Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Baptism

I was very active at the church when I was young. I remember I was the youngest member in the Christmas caroling team, I was active in the church activities and participated in all performances like drama, dance, choir, and etc but it was all before I entered university. After that I was totally disengaged, shame on me.

When Charlotte was born, I did think about getting her baptised but back then I was overwhelmed as a new mother and with all the new motherhood responsibilities. I strayed very far away from God and I didn't think I was able to guide her the Christianity way. I started Charlotte at Sunday School just a few months ago and I also started to pick up a little responsibility at church. My parents then suggested Charlotte's baptism during Christmas since my "soon-to-be" sister-in-law will also get baptised during that day. We considered and we agreed.

It is my responsibility now to guide her and upbringing her with God's words and the Christian way. God help me.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas - from us!

This picture was taken on Christmas eve, we were all ready for the Christmas Eve service at the church.

Charlotte attended 80% of the Christmas Eve service last year, she was sleepy before the clock strike 12am and so we left without wishing everyone Merry Christmas. This year, Charlotte was all excited and looked forward going to church. She was more excited to get all dressed up more than anything else actually and I had to stop her from opening up the presents under the Chritsmas tree that night too. She behaved very well at the church that night, and she enjoyed the night as much as we all did. This is the time of the year that I am glad that all the "baby episode" is over!

Merry Christmas and have a God blessed New Year ahead!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Home For Christmas!

Yes, it definitely feels good to be home. My trip back home was quite disastrous and I tried not to cry thinking of the possibility of missing Christmas and loosing all my belongings in the checked-in luggage. But thank God all is over now and I came home just in time for Christmas!

All Charlotte said when she saw me at the airport was "Mommy, I missed you!" with teary eyes...just to cut the story short, we were all just glad that I made it home before Christmas. The next day, Charlotte had her Christmas performance at church. What we didn't know was there was also the award presentation during the service for the winners throughout the whole year, in all contests. So Charlotte was also on the award recipient list as she won in the recent singing competition.

Her first trophy, effort of her own (I was away during that competition) and I am absolutely proud of her.

Can't wait till Christmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Update From Home

I called home last Sunday night to check out how's everything going back there and I got a good news but I did a poor job in handling that news.

The good news was, everything was alright and Charlotte even won the church Christmas singing competition! It was a duet for ages 3-6 and 2 teams were announced as the winner for that age group, Charlotte's was one of them!

I was so excited when Pat told me that and I asked to talk to Charlotte, didn't know that it was a bad move! (I asked Pat days before did Charlotte requested to call me because she told me that she would call me if she misses me before I left. Pat told me he did ask her but all she said was "call tomorrow"). When Pat passed the phone to Charlotte all I heard was sad, sad sobbing. I kept telling her that I got her lots of toys and dresses for her and how proud I was of her achievement in that singing competition but there was no response from her other than the sobbing. It was really heart broken listening to that sobbing and I didn't know what was the magic word to say to make it right. I told her that I love her and I miss her lots before I hang up.

A minute later, I sms Pat to find out if she was already alright. The reply was "no more cry, playing bubble now". Now I know why she didn't want to call me - she was really trying to hold back or avoid her feeling and emotion.

Thank goodness, and I am confident now that Pat is able to take care of her when I am not around. I just need to learn to relax and let go sometimes.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Away From Home

I haven't been traveling on business since July 2007 and now I am writing this from 10K miles away from home. I still remember how difficult it was for both Charlotte and myself back then, mostly after the trip. She was practically all over me and glued to me 24x7. She was only 20months old back then, but she is now 4 year old and I had a lot of talking to do before I leave just to make sure she understands.

I took last Friday off and our family spent a weekend in KL. I broke the news to Charlotte when she was really happy and enjoying the shopping trip. I didn't tell her the whole story in one try, but only adding more facts after each day. She slowly accepted the fact that I won't be home during that period of time, but mommy has all the back-up plans arranged for her.

I reminded her everyday before I left, and I was glad that she gave me all positive responses every time. I didn't have her to send me to the airport but she gave me a big hug before I left and said "媽媽﹐ 路上小心, I love you!". It was the best assurance I could ever get, don't you agree with me?

I know she will be ok as I have Patrick, my mom and my sister in law all lined up and ready to take care of her when I'm away. I also prepared small treats and presents and Patrick will only give to her if she is acting way too difficult to convince. Will see how many left when I go home.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Back dated post.

Last Friday marked the last day of school year 09, Charlotte's school organized a farewell party for the children and some of us were invited. I didn't plan to attend initially as the party will start at 3.3opm but it was a rather busy workweek for me. However, my laptop started to playing tricks on me around 3.00pm, the virus scan and patch update had required me to restart my machine repeatedly. What made it worst was I had "blue screen" every time I restart my machine. I gave up after the 4th time and I decided to join the farewell party at Charlotte's school instead. It was 3.50pm when I left office.

