Happy Easter everyone! We’ve had a great long weekend to kick off two weeks of school holidays. My parents are currently exploring the north island of New Zealand, so it’s just been the three of us. It’s strange to think that this is the last school holidays where we will just be three, by the next one in late June baby number two will have arrived!
We had a slow start to our first morning of the school holidays, which also happened to be Good Friday. We were at a bit of a loss at what to do as a lot of places were closed. Lately one of Ella’s favourite activities is jumping on a big exercise ball while holding our hands, so we decided to pay a visit to Latitude, a trampoline activity centre. There is a specific under-5s area, and the cost is $10 for a one hour session. We got there early so had a bit of lunch in the café, which overlooks the whole centre. Ella was pretty interested in watching what was going on down below, and was keen to join in the fun once we finished our lunch.
We had a 1pm time slot and it wasn’t very busy at all, which was nice. There is a giant pit full of huge sponges which you can jump in to. Ella quickly went from tentatively jumping in while holding Andy’s hands to full on running and jumping in.
Next she tried out the trampolines and happily jumped up and down on her own for a good 15 minutes. What a brilliant way to tire out an active toddler!
There was also a section that is more like a typical indoor play centre: tunnels to crawl through, slides into ball pits, and a few ride on toys. Ella played in here for a while before wanting to go back to the trampolines.
By the time our hour was up Ella was pretty tired, as after every few jumps she would lie down on the trampoline. We had a surprisingly easy time getting her out of there, so an hour seemed like a good amount of time for the activity. She fell fast asleep in the car on the way home and ended up having a two hour nap, her first nap in weeks!
After her nap we packed a dinner picnic, hopped on our bikes, and cycled north along the Merri Creek to Coburg Lake Reserve for a play at the park. Daylight savings ended this weekend, so it was our last opportunity to take advantage of the lighter evenings. I haven’t ridden my bike in about two weeks, so it felt nice to get on it again and get some exercise!
There is a pretty cool zipline at the park which Ella can now ride on by herself, which is crazy. She has started to get a lot braver over the last month or two. Andy also enjoyed the zipline, but Ella decided he was too big for it as he nearly touched the ground.
On Saturday morning we were up fairly early, and Andy decided to take Ella for a run in the jogging pram. Ella has recently decided that now that she has given up nappies, bottles, dummies and naps, the next thing to go should be the pram. She is a “big girl” now and doesn’t need it, or so she says. The only time she’ll willingly get in it is if we have food to bribe her with, or when Andy takes her for a run. She loves this and you can often hear her gleefully shouting “faster daddy, faster!” from the pram as Andy pushes her along.
I decided to join them on my bike and we ended up going further than we’d originally planned, so stopped for brunch a few kms north of where we live, in Thornbury. We didn’t know the area at all and not a lot was open, but we ended up at a cute Vietnamese place called Chumanchu. I had one of the best chai lattes ever, and Andy and I shared the zucchini fritters, while Ella had the kids pancakes. They came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, so Ella pretty much just had ice cream for brunch. Ah well. We sat outside and watched the trams go past, which Ella loved waving to every time.
On the way home we stopped at Ceres to pick up some eggs (to bake this chocolate banana cake) and a few zucchinis (so I could try out my new spiraliser for dinner). We ran into our neighbour, Shanti, while there and she invited us over for a coffee, which we gladly accepted. Shanti and her husband Ben are great neighbours who we’ve gotten to know over the past 18 months that we’ve been living in Brunswick East. They have two kids who are 11 and 14 and are such cool, polite, well-adjusted teenagers. We can certainly learn from their parenting style! Ella always enjoys going to their house as their daughter has this amazing collection of animal figurines arranged in a safari display at landing on their stairs. She now immediately heads up there anytime we go to their house and happily plays with the animals.
Once we got home we had a pretty chilled afternoon (that included another nap from Ella, yay!) and evening. We made zucchini noodles topped with marinara sauce using the spiraliser and I can definitely see converting from pasta to zucchini to increase the amount of veggies in a dinner. The only problem is you need a lot of zucchini (I had two small ones and it was not nearly enough for the three of us), which is relatively expensive compared to pasta.
On Sunday morning we went to Chris and Ness’s for their little boy’s second birthday party. It was a casual affair at their place with a few other 2-3 year olds for Ella to play with (or argue over toys with… I can’t wait for that stage to be over!) The party was finished by about 12 so we headed over to the nearby Moorabbin Miniature Train Station. On the first Sunday of each month you can ride on the mini steam trains so we thought Ella would enjoy that.
On Monday morning we decided to go on yet another bike ride. This time we headed south along the Merri Creek towards Fitzroy North and of course stopped for a cheeky brunch before heading on to a playground. We stumbled upon the cutest Italian place called Tin Pot where we enjoyed their homemade baked beans and fresh croissants. (I’m not sure either of those things are actually Italian, but anyway, they were pretty yummy.)
Once our bellies were full we headed over to Edinburgh Gardens, also in Fitzroy North. They have a great large fenced in playground that is also next to a dog park so there is endless entertainment for Ella. While there we ran into one of my mother’s group friends who lives nearby, which was a nice surprise. Out of the six women in my mother’s group, only one still lives in Abbotsford so sadly it is rare to just randomly bump into any of them at the local park. We stayed at the park for a while as it was what I would describe as perfect autumn Melbourne weather. About 20 degrees and mostly sunny, with no wind. Not too hot, and not too cold, just right! I’m pretty happy about the weather cooling down a bit, as I do get a bit over summer by the end of it in Melbourne. In the five years we have been living here I’ve learned that I actually would not want to live in a place that is hot year round. I need seasons! (Though a Canadian winter is not a season I miss. Melbourne winters are cold enough for me!)
On the way home Ella fell asleep on the back of Andy’s bike so we were treated to another lovely, quiet afternoon to end the long weekend. We’ve had a great start to the Easter holidays with beautiful weather and lots of quality time together as a family.