Monday, December 29, 2008

Library Haul

I outdid myself this week with even more books:
  1. Cybele's Secret - Juliet Marillier
  2. House of Dance - Beth Kephart
  3. Undercover - Beth Kephart
  4. Beneath My Mother's Feet - Amjed Qamar
  5. Keeping Corner - Kashmira Sheth
During school holidays, our library quota is doubled up, so instead of the usual 4 books I get to borrow, it's actually 8! Not that I can finish 8 books in 3 weeks. Oh well...

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year From A Not So Happy Reindeer


And best wishes from Mommy and Daddy for a Happy 2009!


Another Fun Day Out At The Zoo

It just goes to show how small Singapore is when, since coming over in April or so, we've been to the zoo about 7 times. And the bird park 2 times. How many times have I been to the KL zoo? Y'know, I can't remember when was the last time I was there.

The Singapore zoo is loads of fun, especially since they've redone the new Kids Rainforest: carousel, pony rides, goats, huge new water play area, what more can a kid want?



Mommy and Sophia enjoying the shade under the trees.


Yes, we are enjoying our walk.


This is what happens when the animals save their rainforest.


Sophia encounters a miniature pony.


The perfect end to a perfect day.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Library Loans

I went to the Geylang community library to return my books today with a mental note to myself to only come away with ONE new book. I shouldn't even have bothered. Here're the books I came home with:
  1. Jellicoe Road - Melina Marchetta
  2. Wildwood Dancing - Juliet Marillier
  3. Girl Overboard - Justina Chen Headley
Well, at least that's one less than my usual four.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly


The monster, the slob and the brown cow. As to which is which, you decide.

Taken some months back, this is what happens when everyone gets some shut eye except for mom.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Am Piggy! Hear Me Oink!!

A picture's worth a thousand words. These three are worth a few thousand more.




Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Smack In The Firing Line

I constantly wonder why the hell these Singaporeans have nothing better to do than to fly their fighter jets 24/7 in the air. Practice sessions? Who the hell cares?!! Because our apartment is directly under their flight path, we get audibly assaulted and bombarded day and night. As I'm sitting here writing this, there are jets shooting across the sky, 5 minutes apart, sometimes less.

Enough already!! They already had a practice run in the daytime!!! Oh I forget, gotta practice flying in the night in case they attacked at night! Idiots!

Maybe we really should think about getting another place after our contract is up. Even though I love the proximity of this place to the MRT station, wet markets, Fairprice, Shop N Save and the post office.


Fatwa This, Fatwa That

I've been keeping quiet of late on the ridiculousness of the Malaysian government on many fronts, especially their most ludicrous ban on Yoga for Muslims. It left me speechless, dumbstruck and my jaw on the floor for quite a while. But what to do? If I may say so myself (and I have many times and still think strongly), that they are idiots. I was, and still am, too dumbstruck to articulately say much about the issue, however Farish Noor has it down pat.

It just goes to show how faithless the idiots are when they actually believe the faithful can be swayed so easily.


Monster & Freaky Yellow Alien Become Best Friends

Her father brought home Laa-laa (aka yellow freaky alien) from his biz trip to Dubai. On the day he brought the thing back, she couldn't get enough of it, as the photos show....





The next day, she'd about forgotten about YFA already. But then again, we had a flight to catch so there were other, more interesting things to do like bully and abuse mummy on the plane. We did bring her new friend along though, stuffed into daddy's carry-on. Just in case.


Friday, December 05, 2008

Beauty & The Beast


See the cheeky little thing trying to convince Pixel to let her comb (smack) him. He knows her true intentions; his ears are pointing backwards. She can't fool him, not with that face.


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Twilight No More

Crap! I just reread my posts about Stephenie Meyer's Twilight here and here and boy, do I sound like a woozy, love-struck teenager. Ack! What the fish?!! I mean, I liked the first book but by the third one, I was beginning to think that she was laying on the romance and mushiness and the love forever crap too thick already. By the fourth book, I basically just tried to gloss over the mushy bits as much as I could without puking and gagging.

Which brings me to the movie: no, I'm not intending to watch it. First off, Robert Pattinson (Edward) looks totally FUGLY in the posters and trailers. He does NOT a gorgeous vampire make. In fact, he looks too much like the undead. Hmmm...I recall the vampires in Twilight are supposed to look like normal people, just inhumanly gorgeous, but not deadly gorgeous. He looks way too pale and what's with the hair?

I suppose Kristen Stewart as Bella is passable but then, the male lead has already spoiled it for me. It's not Pattinson's fault. Rizal says it's the makeup and I think I'd have to agree with him. The make-up people for the movie ought to be shot. Or rather, whoever visualised the Cullens as they did in the movie. It's just too contrived.

Anyway, unless you're the last few directors who did a splendid job with Harry Potter or Peter Jackson who brought LOTR to life on screen, well...these movies based on books, especially fantasy, are hard to flesh out and usually disappoint. For me, anyways.

So, oh well...one less movie to watch. Not that I watch that many movies anyway.


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Feeding The Cats

Sometime today, I found Sophia toddling into the kitchen and then disappearing into the laundry area. I followed her and found her trying to scoop the kibble one-by-one into the bowls. At first I thought my little monster is a genius: she'd watched me countless times every morning feeding the cats just so and decided she'd like to try and do it herself. Right. I found out that her dad taught her to scoop the cat kibble and place it in their bowls over the weekend. Genius bubble burst, plop.

It's really cute the way she scoops only one or two kibble at a time but excruciatingly slow. So I helped her along and helped her scoop and directed her distribution. The only problem is, the cats are allowed a minimum amount of food per feed. Our friend didn't want to stop putting more kibble into their bowls. Even after I'd uttered the golden word, 'Keep!'. And when I wouldn't let her open the cover and held it down instead, she burst into tears and tried to wrench my hands away from the cover.

Plan B: I took the container full of kibble and stuck it up on top of the fridge. She trailed after me and when she saw where I'd put it, promptly fell onto the kitchen floor in her signature face-down, limbs-flailing tantrum pose. Right. Daddy'd better find a solution to this problem.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

New Rice Cooker, Saved Stew

Our standard Philips rice cooker somehow ended up with a few scratches on the rice pot. They then turned rusty. And it can't seem to intelligently cook rice without burning the bottom if I add more water to make the rice softer and fluffier.

So we went out and bought a more intelligent rice cooker on Sunday. A Toshiba this time. It can steam, boil soup, cook rice/porridge and bake! Bake? Wow. The rice pot is at least 5mm thick. That was one of the reasons Rizal wanted it. I thought he should decide this time since I told him last time all we needed was a standard rice cooker without all the techno-fuzz and look where it got us.

The basmati rice I use now turn out nice and fluffy even though I add more water to it. Yay!

On another note, thank gawd for mom's chicken stew. She very nicely made a batch of chicken stew while she was over on the weekend and divided it into four portions before sticking it into the freezer. I've had it for dinner today and yesterday. I may end up having it all through the week till Thursday. I have no issues with eating Mom's stew everyday till Thursday. Mom's the best!! Sophia smelled the stew in my rice bowl and couldn't resist sticking her finger in it and pinching my rice. And that was AFTER she'd had her dinner! It was probably an attempt to get attention as well. Poor dear had been pretty much ignored after we'd got home form a day out; I was intent into Chalice and near the end. I just had to finish it before I did anything else. I did have the good sense to stop and feed the poor girl her dinner when it was time, I'm not THAT much of a monster.

