Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Milk powder going up up and away

Just a short post to vent my frustrations on the price of formula milk which hit a bull run like our stock market. When Hayley first started taking Enfagrow A+ (6 months ago), the price for a twin pack (the 1.3kg box pack) was RM59.90 at my regular mini market. A couple of weeks ago it went up to RM62.90. Guess what, today it went up to RM64.90! In just 6 months, it went up RM5!

I guess I won't be surprise if one day some poorer mothers will have no choice but to feed their little babies with coffee, tea or condensed milk. Sigh....

Looking on the bright side, this time the twin pack came with free educational books for toddlers. They are giving out 4 series from the Cambridge Bright Sparks collection of 67 series and I now have 3. They are pretty good books and suitable for Hayley's age. So if I just tell myself that I paid the extra RM3 for each book, it is actually a very good deal and I am sure I will then feel much better :-)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Part time house cleaners, a desperate choice

I have never used the services of part time house cleaners until recently. I used to enjoy cleaning the house myself and keeping it spotless. With a little toddler at home, it is no longer possible. I started using them a few months ago when Hayley got older and requires me to spend more time with her. I got so exhausted juggling work and motherhood that I have no energy left to do anything else let alone clean up a double storey house with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms!

As I am a neat freak and a perfectionist (hubby says I have OCD - obsessive compulsive disorder), I just cannot imagine my house being cleaned by total strangers (who might not live up to my expectations) but I have slowly come to terms with it. I know I cannot clean the whole house by myself all the time so I will definitely need some help. And I have also learnt over the years (started since I got married to my husband) to lower my expectations :-)

I have therefore decided to use their service twice a month. I basically got them to help me clean the hard to reach places or places that I dislike cleaning such as the sliding doors, grill doors, ceiling fan, windows, stairs etc which does not require weekly cleaning. I have tried 4 companies todate and the charges varies from RM98 - RM120 per month. They come for 4 hours per visit, 2 hours if they come in pairs. Some of them are good and efficient and some of them are really slow (according to my husband who helps to oversee them during the cleaning as they normally comes on weekdays as they are fully booked on weekends) but nothing escape my very sharp eyes. I always check after they've cleaned the house to see if I would like to continue with their service. So far I have not found one that I am comfortable with.

The other thing which I noticed is that the maids will not be thrifty when it comes to using my supplies. They finished up my cleaning/washing detergent very quickly and I'll need to replenish them more often. Some of them can't take proper instructions as well as most of them are Indonesians. It can get pretty frustrating trying to communicate.
Even with them coming every fortnightly, it doesn't mean that I do not have to do housework anymore. I still sweep and mop the floors myself once or twice a week. I still do the ironing and washing of clothes and toilets. I guess I cannot run from these chores unless I have a permanent maid which is not a practical solution for us right now. Or maybe I should really consider moving into an apartment so I have a smaller place to clean.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A trip to Penang

After planning for it for months, we finally made the trip to Penang last Sunday. We were there for 3 days and 2 nights and stayed at The Gurney Hotel and Residences along Persiaran Gurney. We initially wanted to stay somewhere in the Ferringhi Beach but after hearing awful remarks from my sister who recently went about the beaches there, we decided to stay in town (nearer to the food :-)).

We managed to get the pomotional rate which is RM160++ per night for a studio suite room with breakfast. I didn't take any photos of the room so am going to borrow the photos from their website :-)

The room looks quite old, the free WIFI sucks but the staff were friendly (except the girl who checked us in). The best thing about this hotel would be the pools. They have very nice pool for adults and kids.

The journey to and back from Penang has been great. Hayley didn't fuss a bit during the 3.5 hours car ride both ways. We stopped for a short break to let her stretch her legs and fed her lunch and were back on the road. She either slept or played on her own, what a darling :-)

I have to add that going travelling and sightseeing with a toddler was not easy. We had to plan our day based on her routines - need to make sure she still gets her nap, her feeds, her poo time, etc. And we didn't really achieve much. Most of the time were spent at the pool side. That was her happy place :-). She enjoyed playing with the sand for the 1st time.

The only tourist attracttions that we visited during the 3 days are Kek Lok Si temple and Gurney Plaza. It was tiring going up the temple with a little toddler.

Mummy and papa on the other hand wanted to go Penang for its delicious char kueh teow (fried noodle), assam laksa and cendol. Finding suitable food for the little one was tough at these outlets and don't even hope you'll find a baby chair. We had to eat with one hand while the other grabbed on to her as she attempts to stand on the chair or jump from the chair. We didn't really enjoy our food in the end (it was a struggle to finish it in the shortest time possible) but they do taste good.

We left hazy Penang around noon and got ourselves some Him Heang tambun biscuit :-)

Friday, July 17, 2009

1 year old, I'm loving it

Hayley has grown to a stage where she is starting to communicate using single words. There are hardly anymore cries except when she's throwing tantrums or when she's hurt. She is able to tell us exactly what she wants (most of the time) and this has taken a lot of the frustrations away..

