Monday, 27 August 2012

A whirlwind visit

I got a phone call from the Big Fella just after 4am.  "I'll be home in about 10 minutes."  So began our whirlwind visit to our previous home town.

This bit needs to be read at fast speed, all in one breath.  Imagine you're reading a speedy race story to a toddler.  Ready?  Go!

Pack the last bits, get the Little Big Fella up and in the car, drive 7 hours, shopping, visiting my Grandparents, sleep, visit SuperCarer, shop, Grandparent's for lunch, clothes shopping and arvo tea with sister, dinner at Grandparent's, sleep, a million errands and shops, Grandparent's for lunch, visiting for the arvo, everyone at Grandparent's for dinner, sleep, pack everything up, breakfast, drive 7 hours home, Little Big Fella to bed, SLEEP!

How'd you do?  Did you make it in one breath???

We had an awesome time and it felt like a holiday... maybe a holiday on speed?  It was great to catch up with my family and a couple of friends (never enough time for that though!).

Here's the slower version of the week:

We left our place on Monday morning, after having had the Big Fella's Aunt and Uncle stay on Saturday night.  They live in France and are having a wonderfully long holiday, including several months in Australia.  We were lucky enough to be the first family they stayed with here :-)  We had a wonderful time with them and have received an emphatically enthusiastic invitation to come and stay with them!

We got a photo of me and the Big Fellas, a first in a couple of years I think:

Yep, time for a couple of good photos of us I guess!

I won't put our photo of them on my blog because I didn't ask their permission.  But if any family members would like to see, e-mail or Facebook me and I'll send it to you :-)

After the phone call on Monday morning, I got up and got myself and the rest of our things ready.  Just before 5 I woke the Little Big Fella and told him it was time to go to Poppy's house - he was up in a blink!  Then it was into the car and off we go!

The Big Fella had worked all night and by the time we got to the first town he was ready for a break.  So I jumped in the driver's seat.  I'd only had about 4 hours of sleep myself, so 2 hours down the road I realised I'd started phasing out and did a little swerve.

I pulled over at the next little bit off the side of the road.

It's SO easy to keep pushing yourself when you're driving.  Or maybe it's just me?  But to pull over, get out of the car and walk around it a few times makes such a difference!!!  I grabbed something to eat as well and I'm pretty sure that helped too.

There were heaps of roadworks on the way down, which meant a lot of stopping.  For some reason, this particularly irks the Big Fella, although it doesn't tend to bother me a huge amount.

We got into town around midday and did a quick spot of shopping before heading to my grandparents' place where we would be staying.  I was really tired by this time, but I love being with my family!  And it is really awesome to see the Little Big Fella and Poppy together.  They adore each other and I really hope my little boy gets to remember how much, and that it's not just about the tractors he gets to ride, the playground or playing golf.

On Tuesday we got to spend the morning with SuperCarer, while the Big Fella went to the dentist.  For some reason SuperCarer and I really hit it off from the start and we became friends, so hanging out there for the morning was awesome for both me and the Little Big Fella.

My nephews and the Little Big Fella's other good friend were there for the morning so it was one big playtime!

The Little Big Fella playing with his cousins in the sandpit.

When it comes to food, these two are peas in a pod!  It's ALL about the food ;-D

It was funny watching the Little Big Fella playing in SuperCarer's yard because he's so obviously taller than the last time I watched him play there!  And taller than the other boys.

When I said "10 minutes then we have to go", the Little Big Fella's friend said to me, "I don't want him to go!  I miss him!".  They'd had such a fun time together and it really was sad to have to say goodbye.

After a bit of food shopping (gosh I miss the selection, quality and prices we had there!), I dropped the Little Big Fella back at my grandparents' with the Big Fella.  Incidentally, we'd come down so that the Big Fella could get a root canal done, but there was a slight miscommunication and they couldn't do it without a preparatory appointment. So it looks like we'll just have to go back, probably before Christmas... darn!!! ;-)

I'd planned to have lunch and spend the afternoon shopping with my sister, but she'd come down really unwell the night before.  So I did a bit of shopping on my own.  My first purchase was a new belt, because I was down to the second last hole on mine and the tail end was hanging out everywhere!!!  Gotta tell ya, that feels awesome!

