09 April 2021

3D2N Shangri La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang.

This is another supposed-to-be-posted-one-year-ago but here I am - never too late is the way to go hah. 

For Adrian's 30th birthday last year, I decided to surprise him with a few surprises but the one that I was looking forward to the most was this staycation. If you watch this video, you would know how he reacted when he found out that his birthday present was a 2-night staycation at Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa. 

Why this hotel you ask?

Because it's one of the 5-star hotels that Adrian really likes (though he never stays before) but he really loves the wooden feel that this hotel has. Knowing him, he would never pay to stay at any 5-star hotel unless it's a really good deal - same with me also actually but I not so extreme la. Heh. 

That time last year, Rasa Sayang had these FB live sessions where they give out promo codes for their rooms if you book with them directly and so, it was just the right time! 

You have to stay a minimum of 2 nights to enjoy these discounts (Facebook Weekday Offer) and I paid a total of RM420 for 2 nights - so that makes it RM210 for a Garden Wing Deluxe Garden View Room - which was acceptable (I think) for me. Hah.

That price included daily breakfast for 2 adults, early check-in at 12PM, and late check-out at 4PM. It was these conditions that they were shouting so loud about. 

I also sent them emails to request these (below) and that is also because their website asked if we would like these items so we of course said yes. 

Baby bottle sterilizer
Baby bottle warmer
Baby high chair
Baby playpen
Baby toilet seat

Needless to say, we did not get any of the above. They did not even update us if they have these or not to be sent to our room. They just continued being silent about it. I think if you don't have these items, you should not list them as optional for people to choose from, or if you are out of it, you should at least inform us. 

Good thing I emailed them again about 1 babycot before the trip starts. 

This was actually the second red flag. 

The first being - that we had to wait in the lobby for few hours even though we were told that we could check-in at 12PM - instead of 3PM. We reached the hotel at about 1PM and the receptionist looked lost and cold (he probably had a bad day or something because he was anything but friendly). He walked into the back office for like the 40th time before he could tell us when exactly we could check-in. 

We also reminded him that we were told that we can check-in by 12PM and it was already close to 2PM by the time we talked to him and all. The only thing he could tell us was, the rooms all not ready so we had to wait. Oh man. 

I understand that they may be under-staffed but do not tell people that they can come and check-in by 12PM. My 2 kids were going crazy by the time they called us. It was such a bad way to start the staycation. 

So, that's the first red flag okay. 

We decided to be positive and put all that behind us and just enjoy the weekend. 

It was not too long after we checked into the room, that Adrian realized the rooms were dusty (bed frames, side tables, main table, and chairs) and even Adrian (who usually is very very cincai kind of person) was highly disappointed. 

Their pillows had a funny smell and we did not dare to open up the sheets. 

The grass outside our balcony/patio was long and really messy and dirty. 

It was already affecting Adrian and he is usually the super-not-OCD-kind. We cleaned some common areas on our own. 

Their buffet breakfast is two thumbs up though. I did not go for any breakfast because I didn't feel like to so I stayed in the room with Sofia instead and slept in. 

But according to Adrian and his mom, it was pretty good. They have quite many choices. 

So, I guess in the overalls of it all, it is safe to say that we will not be doing any staycations at Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa - unless the deal is super good - like RM100 per night or something hah. 

If you ask Adrian, he will probably give you a worse review. Heh. 

Here's a quick room tour of the room. Sorry, no photos this time. Heh.

 Till next staycation, bye now. 

05 April 2021

Project Can by Haru Hari at Lebuh Gelugor, Penang.

Don't think you will miss seeing this newly launched cafe when you drive along the forever-busy-Jalan Masjid Negeri. This Project Can Cafe is on your left if you are driving towards the Penang Bridge and in the evening, it is even more obvious because the outdoor fairy lights would be switched on. 
The place is very cozy with giant trees providing so much shade and a homey-nice-warm-feeling. 

