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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. 

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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.

Korean food

16 Apr

Since we went on a Muslim tour, we ate mostly seafood in places like Jeju Island, Mount Sorak and Pyeong Chang. Only in Seoul, we had the luxury of having Indian/ Arabic food. We had halal beef _ bulgogi and halal ginseng chicken in Seoul.

We had the chance to try kimchi and I have to say it’s not to my liking. Far too spicy for my tastebuds. There are more than a hundred types of kimchi and we were priviledged to try a few at the Kimchi school where we had fun making our very own cabbage kimchi.

The other fun thing we tried was making our own cottage cheese in a place near Pyeong Chang where we also fed sheep. We enjoyed the cottage cheese with some corn crackers and orange juice thereafter.

At some restaurants, we had to sit on the floor, Korean style and at others we could sit on chairs.

One thing in common in all Korean seafood restaurant is the utensils. All had the same metal bowl with a cover where rice is served, metal pair of chopsticks and long metal spoon. Even their tissue box was similar and the watery tumbler. Is there one supplier/ manufacturer only? I wonder…

Do enjoy some photos of the food we had…

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To the goat farm we went

15 Feb

We went to the goat farm- Hay dairies at Lim Chu Kang.

It was so far away but worth it! Fun fun fun. Smelly too.

We learnt how the goats are milked and what happens to their milk. We bought some to try too! AVA has approved it to its clean and freshly pasteurized.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t touch or feed the goats.

We saw some kids in the enclosure.

We leant loads of stuff which we didn’t know before.
Did you know that goat’s milk is alkaline whereas cow’s milk is acidic?

Did you know goats produce so much less milk than a cow?

Did you know the mutton you eat is from Sherpa and not goats in Singapore?

Did you know a female goat is called a doe and a male goat is called a buck?

Did you know the doe is usually carrying 2 kids in a pregnancy?

Here are some photos from our excursion:
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Insatiable 8 months of you

14 Feb

Dearest son,

The apple of my eye, I love you with every ounce of my heart and every part of my being, more and more each day.

My sweetie pie, how much I miss you doesn’t grow less and less each day but it multiplies each and everyday I’m not with you.

My darling boy, you mean the world to me. Your every smile, your every milestone, your every action makes my heart jump for joy.

It’s like you’re growing so much faster when I m not looking. I push myself to spend my every waking moments of the weekday nights and weekend with you, my precious child.

For as long as I can…I will…give my all to you…

With never ending love,
Your ummi

Time for chicken curry!

29 Dec

I don’t cook very much. The only time I cooked a lot was in Finland, out of necessity and eventually because I enjoy it. Ah! Finland! Lots I wonderful memories, Alhamdulilah.

Since the parents aren’t around, I decided to whip some food so that we don’t have to eat unhealthy and expensive outside food which can be not that tasty sometimes.

The husband also don’t really get me to cook if we don’t have dinner because it tires me, after a day of tending to the little one, to have to cook can be very tiring.

Anyways I cooked out of necessity today and Alhamdulilah it turned out alright.

My first time buying a chicken from the wet market at 26 years old. Can’t believe I didn’t have to do it for so long! Just shows there can be a first time for many things even if you’ve tried a million things before.

Here goes!

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Chicken soup, chicken curry and stir-fried veggies serves with white rice.

I should have taken a photo of your expression when you had your first taste of carrots

25 Dec

I haven’t prepared any food for you yet but I will insyAllah.

You’ve had a taste of healthy times baby cereal; brown rice and oatmeal. Ummi recently bought you barley but its still in its packaging waiting to be devoured! Alhamdulilah you eat your cereals well and you seem to like them.

Today, ummi opened a jar of Gerber’s carrot juice. Your very first taste of it was,” eww what is that?” And then I continued to give you more and you thought,” this is not my cereal, the bright orange color is nice but odd. No, I don’t think it’s nice even though you’re smiling at me ummi.” And then you had the gagging reflex and ummi thought it was the consistency of the puréed carrot. I tried 2 more little bits of the carrot purée before I dumped the whole jar into the rubbish bin.

I’ll be sure to take photos of you trying out other food in the future insyAllah.

The second part of the day was spent at the Jacob Ballas Children’s garden which is part of botanical gardens.

It was supposed to be just the 3 of us but anna Mukhlis, kakak Sofia and uncle Irshad went with us. Our picnic turned out to be a walk around the garden with stops at play areas.

Uncle Irshad suggested that ummi should bring you on the slide and I did! It was much fun! It has been a long time since ummi had the opportunity to slide down slides so I had a little accident on our first try, ummi slid all the way down and onto the sand and hit the back of my head on the end of the slide. But you know what went through my mind, though a little foggy due to the sudden nature of the accident, that I needed to keep you safe. I held you tightly until ayah pried you out of my arms. You cried. My poor baby…we tried the slides a few more times but we couldn’t get any pictures of us on action, perhaps next time.

Aunty Robina stopped by and had a long chat cum catch up session with us. She carried you and you fell asleep. She was so happy to meet you and carry you. Aunty Robina is from New Zealand so she has a cool accent. She and ayah were friends from their undergrad days at NUS.

Yesterday, we spent the afternoon with aunty Adilah and uncle Reyas. We visited their beautiful new flat at Yishun. Hopefully we can visit them more when you’re older and when their flat is nicely done up and comfy.

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I don’t want to leave you!

11 Nov

Dear son,

It’s a feeling like no other, to leave you and go to work after being with you for 14 months – 9 months in my womb and 5 months outside. I hate having to leave you.

I think I have a choice but I’m ashamed to say I chose work. I’m ashamed even though its not easy to manage on a single income in Singapore and its not like we live a luxurious life. I’m just giving excuses. Well if there is no one to look after you, I would definitely quit to be with you. Now you have a loving grandmother to take care of you while ummi help other people at work. These people need help and so does my workplace. Oh no I still feel like in making excuses. 😥

I love love love being with you and time just flies when we are together! I don’t know where the 5 months went.

No matter how much I kissed you this morning from 5.15 till 7.40am, it didn’t seem enough. I wanted to smell you as much as I can so that I can bring you with me.

I yearn to be with you baby, my dearest son…

I miss you so much and it’s just the beginning of the day 😦

With love & hugs & kisses,
Your ummi