Babywearing Workshop at Birth With Ayuni

A couple weekends ago, I had the pleasure of conducting a babywearing workshop in a first-time collaboration with Ayuni Zainuddin of Birth With Ayuni. For those who don't know, Ayuni is an awesome activist who works tirelessly to advocate breastfeeding and gentle birth, and in fact was one of the key players in the KL Breastfeeding Flash Mobs of years past!

I came into the class as she was just about to wrap up one of her Hypnobirthing classes, and the breathing exercises really brought me back to my own Hypnobirthing experience. Love love love this approach to birth, and to life actually. I still use the relaxation and visualization methods these days to fall asleep.

To my delight, breastfeeding sifu Ning Desiyanti was there too! She was there for a quick visit, but managed to regale us with tales of her own childbirth experiences. I tell you, I am so so privileged to know women that view childbirth in such a positive, gentle, natural way. Everyone should be so lucky!
Look at me, all riveted with Dr Ning :P
Photo credit: Ayuni Zainuddin
Anyway, the babywearing workshop went great. Almost too great, perhaps! I was meant to be there only for an hour, but it somehow turned into two! Oops (^_^) I could really talk about babywearing all day and still not be done, hahaha. I sure hope the wonderful moms- and dads-to-be learned a lot in those couple of hours though.
"This woman talks a lot" - The thought that likely crossed each participants' minds.
Photo credit: Ayuni Zainuddin
The good news is, parents-to-be can still sign up for classes with Ayuni that include bonus classes such as babywearing workshops with me! The next couple of babywearing workshops will be on 27th July and 24th August.

For more details on the upcoming Hypnobirthing classes, I'll just kopipess what Ayuni wrote on her FB:
Looking for 2 more couples to join my HypnoBirthing July intake. The dates are July 5, 12, 19, 26, 27th, 9am - 11.30am at Bandar Sri Damansara.
You can choose between:
  • Package 1 (perfect for first-time parents): HypnoBirthing (by Pn Ayuni Zainuddin) + Breastfeeding 101 (by Pn Kamariah Alwi) + HUG Your Baby Newborn Language (by Dr Ning Desiyanti) + Babywearing workshop (by Ms Adriana Thani) 
  • Package 2: HypnoBirthing only (by Pn Ayuni Zainuddin)
For other perks, check out this link: http://www.birthwithayuni.com/#!services/c53h
(Off-topic, but how much do I love Ayuni for referring to me as Ms?? I know la it's not exactly a secret that I'm not married, but people do automatically call me Puan or just by name, and I felt warm fuzzies when I saw "Ms" there. I guess I feel acknowledged somehow. Weird, right? LOL. I don't usually care about titles but that really did make me feel good.)


Obsession Of The Week: Boyfriend Jeans



Boyfriend jeans are obviously a staple in everyone's wardrobe these days. In fact, I had one. Unfortunately my recent weight loss means that it's way too big now! Now it's been given away and my wardrobe no longer has a pair of boyfriend jeans in it. Le sigh. So the search is on for the perfect pair of boyfriend jeans. *serious face*

Ving Ming shoes at Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week 2014!

Like most fashion-conscious people in the country, I spent all of last week enthralled by the many talents at KL Fashion Week. There were so many local and regional designers showcasing their ready-to-wear collections, and many local fashionistas showcasing their personal style when in attendance. I know I spent all week obsessively checking out the #klfw and #klfw14 hashtags on Instagram!

Photo credit: Toby Toh
Which is why I was so happy to be invited by renowned shoe designers Ving Ming to watch their show, which was a collaboration with Hayden Koh. The collection, named the Aphotic collection, featured gorgeous (albeit vertiginous!) shoes inspired by all things aquatic.

Obsession Of The Week: Compact System Cameras

Also known as mirrorless system cameras, or Micro 4/3 cameras, I see them as a compact camera with the ease of use of a point-and-shoot, and the high quality image production of a DSLR.

I've never really bothered much with photography. When I travel, I have to consciously remind myself to take pictures. If there's no one else with me, it's likely that I'll hardly take any pictures at all! This is mostly because I'm too busy or distracted with enjoying the moment (particularly when I'm with the kids).

But recently, my mother was sorting out our old photos, and I had so much fun looking at photos from our past. It occurred to me that I'd like the boys to have this joy as well, and the photos might as well be high-quality! My iPhone 4S camera is good enough most times, but to be honest, the low quality just doesn't inspire any enthusiasm on my part as far as aesthetics go :p Also, I want some high-quality OOTD shots for once!

