Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Surabaya's Zoo

It's been awhile since I went to Surabaya's zoo ( an understatement since the last time I went there was more than 20 years ago ! ). This is mostly because of my father's idea. He knows that LL is crazy with animals so he wants her to see how those animals that she admire on the books or in the form of stuffed animals really look and sounds like. Actually the day before I took these pictures my father already brought her to the zoo alone ( with driver ). He did not even bother to carry extra diapers, milk bottle, or even change her clothes. She was still wearing her pajama!

The zookeeper maybe misinformed or maybe my father who misheard him, but according to my father understanding, only on Sunday we can ride the elephants ( or horses ). So today on Sunday when we were suppose to go to church, he dragged us all the way to the zoo with him again.

And off course being it was Sunday, the zoo is like a zoo. It's totally jammed with people. There were many buses in the parking lot that carry people from out of town who come to see the zoo on weekend. Thank God that my luck on getting parking spot is still holding on. We got a great parking spot under a shade of tree and only 10 meters from the entrance! But we got cheated buying peanuts! Yes, I don't know if this is the same with any other zoo anywhere else around Indonesia, but in Surabaya you can feed the animals ( some of them ) with boiled peanuts. You can munch on them too since they are cooked. In fact my last memory of this zoo was me and Wike ( my best friend ) fighting over peanuts because even though I bought a full plastic bag ( big one! ), but she almost ate them all while I want to give them to the monkeys!!! Hahaha....
Wike said the boiled peanuts taste very sweet and she loves it. I remember to taste it too at that time and I did think that they are sweet but I would rather give them to the monkey!

Okay, let me continue on with my story...

So here we were in the zoo, fighting our way to get close to the elephants. When we arrived, what we saw was at least 100 m of long waiting line. Because it is his idea, my father said that we can walk around while he wait in line for us. When we walked away from him I heard he told the person in front of him this " I did this for the sake of my grandchildren you know!! "....hahaha.... he really really loves his grandchildren!

So while my father wait in line, we walk around to see the monkeys.

After more than half an hour we came back to see my father again. Now Richard took his spot and he has to wait another half an hour again without complain ( I salute him for this! ). My father told me that he should have just bribe the person at the front Rp.50.000 ( US $ 5 ) to give him her spot. I told him that I am not comfortable to do that and ironically, just when I finished saying that a lady is in the middle of bribing that woman who stand at the front of the line with Rp. 20.000 ( $ 2 ! ). My father said that he really can not put down his guard when he stand in line because just when he relax for a minute, some people directly squeeze in front of him and since they are all women he couldn't do anything. I hate that !!!! Usually it's always woman who stole your line or your parking spot and then they act so oooh... I am a weak female ... I am so innocent.... do you expect me to wait? Don't you hate that too? When I was in the University in Oklahoma, when I was waiting in my car for an opening at the parking lot I have to be extra cautious when there are Asian girls driving close by!!! Asian girls are the worst on this matter!!!
While we waited for our turn to ride the elephant, we saw many parents who have been waiting for a long time like us had to go down from the elephants because their children are too scared and they start crying. We were worried that LL will be the same. Actually she was scared too, she refused to sit but her dad manage to make her feel secure in his arm and plus she saw that KK had a great time never stop laughing and questioning the elephant's handler. That boy.... never stop asking people about anything! He is constantly curious ....

While I was busy taking picture of the children and their dad, my father was busy chatting with the zookeeper ( different zookeeper ). This zoo keeper told my father that we CAN ride the elephant EVERYDAY. The only difference is that we can only ride from 10am till noon on weekdays because on weekdays the zoo is VERY VERY quiet. He said that we probably can ride the elephants so many times without waiting in line AT ALL. To enter the zoo cost Rp 10.000 ( US $ 1 ). To ride an elephant cost Rp. 5000 ( 50 cents ), and to see my father's face when the zookeeper told him that he doesn't have to wait in line at all if he come again on Monday was priceless.....

After riding the elephant, he went to the aquarium. LL loves the fish. Her eyes become so big and she turn left and right so fast while pointing her fingers at all those fishes and said " Ish...Ish...ish...ish..!!!" sooo funny....

