Money talk

Dec 14, 2011

Angah is a big boy

Angah now ...
-packs his own clothes and toys to the nursery almost every morning.
-helps ummi in the kitchen.  Frying sausages, mixing curry paste, chopping onions & garlics (using chopper of course) ...
-helps ummi washing the clothes.  Putting the dirty clothes into the washing machine, the detergent into the slot, setting the appropriate mode and temperature ...
-consoles Achik when she cries for ummi
-scolds Achik with oh-so-brotherly tone when she is naughty.


In short, Angah is on fast track to becoming big brother without Along around :)

Dec 9, 2011

Just the three of us

Finally, Along decided to go with abah without Angah.  Alhamdulillah, after four days attending the camp, he seems to be enjoying it.  Without Along around, Angah has to assume position as ummi's personal 'assistant' :)
Spot where is Along?
We're going to have another extended weekend starting tomorrow.  I just love extended weekend (who doesn't?).  At least it gives me extra day to collect EBM for Achik.  EBM stock in the freezer is between 100 oz and 120 oz at the moment.  Insya-Allah we will not have much problem in achieving our third milestone in our breastfeeding journey.  We have to work harder to get to the fourth one though.

I also notice that Achik requests to be breastfed less frequently lately.  I think it's a sign of growing up and less dependency on breastmilk.  She only asks (read: demands) to be breastfed when she is about to sleep and when we are in the car and she doesn't have anything to do.  Most of the time, she will occupy herself with her favourite activity, making mess :p

Dec 1, 2011

Conflict

Along is going to stay with Abah for the next three weeks or so.  He is going to attend a camp to improve his hafazan.  If the prospect is good, he is going to begin the new school session at a new school in Penang :)  However, Along has made a rule.  If he has to go, Angah has to go with him too.  And Angah said "No, no, no."  He has already had a 'program' here for transit children of Al Humairaa during school holiday.

Ummi is in conflict.  Why can't everybody just stay here? (or stay there?  Nghee ...).

Nov 30, 2011

Supply = demand

I brought down 7 oz yesterday and stored also 7 oz.  It seems ages since I last managed to produce supply that meets demand.  It feels great :)

Nov 23, 2011

EBM stock plummetting

When I was just about to feel relief with stable supply & demand, tests came one after another.  For the past two weeks, EBM stock left the freezer at a steady rate of around 2 oz/day, or even faster.  I was busy with office work while attending to sick children during the first week.  I managed to pump only once a day, getting at most 6 oz.  On the second week ...  I myself was sick.  A very serious one that rendered me bedridden for 2 days with 6 days medical leave.  I lost my appetite totally and without proper eating, the amount of EBM produced was also less.  Not to mention a number of pumping sessions skipped, especially the night session ones, when I felt totally weak and just couldn't get up.  Hopefully I will regain my strength soon and back on track for 10.5 oz/day EBM, amin.

Nov 9, 2011

Breastfeeding journey with Achik so far

Alhamdulillah, I think we are moving down the hill slope in our breasfeeding journey.  For the time being, I don't have to worry about insufficient stock.  As Achik is entering her 15th month and after some consultation with the nursery owner, I have reduced daily EBM supply for Achik to just 10.5 oz a day i.e. 3.5 oz in three bottles.  Daily production is around 10 oz to 11 oz.  So far so good and she eats a lot too.  So, I am not worried about her source of nutrients.  Achik is also beaming with health.  No more hospital visit since she was discharged last August.  Alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah wa syukurillah.

Oct 31, 2011

Post vacation blues

As expected, getting the kids out of bed was hard this morning.  Along, while having his breakfast said, "Saya dah tak biasa dah dengan rumah ni.".  Oh my God, we were in Penang for only five days and he is now not used to his own house.  Funny.

Angah, brought down the pillow to the hall after having his bath, and then into the car saying "Saya ngantuk".  Achik?  Cried her eyes out when passed to the babysitter =(

EBM on board

I was a bit reluctant to take the cooler box with me to Penang that day, considering the already many luggage that I have to carry, including the three kids.  However, at the very last minute, I decided to bring it and I am glad that I did so.  I brought home a total of 12 oz EBM placed in a sealed cooler box together with the rest of the baggage.  Enough to cover one day supply for achik.
Safely home
The whole thing wasn't that smooth though.  The refrigerator at abah's house was faulty.  The freezer in particular was not working.  First day produce of 2 oz did not freeze even after 24 hours in the freezer.  It was only chill.  I discovered that when I wanted to store the second day produce of 2.5 oz.  So, on the way out for our sightseeing tour on the second day, we dropped by at abah's office to store the 4.5 oz EBM there.  On the third day, abah took the 2.5 oz expressed that morning to the office.  See?  The importance of husband's support in a breastfeeding journey.  Make sure you get one before you embark on the journey :)

Alhamdulillah, the refrigerator was replaced on the fourth day, avoiding the need to transport the fourth day (3.5 oz) and fifth day (1.5 oz) produce to the office.  On the way back, we dropped by at abah's office again to collect the frozen EBM there and then off to the airport :)

