Monday, May 07, 2018

Nouman Ali Khan in Jakarta: Reconnect With Quran


Yesterday, alhamdulillah I got the chance to go to Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan's lecture at the Istiqlal Mosque. It was my time for recharging my spiritual battery. Here I share my notes and understandings, I hope this can help you reconnect to the Quran. If there are any wrong understandings, it is my own fault and may Allah forgive me and accept my niat to do my best to spread His love through the Quran.

*disclaimer: there are 2 sessions of NAK's lecture. The video of the 1st session is already available on Youtube, so I was able to cross check my notes with the video replay. Until now, the video of the 2nd session hasn't been uploaded, so I haven't cross checked my notes with the video replay. InsyaaAllah I'll cross check my notes after the video is available. *

-1st session

- Reconnecting with Quran starts with Ibrahim AS. 

- Ibrahim AS was the only one who accepted the faith in Allah. He stood by his faith. He had to leave his society. As he leaves, he makes a speech/statement/dua to Allah. 

- Ibrahim AS is different from other prophets coz you find more dua from him than from any other prophet. This is important because Islam has many names, and 1 of them is "the legacy of Ibrahim AS" and at the heart of that religon is making a lot of dua. 

- Part 1 of Ibrahim's dua to Allah as he is leaving his society/home (because he was confronted with what he believed in, so he had to leave):

- (QS Asy-Syu'ara 26:78)
"The One who makes me and then Who guides me" -- Allah not only created us but gives us guidance on how to live our lives. At that time, only Ibrahim AS that understood and believed this. (QS Asy-Syu'ara 26:79)

- After that, he said that "(Allah) is the One who gave us food and drink", *after* he mentioned about guidance. So guidance from Allah is the 1st thing we need after being created, and after that comes the need for food & drink to survive.

- We don't need food & drink all the time. But Ibrahim AS put guidance as the 1st need after being created by Allah, to imply that we need guidance more regularly/constantly than we need food & drink. 

-Ibrahim AS has a sense of gratitude that we don't usually think of, he's thinking constantly Allah is providing food & drink for me. (For example like where food comes from and how extensive the process of putting food on the table actually is ---> from a plant seed to our plate)

- Ibrahim AS was expelled from his home for standing up to his belief in Allah. He had no family, no posessions, no home, no people, no country/citizenship. And he's the one who turns to Allah and says "I'm okay coz I have Allah."

- We often don't realize how powerful Ibrahim AS's words were because we forgot about the situation he was facing when he said those words. That's the legacy of Ibrahim AS.

- We know we are following his legacy when we can rely on Allah's guidance the way Ibrahim AS did. 

- Every human being has a chance for guidance in this life. But in the 2nd life, no more guidance. The 1st time Allah created us, our first important need was guidance. The 2nd time when Allah wakes us up (QS Asy-Syu'ara 26:81), our most important need is to face Allah with a clean heart  "qolbi saliim" (QS Asy-Syu'ara 26:89)

- On judgement day, we're not gonna be judging anyone else but ourselves. We're only gonna be worried about ourselves. 

- That's why Ibrahim AS asked for Allah to forgive his sins on judgment day (QS Asy-Syu'ara 26:82) , instead of asking for justice against people who wronged him.

(All the other prophets are also thinking about their own sins instead of asking for Allah to give revenge for all the injustice they received).

- To this day, when we think about judgment day, we don't think about our own mistakes. We're too focused on everybody else's wrongdoings towards us.

- Ibrahim AS understood that on that judgement day, nothing will matter except his own mistakes.

- What mistakes could Ibrahim AS have made?  Why is he worried? Because we human beings don't remember when we make mistakes. 

- Guidance is part 1 of Ibrahim AS's dua as he is leaving his home (QS Asy-Syu'ara 26:78) 

- Part 2 of Ibrahim AS's dua as he is leaving his home: 
(QS Asy-Syu'ara 26:83)
Ibrahim AS asks Allah for strong decision making power (hukma).

- The ability to make the right decision when it's very hard. 

- We might have gotten guidance (know what we should do), but we might not have the willpower/strength to do it. 

- Ibrahim AS got a lot of tests from Allah and had to have strength to do those commands from Allah. (Like jump into the fire, leave his family in the dessert, and slay his son, Ismail AS).

- After asking for hukma, Ibrahim AS then asks Allah to join him with good people. ("...Wa alhiqni bish shoolihiin" ---- QS Asy-Syu'ara 26:83). 

- Ibrahim AS knows human beings need other human beings for support. You can't hold on to your iman all alone. You need other people for support.

- We have to ask ourselves, "we are people of the religion of Ibrahim AS and the month of Ramadhan is coming... Who is our company?" Do our friends make us into better people? Do they bring us closer to Allah? When you see them, do they remind you of guidance, or the opposite?

