Tag Archives: Livia

Perth, Australia 2014 – Overview

My wife, Livia and I visited Melvin and Tania’s abode at Perth after Christmas. Melvin is one of my hengtais during my wedding and we knew each other since we were 15.

They migrated over there couple of months ago. They now live in a place called Secret Harbour which is about 40 minutes away from Perth City.


Secret Habour. Most houses around here are single storey.

Although we arrived after Boxing Day, the city was a little bit dead. Most of the shops were closed and the streets were pretty empty.

We spent some time in the city before meeting up with Melvin and Tania. We didn’t want Livia to travel too much (she can’t sit still!). We stayed at Sheraton Hotel and got a pretty good room thanks to our friend Elaine of Luxenomad.


Livia was very pleased with the room.

We got a free upgrade thanks to Luxenomad and also a baby cot. The room was spacious and comfortable. They even supplied us with a bathtub for us to bath Livia.


Victorian building at Perth City


A street in Perth City


Saw this while walking to the city from our hotel


Perth City at night

It was our first time travelling with Livia on such a long journey. But the journey there was pleasant. Livia was in a good mood but did cry a little bit. She has this habit of staring at strangers and then smiling whenever they look back.


Livia poo-pooed in the plane once. We changed her in the airplane toilet. It has a baby diaper changing table. Things I didn’t realise until I became a parent.


We got Livia a bassinet. We had to top up RM300 for the seat. We also got free Heinz baby food.


I’ve always enjoyed flying over Australia. The view from the top is amazing.

The weather was scorching hot during the day but cool at night. We literally had to bath in sun tan lotions. Livia became tanned too especially after spending a day at the beach. Livia loved the beach. She crawled around the sand and played with the water (and even tried drinking it!).

Another couple, William and Rachael, stayed with Melvin and Tania at the same time. It felt like my university days when I had 7 other housemates. It was like a party everyday. W & R were having their honeymoon in Perth and we traveled around together. They were quite good with Livia. Wife and I could rest a bit while they play with Livia.


Livia and W. Livia doesn’t really like strangers carrying her but W & R were exceptions.

Most of the attractions of Perth are outside Perth City. We made couple of road trips around Perth on a 7-seater KIA Van which Melvin rented (all of us chipped in for the rental).

Livia however didn’t enjoy the ride on the van much. She doesn’t like to be strapped down on the car seat. Wife had to distract her with food.

Melvin cooked us delicious food throughout the stay. He made us breakfast and dinner. He’s a good cook hence food was always tasty (and he just started a new job as a cook!). He even made us kangaroo burgers!


Livia was pleased with the food


Roasted pork!


Mushrooms and Hainanese chicken.


Barbecue was in our menu too.

After 7 days in Perth, we made our trip home. Melvin fetched all of us to the airport. Tania came back with us to Malaysia leaving Melvin alone in Perth. His home was no longer the lively home he saw for the past 7 days. But I guess he’ll be glad that we left him once he saw his electricity and gas bills.

The journey back home was terrible though. Our 2:30AM flight was disastrous because Livia was screaming and crying. She refused to sleep on her bassinet hence my wife had to carry her to sleep. My wife barely slept. Lesson learnt: Don’t take midnight flights when travelling with a baby!

My Birthday 2014

I had a quiet birthday celebration this year (it was on 24th September 2014_. My wife’s cousin, CS, baked me a red velvet cake. It was a little bit bitter but it was the gesture that counts.

Here’s #LiviaFoong and me when we were cutting my cake. She likes being carried on my shoulder. But she will eat my hair sometimes.

Wife brought #LiviaFoong and I to Hyatt 38 to celebrate my birthday in advance.

We were here few months ago to celebrate Mummy’s day for my wife.

I must say this place is expensive. We had to pretend to be rich to be here.

Sparkling or still?, asked the waiter.

“Still”, I replied.

Then came the RM22 bottle of Aqua Panna mineral water. Must have came from an extinct mountain in Italy.

My RM170 lamb ribs. It was pretty good!


This is their signature cake. Apparently a must have in Hyatt 38. Chocolate mousse topped with caramel. Tasted abit like Mars bar. It also came with yummy banana ice cream.


