Thursday, December 8, 2016

Three Generations

It's exactly a week after my birthday!

It was certainly a wonderful week of celebrations. I was celebrated a grand total of four times; with my dad and my extended family, with Ian at his birthday party, with my SPK girls and last but not least, an intimate dinner with my better half. So blessed to turn a year older in the company of my fantastic family and friends... but as much as I love being celebrated, I don't think I can stomach more cake!

Anyway, this post is dedicated to my birthday celebration with my dad, my stepmothers and step siblings. A week before the actual birth date, my dad had lamented quite sadly about how his children were too busy to balik Ipoh to celebrate his birthday. Little did he know that we had planned for a surprise party in KL. We went to great lengths to keep it a secret from him, and it was certainly impressive to see how all the siblings rallied together to organize the party. One was in charge of bringing him to KL, one for smuggling a tuxedo into his suitcase, another for booking the hotel, one for balloons and decorations, and yours truly for the birthday cake.

So that fateful night (3 days before the actual birth date, mind you!) we all gathered at my dad's hotel. Meanwhile, my father thought he was going out for dinner with my stepbrother. Unfortunately, he wanted to leave the hotel for dinner right after Maghrib hence my stepbrother had to tell a number of white lies to stall him. (Hujan lebat, KL banjir, kereta tak boleh jalan, bla bla bla oh my poor brother *giggles*) My dad got quite agitated and cranky at having to wait.

Aiden and I posed for photos while Ian, the other birthday boy, was fast asleep.

Us sitting in the darkened private room, waiting for the guest of honour to arrive.

By the time everyone arrived, my dad had waited for nearly an hour in his hotel room. We finally gave the go ahead for my stepbrother to bring my dad down to the private room where we were all waiting. We all sat quietly in the darkened room and watched anxiously as he finally arrived... Our plan was nearly busted as some of the hotel staff gleefully wished him a Happy Birthday as he walked past. As soon as he walked in, we all yelled "Surprise!!!" The look on his face? Priceless!

My big fat happy family.

Waiting for food to arrive.

Ian woke up and refused to put on his bow tie.

We had a fantabulous four course meal that night. Well at the very least, my lamb was good but Hubby's steak was tough.

Caesar salad (Aiden complained that Ian did number 2, but actually it was the tangy smell of the dressing) and mushroom soup.

Roast lamb, and apple pie with ice-cream for dessert.

Mat Melayu had nasi goreng kampung.

Ian playing with helium balloons while we were feasting on our dinner.

Birthday girl and boy.

Three generations share the same birth date! Yes, in case you missed it in all my previous posts, my Dad, Ian and I share the same birthday.

Then, cake cutting session! I chose my favourite cake for my Dad - Salted Caramel cake from One Serambi. As for myself, I made my own Red Velvet cake. (Birthday sendiri pun kena bake birthday cake sendiri!!!) Absolutely love the personalized cake topper from Akudankraft. It made my simple cake look so professional!

The cakes.

Ian, you will never be able to blow the candle out with pursed lips!

We struggled to get everyone into the frame!

After cake, we all played a game. We were all given a piece of paper with several questions to test how well we knew our Papa. It was an absolutely hilarious session, not only because our answers were wacky (favourite song - Madu Tiga) but because my Dad's answers didn't make sense too (favourite food - lamb shank, when nearly everyone knew how often he requests to have KFC)!

Last but not least, what dinner would be complete without a thank you speech?

Thank you speech from my dad.

Family photo.

A photo with my better half.

Thank you siblings, for the great birthday celebration! Now stay tuned, for Part 2 of my birthday week - Ian's birthday party!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The School Uniform To Buy That Will Last Throughout the School Year!

Well hello, school holidays!

After months of waiting, it is finally the end of the year and finally time to start preparing Aiden for Primary Two! So why have I been waiting for this moment with bated breath??? For the simple reason... of going shopping.

*sigh* Aiden's Primary One school uniform and shoes did not survive the wear and tear of his active lifestyle. Boys will always will be boys... you can never expect them to sit all prim and proper in school. They run through puddles and play catch and hopscotch during breaks. Then they come barreling home wearing uniforms stained with roti canai dhal and ice-cream streaks.

By mid-year, Aiden’s shoes were so scruffy and worn out; it was barely hanging by its soles. His uniform on the other hand, had been bleached and cleaned so much that they won’t take anymore, and are permanently dingy with no way of bringing them back to life. It was such an eye sore all throughout the year that I vowed to make better choices for the upcoming Primary 2 school year!

So this year, I’ve decided to invest in the Professor Red Label school uniform. In all honesty, I’ve heard of the Professor brand for quite some time. Not only did I grew up wearing Professor school uniforms, but since they have the most comprehensive range of extra curriculum activities uniform and accessories in Malaysia, I find myself visiting them often in my teens, for my Girl Guide needs.

