July 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Jane of All Trades

Happy Birthday to You.

Happy Birthday to You

Happy Birthday to Jane of All Trades

Happy Birthday to You

I can't believe that one year has passed since my first blog entry. I remember my first entry, I was still hesitant as I didn't want to fail. I thought my blog would be boring. I know I've sometimes gotten lazy and my blog stays "paused". Sometimes its also because I'm just too buzy. I'm glad I did start blogging as I now use it as a reference guide when I can't recall when a certain even happened. Last week I came back to check when I bought my patio set as I intent to buy a few extra chairs. hehehe.. Thank God for the blog!!!

So my friends who have been reading here, thank you for coming back over and over again. Mr.Ray, thanks for encouraging me to start this blog.
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July 27, 2008

Summer Birthday Party !!!!!!

The Kwannies
Both my kids are summer babies. Their birthdays are only 2 weeks apart and being a "cheap" mummy, I combine their birthday party. A friend has nicely put it as I'm frugal.. while I call it cheap.. hmmm frugal sounds nicer. I guess he used a better dictionary that I did... or I didn't know the existance of a Thesaurus... ok back to birthdays.......

Suddenly so shy Gilly!!!

Yes, I combined both the kids birthdays... hmmmm you know when I was young (dinosaur years ago...) I hated my birthday parties as I had to share it with 2 of my siblings... I never felt special.. until I celebrated my sweet 16.. hahaha my brother couldn't celebrate his sweet 16 with me as he was 3 years younger than me. In my recent call, I told my mom about how I disliked having to share my birthday parties... and yet I'm DOING the SAME thing now!!!!

Unusually shy Greg!!

I went on a guilt trip when I bought the kids their cakes. I called MJ to reassume myself that its ok to buy 2 half-sheet cakes... as I felt bad they had to share a party as it is... BTW.... Costco order form did mention 1 half-sheet cake eats 48... and how many guest were we expecting???? 45. A few of our guest did ask why I order 2 cakes and I quickly said.. "mummy guilt issues" hehehehe

We decided to order most food from Chinatown. I cooked curry chicken and beef rendang.. oh.. and I did last minute experiment with corn custard which turned out nice.. not as nice as my mom's though... We didn't have too much leftovers. Everyone loved the food and I saw someone quickly wrapping up my mother in law's specialty to take home. hehehe BTW "someone", my niece is having her birthday party next week and my MIL is making another batch. You want more ???

Kids can't wait for the cakes.

We started out inviting only few friends especially those with kids that played regularly with our kids. I wasn't being a bi*ch... just that we live in a townhouse (double storey terrace house) and was worried that if it rained, we couldn't accomodate 70 people. Finally 3 days before the party, we knew from weather forecast that Saturday was going to be a dry day.. We quickly invited more friends. I'm glad they understood and didn't feel insulted with a last minute invite. They all came... and that made me happy as they were hubby's close friends and I know how much he enjoys their company.

My sidekick and my partner in crime, you know who you are.

Preparation for the party was easy.. hehe right Katherine???? I just had to worry about the party favors and I did make sure I got the jumper. My kids insisted on the jumper and wanted back the one they had 2 years ago. I made my calls which was another funny story... which I may blog one day... Tony, if you Google and get to see this... You better give me a good discount next time. I'm Kwan... I got my jumper from Jammin Jumps. Their jumpers are clean and the rates are very reasonable. Jumper came at 10am and only left at 9pm... all for $175. The guy that came to set up the jumper remembered us.. cos funnily the same thing happened 2 years ago when he came.. the sprinkler started running just as they arrived.

The jumper.

The same jumper for 2006 party

Our guest started arriving and by end of the day.. almost everyone that was invited came. They kids had fun at the jumper and we had the bean bag games out, and the boys were playing with it. The kids helped themselves to the water balloon and I saw a few boys that were soaked wet. Yes, not only did they play with the water balloons, they were also playing with the water hose too. Oh well its ok... I did ask their parents to bring extra clothing. Its only once in a while that we have a party, so let the kids have fun while the parents get to sit and chat pleasantries....

Birthday girl

I was grateful that a few of my friends helped me out. Almost every adult helped here and there and a few precious helped mostest with packing up the food and storing it in the fridge for me. They helped wash up, I am so grateful to them. Thanks Iola and Theresa... you gals are my jewels.

