Thursday, 28 April 2016

About a Boy

If there's only one thing I can say about my boy, Eli, it would be how absolutely funny I think he is. 

He is, without a doubt, one of the funniest people I've ever known. He makes me laugh all the time, every single day. From the way he talks to the way he walks. Seriously, sometimes all he has to do is strut himself into the room and I would be laughing my head off. Even his laugh makes me laugh. :)

He tells silly stories, riddles and jokes that include a lot of farts and poo references (why??). He makes even sillier funny faces especially if he knows he is in trouble. He has some ridiculously crazy booty shaking, hand waving, finger pointing dance moves that I have no idea where he gets from and when he runs, oh my God I am laughing by myself right now just having an image of him running in my head. It's hilarious!

The thing is, most of the time he does not want to be funny. As a matter of fact, he hates it when people laugh at him. His favourite phrases include 'Stop laughing' and 'It's not funny!'. Once when sending Ayisha to school, he confidently find himself comfortably seated next to his big sister after the bell rang, ready to listen to her teacher to tell a story and I was a bit too slow to stop him. I heard a roar of laughter from the kids and then came a very familiar 'It's not Funny!' scream followed by his loud cry. It was quite a bit of a scene and we were never near Ayisha's classroom again after that. 

I sometimes tell him that being funny is a good thing and how nice it is to be able to make people happy. He just looked at me weird. He doesn't get it.

He is turning 4 in a month and I am well aware that I haven't written half as much about him as I have about his sister in this blog. I have his development written somewhere in bits and pieces. But the most that I have of him was in my notes in my old phone which was now broken before I  could retrieve any of it. :(  Very tragic indeed. The last that I have of him, is  is a piece of paper listing the S words that he said that sounded outrageously funny. For Eli, whenever an S word is followed by a consonant, he finds it doubly hard to say the S in the front. It took me a while to get this but once I do, just by putting an S in front of the words that I could not get, would make such perfect sense immediately, like...

- That's a very cary keleton

- I pill some trawberry moothie mummy

- this car is very pecial

- we can't pray the pider

- I pick quare 

- I need a poon

And a tricky one:

- I got a mokito bite

It's not just the S words that I find funny. Sometimes he sings to the wrong lyrics (like we all do!) and sang confidently Yummy like you do from that 50 shades soundtrack. He says 'I *py with my Eli eyes' when playing I Spy. He asked for Calamario for dinner. Well, he does love his neighbour, Uncle Mario as much as Calamari and chips. And once, he told us to 'Keep Calm guys' when Ayisha and I got a bit too excited playing a game.

Apart from being funny, he is also one of the sweetest boy and has such a loving soul. He would tell me how much he loves me and how beautiful and special I am. Constantly. Like a few times a day, every day. A friend told me once way before I had Eli that little boys love their mummies so much and I would extremely love it. How so very true she is and I absolutely am loving it. He would make such a big deal if I hurt myself or go 'ouch' or even 'oops'. Tho sometimes if he's engrossed with his cars he would just scream from afar 'Are you ok mummy?'  

Once, when I was going out by myself and we've said our goodbyes, I heard him screaming just as I was closing the garage door. Crazy screaming like he's hurt badly. When I stopped and I saw him, he said he needed a last hug and a kiss. And once he did, he was absolutely fine after!

This year is a big year for Eli (and mummy) as he started going to pre-school 2 times a week. First week was a breeze, No tears, no dramas. For him, that is. For me was another story altogether. I was so lost and everything was such a blur not having him around.  It was hard and I was missing him so much! I was clingy and I was a wreck. He was doing absolutely fine.

But second week came and the weeks after that and up till now, the dramas and the tears and the begging and the tantrums started to unfold one by one. Some days were really challenging to even get him out of the house, I felt like giving up pre-school altogether.

It's been close to 3 months now and I think I am still the only mother that hangs around the longest. He definitely knows how to play me too. I must kiss him on the mouth today, kiss him on the forehead tomorrow. Now, I give a kiss on the mouth, both cheeks, forehead, chin and a big bear hug then he's happy to let me go at the kissing gate (yes! the school has a kissing gate, very cute!) 

