Get spotted Snacking or Farting

We discovered recently that Bubbles has a pretty keen sense of smell.

A couple of days ago, my mother hurriedly ate one of these Almond Cookies before attending to Bubbles. (We try not to let Bubbles snack on sugary stuff.)

The bub stared at her grandma's (already empty) mouth, pointed to it, and exclaimed indignantly: Biscuit!

Even more hilarious, and possibly alarming:

One day, I was sitting a few paces away while her watching her play. I then farted. Ok I can't believe I just said that. Online. For the whole world to see. But you know, I really want to tell this story, and the fart is an integral part of it. So if you will, hands up if you've never farted in your life because I'll like to learn how you do it!

Back to the story...
So I farted while watching my tot play.

The bub immediately looked up and said solemnly: Flatus
(Yes, that is actually a technical word for Fart. Click on the link of you don't believe me.)

I almost choked.
What?! I said

Flatus! She repeated enthusiastically, sensing my interest and breaking into giggles.

Now, will you join me in holding your foreheads from shock?

By way of explanation, my mother is a trained nurse, and no one baby talks around here.

My only consolation is that if Bubbles ever announces Flatus to strangers, in an enclosed lift, I'm hopeful no one will understand what she means, or assume that my tot is just babbling. Hurray for medical speak!

Look what I found in my Inbox?

Received after yesterday's post

Thanks Shawna! Really sweet of you to do this for me!

Now I need to go plan a holiday!
*nudge the husband*

From 3 to 2, and no Black please!

The Bub now says 2-syllable words pretty well.

As a result, she has also begun to confidently attempt 3-syllable words by taking it upon herself to remove one syllable. Why say all 3 when Mummy (the default Bubbles Speak interpreter) can understand when I use just 2?

So there, here is Bubbles in her Car-gan (cardigan). You can't quite see it from these photos, but it has customised embriodery from Pixie Threads. She asks for this when she feels cold. It is a good thing it is white.

Here's why:
If I so much as dare to wear my (black) work Car-gans home, she makes me Take Out!. When asked why, she knowingly explains that it is Hot.

The truth is, she doesn't like me to wear black. She has made me Take Out! not just black Car-gans, but also black neck cass (necklaces) and belts when I get home from work. Once, I happened to wear all 3 black items with my white shirt, and I had to remove all of them at her insistence!

Here's another photo of her looking straight at the camera. And that's Patch the Pup making his appearance on this site :)

I wish I knew how to superimpose this image of her onto an autumn scene. The background seems all wrong!

This is the way you Kiss...

...a Washing Machine:

1. Be bored when your parents are scouting around for household appliances.

2. Run around until you spot something furry and cute. Even if it is in 2-D.
And on a washing machine.

3. Squat for a closer look at eye-level.

4. Be friendly. Wave and say Hello.
5. Steal a kiss when you can. Anything furry and cute (even in 2-D) deserves a kiss.
There you go!
It's easy.
Give it a try the next time you're bored at a shopping mall!
Washing machines need some lovin'.

The Chinese New Year Outfit

It is the 15th and last day of the Chinese New Year celebrations today - or Chap Goh Meh. My family doesn't observe/celebrate Chap Goh Meh and it is only in recent years that I learnt there is such a thing!

Anyway, I scanned through our Chinese New Year photos and was disappointed that we did get many good ones. The disappointment is largely because I am in love with the dress that I got for Bubbles and wish I took a better photo of her in it.

I really like the patchwork design on quality cotton. I want one in my size! Unfortunately for me, I misplaced the namecard of the stall I bought it from. They apparently also roam different malls to sell cotton dresses (in different styles) in pushcarts.

Maybe I'll make her wear it again to pose for me *cackle*. It will be hilarious if she poses with a mop in her hand. Mini housewife from the 1920s Shanghai ;)

Oh joy! I found the namecard. Check out their site:

The Toilet Monster iPhone App

Hi! I'm Lola!

Meet Lola, a lead character in an iPhone ebook written and designed for children. She now features in a new ebook entitled The Toilet Monster.

I'm not a techie myself but even I have to admit that there are pretty neat apps out there (especially after I figure them out).

