Monday, November 2, 2015

Its has been a while since I wrote anything here. Until just a while ago, husband suddenly said he just paid a visit to this blog and told me I actually write good stuff...sans the politically correct grammer. Why? What happened? Why no updates?

Life. That's what happened.

And also, I lost the password to my old email address, created a new one thus somewhat forgetting the existence of this blog. I should move right?

Maybe later.

Anyway, my litte Iris is now 2.5 years old. And yes, the term Terrible Twos DOES have a reason for existence. Its....crazy! This small human, now very mobile and somewhat trying to communicate and doing things her way. Well, she can't have that all the time. Orelse she will survive only on Pepero Chocolates, Milo, french fries and my boobs (yes I'm still breastfeeding because I have attachment issues , I want to let her self-wean herself).

We had MAJOR changes in our lives now. No I'm not pregnant and probably not anytime soon (I'm still traumatized by my birth, let me learn to be a better mother with one first) . We finally moved house! Had our first nanny drama (that will be on another post). Had (or currently) having our first major home mishap (our water tank literally bursed and flooded the whole house). But the one that's really the icing on my cake (is that even correct?) is that,


7 years of exam-hood. A huge burden felt as if its being lifted off my shoulder. Or mind. I'm glad its over. Or else it would have been like a pebble in my stone if I quit. It would annoy me till I die. #shainevergiveup #betterlatethannever #supermom.

So what now? What will happen to my nursing attire business? Is it still alive?

Yes, it's still alive, just not online. Now since hubby is transferred to business development from finance, his time at home drastically reduced. And Iris has bloomed into the most curious and active toddler in the world, makes it somewhat impossible to sit at the laptop without her hijacking it for ChuChuTv entertainment or Peppa Pig (hence the absent in updates here and the online shop). I've been selling it offline at bazaars and some from friends who contacted me directly. Aside from that, a boutique in Perlis have requested to feature my brand there so yeah, we are still alive. Yes, I know, put em up online asap! Truthfully, my production and sales has been alright, but I'm having problems in marketing and web. As the USD has currently risen drastically, I'm looking out at outside options to move it elsewhere to another web provider. The current provider is US based so we had to pay them for their service monthly, in USD. So thats one thing that I need to iron out right now.

What about ACCA? Does motherhood and this online business means that I've exited myself from career working life?


I'm in the market now for a job. This long break have somewhat changed me. Iris may be driving myself up the wall today but in not so near future (sniff), she will eventually grow up. The scariest thing that I fear now is the Empty Nest Syndrom. My husband is busy with work hardly home much, one day, my daughter too will leave the house. What will happen to me? I'm scared of that day. Security is what I want now. Have you seen the price for a good education these days? And the price of our cost of living these past 2 years has escalated tremendeously! My business is still at its growing stage, but so does my Iris. Me going back into the rat-race is mainly for her. And now, since I no longer have to schedule my time for ACCA classes and lectures, life is somewhat, relaxed. I've succesfully breastfeed her for more than 2 years now, InsyaAllah her health is better coz truth to be told, when she does get sick, her recovery is super fast! I believe in the power of my milk, yoyza! So I think its time to focus on life now. Pray that a good offer will come to me. InsyaALLAH.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Umrah with Baby (Part 3) : The Umrah - Madinah

Sorry for the late postings. Was quite busy these past weeks. Baby Iris gums decided to sprout 3 teeth at the same time so she was cranky and clingy, didn't get the time to sit down and blog about it. Argh I miss blogging! XD Anyway, here goes!


Madinah Al-Munnawarah is beautiful! Our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW 's (peace be upon him)  is buried here, it's such a waste if you land at Allah's sacred land and did not pay a visit to his grave. Hotels and accomodation is quite near to the mosque so you shouldn't worry too much about the distance. Everything is a walking distance. And don't be fooled by the ulterior look of the buildings surrounding the mosque, they may look plain to the naked eye but when you step in, you'll find yourselves in grand malls and such. So for mother's that need to find emergency supplies of baby food, milk and diapers, you're in a safe place. You can even purchase south east asian food easily if your throat can't stomach too much arabic food every day.

The mosque is really huge! Alhamdulillah they do consider the well being of mothers who wish to pray with their child, they have designated areas for mother and baby. How to find it? It's usually situated at the back of the mosque. You can pray indoor or outdoor if you like. It's quite cooling either way. If you want to pray indoors, just find a place where you can hear a lot of children cries during prayers.

