Monday, 18 November 2013

Squeaky's School Year

Last week was Ayisha's last week of school. Ayisha's been away so much during the year that in total, she's probably been in school for about 6 months or so. She missed out on a lot of exciting activities, trips & celebrations that I do feel bad about but Michael would always snap me out of it with "she's only 4 lah". 

However, we did try to make it to some of the more important ones; her end-of-year concert being one of them. We came back 2 days before her concert so she only had 2 short days to practise. Her teachers told me before we left that they'd make sure Ayisha would be able to participate even in a small role and the school was even nice enough to wait for us to come back for the full dress rehearsals. 

So the day of the concert came & I was all so excited to see what was this 'small' role of hers. The concert started with the youngest kids' performances, which was Ayisha's class - the 4 year olds. I saw some familiar faces of her classmates but she wasn't there. They were singing & dancing for about 5 minutes and it was mentioned that it took them 3 weeks to practice for their show, so I knew they wouldn't have made Ayisha joined in that one with just 2 days to fit her in. 

So we waited. Eli started off from being all clappy, jumpy & pointing to the stage and dancing to the music, to having his nap & waking up again. In the end, on the very last performance.... 

Taaa - daaa!!!! She appeared!! 


Little Miss Sunshine, no?


 As the SUN! :) And she stood there, all so cute & still. Very very still. The whole time..

I found out later that she was supposed to dance around a little bit but when I asked her after, she said she forgot her moves. Her teacher said that on rehearsal day, she was really quick to pick up the dance moves & was dancing just fine. Her teacher added that she thinks the speaker that was placed right in front of her might be too loud and made her uncomfortable. 

Well, she was right. 

1-2 days after the concert, Ayisha was singing and dancing to her concert songs and when I asked again what happened to her on the day, she said 'it was too loud mummy, it hurt my heart'. 

Coupled with the fact that she didn't have 3 weeks to practice & being just 4 years of age, a little bit of it MIGHT be a case of stage fright, I think. It happened in Bali, with her performances at Little Stars kindergarten, remember? And it also happened not too long ago, this year, at her school's sports day performance. 

Well to be fair, she was sick a few days before her sports day. So it might be a little bit of that as well. But she had lots of practice with her friends & apparently did really well during rehearsals. They were supposed to sing and dance a medley of songs before doing the sports events. The one that she loves the most is called "Bintang di Langit /Stars in the Sky". She performed this song almost everyday for Eli & I weeks before her sports day. She nailed it.

So what happened on the day? 

We were sitting right in front of where she was standing and they started singing the national anthem and marching to some songs. But as soon as she saw me, she went all pale & muttered 'sakit perut/tummy ache' over & over again. Me being the overly concerned mummy ran down and took her to the toilet. Of course, nothing happened. So I rushed her back cause I knew that her 'Bintang di Langit' song would come out soon.

Her 'sakit perut' face


Few minutes later she looked at me again 'sakit perut, mummy'. I was trying to avoid eye contact but she was getting paler & paler so I ran down again and rushed her to the toilet. 

Again, nothing happened. 2 seconds later, her song came up and boy was I crushed. I hated the fact that she practised so hard all these while, only to miss her moment. 

But you know what? She did have her moment. Right there and then, in the toilet, between squatting & flushing the toilet, she was singing and dancing to the music, doing her little show. No more pale face just the biggest smile, all for me. And everything else didn't matter. :p

 Aaanyways, her sports day continued after that. She was supposed to do her event twice - running to the middle, pick up a toy and putting it in the basket at the end. But because she was unwell, she couldn't do it as fast so only did it once. She did try her very best & tried to run and her team got 3rd place. yeayy! There was only 3 teams but still, yeayy!!

We left immediately after & missed the prize giving ceremony. She continued being sick few days after that :( 

But when she's back at school, she was super duper excited to get her trophy!

Look how happy!! :)
  
Another event that we managed to join was her Space Themed Teacher's Day celebration. Ayisha wanted to be an astronaut so I went all out. I googled & youtubed DIY space costumes and bought a lot of shiny silver-colored materials. I even recruited Michael & made him take a day off work to help out. So kiasu, I know. At the end of the day, we were both kiasu parents thinking we're the best & most creative parents out there.

Isn't this the coolest? :p

Well, we were so wrong. 

