Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sport Day 2007

Last week was a rude awakening for me. I went to school with my cousin Lusi because I thought that day we will have some sort of PTA meeting for Elementary students' parents. But then I found out that actually it was the day when my son had to perform his science drama at the Little Theater room. What make it worse, I have been busy practicing the songs for that performance with my son. I was the one who cares so much about it and then I didn't know that that day was THE day!

How did that happen??? Well... I know I have no excuse. The story is like this...

Every week we always receive a school weekly news report and it contain news from kinder garden students up to high school. It's a lot of nonsense that has nothing to do with me I thought. I am too lazy to read it! So usually I just stick the weekly school report to the fridge with magnets and forget about it. I am so used to the way Montessori teachers back in Canada always inform us again and again about what event they were going to have. But here in this new school because it IS larger and it has more classes off course they have to put all of the news in that weekly report. While back in Montessori we only have a monthly school report.

Imagine how bad I felt when I saw only the end of my son performance where he and all his classmates sing together the last song and I did not even get the chance to hear his 3, yes... THREE, individual songs!!! And to make it even way more worse.... I forgot to carry my camera!!! I almost never leave home without a camera in my purse and today of all the days, I left it at my computer desk!!!!

I really want to cry in the darkness of that Little Theater room ...

Even my cousin cell phone's camera could not help much since it's too dark in there and we are about 5 meter away from the stage if not more.

Since then I have been very vigilant with the school event. For the first time I sit down in front of my computer and trying to make a cute Hallmarks style calendar just so that I always knows when I should go to school and record my son activities.

It took a awhile for me to decipher the news letter but I managed to do it. Now I have a complete agenda for his school. Off course there is always new changes to add and I am ready for that with my new trusty Hallmarks software!

It was great to know that I am up to date with the current news about my son school! It was great when other mom tried to remind me that we will have another PTA meeting on this date or that and I can say " Yes! I know, it's May 12Th right??? "....

So today I brought 3 cameras to the school!!! Nobody can say that I am slow to learn, haha!

I was surprise though that there are only few parents who showed up today! Most of them are volunteer for this event. I wonder where are those parents??? Don't they care??? Now that I know exactly that my son is going to perform, I would not miss to see him today!!!

The teachers actually asked me if I would like to volunteer but I really have to decline because I think they kids can go on without me but I don't think I want to miss this first opportunity to video tape my son's first Sport Day! Plus, Richard who really couldn't come today already beg me to tape everything that he will miss. He is like me, we both don't want to miss our children first experience in anything! I am so lucky that I am NOT a man with a job to do! Yeah...yeah...yeah... I work too in my parents company but it's still different right? Between mommy's responsibility for their kids than with the daddies. Hence PTA members are mostly if not all are mommies ...

So I was busy there following my son's team with my cameras.

This is also my first time to know what Sport Day means. I thought Elementary means from first grader till sixth grader are there but my son said there are only until fifth grader. The teachers made 7 teams that consist of a mixture from first grader up till fifth grader. So the older kids are the leader and the younger kids have to follow their way. Off course there is a teacher for each team. My son is the white team and the teacher is their own PE teacher, Mr. P.

First they compete at soccer, next is running relay, then tug-a-war, and then they went inside the aerobics room. From there they went back to the gym. They were also tested for their accuracy with hockey, throwing bean bags into 4 small holes, and throw Frisbees into 3 hoops that they hang on the air. Then they play jump a rope together in a line.

From there they move to basketball and sack race. At the end of the game, there were some refreshment provided for the students too.

Close to the end of the game, I had a conversation with a kind Korean lady about where is Korean Mart in Surabaya. She was curious at why I am interested to go there. I told her that I love Korean food and there are some things that I would like to buy from there. One of them is the baby shrimps that they brined for one of the ingredients for making Kim-Chee. She was kind enough to give them for free to me with 2 added bonuses of her home-made Kim-Chee and her daikon radish kim-chee. On Monday I will pick them up from her in the school.

Well... that's all folks.... and goodnight....

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Dedicating My Baby To God

Happy....happy....happy.... I am soooo happy today because today we can dedicated La La back to God! With the only exception of my husband, now 3 of us have been dedicated to God when we were all still babies.

