#AydenAdventures – MEL ICN SIN – Flights

First and foremost, to the mummies or daddies who have travelled with your toddlers on long haul flights by yourselves.

Come I clap for you!πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ*salutes*

This post is just going to touch on the most struggles I have traveling with Ayden which are mainly the flights. Everything else was manageable!  

Since the hubs couldn’t take leave, I thought it would be a great adventure for Ayden and I to go back to Singapore and visit the fambam! I was looking at flight tickets and the cheapest direct flights was $1300 for Ayden and I. Maybe it was due to the Easter Holidays. Then, an idea struck maybe I can have a stopover in Seoul shop and see the cherry blossoms (since the husband is not a big fan!), well when else can I go to Seoul right? To my surprise, it only costed us $1100 from MEL – SIN(transit) – ICN – SIN – MEL on Singapore Airlines. I thought it was a great deal! So we booked it right away!

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Weeks leading up to the travel date, I’ve become super nervous. I kept googling and pinteresting how parents deal with a toddler on long haul flights. Then I found out about a Quiet Book from a fellow mummy in my FB group. And I tried searching for it and realised how expensive it was. But I took it to the last minute, i cant even make it myself as we were running out of time and me working full time didn’t help either. So i went into Kidstuff at Westfield and ask if they sells them. Lucky me (i guess!) they have the last one in stock. My heart sank as the cashier kept my shiny $50 note into the register. πŸ’ΈπŸ’ΈπŸ’Έ

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None of the major stores like Toys R Us, Target or KMart sells them! Booo. And i strongly urge mums to put together a Quiet book if you have time. There are even mother groups that creates quiet book together.

I found a great no sew Quiet book if any mums are interested! Well, in all honesty do we even have time to sew?
http://www.andnextcomesl.com/p/the-3-day-no-sew-quiet-book.html

Spoke to a handful of mums from various groups, many packed a whole cabin bag of toys and whatnots and snacks for their lil tots. But traveling on my own, I don’t even have the capacity to carry so many bags on top of this “heavy” and active toddler of mine! 

Instead, I packed his Toddler Pack with heaps of snacks (yes Ayden is a big eater. If you have food, he’ll be right behind you!), a couple of play dough packs, an unused wallet with heaps of cards and zips, The Quiet Book, several sticker sheets and his favourite Peek A Boo book.”Boy that will suffice won’t it”, how wrong I was! You’ll read about it soon hehe

The Melissa And Doug book was given by a friend while we were in Singapore and it was super awesome! Ayden spends heaps of time on it on the flight back! You can find the whole range at Officeworks!

This Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow Book allows you to colour by painting with water. It features 4 reusable pages and a refillable water pen so you can continue drawing over and over again. 

https://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/officeworks/p/melissa-doug-on-the-go-water-wow-book-vehicles-mbmnd5375

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Additionally, Instead of bringing our BabyJogger, I bought a $20 Kmart stroller for the trip. I can’t risk them destroying my favourite stroller 😣! This umbrella stroller is super easy to fold and very light indeed. My mistake was not using this stroller all the way to the gate and instead I checked it in with our luggage. It could have saved me the energy of carrying Ayden all the way to the gate! As the day arrived,  my packed Herschel backpack was filled with milk powder, bottles. wet wipes,  diapers essentials, sweater, extra clothes and Ayden’s toddler pack and off we go to the airport!

As we got to the airport, we were given an aisle seat and we have a seat blocked for Ayden as all bassinet seats were taken. Yay! Although I must admit we knew this before hand as a kind soul Mama from our SG Mothers a Group pulled strings for us to get  extra seats where bassinet is unavailable. I thought i was being the smart mama and booked the evening flight to coincide with Ayden’s bedtime! Oh no no no! As we sat buckled in our seats praying that the third seat will be vacant, I looked around and prayed so hard that Ayden will be on his best behaviour. As the door shuts, I squealed knowing that we had the whole 2nd last row to ourselves!

Ayden was just very curious with the lights; with the people around him, the remote, the screen, EVERYTHING! And nope he did not sleep until the last three hours to the flight! It was the hardest! I gave him toys, I let him watch videos of himself on my phone, snacks after snacks, played his play dough , flip his peekaboo books like a zillion times and even his quiet book didn’t last him at all.

Then I muster up the courage to let him walk down the aisle, this was about 10PM AEST. Lights were dimmed and passengers were trying to tucked themselves to sleep. And this tiny little fingers decided it was fun to poke everyone sitting on the aisle as he happily strut down the aisle 😧 I scoop him up with such struggle and walked towards the back so he can walk around the galley which is a bad idea since it was busy! I was drained by this time! 

