Thursday, October 27, 2011

Basil and Mommy....the Adventures that Could Have Been

Basil. Who is Basil? Now, don't get Mommy wrong. Basil has nothing to do with being Mommy's future fetus (or future sibling of Juan Or) nor an old flame. Basil is Mommy's favourite dog. He is probably or could have been known as 'The Late Basil" by now. But nobody knows about his whereabouts now. Nobody knows whether he is still alive or not. But one thing's for sure - Basil lives within Mommy's heart till today.

You may be wondering what happened, right? Well, it all started about 5 years ago when Mommy left home for certain reasons. Well, when Mommy left home, Mommy only had to take the bare essentials. So taking Basil along is certainly out of question because Mommy certainly could not provide well for him. So it's better that he stays on with the rest of the family. After three years of Mommy going 'missing', finally Mommy got in touch with Mommy's Mum. You know what Mum said? She said that probably Basil sensed that Mommy went 'missing', so one day, he found the opportunity to slip out when the gate was open and left home. She said probably Basil was depressed and so went to the outside world to look for Mommy. And he never came back. Mum and Dad went to search for Basil but till today, they never found him and he never return home. Probably he vowed never to return if he cannot find Mommy. That is why he could still be out there looking for Mommy or he could have been 'The Late Basil'. *tears*

This is Basil or rather, the late Basil. This photo was taken about 6 years ago when Basil was about 8 human years old (or equivalent to 56 dog years old).

In Mommy's dreams and heart, this is the adventure that could have been to make up for the lost time and Basil's undying loyalty and sacrifice:

  • He could have been Mommy's Superman, flying here, there and everywhere looking for Mommy without vain.

  • Once Basil found Mommy, we could have gone for a flying everywhere and anywhere in the wide, wide world with Mommy in his pawy clutch. Forget about air tickets! Who needs them when there's Basil the SuperDog? At most, Mommy needs to feed him well to make sure he continues to have the energy to hold Mommy and fly!

    To the theatre hall in Europe!

    Or fly to US to meet President Barack Obama!

    Or fly to see and feel the street life in Spain!

    Whatever it is, it doesn't matter where we go for our dream adventure, what's more important is that Basil and Mommy enjoy making up for the lost time.

    ~ In loving memory of Basil ~

    P/S: All photos (except for Basil's photo) are courtesy of Photofunia. This blogpost is a true account submitted in conjuction with a contest held by Nuffnang.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Boy in Superhero Mask

This is just a short random post of Juan Or since Mommy's office table now has lots of theses piling up waiting to be edited and proofread.

This pix was taken at Parkson of Plaza OUG, the place we went to for a MacDonald's lunch after our trip on the last day of the Big Bad Wolf Books Sale. As usual, Juan Or insisted on visiting the toy department to see his favourite Transformers toys. At the shelf, there was a section selling masks - Transformers and Captain America ones. But there is also this mask which Mommy has no knowledge of what superhero it represents, but it sure suits Juan Or's looks very much. Do you know what superhero's mask is this, anyone?

Anyway, the sword here was 'loaned' from Star Wars' toy section (do you call that the 'light saber'?).

Here is Juan Or, ready for his galactic battle! ^_^

Monday, October 17, 2011

Juan Or's First Time at the Big Bad Wolf Books Sale

16th Oct 2011 is the last day of the Big Bad Wolf Books Sale and is Mommy's 4th visit there for the season, but is Juan Or's first. Mommy is eager to bring Juan Or there just for him to experience riding on the tram, but buying books is secondary though.....hehehe!

We reached the parking lot at around 9.30 am and didn't have to wait before three trams came by. So we chose the third one because it is the least crowded tram.

Off we went into the tram!

Since the sale only opens at 10 am, we still had to wait after getting off the tram. But not to worry, there were lots of chairs to sit around because the chairs were provided by the food stalls nearby (KFC and Pizza Hut).

Juan Or as usual, cannot sit still for long. Well, old Chinese folks say kids like Juan Or have worms in their anus, that's why cannot sit still! ^_^ So Mommy took him for a short stroll somewhere near the sale area - first, to see how long the crowd has queued up long before we even arrived.....