Here are a few scenarios:

- playing with her Fischer Price Doodle Pro while saying the word 'drawing'. I know it means that she wants me to draw with her.
- holding my hand and pulling me towards the chairs and pointing to the chair while saying 'chair'. It means she wants to sit on it.
- she refused to finish her milk and she will tell me 'no more'. Means she doesn't want it anymore so don't bother forcing her.
- if she wants to go somewhere, she will pull my hand and say 'come' while dragging me to the place.
- taking out her bucket filled with her ABCs while saying the word 'open', means she wants me to open the bucket for her.
- when she sleeps, she likes to hug her napkin or her blanket and the moment she's in her crib, she will say 'kin' and 'ket' while pointing to the napkin and the blanket. Just pass them to her and she will be happily sleeping away.
- she likes to ride on her papa's bike and everytime we say 'let's go kai kai, put on your shoes' and she will run to the shoe rack, grab her shoes and put them on (most of the time she will be able to put them on correctly) and while doing that she will say 'wait', asking us to wait for her :-)
- lately she's also into singing nursery rhymes and everytime when I ask her if she wants to sing songs, she will nod her head while saying 'yes' and she will start humming some parts of the songs she likes such as: ABC, Happy Birthday, Mr Sun from Barney and Row Row Row Your Boat while I happily sing away.

I am really enjoying this stage.

And oh, she likes to say A, B, C and as for numbers she will always say 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (skip everthing else in betwen) and then 10! :-)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Spending RM5 on something totally useless just to see a smile on my little girl's face

Will you do the same? I am sure you will... :-). When it comes to our own flesh and blood, I am sure as a parent, we would do anything in the world for them.

When I bought it I didn't expect her to play it with it for longer than 30 mins. Like most kids her age, she will easily get distracted with new toys or new stuff lying around. You pass her an empty tissue box or a shoe box and she can play with it for hours.

To my surprise she's been playing with this toy (which she calls 'Kitty', short for Hello Kitty) for a couple of days now. So my RM5 was actually well spent :-).

However, I am slightly worried. There is a small print at the handle which says 'wash hands after playing' which I only noticed after buying it. So I am not sure if its made of harmful material and if I should continue to let her play with it. For now, I am trying not to be too paranoid about things like this and I just make sure she washes her hands after playing and I also keep a close eye to ensure that she doesn't put the toy into her mouth.

RM5 in exchange for a happy little girl, I would say 'money well spent' :-).

Monday, July 13, 2009

I made it

This old engine survived!

Here are some photos which I took before, during and after the game and I was still standing :-)

I have to admit that it wasn't easy, especially for people like me who've not exercised for 2 years. Although I only played for a few mins each game, I have to sprint and that made me dizzy and I actually felt like throwing up a couple of times. I was glad that we have 8 team members, enough substitutes to let us catch some rest. For those who do not know, you need to have 5 players in each game (including the goalkeeper).

There were a lot of teams there who were really serious in winning the RM500 and the trophy. They came with their own jerseys (with numbers and names) and football shorts. Pretty impressive stuff. And these people actually trained every week.

Whereas we went in our cheap t-shirt (bought from Carrefour at RM4.90 each) with DIY company logo [hahaha]. And although some of us have played the game before many many years ago, many of us have not even kicked a ball in our entire life. But my boss came up with a pretty good strategy and we even managed to score a couple of goals each game. Although we didn't make it to the semi finals, we had fun, we sweat and we made some new friends. It was all that matters!

When the game ended on Saturday, I went home and was dead tired. Hayley greeted me at the door, she had her bath, she was fed and she looked clean :-). I must say the papa did a pretty good job. I suffered muscle aches all over the following day and had a couple of bruises on my knees.

If given another chance, I wouldn't want to play again but definitely would not mind going to give my support.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A weekend with tortoises and fishes

Like most kids her age, Hayley love animals (including insects). So we decided to expose her to some of these animals over the weekend. We relied on books a lot and we thought it would be nice to let her see the actual thing in person.

On Saturday, we went to Thean Hou temple. We knew there was a tortoise pond there and since mummy and papa would like to offer some prayers, we thought it would be a good choice to visit the temple. And as predicted, Hayley loved the tortoises. She even attempted to climb over the rock barricade to touch them! After the visit to the tortoise pond, she can even pronounce the word 'tortoise' accurately :-)

We also took the opportunity to teach her some basics about praying like putting both her hands together and kneeling down. She even wanted to hold a joss stick when she saw me holding one and that almost got me burnt.

Hayley kneeling in front of Goddess of Mercy at the temple

After Thean Hou temple we spent some time at the Bukit Jalil park again. She loves going to the 'ground', her version of playground. She really enjoyed watching other older kids run around, climb and swing. Sometimes she will follow them and watch them from a distance with a smile on her face.. amazing how such a simple thing can bring so much joy to a little kid :-). She also likes to imitate the kids. Jumping and climbing next to them.

Her day at the 'ground' will not be complete without her favourite horsey rides :-)

On Sunday, we went to One Utama. Some of my friends are performing there so I decided to pay them a visit :-). Although I have stopped dancing, occasionally I would love to see them dance to reminisce the good old times.

Papa who dislike watching shows decided to come along as he wanted to bring Hayley to the koi pond at the One Utama new wing. The pond was pretty huge and filled with nice colourful fishes. Hayley again had a good time and she even attempted to jump into the pond to swim with the fishes :-)

Although we had a lot of fun on both days, Hayley missed both her afternoon naps as she was so engrossed with the surrounding, the people, the noise etc at the places we went. She was a KEPOH (busybody) girl. She didn't show any signs of tiredness and didn't even nap in the car on the way back (we were wondering where she got all the energy from). Although half of me wanted to bring her out as often as I can, the other half of me was upset that she didn't get her beauty nap (and people who know me will know that I am very particular in following routines especially when it relates to Hayley - I know its a BAD thing but I can't help it). And it definitely does not help when my babysitter (an old lady) constantly reminds me that my baby was petite probably because she didn't get enough sleep.

I guess I would need to be more careful in planning for our future outings to make sure that she at least gets her proper nap on one of the weekend day.