#758 Her encouraging nature


See that light? You can see the setting sun creating a circle, a halo, far on the water of Port Phillip Bay.

There is a reason why I say that.

Today I did the usual at kinder drop off. I hung around while baby girl settled in, watching her paint, observing the kids around her, looking around while parents came, kissed their little ones goodbye, and then left.

Still, I stayed behind.

A boy saw baby girl painting, and decided he too would paint at the easel next to her. On the smock went, and he reached over to grab a paintbrush sticking out of a cup of blue paint.

He painted somewhat haphazardly, not really sure of what he was doing, glancing over at baby girl, while also distractedly looking around the classroom to see what else was happening. A few minutes passed, and while baby girl was carefully painting with her fourth colour, he took off his smock, and walked off, leaving his painting hanging there.

Baby girl, suddenly noticing his absence, leant over to his easel. (It was a plain piece of paper, with a few streaks of blue. I know kinder art is very preliminary, but this didn’t resemble much of anything).

And viewing his artwork, she said happily “oh, he did a great job!”

My heart SOARED. No, my daughter was not misguided. She was not ignorant in her paintings. She was not daft, and didn’t know the difference between what was good, and what was not.

She had compassion. She held encouragement in her soul.

It was something that lacked in others. It was something that lacked in a similar girl her age, who had seen baby girl drawing a picture at a party, and said to her out loud, in front of me, after I had complimented baby girl on her “great work!” –

“I don’t like it, that doesn’t look nice.”

You see, it’s not about the artwork. Rather it is about the character. For me, it is not whether baby girl turns out to be a Picasso or not. For me, it is about whether she has a heart or not.

I was initially worried when baby girl received that negative comment from that girl. I was worried that the girl’s negativity, rudeness, and mean manners, would rub off on baby girl, and turn her usual bright happy and smiley soul, into a cranky, angry, and negative one.

But then when she said about that boys picture, with the same encouragement as those she looks up to “great job!” I knew we had done something right.

Like a light, encouraging Hope, amidst the darkness.

And here, for arts sake, baby girl against the sunset. Hubbie reckons the power lines kill the photo. But I know what makes it 🙂



#705 Cooling down at LEGOLAND

On day 2 of what to do when you are stuck in 35+ degree heat with no air con at home…

I actually wouldn’t have even thought to go to LEGOLAND today, if it weren’t for the extreme heat. So maybe I will be grateful for it…


l’ll dedicate this one to the weird and wonderful things we saw at the ‘mini brick mansion’ instead.

I mean, it’s not like we had never planned on going to LEGOLAND… baby girl sure loves her Lego, and can’t wait ’til she turns 5 so she can accumulate even more Lego (I have to impose a pretend age ban, or else we’d be swimming in these pointy shaped blocks in our house).

The only LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Australia is situated in Chadstone shopping centre, Melbourne. It’s a bit of a hefty entry price per single admission, of $32.50 a pop (sheesh!) but you do get access to a whole heap of free things. My thoughts are that with an annual pass costing you $75.00 a person, if you are bound to go at least twice a year, you’ve paid off your ticket, with the annual pass coming with freebies like special event invites and 10% off the Lego store too.

The website also advises that you can book and even schedule a time in advance to visit, so as to avoid the disappointment of possibly waiting if you do just ‘rock up’ like baby girl and I did today, hoping to just walk on in… having said that, we easily walked in, and still found it packed to the rafters inside with adults and kids, and it is school holidays too! Perhaps it gets even busier on weekends? Something to consider.

Upon entry we walked into a room where we were told to stand on a red dot and pose for a camera. I didn’t like this, only because I knew I would later be easily persuaded to buy the photos of myself and baby girl for a hefty price… which I did, for a hefty price! $45 to be exact!

But they were pretty cool, and showcased both of us in various Lego scenes, and to be honest we looked good, and if we didn’t I wouldn’t have bothered. Onwards.

The next room was the Lego ‘tour,’ which was really just a circular room with screens all around, with little cartoon people talking to us about how Legos are made, and all kind of fun statistics and info for kids… maybe older kids, but it was nothing to keep baby girl interested for very long.

The next door took us to a ride where we had to save the Lego princess, and we hopped on a car that took us around the dark in twisting corners, and where little Lego-shaped characters popped out, and then we pointed our play guns at screens and shot the bad guys. Of course, we saved the princess in the end 🙂 A cool ride, for both young and old, but if your littlie is scared of the dark, maybe it might be a little freaky with all the fake spiders and all.

