Friday, December 17, 2010

A Stark Reminder

We don't have a stellar history when it comes to plants. In fact, I would say our history is downright dismal, when it comes to plants.

So when I was at Ikea with the small fry, on a mission to get some new shelving and bric-a-brac, I spotted some lovely bulbous plants with fairly pretty pink blooms. They smelled great, to boot. Given our sorry history with plants, I stood there for a few minutes contemplating if we should give our green thumbs another try. As an added measure, I thought I'd ask small fry's opinion.

"Sayang, what do you think about this plant? It's pretty, isn't it? It's pink! Should we get it?"

She looked pointedly at me and then at the plant.

"But it will DIE, Mummy!" (emphasis hers, not mine)

Right, leave it to the 3 year-old to point out the obvious.

Of course, I put the pot back and we walked away sans plant.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Breather

Taking a short break. Trying to figure out what to do with all the pies I have my fingers stuck in. Or maybe not. Hence, the breather.

In the meantime, hugs and kisses, good health to all.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Navarathri (Nine Nights)

Apparently, Navarathri is celebrated four times a year and there are various forms of Navarathri celebrations (about five, according to Wikipedia), with the most important being Sharana Navarathri. In essence, Navarathri is a celebration of the Goddess Durga.

Previously, mention of Navarathri would bring to mind sis' Odissi performance at Sutra, which according to her, are now not being performed due to complaints from neighbours. Goes to show that even though you may have a nice setting and stage built into your bungalow compound, the neighbours may still call you out on making a racket. It's a pity. I like that stage. And the setting.

The hosts: Bhagarv and Bela

























So last Saturday, we were invited to a Gujerati celebration of Navarathri at the Singapore Swimming Club. Of course, first question I asked hubby was, "Do I wear my saree?" And of course, he replied no. But he had his Punjabi top and we were off.

Right, when we got there I was probably the only one not in traditional garb. Sarees all over the place except for me. Man, did I ever feel underdressed. Score one for hubby. And we were probably the only non-Indians around (although technically, I was probably the only non-Indian around as hubby has Indian blood somewhere along his bloodline).

No matter, we were there to join in the festivities. And boy, were there festivities. The function hall was a mass of bodies. The music was blasting and the bass was pounding. And there was colour everywhere. A shrine to the Goddess Durga was placed in a corner of the room and everyone was on the floor, dancing the Dandiya-Raas.




























In Gujerat, Navarathri is celebrated by dancing the Garba and the Dandiya-Raas. Garba is performed in a circle as a symbol of the Hindu view of time. The rings of dancers revolve in cycles. The dance symbolizes that God, represented in feminine form in this case, is the only thing that remains unchanging in a constantly changing universe (jagat). In Dandiya Raas men and women dance in two circles, with sticks in their hands. "Dandiya" or sticks, are about 18" long. Each dancer holds two sticks. Generally, in a four beat rhythm, opposite sides hit the sticks at the same time. One circle goes clockwise and another counter clockwise. 


We got to try our hands at the Dandiya-Raas. It's not as easy as it sounds; there's a pattern and sequence to the four beat rhythm. I managed not to get my fingers bruised but I think I may have bruised some fingers myself.


Sticking out like a sore thumb

















And then of course, after the dancing, there's the ubiquitous line for food. Our hosts, Bhagarv and Bela took care of that and we had some vegetarian Indian burgers (there's a name for that but I can't remember) and authentic Indian tea.

We left around 10:30pm but the dancing actually lasts till 3am. The Gujeratis sure know how to enjoy their Navarathri. And put on an awesome party.



Being Creative

Small fry not only loves singing and talking to herself, some of her more creative pursuits include finger hand painting and stickers. Who needs a sticker book when her face will do?

Stoooooop!! 

Not quite enough stickers on my face.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Another Bag

I finally finished the bag that I wanted to make for a friend. It's supposed to be a hold-all. The original design in the book was actually just a plain bag with embellishments  only at the handles and in the bias binding of the pockets. I decided, to heck with boring bags. So I spiced it up. Ribbon, trim, rick-rack, bursts of colour everywhere, taking a cue from my El Porto. 

















I like it, it's not bad. But shape-wise, I still prefer my El Porto. Because the base of this bag is square, it actually hangs down a bit if too much is put in it. The original pattern called for a plastic grid and little feet on the base. I couldn't find either and was running out of time. So I went without.

Oh well, it's the thought that counts, isn't it?

Another Exciting Series

Rick Riordan's The Lost Hero rocks!

Not only does he take us back to Camp Half Blood, he introduces the Roman aspects of the Greek Gods. How awesome is that?!

When I reached the end of the book, I couldn't believe how excited I was becoming as he tied several possible plots together and all of it was going berserk in my head. There are a number of ways he could spin this and I can't wait for the next book.

CAN'T. WAIT.


Engaging Her Playmates

Small fry has playmates at our condo complex. They're all older than her. The youngest is six.

Most days she runs around the place with Troy, the six year-old. They play catch, hide-and-seek or other manner of games that kids their age play.

One day, Troy wanted a game of hide-and-seek. For some reason only known to her, small fry was in no mood for hide-and-seek. She ignored all Troy's attempts at playing. He asked nicely, tried cajoling and in the end, went for all-out crying and stamping his foot.

"Sophia! Play hide-and-seek! Sophia! Play with me!" while bawling and stamping his feet.

Small fry coolly ignored poor Troy and told Jona she wanted to come back upstairs.

I guess that was that. So much for a productive play session.

My three year-old reduced a six year-old to a sniveling mess. God help us all when she discovers her feminine wiles.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Strange Angels Kicks Ass!

OK, I must admit: I HATE Twilight. No, I started out loving it (just the first book) and then when I went back and reread it, I hated it.

I hate how mushy it is: Edward + Bella = major gag factor.

I hate what a complete bungling useless damsel in distress Bella is.

I hate the way the darned 'love triangle' is played out. Sam (werewoll) + Bella (human) + Edward (vampire). Makes Bella looks like an indecisive bitch.

I hate how noble Edward seems.

I hate the later plots; the story just gets weirder and weirder.


So after reading the series (shamed to say, I actually have all four books; I should just burn them or give them away), I went all out in search of other similarly themed books but with heroines who could kick ass because Bella just makes me want to slap her silly (though how much sillier and dumber she can get, I dunno).

I found other heroines who rose up to the task of kicking ass but I think none kick ass as well as Lili St. Crow's Dru Anderson. If you haven't read St. Crow's Strange Angels, go pick it up NOW. There's a heady mix of werwulfen, loup-garou, djamphir, nosferatu, magic and ammo, romance and angst (not the icky skin crawling, gag-reflex inducing Bella/Sam/Edward kind), suspense with some delightful Russian (Polish? East European?) endearments thrown in.

Dru's no Bella, thank gawd!  She's got her issues but next to Bella, her issues look way more realistic and one can at least empathise with her. And she KICKS ASS! Not just with ammo but with the touch as well. I just want to slap Bella upside on the head for being indecisive and wishy-washy. Oh, did I mention useless? Never met a more useless human being to appear in a book.

