Pages

Monday, 30 December 2013

Farewell 2013

What is your New Year Eve plan?

Ours is to huddle at our home windows for the KLCC fireworks, eating oat porridge for supper and kissing The Little Girl on her chubby cheeks. Hopefully Bean won't cry, and if he does, he will very safe and secure in our arms joining us for this family tradition we started since moving here in 2011.

To think that this time, last year, he was but a bean. Look at him today, a 6 month-old with chuckles when tickled and twinkle in his eye when he smiles.

The Little Girl has grown physically and emotionally. She was the only child who became an elder kakak when her brother was born, she who fought her battles in sibling rivalry so zealously when she didn't need to as we have more love than ever for her. If only she would embrace that truth. In time, in sha Allah.

Good bye, 2013. Thank you for all the wonderful, memorable days, including those filled with trials and tribulations.

May Allah s.w.t. Bless us all abundantly in our strive to be better. 

With much love from my family to yours, Happy New Year!
Friday, 27 December 2013

Islamic Arts Museum


So moving, I teared. 


Awestruck the entire time we were there!


SubhanAllah! 

If only we can afford the second piece above for our dining hall wall which is still bare, begging to showcase rare, raw, abstract art as these. I am not sure if they are even for sale.

Do you know of any other local artist with such style whom you can recommend? Thank you for your kindness in advance.


One Day At A Time


Don't grow up too soon, kiddos!

When we first had The Little Girl, my MIL use to compare her endlessly to her youngest cousin brother, who was born 3 months earlier. 

Don't we all agree that the difference of 3 months is a HUGE difference when it comes to babies?

Well.

I cannot stop my MIL from doing what she likes. So over the years, I had developed a "keep-myself-sane" tactic to shell myself from kiasuism. That way, she gets to say whatever she fancies, I just smile and move on. Every time I let slip, I get into trouble - so I learnt the hard way to just zip it.



Now with Bean, he is very blessed not to have any cousin his age. The fortune in not spending too much time with my MIL has also shielded him from this verbal comparison.

The Other Half and I are more than happy to let him achieve his milestones at his pace. No pressure. We did not coach him to roll over. Or crawl. Or eat. Or speak. We just let him be confidently himself. 



Sure, we care for him, sing and read lovingly, give him lots of cuddles and kisses etc. same as we do for his elder sister. 

Whenever we see my MIL and she starts putting negative ideas into our heads, we negate those for Bean through a silent prayer. Why speak negativity into life?

Let's just seize the moment, enjoy him being a baby, kiss those cute toes and snuggle up to warm fuzzy head that smells like butter cookies.

Bless!

Crinkle Cutter

Crinkle cutter was added to the Lakeland shopping list for my MIL to help me purchase one unit as I failed to hunt one down in KLCC and Bangsar Village.

When we were at One World Hotel for a staycation, we saw this by chance, at Aino One Utama Old Wing!


Needless to say, it is half the length of the crinkle cutter I had in mind. Beggars cannot be choosers, live with this I shall. 

Bean does find it easier to grip his vegetables and fruits, alhamdulillah!

Hope you enjoy baby led weaning as much as we do!

The Sususaurus Updates

The Little Girl was breastfed directly for 35 months before she was introduced to drinking Anmum formula (and started acting weirdly, going off solid foods - but to name a few).

We then tried switching her to UHT fresh milk. Her hormones started getting out of whack. The Other Half and I started researching into hormones injected into cows to produce more milk, faster; just to meet human demands. The reality is that humans do not really need cow protein or calcium in order to grow as alternatives in organic beans and legumes can be far more superior.

However, we were too late into the game. The Little Girl had grown attached to her bottle and nightly routine. So we thought of the next best option.




When the above supply run out, we have another brand. Same thing, different paddock.


We are still feeding her organic cow milk. Seriously, I feel that it is a little bit on the expensive side due to air freight charges whatnots that makes it RM13/litre.

The Sususaurus drinks about a litre per day. 

Please share with me, if you know of a better option. Is organic goat milk better, since it is also sunnah? Can we just replace with organic soya milk without jeopardising her hormones?

Help!

Potty Training Updates


Fact: Public toilets in Malaysia are often wet, dirty and smelly. Including the RM2 ones at KLCC, on high traffic days.

Remedy: Lifesavers such as this potty liner. 

Caution: Do not flush after use. Kindly dispose in the bin after use.

Lessons For Me, Myself and I


I am not that mother in purple. Far from it. I am here to share with you the hard, cold truth. Then commiserate and encourage each other on this tough, thankless path. 

The solace is, Islam places a lot of importance on the role of a mother in nurturing her children. And how we are to treat our own mother (MIL included, I automatically assume).

I fall short. Both ways. 

May Allah s.w.t. grant me ease and grace in this challenge, Amin!

Why Won't I Hug and Kiss Some People


No hard feelings. If you are just a friend, and I used to shake your hands or peck your cheeks but no longer do it, the above chart explains it so well. Heck, even my BIL gets none, not even on Eid.

I think a polite smile without gazing for too long will suffice for business meetings. 

Some folks think I am over-doing it. Whatever. This is my struggle, my journey. They can go and find their own challenge.

On the other hand, those within my mahram still get the TLC. Especially children.

*end of rant*

Astronaut Food

The packaging looks like the kind of food I had imagined astronauts would pack along on a return trip to ISS but I know my knowledge in such a topic is fairly limited.


All I know is, these are the most convenient, hygienic, travel easy, fuss free, organic purée Bean enjoys eating. 

There are days when this "ibu mithali" just wants to have it easy without loading up on the guilt bank balance.

What do you feed your young eater while on the go? Do share!

Thursday, 26 December 2013

The Hunger Striker & The Ferocious Eater


Yes, I have this and readily confess that it makes my life that much easier. 

The Little Girl is on her second spell of hunger strike but drinking more organic cow milk. Wish me luck. Coaxing her to eat is a theatrical act. Consistently driving me nuts too, but I have to remain calm/collected/constant in practice...I often feel exasperated and remind myself that patience is key in faith. She likes cooking and baking, but not eating. Please suggest more ideas that I can try out!

On the other hand, her younger brother loves eating. Bean prefers to hold, cut and mash his own food so I don't always have to purée his meals. He has semi self-weaned breastmilk at breakfast, lunch and dinner time. Still feeds directly before his morning nap, his afternoon nap and evening before sleeping. On a good night, he is happy to sleep 7 hours before needing more. Alhamdulillah!

Do consider purchasing the book or App,  especially if you have a pre-schooler/toddler and baby combo; and have run out of cooking steam. I mean mojo.

