Always be grateful

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Well folks, the Mayans were wrong, we are still very much alive and it’s 2013. *gasp* For those who didn’t pay all their bills or borrowed tons of money from loansharks for no reason or spray painted your ex’s car or gave it to  your bosses/wives/mother-in-laws on the 20th of December… gua gua gua. Idiots…

Because I’m still alive, I need to remind myself to be grateful for the following things I have and take for granted.

Son 我的儿

The Husband and I ask ourselves almost daily, what did we do to deserve this little boy? Someone upstairs must really like us. Even when he was a little baby, Xan seems to understand when I’m feeling down. He is always there to comfort me with an assuring smile, a hand on my knee or pass me a tissue paper. Most of the time, he will just squeeze up next to me, plant a kiss on my lips and we watch whatever it is on TV together in silence. He brings joy not only to our lives but also to whoever he comes into contact with. Sounds very far fetched but my friends will be willing to tell you otherwise. I’m grateful to have him in my life.

The Husband 我的愛人

I hope 2013 will be a better year for him. Money, we can earn together (I can always sell his shirts, shoes, bags, guitars, etc. Or I can rent him out to you. He’s very handy with tech and furniture. Hiak hiak hiak!) but faith and confidence is entirely up to himself. He allowed me to do my ‘thing’ from ’09 to ’12 so I guess it’s my turn to return the favour. I won’t deny that the finance part will always be on top of my mind in the next few months but I will TRY to focus on more important aspects of the family and less on the money. I am grateful we are able to do a little bit of role reversal this year. We will never know how things will turn out until we try right?

Health 我的健康状态

I finally know the reason of my constant back pains, not exactly jumping for joy with the diagnosis but glad that the pains are not entirely all in my head. Other than that, I’m (somewhat) healthy and ALIVE!  I’m grateful for every breath I take every morning because it means I can have 1 more day with my loved ones.

My Mum 我的娘亲

I keep talking about her in my posts because I think she’s great! She stalks me, she infuriates me, she stuffs me with excessive amount of food then points out my ever expanding  waistline. I know mummy does all these nonsense because she loves me. I hope my relationship with Xan will be this good when he grows up. She taught me that being a woman is more than just a daughter, sister, wife or a mother. She constantly reminds me to be happy, take care of myself and to stay true to my principles. I am grateful for such a loving, insane woman who drives me up the wall and around the neighbourhood 10 times as my mummy.

My Blog 我的博客

It’s a work in progress. Since 2008. It’s a long process lah. Spurred by a secret group of mum bloggers, I started to write a bit more and I’m liking it. The blog had helped me to organize my very random train of thoughts and also helped me made some new like minded friends. I am grateful to The Husband who helped spruce up my blog and make me want to write more.

So glad 2012 is over and I hope 2013 will be better and bring in a steady stream of good news to everyone.

Happy New Year everyone!

Wordless Wednesday: Mini Me

Mini me

 

The Husband found an old photo of me in a bag of stuff my dad very casually threw to us when we went over for dinner one day. Not so subtle hints from them that I should remove my junk from their place you think? Hurhur… I completely forgot about the bag until a few days ago The Husband took it out to show Xan. He had seen it before and so wasn’t impressed. He was more perturbed by us interrupting his Team Umizoomi show and didn’t entertain my request for him to face the camera 🙁

Look like me ah? Poor boy. Hope his nose won’t end up looking like my mine. Grow bigger ok, Mr Nose? Small nose not handsome leh.

 

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The Year End School Concert

Besides Chinese New Year, November is a very busy month for me because The Husband’s birthday, wedding anniversary and Xan’s year end school concert all fall in the same month.

For days I had been trying to find out from him what he was going to perform during the concert but he would either ignore me or give me a really vague answer. His lips were sealed shut, not even giving me a single clue. So mysterious. Ok lor…

2 weeks before the actual day, they had a full dress rehearsal and I managed to have a sneak peek at what he was going to wear for the concert. The Husband had to pick him up from school that day and managed to take a picture of his outfit before they cleaned him up. To be honest, I wasn’t too pleased. He was wearing a dudou! I paid $100+ for his concert costumes and the best the school could do was a dudou? I can buy that dudou for less than $10 from China direct hor? The Husband kept reassuring me the little one looked very cute but I wasn’t buying it. Oh well, we shall see what the 2nd set is going to be since they usually have 2 performances every year.

Finally concert day came and we really enjoyed everybody’s performances especially those from the PlayGroup classes. Every year without fail you will see the Cryers, the Deers (you know? Deer in headlight kind?) and the Runaways. My favourites are the The Deers. Some can remain in the same position completely still for the full 3 minutes of the song. It’s so cute to see the children grow up and gradually grow out of their shyness like those from Xan’s class.

This year, we have a good camera so we have quite a few really good shots! Thanks to my dear Husband who bought it for me last year. We were kept busy taking pictures with the D90, our iPhones and my Ixus870IS. Sibeh kiasu.

However, midway through the concert, I started to develop a terrible migraine from the glare of the iPad belonging to a parent who was seated next to me. He was surfing the net/forum/whatever lah. He was giving me a migraine. Why do people do that during a concert if they don’t do that in a cinema? Very rude leh. You don’t think the bumblebees were cute but I DO! Lucky I didn’t ‘accidentally’ bump the iPad off his hands, onto the floor and ‘accidentally’ step on it because I found out at the end of the concert his daughter is my son’s classmate. HENG AH!

