AudParenting

The (peer) pressure is on!

So today I’m going to write about two incidents that happened within the past two weeks.

Peer pressure has hit the critters, guys.  And it has hit hard.

One of the things we did when we were in Malacca the weekend before was do the usual touristy Jonker Walk jaunt.  We happened to pass by a stall selling cheap plastic watches for children.  Fighter loves all gadgets and things with buttons and immediately set his sights on a bright blue rickety looking wrist watch.

I didn’t want to buy it for him because the thing looked like it would just die the next day and we’d be left with more trash on our hands.  Besides he and Penny already had a bunch of these broken kids watches lying around at home.

Mummy Ooi promised she would go back to KL and find a less flimsy watch for him and he reluctantly agreed.  I still wasn’t too keen cos I’ve seriously never seen any kid’s watch last beyond two weeks but who am I to deny a grandma’s love?

So the next day we came home from Malacca and it was a Sunday.  It was evening and I was washing Penny up for bed, and Fatty came up to me and told me that Fighter was refusing to go to school unless he had a new watch.

I think my blood pressure doubled then.  My heart pounded cos I was so mad hearing that!  I went to talk to Fighter and found out that he’d started off by telling Daddy, “Daddy you know, in school I’m very bored.  If I had my watch I could look at it and not be bored.” Which then escalated to “I don’t want to go unless I have a watch.”

My worst fear had come true.  I had an entitled child.

Entitlement is one of the negative traits associated with millenials (and I’m considered a millenial myself wtf).  I do encounter it occasionally, and it drives me crazy.  I realize that our lifestyle is pretty privileged so I thought I’ve been pretty aware that I don’t raise children who feel they’re entitled to special privileges or opportunities for no reason.  Not aware enough apparently.

I was so angry I wanted to scold him there and then.  But I wanted to handle it right so he would understand.  So I took hold of his hands and asked him, why do you want a watch so much?  (because I like it) Do any of your friends wear watches to school? (yes, A does)  You want one cos A has one? (yes…)

I continued to ask, does Chase have a watch?  Does YS (his other best friend)?  Does SY (his ‘girlfriend’)?  None of them have watches.

I tried on a gentle but hopefully firm tone. “Fighter, you know what my job is as your mommy?  It’s to feed and clothe you and send you to school.  And to love you and take care of you.  That’s all.  My job is not to buy you presents whenever you feel like it.  Grandma promised you a watch but now I think I’m going to ask her not to get it for you.  Because you cannot think that every time you want something, we have to get it for you.”

He’s sobbing at this point.

“Do you understand what I’m saying?”

He nods but honestly I’m not sure he entirely does.

So I told him, “If I buy a present for you every time you want it you’re not going to appreciate it.  So I’m telling Grandma not to buy you a watch.  If you still want it, you have two options.  One, you get all correct for your next three spelling tests (they  have a weekly spelling test either in Malay, English or Chinese) and I’ll buy you a watch.  Two, you can save up your allowance and buy the watch yourself.  Which one do you want to do?”

Sniffling, he said he wanted to do the spelling option.

So that’s where we’re at now.  Fighter has gotten the two tests after that all correct.  Peer pressure – wanting something that his friend has, and wanting to show if off I suspect – started it but entitlement escalated it.  What I did is probably not enough – it will take years of teaching – but I hope it’s at least a step in the right direction. T3T

 

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The next incident occurred with Penny.

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We were having dinner at a Korean restaurant one day, and a Blackpink song came on.  The critters love Blackpink, and Penny says her favorite is Rose.

Penny grabbed my arm and breathlessly said, “Mommy, my favorite is Rose!”

“I know, you told me,” I said, smiling.  “But why is Rose your favorite?”

“Because she’s so skinny.”

My eyes wanted to pop out lo wtf.  “Baby!  Skinny doesn’t mean nice or pretty!  You’re not skinny.”

“No I fat.”

OMG.  “No Penny you’re perfect! I don’t want you to be skinny ok?  I want you to be like this.  This Penny now.  Don’t think of losing weight or wanting to be skinny ok?  You don’t have to be skinny to be pretty.  Everyone looks different but doesn’t mean skinny only is pretty.”

She nodded and went on with her usual four year old antics but I was pretty disturbed.  She’s only four and she’s somehow absorbed that society views thin as beautiful and that being skinny could be something to aspire to.  The world has caught up with my children and is pushing onto them values that I don’t agree with.  This is something I will have to watch for and guide them accordingly.

And they say the baby age is hard.  This – mental and emotional growth and wellbeing – is so much harder!

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AudTourist AudVlogs

Disneyland Day 1 vlog and a quick review of Shanghai Disneyland

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Welcome to the blog where you have to scroll through other people’s vacation pictures. Hahaha.

We went on a family trip to Shanghai during the March school holidays and it’s only taken me two months to write this blog post. *prolific

As usual I must give my reasons and the reason is honestly I wanted to start with a vlog on Disneyland first.  But I recently downloaded a new video editing software and the learning curve is terrible after using Imovie hahaha.

So presenting to you….the most noob Youtube video of my entire vlogging history wtf.

As you can see, I didn’t even bother to make a thumbnail wtf.

I could barely just trim the footage and join them together and add subtitles.  I even accidentally deleted my  intro clip FML.  There’s a lot more that can be done obviously but I haven’t figured it out yet hahahaah.  So yea bear with me.

