Friday, July 31, 2009

Online Kids Spelling Software: ClickN SPELL

Have you heard about ClickN Read Phonics? It's quite a popular online reading program. Well, the same company has just come up with another program called ClickN SPELL. The name of their software should already give you an idea what it does: TEACH YOUR CHILD SPELLING!

I believe you can start teaching your child spelling around 4-5 years old. However, it shouldn't be just about memorizing the sequence of letters, it helps to teach them phonics first. That way it's easier for them to spell coz' they listen for the sounds and select the letters to match those sounds.

Anyway, children are always keen to get on the computer to play games. Why not get them excited about learning to spell with this fun, interactive software. Sure beats the traditional way of writing words line after line after line....

If you have a child struggling to learn spelling, or you have no time to teach your child spelling, you might want to check out ClickN SPELL. You can learn more about ClickN SPELL by going to my product report. Just click the following link: ClickN SPELL KIDS SPELLING SOFTWARE
At the end of the review, you'll find a discount code that will get you 5% off.

Or go ahead and test out the program now. You get 2 free lessons to try. Just click on the banner below:

Try ClickN READ & ClickN SPELL Today!

Learning Bahasa Malaysia From Friends

I sent my son to the g'ment kindergarten so he could adapt to the language and culture before starting Std.1 next year. Well, let me share with you the Bahasa Malaysia my son is learning... not from school books, but from friends. I thought of calling this "Bahasa Malaysia words and phrases your child should know before they start Std.1 in a kebangsaan school".
  • Tak nak kawan lah
  • Bodoh
  • Padan muka
  • Kau 'pa hal?
  • Jangan kacau
  • Pinjam
I'm sure there is some more. Will add to the list when I hear more. As you can see, most of the words not very nice to hear. I'm sure you already know they pick up bad things faster than they pick up good things. A few days ago, my son asked me "mommy, what is 'toyol'?" It seems his friend told him that he saw a "toyol" before. So there, another word added to his vocabulary. Not something he'll learn from a text book.

Oh, and there is also this game which I'm sure some of you may be familiar with. Amazing, it's still around. My son has been driving me a little insane with his repetitive recitation of it. He's even got babyD to learn some of it:

Assalamualaikum
Kum apa? kombat
Bat apa? batman
Man apa? mentol
Tol apa? tolak
Lak apa? laksa
Sa apa? Sepak
Pak apa? pakcik
Cik apa? cicak
Cak apa? cawan
Wan apa, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 (counting in english).

Actually, the one written above is how it is suppose to be. My son's version is a bit different. He gets to "Man apa?", he says "Mentos" instead of "mentol". Then he just makes up the rest of it, even to the point of gibberish.

Well, just thought I'd let you know to get ready for your child's language to be "contaminated" when they start schooling.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

FREE Potty Training Kit from Pampers

ONLY FOR US RESIDENTS

If you are currently potty training your child, you'll be interested in this offer. You can put in a request to have Pampers send you a Potty Training Kit. It includes:
  • A free sample of Easy Ups Trainers
  • High-value coupons
  • Fun stickers & coloring pages
  • Step-by-step potty training tips
  • Potty Progress Chart
  • Dora or Diego training trophy
Click the following link to put in your potty kit request:
Potty Training Kit

Cheap Nursing Bra

Just a quick note to tell all breastfeeding moomies and breastfeeding moomies to-be that you can get a RM10 nursing bra at Fabulousmom.com. You can click here to go direct to the product page:
Eunice Nursing Maternity Bra

Thursday, July 23, 2009

BSP Test no.2 - Gestational Diabetes Update

Once again I had to do the BSP (Blood Sugar Profile) test on Tuesday. Once again I had my finger poked 4 times in a day. Actually, it was poked 5 times. One time they poked but not enough blood oozed out. The readings seem to be higher then the first BSP test: 5.4, 5.0, 5.5 and 6.5. The last reading was not satisfactory. They marked it in red, like having red marks on your report card when you fail. Hahahah. Ideally, the readings need to be lower than 6.0.