- If Ibrahim AS himself prayed for good company, then we ourselves definitely need it, too! 

- Part 3 of Ibrahim AS's dua as he is leaving his home: 
(QS Asy-Syu'ara 26:84)
"Waj'al lii lisaana shidqin fil aakhiriin.." "Give me someone who will speak the truth about me in the last generations"

- Ibrahim AS was alone in the desert. He was a nobody (not a scholar nor king, nor someone people will be interested in writing history about).

-  Basically he was saying, "Ya Allah, You put me through a lot of tests. And people should learn about those tests because it will make their iman strong. But when I die, alone, no one will know my name and remember the tests You gave me, then they will not be able to get this guidance."

- He asks Allah, "Ya Allah, make me an example that someone in the later time will tell the truth about me."  (QS Asy-Syu'ara 26:84)

- Thousands of years later, we get Rasulullah SAW + the Quran and Allah puts Ibrahim AS's story in the Quran for everyone to know & learn til the end of time. Allah repeated Ibrahim AS's duas and made it part of the Quran. 

- When the Quran tells the story of Ibrahim AS, it is actually answering that dua of Ibrahim AS  (QS Asy-Syu'ara 26:84)

- And he continues the dua
(QS Asy-syuaro 26:85):
"Waj'alnii miw warotsati jannatinna'iim"

- Inheritance is something you get from your deceased parents. Ibrahim AS didn't want to inherit "syirik" from his parents since it's a crime against Allah. So he asks Allah for inheritance of jannah. 

- He also asks Allah to forgive his father  (QS Asy-Syu'ara 26:86)

- Last part of Ibrahim AS prayer: (QS Asy-Syu'ara 26:87): don't humiliate me on judgement day

- Judgment day: the day on which money and children will be no good  (QS Asy-Syu'ara 26:88)

- ****Only thing of value in front of Allah on judgment day: (QS Asy-Syu'ara 26:89) whoever comes in front of Allah with a clean----safe sound healthy----heart (qolbi saliim)*** important!!! 

- This is the only thing Ibrahim AS was worried about

- You have to have your *own* clean heart, not dependent on other's achievements (for example, someone who does whatever they like coz they think their hafidz children are their 'ticket to heaven'.)

- We have to connect to Allah in Ramadhan ---> meaning, we have to get a good heart in ramadhan.

.... Towards the conclusion of 1st session: 

- Many years later, Ibrahim had children, When he was building the Kabah with Ismail AS, he made the dua (from QS Al Baqoroh 2:128-129).

- Ayat 128 is a dua for Muslim children, even though he previously said that children don't have any benefit on judgement day. Why the dua, then? 

- He made this dua for children coz he needs the kind of children that are of benefit ---> what kind of children that have benefit?

- If you have a good heart and your children also have a good heart, then they will benefit to you. 

- How will children have a good heart? Prophet Ibrahim AS prayed (QS Al Baqarah ayat 129) for 1 messenger/rasul from among them to recite the ayat, to teach Allah's book, the wisdom, and will purify them. 

- ***The purpose of the ayat: to give us a good heart.***

- Allah describes the Quran as a reminder for people who actually still have a heart.

---> Quran is meant for our hearts!!!

- Thousands of years ago, Ibrahim AS made that dua ---> thousands of years later, Allah sent Jibril AS to Rasulullah SAW --> the answer to Prophet Ibrahim AS's dua.

- The month of Ramadhan: we are celebrating that Allah accepted the dua of Ibrahim AS.

- You can not understand what it means to connect with the Quran if you don't understand what it means to connect with your father, Ibrahim AS.

- We would not have Quran if Ibrahim AS hadn't made the dua.

- Ibrahim AS also gave us the purpose of Qur'an : so our heart would be safe!

- Quran in your eyes, ears, tongue, and mind is easy. (We recite it, read the translation, listen to it, memorize it, do art of the Quran, etc)

- But, the quran is actually meant for your HEART.

- It's possible that someone might know a lot about the Quran in their head and NOT have a connection in their heart.

- Quran in your heart--> very difficult! 

- What it means to connect to the Quran is to allow your *heart* to connect to the Quran. It's not easy! 

- This dua made by Ibrahim AS was not easy. He made the dua *after* he passed all the tests from Allah (going against his father, leaving his family in the desert, almost slaying his son). He asked for the Quran. 

- In our case, it will take a lot of effort to connect the Quran to your heart!

- How can we connect to the Quran the way we are supposed to be connected?

-Everyone has the same problem, whether or not he knows a lot / a little about the Quran:  there's a distance between our heart and the Quran!

