Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Running.

When we got back from Thailand I had the travel bug. Real bad. My feet where itching so badly. I was scratching so hard they were going to bleed. I wished I had stayed in Phuket longer, 10 days just wasn't long enough. So I researched and researched our next holiday destination. Thinking perhaps I could go to Italy for my cousins wedding in July and visit Max's Mum and brother in France, then I thought I would travel around Australia in a campervan all these ideas where exciting. But stupid, really. Phuket was a good test run for traveling alone with Boo, but Phuket was one destination, one direct flight, it was do-able. To travel to many destinations with many stops with Boo would be really challenging. But I wanted to go. I needed go, I wanted to run, run, run away. I soon realised what I really wanted was to run away from here, this house. I need to get out of this house. I wont call it my home, because a home is where you feel comfortable, somewhere you don't mind hanging out for long periods of time. I don't. Not any more. I wake every morning planning an outing with Boo. Although I love going on our adventures, I would also like to be able to stay in on an occasion and feel comfortable. The days we do stay at home, are horrible for both us. And I have done that pretty much every day since Max died, running, and I never realised I was doing it. Running away with out really going anywhere. This house is small and cluttered, it never really recovered after moving stuff around to cater for Max's needs, it never really recovered from the fundraiser that took over my house. I try and and organise things but all I am doing is shuffling. I keep shoving things into the office. The office is wall to wall full of stuff I don't have any where to put. It is also still untouched with Max's things. Things I haven't been able to bring myself to go through yet. Another reason to leave is that my sticky beak of a neighbor is making paranoid. Her compulsive lies have gotten out of hand, they now include me. She has been telling other neigbours that the neighborhood has gone down hill since we moved here, they used to have neighbourly BBQ's every Sunday now they don't. Seriously, that never happened no one goes near her house, never mind socialise with her. I am apparently telling people that she divorced her husband not that he died. Me? I rarely talk to my neighbours never mind talk to them about her! The landlord helped me put a privacy screen up so she could no longer snoop in my backyard,. He knows what she is like he used to live here before us.  She complained to Council and made us take it down. There are more episodes but I wont waste my time on her.  I don't need to be around her, I need to feel comfortable at home and not feel stressed. So it's time we move.

 I was looking into buying something, having a sea change. Live by the beach, it's my dream to live by the beach. The only place that is affordable is about one and half hours away.  Sydney beaches are ridiculously expensive and a no go zone unfortunately. I was quite excited by the idea, but when I looked into it it meant I would have to put all my savings into it as well as a loan. I would be paying the loan off and would have nothing to spare if there was any emergencies or any problems to fix with the house. Also the distance could be a factor, I would be too far from my parents, I would still make the trip down once a week to see them but I couldn't just pop over if they needed me for something. Also at the moment I do rely on my network of friends and family, even though I do have few internet friends by the beach who I would love to live close to it wouldn't be the same. My sister most of all I rely on, even if I just pop over for an afternoon it's still feels like I am getting a break with Boo as her and her family spend time with him. So I ditched the idea but only for now. I am considering reassessing in a couple of years and hopefully doing it then.

So for now I am going to have to pay more rent and move, I can't find anything for the price I am paying now for a 3 bedroom house unless I move further out west or up in the mountains ( Hi Eden!)  if I do that then I may as well move to the beach.  The paying of more rent sucks because it means I have to dip into my savings to pay the rent, but if it means my sanity then it will be worth every cent.

So for now I search and hope. I need this, I need a new beginning. I will never forget Max and all the time we spent in this house. The good, the bad and the very ugly. But it's time for a fresh start.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Boo to the Zoo.

Today I took Boo to the Zoo. He loved it! Like I thought he would. I am excited becuase I became a Zoo Friend which gives me unlimited entries into the Zoo with discounts on loads of things including parking. So it definately somewhere we will be spending a lot of time at during this Winter. We saw so much but there is still so much more too see.

