January 31, 2009

Wanton Woman

I'm so excited! And I just can't hide it....

One of my favourite wanton mee stalls Lucky Wanton Noodles is back at Tanjong Pagar market! I thought I'd lost them forever when the stall disappeared after the hawker centre renovated a couple of years ago but yesterday, I saw the stall back in its original location whilst running an errand during lunch.

If Nick is known as Mee Pok Man, then I am Wanton Mee Woman. I used to eat it pretty often, the noodle soup variety was what I ordered all the time when younger but I've progressed to the dry version these days. I love wanton mee so much that I felt compelled to write in to the Straits Times a while ago when they had a debate over whether ketchup should be added to it. (My answer was a resounding, "Yes!" and my letter was published!)

But anyway, growing up in the Tanjong Pagar area, I used to eat Lucky's wanton mee almost every week when Ma did her marketing plus after primary school swimming lessons at the Duxton pool, I would sometimes tapau their noodles.

So I felt a little bereft when the stall moved out...but not anymore, we've been reunited! It's comfort food to me, and yesterday while queuing for my turn, the owner recognised me and smiled and nodded. That was gratifying!

The noodles are still affordable at $2.50 a plate and it still tastes the same., love their charsiew I shall be dragging Nick to Tanjong Pagar a lot more, maybe I can even walk over during lunchtimes. Joy to the world...

Last night after the babies slept, Swana, Kevin, me and Nick went to Ajen and Vim's place in Pasir Ris, or Paris as they like to call it. 11 of the 14 who went to Krabi in 2007 were there, ourselves plus Kavi, Siva, Ajen, Vim, Pinky, Kumar and John. Jalen and Judy were there too.

We played 21 and In Between, I lost $11 bucks...bugger! The In Between got really exciting, people got greedy and lost big, it was pretty suspenseful whenever someone would bet all from the pot and hilarious when they lost!

January 29, 2009

Big Pink Taxis

Was crossing the road yesterday when a convoy of hot pink taxis drove past, complete with bull horns. Love the colour, there should be more pink taxis I say. I have to get a ride in one of these!

January 28, 2009

Moo moo year

Very low key CNY this year, actually almost every year is low key...don't have that many relatives to visit on Nick's side, everyone just meets at his grandmother's house.

So there we were on Monday morning, waiting for the various aunties and uncles to arrive. Only get to see them once a year, twice or more if there's a wedding. Mildred's siblings are not so close, the 4 sisters don't meet the 4 brothers, but the sisters do hang out quite a bit so we see the aunts more often.

Nat was pretty quiet and wary of everyone, mainly because she was sleepy. All my efforts to make her nap were in vain because everyone wanted to carry her and there was no quiet spot in the house. She finally crashed for a bit though and her spirit was much improved. All that 'gong xi, gong xi' training went down the drain too because she was cranky.

I wore my new Delirious Divas cheongsam, had to suck the stomach in big time! Nat wore a Chinese brocade dress that wasn't exactly new, was a hand-me-down from a cousin but still very good condition and I figured she better wear it now before outgrowing it.

After lunch, we went to visit Mummy at Membina, to give her oranges and her ang pow. Me and Nick were so sleepy from the previous night shift and snoozed for a good 2 hours. Well, 3hrs for me.

Aunty Mala and Aunty Sarda came to visit too, along with Baba and Aunty Irene again, and Sham and her mum. Swana wasn't expecting so many impromptu visitors to congregate in her house!

Since the next day was still a holiday, the two couples along with another friend Nick Ramesh headed out for supper. We couldn't decide on where to park our butts at Holland V, so we got back into the car and went to Adam Road instead, where we were joined by Miguel and Winnie.

I had mutton soup and prata but by 1.30 am was struggling to keep my eyes open, so Nick and I left the rest and went home.

The next day, we went to Mildred's house for brunch with Ben and Wendy. It was Arlyn's off day so we were on our own with Nat.