And yesterday, first day back after the school holidays, for the first time after that first week, there was NO TEARS! woohooo!!! I was very prepared tho. Psyched him up days before school term started again. Packed him his favorite Womby the wombat, 4 hot wheels cars and a keychain with mummy and daddy's photo on it for him to look at when he misses me. I also did all the correct number of kisses. I was killing it. 

Ok lah, I actually promised him $2 pocket money instead of 20 cents. And one easter egg when he gets home. Ok two. But still, we made progress woohoo!!!

First day of school

The thing is, like Ayisha, he was perfectly fine the moment I was out of sight. The teachers and the school are amazing. Like, all of them. They all know Eli and could tell me what happened to him that day and not just his class teachers. The place is so full of cool things to do and explore. Why do you think i stayed there longest? That first few weeks they would call me to assure me that Eli was having a good day and that there was no need for me to rush and get him. And over time, they would tell me what a great day Eli was having, every time. He also has a good friend now. He is so sweet I am so glad they're friends. :) Sometimes I came a bit earlier and had a peek before he saw me and yes, he definitely was having a great time and he's being his cheeky self most definitely. 

Once I saw them in a circle singing a song and Eli was busy making funny faces to one of the boys and squashing his cheeks just like he would do to us at home. The boy was smiling and laughing and loving it. Phew!!

Another thing that must be said about Eli is that he eats everything and he eats a lot. If he's starting to get a little bit cranky and difficult, feed him some food. Means he's hungry. I found myself cooking more pieces of chicken and more cups of rice and ordering more pieces of fish when we have fish & chips cos this guy can really eat, man. He needs his own man-size plate. Can't just order 3 main meals and share between the 4 of us. He would definitely need his own. He eats curries and sambal and anchovies. His favourite food includes roti canai, nasi lemak and rice with chicken curry. He would loooove a mamak place. Or mamak will love him, with the amount  of food that he could eat!

Finishing my last supply of tarts *mummy cries!*

There's a lot more about Eli that I could go on and on about. But I told myself that I needed this post up this month to keep up with my once a month blog post goal (February & March do not count, ok). So another Eli story would have to be for another day and hopefully not another year!

The sweet one. Eli + Food = happy selfie

Thursday, 7 January 2016

2016 To-Do List

Every new year is a chance to start over. Like many others and like years before, I myself have a list. I actually made my list twice a year. Another for the Muslim New year as well. Whether or not I get to tick stuff off my list is another matter altogether. Sometimes I don't even look at my list till it's almost the new year, then you make a new one.

Every year, 'update my blog everyday' was on my list. Back in 2013 (yes, I checked),  I was so pumped I even blogged about it. Scrap that, I'm having realistic goals now. This year, I would be happy if my blog can have at least one post a month. So tempted to raise that to once a week tho, you know what with being the new year and all. But considering my very poor track record, let's keep it to a monthly thingy shall we.

Some other things on my list:

1) Spiritual
- pray on time & pray more 
- read, listen & understand the Quran more
- read a book on this subject 1/month

2) Physical & health
- 20 mins exercise every morning
- lemon water and/or coconut oil every day
- High protein breakfast ie. fruit veg shake & smoothie, eggs & more eggs
- 2 litres of water a day at least
- no carbs or smallest portion carbs for dinner
- Fasting once a fortnight if not once a week

3) Personal 
- keep in constant contact with family & friends
- plan my meals ahead every week then shop for groceries accordingly
- try a new recipe 1-2 times a month
- sleep early, wake up early
- finish 2-4 books a month
- blog at least once a month
- have people over for a nice meal at least once a month
- cook something nice & share with someone every week (maybe that new recipe that I tried :p)
- give/share everyday

4) Family
- Healthy meals, 80/20 rule (ie. 80% of the time having good food, 20% for treats or junks cos yes, we do need ice cream & chocolates!)
- eat dinner together
- one-on-one time with the kids
- date night with hubs at least once a fortnight
- more family walks
- Games night once a week
- Tilawati & prayers with the family
- Go back to Malaysia for Eid
- Travel to our dream places

Pretty simple & more realistic to-do list this time just to encourage myself to stick to them and at least having the pleasure to tick some if not all off. To date, I have been doing some of the above on a daily basis, some not so consistent and some I haven't even started and it's been 1 week already. Wait, it's only been a week. 

