For shits and no giggles

There was a lot of the first but not many of the giggles for that matter! I was on an absolutely sausage roll with my writing then a plague hit the expat estate!! We had the most horrible D&V bug ever which resulted in both the children in hospital requiring IV fluids. Miss C was only in for a few hours and about 20 minutes after the IV infusion started she was bouncing around like a cocker spaniel. LPV on the other hand wasn’t quite so lucky. He had the same the treatment but didn’t respond as well as she did. Now I don’t tell hospital staff I’m a nurse as our Peadiatrician knows and doesn’t treat me like a normal Mammy, he treats me like a colleague and whilst I respect him for respecting me as a professional I am a Mammy first and I haven’t practiced for 10 years! Now I don’t believe I will ever lose all my skills, they’re etched in my brain, I KNOW for a fact I haven’t lost my instincts and I trust them both the Mammy & nursing ones 100%. After a 6 hour infusion and me nagging them constantly to check this and check that. They come to discharge my lethargic  baby boy. I laugh in their face and pretty much tell them they are bat shit crazy if they think I’m taking my child home. After me throwing my toys out of the pram they take a full set of observations and he is admitted overnight and that is where he stayed for the next 3 days.

People who have access to  the NHS do not know how lucky they are, yes I may have had a room which looked like a hotel room but it’s all flounce and no substance. I would have given all of that up for a team of medical staff that understand the term holistic care, that actually have a bed side manner. At one point I was up to my eyes in shit unpleasantries waiting for help, waiting for wipes, waiting for clean sheets. I found the care to be right up there with my poor baby’s symptoms……..I lost my shit, excuse the pun!  on the day before discharge when I had to ask them to recheck his blood sugar, two nurses stabbing him with a needle, he is crying and instead of comfort they tell him, stop crying don’t be a baby, you’re a big boy!! Well…….red rag to a very exhausted bull, before I told them to get out my room, I offered up a little tit-bit on the fact he is only 7 he’s allowed to cry when someone shoves a needle in your arm and I still hate it at the age of 42 so please DO NOT tell not to cry, he’s allowed to cry if he wants too and it DOES NOT mean he is a big baby. After this ordeal, my saviour messages me and tells me to meet her by the lift. I take one look at my bestie holding a cup of tea and the most epic ham sandwich (they hadn’t fed me at all) and burst into floods of tears.

Things picked up slowly and he’s bloods came back normal, we were told we could go home the next day. It’s not an ordeal I want to ever go through again, Cara was my angel, picking up flossy and taking her on playdates etc. The ham sandwich was amazing but it was the love and concern that got me/us through it! It’s very difficult being away from our support network, don’t get me wrong lots of people send love and well wishes and  offered to help that meant so much but it’s the one’s that see through your “I’m ok I don’t need anything” that stick with you!!

Darling Harbour, Aquarium and Roosters

Our second day we decided to use up one of  our attraction tickets and go to the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. We got up late and Uber’d it down to beautiful Darling Harbour.

We walked along the water front stopped and had some food and then made our way to the Aquarium. The Aquarium was nice, not fantastic but then we do have pretty spectacular one here in Dubai so unfortunately we have been spoilt. However we very much enjoyed finding out all about Dugong’s and although we only got see the arse end of one it was interesting all the same.They had been rescued and put on a rehabilitation program, one had been released but was found again washed up on a beach/rocks and the other wasn’t ready. The penguin expedition was fun too, there is a little boat ride that last about 5-8 minutes and it takes you round the enclosure (they call it a colony, it’s not!)) of King & Gentoo penguins. It was freezing and the kids had a fab time. I know a lot of these places are above-board and they tend to rescue all their animals but sometimes the enclosures just don’t look big enough for the animals to flourish. Don’t get me wrong I know the Aquarium was doing all it can to help and constantly raise money for the animals. Anyhoo after the aquarium we made our way to the Allianz Stadium home of the Sydney Roosters  to watch them play against the Newcastle Knights. When we went to New York we took both children to see The New York Mets (Miss C was still in the Ergo) so we wanted to catch a local match here too.  We sat down got comfy and the heavens opened lashing rain!! The kids thought it was hilarious scrambling over the seats to get into the covered area.  We left after the first half as although we had enjoyed it, we thought the children had learned enough swear words and profanities for one day!! If you ask them both what their favourite parts of the day were Miss C: It raining at the match, LPV: the men shouting at the match……There you go folks, trip of a lifetime!  The swearing really didn’t bother me, you can’t keep your kids sheltered from it, plus they hear a few choice words from me on the school run, however they were being introduced to a WHOLE bunch of new ones that I didn’t care to explain. We had the same conversation as always “adult/bad words, repeat them and I’ll kill you etc and got a uber home!

An affair to remember

Dear Dubai, I’ve cheated on you, I’m not sorry, I didn’t think about you the entire time, in fact you didn’t cross my mind once and I will do again…………You want to know who with, you say? Ok…..It was with Australia.

Yes it happened as I knew it  would, I fell in love with Australia, now I have been known to fall for other places like Hong Kong but this time it was different. Australia is a place you would never tire off. a great outdoor lifestyle, beautiful greenery and fresh air, laid back and friendly people. Expensive? Yes but so worth it. From the minute we arrived we were greeted by a really friendly taxi driver, who gave us tips on where to go, to buy an Opal card (which was a godsend). Rather than selling us 4 adult ones the newsagent sent us somewhere else  to buy children’s ones. You can use these on all forms of public transport and it makes life so much easier and top up when they needed it. Our Uber drivers were so fanatstic and full of local knowledge too and as an added bonus knew where they were going. Our first airbnb was in Birchgrove, Balmain. A 10 minute walk to the ferry crossing and park just down the road which the kids loved. On our doorstep a newsagents, corner shop, launderette and cafe. With a high street about 10 minutes away too. I swear now with children Airbnb is the only way to go. The house we rented was spacious enough, had a big enough kitchen I cook a basis meal for 4, we ate lunch out most days but eating out in Sydney isn’t cheap and we would have gone through our budget like no ones business. Birchgrove had no wifi or TV so we downloaded a few Netflix programs for the kids but they basically made their own fun playing with some toys we brought with us. In the evenings EPD and I sat outside on the terrace with a beer or wine and read our books, he read 5 and I’m still working through mine, god damn you Outlander series for being so thick!!!! and talked. I feel like as a family we re connected without the distraction of electronics. I know not being able to go on FB every 5 minutes did my head the world of good. It was us in our little world and we didn’t need anyone else. The house was nothing fancy at all, in fact it did lack a bit of character but it was clean and comfortable and did its job of being a base for us. Our 2nd Airbnb in the Blue Mountains was spectacular and will  into more details when I get to that point of our trip.

Our first day In Sydney is when I fell in love, we caught the ferry to Circular Quay, had lunch along the harborside and took a walk up around the opera house, all through the botanical garden and then to Sydney Tower.

 

 

It was hot but hot lovely not sticky or humid. The Gardens were beautiful and the children loved running and exploring. The Opera House was everything I expected it to be, feeling so surreal that we were actually stood in front of it. We took some token photos but didn’t go inside.

 

We then moved on to  Sydney tower which was fabulous though and actually great value for money as when we brought our entry ticket we got an offer that covered two other attractions in Sydney. We watched a 3D short film about Australia and then headed up in the lift! By the time we got to Sydney tower we had pretty much reached our limit and being jet lagged we had a look from the 360’C viewing area and then headed home to sleep off the jet lag and start afresh the next day! It was a great day and everyone was pooped I went to bed with a big smile on my face knowing I was going to enjoy EVERY minute of this trip of a lifetime.