Tuesday, 28 April 2009


Littletree got an origami set for her birthday - one of the presents that were waiting for her when we got home.

04 origami

She's been having a great time making various things, starting with a giraffe. We're thinking about organising an origami workshop for our homeschool group.

05 origami

Meanwhile I'm getting over my jet-lag and getting our house back in order and back into our routine. It's nice to be home.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Fearless Birthing

The Essence of Life website, which I write for, has been updated - it's all shiny and new :) Since the update, all the URLs from the old articles have changed, so I updated all the links to EOL in the sidebar - if you scroll down my blog on the right side bar there's full lists of all my articles there.

They also have a new article of mine published, about Birthing without Fear. You can read it Here

And the forums are all upgraded and looking great (functioning better as well), so check it out Here

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Belly Dance

I'm finally getting settled in at home, and getting over the jet lag. It's been really nice to hang about with friends in the village, and Littletree is so happy to be home.

She's been practicing her belly dancing a lot, especially since Purple bought her a belly dancing costume for her birthday

03 belly dance

The video is a bit dark, but you get the idea.


Last night we went to a little party at a neighbour's house (well, actually Littletree went with some friends, Purple and I just wandered down to check on her after a couple of hours), and they had a harp there, which Littletree spent ages playing on, while singing her current favourite song:

Earth my body,

Water my blood,

Air my breath and

Fire my spirit.

So now she really wants to get a harp. Not guitar or violin as previously desired. Ah well. One day when I'm rich ;)

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Home At Last

We're finally home, safe and sound, though I'm still recovering a bit from the journey.

I couldn't sleep the night before we left, so I was awake from 3am. I woke Littletree up a bit after 5am, and carried her downstairs with all the bags (clearly not all in one go), to wait for the taxi to the airport.


I had an amazing amount of luggage... we came with one backpack weighing 23kg, and went home with three large bags totally 45kg, plus I had another 20kg carry-on! Somehow I managed to get it all onto the cart and manoeuvre it all, with Littletree, around the airport without hassle. We even found "Vegetarianism Pies" to snack on!


The flight was relatively comfortable (well, as much as long-haul flights can be). Only we landed in Sydney. I thought we were supposed to land in Brisbane, indeed, I boarded a flight to Brisbane...

This was strange. It turns out that the flight goes to Sydney and then on to Brisbane, but no one told me that. Not the travel agent who sold us the tickets, not the Thai Airways clerk who changed my flights for me, not the girl at the check-in desk, no one at the boarding gate... it was never mentioned.

I'm sure everyone else on the flight knew, but somehow no one had told me. Which meant that I was prepared for a 9 hour flight but it was really 12 hours.

The crazy thing was that we were told that everyone had to get off the plane, with all our hand luggage. Then, dragging a tired kid, and my suitcases, we had to go through security checks, including the removal of any carry-on liquids, and get all our bags x-rayed again. Then we all went right back to the same gate and got back on the same plane, in the same seats. Gah!

At least we made it to Brisbane just fine, and all our luggage arrived, mostly in one piece (the small pocket of my backpack had come open and my glasses were lost, but thankfully the airline managed to find them).

Then of course, Purple picked us up at the airport, but he was too tired to drive us home, so I drove the 2 hours, arriving home at 2am.

I slept most of yesterday, so that was a bit of a blur; today I did a whole lot of unpacking, and two loads of laundry, and Littletree got to open more birthday presents from all the friends and family in Israel and Australia. Here's the dress she got from her grandmother:


Monday, 20 April 2009

Last day in Thailand

I cut our Bangkok shopping trip short - I got all essential things I *really* wanted, and all the things other people asked me to get, and a few other nice things... not everything I wanted to get, and I surely would have liked to spend more time, and buy more stuff, but Littletree was hot and bothered, and had enough of me dragging her around.

It was just so hot, Littletree was refusing to eat. Though she did have her usual favourite - noodle soup - for breakfast (note the skilful chopstick usage)

69 noodle soup

Mamarabbit called me to say they would be going swimming in the afternoon, so we skipped lunch, raced back to our guest house and packed to get to their place in time.

Though I'm a bit disappointed I didn't get to do all the things I wanted to to in Bangkok (I wanted to get a new digital camera, and have Littletree's teeth and mine cleaned at the dentist, among other things), Littletree had a fantastic time swimming and playing with the kids, so it was worth it.

