Friday, September 24, 2010

Of pressies, and no pressies…

I would have been more diligent in updating my blog if as usual, I did not meet with my VPN problems (I wrote this post on 19 Sep and goodness knows when it’s going to be up…), and if I hadn’t been busy making purchases on Taobao.com for a new batch of Rosabelle’s toys (heh – Lego, cleaning set, cash register, concrete mixer toy, panties, socks…what-nots), so the past week or so has been a time of trawling through pages and pages of different online shops (some waive courier charges if you spend a certain amount, others are adamant about charging courier prices, so I had to compare and contrast, and make sure I went through each and every item to get my money’s worth…). After getting the items, I have to check them, and give feedback if they aren’t in good condition (like one beach set that was badly made and had a lot of sharp edges). Well, hits and misses I guess but I have enough toys for Rosabelle to last her for awhile as I take them out one by one… And if I wasn’t busy sorting out wardrobes for both Rosabelle and myself to mark the change of the coming cold season (and another dedicated post for preparations of what to wear etc for our photo shoot with Imagine Studio this coming Saturday).

With so many gifts for our girl, you would think that I would be treating myself to something for my 33rd birthday last Saturday on September 18, heh! My family members kept asking me prior if I would be going out on Saturday, so I hinted very loudly in Wayne’s presence that, ‘I don’t know – let’s see what my husband has planned for me!’. Oh well, let’s just say that for a PR person, Wayne’s not much of a surprise planner, and me, with child in tow, wasn’t able to just play it by ear and see what he had planned till the last minute. And so, it was very much:


Me: Where are we going for lunch tomorrow? Shall we eat with your parents, and then go for dinner together at night?
Wayne: Oh ok, shall we go to the Village for lunch? Shall we eat at Flamme for dinner?
Me: Ok, Village – 泰和草本, and let’s go Sureno for dinner.
Wayne: Ok, then when do you want your cake delivered?
Me: After lunch at the restaurant?
Wayne: Ok, let me make the call.

And there – I basically planned my own birthday celebration(s). -_-

I was pretty much ready to forgive and forget if I saw my birthday present, or had a nice birthday greeting in the morning, but no… not being a morning person, Wayne was as usual woken up by Rosabelle waking up as I was already up and awake outside the room. When I went in, I gave big hints like, ‘Good morning Rosie baby girl, it’s mummy’s birthday today – do you want to wish Mummy a Happy Birthday?’, and our good girl, still sleepy-eyed, even gave me a kiss… so sweet. Since she was awake, as I was nursing her, I kept telling her that it was my birthday, and we were going to cut and eat a cake later. Throughout, oblivious/nonchalant Wayne kept snoring, without even greeting me Happy Birthday, right until I laid Rosabelle on the bed and told him, point-blank, ‘You didn’t even wish me Happy Birthday yet!’. Goodness gracious me…snort… think that’s what happens after 7 years of being in a relationship together, bearing him a daughter and fading into the background… so sad…

And so it began – a day basically like any other (of course, with a fattened bank account courtesy of angpow money from my dear parents, sister, and even Wayne’s parents, and sweet greetings from friends and family), except for our meals outside (we actually eat out every Saturday anyway). I was waiting for my present, but Wayne hinted that I needed to select it myself (since I was not able to think of anything I want/need at this point), oh well…

We were dressed for the onset of cold weather as it was raining the whole of Friday (we even went to the supermarket with Rosabelle holding onto her own Snow White umbrella, haha!), and temperatures dipped very quickly to about 18-19 degrees on Saturday. So just as well, we (or at least me and Rosabelle) took the chance to sort of dress up for the occasion, heh!

In the car on the way there, our girl started giving random directions, ‘走那… 从这里走… 右拐… 这里进不去...', just like she would tell taxi drivers nowadays as she mimicks us showing the way, so funny! And when we reached, we first brought her to the nice, spacious family toilet at the LG level, where she insisted on sitting in the baby seat-minder for a shot, haha!
Since it was still early, Wayne went to make a booking at the restaurant whilst we walked around the kids’ section, where Rosabelle clamoured for the whole family to see the野兽from Beauty & the Beast (as I’ve been reading to her some of these short stories). Nainai chanced upon this very cute baby, which was very soft, yet very big. Rosabelle loved it from the start and kept hugging/kissing it, refusing to let go until I reminded her that she needed to eat to have the energy to carry Baby, or else she would drop it and the Baby would start crying.
When we got to the restaurant, we placed our orders just as Wayne dealt with the cake delivery from 21cake.com, and very quickly got our food. Yeye seemed to like everything on the menu, as there is less salt/oil and no MSG at this place, even finishing up the bowl of porridge I had set aside for Rosabelle (actually told him to keep half for her, but maybe he didn’t hear and gobbled everything up, haha!). Our girl also enjoyed the chicken porridge, char siew bun, and egg tart.
Like I said, it was like any other day and birthday girl me did not get any privilege – I still fed her first before I could eat my lunch, though Nainai nicely took over after she had some to eat . A more sensible/sensitive husband would have declared me Queen for the day and let me enjoy my food in peace first, right? (And I know my grousings are just that, as my hubby doesn’t even read my blog, haha!)