To complete the journey, we met Chef Wan after claiming our baggage.  Along was so excited and wanted to take photo with him, so I snapped one for him.  Achik was puzzled (as you can see from the photo) and Angah was like "Ada aku kesah?".  He he ...
Meeting Chef Wan
I heard Chef Wan said, "Oh, awak pun bawak cooler box ye ...".  Because he also had one, obviously a lot larger than ours.  The content was surely not the same :p  All of the EBM safely arrived home, 99% frozen :)

Oct 25, 2011

The price for being honest

Honesty is the best policy.  The thought of going to be on board again this evening reminds me of what happened during our previous trip to Adelaide.  During inspection at the airport, the custom officer took everything out from the luggage, including a container of rice that he evetually threw the content away :(  Then, he asked about another container, containing Angah's formula powder inside.  I was nervous, but at the same time prepared for any consequence.  I started to imagine the trouble that we might face if we had to find a replacement as we had no idea what kind of formula was available in Australia, not to mention their halal status.

My nightmare came true when the officer told us that he had to throw that powder away too.  We should have brought the one that was still sealed in its original packaging, he told us.  Suddenly, I remembered about the small amount of the same formula powder in my backpack, meant to be mixed in the plane if needed.  It somehow passed the inspection unnoticed.  Then, I naively told the officer, "Well, in that case, maybe you would want to throw this away too.", taking the small canister from the backpack and showed it to him.  *Ha ha.*  How honest.  When that small amount of powder could be the only resque if Angah really needed it later.

He then looked at me and then the canister and said, "Okay.   You can keep it."  Miracle happened!  He closed back the container lid and let us have the formula powder, both in the container and canister.  Alhamdulillah.  Being honest really paid.  In this case, immediately.  So, never hesitate to be one :)

Oct 24, 2011

Welcome aboard!

It has been ages since the last post.  I'd better post something before October ends and goes with no post :)  Actually I have written many, but they are all stuck in the draft list.

So, what the title is all about?  We are going on board tomorrow evening, Insya-Allah.  Flying with Malaysian Hospitality to Penang.  My record of never flying with Air Asia is not broken yet ;)  It is going to be the first time ever for Achik, and the third time for Along & Angah.  Though it is just a domestic flight, it is going to be challenging enough as I will be single handedly chaperoning the three kids. 


May Allah bless our journey.  Please pray for our safe return.  Subhanalladzi sahkharalana hadza wa ma kunna lahu mukriniin.  Wa inna ila Robbina la mun'qolibuun.  Aamin.  

Sep 30, 2011

What can you do with 5k?

My second post on 'Money matters' topic, after the first one, which apparently was an abandoned post i.e. no further story :p  This time, I have the chance to have RM5k with the following 6-month payback schedule.

Month 1 1,027.33
Month 2 833.33
Month 3 833.33
Month 4 833.33
Month 5 833.33
Month 6 833.35

I have the choice of (1) not taking it, so I won't get and won't lose anything.  (2) Take it, save it and do nothing with it, so I will lose RM194 minus some dividend generated after the 6 months (which is obviously not much).  (3) Take it, invest it.  Hoping that it generates some if not a lot returns later.  Otherwise, loss.  Hmm ...  Risky.  So?

Sep 21, 2011

Pneumonia oh pneumonia

Having been hospitalised twice, I can't help but feel 'something' each time achik shows signs of fever or cold.  And she did that again yesterday.  She had her varicella and pneumococcal jabs last Saturday and started to have fever that evening, which I thought was due to the jabs.  But when the fever didn't go away after three days and she started to cough, that feeling came.  I did some information searching on pneumonia amongst children and here are my findings.  Credit to Info Sihat.

Symptoms:
  • Demam panas
  • Batuk dengan atau tanpa kahak
  • Sakit dada
  • Tiada selera makan, tidak mahu makan
  • Rasa tidak sihat, sering merengek
  • Pernafasan laju atau susah bernafas
  • Muntah atau cirit-birit
Achik had only the first two symptoms when she suffered from the pneumonia.  She ate and drink milk well.  She was grumpy a bit when her body temperature was high, but back to her normal active self when it subsided.

Children who suffered from pneumonia will be hospitalised when:
  • Pernafasan laju
  • Sukar untuk bernafas
  • Bibir menjadi biru
  • Batuk berdarah
  • Tidak boleh makan atau minum atau tidak kencing

Sounds a bit too late to me.  I don't think parents should wait until the above signs appear to have their children admitted to the hospital.  Furthermore, in a number of pneumonia cases that I came across, which sadly ended with the death of the children, the only sign that the parents could see was the fever.

