Category: Out & About (Page 1 of 13)


We were going to the birthday party of Mr H on the other side of town. M decided that it would be best to make a Grand Day Out of it and we headed into the city on our way. We took Small Z to the NGV – where I wish we had taken her last week for their 150 year birthday celebrations.

The water wall!
The water wall at the NGV

The children’s bit of the NGV is lame. And I may sound a bit like a wanker here, but still – compared to CMoM – or even the Melbourne Museum, the children’s area is just lacking in basic interactive fun stuff to do. Couldn’t they have just modelled their new kid’s area on somewhere fantastic? It just seems to be such an after thought…

Luckily there was the water window and a great rope-made climbing frame…

Small Z up the top

And the stained glass ceiling…

Stained glass roof of the NGV

I also really loved the shop at the gallery (we didn’t actually see any art this time – we just went to check out the kids section and show Small Z the roof and the waterwall) – it had amazing stuff in it. Some was uber-expensive, but all of it was very cool. I wandered about in there for a little while, drooling (particularly over the Tivoli radios) and then met back up with the other three out the front…

M and Small Z near the fountain

We wandered through Federation Square. My dad worked for many years on the 14th(?) floor of the old Gas & Fuel Corporation buildings that were knocked down to make room for Fed Square. I always think of them as I wander through. There is no trace of them at all…

[slight tangent] I used to visit my dad at work, particularly when I started going into the city on my own. It was a real old-school workplace – tea ladies would bring around trolleys of tea and coffee and snacks for elevenses and there was a company canteen, where people lunched. There was also a tunnel from Flinders Street Station, under Swanston Street, that popped out underneath the buildings. There were a few little shops in there – the seamstress who altered my Year 10 formal dress and did my dad’s suits… Here’s a pic of the buildings I just dug up from here:
Gas and Fuel Towers

While I like the open space that Federation Square has created (and there was nothing lovely about those old buildings, by the way, they were utterly ugly) I really can’t bear the wind tunnel effect that often makes sitting around there intolerable.

Anyway, I digress. We had a snack, Small Z had a play, and then we strolled back down St Kilda Road – past Weary Dunlop, past the flower clock, past the police memorial, to our car. And then stupidly let the TomTom navigation thingo guide us a particuarly useless route to West Preston – where we were revived by excellent party food, good company and CHAMPAGNE!! Happy Birthday, Mr H. Can’t believe I didn’t take any photos of THAT!

M and Small D in Federation Square

Night and day

Do you know how often I am blogging inside my head? I find it SO frustrating not to be able to post when I have the urge. I do need to maybe reduce the size of my posts – and maybe posting a snippet or two more frequently will balm my soul? So where’s it at?

Last weekend, after urging from M, I took the two Small’s to stay at my mother’s new place. The added incentive was that SWWNBB and Small A were going to be there. Put it this way. The daylight hours of our visit were fine. I snaffled Small A, stuffed him in the hug-a-bub that SWWNBB is yet to master and kept him there, slumbering for two and a half hours. I walked with him in there and Small DB asleep in the pram.

I had been wondering if Small Z was OK, and then glanced down from the cliff top path I was walking along and saw her and her Nan down on the beach making sand castles… So we went to join them. In retrospect I should not have let Small DB down to play in the sand. She ended up with freezing feet and her cold got worse 🙁 (bad parenting moment).

Looking down from the cliff
The Smalls - Winter at the Beach

(Eeek. Look at her little red pants – I have been making her trousers from woollen jumpers – a whole other blog post…)

Night time, was when it fell in a heap. The spare bed is in the middle of the room, thereby allowing small people to fall out either side of it. My mother won’t move it against the wall as we don’t stay enough for her to bother. We might stay more often if the bed was moved… And there’s your first Catch-22…

So we slept on the mattress on the floor, which we don’t object to, except that I should have brought our own little heater. The one in the back room is one of those blowy reverse cycle ones that parch your countenance to truckstop fried egg. So I turned it off. Whereupon, an hour later, we were in a icy cold crypt and Small DB was coughing up a little lung. So I turned it on. And we fried. And this happened about six times during the night. Utterly fulfilling the term ‘reverse cycle’. Boom, boom.

Small Z was an angel and slept through me lurking around, strategically placing damp towels and a bucket of water to try and hydrate the air. She slept through Small DB and her cough and frequent waking. She even slept through both of us giving up and getting up in the morning while it was still dark.

I was so grumpy from the night of horror, and the fact that M had been urging me to, “Go and stay there – it will give you a bit of a break…” that I bundled us all into the car before 10am and headed home. Highly disgruntled. Small DB finally slept once we hit Frankston, so I drove home, M jumped in, and we continued on a family drive to Flinders. Small DB got a good sleep. I ended up with a custard donut… Things improved.


Yesterday Small Z and I made a kite. We were inspired by a episode of Play School, where Big Ted goes kite flying. I looked outside and it was very windy. It took quite a bit of googling to come up with a non-daunting design that she and I could do together, but I found one at instructables.com. The instructions weren’t as straightforward as they could have been, but we muddled through.

Small Z coloured in our kite piece of paper before we made it, so it wasn’t just plain white. We took it down to the wide open spaces at the end of our street. It worked beautifully! And it was windy enough that it would stay up for quite a while, allowing Small Z to run along and fly it… Here’s a little video. Sorry about the wind noise. And I had Small DB in the sling and she’s chattering away…


Making it through today was Very. Difficult. Largely due to the fact that I had so little sleep last night that I was as near to the end of my tether as I have been for a considerable time. I had to get M to stay home an extra few hours this morning, for mental health reasons.

Small DB will no longer feed to sleep in the day times. For a few days in a row she slept for half an hour. Once a day. By last night (this is my humble theory) she was SO tired that she could not sleep. She wasn’t screaming, she was just a-w-a-k-e. We actually got up and I made toast and tea and watched some iView.

Did the fact that we got zero sleep stop her from waking at 6.30am? It did not. And that was when I delivered her to M. Small Z remains a little precarious – still snotty with a hoarse throat, she is battling on, but prone to tears.

Small DB spent most of the day demanding to be somewhere other than where she was. On the floor? She wanted to be held. In the pram? She wanted to be on the ground. Looking over the side of bridge? She wanted to be down there with the toadfish…and I was close to granting her that wish…

The new cool pram

She stopped screaming in the pram when I let her get down on the ground and sit on boards covered with chicken wire. Yes. You read it here. I have zero idea about that yoga pose though.

Small Z with Small DB caught in yoga pose

There were a billion toadfish swimming down with the tide, and also just hanging out in the mangroves. Cutely.

All the little fishies....
Over the bridge....

Small DB would not stay in the pram. Small Z kicked up a fuss when I asked her to get out of it. By the time we got to dinner, all of us were sitting at the table leaking a few tears. Small Z brightened up a little later and told me that, “One more vagina will be coming to live at our house actually. It will be on me. But on the back.” And I tipped over into hysteria when she added, “I think I’ll have one near my neck too. For gargling.”

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