So, for the first time ever, I'm sharing my...



I'll try and share my Obsession Of The Week every week from now on because I do get these weird obsessions that I may or may not cave into, and I might as well post them here rather than bother Dan all day with it (that man has the patience of a saint - he knows way too much about shoes and baby carriers than a grown man should).

I saw the awesome Hanie Hidayah use this kind of camera recently. I'll be damned if I remember the actual camera she was using, but I liked how easy it was to shoot pics, and how gorgeous they turned out as well. And these newfangled cameras even come with wifi (or you can get a memory card with wifi - pro tip from Hanie ;p) so you can easily transfer your pics to your devices on-the-go, if you'd like. Basically, your Instagram photos will be epic. 

I've used a similar camera before on vacation, but I've never really considered buying them. They're pricey! In fact, it's very likely that I'll never get one at all. But that won't stop me from dreaming!

The one I want is the Olympus OMD EM10. It's a lower price point compared to the EM5, but it's good enough for my use, I think. Full disclosure: I do not know a damn thing about cameras. Hahaha. The only reason I became obsessed with this particular camera is from reading reviews and going to camera shops demanding to see their "very best compact system camera!"...usually followed by a meek, "wah...so expensive wor...".



So, do any of you own such a camera? What do you use, and do you like it? Spam me with recommendations!

My breastfeeding photo has been featured on Buzzfeed!


It's not every day that this happens!




I'm guessing they got the image off of the #breastfeeding hashtag on Instagram because I just uploaded that pic for a giveaway recently (if you haven't added me on Instagram, do it now - please and thank you ;p). Thanks Karmelia for pointing this out to me, and thanks Lara Parker for featuring me! And thank you to Ena who took that gorgeous photo of me back in 2010 :*

I couldn't post a comment on there for whatever reason, so I'll paste it here instead:
I'm #15 on the list and am super psyched to be on it! That picture was taken back in 2010 when I was going through a very difficult time in my life, and breastfeeding my youngest was the one of the only things that got me through (no one really talks about the happy hormones and how it helps when you're feeling down, but it's a thing). It was posed, yes, but it is a situation I was in for like 80% of the day whether or not someone was taking a photo...and whether or not I was in full makeup and fishnet gloves, hahaha. I miss breastfeeding so much, and this shot was one of the few proper ones I ever took of that time. 

You can check out the post HERE to see other gorgeous photos of breastfeeding mamas :D Each and every one a glam mama for sure.

Dealing with low blood pressure

"Yes, I'm about to faint.
But first, let me take a #selfie."
Remember how I wrote that I almost fainted twice while out with my boys? I knew then that something was up, but I had a busy weekend and just couldn't find time to see a doctor (which is very bad, I know -- forgot all about that important "oxygen mask rule!"). After a week of feeling lethargic, with the occasional bout of sudden dizziness, I saw the doctor. Turns out my blood pressure is low :(

I'm no stranger to this - growing up, I'd have these episodes where I'd get really light-headed and would need to sit down with my head between my legs. It happened so often that my parents took me to a neurologist to get my brain checked. I suspect it had more to do with them trying to confirm that I was not cray cray rather than getting to the bottom of these dizzy spells. Surprisingly, the neurologist didn't find anything wrong with me ;p The only thing about me that was slightly off was my low blood pressure.

During pregnancy, it would happen so suddenly that I would actually black out. This was, of course, very dangerous. But also apparently normal! (Of all pregnancy symptoms to suffer from, I mean really >:( ). Then towards the end of my pregnancies, something weird would happen - my blood pressure would actually spike. The edema I suffered with my first pregnancy got so bad at one point that I couldn't even walk!

I'm looking into what I can do about this. I remember as a teen, my doctor told me to take more vitamin B12 and salt. I've been doing some research, and I think these things are also pretty easy to incorporate into my lifestyle:

  1. Getting regular exercise - since I'm down to my goal size, I haven't been working out as much.
  2. Eating smaller, more frequent, meals
  3. Drinking more fluids

If things don't get better in the next month, I'm definitely going to dig more to find out the underlying cause of this - it can be a symptom of a number of pretty scary illnesses, so I think ruling those out would be the next step if I don't get better!

Dear readers, do you have any tips on how to manage and treat hypotension/low blood pressure? I'd appreciate any and all recommendations!