And Christophe? Aaaaaahh...he makes Edward look like a young pansy of a flower. Now THAT'S a MAN, or rather, djamphir. The foreign endearments help (moj maly ptaszku, moja ksiezniczko, etc.), the slight accent too. You could learn a thing or two from Christophe, Edward. Maybe like, not saving Bella's ass all the time. Girl's gotta learn to stand on her own two feet.

How can I not like a book which has a half-Asian Goth boy as the other leading man? In fact, Graves started out seemingly as somewhat of a doughboy but wow, did he turn out to be the most awesome, kick-ass, and dependable loup-garou. Score one for the Asian leading man!


The series is currently at book three and keeps getting better with each book. Sigh, and now I have to wait for the next book in the installment, Defiance, to find out what happens to all three of them. Sigh...more waiting.

In the meantime, those phrases are sticking in my head...

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Straight From The Horse's Mouth

I'm constantly reminding myself and remarking to the small fry that she has too many toys and that we are not getting her any more. Her toys litter the living room, take up half the closet space in the guest room and occupies many corners and walls around the apartment.

While shopping for her friend's birthday present at Toys R Us today, small fry came upon some hula hoops and promptly took one down off the hook and started playing with it. Or rather, she tried to shake her booty while hanging on to a much-too-large-for-her hoop.

I spied her in action and got daddy to look. He then said that maybe we should get her one. I wondered aloud which one to get. 

Overhearing us, small fry quipped, "I have too many toys, Mummy!" and dutifully put the hoop back. 

Looks like the child is reminding the parents about their resolve. 

Note to self: remember what you keep telling yourself. 

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Gimme Some Love

Tonight, on our first night back in Singapore, I was told that while I was out attending a concert, a certain brown cow got into bed with small fry.

That's a first. Not only did he get into bed with her, he stayed at her feet till she was asleep. Then promptly went up to her face and sniffed her, his whiskers tickling her awake.

To her credit, small fry resisted the urge to bully fatty, instead taking it all in stride and giggled happily.

I guess brown cow and small fry are starting a new phase in their relationship.

A Ride In The Clouds

On our way back to Singapore from Subang, the ATR 500 turboprop aircraft sailed over a pocket of air and we felt a little pull of gravity like we'd just gone over a speed bump.

Small fry giggles and says, "Ooh, Mummy. That tickles!"

We hit another air pocket and my stomach drops again. 

Laughter from the small fry, "Another tickle!". Giggles.

Small fry's take on flight turbulence makes us adults look boringly prosaic by comparison.




Monday, October 04, 2010

Harassing The Cat

Don't be fooled. She looks like she's being tender towards the brown cow. But it's all for show. The cheeky grin on her face says it all: she just loves harassing the boy. He just takes it like a punching bag. I keep telling him to grow some claws and fight back. I tell her that he can only take so much and one day, she'll experience those claws. But they both ignore me. And so it continues...


My cat, my pillow.
Enduring the 'loving'.



My World For A Brown Cow

In general, small fry and the brown cows get along well enough. Especially when she's not trying to take him out by thumping her fists on his back or yelling at him just so that he'll leave the couch.

Pixel may be fat and somewhat stupid but he's fiercely loyal and will let the small fry do almost anything to him. So far, he hasn't extended a claw or tooth in her direction yet.

Small fry greets brown cow. Don't let the claws fool you. He's a softie.
"Even though you torture me to death, I still love you."

"If I bounce hard enough, he'll be my horsey?"




















































Moments like these make my day.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Failed Social Experiment

A couple of weeks back, I thought I'd take small fry to the cinema.

We were going to watch Babies since she'd thoroughly enjoyed the antics of the cross-continental babies in the trailer. In order to prepare her for the experience, I explained to her that the cinema would be dark and that it may be quite loud but that it was OK, that i she didn't like it, we could leave.

"Mmm...it's going to be loud and dark, Mummy."

So we headed off on a weekend for the 11 am show. As we were on the way, small fry kept repeating, "I'm going to the cinema with you, Mummy! We're going to watch the babies!"

When we got to the ticket counter I told the lady what show we wanted tickets for. She looked at me then at small fry in her stroller and asked if she was going in too. I said yes. She said she couldn't let us in as the show was rated NC16.

Oops. Someone forgot to check the restrictions.

Fearing the worst (small fry had so looked forward to this as I'd told her a few times that she was going to the cinema with me prior to heading there). Her facial expressions promptly screwed themselves up and she bawled on the spot.

"I want to watch!" Bawl. Yikes.

The aunty at the counter tried being helpful, saying that there was another show - Alpha and Omega - that she could watch. I wheeled her to the poster so she could look at the cute dogs wolves but she would have none of it.

In the end, I placated her with a lunch of onigiri and noodles and that we'd go right away. And that if the DVD ever came out, I'd make sure to buy it and we could watch it at home together.

Till this day she remembers the route we took to get to the cinema (it's a little offshoot from her regular route to playgroup) and she points out that, "That's where we go to the cinema. I wanted to watch the Babies but the old woman at the counter said I couldn't watch, then I cried and cried and cried."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Square Peg

On the last day of term a couple of weeks back, small fry's class had an end-of-term party.

When I went to pick her up from playgroup, I found most of the kids decked out in face paint; the boys were mostly animals. There are only three girls in her group; two of them had a rose each painted on one cheek.

And the small fry?

At first, I thought she'd had a major sunburn: her face was all pink! On closer inspection, I thought it looked like a jellyfish, but she doesn't have a jellyfish among her toys. Instead she has a couple of beloved octopi. So I said, "Oh hey! You're a pink octopus!"

"No, Mummy. I'm a jellyfish na!"

Yup, the small fry is a jellyfish among the roses.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

What's All The Fuss About?

On a recent visit to the bookstore, small fry convinced Gong-gong to get her a magazine. On the way to the cashier, small fry took her own sweet time to get to the counter, stopping every once in a while to check out the rest of the merchandise on display.

She ambled on so slowly that a line was starting to form behind her and afraid that she'd hold it up any longer, Gong-gong promptly told her, "Hurry up, Sophia! There are other people behind you."

She retorted, "Don't make a fuss, Gong-gong!" and casually strolled up to him at the cashier counter.

Needless to say, the people behind her had a good laugh. Including the guy manning the cashier.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Died People Congregate In Water

Small fry is into her Lego blocks in a big way these days. She likes constructing 'fountains' and giving them away to me.

Tonight, after her storytelling session with Dad, they proceeded to build more stuff with the Lego blocks. When it came my turn to take over with book reading, small fry declined in favour of her blocks.

She promptly made me a few 'fountains' and made the following proclamation:

"Mummy, this is for you! It's a fountain. Say 'thank you'."

"Thank you."

"You're welcome! See, this is a fountain with died people inside!"

"Dyed people? What do you mean, baby?"

"Died people. Like the died people in the water? With their eyes closed? In Daddy's movie?"

Scratching head and racking brains. Bewildered as to what she means by dyed people. Dike people? Diet people? Could she possibly mean dead people? Why's she talking about dead people?! And where did she learn that word - died?

"Remember? In Daddy's movie, mummy?"

Click. Lightbulb goes on. Yikes.

"Oooooh! Where the man fell into the water?"

"Yes! And he couldn't get out? And the died people were all in the water!"

