Thursday, December 18, 2014

There are two classes of travel; first class, and with children.” – Robert Benchley 

I’ve been scouring the internet for tips, reviews and suggestions for kids-friendly places and events for our impending trip and I am so thankful to each and every one of you dedicated hardworking bloggers for taking the time out of your busy life to assist other information-hungry mommies in making our trip with kids more manageable. And so I decided to write one for anyone who plan to travel to Sydney with kids, based on my not-so-recent trip there with my firstborn Hadi, who was 3 at the time of the trip (Noah was 3 months old in my tummy during our visit). 


Firstly, I cannot say this enough: Sydney is a truly vibrant city. It’s sunny and clean, you feel safe walking anywhere in Sydney, the buildings are modern and nice and the beautiful, well - maintained beach is just nearby --- what’s not to love about that? There’s definitely something for everyone in the family, including the kids! 


Especially if you have a large family, apartment would be a better choice, monetarily and space-wise, as compared to staying in hotels. You can also save money by cooking in your apartment. Most days I would prepare fried rice / pasta to bring for my boy for our outings; this would save you some money and mostly, this save you from the trouble of looking for eateries that are both adult/kids friendly. Hungry kiddos are no fun.


… so you don’t have to be worried about bringing your baby/kid’s stroller, except maybe when you go into the main attractions, perhaps you will piss people off with your bulky Quinny if the place gets too crowded. Umbrella strollers are always the best travel companion! My brother wore his baby who was a few months old then with a carrier and that certainly is a better choice when you go to the main attractions. 


… if your kid is younger than 5. The place is too huge, they’d get tired easily. My boy enjoyed the first 10 minutes and was more interested in the gift shop full of sea animal plushies afterwards. Older kids might appreciate it more I guess. 

A 4-year-old Hadi might appreciate the huge shark on top of his head more than he did last year. 

 He and I ended waiting outside for everyone. 


… if your kids, like most kids I know, love the sand. Mummy and daddy can go sand-board all you want and your kids will be content with the abundance of sand all around them. Older kids can join boarding, of course!

Trust me, my boy enjoyed himself too much here. 


And I do not mean animals in zoos like we have here in Malaysia. Go to farms where animals run free here and there and your kids will be all happy in their element. We went to the Oakville Farm in Newcastle and I believe that was the highlight of the trip for Hadi. We adults had so much fun too though.

 It was a gorgeous day at the Oakville Farm.


We went to Bondi Beach when we were in Sydney and truly enjoyed ourselves. You can rent the surfing / body-boarding supplies and even umbrellas and chairs there. If the waves are not for you, younger kids can enjoy the small ocean pool and soft sand. I read that the best beach for kids in Sydney is Balmoral Beach but we didn’t have the time to go.

 I miss his chubby cheeks! He's too thin now!


The famous one in Sydney is Luna Park and we opted to not go because Hadi was just 3 last year, he would not have enjoyed it to the fullest. Maybe next time?


Kids are definitely going to love ‘em! Holidays are cheat days (for you, mommies)!


… you can! While kids may not appreciate the majestic building, they can run around, watch and dance to the sound of didgeridoo, eat ice cream. And be sure to board the ferry to the Opera House, older kids would surely love the ride (although my boy slept all the way on the ferry ride, tired from earlier ventures to the main attractions, booo). 


Due to late start of the day, we did not have the time to go and we headed straight to the Darling Harbour main attractions, but promise me please that you will go and bring your kids to enjoy the vast and spectacular kids haven! 


Like I have said for too many times, I truly enjoyed Sydney, the city is so amazing and kids-friendly, I could just pack my stuffs and move there in a blink of an eye. I hope to visit the city again one day, but next time around, I will skip the main touristy attractions and opt for more picnics and BBQ, playground adventures and of course, more visits to the beach! Good luck with your trip (this is inevitable when you’re travelling with little ones har har) and I hope you will enjoy Sydney as much as I did, if note more! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.” - Lady Bird Johnson 

I can’t believe Hadi has completed a whole school year! Where did the time go? Did I even properly blog about his first day in preschool? I don’t think I did! Towards the end of 2014 school year, the teacher said she has seen a lot of improvement in him. He’s usually really shy around strangers but hey, he did really good at his school concert last Sunday. Although he couldn’t keep his eyes off his class teacher Puan Pipah most time of the performance, he danced and sang his heart away wholeheartedly and I was overwhelmed with pride and joy for my firstborn. 

