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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Chinese New Year Playgroup 23 Feb 2008

Chinese New Year 2008 – The Year Of The Rat.

In comes ibu's 1st Special Themed Playgroup of the Year - The Chinese New Year Playgroup!

No, there were no firecrackers so we did not usher in the New Year with a bang, but we tried to do it with as much flair as possible!

All the children were greeted traditionally at the door and given the must-have item, the Ang Pow and two mandarins each.

The day got off to a slow start as families trickled in. But by 10.30am, the party was in full swing. In total the ibu house was packed with 25 kids and 24 parents.

Artwork was on hand to keep the artistically inclined ones busy. Chinese Fans and Lanterns were coloured, sparkled up, and stapled together by Mum or Dad.

For the younger ones, colouring Chinese designs on paper and the face painter, Camille kept them occupied.

A right spread was laid out for all the hungry little mice. This included pineapple tarts ( of course! ) love letters, peanut biscuits, jelly, mini mandarins and gorgeous Chinese themed cupcakes with Mice, Gold Coins and Auspicious Calligraphy on them!

A mid morning break with Anne Ooi our ever-so-enrapturing ( if there is such a word ) story teller, saw the children thrilled by a story involving a rat and a turnip.

And the highlight of the day was the ‘lion’ arriving at 11am. Since I personally remembered as a child, being scared silly of the whole lion dance performance, drums and all, I had instructed the troupe prior to the day that this performance had to be tailored to ‘little kids. I certainly had a hard time getting it across to them. They could not understand why I did not want the drums and all the instruments. Why was I opting to play a CD of Chinese music instead? ( I was too embarrassed to tell him the truth ) Anyway Danny the troupe leader finally got my drift, and I was very happy that it went the way it did on the day.

The ‘Lion’ entered the house slowly but surely, toyed with a few of the children and then headed straight to get his ‘Ang Pow’.

With great agility he removed, from a hook hanging up high, the red packet which was attached to a head of lettuce.

The Lion then lay down and proceeded to ‘munch’ on the lettuce. Suddenly it spat out the lettuce! It looked like a Caesar Salad!

The Lion then bowed down to eat a bucket of oranges. Wow it was a big bucket too. It seemed to take the longest time but actually what the guy inside the ‘Lion’ was doing, was stuffing all the oranges down his T-Shirt!

It then got up, and went around the room, to every single adult and child, laying a mandarin on its’ lip for us to remove from his mouth. I must say, some of our ibu kids were braver than their parents!

Once done, The Lion took a break and lay down on the floor to get its’ tummy scratched. Most of the kids were fearless, touching its’ head, tail, stroking it and looking down its’ mouth. Once all the kids were done, the lion made its’ exit. This signaled the end of the Playgroup.

This was a great way to introduce a Malaysian culture to all the ibu kids, local and expat. I am planning to do a Hari Raya and a Deepavali one too. But before then, I look forward to the next Special Playgroup which will be on the 22nd March – The Easter Playgroup. See you then!

Many thanks go out to the volunteers who helped make this day happen:

Kate Healy
Tammie Morris
( who helped tidy up after all the fun was over )

Amelie Langdon ( Photography )

Paige Head
Phillipa Yoong
Melissa Smith
( who manned the tables )

Camille ( Face Painter )

Nikki Smith ( for the great cookies you baked ! )

and of course, Alison D'Cruz & Rufa for all the help.
apologies if I have unintentionally left anyone's names out.

Written by Karen Loong-Thomas
ibu Activities Coordinator

PHOTO GALLERY OF THE GORGEOUS KIDS WHO CAME! ( and their Mums and Dads of course! )

This little one has the honour of being the youngest ibu member there!

Mums On The Run Feb 21st 2008 - SAFFRON

On the 21st of February 2008, the final Mums On The Run was held at SAFFRON ( Northern Indian Food ) in Sri Hartamas.

Tucked away in a quiet lane in this upmarket suburb lies one of KL’s oldest and most established family owned and run restaurants. The owner Billy runs the restaurant and his Mum does all the cooking, thus guaranteeing great tastes and quality control.

This night out turned out to be a really big one, totaling 12 Mums. ( nearly half were Texans too! )

As the night was getting on, we went head first into the mains, totally skipping out on the starters. As I was very, very hungry, I TOTALLY forgot to take any pictures of the food! So, you’ll just have to take my word for it that it was great!