Said died dead people that small fry means is in direct reference to The Lord Of The Rings where Frodo falls into the bog and Gollum snatches him back up. The bog holds all the dead souls who were sorta calling out to Frodo.

Small fry was with us in the living room when Daddy turned on the DVD and surprisingly she didn't flinch. And apparently remembers the died dead people from the bog in the movie. That was two days ago.

The kid is a sponge. What a morbid sponge.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

El Porto

Here's the infamous bag, the El Porto. Design credits go to Nancy Langdon at Studio Tantrum. Of course, I didn't come up with the design or pattern on my own! Too lazy, heheh. Excuse the blurriness of the shots; hands tired and shaky (no coffee) and was too lazy to shoot all over again. Sigh.


My take on the El Porto - with my usual gear stuffed inside. One of these side pockets holds my two expandable shopping bags.


The other end: also stuffed.


Close up: stuffed with my key pouch in the Mezzaluna Pocket and my handphone and card pouch in the zippered pocket. The green bit is also a pocket.


The fully- faced cut-out pocket: with attached key ring and my eye drops are in this pocket.


Another view: in one of the two side pockets is my packet of tissue.


In the main body: sweater, iPod (in an inner pocket), big ass earphones, tupperware of snacks for small fry,  purse, small face towel, small fry's cloth, all with room to spare and a few side pockets empty.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Creative Assessment

Small fry is unrelenting in putting her dirty shoe up on my thigh and my newly made bag while we're on the train.

"Stop it, babe! Please take your foot off my bag. Your shoes are dirty!"

"Mummy, did you make this bag?"

"Yes, I did."

"Mummy, it's not very pretty."

Yeah, shoot me, why don't you? After I spent two backbreaking afternoons tracing the patterns and cutting the material. As well as a whole Saturday of ignoring both her and her Daddy while sewing the multiple pieces, pockets and zips together, and almost sewing my finger into the bag in the process.

But it was worth the mountain of effort because it is my best bag ever! Daddy was so impressed that he got over his grumpiness at being ignored and proclaimed that it was all worth it because it looked totally awesome. He even went on to say that if sis saw my bag, she'd probably want it for herself, hahah.

All that and today the small fry announces that it's not very pretty.

I guess it's time to take it up with the bag designers at Farbenmix/Studio Tantrum then. It can't possibly be my choice of colours and fabric.

Maybe a few years from now when she's battling with me for use of my bags, I can throw her comment back into her face.

I just can't wait for her to see the yet-to-be-made skirt when it's completed and that she helped pick out the fabric for.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Johnny Polanco, High Heels And Me

Shake it, shake it, shake it!


La Cucaracha


Mambo!


























Salsa!

Monday, August 09, 2010

High Heels And Johnny Polanco

I was missing my salsa the other day. So while having lunch at home, I blasted Jimmy Polanco on the Book and was bopping in my seat while the small fry was being read to.

Salsa music just gets my blood moving and my feet itching to dance. So I dug out my dance shoes, strapped them on and tried out a few rusty moves.

Not to be left behind, small fry scampered down from her perch on the dining chair and skittered around my legs as I moved. Tried carrying her and mambo-ing a bit but the small fry ain't so small anymore.

When I took off my shoes, she promptly put them on and since the music was on, shimmied her little butt to the music too. Hahah, small fry will turn out to be a salsa dancer yet. And more of a pro at wearing heals than her mum.

When and if I ever get the photos uploaded into the Book, I'll post them for everyone's viewing pleasure.

Feels Like A Collar

My dad loves cute little doodads and all manner of beautiful but useless things. We've got a closetful of beautiful Swarovski crystal, loads of knick-knacks lying around the house and a gorgeous blue silk Persian rug which is was destroyed by a bout of accidental washing.

On his recent work trip to Japan, he bought a bunch of trinkets. One of them is the cutest little Japanese which you attach to your mobile phone. Of course, I immediately put it on my phone. It's just too darned cute not to put on.

I love how it dangle coyly from my phone, peaking out from the pouch. It hangs from one side of the pouch while on the other, my ceramic fat cat hangs out.

I only wish I could dampen the sound of the bell that jingles inside its round little kimono. I feel like a cat with one of those collared bells, announcing my every step to all and sundry.

I can't sneak very quietly away to anywhere now. That darned kimono lady announces my intention with my first step.

Now I know why I take the bells off any collars that I've purchased for my cats. And I've purchased many. Not that the collars stay on them for long. I always take pity on their valiant efforts to claw those damned things off and end up taking it off for them myself.

So now I've got my own 'collar' of sorts. It's OK, I guess I can live with the annoying tinkling for a bit. The kimono lady is just too cute to leave sheltered in a box somewhere.

The Perils of Driving In KL

Note to self: keep my mouth shut while driving or in the passenger seat in KL.

I have a horrible potty mouth when driving in KL. I can't help it; most KL drivers are nothing but morons in disguise and they bring out the worst in me.

Coming out from the car park at The Curve, an errant driver blocked out exit by trying to enter the lane we were in from the wrong direction. Of course, he was clearly in the wrong. But instead of backing up, he had the audacity to wait for us to back up to let HIM cross. Hubby of course, didn't budge. Ultimately the idjet had to back up and let us cross.

But before he did, there I was putting in my own two cents about the idjet's total lack of character and morals, "Such an asshole!" I spat out. I cannot tolerate people with no road courtesy and I can't not say anything about it.

From the back seat, the small fry pipes up, "You're such an asshole, Daddy!"

Oops. Mummy and her big mouth.

Daddy promptly says, "Mummy's so stupid! Sophie, say 'Mummy's so stupid!'".

"Mummy's so stupid!"

Great, Dad. Thanks for encouraging her; we're raising another potty mouth.

The consolation? At least I don't drive in Singapore and we're only back here about once a month.

Monday, July 26, 2010

This Is How We Do It

The birthday celebrations didn't happen at home. Small fry shared her birthday with classmates in play school. I think she enjoyed it. Or rather, the boys in class did.

















These are the lovelies. The last three rows on the right got a little smooshed as we were getting out of the bus.


















Living it up with her friends at play school. The girl in yellow on her left is her best friend, Chiara. Notice the lack of girls in class.

















Party favours were given out while the kids were waiting for parents to come pick them up. This is the part that everyone enjoys, especially the boys.

















The aftermath and the stragglers.


All in all, I think it was a good one. Small fry's first class party (that was her own). I hope there'll be many more (mummy's just too lazy to book a playgym, get the invites done, invite all mummies, daddies and kids, etc.). Yup, class parties are cool!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Happy 3rd, Sweetie!

Happy, happy Birthday, Small Fry! Love, love, love...Mum.































Could you find a happier three year-old?









Monday, July 12, 2010

WC Withdrawal Symptoms

It's over and I'm still not over it.

I missed the match during extra time as I needed to get small fry into bed. But rushed out when I heard shouts of "Goal!" waft up from outside the open window and caught Iniesta's goal on replay.

This morning I had to TV on to catch the extra time replay and celebrated with the Spaniards when they hoisted the trophy.

It's now almost 3pm and I'm still scanning the news online for World Cup-related stories.

I can't believe it's all over and I have to wait another four years to feel the excitement and emotion again, this time staged in Brazil.

FOUR YEARS!

