2016 has come to an end!Β 

I am glad that I did (or stop doing) most of these in 2016! <article>
Taking care of myself (besides the kids and hubby) is my priority – to stay on ‘top’, one has to do things that makes them ‘happy’ and not just to satisfy others’ happiness – because everyone is responsible for their ownself. We are not targeting to get the ‘best parents award’ but at least we (or I) are fulfilling our responsibilities.

We or at least ‘me and my girls’ have been staying away from ‘dramas’. If you are negative, no one can change your mindset except yourself! For example, if you think you are suffering, you will suffer! Appreciate your own life for many who wish to live does not get to! 

And people who try sarcasm on me (purposefully or unintentionally) will definitely NOT get their way to me! For instance, ‘since you are so busy…’ as an opening to a conversation to meeting us will never get a response from me. Plus please do not plan for me/us. Just be sincere with your invitations. Please remember that we have the right to reject! 

For myself, I don’t believe in ‘diversification’ but to ‘focus’ my attention to my girls and hubby. Sorry, I couldn’t fulfill my duties as daughter, daughter in law or even sister in law – because that isn’t what I want to be! 

Hopefully I would withheld most of what I did in 2016 in the future and continue to create a meaningful living for myself and my family!

The best of US in 2016!
One year ago, we brought Nikki home! And one year now, we have her wandering around at home! πŸ˜‚
It has been a ‘tiring’ year (for me in particular) – adjusting to a new baby, making sure that most things remaining status quo for the elder girl (so that she doesn’t feel left out), making sure everything at home is in order, making sure everyone is well fed and maintaining my own sanity. 
Nevertheless, it has been a fulfilling year – seeing how both girls progress/milestones, bonding and happy faces! I am prouder that I did most of my duties/responsibilities without having to rely on others.
Happy New Year!
We will be ushering in 2017 with ‘sleep’ πŸ˜‚! Good night! 
**I work on the motto that my family relies on me to be strong, to lead, mentor and provide for them.

2016 in review for the 4 year old

Though Noelle is a ‘bully’ at times and rough on the baby, she has been a good sister in a year. 
She adores Nikki – sometimes staring at her sister and says ‘you are so cute!’ or kisses her sister out of sudden! She plays a big sister role when there are friends around. For example, during the recent playdate when her friends were riding on the toy cars; while the mummies were asking the sons to be careful of Nikki who was around – she said out ‘she is just a baby!’ πŸ˜‚ mimicking us (hubby and I when she tries bullying Nikki)!
The greatest moment that I witnessed this pair of sisters yesterday was how Noelle sang out loud birthday song for Nikki (and no jealousy sign) and pulling out the food picker in fear of Nikki poking herself (though at the end she just put the honeydew in her own mouthπŸ˜…)!
For us, the greatest decision made and the greatest benefit of homeschooling Noelle for the year 2016 is the bond between them two. Study and play with friends can wait; but flourishing a sisterhood cannot wait – as one day both will grow up and go their respective independent paths! 
Thanks to my friends constant reminder that siblinghood is something nurture by/from parents; and this definitely has reinstated my belief! 
* I am not against schooling

** I am not proving anything 

*** If you feel anything from this post, it is you and not me! I am just saying what I observe and experience.

Happy birthday to my big and small little 17chipmunks

We decided on Jungle Gym (as we don’t usually frequent this indoor playland – in fact the only time Noelle went there was her 3rd birthday when mama was in the hospital). Moreover, we got the ‘news’ that it will be free entrance for the kids on their actual day birthday – by just showing their identity cards. For parents, there’s an entrance fee of RM5 per person and it comes with a free bottle water. So, for this year’s birthday we spent more than 2 hours there! Despite the price and weekday, the crowd was still building up!
We had sushi lunch before we drop by at Hamsley and then Noelle wanted to join the art activites organised by Atria Shopping Gallery. We went to the supermarket before returning home for nap!

