dear son 2

8 Feb

Dear son,

I realised a long time ago that I can’t be totally fair to you or your brother after you were born because many reasons.

I wish to apologise that I didn’t write to you every month like I did for your brother until he was 13 months. 

We just got less time since I’m still working, even if it’s just part time but time is just never enough. 

I did however take photos of you, many of them actually so maybe when time permits (Insyallah), I will create monthly entries for you based on memory and photo profiles to gauge your age.

Now you’re 1.5 years old. you’re a joy to be with. Your playful personality is shining through the dimples and grey eyes which was what everyone saw when they saw you. 

I hope people see you for what you are and not what you look like in the future. Today I still winch when people gawk at your eye colour asking if father is ang moh and short of demanding an explanation for the way your eye look. 

Sometimes I think admiration with jealousy burgeoning underneath the seemingly innocent attention you get when we go out. 

You and your elder brother play very well together, you seem to be as rough as he is with you and at times the rough tumble play seems too much for your poor ummi. 

You have been the only one not yet in school since the beginning of this year as all the older ones are in school in the morning. 

You’re speaking a few words like your usual mmi (for ummi), yahhhh (ayah) and now you’re beginning yaaas ( for your older brother, sometimes Anne), mma, papa, tatok ( datok) and nyayi (and Nenek sometimes). 

You mention a few general words like ket ( for biscuits, your favourite cheese biscuits), yice (for rice), cheese and who can forget your famous ‘i wan I wan I wan’ to anyone who appears to be eating anything. You ask for nilk (milk) and look so excited when it’s time to have some. 

Im still feeding you my milk and you look like you love it to bits! 

Your favourite thing to do is to use the phone and go out. You’ll break into a wide grin and run ( you walk so fast, it’s like you’re running) to the door the moment you hear the gate unlock. 

With lots of love,

Your ummi 

I wish I had more of this

4 Feb

And I’m also glad I that I didn’t do anything to make it disappear. 

DS1 imagination. I had the opportunity to send and fetch him from school when he shared with me what happened in school. I saw the look of pure happiness on his face when he saw me outside the glass door of his school. He said “I can see some men working outside” while we were riding the bus home. “there they’re on the road” and “they’re so cute ummi” 

While we were walking home, I told him that his grandpa, who is his favourite person in my in-laws place, was not at home. He said “there datok, there on the wall there!” I laughed as we made our way home…

In the past I used to pretend we were lying down in our tents and watching the stars in the sky while we were in one of the rooms at home. It’s so fun he loves all the pretend play. 

NZ: Milford Sound, Te Anau 

3 Feb

My father generally drives the long distances while I drive around town.

This is because mother prefers father to drive and so I can take care of the kids at the back.

We booked a tour to Milford Sound as soon as we arrived in Te Anau for the next morning.

The above is a famous site for LOTR. I’m not a fan so can’t say much except that it was indeed gorgeous. Again I wished we had time to bask in its beauty while the kids could run around.

The rainy weather made the place look different I think from photos we gave seen of the bus trip to the cruise. It made beautiful waterfalls most of the way though. It rained almost all of the trip to and from Milford Sound.

Our first rainbow in NZ! 

Couldn’t decide I wanted more of the clouds or the grass to accompany the rainbow.

Some glaciers. Apparently they did not receive a lot of snow the last winter.

The husband and ds1 were sitting comfortably in front of the cabin. My mother and ds2 were safely in the cruise at the seating area. My father and I were right in front in the open end of the cruise admiring the beauty of the Stirling falls. When the captain announced that the cruise was entering the falls and only stay there if you want to get wet, I didn’t budge. My father was undecided so he stayed on. When father decided to go back up into the safety of the cabin so he wouldn’t get wet, the door was shut so he was stuck outside and got drenched too. I stood there stumped, thinking to myself ‘ what did I get myself into?’ I’m all drenched again. Being drenched in the cold is no fun. I just like to try new things and I yearn adrenaline rush so I decided to stay put…it was nice actually. 

