Lilypie - First Birthday

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

[Baby Diary] Shoe Soup Tastes Good

Yesterday we had shoe soup for dinner.

It all began with the bird, a finger toy parrot that doubles as a kookaburra and cuckoo, depending on the song. She threw her bird into her soup bowl first. Then I fished it out and put her on the floor. Then she walked around while we were busy eating and suddenly laughed to herself, no doubt formulating some naughty plan in her head.. Then she walked to me holding her little red shoe. Thinking nothing about it, I just picked her up and sat her on my lap with her holding her shoe. Then she quickly threw the shoe into my soup... The turnip carrot soup which I'd been boiling for an hour!

Believing in the 3-second rule, me and her Papa finished the soup. Now I'm guessing it was either the super-spicy sambal udang or the dirty soup that gave me stomachache the whole night until the next morning... 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

[Baby Diary] Morning Kiss

Yesterday before sleep, baby Hayley was scrolling through my phone when she came to this picture of me feeding her...

She looked at the picture and said "nen nen" (she calls me "nen nen") then kissed the screen.

Awwwwwww... *my heart melts delightfully like an icecream"


The next morning when we woke up, she turned to her papa, held his face with one hand, and planted a kiss on his lips. Then she turned to me and did the same.

Soooooo sweet. *love*

Monday, October 26, 2015

[Baby Diary] The Big Bad Pocket Pouch!

I realized that I have been neglecting to record down precious moments of our baby, due to being too busy at work or too tired to blog when at home. 

So, I am starting a new category called "Baby Diary" to capture little snippets of moments with baby Hayley, something that we'll look back in the future and read and laugh together about.

Yesterday, while Skype-ing with my parents, Hayley was busy as usual taking out all the remote controls from the black IKEA FLÖRT remote control pocket pouch attached to the couch. Suddenly her face turned red and she cried! She had stuck her hand into the pocket and could not get it out. She must have thought that the pocket pouch was eating her hand up!

She was still crying after we freed her hand. After that, I acted as though my hand was stuck and the pocket pouch was eating it up. I said, "Hayley, Hayley... help help... save Mama" but she wandered further and further from me while looking at the pouch with a scared face! Guess it's a lost case on that one, ha! :-P

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A very full week

It's that time of the year again where my hubby has to go on his annual pilgrimage to USA. We left our baby with my parents at my hometown, so I enjoyed my freedom at home.

The perfect idea of me staying at home would be: after work, go back home and laze on the couch watching Korean dramas all day, while slurping shin ramyeon and downing the occasional Big Mac. Well, I'm so happy that I did manage to get my perfect time at home this time... hahahahahahahaha! There was a US vistor at my office too, so I had been eating full meals at lunch and even skipped thinking of what to eat for dinner.

Let me jot down what I did for a week, and also comment on some new eateries that I managed to try out.

Monday - Had team lunch at Jawi House, Armenian Street. I ordered a lamb briyani. We also chanced on the BBC Indian Summer film crew doing their production at Armenian Street. But the real surprise for me came when I saw the ink painting of Busan's Haedong Yunggung temple hanging in the art gallery upstairs in the restaurant! Dinner - skipped.

Tuesday - Had project lunch with US visitor at Penmutiara Restaurant, Batu Maung. This restaurant is a favourite for us because of its great halal food and proximity to our office. I love its fish head curry. Dinner - skipped.

Wednesday - Had lunch buffet with US visitor at Maritime Waterfront Hotel. It was a RM19.90 lunch buffet. Nothing much to complain about! Had dinner with fellow friends who studied at Korea, at the newly opened BBQ Chicken Restaurant at Elite Heights. We ordered two and a half chickens for five of us. The Paris-style chicken wings was yum, but the olive oil fried chicken was a miss.

Thursday - Just normal zhap fan lunch for a break. Dinner was Mushroom Chicken Maggi Mee. 

