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!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Diaper Bag Woes

When expecting a third baby, the number of things that you need to buy significantly reduces.

Thankfully, baby AY is a girl - hence at least I get to buy new clothes. Itu pun we will probably recycle her brother’s swaddles, blankets etc. Baby equipment lagi lah tak payah beli. We are definitely reusing the stroller, car seat, baby chair, bathtub, sterilizer and such.

But my hands are itching to buy something new other than clothes or baby bottles! Something that signifies the coming of a baby girl. Finally I settled for a new diaper bag.

And after some research, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that diaper bags in the market are BORING. I understand that some parents would prefer a unisex colour (I would do the same for my first child so I can reuse in the future) and some would want a bag designed not to look like a diaper bag so that it can be carried by the husband too.

But for me, this is (potentially) my last baby and I simply want to scream to the world that yes, this is a diaper bag, and yes, it’s for a girl! Which means that I want the bag in prints and in pink! Unfortunately, the market doesn’t cater much for prints. And surprisingly, available prints in the market are either neutral colours, or blue!!! Yes blue!!! (So gender biased, sigh.)

I also think that my requirements for a diaper bag are pretty simple:
  • In pink and/or pink prints
  • Lightweight (so no heavy leather bags for me), preferably a stylish backpack.
  • Suitable to be hung off my existing stroller. 
  • Bonus if it comes with insulated compartments.
Anyway, I’m going to share my research to prove my point, but I’ll start with what I finally ended up with:

Jujube BFF
Jujube probably carries the most extensive number of diaper bag prints in the market. And the only few I found online with pink prints. Jujube has multiple models so you can choose for a satchel, backpack, over shoulder, etc. But I love the fact that the BFF is convertible to both satchel or backpack. Very convenient! Comes with insulated pockets too. Love the matching changing mat, the small front pocket for my phone/camera and even a pocket for my sunglasses! My only qualm with it is it's quite bulky... I seem to think that I can pack light. But anyway here’s my choice - the Jujube BFF in Blooming Romance:

Very popular amongst Hollywood stars, probably because it doesn’t look anything at all like a diaper bag. With the luxurious leather option, it can pass off as a handbag or even a laptop bag. The Poppy Convertible Backpack is in a quilted finish and also comes with a matching food and bottle bag. Some other options include an insulated bottle holder and fold out changing mat. No prints sighted.

Petunia Pickle Bottom
The Petunia Boxy backpacks are so awesome! Why? Because it comes with a clever built-in zip-out changing station! Creativity at its best! Convertible to both backpack or cross-body, plus available in sweet prints too. There was an adorable pink print available too but since it was more expensive than the Jujube, I settled with the latter.

JJ Cole
So many options to choose from - satchel, backpack, knapsack, bucket tote, off shoulder cum tote and even backpacks designed for daddies (Papago)! The bucket tote option even comes with a coordinating pacifier pod and single bottle cooler, and the backpack and satchel feature insulated side pockets and coordinating changing pad. Love love love the classy prints but unfortunately only available in neutral colours or BLUE. Le sigh.

Mostly shoulder bags/totes. They have some pretty classy prints but again, in neutral colors. No pink prints backpack sighted. One interesting feature in their backpacks is the Easy Wipes side pocket with a dispenser slot. Means you can directly pull your wipes from the pocket. So novel!

Skip Hop
Multiple models available. Their prints are mostly in neutral colors i.e grey, navy blue, cream. Only one backpack model came with insulated side pockets. There were ~3 pink bags in solid colors but nothing in particular attracted me.

Oh here’s a bonus: Young Versace
Simplest of the lost but obviously the most expensive. You’re paying for the brand, not the practicality! Lovely sweet pink Baroque watercolour print and a matching changing mat. *drool*

So that’s my rundown of diaper bags! Hope this listing helps. *smiles*

Friday, March 16, 2018

Time Flies

Tick tock tick tock... and it is nearly the end of my first trimester. Well, I found out I was pregnant pun at 9 weeks, naturally lah the first trimester just flew past in a blink of an eye.

I am really suffering from nausea these past few days. Honestly, I don’t know whether this is a genuine pregnancy sickness nausea, or just ‘psycho’ nausea. Sebab dulu before I knew I was pregnant, takde pulak pening kepala, mual, mabuk bagai. Now dah tahu, mula lah mengada ngada.

