Footage from my Nasi Lemak Kopi O appearance!

Hi all! I'm in Singapore at the moment, so I can't update much. I just wanted to share the link to the video of my appearance on Nasi Lemak Kopi O yesterday. You can find it here. Look forward to blog about it when I return!

I'm gonna be on teevee!!!

This morning I got an especially exciting phone call from a producer for Nasi Lemak Kopi O, a morning talk show on TV9. Guess what? I'll be representing Malaysian Babywearers on the show this Sunday, 8am!



Thanks so much to Alin, who took the initiative to mention us to one of the hosts, Shiera, who also happens to be her old schoolmate. That got the ball rolling, and eventually Alin made a post on their Facebook wall, and we got a response from the team! (Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE social media? Perfect for advocacy work!). I didn't hear back for a while, and if I'm being honest, I've been super-anxious for the past week since I sent them our proposal. When they finally called me this morning, I was over the moon! Literally, I could've flown over the moon, the way I was jumping up and down.

This is such a great opportunity for Malaysian Babywearers - it will mark the first time we are given air time on national television! I am sooooo excited about this! Nasi Lemak Kopi O is a very popular show, and we will be able to reach so many people with our message.

I am really nervous. I hope I don't choke up there on LIVE television. There is a lot riding on this segment - this is our chance to spread the babywearing awareness nationally! I better practice what I'm gonna say. Oh, and figure out a cute outfit for the day. Gotta look glam, right? ;) Hahaha!

P.S: Hopefully in the near future we will have another spot on TV...something is in the works, so let's hope that happens ;)

[[warning: picture heavy]] Hong Kong Trip - Day 2 - DISNEYLAND!

It was March 10, 2010, and the first thing I did as I opened my eyes to greet the new day, was yell "Disneyland!!". We were all super-psyched, even the kids who, frankly, had no real idea what was awaiting them. We got ready in record time that morning! By 10.30am, we got in to a cab and were on our way to Disneyland. It was our first time seeing the Hong Kong skyline at daytime, and later on, the ocean and mountains. It was quite a wonderful ride, punctuated by several glimpses of the familiar Mickey Mouse head silhouette on the highway signboards en route to Disneyland :) Very cute touch, Hong Kong!

When we got there at 11.15am, the walking began. Walk walk walk as we tried to find the entrance. But I certainly wasn't complaining! With familiar Disney music coming from the speakers and the sight of posters here and there featuring our favorite Disney characters, I was so very very excited! Those who've seen my pictures on Facebook can attest to that, hahaha.



Finally we got to the entrance and my Dad went to get tickets. While he lined up, my mom and I, along with the kids, marveled at how wonderful the weather was (sunny yet cool...PERFECT weather!) and started buying some Disney merchandise for the kids.



Once we got in, I couldn't contain my excitement! I had done some research beforehand and found this website detailing some favorite toddler rides and stuff, but my Dad also went to pick out some useful brochures. We then planned our day accordingly.



First thing we did when we got on Main Street was try and get pictures with Mickey and Minnie, but we were too late, and they closed velvet rope right in front of us :( "But do not worry," we were told, "the Mouses will be right back at 12.30". So we decided to get a bite to eat first before going to take pictures with them. Before we could get to the restaurant, though, we had to watch the band playing Disney songs!





When we got to the restaurant, Aqil was freaking out about wanting a Mickey balloon, so my mom, Afraz and I sat down and flipped through the menu while his Atuk bought him a balloon. I decided that day that the whole day was gonna be a treat for the kids, so I ordered Mickey Mouse-shaped waffles and ice-cream for their lunch. But the kids were having none of that - when Aqil sat down, he asked for rice. Hahaha! Well, its the thought that counts, right?



After a nice, filling meal, we still had some time before we headed back to the start of Main Street to meet the Mouses. So we decided to go on one or two rides in Tomorrowland.



We ended up going on the Orbitron rocket ship ride, which Aqil thoroughly enjoyed as he got to  "drive the rocket!". I don't know if Afraz was enjoying it or not as he was nursing the whole time and actually fell asleep halfway through.



When we saw it was almost 12.30, we decided to head back to the start of Main Street to finally take pictures with Mickey and Minnie, but Aqil was freaking out again because he thought we were going home already. But then he caught sight of Mickey and calmed down :) He was so stunned to see Mickey "in real life"!




I was super excited too, obviously. Afraz...well, maybe he was experiencing it in his dreams?


After that, we headed back to Tomorrowland to experience some more attractions. This time Aqil and my mom went on the Autopia car ride together. That took quite a while, but apparently he had lots of fun.



