Thursday, April 26, 2018

Aiden is 9!


April rolls along, and for the first time in a longgggg time, I’m not swamped with party prep. *chuckles* This pregnancy is really turning me into a couch potato!

But I simply cannot let my firstborn’s special day go to waste! So instead of a fancy party, we decided to organize a simple low key brunch with my in-laws at Birch KL. After all, the birthday boy loves the breakfast spread and the burnt cheesecake there.

Missing two more sister-in-laws.

My two boys.

It really was a simple affair. 10 people sitting together enjoying brunch plus each other’s company on an early Sunday morning. Food was good (didn’t really match my baby Melayu taste buds but oh well!) and we had a fun time sampling everyone’s dishes. Hubby and MIL had the Birch Benedict, Ian had the Brûlée French Toast, Aiden and FIL had the Breakfast Plate while my SILs decided to go adventurous with Shakshuka and Morning Glory Bircher Muesli. Pictures ahead:

Enthusiastic photographer in the family.

Aiden enjoying his Breakfast Plate - two eggs on toast, cheese and mushroom chicken sausage, beef bacon, hash, mushrooms and charred tomato. 

Brûlée French Toast - brioche, dulce de leche, charred pear, white coffee crumbs paired with vanilla ice-cream. The charred pears were awesome!

The Birch Benedict and Shakshuka - baked eggs, harrisa spiced tomato and red pepper stew, Greek feta, crispy kale with sourdough bread.

Us.

After that, it was cake time! As mentioned in my previous review of Birch, the Burnt Cheesecake is one of the best I've had. Every time we buy a slice, we all end up playing fencing with our forks for dibs on the gooey creamy center. So good! We opted out of buying a whole cake (>RM200) because everyone was too full from brunch, so we ordered three slices to share instead.

Happy 9th birthday, Aiden Irfan!

And then it was presents time! My in-laws gave Aiden a sack of coins (they always do that, I don’t know why - perhaps to symbolize rezeki coming in or something) and Ian was so gutted that he didn’t get one too! Although I explained that his Babang will share all presents with him, he insisted on having one too. He even nicked the coin box and refused to give it back to Aiden. *sigh* This soon-going-to-lose-bongsu-status boy really needs to learn how to share soon!

Ian insisted on making the presents his.

And started sulking after we told him off. *tsk*tsk*

Last photo for brunch.

After brunch, we headed to the nearest ToysR'Us. You see, I had made a deal with Aiden. He only agreed to cancel his birthday party this year in return for a shopping spree at ToysR'Us - within a stipulated budget of course. Oh he had such a good time choosing to his heart's content. He went from aisle to aisle, touching and testing every toy he desired. In the end he decided to get a Nerf gun. But even then, he shortlisted three guns and insisted on watching reviews of each gun before deciding. In the end he went with the most expensive (as expected!), but it was quite a good buy as it was on sale.

His chosen Nerf gun - fastest motorized dart blaster, fires 5 darts per second!

Last photo before we ended the day - matching Onitsuka for the boys. Perhaps I should get one too!

Happy 9th birthday Aiden Irfan. I am so blessed to have you as a son, especially since you made me a mother. Mummy and Daddy doakan the best for you, and we will always be here for you. I hope one day when you discover this blog and read this, you will realize how much we both love you.

Much love, Mummy and Daddy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Ian's First Sports Day



My oh my, ever since I announced the pregnancy, this blog has been all about baby AY. I feel like I’ve been neglecting stories about my boys!

So Ian attended his first sports day recently. Back then, I already knew that I was pregnant but did not know the gender, hence had zero interest of blogging about it. Now, I think I owe it to Ian to at least attempt to do so.

The day before the said sports day, we had an early dinner at Citrus in BV2. I needed my share of rice so Citrus was a good choice because it offered a fusion of both local and western dishes. I also ordered a soya bean drink, which is a staple part of all my pregnancies. The drink arrived and upon my first sip, I felt as if the taste was a bit off. Aiden took a sip but claimed that it tasted fine. I did not return it as I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt; perhaps it was just a different brand with a different taste. Aiden then hogged the drink and finished nearly half of the glass, while Ian took one small sip.

Boy oh boy, that soya bean drink really screwed us all. Aiden started feeling sick by the end of dinner and Ian started vomiting nearly immediately after arriving home. Thankfully, Aiden recovered after some paracetamol and vomiting medicine, but Ian just continued vomiting through the night. We honestly thought that we would have to pull him out of his sports day the next day.

The morning of the sports day, we were all zombies from being awake that night; monitoring Ian and cleaning up after his vomiting sessions. But still, we persevered! We cautiously got him ready, lined the car seats with towels, packed a spare set of clothes and a vomiting pail, and off we went to the stadium. Ian’s hands were cold but he refused any form of food/drinks cos he was so worried that he was going to vomit. Poor boy. Texted his teacher to inform her of the situation.