- We need to put an effort to connect ourselves to the Quran, no matter how much of the Quran we know/don't know.

- Sometimes, someone tells us something we already know (not new information) but it hits us really hard.

- *****Sometimes when we hear some words, they don't go to your head but straight to your heart. And you need to hear those words, even though you already know them. You need them again and again. That is Quran!!!  *****

-end of 1st session- 

-2nd session-

(Note: I haven't double checked my noted with the video replay of the 2nd session, so these are temporary notes that I took directly while listening to the lecture. InsyaaAllah I'll double check my notes when a video of the 2nd session is available on Youtube).

- The Quran can give us the strength if we approach it the right way.

- The 5 pilars of Islam all go back to Ibrahim AS:

1. Syahadat: Ibrahim was the only one to reject believing in anything other than Allah

2. Shalat: He built the Kabah for us to pray to

3. Zakat: Ismail AS taught about doing  zakat 

4. Fasting: we celebrate ramadhan as the month the Quran came down ---> Ibrahim AS prayed for the Quran (as mentioned in the 1st session)

5. Hajj --> everything goes back to Ibrahim AS.

- Dont forget our connection to Ibrahim AS ---> Our identity comes from our fathers. We should identify our identity also with Ibrahim AS, since we are following his legacy (another name for Islam)

- Connecting with Quran-

- We have to have positive feelings towards something if we want to connect with it.

- We have to connect to the Quran with our heart

- Feelings are not the same as information --- information can be stored for a long time, but as for feelings, we have to refresh them continually

- Allah told us how to feel about the Quran

- Allah describes his love for us with Ar-Rahman

- Allah uses "Ar-Rahman" when teaching Quran (QS Ar-Rahman 55:1-2)

- Ar-Rahman ---> love like the mother's womb. It protects the baby from any harm, takes care of all of the baby's needs, while the baby doesn't realize it).

- Quran is love letters for us from Allah

- But if the Quran is love letters, why in some parts of the Quran, Allah is angry?

- Allah is angry towards the worst of people like firaun, not to us! 

- Allah wants to give you rahmah (His love), not punishments! 

- The more you learn Quran, the more you will feel Allah's love

- QS Al-Anbiya 

- The quran has *our* story in it. 

- All of the stories, history, etc applies to us in some way. We have to find out how.

- The Quran is a book. The purpose is for it to be understood (by us). 

- If so, for example, how can we understand "alif lam mim"???

-  The answer is that there are some things we will never know, only Allah knows. Allah decides what we know and don't know. Allah fixes our attitude. 

- We have to come to the Quran with humility. And begging Allah to give us guidance. 

- The Quran is light. Without it is darkness. The idea is that we are in darkness and we have to turn on the light again and again. 

- QS Yunus

- The Quran is advice that goes into the heart.

- Allah who loves us and understands us is giving us advice.

- Before you seek advice from someone, you have to trust and respect them. we only seek advice from those people that we trust and respect, right? So, we have to trust Allah so we can willingly accept & follow His advice.

- Allah doesn't want to punish us, he wants to lighten our burden. 

- Quran is a healing for our heart's problems. Anger, sadness, anxiety, fear, all negative feelings inside our heart.

- Allah tells us to open the Quran and ask for Him to heal our heart.

- Quran has all of these connections that are ready to be made. You have to truly believe and give yourself. Completely believe that Quran will heal you. 

- Ramadhan & The Quran

- Allah only talks about Ramadhan in 1 place in the Quran, QS. Al Baqarah. 

- Ramadhan is important because of the Quran.

- Allah intends to reintroduce us to the Quran during Ramdahan. We have to approach it as if its the 1st time we are reading it, even though we might have read it many times. Its our chance to reconnect with the Quran!

- Ramadhan is also our chance to connect other people to Quran, through us.

- Share about the Quran to other people little by little, gently, lovingly, smartly. It's the right time to do it since syaithan is chained for the month. 

- Learning Quran is for the sake of ourself!!! It's talking about us, so don't mind anyone's matters but ours.

- When we are full with the goodness from the Quran, then share that goodness with others. 

**** Don't use the Quran to insult/criticize/judge others. That's disrespect. Allah gave it to us with love (QS Ar-Rahman ayat 1-2) so we should also use the Quran with love. Allah gets to judge, not us! Who are we to judge in place of Allah? The Quran came to heal hearts, not break hearts. If we use the Quran against someone, Allah will ask us at judgement day, "Why did you use My book to push My slave away from My love???" ----> and we do NOT want to be in that situation, do we?  

- After we connect to the Quran, something should change in us.

- The best connection to the Quran: dua! We will make a lot more dua in our lives, because..  

