Thursday, January 11, 2018

Norway & Sweden a Recap

Since work is still not hectic yet, thought I should update about our Norway and Sweden trip. By far, the best trip of my life! Hahaha. Our honeymoon to London, Paris, Switzerland and Amsterdam held the #1 spot for quite a while until this Norway and Sweden trip came along. Even Santorini couldn't be on top. See how much I love Norway and Sweden especially Norway. I'll talk about the individual cities in a separate post but now, just to recap the whole trip.

Let me clarify my previous post about all the things I bought and plan to bring to occupy the boys during the flights. I ended up not bringing or using most of the things I planned to keep them busy with. Hah. Why? Firstly, I didn't want to carry a lot of things in the end and secondly, my boys slept half of the time and would rather watch a cartoon movie or play with that one or two toy cars we brought or just flip through the flight's magazines or just play with whatever they could lay their hands on. :D

Tips and tricks:
These are just what helped us 'survive' the trip with two toddlers so, it may or may not be relevant to you! :)

1. If you have toddlers with you and you plan to get a taxi in both Norway and Sweden (and probably some other Scandinavian countries), please call in advance so that they can search for a taxi which has car seats for your toddlers. I missed the train in Oslo and ended up walking in the rain in Bergen because we couldn't get a taxi with car seats.

2. With toddlers, we tried to end the day early on most days or start the day later on some days. Not because the boys were tired but because we were also also very tired from carrying either of them and walking for hours. Our bodies started to ache towards the end of the trip so imagine if we didn't get enough rest from the start. Our bodies would probably ache by the third day.

3. I know this trip is mainly catered to us parents, but we slotted in some outdoor play time for the boys just so that they would enjoy the trip as much as we did. So I actually planned to go to at least one playground in every city so that the boys would have a chance playing outdoors every few days. Norway and Sweden have a lot of playgrounds around so it was easy to find one in every city.

4. Lower your expectations to see everything within a few days. It won't be possible with toddlers around. So I planned my itinerary with only a few places to go to each day. Prepare to not even go to the places you had initially planned on going. :/

5. I actually don't really buy or wear thermal wears before this but for this trip, I invested in them because I wanted the boys to be warmly comfortable. (Except that it wasn’t really an investment when they could only fit into it for two winters max if I’m lucky.) And bring two sets for them because shit happens, literally haha. A 100% merino wool one from Icebreaker can last more than a week without washing because they won’t smell at all so by right one should be enough but we got another extra set from Winter Wear (which is cheaper) for the boys just in case.

6. Don't have to bring a lot of cash because almost everything is cashless there. Even the public toilets use card for payment.

7. Are the northern light chases possible with the toddlers? Well, it depends on how your toddlers are but we did it! Not all companies allow toddlers to be on them so check first. Since the chases were all at night, ours slept through so they didn't leave the bus much and didn't cry much. Wasn't too cold for them either because the bus was heated and they were only outside the bus for like 15 mins the most before they continued sleeping in the bus. We were worried they would scream and cry so we prepared some milk, snacks and toys but turns out they rather sleep.

8. Download their public transport app. You can get all the train, bus and tram tickets through the app at a cheaper price than paying cash upfront. BUT we didn't get to enjoy this despite downloading the app because Zai and I don't carry credit cards and debit cards just won't work. :/

9. Buy train tickets in advance. I paid 5 times cheaper!

10. Is Norway expensive? Yes! But kids below a certain age don't have to pay for the trains, bus, trams and even museums so yay! And some tourist attractions are free for all too.

11. Don't bother driving if you're going to stay in the cities because a lot of things are within walking distance and the snow will make driving hard. Plus, the public transports are great and parking is crazy expensive. If you want to drive and chase the northern lights yourself, I suggest not because the guides will have a better idea on where to find the lights. They know the weather best and they know where to find clear dark skies. Driving in an unfamiliar country, with snow and in the dark may not be a good combo. BUT, if you’re adventurous, I say go for it!

12. We rented thermal suits for the boys in Tromso but then realised that we shouldn't have because our winter wear was sufficient to keep them warm. But then again, I invested so much money in their winter wear so it better keep them warm. Haha. The coldest we encountered was like probably -9 degree Celsius during the light chase, which was very cold but bearable because we could hop on the heated bus any time.

13. Tromso, Norway will be good for northern light chases because it's relatively warmer than other northern light 'places' which can go as low as -20 degree Celsius. Plus Norway is big so the guides can just keep driving to chase the light, unlike Iceland which is smaller and an island. Norway has a lot of companies and guides doing the chase but of course, not so cheap la. :/ Tromso is not so ulu and also quite populated so there are many convenient facilities like shops (even a halal groceries store) and a library.

