Anzac Day Weekend

We’ve just gotten back from a lovely long weekend away. Today is Anzac Day, which commemorates Australians and New Zealanders who have served and protected their countries in wars and other missions.

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While I grew up in Malaysia, hence this occasion is a relatively new concept to me, the unity seen on the day feels somewhat similar to how Malaysians celebrate our independence day. There is a strong sense of symbolism with the red poppies, wreaths and even Anzac biscuits – and then the memorial services as well. I haven’t been to a service for ages but when I was a student, my apartment was directly opposite from the National War Memorial in the city and I used to hear the dawn service and watch part of it from my room (though lucky me could go back to sleep after – those were the days!).

I was trying to work out if I had been to a memorial service before, and I think we did go to one at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra 6 years ago! Or it may have just been a regular service as I think this was in the afternoon? This was one of the first trips Daniel and I took together – we drove from Adelaide to Newcastle in a day! We plan to do a NSW trip sometime this year as well, but it will be a lot trickier with two kids this time!

As I’ve been in Australia for nearly 10 years, I probably should read more about Anzac Dayย and educate my kids about it. On a blog I often read, the writer listed a few good Anzac Day books that can help kids understand the concept of Anzac Day – here is the post. Have you read any of these books with your kids?

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On a separate note, we went away for a lovely beach holiday down in Normanville. More updates about that to come, but just wanted to share this adorable shot of these cuties (Jacob, Jared and my nephew) waiting patiently for their breakfast. Credits to my mum-in-law for capturing the moment!

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Hope you all had a great long weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

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April.

Summer never truly arrived, and we are already into autumn.ย I have to say that this is one of my favourite times of the year because I love seeing the trees cloaked in coats of ever-changing colours, shedding them slowly onto the green grass. I don’t like the impending cold that is about to come, but I have some great memories to keep myself warm.20150322_080336Can’t have Easter without eating some hot cross buns! In all truth, we aren’t really into hot cross buns and Easter eggs; rather, we aim to keep the true meaning of Easter which resonates in the death and resurrection of Jesus. ๐Ÿ™‚ 20150405_123515During the Easter long weekend, we decided to head out to a kite festival at the beach. We didn’t buy a kite for Jacob but he had an awesome time looking at the kites, watching the steam train chug along and chasing the seagulls. 20150411_111833We had two weddings to go to recently – one was for a Uni friend of mine who was renewing her vows, and another was for Daniel’s cousin. On both occasions, I completely regretted putting Jacob in a white shirt due to the mess he made (though that is his only formal outfit – and you have to admit, the bow tie is cute!). 20150412_110753We took Jacob to the Baby Expo the other day and there was a petting zoo! Jacob loves animals and was squealing and stroking the little animals. He got to try out some Gymbaroo equipment as well, which he didn’t mind but was more interested in running away! 20150413_115946I love school holidays, particularly because we can all get up to mischief as a family! Whether it’s heading out to playgrounds or going shopping or merely sitting at home making a mess, it’s more fun when we’re together! ~~~ I’m having one of those nights where I’m listening to old songs and reading things I wrote a long time ago. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not necessarily sad, more pensive and nostalgic. And I often wonder just how much has changed and how much I’ve changed as a person over the years. One piece of writing that seems to resonate with me tonight is a poem I wrote when I was like 14 or 15. I think it got published in a yearbook or something.ย I think that I was quite perceptive at this age, but I could also have just been a daydreamy teenager.

My beautiful star
Sparkling, shining, scintillating
Silver and golden embers
Suddenly falls on a night
The whole world remembers
It feels so lost, so sad and hurt
It stumbles upon the lowly dirt
The night is darker than it seems
The star, lost in a schism
Crumbles and fades away
No one knows
How it felt that day
Only me

Port Elliot again!

Yes, boring us have gone back to Port Elliot again! We were just there in November last year, but this time I brought my parents there (because it is so darn awesome). We stayed at The Port Elliot Beach House YHA again – it’s a really nice place and the owners are so friendly! Jacob and I approve…

ImagePort Elliot is just over an hour out of Adelaide, and is in close proximity to Victor Harbour, Middleton and Goolwa. The Beach House is located just above Horseshoe Bay, which is a beautiful spot of beach. Got quite a nice shot for a phone camera ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Before we even got to the Beach House, we spotted a sign that took us off course – it said “ADRA Op Shop” and took us down a side street to a huge warehouse. It’s probably one of the biggest Op Shops I’ve even seen! I’m a regular patron of the ADRA Op Shops in our locale (Parafield & Brahma Lodge) and it was good to see one thriving there!They had two rooms full of things to buy, and some things were so worth it like 50 cent books!

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Just FYI, ADRA stands for Adventist Development and Relief Agency and is the humanitarian organisation linked to the Adventist church. They run many projects locally and internationally as well – I myself have been involved with their meals program The Shepherd’s Lodge. A really good cause! ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s room number two!

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Anyway, enough about op shops – let’s head to the beach! Here’s Jacob with grandpa and grandma.

