We usually have a steamboat dinner with my family for Chap Goh Mei, the 15th and final night of Chinese New Year. This year, we did the same thing except that we split ourselves into two tables. My grandma and the people from my mum’s generation sat at the main table and we abandoned the kids there with them. My siblings and I, plus significant others, sat at the smaller table.
I love steamboat, especially for the fact that I can cook the slices of raw pig’s liver to the exact degree of doneness I like. Adrian and Simon hate steamboat though, which meant more for the rest of us! Anya ate quickly, then decided she was a waitress and went around taking orders from everyone. Deets is at that stage where he basically copies every single thing his sister does. So we had two tiny waiters rushing around. They were terribly inefficient, but very cute.
food for steamboat
Debs adding all the condiments and saying the auspicious things
Deets still going strong
enjoying the crispy bits of the yu sheng
my mum and grandma are in the kitchen fussing with food
at the small table
“what do you want to order??”
monkey see, monkey do
On the 3rd day, we went to Navin’s place for lunch. Adam and Isaac are at that age where they are interacting a lot more with each other so it was quite entertaining to watch them. Isaac was a bit rough with Adam when trying to play with him, pushing/ pulling him around and trying to bite him so Adam started protesting loudly whenever Isaac approached. It was quite hilarious!
While we were there, we were very happy to hear that Chris had given birth! Glad that there’s another little girl in this group and two more on the way!
with Uncle Jansen
Isaac and his ride
learning to play mahjong
We went to my aunt’s place on the 2nd day of Chinese New Year for nasi lemak and lo hei. This is probably my favourite annual CNY gathering because I get to hang out with my cousins and the kids get to play with theirs. There was a lot of whining and bickering and that was just from the adults playing blackjack. The kids were fighting over toys as usual but it was a very comfortable state of chaos.
Anya and Adam wore matching Elly outfits again and Asher and Ellery were in the Elly shirts that I bought them last year and they all looked adorable. The kids had a great time and so did we!
Adam having a go
happy with the crispy bits
slightly less grumpy
playing with the abacus
Ellery and scary Auntie Debs
with Yee Po
Elly in the house!
sisters and brother
After my grandma’s place, we headed over to Adrian’s grandparents’ house. We decided to dress up for the benefit of his grandparents because they are Peranakan. So Anya and I wore kebaya and Adam put on a batik shirt.
The weather wasn’t great for photo-taking but we managed to take some shots before the slight drizzle became a downpour. Anya was still being grumpy and uncooperative and Adam wouldn’t stop eating. But Adrian’s grandma was happy to see us all dressed up so it was worth it!
with Adrian’s mum and sister
family picture in the garden
with Adrian’s parents and sister
As usual, our first stop for the first day of Chinese New Year was my grandma’s place. The kids were in another set of Elly outfits and it was really difficult getting them to pose for a few nice pictures! Adam didn’t want to stand still and kept sitting down or running off somewhere. Anya wasn’t feeling well and was in a bit of a grumpy mood. Don’t think I have a single photo with both of them looking at the camera at the same time!
two reluctant models
making a run for it
Anya with Big Yee po
Adam with small Yee Po
with my little brother
getting a red packet from Ah Zou
the three As
doing 大头大头 with mandarin oranges
We dropped by my grandma’s place to let the kids hang out there for a bit before going to Adrian’s grandparents’ place for dinner. I wish the reunion dinners were on different days so we could attend both without rushing around but it seems that neither side wants to move to an earlier day so we’re just going to continue like this!
I bought this matching set of outfits from Elly last year and kept it aside this whole time so the kids could wear it this year. It’s really quite a challenge trying to take a photo of the two of them together! It was so much easier last year when Adam couldn’t move around very much.
really hard to take a proper photo of these two
looking like homeless street children
I know that every dish on the table has a lot of significance behind it but I’m pretty clueless beyond the fish and leek. To me, the best part of Chinese New Year is being able to drink loads of fish maw soup and eat my mum’s homemade ngoh hiang. There are few things more flavourful and heartwarming than day-old fish maw soup.
年年有余: fish is a homophone for surplus
prawn sounds like laughter, I think?
my mum’s handmade ngoh hiang
leek is a homophone for counting (money)
Adam digging in
getting a big hug from great grandma
over at Adrian’s grandparents’ place
pretending to be on sailboats
Anya’s way of wishing you a Happy New Year.
We’re going to be really busy the next few days visiting family and friends and gorging on Lunar New Year goodies. Have a very blessed Lunar New Year! 新年快乐 万事如意!