elisa’s third birthday

Recently, we celebrated Elisa’s third birthday at home with some of our close friends. Until the day she demands what she wants for her birthday, mummy here gets a say.

So, taco party it was!!

We booked a gazebo next to the playground so the kids get to play whilst the adults eat and drink. We had a few days of rain leading up to the day and the dark stormy clouds in the afternoon threw a bit of a wrench in how I wanted to set up the place. Nevertheless, we were extremely lucky the rain held up!

To amp up the fun factor, C prepared a few games for the kids. And they were a hit with the kids except for Elisa who preferred the playground.

As usual, I took charge of feeding our guests. The good thing about Mexican food is that you can prepare most dishes ahead of time. I’m glad I had the help of our helper, else I have to call for pizza delivery!!

In line with the fiesta theme, I got the kids these cute pineapple water container and some maracas which almost did not arrive in time!

 For her birthday cake, I baked a chocolate speculoos cake with cream cheese frosting. I’m lousy at stacked cakes, this is the best I can come up with. Hopefully one day, I will be able to make a Pinterest worthy cake😀

And what’s a party without a pinata??

Pinata smashing time!!🙂

We filled it up with lots of sweets and chocolates…I am sure if there are any militant anti-sugar mums among us, it will make them cringe!! Haha.

Thank you all for taking the time to celebrate Elisa’s birthday with us! We hope you guys had a great time!!

Til’ her 4th birthday!!

xx

a love letter to elisa: you’re THREE years old

Dear Elisa,

It’s common to hear parents say “enjoy every moment, it passes so quickly”. You know what? It is so true! You never realise how fast time passes until you experience it. I was cradling you the other day (mummy, carry me like a baby), I know it sounds cliché, but it really felt like it was just yesterday that I first held you in my arms. The difference is, you were 3.96 kg then. And now you are a whooping 16 kg!!!

Whenever I look at you, my heart both soars and aches at the same time to realise you are no longer the tiny baby that we brought home exactly three years ago but a smart and happy little big girl who sings Taylor Swift’s songs at the top of her lungs! You have grown leaps and bounds since you turned two. “Did she just say that?”, “Did you see that?”…these are the things papa and I say over and over again.

You surprised us with how fast you can relate things together. Every night after dinner, we will hang out in the study room. Papa will play guitar and you will get a few minutes of screen time on the iPad. One night, you kept hurrying papa to go into the room and we were wondering why. Then we realised, guitar = iPad!! Oh, you smart little thing!!!

You are very good at manipulating us or either that, we are pushovers! I’m not sure where you learnt all these – hand clasped, puppy eyes, mummy please (?) from, but they are a sure win strategy to get me to say YES. You always WIN!

Your grandparents were not sparred too. There was once you went out with popo and ah gong, and you came home with a bicycle, just because you said you wanted one.

Or that time when you walked past TWG and you told popo “papa, never bring me here you know?”. The next moment, you were having afternoon tea at TWG! FYI, papa also never bring me there, you know?!!!

Or that time you went into a shop with mama and you came out with not one but THREE soft toys! Where are the toys now? In a box with all your other soft toys!!

Or how mama always give you (A LOT OF) chocolates because you like chocolates.

You know, you have all your grandparents wrapped around your little pinky and they couldn’t be happier! You are their cure to all pains, you are their source of joy! You are one lucky girl!

My dear, you aren’t a big sister yet, but I am confident when the time comes (with God’s grace), you will take on the role like a champ. You care for your baby/rabbit with so much love that I know you will be an amazing sister!!

Elisa, I know you will get more and more independent from now on. Please know that papa and I are always here to hold your hands every step of the way. We will hold on to them tight cause we are not ready to let go yet.

Keep learning, keep laughing and keep being awesome!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, bigu!!

love,
mummy

 

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travel: collingwood children’s farm

A taste of the country in the city.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn New Year’s Day when almost everywhere is closed, we were glad that Collingwood Children’s Farm remains opened. There are a few farms in Melbourne but this is the most convenient, just a short drive from Melbourne’s CBD.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe farm was relatively quiet. We guess not many were aware that it is opened on New Year’s Day. We missed the cow milking session but were in time for the guinea pig petting session. I thought Elisa would like it but…
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA she’s just like her mama…no like furry little things!

We took a leisure stroll around the farm. Most of the animals were minding their own business,  not interested in us humans…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA..except these goats. They were the most enthusiastic of the lots, perhaps because we humans kept feeding them :)
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis fella was crowing at the top of his lungs. When one rooster crowed, this fella crowed even louder. It’s like the roosters were having a competition. I know it’s silly, but I actually enjoyed watching them🙂OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlthough the place is a bit underwhelming, we still had an enjoyable morning. It was a bummer The Farm Cafe was closed that day. I read they serve very good food! And because of that, we need to go back again!🙂

 

travel: shadowfax winery

Didn’t know where to go after our plan to Werribee Zoo got shelved, C did a quick research and suggested we head to Shadowfax winery, which is just down the road, for lunch.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShadowfax winery is Melbourne’s closet winery, just 30km from Melbourne CBD and it is only a few minutes drive from my brother’s house!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_2164It was a cool sunny day and we were lucky to snag the last available table. A few groups who came right after us were being turned away! Lucky or what? The outdoor seating was lovely. There was a huge lawn and lots of room for kids to run about. Elisa was exploring the place on her own, we did not have to worry about her one bit!

