Month: February 2013

Somebody’s Pouting

Yesterday was my first day at work this week, after four days of Chinese New Year break followed by one day of unplanned leave. So as I have expected, it was a hectic day – I have backlogs which somehow I feel due to me being overloaded rather than my incompetence, and by 6.00 pm I was still at my desk talking to my boss.

Office hour ends at 5.30pm, but the crèche allows 30 minutes buffer after that, so as long as I pick Isa by 6, I won’t be additionally-charged.

I only managed to arrived at the crèche at 6.15pm, 45 minutes past my working hour, to see that it’s only Isa’s bag that’s left at the crèche’s lobby.

It is sad to be the last kid being picked up, I know.

And by the time I saw Isa being carried by the babysitter to me, he wasn’t smiling as usual.

I put my hands forward to take him but he refused, looking away from me. I tried again, and this time around he even slapped my hands in protest.

So yes, somebody’s grown up enough to protest and pout. What a milestone.

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Where to Buy a Nursing Abaya?

I had many referrals to my blog from the keyword of ‘breastfeeding/nursing abaya’. Just in case anyone’s really looking for that and stumble upon my blog, I figure out why not let her be directed to somewhere really useful, right?

So far for me, abayas that are friendly to my nursing task come in two types:

  1. Open-front abaya, which means the abaya has button from chest downwards
  2. Abaya with a zip/button from neck opening until just below chest.

Basically, as what abaya is known to be an outer garment, people would wear something inside i.e. a shirt and trousers/skirts. But for my case, I only wear long trousers with no inner shirts to make breastfeeding easier.

However, this normally pose a challenge when it comes to wearing open front abayas, which sometimes are not properly closed when you button them up, hence your skin might show. The solution for me is to sew the opening from the knee-level up until just below the chest, wherever that’s comfortable for me to open and nurse. I have a number of abayas which I have done this to, and they work just fine.

That’s why I’d prefer the second type of breastfeeding abaya, which is more comfortable and easy to ‘navigate’. However, these types are harder to find.

Back to our topic for this post, here’s where I bought my current collection of abayas (both online and offline). Please note that these are all from Malaysia. If you reside somewhere else, I suppose some of the online retailers do provide courier service internationally:

1. Maratussolehah Muslim House. 

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It has a very wide range of nursing abayas.I bought my sport cum nursing abaya from here, and it is not middle-east-made. All abayas are priced at RM120 + RM6 (postage). I’d say mine is really worth for every penny spent.

2. An offline shop at Sunway Putra Mall named Ali Muslimah Fashion. I bought two last time, and was given discounts. As one is made from a high quality nidha, for RM220 I think it is a steal. One of the most comfortable I have so far. The outlet is at Lower Ground floor I think. Wasn’t very happy with the other one though.

3. An outlet at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, at Roshni Bazaar. This outlet sells only black abayas from middle east (can’t recall which specific country) and most if not all of them are priced at RM150. It is in front of Colosseum Cafe. I bought one made of fursan material, the first one, and start to love the material so much! Went again a few times but could not find any that’s suitable for office wear i.e. less bling-bling.

4. Aisha Nur Abaya. 

Bought this simple abaya from this online shop for Eid. It instantly became my favourite abaya so far, because this one falls into second category of nursing abaya which is suitable for long travel – if wearing the open front chances are when holding Isa, who is moving non-stop, all button will go loose. Mine was priced at RM175, slightly above my normal price range.

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5. Niqaabis Collection. Bought two pieces from this online shop, both are open-front. Well, the price are really low, one is less than RM100 (plain), another one is at RM110 (with bling-bling all over). The plain one is pretty comfortable, but the second one I only use at certain occasions. It says the material is fursan, but only after I received it that I knew it was of a lesser quality (hence the low price).

6. An outlet in Padang Besar Bazaar, Perlis. Made of satin, priced at RM100 partly because it is an old stock, which I didn’t mind buying.

