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Zaria’s 3rd Birthday

January 10, 2010 at 6:37 pm

We asked Zaria who she wanted to invite for her birthday celebration, she told us slowly and counted, “Auntie… Mummie… Daddy… Jiejie. Only 4 people.”
“You don’t want to invite your friends?”
“Nope.. after they sing happy birthday too loud.”
When I asked her if she wanted any cake. She said no as well, because of the above same reason. The strange thing is, she has been drawing pictures of birthday cake after birthday cake decorated with sweets (oh well, at this age, sometimes I don’t know what she’s drawing, but that’s what she told us her drawing was about).

So, how do you celebrate a 3 year old birthday if she didn’t want a party and a cake?… I decide for her.

My brother’s birthday falls on Christmas, and 3 days after, it’s Zaria’s. I offered to bake a cake for us to celebrate their birthdays. Zaria, not really a fan of my brother, really didn’t want to share her cake (maybe that was one of the reason she didn’t want a cake! :P)

Here is the cake I baked, hazelnut torte with chocolate ganache.

Zaria and Ah Ku's birthday cake
And because she didn’t want to share her cake with Ah Ku, and didn’t want us to sing too loud. We have to sing once for my brother, then the 2nd time softly to her (and no clapping! That’s her command). She then refused to blow her candle but when Zara did it for her, she cried.. 🙁

You can see how sulky she was with her cake.
Zaria blowing candles on her cake

Ok, that was Christmas eve.

I wasn’t planning to bake any more for her because since she said she didn’t want any cake. On the actual day, when she woke up and we greeted her with hugs and Birthday wishes, she said, “Yeh! Today is my birthday!” then added, “Can you make me a mermaid cake?” *faint*

I can’t whip out a mermaid cake just like that, but the next 1hr + I was in the kitchen and made her these, orange butter cupcake with chocolate frosting.

Cupcakes for Zaria's 3rd birthday

As a celebration, we just invited Tasha and my sister out for lunch and then to Jungle Gym, so the 3 cousins could play.
Girls at Jungle Gym

Girls in pools of balls

Tasha in pools of balls

Zaria in pools of balls

Girls playing outside Jungle Gym

She didn’t get as many presents as Zara, but I think she did have a good time.

Zara’s 5th Birthday

November 22, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Confused with her school concert date, we decided to celebrate Zara’s birthday a week earlier, thinking the concert would be held on her actual birthday, but it is actually a week later. We are obviously parents who do not read school notices.

On 14th November, we invited our neigbours, 6 families all in plus my SIL and MIL who also moved to our neigbourhood recently, to celebrate Zara’s birthday. This time, I ordered Nasi Dagang, fish curry and fried bee-hoon from a new restaurant near our place; at home, Jelly fried a veg, some chicken wings, and I baked some cheese puffs, apple crumble, and of course, Zara’s cake.

Zara has been very much into mermaids these days, so I thought I’ll create a mermaid cake for her with sea creatures all included.

Baking of the cake and cupcakes started Friday morning. In the afternoon, I tried to mould a mermaid using fondant, and in fact it was a nice mermaid with a tail that sparkled. I’m not sure what went wrong, but I suspect it’s due to the humid weather, the mermaid started sweating, and turning soft; by evening, it was one fat and flat mermaid. So at night, I started creating another mermaid, this time making its body thinner, and then I left it in a air tight container with dehumidifier sachets. I can still see the mermaid softening a bit, but it was better than the fat mermaid. Because of the softening of the fondant, I didn’t feel comfortable creating more sea creatures for the cake.

The fat mermaid that was ‘sweating’ away.
The fat mermaid

I decorated the cake and the cup cakes till 2am on Friday, and this was the end result.
Zara's Mermaid CakeStill a lot of room for improvement, but I guess for a first fondant cake attempt, it’s not too bad.