When I arrived at the school, I saw the children were all wearing balloon hats and gathered at the hall. There were food ready to be served as well and I was told that the children will have performance too! I ran towards my house and grabbed my camera and headed to the school again just in time for the opening.

There were song presentations, with sign language and appreciation token presentation to the volunteers and parents whom contributed to the school, participated in the activities and helped out throughout the year. No discrimination, no playing favorites, everybody gets to participate, give and receive.

I received a token of appreciation too, and a nice warm hug from this boy! (I think he was a bit shy to hug a stranger )

Then it was food! Those were all from the volunteers and parents contributed (I went empty handed, shame on me). Some older kids were asked to help serving, the younger ones gets to eat first. Teachers, parents, and volunteers were all there assisting the children as necessarily without being asked. I was really impressed and pleased to see everyone practise the values that they taught, it was shown in action!

I was just talking to some friends a couple weeks back about what a pity that Charlotte's school don't organize year end concert like all the other kindergartens or daycare centers do. (They don't encourage birthday party at school either) After this event, I found what the school did was rather meaningful, in just a short 1.5hour session, no fancy costumes, no adult make-ups, no additional cost incurred and yet all of us gained some kind of values and learning from that session. Simple, yet successful!

Lastly, the school had a set of "graduation souvenir" for all the 6 years old children. It was all handmade, paperscrap, with pictures and diary inside this box! It was made with heart and love!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Another Birthday Party

On the actual day, we planned for a dinner at MIL's place to celebrate Charlotte's birthday. Her school passed us a tea set and Charlotte was requested to present tea to us as a token of appreciation. Charlotte kept asking for the tea ceremony when we took back the tea set, but we had to wait for Pat to come home and I wanted her to present to the grandparents first then only us.

She was asked to kneel in front of us when presenting the tea, and say "爸爸﹐感恩﹗媽媽﹐感恩” (thank you daddy! thank you mommy!"

Though we thought it was a bit too traditional and too much to ask from the lil one, it was a rather good teaching and reminder to the younger generations (even to adults) to be respectful and grateful to our parents and elderly. My in laws were very pleased with this presentation too!

Then of course, another birthday cake for the lil princess...

Happy 4 years old my dear!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

An Early Celebration

Every year we celebrate Charlotte's birthday twice, and she's been having 2 birthday cakes (except her 1st birthday).

We first had an early celebration last Sunday with my parents (the plan was to have it together with the in laws but they were down in KL). First we went to collect Charlotte's first birthday cake. She didn't pay any attention to the when it was collected because she was very engaged with the new game cartridge that I bought her as birthday present for the Leapster game set. When I bought the game set, I didn't buy any game cartridges because the set came with 2 games. Then I found a very good deal of those cartridges online recently and I bought 3. I only gave her 1 as her birthday present, the other 2 I will keep for better use in the future.

She was so engrossed with the game (6 games in 1 cartridge, not bad!) and her first response was "no" when I asked if she want to take a peek at her birthday cake. But shortly after she realized that I was hold on to a big box on my lap, she requested to check out the cake. She was really thrilled when she found out the it was a 3D princess cake that I got for her! I guessed she only imagined it would be like those she got last year. After that, she asked to take a peek every 5min! *Fainted*

We got the hotel slightly early and the buffet hasn't started, so took a nice slow walk and enjoyed the beautiful scenery at the garden by the beach. Took some nice pictures with the birthday girl.

She must be feeling bored to be the center of focus, she requested the camera and started to instruct everybody to be at the position for her in return. Some of the nice shots she took...

We headed for a great dinner, everyone enjoyed the buffet and that's including Charlotte! I am thankful that those "picky eater" days are almost over!

Then it was the birthday song and birthday cake. You officially announced that you are 4 years old! (Indeed! She told all her school teachers, friends and everyone that asked her before this day that she was 3 years old!).

Sunday, November 8, 2009


While taking Charlotte and my new maid out last Friday...

Charlotte: mommy, what is a Malay?
Me: Malay ah? Like Izah in your ballet class, she is a Malay loh! *can Malay learn ballet? I don't know but her mother is wearing "tudung", I assume she is a Malay la*
Charlotte: Oh! Then me leh?
Me: You are a Chinese. *Almost fainted that she didn't know that*
Me (continue): Dashana in your school? She is an Indian.
Charlotte: I am a Chinese ah? Auntie (maid) leh?
Me: Auntie ah? *Lost* Auntie is a Filipino.
Charlotte (turned to Auntie): You are a Filipino ah?
Auntie: Yes :)

Charlotte: You come from Philippines ah?
Auntie: Yes, come here for 2 years.
Charlotte: 2 years then only go home ah?
Auntie: Yes. Philippines is very hot *I don't know why she thought of that suddenly*
Charlotte: Very hot ah? Philippines no air cond ah?
Auntie: No, no air cond
Charlotte: Then turn on fan la!


Friday, November 6, 2009

"My chest got knock knock sound!"