You need a travelling mat or sajadah in your journey because sometimes, u need to put your baby down on the floor but there's no carpet in that area. You don't wanna put your baby on the marble floor. Also, it is best that prior your journey, read up about how to pray while carrying your baby. In my experience, sometimes Iris do behave and just stare at everyone when we were praying but there are times she wants to be held. Typical lah kan, babies. Unpredictable. So far, I noticed that the imam of both Madinah mosque and Masjidil Haram read short surahs (I feel lah, reasonable. Not too long, not too short. Just right).

Sometimes, you will find yourself in a situation whereby you didn't manage to get in in time for prayers. Over there, when it's prayer time, everyone literally drop everything and pray. Even in malls. Imagine, concourse floor as grand as The Pavilion, suddenly you'll see the floor split into 2 for men and women and everyone prays. Berjemaah lagi. Rugi kalau tak solat sama sama =).

In Madinah, praying for me is never a hassle considering I always end up alone since hubby had to split and pray at men's section. I usually park my stroller right outside the entrance door (don't worry, no one steals stuff in that part of the world) and whisper a silent prayer to Allah to help me find a comfortable space for me to pray. And more than 1 occasion, when the mosque is full, there will always one huge space suddenly open up for me. And when I settled down, then only the area was filled. And without fail, the person sitting next to me will be kind enough to assist me. In that part of the world, english is not common. So conversation will be somewhat equivalent like a duck trying to talk to a cat. I really love it when I sit down, you'll have a group of ladies from different part of this planet, cooing at Little Iris and trying to converse with me. It doesn't matter that I didn't understand french, bosnian, arabic, serbian, whatever, what's lovely about it is that everyone can seem to understand each other. Everyone is a friend. Reminds me of kindergarden. =)

The tricky part is when entering Raudah. Ladies can only try to enter (not all is lucky to get in) at night, and it may take you 2 to 3 hours just to get inside. I would not advise anyone to bring their baby into Raudhah, its really packed with people jostling trying to pray at one of the most holiest place in history of Islam. Because of this, it is best that you leave your baby with your husband and go in.

My experience in Raudhah was beautiful. Oh how I miss it very much despite the crowd. Here's a tip, if you're thinking of entering Raudhah for the 2nd time without a guide, get one of those long black burkha and mingle like an Arab. Don't follow the Asian crowd, the guards will make you wait. Don't even look Asian XD. Asians tend to wear white telekungs. You have to be fast here. Try to blend.You'll get in within 1 hour if you're lucky ;)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Planning a birthday party.

Iris just turned 10 month and suddenly it hits me, IT'S ALMOST 1 YEAR!

huuu, cepatnye anakandaku membesar. Bukan semalam ke Dr baru belah perut Bonda keluarkan you?

err..ok lets not go there.

Anyway, hubby gave me the green light to organise Iris's 1st birthday party. Since new stocks for BondaByShai is still either in midst of production or still on shipping, things has been quite slow for me. Been working on some contract documents as Zanizky is planning to put in more new vendors at the website. An excited tapi risau gak because handling with people's money is serious business. Pray that all goes well alrighty? ;)

Anyway, being a FTWSAHM, I was worried that having a party would kinda put stress on our financials. Bukannye apa, as we are starting up own business, most of our money goes to capital and we survive on hubby's income. I do admit I'm quite a diva wife nak macam macam tapi bila benda macam ni, I do take into account hubby's approval.

So I told hubby we could always just buy a cupcake and blow a candle just the 3 of us. Hubby gave me his usual kerek face and said, "Buat je lah, takpe takde masalah" . But I kept asking him again and again just to make sure. Coz this guy, no matter how calculative he is (he's an accountant....ahhh now u understand), he never says no to me. Sometimes to the point that I feel as if I'm bullying him (sweatdrops).

It got to a point he said "Ish kamu ni, asyik risau je, kalau tanak buat boleh je tak payah buat".

"Ehhhh...ah non non (says the inner bimbo-diva in me). YES I WILL DO IT! WHEEEE THANK YOU HUSBAND! " (and started planning on themes, doorgifts, guests etc).

"Sebenarnya elok juga kita menjamu orang, lagi banyak rezeki kita dapat InsyaAllah" he says. I was smiling ear to ear. Man I love this guy. Then I started blabbering ideas for themes whatnot.

Then he said, "Theme? Ala beli je topi hat party tu bagi orang" and proceed on his own business.

Whaaaattt no theme? Darn it, I was thinking of making a kitty theme T.T

I still have time. Ngehe.