Then we saw and feed few birds too. Oh yes, when we first arrived, we also saw camels and feed 2 of them with our peanuts. LL likes the camel because they are gentle.

At home...

We found out that my aunt next door just bought a puppy ( a Pincher maybe? ). So I borrowed the puppy and show him to the kids. They love it !!! Today is definitely a meet-the-animals-day.

I played around with my PhotoImpact12 with some of the pictures that I took at the zoo and here are they ...

Friday, May 25, 2007

KK First Drama Production

At the end of this school term, KK perform for his first drama production called "Stone Soup". His character name is Pedro. I think he has been practicing for this drama for almost 3 months. When we offered to help him practice he always refuse our offers so I was pretty nervous, worry that he will not able to remember his lines.

Not to repeat my mistake on his Planet Show, I came early today and I brought 3 cameras! I came the earliest because I want to make sure I get a good spot to take his pictures and for R to be able to take his movie too.

I was so excited to see his first show and he did not disappoint me! He did his part marvelously! Oh sure he forgot one or two lines but Miss Lisa who sat behind us whisper it to him so everything went very smoothly.

What's important, he tried his best to be in character. He tried hard not to laugh to the audiences. He told me later that he likes to be on stage, to act and I think he can't wait for the next term when he can act again on stage.

The "Stone Soup" story line is quite simple. After the war everybody have nothing to eat. Each family only have one ingredient and they don't want to share the only thing they have with others. Until the soldier came and suggested that they should try to make a stone soup. At first they bring in some stones but at the end every family contributed what they have so that they can make a big pot of Stone soup that is enough to share for everybody.

"Stone Soup is what you need.
When you have some friends to feed.
Step right up with what you've got.
Add your stones!
Salt and potatoes!
Ripe tomatoes!
Carrots, beans!
Turnip greens!
Add it all to the big soup pot"

At the end I found out that for almost every show that the students perform, doesn't matter if it is in Little Theater or library or the big gym, the school will try to video tape it so that parents can buy the DVD for only $ 2 or Rp. 20.000 ! Too bad that for KK's Planet Show they didn't tape it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Good Son

I took this video today when I saw my son busy cleaning up the room that he suppose to share with his sister. It turn out to be not a good idea because of their the difference with their schedules. Everytime he wants to play in that room is always the time when his sister need to nap or sleep. But even then, he clean that room for her too ... isn't he a sweetie?? He did it quietly, he did not wait until someone tells him to do it. He did not even tell me that he has done it several times before. He did not ask for us to praise him or to reward him too. I basically caught him on act because I happen to enter the room to return some children books that I found downstair in the living room to the book rack in this room.

I think the girl who eventually going to marry him is a very lucky girl. Everynight he always prays for his future wife and his sister future husband. So that God will give them both the right spouses that only God can give. He even prays for their future chidren! I want to make sure that my children will have the happy marriages that are blessed by the Lord.

Now since we live together with so many people. I really have to work twice as hard to mold LL to be like her big brother. Responsible, honest, trustworthy, not lazy at all, understanding, gentle heart, those are some of his good traits. I am so blessed to have a son like him. He is the most honest boy I have ever known. Even knowing what we are going to punish him if he do certain thing like getting time out in the class for talking to his classmate, he still report it to me or my husband. He always admit his fault and do his punishment with little complaint. He has this trait since he was just 2.5 years old. I told him that if he fight with his cousin over the toys until she cries again I am going to spank him. He came to me, call me, then he turn around and raise his bottom and said " Mama, I just made her cry, just don't spank me too hard okay? ". Isn't that amazing??? I did spank him that time but I did not do it hard enough because of his honesty. After that I let him sit on my lap, hug and kiss him and told him not to make his cousin cry again.

NOTE: He DID clean all of the toys without being reminded by me.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Little Update On My Little Princess

After writing few hours for this entry because Indonesia's internet is so slow that calling them slow as a snail will be an insult to the snail, and it's all gone. I have no idea why my previous entry can just go poofff... The only thing I can do is write it again because I love my little angel too much to let this "little problem" get in the way of me telling you her story ...

