Thursday 17 December 2015

November 2015 Expenditures

This is my first time ever recording our family's expenditures in a month and  sharing it for everyone to see. I am really interested to see what were the things that we spent money on and how we can be more efficient, prudent and frugal in the months to come. I am still getting used to recording every single "sen" that we spend. It is quite a task tracking and recording everything down. Please note that this is just our spending and excludes utilities, fixed monthly payments like insurance, home mortgage and other debt repayments.

I found that as an "expense tracking virgin" asking for a receipt every time I buy something really helps because I can then take the stack of receipts out at the end of the day or (days sometimes) and record it properly. It's either that or I develop the discipline to record it all down at the end of everyday.

Hopefully I should be able to do it faster next month. Anyway here it is!

Amount (RM)
Yuan Yuan Confinement Home
This was a deposit for me to stay in a confinement home when baby #2 arrives
Hubby’s Clothes & Personal Shopping
This was Hubby’s once in a purple moon shopping spree and he really needed new pairs of pants, shirts & a new wallet
Pregnancy Belly Support
I bought these to help alleviate my round ligament and sacroiliac joint pain. Bought them at 20% off from Lazada!
Stretchy Dresses
Broke my clothes buying ban in November as I needed something more accommodating to my growing belly.  Clothes buying ban restarting!
For both our cars. It’s my daily commute to work, whilst Hubby moves around quite a bit
Kids Clothes
Chapati was out growing a lot of his stay-at-home clothes and my MIL was asking us to get some. We bought like 10 sets of shorts & t-shirt and 4 sets of long sleeves & long pants for sleeping. CHEAP! Plus it’s going to be handed down to baby #2
3 bags of diapers for Chapati
Kid’s Foam Play Mat
We are doing up the house to have an kids play area, so we invested in a play mat
Toddler Sense Classes
4 classes for Josh at Baby Sensory
Baby Laundry Detergent
4 bottles in preparation for baby#2’s arrival
We have been trying to cook and eat at home more often.
Eating Out
We hope to reduce this expense in the near future
Home maintenance
Hubby managed to replace our master bedroom tap and our living room LED downlights by himself.  Our room air was leaking water so had someone repair it.
Home Cleaning
Our weekly cleaner who helps to keep our home clean & tidy
Electric mosquito traps
Hubby bought 2 online
Small items
2 book straps for the playground, jelly moulds, soy sauce bottle, apple corer, hot/cold pack
Angpow for Mum’s birthday and small gifts for a friend who is unwell and one who was in hospital
Hubby’s cholesterol pills & prenatal Vitamins
Produced by homeschooling kids
Crazy huh? I can't imagine that it was so easy to spend RM6000 over on stuff. How was your expenditure last month?

Monday 14 December 2015

Klinik Kesihatan Ibu & Anak (KKIA) - My Frugal Epiphany!

I first found out about our Klinik Kesihatan Ibu & Anak (KKIA) from another Mummy when we attended Ante Natal classes together when I was pregnant with Chapati. Both hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed the Ante Natal classes by Jenlia as we learnt some very practical things about pregnancy, childbirth and babies. I would really recommend that all first time parents attend Ante Natal classes to better prepare themselves. Plus you make some very good friends and pick up ideas and sharing about family and children. We are still good friends with a couple that we met there and our sons go to Baby Sensory Classes together and now that they are toddlers, attend Toddler Sense classes.  But I am digressing...

Klinik Kesihatan Ibu & Anak (KKIA), roughly translated to English is Mother & Child Healthcare Clinic. This is public healthcare fully funded by the governement of Malaysia for pregnant mothers, babies and children until they become 6 years old. We didn't really take it seriously then and only registered Chapati when he was about nearly 1 month old, just in time for his immunisations.

On the whole I think that a lot of people are not really aware of this healthcare service, because I know that I wasn't until I spoke to quite a few new parents and even then, the information was sketchy. So here I am outlining the "how to" and my experience in receiving pretty good healthcare for both pregnant mothers and babies without spending any money! (Ok nearly no money...I remember paying RM1 for something.)

It is of course best to start when you first find out that you are pregnant and they can then care for you right up till birth and then continue the follow up when your baby is born until he/she is 6 years old. I am doing that now with Baby #2 though I registered with them a little late at 27 weeks.

