About Me

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Hi, My name is Sienna Chaw Naga aka Baby Si. My daddy's name is Karthik and mummy's is Jamie aka KarMie (Karthik+Jamie). 
I am proud to be a Chin-dian!!! My daddy is an Indian American, mummy a Malaysian Chinese and they met in the States while working together at Cummins, Inc. I was made in China :) Since then, I have travelled to Japan, Australia, New Zealand, China, India, USA, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia (all while being comfortably in mummy's womb). I took my first trip when I was only 3 months n we went to Phuket, Thailand as mummy needed a vacation! 2 yrs later, my parents gave me a baby brother, Skyler Chaw Naga aka baby Skye! Now we live in Charlotte,NC (USA)...
Do leave me a comment if u think WE r CUTE :) 
Hope u like reading my blog... xoxo, Baby Si!!! Here's my first blog entry: http://karmie080808.blogspot.sg/2012/10/my-first-blog.html 
 To advertise, Plz contact my mummy at: jamiechaw@gmail.com
About my mummy: 

Monday, 10 July 2017

Diaper FREE!!!

 
My motto for this post:
Being diaper FREE!!!
"JUST DO IT"
 
We have been delaying Sienna from being completely diaper free since we were busy moving (2 times in Singapore) in a span of 3 months and (2 times in USA) in a span of 2 months!!!
But as soon as we bought and moved to our own "permanent" place here in Charlotte (North Carolina, USA), we knew right away we had to pull the plug and just do it!!!
The kids had their own shared room with their own mattresses!
No more sharing with mommy n daddy...
 
When to know when your kid is ready:
For Skyler it was extremely EASY.
We knew right away at an early age of 2.5 yrs old that he can hold his pee all thru the night as he wakes up with dry diapers in the morning.
Whereas for Sienna, she will wake up with wet diapers so very often.
So we started them off with NAP time first.
And soon we knew SiennaSkyler were ready for night time.
 
Here are some important tips when starting the diaper free process:
1) buy a good reasonably priced WATERPROOF mattress protector! I cannot emphasized how much this is so very important and a life saver! Ever since we moved into our new home, we bought high quality quite expensive mattresses for the kids since high quality mattresses are important for everybody coz we spend 1/3 of our life sleeping. It's my OCD telling me that we can't ruin the mattresses with pee and it's unhygenic to sleep in dirty mattresses anyways. How do you even clean and dry soiled mattresses and worst case might further lead to mold?  So the best solution is to cover it up with WATERPROOF mattress protector. After doing some research n reading reviews, I got one that costs only $10 on sale (regular price $12.99) twin size (Cannon brand from Kmart). N every time the kids get an "accident", just throw it in the washer n dryer (following the instructions on it)!
So hassle free n stress free...
The "kiasu-ness" in me even layered in between the mattress n mattress protector with another layer of disposable mattress protector just to be double sure!!! Lols... but so far so good...
 
2) avoid drinks, yogurt n juicy fruits after 7-8pm.
My kids sleep late at around 10 pm. (This will soon change once Sienna starts kindergarten this August).
We used to give them their hot chocolate drink an hour before putting them to sleep (thinking they need their milk to sleep). But it's just a mental n community habit picked up from other parents/TV/etc ... now we give their hot chocolate milk right after they wake up from their nap, 5pm! And it works out fine for us...
 
3) take them to pee right before bed.
(And AGAIN just to make sure) ~> "kiasu"
We asked them to pee before brushing their teeth n then we start our nightly bedtime routine (family prayer, story telling/reading a book, kiss our night night kiss ritual). Then right before the lights are being turned off, we make them pee AGAIN for the 2nd time.
And surprisingly there would still be a little pee left in their tank!
 
4) wake them up in the middle of the night n take them to pee!
We heard this from other parents but as you know I just got my freedom n my beauty sleep back beginning of this year (stopped breastfeeding)... so heck no am I waking up! Lols. I have hinted this to Mr. Hubby but nahhhh, it didn't become a reality.
 
5) as soon as they wake up, remind them first thing first! Go pee pee... a few times Sienna was too excited to tell me about her dream or any story "under the stars" that by the time she made a run to the toilet, she would pee on the toilet floors!!!
Then after pee, they can jump into our beds to give us morning cuddles n kisses...
Skyler just goes with the flow! Monkey see monkey do... he's at a phase where he thinks his jie jie Sienna is the coolest n loves to copy cat his sister...
 