Now my eyes are tired from reading during lunch (Sophia was asleep) and in evening when we got back home. Serves me right; that'll teeach me to strain my eyes unnecessarily.

And now on to the dishes before cleaning up the cat's messes. Sigh... .

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Art Of Going Green

Having a child turns one's perspective inside-out and upside-down.

Nothing spurs a person to go green the way having a kid can.

I've been doing the research, reading up and surfing and finally decided I'll jump on the bandwagon too. I want to make sure that I do my share to preserve whatever I can of our much-abused earth so that there's a semblance of a liveable environment for my kids to grow up in.

So here's the thing: I've been trying to go green - organic, recycling and all - but it's much easier said than done. For starters, organic costs. Anywhere from 50% to double or more what you'd normally pay for the usual goods. So I compromise: I go organic where I feel it's necessary and where it doesn't feel too much like it's costing me an arm, a leg and my torso.

I even dabbled with the notion of making my own laundry detergent (because companies aren't required to list the ingredients used in detergent, gawd only knows what crap they put in there to 'clean' our clothes). But I did the math: by the time I got the washing soda ($5), borax (scrap that, I can't find it anywhere on the shelves in s'pore or in kl) and the soap (any bar soap), it would cost just as much or more than buying organic laundry detergent. So can the whole idea. I ended up buying and stocking up on organic laundry detergent (RM17.90 from a local M'sian manufacturer).

Then there's the recycling. There are no facilities for recycling at our current condo in S'pore. The recycling bins on the way to the MRT station is more often than not crammed full with all sorts of junk that I doubt it would make any difference if I just chuck the recyclables down the disposal chute. It makes me feel a considerable amount of guilt when I have to do that but, what can one do? I separate the paper and cardboard; collect them and take them down on a Sunday when an uncle comes by in a lorry to collect junk. Back at Bungaraya, there are at least serviceable recycle bins and they are NOT crammed with junk and non-recyclables and we used to (my family still does) diligently set aside our plastics, metals, glass and paper.

I turn off all the mains and switches whenever they're not in use, most notably when we head out or at the end of the day. The hubby, however, either doesn't see the point, forgets or is plain lazy. I dunno, I grew up in a household where it was drummed into our heads to always switch off the electricity whenever not in use. Why waste electricity and money? It's one of many habits that I'm glad to have carried over with me from childhood into adulthood ever since I've learned that it also affects greenhouse gases.

The ultimate, I suppose, would be to go vegetarian. I highly respect friends and people who are able to go all the way. I take my hat off to them. I can't stomach those videos that I posted earlier on about why we should go vegetarian but
I can't imagine not having fish, at the very least. Now hubby is making me feel guilty for eating the fish that I do (apparently the fish that us Chinese favour are usually reef fish and who knows how much we're contributing to their being endangered). I'm hoping that eventually, I'll get there. Hubby did say that he could go vegetarian if he wanted to. I'm thinking, if we were in India, we could probably survive and thrive as vegetarians. I LOVE Indian vegetarian.

But I'm trying to remind myself: small steps, small steps. At least I'm doing my bit, however small it is. Hopefully that small bit will keep on increasing as I find my way around.

What are YOU doing to preserve Mother Earth?


Small Fry At The Not-So-Big Screen

So, these days I have to beat her to my laptop. She likes to look at my screensaver; it's a Dream Aquarium with fish and effects so real you won't ever need a real live aquarium.

If I'm not careful, I may find a whole load of downloads or files which I didn't authorize.



video

Today's Library Haul

Another 4 books for this week:
  1. Chalice - Robin McKinley
  2. Saving Juliet - Suzanne Selfors
  3. Pretty Monsters - Kelly Link
  4. Ridiculous/Hilarious/Terrible/Cool: A Year In An American High School - Elisha Cooper
I'm gonna enjoy this stash :)


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Youtube Junkie

As if watching Teletubbies on DVD isn't enough, I had to introduce Yo Gabba Gabba to Sophia on Youtube on sunny day. That was a few months back. She gets through the day with at least one viewing of the video below (not including her usual dose of the actual Yo Gabba Gabba on Nick Jr. in the mornings and Teletubbies on DVD).

Can you guess what her dad is showing her on Youtube right now? Oh the horror!! Remix versions of those four ugly nondescript aliens that all kids love! Bad enough that daddy is a Youtube junkie, I have to deal with a 16-month old addict as well! If that kid grows up with some weird fetish or complex, it's all on her dad.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

16 Months


Everyday it's a gettin' closer
Goin' faster than a roller coaster
Love like yours will surely come my way
A hey, a hey hey

- Buddy Holly, Everyday

Reading In Bed

Looking wise beyond her years, the little empress 'reads' her newly-bought Teletubbies magazine in bed.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Birthday Pouts

Sporting twin pouts, father and daughter celebrate dad's 33rd today.



Happy Birthday to my better half.

Oh, and the little one can pout on demand.


Library Stash

Last week's reads:
  1. Climbing The Stairs - Padma Venkatraman
  2. The Underneath - Kathi Appelt (I'd add this to my collection later)
  3. Good Enough - Paula Yoo
  4. The Magic Half - Annie Barrows
This week's stash:
  1. Oh. My. Gods. - Tera Lynn Childs
  2. Jeremy Fink And The Meaning Of Life - Wendy Mass
  3. Flora's Dare - Ysabeau S. Wilce
  4. The Lost Duke Of Wyndham - Julia Quinn (this was a mistake; I'm so not in the mood for romance right now)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Potty Training : Day 3

We lasted only an hour, max, today. She wasn't cooperative and I lacked the patience.

#2 ended up on the floor because she wouldn't sit on the potty. I knew the big one was coming because she'd made a teeny weeny one and it was only a matter of time before more came.

Nope, she preferred to stand at and look out the window at the trains passing by below. Of course, when #2 happened, and I'd shown her where it was supposed to go, she cried.

At least her dad was at home to help clean her up while I cleaned up her mess.

Sigh...just one of those days.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Busted!

Oh crap. My Polaroid 680 SLR seems to be busted.

Oh. Shit.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Her Progress So Far

I suppose I really should keep a journal of her daily and continuing progress but knowing me, it's just gonna be filled halfway and then chucked into a closet or a bag somewhere and never see the light of day.

So I suppose these random updates will just have to do...

So far, I'm still constantly amazed at how, where and whom she picks things up from. A few weeks ago she figured out that her dirty disposable diaper goes into the kitchen trash AND she can take it there and chuck it in walking all the way from the bedroom. Even back in KL during our last trip she figured out that her soiled cloth nappies go into a bucket in the bathroom and willingly puts them in the pail.

She recognises more people and can call them: nenek and yee-yee (the latter in photos). She doesn't call 'daddy' yet (I'm working on a variation) nor makcik but she definitely knows who they are.

She understands most of what I say to her and if I ask her to do something that she's able to, will do it willingly.

She knows that before she eats, she needs to put on her bib, so when I ask her to go get it and put it on, she'll go to the coffee table, open up the drawer that holds her bibs, take one out and bring it to me to put it on before we eat.

She shakes her head when the programme on TV is not what she wants to watch, or if the shoes that I laid out in front of her are not what she would choose to wear, or if she doesn't want something in particular. She continues shaking her head until we figure out what it is that she wants. I really have no idea where she got that habit from, I certainly don't remember teaching it to her.