Sob. Sob.

The team though, to watch out for in Brazil: Germany.

It's Over!

YESSSSSSSS!!!!

I am ecstatic that Spain has won the World Cup. I've always admired their style and precision and they are deserving of the title and trophy. Especially after the way they were harassed and harangued by the Dutch. Urgh, if the Dutch have to resort to physical tactics and fouls to trip up a worthier opponent, it shows just how good bad they are at the game. The germans at least had more class and sportsmanship than to resort to such tactics. It was an ugly game to watch.

And what a beautiful goal, right at the end by Iniesta. I love watching the Spaniards play, even though they didn't get to 'play' much against the Dutch aggression yesterday.

No matter, they won.

Viva Espana!

P.S. Small fry was a vocal couch spectator in both the Spain-Germany game and the final between Spain & Netherlands.

Monday, June 14, 2010

DIY My Home, Ikea-Style

It all started with the couch. Or getting rid of ours, actually.

I love the size of our old couch but despised the way I end up almost slouching off it after sitting on it for 30 minutes or more. So I'd been using the floor more often than I liked.

So, out with the old L-shaped and in with the new Ikea Ektorp. White, no less. The cheapest couch for loads of function and minimal form. With that in mind, I got a second cover in a different colour as standby. And a load of cushions in different sizes.

I was out when the small fry awoke and saw the couch for the first time. Jona related her reaction:

"Oh dear, Mummy bought a new couch!"

Pause.

"It's so white!"

Yes, even a 3 year-old thinks the couch is too white.

It really is so white that it is quite blinding when the morning sun hits it from behind the full-length windows it sits against. Gives the phrase, putih berseri new meaning (we'll see how long it'll remain thus, though).

As a result, I've been busy sewing cushion covers from Ikea's mod and retro prints. Also, two matching remote control caddies. Couldn't stand the fugly black ones that are sold in Ikea, and since I have a store of material, I rigged a couple up. Actually started out with just one but the small fry conveniently hijacked the first one and my plan for just one when she started plucking out the remote controls and filling the pockets with her toy trains instead.

The dining table has suddenly gotten a burst of colour too after we had lunch at Ikea and I realised we could cover the dining table with a nice cloth too, just like how it's done at Ikea. The cloth (also from Ikea!) was as much to beautify the table and to catch stray liquid that somehow manages to leak its way under the glass and getting onto the table. At least this way, we'll have a colourful tablecloth that also acts as a sponge.

Oh, and the side table between the two- and three-seater is also Ikea-bought. Sigh, our house is now a living catalogue for Ikea.

And to think it all started with the darned couch!

Friday, June 04, 2010

When I'm Not At Home

I've had to sneak out of the house a couple of times during the small fry's nap times to minimize the fuss she makes. On one of those occasions, Jona reported to me on her conversation with the small fry when she woke up.

"Where's Mummy?"

"Mummy's gone out."

"Oh dear, naughty Mummy!"

"Why do you say Mummy's naughty?"

"Because she went out when I was sleeping!"

"!!!!"

"Stupidlah, Mummy!"

This is the small fry at 3 years-old. I wonder what she will say when I'm away when she's teen.

*Shudder*

It's Just A Simple Question

I needed to find out about a location of store I wanted to get to in Subang Jaya. Turns out it's harder than I thought to find out where a place is located.

I started out the conversation:

"Hi, where are you located?"

"Er..." In the background I hear her calling for another girl.

"Hello?"

"Hi, where's your shop located?"

"Located?" Pause. "You hold on, ah." In the background I hear her calling for a guy.

"Hello?"

"Hi, where are you located?"

It's only when the man answers and on the THIRD try that I get an answer to what I thought was a simple question, plus directions to boot. And I had to ask a total number of THREE times, addressed to THREE different people.

What is happening to the state of English and the comprehension of the language in our country? Going to pots!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Stuffed

Note to self: do not eat and talk.

Correction, do not have too much of a good time talking and eating. If you do, serves you right that you are awake now feeling like you could burst all seams at your sides and ends of your limbs.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Soothing Dictator

Hubby's driving the car, small fry's in her car seat and I'm seated next to her. I'm trying to have a conversation with hubby but it gets increasingly difficult with constant interruptions from small fry.

“Don’t talk, Mummy, don’t talk!”

"Don't talk!"

“Calm down, calm down.”

Pat, pat, pat, pat on my knee.

"Calm down, Mummy!"

Pat, pat, pat.

“Calm down, calm down, aaahh. Don’t talk.”

Pat. Pat. Pat. Pat.

"Don't talk."

Pat. Pat. Pat.



Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tea For Two

We had a loooong day today. And we finished off with tea for two.

Wednesday is gym day, so we got done with class at about 1pm. I'd decided small fry needed to see the doc today because she's sounded like a wheezy old man for the past week or so. The Rhinathiol is so obviously not working.

Our beloved Dr. Vas was on leave when we went to her clinic on Monday. She's just back today but was at Paragon in the afternoon. The clinic there opens at 2:30pm and we were there by 2:15pm. Waiting there outside the clinic suite for 15 minutes or so, the line started building up. By the time the doors opened and we registered ourselves, the clinic was full and we found out that Dr. Vas would only be in at 3pm.

So I sat down and popped open my book while the small fry entertained herself with the myriad of toys and the toy kitchen at the clinic. Made a friend while cooking too. And when she got bored, she alternated between watching videos on my phone and playing with the iPod. All in all, very well behaved.

Astoundingly, when she was called in, she was extremely cooperative with Dr. Vas, even coughed on demand. What I love about Dr Vas is she will only give antibiotics as a very last resort. So I discovered why the Rhinathiol didn't work to curb the cough; it needed to be taken as a combo with Fedac, Zenmolin and Singulair. We walked out with a course of antibiotics for standby with strict instructions to only take that as a last resort if the cough didn't clear.

I was starving and small fry seemed to think she was too despite gobbling up all her snack while waiting to see the doc. So we went for tea.

It was a table for two with cushy velvety chairs, one for small fry and one for me. I ordered stew with bread on the side and a hazelnut latte. The small fry busied herself with the iPod so I popped open my book again. And there we sat like two civilized girlfriends out for a spot of tea, each ensconced in our chair doing our own thing but enjoying the other's company too.

Small fry was curious about the hazelnut latte when it got to the table and insisted on stirring the froth with the spoon. Which led to her wanting to try the latte. Note to self: order a normal or bitter latte when out for tea with small fry. Hazelnut latte is slightly sweet and of course the small fry decided that latte was her cup of tea.

"I LIKE it!" she exclaimed after tasting the froth off the spoon. I had to contend with giving her a few more small spoonfuls of the latte before she promised that the next spoonful was the last one.

So there it is. I can now have a civilized session of tea/coffee with my 3-year old. How cool is that?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Library Haul

Am on a roll:

  1. Lips Touch Three Times - Laini Taylor
  2. Shannon Hale - Austenland
  3. Girl In The Arena - Lise Haines
  4. Crazy Beautiful - Lauren Baratz-Logsted
  5. My Fairy Fair Godmother - Janette Rallison

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Desperately Seeking Cantonese

Note to self: buy DVDs and CDs in KL if I want them to be in Cantonese rather than Mandarin. EVERYTHING here is in Mandarin; Jacky Cheung, Leslie Cheung, God of Gamblers, Ip Man, TVB serials on Channel 5.