The cake (for adults) surrounded by cupcakes (for the kids).
Zara's Mermaid Cake

Side track, on Saturday morning, Zara was being a bit naughty, and due to lack of sleep, I was getting grouchy, and I told her off, “If I knew you would be so naughty, I wouldn’t bake you the cake.” Now this was before she actually saw the cake I completed the night before, and guess what my spunky daughter said? “It’s ok mum. I can ask Daddy to buy from the shop. The ones in the shops are nicer anyway.” *crack! went my heart*
After she saw the cake, she felt really sorry, and started apologising profusedly. But you see, she is capable of saying such things.

Ok, back to the party.

It was a good turn out, and the girls have fun playing with their play mates (whom they regularly meet and play together at the park). I am thankful to my SIL who was entertaining 11 children in the play room with baloon fights and all, while I spent time chatting with the neighbours.

Zara with her Mermaid Cake before cake cutting

Now, Zaria has been attending friends’ parties, and she has stopped crying during birthday song singing since early this year, so we thought there won’t be any drama on Zara’s birthday. When the birthday song singing started, she was quiet for a while, and then suddenly burst into tears.
Zara and Zaria before Zaria bursting into tearsLater, when we asked her why she cried, she said “Everybody was singing so loud.” o.O”

Zara blowing her candles on her birthday cake

Zara blowing her candles on her birthday cakeThanks to Kathy, who still caught Zara blowing her candles amidst the chaos (the loud bawl from Zaria, and Daddy running off with Zaria to calm her down).

One of the children came to me at the end of the party and said, “This is the best party ever. I have so much fun.” I give my SIL credit for entertaining the kids. 😛

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On Friday, a day before Zara’s actual birthday, we celebrated Zara’s and Zaria’s birthday in school. Zaria’s birthday is not until end of the year, but she wanted so much to celebrate with her friends and teachers in school I thought we’ll do this 1 month earlier together with Zara’s.

The day before, Zara helped me to think of how to decorate her cupcakes. She wanted flowers in the middle of each cake, and I got her to decide on the colours (with me making a few small batches of fondant in different colours). The final product, was a batch of cupcakes decorated with (store bought) sugar flowers.

Zara's and Zaria's cupcakes to bring to school

I sent them to school in the morning, and stayed till their break time. I helped the teacher to set up the snack area to prepare for the ‘cupcake party’ (since that’s the only food served)

Zara's and Zaria's cupcakes in school

Zara and Zaria were beaming with happiness. When the birthday song was sung, Zaria didn’t cry, but was smiling and looking around. (Later when I asked her why she cried in jie-jie’s party, but not in school, her reply, “I only like children singing, I don’t like adults singing birthday song.” She’s sure full of excuses).

Zara and Zaria blowing off their birthday candles

They were both happy to distribute their party packs to their friends too. Later, when Zaria came home without a party pack and started sharing Zara’s goodies, Jelly asked Zaria, “Why you didn’t take one party pack home?” She replied, “The party packs are for my friends. Not for me.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Happy 5th Birthday Zara, may you grow up healthy and filled with love and happiness. Daddy, mummy and mei-meil love you very much.

Festive & Celebration Drawing

October 19, 2009 at 12:11 pm

We’d celebrated Hari Raya and also Deepavali in the same month. For us, it’s really just a holiday break. For the girls, it was a time for them to discovered the differences in each of this celebration.

Zara drew this in school for Hari Raya. She knows there’s ketupat and the pelitas (some type of Malaysian wall candle sconces or oil lamps) in this celebration.
Zara's Hari Raya drawing.

And then for Deepavali, she realises that there’s Kolam drawing every where, and she made one herself on paper.
Zara's Deepavali Kolam

Zaria, not to be outdone by Zara, did a drawing too. Zaria's Birthday drawingShe has been very proud of her drawing, and kept showing it to us. Can you tell what she tried to draw?

Here’s her answer : “See, my birthday cake drawing. I draw (drew) decoration on the cake. They are sweets. This is the baloon. See, Daddy and mummy is (are) also there. My picture got present also.” Zara helped to write Zaria’s name, and put in the words (ok, she spelled that phonetically); she also drew Zaria next to Daddy and mummy, drew a present (which Zaria later coloured), and also some candles on the cake.

