Tuesday, November 15, 2016

No ipads during the day

Okay so I am not a mom who restricts the ipad on her kids. i don't really have screen time rules too for now..but hey you can't be too perfect. i do provide a lot of self play activities around them- a small kallax shelf filled with costumes, a sensory bin filled with beans, colouring pages and all that stuff.

For a few months now i kept the ipad away from the kids when their daddy's at work.out of sight, out of minds. not because of all that paranoid stuff they say about these electronics. but more of because i cannot stand the whining when the internet got disrupted and the youtube video doesn't load, the fight when one refuses to share it with another and also to the sudden deafness when they're on it. i can talk and nag and they just..tune out. seriously my pet peeves k.

So what do they do when theres no ipad? they watch tv.yeah i still switch on the tv. but being kids..they get bored after awhile especially with all the astro replays.so that's when they wander around the house looking for something to play with. 

At the moment they love roleplaying with the costumes.it's a joy watching them playing together and not fighting for the ipad. when i have free time i try to paint with tia. riz doesnt like paint and its messiness!

I hope the habit will stay- i still have to surrender to the ipad during mealtimes. mommy daddy need to eat in peace.hehe.but so far we've survived without the ipads during the day. although the house looked like it had a toy explorion- will try to keep this up as long as i can!


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

An Update after so long!

Okay, so I have been totally slacking on posting. I have been caught up in a whirlwind of......basically everything. I miss blogging everyday and everytime i do or go somewhere great I would tell myself, "ok, this is going into the blog" and then I would go home, stay up, type a little bit......and fell asleep. There are around 3-4 posts which are halfway written drafts in my dashboard. hehe

Picking up from last June...we moved into our own home in May. There was a change in routine, and it takes quite some time to adjust. I will (yes, I will) vlog on house tour soon. If my house is in order. It's just a condo, but it's home, and it's our first one. We are atop a shopping mall so it's like super convenient (and pocket emptying too). I have direct access to japanese food that I no longer crave for it. haha. With 2 toddlers though, as much as I try to buy all the organization bins in the world....the house will always end up looking cluttered at the end of the day. It's ok. will keep trying.

The kids are growing up so beautifully. Tiana loves school, she has a bff in class...she just recently know how to read more than before. She surprises us all the time. It teaches me never to doubt her abilities. There was a time we were getting worried about her ever going to start walking, and one day she just goes. we thought we will never manage to potty train her and one day, she just go pee on the toilet and never looked at a diaper anymore. no accidents pulak tu. For a while recently I thought she's going to have problems in reading but suddenly she came back reading a whole page of her school reader book that teacher hasn't seen yet. Quite amusing. I've seen other kids do it better but I try to convince myself that every kid is different, and that she'll get there, and if she's not as good then she will be better in another skill.

Riz is going through the classic terrorist three phase. He is very attached to us and none other, refusing school and quite possessive over his belongings. I'm confused about teaching kids to share actually, because I've seen toys being grabbed away from my kids hands one too many times. I just teach them to not let go and tell the other kid that "I'm not done yet". and same goes to them, to wait for their turn and not grab until the other kid with the wanted toy is done. and then comes the problem of hogging pulak. sigh. If you do have any tips though, do share with me ok?:) Riz pelatness is the cutest thing at the moment, and I wish he would stay this small because of that! other than that, he is very sweet and such a momma's boy, I am protective and possessive over him:P And what melts me the most is during tantrum moments, when he's angry, he just lets me hold him and I can feel him calming down. It just makes me feel useful and needed. He is still up to mischief every day, but he also needs some cuddles every few minutes. seriously!

I'll be back with newer posts. I hope this update post kickstarts my momentum of blogging again. Til then.


Sunday, June 26, 2016

My Version of The Ikea Duktig Play Kitchen Hack

Like any other crafter, I have to admit that Pinterest is my favourite2 craft search engine. I can spend hours on Pinterest and one idea just leads to another and another and another and it goes on and on!

I wrote a post before on how I would love to get the kids a wooden play kitchen. I was scouting around the cheapest price and found one on lelong.my for around rm200+. It was really tiny and the colour is a lil bit too gaudy for my liking. Read it here. The kids don't care of course, and it is utilized very well even to this day, in my mom's kitchen. when opah cooks, cucu cooks too. hehe

And then bam Ikea had this unadvertised sale for their Duktig kitchen!! RM199 for the whole set. Price before was RM388. that was a crazy steal. we grabbed one, of course...and my itchy hands started browsing thru Pinterest for a hack because duh, I am into being different than anyone else. haha. no, kidding. actually I really wanted the kitchen to match my new house, so I can put this play kitchen right next to my real one.

