28 May 2020

Motherhood in One Word (For Me).


So, recently I was asked by my church to share on what motherhood is to me (and how does having Jesus in my life helped) and I did.

I wrote the below for script and spent about one & a half hours talking to myself in front of the camera. It was intense. I had to go to a place that is quiet (which is obviously impossible with the children at home), and with "proper" background. I also had to record at a place where no cars or bikes can be heard.

So, I chose to do it just outside my parents' place. If you listen carefully, at the end of the video, you can actually hear Sofia.

Towards the end of it, I was sweating buckets (thankful it didn't really show in the video except for a shiny face heh). There were a lot of retakes because cars and bikes were driving by, our neighbor decided to wash like gazillions of plates and I forgot what I wanted to say. The camera was fully-charged okay when I first started.

Then, when the battery was left with 19%, I was like, "Game on!" because I do not have any other time to record video so this has to be it.

At the end, I decided to record it to three parts which was a lot easier than recording at one full take. I also did not really follow my "script" because I didn't want to read from it and record. I had to be a little bit spontaneous ma right.

Confidence is key. Hah.

So yeah. I had fun doing this video because it sort of allows me to think of what motherhood is to me and what it has done to me (all good things).

What is motherhood to you, I wonder. Everyone for sure has different definition of what motherhood is to them.

So here goes.


Hello everyone.

First, let me just wish all beautiful mothers and mothers to be out there - Blessed Mothers Day!

My name is Sarah Khoo and I have 2 minis - a soon-to-be-2yo-boy and a 4mo-baby-girl.
I also have a husband and a 9-5 job.

If I can choose one word that summarizes what motherhood is to me - it would be SACRIFICE.

BEING A MOM IS THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE.
  • We give up our body to grow a human for nine months. 
  • We go through labor for hours and hours, and we go through the set of emotions that comes with childbirth because of the hormonal changes.
  • We try to deal with our insecurities every time we look into the mirror because our body no longer looks and feels the same anymore.
  • We spend hours and hours trying to research on how to boost our milk supply because we want to continue breastfeeding for as long as we can.
  • By the time we get to eat, our food is cold but we had to swallow it anyways because we never know when the baby is awake again or wants to be held by you and nobody else. 
The list goes on and on. 

We basically put our life on hold just so we can live theirs with them. 

I struggled with that the most I think. When I became a mother, I felt that I had to give up more "things" compared to my husband. I don't know about you, but I immediately felt the need to "even-out" the sacrifices.

I felt that it was unfair that I had to sacrifice so many things (going out with my friends at night, hang out in the cafe or go watch a movie etc) and, it seems like he still gets to enjoy his daily activities. 

You know sometimes when I know I am not going to win in a debate/an argument, I will usually just casually say, "You know, I did gave birth to not 1, but 2 babies for you" HAHHA. 

I know it is wrong to be like this. Haha. 

Anyways, it was rough motherhood for me at first. 

But I was reminded of how Jesus sacrificed everything for us. How He also basically gave up his life just so we can live ours? I mean he died for us - like really literally die die.. 

When I look at just that, I think to myself - I don't even have to die for my children. I just need to put my life on hold for a while you know. 

And that's a strong reminder to myself every time emotions sweep in and it hits me again on how I am missing out in life with my friends and all. (My friends are amazing BTW, because they would come to my house and hang out there just so I can hang out too). 

Anyways, it is not like I did not already know about the sacrifices that Jesus did but being a mother myself made me understand really, what sacrifice really means. And I think because of that, I begin to "enjoy" motherhood even when Alex is throwing the biggest tantrum in the world. I begin to appreciate the struggles of motherhood because I then believe that motherhood is a calling. 

It is not a hobby. You cannot like decide you want to be a mother because you think it is going to be fun. It is not like collecting coins or something. 

Despite all that, of course, I still struggle because a human can only have this much patience right? And I think right, children is one of God's way to make us better people wan. Like I pray for patience to increase, the next day for sure my children will do something to test it. CONFIRM. 

And you know what works for me when I have rough days to deal with?

I pray- a lot - I believe that prayers can move a mountain - whatever your mountain is. 

And the song Goodness of God playing in loops. I play this song sometimes when I get to have a longer shower or when I get to have a me-time. Or when Sofia wakes up at 3AM and refused to go back to sleep - I will hold her and sing this song and then I realize that I can do it. 

So yeah, it will all be worth it.  

