Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Be Kind to The Unkind...

So my husband and I were driving in a quite narrow road, which only fit for one car (and half) only, and it was already 7pm at night. And as predicted, there was a car coming from adverse direction from ours. we both stopped, my husband and the other driver got out from their cars and figured out whether they still can managed to go through. But it seemed that there was no possible way that the two cars could pass the same road at the same time. the other driver only said: "no..no..it's imposible..", with a frustated face (he was not that frustated, but his default face-sorry to say-is always frustated). So my husband calmly said: "Okay Pak, I will juts go backward". And he did. It was not an easy one since the road quite narrow and there were small canal (parit) on the edge. But finally, slowly, my husband made it: drive the car backwards for about 5-7 meters until we find a larger space to let the other car pass. we still open our car windows, the other car's windows are still open too, so that we can see each other faces. BUT, the other car just passed us, just go through without even noticing us who stopped and GIVE them a way. At first I was expecting the other driver would say thank you. But at the end, even we did not receive a single smile from him. I feel sad knowing that those kind of person existed. My husband only said: "I can tell from his face". So my husband actually already know from the begining, but still he did something for those driver.

And it happened again when I was in the KRL train from the office. There was a mother, probably in her late 40. She entered the packed train with 3 kids, 2 of them are still small, around 4 and 5 years old. Seeing this condition, a man which previously sit down, gave his seat to the mother. Instead of giving the seat to her kid, the mother took the seat for herself! Well, she said to her youngest kid to sit with her (dipangku), but the kid refused as the kid wanted to sit on her own. But the mother said with a bit high tone and force her youngest kid to sit in her thigh (dipangku). Finally the kid sit with her though. And not far from those mother, there was another person who will stop in the next station, and left the seat exactly infront of me empty. I took the chair for several seconds until I realized there was another kid of those mother, in the middle of the crowd. I gave my seat and asked those kid to sit. The mother looked surprise and happy, and she let her second kid to sit in my seat. Full stop. No more interaction with me, not even a single "thank you.." to me. 

Those two events made me think through (cieh), on WHY? and again, how can those kind of people existed? What kind of heart they have that can not be touched by kindness? 

However, I should not lose hope on fighting myself to always be kind. Being kind is my decision. Jakarta may be unfriendly to us, but we should be friendly to Jakarta. I believe that we should put some (good) colors in every place we stepped. And this time is for Jakarta. 


Thursday, December 19, 2013

An Early Congratulation to My Husband

So this is a story about the pursuit of a biggest dream. It was 3 years ago, in 2011, my used to be boyfriend, decided to kick out an invitation of medical check up test, the final test of PT. Pertamina PGE. It was his dream, indeed. He applied the vacancy and conducted all of the series selection since 2010, before we both met. He decided not to take those final test, which most likely would be accepted, "only" because that the job placement will be in somewhere outside Jakarta. If accepted, this would  jeopardize our marriage plan. We were not prepared to have a long distance marriage. So after discussing this and that, consulting here and there, my ex boyfriend -now my husband- did not attend the medical test and left his big chance to be part of PGE. It was a hard decision. It took me sometimes to ensure myself that those decision was okay. And i believed it took more time for my husband to do the same. But most of all, i admired my husband alot on his way of thinking on priority, on how he has been so firm with our marriage plan, and moreover, i was fascinated with his confidence on his capability that someday, he will make his very dream come true again, in other way.

So life goes on. My husband continued to have a series of engineering jobs, which make my husband a privilage to me. I always proud of what my husband do for his jobs,  most of them are in private sectors, or an outsourced employee in the governemnt enterprise. It goes until this last 3 years. He has been succeding his jobs. his three jobs in three years. His bright jobs, but not his career. Yes, not his career. He needs to have a larger contribution for society, not only for a (private) company. And most of all, there is a need for him to start building a career path, the thing he could not build highest in private mining and oil company in Jakarta.

So he decided to give Pertamina another shot. This time is Pertamina EP. He has been working for Pertamina EP here in the headquarter Jakarta with outsource status for a year until now. My husband explain to me that he is ready to pursue for a bigger contribution. To do so, he must be part of PEP, as a permanent employer. So he applied. And again, another series selection is joined, from capability test, english, interterview. He was invited again for the final selection: medical check up. It took more than half a year to complete the final result: he is accepted. He is granted an offering letter from PEP to be a permanent employee. But he will be placed in Prabumulih. It was both happy, and yet shocking news.

