Friday, January 30, 2009

Desperately Awaiting

Here's what I'm anxiously waiting for and itching to get my hands on this year:
  1. The Last Olympian - Rick Riordan
  2. Ballad - Maggie Stiefvater
  3. Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater
  4. Along For The Ride -Sarah Dessen
  5. The Fetch - Laura Whitcomb
  6. Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
  7. Emma Jean Lazarus Fell In Love - Jean Tarshis
  8. Soul Enchilada - David Macinnis Gill
  9. Bones of Faerie - Janni Lee Simner
I can't wait, I can't wait!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This Week's Library Haul

More great books this week to last me thru CNY and beyond:
  1. The Fire Within - Chris D'Lacey
  2. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
  3. Aurelie: A Faerie Tale - Heather Tomlinson
  4. Impossible - Nancy Werlin
  5. Eon: Dragoneye Reborn - Alison Goodman
  6. The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World - E. L. Konigsburg

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


When I'm feeling generous, or nice, or maybe it's just plain lazy from having to entertain Sophia, I put in the Teletubbies DVD and let her watch till her heart's content. Or I let her surf her videos on my N92.

Today is one such day.

Little Steps

I just did my good deed for the day (week or month, maybe?)

In the scheme of the world, sending a book to someone who needs it may not seem very significant. I sent off my copy of Lynn Rae Perkins' Criss Cross to the Quezon Public Library in the Philippines. Cost me $9 via registered mail. But it's ok. I just couldn't seem to get into the book. I'd borrowed it from the library earlier in the year but couldn't get past chapter 4. I then bought the book while back in KL not knowing it was the same book (duh!). I still couldn't get past the first few chapters, despite it being a Newbery award winner.

I hope the kids in Quezon city enjoy the book.

New Leader, New Hope

I watched the inauguration of Barack Obama last night. His speech was riveting.

It sounds like a great promise in a time of uncertainty. I hope he brings with him all it takes to move the world forward. It's a huge responsibility and a herculean task.

He looks and sounds strong enough to accomplish it. I feel he'll succeed, at least to set out doing as he says. It's early days yet but we'll see.

The Ox has hope yet.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Like Datuk, Like Cucu

Daddy and Datuk are forever on their Blackberries. Does it surprise anyone that the little one is fixated on handphones too?


After a day's outing and a satisfactory bath, the little one settled in her tub of balls in front of the TV and promptly fell asleep, however uncomfortable that tiny box seems.

Pixel, always one to investigate, checks out if the little terror (who harrases him to no end on a daily basis) is really out cold.

The Poor Ox

2009 kicked off with a big bang but it wasn't the kind of celebratory bang that we were expecting. Instead, calamities hung around the sidelines, accompanying The Rat on its exit and laid out a few traps for The Ox as it was preparing to enter stage right. Thus, the big bang.

So, what is the The Rat leaving behind for The Ox (since the Lunar New Year only starts on 26 Jan)?

Nothing short of wars, crashes and disasters: the global economic meltdown, natural disasters, my own personal pseudo-disaster, Malaysia's political dramas and most recently, the crisis in Gaza.

Enough's been said about everything. Everyone has an opinion about it all.

There is no one solution that would bring about the turnaround of the global economy - it was a disaster waiting to happen (still happening) and it'll take more than a short time and a couple of bailouts to right the situation.

The more I read about Gaza, the more I feel the conflict is too deep-rooted to be solved by just a ceasefire and talks. Both parties are at fault and yes, the Israeli attacks felled more civilians in a day than the Hamas' rockets in years. However, Hamas' disregard for their own civilians (who else would be targeted if the Israeli army attacks?) is nothing short of appalling. The Israeli's counter-attack of 'but they've been attacking us all this while!' is absurd; you can't possibly equate thousands of innocent deaths with a few handsful. Considering that the Palestinians are refugees in their own land, they really have no choice but to fight and continue fighting. Ultimately, the ones who really should carry the largest blame created the problem way back when, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. It's an intractable problem with too much political, social, religious and economic vicissitudes
and repercussions attached to it. The answer should be easy but the decision to arrive at that solution is paved with booby traps. No matter the resolution, no one party is going to be happy about it.

I don't even want to start to say anything about Malaysia.

The only thing I know I can control and change is myself, so in ushering in the Year of the Ox, I'll just have to strive to be a better person and to treat the earth better so that there's some semblance of a habitable earth and environment for our kids and their future.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Her favourite place and her favourite phrase. Life couldn't get any better, or could it?

More Than Just Breastfeeding

I stopped breastfeeding on Boxing Day.

It wasn't my choice and it definitely wasn't Sophia's.

When the attending doctor at the KKH 24-hour clinic told me that I needed a jab to deal with my ectopic pregnancy, I didn't expect I'd have to stop breastfeeding. I asked the obvious question, and it was a good thing I did, if not, I'd had gone on breastfeeding, oblivious to the dangers.

"When can I start again?"

"After three months."

"But after three months, there'll be nothing left!"

"You're sure I can't breastfeed at all?"

"I'm sorry but what we're giving you is a mild form of chemotherapy. This drug
(methotrexate) kills cells. You can't breastfeed."

A shrug, an attempt at a smile and a pause to let the facts sink in.


