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.
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!