Monday 28 September 2015

Sunday Laughs: Really Sleepy Baby

I really got to share this with everyone as it has never happened before. Hubby and I were a bit worried at first, but I guess he was just very tired. Too much excitement and not enough rest.

Chapati woke up yesterday morning looking a little grumpy. As with most days, he would follow me right out of the bedroom to the kitchen for breakfast. He seemed a little clingy and would not let go of his soft toy caterpillar (which doubles as a bolster now) and didn't seem to enthusiastic about having breakfast. After calling him a few times to come into the kitchen, he kind of responded in his normal "eh" (his universal word for everything and anything. He is still not talking!) I walked out and found him standing outside in the hallway looking like this.

Just looking at me and hugging his multi- coloured caterpillar

I turned around and called him to come into the kitchen again and he decided to sit down and suck his thumb.

I then decided to pick him up and put him in his high chair to try and feed him. I started to prepare his cereal when I noticed him nodding off on the chair!

He then promptly fell asleep on the chair

I just couldn't resist taking a video of the moment! Ha ha ha!

Finally I decided to put him out of his misery and take him back to bed to sleep properly. Sleep tight baby boy! Smuack!

Has any of you other Mummies and Daddies experienced this before? I would love to know your sleepy stories!

Monday 21 September 2015

2nd Consultation Appt. with Obstetrician & Gynaecologist - Dr Tan Ee Ping

These last two and the half weeks have been a tad chaotic due to changes in schedules for trips and doctor's appointment! Arrgh!

NOTE to self: Key in appointments immediately once they are changed/confirmed and to double check and reconfirm dates rather than assume that they are unchanged. 

Anyway, got to give some credit to her nurses as they sent a reminder sms message yesterday informing me that I have appointment to see her. So we rushed through the morning preparations and went straight to the clinic because if I don't go, I will not see her until sometime mid-October as she and her whole clinic will be on long leave. I also wanted to see her soonest because we will be leaving for our holiday in Phuket later this week. 

It is my second consultation with her, but my first time to her clinic CT Woman & Specialist Clinic in Sri Kembangan. You can read about my first experience with her in my earlier post. 

I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into the clinic. The atmosphere was relaxed, pleasant and cooling. I was a little hot and bothered after being so disorganised but when I walked in, her bevy of capable nurses were excellent. They were so smiley, friendly and extremely efficient. No wishy washy questions or funny looks even though they couldn't find my file and within minutes I was registered and my file was created asap! I was patient No. 10. Best registration experience so far and I immediately felt calm and strangely reassured. 

Straight after registration, I was asked to weigh in and I am now 65.7 kilos! Gee, the 5 kilos sure came back pretty quickly. It kinda just snuck up without me even noticing it. I waited for another 10 minutes and I was called to see the nurse. She proceeded to inform me clearly that they were going to be on leave and if I had any emergencies, I could call the 24 hour hotline which she highlighted on my appointment card and then proceeded to take my blood pressure and blood samples for the normal pregnancy testing, then I went to toilet to get a urine sample. 

About 10 minutes after passing my urine sample to the nurse, I was called again to the Ultrasound room to get a scan. The nurse there apologised to me that their sonographer was on leave today and that the person will do a proper scan on my next visit. So this scan was a simple scan to check weight and size of head of Bump and measure amniotic fluid. After the scan, Hubby had arrived after sending off Chapati and we waited hardly another 10 minutes when we were called to see the doctor. All in all, the wait was pretty reasonable which was about 1 hour and it was hardly noticeable because of all the things that I had to do. 
The consultation went well. I asked her about my current bout of urinary incontinence when I vomit or cough and assured me that it is very common among pregnant women. For the moment she recommends a lot of pelvic/kegel exercises and if it gets worse we'd deal with it then. I told her that I was coughing this last few days and it was uncomfortable leaking every time it happens. She then did a second scan and printed two photos of Bump. However, this time he was a little shy so we could not really get a nice clear shot.

