Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Books Bought

  1. Soul Enchilada - David Macinnis Gill
  2. Wings - Aprilynne Pike

Library Haul

  1. Touching Darkness - Scott Westerfeld
  2. Blue Noon - Scott Westerfeld
  3. Perfect You - Elizabeth Scott
  4. City Of Bones - Cassandra Clare
  5. How To Be Bad - Lauren Myracle, Sarah Mlynowski, E. Lockhart
  6. Unwind - Neal Shusterman
  7. The Travel Writer's Handbook - Louise Purwin Zobel

Thursday, May 21, 2009

One Of Those Days

I should have just slept early. Instead I finished up Nick & Norah after I put Sophie to bed. And then I did some spreadsheet trawling for work. Then I decided to pick up Westerfeld's Midnighters again. Big mistake.

Sophie slept at 10pm. Nick & Norah kept me up for another 40 minutes or so. Work took another 1 hour plus. Midnighters kept me riveted. Up until I heard Sophia crying for me a little before 1am. Even after I'd put her back to bed (didn't take long), I couldn't put the book down. I read by the light of a torchlight next to her in bed.

Sometime after 2am, she woke up to take a sip of water from her bottle, got mighty frustrated that she couldn't sip from it lying down (it was her sippy cup, after all) and decided to throw a major tantrum.

In the end, after a couple of rounds trekking up and down the stairs to the kitchen and then to retrieve her Maisy books, reading to her and then having her read to me, giving her a brand new pacifier (only to have her ask me to keep it after 10 minutes), singing to her and finally, just plain ignoring her with the bedside light on, she and I fell asleep sometime after 3am.

It's a good thing there are no trains running outside our window. At least I caught some extea zzzzs and she only woke me up sometime after 7am instead of her usual 6am.

And today is only the day where I have to stare at more spreadsheets and contribute my part to pricing policies. Lucky me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Reason For Her Early Mornings

Great, it has only taken me THIS long to realize that Sophie doesn't have a biological clock that wakes her up every morning by 6.30am. It is actually the sound of the trains passing by under our window that is her alarm clock. I'm guessing that they start running at 6am and 30 minutes of the buzz and hum are enough to be her morning calls.

Hubby has mentioned it a few times but I've dismissed it, putting down her early hours to her quirky biological clock. However, I couldn't dispute hubby's reasoning after two days home in KL. The fact hit me smack in the face this morning. Yesterday she slept till 7.45am and this morning she woke up at 7.15am. And yesterday her afternoon nap lasted three hours, undisturbed by overhead army planes/fighter jets and passing trains.

We were wondering whether to go through the trouble of moving out of our current place. We got lazy and also didn't find anything to our liking. So we extended our lease for one more year. Now I know that moving out will be a priority when our lease comes close to expiring next July. No more being lazy and finding excuses for not moving.

I can only imagine how many cumulative hours of sleep my poor girl has lost. One hour a day from last May till now. Almost 365 days. Doesn't take a genius to know that she's been deprived.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Gem In The Morning

I was rummaging in the closet for a pair of pants and long sleeves. It was dark and barely 6am yet but the small fry had clutched her crotch and was whimpering in bed. When I asked her if she'd wanted to trash her diapers, she'd nodded.

I needed something else to dress her in; her one-piece pyjama suit does not enable a fast exit for wee-wee.

After fumbling around for what felt like eons, I decided to get a torchlight to help my search. I still couldn't find the sleeves I was looking for, so I settled for one which I thought was probably a little too small for her but would just have to do.

Not completely satisfied but too bleary to be picky, I stepped over to her mattress and asked her to lie still while I took off her diapers and applied the diaper rash cream. She'd never had much problems with nappy rash but a few days back, a few red spots had appeared and have been causing her grief.

Nappy rash cream, check. Pants, check. "OK, can you sit up so I can put this shirt on you?"

"Dowan, dowan." Her standard response for "What the hell are you thinking?!"

"But baby, it's cold outside and you need sleeves. And there's a nice pink flower on the front, see?"

"Dowan, dowan," accompanied by shaking of the head.

"But whyyyyyyyy?" I protested with a hint of a whine.

"Ffffsssst, hot, hot!" and she punctuates this statement with a frantic waving of her hand to denote touching a red hot coal and drawing it away from the searing heat, her standard motion for telling us something is hot. Oh, I forget, we taught her that.