Last night, Charlotte told me that her chest was making some knocking sound. I didn't know what she meant because I was in the washroom when she told me this and I ran out thinking what's wrong with her.

She pointed to her left chest and told me "mommy, here, got knock knock sound. why?". I still didn't know what she meant until she pulled my hand and put on her chest. I only realized that she was referring to her heart beat! Somehow, we got into some joke and play before that (it was bed time) and her heart beat was rising due to excitement.

I told her that it is her heart, and it is good sign that it is beating. It is not good when it stops, and she said "when stop means die ah?". I asked her to feel mine, but she didn't feel it (maybe I have to much fats that's why, ha!) and I asked her to put her ear on my chest instead. She said "yes, yes, got the knock knock sound too! like mine!".

Another discovery!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Good Friends, Great Time!

It's been quite awhile since we last took Charlotte to the park during weekend and Pat announced the idea last Saturday morning that if Charlotte is behaving he will bring her to the park in the evening. I was quite worried with the plan as the weather these days is very unpredictable and we will have a hard time telling Charlotte that the plan is canceled if it rains. Thank goodness that it was a very nice evening last Saturday and Charlotte had a long long nap in the afternoon so she woke up refreshed and cheerful. We set 1 ground rule with Charlotte before we headed off, that was to have her agree to end session happily when it is time to go.

She had a great time cycling and playing her scooter at the park. I noticed that she was able to pull the bicycle break this time! We were trying to take pictures of her but this cheeky person kept on making funny faces. This was the best I got...

As she promised, she happily and willingly end the session when it was time for dinner. We were so proud of her!

As we were at dinner, I received a test message from Ann inviting Charlotte to the park Sunday evening. I thought we should skip the session since we were just there then Ann offered to bring the girls if that's ok for us. Pat was more than happy to have a little time off for us (selfish thinking, I know) and we agreed to the plan (Thanks Ann!).

The girls (plus Aiden, Chloe's lil brother) left for the park around 5pm the next day and Pat and I went quickly to run errands and had a quick snack (Laksa & Rojak, Yum!!). We went pick up around 7pm and the girls were all happy, laughing and chat chatting away, sweaty though! We, 2 families made dinner plan and the children continue their night at PSC. Chloe decided to go with our car and the 2 girls had Hello Kitty pancakes that I prepared (I always have food to back up because of Charlotte). They were making funny faces, sharing funny stories and chit chatting while munching the pancakes. It was definitely a very lively journey and they made us a few good laughs too.

It was late when we finally called it a night. The children had a good bonding time, the adults had a greater time catching up. It was a very good gathering, casual but good!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

How Much I Love You!

This much!

Lately, Charlotte tells me "mommy I love you!" or "mommy I miss you" very often and mostly out of the blue. It is very sweet to hear this, especially when my at day work was tough and tiring.

Thanks sweetie and I love you very much too!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


No, not Charlotte's.

We were down in KL last weekend for 2 birthday celebrations. Charlotte has been promoted to 姐姐 as Pat's elder brother welcomed their baby boy 2 weeks ago. So, she decided to get her 弟弟 a present and was holding on to the present so dearly until she passed it to her Auntie Angie. When we visited the new born, everyone was talking turn to carry the baby boy and Charlotte too wanted to do that. I had a tough time telling her that she is not allowed to because the baby is very fragile and she didn't know the proper way to carry the baby. But she cried and protested and in the end Aunit Angie was very kind to let her try. I was very worried and very careful with Charlotte when she was holding the baby, but she did well!

Then we celebrated FIL's birthday. It was his 86 if I'm not mistaken and as usual, big meals, birthday cake, birthday song, kids had fun...

If you remember the family photo we took last Christmas, this was only half the Chan family members...

Happy Birthday Yeh Yeh!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Party Time!

Have you ever been invited to more than 1 party in a night? Well, I haven't but my girl did! She was invited to 3 parties last Saturday to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival!

I was first invited by Ann and I agreed to her since our daughters have been getting along very well and they love each other's company. Then on Friday night, Pat told me that Charlotte's PD called up and invited Charlotte for the celebration on the same evening. We actually forgot about it as Dr Sim did put Charlotte's name in the "to be invited" list when she visited him a few weeks back. That's not all, Pat's sister also called and they were having another family gathering as well!

We definitely try to make it to all 3 parties and we did! Do you know how? We first went to Chloe's house. Charlotte and Chloe had an early start that evening and I tell ya, Ann's laksa was so yummy delicious! Pat took 2 rounds (side note to Ann - this is a very high score to beat)!!! We were all too busy eating and I forgot to take any picture. The girls were having delicious macaroni and also baby donuts :)

Then Chloe and Charlotte decided to present some songs as entertainment while we were having our dinner and the girls sang several songs that they learn in school, not forgetting Chloe's little brother, Aiden. He was so cute and sociable, he kept calling "Charlotte!" and tried to join in the singing part...