Bon appetit and happy cooking!
Wednesday, 25 December 2013

The Tired Mother

Sure, I have lots of laundry and ironing to do nightly, so much to catch up with the back log; that I sometimes shudder whenever The Little Girl has another change of clothing. Never mind Bean because somehow he is fine and clean despite eating. 

Emphatise with me. Tell me it is ok. Tell me you would feel the same fatigue as I do.

Just don't come and paint a silver lining behind my dark clouds.

Shoo!

Go away.

"Let's just be grateful we have clothing to wear and laundry to do."

First world problems, you'd say. I am so selfish, I'd agree. 

Sigh. 

Can never win in this empathy vs. sympathy dilemma. 

In conclusion, let me get this off my chest then back to work; and work on that pile till it is gone. Even if it is just for an hour.

The Bag Lady

Who does the packing of luggage when the family goes for vacation in your household?

I always do.

I start with the itinerary, so that I can zero in on the packing list for each member of the family. The big luggage that we use is then divided into imaginary quadrants for space budgeting.

Once everything is packed into its respective boxes/ziplock/towel wrap/nappy lined rolls/long rectangle Tupperware/LockLock (for keeping the awning of my slip on headscarf/tudung express in shape), I would line the entire luggage with unsewn kain sarung before bundling everything in. That is to keep the luggage lining clean. Anal, but preserves the cleanliness!

If any items were outstanding, a post-it note is placed on top so that I can easily place said missing item in once ready. When the packing is completed, and after zipping up, I always lock the luggage with a sigh of relief with a silent prayer of the luggage not going missing in transit.

Once we arrive, I always unpack and put away the luggage until the time comes for packing up to go home.

If travelling overseas, I split everything down the middle to be filled into two luggages. In the unfortunate event that one of the luggage goes  missing, we can survive for at least a day or two until the missing luggage is located/rerouted to us/have sufficient time to shop for new clothes after claiming insurance.

Please, please, please share with me your packing tips. Mine is tedious, I know. Bows head in shame.

Note To Self

"The believer sees his sins as if he is sitting at the foot of a mountain fearing that it might fall on top of him, while the sinner sees his sins as a fly that lands on his nose, he just waves it away. ['Abdullah b. Mas'ud]"
 
With that, bye bye to my tights, skinny pants and skinny jeans. Camel toes no more, even if it is hidden under a long blouse/shirt. You'd just never know. My last few occasions being out in the humid tropical weather with head scarf and all had been tough. Kept reminding myself that hell is hotter. Faith is being tested, plenty.
 
Also deleting of my ranting mojo about my SIL, MIL and own Cinderella complex. Inhale, exhale.  
 
Let 2014 be a renewed journey, and improvement of self. Amin!
 
Do share your new year resolution! I'd love to be inspired by yours.
Friday, 20 December 2013

Assalamualaikum

Hello again! We are back from the suburban-year end shopping getaway at One World Hotel (the suites come highly recommended).

Well, LaundryMonster is being fought as I type this. Can only get to the details of the staycation after this battle. 

On the home front, my SIL will be home this weekend. All by herself. Business class return. How awesome is that? Two whole weeks without her 5 kids! I'd say she well deserves this treat!

Here is an early Happy Winter Solstice Festival and Merry Christmas. Happy New Year 2014!

My new year resolution are as follows:
1. Keep my temper in check.
2. Keep my mouth shut when angry.
3. Say nothing if there isn't anything nice to say (quiet blog this will be!).

Tough year ahead! Wish me luck and keep me in your supplication. 
Saturday, 14 December 2013

Another Staycation

We are desperate parents looking for an easy way out, what can we say?

Hopefully this one will work out too!
Friday, 13 December 2013

The Gardens Residences

The Other Half and I swiftly decided on this year end 4D3N treat as we have "first world problem" of not being able to shop properly at The Gardens and Mid Valley Megamall with 2 kids under 5 in tow.

We went, we shopped and we like it!



Even Bean approves of the 2 bedroom serviced apartment! We did lug along the Philips Avent 2-in-1 Steamer/Blender to purée some of his meals.

Favourable reviews to be updated...got lots to unpack now!
Saturday, 7 December 2013

Stay-cation

Yes, you read right.

Again.

In the same city, different postcodes.

Why we love stay-cation is because we tend to take the city for granted, so it is nice to play tourist once in a while and try to fall in love with the city. 

The main advantages include the fact that we can cut short the holiday if we need to as it is within driving distance, have access to our usual world class medical care, and pack the kitchen sink along if we so fancy.

Speaking of the kitchen sink, Bean has the most luggage because we now have to bring his Phillips Avent 2-in-1 steamer/puree maker along. I figured it would be easier to cook his simple meals than trying to find something he can eat at the hotel...

Wish us luck!  
Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Gymboree, Here We Come Again

By "we", I mean all 4 of us.

Yes!

Hampshire Mummy & The Little Girl are going to Level 7 Play or Arts III. The play school will be shut until January 2014, so we need to find filler activities until then and this seems like a worthwhile solution. We can't afford to go on vacation and stay-cation for a whole month!

The Other Half & Bean will be joining Level 1 Play. That is going to be a fun start for the nearly 6 month old kiddo, and The Other Half.

Oh, what an exciting year end this is going to be!

How do you fill your toddler and young baby's time? Do share!

Baby Led Weaning Progress


Preheat oven to 190C.
 
Cut organic vegetables to bite size, arrange on top of baking sheet in a non-stick grilling pan. We have a corn cob, squash, sweet potatoes, carrots and courgette/zucchini as photographed above.
 
Drizzle with some olive oil or give the cut vegetables a light butter wash.
 
Grill at 190C for 20 minutes.
 
Serve immediately and check temperature before feeding.

 

Please pardon the poor quality photo, I was in a hurry to serve dinner to the impatient starving kids.

Well, Bean skipped the corn (that was The Little Girl's dinner). He ate some sweet potatoes, pumpkin, zucchini and carrots. Yes, we did cut off the little burnt bits. But of course.

The almost 6 month old boy still has to work on his grip - as I could not find a crinkle cutter in KLCC, BSC and BV (the consequence of which The Grandparents have been assigned to purchase intended crinkle cutter from Lakeland at York, hopefully they can find one!).

Bean has two bottom incisors and coupled with strong suckling motion, he can eat up a decent portion of fruits and vegetables without choking. It does feel like food is being vacuumed out of my hands, and the mess is less than what of a bowl of puree can do. Alhamdulillah!