MasyaAllah yhe rocks shaped by the water over the years, just beautiful! 

We had some alone time because father was carrying the baby while Ds1 was sleeping in the bus.

Ds2 watching the keas with grandpa.

This must be on our way to Queenstown from Te Anau.

Follow us to Queenstown next!

NZ: Wanaka

18 Jan

​Distinction hotels wanaka was the place we stayed in for a night. About the accommodation, it was nice and clean, a bit expensive. We had a garage to keep our car safe at night. We had all the amenities we needed and we felt safe. 

When I woke up early the next morning, I brought Ds2 out for a walk and he had breakfast amongst the bird chirping and the melodious sounds of the morning. 

Again I wished we spent at least 2 nights because Wanaka is a beautiful, pretty town surrounded by mountains. 

I loved lake wanaka! I like seeing animals in the wild and nature so pristine around us. 

We spent a couple of hours at the lake and playground near it. There were ducks and swans on the lake just waddling nearby and some other different birds hopping around. 

We the headed down south to Te Anau which was around 3 hours away. 

NZ: Drive Hokitika to Wanaka

17 Jan

I guess the effect of the trip has almost rubbed off thus I forgot to continue blogging. Ok maybe that’s not entirely true but the things to do in my personal life and work life engulfed me…

So back to beautiful New Zealand!

It was a long way from Hokitika which is a little north west of south Island to somewhere to the middle of South Island. We travelled along the coast to Franz Josef Glacier which was a manageable 2hrs drive from Hokitika. 

We stopped along the way and saw some beautiful alpine parrots, the kea, for the first time. 

Some of the views on the way to Wanaka from Franz Josef Glacier. We were supposed to stop by lake moeraki but we couldn’t really find a nice spot to look for penguins in the heavy downpour. 

This photo was taken when we all attempted to climb up to see the face of what’s left of the Glacier. Around 30 minutes into the hike a nice lady told us that it’s not suitable for a baby as it’s not the easiest hike. So we all went back down sent the kids and my mum to the car where they took shelter from the rain and had their lunch. 

The husband, father and I went all the way. Beautiful sights or nature all the way, it was drizzling all the way up and back. We were all pretty drenched after the 2.5 hours hike. 

Honestly I didn’t plan the details of this hike but alhamdulilah it worked out alright for us all. 

I would say that the Glacier wasn’t spectacular though, not sure if we went with guides it would have been better. The place though was beautiful and I love nature so being in nature with the husband was a nice experience. There was a beautiful waterfall, rock formations, streams and boulders. 

I think my hp battery went flat so I couldn’t capture much photos but the memories etched deep in my heart. That’s what matters most right?

After Franz Josef Glacier, we headed to Wanaka I think a 3 hours drive. That’s when we first spotted the lupins. It started with yellow ones then purple ones. As we travelled further, we saw so many beautiful colours of lupins lining the roads. 

Basking in the beauty of Allah’s magnificent creations surrounding us. I got the chance to talk about Allah and all his creations around us with Ds1. 

We arrived in wanaka at 8.30pm, grabbed dinner at an Indian restaurant ( there were a couple of them) and reached our accommodation at 10pm.

NZ:Hokitika, Hampden cottage 

4 Jan

We drove Rangiora to Hokitika which was around 3-4 hours drive. 

On hindsight I wished we spent more time in Hokitika, a beautiful cottage in a beautiful town. 

We loved the sparse cottage we booked on airbnb! There were toys, books, games, a backyard for the kids to run around in, a ramp at the back. My mum loved the toilet. The open concept kitchen was lovely. The host had some eggs, milk and seasonings to cook and even bake something simple. It was super clean and tidy. The cottage was tasteful decorated. We highly recommend the place to anyone who would like to visit hokitika. Even the garden was lovely and well-maintained. It’s pretty close to town, the beach and shops.

We only had time for dinner at an Indian restaurant, hokitika beach and the glow worm dell when it got dark.

