out there a group of terrorist smiling a victory smile… this debate just proof that America is failing at protecting their basic fundamental of freedom. Isn’t it exactly what the terrorist want? And the American people just give it to them in a silver platter…

For more opinion, you can read this as well.

Everybody entitle to their own opinion, whatever it is, it’s depend on who do you think behind the 9/11 attack. This is my opinion.