10 Essential Items In My Hospital Bag

I am currently 36 weeks pregnant and I just got my hospital bag packed last week. I'm not sure if it's considered late to do it cause the last time when I was pregnant with Charlotte, I had it packed when I was 28 weeks pregnant lol. Well, I didn't mean to slack but the truth is I really didn't have the time to do it any earlier. And also I know I won't go into labour so soon so... yupe lol.

Anyway! I had it ready and it's now sitting at the back of my car just so I can just drive to the hospital anytime now if the labour starts.

As I will most probably be going to the same private hospital, I packed extremely light this time cause I know I won't be needing most of the things. I remember the last time, I packed according to a guide given online. I had things like cotton buds, wet wipes, tissue box, books, water bottle, soap, shampoo, hair conditioner and etc. And guess what? I used NONE of them at all 😕 The truth is, everything the hospital staffs used on you is billable. As much as I would like to reduce the list on my invoice by giving them a head's up on what I've prepared and want to use my own, they're still going to go ahead and use theirs.

So this time, I just pack light with the essentials will do.

My Hospital Bag consists of

1. Sanitary pads
- You see 3 packs here but 1 is more than sufficient. I packed extra because I'll be heading to a confinement center right after I'm discharged from the hospital. I use the normal night pads (Whisper is my favourite brand btw) and they work fine for me. Some might like to use the hospital grade maternity pad. Well, it's all personal preference.

2. Sports Bra/ Nursing Bra
- You won't be wearing any when you're still in the hospital. Really. You'll be in a hospital gown the whole time. This is for the day I discharge from the hospital. Last time I packed a nursing bra but I really prefer to wear a sports bra cause it has the support I need. And it's also easy to pull down and just nurse your baby. Again, personal preference.

3. Disposable Panties
- I bought black ones from Autummz. You can also bring your old, almost not wearable and ready to be disposed panties if you want to be more environmental friendly. If it's stained, just dabao and throw away.

4. Nursing friendly one-piece dress to wear home
- This is for the day I discharge from the hospital. I like to wear one-piece cause it's convenient. This dress is an off-shoulder dress so it's nursing friendly, too.

5. Towel
- The hospital actually gave a hospital kit bag when I was admitted and there's a small towel inside. But it's really... small. So I'd rather use my own, though the last time I didn't really use it. Packed this into my hospital bag, just in case.

6. Towel for the newborn
- Packed this the last time and didn't get to use it. Oh, I did use the towel to swaddle Charlotte when we discharged from the hospital cause I didn't have a swaddle back then. Still packing it in this time just in case. (Erm, so I guess the towels are not so essential after all? 😅)

7. Swaddle
- To swaddle the newborn when discharged from the hospital.

8. Going-Home Baby Romper
- 1 set is enough as the hospital will provide during our stay. This is for the day we go home.

9. Baby Diaper
- Instead of getting the whole pack, pack the free samples 😉 I get my free samples from baby fairs *ahem ahem* #kiam

The 10th item, which is not shown in the picture, is the phone charger. I guess I won't have to elaborate why?

All packed and ready 💕

How I Truly Feel About My Second Pregnancy

So according to the app (280Days on  Google Play Store),  my second child will be due in 42 days.

I wouldn't want to say things like how time passes too quickly this and that cause the fact is, I've been neglecting to acknowledge this pregnancy for the longest time.

I mean, I know I'm pregnant. But unlike the first pregnancy, this time, I didn't check the app diligently, or at least weekly like how I used to, to check on this little baby's progress. I often failed to remember how many weeks I'm in my pregnancy and I honestly didn't spend enough time talking to him like how I used to when Charlotte was still in my womb. In short, I am less enthusiastic with this pregnancy. The only thing I remember monthly is my checkup date and my due date.

I don't have to wonder why I behave as such cause I know very well it's because of how I was brought up, hence the fear of losing attention. And now, the one thing that I constantly worry is how I can still give my all to Charlotte when this baby is born. I keep tearing every time I think about not being able to hold or hug Charlotte as long as both of us desire. I cry easily at night just because I feel sorry for Charlotte but I can't be specific why I feel sorry for her. I can't understand why and how others can be so excited and thrilled when they know that they're pregnant again.