...and lastly is more of Juan Or's fancy for the alien spaceship and the Big Bad Wolf figure itself, seen as a big display board.

Finally when the sale is opened, Mommy could see that most , if not all of the tall pile of books at the children section last seen on Tuesday were gone! Basically, there are not much choices left where chuildren's books are concerned. Anyway, Papa gave Mommy only 30 minutes to browse and buy - it's either 30 minutes only or nothing at all! So Mommy made a quick dash here and there to check out books and finished buying within the stipulated timeframe! Phew! And Juan Or was very happy that the cashier gave him the Big Bad Wolf in alien spaceship bookmark! Juan Or was even delighted to see that the plastic bags containing Mommy's purchases had the Big Bad Wolf figure on it! Such innocent delight!

Here are Mommy's purchases within the 30 minutes timeframe......a book on Thailand's temples and traditions in hard cover and excellent photography and paper for RM12 only - more for Mommy's general interest.

.....children's (and also family's) non-fiction book on wildlife in hardcover with excellent photography, text and paper plus DVD (mind you, it's not even VCD) for RM10 each (cheap!)...

....storybooks for Juan Or, each for RM6 (but Mommy finds the dinosaur one a little pricey, but
never mind-lah, just close one eye since Juan Or likes the book)....

...and an Ironman make-a-scene vinyl sticker set for RM5 (again, quite pricey but never mind, close one eye-lah since Juan Or loves Ironman!) and a storybook on Stanley (from Thomas and Friends' storybook box set) for RM3 (cheap!).

Total damage? RM68.40 (after 5% discount from RM72).

Here's Juan Or enjoying his Ironhide vinyl stickers at his grandparents' house. :-)

By the way, here's a closer look of this season's Big Bad Wolf bookmarks which are Juan Or's favourite (even after coming back from the sale!) because of the alien spaceship and the wolf's growling look! ^_^

P/S: Actually Juan Or expected to see a Big Bad Wolf figure appearance at the sale - not so much about the books though! ^_^ Must suggest this to Big Bad Wolf's management.....hehehehe!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mommy Gone Crazy! 3rd Round at Big Bad Wolf Books Warehouse Sale!

Yes, it's true! The urge and temptation to see what have been replenished or topped up is so great, Mommy just has to go to Big Bad Wolf (BBW) Sale again, now for the 3rd time!!

This time, the crowd is still a lot but way lesser than Mommy's 2nd round visit. Indeed, true to BBW's update in Facebook, they have replenished with some new titles, both for the adult (fiction and non-fiction) and children sections. Mommy recall seeing a few BBW staff carting a trolley-ful of children ready-for-kindergarten type of hard-cover workbooks to be placed at an empty rack...that was something like 4.40 pm. By then, Mommy was busy filtering Mommy's pick because the hoard (no doubt cheap!) was going to burn a big hole in Mommy's pocket!! ^_^

Here are some snapshots of what appear to be newly replenished stock.

Here are Mommy's purchases for the day....

Recipe books, spiral bound hard cover, each for RM10. What Mommy likes about these recipe books is that the steps are in point form and not wordy at all, unlike other Western-published recipe books that are so wordy and not friendly to the eyes especially when you have to take a quick glance at the recipe book while cooking. Other kinds of cooking (especially Western style ones) are available from this series, but Mommy only chose those Asian cooking ones, simply because Mommy is not a fan of Western food! ^_^

Each book at RM8 with the top row ones being recipe books again and the bottom one a children non-fiction in hard cover. The recipe books are in soft cover and same like the recipe books just now, the steps are in numbered point form and not written in a wordy manner. As for the Flying Machine book, Mommy recall seeing the same series of book (not the same title though) sold in Popular Book for close to RM50 and in soft cover some more!

Winnie the Pooh books for Juan Or, each sold at RM6. These are in full-color, hard cover and narrates science principles (e.g. evaporation, bouyancy, growth, sound)  in the form of a story.

More junior-level storybooks for Juan Or, each at RM3 only, but in soft cover! Mommy purposely chose those that has the super heroes or favourite characters from his favourite cartoons/movies. As for the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse books, be careful though that some similar ones (though not the exact title) are priced at RM5.

