Inner beauty: Summer & Peach

Fancy some fancy underwear?

Summer & Peach is Malaysia’s first online multi-label lingerie store carrying designer brands from all across the globe. They are currently known for offering beautiful bralettes.

What are bralettes? They are basically fashionable innerwear that can also be worn as outerwear.

It’s a more ‘laid back’ and ‘show off’ kind of lingerie, instead of the conventional ‘hide it’ and ‘tolerate it’ underwear we were used to.

You can pair bralettes with loose tank tops, sheer tops, jackets etc. In fact, just do a search on Pinterest and you can find so much inspiration on pairings!

All my life I’ve only known push-up or heavy-padded bras. It’s hard to find comfortable lingerie that do not look ugly and that uh, complement the girls. So what happens is that most women look forward to taking off their bras at the end of the day to have a little breathing space!

But bralettes are so comfortable, you won’t even remember you are wearing anything. Plus, it’s breathable and suitable for the crazy hot and humid Malaysian weather.

Another issue I had with bras: it’s hard to find the right size!

According to an international survey, about 60-80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size. Until today, I have no idea if I’m wearing the right size. And even when you think you’ve found your size, it might differ with every brand or design, so it’s a pain!

Bralettes though are elastic, so it hugs our curves well and makes fitting easy because it only comes in S, M, and L sizes. Not complicated at all! Bralettes also provide a reasonable amount of support, and allow our breasts to take on a more natural shape compared to the generic bra.

At Summer & Peach, they actually offer one free exchange and return, so customers can try and exchange if they got the wrong size. So much easier than having to come out from the fitting room and looking at the shop promoter and sheepishly asking them for yet another size to try on… (and feeling like you’re being judged for your size hmmph)

Summer & Peach offers lingerie curated by women, for women, with love. Their mission is to let women discover a whole new world of lingerie, and that there are many ways to wear lingerie and there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

I love browsing through their website and also their Instagram feed – so classy and elegant, just like how a woman should feel 🙂

OK if you’re like me, I’m sure you’re asking this question: if bralettes are not padded, won’t the nipples peep through??

Most of the bralettes are Summer & Peach are lined, and you shouldn’t have any problem if you’re not wearing tight tops. Some of their bralettes are cleverly constructed to conceal nipples to some extend, but if you want more security, you can use nipple tape. The good news, however, is Summer & Peach will be bringing in a new collection of padded bralettes soon!

I’ve got the Alana Bralette and just looking at it makes me happy already. Seriously. You might think that underwear is over-rated (see what I did there?), but sometimes it’s the little things that can change how you feel entirely. There really is a big difference between putting on an ugly, uncomfortable bra and a beautiful, comfortable one!

Especially now when my body is still recovering post-partum, and I constantly have spit-ups (and sometimes poop) on me, and my hair is going crazy, and I feel so yucks… Being able to put on beautiful bras make me happy. #easily pleased

So girls, go check out Summer & Peach. They offer free shipping for purchases over RM300, and also free exchange (as I mentioned above).

You can also follow them on their Facebook and Instagram.

Enjoy!

 

Love,

Natalie

‘Alexa’ on BFM

Alexa would have turned four this week.

Time flies.

I would like to think of my book as a birthday present for her.

When we were still in the planning stages of the book, the hubby told me that I would have to go all out to promote it, since I was self-publishing.

I told him at that time, that I didn’t know how to promote it. For one, this book is about a story that is so close to my heart. In fact, it is a story about my heart! Because I was so raw and open in the book, I feel very vulnerable and nervous about others reading it.

Secondly, this book is not like a happy book that I can promote along the lines of “Christmas is coming! Still thinking of a perfect gift for your loved ones? Grab this book today!”

And finally, I’ve never been good at promoting anything especially when it comes to myself (for talent jobs) or anything that I am selling.

But I figured I got to do it anyway. Because, what is the use of writing and publishing this book, but not letting people know that it exists? And how would it help people if they do not know that it exists?

So recently, I was on BFM to talk about the book. I felt quite calm about it because I used to work on BFM and I know the person who was going to interview me. At the same time I was quite nervous because I didn’t know what he would ask me and how I would feel talking about it. In any case, I am glad I did it.

Here’s the interview if you missed it.

If you would like to buy a copy of the book, you can purchase one here.

 

Love,

Natalie

Things Amy says #3

I confess: iNanny is my favourite Nanny. And I’ve always felt that she has been quite a good nanny because:

1) I get a tantrum-less toddler for at least 30 minutes;

2) I get to do my own things for that 30 minutes;

3) it stops her from jumping all over the couch or climbing the stairs nonstop or throwing her toys all around the floor or destroying something;

4) she learns a LOT from the videos, i.e. ABCs, nursery rhymes, language, planets and the solar system, etc.

