Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Splish Splash!



Now that we are more settle down in Surabaya. We started to join an International Church based on my bestfriend's invitation ( thanks Arief, I know you read my blog sometime! ). This church is located inside Supermall, the biggest mall in Surabaya and a few weeks ago I saw someone sell inflated children swimming pools in many different shapes but at that time I did not think to buy it yet. Now that the weather here is just getting hotter every day, that children swimming pools just getting more attractive to me! So finally I decided to buy it for my children ...

Too bad that I was not the only person in Surabaya who suddenly has this great idea. By the time we are ready to buy it, most of them already sold out! There are only 2 choices left. The one I bought cost about Rp.200,000 or US $ 20.

And it worth every cent of it ...

I love to see both KK and LL's expression when they play in this swimming pool. For LL safety, I only filled it with water for less than half of it's depth because I don't want LL to be scared at all of her first swimming experience. So even though she fell face down, she won't drown in it. But off course it's almost impossible for her to drown when so many people were there to watch her play!

At one time KK accidently splash water to her face, good thing is, she did not cry and he kiss her later to show her that it was an accident and he loves her.

So here is the photos and the video clips of them playing in that pool together.












Pic: Always looking up to her big brother.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Interviewing My Son


As you can see, I have been writing and writing about my daughter and it seems that I have neglected to write about my son a little bit. My bad...

So here is an update on how he is doing lately.

Everyday his time pretty much revolved around his school and his after school activities. So really, we really don't have enough time alone with him anymore. And when he is home, he rather go bicycling around the house than sit talk to me.

Since we live at the same area with the company. Our home is never quiet. The opposite from our old home in Canada. For my son, this new home is way better suit his taste because he really hate to be lonely. He likes to talk to people a lot.

So at home, he rides his bike all over our property and he makes many stop to chat with our employees. Within 1.5 month, he gains a lot of insight that amaze us about how our company works, how to improve it, how to deal with lazy employees, and such.

Amazingly, his advises are usually correct also!

For example: He said a lot of our employee at the back of the property are sleeping around and they don't really follow the company rule. So he suggest that my father should call them one by one and tell them to behave themselves. Then he suggest that we should test our employees to see how good is their performance and we really have to test our future employees so we won't have this many lazy employees he said. Hahaha! He also said that our employees need to learn to clean up the mess that created when they work. Beside telling us this, he proof it to the employees on his own idea by dusting all of our products in the warehouse. To show it to our employees that cleanliness is next to Godliness. Good for him because I do the same too. While my dear cousin Eliza said that my life in Surabaya will be so easy, I don't have to clean up anything anymore she said, and I will go regularly to beauty salon for this and that. Well... here it is Liza, one of this day, I will take a picture of my hands and send it to you. These are the hands of a worker, full of blisters and scratches because I still clean up my own mess. True that I don't have to do my own laundry anymore. But I still wash my cooking tools after I finish cooking ( I have to cook for bigger crowd here! Without the help of my trusty dishwasher machine! ). Then I clean up my own kitchen. I even scrub my own bathroom , and off course I clean up my room and children's room too.

So yeah... maybe Kai Kai get that from me...the different is, after I clean up all of our mess ( not just mine ), I did not go to my husband or my father and asked for my wages! Hahaha. That's what Kai Kai did to me. He asked me for his wages and yes, I paid him for his honest work. He did very well because he really put time and a lot of effort to dust a lot of our products. Not just pretending to dust them only.

At night time, he never forgets to pray for his favorite employees who usually play with him.

Beside this story, KK also has lost some of his baby tooth and the last one, he lost it in the car on the way home from school. In the car, he likes to munch on some popcorns that he bought from the school. Then suddenly he said to the driver ( Djo ), " Djo...I lost my tooth!!! " He insist for Djo to stop on the side of the street and search for his tooth but both of them couldn't find it. The reason is because he knows Richard wants to collect all his baby teeth.

Later I have a conversation with him regarding the tooth fairy and I taped the conversation so that when he grew up, he can listen to his own words.

I think I am going to tape my conversation with him more often because they really are so cute. A child's confession.



Video: Talking about his missing tooth.



Video: Talking about tooth fairy



Video: Talking about marrying his bestfriend James so he can be our family.



Video: Praying before bedtime. That is his style when he pray.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

To La La, With Love On Her 9 Months Birthday



The last time I posted an entry for her monthly birthday was for her 5 months birthday and now she is already 9 months old. Amazing at how many things has change since then.

During these few months she acquired many new skills and starting to show her personality more and more.