Hard-cover junior storybooks and non-fiction, each for RM3 only - really value buy! The non-fiction ones and Puss in Boots are Ladybird books. Again, be reminded that the price tags are not consistent - most bear the RM5 tag - so it's your luck whether you get the RM3 ones or not! ^_^

And finally, some adult books for Mommy's own reading/viewing, each for RM15. The Power book is in hard cover and Mommy finds this little book a bit pricey, but judging from the contents (it's a mind, body and spirit self-help book), Mommy thinks Mommy can benefit from reading it. The book on Life is actually a coffee table book with no much text to read - just photos and captions. It's in hard cover, very thick (many pages) and printed on excellent quality paper. Mommy bought it because of the excellent photography of things associated with life such as the internal parts/chambers/sections of organs, embryo and fetal development at different weeks, gametes at pre-conception and conception stages, chromosomes and the likes which are the things Mommy studied for degree last time. Here's a sample of a very beautiful and detailed image of the early-stage human fetus.

As part of BBW's effort to pull the crowd during weekdays, BBW is giving out 5000 freebies starting from 10th October (Monday) to 14th October (Friday) or while stocks last, only limited to one set per book receipt. For those who came before 10th October and got nothing, do not despair nor be frustrated because the freebies are nothing more than just two pieces of paper: one is a fun activity map (more for children) whereby you are asked to spot all 31 wolves hiding in there and the other paper is merely a DIY bookmark called "Book Buddy". So for those who didn't get these, do not go banging your head because you didn't lose much - in fact, it's negligable. ^_^

By the way, total damage for the day amounts to RM182.40 (after 5% discount from original price of RM192).

Ah-wooooooooooo! (*Wolf howling*)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Prize from Fisher-Price

This post is actually a little outdated because Mommy is stricken with the Big Bad Wolf Books Sale fever. Nevertheless, after this and this rounds of book hunting, finally Mommy is ready to blog about the prize that Mommy got recently from Fisher-Price after participating in a contest held by My Little Sprouts.

Here's the prize which was couriered a few weeks ago......ta-dah!

Here's the official opening ceremony....

and thus reveals the Fisher-Price's Classic Doodler with 2 Stampers!

As expected, this boy can't wait to start doodling and stamping to form his own 'abstract' art.

Ever since then, Mommy introduced the 'tic-tac-toe' game to Juan Or, which he finds entertaining but he still does not quite grasp the concept and objective of the game. Juan Or won over his Papa on one occasion of the tic-tac-toe game, but subsequent rounds of Juan Or losing seems to point out that his initial win was just a fluke! ^_^

Mommy did writing alphabets with Juan Or as well (but forgot to take photos!) and found the doodle board to be a very convenient tool because Mommy didn't have to look for papers or rough book and the board cleans easily with just a swipe!

On the night the doodle board prize was opened, Juan Or insisted on sleeping with the doodle board! ^_^

Not just that, lately, Juan Or has been very possessive about his belongings. No one else is allowed to touch his things, not even Papa. See how he tried to pull away his doodle board from Papa's grasp? He even 'commanded' Papa not to touch his things, saying that thing is HIS!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mommy's 2nd Round at the Big Bad Wolf (BBW) Sale!

Following Mommy's cut-short browsing time after a distress call to attend to work matters (for more details on what transpired, see here), Mommy had a very, very strong urge to go again the following day, i.e., the 1st day of sale opened for the general public.

Being the 1st day of sale, there was already a huge number of people there as expected. However, walking space for you to browse is still not compromised, thanks to BBW holding it in a space as spacious as MAEPS. The most notable difference between the preview sale and the 1st day of sale is that on the 1st day, the books laid out on most of the tables are scattered here and there, tall piles of books last seen on preview day are totally gone by then and an overall more chaotic environment.

Despite braving through the chaotic 1st day sale, Mommy still came up with something fruitful!