Boo has finally, at almost 19 months, decided to let go and walk. I thought he would never do it! He is such a cautious boy in everything he does. Which is a good thing really. He is also saying a lot more, a lot of the times he says thing for a week then he wont so them ever again.

So here is a snippet of him walking today, he walked for longer but by the time I turned the camera on it was almost over. Also some pics of the zoo.

Turn the volume down for the video :-)

video










I am still all over the place, emotionally. Still looking for direction. I will elaborate on this when I am in the right head space.

Monday, March 21, 2011

She is AMAZING!

My MUM. She is bloody amazing. She is running on one lung, she is in pain, nauseous, breathless, tired yet she allowed us to celebrate another year of St Josephs day together, once again.
(I have copied an old post I wrote in 2006 from my old blog below so you know what it's about )

When my Sister told me a couple of weeks ago that my Mum wasn't doing an Alter this year. I said to her as if she wouldn't, no she told me she wasn't, she insisted. Bollocks! Mum has always told me if she is alive she will be doing an alter. The next day I asked her and she said oh I will just put the frame up and maybe make a couple of kilos of bread. I know my Mum too well she would be doing the whole deal. So 9 kilos of bread and a small alter later we gathered and feasted together. It was a small gathering this year some family were moving house and some traveling so couldn't make it. Which was fine, it meant less washing up!

So Boo got to experience his second year of our family tradition, which was wonderful. He also tried one of Mums famous Canolli for the first time and loved it. I missed Max a lot. He loved this tradition, he was not religious but he loved what this stood for and he loved that the family, his adopted family came together and celebrated, not to mention all the yummy food. Last year even though he was there, he couldn't enjoy it like he usually did. He had no appetite and he was in a lot of pain, he was uncomfortable.  We didn't know he only had 7 weeks to live and his last St Josephs day.

When I saw my GP last week, she asked how my Mum was doing. She couldn't believe it. She told me how fortunate she and we have been because no one with lung cancer survives that long.
What a true blessing. Perhaps St Jospeh has something to do with that ? She is truly an amazingly strong woman. I love my Mum.

Here she is in action. Making the traditional St Joseph bread with Fennel seeds.




This years Alter.


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The Alter (post from The Sweet Life 2006)

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Today is Saint Joseph's Day (San Guiseppe). It is our family tradition that we all gather together as a family to indulge in a feast.

This ancient tradition goes back to the Middle Ages. At that time there was a severe drought in Sicily. No rain fell for a long period of time, no crops would grow, and countless people died of famine. The peasants prayed for rain, they prayed to St. Joseph. They promised that if it rained, they would have a special feast honouring St. Joseph. After it rained they kept their word and prepared a giant feast in which everyone was invited including the poor. As part of the feast they erected an altar that consisted of three levels. The three levels, which represent the Holy Trinity, were draped in white linen and covered with flowers.

My mother no matter how tired or unwell she is, she makes her alter for St Joseph, some years bigger than others. This years was relatively small compared to other years, but she has been unwell so it is expected. We still think she has overdone it. St Joseph's day is extra special in our house as it is also my fathers name day. It takes my mother a week to prepare the altar and cook all the foods and sweets for the day. It is usually held on the Sunday closest to the 19th of March, but this year it falls on a Sunday.

We all gather at my Mum and Dads place, where there is a huge extended table set for all of us. We have a very large family so we often have the table extended for gatherings. We are seated around and the children are seated separately and served first as they represent the apostles.

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The food eaten on this day is vegetarian and fish as it is during the time of lent.
The traditional food my Mother served during this day was for entrée , pasta with cauliflower and wild fennel. Instead of parmesan it is serves with fried bread crumbs, as many peasants could not afford cheese but there was always old bread in the house to make the fried bread crumbs. Funny thing is I saw Jamie Oliver cooking this up the other night, it has become fashionable as many other peasant foods. Then for seconds we have grilled fish and callamari. Another speciality is battered cauliflower coated in sugar. I know it sounds weird but it is really yummy. And for desert it is usually hand made biscuits and cakes. It was hot today so we had gelato. The bread and biscuits are beautifully hand crafted by my mother, something that she is very gifted at doing. No one goes home empty handed they must at least leave with a food parcel, which always consists of bread.

