Well, as most people reading my Facebook page would know, the family and I headed over to Perth about a week ago for Nanna (Mum's mum)'s 90th birthday! Me, Alex, my sister Angela, Mum and Dad, my sister Jen, her hubby Ben and their kids Annelise, Zach and Elijah.
Ang, Alex and I were most kindly accommodated by Mum's brother, Jeff and his lovely wife Jenny, daughter Hayley and dog Gemma. hehe. Mum and Dad stayed with Nan and Jen, Ben & co stayed at an apartment in Scarborough for four days, two nights with a family friend somewhere in the sticks, and the remaining three nights with Jeff & Jen.
Friday, we all arrived, Angela had taken a flight from Sydney a little earlier and was waiting for us. We collected the car and all piled in, and went and had dinner at Nan's with a massive Abbott family gathering......... Jeff, Jen, Hayley, as well as their other kids Tracey, Tracey's hubby Rob, Clint and his fiance Adele, and their five kids Kyeran, Ayden, Chloe, Chelsea and Shelby....Ange, Mum & Dad, Alex & I, Nan, of course, it was a full house! Cam, Jeff & Jen's son, was working late at Hugo Boss and didn't arrive til 9pm (or 11pm est!)......
Alex was doing pretty well but hadn't had a sleep all day or much of a rest and absolutely lost it around 8ish, so lovely Clint dropped us home to Jeff & Jen's and I got Alex to bed, then cracked out the tracky pants and made myself a cuppa. Ang and Hayley arrived home not long after and we chatted for a bit before all heading for bed. We slept pretty well, Alex woke a few times and was up at 5.30am (7.30 est)...so i dressed us, grabbed the stroller and went for a walk around the shops....only to discover that west australian shops, eg safeway and coles, don't open til 8!! Oh the humanity, as I was so used to Shepparton shopping kicking off at 7am and was thinking I could kill a few hours with a leisurely walk around. Oh well.
We grabbed a coffee for me and a mcmuffin for alex and found a park further up beach road, and had a good play, made a sandcastle and went on the swings. We headed back to the Warwick grove Centro (Ang and I were sure that it was a Westfield, even though mum assured us it wasn't. She was right. Damn it!! hehe)...and met up with Angela for a coffee and a browse through the now open Coles.....got a call from Mum and Dad and met them at the Gloria Jeans. Hilarity was had by most, with Ang and Dad giggling over Glomesh - dad had found a bag at nan's and was quite taken by it. I was a bit of a grumpy bum as I hadn't had quite enough sleep and tried to join in but was a bit vague. Alex and I walked back to Jeff and Jen's and Ang, Mum, Dad and Alex headed out to see Jen & Ben and co. I headed off to a meeting and grabbed some lunch at the Centro. Bought some flowers for Jeff & Jen to say thanks and met the crew back at Jeff & Jens. Ang went off for a sleep as she had the flu and Alex played outside for hours on a plastic bike, whose wheels made a delightful sound on the concrete bricks. After two hours I ordered him inside and we cleaned up for dinner..yummy Tacos made by Hayley, with the assistance of Ang and I.........and I can't even remember what we did on Saturday night. Ang? Anyone? I think we all tried to have an early one as Nan's birthday lunch was the next day.
