#1385 Cool Southland Saturday

Tonight was one of our much-loved Southland Saturday nights.

TGIs➡️Games➡️ice-cream.

But it was ramped up and made even icier  with the addition of something else…

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That’s right! It was time for us to catch up with our ol’ pals Elsa and Anna for Frozen 2.

Can I say, I LOVED IT.

The sequel is a lot more intricate and layered with various elements… elements indeed, with fire, water, wind and earth featuring dominantly alongside the nature-dependent themes.

Some plot points had Hubble and I clarifying to one another during the 10 minute break in the vjunior theatre, as the hundreds of kids, baby girl included, went ape-shit waiting for their turn down the long slide.

Even later during dinner we were seriously discussing the storyline… it was funny that while baby girl was literally on the edge of her seat during the film yelling “No, Anna!” but as soon as it was over had completely moved on, here we were after it all, analysing the Disney movie over prawn tacos.

It was a great night, and I’ll end on a little exchange I had with baby girl in the toilet, when we ran over while the movie was still going.

(Mind you she LOVES Frozen):

“Mum, how much longer will it go for?”

“Maybe 40 minutes?”

“Aww, it’s too long!”

(Me calling her bluff) “That’s okay, we won’t go to the movies anymore.”

“But I love the movies! I just can’t sit still!”

Even for Frozen!

Story of my her life.

😏

 

#1323 Finding joy in Dora

Official day 1 of our holidays together.

We watched a movie. Granted it was a kids movie… but as we do when we go out, we try to make the damn most of it.

Coffee, followed by shopping, followed by movie… in the Vjunior theatre. We love it because for baby girl, sure she is 6, but she is that restless 6. That restless 6 that would rather jump and dance around than sit for hours at a time watching something. Even when she prompts it at home and chooses a DVD to watch, an hour in and she’ll be walking off, without a care in the world as to seeing it through. Meanwhile the OCD switch in me is turned on and flashing a warning red – “YOU CAN’T NOT HAVE CLOSURE!”

Of course she knows what happens in all her animated films. But still, how does she do it???

The Vjunior cinema is great because before entering kids have access to a whole lot of drawing, lego building and racing car facilities, and that’s before they’ve stepped into the theatre. Then inside, before the movie begins, and then at the forced intermission, they can go down a long slide that run downs the length of the theatre, and also jump around on a light-up mat at the bottom of the cinema floor. All this running and jumping we noted, is A GREAT IDEA… before the movie started baby girl was pooped, truly ready for resting and watching a movie.

High Five guys. High Five.

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And then again, I like movies. I love stories… adventure, escaping into another world. Whether that world is in the form of a book or a movie, same same. I love going to another place, and even if it is a kids movie, you can be sure I will be reflecting with my inner child and laughing along, in conjunction with that other side of me that is always analysing ‘why does this work?’

Anyway, we watched Dora and the Lost City of Gold. It was great. I enjoyed it, and the references to the cartoon were funny and clever. It did feel a bit long, even though it was a mere 100 minutes, and baby girl, though she had the best time making friends as she ran up and then slid down the slide, and jumping along on the light-up mat, she sighed exaggeratedly to me at the end as she turned and said “please can we not go to another movie again… it was too long.”

Oh God that girl. I’ll have to wait a few more years until we can go off together and do Mummy-daughter movie dates. She still has ants in her pants.

We followed our movie sesh with a great TGIs dinner, and then a smashing round of games at Totally Games…

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I love when we pick games that we can all participate in, and we’re there throwing discs wildly at some bunch of scary clown faces that we want to belt into oblivion all for the sake of some tickets… ahh bliss.

It was a long day and a fun one at that, and I just can’t wait for more 🙂

#1147 TGIs and games night

For the second half of the day, I was looking forward to this burger at TGIs:

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While baby girl was looking forward to the moment where she could do this:

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Hmm, what to buy with my game tickets? Decisions, decisions…

All her hard-earned and played tickets spent shooting, throwing, aiming, squirting, bashing, and so on, on various tools, balls and instruments, led to this glittery prize…

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A wand. To create magic. Of course. 💗💫 💫 💫

#867 Saturday night at Southland

Balance. It is key. We have had our fair share of ‘Saturday nights in,’ in this cold and Winter-y weather… so that as soon as Hubbie and I were done with work for today, we were like “let’s go out!”

Baby girl echoed our sentiments. She’s the boss, so we had to obey.

Over to Southland it was. We gorged on delicious and comforting food at TGIs, a parent’s restaurant delight, as there is so much kid-friendly food, a kid-friendly atmosphere, and their desserts and cocktails are pretty damn strong awesome.

We happily lapped it up, before taking a stroll towards…

Totally Games.