My review of Shanghai Disneyland

I’d heard a lot about Shanghai Disneyland prior to visiting – that it was the most high tech and largest Disneyland to date and I was really excited to go!  But I was also concerned that it would be super crowded (like how Tokyo Disney and HK Disney are), especially with it being located in super populous China.  I dreaded having to fight line cutters cos um some people from China have given the country a bad name wtf.

But I was pleasantly surprised!  We bought our tickets from Klook so we didn’t have to buy them at the park itself and jam with the crowds.  All I had to do was show up at the entrance with our passports and we got in so smoothly.  Even then, there were no rude people to fight wtf.  My adrenaline rush for nothing hahahaha.

Disneyland was as expected, up to standard as usual – clean, orderly with friendly, helpful cast members.  Some of them weren’t very fluent in English and I could see they were nervous dealing with a banana (me wtf) but they tried their best and we didn’t have any issues.

Shanghai Disneyland is supposed to be very high tech but I was too busy with the kids and rain to really notice much to be honest.  One thing though is the Disney Resort app that you can download to view the park map on your phone and you can book fast pass with it too.  I would recommend you download it before your trip though as you need to register using your phone number to get a passcode sent via SMS to you.  I didn’t receive my passcode until 2 days later wtf.

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We were there for two days and I really enjoyed the food!  I don’t remember Disneyland food being this nice hahaha.  This was spicy minced pork rice and I had it for lunch two days in a row wtf.  For dinner one of those nights we went to Cheesecake Factory also part of Disneyland cos Fatty is a sucker for cheesecake.  The critters also gave 5 star review to their Cheesecake Factory mac and cheese. ^^

Crowd wise, it was the best Disneyland I’ve been to.  It could be that we went on a weekday or that rain was forecast, but the crowd was really very manageable.  A friend told me that Shanghai crowd The longest we had to wait was for the Princess meet & greet.  The sign said an hour from the starting point but the cast was so efficient that we made it to see Cinderella in just half an hour.

People in Shanghai were unbelievably polite!  Not only was there no pushing or furtive line cutting, people went out of their way to be polite to us. T3T  People regularly let us go first with a smile or a nod, especially when they saw us with the kids.  I was so touched since I really did not expect it.  Way to go Shanghai. T3T

There was only one case though.  We were waiting for a ride with my in laws – I forgot which one – and I noticed some slight commotion behind me.  A nine or ten year old girl and her grandmother had just elbowed their way so they were suddenly in front of the two teenage girls who were originally behind me.  I wasn’t sure so I looked at one of the teenage girls, who didn’t do anything but looked uncomfortable.

After a bit, I noticed the girl and her grandma arguing.  My Chinese is pretty basic but all the while I’d assumed it was the grandma being kiasu and dragging the girl in front.  But when I listened in on them, I realized the girl was the one whining about being too slow and how they would need to wait so long to get to the front of the line and the grandmother scolding her and arguing back.

Then a couple minutes later, the girl is squeezing under my arm that was resting on the fence wtf.  I’m like HEY but then the grandma is always barrelling past, telling me that ‘her granddaughter’s friends are in front and she just wants to go to them’.  I go to stop them again but my mother in law pulls me back, telling me to let it go, she’s more stressed listening to those two bicker behind us and wondering when they’re going to cut our line wtf.

Fatty, my father in law and Fighter are a couple people ahead of us and the girl and grandma pushes past them.  The grandma gives him the same excuse, but Fatty is actually right at the head of the line and he knows there’s no friends waiting in front!  He shouts at them asking for proof and complains loudly to the Disney staff LOLOL.  Luckily the grandma has enough shame to stop and let us all go first.

So that was that.  A very weird encounter but besides that we had a really wonderful time!  I’ve had a lot of people ask me about my experience bringing young children to Shanghai and Disneyland, and I say: go for it!

If you have any other questions about Shanghai or Disneyland, drop them in the comments!

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Us on the carousel!  We went on this carousel multiple times because of penny.

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But see how happy she is!

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Met Jessie and Woody!  Penny instantly claimed she’s Jessie lolol.

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And my handsome, infuriating, loving little boy.

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They were enjoying the food too!

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Penny overdosed on fries though. -_-

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Willingly got suckered into buying this for Penny cos omg it’s Stella Lou!  This was when Penny said, “Mommy look. I drink her blood.” WTF.

Happy watching! Must watch ah I seriously took a month to fucking edit this damn vlog wtf.

AudSlave AudVerbalDiarrhea

It’s a man’s world

Ok since I rarely write about work I decided to do so now cos…. the last two weeks have been pretty difficult!

We are launching two more Colonies in June this year – one in the city with a view of the Petronas Twin Towers at Star Boulevard, the other in Mutiara Damansara. Which means that both are currently in building phase.

My job is to basically lead the creation of all our spaces (from conceptualization to end). So I’ve been doubly busy this year since we’re running two projects at the same time. *screaming emoji wtf*

To give you a little background, my job is not just coming up with the concept or the design of the place.  It’s everything involved in creating the space.  Once Fatty and his team have signed an agreement with a landlord or developer, the entire thing is passed on to me.