Hello everyone! Today at 20 weeks, 5 days and weighing in at 386 grams.

I also mentioned to her that I was going to be travelling to Phuket for a holiday and if there was anything that I needed to be concerned with. She said that the pregnancy was progressing well and she will just issue a simple letter for me saying that I am fit to travel. Then she asked about my supplements and I told her that I would need some, so she said that she would issue me with more multivitamins, DHA tablets, calcium and some cough mixture to help suppress the cough. We didn't have anymore questions so we completed the visit and proceeded to wait for the bill. 

I was quite unprepared for the bill amount this time because of my last experience with her at Pantai Hospital. I knew that I would have to pay more because of the blood work but it was significantly more this time.  So here is the breakdown of my bill:-

Consultation Fee        = RM 80
Pharmacy                   = RM 144
Laboratory                 = RM 70
Ultrasound                 = RM 50
Others                        = RM 10         
Total                          = RM 354

I assume the "Others" could be the admin fee or registration fee, will see if it pops up again next visit,  or it could be the urine test. If it is, then it is more expensive than Pantai Hospital or Prince Court Hospital. Laboratory was for the blood tests.

Consultation and Ultrasound charges were comparable to Pantai Hospital. The additional amount paid at Pantai was for the 6% GST.

As the bill was more than double from my previous bill,  I kinda dissected the bill  with her nurse as I was surprised my medicine and supplement charge was so high. I was prescribed the following:-
  • Multi-vitamins - Elepro Multivitamins Supplement for pregnant women - 30 days supply
  • DHA blister packs - Belvea 35 days supply
  • Calcium supplements tablets - 30 days supply
  • 1 bottle of cough syrup -  Axcel Iridin Linctus
  • Antihistamine - Xyzal - 5 tablets
The most expensive supplement was the DHA which the nurse told me is RM75 for 35 tabs! Nearly fainted! But then even deducting RM 75 from RM 144 leaves RM 69 for the rest of the medicines and supplements which I thought was still pricey considering that the multi-vitamins only cost RM 14 for 30 days supply. So deducting RM 14 from RM 69, the rest of the medicines were RM 55! Calcium, cough syrup and 1 strip of antihistamines for RM 55? I am feeling like I paid a lot more and was complaining a little to Hubby. I won't know for sure until I check out the meds and supplements at BIG and Caring pharmacy.

I am sure that there is a better and more cost effective way to go about pregnancy supplements? Will have to do more research but do share if you have any suggestions and ideas! I would love to hear them in the comments!

P/S Today was the first time that I could feel Bump move! 

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Confinement Food Catering Reviews

I am now into my second stage of my do-it-yourself confinement planning. Ie.  No confinement lady or staying in a confinement home and hopefully saving a monster load of money.  Earlier this month, Hubby and I decided that we would  look after baby#2 on our own.

I finally managed to collate together the responses that I got from my enquiries.

SN Confinement Care Centre

I clicked on their meal delivery service tab and there wasn't much information on it. So I decided to send an email to them via the email listed on their contacts page. I thought of calling but I wanted to have information in writing anyway so email it was.

I received a response pretty quickly on the same day. (Note: When sending enquiries about meal delivery, do send them your location as well, which I forgot to do) So here it is.

Total Cost: RM 3,500
Duration: 28 days
If  I am interested in shorter periods they can do 14 days at RM 2,000 and 21 days at RM 2,900.  

Delivery Charge: Price includes delivery

Lunch and Dinner meals consists of the following per day:-
  • 2 types of meat (one for each meal)
  • 2 types of vegetables (one for each meal)
  • Brown rice (enough for two meals) 
  • 1 liter of Red Dates drink
  • 1 x Herbal Soup 

Food tasting: They charge RM 80 if you would like to order a meal to taste. Delivery is included in the price. You will have to choose either lunch or dinner. If you want to try both then the cost will be RM 120

Payment Terms: 30% deposit upon confirmation and balance payment upon first meal delivery.