(Song presentation - London Bridge Is Falling Down)

Since we gotta leave early and I felt really bad that Chloe was going to be disappointed without having able to carry lantern with Charlotte when the sky turn dark. I then try to test her and invited her to join us to Dr. Sim's party and she gladly agreed to follow us! So Ann got her changed and off we left to the 2nd party. The 2 girls were chatting none stop in the car and both Pat and I had gotten a few good laughs from their conversation too.

I couldn't believe what I saw when we arrived at Dr Sim's place. The place was so packed and we see adults, children, babies, lanterns and food everywhere! The girls got their lantern lite and happily wishing everybody "Happy Lantern Festival"!

There was a play area upstairs and half the crowd was there and another were in the clinic reception area, front porch, side garden...the organizer in the end decided to gather everyone at the play area upstairs (it was drizzling outside actually) and we had a big group photo session and a story telling (more for adults I would say).

(Dr Sim - the gentleman in red beside me)

(that's how big the crowd was!)

Then the group was hesitated whether to proceed with lantern procession since it was drizzling. The kids were all looking forward, with their lantern lite and we did go on with the procession in the rain!

That's how we looked in the rain, with umbrellas and lanterns. (Sorry for the picture quality, my hands were so full with umbrella, candles, handbags....)

We walked for a short while then decided to call it a night, especially exposing the kids in the rain. So we sent Chloe home but we continue with the 3rd party at Charlott's kookoo's house.

Charlotte definitely had a lot of fun that night and we were only home after 11pm, way passed Charlotte's bedtime!
Happy Mid Autumn Festival to all!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Education + Charity

This is a back dated post but it is so memorable that I want to make sure that it is recorded.

I had a lunch invitation by Charlotte's school on the 18th Sept (all parents were invited). It was not a free meal but the money earned was donated to help the victims from the recent typhoon disaster in Taiwan. The response is always good anything for charity purpose, more so when we were told that we will be served by our kid.

I had no idea what that was about until we reached the school. I went with Ann and we were greeted by warm welcoming song from the 4yr old and our child welcomed us and lead us to the hall where the transformation was miracle!

Immediately, I was presented with a menu and Charlotte asked politely "妈妈,我可以帮你点餐吗?" (mama, may I take your order?) and she took out the order sheet and started to mark my order. She even helped to explain what's on the menu. I could tell that they had been through a very good training and were so ready to play the role.

The menu prepared was very professional (and the actual serving looked as presented on the menu picture!)

Then she left to the kitchen and prepare the food. I cannot imagine how the teachers managed to plan, organize, train, and execute all the details with young children like them. There must be a lot of patience and love throughout the whole preparation period.

Shortly after, I saw Charlotte came out from the kitchen, holding a tray full of food and she was very careful when bringing me my order. (By the way, she never bring me even a cup of water at home and I was definitely impressed seeing her delivery with a full tray of food).

But we (Ann and I) presented with different delivery from what we ordered, and we were served more than what we ordered! (Ha!) But we happily accepted everything placed on our table. We had Italian (spaghetti), Japanese (sushi set), scramble egg and mushroom soup, rojak!

This was the Japanese set I got, with tempura, miso soup, and sushi rolls. Prety impressive huh?

Then I was sharing this special moment with almost everyone in the family, MIL was practically amazed and regretted the she wasn't there.
I really can't imagine the amount of preparation, training, explanation, love and passion from the teachers to pull off this event and I honestly very thankful and appreciate all those effort.

Recently, I received an email in my mailbox with hyperlinks to some of those videos that they took, during the preparation, and during the event. That answered all the question marks I had on how they managed to get 4-6 yr old children to do all that. Hope you'll find it interesting too...

Video clip #1:

Video clip #2

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Lantern Festival

Just a day after the Singapore trip, we were invited to attend the Lantern Festival, organized by the Sri Tanjung Pinang, just like previous year.

We were quite prepared this round and we know there isn't much to expect as we are not interested with the stage performance, and I don't expect Charlotte to have dinner there even though there will be food served. So we were just prepared to see what's new this year.

It was pretty true that nothing much to "wow" about this year, and most of the activities were for bigger kids (like make your own mini moon cake, Chinese chest game, paper lantern making and etc) except a free lantern for every kid and a rabbit petting corner. We went around, had some snacks and the rest of the time we were at the petting corner. Charlotte enjoyed this the most this year...

We only spent less than an hour there and we headed somewhere else for dinner. So much for Mid Autumn Celebration? Maybe there is something more later...

Unexpected, but Wonderful Week!

I had a planned business trip to Singapore last week but it wasn't as lonely as my usual business trips because I had a bundle with me this time. Just a few days before my departure I decided to bring Charlotte and my parents along. It was a last minute decision but I managed to get flight and accommodation arranged just before the departure.

Since I was flying SQ, I thought I can only afford budget airlines for them but I was very lucky that Singapore Airlines offers great fares for online purchases and we were all on the same flight, same schedule!