Prevention checklist:
  • Mengekalkan amalan cara hidup sihat - always striving for this
  • Amalan kebersihan diri dan persekitaran yang baik - this too
  • Teruskan penyusuan susu ibu - am doing it
  • Mengambil immunisasi boleh mencegah jangkitan kuman di paru-paru - done
Based on my experience, (1) always observe the number 3.  If the symptoms do not go away after 3 days, do something.  (2) take action as early as possible.  In fact, in some cases, the bacteria that infect the lungs actually come from the infected upper respiratory organs like nostrils and throat.  Therefore, early treatment can avoid them from spreading to the lower respiratory organs.

Sep 12, 2011

Salam aidilfitri 1432H

TaqabbalalLaahu minna wa min-kum.  It is not too late to wish eid mubarak to all.  Minal 'aidil wal faizin.  May Allah accepts all of our good deeds performed throughout the Ramadhan and makes us a better muslim, aamiin.

This is the second time we celebrated eid as a family of 5.  Last eid, achik was only 10 days old and barely noticeable.  This eid, she was exactly 1 year old :-).

On another development, Alhamdulillah, I have managed to get someone to look after achik at home, as a result of doctor's advice to isolate her from the nursery for at least a month due to her relapse recently.  Otherwise, I would be left with one and only option: UNPAID LEAVE.

Thank you Allah for everything that you have bestowed upon us.  May we always be amongst your obedient servants.
Salam aidilfitri! - [Limited edition. Displayed
during the month of Syawal only]

Aug 25, 2011

Second milestone hit and other things

Achik was born in the afternoon of 19th Ramadhan last year, so on the 19th of Ramadhan this year, which was also the 19th of August, she turned 1 according to the islamic calendar.  Of course she is officially 1 year old on the 30th of August, which is, Insya-Allah, Hari Raya :)  With some 100+ oz of EBM still in the fridge, Alhamdulillah, the second milestone of our breastfeeding journey is reached.

But things didn't go quite okay though with achik being admitted for the second time to the hospital due to bronchitis.  With barely over one month gap since the first time, it certainly wasn't something we (or any parents) would want to experience.  Alhamdulillah, this time was a lot less serious that she was given home leave on the second day and discharged on the third day.  May Allah protect her and the whole of our family from the illness of all kinds, aamiin.

Aug 3, 2011

Welcoming Ramadhan with 164 oz

Ramadhan kareem !!! 

Every Ramadhan, year after year, we pray that the Ramadhan be the best Ramadhan ever for us.  So does this year although it is extremetly challenging like never before to face Ramadhan single handedly.  May Allah give me the strength to make it the best Ramadhan ever, aamiin.

As part of Ramadhan preparation, I did EBM stock counting last night, which found a total of 164 oz of frozen and fresh EBM.  Barely exceeding the targeted 160 oz needed for Ramadhan, Alhamdulillah.  It is my duty now to work hard to collect a minimum of 8 oz a day.  I only managed to express 9 oz on the first day of Ramadhan and the same amount on the second day.  So very close to the bottom line of 8 oz a day and it is only the second day!  I dare not contemplating about what would possibly be the yields in the coming days.

As if understanding her mama's apprehension, achik consumed only 12 oz during the past two days.  Actually, she has been showing the pattern of 12 oz a day for the last couple of weeks.  Since I return home earlier than usual in the month of Ramadhan, the chance of saving the last bottle is higher.

Jul 26, 2011

Stocking up for Ramadhan

While I was planning vey hard to ensure enough EBM stock for achik during the Ramadhan, Alhamdulillah, Allah had a better plan for me.  The one week stay in the hospital had managed to slow down the outflow of the EBM stock while adding up a few oz more.  Right after coming back from the hospital, I have a total of 206.5 oz in the freezer, Alhamdulillah.  However, due to the laziness that set in lately, a significant amount had been used.

Based on a simple level 1 primary school mathematics calculation, I need at least 160 oz of EBM stock to survive this Ramadhan, assuming that
  1. Achik's daily consumption stays at 16 oz and
  2. My daily production drops to only 8 oz a day inclusive of the wee hours pumping (the worst case that I dare to think of)
There will be about of 20 working days in Ramadhan (raya count down eyh?) and we will hit our second second milestone on the Hari Raya when achik turns 1, Insya-Allah.

Jul 22, 2011

Laziness sets in ...

Little did I know, accompanying a sick but behaved & slept through the nights child in a hospital ward for a week long could give a side effect that is somehow similar to the jet lag effect.  After a week of eat and sleep and no pumping in the hospital, my body (blaming the body eyh?) tended to continue the eat and sleep hospital routine, even at home.  Unfortunately, it also affects the pumping schedule.  I have lost the mood.  I only pumped once on the first day of resuming work resulting in only 4.5 oz.  BIG problem.  On the second day, I managed to force myself to pump twice, according to the schedule, but the yield was only 7 oz, 3.5 oz from each session.  Heyy ...  What's happening???  Ain't I supposed to stock up for Ramadhan which is just around the corner?  Help!!!

The bill ...  For a week stay in the hospital.

