How does sleep come?

Grandma, I don’t know how to sleep. ~ My Little Professor, two nights ago

Thus says the kiddo. And that statement intrigued me. Grandma had to pull him out of class the day before and take him to a doctor due to a stomach ache. Whatever medication the doctor gave him, he slept the rest of the day and that might well be the reason why that night he didn’t know how to sleep anymore. 

So when I checked my Shelf Awareness newsletter and found “How Does Sleep Come?” I thought I would enter the link that invites possible readers and buyers of the book to win a free ARC (Advance Reading Copy). I like what I saw although the fill-in-the-gaps form looks like the ARC is only for US residents.   Nevertheless it sounds opportune to my little guy’s sleeping predicament and I am happy to share with you some info of this lovely, new bedtime classic.

It is a picture book debut of Jeanne Blackmore, a granddaughter of Roger Duvoisin whose tradition of creating beautiful books for children is well-known among readers, reviewers, lovers of children’s books. Notice how Blackmore writes simply but poetically which makes How Does Sleep Come an ideal sleepy time tale:

“How does sleep come?” Jacob asked his Mama as he climbed into bed. Jacob’s Mama tucked the covers all around Jacob just so, and then she told him. “Sleep comes quietly. Like a snowfall that blankets a meadow on a dark starry night, and lays down a soft white canvas for rabbits to leave footprints.”

Jacob closed his eyes.
And the snow fell.
And the fog rolled in.
And the clouds drifted.
And the cat purred.
And quietly, silently, softly, peacefully, gently, Jacob fell asleep.

If you might be interested in the ARC go to this link. The book is coming in September 2012 from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky.

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Beautiful eight

On Wednesday, May 23rd CJ turned 8. Planning the celebration was ironically quicker in a distance than when I was personally fussing over every detail in previous birthdays. I woke up at half past six, Thailand time and waited for the clock to strike seven when it was eight in the Philippines to greet my little guy.

He was already out biking. My heart danced at how normal a young boy’s activity that can be. Grandma hollered, “CJ! your Mom’s on the phone!” Pause – then it was a trumpeting sound on the line. He let me in on it: “my Ben 10 sword, Mommy.” Oh, okay. I thought it was new year there already.

Quite a birthday. Quiet and controlled as I put together a few things that bind us –

A reading to commemorate CJ’s eighth year –

and eight things I am thankful for:

  1. reaching the eighth year in good health
  2. the opportunity to celebrate it
  3. big improvement on speech and motor skills
  4. having the means to provide for him
  5. feeling heaven’s warmth on my tea table,
  6. which was filled with charm specially for the day,
  7. and being able to document it
  8. hearing “I love you Mommy”

In the stillness of midday, I smiled in gratefulness to God for carrying me this far in my role as a mother.

Mommy Moments & Color Connection

Live in

In this post: Booking Through Thursday and Thursday Thirteen

abookandashortlatte1 asks

If you had to choose to live within a novel, which would it be?

Without much ado Harry Potter’s Hogwarts! What a place to explore! I’d like to transfigure arrogant Malfoy into a cross-eyed cockroach. *kidding* And when I feel like cutting Snape’s class I’ll hang out at Hagrid’s hut. Then during summers head to The Burrow. As Ron Weasley says, “it’s not much, but it’s home.”

Thursday 13: My favorite places in Harry Potter

1. Hogwarts the moving staircases and all the magic learning!
2. The Burrow ‘dilapidated and standing only by magic’ ah!… wonderful
3. Hogsmeade Village appeals to the country girl in me
3. Madam Puddifoot’s is where we will have high tea
4. Diagon Alley shop til I drop
5. Shell Cottage a newly-weds’ home must be sweet and lovely
6. Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes I want their anti-acne cream
7. Honeyduke’s Sweetshop for my sweet tooth
8. The Leaky Cauldron when one day in Diagon Alley is not enough
9. The Three Broomsticks running a pub and living above it
10. Scrivenshaft’s Quill Supplies good old writing paraphernalia
11. Magical Menagerie offers advice on animal care and health
12. Florean Fortescue’s who doesn’t want choco-raspberry with chopped nuts?
13. Flourish & Blotts books of course

Holes on the wall

How often do you get to a cafe with part of its walls like this?

