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Happy New Year!
2012 got off to a great start for us with an impromptu weekend to Thailand to visit Canadian friends.
Although Paul worked between Christmas and New Years, it was still great to have lots of time off together. For New Years Eve, we debated trekking down to Kuala Lumpur to experience New Years near the iconic Petronas Towers, but instead opted for a low key family night at our local waterpark. Unfortunately even though it was a family event, the fireworks were not until midnight, by which time we were long gone. The kids did enjoy swimming, the music and some rides. Paul and I almost made it to midnight, and actually did as we were woken by the firecrackers on our street. Malaysians love fire crackers and any occasion to light them off (in fact our neighbours tonight lit some off – happy January 12th! – really helps the kids sleep at 9pm!) The next day, our Malaysian friend Jo took us out for dim sum, my very first time. It was great to have an expert order and explain everything. Gavin in particular couldn’t get enough fish balls (the equivalent of chicken nuggets for kids over here).
January heralded the return of school for Ella and although it was nice having her home in December, she was looking forward to going back to school and all her friends. And I was looking forward to having one less kid home all day! We decided to start Gavin in a daycare two days a week so that he would have more opportunities to play with kids his age as he seemed like he was getting bored at home. Ella prepped him for school and they even practiced so that he would be ready. He wears this green little uniform and is very proud of his backpack. He has been very brave with no tears at drop offs, although a few during the day. It was hard for me starting him in school because he is my little guy, but I am so proud of how well he has done. There is not nearly as much communication here between the teachers and school and parents and I find that frustrating, especially since Gavin cannot fully tell me everything about his day. I have no idea how much he cried, how he ate, how he interacted with the children, etc. There are many cultural differences to get used to as well, compared to what we are used to in Canada. For example, the children here bring milk power (like formula) to drink before nap and children do not drink cold water when they have a cold (only warm water). Independence is very much encouraged and there is not as much warmth and physical comforting towards the child, as I would prefer. I remember all these feelings when Ella started school and now I have come to terms with the differences and I am sure I will with Gavin’s school in time.
Our good friends the Robertsons (Lindsay, Malcolm and baby Lily) were in Thailand on vacation. Through a skype conversation, they suggested we fly up to Phuket for a visit over the weekend. Although I really wanted to see them, there just seemed like too many hurdles to overcome to make it happen. And we had just been in Thailand 3 weeks prior! However, they were very persistent and offered us a bedroom in their 2 bedroom time share and we just couldn’t say no. We booked our tickets Friday afternoon and left the house once Paul got home from work that night…talk about packing under pressure. Ella came home from school and I told her we were going to Thailand and she started crying and said “I don’t want to go to Thailand! We just went to Thailand!”…poor kid, its a hard life.
We had 3 full days with the Robertsons at a beautiful resort in Phuket. They had added us to their reservation and we were treated to the full holiday resort welcome of flower leis, cold cloths, and refreshing drinks when we arrived. It was great spending quality time with such good friends and Ella loved seeing her godparents. Gavin was very interested in their 8 month old daughter Lily and Miles was completely smitten with her as well. We enjoyed lounging by the many pools, relaxing at happy hour on the beach (especially the live entertainment by a Canadian musician playing great sing along acoustic covers), and celebrating Malcolm’s birthday with an in the suite private BBQ dinner. Ella was able to check out the fab kids club and Paul and I were really happy to eat more Thai food and even have a Thai massage on the beach. It will probably be summer before we see them again and it was so nice to have those special few days together.
Life seems like one vacation after another lately and that suits us just fine. We only have to wait 3 weeks until our trip to Bali in early February. I think we can handle it.