Putting my travel plans on hold. 
Laying down my desire to be recognized. 
Giving up the imaginary life that I could have had. 

Because motherhood is a calling. 

14 May 2020

Pad Kra Pao (Chicken Stir-Fry with Holy Basil).

I don't cook a lot (because one - I am a very lazy person actually and cooking is just too much work, and two - I don't like to wash the after-cooking-things).

But this MCO has "motivated" all of us to some sort of not be lazy in a sense.  

So, to make time pass faster and to do something other than putting my kids to sleep (back-to-back), I cook on the weekends. Or at least I try. 

My mother-in-law is someone who always makes sure that our kitchen/pantry is well stocked up (even on normal days before the whole #dudukrumah thing started), so cooking at home is already a step easier - no need to wake up early to go do the marketing.


I am a big fan of Thai food (shame on you if you didn't already know that - kidding!), so it only makes sense that I have always wanted to master cooking Thai food. 

This basil dish has always been my sure-order whenever I have Thai food. But it is so hard to find one that is really good and satisfying - with the right level of spiciness. Most of the times, it is just not spicy enough - no kick. 

So, I decided to try it for myself - since many people told me that it is quite an easy dish to make. 


This recipe is really simple okay. 

I like to prepare all its ingredients and sauce before I start so I don't like panic last minute (something I learned during this MCO). Heh. 

Preparations (step by step) for you guys. This is what I do but you can do it another way of course.
  1. Bring out the minced meat (or diced chicken or any protein) and let them be thawed first. Cannot cook the meat if it is still frozen okay. 
  2. Peel 5 cloves of garlic and put them into a blender. Don't blend/pound yet! Add in 5 red chillies and then only blend. You can use any chilli actually depending if you want the dish to be spicy or not. If don't want spicy at all, then no need to blend/pound anything - just chop the garlic. Once done, set aside the garlic & chilli paste. 
  3. Pluck the basil leaves and wash, then leave them aside. 
  4. Chop some onions (you can add long beans and any other vegetables too). I tried with long beans and cauliflower and it worked too!
  5. For the sauce: EQUAL amount of oyster sauce and soy sauce and HALF of fish sauce, a bit of sugar, a bit of water and a bit of dark soy sauce. I usually will use 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce and soy sauce, then half tablespoon of fish sauce - then sugar, water and dark soy sauce I put a little bit (no measurements wan). Mix all of it in a bowl. 


Once all is ready, then it's cooking time! 

Put in some oil and the garlic & chilli paste. Stir-fry until the aroma is everywhere and you find yourself coughing. Hah. Kid you not. 

Then, add the minced meat. 

If I have vegetables, then I will add in my long beans first. 

Once the minced meat is cooked, then add in the onions. I like to add onions later because I love that it is a bit crunchy and not softened. 


Stir them for a little while more and then add the sauce. 

Let it simmer for a while. At this point, you can put in more dark soy sauce if you would like it to be darker. 

The last step is to put in the basil leaves and turn off the heat. 

Stir the leaves in and the dish is ready to be eaten! 


I used the same recipe to make Thai Basil Fried Rice and it was the bomb! So so good.

I did not use minced meat this time. I cubed my chicken breast and did the same as above. Add in rice after the meat is cooked.

The sauce is really applicable to all kinds of stir-fry if you asked me. It's like my secret sauce now. Not so secret anymore heh.


Go try them!

Till next time, bye now. 

30 April 2020

Homemade Pesto Meatballs.

The husband made pesto second-time (both without pine nuts because don't know where to get them nuts) and we kept some of the pastor sauce in the fridge so we can use them next time. Ain't nobody got the time to do pesto as and when one craves for it. Heh.

With the extra pesto sauce in the fridge, I thought of eating something other than pesto pasta for a change so I went to google to get some ideas.

TGFG - Thank God for Google!

Then, I saw the word 'Pesto Meatballs' and I was immediately sold - because I know how easy and mess-free it is to make meatballs.

So, I grabbed half of a chicken breast (with the other half, it looks like a butterfly. Since this is a first-time trial, I decided not to risk wasting my chicken breast. Heh.


I took half of the butterfly cut and grind it with our newly-purchased Tefal blender (because the previous one broke down in the middle of MCO) and we have for ourselves, a handful of minced chicken meat.

TGFOS - Thank God for Online Shopping!


Then using just one bowl, I mix all the ingredients:

- Minced meat (you can use pork, beef whatsoever meat you want - it is your meatballs after all).
- one whole egg
- pesto sauce
- bread crumbs
- salt & pepper

Don't ask me on the measurements okay because I just put according to how I feel only. HAHA.