After that we went to the Stitch interactive show called Stitch Encounter, which only lasted 15mins but was quite a bit of fun. I suspect older kids would find it more amusing, though. Aqil has suddenly become a fan of Stitch since then though, so he must've found that funky blue alien pretty charming! By the time we were done with that, it was time for another big attraction at any Disneyland - The Disney Parade!


After the Parade, we moved on to Fantasyland, where the first thing we did was ride the Cinderella Carousel. I forgot how much good old-fashioned fun a merry-go-round could be!



Later on, Aqil and I enjoyed the Dumbo ride. Similar to the rocket one, except we're in a flying elephant. Aqil didn't get the reference, but enjoyed it nonetheless.



While we walked around after that ride, I noticed this area where all the characters were standing in gazebos for pictures. Naturally, that was our next destination! I went with Aqil while my parents watched Afraz. We only had enough time to meet Pooh and Goofy before all the characters had to leave :/


Anyhoo, after that we went to my mom's all-time favorite attraction: Small Small World! I think she was the most excited out of us all to go on that ride, hehe. I took a tonne of pics inside the ride but they didn't turn out so great :/ So here is a pic of the outside.



There wasn't much else we wanted to do in Fantasyland after all that (none of the adults wanted to risk the dizzying Mad Hatter's Teacup ride), so we went to Adventureland. This is the smallest section of the park, and it was late, so we only went on one ride - the Jungle River Cruise. It was basically just a boat ride with realistic animatronic wildlife and crazy pyrotechnics. Most of the kids were kinda scared, though. Aqil acted tough, but seemed quite anxious.


We were really hungry at that point, and it was around 6.30, so we had an hour to kill before the fireworks and closing time. So we went looking for food. Much to our disappointment, most of the restaurants were closed in preparation for the fireworks. During our walk to find a restaurant, the kids fell asleep. Anyway, we managed to find a restaurant that was open, and had dinner there. After we finished our meal, we managed to get a real good spot to watch the fireworks, and the kids woke up just in time to see the fireworks :)


I had tears in my eyes during the fireworks. First of all, it was a stunning fireworks display - the best I've ever seen. Secondly, the accompanying music and dialogue were taken from my favorite Disney movies - the memories of my childhood came racing back to my mind, and I was so overwhelmed by it all. I know it seems cheesy that I would be so emotional about a fireworks display, but anyone from my generation can't deny how much Disney played a role in our childhood! I know, I know, consumerism has invaded our lives, etc etc, but looking at it from the perspective of a once-innocent and none-the-wiser kid again...man, it was really really sweet.

I think that Hong Kong Disneyland would be a lovely location for a Malaysian family holiday - it is close (3.5hrs away by flight), there's no need for a visa, the food is Asian (this is very important for rice addicts like my kids, LOL), the tickets are cheap (I forgot the exact price, but you can find it on their website...much much cheaper than other Disney theme parks, and kids under 3 get in free!) and the employees speak English fairly well. Also, Malaysians like cooler weather, so if you go there during Spring/Fall, it happens to be non-peak season, which means no crowds :D

I really enjoyed my time at Disneyland, and was pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had. The park is big enough that you can spend the whole day there, yet small enough that you won't get overly tired or need to stay extra days to experience all the attractions. I should mention, however, that we didn't go during peak season, so the lines were basically non-existent - I think the longest we had to wait in line was 10mins. I would totally go back there again one day, only next time I will stay at a Disneyland hotel and not bother with other parts of HK (read Part 1 of my HK adventures if you wanna know why).

Now, who could that be? ;)

I thought my next update would be Part 2 of my Hong Kong adventures, but first I bring you this piece of news:


That's me, modeling for Layla Thewalkincloset :D I've always been a fan of the way they shot their models (very Cosmo-cover like, right?), so I was really excited to do this. Plus, their collections are always really spunky, stylish and oh-so-glam. Love it!

When I arrived, I was pleased to find out that the store (which has outlets in Taipan USJ & Damansara Uptown as well as an online retail operation) is owned by new parents, Layla and Taufik. Not only that, but Layla is also a breastfeeding, full-time working mama! So I fully throw my support behind this enterprising couple.

To find out more, do visit their blog at http://the-walk-in-closet.blogspot.com/, and their Facebook page.


P.S: Yes, I'm looking into doing more modeling & stuff so feel free to contact me if you wanna work with me ;)

Hong Kong - Day 1

The kids woke up really early, which was like a nightmare for me because I was still so exhausted from the flight (we had arrived the night before). My dad had gone to a meeting (this was really the reason he had to go there), so it was just my mom and I with the two boys.

We decided to order room service (too lazy and hungry to look for food outside!), some simple breakfast. Before we even had a bite to eat, Afraz managed to pull the tray and it landed on the floor. Broken plates and food everywhere! Gaahhhh! It was then that we scratched our initial intention of staying in the hotel the whole day till my dad got back. The kids were getting way too restless.