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It is a shame that this tradition will probably never be passed on through our families, but we will always have these memories that we will treasure forever.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Proving True Love

The day after Max busted his humerus bone. He had to go to the toilet to do a poo. He hadn't done one for days, all the painkillers and medication he was on really clogged him up. We were waiting for the nurse to bring a bedpan, because getting up from the toilet was really difficult for him. The problem was he couldn't wait. The only choice was for him to go to the toilet. He had a toilet raiser but it was not helpful he still couldn't lift himself from the seat, he had no strength and a busted shoulder. If you gotta go you gotta go! So I took him to the bathroom I figured I could help him up when he was done. I put a cushion behind his back so he was comfortable, he was skin and bones everything needed padding. He called out when he was done and I went in to help him up. Only problem was, I couldn't. The toilet is right in front of the bathtub with not much space in between. I tried to pull him up my arm under his good arm and the other under his bottom. I couldn't do it. I got into the bathtub, but I had no grip, I couldn't pull him up. He was getting frustrated and I didn't know what else to do. I sat on the edge of the bathtub, trying to work out how I could get him. I told him I would have to call for help.
And then all of sudden, the hilarity of it all dawned on us. There was Max stuck on the toilet after doing a bog. We both just cracked up laughing. "Well babe sorry I am going to have to leave you there, like forever!" We laughed. After catching my breath from laughing I had another attempt to get him up. 1, 2, 3 heave YAY!  I got him up. I then wiped his bum.

"Babe you know this just proves your true love for me. You really have to love someone so much to wipe their arse after a poo." Max said. "Ha, yes" I laughed. "Would you wipe my arse ?" I asked. "Of course I would" was his reply.

I am just glad that some days (not many, but some days) no matter how difficult they were, we could get a chuckle out of them.

So would you wipe your dying husbands bum? (You don't have to answer that)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lost

It's dark.
I am feeling lost.
I am feeling lonely.
Tired.

He died, 10 months ago.
I am still here.

I need to find my way.
Some direction.

I will be back.
Soon.

So "they" say.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

His Last Days - Sunday 9th May 2010

So it has taken almost 10 months to keep writing Max's final days. I am getting there. Eventually. It is something I really need to do. I thought my memories of these days were fading, but they haven't. They are still there clear as yesterday and the tears to go with them.

His Last Days- Friday 7th May 2010
His Last Days- Saturday 8th May 2010

His Last Days - Sunday 9th May 2010

More of my family gathered to see Max and give us support. We were waiting for the ambulance to come to take Max to the Palliative care hospice. They took a while to arrive, giving the family the opportunity to say their lasts words to Max. He was out of it. We had to give him more sedatives by this stage, he had become so agitated I could no longer deal with him, he was no longer reasonable. Everyone had entered the room in turns to say their goodbyes, everyone walking out of the room in tears. I hovered around outside our bedroom wanting to be by his side, not knowing what to do but trying to give everyone their time with Max without intruding.
When everyone had seen him, I sat by his side and held his hand. I told him it was ok to let go now through my uncontrollable crying. Telling him how much he meant to me, how much he meant to Boo. Thanking him for being in my life, thanking him for loving me so much. It was time. He no longer needed to suffer, he no longer had to be in pain. FUCK. I also told him that my Grandmother would be waiting for him with a huge plate of pasta. She was. I know she was. Hoping he was laughing on the inside.

The ambulance arrived. Max's sedation was wearing off and he knew what was happening. He didn't like it. He was getting agitated again. Boo who had been asleep the whole time had become unsettled he too knew something was going on. As the ambulance took Max out on the stretcher he passed Boo in the corridor who was in my sisters arms. He lifted his head to give Boo a kiss. The tears pouring down my face. I explained to Max that he was going to the hospital in the ambulance and that I would meet him there. He wasn't happy. I hated seeing Max so angry. I had never, ever seen him like this. It broke my heart.