Then, mix all of these ingredients together. I should have put in more crumbs so that my meatballs not too sticky but it was still okay. Mine just lack salt because I was so scared that it becomes too salty since the pesto was quite salty already.


Then, after that just shape them to however you like.

It can be mini patties too actually - because the second batch I made it flatter.

BECAUSE I DID NOT WANT TO ADD MORE OIL INTO THE PAN - save them oil okay.


And we have ourselves some really yummy homemade pesto meatballs - the green colour is really a bonus! Loved it!

Definitely will be making more of these meatballs in the future.


Till next time. 

19 April 2020

Thai Duck Red Curry with Blue Elephant.

It seems like when the Movement Control Order (MCO) is lifted, many people would have expanded their cooking skills and menus.

I am one of them. 

But I am not those who cook from scratch - because I may very high likely waste the resources and those fresh ingredients that my mother-in-law get from the market. She is risking her life every time she goes to market okay. So we gonna use them wisely. Heh.

I would actually like to cook something really impressive during this MCO, but we all know that is never going to happen. What is impressive is I did homemade nuggets and 'roasted potatoes' with air-fryer and they were bombs. So yeah. 

Anyways, I am the biggest fan of Thai food and since it is also as risky to order food via DeliverEat, Foodpanda or Grabfood - it's best I learn to cook it myself. 

I made one visit to Jaya Grocer and intended to get everything I needed for the next 3-weeks but of course, the mission was only 90% accomplished. Even though I've written down on the to-buys, I still managed to forget other things. Hooray me. 

I spent quite a bit of time in the Asian Food area because I just wanted to get all things Thai food - curry, paste and whatnot. 

But I managed to pull myself together and got one, yes ONE thing. 

This Blue Elephant Thai Premium Cuisine - Red Curry edition (RM9.90 from GP's Jaya Grocer). They have green curry as well but I thought of doing something out of the norm. I have never ordered Red Curry before whenever I dine at a Thai place so I thought hmm why not. 


The packaging looks promising and I am a sucker for nice packaging one. Ask my husband. Heh.

Behind it, there is a simple recipe where you can follow (or not) so quite a win for me in that sense. I just followed the recipe and get the items listed.

The recipe says Thai Red Curry with Roasted Duck. We have smoked duck - similar. Heh.


The recipe also mentioned to add cherry tomatoes and cubed pineapples - nope, I didn't add those in. 

Anyways, I tried to keep it simple and edible. Heh. 

So here goes.

Red curry paste is made by pounding together dried red chilli, lemongrass, garlic, shallot and galangal. The texture of this paste is thick (as seen in the photo above), rich in its flavour and it is spicy.

The paste is the only thing that's in the packaging - unlike Marion's Kitchen Thai Red Curry Cooking Kit (available in Australia and USA only boohoo) wherein the cooking kit, you will get the red curry paste, coconut milk, dried herbs & chilli and bamboo shoots.

Win.


Anyways, back to this. So I didn't really follow exactly the recipe but close enough la. I got the duck, kaffir lime leaves and red chilli ready.

Oh and the fish sauce - such an important element in all Thai food.


First, I put oil in the pot and stir fry the red curry paste till the aroma comes out. Mine was almost burnt. Heh.

Then, I pour in half of the coconut milk and some water. This is the part where I so pandai go and cut the amount of water cos I thought too much water later too watery.

It ended up becoming quite a thick curry - but still yummy.


Then, continue to stir it until it becomes a legit red curry looking thing. I also realized at this point that I really do need the not-too-big-and-not-too-small-spatula to cook.


Let the curry boil for a little bit - then add the kaffir lime leaves and chilli and stir.

Lastly, add the smoked duck and let the curry boil a little while.

Then, garnish with some coriander (any nice-looking green leaves) and chopped chilli - ready to be served.

My husband and mother-in-law loved it so more cooking of this kind of this next time! Gonna try other types next time.


Till next time, bye now. 

13 April 2020

Koay's Love Language #42.


We were having a breakfast conversation this morning and I was handling Sofia's car seat.

Me: I think right - next time for sure Sofia won't be scared of me wan.
Him: Why eh?
Me: Alex for sure will listen to me like now since so close right. But Sofia..
Him: Hm..
Me: Because Sofia is your precious girl and you will protect her wan so she won;t be scared of me.
Him: But I am scared of you.