We woke up one Sunday morning and decided to try this place for breakfast. Partly because they have such a big outdoor area so I was not that paranoid about bringing my kids to eat and play. 

We were 30-minutes earlier than their official opening time, so we waited outside and look-see the surroundings. 

FYI - do not park your car on the pavement along with the cafe with yellow lines because we were told by the workers there that policemen have given many love letters to people who parked there (one of them is my SIL: Jaryn! Hah). Policemen would come up to 5-times in a day. 

We ordered 4 mains for 5 adults and 4 kids - finished everything because we were hungry and also because it was good - yummy good and portion big good. 

Their drinks were okay-okay (in our opinion) but food-wise, good lah. 


Deep fried shredded potatoes & leek, katsuobushi (beef bacon or ham) & mixed veggie pancakes. 

Beef bacon, Heinz baked beans, McCain hashbrown, chicken ham, chicken sausage, mushroom, mesclun (green salad), tomato, sliced artisan sourdough and scramble kampung eggs. 


> Tiramisu cake is surprisingly very yummy and I don't even like tiramisu in general. 
> Can Brekkie is also surprisingly bigger than we expected and also yummy (portion for 2 persons)
> The Bird Nest is also very yummy and it tasted like a different version of okonomiyaki. 

For sure, we will come again to try their other food items. Also, you may want to call them to make reservations - especially on the weekends because they don't have a lot of tables so if you do not want to walk away disappointed, do call up first!

Till next makan, bye now. 

30 March 2021

We Bought a New Stroller from Ergobaby!

Before this, I never knew Ergobaby had other babies related products other than their famous Ergobaby baby carriers - which are the most important baby items for us to date. It is a lifesaver when your baby becomes cranky (whether at home or outside). Put them on with a baby carrier and they almost immediately calm down and goes to sleep. 

I remembered going through a lot of reviews back and forth when deciding which brand to get for baby carriers but ended up with Ergobaby although they are slightly more expensive than other brands. I was more comfortable with getting a genuine one (even though had to pay more) because I did not want to go through any "accidents" due to faulty/lousier materials. I was not gonna take any risks, to be honest. 

When this brand was mentioned for stroller suggestions, I was a little surprised! So, I spent an entire day doing more research and watching videos, and comparing strollers.

I don't know how most people do its comparison when it comes to strollers (or car seats and whatnot), but for me, every stroller that caught my attention - I compared them with Babyzen Yoyo+ and I try to get one that is closest to Babyzen Yoyo+ (if possible) but with the price around RM1,000. 

I saw a video where this lady was doing a comparison between a Babyzen Yoyo+ (exactly like our previous one) and an Ergobaby Metro+ Compact City Stroller 2020. She mentioned that she has tried quite many different types of strollers and these two are her top favorites (I think!). 

At the end of her video, she said that she actually prefers the Ergobaby Metro+ Compact City Stroller 2020 because she finds it easier to use and handle. 

She lives in Hong Kong and she uses the stroller with her baby everyday to everywhere. Very similar to my situation. Not that I am based in Hong Kong. But I need to use the stroller every day with Sofia and no, I cannot carry her in and out every day because hello, she is already at the 10KG mark (she is not overweight please), and my back is gonna break if I do it every day. Heh. 

So, when she said she preferred the Ergobaby to the Babyzen, I was very interested to find out more. To cut the long story short, I finally texted Adrian and told him that we would go for the Ergobaby and he texted GoodealBB and reserved one unit. 

Here is another read on the comparison between Babyzen Yoyo+ and Ergobaby Metro Compact City Stroller 2020 - if you are interested. 

We went to the shop to collect it the next day and now, I am happily enjoying it. 

The back wheels are bigger than the front wheels so it really feels very steady and super nice to push around. Also, it's a bonus that the black color and material make it so chic and pretty please. I am a sucker for pretty things - no surprises here. 

