Friday, December 30, 2016

School Year 2017 Prep

this school year flew by real fast. even akmal's been mumbling...i can't believe i will be in year 2. there'll be significant changes next year. more in morning session hence the need for bigger lunch. one off agama school to concentrate on his big year 6 exam. one made a prefect and will be sitting for his first big exam. one will, by hook or by crook, be forced to be more active in school activities.

there'll be less uniform to be bought for next year. agama school uniforms can be recycled, and less by 4 sets (because its 4 sets per eai). as usual, i dont buy sk pants unless necessary. so it'll be mainly sk white shirts that we need to get - with that comes the badges and name tags that i so very detest.

i took a trip to 1utama in the last week of school to grab the boys' uniform and socks. its a short shopping trip. most items already in the trolley waiting for hubby to finish work and settle payment.

i went on a quick stationery replenishing trip at a nearby bookstore when the boys were in school. just the normal erasers, boxes of pencils, colour pencils, scissors, a couple of pencil cases (as 2 eais can use their current ones), magic colours, crayons to share, A4 paper for me and label printer paper for the many, many books i would need to label.

the boys bought their school shoes, compliments of nenny, in the second week of school holidays.

they had a lot of books last year, text books, activity books & exercise books. before starting on next year's books, i had to clear this year's stack of books first. the text books were returned to both schools in november. i'm left with activity and exercise books. those filled 3 garbage bags and we sent all 3 bags to a nearby recycling centre. once the boys' study table were cleared, i could focus on their books for next year.

before i sat down to look at their school books, i took advantage of the rare december sunny days and washed the boys' school bags. we wont be getting new bags this year as all their bags are still in very good condition.

they received their text books before the end of the school year. i absolutely hate wrapping books and took my time doing them. i spent a bit of time everyday for 5 days to wrap almost 50 text books.

i only bought activity books towards the end of the school holidays, after our year-end holiday. i know i wasn't going to wrap them before the trip and seeing them all stacked up would be an eyesore, so no point getting them early on.

i'm so glad there's no need for me to stay on in school the first week and no more orientation for me to attend. yeay!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Year-End School Holidays 2016

this year's year-end school holidays felt really short. it started in late november, like really late, and will end very early january, like really early. i think we usually have 6 weeks but we have 5 this year. not exactly sure why.

for 2 of the 5 weeks, we'll be away. the boys have been hinting that we haven't been on a family holiday in ages, so we'll be taking them for a very-packed 2 weeks in japan.

the first weekend of the holidays, hubby took the boys for a haircut. i've been waiting for this forever. the boys' hair were looking like the hair on a lego person.

the first week of the school holidays will be all towards getting their school items ready - uniform, stationery, shoes, the many many books. in between we'll be taking the boys to get their winter clothing - shoes, jackets, joggers and socks generally.

i'll set aside the last couple of weeks of the school holidays for name tages, uniform ironing and taking a trip to the school bookstore to get their activity books. i used to go by myself but i think this time around i would need manual labour to carry the books, they are theirs after all, aren't they?

the boys also have things to do - get their school bags prepared, get their school shoes prepared, write names on their exercise books, prepare their pencil cases and pencil colour cases. other than wrapping the text and exercise books and ironing, most are done by the boys.

the school holidays were not just short on calendar, it was really short. i think we didn't spend much time together during the holiday, shame really.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Lunch Box Journey - Year End

as the school year comes to a close, so does the lunch box journey for the year. i learned a lot from the journey. some i practiced into the preparation process, some i put aside so that i'll do them next year.

i learned that it doesnt really take a lot. i thought i would get bored and i thought the boys would get bored but sandwiches lasted the whole year. filling needs to be of many variety, bread needs to be of many variety. that's the key lesson, variety. but sandwiches lasted a whole school year, which is awesome because i can only bring myself to prepare sandwiches.

rice is too filling for the boys. and there's not enough time during recess for rice. except maybe fried rice. not white rice with lauks. so another big yeay. fried rice i can do, white rice not so much.

we need cookies, loads of them. cookies and cookies and cookies. next year, the boys and i agree, cookies and fruits or veggies would be the sides. they are actually excited about veggies and fruits, i'm surprised.