When I dropped her off the next day, the kids came in all different shapes & colors. I was so very amazed (whilst trying to hide my 'how lah to get best costume??' face) at how extremely terrific all these other costumes were. Some were sparkly, some very colourful. Lots came complete with face paintings & tentacles & tails and all. A few astronauts around & a LOT of aliens. Our supposedly winner creation looked a little bit plain, actually. Haih. 

Ayisha was so excited, nevertheless. Her face, her excitement and just how proud she looked showing off her costume to her teachers & friends, that's what matters I guess...(dalam hati still hoping to get best dressed prize haha!) 

When she came home, she did nab 3rd place for best costume prize so...YIPPEE!! We rocked! :p

On her last week, she had her Indian Cultural Day. Again, I went crazy and took her to JB's very own Little India in town and tried out some colorful dresses. She chose this purple & pink one! I thought she looked just lovely. 


Of course, all the other mothers were overly awesome lah. Their kids came with glitters & bangles & braided scarfs & flowers on their head and hennas on their hands. Pfft... 

Overall, I am pretty happy with the school, the teachers and how much Ayisha truly enjoyed her time there with her friends. I love the chemistry that I had with the school from the very beginning. They understood and was being flexible with us not being able to commit Ayisha to a full year. I also appreciated how they focused a lot on learning through play as I wasn't really keen on the sit-down, blackboard method with a lot of homework to take home, especially for a 4 year old. 

At the end of the day, I just wanted Ayisha to make some new friends, experience & learn some new things & have lots of fun doing them. I hope that she did!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

New Year, Start Over

First & foremost, a very Happy Islamic New Year, Salam Maal Hijrah all! Another year has gone and I've let my blog go without a post for about 6 months now. Bad, I know. 

 I'm bursting with stuff to tell. So much has happened, good & bad. I really do want to update. Seriously. Ask Michael. See, most days, he'd ask me what I'd be doing for the day and most times my answer would include 'update my blog', among other things. Then today; 

Michael: What are u doing today? 
Me: Update my blog.. 
Michael: Ok wait, REALISTICALLY, what are u doing today? 

Chet... 

Maybe it's the new year, maybe it's just wanting to prove him wrong but here I am, baby! 

Right now, we're actually in Khao Lak, Thailand, about 2 hours drive from Phuket town. Khao Lak is the area in Thailand most affected by the tsunami 9 years ago. I didn't know this before I got here. I knew Phuket was badly hit but I thought more Patong beach area etc. But it was Khao Lak town that was heavily damaged with most deaths recorded. The tsunami movie, The Impossible, that was based on a true story, was on this area. 

Then there was the boat story that was much talked about - the one that was swept inland in the middle of the jungle about 2 kilometres!! That's here too, in Khao Lak, about 15 mins drive from where we're staying at the moment. They've actually left the boat where it was as a reminder of the tragedy and they're turning it into a memorial. 

Patrol Boat 813

This boat is HUGE. I didn't even know about the boat. Well Michael might have told me a few times about it. But even he didn't think it was that big. He thought it was like a fisherman's boat or something. But nope, it's a massive steel one. Imagine how powerful the waves must've been. This boat was a police patrol boat, that was anchored in front of one of the resorts to guard the Thai royal family that was on holiday at the time. The Thai princess & her kids. One of her kids died in the tsunami, he was on the jet-ski. I found this out from one of the staff in this hotel that we're staying in.

I heard some of the most amazing stories of survival from the people around here that experienced the disaster themselves. Most of them said one thing in common - how lucky they are to survive it, to be alive.

One of them was actually at the beach when it happened and saw the big tall (he even gestured with his hand how up to the roof tall it was, imagine 5-10 metres!) monstrous wave coming. He said the moment he saw it, he ran as fast as he could and did not look back. When he got to his bike, he sped on, again, not looking back. He did however, stop to save a lady who was crying for help on the way. The muddy water was actually catching up to him and he could feel it up to his legs but he kept riding & riding and went on for 200km, all the way to Suratthani!! Of course he and his friends laughed & laughed when telling me the story, which to be honest, actually stopped my tears from falling.

But you know, it really touched me. I can't even imagine how horrific it must've been. It also made me feel so so humbled & small. How powerful is the God Almighty...