This ebook features a charming short story about a little girl Lola and a monster who resides in her toilet. The monster is a cute one, despite Lola being intially afraid of it. As the story unfolds, there is a twist where the monster is revealed to be timid and afraid of Lola instead. They become friends and for the rest of the story, Lola seeks a new home for it.
The illustrations are quite lovely as are the music and sound effects. I really like that there's a feature to record 2 versions of my own voice (or Bubbles' in the future!) reading the book. Its a nice personalisation element which I think may be quite thrilling for young ones. I haven't done that yet as the 'Let's Listen' option works great for us right now. The voice-over is one of a child's. I was surprised at her local accent but decided that it appealed to me as gave a sense of familiarity. Having said that, I believe she was clear and spoke well enough for others who are not familiar with her accent to still fully understand her.

So, what was Bubbles' reaction to it?

She surprised us by being thoroughly engaged. Even my mother was amazed at how she stopped eating the biscuit in her hand the moment the story started. She giggled at the picture of Lola, and pointed to my phone's screen with her chubby fingers (spreading baby drool all over). When the story ended, she even declared, More!

It has been a long time since she has showed such intense interest in any book!

I was thrilled with her reaction as I did have some reservations at first about introducing the idea of monsters to her. In general, I have avoided initiating the idea about being afraid, or that things can be scary. So, she has never been introduced to the words 'scared' or 'afraid'. Before she could speak though, I taught her to pat her chest to refer to herself. I realised later that other people see that as a sign for being scared, and I've witnessed on more than one occasion adults telling her not to be 'scared' when she really was just trying to say something about herself.

Anyway. From her reaction, I guess my fears were unfounded. The creators must have done their research and designed the characters in a way that appeal to rather than frighten their young readers. Thinking about it, many classics in children's literature also contain mean or evil characters, so perhaps it really is fine to have this little dollop (I couldn't resist using this) of reality.

Currently the app requires one to swipe the screen to turn the pages. As Bubbles is not able to properly do that on her own yet, I do it for her, and it becomes very much like storybook reading time, except that I'm not the one doing the reading! Great for some dads I know (not Bubbles') who get thoroughly bored at reading the same books over and over again! haha!

The app did stall a few times when I used it, but thankfully there's a function to continue the story from where it last stopped. Like a bookmark. The breaks didn't seem to bother Bubbles at all though.

Check out the app here in the iTunes store! The creators of The Toilet Monster also have a blog that you can view, and I was thrilled to read that there are more ebooks being created that feature themes of chidren's early development. Stuff like brushing teeth and going to bed on their own (don't I need this one!)

One a side note, I was offered a free download of this ebook but decided that US$1.99 was a negligible sum considering how much kids' things cost these days. I paid for this app myself and am glad I did!

I Need Eye-Bag Zappers

Since we came back from KL, Bubbles has been waking up (get this!) EVERY SINGLE night at 1.30am calling out for me.

As a 4-month-old she started sleeping through the night, and I was so thankful for much needed uninterrupted sleep. I thought that was it! I've survived!

Who is to know...uninterrupted sleep is something we have had to live with on many many other occasions. Teething and separation anxiety are the main cause of night wakings we've had to deal with.

What have I been doing at 1.30am every night? Dealing with a Toddler screaming instructions:


UP! UP! UP! (out of her cot)

OPEN! OPEN! OPEN! (she wants me to open her room door)

THERE! THERE! THEEEERRREE! (she wants to go to our room. to our bed)

When I ignore her or insist that she stays in her room, the screams get more intense and additional sounds are added to the back of her instructions. Like this:


2 nights ago, I decided I had enough of her sleeping on our bed. So, when summoned at 1.30am, I took her out of her cot and laid with her on a mattress in her room. She was NOT happy with the arrangement, and I spent the next 30 minutes (?) hearing her OPENARHs and THEREAAHs while pretending to sleep.

Finally, she realised I was not heeding her cry. She quietened down, peered at me, and said MILK! Then MILKKKK MIIIILLLK MIIILLLLK! I sighed, looked at her, and said Are you sure you need milk? I don't think so. She blinked, turned and hugged her bolster.

I stood up, took her Eeyore and told her Eeyore will sleep with you.

We then went through another round of fussing with her requesting for a Doggy toy instead, and insisting on a diaper change not once but twice.

Finally, after all the attention, I asked Do you feel better now?