Cousin Monique’s 1st Birthday

August 14, 2009 at 11:20 am

On Saturday after work, we attended my cousin’s daughter, Monique, 1st birthday. It was held in a hall of a club.

When we arrived, the girls were immediately invited to join the crowd at the stage with other children for some entertainment by a hired clown. Both didn’t even complain and just sat down among strangers and watched; while Daddy and I joined my other family members at a table.

Girls were taking care of each other, and I was very glad to see Zaria participating in games and dance without any of us adults coaxing.

Here are the photos of the day.

Zaria watched the clown intently when he was doing some magic tricks (the stern look stayed on the face for a long time).
Zaria staring at clown

Zara and Zaria were watched over by Sam or Ally.

Girls joined in action dance with the clown leading, and also went on stage to dance together with the other children.

Zaria dancing with Sam

Zara dancing with Ally

The clown actually caught hold of a few people to dance on stage alone, and even put a mask on them. Zara was one of them, and she got the Whoopi Goldberg’s mask, and without hessitation, she danced away. (Gosh, she’s a brave one)
Dancers in Mask

Zaria loves the toy that Zara got for going on stage.

Monique, the birthday girl, waiting to cut her cake.

The entertaining clown.

My cousin’s girl friend.

And Zaria, finally smiled and laughed, when she made a mess with her cup cake.

My Little Athletes

August 10, 2009 at 11:39 am

Saturday was a busy day for us all. Besides working (yes, it was a working weekend for me), we attended the girls’ sports day in the morning and my cousin’s baby’s birthday party in the evening.

The girls have been practicing for the sports day events in school daily in the morning for a month. Daddy, who’s the one who sends the girls to school told me our girls can really run and do all the sporty stunt. I was looking forward to see for myself.

We arrived at the rented hall and met with a good crowd, had some breakfast and waited for the event to start.

Zaria all prep-ed for the event. And you can tell that she’s in Red Team (and so was Zara)
Zaria ready for sports day

The sporting events started after some speech giving, and good that they kept that short.

1st event, the kids have to run a short distant, crawl under a bench, run another distant, u-turn back and run to the same bench, crawl under it and run back to the team.

2nd event, the kids have to hold a bean bag with their chin, run a distant, u-turn back and run back to their team.

3rd event, the kids have to hold a ball, run a distant, u-turn back, and run back to their team.

4th event, the kids have to use a hoop to drag a ball a distant, u-turn back, and then drag the ball bag to their teams.

I have to say I was very impressed with both girls. Both could really run, and have good coordination. When Zaria returned from the crawling-under-the-bench event, her teacher and some parents came to tell me, “Your girl is really good, and she’s so fast”. Some other kids needed the teachers’ help and guidence, while Zaria did that on her own, and she’s the youngest in school. *beaming with pride*

And Zara runs like the wind (actually I call her Dash, after the boy in The Incredibles). All our daily trip to the park, and getting them to race in the park for exercise does help.

My only regret, our lousy camera couldn’t get good photos with the girls in motion. (Just see how crappy the photos look like).

Zaria running

Zara running

(Luckily these came out ok, but that’s also because they were going slower)
Zara in motion

Zara in motion

After the 4 events, they have a short break.

Zaria recharging

Zara recharging

They had so much fun when the principal asked “Do you want more”. Zaria replied loudly, “YESSSS!”
Zaria wants more

The parents then joined in the fun.

Mummies formed a human chain, and passed rubber bands with straws. See in 5 minutes, who passed the most rubber bands.
Passing the rubber band with a straw

Parents joined in baloon fight, see which team remained with unburst baloons.
Baloon fight

And then there was also family drawing competetion.
Girls drawing

Girls drawing

Although Red Team came third place overall, everybody got their prizes, and everybody had a fun day. Well done, school! And Bravo Girls!