But I guess, God will always have His way to comfort me. It happened roughly 3 weeks ago, when I first gingerly introduced the baby to Charlotte. One night, Charlotte was playing with me as usual. I felt some movements from within. So I lifted up my shirt and told her there's a baby inside. I anticipated as she looked at me for a good few seconds, then looked at my growing belly and said, "...baby. Baby out(in)side.". Then I asked if she wants to kiss the baby. She proceeded to lean forward and gave my belly a little kiss. My eyes went wet and emotions stirred, but my heart has finally found it's peaceful beating pace. Ever since then, whenever I lift my shirt up to look at the moving belly, she would come over to me and asks to touch and kiss it. Then cover my belly by pulling my shirt back down lol 😂 I'm not sure if she really understands what's going on and if she knows what's in store for her (I myself am not fully sure of what's in for me either), but this little action that she does almost daily helps to calm my little unsettling heart.

It's now hard to ignore this little growing bump, literally. I've been blessed with a rather smooth pregnancy for the first 2 trimester, only roughly 4 weeks of discomfort before I entered my second trimester. Now that I'm in my third trimester, I'm experiencing backache daily. Most nights I find it really hard to fall asleep so now I can't wait to get the baby out lololol. But I'm glad to say that my nesting instinct has finally kicked in (thankQ aaa TCE Baby Fair wtf). And we've also have a name for him. So I guess I'm now halfheartedly ready? Not whole-heartedly yet cause there're soooooo many things I wanna do in the next 3 to 4 weeks like pedicure, hair trimming, newborn's laundry washing wtf, catching up on moviessssssss and erm nesting lol.

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one feeling insane about myself during this second pregnancy. Like how I used to say, I hope you read this and won't feel alone in this journey. If you're feeling what I'm feeling, embrace them, be it guilty, sadness or even happiness, and then breakthrough them.

(First and only bump-fie, taken on the 4th of August)

See you soon, baby boy.

Apple Fox Cider

Are you still hunting for a refreshing and great tasting apple cider? Well, hunt no more cause Apple Fox has brought New Zealand inspired cider to our shores!

#WhatTheFox am I talking about?

Introducing the new Apple Fox Cider. This New Zealand-inspired apple cider ripples your senses with a crisp refreshing taste, made from only good, fresh orchard apples.

By going into the heart of natural freshness – the orchard – Apple Fox Cider captures the essence of purity from where the freshest apples are grown. Just like a fox hunting in the orchard, this alcoholic cider will steal the hearts of those seeking a brand that stands for straight-up, instant refreshment with a contemporary and bold edge.

I don't particularly fancy alcoholic beverages but I found this Apple Fox quite likable as it's really refreshing. On the nose, you can smell strong notes of apple aroma, with a touch of sweetness and acidity. On sipping, it starts with medium sweetness, which turns to a moderate refreshing acidity resembling Granny Smith apple. As the taste develops, notes of Granny Smith apples and apple juice with sharp taste occur.

Inspired by New Zealand cider makers, Apple Fox uses the best-kept secrets of cider making in creating a distinct, refreshing smooth drinking experience, served over ice. I can imagine myself having this over a BBQ night out with friends, or whatever foxy-fun that may be.

Apple Fox Cider contains 4.5% ABV and delivers an instant refreshing taste as only the freshest apples sourced from orchards all over the world are picked to make the cider, ensuring a naturally crisp texture and intense flavour that makes the best tasting cider.

Apple Fox is brewed and canned in Malaysia under supervision of Heineken Brouwerijen BV. It is available from August 2017 and available in 320ml cans and 325ml bottles from hypermarkets, supermarkets and convenience stores, also in bars, pubs and restaurants. A special introductory price from RM5.80 per can will be offered for a limited time.

You can keep yourself updated by following Apple Fox Cider’s Facebook Page  & Instagram (@AppleFox_MY) or visit their official website by clicking HERE.

Don’t forget to use the hashtags #WhatTheFox and #AppleFoxCider while enjoying a Fox with your friends!

My Little Unknown Story

News Link HERE.

When this news came out this morning, I saw a lot of people posted in various parenting groups on Facebook discussing if it's true. Some are in disbelieves because there're well reputation schools on the list.
Let me share a little.