However, lately I’ve been imposing a new rule of no gadgets during sleep time, whether afternoon nap time or bed time. Because there are no gadgets, the sleep routine now consists of book-reading and storytelling.

Amy has a very good memory. She can memorize the words on every page of the books we read to her, and can even recite stories that I made up (but of course, that meant I had read and told her the stories again and again and again and again and again…).

Recently, I caught her reciting a story that I often told her, only she has slightly modified it (those with exclamation marks were shouted at the top of her lungs. The more exclamation marks, the louder it was):

Amy’s story #1:

One day, Papa Night Owl saw Little Night Owl, and said “Night Owl, it’s time to go outside.”

Night Owl said, “I don’t want to go outside! I wanna eat orange!”

Papa Night Owl said, “I don’t want to eat orange! I want to go out!”

Night Owl said, “I don’t want to go out!! I want to stay in the room!!!”

Makes no sense, unless you’ve been listening to the conversations we’ve been having in our house. Haha.

Amy’s story #2 (in reference to Peppa Pig): 

There is Daddy Pig, Mummy Pig, Peppa Pig and Baby George.

Baby George cries all the time.

Baby George dowan to be happy. 

Amy’s story #3: 

Where is Baby Alistair?

Is he behind the door? No!

Is he under the bed? No!

Is he at the playground? No!

Baby Alistair cries all the time. 

***

She cracks me up!

I can learn a thing or two about creativity from her. In a child’s mind, nothing needs to be logical or rational, and that is the beauty of imagination. Often, that is also how great stories come about! I’m looking forward to hearing more stories from her!

 

Love,

Natalie

Alistair’s full moon

So this little guy turned one month old recently.

It’s been the longest and shortest one month ever. I don’t really know how to explain, but, some days I felt that the month was really going by slowly because I felt as though Alistair has been with us forever. Yet, other days I felt that the month has zoomed by so quickly because I felt as though Alistair has just been born!

Being a mother to these two is a great privilege. The hubby and I still sometimes say to each other, “I can’t believe we have two kids now.”

It’s been a challenge, definitely, juggling these two. They both need me equally, but there’s only one me. My heart sometimes feel heavy for Amy, because she now has to share mama’s attention. Sometimes, she has to wait. Sometimes, she will only have me until her little brother cries for milk.

Just last night, it was her bed time. My mother-in-law was ready to put her to bed, but, after changing into her pajamas, she ran out of the room to look for me. I was breastfeeding Alistair. Amy looked at me, put a hand on my arm, and said, “Mama sleep? Mama sleep with Amy?”

My heart melted. My little girl still wanted me to sleep with her. But now, she has to learn to wait. She has to learn to be a big sis.

At the same time, I also feel (a little) sorry for Alistair. Unlike his sister, he does not get to enjoy the full attention from everyone. I spend a lot of time playing with him and bonding with him, but it is so different from the time I spent with Amy. He will never get the exclusive time and attention. I mean, even his toys and stuff are mostly hand-me-downs. Haha. Welcome to being the second in the family, my son.

The star of the party was too busy asking for milk and trying to sleep to pose for the camera.

My little one. You are so precious to me. I thank God for you, and I pray that you will be blessed all the days of your life. May you grow up to be a great young man, with strong values and fear of God. May you be full of joy and hope and faith. May you be strong yet gentle. May you reach your potential and live your destiny.

I love you my little man. I am so proud to be your mama. You are the perfect addition to our family.

 

Love,

Natalie

Amy meets Alistair

When I was pregnant with Alistair, I constantly wondered about two things.

Firstly, will I be able to love both kids the same? What if my love for Amy lessens? Or what if I could not love Alistair as much as I love Amy? Would I be unfair to them? How would I be able to give them equal time, equal attention, equal love?

(I have no answer yet for any of the questions above.)

Secondly, how am I going to introduce Alistair to Amy?

From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I told Amy about it. However, as she was barely 2 years old at that time, she knew nuts about what I was talking about.

As my belly grew, I constantly talked to Amy about baby Alistair. I told her there’s a baby inside mama’s stomach. Soon, she was able to repeat that: “Babyyyyyy inside mama’s stomach.”

In the last few months, she was even able to remember that baby inside mama’s stomach was baby Alistair, and she would sometimes voluntarily caress and kiss my belly.

Yet, I doubted that she understood the reality of it all.

A few months before Alistair was due to be born, I started planning the best ways to introduce them and to help Amy adapt to the new addition to our family.

Unfortunately, the first moment of introduction was kind of spoiled. I had envisioned a nice, intimate setting where Amy and her papa would come visit Alistair and me in the hospital, with just the four of us, and she could have that magical moment of meeting her brother.