Anyways, I'd definitely talk about this place in more details soon, insya'Allah ("iyolah tu/yeah right", I hear some of u say?? heheh) This hotel we're staying in is just AMAZING. It is one of the newest one in Khao Lak. It was still in its soft opening stage where a lot of the things around are still work in progress so we got an extremely good deal for it.

Before Thailand, we were actually back in Sydney. We went back for Michael's brother's wedding. Actually, the wedding was in Fiji. So we went back to Sydney, flew to Fiji with family and came back together to Sydney. So yeah, look out for a blog post called 'Laidler Wedding & Familymoon in Fiji', coming real soon guys. hhahahah

Fiji was so awesome!

Actually, in the last 6 months, we've been back to Sydney twice. The other one was way back in May/June, where I also managed to squeeze in a girly girls getaway to Melbourne & went skiing for the first time, woohoo! A whole other blogpost on this one too. So much about Melbourne & the girly girl things that I wanted to share, especially with it not costing us a bomb and man, we did A LOT. With car rentals, accommodation, hot springs, ski trips, Jamie Oliver dining etc - I think it costs us less than AUD500 each. There's 3 of us for about 5 days (I think! Can't remember, have to check this & the cost again in my diary!) It was SOOOOOO good.

However this past 6 months was not just about travels. A very important & major event, one of the saddest days in my life, happened. My mother passed away. I don't know if I'll ever be ready to write about this. I still get very very sad just thinking about it. Not a lot of people know but I didn't have a normal mother-daughter relationship like most people do. She suffered from bipolar disorder - something that I would probably go into details about, one fine day. So, with this disease, nothing is normal. We were close, but never REALLY close.

Even so, when she passed, I felt absolutely lost. I was feeling all kinds of things - anger, denial, regret, so much regret and most of all, I just could not believe it. It's been 5 1/2 months now & I still can't. I woke up sometimes thinking that she's still around. Honestly, not being able to be emotionally close to her, I thought that after a while, in time, it would get easier, that maybe I would not miss her as much but oh my God, I do. I miss her so so much.

No matter what, she's my mother. I know now with all my heart that she truly loved me as best as she  knew how and how I wish I could've loved her and cared for her so so much more than I did...:(

Al-Fatihah.

So after this, we'll be back in Johor, to my mum's house but I seriously don't know for how long. It's a bit weird being there without her. She's always been there. I guess we also have to look into where we wanted to be for when Ayisha goes to school and of course, Michael's work.  So, who knows.

There's so much about the kids that I wanted to write about too. Man, Ayisha is just so big now.

Squeaky!

She's getting taller, at a speedy rate too. Lots of her clothes and even new ones, are getting shorter, quicker. Not like before when I could still dress her in 0 size pants even when she's 3! She's discovering & doing & learning so much stuff - a lot of the credit goes to her teachers I would say.

Just today, she was swimming without her floaties on. Go Squeaky! It was by accident actually. She was doing jumps off the side of the pool and one of her floaties came off during one of her jumps. So she was struggling a bit to stay afloat but her other arm floaty was doing its job. Then Michael asked if she'd like to try take both off and she did and now I don't think she'd want to wear floaties again!

It was so great to see her enjoying it & being so proud of herself but I worried a bit cause at one point she forgot she didn't have them on and jumped & went under. Glad I was nearby! But she was fine. Normal lah I guess, mummies always worry too much.

And Eli...oh boy oh boy oh boy!

Chubs!

He's almost 1 1/2 y.o and of course he's walking. Well running in fact! Also jumping & talking & singing & sulking.

He's a hitter. He likes to hit his sister and when he was younger we tried stopping it but also tried not to make a big deal out of it cos we thought he might be experimenting (well, the book told me that!) But now that he's older, it's getting more & more painful for poor little Squeaky lah. Most times we know that he's just wanting attention. Like 'smack' and turn to Michael or me and see what we would do and just 'smack' again and again. So we've tried a few things including Michael giving him a gentle (gentler than my geram smack that we mummies do when we feel like just biting & eating those cute lil bum!) smack on the bottom.

This caused havoc between us cos I was really against hitting of any kind and he was too but he thought to try it to see if it works. Of course that didn't work. So now we're doing this putting-him-at-the-corner (Dirty Dancing's 'nobody put my baby in a corner' anyone? heheh) thing.

Whenever he hits, we warned him not to do it again or he'd go to the corner. Most times he'd stop hitting but when he hit the second time, we would put him at the corner of the room. That's when he sulked lah. With his lips pouting and all. Other times he'd cry & cry. We'd let him cry for less than a minute then he's all good.