My umrah journey. With Baby. (Part 2)

Alhamdulillah, we just came back from our Umrah journey. The best experience ever IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. Heck if given a choice, I don't even want to come back home. The feeling over there is so surreal. I really can't explain it. I pray that one day I get to be invited again over there (perhaps hubby could get a job there? *hint hint ) . Insya Allah aminnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

Pre departure momento

I've been getting requests to write down my Umrah experience: Survival guide with an infant. Before going on this trip, there's stories of disgruntled and tired parents (there are some positive ones but not many) telling me that it is difficult to focus and perform Umrah with a child and it would be better if I postpone the trip when the kid is bigger. My initial feeling was "yaka? aww man.." but since the entire family is going (like 40 people family), and it's been a while since we actually get to berkumpul ramai ramai serentak I figured, whatdaheck, there's nothing for me to lose. 

Actually, to get there, only Allah SWT will invite you. It doesn't matter whether you're rich or poor. Even the poorest of the poor can find their way there with His help. Sama ada suddenly rezeki dia bertambah murah, melalui Baitulmal atau simpanan. When Allah invites you, just go. Because tak semestinya seseorang yang kaya akan dapat menjejak dirinya ke situ. 

If you have the means, the feeling and the rezeki to go, don't think, just go. You won't regret it :). Possibly tak nak balk pun boleh jade. Like me. (*Another not so subtle hint to dear husband)

Btw please be aware that I'm not a really religious person, my knowledge is sangat cetek as compared to the yang memang berkaliber dan bergeliga. Tapi I'm continuously trying to improve myself, I read and I ask Ustaz and Ustazah yang certified (bukan Ustad Ustazah internet) on whatever issues that I'm curious about. So what I'm about to explain, especially with regards on performing Umrah is what I've learned after consulting Ustaz and Ustazah di Mekah whereby they are used to it.

Abaikan muka Bonda super excited kat belakang tu

Oh ya, plus point going with an infant?

- You pay infant price and you get to bring the entire family. Think about it, if you wait for em to get bigger, you pay adult rate. And comfortable Umrah these days cost at least RM6k.
- You get to have that comfortable seat in front because the stewardess will insist you change your seat so that the baby gets bassinet. 8 hour of pegang baby is not fun. Perks of this bassinet seat? YOU get to stretch YOUR leg. And oh, your kid gets her own flat bed. Hew hew.
- They can't run around out of your control as compared to toddlers.

Baby DianIris was 9 months during this trip and still breastfeeding with mix of solids. No formulas means no bottles,  or formulas to bring, win situation for me. More space for my already full suitcase. Sometimes I feel like every time we travel, it's as if I bought the entire kitchen with me. Belum lagi toys and clothes (and mind you, you need extras just in case there's vomit accidents, poo poo accidents etc)

Invest in a good baby carrier. One that is comfortable for your back and automatically puts your baby into sleeping mode hehe. Love my Boba 4G, me and hubby is super addicted to it. Can't leave home without it.

Be prepare with extra clothing, travelling bath supplies and food stock as there might be incidence where your flight will be delayed or you got to wait for few hours at immigration at Saudi Arabia. In our case, our flight was delayed for 10 hours, so thank god we managed to give Iris her nighttime bath at KLIA (there is 2 baby rooms after you passed the departure point but the state of the rooms was appalling sad to say). Never underestimate the need for strollers. There will be a point where you need to put your baby down to sleep. Kesian pulak kalau dia tidur lama-lama dalam baby carrier. Also in my case, my back is not really strong, so I can't be carrying her all the time. Hubby pulak dah sandang beg baby and documents etc so again, strollers does help.

A friend taught me, regardless whether you're travelling via air or just the mall across the road, always pack your kids clothing as if they are going to spend a night somewhere. Meaning, if your baby wears normal onesies during the day, in the bag must have extra few onesies, pants or leggings, sweater, small towel and yes, pyjama as well. Because sometimes, oklah, most of the time, kalau plan cakap nak balik rumah jam 5pm will never be 5pm, it will go to 9 or 10 pm, so by the time you reach home, it's probably past baby's bedtime. To change a kid's clothes into bedtime attire by 10.30pm can be a nightmare when she's agitated. If I'm at someone's home, sometimes had to do a muka tebal face and minta tumpang nak mandikan baby. And you know what, it's not a bad thing. I even welcome it at my home if my friends need to do the same. Awal-awal masa baru dapat Iris our bag punyalah mampat and besar nak penuhkan dengan banyak baju but as time goes by, lama-lama dah expert boleh agak berapa banyak baju needed and how to organise em so that your bag won't burst. In my case, I just need more bibs. Huge ones. Kira kalau dia buat kotor pun takkan stain baju dia.