The original Duktig play kitchen. Source: www.ikea.com

After thorough research...I settled on an all white kitchen. I love the gold tap and sink that people hacked and to make the microwave and oven look a lil bit more real, I painted it silver.

Basically everything was spray painted, and I choose spray paint because it's the easiest and my mom's garden is a good area for me to work on (her rules are- "Make sure no paint residues are seen on the porch OKAY?"). Apparently using a paint brush will be a lil bit more complicated....appearance of brush strokes and all.

Basically you will need these items to hack a Duktig in Malaysia land:
- Primer spray (from ACE hardware. kebetulan i was there, but you can get it elsewhere too)
- Spray paint in desired colours (My favourite go to brand is the Japanese Khameleon brand. apparently it's used for motorbikes too. I use this for my lace crowns as well. as for gold I went for the Abro brand, to get that shiny finish)
- Clear spray paint, to be sprayed as a last step- gives a smooth glossy finish.
-Wood stain for the countertop (ACE hardware has it)
- Sandpaper of medium courseness (I just asked the hardware shop person and she handed me 2 pieces. had no clue but that was what I used)
- Wood alphabets from Kaison, Setapak Central Mall at RM1.90 each.

1) I sandpapered all the wooden pieces lightly first using a medium course sandpaper.

2) Spray paint primer all over the wooden pieces and let dry.

3) Spray paint 2 coats of paint in desired colour, wait for paint to dry in between. one tip- be patient and WAIT til the paint is properly dry before flipping over the wood to paint the other side. otherwise the box you lay them on will stick on to the wood. happened to me. so, be patient! Also, make sure you don't leave out the sides of the wood. spray paint every side.

First coat, let dry.

Second coat, flip and repeat spray.

Silver for the oven and microwave door (don't forget to put masking tape on glass)

4) Spray clear spraypaint all over dried parts.

5) The plastic pieces weren't very complicated to spray but be careful of drips! my advise, spray lightly, let dry and spray a second coat. Plastic piece DONT need to be sandpapered. I tried, and it left a scratch on the tap. hahah

I sprayed the induction stove borders, sink, tap, kitchen legs and even the tiny hooks to hang the pots Gold.

5) I bought real kitchen knobs for the oven and cabinet door. if you're doing this, make sure you find the ones with 5" gap and it will fit perfectly. Try this one:

LANSA handle, RM19.90 for 2

6) Do use masking tape to cover up the glass parts of the kitchen to avoid spraying the glass with paint.

7) Glue gun the word COOK on top of the kitchen shelf using the wooden alphabets. They're already white and match perfectly!

8) The stain for countertop - oh my god I totally wrecked this one. please google and youtube how to stain wood beforehand because I simply painted on the mahogany stain on the countertop and it left drip marks!! arghh....everything else is perfect except for this one. I thought of sticking on a self adhesive wallpaper on it but after assembling, it actually looked quite alright so I chose to ignore the imperfection. hehe. perhaps a good idea is to use shellaq instead of wood stain. cuz i think that would be more straight forward. 

9) Assemble it! Man, this one pun berpeluh jugak because I assembled it ALL with just a manual screwdriver and an allenkey. yup, no man no cry! haha just kidding.

Almost done, almost....

Aaaand the final outcome:

That's about it! basically it is a successful project with some hiccups here and there but most importantly, the kids don't care about the colour. they just play! I thought of drilling some holes on top of the oven door and put in some round knobs to look like the real ones but did not dare use a drill on it. so it's left like that. I also thought of sewing aprons and chef hats and embroidering initial dishcloths to hang on the cabinet handle..but nah..too lazy. I haven't been that creative in decorating it as well. but being the satisfied me, i think it looked pretty great by its own.

The toy food never stays in the kitchen. some somehow "migrated" to the kids bedroom and the dining table. some ended up on my bedside table because the height is just perfect as a kids table. lol.

