In The Stillness Of The Night

After having bade goodbye for more than 24 hours, my husband finally reached the other side of the globe
And it still amazes me how a day’s flight can transport one to a totally different world
With completely different climate, people, culture

It’s painful, just thinking about the journey
I really don’t enjoy long distance traveling
I hate how the recycled air in pressurized cabins dry my skin, making me age overnight

And I surprised myself having travelled back to the mountains for holidays not once but thrice over the last 2 years, each time swearing that it will be the last

Here’s his breakfast
His body clock must be screwed

It is night here
Quiet and still

It seldom gets this peaceful when he is around
He would be playing with the kids and they would read books till late

But today the little one crashed out as early as 7.30 pm
I must had worked him really hard

He scootered to and fro school which made him really happy
He is 3.5 years old
and he started swimming without a float

And I couldn’t believe how good he was
It just seemed so natural and effortless for him
He kicked and turned
He spinned and twisted
I was so impressed

Should I read, write, fold the mountain high clothes, chat long distance or just sleep ?

Time like this makes me nervous
Choices frustrate and stress me out
It doesn’t help when I am greedy and want it all
It is just so hard to choose

But tonight, we chatted
I folded the clothes
Made myself a cup of coffee
Read some news on the internet (though there are more books waiting to be read)
and finally composed this

It is good to feel accomplished
though I wish it happens more often
but things usually don’t work out so smoothly, with kids
I guess I just have learn to live better with my choice

It is past midnight now
and I ought to be turning in

It will be another long day tomorrow
A long week ahead
on our own
without him





A Crafty Percy Jackson Birthday Party

Malcolm turns 9 today
We threw a Percy Jackson birthday party for him over the weekend
It was about the most elaborate party we had for him

Percy Jackson is a fictional character created by author Rick Riordan.
He is the son of Poseidon and the main character in the series Percy Jackson and the Olympians and his favourite colour is blue

It took us 2 weeks to prepare for the party, which includes testing out a blue cake recipe that didn’t work
And I was glad I went ahead and ordered the cake from Coffee Bean instead

It was stress free, fuss free and it tasted delicious
All I did was dressed it up with Poseidon’s trident and 2 beads carved with Malcolm’s favourite greek god’s symbol (the Trident and the Owl) using fondant

We wouldn’t have spent so much time preparing for the party if we could just go to a store and grab Percy Jackson party supplies
The fact is we couldn’t, so most of the party stuff were made using cardboard and recycled stuff
The kids had a lot of fun turning trash to craft

We made these invites for his friends in school a week before the party

The invites were printed out on normal A4 paper and coffee was brushed onto the paper to get the antique look
They were crushed, ¬†crumpled and even torn to get the ‘aged’ look

How often do you get to trash something to get what you want
Even my 3 year old had fun making them

Then my husband and I spent the night before the party making a guest book tree
We drew out the tree on a white vanguard sheet and painted it

Each little guest who came printed their fingerprints with their favourite colour and we really love how it turned out

The party was held at Camp Half Blood aka BBQ pit at our place
In the book, it is a place where the demigods were trained to fight demons and monsters
We planned some games (ideas taken from the book) such as sword fighting, archery and shuttle runs

I wasn’t so sure about controlling a dozen of boys, having them do my bidding
So I prepared some craft just in case the games didn’t work out
I cut some head wreaths (just like those worn by Anceint Greek) for the girls using paper plates (they were supposed to glue and assemble themselves)
And shields for the boys using cardboard boxes and stapled rubberband handles to them

I would have spray paint the shields black if not for the fact that it is hell lot of work to do that for 30 shields
And I was glad I didn’t because my 9 year old was about the only one who like his shield black with gold paint

The girls who came along were siblings, because Malcolm’s guest list was ALL BOYS, and I was so thankful for the girls

They were the only ones who had the patience to sit under the shady tree on a hot afternoon designing shields
They made multi-coloured shields that were so pretty

The boys couldn’t be still for a minute and I couldn’t blame them because the weather wasn’t the kind that would make anyone want to just hang out outdoor
Thankfully, we were under a tree, beside a playground and right next to the pool
They were up the tree one moment and in the pool  the next
It was until much later that we finally managed to gather them for the games

We played shuttle runs where Zeus’s lightning bolt was passed but because it was too flimsily made (cardboard wrapped with aluminium foil), we ended up using pastic cups instead
Then we played Destroy The Cyclop where a bow and arrow (those suction cup type) was used to shoot the eye of a Cyclop (point allocation and drawing by Malcolm)

We didn’t have enough time for sword fighting but I think the kids had the most fun slaying Medusa

We made the pinata using 3 layers of newpaper mache (the hair was made using steel scrubber from Daiso) and I was so glad it could withstand the kids’ brutal trashing
In fact, most kids had at least 2 hits before the thing finally gave way

And finally apart from all the blue sweets and treats gathered from the pinata (remember to save some for the little ones who are too slow, I packed separate goodie bags for them)
Each little guest went home with a clay bead carved with a trident, just like the first bead Percy Jackson received from the camp
Well, almost



Malcolm And His Make Believe World

Malcolm loves to read
He reads the first thing in the morning and last thing before he goes to sleep at night
He reads in class in between work
He reads in the car during long rides
and he reads while sobbing, after being punished for misbehaving

Reading calms him down and is his escape to his make believe world
While his friends spend most of their time attending tuition and enrichment lessons, he spends most of his time reading and dreaming

Everyday after he finishes his school work, he gets to read his books and play his toys
He is given much liberty to decide how much he needs to study
But will get an earful from us if his result is less than desired

Going to school is his responsibility, so is knowing his school work
Help will only be rendered if he asks
And he loves school
The worst punishment for him has to be confiscating his books

Though he loves to read, he is fussy with what he reads
He reads what he wants to read, not what his friends read nor what Mom wants him to read
He doesn’t read the Mouse book which all his friends are crazy over and he refuses to touch Wimpy Kid

For a while he was into everything Samurai and Ninja, thanks to Chirs Bradford
He spent his free time racking his brains over the next weapon to make

He managed to churn out some great looking swords and shields with some cardboard and scraps of junk

Then with a glacier rock he picked from the Swiss Alps and a hardy twig he picked from the park, he made the most primitive looking knife and spent many hours trying to sharpen it so that it cuts

Christmas present for his Dad was a dart board complete with 2 darts
It took him a while to figure out how to make a proper dart, one that flies straight, doesn’t rock and sharp enough to pierce through the dart board

I thought it was a pretty cool gift

Then my sister gave him a copy of Rick Riordan’s Serpent Shadow for Christmas
In less than 3 months, he devoured everything Rick Riordan, both the Percy Jackson (8 books) and Kane Chronicles (3 books) series and a couple of others

The books transported him into a world of gods and goddesses and made him forget about his japanese warriors
He refused to start on anything new and insisted on re-reading his favourite chapters

Anything ancient Greek and Roman excites him
So much so that he wanted a birthday party with everything Greek
And I was foolish enough to say yes

I wouldn’t have been so panicky if I was a tad more well versed in Greek Mythology
But the fact is, I am nil, naught, zero

And I was given 2 weeks to prepare
Great !

I finally sat him down the other day because I so needed his help
And he drew me this

A family tree for the Greek Gods and Goddesses
He spend a long time explaining to me the tree
and we spend more hours discussing about the books and the party
It has been our lunch time topic for the past week

Finally after all the brainstorming and discussion, the invites are out
The fate is sealed
There is no turning back
It’s happening in 3 days’ time and hopefully it will be a whole lot of fun

Let’s PARTY !



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