She concluded meekly Better...and soon fell asleep on the mattress.

So there. My nights have been more or less like that since.

I acknowledge it is partly my fault because I gave in at the start and for days I would take her to our bed just so that I could go back to sleep. When in KL, we slept on the same bed, and as a result became way too comfortable sleeping with us.

Please pray with me that this phase will pass soon!

Housework with my Toddler

I survived and daresay thrived through another week since that one hectic day.

Thanks everyone for your words of encouragement and belief in me! I rode on that and pumped up my can-do attitude.

Enough of me, I'm sure more people are interested in how Bubbles is doing! So how indeed has Bubbles been managing with the changes?

Well, most notably, she has taken on HOUSEWORK with a vengence! Her 2 tasks now are to help me load and unload the washing machine, and to 'mop' the floor (as she believes she does). The enthusiasm with which she does both chores really put me to shame!

She runs to the washing machine when summoned, and dives headlong (literally) into the laundry. Laundry bags caused some bewilderment though, and she told me Take Out! when she first saw clothes in those mysterious netted bags. She quietly watched me put the clothes, bags and all into the machine, and made a mental note (as I could see from the intensity of her facial expression) that it is OK for those bags to go in.

I have to say a word about her mopping. Seriously, I can't wait till she is older because I think my floors will constantly be sparkly clean! She does the mopping with my Magic mop - which is one of those where you can put on special wet or dry paper that can pick up dirt and hair - without prompting and with a toddler-sized thoroughness that makes me proud. Things that cover the floor are moved (I've witnessed her painstakingly move stools and other objects away) so that the floor can be cleaned.

Once, I asked that she pick up her pretend food (crunched up paper). She gave it some thought before running to get the mop in effort to mop them up! That totally cracked me up!

Of course, it is not all work and no play for my little Bub. She still gets her playground/outdoor time, and regular outings with Mummy.

Toddler quirks? Here's one. Attempting to unlock her favourite beam at the playground with my house keys:
And here's a close-up of the deed:
I don't know why she does this, but I find it incredibly cute (the way only a mother can feel)! Especially when I note how her short her arms still are although I clearly remember those days when she could not reach the top of her head!

Lunches with Mummy

One of my favourite things to do is to have lunches out with the Bub.

When she was younger (read: still a REAL baby), people always told me things will get easier. I have to agree. To all first-time parents: It IS true!

Now, at 16 and a half months, she walks (runs, jumps) independently, eats some adult food, and doesn't drink so much milk. It is a bliss taking her out on my own.

In fact, I'm enjoying it so much that I'm being lazy at the whole toilet-training thing, as it will mean I'll have to rush to public toilets upon indication from her. I know. I should really think long-term.

But anyway...

Bubbles has blossomed socially, showing keen interest in other people, and making friends everywhere she goes. It is a joy to see how she approaches others, initiating handshakes (yes she has done that!) or peekaboos, waving or simply calling out to them (Uncle! Kor Kor! Baby! etc). This trait makes it easy for me to dine out as she easily interacts with (or is entertained by) serving staff and other patrons.

In the photo above, she's looking out onto a construction site after finishing her lunch. She ran back to me exclaiming Uncle! Helmet! while whacking her head as part of her description. She then proceeded to play peekaboo with the service staff, even daring to walk into the kitchen to grin at them. As we walked out of the eatery, she pulled away from me, ran back in towards a little boy having lunch with his grandma, exclaimed Kor Kor! Bye! and waved before running out again.

We have come a long way from the days I had to eat with one hand while nursing her!

A Pat on my Back (I need it!)

I'm almost embarrassed to share this because there are tons of mothers out there who are managing a whole lot more than I am. Hats off to all of you, I say!

That said, I've always had live-in help since becoming a mother, and it is the suddeness of going from help to no help that is trying. I'm writing this post to remind myself that I-CAN-DO-IT. I'll probably need to refer to this at some point. Maybe frequently.

After experiencing the first full day on my own, I decided to buck up and plan ahead. So, when we flew back from KL on Sunday, I began my preparations for the next day.

My Day:
When Monday rolled in, I was woken up by a pre-set alarm at 6.30am. I popped out of the bed, started Bubbles' breakfast and lunch preps, threw in a load of laundry (the Darks), folded clothes, packed her go-to-playgroup-bag, had a quick breakfast and washed up.

