Sunday, December 30, 2012

Skool's Christmas around the World

Back to the Christmas celebration, inside, the Skool was already fully decorated with flags and festive decoration. Already, many students had arrived, all decked in the various costumes of their respective 'countries'.

Some of the big boys, representing Spain, Pakistan, Russia and Vietnam...

while the younger kids were busily (and excitedly) matching their flags with the ones on the stage.

Similar to last year, the students walked the length of the stage (well... actually last year there was no stage, so they walked the length of the room), and then they took turn to introduced themselves as well as the country they represented. Kecil was all smiles during her turn. She just kept looking for her Mama in the wrong direction (Mama's bad for moving to another spot in the room in order to get better picture angle, haha..)

And as it turned out, she's really Mama's girl, lifting her skirt up like that in order to walk better. Ha!

There was some simple dance and singing, but as usual, all the rush to record the kids in action did not create a pretty picture. Soon enough, it was time to eat while the judges deliberate for the awards (for best costumes, etc). Kids, being kids, mostly ate a few bites before they ran off playing with their peers.

Kecil did not win any award, unfortunately, haha....
Well... soon it was time to exchange presents (and play with the toys found inside them!).

And everybody got themselves a Christmas sock, with one very special stocking stuffer...

A lit up googles! How cool is that? It was definitely a huge hit with the kids.

Everyone was so keen on showing off their goggles (and pose for Mama, of course!)

So of course the teachers decided that the students can bring along their goggles for the following event: group picture.

Uh... so I guess lost kids and over-eager parents do not mix to create a nice group picture.

Well... but that was our Christmas celebration in Skool this year. It was fun, and it was really great to see all the effort that went into it: the decoration, the costumes, participation... good stuff. We definitely look forward to many more successful Skool events at the new building. Until then, cheers!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!

We are just staying at home today, maybe do some cooking, the likes, as we count our blessings and feel grateful for each and everyone of them.
We hope that you have a chance to do the same. Cheers!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Pageant Ready

Thanks to Kecil's Skool's recent move to a new building, the Skool decided to combine 2 celebrations in one for this year: United Nations celebration and the Christmas party.
You might remember last year's United Nations celebration (where Kecil represented China) and Christmas party (and the rehearsal, too!).
Well, this year, as you can see, Kecil got to represent Cambodia.

This Mama does not know much about Cambodia beyond the country being the seat of Angkor Wat, the world famous temple, but a quick search on the Google Image quickly brought in results such as these:

Images from here and here
It would appear that traditional Cambodian clothing (for girls) is centred around a woven cloth known as sampot. Sampot is worn in different ways, an elaborate style usually being worn by dancers. But since this Mama's aim is more on the 'casual while still being distinctly Cambodian', Kecil is so not wearing any dance costume. So, the pics above seems to be a good place to start.
Then the sight of the top right sampot started to seem familiar...

It would also seem that there are many similarities between the weaving technique practiced in the neighbouring countries of South East Asia, because the weave is certainly look quite similar some clothing this Mama got from Thailand, as well as Indonesia itself. A quick trip to the deep recesses of Mama's wardrobe resulted in a long scarf (Mama's) with a similar pattern.
So... yeah... that 'skirt' of Kecil above? ... was actually Mama's scarf.

Given the nature of the costume, Mama decided not to have this year's costume custom made at the dressmaker. The scarf was simply folded in half (it was by far too long for Kecil's tiny waist!), given a few pleats at the back (to further shorten the length), and secured by 2 safety pins, a tie and a belt. Ha! The smaller scarf was also found in the house, I think it was used for wrapping some gift basket the previous Christmas. Mama needed only buy Kecil the plain white T-shirt (she did not have one! Not one PLAIN T-shirt!). I'd say the result is not half bad.

Kecil seemed happy enough with the whole get up. The 'skirt' was wide enough (plus it had a slit in front!) for her to be her usual running, jumping, active self. She wore her shorts underneath, because this Mama 'knew' that Kecil wouldn't last long in the skirt once the party/ceremony is over. (Plus, just in case the safety pins fail, who knows?)
And so... once we arrived safely in Skool, followed closely by the arrival of her current buddies, we just had to take pics:

Not to forget the slightly-uncooperative elder brother:

Hahaha.... Well the party was starting, which we'll cover in the next post. Until then, let me leave you with this gem:


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Back to the Park...

