Adventure, baby!

Kids

Sydney By Sea

#Sydney By Sea - christineknight.me

One of the best ways to get around Sydney is undoubtedly by ferry. While a bit on the pricer side ($6 for a single short trip), the view is magnificent, no matter what destination you choose.

For Cheese’s first ferry trip, we caught one from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour. Adorably, she thinks all ferries are called “Fergus” after the book series based on a Sydney ferry called, you got it, Fergus.

#Sydney By Sea - christineknight.me

#Sydney By Sea - christineknight.me

ferry-7

#Sydney By Sea - christineknight.me

#Sydney By Sea - christineknight.me
#Sydney By Sea - christineknight.me

How much fun is it to just jump on a ferry and explore somewhere new? I’d love to hear where you’ve been exploring lately.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Surviving Silent Reflux

This is a post I wrote a while back for The Fussy Baby site, about our battle with silent reflux.

Surviving Silent Reflux via christineknight.me

Before my baby was born, I spent months in search of the perfect everything: The crib that would be the perfect size to wheel into our bedroom, an organic mattress that would ensure no toxins be near her sweet head, a stroller with bassinet so as not to disturb her slumber.

I was under the illusion that babies sleep, on things, other than me.

Our little girl, you see, would not sleep in her crib. When we placed her in it after arriving home from the hospital, she screamed until we picked her up again.

baby-reflux-1

Unperturbed, we tried again. Same result. Scrunched up her face and gave high pitched wails.

Exhausted, we let her sleep with us in bed, with my husband and I taking turns to be propped up with the baby on our chest.

The next day, after a sleepless night for us both, we tried again. The bassinet in the stroller? Negative. The play mat on the floor? Nope. The crib – one more time! Uh-uh, still hating it.

The only place Cheese would stop screaming was upright, in our arms. We reasoned that maybe she just liked being held. Maybe she’d change her mind soon and decide that she loved the crib!

That night we started a routine that would last the next six weeks. My husband and I would rotate shifts during the night, sitting awake on the couch, holding the baby while the other got a few hours sleep. My husband would then go to work, looking somewhat like a zombie, and I would spend the day holding the baby.

Having to hold her while she was asleep turned out to be a sweet relief from the alternative. It felt like if she wasn’t asleep or feeding, Cheese was screaming.

People, including the pediatrician, insisted on multiple occasions that if we read the “Happiest Baby on the Block” book that it would change our lives. Taking advice from the book, we shushed, swaddled and swung our hearts out, but we were convinced we were doing it wrong, because Cheese kept crying.

We bought a ring sling to carry Cheese in since she wouldn’t sit or lie in the stroller, and we had a breakthrough. If we walked the baby in the sling, she would eventually stop crying.

Sometimes 10 minutes of walking would do it, other times almost an hour of pacing the streets would be needed. We felt so relieved that we had finally found something that stopped the baby screaming. We also got to know our neighbourhood extremely well.

We kept returning to the pediatrician, convinced there was something more we could do to stop the screaming, to get Cheese to sleep on anything except our chests. The answer was always the same: “It’s colic! She’ll grow out of it”.

Never mind that we weren’t sleeping, and I was going completely out of my brain. I felt like I was all alone, drowning in misery and exhaustion.

I was trying so hard to do my best for our baby, but no-one would listen to me, no-one would help.

My baby was obviously in pain and I couldn’t do anything for help her. It was a very hard, dark time. I cried a lot. I hated my baby. I hated myself for hating my baby.

My husband and I didn’t know what to do. We truly believed something was wrong with our baby, but didn’t know what. It was heartbreaking seeing our baby in so much discomfort every day, and feeling completely powerless to help her.

We disagreed with our pediatrician’s opinion, but didn’t realise that we had other options than those presented to us at the time.

The breakthrough moment came for us when a friend emailed me after reading my blog post on the difficulties we were experiencing with Cheese. She suggested our baby might have something called “silent reflux“, which I’d never heard of.

I looked it up online, and the symptoms matched Cheese’s exactly. I went straight back to the pediatrician, and asked if this is what our baby could be suffering from. The pediatrician replied that most babies had some degree of reflux and, again, she would grow out of it.

Because Cheese wasn’t vomiting and was gaining weight, no help was offered. I persisted, requesting medication and the pediatrician reluctantly gave us Zantac, repeating that our baby would eventually outgrow it and there wasn’t much we could do to help her.