I'm being positive (sedapkan hati gitew).

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Writing..for 2015

It's been more than a year. Really?

My biggest motivation for writing this today is because it is the last day of 2015. I refused to let this year go by without a single post on my blog. I've got to write something. Anything. As long as there's a post for 2015 and I can go, yeay me! 

2015 went by like a blur. Nothing really jumps out in terms of what I have or have not achieved or what major events, good or bad happening to me personally but it did see me go through various emotions involving a lot of people around me, especially the people that I love. 

About this time last year, I was in Malaysia, leaving Michael & the kids to be with my eldest sister whom we found out few months earlier that she's got the big 'C' - Stage 4 Lymphoma cancer. Absolutely T.E.R.R.Y.F.Y.I.N.G. 

I remembered being with her at Sime Darby Medical Centre on new year's eve whilst she underwent chemotherapy. It wasn't easy for me to see my sister, who is easily the strongest woman I know, going through it all. My sister has always been the pillar of strength in our family, more so after my mum passed away 2 years ago. It was crazy hard for me. Million times harder for her & her family, I'm sure. 

Fast forward to present time, I'm happy to report that my sister has now recovered, Alhamdulillah! She's back at work and she and her family just came back from their Umrah to Mecca few weeks ago. It was definitely a huge blessing to all of us as a family. I would very much like to talk more about the whole recovery and her journey and battles but if I want to get this posted by midnight tonight, I probably should move on :) But I do want to say that a lot people's prayers were answered, and I thank you - my friends and family, for your sincere doa's for my beloved sister. 

Upon returning from Malaysia, my then 2 1/2 year old boy, Eli, achieved a very important milestone. He stopped breastfeeding. Woohoo!! This is huge for us. Made possible by the 10 days of me being away from him - the longest ever. I think I did pretty awesome too, thank you very much. It was so hard not to give in to his demands especially after being away for so long. But we did it! The first 3 days was the hardest but after that was pretty easy actually. Well, it was time, especially for mummy, to let go! 

He is now 3 1/2 years old and a few months ago, sometime in October, he stopped wearing nappies altogether. This, also deserves another posting all by itself. After a few times of half hearted potty training and accidents here and there, him being all 'I wanna wear nappies forever and ever' and just me being plain lazy, one day I just decided not to buy nappies anymore. That was it. 

The challenging thing about this was that the night times had to be without nappies as well. But we went ahead anyways. I think the fact that he's a little bit older helps as well. Of course we still get night time accidents but we have a magic mattress cover that helps make it less stressful. 

Honestly, the first few days were the hardest, not even a week maybe. But as with all other things, it gets easier. Nowadays he's pretty much mastered the art of night-time-no-wee, with maybe one accidents in say 2 weeks perhaps. But you just never know. Even with not much drink before bed & toilet before bed, he could still wake me up in the middle of the night with a funny walk and whispered softly to half awake me, 'mummy, Im all wet..'. But other times, he would go night after night with no accidents. Yippee!

So there we go. BIG year for Eli. No boobies & no nappies both accomplished in 2015. *clap clap, high fives all around* 

And....What about my not so little Miss Squeaky? 

She has just completed Year 1 at school. That's equivalent to Darjah 1 in Malaysia and she's not even 7. Crazy. Regardless, she's been doing pretty well. Reading chapter books, writing stories and winning an Art Competition from her portrait of a very special person (not me, pergh). 