BOTH BURST OUT LAUGHING.

08 April 2020

Spicy Tuna & Egg Puff Pastry.

Yes, Sarah is cooking again. 

Because this one is super easy - anyone can do it. 

I've always liked eating puff pastries whether it is savoury kind or sweet kind. I tell you ah - I can have like a few times month cravings towards chocolate pastry one. 

Then, I found out from Jo Wyee how his mom makes sardines puff and that was it - I went to get the puff pastry sheet and "make" the ingredients.

I didn't make la.

I decided to start with tuna because it is so simple.

Step 1: Buy a can of tuna of any brand. My personal favourite is the spicy type from Tesco.
Step 2: Mix the tuna with chopped shallots (or any other ingredients that you like).
Step 3: I added some mayo into my spicy tuna mix because it was way too spicy.
Step 4: Mix together and wa-la, ingredients ready to be used.
Step 5: I decided to be a bit extra and got some hard-boiled eggs ready too.

Once the inti is done and ready, then it is time to take out the puff pastry sheets and start working.

Of course, you need to get the puff pastry sheets first before you begin this 'baking'.


I got mine from Tesco - the brand is Kawan (costs about RM5++ cannot remember the exact amount) but I just found out that you can actually get them online too. Click here to go to their website. They have more items there. Of course you have to order a total of RM150 and above for free shipping since Kawan is located in Shah Alam.

I kept them in the freezer because I found them stored in the freezer in supermarkets so I guess it must be the right way to store them ya.

So, if you plan to make this, remember to bring it out earlier to let it defrost nicely.

I am not artistic at all, so obviously I googled to see what kind of shapes I can do with tuna fillings, and I decided that I was gonna play safe and do one style. Square-ish kind.

The puff pastry sheets that I got are in squares so I decided to roll them and make it longer a bit then cut into half so my tuna puffs can be slightly bigger than bite-sized puffs.

So here goes.


Also, since there's like 10 sheets in a packet, I decided to use all and not keep. I took out a chocolate bar and cut them into small pieces and googled on how to make mini chocolate croissants - sort of.

I tried okay. Keyword: tried.


Last step after finish making into shapes and all is to brush egg wash on top of each pastry with a brush to have that golden brown effect after baking.

Oh, remember to pre-heat the oven first so you can actually pre-heat the oven while you make the puffs - can save time.


BEFORE.

AFTER.

And.. everyone loves it! Except my mom because she doesn't eat tuna. Heh.

Adrian loves it so much he kept going back to the kitchen to get it. Super nice when it's served hot. I love the chocolate ones because it' so mini and I can just pop the entire thing into the mouth. Ahhh - o bestnya.

No need to spend so much money buy outside ones already.

Sendiri make can keep in fridge some more.

This recipe is really very easy. I think next time I am gonna try it with ham & cheese and sausages.


#dudukrumah be making all of us chefs by the time the whole thing is lifted.

Go away virus. Time for you to disappear already, Covid-19. You will not be missed.

Till then, bye now. 

03 April 2020

Working From Home Feels.

I have always thought that people who get to work from home are really blessed and their company so best kan.

Not until Coronovirus invaded the entire world and with Movement Control Order ongoing (strictly), working from home is tough. It's like you're on maternity leave but needs to be in front of your laptop most of the time. 

It's funny how I realized that ever since MCO started, Alex has been waking up awfully early every day and Sofia has been sleeping so poorly in the noon - means she wakes up every 15-30 minutes and wants to be carried. Excuse me, I love my daughter so much but she is 6.2KG (as I'm writing this) and that is one heavyweight to be lugging around in the house. 

For Alex, it's a lot easier to handle now that he is much older. I just need honey stars, chips (for desperate times) or any other adult foods that he can see. We had to hide snacks from him okay. This one just needs food - and sometimes, a fellow human whom he can play with. 

On not so good days, Alex wants to be glued to me and on that same kind of day, I will have a lot of emails to tend to and work-stress level is high. They always have to be on the same day wan. These kinds of days - I sleep at 8PM wan. 

Apparently, it has been 2-days in a row that we (Penang) do not have any newly reported cases so that's really good news. Really hoping that the Government is not going to extend another 2-weeks of working from home. 

So yes, my working from home is tough because I've got to handle two minis and work at the same time. It is physically very challenging. 

But I really do enjoy working with Adrian, from the same table. He sits in front of me so it's like so ideal man? Can see his face all the time. Can share snacks and drinks too. So lovely right?