Friday - Ate lunch at Canton-i in Queensbay Mall. Thank God it's Friday! For dinner, my friend and I initially planned to have dinner and cocktails at Mish Mash, Muntri Street, but it was raining cats and dogs and we couldn't get out of the car. So we parked inside Gurney Paragon and ate Johnny Rockets hamburger and famous milkshake. By the time we finished dinner and shopping, the rain had already stopped, so we did go for those cocktails after all!

Saturday - I went back to my hometown for the weekend. Mamas food is the best!

Sunday - I bought some Groupon vouchers so we ate at Ben's TSG Burgers at Ipoh Parade. We took all three flavours - mushroom, fish and beef. The former two tasted quite nice actually but the beef patty was totally falling apart! Very bad. Totally could not compare to Johnny Rockets.

Monday - Hubby is back from USA! We took leave from work and went to watch Everest at Gurney Plaza. After the movie we ate Honeycreme soft serve icecream with honeycomb at Gurney Plaza basement.

Tuesday - Wednesday is a holiday for hubby! We went for a date night cum 6th anniversary celebration at Yella Fork. Hubs ordered a Pie in The Sky while I ordered Porky Choppy. The potato wedges were sooooo good! We topped it off with a Tiger beer and a glass of red wine. It's affordable Australian cuisine... yum! 

8 new restaurants out of 10 restaurants in about a week! That breaks the record, YEAH!!!~

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hayley loves to dance @13m

Wake me up when September ends. 

I like to blog this phrase at the end of September each year. Though this year I'm literally sleepwalking through the days while taking care of a restless baby at night.

On a funnier note, we've realised that our little girl has a talent at dancing! She can identify music very well and whenever she hears any kind of music, she'll start shaking her shoulders and swaying her ass to the tune. She simply lovesssss to dance! She got me cracking up when I saw her swaying to Girls Generation and Sistar's songs on TV the other day.

We attended a wedding dinner at Hotel Equatorial on Saturday. She was all dressed up in a velvet and satin black-and-red dress, looking like a real-life princess doll, regal-looking even! When I showed her how she looked like in the mirror, her face lit up and she immediately stopped crying. At the dinner, it was such a joy to watch her as she swept across the dance floor like she owned it, all the while swaying to the music the wedding singers belted out. 

Our Dearest Daughter,
Pappa and Mamma do not know how long we can hold your hand and dance,
Until your shoulders reach ours,
Until your gaze reaches over our head,
Until one day we start to wilt and tilt, 
Until the day we walk you down the aisle,
And pass your hand to the one you love.
28 years later,
You'll be all grown up,
And dance to the tune of your own royal wedding,
But you'll always be our little precious princess, 
And we'll love you and remember you just as you are right now.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Second house and Hayley walks @13m

Sept 20, the day we got the keys to our second house.

I wanted to take a photo of that memorable moment, but forgot... was too busy chasing our little baby around in the playground opposite the house. :P

For now, we decided to rent it out. Still loving the facilities in our current condo too much to move out... so we're staying put for the time being. Will contemplate again later whether to sell it off or to move in when the kids are older.

Little Hayley has started walking steadily! Nowadays she's very busy walking around the house, peeking at us at the bathroom door when we're showering, walking under the dining table when we're eating, etc. Too busy exploring the world on her two little feet!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Oh My Ghostess 오 나의 귀신님

I'm totally loving the most popular drama this summer - Oh My Ghostess 오 나의 귀신님 !!! 

Jo Jung-suk plays the charismatic star chef Kang Sun-woo, while Park Bo-young plays the timid girl working at Sun's Restaurant and is in love with the chef. Her body is taken over by a lustful ghost wanting to resolve her grudge in order to move on to the afterlife. 

Love love love this drama and am totally head-over-heels with Kang Sun-woo, who I'm sure is modeled after Masterchef Korea's judge Kang Leo (even their surname is the same!). He is so conceited yet cold-and-warm and romantic at the same time. And he takes care of his girl. Not to mention that there are too many swoon-worthy moments in the drama... *love*!

This drama takes me back to moments of my life in Korea, especially the rapport among the workers in Sun Restaurant - reminds me of my labmates, who liked to bully me, poke fun at me... Also same as in the drama, professor would give us his credit card for us to go out for a big meal sometimes, then we would go for noraebang afterwards, and also the MT (membership training) that never materialized...  

