Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Charlotte was very happy that finally she gets to open all the Christmas presents. Unfortunately, we didn't manage to get all the presents under the Christmas tree this year. All Charlotte's KorKor and Ah Pek didn't give out the Christmas gifts until Christmas night but this year she got 2 sets of Barbie dolls, this was one of it she posted with...

We then got ourselves ready for Christmas lunch with my parents and brothers. Charlotte was wearing this beautiful dress bought by my brother recently when he and his family went to the States for holidays. She was also wearing the Santa's hat that I bought for her and for all her cousin sisters the night before...she wanted to wish Merry Christmas to Simba before we headed off to the restaurant.

I had a nicest lunch ever that afternoon and all thanks to the Crayola Color Wonder that I bought for her as Christmas gift. She was so excited by the magical markers and not only that, her cousin brother Isaiah was also very impressed by it. Both of them were busy coloring all the time...

and they found magic within magic too...

This is what I mean: the coloring page above only shows the Cogsworth (the clock) for the coloring activity. But my nephew Isaiah found the hidden images like those numbers beside as he tried the magic markers on the empty space. Interesting? After that discovery, both Isaiah and Charlotte were more interested in finding those hidden objects than the image shows on each page. *faint*

After lunch, I had to make sure Charlotte falls back on her daily schedule quickly again because we were going to meet at one of Pat's sister house that night for another Christmas feast.

Charlotte had a lot of fun meeting with all her cousin sisters and brothers on Christmas night...

There was a lot of chit chating (the adults) and running around (the children) and a lot of food too but the one catched everybody's attention was the Nintendo games that Pat's brother-in-law got. At first everybody wanted to get a chance on that remotes but only the boys stayed longer by the games. The girls later gathered and formed a spontaneous Christmas carol. We then realized how much all our nieces had grown up and they are so talented (even the younger ones). We had one played on the piano and the other one played the guitar while the rest sang the sweet sweet Christmas songs. The entire house warmed up immediately and the night felt extraordinarily bright! It's SO good to have daughter(s) :)

Charlotte came home that night with 11 Christmas gifts and 1 big ang pow. We were so exhausted but the agenda didn't end there. The big Chan family will be gathering at a photo studio the next day for their 1st "complete" family picture! So, we had to let Charlotte to have enough rest for a perfect picture the next day.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

On Christmas Eve

We had a long agenda lined up for the next few days and the immediate started on Christmas eve. Knowing that we were going to have long night, I kept Charlotte on schedule during the day, such as her meals and nap. We don't want a cranky preschooler while everybody is busy catching up.

We had a big reunion dinner with Pat's family on Christmas eve. It's the 1st time all Pat's siblings (10 of them, plus the spouse and children) were back from various countries and places! I have not met one of Pat's sister from Australia, not even once since I met Pat 15 years ago (time flies). They are back this time and the Chan's family planned to have a big family photo shoot at a photo studio during the Christmas week.

After the reunion dinner, we headed off to meet my parents at Church and also joined the Christmas eve service. This is our 2nd year joining Christmas eve service with Charlotte and my parents. This time, Charlotte did a lot better compared to last year as she managed to stay up all the way till the end (we left right after holy communion last year) but she was disappointed as there was no Santa Clause :( I managed to talk her through and keeping her look forward to Christmas day and all those presents placed under the Christmas tree at home.

We reached home about half past midnight but we had a wonderful Christmas eve and spent time with both of our families, fair and square :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Party

Charlotte's school was having a Christmas party this morning and we were told to prepare a small gift for kids' Christmas gift exchange. I took a brand new lunch box from my collection and wrapped it yesterday and put it in Charlotte's school bag.

I also prepared some snacks for Charlotte to contribute to the party. I bought a pandan chiffon cake and a loaf of bread last night. The chiffon cake was cut into Christmas tree shape using a Christmas tree cutter that I bought earlier on and small bite sandwiches using some of the cookie cutters that I have. I wanted to decorate the Christmas tree chiffon cake further with the hundreds and thousands but I didn't have enough time to do that, so it was just plain green color Christmas tree chiffon cake. The picture on the chiffon cake didn't turn out well, it was too close up and I didn't have the magnifying function on.

Charlotte was dressed in the Christmas crochet dress that her Auntie Brenda made for her and I could tell that she was very excited with the Christmas party.

This is a picture took with one of the teacher's son. I notice they always like to pair them up :) All other pictures took were quite blur and I can't find another good one to post here but there was one made me laugh when I saw it. It was Charlotte "showing off" her flare dress. She was turning and her dress spread outwards in that motion, with some classmates watching. My little vain pot, ha!

She came home with a gift and asking for permission to open it. I almost couldn't stop her but I'm glad that at last she agreed to put it under the Christmas tree until Christmas day. Good girl!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Girls' Adventure

Call me daring, I actually took Charlotte and Brenda down to KL myself last weekend :p Pat was in KL the whole of last week and he will be staying over the weekend so he invited us to join him there for the weekend.