He was overtired and overstimulated. He kept hitting the monitor hence the person in front of us got annoyed. Then finally an air stewardess came to assist and entertained him while I dash to the bathroom! He played with the crew for a while and then I decided yes it’s enough for him a warm bottle of milk and tucked him to bed! This was 3 hours before we landed!

2AM SGT, it was a 2hour transit before our flight to Seoul. I let him walk around and made sure he exhausted himself! True as it is as we board our Singapore to Seoul Flight, he just slept through almost till we landed in Seoul! πŸ‘πŸΌ

Our flight from Seoul to Singapore was at 9am in the Morning. We were seated at the Bassinet Seat right in front of the Galley which is a horror! It was super noisy with chattering, laughters, slamming of trays and trolley!  I knew right then it was going to be a very bad flight! So Ayden had trouble sleeping due to the noises so he played, eat and watch TV. And finally asleep on me almost 1/2 of the flight. But it was a tiring flight to have him on my for 3.5hours! But I rather that than him walking around. He even played with his friend in the next bassinet! 

And finally our last sector back to Melbourne was a breeze. We were on the 7:45am flight. He slept as soon as breakfast were served and woke up playing with an older gentleman beside us. He was partially well behaved on the flight.  And nap again. It was great when we found out we actually landed 45mins earlier than expected! I wonder how we did that! 

Not all flights were horrible but it was very unpredictable how Ayden turns out in every flight and circumstance. Distractions and patience are the key! Personally, I won’t travel by myself with a 15mth old toddler again. Maybe I’ll distract him with an iPad next time which we are not used to since he doesn’t get screen time at home. Maybe in the future I will when Ayden can talk and we both can understand each other. It’ll be heaps easier!

xoxo

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#AliAnaFamille ~ Tasmania Part 2

In the midst of finishing up these Tasmania trip entries, i am trying to juggle planning Ayden’s birthday party, his DIY cake smash photo session and of course our finances all in one go. And at the same time all these blog entry ideas like me trying to go on the #projectpan with all my skincare and make up items and also all these crazy motherhood entries is flowing through again!

Please bear with me.

AND… We set off the next morning exploring the surrounding areas of Bicheno and got some groceries at the local IGA store as well for our stay. First stop was Pasini’s Cafe to fill our tummies with the delicious array of food eastern Tasmania got to offer! Of course, i had to order the Seafood Chowder and the Scallop Pie! Indeed, it was delish!

Then we set off to St Helens and the Bay of Fires! So we drove 45minutes to Scamander then another 20minutes to St Helens, which is the gateway to Binalong Bay and the Bay of fires. On the way to Scamander, we stopped by the four mile creek. It was such a beautiful, serene beach! It was just amazing!

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After a lung full of fresh air, an ankle dip in the waters, Ayden ecstatic fun with the sand and of course full of family snaps; we continued our road trip to St Helens. We were almost famished then as we drove past Captain’s Catch Seafood Restaurant! So we ended up going back to the restaurant after stopping by at the St Helens Information Centre to grab the maps and places to visit around the area. Unfortunately it was 3pm then and the restaurant will only be serving dinner from 4pm onwards. So we decided to book a table and off we go to Binalong Bay and Bay of Fires.

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Binalong Bay


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Bay of Fires (Well one of them!)

The views were just amazing, very surreal. I wish i could upload videos on my blog without me signing up for premium (thanks WordPress! not!). The drive was just full of ooohs, ahhhs and wows! Such tranquility. We hurried back to Captain’s catch for our late lunch and early dinner. Fresh seafood and amazing views. What else can you ask for? The photo below was our view from where we were sitting.

 

After dinner, we drove back to the cabin and have a rest before heading out to find Penguins in Bicheno. Yes! Free Penguins viewing instead of paying for those tours. So everyone layered up and once the sunsets we set off with two infants in tow braving the cold sea breeze! Unfortunately, since my previous phone was flushed down the toilet bowl. Every photo and videos in the phone are now gone. And sadly i did not back up any of them which has been such a deep regret! If you need to know the exact location, just email me i will be able to draw you a map! πŸ™‚

So the last and final part of our trip will be in the next entry! Till then…

xoxo

ana

#AliAnaFamille ~ Tasmania Part 1

Tasmania. An underrated destination but full of fresh goodness and sceneries. Although its just an hour flight from Melbourne, we never had plans to visit until recently, a group of friends went as a getaway and could not stop raving about how beautiful Tasmania (to be specific Hobart is!) This will be our first time traveling with another young family (which happens to be my cousin, Khai; his wife Ana and lil 5 month old K). We didn’t know what to expect and although we have travelled with Ayden earlier in the year to Singapore and Malaysia, he’s 3 months young then. An interesting road trip adventure we hoped it would be!

