March 9, 2011

A Special Christmas & New Year

With R and the kids (our men not in the photo) at our 'outing' to the laundromat
(overdue post)

R and family has come and gone. They spent 8 days between Christmas Eve and New Year in 'Aussieland'. It was so good that J (R's husband) was able to take 1 week leave for a break. They had originally wanted to holiday as a couple but there was no one to care for their kids. Hence they decided to bring forward their (future) plans of visiting us. They deliberately chose the dates when Quop and I had the one week off work in that same period.

It happened that it has been raining in Brisbane and its surrounds, due to the La Nina weather pattern. Pretty much from the time they arrived (and the days before), it was raining, and raining, and raining.... It rained so much that all we did was spending time at home and at big shopping malls (which was also partly because of the good post-Christmas sales). The rain almost caused our friends to change their minds NOT to spend 3 days 2 nights at the Gold Coast. Praise God He answered our prayers, the rain stopped just at the day that they decided to go ahead with their plans. With that, they were able to spend 3 days at Sea World, Movie World and Paradise Country Farm, while Quop and I could spend that time to chill out, shop and getting a break from a fairly energy-demanding time with young kids living in the house...

I am really thankful for the time that we spent together. R reckons that even though we spent most of it doing the everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning up after meals, putting the kids to bed, bathing the kids, feeding the kids, getting the kids ready to go out, it was good to have a glimpse of how each other's lives are on a daily basis (even though it is not a totally true picture of reality because they are holidaying whilst we don't work). Spending 24-7 with each other in the same house would allow us to see some good (and bad) habits and routines, interactions within each family and how we respond when our limits are tested (oh yes, we saw lots of it with young children who test your patience). Similarly, I am sure they got to see how we behave, interact, etc.

R and I really cherished the girl chat times we had, especially now when she has young kids and she hardly has time for herself. Between us, we have the privilege of seeing each other face to face for 3 times in 2010 - I went back to Singapore twice and she visited me this time. R & family has been a blessing to Quop and I even when they are our guests. She (they) showered us with so much thoughtful gifts, more than I imagined, on top of the things that I have requested her to bring over for me from my family. She has also paid for some of my shopping when we went shopping. I hope we have been good hosts to them by sharing our house, our car (they took our car to Gold Coast) and many little things we made it special/kid-friendly for them. They have also allow us to see how we have a lot to learn about patience - the way they parent and deal with their 2 active and energetic young children and with your spouse when your children press for your constant attention, I think, has given us some food-for-thought in our relationship with each other and how we might (God-willing) be parents in future.

We spent the countdown into the new year near the airport sending them off. I miss R but I sure look forward to our future catching up sessions, hopefully with some of our other girl friends (and their families) in Singapore or maybe another part of Oz! :)

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