In all honesty, I would have chosen red but the shop only has black - so black it is. Luckily the black very nice indeed. 

When folded, it is slightly smaller than the current one though a bit heavier, heavier is good cos it is a lot steadier. 

Here's a video of how to open and close it by Adrian and like any other strollers, you need to practice to make it a smooth thing to do. So yeah, that is our take on our current stroller (hopefully the last one so no need to buy another one). 

Till next time, bye now. 

28 March 2021

Jiashi Restaurant (Relocated from Song River Cafe) at Gurney Drive, Penang.

If you are a true Penangite, you would have known or have eaten at this famous breakfast/lunch place at Song River Cafe by Gurney Drive, Penang.

Don't worry - not too late for you to go try it to be a true Penangite - because I found out about it not too long ago also ni so still got time for you to be self-declared a true Penangite. Heh. 

They do not serve dim sum - in case you are wondering. They serve Chinese food meant for breakfast and lunch. Closed for dinners (if I am not wrong). 

I thought that it was a bit too noisy from where we were seating (the front of the shop) as could hear cars drove by and dust etc. Not very bagus. 

The previous place the front side was quite covered so can hardly hear any like engines of cars driving by and definitely not much dust flying everywhere. 

He says: It's alright. A bit too much egg and no bitter gourd.
She says: It should be called fried egg with bitter gourd. I mean seriously, those thin-sliced bitter gourd is like so few la, please. Disappointing. 

He says: Not my type of food and not much taste also the soup. 
She says: Can find better beehoon soup outside. Nothing special. 

He says: So-so only - but got a lot of baby oysters. 
She says: Quite generous with the baby oysters in my opinion. This is a one-person portion by the way. 

He says: Not nice and don't like this one. Tastes better ones outside. 
She says: This is my parents' favorite. An okay dish for me. 

He says: Tofu is soft like my pillow and the stir-fried eggplants tasted so appetizing.
She says: Family's alltime favorite! The tofu is soft and the way the diced eggplant is cooked, it is absolutely yummy. 

He says: Normal je. 
She says: Nice when it's hot, taste like any usual belacan chicken.

He says: Love this one - will order this again next time.
She says: Not too bad, but I think they used to taste better. 

He says: Typical fried stuff - okay okay only. 
She says: Don't order this. Hah. Cannot tase or see any shrimp inside. Macam a lot of flour. 

Total price for 6-adults: RM177.10

When they were still at the Song River Cafe (not too far away from current location), their food tasted so much better and I remembered that we would always leave the place feeling really full and satisfied. 

This time, we left the place full (because over-ordered again heh), but we were not satisfied, and most of our food came in 1-person's portion (but 2 bowls because separated into 2 tables), but to be billed at RM177 is a bit nonsense. 

We didn't even order anything seafood. 

The price is definitely hiked up after they moved to this new place. 

We used to love having breakfast at Song River Cafe but now, with the food quality drop and pric increased, I don't think we would be coming back anytime soon. 

Time to try other place for breakfast. 

Till next makan, bye now.  

23 March 2021

2D1N Lone Pine Boutique Hotel by the Beach, Penang.

This is a few-years-overdue-post and I decided to talk about it here because we (Adrian and I) remembered loving this hotel so much. 

Actually not so much of the entire hotel in itself because let's be honest, there is nothing to shout about their swimming pool and buffet breakfast. 

In fact, their buffet breakfast happens to be one of the worst hotel buffet breakfasts we have ever had. Their porridge was cold despite being in the pot that keeps food hot, their pancakes and waffles are soft and soggy and cold and there was a big long trail of ants entering one of their buffet items and no one did anything until I brought it up with one of their waitresses. 

It was a huge disappointment. I mean, they can do a lot better, please. I do hope got no such problems now anymore. 

