Sunday, 26 March 2017

Ella's week with Gan-ma (and Gan-ma)

Andy's parents are here! Dave and Bunny arrived Tuesday morning via Emirates business class... (SO jealous). Their timing was pretty good, as Ella was sick all last week with Hand, Foot and Mouth disease, and fully recovered just prior to their arrival. When she first saw them she was a bit shy... for all of about 30 seconds. Since then, Ella has been all over her grandparents. She really seemed to recognise them this visit, and can now say "Gan-ma". Hilariously, she calls both of them Gan-ma, much to Dave's dismay!

Wednesday was my day off so Dave, Bunny, Ella and I headed to the Melbourne Museum. We started out in the Children's Gallery, which is a new-ish area designed for children under five. We've been here with Ella several times since it opened in December, and she always has a brilliant time. It's a huge space that starts with a tunnel and replica train to run through, and then lots of different animals, shapes, textures, sounds and spaces to explore. It is kind of like a souped up daycare centre, minus the people paid to look after your children.




Andy and I have free "teacher membership" to the museum, and it's less than a 15 minute drive from home, so a visit to the Children's Gallery is a great low-cost, toddler-friendly activity for us. Wednesday was a rainy day, so the gallery was packed when we arrived just after opening at 10:30am. As soon as we got there, Ella started asking for "yummy-yummy", which is Ella-speak for "I'm hungry". Girl loves her food. There is a small café at the entrance to the Children's Gallery, so we got a sandwich for Ella and coffee for the grown-ups, enjoying them in the outdoor seating area. Sandwich demolished and tummy full, Ella wandered off to explore the outside section of the gallery. She managed to quickly find her favourite activity, a little water feature that is guaranteed to get her soaking wet. We've learned from experience that we always need a change of clothes when we visit the museum now.


Once we changed Ella into some dry clothes she played inside a bit, but as mentioned above it was pretty busy so we ended up leaving the Children's Gallery and exploring some other parts of the museum, which was very quiet and calm. We walked through the Forest Gallery which is partly outside, with tall eucalyptus trees, ponds and waterfalls. Ella loves the part of the path which leads underground, allowing her a view into underwater pond life.

After that we visited the Top Designs exhibition, which showcases the top VCE design projects from across the state. I'm always so impressed by the quality of work produced by the Year 12s. By this time Ella was a bit tired and was lying down on the floors and benches, so we thought we'd better take her home!


On Thursday both Andy and I had to work, so Dave and Bunny ventured out to the zoo with Ella for the morning. I think Andy was worried that his parents would not be able to "handle" Ella for a whole day on their own. She definitely keeps you on your toes, but I had faith in them! Dave kept me updated with pictures and videos throughout the morning, and they all had a wonderful time, watching a seal show and enjoying the elephants. Ella fell asleep in her pram on the way home, and Dave even managed to pull off the elusive "cot transfer" without waking her. Very impressive grandparenting skills.


Dave and Bunny got a "day off" on Friday, as Ella went into daycare as normal. They spent the day exploring the city; Dave going up the Eureka Tower and Bunny venturing off to Bourke Street to check out the shops. Tall towers with views over the city are like Dave's favourite thing, but I totally would have gone with Bunny to the shops instead!

On Saturday morning we all headed out to Brunswick Baths for Ella's swimming lesson. Bunny and I did some laps in the outdoor pool while Dave watched Ella's lesson with Andy. When I finished my swim I got out and Bunny was nowhere to be found. Little did I know she had sneaked off to the hot tub!! (Side note - you are supposed to pay extra to use the hot tub/sauna area so I never go in there. Bunny unknowingly went into this part of the pool without paying. She is such a rebel.) We had some brunch at Birdie Num Nums after swimming, where Ella enjoyed a babycino. Dave and Bunny were impressed with the child friendly sandpit and toys in the café's garden.


Once we finished lunch Dave and Andy took Ella home for her nap, and Bunny and I visited some of the op-shops along Nicholson Street. It's so nice to have someone to go to the shops with! I got a few toys for Ella that have been absolute hits, and spent only $3.50 total on them! Who says kids have to have new, expensive toys to have fun?! (No one says this really. Used kids stuff is awesome.)

Late Saturday afternoon we headed out to Baby Bunting to get a few supplies for our upcoming trip to Bali (this pool floaty that Chris and Ness had when we were in Mornington which was awesome, and mosquito net for Ella's cot). We then had a couple of hours to kill before dinner so we headed to the nearby Heide Sculpture Park. We wandered around checking out art that looked cool but none of us really understood. We should really get a guide next time! The park is lovely, set along the Yarra River, and free to walk around (there is a modern art museum that you can go in as well, which does have an admission cost). Lots of people were having picnics on the grounds and there is a really calm and peaceful atmosphere, well except for the occasional shrieks from a flock of cockatoos. Ella had a great time running around, exploring the different works of art.





And now it is Sunday - Andy and Dave have gone to the Grand Prix, and Bunny and I are waiting for Ella to wake from her nap so we can take her swimming. It's been a pretty busy first week for Dave and Bunny, and we are really enjoying having them here to spend time with us and Ella.

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