Had to wake them up for this once in a life time shot haha.

I can't think of anything for now so, just ask if you want to know more!

Monday, November 13, 2017

3 Weeks More!

Less than 3 weeks to our trip (!!!) and I have been religiously updating and editing our trip's 'information document' on Microsoft Word. Zai left all the planning to me so I have been busy researching on how to get to places, what activities to do, which places to go and forgo, the opening hours of certain places, how many daylight hours we have and more. Basically, everything to do with the trip because I am too free like that. Heh.

I don't know if I'm being paranoid or what, but I actually bought and plan to buy these things for the kids to occupy themselves with in the plane.

Things to keep the kids occupied in the plane:

1. Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad
The idea is for them to stick the themed stickers on the matching background pad provided. It's reusable so they can keep changing the position and placement of the stickers. There are 5 different background pads so I hope this will keep Maliq occupied for a while. Maqil will probably chew (yeap) on the stickers so I'll probably get him a set of cheapo stickers to play with. 

2. Surprise Eggs 

Maliq always asks for surprise eggs. Not this one exactly but I got one with a robot and without candies inside. I got for both because I don't want them to fight over it, which they are very capable of. 

3. Magnetic Doodle Boards

I got them one each too because, same reason as above, I don't want them to fight over it and cause drama in the plane haha. 

4. Hot Wheels Cars

This is a must have because Maliq LOVES cars. They hate to share and I don't think I want to have a lecture on why sharing is caring in the plane so Maqil got his own set too. 

5. Usborne Wind Up Fire Engine Book

I wanted the car version but it was out of stock so I got the fire engine one. This is like a book and a toy in one cause the book has tracks on some pages where the fire engine can move along on so I think Maliq will enjoy this. I got an Usborne lift-the-flap book and a baby rattle cloth book for Maqil though.

6. A random small toy 

I will just get one cheap random toy for them, preferably with buttons to press, one of these days cause Maqil loves pressing buttons. 

7. Screen Time

If all else fails, there's always the screen which of course I am willing to be flexible about during the trip. Our plane will take off at 11 p.m. so we're hoping they will sleep as soon as the plane takes off *prays hard*. Then hopefully we don't have to worry about how to keep them occupied so much. 

They are all new because I figured their old toys won't keep them engaged for very long. And with all those toys I have to bring on the plane, tell me I am not paranoid. Moving on to the serious stuff here's a list of medication I will bring for the trip:

Medication related items for the trip:

1. Flu medicine
2. Cough syrup
3. Vapour Rub
4. Tummy Rub
5. KoolFever
6. Thermometer
7. Paracetemol
8. Syringe
9. Nasal Spray
10. Teething Gel (Still considering)
11. Plaster
12. Headache Relief Roller (For me)
13. Koyok (For Zai)

I've worked on the possible itinerary but nothing is confirmed until we're there ourselves. So this is the tentative plan.

Oslo will be a bit rushing because even though we have three days there, we only one full day there. Don't think we can go anywhere much on our arrival day and we definitely cannot go anywhere on the day we leave for Bergen. So we only have our second day to make full use of and to save time, I've shortlisted some touristy places worth going and will try slot in something kiddy for the kids.

Bergen will be quite relaxing for us so I am planning to slot in some playground time for the kids. Yeah I even went to check the public playgrounds at the places we're going hahah but it'll be freezing so you think they will want to go to the playground? We'll see! But I hope the cold doesn't stop them from enjoying which is why I really spent on their winter wear and plan to dress them very warmly because I really want them to be comfortable. I plan to book a free and easy tour (not following a guide) when we're there. It's a 12 hour tour so hoping we don't faint at the end of it haha. But I think it'll be bearable cause there won't be too much walking.

Ahh, I feel like I am being a little too ambitious here because I booked tours in advance. I seldom book tours in advance but it seems that they run out of slots quite fast so I decided to take the risk and booked 4 tours in advance. So almost every day we're out on tours. Seems that I can explore Tromso better with a guide cause they can drive us to places. If not, I don't know how else to get to places there. Don't know how we'll survive?! Quite worried but just do it la. 

This will be a lot of free and easy. Noted down some places to go and we'll probably do quite a bit of walking. Not gonna book any tours in advance until we're there and see how things are. 

Okay I'm pretty much ready for the trip except for a few more things to buy and a few more places to research on. I'll make a 'trip report' when I'm back k so if you guys wanna go to Norway and Sweden with kids, you can always refer here. :D

Thursday, September 28, 2017


Maliq Arrayyan's First Sports Day! Nope he wasn't perspiring but he was running and playing under the water sprinkler spray in the field.