At the moment, he eats by sitting supported in his Stokke Tripp Trapp newborn cushion, under hawk eye supervision. When not eating, we do let him sit unsupported for a few minutes before catching him just in time before he topples over (a very cute sight of head being heaviest part of body!). In sha Allah, he will sit independently soon and we can upgrade him into the Stokke Tripp Trapp Toddler Set, and keep the IKEA Antilop for picnics at the sky deck.


How is your little one eating? Do share your weaning tips and recipes!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Dry Shampoo

Honestly, this wonderful option didn't work out for me because I have to have my hair washed and blown dry once daily, even during confinement. In fact, I washed my hair 17 hours after Bean was born, with quick blow dry after.

During pregnancy, I bought this dry shampoo, tried to fool myself into not washing my hair and trying to further fool myself into following the traditional practice *what was I thinking?* as long as you keep your scalp clean and dry, you'd be fine.

Anyways, this dry shampoo was about the only type I could find in the local pharmacy...hope you have better chance of locating nicer ones.

I'd probably keep this for long haul flights.



Do share the name of dry shampoo that you like, I am willing to try!

Monday, 25 November 2013

How We Chose The Playschool

1. License for Taska and Tadika
We were not keen on institutions without license. Period.

2. Insurance
You never know when something may go wrong, so basic policies will cover at least the barest of exigencies like fire and third party injuries. Then pray very hard that nothing happens.

3. Security
Not just CCTV but English speaking Gurkha guards, access cards, camera and voice with autogate system, parent watch group and teacher/carer watchdog committee. Play schools that request for list of permissible persons to take child out from school is very important. Photo ID and NRIC details for parents, other members of family and drivers (if applicable) would be prudent to have.

4. Distance
Closest to home for short commute time,  short response time in case of emergencies and injuries, God forbid.

5. Programme, Approach and Method
Montessori with emphasis on respect to local cultures and multi faiths.

6. Weekly Menu
Halal food. Could not find one that would cater non-GMO, non-MSG, non-the-whole-she-bang-of-allergen but decent enough to exclude the usual suspects like nuts, salt, sugar, food colouring, strawberries. Good enough for us as the play school noted cow milk and egg white allergies The Little Girl used to suffer from, made notes and pasted the notice on the board so anyone who served her food and drinks were aware. The same applies to all the other children with various allergies.

7. Charitable Acts
The play school supports a Myanmar children home. Every Christmas, parents of the play school would donate school items, cash, story books and run the annual charity bazaar to raise funds.

8. Concert 
Not the Disney standard of production you would find with some schools; but realistically raw showcase of talents by those 18 to 60 months old. Annually, we purchase a professionally filmed DVD to fully enjoy and re-enjoy the concert. 

9. Sports Carnival
Sadly lacking in the plays school we chose, but daily outdoor play time when the weather is fine added with extra enrichment programmes of gym and Brazilian soccer more than makes up for it.

10. Culture
Melting pot of international cultures, customs, languages and faith. Exactly the sort of "United Nations" blend we were hoping for The Little Girl to experience and widen her horizon in her early childhood education.

11. Fees
Taboo topic for some parents. We chose what we could afford best given our budget, with some personal sacrifice for the pretty but frivolous indulgence in life. After all, early childhood education is important!

12. Hygiene
This is a no brainer! 

What are your criteria? Do share, especially if you have chosen a school for reception year onwards!

Why We Chose Gymboree

We had the options of:

1. Tumble Tots; 
2. Kids Sports & Gym; or
3. Gymboree 

Why Option 1 didn't work out:
Old apparatus - the wooden beams were so 1990s. We were put off by dirty toys. By toys we mean Fisher-Price models we already have in abundance at home.
Lack of enthusiasm from staff escalated our decision making process, without having to look into the modules and programmes available. The outlet at Great Eastern Mall is now close.

Why Option 2 didn't work out:
The Little Girl was 14 months old when we searched for a weekly activity, and the  activities at Option 2 were tailored for slightly older toddlers and young children. When she turned 3, it became her favourite haunt every rainy Saturday morning, every play date, every other random reason. We suspect that the big pool of balls and high slides are exhilarating to a girl going-on 4 years old.

Why we chose Option 3:
It seemed like a happy place and the proprietor/franchise holder Jasmine was able to explain in detail the different stages for different age/month group. Milestones and achievements, enthusiastic staff, fairly clean apparatus, flexible time slots and reasonable fees all worked in our favour. Location was also not an issue for us, as Bangsar Village was and still is within our comfort zone. We ended up using all the play, art and music passes in about 9 months, just in time for her transition into play school.

Will we pick Gymboree for Bean? With the new apparatus recently replacing the old ones, and Jasmine remaining as enthusiastic about the programme, we may just consider it again, especially because The Little Girl keeps requesting for play dates at both the Bangsar Village and Publika outlets! Tropicana Mall outlet somehow does not appeal that much to her. She wants what the brother will get, how awesome is sibling rivalry?!

We'll see...

Do you have a play group that you would like to suggest? Please share!
Wednesday, 20 November 2013

ENT

Taking a much needed break after an ER and minor surgery episode this week.

Road to recovery bring this to mind:

وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَا نُكَلِّفُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا أُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

And (as for) those who believe and do good We do not impose on any soul a duty except to the extent of its ability-- they are the dwellers of the garden; in it they shall abide.

Surah Al-Araf Ayat 42.

لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ رَبَّنَا لَا تُؤَاخِذْنَا إِن نَّسِينَا أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا رَبَّنَا وَلَا تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَا إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا رَبَّنَا وَلَا تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا أَنتَ مَوْلَانَا فَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ

Allah does not impose upon any soul a duty but to the extent of its ability; for it is (the benefit of) what it has earned and upon it (the evil of) what it has wrought: Our Lord! do not punish us if we forget or make a mistake; Our Lord! do not lay on us a burden as Thou didst lay on those before us, Our Lord do not impose upon us that which we have not the strength to bear; and pardon us and grant us protection and have mercy on us, Thou art our Patron, so help us against the unbelieving people.

And again in Surah Al-Baqarah Ayat 286.

Indeed Allah s.w.t. will not impose more than I can bear, and this brings me a lot of comfort in knowing He Knows I can face this test He has given me.


Tuesday, 19 November 2013

ENT

I have been to the ER and back. 

Summary: profuse bleeding from right nostril caused by broken skin and capillaries.

History: have tried all self-help first aid methods since 2010, but these methods have stopped working lately.

Provocators: heat, elevation, dry air, cold air, sometimes spontaneous without any provocation.