My job is to:

  • Deal with the landlord and building management to secure approvals before we start building
  • Make sure our ID firm submits architectural and engineering plans for city council and BOMBA licenses and approvals
  • Manage the given budget and make sure everything we want fits into it
  • conceptualize the design theme for that particular space and come up with mood boards.  That means I start pinning!!! I have lots of secret boards on Pinterest hahahaha.
  • Review the designs presented by our ID.  Revise until completely happy with it
  • Make sure that all drawings are complete – mechanical & engineering, plumbing, elevations, 3D renders, etc
  • Manage the timeline. I basically hassle everyone involved to make sure we finish the project on time.  Each Colony’s renovation takes 2-3 months which usually amazes everyone
  • Ensure the space is not only beautiful, but functional.  This means also managing the IT (phones, internet) parts -which honestly I still suck at and have no idea what everything means and only have Nitaya to thank she seriously handles like 95% of it wtf; outfitting the kitchen if we have an in house cafe; installing CCTV ;and a security and access system
  • Planning and choosing the furniture, flooring, textiles, art, and other decorative elements

My job is to basically hassle everybody to do things la wtf.

Up till now, I’ve completed three Colonies with the help of Hoe & Yin, our designer and architect.  Colony 4 threw me a complete curve ball.  From here on, Imma be very honest about the problems I face at work, the mistakes I made, and what I’ve learned.

I’m really bad at confronting problems that seem insurmountable to me

It’s also why I procrastinate so much wtf.  So many followers think that I’m a god at balancing my shit. Lol please wtf.  A terrible trait of mine is I tend to ignore a problem and hope it goes away, which obviously never works wtf.

Back in college it was so bad that whenever my bank statements arrive (and dealing with anything financial really scares me), I just tossed them in a drawer, unopened. O_O  I never looked at them and this was the time before Internet banking ok.  Ten years on, I thought I’d got this bad habit in hand but clearly I don’t.

I genuinely like our designers as friends… and I have trouble working with friends.  When our design renders were delayed, instead of chewing someone’s butt out, I assented, in order not to create conflict.  I was completely overwhelmed to be honest, by people who kept assuring me that everything would be ok.  I wanted to believe it so I closed my eyes and convinced myself we would catch up later.

But when the design is delayed, it affects the costing, the drawings and overall timeline of course.  We completed our costing late and then only realized that we couldn’t afford it.  By then it was too late to revise without losing a lot of time or money.

Outdoor venues are really hard to pull off

For Colony 4, we secured the penthouse level of Star Boulevard, a gorgeous new building, that has a view of the Twin Towers. We also had the entire rooftop to do whatever we wanted with it.  And our floor has double height ceilings.

The entire building is seriously good looking wtf.  Double height ceilings, and floor to ceiling windows that let in tons of light.  The rooftop was a dream too!

Before it turned into a nightmare wtf.

Colony 4 is our biggest project ever.  Biggest floor area, biggest budget all.  We get quite a lot of enquiries for bigger events that we can’t accomodate cos our event spaces are not big enough, so Fatty decided he wanted the rooftop to be a designated event space.

Our budget this time is a lot bigger than before so although I wasn’t completely sure, I went ahead with it.  But here problems started mushrooming up.  First, the rooftop was split level.  Which meant that to create a decent event space that could potentially also cater for weddings, we had to level the roof.  Which means we have to pour concrete to make the whole floor same level.  Then we had to put in new flooring.

Then I started visiting outdoor wedding venues.  I realized that nobody just had an outdoor space.  With our unpredictable Malaysian weather, every outdoor venue also had a backup indoor space to escape to if it rained.  So I explored the cost of getting a glass roof in, to keep away rain but still have a view of the city skyline.  But glass roof cannot exist without walls ma wtf.  So I have to build walls too, which essentially makes it a complete building in itself wtf.  And building a structure like that is expensive!  Then got structure already I need to install aircon and lighting or else everyone would suffocate inside.  And IT access so everyone can IG stories.  And we haven’t even started decorating the place and buying banquet furniture.  All this not gonna pay for itself yo wtf.

There were other things too.  Since the ceilings were double height, it basically meant we had to build everything up to double height too.  Which means double the cost.  T3T  Since we had those double height ceilings, it seemed a waste not to build a mezzanine.  Mezzanine means more structural work.  Lastly, our design itself was just cost a lot to execute.

With everything included, the final came up to RM 2 million over budget.  *screeching sound effect* *suffers heart attack*

It was bad wtf.  Fatty was hounding me to slash costs, and Katrine and I were trying so hard to cut, but with what we wanted to do, there was no way we could fit it into the budget.  Fatty was telling me I needed to penalize the designers and that we might need to scrap the whole project if we cannot cut it down to size. And if we did, we’d lose so much money cos we’d already begun work. T_______T

It was a dark day wtf.  I had never been in this situation before and I realized that there were still so many things I don’t know.  And I couldn’t see a way out of it.  Cut my own salary ah wtf.  I actually offered but Fatty said I siao wtf.  Cos cut ten years also cannot cover lol.

 

Mansplaining is real

I would say partly cos of the digital and social media industries I’ve been immersed in are majority women, and partly cos I wasn’t woke wtf, but I’d never noticed “mansplaining” and its close cousin, “talking over women”, until I started working at Colony.

In contrast to advertising and marketing which is quite female dominated, construction is a man’s world.  I’ve had contractors refuse to answer my questions because “she wouldn’t understand”, and building managers not look me in the eye, decline to shake my hand, but then become damn brother with Fatty.  One manager even acted like I wasn’t there the whole time, until I asked him a direct question.  Even then he replied without looking at me!  I felt like tearing off his facial hair to be honest.

I’ve also had men brush me off with a supposedly reassuring, “don’t worry I’ll work it out with Tim” wtf as though my concerns don’t count, and I shouldn’t worry my pretty little head about it wtf.

