Thursday, November 12, 2015

Relationship Dynamics

The other day I opened my sleeping laptop and I saw Florence and machines on the screen.


We’ve got such different tastes in music. I’m more of a top 40, pop music person. He’s more.. I don’t know.. angst, sad, weird electro music kinda person. Because we have such different tastes in music, we have a rule. Whoever drives gets to have his music on the radio. Although in the end we end up listening to ‘If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands’.

He loves savory flavorful food. I love mild, soupy things. He hates them.

On parenting, he takes my queue because I read way more than him. Hah.

We’re married for almost 4 years now. But every time we get into the argument of it’s my way(!!!), I always wondered how did I end up marrying a person so different than me!

You think you know someone after 10 years. Nope. Still get flabbergasted.

I mean you know, it’s fun that we’re different. Like sometimes I get to eat cookies and cream ice-cream, sometimes it’s strawberry. If it we’re up to me, it will be chocolate all the time.

When we just got married, moving in with each other was interesting. I went,”we’re using Dove body shower and shampoo right?”

He went, “I like tough soaps like Dettol.”

So I went, “Dettol strips off moisture. No good. I can’t use that.”

“We’ll just keep our soaps then.”

We ended up having 2 sets of body shower, shampoo, toothpastes and other toiletries. We can’t even agree on the same toothbrush brand. Imagine the toiletries bag when we travel. That’s not counting Naila and her bag of organic things.

I must admit there was a lot of power struggles in the early days. I was used to having my way or the highway. Nowadays, it’s okay, fine your turn now, but my turn later.

Or we’ll have two of everything! Problem solved.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Weekend Getaway: Port Dickson

Once upon a time, I did not believe in short vacations. Then reality kicked in. Between family, work and other commitments, we just ran out of time! So much to do, so little time!

the beach

Last weekend, I posted about packing for the beach. We went to Port Dickson for one night only! We stayed at a homestay in Corus Paradise together with our friends and their 3 year old. Our unit was facing the sea. It was perfect!

That night we had barbeque on the balcony. Yummy.


Early next morning, we went to the beach. Our favorite beach in Port Dickson is in front of the Regency. The water is really shallow, so the little ones get to enjoy the sea as well. When I was little, my parents used to take me and my brother there. Awww good old times. Can’t believe it’s been more than 20 years!


The getaway was short and sweet. Just nice to escape the city for a short while. For now, this is our getaway style. Close to the city, affordable and short. Us parents enjoyed the chill out time, the kids enjoyed each other’s company and everything else!


All’s good.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Turning 2

So last week, I took out the old birthday banner. I said, “happy birthday Naila!!!!” Now she thinks happy birthday means the stinkin ol’ banner!  


So far we’ve celebrated with 2 birthday cakes at two different locations. All before her birthday. I’m expecting a few more cakes in the next couple of days.

mommy n naila

Apologies for the messy room.

I can’t believe my little baby is now 2 years old! She loves to jump and dance. Sometimes she says the most surprising things. The other day she bumped into me, she said, “sorry mommy.” And she claims everything she holds is “Naila’s”. She’s also a lot nicer to Chanel. Such a big girl already.

Then you know when your baby turns 2, people start asking about when is the next baby coming. I guess we’ll just wait and see for now. Naila is old enough, and she would really appreciate a sibling. So yeah, who knows? Please doa for me!

naila darling

Officially two!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Packing For The Beach

We’re taking a weekend trip to Port Dickson! So excited! The last time we were at the beach was in Pulau Perhentian last February. Feels like a loooong time ago. I miss the beach!

I’m more excited this time because we’re going with friends. Naila will have a playmate thank goodness.

Staying at home is getting really claustrophobic with the haze and everything. Thankfully nobody got sick, yet. We won’t escape the haze by going to PD.. but it’s just nice to be out and about… at the beach!

On to packing!! Packing is boring really, except for the beach bag!

I’m taking:-

1. A mat: standard jute mat we’ve had for decades

2. Sand play toys: mix of Ikea toys and sand toys

3. Goggles: we got a Speedo toddler goggles for Naila, and same for me & hubs

4. A beach ball: might wanna toss the ball around

5. A float: We’re using Ogival baby float. I bought arm floats for Naila but it’s too big for her.

6. Waterproof camera case: trusty DiCaPac

7. Wet bag: Arena brand, gift from MIL

8. Ikea bag: to dump everything in. The offical beach bag

to the beach

Did I forget anything? I hope not!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Messy Box


Staying in the condo, in the city means that I don’t have a backyard. You know, I think having a backyard can save a lot of headache. Whenever you’re out of ideas to entertain your kids, you can let them go loose in the backyard or front yard, whatever you have.

Sensory play is so important for little kids, because it’s part of their learning process.

Here are 5 reasons why sensory play is beneficial:

  1. Research shows that sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which lead to the child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks.
  2. Sensory play supports language development, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving skills, and social interaction.
  3. This type of play aids in developing and enhancing memory
  4. Sensory play is great for calming an anxious or frustrated child
  5. This helps children learn sensory attributes (hot, cold, sticky, dry)

We went to a few indoor playgrounds, and one of Naila’s favorites is the cassia pit. She loves sitting down, pouring the cassia seeds into the truck and digging. When we got home, I just thought of an idea of a makeshift sandbox.