But yeah that definitely worked!

For about a day, I think. Pergh.

We were all so proud of our super parenting skills when he wasn't hitting for a while. But then just today, after he hit Ayisha, I gave him a 'going to the corner' warning and what did he do?

Smack again and off he went walking to the corner by himself!! Ish!!! How lah????!!!!

Anyways I've got a long list of developments & milestones of them both that I'd really like to write about. Soon soon soon!





Friday, 26 April 2013

About a Girl

Ayisha is turning 4 in two months. Not long now and she's such a big girl. She goes to the toilet all by herself, no problems. So proud of her. This is after months & months of 'accidentally' poo poo'ing in her undies, mind you. So, go Squeaky go!! 




I like having conversations with her and having girly girly talks like girlfriends do. So much to talk about. Tho sometimes when she's busy doing her own thing, only mummy do the talking lah. She also mumbles a lot - bebel2 to herself then when I asked what she's saying, most of the time she'd answer "I say nothing". Bit sad lah cause I want her to be able to tell me everything! So if at 3 she's already not telling me stuff, then 10 years from now how??

It's funny how when they wanted to talk to you, you keep 'hang on, hang on, later, wait a minute' them. Then when you miss them and craving so much of their attention, they just ignore & give the 'talk to hand, mummy' look. I still feel so guilty sometimes for not giving her more attention, eventhough sometimes I do let Eli cry to tend to Ayisha's needs first. Just have to remember to play and be silly with her lots & lots more times.

I also love getting her opinion on things and find out what she thinks of things. I love how she gets emotional watching some TV shows. Tho sometimes a bit too much. Like the other day I was watching bits & pieces from The Joy Luck Club and there's a scene where the girl was crying outside her house in the rain & the husband left. So she asked what happened & I explained as simple as I can what went wrong. She then suddenly started crying & sobbing, like seriously sad sad cry 'My husband left me too!!!!' Hoih.. Drama drama drama!



Well, every morning is a little drama with Ayisha. This morning I dropped her off to school hoping she'd not cry & carry on after bribing her with a toy yesterday. Of course it didn't work. Didn't you know you're not supposed to bribe your child, woman?!!

Well I thought it might be different this time cause she pinky promised! You know, like Gru in Despicable Me - "ooh yeah, my pinky promises" she would say. Then when I asked why she still cries, even though she pinky promised me, she said;

"My pinky is a bit sad mummy, she wants to go home too that's why." *aaarghhhh*

So yeah, it's coming to May and she still cries when I dropped her off. She's getting more & more dramatic and the cries & screams are getting louder.  Ok, in our defense, she only started in February because we were still in Oz in January and we've been taking her off school quite a lot to go to KL etc so altogether she's probably been in school for less than 2 months.; this month being close to a full month straight that she's in school. But still, tell that to the mums & dads who gave me the "what the what!" stares when they saw me ignoring Ayisha's cries. Haih..

However, everytime I pick her up, she's always so happy and seems to be enjoying her day. The teachers would assure me that she was absolutely fine soon after as well. So, it's not like she's miserable the whole time at school, in which case I would consider stopping sending her.  It's just the early morning drop off that's causing dramas.

The thing is, every morning waking up for school, she's sort of like in auto pilot mode. I would wake her up, put her in the shower, brush her teeth, put her clothes on and all the while she'd have her eyes closed. But she doesn't show any resistance at all. She'd happily cooperate and let me do whatever, even brushing her hair! (yeay!!) So, there was no struggle there. This would continue all the way in the car, obligingly sitting in her carseat, eyes still closed.

And then....

The beast woke up.

When we got there, the sad & frown face appear and when we reach the door, the crying & screaming would start. Luckily I've had practice leaving her all those times in Bali at her Little Stars Playschool. So mummy's kinda like a pro now, just quick hug, no turning back and drive away!

The weird thing is, sending her to school for swimming lessons is a breeze. See the school also does swimming once a week and we have no problems with that at all. When asked why, she'd say;

"Swimming best mummy, school tak best"

She said she likes her teachers & her friends, she simply just doesn't want to go to school and would rather stay home with mummy & Eli. So I don't know. Maybe she's just not a morning person!