- *****Dua is us speaking to Allah. Quran is Allah speaking to us. A connection is when 2 sides are speaking to each other!****

- The Quran begins and ends with a dua.(begins with Al Fatihah and ends with An Naas).

- We can look at the whole Quran like a dua. How? 

- For example: "Alif lam mim": Ya Allah, You know and I don't know. 

- When you read the Quran, think about how can you turn the ayat into a dua for you? What am I gonna ask Allah in the next ayat? You think about it continuously and that is connecting!!! 

- How to practice connecting to the Quran:

1. Listen/read an explanation of some part of Quran.
2. Then listen to the recitation all day. Repeat.
3.Think about the meaning of what you are reading/hearing, and how it applies to you, how you can turn it into a dua for you.

- You don't have to finish the Quran or memorize it.

****But you *do* have to CONNECT with it everyday, little by little.****

- You have to come up with some way to connect to the Quran each day, so that little by little that connection is made and strengthened. 

- Allah cleans our heart with Quran.

- Allah gives us Quran with love.

- Quran should be positive. Quran should not make us angry. Quran should make us full of hapiness.

- The Quran is better than anything you can collect ----> Coz we need a clean heart before Allah on judgement day. 

- The only purpose of knowledge is to help us connect the Quran to our heart! 

- Quran is called the rope of Allah. 1 end of it is with us, the other is Allah. The more you hold on to it, the more Allah will elevate us.

- The stronger one (Allah) pulls us up, we just have to hold on tight!

- If yo're holding on to the rope of Allah, you're holding on to Allah. The tighter we hold, the closer we get.

- Hold on to the Quran to save our life.  

- The closer the ummah becomes to the Quran, the closer we all are. It's the only way to be united. Everything else you can use to separate ummah (differences in fikh, etc). But not with the Quran! 

- When the ummah fights within, that is proof we are *not* connected to the Quran. 

- Share good things about the Quran. Share with our family & friends the goodness & positivity that we found.

- Nobody can connect to the Quran except by themselves. We have to make that effort to connect to the Quran and spread that positivity, hoping that others will try to make the connection, too! 

Monday, March 26, 2018

1st world problem: ART or no ART?

Bismillah, pertama kali nih ikutan posting bertema tentang #Modyarhood. Sekalian udah lama nggak nulis2 di blog, seringnya langsung nulis di ig karena dapet wangsit, eh, waktu buat nulis yg nggak terdistraksi itu very unexpected. Kasian blog ini, lama gak tersentuh haha, maaf ya blogku sayang *peluk* 

Anyways, pertama kali baca tagar #modyarhood, saya langsung senyum. Istilah yg tepat banget buat motherhood yg meskipun suka berasa bikin modyar, tapi tetep yahood (seenggaknya, dibuat se-yahood mungkin lah ya). Tema kali ini tentang ART, wah pas banget nih bisa nulis ketika saya lagi ngadepin drama ART (yg neverending, ngalahin semua sinetron yg ada, hahaha). Ketika awal menikah dulu, saya langsung nemenin Si Hubs yg lagi belajar di negeri seberang, jadi otomatis nggak pakai ART. Sejak kecil pun mama saya nggak pakai ART, jadi saya udah ada basic ngerjain household chores. Sebaliknya, keluarga suami tipikal yg pakai ART, meski ibu mertua tetap turun tangan buat supervisi plus anak2nya tetap diharuskan beberes rumah. Dari 2 latar belakang upbringing yg berbeda, ketika kami sudah pulang ke Indonesia, bentrok deh soal ART ini. Saya nggak nyaman dgn ART full (wong rumah cilik) tapi doi "kasihan" sama saya kalau nggak ada yg bantuin. Lah kan waktu di negeri orang baik2 aja tuh tanpa ART, kenapa di sini mendadak beda?

Penyebab utama: commute dan beban kerja Si Hubs yg berat. Masa iya udah sktr 3-4 jam pp tiap hari, saya masih tega minta tolong cuci piring? Kalau di negeri orang kan commutenya cuma pake sepeda 15 menit.. Dengan riang hati lah doi bantu membantu, bagi2 tugas rumah. Tapi setelah pulang ke Indonesia, faktor macet dan jauhnya rumah-kantor bikin nggak tega minta bantuin macam2 setelah doi sampai rumah. Mending waktu dan sisa2 tenaganya dipakai buat main sama anak2 yg kangen papanya setiap kali pulang kerja :) Berhubung si sulung waktu itu masih batita dan saya lagi hamil anak ke-2, jadi kami ambil jalan tengah dengan hiring ART pulang hari. Kerjaan rumah beres, saya juga nggak terganggu dengan adanya orang luar di rumah. 