Outside of school she does Physie (Physical Culture). It's basically dance lessons but with a combination of a lot of things - ballet, aerobics, yoga, hip hop etc. The movements are supposed to increase strength, fitness & flexibility. See like her parents, Ayisha doesn't do sports but loves to dance so I'm glad that she likes it.  She's also been joining the competitions and I think this helps her confidence tremendously. She's still quite shy and like me, an introvert at heart. But with Physie she seems to be pretty comfortable doing what she's doing and doing it well. 

Some of her highlights for the year was definitely making the semifinals in her Physie competition and joining the group competition with her friends performing at the Sydney Olympic Park. It was a lot of fun for her and I was very proud of her.

We are still here in Kiama and still loving it. Apart from my short visit to Malaysia by myself for my sister earlier this year, we haven't been travelling out of the country as a family. We did a few camping trips just nearby during the school holidays. The kids enjoyed that very very much, sleeping in their sleeping bags and being surrounded by possums and kangaroos. 

Other than that, our weekends were mostly spent in Kiama or in the Shire where my in laws live,  about an hour drive from Kiama. We tried to make sure the kids get to spend time with grandma & poppy and especially the cousins. I've already felt like they are missing out on their Malaysian cousins time. Especially during Eid this year, where my whole family were gathered in our family house in Johor and we're the only ones not there. :( 

But it was made all ok with a visit soon after Eid from my Aunty Mona and her 2 daughters. They came with 2 bags full of my raya cookies and goodies, I was just ecstatic! We also had a blast while they were here. It was so much fun. 

Everyone got really sad when they left. Ayisha and Eli actually cried when they woke up and found out the girls had left early morning for the airport. Mummy cried also lah..:( It was way too short but I was so happy that they came and that they got to spend time with the kids. In those short period of time the kids really warmed up to them and were quite attached. It was the only visit we've had from Malaysia this year from family but it was enough to cure my homesickness. 

Overall, 2015 has been a good year for us. It was more settling and stable for us as a family, as it's the 2nd year that we've actually stayed put in a place without travelling and moving back and forth.  Being in a place like Kiama also makes it all so pleasant and lovely. 

I do have a lot of little and big goals for 2016 which hopefully I'll get to share if my next post doesn't take another year to update. Ha..Ha... :p 

Here's wishing everyone (who still checks and wanting to read my blog), a very prosperous, blessed, healthy and safe New Year. And here's to more writing from me, InsyaAllah!! xxoo

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

"Where the Sea Makes a Noise"

OMG, where have we been? 

So I started writing this post about a month ago. Of course, wanted to blog months before that. It's a combination of a lot of things but I think the main thing is just not having allocated specifically this special 'me time' to pause & reflect and just keep writing and ultimately just get it out & do it! 

Last I wrote, we're still back in my hometown in JB, Malaysia for Ayisha's school concert. Since then, we've been back to Khao Lak, Thailand and spent about a month there. I have written in length about our fabulous stay there with pics and all, but like many of my travel posts, it's still sitting in draft! Will finish it soon soon soon. :p 

We were there for Christmas & New Year's Eve. It was the first time we didn't go back to Oz for Christmas. Why? Because two weeks after Khao Lak, we were frantically organising farewells & saying goodbyes to family & friends in Malaysia because we were moving our entire life back to Australia. This time for good, for now :) 

YES! So at this very moment, we are back in Oz! 

There's so much to share and write about and man I'm so full of excuses but really, this is it. I am going to write more from this day onwards, insyaAllah. 

The decision to come back was pretty last minute'ish. We had to look for a house to live while we were in Khao Lak as we wanted to be back in Oz just in time for Ayisha's new school year & Michael's new work by the end of January. 

BIG BIG NEWS - Ayisha's in BIG school now. A lil old news now because we've just had a long school Easter holidays and it's already the 2nd term! But yeah, she started Kindergarten. Unlike in Malaysia where kindergartens are separate to Primary schools, kindy here is part of Primary school. It means she's in the same school as the 12 year olds; not playschool, not preschool but big school, as they call it. And my, it's a BIG school too! I am just so paranoid that Ayisha would get lost and so worried about how she is going to go up and down those many stairs with her little feet & big bag?? she's just so tiny! 

