Food Glorious Food (and Date Night…)

Today we ate out for both lunch and dinner – a privilege I don’t usually have! We had a day trip to Hahndorf with my parents and then, Dan and I had a quick dinner out, just to ourselves!

For those of you who haven’t heard of Hahndorf, it’s a little German town about half an hour out of Adelaide city. It’s a touristy little place, with lots of local products, German souvenirs and a variety of food. I also took notice of the fact that they have a few Spa motels, which seem really quite tempting. Maybe on our next special occasion…

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I didn’t take many pictures on the street because I was pushing Jacob around in his pram (he was asleep the whole time), but I did take pictures at lunch. We had a pub lunch at the German Arms Hotel, which was nice – I had a nice fat chicken schnitzel and Jacob stole some of my veggies off my plate. He also put his hand into my dad’s beer but escaped with just a froth wound. 🙂

ImageJacob was quite intrigued (and maybe a bit scared) of the many statues of German men. In terms of heritage, he’s part German and I want to make sure he identifies with that. I’m tempted to make him learn the accordion – what a sight it would be! But really, I want him to identify with the German language and perhaps go for a ‘home visit’ to good ol’ Germany.

Anyway, back from one part of the hills and off to another! Dan took me out to dinner at the Inglewood Inn, which is only 20 minutes away from where we live. What a gorgeous view we had from where we were sitting:

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We drive out through this part of the hills every week to get to our church out in Birdwood, and I really love changing backdrop. Right now, the grass is green and the trees are painted with hues of green, red and gold. Soon, they will be bare and the brooks will run fast with the winter rains. Then come the blossoms of spring, followed by the tan colours of summer. I’m so glad to live near the countryside.

But anyway, on to the food…

ImageI didn’t feel like meat so I ordered gnocchi with pumpkin and pinenuts, which was delicious but got a bit boring after a while. Beef pieces would have been quite nice with it… I don’t think I’d make a good vegetarian. And, of course, how could we miss dessert?

ImageJust a simple pecan pie with ice cream and berry coulis. Yum! 🙂 Overall a great experience. The Inglewood Inn is a really lovely place to eat – we’ve had breakfast there too, and that was delicious. They also have a function room overlooking a lovely garden area – perfect for a garden wedding! I almost convinced Daniel to marry me again there – he’s pondering it here, haha.

ImageBut really, date night ended in tears – not for us, but for Jacob. We came home to find him crying his heart out – apparently he was fine until they tried to sit him down for dinner. We are struggling a bit with him and his eating – he doesn’t like the high chair, doesn’t like being spoonfed, doesn’t like to drink water, etc. But we will get there!

Anyway, my little sook got his way (i.e. breast and breast alone) and is happily asleep. Sigh. Anyway, this is my favourite photo of the week – little boys should love their books.

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Over and out!

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Australia Day

Today is Australia Day and I can bet you that there are thousands of people at the beach! I really wanted to go to the beach this weekend so we went yesterday. Silly me decided to bring the pram along (as I forgot to bring a hat, silly mummy) so I couldn’t go on the sand, but it was lovely to be up on the boardwalk as I got to take a few shots from a different perspective.

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Trying to smile but it’s just a little bit too sunny! Daddy took him right to the water, but only for a little while so he wouldn’t get burnt.

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For those of you who know Adelaide, this is Semaphore beach and it’s probably my favourite beach. I love the fact that they usually have some sort of fun fair going on (and even if they don’t they still have that waterslide and mini golf). I love the row of shops as well which have a whole lot of interesting things to look at, great fish and chips as well as yummy ice cream!

Australia Day marks the anniversary of the British’s arrival in Australia and, understandably, is sometimes called “Invasion Day” as well. While I don’t have any strong emotions about this particular event, I like to join in the festivities anyway and celebrate the unity of being in Australia (though I’m not Australian yet).