This offering letter has made us think hard this past few days. My husband asked to have quite sometimes to think. He would make his very best negotiation he could to make the offer better. And he was really doing his best to do so, i know. The fact that we have never been separated during our 3 years of marriage has made us think how we would cope with this option. And he has not come to the decision regarding this offer. We would give ourself sometime to think comprehensively about this.

However, regardles the decision we may take, or where luck will bring us,  i have to say: congratulation my husband! You have lived your biggest dream job from time to time..

My husband has been persistent in keeping a dream, and know how to give it a shot. For me, he already an employee of  the biggest government oil company he always dream of. Being accepted twice has shown enough of his capability i always respect. And i am so proud of him.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Aisha's Stimulation Activities

Aisha's genuine moves in Taman Suropati
First of all, I would like to aplogize for series of blog posts about Aisha, in english, this past few days. I was learning how to write in english, since I will have an English test this early January 2014. The most idea that enable me to write faster at this moment would be Aisha, so here we go I talk about Aisha over and over again, hehee. But, since this is my blog, I can just write what I want right? Haha. Thanks to Blogspot !

So in this post, I would like to review about Aisha's stimulation activities that has significant impacts on her development up to this almost 20 months old. I would also write about the activity I plan to do with her for the weekends, based on small research (read: Google), I have done during my free time in the office.  (I will write about those topic differently in other post).

Having taking care my own daughter for almost two years, I started to believe that Stimulatin is VERY VERY important. If we assume that baby's development is a product, stimulations are the machines to gain a fabricated product we expected. How we stimulate our kids will decide how our baby tends to be. For example, I just realized last night that I have been stimulating Aisha more on verbal and speech, which finally lead her to have more speech developments and skills than those of any "exercising/moves" activity. To prove, as I wrote before in my previous post, Aisha could speak mama and papa (and she meant it) before the agre of 12 months, but only walked after 14 months. 

Okay this is a list of stimulations that has been received by Aisha and has a significant impact to her development. Thus, I consider to continue give this stimulation.

1. Books related stimulation
Aisha reads a small books on her own.
I have been excited in baby books when I started to get pregnant. Yes, it was me who are excited. I myself do not love books unconditionally. Well, I read a book quite alot too though, but I read it merely because I feel I have to: to finish my job and to increase my knowledge consciously. I think my "book relationship" is resulted of my education backgrounds which encourage me to read alot as a social science student, and I did alot. But I remember I havelimited access to book when I was a kid, especially those good books, due to my family financial condition. Thus, to thank God that I could buy good books for my daughter, I always excited whenever I see a goog books: full colour, simple but not merely page (usually come with sounds, furr, magnet, wipe page, etc), I bought the books and read them to Aisha. My husband usually gives me a comment, if not a complaint, on why I buy more books while Aisha already have many. Until he sees the result that Aisha loves those book and start to "read" at the age of  1,5 year. Well, Aisha could not read the words of course, but she could already understand the story I told her, she could pointed out most of every objects in the books, she could imitate most of words I read to her, and even she started to read on her own using her own words and imagination! Besides, Aisha already able to ask me to read her a book before she sleep, she said "butu..butu.." while pointing a book shelf above our bed. She has several favourite books and ask her dolls to read the books: "Gadah..bata..bata..butu.." while holding her elephant dolls in front of the book.

2. Outdoor Stimulations
Well, Aisha's outdoor stimulation was not on a daily basis since both of me and my husband work a full day on the weekdays, and we do not allow our baby sitter to go outside the house with Aisha frequently. But I try to make our weekend the best outdoor activities for her. I almost as excited as her when we have a morning walk in the neighborhood. At first I showed her about birds, cat, trees, leaves, rain, water, ponds, and fish to her. And now she is the one who told me those outdoor stuffs by pointing her finger and said the words: "itan mandi" (kan mandi), "ain" (air), "poyon" (pohon), "buyun" (burung), "kutin" (kucing). I also encourage her to relate the outdoor objects with songs and then sing together. We sing about Burung Kutilang, Burung Hantu, Pelangi, Naik Kereta, etc. Actually I have a wish to plan a weekend class for Aisha, thaught by me with specific target and indicator. But I never managed to do it intetionally. 