I can’t describe how this made me feel. My pediatrician made me feel like I was overreacting, like I was a crazy woman who couldn’t deal with a normal, new baby.

We waited the time period the pediatrician asked us to try the Zantac for, and at the end of the period (a week and a half?) with no change I returned and asked for a referral to see a pediatric gastroenterologist, as I refused to believe that there was nothing to be done to help our little Cheese.

We were given the referral somewhat reluctantly (“They’ll tell you exactly what I have”, our pediatrician told us) but I felt certain there was more we could do.

Our visit to the pediatric gastroenterologist was life-changing. For a start, she believed our baby had a medical problem, and she also wanted to help us.

During our visit she gave us a fantastic list of things we could try to help our baby deal with the reflux, asked that we try these for a few weeks, and if things didn’t improve asked us to return for a different medication that they preferred not to give if they didn’t need to. Here is a run down of the suggestions we were given:

Feeding: when feeding, stop the baby every 3 – 5 min, distract him/her, then keep feeding. This stops their stomach from getting overfull and helps to stop as much of the stomach contents from coming back up and causing reflux.

Sleeping: try placing the baby on surfaces that are a long slope. Don’t put the baby flat for too long or in things that crunch her tummy at a right angle.

Baby carriers: keeping the baby upright during the day as much as possible is meant to help, as reflux is cumulative.

We followed the advice and soon after our visit, things started to slowly got better. We had been given a vibrating bouncer from Fisher Price and, miracle of miracles, when we put the baby in it, she slept.

After a very long six weeks of the baby sleeping only on our chests, my husband and I finally had our first night sleeping in bed. At the same time. It. Was. Amazing.

Cheese still screamed a lot for the first four months, and it took us until she was six months of age to get her to sleep in her crib. (Yes, she slept in the vibrating bouncer for four-and-a-half months.)

It was a very, very slow progression, but we finally made it through the reflux and out to the other side.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield Review

Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield via christineknight.me

After our wonderful Octonauts experience at the Sydney Sealife Aquarium a few months ago, Cheese has been very excited about seeing the Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield show. We finally saw the show over the weekend and both thoroughly enjoyed it. Said Cheese: “It was my favourite!”.

Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield via christineknight.me Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield via christineknight.me

This brand new show takes place in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, making it a fun and educational experience for the kids. The Great Barrier Reef is under attack, and it’s up to the Octonauts to find who is hurting the reef and to stop them.

Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield via christineknight.me

I thought I’d do this review a bit differently, and list what Cheese and I both enjoyed about the show.

Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield via christineknight.me

What Cheese enjoyed:
All of the characters from the TV show were there on stage.

She loved all the songs (there were 15 songs!).

She was equally scared by and enjoyed the grumpy coral.

She thought the sea snot cucumbers was both gross and funny.

Simple storyline she was able to follow.

The dancing: a lot of the characters actually danced!

Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield via christineknight.me
What I enjoyed:
Run time: Including a 20 minutes interval it went for about an hour and 20 minutes. Perfect for the attention span of little people.

It was fun: The show is very entertaining with very colourful and cute characters and lively songs.

It was educational: The villain of the show, the Crown of Thorns Starfish, has a propensity to eat coral. We learned how an outbreak of these animals can destroy a reef. We also learned about many of the animals that live in the reef and their part in keeping the reef healthy.

It was age appropriate: Everything about this show was perfect for preschoolers/young primary aged kids. The volume of the show, visuals, content, time of performance. It was extremely well done.

Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield via christineknight.me

Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield via christineknight.me

Thank you so much Life Like Touring and Octonauts for this very special experience.

Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield is touring Australia from 21 Feb to 28 March 2015. Tickets for Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield are on sale now at octonautslive.com.au.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Growing up in Sydney, it was always a special day trip to drive up to the Blue Mountains and go bush for a few hours. I’ve always loved spending hours traipsing down trails through lush rainforest to a waterfall with no one else in sight. Magical.

Since moving back I’ve been wanting to take the Cheese for a trip up to the mountains to get a bit of bush into our city kid, and we finally got around to it a week ago.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Going bush with a preschooler who hates walking long distances anyway required a different type of preparation. I decided that the best way for us all to enjoy the day out was to visit Scenic World, so we could get a bit of variation in our activities, so we could all still experience the bush, but in a way that was accessible and fun for a 3.5 year old as well.