Treatment previously suggested by Dr. Ling Chie Kai: Cauterise.

Overnight hospital stay: None, at my insistence.

Here is what happened last Sunday on my way to lunch with family...

... it was a bloody mess, literally!

Well, the bleeding got out of control. I looked like I had been in an accident. Or worse, abused. 

After being stabilised at ER, I negotiated to be discharged after being stabilised. The blood test ruled out cancer, which itself was great comfort.

Clotting eventually happened so I was allowed home preconditionally. The condition was to return to ER if the bleeding persisted.

On Monday, I went for a follow-up consultation which turned out to be a fast and furious local painkiller and laser cauterise session. I did pack hospital bag, just in case.

Well, Dr. Yeo Sek Wee had done a very good job and the best part was his understanding of my situation as a breastfeeding mother. The antibiotics were Augmentin from the hospital with some antibiotic ointment.

I was told to take from my own supply of Panadol at home, if there is any pain. I didn't have to!

The experienced doctor was brief, concise, armed with confident hands, willingly and wittily joined in to say bismillah before the procedure. His friendly and polite bedside manners match the rave reviews I have read.

I do have a follow up appointment early next month so I will have to add the "Speedy recovery & take it easy" note to self until then.

Life goes on. Without the inconvenient and worrisome nose bleeds. 

Alhamdulillah!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Pullman Putrajaya

We have re-learnt a few important lessons during this sad stay-cation.
 
1. Man plans, Allah decides.
2. If you have made a plan, said your bismillah through it all, and still something bad happens, it is qadar
3. If still frustrated, re-assure self with No.1.
 
How did we learn those lessons? Well. Get a cup of warm drink or set up your breast-pump and get going because this is a long rant.
 
**start**

We had booked and paid for two nights at this supposedly/reputedly iconic hotel via the ever reliable Agoda but left after only one night.

What happened, many asked.

1. The open season for flies.
Concurrent with our visit, unfortunately. We had to endure flies at lunch and breakfast at the buffet hall. It did not even matter anymore that the Deepavali buffet spread was a huge disappointment. No rezeki.

We even had one dinner in the room via room service just to avoid those pesky flies. The Other Half and I had a mild case of food poisoning for a few days.
 
2. The Bad Room Service.
The waiter who brought our cart wasn't too happy to serve us our dinner. Grumpy service is not good. Burnt kiddie chicken hot dog is even worse. The Little Girl refused to eat it, good for her! Which left her to drinking her fresh milk from home and pinching our food. Hungry in an isolated hotel is not good. we should have packed a bigger loaf of bread, whaddaya know.

3. The Children Playroom.
There was no one manning the Playroom save for one boy about 6 or 7 years old who seemed to be the resident soccer player there. This young Ronaldo wannabe kept aiming the ball to hit against the grubby glass door and there wasn't any hotel staff to warn him of the danger in so doing. Glass door? Breakage? Children Playroom? Danger to paying customers of the hotel? Hello?
 
There wasn't anyone else other than us at the Playroom so we left the dirty, dusty, sticky place after an uncomfortable conversation with the boy. 

Boy: Akak ni dari mana?

Me: Malaysia.

Boy: Akak ni orang apa?

Me: *why is this boy so racist?! Felt like replying "manusia"* Orang Malaysia. Kenapa?

Boy: Kalau orang Cina kenapa pakai macam ni? *he pointed at my headscarf*

Me: I am Chinese Muslim. Kenapa

Boy: Bukan orang Melayu kah? Akak masuk Islam ke? 

Me: I am Muslim, orang Muslim dari macam-macam tempat, some Europe, some Arab, some Asia. *malas nak explain panjang lebar about everyone being born Muslim, and that I am a revert/ I need to come up with a script for this defence since I am faced with this all the time*

Boy: Anak you orang apa?

Me: Malaysia.

Boy: Dia Cina kah? Tak pandai cakap Melayu kah?

Me: *lost my cool slightly and just wanted to get out quickly* Dia cakap English.


By this point I was quite annoyed and left the boy to continue hitting the glass door with his ball. The Other Half had quietly and cleverly taken The Little Girl out of the Playroom, put their shoes on and went out for a walk. Under the hot sun! with no sunscreen on!
 
I sat on one of the two toddler beds to quickly nurse Bean.

The Other Half was so mad at this incident he had wanted to leave Pullman before our room was even assigned to us! However, our patience set in and thought we'd give it a shot. This is the part we learnt and reinforced the lessons learnt. Sabar!



4. The un-welcoming Welcomer.
When I brought up the playroom incident to the "Welcomer" during check-in at 2pm, not only he did not quite comprehend what I was saying, he had this aura of "I cannot do anything about it." He didn't even offer an apology or seek to remedy the guest complaint. No, the Guest Manager/Manager on Duty was nowhere to be found.

5. The Room Service
Dare I dial Room Service? Absolutely dislike having to repeat my order and not have it repeated to me. Manners? English? Customer service? Sigh.

6. The Housekeeping
I am sorry I had to trouble them for extra towels. I am sorry for the previous occupant who needed his/her left side reading lamp light bulb changed. We answered a call asking us if we still wanted it fixed. Hello? Your guests have checked out, Pullman...maybe they were as unhappy as we were? Only too happy to leave?

7. The Porch
No proper signage to inform new guests as to where to go upon arrival, or where to park the car. Located at a somewhat basement level, it looked like we were arriving from a back lane of someplace dodgy.
8. The Carpark
Dark, dirty, dusty. Scary!

9. The Concierge 
Did not offer my luggage tag until after I had asked for it. Shame.

10. The Check Out
Please wish me a safe journey home at the very least? Thank me for my visit? No? Why, shame again.

Dear Pullman Putrajaya,

Nice architecture without good decent service mean nothing. 

Please hold a good trouble-shoot  and follow-up action meeting. 

Put aside your pride and ego, re-look at your beautiful property with some dignity and sense of ownership. 

Be proud of your "soft" key deliveries.  Make manners your staff KPI.

Pull up your socks, step up to your Accor  service promise and maybe, just maybe, I'd come back with my family.

**end**

On a happier note, thank you so much for reaffirming my faith via The Little Girl through her sense of adventure. She truly created happiness out of the fresh air and big blue skies that Allah s.w.t. created.






Hope to see Pullman Putrajaya polished to its "former glory", and make us proud of being Malaysians who keep the tourist RM within the country.

Thank you for having us.



Friday, 15 November 2013

Play Mat and P/S

Just rolling and chilling.



Easy to clean, this play mat has been with us since 2010. It has served The Little Girl very well and now Bean is having tummy time fun on it.

