Wednesday, September 20, 2017

brain dump: makeup for my sanity

okay.. i've been neglecting this blogs for ever. i've wanted to write about hongkong trip, but somehow i got sidetracked. will get back to that later. hopefully. hahaha.. not promising anything yet. so, since i have 3 kids, i considered myself deep drown in this thing called motherhood. and i didn't put one foot in and one foot out, i completely drown. i even hadn't had the chance to go back to work or anything since my second one was born. so... i've been reading a lot about motherhood, so i guess i just want to spill my brain out here. not judging anyone, not getting angry at anyone, i just want to vent. to keep me sane.

tempo hari ga sengaja baca artikel di babycenter, tentang seorang ibu (kemgknan ya bule) yg lagi belanja bareng anaknya. si ibu mgkn bajunya biasa aja, bahkan mgkn ada tanda2 "kerusuhan" akibat ulah anak, tanpa makeup lg belanja di supermarket. mungkin juga rambutnya cuma diiket kuda ato malah ga dikonde supaya ga ribet. lalu tiba2 si ibu ini dihampiri ibu2 lain yg lebih tua. si ibu yg lebih tua ini dg halus "menyarankan" ke ibu pertama tadi agar dia sedikit memperhatikan dirinya lebih baik. the old lady told her to put nice clothes on when she went out from home, put a little bit makeup and do her hair so she looked presentable and nice. the old lady even told her that she was the same as the mom when she was young but she got the same advice she was given her and the old lady realized and did it. she put on nice clothes and put on some makeup before heading out. si ibu diem aja tapi setelah itu dia menulis artikel dan mengomel2, mengatakan bahwa si ibu tua tadi ga punya hak untuk menasehati dia. dia punya kok baju bagus, bisa pake makeup, cuma pas hari itu dia lagi ga kepengen aja. dan dia merasa tersinggung, merasa bahwa dg berpenampilan biasa aja seakan2 suatu kejahatan, padahal dia sudah capek mengurus anak dan rumahnya. dia merasa bahwa biarpun nasehatnya bagus, tapi waktu untuk mengutarakan nasehat itu kurang tepat.

actually, reading the article tickles me. and also reminds me of the similar story of my own. at that time, my little one was just 2 months old. it was my dad's birthday dinner party and my sister's marriage celebration. karena msh menyusui, aku memutuskan untuk memakai gaun yang bisa dipakai menyusui, ada bukaan gitu. tp modelnya ya biasa aja. (on side note: sekarang enak banyak onlineshop yg jual baju menyusui di indo walaupun modelnya masih kebanyakan casual. dulu pas anak pertama beli baju menyusui di singapur nitip adik). waktu itu aku memutuskan untuk pakai makeup tipis2 tapi hanya mengikat rambut dg karet rambut biasa. pikirku waktu itu paling tidak ga keliatan zombie jd harus pake makeup, tapi krn msh harus gendong bayi dan ketemu banyak orang, lebih praktis rambut dikuncir saja. little did i know that later that night, an old friend of our family approached me and gave me pity look.

at that time i brought our nanny along. but even though i have a nanny, i still take care of my kids as much as i can. jadi, si tante merasa kasihan dan sedih ngeliat modelku waktu itu. baju yg biasa saja, ga ada bagus2nya di matanya, walaupun bajuku sopan, dan rambut yang dikuncir apa adanya. dia merasa aku jd lebih tua dr seharusnya. she told me that even though i had a newborn baby, i should've take care of myself better. at that time i just listened to her out of courtesy. i didn't want to hurt her feeling. but i was annoyed. aku pikir, ini tante ga tau apa repotnya ngurus bayi? masih untung aku sempet pake makeup. suamiku aja aslinya udah bilang ngapain sih repot2 pake makeup, toh orang2 jg pasti maklum kalo ga sempet makeup, kan baru punya bayi. but apparently she cared. even though she is a mom herself.

gak lama setelah itu, aku ngeliat ada mama2 influencer di instagram. she posted her hairstyling routine. she said that even though she was busy, she made time to put on makeup and style her hair on special occasion, like holidays or special event. she said that it was for her own sake. dengan dandan atau menata rambut dia merasa lebih cantik dan itu membuat dirinya senang, dan akhirnya dia melakukan kegiatan hariannya dg senang pula. ujung2nya semua jadi ikutan senang. dan dia bilang nggak perlu sampe mengorbankan anak, karena dia sendiri juga harus mengurus anak tanpa nanny. she told us to pick the most convenient time for us. for her, it's early in the morning before her husband and daughter wakes up. she will wake up an hour earlier to get herself ready. and i was inspired. later that night, i sneaked some time to style my hair when my kids were asleep. i stopped when the baby was up for his night feeding and resumed when he was asleep again. and i felt better, just like she said.

kembali ke cerita si tante tadi, terus terang kalo si tante komentar begitu waktu aku habis punya anak pertama, aku bakalan langsung emosi dan tersinggung mendengar komentarnya. karena waktu itu aku gak punya nanny dan anakku kolik jd rewelnya luar biasa setiap hari. aku sendiri hampir stress menghadapi 3 bulan pertama. boro2 dandan, bisa mandi dan keramas saja sudah bagus. tapi seiring dengan anak makin besar dan waktu itu aku masih sekolah lagi dan harus magang, mau tidak mau aku harus dandan agar tampil profesional. mulai deh kebiasan merawat diri dilakukan karena waktunya ada. dan setelah terbiasa, aku jadi ketagihan karena aku tahu hasilnya bagus. kulitku jd lebih terawat bahkan suamiku sendiri komentar ternyata ada gunanya semua krim dan masker yang aku templokin di mukaku.

jadi waktu anak kedua, aku tetap melakukan perawatan muka. lebih awal daripada setelah melahirkan anak pertama. walaupun masih belum pakai makeup, tapi aku meluangkan waktu dandan dalam kurun waktu lebih cepat dibanding anak pertama. pas anak pertama baru dandan setelah 3-4 bulan krn waktu itu masuk sekolah dan magang. pas anak kedua, pas usia 2 bulanan jg mulai dandan tipis2 tapi rambut ga diapa2in. dikuncir aja demi kepraktisan. pas anak ketiga, hasil dr merawat kulit makin keliatan. makeup jd makin bagus hasilnya biarpun masih amatir. biarpun pas usia 2 bulan ada kejadian si tante itu. tapi waktu si bayi tambah besar, aku mulai memiliki waktu luang lebih banyak. i start buying new makeup to replace my old one that has been expired. and having a new one makes me want to try them most of the time. plus my other sister is getting engaged so i was planning to do my own makeup. so about my baby is 4-5 months, i start sneaking late night to practice doing my makeup. and also style my hair. by the time my baby is 6 months, i wear makeup mostly when i'm out to mall on weekend and to church. i even put on makeup when i feel like it, even though it's not a full makeup one. the key is to do it quickly.

intinya apa? intinya saran si tante tadi dan ibu tua dalam cerita tadi ga sepenuhnya salah. biarpun mungkin timingnya ga pas. si ibu di cerita kadang masih pake makeup, just like i do. cuma pas itu dia lagi ngerasa ga pengen aja. dan ga menutup kemungkinan kejadian ini berulang dan terjadi pada siapa saja. if you're a new mom, please don't get offense when someone gave you the same advice. nanti pada waktunya kalian akan merasa saran tadi ga ada salahnya, cuma salah timing aja. aku sendiri merasakan keuntungannya. doing my makeup makes me feel good. it makes me feel pretty. and when i feel myself pretty, i am happy. and if i'm happy, my kids are happy too and the whole house is happy. in other words, doing makeup keeps myself sane. that doesn't mean that i always put on makeup to make myself good. but if i'm feeling low and tired, i put on a little bit makeup to cheer myself up. to lift up my spirit. and that also doesn't mean that i neglect my kids so i can do my makeup. i'm lucky enough to have nanny around to help me, but if you're a mom without a nanny, i believe you will find a time and trick to sneak time to pamper yourself.