Every morning like this mah


After school, ok what...make gingerbread man some more!


Oh well, let's hope things get better next week!

Quick updates on her brother:

1. Yesterday he stood by himself, unsupported for a good 5-10 seconds!! Is he walking soon? Panic attacks!

2. He also knows to turn & swing his body around to go down the stairs. So so cute lah!

we dancing soon, yeah??

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Chubby Chubs

Ok, I admit. As much as I wanted to update daily, I just can't do it. I can give a million excuses right now i.e.. me sick, Ayisha sick, daddy sick, my mum sick blablabla but the truth is, whenever I do get a little bit of time on the computer, I consciously (most times I was just unconscious) choose sleep. 

Also, when you blog, u bloghop right, that's part of the fun. So I would find myself catching up on all those blogs I've followed and and and... I just started reading some new blogs like BarelySupermommy & Modg and they're just so so good it's so hard to stop. So how? *sigh* 

So I'm proposing to myself a more realistic goal. At least 1 posting a week. How's that? Let's move on shall we? 

I haven't written about Eli's development much so here goes. Chubs, as Michael lovingly nicknamed him, for obvious reasons, is almost 11 months and is growing up too fast. 

He's really waving now, not graceful at all with hands flapping everywhere but super cute. He's blowing kisses too but you really have to be going/leaving. For real. He won't blow kisses if you're not going anywhere. He's also giving sloppy open mouthed kisses too. If you're lucky you'll get the "mmmm-uaaah" sound. So far, mummy le the only lucky one. Ok, sometimes daddy and kakak too lah. The most special kiss happened on the 31st March (cheh note in diary siap). It was the day that Eli suddenly crawled towards me, climbed on top and planted a big fat 'mmmm-uaaahh' kiss on me!! I felt so very loved & almost cried. 

He laughs & laughs when tickled, when playing peekaboo and when dancing with mummy. I must have some funny moves. But nothing beats him laughing his heart out at Ayisha's antics - be it when she's forcing Eli to sit & watch her do her show, making funny faces or simply walking past him with a little skip & hop & 'Hi Eli!' He'd be squealing from too much excitement. He absolutely adores her. 

"baby brothers love their big sisters ever so much"

He loves rolling around with Ayisha, trying to grab her clothes, hair & anything he can get hold of and hugging her and sometimes biting her. Ayisha would freak out but she's been pretty good at not fighting him back. Just resisting him gently & pushing him away. Most times just using words to get him to stop in her mak nenek/nagging ways. 

Trucks & trains doesn't excite him as much as Dora, Cinderella & other dollies as well as the bottles & dummies that come with playing babies. He loves brushing their hair and would sometimes put the brush up his head, moving his hand up & down. Oh and he also loves making sure every single thing that's on the table or the couch is scattered all over the floor. yeayy! 



When he gets impatient, he'll bite me. Most of the time on my shoulder when I'm carrying him. If only I could do the same when I need something asap! He is noisy & LOUD. Ayisha squeaks & squeaks all through toddlerhood and rarely cries but Eli grunted as a baby & slowly but surely developed all different kinds of loud - noisy humming before sleep, sudden high pitched cry whilst he was asleep, squeals & screams & cries when he's excited, happy or frustrated. All so loudly. Like, embarrassing-mummy loud.  

He's lots more active than Ayisha. He crawls, climbs, tries to walk - with support. Sometimes when he sees Ayisha running he would just let go of whatever it is that he's hanging on to and wanting so much to follow her. Luckily most of the time I was nearby to catch or stop him from falling flat on the floor. He'll then pull my finger & terkedek-kedek would try to catch up with Ayisha. Then he gets impatient and then guess who gets bitten? 

He points a lot with his pointer finger and goes 'tu' or 'der' at everything. Pretty cute but when mummy had to go downstairs to get water in the middle of the night and he starts pointing out the window - so not cool. 

Loads of people said he's Michael Jr but one thing that I would like to point out proudly is that his big teeth (gigi kapak) on the top, comes from me, hokey! Woohoo! 



He's got rhythm. Loves to shake his booty to any sound of music, fast or slow. The thing is, I don't find myself singing nursery rhymes to him as much as I did with Ayisha. Must be the girl-boy thingy. But he looooves it. 

