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? 

Monday 2 November 2015

My New himmel V Super Slicer

Yay! My himmel V Super Slicer finally arrived about 2 weeks ago. Elsa,  of course came by to deliver it to me and she brought some yummy crunchy Fuji apples to try out! (How thoughtful of her) My dehydrator was kind of gathering dust as I was too lazy to cut the fruits using a knife. She brought an extra bonus which was an apple corer!

My ever willing model! Thanks Elsa! It came packaged in a box like this. 

Inside the box, you will get a slicer, a  holder and a set of blades.

You get a total of 5 interchangeable blades for doing different things. It comes with a convenient holder so you can keep them all in one place.

Overall, the slicer was very sturdy and the make is really similar to the much more expensive slicer sold by Tupperware. I felt that it was a really good buy at RM 119 because I bought it on pre-order! So we started coring the apples which was a lot harder than I thought. You literally had to use quite a lot of strength to push the corer through the apples and the corer accidentally came out the side on one apple! (Hahaha! So I ate that apple the next day) 

Using the slicer was incredibly easy and we got through about 8 apples in less than 10-15 minutes! It was awesome considering that it took us nearly half an hour the last time trying to cut the apples thin enough with a knife.

Ta-da! The end result! Beautiful round shaped apple slices to dehydrate.

The finished apple slices all ready to snack on!

This time I decided to use a much lower temperature (55°C) and leave it for 16 hours. I feel like the taste of the apples was a lot sweeter and nicer compared to my previous tries. So from now on, will work on using lower temperatures. 

More healthy fruit snacks to come for the whole family!!