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Chinese Schools in Malaysia – How to Cope Pt 2

August 29, 2014 at 4:04 pm

When Ashley started Std 1 at a Chinese government school, I pubilshed this post on how we were coping with it. I say ‘WE’ because not only did she have to endure the shift in culture from a Montessori kindy to a chinese school but we, as parents, we had to adapt to it too.  Today, she is in Std 3. So how are we coping?

I will admit, her mid term results were terrible. When I say terrible…. she failed her Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia Penulisan (or was it Pemahaman portion?) It’s either one of those.

We were shocked.

I was very concerned.

As for the rest of the subjects, she basically scored lower marks compared to the previous years. Her highest score (above 90%) was English – which was expected. The English paper was very easy.

So we set out to try to understand what went wrong.

A tutor comes to the house twice a week (1.5 hr each session) to guide her 1-on-1  in her Mandarin subjects and BM.

So what is the issue?

I spoke to her class teacher about it and the teacher said that for this year, the format of the exam have changed. But if the format has changed, the school should have practiced with the kids based on the new format right? Apparently she wasn’t the only one who’s grades suffered but still…

Anyway, I spoke to her tutor and she wasn’t aware that there was a new format. Huh? WTH?

BIG problem there innit?

She is a full-time tutor and wasn’t aware of the new exam format.

Ok so I can’t completely blame her tutor.

I got the tutor to look through her exam papers and apparently, the questions were quite difficult.

The problem here is Ashley’s grasp of  Mandarin and BM.  We don’t speak Mandarin and BM on a daily basis. We speak mainly in English. Std 1 and 2 are honeymoon years but we’ve been told that Std 3 is a  big leap ahead and indeed she leaped  and fell – flat on her face.

So what are we doing now?

We’ve engaged a BM tutor (who is also a school teacher)  to come in twice a week (2hrs each session)  to focus on her BM.

Her current tutor is focusing on Mandarin subjects – twice a week –> which by the way I am looking to replace!

So essentially, she has tuition 4 times a week.

At the same time, I am on the lookout for new  tutor for Mandarin (preferably a school teacher) so that I can replace the current one.

Some changes need to be made and Ashley needs to buck up.

Let’s see how she does in her final term exams.

34 weeks

August 28, 2014 at 9:52 pm

I’m 34 weeks!
6 more weeks to go and you bet I’m anxious. When I was in my first trimester, I couldn’t wait to get it over with and ‘beranak’. My first trimester was a struggle. I enjoyed my 2nd trimester because all traces of morning sickness was gone! Phew! That’s when I started eating anything and everything….until my obgyn told me to watch my diet because I gained 3 kg in a month!!!! Third trimester is tiring…..

1. Sleeping became abit of a challenge because it was more and more difficult to turn. In addition to that, I’m most comfortable when I lie on my left side but after a while my leg left gets tired and I need to change my sleeping position. Lying on my back and on the right side feels weird. My tummy seem to feel heavier when I sleep on my right side.

2. It’s a challenge to wear my own knickers! I can’t bend down as much because of my huge belly. So I got to improvise lah!

3. Sitting down on a stool is a challenge.  For one, I gotta pray that I won’t break the damn stool with my weight. Secondly, I have to sit up straight because if I hunch a little, my belly will be in the way!

4. My inner thighs are touching! Help!!!!!

5. Water retention! When I kneel down, my legs hurt and feel as though it’s going to burst because it’s swollen from all that water retention.

6. Walking becomes more challenging especially at the malls. I can’t walk as much as I want to and tire easily. I think I’m unfit???

7. As baby grows, space in my belly is getting smaller for her. Hence when she moves, I can feel her movements all over my belly. It’s a very nice feeling though but sometimes, she kicks and punches in awkward areas which is rather uncomfortable.

8. I just wanna sleep all day!

6 more weeks to go..or maybe less. I’m anxious. How in the world does a baby come out from the vjay-jay? ? I know I know….I’ve done it twice. But still. It’s so surreal.

Time is passing faster than I anticipated.

Pray for me.

Belly Rash During Pregnancy

August 28, 2014 at 3:18 pm

When I was 29 weeks preggers, I had a very bad rash on the sides of my belly.

See?

Photo taken on 24 July 2014

They look bad. I couldn’t stop scratching because the more I scratched, the more itchy it got and it was a viscous cycle. At that time I was using the L’Occitane Almond Oil (which I used during my last pregnancy and had no problems with it) but it didn’t help with the itch! After asking  some friends,  I bought the Irritable Skin Balm from MooGoo. I had never heard of it before then and was willing to try it out because my friends said that it worked for them and the best thing is  that it’s made of natural and safe ingredients.

