Splashing at Playparq Bintaro

Friday night was a disaster trying to get to see the Ogoh Ogoh parade in Monas for Nyepi, missing it due to traffic and ending up in the car for 6 hours driving at slower than a snails pace from the city to home again in the rain. The traffic wasn’t moving, the car fuel gauge was blinking on empty, Samudra was crying, and it was a completely stressful way to end the week.

Waking up on Saturday morning there was still slight rain but I decided I still wanted to take Samudra to Bintaro for our pre-arranged playdate with some lovely mums. Once we arrived at Playparq Bintaro, the sun was beaming down and it was pretty crazy hot which was perfect as I knew Samudra would never get out of the wet play area once he discovered it. This Playparq is so huge in comparison to the one in Kemang with so much more to keep the kids stimulated and to get them to burn some energy. Upon entering there is a huge climbing area with multiple slides, some coin operated rides for babies, a small trampoline and this leads down to the water play section.

There’s also a big indoor cafe so you can escape the heat, and also an inside play area for kids, but as per usual, Samudra was more interested in playing with the brooms that the cleaners had left leaning up against the wall.

This was a fun catch up with a couple of mum’s and the kids loved splashing in the water all afternoon, with Samudra passing out in the car 5 minutes after we left.

Thanks for a fun day ladies and after Friday’s nightmare, I DO LOVE YOU AGAIN JAKARTA!

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Wishing I was a little kid and could sit in this tiny pool

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Wow! Look at that fountain

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waaaaaaah so much fun!

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Lovely Captain Azzam

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The boys going for a swim

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Having fun on the waterslide

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Playing with the water sprinklers

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Rangga so happy in the fountain

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Cheeky monkey

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Loving the water

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Perfect! A horse ride for Samudra

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Samudra’s not sure he likes the trampoline..

Yummy Mummy Playgroup Easter Fun

Although it’s not yet Easter, we decided to have an Easter themed Yummy Mummies Playgroup last Monday for the kids.  After searching everywhere I couldn’t find any Easter eggs for sale anywhere or anything rabbit or easter themed so little Samudra had to go without (hello mum guilt).  Strangely it only took us one hour again instead of two to get to Simprug which was great, and meant that Samudra had a chance to explore the playground downstairs at Botanica before playgroup.  These apartments are really lovely but still unfinished so the playground is brand new and looks like it’s never been used and the pool looks so inviting in the sunshine!

Once inside we had a great playdate with a house full of little boys and one token girl, Amelie, who was visiting with her mum from Malaysia.  The kids loved colouring in the easter themed rabbit pages, having an easter egg hunt and filling their faces with chocolate and pancakes and fruit.  This was the most amount of kids we have had at a playgroup and it was really fun and great to meet some new friends here in Jakarta.  We missed our little friends Milady and Zoe but look forward to catching up with everyone again next week.

I really love going along to this playgroup whenever we’re free and feel blessed to have met such lovely mums and bubs over here.

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Discovering the play area at Botanica

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Leap frog!

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So happy he found courage to go down the slide alone

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Oscar & Riley enjoying a train ride

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Yummy Mummies.. fun on a Monday morning

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Oscar’s first day at Playgroup

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Meeting lovely Jonathan for the first time

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Carlton & Leighton colouring in

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This is how you hold the crayon..

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Let’s go! Easter colouring in

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Smiley Riley in his cute Dr Who T-shirt!

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Ash doing some colouring

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Fun times with a house full of boys!

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Curly Carlton being entertaining

Kampung Kids in the Park

After a beautiful morning of swimming at Pondok Indah Water Park on Sunday, we arrived home to find some of the kampung kids waiting at our gate and playing in the park across the road, wanting to play with Samudra.

I didn’t feel up for a house full of chaos and kids so suggested we all go to the hidden park in the complex a little further down the road.  The kids had never been there before and were so excited to see the slide and climbing equipment and kicked around Samudra’s ball on the grass.  One of the parents opposite the park has put the play equipment there so attract kids to come and play so his son would have friends to play with, but I have only ever seen the little boy once when I have been there so I hope he’s found somewhere else to have fun.

As we were kicking the ball around I caught some movement on the ground out of the corner of my eye, and when I stopped and looked down, I noticed that the ground was covered in frogs hiding in the grass! It completely freaked me out as I didn’t want to squash any, but Samudra had just noticed them too and was chasing frogs around screaming so I decided it was best to leave them in peace.

