Radiant Redang

We decided to take on Redang Island the last Labor Day weekend. Redang Island is located at the Terengganu State, East of Malaysia. We travelled by airplane (50 minutes from Kuala Lumpur) to Kuala Terengganu, and from there it will take about 30 minutes to the Syahbandar Jetty. You can take cab or arrange the transportation earlier with your hotel.

We stayed at Laguna Redang Island Resort, situated along the white sandy beach of Pasir Panjang. There are many family-friendly resorts along this beach. I would say unlike Perhentian Island that has more backpackers-option, Redang has more resort-based style hotels.

We filled our first two days with snorkeling trip as our kids love swimming. The elder one is into sea creatures whilst the 2 year old is into boats! On the first day, we joined the hotel’s snorkeling trip to open sea near Pulau Ekor Tebu area. The hotel’s staff was really kind and helpful. They accompanied the kids with floats and bread to feed the fishes.

In the evening, the kids joined the Save the Turtles Awareness Program organized by University Malaysia Terengganu. With a donation of RM20, they got a chance to release the baby turtles into the ocean. Below are the dates for the future program in Redang if you are interested in one. Refer to their FB Page – Sea Turtle Research Unit UMT for more information.

I would say the main highlights of our trip were on the second day. We hired a private boat (reasonable price – you can ask the locals to find one for you, not through the hotel) to go around the island. Our first drop of point was at Tanjung Dalam, this is near the Taaras Resort. Here, you can find many turtles swimming and if you are lucky they will come near you. The boatmen brought some squids so we were lucky that the turtles were hungry and able to feed them breakfast.

We then went to two more snorkeling point, Pasir Chagar Hutan and Pasir Mak Simpang. We found large, gorgeous corals here and of course beautiful fishes. Some corals were as large as houses, and looked eerie too. I wished to go nearer, but I am coward haha – the thoughts of maybe there’s a shark behind it crossed my mind. But subhanAllah, the scenery is simply amazing!

Another snorkeling point you should not miss is a few metres from the Pasir Panjang (long beach) itself. At the southern end near Redang Reef Resorts, my husband saw sting rays and an adult shark. In addition, the small island in the middle of Pasir Panjang is a nest ground for blacktip reef sharks. We found lots of it there and my son saw a moray eel, too.

The hotel also provides trip to Marine Park every morning, but the place can be overly crowded with all kind of people. The coral is not much to boast about. However, we saw large moral eel near the jetty. Sadly said, I saw two siblings with face full of chicken pox fresh scars while we were there.

On the last day, me and the little one chilled by the beach. We spend hours with Frisbee and sandcastle while the bigger one tried canoeing with his father. Besides swimming, you can see people playing kites, volleyball and football with the locals along this beach. There are no stalls though selling food except at the end of the beach, so do pack your bag with snacks. The Laguna resort also has quite a decent swimming pool with slides for some splash.

On the hotel, I was impressed how it is very systematic. From the boat ride, bag transfer, and meal time; their staff able to handle the crowd smoothly. Foods are delicious and refilled fast, and they were quickly attend to our needs. No wonder it gains the top spot in the tripadvisor.

Night time was not so quiet, not so loud which is perfect for families. We took a stroll by the beach at night, just listening to the waves and watching the beautiful sky. It has romantic atmosphere too, as couples holding hands and wrote love notes on the sand. Even my 9 year old highlighted that the stars there are nicer than in the city. Simply said, it feels our three nights there are not sufficient.

Do take note that the island is opened only from March to October every year due to monsoon season. I would say for family, the best time to visit Redang is from May-August to avoid any choppy waves and sea sickness. The boatman also mentioned about jellyfish season, sometimes in August if I’m not mistaken. All in all, we love Redang and hope to come back!



The end and the beginning

It is November 2015.

AE finished his standard 1. Wow. Felt like yesterday he just went to orientation. Where he was lost and can’t find his class.

So last week I told him next year he has to change class for Standard 2. He thought about it. Then he cried.

I asked why.

He said he don’t want to change class. He is shy. He don’t want to make friends. Knowing him, I know it must be overwhelming for him to start all over again.

I give it a thought.

Then I said you think you can’t do it. But you actually can.

Remember when you first start standard 1, you got lost during orientation? You can’t find your class.

You don’t know what your class name. You have to learn that. Then learn your teacher’s name. You learn where is the canteen, the toilet, the book shop, etc.

Now you know a lot of things.