And then the cake came – something with Bailey’s that I was at first afraid that Rosabelle can’t take (but it’s just a tinge). That’s me and my most precious gift of all… (Notice the rose petals on the sides? The next day, we saw some rose petals on the floor whilst out on our morning walk and our girl said, ‘Mummy, Happy Birthday to you’ as she recognized it from the birthday cake – so sweet!)
And then we went on to take a blurry family photo and one with just the three of us:
When we lit the candle and wanted to blow it, Rosabelle even had her eyes half-closed – maybe she was afraid of it exploding in her face? But she helped me sing Happy Birthday, blow and cut the cake. I was actually the only one singing Happy Birthday to myself as clueless husband at this point was intent on catching a good photograph of the two of us (and my parents-in-law, as you can imagine, aren’t the kinds to burst into song in a crowded restaurant…). *smack head on forehead*
And then again, when we each had our cake, I was automatically tasked with feeding Rosabelle the cake – i.e. I could not even enjoy my cake myself… *shake head*. Maybe some other woman/mother/wife would have flared up by now, or maybe they wouldn’t take it to heart at all, but I know I was feeling mighty irritated by that time, definitely not all ‘birthday-ey’.

Oh well… after lunch, we walked around the place abit and saw this:
The queue to lay their hands on the iPad that was launched in China just a day ago… oh dear me. Wayne actually asked if I wanted one a few days back (think it retails for RMB5,000) but I told him that I am seldom on the go, and maybe will have more use for it when I start work.

Then I went to Lenscrafters (an optical shop) to get some lens solutions, and that was when Wayne said, ‘Whilst you are there, go and pick your birthday present – get a pair of spectacles since you’ve been wanting something more suitable.’ Maybe that was being over-practical, and also very considerate, but that wasn’t what I was expecting, and I said, ‘I don’t want a pair of spectacles,’ and refused to look around the shop even after he egged me on. Gosh! So this was his present in mind for me… *speechless*.

Anyway, we hung around awhile more (whilst Rosabelle laid around awhile more), before heading home.
When we got back, I nursed her to sleep first before getting things ready for our night out (things for Rosabelle, I mean, not myself) since Nainai would be home alone with her. By the time I was done, and looking through the grocery/food list for the next day (I told you it’s a day like any other, right???), she had woken up and I nursed her again before we gave her some dragon fruit snack. As Wayne played with her and Nainai prepared dinner, I showed Rosabelle the hamper I received from Jeannie, my ex-boss in Singapore. The greeting card read ‘From the LIME @ Sing’ and I figured it had to read the ‘the LIMS’, haha… According to Jeannie, she requested for two bottles of Moet champagne along with seemingly imported crackers/sauces/chocolates, but they sent me two bottles of local red wines with a can of dried tomatios local nuts/raisins, Kraft biscuits and Ferroros instead. After her secretary followed up, they sent me two bottles of “champagnes” – carbonated apple water retailing for less than a tenth of Moets… Like I said, it’s lovely all the same, but she paid a crazy price for a lesser deal, and should try to get some form of refund back!
And so we were ready for our dinner date – a long while since we last had one as we were leaving Rosabelle with the nanny every Friday night, but since Nainai came, it wasn’t really fair for her to manage all on her own with our girl. As we were leaving, Rosabelle cried and wanted to follow us, but I quickly took the hamper and asked her to help Nainai take the items out one by one. That distracted her momentarily – enough for us to make our slip, and even though we still heard her crying as we took the lift down, I knew our girl would be ok in awhile.

And so I went with a happy heart, as it’s really been very long since I could enjoy a proper meal without worrying about using scissors to cut food up, about bibs, about fruits after meals, about wet wipes… First stop was Sureno at The Opposite House – been wanting to try this place for the longest time and we finally did!

Hmmm. I must say I was really expecting more, maybe too much, from the place. That’s me with my RMB120+15% service charge glass of dessert wine. I ordered pumpkin+scallop soup (so bland I needed to put a lot of pepper in), whilst Wayne had salad.
Next came our mains – Wayne’s cream sauce pasta (tasted quite good, though spaghetti was rather hard), and my Wagyu tenderloin (RMB298+15%) was quite yummy as well. The mashed potato we ordered was also good. But I thought the overall bill of RMB900+ wasn’t justified, as the portions weren’t exactly huge, and the food wasn’t the BEST I’ve had. Oh well…

And so we headed to the Village (again!) where I was adamant to look for a birthday present for myself, but could not find anything suitable, though I did go back into Lenscrafters and saw a pair of Oakley frames for RMB2,050 – they only had it in chocolate, but I was keen to try the black, so we ended up not buying anything as the shop assistant wasn’t exactly the most enthusiastic one around. I shall shop around over this period of time and hope my birthday present offer still holds – haha! On retrospect, Wayne, ever the unromantic and practical, knew that ever-picky me would want to select my own present, and did not want to disappoint with anything less. But still… anyway, we then headed to Union for great garlic fries and molten lava cake dessert (know the photo of the cake does not do the actual thing justice…).
We saw another table with a Caucasian man presenting the girl with an iPad, and them kissing after – might have been her birthday as well as the manager gave them two glasses of white. Being thick-skinned, we also enquired with the waiter about there being any privileges for the birthday girl and a few minutes later, one of them came by and told me my glass of Cosmo was on the house. Cheers man!

After that, we headed home to our dear girl, who was happily playing away with Nainai. According to Nainai, she was quite a good girl that night, eating her dinner well and drinking up her favourite Yakult after. She even poo-ed twice in the short span of a few hours (her bowel movements are thankfully very regular now, with at most an alternate day of not pooing). At the end of it all, it was pretty much a birthday that was a non-birthday, if not for the cake, the Happy Birthday from my girl, the kisses, the warmth of it all, the company of family…hey, isn’t that what it should really be all about? Oh well… but I am still on the look-out for my belated birthday present owing from my husband, so there!

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