A good week

It’s been a good week down under!  Our Halloween dinner with new friends was lovely and we were very well-received trick-or-treating, pleasantly surprising me.  With Halloween being on the upswing over here, the costumes are more basic and focus more on the scary side of things.  So, the cute, cuddly, imported orca and penguin getups were a huge hit (Thanks Mom and Dad)!  We were only turned away by one lit up house, and while I think it’s odd that you wouldn’t just go find a piece of candy to give, they were polite and commented on the cute costumes.  So, fun evening—Drew keeps asking to go every day now!  Makes sense!

It was a confidence-building week for me.  On Tuesday, the boys and I handled the grocery shopping on our own.  Now, even back in Lafayette, in the store I could walk through with my eyes closed and likely get what I needed, shopping with two young children pretty much sucks.  So to get through it here, felt like a big deal.  It also involves buying basics at the big grocery, and then driving down the street to another shop for produce. 

On Wednesday, we had a great time on the playgroup trip to Coochiemudlo Island—the boys loved the short ferry ride and playing in the sand and water all morning. 

On Thursday we learned about another new store, similar to Wal-Mart, even called Big W (no relation), and stocked up on some basics.  Big family adventure and I also learned how to file Medicare claims so we can get reimbursed on some of Drew’s doctors’ bills we’ve had recently.  Apparently, depending on the doctor, some don’t have you pay at all and some have you pay up front and then file a claim to be reimbursed. 

I feel empowered learning to do that “family” stuff myself.  I also researched swim lessons and checked out some local preschool programs, and you just feel more a part of things to get out and do that stuff, that previously came more easily, and do it successfully in this situation.  The boys start weekly swim lessons tomorrow morning (Monday) until the Christmas holidays. 

Yesterday we were invited to play at our neighbours’ house down the street and they are coming over today for a little bbq for Steve’s birthday.  They are so new and unconnected in this area, too, and they were absolutely thrilled to be invited somewhere!  Boy do I know how that feels now!  It was so nice to be able to return the favour a little bit. 

We also were invited to a four-year-old boy’s birthday party at a little indoor playground, by his Mom who we’ve only met once, so I was very touched to be included.  Steve worked Saturday, so the boys and I went on our own, which means I drove on the motorway (freeway) successfully—a bit scary!  Also, my phone’s navigation failed on the way back and I still found my way home, which for those who know how directionally challenged I am, is a really big deal! 

This morning, my Mom got to read a book to Drew through Skype which was special and we all had a nice chat.  Now Steve is giving me a break, taking the boys shopping for this afternoon’s bbq, so I can do this.  The internet in this house was down for the last week or so, so now I think I can make photos more available—I’ll work on it.   Steve is receiving pay checks now and it is a great feeling to have some money actually coming in to balance all that’s been streaming out in this moving process! 

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