being pregnant

boy or girl

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I told Dean I’m so sure this Baby No. 2 is a boy. (a) because the symptoms I’m having are very much similar to the symptoms with Daniel, (b) my tummy is so big and boys are bigger, a theory I made up myself of course, (c) Dean ate a lot of steak, and they say meat-eaters will produce boys, a theory I heard from non-medical people who I somehow felt know more than doctors, and (c) just because of Dean’s genes… 5 brothers, 2 nephews… their boy genes are just too strong.

I get to know the sex of Baby No. 2 at my next checkup and to be honest, I’m pretty nervous! A little part of me wants a girl to dress up in pretty clothes but I think a big part of me secretly wants another boy. Girls are after all more expensive and they grow up to want designer handbags and shoes and stuff. And then you’ve got to worry about the boys that come their way and all the secret dates they go on when they tell you they are going to “their best friend’s house to study”. Oh God… to have a little young me… would be a nightmare! If a girl turns out to be anything like me as a teen, I will be following her and waiting outside her best friend’s house with binoculars. And Dean will be next to me with a baseball bat, ready to smack the boy that picks her up. Nauzubillah! Hehe. Whoever has a lot of daughters, hats off to you guys, seriously!

I came across this baby gender prediction thingy and had a good laugh. If you’re pregnant, might wanna try them out for fun.

1) Highs and Lows
This one you can do just by looking south: if you’re carrying high, break out the pink. If your bump is low, you’re carrying a boy.

I don’t know, I’m just carrying heavy.

2) Be Still My Beating Heart
Next time your OB pulls out the Doppler to listen to baby’s heartbeat, ask her to tell you what the heart rate is. According to legend, 140+ beats per minute indicates a girl, and below 140 a boy.

My gynae would roll his eyes at me.

3) Sweet and Sour
Craving ice cream every single day? Some people believe this means it’s a girl. If you have to have salty or sour stuff, then it’s a boy.

*looks at the 5 packets of asam in my handbag*

4) Potty Time
This one’s a little out there. Pee in a cup (you’ve been doing it at all your prenatal appointments anyway, haven’t you?), mix a tablespoon of Drano in, and watch to see if it changes color. Green = girl, and blue = boy.

Ridiculous.

5) Unlocking the Mystery
This is one for a friend to try. Place a key in front of your preggo friend and ask her to pick it up. If she grabs it by the narrow part, she’s in for sugar and spice and all that. If she picks it up by the round part, it’s snips and snails.

What if I grabbed the keychain…

6) Spot On
If you’re breaking out like crazy, blame it on your girl babe. The belief goes that girls steal their mother’s beauty, hence, those annoying zits.

*looks in the mirror* I’m having a girl, guys. For sure.

7) Nice Ring to It
Pop off your wedding ring—if you still can!—and tie it to a string. Hang it over your belly. If it swings in a circle, a little guy’s in your future. If it goes back and forth, you’ve got a girl.

I just got dizzy to be honest.

8) Queasy Does It
Sick as a dog during the first trimester—or still? Signs indicate you’re having a girl. Little or no morning sickness points to a boy.

Boy.

Obviously we shouldn’t believe in the myths, but it’s all good fun guessing anyway! Guess I shall just wait for my next appointment to see. Pretty excited for it.

being a mom being a mrs lifestyle

my first maid lesson

I’ve been scrubbing showers, washing pots and changing poo all week long. Hence my time reduction on the blog, which I’m not happy about btw. I’ve done loads of laundry and have decided that Dean and Daniel only get 1 change of clothes a day. No more!

All this why, you ask?

Because that maid I told you I loved and you thought she was so funny with her silly emoticons… yeah she left me. *purses lips, clenches fist, books flight to Medan*

It’s all my fault, really. My mom and mil warned me that we shouldn’t let our maids go back home before their permit ends but Dean and I being all like oh-but-she-must-miss-her-kids-dearly, so we cleverly booked her a one week trip back home so she can be with her kids for Raya. I even bought her kids and her sister stuff and gave them money for school etc, and seeing my maid so happy made me so happy! Sometimes small things to us can mean the world to others, so it was all really humbling. I was so excited for her to be able to see her kids, I even lent her my suitcase! Like here here, take this gorgeous Samsonite luggage, let me help you secretly abandon me. *future maids now going to back with a paperbag, that’s it!*

A week went by and on the day she was supposed to come back, I get some sorry messages about how she can’t come back anymore because she needs to be with her kids bla bla bla. There were also some of her usual emoticons there so I knew it was really her. -___-”

Anyway, she has been messaging me to forgive her non-stop and I feel so mean that I haven’t replied because I simply do not know how to respond!! Like “Oh sureeee, no problem, don’t worry about it. Say hi to your kids!” All I could think about was how expensive my Samsonite suitcase was.