Aisha asked us to ride her a horse in ITB Campus in one sunday morning

Ragunan Cycling is one of our most routine outdoor activities

Watering is her favourite
Sunday morning walks in Car Free Day
3. Speech Stimulation
Both me and my husband are enjoy to speak (well, talkative you may say :p). Both of us can spend hours to just talk at home, although we already meet everyday, haha. And probably Aisha also inherit this behaviour. In her 20 months no, she almost never stop making a sound from her mouth: either speaking, singing, laughing and smiling, or crying! We stimulate her to speak conciously though. We talked to Aisha since the first day she was born. We asked her every question a baby should ask, like: "itu apa?", "Mau kemana?", "Yang mana?", "Kenapa?", "dari mana?" to stimulate her, and we succeed, she started to ask questions now: "Apa itu?/apa ini?" and "Mana?". We talk to her in our language (I never try to imitate her baby voice such as tutu for susu, butu for buku, etc). This helps Aisha learn the correct word faster. I remember that she learnt to say: Mimik for only 2 weeks. The first she said: "mam" for "mimik", then it improved into "mik", and she said correctly "mimik" after 2 weeks. Also, we tried to tell her every objects and activities she sees and does. At first she did not responded on what we said (for example we said "Aisha sedang makan nasi"), and then she  imitated our words, and now she is the one who explain to us what she does: "ayta mam nayi". I don't know with other babies, but I am sure that the ability of Aisha's speech in her 20 months old now is on the advanced development of her stage.
She said: "adek..mimik ya?" to a doll. Ah she is no longer a baby.
Aihsa shows us where is Simbah, and here she goes pointing while laughing.
4. Stimulation with Educative Toys
I guess most parents like to buy toys for their kids. I do too. But what makes me excited in buying new toys for her is that I believe those toys could build someting in Aisha's development. BUT, actually, the bad news is that, most of Aisha's toys is educative toys...and probably less fun than any challenging toys. I realized this when my husband reminded me that Aisha's toys are "serious" ones (wooden blocks, bricks, wire game, Do-re-mi musics, books, flash cards, sortings, etc). Well, I don't want to waste my money, right? haha. Luckily since last week Aisha started her daycare. And in the daycare there are aloooot of challenging toys that attract Aisha's attention. It was a surprised for me that she enjoyed alot the toys, and stimulate her to move, to walk, to climb, and probably boost her adrenalin (plosotan) as she plays them by her own. So I guess this combination has been perfect for her, Alhamdulillah.
A corner where we gather most of Aisha's toys
I counted she almost able to recognize more than 60 pictures from a card/books.
Toys in the daycare
Toys presentation :p
Okay this is for now. To sum up, stimulation is a need for every baby. As a parent, I feel that I have the utmost responsibility in giving her the stimulations she should receive. Moreover, I feel that Aisha is receiving new informations and knowledge from me faster and better. She always shows her happy faces when I teach her something. It is indeed true that a moslem proverb said: a mother is the biggest madrasah (school) for her kids. I pray to Allah that He will ease my way in educating Aisha in the most possible way I could, to increase my knowledge to be the best mother and school for Aisha's development.

I also thanks to God for entrusting Aisha in our care.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Aisha's Development after the Daycare

My previous post mainly talked about The Daycare and how I feel about the daycare I have choosen. In this post, I would like to mainly review some of Aisha's development (or behaviour) after her several days spent in the daycare. This post is both for a note-taking for myself to know Aisha's progress after the daycare, and also to calm myself that Aisha is okay and will be okay to spend her time in the daycare (*harap maklum masih was-was juga). So here some points of Aisha's development and changes after we put her 5 days in the daycare:

1. Talk alot MORE
I know that Aisha has been a "chatty" baby. Her verbal development has always been faster than her other development. For example, she started to walk in her 14 months old, but she already called mama and papa (and she meant it) since her 9 months old. Before her first birthday, Aisha already mastered the concept of me by saying "Ayta". 
BUT, just right after she experienced daycare, she talk alot mooore and mooore. She always comments on everything she sees, such as: "Mama...tatii...ayta naik tatii" (Aisha naik taksi), or when she sees a train on the road: "tetaa...atiik..atiik..ayta naik tetaa". Those kind of things. If there is nothing attract her attentions, she sings!! And she already mastered several songs by herself, of course using her own words: Cicak di dinding, Naik kereta api, Matahari terbenam. And several songs with our helps: Balonku ada lima, Burung Kutilang, Bebek Bebekku, and many more.  Aisha also can say "Dah ampe.." (udah nyampai) when we stop our vehicle and arrived home. Also, she said: "Baju pate..pate.." (Pakai baju), or correcting us by saying "Butan...butan.." (bukan), such as when the clothes we wear or she wears is not as her expectation. 

2. Interested in other people
Well, I can say that before Aisha went to the daycare, I am the only one who she preffered. Seriously, even compared to her father. When we met new people, even our family, Aisha always want to be with me all the time. She doesn't want to be in touch with her grandmother, grandfather, uncle, auntie, although she already know them (she pointed out her grandmother when asked where is "mbah").  Annnd...just right after 3 days Aisha spent in daycare, her grandmother visited from Jogja, and for the first time in life: Aisha recognize her grandmother!!! She often pointed out "ini mbah..", and also "Ayo mbah..main..", or "Mbah..yayi yayi" (ngajak mbah nya lari-lari). She showed her toys to Mbah, her books, her dolls, as if Aisha was making a presentation. And for the jackpot: Aisha refused me to help her taking a bath, and said: "mbah..mbah..ayta mandi..." Aisha asked my mother! haha. It was a surprising experience for my mother. 
Also, Aisha started to greet her friends in our neighborhood when we meet them in morning walk. She said happily to one of 3 years old girl: "Ayta mam..ayta mam.." (Aisha makan) while pointing me feeding her. Also she cheered "Dadaah..dadaah..." when there is another little girl waving her goodbye.

3. More active
The first day Aisha cameback from the daycare, her legs are warm, shows that she is tired. It was not surprising me though: one hour I observed her in the daycare, she walk around every corner to play the toys, She played the swing for a while, and then walk again to play "Plosotan", and then walk agoin to play "Kuda-kudaan", and stop by playing dolls, and imitate what her friends play, and all and all. Maybe Aisha is still excited to see alot of her favourite toys in a large colourfull rooms. 

4. Imitating every new words "perfectly"
Before, Aisha was only imitating the end sound of the world. Such as, when we said "dingin", she only said "ngin..". But now, she imitates whatever we said to her. When I said in the daycare: "Aisha pulang ya...", and talked to her friends while waving goodbye, she directly followed me saying "Ayta puyaan..ayta puyaan..dada..". And she suddenly can answer my greeting "Assalamualaikum", and she answered: "Ayaa..yayam.." Actually we forget to teach her about this, only practising in front of her. But  in her daycare, of course she practices alot this greeting for opening the classes and closings.  And now, Aisha also started to imitate whatever we said, from "mama mau kerja" (and she will said "Ayta teda") up to "Aduh..aduh..aduh..".

5. Eat by herself ALOT
In the daycare, Aisha sit together in small chairs with her friends, eating 3 times a day and 2 times snacking. The teacher always reported that Aisha eat alot, especially in the morning and evening (in afternoon at 11.30am usually she eats a little as Aisha has been eating alot during breakfast at 7 am and followed by snacking at 10 am). Although Aisha has mastered eating by herself before (since she practised Baby Led Weaning since 6 months old), but I still surprised that she is able to eat alot on her own. And just after this 5 days in daycare, I feel that Aisha has gained more weight. Alhamdulillah.

6. More Laugh and Alive
I dont know how to describe this "Alive". But Aisha has been very enthusiastic after her experience in daycare. She sings with very wide smiles, and sometimes clapping hand (I never teach her clapping while singing), and after finish a song, she will clap the hands and cheers: "yeeeeee!".For sure this is what she experienced in school. Also, she laughed alot when I play her some funny faces or tickling. She sings whenever there is a chance (while playing dolls, while reading a book, or while we are on the way to go). I hope that this enthusiasim is a result of her happines in the daycare.