Exceptions: They do not deliver during Chinese New Year (CNY). I believe from the email response that it starts from the 1st day of CNY to the 10th day of CNY. Therefore if you were to pay for 28 days then they will deliver the replacement meals after CNY to complete the 28 days duration.

Hampden Wellness

Most of the information on their confinement food services was available on their website.

Total Cost: RM 2,500
Duration: 28 days
If I am interested in a shorter period they, only do 14 days at RM 1,350

Delivery Charge: RM 15 per day (to my area in Cheras)
(Note: You will have to write to them to get the exact cost of delivery depending on your area)

Lunch and Dinner meals consist of the following per day:-
  • 2 meat
  • 2 vegetables
  • 1 herbal soup
Food tasting: They charge RM 90 if you would like to order a meal to taste. However on top of that they quoted me RM 8 to deliver the meal to my office (located in the KL golden triangle) You will get the following for the food tasting.
  • 2 meats 
  • 2 vegetables
  • 1 herbal soup
Payment Terms: They seemed to be quite flexible with the payment terms. They do not require any deposit but just full payment before they start to deliver. 

Preparation Timing: 2 working days before the start of the delivery. So best to call them and inform them when labour starts.


They do not deliver on public holidays and weekends (both Saturday and Sunday).
The meals to do not include rice or the red dates drink.
They will not deliver during the 8th -10th of February 2016 for the CNY period

Confinement Care Malaysia

I filled up their online enquiry form and waited for about a week. When I didn't get a reply from them, I decided to call the hotline number and spoke to a guy named Dave. He was very helpful and promised that he would send me information via email if I could send him a text message of my email address. After waiting a couple of days and receiving nothing, I called him again and finally got the email as promised. There seems to something wrong with their online enquiry form as he mentioned that my email had gone to the spam/junk mail folder. (I thought this was strange as strangers are going to write to you as it is an online enquiry form!) 

Total Cost: RM 3,888
Duration: 28 days
They can also do 14 days at RM 2,688

Current Promotion: RM 3,388 for 28 days and RM 2,188 for 14 days

  • 2 meats (chicken/fish/pork)
  • Vegetables 
  • Brown rice
  • 1.5 L red dates drink
  • 1 herbal tonic soup 

Delivery Charge: Price includes delivery

Delivery Time: 11.30 am - 1 pm


They do not have any! Which is great! They will deliver during weekends and even Public Holidays like Chinese New Year which I was very surprised as everyone else has said that they would not. 

Payment Terms: Upon confirmation, I will have to pay RM 1,000 as a deposit to secure my slot. As they have limited slots and if the slots are filled up then they will not accept anymore orders.

A little hard to do a fair comparison as we are not exactly comparing apples to apples here. I will have to go find out the approximate cost of making my own red dates tea and rice.

Will stop by Eu Yan Sang when I do my grocery shopping next.

Sunday 13 September 2015

Financial Independence and Simple Living

I was discussing with Hubby the last couple of days and whilst we are comfortable and well off, the current economic situation of our country and the rest of the world was a bit of a wake up call. We have taken for granted that everything is alright and will continue to be alright. With baby#2 on the way and Chapati growing up, we need to really sit down and seriously think of our future as a family. We believe that in times like this, it is important to be careful with how we spend money and be even more focused on how the rest of our money is working for us. We have also accumulated some debt recently and suddenly we feel a strong need to clear them as soon as possible. These are unsecured debts like credit cards and personal loans.

So one weekend, I spent some time thinking of what we wanted for ourselves and our children and why we are starting to think more seriously about financial planning for the future. Since hubby and I got married, it is so easy to spend money and not think about it. Our thinking was, just spend the money as we can always earn money. I must say that in hindsight, we were young and a little...stupid. We were so busy working from the wee hours of the morning to late nights that we never sat down to talk about important stuff like this.

