Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmastime...The Best Time.

We had a really good Christmas this year.

Kelly's birthday dinner at Squire's Loft on the 23rd kickstarted the food & feasting.

But my poor Dwayne had to work on Christmas Eve, as he does every year, since it's their absolute busiest period. Miranda and I had to wait for him all day and then we excitedly drove down to Nat's for dinner. This was the one with the curry devil and ham. I don't even want to think about just how many slices I had. If it was Christmas everyday with just curry devil and ham, I swear I'd be a full continent because I just cannot resist!

Although we had a great time last year when my siblings were down, Miranda was not quite aware of what was going on to really partake in the fun. On Christmas morning this year, I woke up with a feeling I haven't had since I was a kid. It was time to open presents and I was so excited for Miranda, I quickly woke Dwayne up. We quickly brushed our teeth and sat at the tree. Oh, the feeling! You know it!

Then Dwayne fixed up Miranda's biggest present from us this year, a pink trike. Truth to be told, she was feasting on her blueberries and cheese and watching cartoons with only minor poking here and there when she felt like it. She picked up a tool to "help" him one time but quickly got distracted by Sesame Street.

But when it was finally fixed, she was stoked as anything.

Went for mass at St Francis instead of our usual church for the Boys Choir as we usually do. Came home and I spent some time preparing a Beef & Reef lunch of steak and lobster. We all feasted, napped a good few hours and then it was time to go to Kelly's.

(I mean, a nap with the little one on Christmas Day? Score!!!)

Miranda was so well-rested that she was ready to entertain us all the way. She danced her Gangnam Style. What is with that song that's just made it such a phenomenon? She only watched it a few times before she knew how to do that Matrix-like move, the horse-riding hands and the legwork.

Videos to come very soon! Photos first!

My party girl decked out in a silver shimmery top, silver sequinned clip and silver shoes.

Christmas Eve - totally forgot to take more pictures that day. What a shame!

Christmas morning!

Miranda thrilled to receive Hoot from Aunty Cass!

The Father works while The Daughter eats.

On her trike.

Lobster and steak.

My darling girl jumping on our bed.

Visiting her Granny Mae (Pat).

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas & A Happy 2013!

Considering we now have a child, this has been the most organized of all my Christmases since forever. It might have something to do with the fact that we aren't hosting Christmas dinner this year. The tree was up as soon as we knew we weren't making the move yet, the gifts all sorted, overseas presents for kids sent (Adults have to wait, sorry! It's just too expensive to send all at once to be honest!) and we've been to see the Christmas lights in the city, the Myer window display and even the ones on The Boulevard at The Ives. Also, we made our own gift hampers, I baked 4 dozen cupcakes, packed, labeled and delivered in time. Almost no sweat. I guess I could get used to this...but nah...I'm sure we'll be up to the usual shenanigans come next year. :)

Merry Christmas & Happy 2013 my darlings!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Stacking Like A Boss

I've seen Miranda stacking blocks for awhile now, but usually about 4 max. The other day though, I watched as, even after several setbacks, she painstakingly built a really high tower with those blocks.

The Proud Momma unleashed, here are a few pictures :)

The last picture, I was sure it was going to topple from the blue block onwards but it magically didn't. I think we might have a future Jenga/ Uno Stacko champ in the making! Hahaha.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I first read the bone-chilling news when I was alone at home with Miranda. My mouth went dry as looked at my sleeping child, tucked safely under my arm and wondered what would happen to me if I lost her.

Surely he must have been a deranged lunatic? With guns at his disposal too? How else can someone bring himself to kill the victims in cold blood?
“Our Beloved Prince,” James Radley Mattioli, 6 ¾, fondly called “J,” died December 14, in his classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He was born March 22, 2006, in Bridgeport.
An energetic, loving friend to all, James loved baseball, basketball, swimming, arm wrestling, and playing games on the iPad (especially the lawn mowing game). He loved to wear shorts and t-shirts in any weather, and grab the gel to spike his hair. He would often sing at the top of his lungs and once asked, “How old do I have to be to sing on a stage?”
James loved to dive off the diving board at the Treadwell Pool, swim like a fish in both of his grandparents’ pools and ride his bike, proudly without training wheels. He often said, “I need to go outside Mom, I need fresh air.” He spent endless hours playing hockey with his best bud and cousin, George.
He loved and admired his big sister and wanted to do everything that she could do. They were the best of friends, going to school together, playing games together, and making endless drawings and crafts together.
This is an excerpt from one of the articles I read.

To think this little boy will never do all the things he loved to and his family members will never have the pleasure of his company again just breaks your heart. Multiply that 27 times over for all the victims.

This Christmas, I will be praying more fervently than ever to never take our lives and our loved ones for granted. In the new year, I will be making more phone calls and writing more e-mails. I will be hugging my husband and my daughter a little tighter each day. And I will be telling the ones who matter that I love them every chance I get.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

O' X'mas Tree, O' X'mas Tree!

On Tuesday night, we put up the tree with every intention of finishing up on the day itself, as one does... Somehow, with us Nicolays @ No. 20, it's been the tradition every single year that we never quite complete it on the day.