Fathers’ and Mothers’ Day celebration

June 4, 2009 at 11:44 am

Last Friday, the last day of school term, the girls’ school had a Fathers’ and Mothers’ Day celebration. It was a small event with simple breakfast, followed by song singing by the children. The children also were called on stage to present handmade (supposedly by the children) flowers to their mothers and hand painted t-shirts to their fathers.

Photos of the events :

Zara and Zaria

Zara, playing with her friends

Zara and friends

Handmade flowers in a row for mothers

Flowers for mothers

My pot of flowers from Zara

Zara's Flowers for me

This is the only shot I took of Zaria singing. When she saw me looking later, she started crying and wanted to be with me.

Zaria singing

Even after she stopped her crying, she wasn’t singing any more. More interested in her itch. o.O”

Zaria scratching her itch

Nope.. still not singing

Zaria NOT singing

Zara and her class mates sang “世上只有妈妈好”

Zara Singing

And then “You are my sunshine”

Zara Singing

My flowers from Zaria

Zaria's flowers for me

The girls then stayed back for the rest of the school hours to play games.

Chinese New Year – 2009

January 28, 2009 at 8:10 pm

This year, from buying biscuits, decorating the house to planning and shopping for the re-union dinner was all done by me because Daddy was away 1 week after the other, and when he was around during the weekend, he spent time kay-poh-ying (Chinese : busy body) at his sister’s new place instead. Grrr…

I was also a bit unhappy that the Chinese teacher in Zara’s school taught her to say, “恭喜发财,红包拿来” (Gong Xi Fa Cai, Give me the Ang Pow), instead of a proper greeting. Although it was meant to be ‘funny’, but the girls took it as a proper greeting. Grrr…

Just ranting a bit to get it out of my system.

Although I very much would like to join my side of the family for the big re-union dinner they were having (all my 3 siblings and their family were dining at my sister’s place), I had to fulfil my obligations as a DIL. This is the 2nd year we have re-union dinner at our place instead of MIL’s, and we have steamboat again. Next year maybe we should change the menu because all the girls had was just fish balls, nothing else. They didn’t even bother to try the RM90/Kg Sou-Mei (苏眉) fish (btw, it wasn’t worth the money as it’s really not that delicious) nor the big prawns.

Girls were very excited to play with the sparklers after dinner. Zaria not knowing the danger, kept trying to point the sparkler at herself so she could ‘see’ the sparks better, luckily we could stop her in time. *phew*

Zara playing with sparkler

Zaria playing with sparkler

When I asked Zara at night, “During Chinese New Year, what will people give you?”
Her reply was, “Mandarins! A lot of mandarins.” She actually forgot she will be getting ang pows since she still has no concept of money, and she loves mandarins.

On Chinese New Year’s day, as usual we visited my MIL first before going over to my brother’s place where the whole family met. This year, the girls cousin wore the same clothes. I bought 2 sets of similar cheong sam from my Beijing work trip last May for the girls and their cousins. Zara’s and Sam’s are the same, Zaria’s and Tasha’s are the same. I didn’t get any for Ally as they didn’t have her size.

The girls were so happy to see their cousins wearing the same dress as them.

Love this shot

Zaria and Tasha in similar cheong sum

Everybody looks so happy to be ‘twins’

Girls and their cousins in similar cheong sum

After a simple lunch, we carried out our yearly tea ceremony to get the big ang pow from my dad.

Zaria serving tea to Ah Gong, my dad.

Zaria serving tea to Ah Gong

And then we visited my 90 year old grandfather in Kajang. No photo of my strong grandfather, since we forgot to take the camera down.

At night I got Zara to help me open up her ang pows. Firstly, of course was to open ours, and she took out 2 RM50 notes. The next ang pow she opened, there was one RM50 note and she said, “This one only one dollar.” o.O

When I asked Zara again at night, “So do you know now what people give you during Chinese New Year?”
She of course replied, “Ang Pow!”
Zaria chipped in, “Biscuits!” (the part she likes about Chinese New Year).