i will repeat another influencer mom's word: you're a mom, but you're also a woman and a wife. jadi, gak ada salahnya dandan sekali2. itung2 suami juga seneng ngeliat istrinya lebih seger sedikit. dan sekali lagi, ini bukan saran kalo bayinya baru lahir gres. ini saran untuk saat bayinya udah mulai gedean, minimal 3 bulan dan waktu tidurnya sudah lebih teratur jd kita sendiri jg mulai punya waktu luang lebih banyak. dan tidak selalu harus makeup. i bet there's another way to make yourself feel better other than putting on some makeup. just keep yourself sane!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

hong kong trip - part one

wohoooo!! cheers for me! we survived our hongkong trip. and miraculously, i didn't get insane! as long as i remember, i still keep my cool. although sometimes i wish those kids made up their mind so i can work faster, hahaha.. but we joked about it.. me and my husband. okay.. so i will try to review my trip from many aspects as possible. hope it can inspire you to take your kids with you when you travel!

airlines: cathay pacific. we bought our tickets during promo time, so the baby didn't get discount so we decided to buy full seat for the baby since it was cheaper rather than buying baby seat.
pro: we get spare seats. cons: we asked wrong seating so on our departure flight, the other passenger take advantage of our spare seat. on our return flight, still no advantage since the kids refuse to seat with their grandparents. we ordered kids meal (both flight, they couldn't eat it.. ) and baby food (gerber instant food, and they gave us 3 jars per flight! very generous considering my baby liked it.. hahaha..)

accommodation: the first 3 nights we slept in mongkok, the royal plaza hotel, which is exactly conjoint to moko mall and the east mongkok mtr station. it was recommended by our travel agent, so we just accept it. we got the family room (two double bed) and it was adjoining room with my parents (which got one double bed room). the bed were okay, but we can't move the bed so i have to put pillows around the bed to make sure my second one didn't fall from bed which make the bed even smaller. we also didn't ask for crib for baby, so it was uncomfortable for my baby since he couldn't changing place when he had to nurse. the room also didn't have enough drawers to put our clothes, so we kept them in the organizer, which is a little troublesome since it was scattered around our room. plus the refrigerator wasn't cold enough so i have to finish all the food that i brought from home in two days for my baby. although it was completely cooked, i still worry that it might get bad and make my baby sick. so better be safe and finish them all in two days. luckily i didn't bring much. i planned to finish it in 3 days during our stay in mongkok anyway. accessibility wise, it was a breeze. whenever we were too tired to find dinner, we just went to the mall and grab something to eat. and it was easy to travel by mtr since it was nearby and the mtr station had elevator too so we could bring our stroller.

the next 2 nights we slept in hongkong disneyland hotel. the hotel staff were marvelous. they provided the baby crib and the baby safety gate for our bed so i can sleep better since i don't have to worry about my kid falling down from bed. the room was slightly bigger and it has lots of drawer. yay! however, it has this old feeling vibe. no colorful decorations whatsoever that might connect the theme of the hotel to disneyland. i remember the one in paris (although it wasn't the disneyland hotel), it has castle theme, from the wallpaper to the bed. sooo dreeammmyyy. oh. and i read somewhere that you should roam your drawers to find gimmicks. well, i guess it was for hollywood disneyland hotel. the only prize that we found out was the discount coupon for the bobbidi boutique, which is useless since it only offered 200 hkd discount from 1100 hkd price!
there are two types of breakfast at the hotel. the first one is walt cafe. it was semi-buffet, mainly continental breakfast. but you can order hot meals with extra charge. they also have kids menu. extra charge for kids over 3. the second one is the enchanted garden. it was full buffet, many types of food (except for sushi.. can't find sushi). and the advantages of being in disneyland hotel: you get characters greetings at breakfast! so there will be mickey, minnie, goofy, pluto roaming around the breakfast area and you can take pictures with them. no need to form a line! yayy!! price wise, it was more expensive than the walt one, of course.

food: during our mongkok stay, our first one (5 years old) managed to eat everything that we offer him. hurrayy! it didn't come instantly folks.. but he got used to this travelling trips so he became more acceptable to whatever food that we bought for him. as long as it's familiar to our food back at home. like noodle, fried chicken, ramen, bread, porridge.. for our second one (2 years), she had food strike even at home, so mainly we bought her porridge. she ate it sometimes, but sometimes she refused it. oh well. she still ate bread though. and her milk. and her snacks. so not worry much. she didn't eat a lot at breakfast hotel too, so before heading there, i gave her baby instant porridge (from gerber) together with her baby brother just so she didn't starve. the baby was a breeze. he was 7 months and this was his first trip abroad. and he aced it. he ate whatever i gave him. instant baby food, homemade porridge (i brought rice from home and rice cooker) and cooked meat/fish that i brought frozen from home, porridge from mall, bread.. whatever that i thought he could eat, i gave it to him and he ate it like champion. hahahaa..

baby room: the one in moko was super nice and clean. it was super near to the food court, so the first day when we got accident (read: poop accident), i could clean him quickly. didn't look for one at the museum, but there was a breastfeeding room so there must be a baby room too. the peak upper terminus got baby room and it was clean but old. so it seems creepy. disneyland only offered baby changing table in the woman toilet. but it was clean. unfortunately, the trash bin wasn't near the baby changing table, so i have to bring it with my hands before throwing it out.

stroller around hongkong: it was possible but since we brought double stroller, it wasn't as easy as the single stroller. sometimes the lift was too far from our supposed exit. and there were stairs. and uneven road surface. so most of the time we brought our carriers. but luckily we brought our own stroller at disneyland. the one in disneyland was more like a cart rather than a proper stroller. the one in japan was nicer.

okay.. i guess it was my part one. will explain our itinerary in part two.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

brain dump: mr.ahok

i've been neglecting this blog for so long. mainly because i don't think i have anything to write. my life is boring and my biggest problem is parenting issue, so i don't think it's worth to read for anybody. hence the hiatus. but lately i have something to ease my mind, rumbling thoughts about stuff, and i think i better put in writing.

i know the heat is starting to ease down. with the election is finally over and the winner is already announced. but i don't want to talk about the politics. i just want to talk about the person. before this man came out in the politics world, there's no one like him. he came from minority but he still doesn't care. he knew a lot of people will get pissed off with his way of ruling the big city, but he still doesn't care. he just did what was right and for the people.

now, during the election, i notice that both sides were doing black campaign. from the winning side, they tried to push the idea that he's a blasphemer. from his side, perhaps even though it wasn't his doing, they tried to point out every flaws that the enemy have. the winning side got a lot of negative publicity. the elected governor was pointed out that he wasn't completely honest, that he could change directions anyway that could benefited him. that he would willing to bend rules and regulations to get his aims, even though it would mean to put amazing numbers on the budget. the elected vice governor was also pointed as ungrateful conglomerate. that he himself, was being raised and cared by people that he called infidels. that he forgot to even thank them and even embezzled their money. that he was suspected to have dirty talks with female public figures, something that's out of his characters that was told to be "religious and well-mannered". both elected winning part was accused to have flaws in their characteristics, something that build what kind of men they are. something fundamental if i might say.

but this phenomenal guy, people couldn't put his flaws up front. all they could do was blaming him based on a video that probably has been edited to serve their purpose.  something that probably wasn't true. they didn't accused him for being dishonest person. they didn't accused him for being adulterous. they didn't accused him for being honey-mouthed person. which i think, means that he stands true to what he believe. that is being faithful both to God and the people that he served. i'm not saying that he didn't have flaws in his characters, but they couldn't find one to put it out in the public that might discouraged his voters. they didn't find something interesting about him. he was just a plain and simple guy. no love affairs. no scandal. basically almost nothing.

even american presidency almost always got tainted by scandal. corruption. love affair. but they couldn't find one on this man. i think it's because he believes in God. as a fellow Christians, there's this principle, be light and salt of this world. and i think he really does that. even though he knew the consequences of being public figure, he didn't care. he knew that in his position he could gain anything for himself and his family. but so far nothing. he did what he thought best for his people. without added retribution. he stood firm with his belief. he really does shine. he truly pictures what a Christian should be. honest. reliable. just. especially being a public service officer that is too tainted of being corrupt. he didn't get sidetracked with this position. he still sees white as white, black as black. and i think it's super rare nowadays. no wonder he gets a lot of voters.

