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. 

14 February 2021

For Husbandku.

Warning: geli-geli message incoming okay - You have been warned ah. 

This one is for my soulmate. 

Dear husbandku,

I never knew what it was like to experience true love until we tied the knot. Not to say that I did not truly love you when we were dating, but marriage has definitely opened up my eyes to what true love really means - between the both of us anyway. 

There are so many things that I am thankful for, that involves you. Of course, most of it has you in it as you are a very big part of me. 

People always say that when your children come, you tend to give less attention to your husband because your children need you more. 

Nah - my children need me for sure because they are still so young but you need me equally as much. This I know and discovered after we lost Little Dot (first pregnancy) and saw how it affected you as much as it was to me. People were more focused on me because I had to deal with the physical part of the loss but they forget to see that you needed to mourn too - but I saw that. 

From then on, I knew that my time, attention, and love have to be divided equally between our children and you - and I hope that I (somehow) managed to do that. 

I know, many times you felt that I have forgotten about you but know that I have not and I never will. It's just many times, sleep becomes a stronger temptation. Hah. 

Having to live a life with you for the past 4 years has been really interesting. I discovered many new things about you and you on me and it's "lovingly" intense to see how we have progressed on our types of arguments. 

There is a term that says something like, 'Pick your fight wisely' and I know for sure the kind of fights that I like to pick with you usually involves toothpaste cover, wet towels, and blanket. 

Now, we have up-leveled to saying things indirectly to each other through Alex or Sofia. 

"Alex, guess who never hang their wet towel again?"

In these kinds of situations, Alex will usually say, "Huh?" and it made everyone laughed. They are no longer intense arguments that could potentially blow into a bigger war. Heh. 

I love how we are both very honest with each other - in our opinions for everything. I know that I can always count on you when I needed to hear the truth though I was longing for a lie. I wanted you to tell me that I looked better with the new haircut (need to boost confidence a bit) but instead, you will tell me that it is not that nice, and gave me a pat. Heh - like friend friend ah. 

Thank you for always being true to me, and giving me that room, and trusting that I will only get stronger (and wiser) every time you feel the need to give me constructive criticism. Basically, you do not sugar coat your words and for that, I am so thankful because I can only get better. 

Living together may seem all nice and fun but the truth is, it was hard (for me at least). It was hard to leave the comfort of my own room to share a room, a limited space with you - because we both have our fair share of habits and whatnot. It was hard and stressful (at first) but I am always thankful that I got to share it with you. You are a fun room-mate for sure. Heh. 

You are also a very giving person, like when we pre-ordered our wardrobe and I insisted to choose a layout that is not very practical. You told me your opinion and I chose to ignore them. When they came to set it up, and I finally saw how not practical it was for me (for my dresses and all), you quickly came in and said that you will take that side of the wardrobe and insisted that I took yours. That is another moment that I knew I married a gold. 

Thank you for always staying committed to this relationship, to me and our little family. You give your all for us, and I know I don't always give my all for you. Sometimes, I am even at fault for adding to your work stress. I know and I am sorry. 

But you already know that the word 'sorry' is hard to come out of my mouth. So when I do, it's very precious okay. Hah. 

You must be thinking, 'why this geli-geli message today ah' - well because flowers and meals on Valentine's Day are over-priced and we are too smart to fall into paying for overpriced things on a day the whole world celebrates love. 

I celebrate you today (and everyday of course), because no matter how difficult and bumpy this road may get, I will still hold your hand until we reach our destination. I will wipe your tears (with Applecumby wet wipes because too many supplies in our storeroom - inside joke hah) and I will make you laugh when you get too stressed out okay. 

I will also remember to feed you Isotonix drinks because you need to live longer than me. Hah. 

I love you, Adrian Koay, and even though we say it to each other every day, the meaning of this words remained the same - from the first time you said it till today. 

Happy Love Day, husband oi.  

I love you, my forever. 

11 February 2021

Why Alex Cry So Much?

The other day,  Alex had a meltdown (what's new right hah) while playing with his cousins. I carried him and we went into the room. I sat next to him on the bed and I told him, that we will go out once he finishes his cry. 

"Mamy go outside. I want Mamy to go outside!"

"Why? Why do you want me to go outside?"