73 swimming

And Mamarabbit's twins are sooooo cute!

71 swimming twins

Anyway, coming here early was good because it meant I had loads of time to chat about midwifery with Mamarabbit, and drool over her awesome book collection


Tomorrow morning really early we fly back to Australia...

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Melting in Bankgok

Littletree and I took our flight to Bangkok yesterday morning - we had plenty of time, but still almost missed the flight waiting for Chrysalis-time ;) It was really sad to say good bye to her and all the family.

We arrived to Bangkok fine, and took a taxi to Mamarabbit's house. Littletree was so excited to visit them again, and the kids had a great time playing. This morning we came in to town to do some shopping - I'm buying loads of pretty things to fill up our new house.

The fun thing about Bangkok is that it's a bit like being in a small village - I can barely walk down the street without running into some friends I know. I ran into my good friends M&M and met their new baby, and staying in our guest house was one sister I met at the Thai World Rainbow Gathering about 2 years ago


The bad thing about Bangkok (especially at this time of year) is the heat. it's hot, HOT, steamy, stinky, hot, sweaty, HOT, and really really HOT. Way hotter than it was in Phuket. I think for the first time ever I actually wish I'd gotten an air conditioned room.

At least there was a rainstorm at sunset, which brought a brief respite, and a rainbow


But of course, it just got steamy again after that. Ah well, in a couple of days we'll be back home again, and winter will be starting; no doubt I'll wish for heat!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

The Secret Garden

It's our last day in Phuket - Chrysalis is well recovered from her birth, Sahyan is growing and healthy, the Songkran holiday is over... So Littletree and I fly back to Bankgkok tomorrow to stay with my good friend, Mamarabbit.

We're just having a slow day around the house, enjoying the garden one last time.

25 garden

The pond

20 garden

All the beautiful flowers

21 garden


22 garden

The bridge

32 garden

Littletree spends so much time playing in the enormous garden, she finds loads of faeries and secret little corners. 

28 garden

It's been wonderful staying here, and it was so great to see Frangipani and Anit and Bonne and see how their babies are growing. I miss being able to watch the babies whose birth I've attended growing up, so it's been great to see them all again.

Next week we'll be back home, after our Bangkok adventures...

Littletree's 6th Birthday - pt 2

So after we had the kid's party at home, Littletree went with her friends to the Infinity yacht to have a swim. All us grown-ups came later. There was a HUGE party on the boat; just coincidentally on the same day as Littletree's birthday.

There was about 35 people there for a huge feast.

47 birthday yacht party

There was so much good food, and we all ate heaps, amidst dozens of beautiful toasts.

50 birthday yacht party

We all hung out enjoying and chatting while the kids played and danced

48 birthday yacht party

Kesem did an amazing magic show

54 birthday magic show

Here's a short video of the end:

After the magic show, we set off a big fireworks display - Littletree's biggest birthday wish. It was fantastic!

64 birthday fireworks

and of course the boys loved the chance to play with fireworks ;)

63 birthday fireworks

We stumbled home after 1am, after a boat ride back to the shore through water shimmering with phosphorescence. Littletree fell asleep in the car home, after hugging me so much and telling me it was the best birthday ever :)


Littletree's 6th Birthday

Yesterday was Littletree's 6th birthday, and what an extravaganza it turned out to be! I think this might end up being two posts, since the day was so huge - two parties, kids games, cake, presents, a magic show, fireworks, toasts and wishes, a massive feast on a yacht...

My birthday present to Littletree was a princess fairy costume, and Chrysalis made her fairy wings to complete the costume.


Farjah and Marjah bought her a set of miniature doll-houses


We had a few of Littletree's friends over for a party


Farjah set up a treasure hunt for the kids


The kids had a great time running all over the enormous garden following the clues


We had a pass-the-parcel


A Pin-the-Wings-on-the-Fairy, which I didn't take a photo of, and one crazy game where the kids had to pick a chocolate out of the bottom of a bowl of jelly - using only their mouths!


I thought it looked revoting, but Chysalis joined in and loved it.


Finally we had cake - a sickening, frothy, decorated sponge cake from the Thai bakery - at Littletree's request.

