Monday, 2 May 2011

I Have Returned!

And I have found just the tiniest little part of my sanity in the process!

Our holiday was a complete success. A brief overview follows:

We went and stayed in a family shack (yep, cheapskate all the way... because if we had to pay for accomodation somewhere we would have lasted two days and eaten instant noodles the whole time on our budget!)

It's a good thing the shack is located in my favourite place on earth (so far.... i haven't travelled nearly half as much as I would like) because it meant I loved it regardless of it being the only place I can afford!

It's old, it's dusty, it's teeny tiny and has oddly shaped bedrooms that make me say "WHY??" everytime I go there..... but there is a river, and a beach, pretty places to walk, things to do and markets to buy yummy stuff from on the weekends. Plus a great big block of grass on which to chase the kids until they go to bed and leave me in peace with my bottle of wine.

It feels like coming home... every time... and it's a physical pain to drive away at the end of our stay... 

We had researched and planned several activities to spread over our time away, paying attention to our budget constraints and the fact that we had to make a toddler, a tween and two completely polar adults happy for the majority of the stay. 

Frog (along with Tiger and I) had her first ride on a steam train on Easter Saturday - it is such joy to watch a child's face light up at a new and unique experience! For the rest of the holiday, every time you heard the train whistle (we could hear it from where we were staying) - Frog would pipe up with a happy "Toot toot!" and run around yelling "Twain! Twain!" for several minutes.

We went to the movies and watched Rio - Frog slept through the first half hour, then woke up and proceeded to eat all my popcorn and giggle like a ninny every five minutes. Tiger got a good laugh out of it too, because she likes her movies funny, and has a total hatred of anything High School Musical-ish or similar, much to my delight. WonderMan thought it was pretty good, and I didn't have a meltdown in the cinema because the family actually sat (mostly) still for the hour and a half or so. SUCCESS!!

Which is nice, because our family mix can be very trying to organise at times. 

Nothing is ever designed for toddlers to teens. They are geared to very specific age ranges, which can be difficult for us to deal with when we want to go out together. Tiger gets bored at toddler style entertainment, and prefers fast rides to merry go rounds. Frog has happily hit the "Terror Twos" and has to be physically restrained in any situation not set up for under threes. WonderMan and I have had to split up in the past and take the kids seperately. Double the fuel, half the time with each child in the end, and no time to enjoy it together does not make for a happy holiday.

However we found a happy medium and decided on some Frog style activities, some for Tiger, and most for all of us, as well as some time doing what Mummy and Daddy wanted - ie sitting in the lounge with a cuppa in hand watching jet skiers fall into the water with amazing regularity!

I have to recommend the SA Museum - their holiday program (fossils this time) was a great mix for many ages, and both kids (plus their cousins) had a lot of fun. For me, the SA biodiversity room is fabulous! Frog and Tiger are very proud of the pleisiosaur mobiles they created there, and enjoy playing "dinesaws - raarrrrr!" as Frog informs me. It was a great day out in the city, and free to come and go in the museum, with a very small cost ($6) for us to do the holiday activities.

We spent lots of time at local markets, trying organic-free-range-uber-bread, farm fresh strawberries, fresh popcorn, hand made soaps, and lots more local produce and crafts. 

We walked, played games, ran on the beach, had bbq lunch at a wildlife park and patted koalas (they feel like scouring pads by the way... very wiry) - and good old Easter Bunny even managed to find us. We also had a suprise overnight visit from Granny and Pa - with Granny insisting Easter Bunny made a mistake and Frog's Upsy Daisy pyjamas were for her...

I also trawled every vintage/goodwill shop in the entire area, and came home with half a wardrobe full of clothes for the ridiculously small price of $100. I heart vintage!

And yes, I did get a holiday. WonderMan man lived up to his promise and shared all cooking, cleaning and kid-restraining duties, and brought me coffee in bed in the mornings after relighting the fire so I didn't have to get out of bed in the cold.

In fact the entire trip was a roaring success, with no in-car drama, very little sibling warfare, and the biggest smiles I have seen on all of us in a very long time. 

We shared everything, and went everywhere together. Enjoying the sights, sounds and yummies along the way. Tiger hardly pouted, instead she can't wait for school to start tomorrow so she can rave about her great family holiday! Frog found limits of toddler patience I thought were impossible. WonderMan and I sipped Cafe Mochas everywhere we went, instead of our staple International Roast! 

We feel slightly more human, a little more sane, a lot happier, and a million times more grounded as a family. 

Isn't that the best we could ask for?


  1. Sounds like an awesome holiday! :-)

  2. Sounds like a magical, if dusty place! Glad you found some sanity, and a wardrobe! Love op shopping!
    I feel more grounded after the holidays too, most suprising, because I haven't been kid free for over 2 weeks, and 5 of those days included a fishing trip for Hubs, which we were exlcuded from! But it gave me and my 4 yr old some great bonding time and I finally got a handle on my yelling, swearing and general stressed out drama!
    Yay for Easter holidays!


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