It’s fragrance free, paraffin free and pH balanced.

I’ve been applying this cream onto my rashes twice a day after shower when the skin is still damp. As for the smell, my kids said that it reminded them of Ikea and you know what? I think they are right and I’m ok with the smell. I didn’t get immediate relief after applying the cream which you’d probably expect from creams which contain steroids. However, over time, I noticed that the rashes were soothed although there were some spots which were still itchy but those itchy spots soon went away too.

After using it for 1 month, my skin looks and feels so much better.

Photo taken on 28 Aug 2014.

See the difference? Ok ignore my battle scars (stretch marks) but the rashes have subsided. They are no longer red. In fact they look a bit faded and over time, I believe the scars will disappear. They do not itch anymore and I don’t go around scratching my belly like a lunatic.

This product is from Australia. It is especially to treat eczema and psoriasis. You can read up more info about this from the MooGoo website.

I bought this from City Care Pharmacy for RM69 and you can also find them online as well from the MooGoo website.

I hope this helped someone out there.

*This is not a sponsored post in case you are wondering :)

Sharing is caring right? :)

A Sleeping Child

August 28, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Photo taken on 28 Aug 2014.

‘There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to make him sleep’ 

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

When you’re with kids 24 x 7 – with all the yelling, noise and bickering between siblings happening around the house and you spend your time nagging at the kids to pick up after their crap while you slave to get the laundry done, cook and clean, a sleeping child is the  best reward for all that tiresome labor. When I look at my kids when they are fast asleep, I kinda miss them but at the the same time, I enjoy the peace and quiet that I finally get to have.  You get me?

So yea….every night, I make sure that they finish their dinner on time, take their shower on time, pack their school bags and go to bed on time so that I can finally lie down and relax!

Happy Birthday Sydney

August 25, 2014 at 6:12 pm

11 years ago, Sydney came into our lives.

She has been with us from the moment Ashley and Aidan were born and now.

She is just as fun and playful now as when she was a puppy – except that she doesn’t bite our shoes anymore! (Thank God for that!)

Happy birthday Sydney!

She has brought lots of joy into our family!

Onitsuka Tiger – How to Style Your Sneakers Look

August 25, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Photo credit : Zalora

Sneakers are most commonly to be the footwear for men but that definitely is not true as women also loves to wear them in style. Apart from those sky high heels, ballerina flats and platform wedges, sneakers are among the top picks for women to match with their outfits. One of the sneakers brand in the market which offers stylish designs for men and women based on the latest fashion trends is Onitsuka Tiger. Women will be amazed with the various colours and patterns and sneakers offered by the popular brand and mix match it to produce great looks. Nowadays, sneakers are becoming a hit because of its fun and look simply chic everywhere you go. The first look women can attempt on doing with a pair of Onitsuka Tiger sneakers is by wearing it casually with sports attire and dazzle it with a cap. This is the typical but stylish look you can pull during your workout sessions at the gym or even the park.

Photo credit : Zalora

The second look is suitable for the ladies who want to look more feminine with comfortable footwear to pair with their outfit. Women can wear a cute adorable dress and matching coloured sneakers from Onitsuka Tiger for the perfect girlish boyish appearance. You can wear this look out on the weekends with your girlfriends or even on a lunch date with the special someone.

Photo credit : Zalora

The third sneakers look will be awesome to style as a casual everyday outfit with a basic tee or tank tops and denim shorts. Style this simple look during the weekend out to town doing errands or hanging out at the park for a read and feel super fashionable effortlessly. For a refined appearance, accessorize yourself with a pendant necklace, sling bag and some stylish sunglasses. Interested to have some new pair of sneakers from Onitsuka Tiger? Check out ZALORA for more amazing designs online at affordable price.

Photo credit : Zalora

33 weeks

August 22, 2014 at 2:21 pm

33 weeks.

Gained 15kg (already!). Doesn’t help when my appetite is enormous! *sigh*

Baby is 2.1kg (she gained 1kg in 1 month)

Baby has been kicking a lot!

And we have less than 7 weeks to go?!?!

Feeling anxious.