I don't remember how old I was when my parents brought me to their church to be dedicated to God, but my son was dedicated to God when he was about a year old, I think the same age as La La, 14 months old. We dedicated him at Beaverton Four Square Church in Portland, Oregon on 2001 by the late Pastor Ron Mehl. We miss Pastor Ron Mehl very much till this day ...

And now it's my baby girl's turn and I couldn't be more sure than having Pastor Tom to be the one to do this. He is truly a man of God. And I couldn't be happier than having Pastor Hannah to sing the song for today. She is an inspiration to all of us on how to love God above all else.

For today's event, I start preparing for it since about 2 weeks ago. I am lucky to have a good friend Fanny who is a good seamstress. And I am even luckier because she place our dresses as her top priority so that within a week we can both wearing matching dresses! Oh... I am having lots of fun with having a baby girl! Before I felt so left out because our son and my husband share the same passion for sport and they both like to go out for skiing, biking, swimming rollerblading together. While I could not even stand straight longer than 2 minutes when I wore my skis. Now I have my little doll to play dress up with. It's fun to buy her fabric and then see it become a cute dress. Only 14 months old but she start to want to dress up like me, she wore my shirt on top of her head and posed in front of mirror, she play around with my necklaces, trying on my shoes/sandals, I guess it won't be long before I will see her face covered with my lipsticks!!! I can't wait to see that!

Then yesterday I went to buy her a pair of white shoes that can match with her dress and a white shoes for myself also since I don't have a pair of white shoes.

So today is the day and today is a good day for her because she woke up from her nap very fresh right before we went to church. So she is in a very happy mood.

All I can say is everybody in my church loves her! She is so adorable with her white dress dancing to the music, waving her hands, lifting up her hand to praise the Lord and clap her hands too!

When it was time to be dedicated, she was pretty serious, she watched Pastor Tom when he anointed her forehead with oil. Pastor Tom also anointed me, Richard, and Kai Kai too.

There were several other families that also stand next to us to dedicated their children to God but I can see that everybody eyes are on La La because she is too adorable. Other babies are either sleeping or whining and the older kids look sullen only La La has the happy face!

When we were dismissed and everybody start to leave the room, I still stayed with La La because she walk to the musicians ( yes she can walk now on April 1st ) and listen to their music while dancing a bit with happy face! Pastor Tom even dance with her too, I tried to upload the video of them dancing together but the file is too large for YouTube! Then she grab a tissue to wipe her own nose! This is amazing, the difference between a boy and a girl. Kai Kai always doesn't want to wipe his nose and when we wipe his nose, he always push our hands away. He is comfortable with being dirty. But La La is really like a girl. She can't stand yucky stuff. When she has runny nose, she can point at the tissue box and said " Mau...mau...mau" or in English means " Want...want....want". Then if you give her the tissue she will directly use it to wipe her nose, my mom even saw her several times blow her own nose !!!!

Pic: She is dancing to the music.

At one time, when I let her eat on her own, like any other babies, she made a mess on her face. But after a while she start to complain because she didn't like the feeling of yogurt stuck all over her face. When we took her to the bathroom, she was so impatient, she just climb to her tub right away! With Kai Kai, I have to threaten him first so he will take a bath or brush his teeth, but with her, we have to distract her so she will want to come out of her bath tub!

Anyway.... I keep getting distracted because I have not telling you how much she has grown.

So yes, everyday I thank Him for blessing us with these 2 wonderful children.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

4 Days And 3 Nights In Batu at Klub Bunga Resort

Last week, KK's school was off because they have spring break holiday too. We have planned weeks earlier that we would go to Batu, a small town on a mountain, about 3 hours drive from Surabaya. My mom is the one who made the arrangement and she made a reservation for 2 suite rooms in Klub Bunga Boutique Resort.