Everyone had eaten by the time we got there, so me and Nick bought McDonalds for ourselves. I finally tried the McGriddles bugger, Nick thinks it sucks - he cannot comprehend combining sweet and savoury flavours together, but I kinda liked it!

We napped the afternoon away again, and then went to Great World for dinner at Fish & Co with Swana, Kevin, Gigi, Mummy, Sham and her mum. Marks and Spencer's had a few food items on sale so I bought me some frozen apple crumbles, and two tubs of ice cream...can't resist a bargain, you know that!

Nat has a new trick that she mastered in the last couple of days, and that's climbing down from the bed. She'll crawl over to the edge, lift her butt and swing her legs down. I still hover around while she does it but with a bit more practice, I don't have to worry about her falling from the bed anymore. Also, she loves playing with Nick's cap, she looks so cute in it!

She's also taken to pointing to what she wants now, e.g. a book or a toy and she'll ask for it by pointing and saying, "Ah?". Oh, oh, and her two upper front teeth have broken through the gums so 4 teeth soon.

Her nose has been runny the last few days but somehow we managed to coax her into letting me use the nasal aspirator on her. Just 2 days ago she would yell and turn her head away but this morning she was whole lot more co-operative after changing tactics.

I think the easy days are over, the munchkin is starting to assert herself and be more vocal and demanding when she doesn't get her way, I need to be on my toes and make sure she doesn't turn out a spoilt brat!

January 26, 2009

Recipe: Chicken Tetrazzini

Chicken Tetrazzini

One and a half packets of spaghetti or any other pasta
2-3 pieces of chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 green pepper, sliced into strips
1 large white onion, sliced into half rings
1 packet of fresh button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp of ground black pepper
A pinch of pepper
1 tbsp of light soya sauce
5-6 tbsp of butter
3 cans of Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup
300 ml of evaporated milk

  1. Marinate the chicken with the soya sauce and pepper, then set aside.

  2. Boil the pasta with some olive oil until al dente and set aside.

  3. In a large pot, melt the butter and toss in the onions, stir-frying till slightly softened. Add the chicken and black pepper and stir until the chicken is opaque or 3/4 cooked.

  4. Add the green peppers and mushrooms, stirring till both have softened. Add the Campbell's Cream of Chicken and mix well until there are no large lumps. Next, pour in the evaporated milk, 100ml at a time, stirring continuously.

  5. Let it simmer for 3-5 mins before turning off the heat. Serve with the cooked pasta.
Serves 9

January 25, 2009

Goodbye Rat, Hello Ox

The Year of the Rat is almost over and in just 30 mins we will usher in the Year of the Ox, but don't expect it to be a bull run, the economy is going to take a while to recover from this current worldwide downturn.

Am super stuffed, because the eve of Chinese New Year always means feasting on that obligatory steamboat dinner with the in-laws. And as usual, there was too much food, I think we only cooked half the ingredients prepared.

With my own family, we had a reunion lunch earlier in the day. With Ma being the eldest in her family now, Baba and Aunty Irene came to eat with us out of respect to her. Mummy prepared buah keluak, kuah nanas, pek kueh soup (comprising gingko nuts with chicken, mushroom and quails eggs), fried kangkong, fried beansprouts with salted fish and salted eggs.

Swana and I were reminded of our childhood CNYs spent with our Amah in her old Bedok flat. We'd spend the night, watch the countdown on TV, sometimes venture into Chinatown to soak in the festive atmosphere and stock up on goodies. Our love for bak kwa was cultivated then, along with kua chi and an appreciation for Peranakan food.

Amah would make so many dishes. Pongteh, buah keluak, pek kueh soup, chap chye, ngoh hiang, everything would taste really good and I would have seconds and thirds and eat the same food for the next 3 days!

Sigh, those were the days. Hmm, thinking of Amah is making me tear right now. She was Chindian like me, but more Chinese than anything. She married 3 times (Ma is from Husband No.2), smoked like a chimney and was a garang old lady, but a doting grandmother. Unfortunately my memories of her before her stroke are hazy, because I remember her bedridden years more.

