Sunday, July 11, 2010

A tale of two gatherings

Ok, I decided I'd better stop being so voyueristic and reading updates on everyone else's blog and miss out on updating my own, so here's a 'mini'-post whilst I go wallow in my avalanche of back-log for Singapore entries and the so many updates on Rosabelle's developments - gulp!

Sharing some photos - pre-Singapore in May (that is how long I owe you guys!) - that my colleague shared with me from that
fateful night of dinner with them at the restaurant that was uber-child-unfriendly. That is Wayne and I looking respectively 'erm-ish' and highly concerned at the lack of baby-friendly food.
They managed to catch a few shots of Rosabelle whilst we ordered extra dishes and prepared them for our girl.
And this is Daddy taking her out for a breather to get away from the noisy and smoky 'ambience'...
Fast forward to today, two months on, where we prepared for yet another catch-up with my ex-colleagues, except this time it was a wedding celebration lunch! I dolled our girl up in a Cotton On dress I got in Singapore (bought alot from there, and my new Coach bag in the background making its debute cameo - more on that later!), and Coletee shoes, and I think she looks happy as well...
Before we went to lunch, I brought her for yet another playgroup at Kmy Baby at Jianwai Soho, as I got brochures from them when they had a roadshow at the kindergarten in our compounds. I was pretty impressed with their relatively new facilities as they got into China only late last year (originated from Europe), their level of bilingual professionalism, and the activities carried out. Their classrooms and toys etc all also look pretty good. Rosabelle seemed to enjoy herself and slowly warmed up to the staff, even participating actively in 'saving' the baby doll from a fire on the slide by climbing up, and cleverly pushing it down the slide (instead of carrying it) before going down herself. She made me proud by saying 'red' when the teacher asked the class about the colour of the fire engine truck, and when she climbed over steps/tunnels to get to the fake hose to put out the 'fire'. The teacher even commented she is pretty advanced for her age, especially in the language category.

This is in stark contrast to the playgroups I went to of XinYuan, a local centre which offered me two free lessons over these past two Saturdays. The first one was with an older group of children, and she had her first painting lesson by using her fingers to paint onto a tree - bad thing is they did not even provide any aprons so one of her nice blouses now has red paint permanently etched on it - shucks. The second one was with one of her age group but nobody else attended, so it was just her. The facilities are old and bad (think toy knives breaking into two, masking tape on floors peeling off...), the lessons are only held in Chinese, and even their music/audio was raspy-sounding - no wonder my girl kept wanting to 'go out'. The staff were also more pushy, and kept wanting to hold her hands/carry her when they first met her - erm, you are in this job, don't you know children of this age need time to warm up? More so if you are fat, pimply/oily-faced, and have a trouser zip that cannot be pulled all the way up, leaving a triangular gap at the top... (I know that last statement was uncalled for, but I seriously cannot stand unsightly-looking childcare staff - what kind of example are you setting for the kids - that you can look unkempt and like you fell off the wrong side of bed????)

Anyway, I think I have pretty much attended most playgroups and will wait awhile before I make my decision between Kmy or KinderPlace...

And that 11am to 12pm session at Kmy this morning made us late for our lunch date with the newly-weds, Lillian (my ex-team member who went on to become our client, haha!) and Wang Wei, her hubby. They had a lunch table for ex-Weber Shandwick colleagues, so it was an intimate setting where as usual, I spent more time trying to feed our girl than catching up properly with them all - pity... But Rosabelle enjoyed the attention (where everybody kept saying how much she looks like Daddy dearest, heh!) and kept wanting to feed/get another ex-colleague, Zhu Li, to eat, haha!
Rosabelle didn't eat much - just alot of pastry crusts, some prawn/yam balls/chicken/noodles/egg, and I gave her some biscuits on the way home, where she KO-ed after I nursed her.

So that's there for a rather short (by my blog's standards, that is) - here's wishing the Wangs (both with very big eyes - I commented when I first saw Wang Wei that '哇!你们俩眼睛都这么大!将来孩子眼睛也很大!') marital bliss - congratulations and welcome to the club, haha!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Missed us?

Just another quick note to say we are back in Beijing since 29 June after one month in Singapore, and as usual, I am dealing with the settling back into routine, unpacking, housekeeping (can't believe the amount of books and toys and clothes I brought back!), and it doesn't help that Rosabelle is in the 'Mummy, carry!' stage perpetually all the time that it's exhausting for us all!

MIL's back to help after her vacation back in Zhengzhou, so thank goodness for her, as Wayne has started work at another agency earlier in June after their trip to Shanghai, but Rosabelle hasn't been taking well to Nai nai after the trip back, and insists I feed her and change her diapers etc, until I put my foot down and let her cry for more than an hour till she fell asleep before lunch the day before. This continued till yesterday when she cried at every meal, wanting me to feed her, sheesh! Of course I hardened my heart and persisted in getting Nai nai to feed her, but I'll go into more details in later posts.

And so.... excuse me again whilst I retire for awhile to clear my 90 emails, look through/sort my 1,100 photos (it's not a typo and it's not a joke), and catch up on the various blogs I did not access during my Singapore staycation.

Adios!