September 30, 2009

Washing shoes

I normally wash Yiu Yiu's school shoes when I shower. The other day, I was taking a shower together with Yiu Yiu, and I had brought her school shoes into the bathroom to wash. When she saw me taking out the brush, she immediately took it from me and said, "I want to learn how to wash my shoes." In fact, "I want to learn how to…" is becoming her favourite phrase these days. She'll normally say this when she wants to try to do something that we adults are doing.

Anyway, she did quite a good job with her shoes. They were pretty clean when she was done washing them.

September 27, 2009

Recent arts & crafts

Here are some recent handicrafts Yiu Yiu made in her art class.

A chicky coin box

A lantern decorated with drawings of a tree, a lantern, clouds and a self-portrait

And here are some drawings and colourings she did at home and at the babysitter's.

A picture of Auntie Lijah, babysitter's friend, who always takes her out for makan-makan. She didn't draw this herself obviously, got some help from the babysitter's sister.

This is the fruit basket she's supposed to bring to Auntie Lijah's house for Hari Raya, drawn by babysitter's sister. She added the table underneath the fruit basket though, coz she said there's nothing to support the fruit basket :-)


This is a picture of me, an obvious improvement from her earlier picture of me, drawn two months earlier.

And some abstract art pieces

I must say her colouring improved a lot, and she can now colour within the outline of the picture. Colour wise, she loves to mix and match different bright colours on the same picture. But she still needs to improve on her strokes – she doesn’t colour with consistent strokes but simply uses horizontal/vertical/oblique strokes according to the shape of the picture.

September 25, 2009

Yan Yan – 2nd month update

We brought Yan Yan to the paediatrician for her 2nd month vaccination today. When the needle was jabbed into her thigh, surprisingly she just gave out a short and soft whimper, and tada, she was back to her normal cheerful self :-) She was also given the oral rotavirus vaccine, and the nurse was surprised that she swallowed the liquid enthusiastically. The vaccine must have tasted real good, haha…Anyway, she's now 5.70kg (gained 650g since her last visit) and is 58.3cm in length. Her head circumference increased a slight 1.2cm to 39.2cm.

This month, we are rewarded with what every parent looks forward to, their newborn's first voluntary smile. Last month, occasionally, Yan Yan will smile but those are involuntary muscle movements but this month, she responds with smile and/or laughter whenever we talk to her. This girl just loves attention – she loves people talking to her face-to-face. Sometimes, she'll talk back by gurgling or cooing, and flashing her gummy grin. How I love the sounds she makes, and how I wish I could freeze these precious moments, coz in no time, she'll REALLY talk back to us :-)

Surrounded by fullmoon angpows

She's becoming quite a kpc and will turn her head whenever she hears people talking. She prefers to be carried upright instead of in a cradle position so she could observe the world around her. She also likes to "stand" while being carried, by extending her legs straight and bearing down her weight on her legs. Her neck is still not quite strong yet so it's quite amusing seeing her head bopping up and down, and left and right while in this position.

I left her lying on her tummy one day in the living room with Yiu Yiu while I busied myself in the kitchen. Suddenly Yiu Yiu shouted, "Aarrgghh mummy. You see mei-mei." I came out to find her like this.

Haha...she actually inched herself forward.

This girl doesn't like chilly temperature and I notice that whenever we sleep with the air-conditioner switched on, she'd develop blocked nose and fuss a whole lot more. On the other hand, Yiu Yiu doesn't like warm temperature, so with the two of them co-sleeping with me, I've to make sure the room temperature is just right for both of them. What I normally do now is to cool the room beforehand and just switch on the fan when we sleep. So far it's working quite well :-) And oh, she sneezes real loud too.

She has also discovered her fist and on few occasions when she was hungry and I was occupied with something, she'd suck her fist vigorously. After being contented with her feed, she would lie on the bed and smile/laugh/coo/gurgle to herself till she gets bored and cry out to be carried :-)

Straining while doing her big business

She took her first bottle of expressed milk at 6 weeks old, and took to the bottle really well.

So after several feeds on the bottle and having no problems with it, I got lazy and stopped using the bottle. But guess I need to let her drink from the bottle again next week, in preparation for me going back to work on October 5. Sigh! How time flies, and how I wished I didn't have to go back to work.