He loves his food, Ayisha's food and everybody else's for that matter. Keropok ikan/fish crackers has to be his favorite snack ever. He's been drinking from a sippy cup like such a big boy and recently he's figured out the joy of sipping from a straw. So he's obsessed with Ayisha's purple straw drink bottle.






Early training for my future driver


NITE NITE EVERYBODY!!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

That's What She Said


On mummy's baking skills when I offered to bake her cake for this year's birthday,

"I think it's a little bit tricky for you, Mummy. Let Grandma make the cake ok?"

On what she wanted to be when she grows up,

A: When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut. I will put on my suit and walk on space and ride the spaceship.
Me: Did you learn that at school?
A: No. Lily told me. (you know, her imaginary friend who apparently lives in Japan)

On not wanting to wear her tudung (scarf) to school,

"I like my curly hair, I don't wanna wear tudun. I'll wear it when I'm bigger ok? When I'm 4"


On why she cries when we arrive at school,

"Im a bit shy mummy. And a bit sad cos I miss you so much" (me cry!!!!)


On learning Malay,

"Mummy,  Adoi means sakit (painful). That's what all my friends say when they 're hurt. Like this, ADOI!!" (with hand on her head)


On wanting more chocolates,

"mummy, I'm still hungry. See, my tummy's still grumbling"


On not finishing her meal

"I've had enough. I only have a small tummy"


On not wanting to go up the stairs

"Daddy!! my legs are hurting...help..." (err..like mummy jek)


On cutting her own hair,

"Don't worry mummy, my hair is still boingy. See??" (whilst showing her other bouncy curls in a boing boing movement)


On wanting to go to the toilet,

"Sakit perut! Sakit perut!"/ tummy ache (all the way to the toilet) 


On tidying up after playtime

"Look what you've done little boy!  Such a terrible mess!" (eh, Eli plak..)


On accidentally poo-poo'ing in her pants

"It's ok mummy, it's just an accident.."


On another of our poo-poo conversation,

"Mummy! I did lots of poo poo. A big one. It's the biggest one I've ever seen!!!



by: Miss Anonymous

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Read 1 Book a Month..

..at least!!!

 This is one of the things that's on my list. Oh and note-to-self: Ayisha's Princess & Dora books do not count, ok.

Many years ago, when I was actively trying to excel in one of those Multi Level Marketing thingy (hint: A****y), I heard this quote for the first time: 

 “Five years from today, you will be the same person that you are today, except for the books you read and the people you meet.” 

 ..and it has stuck with me. Since then, I have always had it in my to-do list. It started out rather ambitiously with 2 books per week (whoaah!)  especially during those pre-marriage & pre-babies years. But I've never been able to tick them off the list, ever. Last year it was down to 2 books a month. Didn't happen either. *hampeh* So let's hope this year is the year!

Actually, I have my moments with books. Sometimes I can go months without remembering the last book I read and other times I'd find myself reading 3-4 books in a month (ok, this refers to the Twilight series lah..ok ok and 50 Shades..shhhhhh) 

My point - I'm not an avid reader and I'd like to be one. And not just of vampire books & gossip magazines! 

The year started off pretty good. Well, don't we all achieve plenty in  January???  

I actually did manage to finish this book for the 1st month of 2013.  


Image


I got it for Christmas from Michael who knows I'm borderline obsessed with the whole Freemasonry, Illuminati, New World Order, Conspiracy Theories bla bla. So I read it straightaway. 

My review? It was ok. Lots of information on codes and symbols. Too much maybe. Quite informative but none of the conspiracy theories answered, of course. Like are Madonna & Despicable Me part of the Illuminati plans? :p 

Aaaanyways... 

Whilst still in the month of January, I started this book after hearing so many good things about it from so many different people.







My review? Well, can't really say yet because I just picked it up again 1/2 hour ago and the bookmark's still on Chapter 4. But I know it's not because the book is boring or anything like that but rather because we were close to leaving Oz at the time & I was starting to get busy with packing again and have been pretty slack since we got back to Malaysia. *sigh*

By the by, did you notice my very old & dingy bookmark there? I've had it for ages & it's my favourite bookmark in the whole world! The bottom bit got torn  by Ayisha. She was actually trying to be helpful because the plastic bit was already more than half way torn just begging to be ripped off so she pulled it right off. But still, I almost cried. :( The missing bit had a picture of a kitten & a puppy sleeping behind that big book that the dog was leaning against.


