We celebrated Anya’s birthday in school a day before we left for a short trip to Ho Chi Minh City. I was looking back at the photos from her 3rd and 4th birthday celebrations in school and realised that she has a round Bengawan Solo cake every year. Totally unplanned but an interesting coincidence! This time, we got little wooden model kits for the boys and felt stitching/ cross stitch kits for the girls. Reinforcing stereotypes, I know.
We pulled Adam out of his class to join in the celebration. I think Anya was happy to have her brother there because she can get a bit self-conscious when she’s the centre of attention. You can see her holding on to his hand the entire time while they are in front! I really cherish these celebrations in school because I know we won’t be able to do it anymore when the kids are out of kindergarten.
singing the birthday song
blowing out the candles
with her teachers
cutting her cake
enjoying her cake
still eating while heading back to class
I wanted to write about Anya and Adam in school but didn’t get around to doing it before my delivery. Anya’s in K1 now and went to class on the first day with no hesitation whatsoever. Adam started pre-nursery a few days later. He was quite happy to play and sing along on the first day but wouldn’t let me out of his sight.
By the second day of the orientation, some of the parents managed to slip out of the classroom and stand at the windows but Adam would cry whenever I tried to go outside! He wanted me by his side the entire time and was only willing to wander off on his own when it was playground time.
It was like that for the rest of orientation so I decided not to be around when Adrian dropped him off for his first unaccompanied day at school. There were tears but I think he was much better after a couple of days. Now he goes to school very happily every day! So proud of him!
first day of K1!
making her way to class with daddy
Adam’s first day of school
a photo with his sister
looking at the rabbits before class
walking with daddy
playing with some blocks
busy in the kitchen
my little boy!
singing the goodbye song
with his new school bag
snack time on a separate day
participating in class
his favourite bit: playground time!
Elly is my favourite place to get clothes for the kids. I love the colourful fabrics they use for their dresses and shirts and the kids love wearing the clothes. The best thing about the clothes from Elly is that they don’t go out of shape in the wash (and I’m the sort who dumps all the clothes into the washing machine without bothering to put them in laundry bags) and the colours don’t fade! This is important because Anya wears her Elly dresses ALL THE TIME. I also like to dress the kids up in matching outfits while I can still get away with it. ;)
So I was delighted when Anya was chosen to be part of their CNY collection photoshoot. She was more than happy to lend Auntie Audrey a hand and to dress up in pretty clothes. Their beautiful CNY collection ‘The Horse Parade‘ will be launched tomorrow (Monday, 16 Dec 2013) at 6pm and there are 32 styles in 6 lovely fabric designs. The Horse Parade is available for reservation so you can send them an email with the design and size you want.
Some photos of Anya in the CNY collection. Check out the rest of the collection here!
Tinkerbell dress in White Horses
also available in a Lily style (pictured), a cheongsam, a mandarin-collared shirt and bermudas
cheongsam in Red Horses
Red Horses as a mandarin collar shirt, a Twirly skirt and a Tinkerbell dress
Lily dress in Horse Parade (Anya’s favourite)
also available as a cheongsam (pictured) and a Twirly skirt
girls’ shorts in Rainbow Horseshoe; also available as a cheongsam, Tinkerbell dress, Lily dress and Twirly skirt
Managed to spend some time with Anya on Children’s Day! We had breakfast with Adrian at Mr Prata then took a stroll over to Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden where she dug in the sand and then played in the fountains. Auntie Vonnie joined us there and It was quite fun until some school groups descended upon us and it got too crowded! So we headed over to Elly at Cluny Court and she got her nails painted for the very first time, got a little picture painted on her hand and ate lots of popcorn. Then it was off to lunch at Compl(e)ments Of but more of that in another post.
she can play with sand for ages
getting her nails done
and a little hand tattoo
being entertained at lunch
There are articles about Pinterest making mothers feel depressed and inadequate and Instagram portraying unrealistic rosy versions of life and I’m guilty as charged. Guilty not just of putting up picture-perfect artistically-filtered humorously-captioned photographs of my kids but guilty also of being on the receiving end, where looking at pictures of other families/ holidays/ projects on various social media sites make me feel like I need to play catch-up.
So I present a not-so-pretty glimpse into my life with the kids. It’s Mother’s Day and I’m expecting to feel special, to be showered with love and appreciation, to be given adorable handmade cards scrawled in childish handwriting, and to have beautiful photos taken with my colour-coordinated kids. Did any of that happen?
Not really. I still had to run after the kids, take care of all their usual needs and carry out all my motherly duties. At one point of time, I was the only one watching the kids as they ran and played outside, while Adrian and my in-laws were still sitting in the restaurant relaxing after lunch. Then Anya refused to smile for a family photo and made silly excuses about her arm hurting. I was fuming and I never felt so unappreciated in my life. All I wanted was a decent photo and I couldn’t even get that.
To top it off, her class teachers forgot to get the kids to make a mother’s day card in school and she only brought one home the day after Mother’s Day. By the time I got to see it in the evening, however, she had scribbled all over it with a ballpoint pen. Nice. I complained bitterly to Adrian about his children taking me for granted and he reminded me about the other card that Anya had made for me with his help. She wanted the card to be perfect and made three different cards before finally deciding that one was good enough to give to me.
My life as a mother is far from flawless and my kids are as imperfect as they come. I know sometimes I make it seem otherwise. But Mother’s Day was such a reality check for me to stop thinking about composing Kodak moments to capture and present to the rest of the world, and to really focus on living life in the moment with my family whom I love dearly and fiercely with all its imperfections.
We make it a point to celebrate Anya’s birthday with Adrian’s grandparents at their place because they are getting on in years (about 95 years old) and don’t leave the house very much. Also, Anya shares the same birthday with Adrian’s Uncle Denis who lives with Adrian’s grandparents.
Here’s to many more celebrations with great grandparents!
9 March babies!
Anya’s birthday fell on a Saturday this year so we were able to celebrate it on the actual day. The birthday girl is very much into the Mr Men & Little Miss series currently so that was the theme for her party!
colouring on Mr Men print-outs
This was the first time Anya had a party where she had a say in the guest list! We usually invite our friends/ cousins and their kids but this time we had a few of her schoolmates as well. I think she was really happy to have them there.
fun at the playground
in the cockpit
climbing up and down
with some of her classmates
In keeping with the theme, we had a Mr Bump piñata. The anguished expression on his face makes all the piñata pictures look hilarious! Most of the girls chose to pull on the ribbons below Mr Bump and the boys preferred using the plastic baseball bat that we brought along.
the dainty way
the boys had a smashing good time
Poor Mr Bump!
giving it one final pull
Mr Bump spills his guts
emptying out Mr Bump
Sam and his haul
Isaac managed to collect some too
Adrian was supposed to bake a rainbow cake and cover it in fondant to make it look like Little Miss Naughty but it didn’t work out as planned. Good thing we had Mr Men & Little Miss cake toppers!
It was a bit chaotic this year and Anya was very upset after she accidentally fell off the sofa while we were taking photos so I didn’t insist on the usual group shots!
Happy birthday, Anya!
most of the kids
The grown-ups had fun with the Mr Men & Little Miss photo booth props that I made. I think we are all really young at heart and enjoy being silly now and then! ;)
us being silly
with Selena & Sharon
Will have another post with details of the party decor, goody bag, piñata and other bits & pieces soon!