Look at the concentration on his face. 

Maliq didn't win anything though but I did, surprisingly hahah. I didn't sign up for any parents event but they asked me last minute on that day itself whether I wanted to join in the mothers' event and Zai sort of made me agree so yeah. Haha. 

Maqil Arrazi is ONE today! 💕

Picture taken last weekend at my parents' place in JB. Oversized tee, tight pants and mismatched shoes because he pooped and stained everything (even the stroller) while we were having dinner and we sort of just grabbed whatever clothes we could find in our bag. Very obvious we packed our diaper bag anyhow-ly. 😝

So, since this will be Maqil's first birthday, I ordered some balloons for a mini celebration later cause we will have a bigger celebration on Saturday celebrating Maliq's third birthday as well. Wee~!

And remember I was contemplating whether to get a bag, specifically the YSL Lou Camera bag, when my sister went to Italy last month? Well I didn't and, don't know if it's a loss? Haha. But I told her to get me the Prada loafers cause, cheap! But she didn't too cause don't have my exact size in the colour I want. Ho well. I don't know if there's YSL or Prada in Norway or Sweden but I doubt it'll be as cheap as Italy. Will it even be cheaper than Singapore? Do they even have YSL or Prada there? Should I even get or not??? Hmm. Maybe not la huh. 

Speaking of the trip, I finally booked our train ride from Oslo to Bergen as soon as the date we wanted was open for booking, so we managed to get them at a super discounted price, yay! Which worked out to be about SGD35 per adult for a 6 hours train ride with amazing views. That is cheap considering everything in Norway is expensive (their parking fees can be like SGD30 an hour). Plus both our boys travel for free and they have a children's cabin with kids stuff (toys, films, books) and facilities (food and bottle warmer etc.). Very kids friendly! So with that, we settled our transportation (2 plane rides and 1 train ride) between the different cities. 

By the way, it's only September but I'm already looking out for my 2018 planner. Heh. I love the one I'm using this year by The Paper Bunny, but this year's designs are similar to last year's so don't know if I should stick to them or try something new. Let me know if there are any nice ones out there!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

First Post in 2017

It's been a while. Anybody happens to be reading this right now say hi please, so I won't feel like I'm talking to myself. My last post was from November last year. That was 8 months ago. Wow, so much had happened since then. Work and family took too much of my time, not that I am complaining (well sometimes I do complain when things get a little too overwhelming). Anyway, suddenly I feel like sharing things here so here I am typing away. Let me talk about a few things today.

1. Being a Mom of 2 Boys
Before our second baby (Maqil, please don't be confuse with my first born, Maliq, haha) was born, I mentally prepared myself to wake up at least 3 times in the middle of the night, every night, to a baby crying for milk and to put up with a wailing baby every time he is being left alone for longer than hmm, 5 seconds? Things which happened when Maliq was a baby. Haha. Surprisingly though, Maqil slept through the night right from the start. I know every baby is different and I shouldn't compare the two but yup, I just did. Hahaha. It was really a pleasant surprise for us as their parents. Maliq was relatively easy to care for as he gets older cause he was not clingy at all and not afraid of anyone so I could just pass him to anybody while I rest or did my work, but Maqil was easier. He could stay in the cot for very long just minding his own business. Ask me again next year and I'll update you how being a Mom of two toddler boys will be like. The thought is already scaring me.

2. Temporary Househusband
Zai went for a knee surgery back in April. It's August now and he is still on medical leave, probably longer than my maternity leave (he'll start work next week, finally). Initially I was super exhausted caring for a baby, a toddler and a man who couldn't even walk, so it was as good as caring for another baby. Although my mom looked after the boys while I was working, but as soon as I reached home from work, I had to do almost everything as I try not to tire her. That was quite a madness until he started walking normally again two months later which was in June. So from June till now in August I have extra hands to help me at home. I got him to do some housework, oversee Maliq's school stuff, make baby's food and more heheh. We really got to spend more time as a family and I really enjoyed the little extra time I got, to rest when I reached home. But he can't be a househusband forever la unless he goes for another knee surgery which I hope he doesn't have to. So it's back to work for him next week which means lesser rest time for me and lesser play time and outings for the boys.

3. Year End Holiday
For a long time I avoided talking about this openly because I know people will give me the "WHAT?!" look and I really don't feel like facing that. After much research and contemplation, we decided to go to Scandinavia/Nordic region for our winter holiday. Specifically Norway and Sweden. Yes during winter in December with my toddlers. I can already imagine all of you going "WHAT?!". I don't know if leaving them behind is selfish or bringing them is selfish, but either way, people will still say we're selfish I guess.