Jul 13, 2011

Breastfeeding as a test of faith

Today is my second day accompanying achik-the-little-princess at ward.  She was admitted to the hospital yesterday morning, after being diagnosed as suffering from pneumonia by a pediatrician.  She is ten and a half months old now and neither Along, nor Angah had ever been hospitalised at such an early age.  Ironically, she is the one whom I fully breastfeed until now.  Along was exclusively breastfed for the first three and a half months and then continued enjoying the goodness of breastmilk combined with formula until he was about two and a half years old.  He was admitted to the hospital once at the age of five years old due to suspected dengue fever and had his blood samples taken and tested a few times during that period.  He was declared free from the fever two days later.

Angah was the least to enjoy the goodness of breastmilk.  He was exclusively breastfed for four months and continued to be breastfed and formula fed until he was about one year old and completely formula fed after that.  Interestingly, he has never been admitted to the hospital so far and has never even had his blood samples taken.

After going through the hardships of a breastfeeding journey which is not that hard anyway, one would probably wonder, why is that so?  Breastmilk is supposed to provide the strongest immunity to a child, isn't it?

Here lies the importance of having the right intention of doing something.  As a muslim, whatever we do, we do it for Allah.  In Surah Al Baqarah, verse 233, Allah says,

"The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years, ..."

and in Surah Luqman, verse 14, Allah says,

"... His mother bore him with weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years ..."

and in Surah Al Ahqaaf, verse 15, Allah says,

"... The carrying of the (child) to his weaning is (a period of) thirty months ..."

So, this is it.  I breastfeed my children because Allah asks me to do it.  Just like any other ibaadah such as prayer and fasting.  If worldly benefits come along with it, then they are entirely Allah's right to give (or not to give) for He is the most compassionate, the most merciful.  The benefits are the added values that we, as servants should be very thankful indeed.  Even without the worldly benefits, I will still breastfeed my children as a proof of my obedience to Allah the Almighty.  Full stop.

Jul 1, 2011

Where there is a will, there is a way

We received a Toysrus catalogue some time last week and as usual, Along and Angah excitedly perused through each and every item on it so that they can start imagining about having them *he he he*.  One particular toy that caught Along's attention was a set of 12 (or was it 16?) LEGO figurines that are priced at RM9.90 each, the cheapest on the catalogue I guess.  He was so serious about having them that he didn't spend his pocket money for the whole of this week and asked me to pack him two slices of bread and a slice of cheese every morning.  Last two days, he told me that he could probably only manage to collect RM9 and asked me to top up another RM1.  I didn't say yes and asked him to try to get it from abah instead :)  Surprisingly yesterday, he told me that he managed to get the additional RM1 by selling something to his friend!  I was astonished.

Me: Abang jual apa?
Along: Sticker.  Sticker yang saya jumpa hari tu.  (He found a set of embossed Cartoon Network characters stickers in the kitchen cabinet that day, a free gift of a product that we bought, long time ago).
Me: Abang jual seringgit?
Along: 50 sen satu.  Saya jual dua, jadi seringgit.

I wasn't quite sure about how to react.  Proud to see how hardworking he is to achieve his goal, but at the same time worried about what would his friend's parents say.  Well, maybe I don't have to interfere into their 'business'.  It will be good Along, if you can be that serious and hardworking in your study as well :p

Jun 16, 2011

I want to read this book

So, I have a mission to accomplish tomorrow afternoon, during lunch break ;)

Jun 7, 2011

Milk booster #1: The baby

Though I am still in the quest of a milk booster that works for me, I have actually had one.  In fact, all breastfeeding mothers have theirs - their respective babies!  In my case, it's Achik-the-little-princess of course :-*  Usually, I manage to express more on Monday, after a weekend of direct breastfeeding.  So, mamas out there, please directly breastfeed your babies as often as possible :)
A total of 7 oz for the first session.  5 oz on other days.

May 30, 2011

One woman show

Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life where I have to do the house chores, handle the kids and everything single handedly.  Abah has started a new job venture far far away in a northern state, about 3 and a half undisturbed at a speed that can kill driving hours away from home.  It is not easy, especially when it comes to doing things that all this while fall under his job specification like getting the kids out of bed, bathing them and serving them breakfast, taking the garbage plastic out into the trash box and the list goes on.  I have lost my other pair of hands, and will have to make use of whoever's pair of hands that I can get, especially Along's hands :)  Angah, while putting on his clothes this morning said, "Abah dah pergi Penang kan?  Kesian ummi kena jaga diorang semua."  The pronoun was not quite correct but acceptable :)  Thank you for your concern.

May 28, 2011

EBM stock counting

I did some stock counting today.  There are:

16 bottles/packs x 5 oz = 80 oz,
6 bottles x 4 oz = 24 oz,
10 bottles x 2 oz = 20 oz,
1 pack x 7.5 oz = 7.5 oz,
1 bottle x 6 oz = 6 oz and
1 bottle x 3 oz = 3 oz.

A total of 140.5 oz and three more months to hit the second milestone of our breastfeeding journey.  Hope we can make it, Insya-Allah.