i might say that he's a breeze in our politics world. he brought something new. he brought courage. he brought honesty. he brought wisdom. he brought boldness. he brought hope. even though he didn't win, i think many people will see that he could make a change. he was willing to try. so why not follow him? he put hope that there's an honest man, perhaps more than one in this government that could change our country toward good directions. that we shouldn't lose hope in our government. if one man could do so much, why not working together? i think in the next year many younger people will start to join the politics because of him. let's just don't lose hope. don't lose hope that there is only one mr. ahok in our country. that only mr. ahok can make change. let's put his example to a good use, and not just watch, shall we?

after all, i believe there's a saying "don't ask your country what it could give to you, but ask yourself what you can do for your country". now let's be strong and make this country a better place. for you. for me, for us. as for him, thank you sir, for what you have sacrificed for your region. for us. for showing us that there's no need to be afraid to be different. to be honest. to be just. even though you're a minority. even though people underestimate you. even though you didn't win, you've won a lot of people hearts. i hope the best for you and your family, sir. moreover to your eldest son. looking forward to being a colleague of him. cheers!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

me and the strip test

people might consider i'm lucky or blessed, but somehow and sometimes I feel that i'm cursed. I know that many people try to conceive and even some don't get the result that they want. but me? I asked for a break and then the unexpected happened. okay, let me tell you, that i'm pregnant with kids no #3.

say what?? yes, i'm on pill (I'm looking at you, cerazette) but sometimes since i'm so forgetful, I skipped a day and take double on the next day. which is the rule of taking pills. and I've been taking this pill from my firstborn, so I think skipping a day won't miraculously making me pregnant. but turned out I was wrong. my og said that perhaps the day when I skipped the pill is my ovulation day, that's why I still can get pregnant. yes, even though i'm on pill and breastfeeding.

now, let's talk about fertility issue. most people is more concern about the infertility rather than the other way around. well, let me tell you, too much of anything is never good. the same with fertility. too fertile can bring some troubles too. I know that taking pregnancy test at home can be scary. most people is scared that the result is one line which mean they don't get pregnant. but me? i'm scared taking that test because twice i'm taking the test and both came back positive. so don't judge me when I said I was scared to test the last one. I'm scared if the result is positive again. somehow in my mind, if I take the test, it will tell me that i'm pregnant. every time. so please believe when I say pregnancy test is scary for us. yeah it's easy to use, but the effect on my mind is terrifying.

now, being Asian, especially Indonesian, there's a certain belief here that many kids equal many blessings. which I think is not false at all, but not completely true either. many kids will force you to work harder which then result in bigger income. but your expenses are getting bigger too! that's why some family are forced to leave their kids in caregiver's hand since both mom and dad have to work to feed the kids. and then problems might occur. you can't control the caregiver to do exactly the way you want them to handle your kids, which might result in behaviour problem. but since you don't have any option, you have to deal with it the best you can. which sometimes mean giving up. but if you forced yourself to be a SAHM while you still want to work, it might be a problem in your mental state which then affect the kids behaviour too. so this is a vicious cycle.

for me, having a kid is beyond my imagination. I didn't even think that I will get married at some point. I even believed that perhaps i'm destined to be single for the rest of my life. but God has different plan. and then I got married. and that time, the main concern was for me to get into the specialist programme. but again, God has different saying about it. even before we could get consultation about birth control, I was pregnant. but then I was accepted in a graduate programme, which then forced us to leave our first son with my mom or my in laws. and then with the nanny. you might think I can still get to school again, but it was exhausting. being a mom and a student at the same time. it was so stressful. and then I think I will get a job first after graduating. but even before I took my exam, I was pregnant again with kids no 2. at that point I was angry with God. why did His plan never go hand in hand with mine? why should He contradict everything that I've planned? but I decided to accept it. thinking that I can still working part-time. but then my baby refused taking the bottle, even refuse to take a nap with the nanny. and my mom nagged me all the time when I had to work. so by the time she was 5 month, I decided to quit. and then I became SAHM.

now let me tell you, the stress level was high. I was used to meeting people, working and thinking. and now I became SAHM. dealing with kids and their unreasonable behaviour. my problems were their refusal to eat and discipline problems. 180 degrees contrary to my usual problems. and then I thought my second one is big enough. I started to wean her slowly. we started to make vacation plan. but then suddenly I found out that i'm pregnant again. thankfully all the vacation plan still can go as planned, but with adjustment on the schedule. but I can't attend my little sis's ROM. the weaning process had to be accelerated. plus our renovation schedule had to be rush.

so let me tell you, I know infertility is bothersome for some people. especially in Asian culture. those who can't have kids are thought as being cursed. but us, the fertile one are cursed too. people often blame the women for being careless. not careful to check their cycle so they can get pregnant again and again. and then the procedure to get the permanent birth control is not that easy. i'm lucky my doc give me an okay when I told him that I want to get permanent birth control after giving birth to my third one, even though i'm only 31. I have heard one of other moms in my son's school that her request of being sterilized is denied by her doc since she only had 3 boys! and she delivered them all by caesarean procedure! which I think 3 is the maximum procedure allowed in a woman. plus she's older than me! now I think that's a problem. it should be our decision! why the doc has the saying in this? oh well.. Indonesian...

and life itself. being too fertile sometimes mean you have to put a hold in your life. you can't go anywhere in the world when you have a baby and two toddlers. it will be crazy trying to put them on long haul flight. plus it won't be fair for other passengers too. and then finding caregiver nowadays is very difficult, finding a caring and responsible caregiver is even more difficult. with all the child abuse cases all over the news, you might be worried leaving your kids in the caregiver's hand. but if you don't work, then you won't have enough money for your kids.

and then the mental state of everyone in the family. more kids equal more troubles. the mom can be depressed by having to stay with the kids all day long. the dad can be depressed from the workload and then coming home a riot house. the kids can be depressed too, facing an angry mom and a rage dad. so let me tell you, being too fertile is a curse too.

now about the pregnancy problem. every time people heard about my pregnancy they will say that i'm blessed. well, I do think that i'm blessed but that doesn't make it right for them to judge that it's okay for us to have more kids. especially since I don't have any record of troublesome pregnancy. I rarely get nauseous in the first trimester. even on my first and third one, I don't get nauseous. I do get low appetite on every pregnancies and different tendency in cuisine liking. I am blessed for being able to gain not too much but the baby's weight is normal. I gained 10kg on my first (I ate like crazy on my first one but only managed to gain 1 kg each month), 8 kg on my second, and this time 8 kg on my third. some think that I can easily back to my pre-pregnancy weight in no time since I don't gain much. but they're wrong. I can only back to my pre-pregnancy weight around a year after giving birth on my second one, and still carry 3 kg on my first one.

both my first and second one were delivered vaginally, and I didn't experience great pain like other people. we got to the hospital at midnight and I was dilated 4 cm and at 5.25 am my first son was born. pretty quick for first-born. the second one we arrived 11.30 pm and my baby was born an hour later. both didn't have any difficulties, and I didn't suffer bleeding afterwards. that's why many people said i'm blessed for not having troubles in pregnancy. that I can keep active during my pregnancy, working and exercising and even going on vacation. that I don't have to bedridden during my pregnancy. but then don't judge me to keep on getting pregnant since I always have easy pregnancy! raising 2 kids are challenging and let me say, it's hard for a used-to-be working mom. and now I have to face the possibility of raising 3 kids! talking about responsibility...

so let me tell you once again. being too fertile isn't that easy. we suffered from it too. we struggled a lot. so please don't judge us. the too fertile couple. and we won't judge you, the infertile couple, the trouble-in-pregnancy mom, the problem-in-delivery mom. although I never experience it, i'm sure it will impact your mental state. it will impact your husband and your family mental state. so let's stop saying "when will you have kids?" "why don't you adopt?" "why don't you have more kids?" "why do you keep getting pregnant?" let's just everyone deal with it in their own time. don't meddle. it's so stressful answering those questions.