So we headed home, with the kids singing Indonesian songs and giggling every time I looked at them and as soon as I got inside with Samudra he passed out after a morning of swimming and afternoon of running around with his friends.  It was the perfect end to a beautiful day in Jakarta.

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The kids were so excited to see this slide

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Enjoying the swing

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Kids going crazy enjoying themselves

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Love these kids

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Being cheeky

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Making new friends on the walk home

Too Hot. Must Swim. Back to PIM Water Park

Sunday morning came and despite all my reminder notes to FINALLY get back to Car Free Day and do some outdoor exercise, I couldn’t budge Putra and Samudra and so decided to give it a miss yet again. Thankfully the rain stayed away and the sun was out so we headed to Pondok Indah Water Park for a swim and a cool down and loved it there as always. The price for entry is Rp. 150,000 per person on the weekend (Rp. 100,000 weekdays) and kids under 80cm are free (yah!). Treen came and met us and we spent a few hours splashing around in the kids pool, wave pool and olympic sized pool and it was so refreshing and a great way to spend a Sunday.  I haven’t been on a waterslide since I was a kid and it was fun going down with Samudra though I’m not sure he enjoyed it as much as me with water splashing all over him.

After working up an appetite we went inside Pondok Indah Mall and had a delicious meal of omelette with brie and spinach, and roasted potatoes, followed by a chocolate tart filled with nutella which was absolutely delicious. I can’t think of a better way to spend a lazy Sunday morning..

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Hanging with my fav boy

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Fun in the little kids pool

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Water slide fun

Happy Birthday Sister!

Yesterday was my beautiful beautiful sister Treen’s birthday and I was feeling sorry for her having to be at work when she should be relaxing and enjoying her last birthday of peace before the baby comes.  When I messaged her mid morning though I was soo happy to hear that she had actually taken the day off as she was absolutely exhausted and it looks like bub will be here sooner than expected.. So I thought I needed to organise something decadent and make the most of her day.. After a super quick search on google for creambaths in Jakarta, the first recommendation I read was from the lovely Kaho at Chuzai Living Blog.  She has such stunning taste that as soon as I saw her post on Jamu Traditional Spa I rang and made an appointment, showered and jumped in a taxi to pick up Treen.  People are always raving about spa treatments in Jakarta as they are so affordable in comparison to home so you could head to one of the numerous spas for a treatment or massage every week if you wanted, but funnily enough, I never think of doing it myself and wasn’t too sure what to expect.

We arrived at Jamu in Cipete which was a quaint old style building and had a lovely little shop in the entrance selling soaps, batik sarongs and gifts. We changed into our sarongs and headed to the wash basins to have our hair washed only to find there was something wrong with the taps and the water was splattering everywhere and was freezing cold. Oh no! What had I gotten us into? We quickly moved into another room and then the magic happened… I had been up most of the night with Samudra coughing and vomiting everywhere and had been working from 4.30am and was pretty exhausted, so once the lady started massaging my head I was in absolute heaven.  My eyes closed and my head became heavy and I blocked out the world for the next hour as I had my head, neck, upper back and arms massaged.  I actually found it difficult to open my eyes when she said it was finished as it was heavenly and Treen and I felt so refreshed when it was time to leave. Why on earth don’t we do this more often?  It’s so easy to treat yourself here.

We then jumped in another taxi and headed to our all time favourite cafe in Kemang, Koi, where Putra and Samudra came to join us and we filled our bellies with belgian fries, pasta, bread, lime mint squeeze and then the chocolate tart birthday cake.  We could barely move off the comfy couches so decided it was time to go home and rest some more.

So Treen, I wish you all the love in the world for your birthday, and even more so for the safe arrival of your little one (hopefully next week!).  Thanks for being the incredible person that you are and I feel truly blessed to have you as my sister.

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Lemongrass drinks on arrival at Jami

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The gift shop and lovely ambience of the location

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Leaving after our decadent cream bath

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Incredibly full after our delicious meals

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Happy Birthday Treen!

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Blowing out the candle for another year

 

 

Throwback to 2014 _ Dad visits Jakarta

YIPPPPEEEEEEE!! After years of a super full computer which hangs every time I try to do any work on it, and the rainbow swirl a cause of much frustration, I now have a super slim and super beautiful little MacBook Air.  It’s so fast I can hardly keep up with it and this means I have no excuse not to be productive any more! It also means that I have to transfer hundreds of thousands of photos onto external hard drives and I just came across some old photos of when my Dad came for a quick visit last year.  Although the excessive heat made it too tiring to do too much and Dad preferred the air conditioned comfort of the house and his bedroom, we still managed to have a few adventures, with Treen’s surprise wedding thrown in (what lucky timing) and every time I turned my back, he had Samudra in fits of laughter which was incredibly cute.

