After arriving back in Malaysia, we had to deal with the jet leg again including lots of night wakings. We played musical beds a lot with many different configurations in one night (Gavin and I in one bed, Gavin in the crib, Gavin in Ella’s bed….) but after a week or so, the kids were thankfully back to regular sleep patterns. As much as we loved our visit to Canada and catching up with friends and family, it was nice to get home. Ella returned to school and I was a little worried how that would go, given last year’s challenges. But she seems super happy to go each day and was very excited to move to an upstairs classroom and reunite with all her classmates. Gavin was happy to see all his toys again and of course to have Nini around to play with. Miles has been continuing to pack on the pounds and is a light 17 lbs and has rolls galore.
After 6 days at home, my three aunts (Donna, Denise and Patti) arrived from Canada to spend 5 days with us in Ipoh on their 3 week tour of SE Asia. If you know my Mom, you know about the Huber gene – the never sit down, always doing something, always talking gene. They were super great visitors to have and have set the bar really high for future visitors! The kids were showered with attention, they baked cookies, they got down and played, they cleaned…. We managed to squeeze quite a lot into their visit. In Ipoh we toured them around the wet market, a cave temple, Ella’s school, some great restaurants and indulged in pedicures and massages. We also took them to the Cameron Highlands for a day and to the beach at Pangkor island for two days. We were definitely sad to see them leave, as they headed off for Bali.
Ella is in ‘reception’ this year, which I think is like kindergarden. You might remember the difficulty I had adjusting to the teaching style here in Malaysia when we first arrived. I am used to the formal, structured environment now, but still am not impressed with the strategies they use. My four year old has homework every night. It alternates from something like writing out 90 A’s or 100 ‘2’s’ or writing some Chinese characters…but leads to us bribing and cajoling our way through it each night. I hear comments from Ella like, “I will get a star when I do my writing perfectly” or “I have to finish everything on my plate” that make me cringe. She is now staying at school until 3:30 which makes driving easier for me.
This weekend we are off to Penang to visit Steve and his fiance Audrey. They are traveling for 3 months in SE Asia and this will be the first of a couple of times we meet up with them. And because life is not exciting enough, Miles and I are flying to Sydney for a week on Sunday. My good friend Corrie and her family have just moved to Australia. I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to manage a trip but the pieces all fell together and off we’re going. Nini will watch Ella and Gavin during the day and Paul will be home with them in the evening. Although I know I will miss them all a ton, I am looking forward to a quieter vacation and catching up with Corrie, Mo and Sofia.