The moment we stepped into the Executive Suites, Charlotte noticed a box of surprise addressed just to her on the living room desk. She was the only one being greeted with special welcome! It contains a cookies, a box of juice and a big red apple. I didn't have a chance to take picture of the content as Charlotte immediate opened and ate the cute little happy face cookies.

I needed to get ready for work almost immediately, so I proceeded to the washroom for a quick wash up and the second surprise I saw was the toiletries offered by the hotel...it was L'Occitane! Yup, call me "sua koo" but I was definitely giving this hotel a 2 thumbs up even just after the initial 20min there.

I was glad that my parents agreed to come along, they sure enjoyed their stay and more so that they get to share undivided attention with Charlotte when I was at work during the day. They went everywhere (the city, China Town, Sentosa Island, Underwater World, and etc) and I get to hear the exciting update from Charlotte every evening.

Charlotte greeted me at the door when I came back on the 2nd day and looking like this...

All I can say is she enjoyed the most this trip all she got was present, present, and more present...

I only get to spend short evening with them as I came back from work pretty late everyday. But I sure had the most carefree weekdays, knowing Charlotte was under good care and enjoying herself every moment. Didn't have many pictures to share since my parents aren't any blogger (he!)

I spent my birthday in Hong Kong last year, and I was in Singapore, a paid trip this year. Am I lucky or what? It was unplanned, unexpected but a wonderful week!

Friday, September 11, 2009

What Is Going On?

I couldn't believe that my last post was on Aug 25th. I have no update for more than 3 weeks now! I have so much to share and so much to put down just as a note to myself, a reminder, a record...everyday passes by so quickly and I have no chance to waste a single minute.

I have been pretty occupied since I started this new job. Yeah, when they pay you more than what you asked for they expect you to contribute more in return. It has been a challenge to send Charlotte to school on time in the morning, to be at her school on time in the evening for pick up, I forgot about extra classes that we signed up for her when I was still trying to finish up what I left of after I left office, I forgot about her homework that I need to guide her before her next lesson...Oops! Bad mommy, I know :(

I wanted to post about how lucky I was to have my mom to help out during the school holiday. I wanted to record the wonderful time Charlotte spent with her grandma, how she enjoyed grandma's company, how she enjoyed grandma's cooking, how many new dresses, new shoes, new accessories she got from grandma for no reason, how blessed we all to have my mom to take care of thing at home while we were tied up at work, how sorry I was for my dad that I had to keep my mom with me for a week.

I also wanted to share about Charlotte's new discovery, took picture of herself with our digital camera. I only found out about it when I was downloading some of the old pictures from the camera. I also wanted to put up photos of Charlotte in those new dresses that grandma bought her (I'll try to take better picture when Charlotte put up those dresses again)

I wanted to record about Charlotte told me "mommy I missed you!" when I came home late. I also wanted to record about Charlotte told me "mommy I love you!" and came running and gave me a big warm hug. That was the best and made everything worth!

I wanted blog about my upcoming business trips, I am making plans and arrangements ahead for Charlotte, and I am worried about her.

I only think of those in my head, hoping to have time to blog about it tomorrow. They were all too back dated now and I don't want to do that many back dated post. I'll just let it go and hopefully I will have better discipline to do that for my next post.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

外婆的宝贝 (Grandma's Little Precious)

It was school holiday last week, Charlotte was home all day while Pat and I were at work that whole week. We don't have a maid since Brenda (our previous maid) went home in May, so who was there to look after Charlotte?

At situation like this, my parents never failed me. They are always there for me, for us, anything at all that we asked, they will never say no as answer. For that, I am very very thankful that I am such a blessed child. Obviously, my mom volunteered to look after Charlotte for the week even before I asked. I was very happy to hear this as I know nothing can go wrong and I can focus my attention at work knowing Charlotte is in good hand. The only thing that we were worried about is if Charlotte would get connected with my mom the way we hoped for. This is because we only visit my parents once a week or less. We observed that Charlotte sometimes need a long period of time to warm up and get comfortable with my parents.

My parents came Monday morning, and I was very relieved when Charlotte ran to the door and greeted her grandparents. My dad proposed to take Charlotte out for breakfast worrying that she may not agree to let me leave for work. That was how I managed to get to office without any protest on Monday morning. It was all peaceful throughout Monday, no phone calls from home and I knew everything was under control. I went home early Monday evening as promised to Charlotte and my mom started her "update" the moment I stepped into the house.


1. Charlotte was very obedient, didn't create any difficulty and my mom was able to cook and prepare meals without any disruption from her.

2. Charlotte had good appetite (something very new to me), she ate "char siew pao" during breakfast, big portion of lunch, she had 3pcs of biscuits and a cup of milo for tea.

3. Charlotte had good manners, keep telling grandma to be careful of the stairs, slippery bathroom, helped grandma with aircond and fan in her room as grandma was not familiar with the environment.

