Friday, 9 September 2016

Weekends with a 14-month old

I have had a super crazy work week, meaning that this post that I started last weekend has had to wait until today, Friday, to finish. Last week marked the first day of spring here in Australia, as well as Ella's 14-months month birthday. Although I guess technically its not really a birthday, but you know what I mean. 14 months! How has that happened?! This is such a clichĂ©, but time is flying with her now. My baby is not a baby anymore, but a toddler. Crazy. 

At the moment I don't work on Fridays, so Ella and I get to have a three-day weekend together. Last Friday morning started in our usual way. Ella woke up around 6:30am, just in time to see Andy off to work. Mornings are one of my favourite times of the day with Ella. She has a bottle of warmed milk upon waking and we cuddle on the sofa while she drinks it. I know that she is probably getting too old to be still drinking from a bottle, according to my Maternal Health Nurse and the internet, but I love this quiet time we have together and I think she does too. I'm really not into forcing Ella to do things just because she has hit a certain age and that is what she is "supposed to" do, so we will cut out this bottle when we are both good and ready! Shortly after that we ate some breakfast, porridge with blueberries, while chatting on FaceTime with my parents. My original plan was to take Ella into the city that afternoon, after her morning nap, to run a few errands including picking up a Father's Day gift for Andy. Ella obviously had other plans though, and refused to go down for her nap. Lately she's been more difficult to get to sleep during the day, which is unusual for her. I think she is going through some major teething pains. Every time I look in her mouth a new tooth seems to be popping through! So instead of spending ages trying to get her to nap in her cot, I decided I would just take her on a long walk into the city. Walks are the best recipe for a cranky, overtired baby. Of course, she fell asleep within minutes of leaving the house, it was a nice day, and I was able to listen to a podcast for the 50 minute journey, so it was all good in the end. 

She woke just as we were getting to the main shopping area around Bourke St. Our first stop was at a parents room inside the Emporium shopping centre so that I could give Ella some lunch. Parent's Rooms are the greatest thing ever, and this one is pretty nice. There were microwaves to heat up her lunch in and a few toys, like the one pictured below:
Playing in the Emporium Parent's Room
After lunch we went to Myer to pick up a Andy's present, and then headed over to the State Library, where I had read about a Play Pod inside that was good for crawling babies. The Play Pod is for children under 8, and is set up in a section of the Courtyard in the State Library. There are some bean bags and reading areas, arts and craft tables, and some random toys. It is a nice big space for a baby to crawl around and explore as well. There is a children book theme that changes every few months, at the moment it is "Mr Chicken arriva a Roma", so the theme was ancient Rome. I thought the whole thing was a bit average but Ella seemed very amused and we stayed there for AGES. I think my standards and Ella's standards for what is fun are very different. By the time we left it was time for her to have another nap so I decided to walk back home instead of taking the train. I was very impressed with myself for all the walking I did that day, and needless to say I was pretty tired by the time we got home!

Play Pod, State Library

Favourite activity: dropping pencil crayons on the floor.
Andy was able to leave work nice and early and was home in time for me to go to Yoga at 5:30pm. That class is my absolute favourite, it's a combination of slow flow and Yin yoga. I got home so centred and relaxed, it was the perfect way to end a week. When I got home Andy had already put Ella to bed. We ordered takeaway pizzas, opened a bottle of red, and rented a movie (Steve Jobs, great film). Bliss! And to top it all off, we went to bed and woke at 5:15am to discover that all three of us had slept through the night. Amazing. Andy and I felt so well rested that we just got up at that time, and enjoyed a coffee and the morning news together before Ella woke.

Saturday mornings we have a pretty set routine where I go to yoga at 8am, and then we take Ella to her swimming lessons. Swimming is a very tiring activity for a baby, so once we got home Ella went down for her nap. While she was napping Andy and I contacted a guy on Gumtree who was selling his Tokyobike. It's the male version of the bike I bought in April and we were planning on getting one for Andy in place of his road bike he just sold. We've both moved on to bikes that will be good for family friendly bike rides. Anyway, it was a definite score to find the bike we wanted in Andy's size on Gumtree for about half the price, so we arranged to go and have a look at the bike later that day. We had to travel to the west side of the city for the bike, so we thought we'd make a day of going out west, and arranged to visit friends that live in Williamstown.

On the way down we stopped at a Happy River CafĂ© in Footscray. This place has picnic blankets and toys on their big front lawn, so a perfect place to take Ella. We both had sandwiches, which were pretty average, but reasonably priced. However Ella loved it there, and at this stage in our lives I will choose average food at a kid-friendly place over a hip place with amazing food if we have Ella with us, as it is a much more enjoyable experience overall. 


After lunch we hung out on the beach in Williamstown with friends who have a daughter called Millie that is a few months older than Ella. They were kept pretty entertained by a few other kids who were on the beach and played with them. It's so nice that Ella is at an age where she can start to "play" with other kids.

After the beach we went to a nearby park. Ella was having fun until about the last half hour when she started to crack it. We thought she was probably tired, but she didn't sleep the whole way home (it was not a fun car ride), and then when we did finally get home Ella fell fast asleep on Andy's chest, which never really happens anymore. It turns out that she was at the start of a cold, poor thing. We'd had a good 6-8 weeks without any illness for Ella, so our luck was bound to run out at some point! Oh and there was good news about the bike: It was in great condition so Andy arranged to go and pick it up the next day (we didn't have room in the car to take it right away).


Williamstown Beach

Playing at the park in Williamstown
Sunday started out pretty "blah" for me (and Ella). Andy coaches soccer every Sunday, so I was left alone with my sick baby. She was hard work for a while, and I was very much looking forward to Andy getting home. When she is sick she is very clingy, so it is hard to get anything done, however I did manage to get pulled pork going in the slow cooker, which I was planning for our dinner. When Andy got back we all went for a walk down the Yarra River and over to Abbotsford Convent. The convent was buzzing, with a jazz band playing outside the bakery. We sat down with Ella to watch the band and eat some lunch, and just like that everything was ok again. 

That night Charlotte and Adam came over to show us their pictures from their trip to Uluru. It looked pretty spectacular and they both raved about their trip. I hope we are able to make it there before we leave Australia! I know my dad really wants to go so maybe we can plan to go the next time they are in Aus. We had a good night catching up with them, and the pulled pork turned our really well (reciepe here). 

Listening to jazz at Abbotsford Convent
Young lambs at Collingwood Children's Farm
And that was our weekend! It was pretty good overall, and I'm looking forward to the next one, starting... now!

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