Sunday, September 13, 2009

Our Action Packed, Fun Filled, Full of Drama Weekend Away

My sister and I were clever enough to have our baby girls five days apart.  My husband and I were clever enough to have our two children's birthdays four days apart, just one and five days before our wedding anniversary...oh yeah, we are that clever!

And all of this is the same week as Father's Day....eek!!

So, so far it has worked well to combine the three birthdays, get the whole family together and have one party.  Add to all of this a visit to Sea World and well, I have something to blog about!!

Where to start?  Perhaps with the plan of what was 'supposed' to happen.  The proposed plan of events went as such....My Mum & Dad (who gave us all Sea World tickets for Christmas), my sister's family and our family to visit Sea World on Friday (a more than 2 1/2 hour drive from home), back to Mum & Dad's farm (a more than one hour drive from Sea World) for two nights, kids' combined birthday party on Saturday, my husband and I go out for dinner to celebrate our anniversary on Saturday night, drive (three hours) home on Sunday.  Well, that was the plan.  This is what really happened.....

It all started with me stressing for a full two weeks about what I've now come to call 'Little Christmas'.  I had a Sea World list, a party list, a packing list, a shopping list and a 'to do' list.  You would think with such super organization nothing could go wrong, right?  Wrong!

We set out early Friday morning for our 2 1/2 hour drive to Sea World.  A little way into the trip I realized that it would actually take us longer than 2 1/2 hours and had arranged to meet up with my Mum & Dad and my sister's family at 10:30am at the front gates.  So a quick call was made to say not to rush, we'd be late.  As it turned out we had a very good run, with only one toilet stop, and we're only 10 minutes away when we came to a dead stop.  Road closed, only one lane, but of course it was the lane we wanted to use.  One lane was still moving so my husband decided to use it because he has this much patience in traffic (holding up hand with thumb and forefinger pressed tightly together).  Turns out it was the best way to go because my sister's family got caught just ahead of us and arrived 15 minutes after we did.

So, we finally get to Sea World.  I'm excited!!  I love Sea World.  My just-turned-two baby girl on the other hand...not so excited.  Just like her big brother used to be, she hates new places and new faces and at the gate of Sea World it was all too much!  But I knew she'd settle down once she got used to the place, she always does, and she did.

We had a wonderful, wonderful day at Sea World.  Not only did Mum & Dad give us the tickets, they live next door to the head dolphin trainer so after the dolphin show we got a private, up close and personal pat and play with the dolphins.  AMAZING!!!

After spending a very long and full and happy day we headed off to the farm, the drive that was supposed to take just over one hour took closer to two due to traffic, taking a wrong road, stopping for groceries & party food, petrol and getting take-away for dinner.

Finally, we're at the farm.  Take a deep breath and relax.  Mum had baked the birthday cakes for me, thank goodness.  So we just needed to get the kids (our two and three of their cousins) to bed.  And then Mum checked her emails.....DRAMA!!  She had one from me, that was NOT from me.  So I quickly log into my Hotmail only to find that all of my contacts have been wiped and my inbox is empty.  They have sent a dodgy email to everyone of my contacts and left me with nothing.  So now I get to cry in front of my parents, I'm devastated and have that sick in the stomach feeling that you get when you have had your wallet stolen or your car has been broken into.  I didn't keep anyone's email addresses and home addresses and phone numbers anywhere else.  And now my husband is fearing the worst, our whole computer has been hacked, they've wiped everything including our photos, etc, etc. So we decide we'd leave a day early to check on everything after the party.  Why did this have to happen after such a good day??

After finally getting to sleep, we awake to our son's 5th birthday and party day.  I spent the morning decorating the cakes, then go to get dressed after everyone starts arriving only to find I have left all my tops at home.  Yes, they were on the list!  Yes, they were still hanging on my wardrobe door ready for last minute packing...they missed the pack...dammit!  I have to wear my slightly smelly, same clothes from the day before, oh well.

The eight cousins had a wonderful party.  They don't all see each other very often and it is magic to see them playing so happily and genuinely enjoying each other's company.  They had heaps of is a success!!!  YAY!

Then instead of a quiet afternoon and a romantic dinner out (haha, there are no restaurants in the nearby town, so a pub it was going to be) to celebrate our anniversary, (without children!!), we had to pack everything back into the car and it felt like we had only just unpacked, because we had.

Time for the three hour trek back home.  On the way I was thinking about how silly I was to have had so many lists and still manage to leave my tops behind when it dawned on me...I'd left our good clothes for dinner hanging in wardrobe at Mum & Dad's!  Yay me, memory failure strikes again, doh!  But at least we had a dream run home, our two year old slept the whole way, and our birthday boy slept the last hour...little angels (because the true definition of angel is a sleeping child).  Oh, the peace, it was bliss, if it wasn't for the niggling worry in the back of our minds about what we might find when we got home.

Upon arrival home, after the joy that is unpacking, my husband proceeded to turn on the computers.  Holding our breath and hoping against hope, after a few hours he declared that nothing else appeared to be affected, although only time will tell if it has been infected.  It seems I was lucky this time, it was a warning for me to be much more careful in the future and to actually listen to my husband...use strong passwords and different ones for everything!  So the evening was spent changing user names and passwords and getting new email accounts, whilst sipping champagne (to celebrate our anniversary) and fighting back tears.

Thankfully I'm more of a positive memory recaller and tend to forget the bad stuff pretty quickly.   So to sum up the weekend we have wonderful, wonderful memories of Sea World, patting dolphins, our boy waking up to his 5th birthday on the farm with his cousins and all the kids' happy smiles and laughter at the birthday party.  The rest I'll get my memory bank secretary to file in the bin!

There you have it, our action packed, fun filled, full-of-drama weekend with so many ups and downs it was not unlike the Corkscrew roller coaster at Sea World that I was dying to go on but didn't get to because my little girl had had ENOUGH.

Please excuse me now while I go and crash on the couch.

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