Still, we love Lone Pine Hotel because of its newly renovated rooms (back in Sept 2019). We didn't have high expectations but because there were some promos going on at that time, we decided to book a room for one night to celebrate our third wedding anniversary, and then my family decided to book the same room, but their Deluxe Seafacing Room was upgraded to Premier Seafacing Room that could sleep up to 4 adults (ngam ngam for them). 

Deluxe Seafacing Room (2 adults and 1 baby): RM350
Premier Seafacing Room (4-adults): RM365

With one of the rooms being upgraded, that also means we could not have connecting rooms or be on the same floor. In fact, we were at a separate building. Heh. 

I wished we had stayed for 2-nights instead of 1, to be honest, but I hope more that we get to go stay again someday. Heh. 

Too bad their swimming pool is so boring and with 2-kids now, we would prefer to go to hotels with more "happening" pools. Heh. 

Here are some photos we took during that staycation.

Okay, so when Adrian and I walked into the room, our first impression was, "Wow!". The room is spacious and modern-looking and one of the things we love most is the bathtub on the balcony, with a daybed, a table, and 2 chairs. It is so perfect for chilling. 

The other thing is the bathroom - huge and practical and the lighting is so on-point, please. They use a sliding door to separate the room from the bathroom which is so genius because it makes the entire room feels even much bigger. 

The King-sized bed felt like it was super King or something. 

Okay, now you can watch this quick video of a very brief room tour. Heh. 

Till next staycation, bye now. 

19 March 2021

Island Problems at Campbell Street, Penang.

We have been eating (a lot) - mostly at home because of the pandemic but when we get to go outside to eat, it is very much treasured. 

We still try not to bring the kids out to eat (and to shopping malls) because hello, coronavirus is still here and vaccine pun not everyone get yet. 

One of the restaurants that I have been wanting to try is Island Problems

When I first heard the name from Adrian, I corrected him because it sounded a lot like Adrian had a problem telling me the 'real' name. So funny, please. He looked so confused because I was in disbelief. I remembered very clearly that he had to say a few times to convince me that the restaurant is indeed called Island Problems

He went there once and since then, I have been seeing IG stories and posts where people share their food and reviews of this place and I just had to try it. 

That day came and I finally get to try on a few 'famous' items on their menu but since we did not manage to try all this time, surely we will go back to try more okay - maybe dinner time next round. Who wants? Let's go together! 

Anyways, here is the link to their menu if you would like to look-see first and allocate your budget heh. 

If you see their menu, you can quickly assume that this restaurant-style is a very Japanese-Thai fusion kind and I don't know what the story is like for this Island Problems, but the inside of the restaurant is very western-ish (if I can reference it that way). 

They have a big bar that basically takes up the entire ground floor where people (usually couples I think) will dine at the bar while watching the people work. 

They also have this not-safe-at-all-open-concept-staircase where you will be led to the second floor with very minimal seating areas. Again, I want to point that this place is not kids-friendly - especially if you have a walking/running toddler. Their stairs are very modern and artsy and not safe. Again - the keyword here is not safe. Hah. 

But a very nice place to dine with your lover and/or friends. Oh, and please if you can, book ahead of time to avoid being turned away due to full-house. Their place is quite small and people can take some time to dine and talk and all, so better to call them and make bookings. 

Here are some foods that we ordered for sharing. We left the restaurant one and half hours later - feeling very full and satisfied. 

150g sliced Japanese wagyu, range egg, furikake with rice
He says: Too buttery for me, however the beef is perfectly cooked. But I would not order this again.
She says: Quite a small bowl for RM88 priced dish but then again, it's wagyu so what do you expect right. The sliced wagyu is buttery and salty and soft - almost melt in your mouth kind - but with enough texture, for you to chew and enjoy its goodness. The rice underneath is Japanese rice so what can be wrong with it? The answer is nothing la okay. 

Salmon sashimi, salmon roe served with rice
He says
: It's okaylah. A bit too much of the salmon egg. This is probably my best dish of the day. 
She says: I personally do not know how to enjoy sashimi with rice (yes, I don't eat salmon sushi also wan). I usually eat just the sashimi but this one I had to try because ordered already. The sashimi and salmon roe are very fresh so, overall quite a good dish. 