How To Get Registered  

I think most difficult part is finding out which clinic that you need to go to because it depends on your home address. You can only register if your home address is within their coverage area. I remember when I first started to look for a list of the KKIA locations, it was a little confusing. I finally typed "klinik kesihatan ibu & anak kuala lumpur" and one of this link was this  so this lists the clinics in Wilayah Persekutuan KL and Putrajaya area. I figured that my address was KL so it would make sense to look for KL based clinics. I continued to look and came across another link which was

Honestly, I couldn't really find a comprehensive site that helped to determine exactly where I was supposed to go and register. So I decided to just go to the nearest one to my home and try my luck. When I got there I was told that my home address was not within their coverage area and they helped me to locate the correct clinic location which not that far from my home which is good! They also gave me the list of things that I needed to bring to register Chapati which is as follows:-

  1. Baby birth certificate
  2. Utility Bill (electricity, water or telephone to verify you home address location)
  3. Parent's IC
  4. Baby book from the hospital that he was born in to confirm any immunisations that had been given

I quickly gathered all my required documents and went straight there to register. I must say that my experience with the nurses there was the biggest surprise. They were happy, pleasant and extremely helpful??? They even seem to genuinely enjoy their jobs. Maybe it has to do with the fact that they are dealing with babies, children and pregnant mummies, all the cuteness probably helps a lot.

Once I was registered, they gave me an appointment to bring him in for his first check up and immunisation. They also gave me a baby book to track everything about him which I will have to bring for every appointment.

Our Experience with the Clinic

When we went for our first check up, the nurse spent about 30 minutes speaking to me, asking me about how I was coping with breastfeeding and sharing important information like what to eat and what to do. She also explained that if we had registered when Chapati was born, they would have also done home visits to check on the mother and baby especially to make sure that baby was not jaundiced.

I think I spent about RM 900 for about 6 visits from the private mid-wife as I had breast feeding troubles with Chapati being a first time Mum. Engorgement, mastitis, bad latch and at one time his refusal to take to the breast. I could have saved a lot of money...maybe? But having the midwife really helped me to overcome all those issues and continue to breastfeed Chapati for 16 months! Otherwise I think that I might have stopped much earlier.

During our first 3 check ups, they examined both Chapati and me. They also monitored my vaginal wound to ensure that it was healing well and my overall well being.

All of Chapati's compulsory immunisations were FREE! (Now isn't that music to you ears?) On top of that they also check on his development and milestones. One of the milestones that he missed was when he was 18 months old and still wouldn't talk. It prompted us to get some help and we were also referred to HUKM to see a specialist to check and make sure that there was nothing wrong with him overall. I wrote about it sometime ago here and an update here about him not speaking. Other than that, we can also see the clinic doctor if he was unwell and they will prescribe the necessary medications for FREE!

My Pregnancy with Baby #2

This pregnancy is vastly different from my pregnancy with Chapati. From horrible, horrible morning sickness, to round ligament pain, to sacroiliac joint pain, painful muscle cramps...we thought that it would be wise to register myself for care at the KKIA just in case things turn out differently and I might need to go to a government hospital.

So if you are pregnant and want to register, you will need the following documents:-
  1. Utility Bill (electricity, water or telephone to verify your home address)
  2. Photocopy of marriage certificate
  3. Photocopy of hubby's IC
  4. Confirmation of pregnancy - normally an ultrasound scan
When I registered, I was already 27 weeks so there wasn't any doubt that I was pregnant! :)  But I still gave them the ultrasound pictures that I had from my appointments with other doctors.

They did ask us where we were looking to deliver the baby and the impression that they gave us was if we were looking to give birth in a private hospital, they would not open a file for me as they would prefer for me to go back to the private hospital and follow up with the doctor there. Anyway, we were still unsure, so we told them that possibly we would like to go to Putrajaya Hospital. This hospital also has a Full Paying Patient (FPP) scheme. Another friend shared with us that they only spent RM 1800 for facilities and care like a private hospital under the FPP scheme at Putrajaya Hospital. That is a big difference considering that we spent RM 7800 for Chapati's all natural birth with no epidural in Prince Court Hospital.

You also get a red mummy book to track all your appointments, medical history and other useful information. You have to carry your book everywhere with you in case something happens and from 27 weeks onwards, you are also suppose to count your baby's movements throughout the day and record it daily. Anything less than 10 movements in 12 hours warrants a visit to the emergency room.

Pregnancy multivitamins are also free, you get folic acid, vitamin B and Obimin from them. On top of that, urine tests, blood tests, glucose tolerance test and medicine if you get sick (cough, flu..etc.) are also free. I was also given a tetanus jab during my check up and it was also FREE! (I paid RM 30 for my first tetanus jab)

Now that I have to go for appointment every two weeks, going to the KKIA for follow up will save me at least RM 240 for the next months. Bearing in mind that I believe from mid January onwards, it is going to be a weekly affair so the savings would be at least in the region of RM 360 for 3 weekly appointments until the arrival or Baby #2!

Have you discovered KKIA and their services yet? I would love to hear about your experience!

Friday 4 December 2015

4th Consultation Appt. with Obstetrician & Gynaecologist - Dr Tan Ee Ping

I am now 29 weeks pregnant and earlier this week, I went for my follow up appointment at CT Women & Child Specialist Clinic. I actually missed my original appointment date the week before and this was the earliest available date after that.