ImageIt was probably Jacob’s first time swimming in sea water – I have dipped his feet in sea water before but he’s never really been paddling around in it. While it was a hot day, boy was the water cold. Here’s what Jacob thought of it when a wave came rushing up over him… Brrrr!

ImageWe also made a little side trip to Victor Harbour and crossed to Granite Island – Jacob was asleep a lot of the time, hence why he looks a little dopey in the pictures. We didn’t see the little penguins but we did hear them squeaking as they were being fed.

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It was a lovely trip but I picked up a cold since then. I’d love a nice hot drink and just to head to bed now – good night all!

P.S. I promise I’ll go somewhere new next time! xoxo

Another quick getaway…

I was planning on writing a longer blog post today but I’ve had a complete headache with Jacob… I think he might be teething, but whatever it is, it’s driving both of us up the wall. He was up for almost 2 hours since 4am, then kindly let me sleep in a bit only to whinge most of the day and only get two short 20 minute naps in between. Argh!

In short, teething sucks. But at least he is asleep now so I can get on with my life (at least for another 20 minutes?).

We had a quick holiday getaway over the long weekend and it was lovely! Want to guess where we went? Hint: We’ve actually been here recently (with Jacob too).

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More details in next post. ๐Ÿ™‚

Australia Day

Today is Australia Day and I can bet you that there are thousands of people at the beach! I really wanted to go to the beach this weekend so we went yesterday. Silly me decided to bring the pram along (as I forgot to bring a hat, silly mummy) so I couldn’t go on the sand, but it was lovely to be up on the boardwalk as I got to take a few shots from a different perspective.

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Trying to smile but it’s just a little bit too sunny! Daddy took him right to the water, but only for a little while so he wouldn’t get burnt.

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For those of you who know Adelaide, this is Semaphore beach and it’s probably my favourite beach. I love the fact that they usually have some sort of fun fair going on (and even if they don’t they still have that waterslide and mini golf). I love the row of shops as well which have a whole lot of interesting things to look at, great fish and chips as well as yummy ice cream!

Australia Day marks the anniversary of the British’s arrival in Australia and, understandably, is sometimes called “Invasion Day” as well. While I don’t have any strong emotions about this particular event, I like to join in the festivities anyway and celebrate the unity of being in Australia (though I’m not Australian yet).

I was planning to head out to an Australia Day breakfast but we valued our sleep in a bit more. We did get to have pancakes for brekky though – yum! We’re just watching cricket on TV (but unfortunately will miss the Men’s Australian Open Tennis Final later). And I’ll also miss Biggest Loser!! Okay, I’m not a TV addict but there are some things I don’t mind watching, haha!

As an aftermath from my previous post (http://ligurl27.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/gender-grievance-and-language-lament/), I have decided that I’ll focus on German and Japanese with Jacob. I already pretty much had my heart set on Japanese, but I know German will be good for him too. I’ll need to find out what he’ll be learning at school though – I guess with Malay, it’s a really easy language to learn so I can always teach him later.

Dan and I were showing Jacob some German kids videos earlier and we stumbled across this song, which just cracks me up:

Just a short post today because I’m heading out to a baby shower now – can’t wait! ๐Ÿ™‚

Musings on a murderously hot day…

Heat wave! Yesterday’s temperatures soared to 45 and today it’s meant to hit 46! I was tempted to stay in all day yesterday, though it gets pretty hot in the house too – our air con’s working overtime. We escaped to the shopping mall for some retail therapy while Jacob slept in the pram. Dan picked up more work pants, while I pondered about what swimwear to get. My old bikinis are too small and my pregnancy swimsuit is a bit too big. I was toying between these two pieces from Dotti:

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Which one do you prefer? I love the bold colours… Well, since they were on sale, I got both! Ironically, I’ll probably have shorts or a tank over the bikini anyway. So now, I just have toย head to the beach one of these days. It’s hard with a baby though, especially since I don’t want to give his poor skin too much sun exposure.

Poor Jacob doesn’t like the heat, so he stays relatively nudie all day (apart from the nappy). Since we were all hot and sweaty, we had another dip in the shell.

ImageEven on the hottest days, babies still get cold if the water is too cold. The last time we had a bit of a swim, Jacob got really quite cold – so, even though it was sweltering today, I added a kettle of hot water to warm it up a bit. Yay for little swimming shells!

Hot weather also makes me more inactive, hence I’ve sat on the computer most of the day. To be fair, I had some projects that I was working on. I’ve been doing a bit of designing as well as arts and crafts with regards to baby showers – would love to share but will keep it quiet til after the showers. First one coming up in less than 2 weeks!

