Terrific Thirty-Three

I remember lamenting about having a January First birthday when I was little. It meant, No-Celebrations-in-School-with-Classmates! I liked big celebrations with friends and quiet birthdays with adults were boring. Then again, my parents were amazing. They threw me yearly home parties that left me with big hauls of presents each time. I was a very lucky girl growing up. An ignorant one though because the importance of friends unfailingly overwrite the importance of parents. Doesn’t that sound instinctively familiar for a rebellious teenager?
As I become a parent myself, I give thanks to the opportunity to celebrate my birthdays with my family. Unfortunately, I cannot share my gratitude towards my mother for giving birth to me on New Year’s Day. I want to hear all about her birthing process but she is no longer here to tell me how frightening it had been. I remember brief outlines of how I was born but after going through it twice myself, I would like to know the details of her experience. I want to tell her I finally understood how much love a mother could give to her child. I owe 33 years of my life to her. Hey Dad! You played a part too I know but erm… don’t be jealous ya? Talking about how I can finally relate to Mommy and all her controlling antics. It is all out of love
We woke up to a beautiful breezy morning on New Year’s Day and had brunch at Halia, Botanic Gardens. It was recently revamped and looking all sophisticated in the midst of a ginger garden. I enjoyed the company of my dad and Pat. They are crazy over Ewan and would take him home every day if they could. Joy of being grandparents we will understand only after we become one ourselves. I must admit though he is one cool tot to hang around with. They do say the darndest things.

We have all these trendy cafes springing up like cotton which are perfect for pictures but lousy for the palette. Here at Halia, we savoured both good food and ambience. After brunch, the weather stayed perfect for a bicycle run. We brought Ewan’s Christmas present from Dad and Pat to Botanic Gardens and had fun watching him try the balance bike out for the first time! I shall be sharing the experience soon in another entry. It is the coolest balance bike I could find in Singapore! 

I love beautiful setups. Lush floral, romantic chandeliers, a jazzy song in the background and polished silverwares make my day. Clearly, the food has got to be of a certain grade as well. We had high-tea at The Clifford Pier in Fullerton Bay Hotel. The notion that we will be dining on that exact grounds where hopeful immigrants arrived in Singapore to settle down intrigues me. 1933 – some 82 years ago.

The festive menu was delectable. We enjoyed every tier of it. It was free-flow but one serving was already too much for two of us to handle. I love it that we are out without the kids two meals in a row!

EEKS! Ewan and Faye! It’s not that we don’t want you with us but daddy and mommy needed to sip tea, hold hands and listen to what we’ve got to say to each other. It’s been too long a while. Your daddy’s my best friend and he had been tolerating my nonsense for the longest time. I should start thinking of him first. It’s going to take some adjustments and mindfulness because I’ve always put you both in first place. I shall make this 2015’s resolution. Daddy first ok? Do not be jealous like I was of my own father. Grandma puts Grandpa first in their relationship and I was jealous. Especially the breakfast part. He was always getting the heartier meal. Note: The love I have for the three of you are uniquely different but I promise you, they are genuinely full with affection.

Dinner was painstakingly prepared by my mother-in-law. Every good cook has their place in the kitchen. It probably wasn’t that difficult a task for her to put together this birthday dinner but for a non-cook like me, it meant a lot. Steamboats are my least favourite but what’s on the table isn’t as important as the people sitting around it. The Yeo grandparents are heaven-sent. They put everyone of us before themselves, all the time. My mother-in-law always makes sure we have food on the table. She will cook at least one dish to satisfy each of us. The father-in-law doesn’t take meat, the brothers love meat, I do not take spicy and the children themselves have different preferences in food. What a tough job!

The father-in-law never eats until all of us had our fill. He always volunteers to take care of the baby or any grandkid that happens to be going through a meltdown. Whenever we push him to have his dinner first, he would say, “Never mind I’m not hungry.” and he continues watching over the children while we eat in peace.

I aim to be great grandparents and in-laws like them! The most delightful part of the whole birthday celebration was the children. They made singing “Happy Birthday” a fun affair! They transported me back to my childhood. I love our Yo Yeo Kids!

Now now now, who wouldn’t want to grow old with a group of faithful friends? I mentioned briefly to some friends that music had been robbed off me ever since we had children. [So have savouring a mouthful of melt-in-your-mouth pan-fried foie gras. Ah Huh I swallowed a top grade foie gras because I wanted good food yet was in a rush to finish my meal.] Singing used to be second nature. I sang to Meyer on our nightly telephone calls, I sang when I browsed the internet, I was a professional toilet singer *haha*, I sang and sang and sang. It doesn’t matter if I went out of tune. I just love to sing! But now, I am totally deprived of it. Funny for a woman but I cannot multi-task when I am caring for my children. So don’t suggest me singing while I am cleaning up a puddle of pee in my living room. I am probably too pissed off to sing!

So! We spent the whole of New Year’s Eve with Xiao Bin! We went Salt Grill and Sky Bar for lunch, headed off to Karaoke and rounded the night with Nicholas and Shy at Brussel Sprouts. As we dined, we caught up on gossips, recollected old memories, laughed at our silliness and most importantly, enjoyed every bite of our meal. We left the children at home! I haven’t had a meal with friends without kids before! Seriously! Sounds poisonously unhealthy but this meal shall be the start of more to come.

After lunch, we picked Faye up for Karaoke. Our 7-month old baby rejects the bottle and when it comes to sleeping, she needs to be nursed. So, we brought her along. She did great! She could even fall asleep in Meyer’s arms while he sang Mack The Knife. We were amazed!

I enjoyed this birthday more than the last. I had personal time with my husband, I dined with my friends, sang to my heart’s content, own two beautiful children and even celebrated two meals with the maternal and paternal grandparents. It was … Wholesome. I had  a Terrific Thirty-Third birthday.

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A stay at home mum, blogging to widen her social life. We want to echo the sound of love through our lives to inspire other mothers alike.

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