In sum, I am so happy to put Aisha in daycare. Whenever I come home from the office and pick her, I feel so happy as I feel I will meet Aisha with another new things. Daycare turns our to give her a new and exciting experiences for Aisha in every aspects: new toys, new songs, new games, new words, and new friends. I do hope and pray that this very good developments will always follow Aisha's time in daycare in the future. I do hope Aisha could stop crying when we leave her (she still did though). 

Most of all, I pray to Allah that He will guide and bless our little Aisha in every aspect of her life, anytime, anywhere. Amiin.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Aisha's First Days in Daycare (19 Months Old)

Bening Daycare
The Daycare
Due to one and the other things (bahasa Inggrisnya "karena satu dan yang lain hal" kayak begini bukan sih? hehe), we decided to no longer hire my baby Sitter for Aisha. I have to admit that I feel very sad since the baby sitter has helped us since Aisha was born, 1,5 years ago. Aisha loves her too. However, at this moment, I am not thinking to look for another nanny, I know that my perfection and high qualification for a nanny will make it next to impossible to find a new nanny in Jakarta in a short time. Therefore, I prefer to search for the a good daycare in my neighborhood than to try to find a replacement of our previous nanny. In short, after visiting 4 daycares around our house in Depok, and reviewing so many others through their websites, we finally decided to put Aisha in "Bening Daycare", located around 2 KM from our house, and on the way to the train station. There are several considerations on why finally we choose this daycare among some others:
  • The toys are abundant! And most of them are Aisha's favourite which we do not have at home (since they are "big--and expensive-toys", only see them in Playgrounds --and Ace Hardware of course haha), such as: Ayunan,Plosotan, and 5 types of  colourful "kuda-kudaan", all from famous brand Little Tickes, etc. This toys are apart from any other toys such as dolls, puzzle, blocks, wire game, balls, etc. Also there are several small chairs and tables which always attract Aisha's attention; Aisha loves to say: "duduk..duduk..". Some other Daycares do not have the toys as this much, or they keep the toys only for a special sessions (not being exposed all the time), and Aisha already has most of the toys in other daycares at home.
  • The location is just soooo perfect. It is close to our house, and we can drop Aisha before we go to train station for working. Even I picked Aisha by my own, using motorcycle (I put Aisha's in my "gendongan punggung"), as I only take a short rute and a quite one.
  • The environment is homy where the main "caregiver" is the family in the house: Mother (the owner), Grandmother (Aisha called her "nenek", which is new for her since she always called grandmother with "mbah"). There are 2 additional teachers who come from 8am to teach a session, and continue to take care of the kids up to the evening. 
  • The house is quite big, it is alot bigger than our house and all of the locations are functioned as playground. I like this environment as Aisha will always be in the playground most of the time, the place where all kids should be.
  • The class session is just matched for me. It is only 1 to 2 hours in the morning from 8 am to 9.30 maximum. And the activities are vary from religious activities (hafalan doa dan surat, sholat), singings, skills (menempel, mewarnai), and sports (dancing, gyms, etc). The daycare mentioned about filed trip to zoo, seaworld and other outdoor places as well, but I guess occasionally.

Aisha's Favourite Toys in Daycare
However, apart from its best part, this daycare also lacks in several aspects, such as:
  • Since this daycare is a "Home Daycare" the rules are not that strict. For example, when it is said the session will be started at 8 am, it can happen at 8.30 am (well but as babies, who cares right?). Also, for a sleep time, they are not really force the kids to sleep (like closing the door, not allowed to play during sleep time, etc). Well this is probably still okay though, since as babies, their world are only play and play as they wish. But Aisha ever experience 1 hour sleep only in daycare as she always want to go back to the playground during sleeptime. When Aisha is taken care by the baby sitter at home, she sleep for a minimum 2 ours in a daytime
  • The ratio of kids and the caretaker in the daycare are sometimes to much. there are 10-14 kids maximum (depend on whether the kids come or not) with only 3-4 caretaker. Actually I do not really mind about this ratio since the kids is mostly at the age of 2,5 years (the oldest is 4 years: 2 kids). However, I hope that the daycare be "strict" in accepting of refusing kids because of quota.
  • The place should have been more cleaner. I dont know, I have quite high standar for this cleanlines, especially in other's place (ya kalau rumah sendiri kotor2 mah gapapaa, hehehe).
  • Oh ya, the enrollment fee is very expensive, most expensive of other daycares I visited in Depok. But the monthly fee is okay.