Chicken katsu, house katsu sauce, milky bread
He says
: The bread for me is the same as bangkali roti. But the fried chicken was quite well-fried.
She says: The chicken katsu inside is legit yummy. It tasted like any other really good fried chicken but this one got their house katsu sauce, so I think that is the thing that makes it yummy. I thought the milky bread could be a lot softer because it was quite dense. 

Tenderloin steak, house sauce, milky bread
He says
: Nothing special. 
She says: Tasted very similar to the wagyu, to be honest - buttery and salty. Milky bread same-same - will be nicer if softer.  

Truffle scrambled egg top with unagi served with rice
He says
: Oh this is actually my best dish of the day. First time having truffle with unagi and it blends well. 
She says: My absolute favorite of all the dishes we tried. The scrambled egg is cooked with truffle so can you imagine the aroma, and then you eat with the unagi and rice, and you just need to close your eyes and chew. It was so good! I never thought that truffle would go so well with unagi because it is not one of my favorite food combos. This one wins. 

Scallops, prawn, shrimp & salmon roe, creamy black pasta
He says: It's alright. 
She says: Our first dish - did not disappoint. I am not the creamy-pasta-person, but this was yummy. It did not have that overpowering creamy taste that most creamy pasta dishes usually have. It has a very nice seafood-y taste to it which I super love because I am a seafood person. 

Total bill for 4-persons: RM315

We ordered a drink each but no need to review because their drinks are not anything special. 

So, there it is - our honest reviews on the food. Personally, for me, I will definitely go back there to dine despite pricey tags. Also, just want to add that their portions are not super big or anything so if you happen to be quite a bigger appetite person, one order is not enough for you, probably the same case for me heh. 

Photos are all taken with iPhone 12 - it looks so nice because so ngam the place we were seated had such a great backlight. Heh. I am actually not pro at all in food-photography taking. 

Till next makan, bye now. 

17 March 2021

Goodbye WhatTwoEatHere!

So, we have decided to bid farewell to our food-blog of which has been inactive for one year (I think). 

We started WhatTwoEatHere because back when we were still not married, we both enjoyed eating, and doing reviews on them makes so much sense and it was fun. 

Well, we still enjoy eating but now with two kids to handle, there is just no priority whatsoever to take photos at all. We usually just dig right in. 

But shutting it down brings a certain kind of sadness to me because of all the hard work there leh - all those words and photos. We decided not to continue paying for its domain (.com) and return it to .blogspot.com which is still absolutely fine. 

There are 170 posts on WhatTwoEatHere, but we will no longer be posting food reviews there, because it is a lot easier (and practical) to do all kinds of reviews here, since this is my main place. 

Moving forward, we will do our food reviews here - those that we can stop and take photos of before we jump right into eating it of course. Again, we are not food experts but we know what we like and what we don't. We don't represent everyone, but I would like to think that our tastebuds are same-same but quite different so some of you may be able to relate. 

Like, you like it but your other half does not like it. 

Trust us, we've been there, done that. 

Maybe for the sake of the many years with WhatTwoEatHere, here are some facts. 

  • The idea to start a food-blog together happened when we were having lunch at Kampar Fish Jelly Restaurant at Sungai Nibong.
  • Yes, our first post was on Kampar Fish Jelly. 
  • We started on 22 February 2012. 
  • Many of you did not know this, but I wrote every post - yes 170 posts, but the "He says" was written by Adrian himself - using his own words and style. 
  • Some posts were sponsored by the restaurants but most of them were on our own. 
  • We did not say good things because we were paid to review their food - it was all honest opinions. 
  • We were once invited to a hotel to do their food reviews but we had thought that it was on their buffet line so we went ahead and ate their buffet foods - then, they started bringing out their special 'Raya' meals. We were of course a little embarrassed and so full after that. In our defense, they should have communicated clearer on what they wanted us to review, instead, they left us seating there waiting, and we were hungry. Hah. 
  • Le Roy helped us with our "logo" and we even made name cards to give out - shameless us. Hah.
  • Few months after launching the food-blog, Hooi San helped created a cartoon us. 
  • We even printed a WhatTwoEatHere banner - we were so into the food-blogger idea. Hah. 
  • Most of the food photos that we took were from my iPhone and some with Sony's camera.