So, doctor told me to repeat the last reading on Wednesday night. I made sure I didn't eat too much rice and bumped up the vegetable intake. I cooked spinach and french beans with carrots for dinner that night. Thank goodness the reading was 5.5. I was so worried because if it was still high, then I would have to go to the hospital for insulin jabs.

On Tuesday night when the reading was 6.5, I had noodle soup (kuey teow and yellow mee). Didn't have time to cook a real meal that day so opted for something simple. Too much carbo I guess. Plus, I was hungry that night and may have eaten more than I should have.

Well, I guess I just have to keep on watching the diet. It's a bit difficult when I see my children and DH enjoying treats and I cannot participate. The sugar craving is still there to tempt me. 2 more months, 2 more months... 2 dragging more months. Sigh!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

HugaMonkey Baby Sling Review

Do you practice baby wearing? Then you'll want to know about HugaMonkey baby sling. It's a sling that looks like a tube that conforms to your body. It is easy to put on when you want to carry your baby around. It requires no folding and doesn't use rings, buckles or tons of fabric. You won't have to worry about slipping too.

The fabric is made from 100% Kona cotton. It is a breathable, durable and soft natural fabric. In other words, it's very lightweight and comfortable. They also have baby slings made from natural organic cotton (60% organic cotton and 40% organic bamboo).
The designs are simple and the colors easy to match with your wardrobe. You can use these slings on your newborns up until they are 3 years old or 30 pounds.


How To Use It
?
You can wear baby several ways with the Hugamonkey baby sling:

  • Tummy to tummy carry. Baby is sitting and facing you.
  • Back hip sit carry.
  • Hip sit carry
  • Kangaroo carry. Baby is sitting and facing outwards.
  • Traditional lying down carry. Great for newborns.
Watch these videos for a better idea on how simple it is to use it:

How to put on the sling



Traditional lying down carry


How Well Does It Work?
Looking around the web, I found some testimonials by users of HugaMonkey baby slings. These people are not being compensated for their views. You can be sure they are being honest in what they are saying.

I have a hugaMonkey sling and it works great. Mine is the lightweight version for hot weather. It is a basic pouch, the fabric I have does not have stretch. Make sure you get it in the right size or it won't be secure for your newborn. Mine is a bit big, but it will work better when my LO is heavier.
(Excerpt from a comment at community.babycenter.com)


What I was looking for! I can wear it without spending hours trying to fold it. No loops or buckles to mess with. Very prompt courteous service when I had an ordering question. Recommended highly!
(Excerpt from a comment at www.affordablebabyorganics.com)


Love the sling, it was just a little too big. I worked with Carrie to determine if it was too big or not. My sling has been washed and tried on and she still said its no problem to exchange. Wonderful company. I would recommend you to any of my friends that is considering buying a sling. Thanks!
(Review submitted at hugamonkey.com)


I own a traditional sling and a Maclaren carrier. The Hugamonkey is much more comfortable. You almost feel pregnant again because the baby is so close to you. My daughter loves to be in it and almost instantly goes to sleep. I really wish I had this for my first child so I could have used it for all of them, especially my colicky son. The crazy thing is it cost me less than what I had, was shipped free to my door, is much cuter and so much better. I'm loving the Hugamonkey!!
(Review submitted at hugamonkey.com)
I was looking to find a negative review and came across only one at amazon.com. Her complain was she didn't get the right size. But from other users feedback, there is no problem if you order the wrong size. You can send it back for an exchange and the customer service is very prompt and good.

MY VERDICT
This is one baby sling I would like to get. Some of the things I look for when it comes to baby slings are:

  • Easy to use.
  • Doesn't hurt my shoulder or back
  • Easy to pack in a bag
  • Not bulky
  • Baby is comfortable
  • Affordable
Looks like HugaMonkey baby sling meets all those criterias.