4. *there were many other comments which I didn't really listen because Charlotte was talking to me at the same time*

All of us had the most delicious and wonderful dinner that week! My mom is a great cook and she has magic in her cooking that I can never understand how it tasted so differently even I followed her recipe and instruction exactly. Maybe that's what called "cooking with love"! Pat ate the largest portion of all and my mom was definitely happy seeing us enjoyed her cooking. Charlotte even decided to sleep with grandma!

My mom, being her usual self, she bought a whole of things for the house, for the kitchen, for us and not to mention for Charlotte. I saw my fridge and freezer was filled with materials for cooking, kitchen added new tools, new dresses and accessories for Charlotte everyday. Last evening, I was greeted by this cute malay looking girl when I was home.

Every evening, I look forward seeing happy faces (Charlotte and my mom), great dinner, nice little chit chat among mother, daughter and granddaughter, small shopping here and there when I don't need to attend night teleconferences. It has been going on for a week and I can really get use to it. Unfortunately, it has coming to an end and I have to consider my dad although I love to have my mom all to myself. My dad has been living by himself and run his business all by himself this entire week. Although he keeps saying that there is no big deal for him, I feel extremely bad and selfish and I should "release" my mom to take care of him when Charlotte is back to school next week. I love to have both of my parents staying with me when my dad decided to retire one day.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Celebrating Merdeka

Two weeks ago Charlotte's school sent out a notice that they were going to have a week of Merdeka celebration and we were told to let the kids wear the traditional attire to school on the 17th-19th, Indian theme on Monday, Malay theme on Tuesday and Chinese theme on Wednesday. And on the 21st (Friday) we get to choose either one theme and let the kids wear to school before school holiday starts. That means, shopping! Yes, we had to shop for the Indian and Malay costumes and rest assured that we have already several to choose from for Chinese costume.

I had no idea where to get Indian costume until one find day I suddenly thought of Little India in Penang! So I told Pat to bring us there on Saturday morning and I shopped from one shop to many other just to look for an appropriate costume for children. I originally wanted the a Punjabi suit, with pants for bottom but Charlotte is quite petite and it was difficult to get a suit which the top and bottom fits just nice. So I bought a suit with a skirt as matching bottom and what do you know? It looked pretty nice on Charlotte!

It was not as challenging to find a Malay costume as getting the Indian's. I just went to a nearby mall and got her a sweet pink Baju Kurung. I was surprised to see that Charlotte looked just like a sweet next door Malay girl after putting on this suit.

This is my little girl in 3 different costumes...I think she looks really stunning and cute! *bias comment*

I didn't have a chance to peek at the school of what was going on with all the children dressed up (all the teachers were also in the same theme everyday!!!) as my new job was just picking up and need a lot of time to settle down. However, I was lucky to spot them when I was on my way to work on Friday morning. I had a morning teleconference on Friday morning and when I was leaving for office was about 10+am. As I was driving out from my house, I saw all of them were coming out from the school ready for the Merdeka "parade" around the residential area. Being a kiasu mother, I turned back and took my camera just to put up on this post :p

(I knew they were going to have the parade as I observed this exact same routine last year. I was working from home back then and I was thrilled to see the "parade" when I found out what were all those noise came from. Charlotte was with another school back then)

Charlotte was very happy and excited when she saw me. She was partnering with her best friend Chloe.

Oh, if you are wondering why were they celebrating Merdeka in advance is because school holiday falls on 24-30th Aug.

Good job to all the teachers and helpers for making this happened!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Been There, Done That.

I had been a SAHW (Wife) back in 2003 when Pat was relocated to the States. The experience that I had then and now is very different. Location aside, back then we were just the 2 of us. Time and schedule were very flexible, we could even stayed up for late night games, movies and pop corns, parties and travels. Eat or sleep, snow or sunshine never bother. With Charlotte, everything must be planned and done in considering of her.

There were many things that I wanted to take the opportunity to do or try when I gained the SAHM status slightly about a months ago. Then I realized that I didn't gain any additional time to do what I had planned to do when finally I as the home project manager. Unlike in the corporate world, there are resources to leverage for any project to be managed, I was practically "THE" manager, "THE" team, "THE" resource to run all that is around at home. From the moment I wake up in the morning till I close my eyes again at night I was occupied with activities and tasks that need to be completed. It was not any easier, but definitely happier.

I was very busy but felt very much accomplished and satisfied. One of those things that I am most happy with is the training for Charlotte to do the morning "perch". Charlotte used to keep for 3 to 4 days, although she didn't really have constipation issue I felt that the keeping habit is unacceptable and it will eventually cause constipation. The training was very successful and she is up on her "thrown" every morning with good output :) Of course this is no magic, the luxury of time that I had without having to rush to office and involved in the process with her (yeah, I practically stood outside of the toilet waiting and chatting with her initially) significantly contributed to the success.

