Monday, January 19, 2009

Her First School Birthday Party

Pic: The older boy has to keep holding LL's hand while trying to push the ball into the circle by his leg. She's also.Pic: A kiss from her closest friend, Jessica.Pic: Again, an older student has to gently help her to walk the plank.

Pic: Jessica loves LL very very much, she is always the only one who give LL a big kiss and a bear hug.Pic: "Happy Birthday Gabriella"....
Pic: An older girl likes LL very much, I think she can be a very good older sister. Look at her helping LL to stand up, tidying up LL's hair.

Heavenly Hair Salon....

Have you ever read this verse?

Luke 21:18
"And yet not a hair on your head will be lost."
International Standard Version (©2008)

I just had an experience where this verse can means literary.

Do you know that there is nothing too small about your life that you can not share with your Creator ?

Since I was small, my mom always told me that I should involve God in every part of my life, no matter how small.

Let me start from the beginning.

My father's hair is curly, but my mom's hair is straight. Since God knows that my parents will only have one child, He wants me to have both of their hair types in exact proportion. Hence, my top hair is curly, yet in a horizontal straight line exactly at below my ears level, my hair is straight.

For not so good hair dresser, they usually do not know what to do with my hair. As a result, I always had a bad hairstyle! When I said bad, it's really bad alright....

Most of the hairdresser didn't want to deal with my complicated hair, so they always suggested me to straighten my hair. And the result of continuous straightening my hair was disaster. I probably lost 30% of my original hair volume. Plus 10% more from childbearing.

So when I finally met the RIGHT hairdresser, Mrs. Hitomi, at Suki Hair's Salon in Vancouver. For the first time I can truly see the full potential of my hair. She can cut my hair in such a way that my hair can be what they suppose to be despite the curly and straight combination.

Her motto was something like this, " You will never have a bad hair day if you follow the natural grow of your hair".

Having a haircut done by her was like taking a science class. Because I have 2 different types of hair, she use 2 different types of conditioners. One for normal, the other for dry because curly hair is usually drier than straight hair.

I am not trying to be disgusting here but her haircut really makes me feel pretty.... ( haha )

The biggest lost I felt when I have to leave Canada is leaving my hair dresser behind .....hics.....

Sayonara Hitomi....

When I move back to Surabaya, I was not prepare with what the humidity can do to my hair. My hair explode ! To cut it short, I keep making mistake after mistake because I really do not know what to do with my hair. I was never happy when I had to go to a hair salon because I always expecting a disaster. And it always happen....

I always wants to have somebody else hair. Soft wavy type is always my dream.

Since my returned back to Surabaya, I go back to my old habit of straightening my hair. When in doubts, go straight. That's what I thought.

I have tried relaxing, smoothing, and ion, I have pretty much tried all the method of hair straightening. I did it every 4 months and I am just so tired of it.

So after exhausting every ideas on what to do with my hair I finally gave up. I gave up listening to so many hair dressers. I gave up on trying to have a great hair in a very humid country by my own ideas.

So I go back to square one.

I kneel down and pray to Him who made my hair in heaven.... here is my prayer....

" Father in heaven who created me. I know how much You love me. I know you don't make junk. I am your masterpiece. There is nothing wrong with your design. Please help me to have the kind of hair style that I was meant to have. Don't let me make a mess with my hair again somehow. Please makes me look good....pretty Jesus name, Amen"

I went straight to the salon and ask them to perm my hair curly again so that when my root grow, my new hair will blend in with the permed/curly hair.

I know alright, that the hair dresser actually wants to make my hair wavy because she has heard my whinny wishes too many times. But somehow during the process of making my hair wavy something must have happened.

When I saw myself in the mirror, I could not stop laughing....

I look exactly like 3 years ago !!!

Her perm actually did not go as she intended. Instead of wavy, my hair goes back to curly. And some part of my hair actually did not get enough chemical so they kind of straight just like before. So some part of my hair is curly, and the rest is straight. How amazing is that???

But after assessing my hair, she said I look better with this curly style. In a weird way, even I have to agree.

Now I can not wait to let my original hair grow long enough and replace this imitation curly hair. For now, I just have to nourish my hair back to their original healthy condition. Before the dark ages when I keep torturing them with all those chemicals.

Here is my newest photo, taken today, in my daughter's school. She had her first birthday party in the school. She will turned 3 in a few days.

From her school, I went to have a moisturizing hair treatment on my cousin's salon. When she saw my hair, she said " Hey... since when your hair goes back to curly again? Your hair look better this way ! "..... haha..... so it was not just me who think my new hair style is like the old one....

When my husband saw me for the first time with my new hair style. I told him like this, " Honey, look! I look the same like 3 years ago! ".... he answered, " Finally....".