She says 'night-night' or 'bye-bye' to everyone before she goes to bed. This she picked up on our last trip back to KL. Sometimes she likes saying goodnight to everyone so much that she comes back into the living room for more than one encore.

I can't show her or speak the word for the foods that she loves: bananas, strawberries, snacks. She understands and she'll want it right there and then. She can also say bread and now when she sees the familiar brown plastic wrap that holds the bread sitting on the kitchen counter, she will reach out to it and ask for 'bread, bread!"

She can say 'flower' and 'fan', although if other people heard her, they wouldn't be able to tell the difference. She'll repeat 'neh' after me when I say 'no' but her version of 'no' for something that she doesn't want is a fervent shaking of her head.

I spent some considerable minutes talking to the little one, picking DVDs and replacing them on the shelf at HMV when Sasha was here because the little empress kept pointing at and grunting that she wanted some DVD but I just couldn't figure out which one. So we were at the cartoon section and there I was trying to figure out what she wanted after I'd given her first The Little Einsteins then Barney, Bob The Builder, and on and on and on. And she got more and more frustrated as we went along. It went on like this from the cartoon section to the Specials to the Christmas selections. I'd give her a DVD, she'd hold it for a bit, then shake her head and start grunting, I'd put it back and get her another and it'd start all over again. In the end, I gave up and decided not to indulge her with a new DVD. After all, we've got Noddy and a whole pile of Teletubbies at home but the only one she watches is the Teletubbies that's stuck in the DVD. Permanently.

She loves making a mess and taking stuff out of her toy boxes and chest but fortunately, she loves cleaning and clearing up just as much. With a little supervision, she'll usually keep her toys. She'll pull out the rice container from the cupboard or the steaming utensils but will return them to their rightful spots when told. She loves making a watery mess with her water bottle but loves to clean it up just as much with a tissue or paper towel. I can see the makings of a little household helper.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Why I Am A Regular At The Library

  1. Even the neighbourhood community library, the Geylang East Community Library (which is only one MRT stop away) has an impressive selection of books.
  2. The library is actually a really, really nice place to be in - wide, spacious, well-ventilated, lovely smell of books, bright, and has loads and loads of interesting books.
  3. Has a superb search database connected throughout the main library and the network of all community libraries which you can log onto and use online. And place reservations too.
  4. Has a fantastic and mind-boggling collection of books.
  5. The books actually are well-looked after and are kept in good condition. They are mostly not musty or dog-eared or look like they belong in a junkyard sale. They are generally new, well-wrapped and preserved and are clean.
  6. Book titles are new and updated. The latest titles are available, not just books from our grandfathers' days.
  7. Almost everything that I could possibly want to read, I can find at the library.
I'm not picky. I don't have to own the books that I read, even though I'd like to. I'm practical: there's just not enough space for all the books that I'd like to read and possibly own. Also, sometimes, I get distracted by the cover and am disappointed by what's inside the book. Then, it's a waste of money. Or the plot is forgettable and I regret buying the book.

I still buy books, I've not totally reformed my book-buying ways. These days though, I just buy less. A. Lot. Less.


Potty Training: Day 2

We started off magnificently! We began in the late afternoon as we'd gone out to the Geylang Community Library and also done some grocery shopping earlier in the day.

I sat her in my lap sans diapers and we watched TV. At some point, the phone rang and as I answered it, I was too distracted talking on the phone to keep watch over Sophie. She had gotten off my lap and was hovering around me. The next thing I know, she'd gotten off the potty next to me and there was a light yellow puddle in there. Yellow gold - jackpot!!!! How did she know to use the potty without me even telling her or paying attention to her?

Somewhere in the back of my mind, the thought struck me: my child is a genius!!

Well, that thought was blown to smithereens as the rest of the afternoon wore on and it seemed as if Sophie was deliberately choosing not to hold in her pee or to even try peeing in the potty after that one fluke try. Instead, it seemed as if she wanted her pee to land on the floor and make a puddle so she could reach out her hands in there, play with and mess up the puddle herself. Yes, my child is a genius.

Many, many puddles and several severe attempted conversations with Sophie later, as well as a few successful attempts at the potty, I was exhausted from just trying to keep up with her. She even peed in her playhouse, for gawd's sake!! I was thinking of putting her diapers back on her before she went in there. Unfortunately, she was faster than me.

I gave up after a couple of hours. Dealing with the messes took enough out of me that I didn't even want to think about cooking dinner. Happily, Rizal was not averse to obliging with getting take-out.

Even though I think we fared better the first day of potty training, I've no regrets we tried. We've gotta start somewhere and sometime and I still think now's as good a time as ever. Sophie's a quick one and it'll just take some time for her to get used to the whole concept. In the meantime, I'll just have to soak it up!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Potty Training: Day 1

I decided I'd give a hand at trying to potty train Sophie today. No particular reason except for the fact that we're at home and have nowhere to go. Plus, the thought of saving on disposable diapers is a big incentive; think about all the other things I could possibly get for Sophie or myself with the $15-18 that I spend on a bag of diapers: books, toys, clothes, shoes, books, more books.

So the plan was (and still is) to let her 'hang loose' at home while I'm trying to get her used to the potty. Best course of action since there won't be any inconvenient pants to get to in a hurry and to pull down or off if need be. The worst thing that could happen is that there would be puddles here and there on the floor. I had a roll of paper towels at the ready and made sure to keep her off the couch.

Other than the few times when she was drinking her milk from her bottle and when I was taking a short nap, she pretty much spent most of the day buck-naked down below. She enjoyed her lack of clothing, I think. It must feel nice not to have a wet diaper stuck to your bottom as you go about your day (at home she wears cloth diapers folded with liners). I made sure to remind her that she was to do the deed in her potty and - since she already follows me into the toilet for #1 and #2 anyway - took the liberty to show her how to use her potty by example, gross as it sounds.

We had 4-5 misses and 1 jackpot.

It was surprisingly not as hard as I thought it would be. Hard, in my definition, meaning loads of messes from her and outbursts of temper and frustration from me. She liked being diaperless and I didn't mind watching her like a hawk. I also discovered that I didn't mind her 'accidents' either. Nothing that a few paper towels can't soak up. Besides, the worse I'll have to do is rinse out her playmats tomorrow.

I found she was probably trying to control her bladder while off her diapers. I allowed her the usual liberty of sitting in my lap when either watching TV or going through her books. And while I found that she could sit in my lap for quite a stretch without her diapers and without an 'accident', with her training pants on, she just soaked right through to my shorts and T-shirt. Well, it was an excuse for me to change out of an otherwise perfectly clean pair of T-shirt and shorts, no matter.

The best feeling was when I took her off my lap for a short while and got her to sit on her potty. She dutifully peed in it and I was so elated that I made sure she knew she had done good. Lots of clapping and praises. But she was nonchalant. I couldn't help but wonder if it was a fluke or if she really understood the concept. When I left her alone the next round to potter in the kitchen, I discovered that she may not have totally grasped the meaning when I found her standing in her own puddle. I didn't yell or admonish. I just pointed at the puddle and then to the potty and told her it was ok, next time we'd try again.

Tomorrow we're taking a break as we'll be out for part of the day. If I'm up to it, we may try again. I'm not sure how far we'll go but I'm surprising myself as much as she is me. I'm learning a little bit more about the both of us as we go along: she may be smarter than she's letting on and, I may just survive potty training in one whole piece.