So my plan is:
- To really, really dress them warmly. I'm not taking any chances here. I'm really investing in quality winter wear for them even for gloves and scarves (which cost a bomb, my heart ached each time I buy a winter wear, which they will probably outgrow by the next winter).

- To limit going outdoors for too long. Which means our accommodation has to be near the train station. We'll go on one or two outdoor activities but I'll stay on the heated bus or boat if I know that they can't stand the cold. Not going on those dog sledding or snow mobile thingy.

- I also checked and confirmed that the activities that I'm going are safe for toddlers.

- Apart from the stroller, we plan to baby wear Maqil and recently Zai bought the Deuter backpack for him to carry while Maliq sits at the back so hopefully it'll keep them warmer against our bodies. They both perspire easily but we're talking about below zero temperatures here.

- I also plan to keep our days short while we're there since the day light hours are also shorter anyway. I don't want to be too ambitious by planning so many things to do in a day.

I'll be lying if I say that I am not worried about the trip. It'll be Maqil's first long flight. It'll be our first time handling two toddlers on a long flight. It'll be super cold. But after much research and talking to those who ever brought their toddlers there before, I just felt that we can do this. We may face some difficulties along the way but I hope we will enjoy the trip nonetheless. I must admit that when I expressed my interest in going there with the two boys and when some discouraged me, I just felt like giving up the idea. I get their concerns but in the end I don't know why I was still so stubborn to book the trip. Now that I booked the trip, I'm quite reluctant to share this with anyone in case they'll judge me and make me feel like cancelling the trip though I know that I won't.

But I'm sharing it here cause I know not many reads this and those few who read this, I trust that you guys are nice people. I promise to really keep them warm and their safety will be our priority. The last thing I want is for anything bad to happen to them.

Also, this might be our last long distance travel for the next few years because priorities. Hah. With Maqil going to school next two years, and now that we have a car, I think we should cut back on our holidays a bit. Raising two school-going children who are taking the school bus will increase our expenses by quite a lot. What more bringing two kids on a plane after they turned two, no more cheap air fares. :( So yeap, really taking advantage of the discounted air fares before Maqil turns two. Other than the worries, we're pretty excited for the trip! :)

Speaking of trips my sister will be in Italy next week and I am so tempted to ask her to get me something. But I just don't know if I should?! Since I am already spending on the year end trip maybe I should just save the money, yes? But it's Italy! Where leather goods are cheaper than here in Singapore. But then again, I bought two tote bags from Gucci and YSL within the last 8 months so...

Maybe I should just save or get something small eh? :P (Why do I even need two tote bags? But never mind. Oh yeah I remember now. One was on sale at Johor Premium Outlet and the other one was on impulse which thankfully I have no regrets yet so far. :P) 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Can't Wait for Holidays

Maliq's at his grandparents' house in JB so I can actually blog in peace now heh. He went for his school's orientation with Zai yesterday (I didn't because it was too early haha, and it was easier if I just stayed home with baby). Zai said Maliq immediately left him to start drawing at the tables prepared by the teachers and awhile later started talking (not exactly proper talking though) to the teachers, parents and friends there.

Okay, I know everyone who knows Maliq told me that I will have no problem sending Maliq to school because he won't cry. He is usually not scared of people, not shy and super friendly. That's the thing, he can misbehave because he is not scared. He can do whatever he likes because he is not shy. He can talk non stop because he is super friendly. Ahhhh he is only entering N1 and I am already freaking out over his behaviour in school because I know how 'naughty' he can be. Trying not to worry so much now though, not until January 2017.

Anyway, Zai and I decided to go on a last minute trip to KL next month and we're staying just 5 minutes walking distance away from my grandmother's house there, yay! I used to stay at her house every time I go KL but with two babies I think it's easier if we just book a hotel room. We're staying at Capri by Fraser and it's quite new. There's an infinity pool, a playground and even a kitchenette in the room so I'm pretty excited! I won't say it's a prime location la, but there are major restaurants in the next building and sooo near my grandmother's house I can just walk over any time.

We're also going to Vietnam after KL. Like, straight away the next day. I don't know if that's even possible but we'll find out. We wanted to go KL earlier so that we don't have to be tired doing back to back trips but my parents wanted to follow us to KL and can only go on the dates just before our Vietnam trip. I wanted a laid back trip actually. You know, breakfast in bed, private pool, served dinner. But Zai decided to plan the whole trip and I reluctantly trusted him, hahah.