So yeah, watch out for this space for more yummy food reviews and travel stories (hopefully) and maybe some other babies-related posts. 

Thank you for staying with us all this while and reading our nonsense. Hah. Hope you are entertained and you get the information that you need. 

Till next time, bye now. 

16 March 2021

3D2N PARKROYAL Penang Resort.

We had initially booked for a night at Angsana Teluk Bahang for a quick staycation with Adrian's family but we canceled it when the Government announced the MCO 2.0 - then, we booked for a 2-night holiday at PARKROYAL Penang Resort when the MCO was lifted and people can go outside again. 

PARKROYAL Penang Resort was chosen because they have a few attractive promotions ongoing and we decided to go ahead and book with the hotel directly through their website. 

We booked the 'Rediscover Your Penang' promo and decided to take the bigger room to accommodate more of us. 

There were a total of 5-adults and 4 children (under 6yo) and we booked a Premier Seaview Room (RM655.60 for 2-nights) and Family Seaview 1-Bedroom Room (RM743.60 for 2-nights). 

Then, I sent an email for additional requests like a baby cot for each room, rooms to be connecting (if possible), and to be on a non-smoking floor - which turns out all rooms are non-smoking at Parkroyal, and for any complimentary room upgrades. 

A few days later, they emailed back and confirmed all the abovementioned and upgraded both our rooms to a higher room category.  

The Premier Seaview Room for Joe Sern, Jaryn, Jacob, and Joash was upgraded to a Family Seaview 1-Bedroom room, while our (Adrian, MIL, Alex, Sofia, and myself) Family Seaview 1-Bedroom Room was upgraded to a Family Seaview 2-Bedroom Room. 

We could not get the connecting rooms but we were on the same floor. 

The Family Seaview 2-Bedrooms Room comes with a King-sized bed and two single beds - no bathtub and no trundle bed - huge balcony space and huge bathroom space and we have got 2 TVs. 

The room was clean but there was a funny pee-like smell when we first walked in but the housekeeping team quickly came over and sprayed air freshener all over the room. I did not really smell it but Adrian did and it was bothering him a bit too much. 

There was also no minibar, the fridge and 'pantry' area was hidden in the cupboard - which honestly was not very smart because we had to boil our water (using the kettle provided) on the work desk which was quite far from the pantry cupboard - what a funny not practical placement.

The bed and pillows were okay, and the bathroom is a win, please. I love (so much) the big vanity area with plenty of space to put our things. The lighting was amazing to put makeup on or to pinch pimples etc. It does not feel crowded in there, so for me, that is a huge plus. 

The table and chairs on the balcony was another plus for us - because it is our new 'staycation thing' to do (not that new lah actually) - to bring our drink and put on some songs and chill outside. Sometimes we converse, and sometimes we just do our own things, together. 

They have 2 big swimming pools (one with water-slides) and plenty of beach chairs for you so no need to go earlier and 'jom' seats. Heh. They also have grassy areas to play futsal, badminton, and ping-pong, and hammocks. 

Entrance and exit to the beach also equipped with a place to wash your feet (or your body if you want heh). 

Buffet breakfast is a-okay - quite a lot of choices. The original price per adult is RM70 but our promo comes with a 50% discount so we paid RM35 per adult. Let's just say that I would not pay RM70 for the buffet breakfast, but RM35 okay can. 