As usual, I cannot be hungry at all. Must be fed at all times! Lambat makan sikit, and the headache would not subside no matter how much I eat. And it’s not just the customary three meals per day! Just to give you an example of my meal from last Thursday:
  • Breakfast with two pieces of bread with Nutella
  • Second breakfast with nasi kerabu bungkus
  • Lunch at Rakuzen with garlic fried rice and teriyaki beef
  • Snacks at the office makan keropok and breakfast bars
  • Tea time at Asam Pedas with mee kari
  • Dinner at home with white rice and lauk
  • Supper with fried egg kapit with two pieces of white bread.
Fuh, can you imagine my weight now? Kalau tak makan, pening. Kalau makan, gemuk. Le sigh.

But then again, I must really thank my lucky stars that I am just experiencing a sliver of what other pregnant mothers go through. To compare someone who has Hyperemesis Gravidarum versus my relatively mild gassiness plus night sickeness and zero vomiting, is simply unfair. Alhamdulillah, my work and career are not impacted at all from this pregnancy.

My tummy is really protruding out. Not sure whether it’s due to the baby or just the sheer amount of food I eat. It is getting uncomfortable to sleep no matter how many pillows I use to support my tummy and my back. Sooooo miserable.

Other than that, the itching at the tummy area is starting already. Although I am religiously putting Bio Oil and Clarins stretch mark cream after every shower (doesn’t really help my old stretch marks but hey, I don’t want to make them worse)... but sometimes I just feel like scratching the hell away. But sabar sabar. Still can tahan.

With this pregnancy, I'm still having the occasional acne breakouts, and my hair is absolutely limp. Hence, I have zero motivation to dress up and look good. I guess it is true - common wisdom explains that this is because the baby girl is stealing the mother's beauty. All I want to do is to dress myself up in comfy baggy clothes and curl up on the sofa and sleep. I have no interest in updating my social media nor take photos of myself. I still have to look presentable to work, but honestly I’m running out of clothes to wear to hide my bump. My mood is generally neutral in the office (as long as I am constantly fed), but just the other day a staff of mine had to bear the wrath of my hormonal crankiness. No I didn’t scream or anything, but damn - I was strict and direct. Zero smiles.

My sweet sister in laws arranged for a surprise bouquet of flowers to be sent to the office - they're as excited as I am to welcome their first niece! Meanwhile, the boys are starting to accompany yours truly at shopping for girls clothes. OMG I gravitate towards anything pink... and everything is so cute!!!

Just one more week before I jump into my second trimester. Usually then, the ‘I need to eat all the time’ phase eases up, and my headaches go away too. I am sooooo looking forward to that.

Wish me luck peeps.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Unexpected #3

I’m struggling to put my thoughts onto paper as I am still struggling to process the news.

Not many people know this, but Hubby and I went though an IVF back in October 2017 which failed miserably. (I mentioned a lost in October a few times via blog and IG - this was what I meant.) I documented my whole IVF process which I’m not ready to share just yet - but all I can say is, IVF is not an easy experience for anyone; even for someone like me who is blessed with multiple eggs, two successful drama free pregnancies and a controllable PCOS.

Why IVF? Cos we wanted to determine when I would get pregnant plus most importantly, the gender. I know it might sound selfish to some - doing IVF to determine the gender while some people are simply struggling to conceive. All I can say is, I am one of the few who struggles with not being in control of something. And being pregnant with a 50/50 chance of having yet another boy was not something I wanted to gamble with. Especially since we had collectively agreed to max our number of kids to only three.

But of course, Allah had greater plans for me (and He wanted to show me who’s the real boss of life)!

Hubby and I wanted to kick start our 2nd IVF round in March. Well guess what. We didn’t even get around to doing so... Because on 18th February, I found out that I was pregnant!

I swear, this is my smoothest first trimester ever. Since I have PCOS, my last period was in November (right after the end of my IVF cycle). Of course, I started getting worried about a no show of period in Jan but decided to just brush it off. I did notice an elevated sense of hunger. Asyik lapar jer. To the point that I avoided the weighing scale like a plague. And my face started breaking out pretty badly, specifically a cluster on my left chin, but I thought it was due to stress at work. Because of the absence of my period, the thought of buying a pregnancy test occurred a few times, but I never got around to buying one - sebab the chance of me being pregnant without some form of artificial help, is practically slim to none.