Scenic World sits right in the middle of the world-heritage listed Blue Mountains, and consists of four activities: the Scenic Skyway, the Scenic Railway, the Scenic Cableway and the Scenic Walkway.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

We arrived a bit hungry, so started our morning off with coffees and snacks at the Terrace Cafe. The views from this cafe are spectacular – I’d suggest visiting just to get a few photos at Mary’s Lookout.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Next we hopped on the Scenic Skyway to take our first look at the valley from the air.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Suspended 270 metres above the Jamison Falls Valley, the Skyway glides between two cliff tops. With 360 degree views and a glass bottom floor, the view is nothing short of breathtaking. On one side is the famous Three Sister rock formation and the Jamison Valley stretching off into the horizon. On the other are the majestic Katoomba Falls.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

It’s interesting to hear that the Scenic Skyway was actually Australia’s first cable car (constructed in 1958 and pictured above), and that it boasts the world’s only electrostatic glass floor, turning from opaque to transparent. In its 67 year history, the Skyway has carried over 25 million passengers.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

When we disembarked at the Skyway’s east station, we had the option of checking out the views and getting back on the Skyway to ride back across, or taking a stroll down to the Katoomba Cascades and then walking back to Scenic World (about a 15 minute walk). I was lured by the cascades and off we went. Of course, what’s meant to be a 5 minutes walk with a preschooler ends up being an hour walk once we stopped to pick up sticks and throw leaves into a little river.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Eventually we made it to the cascades and they were gorgeous. The helpful guide on the Skyway actually suggested we take Cheese down to the cascades as it’s a short walk down and kids can get right up close to the waterfall. He was certainly right. Cheese and Alec took off their shoes and happily splashed around in the cool mountain water.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Back at Scenic World we stopped for lunch at their restaurant, EATS270.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

We grabbed a table with a view that made us all stop in awe for a moment, and ordered burgers (one meat and one vegetarian) and fries, plus a beetroot salad. They had lots of vegetarian meals on offer, and the cuisine, while simple, was varied enough that most people would be able to find something to eat. Their menus offered Asian, Italian and Australian items, with options ranging from light (sandwiches, salads, wraps) to substantial (pizza, pasta, burgers). The restaurant features seasonal produce sourced from local suppliers where possible.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Our food was cooked quickly and also eaten just as quickly, as we admired the view and prepared for the next stop on our adventure. Everything was fresh and well-cooked. Simple, hearty food that was good for this picky eater and her family to nourish them on their day in the bush.

Next on our agenda (and unfortunately everyone else’s) was the Scenic Railway. We really should have done this first as it had the longest wait of any of the experiences. No matter. The train departs every 10 minutes, so even with a huge queue it moved quite quickly.

While we were waiting, the friendly staff gave Cheese and some of the other kids a few instruments to play to occupy themselves.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

The Scenic Railway is famous for its 52 degree incline, making it the steepest passenger railway in the world. Since the Railway opened to the public in 1945 (happy 70th birthday!), it has thrilled over 25 million passengers.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

After a redevelopment in 2013, the carriages now have glass roofs, so you get an even better view of the rainforest and Jamison Valley than I remember from my last visit when I was a teenager. If you’re more of a daredevil you can adjust the seat position by up to 20 degrees and choose an adventurous ‘Cliffhanger’ ride at a steep 64 degree incline.

The Railway ride took us on a very fast descent through a cliff-side tunnel, and then ancient rainforest. It was fast, and steep, as promised. It was so steep that Cheese was falling out of her seat and I had to hold onto her tight. She loved it. The preschooler in front of us was screaming to get off. Cheese was yelling to do it again. Of course.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

At the Railway exit, we emerged from our thrilling descent onto the Jamison Valley floor. The Scenic Walkway is at the base of the Railway, giving passengers the opportunity to stroll along 2.4 kilometres of Jurassic rainforest on an elevated walkway. The walkway means there is limited impact on the environment from all of the visitors, as well as making it super easy for families and less mobile people to enjoy a bush experience.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Right at the exit sits one of the original carriages for visitors to climb up on and take a look at. Of course Cheese wanted to climb everything so up we went and perched on the edge of the seats. I cannot imagine how scary it would have been to ride down the railway in this carriage.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Along the boardwalk, we checked out a few elements of the site’s cola mining history, including the mine entrance, a replica miners’ hut and scale bronze sculpture of a miner and his pit pony. The sculptures of the miner and pit pony were very popular with tourists and kids alike.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