It was a very eventful day because I had a prior pre-natal appointment at KKIA Cheras where I had to do my MOGTT test (Glucose Tolerance Test) and Hubby got into a really bad car accident with Chapati, I only made it to the to the clinic at about noon compared to my first appointment at the clinic where I arrived at about 9 ish and my second time  when I reached there at about 10 ish. Both times I spent more than 2 hours there. This time, I finished everything within 1 hour! It was awesome! I wonder if I should try this timing again for my next appointment? So much time saved!

It was generally uneventful, I weighed in at 69.5 kilos and I spent some time complaining to Doc about my sacroiliac joint pain and leg cramps. Since my last posting, I am so thankful that my round ligament doesn't hurt anymore but somehow the pain in my sacroiliac joint hasn't gone away and some days are quite bad. She suggested some exercises and in particular to start using a gym ball. She said to sit on it and gyrate, gyrate, gyrate until the pain goes away???? The other thing to do is go to the pool. According to Doc, she says that when she was pregnant she would go into the pool and not want to come out for a few hours.  With regards to the legs cramps, I am glad to say that with the stretching, I only had 2 near cramps in the early morning which I managed to ease on my own without screaming for Hubby to help.

My scans were good, amniotic fluid good, umbilical cord good and Bump has even turned with his head down already.

Hi everyone! I am now 1.6 kilos! It's harder to take a good photo now due to my size and position.

I decided not to buy any vitamins this round as I already have a stash at home from the KKIA and my vitamin shopping at BIG pharmacy last month. Thanks to a wonderful person there (You know who you are! Hugs!) She also gave me samples of prenatal vitamins enough to last me at least one month!

So here is my cheapest bill yet since I started seeing Dr Tan.

Consultation Fee        = RM 80
Ultrasound                 = RM 40
Total Bill                   = RM 120

As I was about to leave the clinic, I realised that I didn't get a photo of Bump. So I went to the Ultrasound room and asked if I could get a photo of him. I told her sonographer that it was strange I didn't a photo. It was then that she told me, patients usually get charged RM10 for a photo! That was news to me indeed. I told her that I don't remember getting charged for a photo. So I asked her if she could print a photo for me without charging me and she said yes! (Ask and you shall receive indeed!)

Now I have figured out what the charges for "Others" were when I went to the clinic for the first time! It was for a print out of Bump! But I didn't get charged for it when I went there in October. Hmm...I guess it must be a discretionary charge. Depending on how how Doc feels on that particular day. I will be sure to ask the next time I get a print out of Bump.

It was eventful day indeed because as I mentioned earlier, Hubby and Chapati got into a really bad accident in the morning. He was driving to drop Chapati off at my in-laws place and he was passing through an area with MRT works. Somehow or another, the road barrier strayed to the middle of the road and the car in front of him swerved hard to avoid it. Hubby couldn't change lanes so he stopped the car, next thing you know...BAM! It was a 3 car pile up. Chapati was in his car seat at the back seat! Poor fella must have been wondering what happened.

The aftermath...this is what the back of his car looked like. The car that hit him was pretty damaged too and his airbags actually deployed! The stupid road barriers that MRT Corp uses for their construction site and carelessly left in the middle of the road. Any other country and MRT Corp would have been sued for negligence and millions of dollars!

Sigh, now the inconvenience and hassle of a police report, insurance & repairs, not to mention having one car between the both of us???!!

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Confinement Centre Viewings - Yuan Yuan Confinement Retreat Centre

Hubby found Yuan Yuan Confinement Retreat Centre browsing through Facebook recently. He said that we should really check it out as location wise it would be extremely convenient for us. I did a search online and found their website. However information on their website was meager and I sent off an online enquiry. I got a reply and also some calls to arrange for a viewing but I was really swamped at work during the later part of September and the whole of October that I forgot all about them.

I had by then decided that I was going to do it myself. (You can read my earlier postings on planning for my DIY Confinement, confinement food reviews and planning) So visiting the centre was the last thing on my mind until recently. Hubby and I have had very "lively" discussions (meaning near disagreements) about the helper that we were looking to hire. Hubby doesn't like stay in strangers and is more partial towards part time help that could come everyday and I felt that it was important to have someone stay in for at least the duration of my maternity leave. We both then decided that the silent treatment on this topic was necessary to maintain peace in the household, whilst I of course had a whole series of "videos" going on in my head of how Hubby was going to be doing everything when the part timer left after the contracted half day. (Not to mention, I had also cooked up a host of other things that I would make him do just to prove the point that we needed a full-time-stay-in helper! *Evil laugh*) But I am pleased to say that recently, I have been convicted to be a more loving and considerate wife...

I thought of another option as my previous research of confinement centres (you can read them here, here, and here)  allowed for shorter than 28 days stay. I also met a someone recently who shared that she only stayed in a confinement centre for 2 weeks and it was more than enough. It was her second child as well and she didn't want a confinement lady this time around. I decided to arrange a viewing of Yuan Yuan because it was really so near our place.