6) start a reward chart for every dry night.
Daddy kept track of every dry nap and night for both kids on the calendar with a smiley face for more than 2 months.  After 10 smiley faces, the kids got to pick out their favorite picture for a printout. This really helps them to psychologically enjoy the success of keeping their beds pee-free!  The smiley faces were becoming more and more common as the weeks went by...
 
7) stay persistent n positive!!!
Many times it crossed my mind that maybe Sienna isn't ready yet. (But then again she's 5!!!) n to put her diapers on again. So I kept telling myself to stay focus n don't get stressed whenever she has her "accidents". Just another load of laundry, that's all!!! Kids can sense us, so stay positive n assure her that she can hold it in. True enough, the next day she was all smiley n told me she can indeed hold it in!!! She was getting discouraged too when she wet her bed a few times in a row. But they will learn a few times after getting their pants wet...
 
8) Accidents do happen!
That's why they are called accidents... Lols!!!
Remember: just another extra load of laundry...and stay positive!!!
 
I'm happy to announced that the Naga household has been diaper FREE since the beginning of this year!!! Say no more to diapers in this house...n say hello to more shopping for this momma... Lols!!!
Yes, the diaper bag that I had for the past 5 years has been dumped into the dumpster this year since breastfeeding cover n diapers have been taken out of my vocabulary!
Hello Prada n Gucci bag ... okay, kidding only! More like Coach, perhaps?
 

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Quick trip to the beach!

Quick trip to the nearest beach, Charleston, South Carolina... 
3.5 hrs drive from Charlotte, North Carolina !

It was our family's first time stepping foot into the state of South Carolina
What better way than a quick drive to the beach! 
Seems like everybody we know were heading to the beach during the summer holidays so we thought why not?

My in laws came along and it was our first trip holidaying together... 
(If you don't count Malaysia/Singapore/India)

Day 1:
Checked into our hotel room n had our first southern food for lunch! 
We were so starving that we just went to the nearest restaurant across our hotel. 
It was my first time to Cracker Barrel but unfortunately southern food isn't my cup of tea
Lots of deep fried stuff and food was bland. Mr. Hubby agreed too but we told ourselves that we have to try a local one and not chain brand restaurants. 
So we shall give southern food another try! 
Any recommendations on where to eat or what to order?



After lunch we headed straight to the beach! 
There's plenty of beaches to choose from in Charleston, SC. After doing a quick research, we decided to head to Sullivan Island as it claimed to be family friendly with smaller waves, alcohol and pets are not permitted. If you are a surfer, you might wanna check out Folly beach which is the closest beach to downtown. The waves are much bigger and you will be surrounded by surfers!
The downside to the beach we went to was there wasn't any toilets on the beach and you need to walk quite a bit from free street parking. We were prewarned from our research, and made sure the kids did their "businesses" right before.



The first thing this momma did on arrival at the beach was to scout for shaded trees (that's the Malaysian in me)... but to my dismay there weren't any shade in sight!!! It was scorching hot but the "Angmoh" Americans were sun tanning as if it was so nice n comfortable?! 
Thankfully I brought my trusty umbrella along n i was the ONLY one walking around covered up holding an umbrella... Lols! 
Next time u see a covered up Asian crazy aunty holding an umbrella, it's gotta be me... do say hi!


I have countless times been mistaken as Indonesian/ Thai/ Malay/ baba nyonya n here in USA, as Hispanic... getting any tanner shall make me loose my Malaysian Chinese identity! 
I'm already so tanned, and once I'm brown, I can never go back, only black!!! 
My skin will remain tanned/brown... soon, I might as well be mistaken as Indian/black? Lols...



So what did the kiddos Sienna n Skyler do as soon as we got to the beach? 
Dragged Mr. Hubby n my father in law straight to the water... surprisingly the water was warm enough for them to enjoy a good 45 mins... before this momma had to call it quits as it was toasting/roasting them too much!





They got to collect some seashells n then we headed to check out the light house but unfortunately it's just a historic monument n not accessible to the public. Think the infrastructure is too old.