CIMG6408The cream on top was so thick and sweet no one could eat it - not even Littletree, but it was pretty, and she loved it anyway

In the end, it was time for the kids to go, and they invited Littletree to go with them to swim at their yacht for the afternoon.


After a big clean-up and a brief rest, we all piled into the car to go to the yacht for a party... which I'll save for another post. As it is this one is waaay long and I'm not sure it will load, so I've kept the photos small.


Monday, 13 April 2009


Today is Songkran - the Thai New Year, which is celebrated by nation-wide water fight revelry that goes on for three days.

We were "lucky" enough to be stuck in Bangkok over Songkran two years ago, where the crowds are phenomenal and the people bordering on crazy. It was pretty traumatic for Littletree, who had a deep fear of water, and got hysterical if so much as a drop got splashed on her, and not to mention she doesn't like crowds, or people touching her - the essence of Songkran.

CIMG6311This time around, I opted to stay a few extra days here in Phuket, in the relative safety of Chrysalis' secluded garden, but Littletree was keen to go out and see what it would be like.

Not willing to brave driving to one of the populated public areas where the crowds and craziness would be going on, I walked to the end of our lane with Littletree, toting her little watergun that she bought with her pocket money last week.

At the corner of our lane we found a small group of local women and children standing with big barrels of water, splashing the cars and bikes driving past.


Littletree was quite shy of them, but they warmly invited us to join them and gave Littletree a chair to stand on in the shade. Slowly, slowly, she warmed up to them, and before long, Littletree was having a ball, throwing water everywhere, drenched as can be!


We had a great time, throwing water around and getting soaked


The process was waiting for a truck or bike to approach, grab bowl-fulls of water...


Run up and SPLASH!


Littletree had a ball!





Here's a short video I took:

Finally we strolled home, sopping wet :) Tomorrow will be Littletree's birthday; she's so excited!

Sahyan Jarranin

It seems my blog was experiencing some technical difficulties over the last day - I think I've sorted it out now, so I hope it's all working again and I apologise if anyone was inconvenienced.

After the creepy crawly story yesterday, I'll go back to cute pics of Chrysalis' baby. He now has a name; Sahyan Jarranin - it's a Thai name, Sahyan meaning Twilight and Jarranin meaning well-natured.

46 baby

Sahyan is really a well-natured bubba. He is so alert and peaceful

47 baby awake

Here he is with Kesem

50 baby magic

It's really been such a wonderful time here; I've felt really at home with Chrysalis, and her family have made me feel like one of the tribe. Littletree loves them all as well (especially as Farjah and Marjah brought her some new Faraway Tree stories - her favourite books at the moment).

Here we all are sharing a family dinner:

54 family dinner

At the end of the week Littletree and I will be on our way, back to Australia...

Saturday, 11 April 2009


Before you all get diabetes from the sweetness of Chrysalis' cute baby, I'll just go off onto another of my trademark creepy-crawlies tributes.

Chrysalis called me into the bathroom last night to show me this really freaky caterpillar. On closer inspection, it turned out to be not one caterpillar, but a whole mass of squirmy larvae crawling as one mass.

40 freaky worms


The rainy season has started early here, the garden is flooding, and there's a different plague of bugs every night. We've been invaded by hoards of ants, annoying beetles that grip onto one's hair and clothes (and have a penchant for sticking in dreadlocks), weird suicidal flying ants, lots of little bitty green flies, and the ever-ubiquitous mosquitoes.

So it isn't all coconut shakes and beaches in paradise :p










Friday, 10 April 2009

Cute Baby

Chrysalis' baby is getting bigger and bigger every day - he's six days old today and all the family went out to take him to a Wat (Thai Buddhist temple) to see a 115-year-old monk who would hopefully give him a name.

Somehow that didn't work out, and Chrysalis has bought a few Thai baby-name books. Still no name, but there's time :)

Here's baby enjoying his bath; seems that water-born babies really love the water


And Chrysalis enjoying her new sling made by the fabulous Frangipani (she makes and sells them in a wide range of spectacular colours).


Littletree has been really helpful with the baby, Chrysalis took this video of her holding him - it's hilarious! (for those who don't manage to watch the video, Littletree was holding the baby, and it's all very cute, and then he peed on her and she threw him off her lap LOL)