Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Saving Space


I remember once upon a time, when i was in school, my friends and i would be amazed at people who lives in condominiums.

"Wah! Kaya nyaaa!", i thought when i met my friend who said she stayed in a condo.

Now, times have changed!
I hear people living in a house, i'll be like "fuuuuhh.. Rezeki dia..".

Probably because when i was younger, living in a condo means having a swimming pool, which is a HUGE luxury, isn't it?
Now, having a front lawn, or a second floor is like THE SHIZ, you know?


Now that our little family is living in a condo, i finally realise how small it is for the 4 of us, and how much nonsense we've been collecting over the years. It's ridiculous!
Like my husband's boxes (which he needs because kononnya we need it in future. Ugh, one time, we dismantled our Astro, and he was so proud that he kept the box. Kept looking over at me as if he's justifying his box-hoarding habit is useful..), and my notebooks and pouches (which i buy for no reason at all, other than "it's so cute!" and "oh, i might want to use this someday" - which did not happen. I somehow always end up using the freebie notebooks.. Nadrah uses a lot of my pouches though. To put in her dried up playdohs..), and NADRAH's TOYS! (which most of them she doesn't even play with!! She always play with MY STUFF like my pouches, the curtain rope-thing, and ISAAC's TOYS.. which is actually Nadrah's old baby toys.. hehe..).

So i've been trying to make up some space by giving away our armchair, some tables, i sold of a lot of my clothes, shawls and bags (not notebooks.. no! never them!), bought some drawers and cupboards for us to hoard our shoes (husband and nadrah got more shoes than i do. Serious!) and some letters, files, etc.

Now, alhamdulillah, looks like we've managed to open up some space for the kids to roam about, and by kids, i mean Isaac because he's starting to crawl everywhere. Hehee..
It's all good.

Through all this, I've learnt to let go of stuff i don't need. Other than my notebooks. Which is good la kan! I used to be so clingy on my stuff.. And i also have learnt (and still learning) to buy things i NEED. The 'wants' boleh la, but once in a while. If i have a 'want', i will try and get the cheapest version i can get.
For example, there was this one time when i really really wanted to get vacuum. The one we had was ok but it can't do much. So i browsed at shops, online, and finally i found one that does everything i need and it's within my budget! Punya la bersungguh sungguh kan. Hehe!
I always put a budget on the things i want so that i don't bust my husband's and my savings. =p

The hardest part was shopping for clothes. I had to unfollow some fashionistas on instagram because i don't want them to influence my shopping nafsu. Bahahahaha!
It's way better now compared to last time, alhamdulillah. I used to be such an impulsive shopper! Now, i can rationalise first before putting that thing on the cashier counter. It took a looootttt of hard work, you know, to tame that nafsu!

Now that we're talking about saving spaces, i got the Cosatto Pitter Patter Highchair!

I know, i know.. It's not exactly "the cheapest thing" in the house, but it's the quality that we want! (and it's a gift for the kids, so.. alhamdulillah! save budget. hehe!)
The other thing i learnt is that, when it comes to the kids, try get the ones that lasts long. Like nadrah's stroller that we bought. It cost a lot, but alhamdulillah, can still use for Isaac! Still going strong and steady. 

FYI, we have the ikea highchair, and eventhough it's cheap.. it's sooo annoying!!
I hate how the legs of their highchair is super spreaded-out like a spider. All of us have tripped over it so many times! EVEN WHEN PUSHED TO THE WALL! And ours is all rickety already.. It was a blessing that we got this Cosatto Pitter Patter Highchair! 

Cosatto Pitter Patter Highchair is collapsable, and its legs are not spreaded out like crazy, it's super safe and can be used until the kids are in their teens. Haha! I mean it can be passed down for years la. It's one of the best highchairs, according to this review. The tray can be moved to the back if you don't want to use it. Warranty is 2 years, and you can get this at Baby Dots TTDI.
I love how Isaac looks comfy in it too =)

Playing with the toys (which is anything really..) while ummi works next to him.

Awwww.. My handsome smiley boy!! 

Here's to living minimally, letting go unnecessary stuff and no cluttering!
InshaAllah. Amiin. 
Heheheeee =p

Saturday, January 28, 2017

#Ummitips: What to pack in a Diaper Bag


Now that Isaac is weaning off susu (he's starting to eat la, i mean), he's been pooping like atom bomb just dropped in his diapers and sends of splashes of poop to the outside world.
It's stinky & messy. Super messy!

