Lilypie - First Birthday

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Langkawi 2007

Last week, we headed off to Langkawi for a 4D3N stay and some #vitaminsea. It was a long anticipated trip for us as we seldom travel as a family of three. This time, hubby decided to splurge on his hotel points for a stay at The Andaman... thanks Hubby!

Day 1
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Our afternoon flight was delayed at the airport. Hayley seemed to know that we were on holiday and was amazingly good throughout the journey. She didn't make a fuss, enjoyed playing at the airport kids' area, enjoyed the airplane ride, and enjoyed snacking on her pine nuts in the car. It was quite late in the evening upon our arrival at The Andaman. While Hubby was checking-in, Hayley enjoyed looking at the carp in the pond and sang a song "Little fish little fish, can you climb? No I can't no I can't, I can't climb."

After check-in, we headed to our room to dump our luggage and Hayley straightaway plomped herself on the bed and demanded that "I want to stay in my silken bed!" But of course, we had to eat dinner so we headed to Tepian Laut for a nice, romantic dinner by the beach. We had chicken and lamb and ordered a nice roti canai telur for Hayley. She enjoyed her meal very much, but halfway she started taking off her shirt! Well, we let her be as we were on a beach vacation anyway. After that, she played in the sand with a couple of angmoh boys before heading back to our beautiful luxurious hotel room. Then she drew "Wanda and the Alien" on the hotel paper and all of us went to bed quite early as we were so tired.

Day 2
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We decided to enjoy our holiday by sleeping-in. :P Woke up at 10am++, had a nice cuppa, then headed straight to the beach+pool+coral area. One highlight of The Andaman is its Coral Nursery. The 2004 tsunami destroyed about 70% of the coral reef at the beach area in front of the hotel, but it also helped to save the hotel from any damage. So the hotel setup a coral nursery to preserve and rehabilitate, and to grow new corals and sealife, and also to educate visitors about the coral reef. Basically it is a shallow little pool with lots of corals and different types of sealife. Hubby and I took turns to snorkel in it and our helpful guide guided us around and explained to us about the many different creatures living inside the coral nursery. It was an awesome experience. I even got to touch Charlie, the friendly yellow-black-striped angel fish, which gave me a little nibble on the finger. Hayley also enjoyed herself peering into the little pail of fish and started singing another fish song.

After that we ate lunch at the poolside restaurant and spent most of our morning/afternoon at the beach/pool area. Hayley must have gone up and down the water slide dozens of times, each time she would shriek in excitement everytime the water splashed at her, so cute! She is also very concentrated on building sandcastles. On the other hand, Hubby was in-training to become a Instagram-husband and helped me take many lovely shots at the beach. 

The weather was so good to us, not overly hot and there was sunshine for us to take nice photos. Oh I love love love being at the beach, swimming out to sea in the nice secluded Datai Bay and getting sun-soaked in a bikini. The feeling is just so relaxing and liberating. And we could go clean ourselves up at the swimming pool area if we got bored of saltwater. And also the free flow of warm dry towels and ice-cold lemon water made it all the more heavenly. 

We did a lot of things on Day 2. After the beach, we went for the Skycab ride and 3D museum. Hayley enjoyed the cable car ride. She said: "Mama, I'm not afraid of heights, I'm not afraid at all!" And she kept asking me throughout the trip: "Do you like it, mama? Do you love it?" It was quite misty that afternoon and we couldn't view anything from the top. Hayley enjoyed a whole Magnum icecream bar to herself at the top station, but accidentally left behind Nuri, her toycar there. She also loved running around in the spacious 3D trickart museum, and we took a lot of funny pictures there. On the ride back to our hotel room, she fell asleep and both of us managed to enjoy a peaceful, romantic dinner at a random seaview restaurant on the way back.

Day 3
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We signed-up for the jungle walk in the morning. The tour guide pointed out a lot of flora and fauna to us and took us for a walk on the beautiful Datai Bay beach before the tide came up. After that it rained heavily but as soon as it stopped we managed to spend some more time at the beach and the pool. But we kinda overstayed a little bit as Hayley was fussy by the time we ended at around 3pm. Then we headed out to Pantai Cenang area for some duty-free shopping, and shared a whole bottle of red wine before going to sleep. We left the next day in the morning. Thus ended our short carefree beach vacation.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Freida

Sometimes God sends angels to walk amongst our midst. Freida was one of those angels. 

I remember that terrible time in South Korea when I was temporarily left out of the hostel. With nowhere to stay and no one to turn to, I basically just gathered up my courage and asked a total stranger in the females dorm's lift, whether she could take me in for a few nights. That kindly, generous, motherly soul was Freida. I practically cried tears to God for sending me an angel to help me. Those nights, I slept peacefully on the mattress in her room, knowing I was in a safe place. We spent some time talking, about her family in Africa, about her kids and how lucky she was to get a scholarship to study overseas so that her family would have a better future when she got back home.

I seldom ever saw her again after I got my own dorm room. Maybe sometimes in the lifts, maybe in the school corridors, maybe at church. And after that she left, back to Africa, and I, back to Malaysia. Our paths never crossed again. 

Today I woke up to some bad news in my Facebook newsfeed. I read that she had passed on on Monday. But, like one of her friends wrote on her Timeline, we take comfort in the fact that she had known the Lord and is now together with our Heavenly Father. 


Thursday, April 06, 2017

Big Announcement

Today was the day they made the Big Announcement. 

And when I got into the car ready to leave for lunch, and turned the radio on, these two songs were played:-

Boyz II Men "End of the Road" 
Thomas Rhett "Die A Happy Man"

Well, the first song clearly indicates our position, while the second song was very popular on the radio during my biz trip to the US at that time. Coincidence, much?