I called them on Sunday afternoon and asked if it was possible to visit within the next 1 hour. They were very accommodating and told me that I could come over any time. We arrived around 1.30 pm and we were greeted by a very pleasant Poh Poh (elderly lady) who spoke flawless English and showed us around. Then she introduced us to the owner Mr Lee who then proceeded to explain the package in detail.

Our first impressions of the home was good! The house itself was new and in a new development area. What made the place feel very spacious was the high floor to ceiling height! I think at least 9-10 feet high. Mind you, this is only an intermediate terraced house. The centre had 3 individual rooms and 1 shared room that can accommodate 3 mothers at one time. The rooms were pleasant and simple with clean white tiles and basic amenities like cupboards and cabinet space for storing your things, a flat screen TV and a 1 seater sofa for the bigger rooms. Even the shared room was homey with windows and natural lighting! We both liked it straightaway. It obviously scored a lot of brownie points!

Overall, the center has more of a "homey" feel than all the other centers I have visited. This is probably due to the fact that it has limited number of rooms and the renovations were done in such a way that the place still look and feel like a house rather than a confinement center.

Once again I didn't take any photos! (Duh...really got to put a string on my finger next time...) Anyway, I had to hunt high and low for some photos on their facebook page and after scrolling and scrolling right to the end, I found 4 pictures to share.

This is the general living room area when you first enter the center

These are picture of the individual rooms ie. Deluxe rooms

This is the Shared room 

These are the following things that we found out:-
  1. Breastfeeding friendly - They encourage and will assist to carry the baby to the mother every two hours throughout the day and at night. This is even for the shared room! 
  2. Their prices are really reasonable and good value. starting from as low as RM 5,799 (shared room), deluxe room at RM 7,599 and VIP room at RM 8,699. This is for the 28 days package.
  3. They also have a separate category of packages called "Premium", so you can basically upgrade the Shared, Deluxe and VIP room to Shared Premium (RM 7,599), Deluxe Premium and VIP Premium. Cost of the Shared Premium is RM 7,599, Deluxe Premium RM 8,799  If you book the premium package, you will get birds nest soup, double boil chicken essence, traditional post natal massage and facial cleansing session. Obviously the more expensive the package, the more food and massage/facial sessions you will get. 
  4. Baby diaper is also included for the 28 days. They use disposal diapers. 
  5. To book your space, you only need to pay RM 1,000 as a booking fee. Then when you check into the center you pay another RM 3,000. After two weeks of staying there, you will then pay the remaining balance.
  6. They have NO SURCHARGE for Chinese New Year! Thank goodness there are still businesses that don't take the chance to charge extra, extra JUST because it is Chinese New Year. 
  7. Their caregivers are not registered nurses but experienced individuals that have taken care of mummies and know how to take care of newborns. 
  8. Herbal bath for both Mummy and baby.
  9. Based on the information that they gave me, they will also have a registered nurse who will visit to check on Mum and babe twice a week. 
  10. No problems with parking of course because it is a housing area. 
  11. Visiting hours are also pretty flexible. 
Everything was just perfect for us! Hubby was already convinced. It is about 5-10 mins away from home, the price was reasonable and value for money, I could go home at anytime, don't have to stress about help and food...convenient for hubby and Chapati to come visit...what else could I ask for? 

Ok , ok I don't sound very enthusiastic because I had already set my heart and mind on spending my confinement at home...putting together my own food menu...planning how to organise the house and help...just being in my own I told them that I would get back to them in the next few days. Hubby seemed a little upset with me because he kept saying that if we wait we may not be able to the secure the room. I just told him that I needed a day or two to think about it and come to terms with the different plan. So we went home and talked about it, taking into account cost of food, a helper that would come to the house everyday, utilities for cooking, washing and cleaning. We estimated that food would come up to about RM 2,000 plus overall ( I already spent RM 1554.54 on the confinement herbs from Eu Yang Sang) Then the helper would probably cost us RM 1,500 - RM 2,000 for the whole month. Essentially we would be saving about RM 1,000 plus...

Basically it was RM 1,000 more for being totally looked after and having peace of mind! I caved in and we went to pay the deposit last Saturday! So I am now officially going to go to a confinement center. I really hope that everything will be alright, so now I will have to adjust to idea of living somewhere else for 28 days and go to Eu Yan Sang to speak to them about changing some of the stuff that I initially purchased for the confinement package. 

I also told Hubby that since we have all the herbs and alcohol like DOM, he would have learn how to boil the chicken essence for me everyday! 

If any of you Mummies had awesome and positive experiences staying in a confinement home, please do share! Thank you!

Monday 23 November 2015

Excruciating And Agonising Pregnancy Leg Cramps!

