12 June 2024

Why Parents Should Go For Date Nights?

Why not?

Ever since both Adrian and I leveled up and became parents, we quickly realized the importance of having 'date nights' - us time, without the children.

It is very easy to get caught up with work, and trying to juggle the parent and spouse hat at the same time. 

We realized that when we don't prioritize having date-time, we let out on each other subconsciously. It can be via mean words, absent body language, and minimal eye contacts. We could become very rude to each other without realizing them. This is a true story for both Adrian and I. 

It is usually really hard to plan for date nights unless we have family and friends volunteering to help us watch the kids for a few hours, which we are always so thankful for. If it's going on a short trip without the children, that's the cherry on top of the cake. Hah. 

The reality is that we also don't want to trouble people so often to take care of our kids just so we can have 'quiet time' with each other. So one of the things we try to do is squeezing in 15-30 minutes for a quick breakfast before work or trying to intentionally do something together at night after they go to bed - like watching a movie together. 

The problem with the movie idea is that we both like completely different kind of genres! So, it's a lot of compromising. In the end, we realized watching movie is not very effective for us. We rather watch it on our own. Hah. 

We do other things like, going to the gym at night (rare), or go night swimming (one of our fav but lesser now because the chlorine may make me itch after), or go supper down the street (trying not to supper anymore), or meeting up for lunch (when he comes to the area) or like anything else that works - even if it's for only 10 minutes. YOU CAN TALK ABOUT A LOT OF THINGS IN 10 MINUTES WHEN THERE IS NO NOISE AND DISTRACTION - 100%.  

We haven't had a consistent thing that we always do, other than winding down before bedtime on our bed - but these days, it was either he will sleep first or I would be in dreamland already. 

I guess this post isn't saying anything, except that every couple (especially ones with children) MUST go on date nights intentionally

It is okay to ask your family or friends to help you with your children for a few hours so you both can have a nice, uninterrupted mealtime to focus on you two. It's healthy and it will strengthen your bond - which is so important for children's growth.

We truly believe that amazing things happen when you have quality time with your other half and your children (especially) will get to experience that kind of love and commitment. 

Every time Adrian and I get to have a longer date nights/trips, we always come home with something new, something good. During these dates, we usually share about our struggles (in details) at work, and at home and the things that makes us happy and drives us. We put ourselves in each other's shoes, and think of ways we can be better - together. 

It's like re-calibrating both our goals and wants and how we gonna get there. Same thing as checking our car's alignments after a few months or something right. 

Our most talked about topic is parenting (surprise surprise). If you don't already know, we love being parents to our three doremi. LOVE IT TOO MUCH. Parenting has taught us a lot about ourselves, and how we work as a pair. 

We would bring up incidents that happened, and discuss how to respond better in similar situations. We also try to think of ways to affirm the kids differently because of how the 3 of them are just so different. So yeah, it is just a constant checking in with each other and believe it or not. Even though we live in the same house, and sleep on the same bed, it is actually very difficult to have these kind of conversations. 

First, because the children are always listening and looking. Second, because after every 2 sentences we say, there will be "Mamy! Dady!" or "Mamy! Adam eating my rice!" or "Dady! Play ball with me!" or "Mam maam maaaammm"

We love our kids to the ends of the world, but hello, it is impossible to think straight or hear your own thoughts when they are constantly asking for your attentions. It's cute but when it's too much - it's too much! Heh. 

Anyways, I thought to share this here, because you are not selfish for wanting to have quiet time with your spouse, and time away from your children. In our case, date nights are one of the things that made us better partners and parents. So, we really do try to make it happen. 

If you ask us, we highly recommend it. If it's difficult to get someone to watch the kids, start with once a month. Set the date and put it in the calendar. Ask a fellow parents friend to help babysit for a few hours. They would be more than happy to do so, because it takes a village. 

Trust your village, and let's be better spouse and parent together :) 

P.S. Please never hesitate to ask us for help. My children will especially love it if they could have playdates with humans their age and size! I'm serious. 

Go get your deserved date nights, please. 

29 May 2024

Who Is The Real MVP?