Molar Express

She's sprung a molar! Her upper right. The only reason I even noticed was because I inadvertently caught sight of it as she was happily laughing away with her head thrown back while I was swinging her around to music the other day.

Call me a bad mother but I'm not particularly bothered with which of her tooth is out and when. I don't make it a point to check her mouth and teeth every so often. Heck, I even forget to brush her teeth sometimes! I'm just glad she's got teeth and that they're all there.

But it is exciting to see the budding little molar in the back of her gums.

Sigh, the little baby is growing up....


Cat In A Corset



This was just too cute and adorable not to post... .

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Tripped and Fell

Towards the end of class yesterday, Sophia tripped and fell on her face on the carpeted floor.As usual, she wasn't paying attention nor following the other kids in doing class material, she was walking around on the outer perimetre of the circle of moms and kids while I was trying to keep her bottle of water in the bag.

Naturally, after she fell on her face, she started bawling. I tried placating her, checking her nose and face, and not seeing anything, tried to quiet her and not make a big deal of it. Still she continued crying and making the sign for her security blanket, so much so that I had to take her out of the class, fearing she might be disrupting. And also because her security blanket and her pacifier were outside in the stroller.

Kindermusik at Tanglin Mall is a really small place and the reception area is so small that when class is in session, all moms have to park our strollers outside of the place, next to the display window of another retail outlet. Other than stopping by the reception and wait area to sterilise our hands, it's really not a place you want to be hanging out, especially if there are other people waiting and you've got a screaming kid on your hands.

It wasn't until I was at the stroller and had gotten her blanket and was about to go back into class that I noticed that the blanket had patches of blood on it. Sophie's blood. And she was still crying. At first I thought she might have hit her nose and that the blood was from a nosebleed. After a quick check, I realised it wasn't her nose but it was her mouth she was bleeding from. When I managed to sneak a look, I almost fainted from the sight of blood covering her entire set of 8 teeth and gums. Not that the sight of blood makes me woozy or anything but more from the shock of so much of it oozing out from the poor girl and the fact that I actually missed it initially (what kind of a mom am I?). A concerned grandma waiting at the reception for her grandchild helpfully told me to give Sophie a sweet to soothe her (??) and pointed to a bloody patch on my sweater where Sophie had leaned her head against my shoulder while crying.

All this while, I'm beginning to feel the throes of panic setting in; I had no idea how to deal with this situation and I wasn't entirely sure just how bad her cut was and how much longer she was going to bleed. I didn't even know to ask the staff for help, neither did I know what to ask for if I'd asked them. And Sophie is screaming bloody murder and tugging at my top, yelling, "Nenn-nennnnnn! Nenn-neennnnnn!! Nennn-neeeeeennnnnn!!!"

So I bundled her up as best I could and pushed the stroller out while carrying her in my other arm and headed to the baby care room where I could give her the nenn-nennnnnn!! that she was screaming for. We drew a few stares on the way from Kinderusik to the baby care room. A few amused parents changing their kids in the baby care room looked up at her protests for nenn-nennnn, and she continued to voice her hurt and displeasure until I stuffed my boob into her mouth. By then her bleeding had stopped, she was tired out from her traumatic experience as well as overdue for a nap and her mouth was doing something other than screaming; I was more or less calmer and she promptly fell asleep at the boob after about 10 minutes of suckling.

In hindsight, it was just as traumatic an experience for me as it was for her. It hit me just how unprepared I was and still am for emergencies. While hoping that I won't have to go through too many of these incidents, I'm now trying to read up more on first aid and emergencies so that I can be better prepared in the future. But then again, if you know what kind of emergency's gonna happen, it wouldn't be an emergency then, would it?

Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Sigh...


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween Blues

While everyone was having a blast during Halloween (it being Friday and all) - Julie in a parade with Karis in Japan; Sam, Aisha and Chin Lai at the Havana Estudio's Halloween Party; sis with friends for dinner - I spent it not doing much at home. After I checked out everyone's activities online, I realized what a dud I am. Duh.

I suppose watching Avenue Q the next day made up for it. It's a fantastic show; think Sesame Street for adults. The one we caught here in Singapore is probably the touring group. Sasha bought the CD and it was then that we discovered the lead, Princeton, in the actual group is played by none other than Johnny (John Tartaglia) of Playhouse Disney's Johnny and The Sprites!! Interesting... .


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Laugh Out Loud Funny

video

Not the kind of reaction I was expecting when I smacked the mozzie into the wall... .

Floundering, The Video

video

Finally, the video, by popular request. Shot and edited entirely on my Nokia N82.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Back In Singapore

It's Day One in Singapore and I'm wondering if Sophia's suddenly forgotten that we live near the MRT track and that trains go by regularly with an alarming depth of noise. She used to be afraid only of the (stupid and totally unecessary) military jets flying overhead on their practice runs. Now she clings to me or yells out even when the train passes by. Or maybe she just wants the extra attention since 'home' is now new once again.

Yesterday after we'd just gotten home, she had a field day going through all her new old toys. She hadn't seen or played with her stuff in almost 4 weeks, so she was understandably engrossed with them for the most part of the evening that we were home. Of course, by enjoying them, she undoubtedly made a huge mess of the living room, strewing her books and toys across the couch and the living room floor. Order of the day for Sophia. Mommy is maid, cook, wet nurse, playmate, armchair and personal butler, all while nursing a malfunctioning leaky nose. In the end, I crashed with her during her naptime. A solid 2 hours of sleep did little to alleviate the nose but at least I felt rested.

One more day till the long weekend and I'm looking forward to it getting here soon.


Swimming (Floundering) On Land

Sophia's found a novel way to ellicit laughs and entertain us all. She's recently started to 'swim' on demand. She started demonstrating this 'ability' about a couple of days ago but apparently my dad was the one who gave it a name one day. He saw her flopping about on the floor at home in KL one evening and asked her if she was swimming. I think she took it to mean that was what she was doing.

Now she can't wait to demonstrate this new found skill of flopping about on the floor on her belly, sometimes with legs in the air and arms behind her. She gets rather enthusiastic when she does this on her mattress and I tend to call it mattress diving because it looks exactly like what skydivers do, only they look so much cooler thousands of metres in the air and you don't laugh at them.

The things our kids learn.

And the amusement we all get from them.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Mom and I went emergency clothes shopping the other day for Sophia. Since the decision to stay back in KL was a last minute one, and for some reason this trip I'd brought with us mainly her tank tops, she didn't have enough shirts with sleeves. Snot, sniffles, cough and tank tops do not a happy baby make.

As usual, whenever we need or want to get clothes for Sophia, our choice destination is Brands Outlet at Ikano (I found another place just as good, if not better - the BB outlet at The Curve). Our first stop was actually Mothercare at The Curve but after gasping at the prices (RM75 for a set of 3 t-shirts!), we decided to try Brands Outlet. After rummaging through the bins, we picked up a couple of passable long-sleeves and several T-shirts. One of them, found by mom, was a really cute white tee with green clovers on them. That also turned out to be my favourite. Total damage: RM75 for 2 long-sleeved tees and 3 short-sleeved ones. Quite a steal.

Anyway, when hubby came back from Singapore the following weekend, Sophie was in my favourite tee du jour, the clover tee. And then he looked at me and said, "Don't you have one that's green too with clovers that looks exactly like that?"

"No, I don't. Anyway, I didn't pick out this tee, my mom did."

"No-la. You have one just like it in Singapore."

"Are you sure? I don't remember... ."

