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We have been back from our visit to Canada for 2 weeks now and are shamefully just getting around to writing a blog about it.  I had a fantastic 5 weeks at home with the kids and Paul joined us for the last 2 weeks of the visit.  What we learned is that home leave (expat vocabulary) is really not a vacation…it is tiring!  We tried to jam in a year’s worth of socializing in 5 weeks, which kept us hopping.  From many backyard BBQs to cottaging in Parry Sounds and Haliburton to celebrating Ella and Gavin’s birthdays, there was never a dull moment.  Living in Malaysia has definitely made us appreciate Canada and appreciate the amazing family and friends we have in Canada.  It has been one of the biggest challenges of living overseas and I’m sure the homesickness has been obvious in some blogs.

My Mom and I bravely took on the 24 hours of travel with the 3 kids.  The short story was that it was not fun and I learned that Gravol and Tylenol are a Mom’s friends on a plane (oops can I say that online!) We were so excited to be home and wanted to throw ourselves into visiting, but had to deal with severe jet leg for at least a week.  Unfortunately little kids don’t seem to cope well with a 12 hour time change and would wake up for the day at 2 am!  I can honestly say that I have never been so tired in my life.  Throughout our whole time in Canada, we were treated like royalty and everyone was so helpful with the kids.  I have such an appreciation for single parents…I was so happy when Paul arrived.  The kids really missed their Dad for the 3 weeks we were apart and Gavin in particular seemed to latch himself to all male figures.  We stayed at my parent’s house and they were amazing at adapting to their living room being turned into a playroom, the complete chaos, the night wakings, the temper tantrums,  and having 5 extra people in their house.  The kids soaked up the attention and loved reuniting with friends, cousins and family.IMG_0039 IMG_9571 IMG_9612 IMG_9771 IMG_9795 IMG_9861 IMG_9901 IMG_9966 IMG_9979

Gavin turned 2 at the end of September and Ella turned 4 just as we were going back to Malaysia.  It was so special for both of them to be able to celebrate with family and friends.


Things we couldn’t get enough of:

  • Swiss Chalet, Tim Hortons
  • Traffic-free driving (the streets felt empty)
  • Courteous drivers
  • PORK
  • 20 degree weather

Things we could do without:

  • single digit weather
  • having to wear socks
  • colds and flus (Gavin was sick the whole 5 weeks!)
  • Canadian prices

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