Although I must say that attending your child’s school concert will make you feel like a real grown up grownup, you know what I mean? Tsskk. 

Here's my big boy, taken on one of the last few days of school. He suddenly decided he wanted to bring the Batman cape I made for him to school to show to his friends. He never bring any of his stuffs to school and I finally found out why! His teacher will make anyone who bring anything from home to go in front of the class and tell a story about it. A sharing session, they call it! And Hadi has been refusing to bring anything because he was too shy to tell stories in public! Shy lah sangat kamu kononnya! But on one of the last few days, he wanted to bring his cape voluntarily so I hope this is a good start. 

School holiday has only officially started for two days and already the boy has been bugging me that he misses his school! Tssskkk. One month ++ to go, dude.

Friday, October 31, 2014

A one-year-old child is so many things -- 
A tiny discoverer of butterfly wings, 
A hugger of Teddies, 
A sweet sleepyhead, 
And someone to dream for in bright years ahead 

My Noah turned one on October 19th and we celebrated with a picnic with our mini family (+ Tok) at our favourite park. I love picnics and it’s a curse that I live in humid, hot Malaysia. The birthday boy got cranky after the first 1/2 hour due to the heat but thank goodness his big brother enjoyed his time at the park playing frisbees, ball and what not. 

I know we did a much bigger bash when Hadi turned one back in 2011 but that was just because we got over excited, with him being our first born and all. Noah has to know, hence I’m writing this, that this does not in any way mean we love you any less than we love your big brother, OK? It just meant that as seasoned parents (har har har), we’re more practical now and this year we decide that we’d rather spend on perhaps a family vacation (soon, I hope). 

It has been an amazing one year with you, Noah. My darling sweet Noah. One peaceful and easy baby who comes with other sorts of challenges, dramas and fears, which perhaps I’ll share one day. But for now, I am thankful for this blessing and I look forward to many more years with my Noah. Alhamdulillah.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"Love can change a person the way a parent can change a baby- awkwardly, and often with a great deal of mess.” - Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

A darling friend Ayuni requested from Ayin and me a checklist of stuffs needed for a newborn. True there are a lot on the net but some are way too extensive, like what do you need an RM189 brush and comb set for? And expensive night light with lullaby? Sure, if you have money to burn, go ahead, but if you're practical (and kedekut) like me, soft light from a semi-closed bathroom door and your own zikrullah lullaby would do insyaAllah. 

So yeah, because I was bored, stressed out and was melayan Hadi painting anyway, I doodled this one for Ayuni and you can share it too! (I think I left out some essential items here, like a thermometer perhaps - thank you, Ayin for pointing that out. And yes Ieja, maybe a baby carrier too)

Till then, enjoy your pregnancy, mommies-to-be! (And enjoy shopping for you baby!)

Monday, September 29, 2014

A morning coffee is my favorite way of starting the day, 
settling the nerves so that they don't later fray.” ― Marcia Carrington 

My mom is an avid fan of tea. She’s a tea-holic, she actually survives on tea, really. She could go days without rice and proper food but could only last a few hours without a cup of steaming hot tea. So naturally I was never raised to be coffee lover. The first time I tasted coffee was probably when I was 10, at a relative’s house and they served us hot black coffee (yes, to the kids as well) and I remember thinking that the taste wasn’t anywhere near good. 

Little did I know the day will come when I will be finally introduced to good coffee, become obsessively dependent on them (oh those sleepless mombie nights and sleepy mombie days) and the rest they say is history. 

[Mombie: a mommy who is a zombie, weee!]

Coffee; in support of mommyhood since forever (so my mom preferred tea but to each moms their own caffeine, yeah?) Happy International Coffee Day, coffee lovers all over the world! Thank you for existing in our lives!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

"All kids need is a little help, a little hope and someone who believes in them." - Magie Johnson

I saw this Baby Mugging meme on Pinterest this morning and thought that this is too cute and doable too! Apparently it is the current Instagram sensation replacing #sleepingbabyart, which by the way is super hard to be done, phewww. I have some of Noah's #sleepingbabyart and I shall produce them when I have the chance. Look for #babymugging or #babyinamug hashtags on Instagram for so many other cute photos! 