My son comment was, " Mom, I like it that your hair is curly again. Keep your hair at this length. Before was a bit too long "

I know that I will still admire people who have a soft wavy hair, but trust me, there are people who also wish to have naturally curly hair like mine. One of them is my church friend. She said I am so lucky that I don't need to perm my hair anymore while she still have to get her hair permed regularly. She said perming her hair is such a trouble, tiring, and costly too.

So people, what do I learn from this lesson?

God is never wrong. He is always right.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

5 Days In Bali

After successfully taking care of 2 children by ourselves, we are more confident to bring them to Bali the next day after we go down from the mountain. Both kids are so excited to go to Bali by air, especially LL who loves to take airplanes.

We left to Bali from Dec 26 until Dec 31. God must have have approve of this vacation because as far as I know, we are the only one who get the best deal on both airplane tickets and villas even though I booked everything just a little over one week from the departure date. I was too busy to plan our vacation too early, just when I plan to go that day to my travel agency, I saw it on the newspaper that Garuda Airlines has a discount (1/2 price ) on tickets from Bali to Surabaya, hehehe.....

Then my travel agency told me that there is a villa, called The Bidadari Villa that is still new and because of that their rate is still low. The other villa that she suggested to me is Bali Rich Villa. Both of these villas are located in Kerobokan, Seminyak in Bali. This is all her suggestion that I should try as many villas as possible. So for the first 2 days, we stayed in Bali Rich Villa, the next 2 days we stayed in The Bidadari Villa, then on the last day, we stayed in Mara River Safari Lodge that is located inside Bali Safari and Marine Park.

The first villa that we stayed in, Bali Rich is a little older, but it is located nearer to the shopping area. Another good thing about this villa, they have a Thai restaurant that also sell western food too. The food is pretty good and they are cheap for a hotel or villa standard. Another thing we like is they always prepare our breakfast right in the kitchen of our villa, so all of our eggs are still piping hot when we eat them. I have never seen our kids so excited waiting for their breakfast to be served. We usually have to keep on calling them to come to eat breakfast at home.
I also get a free extra bed with breakfast for both our children. Not bad....

Now I found that the best way to go traveling with our children is by making them very tired during the day. Then at night time, they are both too busted to be of any trouble. So our daily schedule while we were in Bali is like this, at 9 AM we ate breakfast together in our villas. By 11 AM we went out for sightseeing. By 5 PM, we usually already back to our villa to swim or play. By 7 or 8 PM, we ate dinner in our villa, I usually just order in some food. Then by 9, LL usually already fast asleep, while the rest of us usually sleep at 10. No nap during day time.

On our first day in Bali, we arrived already late, so we can not do anything, we just ordered some food to be sent to our villa and swam a little. LL refused to swim because the water is cold, so I invited her to swim with me in the hot tub.

The next day, I woke up early, around 7 AM and swam alone before everybody else woke up. Then when the breakfast arrived, we ate together and after that we went straight to the mall at Discovery Mall, the only beach front mall in Bali. KK wants to go to the beach, LL wants to walk around in the mall. I want to shop something, and R wants to buy DVDs. Well, this mall make it possible to please us all. Because it is located at a beach front, after eating lunch in the restaurant, we walked to the beach, then went back again to the mall to enjoy ice cream and shopped a bit.

For unknown reason, we found some dead fishes all over the beach...

From the mall, we returned to our villa to swim again and to eat dinner together. I also ordered for 2 masseuses to give us massage while we let the children watched some cartoon. We can have a spa right in our villa if we want to.

The third day right after breakfast, we moved to the The Bidadari Villa first. Then we asked their shuttle car to take us first to eat at Bali Deli before we went back to the same mall again to do everything all over again. I tried to let the children set the destination on their own pace. But this time we don't linger on the beach, so we have more time to walked to see the small stores outside the mall after that.
I have heard about Bali Deli for some time but never have the chance to try it. Well, I wish I go there a long time ago. This place has a great food, but the service is very slow. Beside the deli, they also have a gourmet grocery store. Their specialty or what makes this Deli famous is their sandwich. I tried it and I am very satisfied with it. R, who is a steak lover just can not resist to order their BBQ set that consist 4 types of steaks. His order came the last, really at the end of his patience, but one taste of it, I feel it is worth the long waiting time !!! Their steak is truly superb. You should give it a try ! And if it is possible I would have buy many of their sausages and ham to bring home for my mom.
It takes time to fully understand and appreciated this Deli. Now I understand why my distant cousin who sometimes lives in Bali said that she loves to eat here the most.

That afternoon, we finally manage to coaxed LL to swim in the gorgeous pool that this villa has. From refusing to swim, she enjoyed the pool so much that she swam with us for 2 hrs straight. She even dare to play jump into the water a lot, off course we caught her before she really in the water.

