Funny Friday #4

During our not-so recent trip to Antalya, Turkey, we spent almost 4 hours at the Antalya Zoo. Since Aqil loves animals, we thought that the trip to the zoo would be apt.

Our boy enjoyed his time at the petting zoo before dozing off in the carrier. We were left exploring the zoo by ourselves and read few fun facts on the animals.

By the way, did you know that elephants cannot jump and lion is not a  good tree climber? And just like human fingerprints, a zebra's stripe pattern is unique to individual? I am not writing to share about animal's fun facts but a funny story involving zebras.

So, we were walking pass zebras and I asked my husband if he can tell apart which one these two zebras is male or female. In a matter-of-factly manner he answered,

"Oh, I know. You can differentiate them from the stripe pattern. Right?"

To which I stared blankly and replied,

"No. I just look at their genitals. None of them have balls so both of them are female."

That is ladies and gents, how you tell their gender apart.



Some say, the past should stay in the past and not worth revisiting but I am not most people. Well, at least in the form of places to travel. I for once revisited Amsterdam.

I had been to Amsterdam in my 20's and boy, I had fun. Before any of you had some funny ideas, my idea of fun didn't involve indulging in smoking "herbal" cigarettes or eating enhanced brownies (though I kinda wish I had). Back then fun is about getting adrenaline rush and one of them is roller coasting at Walibi World. But this post really isn't about visiting the past. It is about our (not so) recent trip to Amsterdam in May 2015.

On the first day upon arrival, we decided to be spontaneous and tried to beat the long queue at Anne Frank's House. I had read the book and was there during my first visit so I wasn't keen because I knew it'll be impossible to get in without prior booking but it was H's first time to Amsterdam so we decided to give it a shot. The queue was too long and let's face it, my son couldn't stay still so we forgo the plan of going in and took a hop-on hop-off boat ride instead. Oh, this trip also wasn't about culture or art so we ditched the museums all together. So, bye Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Vermeer.

Outside Anne Frank's House
And obviously a visit to Amsterdam is incomplete without trip to the famous Keukenhof. You can take shuttle bus from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and the journey from the airport to Keukenhof takes about 45 minutes.

Aqil is almost 3 and yes, I am still babywearing him. With the right carriers you can still carry them as long as you can. In case you are wondering the carry style is rucksack carry and the wrap is Bebe Sachi Meranti. Bebe Sachi is a proud Malaysian brand and both internationally and locally known.
Someone couldn't resist sleepy dust.

Our last day was spent by strolling around various flea markets, the Flower Market, Albert Cuyp Market and going to Vondel Park.

We have been travelling together with Aqil since he was barely 2 months old and the secret to travelling with kids is not to expect much. You wrote the to-do list or itinerary and congratulate yourself even if you made half of the list. Countless pit stops and small breaks are necessary to keep them entertained. I know that my travelling style had evolved significantly for these past few years since I became a mom. Goodbye Deuter & Vaude and hello to Samsonite and Storksak. It is a matter of time till I lug a Trunki with me.


It's been half a year since my last post.

To be honest, I don't know if the writing mojo will be back. I have been dragging myself to write but every time I sit down in front of the laptop with coffee next to me hoping that it'll at least help me, my mind went blank. My mind is so saturated that sometimes I wish I could get into them and filter it one by one. Words don't flow easily this time around. Hence, I have been writing and deleting this particular paragraph for at least 3 times. I have lost the touch of a writer, or a blogger - if I can still call myself that. I have isolated myself from the blogging world that I have lost touch of who's who and who's still in the game. I don't even know if blogging is still relevant nowadays.

By the end of the last paragraph I guess you can sense that I am writing gibberish. Yes, I am not ashamed to admit that. I don't know what and why I am writing these at almost 11 PM when I should be sleeping next to my darling husband and my baby. Both are fine, alhamdulillah. In fact the three of us are fine, praise to Allah. Aqil turned 2 in September and masya Allah, he had grew up into an active toddler and his antics never fail to amuse me (and suck dry my energy!). I am not complaining for I love to be around him, and I hope vice versa!

I just stared at the screen for 10 minutes just now, figuring what to type next. I guess like everything new in life - I need to take things slow. Writing is like riding a bike - once you are in sync with your body and mind, you will know what to do next.

And the optimistic in me says - here's hoping to many more updates in the future!



It's been a while isn't it?

Alhamdulillah life is good.

Not sure if I still have any readers left after such a loooooonnggggg hiatus. I do admit that I miss blogging, I miss blog-hopping, I miss reading people's thoughts. I've stopped associating myself with lots of social media lately though I still active on Facebook and Instagram - they're my sanctuary.