Great view of the city.


#LiviaFoong on a baby chair. Apparently this baby chair costs RM1200. Made of wood and it looks like a stair. Wtf.


RM20 parking fee. I can eat 3 – 4 plates of wan tan mee with this amount!!!

One thing about Hyatt is that it doesn’t have a diaper change room. So we have to change #LiviaFoong on the car boot. She seems to like it there.

On my birthday, my parents and I had dinner at Canton-i, Mid Valley. Purple Cane, Our usual place to celebrate birthdays, was closed for renovation. Mum was a little bit disappointed.

Before dinner, Dad came early to see #LiviaFoong. He spent couple of hours with her. This is the first time he spent such a long time with her.

I’m starting to dislike my birthday celebrations. So much so that I hid my birth date on Facebook so that no one knows it’s my birthday. But some great friends still remember it!

One special thing about this year’s birthday is that it’s my first birthday as a father. Hope for many more ones to come!

The first 4 months

Livia’s first two months went on very quickly. We extended the services of our confinement lady, Mei Je, for two additional weeks. I must say it was a wise choice as we were not weighed down by Livia. However, after she left, my wife and I had to take care of Livia.


Livia few days only

I must say that Mei Je’s services were excellent. The stuff she cooked was tasty and she does housework for us. I had no problem with her. She even came back to take care of Livia when she was on a break after her next assignment.


Livia slightly older than one month

Our new Filipino helper, Elena, arrived before Mei Je left. The latter had some time to train Elena before she leave for another job. My wife and I took care of Livia exclusively after Mei Je left. Elena’s job was to do housework but she slowly took over our role on the third month. My wife’s maternity leave lasted for 4 months.

10 days after her birthday, i registered her birth at the National Registration Department. The queue was pretty short. It took me only half an hour.


Bathing Livia for the first time. My confinement lady guided me throughout the way. Livia poo-ed before I could put her in the tub. Nevertheless, she was quite cooperative and thus it was quite easy to bath her.

I am glad that I started my own law firm. I became a stay home dad. I had plenty of time for Livia. The only drawback is that I can’t focus on my work much. It gets interrupted every hour. I guess that’s what you call Work Life Balance.

Livia’s growth was pretty quick. At two months, she is taller than an average Asian baby. At 6 weeks, Livia started to interact and speak. Her first word was “Oo”. She mimicked me after I kept repeating the word “Oo”. At her 8th week, she could mimic the word “HI”.


Slightly older than a month

When she reached 3 months, she could interact with us. She would smile or laugh whenever we talk to her or tickle her. She would also mumble and make small gestures like scratching her ear to tell us something. The tone of her voice would also indicate what she wanted. A cough-like sound indicates that she wants to sleep.

Speaking about sleep, Livia’s sleeping habit, like all babies, was erratic. She also wants to be carried to sleep. She wakes up every 1 to 2 hours for feed. We barely had enough sleep. Fortunately, it became better towards the end of the third month but wakes up at 3am – 4am once in a while and refused to sleep thereafter.

We engaged our wedding photographer to shoot Livia’s newborn portrait. It was a terrible experience as Livia was crying most of the time. However, the pictures came out fantastic.

Livia’s full moon party was held at Marmalade Cafe, Bangsar Village II. We had about 100 over guests. The party started from 11am to 3pm. We finished most of the food. I was busy catching up with some friends whom I have not seen for ages.


Decorated by ThinkPartyThoughts!


Part of the full moon gifts from friends.

We brought Livia back to Kota Kinabalu to see her grandparents and grandaunt. Kota Kinabalu’s brunch and coffee craze just started hence we visited a few of the new coffee places like October Coffee House and Santola Coffee @ Kelombong. Mum in law took care of Livia while we were out. My father in law managed to get a bassinet for her. All he did was call the airline to book a bassinet.

We brought Livia to Hippopo Baby Spa when she was 3 months old. We were hoping that she will enjoy the swim and massage. She enjoyed the first few minutes of it but burst into tears after that. Had to calm her down and call it off. Fortunately, we could redeem our payment for next time.