Dawn is an hour away yet my daughter is lucid enough to try to explain to me she doesn't want to wear long sleeves because she's hot. If I weren't so bleary-eyed and sleepy from lack of sleep (couldn't fall to bed immediately last night; too many random thoughts in my head), I'd be jumping around, whooping for joy that her thought processes are mature enough that she'd try to get some sense into that thick head of mine. No, mummy, I don't want to wear that because I'm hot.

So I settled for the next best thing: I proudly told Jona about Sophie's little lucid explanation while I handed the small fry off to her for her morning milk and breakfast.

Marveling at the surprises the little one springs on me on a daily basis,
I then stumbled back into bed.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Singing For My Supper

I sing Sophia to sleep every night. She's usually fussy about her songs and I have to wrack my brains to come up with new songs to sing. It gets frustrating when, after I sing a couple of lines, she shakes her head and says, "Dowan, dowan!". It happens EVERY night. And she doesn't like repeats either, so don't think you can fool her.

Just tonight though, after a few nights of introducing "On top of spaghetti" to her:

"On top of spaghetti all covered with cheese.
I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed.

It rolled off the table, and onto the floor,
And then my poor meatball rolled out of the door...."

"Meatbaow, meatbaow...!"


Nod, nod.

"On top of spaghetti all covered with cheese.
I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed.

It rolled off the table, and onto the floor,
And then my poor meatball rolled out of the door...."

"Meatbaow, meatbaow...!"

Oh well....

Teeny Mortal Greets Zeus


"Mummy, mummy, mummy!"

"It's ok, babe. That's just thunder."



"Hi, thundah!"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Library Haul

  1. The Last Wild Place - Rosa Jordan
  2. Boy Proof - Cecil Castellucci
  3. Tantalize - Cynthia Leitich Smith
  4. What-The-Dickens - Gregory Maguire
  5. Midnighters: The Secret Hour - Scott Westerfeld
  6. The Andromeda Strain - Michael Crichton (for hubby)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Me No Eat Dog

Earlier in the month, I'd sent an email to Lauren Myracle after I'd read Bliss. One of her characters, Sandy, had said that in Malaysia, we eat dogs. So I wrote to her to tell her I wouldn't eat my pet dog, even though I suspected that she'd written that line in to illustrate just how crazy her character is. Just thought I'd be a little vocal and seek confirmation. Here's what she replied:

Oh, you sweetie, I was *absolutely* trying to make the point that Sandy is...well...a bit crazy! (And if you've finished the novel, you know that she's actually A LOT crazy...)

I am soooooo sorry if you were the slightest bit offended. Authors most definitely DON'T agree with everything their characters say/believe.

I'm glad you liked the book, though! (And sounds like you already suspect on your own that Sandy spoke for herself and not for me, so that's good.)


Not bad, eh? Pretty cool, in fact. Me writing and her replying.

My first correspondence with an author. Wow!

Monday, May 11, 2009


Here's a sampling of her quirkier words and phrases:

"Tataaaaaa, you?" (Tiger, where are you?)

"Triteee, aaaa you?" (Trixie, where are you?)

"Mummyyyyy, wear!" (Mommy, put on the tiger puppet!)

"Lalaaa, bird!" (Look, Lalaaa. A bird.)

"Kiati, kiati!" (Carry, carry!)

"Light op!" (Turn off the lights!)

"Tubby!" (Strawberry!)

"Diap, diap!" (Cloth, cloth) refers to her security blanket.

"Euuwww!" (1. literally, euuuwww. 2. oil)

"Coke!" (Cold)

"Mah me!" (Excuse me)

Library Book Jackets

Since I've been borrowing books incessantly from the library, I've noticed and liked the way the books jackets are bound/covered/protected. It's a polypropylene cover and done in a different way that I normally bind my books and also from how Kino binds theirs.

I thought I'd figured it out and bought a roll to bind my own books here. It wasn't until this morning that I inspected the library books closer that I realized the library actually uses special library jackets from the US to bind their books: Gaylord Brothers library supplies.

Great, so I guess my figuring out the 'technique' was actually off by a mile. It's not a technique; they actually use specially designed lined book jackets to protect their book collection. Bummer for me. I'm not gonna spend US$40-50 (not including shipping) for a box of 100 lined book jackets.