I had to change him in public toilets so many times and so many different places.
And i noticed some moms were not equipped with the right stuff. For example, the other day, i had to change Isaac at a petrol station, and eventhough the toilet was TOP NOTCH, the baby changing area wasn't complete. There was no changing table with the padded mattress, it was just a hard marble table.

Just that, i didn't face this kind of thing with Nadrah when she was a baby. I don't know if this is a boy-girl thing or is it just the way my kids are as individuals. I did la had some difficulties with Nadrah dulu, but now that i'm more prepared, i thought i'd share to new moms out there.


What to pack in a DIAPER BAG!

This was Nadrah's diaper bag, which has now passed down to Isaac. My first advice to you moms, get a bag that has neutral colours so both boy and girl baby can use them. And it's gonna be dirty so don't go getting the kind that get's dirty easily. I find canvas-like material is best.

So you see, i have a foldable changing pad which has saved me so many times. One time, i had to change Isaac at a place that does not have baby changing area. So i had to do it at the sink, where i washed him, and used the changing pad to put in between the sinks to put his diapers on.
Doesn't sound easy, but it actually was. Haha!

The small blanket is used to cover him when it rains, and of course when it gets cold. Isaac doesn't get cold, he doesn't like the blanket, but i always use it when it rains especially, just an extra coverage when he's in the stroller or when he's in our arms.

Flu meds, coz Isaac sometimes gets blocked nose.

Water, well you know what water's for. Bahahahaaa~
Of course remember to pack your baby's milk. Either breastmilk or formula, don't matter. That stuff is important okay. If you want, pack some baby snacks too.

Here's the delicious bit:
The diaper stuffffff~

Jeng jeng! I got this small bag at Daiso. You can find prettier ones or better ones everywhere. I just chose this coz i need practical. Heeee..

1. Vaseline/petroleum jelly. 
I bought a big tub of vaseline, and i transferred some into a small container. Lighter init? This is for my son's face rash. He gets heat rash, so this helps a lot.

2. Rash ointment.
It's a small sample which is super convenient. Light.

3. Mouth towel.
Coz he eats and stuff. 

4. Moisturising lotion 
Coz sometimes i had to bathe him in public. Hahaha! If we're in a cold place, i'll put this lotion on. Otherwise, i don't.

5. Extra socks
Coz of the rain, you know. 

6. Small towel
Now this towel is super important to me. I use this to wipe him when i'm done washing him up. Like i mentioned earlier, he sometimes poop so much that it explodes out of his diapers... ewwww, i know. Hehee

7. Extra onesie, wet wipes and diapers
I usually pack 3 pieces of diapers, in case. A onesie, because, you know. Explosion. And wet wipes, for obvious reason.

So my usual method is, bring the baby and the diaper bag to the changing room or toilet, and place baby on a comfortable and safe surface. Then i take out these 3 things:
Diaper, wet wipes, towel.

First, open spoilt diaper, wipe (if can), then wash. Use towel and wipe dry.
Throw spoilt diaper, put fresh new one on, put clothes on, and done.

If your baby is into the turning or rolling about phase, my advise is, just wash. No need to use wet wipes. What i do is put my baby in the sink, and do all the business there. Quick and no pain. Heheheee =p

If you also have a toddler in tow, pack an extra undies and clothes too. I do coz, you know, we can never know what may happen. Water spill, or "sheeesheee accidents", etc. Better safe than having to spend for new clothes! 

This is just for reference. Obviously you can bring whatever else you want too ok! =D
Hope this helps!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

#Ummitips: How to teach kids to talk


I made a video on how i taught Nadrah to talk and learn words, but it was very all over the place coz i didn't plan on doing the video in the first place bahahahaaaa~

Sort of like a 'spur of the moment' kinda thing.

So ok, almost everytime i post a video of Nadrah on instagram, mesti ada yang tanya how i taught her to speak english and how she knows so many words for her age. I honestly don't know how many words a 3 year old should have, but thanks anyway for the compliment! Heheee..

Now, as a reminder, i am not a 'parenting expert', a 'child-development-enthusiast', a 'my-school-is-better-than-your-school-kinda-mom', i'm a noob parent. Like you kot. Bahahaaa~

Let's get started, shall we?

Ok. Bismillah.

1. Introduce new words when they're ready.
Start simple je. Make them do some mouth exercises when they can, like "mama", "lala", "bubu", even if they don't make sense! Hehehee..
And then when they're able, advance to "mami", "lilu", "hahu", etc.
Well you get it kan?