Monday, August 29, 2016

melbourne trip

yep.. it's only 2-3 weeks after we got home from japan and we had to fly again, this time to melbourne. my little brother was graduated, so the whole family took the trip to melbourne. my family plus my mom and dad flew from surabaya, while both my sis flew from singapore. unfortunately, we had some misfortune during our departure, we trapped in traffic jam when we headed to airport, and then we were late. we still could go in, but our baggage couldn't. but we still could bring our cabin bag. fortunately.. since it had our warm clothes and a pair of new clothes, enough for one day. but the rest was in our baggage. so when we arrived at denpasar, my husband called gojek driver to buy baby formula and essentials since we might couldn't find it in melbourne. but he didn't have enough money to buy medicine too. so we had to choose, and we chose to find another medicine in melbourne.

anyway, we arrived safe and sound at melbourne on saturday morning, and the first thing on our agenda was to buy clothes. and groceries. and luggage. so we spent most of our first day shopping. thank God for target.. we were able to buy clothes with decent price. and my hubby was happy too, since he could find his favorite instant ramen in one of the asian supermarket. hahaha.. he was searching for it while in japan, but couldn't find it, so he was excited and bought all the stock in the supermarket. hahaaha..

day 2: it was sunday morning, and we were supposed to go to the church. but all of us were exhausted and overslept. so we were late. and then my dad decided we could skip church for this week and went to victoria market instead. we had snacks.. there were a lot choice to pick from. oh, let me tell you about the market first. it was separated into 4 parts, the first one was indoor, mainly for selling raw meats and seafood. it smelled fishy.. just like the ordinary market back in surabaya. the other indoor part was the food court. they had various food there. ah, there were high chair for kids, but only indoor. the other part was the outdoor, where the fruits and vegetables stands were, and stuff like knitting wears, jackets, bags, and souvenirs. the other part is the ground where most of the food trucks were. you can pick whatever snack you like. we tried their doughnuts, twisted chips, hotdogs, and fish and chips. perhaps we were starving, or not picky, and most of them were okay. even my kids like them.

day 3: it was raining lightly, but luckily today plan was going to scienceworks, so we didn't have to walk. we arrived quite close to the planetarium show, and unfortunately, since we couldn't find the toilet quicker, we didn't get to go inside. but then the rest of the family came out since my little one was afraid of the dark, so i couldn't tell anything about the planetarium show. but luckily, it was free. then we had lunch there. unfortunately, the meal options were limited to western only, mainly light snacks like sandwiches or sushi, so if you're asian, better you bring your own kids meal. luckily, i did. but both my kids had to sit on ordinary seat since there were no high-chair. quite disappointing though, considering it was an attractions mainly for kids. there were only one baby changing station on LG level and one baby room, for you to make baby formula or baby nap, or baby dining. i guessed the baby chair was there, but since both my kids ate together with the rest of the family, dining separately wasn't an option that time.
okay.. now move on to the exhibition. mostly, it was similar to science center, but more child-friendly. most of the display were at kids height so both my kids could turn the handle and watched what happened at the display. even at the sports exhibition, they had this running simulation, even my little one got excited with the race simulation. i think there were more exhibition upstairs, but we didn't go there since everyone felt enough walking around. so we headed back to our apartment to take a rest.
oh, i forgot to mention that there were two options of dining, indoor and outdoor. the outdoor one, you have to be careful since there were birds. they will look at your meal and hoping to peck if you leave it. and there was a small playground, enough to keep the children running around and burning some fuel while the rest of us took some rest after eating lunch.
and if you're curious, yes, it's stroller friendly, but everyone there seemed to bring their own strollers, so the traffic is quite busy inside. you had to be careful walking around, especially if your stroller is a tandem or quite bulky.

day 4: time to out of town and see some kangaroos!! this time we went to ballarat. it was 2 hours drive to ballarat, so when we reached the town, we headed to lunch first. unfortunately, my brother didn't plan exactly where we could eat, so we walked for some time to find the city center in windy day and got lost. so we browsed tripadvisor, and after failed twice (some of the dining places were closed on tuesdays!), we found a nice restaurant. it was small but cozy. it was owned by a couple (the husband served us in front and the wife cooked the meal, they have a daughter a year apart from my boy), and the food was amazing. although the portion was quite big for us. but it was normal, since we, asian, didn't eat that much compared to western.
after that, we headed to the wild life park. i was quite surprised that it was quite small. i was imagining big zoo.. the one that we often encountered in asian cities, but this one quite small. even smaller than pandaan safari. but it was stroller friendly. the first thing that you will notice was the kangaroos could walk freely inside. my boy was excited to pat the kangaroos, but my little one was afraid after her shoes being sniffed by one of the kangaroo. hahaha.. and we were lucky 2-3 koalas were awake at that time. my husband has been to australia couple times, and every time it was scheduled to see koala, the koalas were asleep. you can pay extra to experience koala feeding, but we thought it was overprice, so we just watched while the other visitor feed the koala. there was not many varieties of animals there, only kangaroo, koala, wallaby, storks, fox, eagle, and reptiles, and some of them were nocturnal, so they were in a closed cage. if you want to see them, you have to peek inside. i was pregnant and my husband didn't stand the smell, so when my boy asked to peek inside, he couldn't peek at some since it was higher than him.
there was only one kafe there, mainly snacks. no high chair. and the toilet was also disappointing. my husband said i wasn't rational when comparing it to japan, but i couldn't help it. the toilet was clean but indonesian-standard clean. and the cubicle was small. i couldn't bring the stroller in so i had to ask my husband to take turn to go to toilet. plus there wasn't any baby room so i had to wait until we were back to the car to change the diaper. again, disappointing considering the one that might interested in kangaroos and koalas are little children, who might still use diapers.

day 5: another city tour, this time to melbourne museum. but we didn't go to see the whole museum, only the jurassic world exhibition. the tickets were separated from the museum entrance, but if you bought the exhibition ticket, you can still go see the museum freely. now about the exhibition, it was animated and it was a great show for both my kids (they didn't know the movie..) but they were amazed by the moving dinosaurs. none of them were afraid of the exhibition. there were bits from the movie played through some small screens here and there, but since my kids didn't watch the movie, so they had no idea at all. unfortunately, the space in front of each animated figure was quite cramped so my boy couldn't take a pic in front of them. oh, and there was this scene with the loose t-rex, but somehow it wasn't scary at all. perhaps because it wasn't quite engaging. the background sound explaining the story was not clear, and my kids didn't understand english that much, so they just saw t-rex moving out and going back in after a few roars. hahaha..  even the scene where the indominous rex was out, it wasn't scary at all. somehow people didn't realize that it was supposed to be scary since it was in one room with the other dinosaurs with the gyro prototype. and though it was quite entertaining, it ended pretty quick. the indy one was the last animated exhibition. and then it was only a few displays and shop.
then we went to eat lunch at ying thai. it was thai food. the food was nice but the space was quite small. they provided high chair. definitely a must visit if you like thai food. and then nearby there was this gelato shop. my cousin recommended it, but somehow i didn't like it. it was nothing special about it. then we went to DFO. if you didn't know what DFO, it was an area like a shopping mall with lots of shops. mostly branded shops. it was huge, so better walk one way. although there was sales, but the price was still expensive, perhaps since it was branded. we only bought winter necessities. the good thing about shopping there is the refund policy. you can return the item as long as you still have the receipt and the tag is still on the item.