There are three different routes you can take on the boardwalk that take 10 min, 30 min or an hour. I was keen for a longer walk but Cheese was showing signs of getting pretty tired by this stage so we opted for the shortest walk, which also lead to the Scenic Cableway back out of the valley.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

The Cableway gently descends and ascends (depending which direction you’re going) 545 metres between the Jamison Valley and top of the escarpment at Scenic World. With all-glass sides we were treated to another killer view of the valley and rock formations as we returned to Scenic World HQ, including Orphan Rock and Mt Solitary.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Our bush outing was a complete success. We catered to our preschooler’s ability and thus we all had a very enjoyable day.

I absolutely love the mountains and we will absolutely be back to explore more as Cheese gets older and can handle more strenuous outings.

Scenic World
Tickets: The ultimate Scenic World experience includes unlimited rides on the Railway, Skyway, Cableway and Walkway.
Adult: $35.00
Child (4-13yrs): $18.00
Family: $88.00 (2 adults and 5 children)
Concession: $32.00
To enjoy the Unlimited Discovery Pass experience, please allow at least two hours.
Open daily from 9am-5pm
Scenic World is located at on the corner of Violet Street & Cliff Drive, Katoomba in Australia’s World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains.
Get Directions

EATS270: Open 10:30am – 3:00pm daily.
Terrace Cafe: Open 9:00am – 5:00pm daily.

FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN (From the Scenic World website)
Scenic World is a third-generation family business and welcomes families with children.

All Scenic World experiences are suitable for children of any age. Babies and small children are welcome on all rides and must be held by a guardian as baby seats are not provided on the Railway, Skyway or Cableway. Prams are not permitted on the Railway and pram accessibility is limited on the Walkway.

Pram parking, storage lockers and baby change facilities are located in our Main Building.

A huge thank you to Scenic World for hosting us.

Wanderlust

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Let Me Grow: If A 3-Year-Old Wrote “Let It Go”

#Frozen #birthday #party via akissgoodnight.co

I just had to share this hilarious take on “Let It Go” by Sydney mum Tricia McMillian. She rewrote the lyrics in tribute to her Frozen-loving daughter on her 3rd birthday.

Let Me Grow –  by Tricia McMillan (sung to the tune of “Let It Go”)

The hair turns white on Dad’s head tonight, forehead wrinkles can be seen.
A household of noise pollution, and it looks like Mum is green.
My brother’s howling, it’s a swirling storm inside. Couldn’t keep him clean, I know Mummy’s tried.

Don’t let Mum win, play with my pee, take her things and hide where she wont see,
Conceal my poo, don’t let them know… they always knowwwww

Let me grow, let me grow
Cant hold me back anymore
Let me grow, let me grow
Spread my toys across the floor

I don’t care ’bout my nap today
Let my mum rage on
Her moods never bothered me anyway.

It’s funny how Mum’s washing keeps making my clothes seem small,
And the shoes that Mum is wearing wont fit me at all!

It’s time to see what I can do
To test my parents and break through
All right, no wrong, no rules for me – I’m thrreeeee

Let me grow, let me grow
Im one who’ll break wind and lie
Let me grow, let me grow
I’ll make my brother cry

Here i stand, but i wont stay
Let this song rage onnnnnn
Wrong words never bothered me anyway.

Linking up with Grace.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Showbag Reveal at the Sydney Royal Easter Show

Growing up in Sydney, one of my favourite events of the year has always been the Sydney Royal Easter Show. As a kid, teenager and adult, I’ve always found the show to be such a fun day out that I’ve been crazy excited to take Cheese this year for the very first time.

I recently had the opportunity to attend the official showbag reveal, a wonderful annual event that the show puts on for kids from Royal Far West and Westmead Children’s Hospitals. As the showbags for each year’s show are revealed, these kids are able to test out the showbags (AKA have the best day ever with a gazilion free toys). With a record 349 showbags available this year, there was a showbag for every interest that the kids might have, and each kid had a super hard decision choosing their favourites.

