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


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... .

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