day 6: this will be our longest day trip ever in melbourne, since we were going to phillips island. it was 4 hours drive, but you didn't have to rush. we departed from the apartment around 9.30 am, and it was enough (keep in mind that we are a large group, consisted of 6 adults, 2 elders, and 2 toddlers, so it was quite impressive to leave at that time). my brother told me that we'd better had lunch before crossing to phillips island, so we got lunch at san remo, and it was wise. we just searched for it from tripadvisor, and it was worth it. sorry that i forgot the cafe name, but it was lovely. not too big, but not as cramped as ying thai. it had outdoor dining table, but it was windy. so we decided to keep warm inside. it had different menus, breakfast, lunch and probably dinner. again, the menu was limited to sandwich or similar like sandwich. they had kids menu, but my kids couldn't eat that. western menu. no pasta. and the portion was big enough. me and my husband shared a steak sandwich, and it was enough for both of us. it was delicious. my sis had a BLT and it was huge. her fiance had this taco, and he said it was delicious too. high chairs were available, and there were kids toys too. i had good time feeding my kids there. my toddler ate rice that i brought from the apartment and fried chicken that we bought along the road. while my baby had her usual oatmeal, and then she asked the bread of our sandwich. overall, it was satisfying.
then we crossed to phillips island. we had this ticket pass for 3 parks, the heritage farm, the koala park, and the penguin sightings. the first one, the heritage was basically a farm-alike. it was an office with park entrance at front and then a small cafe and toilets. no baby changing tables available, so it was irritating to change diapers there. then you could walk towards green pastures. it was huge. kids love running around. and then you could see sheep, horses and cows. you could pet them if they were near the fence. and there were several shows, the earlier one started around 2 pm, so it was enough time to run around before watching the show. the first one was cow milking. children got to milk the cow along with a parent after watching the demo. and right after the cow milking, it was a sheep shearing demo and dogs show. but we didn't stay around until the dog show. the smell of the farm was irritating my mom and husband, and my kid was bored, so we decided to move one to the koala park. you could bring your stroller, but having the kids running around was better, and it wasn't a long distance, so if your kid can walk, let them walk.
the koala park was quite boring too. it was plain. again, office and entrance in front with a small cafe, only serving hot beverages, ice cream, and croissant-like stuff. no hot food whatsoever. and it was only around 5-6 tables, very small. toilet didn't have kids changing table. now, i suggest you bring the stroller, but if your kids had lots of energy, then let them walk. you could bring your stroller inside. there were 3 walks inside the park. the first two was quite short, and there were few koalas in each walk. but all the koalas were way up high on the tree, so my little one couldn't see it clearly since she didn't know what to look at. but my boy was happy trying to find the sleeping koalas. there were other animals, local to australia, but we didn't know the name so just happy seeing our boy happy watching the animals there. but really, nothing more than walking around the park with koalas sightings. if it was raining, perhaps you might want to skip this. unless you brought umbrella. it was open park without any seats to rest except for the cafe.
the last one was penguin sightings. it was the big end of everything. the other park was closed at 5 pm, and the penguin sightings was started at 6. so you will have enough time to eat early dinner, or have hot drink, and took some rest. i fed both my kids because my brother said it would be very windy and they always had early dinner, but they were fussy. perhaps they were exhausted, but at least they managed to eat something. the toilets were big, but crowded. luckily, here there was kids changing room, but i didn't try it since we decided to change the kids in the car. my boy was excited to see the penguin, but it was very windy considering it was on the beach. and the penguins were small. and you had to wait for a while before the penguins were back from the sea. now, let me give you some tips. bring lots of blankets, or foil to encounter the wind if you're willing to sit and wait for the penguin on the deck. but, there were penguin houses on the side of the road to the beach. and you could wait there while the penguin walked toward their house from the beach. my boy wanted to pee after he saw the penguin, but he managed to stop to peek at the penguin while they were walking to their houses. a warning though, you CANNOT take any picture since the penguin would be afraid of the flash or the sound of your camera. and there was an officer that walking around, making sure that you didn't take picture with your camera or cellphone. oh, and about the cafe, though the food was warm and had variable options, it didn't have any high chair. really. i was pretty annoyed with this. it was a tourist spots! why couldn't they provided proper toilet with baby changing table and high chairs? do they expect us to feed our kids on our stroller? while the space wasn't enough for stroller go between the tables. ah well.. definitely don't go there if you couldn't stand the harsh and cold wind, or you brought tiny baby with you. my little one didn't understand so my husband brought her back inside after a while. and that's the end of our long day. kids were asleep in the car on the way back. and some of us stopped by at the rest area to get another hot meal.

day 6: since we had nothing to do and the weather was nice, so we decided to go shopping. i was planning to get some baby clothes so we headed back to target. and then we headed to daiso, but since we brought stroller, we couldn't ride the escalator because it was too narrow. so my brother asked the staff there about the elevator. unfortunately, since it was hidden quite well, we had to tell them if we wanted to use the elevator. quite bothersome. and then since my mom was worried about my kids, we had lunch nearby at some ramen restaurant. it was okay, but the broth soup was too thick and too salty for my taste. but both kids could eat well, so i had no complaint. and being a japanese restaurant, it was a kid-friendly. they had high chair and even kids eating utensils, the one that similar with the one in japan. and my boy remembered that. and he was excited getting his own bowl and spoon and glass. hahaha.. and then, we headed back to the apartment to rest. in the evening, it was nice so we decided to take a walk around flinders station. it was a nice walk.. the kids get fresh air and chance to walk around. after getting a late snack, we went back to the apartment to rest.

day 7: this was my brother graduation day! my parents and my sister went to the campus to attend the ceremony. but we didn't have to arrive that early. we decided to stroll around the campus area first and get lunch before headed to the university. we walked at some park, and the kids were having fun chasing the birds. then we had lunch at don-don. it was a small japanese restaurant. fast-food type since there weren't a lot of menu, and the seating table was quite small. each table was set for two. even they had high table set just like pub. considering it was in university area, it was no wonder that the price was very reasonable. but luckily, the taste was good. okay, since it was supposed to be college-student dining, obviously it was not for family. narrow seating arrangement, fortunately we arrived very early so it wasn't crowded that we could keep my little one in her stroller to eat. no high-chair. toilet available but no kids changing table of course. but other than that, it was quite satisfying.
we didn't do much that day since the next day was sunday, and we had to go to church. hahaha.. no more skipping.

day 8: we managed to go to church and luckily i was well prepared. kids could eat in the sunday school, so i was quite happy that i brought their lunch with me. and then we all went to chinese restaurant nearby. once more, i'm sorry that i couldn't remember the restaurant name, but it was across the victoria market. their famous dish was their salted egg yolk chicken. but their duck plum was delicious too. we had a very satisfying meal and then we headed back to victoria market to buy souvenirs. after that we went back to apartment.

day 9: we went to brighton beach since we decided to skip mount buller. turned out my belly was too big to handle long trip, so we decided to skip it. the rest of the family wasn't interested in going if it isn't a full team, so i guess we keep something else for next trip, eh? talking about brighton beach.. i suddenly realized that it was the first time my daughter went to beach. no wonder she was excited running around. my boy was always fond of beach, so even though it was windy and cold, he was very happy. we took lots of picture in front of the colorful houses there. and then we had lunch at some cafe. it was really crowded. and most of the menu was cafe menu. i ordered a steak sandwich and my husband a steak, it was listed as special menu, but on tripadvisor, i found out that their special menu wasn't special. it was there quite some time. they had baby chair, and kids menu, but i completely forgot what my boy ate that time. after that we went to chadstone. one word about it: HUGEEEE.. it was a very huge shopping mall complex. from branded brand to target, it had them all. and we decided to shop at toys r us. it was huge just like the one in japan. but here we didn't rush so my boy had time looking around and bought some toy. then we bought some takeout dinner at thai restaurant. it was good too. in fact, i like their pineapple fried rice better than ying thai's.