It is getting easier because now I can sort of predict and plan accordingly with the two minis and Kelly - because I am using her laptop to work. Lots of research done and calls made so it does actually feel quite productive as the days go by. 

Our meals are getting simpler too. 

We all miss eating out really. 

But we are just gonna be good and stay home now. 

#dudukrumah #stayathome #notstuckathome #letsdothisworld #wegotthis #strongerthanbefore

17 March 2020

My Eyelash Lift Story.

Before I go on about this experience, if you must know, I have had some other experiences before with beauty related things because seriously, every girl wants to look good (so does every boy nowadays) and feel good so if it is affordable and not dangerous - why not.

Anyways, here are some of the other stories if you may be interested to read up. 


I never knew how long short my eyelashes were until I decided to try lifting them. Heh. This is how it goes actually. 

I was scrolling through Fave for cheap-cheap full body massages because my back is starting to ache again and the last time I went for a full body massage, the ache disappeared. But obviously I got sidetracked because I ended up with a Keratin Lash Lift voucher, instead of massage related voucher. 


By the way, Fave can be so addictive. It's like before you know it, you have so many vouchers bought and stored. Heh. 

There is one thing I always do first before I purchase in Fave, and that is I will call up to the shop and make appointment first because my time is very limited (with a job and two kids whatsoever) so if they can cater me with my date/time slot, then I will go ahead and purchase. If not, then - it's onto the next potential voucher. Hah. 

If you have read on my experience with eyelash extension, you will know that I am really not a big fan of it. It's expensive and real lashes drop alongside with the fake ones. But I wanted to achieve the same outcome that eyelash extensions give so I thought, "Hey! Let's try Lash Lift!"

So appointment made on my first annual leave of the year and I was truly excited. Come and think about it, I should have combo it with their RM58 (first trial) facial massage. 

The whole process took about one and half hours and no, there is no pain at all - unless your pain tolerance is close to zero. Heh. Seriously no pain wan la this lash lifting procedure. 


And yes, you will have to close your eyes the entire time. And yes, I fell asleep a few times. That was how smooth it went. Vivian, the beautician was really good and caring. 

After Vivian greeted me and we talked for a little bit (before the start of lifting them lashes), she already said this, "Hmm, your lashes very short so may not see very obvious.."

In my head, I was in denial kuat-kuat. 

Inside me, I was talking to self - Wait till if's lifted then you will see how long it actually is. 

I truly felt and thought that the lash lift will reveal the truth of how long my lashes actually are. Joker me I know. I think I will call it positive thinking okay please. 

Then, when it was done, I told her to help me take photo. 

OH GOODNESS ME. 


What are those?

Baby eyelashes is it?

Truly she was right - my eyelashes damn short and non-existent.

Of course she went on and introduced and suggested me to use eyelash serum to let it grow longer. Since I haven't done enough research and read on eyelash serum, I did not impulse buy. 

She was very honest when she said that there is actually no point for me to do this eyelash lift treatment again if my eyelashes doesn't grow because really waste money. Needless to say, I trust her la of course. Now no budget to buy eyelash serum all - unless you guys have tried and confirmed that it works. Then I will buy. Heh. 

So, I guess that is all for my eyelash lift story because it's so short there is nothing else to say.

I spent more time in the shop (Des Aesthetic Salon at Prima Tanjung) and asked her on eyebrow embroidery procedures because I really want to get it done. 

You know how it is very normal for mothers who have just given birth to lose hair? Well, it's the same for me except the hair that I lose is not for my head, they are from my eyebrows. It's just so weird. I used to never need to draw them eyebrows wan but ever since I gave birth to Alex (and now Sofia), my eyebrows are slowly disappearing from my face it's not even funny. 

Every morning, I had to like wake up earlier because it takes so long for me to draw my eyebrows and some more it is never consistent wan. So stressful with this. Hah. 

But I wanted a procedure where I don't have to leave the salon looking like a fool (heh) - with a very darkened eyebrows and takes days for it to fade la and all. I wanted an immediate natural looking eyebrows where I can actually like go shopping right after the treatment. 

And from the photos that Vivian showed me, I was impressed and ready to go for it. The price also much cheaper than others that I have asked and researched on - RM650 - can last up to 2 years. 

BUT I DIDN'T DO IT. 

Because of breastfeeding - highly not recommended. 

This story to be continued when breastfeeding journey ends. 

Oh wells. 


Till next time, bye now. 