Sunday dawned bright and clear and Alex slept til 8am, what a good boy! I was a bit sleep deprived and weepy, premenstrual as all heck. I was also a bit stressed out as there are a lot of knick knacks and breakables at Jeff and Jen's and I was determined that Alex and I were on our best behaviour, so I felt quite unable to leave him alone at all times, was watching him like a hawk and even taking him to the toilet with me! I didn't feel that I could impose on Ang as she was sick with the flu and I was trying to prove to everyone that I was accommodating and mature and didn't have a hint of control freakery or PND residue. As a result, when Ang and Dad and I went for a walk I snapped at Ang, then burst into tears, and a tirade about how difficult I was finding it and how I missed Richard and was afraid of not being able to do this. We all went to the park and I pulled it together for Nan's par-tay. Much fun was had, although I must admit that I hardly spoke to anyone as I was trying to look after Alex and make sure he didn't destroy the fancy restaurant. Wasn't particularly child friendly but the food was delicious and I gave up all thought of healthy eating and tucked in with gusto. Alex started to lose it and was showing signs of tantrum.....so I got Ang to drop me home (stupidly I had told mum & ang that I didn't care if I drove or not, so they didn't add me to the hire car list. Again, with the trying too hard to not be control-freakery!!)...and had a little rest. I think Alex slept for a while, or maybe he just lay in bed and went "la la la"for an hour (yes, I think that's what happened)
The hordes then arrived at Jeff & Jen's and everyone played for hours, was lots of fun. I got my second wind and stopped being a grumpy bum. People started to leave and Alex headed off to bed early. Hayley, Ang, Jeff & Jen and I all sat down and watched some telly, eating some yummy mini pizzas that Jen made.
Monday, Ang, Hayley, Cam, Alex and I went to play mini golf and then to the Margaret River Chocolate Factory. It was lots of fun, although I can say that I wouldn't recommend mini golf to anyone under 4. It was a bit of an exercise in frustration, although there are lots of cute photos of Alex playing mini golf. I was a bit grumpy, but trying to be Zen about not getting to play and spending my time retrieving the ball for Alex and trying to ensure that he didn't destroy the golf course with his swinging golf club! The chocolate factory was a big hit though!! I saw the most revolting thing I saw all holiday, a revolting woman with a massive paw-full of the sample chocolate ramming handfuls of the stuff into her gaping maw. Quite disgusting, as they're sposed to be samples that you try, not grab entire paw-loads of and shovel into your gob as quick as possible. And besides, I only do that in the privacy of my own home. hee.
Monday lunch, we met up with Jen & ben and others at Nan's house for her unofficial birthday lunch......and large quantities of lunch and the delicious creamy sinful cake were consumed. mmmmmm... We then journeyed home to J&J's and the cousins (Jen, Ben, Ang, Hayley, Cam and I) all cleaned up for a night out, with the grown ups (Mum & Dad, Jeff & Jen), looking after the kidlets. We went tenpin bowling, with me insisting that everyone make up funny names on the bowling screen. I was "farty". heheh. We then went on for a lovely dinner at the local Italian, where pizza and pasta was consumed. The highlight of the night was after dinner, when Ang and Hayley won a large spongebob squarepants from the skilltester machine!! We buckled him into the kiddie seat and set on our way, singing Spongebob squarepants as we went!
Tuesday, all the kids and most of the adults had their hair cut / coloured by the talented miss Hayley. Alex cried all the way through his haircut, but Zach, Annelise and Elijah enjoyed theirs. I was still stressing a bit, I love being around my neice and nephews but I find it a bit full on, being only used to looking after one. A misunderstanding led me to lose the plot and say "I'm taking alex for a walk!!".. I headed off in tears and was wondering what the heck was wrong with me. I started to realise that I was feeling impotent and out of control, as I had no transport and kept having to rely on others to do what I wanted to do. I was also trying way too hard to be "nice"and "perfect", and getting a bit worried about Wednesday, when everyone was going to have a day to themselves, and Alex and I were going to be stuck at home. I hate being stuck at home. I'm a get out there and do stuff kinda gal. So, I decided I'd hire a crappy car for a coupla days. This proved a little difficult as I don't have a credit card (only Richard does, and with good reason too!).....but I found one and Alex and I took a taxi to pick up our Adventure Car (as Alex and I called it) We came home and I apologised to Haylz and Ang for being a moody cow, and explained that I'd felt trapped...but now had my freedom. Yay! Hayley did my hair and Alex actually had a sleep. Double Yay!! Ang also had a sleep to kill the flu bugs.
Tuesday night we had a girls night in and had yummy indian and watched Marley and Me. I cried again, and Ang didn't cry at all! I accused her of being inhuman. hehehe. A joke, I swear!