Let me just keep it short.

My baby now is almost 16 months old. She weight 11 kg at least. On our last time to the pediatrician for her vaccination, the doctor asked me how many bottles does she drink in a day and I said "Six". Then the doctor told me that I should feed her more with solid instead of relying too much on milk. He missunderstood me. Then I said this to him, " Doctor, she already eat 3 meals a day, plus several small healthy snacks too! ". He look at me and laugh and he said, " 3 meals a day, few snacks, and she can still drinks 6 bottles a day? No wonder she is so solid!!!"
Yes, no wonder she is so healthy, she got her first flu attack when she is 15 months old. Even that is without any fever and she return to normal after a week.

She also still sleep from 7 PM until 5 AM, and then she take her first nap at 8 to 10 and then she takes her second nap at around 1 to 3 again. It's no wonder she grow up so fast and so healthy.

She LOVES her books so much. Everytime I came to see her in her room, even if it is at 4 AM, the first thing she will ask me to do is to read her books. She loves them so much, she likes to kiss the book while I read it to her. Because of that, I can not stop spending my money on buying more and more children books, I even ordered them from Amazon.com from here. Just don't ask me how much is the shipping and handling cost....

Luckily I don't have to buy her too many toys because she inherit her older brother's toys. I can probably open a used toy store just by selling those toys.

Also lately I like to make matching dresses with her from the same material. Ohhh...having a girl si so much fun for a mommy!!! Just like having a boy is so much fun for daddy too!!! We have so many things in common. She likes to see how pretty she is in front of the mirror by looking at her self from many angles. I am lucky I have a good friend who can make our beautiful dresses!!! All I have to do is buy let say 1.25 meter of fabric and my friend , Fanny, can turn the fabric into a dress for LL and a sleeveless top for me! Keep watching at our picture together!!!

Let me tell you what she can do now. She can start to speak few words like: cow, bird, want, what, drink, eat, turtle, dog, book, sleep, papa, mama, grandma, grandpa, big brother Kai Kai, moon, star, and other things. Some of those words are spoken in English and some in Bahasa Indonesia.

I like to play a game of guessing with her. When I brought her to the office, I use the white board to draw many things and I will asked her what they are and ask her to point them to me. She also understood me if I ask her like this:

"La La, where is the cow?"... then she will point at the cow
"La La, how does a cow sounds like?" ... then she will say " Moo...moo"
And If I start to sing her Old McDonald Had A Farm, then she will dance and mooing with me.

In fact, she is such a good dancer that she can dance differently for every different type of beats like Jazz, Classical, Chidren songs, pop, etc. She even dance to the beat of "chugga...chugga...chugga...chugga...choo...choo!".

She hums while I sing and her hums does sound close like the song that I sing for her.

She remember all the movement for each type of song.

She remember who teach her what. She is a good immitator. For example, whenever she met my aunt who taught her a church song then she will start putting her index finger to her cheek, ready to do the hands movement. Then she will start making her shoulder go up and down everytime she saw one of our driver because he likes to do that. The story can just keep going on and on about her immitation skill!

She can do many animal sounds like : Moo, baaa..., whoof whoof, miaow, ack..ack..ack ( parrot ), roar like a lion, or do monkey sounds. Car sounds too that she learn to immitate from her big brother KK.

She is so loving. She likes to run and then throw herself into my arms and hug me and kiss me too!

She is a bit jealous with her big brother every time she sees us hug him. But she never refuse me when I ask her to kiss KK.

Ok, I think that's all for now. I know that I miss a lot of story about her. I will keep you updated again next time.

Pic: This is how she looks when she just woke up from her nap!

Pic: Playing at mommy's room

Pic: Daddy likes to see me pretty and feminim

Pic: That is the dress that my friend Fanny made for her! I have a matching top.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Many Stories and Not Enough Time To Write

Pheww.... sorry guys I have been away from my computer for a while now due to 2 reasons. One, I am very busy and two... my dear husband just keep on monopolize this computer for himself!

Anyway, let me try to make it short and sweet...