7. Butik Abaya Tini. I have my first custom-made abaya here, at RM220 worn during my sister-in-law wedding. First-class customer service I have to say. I’d go crazy browsing through its album, because all of them are really, really beautiful!

8. Do Buy Dazzle. Found a steal here last month and very very glad! Bought mine at RM100 inclusive of postage (because it was a limited-time offer), made of nidha (not the highest quality) and I love it. The owner will go an extra mile to find your specific choice if you request, I believe.

9. Dubai Abaya Couture. Eyed one particular simple abaya for some months, initally priced at RM150 or was it RM180, but during its Year-End Sale, I managed to grab it at RM87, postage included. Happy as a kid.

I hope this helps!

p.s.I promised my husband I am not buying any more abaya until June 2013. Then I’ll go for another customised one, or maybe make one myself!

p.p.s: 1MYR or RM 1 is equivalent to USD0.32 (as at 14 Feb 2013)

Raising a Non-picky Eater

Isa is already approaching 9 months old, all Praise is due to Allah the Exalted, and all this while since he reached 6 months old I have given him solid food, or actually semi-solid food. In general I would say that Isa is really into food – all types of food to be precise!

To be honest, I have been pretty adventurous about the food I gave him, partly because I would like to raise him as a non-picky eater. My husband is, but unfortunately I am a bit picky in some sense. My husband could eat anything under the sun – except for soy-based food  – even if it doesn’t taste as good as it is supposed to be. For him food is food, only to be seen as a source of energy, not leisure (Mutton curry excluded). Myself on the other hand, would not finish anything that I somehow don’t like. I think that’s just fair, I am only human.

Anyway, with Isa I have fed him with all typical baby food ingredients: oat, white rice, brown rice, apple, pasta, sweet potato, potato, tuna, salmon, chicken, beef, celery, spinach, cheese, tomato, onion, anchovy, with extra flavours from dried parsley or basil. He has tasted ice-creams and durian, – a tiny bit of course – and loves them. And no, I could not serve him home-made food only, those ready-made baby biscuits work wonders when travelling. He has so far, All praise to God, no tummy problem due to the food eaten, except for one constipation he had recently. I suspect that it was due to the pasta I made for him, so for the time being I’ll stop with pasta for a while.

Of course he eats all the above, and except if they were cooked by my mom or prepared by the crèche, no sugar or salt is added.

Only yesterday the babysitter told me than Isa finished three bowls of porridge in one sitting, and even asked for me when he saw his friends eating!

The crèche does prepares food for the babies, but I try to cook his meal as much as I can. I make them in batches which last 1-2 days (that’s 6 containers) to be sent to the crèche – except for this week where I am barely able to lift my eyelid when I reach home. Luckily, Isa is also sleepy as early as 8pm, so he rarely has his dinner with us – which is a shame really. No family dinner yet I suppose?

Here are some photos of Isa having his meal- my non-picky eater:

 

 

The weekend getaway – Janda Baik

Everyone needs a break right?

It was just a few weeks into 2013, and I notice that my energy level is unbelievably low. Isa was a bit unwell – he was feverish for two days or so, mild one nevertheless – when my sister invited me to join her to go to Janda Baik for a weekend getaway.

FYI, Janda Baik is a village blessed with beautiful rivers flowing, and cooler climate thanks to the mostly-untouched forest. It is close to the city i.e. Kuala Lumpur, approximately 45km from where I live, which means less than an hour drive, and many landowners have opened chalets for tourists to enjoy the experience.

I was in dilemma for a while. I was in desperate need for a break, but travelling with Isa not being in his best health didn’t sound alright. But then I said to myself – this could be good for him as well you know, breathing fresh air instead of the polluted city air.

So I braved myself and made the decision – let’s pack and go!

And alhamdulillah, we both got what we wanted!

Isa gets better miraculously – his body temperature was normal throughout the two days, and I was, All praise is due to Him, felt relaxed.

All four of my siblings were there -my elder sister with her husband and son, and my unmarried sister and brother, and we had enjoyable time! We had barbecue, and it was awesome.