14 February 2020

Marriage is Hard: Ours Included.


"Marriage is meant to keep people together, not just when things are good, but particularly when they are not. That is why we take marriage vows and not wishes"

When I say yes (three years ago) to marrying the man who is now the father of our two minis, I know I am saying yes to a lifetime with him. That being said, here is something quite personal that I would like to share because the reality is what it is and if I don't share it, then what is the point kan of this blog? 

We all know marriage is hard - but marriage becomes harder when we decided to become parents, right after getting married. We gave each other very little time to enjoy the only-two-of-us-season and this is not at all a complain. We wanted it. We wanted to start a family and with Alex, it was just lovely. 

It was challenging when Alex came into our world with some unrealistic expectations and first time having to sacrifice sleep night in and night out. 

But when Sofia came, marriage is not just hard, it was in the top list for my daily prayer. Our marriage needed help or some kind of intervention. 

I knew deep inside something was not going right in our relationship with each other and no - I am not talking about being tempted by others kind of not right - more like we were just keeping our distance to avoid getting into more disagreements that will for sure lead to arguments (be it silent or loud kind). And because of that conscious distancing away, I felt disconnected with him. It was sad. I was sad - on top of being tired physically. 

Ever since Sofia came like about 2 months ago, we both have been having more bad days then good days with each other. 

Bad days = disagreements and usage of sarcastic words that led to arguments and not nice feelings.
Good days - none of the above

So yeah. It was really hard. 

Of course it crossed my mind to go to a professional marriage counselor to iron things out. We have been to 1 when we first got married and like I always say to my close friends, everyone who is in a relationship should meet with a marriage counselor at least once because it's really an eye opener. So, we both are very open to going for another one. 

We did not in the end because we knew exactly what the problem was during our most recent argument - amazing what you can find out when both are angry - just as long as no nasty words are said. 

It really bottles down to meeting another new set of expectations and handling the stress (due to lack of sleep and time etc) and how we must sit down and realize that marriage is hard - not bad. 

We thought that second round of being a parent is easier because we have got the experience d ma right. WRONG. 

Having a second one means everything also doubled and time is halved. Make decisions also must think & discuss a few times because now it involves TWO minis. 

And every baby is different - means we cannot handle Sofia like how we handled Alex because they are both really different babies altho came from same two loves. Hah. 

We are slowly getting more good days now because we are slowly becoming more patient with each other and always trying to see from each other's perspective. 

Here is one example of how a good day can be turned into a bad day. 

I realized that often times, I needed to remind him to help me wash the milk bottles and parts of my pumping things, but he always just leave the milk bottles at the sink and it will drive me crazy. I cannot stand seeing the bottles at the sink not washed and I ended up having to wash them myself and day in day out, I find myself becoming more bitter towards it. So when we finally "argued" about it, he became more aware. Let's hope he doesn't delay in washing them bottles anymore. Heh. 

So yeah. 

There were so many times when I asked him (and him to me) if he still loves me at the end of a day. We don't even hold hands when we sleep anymore - okaylah to be fair, it is mostly because we sleep at different time now. I will fall asleep with Alex first and he will spend time with Sofia outside. Heh. 

So, since today is Valentine's Day, here is a little something for you, lifetime lover of mine. 

"I did not realize the amount of pressure that comes on us when we decided to start a family and expand it in the 3 years of being married - okay 4 years this September. And I have been letting myself getting upset with the littlest thing that doesn't really matter and if I may, I'm going to blame it all on the lack of sleep really. Because it really is. Me having very little sleep makes me a cranky wife. You know that for sure. So thank you for still holding the fort and loving me at the end of the day with milk stains all over me and probably smelled like milk too. 

Marriage is hard. parenting is also hard. And together, it is super super hard. But I am glad you are the one I got to do it with. Doing life with you - tick. 

I love you ever since we started and I will love you for the rest of my life. Yes, you better live longer than me. Heh. There are so many things that annoys me but every day, I will TRY to choose to close my eyes and walk away from it (like you always wanting to press my blackheads or when you don't hang your towels).

I cannot wait to go back to work partly because now night shifts are divided into two! HAHA. 

Bottom line is I love you and no matter how hard times are going to get, we will make it through. We will always be able to look back at it and laugh like noobs. 

I valentine you, Adrian Koay. Always will and always have. 

To marriage and to us. 

04 February 2020

The Birth-Day Story of Sofia Koay.

Our second born baby girl is finally one-month old! 