And naturally, I have to come up with one of Noah! Here's my darling Noah, popping out of Hadi's Daiso RM5 mug, weee!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monica: "Welcome to the real world. It sucks. You’re gonna love it!" 

Twenty years ago, 6 friends came into our lives and set the highest standard for TV show. Twenty years later, no other sitcoms even come close to be as good. I can watch one random episode today for perhaps the fifth time and still laugh as hard as I did the first time I saw it. Happy birthday and thank you, FRIENDS. Best. Sitcom. Ever.

Monday, September 15, 2014

There are lives I can imagine without children but none of them have the same laughter and noise.” - Andreas


One day, our kids will outgrow our laps and leave our home, and this is a reminder that every single thing we do with our kids, we could be doing them for the very last time. There are days when we are too tired and crappy from everyday stress and we get cranky and angry with the kids behaving like well… kids, we forget that these days shall pass very soon and one day, we will only be left with the memories of their childhood innocence and the lingering sound of their sweet voice calling out for us.

Ups and downs, craziness and fun; cherish them all, we shall.

Monday, September 08, 2014

"Women are not moody. We simply have days when we are less inclined to put up with crap." - Karen Darby

If women talk gross you out, then stay out of this post. It’s the time of the month again. This is my second red flag after I gave birth to Noah (breastfeeding tends to do that to you – delay your cycle) and I was a few days late. So I was hoping to get a positive result on the PT, what’s with all the crappy mood swings and bloated (more than usual) tummy but sadly it was a negative and today, it came. Yikes. Sucks. Crappy. Mood. Swings. And. Even. Crappier. Period. Pain. I know, I know, people don’t think typing like this is cute anymore. I’m stuck in my own time bubble. Anyways yeah, I need some hazelnut latte. And someone to tell me I’m cute, in spite of the zit on my nose.

PMS women 101. Perpetually torn between loving food too much and wanting to be skinny.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

If you don’t think life is great, try going on without one"– Jim Evans

It’s been too long. Do people still read blogs anymore? I still do, although not on daily basis, but there are a few blogs that I still follow religiously. I just don’t think people still want to read my shit when there are faster mediums like Instagram, Twitter and what not (these days I don’t even tweet or read tweets daily anymore!) Until recently at a relative’s wedding, a pretty lady came up to me while we were queuing for buffet (didn’t catch her name but she said she’s Shanim’s cousin, so hi hello if you’re reading!) and she told me she reads my blog and asked why don’t I blog anymore. Honestly, I’m just plain lazy, that’s why. 

I’m gonna start with a summary. Fast forward 4 months after my last post, I’m still a lawyer and have been branching out on many other areas of law so you can give me a call if you find yourself buried deep in legal problems hew hew hew. Oh I do entertain “friendly” legal questions - you know, the pro bono kind which doesn’t lead to real cases with real fees, but please remember that a lawyer gotta eat (and have needs for pretty clothes) too. Am still very much happily married to the boss (d’uh) and he’s getting me a new car soon (amen!) so I’m loving him even more these days hew hew hew, oh and I caused a dent to a rented car few weeks ago so yeah oh baby I love you so. My parents and MIL are in good health and I thank Allah everyday for this. My Hadi has been in preschool for almost a year now and I’ve seen improvement in his everyday English and socializing skills although he is still very very shy around strangers (including friends at school)! He is the complete opposite at home though; very loud, talks non-stop, always jumping and running and up to some mischief. I wish I could combine these two very different personalities and create one perfect Hadi, sigh. My Noah is already 10 months old (time flies so fast with this one, phewww!) and he is still the calm and darling baby that he is. I have so many things to share about Noah but maybe later. Still fully breastfeeding Noah who doesn’t really like food so momma’s milk is all his nutrition is coming from and honestly I don’t think I am able to keep up with his demand! God help me! 10 months later and yeah, I’m still fat, far from my dream weight, belly full of baby fat (more like full of teh tarik and nasi lemak) and lotsa fat hanging loose here and there (don’t picture it!) Maybe I should just get pregnant so I could justify all my eating and what not. I want 5 kids anyway (if Allah permits) and I’m already 32 now so I think we should act fast! I have so many everyday issues that I share randomly on Instagram, Whatsapp and Facebook, I couldn’t probably list them down here in one post. But all in all, by Jim Evans’ standard, life’s really good. 

That’s a lot of useless facts in one para. This is fun. Maybe I should pick up this hobby again.