Anyway first and foremost, during this time of many uncertainties, we believe that being prudent with our spending is the way to go. We still have a long way to go in our plans for the future which we want to work on mapping out within this year as baby#2 will be arriving next year. It will be an interesting adventure for us I believe. Will probably do a series of posting on this over the next few months.

So the first question I asked was, how do we really go about being prudent/frugal in a place like Kuala Lumpur. As usual I looked on Google for some inspiration and came across some very interesting people and their unique approach. After reading through them all, I really enjoyed this particular blog The Frugalwoods and decided to use their tagline for my title of this posting. It really spoke to me about being more intentional instead of just letting things fly right by us. Mrs Frugalwood's posting on Strategic Luxury gave me a lot of things to think about. I love the way that she defines it as "frugality isn't about deprivation or hardship, it's about spending money only on what truly matters." After reading these postings from her The Joy That Comes When Less Is Enough and Benefits of Frugality That Have Nothing to do with Money, I really liked the idea of a different way of living.

I realised that I am the sort of person whilst careful, will buy something if I like it, rather than really needing  it. I am also the quintessential hoarder. Coupled with the fact that I am rather disorganised and a tad bit messy...Our home is full of good stuff which are new and unused and I keep buying more because I can't seem to find them or forget that I have them already. My clothes cupboards are full to the brim with clothes that I haven't worn in years, and the same goes for my kitchen cabinets and fridge with food that we either eat very little of and then have to throw them away because they have expired or spoilt. We have little things everywhere! The worse if a SALE comes by which most of you know in KL is nearly every month! I have to buy more because we can save money! (Yeah right...)

The Frugalwoods is also expecting Babywoods in 11 weeks and I am really interested to learn how they plan to continue being frugal after the new addition to the family. After all Baby #2 is not that far way for us! February 2016 is looming!

So after coming across two more of her postings Uber Frugal Month and Clutter Free Life, I felt inspired to take baby steps towards being more prudent and frugal from now. I am going to start with the following:-

  1. Clothes-buying ban for me
  2. Track our family expenditure every month
  3. De-Clutter our home (also in preparation for Baby #2)

I tried looking through the internet and blogs for more ideas and examples of living frugally/prudently in Malaysia and came across search results that yielded almost nothing. There was a blog on How To Save Money in Malaysia dated back to 2009 and a 52 Week Money Saving Challenge which was disappointing.  More research to do it seems or I will have to blaze my own trail in the Malaysian context of being frugal! Gotta run now as Chapati just woke up, wants to play with my exercise ball that is as big as him and wants me to join him. Mummy is coming!

Happy weekend everyone! My sunshine is calling!

Friday 11 September 2015

My New himmel Food Dehydrater V3

I am so excited! We just bought a Korean import himmel brand food dehydrator last Sunday during the Home Improvement & Renovation Expo at the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre! So much possibilities!

They showed us how we could make healthy home made dried snacks made out of fruits like red dragon fruit, apples, pears, oranges and pineapple. Not to mentioned vegetable chips and what everyone usually buys from the supermarkets potato chips! On top of that you could make your own yoghurt and powders! Elsa the sales person even suggested that we could make our own puree baby food for travelling.

I was totally sold on owning one and Hubby was pretty amused just watching me fawn over the machine. So we decided to purchase the V3 model dehydrator which is the newest and bigger model at RM 2,099. Then we added RM 1 to get the additional trays, fruit leather and tupperware set. It is also fantastic that you can op for a 12 month interest free payment which means that the repayment every month is only RM 175.

I feel that the company provides pretty good after sales service as their sales people will come over to your home personally to teach you and help you on using the machine. They also provide support on Facebook where owners can share or ask questions. On top of that they also help to provide recipes, guidelines and more ideas to experiment with.

These are the boxes before the opening ceremony! The additional box on the right is the additional trays, fruit leather and tupperware set that came with it. 