Posting this song here played by Jo Jung-suk on his guitar... this is the part which made me fall in love with this drama:

달콤한 카푸치노같은 그대는 나의 엔젤
이 내 맘을 그대도 알런시 모르것다 몰라요
한 없이 맑았던 그대의 두 눈이 그리워요 나의 그래
就像甜蜜的卡布奇諾般 我的天使
你能明白我的心意嗎 不知道吧? 不知道啦
無限清澈的雙眼和你的身影 讓我好想念喔

give me a chocolate
give me a vitamin
그대는 새콤달콤 나의 엔돌핀
你就像是 讓我嚐到酸甜滋味的腦內啡

give me a chocolate
give me a vitamin

그대와 한께 영원히
그대와 한께 이밤을
그대와 한께 Forever
和你一起 直到永遠
和你一起 浪漫一夜
和你一起 Forever

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Hayley says "Papa" @13m1w

Last week, my mom and cousin sister were in Penang. We went to Batu Feringghi to visit "Helen's Handmade Teddy Bear's Exhibition" at Feringghi Garden Restaurant. The Exhibition boasts the biggest handmade teddy bear in town. :-) 

Hayley was overwhelmed by seeing so many teddy bears, ever in her life! After that, she learnt how to say "Bear Bear" and has been repeating it ever since, whenever she sees a toy bear at home, or when we flip a page in her storybook which has a picture of a bear!

So that's the second word she learnt how to say.

1. "Nen Nen" - said somewhere before her first birthday (Jul 26?). I remember we were on an escalator in Gurney Paragon when I pointed to myself and told her to call me "Mama". She adamantly shook her head and said "Nen Nen". =_=|||

2. "Bear Bear" - Sept 4?

3. "Papa" - and yesterday(Sept 7), she finally uttered the magic word!! However, hubby doesn't seem too enthusiastic about this huge milestone, whereby I'm so jealous! I'm owing it to the fact that going from "Bear Bear" to "Pa Pa" requires less effort than "Mama" hahaha!


More Hayley Milestones:
  • Hayley started to walk short distances unassisted about two weeks ago! After a few days she fell sick and reverted back to crawling, but now she's starting to walk again!
  • Hayley loves to dance. When she listens to her baby songs on TV she'll shake her body. She also shakes to the tune of "lenggang lenggang kangkong"! Takes after her dad in this, haha!
  • Other gestures like:
    -"sayang" - she understands this word and will put her head on animals to show her affection.
    -"eat/mum mum" - she understands this word and will move her lips mimicking an eating motion.
    -"sleep/shui jiao" - she understands this word and will put her hands to cover her face. when she's sleepy and wants to go to sleep she'll also show this gesture.
    -"shake head" - this is something my bil's gf taught her, to show that she doesn't want something.
    -"fan" - she'll look up or point her finger up to indicate where the fan is.
    -"hold her milk bottle" - well, she actually learnt how to hold her milk bottle since a few months old.. but what amazed me is was she can actually reach out and re-position the milk bottle and suck it while she's still half-asleep.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Tokyo Trip Day 3: Mt. Fuji 5th Station

It was another early day for us as we slept early the previous night. We did not go out for dinner last night as we were still full from the food at the Herb Festival. But after onsen we felt like having something warm to fill our stomachs. Luckily there were vending machines inside the hotel so we bought curry ramen cup noodles and some fizzy yogurt drinks.

After our morning onsen and light breakfast inside our hotel room, we took the free hotel shuttle to Kawaguchiko Station. My original plan for today was to take the red/green retro bus around Lake Kawaguchi and Lake Saiko area. I wanted to visit the Wind Cave and Ice Cave. However, Mom seemed like she really wanted to go to Mt. Fuji instead. So seeing that it was just only 8.30am, I decided that we take the bus up to Mt. Fuji 5th Station and decide again later where to go in the afternoon. On hindsight, I feel lucky that we didn't visit Wind Cave/ Ice Cave as it would require a journey into the creepy Aokigahara forest!