One thing for sure though... I found her more fascinating everyday!

It is really interesting to see the differences between boy and girl with Kai Kai and La La.

They are so different in many things.



She keeps coming up with new cute behavior that she will outgrow in about a week or two but then she will have another cute behavior to replace the old one. For example, last month, when she is happy with us, to get our attention, or trying to please us, she will bat her eyelashes !!! Goodness gracious, this girl is a very girly girl!!!

Later on she replace this with "kiss-kiss", she will pucker up her lips just like we do when we want to kiss her and start making that kissing smacking sounds at us! Even now she still do this.

She also knows how to dance to the music by rocking herself to the beat. Sometimes this is also being accompanied by waving her hands on the air. She has 2 musical toys that she loves, both from LeapFrog. One is the Leapfrog frog with play time and sleep time music sets, and the other one is the new musical A-B-C Spider. She knows how to operate these 2 toys since 2 months ago, since she was 6 months old. Amazing! One day, while she was rocking/dancing with her musical toys, I tried to follow the songs with Kai Kai's toy keyboard. Many years ago I learn how to play piano but it's been 6 years since I touch a piano key! So I am very rusty and as a result I kept making mistake trying to imitate La La toy's song and she get cranky because I ruined her fun. She said something that sounds like this with a cranky sounds " Ya..ya...nana....na! ". At first I thought she just wants to talk to me so I stop playing the keyboard and replied to her " Yes sweetie ". Then she go back to rocking with the music. But soon, she yell at me again when I disturb her from enjoying her music with my falsetto performance on that tiny keyboard! This happen 3 times before I finally get it that she doesn't like me to interrupt her with my talentless piano recital! So I stopped first. Until she is busy with her other toys and I practice first on that tiny keyboard. So when she return to play again with her musical toys, this time I can follow that same songs with my tiny keyboard almost perfectly. This time, La La just turn her head and smile at me. I guess she thinks my piano performance is okay now ...

Another thing that she likes to play is " Peek-a-boo" game, how she does this is by hiding her own face on a pillow until I said " Boo! " then she look at me and give me a big grin!

Since 3 months ago ( she is only 6 months old ) , she already knows how to call me "Mama". And since 1 month ago at least, she calls Richard "Papa!". Now, she can say also " A-ma " to her Taiwanese grandma, "Mak" to my mom, and "Apa?" when we asked her questions. I think my son start to speak when he is around 18 months. Beside that, she also likes to have a long "conversation" with us as if she has something really important to say to us. Girl sure is more chatty huh?

On one scary note, 2 weeks ago she fell off from her crib! On the same day, she also had an allergic reaction. There are many red patches showed up all over her body and it takes 2 days with 3 dosages of medication administered by me that she finally stop having allergic reaction. She also had her first cold but luckily very minor, she did not have any fever. Just runny nose and a bit of cough. Since she is very healthy, she recover very soon without any medication.

Since 7 months old, she also start to eat solid. With my son, I wasn't confident enough to make baby foods on my own but now I enjoy making baby food for La La. And she shows her appreciation for my cooking by eating heartily everyday! We all loves watching her eat so well. This girl has sweet tooth also, she likes sweet vegetables such as carrots, sweet peas, red bell pepper, and pumpkins ( her favorite ). She loves sweet fruits off course. So when I cook her food, I always put one type of sweet fruit or veggies in it. She likes her meat too, with the exception of fish. She hates the fishy smell. She eats 3 meals a day, 4 bottles of milk a day and plus she also snacking on Gerber Fruit Puffs that looks like this picture.

I don't know why but both my children loves the taste of Gerber's food and even my bestfriend "W" children also loves this brand the most too! Luckily SOGO carries almost all of Gerber's products. Funny thing is, just yesterday I found that it's cheaper to buy Gerber Organic Products than the regular one. Maybe not many people knows that the organic bottles are also made by Gerber. Not that Indonesian do not know that organic stuff is better and healthier than the regular stuff. I wrote on my food blog that now on every grocery stores in Surabaya, they carries a lot of local organic products. Mostly fresh produce.

La La also start to walk around the house using the baby walker. Also watched by us off course for her safety.

She is also getting prettier everyday with her beautifully even white teeth on her gum, her smile is a killer! Add her habit to bat her eyelashes to that... man....nobody in this house can say "No" to her demands.

She still loves her bath time as well. The different is, since her hair is getting longer now, we likes to comb her hair. How we do this is by making her sit facing the mirror and we gently comb her hair. During this time, she will sit still and smile at her reflection on the mirror! She likes looking pretty! Except when I put on a hat on her head, she will grab it and threw it accross the room!