Aisha's Experience
The night before Aisha's first day in daycare, I cried alot. I really really cried in anxiety and despair : what would happen to Aisha tomorrow? what if she was not listened? How could aisha ask for food and drink? what if aisha want to be hugged? how the daycare will fulfil her needs? I talked to my husband how worry I am, how I feel sorry for what has happened, and why I can not just be with Aisha all the time? *ngelantur

However, my dear Aisha is a nice and clever one. I have been sounding to her that she will no longer with the babysitter the day after, and will go to school. Aisha responded happily, and she repeated after me "Aita toyah" (Aisha sekolah). She was very happy when we bring her on the way to train station. She usually cries when we leave her for office. She said : "Aita itut..tut.." (Aisha ikut). And she sang happily on the way to the daycare. In short,however,  she cried right after we give her to the caregiver in the daycare. I cried too. But we have to leave. She stopped crying after we leave.

The teacher reported that Aisha asked her friends to sing her "cicak di dinding song". Then Aisha danced while her friends was singing. However, when the song stopped, Aisha start to cry  hahaha. On the second day, Aisha's command to her friends was not only to sing. This time, she asked her friends to sit down on small chairs. Most of her friends are not responded, then Aisha cried. Her teacher reported me that Aisha already has a sense of leadership hahahaha. At first I was afraid that Aisha will feel intimidated among other new friends in daycare. But I am wrong: she is very confidence and even try to take a lead, haha. Ah you are sooo your father (and your mother too hehehe).

On a second day, Aisha has been famous for having "lagu kebangsaan Aisha": cicak di dinding, naik kereta api, dan burung hantu. She is very happy (claping and laughing) when her friends sing those songs. Finally the teacher starts the classes by singing those songs to cheer Aisha. On the way home, Aisha also sings by herself various songs, mostly those 3 songs (well of course in her own language, but very clear on the word "cicak cicak di dinding", and naik kereta api "tuut..tuuut..tuuut"). I can see cheerfullnes in Aisha's behaviour after finishing the daycare. Even on the second day, Aisha refused to go home, hahaha. I came to pick her when she played ayunan with Nenek. I observed for a minute from distance that Aisha sang together with Nenek who helped her play ayunan (mengayun). Aisha smiles alot. When I approached, she laughs. She pointed me her favourites toys: "itu tuda (kuda)", "ni yun-yun (ayunan)", "ni yotan (plosotan)" with smiles. And when I said let's go home, she firmly said: "emoooooh...". However, in her third day today, she still cried when I leave her in the daycare. 

Any other good things that the teacher reported is that: Aisha eats alot in the daycare! hahaha what a surprise! Well Aisha is not a difficult eater, but this past few days, she has been eating a little. But the teacher reported that Aisha eat by her own alot! using spoon!! She finished most of the eating sessions, and even once finish her friend's, haha. I did not really believe at first, but when I touch her belly: oh big!  Alhamdulillah. Probably because she eats together with several friends in a small table and chair. Or maybe her competition insting makes her feel should eat more than the others, haha.

I pray to God that this Bening Daycare is the best for Aisha in boosting her potentials: her new skills and learnings, her socialization skills, her inteligence, her bravery, and her health as well. I am so thankful on how God "forced" me to new plan, to go out of my comfort zone and put Aisha in the daycare.

The unfortune event of loosing Aisha's babysitter, which actually hit me alot, has turned into another happiness I have never imagined before. This is how Allah remind me to always put trust in Him. There is one verse 51 of At Taubah  which I always bear in mind: 

"Say...nothing can happen to me except what Allah has ordered for me. He is our Master. It is in Allah that the believer should put their TRUST."

Happy Faces!

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