September 23, 2009

Transfer of car ownership

So what do you need to do to transfer ownership of your car to someone else? Here's a step-by-step guide:

1. Get your car inspected by Puspakom by bringing the original car registration card. There's a RM30 inspection fees. Puspakom will then issue an approval letter which is valid for one month, within which time the transfer of ownership must be completed.
2. The buyer needs to buy insurance for the car and obtain a copy of the insurance cover note.
3. Get the JPJ forms ready. You can download them from the JPJ website. Forms needed are JPJK3 (2 copies), TM-AB (2 copies, one each to paste photocopy IC of buyer and seller) and TM-1.
4. Once done, go to JPJ and submit all the forms together with car original registration card, Puspakom approval letter and buyer insurance cover note. A fee of RM100 is imposed for the transfer (in JPJ Jalan Sultan, they accept cash but some other branches may insist on postal order). Both the seller and buyer needs to be present. If the seller cannot be present, there's an additional step involving some verification with a Commissioner of Oath.
5. And if you want fast service minus all the queuing, bring along a baby :-) This may be applicable to JPJ Jalan Sultan only though :-) :-) :-)

I hope this information has been useful for someone.

September 21, 2009

Sold my old car

Before I bought my current car in 2006, I drove an Iswara Aeroback 1.3. I gave the car to my younger brother who hardly used the car, as he prefers to take the LRT to commute to work. My elder sister just bought a new car and since her old car is relatively newer than my Iswara, we decided to sell off my Iswara and give my brother her car instead.

I initially planned to sell the 15-year old car to a second hand car dealer, who offered me RM3k for that old junk. I was actually quite ready to sell it off to him but then it occurred to me to check the market value of my car. I realized that most second hand car dealers are selling the same car for 6.5 – 7k, so his offer of 3k was pretty low.

I decided to try my luck in selling the car myself though I knew there's the hassle of having to bring the car for an inspection at Puspakom, and having to go to JPJ for transfer of ownership. I went online and posted an advertisement in two websites which offer free advertisements for car sellers. My brother used to stay in an apartment without a covered car park, and since the car was exposed to the elements, the body of the car is in quite a bad shape. There are also several minor defects like the malfunctioning of one of the power window, and the spoilt odometer. Factoring in the repair costs that any potential buyer needs to fork out, I placed a price of RM4.8k for the car.

Within two days of the advertisement being posted, I received about 20 enquiries, which surprised me as I hadn’t expected such a good response. Few of them made arrangements to view the car but I was really lucky that the first person who did so called back two hours later and confirmed the deal. He asked for a discount, and since he was genuinely interested and seemed like a nice guy, I obliged. I hadn't even met other potential buyers as their appointments were all slightly later.

The next day, I was at Puspakom Glenmarie at 11.15am, and joined the queue of cars waiting for inspection. I was extremely lucky that my car was the last car they allowed into the inspection compound. That was about 12.30pm then, otherwise, I would have to wait till after lunch at 2pm. The inspection itself was pretty fast, and I got my report just before 1pm.

I called the buyer and asked him to go ahead and purchase his insurance, as the cover note is needed for the transfer process. He asked me to meet up at JPJ Sultan the next day at 1.30pm. I suggested that he should get his insurance ready before we go to JPJ and he promised he'll do it in the morning prior to going to JPJ so I reluctantly agreed. When I reached JPJ at 1.30pm the next day, he was nowhere to be seen. Few of my calls went unanswered and when he finally answered, he said he was on his way. He was still nowhere to be seen at 2.45pm when our number was called and I had to change with someone for a later number in the hope that he would arrive by the time the later number was called. I was getting really irritated at this point as our appointment with the dentist was at 3.30pm. I called him again and he said he would be there in 20 minutes. He finally called me again at 3.00pm and revealed that he was at Kurnia Insurans, and they needed to see the original car registration card and the Puspakom letter, which were with me. My blood was boiling at this point, as I knew this trip to JPJ was futile. If he had gone to purchase the insurance earlier, we would have been able to sort all these out before going to JPJ. He asked if I could go to Kurnia Insurans office then but I told him we'd need to arrange for another day as I had another appointment.

He smsed me at night and said that he would be away for the next few days but he'd ask his wife and brother to meet me and settle all the procedures. We agreed to meet near my house at 10.30am the next day to go to the insurance office, followed by JPJ. The next morning, 10.30am came and gone and there were still no signs of them! Luckily I had asked them to call me when they were near, otherwise I would have wasted time waiting again. At least this time, the waiting was within the comfort of my home. To cut a long story short, we only got to the insurance office at 12.30pm. After settling the insurance, we proceeded to JPJ again. When I went to take the queue number, a kind security guard told the man manning the counter to give me a special number since I had a baby with me (I was carrying Yan Yan in my sling). God bless the kind security guard! Since we didn't have to wait and was served immediately at one of the counters, we were done within 10 minutes. I passed over my car keys and got my cash! DONE!