She died 2 weeks after Nick proposed on my birthday back in Aug 2001, at least he got to meet her a couple of times. I think she approved of him. In my final moments with her at the hospital, I did whisper that I was getting married, she knew before everyone else because we hadn't announced the engagement yet. Ok, now I'm just sobbing for no reason.

Anyway, since Amah passed away, there's a song from My Fair Lady called 'On The Street That You Live" that I hum whenever I think of her. It came into my head somehow either during her funeral or a few days after she died, and it's stuck ever since. I used to hum it to Nat too when putting her to sleep in her earlier months, maybe that was my way of linking up these 2 generations, I'm sure Amah would have loved having a great-grandaughter.

Ok, it's past midnight now so it's officially the Year of the Ox. Incidentally, the FA Cup qualifier between Liverpool and Everton has started so off I go. Something tells me I'm not going to like the result...


Visited the pediatrician yesterday because Nick was kancheong about Nat's runny nose and fever though it had only been a day since we started self-medicating. She was already starting to get better but he didn't trust my opinion or diagnosis! Pffft.

Caught the chick flick 'Bride Wars' at night with Swana, Ma, Sham and Kavi. It was funny at parts and entertaining, if a tad predictable. But still enjoyable nonetheless.

I made dinner before that, a rocket salad - with oriental dressing again because I ran out of balsamic vinegar. Though the dressing was nice, I don't think sesame oil and rocket leaves go that well together.

The main course was chicken tetrazzini, a creamy chicken pasta that reminded me of my younger years and which I hadn't made in ages.

You see, a long time ago, my favourite thing to order at Pizza Hut was a pasta dish called chicken tetrazzini. Then one day in secondary school during a home econs lesson, we were taught a simple chicken a la king recipe.

I was struck how the chicken a la king tasted so much like the Pizza Hut chicken tetrazzini sauce - which by then had been removed from the menu, and so I used the recipe to recreate one of my favourite dishes. I forgot to take a close-up of the finished dish though. Oh well, next time perhaps.

January 23, 2009

Happy Chinese Birthday!

Today is Nat's Chinese birthday and the birthday girl is sick. I still don't know whether it's a coincidence that Nick was away this week, but she always seems to fall sick whenever he's not around.

Does he impart some antibodies to her system that I'm not aware of? Or is it just coincidental that she has gone through her worst patches of teething the last 3 times he was travelling?

This round seems more severe than the rest, she had a pretty high fever yesterday and has been very whiny and clingy the last few nights. One cannot put her down in her cot or the bed without suffering a bout of wailing. And forget trying to coerce her to take any medications, I just had to bite the bullet and shove the medicine dropper into her nostrils and plunge the syringe into her mouth.

On Wednesday, I had to put her to bed 4 times, she woke up crying every 20 mins! Oh....growing pains. I hope she gets better in time for Chinese New Year which is just 3 days away.

I bought her a mini-cake from Polar to celebrate her Chinese birthday, not that she's having any of it!

Gosh how time flies, this time last year in the Chinese calendar, I was in the throes of labour. My life has turned upside down, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

In the past couple of weeks, the munchkin has improved in understanding commands. She leans forward to kiss people quite well, she plays peekaboo by pulling the flap of her romper over her eyes, she makes the spider/hand crawling action whenever she hears 'Incy Wincy', ask her how Gigi cries and she'll go, "Aaaargh!".

She gets totally excited when we're in the lift and her eyes light up just seeing the electronic numbers ascend/descend, she's better at saying 'mama' now but I've deduced that 'papa' applies to me as well, not just Nick. She loves to point the remote at the aircon after seeing Nick do it just once.

Here are a couple of recent pictures, see how she sleeps?

January 21, 2009

President Obama is in 'da House

America has a new leader, and so too the world.

All eyes were on Barack Obama last night as he assumed office as the 44th President of the United States and the first black one. What a day it must have been for him and his family, and the millions of African Americans who witnessed history in the making. The turnout on the National Mall was unprecedented.

Many blacks remembered their struggle for equality just a few decades ago when racial segregation still existed, and which Martin Luther King Jr helped to abolish after organising a civil rights movement that prompted new legislation.

