addicted

i have an addiction. an addiction to late night sleeping. more correctly put, addiction to the peace and silence that late night offers.

no sounds of drilling and pounding from the construction site next to me. no loud voices of children screaming and shouting, crying and clamouring for my attention. not much sounds from vehicles (only the occasional irritating loud boom from this motorbike!). no inner voices in my head reminding me tonnes of tasks to complete, needs to meet, and things to remember. no bustle of routine, errands, music, laughter, singing, dancing.

just silence, peace, tranquillity, with only mild sounds of crickets, and the soft hustle of breeze.

so when bedtime is done, and all else is done, and the night grows more silent, even though I’m exhausted and sleepy, I just can’t sleep. I can’t bear to let the silent night slip away in early slumber. I just can’t allow time for myself to waste away before the bustle of next day begins again. this is the time where I can re-focus, recharge in peace, refresh in silence, reflect in solitude.

while I love the warmth & bustle of day, and everything that comes with it, I too love the cool, silent night and all that it helps to bring things back into equilibrium, and allows me to face tomorrow with renewed strength.

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” ( Isaiah 50:15)

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Happy 7

the pre-teen kid just turned 7 about a month ago. I up-ed the challenge of making a cake for him after feeling proud of making the 1 year-old birthday cake for the bun.

my humble oven is very tiny, I can’t make 1 large cake to feed about 30 people. so the only way is to make multi-tiered cake. so I attempted a rainbow cake because it looks so cheery & fun. I used up about 40 eggs in all, threw away quite a number layers of cake (I know! heartache!!), and after more than 10hrs,  I made this:
cake

not a full 7-colored true-blue rainbow cake, just 5-tier, but it was quite a feat to accomplish for me! I had wanted to go with a jungle/safari themed cake (the kid is SO into animals at the moment), but by the time I put the cake together and clothed it with fondant, I was numbed with exhaustion at an unearthly hour. I could only managed a bright cheery sun and some grass, hurhur. after catching a few hours of sleep, I did the wordings, and tried playing around with my remaining fondant to make animals, but couldn’t make up any..then I wanted to make animals origami but looked so complicated & time-consuming, I gave up. I decided that a cake is just a cake, so just chilled before tha party. I couldn’t take any pics of the cake after its cut because I was busy partying around and not one of whom will take tonnes of pics of the cake itself. (live in the moment, peeps, for the real thing.) impressive and wonderful rainbow cake, so I was told. but too sweet and orthodox for my style, with icing, frosting, and layers. I think i’ll switch back to my unorthodox style of baking/creating, like the true fruit cake.

the kid was beaming, more for the company than the cake, though. (don’t ask me about his tucker-inner high-pants look, i’m not the one dictating, though I’ve tried to be the influencer to no avail ;()

song

special guest appearance
baymax

photographer trying to get the ‘perfect’ family photo?? (we corded off the area with red & white tape gee ;P)
family photo

it was planned as a walk-a-jog birthday party with family & close friends. the day started promising. then dark clouds loomed. then rain came beating down like there was no tomorrow. the party huddled together in the sheltered area, getting cold & wet. just as spirits were getting pretty dampened, impromptu games happened: limbo rock with the tape, zero point, sit-down games like ‘pass the message’, hand games, etc, hopscotch tried, etc..then the downpour stopped, kids & adults dashed wild.

run

we had a jolly great time, it couldn’t have been betterer, rain & all.

 

 

bake craze

i went on a baking frenzy during the last month of 2015, getting geared up perhaps, after baking a 5-tier rainbow birthday cake for the kid’s 7th birthday.

first, I baked these 40mins yummy babies, I didn’t use a bread machine, I didn’t even use a dough mixer. everything in one bowl, about 40mins, poof! I have heavenly yeasty aroma of homemade cranberry cheese buns permeating my home ;D
40mins buns then, I made this crazy chocolate cake, also all in one bowl! I added lemon zest on top, used apple cider vinegar instead. I whipped the frosting too much though, bleah, but it’s still nice, moist & rich! crazy choc cake

next up is christmas spiced star cookies (I didn’t have vanilla, I used mixed spices instead, nice taste but a lil’hard for my weak teeth though) for neighbours. surprised 2 neighbours in my neighbourhood with these cookies. 1 was for the neighbour right across the next block, same floor, same unit. the kids waited in anticipation everyday for the lights on their Christmas tree to light up (we don’t have one). so I went across on Christmas day and thanked them for bringing smiles to my kids’ faces with their lights everyday. another was for this ground floor neighbour at the next block who has huge figurines of ducks, swans & elephants outside their unit. the toddler loves to walk by them, and always happy to see them.
star cookies last bake of the year was this log cake hastily put together for a late notice family gathering. again, I didn’t get the frosting right, urgh. so the log cake looks somewhat mushy instead of ‘loggy’. still, it was quite impressive I thought for a 1st attemptlog cake

yup, I went mad with baking. and I was pretty proud of myself.

a parental moment

i’m not exactly the best of me, recently. snappy, irritable, exhausted, exasperated, stressed, frustrated…generally,  just deflated.

brought the kiddos to a really crowded (x10) place to participant in an event the older kid was invited to (more on that, if I find the time & energy). which always guarantee to bring stress level up several, several notches. yeah, we parents just like to torture ourselves, can’t help it.

after battling with hordes of people, many inconsiderate & non-civic, then headaches, then being irritatingly snappy with the ever-demanding children (I hate hearing my own snappy voice!). we managed to find an oasis, plonked our tired butts on the ground, and munched away whatever scraps of food left for dinner, while basking in the beautiful sunset. while trying to be ‘sarcastic’ (non-intentional) after getting umpteen requests for something, I found myself amused by myself, after saying, “you guys think I have like 20 hands!” So I burst into laughter, and the kiddos followed suit. such a great change in atmosphere hence. and we just continued to joke about how I look like to them, and I just had to draw it out.

alien mama

so apparently, the mama here has several hands, feet, eyes, mouths, etc. and also has the special power of multiplying herself.

whereas the papa? a normal being, has only 1 pair of eyes, 1 pair of ears, hands, etc.

ah. right. no wonder.