The Easter Show crew went all out for the event, with a fantastic face painter (what do you think of Cheese’s rainbow tiger?) and expert balloon artist to entertain the kids before the main event, and life-sized beloved characters such as My Little Ponies, Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to really wow the kids.

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

The showbags were all lain out for the kids to walk around and check out. It was an overwhelming display and experience for the kids (and for the adults!).

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

If you’re worried that a trip to the showbag pavilion will set you back a lot of cash, you’ll be happy to hear that 136 of the bags are $10 or under, including the Blinky Bill and Hillier’s Flip the Treefrog showbags for just $1 each. Old favourites like Bertie Beetle are there too, as are many newcomers, such as Frozen, which is tipped to be a hot showbag this year.

Cheese’s favourites were the Dorothy The Dinosaur, Sofia The First and Disney Princesses bags. The Sofia and Princesses bags contained some great dress up items, and the Dorothy one has a really cute umbrella that’s sure to get a lot of use.

Personally I would have loved the Darrel Lea showbags – traditional ones I’ve been buying to share with my parents since I was a kid. I also thought the Wiggles showbag looked adorable and good value, with a full set of musical instruments.

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

After the showbags were well and truly tested, we all came back downstairs to have some food and, for the kids, to play with the amazing characters who followed.

The showbag viewing was amazing, and the whole experience was upped to the next level with the fantastic entertainment. The kids had so much fun posing for photos with the characters and going back for 2nd balloons from the amazing balloon guy who seemed to thrive on being asked to make the impossible come true. He made ELSA out of balloons for Cheese. Seriously expert level balloonmanship.

When I asked Cheese what her favourite part of the morning was, she said it was meeting the My Little Ponies. This whole fantastic event really epitomised the Easter Show for me. Surprising, exciting and magical.

Cheese and I were both blown away with the event, and felt so honoured to have been invited to attend.

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

Showbag Reveal: Sydney Royal Easter Show #eastershow via christineknight.me

 

Head to the Sydney Royal Easter Show for your own magical day out. The Easter Show runs from Thursday 26 March to Wednesday 8 April, 2015, at Sydney Olympic Park. Book your family tickets before midnight March 16 for a discounted rate of $99.50 (includes return public transport).

Linking up with Bron.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

The Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors Sydney

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

We just made it down to Dawes Point in time to see The Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors (last day is Feb 22). These amazing, life-sized lanterns are based on the discovery of the 8,000 terracotta warriors and horses that were unearthed in China’s Shaanxi Province in 1974.

Chinese artist Xia Nan created these lanterns for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 out of fabric and wire. The 90 2.1 metre high warriors and two horses glow in brilliant bursts of colour after dark, making this a remarkable installation both during the day and night.

Our family visited during the day so Cheese could see the warriors. We were absolutely in awe of this exhibition.

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Vaucluse House: Sydney’s Best High Teas

vaucluse-house-high-tea-5

Sydney is full of gorgeous historic places, such as Vaucluse House and Vaucluse House Tearooms. Tucked away in the suburb of Vaucluse, this little oasis of quiet is a gorgeous spot for an outing to escape the hustle and bustle of the city around it.

The Vaucluse House Tearooms overlooks the beautiful and sprawling Vaucluse House gardens, and is the location we chose recently to celebrate my dad’s birthday.

vaucluse-house-high-tea-7

vaucluse-house-high-tea-37

Vaucluse House is surrounded by 10 hectares of stunning gardens stretching down to Sydney Harbour. The sandstone mansion was built in the 1830s and was the home of William Charles Wentworth and his family. The Tearooms were added later in the 1930s in art deco style.

vaucluse-house-high-tea-14

Reservations are for parties over six, or for the high tea menu only. Otherwise, be prepared to wait for a table.

vaucluse-house-high-tea-15

vaucluse-house-high-tea-16

vaucluse-house-high-tea-18

My parents and Cheese ordered off the a la carte menu. Their dishes: Cheese Burger (beetroot, tomato, pickles on brioche with chips, $24), Tearooms Panko Crumbed Market Fish, (with fat chips, $28) Kids’ Cheese & Tomato Toastie ($8). My parents were both very happy with their dishes – fresh ingredients and well cooked.