At this point I'm wracking my brains, sure that I didn't have any such tee in my collection because if I'd had one exactly like it, I would have known. I mean, considering that I like Sophie's tee so much, if I'd had one exactly the same, I'd love it too.

"Ya-la. You have one exactly the same in Singapore!" my husband insisted.

Hmm...think, think, think.

And then...

Aha!!

"I know which one you're talking about!"

"It's my tank top that has the small little clovers with the ladybugs on them! But that's not exactly the same! The clovers are small and there are ladybugs on them!"

"It's the same!" insisted hubby again.

Hmmm...what'dya know? My mom picks out a green tee that I like which is similar to a tank top I have in Singapore. What are the odds of that? Like mother, like daughter, like daughter.

Two days ago, hubby called and told me he'd taken all the clothes hanging behind the doors to the wash.

"Hey ya-la, that top you have is exactly the same as Sophie's. It's got clovers on it and there are ladybugs but they're not on every clover. It's the same!"

Who says men don't notice what we wear?

And as soon as I get back to Singapore, I'll take a pix of both tees side by side to let everyone decide if they're alike enough.

Like mother, like daughter.



Wednesday, October 08, 2008

New Restraint

Thank my lucky stars!! I found a new pacifier clip for Sophie.

This one fastens on to her clothing with a secure pin and the end that attaches to the pacifier requires some finesse with the catch. Her old pacifier clip was a cute orange cat the clipped onto her clothes and the pacifier is attached on with a velcro strap. Little wonder that the kid figured out how to unstrap her pacifier and chuck it to the ground.

I'd like to see her do battle with this one when we're out and about town. Hah!


Stuck In KL...Still

In case you get confused reading the posts, we're still stuck in KL and the last few posts after the battle at the doc's are actually what we did before coming back to KL for raya.

I'm not THAT bad a mom as to chuck Sophie into the pool while she's still having a cough and a cold.

And no, my KL couch does not have a floral motif.


Fun At The Zoo


Lots of water to play in and she prefers to pick the leaves out of the pool.


Yes, there she is, trying to get a drink out of a cootie-infested cesspool.


Splash, splash, splash! Sorry you have to go topless, babe.
Mom forgot about the water park therefore, no swimsuit.


Come a little closer.


Since getting the park hopper annual membership (it allows us entry as a family and with two sets of granparents, to get in FOC to the bird park, zoo and night safari), we've been to the zoo twice in a matter a week and before that, the bird park. All these visits in under a month! Wow, can you tell we're trying to make our membership's worth?

Other than that, the zoo and the bird park are actually pretty decent. More than decent, if you compare it to the KL Zoo. And lookit, I actually am not screaming and yelling my head off to GET MY DAUGHTER OUT OF THE PUBLIC WATER FEATURE!! WHO KNOWS WHEN THEY CLEANED IT?!! WHO KNOWS WHAT MANNER OF VERMIN IS IN THERE!!! No, here I actually want her to go and have fun in the water park. It actually looks decently C.L.E.A.N.!! Even though there are tons of other kids spreading their cooties around. It IS Singapore, after all.

And so in she went even though we had no towel and just one change of clothing. Who knew when we'd be back here again? Might as well let her have fun while we're here. Plus, it was another one of those humid days. Just hope when she's an adult (or worse, a teenager!), she doesn't look back on all the posts of her half-naked and start screaming blurdy murder that mom exposed her for all the world to see.


The Snack Monster


She learnt how to say 'snack' several weeks back (nack, nack!) and I got her the Munchkins snack cup because it's so cool! She can stick her whole hand in to grab her snacks but the snacks won't drop out. It's not airtight but it beats holding on to her tupperware and opening it to give her the snacks every other minute when she wants them.

Here, she's watching TV and enjoying just sitting around, munching and being a general couch potato.


Battle With The Nebulizer

We went back to the doc's today for a follow-up check. Sophie's cough didn't seem to be getting any better and her meds are running out, so I thought it'd be a good time to see if we needed more and what else needed to be done.

It was good that we went to see the doc. She had lots of phlegm and her oral thrush is still fixated inside her left cheek, argh! So, the decision was made to put her on the nebulizer for her phlegm and to give her more meds for her thrush.

The nebulizer's somewhat an electric inhaler. It spews medicated steam which the child is supposed to breathe in. If just getting Sophie to open her mouth so that we can take a look at the progress of the thrush meds was hard enough (scream, scream, struggle, struggle), you can imagine the task at hand to hold her still on my lap, place the mouth/nose piece on her face and let her breathe in the meds for 5 minutes.

It took all 5 people to adminster the nebulizer. Dr. Hon held Sophie's head while I tried to hold her as still as possible on my lap, locking her arms in a bear hug, the nurse held the nebulizer over Sophie's nose and mouth while Karni held her legs. Anyone waiting their turn in the clinic would have thought we were doing open heart surgery on the kid without anesthesia. No amount of cajoling, talking, shushing and sweet talk got through. It was struggle, struggle, scream, scream all the way, with the complaining (ah ya ya ya ya yaaaa!) thrown in for good measure.

I didn't like having to do this to her but if it was the best and quickest way to get the phlegm loosened, then there was no choice for it. I thought back to her first visit to the medical centre in Singapore for a similar cough just before we were headed back to KL some months back. The doc then had also suggested putting her on a nebulizer but we'd have to take it home and self-administer for a few days. We couldn't then because we were leaving for KL the next day. It was a good thing that we didn't. I don't think I could have managed. But then again, she was younger and smaller then.

Sigh...I think she's got a phobia of doc visits now. If the last two trips were anything to go by, she's only got horrible memories of the place. I hope we won't have to go back again soon or that even if we do, she's not gonna have to go through all that again. It would make visits to the doc an ordeal for her and harder for me.


Cool In The Pool



We had quite a few sessions at the pool before we headed back to KL for raya, first just me and Sophie and then, when her kong-kong and po-po came over.

However, she mostly wants to bend over and drink the pool water.

I'm thinking: swimming lessons, soon.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Stuck In KL

This raya I've got a dearth of photos. Then again, I had a less than healthy Sophie to deal with (can you say clingy with super glue in mind?), maybe I can be excused from not having enough hands to handle my trusty Nikon.

Poor girl came down with a fever and a slight cold on the first day and got her meds from the 24-hr doc down the road. Needless to say, she was clingy and fussy and slept fitfully those few days we were in Melaka. When we got back to KL, we took her to her regular doc and what did we find? That she had oral thrush as well!

Yikes, so much for being an observant mom. I'd noticed that her lower lip looked kinda red and there was a white sore on it in Melaka but I'd written it off because I remember she'd bit her lip then. Trust me not to check the rest of her mouth.

My theory on how she got oral thrush is from her pacifier. She'd gotten the hang of undoing her pacifier from her clip (which keeps it attached to her and safe from falling) and chucking her pacifier onto the floor anytime it suits her. That's usually when we're walking from MRT station to whichever destination we're headed for. And I'd been lax in getting the pacifier entirely clean before I popped it into her mouth (I read that saliva is great for killing bacteria, so I used my own). Well, I guess that's been happening once too often and now we have the thrush to show for it. My bad.

Now we're both on meds: me for the thrush just in case she passed it on during breastfeeding and she on her cocktail of cough meds, cold meds, phlegm meds and thrush meds. She has a total of 4 syringes 2 times a day and 5 syringes before bed. We manage, amidst gurgles and screams and lots of kicking.

