The postman rings twice

Trip Start Sep 16, 2011
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Trip End Nov 20, 2011


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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Today starts well. Parcels.  Something we ordered for Woody arrived this morning which is a massive relief.  It is the only thing he has mentioned he would like for Christmas and he only mentioned in a couple of days ago.  We are winners.  We also get a parcel of Christmas presents from the Mothership.  Hurrah!  Very exciting. We also solve the anonymous gift voucher mystery – it was from the Mothership.  We are unsure why she has reverted to my maiden name.  Odd.

 We are people on a mission this morning so we do our best to get going quickly. And our mission is new sales starting at Aldi today.  So we, and every retired person on the Gold Coast spend a productive half an hour elbowing people out of the way so we can buy stuff for super cheap.  We break mug at the checkout.  The mug Woody chose for himself and was incredibly proud of.  When he sees that has broken he is inconsolable and bursts into tears.  The surrounding retirees are all very sympathetic and try soothing a hysterical Woody.  Despite this, we leave Aldi feeling like victors.  We have a trolley full of Christmas bits, an esky, and a crying child.  You cannot win them all.

Next stop.  Swimming.  Noah and I have been looking forward to this pretty much since the second the last lesson finished. We are running late, and pretty much launch Woody from the car park into the pool.  He is unphased by the minute of chaos and gets straight in the pool and gets on with it.  He does everything he is asked and every time he lifts his head to breath we can see his massive smile.  I am smiling just thinking about it.  It is priceless.  He tries so hard in the lesson.  His kicking and arms have come on in leaps and bounds in the 3 lessons he has had this week.   Every time he knows he has done something well, he turns around and gives us a thumbs up.  You can imagine the grins on the lunatic parents.

We stick around after the lesson and Woody has a play in the kids' pool – there is a slide and lots of fountains.  Woody makes some friends and spends another half an hour in the water happily.

We head home, and the plan is for Noah to make himself scarce so Woody and I can finish off his Christmas present.  After a bit of faffing, Noah heads out with a shopping list and Woody and I get on with our secret mission. Woody is very, very excited about what we are making.  When Noah returns home  Elwood’s head practically explodes with the excitement of it all.  He runs around like crazy looking for somewhere to hide, but when Noah walks in the door he grabs Noah’s hand and leads Noah straight to the present. It is hilarious but also charming.

And then a delivery van pulls up out the front. This is very exciting.  It is a big box and it is coming our way.  Yep.  It’s for us.  Yeee-haaaa!  We open the box and pull out a big gift basket and those little polystyrene things go everywhere.  Elwood is delighted as he was hoping for snow (really) and the polystyrene seems to do the trick.  We make a 'snow man’  and generally play in the snow and get that polystyrene stuff all over the house.  The gift basket is from my sister Debs, Adam, George, Laura and Emma.  It is brilliant and we are over the moon.  We have eaten on a budget for so long I start drooling at the lovely biscuits, chutney and jams.  Until I notice the bottle of bubbles.  And then I am off the scale excited.  We are saving everything for Christmas day.  I love fancy treaty food. Thank you so much Debs and Adam and co, it was such a super lovely thought.  We are really touched but such a lovely and unexpected gift.

I am still bathing in the warmth of this lovely gift when a man appears at the door with a behemoth bunch of flowers.  We are a bit confused when he uses my maiden name.  But I still open the door and snatch the flowers from him.  They are fab.  I open the card and they are from Debs and Adam and co.  This time, for my birthday.  I cannot wipe the smile off my face and I swan about all afternoon delighted with my beautiful flowers.  Thank you again guys for a fabulous and unexpected present.  You really have made my day today.

At some point this morning, Woody has managed to develop a streaming cold.  His face is red, he nose is running and blocked (?), he is drooling, his eyes are watering- basically he looks pretty bad.  He is not helped by the fact he is wearing a plastic fireman's outfit - which he is just sweating in.  When I leave the room he says he hit his eye and when I return he is wearing a toy pirate eye patch.  I think this is part of a game, so I go along with it.  And then he lifts his eye patch and he really has hurt his eye – it’s red.  Whoops – bad parent moment.  We pop some ice on it, and the red eye is really adding to Woody’s dishevelled look today.

Next I made Woody cry.  Our fabulous neighbours in Billericay, John and Olwen, gave Elwood a one-eyed Thomas which he had coveted when we left the UK.  That Thomas is still a firm favourite with Woody.  Woody asked if I could fix his missing eye (his remaining eye is just a flat sticker).  So I surprise Woody by giving Thomas two new eyes – and not boring flat ones – big googly eyes.  He burst into tears.  He wanted a flat sticker eye, and not a googly one.  (Really?)  And, the biggest source of upset is that I had stuck a googly eye over the eye there was nothing wrong with.  Woody is furious with me.  He storms off to his room, pausing briefly to take a cheese sandwich.  I am left bemused in the kitchen wondering how I could get this so wrong.  I am concerned that this is going to be a very long sulk if it has required a pack lunch.

Luckily, it does not last that long.  Woody re-emerges a few minutes later, makes me promise to fix Thomas’ eyes (I am not sure how I do this as I have stuck it on with super glue.  The actually says one drop can hold a tonne.  God I hate Thomas the Tank Engine.  He is such a bore) .  And then Elwood hands me a book, and asks me to read it to him whilst he finishes his sulking sandwich.  It is ‘Little Miss Stubborn’.  I try and not read too much into this.

Next I make myself scare and wrap presents and drink vodka.  This is good.  Noah and Woody are meant to be making me a birthday card but from what I could tell when I re-emerged an hour later is that they dedicated a full hour to trashing the house.  I asked Elwood if he made me a nice card, and he replied that no, he hadn’t made me a nice card but he had made me two bad cards.  I do not know what to make of this.

By this point Woody is really not feeling well.  We sit him in the bath, tidy up, cook him some sausages and he is sound asleep by just after 6pm.  I fear tomorrow morning is going to be an early one.

I cook dinner for us, stack the dishwasher, and leave the pots in soak that have been there for , I believe, 3 days now.  Noah makes some more Christmas presents and I wrap presents and watch the movie Salt.  I don’t know if it is because I only half watched it, or if I am just not too bright, but I did not really follow it.  I then watched Shutter Island  which I loved.  (There were a lot of presents to wrap. ) I then briefly looked at our finances (gulp) and then out of nowhere I got a real sense of optimism and excitement about what exciting adventures may lay ahead for our family next year.

And that is it folks for tonight.  I bid you goodnight with a happy heart.
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