Wednesday dawned and Ang headed to the westfield for pamering, Muz & Wad went to the cemetary to visit Grandma, and Alex and I went to Toddler Town, out in Morley.....and stayed there for three hours. It was fantastic and we had the best time. Wish there was something like that here in Shep
We then went out to Hilary's for an icecream and to look at the beach and boats. While we were out there, mum rang and said she'd booked us into the Harbourside apartments there as she felt that I'd enjoy myself more with some space ....gee, am I that obvious?? hehe. I would have probably coped with Ben and Jen and kids and Alex and i staying at J&J's but might have struggled, so this was soooooo thoughtful and lovely of mum and dad. We called in to see Mum and Dad at Nan's and Alex fell asleep in the car, and didn't even wake up when I transferred him to the bed. I ran over to J&J's, packed a case for Alex and I and journeyed over to Hilarys.
I accidentally locked myself out, with Alex on the inside, while I was trying to bring all the bags in. He was getting quite upset and it took ages for me to find the right number to ring for after hours (probably about two minutes!)....the lady was wonderful, and flew down the stairs to open the door so I could be reunited with a tearful boy. It was such a beautiful apartment.....and it was so nice having some space, although i felt a little lonely. hehe....be careful what you wish for. I quickly recovered with the pay tv and some chocolate. Yes, all idea of healthy eating on holiday was definitely abandoned.
Thursday, Ang, Mum and Dad had offered to take Alex, Zach, Annelise and Elijah to the zoo so that the adults could have a child free day. We jumped at the chance and dropped kids off at 10am. I was all set to get a pedicure but as I drove off, decided to buy some flowers and go visit grandma's grave. As I drove around Subiaco, Nedlands and Claremont, it took a little while to find a shop to buy flowers in, and by the time I found Grandma's grave, it was midday. Jen and Ben rang and we arranged to meet up in Subiaco. I went to Dalkieth - Grandma and Grandpa lived there most of their lives and I'd spent many happy summers there.
I had dressed up for the day, luckily, as Dalkieth is rather hoity toity these days. Felt comfortable sauntering into the coffee shop and ordering a large decaf skinny cap. I think cappuchinos are supposedly passe these days, but I'm going retro. So there! Met up with Jen and Ben and Cam and had a yummy lunch in Suby........a little browsing, then a scenic drive along the coast, and to Cold Rock at Hilarys for more icecream for the whole gang.
I had to take my little crappy Pulsar back to the shop by 4.30, so Cam met me there and we all drove home. Alex was very tired after his long day at the zoo, as were Mum, Dad, Ang, Zach, Annelise and Elijah. Everyone came over to Jeff and Jen's for a roast but Alex was set for a tiredness tantrum and I asked mum to take me home.....taking a delicious plate of roast back to the apartment with me. Alex was asleep within 20 mins and I sat up reading til 11pm.
Friday morning Alex and I had some choc chip pancakes on the Wharf as a last hurrah, then walked around and got some provisions for the plane ride home. Mum picked us up and we checked in to our flight and spent some time at the airport. Dad is terrified of being late for a plane, and doesn't travel well, so we arrived two full hours before we were due to board the plane....two and a half before we were due to fly out. Never mind. A misunderstanding and a spilt coffee got the morning off to a bad start, as Alex was being very cranky (not unlike his mummy)...and the emotion of the trip wasn't lost on any of us. I apologised for being cranky (a recurring theme to the holiday) and we jetted off to Melbourne. All in all, a fairly successful holiday and I think I did pretty well without my hubby, although I had lots of support from family......all in all, I think I tried to be responsible, adult and aware of the effect my actions had on others....and I believe I was successful a fair bit of the time. yay, progress!
That's all folks.....back to reality and about seven or so days til Richard returns. Mum, Dad, Alex and I all managed to pick up some degree of bug on the plane, and I spent Friday and last night in Shep by myself, felt ok Friday night but yesterday was suffering from a yucky tummy bug. Today Alex and I had to come over to Finley for Roree's party, and as I was still suffering, lovely Mum took Alex to the party. Tonight we're camping at mum and dads, where I write these words to you.....waiting for damn Facebook to upload mum's photos.