Happy New Year and 恭喜发财 Every One!
Hope you have lots of Ang Pows, Mandarins and Biscuits!


January 3, 2009 at 6:05 pm

After 1.5 months of blog break, I got what I needed to do done, well, almost.
During this time, no watching DVDs, no book or blog reading, trying to be very focussed.

What did I do this 1.5 months?

Worked really really hard and long hours of course, just before the long break.
Completed the 8 photobooks just in time!!
Celebrated Zara’s birhtday with some planning.
Celebrated Zaria’s birthday almost last minute.
Found a new school for Zara and Zaria.
Went on a week’s holiday.
Did whatever minimum housework that I needed to do.

My 4 weeks leave is almost over.
The girls will be starting in a new school next Mon. Jelly will be back next week, and I’ll be back to work on Thurs!

Here are peeks of what went on in the household.

Zara’s birthday, celebrated with the family and neighbours in the house. I baked her ‘birthday cakes’ this time.

Zara with her ‘fairy’ cakes.
Zara's 4th birthday

Zaria and Tasha blowing off candles over and over again on a couple of the cupcakes.
Tasha & Zaria blowing candles

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Christmas was celebrated at my bro’s house. With my nephew’s band performing.
Nicholas' band

My niece, Ally, being the Santarina.
Santarina Alicia

My niece, Sam, did some magic tricks to con awe the below 5.
Sam doing magic show

Of all presents, Zara loves the musical jewelry box from King’s Wife. Seen here the girls gazing at it.
Zara & Zaria checking out Zara's favourite present

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Zaria’s birthday was planned very last minute. Without a maid, we just had KFC and Dominos Pizzas, and cupcakes from Cupcake Chic. You think she’ll be thrilled to get to blow her candles?
Wrong! She cried when the birthday song was sung. Not sure if it was because someone turned off the lights, or accordingly to her, “I don’t want Ah Ku to sing.” (Ah Ku, i.e. my brother, some one Zaria fears).
And Zara sulked big time, claiming it’s not her birthday, so she didn’t want to participate. Grrrrr..

Zaria's birthday

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And here is a sneak peek of our week long holiday. Can you tell where we went? (Those who were told of the trip should not review the answer). The post will come later.

Girls on cable car

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Happy New Year All!

Mid Autumn Festival – 2008

September 15, 2008 at 8:22 pm

We went over to King’s Wife‘s place on Saturday so that the kids could play with fire lantern together with their cousins.

Before dinner, it was jamming time. Guitar is getting so popular all the older kids know how to play it.

Love this shot of Sam

Sam at the guitar

This nephew of mine has joined a band. This can probably be his cover shot if he produced an album.

Nick at the guitar

After a take away dinner, we all went to light the lanterns and strolled to the park to enjoy the night. It was a hot night but the sky was clear. The kids upon seeing all the candles litted by the other kids, left their lanterns totally and joined it. Blowing candles after singing Happy Birthday, lighting more candles, etc.

Zara and Zaria had their first taste of ‘playing’ with fire, and even though occasionally the wax dripped on their fingers and they yelped in pain, they went on.

Tasha blowing off the candle, of course after the Happy Birthday singing

Tasha blowing off the candle

King’s Wife’s nephew, Wei Hao, lighting candles.

Wei Hao lighting a candle

Zara playing with sparkles

Zara playing with sparkles

Zara blowing off candles, also after birthday song was sung

Zara blowing off the candles

Girls love lighting the candles, I didn’t stop them as it’s good for developing their dexterity

Girls lighting candles

More birthday song singing for Zaria to blow off the candle.

Zaria blowing off candles

Sam lighting candle

Sam lighting candles

When it was time to leave the park, Zara protested. Mummy I want to do some more grave yard thingy.” …. It took me a few seconds to realise that she was relating lighting candles with graveyard because that’s what we do when we pay our respect in my mother’s grave.

(Daddy took all the photos while I spent time gossipping with my sisters/sister in laws.)

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