Which helps me understand Katrine, our designer, a little more.  I’ve heard stories about her being difficult and I’ve personally seen the way she rips into vendors lolol but it doesn’t seem like she has a choice.  Maybe that’s what she has to do to get things done in this male dominated field.  If I do this longer, I might be the same.

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In the end, we managed to find a solution for the problem that’s even better than what we originally wanted.  And we just have really amazing designers on board.

This is the design for our reception and concierge area!  By 161 London.

And our lounge area.  A pretty different style from what we’ve done so far. :))) What do you think guys?

So all’s well that ends well wtf.   But Colony 4 wasn’t the only issue – I had some issues with Colony 5 too one week, and after I managed to fix them and keep on, Colony 4 started banging on my door fml.  Hahaha it was one thing after another and we ain’t done yet wtf.  That’s why I haven’t released any new blog post or video in two weeks. T_T

This blog post is really just to jot down what happened.  And we’re off to Shanghai tomorrow!

 

AudVlogs

My (grumpy) birthday

This is a vlog post so you’ll see my vlog further down!

My birthday happened on a Sunday this year and when Fatty asked me what I wanted to do I was really stumped wtf.  In the end I told him I wanna go for a massage and eat braised duck rice for my birthday LOLOL.

So that’s actually what we did.  We tapau-ed braised duck rice and fish head curry (from kopitiams) and invited my family over to eat with the kids.  Sieu Ee and Dawid came along too cos I think my Everything Buddy TM was worried I wouldn’t have a celebration this year hahahaha.

I spoke about this on my vlog but I’ll elaborate here a bit.

I think because it was my birthday, I woke up subconsciously wanting to have a chill day to focus on myself and just relaxing.  Do my makeup leisurely in the morning, take some OOTD shots, read my Kindle, etc.  Instead, I got two very clingy children, one of whom woke up on the wrong side of the bed or something, was defiant and had multiple tantrums throughout the day.

Fatty (bless him wtf) was doing his best to make sure I had a nice relaxing day but even then I was so fed up.  And when I’m fed up I know cos I’ll spend more time on my phone than usual wtf.  And I know you can actually see it in the video!

My stoned expressionless face and phone time is very obvious in this vlog I think.  Even if we didn’t manage to catch much of the bickering, meltdowns, and disciplining, you can see it all through me hahaha.

I decided to post all this up (even though I look like a shit unenthusiastic mom) because I’m supposed to be an honest blogger ma hahaha.  I’m keeping it real yo wtf. Everyone has shit days and social media is doing too good a job of hiding it.

So here.  My day in which I felt like running away from the critters, which also happened to be my birthday lolol.

AudBaby

How I sleep trained my toddlers

Every time I post pictures of my kids getting ready for bed, I’ll get DMs asking how I sleep trained them, followed by complaints that their own kids cannot go to sleep early.

To be honest, my first thought would be, why cannot?  Most parents worry about their children’s diet – how much they’re eating and whether the food is healthy.  But to me it’s equally important that kids get enough sleep, cos sleep fuels growth and development.  And Fighter being so small for his age, I just want to make sure that he gets everything he needs in order to grow well. T____T

So yeah, my kids are in bed by 7 pm and usually asleep by latest 8 pm.  I know some families have working parents who come home late and can only see their children at night.  So I understand the need to keep the kids up a little longer so they can see mommy and daddy at the end of the day.  I think in the end, all it boils down to is your family’s lifestyle and finding what works for you.

Since I get questions about the critters’ sleep all the time, I thought I’d do a sleep FAQ here for what we do.

what time do they sleep?

Ok so on weekdays, I’m quite strict with their bedtimes.  Both of them have to wake up at 6.30 am for school (FTL) so by 6.30 pm they start getting ready for bed.  Normally both are fast asleep before 8 pm.

what’s their sleep routine like?

From 6.30 pm, they start winding down!  We wash up, change into pajamas and brush teeth.  I read them both a bedtime story (picked by Penny) and then Fighter goes into his room to play a bit.  I turn off the lights, turn on her night light while Penny arranges her stuffed toys in a specific way on her bed wtf.  I give her a bottle of milk, she drinks it and usually falls asleep immediately.  Sometimes she doesn’t right away, so I stay in the room with her until she does.

After Penny falls asleep, I go over to Fighter’s room.  We read another book that he chooses himself, he tells me whatever he wants to say about his day, then he drinks his milk.  He doesn’t fall asleep immediately so he brushes his teeth.  Then I tuck him into bed, turn on night light, turn off lights, kiss him goodnight and leave the room.  He goes to sleep on his own.

why so early?

They both wake up at 6.30 am on school days.  On weekends they may sleep in until after 7 am but that’s about it hahaha.  They also don’t nap anymore.  On weekends and holidays though they usually sleep later, about 9 or more.

However, even before they started school they already slept early.  Two reasons – we have a circadian clock and it’s healthier for small children and babies to sleep early; also sometimes I want to go for a dinner with just grown ups and it’s easier to put them to bed then I can go out and relax HAHAHA.

For a guide on age-appropriate bedtimes for children, you can see here.

when do you know to drop the nap?

When you notice that it is consistently difficult for them to nap at their usual time!  Penny used to nap from 12-1 pm and then go to bed about 7 pm, but after a time, I noticed she’d struggle to sleep cos she just wasn’t sleepy.  Her nap dragged on, and consequently, her wake up time would get later, and she ended up with a later bedtime.