E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

It's driving me crazy! What the hell is wrong with having a variety of Cantonese movies and music?

On my next trip back from KL, I will be entering Singapore armed with CDs and DVDs in Cantonese.

Consumerism Starts At Three, Maybe Younger

Back in March during our trip back to KL, small fry learned the fine art of consumerism.

I drive an old 7-series beamer and the logos on both the front and back of the car is all but almost peeling off. Still, a beamer logo is quite distinctive, I suspect. Because after a couple of days of being driven around in the car, the small fry started pointing to other beamers and saying, "Mummy, that looks like your car!"

It didn't matter what colour or which series beamer the car was; white, grey, black (mine's a dark navy blue) or what size; 3-series, 5-series, whatever. She'd pick out a beamer and announce loudly, "Mummy, that looks like your car!"

Initially, while we were in KL, I thought it was a fluke. But the habit continued in Singapore while we were walking along Orchard Road, waiting to cross at the pedestrian lights. A white beamer would pass by and she'd go, "Mummy, that looks like your car!"

Or we'd be waiting for the bus and a beamer would drive pass and she'd say excitedly, "Mummy, that looks like your car!"

It's a tad scary how young they start recognizing brands, isn't it?

Library Haul

  1. Brave Story - Miyuki Miyabe
  2. Wanting Mor - Rukhsana Khan
  3. A Map Of The Known World - Lisa Ann Sandell
  4. Very LeFreak - Rachel Cohn
  5. The Heart Is Not A Size - Beth Kephart
  6. Sing Me To Sleep - Angela Morrison
  7. The Spell Book Of Listen Taylor - Jaclyn Moriarty

Friday, May 14, 2010

Eat It And A Tree Will Grow

Small fry has a thing about eating watermelon with the seeds in it. We're not talking about the big brown/black seeds but the small unobtrusive little white ones where you can just bite through them or swallow them whole; she'll insist on having me take them out before she eats the watermelon slice.

Not wanting to have to fuss over it, and knowing how much she likes Totoro and growing trees, this is what I told her:

"Babe, these seeds can be eaten. You know why?"

Small fry looks curious.

"You know, when you eat these seeds, then maybe a tree will grow out of the top of your head, like Totoro growing the trees! You like growing trees like Totoro, right? So if you eat these seeds, then you could have a big tree growing right out of your head! Isn't that nice?"

Small fry promptly ate the watermelon slice, seeds and all.

HAHAHAHAHAH!! I'm a genius!

The Cat Did It!

It's 7am and Pixel's sprawled on the back of the couch, looking out the window behind it.

Small fry is having her breakfast of Nutella toast and milk at the couch. I'm having mine at the table. I look up and the boy (Pixel) looks hilarious spread out on the back of the couch, somewhat like a piece of salami.

"Babe, what's the boy doing on the couch, looking out the window?"

"He's looking for the remote (control)!"

"Why's he looking for it?"

"Because he threw it out the window!"

Hm, never ask a 3 year-old a dumb question.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Headaches Can Happen Anywhere

So there we are, the small fry sitting at the head of her bed, watching a recent video on my phone of herself playing together with her best friend; I'm reading my book next to her but on the floor next to bed, on the floor chair against the wall.

Small fry taps me on my shoulder and smiles.

"Mummy, Sophie's got a headache."

"You do?"

"Yeah, I've got a headache on my legs."

"How did you get a headache on your legs?!"

"I fought on the wall, *fob* and fell down and got a headache on my leg."

"So how?"

"Because I jumped on the wall, and slipped like this."

"Really?"

"Ya."

"Is it OK?"

"Ya."

"OK, if you say so."

Revisiting Old Friends

Hi again, my lovelies.

I've been distracted and away too long (blame it on that blasted iPod and its myriad addictive games). You've been gathering dust and been borrowed out from the library by everyone else but me. I've missed you.

I haven't thumbed through your pages in a long, long while.

Well, I'm back. I'm back to pore through the print on your pages, leaf through your crisp pages and include you in my bag on my trips out.

Hello, my old friends.

Hello, books.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Back To The Beginning

We're sitting on the floor, small fry facing me on my lap and I'm watching TV.

"Mummy, I want to go into your tummy!"

????

"You're a bit big to go back into my tummy, babe. You were this small when you were in mummy's tummy, you can't go back in again now, you're too big!"

"When I get smaller, I can go back into your tummy. I want to go back into your tummy, Mummy!" She then puts her head to my abdomen and tries to 'push' herself into my tummy.

"See, I went back into your tummy!"

Riiiiiiight.

The Boys Do It Differently

Small fry standing at the mouth of the toilet bowl with her pants down:

"The boys stand like this to wee-wee."

"Are you wee-weeing like that?"

"No, I sit down and wee-wee."

Hm, those communal trips to the toilet during playgroup (they hold on to each other's shoulders and shuffle along in an orderly line) sure does open her eyes to other ways of doing things.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

We Are All Sorts Of Beautiful

"Mummy, you are fat! Daddy is big and I am tall!"

So says the small fry.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fatal Flaw

I withhold my praises of the new Circle Line; there's nothing wrong with the CC Line per se, I've just got an issue with how SMRT planned for the pedestrians to cross the road.

Used to be there was a temporary pedestrian crossing while construction work was going on. Now there's a lift at the entrance to the station and underpass right next to our apartment however, there's no way anyone with a set of wheels could manouvre up the escalator and then down a flight of stairs to get out of the underpass at the other side of the road. Worse, there's no way anyone without a working pair of legs could get down to the station as there's a long flight of stairs to tackle on the way down to the station from that same side of the underpass.

Try going through the station pass the ticket gantries and you're gonna get charged. Doesn't matter that you entered and exited at the same station within five minutes. You're still charged.

So.

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

Looks like I won't be pushing the small fry in the stroller across the road via the underpass to cross the road to get to Singpost or Fair Price.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

As If We Need Another Reason

I'll let this speak for itself...

New Line, New Life

The Circle Line's been open since April 17th. Hubby and I watched with glee from our apartment window, around midnight, how the engineering company would dismantle the five traffic lights and close down the pedestrian crossing. The lights were taken down overnight; the road barrier took a few days more to complete. Still, if it was in Malaysia, it would take them weeks to have done a simple job like that.

The next day we tried out the CC line. I LOVE it!

Since its opening, I have not taken the EW-Green line. The CC line's two stations further and takes a bit longer to Orchard, where we need to be on a daily basis for Sophie's playgroup, but it beats having to wait at least three trains before we can get on the Green line. And jostle our way in at that.

The CC line? No jostling, no waiting, ample seating and traveling in relatively way more comfort than the Green line. No more fighting with crowds, especially at City Hall. We change at Dhoby Gaut and our lives are so much easier from there.

I LOVE the CC line!

Oh, and the Paya Lebar Interchange is a really well-designed and well-thought out station. I love the way it looks and feels and I love the colours too.