Aaaanyways, by law they have to be enrolled for school the year they turn 6. Ayisha is turning 5 this year but since the cut off date is July and her birthday is in end of June, we have the option to send her a year early, so we did. It simply means, whilst most kids will finish high school at 17, if all goes well with her, she will probably be ready for Uni before she turns 17! And then find work & support us not long after. (muahahahah) 

Having said that, our original plan was to hold her back from formal schooling for as long as we could. So we always thought we have an extra year of travelling around before she has to start school, be it in Malaysia or Australia. But with this major move, we decided (well ok, Michael made me agree, I have letting-go issues) to send her early. Seriously, I think she's the tiniest and probably the youngest one there. But so far, she seems to be doing surprisingly & extremely well. She did not cry at all that first day and the days after or even showing signs of distress. Mummy, different story & drama of course. Even daddy was showing signs of clinginess and Eli was depressed for days! :p 

She's still the shy little girl but apparently she seems to be quite the lil miss popular at school. At first I thought it's because of how friendly & fantastic all the kids are. Every time I send & pick her up, there's always kids other than her classmates (mostly girls, big & small) greeting her, calling her name, hugging her etc.  And everytime I ask her who they are she'd say 'I don't remember'. ( glamer sangaat!)

The school does have this buddy system, which I personally think is just so awesomely cool, where they get the older kids to help the kindy kids get settled in the first few days. But weeks passed & she's still getting too much attention even from kids other than her assigned buddies. Either she's really very popular or she's just that extra shy that the teachers might've told the big girls to pay more attention to her! However I did get comments from other parents saying how popular she is and how everybody knows her and wants to play with her. Personally, I think it's her size. I am not exaggerating when I say she's just so tiny compared to everyone else. So I guess they treated her like this lil baby sister that needs more attention. Or maybe, just maybe, she's just simply so irresistibly cute that everyone just wants to fit her in their pocket! 

Having said all that, she also has incidents at school which made me all overly protective, stupidly sad and crazily asking her to point out which one was the kid that upsets her or actually upsets mummy!! Like one day I was being a typical (ok, maybe a lil bit over) busybody mum asking her every move and every interactions and she told me about one kid that told her to go away. She was fine about it. I was the one that was sooo sad to hear her story. But at the end of her story she calmly told me 'it's ok mummy, I'm sure she's sorry after that. We're friends again now.' See how innocent and no-grudge holding kids are?? I have to say, she taught me so much.

So far I am very happy with the school. She's also reading now. Tho most of the time I think she memorises a lot of the words but still, to actually see her flipping the pages & reading word by word, all by herself, I just get emotional thinking how so grown up she is now. :( 

But the biggest change that truly amazes me since she started is the fact that she's that little bit more confident now, it's so lovely to see. She gets rewarded for every little things that she did at school and they have this special achievement awards that they handed out every now and then. She's so proud of them and I am extremely proud of her. 

They also do a lot of interesting and fun events and activities at school in the short few months that she's been there - Monster's party, Easter hat parade etc, which I'd definitely talk more about. She's just having so much fun and loving it. 

Michael is also back at work. Work as in, go to office, wear long pants, long sleeve shirts and shoes. A BIG adjustment for everyone, especially for the ones left behind. Eli was so used to having him around all the time so he was a bit lost in the beginning. I, on the other hand, am still adjusting to getting re-acquainted with my ironing board & iron. I haven't done any for ages! Seriously, Ayisha even asked me what the ironing board is when I first whipped it out. 

So we've been back in Oz since late January but we're not living in the house that we left behind. As Michael's work is about 1 1/2 hour further south, we decided to live somewhere closer to his work but still not too far from his family. So we chose a little lovely town in between called Kiama, which means "where the sea makes a noise" - very well known for its famous blowholes. 

