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Monday, January 30, 2017

CNY 2017

Happy Rooster year to all!

Gong Xi Gong Xi!

This CNY found me quite unprepared.  Firstly it came early... seemed like Christmas/New Year was just over!  I'd also been stressed out over the kids starting school.  I made peanut cookies, spring-roll crackers, seaweed crackers and sesame cookies (not disastrous but not that nice).

Luckily for CNY eve dinner, hubby got the 'poon choy/treasure pot' package from Canton-i.  We loved it!  The treasure pot tasted good and had decent ingredients.  The set also came with yee sang, waxed-meat rice and a 'tong sui' sweet dessert.  All I had to cook was my usual signature pork (3kg this year), smoked chicken, a broccoli/carrot dish for the greens and rice.  I rather think we should do it this way next time too.  I'm not a great cook and this is kinder to my dinner guests hehe.

Treasure pot, smoked chicken, yee sang, waxed meat rice

Err somehow can't find any pictures of people for the night.

For CNY day 1, went to the Secret Garden as usual.  I'm quite pleased with the photos as all I request is ONE nice one. :)

Hello from the Secret Garden!

Another pic...

That night had dinner guests again.  This time hubby said he will handle everything haha.  So together with the relatives on his side and our maid, they came up with abalone/mushroom/fatt choy, stir-fried greens, roast pork, steamed fish, salted chicken (from Ipoh) and leftover treasure pot.  Not a bad spread actually!

The food

This time found a picture of the people...

The people

Sunday, January 22, 2017

No to surprises!

A relative gave the girls something... "Frozen"-themed chocolates with a surprise inside.  JE got Olaf. SE got... a troll.

Resulting prolonged bawling session is captured by amused mummy...

*sobs*... waaa.... WAHHHH

WAHHHH... I don't want this!!
(The offending troll is in front of her)

WAHHHH... I want Anna.. or Elsa!

Someone took the effort to think of the girls, bought something nice, hand-carried it over the border and handed it over.  And this is the reaction... aiyoyo.

Luckily JE eventually agreed to switch her Olaf for SE's troll.  So this ended well!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Water play

First they played with the kittens while hubby was washing the car.

Check out our kittens!

Then they helped to wash the car.  Then they got hold of the hose.

Yayy this is fun!

Gahh see how wet they are getting?  OK enough already!  Time to bathe!

SE: But I want to hold the hose

OK fine... Jo Ern, pass the hose to Su Ern.

JE:  But whyyy....

Just pass it to her ok?  After that it's time to bathe.

JE: Hmmfff


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Last day at kindy

This is obviously a slightly-outdated post haha.  Deep into the school holidays, I had a call from JE's kindy about a Xmas party for the kids.  I thought the invite was a nice gesture (they weren't going to get any more business from me already!).  I like this kindy near my house and had planned to send SE there.  Had to change plans when JE was placed in the afternoon session for Standard 1... timing-wise, SE had to attend a kindy near my parents' house instead.

Here's JE all dressed up with her gift for the exchange.

Do I look nice?

Let's go!

Aisshh how did she get so big so fast.  Oh I must relate this story...

JE:  I was thinking about kissing
Me:  Huh?  Kissing what?
JE:  Kissing Choonie (this boy in her kindy class).  He is so handsome!

Oh-oh don't grow up too fast, little one!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Sekinchan again

(OK take a break from the dreary topic of school.  SE is still crying in the mornings.  JE is fine for now but real lessons haven't started)

We made another trip to Sekinchan to round off the school holidays.  This time we made sure it wasn't a public holiday again like our previous trip!  It's easy to get to, only an hour plus away and there's no need to book accommodation (always difficult during holidays).

This time was great!  Not crowded and the weather was cloudy yet not rainy.  (Still no paddy in the fields but can live with that.)  Went to the paddy museum again - didn't bother with the RM5 admission but wanted to buy fish balls/ambra drinks/rose apple etc.  I absolutely loved NOT having to jostle with tons of people.

If you want paddy planted, call me ok

We also went to Mango King (nothing much actually) and had lunch at Loong Hua just because we could.  On our previous trip, the former was stuffed with people and the latter had a 2-hour queue.  Food was overall good and cheaper than in KL.  The chilli crab was the best dish for me.


Then we hopped over to the beach (previously a long, arduous drive) and hit the wishing tree, tree houses and other beach attractions.

Hello all!

Hello from up here!

Hello from the swings!

One swing each!

Hubby and JE flew the kite we bought during the last trip.

I'm actually flying a kite!

Some people were playing with bubbles and SE went berserk chasing the bubbles.

BUBBLES!!! (so happy this little kid heh)

Obviously the kids asked to play with bubbles too.

Check out my GIANT bubble!

And THESE too!

