Thursday, February 18, 2016

New Car - Perodua Alza

Finally, we bought our 2nd car!

After weeks of surveying, we finally decided to buy the Perodua Alza. Mainly due to financial constraint... I mean, who wouldn't want a huge and comfortable car? Before finalizing, we were actually choosing between Teana, Livina, X-Trail, Exora and Alza. Well, X-trail and Teana is too expensive but we just like it, that we thought we could stretch our pocket to the max.Then we realised it wasn't worth suffering for luxury. Car is a tool, not an asset. So we narrowed down to Livina, Exora and Alza. Actually Alza wasn't even in our list in the first place. When I called the Sales Assistant regarding Exora, he introduced me to Alza, saying that Proton is not reliable and often has problems. I can say he did convinced me. So what's left is between Alza and Livina. Livina is a no for me, coz I feel that this car is overpriced. After we decided that Alza is the car we want, we contact the agents we can find on, asking for the best price. We weren't quite happy with the discount they gave so I told Yuan to walk in to any Perodua shop and ask what is the best they could give, maybe they can give more than what we find. True indeed, we walked into a shop at Relau, Penang. (We happened to be there that day). The moment i walked in, I said I am interested in buying Alza advanced spec and how much is the best price you can give? The salesperson asked me to wait while she asked her manager. Later, another salesperson came. I was surprised, but she mentioned that it is actually her turn to serve customer. (They actually rotate for customers and not fight over customers) She gave me a good price and we agreed to purchase from her.

We approached her on a thursday evening. Banker called me that evening, 6pm. Way after his office hour. He mentioned he will try to submit the documents by this weekend so that we can get the car ASAP. (I'm already impressed by their efficiency) Unfortunately, there were some problems with my documents, so we had to send him my husband's detail as gurantor. Because of these issues, we delayed his work, and our documents only got submitted next Monday. And it happen that we will be leaving for our hometown on Wednesday morning for two weeks. Loan got approved on Tuesday but we couldn't sign it that week as we are leaving. So the car got delayed for 2 weeks. The day we came back, we tried to sign the loan agreement but there were some misunderstandings, so delayed again. We signed it the next day, which is Wednesday. The Sales Assistant contact me and told me that she will rush for the documents so that i am able to get the car. True indeed, I got the car the next day, Thursday noon.

I am truly impressed by her service. Even though some might say it's her job, but she did her job well and tried her best to deliver the car to me as i needed it urgently. So, if there's anyone who want to get the Perodua, go to that sales center at Relau. The shop's name is Duaria Sdn Bhd.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Piano lesson - group vs individual

This post is a long due post because from the time I came to Bukit mertajam and got to know that piano lessons are given on a 2 students to 1 teacher (2 to 1) basis, I was really shocked! So with this post, I am going to write about why I insist on giving an individual lesson instead of a 2 to 1 lesson.

1. Learning piano is about hands on
Playing the piano is not something you can do by reading or listening to people talk about it. You have to do it yourself to understand it. This is where individual lesson is important. Kids who just started out learning should get as much time as they can to feel or play the piano. Most beginners do not have a piano at home and the only time they get to feel their hands on the piano is that precious 30 minutes - 1 hour during their weekly lesson. This is exactly why they should get access to the piano fully during their lesson time without feeling embarrassed in front of other fellow student.

2. Piano lesson is not only piano lesson
This statement is not easy to grasps. When I say piano lesson is not only about piano, it means that during lesson, student do not only learn about music, but also having a person listening to them no guiding them. In this case, a piano teacher does not solely teach the piano, but also mold a student into a better person. Very often, I would listen to my student's playing and hear what they are feeling or going through that day. Then, after confronting them, they will share with me their problems. Hence, it is very important that the lesson is an individual one because a student would not want to share her problem with the teacher when there's another person in the room.

3. Piano lessons progress differently
This simply means that there is no syllabus that suits everyone. If that's the case, who are we, teachers, to combine 2 students in a class and expect to teach them both at the same time. Some teacher who has been teaching 2 student simultaneously might say that both students at being taught separately where each will be given 30 minutes of practical and 30 minutes of theory. Then. My point is, how are you going to teach both at the same time? Does it means theory is of least importance than practical?

4. Insufficient time
Back in JB, piano lessons are 45 minutes, 30 of practical and 15 of theory. Even with 45 minutes. I sometimes find it insufficient. I can't finish what I want to teach that day and very often, would have to steal some theory time. Now that it's 30 minutes of practical and 30 minutes of theory (both shared), I can't imagine how it'll be like.

These 4 points are what I can think of right now. They are of course not convincing enough for people to stop doing what they are doing. In fact, I heard from my ex student who come from Kuching that this is also what they are doing in Kuching. From business point of view, implementing this 2-1 lesson is in fact more efficient and less time consuming but from a teacher's point of view, this practice will slow down a student's progress and does not carry any benefit for student.

With this, I hope that parents will consider the pros and cons of 2-1 lesson. Do not think that it is cheaper, look at the bigger picture and you will soon see that this method is seriously flawed. You get what you pay.

Next time round, I hope to write about how to find a music teacher that suits your children. Hope I can get it down soon :)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Delivery of Kaevyn at Hospital Bukit Mertajam

This post is about the delivery of my second child, Kaevyn. Kaevyn is expected to come out from the womb on 29 May 2015. However, only 5% of babies come out on their EDD. So, Kaevyn decided to come out on the 23 May 2015, 39 weeks 1 day. This is how the story goes...

22 May 2013 (Friday), 9.45pm
After teaching the last student on Friday, felt slight contraction but ignored it. Coz I've been having this fake contraction, Braxton hicks since weeks ago.