So the costume was already worn and joined the pile of laundry to be washed, while in some corner of Mama's computer, stacked up high were the photos of the Christmas/United nations celebration of 2012. Yet there is still no word about it here?

Indeed, because we were not home at all yesterday. In the dark of early morning, we all set out on the car, only to say hi to the blue sky in a different place.

Good morning, Makati!

Yeah, Daddy had to go to his office in Manila, again.
And so... just like last time, we ended up at the same mall, again.
But it would seem that this Mama underestimated Kecil a little bit. For she actually remembered a certain park we visited last time, where she spent a good, lovely, active afternoon playing.
So... upon her insistence, we ended up there again.

There were the playground equipment, which, I'm sure, was the main attraction. Unfortunately, they were undergoing some 'sprucing up'. The paint is still quite new, although completely dried out. But some parts are still missing. So Kecil did not quite spend so much time with them.
Good thing the park had some new 'attraction'.

Red Christmas trees! Haha... awesome. You have not forgotten that Christmas is another 4 days, right?

Even better was the fact that the park was not completely flat, which means that Mama could get a comfortable seat on the grass. Add to that also the fact that Mama was dressed comfortably enough to sit on the grass. Not to forget the cloudy weather in the morning.

So we spent a lovely morning at the park, Kecil playing, jumping, posing with the trees, while Mama took pictures and generally tried to work out the sleepiness from her systems.
Ain't it nice to be little, to sleep lying down straight across the middle seat while Mama and Daddy took turn to drive? This Mama is officially jealous.

Oh, and did Mama mention Kecil posing? Pose she did. With her funny face, and even pretending to be a statue.

Well, it was a lovely morning spent at the park while waiting for Daddy (and for the mall to open. They are only open at 11! Unbelievable!). We finally left around lunch time. We did not leave Manila until later in the day, but the rest of the day was basically spent navigating the traffic, exploring another mall, then going around looking desperately for a way to charge Mama's old phone (long story, don't ask) so we can arrange rendezvous with Daddy, and finally navigating the traffic again out of Manila.

It was a long, tiring day, and it really took another day to recover from it all. So... perhaps tomorrow, for the promised story on the costume and all?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Homecoming: Baa....

After waking up at the crack of dawn, riding across the desert and climbing up the mountain, one would expect the Little One to be knocked out for the rest of the day.
Ha! No such thing.
Apparently all the sleeping in the car (on the way to and fro) was enough for the Little One for recharging her batteries, because in the afternoon, while Mama and Daddy were walking around the house like a zombie, she was still her little energizer-bunny-self.

After getting increasingly irritable with Kecil's apparently boundless energy, this Mama decided to let Kecil spend her energy outside.... by visiting the goats.

Although not quite planned so, our homecoming this year coincide with the Muslim celebration of Idul Adha, also known as the Feast of Sacrifice. In observance, Muslims would buy animals such as goats, sheep and cows to be sacrificed during the Feast.
The result was the rise of impromptu holding areas for the animals, usually near mosques. This, of course, includes the mosque near Eyang's house.

So.... partly to further Kecil's education, partly to direct all those energy of her somewhere else, this Mama grab the Little One (and her Tante, who happen to be home as well) to walk to the makeshift pen.

Some of the goats were busily eating grass provided, so Kecil also wanted to 'feed' the goat.
Then she protested when the said goat did not deign to eat the grass she offered.
Mama actually had to pick through the different types of leaves in the through just so Kecil got to give the goats some grass (that the goat would eat!). Ah well... the things that Mamas do for their kids.

There were actually a few cows at the holding area, but since they were just tied to stakes instead being kept in a pen, we kept clear of the cows. Besides, goats are much smaller and therefore a bit safer for non-animal handler like us, no?

Well, the ploy seemed to work as Kecil calmed down after the walk and was finally content to watch her DVDs while her parents (tried to) recover from the morning activities. We still have a whole 2 weeks worth of holiday to enjoy, after all.
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