i realise that every morning, i would only need to spend around 10-15 minutes if everything's all prepared. so i will prep, about twice a week. cut veggies and fruits, set aside cookies, maybe bake a few things. some of course needs to be done the morning itself like puffs, those take longer but i guess i can spare 10 minutes of sleep every now and then.

another lesson learned is...i need bigger lunch boxes. there was one time when i had to resort to packing half a toast because the sauce container was too big. big boo boo, that one. the boys need to separate the lunch boxes and the water tumbler, they cant both fit in their bags. here's the last batch of lunch boxes from the last 3 months of school. we made it...phew!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Amira's Trip "Under The Sea"

the theme was chosen a year ago. i was fresh out of ideas. i was too tired to come up with ideas, actually. no, strike that, i was too tired to even want to think about wanting to have birthday parties. but akmal came up with sea animals, one fine day, in his shark-loving mood, and it just stemmed from there.

there are loads of sample on the net. i got some i really liked as samples and quickly emailed my regular designer/printer to inform her what i liked. she came up with the invitation card first and the rest followed suit - the banner, cupcake toppers, favour bag stickers and food labels.

and then it was the cake. i'm blessed that i know a lovely baker who i can count on. she baked a sea animal-theme cake before and it looked lovely to me. i showed her the picture of the cupcake topper and left it to her imagination on how amira's cake and cupcake would look it. the final product was amazing, i was absolutely in love with amira's cake...asyraf too, as he ate all the figurines.

getting food wasnt too easy. actually the menu went form one spectrum to another. i initially planned to have amira's aqiqah during her birthday and the main menu would follow the kambing bakar that would be served. we decided at the last minute to do her aqiqah during raya haji instead, so the menu for her birthday changed drastically. from kambing bakar, nasi tomato and its friends (really heavy) became nasi lemak bungkus, mihun goreng and fried chicken (light and simple).

i know most of the guests would be the boys' friends therefore i needed food that children would eat, and would eat while they played, and would run to eat and leave and run back to eat. so something packed and simple was top of my list. i wanted the school canteen to prepare the main dishes. but after two weeks of waiting for the canteen operator to sit down and discuss, i decided to look elsewhere. just so happen, as i was browsing for karipap that is sold in a large quantity for fuctions, i came across a lady nearby who is able to do karipap and other kuihs and nasi lemak and mihun. so i asked her to prepare food for the day and she accepted.

i then added a lot of kuihs for dessert seeing that the party would be around tea time - cream puffs, cheesetarts and seri muka. i also added sandwiches to the table and took out my idea of preparing baked pasta. i dont think i'd have the time even if baked pasta doesn't take much time to prepare.

i'm feeling a bit guilty as amira's party favours isn't as wholesome as her brothers' were. i used to give stationeries and good toys and good quality cups and nice cookies. but this time its just simple crackers and cookies and wafers. i wanted to add maybe a notebook or an activity book to the bag but i kept putting it off that it didn't materialise in the end.

theme sorted, food sorted, invites and other printing sorted, favours sorted. the only thing left was activity during the party. i wanted a bouncy castle but i listened in on the boys' conversation and found out they wanted to play football so i guess maybe no bouncy castle. i decided then to get beach balls and water pistols and maybe inflatable pools for the boys' friends to play with during the party. i also put some puzzles and pictures on the table so that the guests, young or old, can test their skills when they're eating or chit chating at the table.

we spent the day before and the morning of the event for preparation - blowing up the balloons, setting up tables, blowing up the inflatable pools, sorting out the puzzles and stationeries and water guns.

alhamdulillah, the party was a beautiful success. amira wore a shark onesie, no mermaids for my baby as people would sooo expect the birthday girl to be a girly sea creature. the boys too wore shark tshirts. the balloons were lovely around the canopy and on the tables. food table decoration was simple but i loved it. we were in a sea of blue and i'm so happy how everything turned out.

amira's big day ended with unwrapping of the presents. not by the birthday girl, but by the brothers and aunts. she received so many wonderful toys and clothes, alhamdulillah.


the value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults - peter de vries

grown-ups never understand anything for themselves and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explainning things to them - antoine de saint-exupery
Images by Freepik