Sunday, June 14, 2009

Save on Groceries

One day, my husband asked me a question on “Sayang, how far would you go on 2 save on groceries?” Mmmm... With the uncertain economy, prices of many goods have risen to seemingly astronomical levels. Goods that I used to buy on a whim have become luxury items, forcing us to grapple with ballooning groceries bills. I am beginning to hoard discount vouchers that used to go ignored in the past.
I seldom cook western food because ingredients like cheese & pasta have become so expensive. If I can manage to find these at bargain prices, only then will I indulge in such an extravagant menu. I do tend to cook more local food these days. They taste just as good as exotic dishes & are so much cheaper to make. When we eat, we focus on enjoying the moment together, so it doesn’t really matter whether we’re eating cheap or expensive food.

My husband said, “Sayang, I am preparing a plot of land at the back of the house to plant vegetables & fruits trees. I’m tilling the land & hope we can start planting soon. The vegetables we havest will be for daily use. What do you think?”

“Oh B (hubby), you are so rajin!!! Tapi I malas la nak tanam & jaga pokok... Penat jaga anak & buat chores... bla...bla...bla...” That was my reaction to his plan... (kalau dah malas,macam-macam alasan la keluar dari mulut) hehe... I think he was upset to hear my comment.

Tapi takpe, just because I’m too lazy to do gardening, doesn’t mean that I don’t have other plan to help to reduce our groceries bills... I’ll be looking to supermarket with the lowest prices on the things that I need to buy or the ones with really good offers & go there to shop. Maybe we can also buy house brand generic items (GIANTS, TESCO, CARREFOUR etc...) like dishwashing liquid, tissue & kitchen towels etc... as they are cheaper than commercial brands.

“B, ok tak my plan?” Happy shopping everyone!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Before & After a Child...

As I'm in my bed, trying to sleep, my mind began to wonder. I started to think about my life before I had a kid. That life wasn't that long ago but it seems like a different lifetime ago. I was someone who loved to sleep. I could sleep the whole day and still sleep at night. If I didn't get my 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, I was a grouch. I'm still a grouch when I'm sleepy but I can now survive on less sleep. I don't remember what it's like to sleep the whole night through anymore. I do find myself waking up to see if Rayhan is sleeping soundly. Until recently, Rayhan still woke up at night to nurse.

Before a child... I used to be able to wear anything I wanted without having to think if what I was wearing was suitable for nursing on demand. I could wear frilly underwear and not horrible nursing bras.
After a child... Speaking of nursing bras, someone please explain to me... A woman who had recently given birth to a baby and is still carrying some weight gained during pregnancy. Her body used to be made up of perky breasts, firm tummy and a tight butt. After childbirth, she resembles Jello more than J Lo. With a newborn baby, there is very little time to take a shower, let alone pick out something nice to wear (pre-pregnancy clothes don't fit anyway) and put on some make-up. Her hormones are still out of whack and her self-esteem isn't at the optimum level. She is sleep depraved from taking care of a newborn and probably grumpy. Why are nursing bras so ugly then? Why aren't nursing bras made to look attractive so that there is some semblance of normalcy with postpartum women? This is the time when the bust are up two cup sizes. Vava voom! But I digress...

(the non-attractive nursing bra)

(i wish nursing bras are attractive & sexy like these lingerie)

Before a child... Was also the time when I needed to think only of packing for myself and Wan. Go for short holiday at a moment notice. One bag for the both of us. Pack books or trashy gossip magazines to read while on holiday. Laze by the Sipadan Island beach and read or just take a nap whilst listening to the lapping waves. No chance of that now.

After a child... We had to calculate how many diapers to bring, how many sets of clothes in case our baby dirtied himself, if we need to pack baby food, remember to pack baby shampoo, baby bath, sunblock, nappy rash cream, children paracetamol (just in case), baby toys (to keep him occupied in the car or airplane), baby stroller, etc, etc, etc... Fortunately, I breastfeed him so no need to deal with hot water bottle, formula, baby bottles, sterilizing container and tablet, washing up liquid and bottle brush. Have to try to relax while keeping an eye on the children, to make sure they're safe.

Before a child... we started on our journey whenever we felt was right. Absolutely no hurry. We can choose to drive/fly straight to our destination or make stops whenever we wanted to.

After a child... When travelling with a child, we need to plan the timing for the journey. Start too early & he haven't had enough sleep so higher chances of him being cranky. Start journey too close to his lunch time, then we'll have think about stopping for lunch. How far is our destination? How many hours will it take to get there? Will I need to pack some snacks and water in case he got hungry or thirsty? Do we need to make toilet stops? What time is our plane leaving? If we're arriving after his dinner time, need to think about packing his dinner.

Before a child... We had a whole library of videos. We watched movies after movies in our TV room. We still have a video library.