I was planning to head out to an Australia Day breakfast but we valued our sleep in a bit more. We did get to have pancakes for brekky though – yum! We’re just watching cricket on TV (but unfortunately will miss the Men’s Australian Open Tennis Final later). And I’ll also miss Biggest Loser!! Okay, I’m not a TV addict but there are some things I don’t mind watching, haha!

As an aftermath from my previous post (http://ligurl27.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/gender-grievance-and-language-lament/), I have decided that I’ll focus on German and Japanese with Jacob. I already pretty much had my heart set on Japanese, but I know German will be good for him too. I’ll need to find out what he’ll be learning at school though – I guess with Malay, it’s a really easy language to learn so I can always teach him later.

Dan and I were showing Jacob some German kids videos earlier and we stumbled across this song, which just cracks me up:

Just a short post today because I’m heading out to a baby shower now – can’t wait! 🙂

Gender grievance and language lament…

Jacob and I haven’t really been up to much the last few days – gone out shopping a bit, visited a friend, etc. I’ve had some writing work to do and can’t wait to share my articles (as I’m playing love guru). Aside from that, two things have been resonating in my mind lately that I’d love to discuss.

When I was out shopping yesterday, I bought a few children’s books yesterday for some of my friends’ baby showers (as I love giving books as presents). They seemed like pretty neutral books when I bought them, but one of them has a page that says “Messy lipstick, messy floor” and shows the little bear playing with mummy bear’s makeup, shoes and jewellery. And I was thinking, hmm… perhaps I should give that one to my friend that’s having a baby girl. And then another book has a page which says “Feel the flowers on my dress. I try hard not to make a mess! Just like mummy!” – and I thought, no, definitely I should give THIS one to the friend with a baby girl.

And then I just thought to myself, what am I doing? Why am I so concerned? Perhaps my worry was that I would insult my friend by giving them a book that may influence their son to act in a girly fashion. In retrospect, if someone gave me those books, I’d still be more than happy to read them to Jacob (and let him read them when he’s older). And I don’t expect it to cause him to want to wear makeup or a dress. 

I think that too often, we’re so focused on giving girls girly things and giving boys boyish things that it more or less defines their roles even before they’re given a chance to decide for themselves. For example, is it so bad for a boy to wear pink? A friend of mine actually bought a pink t-shirt for Jacob as a joke (she didn’t know the gender back then) and I found it really adorable – of course, it did say “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” on the front.

ImageMy belief is that “Girls can wear boys clothes, but boys can’t wear girls clothes” – but I think that pink shirt suits him fine. Since we didn’t choose to announce the gender of our baby, we also have quite a few neutral things – even with clothes alone, we have green, red, yellow, orange, etc. which is just really nice to have! 

Another example is kids toys as well. Some people are under the impression that boys should play with cars and girls should play with dolls. My mum brought over quite a few of my toys from when I was a child, and I must say that Jacob prefers the soft toys over cars and blocks (though he’s only 5 months old so I don’t blame him – fuzzy things are cool!). Around Christmastime, I had some kids coming along to my Christmas party so I thought I’d pick up a few toys – one of the things I bought was a shopping basket, which my niece loved. And it got me thinking – boys should be exposed to grocery shopping anyway!

So, I guess what I really mean here is that I don’t want to be assigning roles to my little man, or at least I’m going to give him a choice. That being said, I do dress him up pretty boyishly but I think that’s because I like that look myself – if I have a girl next, I’d be more than happy for her to wear all Jacob’s clothes as she’ll look cool!