We drove to the next beach nearby called Isle of Palms but unfortunately you can't drive along the beach to see it. So we decided to skip it as it was too hot n headed to get some ice cream to cool us down. N then headed back to hotel for a nap.

Dinner at night ~ Thai food at "Mei Thai restaurant"!!! Yummy n huge portions...

Day 2:
Breakfast at hotel.
Downtown Charleston here we come!!!
Tips: There's free parking along Battery street (might be limited  during the weekends)

Since our trip is a short one, we decided what better way to explore the whole city thru a free walking tour. Yes, FREE! But the tour guides work exclusively for your appreciation. You choose how much you thought the tour was worth. So tip accordingly. 
We've used walking tours a lot whenever we traveled... in Amsterdam, Sydney, Toronto, etc. 
It is the best way to learn about a city and it's never boring! 
Even our kids enjoyed taking in the sights in the quickest way! 
But we made a mistake this time coz we never had to reserve before hand. Just show up and join the tour. Unfortunately, they had a limit on the group size. So we were bummed but we still continued our own itinerary just by following their list of itinerary. "Copy n paste". 
Here's the link to book the tour -> click here
http://www.freetoursbyfoot.com/charleston-sc-tours/

1st stop~ White point gardens. This garden features numerous revolutionary and civil war era cannons. The garden is lined with shaded oak trees, perfect for having a picnic while taking in the sights and see breeze of the Charleston harbor.
Sienna n Skyler were running around on the grass. 




Then we proceeded n walked thru French quarters + cobbled stones road to our next stop.



2nd stop~ Charleston old city market. Lots of antiques, souvenir and trinkets. It is a sheltered market but oh my was so HOT and not air conditioned. It reminded me of "Chatuchak market" in Thailand but on a much much SMALLER scale.
Tips~ Be sure to carry cash
We didn't buy anything as we read it was overpriced. 
Instead, our stomachs were calling for food.

3rd stop ~ lunch in any restaurant surrounding the city market. 
We were so hungry n chose the 1st one we saw, "Market Street Deli" ~> Sandwiches n gyros.

4th stop~ must try, local snack dessert. Pralines!!! (and home made fudge n home made ice cream). So YUMMY that every calories were well spent... well, it's vacation so who cares! 
But be warn that your kids will be sugar high. 


5th stop~ free trolley/bus. We hop on a free bus to get around + sight see. There's 3 different routes. 
Tips~ u can get the map + schedule on board the bus. Bus is Air conditioned which was a saver since we got to cool off for a bit.

6th stop~ kings street. 
We were there at the right time because on the 2nd Sunday of every month, the whole street is blocked to car traffic so we could walk freely and enjoy street performances, people watching and dining el-fresco!


Kings street is lined with designer brands and a good mix of antiques n local shops
This momma did good n did NOT do ANY shopping!!! 
Can't shop in peace anyways when u have 2 young kids with you...
Even though we didn't buy anything, it is still a nice place to people watch + stroll along.

Sienna and Skyler were surprised and speechless when they their fav. princesses!!!
Princess Anna and Elsa!!! (and the other guy, who?)



7th stop ~ waterfront park + pier. 
Offers great view of the Charleston harbor
Sit in the bench swings and take in the views of the Charleston harbor. 


They said if you are lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of dolphins swimming! 
From there you can see the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. 
The pier reminded me of Sydney harbour in Australia. 






Dip your toes in the Famous pineapple fountain n there's also a huge water fountain where kids were cooling off. Sienna n Skyler just stared at the other kids as we didn't bring any change of clothes!




8th stop ~ rainbow row + the Battery. 
The Battery: Once a defensive seawall, the area is now known for its historic homes, mostly ultra luxurious waterfront homes!!!
We walked along the battery wall back to find our car parked along Battery street. Look to the opposite side of the ocean, you will see a long row of colorful historic homes known as the "Rainbow row". 




Places on the list that we didn't had time to visit:
.Angel oak tree ~ over 1000 year old tree, the oldest oak tree in the east coast! 
Things to note: It is a 25 mins drive from downtown Charleston and closes everyday at 5pm. Thus, we couldn't make it in time.

.Charleston tea plantation. (127 acres).
It is America's ONLY tea plantation!!!
Things to note: It closes everyday at 4pm. Thus, we couldn't make it in time.