We spent close to two hours in the Koko-Nut Kids' Club on our check-out day and I was honestly very impressed with it. You have to book your clots in advance because they are usually fully-booked - but really if you have children, you would want to send them there to play a while. Super fun! 

If not mistaken, you can leave them there to play if they are 5-yo and above or something, and free of charge okay - for in-house guests only.

Overall, I can (and probably will) come back for staycations here. The rooms are newly renovated (if I am not wrong) so it is really nice. 

For now, let you all have a virtual feel of the room for 13-seconds first. Heh. 

Till next staycations, bye now. 

09 March 2021

Dreaming of Holidays.

I have lost count of the number of times I've dreamed of going on holidays with family and friends - and my dreams were always cut short by Sofia's kung-fu kicks. I would wake up immediately and tell Adrian about my short dream - short but was enough. Hah. 

We always ask ourselves where would be the first place we would go once it is safe enough to travel - and the top 2 destinations are either Japan or Australia. 

Japan - because Adrian has never been and I have and it is so nice please, and also the fact that people of Japan are very clean and proper so even if it's safe enough to travel and all, we would still prefer to go to a country that is more "risk-free of covid-19". Hah. 

Australia - because we have been to a few parts of OZ and loved it. I would like to go to Perth again just because my first time there, I was having bad morning sickness with Sofia and didn't really enjoy it to the fullest, and the fun fact that I actually forgot to bring most of my clothes because I was too focused packing for Alex and Adrian. Oh, wells. This time, we will most likely go to Tasmania and maybe Sydney since we didn't spend much time in Sydney the last time we went. 

Ini semua cakap angan-angan can okay please. 

Then again, if you ask me, I would vote for Japan because it is really a very nice country to visit. I've been to Kyoto and Osaka and it was lovely, and I have stayed in mountain resorts with private onsens. 

And also cos I deleted ALL my Japan photos from Google Drive and there is absolutely no way to retrieve them back because of more than 60 days already. So sad okay!

So, we need to go back to make new memories together, and to help me heal my sadness over so many Japanese photos I took in 2014! :(

But in all seriousness, this travel-deprived-feeling is getting to me. Thankful that we get to do some domestic staycations for now. 

Till next time, bye now. 

19 February 2021

Sofia's First Birthday Party!

This is a super long overdue post because I had no blogging mojo - till today. Heh. The mojo is back so here I am. 

Sofia turned one last year in December and fortunately, we were able to have a small party outside of our house because our house cannot fit more than 20 people, please, and since her birthday is 3 days away from Christmas, we thought of just making it slightly bigger to celebrate Christmas as well - sort of. So, we expanded the invitation list and before we know it, 100 people responded yes. 

This party-planning was very different from Alex's time because, for Alex's party, I had months of preparation for decorations and stuff but with the current pandemic, we were quite sure that we will not have the luxury to celebrate with family and friends because of the SOPs implemented. 

It was (I think) the end of November only we decided that we are able to go ahead with the planning and for me, the hardest part of it all was finding the right place. I called a few places that are kids friendly and SOP-following that could cater to about 100 people and it was tough. Many places could only cater up to a maximum of 40 people because of the social distancing. 

Rachel suggested Heily Monroe Garden Bistro by the Sea, and since I have not been there to taste the food, we organized a last-minute

family dinner to do a taste-test - macam like do wedding pulak. 

I fell in love with the place the moment I got there because not only was it big (in space, it was also very windy and dreamy. We ordered and ate and we were quite happy with the food. 

Long story short, we took a few days to think about it, and we were very hesitant to say yes to that place because of the price but when Adrian said, "But the place is no doubt very nice" - I was 100% sold and we booked that entire place for the evening. 

Once the venue was confirmed, everything else flowed right in, and with the help of my sisters and Adrian's sisters, it was a success! 

For me at least. Hah. 

The theme was 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' because this is the first song that Sofia responded to and we sing this quite often to her, and Heily Monroe fits this theme really well. 