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Goodbye forever, suitcase. (Picture taken a while back)

So there you have it, Vivy, your first lesson with maids. Dean was nice though. He was all like “Don’t judge a person’s actions because you don’t know if you’re in that situation, you wouldn’t do the same.” I guess it’s tough to be away from your kids, and the one chance you get to see them, I can only imagine how heartbreaking it must be to say bye-bye again. Even though I’m annoyed at her for making my life difficult this past week, I am secretly happy for her that she can restart her life again with her new money and not have to leave her kids. But when I think about my Samsonite suitcase, that happiness slowly fades. Bahahhaha. Ok ok seriously, jokes aside, I wish her well because the whole time she worked for me, she seriously made my life stress-free.

There is hikmah in all this, I believe. One, I learn my lesson about trust and human beings. Two, having to take care of Daniel on my own has made me learn so much about him and the bonding time is priceless. Three, Dean has started washing the dishes. Four, I can walk half-naked around my house. Five, I get a new suitcase.

Ok now… if your baby eats Koko Krunch and leaves chocolate hand marks all over your cabinet, what type of Mr. Muscle do you use to clean that? Or should I just switch to Honey Stars? -__-”

#domesticissues

working girl

lunch partner

Working with or near to your husband is especially fun because you will always have a lunch partner. Unless of course you guys are the cool couple type who don’t flaunt it at work. I’m nowhere near that, what with my blowing kisses and “What do you mean you can’t lunch with me today?” exclaims in the office. It’s sickening really, ask the FV team. Haha.

So anyway, lunch topics are always random between Dean and I. One day we could be talking about Daniel’s future school (which we always disagree on) and one another day, we could be talking about how cool Harvey Specter is in Suits (going to make Dean wear suits everyday at work soon).

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Today’s lunch (well, actually…brunch) topic is on a statistic that Dean discovered which is 98% of businesses fail within the first 3 years. So it was a pretty intense lunch with lots of “smart talk”. When Dean gives me a stat, I believe him since he reads a lot and he remembers all these stuff. If I ever give you a stat, it’s most likely made up so yeah.

“Holy moly, that’s scary. What do you do if you know 98% of businesses fail??” I ask Dean.

“Well, you can open 100 businesses. 2 will survive,” his smartass answer.

But seriously, it’s very scary when you think about starting your own business isn’t it? I remember back in 2010, we had all the plans and it looks like a good idea (and thank God we’re almost 4 years now and going strong, thank you Allah swt) but still… nothing’s for sure and we were terrified! Dean and I look back now and we both agreed that in hindsight we probably wouldn’t have made it so far if it wasn’t for Proudduck and my online presence at the time. If I didn’t have a ready audience to announce the birth of FashionValet, we would’ve had to do it the more expensive way which is well… normal advertising. Which we had no money for at the time. We had to cut corners and ask for favours left right center to make it work. That’s why I tell a lot of people who ask for business advice to do their homework and map out their marketing strategy first. Who is your audience and how sure are you that your audience is even interested in your product? Is your product addressing a gap/problem in the market which people need or are you creating a whole new thing (which you will then have to convince people about)? How do you make your product different than the rest?

Until now, nothing is ever easy for us and the issues never stop; it’s always one after the other. So if you don’t have the drive and motivation to handle the stress, it’s very easy to fold and pack up.

Everyone finds motivation in different ways.

A motivation to always keep close to your heart is God. Anything can be said to you (like how I got the whole you-don’t-deserve-success remarks from people in the beginning), anything can be done to you, any competitor can set up shop even next to you, but if you’ve got Allah swt in your heart, you won’t be scared even a little bit. I have cried many times on my prayer mat when things got rough, especially in FV’s 2nd year. I have poured my eyes out to Allah swt asking for guidance and to give me strength when I needed answers. And guess what, everytime after I take off my telekung, I feel so refreshed and so alive. If I’ve worked hard and I’ve put my trust in Him, whatever happens after that is beyond my powers because all our lives have been mapped out anyway. Whatever He says is and will be, no matter what anyone does. Seriously, God is the best motivation. For anything in life.

Another one of my many motivations is definitely my partner. Whether or not he’s my husband (or scandalous ex-boyfriend hehe), I have always had faith in him to always take a good lead on the company. So my advice to all future business owners is if you have to have a partner, make sure you choose the right one. Someone you can see yourself with for a long long time, someone who can solve problems and someone who isn’t easily stressed. Kinda like looking for a husband, no? Lucky for me, God gave me a 2 in 1 deal. Saved my time and money. Haha. So many times we hear businesses going sour because of partners. So before you get in bed with this person for the rest of your professional life, do your homework. And maybe also ask if you can see yourself having lunch with that person everyday. Silly, but could be important! In my case, yes so far.