Hm, I wonder if I can get some off the library? Probably not, knowing how kiasu the Singaporeans are. Oh well....

Thursday, May 07, 2009

What Was That?!




What?!! I'm sure I didn't teach her THAT swear word!

(While she looks like she's trying to pull off the tail of her puppet tiger.)

"Oh, TAIL!!!"

Singapore Is More Book-Happening Than Malaysia

I rest my case. I've always thought that Singapore was always more in-the-know and happening as far as books are concerned. Well, even the National Library has Daniel Waters' Generation Dead while I got no hits when I checked on Kino KL's database. And Kino S'pore has Meg Cabot's sequel, Being Nikki already in its database and on the shelves even though it was just launched on May 5. Cinda Williams Chima; Kino KL? Nada. Adrienne Maria Vrettos? Negative. Francisco X. Stork? Nope. The library has all of them. It even has Julie Linker, which of course, Kino KL does not. They should seriously think about replacing the person stocking or merchandising their YA section.

Need I say I couldn't find even a hint of Maggie Stiefvater's Lament when I was looking for it in KL last year? It's there now but of course, in the hardback version and not the cool paperback version.

I hope someone updated their online database coz I couldn't find Percy Jackson & The Last Olympian on it and I'd just bought a copy from Kino S'pore yesterday. If they don't have The Last Olympian there yet, then they are TOTALLY UNCOOL.

Generation Dead: Kiss Of Life is launching on May 12. I can expect KL NOT to have it on the shelves. I'm just wondering if I'll be able to wait till the library here gets it into their collection. If I don't, then I'll have to buy Generation Dead from Kino S'pore too. Sigh. And there I was commending myself on keeping my book spending in check.

Shucks, what the hell am I gonna do with the RM200 Kino KL gift voucher my sis got me for my birthday?!

The World Is Sophie's Sticker Book

There are some awesome sticker books out there and Sophia has quite a few of them. Some of the stickers are so pretty that I couldn't bear her sticking them on just any piece of paper, only to be thrown out once she's done with them. And I don't have any special mounting boards for her to display them on.

So I improvised.

So far, her farm animal stickers are all over Jack Prelutsky's My Dog May Be A Genius, quite fitting actually, since it's a book of Prelutsky's wacky poems. Seriously, the animals are dotted all over the front and back cover as well as the inside sleeves.

Her other, real-life looking stickers can be found on the inside of Alison Goodman's Dragoneye Reborn and most recently, Gayle Forman's If I Stay. How do you bring yourself to chuck away perfectly beautiful stickers of purple orchids, luscious red strawberries and jet-black cats?

You stick them on the insides of your book.

Books Bought

  1. Percy Jackson & The Last Olympian - Rick Riordan
  2. If I Stay - Gayle Forman
  3. Recycle This Book: 100 Top Children's Book Authors Tell You How To Go Green

Monday, May 04, 2009

I Can Do It Myself, Thank You Very Much!

"Can Mommy help you with that?"

"No, no, no!"

"Why not?"


"How about this one?"


Saturday, May 02, 2009

Library Haul

  1. Eternal - Cynthia Leitich Smith
  2. Airhead - Meg Cabot
  3. Beige - Cecil Castellucci
  4. Black Pearls: A Faerie Strand - Louise Hawes
  5. Generation Dead - Daniel Waters
  6. How To Ditch Your Fairy - Justine Larbalestier
  7. Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before - David Yoo

Friday, May 01, 2009


I've been telling Jona to make sure that Sophia asks nicely whenever she wants something. The little monster is prone to demands.

"Put in!"


"Eat, eat!"

You get the picture.

Anyway, we've been consistently instructing her on her Ps & Qs and it's been paying off.

Occasionally, the little monster surprises us with a glimpse of her generosity, like today when Jona was sitting with her while she was eating some fries we doggy-bagged from the zoo. In the midst of eating her fries, she picks one up and offers it to Jona, quipping, "Jona, for you."

Needless to say, Jona was not only floored but thoroughly touched.

The kid can charm.

Strung Sentences

While in the stroller after a stint at the zoo's water park:

"Sophia eat rice cake."

Jona and I look at each other in amazement (she's pushing the stroller and I'm next to her; dad's walking in the front, as usual).

"OK, hang on Sophie; Mommy'll get your rice cake."


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