Video on morning celebration <here>

We ended the day with dinner at Chillis. We decided to call it a ‘4th year parenthood celebration’ at Chilis with ‘Kids eat for free’ πŸ˜‚ plus the free desserts (with birthday song by the staff). We had two kid meals but Noelle only ate a little of both; so ended hubby and I ate our respective mains and the kids’ portion.
And then we decided to ‘cheers’ for Happy 4th year parenting. I started with the question ‘so what did you gain in this four years?’
Me: I help you answer. You – FATS! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Hubby: You – milk/ boob size! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Me: πŸ˜‘πŸ˜‘πŸ˜‘

We returned home to cut the birthday cake that mama prepared !

Video <here>

Motherhood is full of ups and downs, but I do enjoy it! It actually changed me to a better person (or maybe someone who actually stand for my own and kids’ rights)! 

Happy 1st birthday to my little Michelin! And this also marks our one year breastfeeding milestone! Breastfeeding this happy baby has been a breeze and as with her elder sister, we will allow her to self wean whenever the time comes! 
#fullybreastfed #2ndbaby #mamas4yearstobreastfeeding

Mini birthday party for the two girls

It didn’t come to my mind that I would have a birthday party for them. But this was suggested by Vennzi and she ‘pulled’ in Quinnie! πŸ˜‚ 
We made it a nasi lemak party with me preparing rice and roast chicken wings, Vennzi with her beef rendang and Quinnie with her sambal sotong. I boiled radish soup for the kids (and our dinner). I also baked a simple birthday cake and simply cut a fruit cake for Nikki.

Most things went as planned – we went for a swim, free play, lunch, birthday cake cutting and exchange of gifts! It was a joyous occasion with Noelle shouting out ‘this is the best birthday ever’!πŸ˜‚ Seriously – touched! 

This time around Noelle played more by herself while the two boys had fun together! Nikki enjoyed herself at the swimming pool!

Without Noelle, mama wouldn’t know these two ladies! And these two ladies ‘love’ Noelle (and Nikki) to bits. Thank you very much! 😚

I am a happy mum because my girls are happy! 😊😊
While Nikki seems so blur during the singing ceremony, she is so happy when I repeat the video for her! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Thanks videographer Quinnie Tan for taking these moments when mama was busy snapping photos! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜˜<video>

Christmas Day 2016

It has been a good day. A 0715am start, which isn’t bad when one has young kids. With Nikki’s on going post holiday blues – her constant nursing plus my little sore left eye – tiredness was there! We decided on The Curve.

 It all went pretty smoothly. We went to the bookstore after Noelle gets her egglettes. We had our Japanese lunch where Nikki also had her first taste to edamame (grateful to a family who finished off their son with food and gave us the limited high chairs). 

We then went to IKEA and bought them a Christmas present – trains track – which will be shared between both of them (Noelle agreed!). 

We quickly rushed for the Mesmerizing Christmas Princess Anatasia show, which Noelle wanted to watch again. She ‘fought’ for a front seat – and a girl pushed her away. Not to make things worse, I just asked Noelle to move forward nearer to the stage. She did cried but I assured her that she wasn’t ‘wrong’, gave her a hug and kiss (hubby was still queuing to pay at IKEA while I brought two girls to the Curve) while asking her to wait few more minutes before the show to begin. As previously, she sat quietly to watch while playing with the paper measuring tape. She obediently sat down despite some other kids started to stand in front of her to shake hands with the princesses. This time, after the show, most of the kids were rushing up to shake hands with Princess Anatasia. I did lose sight of her for few seconds until I pulled her out. She told us she managed to shake hand with Princess Anatasia (haha…not sure how true is this). Anyway, she enjoyed the show as previously. We had ice cream before returning home for nap! They opened and played the train track thereafter!

