Self

Wearing Too Many Hats

I left my laptop yesterday at home, and I only realized it when I reached the office. I had to drive back, and it’s a 20 minutes trip from home to office.

All because I did not get enough sleep.

So many things are running through my minds lately. My BFF from primary school is getting married in E&O Hotel, Penang next week, and I’m totally looking forward to this trip up north. But what I dreaded the most is the trip back to my hometown – my dad with his own issues, and I haven’t made amend with my mom after I said some nasty (but true) things to her – argh it just gets so frustrating! You may say I could just skip this trip back home, but I have my aunty who is currently staying with me and she has been looking forward to go home, so now I can’t be selfish, can I? Even my daughter is just as excited to go back to meet her extended family.

On top of this family drama, work has been piling up. It’s a busy year for us this year, it seems. Since the new year, works keep coming in. I have Adriscarves to worry about too, what’s with the launch of our new products and all the marketing effort that follows.

The good thing in my life right now is that I finally got the hang of my financial after almost 8 years in the workforce. I was a shopaholic – I spent more money than I made – but those were days back then. I finally said enough to this spending habit. I had a good start this year, so hopefully this momentum stays. The only problem is… I’m obsessed about it! The obsessive compulsive in me tends to do so, and it’s just energy-consuming, when you have to think about it every minutes of your life. I have to read every single articles about financial and thrifty lifestyle, I have to record every single spending in my bullet journal, I have to talk about it, I have to check my bank account every single day… Do you know that I spent my last weekend without sleep, because I was reading blogs about spending. It’s definitely tiring to be me.

I just needed some rest and some time alone. I’m just so overwhelmed. Sometimes it feels like the world depended on me – my husband needs me to make certain decisions and future plans, my daughter needs me to teach her, my aunty needs me to decide on some of the household chores, my colleague needs me to give some comments and opinions, my friends need me to listen to them and give some wise advice, my sister needs me to help with her new role in the company she’s working with… They don’t, actually, but it is just me that put such a high bar for myself. It makes me anxious all day wearing these many hats… But don’t get me wrong, I love all of these hats and not giving up on any of them!

x

Self

Working Mom Daily Routine

It ain’t easy, and it’s crazy most days. But I try my best to keep up with the daily routine. Juggling between work, meal prep and work out session, and at the same time giving 100% focus to a toddler, that definitely requires a lot of hard work and proper planning.

I’m just lucky that I have my aunty to take up on the daily tidying and laundry. I will focus on deep cleaning and organizing the house on Saturdays, and weekly grocery shopping on Sundays.

On weekdays, my schedule goes something like this :

5:00 am : Subuh prayer, sleep
7:00 am : Get up, breastfeed, get ready for work
7:45 am : Prepare breakfast
8:00 am : Breakfast
8:30 am : At work
12:00 pm : Lunch break, Zuhur prayer
1:00 pm : At work
4:30 pm : Workout at gym
5:30 pm : Reach home, breastfeed, Asar prayer
6:00 pm : Prepare dinner
7:00 pm : Shower, Maghrib prayer
7:45 pm : Dinner time, prep for next day’s lunch take out
8:45 pm : Watch TV / playtime / bedtime story
9:30 pm : AJ’s bedtime, Isya’ prayer
10:00 pm : Prep for next day’s gym bag / work bag
10:15 pm : Tidy up the house
10:30 pm : Bedtime

Working moms, how does your daily schedule look like? – X

BabyAJ

My Talkative 2 Year Old

At 2 years old, my girl started talking very well, alhamdulillah. Now at 2 years and 3 months, she can make sentences such as “Help me, mommy. I can’t reach it” or “Mommy, read book to Adriana. It’s story time” or “Jom pergi Toys R Us. I want new toys” or “I’m so tired. It’s bedtime already” or her current favorite of “Hey, that’s mine”.  It’s much easier to deal with her terrible two antics too, as she can let us know of her wants and needs.

She is raised bilingual – English and Malay. I thought at first this will confuse her, but she took to both languages pretty well. She can understand command in both, although right now we can see that her preferred language is English.

I’m not an expert, but here’s my sharing on encouraging your toddlers to talk, based on our experiences:

  1. Talk to your toddler as much as possible. Most of her speech now is actually repetition of our own speech. For example, since she was a baby, I will tell her every night “It’s dark outside. It’s bedtime already”. And my husband will tell her during bedtime story “Adriana, take one book. It’s story time”. She repeats and improvised our speech, which shows her understanding of the words.
  2. Sing along. I think nursery rhymes works in developing a toddler’s speech. I started singing nursery rhymes to her since she was born, and now she loves watching BabyTV and Didi and Friends to listen and sing along to all the songs too. I believe kids can learn better with rhythm.
  3. Use flash cards. I can’t emphasize more on the importance of flash cards, as this definitely works for my daughter. I started reading flash cards to her since she was 1 month old – at least 1 session per day, and targeting on 1 second per card. Among her first words are the words from the flash cards! It’s fun too when we showed her the actual things. For instance, she’s very familiar with the flash cards of carrot, pumpkin, tomato – and when it was time for our visit to the grocer, I will point out to her the actual vegetables one by one. And right now at 2+ years old, she can identifies with most items that she has been exposed to. Not only flash cards, but be creative when introducing new vocabulary to your toddlers to grab their attention.
  4. Focus on her speech. Toddlers need to feel that their speech matters, and that is very important. Else, they will stop their effort to talk. I will listen to her and will give her my feedback. Don’t take any of their words for granted. At this juncture, I don’t quite mind her mispronunciation, as long as it’s understandable. I just want her to feel confident talking.
  5. Be specific. This is another way of introducing new vocab to the little ones. For example, when she said “Baby dog”, I told her “Yes, baby dog. We call it ‘puppy'”. And ‘puppy’ becomes her new vocab. I try to keep expanding her vocab by adding adjectives too, such as “That is a small puppy” or “That is a black puppy”. We are very proud of her that she can now compares between big and small and she could identify colors and shapes as well. Just a couple of weeks ago, she pointed to one car and said “Yellow car”, and indeed, it was a yellow car.
  6. Focus on details. We read a lot of picture books together, and when reading I will also take her focus on the details. For example, when browsing through a picture of a cat, I would tell her “Look at this cat. This is a brown cat. Look at its eyes. Big eyes. Look at its legs. See, it has nails. Just like you. Show mommy your nails.”. It’s endless, just from one picture. Make simple sentences, but emphasize on the keywords.