When it gets harder for your kids to fall asleep for naps, it may be time to drop one nap.  When it happened to Penny and she was already down to only one nap a day, I decided to just take it away.  At first she’d get cranky about 5 something, and end up going to sleep at 6.30 pm.  But that was ok with me too cos she’d sleep a good straight 12 hours at night.

I prefer that both her and Fighter don’t nap, so that when they sleep at night, they sleep longer.  I notice that if they do nap, they end up going to bed much later, and the total hours of sleep they get is actually less.

my  kid didn’t nap and he’s still sleeping at 11 pm!

I get this question a lot too.  I don’t know your situation well enough, obviously, but I think there are a few questions to ask.  Were they overexcited?  Over tired?  Kids are human, not robots.  My kids don’t go to sleep at the exact same time every day, and neither do I wtf.  If you stop their nap one day and they still sleep late, just keep trying. ^^  Sleeping late is a habit they have to break after all.  As long as you stick to a consistent schedule for them, they should end up sleeping at the time you wish.

how do you get fighter to sleep on his own?

Actually I also just managed this the past few months wtf.  Even though they have their own rooms, ever since they were babies, I’d either breastfeed them until they sleep, or sit in the room with them until they do.  I never sleep trained them to sleep on their own.  But they’re older now, and they don’t go to sleep immediately all the time.  So end up I can stay in Fighter’s room for very long sometimes, and only get to eat dinner very late.  This is not sustainable wtf.

So this is what I did.  I asked Fighter why he wanted me to stay in the room with him, and he said cos he’s scared wtf.  But he’s actually not cos when he wakes up at night, he gets a drink of water from a Thermos we keep in the room, and goes back to sleep on his own.

So I told him we can do it slowly.  I usually sat on his bed while he fell asleep so every day I would move slightly further away.  From the bed next to him, to the foot of the bed wtf.  To an armchair in his room, then on the floor right next to his door wtf.  Then I told him I would just be right outside his door, eating at our dining table, or in the living room, watching TV.  I told him he could come out and check on me if he wanted but not too many times hahaha.  And I’d go in and periodically check on him too.  And it works!  He pops his head out once or twice, but goes back in by himself and goes to sleep peacefully.

For Penny I don’t know if this would work wtf.  Cos she’s way more stubborn and cannot reason wtf.  But she’s still younger so I’ll give it time and try a different method if I have to.

any other useful tips?

Yea got!

  • a consistent sleep routine is useful.  For toddlers and small children who can’t tell time, going through the same routine every day (wash up, ready story, chat about the day etc) can be very calming and prepare them better for bed.
  • decide what time you want them to sleep and stick to it.  Don’t anyhow one day sleep at 9 pm, next day want to sleep at 7 pm.  If you cannot sleep at erratic times, don’t expect your child to be able to.
  • time their naps if they’re still napping.  I did that with both kids.  For example, if Penny always wakes up at 5 pm from her nap and only falls asleep at 10 pm, it means she probably only feels sleepy 5 hours after her last nap.  So if I want her to sleep at say, 8 instead of 10, I make sure she doesn’t sleep anymore after 3 pm (5 hours before 8 pm).
  • car naps are the worst wtf.  I don’t know about you guys, but every time those two fall asleep in the car it wreaks havoc on their sleep.  Cos they won’t sleep that long in the car, maybe max 15 minutes?  But end up sleeping an hour later than bedtime it drives me mad wtf.

I realize writing this blog post that I may sound slightly anal about my children’s sleep and maybe I am hahahaha.  It’s just that my kids, when sleep deprived, are very annoying hahaha.  Cranky, grumpy and not fun to be around.  Plus I don’t want their immune systems to be compromised by a lack of sleep la.

My methods may not work for everyone cos it really depends on your lifestyle and preferences.  But hopefully some of my tips will help you if you’re looking to fix your child’s bedtime.

Leave me any other questions in the comments and I’ll try to answer!

Uncategorized

Vlog: Chinese New Year 2019

OK this one I rush like sai to get it out before Chinese New Year actually ends wtf.  Cos we got wish you happy CNY in the video ok so must make sure it’s still relevant lolol.

This Chinese New Year was pretty ok actually. I usually dread CNY – the rush, the preparation, the weather wtf, and the billion family obligations that make me feel like my time is not mine wtf.

But this year CNY was in the middle of the week and we got a longer break.  We didn’t rush as much, we took a flight and avoided the horrific jam, and it was generally very chill with close family members.

Also, I’d planned to vlog for the New Year and my kids vlogged some for me! Hahahahaha.  So watch this if only to see Fighter and Penny vlog LOL.

 

AudVlogs

Vlog: Pre CNY weekend

I’m back at vlogging! *everyone quiet cos how many times have I said this before wtf*

Reasons:

  1. my kids are the biggest fans of my vlogs WTF.  They watch it on repeat constantly and….
  2. it made me realize that these are such good memories I have for the future.  Last time I stopped vlogging cos I felt like I was too busy capturing moments to really be in the moment but I think I could get the hang of it.  Hopefully wtf.
  3.  Fatty got me a Go Pro for my birthday wtf.  My initial reaction was ‘what am I gonna do with this!?’  I didn’t think I needed a new vlogging camera but…this camera finally has a stabilizer.  So people don’t get headaches anymore watching my vlogs which is very motivational lolol.

So anyway I’ve decided to restart vlogging.  And in addition, I will also write a little bit more about Behind-the-scenes of the vlog – what really happened, what happened off screen, and my general thoughts about things.

