Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Family fun times

We have just been enjoying 10 days of Family Fun Time as DH took some well-earned and much needed time off from work. It didn't all run completely smoothly but the good definitely outweighed the bad.
First: the bad (or less-good). We had planned to spend the weekend down at Red Hill while my parents were overseas but the forecast was for four days of solid rain and 13 degree temperatures. Red Hill is always colder and wetter than Melbourne, so it was not looking good. I imagined trying to entertain a toddler away from most of her toys, books and out of reach of interesting indoor activities and was afraid, very afraid. So we changed our plans and tried to think of nice things to do around our (warmer) house.

We went out for morning tea and looked in the toyshop, went to the library and did lots of playdough and cooking. Then it was time for our big indoor trip to the Children's Museum. Yay, I thought. Plenty of room to run around and lots of things to do. Well worth the 40 minute drive and having to pay for parking.

Off we went and alarm bells started to ring when the museum car park was full. Oh well, we thought, maybe everyone is at Imax for the school holidays. We went to the overflow carpark via a quick detour through the city (aaargh, hook turns! Haven't done one of those in years) to get money to pay for parking. Got out, walked over to the museum, failed to really process that there sure were a lot of people hanging around under those big Pompeii exhibition banners...

There must have been three hundred people in the queue for entrance tickets. Seriously, three hundred. And no line for people who just wanted to go to the Museum, Goddamnit. If we'd known it would be so busy we could have bought tickets online, but we didn't, so we hadn't.

Abi was already starting to flag and after it was clear that it would be at least a forty-five minute wait in the queue, we decided to cut our losses and go to the pretty cool adventure playground next door. It is a good playground, but I don't know that it's worth driving 40 minutes for and then paying 12 bucks for parking. Although we were glad of our parking space when it started to pour with rain again and we retreated to our warm cosy car to eat the packed lunches I had made with such optimism that morning.

Abi had fun though. See?

The following Wednesday was a beautiful sunny day so we decided to visit Chesterfield Farm, a children's farm near our house. We had often seen it while driving and talked about visiting but had never been. Abi was keen to see the guinea pigs, which are always her favourite things so off we went.

We saw a cow being milked:

And then tried to find the guinea pigs. Sadly it turned out that although their were guinea pigs on the farm they were free range ones and in spite of DH's most concentrated efforts, we couldn't catch one. Adorable baby rabbits were an acceptable alternative:

We bought some food to feed the bigger animals, but I really didn't think Abi would be brave enough to do it. I was totally wrong though, look at my confident girl! So, so proud of her.

Over the weekend we went to stay with my parents who had just come back from their Europe trip. It was lovely lovely lovely to see them and Abi was so excited. Mummy was definitely fourth man on the totem pole with adoring Nanny, Dranpa and Daddy around. Except, obviously, if she fell over or woke up in the middle of the night. Lucky Mummy gets all the best jobs.

On Saturday we went to the zoo and had such a great time, even though it was very cold and windy. There was plenty to see including the gorgeous butterflies, elephants and some adorable gibbons which obligingly sat right up near the viewing window for us. It was a family group including a little baby which swung and jumped and cuddled its mother in a way that was almost calculatedly cute. Abi was especially delighted because it had 'mi' with its Mummy several times.

We looked at animals for about an hour and a half and then went to have delicious yum cha at a new zoo restaurant which was having its very first day the day we were there. Risky? Possibly, but we were glad we took the risk as it was delicious. Expensive, but worth it, and beat hot chips and battered savs effortlessly.

Unfortunately just as we were getting ready to go, my thoroughly over-excited 2 year old tripped while running and whacked her forehead on the concrete ground. We got ice onto it straight away but decided to take her to the Children's Hospital to be checked just in case. I was imagining observation and x-rays and cat scans and all manner of horrors, but by the time we got to the hospital (just five minutes from the zoo thankfully) she seemed completely fine and her chatty, bouncy self. The triage nurse sent us to the after-hours GP clinic after checking her pupils etc and she was soon given a clean bill of health by the GP there. We didn't even have to wait that long, and our most difficult task was keeping her from climbing on all the furniture and from coming to close to a little boy who looked like he had some kind of fungal infection.

Not a great ending to our first zoo outing, but we concentrated on all the lovely parts:

Then when we got back to Mum and Dad's she burnt her fingers on a light globe. Sigh. 10 minutes under the cold tap stopped any blisters though, but I was exhausted by the end of the day.

Mammoth post, but before I go, I have to record that my littlest baby is quite the dancer! I first started feeling little pokes about three weeks ago, but now I can feel him/her bouncing around from the inside and out. I love it so so much and I must appreciate every little poke, prod and roll of this, my last, my treasured, my darling baby. Mummy already loves you so much, precious one.