Don't worry, we'll still be here when you get back

It was given to me a long time ago when I first left Malaysia to study in Australia and I cried when I turned it over...


see the cute puppy & kitten??
At the bottom it was signed "The cutest for ever, Wa & Limah" my 2 younger sisters that I left behind...

CUTE right?

ps: in case anyone's wondering, no I did not excel and make millions in that MLM thingy. Tee hee :p

Monday, 8 April 2013

Christmas in Sydney - 2012

I'm having a pat-myself-on-the-back moment, -2 postings in 2 days. So far, so good..woohoo!

Christmas was awesome.

Can anyone guess who's Papa Santa this time?



Teehee.....




Ayisha got pampered with lots & lots of presents, as per usual.



This is the dessert spread.



See that sexy looking golden topping, whipped cream filling trifle on the left?

I made that. Yeahaa..

It's banana toffee trifle, recipe taken from Better Homes & Garden. Super easy & crazy delish. I swear to you, EVERYONE loved it.  To date I've made it 4 times and I get the same responses every time. I don't know if I'll ever go back to making my mum's trifle again.

You know what? It's that easy I could tell you right now how to make it. Not to worry about the amount of ingredients whatsoever cos it's totally up to you. Can't go wrong with this one. Ready?

Ingredients (by layer)

1) 6 Crunchie chocolate bars
- or any chocolate bars with honeycomb, chopped into pieces. Save some for topping at the end.

2) 4 bananas
,- sliced & coated with some lemon juice

3) Chopped hazelnuts
- All 4 times I've used almonds cos couldn't find hazelnuts

4) Toffee sauce
- easily found in supermarkets in Oz. In Malaysia, they have this at Tesco. If you can't find toffee sauce, I've made this using caramel sauce and it tasted just as good. You can make it using condensed milk.

5) Whipped cream

6) Rolo chocolates
- or other chocolates with caramel filling inside, chopped

7) Flakes chocolates
- or any other than you can crumble or finely chopped/sliced

8) Sugar
- to make the fancy decorative spun toffee. Apparently it's quite easy to do. I couldn't be bothered so for the one above, I made someone else spun it :p. But it truly does make it look oh-so exquisite.

Method

- Layer 1) -5) twice or more depending on how tall/big your dish is.
- Topped with 6) & 7) and a little bit of 1)
- Drizzle a little bit of 4) on top
- Make it fancy with 8)


After Christmas, the Laidlers went to a holiday house in Minnamurra & stayed there to celebrate the New Year.

This holiday house rocks!!

Behind them the awesome beach house..and its facing...


.. ta-daaa...beach is just right there, taken from the same spot



and of course we needed the pool and the shade!


pool time with Poppy



Eating sand



We love this house so much!!


We celebrated New Year's Eve at the beach house. Well, the others did. I was asleep with Eli. Old, I know. I soo wanted to see the fireworks tho..haih..

The beach house was great and the kids had loads of fun. The only bad thing about our stay there was that almost all of us, kids included, got sick from some kind of stomach bug that caused vomiting & diarrhoea and it seemed to be passed on from one to another throughout our whole stay there. My MIL and I got it the last night we were there and it was just horrible. But other than that, the beach house was absolutely fantastic.

The following week, while Eli & I went visiting my sister & her family in Sunshine Coast, Michael & Ayisha spent some time with the kangaroos at the caravan park.

I haven't been to the caravan park for ages and this was a first time for Ayisha. She was totally loving the whole trailer park living..hehehe












Other times were spent hanging out at Grandma & Poppy's place. It was during these times, at 7 months old, Eli started to, for the 1st time:

- cut his 1st teeth, then the 2nd (now he has 5!)
- getting ticklish everywhere
- eating loads of his firsts including salmon, lamb, avocados, vegemite, grass, hair, magazines and I think, I think,....bits of a cockroach erk...
- giggle & laugh & blowing bubbles
- move himself commando stlye (now he's crawling on his knees, climbing & diving)
- totally get peekaboo
- wave goodbye (he somehow stopped doing that now tho..isk..)
- say DADADDA! (now also kakakakak and mamammama and blablabla :p)
- pull himself up 



..and Ayisha, likes to verangan  (pretend-playing/day-dreaming) a lot!!



And at the end of January, we were off again....

at Sydney airport

..and we haven't been to an airport since. Surprise surprise..:p