It was supposed to be a surprise trip, but he couldn't wait to tell me. So now I know we're heading to Vietnam. If you ask me, it's not really a laid back trip la right... I mean where's my private pool sey?! But he got us a driver to drive us around Hanoi and Sapa and I really wanted to go Sapa but decided not to at first because the trip to Sapa takes like 5 hours from Hanoi by car or something. Since he got us a driver and the driver knows where the halal hotels and restaurants are, I guess it's something to look forward to. I heard there are hardly any halal food there. :/ And Sapa will be cold in December so can feeling feeling winter holiday hahaha. Plus he booked us a night stay on Halong Bay, yes we'll be sleeping on the cruise ship on Halong Bay itself, so I'll look forward to that too!

Some photos of Sapa and Halong Bay, not sure if they really look like that in real life though I really hope so!

Rice Terraces in Sapa

Misty Sapa, looking forward to the cool weather!

Halong Bay. Can't believe we'll be spending a night on the waters.

I know Vietnam is not a popular choice to bring babies and toddlers but we'll give it a try and I'll update on how it goes. We shortlisted Krabi, Koh Samui, Langkawi or somewhere in Malaysia but I guess Zai decided to go out of our comfort zone this time.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

My Second

Finally some free time cause Maliq is at my parents' place in JB for the weekend and Maqil's asleep, for now. As some of you already know, I gave birth last month and is now a mother of two. Heh.

I fell sick often during this pregnancy but the labour was way faster than my first one. 6am I felt contractions and Zai started timing them. Didn't have this experience with Maliq as I only felt contractions after the doctor broke my waterbag in the delivery suite. It was painful but bearable still. We decided to go NUH and once we arrived at the delivery suite, I was immediately admitted. I had checkup the day before and was already 3cm dilated. Waited in the delivery suite for 2 hours before I started begging for epidural hahaha by then I was already 6cm dilated and the nurses and my gynae, Dr. Citra were hoping I could just bear the pain without epidural since I survived 6cm of pain and only had 4cm to go, but no. Just give me the pain relief. By 12 plus pm I was already 10cm and ready to push. Pushed a few times before the nurses told me to stop and called for Dr. Citra. Amazingly, I only had to push for like 10 minutes before baby was out at 1.11pm. Amazing because it took me 2 long hours to push Maliq out. :/

And so Maqil Arrazi was born! One day before my EDD. I was hoping that Maliq and Maqil would end up having the same birthday (so I can save on birthday parties and celebrations hahah) but Maqil decided to appear 4 days before Maliq's second birthday. Dr. Citra said my baby was small during the last month of pregnancy and I was a little disappointed? Because Maliq was 3.395kg and I 'aimed' for my second baby to at least hit 3kg. I know as long as they're healthy the weight doesn't matter but it's just personal preference on my part. So the last few weeks of pregnancy I tried to eat salmon, nuts and a lot of food with healthy fats (non healthy fats too which is why I gained almost 20kg again). Between the day I gave birth and now, one month later, a lot happened but I let the pictures to the talking!

Maqil Arrazi 
28 September 2016
1.11 pm

This time we managed to get A class ward, unlike the first time, where all A class wards were occupied. But it was okay cause we got an isolation room in B class so it was still single bedder but we paid B class price heh. This time we almost couldn't get A class ward again but another room was vacant at the last minute. So yay, Zai could bunk in and help me with baby.

Feeling ala ala fine dining. Zai was laughing before this cause he finds it a little over the top haha.

My second boy!

One of the few times both fell asleep at the same time. Lasted 20 minutes probably. :/

Ordered balloons and cake way before I gave birth for Maliq's second birthday. Just a small affair with close families.

First family photo. :)
Maqil's passport photo. Heheh.

Ah well at 8 days old, I panicked cause Maqil got fever. It was midnight and I was alone with him cause Zai went JB. I waited for Zai to reach home, took his temperature and panicked even more when I realised his fever was quite high. Zai went to KKH Children's Emergency and, baby had to spend 5 days there. I didn't take it well, seeing needles and wires on him. Broke down a few times but the doctors were actually nice to make me feel better. Turns out he had a virus which lead to meningitis and affected his brain. Could affect his future developments so, I could only pray that won't happen. :'(

I am exclusively pumping again. I tried breastfeeding but failed, again. My nipples were so sore and they cracked and bled. I just couldn't latch without screaming and groaning in pain. Decided to keep pumping instead but I won't be pumping as much as before cause I think I need my sanity back haha. 

This was 2 days ago.