Jadi, endingnya happily ever after dong? Nope. Namanya ART pp ya kadang suka tiba2 gak masuk tanpa kabar/pemberitahuan terlebih dahulu (meski udah diminta berkali2, tetep ajaaa begini, hayati lelah deh). Jadilah kerjaan rumah numpuk, padahal kalau tahu beliau akan izin,  pasti beres deh semua kerjaan ama Nyonya. Kadang mau saya yg ngerjain semuanya, tapi trus mikir, lah ngapain eijke bayar mahal2 buat ART? Duitnya mending buat Nyonya pijet badan tiap minggu gegara encok jemur2 baju hahaha 😂 Tapi oh tetapi, mau diberhentikan juga sayang, krn 'beliau ini baik dan jujur. Itu ngalahin faktor sakit hati akibat di-PHP tiap kali beliau tiba2 nggak masuk tanpa kabar, bahkan kadang hanya karena alasan yg non-kesehatan seperti kondangan, ada tamu, sampai jagain bayinya ponakannya 😅 

Berhubung anak2 sekarang udah besar dan bisa dipekerjakan, eh maksudnya diberikan tanggung jawab tugas rumah sesuai usia/kemampuan mereka, jadinya moga2 kami menuju ke titik tidak adanya ketergantungan terhadap ART. Dengan kata lain, mau ada syukur, nggak ada ya "I will survive" (yuk nyanyi bareng, "At first I was afraid, I was petrified.."). 

Ketika ART nggak masuk selama 2 minggu dikarenakan sakit, anak2 rajin banget membantu pekerjaan rumah. Ehh ketika ART sudah masuk kembali, bubar jalan deh rutinitas kami, plus ART sungkan kalau anak2 bantuin tugas2nya (padahal anak2 mau). Jadi menjawab pertanyaan ART or no ART, lebih kepada tidak bergantung pada ART (nah lho, ini jadinya plihan yg mana ya???) 

Persepsi ini sedang saya tanamkam di anak2, bahwa ART itu helper aja, bukan pengganti tanggung jawab kita menjaga kebersihan & kelancaran aktivitas di rumah. Si Hubs kedapatan pembagian kerja rumah di saat weekend dan saat kami "overload" dikarenakan ART nya tau2 nggak masuk tanpa pemberitahuan terlebih dahulu. Kami membagi tugas berdasarkan kesukaan aja.. Misalnya, Doi suka banget nyapu dan nyuci piring--- 2 hal yg saya nggak sukaaa, hahaha. 

Mau pakai ART maupun nggak pakai, Intinya sih pintu komunikasi harus terbuka antara kita dan suami. Ekspektansi dan standar2 mengenai kebersihan rumah, pembagian tugas, dsb kudu wajib disamakan. Biasanya perbedaan ekspektansi/persepsi terhadap kebersihan rumah akan berakhir dalam argumen, so i highly recommend to do this step ya 😆 Whichever choice you make, pastikan nyaman di hati, di dompet (haha), dan paling support kondisi keluarga kita ❤

#modyarhood #ourlearningfamily 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Turun Gunung

October 13, 2017

Hello... apa kabar? Kangen nulis... :)
Terakhir sempat menulis blog itu... ketika sedang awal-awal berjuang menghadapi alergi Baby Squirrel. Sejak usia 4-5 bulan, alergi makanannya timbul berupa dermatitis atopi. It’s the rash on the cheek that everyone says “Ahhh, pasti kena ASI ya?”--- and then I have to explain to them what it’s all about. Awalnya masih santai, lama-lama pegel juga menjelaskan ke setiap orang yang ditemui di jalan, bahkan yg nggak saya kenal. Belum lagi yang memberikan unsolicited advice mengenai penanganan alergi pada Baby Squirrel. Dan makin lengkap kalau dapat judgement atau komentar yang melebar mengenai hal-hal yang nggak ada kaitannya sama sekali dengan topik alergi. Jadilah saya memutuskan untuk sementara hanya fokus pada urusan keluarga kecil saya saja. Sementara “menghilang” dari keramaian social media. They needed me. And I was determined to give them my 200%.

Dealing with food allergies benar-benar menjungkirbalikkan kehidupan seluruh keluarga kami, but only for the better. Only for the better? Yes, I can say that now. Setelah bertapa di atas gunung menghadapi perubahan dalam keluarga kami, mamak yang satu ini sudah bisa turun gunung dengan wangsit lengkap buat menata kembali kehidupan keluarga dan berbagi cerita.  No, Baby Squirrel still has his allergies, but alhamdulillah not as bad as before. You could say that the whole allergy episode brought our whole family to a new chapter of life, hard yet better for all of us, insyaaAllah.