You know how to buy food at the canteen, at the bookshop. You know all your teachers’ names. You memorize your class’s schedule (like if I ask what he has for Monday – he will say: BM, BI, BA, DSV), and you don’t even know what is BM last time.  You wake up everyday at 6.00am and pray subuh, brush your teeth on your own. Last time during kindy it was so hard for you to wake up.

When I was saying this (meaning to comfort him), I realise what I’ve been saying is the truth. How much he has grown up.  He has indeed discovers a lot of things and new knowledge.

I realised that night that I am so proud of you boy. You have certainly grow up. XOXO



There’s so much things to update. About how IM has started to turn. How AE graduated from kindergarten. But for now I just would like to say I love you to my other half. In juggling our work and chores, it’s funny how we hardly say these mushy things anymore. Well, I mean like in the blog. This blog used to be fulled with his stories. Seriously, it’s hard to be romantic when a little baby is breastfeeding. *sigh*.

Well we do say I love you when he was passing by to go to the laundry while I was cooking, or sometimes there is an I love you” note in the ‘to-buy-grocery’ list. Or in a desktop. In a way, that is romantic in its own way. *at least that’s what I think*.

I guess that is just how love evolves. From being teenager-romantic to adult-P.S I love you kinda love. I hope we grow old together and still love each other. Like in that movie, Up. May Allah bless us.



Thanks for being there.

I love you.

drinking my cold milo…

Okay so I thought I could update this regularly now I am officially a SAHM. Oh wow. How I forgot the period of handling a newborn. Yes I remember those sleepy hours, but some other details have only now resurfaced…such as….

~Now I eat my breakfast while cooking lunch. Well, it is usually bread, eating by the sink. *sigh*

~I crave for coffee, the smell from nearby coffee house seriously killing me. But then I usually have to settle down for made-milo at home. Usually it will be a cold milo just because by the time you remember to drink it was already cold.

~Changing diapers at least 6x a day. Seriously I didn’t remember baby poop that much. Oh and Ian Muhsin is a leaky type. LOL.

~Taking my bath so quietly, afraid that it will awaken the baby.

~Peeing while brushing my teeth to save time.

~Having difficulty of what to wear even with a full wardrobe. Ughh…Well I know this is universal woman problem, not only post-maternity. But more so for the post-maternity as we also need something that is breastfeed-friendly. Oh hubby please read this and buy me a new clothes. LOL.

~High heels? Hide it far away in the shoe closet.

Nonetheless when people have been asking how I feel? Leaving my hard-earned salaries for this? I do feel wonderful. It’s like I’m absorbing every moment so that I will not forget it. I guess that is motherhood. Simply amazing.

I will not trade it with anything else, for now. I have a promise to fulfill for now. (or more like a poop to clean to) Got to go.

*Anyway, to make it easier IM is a well behaved boy. Usually happy, content and not much fuss. Alhamdulilah. InsyaAllah will talk more about him in another post!

The story about Ian (part 2)

Honestly, I was more complacent this time around. Well, the 1st trimester was as hard as ever. I lost weight, low BP, dehydrated and was warded for awhile. You can’t even find strength to brush teeth and felt like a loser. But thank you Allah and thanks hubby, somehow the 3 months passed by.

But once that was over, the pregnancy was considered smooth. I can eat, I can drive, and can manage AE as much as possible. Unlike AE’s time, there was only slight heartburn. In addition, the gynae said baby is growing healthily (and most likely is bigger than his brother given the estimated weight), my amniotic fluid was sufficient, and unlike AE, the baby did turn facing down at the end of the 2nd trimester. I started reading about natural birth, epidural, episiotomy, etc (as AE was a c-sect case due to him being breech).

Until my 34 weeks appointment. It was during that time the gynae suddenly said the baby’s femur is not growing as much. She was taking extra long time with the scan, measuring twice of everything. She even measured the humerus (which she never did before), hence I realized something must be off chart. Coincidentally hubby did not come to that check up. So it’s just me digesting the info. But since our detailed scan result did not really show anything red flag, she said to come back in 2 weeks and see how it goes. The baby’s estimated weight was 2kg at that time.

When I told hubby, he’s like “what’s that even means?” and suggest to go to another gynae for 2nd opinion. Me, being in 3rd trimester, I just do not have the energy to pull out such stunt. Plus if the baby is really off chart, what can we do at this juncture? I googled up some “short femur” on the net, and some suggestions show that it could be a marker for DS, although it is very seldom to be the only marker. When I asked my niece whom is a medical doctor, she said not to worry about it – that the baby is just likely short like me.