It’s also sweet for me to look at these as they were taken only a week before Samudra could actually walk on his own.. it all seems so long ago now as I watch him running around the house causing havoc as I type.  Time certainly flies and I must slow down and savour these moments…

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Samudra getting up close with a dog and not sure what to do.. at Taman Suropati

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Receiving free wooden traditional instruments at Taman Suropati

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Loving the wooden drum sounds at Taman Suropati

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Our house was filled with gorgeous baby giggles

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Belly laughs at Marche in Grand Indonesia after a delicious meal

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Anticipation waiting for the train ride at Carniville playground at Grand Indonesia

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Having a peaceful meal at home… with more laughter

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Discovering a new park in our complex set up by a resident

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Up close with new puppies in our complex

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What to eat at Koi Kemang? Everything is so delicious..

Let’s Say ‘I Do’..

Today marks 1 week since I said ‘I Do’ to my most incredible partner, and although we made our vows outside of Jakarta, it’s this city that brought us together in the first place so I’m sharing it with you here.  In it’s completely unpredictable way, yet again, who would have thought that when Treen and I started this blog, we would end up married to Indonesians, with babies (Treen is due at any moment..yah!), and all this happening within weeks of eachother!  Putra and I had started collecting all our paperwork months ago but life got so hectic with work that there was such little precious time for us to do anything about it.  We had always wanted something intimate and I definately didn’t want a traditional Indonesian wedding with thousands of people, standing on a stage and smiling, shaking hands with people all day long while melting in the heat..

In the beginning of February we talked about possibilities again and I ordered a simple white dress online from Australia, and we had to get one more piece of paperwork for Putra before we could make any decisions.  Our dear friend Cara gave us the contact of her wedding organiser in Bali as an option so we called to find out options and then we talked about what we thought would be best for us.  As all my family wouldn’t be able to travel to Indonesia for a wedding, and it wouldn’t be fair to have only one side of family there, we decided what was more important was that Putra, Samudra and I had a special day together, and we would like our day to be about celebrating our little family.

Then, within a week, Putra’s final paperwork arrived and he asked if I was available the next weekend before he called and organised everything in Bali. A man organising the details of a wedding, isn’t this unheard of? Lucky me!

My dress never arrived in the mail from Australia, so thanks to a last minute Facebook message to Little Miss Bali recommending possible shops for a simple dress to buy, we took a 5am flight to Bali, a 15 minute shop in Seminyak to buy outfits first thing in the morning, and headed to La Joya Villas in Balangan.  This place is so peaceful and beautiful and the property is on the cliff above the beach we were getting married on. Perfect.

On the 14th February (Valentine’s Day was a complete coincidence!), the rain finally cleared just in time for us to walk the steps down to the beach and say ‘I Do’ in the most simple and beautiful setting with a Buddhist monk, two witnesses, and a beach filled with surfers.

So I married the most incredible, creative, talented, supportive, patient man with the biggest heart in the world, the father of our little angel Samudra, and I feel truly blessed.

Thank you Jakarta for all your crazy twists and turns in my life, for every moment that lead to this day, good and bad.  For all those that land in this chaotic city, may you see past the traffic, frustrations and ‘jam karet’, and find magical moments and create memories you will cherish forever, with the beautiful people, food and life that goes on here.

Wishing you all happiness. Always xox

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Walking down the aisle

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Simple and perfect

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Exchanging the rings

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My beautiful family

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Giving blessings

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Being joined together

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It’s official!

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Lovely Mewa xox

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Paradise in Balangan

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We love you Samudra!

Note:  A massive thank you to Maria at www.affordablebaliweddings for organising everything and for the beautiful photos

Kids Club at Shangri-La

Since we went away to Puncak at Christmas and the hotel we were staying at had pony rides, Samudra has become completely horse obsessed! Although he was too frightened at the time to actually get on a pony, we bought him a hand made unicorn from a local seller outside the hotel, and Samudra wouldn’t let it out of his sight.  By the time we travelled to Lembang for New Years and there were horses again at our villa, he was ready to go tandem riding with bapak.  Two seconds of tears and then pure joy and he was hooked! He ended up going on a pony ride every day we were away and since then has accumulated a collection of toy horses, and was waking up in the morning making horse sounds, which has now thankfully stopped.