Anyway, I'm glad that I got some package that fell out from the sky. I feel like it's God's funny way of saying "take it and shut up". And who knows this may be a blessing in disguise. Also, I am actually quite disappointed in something but I believe that God will comfort and lead the way for me, in His own time. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Fall in love with piano again

Since I have some spare time on my hands now, and my mind is free from work, I have the chance to pick up on my lovely piano again.

Well, the word "again" is actually not so correct since I never actually learnt piano. I had an electone organ background and took music classes throughout my schooling years. Then I stopped, abruptly, before SPM and never touched it again. :-P (The organ at home is still in good condition and is used regularly by mom..)

Even though I hated organ back then, I thank my parents for painstakingly putting me through music school. So at least now I have the basic knowledge of sightreading and rhythm. That means I am able to indulge now in learning piano pieces that I like in my own pace without yet needing to take piano classes. (No piano exams! Woohoo!) 

My first few pieces that I am trying to learn are:- 
-Beethoven "Fur Elise"
-Yiruma "Kiss The Rain"
-Hillsong "Shout To The Lord"
-Bach "Prelude to the Well-Tempered
Clavichord"
-Richard Clayderman "Mariage D'Amour"

It's a joy being able to spend time on my piano every night after my child and hubby are asleep. Hopefully I'm not "hangat-hangat tahi ayam".  🎹 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

March Madness

It's barely the third week of March and I've already gone into a shopping frenzy.. Haha no thanks to the countless Baby Fair, Home Decor Fair, Lazada 5th Anniversary Sale... 

Items we've bought so far:-
- Child car seat - RM200+
- Ceramic frying pan - RM160
- Panasonic slow juicer - RM700+
- Makeup dresser - RM700+ 
- Phillips electric pressure cooker - RM295
- Photobooks x4 - RM100
- And here comes THE SPLURGE:- Yamaha DGX-660 Digital Piano - RM4500

I can't bear to look at my credit card bill next month. :-P 

Well, on the bright side it's all in anticipation of some extra $$$ coming in the next month. And I do hope that all my mom's effort and money putting me through organ school when I was young will not go to waste... At least I have some interest in playing the piano again after so many years... 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A very flustery March

March 2017 is a month filled with many new and dramatic changes - Hayley starting preschool, me facing the prospect of losing my job, and hubby going through changes at his workplace. 

It's been more than a week since Hayley started preschool and she still whimpers every morning, and then those whimpers turn into loud cries whenever we hand her over to the teacher at the preschool. We're still not sure of the reason why she's still crying. Is it due to stress of being in a new place? Is it because she doesn't have friends? Is it because the teachers are too stern? Should we have waited till she was fully 3 instead of sending her at 2y7m? Only time will tell. 

Before she started preschool, we would try to "brainwash" her that school is good for her. She would reply with a defiant "school is sucky" and now, "school is bad for me". She would also tell me which teacher is good/bad and when the "baby" pushed her at school. And one morning, before I dropped her off at school, I tried to make myself sound understanding amid her tears. The conversation goes like this:- 

Me: Mama understands that you're sad. Mama is sad too.
H: You're not sad. You're happy. 

I seriously am amazed at her understanding of such complex emotions! 

On the bright side, she is suddenly able to complete singing her songs without any help. She also goes to sleep slightly earlier at night. The school certainly helped in toilet training and now she knows how to tell us when she needs to poopoo/weewee. Oh hopefully she will be able to adapt to preschool and have a happy life there. 

For hubby's case, there is no choice but to accept the change at his workplace. In fact, it could mean a good opportunity for him if he does well in the transition period. I hope I can play a more supportive role for him. 

And in my case, well, it is still too soon to divulge any details, but it's not wrong to say I got what I wished for, albeit a little too soon. Anyway, a co-worker shared this on Facebook and I think it's very true:- "A man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure. ~Proverbs 16:9".

Keep praying for me! 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Hayley's Last Day at Nanny's House

Today was the last day of Hayley at her nanny's house. Tomorrow, she will start a new chapter in her young life - preschool. 

As I was packing her pink beetle bag for tomorrow, and looking through the photos that her nanny had sent me on Whatsapp, my eyes welled up with tears. I suddenly thought, how did my baby girl grow up so soon? It's like in the midst of all the chaotic background noises of parenting, our baby suddenly blossomed into a walking, talking toddler. Truthfully, I can't even recall the first day that we sent her to our nanny's house. Was it with a sense of trepidation or relief? Was she bawling or sleeping soundly when we carefully cradled her in our arms and handed her over? I honestly can't remember that moment now, can't even remember the clothes that she wore.

But today, at least I'll be able to remember this day in the future as I jot it down. When I reached our nanny's house to fetch her, she had just woken from her afternoon nap and was lying on the couch. In a bit of a sleepy daze, she walked slowly towards me with her big big eyes, those beautiful big eyes which had just woken from a long nap. She was happy to see me after a long day, same as the many days before this. And when I hugged her, she laid her beautiful head onto my shoulder like a little lamb to a shepherd. 

Today was the day she said goodbye to her few best friends at nanny's place. There was Seng Seng korkor, the one she claimed to be her "best friend". And there was Yannas, towering above her even though she is five months younger. Although she normally "complains" about Yannas, it seemed like they were the bestest of BFFs today. 

Soon, little girl, your life will be filled with more and more moments like this -- parting moments, and new exciting encounters. I wish that you will embrace each new experience with anticipation and eagerness, and be passionate about what life holds for you along the way. 

I give thanks to the Lord for creating this window for me to glance upon my child's life and what the Lord has in store for her.  All glory be to God, Amen.