First photo at the stadium. Ian's fingers were dead cold here.

First event was the march past. I was flabbergasted when I couldn’t find Ian in line. Suddenly Hubby (who was outside the hall) sent me a picture. Apparently they kept Ian and a few other unwell kids outside, so they won’t over exert themselves. He eventually joined the rest during the school song dance, but of course nampak lembik lah.

Unwell boys sitting out of the march past.

Finally, it was time for his sports event! Boy oh boy, so proud of my boy! He did so well... siap buat extra than anyone else! The kids were supposed to langkah over two obstacles and then step forward to throw a bean bag towards a target. What did Ian do? He jumped over both, I repeat both obstacles! Dah la the obstacles were close to each other, nasib baik he didn’t trip. Then instead of stepping forward, he maintained his distance at the obstacle, aimed and threw his big bag. Despite the distance, he was quite close to hitting the tin cans but because he was far away, it wasn’t strong enough to topple any of them. But still, good try sayang! Watch the video and see for yourself:



After his event, I thought of picking him up early but his teacher texted saying that he looked fine and even having a hot dog bread as a treat. At the end of the day, they finally released the kids and Ian came bounding out with a huge smile on his face, showing off his shiny gold medal. Alhamdulillah, he survived!

Proudly showing off his medal!

One of the rare occasions that Aiden doesn't have to match with Ian. So he matches with Daddy instead!


Proud of my boy!

Last photo before heading home.

The minute we arrived home, he immediately made his way upstairs. We asked why... rupa rupanya he wanted to go hang his medal with all our running medals and Aiden’s medals. Dah lama dia tunggu to have his own share of glory on that wall. And finally the day arrived! *chuckles* We laughed our heads off at his innocent gesture. Of course, we relented and made space for him to proudly show off his first medal.

Great work, Ian Iskandar! We are so proud of you, as always.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Marching On

I simply must do a recap of March. At the rate I’m neglecting my blog (let’s blame the baby, please); I might as well do a monthly run down instead of forgetting everything completely.

Where should I start? Hmmm... pregnancy? So far so good. I’m in my fourth month now but this night sickness doesn’t look like it’s going to let down anything soon. On some days my nausea is pretty bad, to the point that my tummy berombak-ombak and if I put a finger down my throat I would most probably puke my heart out. I try to stay away from paracetamol (although my boss keeps telling me off for doing that), so on certain days I just give in and douse first one and if needed, a second tablet.

Baby AY at 15 weeks! Simply couldn't resist buying that oh-so-adorable top for her.

Baby AY is growing great. Alhamdulillah she’s approx 100gm now. Which doesn’t explain my nearly 10kg gain but yeah whatever. I only get three licenses in life to binge on food, so heck, I’m enjoying myself. This baby is a baby Melayu just like his brothers, so I’m always game for ayam goreng minyak with rice. Too easy lah baby! If only I can start craving for lobsters or something. Please make it more challenging for Daddy, darling!

I’m due for a complete detailed scan in my next gynae visit. Asked my gynae about her opinion on going for a cesarean so that I can tie my tubes, but she wasn’t really supportive. Said that the operation itself is 10 times riskier than a normal birth, so why do it if not needed. Other than that, I’m also opting to get the Tdap vaccination (between 27-36 weeks gestation) to give the baby some form of antibodies even as a newborn. This is to protect her from the many Antivacs in the community spreading contagious diseases. If you’re pregnant, you should probably consider this too.

Ah if only that ~10kg lumps itself altogether at the tummy. But noooooo... my thighs and butt suffer first. *sigh*

Kids? Aiden got his first semester exam results and as expected, BM terus ke laut. It wasn’t really fair though - the last question in the paper involved the kids reading a long paragraph and spotting punctuation and spelling errors, then rewriting it correctly. Why unfair? Cos it was a whopping 30 marks. Memang if you’re not good in tatabahasa and vocab, you have no chance at all. Aiden got a measly 3 marks from that. That itself pulled his marks all the way down. But all other core papers Alhamdulillah he did well, so I’m a proud Mummy as always. A talent scout recently approached us to cast Aiden as a young talent for a drama mini-series. The first thing I said was “Dia tak pandai cakap Melayu. Susah nak berlakon!” *chuckles* Aiden is also very dependable now. I can just wait in the car while he buys nasi kerabu from our local stall, top up my Touch and Go, pick up a takeaway order at a restaurant... you get the idea. Memang emulating the abang character! Senang kerja Mummy, sejuk perut ibu mengandung. *smiles*

Loves extreme activities! Did laser tag for the first time and excitedly went into that round tube thing that tumbles you all over the place.

"Daddy's into fashion", claims Aiden. Little did he know that he's sporting the same swag!