I started my high school in a Chinese Independent High School. I loved a lot of things about that school. I made friends there. There're some really cool teachers. I especially loved joining their after school curriculum activities. But I left after finishing my junior years. I didn't tell anyone the exact reason why because I didn't know how to say it. If you'd like to know, it was because of bullying. I was bullied mentally. I had classmates making negative remarks on my appearance (I had braces on back then). I had my school bag thrown across the classroom during recess time for no apparent reason. I had people who came up to me and said "Why don't you just leave and die?" in my face. I was drown in depression but I didn't know. All I wanted to do was to leave the school. And I did. Which was one of the biggest mistakes I made in life. If only I knew what to do and how to handle it, I believe completing my senior years there would be more fruitful to me. But that's another story for another day.

I transferred to a high reputation school in PJ in Form 4. Just as I thought that I could start anew, I was right, and wrong at the same time. I made wonderful friends there. Some of which are still close and dear to me until today. But still, I couldn't run away from the bullies. I remember very clearly, these 3 girls who're 1 year older than me, whom I thought were pretty good looking, started to give me uncomfortable stares during one assembly. We had no direct contact at all but that's how it all started. Whenever I was around the corner near to them, usually alone, they would start to loudly call out to me with weird and not so nice names. There were also times when they purposely walked near and hit me with their body. And every time, I'd just try to get away from them.

The most terrifying incident of all, was once when I went into the toilet and three of them were there. And no one else. When they realized that, they locked the main entrance to the toilet, leaving me alone with 3 of them. My heart pumped so loud I swear I could hear it. I was scared, chilled to my bones. I don't quite remember how but I gathered my courage, quickly ran to the door when they moved away and moving towards me, unlocked the door and went out, running away from them as fast as I could.

 Almost everyday I was terrified of going to school just because of them. Yet we don't share any common ground. I don't even know their names. I really don't understand how but it just happened. Maybe I had a 黑人僧 face? It was a very terrifying year.

After they're gone, my Form 5 year was rather peaceful.

 What I'm trying to say here is, bullies/ disciplinary issue happens anywhere and everywhere. Some could be identified and some might go undiscovered because the victims might not know how to come forward. It really doesn't matter if a school is reputable or not. This also applies in our society, be it in a corporate or a family.

 So if we could identify the victims or if we could see something is going wrong with someone we know, don't be afraid to be a kepochi. Ask them what's wrong? Do you need help? How can I help? LET ME HELP YOU.

 Like what Jimmy Fallon said recently, which I think it's an appropriate quote for this.

 "Ignoring it is just as bad as supporting it."

The Sad Truth: Money Brings Out One's True Colour

It's been a series of unfortunate events lately. Hence, the missing in action on this platform for a while. Some happened due to my own poor judgement. Some happened because of a decision I made earlier out of desperation. I acknowledge that most of them are really a result of my own actions and so I embrace them, learn the lesson and move on.

But nothing tops what happened last week.

You see, there's this lady L, who stays just a block away, and whom I respected a lot. She's also a mutual friend of one of my church friends. She was made known to me as a mentor, a former youth pastor and a very helpful friend.

True enough, the first time we came in contact on Facebook, I was looking for a babysitter for my then 16 months old daughter as I was gonna start working in a corporate. We met up soon and she was kind enough to take me to meet up with one. In the end, though I didn't manage to engage with a babysitter, she continued to show kindness and help later every time she came across something worthy to share such as tiffin food delivery, cheap imported diapers and so on.

Recently I was involved in a "war" with someone at work. When she learned about it, as a trainer for lawyers (including some well known ones), she gave me some valuable advise and it really helped me to understand my rights and got me through my battle. As such, I have the utmost respect and gratitude for her. I really considered her as a valuable friend.

Last Thursday, though, was the turning point of our relationship.

On the 8th of August (Tuesday), she texted and asked if I want some German diaper (Nappy Time) as she's doing a group buy. It costs rm38 for a box of L size with 72 pieces in it. After some calculation and consideration, I decided to give it a try and ordered a box.

The goods arrived the next day but I only went to pick up on Thursday as I had things to do.