She likes to jump a lot too while I hold her up. She loves it when we swing her to the air. She is not as easily to be scared as before like when we were in Disney and we rode the train from the parking lot to the main entrance that alone is enough to make her almost cry. We are all addicted to hear her giggling happily. I think now everybody here develop stronger upper arm muscles from swinging her on the air!

So here are her pictures that I recently took ... see how she is growing from a newborn baby to a beautiful baby girl who knows that she is loved by us all.








Pic: Me and my daddy


Pic: LL loves soft cushie pillows and blankies. When she found one, this is what she is going to do with it. She will rub and rub and rub her face on the pillow and smile very big. If I join her fun by rubbing my face on the pillow next to her, she will laugh happily.


Pic: Even though she is very easy going and she doesn't mind if anybody hold her, she reserved her laughter only for me ...


Pic: Sweet and Classic Picture


Pic: A Silly Picture


Pic: Cute picture



Goodbye for now people...see you next month on my 10th month birthday ...

Monday, October 23, 2006

So Many Parties!


Pic: I love my mommy!

Coming home to Indonesia means I have to go to many parties. I really hate it that I have to doll up myself. I am happier when I am wearing my daily casual clothes. I know that a lot of women, loves to have a reason to dress up themselves, go to salon to have their hair styled that sort of thing. Well... not me.

The only bright thing about all these invitations is the food. Since I promise to write more stories about eating out experience in Surabaya, so here it is.

The first party is my grandma's 86th birthday. It was held in a nearby small restaurant and we only invited some of our family members who lives in Surabaya. It was a casual party so I have no problem with the dress code. Plus...it was my grandma's birthday, I think she will forgive me if I dress down a bit.



Pic: LL looking pretty with her daddy


Pic: My granny on her 86th birthday


Pic: KK sang her a "happy birthday to you"


Pic: My grandma likes LL very much


The next party that I have to go to is a wedding, but we only went to shake hands with the bride and groom at a Buddhist temple and then we went straight home so again, I don't really pay attention to what I have to wear. The only reason why we went there is because the groom is also a Taiwanese.

Then the next big party is for a 25th anniversary of Musa and Yokie. They are my parents' old friends and Musa happened to be my bestfriend "W" uncle.

In the afternoon, "W" already dragged me to her salon to have our hair done together, then she suggest I should have manicure and pedicure as well, complete with reflexology massage too! I ended up with even shorter hair than ever. I can't even remember when was the last time I have this short hair, boy's style! While I look like a boy, my bestfriend's hair style looks like a peacock!!! I tried very hard to keep my face straight ( I really really wants to laugh actually ). "W" was speechless too when she saw herself on the mirror ....

Anyway, we both brought our 2 kids to the party and we did have a great time mainly because how can we not when 2 bestfriends from kindergarden met ? Even our husband get a long just fine. Our kids too ...

The restaurant is at Shangri-La Hotel and it's an all you can eat buffet. They have many different type of cuisine, from western food, Thai, Chinese, to Indonesia. Not a bad place to hang out but "W" said she rather went here for their all you can eat breakfast buffet. I believe her ...




Pic: Both "W" daughters likes to play with La La


Pic: My dessert, I skipped the cakes and I tried their Thai desserts, plus one very bad biscotti like cookie and 2 meringue cookies


Pic: Kai Kai "the angel", "W" helped him to get his food and he asked her to get him veggies and tofu only. Later he asked me for cheese only type of food. He finished all those food.


Pic: That's my bestfriend "W", she changed her peacock hairstyle into this neat hair style by herself.


Pic: Richard, "W" and her husband "H".

Beside these 3 major parties. We were also invited to eat dinner with several of my parents' close friends who wants to welcome us back to Surabaya. I lost count on how many dinner that we have with them. On top of these extra dinner parties with them, we also celebrate Richard's 35th birthday at home quietly and we also started to celebrate our employees' birthday too every month on our monthly employee meeting that Richard recently started.

It's great to be back ...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Happy 8th Anniversary To Us


This year our marriage has enter it's 8 year anniversary. But for us, it feels like we are marking our 10th anniversary instead of 8th because we have known each other for 10 years. Time flies when you having fun.

Since we have a kid, we never able to celebrate our anniversary without Kai Kai so this year we want to do something different. Since now we have many people who can babysit our children, haha! Finally, for the first time, we can celebrate our marriage alone!

Since we are still adjusting to living in Indonesia, we want to celebrate it in town. I wish we can go to Bali for 2 days in the future. But for now, here is how I planned our anniversary...



