Saturday, 14 March 2020

Hat Yai II Day 1: The Three Hat Yai

We had booked this trip way before the COVID-19 outbreak hit home in Singapore. On the day of our flight to Hat Yai, there was no advisory against travel to Thailand, hence we decided to go ahead with the trip as planned.

Kids playing at the playground in Terlingminal 1
My very active littlest baby girl is now a toddler exploring the world! 
She's got such a good big sister to take care of her that I get to chillax at the corner chit chatting with the mum-in-law

Of all the playgrounds in transit, the kids love this one at Terminal 1 the most!

The plane to Hat Yai was surprisingly not as empty as we had expected. However, the flight departed earlier than scheduled and we arrived at Hat Yai International Airport earlier than expected.

Hat Yai International Airport

This is our second trip to Hat Yai. When we visited Hat Yai previously, we stayed at Centara Hotel. This time, however, we decided to stay at a new boutique hotel known as The Three Hat Yai.

The Three Hat Yai
(Address: 128/4 Nipatuthit3 Road, Hat Yai, Thailand 90110)

The hubby booked two Deluxe Double (King Bed) rooms (without breakfast) for our family of 6, which cost us approximately $84 per room per night.

The king bed in one of the rooms
Very small lounging area, with a table that is too small for our meals but we made do with it
Left: Safe and side table;
Right: Open wardrobe next to the toilet. 
Toilet with the sink outside
(fair warning, the frosted glass is very deceiving, people can still see you from outside if you stand too near it!)

As a small boutique hotel, The Three does not provide buffet breakfast like other bigger hotels do. Instead, they provide complimentary breakfast and afternoon tea at their Lounge at Level 2.

Complimentary breakfast and afternoon tea at their Lounge
Cozy little space to hang out
We enjoyed having a nice place to chill before and after our shopping

We headed to the nearest mall, Odean Mall, for lunch and some shopping! Our family's favourite braised pork rice, Bang-Rak Stewed Pork Leg, can be found at the food court at the top floor of Odean Mall.

It's a hidden jem I discovered by accident during our last trip and since then, the mum-in-law has been craving for it! Despite having visited so many cities in Thailand and even Malaysia, none of the braised pork rice we had tried has ever come close to this one! It is by far the best braised pork rice ever! πŸ˜€

We are willing to fly all the way to Hat Yai just for this!

I'm not even kidding when I say we eat this for lunch everyday and packed a lot back to Singapore! You really must try it if you visit Hat Yai! πŸ˜‹

At the end of the day, we had dinner at one of the restaurants near Centara Hotel.

Yummy seafood for dinner πŸ˜‹

Can never get enough of Thai food πŸ˜‹

I have to say, the streets of Hat Yai Chinatown, usually bustling with activity on a Saturday, were unusually quiet this time. Taxis and tut tuts were literally begging for passengers. We felt really sad for the people and were glad to contribute just a little bit to them by shopping, eating and taking Grab everywhere πŸ˜„

Look forward to more shopping and eating tomorrow!


Continue to >> Hat Yai II Day 2-3: Pruksa Park

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Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on Hat Yai, Thailand
as well as other travel itineraries!


You can also follow my travel adventures on Instagram via the hashtag #madpsychmumtravels! =)

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Breastfeeding Baby #3: The 12th Month

Reaching the 12th month mark is a significant milestone for all mothers who breastfeed exclusively! Definitely want to celebrate even though this is my 3rd time reaching this milestone πŸ˜‚

Breastfeeding this baby hasn't always been smooth despite my years of experience with breastfeeding. My period came back around the time when the littlest baby girl was 9 months old. This definitely affected my mood and milk supply.

When my baby was around 10 months old, my supply started to drop to about 160ml every pump. I suspected that it was probably because the baby is less dependent on milk and eating solid food.l

However, my baby probably noticed the drop in supply so when she turned 11 months old, she suddenly started drinking milk every 1-2 hours at night! I'm guessing it was likely that she had a growth spurt or she was not willing to give up breastfeeding as her main source of food! I'm perpetually tired every morning 😩!

Because of her constant need to latch, my milk supply has increased to 240ml every session! ❤️πŸ‘πŸ»

Latching the littlest baby at home

I'm loving how much my baby has grown and am glad I got to be a big part of it!

When she was 1 day old versus 12 months old with the same giant red packet my BFF made.
What a big difference! She can't even fit into the red packet anymore! 

Learning how to do human things like using the remote control and walking

I'm especially thankful that I'm breastfeeding my baby as the world battles the COVID-19. At least I know that my baby will not be left defenceless with my antibodies.