So this vlog was taken the week before Chinese New Year.  CNY is a huge thing in the kids’ school since it’s a Chinese medium kindergarten and all the classes had their own New Year performances, so I decided to vlog it!

Penny’s four year old class did a simple Chinese dance that involved mostly clapping and jumping from side to side.  You never saw anyone jump with so much gusto ok hahahaahha.  At one point I noticed she even did a wiggle mid jump ok hahahaah.

Fighter on the other hand. :X  He was one of the kelefehs – he said his role was “people in China” LOL and at certain points he looked a bit blur and had to be prompted by his friends fhl.  But I am so proud of him cos he’s come such a long way since refusing to step on stage at all and crying when he saw me, or agreeing to perform but banning me from attending his performance wtf.

This time he was so excited to perform for us and asked us all to attend.  So we all showed up – me, Fatty, Mummy and Fat Her Ooi, and even our helpers who were bursting with pride.

So worth capturing this ok!

Also I got hair extensions so this is the video debut of my new hair *self obsessed wtf.

Happy watching!

 

AudBaby AudSuay

I love my children I love my children *chants*

As a parent, sometimes you get days filled with joy and smiles.  And sometimes you get days filled with poop.

Saturday was one of those days for me FML.

We were happily eating dinner with my parents and brother, when suddenly Fighter said in a panicked voice, “I need to poo.”

He’d kicked off his shoes at the table so suddenly everyone was in a flurry trying to get the right shoe on the right foot, while Fighter pulled weird faces as he tried to control his sphincter muscles. Hahahaha.

I grabbed my phone and sanitizer spray in one hand, and Fighter’s fist in the other.  We half walked half ran to the rest room which thankfully was quite near the restaurant.

Got to a toilet stall and he managed to get his pants down and sit on the toilet bowl in time.

But then! Calamity struck wtf.

See, he was sitting down, but his bird wasn’t down wtf.  It was resting on his thigh in fact.  So when he started to pee, he peed on himself WTF.  Thankfully, it wasn’t a geyser wtf.  But because his thighs were closed, pee was pooling on his legs T______T  In a panic, I pushed open his legs.  Clearly it backfired because the movement caused his pee to start spraying everywhere instead. @_@

I thought the worst was over when he finished but then he said very calmly, “Mommy my underwear is wet.”

I quickly cleaned him up and stripped off not just his underwear, but also his jeans which were both soaked. @_@  By this point, we were both just standing in the bathroom looking at each other.  Fighter still had his tshirt, socks and shoes on, but no pants. Hahhahaahha.

I said, “OMG Fighter you have no pants.  How to go home like this?”  Then I started laughing uproariously. #shitmom

And Fighter started sobbing.

HAHAHAHAHA oh God.  My family and I are the worst when it comes to toilet humor and laughing at other people’s misery (also our own misery wtf).  But my son was crying his eyes out, so I swallowed my giggles and asked him, “Why? Why are you crying?”

“Because I don’t want people to laugh at me!” *cries*

*coughing to subdue laughter* “No way!  Nobody is going to laugh at you!”

“How do you know?”

“Because only Mommy can laugh at you.  If anyone else laughs at you, I’ll scold them.” Said while pinching my own nose so I wouldn’t laugh.

And he sniffled and nodded like the trusting lamb he is.

So that left the little matter of him being pantless.  I certainly didn’t want to ask him to roam around without pants because he’s all of five years old and very aware of the concept of shame.  But I knew what to do.

Other people might consider this a problem, but not to this family wtf.   My kids bring the weirdest things out with them but that day Fighter had brought with him what would turn out to be the best solution to our problem.

Normally Doggie Dog Dog is always brought along with us, non negotiable one wtf.  But this time, Fighter also decided to take along his old lunch bag which he called Doggie’s luggage…. packed full of Fighter’s own old underwear WTF.  He said those were Doggie’s outfits.

So Fighter ended up wearing a pair of underpants formerly belonging to Doggie Dog Dog formerly belonging to himself. Hahahahaha.

To solve the issue of no jeans, I decided to just grab him and hotfoot it over to the nearest kids’ clothing store.  We found a great pair of skinny jeans for him, and while it cannot be used for Chinese New Year anymore, it looks really nice on him, and most importantly, we preserved his dignity hahahaha.

But let’s backtrack a little.  Doggie Dog Dog’s suitcase was  back at the restaurant so I called Mummy Ooi to come save us.  She came bearing the bag and a skipping Penny at her side.

While Mummy Ooi helped Fighter on with his underpants, Penny declared she had to pee.

So I brought her to the next stall, which had a squatting toilet in it.  Penny’s new school has mostly squatting toilets and I’d taught her how to squat and pee so I wasn’t too worried about her.  She got up and squatted over the toilet with ease.

Unfortunately, she didn’t back up enough so when she started peeing, her pee also missed the toilet with ease and hit my shoes and legs FML.

Luckily my shoes were relatively waterproof but still. *anguish*  Some more had to remain calm cos I don’t want her to panick and spray even more haphazardly LOLOL.

Calmly wiped off her shoes, my shoes and my legs and then sprayed everything with our trusty Softaman spray.

And then we calmly walked over to Next to get Fighter his new jeans.

So thanks chudwens (how Penny says ‘children’) wtf. For giving me the chance to be covered in your bodily secretions.  Also for teaching me unconditional love. Lolol.

As they say, shit happens. Especially with kids. ^^

 

 

 

 

 

AudSlave

Welcome to Colony 3 (Colony @ KL Sentral)

Oooh can’t wait to write this blog post!