Some thoughts on the project:
- I think I'll only attempt this once...it's too ma fan! I like sewing better. 
- I am proud of the outcome and my titik peluh. hehe
- Flip those wooden parts and spray paint, but dont forget to check the edges like me. now i need to handpaint the sides with acrylic paint.
- Wear a mask when dealing with spray paint and gloves to save your hands from dripping paint
- total cost of the kitchen may go up to the original price after all. I think i spent another rm100+ from the hardware shop. but worth it though, seeing that only I have this version of kitchen.
- We put this kitchen in the living room to substitute a console table because it matches the other furnitures:D

If you're up to attempt an Ikea hack like me, Good luck!! come on, you gotta try it once in your life right? hehe


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Riz Johann at 2 years and a half

Riz is officially 2 and a half years old now. Time flies. I have mixed feelings about this. It's like, I want him to grow up and out of his terrible two phase, but at the same time...I want him to remain a baby:( At the moment I am trying to enjoy and remember every baby talk, every hug he would voluntarily give me, every peck on the lips which was followed by "eww", the smoothness of his baby skin, and the softness of what was left of his baby hair.

Riz is very attached to me. of course when my husband is not around. when he's around, I am always number 2 to my kids. Can't blame them. he used to be my favourite person too. He would be fine doing his own thing for a couple of minutes alone and then he would call out for me, which sounded like this - "mommy?mooooommyyyyyy....where aaaare yoooou?" followed by the sounds of small footsteps scurrying around looking for me.

He speaks in full sentences now, you would understand what he's trying to tell you, but to join the main keywords he would sound like - "The bus dadadadadada so biiig"

He wants to do EVERYTHING on his own. like, when I tried to help he would cry. for instance, he loves filling up his own cup at our Coway water dispenser. if i helped him do it before he could, he would cry, take that cup back from me, put it back on the drying rack, and started back at square one. I need it perfect, I need to do it from A to Z.

He wanders away during outings. This is something I am so afraid of and everytime I bring him out I have to watch him like a hawk. he would get distracted by something and then walk towards it, not caring if I am left far behind. hence, I have to use a harness everywhere I go with him. he wont hold my hand, and he would walk away as he wishes.

Adores his sister as usual, everything kakak does, he will do. kakak jumps, he jumps. kakak eat koko crunch, he wants koko crunch.

Loves supermarkets. this one is quite nice because it's pretty easy to do grocery shopping with him. he loves loves loves sitting in the trolley or that push cart kiddie cars and help us choose our groceries. he loves to pick out tomatos and chillis for me and put them in a bag, and then toss it into the trolley. and also putting stuff on the cashier belt before paying. 

I actually send him for toddler survival swimming classes because he tend to just impulsely walk towards and jump into the pool in a split second..gulp. Alhamdulillah as of now he knows how to draw a big breath before his head is dunked underwater. he needs to work on long distance swimming though, paddling with his arms and legs.

He loves toys which he can fix such as the Take-A-Part construction machine and duplo, and anything vehicle. he's not so crazy for trains though. his favourite vehicle is the bus (what else) hehe. he loves the Mini Micro Scooter I bought for him a while back. This is pretty convenient for me if we are late in the morning cuz the kids would just speed their scooters to the lift from our condo unit, down to the car park while I fast walk. 

Riz still has a problem sleeping alone. he needs someone to zz next to him every night. Since we gave the kids their own room, we wanted to train him to zz on his own bed. we'll put him to sleep by sleeping next to him in his own bed. and then quietly creep out in the middle of the night. now, I know this is the wrong technique because him having some kind of 6th sense....will somehow wake up 3 minutes after we left his room to come find us. sigh...

During car rides, while sending kakak to school or on the way to grandma's house, Riz would point to each and every vehicle and say repeatedly" mommy look, truck!truck, mommy! it's so big!" and then..."crane mommy, look! it's building a house". Car seats are okay for him at the moment,  he would oblige.

On some mornings I would drive to my mom's house with him for breakfast there, he would ask for yogurt. then he would ask me "mommy are we going to Ikea? get opah to come along!" oh how we love our ikea breakfast dates, the three of us. after breakfast we would put him in a trolley and browse around and he would be very well behaved.

That's basically all about RJ at 2 years 6 months. It has been such a journey so far. he is our adventurous, cheeky little sweetheart. and though sometimes challenging and worrying (looking at the amount of climbing he does) taking care of him, I will definitely miss him at this age when he grows a little bigger.oh the cuddles!!


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day 2016

Oh wow...it has been so long since the last post!
A lot has happened and I promise i will update in the most concised manner possible:D
Let this post be dedicated to the daddies because today is Father's Day.

Happy Father's Day to all fathers, papas, daddies, abahs, abis out there!
As I was scrolling through my instagram feed, I see many dedications to fathers and husbands who are undoubtedly and effortlessly a role model to their own family.

As for me, I celebrate 2 important leaders in the family. My Ayah and my husband. Tiana and Riz's Daddy. Both share the same birthdays but have different approaches in bringing up their kids. Special in their own ways, I am forever grateful to have them in my life. 