The beach was very windy and the waves huge they almost engulfed my curious preschooler who wanted to get closer to the water. I grabbed him as soon as I sensed that the waves were more dangerous than it looked. We were drenched but safe, alhamdulilah. 

 I chose this glow worm dell instead of te anau because it’s free. It was actually quite magical but I wish we could get closer. It looked as if we were under a blanket of stars in the Dell. I’m not sure if it’s much nicer in Te Anau. 

NZ: Pete’s Farmstay, Rangiora 

29 Dec

We had a nice relaxing breakfast at Pete’s cottage. There were the usual bread and spread, cereals and hot drinks and cold juice. 

Their kitchen opens up to the fields where you can see the sheep’s grazing and the clear blue sky. 

We had to drive to Christchurch for our meals, which we did. We had Nandos which serves halal chicken and they only serve chicken. 

We actually went to this place called Argee Bhajee but they served pork even though the chicken was halal. 

On our last day we went to this Afghan restaurant. 

I think I’ll have a separate post for food as I had difficulties finding information on halal food in South Island, NZ.

NZ: Takaka to Rangiora 

28 Dec

We drove a long way from 10am and arrived in Rangiora at 6pm.

It was a pleasant yet eventful drive. The husband who doesn’t usually drive decided to get behind the wheels so I have a break from driving. We had some encounters on the road with police officers which I will share more in my tips in a later post. 

Pete’s Farmstay in Rangiora was a beautiful place to arrive in after a long drive. Rangiora is around 30 minutes from Christchurch. 

They had toys for the kids, a nice wooden playground with a trampoline and very comfortable beds in the spacious cottages. I felt that they were a little too pricey though. The price includes breakfast at their cottage and a farm tour.

NZ:Takaka, Tasman 

27 Dec

I woke up bright and early to do my prayers. It’s bright by 6am and fajr is around 4am. 

I had some time to myself to explore the garden in front of our cottage, take in the fresh air and enjoy the melodious sounds of the birds chirping until the cold (13 degrees) got to me. 

I layered up, got dressed then headed out to town to get groceries and fuel up. The fuel tank was empty! 

When I arrived home, ds2 was just stirring and slowly waking up. I layered him and ds1 who woke up soon after and out we went to explore the garden.

We walked barefoot on the damp grass, ds1 brought his toys to play in the grass, we watched birds. Ds1 enjoyed it running in and out of the cottage. 

Cooked some fish soup for us all and porridge for the baby after I sertu the kitchen. We headed out after our lunch.

The kids were having a nice time playing and having their breakfast while I watched them from the kitchen window, while I was cooking. We felt right at home in this airbnb in Rangiheata, Takaka. 

Yuriko and Michael were wonderful hosts who gave us our space and freedom as they went on their own work in their garden and farm. Now I wished I took more photos of their place; very nicely decorated with flowers, trees, gardens, gravel driveways, a goat and 5 black chickens. 

Well it’s a balance between enjoying the experience and being busy recording the beautiful experience and I chose the former in the essence of time. 

We headed out for a bit to Waikoropupu springs, tata beach and pohara beach.

Ummi don’t go to work

21 Dec

Now it’s the holidays, the first part of the holiday was spent in NZ and we’ve been having around 3-4 days work week for the rest of the year.

Ds2 has been more clingy of late, not wanting me to go to work. Yesterday, he was asleep when I left for work and boy was he disappointed when he woke up. 

Today, he rushed out of the room while I was praying subh, went back to bed yo lie then. I think he was afraid we have left for work again. After I changed into work clothes he asked why ummi change?  I asked him what should I wear and he said the purple dress ( home clothes I changed out of). 

He kept asking me to stay and play with him and that he does not want yo study with Emma and that instead he wants to do art n craft. I said we can do a simple craft now but he couldn’t find cardboard. I said I’ll think of some ideas and we’ll do a craft at night. 

He was not really convinced. 

Just as I was about to leave, he carried his father’s work bag and said he was going to work with me. And below is his serious work face.