Anyway, my lunch partner and I were invited to the BFM studio for a live interview recently. Have a listen to us talk (or rather, me talk over him hehe) here.

being pregnant fashion and shopping pd daily

all in the mind

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 This pregnancy has made me a bit lazy to dress up. Everyday I’m in a sweater and pants (which btw are getting too tight for my belly area *cries* oh but wait, excuse to go shopping for new ones maybe?) and my make up nowadays is just so minimal I never feel instagram-worthy anymore. Haha. What is it about first trimesters and feeling crappy? Must break out of the mould and tell myself everything is in the mind. You think crappy, you feel crappy. You think good, you feel good.

So I did that when I saw this purple kebaya in my wardrobe. Thought I needed a bit of beautiful print to perk me up and I went back into my familiar happy-fashion territory. I spent a good deal of time just trying different things in my wardrobe and immersing myself into my beautiful clothes. I finally decided to lose the bottom skirt of the kebaya, mix it up with a pair of crisp white pants and white headscarf to match. As I stepped out of my wardrobe and received a “Whoaaaa” and “Are all your usual sweaters in the wash?” from Dean, I felt nice that I made some effort today.

To making some effort everyday now!

Wearing dUCk scarf and kebaya top (comes in purple and pink) from Merah Cinta Hati, both FashionValet. Pants from Topshop, clutch from Louis Vuitton, heels from Giuseppe Zanotti. 

being a mom

na, na, na

I feel so bad when I leave restaurants nowadays. One arm carrying Daniel, the other arm fixing my headscarf secretly covering face as I hurry my way to the exit. I will make sure I leave a decent tip to the waiters as I know it must be annoying to have customers like Daniel and I. And it’s all because of that scatter of mess that Daniel always leave below his baby chair for his beloved waiters.

Sometimes I will pick up the pieces that I can with his tissues and wet wipes…. as he just watches from his baby chair innocently. -____-” But when the situation is too bad, I just need to zoom out of there while mouthing “I’m soooo sorry, I promise he won’t come back!” to any waiter in sight.

*covers face – bad mom alert*

Daniel’s at the age now where he gets so excited to feed himself and he refuses to let anyone hold his cutlery. He will insist to hold the spoon and scoop his porridge/soup/anything at all by himself. He will scoop it and bring it to his mouth and by that time, only 5% of what he took will remain in his spoon. The other 95% is divided between his beautiful clothes (*cries*) and unfortunately… the floor. I keep having to argue with him exclaiming “But that’s not how you hold the spoon, Daniel!!” followed by a “Hmmphh!!!” grunt by Your Highness Daniel in his high chair. Everytime I take it away from him, he will cry and show tantrum. Ish, this boy!

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Another thing he likes to do is pick up food and purposely drop it on the floor. I will scold him and give him the No No No finger movement and guess what, he thinks that’s funny!! He will giggle at me doing it and he’ll take out his own finger and go “Na, Na, Na…” And he’ll drop another one of his vegetables (ok fine, fries) on the floor and go “Na, Na, Na” again followed by “It’s not funny, Daniel!!”

HOW LA GUYS?!!

How do you teach your 1-year-old some table manners?

being a mrs bridezilla growing up love

marriage cashflow

Although I have hinted here and there, I haven’t properly announced that my sister got divorced a few years back. Everything happens for a reason and we take everything as a lesson, but my sister has been growing stronger and more independent through the years as a single mom. And Alhamdulillah still maintains a good relationship with her ex husband. As Allah swt has written for her life, she is now about to embark into her second marriage and this time with the son of my parents’ good friends who we all have known forever. Tonight, the parents had the most awkward conversation at the merisik session, asking their best friends if their son could marry the daughter. Bahaaha I so needed popcorn for this. It’s like me, Toots and Asma’ having our kids marry each other, we’d probably be like Ehhh merisik through whatsapp only can ah?

I couldn’t be happier for my sister. Finally she is going to end her single mom days and she will have someone to share her everyday with. May Allah bless this marriage and ease the path for them. My mom and I were squealing in delight as we put the ring on my sister, but of course, Daddy being Daddy started his lecture. Lecture on life, marriage, second chances, and the most important thing; he’d like to see their marriage cashflow and a 5-year plan of how this guy is planning to take care of his daughter.

Ohhh how this brought me back to when I wanted to get married to Dean. “Yeah sure, you’re in love with my daughter, you want to take care of her forever and ever. But talk is cheap, so please prepare a marriage cashflow for me to see your plans on paper,” imagine your girlfriend’s father telling you that.