As you guys know *ahem* my job is to manage the build and design of every Colony location we come up with.  So far we have two locations (KLCC and Eco City) and the third one is at KL Sentral.

KLCC design theme was ‘modern gentleman’s club’ while Eco City was ‘British Colonial’.  Every design theme so far has been a luxurious blend of old fashioned concepts with a modern twist on it.  The third Colony is no different!

This time we chose ‘Parisian apartment’. I personally love this theme ok lol.  Many apartments in Paris are old, so they come equipped with grand old fixtures like plaster crown moldings and cornices on ceilings and walls.  Contrasted with modern furniture, artwork, and plain wood floors, the effect is gorgeous. <3

The challenge however, was to adapt this concept to a 15,000 square feet space, as opposed to a cramped French apartment hahaha.  The theme is beautiful in a small space, but when we did the artist sketches, the concept was too sparse for a space of our size.  I’d removed our signature black and white checkered tiles for Colony @ KL Sentral cos I sien already wtf.  But ended up putting them back in a different style to create that grand feeling that was initially missing.

For every location, we try to come up with a ‘Wow.’  For example, Colony @ KLCC’s Wow was the black and white marbled corridor.

For Eco City it’s these pink phone booths and canopy beds.

For KLCC, it was our signature black and white hallway.

I didn’t have a Wow for KL Sentral. *forced smile wtf* Like I’d said, we had to up the luxe factor here already and while it worked, it also looked like a standard luxurious place.  Not that special wtf.

But then towards the end suddenly got a lot of lightbulb moments and inspiration!  So let me take you guys on a virtual tour ahem.

Ohai iz me.

This is our main door!  When you step out of the lift (we take up the whole floor) this is what greets you.  Opted for a wrought iron gate for that grand feeling!  Fatty said got The Greatest Showman feel hahaahha but no.  This gate is inspired by Les Miserables (movie version) ok.  Jean Valjean’s gate in his garden is like this hahaha.  Cosette and Marius sing to each other through this gate please hahahaha.

On the left is our reception and concierge. Every Colony has a different color scheme and this one’s accent color is duck shit green lolol.  The name very bad but it’s very beautiful!

Our signature black and white tiles are present in our main lobby – but in a different, jazzed up configuration.The pantry is towards the right of this picture, and you can see Nitaya doing her work at the pantry seating lol.

Here’s the pantry area!  We don’t have an in house cafe for this particular location so to make up for it, we created an extra pretty pantry.  Coffee and snacks are readily available, and coffee will be brewed by our community managers without you needing to do anything!

The cart in front is for snacks and desserts and was inspired by Laduree hehehe.  It’s a Parisian theme after all.

Another view of the pantry.  Behind  the wall is a mid sized meeting room.

What the entrance looks like from inside.

This is our lounge slash event space! This space was designed to hold seminars and workshops or annual meetings (besides product launches and media events of course).

Our furniture is modular which means we can rearrange into whatever configuration is needed.

And for privacy and sound proofing, we have these padded foldable walls!

When closed tadah wtf.  The panels are custom printed with this Japanese crane print. *hearts in eyes*

Comes with sound system and projectors of courseeeee.

The highlight of the event lounge is the mock fireplace. T_______T *caresses

Can I bring this home with me wtf.

Seemed a bit extra to pile firewood in the hearth or put electric fire there lolol.  So we styled it with ferns and cork.  I’m also looking for a piece of tree trunk to add to it! Let me know if anyone here got jalan wtf.

Now for the more business looking side of the office wtf.

On the other side of the pantry is our hot desk and reserved desk area.

The doors to our private offices.  Posting this picture because I feel with this Colony, I got a lot better at identifying the little details that really pull a look together.  And gives the place character!

So please note the cornices and mouldings framing the doors guys. Hahahah.

Each Colony location has a bigger conference room that can fit 14-20 people.  This is KL Sentral’s!

One of our hallways.  Beyond the fire door ahead is a special area – where all the Luxe Suites are located.

Each Luxe Suite is named after a former British colony.

Our Luxe Suites are scaled up versions of our private offices.  They cost a bit more, but come with a slew of additional services, meant for people who are interested in the ultimate office experience.

For example, we have a fully ergonomic chair and desk for use!  Can be fully adjusted for any individual’s height and preferences.  And the desk has a wireless charging option so if your phone has wireless charging capability, you can just place it on the desk and it will charge. ^^

The suites are also automated.  You can choose to control the light colors and brightness, curtains, music and TV via Google Home voice control, or an app.

Each Luxe Suite comes with a mini bar and fridge, and a lounge area to entertain guests.  Plus a personal concierge service on call for anything a Luxe Suite guest needs.

Oh and my latest vlog!  Has a sort of tour of Colony plus our usual day.

That’s about it!  What do you guys think? *seeks for approval WTF*

You can check out our website here for free tours and if you need any questions answered!  Our team is very prompt.  If not prompt tell me wtf.

 

AudParenting

What I want out of education

As a kid, education meant going to school, finishing homework, and following whatever the teacher told me.

I was really good at school.  Just as well cos I looked like this LOL.  I gave up all sorts of activities – taekwondo, piano, electone, swimming, Chinese, art class…  The only thing I really stuck with was my studies.

I entered Year 1 (age 7) in a government school.  The main medium of instruction was Malay and I didn’t understand a word.  When we chanted the Rukun Negara every Monday, I heard the words undang-undang (law) and wondered why we were talking about prawns (udang) WTF.  I had to sit next to a girl I knew from kindergarten who translated everything the teacher said.