In truth, I was more upset and traumatized over not being able to breastfeed than the whole ectopic mess. I'd suspected that things were going awry, what with the positive home test kit and the spotting and bleeding that wouldn't seem to stop. That and the numerous blood tests at the 24-hour clinic that seemed to point to a sombre ending to this whole episode. In a way, I was prepared for the bad news. I'd actually come out on the winning end as we'd detected the mishap early enough so that it wouldn't affect my tubes. Stopping breastfeeding, however, was the last thing on my mind and the last thing that I wanted to do.

It was the pits, not only because I couldn't give Sophie the comfort she required but also because my boob hurt like hell from all that unreleased milk due to the sudden stop. It was like having engorged breasts all over again.

And I steeled myself for what I figured would be a tough first night dealing with Sophie.

She didn't disappoint. Sophie's usual routine is a drink before bed. When she found she was denied that, she went into a crying jag, a loooong crying jag. I don't blame the poor dear, I would have myself since I hadn't prepared her at all for this. I substituted the boob with her bottle of water but she couldn't understand why she couldn't just suckle before bed. And so the crying progressed into screaming and head-pounding on the mattress. And then it went into all out limb flailing. Alternate it all and draw it out for 30 minutes or more. She'd calm down a bit and then ask for nenn-nenn and the whole drama would unfold yet again. Finally exhausted from her bout of crying, she fell asleep amidst hiccups.

I felt like the worst mother in the world.

The whole episode repeated itself sometime in the middle of the night when she woke up looking for boob again. Another 30-45 minuntes of agonizing torture for the three of us. I mentally prepared myself for another few exhausting nights like this.

Strangely enough, they never came. By the next day, she did try to ask for nenn-nenn, but mildly, and when I apologised and told her I just couldn't give her boob, she didn't cry. She accepted her milk in her sippy cup instead. At night, she tried her luck but once again, I told her very nicely that I wasn't able to giver her nenn-nenn anymore and she accepted her water bottle with no fuss. When she woke for a drink in the middle of the night, she was satisfied with water as well.

I was relieved that it'd turned out so well. More than just a little relieved, I was astounded that she'd caught on so fast and didn't make more of a fuss. I'm just glad that the little angel spared me more nights of agonizing torture. It was one less thing to deal with guilt, I could just focus on easing the discomfort of an engorged boob (both boobs were still functioning but one was the main production plant).

I still harboured hopes that I could breastfeed her after the three month waiting period. On second thoughts though, she is old enough to be weaned off the breast and I didn't want to have to go through what we went through another time around.

What I miss most about breastfeeding is the ease of giving her milk; no need for lugging around powdered formula and hot water when we go out so I can prepare her milk for her, just pop a boob in her mouth when she wants. More than that, I miss the closeness of lying down beside her while she nurses and tries to turn her lower body at an angle away from me or stretch a foot into my face. I miss holding her close in a snug chair while we're in a breastfeeding room away from the hustle and bustle of a noisy mall.

Stopping breastfeeding is another milestone for both Sophie and me on her path to becoming an independent toddler and less of a dependent baby. It's just one of the many apron strings that I've had to cut on the way to her impending adulthood and my growth as a parent. Recovering from the ectopic mess is something I have to go through to value the importance of good health in life.

Neither's easy but necessary.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Certain Kind Of Reader

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Literate Good Citizen
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Friday, January 09, 2009

Feeding The Lories

The lories at the Jurong Bird Park always draw crowds. Luckily Sophie was awake when we arrived at the lory loft. She had her fill of lories.

Girl In The Red Shoes

She was fascinated with the shoe box and when she saw what was in it, didn't need much coaxing to try them on. I must make sure to keep all my lipsticks and shoes well-kept and under wraps.

Library Haul

This week, books for me and Sophia:
  1. I Know It's Over - C. K. Kelly Martin
  2. Savvy - Ingrid Law
  3. Smiles - Jerry Spinelli
  4. Shift - Jennifer Bradbury
  5. The Dragonfly Pool - Eva Ibbotson
  6. Masterpiece - Elise Broach
Sophie's stash:
  1. 10 Little Rubber Ducks - Eric Carle
  2. My Animals - Xavier Deneux
What fun!!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Ushering In 2009

Sophia ushered in the new year in her sleep. I hope she had sweet dreams.

I was stuck on the throne at home when the clock struck midnight. The spicy Thai Express lunch made sure I missed the fireworks from my kitchen window (we're on the 12th floor, facing the city and from the kitchen window we caught the fireworks during last year's festivities).

Rizal spent the night out with his two friends (Mat from KL and Chin Mun from Australia) watching the fireworks from his office and then painting the town red later.

It's just another year. Dates are just print on paper and footnotes on my monitor, hardly markers of time whizzing by.

I witness the passing of the days and coming of the nights by the shortening hemlines of Sophia's pants, her aptitude for new words and phrases and her increasing skill in figuring out her jigsaw puzzles, and I find that I can't wish long or hard enough that time would slow itself down so that I can enjoy her toddlerhood a little longer. Her babyhood has long departed, leaving only wisps of its shadow behind and I know she cannot stay my little baby very much longer.

From the day she was born I've been sending little mental memos to myself: you have to let go, you must let go. If I tell myself early enough maybe it will be easier for me as she grows and when finally the day comes, I hope I can willingly tell the world to go ahead and show my girl all it has to offer.

In the meantime, I'm keeping up with the mental notes.

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