Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Getting Good Deal-Baby Clothing and Equipment

Now that I have 3 children, I need to spend wisely and constantly in look up for good deals. This include basic tasks like browse through your Friday and weekend paper for the discount wars among the hypermarkets especially diapers and milk formula offers.

I am proud that I have so far, maybe once or twice bought the normal rack rate of Mamypoko in range of RM56.90. I usually got the deal around RM40.99-RM43.99. It was crazy 2 weeks ago, when Tesco was selling Enfagrow A+ at RM79.99, the original rack rate is around RM107.99. One family is only entitle to purchase 5 tins. So, my husband and myself went early in the morning and pretended we do not know each other and paid for the 5 tins each in separate counters.

Baby equipment : For those first time parents, if you can,  try to get 2nd hand stuff like; baby cot, walker, stroller, bath tub (the big items) from your friends or relatives. It is really no point getting the new ones, your baby grows out of them without you even realise it. If you can't, try MYDEAR's warehouse sale. I think they usually have it in 3 months interval around Mar, June, Sept and Dec. I find the quality of their products are acceptable, the prices are very reasonable for short term use. So, if you are pregnant now, do plan wisely to get this good deal. They are situated somewhere in Puchong. They will usually advertise in major newspapers.

Clothes: I searched on website for wholesale dealer and negotiate a deal of able to mix and match purchase but with condition of each purchase must be at least RM500. I went there sometimes with my friend and sometime just my own once or twice in a year. With the 3 children now, you can easily achieve the minimum purchase in no time. You can really get good deal from the wholesaler. For example, a size 2T-3T boy polo shirt, may cost you RM39.90-RM59.90 but only RM16-RM22 at wholesale price. They are mainly branded stock overrun for brands like, Polo, Burberry, Zara, CK and etc. Baby romper will cost around RM5-RM10. For those Carter brand baby rompers, a set of 5; may cost only RM20-25.

You can also visit www.onlinebabywear.com, they are selling clothes slightly above wholesale price but still much cheaper than those selling in shops or other online stores.

Getting rid of used stuff : If I have friend to loan to or give away some of my children's stuff, I will be happy to do so or donation but some of the stuffs you have, are hardly being used and still on very good condition. I sell them online. Mudah.com is a very good platform. I have sold the children's walker, baby cot, high chair, winter clothing, stroller and etc. via the website. The money collected from the sale will usually go to  the children's milk formula kitty!

It is not easy, financially; with even just a child nowadays. Visit to doctor, injections, their food, milk formula, education and your hospital bill to give birth cost great deal of money. You may have extra costs like extra maid, bigger car or bigger house if you are having twins or more!!! 

Male Infertility Issue

More than 2.5 million men in Britain may be suffering from fertility problems.  Many men are in denial about the risk of infertility and tend to believe that problems in conceiving are more likely to be the "fault" of the woman. This may have been to protect the fragile male ego and it remains a sensitive area. Most probably male psyche equates fertility with virility, and views failure to father a child with shame.

This is why male infertility has usually been a taboo topic; and the unique problems which the infertile man has to deal with are rarely discussed.

 Factors that Influence Fertility
  • A man’s overall health and life style.
  • Habits such as nutrition, exercise, smoking, or drug and alcohol intake.
  • Medications, including common medications used to treat ulcers and high blood pressure and etc.
  • Drugs 
  • Lubricants
It is tough enough to deal with fertility issue and top it up with the male 'EGO', I would say, it is VERY tough and impossible in my girlfriend's case.

My girl friend married into a 'ONLY ONE' son family in year 2002. When my gynea friend got pregnant in 2005, I was jealous but took her advice and seek treatment and got pregnant in 2007. My girl friend seek our advice in 2007 and still not able to do anything about it. 

She was constantly under pressure by the family especially during get together session or festive season. When she was asked the question ' when are you going to start a family?', the husband will conveniently walk away and left her with all these 'aunties' questions to answer. Her common answer will be "we are trying". Imagine getting those sort of question from Year 2002 till now? It is 2012 next year, it will a 10 years old question by then!!! In a very traditional Chinese family, of course, everybody will think she is having problem and has recommended her various types of Chinese traditional medication.

She actually went to visit Dr. Prashant in year 2007. Doctor was saying she has a minor cyst problem, not really of a concern and requested her husband to carry out the sperm test. This is the major problem. Until today, he refuses to carry out the test. Dr. Prashant advised her that there is no point trying IVF or other fertility treatments without knowing the root problem. It will be a waste of time and money and again, these treatment will need the husband's sperm. My girl friend even ordered through the clinic a special condom to contain the sperm for test but he just refused to do anything about it.

We have spoken to her and she said she is giving up unless she wants to get in a fight with him. We also think it is no point trying as the fertility treatment journey is a long journey and need commitment, patient, understanding and support of the other partner. She is also age 41 now. 