.Charleston farmers market~ only opens on Saturday mornings. 
We missed it coz we arrived in the afternoon.

.We skipped the horse carriage tour as we were beaten down by the heat already n figured that we have mostly explored downtown by foot ourselves.

.Red barn ~ free petting farm animals (horse, goats, chickens). 
We skipped it as the kids have done this before elsewhere n figured we could do this anywhere.

Charleston definitely offered more than what I imagined and expected. 
Everywhere we drove, we saw palm trees!!! 
Anytime I see palm trees, it always turn me on vacation mode... 
To think that this beautiful city of Charleston was on our short list of cities we were thinking of moving to. We didn't choose it as it was a bit too far a drive from my in laws. And sadly it was hit by hurricane Matthews and gets flooded every once in a blue moon.

We only stayed 1 night but oh so beautiful Charleston, we will definitely be back!!!

Monday, 12 June 2017

Happy LOVING day!!!

Happy LOVING day!!!

I'm pretty sure 99.99 % of you wouldn't know what this day means! To be honest, I just found out when I just moved back to the USA last year (just stumbled upon it thanks to social media)
It's definitely NOT a day of loving EVERYBODY!!! Lols...
That would be Valentine's day...

It's a very VERY important day in history that allowed the creation of KarMie = Karthik + Jamie!!!

To know that just as recent as in the years prior to 1967, the USA banned interracial marriages.

What Is Loving Day?

Mildred and Richard Loving were of different races but they went against the law, fell in love and decided to get married even though they knew it was illegal. After they got married, they were sentenced to prison for a year. But in 1967, the Supreme Court decided they would no longer prevent couples from marrying based on the color of their skin.

The Lovings knew love conquers all and because of their true love, they persevered so that couples like them and us can proudly be public today!

So because of the Lovings, every year on June 12th, every interracial couples will remember this day and celebrate their victory, our victory. It’s because of them that all couples can marry, regardless of the color of our skin.
They say love is blind right???

KarMie wouldn't be KarMie legally in the USA if it wasn't for the Lovings. Well, we would only be legal in Singapore/Malaysia. And to think that I wouldn't be allowed back to the USA without a USA marriage certificate. That would totally changed our lives. We would have to spend the rest of our lives in Singapore... Lols!!! I wouldn't mind that... "nasi lemak" + toast box everyday!!!

To also know that our kids, Sienna and Skyler wouldn't be able to marry people of a different race just because of the difference in skin color???
That is just mind boggling...
God created humans. PERIOD.

The Lovings definitely changed our lives, our kids lives and the world we live in...

How Can You Celebrate Loving Day?

~> Find a Loving Day celebration.
There are Loving Day celebrations all over the USA. Click here
http://www.lovingday.org/find-a-celebration
to find a celebration in your city!
If you don't have one in your city, you could probably start one in your community...

~> Celebrate with your family at home.
Sienna has been talking more about skin color ever since moving to the USA.
She knows the terminology "Chindian", that she's Chindian = Chinese+ Indian ... She identifies people of different races. We often talk to our kids about how KarMie was formed. When they are older, we can talk to them about The Lovings and/or even watch a movie all about it! The movie is titled "Loving".

~> SHARE IT, SPREAD IT!!!
Let's do our part and spread awareness of this wonderful day in history.
You may share this post if you like!

I LOVE my "ROJAK" aka mixed up family!!!

Friday, 12 May 2017

The END...


The END...
The end to my breastfeeding journey with my 1st born ~> baby Sienna

The end to my breastfeeding journey with my 2nd born ~>  baby Skyler
25th December 2016 marked the last day of my breastfeeding (BF) journey. 
I have been fully breastfeeding my 2 kids for the past 4.5 years in total!!! 
(Minus a few months during my pregnancy with baby Skye ~ click here to find out why). 



