Okay, not quite around here I guess, but in our lives generally speaking.
The Little Big Fella and I have spent the past 10 days in our old town, staying at my grandparents' place and helping my sister in her post-operation recovery.
Well, that was the plan!
Amazingly, they think we helped out plenty, so that's good.
To me it felt like I shopped my little heart out (and totally emptied my bank account!) and squeezed a million things into each day! And it was absolutely fun! And absolutely exhausting!!!
So here's a few of the things we got up to:
- Playgroup Christmas party
Super Carer just happened to have the Christmas party on the first weekend we were in town so we got to join in. And the kids had a ball!
The Little Big Fella's cousins were there, and his friends, and a few new kids that we'd hardly met before we left. And they all got along brilliantly and had a great time playing together.
Which, of course, means that the adults get to sit around and chat without stress about the kids. Yay!
- A morning at the indoor playground!
This is something I've been missing since we moved. The indoor playground is fairly small compared to others in larger cities, but it's perfect for smaller kids.
The Little Big Fella and his cousins literally ran the whole time we were there! Then we got to feed them a little bit of junk and juice, let them run a bit more then crash in the car on the way back to my sister's place :-)
- Lots of playing with cousins
This was probably one of the best parts of the whole 10 days for the Little Big Fella. He's really missed his cousins - one is 6 months older than him, the other almost exactly 2 years younger. They get along really well and there were probably only a handful of times that we had to get involved (mostly to settle down the Little Big Fella whose game of "fighting" got a bit rough a few times).
- A sleepover!
Another major highlight for the Little Big Fella - he got to sleepover one night at his cousins' house. He absolutely adores sleepovers and asks for them any time he wants to spend more time with any of his friends.
So a few days before we were due to come home, my sister and brother-in-law were feeling well (brave) enough to have a sleepover. Apparently it went very well, especially because all the kids were exhausted and went to sleep pretty easily!
- Shopping! LOTS of shopping!
Before I left here, I had a list.
I thought it was a small list.
I was wrong!
To fulfill my list (including all of my Christmas shopping, plus my in-laws' birthdays) required shopping every morning before I got to my sister's house, and every afternoon between leaving her place and getting back to my grandparents', and two or three other mornings/days where my nephews were at daycare and my sister didn't need me around.
Then there was the day that the Little Big Fella and my nephews went to Super Carer's place so that my sister and I could shop together! We kind of forgot to do the shopping we'd intended to do and ended up trying on and buying a whole lot of clothes. And my sister got a new printer too!
Sorry whoever misses out on Christmas presents because of that!!!!
- Another Christmas party!
My grandparents live in the caretaker's cottage of a large church (Poppy is the caretaker). The church runs a playgroup and they happened to be having a Christmas party on a day that my nephews were at daycare with Super Carer.
The Little Big Fella follows Poppy around everywhere when we visit them (poor Poppy was a little exhausted, okay, a lot exhausted, even though he loved it). So Poppy went over to the church to open up and help set a few things up for the party.
One of those things was a jumpy castle! So guess who didn't leave when the party started!!!
We did get to catch up with a couple of friends while we were there though!
- Christmas carols
The church also had a Christmas carols service, just after Super Carer's Christmas party actually. So we went over and enjoyed a little bit of singing and so on. Unfortunately, the Little Big Fella was pretty tired by this stage so we ended up coming back to the cottage and bathing him and putting him to bed.
- Looking at Christmas lights
After having dinner with my sister's family one night, the Little Big Fella and I decided to drive around and have a look at the Christmas lights displays around town. There are some fantastic ones and we both really enjoyed it!
- A spot of cooking and cleaning
I got to cook for my grandparents two nights. I did a chicken dish one night and it was okay, but I did soft tacos with homemade salsa another night and that was definitely a hit!
I also got to clean a little for my sister and my grandparents - dishes, clothes, and just a little bit of this and that.
It was really nice to be able to do something to help out and my reflections of my life at this point in time suggest that I don't do enough of this to make me happy. I'd really like to include a bit more "helping" in 2013 - for individuals and for our community - because it makes me feel useful and much more fulfilled than just living life for myself and my two Fellas.
- A family BBQ
Unfortunately my brother-in-law was quite ill with a migraine, but the rest of us got to hang out together and eat yummy food. The thing I always love about a BBQ is that it's so much less stress than other types of meals. You cook a bit of meat (and sausages or kebabs are simple and quick and no one stresses about rare/well-done levels), have a bit of salad, maybe some bread, something to drink, maybe a dessert and everyone is happy! And you just get to spend some time together, enjoying each others' company and having a chat about everything and nothing. LOVE it!
- Toad hunting
I know! Some people will be horrified by this, and for that I apologise for making you feel uncomfortable. However, cane toads are a pest species in Australia that have assisted in the endangerment of some of our native species. So, although the method that we use may not be appealing, the necessity of toad removal is there.
Okay, having got that out of the way, our method of toad hunting is by use of golf clubs. The toads generally sit with their head up, almost like a ball on a tee, so knocking them off in one hit is really easy. The little boys especially enjoy walking around the 40 acre property with torches, although their interest in actually hitting the toads varies.