Gardens Of Adneen: Birth- and Nature-Inspired Jewelry

My buddy and fellow gentle birth advocate, Maria Zain, is making very special jewelry and accessories, and I thought I'd give her a much-deserved shoutout ;D Her Etsy shop Gardens of Adneen has been open for a couple of years, but it wasn't active till recently. And how active it has been! There are over 120 beautiful Birth and Nature-inspired pieces to choose from, including necklaces and bookmarks.

My favorites, however, are definitely the Tree Of Life designs:





So gorgeous, riiiight?? I'm a little obsessed with the symbolism of the Tree Of Life as it relates to pregnancy and childbirth (it is an oft-used nickname for the placenta), and frankly it's pretty aesthetically pleasing too.

In celebration of upcoming Ramadan and Eid, Gardens of Adneen would like to share a 15% discount on all items. Just key in the Coupon Code EID2014 at check out! The promotion is only valid till Eid, so order your items ASAP. The items are shipped internationally from Nottingham, UK.

*FYI, my computer keeps trying to inform me that "jewelry" is spelled wrong - it's not spelled wrong, it's just American English like the rest of my blog ;) Read this, dear computer and other people who think it's spelled wrong!

Adventures in KL: Farm In The City



Adventures in KL are posts where I share my experience and suggestions of things to do with kids in Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding areas. Suggestions are very much welcome!

Address:
Lot 40187 - 40188, Jalan Prima Tropika Barat, Bandar Putra Permai, 43300 Seri Kembangan, Selangor

GPS Coordinates:
2.982481,101.664251

Telephone:
03-8941 2099/3099

Opening Hours:
9.30am - 6.00pm on weekends
10.00am - 6.00pm on weekdays

Tickets:
RM30 for adults
RM25 for children
*Children under 90cm get in free!

Long line!
While the place has the word "farm" in it, it's not actually a farm where you get to milk cows or anything. The best way to describe it would be that it's a petting zoo. I went this past Saturday with the kids and our friends Suri, Mario and Azryl. We meant to go early, by 9.30am, but we all overslept :p So we didn't reach Farm In The City till 10.30am, where we discovered that the parking was already full, and had to park along the road outside. It was quite a walk to get to the entrance of the Farm, and it was REALLY hot, too!

He wanted to bring this home, and
I probably would have done it
if I had a big enough bag to sneak it out in :p
Needless to say, there was a loooooong line. And did I mention it was really really hot?? Suri, the kids, and I managed to find a spot on the stairs to wait for Mario to get the tickets. It took half an hour D:

Anyhoo, we finally made it into the Farm (which was - surprise, surprise - very crowded). The moment we entered, the kids ran off to feed the giant turtle. FYI, food for the animals are FREE within the farm!

There are plenty of animals to see at the farm, some of which are in their own enclosures, while others are out in the open for your kids to feed and even play with. Some highlights for us included the chicks and the rabbits.
Our little fishermen, hard at work.
One not-so-little lifeguard, also hard at work.

Kids can also go "fishing" in the tiny "stream" around the rabbit enclosure, but there was 1 fish for every 20 kids there, so our three boys didn't manage to get any. Maybe next time! Near the exit is the pony ride - tickets are RM7 and you have to get them at the ticket counter BEFORE you enter the farm.

There are plenty of places to rest your feet throughout the farm, which was great for when I almost fainted twice (I swear I'm usually tougher than this! I still have no idea what caused those bouts of light-headedness). They also have sinks where you and your kids can wash your hands after handling the animals.

Here's Aqil and Azryl just checking out the chicks.
In terms of where to eat, there's one spot to eat once you're inside, but it has a limited menu which consists mostly of snacks. They did have packs of Nasi Lemak, though, so that's what the kids and I had for lunch. There was also a variety of beverages to choose from. There's another restaurant at the exit, but I didn't try that out. I believe it has a full menu, with packages for kids and families. We received a discount coupon at the ticket counter, but I have no idea how long that promotion will last.

Between the crowd and it being our first time there, we didn't really explore the place that much. We did not visit the fruit and vegetable farm, and an area marked "garden", since the kids were all about the animals that day. Hopefully we'll be able to go again soon and add onto the information here!

Kid-friendly sinks
Show times are on the banner in the background,
if you're interested in feeding those specific animals.
The kids thoroughly enjoyed the pony ride, but there
was quite a long wait! We lined up for about 20mins.