MLK Jr's 'I have a dream' speech is considered one of the greatest speeches in history and to some extent I was expecting Obama's acceptance speech to be up there with the best as he has a reputation as a great orator, but it fell short of my expectations for there was no real memorable line.

Nevertheless, I was glued to the TV like millions of others to watch him take his oath just past 1am earlier this morning and I continued watching the inauguration coverage up till I left for work at 9am.

He carries the hope of a nation on his shoulders, and everyone has very high hopes of him. The world is watching his every move and I have a feeling he will live up to, if not exceed those expectations.

Washington DC has so much history and recognisable monuments, and I had a touch of nostalgia seeing all the buildings on TV, having visited the city 8.5 years ago. I can't remember much from the trip now, but I do recall feeling a sense of awe and power because everywhere you turned was a famous landmark.

Hmm, must dig up the albums and reminisce one day!

January 19, 2009

Wax lyrical

I've always had a low threshold for pain and shunned voluntarily subjecting myself to it but yesterday whilst reading an old copy of CLEO, I was motivated to try waxing my legs.

I wouldn't say I have very hairy legs (thank goodness for some Chinese blood), just a smattering of fine hair. I've never tried shaving my legs, I didn't want dark pores to develop like I've seen on other Indian legs so I resorted to bleaching every couple of months to make the hairs less obvious.

But I've been so lazy recently, plus I found bleaching really drying and the smell nauseating, hence I thought, "If I can survive 11 hours of labour and go through the agony of childbirth and the traumatic post-recovery, what's 10 minutes of leg waxing?"

Before I chickened out, I found myself at Strip, Raffles Place during lunch today. Swana had a package with Spa Esprit, so the session was on her plus she was in the area for a dental appointment so I had her for moral support. Actually, the extent of her support was hearing me yelp from another room each time a cloth strip was yanked!

The therapist must have been laughing on the inside. I only yelped for the first few strippings, then I adjusted to the sensation, which was actually kind of nice after a while. In fact, I look forward to the next session!

What I would really like to try is IPL but it's not that permanent and doesn't fully get rid of everything. If anyone's tried, let me know ya?

To celebrate or not to celebrate, that was the question

I've been really indecisive about what to do for the munchkin's 1st birthday. All this while we had no intention of having a party, we figured she wouldn't remember anything anyway so what was the point. But the more I thought about it, the more I felt I HAD to do something.

Not for the sake of appearances and keeping up with other parents but because I knew I would regret it forever. I mean, how many times does somebody get to turn 1? I know the same applies to every birthday, you only turn that age once. But she's never celebrated ANY before so it is a pretty significant milestone.

I've always told Nick that my birthday is the most important day in his life and being big on birthdays, I couldn't deprive Nat in celebrating her first one ever.

And so the wheels are in motion for a small party two Sundays from now with her extended family. I've been scrambling to find a venue, caterer and cake, and it took ages to decide on a theme. I'm still agonizing over which self-designed invite to pick!

The adults will most likely outnumber the kids 4:1 and chances are Nat will be napping right smack in the middle of the party.

Whoever's coming, I must warn you it's going to be really boring and no-frills. Don't expect an elaborate bash, everything's being done on a shoestring budget. Times are hard you know, heh heh. :-)

January 12, 2009

Wasting away

I did practically nothing today. Was on leave to watch the 'live' telecast of the Golden Globes but because I stayed up to watch the Man Utd-Chelsea game yesterday, I was a little zombified.

Made a simple salad lunch for me and Arlyn using leftovers. I had balance from a pre-packed box of greens, which came with butterhead lettuce, cherry tomatoes, Japanese cucumber and sunflower seeds. Arlyn sliced up the remaining roast pork and I peeled a mandarin orange and added the wedges to the salad.

Didn't have any 1000 Island lying around, so I whisked up my own Oriental dressing comprising olive oil, sesame oil, honey, soya sauce, sugar, lime juice and orange juice. It went really well with the roast pork I must say, so pleased!