We had temporarily converted our broom into a ride-on-pony with me drawing a head and sticking it on with tape, until it finally got replaced with a blue ride on horse pony from Kem Chicks Kemang, so we could clean the house again with the broom.  As Putra was going away (yet again!) for filming over the weekend, I decided to google pony riding in Jakarta and discovered that the Shangri-La Hotel has a Kid’s Club which offers pony rides.. woo hoo!

So Treen and I set off early with Samudra on Saturday morning as the Kid’s Club is open from 10.30am-4.00pm on Saturdays and Sundays.  Just as we were arriving Samudra fell asleep in the taxi and it had started to rain, so we decided to sit in a cafe at the Hotel and have a tea until the skies cleared and Samudra was awake.  The Shangri-La looks really grand as you enter the foyer and seeing the beautiful gardens from the cafe made me want to get outside as soon as possible and enjoy the little oasis in the city.  We both had an iced-tea while we were waiting and passed on food as Samudra woke just as we finished, and just as well! Two iced teas cost Rp 163,000 (AUD 16.54)… $8 for a small glass of tea? Really? That tainted our first impressions slightly.

Walking through the garden and around the pool, we came to a little opening to find the Kid’s Club.  We paid the Rp 50,000 for entrance which I thought was quite reasonable if you were planning to spend a few hours there and I felt much happier for Samudra to be playing on the grass outside rather than in a temperature controlled mall.

Out on the grass there was a big bouncy castle, a toddler pool for catching plastic fish with rods, some bikes, a little carousel, a tent decked out with tables and chairs for activities, slide and ball pit.  To be honest the toys looked a little tired and old but I’m sure the kids wouldn’t notice and it’s a nice change from being inside a mall playground.  Once I had pointed out the ‘horsey’ to Samudra he lost interest in everything else pretty much.  He went for two rides around the gardens on the pony and when he wasn’t on top of it, he was running up to get as close as possible and then running away again.

I forgot to ask at the time, but I’m thinking if use of the pools is included in the kids club, I would definately go back again, but with more little kids to keep Samudra entertained, and the option of the pool for parents to also unwind and splash around with the kids to cool off after running around.

I’m just happy that we found some pony rides in the city and mixed with a rubbish free lush green setting and grass that Samudra could run around barefoot on.. places like this are such a rarity in the city that it’s always great to discover somewhere new.

Anyone up for a Shangri-La playdate? Or let us know if you have made some other great outdoor discoveries worth sharing.

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Baby carousel ride with aunty Treen

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Trying to catch some fish

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Someone’s on my horse..

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A real horse again at last..

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Taking the tricycle for a walk

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Tractor time..

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Inside the play tent

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On a sunny day, I’d love to cool off here

My Favourite Medicine..

My New Years resolution this year was that I was going to start regularly blogging again and taking daily photos out on the streets as I have been neglecting both the camera and this page and I miss the joy both bring to me, and the documenting of life here.

After our Christmas holiday adventures ended and we returned to Jakarta, things fell straight back into hectic mode before Putra ended up sick with a stomach bug which Samudra quickly caught, and when I thought all was ok, I woke feeling like I had been hit by a truck. I spent a day so weak and barely able to move from the bathroom that I ordered a taxi and took myself to emergency at Kemang Medical Centre. I spent three hours hooked up to a drip rehydrating me and then was sent home with a plastic bag filled with various medicines. I felt great for about an hour and then headed straight back to bed. Things went downhill from there, running a super high temperature, barely able to move myself from the bathroom, and huddling against the wall in bed trying to cool down my fever ridden body.

The following day Putra was out filming so he suggested we go to the doctor again in the evening when he returned but after a couple of hours, I was back in a taxi heading straight for emergency. Blood tests revealed that I had typhoid so I was swiftly admitted into the hospital and put into a the ‘rabbit’ themed room with the TV blaring as my company while I tried to sleep.  I had horrible flashbacks from being in this hospital when I was sick during my pregnancy, unable to understand the nurses, and so scared and confused about what was going on as Putra was away filming again.  Coming from Australia where visitors are not allowed to stay in your hospital room outside of visiting hours, the nurses and doctors at KMC would ask where my family was every time they checked on me and said they felt sorry I was lying there alone, making me feel worse, but all I wanted was to sleep until I felt better.

Putra was leaving to go filming in PNG the second day I was in hospital and his family were leaving for holidays the next day so I was in a full panic about Samudra. Every morning I asked if I could go home yet and finally on the fourth day, I insisted on checking myself out so I could look after my baby.  As lovely as the doctors and nurses are in the hospital, I couldn’t sleep at all with the lights on day and night and being pumped with antibiotics every two hours causing me more nausea and pain.  So I had to sign paperwork to say I was releasing myself against doctors orders and finally, I left.