PRODUCT OPTIONS:
The sling comes in 5 sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
They have a size chart, so do check that out to get the right size.

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR HUGAMONKEY BABY SLING TODAY!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Busy Toddler

HOW DOES MY TODDLER KEEP HIMSELF BUSY?
BabyD is quite good at keeping himself busy. Well, decided to grab my camera to see what he has been up to.

Riding on a motorcycle. He's using a bolster here. Sometimes, he uses a pillow. Few minutes later, I hear him say "aeroplane". After that it's back to "motorcycle". Maybe I need to invent something where he can play motorcycle and mop my floor at the same time. Anyway, this is another example of why kids don't need so many battery operated plastic toys that don't last long.

Seeing mommy so busy with her camera, he decided he also wanted to take pictures. He grabbed this toy telescope and pretended to take pictures.


Enjoying himself talking into the fan because it sounds funny.


Every afternoon he turns on the music, climbs onto the top bunk (which is his jie-jie's bed and she's at school) with the CD player's remote control.

video
Because of his "botak" head, we use to pull his ears and call him Dopey for fun. He seems to think it's funny too.

Wrapping a pen with paper

According to him, he was writing "W"s.

Reading books.

Mommy, Can I Have Some Money?

For the last few weeks, KokoD requested that I come late to pick him up after kindergarten. He says he wants time to play with his friends. Seeing that he is enjoying his friends company so much, I said okay. So for the past week or so I've been going late -- giving him about 15 minutes extra time after school to "play".

Unfortunately, this extra time of "play" is turning out to be extra time for mischief. The first few days of extra time, I would pick up a kid that was dripping in sweat. Yes, literally dripping in sweat. Not only was he sweaty, he was dirty as well. One of the days he said his friend threw sand on his head. Another day as I was doing laundry, I threw into the wash his underwear that was the same color as the sandy slope outside his school. I checked his pants, no such color. So I'm wondering, how is this so? Underwear dirty but pants clean?

Well, the last few school days, the dirty boy is no more. He is up to something else. He comes home and tells me that his friends "belanja him makan" (treating him to food). They've been buying stuff and sharing with him. That's nice I guess, but also dangerous since the school was recently hit with H1N1. Well, he asked me if he could have some money because he wants to buy stuff from the stalls outside his school, like his friends. I told him "NO" because he hasn't learned how to handle money and also doesn't know the value of things. When I picked him up on Thursday, he was eating a piece of "jambu". Obviously courtesy of his friend. On Friday, I found him at one of the stalls with a bunch of his friends... HOLDING SOME MONEY! He was very keen on buying the "jambu" and had me wait while he put in his order.

Me: Where did you get the money from?
KokoD: My friend gave it to me.
Me: Did you ask for it?
KokoD: No.
Me: How much was the jambu?
KokoD: Don't know.
Me: How much did you give the lady?
KokoD: One 50cent, two 10cents and one 20cent.
Me: How many times have you taken money from your friend?
KokoD: One time only. Today.

The reason why I asked him these questions is because of what I saw as he was buying the jambu:
1. The lady asked him how many he wanted.
2. He didn't answer.
3. The lady asked him how much money he has.
4. He just put out his hand to show her.
5. Then she packed the jambu accordingly.
ALAMAK! How can buy things like that!

Anyway, we firmly told him that he must give the money back to his friend. Goodness knows what will happen if his friend's parents found out that my son has been living off their good fortune. They might think my son was an extortionist! Later, he declared that he still had another 50cents, also from his friend. Aiyoh! I almost pengsan.

Anyway, this was a good reminder that I need to spend less time on the computer and more time teaching my son stuff like "how to count money."

Mama's Parenting Tip:
1. Sometimes (or most of the time) we cannot put all the blame on our children when they do something wrong. If we don't teach them properly, how will they know to choose the right?