Despite the senseless waiting the buyer put me through, I'm still glad I decided to try selling the car myself, as I ended up selling it at 50% above the value I had initially intended to settle for. Also, the whole process of getting the car inspected at Puspakom and transfer of ownership at JPJ was not as painful as I thought it would be. And oh, at last count, just before I took down my ad after completing the transfer of ownership, I'd had more than 40 enquiries.

September 18, 2009

Beginner's luck

I've never taken part in any blogger's contest before, mainly because I'm lazy to crack my brains to write a post describing why I like that particular product, as required by most of the contests. A couple of weeks ago, I came across this contest while catching up with some of my regular blogs. I love how she creates beautiful dresses/tops for her daughter, and admire her skills in making these handiworks.

The contest was simple enough – I just needed to leave a comment and let her know which of the few beautiful clips I like best. And to my utter delight, her son, HQ picked my name as one of the winners.

I received the clips in my mail yesterday, and I simple love their exquisite designs. She even packed them very nicely with customized imprints of her blog's title and url, and a personalized note. Sweet.

Yiu Yiu was absolutely thrilled when she saw these clips added to her collection of hair accessories. Thanks again, BoeyJoey.

September 16, 2009

Weekend shopping trips

Last weekend was the first time we went shopping, groceries shopping not withstanding, after I gave birth. On Saturday after sending Yiu Yiu to her art class, we made a snap decision to go to Jusco 1-Utama as I wanted to get some shoes and hubby wanted to get a shirt. It was a fruitful trip – we bought two pairs of shoes, one handbag and several CDs after shopping for just over an hour, before rushing to pick Yiu Yiu up. Hubby and I were pretty happy as we probably wouldn't have been able to do so much in short a such time if Yiu Yiu were with us, but we did feel a little guilty for sneaking out like that and not bringing her along.

Anyway, since hubby didn't manage to get his shirt, we decided to go to 1-Utama again on Sunday after breakfast, this time to Parkson.

Sitting pretty in her brand new booster seat

As I was browsing at the shoe department in Parkson, Yiu Yiu wanted to pee so I took her to the toilet outside at the mall. Less than five minutes after we went back into Parkson, Yiu Yiu wanted to go to the toilet again, this time she wanted to poo poo. Several times in the past, she had also asked us to bring her to the toilet, and after the hassle of finding and rushing to the toilet, she'd say that her poo poo doesn't want to come out. Now the shoe department is at the furthest end of Parkson, so it's a pretty long walk to the toilet so I told her sternly, "You sure you want to poo poo ah! If we go to the toilet and you don't poo poo, I'm going to smack your buttock ah." She insisted that she wanted to poo poo so we made the long walk to the toilet. Halfway, she stopped and bent down at her waist, so I asked, "Why are you stopping?" and her reply really had me in stiches, "My poo poo went inside already, so I want to ask my poo poo to come out." After a few seconds, "OK, mummy lets go, my poo poo is coming out already." So funny!

We then went to the concourse level which was decorated with a fishing village theme for the upcoming Hari Raya. It was quite nicely done but Yiu Yiu wasn't cooperative so we didn’t manage to snap much photos.

Two of the more decent photos we managed to snap of Yiu Yiu

Before heading home, we stopped by this shop called My Honeymoon, which sells a wide variety of desserts. I had cold water chestnut with beancurd (tau foo fa), while hubby had Hello Ice (colourful granulated ice with fruits), and a durian pancake to share. My dessert and the durian pancake were quite nice, but hubby didn't quite like his ice, he said is tasted too milky.

And we went home empty-handed. See, told you we couldn't shop much with Yiu Yiu around.

September 14, 2009

I got my photos

…free from eoe Online.

I posted my review on eoe Online on Tuesday afternoon and dropped them an email informing them to check out the post. I received a reply from them on Wednesday afternoon informing me that the post has been approved, and the photos arrived at my doorstep on Friday afternoon. Pretty efficient service I must say.

The photos were printed on Fuijifilm paper, with 4R on glossy paper and 8R on matte paper, though I would have preferred the 4R to be printed on matte paper as well. But I was aware that 4R would be printed on glossy paper as I read it somewhere in their website. Quality wise, it's comparable to photos printed from any other retail outlets, and thank goodness for it, coz I placed another order of 70 prints the morning before I received the photos.