In other news, I just had my last two wisdom teeth plucked out yesterday because one was biting and cutting my cheek and I'm now on anti-biotics. Doctor advised me to pump and dump my milk so that made me upset a little. I pumped and dumped for longer during Maliq's time and I remember hating it. I mean, it's not that I can't give formula, I'm totally okay with supplementing with formula but it's just a waste of time to pump only to throw it down the sink. Just can't wait to finish off the anti-biotics.

I'm already looking at where to travel in December '16. It'll be our first trip with Maqil and honestly, I am more afraid this time round because of Maqil's medical history. But so far he's okay so, we'll probably go ahead. Thinking of Krabi for now.

Also I'm already thinking about December 17's trip hahhh. Don't be shocked but I'm looking at Norway plus another county (any suggestions???). Yeah the northern light's all the rage now but I won't be going all the way there just for the lights. I don't want to be disappointed in case I don't get to see. Also I checked with the locals on TripAdvisor and realised that the lights will be around no matter what year so going next year would give me a chance to see the lights too. That'll be bonus but I also want to see what the country has to offer. Still researching the feasibility of going with two toddlers and I must admit, the idea, scares me a little so who knows I chicken out haha.

Lastly, just something random I must state here. I'm not a TV kinda person but lately I started watching Suri Hati Mr. Pilot because I find the lead actor quite good looking hahah so superficial. Okay that's all.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Happy News

As some of you have already seen or heard or guessed, I am expecting baby number 2! Hehehe. Maliq will be a big brother soon ya'll, Insya'Allah. I'm more than halfway through and I have to admit, I made the second pregnancy seem like less important than the first. Although, I'm sure that's not the case.

- I don't really keep track how many weeks along I am.
- I don't download all those pregnancy apps.
- I skipped taking supplements more times than the first one.
- I don't avoid caffeine as much as I would like to, unlike the first one.
- I don't apply the stretch marks cream, I hope I won't regret this.
- I don't read/listen to 'pregnancy surahs' as much as I would like to.
- I don't eat as healthy as I should.

I'm feeling a little guilty for being complacent. :(

With the second one on the way, we had to pause our travel plans for now. Not sure until when though. Air tickets for us will be 4 times in 2 years. It's already going to be 3 times soon. The horror.

2016 plans:
March - KL trip
June - Fasting month and Zai couldn't get leave anyway.
September - Giving birth any time.
December - Not sure about bringing a baby (+ a toddler) anywhere far when he/she is only 2 months.
January '17 (during maternity leave) - Maliq will start school by then, but we'll see.

I may consider December or January for somewhere near, depending on how life will be with two kids. Haha. I am already thinking of which far country to go next and it'll probably be more than a year from now. Ho well. Give me some ideas on where to go with a 1 year old and a 3 year old. But then again maybe by then I'll be dead tired to even go anywhere eh? This thought of having two kids scares me quite a bit. Like I said we'll probably go somewhere near first, just to 'test' our endurance level haha. I still want to go Scandinavian and Nordic region but it probably won't be so soon because the kids need to be at least a few years old? And we need to save up? :/ That'll take a few more years. Maldives sound doable though pricey for just one week of stay and not sure if it's safe to bring a running toddler to a water villa.

With the news of the second pregnancy out, I must blog about this other thing because it's been a part of my life for over one year to actually pump 4 to 6 times a day until I stopped recently when I conceived the second one. The plan was to stop gradually over a few months but my pregnancy really decreased my supply significantly so it was quite a fast and painless (thankfully) process to stop pumping fully. Half of me was happy that I got my freedom back (yay!). It was kind of dreadful to lug my heavy pump and bottles whenever I had to be out of the house for more than 6 hours. I never get to carry my smaller bags just because I needed to fit my pumps and bottles in. Not to mention, some places don't even have any proper place for me to pump, I resorted to toilets a number of times. Zai would have to wait 20 minutes for me to be done. It was quite a hassle but I did it without complaints anyway because I rather go through the inconveniences than to battle with mastitis, engorgement and fever. Been through all that and really not pleasant. However, all these may start again soon if I choose to exclusive pump again for the second one. Which I have yet to decide.

Although I got my freedom back, we now have to spend quite a lot on milk powder (Zai is handling the buying part hehe). Maliq relies on milk still cause he doesn't really eat as much as I think he should.

Since I didn't go anywhere during the June break, I felt very productive spring cleaning the house! Like finally I can just spend hours clearing the wardrobe, store room, shelves, shoe racks. When else can I have the luxury of time to sleep late and do just that. The previous few holiday breaks were all spent on going on trips that by the time we were back, it was time to go back to work.