I managed to secure an appointment with Elsa on Tuesday night at 7.30 pm. She turned up right on time and we dove straight into the preparation. She helped to unpack the machine and set it up, then proceeded to cut the apples, pears and zucchini that I had bought. (She very kindly agreed to be my model for the pictures)

Ta-da! After set up and turning on the power.

Some tips that she shared was while cutting the apples, we could prepare a solution of mild salt water to avoid the apple turning brown. On top of that, we could also soak the zucchini in sea salt water to give it some flavour.

We piled it all into 6 trays and put on the timer for 11 hours at 70°C so that it will be ready early tomorrow morning!

The end result was yummy and chewy fruits! I will have to experiment more to get them to look prettier. Now the shape not so nice and the edges are very curled and crinkled.

Can't wait to try other vegetables and fruits! Not to mention, fruit rolls and chewy fruit candy!

If you are interested in purchasing the dehydrator, you can always give a Elsa a call. She is wonderful and will come over to see you and show you all the stuff that it can do! Her number is 017-2352828. Just tell her you got her number from me! Or you can also message her on her FB at Elsa's FB profile.

Monday 7 September 2015

My 18th Month Doesn't Talk Yet - Update

It has been about 2 weeks since since Chapati's assessment at Articulice Speech Centre with Yean Ching. I am really happy to update that he is now making a lot more variety of noises. Best-est part is he can say Mama and Papa!!!! (Soooo happy!) His articulation is very clear, so it wasn't a mistake! Since then he has said it quite a few times already.

Following Yean Ching's recommendation, we have tried to do the following over the last two weeks.
  1. Make him eat more chunky, chewy food where possible
  2. Face massage - at least once a day when brushing his teeth before sleeping
  3. Hubby bought him a proper mini harmonica last week (RM 7.40) - a toy that he has to put to his mouth and blow to encourage him not to be afraid to explore
On the food part, we still have some way to go to encourage him to chew. A lot of times, I notice that he swallows or waits for it to kind of dissolve. I can't really tell because he seems so polite keeping his mouth closed, but I do notice some jaw movement. So I have decided to show him...I put food in my mouth and make deliberate chewing actions before swallowing. I also encouraged Mum-in-law (MIL) to let him eat whatever food they have cooked for themselves instead of cooking special porridge for him. Will check on MIL later this week and see how.

With face massage, it is touch and go most days. He doth protests a I try to tell him what I am doing and be as gentle as possible. At least now he sticks his tongue out when I tell him that I need to clean his tongue and he tries to keep quiet when I wipe his gums and pull out his cheeks a little. Sometimes, I do admit that it is difficult to be gentle when you have a struggling toddler to hold down. I think I will have to ask Yean Ching for some advice when doing this massage and brushing teeth thingy.

The harmonica however was a success! He liked it straight away and when we showed him how to play it, he put it to his lips and blew into it. It took him a few tries to get the sound out but now he likes playing with it and would make "music" with it. 

Here is a video of him making music! I am a proud Mama!

Happy Monday everyone!

Saving Kitty

A teaching moment for Chapati about animals.

This is the second time that Hubby and I have rescued a kitten. Whilst coming back from breakfast last Sunday, we were driving and suddenly Hubby had to step on the brakes quite hard as 2 kittens were running in the middle of a very busy road. He quickly pulled over the car and ran to pick up the kitten that had literally crouched frozen in the middle of the road. The kitten was really fierce and scared. It was scratching, hissing and growling away and Hubby could hardly hold on to it. The other one managed to run to the other side of the road. Then we saw another little kitty huddled on our side of the road and we quickly drove towards it and I jumped out, picked it up and put it in my vomit bucket. (hehehe... I have been keeping this bucket lined with plastic bags since the vomiting started so it was conveniently available) 

We decided to bring it home and later find a good home for it because we can't keep any cats. Skip and Christmas are cat haters unfortunately. Skip looks at the kitten like its a sausage that he can't wait to get his teeth into, plus with his devil looking eyes... (Brrr....makes my blood run cold.)