At first I was thinking of using an inflatable pool, but storage would be a nightmare. Then I thought of really buying a sandbox at Toy’r’us but I saw the price and was like, no way! So I went to good old Ikea, and I found this perfect transparent, lightweight SAMLA box. I took the biggest box. The measurements are 78x56x18 cm. I also bought the cover, so the total I paid was a grand RM55.


SAMLA box with lid.

Next was what to fill it with. Cassia seeds are hard to get in KL. I think the indoor playgrounds import them in large quantities from China or something. Then I came across the ‘pouring station’ idea from another blog. They used flour, rice, different sized containers, funnels and spatulas. Perfect! Everything I need is already in the kitchen.



Pouring station set-up.

I didn’t even buy a funnel. I simply made them from scrap paper. It’s better to use a hardier paper like manila card so the funnel can retain its shape. Setting up took 10 minutes.

The verdict? Naila got excited the moment she saw me pouring flour, she couldn’t wait to jump in! So she stayed in the box close to an hour. It was magically quiet. She had loads of fun pouring the flour and mixing the rice with a spatula. After play, I just bring Naila to the showers, and done.



Naila obviously having the time of her life.

We still have the set-up after two weeks. Having the box lid is also very helpful to keep things tidy. To be honest this messy box idea trumps any other toys that she has in terms of longest alone playtime. It’s also very versatile, you can simply substitute the contents later with water, or balls, or even sand! It builds their fine skills and they’ll love it so much!

If you have any ideas for toddler playtime, do share! I’d love to hear more ideas because right now, I’m on a roll!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Weaning the Gentle Way

Naila will be 2 in a week! I can’t believe it. She’s so big already! As of now, she’s officially stopped nursing. She still has her formula milk everyday, I made sure of that. So the big how?

Being a stay at home mom, she nurses direct latch exclusively. All this while, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.. Baby has been nursing since birth, it’s super natural to her. So I thought of it as a long term goal ever since she turned one.

I also do not let her nurse to sleep starting about 8 months old. So she knows how to sleep without nursing, even before I started weaning her.

Around one year old, I began to introduce formula milk to replace her afternoon nursing session. This was for personal reasons as well. I was always out with her around afternoon, so it was the most challenging feed. In the car, in the surau, in the toilet. Yes, you name it… I’ve fed her everywhere. That’s why I started with afternoon first. In fact, according to breastfeeding advocates, afternoon sessions are the easiest to eliminate or substitute because babies are too busy to care. Haha.

She was curious enough to try formula milk, and soon afterwards, she took to it like a champ. So that was my first step to weaning. It stayed that way for a few more months. I was still nursing her in the morning, evening, night and maybe about twice in the middle of the night.

When she hit 18 months old, I replaced the morning feed with formula. She protested at first, but I was really persistent.. It really helps if daddy is the one giving her the formula. The beauty is, at 18 months, usually babies can be persuaded with words—they kinda understand and they don’t really rebel yet. They are more at a curious and agreeable stage which is perfect!!

Why morning feed next? Simply because the night feeding is the hardest to get rid of!

Then at about 22 months, I decided to wean her off completely. Well. It was emotional for me. I think it was harder on me than on her. She was growing up, she’ll get over it. Me, on the hand, have to get used to the idea that my baby doesn’t need my milk anymore to survive! She’s growing up too fast! If I gave in, she might as well continue nursing until she was 4, I think.

So, to completely wean her off, I had to get rid of all the night feedings. Meaning that, if she cries at night, I had to say shush and put her back to sleep. No more easy way of quieting her down. This was the critical part. Once I started, I couldn’t go back.

The first step is an inspiration from my friend. She talked to her daughter a few weeks leading up to the wean-off. That’s what I did. I told her that soon, she has to stop milk. I actually said, “Naila is big already. Later, no more milk okay?”.

I said it every time during a feed. She usually gives me a confused look. But I continued doing that until… finally one day I just decided that’s it. It’s time.

Nursing has always been part of the sleep routine. Maybe I’m abit cray cray but I’ve had Naila on a sleep routine since she was 5 months old. It was bath, quiet play (shadows, plundering mystery box sort of thing), books, nursing, then sleep. She EXPECTED nursing after books. She always smiled and said,”Want Milk!” So this was HARD.

But there wasn’t any other way. After books, she said, “Want milk!” as usual. I looked at her all serious and stuff, and said, “ mommy’s milk finish. No more. Finish!” I still remember her looking confused, tilted her head and was all, “milk finish? Oh ohh”. That was that. It was just a matter of following up everytime she asks for milk.

I gotta explain this part. By this time, she understands what finish means, because every time she has her formula milk, we shout “finish”!!! when the milk is gone.

In the middle of the night, whenever she cries, I said, “go back to sleep. no more milk, Naila.” In the beginning, she’ll toss and turn, sometimes sobbing a bit, but eventually she’ll go back to sleep. Now she’s slept through the night.

So that’s how I weaned my baby at 22 months old without using ‘asam jawa’ or lipstick or salt.

If it seems too simple in the end, I think it’s because of the preparation before weaning. She knows that formula milk tastes good, she knows what ‘finish’ means, she knows she has to stop soon because I talk to her about it. I did not force her to stop weaning cold. Instead I spread out the process to a few months so she can get ready herself.

Macam psiko dia la.

And it worked! So in the end, no tears (maybe mommy’s). Naila is happy, Mommy is happy and freeeee! For a while, that is.

Til then! Have a nice day!

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