It felt like forever for her to reach one month and for us to finally bring her out and about. Maybe because it is tougher to stay home with her (and our firstborn almost-toddler) for an entire month. I crave to go out and I did but not for long because of breastfeeding - yes this time I am going to do it for at least 6-months. All the best, me. Heh. 


Anyways, both Adrian and myself are beyond thankful that Sofia is an easier newborn compared to when Alex was a newborn. He had colic and would cry whole night - refusing milk and everything. Sofia on the other hand, loves drinking milk (obsessed with latching on hah) and do not have colic - so we never had to deal with that kind of stress. 

Also, both of them did not have jaundice (we prayed really hard since we found out about the pregnancies) even though we were told by doctors and nurses that people with type O blood has the highest risk of their baby having jaundice. Oh wells.  

Okay - so let's get to the birth-day story of our second-born, Sofia Koay. 

Oh wait - here is the link to Alex's birth-day story if you did not already read it. Heh.

Many people shared with me that usually second pregnancies right - the baby will come out earlier than the first pregnancy. So we were sort of prepared to have her make her grand exit earlier. But this girl - drama like the mother - did not come out earlier. Or on the expected date of arrival. 

Okay maybe before that, I should pen down which hospital we decided to go to in the end because that will  lead the decisions made after that and all. 

When we first found out that we got pregnant again earlier of 2019, we waited till about 2 months before making an appointment to see Dr Soon at Adventist Hospital. Then, we were also making appointments to the Klinik Kesihatan.

When we were with Dr Soon, he was telling us that the second birth will most likely be a c-section also since the first one is of that. We were a bit bummed out when he told us because I wanted to try for natural birth this round - after experiencing such a long recovery with the first birth. But when we visited the Klinik Kesihatan which then referred us to GH for few more visits, we were told that we can try for a natural birth first and if really cannot, then a c-section will be performed.

To cut the story short, we decided to deliver this baby at Penang General Hospital because they let us go for natural birth - in fact they encouraged natural birth. With Dr Soon, he was like 90% leaning towards c-section already so we kinda stopped visiting him towards the end of the pregnancy. 

The expected date for Sofia to come out (at week 40) was on 16 December but there were no signs of her wanting to come out so when we visited my gynae at KK, she gave us another week (max) and if still no signs, then I will have to be induced on 23 Dec (so close to Christmas oh my).

With everyone around me sharing on how being induced is another level of pain itself, I was scared. I was so reluctant to be induced and really prayed so hard (thank you to those who prayed alongside us!), that Sofia will come out naturally before 23 Dec and without having to be induced.


Then Sunday (22 Dec) comes and I was supposed to check into GH already to get prepared for next day's induce procedure and all. BUT SOMETHING HAPPENED!

On that very Sunday at 630AM as I was waking up to get ready for the check-in, I felt the first wave of contraction and I was like, 'Yes!'


Then, came the second and third and before I know it, the contractions kept coming. That's when we know that Sofia is going to come out today and that also means NO NEED TO BE INDUCED! We were celebrating so hard on our way to the hospital. Prayer answered!

It was already about 8AM by the time we reached the hospital. I was asked to enter the examination room alone (no spouse allowed) and there, I changed into the hospital gown and doctor (and 3 housemen) checked and I was about 4cm dilated.

Soon after that, I was asked to go into the maternity ward (accompanied by the mister) and got myself a bed by the window with a view of the carpark (oklah, quite a win). By then, more MOs and Housemen came and checked.


Since there were nothing much left to do except for waiting, Adrian left the hospital and went to church for the Christmas Celebration Service and I tried to catch some sleep. It was hard because the contractions were becoming more often and the pain was slowly becoming even pain-er (heh).

When Adrian came back at about 1PM (I think), we asked for one of the doctor to come and check the dilation because the contractions were becoming crazier. I was 6cm dilated and the doctor immediately did the necessary to get me wheeled to the labor room (located at another building).

Adrian was not allowed into the labor ward so he waited outside and I was inside (along with another mother in labor). Different doctors and housemen came and check (it is a training hospital afterall - no idea how many people looked at my ahem already to be honest, heh).


One of the houseman (got to know that his name is Leonard at the end) was supposed to break the water bag but he tried 2 times and failed (and I some more cheered him on because everytime he goes into my vajayjay, it hurts like mad so I actually do want him to succeed in breaking that water bag!) - but nope - so the MO/Specialist (not sure which one) came and did it while teaching him.