and that's the end of our trip. the next day we spent it for packing and moved to airport hotel since we had to leave very early. we had lunch and dinner nearby the airport and at the airport. and on our departure date, i was quite pissed. usually, we could bring water bottle and hot water to make formula for kids, but my husband got delayed and had to throw them out. he has explained that he brought that for my kids, but since we were separated, perhaps it wasn't enough. and i was pissed that i had to bought the hot water at the cafe. we had to buy breakfast and hot water before the flight. luckily, it was just enough time before the boarding time. really.. this trip has annoyed me. i thought melbourne was supposed to be kids friendly, but most of the public area didn't have toilet with kids chair or even baby changing table. even the tram station was outrageous. it was in the middle of the road without any border. my boy was very active, so it was quite hard to have him stand still while waiting for the tram. and i had to be cautious getting on and off the tram since once i caught him wanted to touch the tram just seconds before it departed. talking about heart arrest... really. and then the homeless around flinders station. on friday nights, some of them were drunk and i was worried that they might get upset since my boy was quite loud himself. anyway, comparing to my japan and melbourne trip, i could answer quickly that i prefer japan if i were about to bring my kids. it was waaayyyy more comfortable there except for the difficulty in finding baby food and chocolate milk.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

japan trip

i've been neglected this blog, mostly because i don't have anything to write about. my life is pretty boring right now. i don't work anymore, and mostly i spend my time with my kids with all their naughtiness. even my husband can get bored with that sometimes. and now, even before i could shop new clothes and wear my old high heels, i'm already pregnant with kid no 3, and it's even faster.. i've just known it halfway. how stupid of me. i guess me and contraception pills are not meant to be. okay.. let's fast forward and skip this pregnancy news. anyway, before i found out that i'm pregnant, we're already planning to go to melbourne on my brother's graduation day and on idul fitri. both overseas. i'm excited for both trip, but i'm more excited to go to japan. i've heard that it's a good place for shopping. okay, so long story short, i want to make this trip efficiently, and i planned this trip carefully, along with a long shopping list. hahaha..  oh, and i went to japan with my husband and both our kids, with me 6 months pregnant. actually my in-laws went together with us, but we rarely went out together, so basically other than sleeping at the same hotel, we got nothing to do with them. it's just me and my husband mostly.

day 1: we arrived late night at haneda airport so i let the kids overslept for awhile. and after having breakfast, we strolled around at the airport. i'm quite surprise. haneda airport was nice. it has shops and restaurants, and overview decks. kids loved it. they could see the airplanes from the decks. and for you nursing mother, it's easy to find nursing room there. even if you gave your kids formula, you could get hot water for your kids in the nursing room. and there were strollers at the airport, so since we only brought one with us, it was a breeze since my first one was tired from long flight. there were small shops of donki and haruhinkan, so i was excited even before going to midtown tokyo. hahaha..
after moving to our shiodome hotel, we took a rest and then head to ginza. we were supposed to eat at tonkatsu wako, but we were wrong, and head to upper level instead. we didn't know that tonkatsu were at basement floor, where other cheaper restaurants were. the upper level was for high-end restaurants. oh well, i forgot the name of the restaurant, but fortunately they had high-chair for baby, and there was kids menu as well. the adult menu was so-so, kinda overprice for me for that taste. it was ordinary pork katsu with several side dishes. next time we will double google-checked everything.
after that, we head to haruhinkan toy store. beware if you had kids, you'd better set the boundaries before stepping in the store since it was 7 stories toys, ranging from gundam, cards, stuffed animals and much more. i told my boy that he could only buy one toy, and he decided to buy a transformer robot, the one that can change from car to robot. i also got my daughter a stuffed animals that can move and make sound. even if you're adult, you will be happy in that store. oh, and they had duty-free option too, so don't forget to bring your passport.
next we headed to don quijote shops. since it was already late, we just bought several stuff, and i still couldn't check everything on my list, so i was hoping we could go back there. luckily, the donki was near our hotel, so definitely will go back there if we had the chance.
haneda airport
wishes tree at the airport
my boy with his toy at hakuhinkan toy store

day 2: we decided to go to tokyo skytree. thank God the weather was nice so we could see the view clearly. there were two options, go to the ordinary observation deck or go higher. we didn't go higher. there were a lot of people, and we couldn't take any proper photo there. my firstborn was grumpy all the time because he wanted to play with his robot, but we didn't assembly it the other night, so he was hoping to get back to hotel as quickly as possible. there were also glass floor where you could see the view down below, but the one in shanghai tower was bigger and more terrifying. the one in tokyo skytree was small. after that we had lunch at the skytree mall. there was a food court there, high chair available. plus surprisingly, they had ippudo express. hahaha.. we accidentally tried ippudo for the first time. and then since it was too early to go back to the hotel, we decided to stop by the uniqlo at ginza to shop. actually we were supposed to do that the night before, but it was already late so we skipped the clothes shopping. then we were back at the hotel to take some rest. it was raining in the afternoon so we decided to stroll around near the hotel. my firstborn decided to stay back at the hotel to play with his robot, luckily my in laws also decided to rest at the hotel, so we left him with my in laws. we went back to don quijote again, and this time, we had longer time to shop, so mostly items in my shopping list were checked. seriously, if you saw something interesting, you have to buy it straight-away since you might not find it again. each stores had different stocks, so just buy it instantly!
failed attempt to take pic there since my boy was grumpy and he kept grabbing the phone
tokyo view from the skydeck

day 3: it was cloudy and windy, but not raining so it was a perfect to stroll around to akihabara. but we arrived early there. most of the stores haven't opened yet, so we headed to nearby donut stores and had snacks first. i forgot the store's name but the donut was okay.. it was fluffy and soft, and warm.. perfect for windy weather. hubby then headed to his favorite store to buy his wish list. actually there were a few dining options there including the famous gundam cafe and maid cafe, but we opted something nearby, McD.. hahaha..
after buying things that we need, we headed back to hotel to rest. in the afternoon, it was still raining, but only light shower, so we still headed to odaiba. originally, we planned to eat dinner at aqua city mall, then walked to gundam statue and headed to daikanrasha. and if we still had time, we would head back to aqua city to stroll around at baby r us/toys r us. but, since we took a while to figure out where to eat (the mall's website was confusing.. they listed the name of the restaurants even if they haven't opened yet) so we decided to cancelled the other plan and just strolled at aqua city. plus it was still raining outside, and my son didn't want ride the daikanrasha, so it was a good backup plan. if the weather was nicer, i will take a stroll to gundam statue and daikanrasha, even when we didn't ride it. anyway, if you want to spend your entire day at odaiba, that's also do-able.my in laws spent their entire day there. they took pictures at aqua city, then headed to venus fort and toyota mega web, and they had great time there. so obviously a must visit.
akihabara
odaiba illumination in front of aqua city mall
liberty statue imitation


day 4: this is our last day at shiodome area so actually i had high hope that we could go to shinjuku or shibuya. but turned out we couldn't. in the morning we headed to asakusa as planned to visit sensoji temple. and then had early lunch at ichiran ramen. if you had kids or brought kids with you and wanted to try ichiran, try the asakusa branch. they had table with chairs and high-chairs. not the private booth like the other branch. and for you who live abroad and wanted to brag about ichiran, they also provided instant ramen there. yes, we bought some for ourselves and for souvenirs too, but we haven't tried it yet, so i didn't know if it had the same taste.
and my daughter decided to have her teeth grow that day. so the night before she had fever and that day she was a little bit crankier than usual, so we decided to just eat dinner outside and went back to hotel to get early rest. there goes my shibuya/harajuku trip... now i wish we could go back to japan to visit the other area that we didn't get to visit.
sensoji temple
street market on the way to the temple

day 5: we spent the entire morning packing to move to disneyland resorts, so we just ate and strolled around the hotel. and then after we moved to the new hotel, we went straight to disneyland to start enjoying the park. we had the 3 days pass, so the first day we went to disneyland, the second day we went to disneysea and planned to go back to disneyland before going home. actually, the park opened at 9, but the parade and most of the shows were in the afternoon, so it was a perfect time to hit the park. we watched all the parade and just rode jungle life boat, mark twain boat, small small world and goofy paint house. my son didn't quite like rides, although my daughter was eager to try but she was still couldn't sit still, so she couldn't ride many rides. plus i was pregnant, so i couldn't accompany her, and my husband couldn't take two kids at once. so we decided to just enjoy walking around and watched the parade. another reason to wish that we could go back there.. with our little one that hasn't been born yet. oh, and made sure that you stayed late until the firework parade. actually, for me the best parade was the one with all the lights.. it was spectacular. though my hubby said the fireworks was great, but turned out it wasn't that great. hubby said it was supposed to be fireworks on both sides, but that night only the right side of the castle that had fireworks. i didn't know what happened.. oh well, it was a day well spent.. luckily it was sunny...
happiest place on earth.. disneyland!
pic from the parade

