Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bracelet Art

We've opened another birthday gift and this time, discovered a fun and colorful bracelet-making kit! Natalie was very excited, especially because the kit came in a nice box with a clasp she could open and close by herself. Once open, she insisted on making ALL the bracelets at one time so she could bring them to school and give to her friends. So we sat down and made every bracelet in one sitting (over an hour). See photos below.

We've just finished making ALL the bracelets. Natalie proudly displaying her handiwork.

There were 4 "string" bracelets where she had to thread the foam "charms", and 8 flat bracelets where she could pick and choose from a large variety of foam stickers to decorate them with.

I told her I would use the flash on the camera to see if it looked better in the picture and she covered her eyes (but still kept smiling).

Natalie laughing while playing with the bracelets.

"Look at my bracelet eyes!"

Natalie's beautiful bracelet creations. In the end, she did not bring them to school because we felt it would be unfair if she didn't have enough to share with everyone.

Later, Natalie models as many bracelets as she can for the camera. She could only fit 10 on her little arm. This photo is a bit grainy because I used a high ISO setting on the camera to avoid using the flash. Then I turned on the flash...

"No flash, Mommy!"

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Birthday parties!

This weekend, we attended TWO birthday parties! Natalie really loves birthday parties and knows the whole routine now. We need to wear a pretty dress, buy and wrap a present and write a birthday card. When we get to the party, she needs to give the gift and a hug to her friend and say "Happy Birthday!" Later, there is always singing and birthday cake.

Watch Video 285 as Natalie dances along to "Head, shoulders, kness and toes" with other children at her friend's princess-themed birthday party this weekend.

Natalie at her school friend, Kelly's 3rd birthday party. She finally had the chance to wear her princess dress! She was the only Princess Auroro. There were at least 3 Belles and 5 Snow Whites!

On Sunday, we attended Jasmine's birthday party which had an Elmo theme. She had a BIG Elmo attend her party and an Elmo cake. Here she is happy and clapping as we sing the birthday song.

Natalie was SUPER excited to see BIG Elmo. She's now old enough that she's not scared and was more than happy to go in for hug after hug after hug with Elmo. Poor Elmo was so big sometimes he couldn't see all the kids milling around near his feet waiting to hug or dance with him.

Natalie with Clark and Elmo.

The Wang Gang with Elmo.

It was such a treat for Natalie to see Big Elmo. They took a polaroid shot of Natalie with Elmo and it has become her most treasured possession. She refused to give it to us for safe-keeping and insisted on holding it herself for most of the day.

After the party, brave and noble Clark took Natalie through all the tunnels and slides and fun of Play Town for another 1.5 hours while I sat down on a chair and rested. Needless to say, when we got home, we had a big family nap!

Friday, June 25, 2010

More Natalie-ism: Natalie the negotiator and little smartie

Clark has picked Natalie up and is carrying her.
Clark: Natalie, you are a big girl now and getting really heavy!
Natalie (patting Clark's arm reassuringly): That's ok because you are big and strong.

Natalie has begun to sleep by herself in her own room. I've just tucked her into bed and have turned off the lights.
Me: You're such a good girl, sleeping by yourself! Good night, I'll come back in 5 minutes to check on you, ok?
Natalie (holding up one finger): How about you come back to check on me in 1 minute?

We've bought a box of chocolate-covered pocky sticks and are sitting outside waiting for Clark to come home.
Natalie: Mommy, can I eat the chocolate sticks now?
Me: You can have ONE chocolate stick. When Ba-ba comes home, you can have one more, ok?
Natalie: Can I have THREE chocolate sticks? Because it's so small, you see?
Me (thinking I'm being too stingy): How about you can have TWO now and ONE when Ba-ba comes home?
Natalie: How about I have three now and later, I have one more when Ba-ba comes home?

We've popped a bag of butter popcorn. We are sitting on the sofa waiting for Clark to finish transfering a video file so we can watch it together on the TV. Natalie has eaten about 20 pieces and LOVES it.
Me: That's enough, Natalie, not too much, ok? The TV show hasn't even started yet.
Natalie (in a sweet voice): Ok, Mommy. Can I give some to Ba-ba?
Me: Wow, what a good girl! Ok, you can give some to Ba-ba.
Natalie then starts to bring the popcorn to Clark, one piece at a time. On her way to Clark, she eats half of each popcorn piece before giving it to him.

Me: Natalie, it's bath time.
Natalie: But I'm not itchy.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Umbrella Painting

Since Natalie's birthday, she has been opening about 1 present per week. I know, I'm such a mean mum! But this schedule means she is very, very happy every week when it comes time to choose another birthday present to open :)

This past week, she opened her umbrella art present from Mandy, Dan and Ava. After we opened it, Natalie happily hopped into the shower (sans clothes since the paint is non-washable) and finished painting the entire umbrella in one go.

Natalie just getting started with her umbrella project. She was really excited to be painting her own umbrella and was particular about picking which colors to use for each image.