Malaysia has nothing on Singapore for public transport. And guess what? The CC line trains are driverless too! But, and here's where it differs vastly from Malaysia: the trains are about twice the width of those in KL. Also, helpful SMRT staff have been on hand at the station since opening day to ensure crowds get the help they need, giving out helpful instructions and directions. They're stationed at EVERY CC station that's been opened. And that's eleven (ELEVEN!) stations.

If Singapore gets one thing right, it's their efficiency and their superb public transportation.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Backlogged!

So while I've been sitting around on my butt and my sewing machine's been squeaky clean in the cupboard, here are the projects that I have yet to complete:

  1. A birthday bag for a friend (overdue)
  2. A tea cosy for mother-in-law (overdue)
  3. A small pouch for nenek
  4. A fabric 'garden' for the small fry (a few stuffed flowers on stems and a couple of pots)
  5. A bag/casing for parents' bamboo mat
  6. A bag demanded requested by sis

Yup, I'd better get started on the list before it gets any longer and threatens to drown me.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fat, Big And Tall

While watching TV this evening, small fry quips, "Mummy, mummy! You are fat!"

"What? Why do you say that?"

Silence and a mischievous grin.

"How about you, then? Are you fat?"

"No, I am tall!"

"You sure you're not fat?"

"No."

"How about Daddy, is he fat?"

"No, Daddy's BIG!"

"Oh, Okaaaay."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

About Having Legs

Hubby hoisted the small fry up to go to bed after she'd pestered him away from the PC to tell her a bedtime story.

"No, Daddy, NOOOOOOO! I can walk on my own!"

"I HAVE LEGS!"

This coming from the girl who pesters everyone on a regular basis to "Carry! Carry!"

Monday, April 05, 2010

The Ever Flexible Totoro

"Babe, why don't you want to drink your milk?"

"Because Totoro's in the straw!"

I don't know if I should be amused or aghast at the small fry's imagination. Or her ability to spin yarns.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Trade 1: Conservation 0

At the risk of sounding pessimistic, I'm going to say it: we're going to run the Earth to the ground. I'm not entirely sure that there will be many animal species left by the time the small fry gets to my age, not any that she won't know of that's not in a zoo, conservation park or an aquarium, anyway.

I'm not sure how political a platform is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species is, but it sounds as if trade really is trumping conservation these days.

Actually, trade is probably trumping EVERYTHING these days.

So, no protection for the Atlantic bluefin tuna (thanks to voracious appetites for sushi and sashimi), the porbeagle shark lost its protection along with six other sharks, which failed to get protection.

Just why do we need to eat shark's fin? The bloody thing doesn't even have a specific taste, just a texture.

Men and their virility complex are the culprits in trade of exotic animal parts: tiger, bear, what not. No, you're not gonna get it up just by consuming the penis of this or that. You have your own, just figure out how to bloody use it! It's not enough that there are enough phallic symbols in our daily lives; our wildlife has been and still is paying for man's vanity and greed.

One day we'll discover we went too far. By then, it will be too late.

Good luck to us. No, good luck to our future generations.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 5: Success!

We got to school early today; I was knackered from a business day trip back to KL the day before, so we took the cab. We were one of the first ones at school and the place was quiet.

Small fry insisted that the school was closed, all the way from the entrance till the door of her classroom. And then Xun lau shi came to the door and greeted her.  Teacher Neelima was also in class and there was another of her classmates already busy with the toys spread on the floor.

At the door, she'd told me she wanted me to go into class with her too. When Xu lau shi asked for a high five, she tentatively stuck her hand out and then as lau shi dodged, she got braver. And promptly stepped through the threshold of the door and forgot about me.

Woohoooo!!

I'm dreading the week back in KL next week. Or rather, I'm dreading the regression the small fry will go through after we return from a week without daily school. I'm anticipating an all out bawl session when we start again.

Sigh, it's time to plan for shorter trips back to KL with minimal disruption to her schedule.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Show Me A Little Love

For my birthday tomorrow, I ended up giving myself not one, but TWO birthday presents.

First, a nick on my right thumb while washing the Global knife yesterday. And there I am telling Jona to be careful with that knife when she handles it.

Two, another nick today, this time on my left thumb, with the fabric shears while cutting up cotton duck for a project.

Both required some minutes of sucking on the wounds before they would stop bleeding.

I love myself quite a bit, I suppose.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Curtain Drawing

On Thursday, small fry and I took a bus to the library, as is our wont on a free day in between playgroup.

We leave after breakfast, take a leisurely stroll to the bus stop and it's a short two-stop ride to the community library. She knows which bus we take to the library: 155. "Is the 155 her yet, Mummy?"

We walk from the bus stop to the library; I return my books at the book drop and then we climb the stairs up to the second floor to look for books for me before we head back down to the first floor to look for books for her. She likes sitting on and sometimes rearranging the colourful Ikea kid chairs.

After a few readings, we take the books to the scan counter where I prop her up on the counter and she helps me lay the books on the scanner before we take them out.

This time, she insisted on holding her own Charlie and Lola book all the way to the bus stop. She loves pressing the button on the lights for the pedestrian crossing. She likes hurrying me across the road, pulling on my hand, prompting, "Faster, Mummy! Faster!"

Sometimes she falters as we're almost there and hankers to be carried. Usually I succeed in persuading her to make the distance.

And then we hop on the 155 back the two stops where we came and cross the main road back to our place.  Back home, we have lunch. The whole trip takes not more than two hours if we don't stop by Shop 'N Save for groceries.

I'll miss those morning trips to the library.

With the small fry starting daily playgroup yesterday, those morning trips to the library are a thing of the past. The thought occurred to me as we made our way home yesterday, and again today after I'd put her to bed. I felt a momentary pang of melancholy.

Gone are those leisurely Tuesdays and Thursdays where I can decide to hop on a bus either to Parkway Parade for a grocery run or to the library. Mornings will be hectic and hopefully, I'll have the energy in the afternoons to take her out on bus rides.

I'll miss those slow and easy days. We'll just have to find the time in the afternoons to hop on the 155 on our book rounds to the library.

It won't be the same.

Friday, March 19, 2010

School, Showering, Totoro and Eyes

Morning
*******
First day of unaccompanied play group today. As expected, the small fry bawled her head off and tried to escape out the door. Luckily it was latched and I could hear her bawling on the other side, "I want my Mummy! I want to go out!"

After that, more new kids arrived at the class next door and there was a cacophony of bawls and I couldn't tell who was who. So instead of beating myself up about the small fry crying, I left.

I did catch a glimpse of her clinging to her teacher as I left.

Two and a half hours later,  I picked her up and the teacher had a chat with me. Apparently the small fry did better than she expected and cried for only a few minutes. She was participative but was more of a one-on-one kind of gal. As soon as the teacher was out of sight, like when they went for a bathroom run, she cried.

Looks like we have a ways to go.

But teacher Neelam was very optimistic and pleased with the small fry. By the end of the class, small fry and her best friend were jumping about, having fun.


Afternoon
********
Small fry lugs her Minnie bag-on-wheels around the living room.

"Totoro! Come, Totoro. Let's shower and then you can wear your eyes."

"The three Totoros will shower first and then I will buy them eyes."

Small fry running to and fro in between the living room and the bedroom, carting her Totoros and her Minnie bag.

