22 months

In His Bedroom

So we are almost there. My husband and I made it a goal to actually move Isa to his own bedroom by his second birthday (which is a month plus away). While that sounds like a simple task, it involved rearranging for storage of the then guest room into a toddler’s bedroom. The pre-requisites include reorganising our humble storeroom (a 3′ x 4′ at most) and making sure the study room will be a comfortable to be used as  a guest room as well.

If it comes to me, the idea of persuading a toddler who’d love to hang around his parents all the time to sleep in his own room involves making sure that he feels some sense of belonging to the room. That’s why I insisted on making sure that we have a proper wardrobe for Isa in that room and  move some of his favourite things into that room.

Last evening, we almost get it done. His wardrobe is up. The room is nearly cleared for unrelated items due to the re-organising activities.

And suddenly while I was giving my finishing touch of organising his clothes into the new wardrobe, without me inviting him, Isa started saying that he’d like to lie down on his bed and have milk.

That is an excellent cue, I thought and rushed to prepare his bottle.

His dad lied beside him, and I continued to pat his bottom. In no time he was asleep.

All praise be to God who made it easy!

I set the alarm at two in the morning to make sure I’d change his nappy (he is a heavy drinker at night I am yet to tackle this problem) to make sure that he doesn’t leak, and his dad woke up early this morning at 5.30 AM and checked on him.

He leaked, unfortunately, when he went to check, so tomorrow I’ll make sure I make another trip to his bedroom at 5 AM.

Overall he’s happy when he woke up this morning. And mommy too!

p.s. I am fighting the temptation to decorate his bedroom to my liking (with half of the ideas may not even be useful to Isa), but I have to stop at the basics. A few other things pending:

  • New pillowcases – to sew. Bought a few yards of pretty fabrics online, will have to make time for this project.
  • Install the self adhesive whiteboard – bought two rolls of 2 m long each on Groupon, yet to receive the items. Isa loves drawing on whiteboards in my office, thought he’d like this.
  • Get a set of colourful whiteboard marker

Useless things that need further review before executing:

  • New curtains … with children motives
  • Wall decals, maybe.

 

My Sociable Son

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Isa is now 22 months old – all praise be to the Creator and Protector.

While there was a very short phase where Isa cried whenever we sent him to the crèche, nowadays he seems to really enjoy going to that place.

One thing I notice is that Isa has an amazing memory – he seems to remember most of his friends’ names – if I were to count I know it will be more than ten names he usually mentions at home to me and his dad!

At first I thought it was because I also repeated the names at home – especially toddlers of the same age group, five of them in total. He also told me at least two names of those younger than him – I initially suspected that this could be because they were together in the baby room for a period of time that he kept hearing those names and remembers them.

But yesterday, when a preschooler – a boy whose name I didn’t know – ran in front of him, Isa said ‘Mommy, Man lari’ (i.e. Mommy, Man runs), I was puzzled. Is “Man” the name of the boy? I then asked the boy’s name, only to find out that the boy’s name is Iman.

I was surprised.

Like, wow.

Isa CAN actually remember his friends’ names correctly!

When I checked with his caregiver, she also agreed that Isa easily recalls the names of the kids in the crèche, both younger and older than him.

Allahumma – my heart keeps praying that such memory and inclination will last for a long, long time for him, because definitely, an effective dai’e (preacher of good things/agent of change) should have the capacity to remember names of people he met.

To Krabi with a Toddler

It was rather impulsive on my side, deciding to go to Krabi. Luckily the husband agreed so we were set – our first vacation as a family, and a couple, abroad.

Krabi seems to be a nice place. I love beaches, and we have ran out of beaches to visit in East Malaysia, those that don’t require us to travel by boat/ferry especially. We wanted to keep East Malaysia for a better time in the future so Krabi is a natural choice.

And I have noticed, rather hints from the husband that he has not been to a foreign country for a while already. Traveling to the neighbouring  Thailand costs us more or less like traveling within Malaysia, which means we are not to be tied to strict budget due to cheaper exchange.

But vacationing with a toddler…. So far we have only done it one or two times. We have learnt that the key to sanity during vacations is to manage our expectations ( we are no more backpackers first and foremost) and not to plan your trip so much – the theme should be free and easy.