 I thought this was very cute and funny. 

I drove down to KL with my mother in law and three kids, by myself (first time). Adrian was already in KL for his floorball tournament. if I remembered correctly, it was Merdeka Cup 2023. 

We try to be there at "all" his tournaments if possible, because this is what family do, even though it's really difficult with three young and active kids. But since it's KL, we decided that it was going to be worth the drive and the tiredness heh. 

Adrian stayed with the floorball team throughout the weekend, while we stayed at Jaryn's. 

I want to say that Penang won champion last year, but again, I am not sure so I am not going to say it. 

Adrian was selected to be MVP for Penang and boy, were we excited, especially Alex and Sofia.

I wanted to update a post here because after the whole price giving ceremony, Sofia followed Adrian. Literally glued to him even though he was so sweaty. Adrian went to take some shots with his fellow teammates, and Sofia was smiling so professionally as though she won the MVP award. Hah. She doesn't even really like floorball ya, or sports in general. Haha. 

Super cute la please. 

Here are the photos. Enjoy! :)

Till next time. 

Bye now.

02 May 2024

A random thing tonight.

I still cannot find enough joy and strength to write the goodbye post for the Sha family. 

My husband says the only way to heal with time, is to go through with it. So, I guess no matter how hard it is for me, I will go back to attending life-groups and look forward to going to church. It's so hard because I know I will cry because they won't be there. I won't get my weekly hugs from Sha Lynn and Daryl. 

But I have to just go through it. 

Like how I did when Vanessa left home. 

I can do it again this time, though it may take a longer time. 

Also, what is with the weather these days? I am constantly searching for "affordable" winter holiday destinations to go with my family, but when I think about the fact that we need to multiply 4, I just close the Skyscanner app and forget it. 

If anything, we need to travel this year because Adam is still free. Heh. 

Counting down to September for the most precious holiday together. 

I also just found out that my Youtube channel has 102 subscribers already, like what? Where did these people come from? Hah. It started with 11 people. Sorry my 102 friends, I have no inspirations for the next video, so just stay tuned la ya. 

Actually got! Upcoming video will be my review about the Shin Ramyun and Jayfai's collaboration instant noodles! I want to see if it's worth the hype and money. Heh. Coming real soon. 

Okay, time for me to leave my laptop and go sleep with the toddlers. Adam is already asleep in the room by himself. Such a good boy. 

Okay bye now. 

Oh, and happy birthday Sasa! :)

16 April 2024

Adam's First Safari Party!

It's been more than 4 months since Adam turned one, and I totally forgot about writing this post about it and for him. Oopsie hehe. 

I wrote 1 each for Alex and Sofia, so here goes for our third-born son. 

It was hard trying to choose a theme, because obviously he doesn't know what he likes (yet) and I also need a theme that is like easy. So, in the end we went with animal theme again, like Alex's - which is quite sentimental because 2 of our boys have the same kind of first birthdays.

Rachel and Vanessa (by default yeah) were put in-charged for the decorations and all things beautiful. Most things were ordered online because cheap and save time. Heh. 

Rachel also baked a smash cake (by default because she did for Alex and Sofia). Heh. 

Vanessa also helped with the e-invites and it was super cute. It was not very difficult to 'assemble' the guest's list, because like Alex and Sofia's party, our max number has always been set at 100 people, so yeah. 

We have close to 80 adults and 20 children. Finding a place to have this party was a bit more tricky. We also were determined to keep our budget at the same level with Alex, which was like 5 years ago. I thought it was going to be an impossible task, and we may end up paying more than we had planned. 

But I am a good, never-give-up-easily-planner, so you bet I managed to organize and have the party go as planned. We actually paid lower than we did for Alex and Sofia. Heh. I'm taking this huge win ya please. 

So, we booked James Foo Restaurant for a few hours on a Saturday noon, and have the whole place to ourselves, which was ideal because we were very noisy please. 

We didn't do buffet this time, because we want our guests to have their meals hot and whenever they are ready to eat. So, it's like course-meal with unlimited servings of mushroom soup and drinks. 