Her dad thought it was better for us to be in KL rather than fly back to S'pore on the intended Sunday and I reluctantly agreed. She had not slept through for a few nights and on Saturday, had woken up at 2.30am, tried unsuccessfully to sleep again but couldn't due to her blocked nose, and only knocked off at 4am in her dad's lap. Not sure whether she'd get any worse, we thought it best she be close to her doc and also that I'm not alone in S'pore since hubby will be traveling for work.

And then I thought, if we stay on for this week, it'd be pointless to go back and then fly back here again by the 18th as I have a meeting in KL on the 20th. In planning our schedules back and forth across the causeway ever since the move to S'pore, I think we're forfeited no less than 7 or 8 plane tickets between the 3 of us (including that ridiculous time when we were heading over for good but I'd read the arrival time as the departure time). Luckily, most of those were booked on budget flights. Oh, and I so prefer JetStar to Airasia for the budget flights even though the former has only one flight between KL and S'pore. At least I get to book my seat online and arrive and take-off from KLIA.

So we're stuck here and I've left off booking us a flight home till I'm sure we're going home. This time, we'll likely take SIA.


Look Ma, I Can Use My Hands!!


The monster enjoying mealtime with her hands.


I'm Cool, Are You?


I forgot about this pic we took at the bird park. It was so humid and she was so sticky that we decided to let her 'air' herself for a bit under a nice shade by the eagle pens.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Meanwhile...

I'm rushing on a deadline, have hung out the laundry, am writing on a buzz while my eyes feel like they want to pop out of my head, thinking of dinner tomorrow and dreading having to fold the laundry, wondering if I have time to stop by to look for a nice pair of shoes for Sophia after her class tomorrow, and having a million other things on my mind.

What's the hubby doing? Snoring on the couch. How blissful.


Withdrawal Symptoms

Two successive visits by nenek and then kong-kong and po-po have left Sophia somewhat tantrum prone and demanding of attention.

While I love that she gets to spend time with her grandparents, it's the withdrawal symptoms after the encounters that I find difficult to deal with and very trying of my patience.

So far, she has not been cooperative in either of her classes, preferring to go her own way or do her own thing, generally this means rolling around on the carpet at Kindermusik and heading to the playthings at JWT. It wouldn't be so bad if the other tots were rolling around with her but it seems as if she's on her own agenda, stomping around to her own tune and finally collapsing and rolling around on the carpet. Worse, she doesn't want to give back the musical implements or toys used in the sessions. Not only does she not want to put them back in the basket or sack, she goes into a crying fit when I put them back for her. It's quite distressing when I know she can and used to give back the toys when required of her.

Sigh...

She doesn't like being in her stroller for long periods at a time now. While doing some grocery shopping at Marketplace after her Kindermusik session, she started whining so I set her down to walk. Bad idea. She would not leave the aisles because she was either 1) poking her little fingers at the toiletries on the shelves that she can reach or trying to lug the pack of disposable diapers off the shelf to use as a 'horse', 2) too engrossed in going the other direction from me, and just plain ignoring my calls to her. Finally, I stuck her back in her stroller amidst some struggling and she let me know her displeasure by crying out and braying like a donkey for the rest of my shopping. Yup, she attracted stares and looks. Serves her right for throwing a tantrum. Finally I stuck her pacifier in her mouth to shut her up (I'd taken it away earlier because she kept throwing it and her cloth down to the ground to show her displeasure).

I must admit I'm somewhat dreading her after-class session tomorrow for fear of a repeat performance. I just hope she behaves in class, gets tired after and knocks off straight away.


Monday, September 15, 2008

The Pool, The POOOOOOL!!!





Not much sun and plenty of drafty wind; still, it was another good day at the pool, as evidenced by the little cherub's delighted expression.

Birdbrain!


We started off fine: all birdbrains perched on the rail. And then...


...One decided against better judgment.


Friday, September 12, 2008

We Should Have More Days Like These


It was a cloudy day. There wasn't anyone else in the pool. She had fun but I wouldn't call it swimming. It was more splashing than anything else. And she went under for about 1 second when dad wasn't looking. She recovered and had more fun. Didn't want to get out. Made a fuss when the towel was brought out and wrapped around her. But she had another splashing session in her tub later.


He Ain't Furry, He's My Brother


She does love her cats. If she could get even an inch close to Trixie, I bet she'd do the same. But then again, this is her good side. Together with the hugs she adminsters, there're the kicks, slaps, fur-pulling, fist bashing, etc.

Only Pixel has skin and a layer of fat thick enough to withstand her abuses.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Feeding Frenzy


My second installment for Notes From Venus is up.
Check out
this month's Please Do Not Feed.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Bleary-eyed At 1am

Chasing a deadline, overlooked another.
Rewrites, edits; fickle clients.
Don't complain, just work harder - Randy Pausch.
Broken glasses taped together barely hanging on to my ear.
New one delayed by the rain.
Pack tomorrow, flight in the pm.
ppbbbrrrttthhhhhhhh... .

The Milestone That Almost Rolled Away

Before I forget, Sophia started walking sometime between her 13th month mark and her 13.5 month mark. I don't know exactly when. All I know is one minute she was crawling around on her mat at home and the next, she was so focused on getting to the colourful ball at the playgym that she was actually walking. It was definitely that one day at the playgym that triggered the neurons that made her realise that she could do this all on her own, more than once.

Then again, it could also have been all the other kids walking all around her while she was the only lazy one crawling.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

"Somebody's Gonna Pay For Switching The Channels!"


Sophia in full piggy mode. She doesn't do this as often now but often enough to remind us that she is, after all, born in the year of the Pig. And to remind us that she would like to get her way once in a while.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

"Is She Malay Or Chinese?"

Neither, she is Malaysian!

Our people will never learn. In all the time I've spent in Singapore, and despite the rather unusual name that Sophia carries, I have NEVER been questioned by anyone on her race. And that's saying a lot because I'm out in Singapore with Sophia more than I am indoors. She has two activity classes a week and I've had to sign her up more than once for a few things; you know, the requisite form-filling and what not. People behind the counters or at their desks don't look at me, then at her and ask, "What race is she?" or "Is she Malay or Chinese?"

People would see us strolling along or taking the elevator to and from the MRT stations. They'd talk to her or remark on what a cute little thing she is. In all the times we've been out in the little island state, I've never once been asked a question on her race. Maybe the fair people in Singapore are so exposed to different races and the myriads of expats that one unusual name is but a drop in the ocean.

I get asked by other moms during Sophie's open gym sessions about where we're from. But that's because I also ask where they're from; they and their little ones. And also because we know that we are probably not locals seeing that we are taking our kids to let off steam at 2pm or 4pm on a weekday, not the usual times the hardworking locals would likely be there with their kids.

We've been wandering up and down Singapore for the several months that we've been living there and other than the fact that family and friends are in Malaysia, I feel more at home there than I do here. At least I am not classified as a race. The first question out of people's mouths when they see Sophia is not to ask what race she is. Does it even matter? It shouldn't. Instead they ask how old she is and sometimes whether she's a boy or girl. One of Sohia's teachers in class calls out to Sophie whenever she goes for open gym, "Sophia Meiyin!! How are you today?" and I comment to her, "Wow, you can remember her full name!" And she replies, "Of course, it's so unique!" And it ends there. Not a peep out of her about the origins of her race.