And the reason for this is always the same - the lighting.

Since we first set up home and celebrated our very first Christmas here, Dwayne's always had a problem with the lights. First year, we bought lights with white wire? Second year, the lights were blue. Last year, they didn't work right and had to be returned.

We forgot we had returned the lights so when the tree was put up, we were searching for them everywhere. So there you have it, the usual culprit.

Hopefully, these lights will work and stay working for a while! Then this crazy tradition will not follow in our new home next year.

Oh, yes, we won't be moving till next year. Operations on the house have ceased.

Can't say I'm not disappointed.

Anyway, back to the tree.

So yesterday, after the lights were put up, it was my turn to decorate the tree. Miranda was given a few baubles to play with while I started. I was at the other side of the tree when I noticed that she had stood up and was placing the ornaments in a little cluster on one of the branches. She was casually going about it like it was the most natural thing to do. We were all so amused at what she was doing so I started to take a video (and sadly, my iPhone prompted me with a message saying that there was no more storage for videos so the footage was cut!!!).

My father-in-law commented that it looked like a little nest in our tree. I think it was then that she took a little bird and placed it on the cluster of ornaments.

I mean, whaaaaat??? Hahahhaa.

I have never placed the birds on the tree. There was one year that I made a little table setting (below) with them and I wondered why I never thought to place them on the tree.

I'm quite sure she must have heard the word "nest" and put two and two together herself, because of all the farm and barnyard books we've been reading.

We were really quite amazed at her. Sigh...these young minds!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


A while ago, I blogged that Miranda was understanding the word "finish" incorrectly. She was around 10 months at the time and we just found it hilarious.

I sent videos of this to a few friends on Whatsapp and they all could not take it! My brother, who was going on course, asked me to send him another "finish" video before he left as well. I can't believe I never put them up here though!

Watch what she does:

Hope you enjoyed them!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Our Date of The Year

It's a little embarrassing, the number of times Dwayne and I have been on a date since Miranda was born. I can't imagine how it's like for those with more than one kid. How hard would it be to find a babysitter? How hard is it to leave the baby on a day when you can actually ALL spend time together?

Well, as hard as it is, I believe dates are important. No matter how devoted are to your child/ children. And I seriously have a lot of respect for those couples who take the time out to go do their own thing.

Dwayne's company dinner is something I look forward to every year. I like his colleagues a lot and I truly enjoy their company.

I'm always really enthusiastic about this so I usually look for a dress quite early on. I had my eye set on a Witchery peplum, fire engine red lace dress. It was gorgeous but unfortunately, just not meant to be mine. Then I came across this dress that I eventually got and started to stalk the site for days until I finally caved in to the price tag and bought it. It isn't that expensive - I just don't like to spend on something that I would probably wear twice, max.

Anyway, you know how when you see it online and on the model, you wonder if you it would really be beautiful when you finally put it on yourself? For me, it was better than expected. Also, I had been wondering all along on which shoes to pair it with, yet when I tried it on the first time, I knew I'd be clashing it with my leopard print sandals. Ultimately though, to me, the clincher for a good buy is when I get zero dress envy. :)

My dashing date ;)

This year, most of D's colleagues decided they would not be going, except for his direct boss. I have met D's boss but I never really had a chance to speak to his wife, so I was really thankful that she turned out to be such a lovely person.

The food was great - they alternated steak/ chicken and Dwayne and I shared ours evenly for the whole menu. We then saw the rest of the table following suit. I mean, you might as well, right? Or perhaps, on our part, it was just a typically Singaporean thing to do? Hah.

Pity about the half-past-six cover band, though. Only one good set out of three. They were lucky the dance floor was filled with people like us who hardly get the chance to dance these days (and so were pretty desperate to just party it up!).

We had a great night despite the band and I kinda wished we could do something like that again soon. But when D's mum asked the next day if Miranda could have a sleepover with her cousins soon, I nearly fainted. A night out and then no baby to get home to? The idea! How utterly inconceivable! Hehe..for now... ;)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Friday.. Mad Day

A friend had told me about a factory outlet clearance sale last week and seeing as clothes from that brand are usually so pretty, I just had to go check it out on my day off last Friday. With the baby in tow of course.

We took the tram 112 and someone obviously had to help me bring the stroller up and down. I hate asking but luckily there are nice enough people who usually volunteer. We got off at Gertrude St, which was still 3.5km off, according to Google Maps. (Thank God for this app, right?? It's such a life saver!)

I was talking to Miranda (monologue) as I pushed the stroller so she was completely fine. It was an especially hot day and I was stupid enough wear jeans. My legs were just burning in the searing heat, thanks to Melbourne's unpredictable weather.

All went well until I decided to stop and snap this picture:

She started to act up and whinged non-stop. I tried to walk with her like that for another 100 metres but then gave up. I had to take her out of the stroller and carry her. Which means I also had to control the stroller with one hand. Especially not easy at the parts they were doing road works. And Miranda's 9.5kg weight was not helping. Carrying her with one arm is hard work for me now!