All are hard-cover books for RM8 each. The Tinkerbell story-cum-activity book has 100 vinyl stickers for Juan Or to stick and re-stick and re-stick on the board pages. The other two books are comic books - not really for Juan Or to read now - but rather for Mommy's collection. ^_^

Each for RM10. The book on Dream Cars has CD-ROM for you to design your own car based on the given templates but this is more for Juan Or when he is much older - definitely not now! As for the dinosaur book, this is a book that comes together with dinosaur-making kit (plaster of Paris and dinosaur moulds are included) together with flash cards - a real value buy!

Each for RM5. The two top row books are actually glow-in-the-dark books. Mommy tried the books on Juan Or yesterday night and turned out he was wow-ed by them! ^_^ As for the Mickey Mouse books, the Choo-choo Express has all the pages in cardboard and flaps to lift plus stickers (which is value for money compared to other Mickey Mouse Clubhouse books with paper pages only but selling for the same RM5). The Daisy's Pet Ptroject book is hard-covered with board pages.

Mommy found these value-buys as well, each for RM3. For the top row books, Mommy noticed the price tag for these series is not consistent, with most of them bearing the RM5 tag. As for the bottom row books (all hard cover), the Dr. Seuss books especially are value buys because they have been known to be expensive even when sold in the MPH Distributors' warehouse sale.

These are sold for RM12 each. The top row ones are in hard cover and has many Disney stories compiled together (very good buy because normal price is RM59.90 and Book Xcess sold it for RM24.90). The book on blood, goo and boogers is a pop-out book in hard cover. The Valentine Classics is a compilation of Mickey Mouse comics since the 1940s and is in hard cover too. Mommy bought it more for collection purpose.

Total damage? RM123.50 (after 5% discount from RM130).

By the way, despite having 20-plus number of cashier counters to manage the crowd, still the crowd overwhelms the cashier counters! Mommy remembered joining the queue at 4.30 pm and only got to have Mommy's turn at about 5.00 pm! That's half-an-hour of waiting! This was how it looked like to be among those standing in the queue.

Just today when Mommy checked BBW's Facebook update, BBW says that they are replenishing with some more new books from this week onwards. Urggghhhh.....looks like BBW is not giving any chance for Mommy's 'fever' to subside! ^_^

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Big Bad Wolf Books Preview Sale 2011

Mommy is very lucky to have the opportunity to attend this preview sale despite not joining any Big Bad Wolf pre-sale contests, thanks to Mommy's sister-in-law from My Little Sprouts who won two passes, so had one to give away to Mommy! :-)

This years's Big Bad Wolf (BBW) sale is held at Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS). To go there, Mommy used a toll-free way starting from UCSI University in Taman Connought, Cheras. Here's how: Head into MRR2 and then enter the exit that mentions Seremban (which leads you to KL-Seremban Highway) and shortly after, look out for signboard that says exit to UPM or Seri Kembangan. That will lead you to the roundabout (with MINES, Palace of Golden Horse Hotel and Equestarian Centre signages) and head for 6 o'clock. Shortly after that, take a left exit to enter the old road of Seri Kembangan where you will see many furniture malls and a food court on your left. It's a long straight road and then you will reach a crossroad, turn left and you will see South City Plaza on your left. Go straight all the way to the end and turn right, but make sure you keep right to enter into BESRAYA Highway (or known as Sungai Besi Highway). Travel on it till you see a signboard that says UPM exit. Turn right and shortly after, left into UPM and go all the way straight (it's a long road with traffic lights) till you see signages for  Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and MAEPS which prompts you to turn left. Go all the way straight (again a long road, but passes MARDI headquarters on your right) till you see MAEPS on your right. Voila for using highways without having to pay! ^_^

Once on MAEPS ground, there are sufficient signages to direct people to park their cars. Once Mommy parked, a tram (or rather a mini bus of sorts) came waiting already! Mommy quickly hopped into the tram and was driven to Hall A. By then it was already 2.50pm and there was no queue nor crowd at the entrance. The BBW staff checked on Mommy's pass and the chopped Mommy's hand with the BBW initials as a marker to prevent double-entry.

Once Mommy stepped into the hall, Mommy was amazed by the spaciousness of the area and the hugh bulk of books for customers to browse!