Mildred came over in the afternoon while me and Nat were napping. I knew the MIL would want to play with her grand-daughter and before I slept, I told Arlyn to tell her to let the munchkin sleep for at least an hour before playing.

But it was in vain. Nat had barely been asleep 30 mins when her grandma roused her from her sleep. I was dead to the world and missed the MIL's whole 2-hr visit, only to wake up to a very cranky daughter, who was tired from having missed her nap. Guess who has to deal with the consequences of a messed up routine tonight?

What am I saying? I was supposed to be nicer to the MIL this year. She did come all the way to bring me bak kwa from Serangoon Gardens, which I happened to mention I liked. Bad daughter-in-law, bad daughter-in-law. *Slaps self*

Recipe: Prawns a la Katong

This is the recipe for the steamed prawns I made over the weekend, it was something Violet Oon presented during one of her events, back in the days when I was working for her. I'm not sure if I missed any ingredients, it's been a while! It's really easy to make though, it looks good and tastes good too if you like the natural taste of prawns with a subtle Thai infusion.

Prawns a la Katong

1/2 kg of grey prawns
1 large white onion, cut into rings
2-3 small onions, chopped
1 stalk of lemongrass, sliced diagonally
10-12 kaffir lime leaves
2 red chillies, sliced thickly
1/2 a lime
1/2 cup of water
Salt and pepper (optional)

  1. Trim the feelers on the prawns and remove the intestinal veins, but leave the shells intact. Lightly toss with a few pinches of salt and pepper (optional) and set aside.

  2. In a medium frying pan, form a bed for the prawns to rest on with half the onions, lime leaves, lemongrass, chilli and water. Lay the prawns on top and squeeze the lime over.

  3. Top the prawns with the remaining onions, lime leaves, lemongrass and chilli. Cover the pan with a lid and turn on the stove. Let it steam for 3-5 mins until the prawns turn red. Turn off the heat and serve immediately.

Cooking up a storm

It's almost 1.30 am, I'm so tired from the long day but Man Utd are beating Chelsea 2-0 at the moment, and I take comfort in the fact that I'm on leave tomorrow, well technically, today. Gonna catch the red carpet action from the 66th Golden Globes in the morning, can't wait to see the gowns.

Stayed at Membina on Thursday and Friday since Nick was away in Taipei. On Friday night, Swana and I went to Chinatown to soak in the festive atmosphere as CNY approaches. Sham joined us after work and I broke one of my resolutions not to snack!

It was all Swana's fault, she bought a cup of corn that tasted so good, we had a second helping. Don't know what kind of melted fat they used, but it was one of the best cup corns we've tasted. Sham also introduced us to a durian pancake stall, they put D24 filling in the paper thin pancakes, quite shiok.

We strolled the busy streets, tried on maxi dresses at a shop called Isle, drank from young coconuts, snacked on chestnuts and pinched groundnuts and melon seeds from open sacks. There were some funky nuts on sale, like black ones and striped ones.

Have been cooking up a storm this weekend, inspired by my visit to Tiong Bahru market yesterday morning with Ma. I wanted to greet Nick's return with a home-cooked meal and was supposed to make bolognaise but I couldn't find any beef in the market!

Instead, I bought chicken, prawns and pork and I ended up making chicken curry and steamed prawns for dinner yesterday with green bean soup for dessert, wanton mee for lunch today and roast pork with baked apples and potatoes for dinner.

Everything turned out ok, the roast pork was a little too cooked though, I overestimated the timing. And am having a green bean soup overdose...I shouldn't have boiled a whole packet!

We went to visit Ben in hospital this morning, he had fallen while in Penang on Thursday night and suffered a deep cut on his leg that required stitches. Upon his return, the leg swelled and doctors here discovered an infection so he was warded overnight while antibiotics were administered via a drip.

Apparently it was dark where he was walking, and he didn't expect a hole in the middle of the pavement, one that was deep enough for half his body to fit into. Poor thing!