day 6: it was sunny as well, but we were going to take it slow since hubby had to accompany his brother back to akihabara. we only watched the first parade. let me warn you though.. you have to wear raincoat to enjoy the parade since they will splash you with water. lots of it. funny though, people there seems didn't mind. they enjoyed being splashed with water, even they danced and sang along. quite funny. while us.. only few clothes left, decided to stay safe and stay away from the water. the song was quite addictive though... it was exciting and entertaining to watch people sang along during the parade. we had early lunch and then strolled around for a bit before headed back to the hotel to get some rest. in the afternoon, we headed to ikspiari mall first to eat dinner. actually there was ippudo, but we thought we shouldn't waste our time to wait in the line, so we decided to eat at the food court. again, the food court was kids friendly, high chair available too. however, if you brought your stroller, the corridor in front of the stall was a bit narrow, so i decided to sit at the table while my husband ordered food for us. the ramen at the food court was okay, the grill meat was okay too. not bad for a food court.. after all, who wouldn't like a warm meal? after that we headed back to disneysea and watched the diner table show and then a parade after that. the parade was okay, but unfortunately, since the schedule between both shows were so close, we didn't get better spot to watch the parade, so we couldn't see some of it. anyway, if you had small kids, perhaps disneyland is better for them. most of the rides in disneysea were quite fast and had height restriction. ah well, the more reasons to get back there, right?
disneysea!
disneysea at night

day 7: after two sunny days in a row, our last day got poured with rain all day long. we had our last breakfast at the hotel and then headed to ikspiari since we couldn't play in the playground due to the rain. we had early lunch at ippudo. we were lucky, the line was short, and they allowed kids too. they even provided high chair, but if you opted to bring your stroller, you could do it too, but only for compact strollers since the aisles were narrow. hubby prefer ippudo better than ichiran. another good news was they sold instant ippudo ramen too. unfortunately, when hubby tried to cook it, he just threw everything in and then turned out it was weird. he didn't like the seaweed paste. okay.. let's get back to our last day.. ah, i forgot to tell you that we found out that there's BAKE outlet at ikspiari. the night before the line was crazy, but that day after eating at ippudo, the line wasn't, so hubby told me to get in the line and bought some. and turned out it was ddeeeellliiiiciiioouuuss.. hahaha.. the cheese cream was light and fluffy, it's not too cheesy, not too sweet either. oh well, we have tried it even before my sisters who live in singapore. hahaha..
and then we thought the rain was going to stop so we headed back to disneyland, but turned out the rain was still pouring, but we had nothing else to do, so we bought raincoats and umbrella since we've packed ours at the hotel. disneyland was still crowded that day even though it was raining all day. even the parade was still going on. actually, that day, there was a new show, but since we weren't planning to watch it, we only got to see it from behind. it was a great show actually, but somehow it was similar to one in disneysea, the one with all the water splashes everywhere. too bad though it was raining, otherwise it will be great on sunny day. and then it was still raining hard and my son was whining to get back to the hotel, so we decided to get back to hotel and just rest there before heading to airport. and that was the end of our holiday in japan...

again, japan is a great destination even if you bring your kids along.. this time we decided to just visit tokyo, but usually the tour destination is tokyo-kyoto-osaka. just plan your trip according to your condition. anyway, if you bring your kids along, i've read that diapers are quite hard to find. the biggest place to get it is toys r us. but some said the price are higher. i don't know since we decided to bring enough diapers along. also if your kids are formula-feed, better bring more since the formula there is very different. baby food is also different. even the fresh milk there only have plain and strawberry version. both my kids like chocolate so it was devastating to find chocolate milk there. *sigh* fortunately we managed to distract them with snacks and other food like bread and hotdog. other than that, japan is a very friendly place to visit with your kids. oh, and another thing, if you're planning to go around using the subway, check the elevator, since usually not all exits have elevator. especially the one in asakusa. if you're heading to sensoji temple, they will direct you to go to A3 exit, but the one that has elevator is A2 exit. it was quite a distance to walk, but you have to consider, carrying your stroller with kids climbing those tiring ladders or walking the extra miles but with your kids inside their stroller.

so, with high hope that we could go back there.. i wish you all happy holiday and have fun wherever you go..

Friday, September 4, 2015

my second battle on breastfeeding

i was thinking about writing about breastfeeding topics for some time now.. but i always hesitate about it. moreover, few weeks ago is breastfeeding weeks. many people talk about it, argue about it, even have different opinion about it. oh, and i must say this post not only on breastfeeding, but also on every aspect, working mom, stay at home mom, breastfeeding mom and formula feeding mom. i can say about it all since i've been through them all.

let's start about the working mom. i have no plan about having kid when i'm married, so when i found out that i was pregnant, i panicked. i didn't like the idea of staying at home alone with the baby. but i couldn't find any helper at that moment, and i had to go back to school for my graduate school. if i wasn't at school, i had to be an intern for the rest of the week. well, i was working most of the time from my son was born until he's about 2 years old. it was hard. 6 months i had to take care of him alone with the help of my mom and my husband's aunt since i had to go to school. and when i'm home it's me and him mostly since my husband was at work. after my son is sleeping, i had to wake up again and finish my task or study. i had to admit, it was hard. time is essence. i had to be healthy since i had to work and take care of my baby. and i had to have good focus. if i was at school or at my internship place, i had to focus on my study or job. and if i was home, i had to concentrate fully in taking care of my son. dividing the time is even harder. i had to plan everything meticulously. so for those working moms out there, i knew your struggle. you want to do best for yourself and for your baby. you want to be more than just a mom, and you want your baby to see it. it's okay.. as long as you can divide the time and focus so it won't affect each other. and please.. don't judge the SAHM as a lazy person. a non achieving person.

and then with my second kid, i decided to be stay at home mom. i have finished my study and i only had another month to finish my working contract. but mostly i'm at home. i found out that having two kids, i can't divide my time and focus anymore. plus i found out that my 2 yo son needs more attention for me now since he's having a little sister. i don't want him to feel abandoned, it was work before and now it's his sister. so i decided to stay at home now. well, as i said before, i'm no stay-at-home mom material. i want to work.. i need to work.. meet people, get my adrenaline pumped. but it's my decision. so i have to face it. for me, when i'm a working mom, it's physically tiring. but as stay at home mom, it's more emotionally tiring. i have to face two kids 24 hours. though i still have my previous helper for my 2 yo, but 2:2 is not a good ratio, not if you're having a very active toddler and a house that can't be kidproof. the baby needs my attention, i had to breastfeed her every two hours. and my son needs my attention. and then he might attempt me.. acting out and stuff, and there's discipline issues. i had to set certain standard so he might follow it. with the helper, mostly the helper will give in just so she can get everything's done. she won't care if the kid isn't independent. in fact, she will be happy if the kid is cling to her. but that's not what we want. we want our kid to be independent so when he grows up, he can face the outrageous world out there. so mostly emotional. i had to make a 2 yo kid to understand certain guideline. about politeness. about independency. about sharing. about everything. so it's stressful. and not forget about their basic care too. i can't cook.. so i have to give credit for moms who cook. cleaning the house, cooking everyday and taking care of kids is HARDWORK. i only taking care for the kid with the helper. baking sometimes. but not cleaning and cooking. and it's hard for me. so for those stay at home moms, you are amazing. you can do that most women can't do. you're selfless. you put your family as priority number one. and though people see you as useless in community, let me tell you, you are the foundation setter in the family, the smallest community in life. so it's not easy. in fact, you're the one that keep your family in balance. you are AMAZING. don't let anyone tell you otherwise. and don't feel under pressure when you see a working mom.

so.. either working mom or stay at home mom have their own battle. please be considerate to each other.