It was Saturday night, and the first weekend of the school holidays, so of course it was packed. Baby girl went all psycho, running from game to game, yelling that she had to play them all, squealing at the subsequent tickets that came cascading out, and letting it be known to all in the store that SHE HAD ARRIVED.

It was hilarious, and yet so heart-warming at the same time. I took such pleasure in watching her run around and be so happy. We all participated a bit, but she was the main conductor, shooting hoops, squirting ducks with water guns, and bowling to her hearts content.

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It was beautiful to see, amidst the lights of the shop, how much her face turned animated and bright amongst it all.

And then of course Hubbie went all OTT and threw the bowling ball so hard it nearly went through the store window.

Like, calm down Hubbie. Let the girl play. Geez.

At the end of it all, we probably spent about $13 in games, that resulted in her getting a squishy tomato and two mini yo-yos, all of which was probably only $.75 cents worth… but that’s the store for you.

Seeing her face, feeling her joy, and joining in with her, was priceless. ♥

#773 Lunchtime joy back in the ‘hood

We had a few jobs to tick off on our to-do list on the other side of town, which had us running around a bit today.

‘The other side of town’ being, our old ‘hood.

We were all feeling a bit worse for wear, and so as usual food and coffee and dessert would give us that much needed energy boost to keep us going. We decided to take a break after 1 out of 4 jobs were finished (not ones to delay gratification…)

We are a just a little bit obsessed with TGIs. Even baby girl spontaneously calls out from time to time “TGIs!” in letting us know where she wants to have dinner at that night. In thinking of a place to eat today, we realised there was no better place than there… we could chill in one of their booths, we knew it would be quiet at lunchtime, therefore we would get our meals quicker… and then there were the lunchtime ‘specials.’

Our regular meals ended up at almost half price, (!) and then we didn’t even pay for baby girl’s meal… because kids eat free Monday-Wednesday when with an adult meal.

SCORE.

Seriously I should just be a sponsor for the restaurant chain. Any TGIs reps wanna come find me… I’m here. Really.

But that wasn’t quite the pinnacle of my lunchtime-fest: no. I had deliberately had a chicken salad because of what I knew was coming around the corner…

San Churro.

Oh oh oh oh yes.

We very excitedly ordered our sweet treats. I realised how good it must be to work there, when people are deciding on filled churros, or plain churros with melted chocolate, and whether they want sugar or cinnamon dusting, and just anything and everything having to do with churros and melted chocolate… rubbing their hands together in delicious glee.

MWA HA HA.

I totally indulged today. The churros were as delicious as I expected them to be, and I was well and truly content, as well as bursting with sugary energy (and food) once I was done.

It was a nice little break that kept us going on a very busy day.

 

 

#725 Game ticket freebies

We’re back, we’re back.

We did a lot to fill the day today. Because as I said to Hubbie amidst severe cold/flu conditions days ago, almost as a forewarning to the world: “when I am better, we are painting the town red.”

Well, I AM better.

After kindergarten we took baby girl down to see a cinema screening of Paw Patrol in the Village Vjunior lounges, complete with a huge slide going down the length of the room. If that wasn’t enough to keep her happy during the forced 10 minute interval, running after other kids and jumping on the floor keyboard lights at the front of the room, well there was also popcorn.

I kind of had to enforce her to stop too much of that, too… because we had dinner plans later…

We love going to TGIs, so much so that baby girl will ask us “TGI?” on various occasions just when she remembers she needs her fix. She gets crayons and colouring paper, she gets her cheesy pasta, and it is noisy so that any loud outbursts by her are completely muffled, and EVERYONE is happy.

After a spot of shopping because ‘why not?’ on a weekday night while on holidays, we headed to the store that baby girl had been eagerly asking us about since we had passed it.

Totally Game is like my generations old-school Intencity or something, where basically you play games, get tickets, and then transfer like, 100 tickets for a packet of chewing gum.

Some things NEVER change, even though the names do.

But this is where the gratitude game rose a bit, because there is nothing like being happy for holiday time, family time, being grateful for health and everything time, and then someone does something unexpected and selfless and just raises the bar a whole lot.

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Because we were playing at various games as you do, collecting tickets, and at one point while looking for another game to play suitable for baby girl to help out Hubbie, she almost crashed a neighbouring game where a group of people were already playing. We called her to come back, and in that party of people a lovely girl looked over and smiled. I thought nothing of it other than to think just that, she looked so happy and friendly… and I found out how much so about 10 minutes later, when we were feeding our game tickets into the machine to find out via receipt how much we had, when this girl popped out of nowhere and said to us

“Here take our receipt, we were just playing for fun.”

Really? We thanked her and I looked at the receipt, which read along the lines of 240 tickets.

240?!?!

My $10 of credit had resulted in about 80 tickets, and she was giving us 240, just like that?

“Are you sure?” I called out to her.

“Yeah,” she replied with a smile as she walked off.