The next room was MY personal favourite of the centre, the LEGOLAND of Melbourne city! Stay tuned for photos at the end of this post.

The final room was a huge mish-mash of everything:

  • There were various zones of Lego play where kids could get into the Lego-making themselves
  • Kids could also make Lego cars and then test them on awesome car tracks against other kids’ cars!
  • They could view human sized Lego
  • You could get involved in a Lego workshop
  • You could even create your own Lego to take home (today it was a starship from Star Wars)
  • There was the 3D Lego movie that ran every 30 minutes or so
  • Then there was the Merlin ride where you pedalled your way up and around into the sky (that was great fun!)
  • And last but not least there was the playground area, but note to all: kids aren’t allowed without socks!

And all of this with a café in the middle of the room and toilets nearby. All the activities were for free, the only things you had to pay for that were extra, were those cheeky photos they took of you at the beginning (of course you would pay for them), and food and drink from the café, plus anything from the Lego store of course, which was the place you exited from as you left the centre.

AMAZINGLY, we didn’t buy anything from the store, but that was purely because there was no Frozen or Little Mermaid or Disney themed Lego that was 4+ that baby girl didn’t have.

I would seriously consider getting an annual pass, but perhaps when baby girl is a bit older. Although we did most activities and went on both rides, she wasn’t interested in the movie, and the workshop might be a ‘next time’ task too.

But it was a great day all in all, and baby girl and I spend a good couple of hours in there, taking it all in (and me trying to get my money’s worth!)

Oh and it was cool. Hip-wise and temperature-wise. BONUS points.

Now for those awesome Lego Melbourne city pics…


(Luna Park)


(Baby girl – and Anna – checking out half of the MCG during cricket)


(Racing the horses at Flemington Racecourse)

(Melbourne Exhibition Building and Shrine of Remembrance)


(The stunning Arts Centre)

(Live music, and Hot Air Balloons!)


(They even got the suburb I work in… why I never! Docklands)

And my favourite, most favourite of all…



Melbourne’s beautiful beaches. Yep, we sure do ♥♥♥

And all was made that much sweeter and cooler, by the addition of some much-needed cold relief following such a huge day out…


Hope your day was filled with as much fun and ice cream as ours was.


#695 Sand Creations by the bay

I had really wanted to take baby girl last year, following on from our Sea Change move… but alas, time, and circumstance just didn’t allow it to happen. Even though the entire event ran for a good 4 months.

This time however, I was set. Following on from the Christmas theme in December, baby girl and I ventured over to Frankston Sand Sculpting to view their ‘Aladdin & The Arabian Nights’ display.


The sculptures were impressive and exquisitely intricate, however to a 4 year old, the most excitement was when she saw the Aladdin and Jasmine character on the magic carpet. I mean, she is 4.


(Baby girl going all Sia-esque on me again).

Off to a sand pit to play with some buckets for a bit, into a nearby marquee where there was some free face (hand) painting to be enjoyed, and then I soon discovered the other marquee, where she could reap the benefits of the Supa Pass I had purchased for her…

Sure, the floor in there was all sand. Really, other than the beach, I would never willingly take my daughter to a place where the floor is replaced by this texture. But it was all for a purpose. Tables were assembled, coloured sand of all kinds was on each table, and on it you could create sand art and sand bottles.


This was GREAT. I didn’t realise until I sat down with baby girl, how much fun it was. We strategically peeled back stickers off of the yellow paper, revealing a sticky substance underneath, so that sand was applied, and then shaken off… voila! The sand colour of your choice remained.

Parents were close by to their kids, enjoying the art and creativity as much as their children did. And children sat so patiently, so happily, so willingly, choosing their colours and applying the sand where necessary. We happily made baby girl’s choo-choo train picture, and also took home a sand bottle which she had filled herself.

I know the drawcard of the event are the sculptures themselves, but the sand colouring bit was by far the most entertaining part. Baby girl said to me as we left “thank you for taking me to sandcastles.”

Awww, sweetheart. You are WELCOME. I had the best time too. 🙂


#694 My imitator

When your child starts to copy the things you do and say, it can be pretty funny/sweet/horrible/ironic.

It’s all relative to the experience, you see.


I tell her not to touch things in a ‘special’ shop… she ignores this, but when another child enters and starts touching, she tells them “DON’T TOUCH!”


Hubbie and I are telling her how special and precious she is to us. “You make us soooo happy! We love you.”