One of the best purchase. Thank you, Mama!

Do you also use play mats? How do you keep them clean? Do share!


P/S: Yes, I do love my MIL very much despite our differences and my rants. We have over the years learnt to respect our differences and believe you me, we share more similarities than differences. I'd blog more about things we have in common, in my personal quest to say nice things, keep positive and share the love? Please pardon me my transgression against you, Mama. I love you. Very. Very. Much.

Love Reading!


&



*teehee*

Grandad Gets To Babysit


The Little Girl insisted on buying this for her dinner last night. 

So I mixed it up for her. 

In her favourite bowl.

Guess what she said?

"Looks like wallpaper glue!"

Here is why:




Get it? 

She is a drama queen! Sigh...

Back to reading more bed time stories!




Baby Led Weaning

See www.babyledweaning.com for details, if new to this concept.

With The Little Girl, we did not apply this 100% as we were spending half the week at The House. It would have caused The Grandparents too much distress and mess, and I had too little time to wipe down everything at every meal. 

So I cheated improvised.

On days when we were at The House, I fed her purée. Life was not easy as my MIL didn't enjoy her kitchen being shared, and we have two kitchens! I ended up doing double the work by steaming, making purée and freezing them in portions to bring to The House from the then apartment. At meal times, I had the frozen cubes thawed and reheated (same amount of work and time as cooking them fresh on my Beabacook). No wonder I was so slim.

Oh, the suffering I used to bear with just because of not having my own space and freedom...but Allah s.w.t.is Kind and has removed that obstacle for me, for which I am eternally grateful!

So let me share with you how I "cheated" "improvised". 

On days when we were at our own place, I'd let The Little Girl feed herself with steamed, bite-size, "not likely to choke or gag size" food. Mostly pumpkin, carrot, broccoli, apple, pear, banana and occasionally treat of Heinz organic biscotti.

She loved it!

Messy? Well, we had the IKEA Antilop high chair. Removing the tray to be washed was relatively easy. The pelican bib was also comparatively easier to wash compared to purée mushy wet stains. Usually whatever crumbs that fell into the pelican bib was just be put through the insinkerator then the pelican bib itself wiped down and washed.

Now, I'd share with you how I further "cheated" "improvised" when out and about.

Organic jar food. Try travelling on long haul flights with nothing suitable to eat and hungry baby! Not much fun, I can confess. We brought along fresh bananas/apples with skin on. Except Australia. Nothing gets pass the immigration/quarantine. England is "more understanding" of baby needs.

In conclusion, we did not employ just one strict method. After all, eating is a mix of different cuisines requiring different skills, no? Don't be too hung up on quantity, just be sure to serve up the best quality food. No salt. No colouring. No sugar. No flavouring. No preservatives. That is a lot of NO!

My key consideration back then for The Little Girl (and will apply to Bean):

- She sure nursed through it all so I wasn't too worried about her calorie count etc. Breastmilk would have covered whatever shortfall in her diet.

- She ate breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner and sometimes even supper with us.

- She pooped and peed well.

This time with Bean, I guess we will employ the same mix. Some traditional and some baby led. Depends on what we will be eating and where we will be, I guess.

Recent research point toward early weaning at 4 months but Bean is not sitting upright as yet so I am not feeding him. Simple rule - avoid choking. After all, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said not to eat lying down...

Bean has his whole lifetime ahead of him to enjoy food and drink, so why rush him when he is not ready? Chillax!

Have fun feeding your little one. May Allah s.w.t. bestow berkat to all those nutritious and delicious meals!
Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Post Natal Hair Loss

Hair, hair, hair everywhere but on my head!

Just kidding, I still have some hair left under my headscarf. However, clogged bath drainer signs that a big cat lives here !

Enter Kao Magic Dry Mop and its refillable fibre insert. Like magic, I can pick up hair and dust in a jiffy. Note: This is not an advertorial. I am just a happy consumer. I started in 1998 for pet cat hair and just never quit since. Good for all dry surfaces, I love how it satiates my cleaning mojo!

As for the clogged bath drainer, long bamboo satay sticks and disposable gloves both are indispensable arsenal to have.

Looks like I have new hair growth and hairstyle to look forward to *staying positive*.

How do you deal with your post natal hair loss? Do you get it at all? 
Saturday, 9 November 2013

The Week That Was

Dead tired!

Tomorrow is the last day of school holidays for The Little Girl and I am looking forward to Monday to catch up with work and stuffs.

Need some time to just bond with Bean! He seems to have grown so much over the last week of our stay-cation at Pullman Putrajaya and The House. He now weighs 7.2 kg at 4 months 4 weeks and is over 65 cm, alhamdulillah.

Sleep time for my weary self, sure hope Bean sleeps through the night again now that he is back in his own cot in his home sweet home.

Good night, peeps.
Friday, 8 November 2013

Open (Floor) Plan

The Flat we live in is an open plan design and over the last few days that we have been at The House, we realised that an open plan design has really saved us some precious time.

Opposedly, The House is compartmentalised. Each room has its own air conditioner, locked doors and some even come with baby gates to prevent The Little Girl from getting herself into real danger (stairs, steps, stored hardware, golf clubs and 1001 other hazards to a pre-schooler). 

Even the garden around The House has blind spots and when The Little Girl rides on her bicycle with trainer wheels, I have to hover over her and not be able to do much else. Cobras and squirrels aplenty - really scary for city folks like us. Then there is the baby snatcher to worry about, sigh! I don't feel safe even in a gated and guarded neighbourhood.
 
So the story goes. Without fail, every time we need to carry out a task, we need to leave a room and head toward another, opening and closing doors, turning on and off air-conditioner, locking and unlocking baby gates...you get the idea how tiring it can get because I get tired merely from describing it.

End results: tired parents and grandparents, one distracted pre-schooler and an annoyed baby.

Best get back to my little haven where one eye can see all. I could just stand at the dry kitchen island preparing food, watch The Little Girl play, supervise the rolling Bean and converse with The Other Half. Efficient super mummy mode, I would like to encourage myself! *syiok sendiri*

Oh, home sweet home!

Do you find such similar experience in your homes? Which floor plan do you prefer, and why?


Thursday, 7 November 2013

iCity Shah Alam

After one visit, we are of the opinion that this much advertised fun place is not suitable for our family.

Simply because we have two young children and a few other incidental discoveries:

Not stroller friendly.

Not baby and children friendly. 

Steps. 

Lack of ramps. 

No baby change room.

No feeding room.

No children size toilet.