Pic: The view from my balcony at 5.30 AM

I personally never been to Klub Bunga but my parents both have stayed there before and they like that place. Now I know why they like this place. After spending 4 days and 3 nights there, both kids ( and their mommy ) don't feel like going home! That place offer so many facilities and activities! Here are their list:
  1. Squash
  2. Basket Court
  3. Tennis Court
  4. Beach Volley
  5. Indoor Tennis tables
  6. Billiard Center
  7. Games room
  8. Karaoke & Disco
  9. Library ( I love it!!!)
  10. Jogging Track ( my father went walking 2 - 3 times a day while he was there! )
  11. Lagoon Pool ( cold water )
  12. Fitness Center
  13. Therapy Massage Pool ( warm water with many jet water spray and other water exercise system )
  14. Spa
  15. Massage
  16. Sauna
  17. Children Playground ( outdoor )
  18. Baby Sitting Playground ( indoor )
  19. Fishing ponds ( 3 ponds )
  20. Beautiful Gardens with a maze right in front of my balcony ( the name Bunga means flower in Bahasa Indonesia )
  21. ATV, the starting age to ride this motorcycle is 7 years old.
  22. Gun range ( we are not interested at all! )
  23. Wireless Internet access ( something R can't live without ! )
Pic: View from my parents' suite room

Pic: Lagoon Pool at our hotel

If those facilities do not satisfy you, you can certainly go out and visit the local recreational areas such as Selecta, Songoriti, and the newest one that is only a few minute walk from Klub Bunga is Jawa Timur Park. We visited all of these places too.

Selecta and Songgoriti are both old recreational areas that I grew up with, my return to there are for sentimental reason to see where I used to go when I was still a child.

At Selecta, they have several large aquarium and you can buy fish food and feed them. We bought 2 bags, one for LL and the other for KK. While KK doesn't like to touch the fish that much, LL is the opposite. My little girl loves animal very much, she just directly put her hand into the water and start stroking the big fishes like they are cats! She loves them and she is not scared at all!

Video: Here you can see the beginning when LL start to touch the fish, later she will be even braver in touching the fish, at the end of this video you can see me looking worried if the splash blurring my camera. After this, I change to my Olympus camera that can be use underwater!

Pic: A Buddhist statue at Selecta.

Pic: This is the kind of fish that LL loves to touch in Selecta.

Pic: The first one doesn't want to stop touching the fish, and the other one gave me a sour face when I asked him to touch the fish.

At Songgoriti, we stayed only a short time because their biggest attraction is the water park but none of us bring our swim wear and plus, brrr.... it's too cold, we rather swim at our hotel's pool that has warm water. But I force R and KK to try their boom boom boat that the machine died while they are in the middle of the lake!!! Luckily they are rescued pretty soon by the maintenance man. Then we switch to the pedal boat, safer... This time I rode it with them.

2 times also we went to Malang, a city near Batu to eat lunch. Both times at Chinese restaurant. For some reason we feel rice in Malang taste sweeter than in Surabaya. Weird. What I know is that the water quality in Batu is a lot better than in Surabaya because they have spring water for their water source.

Video: My baby can acting as silly as her older brother now.

We also went for the first time to Jawa Timur Park. Since it's located pretty much next door to where we stay, we went there the last one. Actually this place is big but we cut it very short because my mom is tired easily now.

This place actually is pretty big but since we did not go to a lot of places I can't show you much in term of pictures and words. What I like at this place is that by the end, when you want to go out, they force you to take a long way out by making you walk around hand craft stores , then followed by garden stores, then fruit and vegetables stores, and at last pet stores. As far as I remember, Batu is known for their apple orchards, wild strawberries and blackberries ( they are tiny but tasty ) and their bunnies! Yes I still remember my fond memory of stroking tens of cute bunnies in the market! I wasn't disappointed this time when I found that Batu stays the same. They still produce a lot of apple, and bunnies. Again, LL going wild wanting to touch every single bunny rabbit she can see. KK is just so-so with them, he did touch them but not as lovingly as LL. She really loves animal ! Oh yeah, forgot to mention that this park has a small aquarium where again LL touch the big turtles and wanting to kiss all those fishes including the piranhas. They have birds zoo too but we did not go there. And children petting zoo.

Pic: Who can stand not to touch these cute faces???

Pic: Our loyal driver, Djo lifted up LL so she can touch the bunnies again.