Ian? Still meratib everyday in the car, “I don’t want to go (to) school.” Less crying but still adamant about his stance. Enrolled him (and Aiden) in Fun Camp over the last school holidays, hoping that it would inculcate a sense of love for school - but even that didn’t work. (Although I must applaud Aiden for diligently taking care of Ian throughout the duration of the program; from comforting Ian, to even suap Ian makan!) Despite Ian’s apparent hate for school, he loves doing ‘homework’. He can spend hours just coloring and writing, ignoring the TV. We’ve even resorted to bringing his small desk and chair down to the living hall so he can have a proper area to continue doing so. Macam langit dengan bumi with Aiden who would rather sprawl himself on the couch watching cartoons. I’m currently teaching Ian to write lowercase alphabets (he’s aced the upper case ones) and I can’t wait for him to improve on his phonics so he can start reading!

This little brown bear can spend hours just scribbling, drawing and colouring away. That's his interpretation of Mummy with baby (that odd round shape on my tummy). I wonder why I have spiked hair... Hmmm...

Happy face from Ian - during one of the rare occasions that I get to pick him up from kindy.

They both recently entered a Trunki Easter Egg hunt in Hamleys OU. It involved them scooting around in a Trunki and finding cardboard cutouts of Easter eggs hidden in the store. That experience certainly showed me the ugly side of parenting. It’s absolutely normal for parents to cheer and ‘help’ their kids by pointing out the location of the eggs from afar. But for a mother to snatch one and run to give it to his son, right in front of me while I was pointing to it but waiting for Aiden to scoot over in his Trunki to get it? That’s just ugly. I could have easily done the same so that we would win, but how is that fair to everyone else playing fair and square, scooting their butts off looking for hidden eggs? What kind of example are you teaching to your kids?

Aiden got number three!

Aiden bagged a lunch bag, while Ian won a consolation price of a cupboard Trunki; Fold-a-Trunki.

I digress. Let’s talk about happier things. Shopping? I’m definitely enjoying myself with this. Everything in pink is sooooo cute! To date, I’ve filled in a whole three drawers worth of clothes, five new born shoes and twenty headbands... and counting. Just the other day I saw this cute tutu assemble but unfortunately it was only available in 12-18 months size. Went to the counter to check on a smaller size only to find out that it was the last piece. After deliberating, I finally decided to get it. The cashier, probably empathizing with me, asked; “Baby tuh sekarang berapa bulan, Kak?”... implying that she thought I wanted to buy it as a gift for someone. I answered, “Baby tuh tak keluar lagi, nie dalam perut lagi”, while pointing to my tummy. Her face was stunned... she was speechless or should I say terkedu? It was so funny!!!

I’m also shopping for home! My eldest brother is returning from the US with a big-ass kontena in tow. Other than a new baby swing plus diaper bag for baby AY, everything else I ordered was for home. From solar lights to a KitchenAid blender. Can’t wait! Just yesterday my KitchenAid toaster arrived (separate kontena) and it looks so sleek and handsome on my kitchen counter. *drool*

I am so domesticated!

Work? As intense as ever. I’m currently looking to fill up a vacancy in my team, so I’m diligently having GTKYs (Get To Know You) with interested candidates. Unfortunately for one of them, that morning before the meet we had not one but two dramatic issues which compounded to the headache that I was already nursing. Hence during the GTKY I didn’t exactly paint a rosy picture about the expectations of the role. Scary stuff came out like repercussions and the need to be on-call at all times. Needless to say, she didn’t apply for the role in the end. *smacks forehead* I’ve also finally announced to the team about my pregnancy, and informed my #2 that he needs to step up into role while I’m away (he’s completely freaked out btw *giggles*) so that part is sorted. Now I can proudly show off my bump in the office (instead of sucking it in to hide it).

Hence that’s the end of March. Let’s continue marching on (pun intended) to April.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

My Tumi Calais

After writing extensively on my quest for a diaper bag, I’m now inspired to write about my laptop bag.

Remember in this post, Hubby hinted about buying me a laptop bag for my 35th birthday? Well it never happened. (He got me something way better!) But since I already had a chosen bag in sight, I decided to just buy it for myself. Sort of a present to myself in welcoming my new role at work.

After much deliberation with Hubby (who managed to convince me that a leather bag is way classier than everything else), I finally decided to go with the Tumi Calais:




Although I gravitated more towards the Sacha, unfortunately it wasn’t available in the leather option. Hence I went with the Calais despite my reservations about it being very ‘bag sekolah’. (Don’t you think the two side pockets make it look very much like a school bag?)


Engraved with my name.

However, I have to admit that I’ve grown to love it very much. I don’t use the side pockets at all (they are still stuffed with paper stuffings)... but the front pocket is super useful! My essentials such as my phone and car keys are so easily reachable. And unlike the Sacha, I don’t need to unbuckle anything. Everything is accessible via zips. The top zipper houses my laptop while the middle one is for my laptop charger, my work diary and occasionally, my WOC. The leather is super lavish and luxurious, and to top it off, the engraving accentuates elegance. Major love!
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