Friday, January 30, 2009

Chinese Homework

Every week, we send Samuel for 1 hour Mandarin classes. Usually he will come back with 1 page of writing homework.

I have no problem in getting Samuel to do his once a week school homework but I will be very stressed out asking Samuel to do his Chinese homework. 1 page of Chinese homework only consist of about 100 same characters and I have to split this into a few days.

Every time when I ask him to write, after a few words, he will want to go to the toilet, then he will say he want to drink water. And this is very well an excuse. Now, when he said he wanna go toilet, we will ask him to finish the word before going. Usually it takes him around 15 minutes to write 20 words, with numerous time of asking him to write. After finishing, he will forget that he needs to go toilet and starts playing.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

CNY 2009

We had a quiet Chinese New Year this year. On the 1st day of CNY, after the children woke up, we got them ready for to serve us tea. A must for daddy.

Here are some photos taken on 1st day of CNY.

We went for open houses on 1st and 2nd day of CNY. However, daddy was working on the 2nd day. Since school was closed on the 2nd day, I took off a day to stay at home with Samuel. I resume work on the 3rd day. Today is the 4th day and we went to 2 open houses in the evening and there are a few more this coming weekend.

Although we went to a few open houses, this CNY is rather quiet and there is a lack of the actual CNY "feel". It may be due to the reason that we do not have any relatives here besides just the 4 of us in Brunei.

Thoo Reunion Dinner

We had a simple yet delicious CNY eve dinner. We seldom have our meals together on the same table. Usually the kids have their meal at the living room upstairs and we have ours in the living room downstairs.

On CNY eve, we had our dinner together in our dining room. We had steamboat, not a wide variety of food as there were only 2 adults (maid doesn't take meat) and 2 little ones, but we felt very full trying to finish everything.
That night we allowed Samuel to sleep with us. All of us stayed later than usual but we dozed off before 12am.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chinese Tradition (CNY 2009)

Every year since Samuel was small, daddy has been practising our Chinese tradition to make the little ones serve tea to both daddy and mummy first thing in the morning on the first day of Chinese New Year.

Daddy feels that passing on the Chinese tradition is important and this was how daddy was brought up too. :)

Happy Chinese New Year!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Jesse's Vocabulary - Part 3

Jesse has grown so much since daddy last blogged about her. She is already 2 years old and is growing to be an adorable little girl.

Her vocabulary has grown too. New words that she loves to say.

1. maa mehhh = mummy (she knows how to say mummy but purposely says maa mehhh)
2. deh dey = daddy (kinda sounds like australian accent.. hehe..)
3. mi yer = mirror
4. cat = cat
5. dog = dog
6. oh earn = open
7. boh = ball
8. yeh-o = yellow
9. rid = read
10. mayi = barney
11. moss = mouse
12. fen = elephant
13. pig = pig
14. duck duck = quack quack (we always correct her but its still duck duck)
15. yuk = look (always amuses me.. hehe)
16. See = Jesse
17. yuke = Luke (her friend)
18. shi shi = wee wee (yes she's toilet trained)
19. pom pom = bath time (she can never resist.. her favourite... hehe)
20. kar = car
21. hoss = horse
22. thank you = please (everytime we ask her to say please, she says thank you)
23. slide = slide
24. march = march
25. fit = feet
26. kuku = her private part (we always tell her she doesn't have a kuku.. hehe)
27. ke yi = carry
28. mai = mine (her favourite word when she is fighting over something with koko)
29. yup = yes
30. yayen = lion
31. opsy = oopsy
32. ta da = taa daa (showing something)
33. i do = i want to do it myself (sometimes it sounds like a wedding vow "i do".. hehe)
34. me = common answer by anyone who ask "who is .....?"
35. ba earn = button

.... there are so many other words i can hardly remember... she can say most of the words we ask her to repeat after us now.

She also speaks 2 or 3 words sentences too.

Will write more about her vocabulary when she progress further. :)

Xin Nian Kuai Le!

Almost every chinese we come across (who speaks mandarin) greets each other Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Its like an automatic default greeting for Chinese New Year. If you really think about it, it literally makes us Chinese feel like we're desperate to be rich!

Rather than the usual Gong Xi Fa Cai, we would like to wish everyone who reads this blog,

Xin Nian Kuai Le! (Happy Chinese New Year!)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hair Day

We brought the kids for a hair cut yesterday evening. Samuel usually has his haircut every 2-3months. Jesse had her last haircut when she was 5months old. Usually I only trim her fringe.

Daddy has always like Jesse with her long hair. He feels that Jesse looks like princess with her long hair. Since Jesse doesn't like me to tie her hair and sometimes she looks messy with her tangled hair, I decided to cut it short.

So, do you like Jesse's new hairstyle?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Birthday Girl - Part II

After Jesse Birthday party, it was a big relief. We went back and take a rest.