Just as I wrote on my previous story about not knowing that the day when I went to school thinking that we might have a parent meeting but then it turn out to be the day when my son has to perform his songs. I give you the follow up for that entry. Since I didn't know that my son was going to perform, I did not bring my camera. So the next few days I happen to go back to school to pick him up I saw these pictures taped outside of his classroom. I know that it's not the same as taking his pictures when he performed, but well.... beggar can't be too picky right?

Pic: My son as a Jupiter

Pic: Solar System Rocks!

So now let's get on with the stories ...

May is the last month of the school and we have tons of activities ! First was the Elementary Musical Performance. We have this twice a year. From Prep 1 until 5th Grade, they all do wonderful musical performance. And I am so happy to tell you that there is big improvement on my son's musical performance. Boy... I still remember his days when he was still at Kindergarden. While all his friends sing and dance, he just sleep on the floor looking bored!!! But now, my boy is singing and dancing with all his friends!!! I am sooo happy!!!

When the first time he saw me, he directly turn to his classmate next to him and said " I told you my mommy is coming!!!"....awww.... so sweet, he has complete faith that I will show up to see his performance today! Then while he was on stage, his eyes never stop looking at me because he is a bit nervous and he is looking for a support from me. So while I took his picture I keep giving him a signal with my hands or my eyes or my heads that yes I am very please with his performance. So I nod my head to the music, or giving him secret 2 thumbs up and mouthing words like " Good! " to him . So while I was busy, Richard also busy video tapping his performance as well. I think we are a good team. We knows when we suppose to look for the best possible position so we both can get good shot of our son.

Since we know that today we will need to use both of our hands, we can't bring LL with us and plus it's her nap time too. Too bad though because I think she will love to hear the music.

Oh well... maybe next time ...

At least this time I am well prepared to document his performance. I brought all of my 3 cameras complete with each of their extra batteries and memory cards!! Haha!!

I think also that this time, the music teacher has done a better job than the last musical performance.

Then 2 days later his school's PTA has the biggest social event of the year. They threw a big party called Spring Fair and all the money that was generated by this event will be donated. This is another thing that I like about my son's school. They never stop doing the actual good thing for the community. Yes sure, it's easy to just give money to the poor, but this school actually send the parents, teachers and the bigger kids to help clean the environment, fix poor people houses, bringing gifts to the orphanage and many more !!! How many schools in Surabaya can continously do these social works like this school? I don't think the number is going to be higher than my 5 fingers.

So to help the PTA earn more, I invite my old schoolmate ( Bebe )to come today. I am pleasantly surprise that she has come on last year Spring Fair. So this is her second while it is my first. Also we met San San because her son also a student here and three of us met another old schoolmate who came to sell something here ( her name is Shirley ).

Pic: Isn't he look cute in the middle?

At the Spring Fair, we have several food seller, some are from commercial and some are from parents, like the Korean parents that sells their yummy home made food!

Then at the gym ( luckily it's all AC-ed ), there are many vendors that sell their products. I was surprise that they sell a lot of lovely items! If I am not to busy chatting with my old schoolmates I would probably busy buying a lot of stuff! I kind of regret not to buy some certain stuff!!! Arrggg.... :(

Pic: Me, Bebe and San San

Pic: KK with his close friend from Netherland

Pic: What a great idea to get soaked in this hot weather.

Food is also good but again... I am too busy chasing my son, taking his pictures, and chatting up a storm with my old friends. We really had a great time. And I have to thank my hubby here for letting me have a great time with the girls. He told me to go ahead and have some fun with the girls and he will follow KK to make sure that he is safe. KK directly hooking up with his classmates and these boys just run around like crazy trying all the fun games that the Spring Fair had like the bouncy castle, the fishing game, the throwing big wet sponge that usually people use to wash their car into some bigger kids' face! All for good cause. We even have a horse pull carriage that favored by little children mostly. Clowns who specialize in making all sort of stuff and creature using balloons. It's really fun, really! And this is not going to be the end. Next week, KK will perform his first drama performance , it's called "Stone Soup". Then the school will have a water game too, I have no idea what that means but yeah... I think KK will game with everything fun!

So keep checking my blog okay?