“The only thing constant in life is change.” –Heraclitus

Saya menganggap bahwa Allah menyentil saya untuk berubah menjadi lebih baik melalui alergi makanannya Baby Squirrel. Tekanan yang begitu besar untuk mengubah pola makan malah menjadikan seluruh keluarga lebih “sadar diri” dalam hal makanan. Bahan makanan yang menimbulkan alergi bukannya dipaksakan untuk diberikan, melainkan dicari penggantinya. Do you know how hard it is to change your own eating mindset? Bahwa orang Indonesia nggak akan kenyang sebelum makan nasi? Nah kalau anaknya alergi sama beras putih, gimana? Jeng jeng jeng  jenggggg.... *cue horror music*

Menghadapi alergi makanan ini, saya sepertinya melalui “the 5 stages of grief” dari Kubler-Ross:
1. Denial (Ah, masa ini bikin dia alergi sih? Makan aja terus supaya nanti lama-lama kebal. Nanti juga alerginya hilang kalau sudah makin besar.)
2. Anger (Kenapa obat ini nggak ada efeknya? Kenapa anak ini harus alergi sama makanan favorit saya? kenapa ini terjadi sama anak saya? kenapa semua orang bisa makan seenaknya dan nggak ada yang mengingat bahwa saya sedang bersusah payah menghindari makanan itu? Kenapa saya tadi makan makanan itu, setelahnya si kecil jadi merah-merah lagi deh pipinya.. )
3. Bargaining (dulu waktu hamil saya makan apa yang menyebabkan alergi ini ya? Kalau saja saya bisa mengulang kembali waktu? Berusaha mencari cara buat mengurangi atau mengobati alergi dengan hasil yang sesegera mungkin.)
4. Depression (nggak kepingin makan karena takut menimbulkan alergi. Merasa bersalah karena makan seenaknya. Merasa bersalah karena memberikan macam-macam obat anti-alergi untuk anak padahal masih bayi.)
5. Acceptance (menerima bahwa komposisi makanan keluarga harus berubah dan mencari alternatif pengganti bahan makanan tertentu; menerima bahwa alergi tidak akan hilang begitu saja dan mencari celah supaya bisa sesekali mencicipi makanan yang membuat alergi; bersyukur bahwa reaksi alergi hanya berupa ruam di pipi---bukan anaphylactic shock yang mengancam jiwa. Terus mengingat bahwa yang penting anak sehat dan ceria dan kita berusaha sebaik mungkin buat menjaganya agar tumbuh sehat. Mengambil hikmah dari semua ini).

“We think about our problems all the time, but we don’t think about all the problems Allah saved us from.” – Nouman Ali Khan

Quote di atas benar-benar membuat saya tersadar akan betapa beruntungnya kami sekeluarga. Yes, food allergies are hard. Akan tetapi, masih jauh lebih banyak hal yang patut disyukuri dengan hadirnya tantangan alergi ini. Seluruh keluarga jadi lebih bervariasi jenis makanannya, terutama untuk jenis sumber karbohidratnya. Sejauh ini kami sudah mencoba beras analog jagung, sorghum, quinoa, dan buckwheat.. belum lagi aneka superfood seperti chia seed, nutritional yeast, serta aneka pemanis non-gula tebu seperti gula singkong, gula aren, maupun gula sorghum. Para kakak juga sudah belajar untuk memikirkan apakah mama dan adiknya bisa makan suatu makanan serta mendapat kosa kata baru seperti gluten-free, allergen, refined sugar, dkk. Sungguh pembelajaran yang luar biasa.. dari yang tadinya asal makan malah menjadi makan yang tidak asal-asalan. #Gratefuleating as I like to call it. Sebab, hadirnya alergi makanan ini mengingatkan saya untuk lebih mensyukuri makanan yang bisa saya makan. Makan secara sadar dan benar-benar berusaha untuk menyiapkan makanan yang lebih sehat. Keluar dari zona nyaman bernama nasi putih, tepung terigu, fasto food, dan processed food. Kembali berjibaku di dapur, mencoba aneka resep meskipun gagal. Berdamai dengan keadaan tanpa hanya pasrah semata... tetap berusaha membuat makan menjadi hal yang menyenangkan dan mendekatkan seluruh keluarga.

Yoshhh... lega deh udah curhat. I know I’m not alone on this allergy thingy, so that’s why I’m telling you my story. Just to let you know that you are not alone, just in case you have a similar situation like mine. In any case, be thankful with everything and keep on fighting, Momma!


Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Back To The Kitchen

"Orang bisa karena terpaksa.." --- itulah motto yang sering saya gunakan ketika bercanda mengenai kemampuan memasak saya. Berawal dari kepindahan saya ke negeri orang untuk menemani suami melanjutkan studi, di situlah saya "dipaksa" mengasah keterampilan memasak saya. Pada waktu itu, sebagai pengantin baru, kemampuan memasak saya terbatas pada merebus air, membuat mie instan, nasi putih, telur ceplok, dan bonus sop sayur! Kalau menu makannya itu-itu saja gawat kan.. apalagi untuk membeli makanan jadi takut tidak halal dan lebih boros di kantong, haha! Jadilah persahabatan saya dengan masak-memasak dimulai di apartemen mungil dengan dapur yang lebih mungil lagi! Dari belajar memasak yang sederhana, lambat laun saya jadi berani untuk berkreasi aneka masakan yang lebih kompleks dari tanah air maupun luar negeri. Dari yang tadinya nggak pernah masuk dapur, jadi betah deh di dapur!

Nah, pulang ke tanah air membawa godaan tersendiri untuk urusan masak. Paling besar adalah kemudahan untuk memesan makanan dengan delivery atau beli makanan jadi. Apalagi dengan kehadiran bayi baru, sepertinya memasak menjadi prioritas ke-sekian setelah mengurus anak-anak dan rumah. Dapur berubah fungsi dari pusat insipirasi menjadi sekedar tempat “transit” makanan sementara atau hanya digunakan untuk membuat masakan ala kadarnya.

Akan tetapi, menjelang usia 5 bulan, ternyata si bungsu memiliki alergi makanan! Pipi bayinya yang mulus menjadi merah, padahal dia masih full minum ASI. Setelah didiagnosis, ternyata alerginya cukup banyak, di antaranya tepung terigu, kedelai, telur, coklat, dan gula pasir. Jadi, sayalah yang harus diet supaya ASI yang diminum si bungsu tidak mengandung bahan-bahan yang mengundang reaksi alergi. Dengan kata lain, tidak mungkin untuk bisa asal beli makanan jadi—sebaiknya harus masak semuanya di rumah!

Jungkir balik rasanya di awal-awal ketika menyesuaikan keseharian menu makanan kami dengan apa yang bisa dimakan oleh si bungsu. Saya dan suami yang hobi mencicipi kuliner baru harus mengerem hobi kami dan ke mana-mana harus membawa bekal makanan. Masakan kesukaan juga harus saya modifikasi bahan-bahan maupun bumbu-bumbunya agar aman buat si bungsu.

Saya jadi kembali menghabiskan banyak waktu di dapur sehingga membutuhkan pengaturan dapur yang nyaman, efisien, dan terorganisir rapi. Ukuran dapur mungil tidak menghambat kita berkarya asal kita bisa mengorganisir semua “peralatan perang” dengan rapi, mudah terjangkau dan terlihat. Karena biasanya "out of sight, out of mind".. yg tidak keliatan suka terlupakan sehingga akhirnya tidak bisa menginspirasi buat mencoba berbagai macam resep.

Untung di dekat rumah ada toko Ace Hardware yang lengkap dan sangat membantu kami ketika kami bingung harus bagaimana untuk mengatur peralatan dapur kami. Karyawan Ace Hardware  dengan sigap membantu kami memilih susunan rak besi serbaguna, yang semua bagian-bagiannya bisa dipilih sesuai kebutuhan kami! Kokoh, multifungsi, dan custom-made, harganya juga jauh lebih murah daripada renovasi 1 dapur, hehehe!

Alhamdulillah, serasa dapat semangat baru dalam perjuangan mengatasi alergi si bungsu. Karena peralatan memasak sudah rapi dan mudah dijangkau, jadi semakin menginspirasi untuk mencoba aneka resep baru. Dapur kami kembali menjadi pusat kehangatan keluarga dan inspirasi keluarga untuk hidup lebih sehat. Suami yang tadinya sudah jarang memasak jadi kembali menyalurkan hobi memasaknya ketika akhir pekan. Anak-anak juga jadi lebih sering ikut membantu di dapur karena sudah lebih lega ruangannya, jadi muat semua deh di dapur hehehe!

Terima kasih Ace Hardware the #HelpfulPlace sudah membantu kami untuk mengembalikan dapur  kami menjadi ruangan yang nyaman dan menginspirasi kami semua untuk hidup lebih sehat. Meskipun masih panjang perjuangan untuk mengatasi alergi si bungsu, namun insyaaAllah kami akan kuat mengatasinya bersama-sama, dimulai dari dapur kami sendiri! 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Dear Moms of Kids With Allergies, You Are Not Alone.

Your struggle is real, as real as the red rashes that appear on your baby’s cheeks.

Your fear is real, every time you want to eat something but you’re afraid that it may cause a new allergic reaction on your very own offspring. 

Your guilt is real, every time you know that your baby is allergic to something but you can’t stand the temptation to eat just one tiny bite of that chocolate cake you haven’t eaten for months. 