Before I headed to her house, I gave her a call just to make sure she's home. And she was. So I went there and waited right in front of her gate. I sent her a WhatsApp text after I stopped my car.

I waited for awhile but she was no where in sight. Just as I was waiting, Charlotte decided to drop her water bottle and the water spilled on the car seats. I nagged her grumpily and quickly took some tissue papers to wipe the seats. Charlotte was seated at the back so naturally my upper body was turned to the back to wipe the wet areas.

As I was busy wiping, I heard a bang from the left side. I looked up and L's auto gate was opened. But as my car was quite close, the gate couldn't fully open. One gate was against my left side mirror and the other was stuck somewhere around the tire side on the back left. I didn't see L as her house door was still closed. Puzzled, I turned and look to the right. I saw a black car readily trying to reverse. As in, the reverse lights were on. I wasn't really sure whose car that was but I decided to move the car further to the front for the gate to open fully.

After I've moved away, I saw the said black car reversed into the house. It was her husband.

I then reversed my car and stopped my car right in front of her house again. L was out of the house with the box of diapers in her hands, ready to pass to me. Her husband came down and told L what happened. He did apologized and said he thought my car was far enough from the auto gate.

Still, I was very puzzled.

Why didn't he honk?
Why didn't he signal or alert me in anyway before he opens the auto gate?
How was he supposed to reverse the car into the house if the auto gate didn't hit my car and I was not aware of his presence?

As we examine the scratched part,  I told her that I was not aware at all of the auto gate opening as I was wiping the water on the car seat.

I used the wet tissue paper to wipe the paint of the auto gate off from the car. Unfortunately, the auto gate has scratched off some paint of my car.

She saw them too. Initially, I told her that it's fine and that I will see what I can do with it. But later that day, after discussing with my husband, he told me that it's best to get it repaint or else the paint will fall off even more and the part will get rusty.

My heart sank as I had an internal debate with myself. I know that she has helped me a lot so I really wanna be the bigger person to settle this myself. But for some reasons, I will be jobless soon. With another one on the way, and some to-buy essentials on the list, I am not ready to fork out something extra for something like this.

The next day, I called up the service center to ask for a quotation. They told me it's maximum RM500 but could be lesser. I need to send my car in for them to quote me an exact price. After much contemplation, I texted her to tell her about our decision to repaint the scratched part, and hope that she or her husband can help to bare half the cost.

I was really fine when she suggested to have it done outside of the service center. I mean, I would want to pay lesser, too, just as long as I could get it fixed.

Then, things started to turn the other way round when I said that as long as the paint can be nicely done.

She started to become very offensive and put the blame back on me.

Honestly, I was shocked and upset. It's not my first time stopping by her house and there're times when my car was nearer to her auto gate. I started to question myself if it's really solely my fault? Maybe I shouldn't have tumpang the group buy? Maybe I shouldn't go at that time? Maybe I should park my car further away? Like, on the opposite side?

I waited until Saturday to go to the service center to get the quotation.

I was quoted RM318 including GST. So I thought, oklah, not that expensive if divided by 2.

Still, I didn't tell her right away because I was really really reluctant. I kept thinking of all the help she has done for me. At the same time, I know that I have to think for myself and my family. I even asked a few friends for advise. They said that it's not entirely my fault and it's her husband's mistake for miscalculating the distance between my car and the auto gate. So asking for half the compensation isn't that big of a deal. It's OK.

I gave it a really really long thought, and decided to send her the quotation on Sunday night.

I was quite disappointed when she told me to just get the paint.

So I thought, fine, I'll just settle it myself. But I had so much emotions stirring inside me, I decided to get them out of my chest.

It's not my first time facing such problem when it comes to money. I keep thinking that there might be some exceptional people out there and she could be one of them. But I guess she's no difference.

She has proceeded to block me after sending me that last text. Hence, the missing profile picture. She has also proceeded to unfriend and block me on Facebook.

Really? My choice is to get the most out of others?
I didn't make up the quotation and I could have asked for full compensation instead of just half of it.

Is she also saying that, just because she has helped me, I shouldn't even ask for it?

It's like telling my own daughter, just because I gave birth to you, nurse you and so on, you cannot throw tantrum for whatever reason it may be. Or when she's older and ready to go to college, I should tell her to get her own tuition fee cause I've done so much for you already. Like that?