Little monkey showing me the lipstick his teachers had applied for him. His lips stayed that way until he started digging into his Happy Meal.

Ya I know what you’re thinking. I don’t like the choice of food they give the children during excursions and post concerts. Pandan bread and MacDs are not my idea of a healthy foods. Then again, what else can they give the children that will not turn bad when left out in the open for at least 3 hours? Don’t worry, we made sure to pump him with fresh vegetables and fruits after that.

Dodou and MacDs aside, Xan did very well during the concert. He smiled throughout his performances, remembered all his steps and the only child to thank the audience before he scurried off stage with the rest of his classmates. He looked like he really enjoyed himself too! Well done!! We were very very proud of you!

Proud parents.

After going through all the photos, this picture is without a doubt my favourite. It was supposed to be a kungfu whatever performance. He is cute even in a strange dodou. Of course I’m bias. Sue me.

Here’s my favourite shot of him with some DI help. 😛

Project: Birthday Cake

Xan’s birthday is coming up in less than 2 weeks and I’m planning to bake his cake myself. It may not be a big deal to you but it is to me. So big until I’m breathing, eating, dreaming and seeing pastries all around me.

Daiso is an evil evil place 🙁

I’ve always wanted to bake his birthday cake myself instead of buying one off the shelf because I feel The Birthday Cake is the highlight of any child’s birthday. I want to be part of that memory for Xan. So vain right?

In the last few months, I have come across so many pictures of proud mummies showcasing their versions of The Birthday Cake. *sob* I also wan to do that!

It’s not that I can’t bake. I can lah but I bake for fun and when I can’t sleep. The Birthday Cake is a completely different story leh. If your cake is damn ugly, the kid is going to hate you. If it tastes horrible, the kid is going to hate you. If it’s both ugly and tastes horrible and worse of all, gives him an allergy reaction… gua gua gua…

I’ve been doing some research online and stumbled upon these amazing looking cakes called Sarawak Kek Lapis. Sure we have similar ones called Kueh Lapis but none of them even come close in terms of looks. How crazy cool would it be to bring these to any parties? I know right? You must be crazy to think I will try making one. Siao ah? In case YOU feel adventurous and think you can handle it, try it. Do remember to email me how it went. I am always available for taste tests. *SLURP*

After thinking about what kind of cake to make, I decided to try my hands at steaming one. Heck, since we’re at it, why not a multi-coloured one? Surely someone out there has already done this before right? I found a relatively simple recipe and tricked the boys into accompanying me to my favourite place, Phoon Huat to gather the supplies.

Phoon Huat and Daiso are 2 places I always dread walking in to. So many things to buy! Resistance is always futile. Sigh… The worst part about these 2 shops is that not every outlet carries the same range of product so I find myself having to stop at every outlet that is within a reasonable distance from where I happen to be at that moment just to ‘make sure’ they don’t carry the same things. Why do I torture myself this way I also don’t know.

While trying to figure out what is the difference between pastes and emulcos, I spotted an instant Huat Kueh Mix. I rationalized it to myself: it is a steamed cake, potential to be colourful, instructions easy enough and best of all, ‘just add water’. I found my winner! Got to give this a try! I quickly scooped up 1 packet, bought other ‘standby ingredients’ and hurried out of the store before I find a reason to buy the expensive Silpat mats.

 

Besides the instant mix, I also bought some food colouring I’m not familiar with. Wah lau.. Emulco sounds like something you put into your car engine… 😛 Not sure what I was going to do with them but they will be used for something somehow.

 

Pardon the ugly surface. I got too excited and kept removing the lid to check on the cake so the surface looked like got 3 boobs and 2 nostril holes. While trying to remove the cake from the steamer, I accidentally scraped the surface lah. I know I’m not supposed to open the lid but that rule only applies when you want the Huat Kueh to have that nice split top, right? I don’t need mah. After I poured in the last layer, I continued to stare at bubbly mass through the glass lid and I found myself muttering to it “don’t split open, please don’t split open, split liao not pretty!” As soon as I heard myself saying that I told myself quite sternly “Hello? This was supposed to be a Huat Kueh mix in the first place. It’s supposed to split open for good luck! Choy!” Ironic isn’t it? Ya, I tend to talk to myself and a little more frequently when I’m sleep deprived.

 

Here we go, the final product. So pretty hor? The four flavours were (from top down): strawberry, orange, mocha and pandan.

 

But when you slice it hor…

 

Taste test? The Husband and The Eldest Sister said it was ‘Nice’. So polite ah my family? I tell you lah. It was dense and bland. Good for folks who are on low sugar, low fat, low taste diet. I’m not even a fan of steamed cakes in the first place. I can hear you ask me now “Then why in the world would you want to make a steamed cake?” Seriously? I also dunno. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Sigh… Time to make another cake.

 

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Wordless Wednesday: A hair raising affair

If you have been following my blog posts (Thank you for following my blog, please on the way by the way also Like my Facebook can?), you should realize we love our son very much and we love to make fun of ourselves just as much. The emphasis is WE LOVE OUR SON, not just love torturing him in strange getups. Don’t all parents do that?

Here are some photos for your Wednesday entertainment pleasure.

Lion King?
Marilyn?

Ok, to be fair to him both of us decided to join him.

Budget Cosplay characters?

 

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