Krabi, aside from the usual famous island hopping trips and diving, can be a good place where toddlers and parents blessed with them to enjoy too.

Here is how we spent our days there:

Thursday – Traveling day

Arrived at Krabi International Airport at 4.30 PM approx. Found a cab and went to the hotel. I booked a room at Somkiet Buri Resort, at Ao Nang. Everyone was dead tired, so we rest in the lovely room overlooking the pool – The whole evening. We had dinner at the restaurant in the hotel as it serves halal food. Retired early.

Day 1 – Friday

Had breakfast, and went to Ao Nang beach. Found some good offers for activities, but we chose to spent the day at the Beach and hotel instead.

Continued at the pool until afternoon, then Isa napped for three hours.

Husband went out to get some lunches and I enjoyed the view while listening to audio lecture.

Called the same taxi to bring us to the famous Krabi walking street i.e. Night market. Had dinner there and did some souvenir-shopping.

Day 2 – Saturday

Had breakfast, and waited for the tour operator to pick us up at 8:30 am. We were going for elephant trekking today!

Isa loved the elephant so much and we had a great time.

Went back to the hotel around 11, Isa and husband had their naps, while I sneaked out for my spa sessions. Had my feet massaged, and got my first ever manicure and pedicure. All for 500 baht only! Went to grab takeaway lunches for the guys.

It rained a bit heavily, so we had our trip to the beach a bit later. Enjoyed the sunset at that. Amazing.

Had dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Day 3 – Sunday

Initially we plan to have our day trip on a boat island hopping, but being realistic, Isa could never stand an eight hour long trip (8am -4pm). Even tour operators discouraged us – it is just not practical. We plan for a half day trip somewhere – Poda Island or Railay Bay, but it rained and the weather did not look promising either after that.

So we went back to the hotel and enjoyed the pool. Isa loved it just the same before it started raining again.

We went out at 5pm, got on a samlor ( motorbike with a sidecar) for a sightseeing trip around Ao Nang, stopping by some halal foodstalls along the way. 500 baht for an hour ride, and we were right about Isa, after 40 minutes he was already restless.

We walked down the road bargaining for crafts ( I had my eyes on some nice jewelries…) and went back to our room to rest.

Monday

Our flight is at 5.20 pm, but we could not checkout late. So we went to the each right after breakfast, bought an additional bag to carry the stuff we bought from Krabi.

Checkout and had our lunch. Finished lunch and still had an hour before the taxi we booked come, so I dragged husband and son to the spa I went before. Told them I had an hour and too lazy to take off my clothes so they suggested for a face massage. 300 baht, and both guys had an air-conditioned place to rest in.

Walked back to the hotel, where we kept our luggage. Waited for less than 10 minutes before we were picked up. Reach airport at 3, lazying around while Isa slept before boarding.

What did we do right:

1. Prepared for the flights: We let Isa get active before our flight to Krabi – we went to the play area beforehand, so by the time we boarded the plane, he was already asleep, only to wake up when we had touched down Krabi Airport. On our way back however, he slept at the airport and was wide awake during the flight. We have packed enough things to keep him occupied fortunately: a new sketch book, a coloured pen, a new set of stickers… he was entertained throughout the journey.

2.  Bought a beach ball. Isa is so fond of balls, and husband found a cheap one at Tesco days before we flew and bought it. It kept him entertained during the rainy day (we had one).

3. Booked a decent hotel room. The room was large enough for Isa to run and play on his own and has its nice swimming pool. We were lucky!

4. Packed only one checked-in middle-sized luggage and kept our hands mostly free to catch Isa and pushed the stroller.

5. Bought Malaysian Airlines flight tickets instead of AirAsia! Better hospitality from MAS, and yes, they did give us the infant safety belt.

What could have been better:

1. Maybe we should consider a lighter stroller.

2. Should have packed more disposable diapers i.e. bring them from KL. Diapers were considerably expensive: A pack with 28 pieces cost more than a similar brand 68-piece pack back home. After all, we had 40kg luggage allowance we could have utilised!

3. Adjust Isa’s sleeping time beforehand so that he sleeps a bit later at night for us to enjoy the evening/night scene a bit more.

Other than that, I am pretty happy with how we spent our days at Krabi.

Photos will follow soon!