Now, this post has been in my draft folder for a few days and I have finally decided to share it in the hope that you will go prepared. No malice intended.

Activities and lights come on after our children's bed time - something to consider for our jetlag nights after balik kampung return trip from England.

Our mediocre fun was at The Trick Art Museum. It lasted us a quarter of an hour. Sigh. There is only so much to do and imagine there. 

Do not let the word museum trick you into thinking about those tres chic art museum you'd find in Europe. The one we went to is a row of shophouses converted into a fire trap with bad stairs, lack of fire escape signs and reeked of stale air.

The entire place seems to be left to the devices of unmotivated teenagers as managers/cashiers.

The Other Half was a little annoyed. The proximity card took RM7 off without the barrier opening during "attempted" exit. Paid another RM1 with parking card to exit at KFC. Trust me, we were just sad that it (the proximity card and barrier team) failed to serve the purpose it was designed for.

Parking lots were quite dodgy at the back lanes. We were quite shocked to see a hotel operating in the midst of it all. Pretty red light impression...but I pray I am wrong.

There is more construction near by, maybe this place will spruce up after the entire project is completed?

Have you visited this place too? Did you have fun? What did you do differently?

P/s: Blessing in disguise - Section 7 Shah Alam has lots of muslimah fashion shops! Too bad there is only street parking (hint double parking and getting trapped!).
Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Maal Hijrah 1435H

I make new year resolutions every Maal Hijrah instead of 1 January since reversion.
 
It has been some time since I last had a conversation with myself in my head. It is important that my heart and head communicate succinctly without the constant interruption of managing two children under 5 years old.

Tonight I have been given the perfect opportunity in resolving this. I have been given the gift of insomnia. The stirring and turning that keeps one to stay awake and pray. It is a vital follow-up step to pray after having my inner conversation with myself that I talk to my Maker.

It is the perfect Maal Hijrah gift and I thank His Almighty Allah s.w.t.

Well, my head has been busy with worldly affairs (the all important task of raising a family) and my heart has been aching (the desire to be a filial servant of Allah s.w.t.). Of course I realise that raising a Muslim family is part of being a filial servant to Him, but I feel like I have been back sliding as a Muslimah myself.

Perhaps this new year calls for a new faith resolution in improving myself in my fardhu ain and fardhu kifayah, both directly and indirectly, consistently. Steadfastly. Not easy but every small step will count.

My sincere supplication is that Allah s.w.t. will open His Bounty and allow me time to improve myself, separate my chaff from my grain. In being a better Muslimah as my core, I can be a better wife, mother, family member and friend. A more responsible citizen of earth. A person whose mission point toward Jannah. Less of the world and its decoration.

My wish to you is that may the new hijrah year be filled with ease for your hijrah from your own darkness to His Nur. Stay blessed, my lovelies.
Sunday, 3 November 2013

iPad Withdrawal Syndrome

My 3.5 year old has this issue and we are trying to address it.

We told her that the iPad is spoilt and we won't be seeing it for a long time. A consistent white lie.

Honestly, it is my bad for having introduced it to her (so that I could cook dinner on some evenings). My bad too for downloading some of the best apps like Dr. Panda - highly educational but also highly additive!

On the bright side, she can solve puzzles, sort, match, process sequences etc. really well.

Embarrassingly, The Little Girl once touched the screen on our long haul MAS flight which was unfortunately not decked out in the latest touchscreen. She kind of lost her cool from disappointment and having to use an adult joy stick!

Lesson learnt: Bean is not going to get any iPad or Astro. Gotta be cruel to be kind, kiddo!

Wish me luck. I will report on this again when we have some progress...by "we" I mean to include all the other mummies of classmates at the playschool! In fact, The Other Half and I now observe device-free weekends, just to be more present. Try it and see how much time you regain!

Crossing fingers and toes, may Allah s.w.t. make this recovery easy for us. Amin!

Avocado on Toast

Amazing yield of breastmilk, Allah s.w.t. is really Great!

Here is a really simple and fast snack if you have no time to make guacamole.

Slice ripe avocado and place onto toast. Place another piece of toast and press firmly. Eat immediately. Sorry, I ate so quickly that I forgot to snap a photo for you.

well, drink something warm after that too, then feel the amazing let-down and fully refilled breasts all ready for the next feed!

Bon appetit!

Note: green avocado = unripe, dark green avocado = firm ripe, almost black avocado = soft ripe. 

The wonderfully creamy fruit can ripen on kitchen tops in a wire basket. You can easily halve the avocado, scoop out the stone with a spoon and peel the skin off when the fruit is ripe. Great replacement for butter on toast!
 
Please share your tips on how you serve up your avocado!
Friday, 1 November 2013

Festival of Lights


Happy Diwali, folks!

Yum yum muruku and jelibi, here I come...one week school holiday - I am going to need a holiday planned out too. Pronto!

Stay happy, folks. Travel safe and have yourselves a lovely break.
Tuesday, 29 October 2013

I Love KL! But...

This year marks the 17th anniversary that I have lived in Kuala Lumpur.


17 years! If you deduct the number of years spent away for work related moves and travels, it will still round up to about 14 years. 
 
Inspired by a post by Joanna Goddard in A Cup of Jo, I will list some of the unglamorous things I find about living in KL (in no cute cartoons or photographs though):
 
1. The taxis do not use meter most of the time.
Despite the warning and sticker on taxi windows that prohibits haggling and negotiating for rate per journey. Once, my ex-colleague at PETRONAS tried taking a taxi to my old flat to bring some files so that I could work from home. The taxi driver told her it would cost her RM20.00 one way. For less than one kilometre! She ended up walking in the hot humid afternoon sun to my old flat, and back!  
 
2. Hot and humid.
All the time. 35C seems to be the average nowadays. Except when there is a thunderstorm. Then it floods. Despite the SMART tunnel.
 
3. Tolled roads and tunnels.
To get to anywhere outside the city, in avoiding the traffic jam, especially during a thunderstorm, I take one of the many highways. Hefty toll to be paid. That, or sit in the traffic jam. For hours. Burning petrol.
 
4. Friday gridlock at Tun Razak/Ampang.
We avoid driving out on Friday at or after 12 noon until 9 pm, except for quick school run at 3pm. Bad manners from drivers jumping the amber and red lights, ignoring the yellow box completely usually result in gridlock at the busy city interchange. Traffic police when they appear to man the traffic, is often just quite ineffective/pointless.
 
5. Traffic jam whenever there is a thunderstorm.
Usually happens in the evening, just as gazillions of office workers driving to head home, it pours. Cats and dogs, torrential. Blinding the driver behind his/her wheel. End result: Crawl.
 