Professor school uniforms have been around since 1982. Professor owns their own uniform factory; hence they guarantee excellent workmanship in every piece of uniform.  I brought home a few sets of school uniforms for Aiden, and upon inspection I noticed that that the stitching is immaculate, the form well-tailored. As for the fabric, not only are they more durable, (bye-bye fading!) but they are cooling and breathable ensuring that the children will feel comfortable even when they wear it the whole day. It was a far cry from those synthetic feeling polyester fabrics so commonly found in the market nowadays.

Aiden wearing the Professor Red Label uniform. Aside from a shorter trim for the pants, it was a perfect fit!

Aiden in the Professor Baju Melayu set. Even after washing, the cooling fabric stays smooth without any excessive ironing. The material also keeps to shape, even after several washings.

Breathable fabric that will keep the kids feeling pleasant even when they wear it the whole day.

Upon closer inspection, I found a key feature that is oh-so important for children who are about Aiden’s age. Hidden within the folds of the pocket, was a zipper! Did you know how many wallets Aiden misplaced throughout his first school year? A grand total of 5!!! Hence, this feature is very much welcomed in preventing the loss of money and coins at school.

A zip is hidden within the folds of the pocket.

What about price, you ask? My advise – don’t select the cheapest in the market. Instead, strike a balance between cost and quality. Good quality school uniforms will guarantee you the run for your money. For this purpose, choose the Professor Green Label school uniform. This range caters to the demands of cheaper uniform without compromising on the workmanship synonymous to the Professor brand. If you are budget conscious, you can opt for this range and be assured that your children will get the quality and durable uniform that they deserve.

So if you’re planning to start on your school year shopping soon, make your life easier by choosing to shop at Professor. Not only are they a one-stop shop for all your school needs all year long, but they also offer a wide selection of extra curriculum activities uniform, outdoor camping equipment and related accessories.

Professor has 12 outlets within the Klang Valley, with their first outlet located in SS2 Petaling Jaya. Check out the links below for more information:

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Handbag Raincoat

*This is NOT a sponsored post. I'm genuinely sharing the happiness of finding a good deal online!*

Boy oh boy, it has certainly been pouring nowadays....

Yesterday was gloomy since morning, so I decided to head to The Gardens Mall for a pick-me-up lunch. As I waited for the lift to bring me down to the office lobby, I tried calling for Uber, but it kept showing an inflated rate. Decided to wait a few minutes for the rate to go down... until a friend recommended Grabcar. (I used their promo code SURERIDE, and it turned out to be a free ride!) Upon arrival at the lobby, I finally figured out why the Uber rates were inflated.... it was pouring cats and dogs outside!

Biggest dilemma.. do I brave the rain in my handbag, or do I cancel the car and endure yet another office bought packed lunch?

Anyway, long story short, I did brave the rain (with a bulging tummy, not from food but from shielding my handbag under my clothes)... and I found myself googling "handbag raincoat" in the office right after lunch. In all honesty, I've always thought that the handbag raincoat was a marketing gimmick. Why would anyone buy a raincoat for their handbag, when they can just use a plastic bag? *chuckles* Well, after the incident today, I was won over by the versatility of the piece. It folds easily into a pouch so you can store it neatly in your handbag, and is definitely more fashionable than a plastic bag!

Comes in 6 different styles.

I found some reviews which mentioned that it wasn't available locally. Eventually found someone who was selling stock from the US for RM178. I nearly bought one, but decided to snoop online a bit longer. Lo and behold... I did find one online which was not only cheaper, but it also allowed you to put in a credit card discount!

After putting in my credit card discount, it came to less than RM120 for the medium size. Conversion of USD25 to MYR is already RM111, I certainly don't mind paying an extra ~RM9 for shipping!

Super super happy with this purchase of mine! Can't wait for it to arrive!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Ian is Finally 3!

Finally 3!

Ian turned 3 yesterday! (Well I turned a year closer to mid-thirties too, but let's pretend I'm still 28!)

Where do I even start with his milestone review??? I mean, Ian has grown leaps and bounds from when he was 2. (I miss that little 2 year old baby!) His vocabulary has grown and he has lost a lot of his pelat dialect. For instance, it used to be "Where yoying?", but now it's clearly "Where are we going?" He used to call himself "Ian Inina" but now he protests whenever we call him that. It's "Ian Iskandar"! And just yesterday he corrected himself - "Where's Poyon card, eh Po-ke-mon card?" *giggles*

Ian's quite the chatterbox too. Unlike Aiden, he is bilingual, but with a preference for English. (He can even use the word -lah correctly!) He has an improved diction and an amazing grasp of basic grammar. It is significantly easier to understand his wants, as he is able to form longer sentences (three words or more) to make himself understood. If he really likes something, he can even say "Ian like this one" or "Ian nak bawak (balik)" (I want to bring this home.) He can also ask for help: "Mummy, help... tablet" (Mummy, help me turn on the tablet).

Here are some of his pelat dialect, most commonly used when he was 2.5 years old, that are just too cute to forget: Hetetote (helicopter), Achum (thank you), Momest (Thomas or Transformers), Fawer (flower), Wegow (Lego), Jombi (Zombie), Oyeo (Oreo), Nano (Piano). He can also do basic Malay words: Chakit (sakit), Tumpah, Hujan, Aju (baju), Asik (nasi).