After weeks of researching, we decided to embark on the Great Eastern Drive – 4 hours road trip on the East of Hobart. Stretches of beaches, great seafood and a good road trip all around! With two infants in tow, we decided to base ourselves in the middle of the Great Eastern Drive; Bicheno! Which is roughly about 2-2.5 hours from Hobart Airport. Hence we would be about 2hours apart to the both ends of the great eastern drive and back down to the start.

It was a long anticipated trip for us. On the day we met at the departure lounge of Melbourne Airport since the cousin flew in from Singapore to Gold Coast, while transiting in Melbourne to Hobart.So it was a coincidence that we were on the same flight to Hobart. The flight was good for Ayden as it was his nap time, hence, he slept while i fed him in the plane. Once we arrived, Cramped with 4 adults, 2 infants and heaps of luggages in our white Mitsubishi Pajero that we rented from Thrifty; we set out on our drive.

I must say through experiences, most of our guests who comes from Malaysia or Singapore where their children were not used to being restraint in car seats have quite a hard time adapting to the Australian Road Safety laws whereby infants and children needs to be in a car seat at all times. But i completely understand since they are just not used to it. No-one likes to be restraint when they never had to previously.

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Back to our drive. We reached Hobart about 6:30pm, got our luggages and crammed everything and everyone into the rental vehicle, and by the time we left the airport it was almost 7:30pm! I must say i didn’t realised how small Hobart Airport was! As we set on our 2.5 hour drive,i must admit it was quite a scenic drive as the sunsets and through the lushes green. Yes 2.5hours with two infants can be a horror especially towards the end. Thank god K was asleep since its her nap time while Ayden was enjoying the ride until the last half an hour when he start to get restless and since i wasn’t sitting next to him, it was hard to calm him down. Thank god his snacks and nursery rhymes work a treat with Ayden.

Finally, (with a sore butt and cramped body!)we reached our lodging, Bicheno East Coast Holiday Park. As most of the Airbnbs were all taken up, i was actually very happy that we got to book this accomodation as it was very much affordable and conveniently located. We’ve got the two bedroom cabin. I never expected the cabin to be as clean, modern and nice as it is. Definitely, recommend this place to anyone who are traveling to Bicheno and looking for affordable lodging.

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Next posts will be more of our road trips to the surrounding areas!

xoxo

ana

Trippin it with a Baby MEL – KL


At 18weeks, Ayden took his first flight out! A 7.5hours flight to KL was the start of our vacation! Indeed it was quite nerve wrecking for us both not knowing how he’ll be on the flight. We’ve got a corner two seater seat with a bassinet on our Emirates flight. Slightly after take off, we fed him and luckily he dozed straight after! Well indeed it was a 2:40am flight which coincides with his bedtime.


Thinking that it would be a breeze with the use of a bassinet, we were so wrong. Flying across the Timor and Java sea, where the turbulence were a regular occurrence, we had to keep carrying, unbuckling Ayden out of his bassinet and strapped him on my lap during each episode. After the 4th, we were exhausted and end up having Ayden on our laps throughout the flight!

As we were about to descend, Ayden woke up. Tried to feed him but he was restless and fidgeting! He was a bit fussy but that didn’t last very long! Thank god! Of course the weather in KL was very hot and humid! It bothered us more than Ayden did. He was happily sleeping in his Ergobaby carrier through the heat and noise! The Ergobaby was indeed a saviour and a must for our future travels. Highly recommended!

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It was a weekend of a beautiful wedding of Yanna & Amir at the Royale Chulan where we stayed during our trip and savoured heaps of awesome food! 

Thank you guys for inviting us to your beautiful wedding! Definitely an honour and we miss you heaps Yanna! Hope to catch up when you’re down under! Will definitely blog more on this wedding soon!

We did celebrate my first Mother’s Day that weekend too with Teppanyaki lunch! It was a great start to the homecoming vacation. Even though Pavillion was our go to place that whole weekend since it’s nice and close and we just want to relax without venturing too far out!

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Then, it was time for Singapore. Meaning constant meet ups, stuffing our faces with food 24/7, endless family time, shopping and being tourists ourselves! Of course no matter how much time we have, there’s bound to be people we just didn’t have the time to meet, places to see and food to eat! There’s just not enough time! But this trip is all about Ayden bonding with his grandparents and spending as much quality time with the family!

