Ahmad Ali’s 7th Birthday


Yesterday, my little brother, Ahmad Ali, turned 7 years old. Early in the morning, we went to Taman Tasik Ampang Hilir for a birthday jog and a birthday playtime at the playground. At the playground, I succeeded to swing on the monkey bar from the beginning until the end for the first time! 🙂 After lunch, we cleared up the dining table and arranged his birthday presents on the table together with his cards. I gave him a 3D butterfly card (I made it myself), a Hot Wheels track with 6 cars (which was previously mine – my 5th birthday present from Uncle Rauf), an Assembly Fun Kit – Forklift (from my mother and I), a personally decorated clock and a turmeric plant.

Altogether, his presents totaled up to 36. His favourite were the Assembly Fun kit ‘Helicopter’ (from dad) and ‘Forklift’. Some of the other gifts were two credit cards, some books, a blue Hot Wheels Chevrolet, a few sets of glittering 3D stickers, Dunkin Donut cookies, chocolate, a set of paintbrushes, a ladybug shaped palette and a pack of ‘Glow In The Dark’ Crayola crayons set. He also received 4 beautiful cards.

After he opened his presents, he started to create his Helicopter but he couldn’t understand the instruction manual (the instruction is really confusing for a child his age). So he left it and generously invite my sisters to join him playing with his Hot Wheels track. They spend an hour and a half playing with the cars. For dinner, we had two Extra Large Meat Mania pizza (bought at Domino’s pizza) at my brother’s request.

That night, he decided to invent something else with his assemble kit and came up with a ‘Hictep ler’. He said that it is a flying machine. He told us that yesterday was his best birthday ever because he had a great time with his Hot Wheels track and enjoyed creating his ‘hictep ler’.

Jogging


Jogging is a very good exercise which benefits our bones (by increasing bone density in the lower body), muscles (by increasing muscular strength and stamina in the lower body) and joints (by strengthening tendons and ligaments in the lower body). It can also increase lung capacity, strengthen the heart, improves blood circulation, increase metabolism, burn calories and the best part is; it releases endorphins (read more about it here) and reduces stress.

However, because of the extra strain on muscles and joints from the repetitive impact may lead to injuries such as knee pains and shin splints. Long term jogging on hard surfaces can play a role in degenerative joint conditions such as osteoarthritis. That is why it is very important to wear good running shoes that cushion and support your feet.

Always remember to warm up and stretch thoroughly before you start. If you have never run before or are very out of shape, don’t overdo it. You could start by walking most of the session and include just a minute of jogging. As you become fitter, you can gradually increase the proportion of your session spent jogging. You will also need to breathe a little harder than normal to get more oxygen into the body but you should still be able to hold a conversation while you jog (a sign that you are not overdoing things). If you find yourself getting too out of breath, slow down or walk until you have recovered. When your breathing has returned to a more comfortable level you can start jogging again.

Yesterday morning, my family and I went jogging at Taman Tasik Ampang Hilir. We jogged around 2.7 km and stopped by a playground, exhausted. It’s the first time (after so long) we jogged and plan to do so every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. We had some fun at the playground with the chain bridge, flying foxes, monkey bars, stepping stones and (my favourite) the swing.

Taman Tasik Ampang Hilir is a beautiful park with a nice small lake in the middle. It has a jogging track, a food stalls, a few playgrounds and some exercising equipments. I once went there before with my family. We had a picnic there with my dad’s friends from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. The park had just been opened for about a month then and it was cleaner too. Yesterday, we saw that the lake was polluted with all sorts of rubbishes. Some irresponsible people must have been too lazy and threw their rubbishes into the lake despite the many rubbish bin that had been provided. How did they managed to even walk back to their car I wonder.

A Picnic at Taman Tasik Ampang Hilir


On the 11th October 2009, we had a wonderful picnic with dad’s old friends from his university days at the Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (click here to see their blog).Their special guest was Uncle Osman from Khartoum, Sudan who was on a two weeks trip to Malaysia with his wife, Aunty Yaman and daughter, Sister Arwa. The picnic was held at the Taman Tasik Ampang Hilir, a beautiful lake park which was newly opened to the public two months ago.

We arrived there at 8:00 a.m. It was still early so mum allowed my siblings and I to run to the nearby playground. I spent a long time on the swing (which I love best). I made a huge improvement on the ‘monkey-bars’. Now I could amazingly swing to the fourth bar without falling down the moment I reached out to grab the second bar. I also had a nice chat with Sister Arwa.

After an hour or two at the playground, mum sent Uncle Moslim’s daughter, Hadibah, to inform me that it is time to eat. And through that quick conversation, I knew I had made a new friend. After calling for my brother and sisters, we raced back to the picnic area. Over there I saw Pak Cik Borhan, Uncle Megat, Uncle Moslim, Uncle Raof, Uncle Fauzan and some of those whose names I don’t know. I also met Arif again (refer to ‘Going To Melaka’) who introduced me to his sister Hafsah.

The food was great. Mum cooked (what she called) ‘Italian Styled Pasta’ and Uncle Borhan brought ‘Nasi Lemak’ bought from ‘On The Run’ (which happens to be my favourite). There were also some Malaysian special layered cakes but after a heap plate of pasta and a pack of ‘Nasi Lemak’, I was just too full to eat anything else.

After we were done, I quietly rushed back to the playground to play with my new friends; Uncle Moslims kids, Hadibah (14), Aliah (12) and Ibrahim and Uncle Fauzan’s kids, Arif (9) and Sakinah (5). You couldn’t imagine how packed the small playground was with 10 of us plus a lot more of other kids.

Then, our parents called us back and we snapped photos as a remembrance of our lovely gathering. We all had a great time and I hope that we could meet again some other time.