Me, Nick and Nat went merayaping this afternoon, first to Hort Park but it was hot so we didn't hang around.

We then drove to Marine Parade to check out Mel's Place, a bar and bistro that Nick's friend manages and that we were considering for Nat's birthday but his friend wasn't there today so we didn't hang around either! Anyway, the place is not suitable for kids.

Then we took a walk around the Singapore Flyer, having a mid-afternoon snack at Popeye's. The place is so dead now that the wheel is suspended following its technical problems at the end of last year. I don't know how the shops survive!

Ok, the match has ended. Chelsea lost 0-3 in the end, yay! Liverpool are still top of the table but I don't know how long they can keep the momentum. I just know they'll screw it up somehow, already Steven Gerrard had to go and get himself arrested after punching a DJ who wouldn't play a Phil Collins song he wanted at a bar! Phil Collins? Geez.

If Liverpool win the title, it would be a miracle! And about time too!

January 9, 2009

Oodles of noodles...

...that's how I intend to lose weight. I've convinced myself it's less fattening than rice, hence a lot of my weekday lunches now comprise a noodle-ly meal. So far this week, I've had crispy noodles, kway teow and udon. Plus a quiche and a chicken chop.

As of Wednesday morning, I weighed 54kg before any meals...that's practically the same weight I was 2 weeks post-partum! I haven't lost any of the weight I gained during pregnancy and it's been almost a year! My weight when I discovered I was 6 weeks preggers was 51.8kg but I want to be 48kg eventually.

Ok, ok, I haven't actually actively been doing anything to lose weight, but no more excuses, I HAVE to lose 5kg by June and here's how I intend to do it:

1) 1 low-carbo/carbo-less meal a day - I've started eating 2 tbsp less rice at dinner, and sometimes no rice at all. It'll be impossible to cut carbs completely, not when you have a mum who cooks restaurant-standard food all the time. So I'll try to lay low on the carbo during lunch instead.

2) Less sugar - Less doughnuts, less chocolates, less carbonated drinks, less cakes, less ice-cream. And no snacking! Ugh.

3) Light workouts - I shall try to walk home at least twice a week, that's a good 35 mins worth of exercise, never mind that I don't even break a sweat. Need to book the badminton courts soon too, the novelty wore off and the racket is collecting dust. I must book all the Saturdays in February by next week. Anybody who wants to play from 10am-12pm, give me a buzz.

4) Sit ups - I surrender. That tummy ain't going nowhere unless I do some crunches. Will start slow, just 30 a day before I sleep and work my way up to 50 at some point. Phooey.

When I first started going out with Nick, I weighed around 39kg. I've put on 15kg in 8 years and I'm going to lose a third of it in 5 months! Hmm...

But perhaps now that I've put it in print, I'll actually have to stick to the plan? Will update on my progress periodically...if I make progress! ;-P

January 5, 2009


Nat and Gigi turned 11 months and 4 months respectively yesterday but they're practically the same size. Gigi is a chubby little bugger and Nat is only slightly longer. Put them in matching H&M dresses yesterday meant for 2-4 mths but they could both fit.

Nat has been really cheeky this month, making faces. She'll scrunch her face up and sniff like dog. Or she'll suck in her cheeks for a pouty look. She'll dance on command and whenever she hears a snappy tune. She keeps saying, "Ah-pa?" and "Beh", which I think is in reference to her Care Bear.

She cannot sit still in church. She likes to pick up tiny specks of fluff, she hates the car seat if she is not constantly distracted. She can point to her nose and sometimes she will lean forward when you ask for a kiss, and stretch out her arms if you ask for a hug.

She'll clasp her hands together when she hears 'Amen' or 'Gongxi' (training for CNY already!) and she can 'phone home' a la E.T. i.e. join fingers with you. When we sing, 'Wheels on the Bus' or 'Incy Wincy Spider', she'll try to do the hand actions although all it looks like is a hula dance!

Her second tooth is finally out and I think she's gonna get her third soon, she keeps gnawing on her finger. I need at least 10 toys to entertain her when she's eating, she gets bored of each one after 2 minutes!