The round-trip bus tickets going up to Mt. Fuji 5th Station cost 2100 yen per pax. The bus takes the Subaru Line, a beautiful toll road meandering uphill amongst tall pine trees and at halfway, looks down upon a glorious sea of clouds.

Here we are at Mt. Fuji 5th Station! The elevation is 2300 meters above sea level. It was soooo cold up there, I thought I was at Genting Highlands. And I was only wearing shorts. Brrrr! The lodges here are actually shops selling souvenir items such as snacks, chocolates and also hiking items such as hiking sticks, waterproof jackets, hats etc. There are also restaurants but we did not eat there.

A mountain of Fuji-san toilet paper

We came to Komitake Shrine which was behind the shops. While taking photos, suddenly we realised that the main object which we came to see, was just right behind us!! The peak of Mt. Fuji!

I think I heard a description before saying that Mt. Fuji is like a very shy woman. It is always shrouded behind clouds and you are only able to see it if she wants to let you see it. We were so excited taking dozens of pictures of it and within moments, voila! It was covered by the thick mist again.

We spent some time walking around the area, and even walked a bit on the hiking trail. Mom was super excited because she likes hiking mountains. 

We took the bus downhill around noon. We wasted some time and energy walking around as we missed to take the retro bus directly from Kawaguchiko Station. At town, we stopped at a ramen shop and went in as we saw that there were many customers. We ordered ramen, fried rice and a pint of beer. It was delicious. Then we went to a fruit stall nearby and bought 2 crates of big peaches, cherries and plum and carried them on the bus back to our hotel.

Next, we visited the Kawaguchiko Music Forest. That's another story to tell.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

That day a child was born

To commemorate the special occasion of my baby's first birthday, let me jot down the memory of what happened on that special day, exactly one year back...

The day was July 28, 2014, a Monday. It was the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri so it was a public holiday and we didn't need to go to work. I woke up in bed around 8.30am, feeling a slight tugging in my underbelly. As I sat on the toilet, feeling the tugging sensations that were coming and going, I did not at all think that those were real contractions. In fact, I believed those were "false contractions" from a blog I had read somewhere before. We had scheduled a planned Caesarean-section with my doctor for two days later, July 30, so that baby would come out on the same day as her dad's birthday. (So that in future I wouldn't have to bake two cakes, hehee..) Jokes aside, the planned C-sec at 37 weeks was because baby was not getting sufficient nutrition and was not growing well inside the womb. Anyway, my mind was actually prepped for the BIG thing to happen two days later, and not today.

So the tugging went on the whole morning, like a little annoying and persistent period pain. It came and it left, at non-regular intervals when I tried to time it, so it only added to my belief that those were "false contractions". We went to eat chicken rice nearby our house for lunch. After that, I went to cut my hair short in preparation for the confinement. I still remember telling the hairdresser that I was ready to give birth soon but my tummy was still so small. At 3pm, hubby's friend came to visit us at our house and gave us a baby clothes giftset. 

After our friend left around 4.30pm, I started to feel that the tuggings were getting stronger. I called my mom.

Me:  "Mom, I think I am having contractions."
Mom: "Huh.. contractions are very pain, you won't be able to withstand it."
Me:  "But I can withstand wor.. it just feels like period pain."

Then I went to the toilet and saw that I was spotting. I told hubby and he said, let's call the doctor now. Upon receiving my phone call, my doctor said that those were birth contractions and urged me to rush to the hospital as soon as possible as baby was too small to withstand the stress of coming out through natural birth! The doctor also advised us to take town road instead of Greenlane route as it would be jammed.

All throughout the car ride I was nervous, wondering whether I had compromised my baby's health by not going to the hospital sooner. But I also comforted myself that contractions could last up to one whole day and the baby would still be okay.