I went to a friend’s baby shower a month or two ago… and she’s just had her baby! I went over to visit her today and it was just lovely to see her and her gorgeous little boy. My sister in law also had her baby back in December, and it’s lovely to see all the cousins together:

ImageAll the baby talk is making me clucky again! I was thinking about the early weeks after Jacob was born and how challenging it was at times. If I could do it all over again (and I probably will if I have a second baby), here are five things I would have done differently:

1. Spent more time in hospital – I didn’t even stay the night (though I guess you could count my night in labour as staying the night). My rationale for going home so early was because I didn’t want to be moved to a shared room in the event that someone else came in in labour and because Jacob and I were doing alright. Thinking about it, I probably would have appreciated a bit more rest. I was buzzing from the adrenaline of it all and didn’t even sleep very much the day he was born.ย 

2. Shared the baby a bit more – my parents and Dan were at home, but I would choose to sit in the room with Jacob alone just because I wanted to be close to him. I felt directly responsible for anything Jacob did and would always take him when he cried. Now I realise that I could have given myself a few breathers by just passing on the responsibility.

3. Used a nipple shield for breastfeeding – boy, were those first weeks a bit sore! I didn’t even know about them but perhaps they might have helped. I would have liked to speak to more people about what to expect from breastfeeding too, though now I need no introduction.ย 

4. Not freaked out every time the baby cries – I’ve realised now that babies just cry because they need things. They’re not necessarily sad or upset, but are just trying to communicate their needs. It would have helped the baby stay calm too if I had been calm, but I guess sometimes it’s harder than it sounds.

5. Enjoyed every moment just a tiny bit more – I admit I didn’t enjoy everything I could enjoy in the early weeks. I could have spent more time watching Jacob sleep, or cuddled him more, or even taken more photos. Time puts things into perspective, and I can’t believe how much time has already passed me by.

For now, rather than looking back in retrospect, I’d like to look forward and spend many joyful moments with my lovely family. Tomorrow’s going to be 42 degrees and then we have a cool change (if you can call low 30s cool, I guess). Stay cool, everyone!

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Escape to Port Elliot

One thing I thought I’d miss after having a baby was going on holiday getaways (hence why I had a couple of extravagant babymoons). However, when our friends suggested a weekend trip to Port Elliot, we were tempted. Jacob had never been to the beach and it’s the quiet time of year for travel, so we thought – why not?

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We stayed at the local YHA which was right by the beach, overlooking Horseshoe bay. Why would you stay at a Backpackers with a baby, you might ask? Well, it was quiet at the place and we only saw about 10 other guests in the place, so it really was quite comfortable. It was good having a fully equipped kitchen there (we cooked lunch and breakfast) and the common areas were really quite comfortable too.

My only complaint would probably be about the communal bathrooms which made it hard to bathe the baby, but we survived! ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, my husband copped some leg injuries from basketball and our room was upstairs, so that was a bit of a pain. I didn’t want him to overexert himself so I carried all our stuff down from the room (took me 3 trips) and I nearly left his computer behind! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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One thing we noticed is that Port Elliot has some awesome spots for a wedding. There is a memorial garden which is quite commonly used for weddings, and also some beautiful spots like up on the lookout or down by the beach. Almost made me want to get married again (but then again, my wedding was in a gorgeous spot too)!

We made a BBQ lunch and had delicious fish and chips for dinner. Jacob slept like an angel right through dinner (at the time where he normally fusses the most) – maybe the sea breeze rocked him to sleep… We also played Uno and Dutch Blitz (which is a relatively confusing card game) til about 11pm and he slept peacefully in his pram til we went to bed.

The weather wasn’t so nice the next day (we had to wrap little Jacob up) but clearly we were in good spirits still:

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As a natural progression, these are my Top 5 tips when travelling with an infant:

5. Don’t go long haul straight away. I agreed to this trip because I thought it would be a good starting point for him, as next year in January, we’re planning on doing a bit of a road trip. Of course, if a long haul trip is unavoidable, fair enough – but I think babies need time. That being said, they shouldn’t be completely sheltered either or else they may struggle to cope in different situations.

4. Keep things familiar for him. I made sure he still had elements of his everyday life (like his playmat, pram, etc.) I think babies can cope with some change, though best not to push them with too much. I know one thing Jacob would struggle with is a climate change – he doesn’t really like hot weather, and I’m not sure how he’d take to humid weather if we go to visit Malaysia.

3. Always pack extra. If he needs 6 nappies, bring 10. If he needs 2 sets of clothing, bring 4 in case. You never know what he might pee/poo/spew on, and they’re so tiny anyway that you could pack his whole wardrobe if you wanted to.

2. Stick to his routine. I don’t have a fixed everyday routine with Jacob as we’re in the middle of a season change, so I’m just doing things by demand. However, I still have a bedtime routine which includes a bath, quiet playtime and then swaddle/sleep. I stuck to that and he was pretty settled.

1. Expect anything to happen and improvise. I was honestly very lucky on this trip that Jacob was settled and happy to sleep in a slightly different environment. However, if he wasn’t going to sleep in the bed, I would’ve been willing to push him around in his pram or drive him around in our car til he fell asleep. Or if he was really unhappy or sick or something like that, I’d have aborted the trip. Baby comes first! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Just on an ending note, I received my letter from the Australian government stating that I have Australian Permanent Residency. Yay! ๐Ÿ™‚ It certainly made my week. Have a great one everyone!