vaucluse-house-high-tea-19

vaucluse-house-high-tea-20

vaucluse-house-high-tea-22

vaucluse-house-high-tea-25

Alec and I ordered the Colonial High Tea ($49pp including Glass of Australian Sparkling Wine, Selection of Premium Teas from Chamellia & Coffee from The Little Marionette).

vaucluse-house-high-tea-23

Tearooms’ Scones with Berry Jam & Clotted Cream. I actually found the scones to be the only let down of the tea. They were hard and dry – obviously not freshly made to order.

vaucluse-house-high-tea-24

Savoury selection: Cauliflower & Truffle Tart with Samphire & Parmesan Crisp, Smoked Salmon on Brioche with Lemon Crème & Caviar, Chicken & Tarragon Pillows, Mediterranean Vegetable Sandwiches, and an Heirloom Tomato Tart. We enjoyed the savoury selection, but would have liked to see some more traditional sandwiches here, like egg salad or cucumber.

vaucluse-house-high-tea-26

Sweet selection: Apple Snow, Chocolate & Earl Grey Macarons, Strawberry Éclairs with Vanilla Crème, Brioche Doughnuts with Lemon & Lavender Sugar, Caramelised Pineapple & Orange Curd Custard Tarts. The highlight was the donuts. They were really delicious.

vaucluse-house-high-tea-28

vaucluse-house-high-tea-27

vaucluse-house-high-tea-29

vaucluse-house-high-tea-30

vaucluse-house-high-tea-32

vaucluse-house-high-tea-33

For dessert, both of my parents ordered the Vanilla Sponge (with buttermilk curd, strawberries & mint with garden chard, $14), which they both said was really lovely.

vaucluse-house-high-tea-34

After lunch we took a stroll around the gardens. We checked out the vegetable garden and farm animals at the back of the property, as well as the stables (which are all free to visit). The produce from the gardens is featured on the Tearoom’s menu, so you can literally see your lunch growing before you.

vaucluse-house-high-tea-35

vaucluse-house-high-tea-36

vaucluse-house-high-tea-13

vaucluse-house-high-tea-39

The farm animals are a huge hit with kids visiting the property. They’re housed in huge enclosures and live a pretty pleasant life, from what we could see. The gardens and Vaucluse House are alone a reason to visit.

vaucluse-house-high-tea-10

vaucluse-house-high-tea-12

We didn’t enter Vaucluse House, but we enjoyed walking around the gardens immensely. The whole property is so peaceful and quiet that it’s hard to remember that not far away is the bustle of Sydney traffic.

vaucluse-house-high-tea-41

vaucluse-house-high-tea-44

We really enjoyed our experience at Vaucluse House, and will be back once more when we need to take a time out from Sydney and visit the calmer days of yesteryear.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: Yes.
Kids’ menu: Yes.

Vaucluse House Tea Room
Wentworth Road,
Vaucluse NSW 2030
Phone: (02) 9388 8188
Prices: $$$
Hours: Wed–Fri 10am–4.30pm, Sat & Sun 8am–4.30pm
Get Directions
Bookings essential for high tea.

Vaucluse House Tearooms on Urbanspoon

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Why We Don’t Eat Fish: Conversations With My 3-Year-Old

Why We Don't Eat Fish: Conversations With My 3-Year-Old via christineknight.me #vegetarian

I’m vegetarian for ethical reasons, and have been for a long time. I don’t talk about it a lot unless asked directly, but it’s a part of my life I feel very passionate about. When Alec and I were pregnant with Cheese, the topic came up, because we had to decide how to raise our daughter, in our mixed-food family. Our home is vegetarian because I do all the cooking, but Alec eats some types of meat when he’s out.

We made the decision to raise Cheese as a vegetarian. The idea was that I would teach her how to eat a balanced diet without meat as part of the equation, so she would be able to make her own decision later in life with a good knowledge of all her dietary options.

At home, it’s been easy. When we go out, sometimes a bit more challenging. There would be times where Alec would order meat at a restaurant and she want to try whatever he was eating, and also occasions when we’d visit friends who;d serve the kids things like fish fingers, and she’d want to try what the other kids were having. Learning how to handle these situations with a baby and young toddler were not the easiest.

Generally, I’d let her try most things. She had a bite of a fish finger and spat it out. She might have eaten a tiny piece of chicken stuffed into pasta once. If avoidable without a meltdown though, I’ve distracted her with something else to avoid the meat situation.