May 27, 2011

Back to 16 oz a day

Alhamdulillah, I didn't get any call or SMS from the babysitter asking for more milk this week.  In fact, on one of the days, Achik-the-little-princess took only 3 bottles, taking home a bottle of 4 oz home that can be used for the next day.  All in all, supply is more than demand this week, so I can have some stock over this weekend, Insya-Allah.

Achik's lunch and breakfast and tea times box

May 26, 2011

Have we asked enough?

Have you ever been in a situation where someone offered RM1k (talking about money lately huh?) to give but you only requested for RM100 and as a result, RM100 was what you got?  Yes?  No?  Well, we have always been trying to strive to get the most of what we can get from other people, our bosses, our company - err ... the company where we work for I mean, not our own company :-).  But have we striven enough to get the most of what Allah wants to give us?

A doa that I heard over my favourite radio channel recently, which is meant to be recited after a Dhuha prayer, made me contemplate about this and I confess that indeed I haven't asked enough (read: being arrogant, as if I am self-sufficient).  Despite that, Allah has given so much to me (and I am sure to you too).  Indeed He is the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate.  But we rarely appreciate His Mercifulness and Compassionateness,  despite reciting basmalah every day.

May 25, 2011

Turning 10k into 100k

Is it possible?  Well, I am going to attend a half day seminar that tells me how to do that tomorrow.  Just adding one more zero and makes 10 become 100 is not that difficult, is it?  :)  *Off course it is difficult.  Otherwise you won't see people getting up so early in the morning to go to work and coming back late evening, causing massive traffic jams!*

May 11, 2011

Looking for what works for me

My little super slurper a.k.a Achik the little princess has been consistently consuming 16 oz of my mommylicious milk since she started taking solid food.  I am not producing that much daily, so we survive our breastfeeding journey thus far by pumping over the weekend.  Last Monday rang an alarm when she finished three and a half bottles of milk (14 oz) before noon!  As a result, I had to supply an additional 6 oz to the nursery.  A total of 22 oz a day!  Yesterday was about the same story.  She finished the three and a half bottles at about 2.15 p.m. and I decided to pick her up and return home early.  As of 2.44 pm today, there is still no sms from the babysitter asking for more milk.  Hopefully (really, really hope), it was just a growth spurt.  She is entering her 9th month now.

In the mean time, I am still searching for a milk booster that works for me.  I have tried almost everything that I can get my hands on, but none seems to work for me.  Soybean drink slightly improves production, but so very slightly that I am still hunting for other milk boosters.  Care to help, anyone?

May 10, 2011

Mothers day cards

On this very special day this year, I received two cards.  One from Angah (the one on the left) and another from Along.

While the card from Along clearly says "Selamat Hari ibu!!!", I am not quite sure what Angah is trying to express.  HAPPY (AZZAM) DAY? :-)  Let's have some little inspection into each ...
Card from Angah has a big blue love pasted upside down in it.  On it, I can see cars, houses, a stick lady (is it me?  Oh my god!) and a small fruit that looks like cherry.  Can you see them?  Anything that implies mothers day?  Hmm ...
Card from Along has some wordings in it.  Let's zoom in.
Oh so touching.  I hope you really mean it.  Be a good boy and a good brother to your brother and sister okay.

Thank you very much to the both of you.  Although bringing you up is extremely challenging at most of the times, it is a responsibility that I will neither regret nor give up doing.  May Allah give me the strength that I badly need to nurture these little caliphs of us, amin.

May 6, 2011

Class A versus class B

I am blessed with a son, whom, at the age of 5 years old, can talk nonchalantly spontaneous but yet, sensible.  I storied about this before.  In his kindergarten, he is qualified to be in Class A, a class for smarter pupils but chooses to be in Class B.

Me: Kenapa Azzam tak nak masuk kelas A?
Angah: Tak nak.  Kelas A tu belajar banyak.  Kelas B belajar 1 je, lepas tu makan.  Kelas A lambat.

:)

Apr 28, 2011

Pumpin' Pal breast shield to let go

A pair of medium size Pumpin' Pal Supershields +Plus @ RM 80 inclusive of delivery charges.
WYSIWYG

Apr 22, 2011

Homework

It is not easy to persuade Angah to go to his kindergarten every morning.  After 4 months, there are still mornings where he cries and just refuses to go.  The reason may come out of the blue and often illogic, especially after some silent moment in the car on the way to there.  So, I have learned the skill to make him occupied in a conversation all the way to the kindergarten (with a stop at the nursery to drop Achik-the-little-princess of course) so that he will not have the slightest opportunity to think about not going.  This morning, among others, we talked about his homework.  He hardly brings home any homework lately like he used to do.

Me: Eh, kenapa Azzam dah tak de homework sekarang ni ek?
Angah: Sebab kita dah pandai dah semua tuu.
Me: Ouh ..  (speechless)

Ha ha.  I am writing about this so that one day I can tell you that you once uttered these words, very confidently.  Hope that such confidence stays till you enter your tertiary education, Insya-Allah.