Later in the evening, we get ready for another round of Birthday song, just the 4 of us. Then, its present opening time.

This is what we bought for Jesse for her 2nd Birthday. Daddy bought some of these while we were in our KK trip. I bought part of the cooking items in Brunei, to match back what daddy bought.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

CNY Songs

When we first started trying to speak Mandarin to Samuel last year, he giggles non stop, as if we are speaking Alien language to him. He can't really speak Mandarin but he can sing well.

About a month ago, one of his classmates mummy borrowed me a Chinese New Year VCD. When I first introduced it to Samuel and Jesse, he likes it alot. Samuel and Jesse always scratches our own DVDs, I tried not to let Samuel handle the VCD by himself. Although many times he tried to ask for the VCD, is either I do not allow him to watch it or we will play it for him.

About 3 weeks ago, he asked again. And this time he really got addicted to the VCD until today. He will play it day and night and pity Jesse can't watch her favourite Barney. Samuel knows which song comes next and which number (sequence) are the songs.

I got so worried that Samuel will be very disappointed when we return the VCD back. Thank God, daddy managed to find a the DVD from one of the local DVD shops.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Paid Post Complain !

I want to voice my dissatisfaction on BLOGSVERxxxE, a paid post company. I do not want to write the company name in full as I do not want to advertise for them for free, although I am leaving a bad comment here. Those who are in writing paid post will most probably guest which co is this.

I wrote a paid post last November and according to schedule I was supposed to get paid on the 25th December 2008 but I only remembered this on 1st January 2009. I checked my paypal account and there is no payment from them. I went to their web and from the payment history, it was stated that payment has been made. I checked on my profile and I was surprised to see that my paypal ID was not recorded. I then updated my paypal ID and emailed them. One of the representatives replied :

Hi - Alicia

if it says paid on our end you have to ask pay pal where it is, we sent the money already

How could they said they paid at their end when I have just updated my paypal ID? I did not explain myself but I asked them for prove of payment. The next day, the representative replied and said probably it takes some time to transfer the money to my paypal and requested me to inform her again should the money was not in by 5th.

Obviously money was not in by 5th and before I wrote to her, another representative wrote to me and inform me that they have make payment. I replied her and asked her when has the co make the payment and again I was told that the payment has been made to my correct paypal ID on the 25/12/08. Again, she asked me to check my paypal account. The payment might be done either from BLOGSVERxxxE or LANGxxxH.

I have not received any payment from them. I emailed her again and the 1st representative that I have contacted earlier. To my dissapointment, none of them replied me. I have sent them more than 3 emails each and I login to the web and lodged 2 complaints and I have not received any email from any of them for more than a week.

It is definitely not because of the USD9, it is the effort that I took to think and write about the requested post. This is truely dissapointing!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pig to Elephant

A couple of month ago, daddy was sad because of this. Daddy was happy that Jesse no longer see him as a pig. He is now the elephant.

While looking at the Noah's Ark bolster :

M : Where is kor kor?
J : Ta da... (pointing at the monkey)
M : Which one is mummy?
J : Ta da... (pointing at the giraffe)
M : Where is daddy?
J : Ta da... (pointing at the elephant)
M : Where is kakak (maid)?
J : Ta da... (pointing at the pig)

Jesse can really analysis people well. I do agree with Jesse that Samuel is a monkey, mummy is tall n thin giraffe *wink* (LOL) and maid.... I don't think I need to say.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Her Special Cake

Let me explain how we came about with Jesse's cake. More than a month ago, I have been looking for a birthday cake. I like the chocolate candy cake that I have searched from websites and thought of doing this. But this will only be a cake display for the day and few weeks after that, I have lost my momentum on doing the candy cake. hehehe

Chocolate Candy Cake

I wanted cupcakes but daddy doesn't like the idea. So, I compromised. We will order a normal cake with Barney design with some cupcakes surrounding it. I have been trying to look for cupcakes and couldn't really find nice ones. As for the cake, daddy wanted to get it from The Empire Hotel where they will draw the requested pictures on a piece of chocolate which will be placed on top of the cake.

About a week before the day, I called The Empire Hotel and to our dissapointment they do not do drawing at that moment as their tools were not in working condition. I was already having difficulties getting the cupcakes and now we can't get the cake as planned.

So, I started to search for cakes again. From there, I got to know about fondant cakes, a cake which is coated by icing. The fondant cakes that we saw looks really nice but expensive. The fondant cakes was beyond our budget, we have to look for other alternatives.

Fondant Cupcakes

Fondant Cake

I then found another website and saw some nice and tastefully designed cakes and we headed straight to that shop. We went through the catalogue from their computer. They have alot of nice designs and special cakes.