My eldest brother drove me to the hospice, I couldn't deal with Max. I let him ride in the ambulance alone. I felt like I was letting him down. Even though we had had the discussion before hand that when it was time he would be going to the hospice. I had to live in the house again and if he had died here it would have made it all a lot harder. Like it hasn't been hard enough. I knew he wasn't 100% happy about it but he understood and he agreed.

It was about 2am by the time we got him to the Hospice. He was settled into a bed and given more sedatives. I sat by his side watching every labored breath and holding his hand. My brother stayed with me the entire time. We sat in mostly silence watching each breath. My sister was looking after Boo. Come 7am my brother suggested I go to my sisters and have shower and get a couple of hours sleep. I was resistant, I didn't want to leave Max but I went. I was exhausted, physically and emotionally. I slept for an hour and was woken by my sister and Boo bringing me breakfast in bed and a flower and Teddy. It was Mothers Day, I had forgotten. How many years had I longed to celebrate a  Mothers Day with my future child? all those years of infertility forgotten. I knew I would celebrate many more with my precious boy but today I needed to be by Max's side.

When I got back to the hospice I asked the nurse how he was going. She said he had been very agitated and abusive. Abusive? This was not my Max. I felt terrible and apologized to her. They had put him in an arm chair so he could sit up for a while. When I walked in. He was yelling with the little breath he had " I want to get out of here!" Oh my heart was breaking. I wanted to take him back home, but I knew I couldn't. He needed to be here, these people could look after him. I no longer could do it.

So I suggested I take him outside. Asking him would he like that. I felt like I was talking to a child. "Yes" he responded just like a child who had just thrown a tantrum. The arm chair was on wheels so I wheeled him out in the warm Autumn sun for a while. My sister arrived with Boo. He said he was thirsty he wanted a drink, he didn't want water, he didn't want apple juice. "No I hate apple juice!" He snapped, when my sister asked if he would like some. He wanted Coke, so I bought him Coke. He had one sip and it all just bubbled out his mouth. He could no longer swallow. He hadn't had anything to eat or drink for more than 24 hours now. He became even more frustrated. My sister used Boo to distract him pointing out that Boo had come to visit him. Max put his arm out to pull Boo closer and gave Boo a kiss on his cheek and held his hand.  It was the last time Boo saw his Daddy, it was his last Daddy kiss. But that kiss was so filled with love, it showed in his sunken blues eyes. I could see Max's frustration melt away when he saw his son. Even if it was only just for a moment.

We had our last family photo taken at that moment. Boo smiling ear to ear not knowing what was going on being his happy little self, me with my with red bulging eyes and red face from all the tears and Max staring into space. Empty. Angry. I look at the photo now and it really tells the story, captured in that moment.

(More to come)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

He Died

Whilst we were away, we met lots of people. We met Thais, Australians, Russians, Germans, Americans, English, Italians, Danes we met lots. Boo was the attraction, everyone had to stop and have a chat to him and in return he would give a cheeky smile or wave. It gave me the opportunity to have some adult conversation and exchange travel tips and experiences. When we chatted to the other tourists they would often ask if I it was just Boo and I traveling "Yes, it's just me and my boy" Thinking they were most likely wondering where my boys father was, but they wouldn't ask. Most would comment on how brave I was traveling to Asia with an 18 month old on my own. I suppose I was brave, considering I was very nervous at the beginning but it was something I had to do. And I did it! And I survived, we survived. Not only did we survive, we had a great time  and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