Apr 21, 2011

Second attempt on trial pack set B

My little (and only) princess is now entering her eighth month and Alhamdulillah, I am still able to breastfeed her fully.  The daily demand now is 16 oz.  The daily supply is either just enough to meet the demand or 1 or 2 oz short.  I usually pump over the weekend to make up for the shortness.  That is how we survive our breastfeeding journey so far.

However, with Ramadhan is just around the corner (around the corner for me because I have a total of 11 12 days of fasting to repay!), I have to start my 'repayment installment' soon.  And I am very worried.  If fasting affects the milk production, the supply will be even lower.  More over, I have to start topping up my currently 80 oz EBM stock in preparation for the coming Ramadhan.  My little princess will turn 1 year old on the first day of Aidilfitri this year, Insya-Allah :-)

Dried longans, fresh milk, dates and et cetera thus far did not show any significant improvement on my milk production.  Therefore, I have decided to have a second go at Shaklee trial pack set B for breastfeeding mothers.  This time with guided scheduled intake of the supplements from Mommy Lyna.  My first attempt didn't really work.  Hope that this time it will, Insya-Allah.

Apr 19, 2011

Apple Kindergarten Sports Day

Angah had his sports day last Sunday.  So, yesterday was his turn to enjoy the extra holiday.  Along had his last February.  The crowd wasn't that big on the day, mainly due to the current spread of the contagious chicken pox disease, or so, according to his teachers.  Nevertheless, the good side of it was that Angah managed to bring home four prizes including one for replacing his absent friend and another one for unexpectedly winning the third place in a 50 meter sprint event for five years old category :-)  See ...
It says "Acara lumba lari".  Can you see?
Why did I say unexpectedly?  Not that I want to underestimate my boy.  But he wasn't prepared for that.  Or rather, his mother did not prepare him for that.  He was running in his pair of ... unauthentic croc slippers (with missing back straps)!
"Selipar kejadian"
Ha ha.  My pride.

Mar 28, 2011

The toughest time

Al Faatihah.  No words can describe how I feel at the moment.  The sudden lost of our beloved father, who turned from one healthy person, to the one suffering from mild stroke, to suffering from confirmed stroke, to having been discovered to have blood clot in the head, to having shortness of breath and finally left us forever, all in less than a week time!  He was in the intensive care unit for barely 2 hours when Allah took him away from us to be with Him.  May Abah rest in peace, together with the pious, the solihin.

The only Abah that we have ever had, and we certainly had the best Abah.  Insya-Allah our prayers will always accompany you, till the time comes when we are also called to be with Him.  Fasubhaanallazi biyadihii malakuutu kulli syai in wailaihi turja'un (Yaasin - the last verse).  Indeed, every body will return to Him.  It is just a matter of when. 

Feb 21, 2011

Sibling rivalry

Yesterday was Along's school sports day, so today, is holiday for him, but not for Angah.  Knowing Angah, I know that he will insist to have a holiday too if he knows it.  So, we have to think of a strategy.  Hmm ...

When Along continued his sleep after coming back from the Subuh prayer, I asked Abah to lift him and put him in another room so that Angah will not see him when he wakes up.  It worked!  At least until Angah was about to leave the house when he suddenly stopped and asked "Abang Islah mana?"

"Hmm ...  Dia dah pergi dulu kot."  The word *kot* was put at the end to avoid myself from the guilty feeling of lying :)  Luckily, he did not ask further and just left.  One Monday morning scene avoided ;)

Feb 18, 2011

5½ month old with 2 teeth and solid foods

It is the 18th day of February and this is the first entry for February!  Err ...  That is if it managed to make its way to the blog and does not get stuck in the draft list.

Alhamdullillah, I am still breastfeeding my little princess.  But the status now has changed from 'exclusive' to 'fully' breastfeeding because she has started taking solid foods for the past two weeks.  She has scored all ticks except one in the readiness table, so I am more than happy to introduce solid foods to her without having to wait until she reaches 6 month old.  To me, the 6 month is just a guide.  It varies from baby to baby.  She has two teeth now.  So, I am confident enough that she is ready ;)

I hereby officially declare that the first breastfeeding milestone is accomplished *wink, wink*.  Alhamdulillah.

During the first week of introduction to solid foods, she consumed 16 oz a day, which meant that supply met demand and I was such a happy & relief mama.  However, she was back to her 20 oz a day routine this week *aiyook* and I begin to see empty space in the freezer.  Hopefully she retains the 20 oz amount while I figure out how I can meet the demand.  Tandem pumping perhaps?

Jan 31, 2011

The positive side of a credit card

Is there such thing?  I think there is.  I have been using them (yeah, I have more than one, and all are islamic cards) since the year I started working and still using them now.  Alhamdulillah, they have never caused me to become insolvent so far :D  The rule of thumb is - never spend more that what you have.  Then you are safe.

The main reason why I have a credit card is CONVENIENCE.  There is no need to worry for having to carry a large sum of money in the wallet all the time.  We can also avoid long queue at ATM machines.