By the way, you can also get your 4R photos printed at 30 cents each at their retail outlets, but there'll be a minimum quantity of 100 pieces to qualify for that price. But I think 100 pieces for 30 cents each is still a very good deal.

September 12, 2009

Mummy, you study not good lah

Huh? Exactly my response!

I was flossing for her the day after we visited the dentist but since she was standing at the wash basin, it was really difficult to do a good job as I couldn't position my hands properly to slide the floss between her teeth. I guess she finds it uncomfortable too, hence:

Yiu Yiu: Mummy, you study not good lah.
Mummy: Huh?! I study not good?? What do you mean?
Yiu Yiu: You study not good, that’s why you are not a good dentist.

Oh! Now I get it! She was comparing me to Dr. Amy who demonstrated flossing to her during our visit, and told her that mummy will be doing the same thing for her. But then, she was sitting on the reclining chair in the clinic so it's much easier to floss. So I guess I'll have to get her to lie down on my lap for flossing, instead of standing up. Any tips on how you floss for your child?

September 10, 2009

First visit to the dentist

I had wanted to bring Yiu Yiu for a dental check-up since last year with the intention of exposing her to dentists, so that she won’t grow up fearing the dentists, like I did. My first exposure to the dentist was when I was in primary school. Those days, we had mobile dental clinics visiting our school and they would check on the oral health of the students. Students found to have dental caries were then arranged to undergo further treatment at the Klinik Pergigian, and I was one of those students. I've always dread going to the dentists, even to this day. And I always have to brace myself up for the twice yearly dental check-up! It could be due to the traumatizing experience of being taken to the Klinik Pergigian then, or it could be due to my extremely sensitive palate that whenever any dental instrument touches it, I'll retch.

Since I want her early experience with dentists to be a positive one so she doesn't grow up dreading them, I wanted to find a dentist who's child-friendly and would put her at ease during the visit. Someone recommended this dentist but her appointments are always full, especially on Saturdays, and has to be booked weeks in advance. As such, I procrastinated, as usual!

The other day, I noticed a tiny brown spot on Yiu Yiu's upper right lateral incisor and upon closer inspection, I was dismayed to realize that it was actually a tiny cavity. I quickly checked on all her teeth and found several tiny cavities on her lower teeth as well. I quickly called up the clinic but I still couldn't get an appointment with Dr. Jean, the owner. The earliest appointment available was around 3rd or 4th week of September but her front desk manager assured me that their other dentist, Dr. Amy, is good with children as well. Since I didn’t want to wait that long, I decided to see Dr. Amy. Even then, our appointment was only scheduled for a week later.

Before the visit, I had been psyching Yiu Yiu up, telling her that I'll be taking her to the dentist to check on her teeth as some of her teeth are "spoilt". She asked if it would be painful and I had to evade the question by saying that the dentist will only check and clean her teeth, coz I really wouldn't know if the dentist would do anything on her teeth. Anyway, she seemed to look forward to the visit, and even asked if the dentist is pretty…haha!

The visit went very well. While waiting for our turn, Yiu Yiu happily played with toys at the waiting area and walked around kpc everywhere.

When our turn came, Dr. Amy talked to her and put her at ease immediately. She checked on Yiu Yiu's teeth and confirmed that what I saw are early caries.

I think in total Yiu Yiu has about 4 or 5 teeth with early caries. And since Yiu Yiu doesn't sleep while sucking on her bottle of milk, which is the most common cause of tooth caries in children, she said that probably Yiu Yiu's teeth are just more susceptible to caries. Luckily Yiu Yiu's caries are all at the incisors, which should start to fall off in 2-3 years time. There's none at her molars, which will be with her for a longer time as the permanent molars don't erupt until she's 9 or 10 years old. There's no need to do anything now but to ensure that we maintain good oral hygiene to prevent the caries from worsening. My fault actually, coz I never insist on Yiu Yiu brushing her teeth before sleeping. But from now on, I guess she'll have to do it whether she likes it or not. The dentist also asked me to floss for her daily. Now that's going to be a challenge, coz I myself don't floss regularly :-) Anyway, I guess I also have no choice but to be more diligent in caring for my teeth as my gums have receded over the years due to tartar buildup.

September 08, 2009

Online photo printing

I first read about this service by eoe Online several months ago from some bloggers. As I prefer to keep my photos as photobooks, I didn't give much thought to it, but I did find the online photo printing service quite an innovative idea.