This is what Kitty looks like very cute little fella but we didn't  know how to tell if its male or female. (Nothing very obvious when we turned Kitty over) Based on the explanation from Mr Google below, Kitty is a boy.

If your cat is female, you'll find her genital opening (vulva) immediately below her anus, and it will be in the shape of a vertical slit. If your cat ismale, his genital opening (penis) will be a noticeable distance from his anus – about ½ inch in kittens and 1 inch in adults – and will be a rounded shape.

The little cutie-pie a little scared and is hiding at the corner of the box that we put him in.

A little more adventurous after a while and decided to try and climb out.

He managed to get his head to the top of the box

Finally one paw out!

It is the first time that Chapati has ever seen a baby cat and he was amused! It was also an opportunity for us to teach him about animals, how to be gentle and compassionate. We also wanted to teach him how to handle animals in and not be afraid of them. So far his experience has only been with doggies.

Too often we see children (and adults) ill treat animals, are extremely afraid of them or are indifferent to them. We didn't want that for our children. So we spent a little time every morning and evening for a few days holding Kitty and telling him to pat gently and "sayang". We also let Kitty roam around a little and play as kittens do. End result? He wasn't afraid and even carried Kitty gently. So we think that the message got across quite well!

Here's a cool slo-mo video of him trying to put Kitty gently in his blue bath ladle! Enjoy!

Saturday 5 September 2015

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

We completed our first appointment with Dr Tan Ee Ping last couple of days and for the first time both Hubby and I felt really comfortable and happy after a visit to the doctor!!

When I first arrived at Pantai Hospital Cheras and registered myself, I felt like the process was a little disorganised. Nurses everywhere and if you were a first time patient you wouldn't know where to go. So I just stopped one of the nurses and told her about my appointment. She then promptly registered me and asked us to wait until we are called.

I realised a couple of things with seeing doctors nows-a-days. Firstly they don't give you an appointment time. If their consultation hours are between 3-5 pm then you turn up, register and wait your turn. So I decided to ask the nurse how many patients were there before me and she said that I was No.5 (not too bad I thought...) So we waited. I remember with Chapati, we were given and appointment time and waiting was no more than 20 minutes or so. Secondly the prices were not so different from a year and the half ago but it seems that a lot more people are having babies or the standard of service has dropped. I mean the reason we go to a private hospital is so that we don't have to wait too long right?

After about 15 minutes or so a nurse called me to do the preliminaries, ie. urine test, weigh-in, blood pressure and medical history. So I took the chance to find out more information on Dr Tan. She has her own clinic in Sri Kembangan called Klinik Pakar Wanita & Kanak Kanak CT. She is only in Pantal Hospital Cheras every Wednesday from 3-5 pm. I of course took the opportunity to ask her what where the difference in going to the clinic and seeing the doctor here in Pantai. It was music to my ears to hear her say that it was much cheaper and their ultrasound machine there was more technologically advanced! Consultation there is around RM 80 compared to Pantai which starts RM120. However...she was quick to caution that the wait at the clinic was Loooooong! On weekends it could go to 3-4 hours! (Yikes!) What about weekdays I asked her? She said it depends but not much better. Something to think about...Time vs Cost. Anyway, her assessment was complete and she asked me to wait to see the doctor.

When I first saw Dr Tan she seemed professional and a little cold when she asked me what I was here to see her for. So I quickly explained that I was pregnant and was looking for a doctor. I briefly gave her some background on my first pregnancy and after I had finished, I was surprised that she actually took some time to explain to me quite a few things. I realised that she is actually a very down to earth and warm person. (Surprise, surprise...) After she had finished she actually asked about Chapati and how he was doing. (More surprise) She gave us some advice about milk, food and how to help Chapati become a little more independent. She then proceeded to scan baby#2.

Everyone, meet baby#2 a.k.a bump (for the time being until something better comes up)
It's official, bump is a boy!