It was about 5-ish when we reached the hospital. We went to register at the front desk. The hospital attendants put me in a wheelchair and wheeled me up to the delivery floor even though I was still feeling fine and the contractions were still only mild at that time. Our doctor had already arrived, she met us at the lift wearing her normal everyday clothes. At my hospital room, the usual things happened, (blur to me now..) signing documents, shaving, insertion of urinary catheter (ouch!!), taking of blood pressure... then I was wheeled into the operation theater. Too bad hubby could not follow me in as it was a case of emergency C-section.

A big burly Indian male nurse helped heave me onto the bed inside the operation theater and I was soon surrounded by nurses, midwife, my doctor and the anesthesiologist. I remember the anesthesiologist asked me what did I eat for lunch (I was told to fast before my planned C-sec) and I said chicken rice. He was like "Oh no, you're gonna throw up" and then he asked me to sit up straight and put an intrathecal in my spine. I started to feel very cold and my whole body started to shiver. They had put up a screen to cover my mid-section so I could not see anything that was happening down there.

I think the point where everything started to hit me real hard was when I overheard the doctor saying that my baby's stats were not looking good. I was feeling so alone without my hubby beside me to give me support and at the same time feeling so worried for my baby. At moments like this you turn to the Lord for comfort. I started praying... for my baby to be safe, to be born healthily, for her brain to not be in lack of oxygen, etc. I willed myself to surrender to the Lord and to place my baby's life in His hands. I knew that the Lord would deliver both of us safe and sound. Everything happened in a daze and I could feel the doctor pulling and tugging at my stomach's skin. After what felt like a very long time, I dared myself to ask the nurse/midwife standing beside me, "Could you let me know when the doctor has started?" Then she said, "Doctor started already.." But I couldn't hear anything. I kept quiet for a while until the midwife heaved me up and told me to push out the baby now. (Yes, C-section also need to help push out the baby..) Then I asked again, "Why is my baby not crying???" Then somebody answered, "Your baby is crying so loudly, can't you hear?" I strained my ears again. It was true, I could hear in the background of what sounded like the most beautiful and angelic voice in the world - my newborn baby was crying! Although not quite as loudly as I would have imagined, due to mucus stuck in her throat. I remember asking my doctor loudly in a mix of confusion and worry, "Is my baby ok? Is my baby ok?" Then the doctor replied, "Everything is ok." I started to feel waves of relief wash over me and started to cry joyfully inside. My prayers had come true, my child is safe. A few minutes after, the nurse brought my baby to my side for me to look at (just a blur...) and told me in Hokkien to check my name and ID on the baby's tag. Then they whisked my baby away to the warmer.

Everything about the delivery and the C-section happened so fast. The doctor closed me up and I was back to my room around 6.30pm.

And that is it. That day a child was born, our very own, little baby Hayley.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Hayley is ONE

Time flies... our little baby is now ONE years old!

When she was born, we counted the time by days. Then days passed into weeks, and weeks passed into months. And then there were only the occasional updates on social media. What I am trying to say is that we say that "time flies" but actually a whole year has gone by, with moments that you feel like the minutes tick by so slowly, and also moments that with the blink of an eye, are gone. 

Anyway, we had three birthday celebrations for our precious little girl. Her grandparents organized a luxurious birthday dinner for her in Melaka. She had a jelly cake. Then on her real birthday, I baked a simple ricecooker japanese cheesecake for her to eat. Last but not least, my mom baked her a yummylicious chocolate cream cheesecake in Ipoh last weekend. 

Oh my baby girl, Papa and Mama wish for nothing else than to see you grow up healthily. Wish that you will catch up with your weight gain, height gain and of course intellectual and other progress. We all love you so very much!

Hayley's birthday party in Melaka
Hayley's birthday party in Penang
Hayley's birthday party in Ipoh

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Day at the beach

Both Hayley and her Daddy's birthdays are coming up soon... we had a special treat last weekend to celebrate the happy occasion.

We brought Hayley to Batu Ferringhi to experience the beach for the first time. She enjoyed walking on the smooth sand near the water. She was very excited to see the sea water lapping at her feet and rolling back into the tide. Our brave little girl kept wanting to go forward into the water. We were very happy to see that our little girl enjoys the beach!

During dinner it rained a little bit. Nevertheless we got to enjoy the beautiful sunset under the thatched shacks near the cafe.