Alhamdulillah, subhanallah. I am very proud of her progress so far. I’m in no way bragging of my daughter – we are no near perfect – just sharing my experiences and my passion in early childhood education. There is no shortcuts – all of this takes a lot time and effort – but insyaAllah if we embrace that our kids are our amanah or trust from Allah SWT, we will nurture them with sincerity.

What is your trick to get your toddler talking? – X

Books

My Current Read

I’m half way through Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain on my Kindle Paperwhite. I’ve read Adventures of Thomas Sawyer before, and I love that book so much, and now I’m also enjoying this sequel as much.

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In parallel, I’m also currently re-reading Body by Design by Kris Gethin. I bought this book and read it years ago, but this time I’m rereading it to get back my health and fitness momentum back. It is such a fulfilling read, this book will definitely be in my collection for many more years to come.

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What are you currently reading? – X

Self

Oh, March…

This month was nothing short of challenges and adventures. And there’s still 4 more days before we wrap up the first quarter of this year. Work is really piling up around here – numbers to analyze, reports to validate, agreements to read, scenarios to assess… Gosh.

March, you are a badass!

Albeit my calendar for next month is already full with appointments and meetings, I wish for a smooth-sailing April, I really do. It would be fun too if I can go for a short weekend getaways. Or perhaps for a quick but fulfilling body massage… Heck, I would even be grateful for a coffee session with one of my best pals, just to take my mind away off works and all gnawing problems.

Anyways, for monthly recap:

  1. I went a full month without leaving Bintulu! No travelling this month, hence I got to spend more time focusing on my health and fitness regime.
  2. I participated in Kelab Kidurong Bintulu 5 km Family Fun Run, just me and my girl. That was her first time participating in a run. She was such a sport!
  3. I started cooking (again).
  4. I got my gym membership and I’m back hitting the heavy weights.
  5. I joined yoga and body combat classes – what fun! Got to hang out with a different (read: younger) crowd too.
  6. I started to plan our weekly meal and prepare lunch pack everyday for myself and my husband. Not as difficult as I thought, really.

Well, let’s rock April!

X

BabyAJ

26-27 Month Old Routine

Adriana now calls herself ‘Princess Adriana’, and she demands that we call her by her full name ‘Adriana’ and not ‘Riana’. Gosh… Drama much? That summarized our lives most days, but in a good way, of course.

She can now negotiates and knows how to get things go her ways. I don’t think she’s under the spell of terrible two just yet, but probably on the verge of it…

Her language is good, and sometimes we were even impressed by her vocabs. She now makes long sentences like ‘Where is the biscuit?’ or ‘It’s night time already… Good night, Mommy’ or ‘Are you okay, (insert toy name)? Let me check your eyes’. She’s bilingual – my husband and I speak English with her, and my aunty speaks Malay with her. So far, she’s doing well in mastering both languages, alhamdulillah.

She’s learning each day, especially by observing our behaviors and mimicking them. We read a lot to her too, although now she’s more incline to role play – and that’s okay too as that develops her language skills. She will choose her reading materials, and will either reads them on her own or asks us to read to her.

She has a good appetite too, alhamdulillah. She loves to try new food, and now that she speaks well, she can decides on the food that she wants to eat. I just have to make sure that the pantry is loaded at all time. I would try to make sure that she eats healthy meals most of the time. This girl loves white rice, chicken, pasta and cheese. And just recently she starts to love veggies too.

She’s on a very predictable routine, unless when we are travelling. Below is her routine on most days :

Adriana’s Daily Schedule (More or less…)

6:30 am – Wake up, breastfeed, diaper change
7:00 am – Breakfast
7:30 – 9:00 am – Independent playtime / watch TV
10:00 am – Bath time
10:15 am – Snack
11:00 am – Independent playtime / watch TV

12:00 pm – Lunch 
1:30 pm – Nap
4:30 pm – Wake up, snack
5:00 pm – Play outdoor / read books / family time
7:00 pm – Shower, pray together
7:30 pm – Dinner, family time
8:30 pm – Ready for bedtime
9:00 pm – Sleep
Having a toddler is a hardwork but insyaAllah it will pay off. Enjoy your time with your tot!
Self

Turning 31

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This was a photo dated more than 25 years ago. It must have been my dad’s birthday. That was my lil sister right there. She’s a daddy’s girl… Well, that’s a story for another day.

I turned 31 today. And coincidentally that’s dad too, turning 31 circa 25 years ago.

Loving this pic, courtesy of my sister.

Happy 31st birthday, ME! x