Separation Anxiety.

Two weeks post-partum.

I’ve only heard of it through Mothers when they are apart with their child. For me, at present. It’s my husband. Weird right? Been asking around my fellow Mummies who understands how i feel and some felt the same way. Although i am so thankful, he still has two more weeks of working from home, but when he’s out and about meeting clients or meeting friends. I get this nervous,unease and rapid heart rate kind of feeling. Β Anxiety indeed. But i am forcing myself to get used to this especially when he is heading back to work soon. Need to shake it off.

Agreed with a friend of mine, who mentioned that Hubs is my safety net at these vulnerable stages and it was definitely ok to feel that i need him.

Then again, i am not too sure if it was because of Post-Partum Blues with all these complicated hormones overcoming me. Or just this confinement period, making me all haywire and in desire need to head out and be busy like how i’m always used to.

I’m sorry dear Husband.

We have been receiving quite a lot of visitors lately, Ayden felt so much love! We are so thankful and grateful for all the gifts and gestures. Indeed, i get exhausted easily especially when this little one has not settled during the nights. Well, it may stay for another month or two i presume. Indeed, it is challenging and overwhelming from late night exhaustion and breastfeeding, but know that every hardship there will be ease. I can’t wait for then. In the meantime, the support i’ve received from my Mother groups in Melbourne and Singapore, the Husband, family and friends has been amazing and had helped me in so many ways to stay grounded!

I remember going to my Gynae during the late stages of my pregnancy and she asked what i was worried about the most. Of course i mentioned the labour pain. Her reply was that will be the least of things to worry about, and what i really need to worry about is recovery and my support system after birth. That’s the most important. And now i am starting to agree.

There are some nights i go out of my mind thinking what i do wrong. But watching you both sleeping beside me in the mornings regain my sanity and pushed myself to be a better mummy everyday.

 

Labour, Birth and the closing of another Chapter (for now!)

Everytime i typed an entry, the husband always caught me and ask how come he never get to read them. Oh wells.

Anyways, this entry. This is for you. Yes you Muhammad Ali. I always get attached and emotional when i think about our labour and delivery experience.

Throughout the pregnancy, you’ve held my hand so tight, you were always careful with your assuarance. You knew how scared, anxious and nervous i was for the labour. Yet you stood positive and excited, you pushed me not to underestimate myself.

After every appointment, every scan and every monitoring, you’re always making sure that my thoughts are focused and that i am not worrying myself excessively.

When i got diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes,you were hard on me. On my diet and it progressed to be our diet. You eat what i had to eat. You made it like our health goals. You’re always saying No to my cravings because of it. As much as i hate you for it, I’m thankful.

As the day got nearer, you were saying No to so much things. You stay firm that i had to bed rest till the day I’ll get induced. The nearer the date was, the more nervous I’ve become and the more excited you were. Yes, thats how opposites we are! I cried, cried the most that week! Been praying to God so hard over the months, to bless us with a healthy baby and make my delivery easy, safe and painless. I knew painless was hard but everyday I prayed for it over and over again.

When the day finally came, we slept in to get as much rest before the sleepless night seeps in. Ate Nasi Lemak. Got home did last minute preparations and off we go. We might meet our baby that night or even the next day! You were feeling excited but finally blurted out that you’re nervous but not near as nervous as i was definitely.

As we parked the car in the Hospital compound , the last thing we said was “let’s do this!” Got to the Birthing Suite and was relieved Sophie (Our Gynae) was there. She prepped me and got down to inserting the Gel to help me dilate enough to burst my waterbag in the morning and start with the contractions and on the way for a natural delivery. This is a picture perfect summary but it doesnt work all the time.

So after the gel was inserted, it takes about 2 hours and the cramps kick in. It was on and on for the whole night. We didnt catch a wink! They gave me sleeping pills and panadeine to overcome the pain and catch some sleep. But failed.

So 7am came around. The time i was looking forward the most! Sophie checked my dilation, and after all those painful hours, i was only 1-2cm dilated! But she managed to break my waterbag and put me on the Oxytocin drip to encourage stronger contractions so i’ll get more dilation and will be able to deliver sooner. The Anaethesist, Dr. Mezzatesta came and got the epidural going! I must say he was very professional, positive and calm. He made me so at peace, putting my worries at bay and very efficient! In 5 mins everything was over, Oxytocin was in, Epidural was in and Catherer is in. Now is just a waiting game.