"Totoro! Totoro, come! Let's go on the bus! See, one goes on the bus and the other two go in the cab. We're on the bus! Totoros are so tired!"

Plonks on the couch with her Totoros.

"All right, I sit with you. Look at the Totoro. Totoro's sleeping on my tummy."

"Totoro is sleepy, Muumy. Totoro, you dropped your eyes! Mummy, Totoro dropped his eyes while sleeping. It's OK Totoro, I pick up your eyes."

"Totoro dropped his nuts! Oh, oh! Totoro, it's OK. Look at that, his eye dropped out. Ooooooooo, oh, it's OK. Totoro."

"The other Totoro fell down!"

Grabs her Minnie handphone:

"I call the cab for Totoro. Oh, the cab's downstairs already. All right, Totoro. Let's go downstairs. Wait ah...see, I'm going downstairs. I'm going to pick Totoro's eye up. I just put it in my zip. It's OK, the eye's still there, Totoro."

While talking to Totoro, "All right, now you can wear your eye."

And so on and so forth. It went on to colouring and drawing and singing and activity after activity after activity. I felt tired just listening to her.

I took a 10-minute audio recording of her followed by 17 minutes of video. And then I went to cook dinner. Jona and I didn't have to entertain her one bit. She entertained and talked enough for herself, the Totoros, Jona and I put together! She didn't stop till we were done cooking and it was time for her to try out the quesadilla.

Wow. First day of school? Amazing.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Penguin & The iPad Difference

Here's to those naysayers out there. How cool is this?


The people who pooh-pooh the iPad probably don't have kids or have never handed their iPod to their small ones to try out. It's the easiest thing for kids to manouvre and figure out how to use.

Small fry loves the iPod. She handles it like a pro. She learns her alphabets on the iPod and traces them with her finger. She plays constructive games on the thing. She's even figured out how to get to the emails. I have to stop her from sending off gawd-knows-what to people.

So yes, the iPad is cool. And with the right apps, makes for a great education tool.

A Vision Of Me


The small fry has shown a spark of creativity. She attempted to draw me, or rather DID draw me the other day. This is what I look like in a 3-year old's mind:


The two dots above the line are my eyes; the line is not a moustache but my mouth and the dot below is my nose. Shortly after she drew this:














After I'd asked her why my nose ended up below my mouth, she amended her drawing. The two dots above the line are my eyes again. This time my nose ended up ON my mouth. She added in the two diagonal lines as my legs and the two dots at their ends are my feet.

I wonder if Picasso would have approved?

I can visualize my very own air-and-stick figure, sans hands and arms, walking around in her mind giving her orders.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Be Nice

Hubby was bouncing a beach ball off small fry's head yesterday morning. Smiling but probably annoyed, the small fry said, 

"Daddy, why did you hit my head? It's not nice, Daddy!"

Yes, Daddy. It's not nice having your head as a launch pad for a beach ball.


Monday, March 08, 2010

Telling Me The Difference

I have a little potted plant in my bathroom. It's a tiny thing, no flowers, just leaves.

After brushing my teeth this morning, I took the water spray to spritz some moisture onto the thing.

From the toilet seat where she was sitting and watching me, the small fry asks, "Mummy, what are you doing?

"I'm spraying the flower, girl."

"No, mummy! That's not a flower, that's a plant. The flower is downstairs!"

(We have flowering shrubs in our condo compound.)

Dumbfounded, I reply, "Oh, you're right, girl! This isn't a flower coz it's got no flowers. It's got only leaves, so it's a plant."

"Yes, mummy. It's a plant."

Right. My 2-year old is smarter than I am.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

So Much For That

Tortoise B has disappeared.

One minute he was in the stroller with his buddy, and the next, he was gone. I didn't even notice his disappearance till we arrived home. Small fry was notably, asleep; so of course, she didn't even register the loss.

I retraced my steps back to the station, hoping that he'd have fallen down somewhere nearby. But nope, I guess he went in search of greener pastures.

So now it's on to Tortoise B, version 2.0.

The small fry is gonna bawl when she wakes up.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A Tale Of Two Tortoises



















Conversations about two tortoises:
"Toetoise is sick. He needs medicine."
"Really, what happened to him?"
"Aw, he's got a cough. See, he's coughing mummy."
"Here toetoise, here's your medicine."
"Now he's going back to sleep. I cover him back."
"How about the other tortoise? He's not sick, right?"
"Oh, this one has got a fever. He needs medicine too."
"See, he's drinking his medicine."
"Now they're both sleeping. They are both sick."
"Aw, toetoise. It's OK, toetoise. It's OK."
Pat, pat, pat.

Everyone, meet Tortoise A (light blue) and Tortoise B (bright blue). They are now the small fry's constant companions. They're about 4" long and 3" tall. They have dethroned Totoro as her new friends.

They follow her everywhere: they watch from the sink when she's bathing; they watch from the floor when she's on her porta potty; they perch on the dining table when she eats; they share her pillow on her bed; they follow her in her stroller when she goes out; they go EVERYWHERE with her.

It all started when a woman in a wheelchair at the MRT station gave her a tiny balloon tortoise when I gave the woman $1. Naturally, the balloon tortoise lasted only a week before it deflated into oblivion. Small fry was distraught, and I mean D.I.S.T.R.A.U.G.H.T.

Every once in a while, she would burst out, "My toetoise! My toetoise!" as if it were the first time she found out about its demise. The last straw dropped when I wheeled her into the station past the spot where the woman in the wheelchair was and she whimpered, "My toetoise, my toetoise."

I didn't want to buy her another stuffed toy. Her stuffed menagerie is already colourful enough - octopus, armadillo, porcupine, Totoro in various sizes, Catbus, tiger, Miffy, Mickey, teddy, Senget, among others - and I didn't want to add to the clutter that is the mound on her bed. So I thought, maybe something small.

Luckily, a riffle through my amigurumi crochet book yielded a pattern for a cute tortoise. And he was small, to boot! Thus Tortoise A was born. Unfortunately, Tortoise A was not very well made. The stitches were a bit sloppy and his neck was floppy. Doesn't help that she grabs him and takes him around by the head. Therefore, Tortoise B was born.

Small fry had a hand in Tortoise B's creation. She chose the colours. She nixed all my suggestions of colour. She wanted the exact same shade of shell, just a brighter shade of head and limbs.  No green, n browns, no pink, no nothing. Just the shades she chose. Right.

Her tortoises can fly, they also like to sleep. A lot. Snug under her cloth. On the sofa, on her bed, on her pillow, on her tray table, on the coffee table, they sleep everywhere.

They have both taken a fall from her stroller. Somehow her hands lose their grip and each has met the cold hard floor. On different occasions.

So far, they're both holding up. Tortoise A is a bit battered for the wear. Stray yarn pops up here and there. I find them and I stick them back in. Tortoise B is better constructed. He stays intact. They've been around for a week or so. I hope they stay around for a bit more.

"Toetoise, you are so cute, na! Aw, toetoise!"

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I'm One Of Those

I'm one of those people, whom if you slap on a pair of headphones and pipe in some fantastic music, gets caught up in it all and starts nodding her head, tapping her feet, mouthing the lyrics or moving some part of my body.

Can't help it. Music is infectious. Good music is a waste not to move to.