From what I know, we miss going to the hot spring and the apple orchard. Near to our hotel there is another hotel called Kusuma Agrowisata Hotel, I heard from my mom that if we stayed there we can eat all the fruits in their fruit orchards!

From my research about Kusuma Agrowisata Hotel, I got this info:

Agrowisata APEL

Agrowisata BUNGA

Agrowisata KOPI


Agrowisata SAYUR

You'll find relaxing or walking around in :
Apple, Orange, Strawberry, Coffee Plantation.

Feel a thousand Flowers in Green House.
Pick up Apple or Orange fruit direct from Hotel Plantation, you can be deeply enjoyable. Taste Strawberry fruit direct from our garden and relaxing in "Kusuma Strawberry Cafe".

Choice your fresh favorite Vegetables with our hydroponics technology and can be cooked directly. See the beautiful of Coffee Plantation.

They sounds good aren't they? Maybe next time then ...

So now that I have very quickly telling you our story at Selecta, Songgoriti, and Jatim Park and even giving you a bit of information on Kusuma Agrowisata Hotel. Let me tell you what we DID on our own hotel...

For my father, he did what he loves best, fast walking on the jogging trail of this hotel. He loves it so much that he did it at least 2 times a day! And that did not include pushing a stroller and carrying LL around up and down the hill!

For Richard, he loves to play with his laptop while sitting near the pool with a cool breeze keep coming onto his way. He said this is the first time he did not sweat at all since he came to Indonesia! Hahaha...poor guy...but I agree with him! He also loves to swim on the Therapy pool ( warm water ) or just sit at the jacuzzi.

For me, I am the total opposite from Richard. When he is on vacation, he prefer to be a total sloth. He like to sleep and wake up late and pretty much do nothing that is stressful or tiring. Me? While at home I like to relax more than him, when I am on vacation, I want to go and see EVERYTHING!

Now, this is the beauty of this place, we can all do what we like to do....

See here, while R sit and playing with his laptop. I took both kids with me. I took LL to the babysitting room to play. Then I took both kids to swim together in the warm pool. LL just go crazy with the water! She always loves her bath time, and this is just like bath time for her too. She is not scared at all with the water, she even scared me when while I carried her on my waist, suddenly she dip her face into the water and come out sputtering because she just found out that she can't breath in the water! She did it because she saw KK swim and dive in the water and she wanted to do the same! Amazingly while other kids might cry, she just laughed! What a cutie! We swam every day there!

Then I took KK to walk and observed the nature at the garden and for the first time since I came home I can take pictures again in the garden/park !!! Hallelujah !!! Both me and KK miss it so much !!!

Then we all play at the playground too, for the first time LL sit on my lap at the swing chair and she just couldn't stop giggling when the wind blows at her hair. I showed the kids a big mountain spider, about 5 cm in size. That ought to impress the kids, hahaha...

Then I took KK to fish, the hotel provide us with the rod and the bait for free but if we get the fish, they will measure them by their species and their total weight, then we pay for the fish. The price we pay is already include the cooking cost. That's a wishful thinking because for 2 days, I repeat, two days !!! None of us can get fish big enough to eat!!! The first day we got none. The second day which is our last day there, even Richard went with us yet we only caught about 10 baby fishes!!! No bigger than 5 cm in length. So we end up giving them to the cats that never stop pestering us since beginning with their meowing.

Pic: My tiny little fish ...

For our morning entertainment, every morning the doves from the bird house that is located just below our room's balcony always come to visit. I think maybe because my room is the nearest to them, most of the people who stay in that room must have feed those birds, so as soon as the birds know that the room is occupied again, they come and wait for us to feed them. They are so tame until they don't even mind when we gently hold one of them so LL can stroke it's soft feathers. We feed them with breads.

Pic: KK feed the birds early in the morning.

Pic: (LEFT) KK pretend to be a chicken, (RIGHT) LL on a swinger at the baby sitting room

This story is not complete without a bit of food photos that we ate in the hotel. So here I include 4 food photos.

Now I also include the photos of all kind of flowers that I saw in that hotel.