I disagree a lot with my dad. some of his principles do not agree with me, but without him I am nothing. I can't imagine how life would be without him even though he is quiet at most times. Quiet, strict, but is always there. always. Never once that I am in trouble and he is not there. from being stuck at the side of the road having a flat tyre, right up to guiding me the way to my new workplace. He is always there, all the time, and i still need him even though I am a married woman. 

My husband is a great playmate to our kids. he has the most amazing patience when dealing with them, in any situation. I have to hand it to him. I admit I have patience which short circuited ALL the time. I am just like my dad. and therefore it's important that I have someone like him around for our kids. Very blessed and thankful to have him, really.

Last night, we had our first family dinner at our new pad. haha that too, is to be updated. we have finally moved to our new house, our own. we had a nice family iftar together to celebrate the daddies in the family. I cooked a few dishes and decorated my dining area for the family. There was an assortment of ulams, sambal belacan, ikan pari bakar with air asam, sup ayam (by urs truly), and gulai pisang muda (also by urs truly, first time trying MIL's recipe!) we had the famous Alexis Bistro's pavlova for dessert too! yum.

Earlier on, I picked up balloons from Balloon Buzz, Wangsa Walk Mall with this little diva:) These I tied to each dining chair.

Then I printed out a Father's day banner to stick on the wall from here, and made a cake banner using printables from here. simple and nice methinks!

We were celebrating my dad, hubby and my brother, hence "Best Dads Ever"

The famous Alexis Pavlova. ooo look at all those berries on top!

And my gulai pisang muda, baby!

And here is a photo of the guys:

Happy Father's Day again from me:) Celebrate the ones you love not just today, but also everyday. 

Til then, lots of love!

Monday, May 16, 2016

A bowl of comfort food

I'm sick. haha. like finally fallen sick. i have this bad headache and my sinuses feel very congested and i'm lethargic. theres this virus which has been circulating around the house..usually i'm the last one standing but looks like my body has taken a toll on me. sekali sekala i guess.

My comfort food has always been a big bowl of soup noodles. any kind. the steam, the soup...sigh just makes me feel a lot better. hehe. its scienfically true though, drinking hot chicken soup could actually help with congestion and colds. here i am typing this post at Taiwan House Ampang Point, alone and enjoying their bowl of beef glass noodle soup. not chicken soup, but oh well, so good. husband's on leave today and is at home with the kids. juust for a lil while.

I really hope Clarinase an Tussidex works fast for me. need to get up on my feet again!

til then,

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Am I doing okay?

As a sahm, I guess it is easy to get a bit overwhelmed by things around you. you are focused on only one priority- your children; although there are many tasks throughout the day. The days can drag by ever so slowly and things can get monotonous. it's a job which goes on the entire day, with very little human interaction (at least with ones of the same age as you) and things might just look up a little bit when that man of yours walk in the front door back from work.

Here's my reality. I don't get to lift my feet up til the kids are asleep. when their dad comes home from work early, i get to have jusst a bit of space to myself. just a little. but that doesn't occur very often. my kids only get daddy time less than 24 hours in a week. and yes, i counted. they see daddy on alternate days because he decided that working at the gp office after working hrs 3x a week could help us pay some bills. well, you do have to choose between money and love.

When the days get very long..and i started to get a bit edgy, i need a shut out moment. i need to close my eyes breathe a few deep breaths and motivate myself that i can go through the day, and that 10pm is not too far away. i find that my mood improved just a lil bit and the kids shenanigans doesnt seem too testing on my patience.

It is at the end of the day, when i brushed their little set of teeth, make susu for riz, and read them a bedtime story with both nestled against my chest....all the monotonous hours just fade away, and i'm ready for the next day. I would plant a goodnight kiss on each of their forehead. Tia would ask "mommy, can i hold your hand til i fall asleep?" and riz being him, would snuggle against me with eyes half closed.   In the darkness, I would recite a few surahs and read the doa tidur together with them..and i would hold both their little hands in mine until they fall asleep. I recognize their breathings when they are asleep.

That's how much i know my kids. every breath, every thought, every look, every mischievious plan. I know what is next in riz's cute cheeky smile. and i know what it means when tia talks nonstop and stumbles on her own feet- she's tired but cant wind down.

As I watch them breathe while they sleep..i wonder if i have done enough. are they happy that i am here whenever they need me? will they forgive me for the times i get angry with them, because i feel exhausted? whatever it is, I hope tomorrow will be a better day. and i will do a better job at being mom.

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