I got woken up really early this morning with a slight pulling on my right calf muscle and within 2 seconds it was a full blown cramp! I quickly pulled back my foot and lo behold, suddenly the top part and the arch of my foot also started cramping! I screamed really loudly and starting crying for Hubby to help me as the pain radiated all the way up to my hamstring and gluteal muscles. Tears were just streaming down my face as we tried to push and pull alternatively to relieve my leg. I think it was a good 2 minutes before the pain subsided and the minute Hubby let go of my leg, it went into spasms again and I screamed and cried anew! He had to grab my foot again to push and pull alternatively whilst massaging my calf as I cried and cried. It really hurt like hell! (I am now 29 weeks pregnant)

Poor little Chapati also woke up and was wondering what the fuss was about. Hubby kept telling him that Mama is in a lot of pain...He stared at me for a little while and sat there waiting quietly as if he knew that something was wrong. After about another minute or two, it subsided and Hubby gently lowered both my legs and helped me to sit up on the side of the bed. I didn't dare lie down again as my leg still hurt and it felt like it was going to go into another cramp at anytime. I limped to the kitchen to boil some water to fill my hot water bottle as I wanted to put some warmth on my leg to relieve the pain. When I limped back into the bedroom both Hubby and little Chapati were tucked under the duvet snoring gently! (Men..!) The hot water bottle therapy helped to relax all the muscles in my right leg and after about 15 minutes or so, I was much better. The pain residue is now only along my foot arch and top of my foot where it joins my shin.

I am now using my reusable microwaveable hot/cold pack which I recently purchased from BIG Pharmacy in Damansara Utama recently. It is a life saver! It has helped relieve my lower back aches and recurring cramps lately. I am so pleased that bought it and the price tag of RM 13.80 is so good value in terms of quality and use. It comes with a clear plastic pouch for you to carry the pack and soft toweling cover which is also included in the price. I have bought more expensive ones before which were double the price and they were no where near as nice as this one.

A pregnant Mama's best friend

I quickly did some research as well on some stretches to avoid leg cramps and will try these out diligently from now on before going to sleep at night. Definitely do not want to relive my experience this morning.

Standing wall calf stretch

Sitting calf and foot stretch

 Inner thigh stretch

 Buttock stretch

Thigh stretch

How do you handle your leg cramps and how do you prevent them? Please share your tips!

Do Baby Fairs Really Help Save You Money?

Baby fairs happens in KL every two or three months or so. Hubby and I have been going for a lot of them and up till recently I started asking myself this question..."Do baby fairs really help us save money or spend more money?"

The TCE Baby Expo started at the Midvalley Exhibition Centre on the 20th - 22nd  November and we are wondering if we should go there to have a look. Essentially when we go and have a look, it probably means we are going to find something that we "need" and will end up buying it because the environment and sales people make it feel and sound "so good value!"

One of my budding and talented friends on FB wrote a short poem one day that really tickled and I thought of sharing here! Thanks Damien for the funny poem! It's all about baby fairs and the terrible haze a couple of months back.

Because of a blaze,
We're suffering from haze.
Tried to get away from it using waze,
But there's a jam outside so I'll get stuck in one place.
Tried to visit the expo upstairs, but the stalls are a maze.
The sight of hundreds has left me in a daze.
Please do tell me, is it a phase,
for all the pregnant mommies to shop like they're crazed?
For now I shall just cast a gaze,
and perhaps even laze,
as the fires next door raze,
for the next few days.

Anyway we did go and this is what we were specifically going to look for and compare:
  1. Disposable diapers - babies use a heck of a lot of those especially during their first month, so if we can buy it in bulk at a discount, we will probably stock up.
  2. Baby safety gate - Hubby has been looking for second hand ones or free ones but without much success. I guess it is not really our culture here to give away things in general here or should I say not a culture yet to use pre-loved or second hand goods.

For disposable diapers, I went to 3 booths, Mamypoko, Huggies & Pet Pet, I worked out based on their selling price that Mamypoko was RM 41.33 per mega pack, Pet Pet worked out to be RM 30.75 for their mega pack and Huggies at RM 34.90. By the way, I am comparing L size diapers as Chapati wears L size now.

Mamypoko Diapers

I found that you could purchase the Mega Pack during AEON member day sales as well, if I remember correctly the last member day price was RM 83 for 2 megapacks. Which works out at RM 41.50 per pack and on top of that you can still get an AEON RM 5 voucher on the day itself when you spend RM 100 and above. So if you purchase 8 packs it will work out approximately RM 332 and you get a RM 15 voucher.  

RM 332 - RM 15 = 317/8 = RM 39.625 per pack

One thing that you will have to check is that the megapacks alway have some promotion ie. 4 extra pieces of diapers or 6 extra pieces of diaper for free. So remember to look out for these packs  as they can bring down the cost per diaper.