He also knows his Ps and Qs. He will automatically say thank you whenever the situation deems it. If something happens (say he bumps himself into something) and we ask, "Are you ok?", he'll answer quite politely, "I'm pine (fine)". If I am the one grumbling over something, he'll ask cautiously, "What appen Mummy?" (What happened, Mummy?) He also has an incredible eye and ear for details.

Apart from verbal skills, his physical skills have expanded significantly too. Ian is definitely more adventurous than Aiden. He confidently climbs slides and jumps into kiddy swimming pools. He can take his own cup and get a cup of water from the water dispenser. He can also take his own UHT milk from the fridge! This conversation happened as I'm typing this post:

Ian: Nak milk...
Mummy: Go ahead.
Ian: (In the) fridge?
Mummy: Yes...
Ian: *opens the fridge* Takde lah... Milk is gone.
Mummy: Where is the milk?
Ian: (It's) not in the fridge!

But the one thing that hasn't grown in Ian, is his appetite. He doesn't eat any rice or noodles at all. He lives on roti canai, bread and cheese (rarely), cereal with milk, cookies (Oreo being his favourite), fries, desserts (chocolates, cake and such), and of course, susu. He loves things that are crunchy, hence he enjoys the pleated sides of a karipapkeropok, and potato chips.

As I mentioned briefly in a previous blogpost, he stopped going to school. Despite just turning 3 yesterday, he will have to join the four year olds in just a month's time. Hubby and I are still on the fence about registering him to kindy, especially since he's so adamant about not going to school. He doesn't even want to look at his school uniform, nor even walk past his school. That, and also because he's justttttttt turned 3 and I cannot imagine him socializing with the four year olds. But then again, if given a choice I wouldn't want to go to school either. Hmmm... perhaps I'll compromise by registering him mid-year?

Despite not going to school, he can correctly identify all upper case alphabets, basic numbers 1-10 and colours. This is a significant leap from where Aiden was at the same age. (Aiden was still struggling with alphabets when he was 5.) He naturally knows which shoe goes to the left or right, despite none of us teaching him the basics. Ian recognizes my type of car and Hubby's type of car on the road, and can correctly identify them even on billboards. Ian also loves identifying petrol stations (dah mak bapak orang minyak kannnnn). Whenever he sees a Shell petrol station, he'll call out, "Mummy's office!" And soon after that he himself had an office (Petronas), Daddy had one (Petron), Babang had one (BP) and Achik (my SIL) had one (Caltex). Future Petronas engineer coming up? InsyaAllah, Amin....

Ian loves his big brother, Aiden. Although he will never admit it (if you ask him, "Ian love Babang?" He'll answer "No!") but they are actually the best of buddies with a somewhat symbiotic relationship. Aiden needs Ian to accompany him to the toilet (Aiden is such a scaredy cat) while Ian needs Aiden to be beside him to sleep at night.

The loving siblings. See the spontaneous hug Aiden gave Ian during Ian's birthday party (stay tuned for that blogpost)...

Ian is and always have been, an easy toddler. He rarely cries or whines, and even if he does, it is easy to distract him or coax him to stop. Ian is a very giving person too. He's not shy to give hugs and kisses, even to people he has never met before. When asked, he will typically give a kiss on both cheeks, forehead and even a smack on your lips! He has no qualms about sharing his food with just about anyone who asks (except for his Babang... sibling rivalry). Talking about sibling rivalry, Ian is still very strong minded. He doesn't mind squabbling with Aiden until he gets his way. He is very quick with his hands too - I've seen him give his big brother quite a few quick smacks.

Occasionally, he will demand to wear a certain particular shirt or pants. (Aiden never went through this phase, he's typically content with whatever we put on him.) Ian also insists on having everything his brother has (also, everything his brother wants). Kesian Aiden, he still has to mengalah every time. I find myself having to buy two of everything; Happy Meals, toys, books... even food! Ian is still very much a Lego fan; he can sit independently for quite a bit, constructing different types of contraptions with his Duplo. And just two months ago, he finally understood the concept of smiling at the camera! I hope we catch more photos of him smiling - as you can see from my blog header, he usually gives out a sullen face.

Other random things... he's slowly transitioning out of the need for afternoon naps. Not shy to admit that he's tired and sleepy, "I'm tired... nak sleep". Loves going "opping" (shopping) and doesn't regard going to Jaya Grocer as a proper shopping trip to the mall. Still not potty trained. *aaaccckkk* Insists on getting some powder on his face whenever he observes me put on make up. Sang "Happy birthday" on repeat throughout the entire month of November (for obvious reasons). Blows out candles with pursed lips (too funny)! Loves Play Doh (which I've since banned from our home).

Well, that's all I can pour out in this already very lengthy post. I hope Ian will one day look back and read these milestone review posts, and see how much joy he brought to our lives. Happy 3rd birthday Ian Iskandar. We all love you sooooo much!
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