Sunday, December 19, 2010

Classes

On Wednesday, we went for the last session of Mommy & Me, and we all exchanged contacts, and promised to get back in touch next Wednesday for a playdate at one of the Mommy’s homes at Upper East Side at the same time next week. I’ve also signed her up for 5 more classes starting 11 Jan, as we will be missing 5 classes due to us being away in Singapore. I sure am looking forward, as Rosabelle seems to enjoy and pick up a fair bit from these classes, exposing herself to crafts, song, and more importantly, meeting new friends.

She ate a slice of cheese as a snack, and posed with the Christmas decorations at the school first…
After that, I almost endangered both our lives, not knowing we were having one of the coldest days ever in winter – minus 11 degrees, yes you read that right! I’d wanted to head directly to Element Fresh for lunch, and thought it would be an easy, albeit slow walk. However, it took us a full 30 minutes – Rosabelle was walking and stopping, or when walking, proceeding sideways instead of forwards so there was no advancement. At times, she would say she was cold, but I had specially dressed her up in extra layers that day so I knew she just wanted me to carry her. No way I was going to do that – I did not bring my gloves that day and a second with my hands out of my pockets meant very cold, nearing frostbite levels!

At times, she wanted me to hold her hand, but of course I could not do that without exposing my hands. When I saw her cheeks reddened upon reaching Lido Hotel, I thought that she did really well, but could have risked her getting winter-dry skin; I felt my face was dropping off, heh! Wayne said we could have taken a taxi and I did deliberate upon that when no amount of cajoling/encouraging/screaming would get her to move forward, but I think she needed some pushing, and me, some test of my own patience, haha! We made it in the end, didn’t we?...

So we thawed a little at Lido Place first and went to the bookstore, where I got a few new books and a large flipchart book (which she loves). Upon reaching home, I realized I had already bought one of the books, so I’ll be going to see whether I can get that changed on the way when we go Amcare for her jab tomorrow.

We had a pretty good lunch at Element Fresh, finishing up fast and ending with lovely apple pie+ice cream, yummy…

The next day, we went for Kindermusik at Familier, and she was on her best self, participating really well in all the songs and dances, even becoming Yuliya’s partner for the song ‘Rise, Sugar, Rise’ – I was so proud of her!

We had to leave quickly after class as I was supposed to select photos from our shoot at Weikaiqi the previous week, and left together with little classmate Rei and her mummy, Priscilla. Rosabelle, as usual, was her overwhelming/loving self…
The studio had snapped about 120 photos in all, and at first glance, I reduced it to 50+, then, 30+, and finally 29. The 7-photo complimentary calendar was just that – you don’t get negatives, and if you wanted a 13-photo one, you pay RMB20 more. So I did just that, and the assistant was trying to sell me their packages (starts from RMB1,299 for 28 photos with negatives, and you can only exchange for 8 more photos if you don’t need the rest of the nonsense like albums and frames etc), and even their RMB2,000 membership that allows for 50 negatives upfront, alongside a slew of other privileges like free birthday/ID shoot, free use of their clothing etc. I sure didn’t need those – after calculations, I decided to just pay RMB30 per negative of the 29 I wanted, and paid a total of RMB870. Pricey, yes, but some of the photos were quite nice, and I was already very stringent with my selection!

Throughout the one hour as I was selecting the photos, our dear girl was on her best behavior, occupying herself with the photo books, taking rain boots to put on herself, riding the toy cars, speaking to the assistants etc. Not once did she rush me nor fret… what a good girl!

After that, we went for lunch at a Hong Kong restaurant just two blocks away within Central Place – we got a nice seat at the back of the restaurant, complete with baby chair on the inside. However, I had difficulty carrying her inside, and had to first sit on the sofa and move sideways. Pea-brained me had left my sunglasses open/facing upwards, and I heard a disastrous ‘crack’ as I leaned my whole body weight onto the sofa when carrying her. Turns out I had broken one side of my favourite Mango sunglasses (not designer, but still my favourite…), and I really hope that they can reattach something when I bring it to the Mango store this weekend. Sigh…

Luckily the menu perked me up slightly – Hainanese Chicken Rice! Chocolate lava cake! Hong Kong milk tea! Rosabelle also enjoyed the rice, chicken, and even the soup that came with the set, drinking up the whole bowl Half-way through lunch, I realized we were sitting at the window looking into an indoor swimming pool, so she had fun looking on as I fed her the rest of lunch.

Just so coincidentally, when we left to head home after lunch, a lady approached me and asked if I wanted to consider signing up for swimming classes for Rosabelle – the pool we were seeing earlier belonged to Alexander Health Club, and for the next hour, she took us both on a tour of the place and facilities. I don’t normally go for such sales spins, but Wayne was mentioning that he wanted to introduce Rosabelle to swimming, so I thought I might as well just take a look. It seemed promising, since it was just next to Wayne’s office, but the bad thing was I can’t use the card for any discounts off their spa services (I seriously don’t think I was going to use their gym/classes…).

Rosabelle was also very obedient, following us all over – maybe she liked looking around as well, and when the staff wanted to offer her biscuits, she stopped at one, refusing to take the extra packets they had brought for her. One of the staff came up to me and said she was really very disciplined, not taking a bookmark she offered her, and even picking up rubbish to throw into the bin, heh!

Before I left, the lady gave her best offer – RMB7,000 for 70 visits for adult (normal price RMB200/visit), and RMB3,000 for unlimited usage for kid. So it means we would need to fork out RMB10,000, so of course I needed to consider, and discuss with Wayne, right? But no, the lady thought I would be signing up and paying that day, and was quite disturbed that I was going to leave and come back another day. So I had to quickly dress myself and Rosabelle, and at the same time go into my very harsh tone about the fact that there was no way I was going to sign up that day. Phew! She was getting pushy man…

Back home, I remember that Beijing Mamas had a discussion thread about this place, and quickly did a search. Thank goodness I did not sign up – there were complaints about feedback on the dirty pools, loose tiles coming off, and they even saw people spitting/urinating in the pools. Even though Kerry Centre fitness centre costs more, kids can go in free, so I think I might enquire on that... perhaps after CNY?

The next day on Friday, the lady called and messaged me, and as I was going for my facial, I called her (I needed a context where I had to get off the phone urgently!) and told her about what I’d read, and that I was not going to sign up. I pretty much said all I needed on the phone, not giving her much chance to explain, though she said they did renovations to the pool in 2009 (but the complaints were recent, this year definitely!). After that I hung up with her still on the phone, haha! So rude, I know, but if you give these folks leeway, no way I was going to get off the phone! (She also called me just now as I was going to prepare Rosabelle's dinner, wanting to explain about the water quality, when I just hung up when she was talking half-way, telling her NO WAY I was going to sign up - sheesh!!!)

I had a good time at facial on Friday, and had told Rosabelle earlier before her nap that I was going for美容. She was such a good girl, running quickly into the room to get her diaper changed as she knew I was going out, then telling me, ‘妈妈去美容,玥玥不哭。奶奶在家,给玥玥弄梨汁。' Think there were some other recent occasions when she was home alone with Nainai and had pear juice, but she could remember, and was sensibly reassuring me she would behave – so sweet…

But she’s so precocious these days, the other day she was sitting at the sofa and suddenly said, ‘玥玥smoking呢', and I actually asked her to repeat herself. She said, ‘玥玥抽烟呢!' – oh dear! I quickly had to tell her smoking is bad, and that nobody will go near her etc…

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