Often there are promotions at Tesco and Giant as well. At Tesco, you could even arrange for the items to be delivered to you. At the moment, they are having a *Free Delivery* promotion if you spend RM 100 and above. 

CONCLUSION: I would buy at the baby fair if I was running out of diapers at that particular time but I wouldn't go crazy and stock up packs and packs of it. There is the headache of fighting with other parents during the fair, lugging it all to the car which could be quite a way away (this is Hubby's complaint as there are seldom trolleys available during baby fairs) and finally solving the storage space issue at home! Buying and stocking up during promotions periods at AEON or the other hypermarkets makes more sense but the only drawback is unless its the AEON members day, you may not know when the hypermarkets are having their promotions. 


If I do buy, I will normally purchase the Huggies Dry Blue Jumbo Pack. Currently prices range between RM 34 - 38 per pack if no promotions.  I haven't used Huggies in a while but I distinctly remember that I would only pay between RM29 - RM33 per pack during promotions periods in the hypermarket. 

However for the pants version, I have seen AEON do pretty good deals on their twin pack promotions at RM 59. However, I forgot to check the prices for the pants version during the baby fair as there were so many people crowding around. Lazada is currently doing about RM 125 for a pack of 3 Huggies Dry Pants. 

I noticed that during the last two baby fairs, the prices were very similar, however, they would give out free gifts like face towels, disposable changing mats, inflatable swimming pool floaters...etc. depending on the amount that you spend.

The last baby fair in September 2015, I spent RM 129.50 to purchase 5 packs of newborn and S size diapers for Baby #2. Price per pack works out to RM 25.90 plus I got a free face towel and a pack of 5 disposable changing mats. 

CONCLUSION: Sometimes, they do have special baby fair promotions like the one that I purchased back in September 2015 for Baby #2. I noticed that it normally applies to special diapers for Newborns & S sizes. Currently the Newborn Huggies Dry pack is retailing for about RM 30.50 at Tesco Online. Worth checking out if you are a fan of Huggies and want to stock up on special sizes. 


This time around, the Baby Fair was doing RM 123 for 4 packs. Not bad at RM 30.75 per pack. If I had bought them, I would choose 3 pack of PetPet Daypants Megapack and 1 pack of PetPet NightTape to compare with the quality of the Mamypoko as I use it at night for Chapati. However, I just couldn't be bothered to wait in line just to pay as I was on my own and didn't relish the idea of lugging the packs of diapers to the car as Hubby couldn't make it that day. Being pregnant at 28 weeks with round ligament pain really limits what you can do. So I had to give this good promo a miss.  

Current promotional retail prices are RM28.90 for a pack of NightTape (32 pieces only) and RM 38 per pack of Daypants. 

I have used the PetPet Daypants before when it was on special promotion at Tesco at about RM 28 or RM 29 per pack. But it doesn't happen very often and if not I am not wrong, I have only seen it once before.  

CONCLUSION: Touch and Go for this brand as I have not really purchased PetPet a lot. But based on current retail prices, the Baby Fair price is a pretty good deal. 

As I am now running out of diapers for Chapati, I am looking to purchase the special deal at Tesco Online which is applicable until 25th November 2015 for Fitti or Whoopee Diapers at RM 27.90 for L size (60 pieces) Cheap and good for during the day use!

I make it a habit to check out diapers every time I do my grocery shopping nowadays. At the end of the day, I try to keep my diaper prices between RM25 to RM31 at most. Anything more than that, I would only spend on Mamypoko as the quality is good and the comparable size is a little larger than most brands. I remember using Mamypoko M size for Chapati for quite while before having to change to L size and it lasts throughout the night. (Haven't had any leaking accidents so far) 

Baby Safety Gate

We purchased this Bebe Jessica Twins Baby Safety Gate about 1 year plus ago at a Baby Fair in KLCC Convention Centre at RM160 which at that time was a really good price. The quality and build of the gate and the locking mechanism was also good compared to another brand that we saw which is from MyDear for similar price. As we bought it for Mother-In-Law we realised that we now need one for our own home.

The prices at the baby last weekend had risen tremendously to RM180 just for the gate excluding any extensions! We would have to pay about RM 214 for the gate and the 14cm extension. 

Looked around and didn't see anyone else selling Baby Safety Gates. So Hubby said not to buy it because we could buy it cheaper online. They were all about that price before discount. Lazada offers anything between 10%-15% and if you wait, some times they have special coupons for 20% or 25% discount. 

So we will bide our time for the best online deal! 

Mummies & Daddies what do you think? Do Baby Fairs really help you save money? What are your great finds at Baby Fairs?

Monday 16 November 2015

Round Ligament Pain & Sacroiliac Joint Pain during Pregnancy

After my last doctor's appointment and being on bed rest for the one week, I did a little research on round ligament pain and sacroiliac joint pain. Sis Doc in the USA says I probably have both, generally these pains are called Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP).