LONGEST WATER BAG BREAKING SESSION EVER.

Anyways, by then it was too late to get epidural so I had no choice but to endure the rest of the labor till 10cm dilated.

I remembered not long after that, I was already pushing with every contraction that came because it's just it. I cannot NOT push if you know what I mean. It felt like I was taking the biggest poop of my life. I legit asked the nurses to check if any poop came out because I pushed so many times and so hard. The steel on my bedside probably got dented too.

When one of the nurse came to check, she showed a slight-panicked face and told the rest of her crew to bring over the cart or whatsoever! She said, "Baby dah nak keluar dah!"

I was like, "SERIOUS?" That's not poop?"

She went on and commented that I was a good pusher. Ahem. Heh.

Then I remembered seeing Leonard rushed to my bed and more nurses came and everyone counted with me and asked me to push and all. And guess what. The main midwife/nurse even asked if I want to hold and pull the baby out myself when her upper half is out.

I said, "NO THANK YOU!" - I was in a slight panic mode I think. Thinking back, I should have done it. Ish.

Guess what one more time.

I CLOSED MY EYES THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE BIRTH EXPERIENCE. 

Yep, I saw the nurse took a pair of scissors out and that's it. Eyes closed till after baby is out.

I felt two snips and pushed some more and then before I know it, Sofia finally came out and was crying loudly - not as loud as when Alex were out though.

"A very healthy baby girl" - so I heard.

The nurses continued to get the placenta out and did the stitches and all. I felt the stitching because I had some extra tear apparently so when she was stitching up the outer part of it, I was in absolute pain but Sofia was on me already at that time, so I just focused on her.

So yeah.


By 5pm-ish, I was back to the maternity ward and by 630pm, I was walking around and sitting up already. Natural birth has got its benefits for sure.

I spent the night there alone with Sofia by my side (baby stays with mommy the entire time at GH) and got discharged the next day at 3pm. It was really such a quick birth experience compared to the one we had with Alex. Super thankful that both Sofia and I did not have to stay longer than a night because I was still too tired (physically) and having to care and feed Sofia all by myself in the hospital was hard.


Now, one of the most frequently asked question on this entire birth experience is how much did it cost to give birth at Penang General Hospital.

We paid a total of RM33 for natural birth (no epidural) two days one night stay at Penang GH!

THIRTY-THREE RINGGIT MALAYSIA.

Cheaper than my monthly phone bill what is this.

I thought it would probably costs like RM100 or something - but when Adrian told me the price, my jaw dropped, really.

When we did the c-section procedure to bring Alex out at Adventist Hospital, it costs us RM11,000!

Yep, you see that right.

ELEVEN THOUSAND RINGGIT MALAYSIA!

Although it is not the same kind of birth procedure, but I am sure that at GH, it will probably cost less than RM300 for a c-section.

Private hospitals are over-charging wei - I cannot even.

RM11k versus RM33.

So much win for the second-born please.

So, that's how Sofia made us a family of four - and as much as we would like to extend the family tree, we will be taking at least 2 years for the uterus to heal before number three happens.

If I can choose one thing that I kinda have a love-hate-feeling towards about Penang GH is that they are very strict on the visiting hours.

Weekdays: 1230PM-230PM & 730PM-930PM
Weekends: 1230PM-730PM

What I don't like is that they only limit maximum of 2 people to go in the ward during the visiting hours. TWO PEOPLE. Hello, my dad, mom and sister also 3 people liau. Plus husband somemore.

So because of this restriction, ended up nobody came to visit me in the hospital except for my husband and my sister. Heh. Also because I stayed a night only also la.

Good point is because of this restriction, mothers can rest and heal - sort of. So this is kinda like a good thing. Really love-hate feeling on this.

Anyways, we cannot thank all of you enough for keeping us in your prayers - be it during the pregnancy and after Sofia came out. Thank you for all your prayers, gifts, and encouragements. It is very possible that I may have forgotten to thank you personally but please know that we appreciate all of it.

Also, this round we decided to give Ayamas Full Moon Set Package instead of the usual yellow rice with curry chicken. For Alex, we gave cupcakes and muffins kind of set.


We have received many comments from you guys that the Ayamas chicken was really yummy and we felt that it's really value for money - half chicken (flavor: percik) with 2 eggs and 2 angkus.

So, thank you again for all your blessings to our little girl.

Everyone, meet our second-born.


Sofia Koay Yi Jia
3.4 kg
Hairy (like her brother)
Loves drinking milk