Who needs a sprinkler???

Did I get to enjoy myself.. hahaha after paying $175 for that jumper.. I decided that I too should enjoy it. Almost at the end of the party, I decided that we mommies should have a turn at the jumper. I went in kicking all the kids out of the jumper and started to get the mummies in for 5 minutes. Yes we sure had fun in there. Ok.. for those of you that know how huge I am.. that freaking jumpber is 20' x 20'. It's a jumper that has basketball hoop in it.. and an obstacle whatever in there.. plus a slide.. so we mummies jumped around for awhile and then climbed up that steep slippery climber.. and slid down the slide... yehhhaaaaaa.... yahooooooo... cooollll... its fun to be kids again!!!!! NO... if you dare think of it.. we didn't damage the jumper. That jumper can take adult abuse hehehehehe....

The boys playing bean bag. Hubby made the board and i sewed the bags.

Alot of our guest stayed on. Gilly had her closest friends over and their dad came over twice to pick them up... to his frustration I guess... his girls didn't want to go home. I got him to let them stay longer and finally he sent his wife to pick up the girls.

The last guests left at 12.30am.. yes at midnite. We were playing mahjong and I made $5. No, I'm not a mahjong expert. I'm a blur when it comes to points and luckily I had an expert partnering with me. We had a few teen girls and I think they did have some fun. I remember not wanting to attend parties for little kids when I was a teenager. The older boys where playing catch at the backyard.

Eugene and I are feeling tired but even with that feeling... we feel happy. We got to celebrate our kid's birthdays with friends.. Friends that means something in our lives. Not "Hi-Bye" friends but friends that matters. Greg did enjoy himself the mostest as he calls it as his sweetheart Bella was there to sing him a birthday song. Both kids are now begging to open up their presents. Yes we got the presents unwrapped but not out of the packaging.. hehehe I milk the moments where if they are good then only they can open one gift.

Greg with the love of his life.

So friends that came to the party... Thank you for coming. Thank you for chomping down the food... hopefully no diahrrea ... I just loved seeing some of my favorite friends meet each other for the first time and actually got along well.

Impossible photo of bouncy kids!!!

oh... before I forget.. I got to meet someone for the first time.. we have been messaging back and forth from a forum. She was nice to drop by on her way back home from a vacation. Wish she had stayed longer.. WM.. you missed the rendang and curry chicken!!! Don't worry, we can always meet up and get to know each other more. When she was here, Iola(a young lady in her 70s...) was there to see for the first time how 2 ladies that met on the internet, meet physically for the first time.

That's all about the party.. wished my parents and siblings could have been here....

Please.... Please.... can we open the presents?

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July 19, 2008

Kids Learning to Swim

This summer, I signed both the kids up for swim lessons. Last year, Greg got to sit and watch Gilly have her lessons but this year it was his turn too. Long story short, Greg had a bad experience with his previous teachers and they got him scared of swimming pools. I signed both of them up for private lessons instead of group as it was only a $20 difference in prices.

Both the kids got teenage boys for coaches and Gilly was surprised as her previous coach was a girl. I guess we always assume they would allocate based on gender. Greg carefully walked into the water with his coach while the coach asked me about Greg's swim abilities. Right away he caught on that Greg wasn't comfortable with the water. The kids were taken to the Lazy river and Greg knew that it was going to be deeper than his height. Quickly the coach grabbed onto Greg's hands. In a minute Greg started to smile alittle. They started off with the kicking lessons.

Greg holding on to that blue thingy.

Water on Greg's face... "Get it off"

By second day of lesson, Greg was happy and excited start his lessons. He has since gotten more comfortable in the water and likes to jump into the water. He dares to dunk his face into the water and hold his breath for 4 counts. His kick is getting stronger and he doesn't bend his knee too much. I just hope he can float by end of this summer. He still doesn't straighten his arms when he is holding the float and the coach says its because of the age, they tend to do that at this age. I'm not worried for now.

Here I go!

I love this.

Please don't drop me, I don't trust this noodle, I usually eat noodles not float on it.

Gilly has had swim lessons before, last year her coach worked on her floating and freestyle. This year, after briefly telling her coach that the last lesson she had was last summer, he was surprise that she just jumping in and started swimming again. I guess its like cycling, where once you know it you won't forget it.

wee... this is easy.