Sophie came around at 3ish and checked. Was thrilled that i am 6cm dilated! She was positive and encouraging. She foresee that by 7pm ill be dilated enough for delivery and by 9pm, our lil Prince will be in my Arms. But all we can do is plan and pursue. At the end of the day, God has better plans for us. At 5:30pm, Elva (OMG the best midwife ever!) came and check on me and realised that i am not dilating any further and there was blood in my urine. Something was wrong.

Next thing we knew, Sophie came in and checked. She had to deliver the news that i dread. Something is obstructing the labour and we had to do an emergency c section. My heart literally dropped. I stared at you with the heaviest heart. Sophie had to get a team ready for the operation and with all the Operation theatres booked out, we had to wait for awhile. Half an hour later, Dr. Mezzatesta arrived to prep me for the Operation.

I was scared shitless i was not going to lie. I panicked, stressed and was nervous. I knew you do what you had to do. You remain calm and keep feeding me positive energy. As they wheeled me in to the Theatre, it was the scariest moment in my life. Dr Mezzatesta kept me calm, i think every possible nerves were written all over my face. He was there just an arms length away from me the whole time to make sure i am ok. Everyone kept telling me how everything is going to be okay.

As i lay on that cold table, i broke out to strong cold shivers and nausea. You kept telling me it will be ok and it was going to be over soon and we can finally see our baby. I kept wanting to puke! And i requested not to see anything as they pull and thug and finally people told you to stand and have your phone ready as the baby arrives. Everything happen so quick!  We found out then that Ayden’s head was too big to fit into my pelvis, hence, the obstructed labour.

They wanted to pull down the drape to let me see the action, but i didnt want to. I was still shivering cold and puking and i didnt want to see our lil prince in that state. I cried when you brought him over to see me. You must be overwhelmed, i can see it in your beamig eyes. But i still couldnt bring myself to hold him due to my shivers and nausea! I kept asking the people around me how long more for the stitching to be complete. I was getting very sick. Very cold.

Finally at the recovery room, you managed to let me hold the baby. It was beautiful. I managed to whisper “Assalammualaikum” in his ears before you had to bring him to the special nursery to get his sugar levels checked. And when you return, i was just overjoyed. I thank God profusely for protecting me, for guiding me through this experience and for blessing me with a lil family i could call my own. Now as i slowly recover and ease into my new role as a Mother. InsyaAllah it will all be smooth sailing.

As we put an end to this chapter, InsyaAllah we will reopen this chapter in the future.

Muhammad Ali, i just want to thank you for being there with me every step of the way, for staying by my side at my most vulnerable time, for dressing me when i wasnt able to, for helping me through my recovery without any complains,for waking up at every night feeds when i told you not to, for being the best dad to Ayden! I pray to God everyday to protect you from harm, to give you the best he could offer in this life and hereafter and bless you with everlasting happiness! I think the words, I love you Muhammad Ali is an understatement. Cause its so much more than that.

PS: The staff at Mitcham Private, Dr Sophie Leong, Dr Joseph Mezzatesta and Dr Shane O’Dea has been super amazing! Making this journey a beautiful and memorable one! Definitely won’t hesitate to go back to them in the future!


Missing our suite already and the midwives who looked after us 24/7 for the past week! ☺️

25 weeks.

How amazing to see this little one growing week by week. God is indeed the all knowing and greatest. Alhamdullilah!

This is our Jellybean at 20 weeks! Thats exactly 5 weeks ago! He is definitely much bigger now and heavier too! Even a couple of people at work mentioned that i’ve popped out the past couple of weeks 😝

It never crossed my mind that i am ever going to go through a pregnancy journey of my own. I am always terrified of Labour. Oh gosh i know! There’s no way out now, haha! Been speaking heaps about my fear to my Gynae and fellow Preggo ladies. They have been such a pillar of support and such positive women. Indeed, like what Maryam went through;

23. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a date-palm. She said: β€œWould that I had died before this, and had been forgotten and out of sight!”

24. Then [the baby Isa (Jesus) or Jibril (Gabriel)] cried unto her from below her, saying: β€œGrieve not: your Lord has provided a water stream under you.

25. And shake the trunk of date-palm towards you; it will let fall fresh ripe-dates upon you.

26. So eat and drink and be glad. And if you see any human being, say: β€˜Verily! I have vowed a fast unto the Most Gracious (Allah) so I shall not speak to any human being this day’”

Quran (Surah Maryam, Verses 22-26)

Such a powerful Surah it still is to all women, a friend of mine and i will always remind each other to recite the Surah daily. I have been blessed with a supportive circle of friends who are not judgemental for any choices that I made or going to make. Who has always been exchanging tips and making sure that I am ok. ☺️