She's an inquisitive child and very observant. She doesn't mind being carried by strangers, she goes to almost anyone as long as there is someone familiar in sight.

As her first birthday approaches, I still haven't decided on whether to have a big bash or not. On one hand, she won't really know what's going on, but on the other, how many times do you get to celebrate a 1st birthday? Decisions, decisions!

Gigi has been very smiley towards me of late, which is great. We had the pleasure of babysitting her again last Friday and she was very well-behaved. Nat gave her some grief though by stealing her booties!

Her head is a lot stronger, we can carry her upright nowadays, though it's still a bit wobbly. She hates lying on her stomach but can lift her head sometimes.

The mittens have come off, but whenever she doesn't have the pacifier in her mouth, in go the fingers. She's a lot more vocal, cooing, gurgling and laughing a lot now. Lovely.

Food fest

Been eating a lot of late, the Deepavali to Chinese New Year period is just bad for my waistline!

As mentioned, we had crab from Mellben on New Year's eve. Watched the fireworks at Mount Faber from our balcony, it was 6 mins long. Kavi, Siva and Sham came over too and the MIL spent the night and we played 21 and In Between for a bit. I made like $1.80!

On New Year's, me and Nick had lunch with Daniel and Aimee at Seoul Garden. I've been avoiding that place for the longest time, am just not impressed with it though Nick has been hankering to go since we started going out.

After 8 years I finally caved, but will probably not be making a return visit anytime soon. Not only was it crowded and smoky, the variety wasn't that great and there were lots of 'auntie' types pushing and elbowing at the buffet lines.

For dinner, we met Daniel and Aimee again, this time at Ben's place where the rest of Nick's aunties came to see their Darwinian nephew. There was a lot of food, which we ended up tapauing for the next day.

On 2nd Jan, it was both Ma's and Mildred's birthdays and me and Nick were still on leave. Headed to AMK for breakfast with the MIL and we brought her a defrosted Marks & Spencer's blackforest cake (on sale at $6.90, down from $22!).

After that, I bought a few slices of cake from Pine Garden for Mummy and we went to Membina. Left for a late lunch at Sizzler, once again I over-ate even though it was a salad buffet. Had a quiet evening in, eating the leftovers from Ben's place and babysitting Gigi.

On Saturday, I went for my 3rd buffet in as many days! Met the in-laws, plus Daniel and Aimee for breakfast at Melting Pot Cafe, Holiday Inn.

I tried not to overdo it but was full enough to not eat till dinner, which was at Adrienne's house.

My ex-boss Jean from SES, her hubby Mervin and kids Tim and Erica were down from Auckland and Adrienne kindly offered to host dinner, cooking dishes that Jean and Mervin missed. Nick dropped me and Nat off first while he sent Daniel and Aimee to the airport.

I was holding my breath that Nat would behave since I was alone with her but I didn't have anything to worry about, because compared to Wai Ling's son Erik who is at that terrible 2 stage, Nat was an angel!

He's a screamer and very active, Adrienne was terrified for her collection of mini-figurines that was openly displayed in the living room! Doesn't help that his parents were content to let him be whenever he misbehaved! *LOL*

Adrian guarding Adrienne's figurines from Erik's little hands

Found out Tim was a Liverpool fan, so we talked football a bit. Erica was constantly trying to get Phil's attention, whilst he was in conversation with Nick. She's a cute little chili padi that one!

I finally got to meet Caitlin, Adrienne's grand-daughter. She's 2+ too, but sooooo well-behaved. I hope Nat turns out like her, it's important to be loving yet firm when disciplining kids. The contrast between Erik and Caitlin is stark, I wonder if star signs or gender have anything to do with it?

Chilled for most of Sunday, mainly at Membina. Had dinner with Baba and Aunty Irene at Jumbo Riverside Point, in honour of Mummy's birthday, their treat. Pigged out on scallops, prawns and crabs...everything was yums.

Note to self: Next time eat at coffeeshop, the GST and service charge alone was $50!