Butter mixed herbs rice

Butter mixed herbs rice

Melt some butter. Add in garlic, one cinnamon stick, one star anise and some bay leaves. Stir and then add one cup of zucchini and carrot. Stir for about 2 minutes. Add in soaked (2 cups) long grain rice and one tbsp mixed herbs plus a pinch of turmeric powder. Stir and add 1.5 cups water. Cover and let it cook (without stirring) for 10-15 minutes. I was using my Avon mastercook so it didn’t stick at the bottom!

I didn’t add salt to this rice so our baby can have the same rice for dinner.

The side was roast chicken – marinated for 4 hours with blended fresh grapes, dark soy sauce and some corn flour. Roasted under 160 degree celcius for 2 to 2.5 hours. I poked three sticks into the chicken and flipped over the chicken once.

Holiday read: The 10 greatest gifts I give my childrenΒ 

I have completed this book during our 4d3n trip to Bali! It contains a lot of reminders to parents on being involved, less authoritative and most importantly, be empathetic to the children! The one quote that caught my mind:

Quote: If you think it’s difficult to find time to listen now, I assure you that the pain of being cut off from the essence of those beautiful children when they stop talking to you will make you wish you’d found the time or the willingness to listen earlier.

And to some people who constantly ‘curse’ their offspring ‘karma’ for not spending time with them – if you feel that, you probably receiving YOUR own karma! We are in charge of our future – and thus we decide to spend our time we our kids!


Our getaway trip to Bali 2016

This is our bonus trip – decision, ticketing and bookings made two weeks before the day! We told Noelle one week before – and she was the first to pack her toy bag and then started counting the number of times she has to nap/sleep before it reaches the day! 
This was a free and easy trip without any itinerary- but with our usual schedule – morning play, afternoon nap and evening outing! The afternoon nap wasn’t just crucial for the kids but for us to recharge ! 

Round one on the plane – passed!

Traveling when she’s now 11m+ for 3 hours on a plane is more breezy than when she was 4m+ for an hour! πŸ˜‚
Nikki was more alert this round and ‘banyak tangan’ – want to touch here and there – including the person sitting in front!πŸ˜ͺπŸ˜“But she was happy throughout. We just passed her around between me and hubby without having to walk around! She only got a little cranky until I managed to put her to sleep via nursing! She slept about 1.5-2 hours. 
Noelle was even better- she played slime close to 2 hours; talked a lot as usual; ate some biscuit and napped before we landed! 

Day 1 – after we arrived and put our luggages at the hotel, we walked towards Kuta beach and found a warung that sold babi guling! It was a local stall and we found it relatively hygiene – so, ok let’s try! Not too sure if we were too hungry, I found it particularly delicious! πŸ˜‚Noelle had rice and fried egg – she was actually expecting her packed home cooked food, but with disappointment she ate a little! We were utterly shocked with the filthy Kuta beach though we enjoyed the breezy wind. Noelle was admiring the ponies! We walked around the town and bought cheese in the supermarket. We then went back to hotel and swam! Noelle had waited for it – plus everyone got some nap in the plane earlier! I quickly cooked pasta for both of them – settled their dinner before we went out. 

I just brought one food jar, animal pasta and accessories πŸ™„πŸ˜…
And we bought babybel cheese from the supermarket!
Cooked for both because Noelle expects to have her portion if Nikki has hers! But mostly taken by Noelle 😊

We ate bakso in the food court located at a mall. It was nice but the amount was too small. So we walked down to some local hawker stalls – bought their local yau char kwai and mutton satay! We then called it a day! 

Day 2 – we thought the Kuta beach would be better condition in the morning; but to our disappointment – it appears like rubbish centre; even with tractors pushing all the collected rubbish to the shore! So we decided to go on a pony ride (we have learn the skill of bargaining for ride – from 300k rp to 115k rp)- to settle Noelle before we went for massage (foot massage price in Kuta is around 60-65k rp per hour). Massage was when Noelle get her iPad time. Nikki was just observing around – we passed her around between me and hubby – depending on who she wanted to follow! We had Taiwanese lunch in the mall before heading back for nap! We had our swim in the evening – great that the pool has heater – so Nikki actually enjoys swimming there! While I cooked and waited for the kids to eat, hubby went down to the warung next door to pack our dinner – fried rice, ayam guling set, satay ayam and itik bibik! 