Ironically, now that baby girl is 12 months old and we do not have to force feed her breast milk from a bottle if she does not want to, she is now ok with drinking from the bottle πŸ™„

She does not seem to want to give up nursing anytime soon and neither do I 😊 I'm happy to pump twice a day at work and feed on demand as long as she wants me to. I will cherish her babyness for as long as I can! ❤️


~~~~~


This post is part of my series My Breastfeeding Diary, where I document the highs and lows of my breastfeeding journey. 


Past posts in My Breastfeeding Diary series:

Baby #2
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 1 Week
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 2 Weeks
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 3 Weeks
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 4 Weeks
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 2 Months
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 3 Months (Back to Work)
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 4 Months
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 5 Months
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 6 Months (Weaning)
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 8 Months
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 10 Months (Battling bronchitis)
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 12 Months
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 13 Months (End)

Baby #3
Breastfeeding Baby #3: The First Month
Breastfeeding Baby #3: Back to Work
Breastfeeding Baby #3: Weaning

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Littlest Girl's First Birthday

We had decided to keep the littlest girl's first birthday small (just for family) even before the COVID-19 crisis hit. After all the parties we had thrown for the kids last year, it was time to keep it simple so we can rest (anyway baby girl doesn't have that many friends yet).

Her birthday was on a Monday so we celebrated on her actual birthday first before her birthday party on Sunday.

Kids all excited to celebrate their mei mei's birthday
Littlest girl is so lucky to have two older siblings who adore her! 😍❤️

Simple cakes, one for each kid

She knows instinctively that it is a special day and loves all the attention showered on her!


That Sunday, we invited all the immediate family over to our house for a popiah party!

The birthday girl happened to be taking her nap when the guests arrived so everyone showered their attention on another baby instead: Baby Cousin E! ❤️

Baby Cousin E thought it was her birthday! πŸ˜„πŸ˜…

Finally the birthday girl awoke and smiled at everyone. The theme of her birthday was pink and yellow so of course I couldn't resist dressing her in a pink tutu and bright pink t-shirt.

Not the birthday girl (left) and the cheerful birthday girl (right)

We got her a simple cake from Swensons. It's an ice-cream cake!

Simple cake for my beloved baby princess

Family photos!

With the bigger family, including my dad who was back in Singapore! 😁


Baby girl raiding her loot!

Thanks everyone for the blessings and your presence and presents!

Happy 1st birthday to my darling baby girl! You are a chilli padi who is doted on by everyone you meet. We ❤️ you!

~~~~~

Past Birthday Parties:

Friday, 14 February 2020

My Boy's Graduation Concert & 1st Month at Primary School

It has become somewhat of a tradition to write about my kid's graduation from preschool and their first time at formal primary school education in the same post as I had done the same for my eldest girl.

Last year, we celebrated the boy's graduation from his childcare in the usual way at his childcare's annual concert. It felt like just yesterday that I was blogging about his first day at pre-school and now he's about to graduate!

Excited sisters in attendance
My boy with his graduating class

Although my boy does not particularly like dancing, we signed him up anyway so that he can learn perseverance and confidence.

One of the dance performances that my boy was involved in



I'm very proud of my boy for doing his best even though performing is not one of his strengths. He has come a long way since his first year in pre-school where he refused to take instructions from anyone. My boy has always been fiercely independent and has his own unique way of thinking. However, he has really improved a lot after going to pre-school and learning to follow rules and routines.

Our family photo to celebrate this milestone!

The boy took a break from school for the whole of December as we were overseas for most of December. I was so afraid that he will find it hard to transit to Primary 1 when the time came.

Although this was not my first time transitioning a child to Primary 1, it is still just as anxiety-provoking as every child is different. The concerns I had for my girl were very different from that of my boy.

For my girl, I was concerned with the fit of the school for her needs and her ability to wake up every morning for school because she is a night owl like I am. After 3 years in this primary school that I've chosen, I am very sure that we had made the right choice.

For my boy, I was concerned that he is literally 1 full year behind his peers, being born 4 days before the end of the year on 27 Dec. I was also concerned about his proficiency in the Chinese language. Even though he grew up with a Mandarin-speaking grandmother, he does not seem to have acquired the ability nor the interest in the language. We decided to enroll him in Chinese tuition even though I'm usually against sending my kids to tuition unnecessarily. In this case, it was absolutely necessary as he was really behind.

Prepared my boy's bag for school a week in advance

The boy wakes up together with his sister every morning at about 5.45-6am in order to catch the school bus at 6.20am. So far the boy is doing great, sometimes even better than his sister, who has a lot more trouble opening her eyes in the morning. I think it really helps to have a big sister to orientate you to taking the school bus and getting around in school. She taught him how to buy food and where to wait for the bus to go home at the end of school (she is a really great big sister!).



Later that morning, we joined all the excited parents to observe the very first morning assembly of our little Primary 1 kids. I can tell that my boy is still finding it hard to follow the structure of the school system as he is a free-spirit and generally goes 'where ever the wind takes him'! πŸ˜‚

I'm really grateful to his form teacher, who has had to nudge him in the right direction, help him find his missing library books and patiently correct his misbehaviours.

He is such a free spirit that we almost couldn't find him during recess despite spotting my girl being a P4 buddy to a very cute Primary 1 girl right away. She was right in her element, being a good big sister to her junior. I'm so proud of her!