We ordered an assortment of food, from the very spicy to the mildest of mild to suit all tastebuds. The Prawn Piazza whilst getting the thumbs up for being very tasty, was also very very spicy. Amongst the 3 different chickens we ordered, Achari Chicken, Murg Masala and Butter Chicken, the Butter Chicken came out tops as an all time favourite. The Maharaja Baingen ( eggplant ) was well received and the other vegetable we had was Aloo Gobi which is a Northen Indian staple of cauliflower, potatoes and peas. The mutton dish, Saag Gosht was a tad oily but nonethless, very tasty. The food was accompanied by Saffron and white rice, a variety of nans, chapattis and batthura breads.

The service, though sedate at times, was efficient and fast. The deco is simple and has remained the same for years. But as a testament to the quality of the food, even local Punjabi or Northern Indian families eat here!

We had more than enough to eat, in fact some of us were pretty stuffed. For 12 people the bill only came to slightly more that RM400. Divided amongst us it turned out to be a pretty affordable meal.

It was really great to see so many Mums that night and to catch up on a bit of gossip or exchange ideas and tips! Next month sees ibu moving with the times and the start of PARENTS NIGHT OUT. We hope it will be as successful as this one. See you all on the 13th of March at Ipoh Old Town, Lucky Gardens, Bangsar!

No.5, Jalan Sri Hartamas 7,
(Opposite PETRONAS)
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-62011375

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Silent Auction & Charity Bazaar at BSC 24th / 25th November 2007

We FINALLY have our Silent Auction Article folks! Read On!!

“SILENT AUCTION” - ibu’s first silent auction fund raiser for Agathians Shelter for boys.

(Actually it wasn’t so silent. The last few minutes saw 3 people starting an all out price bidding war on a Persian carpet with paper snatching and strong tones of ‘put that paper down madam, I’ve yet to re-bid!’)
Sorry – maybe I should start at the beginning – 24/25 November 2007 saw ibu holding its very first Silent Auction & Kids Bazaar Fund Raiser. For those of you blissfully unaware of our numerous email & SMS reminders, the auction was held at Bangsar Shopping Centre (BSC for you newbies) with 100% of profits going to Agathians. Now, how does a charity like ibu, organize a charity event for someone else you may ask? Well, with great difficulty. In essence an opportunity came about which was too good to pass up - BSC offered us the space for free and we still had Melissa’s voice in our heads (ex-chairperson, bless her heart), asking us (the charity team) what our big event for the year was going to be… so with motivation and a keenness to help others we plunged in and trusted to the guy above.

What is a silent auction? Basically its just like a normal auction in that there are items to bid on – the only difference lies in that the bidding was on sheets of paper that was laid out on the tables, near the bid items. This way people could come back at the end of the 2 days and see if they still had the highest bid or whether they should re-bid.

Besides the silent auction of the many, many items we had donated by generous sponsors, we also organized a kids bazaar (free angel making, nominal fee for cupcake decorating and RM30 for batik painting) and lucky draw. Naturally the angel making was a big hit, the cupcakes earned RM2,452, the batik earned RM350, generously donated by Craft Complex - RM10 per piece of batik made. (for some reason the batik wasn’t popular, though we thought it’d be our best seller. It’s a puzzler.) The 2 days saw 235 tickets sold.

At final count, we had these figures:
Silent Auction RM36,506
Private & Corporate Donations RM14,225
Periphery activities (tickets, cupcakes, etc) RM8,652
TOTAL RM59,383
(expenses – mostly subsidized by Mel Smith) RM2,242

As mentioned 100% of profits went to Agathians Shelter towards building their new home in Petaling Jaya – currently they live in 2 very small single-story link houses that is home to some 30-40 boys from age 3-16 years. With this new home, they will be housed in a bungalow with actual grass around the house and hopefully a double story level soon. For more information visit

A months of stress, some tears, some laughter and a few new friendships later, and it was all over! Phew. We’re not entirely sure that we’d do it again or if its viable for an entity such as ours to tackle fund raising for other charities, but at the end of the day we had fun, raised heaps of money and almost reached our target of RM60,000!