So much for the pregnancy being totally different this time around. Everyone was guessing girl. Well, they were wrong. Hubby then said, "Aiya, we just have to try for another one" of which I didn't say anything. If it was anything like this pregnancy, I will think 10 times first...

It was a little pathetic that the ultrasound machine at Pantai Hospital doesn't print out pictures of the scan for parents to keep. I had to take this picture with my phone camera. After taking the pictures, Dr Tan spent a little more time listening to my grouses about not being able to eat well and gave me more advice. She also answered a few more of my questions and then we left.

So here is the breakdown of the bill.

Admin Fee                                                            = RM 5
Consultation and Assessment (including scan)    = RM 127.20
Multi Vitamins (Elepro - 30 days, 1 pill a day)    = RM 14
Grand Total                                                         = RM 146.20

Pretty ok for first time consultation. I find that most doctors charge a little more than that for first time consultation. Around RM 180.

So we left the hospital pretty happy and satisfied with our experience. Hubby even said that she seemed like a very down to earth doctor and we both seemed to be able to connect pretty well. So we are settled and will continue to see her for Bump. I also thought it would be nice for a change to try a female doctor.

The only question now is, see her in Pantai or at her Clinic? I think I will try her Clinic once to see what the experience is like and then decide.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday 1 September 2015

Planning For My Do-It-Yourself Confinement

I was thinking again about how I was going to handle my confinement period when baby#2 arrives. It is going to be the most expensive time of the year and calculating the cost of baby#2 will probably fall in a few major costs:-
  1. Normal Vaginal Delivery + Circumcision (from Chapati's experience) - RM 8,000
  2. Pre-natal check ups - RM 150 per check up, so approximately RM 2,000 for all the check ups leading to the birth.
  3. Confinement Home Stay - RM 10,221 (inclusive of CNY surcharge)
Just on these few things, I would be spending about RM 20, 000 by the first month baby #2 is born! Previously with Chapati, we hired a confinement lady for 2 months and spent probably about the same amount. But we have done this before and I believe that this time around with a little careful planning, lessons learnt from my first confinement period and some creative solutions, we can save a lot of money to put towards other things.  So I am thinking we DIY my confinement period this time around. When I first thought about it, it was a rather daunting prospect.

I decided to go to my mother first who suggested that I could ask my aunty to help me. She would also then pitch in where necessary but this would require me to stay in my parent's adjoining apartment as I did for Chapati's confinement. I had already decided that it was either I stay in a confinement centre or my own home. And if I decided to DIY my confinement then home is where I want to be. I remember missing my bed, the familiarity of my things and my doggies. Anyway, I really don't want to put too much on Mum because it would be very tiring for her and knowing the person that she is, she would go all out 150% when helping me and it may be worse for her physcially and mentally healthwise. I would love for her to just enjoy her grandchildren when they arrive instead of being stressed out and tired. :)

Then a brief conversation with Mum in-law recently did not spark anymore confidence when she pointed out in her care and concern that it was going to be extremely difficult. I decided not to prolong the conversation, and told her we will think of something and let her know/discuss with her our plans.

So I put my thinking cap on and the biggest challenge to me is food, specialty confinement food. If I wanted to eat the Chinese way, it would involve a lot of herbs and specific dos and don'ts. Anything else I think I can handle.
  • I plan to breastfeed baby#2 exclusively for the 1st month 
  • I am happy to touch water and shower everyday. I think I can always get pre-packed herbal baths herbs and do it myself
  • I am more experienced now and can handle bathing and changing diapers easily for baby #2. After all how often do you shower baby? Once a day...ok changing diapers maybe a lot more but it's definitely manageable
  • House cleaning - Part time cleaners                                        
So since food is my biggest challenge, I got to work and started looking around for confinement food catering services. Found the following straight off the web and will be making inquiries with them.
  1. Confinement Care Malaysia
  2. SHL Confinement Cares
  3. SN Nanny
  4. Hampden Wellness
  5. Pretty Mommy Confinement Soups
I already know about Moms2b and Care Nanny in my previous blog posting which you can read about here Moms2b and Care Nanny. Care Nanny charges RM 3800 for 30 days and I  don't really intend to go back to Moms2b. 