When Bubbles woke, I was ready for a little snuggle in with her before a diaper change and a milk feed. By then, the laundry was ready, and my little helper came along to hand laundry from the machine to me to hang up. Hang! Socks! Papa's! Shirt! She exclaimed periodically, while at it.

Next came Bubbles' breakfast time. She had her Yoghurt (with LactoGG) and some Cheerios. While she was eating, I finished up her lunch prep and popped the food into my trusty Foogo jar.

We changed and off we went for her Mandarin Playgroup. (Where she decided it was push-the-chair-day).

Then came my favourite part - my weekly lunch outing with her. We stopped by a Hongkong Cafe, where I ordered an Yuanyang, and fed her lunch. Then, I released her for a run around while I had my lunch. She came round for a few pops of beansprouts into her mouth. She then had another bottle of milk and fell asleep as I drove home.

I carried her into bed, and gingerly trimmed her nails (it is impossible to safely do so when she's awake!).

That done, it was time to roll up my sleeves and get to work.

I prepped her dinner and ours (cooking seems to take up the most time!), threw in another load of laundry, cleaned the kitchen and the floors, packed our wardrobe, took a shower, and set out her bath items. By the time I hung the laundry up to dry, she woke up and was ready for her bath.

Fresh from a bath and water play, we hung around to read and play together before a girlfriend swung by with her daughter for a playdate. Then, it was a delightful 2 hours of watching them play and catching up with my friend. I even managed (sorta) 3 dinners: heat up the little girl's, final preps for Bubbles', and cooked Roboman and my dinner (more on that another time).

It was then Playground time where I also squeezed in an errand for my MIL's friend.

Fed Bubbles' her dinner as Roboman came home.

Served the adults' dinner.

Gave Bubbles a good wipe-down (marker ink, grime from the playground and pasta goo) and popped her into her PJs (Jamas! She said approvingly). Milk and Sleep. The wonderful husband did the dishes.

I then cleaned the kitchen (again). Why do insects appear so ever readily?! Mopped the floors (ok I cheated and used wet Magic Wipes), did another load of laundry (Bubbles'), packed her bag for going to grandma's the next day, checked work email, showered, wrote a quick blog entry, did up a to-do list, and went to bed.

Bubbles then woke up at 1.30am requesting to sleep with us. Sigh. Ah well. Wrote about that on the Facebook Page.

So that was my one 'successful' day.

As successful as it was, I'm getting in part-time cleaners and ordering in dinners!

I'm like Michael Jackson

According to a Malaysian girlfriend.

Why so?! I demanded to know.

Because you've missed out on an integral part of childhood.


Okay alriight fiine...whateva...

I made up for it last week ;)
According to Bubbles, it was Smokey and Boom! (along with the covering of her ears)

Happy Year of the Rabbit!

As always, Chinese New Year is a 2-weekend affair for us, given that one weekend is always spent in KL. Between last weekend and the one coming up, I'm rising up to the challenge of juggling mothering, housekeeping, wife-ring (?), and still doing my day job. It has been physically tough, given the recent changes. More on how I'm coping soon.

In the meantime, to newfound Tiredness, just Beat It!

Just You and Me (and a blanket on my head)

I've been having a really tough past few days with no live-in help.

Friday was fine, as my dear parents chipped in to help. A lot. Getting me lunch and taking the Bubs out so that I could do other stuff.

The weekend went by in a blur.

Monday - the first full day I had Bubbles (and the house) to myself. I didn't have breakfast, and lunch was a really late one eaten in the car. McDonald's Fillet-O-Fish meal plus an apple pie (in case you are interested). Can someone set up other drive-through eateries please?! The bub napped in her carseat and I was too afraid to get her out in case she woke up.

She was in one of her it-is-time-for-play moods the entire day, and refused to nap. Until she got into the car that is. 3 minutes in and she zonked out.

That was also the day she discovered the art of walking with a blanket on her head. Like this:
Sorry for the bad photo - I was laughing way too hard. So hard in fact that I did not catch her in time when she fell into the bathroom. Me bad! Thankfully no harm was done and she got up to continue her parade.

Oh Bubbles, Mummy hasn't laughed so much until you came along!