We went for a day trip to Kuantan and that was when I started getting suspicious. Pening pening the whole trip (which I chalked off due to tiredness from traveling) and an elevated sense of smell (I wanted to puke from the smell of my nephew’s stained diapers in the dustbin). On the way home we made a pit stop to GPO and my headache got worse. Kids were hungry but we didn’t want to stop for dinner so we picked up a few tidbits at a kiosk. Upon having a few bites of Pringles (not exactly the most nutritious food), the headaches went away. Masa tuh dah nervous cos usually if I am pregnant, I cannot be left hungry. Must always be fed to reduce my pening pening. But still I was in denial. Tried to blame the acne antibiotics for causing the headaches, but Hubby was having none of it so the next day we got ourselves two packs of pregnancy tests.

By the time we got home from our trip to the pharmacy it was already night and we were just about to cuddle up in front of the TV to watch Transformers the Last Knight. Plus baru jer zip my luggage as Aiden and I were due to fly to Kuching the next day. Dragged myself to the toilet downstairs to do the test (masih denial lagi masa nie) and I remember muttering the F word non stop as the second line started appearing. As I told Hubby, “That second line came up tanpa segan silu... hence I must be pretty far along and there is no such thing as a false positive. Ini semua salah you!” (Hahaha ibu mengandung is allowed to blame anyone under the sun except herself.) Seriously, it was such bad timing for me especially since I just started my new role at work. The original plan was to do a second round of IVF and then store the embryo until a suitable period at work appeared.

Because it was late night and my flight was at 8am the next day, I had to wait until I got home from my business trip to do a scan at our local clinic. This was what we found:

Baby's first picture - 22nd Feb 2018. EDD end Sept.

At barely 2 centimeters, the baby was already 9 weeks old! See how I practically breezed through the first trimester??!! Finally got a gynae appointment with my fertility gynae on 28th Feb. We saw the baby waving his/her arm towards us! Also requested to do a blood test to check for abnormalities and most importantly to check the gender. MasyaAllah, I cannot even begin to tell you the nervousness I was carrying around for the past few weeks, waiting for the results to come out. Last child slot, and it turned out to be an accident baby. *cries*

As a coping mechanism, I completely shut everything off. Zero blog updates, zero social media presence. I distanced myself from family and friends and started wearing baggy clothes to work. I didn't want to tell anyone that I was pregnant... at least not until the gender is known. Practically everyone around me knows how much I wanted a girl, so if they knew that I was pregnant, they would probably comfort me by diagnosing my pregnancy sickness, comparing it to theirs, checking the shape of my tummy and then correlating it to the chances of it being a girl. I don't think I can cope with that, especially if my hopes get crushed.

So yesterday afternoon, I was lying on the couch nursing a headache after a long day at work. Lab results were due the next day. Suddenly the hospital called. Answered the call, and it was my gynae's nurse. It was close to 7pm already so I was very nervous about the reason for her call. I remember her introducing herself, and then she started giggling. (I couldn't tell whether it was a joyful or nervous laugh.)

Then she said these magic words, "It's a girl!!!!"

OMG I felt tears of joy spring into my eyes. Alhamdulillah Ya Allah. I asked her whether she was sure and she said, "Test results tulis absence of Y chromosome, so kalau XX means it's a girl!" I asked her the accuracy of the test and she confirmed 99% accurate. After saying thank you and goodbye, I disconnected the call and the first thing I did was hug my helper!!!! *chuckles* She was as elated as I was.

Immediately called Hubby afterwards. He was buying groceries before heading home, and when I gave him the good news, his voice raised excitedly, so much so that he said everyone looked at him in curiousity. *giggles* He actually had to abandon the groceries trolley and walked out to continue our conversation! After the call, I did a sujud syukur. Alhamdulillah, termakbul doa. Until today, I still have goosebumps whenever I remember the exact time that I found out the news. Syukur sangat sangat, feels so surreal!

The announcement.

The kids? Frankly they don't care about what gender the baby is. Ian has absolutely no preference (although he loves his boy baby cousin to bits) but Aiden can be swayed to either side. I tried baiting him by saying, "Well the baby girl won't take any of your toys cos she will need new girl toys!" and he curtly answered, "But she will take over my TV and watch princess movies all the time!"

Will I need another TV? Only time will tell. *chuckles*

Wish me luck with the pregnancy!

Monday, March 5, 2018


I was this *shows tiny space between index finger and thumb* to buying a Samsung.

Despite my arguments on how Samsung has a non user-friendly interface (which is still true, by the way), I found myself swaying to the dark side purely due to the superb quality photos and beautiful selfies that Samsung produces.

Up until I found out that I was going to get a company phone with this new role. And guess what it was? An iPhone *rolls eyes*

So here it is, the only reason why I'm still an iPhone fan:

Company phone = no more excuses of not being reachable at all times.

#stillaniphonefan #unfortunately
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