I was also able to prepare healthy meals, of course coming out with a menu can be quite stressful sometimes. The exploring I was able to introduce several more new dishes to Charlotte's liking. Nothing beats the sense of accomplishment seeing empty plates :)

Other than baking, cooking and cleaning (nothing glamorous), I was also able to enjoy the treadmill, watching DVDs, running my fingers through my long abundant piano, spending more times with parents and friends, and also blogging (hehe!).

The only thing we didn't do is going on a holiday. We were considering but then we have concern on the H1N1 outspreading. We feel that it is not necessary to expose ourselves to the risks. To bad, Pangkor Laut Resort will have to wait :(

Now that I am back in the corporate world, I pray that God to continue to look after our family and guide me through my new adventure.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Baking Fever vs. Bento Fever

I have been very much into baking fever for past 1 month since I become a SAHM. Just like when I was so into bento I have been adding new tools to my kitchen. Most of these tools are for beautiful fondant designs. I have forgotten about making bento for Charlotte although I use many of my bento tools on cakes, especially cupcakes.

Last Saturday, Charlotte asked for pancake when we were about to leave for lunch. I offered her to have lunch at the Paddington Pancake House, but she specifically wanted home made pancake, with Hello Kitty on it. Pat had no choice but to wait for me to prepare the order for Charlotte. To be honest, it is really quick to prepare pancake and it takes no hassle at all to draw the Hello Kitty face. I made 4 pancakes, but only put 2 in the bento box. When we had our lunch at the restaurant, Charlotte just wanted her Hello Kitty pancakes and she finished both of it.

The next day, she asked for fairy bread. It has been quite some time since I made fairy bread for her. I was in no mood to prepare any sophisticated fairy bread so I took out 2 heart shape cutters and made her a simple (lousy, I think) one. Again, she ate it all and I was very glad (at least, she didn't ask for fun).

(I didn't even change the bento box :p)

As I am embarking another new chapter in life soon I bet I will not be baking that often anymore. I certainly enjoyed the time and the opportunity that I had to be the CEO of the house and explored new recipes in my own kitchen.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Can't Get You Out Of My Head

Nah...I'm not talking about boys...I'm talking about my Swiss Roll! I kept wondering what could have went wrong ever since that 1st attempt. Actually I tried a couple more times after that, made some adjustments, tried to let the skin side cool and dry a little bit more, hoping it won't stick on the parchment paper but no, still failed. I didn't know what went wrong as I followed the recipe and instruction very carefully :(

I finally thought that I should be referring back to the person who shared this recipe and she told me that it probably due to the parchment paper itself (duh!). She mentioned that the only possibility is due to the type parchment paper that I used. Apparently not all parchment paper is good for this purpose and she uses the Glad specifically.

I so happened to be at a grocery store early this week, I was looking for a new roll of aluminium foil and sandwich bags but then I saw "GLAD Baking Paper"! Just the something that I should get for another try.

Actually the making/baking part is rather quick for Swiss Roll since it is only baking a thin layer and the washing is rather easy too. I decided to try it last night since both Charlotte and I had our dinner early, daddy was not home, and we were a bit bored. She helped me with the process until putting the batter into the oven. Then she lost her interest to follow through and I was crossing my fingers while watching over the oven closely. I took out the cake shortly after it turned brown and let it cool as instructed. Carefully I flipped the skin side down on a new sheet of Glad baking paper and quickly spread the strawberry jam on it and started to roll. I was very happy when the first turn came out clean!! Yeah, it worked, it worked!
See how beautiful it is! I was smiling ear to ear, admiring my own achievement (crazy, I know)...

Then I looked closer, I think I need to work on "tightening" the roll a bit more next time, which I think is easier to accomplish than trying to find out what went wrong to the skin side getting stuck on the paper earlier.

I'm sure going to bake a few more Swiss Rolls this weekends. Free Swiss Roll, any taker? :)
Have A Wonderful Weekend!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Birthday Surprise For Brother & SIL

My nephew Isaiah is enjoying his one month school holiday since last week and SIL is asking if there is anything for him to do to pass time. I told her I don't really know what to do with boys, I mean since I don't have one right?

Then a birthday reminder popped up on my cell phone and it is my brother's birthday on the 4th this month, and BINGO! I thought I have just a something for Isaiah. I told SIL and she agreed.

This was what we've been doing this whole morning...a lil birthday surprise for my brother (Isaiah's dad) and I included SIL in this surprise too since her birthday is just a week a way.

Actually, I did many of those miniatures days before as I knew Isaiah couldn't finished doing all that in a day. He was caught with a surprise himself when I told him what to do, he thought we are doing a big cake instead. It took him quite awhile to warm up, but he did the cars eventually.

I bake those cupcakes while letting Isaiah to have a little fun with the fondant. When the cakes were all cooled, I showed Isaiah how to assemble them. I started with the "happy birthday papa & mama" and he got the idea. He asked to let him decorate and assemble the rest.