2. Don't just teach children to count money. Have to also teach them the value of money and the value of things. For example, I let him buy a cup of drink which cost RM1. It was not a very big cup. To him it was "very cheap what!" Then I calculated for him, one cup everyday would mean RM5 every week. By the end of the month, it would be RM20. With RM20, we could go to Tesco and buy 1 big bottle of Ribena or about 3 bottles of fruit juice syrup. We could then make many, many, many cups of delicious drink. These are difficult times and teaching frugality is a must! Teach them how to be wise shoppers (of course, we have to be wise first).

3. When teaching young children, don't just use workbooks to teach them. Bring out your wallet and let them touch and see REAL money. For example, RM5 is green color and RM10 is red.

4. We all know that children lose things easily, especially stationeries. You can set up a mini stationery shop at home. Lose an eraser, buy one from mommy.

5. It's good that when children get older, for us to give them opportunities to earn their own money. Not for everyday chores but "special" work like washing the car or weeding the garden. Of course, take into consideration their age and capabilities.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Counting Baby's Movements

Did you ever count your baby's movements when you were pregnant? I didn't do it with my first 2 babies. I had to do it with babyD and I've been asked to do it with this baby too. Many of my friends mentioned that they didn't do it. I've come to the conclusion that when you go to private clinics, this is not a requirement. But when you have your checkups at the government clinics, they suggest you do it and provide a chart for you to do your recording too. It's known as a Fetal Movement Count.

The procedure is as such:
Starting at 9am, count baby's movements until 10 times. For every movement, you put a check mark on the chart. Once you've had 10 movements, record down the time. So, if the 10th movement was at 2pm, you write 2pm on the chart. Now, the trick is, if baby continuously kicks you 3 times (like within 2 seconds), that is counted as 1 movement. And hiccups don't count.

The reason for doing this is to be aware of baby's well-being. By charting baby's movements, you can know if there is a decrease in activity which usually indicates that baby is in distress. If you cannot count 10 movements within 12 hours, you are to go to the hospital IMMEDIATELY.

The problem:
I KEEP FORGETTING TO COUNT!
I'll begin counting at 9am. Then I'll get engrossed in doing house chores and cooking, I'll forget to keep counting. Plus, when the kids do something wrong and I'm in the middle of blowing fire out of my dragon nostrils, how to remember to count? I mean it's almost impossible while you're screaming at the kids and fuming mad to suddenly stop and say "hey, that's movement no. 6". I wish there was an instrument that I could just attach to my tummy that would do the counting for me. I've put up a notice on the wall, just above my computer monitor that reads "don't forget to count." Even then, I still forget.

So, this counting business is good stuff... IF I remember to do it. You know what they say about pregnant women -- memory is not their strongest point.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Gestational Diabetes Update

I did the BSP test (Blood Sugar Profile) on Tuesday. They poked my finger 4 times that day to record 4 readings. Once at 8am, 12 pm, 4pm and 9pm. For the first reading, I had to fast 10 hours before. Subsequent readings required me to fast 2 hours before.

So, what was my result (in mmol/L)?
5.1, 3.8, 4.8 and 3.7

I believe a normal reading for blood glucose levels are between 5-7. So, my readings were pretty good. Met up with the doctor the day after the BSP test and she was satisfied. Said that it is what they are looking for.

So, what did I eat that day?
Breakfast = 2 pieces of wholegrain toast bread with butter and a few raisins.
Lunch = Sandwiches. 2 pieces of wholegrain bread with either a sausage or chicken ham, scrambled eggs, cucumber, tomatoes, and salad leaf.
Dinner = "Bangkuang char" with salad leaf.

Seeing my blood sugar level was pretty low during the test, I've loosened up a bit. Still worried but not as worried. Still eating in small portions - less rice, more veges and meat (protein). Also allowed small treats of rambutans and mangoes.