So, the above, is a classic case of man and his ego! Come on, we are leaving in this new age era! The husband and wife relationship can be like a good friends' relationship. We could share and talk of everything. Maybe it is just my friend's husband who is still leaving in a stone age mentality and a very insensitive person! Poor my girl friend, who still need to deal with all the questions/stress from the family especially when the husband is the only son. She maybe cursed by the family behind her back too!

My personal opinion on dealing with male fertility problem is you have to be very careful with your partner's feeling and should keep the problem between the both of you, talk it through, work it out, be patient and with the blessing from GOD, you may get your little angel someday.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Children's modelling Opportunity

I have previously registered Jack's profile with an agent. Jack has gone for a few casting and was shortlisted for a TV commercial show. However, during the TV commercial shoot, he has to be there the whole day and the next day on standby, I realised it is not fair on him and it is going to be tough. At the end, I rejected the offer and apologised to the agent. I told the agent, we don't mind some print ads job but never TV commercial again for his age.

There are lots of casting calls you could find or get via the agent. For those who are interested to get your child to try out, you can check out 'playthat tv casting calls' and 'kakiseni audition' or look out for agent like Garytalents who are always calling for various age of interested models to register with them.

I have been to 2 casting calls with Jack. It is always very long queue. They are parents who really dress up their children and well trained them for 'the job'. I seen children when the mother said sit, they will sit; smile and they will smile; show your teeth when smiling and they will follow accordingly. Once you seen that, you will think: no way my Jack is going to get the job. 

With the long wait, the child tend to get very impatient. I used to bring along his favorite toys, snacks and juices to keep him occupied. The tough part will be getting the child to act or perform certain task accordingly. As a result of that, the team and the child will need to take constant breaks.

Jack was never been trained for this and we always let him do whatever he wants most of time. To manage him for the casting or shooting was very tough. We usually resorted to bribery at the end e.g. we will have to take him to Toy 'r' us to get his favorite toy after that. It worked sometime but it won't sometime depending on his mood.

For the last shooting call, he has performed well. Again, it is tough, like, reporting to studio at 7am and shooting under the sun for 3-4 hours, trying and trying again to get the perfect shot.

The firemen and truck was there to create the rain scene. Jack was happy to see the man and the truck. The fireman let him hold the hose and let him climb into the truck, so he was a happy little boy.

And, the photographer's assistant kept him occupied by letting him cut the grass and clean up after that.

The view at the scene was magnificent. Jack was doing well and we sort of enjoyed the trip out but next time, I am going to bring a picnic basket with a bottle of red wine to just chill and relax watching Jack or the twins in action, if there are any other opportunity.

I can't wait to see his advertisement out now. Actually, it is really good money in comparison to the time spent, it is better than his parent's monthly salary. I believe if you go on TV commercial, it will be more money. Never mind, I just want to try and the money will go to his education fund.

Monday, July 11, 2011

System Glitch grounds Firefly Mega Sale Promotion

Just read the newspaper and understood that Firefly's Mega Sale promotion has been put on hold following a system glitch. The airline needs to fix the problem first and hopefully the promotion can take effect soon. No wonder I was having problem to get any deal yesterday.

I have tried Airasia's RM 3 deal today. It is not as much or easy like what you can get during their previous promotions. So, I am going to give up and try to get the Firefly's deal once their problem is being fixed.

However, I managed to book the return tickets for my maid to Manila next year as her contract is expiring in May. The total cost is only RM91 if I do not add on the baggage, seats, insurance, convenience fees. When added up all the miscellaneous cost, the cost is  still less than RM 200. It is a very good deal.

As a temporary measure when my maid is back home for a month. I have requested/booked my previous confinement lady to come and help in her absent. I think it is quite a good arrangement and we can still work and again, I can trust her too with the children but of course, the damage is, you need to pay her a higher fee than the maid's usual salary.

FireFlyz and Air asia Sale

Fireflyz is having their sale starting from 11 Jul to 12 Jul. The deal is RM9 one way for selected destinations and there are 1 million seats up for grab.

I started to check on the deal early this morning on their incredible deals. The page only shows e.g.  Subang to Langkawi at RM 29 each way. So where is the RM9 deals?

Then, I tried again in the afternoon, and the deal of RM9 came out and shown the travelling period up to Oct 2012. However, I have checked month by month from Dec 11 to Mar 12, I couldn't see a single offer of RM9.

Then, I tried again late afternoon, the deal of RM9 is still on by the flying period has been shorten to Mar 2012, and I tried again month by month, the RM9 is still not available. 

So, is this a real deal or not? Anybody out there got lucky and manage to get the RM9 deal? I was looking  forward to book for the whole family to go Langkawi again. The kids seem to be really enjoyed their last stay there. The twins of 19 months can even said 'kawi, kawi' and when I asked them whether they want to go Langkawi again, they all said 'Yes'.