As for my boy, it turned out that his buddy had brought him around the school to introduce him to the school compound and we only saw him when recess was about to end. He seemed to be doing ok so far and we were happy with his transition.

I observed that my boy does better when he is given a lot of time in advance to learn something. Hence, I made it a point to teach him his spelling (both Chinese and English) at least one week in advance. That really helped him to learn a little by little, with a lot of repetitions to commit them to memory.

Nowadays our routine after dinner on weekdays (and sometimes Sundays) consists of me giving tuition to my 2 kids for at least an hour before they got ready for bed. If you've taught your own kids before, you'd know exactly how challenging that can be!

I usually focus on their weakest subject, which more often than not, starts with A LOT of tears and grumbling. Then it goes into negotiation, more grumbling and then dropping of their pencils repeatedly on the floor. This totally brings out the Tiger Mum in me and I would dish out demands and various consequences until they do what I say. It's tough, but I know eventually it will benefit them at the end.

Bear in mind that I do all this while handling a very active, sometimes cranky, baby and dealing with sleep deprivation due to disrupted sleep at night! I think I only survive everyday relying on God's strength!

It also explains why it took me so long to write my blog posts, including this one! 😩

It's only the first half of the first term of the year. I've still got a long year ahead... Wish me luck! 😐


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Our memories of past concerts:

Friday, 31 January 2020

Littlest Girl's 1st CNY in the Year of the Rat

I've been sleep deprived because my baby still wakes up for milk every 3 hours at night 😴 nevertheless, nothing will stop me from journaling my littlest girl's first Chinese New Year celebration πŸ˜„

PRE-CNY

It's my zodiac year this year so I think I went a bit crazy buying decorations, which were on sale anyway due to COVID-19.

However, I paid full price for the Christian decorations sold at my church because they were so pretty and meaningful!


Other decorations I bought from the market which were on sale!
Pretty decorations 😊

REUNION DINNERS

The Heng family decided to have our reunion dinner at the Westlake Restaurant this year instead of the usual steamboat. The restaurant was so crowded!

We had an enjoyable reunion dinner! 

The Lee family had reunion dinner at home as we have always done, steamboat and all.


The very blessed Lee family is celebrating CNY with 2 babies!
Both girls born in the year of the pig 🐷
The eldest girl calls them NaNa twins πŸ˜„
Our steamboat feast!
As our family grows larger and larger, it is getting harder and harder to take a selfie!

CNY DAY 1

I was so excited to dress the 3 Lee girls in matchy-matchy dresses that I got at a great bargain ($10 each!) during a sale last year. I tried to find a fuchsia outfit for myself but only managed to get a top from Love Bonito.

The girls' dresses for CNY

Love how coordinated we look! 


Kids look so cute here! 
The girls getting ang pow from third aunt and uncle
🍊🍊🧧🧧
Grandma's precious jems
A selfie with the girls
Tried to squeeze everyone into the selfie
The baby-est of the family!

We headed to my parents' place after lunch to visit my mum.

My girls' OOTD
Getting her first ang pow from popo
Our annual family photo at this wall 2002 πŸ˜‚
Kids at their great-grandma's house with the other cousins
My cousin also had a baby last year!
Our family keeps on growing! πŸ˜„

We ended the day at the hubby's 4th uncle and aunt's home with the rest of the Lee family.

Lee family group photo


CNY DAY 2

Day 2 was spent visiting at the hubby's uncle and aunt's house.

Kids' OOTD
The NaNa twins are wearing matchy clothes again 😍



CNY DAY 3

This year's CNY happened to fall on Saturday and Sunday hence we've got 2 more extra days to spend as a family. We spent the 3rd day at City Square Mall where the kids got to play at Airzone, a suspended indoor playground.



Playing in a very different kind of ball pit
It actually looks quite scary πŸ˜…
Bouncing around and playing with a giant ball
This is suspended about 6 floors above ground!
Kids were totally unfazed πŸ˜…


CNY DAY 4

We visited Gardens by the Bay and utilised our Friends of the Gardens membership (which we got for half price 😊).

Enjoying the CNY festivities at Gardens by the Bay

It is the littlest girl's first time at Gardens by the Bay and she was super excited!

Cloud Forest

Having fun at the Cloud Forest
First time at the Cloud Forest and loving it!

Flower Dome

CNY decorations
Kids with their zodiac
(Girl is a tiger and boy is a snake)
Baby is a piggy while the hubby is a sheep
Mum-in-law and I are both rats!

OCBC Skywalk
Our membership also includes free entry to the OCBC Skywalk and this is our first visit to the Skywalk!

Beautiful from ground
Love this family photo of us!
Baby is learning to walk at the SkyWalk! 
Love these photos with the Supertrees!
Great view of the SkyWalk
Birds eye view of the Gardens
View of MBS


We had a great extended long CNY this year! I'm glad my baby had an awesome first CNY! ❤️

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Check out our previous CNY celebrations:
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