Not just that, this season's sale is really well-organized - two thumbs up to BBW! Here's why:
  • Hugh and easily visible display cards indicating the genre of the books are erected, so you can quickly and easily zoom in to the pile of books of your genre of interest - a real time saver!
  • There are customer service counters to provide you with boxes so that you can browse and do your book-hoarding. Not just that, they also allow customers to deposit their hoards in their safe-keeping and a number tag will be given to the customer. That way, customers don't have to carry their heavy hoards around as they browse.
  • Numerous cashier counters are available (something like 20+ counters!). Not just that, BBW also has several staff assigned to each cashier counter to sort the books according to prices and thus report to the cashier for keying-in. So they work really fast!
  • After sales service is also provided. They have staff (and the tool!) to help customers cart their heavy hoards to the tram-waiting area. Otherwise, customers can opt to do their own  'pickup' by depositing their hoards at a place and then sit the tram to get to their cars and drive over to Hall A for pickup.

Anyway, Mommy opted to carry the heavy hoard into the tram because Mommy had to rush for time. Why? Because halfway through browsing the books, Mommy received a distress call from the uni regarding a disgruntled parent coming over to sort out her dissatisfaction with the son's exam results. Because of that, Mommy's enjoyment of browsing books had to be cut short to only one hour! So at 4.10 pm, Mommy left MAEPS and headed back to UCSI University.

Even though it was just one hour of enjoyment, Mommy managed to grab some value buys.

With both Juan Or and Mommy being choo-choo train enthusiasts, Mommy got these, each for RM8. The 'Railway Restored' books have very beautiful photos (plus specifications) of vintage steam locomotives found in UK and Ireland. The 'Pacific Senator' is a true-life story of a train driver since the World War I days.

Since Juan Or loves to play with stickers (and loves peeling the stickers out again!), Mommy found these books just right for him, each for RM8 (very worth it!). Mind you, the books are hard-covered, the pages are that of board books and they are storybook-cum-activity-fun books, plus there are 100 (or more) vinyl stickers for Juan Or to stick and peel till his fingers ache!

P/S: By the way, Juan Or opened the "Cars" book already and pasted the stickers all over a page so much so you can see cars floating up in the sky! *Sigh* Looks like he still has not developed the maturity of placing stickers correctly according to context.

Since Juan Or likes to look at cars and jet planes (he often thinks of Starscream,, Thurderwing and Dirge, the jet plane Decepticon characters in Transformers), Mommy bought these for RM12 each. Each book is in full-colour, hard-covered and with glossy pages.

Mommy also bought these pre-school workbooks emphasizing on reading, writing and counting, each book for RM5. The four books at the top row have 320 pages each and two of the books are in black-and-white, the other two in full colour (value buy, right?). The bottom row book, however, is 26-page only, but is a wipe-clean book. Be reminded though that some of the top row books are not consistently priced because Mommy spotted some having the RM8 price tag. So be careful!

More activity books for Juan Or, each for RM5 (really worth it!). The Wall-E construct-and-play book would normally costs RM17.90 whereas the Transformers activity book has 64 pages, is in full colour and the paper quality is excellent (100-gram type of paper)!

The final hoard for the day - car repair book for RM10 and children X-mas storybook for RM8. This car repair book has full-colour step-by-step photos to show you how, has useful how-to and what-to troubleshooting tips for different departments of the car and is written for the laymen - good for both Papa and Mommy! The X-mas book is really a value buy because it is hard-covered, has board pages and has movable optical illusion pictures to prick children's interest.

Total damage? RM111.15, because Mommy got extra 5% discount for using OCBC credit card. ^_^

Excited about what you may hoard there? The sale will be on from 7th to 16th October 2011 from 10 am till 9 pm.

P/S: Know what happened after Mommy drove back to office, so-calledly to counsel and resolve issues with the disgruntled parent? Anti-climax no. 1 - the parent didn't turn up at all. Anti-climax no.2 - after getting clarification from the colleague who first received the complain, turns out the parent is trying to argue or fight for a lost cause! *Grrrr.....wasting people's time, energy and petrol only!! *