22 April

Guess who’s birthday is it tomorrow?

My baby will be 5 tomorrow and she has been waiting for it for a year. It was literally every day that she asked how many days to go before her birthday or what month is it and a different way every morning when she does her calendar only to ask when her birthday will be. And finally it will be the BIG day.

We baked 24 cupcakes today to share in class tomorrow. She made sure there are spare ones for her teachers. It is very sweet.

This year was so rocky for all of us. We had crying, yelling, laughing, snow (storm) which meant no school for a few days, daddy going away for a couple of weeks and not seeing him often because he constantly is at his olds to look after them, R being at school full time, me beating myself up for not being able to send her to the best school I could think of, name it and we had it this year. I am sure this will remain as a memorable year which will be remembered dearly.

Well, we will leave more space for the big day’s review.

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4 years 9 months today

R will be 5 years old in 3 months’ time. She is growing so fast I can’t keep up. She reads to me now. Writes me love notes, they come with lots of hugs and kisses, cards, drawings of me. I will miss this stage and all the sweet messages she hands over. I heard the other day that she is trying spelling as well. Reading and writing has gone leaps and bounds since starting Reception. Modelling by other children at school definitely is a positive influence although it comes with a price. She sometimes blurts out nasty words which no one can help or shield her from. It is reality but it is quite an impact to her increasing vocabulary and language development. Well, what better way to immerse in to society than to take a splash into the pool and with mum and dad still there swimming with her all hopes that she comes out of the pool creative and socially responsible individual whose eyes are on the target.

I miss my baby

Eight days into the beginning of the school year I miss my baby so much. She is in school full time now which I think is still too long for a little person. But she is beginning to be more confident in writing and reading from one week going to school alone. She fondly talks about her new friends at school, lunch and play time. On Monday she came back and said to me that she has joined the Joke Club which I am not sure if it is pure imagination but on Friday she said that the club has been shut down.

Six hours and a half everyday is too long at the moment to be alone in the house without R’s presence. Every time she comes back from school she is starving and tired. No more problem about eating supper, so long it may last. I miss her, the happiness, energy in the house in the last four years 24/7 and she is becoming more and and more independent and slowly getting out of mummy and daddy’s wings. I guess that is how things work in having a child.

Swimming in Bangkok

We arrived in Bangkok last week and we have been swimming twice every day. The weather is lovely, it rained most nights and yesterday afternoon too. I am waiting for the downpour tonight though it might not happen as it does not have that humidity that comes before the rain.

The pool temperature is nice not too cold or hot. It is refreshing and the sun is out of the pool by three for afternoon swim.

This time of year is not busy with tourists yet. State schools in the west are not due to break up until next week and the local schools here have only just started the school year last month. It means we have a ‘private pool’ nearly all the time. It is fun to have a few groups sometimes but they are regulars so it is normal. A 25 metre pool 5 minutes near the BTS Wongwianyai is a good find in the city.

The restaurant of the hotel has been shut though which is a shame because we occasionally eat there or used to dine there after our swim or when I could not think of anything to cook. Days before we leave we normally pack our things and eat out 2 out of 3 meals a day which puts our minds to leaving mode. Our favourite noodle restaurant just outside the hotel had also shut because the man who runs it is ill. We found a new place to have lunch which is a 3 minute bicycle ride away but I cannot imagine going there in the middle of summer.

Well, there are pluses and minuses. Funny phrase. As we are only here for three weeks a few new finds and old things to do would be enough.

Back from the garden

R went to school this morning after saying that she did not want to go to school because she wanted to have lunch here and that she did not want to play with one of the boys. Well, we will see how it went when she comes back.

M went to give his parents a hand which is fine but sometimes when I look around it is getting into my nerves. Whenever I hear comments about how he helps his parents or talks to them puts me in a very bad mood which makes me think of all the time he spends there away from  the house which is unfinished, the garden which needs more attention and the shed, back garden and more. He could have spent all those time there in the house to improve our lives every single day.

I spent two hours transplanting, watering, tying up plants to have flowers and vegetables in the summer and autumn. It was hot by 11 today and so it was time to clear the rooms with clutter and then iron.

Endless housework, endless comments from relatives. If people could just stop troubleshooting all the time and give feedback instead to encourage other people to do more or carry on with what has been started then all is well. Gardening takes the mind off unwanted thoughts sometimes. Off to hang the washing and time to plug the iron in.