Eh panjang pulak explanation yang ni.

Flight-wise, everytime nak naik kapal terbang, I always feel a bit apprehensive. Bringing a baby on flight is like bringing a time bomb where her behaviour can either make or break you. Being in a close confined space with 200plus other passangers can be unnerving if she decides to cry her heart out, especially bila kapal terbang nak or landing, the change in air pressure will definitely feel painful in her ear. So bila nak dekat dekat time nak naik kapal terbang, we purposely tak bagi Iris minum so that she'll be really thirsty. Time kapal terbang nak naik, time tulah you shove your trusty boobs/bottle of milk/sippy cup to her and let her drink sampai the flight stabilise. InsyaAllah, dia tak akan sakit telinga. Ada pernah sekali, time tu flight to Indonesia, I kesian kat Iris because she was really hungy so I fed her before flight. Bad decision indeed because when kapal terbang nak naik, she tak mahu accept milk. Habislah the whole 1 hour she kept crying her eyes out pasal sakit telinga. Time-time ni lah best kalau nak practise muka tebal hehehehe.

Don't forget baby food, biscuits, toys. Penting tu. Baby ni pun macam adult, they do get bored. :)

Will continue more soon, InsyaAllah...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Umrah with Infant : Things to Bring (Part 1)

Below is the basic items essential for infants. More will be explained at another post. These are just basic guideline. Feel free to add if you will :) My baby is 9 month during this trip. Below is my list:

For flight, departure and takeoff. In your bag you should have :

- Blanket
- Sweater
- Thick leggings
- Pyjama
- Spare change of clothes
- Bibs (lots of em)
- Socks
- Diapers
- Travelling changing mat
- Travelling bath soaps
- Mini towel
- Mini comb
- Wet wipes
- Manicure set (ok put this in your luggage. Because in 2 weeks time, your baby can grow nails like nobodies business)
- Toiletries for babies basically.
- Travelling baby cutleries (can find in Daiso for RM5)
- Travelling baby food,  I recommend those types in bag tubes such as below. Oh ya, before I forget, do check for halal certification if you want to feed your baby food with chicken in it. There's one brand made in Australia that is good. I personally love Organic Bubs ;) Yeap, its Halal.

- Packets of biscuits like Farley's Rusks for breakfast or munch.
- Toys, any entertainment for baby
- No spill sippy cup

Essential things to bring

- Strollers (label them with tag).
- Baby carriers. I have 2, Boba 4g and Pupsik Studio sling. Both is our lifesaver. Pupsik is for long bus rides, I can lie my baby down to sleep like a hammock.

Boba 4G, I highly recommend this! Easy and fast and tak sakit belakang! Super comfortable. Also love the additional head covering flap, no need umbrellas or hat. (Plus hidden pockets to put in your keys, cash etc.)

Pupsik Studio baby hammock. Gifted by a friend. Usefull when baby wants to sleep in long bus rides and places where you can't use the stroller. The only downside is your back might get sore after so long but definitely better than carrying her just like that.

- Sun hat.

- Toddler sunscreen. Very important. I used the brand below. Expensive but does the trick. Don't skimp on this as I find my relatives skin gets scaly and mengelupas after some time. Baby Iris however stayed supple. I really recommend this brand.

- Baby food. Bring as much as you think your baby eat. Nutritien is important.

- Travelling water kettle. (hotels don't provide this)
- Thermal food jar. For you to drink hot water and eat. Because you have a baby, sometimes you don't have the luxury to get to the dining hall in time for breakfast etc. So this things does help.
I still use this here in Malaysia when I cook Iris's porridge to bring out on the go.

La Gourmet 1.4 ltd thermal food jar.  I filled half of it with boiling water and placed a jar of baby food inside to heat her food. No worries of baby kembung pert selepas makan. Also convenient when Mama and Papa nak makan IndoMie hehehe.
- Instant milo/horlicks/coffee (for papa). Because sometimes you just don't have the time to grab your own breakfast.
- Snack for adult. Like granola bars etc. Coz I breastfeed my baby, I tend to eat like a dinosaur. So granola bars does help.
- Water tumbler. Hey you gotta have your daily Zam Zam water right? (Available for free at Masjidil Haram and Masjid Nabawi).
- Medicines. Panadol suppository for baby, panadol syrup, ubat cirit birit, panadol for adult,  cough syrup, clarinase, actifed, whatever you can think of.

Will post more about the experience in another post. If I can think of more essential things to bring I will update here later. Hope this helps.