Anyway, I hope to receive more information from the few places soon and will update soonest when I have them all to compare.

Malaysia's 58th Merdeka Celebration 2015

Malaysia's independence day celebration this year was very different indeed. Everything seemed washed with yellow on social media, photos, whatsapp messages and even in our own home.

For a long time now Merdeka day to us was simply a holiday from work. A time to catch up on sleep, time to spend with friends and family and watch the annual parade held in Dataran Merdeka on national television. Not to mention back then when we only watched TV, the shows, cartoons and programmes that would be lined up all day. We were just plain hard working ordinary citizens who needed a break and a public holiday was more than welcome.

This year's celebration however seemed to be more meaningful. As a nation we faced all kinds of bad, as in my earlier posting which you can read in My Beloved Malaysia and we have changed. This year we thought what it was to be Malaysian. The good, bad and what it meant for the future of our children (Chapati and baby#2)

Saturday 29th August 2015 2 pm started the Bersih 4.0 rally which ended on Sunday 30th August 2015 midnight. The demands for Bersih 4.0 were simple:-

  • Free and fair elections
  • A transparent government
  • The right to demonstrate
  • Strengthening the parliamentary democracy system
  • Saving the national economy

It was a time and place for all Malaysians who had no other avenue to express their disappointment and dissatisfaction about the state of our country and economic situation. As usual many quarters decided to make it a racial issue. What I cannot understand for example is how calling for accountability and making those responsible for massive corruption be taken to task has anything to do with it. Anyway, we only pray and hope that more and more people are less inclined to play the race card and understand that Malaysia is Malaysia because of the rich diversity of its people.

There were some who said that those of us who supported what Bersih stood for were "shallow and poor in patriotism". But I believe that without Bersih a lot of people would not have been able to meaningfully celebrate our Independence Day including our family. Here are some of our own celebrations at home due to Bump.

It was amazing to see Malaysians coming out in full force to show love and loyalty to our country, wanting to see change and progress.

Look at this awesome aerial photo, a sea of yellow! A turn up of 500,000 people. Of course some mainstream media and newspapers prefer to report 20,000 but we all know better. There was a little excitement here and there about food poisoning and fireworks going off the in the crowd. Small disruptions when you think of previous police and FRU personnel involvement. But overall, it was peaceful and everyone who went there made their mark!

A testament to Malaysians being civic minded and generous. There were many people who volunteered their time and money, cleaning up rubbish, offering food and water to participants, providing medical assistance, legal assistance (if needed) and the list goes on. Everyone pulled together to make this a successful rally.

Finally the celebration on the actual day.

Honestly when Hubby and I were driving on Merdeka Day, there was noticeable lack of all things "Merdeka" in the city. We hardly saw any flags, no noticeboards wishing Malaysians a "Selamat Merdeka", no big announcements of the parade and other events. We remember in years past, every commercial/office building, shopping centres and main highways would carry the Jalur Gemilang of all sizes! So, for all the talk by politicians about celebrating Merdeka, it would seem that the government didn't put in any money or effort into bringing about the spirit and festivity of the day. If not for Bersih, it would just be another public holiday.

As a friend on Facebook put it rather well, we want a better future for our country, we love our country and want to see change, we will not tolerate the continuous abuse to the people and economy.

It also brought about Malaysians who want to be a force for change. During this time a friend launched Projek57: A movement of hope and Tony Pua made it a point to raise more awareness for Impian Sabah and Sarawak by doing sketches to raise more funds.

If we are going to continue to live in Malaysia, we as parents we really have to teach our children about diversity, acceptance rather than just tolerance, love, progressiveness and unity. Easy to say really hard to do, because it takes a lot of time, effort and being really intentional about it.

Things will change, it will not be immediate but we are all looking forward to better tomorrows.