The second reason is centered financial management as (almost) every purchase of the month will be billed in a single statement.  Petrol, groceries, Touchngo reload, monthly bills, you name it.

Third is the option to delay payment until after 20 days of the statement date.  So you can place the money somewhere and it will generate daily dividend for you while waiting to be used for the credit card payment.

Fourth, for online purchase.  This one I LIKE!  Since you can get good bargains with online purchase.  Much much cheaper than offline purchase.

In fact, you can even take advantage of your credit card ;)  Namely, the treatpoints scheme.  Usually, for every RM1 spent, you will be given 1 treatpoint.  But some credit cards have better offer such as 5 treatpoints for every RM1 spent of petrol at Brand X petrol stations, for example.  So, your treatpoints can accumulate more quickly.  These treatpoints can be used to redeem many things.  One of my favourite items is shopping voucher.

In our case, on average, we can collect around 5000 treatspoints per month.  An RM50 shopping voucher at a shopping mall that we usually go for our hari raya shopping costs 9300 treatpoints.  In other words, we can redeem the voucher roughly every two months.  When the time comes for the next hari raya shopping, we will be having (hopefully) 4 pieces of that RM50 vouchers.  Isn't that nice?  That is after setting aside 15000 treatpoints to be used for service tax redemption, of course.

So, here are some tips that I would like to share based on my experience in using credit cards so far.

  1. Use supplementary cards for your spouse, rather than having an individual card each, so that the treatpoints can be combined for redemption.
  2. Use the cards at as many places as possible as long as there is no additional charge for using it.  Some merchants may charge you a few percent extra for credit card purchase.
  3. Be alert of any promotions or campaigns and take advantage of them if they happen to be in line with your planning.  But not the other way round, *heh*.  For example, you plan to buy a new iron as your old one is broken and there is this triple treatpoints promotion if you buy electrical items at Brand S outlets.  Go ahead and buy your iron at the nearest Brand S outlet as long as the price is not excessively higher that it should be.
Have a safe cashless shopping!

Jan 21, 2011

Is my baby ready for solid foods?

S.O.S!  20 oz gone before 3.30 pm!  I received an SMS from the babysitter last Monday, informing me that my baby had finished all her 20 oz daily supply of EBM and the time was 3.38 pm.  The 20 oz usually lasts up to 6 pm.  Red alert!!!

In desperation to look for solution, as I don't think I can pump that much to meet her new demand, I searched for information to see if my baby is ready for solid foods.  I found the following checklist.

Signs of readiness
My observations
Loss of tongue-thrust reflex [1, 2]Well, I tried to let her 'taste' mashed potato last Sunday while I was having it for dinner.  Just three very little pinches of the mashed potato.  She could accept it very well.  She is 4 and a half month old after all.  How on earth would you know unless you try, right?  An excuse :)  So, this one is a tick.
Ability to let you know she is full from a "meal" [1]She used to suck and swallow and suck and swallow until she was extremely full, and a few minutes later, the overloaded milk bursted out of her mouth.  That hardly happens now and sometimes I can even see her satisfied smile when she detaches her mouth from the breast.  So, this one is a tick.
Ability to sit up and hold head up unassisted [12]Unassisted?  Certainly no.  Unless when she is in her bumbo seat.  She cannot even roll from back to front yet.  So, this one is a cross.
Interest in your food [12]Certainly.  I have no doubt about this.  No need to say more.  So, this one is absolutely a tick.
Doubling of birth weight [1]She was born with 3.75 kg birth weight :)  She was 5.8 kg during her 3-month jab.  She was following the growth chart perfectly.  According to the chart, her weight now should be around 6.5 kg.  Hmm ...  Not yet doubling her birth weight.  So, this one is a cross.
Frequently waking in the middle of the night when a solid sleeping pattern had been established [1]She established her sleeping pattern when she was 2-month old.  She would sleep as early as 8 pm and waking up for milk at around 4 am.  But recently, she wakes up 2 to 3 times throughout the nights and early mornings for milk.  So, I think this one is a tick.
Baby is ready and willing to chew [2]I could see her doing something to the mashed potato that I fed her that day and did not swallow it straightaway.  So, this one is a tick.  Err ...  I hope that I am not being bias here :)
Baby is developing a "pincer" grasp [2]She has better control of the things that she grabs and holds lately.  But I need to do a few more 'tests' before I can make any conclusion about this.  So, lets put a cross first to be on the safe side.

Luckily, the situation did not prolong.  She consumed the usual amount on the next day.  So, maybe I can wait for a few more weeks until she scores all ticks ;) Then I will feel much better to begin introducing her to solid foods.  So, myself, keep on pumping (rigorously)!

Jan 12, 2011

NEW Autumnz printed cloth diapers for sale

RM32 each.  Buy 2 at RM62.  Each CD comes with 2 free inserts and each CD is enclosed in a transparent, snap button plastic casing that doubles as individual CD wetbag.  Available prints are:

Daisy Lilac
Safari Blue
Daisy Lime

Camourflage
Very limited stock available.  First come, first served.  Reservation will be held for 24 hours only.