2. Talk. A lot. And singing helps too.
Even when you know they don't understand. Bahahaa! =p
Kadang2 penat bercakap. But oh well. Talk is cheap though. Heheheheeeeee
I let Nadrah watch Hi5 when she turned 1. Coz she's not into cartoons (then), so watching Hi5 was the best. She learnt body coordination, balance and slowly started imitating the dance moves, which is good la kan. But i didn't give her much tv time. Her dad does -_-"
I learnt Hi5 songs too so that we can sing and dance together. I banyak lupa lagu nursery rhymes, and they're kinda boring. Haha! So Hi5 songs were ok. =)

3. Play, play and play.
By playing (a lot) with Nadrah, i realised that she learnt faster and better. For example, throwing a ball. Up and Down. Ball is Round. Push the Ball. Throw the Ball. Catch the Ball.
Secara tak langsung, she understood what actions were, she knew objects, she knew shapes and colours, etc. Of course i had to repetitively tell her everything i did and made it fun for her.

4. Find out what they like and use it to your advantage muahahaha!
This is a lot of trial and error.
And money. I longed for Big Bad Wolf because that's the only time i get to buy books for Nadrah and good thing they also have activity books. Murah murah lak tu! Save moolah.
Nadrah doesn't like story books when she was younger. Now dah ok sikit. I realised that she doesn't like all the cartoony stuff. She's more into books that have real pictures. And good thing i got that Shapes & Colours' book for her, which i bought unitentionally. (It was only RM3, so i though, beli je la.). Turned out to be her favourite book.
Different kids, different preference.

5. Repetition.
It's tiring, but necessary. Sometimes they get it and forget instantaneously, so kena la banyak bersabar juga hehe.

6. Stop comparing!!!
Benda ni toxic gila. I used to compare Nadrah to other kids coz i didn't know what she should be able to do at a certain age. Like i didn't know she was supposed to start crawling at, say, 10months. Is she supposed to start crawling now? How come anak so-and-so dah boleh crawling at 10 months? How come Nadrah belum lagi?
But when i caught myself getting frustrated for something so trivial, i insaf terus. I stopped it completely, and changed to using online articles from experts as guidelines.

7. Encourage them to speak in full sentences.
When they can identify the things they want, then make them say it in a proper sentences. Make it simple at first, and gradually add on more vocab & correct their grammar as they grow.
Nadrah used to say "I got have school today", "I don't got have water". Hahahaha!!

8. Control tv/gadget time at home.
I used to be very strict on that.
Now have to consider. When we're out, if it involves safety, i'd rather let her watch something on my phone than let her run around. I used to be able to chase her around, but now dah tak larat sangat. Especially since i have baby Isaac to look after too.
I tried bringing playdoh, pencils, pens, etc, to distract her, but sometimes they work, and sometimes they don't. When they do work, alhamdulillah. When they don't, i usually choose Hi5 for her or those phonics videos. I remember those days when our fingers were the only things she would sing..
Daddy finger, daddy finger where are you..
Here i am, here i am, how do you do...


So i think 8 ni je la yang boleh pakai.
I think the simpler we do it, the better. Parenting i mean.
I've asked so many people on how they deal with their kids, and they all said the same thing:
"Kena banyak bersabar".
Or sewaktu dengannya.
And it's true. You need loads of it. So pray for it k!

Sometimes you just do you and suddenly everything's ok, and you'll be like "what did i do ek??? apa i buat sampai menjadi ni?"
It's like cooking.
If follow sangat recipe, tak semestinya jadi.
Tapi kalau buat ikut rasa kita (while referring to the recipe), somehow jadi.


I hope these notes (notes ke?) are helpful and beneficial! I'm sure you're way better than me. Cuma you tak tau kot. Hehe!
Just chill k! First-time mommies always have so many doubts about mommy-ing, but dont worry.
You'll get yourself together someday.

Peace out!

Here's the video k! Basically the same thing. Cuma nampak muka. =)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

SMECTA ubat diarrhea suitable for our children!


I used to remember how my brother and i got diarrhea when we went to Genting looooooonnnggg time ago because we had some bad seafood. My brother diarrhea sampai demam panas. Kesian dia bahahahaaa! (sape suruh asyik buli adik =p)

Anyway, due to that, i always try to be careful when eating seafood, especially on holidays where we're not in the comfort of our home.
Nadrah is turning 3 soon and she's already starting to eat seafood, other than fish la, like prawns and crabs. She likes them, but as a mom, i have to sorok sorok kopek and gaul in her nasi before giving it to her. Dia macam geli kot tengok the weird prawns and crab shells.