Before we brought Livia to Singapore, we had to get her passport done at the Immigration Department at Jalan Duta. There’s a special lane for children at the department. We were pretty late hence we had to take Livia’s picture at the department. We had a hard time trying to get her to pose for her passport photo. Even the immigration officer helped. She was crying non stop until we fed her. After she calmed down, we quickly snapped a few shots. The best we got was a picture of her looking out from the camera. The others were pictures of her crying.

Toward the end of her 3rd month, Livia’s interaction with people became more frequent. In fact, she craved too much attention sometimes. But she loves staring out the window so I put her in front of the window to kill time.


Livia at 4 months old. Sigh, they grow up so fast!

Echelon 2014

This is my second time to echelon, a Asian tech startup event. But this time round, I brought my wife and Livia along. It was also Livia’s first time on the plane. I must say the trip with Livia to Singapore wasn’t as bad as I would imagine. She did cry once and pooped twice but it was something we could manage.

We stayed in Goodwood Park Hotel – a 5 star hotel. We got it at a discounted rate. In the old days, I would stay in some dingy, inconvenient or far away hotel to save cost. But with Livia around, we made sure we stay at a good hotel. Goodwood Park was excellent. Room was big and service was good. It was about RM600 night. We opted out from breakfast which cost SGD30. I had breakfast at Far East Plaza, which is just next door, for SGD4.

The event was held at Max Atria, Expo Drive. It quite far away for Singaporean standard. It’s an hour by train if I come from Orchard. Taxi ride was about 20 minutes.

This year’s echelon is much more interesting. They spoke about mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the startup world and advertising in tech businesses. The key thing I picked up from the M&A talk is that one should get to know people early. Many big boys get to know the startups early and see them grow. When the startup is seen to have potential, the big boys can quickly and easily engage the startup for acquisition purposes.

The speaker for the advertising in tech business aptly set out tech business models:- ecommerce, search (eg Google), social media (Facebook,  Twitter), eservices (eg Spotify), content publisher (eg CNN), content aggregator and gaming. All these models can be monetised with advertisements.

Although I am not in the tech business, I find it very useful to attend such event. I have many tech related clients and it is very useful for me to understand their business especially their tech jargon and business models. I also get to educate clients on the latest updates and even educating clients who want to venture into the tech industry.


Startup booths

This year I do not have the company of Melissa (who is no longer in Perkpool) but Chong Yee, my patent attorney friend from Singapore. Together we went around the booths to hear startups pitch their business. This year they have startups from Kazakhstan. I find these startups most interesting:-

Phonebooth – app that allows you to make free phone call to local businesses. Phonebooth will gather business phone numbers and list them on their App. Business owners may claim the number and place information and advertisements there. For example, a restaurant may place their menu.

Honey Alarm – funny pitch from the founder. You can customise the alarm clock App to wake you up using recordings of their “sweet young thing” (SYT). The new version will allow users to purchase the newly listed SYTs. There may also be a new version to put your own recording such as your children or girlfriend.

Worldjumper – a self learning translator. They will install a database which will learn your company’s patterns and behavior in translation.

Ipselex – a software that simplifies patent searches for startups and businesses. Key in a product description and it will plow through patent specifications to see whether there are any similar products. Invented by a patent attorney, the software has semantic functions ie to have variation of term for each search term.

Piroq – this is the first company I see commercialises Raspberry Pi. It is installed in a vehicle to track, for example, road conditions, location of vehicles.

Typeform – A website which allows you to beautify your surveys, registration forms and other forms. Basicallly, a beautified version of SurveyMonkey.

The French Celler – Users can get specially selected French wine by one of France’s best sommelier. Buy wine online

At the end of the first day, all 10 most promising startups from a few countries from the Asia region pitched to win the most promising startup. I find these startups most interesting:-

Candy – complete “missions” (micro-tasks) like downloading App to get free mobile calls or airtime.

Publishizer – a pre-order ebook website. Author can post their ebook to get backers

Hoverr – in-image advertisements – images are highly engaging to visitors. Most visitors ignore anything that looks like an advertiser – advertisement on top of images.

Ambiclimate – device and App to regulate air condition temperature. Currently supports 7 brands of aircon.