When I would chat to the Thais, they would come straight out and ask "Where baby Pappa?"
The first time I was asked, my response was " His Pappa passed away" where the response I received was a smile. When I got the same look and smile the second time I answered the question with the same response I realised that they must not have understood what I meant as their English is quite limited and probably only comprehended the "away" and thought that his Pappa had gone away as in left us. I suppose he did but he isn't coming back. Ever. So the next time a Thai asked "Where baby Pappa?" I gave them a straight answer "He died". "Oh he die? I am sorry" was the response. Ok they understood that. From then on that was my answer. Often, they would tell me that their Pappa had died too. I couldn't believe how many fatherless Thais we met. Some of them losing them during the Tsunami or heart-attack and even cancer. It was very sad. A few times I got quite emotional when telling them that Max had died. They consoled me telling me it would get easier with time and even giving me hugs. I loved that strangers where happy to give me a hug. The Thais are beautiful people I have always thought so but it made me love them even more. I wish I didn't have to tell people that Boo's Pappa had died.

**********************************************
The lady who ran this Fish Spa lost her Pappa too. She was lovely and we would stop and have a chat to her almost every day and of course I had to try out a Fish Spa. I was so ticklish I couldn't stop laughing! A very funny experience. I don't think Max would have enjoyed it but he certainly would have given it a go too.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

One

Today I went to visit Max. There was a new plaque placed beside him. It was a male, he was 87. Then I looked at another beside that one. It was female 83, I continued to look around and all of the plaques were of elderly, they had had long lives. Max was so freakin' young. Why didn't he get to live till he was in his 80's ? So we could have lived together, laughed together, cryed together, loved together for longer, for life. We could have watched Boo hit all his milestones and become a wonderful young man.

As I drove through the cemetery I noticed the Baby Lawn Memorial. I cried for all the families of the lost little ones, I cried for the loss of my Max. Fuck life is so unfair.

Then U2's One sang through the radio.
One love, One life.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Our Trip Part 3

Before I left for the trip I made sure to pack some photos of Max from the trip we had there together. I wanted him to be with us too. The whole time I thought I would do something special with them and perhaps leave his photos on our favourite beach or something I hadn't decided but in the end I bought his photos back with us, we completed the journey together. I did however purchase a tile that will be added to the construction of the Big Buddha which is still not completed and wrote a note for him on it. I was happy he would be remembered there and be part of it and hopefully some day we can go back there to see it completed.

I missed Max a lot on our trip, I kept imagining him with us and experiencing all the the things we did together and how he would have reacted to them. I imagined how very proud he would have been of his boy every time someone gave him any attention, how proud he would be to be his Daddy. I walked passed the hotel we stayed at many times as it was across the beach and on the way to the markets and every time I would just stop out the front of it remembering the good times Max and I had there. And every time I had tears. He would have loved this trip so much, I just wish he was with us. Fuck you cancer!

I have heaps more to say about this trip but going by the amount of comments I have yapping about it, it doesn't seem like anyone is interested. I will leave it at this because now I am just crying and missing Max.

Our Trip Part 2- With Tips

We arrived at the hotel safely. I must say they don't really drive that fast which I was glad about but I still didn't feel comfortable about not having Boo in a carseat. Boo had fallen asleep in my arms.

We checked into the hotel, I pulled out the essentials from our suitcase and we both crashed. There was a cot in the room which I had requested. But it wasn't safe it had locks and hinges like a door to pull down the sides. Boo undid the locks in a second flat and I could just see him throwing himself from the high cot onto the tiled floor. So he slept in my king size bed the entire holiday, I often found myself sleeping on the edge hanging on for dear life whilst he was sprawled across taking over the rest of the bed. This co sleeping was not a good idea I realised since we have been back. Boo has resisted sleeping in his cot, he is slowly getting back into it but has taken some time and many tears.

The next day we had some breakfast and went for a walk. Then for a swim in the pool but Boo wasn't right, I knew he still wasn't feeling well and I was struggling to get fluids into him. His nappies were dryish so that afternoon I decided to take him to the hospital. Wondering the whole time if I had made the right decision to bring my sick boy on the this trip and feeling very guilty. I was concerned he was becoming dehydrated and the heat and humidity there wasn't helping. So I got into a taxi yes with no babyseat and off we went. The hospital in Phuket is very good. Very clean, thorough and organised and they really looked after us. The Dr said Boo was ok if he still had wet nappies even a little wet. He suggested to give him lots of cold and frozen things to eat. He still had plenty of energy he had 3 nurses chasing him around the waiting room whilst I spoke to the Dr.