Just want to let the (blogging) world that,

I am still around.

Will I ever write again?

Insya Allah, only time will tell.


Funny Friday #3


Wordless Wednesday #26

Salam Ramadhan Al-Mubarak!


Happy Birthday and Mother's Day

We are going for a 10-days trip tomorrow! Yeehoo!! I'm excited and nervous at the same time. Excited because we're going on a cruise trip for 7 days which starts in Rome and going all the way to Sicily (Italy), Greece and Turkey. I'm nervous because Aqil has (finally) started eating and I don't know how I should do it because he has only started on solid for a week and I'm still a newbie when it comes to baby food. But all I know I don't trust instant/jar baby food because I read citric acid is even added to an organic baby food and as far as I know citric acid is a PRESERVATIVE. Call me an extremist but no way I'm putting that into his body this early. Maybe in the future if it's unavoidable but for now, it's a no.

Hence me buying a second hand Beaba babycook and lugging it on board just to make sure his gut is free of preservatives (as for now) and be filled with his mama's nutritious self-prepared puree. I'm very cautious about what goes into his stomach as he has infantile eczema. Sadly he got it from his momma, yo. Though his condition is very very very mild (his dry patches cleared in a week with Moogoo) but I don't wanna chance anything. Better be safe than sorry.

But because of the Beaba, we might have an excess baggage! *cries*

My birthday is coming up this weekend (nak jugak bagitau. HAHA). I've been hinting H with my wishlist i.e. handbags (as a typical woman, what else?) but by the looks of it, he's ignoring it. Damn. According to him, he already bought me a Storksak when we were in London, which can be counted as a handbag slash diaper bag. Oh well, worse come to worst, I'll consider the cruise trip as my birthday (and Mother's day) gift. Ngeh ngeh.

But I will definitely buy something for myself. Something valuable and has significant meaning like gold, for example.




To all mothers out there, here's a video on mothers from a child's perspective. Kinda bring me to tears. I have a mother's heart now, I'm allowed to be sappy. Haha.



Deutschland Revisited

I was organizing the harddisk when I stumbled upon these photos. It's the usual thing that I do whenever I have free time, you know - rearranging stuff. I can't stand when things are not in order and like the Germans, I love my stuff to be in order - alles muss in Ordnung sein. I am denial that I (might) show signs of OCD but believe me, these little things keep me together and sane.

They are mostly pictures taken during our trip back to Germany in mid June 2012. As per mentioned in my previous post, we were there to visit a family friend. It was my first time meeting his family but they treat us indifferently. We were treated with nothing but only warmth and kindness.

It felt good to be back in Germany after I left it in 2008. It truly felt like coming home.

That's his old hostel
Proud products of HS Aalen
I was 20 weeks pregnant
I can safely cross out strawberries picking from my wishlist
Fat and juicy strawberries
Our kind host who treats us like part of their family. We're brothers and sisters in Islam, he said. Masya Allah.

Family photo

And yerp, the cat is ALSO part of the family.


Funny Friday #2

Mom and Dad were visiting us last week. This was their first trip out of the country (not counting Singapore and Thailand) so naturally they were ecstatic about their experience.

They flew via Thai Airways and on board from KUL-BKK, Mom was seated in front of Lisa Surihani.

Yes, you hear me, Lisa Surihani the actress.

"Masa dalam flight, bantal Mama jatuh. Lisa siap tolong amikkan"

*eyes rolling*

"Lisa was on phone until we were about to take off. Sampai stewardess suruh off phone. Call Yusry la tu"

More eyes rolling. I bet she listened to the whole conversation.

Then she went on telling us about some passengers trying to get Lisa's autograph and photos when they landed in Bangkok.

"Dalam bas nak ke terminal, banyak orang ambik gambar dengan Lisa. Mama saje buat taktau lepas tu tanya sorang budak ni - sape tu (sambil tunjuk Lisa)"

The fellow then answered her,

"Makcik tak kenal ke? Tu la Lisa Surihani, pelakon Malaysia. Famous tu makcik"

Know what my dearest mom replied?

"Sorry la kalau pelakon Malaysia ni makcik tak berapa kenal. Kalau pelakon Korea, makcik kenal"


Mama oh mama!


Our (humble) journey, thus far

(a long entry waiting ahead)


Dah lama nak tulis pasal breastfeeding journey tapi segan nak tulis awal-awal nanti orang cakap, poyo ah kau Moose baru beberapa bulan dah sibuk nak tulis breastfeeding journey bagai. So since I've hit the crucial breastfeeding milestone of 6 months, only now I feel comfortable to write my or rather our humble journey down.