First I booked us a "couple spa" from Martha Tilaar Spa at Mandarin Oriental Hotel. This hotel is more commonly known by it's former name which is Hotel Majapahit, a very old hotel. We tried it before and we want to do it again because we already know how good this place is.



Originally built in 1910, the legendary Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Hotel Majapahit, Surabaya has been restored to its former glory. The hotel is a classic landmark filled with national pride, where an impressive history blends with romance and elegance. Hotel Majapahit's graceful colonial architecture and beautiful gardens make it tranquil oasis in the heart of Surabaya's business and shopping district. Its name comes from Indonesia's most glorious empire. Now Mandarin Oriental has recreated its heritage and luxury with meticulous care. Welcome to one of the world's most unforgettable hotels.



Located on Jalan Tunjungan in the centre of the financial, business, government and shopping district. The hotel is located in the central business and shopping district of Surabaya, which is only 15km from the Juanda Airport, around 25 minutes by car to the hotel.

But basically this hotel is only 15 minutes from my home! So we can easily get there on our own.

Beside booking for a couple spa, I think they name it Rama & Shinta Package, it cost Rp 700,000 or about US $ 70 per couple for 3 hours of heavenly bliss treatment.

First, they gave us undergarment to wear because some of the product may stain your undergarment. Then once we changed, I called them back to give us the scrubs treatments. After scrubbing us squeeky clean, they told us to take a shower together, ahhh..... After that, we took turn to sit in their sauna. While I was sitting in the sauna, they gave Richard a cold water to drink and a hot ginger tea. Then after the sauna, they massage us with the massage oil. FOr my message, I chose sensual message because I want to feel as comfortable as I can. On the other hand, Richard chose the body contour message, he got harder message than mine, beside that we also got different oil message, mine smell like roses and his smell more like eucalyptus.



After the heavenly message for an hour, they gave us body mask treatment and once the mask has dried up, they sent us to take a hot bath in the big tub full of bubbles and aromatherapy oil. While we were sitting in the tub, they also gave us a cool wet towel with more aromatherapy oil that suppose to relax our mind, I think they works because when I got out, I felt boneless!

Then to make our Anniversary last a bit longer than just 3 hrs, I also book an Exotic Facial for myself and a Head Spa for Richard plus a hair trimmed too. They both last about 90 minutes more.

So after spending close to 5 hrs in the spa, we emerged fully restored, relaxed, and our skin shinny ! Richard came out with a nice haircut while I came out will a porcupine hair style! Well... who cares...my husband loves me despite it all!

Since I am not going to cook and get all tired again after my spa , we chosed to eat in one of the restaurant in that hotel. At first we planned to eat at the Chinese seafood restaurant ( Sarkies ) but then we were tempted by Indigo Restaurant and Bar. Something that remind us of our time back in the States and Canada where we got married in the first place.



I was plesantly surprise when I saw the menu because since 12 years ago when I left Surabaya, this city has change a lot. Now in that menu I saw a lot of familiar things that I only can find in the States and in Canada. For myself, I ordered their house salad, it comes with local made Feta cheese! I can't believe that now Indonesia can make cheese too! Someday I am going to write an entry on my foodblog about Indonesian's cheeses. For now let me tell you what makes this Feta cheese different. I think this one is made from cow's milk ( just a guess ) because the real Feta cheese has a slight tart taste while this one doesn't have that tart taste. But for me, I happend not to like that tartness in Feta cheese so this Indonesian cheese is better suited to my taste.

For my entree, I chose US duck cooked in cherry sauce with sage. I was really surprise to see that they used fresh sage to cook it and to decorate the plate as well. I asked the manager if now we can buy fresh herbs from local stores he said, they have to import these herbs but to be honest I think now somewhere in Surabaya I bet I can get the plants. Why? Because just yesterday when I went to a grocery, outside the grocery store ( HERO at Mayjen Sungkono ) I saw a very small garden kiosk ( I can't even say it's a store ). They sells Rosemary about 11 inches tall ( 30 cm maybe? ) for Rp. 30,000 or US $ 3. They look so healthy and they are cheap! They also sell Lavender for cheaper price. The lavender is even taller than the rosemary and they only cost Rp. 10,000 or just around US $ 1 !!!

So that are my 2 orders and for Richard, he ALWAYS ordered steak or pasta. This time is steak. Beside the steak he ordered Whisky and beer, his usual drinks.

So here it is .... a high toast for our marriage....Happy 8th Anniversary to us and we love each other more each year!