Being a mother, I just felt immediately guilty. Is it what I eat? What I not eat? (coz I did skip some supplement this time). Is it because I am complacent this time around? Is it because I did not talk to him often enough?

Come the next appointment – 36weeks. It was not about the femur anymore. The gynae highlighted that my tummy is small for a 9 mths, and how the baby is not growing as much. The estimated weight is at 2.2kg, which is off chart. It’s like he’s not growing healthily in my womb. She strictly asked me to count the kicks (10 kicks everyday) and to come immediately to the hospital if the baby is not kicking. I considered myself an expert in counting kicks coz AE has this problem – he seldom kick in his last month in the womb due to his breech position. Hence this time around I could differentiate, I actually felt strong kick everyday. Anyway, the gynae suggests to induce next week if the baby still not growing as estimated.

It’s like I was awaken from a deep sleep. The baby might not be okay, and I have to face this…I’m totally not complacent anymore, but what else I can do at this juncture? The only thing I can do is pray hard. I felt guilty – it’s like the Almighty granted us a baby but I did not take care of it. Meanwhile, I kept myself busy so not to think too much on the matter.

Come the 37 weeks…when I weight myself in the clinic, I immediately knew. My weight even went down 1kg, and true enough the scan showed the baby is not growing. Estimated weight is at 2.0kg (even less than last week). The gynae then used a dopller scan to check my umbilical chord pressure and her face immediately changed. She said the reading is not good, the normal reading should be 0.6 whereas mine is at 0.99 showing the chord was pressured hard. Well, in the layman term it means the nutrient does not reach the baby anymore and she said things could get worse than that if the condition persist (something with the blood flow reversal etc). She said we have to go to labour today. I asked, “induce ke?” She said “No, no unnecessary pressure to the baby. We have to csect.” Her tone is serious and I swallowing the facts like swallowing rocks into my mouth. It’s not about the c-sect I’m worry about, it’s about the baby. Coz the gynae sounds so serious I am not sure whether we have time. I blurted out “is the baby still alive now?”. She said “yes, we can see the heartbeat.”

Since I’ve ate something that afternoon, my operation was scheduled later at 8pm. In the meantime, hubby arranged for AE to be with my sister and we just waited at the ward. Waiting… it’s tearing my heart out that we are almost at the finish line yet the outcome is so vague. Around 4pm, the nurse said the CTG looks okay and she off the machine. I wondered why she did not continue the CTG till the moment I go to OT, but dare not to ask as I already have many doubts in my head already. One of my concern was AE. He was very excited about his brother. If anything goes wrong…what do I tell him? 

By 7pm, the hospital staff prepared myself to go to the OT room. It’s like going to the war. Since I did not take any food for the last 6 hours, my tummy is even smaller by that time. Even the nurse said she did not know I was pregnant (OMG! can I slap her?). At the OT preparatory room, alhamdulilah I can still feel the baby kicking. I keep on talking to him, asked him to hang in there…I promised to be the best mother I could to the boys. It was just me, the baby and Allah at that moment, and I put my trust in Allah to grant us the best for us. This is literally a ‘tawakal’ stage for me. I continued praying and recited all surahs that I can remember until the nurse pushed me to the labour room.

I got the same anesthesiologist (Dato Dr Azhar) as AE’s operation last time, so nothing to worry about the spinal injection coz he is a profesional and very good with people management. There was hardly any pain at all. After about 1/2hour, I heard the sound of Ian crying… and the gynae told me “baby is okay Monina.” It was one of the most grateful moments I ever experienced in my life. I could hear the medical staff talking about how the chord was very long and wrapped around the baby’s neck twice. Told hubby to go attend the baby as I am in good hands. Alhamdulilah alhamdulilah alhamdulilah. The nurse showed me the baby before bringing him to the nursery, masha Allah he is so small. My gynae (Dr. Ariza) showed a relief face before leaving the OT room and I thanked her so much for her immediate action.

Thank you Allah for the chance, for us to meet and raise Muhamad Ian Muhsin in our family.

[Note: The next day during the ward round, the gynae told us that although cord around the baby’s neck is normal and rarely harmful to the babies, but for my case the cord was very tight – hence pressured – which might be the reason why the baby is not growing according to chart anymore after 34 weeks. We were informed that this can’t be detected by the 2D ultrasound scan machine, they can see the cord but cannot really measure how tight it was. Although some believe that private hospitals sometimes do unnecessary c-sect, I believe in my case it was necessary and it happened at Allah’s will].