She is just learning to inhale and exhale while swimming, I know it sounds easy but it takes a while to master it. I still mess up my breathing sometimes. She can now swim the length of 12 strokes.

I'm exhausted. I need a rest!

Here I go again.

Gilly,my fearless Gilly, has fear of heights, we found out when she went on Tower of Terrors, so you can imagine how much she loves the diving board. Part of their lessons involves climbing up those tiny steps and walking across the board, stand and start at the water... trying to gain the courage to jump into the water, and finally taking the plunge. My girl last year would stand at the tip of the board for 5 minutes. Yes, 5 long minutes and it would just infuriate me. I know I have height issues too but to stand there for 5 minutes is a torture. I kept telling her its just better to jump in and get it over than to torture yourself for 5 minutes. This year to my SURPRISE, she just got on and jumped right away. I was so happy and figured my girl is now braver as she is 1 year older. In the car, I commented that she did good on the diving board and what made her jump off right away. She said "I just want to quickly jump off so you won't scold me". Guilty feeling gushed over me.... oh well at least she jumped!!

Holy Macaroli.. or is it Holy Macaroni? Is that my daughter?

While waiting for the kids, I found ways to amuse myself. Not once did I bring my knitting bag nor a magazine to keep myself occupied. Day 2, I was ticked to see this cute activities. Yes, I could not believe that a family of ducks, mommy duck and her ducklings were swimming in the lazy river. She made a few rounds on it before the lifeguards got them out of the pool.

Look who has stepped into the Lazy River

Mummy Duck and baby ducklings... 8 of them

Greg swimming near the ducks. Ducks, please don't poop

Another day, I found myself amused watching one little 3 year old that refuses to go into the pool and her guard had to spend 30 minutes coaxing her to get it, and stay in the pool. She kept wanting to get out and he would in his gentle way get her to hold the float. I was laughing when I see how helpless he gets. He never once lost his cool and got her to a few times float and kick. These are high school kids... and they have shown how responsible they can be. Kudos to them!!

The kids will have one more lesson, I doubt Greg will be able to float by that lesson and its OK. I do have the rest of the summer to take them to the water park. We got the season pass and do go there as often as we can. We usually spend an hour or two there to get the kids out of the house. They both just love the water park and would beg to go there every morning. At least I got them to love the water.. hehehe... ciao

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July 18, 2008

Someone is riding without training wheels!!!!

We crossed another milestone on July 14, 2008. Greg is now riding a bike without any training wheels. It took him only 2 days to master it. Yes, 2 days while it took Gilly 3 weeks. Was Gilly a slow learner? No, more like parents learning from our experience. What we did different this time was to let him go on a 2 wheel scooter. He learnt how to balance himself on a scooter after a few days and finally he decided he was ready to try the bike ... and he now calls his bike the "two wheeler".

Daddy keeping a close eye on Greg

We were both exhausted running beside him while he tried riding the bike for the first time. Greg kept running into mailboxes, hahaha I can laugh about it now but at that time we cringe seing him heading towards the mailboxes. It was a good thing we taught him how to stop the bike and how to quickly put his feet down to balance himself. He didn't get injured nor did he "kiss" any mailboxes. Phew!!!

Here Greg let me help you.

The next day, Daddy decides to take Greg to Gilly's school to ride his bike. As it is summer and there isn't anybody in school grounds, the parking lot is empty and hey.. no mailboxes!!! Daddy figured it would be easier as Greg could just keep going on and on without having to stop and turn the bike around.

Look mummy, Look

The 3 of them put the bikes into the van and drove to school. After an hour, they came running into the house. Proudly screaming that Greg has "got it". I came out with my camera and there my little rascal with his impish grin jumped on his bike and buzzed about.

Mummy, I made a turn back on my own.

These past few days, the first thing he wants to do is to jump onto his bike and for a bike ride. Daddy did take them for a bike ride to the nearest park. Maybe one of these days we will all bike to the bigger park which is further away.

I'm lovin this... I'm a big boy now.

We can tick off bike training off our summer "To Do" list. We certainly are glad there wasn't any blood or tears shed this time round. We do learn from our experience with the older child and I wish I could have made it easy for us the first time round.. So for all parents who plan to take off the training wheels..... start with a 2-wheel scooter.
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