I wasn't really keen of going at first but since daddy keep on asking, I decided to take 2nd half of Friday off and start my journey while the sky is still bright. I let Charlotte put on diaper as I am not planning to stop at rest area to minimize any possible hijack risk...(ya, my usual paranoid thinking...). I bring all the food and snacks along to make sure that in case we got stuck in traffic Charlotte and Brenda will not go hungry. Also, intead of booster seat I told Charlotte that she has to go on the car seat for this journey. She was very cooperative and she loved her "baby car seat" in fact! The trip was rather smooth and we reached at the hotel around 5.30pm. Thank you Lord for keeping us safe. Also thanks to the new GPS we got :)

We did a lot of shopping, yes Christmas shopping and we were like mall hopping all the time. We went to The Curve, Ikano Power Center, IKEA and The Gardens in 1.5 days. We missed Pavilion this time and 1-U. I'm gonna cut long story short so that all can fit in 1 post (heehee!)

We also went to Zoo Negara and I think that's Charlotte's highlight of this trip (besides the super-dooper Christmas decor at the malls). We went around the zoo in the tramp and later on we walked around too. Charlotte gets to feed the elephants for the 1st time!

Another very interesting thing we saw was at the lions and tigers area. The lions and tigers were kept a distance from the visitors by a narrow canal. When we were at the tigers', we saw this particular tiger walking from the ground into the canal, and walk along the canal for a good time and then came up to the ground. It repeated this routine at least 5 times when we were there. I guess the weather must be so warm that the tiger also needed to keep itself cool and wet. Funny thing was Charlotte observed just like all of us but later on she asked "why the tiger never shake shake like simba when finish pom pom?". We thought that was such a nice observation she made and in fact we never realized that the tiger did not shake off the water when it came up to the ground. Interesting...

That was Charlotte's highlight, what about mommy's highlight? I always want to go this particular shop when I read about the news that it is coming!

Yes, Daiso Japan! How can I miss it? I know I made a promise for not getting anymore bento stuff, but Daiso isn't just about bento, it has almost everything under the sun that you are looking for :) Well, maybe it's just me la, but I came all the way from Penang mah...Everything in this store is RM5 and we spent our last 1 hour there before we called it a trip :)

Here are some of the interesting that I bought. I found this glass door/window decor jelly and I was so happy about it. I bought 4 packs when I was in Japan 2 years ago and I am using my last pack now at home. It's just the right time to add some new ones for future use. The 2nd picture is a set of pattern cutters, and it's only RM5! Must buy right?

I also bought some more bento stuff, but I remember my promise so those are not adding to my collection but they are presents. I am giving it to some of my bento making friends, I'm sure they will be so happy when they get it! I'm not posting the bento stuff pictures here, just in case you are one of them getting it, right?

By the way, not just me, Brenda (our maid) also got into bento thingy (muahahaha!)! She also bought several lunch boxes for her daughters :) See the power of influence?!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Auntie Brenda!

I always remember 17th Dec is Brenda's birthday (our maid) since her first day with us but I didn't celebrate her birthday during the first 2 years. I don't know why, I was trying to keep a distance, worried that she might climb over my head one day if I didn't manage the relationship well.

As time past by, Brenda shows her sincerity and I feel rather comfortable to be open with her these days. Since Pat is on business this entire week, I thought I would make a simple celebration on the 17th. So, I went to a nearby bakery after work and bought a birthday cake. When I arrived home, Brenda was already busy in the kitchen preparing dinner and only my girl greeted me at the front door. So I quietly keeping the birthday cake in the fridge and went on to wash up and had dinner as usual.

It was only after dinner and after Brenda had gotten every evening chores settled before I asked Charlotte to announce about the birthday cake. We lit the candle, sang the birthday song and took some pictures for her to send back to her family. She was very happy and thank me for being so thoughtful later that night :)

Little action makes big difference sometimes :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Is It Here Yet?

Remember the eoe online photo print? I submitted my review write-up and uploaded 50 photos to be printed in 4R size last Thursday night and I started to count down, subconsciously measuring the efficiency of this new online service. What to do? It's a competitive edge, other than quality and cost, speed/efficiency is also one of the market winning strategies. Aye?

I received a reply on my review submission right the next day (Friday). Deep down, I discounted Saturday and Sunday from the virtual measurement chart since it is weekend but I should be expecting the package by Wednesday if the printing is done on Monday and sending out on Tuesday...I was really counting, well not so much of the service level but I was also very keen to receive those precious memories so that I can start using the new album that I bought from HK Disneyland.

The first thing I did when I stepped into my front porch last night was to check on the mail box, it was empty! "Maybe Brenda has taken it out" I thought and I was happy to see my cheerful little princess, jumping up and down at the front door. The next thing was, I was presented with this package and it's here!!!