now let's move on to more sensitive topic, breastfeeding mom vs formula feeding mom.
i know lately there's a huge movement in promoting breastfeeding. i think it's good and every women should know and understand that they are capable of breastfeeding, no matter size and shape of your breast. but i also know that each one has their own battle, so please respect each other. i can say that because i've been both.

with my first kid, i was planning to give exclusive breastfeeding. but i was more into painless labour that i forgot to read and find out about breastfeeding. i think it will come naturally. every woman should breastfeed. and i think i can too. but fact was, my breastmilk didn't come out, not until the third day i guess. well, on second day a little came out, but it wasn't enough. my baby's already jaundice and had gone under the uv light. and then he had to take antibiotic since my water was green. okay.. long story short, i had to work my ass to figure out how to massage my engorged breast, and no baby at my side since we left him at the hospital. and no breast pump and i didn't know how to hand massage. let me tell you, engorge is pain. so i had to read a lot. and when i got my baby back at my side, i became reckless again. i didn't pump as many as i could, as often as i could. and i went on vacation without him and ended regretting it. i had to pump every 2 hours, in weird places (inside cars, on the plane, at the airport), and we had to pack it through all the way. figuring out if each airport allowed breastmilk to be carried onboard. well, it was hell. so for breastfeeding mom, don't ever ever.. go without your baby. okay.. back to me. since i was reckless and not diligent enough to pump, the result is i got little milk saved up. and those savings went puff.. very fast. everyday my baby had 2 bags of my milk and 2 bottle of formula since i couldn't fulfill his daily need. and i couldn't pump at the same time, and i was stressed with school and internship and it affected my production badly. i found out that food had nothing to do with my milk supply. the only thing that affect my milk supply is my milk condition. so, before going on, me and my husband already agreed that i will breastfeed him only until he's one. apparently, at the same time, i had to go abroad again for school duty. so i think it's an opportunity to wean him. it was insane. but we had to. and it's heartbreaking watching him cry for milk for 3 days and he refused his bottle. he skipped his midnight milk and then he didn't want to drink his bottle before sleep too. so his milk intake was decreasing rapidly. later he only wanted his milk together with biscuit, eaten, not drunk. so until now, he didn't like milk that much. and he's skinny. my mom blamed my breastmilk for being thin.. watery.. not enough nutrition that he became that skinny.
so, did i regret to give him formula? yes. i thought i could give him full breastmilk if i knew things about breastfeeding more back then. but did i regret me choosing give him formula back then? no, it was our decision. me and my husband. we decided to give him the best i could, the breastmilk. and the formula was just supplementing. so i didn't regret that much. i just regretted i didn't search about breastfeeding more before giving birth. so for formula feeding mom, if you had problems with your breastmilk or your surrounding (yes, it's very important. with my first son, i didn't have supporting surrounding, so i kinda accepted that i couldn't give him exclusive breastmilk) and you had no choice other than give your kid formula, then do it. don't regret it. you do your best and formula is best for your kid at that time. don't feel terrible since you can't breastfeeding. bonding with your kid doesn't mean it has to be during breastfeeding time. giving your kid formula also give you time to bond. but if you give your kid formula since you're lazy or don't want to breastfeed, then read again. ask around. ask yourself, don't you want to give the best for your kid?

with my second kid, i knew better. i searched and read everything about breastfeeding. i told my husband i wanted to give this one full breastmilk. no formula whatsoever. i asked him to support me, remind me when i wanted to give up, cheer for me when i'm down. and he agreed. like before, i didn't have supporting surrounding. my mom kept telling me that i don't have enough breastmilk, that the quality is poor so i'm starving my kid. moreover, we were sent home only after a day, and for the next two days there were no sunlight so i couldn't give her proper sunbath. the result is predicted, she was jaundice and slightly feverish and had to sent back to hospital. then the guilt came. what did i do wrong? with my first son, i accepted that i couldn't do it. but with my daughter, i had a friend. she supported my, lent me a book about breastfeeding and even gave me a glass bottle to relieve the engorgement before pumping. and when my daughter sent back to hospital, she said it's okay to give her formula for awhile, since there's a jaundice that can be helped with formula. and since i haven't started pumping at that time, there's a shortage for sure. so we filled it with formula. but i pumped as fast as i could, as often as i could and sent it to hospital. if she was awake, i would breastfeed her directly. this time i won't give up. and when she was okay to bring back home, she gulped 60 cc of milk. while i only pumped 30 cc per pumping session. so i had to catch up. i read about power pumping and found out that it worked for me. i drank a lot of fluid, ate a lot of vegetables, even daun katuk, oatmeal cookies but nothing helped. i even drank supplement to boost breastmilk production but it didn't give satisfying result. so i did power pumping at midnight for almost a week and then my milk production started to increase. at this time, we're still supplementing her with formula, once a day. but when she was two weeks old, i ditched the formula and already gave her full breastmilk. i even had some reserved in the fridge. since i had to go back to work, i wanted to save as much as i could, as early as i could.

i felt victorious.. two months and no formula. i had supply at home too. but there's another problem. she refused her bottle only a week before i'm starting working again. oh crap. my mom blamed me again for not giving her bottle regularly. but i read everywhere, there are kids who refused bottle even though they've been introduced to bottle before. so i had to find another way. for almost a month we struggled. i tried spoon feeding and syringe feeding. the syringe feeding gave her the milk faster but she would cry her heart out. my helper didn't want to give her via glass since she had confidence that she wasn't mature enough. she couldn't hold her head well at that time. but when i had to give her milk, i trained her using cup. when she was 4 and a half month, she could drink with spout cup, the hard one. somehow she liked hard stuff. she dislike her teething toy and chewed her hard rattles instead. *sigh*

so, with formula feeding, i had to face judgement. i breastfed him openly so people often asked why i couldn't pump as much? i didn't know what to say at that time since i didn't read much. but now i knew better. i also felt guilty every time people asked me that. and every time they commented my breastmilk quality, i always felt inferior. and then i had to wean him quicker than the recommendation. and the questions came again. but this time i can answer since it's our decision, me and my husband. i want to breastfeed him, but i feel only comfortable doing it for a year. and i don't regret it. with fully breastfeeding, i faced another judgement. since i decided to stay at home due this breastfeeding problem and another problem which i can't say here, many people thought that i chose to stay at home because of breastfeeding. well, it's not true. there's a lot of working mom that fully breastfeed her baby. but it's my decision. i chose to stay at home. and many people also judged that it limited my time allocation. i couldn't go to seminars, get massage and stuff, but it's my choice. although i can leave her for an hour or two, but i chose not to.

so both decision faced judgement. i think people here love to judge everyone else. so why bother. i just didn't listen to them. the important thing is my husband and i are agreed to let me fully breastfeed my baby and stay at home. as for the second battle, i had to face lack of sleep and also time management between pumping and breastfeeding and playing with my son. and it's not easy. i felt like zombie the first month and then i became insomnia since i had to pump at midnight (my baby skipped her midnight meal since a month old). i believe breastfeeding is best for my baby and me, that's why i fight for it. soooo for breastfeeding moms.. you can do it! make sure you have agreement with your husband, he's your 100% supporter who always be around you. it's better to make your mom and mom in law understand too. but if you can't, or if they're not living with you, then don't take everything they say if they accuse you. i know, hormonal might play with your ratio, but be strong! i'm also easily break into tears each time they accuse me of making my baby hungry, but my husband always assures me that my breastmilk is the best for her. and if you can, find other support. from your fellow breastfeeding friend.. from a breastfeeding community.. from a breastfeeding counselor.. just find a support. you can fight this fight alone.. trust me..

for information: if you're living in surabaya, you can come and contact aimi asi jatim (they have twitter and email and contact number i believe, just google it) or you can go to RSIA kendangsari (there's a pediatrician/lactation consultant there). and don't forget #menyusuidengankeraskepala.

anyway... the big point is, you are the BEST mom for your children, no matter what type you are. working mom or stay at home mom, breastfeeding mom or formula feeding mom.. you are the BEST.