That only happened in my mind.

I delivered Alistair in the morning, but by the time Amy was brought to the hospital to visit me, it was night, and I had a lot of visitors with me in the room at that time. So when her papa carried her into the room, she was extremely shy to see all the visitors. She was happy to see me, but didn’t dare to run over to me. And I could only do a quick “Look Amy, this is baby Alistair! He’s your brother!” while all the other visitors looked on.

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciated my visitors coming to see us. I was just disappointed at the timing that Amy came in to see her brother.

We also did a gift exchange. While I was still pregnant, Amy and I sort of chose a toy for baby, and I wrapped it up for him. Unbeknownst to Amy, I also wrapped a gift for her “from baby Alistair.” So at the hospital, we did the gift exchange. Honestly though, I don’t think Amy knew any of the significance. She was just happy to get a present and couldn’t wait to open it up.

So anyway. The reality really hit when Alistair and I returned home. I guess Amy suddenly realized that this baby is here to stay, and he has brought about change in the family. She now has less attention, and more people are fussing over the baby.

She has been nice to Alistair, but her tantrums have escalated. She is suddenly even more opinionated and stubborn (and she was already very opinionated and stubborn before this), and would go into uncontrollable screaming and crying over small things (and sometimes over nothing). We try to be patient, but sometimes she does get on our nerves. Yet, I remind myself that she is just a 2-and-a-half-year-old. It’s tough for her to suddenly have to share mama and papa.

At the same time, some of her reactions have been really cute.

Scenario 1: 

She saw me breastfeeding for the first time, and gave me such a look of shock, horror and disgust. (I was like gee thanks Amy, you were a breastfed baby too okay)

I told her baby is drinking milk. And she said, “Baby drinking milk. Amy dowan milk,” while shaking her head vigorously. So I said baby drinks from mama’s breasts while Amy drinks from bottle because Amy is a big girl now. From then on, she loves to say “Baby drink milk from mama’s nen nen. Amy drink from bottle!”

Scenario 2: 

We took out the baby cot in preparation for baby, and Amy became super interested in it. She has been asking to go into the cot, and said she wants to lie inside the cot like baby. And when we put her in, she would just enjoy herself inside.

Scenario 3:

She sometimes still points to my tummy and say “babyyyyyyyy”. Then I would explain that there’s no more baby inside my tummy, and that baby Alistair is already out. And I would show her Alistair. She would look confused and just walk away.

***

Well, life has certainly become more interesting now with a toddler and a baby. I have no confinement lady, so I’ve been hands-on with Alistair since the day we returned from hospital. My parents-in-law are helping me out with Amy as well as with cooking and some housechores. But whenever I can, I will spend time to play with Amy, or change her diaper, or put her to bed.

Needless to say, I’m exhausted! And sometimes I wonder if I would be able to finish this month of confinement in one piece. But then again, I would never trade this for anything else. And actually, I found that I could really enjoy Alistair’s newborn stage this time round. (During Amy’s time, I was freaking out as most new moms would haha)

Every day I remind myself to enjoy Alistair’s every milestone, and also not to miss Amy’s development. They grow up way too fast.

 

Love,

Natalie

Hello baby Alistair

What a beautiful start to 2017 it has been. My dear boy, Alistair Jianlei Yong, has been born.

Due to the history of my stillbirth with Alexa, my doctor and I had already agreed that we would induce delivery for this pregnancy, just like how we did for Amy. So throughout my pregnancy with Alistair, I knew that I would be delivering at my 38th week.

The weeks building up to the induction were a little bit stressful and tense for me. While I was less fearful compared to when I was pregnant with Amy, I was still unable to totally let my guard down. The tiny question of whether I would be able to bring my third baby home still nagged at me.

Also, this time round, I found myself a little bit more apprehensive about the whole process of labour and delivery. Perhaps it is because I already knew what to expect – the pain, the needles, the stitches, the NOT pushing and then the pushing…

Well. I did find that the entire experience this time round was a little more difficult and traumatising. Let’s start from the beginning.

Just as the clock struck midnight on January 10, 2017, I was admitted to the labour ward for my induced delivery. At this point, my dilation was already 2-3 cm, so I was quite hopeful for a quick labour! The nurse said I could start the induction at any time, but weirdly, I was a bit hesitant. I guess it was because I knew that once the process was started, there was no turning back or pausing, and the pain will begin!

But anyhow, I knew it was all inevitable, and another part of me really wanted to have baby Alistair out in my arms as soon as possible too. So at 2.45am, we started the induction by inserting half of the tablet (don’t know what it’s called) to soften my cervix.