I came across this explanation on Round Ligament Pain from the Baby Center website which explained quite clearly the kind of pain that I was experiencing:-

"You may feel round ligament pain as a short jabbing sensation or a sharp, stabbing pain if you suddenly change position, such as when you're getting out of bed or out of a chair or when you cough, roll over in bed, or get out of the bathtub. You might also feel it as a dull ache after a particularly active day – when you've been walking a lot or doing some other physical activity.
You may feel the pain starting from deep inside your groin, moving upward and outward on either side to the top of your hips. The pain is internal, but if you were to trace it on your skin, it would follow the bikini line on a very high-cut bathing suit." 

I felt the stabbing pain especially when I walk. Funny thing is, it comes and goes on a daily basis. Some days are worse than others. Here are some pictures to help illustrate better.

This is the round ligament and its location

This is the general location of where the pain manifests. Could be on both sides or either side. For me it is on the right hand side. 

Then I started looking for Sacroiliac Joint Pain (SI) as I have been feeling an ache on my lower back just above my buttocks when I move around. One explanation came from this website:-

"Another common cause of SI joint dysfunction is pregnancy. During pregnancy, hormones are released in the woman's body that allows ligaments to relax. This prepares the body for childbirth. Relaxation of the ligaments holding the SI joints together allows for increased motion in the joints and can lead to increased stresses and abnormal wear. The additional weight and walking pattern (altered gait) associated with pregnancy also places additional stress on the SI joints."

Here is an indication of where my back pain is and the location of the SI joint. 

On the whole, it has limited my mobility because I have had days where it was very difficult to just walk short distances due to the stabbing pains. It has even been as bad as being unable to walk because of the extreme pain especially on my right side and all I could do was sit down and just don't move. This is just so different from the time that I carried Chapati. My doctors says that it is because this is No.2 and my muscles and joints are already loose...and when the hormones kick in to make my joint relax even more...there starts all the problems.

Sis Doc told me that I could alleviate the pain by doing these few things which I also researched online for :-

  1. When walking, keep my buttock and stomach tucked in as much a possible to keep my posture straight and help support my growing belly.
  2. Walking slower and more carefully.
  3. Wear a pregnancy belly support or pregnancy support belt.
  4. Stretching and strengthening exercises daily.

Okay so now, more research to do on purchasing a pregnancy belly support and exercises that are suitable for third trimester mummies!

Mummies, do you have stretching and strengthening exercises that you did or are doing during your 3rd trimester that helped you? 

Monday 9 November 2015

Confinement Food Planning - Eu Yan Sang Post Natal Package

Hubby suggested that we go and check out the Eu Yan Sang Post Natal package as we saw them during the last baby fair at Midvalley. The promotion was that if we purchased their confinement package, it would include a free bottle of Post-natal Wine. It was a pretty good deal but when we checked the expiry dates of the products, it was sometime early 2016. So we thought that it would probably be better if we went to the stores to find out more and purchase fresher products. It was rather difficult to get much information during the fair as there were so many people thronging the booth.

So off we went to the Eu Yan Sang store and we choose the one that is located inside the AEON Maluri shopping centre. The good thing was, if we purchased anything from there, we can claim the AEON points using our AEON member card and with the AEON points you can claim rebates as well in the form of cash vouchers to be used if you purchase anything from AEON stores. (Yay! Save more money since we have to buy stuff anyway!)

After doing my research on confinement catering, we decided to attempt the cooking ourselves. Here are the list of things that we bought from Eu Yan Sang.

First of all they have the special Post-Natal Care Package (I call it "Basic" because it's the so called minimum that we should be taking during the confinement period) The cost of this package if RM 608 as an Eu Yan Sang Member. By the way, all preggy mummies get a free membership automatically! (Yay! One of the many benefits of being pregnant! Just fill in a form and you are in!)

I copied this directly from their website.

The Post-Natal Care Package will provide you with the key requirements for notification (hahahaha! I think they meant to write "tonification") during confinement.

1. Sheng Hua Soup (1 pack) 
2. Gold Label Pak Foong Pill (1 pack) 
3. So Hup Pill (2 boxes) 
4. Du Zhong Bu Yao Soup (2 packs) 
5. Shi Quan Da Bu Soup (2 packs) 
6. Ba Zhen Soup (2 packs) 
7. Dang Gui Nan Zao Nourishing Soup (4 packs) 
8. Dangshen & Red Dates Qi Nourishing Tea (10 packs) 

As these are the basic stuff, I decided to go on to purchase the extended range of soups and some cooking herbs for my food needs. Here is the list of other things that I bought based on their recommendation:-

Soups & Tea
  • Ning Shen Soup (5 packs)
  • Ginseng Soup (4 packs)
  • Superior Herbal Soup (4 packs)
  • Dangshen & Red Dates Tea (20 packs)
  • Post-Natal Wine (2 bottles)
  • American Ginseng (2 boxes - 40g per box)
Direct consumption
And finally 1 box of Herbal Bath (10 packs inside for 10 days) 

The grand total =  RM 1,554.45

It is quite comforting to know that EYS will give you a calendar of what soup to drink during your confinement so that you just follow it easily even for a "banana" like me. I can't for the life of me, remember which chinese herb is for what. On top of that, I can always refer back to the store assistants on how to cook/use the herbs that I bought. They were all very accommodating and helpful!