After a child... Only now, the library is made up of Barney&Friends videos. Grown-up movies are watched only when the he's in bed, if we're not too tired.

Before a child... Eating out meant having what we fancied.

After a child... Now we have to think if the place we're going to will have food suitable for Rayhan. He is quite good. Rayhan is not fussy with food and will eat whatever the grown ups eat, except spicy (cili padi) food. Rayhan does likes roti canai with curry dhal though. Even so, we still have to check ourselves if there is food for him.

Before a child... Going to the public toilet meant just going to relieve oneself and wash hands after.

After a child... Bring him into the toilet stall, find a place to hang handbag and diaper bag. Make sure he relieves himself without wetting his pants then cringe when he puts his hand against the toilet wall and on whatever is in the toilet. Pull up the child's pants and instruct child to stand still while you take your turn. Tell child not to open toilet door. Bear embarrassing remarks from child, eg, "Mummy, smelly poo poo!" (said on top of his voice of course). Tell him not to open toilet door again. Then grab own handbag & diaper bag and head to the sink. Push tap to start water flowing, pick up Rayhan who is too short to reach the sink to wash hands, try to reach for handsoap without dropping him while trying to stop handbag from slipping down the shoulder, then try to push tap again to wash soap off his hands. Finally, dry hands. Phew!

Even with the big lifestyle changes, if I could turn back the clock I wouldn't change a minute of my life. I cannot imagine myself not having children. Rayhan bring so much joy in my life just being himself. Rayhan's laughter is so infectious and he does love to laugh.

I wouldn't trade anything for the cuddles I get from him. I love being the "Best mummy in the whole wide world" and "The most beautiful mummy in the world". Only my son will tell me things like that! I love how Rayhan thinks I know everything.

I may have been sleep depraved but nothing can match the times when I've held Rayhan in my arms or lay down side by side with him, nursing him and seeing his beautiful face. The look on his face when he's nursing. PRICELESS!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Must see!!! Revolutionary Road...

Strange how I seem to get ideas for blogging late at night when I should be asleep. I guess at night when my mind can go wild without interruption.
I would like to recommend to you to watch this movie, to those who are married, especially to the women. I going to talk & give my point of view about the character of April Wheeler, plays by Kate Winslet. In this movie Revolutionary Road, April Wheeler is a woman who find herself sacrificing her dreams & wishes to fulfill her duty as a wife & mother.
Well, after watching this movie, I think, for a relationship to work, you have to be yourself. Otherwise you're compromising your true self! That's the problem with April Wheeler, she spends so many years losing touch with her soul that she ends up becoming suicidal & going slightly insane. In life, the most important thing is just to be true to you & I think its hard to do that. Its makes me really sad...
Revolutionary Road, to me, is a portrait of a marriage. It's set in the 1950s, at a time when men & women, particularly women, had extremely limited choices. Life dictated that you should be happy with your lot in life. You should accept the way that it is. This isn't a story about two married people who want to be separate & divorce. They are actually trying to do whatever they can in order to stay together. But they also want to find something more than what they have. I can really understand that...
I think that's why I seem to be really relating to this film. Because there's nothing worse than living a life that you feel you shouldn't be living, or feeling trap, whether it's because of your job or your marriage, or whatever it may be... Everyone needs something to hope for...
Like April Wheeler, has I ever had a point in my life where I wanted to do something, but was confused about whether I should go ahead? Mmmm... I think that's what life is about. Life is about working to those times. It's to do with you figuring out who you are until you really work out what it means to be happy.
We all experience moments when we feel like we're in the wrong job, country, relationship, whatever. Everyone knows what that feels like, to be either with the wrong person or not on the path that you hoped your life would take. So YES, of course, I've been in that position...

Just be YOU!!!

"You have to be true to yourself". Be yourself & be confident in your own skin. That's what my mom used to tell me as a child. I'm not the kind of person who lives by other people's judgements or opinions. There are so many young women in the world who are so fragile, emotionally, that they can't do that. They can't believe in themselves...

I won't be anything other people necessarily expect me to be. I'll just be myself! That attitude, "Just being YOURSELF", that's what I have been taught my whole life. My mother often said to me, "Go for it! Go for it! What do you care if it doesn't work out? You're never going to learn anything until u try it...".

Wouldn't it be so nice if we could really be exactly who we are & not have to think for 2 seconds about what we're wearing or what we're saying or what we're doing, to be free & be ourselves? But life isn't like that these days. I think we live in a very judgemental society.

Before you can find happiness you have to have some sense of who you are - that Can be difficult. But if you don't have it, you will latch onto the wrong things in order to make yourself happy. Being married to Wan has made me happier than I've ever been before in my whole life, but it can take a while to find what you want.

It's all about working on your confidence & having complete trust in your own strengths. "YOU ONLY HAVE ONE LIFE, YOU HAVE TO MAKE THE MOST OF IT!"