The attendant at Aquaria probably meant well, but it just goes to show how the whole race polarisation issue has permeated our daily lives and the mindsets of the people where all we can think of is if the other person is the same race as us or not. It's taken 50 years for the damage to spread to the masses, it'll take another 50 years, if not more, to undo the damage, if they manage to.

Luckily for the attendant, she directed her question at hubby who was carrying Sophia while I was busy with the stroller. I don't remember hearing his answer. But I was miffed. If it was me, I would have said, "Neither, she's Malaysian".

Happy birthday Malaysia? Until we can think of ourselves as Malaysians before we think of ourselves as Chinese, Indian, Malay or any other race that just happens to reside here, another birthday for this nation is just another mark on the calendar; it doesn't necessarily 51 years of independence.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Moving on

My monthly column in Mother & Baby ends in September because the editor left. As I'm not sure who's the new editor and whether they will continue the column, I've started writing for Notes From Venus online.

It's not too bad, I get to vent; I just have to do it within 300 words.

Being concise is not my forte, nevertheless, a paid gig is better than none. My piece just went up recently. Check out
this month's No Reservations.

Stormtroopers

I just had to post this, courtesy of the hubby of course. I about fell out of my chair laughing. Enjoy!


Paper cut

Daddy was careless while watching Sophia today. And annoyed that she'd messed up the living room with her incessant drawer-pulling, content-emptying shenanigans. He wanted to chuck all the stuff back into the coffee table but poor girl was in the way.

Result?

A paper cut that streaks from right below her right eye all across to the bottom of her lower lip. It looks worst right under her eye for about an inch or so where the cut is a garish, angry red. The cut tails off and is barely visible until you see the trail it's made across her lower lip.

Poor baby.

I think it actually looks worse than it feels. She was in shock right after the cut but calmed down sufficiently after. About 15 minutes later, it was as if nothing had happened. Even bathing doesn't seem to bother her. Nor eating. She'll just have to crawl around with a bright red scar for the moment.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Baby Steps

This week she's been practicing her walking, a few steps at a time. She walks to the cat, she walks to the chair and she walks to her mom and dad. If she's in a good mood, she'll walk to particularly nowhere.

I say walk but what I really mean is she steps. It's quite hilarious; it's like watching a zombie trying to walk after it's spent eons in the tomb. She holds out both arms almost diagonally out to her sides for balance and takes stiff, tentative steps. It's funny, exciting and exhilarating at the same time. And that's just what I feel. I wonder how she feels?

Any day now... .


Friday, July 18, 2008

A Day At The Museum

Just like the National Library , I have only good things to say about the Singapore National Museum. Especially if I compare Singapore to Malaysia. I think I won't even bother. I just have to accept the fact that Malaysia is a fine example of a mismanaged country despite the abundant resources that we have. Anyway, I digress... .

Yes, I do believe I love the National Museum. Even Sophie loves it. There was a special installment for kids as we went during the school holidays. There were special exhibits tailored for kids and a special play area designed for them too. Called Murmurs, there were lots for the kids to do, even for one as young as Sophie. Check out her happy outing:


Nothing satisfies a child more than balls, and lots of them in different colours.

Mommy and Daddy had fun exploring the museum as well. Their permanent exhibits are well-thought out and quite interesting. The building and all exhibits are well-maintained. Even the cafe had great food and great ambience. Wait, wait. I really must stop comparing M'sia and S'pore. I get depressed when I do. Stop, stop!!

Anyway, it was so much fun at the museum but we didn't have enough time to see everything so most likely we'll be heading back there sometime soon again.

Books, Books, Boooooooooks!!!

I've found my book heaven, and it's the Singapore National Library.

I've been there on average once a week or so. I started going there since end-June and I can't wait to keep gong back. I don't need to build my own library anymore (this wil only give me more moolah leftover for stuff and clothes for Sophie) and I haven't bought any books in...two months! Why would I need to when the SNL has EVERYTHING that I could possibly want to read?

Its collection is so extensive that I haven't found anything that's not on their shelves, save for a few new releases. At least if I borrow the books first and read them, I can decide which I'd rather buy to add to my collection. Too many times, I buy a book to read it to only find that it's satisfactory and not mind-blowing. Well, borrowing books from the SNL will only help me whittle out what I'd rather just read and put back on the shelf. Plus, I'm gonna be able to save $$!! Talk about whacking two birds with one stone.

No need to gush about their search system but it is totally AWESOME! I can search the catalogue online and I can find out if the book is on loan, in transit or on the shelf, as well as in which branch it's available. Oh, and reservations can be made online too.

Taking the books out of the library is as simple as inserting your library card into the CPU, waiting for a prompt and then just putting them on the pad to scan. Returning books is even easier: just drop them in the book drop where their status is updated immediately and electronically.

I LOVE the National Library!!

Here's a list of what I've borrowed so far:

  1. If A Tree Falls At Lunch Period - Gennifer Choldenko
  2. A Crooked Kind Of Perfect - Linda Urban
  3. The Mysterious Benedict Society - Trenton Lee Stewart
  4. Slam - Nick Hornby
  5. Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out Of A Tree - Lauren Tarshis
  6. Jumping The Scratch - Sarah Weeks
  7. So B. It Sarah Weeks
  8. An Abundance Of Katherines - John Green
  9. Forget Me Not - Isabel Wolff

There were a few more books whose titles elude me. Anyway, as I was saying, the SNL could very well be one of my favourite places in Singapore. I daresay Sophie has her share of fun crawling around the carpet in the children's area and digging into the chests of books. Sometimes she gets so excited she ends up shrieking and it takes all I have to keep her noise levels acceptable.

What's so great about the SNL is that they also have a parenting/baby room which is huge and spotlessly clean. Hardly anyone uses it and you need to get someone from customer service to open it up for you. There are two rooms for breastfeeding and a huge padded bench on which you can let your young ones crawl around on. Or feed them if you need to. I use it to change Sophie. It's perfect because it's soft and wide and because she's standing up with her hands against the wall, it's ideal. She hates lying down to be changed and she dislikes those pull-down diaper change stations. It may sound exteme but I've never failed to use that room everytime I visit the SNL.

The SNL is such a well-thought out facility and the collections are so good that it really is a veritable pleasure to drop by and spend a quiet afternoon there.

Figured Out

Looks like the problem isn't with Blogger but with my latest updated version of Firefox. So it's back to Explorer for now. Sigh...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What The @#$% Is Wrong With Blogger?

Somehow, it's locked me into html mode when I post. I can't manipulate the code for nuts and am going bonkers.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Getting My Life Back, Bit By Bit

Time to think about hitting the dance floor again. Or rather, taking some classes first. It hardly seems fair that hubby gets to continue his gaming sessions (not that he ever stopped) while I gave up my salsa sessions after Sophie was born.

Happy Birthday, Baby!




Happy birthday, my little monster! The little angel turns one today. How time whizzes by.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Another Outlet For Play

Sophia and I attended her first session at the play gym yesterday. We got there barely on time. The circle was already formed and we both squeezed in just as the other kids were finishing on their rattle routine.

It was an interesting 45 minutes.

Not all the 11-18 month olds did what they were supposed to. But I don't think anyone was expecting them to. While the 'trainer' dispensed activities and coordinated, one little fella would be running off there, another would be climbing the gym and yet another would be crawling into the little playhouse. So I didn't feel that bad when Sophie didn't do most of the stuff that was laid out. She was in her own little play heaven. So much to do, so many things to see, all in one place. Even the other little kids didn't detract her from getting as much play out everything there as possible. She played peek-a-boo with me at the playhouse (she didn't want to crawl in), she bit on the plastic tube, she climbed up the stairs and then slid down the slide (well, I mostly helped), she shook the rattle, played with the toy pieces and did all manner of fun things she doesn't get to do with her limited stock of toys and way too many books at home.