I will be "test" cooking some of these soups so that I know what they will taste like. My next step is to plan my entire month menu so that I don't have to think about what to cook on the day. Just prep and put into my special Sharp cooker, crock pot, stove double boilers...etc.

Oh, I forgot to mention that they also allowed me to pay for all the herbs but collect it nearer to my delivery time! Yay! Save cupboard/ refrigerator space and I also get fresher products. Worked out really well for me!

I am wondering how do you other Mummies go about your DIY confinement planning?

Tuesday 3 November 2015

Our Family's Start Towards Frugal and Simple Living

In my earlier posting about Financial Independence and Simple Living there were some baby steps that I was determined to start in these few months.

My Clothes-Buying Ban

So far, I have been successful for the half month of September and October although temptations were abound. It forced me to really look at my closet and go through all the stuff that I have. It is incredible that I have cupboard loads of clothes and somehow I always seem to wear the same things or I complain that I don't have anything to wear! It doesn't help that being pregnant now is an extra excuse to go out and buy new clothes to wear so that I look like the in-trend, cool mum-to-be..but it's getting easier now. I have decided that until and unless I really clear out all my cupboard space and go through each item of clothing that I have, I am not allowed to even think of buying new clothes!

This is not including 3 storage boxes and a suit case full of clothes that I can't wear now because I am pregnant! 

My next challenge would be Christmas and the upcoming Chinese New Year! I love the bright and shiny colours of Christmas clothing and it just feels so festive donning something new. But I know that I really have too much clothing and the clutter in our bedroom is really starting to irk me...even me...the untidy and messy person that I am. I just have to continually remind myself that my clothes-buying-ban for the rest of this year 2015 is going to help me achieve two things, learning to spend money on things that really matter (clothes is certainly not one of them, when I consider how much clothes I have!) and being intentional about living in a different way from before. In the beginning of the year, my first post was about being intentional. And now two months to the end of the year, I am still learning so much about this.

Track Our Family Expenses Monthly

I use the Spending Tracker App on my Samsung S5 as my phone goes everywhere with me and it is really easy to do the entries as and when we spend money. The Frugalwoods  recommend Personal Capital but I haven't had the chance to explore it yet and I have a feeling that it is more relevant to the US than Malaysia. One thing though, while Hubby is in agreement that we can and should live more prudently and frugally during these uncertain times, he finds it tedious to record every cent he spends. So it is up to me to ask him via whatsapp everyday or collate everything at the end of the day when we get home. There some interesting reader suggestions that Mrs Frugalwoods shared a few days ago, so I will take whatever I can get. I am grateful that at least Hubby agrees that we should track our monthly spending, be more prudent and frugal in our spending. That's a start isn't it? Hubby is not really a "spendy pants" kind of a person, but I know that he really values convenience over anything else. For example, he would rather spend RM 2 for a bottle of mineral water than fill one of the many water bottles that we have at home to take with him when he goes to work, or when we go shopping at Aeon, and he realised that he left his Aeon member card in the car, he would rather pay the RM 1 parking charges than walk back to the car to look for it so that he can enjoy the free parking! :) just gotta love them! So I am going to give it time because at the end of the day our goals are the same! I started tracking our monthly expenses in October unfortunately my S5 was corrupted and I had to do a factory reset and all my data was lost. Needless to say that I will ensure the same thing doesn't happen again.

De-Clutter Our Home

Starting with my clothes, Hubby has also gotten rid of our sofa and giant 50 inch tv that doesn't work properly anymore. It was a gift from my Dad when we first moved in. On top of that we also cleaned out the spare room and it is now a play room cum family area that we can hang out in together and enjoy the air con within the confines of the room, rather than turn on the 2 HP air con in the living area. The great thing is, our living area is now one big empty space with the exception of our dining area. Our plans are to turn one half of our living area into a play area for kids complete with a set of children's play slide and climber, a kid friendly enclosure for children in general so that we can have friends and their kids over to our home. It is going to be a lot of fun and a lot of hard work. But it is a project that we both feel is going to be so awesome for Chapati and Baby #2 (and who #...) and friends. Having said that, I hope that we are not exchanging one type of clutter for another so we have to be really careful about how we go about this. Will share with you our journey as we go along but first things first, we are going to clear up this area this week!

Here is to new beginnings and a clutter free home!

Do you have tips and ideas on de-cluttering? How do you organise all the things that you accumulate in your home over the years?