Monday, January 27, 2014

A week of summer leave, mostly in pictures

I had last week off work with my lovely girls. I'm back to work tomorrow, but I thought a quick review of The Week That Was might be nice.

On Sunday we visited with friends, painted nails, blew bubbles, laughed a lot and cuddled guinea pigs.

On Monday we went to the Yarra Valley with my best friend from childhood and her children. We hit Yarra Glen to visit the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery and the Yarra Glen park, and so enjoyed being together.

My kids were enthralled by the Chocolaterie. I think they found the massive selection a bit overwhelming, but watching the chocolate being made interested them all, and eventually, purchase selections were made after much angsting. All the chocolate purchased has been happily consumed over the succeeding week!

After the Yarra Valley, we stopped in at my parent's house for an hour for afternoon tea and a travel break.

On our way home we collected another friend's daughter for a two-night sleepover. From a behaviour viewpoint, I like to call this The Miracle of One More. It's incredible how much less fractious they all are when there's another child in the mix!

On Tuesday the kids and I went, plus sleepover guest, to the Werribee Open Range Zoo. What a treasure that place is.

I used to take the kids there quite often when they were younger - especially when it was just the two girls, and I seemed to have more time than I do now.

As an aside, what is it about time constricting as kids get older? I mean, obviously, they are in school a lot of hours and I work much more than I did back then, but does that really explain the sense that we never have time to do anything that we used to do regularly? I miss those molasses days, slow and rich and sweet :-(

We haven't been, though, for probably 2 years now - oh, maybe even longer? - and I'm ashamed to admit that my youngest, she of the Not Nearly As Many Outings As Big Sisters Got, didn't remember it at all. Still, that made her enjoyment and delight all the sweeter in many ways.

On Wednesday my husband had the day off, so we all drove to Frankston to visit Storyland, the amazing sand sculpture exhibition and activity centre.

We took a picnic, which we ate at a beach park, and spent some time not just looking at the beautiful sand art but also getting face painted, playing with lego and doing sand-building activities. The four kids' love for this was epic.

On our way back, after dropping our guest back to her mum, we found ourselves caught in some pretty abysmal traffic.

Instead of allowing it to stress us and tarnish our day, we made the decision to stop off for dinner in Port Melbourne, where we had delicious Mexican food and chilled out in comfort while the freeways groaned on.

By the time we got back on the road, it was a quiet, easy run to home, we had full bellies so no one was cranky, and we were all still carrying the day's sunshine with us.

On Thursday the girls and I visited with local friends and hung out in their pool, which was just perfect.

And Friday, after book collection duties at school, we went to the shops and the library to get all remaining back to school supplies.

What a peach of a week. I could've done with another just like it, but I'll take what I can get!

It's back to work for me tomorrow, and school starts on Wednesday (my littlest's first day of school ... I am only semi coping with that). It's going to be a super busy and hectic term all round and I expect we'll all get tired and over ourselves at various points.

That's why it's good to have a record of the jewelled weeks of summer - so we can remember laughing, even when we're not.

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