Thursday, October 28, 2010

She's TWO!

A few days before her second birthday, Rosabelle perfected the victory ‘V’ sign with her hands, flashing a ‘2’ with her fingers proudly at us during lunch. How apt.

She got up early on Sunday morning (Oct 24th) to very wet weather, but it sure didn’t dampen hers or our moods as she got dressed for breakfast as I laid out her birthday presents – a Lego set from us (I’d bought this convenience store set quite some time back but did not take it out for her till now, deciding to present it to her as a special day’s gift), a sweater top from Gao Yiwei’s grandma (we gave her some nice scarves for her third birthday so she returned the favour), a doll from our neighbor, as well as a ‘This Old Man’ book I got last week from a bookshop in Lido Hotel (got many others as well, but this looked nice and big, so it got selected to be part of her ‘birthday package’ as well). She was very pleased and surprised when she came out of the room…
After her breakfast, we then got her dressed up in a Princess outfit (Think it was originally Pauline’s? And think it’s meant to be PJs? Hahaha…), and let her explore her pressies.
I also hastily drew up a ‘Happy Birthday’ signage for her at the easel, acting as a backdrop for some shots…
She loved the book most of all, and kept wanting to hold onto it to pose (whilst I worried about her blocking her nice outfit with the massive book, haha…), and flipping through it as she asked us to sing to her (she has been hearing this song a lot on the CD, so she was keen to read through it).
We then headed out to first collect her cake from UBread – we’ve always been loyal fans of 21cake (and rightly so), but upon an ex-colleague’s recommendation that this shop also sells nice cakes, I saw a very nice teddy bear face cake for Rosabelle, but only bad thing was they do not deliver (or they do, for a fee, and they take the subway/bus… erm…). So I actually called them on Monday to confirm I wanted a cake to pick up from their Soshow branch. On Tuesday, I called again to change the timing to before noon. On Saturday, I called one last time to confirm my order, and also to find out their exact location. When Wayne stopped by the roadside for me to get down in the rain to pick up the cake, I was expecting a 5-minute affair.

Expecting.

What happened next wasn’t something I was counting on – I went into the store happily and said I was there to pick up my 小熊 cake, and when the staff had to look around awhile, I sensed something amiss, especially when they asked if I had paid for it already. Turns out there was no cake waiting for me, and I did not take down the name of the person who took my order, but could only say that I had already called the day before to confirm in the morning, so the guy said it was 贾经理 who was on duty, and he did not know anything.

I was seething.

And when they said I needed to wait 30 minutes for the cake to be done, I basically barked at them and got my cake in 15 minutes flat. During this time, I was a statue of fury, as the guy (he’s quite nice really) tried to get me to sit down, and asked if I wanted water. Later, he helped me investigate a little and said that the kitchen actually got the order, but they misplaced the chit. By this time, I was too pissed off to talk or find out more, but just told him to get the plates and candles ready. Then out I went with a freshly-made cake, made with the trembling hands of the lady behind the glass window who had to bear with my eyes burning into her flesh…

Not willing to let this hiccup spoil this special day, I was glad to see my girl’s face brighten upon seeing the cake – she could peek through the transparent film at the top of the cake box. She basically did not want to let go of the cake all the way to Joy City, where we headed for lunch. We’d originally wanted to go to Prima Kitchen, as that’s where we had her birthday dinner last year. However, seeing that it was still raining and there was no shelter (as well as not much else to see/shop/play around there), we changed our meal destination instead.

Once there, we were also not decided as to where to go for lunch. Just as we were heading towards Bellagio, I saw this new restaurant called Tasty, that sells Western set meals, and if you get two sets of RMB100 and above (comes at RMB68 and RMB138), you get a kid’s set for RMB18 (usual price of RMB48). When I asked, they said they also offer free cocktails and popcorn if we are celebrating a birthday – wowee.

So in we went and ordered 3 adult sets and a kid’s meal, where our girl ate some 长寿面 (aka 凉面 offered in the set), the chicken and vegetables that came with it, and accompanied it with fruits and tomatos along the way. Quite a good meal, as we had lunch quite late (no thanks to the Ubread idiots…) and she was quite hungry. Wayne thinks we should let her be hungry once in awhile so that she can eat her meals quickly, but I regret not offering her a small banana whilst in the car – it’s a healthy snack, and if it makes her eat less of lunch, it’s not a biggie because it’s good and healthy anyway… right? Last thing I want is a hungry child having a melt-down and then gorging away till she suffers from indigestion, haha!

Our complimentary cocktails then came – since there was a slight tinge of alcohol in them, our birthday girl could not enjoy it, but still liked the experience of drinking plain water from the nice long-stemmed glass, heh!
Since all our set meals came with drinks and dessert, we were basically stuffed and could not down any more cake. That’s when we decided to bring the cake home to cut that night. I told the waitress to keep the popcorn for last until our girl had finished her meal, and if Nainai/Wayne did not take it away from her to hide, she would have continued stuffing herself with the popcorn. The food wasn’t that excellent, but the service and ambience was nice, and the staff most sweet and accommodating, so it’s a nice choice next time we are in the area.
After that, we brought Rosabelle to the kid’s play area where strangely enough, she did not really enjoy riding the kiddy rides (i.e when I put in the tokens and the rides moved, she wanted to come off them) – just as well, saves us some money!
So she went around just sitting in some of the rides for kicks, me included…
The last ride was on the carousel, where she seemed more distracted by the things around her, and ended up waving to all of us throughout the ride.
By this time, it was already quite late so off we went for our Sleeping Beauty to get her rest. Birthday or not, a girl needs her sleep!

After dinner that night, it was cake time! There it is, the cake that we almost never had, no thanks to Ubread… it was a nice ‘2’ candle, and I suspect they gave me a special candle to appease my anger, I don’t know and I don’t care, I am sticking to 21cake in future. From now. And forever.
There she is, my little girl all grown up. It seems just like yesterday that she was just 2.74kg, measuring 48cm, and being all puny and wrinkled. Love you to bits, my darling daughter…
And we hastily took a family shot before the candle burnt away…
Rosabelle was elated with the birthday song we sang for her, and also tried to blow the candle out and help cut the cake (i.e. disfigure the poor bear’s face).
After that came a night to remember for her – her first taste of chocolate – as I let her devour the bear’s eyes, ears, nose, and mouth of white and dark chocolate. She was focused on her caffeine fix and did not utter a single word as she chomped on it.
With her eyes and hands fixed on her cake/chocolate, she was trying to give me the ‘Thumbs up’ sign and hold the pose as she continued eating her cake. The healthy parts of the cake – the blueberry fruits in between the layers – were spat out by her as she has since found something better, and we quickly kept the rest of the cake away as she devoured her slice.
Guess she wills this happy scenario to replay again and again, as she has been taking the cake and figurines from her Lego set and placing them on the dinner table as she claps and sings ‘Happy Birthday’, telling me that the Jiejie is 两岁and the Gege is 十月. We had actually set up the Lego to duplicate the supermarket scene on the box, but I then decided to pull the pieces apart after seeing how little interest she took in the rest of the items (only likes the figurines). Now, with the parts all over, she has constructed a table/chair, a see-saw, a robot, and stacked the pieces to form a long stick etc – it does not inhibit her imagination anymore and she can use the pieces for whatever her little mind wants it to be. Quite fun!

Happy Birthday my little baby girl, glad you liked the present, cake, and your simple birthday celebration – people say you really wonder at how fast kids grow up. Now I know what they are talking about. I’ll be blogging about her third birthday before I even know it…

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