Admittedly I felt crap still but put on a brave face as I wanted to be near Samudra.  I took my medicine and although I couldn’t sleep at night because of aches and pains, I made an effort to get up early every morning and take him out on adventures, to play with friends, go to play parks and just spend quality time together for two whole weeks while Putra was away.  His smile and laughter and cheeky ways are better medicine than all the drugs being pumped into me.  We had such a lovely time, catching up with other mums and kids, having a train adventure to meet beautiful friends in Depok, meeting new lovely friends and going swimming at the Hyatt, play dates, running in the grass and around malls, painting at home, dancing and singing and playing instruments around the house and keeping busy until Samudra was ready to pass out in the evenings after we made dinner together.

I never knew someone so little could bring such utter joy, love, exhaustion and pure happiness into my life, but I truly believe his smile, hugs, kisses and beautiful nature helped to make me feel better than any hospital ever could.

So my New Years Resolution hasn’t managed to happen as yet, so instead of making promises I cannot keep, I will do my best to update as often as possible about the happenings in this city and share some of our adventures with you.

Here’s to not taking our health for granted and cherishing every day, and to the magical healing powers of super cute little people..

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Discovering the Talking Carl app.. and carrying him around so carefully

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The pool at the Hyatt Hotel is divine

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Hanging with his new friend, the gorgeous Stella

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Playing with new instruments from Toraja from kakek and nenek

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Riding a robot elephant in Depok at the mall

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Talking to a photo of bapak on my phone.

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Meeting with Ann (Enjoy It!) at TGI Friday Kemang

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Pizza at Urban Kitchen, Senayan City

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The waiters love Samudra at Java Benam, Pejaten Village

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Painting for the first time and loving it!

Kampung Kids

I have to admit I had a mini melt down at the beginning of the week. After two weeks of looking after Samudra on my own while Putra was away, in and out of taxis for hours every single day to go on play dates and have adventures together, I was wondering if we had made a bad decision to move to where we have as it feels quite isolating sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I love our house, I love that we can go for walks in the streets and the complex is so big and peaceful and there are lots of little parks scattered around.. but the downside is that there seems to be no life in here! Our complex is filled with retired ex military people so all we see are groups of retirees on their super early morning walks, talking about ammunition and goodness knows what else.

It really doesn’t feel like being in Jakarta, they removed all the kaki lima’s selling street food and the Holland Bakery van that was parked near our house not long after we moved in, and with it went all the people that used to sit around on the streets and say hello as we walked past. Suddenly the streets were deserted. What I have always loved about Jakarta the most is watching life happening on the streets, the hustle and bustle, the friendly faces and watching people go about their daily chores. In our complex I would walk for over an hour and be lucky to see 2 people walking around. This means that I have a constant guilty feeling that I have moved Samudra to somewhere where he has no one to play with while we work, and I don’t want him locked inside all day long if we need a few hours to get things done. So we spend every spare moment we have jumping into taxis and visiting friends and running around, which is fun, but I would also like to be able to sit still for a minute too and be content in our surroundings.

So I finished my work and decided to take Samudra on a late afternoon stroll to visit the dogs in the complex as he loves feeding them biscuits and barking at them! Someone up above must have been listening to my ridiculous woes because next thing you know, loads of little kids appeared from nowhere and ran up to Samudra and started squeezing his cheeks and asking if they could play with him. Samudra was sooooo happy! They ran off to see the dogs together and then walked Samudra home wanting to hold his hands and asked if they could visit him the next day.

They have come to visit after school every afternoon since, and you cannot wipe the smile from Samudra’s face when they appear at the gate calling his name. All these kids live in the kampungs outside of our complex and are so incredibly sweet and loving towards Samudra, helping to put on his shoes, holding his hands, taking him across the road to the park and to see the monkey in the cage down the road. At last my heart can have some peace, knowing he is bursting with happiness to have some company here and that he will be looked after while I do what I need to do.

Thanks little ones for bring sunshine into Samudra’s days this week – you have been gorgeous little rays of sunshine bringing life to the complex!

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Samudra meets new little friends

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Instant happiness

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Running around like he’s King of the Kids

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Back for a visit again

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Helping Samudra put on his shoes so they can go exploring

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Hanging out on the streets

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Making loud noises of happiness with his new friends

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Our blackboard in the garage after the kids went home. So cute..