Also, I renovated both bathrooms during the June break and survived the noise and dust during the entire bathroom renovation process! The bathrooms are done now and I love them so much more than before because on top of being meh looking (ugly beige floor tiles what do you think?), the HDB tiles really do stain easily.

It wasn't an easy process looking for suitable tiles. We went to Hafary, Soon Bee Huat and White Horse Ceramics. I thought it would be easy cause I already knew what I wanted. But whatever I wanted turned out to be the smooth and a little slippery kind. I realised all those nice pictures of bathrooms I see on Pinterest are actually bathrooms with wet and dry area. Since I don't really have a dry area except for a very small area in the master bedroom bathroom as I have a glass partition there, it was quite a challenge to find a nice looking with rough surface tile.

 I really liked this but the hefty price tag made me not get this. This was like 5 times more expensive than the plain white one. Now I'm kinda regretting because this would stand out and look so much better next to the white tiles instead of the plain white one I chose in the end.

I liked this too. Best part was, this was not slippery so perfect! But it went out of stock. -.-

I managed to get two types of tiles for both bathroom floors at Soon Bee Huat after much thought of whether they'll end up nice. HOWEVER, one of them (pictured above) went out of stock a day before the reno was supposed to start. I didn't want to delay the reno because I really wanted everything to finish during the two weeks that I was not working. So I went online to search for anything that I could find, called a few tile shops then I remembered my sister worked in a construction and design company. I got her to check if the company has the kinda tiles I wanted and she came back with a sample! Okay, the tiles turned out to be the slippery kind but I was desperate so I just went ahead with it thinking that I'll just treat the floor with an anti slip treatment to make it less slippery. But when the tiles were done, the grouting made it less slippery so I decided not to do the anti-slip treatment in the end. Yay!

Subway tiles for master bedroom bathroom walls. Changed the mirror too. The basin, cabinet and hanging lamp were already there since last year's reno though.

Herringbone pattern for master bedroom bathroom floor. Despite warnings from the contractors that the water won't be able to flow to the drain properly with this grouting pattern, I went ahead and had no regrets! Been using for two weeks now and no problems with water pooling at all.

Also changed my shower head to the rain shower at a steal cause this was on sale. Only $100+ for one whole set when the rest averages about $300+.

Honeycomb tiles for common bathroom floor. This is the last minute one I got via my sister. Turned out okay in the end though it's grey just like the other bathroom. Wanted something very different for both but it's okay.

Honeycomb tiles for a small strip of wall in the common bathroom. Out of all the tiles we got, I like this the least cause it just didn't turn out as nice. I got this to replace a strip of green mosaic tiles from HDB. Like I said, the 5 times more pricey one would probably look better.

I think I got a good deal paying about $4k for the bathrooms. I asked around and most charged me $5k to $6k. I saved a bit too cause I didn't change my main wall tiles in the common toilet.

Raya's in a week and I am looking forward to the long weekend thanks to Youth Day, to actually run errands and clean the house. Not like there will be anyone coming except probably a few cousins and some friends in the second or third week maybe. But it'll be nice to 'dress up' the house once in a while. Got a few things from KMart Australia via a third party but they'll only reach after raya. And I am patiently waiting for Smeg small electricals like the kettle and toaster to reach Singapore cause they're oh so cute. Heh.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hey So Black

So since we have no plans to travel far this year (you'll know why soon), I have decided to treat myself to a Chanel So Black Chevron in Medium (!!!). Okay well, I didn't really want to get it. I mean, I wanted to but I didn't think I should. Plus it's no longer selling at the boutiques and I don't usually buy things from a third party store because of the authenticity issues and the preference of wanting to get something brand new myself.

Then Zai found the So Black selling on Reebonz Closet, the buy-sell platform on Reebonz where I could purchase from other sellers instead of from Reebonz direct. Well this person was selling it brand new (the protective sticker still on the CC logo), so tempting yes? I thought for days before deciding that I should NOT get it but Zai said he'll sponsor me almost half. So tempting yes?! So it's like a push gift, birthday gift, anniversary gift and Mother's Day gift all in one. I don't mind one present for all the special days if the present is this big la. Hehehhaha. Anyway, I would have preferred the Jumbo that was also selling by another seller but the Jumbo was not brand new (I just have a thing for brand new things). So I settled for the medium.