The three faces represents the three boys (Solomon, Isaiah and Abraham) that my brother has and 2 cars that they owned and a house. Then I saw a volcano! I asked why is there a volcano? What does it represents? He said, mommy la, like volcano sometimes. Oops! (The volcano was the first thing SIL noticed when she came pick up Isaiah, luckily she didn't blow. LOL!).

I think he put a bit too much of sprinkles, looks too busy for me. Isaiah was definitely excited and thrilled to see his own creation and he couldn't wait for his daddy to come home :)

Will see what my brother says tonight. I bet his first reaction will be "huh? how to eat? all the coloring!" Yeah, my brother is a very conscious person. But I'm sure he appreciates the effort from his son :)
*The volcano is on the "b'day" cupcake. Not very clear from top view. Pardon my photography skill :p

Monday, August 3, 2009

My First Birthday Cupcake Creation

It's Pat's birthday today and I had this idea in my head since several days ago, something that I want to try and hopefully to put a smile on both Pat and Charlotte's face. I waited and waited, until this morning, after sending off everyone to school and to work. Finally, I have a nice quiet and peace of mind to work on my little "project".

I took out the fondant, colors, cutters, food picks, trays, rollers and I tied up my hair, washed my hands and...yes, I wanted to make birthday cupcakes for Pat! I just want to make something simple, not so much of fondant as we don't really have sweet tooth, not even Charlotte. Something simple yet meaningful, and hopefully not too sweet.

Honestly, I already know what I want the cupcakes to look like and I just get down to business right away. The clock was ticking and I needed to get everything done before Pat and Charlotte gets home. I did it just barely as Pat came home when I was assembling the cupcakes. Being his usual self, he didn't bother of what I was doing but just asked why I bake again, or maybe he knew?

After dinner, I told Charlotte to wish her daddy happy birthday and told her about this little secret. I asked her to bring the surprise to daddy...

We planned to have a little desert after dinner and I was really hoping to get nice ice-cream treat, like BR31 or Häagen-Dazs but Charlotte wanted McD Sundae twist :( Here I am trying to stay positively, it was good for our pockets and it was good for my diet too. My little princess is very easy to please, yes? :)

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Experimenting With Fondant

Back dated post...

I got a pack of ready-to-roll fondant for quite some time now but I didn't have the courage to open it. I am the kind of person that prefers to work quietly and alone especially when I want to try on something new. Somehow, privacy and "me time" have becoming something very important to me ever since I delivered Charlotte and had a maid at home (not anymore).

Now that I am a SAHM, I get to do what I want to do rather freely (except I am rather busier now than what I thought and almost couldn't find extra time to experiment new things). Anyway, I was stranded at home last Friday as Pat drove my car off for some meetings that he had to attend (his car is still in the workshop) and I had nothing for lunch. I thought maybe I should just get my hands dirty with the fondant :)

So, I baked Double Orange cupcakes and got myself busy with the fondant. Charlotte has been asking for "caterpillars" and "butterflies" ever since her good friend Chloe gave her one of Ann's creations. My skill is nothing compared to Ann's and I was laughing at myself while making those miniatures. I didn't have enough colors and my "bugs" were all having different colors than it should be and it all didn't look like what it should be either (LOL!)

Then I thought I want to make something simpler. Just small flowers and I started to look for my bento cutters. What I know was all those cutters seem too big for the cupcakes that I had in the oven! (need to do some baking accessories shopping soon) Then I thought maybe it wasn't that difficult to mold it with my hands. I should have learn from the "bugs" lesson but no...easy as it seems, not really. My flowers were all very primitive :( furthermore Pat was home before I finished my "project" and the nag started like bees in my ears.

Please don't laugh when you see what I did...













The Double Orange was very good at least :) and it was really fun working on the fondant I tell ya. See if I get another chance to do it again, and hopefully I can do it better next time.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Another Day At The Beach

We love the beach at the northern part of the island ever since our last trip. We've been trying to go back for many weeks now but the weather was not permitting. Finally we made it there again last week.

This time the sun set a little later. We were there around 5.30pm but it didn't set until 7.30pm. We played quite a bit at the beach, we build sand castle, we raced at the beach, we jumped, we shouted, we screamed, we laughed...then both Pat and I got tired and we decided to sit down while Charlotte still kept going on and on...

She was very busy working with the sand and water, Pat and I were busy talking...on and off, she asked to be escorted to pick up more water. Only after awhile, we noticed she was like working on a big project. So focused, so engrossed, full of determination...

She said "I'm cooking!". Cooking? Cook what? She said "shell soup" with very serious expression. I looked at the "soup" and was telling Pat that better she doesn't ask us to drink later on... :p

We had to leave just shortly after sunset but Charlotte was very happy and satisfied. She was more than willing to call it a day when we told her so. I brought many bottles of clean water for wash up and Charlotte changed into clean dress before we headed to Batu Ferringgi for dinner.

Another fun weekend, another new week ahead...