We had some cocktails (his: a gin+lime, hers: ameretto+kahlua+bailey's) inside the lounge and took some pictures with the 3D art installations. We also had a game of electronic darts, very funny when we had to take turns holding the baby. :-)

Other things we did during the weekend:-
  • I baked again after a long hiatus. Just a simple recipe, no sugar, baked apple+blueberries cupcake for Hayley. She seemed to like it.
  • Brought Hayley to the Botanical Gardens to see her favourite monkeys.
  • Brought Hayley to church and it was the first time we sat in the creche room. She liked crawling on the playmat and cruising around the little furnitures while the sermon was going on. Also throwing the color pencils around.
  • Bought an expensive pre-walker shoe for her at Debenhams.
  • Hubby made Hollandaise sauce because he said we had too many eggs. I'm not quite a fan of it.
  • Totally forgot about Bon Odori happening on Saturday so Hayley didn't get to wear her yukata afterall :( But felt better because it was raining slightly that evening.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Tokyo Trip Day 2: Mt. Tenjo Kachi-Kachi Ropeway and Kawaguchiko Herb Festival

Since it was a beautiful day outside, we took a short stroll by the lakeside from our hotel to the Mt. Tenjo Kachi-Kachi Ropeway. The area was blooming with all sorts of hydrangea blossoms, pink and blue, in various shades and sizes. Mom was happily chirping all the way about how beautiful the surrounding scenery was.

Mt. Tenjo Kachi-Kachi Ropeway

We bought the round-trip tickets for the Kachi-Kachi cable car ride, it cost 700 yen per pax. The view of the lake and the surrounding mountains from the top was awesome.

On the top, there was a little shop selling ice-cream, roasted ricecakes, drinks and souvenirs. We bought an iced peach drink and a blue Mt. Fuji popsicle. It was really refreshing as the day was quite hot. However, although the day was bright and sunny, clouds were blocking our view of Mt. Fuji.:-(

Supposed to see Mt. Fuji behind us but it was blocked by clouds :-(

There is a funny story about Mt. Kachi-Kachi:

①Once upon a time there was an old man and an old woman living together peacefully.
②One day they found a raccoon eating the seeds that they just sown in the mountain. On the next They laid the snare to catch the raccoon.
③The caught raccoon apologized for what he had done so they forgave him. However the raccoon betrayed them and killed the old woman.
④A rabbit , a good friend of the old man and the old woman, promised to revenge him.
⑤The rabbit and the raccoon went to the mountain to gather the firewood. On the way they come back, the rabbit set a fire on the firewood of the raccoon's back and the raccoon got burned on his back.
⑥On the next day the rabbit and the raccoon went into the river however only raccoon's boat
sank because his boat was made of mud. The rabbit got his revenge!

We also hiked a slight way up the mountain (around 15 mins) to take a look at a shrine. However, it was not really a proper shrine... kinda disappointed. The view from among the forests was not too bad though. It was a good mother-daughter bonding moment.

When it was about time to alight from the mountain, mom found out that she had lost our ropeway tickets! However, someone at the ticket booth had found it and kept it for us. We were sooooo impressed by their Japanese honesty!

Kawaguchiko Herb Festival

While checking-in our hotel earlier, I saw a poster about the Kawaguchiko Herb Festival. Thus we took the retro-bus to Lake Yagasaki where the festival was held. Once we got there, we were awestruck by the beauty of the place! Rows and rows of lavender fields were in full bloom. I had always heard about how beautiful the lavender season is in Japan and I thank God that I got to see this wonderful view by chance. Other than lavender fields, there were also hundreds of hydrangeas blooming everywhere. We took millions of pictures until my camera battery died. Mom and I also shared a lavender icecream.

There was a live performance by a "natural artist" playing instrumental music on his keyboards. It was like a background soundtrack to the beautiful surroundings of lavender fields and Lake Kawaguchi. I wrote a few words describing the scenery in my Instagram video:

"Listen to the wind blowing
Through the lavender fields
Ripples on the lake
The music in the garden"