We finally got there and I made a beeline for the children's section. Unfortunately, only two items caught my fancy. I mean, all that work for two pieces of clothing. Luckily, I still think they are pretty worth it! One of them is going to be Miranda's Christmas outfit. :)

I then went to the cashier and while waiting, Miranda wanted to be put down. She saw a little girl around her age at the bottom of another stroller beside us. Her mum had somehow put in the basket below the stroller (???!!!) while her brother, who must have been about 6-7 years old, sat on the stroller itself. He was not strapped in or anything. Miranda was just walking around when he suddenly kicked her. Without thinking, I immediately questioned him very loudly, "Did you just kick her?!" He gave me a look of nonchalance and then looked away.

His mother was paying for her stuff at the cashier and turned around. She said, "What did you do Adam?" He shrugged and she continued paying. She didn't address me or him after that. I was so peeved at her. I cannot believe a parent can just let it go at that.

I mean, my daughter just got kicked!!!

Naturally, I carried Miranda after that even though she continued to try and squirm and wriggle her way out, wanting to explore.

The mother then had to make her way past me when she finished paying at the counter.

And no kidding, not even a glance in my direction, let alone an apology.

Well, good luck raising your kid woman. If he becomes a menace to society, thank yourself for it. Well done!!!!

After that horrible time, I decided to just cab it back. Miranda was happy being in the air-conditioned taxi. I fed her her favourite plain bread and she downed water like crazy. (I know, bread and water right? Doesn't take much to satisfy this child.)

Smooth ride home and luckily the weekend just got better from there.

P/s- I'm curious. Even though I felt like wringing the boy's mother's neck, I think I let it go too lightly. What would you have done?

Miranda & The Grandparents

Even though Miranda has been looked after by my father-in-law since she was seven months old, I have not really found her to be especially close to him.

Until recently.

She's started calling him "Pa" and whenever he comes back to our place on Sunday, she's always following him around, going into his room and seeking his attention.

It's the sweetest thing to watch and I'm so happy she's finally bonded with him.

You can tell that he adores her too. He is always beside her lest she falls down or hurts herself, always advocating for her in terms of the menu of what I put out for her each week and at dinnertime when we sit down, he tells us the amusing things she had done that day.

My mother-in-law, on the other hand, hardly gets to see her because she's busy with my two nieces on the other side of the city. She makes it a point to come and stay with us one weekend a month so she can spend some time with Miranda.

The funny thing is, Miranda is super clingy with her. She never wants to let her go when she's around! Just this past weekend, she babysat Miranda for us as Dwayne and I had a company function to attend and Miranda was absolutely perfect. She didn't give her any trouble at all and was asleep by 8.30pm, even though it was still bright outside. (She gives D and I the most difficult time on Saturday nights. She doesn't like missing out on anything so she will try her best to keep awake. On top of that, she usually can't sleep when it's still bright. Damn daylight savings!)

Seeing her with them always reminds me that she doesn't get to be as close to my parents. I know that my dad especially misses her. We try to Skype with them every Sunday night and he totally melted when Miranda gave him a flying kiss the other day. She is such a show-off whenever we Skype. She will take out all her toys and show them how it works, ask me to read her books, give me kisses, do amusing things etc. And they will all (my siblings included) gush and compliment her, tell her she's so clever and everything - she totally loves it hahaha!

Of course, in an ideal world, all of us would be in the same country. But for now, the yearly trips to Singapore will have to suffice. At least we know that she's loved in different parts around the world though! :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

In A Perfect World...

I would be getting these items for our new home. For now, I can only lust after them.

Moroccan Beni Ourain rug

Indian bone inlay stool

Meri drum chandelier

I know it looks like my choice of colours seem very monotonous but I think these, especially the lamp and the rug are played safer to accomodate the current scheme I'm after.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

3 Little Tutus

All my life I'd always thought that I wanted my firstborn to be a son but when we learnt of Miranda's gender through the ultrasound, even I was shocked at how quickly I changed my mind and started to love the idea of having a baby girl first.

For God knows best right? And he was so right when he blessed me to be the mother to this gorgeous girl child that my heart swells for with every beat it makes.

Both my sisters-in-law have also been blessed with daughters. And I love that there's only a year's gap between all three of them.

This year, being Eliana's (the newest addition) first Christmas, Natalie suggested we do a photoshoot of the teeny threesome.

We had it today at the Botanic Gardens, since it's just such a pretty place! And the weather co-operated as well.

With everything done now, I have to say that while the idea was a great one, the execution of it was quite a task! The girls, being at different stages, were all up to their own antics. Talia was a dream actually, she posed very easily. (She has really been posing since forever. Such a natural in front of the camera.) Miranda, Miss-I'm-Shy/ Snobby/ Scared either wanted to be carried/ walk around herself or held close. Eliana, the littlest, can't sit or stand yet so Kelly needed to prop her up.

Thankfully, we all managed somehow and got a few good shots.

Kelly also took two pictures of Miranda that I absolutely adore. I especially can't get over the first picture!!

Hope you guys had a great weekend too! :)