She used to say how mothers should really help one another. And for that, I thought that she's an understanding  and empathetic person. I guess I'm wrong.

My friend even told me what she wrote on her Facebook wall after she has unfriended me. So now her friends will only listen to her side of the story and none of them will get to know mine before judging.

This was, and still is, a really huge blow for me. It made me questioned myself so much. I also felt extremely saddened for how things turned out cause it's nothing as I expected at all, especially from someone I respected so so much. I cried the whole night after the lights turned out and had a migraine the next day. Thankfully, I have friends who're there for me and to assure me that I've done my part the best way possible. In Mandarin, we say 讲钱伤感情. I really don't wanna admit but the saying is as true as it is. But at the end of the day, we cannot please everybody, and leave ourselves helpless and wounded.

I've now collected myself and set my mind straight. I believe in this incident, I have been polite and kind in my most possible manner. I did everything I could to ask her for half the compensation nicely. It is really a shame how things have turned sour and for the worst. This is indeed a painful lesson with a price to pay but I will not let it affect me further because I am moving on.

Penning this down serves as a closure. I hope none of you have to go through this. But if unfortunately you have to, had or are dealing with something similar, I hope that you will keep your head up high, deal with it diplomatically and march on.

How do I know my daughter loves me ❤

1. She gives me kisses freely and willingly without asking.

2. She gives me kisses whenever I ask for it.

3. She hugs and kisses me whenever she has done something wrong #manipulative wtf

4. She kisses and hugs me whenever I am mad. 
- Ok let me elaborate a little. Sometimes I raise my voice when I teach out of frustration. She would run to me and call out to me gan-jiongly. If she's already seated in the high chair, she would just pull my sleeves and keep calling Mummy! Mummy! If I ignore her and continue to speak to my students in a loud and frustrating voice, she'd use both her hands to forcefully turn my head to look at her, and then looks at me very concernedly. If I'm not done, I'd tell her to wait. But she would pull me towards her and say Hap aaa. Hap! (read: Hug), then closes her eyes and hug me genuinely lolololololol. I wish I could take a video or picture of situations like this but it'd be awkward for the students to do so after getting scolded by me hahahahahahahahahaha.

5. She doesn't share her favourite food but she would sometimes let me take a bite. Not the whole piece, but a bite from a small piece. She would gladly give me the remaining if she cannot finish, though.

6. She doesn't latch in the middle of the night anymore. But she would wake up, climb up to our bed and lie next to me. Before falling back to sleep, she would conveniently lie on my arms or on my pillow so that her head touches mine, and says hap aaa hap! Sometimes, she would even hold my hand and place it on her buttock and say Pat! Pat aaaa pat! And if I remain still and ignore her, she would move my hand to pat on her buttock herself, and goes back to sleep. Within a minutes or two, she would turn  and sleep horizontally, forming a H sign, with the husband and I being the 2 vertical figures. Most of the time she sleeps like the picture shown below. I have to gather all the energy I have to carry her back down to her bed after she's fast asleep.

7. She stills waits outside of the kitchen or bathroom when I'm cooking or taking a shower or taking a dump. Even when the husband is around, she'd rather have me in sight. Especially when I'm sitting on the throne. She'd reach out her hands and says Hap aaa hap! Even after I tell her that I can't do it, she'd try harder by pursing her lips and says Hap aaa! Kiss! Nice try, Charlotte. Nice try.

8. When she finds something funny, she would purposely laugh loudly while looking at me. If I don't acknowledge her, she would forcefully turn my head so I would look at her and while she laughs even harder. Seriously, WHO TEACH YOU THAT!?

9. She likes to do silly things together with me. Like putting on my headband and flashes me with a big big smile.

10. She says "I Love You" to me all the time with or without prompting 💕

OMG I'm Pregnant Again + Mother Guilt

I remember when Charlotte was almost 1 year old, I started to think of having another child. And my intention is purely and mainly for the good interest of Charlotte.

I wrote about it here.