And if that kind generosity wasn’t enough, when we were looking at a prize for baby girl in the window case, she came back and gave us a roll of other tickets.

“We’re just killing time before our movie!”

Another 60 tickets!

We thanked her again and again, and baby girl was fortunate to be able to pick from a lot of toys there…

You think she got something good?

Nah. A little wind up lady-bug and a wind-up pony is all she wanted. And can you believe, the wind-up lady-bug is stuffed already.

Like I said, some things NEVER change. Like gaming stores ‘prize toys.’

But regardless, the moral was there. The kind message and offering. It was the icing on the cake of a very happy day…

There are really nice people out there. 🙂

#576 Just Desserts

The chocolate malted turtle is one beast of a dessert.

There are layers of chocolate fudge cake, caramel and ice cream, further punctuated with roasted pecans and chocolate malt icing.

Nom nom nom.

It also comes in one hell of a serving dish.

Because of this, it is only in the event of an extreme emergency that one can actually finish this dessert ON THEIR OWN. These events are the ones that requite immediate ‘dessert therapy:’ some that spring to mind are a break-up; you quit your job; had a fight with your bestie; had a shit day; or you just didn’t get that last pair of shoes on sale that you wanted – you know, the really difficult life-crushing stuff.

Fortunately for me I was not in that state of mind, and so Hubbie and I shared one together while out to dinner at TGIs.

Even so I had about 3/4s.

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There is something special about having dessert after dinner. Sure, people go out to dinner ALL the time, and dessert itself certainly isn’t a novel concept, but still to be out and go “I am not yet done,” and get dessert after your main meal? It is a bit of a luxury that I love to indulge in.

Baby girl also got the most fantastic surprise when she too, got dessert. What I love about her age is that you will not get any fake excitement. No pretending, no trying not to hurt your feelings. With a 4 year-old it is all RAW. When the oreo ice-cream dish came to the table, the immediate “woah!” followed by “yay!” that came from her mouth, would have made the damn waiter feel chuffed for bringing it to the table, almost like he had made It himself.

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Here’s to sweet endings.

 

#349 First movie experience

I was really happy that Hubbie and I got to take baby girl to her first movie tonight.

In some ways, she is a latecomer. I know of bubs who are exposed to the bright lights and noise before they’re even two, so for baby girl’s almost 3 and a half years, she comes maturely into it.

For a bevy of reasons: busy life, moving house, work/life unavailabilities… things didn’t happen in the movie department for a while. Hell we haven’t watched any flicks for a whole year either, and even then the cinema got evacuated because there was a fire threat, so I still haven’t seen the rest of The Big Short to this day.

But anyway, when we do things, Hubbie and I, we do them in style. And what would be better than taking a child to gold class?

Why, a child’s version of gold class.

Vjunior at Southland. The first cinema designed for kids, BY KIDS.

Even we were excited. We were late to the movie of course, with a rushed TGIs dinner nearby beforehand,  but still were witness to the car tracks, little tables with crayons for drawing, huge wall of lego building, and slide running down the length of the cinema, with comfy beanbags and recliners throughout.

It was pretty spesh.

Highlights of the night:

*Watching baby girl eat a choc top to death while sitting quietly in her seat gazing up at the screen.

*Singing out “firework” every time she saw the Pig character on screen. (We watched Sing).

*Squealing with glee as she flew down the huge slide during the movie’s 10 minute interval.

*Dancing wildly in the aisles during the films finale of songs.

As happy as we all were during the experience and upon reflection of the night, we have a few notes for next time:

don’t go so late

pick a shorter movie

and give more snacks to baby girl.

She is an energetic, on fire, ants-in-her-pants baby girl after all.

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😉

#324 Friday night Fun no. 1

It’s nice when a last-minute “let’s go shopping” suggestion turns into so much more.

We headed on over to Southland this evening, driving down the cruisy and beach-laden views through Nepean Highway, and even though we had planned on getting something quick to eat at the food court when we arrived, when we saw this sign

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we got a little excited. It had been a while, so we had to go.

AND it was Friday.

Suddenly, a quick bite turned into an hour-long meal complete with great wine and bustling atmosphere. It was like a mini-city in there.

We thought we might get some time to, you know, actually shop, but then I saw this shop

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And I got a little excited. I used to frequent the Lygon Street store many moons ago. It had been a LONG while.

Once our ice creams were set, we had to go to this place

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because baby girl had seen a basketball game, and absolutely had to help Daddy shoot some hoops. So I ‘looked after’ the ice creams while he collected tickets, to win a prize for her that probably cost a buck but over there equated to $6 in change. But, for the fun of it.

By the time we left that place, the shops were closed! We sat on a bench nearby our exit, eating the remainder of our ice creams, before we headed home.

There had been no shopping, but everything else we did instead was damn fun.

Our spontaneous Friday night ended up pretty good:)