The Story about Ian

Wow, so I left my blog unattended for 8 months. phew. Sorry. But I did have good reason this time. This is not an excuse. What could happened in 8 months? I fell sick. I got sick like I got when I was pregnant with AE. Yes, this is a story about Ian.

We were undecided for a while whether we want a 2nd child. I guess coming from ‘not-so-many-sibblings‘, I was not so much bother about that. Well, when AE was about 3yo, I did hope for one. Even planning the menstrual calendar. Who am I kidding, of course that did not work. Hence after a year doing that, I realised Allah has better plan for us. I stop hoping and focus on other more important things. Started my new life as SAHM. We donated most of AE’s clothes, except some memorable ones – I believe those clothes are meant for someone else now.

Around last year, hubby’s friend dropped by our house. AE had so much fun playing with him, he was so sad when the guy left. The guy told hubby – AE needs adik. Yeah…if only that come like fruits from tree. 

But that was my turning point. Nope, not the menstrual calendar. This time I leave it all to the Almighty. Realising AE might be lonely, I started to pray for one. I asked Allah for a gift, to complete this family. If it is deemed best for our son to have a brother/sister, please grant us an opportunity to raise another. The last fasting month, I tried not to miss tahajud, especially the last 10 days – realising the power that lies within it.   

Allah answers our prayer, alhamdulilah, alhamdulilah, alhamdulilah.

Muhammad Ian Muhsin (meaning: gift from God; orang yang berihsan) arrived into our world on 13th May 2014. May he brings more happiness in our life & hereafter. 


The wheels on a bike

Got his new bicycle during raya break, finally. It’s good that our house on a dead-end road, and the government decided to tar the road one day after PRU13 – he gets to swing his new bike around nicely. Of course I have to tag along. This is no longer 1990s where kids play outside alone. *teringat dulu dulu main basikal sampai bunyi azan maghrib baru balik, tapi ada jugak sesetengah tu nak balik sebab nak tengok doraemon* :).


One day AE said, “Mummy, teacher Kelly said bicycle has 2 wheels”

Me: Yes, that is correct

AE: But……what about the two small wheels at the back?

Me: Well, coz it is small, we just don’t count it. [that’s the best answer I can think of that time!]

Happy riding!

Multiple Intelligences

It has been forever I wanted to share this with the readers.


This theory of multiple intelligence above by Howard Gardner in 1983 suggests that a child can be intelligent in many areas, rather than traditionally just one type. Contohnya, kadang kadang ada orang cakap, “budak tu tak pandai sekolah, pandai melukis je.”. The first sentence contradicted where budak tu actually memang pandai. He possess a type of intelligence that not all people has. 

Hence when a child is young, it is vital if parents/guardians/teachers can discover which one of the above that child possesses. According to Gardner, the child have at least 4 of the intelligences above. But if this passion and skills are not nurtured, it can be gone when they become adult.

For example, a child with kinesthetic intelligence may lose it if he did not practice it when he is a child. Contohnya kalau student tu asik disuruh belajar dan baca buku tapi tak pernah bersukan atau pergi playground, maka lama lama hilanglah kemahiran kinestetic dia bila dia besar.

Instead, by recognizing and polishing these skills, the child will become a balanced person inshaAllah.

Krabi Calling

I let the pictures tell the stories.

wet wet wet

wet wet wet

From Krabi airport, we took boat to the Railay Beach. It was suddenly raining while we were on the boat. What a wet journey it is!

SandSea Resort

SandSea Resort

The pool is right in front of our chalet. Super nice. Love it love it love it!

facing resort

facing resort

Plenty of sand to play with right in front of the hotel. Tons of fun!

kayak adventure

kayak adventure

Day 1: We went kayaking from the river into beautiful caves. Awesome view. SubhanaAllah.

island hopping

island hopping

Day 2: Island hopping. Beautiful gorgeous beach.

Island hopping 2

Island hopping 2

One thing that is different here is the scenic caves. It’s everywhere! Rock climbing is quiet famous at the Railay Beach apparently. AE swimming non-stop in the open sea.

Day 3: Phi Phi

Day 3: Phi Phi

Day 3: Phi Phi. I didn’t expect this little place is hustling and bustling with tourists! I’m tired here due to motion sickness. The waves was strong during the ferry journey from Railay Beach to Phi Phi. Nevertheless the others enjoyed themselves:). Next time we should spent overnight here.

Conclusion: We ❤ Krabi!.