I must admit that this feeling just gets stronger as day goes by. And every time when I know that we're not in any way gonna hit the jackpot (sorry a bit tmi) because of our financial issue, I'd get reaaaallllllyyyyyy upset. I would cry silently when the lights went off and he wouldn't know. Even if the husband sensed some sniffing, he would thought it's about something else. Like, hormones.

Then in January, I decided that it's now or never. Cause, erm, I wanna close shop latest at 30 lolol.

One week before Valentine's Day, I discovered this.

I still remember vividly that it was a Saturday afternoon. I was home alone with Charlotte. And when the second line appeared, I was emotional. I'm not sure if I was happy, honestly, but I was emotional and fearful. It dawned on to me that Charlotte will soon not be my only child. I started to cry in the toilet, while Charlotte was at the other side of the toilet door, waiting patiently for me. She kept calling for me. I calmed myself down and stepped out the toilet with teary eyes.

She smiled as soon as she saw me. I held her little hand, knelled down so I could look into her eyes. And then I gave her a big and tight hug, and continued to cry. Of course she didn't know what happened. She kept pushing me away to look at me, wondering what's going on. But I just couldn't stop. I was... heart broken.

I suddenly felt a sense of guilt cause I know soon I can't give her my full attention. I was also worried that I won't be able to love her whole-heartedly anymore. And that was enough to make me feel heart broken. I've been reliving my childhood through her. I felt compensated every time I see her smiling happily, enjoying the presence of the husband and I whenever we're spending time together. She helps me to fill up the empty part that's been missing in my heart all this while. She makes me feel whole.

So knowing that my love and attention for her might be divided soon makes me feel lost. And betrayed. Yes, I feel betrayed by myself. I fear that I might also disappoint her or leave her feeling lonely often at some point of time. I've always thought of having a sibling for her. But I've never ever imagine life as a mother of two. I could think of all the things I wanna do with Charlotte alone. But now with another one on the way, I keep questioning myself if I have the ability to handle both of them. If I could still love Charlotte like I swore to. And if I could still fill up the empty spaces.

I kept all this to myself for a good few days. I didn't utter a single word to anyone. Not even to my husband. Until the day before Valentine's Day. I decided that this could be his Valentine's Day present as I didn't have any budget for a Valentine's Day gift lolol.

So I went to get a small box and printed a little card using our home printer.

What's in the box. I tested twice because, erm, one stick is for rm5 and two sticks for rm7. I'm cheapo like that lol.

I handed him when he came back from work. And the rest is history.

With this second pregnancy, I have to confess that I'm not as excited as I was with my first pregnancy. I couldn't remember which week I'm in when people ask me about it. I have to check my phone's app to remind myself yet I don't check it every week like I used to. I do remember my monthly checkup date and EDD and I think that's sufficient enough haha.

I'm also not enthusiastic with getting any newborn stuffs but I guess this is forgivable as I've had most of the things ready. I already have a list of things listed down on my memo pad to remind myself to get them later during a baby fair.

Also, this time around, I am looking forward yet not looking forward to be a mother of 2. Does this make any sense?

I am looking forward for the little baby to be born but at the same time I am not looking forward to spending lesser time with Charlotte and have all the mother guilt kicking and punching me in the face. There're times when I'd woke up in the middle of the night sobbing uncontrollably and hysterically out of nowhere, fearing for the attention I couldn't spare for Charlotte.

We're both at the best place right now, now that she's a 2 year-old. She could sleep through the night, understands instructions well, building vocabulary and pampered with my undivided love and attention. I could walk leisurely in the mall with her holding my hand tight, not having to chase her around. I could also enjoy my time with her by sharing our meals, or just do some reading while she plays with her toys. The best part is, I could enjoy her love and affection she gives ever freely and willingly. We enjoy bedtime reading the most cause there's so much interaction for the both of us. We also love sleeping together. Even though she still latches for comfort, she doesn't latch to sleep anymore. I could just turn off the lights and she would roll to the other side of the bed. All I need to do is to sleep facing her and hold her hands and we would fall asleep together. Sometimes I'd fall asleep before her lolol but it doesn't matter cause she'd follow soon after.

But I know all this WILL change once the little one arrives, and to be honest, I'm not sure if I'm ready for that.

Can someone please tell me if I'm making any sense? And if it's normal for feeling this way? 😢😢😢