Before we left I bought him an ice cream cone and he gobbled it down. As far I was concerned he could live on ice creams if it meant he got something down. The next day he was much better and had a big appetite and was guzzling water down. Phew!

From then on it was all fun and adventures. We went on our elephant trek, Boo loved it and to my surprise fell asleep half way through the trek on the elephant! We got very up close and personal with lots of animals at the zoo. The actual animal enclosures were quite sad and not very exciting compared our wonderful zoo in Sydney but it was worth just meeting and having our photos taken with the Tiger, Monkeys and White Python snake. Boo was really good with the animals, he was a bit standoffish and cautious but he certainly didn't scream or cry with any of the animals, he just took it all in.

Isn't this just amazing?
 We went out to one of the islands on a speedboat, I was happy they had life jackets in Boos size. I chose an island that wasn't too far, not one of the most beautiful but lovely just the same. We fed beautful fish right there standing in the shallows of the beach. Boo sat in his seat float, this is the best thing if you are traveling alone with a little one. It gives you some freedom in the water knowing your little one is safe and at arms reach. You can even enjoy a drink at the pool bar without a little one attached to you. I bought Boos Wiggles car from home but I did notice they sold similar at the markets.



Feeding the fish on the beach.

We didn't have any bread to feed the fish but I had some cereal that I had packed from breakfast for a snack for Boo. Another tip, is take ziplock bags if you have a full buffet breakfast included in your accommodation. I would pack some pastries, pancakes, cereal or fruit for Boo to snack on through out the day. The staff where fine about it.

Speaking of the staff, they were amazing with Boo. Everybody loved him. They knew him by name and would kidnap him for a while to give me a break. He would go on adventures help the ladies at the front desk or go on errands with the Bellboys. He loved them too and lapped it all up. Actually the Thais in general were great with Boo. We couldn't go anywhere without them stopping and pinching his chubby legs or even giving him a kiss. He got so much attention when we were out that I was afraid that when we got back home he would be seeking it, but so far so good. Even when we went to have meals out, the waitresses would take off with him to show him the kitchen or the fish at the front of the restaurant so I could eat my meal in peace. Most eateries have high chairs, but that is exactly what they are a high chair. There are no restraints on them at all so Boo would be sitting, standing twisting, rocking the chair. I would be trying to eat, feed him and restrain him all at the same time. The Thai toddlers must be really well behaved than ours, no restraints on anything??!

So on the odd occasion I did manage to get a car seat for Boo but other times he was free-styling and I must say I became a lot more relaxed about it. When in Rome do as the Romans do.

Boo with his fave Bellboy at the front of our hotel.
Ok Part 3 to come.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Our Trip Part 1- With Tips

I have so much to say I am going to write this in parts.

We were to leave for our trip on the Monday, the Saturday afternoon before, Boo went and stayed with my sister for a few hours so I could pack and get a few things organised for our trip. When she bought him home she commented that he had really bad reflux. I thought it was due to having weened him off his reflux meds over the last week. He had been fine till then. We ready to put him to bed, he was playing with my sister being his usually cheeky self when out of the blue he threw up, every where. He didn't have anything different to eat I couldn't work out what it was from. I gave him his reflux meds again just in case it was due to that. Then about half an hour later he threw up again. I got him to bed and kept on an eye on him through the night, he slept through. I had taken him to the GP on the Thursday to have him checked out before our trip and all was well.

