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New Zealand: North Island

Date: 5 -10 October 2017

Our ultimate 2017 trip was to New Zealand, both North and South Islands, bringing along 3 little (below 5) boys. Honestly, it was very tiring, especially with my 3 year old having bad eczema. So our adventure (or itinerary) for the 10 days covered Auckland City, Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton, Rotorua Maori Village, and the must-do South Island campervan experience that included Christchurch, Mount Cook, and Milford Sound. Here goes!

North Island, New Zealand
Day 1: 5th October 2017

Our 10am flight was from Gold Coast Coolangatta Airport to Auckland International Airport.

Arrived ahead 1day from the rest of the family who were travelling from Malaysia, purely a mistake during booking. Good news was, we had 1 extra day in Auckland City ;) We pre-booked our airport transfer online, this is a good tip as the van was ready when we arrived to take us straight to our accomodation. Link here.

Stayed at Bianco off Queen Serviced Apartments for this one extra night. Absolutely …
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When Kids Start Asking Tricky Questions

This morning, while I was packing Kimi's lunch and washing the dishes, Kimi was eating his breakfast with his brothers on the bar, looking at me quietly. He usually has cereal but as we have ran out of milk, Kimi was dunking his biscuits into a cup of Horlick - not a popular drink here but one of my favourites, so much so that my mom brought it all the way from Malaysia - love her to bits!
Bought these bar chairs (Chairs&More) from Gumtree last weekend, made my morning routines so much easier. I can monitor the boys better this way. 
Then, he suddenly asked: K: Ibu, who I'm going to marry? Me: I don't know. It's one of God's secrets. You will know when you grow bigger.
K: But I want to know. I think I'm going to marry a Malaysian girl.
Me: Maybe.
K: How do you know you're going to marry Abah?
Me: Because he was not lazy. So I thought to myself, I can marry him because he can help with the kids. Girls don't like lazy boys. So you better not be lazy. (See w…

Arabic Letters - Jim, Haa, Khaa

Every Sunday morning since early this year, I have volunteered to teach non-Arabic speaking children, ages 4 to 8, to read Arabic at our local madrasah. It has been a good experience for me, as teaching little kids is obviously waaay different than what I am used to. It also gives me the opportunity to meet up with other moms who volunteered, and make new little friends from different cultural backgrounds ;) Saw this wild flower near the car park - pretty! Beautiful Sunday morning at the mosque. So every week, I have to plan ahead on the lessons which usually takes about 1 hour. Currently, I am teaching Jim, Haa, Khaa - I call them The Duck Letters - Jim with the dot on the wings, Haa is the funny one (Ha ha ha!) and Khaa is the angry one with the dot on the head. It seems to be working as after 3 weeks, the kids can remember all 3 quite well.
Learning the Ducks Letter! I have made a worksheet based on this concept (using some of the images online) and anyone who would like to use this,…

New Belang-Belang!

After 8 years, I have finally decided to revamp my blog. Yes, I haven’t written much this past couple of years - with only 2 posts in 2017! Motherhood must have taken a toll on me. Juggling 3 kids with other things have taken my writing mood away. It is true, I guess, that stay at home moms have less time for themselves. The hours just seem to swoosh by so quickly.

Today, I would just like to preserve a screenshot of the old blog that I have grew to love. Bye-bye old Belang-belang. You will be missed.

And here is the new one. I am a bittt regretting my decision but gotta move on now!

My kids’ progress in mid-2018:
Anyway, now Afi is learning to speak like a big kid and Kimi has become my grammar Nazi - always teaching me the right way to pronounce words.

Me: I forgot to give your ‘vitamin’ (the Malay baku way)
Kimi: Haha! It’s vitamin (vytamin - the English way) Ibu!

Huh.. okay~~

Me: Afi, are you okay? Was it ouchy?
Afi: It’s ok Ibu. I’m not dead...


Toys ‘R’ Us - Goodbye!

I can’t believe that Toys ‘R’ Us will be closing very very soon. They just opened this store here in Toowoomba less than a year ago, and I was actually quite excited about it. I mean, more things to do with the kids. But now, everything is at least 50% off. The store was nearly empty last weekend when we visited for the first time, and probably for the last time.

The good news was, we found this shark toy from Animal Planet that Kimi had been asking for since December. We searched everywhere - both in Malaysia and Toowoomba but it was right here all along!! He probably saw them in one of those YouTube videos, where kids/adults review toys. Very influential advertising, I think.

Goodbye Toys ‘R’ Us. Had a vague childhood memory that involved browsing toys in its London store, and probably didn’t buy too many things due to the price. You will be missed...

Karipap Again - Also Ugly!

Date: 21 June 2018

Karipap - It has to be one of the most favouritest Malaysian 'kuih' ever. Hasben loves it sooo much - he'll let everybody know (especially the Malaysian ladies) so that maybe, they'll remember to send some karipap over to our house if they ever made them (>u<) . For example, Kak Hani made some for him a couple of years back for his birthday, and most recently, Kak Ija gave a whole plastic bag of frozen karipaps - twice!

Okay, cooking is not my thing. But I had attempted to make karipap in the past and decided to give them another go. Made the filling - no problem, just a bunch of potatoes with curry powder. The dough was a different story. I mean, I mixed the flour + butter + water okay, but just not sure how to make them less sticky, so that I can actually shape them. I was so frustrated that I ended up just chucking them in the oil, regardless of how they looked like, just as long as the filling were completely covered by the dough.

Hasben vi…

New Zealand: South Island

Date: 10 - 15 October 2018

After 5 days in North Island - all about the North right here, we continued our exploration of New Zealand to its breathtaking South Island!

Our Itinerary:
Day 6: 10th October 2017

We rented 2 x 6-seater campervans from Star RV by Apollo to accomodate our 12-pax. As we landed at Christchurch Airport, a representative from the campervan rental company transited us to their office. The documentations and what-not took about 1 to 2 hours!

Our destination today was to Lake Tekapo, but first, we stopped by Mahan Supermarket & Halal Meat (about 20 minutes from the airport) to stock up on some groceries.

The view from the RV's window.
The trip to Lake Tekapo took about 3 hours and by the time we arrived at Lake Tekapo Motel & Holiday Park, it was already dark. We just had a bit of a glimpse of the lake at this point. The most memorable thing about this park is that, during our stay, the guys' bathroom was under maintenance, so we had to share the toile…
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