23 May 2013 (Saturday), 4.30am
Woke up to pee. Wanted to sleep back but felt contraction. Timed the contraction, and it was at 5-10 minutes apart.

Woke hubby up. Told him about contraction. Ate some bread and drank hot chocolate.

Departed to Hospital Bukit Mertajam

Arrived and had VE. Cervix was still thick, but already 3-4cm dilated. Was not brought into labor room coz the room was full. Had to wait at antenal ward.

The nurse who admitted me is going back, changing shift. She told me to tell the nurse in charge that I'm in pain so that I can be brought into the labor room. By right, I should be in there now but due to limited bed, I'm still at antenatal ward.

Told the nurse that I'm in pain, unbearable pain now. Had another VE. It's 5-6cm now. They asked me to get ready to go into the labor room. Things that can be brought in:
1. Baby cloth
2. Napkin (diaper not allowed)
3. Maternity pad (at least 3 pieces)
I smuggled my phone in :p

Told the nurse in the labor room that I feel the baby is coming out. She did another VE. Then asked her colleague to ask for my husband to come in. Meanwhile, she drained my urine and broke my water bag. When my hubby came in, she's draining the amniotic fluid. Hubby stood next to my head. The nurse then told me to start pushing when I have the urge to push. Honestly speaking, I didn't have strong urge to push, compared to giving birth to Jaevyn. But I still manage to push at the slightest feel.  First 2 pushes was not strong enough, so I took a deep breath and pushed again. With the last 2 pushes, Kaevyn is out.

After baby is out, they handed him to me, we had our first skin to skin contact. He was beautiful. He was worth the pain. He crawled to my breast and had his first taste of breastfeeding. Meanwhile, the nurse was helping me with the delivery of placenta. Stitched me up coz I had 1st degree tear. Then they help clean Kaevyn. Gave me Milo, changed me.

Pushed out from the labour room with K at my side. The postnatal ward was full, so they gave me a bed at the end of the room. At least there's a bed and a space. Rested and wait till 1230pm so hubby n J n mum can visit me.

Had to stay a night there and was discharged 24 May 2015, 11am. Total charges was RM117.

On overall, I would say that my experience delivering there was not too bad. Of course it's not as comfortable ad giving birth at private hospital, but u get what u pay :)
Delivering part, the midwife is very experienced. The bad point is I don't get to request for not rupturing my water bag and delayed cord clamping.
As for postnatal, I don't like the ward. It's a common ward with so many people around. I feel awkward and didn't get much rest. But then again, it's only for 1 night. Would u pay 2-3k for a night at a private hospital?
Well, I survived the night and saved my pocket from a big hole. That $ saved will be used for the luxury I'm experiencing now, air cond 24/7 for 31 days!
Antenatal ward

Me when cervix is 4cm dilated 

Daddy n Baby K

Popo n Baby K

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Confinement preparation

Since my stomach is getting bigger, we have to start stocking up stuffs for confinement. I tried googling for Chinese medicine shop around bukit mertajam but there are little to no blog regarding them. So, I asked around and one of my friend suggests me to go to this shop opposite Taman Selamat market, Alma. According to my friend, this shop pack their own herbs and does wholesales too. Actually, I can just go any shops that sell Chinese medicine, but there are two things that one should know before purchasing any herbs from any shop.
1. The flow of herbs must be good, as in they don't keep a lot of stock. It is very important for me to get fresh herbs.
2. The herbs must be authentic. There are some shops who are not very reputable, hence they dare to simply sell any herbs.
Since my friend mentioned this shop, I think it's better that I go take a look and decide if I wanna buy my confinement herbs there.

The shop is can be found easily, it's just opposite Taman selamat market, near the fruits stall. This shop consists of 3 shop lots. It's called Chung Woong Trading. Fully air conditioned. When you walk in, you can feel that this shop is very well organized and it's stock look new. Since I do not know what herbs to buy, I straightaway told the boss (young and clean looking lad) that I need herbs for confinement. He told me there're few packages, ranging from most expensive RM1k++ to few hundreds. The difference is the quality of the herbs. For example, dang Shen, for the expensive package, u get thicker dang Shen and thinner for cheaper package. I told him I do not need package (as I'm unsure if I will consume a lot of herbs), so I asked him to show me what are the essentials herbs and I will buy what I think I will consume. He is very friendly and showed me those essentials herbs. End up, I bought high grade dang Shen, tang kwei, red dates, black dates, dried longan, wolf berries, bei Qi, du zhong. All are of the highest grade but half the quantity of what people usually consume (according to him). I've added another bottle of pills, which he say is better than so hup pill. This bottle consists of cordyceps and other Chinese medicine which helps expel wind (which is crucial during confinement). Total spent, RM658. Compared to my previous child, this amount is about rm200 more. But, this time, I bought better quality herbs. Hope it will help on my recovery so that I can recover fast and have more energy to take care of both sons.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Seberang Jaya Library, i-Play

We can now go play at the library coz we just renewed our membership for i-play this month. It has been bout 5 months since we went to the library, all because i have not been feeling well since i have Kaevyn in my tummy. Now, when i'm feeling quite ok, i've decided to bring Jaevyn to i-play and let him play there. They've changed the flooring, from carpet to mat. It looks cleaner and won't trap dust. Other than that, they've added some new toys and took out some old toys.

To those keen on going too, the annual fee is RM12 and it's operating hours are from Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on public holiday, 11am-1pm, 2.30pm-5pm. Do remember not to go during lunch break else you will have a hard time taking care of your anxious child at the library. I encountered that once -.-'''