I looked through all the printouts and I am giving it a 2 thumbs-up to eoe online! Here's what I like:

1. All printouts are properly filed in the albums (they are not coming in loose)
2. Print quality is as good as those I experienced from the printing house
3. Efficient! The package arrived just as expected!
4. Hassle free! I don't have to copy photos in a thumb drive, driving/walking to a print store, find parking, wait to collect printouts, pay for parking and etc.
5. Cheap! It is only RM0.30 for 4R!!!

My new wall...

Well, I am getting these 50 prints for free because of the blogger review program. Thank you eoe online! They are now offering phase II of the blogger review program (for 100 entries) and the grand prize has been upgraded to a Olympus E520 kit with 14-42mm lens (worth RM2499!). Quickly, submit your review today and get the free prints plus stands a chance to win this digital madness grand prize!

I only hope that eoe online will maintain the service quality even when they are getting more and more established. You know, some superb service quality only lasted a little while. For now, I am definitely going to be a return customer :)

Now, I need to quickly post this update and link back to the review program and wait for the RM50 cheque to be mailed to me! *rubbing hands greedily*

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rock A Bye Baby - Charlotte's Version

I hardly get a change to run my fingers on this piano these days although Charlotte always requests for songs but when I just started my first note and there she comes and says "come, come, let me show you" and pushes my hands away.

Of course I let her and I am very pleased to see the way she imitates and pretends like a pro...

This is her version of Rock A Bye Baby:

Rock a bye baby on the tree top,

When the wind blows the cradle will rock,


Down "become" baby, "and" cradle and all...

Santa Is Here Early!

Yay! This is the package I have been waiting for and finally it's here! :)

I promised myself that this is the last bento stuff that I am going to buy. Charlotte is going for full day school next year and I won't be preparing bento for her anymore. Also, with the current economical stress situation I should only spend necessarily. I already have more than enough bento tools to create interesting bento for Charlotte, so that should be all for now.

Happy bento-ing!

You Will Love e-Photo Print with eoe online!

Since our last trip to Hong Kong till now I think I have several folders of digital pictures awaiting to be printed out. Many times before I was at the printing house but I forgot my thumb-drive which I uploaded all those pictures that I wanted to print. When I remembered my thumb-drive, I was either always on the rush or can’t find a good parking to just make that happen, and so I have been procrastinating it. Christmas is coming, and I will have even more pictures to add to my need-to-be-printed collection.

I have been waiting for a promotion from my personal favorite print store as I know they are going to have RM0.35 next week for 4R! Then again, usually the queue is rather long and photo collection has to be in a separate trip instead of instant due to the high demand during the promotion period. But…thanks to eoe online! I can now make those digital prints at my own convenience and it is cheap!

Crazy as it may sound, this is the 1st online print store that I think it is almost competitive with what I experienced with shutterfly when I was in the US. I said “almost” because I just ordered my 1st print and will see how the result is going to be (he! he!). They are now offering 4R at RM0.30 and 5R at RM0.50! Free shipping to destinations in Malaysia if you purchase over RM35! Yes, believe it!

Registration is easy, the website is superb and by that I mean I am usually not very good doing the navigation with new sites but with eoe online I have no problem finding what I need to know and doing what I need to do. What I like the most is I can do the photo uploading at my own convenience, I don’t have to remember my thumb drive, I save my time running around on the road and finding parking, and most of all I save good money!

In fact, there are more than just digital printing service, this site also offers unlimited storage for you to store (you may take it as back-ups) and share those great memories with your friends and loved ones, create and send photo greetings, and some cool photography products and accessories are available for sale too!

Blogger friends, you are going to love this – you get free prints and reasonable cash reward by writing them a review! That’s what I am doing now actually (guilty as charged).

Go check it out, eoe online! Happy shopping/blogging!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Who do you think Charlotte resembles more, Pat or I? We have not have a consistent feedback like "oh, she looks just like mommy!" or "oh, she looks just like daddy!". Of course, some of the folks we met said she looks like me and other said she looks like daddy but at the end of the day, the votes we get counted just equally for me and Pat.

For certain look or expression, she has my shadow and other angle she looks exactly like her daddy. I was looking through the picture archives that I have and found these 2 pictures which was rather candidly took one evening.

She has my eyes, similar facial expression, and I think she looks just like me (well, a younger version of me of course)!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Where Are You Christmas?

Charlotte: mommy, mommy, why Christmas so long?
Me: Very soon, in 2 weeks time (although I doubt she knows how long is 2 weeks)
Charlotte: haiya...

This was what Charlotte asked me last night when she was watching me fixing the Christmas tree lights. We first told her that Christmas will come after her birthday. Now her birthday is over, and there are already presents under the Christmas tree, she wonders why Christmas is not here yet? Why can't she open the presents yet?