I have to do another BSP test in 2 weeks. We'll see if I can keep my sugar level at a steady low.

p.s.: Doc did a scan and said baby is probably a girl. But she also added "kalau keluar lain, tak tau lah". So what that means is it looks like a girl but there's the chance she could be wrong. Well, although not 100% sure, it's better than not knowing at all. At least now I have a reason to bring out all the girly clothes that I've been keeping for 8 years (yeah, hand-me-downs of jie-jie K). Can't believe I've been hanging on to them for so many years.
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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

6th and 7th Month of Pregnancy

I forgot to post a record of my 6th month of pregnancy. It was very uneventful though. There were no problems and I was feeling great. Enjoying the last month of my 2nd trimester. All that "boring-ness" is now gone. I am now into my 7th month and my last checkup I had to do the glucose tolerance test. Sadly, I failed. My jaw dropped when the nurse said "you're diabetic." I couldn't believe my ears. My last 3 pregnancies were all smooth sailing. No problems nor complications (well, except for retained placenta during birth). Well, I guess this is what happens when you get pregnant at an older age.

Change is never easy. Having to change my eating habits is a great challenge for me. Cutting out rice and noodles is a big adjustment. Especially since it's been my staple food since I was a baby. Now I have to think of healthier food choices - wholewheat bread, high-fiber crackers, no-sugar peanut butter, more vegetables, smaller but more frequent meals, low GI (Glycemic Index) food etc.... My sugar craving is still there. I've had to practice a great deal of will power. No more Ribena and Milo. Only plain water. No more bread with butter and kaya. No more bananas, mangoes and rambutans (okay, got curi-curi eat a bit, but very minimal). Now it's back to apples for me. No more "char kuey teow". Now thinking of the cakes and jelly I'll have to skip during the kids' birthdays next month. I also bought some lemons a couple of weeks ago to make Lemon Bars. Guess that idea has to be thrown out the door. I've also started my morning walks again. They say exercise helps to control the blood sugar level.

Although I'm constantly worried about my condition, this worry is good for me. So, what am I worried about? Well, let's take a look at what complications Gestational Diabetes can bring:
  • Since baby has so much sugar to feed on, baby might grow too big. They call it macrosomia. Then I will have problems when trying to give birth. Instead of a normal vaginal delivery, I might end up having a cesarean.
  • After baby is born, baby may have a low blood sugar level. There is also the risk of breathing problems.
  • Baby might have jaundice.
Here are some of my other concerns:
  • Although gestational diabetes goes away after baby is born, there is no way to be certain that what I have is gestational diabetes. I will have to be tested again 6 weeks after delivery to see if I'm still diabetic. So, is this really gestational diabetes or Type 2 diabetes? There is no way to know now.
  • If I get pregnant again, it's very likely that I will have gestational diabetes again. I know, I know, some of you are saying, "you already have 4, you want some more babies?" So okay, this is the last one okay (unless have accident-lah).
  • This increases the chances of me developing Type2 diabetes later on in life. It seems there is a link between the tendency to have gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Although I'm whining about this, it really is a good wake-up call for me. If this is gestational diabetes, then I have to endure this for only another 3 months or so. It's better I start making some lifestyle changes now before I have this condition for life and have to be on medication.

Well, today I have to do BSP (blood sugar profile test). I have to go to the clinic and get my blood tested 4 times - 8am, 12pm, 4pm and 9pm. Before my 8am appointment, I had to fast for 10 hours. The other 3 times, I have to fast 2 hours before. We'll see how today's test go.

On my to do list is going to the hospital to meet with the dietician. That will be good coz' I'm not sure if my diet is correct now. Am I eating enough? Eating too much? Eating the right stuff? Oh, and if you're wondering if baby is a boy or girl..... I DON'T KNOW YET! I'm meeting the doc tomorrow to go over today's BSP results. I'll see if I can get them to do a scan.