After our dinner, we headed off to walk around and then settle for massage again!

Day 3- Hubby decided to ‘grab’ a car to Seminyak beach. Our first experience with GRAB and UBER begins in Bali! The fare is seriously way cheaper than the local taxi – which can cut our throat! At Seminyak beach, it was cleaner than Kuta beach – and its sand is finer. Noelle ran like crazy there – and she was actually giving us the hint that she needed to go to the loo!πŸ˜ͺ Fortunately we were allowed to use the toilet at a hotel nearby! Noelle changed her clothes too as she fell down while running on the beach. We settled lunch with nasi padang. 

We took a ‘grab’ car back to Kuta and we had another round of massage before heading back to hotel for nap and swim! 

For dinner, we walked to the local stall to have Chinese Indonesian dinner! And then foot massage again! πŸ˜‚

Day 4 – our usual end day of the trip is morning swim before checking out. Noelle had early lunch in the room. We decided for same babi guling and then the final massage. 

This time hubby ‘uber’ a car to the airport (imagine the destination from airport to our hotel costed us 400k rp while uber from hotel to airport was just less than 20k to)! We changed ourselves in the airport before flying home! We had some scenes in the plane with both cranky/ crying mode because too tired of no nap for the day. They eventually slept during take off. Noelle woke midway calling hungry; so she ate the pasta that I prepared – she was eating with eyes shut actually! Then Nikki woke – so both of them were ‘noisy’ in the plane (cannot forget the stares the two ladies in front of us gave us when we were getting out of the plane. Sorry we were not apologetic at all – because we had tried our best to minimize the volume.)
We arrived home quite late that night! Seriously so tiring – just luckily there was still water running under the tap!

Overall, Nikki was better in this oversea trip compared to when she was 4m+ to Phuket. And we could see that she was basically enjoying and less afraid (but shy) towards strangers! 

She nursed at every chance when mama hugs/babywearing her (and even now when I am typing this)! 

As for Noelle, she displayed two traits – either very sticky to papa (wanting him to carry) or very independent (walking without wanting us to hold her)! 

Few moments when she suddenly ran off to look for papa without letting me know – really angered me! And she cheekily smiled back at me when she was in papa’s hands (like she escaped from being punished by me)!

Kuta Station Hotel & Spa Bali

β€’Location: Strategic – near to the malls and beach (walking distance)

β€’ Kids friendly – with playground and slide to the kids pool; swimming pool with heater

Be the change maker

We have been staying here since 2010! But for the first time, hubby attended the AGM and voted – largely due to some ‘political’ drama happening between JMC and JMB, which resulted to the sacking of the manager who has been reporting for 18 years (Mr H)! Initially, we are on the fence as we only have a vague idea on what was happening. But ever since hubby attended the previous EGM, we had an idea on what’s happening and a notice was put up to narrate the same happening! 
While we are on friendly terms with Mr H, we are more or less in the decision to give a change – i.e to ‘kick’ out Mr H! He wasn’t in the nomination but he has supporters who are nominees. Mr H was present as he is one of the unit owners. 
Given that we have not much idea on who the nominees are (though brief introductions were given), I actually wondered how hubby decided with his votes! πŸ€”πŸ€” How does he know if the nominees are affiliated with Mr H? πŸ€”πŸ€”
Hubby: Whenever Mr H votes for a nominee, I don’t vote. And when he doesn’t vote for a nominee, I voted! 
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚I never thought of this way! 
There we go, after close to 4 hours wait, we have the new line of committees! 😬Hope we can see some changes in our condo soon!