We ended up choosing Croquembouche. A 60 pieces of custard puff coated with icing on top of a chocolate mud cake. I told the chef not make it too sweet for the children and she agreed to cut down on the sugar. The custard puff and the cake turned out just nice, not too sweet.

From candy cake to cupcakes surrounding a cake to fondant cupcake to fondant cake and finally Croquembouche.

Birthday Girl - Part I

About a month ago, I tried to plan Jesse's Birthday Party at home. In the end, we decided to do it in McDonalds as we think the children will have more fun with the indoor playground and most children love fast food too. Since it is a small playground, I have to limit our invitation to some of Jesse's swimming and Kindermusik classmates as well as some close friend's children.

On the actual day, I was abit worried as Daddy and Jesse was not feeling well. And to make matter worse, she only took a very short morning nap. She usually naps for 1.5-2 hours but that morning she only nap for 30 minutes.

Since she refused to continue her nap, we changed our plans. We decided to leave house at about 11am to collect the cake before we headed straight to McD with the family. Thank God, Gadong was not as jam as I thought and we managed to reach there before 12pm.
The children playing in the playground while waiting for the other children to arrive. I was busy checking the orders and requested for more chairs for our guests.

Jesse was very cranky by 12.30pm. She was tired and was also having fever. All the guests arrived at about 12.45pm and we then proceeded with our lunch. The children obviously was served with Happy Meals with a digital toy and I ordered a few variety of food for the parents.

After the meal, we got the cake ready and gathered the children around Jesse. The McD staff switched on the birthday song and the children started singing. The next song in the CD was the "I love you" song from Barney and the children continued to sing the song too. It seems that all the children know this song very well.
After the song, the McD birdie mascot came and greeted the children. When Jesse first saw her, she was delighted but very soon she because scared. We actually requested for McD mascot as I thought Jesse loves mascots. Probably because this birdie looks abit scary :p

When the birdie was there, the children danced with the mascot and the best dancer gets a poster or sticker of either Ben 10 or The Power Puff Girls. But ended up, I tried to give all the children the poster or sticker :)

It was about 2pm when the guests started to leave and I gave out the McD party packs to all the children. I hope the children enjoyed themselves.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

2nd Year Special

You were born today 2 years ago at 3.25pm @3.07 kg with the length of 55cm. You decided to stay alittle longer in mummy's tummy than expected but mummy can't wait to hold you. Mummy requested to be induced on the 4th day after the expected due date as mummy know you love to stay inside mummy than to see the world.

Today is your special day, Happy Birthday my dear Jesse. Although you are 2 now, you will always be a baby in mummy's and daddy's heart.

A Day to Celebrate ?

Today is Jesse's 2nd Birthday! Happy Birthday my dear Jesse!

We will be celebrating her birthday at McDonald. In less than 4 hours, the little children will be there to celebrate her birthday and she is down with FEVER.

She had fever since yesterday evening at 8pm. The whole night I have been monitoring her and fed her medicine. This morning she is still having fever.

Daddy was down with fever as well since Thursday. He has recovered from fever but his whole body is still aching.

I pray Samuel will not fall sick and both Jesse and daddy will be strong, especially for that few hours in McDonald. We want to have fun in McD to celebrate her 2nd Birthday.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Studio Shots

The weekend before Christmas, we went to a Studio to take our family photos. Our main purpose to go to a studio was to get Jesse her personal photo album. Samuel has his own personal photo album when he was 1 and daddy wanted to do it for Jesse as well. So, I decided to have the family photo taken since we are all going to the studio.

I surveyed some studios before we decided to go to the one nearby. This studio belongs to the same management as the one we went to last time (The Studio Samuel's photos were taken). We took the same promotional package as well. It was $110 for 18 pages album with a 10 X 15 size laminated photo without frame. As for our family photo, it was $20 each for 8R size. The photographer took quite a number of shots and we chose 4 of them.

Our initial plan was to have 1 album for Jesse, 2 family photos and 1 photo of both Samuel & Jesse together. But we ended up with 2 additional family photos and 1 children's album instead of just a photo. The photographer took some potrait shots of Samuel and we found some of nice shots of him. At the same time, we had difficulties choosing 18 photos from more than 100 shots of Jesse. It took us more than 2 hours selecting the photos.

Since we liked some of the shots, we decided to get a children album with some potraits of Jesse and Samuel and some children shots. Although the album is 18 pages, we only selected 10 photos and decided to leave the rest of the album empty, for more photos later.

With the unplanned extra album and family photos, have to buy another photo package and pay more than planned. After collecting the family photos, we brought them to the frame maker for the custom made frames and had it collected on Christmas Eve.

Although we have spent more than budgeted, we are happy with the outcome. These are precious photos that can bring back alot of memories when we are older. We might have alot of their photos taken by us but we do not have alot of photos printed out, especially Jesse's photos. These are the only little things we can do to help preserve our memories of our little ones and us too.

4 of Us