Vanessa and Kelly were in-charged of decorations so everything was super pretty please. 

We did a buffet catering with the restaurant because it was way easier and does not cost as much as if we do a sit-down dinner - with 100 people no joke man. 

Those are the planning part of Sofia's first birthday party - and yes I am aware that she may not remember any of it but like I mentioned before (over here) - it's really for the parents. Heh. 

I am very thankful that my husband is on-board with the idea because he is so busy with his work and when he says, "Up to you, baby" - I am on cloud nine, please. 

A little reflection on this baby girl - when we found out her gender through the gender reveal party, we both got very emotional, and I was surprised how emotional it got us - more to Adrian for sure. I think we didn't expect the reality of having a girl until that gender reveal and we were speechless. 

We took one night for it all to be processed and when we were done being emotional, we celebrated the counting down, and boy, it was a hard few months counting down to her arrival. 

The thought of having a baby girl did not set in until I actually held her in my arms (on my chest) right after she came out fresh from the oven (my hoohaa). I held her as they were stitching my hoohaa and as I was fighting the pain down there, she peed on me and I laughed. 

It was such a mother-daughter bonding time, to be honest. I held her tighter (after she peed on me), and I told her that her day was waiting outside and we get to reunite soon. Then, she fell asleep - on me. IT WAS SUCH A MOMENT. I will never, ever forget that feeling. 

I did not get to have that with Alex because he was a Caesarean baby and they took him away from me after he came out. They only let me kissed him once in like seconds. Meh. 

With Sofia, I felt that immediate bonding, and I was excited to let her latch on me. As tired as I was after pushing her out and having to care for her by myself the whole night, I also remembered feeling the overpouring joy that lasted me the whole night. 

I crashed the next day when Adrian came to visit and fetch us home. Heh. 

Anyways, Sofia is finally one year old and it made me think how come time passes so fast with this one. I breastfed her for 6-months and she started sleeping through the night at about 9-months old and now, she is going to start walking soon and my ovaries are going to explode because she is such a cute bola - I want to squeeze her so bad. 

Thank you all who came and gave presents and angpows because we are so blessed. Sofia is really blessed to be loved and cared for by you all. 

Charity made a video from the night and more photos below (compilation from many of you). 

Dear Sofia, 

You are finally one year old and we celebrate you because turning one year old is such a huge milestone - especially for your parents. Heh. It means that you are very ready for sleep through the night and the good thing is you started sleeping longer at about 10-months old, so you actually didn't need to go through the cry-to-sleep-training - and we are so ready to sleep longer than 4-hours at one go. 

You are a very different baby from your brother and we are still figuring a way to manage you hah. You are louder, braver, and tougher - from what we can see now anyway. 

That's why I call you my samseng girl - because you are really one samseng baby. You do not fear the cane or our 'tiaks' and you always managed to escape by smiling or laughing. You are no doubt your dad's biggest weakness because he does not seem to be able to 'discipline' you the way he did for Alex. You became dady's girl the moment we found out about your gender. 

I remember telling your dad that even though you are our second-born, you will be loved the same and receive the same attention as your brother - although naturally, your attention already has to be divided the day you were born. 

But I know this for sure, that I (we) love you the same as we love Alex. We will love you both differently because both your love languages are different and different does not mean bad. It means your parents are always trying. Heh. 

Oh, I love you so much, my baby girl. We are going to have so many twinning outfits and twinning photos - till death do us part. Hah. 

Our prayer for you is that you will grow up well, strong, always be in the best of health, and may you know the Lord as He has created you and placed you in this family. May you walk in His ways and find your identity through His eyes, and not ours. 

Love you, Sofia Koay. 

Happy One Year Old, Sofia Koay Yi Jia!

This is the only family photo from that night - because playing with his fellow buddies more important for Alex - which is quite correct. Hah. 

Till next time, bye now.