Viscovery – B2B visual based search – can be used to snap product and search it using Viscovery to purchase product – enable user to search their product quickly

TaamKru – app for children to learn. Parents can compare results with other children based on, age, geography etc. In app purchase for more content. Winner of the echelon most promising startup.

iChef – Taipei – highly customisable POS App for restaurants – you can vary and customise each items on the menu eg more noodles, less spicy or more soup.


There was a session on the Malaysian startup scene moderated by Gabey Goh of Digital News Asia. Here Cheryl’s screensaver took over the screen. When the floor was open for questions, someone asked about corruption in Malaysia.

I managed to catch up with some of two of my university mates namely Chuo Ming and Mitciao. The former has just joined another law firm whereas the latter is expecting a baby soon!

Good to see friends progressing in life.

Welcome to this world, Livia!!

At about 2am, I woke up hearing my wife groaning in pain. We thought it was just contraction pain and it may go away later. We were scheduled to meet our gynae the next morning.

However, the pain became unbearable and we came to the conclusion that my wife is going in labour. We were not sure because her water has not broke. Nevertheless, we packed our bags and headed straight to Pantai Hospital Bangsar. I brought my dSLR along.

I dropped her at the emergency counter and headed straight to the parking lot. When I got to the emergency counter, my wife was not there. I was told that she had been brought to the maternity ward.

The hospital was almost empty at that time. There were some guards but most of them were sleeping (one was snoring loudly). I wandered around the corridors before finding the maternity ward. There I found my wife on the bed. We were told that our gynae, Dr Patrick Chia, was on the way.

I must thank the person who invented epidural. Within a few minutes the pain went away. Nevertheless, we had to wait for the cervical dilation and I slept on the hospital chair. I had a sore bum a few hours later.

I drove out from the hospital to have lunch and check on our house. I returned to the hospital after taking a short nap at home.

We were planning to have natural birth but we abandoned the plan as our baby’s head was not in the proper position. We had to go for cesarean birth instead. It all happened in a jiff. Within minutes, my wife was wheeled to the operation room.

I had to change to hospital clothes and had to wait in a room.


I took this picture and posted it on Instagram.

Few minutes later, I was escorted to the operation room. By the time I was in the room, the doctors and nurses have started operating on my wife. The room was spacious and cold.

She said she didn’t feel any pain. The doctors and nurses seem to be having a hard time pulling our baby out. I think there were 5 people trying to get the baby out.


At 1:43pm on 1st April 2014, Foong Livia was born. She was 3.5kg.

The nurse immediately brought Livia to another table to clean her up. She wiped blood off her and clamped her umbilical cord. She also cut off Livia’s excessive cord and packed it into a bag.

I then pointed to a bowl filled with blood to the nurse.

“Is that the placenta?”

“Yes”

“Oooooooo”

Livia was then brought to the nursery. I escorted her there while the doctors were patching my wife up. Livia was crying and seems to be shivering from the cold. I held her arms and feet to warm her up.

A nurse gave her 2 injections and she shrieked a little. After spending some time with her, I went back to our ward, C325, to check on my wife. She was no where to seen. I waited an hour and yet still no news about her. I got worried as the doctors and nurses were a bit rough on her. I later found out that she spent some time in the recovery room.

My wife’s second aunt and grandma were waiting at the lounge. They too were eagerly waiting for the arrival of my wife and Livia.

We were swamped with visitors for the first few days. Many brought gifts. Many thanks to those who came.


Livia had jaundice. We had to put her under ultraviolet light.


Livia and I before we left for home.


Livia opened her eyes on the second day. Here we are having a staring contest.

Wife was discharged on Friday and drove her and Livia home immediately. I’ve never driven so slow in my life.

We immediately picked up our confinement lady, Mei Che. She had been a great help. I wouldn’t know what we would do without her. She cleaned, cooked and took care of Livia for us.

My routine didn’t change much but my wife’s routine turned 360 degrees. Livia is being breastfed and she wants her milk every 1 – 3 hours. Sometime my wife takes an hour to feed Livia!

The feeling of being a father is a feeling that I’ve never felt before. Whenever I think of my little one, I feel joy in my heart.

It’s great to be a father!