However, never give up. Start midnight on 12 July, Air asia is having the RM3 sales! So, good luck to all and this time, I hope I can manage to grab this fantastic deals. The last time when Air asia was offering their RM1 deals, I managed to get that till last step for payment, the system error got into me and no way I can get the bargain back again after numerous trials and time wasted.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Travelling with Young Children (Long distance)

We have just done an amazing race of our own by travelling thousands of miles with just the 2 of us and 3 kids. The conclusion is; it is tough and tiring.

The reason for the travel is to bring the kids to visit their grandparents back in Belfast. The grandparents are  already in their 80's. The grandparents came to visit us for the 2 consecutive years. So, we feel it is our turn to travel back and visit them, so they have the chance to hold and talk to their grandchildren. We do skype - video call with them every week. Watching from a distance will not be as good as holding them yourselves.

Long distance travel with your children is not an easy task, proper and early planning is important. Here are some of my experience or tips to share:-

1. Booking of your travelling plan
2. Packing
3. Handling
4. Coping with Jet lag

Booking your traveling plan

I have booked the air ticket about 4-5 months ago to enjoy the discounts. However, there are mainly no flexibility i.e changing date/pre-book seats and etc. with the discounts. So, you have to be very sure prior to booking. 

Our original plan was to bring a maid along with us to help to handle the kids (remember, I have 1.5 years old twins and a 3 yrs old son). I have booked her ticket prior to getting her visa. I have earlier consulted the officer for UK border agency prior to the booking. However, as we starting to compile documentation for submission, we have encountered various problem with her application and a fee of RM1500 to be paid upfront. Finally, we dropped the idea of taking her with us and will have to learn to cope between the 2 of us with the 3 children and the luggage to handle!

As result of that, I have lost an air ticket and has called for kind consideration for refund. As I bought the MH Low air ticket, they can't do any refund but they suggest I appeal via email through ibesupport@malaysiaairlines.com. I told them that we really struggled to save up the money for the children to go for a visit and they were kind enough to refund me the money with RM200 admin charges.

Again with this MH Low tickets, we were not allowed to make any advance seat booking. I made the effort and tried to call a week prior to my departure and again they were kind enough to reserve the seats for me considering I have 3 kids and 2 bassinets were needed.

So, I would give credit to Malaysia airlines for all the assistance and support rendered.


A checklist of items is essential on items to bring along:-

1. Medication
2. Food/Milk Powder
3.Clothes and 
5. Bag to board / carry along

I have started to work on the list 2 months ago prior to departure. We have restricted ourselves to just 2 bags to carry on so that we still have 'hands' to manage the kids.

Standard medication e.g for cough, cold, fever 
Cream for nappy rash, minor cuts
measuring spoon or syringe for the medicine

Biscuits, baby food, milk powder, their favorite tit bits/snacks

Jackets/Coats, long pants, shirts if you are going to a cold weather country. others like socks, underwear, lots of hand clothes, blankets

Baby monitor, thermometer, toys, baby stroller (if your kids still using them)

Carry on bags
milk bottles, milk powder, thermos, biscuits, tit bits, drinking water and bottle, coats (to wear when land), few change of clothes (just in case the kids sick and need changing), diapers, baby wipes and toys to keep them entertain.

So, we ended up with 3 trolley bags and a box to check in and 3 bags to carry on including our own coats and some computer gadget for the children to play.

I am a fond user of baby sling, so there were also 2 slings packed together.


  • on board the plane
  • going through immigration

on board the plane

This is a real challenge of your patient. You need to be calm and patient at all time. The flight journey was not too bad as they were late night flights, the children went to sleep after 1-2 hours after the plane took off.

The tough bit in the plane was to handle 3 kids and trying to get them to eat in a very narrow space. We ended up not eating ourselves and concentrate in feeding the children. The last 2-3 hours of journey could last like ages. I think we have done OK! We kept them occupied with their toys, movie, games and food.

going through the immigration

We need to remove things like boots (if you are wearing one), belts, separate the electronic gadgets, all children's drinking bottle, thermos and etc. Imagine you have to carry the children, trying to remove all the stuff and trying to put them back all together. Patient, patient, calm and calm again is the key thing. Of course, again, the children will be all over the place, crying and screaming at the same time.

We were unlucky due to the change of connecting flight time and up to a delay of 6 hours. We decided to book into a hotel even just for a couple of hours of stay so the children could have a bath, change clothes, have their milk or snacks and also a lie in.

By the time we get on the connecting flight and landed in Belfast, the overall journey took about 22 hours (from door to door).

Coping with Jet lag

If you can try to get the children can adjusted to the time in that country. However, no matter how hard you try, you will the one least enjoying your sleep. The scenario is always the children will sleep whenever they want and when you are ready to sleep, they are awake. The children took about 4-5 days to get adjusted to the different time zone and we took about 2 weeks to catch up our sleeps and we have lost our temper with the kids occasionally due to lack of sleeps.

After this trip, we decided we are not going back for a visit in another 5 years time till the kids are a bit order and able to receive instruction better and a bit more independent. However, it was good to be able to visit their grandparents and all the aunties, uncles and cousins back at home.