Up until today, I’ve felt a bit strange about it all – basically enforcing my values on another person who doesn’t understand why. I’ve doubted my hard stance on and off, because she’s been so little and it didn’t seem fair to deny her things that other people eat, just because I believed it to be wrong.

We had a moment tonight, however, that changed my mind and made me glad that I persisted with this path for us. We were reading a book before bed: Meg And Mog In The Fog, where Meg and Mog get stuck on an island, and Mog catches and eats a fish. We get to this spot in the story and Cheese interrupts with “Why?” Why did they eat the fish?”.

Cheese hadn’t been aware until now that people ate fish. She thought fish were just spending their lives swimming in the ocean. I explained to her, “Some people eat fish when they’re hungry. Mog was hungry, so he ate the fish.”. “But why?” She asked again. I tried to go with a broader answer that encompassed the larger issue. “Some people eat animals like fish as part of their food every day. We don’t eat animals though, because we’re vegetarian. That means we don’t eat animals.”

This explanation made sense to my animal-loving kid. “That’s right,” she said. “We don’t eat animals, we just eat FOOD”. Super cute way to describe it. And suddenly, everything about the lifestyle I chose for us felt right.

I’m really not surprised that she feels this way now that she is starting to be able to understand what it all means, because she is a really empathetic kid. She absolutely adores animals like I do. I mean, she LOVES animals, all animals, so it makes sense that thinking of eating one is repulsive to her.

I find the age Cheese is at to be absolutely wonderful in so many ways. The best thing is her new ability to understand and reason – I love talking with her about why things are the way they are, and helping her learn about the world. Shaping this little person’s life is a hugely scary responsibility that I do not take lightly.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield

#Octonauts at #Sydney #SeaLife #Aquarium via christineknight.me

If you have a preschooler, likely you know exactly who the Octonauts are, too. The popular TV show (it’s one of the 10 most watched TV shows in Australia) has been teaching kids about the importance of ocean conservation since it began airing on television two years ago.

The Octonauts are a team of eight quirky (and adorable) sea creatures, led by Captain Barnacles (a polar bear), whose mission it is to explore underwater worlds, rescue sea creatures and protect the ocean.

By watching this TV show, Cheese has learned a great deal about ocean life, such as that jelly fish sting, and sharks are dangerous. Unlike a lot of shows that I’m pretty sure rot the brain (don’t get me started on those horrible egg unwrapping YouTube videos), Octonauts is something I’m happy for my daughter to be watching on TV as it’s so educational.

If your kid is also an Octonauts lover, they’ll be excited to hear about the Australian world premiere of the Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield show, a live adventure musical touring Australia from 21 Feb to 28 March 2015. The show features all of the show’s beloved characters, transformed into lifelike walkaround costumes (like the Captain Barnacles in the pictures, whom we were lucky enough to recently meet). Expect to hear the famous “Creature Report” song, The Octonauts theme song, plus 15 new songs sung by the Octonauts as well as a colourful array of Australian reef creatures.

#Octonauts at #Sydney #SeaLife #Aquarium via christineknight.me

Cheese is a massive fan of The Octonauts, as you can see from her face in these photos. We were lucky enough to be invited on a tour of Sydney Sea Life with Captain Barnacles himself.

#Octonauts at #Sydney #SeaLife #Aquarium via christineknight.me

As we walked through the aquarium, we met all kinds of special Australian reef creatures, such as the Crown of Thorns Starfish, with whom Captain Barnacles is going to face his scariest threat ever in the live show (this starfish has got some epic big, sharp spikes, so I can believe he’d be scary when he’s not behind glass!).

#Octonauts at #Sydney #SeaLife #Aquarium via christineknight.me #Octonauts at #Sydney #SeaLife #Aquarium via christineknight.me #Octonauts at #Sydney #SeaLife #Aquarium via christineknight.me #Octonauts at #Sydney #SeaLife #Aquarium via christineknight.me #Octonauts at #Sydney #SeaLife #Aquarium via christineknight.me

Thank you so much Life Like Touring and Octonauts for this very special experience.

Does your Octonauts fan want to see their heroes live, too? Tickets for Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield are on sale now at octonautslive.com.au.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.