Your despair is real, every time you crave for comfort food—food that you have loved since you were little—but you can’t since your baby is allergic to it. 

Your weariness is real, all the time spent in the kitchen making meals that you would love to just order out and buy, but can’t since it’s too risky for allergens. 

Your frustration is real, every time you try a new “allergy free” recipe and it flops, when your toddler has a birthday party to go to but has to bring her own cake so she can eat “cake” like other kids there. 

Your strength is real, every time you have to explain to family members, friends, and strangers that your kid is allergic and that is his allergic reaction. 

Your humility is real, every time you politely decline party or get-together invitations because you know that the menu won’t support your allergen-free diet. 

Your bravery is real, every time you wake up in the morning, trying again and again to face this challenge—one that has changed your whole life in the blink of an eye. 

Your hope is real, every time you choose to be optimist and trust that your baby will someday overcome his allergies. 

Your feelings are real, they’re completely normal, because you, Mama, are human

And you, strong mama, are not alone.  

April 14, 2017
By Arum Budiani

Friday, March 24, 2017

Retelling a story

We've been going through some routine changes lately in our homeschool. Partly because of having Baby Squirrel plus Little Bird's activities as well, and the other partly because of Big Bug getting bigger and more able to learn independently for some activities.

Now Little Bird reads the Iqro Book everyday, and while she does that, Big Bug reads an Islamic story by himself and will retell the story to me when Little Bird finishes her Iqro Book page. We use the retelling story "Scoop Chart" from thisreadingmama's blog and I'm really happy to see his progress of retelling stories!

I always tell him that no matter what he chooses to do later on in life, he'll need the language skills to communicate, collaborate, and hopefully bring good to himself and others. So even if he still does groan and complain from time to time, this Mama just smiles back and tells him "ganbatte!" Hehehe...

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sharing hasil Diskusi Tutur2: "Safer Internet At Home"

18 Maret 2017, Qarnaina Daycare Bogor

Narsum: Ilya Alexander, praktisi media komunikasi dan internet.

By Arum Budiani,

The internet is inevitable. You can't keep your kids away from it. It's a new "world" just like the real world: there are good people/places and bad. Ada content yg bermanfaat dan ada hal2 yg bisa berbahaya/merugikan diri sendiri dan orang lain.

- Perlu diingat, the internet wasn't originally made for kids/education, awalnya buat militer/bisnis. So it isn't, by default, a "safe" place.

- Perkembangan teknologi dan penggunaan skrg menjadikan internet buat semua hal (tmsk pendidikan) dan bisa diakses semua orang (tmsk anak2).

- Reminder: Google and Wikipedia are information portals. Jadi SEMUA info ada di sana untuk kepentingan ilmiah. Maybe not using explicit/real graphics, but the written information is there. How you use the information ya terserah masing2 pengguna.

We need to teach our kids how to navigate the internet and keep themselves safe. We can try to make sure that they will use internet to bring good/useful for us and others, even when we're not with them.


Parents need to:
- keep up with the latest trending "apps" and
- Pelajari t&c apps tsb such as age ratings, content, and reviews.
- teach kids how to navigate safely and be intelligent in the digital world 
- don't give personal laptops/tabs/tv to kids, use them together in the family room
- read how to apply and use parental/safety controls for the gadgets

***Safety is NOT a tool but a PROCESS***

- there's no all-in-1 solution/web browser/parental control app/web-blocker that will gurantee the safety of your family while using the internet!

- you have to educate yourself (first) and your family so you can apply rules/boundaries that will benefit & protect your family.

- Jangan sampai kita di-outsmart sama anak2/keluarga kita. We always have to be 1 step ahead krn kids are smart and technology is always developing.

- Analogi internet spt mobil. Tau fungsinya, tau cara pakainya scr umum, dan perlu tau batasan2 safetynya. Tapi nggak perlu jiper duluan krn mikir harus mempelajari SEMUANYA sampai ke hal2 teknis2 banget. Kita nggak perlu belajar soal reaksi pembakaran bensin atau parts2 mesin untuk bisa pakai mobil, kan? Tapi kita wajib tau gmn jaga spy aman berkendara, belajar nyetir yg aman, tau siapa yg hrs dikontak klo2 ada trouble, dsb.

Last but definitely not least:

- Beware of information theft. Dan tingkatkan awareness buat safety when using gadgets in public (use passwords, small fonts, use gadgets discreetly).

- be extra careful when using social media: keep names, places, important detail info to yourself. Be careful of the pics you post!

- Daya gunakan separate accounts in your family PC/laptop untuk menjaga keamanan data

****Paling penting: jaga password, terutama password email! Krn password email itu awal mula dr semua akses ke mcm2 apps/socmed.