"Because I want to cry first"

So, I left the room. Then, I heard a muffled cry - I believe he planted his head onto our blanket and cried. About 4-seconds later, he called for me. I went in and he gave me a hug and wiped his own face. 

This entire incident left me thinking the whole day and night. 

In some ways, it kinda broke my heart to go through the entire scenario with my firstborn. It is heartbreaking but now I know, I needed to see that. 

You see - the truth is I have always struggled to embrace this part of Alex since he was born. He cries so often and so easily that it really made it hard for me to 'accept' and often time I find myself shutting down mentally every time he has a meltdown. Sometimes, these meltdowns last for 10-seconds, and sometimes they can last up to 30-minutes. 

and the reasons for his meltdown can be anything - someone said no to him when he asked for something, someone snatched his toy, someone told him to wait et cetera.

It is mentally very (very) exhausting, and it can get very frustrating. 

I have always thought that there must be something that I must have not done correctly in his upbringing to have him cry every time he gets frustrated, sad, or angry. So, I tried everything that I can think of and nothing really works. 

Then, this happened. 

When he asked me to leave the room, I was shocked because usually, he would want me around but when I was asked to leave, my heart broke a little. 

Then, I realized something that changed me - overnight. 

Children react differently because they are all different individuals and I have seen many different kinds of reactions from children when they get frustrated, sad, and angry. 

Some kids hit, some kids bite, some kids merajuk, and some other kids probably yell.

But for Alex, I have not seen the abovementioned when he gets all frustrated, sad, or angry. He doesn't hit or bite, or merajuk, or yell back - but he would cry. 

He cries because he is frustrated that he doesn't get to eat that ice-cream. 
He cries because he has to shower first before he gets to take his pacifier. 
He cries when other kids snatched his toys. 
He cries when Sofia takes his chair. 

He cries. 

That is his way of handling the difficult emotions because he is 3-years old, and still figuring a way to handle them on his own. I should be thankful (and I am now) that he does not hit back or yell or bite people every time he gets upset. 

I felt so guilty after realizing this because all this while when he has his crying moment, I would try my best to shut them down and I told him that he is a big boy now and a big boy cannot simply cry. I must have done it so often that he felt the need to ask me to leave the room because he needed to cry it out - alone. 

It made me feel that for him, he thinks that if I stayed in the room with him, all I want to do is to ask him to be quiet and not cry anymore - that I am sort of robbing away his way of letting out his emotions.

I cannot tell you how much that breaks me inside. 

It's like Adrian telling me to be quiet every time I cry because I got upset or frustrated with something or at someone. He does not okay. If Adrian finds me crying, he will hug me and let me cry it out. 

So, I should be like this to my son all the time - no matter how tiring it can get. 

Also because of this, I now realize that my son is a (much more) sensitive person, and if he needs to cry it out to get rid of his frustration, I should (and will) let him do so. 

With that said, since I will not stop him from letting out his emotions, what I think I can do is teaching him to cry at the right place. Hah. Like if he needs to cry it out, then he should do it in a room or something, and most importantly, I need him to know that it is not a punishment to cry inside a room - instead of crying in public out loud. Hah. Still kena control place sikit. 

It's like if Alex needs to yell his feelings off, I would probably get him a pillow and ask him to yell into it till he is fully done. Heh. I will not like to ask him not to yell because then, how else would he let off his frustration, right?

I don't know la. I need to keep trying for sure. 

Parenting is really one of the toughest (if not toughest) things ever because there is not black and white eh. Every child is different and you have to try every method to see what works and let us not forget the constant worry of what if the method leads them to traumatic experiences and all. Hah. 

At least now I know for sure how I am going to handle the entire crying thing with him. 

FYI - I say all this about my son but that does not mean I do not love him or love him less. There is absolutely nothing in this world that can make me love him lesser than I already am. If anything, I will always love him more and more - like to an insane amount of which I never thought a human can contain. 

And for you mothers (and fathers) reading this, if you are also struggling like us in this part of parenting, we are with you. Do not get discouraged when you keep 'failing' okay. You are not failing that is for sure. You are trying and we are all always trying and learning. 

Adrian and I believe in taking breaks in between these parenting daily things because we don't want to be burned out. For me, an ideal 'break' would be taking a 2D1N staycation but we all know that is not possible because I would miss them too much. 

We got this, people! 

Till next time, bye now.