It was a mammoth effort and there are so many people to thank, so please bear with me:
• The 80+ sponsors & vendors who generously donated time, money and/or space – A Cut Above, Alex Yoong, Amita Pearls, Asian Tiger Transpo, Baby Loft, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Belle Baby, Berjaya Air, Blessings Bed & Breakfast, Bisou, Borneo Pop (Jonas Jodie), Buds, Carcosa, Celebrity Fitness, Cold Storage, Celia Yap, Charita, Chateau De Sable, Cheras Driving Range, Craft Complex, Deok Sun, Dr Yee, D'Showcase, Dodo Art, Ebeza, Expedite Printing, FA'IQ Jewels, Fogal Meat Market, Fit For 2, 90’s Go Lights Temptation, Glaxo Smith Kline, Gymboree, Grace Salon, Grand Continental Hotel, Hadar Gifts, HerbaLife, House & Co, Gudang Damansara, Judy Yap, K.M. Oli Mohamed, Khaana Peena, Kid Sports, Kidscool, Lords Tailor, Leighton Construction, Lazat Cooking School, Mines Watersports, Montes, Mad Science, Mattel, Maxnetic, Nando's, Nestle, Numpueng Art, Out of Africa, Pantai Hospital, Persian Collections, Pet Epicure, Planet Art, Raffles Furnishing, Sew & Soul, Starwright Graphic, Suzie&Russel Palmer, Sprintserve, Sparkles Jewellers, SMACC, The Bridge International church, The Attic, TNT Kickboxing, True Life Art, TwentyOne Restaurant & Bar, Victoria Music, X1R, Yee Wah Hing's Watch, York House, Zazi Art, Zurich Timepieces
• The 80+ volunteers that were integral leading up to and on the days – Amanda & Michael Moggie, Amy Sholdl, Angela McKenzie, Angie Tan, Ann Gunapalan, Anne Tiernan, Asha Pollack, Beatrice Huang, Brian Fernandez, Chela Mega, Cheong Wai Quan, Chong Yee Li, Christina Rajaratnam, Clare Suanders-Tack, Cressa Chan, Diane Douglas, Emma Brant, Eunice Marie Song, Eveline Deutman, Fabienne & Elisabeth Rushworth, Francis, Gail McIntyre, Helen Garry, Ingrid van de Coevering, Jane Sullivan, Janice, Jenny, Jill North, Jo Yoong, Judy Yap, Julia Smith, Justine Goh, K Fuad, Lynn, Maureen Tong, Melissa Smith, Michele Sagan, Nikki D’Cruz, N. Wilson, Nor Azlina, Paige Head, Penny Dunn, Phyllis, Rachel, Rene Springall, Rita, Sarah, Sharon Tan, Shireen, Siew Teen, Sigrid Gauthay, Soraya Putra, Tee, Tammie Morris, Tasneem, Teresa Botner, Teresa James, Vanessa, Wai Fong, Wendy McLean, Will Stegall, Yasmin Panton, members of the committee and many many more.

• And also all the boys at Agathians Shelter for coming out and supporting us: Poobalan, Siddha, Buddha, Devan, Jaianand, Dhilip Kumar, Haran, Kesava, Shankar, Hari, Sunder, Shatiasilan, Yuvarajah, Amaran, Arunasalam, Jeevanathan, gunasegaran, Ezra, Bose Mani, Prem Kumar, Dinesh Kumar, Teenagaran, Meriyappa, Thevendran, Jaganathan, Loga Lingam

• And a special thanks to Brian, Viknesh, Simbu and Eswar for staying all day on both days and helping us!

• Much gratitude also to Siva and his helpers
And a special thanks to Melissa Smith for donating her time, generosity and patience, Paige Head for her selfless long nights, Allison for being our constant backbone, my husband Andrew for babysitting Tara every weekend and putting up with my not-so-niceness and Jenny Stegall for having the vision and heart to start it all.
Finally my humble apologies for any errors or omissions in this article. I’ve tried to include everything and everyone as I’ve remembered it, but as I still have pregnancy brain (from a year ago!) I may be a bit remiss.

Hope everyone had a merry merry Christmas and New Year and I look forward to seeing y’all at ibu!

Written By Charities Coordnator Phillipa Yoong-Bayly