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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: 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: Plane to Christchurch via Qantas and Emirates with kids 

13 Dec

Our plane out of Singapore was an evening one which makes it easier to manage kids. They had home cooked dinner at the airport before we checked in thus what was left then was slumber in the plane.

For me, it is important that they have as many home cooked meals as possible especially since travelling usually means they won’t stick to their usual food.

After priority boarding into the plane and settling down, the pilot announced a delay of around 1hr45mins so we had to leave the plane. 

After prayers in transit area, we realised that we could have dinner for $20 per boarding pass at burger king so that amount to $60! We managed to spend $40 but had to throw away the drinks as it was almost boarding time. 

The kids slept after an hour of taking off and ds1 slept through most of the flight while ds2 woke up a few times to nurse. It was great having the bassinet seat but a shame ds2 don’t like to sleep in it. I wondered though if it is because he is used to sleeping with me on the bed and not in a cot on his own. 

Due to the delay, we headed straight to the gate for boarding for our connecting flight from Sydney to Christchurch on the Emirates flight. Emirates was simply amazing when travelling with kids! We got the bassinet seat but who needs a bassinet in the morning right. Extra room and leg space for our stuff and kids to move around while the crew gave out toys and an activity book for ds1 to entertain himself. The crew were great with the kids and considerate that we would have our meals later because of the care of the kids.

Tips for travelling into NZ: 

Don’t bring fresh food and fruits otherwise you’ll have to declare and they will throw it away. It is also a waste of time having to go through the customs checking your luggage thoroughly so we were delayed quite a bit because we brought some vegetables to cook for the kids in case we did not have time to go to the supermarket.the customs were very nice about it when I asked for an explanation, they said that it was because of fruitfly contamination and spreading to their fresh food.

Don’t bring meat at all.

You can bring biscuits and dry food stuff.

There was a moment we just connected

14 Jan

It was a beautiful moment I didn’t want to end. There was some Islamic zikir (rememberance of Allah) going on in the background leading to my inner peace. I gazed at my beautiful son and he flashed his toothless grin which can melt any hearts, masyallah. I hugged him tight and he bounced around in my arms excitedly. Tears streamed from my eyes. I don’t know what it was…or maybe I do…I pacified myself and my son, wiped my tears and went back to getting ready for work.

I like ummi milk very much

13 Jan

Said my elder boy last night.

I usually give him his usual formula milk before bedtime. This time, I had a little of my milk from the second boy which he didn’t finish and can’t keep any more so I added it to his formula milk.

At the first sip, he said he stopped drinking and smiled. I asked him why and he said ummi’s milk. I said yes I added a little, drink lah I urged him and promised a story to distract him from the different taste of his milk. He took the bottle and drank it up in no time.

I noticed that he does try to please his ummi sometimes and it warms my heart but at the same time, I don’t want him doing things to please people. I’ll think about that at another time.

When he was trying to fall asleep in bed, he mumbled in his muffled sleepy voice, ‘i like ummi’s milk very much’

Conversation this morning with my 17 month old

3 Dec

DS: go down
Ummi: careful (as he maneuver his way down the bed, climbing over me)
DS: open the door
Ummi: where do you want to go?
DS: shop
Ummi: what do you need to buy at the shop?
DS: egg
Ummi: what are you going to do with the egg?
DS: cook
Ummi: who are you planning on cooking for?
DS: (his name)

———
After looking at some word and picture cards, he wanted more of a particular type of cards and insisted he see it. I said no as I was about to leave for work, he insisted.

He likes to say push ummi just for fun at times and he did that.
ummi: sayang ummi
DS: push ummi, carry you.
Ummi: ummi go to work, you push ummi

DS kept silent as ummi walked away. Sat on the swing and looked down at his lap. I checked on him a few times. He didn’t try to free himself from the buckles of the swing. He looked so sad it made me sad.

Ummi came before leaving from work and asked for a kiss, he said push ummi and kissed ummi. I carried him around before leaving for work.

I wonder if he knew I wanted to leave for work and instead of telling me not to go, he using reverse psychology on me? If I tell ummi to stay, she would go. Of I told ummi to go, she would stay.

I miss him! Together, we miss ayah 😦

Go ‘chop’ buy ‘baloon’

21 Oct

My darling boy has been trying to communicate with us in baby English of late and it’s awfully cute!

This morning he took out his tricycle band then wanted to park it back under the table, “ummi, park”

I love this! We wanted to go to the market to buy fish so usually I’d go, ” to market, to market to buy some fish” on the way down I asked him where we were going and he said, “chop” to buy what? ” balloon” I said no we are going to the market to buy…”ish”.

Adorable or what? How ayah bathe you? “Shoap” I.e. soap.

And due to his love for pens, he has mastered its name perfectly.

He has a car pillow case so when he wakes up, he will turn around and say cars cars. This morning, a pillow, he calls ‘pullow’ fell and he said “drop”

It warms my heart, Alhamdulilah, that he loves his books. He will ask and point towards where we keep his library books and say ‘books’ with the emphasis on the k.

I was taken by surprise when I asked him one day who my second brother was, expecting ‘cle’ for uncle. He said ‘achat’. This morning I left him in the room to throw his diaper away and came back to find him missing only to appear from the kitchen area near the toilet and what was he doing there, “achat” he said.

There are more like marble, ball, atok, Emma, mama, anne, baby, aunty (anty), nyayi, box, paper, water (ter), shark (chak), turtle( tartle), flower( fower), butterfly(papa), bus, plane, helicopter (copter), cheese, egg, milk, more, some etc.

After some time, I had time yesterday to show his some cards and it was so fun because he was so attentive and even asked for more. I just wished I had more time…InsyAllah.

First steps

10 Jun

Dearest son,

You took your very first step on 24 May 2014 @ 11 months 10 days. It was an amazing moment to experience and whenever I revisit the experience, the feeling is surreal.

You went one step, 2 step and you’d fall gracefully on your little bump. Today, I witnessed you taking it further … 3 step 4 step. @ 4 days shy of 12 months

To many more milestones ahead!

With lots of love,
Your ummi