As only half was inserted, as opposed to one full tablet during Amy’s time, I found that the process progressed a little slower. My contractions started becoming regular, and started to build up at 4am, but they were still very bearable. I could even sleep a little here and there until 6am.

At 6, the nurse came in to check on my dilation again, and she said the words that totally demotivated me.

“It’s still the same.”

What?! By then, my contractions were starting to be very painful and they were very regular, coming in at every 2 minutes.

So, even though my dilation was still 2-3cm, but because my contractions were so regular and so intense, the nurse decided that it was time to prepare me for delivery. They had to insert the “line” for IV drip (just in case of emergency) in my wrist, which was one of the things I dreaded because I really really really hate needles.

And then, my worst nightmare happened.

The needle went in, but couldn’t be totally pushed in. The nurse said it was a short vein, whatever that meant. So she had to take it out and look for another vein. She got another nurse in to help, and they found another vein. Again the “line” went in, and by then I already wanted to faint because I could feel everything and I really really really hate needles.

They told me my vein was a little small, so they would be inserting some fluid to wash out the vein a little bit. A few seconds later, they said, the vein seemed to be too small because the fluid was not going in. So they had to take it all out again and look for another vein!!!

I was in distress by this time. Not only were my contractions kinda killing me, but the entire needle experience was really making me upset.

They finally found a cooperative vein on my right hand, and the “line” was finally settled in. But then when the nurse checked the monitor (we were monitoring the baby’s heartbeat and my contractions all this while), she said there was an episode where my baby’s heartbeat dipped. So she had to connect me to the oxygen mask and drip me up for hydration, to ensure that baby could get all the oxygen and hydration he needed.

Listening to that made my heart fall. My husband and I were suddenly quite anxious. Will Alistair be OK??

The nurse told me that it could be due to various reasons. It could be head compression, cord tangled around the neck… Or it could be just that I was anxious or stressed and it affected the baby. So I had to not be anxious or stressed.

Listening to that made me even more anxious and stressed.

The nurse gave my doctor a call to give her the update, while I continued to lie down on the delivery bed, battling my contractions and trying very hard to stay calm and relaxed.

At about 7.20am, my doctor walked into the room and told me everything was fine. Immediately, I felt assured. I asked her about the baby’s heartbeat dipping, but she said it was OK since it was only one episode and since then baby’s heartbeat was more than fine.

My contractions were still coming in at every 2 minutes and the pain was really intense by now. My dilation was almost 5cm, so my doctor gave it a little stretch to help things move along faster, but it was oh-so-painful!

She seemed very happy with my progress and said my delivery will be a quick one. I asked her, how quick?? She said, I would probably deliver at about 9.

I looked at the clock and my heart sank. 9?! But it was only 7.30am then, and my contractions were already getting unbearable!

At 8am, I finally asked for the painkiller injection (that I took both during Alexa’s and Amy’s delivery). I also told my husband to keep time, because I was extremely sure that after the jab, I would give birth within an hour, just like my previous deliveries.

Sure enough, within that one hour my contractions shot up and I began to have the crazy urge to push. The nurse said I was 8cm, and I was like, nooooo… I really wanted to push. So she helped stretch me as well (though I really didn’t know how), and then called for my doctor to come in.

Within minutes, my doctor appeared and told me I could push when I next feel the urge to. Those were the sweetest command I heard all night!

So I pushed! And pushed and pushed with all my might. But then, after a few pushes, when I could feel baby crowning, my doctor told me to hold it and stop pushing. I could feel my pelvic bones opening and baby’s head coming out halfway and the pain was crazy and my whole body was dying to push and I had to HOLD.

The NOT pushing is always the hardest in delivery. Not the contractions. Not the pushing. It’s the NOT pushing.

And I had to do it three times! Push push push… OK hold… Push push push, OK hold…

I later asked my doctor, why did I have to hold? She told me it was to let the baby’s head ease out on his own, to prevent me from tearing too much.

Anyway, even though it felt like eternity to me, the pushing only took a few minutes because by 9.14am, my handsome boy Alistair was placed in my arms.

While stitching me up, my doctor kept telling me that my delivery was really fast. She said I could have another four children.

I looked at her and went like, “Are you crazy? I need time to forget this whole painful experience first.”

She laughed and said, “Yours was really fast. Oh you blessed woman of God.”

I am blessed. Thank You God for another bundle of joy. Until now, I still can’t believe that I have been given another child. My little Alistair.

His name, by the way, is a Scottish variant of Alexander, which holds the same meaning as Alexa – defender of man.

Thank you everybody for your support and prayers for me and with me throughout this pregnancy. I truly do not take for granted that I have so many of you cheering me and my family on. 🙂 We are very very blessed.

 

Love,

Natalie