By the time we got ourselves and the kids ready, and we walked out of the hotel, we were starving! Not only that, but we were caught off-guard by how cold it was. We got into a cab and went to Times Square (it was the only place we could think of to go), and when we reached there, the first thing we did was look for food.
We ended up going to this place called S/M/L, where we had delicious food. I totally recommend it. Plus you can decide on the serving size – S is for small (kid-sized serving), and so on and so forth. Aqil was definitely enjoying his time there – he made friends with people at the neighboring table. Nevermind the language barrier – a charming smile is all you need to make friends (I wish more adults would keep this in mind).



Anyway, after our meal, I was looking forward to doing some shopping. However, we didn’t really end up doing that. The weather was too cold to walk around the shophouses (where I saw most of the cute clothes on the drive over), and there were no “malls” to be seen.

We did go to Sogo though – I had forgotten to pack Aqil’s socks, and needed to get some (he was freezing, poor kid).  There, I found the only real shopping find during my trip – comfortable and cute nursing bras in my size! See, I’m teeny-tiny (can’t give my specific size, but let’s just say that there aren’t many manufacturers who make nursing bras in my size), so its so freakin’ hard to find nursing bras in Malaysia. My favorite is the La Leche League Deep Plunge bras {LINK}, and I can only get those online.

OK, enough of that, back to the great find at Sogo. I spotted this maternity-wear area there and, as I usually do whenever I find any new maternity store, I inquired about their nursing bras. Imagine my surprise when it turns out they have them in my size! I tried it all on, and bought every single one, muahahahaha! So now, I no longer have to “ration” my nursing bras because I have lots of them, hooray! FYI, the brand is Gennie’s. Highly recommended for small-sized mamas!

While we were shopping, I started to feel a bit light-headed and dizzy. After passing Afraz over to my mom to wear, and drinking some of Aqil’s yogurt, I decided I really had to go back to the hotel and lie down. Just my luck, we got into a cab driven by the BIGGEST JERK OF ALL TIME.  What an a$$hole!!! He was so rude, totally unhelpful, and just an all-around crazy dude. I understand that its not part of a taxi driver’s job description to help his passengers unload their stroller, but the least you could do when you see two women dealing with two young children and bags and strollers, is NOT rush them and tell them off! Plus, he dropped us off at a gated sidewalk in front of our hotel, so I had to drag the stroller, carrying the bags & Afraz, around the other end of the gate, onto the sidewalk. I don’t normally curse people – I like to give them the benefit of the doubt – but I curse this guy to a miserable life, seriously. What a pathetic excuse for a “man”. Ugh.

When we got back to our room, I was in an even worse condition that before. I was feverish…and my boobs hurt. That’s right – M A S T I T I S. Dun dun dunnnn! I checked and could feel a couple of clogged ducts. At this point I was nearly in tears, “Please don’t make me have to deal with this in a foreign country while on vacation!”. Anyway, long story short, I lay down and took a nap (thanks for watching the kids, Mom and Dad), which – aside from a couple hours up to eat & get the kids to bed – ended up being a whole night’s sleep. There goes our plan to have dinner by the harbor and watch the daily light show (we didn’t end up seeing it the whole time were there. So disappointed ok).

(Day 2, coming soon)

Why, we're in the news!

I'm back from Hong Kong! Our trip was pretty fabulous, and I will definitely write more about it later, but first I want to talk about one of the highlights of my trip that actually happened a couple of thousand miles away, back home here in Malaysia: Afraz and I were in the papers!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had been interviewed and shot for the Ratu section of Berita Harian about a week ago. Well, the article came out on Tuesday, and I was in HK at the time. My mom got a few text msgs that morning from her friends, informing her that we were in the papers. I quickly went online and read the copy. So excited!! I was kinda disappointed that I couldn't see the article in its entirety (pictures and all)...but I didn't have to wait long before my friends took pictures and scanned the article and put in on Facebook :D Thanks a million, Aishah and Haslinda!

I am still so over the moon about this. What a great opportunity for Malaysian Babywearers and the entire babywearing community here. I don't think Berita Harian, and the wonderful reporter Siti Nur, realize what a great public service they've done for parents, parents-to-be and, more importantly, the BABIES in Malaysia! I hope that this article will have reached out to parents who wouldn't have otherwise heard about babywearing, and helped quell some of the (frankly, quite bizarre) stigma that babywearing parents have had to face here. No more bibik comments please! Unless your bibik looks as good as that carrying your baby ;) The actual link to the article on Berita Harian is no longer available, but you can find the text here and here (Thanks again, Aishah, and also Syahidah!).