During the seconds when Aqil was born, I was so eager to breastfeed him there and then but unfortunately he had some problems with breathing and was taken to the NICU and I only got to hold him for about 10 minutes. Later that night, we visited him and I still couldn't breastfeed him then because he was on breathing machine and a feeding tube was inserted into his mouth. He was fed with donors milk that night after we signed our consent. The next morning, a midwife came to check on me and taught me how to hand-expressed the milk (marmet). Alhamdulillah, the milk was there and despite a bit clumsy, I managed to hand-expressed about 10ml of the "liquid gold" or colostrum for him. That was his first taste of my milk. His breathing equipment was only taken off on the third day so from day 1, there was no direct feeding. I've tried breastfeeding him on day 4 and because my boobs were engorged, he couldn't latch onto it properly.

To cut the (sad) story short, since he was on feeding tube from day 1, he couldn't latch or rather he didn't know how to latch. Furthermore, he was fed with almost 40-55ml (1.5-2 oz) every 3 hours to maintain his weight and that, leaved him with no room to feel hungry and wanting to "work" for food. I felt very devastated and helpless with the whole situation. Seeing that I struggled to have Aqil latched, a nurse suggested me to use a nipple shield and it worked like magic. He could finally latch on!

Since breastfeeding especially the act of sucking takes a lot of preemie's energy and because of that, our breastfeeding session was kept to a maximum of 30 minutes. The rest, he was fed via tube with the milk that I pumped out. To be honest, when he was at the hospital, because of the amount that was assigned for him, there were times when I couldn't meet up his demand. Remember that we signed the consent letter for donor's milk? I innocently thought that even if I couldn't meet his demand, he will still be on breast milk from the donors. I was shocked when I found out that he was already fed with formula milk after he was moved from the intensive care room to the intermediate care room. Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with formula milk but it was more like a regret towards the hospital of not informing us of the act.

Since that day, something inside of me snapped. I felt like I failed to provide the best for my baby. I've become borderline obsessed with pumping that I pumped every 2-3 hours instead of 3-4 hours. I'd wake up in the middle of the night to do power pumping. I also tried out every possible milk boosters just for the sake if they could increase the milk production. Dates, red dates & longan tea, nursing tea, milk, cheese, white radish - you name it, I've tried it. Orang cakap usaha itu datang dari pelbagai cara and I was doing every thing that I possibly can. It was draining out my energy but I ignored it because I was partly blaming myself that earlier on I chose to sleep rather than pumping out and my son had to take the consequences and had to drink FM. I didn't mean to offend anyone because this was more of my inner battle coupled with frustration, anger and postpartum hormone imbalance back then.

Breastfriend at the hospital

When he was discharged from the hospital, he was still on the feeding tube and we opted for a home hospital care whereby the nurses will visit and monitor his progress for 2 weeks. I was still pumping and breastfeeding him using the nipple shield. After 2 weeks the tube was taken out and I was finally feeding him directly with the help of the nipple shield. Again alhamdulillah, despite reading the disadvantages of using nipple shield and what it can do to your milk supply, I've never experienced any dropping or shortage of supply. Probably because I don't pump so much (so I didn't know the volume) and just concentrate on direct feeding since I'm a SAHM.

Breastfriend at home

So, when he was about 3 months old, I've decided that probably it was time to wean him off from the shields. There is nothing wrong using the shields but it can be quite a hassle when you're out and NIP. The first few days were frustrating and yes, there were times when I felt like giving up, broke down, stressed out and cry but luckily I didn't. I am just too stubborn to quit. One of the things that you should know about me is that, I must finish what I've started. Winners never quit, I always say to myself.

Then one day, he taken me by surprised by latching on perfectly! I was (and still am) a proud mama. From then on, he latched like a pro and I've never been any prouder and grateful. And we enjoy our breastfeeding journey even more from then on. Even though we've hit 6 months, since he was born prematurely, his adjusted age is only 5 months so technically I still have another month to go before I started to introduce solid food to him. But honestly, I don't feel any pressure to do so. I'm just not ready to introduce solid to him but of course, we'll see how it goes later.

Breastfeeding is a natural process but for some people it may take a lot of work. Our breastfeeding journey was/is a roller coaster of emotions. It takes a lot of perseverance, determination, courage, discipline, patience and doa to come to where we are now. This is such a humbling experience to me and in a way it teaches me that sometimes, you gotta have faith in yourself and your baby as both of you are in it - together as a team. (dah bunyi macam tagline MLM pun ada gak. Kahkah)

Alhamdulillah, we've come so far and like every one else, I'd hope to continue this journey for another 1.5 years.

Yeah, boys (and breastfeeding) rule!

Insya Allah.

Til then, happy breastfeeding!