New year

We have been in Bangkok for two months now and still have no desire to go back. It is getting hottter now though. The hot season is coming and it will become unbearable to go out of the compound after 10 in the morning. With two weeks in December without much work for M it was quite nice to get up, cook, have breakfast, go for a swim and relax a bit. Every single day from the day we arrived until the day before Christmas were hectic and annoying for me. I could not think of a reason to smile. It was because each day from morning until night time M was in front of his laptop. Admittedly he works from home and it makes a difference in R’s life to see daddy everyday but all the stress at work is always around. R gets to play with daddy in the mornings but most of the time it would be me and her.

Fortunately, my sister and my niece who is six were here for a month which was a  relief at times. To be told that to have my family is stressful is wrong. To spend for my family and insinuate that we are asked to buy them things is a lot of stress for me. I do not want to see any of my relatives anymore if things like this come up again and again I am not comfortable to  even think about invting my family oveer.

R and her cousin had arguments in the first two weeks of playing together. It was their first meeting so two different personalities clashed. There were tears at time but in the second half of their time they played well together. I heard them do role plays a lot. They played in the small pool sometimes but since G was not coomfortable in the water yet she was squeaky at times. R did her own thing, she swam and then played with her toys which she.shared with cousin reluctantly sometimes.

We had to go for a visa run in Vientiane the mroning that my sister was going home. It was sad to come back to the place without being able to see them again which I am sure will be for ages. I did not see my sister for five years. Last time I saw her was back in Beijing. I was not able to go back and see them again either in China or the Philippines because of financial reasons. I had two jobs after I left China but it was enough to pay for my rent at the training area for my course, food and projects to finish what I enrolled in.

It was lovely to see her and my niece even though there were tough times when differences in socialisation between the children were apparent. I hope that there will be a next time to see them and in a better place too.

We did touristy things like temple visits, went on boat rides, tuktuk and bus rides, a bit of shopping in Chinatown and a couple of malls, a short train journey and early lunch overlooking an estuary. We went to the snake farm, the aquariom, children’s museum and few trips to tthe park. We spent a lot of time indoors and let the children play. When we got fed up cooking because meal times was a chore we ate out. Bangkok is an easy place to find food at and we can afford to relax a little.

Back to the three of us for two days and M will work with someeone from New Zealand for two weeks and the countdown to go back will be on.

Lucky week (I guess)

What a week that was and a wonderful start this week. If you can hear what I am saying thank you. If you do not it is a cry or a triumphant jump.

Last week R tried lacing and she had more patience to do it than a few months ago. She expressed the interest to do the activity about a couple of months ago but it did not work. We tried to lace her shiny shoes and then my old shoes which she gave more attention to. We will try it again and again until she is able to do it on her own. R tried zipping as well. She started with my coat. With 3 to 4 times of practice with mine she moved on to daddy’s and then tried her own coat. She did all this while we were at the shopping center. The next morning she was very happy to have done her boots all by herself. She still struggles sometimes but she tries her best and then asks for help if she cannot do it anymore.

The kitchen is a mess for four days now. Daddy is laying tiles a few at a time. It takes time to do even half of the room as the materials need to be worked with quickly otherwise the adhesive will set and then after he has laid them with certain precision he cleans all the buckets and trowels. R works and plays in the bedrooms or the sitting room which are big enough for her but she get to watch tv even in the morning which I dislike the most. I am hoping that the place would be in order soon but I might not be able to see it that way.

The driving lessons have been unenjoyable. Driving everyday rain or shine bad mood or not all contribute to the experience. I have not been recommended to take the practical test but D said that I have to take it. I think it is a complete waste of time and money but we will have to push through. It might be a waste but hey am I not?

Shall we add more drama into this someone’s close relative said to someone that R causes stress to some. No parent would ever want to hear that ever. Not now not ever. It is painful. Another drama, the neighbor sent another letter. When do all these stop? I guess when I am gone. Gone where? Nowhere close here.

H and her children knocked on the door before 5pm on Saturday. The last thing that I wanted was to have guests in this messy place. Noise makes it worse. How do I ask people not to turn up, stay and or be loud? I hope for sensitivity.

Back to some lighthearted instances if there are any. We will go away for 6 weeks from the 19th. R has been talking about it and looking forward to it now. That is something.

R recently talks to the ‘didi’ and it talks to her. Lovely to hear her have a “conversation” with it. The didi has an alterego. It speaks in a very squeaky voice.

R: Nasan ka didi? Please, please. (Where are you __?)

Didi: Dito natakpan ng stripy dress. (Here hidden under the stripy dress.)

R: Labas didi. (Come out__.)

Didi: Oo. (Yes)

We have not been for a swim for nearly two weeks now but whenever R gets in the bath she tries to swim and float. She will learn one day.

Time to go to bed. Be back in a week or so.