To be honest I had no idea what was this. But I love literature, and I am always thrilled to spot references to it in places I do not expect them to be at. A bit of skimming tells me this is from a novel called Holes by Louis Sachar.  It won the 1998 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, and was adapted into a film in 2003.

What adds to my delight is finding that in 1999 Holes won the Newbery Medal for “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.”

‘For Children.’ As moms aren’t we always on the lookout for media that we would consider sharing to our kids?

This post is linked with Happiness is… and Mommy Moments.

Books on fire

In this post: Booking Through & Third Sentence

Have you ever read a random book left in a waiting room or on a park bench, etc., and did you like it?

Often I wonder when will I experience this. I mean finding a book left somewhere which happens to be something I would like to read. Yesterday I browsed the latest arrivals at Kinokuniya. By the time I noticed that I have been standing by the shelves for almost an hour on 3-inch heels, I was tired and sat on a bench where I found some YA fiction left by the inventory staff. I read parts of the first chapter, but aware that the book had to be accounted for in only a few minutes, I put it back on the bench and went to discover a very attractive spot – the Charles Dickens Bicentennial Anniversary collection. Ah… party! Now if i found one of those left on a park bench, I would warm that bench.

*More bookish answers at Booking Through Thursday

Book: The Wise Woman by Philippa Gregory

3rd sentence: “The walls were orange and scarlet, with the bobbing light of reflected flames, and I could hear yells of angry, rioting men.”

Thoughts: It’s like a scene in a movie, or that night when I and my roommates were awakened to be told that the administration building was on fire, a memory one could not easily forget. I remember feeling so worried and terrified for the nearby library. The fire was speeding to its direction. Even now nineteen years later, I could hear the crackling flames and see students running here and there. Much like this opening scene in Gregory’s The Wise Woman, I relate with the main character as she woke up in chaos. She in an abbey, I in a boarding college dormitory on a hill.

*Proud Book Nerd hosts Third Sentence Thursday

Something bucolic, something urban

Some of my most favorite things are oil paintings, reproduction or the real thing, of bucolic scenes.  This picture depicts exactly what I appreciate in a way that makes my heart flutter. If you thought of fluttering butterflies on a flower bed, yes, that’s exactly how my heart behaves when I look at pictures like this:

William Adolphe Bouguereau

Now to more realistic scenes – don’t you just love it when your kid shows interest in your interest? This was routine shopping last summer. I could not resist getting inside a book shop that we happened to pass by. It’s magic when I’m surrounded with books and when I saw CJ doing this, although he does this at home too, I went clicking.

Guess I will always be grateful to a friend who used her sense of perfect timing and choice to capture a very quick but beautiful moment I had with CJ. I have posted this photo previously and I make no excuse for posting this again today.  A fave. Obviously.

Favorite photos this week at The Mommy Journey.

Brown, Czerny and Hanon

The very first gifts that I remember I received from my parents were books.  Among the pile was an animal picture book featuring a rhino in a birthday party. That set off my love for reading.  My father later introduced me to The Aeneid which I never understood, but  that’s where my appreciation for literature originated.  He gave me Nancy Drew which later got me engrossed in the Dan Brown genre.

In school the contents of  my bag would always include some reading material.  During a Parent-Teacher Meeting, I overheard my 6th grade teacher tell my mother, “Hazel is a bookworm.”  I understand book but just what is worm?


Valentine 2010. CJ was my date (thus the rose) and I took him to Kinokuniya in Siam Paragon where we discussed some books he’s familiar with. “Mommy, it’s rsula!”

Piano is a slightly different thing.  I was forced to study it at 6 and how I hated it!  To avoid practice sessions I once bathed my Czerny and Hanon with soy sauce.  That’s right – toyo, as in Silver Swan!  And my mother only said, “go dry them out in the sun.”

Several pouting faces and crying spells later, I accompanied a choir who sang Sa Mahal Ko’ng Bayan to an audience of around 3,000.  The huge applause felt good and changed the way I look at piano playing forever. If I survived quite a heavy piece as SMKB, then I could play what I want to entertain myself.  What really endeared me to the instrument is when I played a lullaby with one hand, the other hand cradling CJ, and he slept through it. I no longer play nowadays but maybe one day I will be reunited with this hobby again.

Welcoming 1.1.11 @ The Hilton

Chris hosts Mommy Moments. It’s hobby week @ The Mommy Journey