Some people asked for a "behind-the-scenes" account of the shoot and interview. Its nothing fancy, I assure you, but I'll oblige! After our phone call, Siti (the reporter) sent me an e-mail with a list of questions that I could answer via e-mail before our actual face-to-face interview. We figured this was the best way to get the vital facts across in case things should get too chaotic at the shoot itself (which, since it included my children, it kinda did). 

The shoot actually went well, considering the craziness that comes with my two boys, hahaha. Aqil was happy to be in the humongous studio, and he found a bunch of balloons, so he was all set. Afraz, on the other hand, was pretty pissed off that he couldn't play with his big brother, and had to "work" instead *LOL*. I bet the photographer had a tough time choosing the photos to include in the article, because he was pretty unhappy for most of the shoot! The pictures turned out great, though, and as per the comments on Facebook, Afraz does look genuinely happy to be worn.

For those who are wondering why those particular carriers were featured (ringsling and mei-tai), well actually Siti and the photographer were the ones who chose it. Mostly it had to do with aesthetic value, I think, and in the case of the step-by-step directions, user-friendliness. I brought my whole stash, and those two were the ones that were chosen. Hopefully in the future we will have another opportunity where we can feature other carriers :) The initial idea was to have Afraz and I posing with the ringsling, and then Aqil and I for the mei-tai. But Aqil was too busy playing, so we went with Afraz all the way (with a break in between shots to change a poopy diaper). We joked that Afraz was the actual diva on set, not me!

All in all, I am super happy with how the article came out. I look forward to more mainstream media coverage of babywearing in Malaysia!

Speaking of, I am such a bad bad bad person for forgetting to blog about another important media outlet that covered babywearing in Malaysia recently! I wrote an article for Bonda magazine and it came out in their February issue.



Thanks to the ladies at IBU House for that wonderful opportunity! Once I have permission to post the text of the article here, I will do it :D 

I am so so happy for all the media coverage that Malaysian Babywearers are getting - and its only March! Hopefully as the year goes on, we will be featured in more media outlets, with the ultimate goal being a spot on TV! (If anyone knows a way in, do let us know - we will be eternally grateful!)

Testing testing

Alright, I'm just trying to post a blog entry using BlogPress. Hope this works! It'll be a lot of fun if I can start blogging on-the-go :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Crazy week

Phew...this past week has been CRAZY. I thought I'd have to make an epic blog post about it to make it all make sense but in order not to bore you, I'll whittle it down to the basics.

First thing to happen was Afraz throwing my phone to my right boob. That in itself hurt like heck. Then I developed a fever. Always one to not notice the most obvious things, I didn't think it had anything to do with my boob injury. However, on Saturday, the fever was keeping me from sleeping, and the injured area on my boob had hardened, and - more importantly - my boob was red from the injury down to the nipple. Ouch! I knew then that it was mastitis, and went to the doctor right away, who confirmed it and gave me antibiotics.

"Alrighty then," I thought to myself, "Now that that's all settled, I better get to class." Got in my car, drove peacefully for about 15mins, got to a red light, stopped...and spied in my rear-view mirror, a car careening towards me with no signs of stopping. Before I could say holy cr*p, the car had hit the back of my car. Ugh.

 

Obviously, there wasn't that much damage. And the guy who hit me was really nice and apologetic about it. I think the fact that I was already dealing with mastitis just compounded with the accident to make it a really bad day. So after the accident, I sent the car to the workshop and went home, fully intending to take a short breather and get into our other car to go to class. In the end, the exhaustion of the day made me so tired I took a nap for the rest of the day. Plus, my lovely babysitters were scheduled to be here all day anyway, so I'm glad I took that much-needed, guilt-free nap.

The days following the accident were pretty painful - my lower back was bothering me, and my boob was still sore. But by Tuesday, my boob was much better, and I finally went to see my chiropractor. The back pain was completely got after an adjustment and an intense session with the TENS machine. I felt great! 

Then I...uh..."went to Brazil" (my hubby has been out of town and was due to be back soon lah ;p). After the...uh..."de-forestation" (hahaha), someone from Berita Harian called me. They wanted to do a story on babywearing after seeing our Malaysian Babywearers representatives' talk and reading the press release I wrote on babywearing at the Susuibu.com support group meeting on Sunday. So yesterday (Thursday), my boys and I went for a photoshoot & interview at a national Malay-language newspaper, Berita Harian. Watch out for us in the Ratu section of Berita Harian sometime next week!

This week is a testament to the unpredictability of life. Sometimes I complain about how boring our routines can be, but after a chaotic week like this, I am so glad to get back down to our usual routine life for a little bit! Its a lot easier to be glam when you can rely on a schedule ;)