This is the fun part of staying in a villa that has a private pool. We can play as much as we wants without have to share it with anyone. Anytime we want too. KK even swam in full clothes, LL too.

At this villa, the manager made a deal with me because they are running out of extra bed for us to use, so he asked if I paid extra US $ 50/day, he will open the second villa for us to use and that price already include breakfast too. Off course I agree right away. So in The Bidadari Villa, I slept with LL in the master villa, while R and KK slept at the second and smaller villa, but both villas are located in the same closed area.

The next day, on our fourth day, we went to walk around Kuta area. The traffic was pretty bad at this time around because everywhere we go there are many cars and tourist buses. We went also to buy children clothes on Kuta Kidz at Bemo Corner in Kuta. I loves to buy dresses from this store for LL. The dresses are made with soft cotton and very light. I found a store that sell beautiful hand fan made with silk. I bought 2. They are great for a gift.

On the fifth day, we have to leave the villa at 10 AM because we have to move again to Mara River Safari Lodge that is located at Ubud. We were so excited about this place because we saw their brochure on our last visit to Bali, yet, reality is always more fun. All of us was very happy to know that from our room's terrace we can see elephants passing by carrying passengers, some zebras, a rhino, some ostrich and other animals. As you can see on the third video below how happy LL was.
Unfortunately, when we finally went into the safari, it rained very heavily. So we can not do much. At least before it rained, the children already ride the camels together. See some animals such as the baby tiger and baby lions and also the white tigers.
We manage to returned to our room to rest and take a bath before dinner started. While we stayed in our room, we enjoyed seeing the animals that walk around outside our porch. Then when it's time we head down to the dining area.

Now, this is my first time ever to know how it feels to be seen as a "FOOD". Here I am sitting nicely in front of my steak when there is a lion head only 40 cm away from me, looking at me and probably wishing that I am her steak ! That is quite unnerving you know! There is nothing wrong with the taste of the steak but some how it was hard for me to swallow it down when that lioness eyes just keep on looking at me or my kids and once in a while she will lick the glass that keep us separated.

When we entered that dining room, innocently we put our children as close as possible to the glass window because we wanted them to have the best view of the lions. But we forget that lions are the most active at night time. All this time we only saw lions when it is daytime so we never knew really how they behave when it's dark. We were not the only one who sit our children close to the glass window. Actually everybody did. Then once the children are all in place near the window, the lionesses started to come closer, and closer until they are so close and started licking the glass where the children are ( they completely ignore the pond that surround the building ). Then they start scratching the glass or slapping the glass right in front of our children.

I asked the waiter if the window glass is bullet proof or something ( hopefully stronger!!!! ), and he answered, " Ehm... I don't think so, but it's thick though " if that will make me feel more safe..... Then he added, " Mam, maybe you can exchange your seat with the children, the lions are always more excited when the children are near the window" ....Yikes!I took many pictures and even video when the lioness is busy licking and slapping the glass right next to our window, but my little girl with her itchy fingers managed to delete them all......sigh.....

The next morning, like usual, I woke up first, when I open the curtain, what a sight that I saw ! First I saw the caretakers ride the elephants while they pile up grasses and leaves on some spots in front of our room, then soon all the animals got together in front of our room to eat them. Also like always, LL woke up next, so we both came out to our porch and take some pictures. Then I woke up KK too. For breakfast and even lunch we always eat at the hotel dining room with the lions. They are totally different animals when it is day time. They just slept ..... boring..... but at least I can be a little more relax now to enjoy my meal.
Since our flight back to Surabaya would not leave until 6 PM, we have plenty of time to play in the safari first. The kids went to ride the camels again. They keep playing until it's time to go to the airport to return home. The children are very happy with their vacation.

The first video was taken at Bali Rich Villa, the second video was taken from The Bidadari Villa.

The third video was taken from inside our room at Mara River Safari Lodge, and the second video was taken from the veranda/patio/terrace of our room.

The bidadari luxury villas and spa is located at Jl. Bumbak No. 27 Banjar Anyar Kelod - Kerobokan, Kuta Utara - Bali - Indonesia.
Phone : +62 361 847 5566
Fax : +62 361 847 5548

The Bali Rich Villa is located at:

Jalan Raya Kerobokan 107, Br Taman, Seminyak, 80361, Indonesia

Mara River Safari Lodge and Bali Safari & Marine Park
are located at :
Jl. Bypass Prof. Dr. Ida Bagus Mantra Km. 19,8 Gianyar 80551 - Bali - Indonesia

Telp: +62-361-950-000
Fax: +62-361-950-555

Bali Deli Seminyak is located at:

Jl. Kunti 117 X, Seminyak, Bali
Phone : + 62-361-738-686
Fax: +62-361-738-6881