6. Haze.
Strikes at every hot and dry season around May-July. Slash and burn at plantations in Sumatera, wind then blows those thick smog to Malaysia and Singapore. Burnt smells, watery eyes, dust everywhere.
 
7. MRT projects.
Being constructed to ease future traffic burdens. Construction sites aplenty on every major road. End result: more traffic jam.
 
8. KLCC.
I live within walking distance to KLCC. And yet, I have lost direct view of the PETRONAS Twin Towers and the KLCC Park. Every inch right in front of the landmark is being filled with more high-rise buildings. It is depressing that we soon have to say bye-bye to the water fountain view.
 
9. Potholes.
The council tars the roads very often, and pot holes magically appear almost overnight.
 
10. Sale.
I used to anticipate the sale and discounts for clothes, shoes and bags. Now, I just do not bother anymore. There is a sale on almost every weekend. I just shop whenever I need to (like a man too - lock target, try it on, pay, exit), as opposed to waiting for a sale. Having 2 kids truly changed my stamina in looking for best buys. 

11. Snatch thiefs
My handbag was snatched in the early days of living in this city at Medan Damansara. The avenue where I currently live is still on red alert, and we have police beat base on top of private security and guard dogs. The House was robbed and has scarred us for life.
 
Despite all that, I love KL!
Maybe it is a love-hate relationship.
 
I love that there is a tiny, private, green lung on my tree lined street.

I love that a new Starbucks is just a walk away.

I love that the sale is on so often that I get discounts almost all the time without having to wait too long.

I love that I can check into a 5-star hotel across the park and look at my own flat.

I love that my FIL played a major role in building of KLCC and we now have a landmark for Malaysia.

I love that there are more days of clear skies and sunshine than days filled with haze.

I love that the grocers in the city are well-stocked, enabling me to try cooking many types of different foods.

I love that there are so many restaurants and cafes serving international cuisines, and we can eat out whenever I do not feel like cooking.

I love that there are many international schools close to home.

I love that I miss home even when I am away for just one night.

I love that there are even more things I love about this city than I can possibly list! 
 
Which city do you live in? Do you have a love-hate relationship with your city too?
Monday, 28 October 2013

Hospital Food

Life really is good at PCMC. I truly enjoyed the hospital food. First time in my life, I was served tasty and nutrition dense food and drinks from a hospital.

Here's how:




The portions were just right, and the temperature suitably warm. 

Being able to tick items I wish to eat felt like liberty to choose as a person on holiday staying in a hotel room, rather than as a patient with stitches limited to golf course and peak hour jam view.

After 2 days and 2 nights, we returned home to semi-reality. Bye bye food cart, bye bye menu forms.

Keep up the good work, PCMC!



Friday, 25 October 2013

The Labour Story Part 2

Warning: Get comfy, this is a long post. If you are reading this because you are looking for reviews of the doctors in this post, hope this will find you well, but please make your own informed decision and not solely rely on my experience to decide on the best medical care that you so deserve.

Caution: If you are reading this because you are the doctor concerned and you Google-d yourself, go to the last paragraphs for the best bits! *big smile*

Maybe the last caution: If you are here because you are a PETRONAS staff, I'd say take a labour room and suite tour, meet and interview the doctors yourself for the best possible maternity benefit. Wish I was still with PETRONAS, heh! If you are wondering if PCMC is the best facility around KLCC, I'd say "YES!".

______________________________________________________________________
 
A much-delayed, heavily-edited post with grammatical errors everywhere...my sincerest apologies!

After dinner at The Flat Upstairs, we returned home to start the evening routine and put The Little Girl to bed. She finally slept at about 9.30 pm after a stack of bedtime stories and 2 bottles of milk.

By then, I was feeling some contractions and casually dismissed them as Braxton-Hicks. The Other Half wondered if this was the real deal but I shrugged it off, as it would be really embarrassing to show up at PCMC with yet another false alarm.

This time, I was going to wait for the show. The real deal. No more false alarm, please. I hate vaginal exams, remember?

So the evening wore on. We finished watching Bourne Identity and although I was feeling some discomfort, I enjoyed re-watching the movie. 

My bump looked like it was turning at one point, contorted itself into a funny crescent shape like it did a lot in my first pregnancy. My gut feeling told me it was a good sign. I had been "spinning the baby".

Honestly, we were quite glad that Bean had finally decided to turn and clear the occiput posterior situation for me. Bless this kid! I'd thought maybe now I won't have the reputed painful back labour?

When the movie ended, we went to bed. I replied all the outstanding whatsapp messages, made sure my side of the bed was lined and drifted off to sleep with a bit of grunts in trying to find a cosy spot, blessed by the thought that these were going to be last few days of the baby lying on top of me from within me.

Then at 2.50 am, I felt an urge to pee. I thought maybe at 39 weeks 3 days along, it'd be safer to have the lights on at the bathroom instead of fumbling in the dark. Our flat is always semi-lit as the other buildings surrounding us is always lit at night, and we can manage walking about at night without the lights on. Small fringe benefit for living in the city of lights...

However, on that particular night, I flicked the switch on, as I had listened to my better judgment. Just as well the lights were on!

What came after the pee was something I had not seen before!
 
A slug!! A firm, agar-agar, clear slug of me!!
 
From my vajayjay!! *GASP*
 
I was positively taken aback and double-checked online with Baby Centre if that was indeed my clear mucuos plug. There was no pain, the contractions were light and at the interval that I had gotten used to.

The results for my search was encouraging.

Hooray! It was a sure sign of early labour! My body is designed for birthing mantra played in my head and most importantly, prayers for forgiveness of all my sins started in my heart without prompting.

Quiet as a mouse (I am not a drama queen, obviously), I waddled back into the master bedroom to wake The Other Half up from his deep sleep. I didn't want to wake The Little Girl (who still slept with us then) so I was sure not to make too much of a ruckus.

"Dada (meaning my husband), we have to get to the hospital. I lost my mucuos plug! Call Dada (meaning my FIL) and Mama (meaning my MIL) to come here and sleep with her (meaning The Little Girl)", I whispered.

He rang his parents in his "semi-comatose state". I went to get the packed and ready to go hospital bag, added some dates into the snack bag and changed into my going-out-to-PCMC-to-birth-Bean outfit complete with headscarf and all.

Within a few minutes, my MIL and FIL were at our door. Kisses and salams were exchanged, the bags were loaded into the family 4WD and off we went to "greet our Bean".

It was not a quiet city at all, even at 3.15 am.