I recently completed two more photobooks on our trips to Hong Kong and Macau, Yogyakarta, Pangkor Laut Resort and Singapore, and since I owe mum and MIL some of these photos, I decided to give eoe Online a try. After all, the cost of their 4R print is the cheapest I've encountered so far, only 30 cents each, regardless of quantity. The cheapest I could find in retail outlets so far is 40 cents each, and that also if you print hundreds of them.

It's such an easy process – just go to their website, upload the photos, make payment and then wait for your photos to arrive, all in the comfort of your own home. No more having to save the photos into a thumbdrive/CD, driving to the photo shop, and return a day or two later to pick them up.

eoe Online is currently offering 4R prints at 30 cents and 5R prints for 50 cents. Delivery is free with a minimum purchase of RM35. You can also utilize their free, unlimited storage, online photo album service to store & share your photos with your family & friends. If you are a blogger, you can also participate in their review program to receive free 50 4R prints and 2 8R prints.

I've just placed my order, so will be looking forward for the photos to arrive soon.

I've been upgraded

I travel a fair bit for work and two years ago, I accumulated enough air miles to qualify for Enrich Gold, which gave me access to the lounge even when I'm flying Economy. However, due to all the cost cutting measures, our travelling had been reduced somewhat and thus, I didn't accumulate enough miles to maintain my Gold status and was downgraded back to Silver in March.

The other day, a letter from Enrich arrived in my mailbox. I didn’t think much of it as I thought it was one of their promotional brochures but when I opened it, I was pleasantly surprised.

The kind folks at MAS Loyalty Programme had, on their own accord, upgraded me back to Enrich Gold!

"Although our records state a slight lag in your Enrich Gold requalification tally, we truly feel you are one of the deserving few to retain your Enrich Gold status" was how they put it. Nice!

Thank you MAS. Your kind gesture really made my day, and it's always nice when businesses/organizations make you feel that your patronage is appreciated.

Yeay…I can look forward to accessing the lounge again during my travels.

September 05, 2009

Is it Manglish? No, it's Chinglish

I speak to Yiu Yiu in English while hubby speaks to her in Mandarin or Cantonese. Nevertheless, she's still more inclined to use English in replying hubby despite being spoken to in Mandarin or Cantonese. When MIL was around to help with my confinement, Yiu Yiu had no choice but to speak in Mandarin or Cantonese with mah-mah. But her Mandarin vocabulary is clearly lagging behind her English. Here are some of her Chinglish sentences:

我 mummy 不知道 how to 放 (my mummy doesn't know how to put)
我要你冲凉给我 when she's supposed to say我要你帮我冲凉 (I want you to take bath for me)
等我,我要 tell you something (wait for her, I want to tell you something)
麻烦你绑头发给我when she's supposed to say 麻烦你帮我绑头发 (can I trouble you to tie my hair)

She's cognizant that her Mandarin is not so good, coz when we correct her, she says, 我会讲华语一点点only (I can only speak a little bit of Mandarin).

September 02, 2009

Aarrgh!!! I've to start pumping again

The title says it all…I've got to start pumping again in preparation for me going back to work in October. This is the part of breastfeeding that I hate most – the endless rounds of pumping, storing and sterilizing but what to do, breast is best for baby. I've got to start building up my stock of frozen breastmilk, as well as train Yan Yan to drink from the bottle.

I'm also in a dilemma as far as going back to work is concerned. I'm scheduled to attend a conference in Montreal from October 18 – 24, so I'll need to be away for one whole week. As much as I love to go (I've never been to Canada), I'm worried about two things – whether I can stock up enough milk for Yan Yan for the entire duration that I'll be away, as well as the appearance of a new, more severe strain of H1N1 virus.

With Yiu Yiu, I first travelled when she was slightly more than four months. I was away for six days in Bangkok then. At that time, I pumped and carted back almost 150oz of expressed breast milk (EBM) so that replenished my freezer with milk that Yiu Yiu consumed while I was away. I won't be able to do the same in Montreal this time, as I'll be travelling for more than 24 hours, including transit time on the return flight. That rules out bringing home frozen EBM. At the most, I would be able to cart back only chilled EBM expressed in the last two days of my trip, so that may not be sufficient to replenish the stocks that Yan Yan would consume while I'm away. And Bangkok was also a time before restrictions on carrying liquid onboard was introduced. I'm sure it'll be much tougher now, having to check in the EBM and all. I wonder if my boss would be kind enough to allow me to give this trip a miss.