She responds with “No, Mama Tato make me MORE happy! I like you MORE!”


I will be stuck in traffic and yelling at silly drivers. Suddenly she is laughing at me and saying “Duck?!” Whoops.


Tonight, I sat in her bed with her, reiterating to her, “no, only 1 book.”

Baby girl held up 3 instead. I was unusually cool for a moment like this, and just stared back at her, still.

“Mama,” she said to my non-response. “Breathe. Mama, BREATHE…”


#692 Summer catch-up with Best Man and Fam

Time between catch-ups is often too long and drawn out, usually with those you love and get along with the most. I don’t know why that is, I mean, we should not see the people that annoy us in life (I do that too) but for some reason it is just as impossible to get together with those that feed your soul.

And when your kids get along, DOUBLE THE POINTS.

What to do then on such a catch-up? Why, let’s try everything.

Fish and Chips at the local park – then let the kids run wild.

A quick walk down to the beach, which turns into some splashing in the bay.



Why not some ice cream? The kids aren’t high enough on Summer/beach vibes, and hey let’s tire them out, while simultaneously feeding them sugar, because… January?


But hey, that was intentional for a reason! They sat on the couch later and totally chill-axed because of it, while us adults rocked on.


A fabulous night, all in all, for ALL. 🙂

#683 Super Play centre

They’re upsizing everything nowadays. Not just for the adults, but for the kids too.

They are getting fun in huge doses as well, in the form of huge jumping arenas and floor-to-ceiling play centres where anything and everything is possible.

We were in such a play centre today, for those playing from home (Melbourne that is) it was at SuperZu. And, we came prepared…

And that means, WITH SOCKS.

Baby girl and I met up with her cousin and Mum, and us Mums were just as keen as the girls to get in and amongst the fun. There were tube slides, something baby girl and I have recently grown accustomed to, yet which never grows boring, climbing net-like contraptions, motorised cars, mazes and ball pits and shooting platforms and ALL kinds of activities you can imagine, scaling 2 to 3 levels, maybe even more, I can’t say, that’s how much of a web the centre was.

And then there was a volcano-like climbing wall. It was pretty steep, and I watched baby girl try to scale it a few times, sliding down the slippery surface each time.


She was growing frustrated, and was hard on herself as she generally is when trying to do something new. I encouraged her and told her to keep holding on to the white steps with her hands and feet, and bit by bit, she worked her way to the top, teetering ever so closely to the edge as she got there and giving me a fright as I willed her to throw her legs over, but once she had I was breathing a huge sigh of relief.

She then proceeded to climb the wall confidently at least another 25 times in the next few hours.


My monkey. She had fun, her cousin had fun, us Mums had fun because they were having fun, and everything was just FUN.

Here’s to places designed to keep our kids happy 🙂

#678 Carols in the Park

From carols in the car, to carols in the park…

If you’ve just tuned in, clearly we are in the midst of Christmas season.

I knew there might be a decent show of people at the local carol-fest down by the beach this evening, but until I arrived there with baby girl, I had no idea how much.

There were people and cars, EVERYWHERE.

They had brought with them rugs, chairs, takeaway food, picnic hampers, blankets, jackets, and to top it all off were sipping bubbly in champagne glasses.

There were even food trucks lined up nearby for those who hadn’t come prepared or weren’t ready to give up decent coin for an average sized-meal.

Even the park playground was packed out, with about 30 kids trying to go down the slide at once, no joke, and there was an ongoing line of children trying to use the swings too.


It was an amazing vibe, and I vowed that next year, we would come prepared AND with Hubbie too, who was today working late in the busy lead-up to Christmas. But none of the above was the real reason why we came. They were all bonuses, but nothing compared to the main event drawcard…


Why, Jimmy Giggle of course!

The ABC Kids entertainer, of ‘Giggle and Hoot’ fame, was born and bred in the Peninsula, hence his regular appearances along the bayside, including tonight of all nights. Our timing was perfect as we arrived, as no more than 5 minutes passed and he appeared on stage, and we were right there for it, singing “Hoot Hoot, the Giggle-mobile!”

Ahh the things you do for your kids. You start becoming a critic of children’s performers, like you’re reviewing Grammy awarding winning artists, instead of a dude that talks to an Owl for most of his day.

But having said that, he rocked the stage, and owned his presence, delighting the kids in the process.

Baby girl was rapt.

And I couldn’t want more than that 🙂