SE was so happy!  Snapped a few good shots.

Oh wow!


Sunday, January 8, 2017

School so far

If the first day went well, the second day didn't.  SE was very clingy when I tried to leave her at her class.  She kept pulling me into the classroom even though the teacher tried to sweet-talk her.  Leaving took quite a while.  I didn't want her to come out looking for me and NOT see me as she might be traumatised.  But as I kept saying good-bye, she kept clinging on.  Luckily at one point when I said bye, she said "Bye-bye Mummy" and I high-tailed it out of there!  Took it as "permission" to leave.

JE had some hiccups too.  The afternoon kids assemble before going into their classrooms as the morning students would still be occupying the room.  This second day, there was a stern-faced teacher leading them through questions and answers, arm exercises and whatnot.  She spoke fast and purely in Mandarin.  JE didn't follow the actions at all.  I didn't realise it as I was standing behind her (trying to be unobtrusive) but when I went up to her after that, her eyes were swimming with tears.  She clung on to me, sobbed and said "I don't understand, Mummy".  Oh, that broke my heart.

Both kids were fine when I picked them up the second day.  But when we were driving home that night, SE spoke up, "Today, I almost cry in the toilet.  I want Mummy" and again "I almost cry.  Got no Papa, no Mummy".  Oh... heartbreak for the second time that day!  To have my little 4yo being miserable in the toilet.  :(  If she said she "almost" cried, maybe she WAS crying!

My poor baby

On the bright side, JE was ok after that second day.  Her class teacher is kinder than that stern-faced one and JE speaks to her in English.  Hopefully she will be able to pick up some Mandarin soon.

BUT... SE still isn't fine.  The third day, she was as clingy as on the second.  And on today the fourth day, for the first time there were tears in her eyes.  Which developed into full-scale bawling as I was leaving.  Oh-oh-oh.  Definitely not over the hump yet.

I want Mummy...

Friday, January 6, 2017

Kids' first day at school

6 Jan 2017 was a big day... SE's first day at kindy, and JE's first day at Primary 1!  We applied to have JE in the morning session, but didn't manage to get into it.  The good thing is, *I* get to be there for BOTH their big events.  Also I don't have to wake up as early - would have had to reach school by 7am if JE had been in the morning session.  SE's kindy only starts at 8am.  A whole hour makes a huge difference in the morning!

Take photo in the morning.  (JE is happily in home clothes and trying out her new goggles.)

Come take photo, Su Ern!

I'm in school now!

The first day was only 2 hours for SE.  She was sleepy, a little confused but overall it went well enough.  We (myself, JE and our maid Jane) stayed there throughout.

In the afternoon, it was JE's turn.  The previous time it was only orientation.  This was the real deal.  I camped in the school the whole 6+ hours.  This went pretty well too.  Snapped some photos during recess.

Oh yeah, I'm so happy that JE was placed in the same class as cousin Jensen.  Helps so much to have a friendly face when you're in a strange new environment!

Heading to the canteen

Hello! (Jensen is next to her)

When my sis asked how the day went, I said I don't know about the two kids, but *I* was exhausted hahaha.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

JE's Primary1 Orientation

JE's primary school held an orientation session for new parents and students just before the first day of school.  Just what we needed!  I don't know about JE but I for one was pretty stressed about this whole primary 1 deal.  For one thing, it's a Chinese school and I can't speak/read Mandarin to save my life.  For another, it's a government school instead of a private one which would have to be run well enough to justify the fees.  Lastly, it's situated in a busy area where parking would not be easy (parking isn't my forte!)

I have bought, in successive and separate trips, 1) shoes and socks, 2) uniform pinafore, 3) school books - this one done by hubby, 4) uniform shirt, school bag and 5) plastic wrapper for books.  And done various degrees of worrying about this and that in between and everywhere.

And finally, it all came together!

Tadahh! All set!

As expected, Mandarin was the main language.  There were quite a number of non-Chinese though. So while I DID feel like an alien, it helped to know I wasn't alone.  There was a introductory presentation in the main hall for parents while kids were led to the classroom, and also shown around to toilets, canteen etc.

Later we all adjourned to the classroom.

My new class!

Brought along Mr iPad so SE was fine.  Plonked her on this side cabinet behind the other parents. After a while saw her sitting like this, engrossed...

Wait ya, I'm busy

I came out feeling much better about this whole thing.  :)  What I saw were dedicated teachers and real attempts to make the system and the school building itself a proper place of education.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Kitten pro

Happy 2017 everyone!

Two weeks after the kittens arrived, SE can carry a kitten properly already.

SE: Look, Mummy!
JE: Careful...

Take picture!

 This one of course is already a pro...

Look at the camera!

Now we're evaluating which one(s) to keep.  Won't be all 5 kittens for sure.