IMG_2175That allows us to enjoy our wine in a beautiful surrounding😉

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey are famous for their wood fired pizzas and they did not fail to impress. It was good!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHowever, the sea bream that C ordered lacked a bit of seasoning but nothing a pinch of salt can’t solve.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAElisa’s pasta – equally good.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo end the meal – buttermilk panna cotta with mandarin sorbet. So good and so refreshing!

The lunch was a bit pricey but definitely worth it.

IMG_2163Happy Birthday, mister!!

travel: werribee open range zoo

When we arrived at the entrance of Werribee park, we were greeted with a long queue of cars. The huge space outside the zoo carpark was filled with cars and yet, we proceeded to park our car and made our way to the zoo entrance. It was when we saw the crowd from a distant that we made the decision to leave. We should have known better when we see the amount of cars! It’s school holidays, hello!?!IMG_2540

Two days later, we went back again. We figured it would be less crowded as it was a hot day. This time we were smarter. We bought our tickets online and by the time we reached the entrance, there was already a queue formed and it was only 9 am! With our tickets, we bypassed the line and we were the first few to get into the zoo!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis handsome fella is one of the three lion cubs who were born in October.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe then boarded a bus for a tour of the open range zoo. For us, this was the highlight of the zoo. Elisa was really excited when she spotted the animals…”Mummy, look! Zebras!”, “Mummy look, rhinos!”

IMG_2455At one point, they came really close to our bus…but on the other side of where we were seated!😦

For Elisa, the highlight of the zoo was..

IMG_2518…THIS – Ranger Kids Play Area. There was a helicopter (all kids were vying for the pilot seat!) along with dress-up costume, stuffed toys and a tortoise enclosure.

IMG_2532I reckon she makes a good doctor😉

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And that sums up our morning at the zoo.  If you are planning a visit, I reckon half a day is sufficient as there isn’t much to do besides the open range tour. After the zoo, you can take a short drive to Shadowfax winery for lunch or to the nearby Werribee Pacific Plaza for a bout of shopping.

parents teacher meeting

We were recently invited to have a meeting with her teachers. Both C and I were looking forward to that day. We want to find out exactly what she does in school and what she is like when we are not around.

These are what her teachers had to say about her. Some made me LOL🙂

  1. She is very attentive in class and takes part in all the activities (as opposed to here)
  2. She is learning well. And very well versed with her ABCs.
  3. She loves arts and crafts. Her teachers said she can color well, she doesn’t expect her to color within the lines but at her age, she is doing a good job.
  4. Her teachers commented that she speaks like an adult. Her speech pattern is very mature. For example, her teacher said something and she will answer “hahaha..it’s so funny!”
  5. Very helpful (or in another word, kaypo). She will insist on helping her little friends even if they don’t need help. On one occasion, she was helping her friend, B, to put on his bag and he didn’t want her to help. He was wriggling away and E kept insisting. After a while, he gave up and stood still to allow Elisa to help him with his bag and water bottle😀
  6. She understands Chinese. She will acknowledge when her teacher calls out her Chinese name and seems to understand what her Chinese teacher is saying. She knows how to address her family member in Chinese.
  7. Eating well. After her meal, she will eat her own snacks.

Before the meeting, C was saying what if we find out that she’s a bossy brat or we get negative feedback from her teachers. Well, his concerns were unneeded! They were all positive!!!

Well done, my baby girl! We are so proud of you!!

C told her she will get to have ice cream if her teachers say she is a good girl. On our way to meet her teachers, she told me “mummy, I’m going to eat ice cream later. I am a good girl”. Full of confidence, this girl!

You know what? You definitely are!

Now bring on to term two!

xoxo

 

sunday brunch at mandarin oriental

We love Pan Pacific Sunday Brunch but having been there so many times, I thought maybe we should give others a try. So we went to the one across the road, Melt The World Cafe at Mandarin Oriental.

To be honest, I wasn’t impressed with the buffet spread. I find for a restaurant in a five-star hotel, they can definitely do better in terms of service as well as the quality of the food (except for their dessert and cheese).

But what I love about the Sunday Brunch at Mandarin Oriental Hotel is this…

…a dedicated kids’ corner with their own buffet line – both savory and sweet. There are coloring materials, balloon sculpting as well as face painting for the kids.

…and also thisLook how nicely the cheeses were presented! We couldn’t resist, we kept going back for more!

Will I go back again? I really don’t know. I love their kids’ corner and I’m very sure Elisa loves it a lot too. But if we pay a bit more, we get to enjoy better service and better food at Pan Pacific. Tough choice!