So because of my diarrhea experience during holiday was traumatic, it's a good thing there's this ubat that TREATS diarrhea instead of just stopping it. Most importantly, it's appropriate for kids! Even 1 month old baby can take it.

See! SMECTA treats diarrhea and clears toxin, protects intestinal mucosa layer form the harmful bacteria/viruses attack when our kids have diarrhea.

There are 30 sachets in this 1 box. So for Nadrah, she'll need 4 sachets a day, and if us parents pun dapat diarrhea, we'll need 6 sachets a day. Best thing is, can mix in their milk or juice drink. It has some kind of orange-vanilla taste, so if mix with orange juice or some citrus-y drinks would be ok kot.

I have blogged about First Aid kit to pack for kids when we went to Chiang Mai, but here's an update of that list!
1. Nasal spray - in case stuffy nose
2. Voltaren - in case demam panas. Note that this is just a pain killer, so it's not meant to cure their fever, but just lower their temp for a while. this can give you time to see a doc.
3. Cool fever
4. Plasters
5. Thermometer
6. Bear-rub (sort of like vicks) 
7. Diaper rash ointment
8. Insect repellent - we all don't want our child to get dengue in a foreign country kan...
9. Minyak gamat
10. SMECTA - in case of diarrhea

Good thing the sachet pun kecik kecik je. So takdelah bulky sangat first aid bag budak.

Nadrah's already in love with this cute bumblebee bag. If you want one, all you have to do is participate in the survey k and stand a chance to win one k! Link here 

Ececehhh! Posing kemain!

Hope you find this useful! For more info, visit!
Better be prepared than suffer (like how we did...).

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Ajar anak melayu folk song balik =')


So, nadrah ni kan english speaking kid, and i intended it that way. But now she's starting to want to learn malay, which is good! Coz i pun intentionally speak malay with her a lot nowadays.

Good thing there's this book with all the malay folk songs! Haaaaaaaaaaa~ kan, kan, biasa kita jumpa yang english songs je kan! Ni first ever push button song book in Bahasa!!
All the wajib songs are in there like Rasa Sayang, Burung Kakak Tua, Gelang Sipaku Gelang, Chan Mali Chan. It was sort of like a refresh moment when we first played the songs =') lamaaa tak nyanyi those songs.
But when i learnt the songs as a kid, i didn't know the lyrics and i don't even remember where and when i learnt them....
At school? I think kat kindy kot =') That was sooo loooooonnggg ago!

Anyway! I think it's great that the book has lyrics and even have the english translated ones so that we can explain to our kids in simpler terms. 

Nadrah's already loving the book.
The bright colours and illustrations got her very curious and inquisitive =D
When we first 'unbox'ed it, Nadrah was so excited! She immediately wanted me to read her the book.

It's very straightforward.
Just press the button on the sides, following the icons next to the song titles. Nadrah got it instantly, so that was good (and kept her occupied for a while. Sempat nak masak kejap). Hehee..
So here's the thing:
This book allows us to record our voice or our kids' voice, and play it back! 
From left, the buttons are the song, record, playback and power.
Here's how =)
Senang je. 

The built-in songs have good instruments playing anyway, like the seruling, gamelan, etc. Best dengar! If your voice sedap and maybe your child wants your voice to serenade them to sleep, just record la and then pepandai dia dengar sendiri sampai tido. =p

Here's an instruction video to explain better =)

Nadrah's been keeping herself occupied with the book.
So far she likes Burung Kakak Tua because she likes that gigi nenek tinggal dua, Gelang Sipaku Gelang because of the school illustrations and of course, Rasa Sayang.

Nadrah's already learning the songs tapi kelakar dengar pelat dia!

"Raseh saiyang hey, raseh saiyang hey, raseh saiyang" - repeat sepuluh kali.


If you want to purchase one for you and your kid, go here to get it! You can get 10% discount by using coupon code "mariaelena"which will be valid for 1 week tau!
Cepat cepat beli k!
Jom hidupkan folk malay songs =')

It has been passed down from generation to generation, and instead of "Daddy finger, daddy finger, where are you?", it'd be nice to hear Lenggang Kangkung too. Hehe!

Bonding time with mah dotahhhh! =)