I was super paranoid over the authenticity issue what with the "super fakes" around. I got Reebonz to authenticate the bag although it cost me a few hundred bucks. Still not entirely convinced (because I read and from my sister's experience Reebonz authentication services cannot be 100% trusted), I made several calls to Chanel boutiques to compare the style number on the receipt with the bag's actual style number, just to make sure. And well they matched. The seller even gave me the whole set of paper bag, camellia flower, dust bag, cleaning cloth, and even the sales assistant name card from Chanel MBS where she got the bag from last year. So I am finally convinced it is authentic, hah.

The chevron version is slightly different from the diamond quilted version. The chevron's black hardware is shiny whereas the diamond quilted is matte. I would prefer the matte but I prefer chevron to the diamond quilted anyway. I'm just worried I won't be able to maintain the leather well.

Also, we plan to do up our toilets' tiles before raya and I'm quite excited. When we renovated our BTO a year plus back, we didn't really do much to do the toilets. We wanted to save cost cause we didn't want to take up renovation loan. Now the floor tiles that HDB gave us is an eyesore because the stains are so hard to get rid of, so I decided to change the tiles!

Zai didn't agree at first but I managed to psycho him to agree. Haha! So now I'm looking at all the nice pictures of toilets online, going for the Scandinavian look to match the rest of my not so Scandinavian home. But you know la, it may not turn out as Scandinavian as it should be also. Design wise, I'm leaning towards the honeycomb or subway tiles in herringbone patterns. Practicality wise, still have no idea what kind of tiles are low maintenance, not slippery, won't stain easily and best for toilets. :/ I realised that the subway and honeycomb tiles mostly have a smooth finish which are slippery. The rough surfaces ones are all quite ugly. Some people don't mind the floor to be a little slippery but I don't want to risk it and I don't want to be responsible for anyone's injury in future. So, more window shopping for tiles soon!

Some inspirations:

Totally digging the black hardware look in the toilet too not just on my bag haha.

Lastly, Maliq had completed his first term with MyGym. We signed up two terms for him so we have one more term to go! Some days he cooperated and there were days he didn't. But I myself enjoy his MyGym sessions so I don't mind going another term. I just signed him up for PlayDate SG story telling sessions after his MyGym is over so, I hope he'll look forward to that!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Eat, Talk and Play

realised I have a few saved drafts which never got published. Here's an attempt to revive this space.

Between the last entry and now, a few significant things have happened but right now, we're surveying schools for Maliq and we have somewhat decided on our school of choice. Yay. We only considered a few schools and went to two schools before deciding on one. I'm not that worried about the separation anxiety (he doesn't seem to mind if I'm not around -.-), but I'm worried about his short attention span and the need for things to go his way. He won't start until next year January though and we've also not registered yet. Soon. By the time January 2017 comes, he'll be 2 years and 2 months. Too young for school I think but nowadays, kids go to school at an even younger age. :/ Plus, I need to give my mom a break for a few hours every day. Haha.

He's attending MyGym now though and I guess it's a good platform for him to learn to follow instructions although at times he still won't but he's not the only one. Thinking if I should continue with it after the two terms we signed up for is over. I'm also planning to register him for a reading class with PlayDate after MyGym is over. Just some story telling fun not that he'll learn how to read in case you think I'm such a tiger mom haha. I'm not. I think I have a lot to do before I can call myself one. Though hopefully he'll learn something from it.

Maliq's still not really talking at almost 19 months. He can say a few words but I'm not that worried yet because I know some of his peers are also still not talking. The thing that makes me worried every time is that he always refuses to eat. Haish, until when wanna drink milk and just eat biscuits Maliq? I'm hoping this phase will be over soon. 

Also, to those people who assured me that he would sleep through the night at 6 months onwards, I'm still waiting for that day now and he's almost 19 months already. Every night he'll still cry for milk at least twice. I'm still wondering when will we ever get uninterrupted sleep. 

Oh yeah, he's still afraid to walk barefoot on the sand the last time we went to the beach. :P Maybe we should bring him to the beach more? KL trip with our good friend was good! We enjoyed ourselves at this indoor playground at Mid Valley, Kids E World. Meant for toddlers but made us adults happy too haha. The playground caters to toddlers more than to big kids so our toddlers really had a great time. The fact that we could enter and exit as many times as we wish during the entire day, made it so worth it! But then, we got tired after a few hours anyway.

Okay some photos for memories sake!

He managed to walk on the sand in the end but can see he was cringing haha.

The indoor playground at Mid Valley I was saying.

We tried Makisan and I couldn't resist a fried sushi!

Overrun for Chendol ice cream was good on a hot day.

Yesterday during his usual playground session.

MyGym session!

This is random but I find Hermes Lindy casual and nice but for some reason, I probably won't get it. Hmm...