Part way through the afternoon I got a call from my sister saying she was feeling slightly better and should we meet up for a coffee and a bit more shopping?  Of course we should!!!

Have I mentioned that I love my family?  I must be hormonal tonight because I've been tear-ing up as I've been writing this post and preparing the photos.  My sister and I are only 14 months apart and almost always shared a bedroom.  As you'd expect, we fought a bit but we've mostly been best friends.  I think adulthood has put a bit of a dampener on that, but I miss her like crazy (and my other siblings too, by the way).  So I thoroughly enjoyed spending the afternoon with her.

Know what else I enjoyed?  Trying on clothes and, instead of deciding if they'd do, I got to decide if I actually liked them because they looked good on me!  It was literally the most fun I've had clothes shopping in years!

I went back to my grandparents' place where the Big Fella made Thai green curry with squid and prawns.  It was SO yummy!!!

While we were at my grandparents' place I read books to the Little Big Fella at bedtime, which I haven't done much at home for a while.  We both really enjoyed it, and I think he went to sleep better as well.  I think I'd like to re-implement that at home!

By Wednesday I was tired!  For some reason I didn't sleep well in my grandparents' bed and had weird dreams at the end of the night too.

The Fellas and I spent the morning running errands around town.  We had 9 stops to make!  Now, anyone who doesn't have a toddler, 9 stops is a bit of a pain but no big deal, right?  Add a toddler and it becomes... stressful.  After about 4 stops the Big Fella was getting a little angsty so we tried to short-cut as many stops as we could and only get the necessary person/people out of the car at each stop.

One thing we did pick up was a smoking BBQ, which the Big Fella is awfully excited about.  It is a wood/coal fired BBQ but it also has a smoking box off to the side, so you can cook your meat with hot smoke rather than direct heat.  Given the Big Fella's inclination towards salamis, hams and other cured meats, it's no surprise he's excited by this too.

I was a bit worried by this stage though.  We'd bought a fair bit of stuff and I wasn't sure we'd be able to get it all home, even in our awesome ute!  Never fear, the Big Fella will find a way :-)

The afternoon was taken up with visiting.  We dropped the Big Fella off at his old work shed, then the Little Big Fella and I went and visited some friends at that end of town.  We had a taste of Whoopie Pies for the first time.  They were okay but I'm not sure that I'd be super excited about them.

It's SO good to catch up with friends.  Even though I was exhausted, I felt somewhat invigorated by my visit.  You know, new friends are great, but old friends are priceless!

We got back to my grandparents' place just before my sister and nephews arrived.  Yet again, there was a lot of running!!!  My sister had brought the boys' bikes and one for the Little Big Fella and they had a ball riding around and later playing footy with my brother-in-law.

Of course, being boys and cousins, there had to be a moment of silliness ;-)

We had pizza and white chocolate caramel mudcake for dinner, as well as lovely conversation.  Oh!  And before that we had a beautiful sunset, looking out over the sugar cane fields:

And I can't resist adding these photos too:

My Poppy

My Nanna

My hubby :-)
Eventually we had to put three tired boys to bed (and the adults) so my sister, brother-in-law and nephews headed home.  Sigh.  I'll miss them.

Thursday morning we got up and packed up, had a lovely breakfast then hit the road.  We decided to take the back roads home and it was a lovely trip!  The Little Big Fella had a good sleep, and I'd bought him a new DVD so he was quite content in the back seat.

We didn't get home until just after 5pm because of a couple of extra stops.  I was feeling really tired and a bit ill.  My body hasn't had much in the way of wheat products, or much fat I guess, for eight weeks and it was seriously reacting to the pizza and mudcake I'd enjoyed the night before :-(  And I'd pulled a muscle in my shoulder/neck when moving shopping in from the car on Wednesday too.  All in all, I felt pretty shocking.

Anyway, we unpacked the car and fed the Little Big Fella (neither of us were interested in eating), then put him to bed.  After a lovely hot shower I was gone too!  Although the Big Fella slept great at my grandparents' place, I thoroughly enjoyed my own bed again.

There's no place like home!

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