Here is the finished product! She's only just begun to understand the concept of "coloring in the lines" which is perfect timing for this little project. You can see she tries really hard to color each image a separate color. Whenever she accidentally went out of the lines, she would look at me with concern and ask, "Is that ok?" (to which I always replied, "Of COURSE it's ok!"

She's also started to appreciate the use of multiple colors. I was kept very busy opening and closing the different colored paint tubs and washing the ONE paintbrush between color changes. I didn't mind, she was very patient, and she had a lot of fun :) She even sang little songs about what she was painting as she was painting it!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fish eye lens

Here are some photos from Nat's birthday party taken with Serena Yee-yee's fish-eye camera lens. It's a funny lens!

Natalie with a big head, little body, and funny expression.

Natalie again with a really big head, little body, and wearing her mask.

Natalie giving us a hug. The fish-eye effect is not as pronounced in this photo, but it's a great shot of our family and I couldn't resist posting :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

My first princess outfit!

Today, in preparation for a birthday party next weekend (which will have a princess theme), we bought Natalie her first princess outfit. It's a sleeping beauty dress and crown. She LOVED it. Look at how happy she is. She spent many minutes (over half an hour) running back and forth to the mirror, turning around and admring herself.

See Natalie admiring herself in Video 284.

Natalie was all smiles in her new Sleeping Beauty princess dress.

It fit her perfectly (it has no buttons or zippers so getting it on was a bit of a trial, but good thing she was very cooperative!)

She was very patient posing and smiling for the camera.

A look at the back of the dress. It has a lot of little great details which Natalie loved such as little flowers sewn into the front, a crystal jewel in the crown and a little picture of Sleeping Beauty on the front brooch.

"I'm a princess!" She says (over and over again). It's quite cute how excited and happy she is over a princess dress :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Photo shoot

A couple months ago, Natalie's school asked us to submit 8 photos of Natalie (they use these photos to "label" Natalie's desk, her cubbyhole, and various other areas in the classroom). Instead of using an old photo, I tried to ask Natalie to sit nicely and take a proper school photo. Here's the result:

"Great smile, but can you sit up straight and do a smaller smile, please? Open your eyes!"

Natalie says: "Like this?" and I say, "Almost, sit up straight, please."

"Like this?" Natalie says, and I say, "Hands down, please." (She was clapping.)

Here was a pretty good shot. "Looks good, slightly bigger smile, please!"

Here was the best shot. "Now that's a GREAT smile!"

Monday, June 14, 2010

More birthday cake

We had a big party for Natalie on Saturday, but couldn't resist another little celebration at home with just our family and an ice cream cake on her actual birthday on Thursday. Happy Birthday, Natalie!

Video 282 - Here she is singing the birthday song and blowing out her candles.

Video 283 - Here she is eating the actual ice cream cake. Of course, she loved it. She finished the entire piece!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Birthday Party Videos and Photos

Natalie's 3rd birthday party on Sunday was a big success! Not only were there lots of family, friends, bubbles, hugs, food, cake and bouncy castle fun, we also enjoyed one of the nicest June days in Hong Kong ever (great weather)!

Most importantly, Natalie had a great time and has been talking about it non-stop at home. See all photos here.

Watch Video 281 of Natalie with her good friend from school jumping around in the bouncy castle. She loved it! (So did the other kids!)

This is my favourite photo from the day. It took some coaxing to get her inside the bouncy castle, but once she was in, she loved it.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Natalie's BIG OH-THREE Birthday

Natalie turns THREE years old this coming Thursday, June 10th. Yesterday, we held a birthday party for her at Bishop Lei Hotel in Central.

THANK YOU to everyone who joined us at the party. We had a BLAST! It was great to see you all and thank you for helping to make Natalie's birthday a really special and memorable day for her.

Pics and videos to come!

The Wang Gang

Friday, June 4, 2010

Pizza Chef

In May, we attended Nivana's 3rd birthday party at Pizza Express where Natalie became a pizza chef! She loves to cook (even pretend "cooking") and was especially happy to be making REAL food. Check out photos below (thanks Lily!):

We are just starting to press the dough into the pan. At first, Natalie was a little shy to touch the pizza. We had just arrived and there were over FIFTY other children there and she was still warming up.

Natalie helps me to shake-shake-shake the pizza sauce around the on the dough.

She's beginning to warm up and become intrigued by the process.

Natalie has warmed up even more and has happily agreed to put on her chef's apron. She has also helped to put on some pieces of ham (by herself).

I asked to put on olives and Natalie said I could put olives on my half of the pizza but not on hers because she doesn't like "black things". Natalie has asked for her chef's hat now, too :)

We've added mushrooms (to my half) and Natalie has spread some cheese cubes around.

Our pizza is ready for baking!

Natalie was really excited.

Look at our beautiful pizza!

"I cooked this pizza!" Natalie says proudly.

Later, after eating, an amazing balloon artist gives balloon ducks to Natalie, Summer and Olivia.

It's the first time Natalie has seen a balloon duck before. She's quite excited and asks if she can take a bath with it.

Summer is also happy with her duck. Isn't it cute?

The balloon artist was amazing. Look at this Arial Mermain she created.

And this birthday cake! This cake also doubles as a hat!