By some miracle, I did well in my exams.  Good enough in fact, that I was first in my class wtf.  And still, cos I didn’t understand Malay, I didn’t know I had been announced first and Mummy Ooi didn’t find out until she came for report card day wtf.

So the bar was set.  I was supposed to be clever, so my parents had high expectations, anticipating straight As and top class rankings.  And for the most part, I fulfilled that.  I scored straight A’s in all major exams, and also the minor ones wtf.

But I saw no significance is what I was learning, except that it was good for passing exams.  I’d memorize facts days before an exam, vomit them out on the test paper, then immediately forget everything… until the next test.

It didn’t even matter whether I even understood the content, as long as I knew how to answer test questions.  For example, I scored an A1 in Add Maths for SPM because I was so good at answering questions.  I didn’t understand Calculus at all, but I could dydx the shit out of it.  When I got to college though, Calc turned out to be a graduation requirement.  College level calc actually requires you to understand the concept, and I nearly failed. -_-

I’m pretty sure that was the case for most of us in Malaysia.  Now that I’m a mom, that’s not the learning that I want for those two!  I was actually thinking a lot about the purpose of education, and I do think that education is not only about learning facts.  Because today’s world is so different – information is literally at our finger tips with Google, so I think what children today need is not what to know, but how to know.  They don’t necessarily need to know information, they need to know how to get the info they need, and what to do with it.

I asked this question on Instagram too!  I don’t remember anyone mentioning they wanted their kids to ace exams, but I remember getting a lot of answers like learning manners, independence, sociability, kindness.

So here’s what I want Fighter and Penny to get out of their education.

The ability to solve problems

I am the worst at this honestly.  When faced with a problem, my first instinct is to refer to an authority for answers. Because I’m so used to getting the right answers from my teachers and not having to discover answers myself.  So yeah, I want my kids to be able to look at a problem, and think and find creative ways to solve it.

Critical thinking

This gets me so much because I feel like 70% of people around us?  Don’t know how to think wtf.  Simply put, critical thinking is defined as the objective analysis of an issue in order to form a judgment, but I really feel that is lacking in Malaysians every time someone RTs a cyber trooper or sends a whatsapp message with some urban myth.  It drives me mad honestly, when people don’t do some quick research and just jump on a bandwagon for something or worse, spread misinformation.  I want the kids to learn how to think – to seek information, to be discriminating, analyze and then form a logical judgment.  And to know when an opinion (even if it’s their own) is wrong.

To love learning and own their own learning

Like I’d mentioned earlier, I had very little regard for what I was learning in school.  I especially hated Sejarah in high school, but when I got to college, I randomly took a class on Chinese history to fulfill my requirements. Surprise! I ended up falling in love, and majoring in Asian Studies with a focus on Asian history.  In college, I finally understood the significance of history to how it affects us today. When I wrote essays and papers, I knew I was improving my writing, not just to get an A.  I started to appreciate the effect of learning – the joy of unlocking new knowledge and knowing I was getting better and smarter.

And that’s what I want for my kids.  To have the joy of learning, and not only when they go to a liberal arts college.  And I want them to control their own learning journey without me nagging from the sidelines wtf.

Adaptability

The world today is so different from our parents’ time and it’s changing even more quickly.  It’s going to get more and more crucial that children today learn the skill of adaptibility.  As current jobs phase out and new roles develop, they’re going to need to know how to turn their hands to new challenges and tasks.

Creativity

This one speaks for itself la wtf.  I am again terrible at coming up with new innovative solutions to anything because I never tried and I wasn’t pushed to either.  Fatty is actually excellent at this!  I think creativity can be cultivated, it’s just that local schools are crap at this.  So kids, please be creative wtf.

Collaboration

Humans are social creatures and nearly everything we do will involve other people, and forming and maintaining relationships with people.  To succeed at anything, we will likely need to know how to get along and work with others.  I hope my children will have empathy and know how to read others right and treat others well.

Communication

This is such an underrated skill in Malaysian schools I think.  Besides maybe the debate club or something, I don’t think this is a key focus at all, at least not in my schools.  Malaysians are generally at least bilingual which is great, but everyone has a first language.  The problem is, I notice that for some, they’re not even fluent in their first language, be it Chinese or English. Eg. they could lack a strong vocabulary or make grammatical mistakes.  Angela and I talked about this years ago; she wondered how people who didn’t have a good vocabulary would articulate ideas even inside their heads if they didn’t have the words for it.  I figured that instead of one accurate word, they probably used a string of them to describe something in particular.  But I understand what she means.

Language is essential to the development of ideas.  And communication is a way to share those ideas. Without effective communication, where would we be?  How would we spread ideas, persuade others to a cause, change perceptions?  I don’t mean saying whatever comes to mind either.  I mean organizing thoughts and conveying ideas in an articulate, eloquent manner, whether it be written or spoken.

All these skills I wrote above?  I don’t even have all of them but those which I do, I developed only in college or when I started working.  For example, being a liberal arts school, the writing at Mount Holyoke was rigorous.  We had to craft arguments, sell ideas, tell stories.  My writing improved so much after four years of writing papers.

Children shouldn’t have to wait until they get to a good college or start their careers to start developing these skills.  In my last blog post I wrote about my concerns about Chinese school and received a lot of comments from people who did attend Chinese school and fared well.  I’m not saying that Chinese school or other options we have are bad; I just believe we should want better for our children.

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What do you want for your kids?