Jan 11, 2011

More milk or thicker milk?

I only managed to express 10 oz at the office yesterday and today is thus far showing the same pattern. *Help! Help!*. Although I managed to cover the needed 2 oz through marmet technique at home last night, I should still be worried, shouldn't I?  I should be getting 12 oz from the pumping sessions at the office alone. Whatever amount that I can express at home would be a bonus :)  Luckily, help is just around the corner.  *Taraa!!!*
My Shaklee set B trial pack is here!
Packed in a cute container :)

I blogged about my intention to try dried longan juice before, which is claimed to be able to help in producing more milk.  But until now, I haven't had the chance to get them.  This Shaklee set B for breastfeeding mothers on the other hand is claimed to be able to produce milk that is thicker and richer in content.  Both share the same objective, that is to make the baby full and satisfied with just the breast milk and hence, to make exclusive breastfeeding a success, but in slightly different ways.  Hmmm ...  So, more milk or thicker milk then?  Having had problem before with EBM storage due to limited freezer space, the option of having thicker milk that makes baby feel content with lesser quantity of it sounds great ;)

I still have one more concern before I can happily try out this product though.  If the milk produced after consuming the pills is creamier and tastier, is there a possibility that the baby will refuse to drink the frozen EBM stock expressed prior to consuming the pills, which is less creamy & tasty?  Care to share your experience?  I would greatly appreciate it.  Thanks for reading :)

Jan 8, 2011

A week has passed

It has been a week since my little baby began her new daily intake of 20 oz a day.  In fact, last Thursday, the babysitter asked me if I could provide 6 bottles instead of 5 daily because sometimes 5 bottles are just not enough.  I told her that 20 oz a day was already a lot for me to produce and at the moment I can only provide that much.  She was fine with it.  What a relief.

I followed all the five items on my to-do-list and Alhamdulillah, I managed to consistently produce 16 oz daily for the past five workdays.  My baby took 16 oz on Monday, and 20 oz on the rest of the days, so I had used a total of 16 oz of frozen EBM stock last week.  I expressed a total of 6 oz this morning and hopefully I can get around that amount tomorrow morning, so that I can restock at least 10 oz, and achieve the target to slow down the EBM stock outflow.  So far so good.  Just need to keep it up.

Double pumping works for me ;)  Should have done it right from the start *sigh*.  I only double pump at the office.  I single pump at home, so as to reduce the number of parts that need to be washed after each pumping session *lazy eh?*  But the result is not bad.  I achieved a record of 6 oz this morning with single pumping.  I don't recall being able to collect this much before, even during confinement period :)  Thank you Allah for answering my prayer.

A record breaking 6 oz this morning
I haven't got the chance to try dried longan yet.  I haven't got the time to look for some.  I have ordered Shaklee trial pack set B for breastfeeding mothers, just in case.  I still have some reservations about it though.

Jan 7, 2011

Do you see what I see?


Certainly.  But do you think what I think?  Stray dogs don't have owners, do they?  They can't read either.  Then ...  why is this sign post?  =))

AVENT VIA breast milk cups for sale

Photo courtesy of anythingmaternity.com
New, unopened.  RM60 COD/self collect or RM65 including delivery cost (peninsular Malaysia).  Retail price is usually RM65.90.  5 sets available.

Stackable in the fridge.Stackable on the shelf.
Great value for money.  Their use can be extended to store frozen baby food.  Warm the food and use spoon to feed baby directly from the cups.  All in one ;)

Jan 5, 2011

Living cabin giveaway from [-suziey-] dot com

Contests are addictive, aren't they?  I just joined one yesterday, and here is another one that I join today :)  The rules are usually very simple.  Becoming a follower of the organiser's blog is usually a must.  One way to increase traffic to the blog, for sure.  So, dear Suziey, please count in this entry of mine ;)  Thanks.

Jan 4, 2011

MIAKIDIDDLES year end giveaway

link to M.I.B



Momma Mia is holding a contest.  A very simple one that I can't resist to join ;)  So, Momma Mia, here is my entry.  My guess is ... 24 packs altogether.  Hope that I do it right.  This is my very first attempt to join such contest.

Jan 2, 2011

Yet another year

Time flies.  Not as fast as the speed of a Boeing 777 maybe, but fast.  New resolution?  Nope, I don't have any.  If I have a resolution, it doesn't have to wait until new year to be implemented.  But I do have piles of tasks to be accomplished today, in preparation for tomorrow (so, what am I doing here in front of this PC huh?).

It is going to be Angah's first day at kindergarten.  Hope that he is going to be alright.  Along will be in standard three tomorrow.  Achik is going to go to the taska as usual, totally oblivious of the new year :) 

Ya Allah, jadikanlah anak² kami ini anak² yang soleh di dunia dan akhirat, amin.
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