I've talked about this place numerous times throughout this blog; Michael's family's favorite childhood holiday destination and how I took my sisters here where we went nuts over the blowholes. In all those times that we visited this place, we never really thought that we would be living here. It is pretty surreal.  

We were quite fortunate to find the house that we are in. It's just a small 3 bedroom townhouse but it has everything that we needed. It is just about 4 mins walk to the beach, it's unbelievable. The town is just surrounded with beautiful beaches, parks and playgrounds, you really can't help yourself but wanting to be outdoors as much as you can. I take the kids to the playground almost everyday and sometimes we pack our dinner and have a picnic at the park near the beach. Of course not now as it's getting a bit cold & dark early after daylight savings ended but the daytimes are still usually pretty lovely. Besides, I love cooler weather. The cold never bothered me anyway. (excuse my Elsa moment, Frozen overload)

 The people here are super nice as well - very friendly and extremely thoughtful. Being out & about around this little town, I always get that extra help & kindness from everyone, you just cannot NOT smile to every other person on the streets. Most times you'll get at least a 'Hello' and if you're lucky you get a full blown conversation at the park that may lasted for hours. It's also a very laid back town where no one's in a hurry. Traffic is super duper cool with a lot more patient & considerate drivers around. The only stress that I get from driving here is trying not to go over 40 km/h at school zone during school hours! 

Other than that, everything's just way too cool. The whole vibe is positive all around. I'm truly loving it so far. It's been about 3 months and we're pretty much settled in. I am slowly but surely getting used to doing endless laundry, household chores & cooking everyday. The kids are enjoying their pretty straightforward daily routine and Michael is loving his work and oh how we love having him at home from work the same time everyday, with no extra working hours & late night datelines. 

Other than that, everything else has been well & good. The kids are growing up way too fast tho. As Eli gets a little bit older, he's annoying Ayisha more than ever. They have their lovey dovey, Frozen sing-a-long and role play moments together for sure, but OMG, they can both love & loathe each other all at the same time. As always, I have all their milestones & development written down somewhere, I really need to get on top of that!


 Ayisha is like a grown woman. She's still tiny but she talks like an adult now tho still so very innocent. Just the other day I was nagging away and said 'how many times do I have to tell you!!' and what did she say? 'mmmm...I don't know mummy, I  really don't have an answer for that'. perghh... 

Eli - OMG! He's doing so much, growing too fast, learning a lot from his big sister and just absorbing everything. When Ayisha is at school and Michael's at work, it's just the two of us. He has his moments but most of the time, I really do enjoy our time together. He's just the coolest & funniest lil dude!!! 

He's into all the boys stuff now - trucks, bikes, cars, dinosaurs, skateboards and more cars. He picks his own clothes to wear every morning and night, we eat & share our meals together, we do groceries together & he helps me with the housework all the time. I am trying to not get too frustrated when everything takes twice as long to get done. I keep remembering this advice I heard from somewhere "looking after your child is priority, everything else is secondary" and a current favourite advice that makes me a little sad, sounds something like "they're only this small, fun & look up to and needing YOU for 5 years max, after that they're at an age where they follow & look up to friends & teachers more, then become teenagers for a much longer period where they normally don't want to talk to you, then they become adults and don't even need you anymore". 

As I am beginning to miss lil Ayisha and feeling that she's growing up so so much, the more I treasure my times with Eli. It also changes the way I reacted to his endless 'mummy, mum, maaa, mamma, mum, mum, mummy' whenever he needs me. It used to remind me of this hilarious scene from The Family Guy (google Family Guy Lois mum mom). When I first watched it, I think I haven't got kids yet or Ayisha wasn't doing it so much. But with Eli, OMG, he's exactly like that sometimes. After a while, I began to find it so so annoying & frustrating. But now, I laughed again, harder than the first time.



 I will talk about the kids' development in more details and other stuff that's been going on with & around us. Till then, it's good to be 'back'! Nite nite!

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? 


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...:(


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.


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!


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??