Wowwww...didn't know I could last this long!!! I guess all mommies are supermommies...
My ultimate goal was to BF till baby Skyler turned 3 years old (31 Jan 2017)... I almost made it ~ just shy by one month plus! 
***It's okay, this momma still deserves a pat on the back***


So we started to wean baby Skye off by having Mr. Hubby put the 2 kids to sleep in their own (shared) room !!! Finally they get their own room (after moving into our new place) n yayyy to us, the parents, for having the WHOLE queen size bed to ourselves and not having to squeeze n curl up like a "udang" aka shrimp!!!
***The feeling is Ohhh-sooo-awesome***
And NO MORE WAKING UP to feed... baby Skyler n mummy can finally sleep thru the night!!! Say no to "panda bear" eyes and no more feeling like a walking zombie... this momma haven't had her beauty sleep ever since the babies were born!!! N COFFEE!!! Yes, I can drink however much I want n like without the guilty feeling (I used to limit myself).

Okay now back to the story (got a little sidetrack)...
So, it worked but with a little tears and wanting mommy. Every night before Mr. Hubby puts Baby Skyler to bed, I made sure to tell him that he's a big boy now, no need nen-nen aka (.)(.) anymore, pray as a family, kiss our goodnight kisses n off I go! Kudos to Mr. Hubby for making bedtime fun and exciting as he will tell a story each with their favorite cartoon characters in it (which they get to choose their fav characters every night)... and then some days Mr. Hubby will let the kids tell him a story n put him to sleep instead!!! Happened a few times where they 3 feel asleep together ... oh wait, Mr. Hubby was the 1st one to be knocked out.... yayyy to mommy having the WHOLE bed to myself!!! Muahahaha...

But then when it came to their afternoon nap, this momma was left to put the 2 kids to sleep... and since I was there lying with them, Baby Skyler was on auto-mode and automatically latch on to me!!! I tried my best to say NO but he's so persistent and adamant that either I gave in or succumb to having my shirt ripped off... yes, it was that BAD!!!

So basically I was still BFeeding him once a day... Looking back, this was a GREAT outcome coz dropping off feedings gradually made my transition super easy as oppose to going "cold turkey"!!! I did NOT get engorged AT ALL and did not suffer any side effect whatsoever.... no mastitis, no block ducts, no aches, no pains!!! I was dreading and expecting the worst....

Thankfully Mr. Hubby got good news that he will be starting his new job beginning of 2017 which was the highlight of it all ... he would be WORKING from HOME!!! No more driving 2 hrs to n fro work...yayyy!!! More quality time with the kids...N best of all, Mr. Hubby can put the kids down for naps too....couldn't this be any more perfect???PERFECT timing!!!

To add the icing on the cake:-
Mr. Hubby and I came up with an ULTIMATE plan!!!
Since we were over at Karthik's parents place during Christmas (for 1 week), we decided to use the grand parents as the "art of distraction"!!! we told Sienna that the crib/baby cot that she was sleeping in whenever we were at the grandparents place, has been donated. So she immediately declared she's sleeping with the grandparents... and as always, "monkey see,monkey do!!!". Skyler wanted to join in the fun too...Little did he know what he was signing up for.
He cried for his momma once the lights were out... it didn't last long, and I declared victory!!! It happened just for 2-3 nights straight n lasted less than 5 mins...
It came naturally and of course with some coaxing.

Update -
A few weeks passed by, n there's still milk coming out when I press my (.)(.)...
I do really miss having our bonding time but at times it CAN and WILL get frustrating too... definitely a love-hate relationship!!! I knew it was for my baby's own good and n i knew he won't be a baby forever...and yes, my baby has grown up!!! Thus, this ends my breastfeeding journey!
A long journey with bumps here and there, uphill and downhill, but it was well worth it...

...
To all the mothers soon to deliver... Breastfeeding is NOT EASY... U need to be surrounded by supportive family especially hubby! U need to have determination, perseverance, hard core, commitment, hard working, strong willed, "kiasu", etc...
But let me tell u, it is soooo WORTH IT...
All the best... "Jia yu"... "GAMBATEH"... "Fighting"!!!
Baby Skye has only fallen sick twice! All thanks to the wonders of this liquid gold...
*sad**happy**sad**happy**sad**happy**... Arghhhh mixed emotions till this very day!!!
I miss my bonding sessions...only bf mothers will understand ;)

Next milestones:
.say bye bye to all the diapers in the house... diaper FREE!!! We are working on that...starting with nap time first...wish us all the best...









Disclaimer: That's Sienna being silly and wanted to join in the fun too!!! no breastfeeding was involved for this "baby"!!! Just for "show & tell" purposes ;)