Recycled Maid

August 21, 2014 at 12:32 pm

What does it mean?
It refers to a domestic helper who has been returned to the maid agency by her employer. The maid agency then tries to look for a new employer for the domestic helper.
A few days ago, my maid agency called me up and asked if I wanted to try out a recycled maid for 2 weeks at rm50 per day.  She claimed that she brought her home for a week and said that she is a good worker and willing to learn.
So the question is why did her previous employer reject her?
Apparently she was homesick and she was crying and wanted to go back to Philippines. Her employer sent her back to the agency for counselling for 2 weeks but after that, her employer didn’t want to take her back.
So I interviewed her and decided to bring her back home. Today is her 3rd day with us and so far, she has been good. She is a Christian. Her parents and boyfriend work for a church. She used to work for a church too. I’m hoping that she has good values as a foundation and praying that she is a keeper. *fingers crossed*

22 Aug 2014 – National Day of Mourning for the Victims of MH17

August 20, 2014 at 12:34 pm

You read that right. 22 Aug 2014 has been declared a National Day for Mourning for the victims of MH17 when their remains are brought back to Malaysia on a special flight.
So what are you going to be doing then?
i believe we will observe silence for a period of time (don’t know when yet and for how long) and I read that some folks will be wearing black too. I reckon I will too.
I cannot even begin to imagine how they must have felt at the last few moments before they perished. When MH370 went missing, and it’s still is! , my hubby asked me what I’d do if he was on that plane. Choi!  Choi! Choi!. Frankly, I couldn’t answer him. It’s just too bizarre! And then 4 months later, MH17 was shot down.  The odds were definitely with Malaysia Airlines’.
I hope that thr mystery of Mh370 is solved soon so that the victims’ loved ones can get some sort of closure. And may the souls of the MH17 victims rest in peace.
Amen.

Down to Earth with Human Nature and Giveaways!

August 19, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Thanks to the folks at Down to Earth for sending me and my kids Human Nature products to try out. These products are 100% natural without any ALS/ALES, SLS/SLES, parabens, phthalates and bad stuff which basically in a nutshell ain’t good for us!  These products are safe, effective, affordable, socially responsible, never been tested on animals and environmentally  friendly.  Down to Earth  liases with the poorest farmers and buy their crops at a fair price to make these products.  That’s how they get them out of poverty so every single product in the  range makes a real difference in someone’s life. 

Here’s what we tried….

Tough Love Dishwashing Liquid

As per the tagline, the dishwashing liquid IS tough on the grease and gentle on my skin. A little goes a LONG way and  I didn’t have to use much to clean the grease from my dirty pots and pans. This product do not contain any harmful chemicals.

No phosphates.

No chlorine.

No petroleum.

No synthetic fragrance.

No dyes.

Biodegradable.

Non toxic.

And since there are no harmful chemicals, this means there are no irritants which is safe for delicate hands. It doesn’t leave any harmful residue hence it is safe for baby bottles as well. This will save us from buying 2 different dishwashing liquids when baby #3 arrives!

Price :

RM 12.90 – rm 19.90 for 250ml

RM 35.90 for 500ml.

Natural Shampoo & Body Wash

My kids were pretty excited that they get to use a new 2in1 body wash and shampoo.  This product is made from coco nectar for extra acids that protect and nourish skin and hair. It is also known to be non-drying due to the avocado oil and aloe vera contents. My kids love the smell of this but were indifferent when it came to the effects of it on their and skin. To them, as long as it smells good, they’re good. I noticed that it doesn’t lather too much – which isn’t a bad thing and it doesn’t dry out their skin like normal body washes do.

Price :

RM 22.90 – 200ml

RM 44.90 – 500ml

All Natural Lip Balm

I have chapped lips and I find it hard to find a suitable lip balm. I got to try the Peppermint lip balm and am assured by the fact that there are no chemicals that come in contact with my lips! It’s creamy hence easy to apply and doesn’t dry out my lips. Ashley has also used this lip balm on days where her lips are a tad dry.

This lip balm contains beeswax, castor oil, cocoa butter, marigold extract, Naturally-derived triglycerides, Rosemary extract, Sunflower oil, Tocopherol (natural Vitamin E). All the good stuff!

Price  :
RM 10.90 each

There’s a wide range of products for hair, face, body, kids and also for the home. Do check them out at Down to Earth.

You can also check out their Facebook page - www.facebook.com/HNmalaysia

Ok, it’s time for some giveaways!!!!!

There will be 3 winners who will win 2 items each.

Set 1-  lip balm and 1 Tough Love Dishwashing Liquid

Set 2 –  1 Tough Love Dishwashing Liquid and 1 2in1 Body Wash and Shampoo

Set 3 – 1 Lip Balm and 1 2in1 Body Wash and Shampoo

Here are the rules :

1. In the comment section of this post, explain which set you want and why you want it.

2. Open to Malaysia residents only.

3. Giveaway starts now and will end at 11.50pm 29th Aug 2014 (GMT+8)

4. After the deadline, I will randomly choose 3 winners using random.org

5. Each contestant can only submit one entry.

Good luck!!!

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