 
There was a car crash outside Wisma MCA which caused us some delay then followed by a road block conducted by Rela (for some undisclosed reason) at Auto Bavaria Jalan Tun Razak. 

When we got to PCMC, we couldn't find a park at the ER bays so The Other Half deposited me at the ER entrance while he went to park the 4WD, to save me from waddling under the dark, hazy skies.
 
By the time he came back to ER lounge, I was already "processed" and on my wheelchair, ready to be sent to Level 6 Labour Room. At 3.30 am, my hospital check-in to labour ward 6G-04 was completed. The CTG was placed and my monitoring began. A vaginal exam showed 2 cm. Sigh. Long way to go.
 
I was then transferred to labour ward 6G-07 as it was going to be a slow going early labour. We both discussed and decided to be admitted instead of going home to wait it out (did not want to risk the morning peak hour or worse, evening grid lock!)

The nurse came in again at 4 am for a much dreaded vaginal exam which showed only 2 cm. The Other Half and I communicated our decision to be admitted. The nurse verbally told me that Dr. Seri had been informed since my "check-in" and her plan was to induce me at 6.30 am, to which I agreed.

At 4.25 am, there were more dislodging and discharge of mucous plug but no sign of water breaking. I remember trying to relax by reading what I could on iQuran.

At 6.30 am, one shot of enema was given and although I was told to wait, I just could not. What came after was the second most painful  poo ever! I guess I grunted for so long and so loudly The Other Half must have been a bit concerned.

Relief came at 7.50 am when Dr. Seri came for her round. Vaginal exam showed 4 cm, show finally appeared and I was encouraged to eat some breakfast (yums!).
 
The birth plan was epidural and induce although by then I was a bit fuzzy-headed from all my negative chatter from inside my head and asked Dr. Seri if we should just go for C-sec and be done with it.
 
Thankfully, Dr. Seri stood firm on our agreed birth plan. She told me about my favourable cervix, body designed by Allah to birth naturally and that I do not need a C-sec. All I had to do was eat, pray, sleep and birth Bean. Sounds easy peasy, in retrospective. Dr. Seri reminded me of the recovery plan after birth and how I should look forward to all my urut sessions ahead. She is very good at mind games, and I needed it!

So, after a very delicious breakfast, I was transferred back to labour room 6G-04 where it had all started about 7 hours prior. At 10 am, I got my epidural by Dr. Syed Rozaidi. Love, love, love how detailed he was with explaining what I was going to expect next at every step of the way. 

What I could hear, I could imagine. What I could imagined, I did not fear. The Other Half did a very good job supporting me and holding the pillow for me.
 
The shaking, warm legs soon followed and I knew walking was over for until after Bean was born. I ate dates, drank water, peed into the catheter, life was good! Wifi and iPhone, Facebooking and iQuran kept me busy. I updated my notes as the labour progressed.

By 10.30 am, I was induced. Bean was asleep, and so was I! Not much "improvement".

At 11.30 am, Dr. Seri had ordered for increase of induction (Prostin - a form of oxytocin). I felt more contractions and could not really sleep anymore.

Ten minutes later at 11.40 am, my water bag burst and the bear down feeling came hard and strong. Bean was pushing himself out without any pushing from me! I updated the nurse and asked for Dr. Seri to be there pronto!
 
The nurse confirmed that Dr. Seri was on her way back to the hospital (she got every Wednesday morning off and it was her son's birthday that day - how special!)

The sweetest, good natured lady beamed into the labour ward at 12.20 pm with a team of midwives and we started "pushing".
 
I was not executing it as well as I had imagined it in my head and Dr. Seri joked that I had a "tayar pancit" situation. She told me to get a drink, air zam zam if I had brought some along, and to reconfigure my mind to order the right muscles. No joke.

The epidural was so good - no pain but all pressure could be felt. I could feel Bean's journey outwards! I knew when and how to "do a big poo" after that reconfigure/recompose break. Praying always works!
 
The great joy was the laugh sound/word "ha". There was no "push" word used, much to my delight.

We laughed ha, ha, ha all the way until Bean was safely delivered at 12.39 pm. We did, we laughed him all the way out. No mistake about that.

The first words he heard outside the womb were "ha, ha, ha, how truly handsome your son is". What better way to celebrate someone's birthday than this? All joy, happiness and love!

On the business side of things: Throughout the birthing, Dr. Seri massaged my perineum area to lessen the tearing. She then stitched me up neatly. 

She looked like she was enjoying her sewing session instead of stitching up a patient (the scene of someone enjoying an embroidery session with cuppa tea comes to mind). The whole time, we made small talk.

As I was being put together again, The Other Half was coaxed into cutting the cord (he had never held scissors that huge before!) and Bean was taken to be "processed" next to us. APGAR scores were good, and he was warmed up, cleaned, swaddled and handed to The Other Half for Azan and a fatherly cuddle.

At 1 pm, Bean was placed to my right breast for some milk. He nursed and nursed so naturally. After a good feed of colostrum, he was off to the nursery for his vaccinations and session with Dr. Anthony James Mansul. 

(The yellow boots reminded me of Phuah Chu Kang)

I bet Bean had the loveliest time there was he looked so happy when he was returned to me at Ward 6C-09 later in the afternoon.

Not long after that, The Little Girl came with The Grandparents and she kissed her little brother. From that moment, I saw her blossom from my first baby into an elder sister. 

Tears welled in my eyes as my pregnancy had served like a cocoon period for The Little Girl to hibernate into a butterfly of a sister. Hormones!
 
The rest of the story, is as you already know.
 
We became a family of four on 19 June 2013.
 
Bean shares the same birthday as my BFF, and Dr. Seri's son. How special, indeed.
 
Alhamdulillah! JazakAllah! Shukran!
 
Dear Dr. Seri, 



Thank you so much for your lovely heart-felt care that feels more like friendship than a doctor-patient relationship, passion in practice and total devotion to patient wellness. May Allah s.w.t. bless you and your family abundantly.
 
Dear Dr. Syed Rozaidi Wafa bin Syed Hussain Wafa,

You are so good at what you do, and we are so blessed to have a good doctor like you. Thank you for making my birthing experience an enjoyable one. May Allah s.w.t. bless you and your family abundantly too.
 
Dear Dr. Anthony James Mansul,

Thank you for accepting Bean into your already packed and slightly crowded practice - just goes to show that you have such a big capacity to care and love the little ones. The bit you called my son a "rascal" from birth, I'd take as a term of endearment you have for all your little patients. Thank you, you will be seeing us! May God bless you and your family abundantly too.