Monday, March 16, 2009

Day which we all feel a lot of love

I think we were lazy in the morning again. I could be mean and blame Tracey. I'm usually quite hyperactive on holidays. I rarely want to sit in someone's house or sit in a hotel. But no. Over the past several months, I had become incredibly lazy. I rarely wanted to leave our house. So sitting in Tracey's house talking, watching TV, having the kids play, grabbing snacks from the fridge, etc..... all seemed extremely lovely to me. But I knew I'd get a lot of grief from everyone who reads my blog if that's all we did. So, we were OBLIGATED to get dressed and go do something.

Before leaving, Tracey and I played on the Internet together. She showed me the Best Job in the World website. We all joked about entering. The idea of getting paid to be a tourist in Australia does sound appealing. The problem is I'm not good at scuba diving and other water activities. Tim is though. We should have entered as a team. I have the enthusiasm for Australia and the ability to keep up with a blog. He has the athletic/water skills. Ah, and Tracey and her family have a lot of luck and talent with winning contests. I think with all of us working together we could have won that thing.

Tara and Jack played together. I don't really remember what. They did often play some game called naughty baby. I think Tara was the baby and Jack was the parent. I'm pretty sure the game involved chasing.

Tyrone and Tim played Guitar Hero on the Wii.

Finally, we got our act together and left. I have to say I WAS being really lazy that morning. I wore my pajamas out. Well, technically they're not pajamas. It's a t-shirt and gym shorts. But it was what I wore to sleep. I did add a bra to the mix. I just felt like being casual and comfortable. Plus, we were going to the zoo. I figured I didn't need to be dressed up for that.

Tyrone wasn't going to the zoo. He was staying home to work on his bike. I told Tim this and suggested he stay back as well. Things like this are hard because I don't want Tim to feel that he's not welcome. But I figured he'd be happier at home. He seemed to welcome the suggestion and said he had work to catch up on. When we left them, Tim and Tyrone were chatting away, and I wondered if either of them would ever leave the den to start their work.

Before going to the zoo, we stopped at Target because Tara needed new shoes and underpants. I had already slightly loved Tara...thought she was absolutely adorable. I probably even loved her a little bit before meeting her. Don't we all sort of love the children we read about in our friend's blogs? But at Target, I really bonded with her. Why? I found out we have something in common. We have sensory issues which means we're both VERY picky about clothes. I hate the feel of wearing pants, ESPECIALLY jeans. I'd rather be cold and wear shorts or a dress/skirt than wear pants. That's one of the main reasons why I prefer going to Australia in the summer. I don't want to wear pants. When it's pants-weather in Texas, I go out as little as possible. And when I get home, I immediately get undressed and put on shorts and a t-shirt. Tara has a lot of the same issues.

Oh! We also went to Target because Jack needed a new charger for his DS. The one we had wouldn't work in Australia. Tracey went to look for that while I watched the kids in the toy section. They had so much fun. I started to think we should probably skip the zoo and just let the kids play in Target. But we didn't.

We couldn't find the DS thing so we tried looking at another store. I can't remember if we walked there or had to drive there. I do remember that this store didn't have what we needed either. And we walked through some kind of outdoor shopping center.

Then we went to the zoo.

Near where you buy entrance tickets, there's a little thing where you can buy food for the animals. We all bought a bag. I expected them to have a little enclosure you can get into and interact with the animals. That's what they had at Featherdale.

This place didn't. The animals were in their enclosure and you were supposed to reach in and give them the food. The problem is we couldn't remember which animals we were supposed to feed and which ones we were not. We figured the Emus and Kangaroos would be okay, but the Emus were way too scary for us...very aggressive. And the kangaroos already had the food we would have given them. They weren't really interested. Later, we ended up giving most of our food to sheep, goats, etc. An aggressive goat scared poor Tara. And Jack was constantly scared of all the flies and bees. We had two anxious children on our hands.

The zoo was okay. Neither Tracey nor I loved it. They did have some nice animals including the Tasmanian Devil. My problem with the zoo is it was confusing. A lot of the enclosures weren't labeled so we had no idea what some of the animals were. We had a map (which I think we had to pay for. Or maybe not?). You're supposed to figure out which building you're at, look at the map, and then go to the corresponding number to find out what animal you're looking at. I'm not smart enough for all that! My goodness.

Towards the end of the zoo visit, my blood sugar was acting up again. I wanted to eat so we ate at the little zoo shop/cafe.

I remember there was some ice-cream confusion. We had told the kids the day before that we'd get ice-cream after dinner. We never did and Jack and Tara held that over our heads. We were definitely going to get all of us ice-cream today, and not just for the kid's sakes. There was debate though of when we were going to get the ice-cream. Jack thought we were getting it right when we got home from the zoo.  I said no we're getting it after dinner. I think maybe then Tracey thought we were against ice-cream before dinner. But no. I'm totally pro dessert-before- meals.

Anyway, I'm not sure how we figured all that out, or why it even matters. I do know that we ended up letting Jack and Tara get two ice-creams that day because they each got an ice-cream at the zoo shop. That's all Tracey's fault. Our family is very strict about how much sugar Jack consumes.

Yeah. Those of us who know my family know that's not true. My family is absolutely horrible about eating too many desserts. The term OCCASIONAL treat is not in our vocabulary.

After we ate, we returned home to find the guys outside talking while Tyrone worked on his bike.

I had to wonder if they had been in the den the whole time playing Guitar Hero together. My theory is when they heard our car pulling up, they ran outside and quickly tried to look busy. Tim assures me that he got a lot of work done. I guess I'll believe it. Maybe.

Before it was time to get ready for dinner, Tracey and I spent more time on the Internet. It was kind of funny playing on the Internet next to my Internet friend....a bit surreal.

I then finally got out of my night clothes and put on something that would be more appropriate for a restaurant.

We went to a nice restaurant near a lake. Tracey got out of the car and noticed an unpleasant smell. At least, I think it was Tracey who mentioned it. Tim and I weren't bothered by the smell because it reminded us of the smells near my parent's lake house.

There was debate of whether we should eat inside or outside. We ended up choosing inside. There was the smell issue, and also Jack had a problem with the flies! He doesn't like flies and gets pretty dramatic when one lands on him or his food. Tim and I were thinking we'll probably need to hold off on any trips to the outback. I do think the fly thing slowly got better though. I don't remember it being such an issue later in the trip.

Anyway, we ate and talked. The kids played and acted silly.

Tyrone impressed me with his knowledge of Australia.

We then went outside and had someone take a photograph of all of us.

We walked near the water. Jack had been scared of that because Tara had told him about how Molly had seen a jellyfish and poked it with a stick. He was scared that there'd be a dead jellyfish again--waiting to attack him. We convinced him that it was highly unlikely he would be attacked by a dead jellyfish.

After the water visit, we went to get gelato. Again, we ate and talked. The kids acted wild and silly. We scolded them a few times, but for the most part acted the part of the irresponsible parents who have no real control over their children.

It was an incredibly wonderful night....uh, well probably more for us than the people at the tables next to ours.

Oh! I forgot this story. And it's important to me.

I think I really grew to love Tracey and her whole family. And I saw how well Tim and Jack got along with them as well. I felt there really was something special between all of us. I had this silly idea of asking Tracey if they might want to come to Sydney to see us. But I didn't speak up right away because I felt weird asking her. And then she said it first! I guess she's braver than I am. She told me she was was thinking they should come to Sydney for a weekend so we could all be together again. I was so excited about that...and happy too. For me it meant, my feelings weren't one-sided. If they were planning to come to Sydney to see us, they must really like us too. I felt extremely happy knowing that.