Another secret to a happy marriage is letting your wife plan and decide on the party entirely, as long as you don't go over budget. Clever Adrian Koay. Heh. 

But we did have a few discussions on this party and we both were agreeing on similar things, so yay. 

There was no discussion to whether we were going to have Adam's one year old party, because he knew that I got to have them for sure. Need to be fair for all children ya. Heh. That is also why we never had any maternity photoshoots, because I knew that if I took one with Alex, I need to take one more with Sofia and Adam. So, no thanks. 

I cannot believe, Adam is already one year old plus. Like, serious I need him to slow down and let me enjoy every baby-era of him pleaseee. 

His photos are a lot lesser than his two siblings' because we were so busy with everything else. But thank you guys for helping us capture some photos here and there.

Hello Adam Koay, 

You already knew (from the many mentions), that it was really hard when I was pregnant with you. It was physically and emotionally unreal, but when the doctor took you out of my body, I fell in love immediately. It was worth it. The pain, blood, sweat and tears. 

You are growing to become such a sweet loveable person. You have got some temper in you (at such a young age), but hey, we love you the same. 

I love how you enjoy your food, and how you copy us so well. I saw you today using a fork to get the roti canai, and boy, that made me so happy. It's really the smallest things. I love how you are so playful and cheeky in your own ways. 

I love your little walk to the bedroom when the clock hits 8pm, and I start calling you over. Sometimes, you would let out a cry (with real tears) while walking to the room, and other times you would wave and smile or whined a little. 

I love how you stand in your crib, asking me to wake up so I could make you milk or change your diaper. I have seen you see me still asleep, and then you just plopped yourself on your bed and stare into the ceiling quietly so I could sleep longer. You're a sweet boy. 

When you started walking, my heart broke a little, because it felt like you are growing out of me, and no longer need me to carry you everywhere. Yet, I like that you are now independent, because now I got to move around freelier for a bit. (Is freelier a word?). Oh wells. 

I love you, and I wouldn't change anything in our story even if I got a chance to. I would go through the pain again and again for you. Thank you for being ours, Adam. 

I love you with every piece of me. 

Till next time, bye now. 

03 April 2024

Family Camping Trip at Lata Felda Lawin Selatan, Perak.

 Okay, this is like super delayed post. 

I suddenly felt the mojo to update it here, because we just came back from our second camping trip with the Seahs and Koks not too long ago. 

This was our very first planned family camping trip together - 6 adults and 8 children. We adventurous or what? For me, this is like dream comes true. I have always wanted to go for legit camping trips with my little family, and we finally got to do it together. Whoohoo! 

The Boys Brigade team was having a camping trip so we thought it would be fun to join them and kick-start our first real camping trip! 

Location: Lata Felda Lawin Selatan, Perak. 

It takes about 2 hours from Penang Bridge to this location. It is not located on top of a hill, so expect same weather in Penang: VERY HOT. 

As usual, our holiday trip must always start with breakfast, and this time, we went out of Penang for Maxim Dim Sum House, which was not great. 

We reached Lata Felda at 1230pm, and took us 4 hours to set our tents and all. FOUR HOURS. I guess okay for first timers with many children ya. HAHA. 

By the time we were done setting up our tents, and dining area, we changed the kids to swimsuits and went for river-swimming. The water was icey-cold, which was just perfect for the weather. The kids had so much fun, except Adam. The water was too cold for him, and eventually he fell asleep on me. 

There isn't much to do here actually except soaking in the river nd using our imagination to 'entertain' ourselves. More for the kids le. But it was really nice to bond and all. 

It rained a while the next day (in the noon) which was great because it cooled everyone down, but our flysheets almost flew away! All of them stood outside and held on to each corner of our "rooftops" while I took care of all the kids in our tents. 

Fun times for sure. Heh. 

We were also very gung-ho and brought so many food items for our meals here. It was a bit too much to do since the children outnumbered us. So, our next camping trip, we became smarter d. Heh. 

We ended the short holiday at Kang Fresh Water Food, at Bagan Samak - cheap and good - big win! 

Enjoy the photos :)