Her favourites though, were the swing and the bubbles. I'd bought a tub of bubble liquid from ToysRUs but never got around to using it at home. I should have. There's something about bubbles and kids: they simply LOVE them. The group of 8-10 kids simply swarmed the bubbles; it was like seeing moths gathering towards a flame. Really, they basically followed the bubbles wherever they went. It was like watching the Pied Piper of Hameln (no, I didn't spell it wrong; that's the way the Germans spell it) doing his thing, only with bubbles. It didn't matter that the kids got in each other's way; there were no fights and all they really cared about was getting their hands on those bubbles as they landed on the carpet or preferably on any parts of their little bodies. The joy and glee on those little faces were priceless.

The swing elicited as much joy and excitement from Sophie as did swimming and splashing in the pool. Shrieks and happy laughter filled her short-lived 2 minutes on the swing. Good thing she didn't all out yell and scream when it was time to take down the temporary swings from the ceiling-hung carabenas.

After the session was over, I was more tired than she was! Can't blame mom as her class was from 9:30am - 10:15am. No choice for it, the other class sessions coincide with her nap times so this was the best time to take her out.

I decided that today would be a good day to try out the open gym session at the play gym. It's basically a free-for-all for members of the play gym to bring their babies/toddlers over to use the facilities.

I had decided, yes. But Sophia overturned that decision because she'd rather nap instead. All this after we'd got on the mrt and were well on our way there to meet daddy for lunch. By the time she got up and had lunch, it was past the 1hr window we had to make it to the open gym session. Sigh, and she had so much fun yesterday. Guess we'll just have to make it to a different open gym session next week.

I'm kinda dreading the whole walking-to-the-mrt station-and-back routine as it'll take a good long walk to get from the mrt station to the play gym and vice-versa. But then again, I think I've been putting on weight recently and I suppose a good long walk would do me good. I just need to pile on the deodorant because by the time we got to the play gym yesterday, my sweat was streaming down my neck in rivulets and the pores on my back couldn't breathe for nuts as my top was glued to my back.

Next week we'll need to leave the house earlier so that we won't have to dash about in a mad rush to get to the place on time. And I don't have to look like I'd just run a marathon.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

So What If They're Kiasu? We Could Learn A Thing Or Two From Them

I was pushing Sophia along in her stroller on the sidewalk next to the main road past Clarke Quay. In the heat of the afternoon sun. She had it easy. She was fast asleep. I was sweating like a pig and hoping the searing sun and hot air wouldn't cause too much discomfort as to wake her up.

As we got closer to our destination (Clarke Quay MRT station), sounds of the road getting royally jackhammered started jarring my otherwise peaceful walk and I saw that there was a bit of roadworks right where I would be walking past. There was no way I'd be able to go around it or avoid it; the sidewalk I was on was the only through path and it would have to pass by the roadworks. I found myself hoping that the little one would sleep right through the racket.

As I neared the affected area, I could see a truck and its operator. I was about 8' or so from the area when I noticed the truck operator nod at me and then proceeded to turn off the deafening machine and let me pass by with stroller and sleeping infant. I wonder if he saw my eyes widen in surprise? I nodded back to him and smiled. He may have smiled, I'm not sure; he had a towel over his mouth and nose to keep from breathing in the dust.

After I'd walked past the area in relative quiet and was a safe distance away from the roadworks, I heard the truck/machine start up again behind me.

Of course, the wee one stayed fast asleep throughout the entire encounter.

Wow. Imagine that. Not the bit about the baby being asleep. Imagine that a roadworker (is there such a word?) actually stopped the racket to let a sleeping baby and her mother walk past undisturbed. The only other country I can see that happening is in Japan.

Courtesy in Singapore is very much alive and kicking even if they may be kiasu. Can't say I can say the same thing for us Malaysians. Would the average Malaysian hold the lift door open for you after they've gone out of the lift?Would they even let you board the lift first? Or would the average teenage Malaysian let a couple with a stroller head into a crowded lift first, even though they were waiting for it first? An old uncle offered me his seat on the MRT when he saw me standing with Sophie in my sling. Taxi drivers come out of their cabs to help load the shopping and stroller when we take a cab.

With courtesy and consideration generally abundant everywhere I go in this island state, who cares that these are a people whom the term kiasu was coined for?

There's more to these Singaporeans than being kiasu.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Bodyguard



Not much of a bodyguard if he's sleeping on the job though. I always said and still firmly believe that Pixel is a dog in a cat's body. How else can I explain his affinity and utmost patience with Sophie a.k.a. the little monster?

This whole week she's grabbed fistfuls of his fur and yanked on them, pulled his ear, kicked him (although I think she could be thinking she's stroking him with her foot, the way I do), stepped on him in her bid to climb onto the couch, smacked him with his brush (again, maybe she thinks she's combing him?), grabbed at his belly...and the assault list goes on and on. She has, in a nutshell, literally pushed him around within an inch of every one of his nine lives. And yet, there he is, still offering himself up for more abuse everyday, not complaining one bit nor sticking out a paw to swipe at her nor clawing her. Not yet anyway. Sure, he puts on this really annoyed face when she yanks a bit too hard but the most he will do is slink away.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Furry Siblings



Trying to escape from Sophia's grubby, painful clutches. There's no hope for the damned.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mom, Spend Some Time With Me?



Poor dear. She had to contend with playing on her own for most of the day as I had too many rewrites to do. That's what happens when you take on a writing job: the writing ceases to be your own. Well, in this case anyway. It sort of sprouted a really ugly pair of wings and threatened to drag me off the cliff.

So my poor little angel/rascal/monster had no choice but to keep herself amused. She did pretty good actually. She harassed the cat, pushed all the dining chairs, save for the one my butt was plonked on, to all four corners of the walls, watched TV, and came over to bit me on the knees and thighs when she needed attention.

It got to the point where she would look distressed and cry for me the moment she saw me sit down at my laptop at the dining table. Sigh...

Only a few more days of this and hopefully after, I'll be free to cater to her every whim.


Monday, June 23, 2008

You Try Looking As Adorable With a Plate Stuck To Your Face



As if her nose wasn't alreayd flat enough, she decides to make the rest of her jutting out bits just as flat. She snatched my plate up from the mat, crumbs be damned, and proceeded to show me just how much flatter her nose could go, taking her lips along too.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Little Artist



...Not. Sad to say, it's only her mother's definition of a joke. What's actually on her head is her pants. But it does look adorable... .

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bali Water Baby

When: 6-9 June
Where: Diana Villa, Kuta


Day 1 : Introduction to a body of water larger than her tub.
Second time ever in a pool. Obviously, positively LOVING it.


Day 2: Transfered to main pool from our private pool.
Perfect place to make some splashes and have fun in the sun.


Day 2: Daddy and his girl loving the water.


Day 4: Last dip in the pool on the day we depart. Note the
swimsuit, specially purchased in Bali by yee-yee.


DAy 4: Hi, Uncle Chin Lai, what's that in your mouth?


Day 4: I'm swimming, I'm swimming!!


Day 4: I think I see daddy coming my way...


Day 4: Making waves.

Where's mommy in all of this? Taking the pictures, of course!


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