This topic was brought up quite a bit around Christmastime (which initially sparked my interest) and here’s one article that mirrors my sentiments: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/10498316/Nows-the-time-to-end-the-boys-and-girls-toys-gender-divide.html

And obviously, before I move on to the next thing I’ve been pondering about, a picture of Jacob asleep like a baby. I think those are girl pants he’s wearing, but it looks nice so who cares… 🙂

ImageAnother thing that’s been playing out on my mind is what language to teach Jacob. Yes, of course I’ll teach him English, but I mean what second language. So, here are some options:
Malay: I grew up learning Malay so I do know it pretty well, but I don’t really think I want to teach Jacob this language. I can teach him random words and how to string sentences together, but I’d rather he learned a more universal language.
Mandarin: Good language to know and probably good to learn the characters from young. But I don’t know too much Mandarin myself so I can’t teach him. I could learn it but I guess it’s not my top priority either.
Japanese: I LOVE this language. I only studied it for a year (and lost most of it because I didn’t speak it) but I’d be keen to pick it up again and have it like our special language. 
German: This is Dan’s preference, and he did a bit of it at school so he knows some children’s songs, etc. My issue is that I don’t think I can teach Jacob it at all, because I am terrible at European languages. I can’t even pronounce simple greetings! I think I’ve just got an Asiatic tongue…

What do you think? Frankly I’d like to do both Japanese and German, though I don’t think it’s a very politically correct combination. XD

I know this whole language thing screams “Asian mum”, but really – being bilingual from a really young age is really good. Kids pick up languages really quickly in the first 5 years of their lives, so I might as well make the most of it. It’s up to him whether he wants to go further with the language, but it couldn’t hurt to activate certain parts of his brain…

Here’s another really good article about brain benefits of being bilingual: http://voxxi.com/2013/05/11/bilingual-children-health-benefits/

For now, I’m just enjoying singing Kira Kira Boshi with Jacob (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in Japanese). It goes like this:

きらきらひか (kira kira hikaru)
お空の星 (osora no hoshiyo)
まばたきして (mabataki shitewa)
みんなを見てる (minna o miteru)
きらきらひか (kira kira hikaru)
お空の星 (osora no hoshiyo)

Anyway, I’d better go because Jacob’s trying to eat my Council Rates bill. He’s much more inquisitive and grabs anything and everything to put in his mouth. He’s been doing lots of push ups now, oh no… 🙂

 

Just a quick one before the weekend…

I had planned for today to be highly eventful day but time just slipped away from me. Possibly because I slept in til 9.00am… I know, complete luxury, right? Jacob slept all the way from 11.00pm to 5.00am, then had a feed and slept til 9.00am. Pure bliss – I have not known sleep like this for a long time!

Anyway, the reason why I was trying to busy myself was because it’s our church’s International Night this weekend. For some of us, this is a long-awaited event and we look forward to flaunting our culinary prowess. Okay, honestly I’m not a great cook but I make do.

This time round, I’m doing Malaysian food AND German food. This is going to be interesting because I’m baking a black forest cake with no oven! I’m also going to make my all time favourite honeydew sago – and I almost forgot to get the sago for it, silly me. This is going to be a fun weekend!

If any of you are in Adelaide and want to drop by, here’s the info:

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Today I was chopping vegetables and listening to Nickelback. I actually searched for “Lullaby” on Youtube and Nickelback’s song was one of the first hits. You should watch that video – it is so sad (but touching)! Nickelback is probably my favourite band because their lyrics are meaningful, their songs are catchy and man, is Chad Kroeger’s voice sexxay.

Songs nowadays have such unimaginative lyrics – half of them (if not more) talk about people dancing in a club, raising their hands and drinking themselves silly. Sure enough, some have catch tunes (or autotunes) but I like songs with some meaning beyond the emotional depth of a one night stand. Am I getting old?

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“Hmm, I don’t know mum… maybe you are getting old!” Sorry, I know the picture is blurry – I really can’t stand it when people put up blurry pictures but it’s so hard cos he moves so much!

Since it’s the Sabbath (took me THAT long to write this post, til the sun set), I’ll share one my favourite gospel singers – Nicole Nordeman. Her songs are powerful, lyrically and spiritually. Here’s one of my favourite ones:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waYUzxK8TYA

Til next time… The next post will be full of food pictures and possibly a Jacob video production – stay tuned!