I'm one of those people who, if I see on the public transport, are oblivious to how annoying their foot-tapping, head-bobbing and lyric-mouthing can be.

I'm so annoying I even irritate myself.

No matter, good music is good music anywhere.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Chasing Lions

Small fry saw her first lion dance today.

I noticed the troupe waiting at the corner of the main entrance to Wheelock and stopped the stroller by the side. Then I thought it would be a good idea for the small fry to catch a lion dance. I asked her if she wanted to watch and she said yes. As a precautionary measure, I explained to her that there would be drums and that it would be loud but that the lions needed the loud drums to dance to. And if she felt that it was too loud at any time, then we'll just leave.

I needn't have worried.

We were standing right by the side of the troupe as they were banging away on the drums and clashing the cymbals. The pair of golden lions strutted and danced around outside the entrance and did their thang: jumped around, peeled and gave out mandarin oranges, plucked and spit out lettuce, and finally bowed and posed for photos with the building management.

The small fry wasn't satisfied with just the main event outside at the entrance. When the troupe got ready to head into Wheelock and proceed to do the building walk-around, she insisted I follow the lions, refusing my counteroffer of a noodle lunch. So we were the troupe's devoted followers (other than the management), tailing along with the small fry clapping her hands enthusiastically while yelling, "Follow, mummy! Faster, faster!"

We tailed the lions and their troupe across all floors of the building (all 6 of them, including 2 basements) and finally when they were done, I had to placate the small fry by telling her the lions needed to rest and that she needed her lunch. And that we'd try to catch them again later or over the weekend.

It being the sixth day of Chinese New Year, I should have expected there'd be more lion dances at the other malls too. As we were walking through Ngee Ann to get to Cineleisure Orchard, I heard the drums reverberate through the mall. I knew I wouldn't be able to bluff my way out of chasing the lions, so I gave in and told the small fry we'd go look for the lions.

We found two different troupes dancing and ushering in the new year at several boutiques and we tailed both of them, one after the other. Small fry didn't find the deafening noise a deterrent; she deftly plugged up her ears with her fingers when the noise got too much to bear. And she insisted on staying till the very end.

I was almost deaf after the performances. The small fry pouted and wanted more.

My daughter, the lion chaser.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

A While In The Dry

It's been silent here for a while. As usual, I've been chasing deadlines, trying to find inspiration and getting caught up in the everyday.

In reflection, let me take you to Steve McCurry.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What A Wonderful World

A lot of things are seriously wrong in our country today.

LOADS.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Flights Of Totoro Fancy

Whoooooeeeee!

We're off on a Totoro adventure. Everyday is Totoro-sighting day. Ever since Brisbane, small fry's been seeing Totoros everywhere. We'd be walking along nicely and suddenly she stops dead in her tracks and points to a tree or a spot somewhere in the distance and say,
"Oooh, Mummy, look, look! Ooohh! It's Totoro!"
"Wow! Really? Where, where?"
"There, there, over there! On the tree!"
"What's he doing?"
"He's picking apples! Nah, here's one for you, Mummy."
"Thanks, babe."

Let's call that Scenario #1.


Scenario #2
"Oooooh look, Mummy! Totoro's on the bus!"
"He is? Where's he going?"
"To the library!"
"What's he gonna do at the library?"
"Borrow some books!"

Hm, yeah...Totoro would be interested in going to the library at the Gold Coast.

Scenario #3
*Gasp* "I can see Totoro, Mummy!"
"Where?"
"There, there! He's on the Wheel!" (The Brisbane Eye - Brisbane's version of the London Eye)
"What's he doing there?"
"He's going for a ride!"

Scenario #4
While observing the fishes and sharks at the underwater viewing gallery at Seaworld, Gold Coast:

"Totoro's swimming, Mummy. Look, look!"
"Where?"
"There, there! Over there!"
"Are you sure? Can he swim?"
"Um yeah, Mummy."

Scenario #5
"Totoro's driving the car, Mummy!"

Scenario #6
"Totoro's over there, digging some nuts, Mummy."

Scenario #7
"I see Totoro's ears! He's at the window eating, Mummy!"
"Wah, what's he eating?"
"Um, nuts, Mummy."

Scenario #8
She's on the bed reading or watching TV when suddenly she gets up and starts rummaging around in the luggage.

"Baby, what are you doing?"
"I'm looking for the little, tiny Totoro, Mummy."

The little, tiny Totoro has been missing for a while at our house.


That's not including the times when she'll inadvertently burst out into song, serenading everyone within a 10-30m radius with the two theme songs from Totoro. Yes, in Japanese. And yes, it could happen ANYWHERE: bookstores, walking along the sidewalk, sitting in her stroller and even in the bus.

IN. A. BUS. With passengers.

Yes, that's my little Totoro-spotting and theme-song spouting small fry. What would life be without her?

Unimaginable.

Desperately Seeking Affection

Something must have short-wired in Trixie's brain. Ever since we came back from Brisbane and she had her session of TLC and combing during the New Year, she's been a magnet for affection.

She tries to get close to me at all times of the day, seeking out hugs, eskimo kisses and nuzzles most of the time she's awake. Usually she seeks me out only during the night when only hubby and I are awake or when she sniffs my warm milk in a mug.

Must be the short stint when we left them at home by themselves with no company but the plants and the cat sitter coming in every other day to replenish their food and water.

I'm not complaining. It's nice for a change to have her come looking for me rather than the other way around.

The boy's the same as ever; he's my cat-dog, my attention-loving dog stuck in a cat's body. He still comes to me when I'm out of the room every morning, or whenever I'm around the house, trying to nudge my legs, feet or hands. And when it's just hubby and me up at night in the living room, he never fails to burrow himself in between both of us or worse, find a viable spot on my sarong where I'm curled up and try to curl up there himself, even if it's obvious there's really not enough room for his substantial bulk. If I move away, he usually tries to follow and tries to at least lean his bulk next to me.

If we sleep with the bedroom door open any time of the day, he'll be there on our bed. At one point over the course of the holidays, there were five living things on our bed; FIVE. LIVING. BREATHING. BEINGS. On our QUEEN-SIZED bed, two of them furry. One of them the size of a small dog, one who sounds like a bulldozer, the other who takes up more space than an octopus, with limbs flailing in all directions.

Welcome to my crazy, furry zoo.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Hello, 2010!

The plan was to watch the fireworks from hubby's office last night, complete with small fry in tow. Jona's back in the Philippines on break and neither set of parents are quite dispensed to come down to mind the small fry.

That was the plan, anyway.

Small fry had much to adjust to from traveling to and back from Brisbane that it seemed too much to ask of her to schlep along with us to catch an annual fireworks display. I was ok with staying at home, heck, was even dressed for an evening home, even though I'd already preset the settings for the camera for the night.

Final word from hubby sealed it though. We'd brought out the stroller and were prepping it to transfer a sleeping small fry into it when he turned around and thought better of the idea. I just shrugged and went back to my book.

My enthusiasm for the new year was that abundant. Yay. In truth, it's just another year and another 365 days to call a new year.

But the brown cows had a blast. They got a major grooming session while we were catching the fireworks on TV. At least some members of the family were receiving some pretty much needed TLC.

Welcome, 2010.
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