When he woke he seemed fine, he had a full bottle and he had a little bit of breakfast but after that he was refusing everything but still quite energetic. He had a couple of dry nappies which I really didn't like. He didn't throw up until just before bed time again. I thought it was best to get him checked over I couldn't leave the country the next day without knowing what was wrong with him and getting on top of it. I searched around for a medical centre that was open late on a Sunday evening, nothing. So I took him straight to the childrens hospital. Luckily we didn't have to wait too long there. I was still trying to get fluids into him the entire time but with no luck. Anyway to cut a really long story short....the Dr thought that he had a virus his throat was quite inflamed and his ear was a bit pink....but she couldn't rule out that it may be gastro. I told her that his poos were fine but apparently that could change. She told me that we needed to get some fluids into him or else they would put have to put a cannula in and he would have to stay in hospital till he was hydrated. She gave him some medication to numb his throat. The whole time I was worrying about Boo and wondering what we would do about our trip. I tried calling the travel insurance company but they weren't open till 8am the next morning, I thought I may just postpone the trip till he was better. The Dr gave him some hydralite ice pops he had a few licks but wasn't interested. Then she gave him a cup of orange hydralite to drink, he drank half a glass. The Dr was happy with that as long as he continued. When I asked her what I should do about our trip she basically said if he didn't have any bum explosions before we left at 2pm then it was most likely a virus and all I could do was give him pain killers and keep his fluids up. But if he did have any diarrhea then it was gastro and best to keep him home. 

Thankfully there was no bum explosions and with the help of the throat numbing med and pain killers I did manage to get some fluids into him he even ate a whole sushi roll at the airport before we got on the plane, the poor boy was so hungry when he did get some throat relief he gobbled everything down. So we were to get on our scheduled flight. After a very anxious 24 hours we were off to Phuket!

We arrived at the airport early, I checked my luggage in and was told that I had to also check in the stroller even after I called the airline to check and was told I didn't have to. But thankfully they gave me one of theirs that I could leave at the gate. I had only booked a seat for me, Boo was to sit on my lap for the trip. This I was dreading but I was told if you get to the airport early and request a spare seat beside you they will happily oblige if there are any available. They did, in fact he got 3 seats! So we had plenty of room to move. Boo was pretty good on the flight, yes he wined that he wanted to get down and run about but I held him tight and distracted him enough to forget about it. Armed with my little bag of toys and stickers and bits and bobs that were all new to him. I made sure to keep offering him fluids, most of the time he rejected it. So the drinking whilst taking off trick to avoid ear pressure pain went out the window however he didn't seem to have a problem with his ears, so that was good. There was another toddler sitting across the aisle who came over to play occasionally, perfect. Boo had a couple of hours sleep on the 8 hour flight. An hour before we landed he threw up his sushi roll all over the carpet. Argh I thought he was over that bit but apparently not. We arrived in Phuket quite late in the evening. There is 4 hours difference with Sydney time. After collecting our luggage I saw our name being held up on a sign . It was stifling hot with what felt like a billion people looking for taxis and transport all gathered at the exit. I had requested a carseat for our transfer to the hotel from home, but when we got to the car there was no carseat and when I asked about it the driver just said sorry no baby seat. I told them that I had requested one but basically there was none available, end of story. I had to hold Boo in the car, which I really didn't feel comfortable about. Especially when I am used to all the safety requirement back home.  I had done so much research at home in regards to restraints. I had contacted a carseat hire place in Phuket long before we left and they never responded to me, so I thought I would just contact them when I was there and hire one for our stay. I had the trip from the airport covered, so it would all work out ok, so I thought.
 

Tips for Traveling with a Infant or Toddler.
1- Confirm and confirm again if you have to check in your stroller with your airline and if you do have to ask if they have a stroller to lend you till you get to the gate, otherwise you are lugging carry on and bubs around for a few hours before you board.

2- Get to the airport early and request a spare seat beside you, even if you have a seat for your toddler you can never have enough room. Great for them to lie across and have a comfortable sleep.

3- Confirm and confirm again for a car seat on your hotel transfer. But be prepared to suck it up if there isn't one available and your the country of destination doesn't have any regulations in place.

4.- Make sure you have a bag of toys for the trip, new ones they haven't seen or old ones they haven't played with for a while. Stickers are good, you may have them stuck every where but easy enough to clean up.