Of course I didn’t miss the chance to get into the river which is just in front of our chalet, and Isa too.

He didn’t seem to enjoy it the first time, but the next day, he liked it very much!

We stayed at this resort, if you are interested. Cheap, if you don’t mind not having first class facilities.

Life’s Like That

So our routine has changed a lot since we moved to our new crib. With it being further away from our workplace, it means more commute time to us, and less time spent at home. It’s the drawback known to us beforehand, and somehow, for the price of a better living place, we are okay.

And then my husband was transferred to another department, doing purely accounting, which means there are peak times in a month where he might need to stay a bit late at work. Since we are commuting in one car, it means that Isa and myself need to wait for him in my office, since our car is parked at my husband’s workplace.

But yesterday I suggested another option to my husband: If he knows earlier on that he needs to extend his working hour, he can park his car at my office, then afterwards I can bring Isa to the Petronas Twin Tower i.e. KLCC (where he works) and hang out there while waiting for him to finish his works, instead of lying in boredom somewhere in my office building.

He’s OK with that, though there’s a price to it – namely the parking costs (it’s MYR3/hour!), more expensive dinner (nothing cheaper than MYR10/person for a meal at Suria KLCC), and the possibility of me spending unnecessarily.

But yesterday was fine, except that Isa chose to throw his tantrum. Partly because I had to leave him on the car seat too long while I tried to set up his stroller (which was stuck, and husband had to come down to the rescue), and he was pretty hungry.

We had to have two trips to the nursing cum changing room – luckily this time around no throwing up or anything like that – but all the while before we reached the room he was screaming and crying. And yes, I know how it felt, the embarrassment – but all I can do was put up a constant smile – that’s how a life would be with a baby y’all!

He managed to sleep for a while, but woke and irritably cried once I was about to indulge in the heaven of books at Kinokuniya Bookstore. Phew!

Well, it’s an outing gone awry, until my husband came. I had imagined it to be me and my son having frozen yoghurt together and him being his usual cheery, people-loving baby.

But yesterday he chose to be different – isn’t life like that?

Supplemented…and the Mixed Feelings

Oh well.

I told you previously when I passed the 6-months mark of fully breastfeeding that I aimed to continue doing so at least until Isa’s 12 months.

Unfortunately, the heavy workload proves itself to be a culprit. Last week, for some consecutive days I failed to pump twice a day, and on Monday morning this week I was left without any ounce of expressed breastmilk.

Lucky there was a convenient store which opens at 7 in the morning, at that was where we bought our second can of formula milk, after eight months. That 600g costs us MY66 – to my surprise actually. I didn’t know it is that expensive! That equals 11 lunches to me really!

So we supplied that to the crèche, and thank God Isa’s taking it well. I still go to him during lunch break for direct feed, and pump whenever I can. On Monday I could not pump at all, but yesterday and today I managed to hand 6 oz to the crèche. I’m just hoping my brain won’t take this half-hiatus as a sign that there is less demand for breast milk, because the truth is even the thought of Isa not nursing with me anymore makes me really really sad.

Partly because of the potential tedious jobs of making the milk, having to travel with all sorts of equipments for that purpose…and somehow the high cost does factors in. I wish to continue to at least another 16 months.

On the other hand, supplementing with formula actually gives me some peace of mind. Really. There are days where I would go almost crazy worrying if the expressed milk supply I give to the crèche would be enough – especially when I was away from the office. I don’t know if that is eligible as stressful things cause by breastfeeding, but I think its effect is cancelled out by the happy hormone released by directly breastfeeding, no?

On a side note, Isa’s nursing style is evolving fast. He doesn’t like to be fed on my lap when at home, he prefers nursing lying down on our bed. He is more susceptible to distraction and temptations to playing – so most often he only nurses for a few second – in a freestyle mode, typically on his tummy.

And gosh, how I love his smile and eagerness when he sees his sources of food!

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Pure bliss, isn’t it? This is EBM by the way, and I am taking the credit!