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I was mortified when Daddy told Dean this, but now when I think about it, I thank God to have such an amazing and far-sighted dad. Any dad would be happy to see their daughter get married to the love of her life (finally, she’s going to be your problem now), but only a truly responsible dad will see it through that she gets taken care of. My dad always says that a daughter to a father is something truly special; he raised us sisters up to the best that he could and he wants to sleep peacefully knowing he gave us away to the right guy. He’s the practical type; yes you’re in love, but you never know if your husband turns out to be a douchebag and leaves you after 2 years. That’s why he keeps preaching that a woman should stand on her own two feet and have her own job. Because what if your husband dies/leaves and you’re left with no income, no job and three kids to feed? We used to roll our eyes at him growing up, but we can’t deny the harsh truth. We can see it happening all the time these days!

Ok back to the cashflow. Dean told me that he was soooo nervous to give the cashflow to my dad. It wasn’t like here I’ll just email you and save myself the awkwardness, it was a let’s discuss each item on this sheet session. Dean had never done a cashflow before so he had to Google it and now cashflows are his must-dos for every single project. I never saw this cashflow because my dad told me to respect Dean’s privacy, but Dean told me there was one line of income and a whole load of lines of expenses. And doing the cashflow made him realise the reality of life; he had rent, he had grocery, he had electricity bill, he had petrol, he had Vivy’s shopping money… and all this with RM 2K+ of salary as a fresh graduate to fend for him and royal highness me with my salon sessions (choose your wives properly, guys bahahaha). It’s not about being calculative, but it’s just to educate us to think and to realistically plan for our future. Of course in the end (and after a long lecture from my dad about life yet again), it all worked out with the help of his savings and even though Dean never expected it of me, my salary too. Dean never asked a single cent out of me, but of course, as a working wife you try to pay for things behind his back and not tell him. Just to help ease the burden!

I smiled tonight, not only because my sister deserved her happy ending, but also because I am so proud to have my dad as my dad. A dad who never rests if his daughters are sad, and a dad who might not show it but is beaming with pride when he sees them achieve things in life. My dad really understands the concept that children are your amanah from God so don’t take the responsibility lightly. He’s tough, yes, but without him, Dean and I would never have set goals in life and strive to achieve them.

And it all started from that marriage cashflow he made Dean do, that is now kept in his secret hiding place along with momentos of me growing up that he collected over the years.

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My dad on my wedding day. *cries at the photo*

Bless him, Ya Allah.

being pregnant

round 2

If you‘ve seen my instagram, then you would have already known. But if are one of those rare beings that don’t have instagram, then let me tell you here granny (or you might have guessed from this post’s category tag) that I am pregnant again.

I wanted to wait a bit more before I announced it, but my bump is so big so early this time round that I would like to save you the trouble of calling me a fatty behind my back. I’m not fat, ok?! *cries in a corner*

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Wearing Orkid from Nora Danish for FashionValet (top only). 

Allow me to take you back to the scene in my toilet a few weeks ago when I found out.

There I was (no need details, you get the point) holding the stick. I hadn’t gotten my period in 2 days and I’m never late (might be late to everything else, but my red aunty is never late). So I kind of expected the stick to be a plus sign. I took a deep breath and looked.

Yep.

A very clear plus sign.

Whatttt, didn’t I just give birth a few minutes ago?!!!

You see, I’m the type that would laugh whenever someone asks me when I’m going to get pregnant with second child. “Oh another 2, 3 or even 5 years…” Of course whenever someone asks me that, it’s usually right after I’ve had a wrestling session with Daniel because he refuses to finish his food, and they usually end up as blotchy stains on my headscarf. Minimum 5 years!” I would add after the thought of having two of those. Ohhh I shudder.

Little did I know I was already pregnant with my second baby.

After I’ve spent some more time with the blue stick, I decided it was time to tell Dean. The moment he and I looked at the stick together, we just hugged and laughed out loud. Funny? Not really. But it was so unexpected that we both went “But how did this happen??? Like when????” and we laughed some more. Wow, we’re fertile.

We told our loved ones after we confirmed the news, and received a few “Alhamdulillah”s and a whole load of “No wayyyy!! Are you for real?!!!” and one very funny “Omg you’re screwed for life.” I need new friends, baby.

We joke about not wanting a second child, but now that he or she is on the way, I’m getting pretty excited. To see my family grow, to see Daniel as a big brother, to see how our lives will just change with the arrival of our second angel. So thank you Allah swt for this abundance of rezeki You have showered me and my little family. I pray that this will be a smooth pregnancy with smooth (and short, pleaseeeee) labour and we will be blessed with another cute little healthy bundle of joy.

So Bismillah, here’s to Round 2. Like I told my beloved gynae, “Bring ittttt!”

But my blotchy headscarves are feeling very very nervous about all this.