Adventure, baby!

Family

5 Lessons I’m Learning From My Preschooler

5 Lessons I'm Learning From My Preschooler via christineknight.me
I spend a lot of time teaching my preschooler the little things. The names of animals and flowers. The polite way to ask for something. I am her teacher in life as well as her caretaker. I realized the other day, however, that for all I am teaching my child, she is also teaching me a few things. It turns out that we have so much to learn from each other.

Be curious
My preschooler can literally spend an hour walking from our house to the supermarket three blocks away, engrossed by every single bug, flower, rock and crack in the pavement we encounter. “Why, Mommy?” is asked a thousand times a day. Why are the leaves falling off the trees? Why are the ants swarming? Why is there a puddle? Instead of rushing her to get our chores done, I’m trying to relax and go at her pace, and marvel in rediscovering what a weird and wonderful world we live in.

Make your own fun
I feel like I need constant stimulation and activities to have fun. Galleries, restaurants, movies. My preschooler loves to pick up sticks and pretend they are fairy wands. She can be entertained for hours with nothing more than a few bit of shrubbery and her imagination. When did we start to need so much “stuff” to just have fun?

Dancing like no one’s watching
My preschooler dances up and down the street. In shops and elevators. In restaurants and car parks. Whenever the mood strikes her, she busts a move and puts on her best arabesque for anyone who happens to be watching. She exudes so much joy in every move of her tiny body, and her lack of self consciousness is a delight to behold. Why should we care what people think of us (and our dancing!). We should be dancing in the streets if the mood takes, not caring if we’re a bit uncoordinated.

Sing like no-one’s listening
I used to love singing! Absolutely love it. Somewhere along the way though, it came to my attention that I was not as good a singer as I had thought, and I stopped singing out loud so as to not offend people with my off-key melodies. My daughter, however, doesn’t care if she’s hitting all the wrong notes when she belts out Wheels On The Bus. She doesn’t let what people think get in the way of doing what she loves. Can’t we all take a note out of her book and sing if it give us joy (even if we’re tone-deaf?).

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Women are the worst at criticizing the way we look. We’re never just happy with what we’ve got, we have to compare ourselves to how we think we should look. Taller, thinner, fitter, better nose, smoother hair. We wave off compliments and joke about how much we need to hit the gym. Our children, however, think we are the most beautiful things they have ever seen. They don’t notice our flaws, they just see the person who loves them more than anything, who is there to kiss their boo boos and hug them when they wake in the night with bad dreams. Preschoolers see their moms as powerful, strong, and beautiful, so why can’t we see ourselves this way, too?

Rock your own style
As we get older and more aware of the expectations of work and society, we tend to tone down our personal style and wear plainer clothes. I can’t imagine my preschooler in anything that could be called “plain”. Right now she is favouring tutus, glittery socks, bright blue Mary Janes and tiaras – with an Elsa braid or old lady bun. She dresses exactly how she feels and has so much fun with her outfits. She’s reminding me of the enjoyment I used to get when I dressed for fun rather than for function, and helping me bring my inner style back to the outside again.

This article was first published on MommyNearest.

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

5 Ways That Having a Sibling Bonds You

5 Ways That Having A Sibling Bonds You via christineknight.me
Everyone has a story about their siblings. Usually it revolves around a time when they were feeling a bit homicidal and trying to kill or maim you. Despite near death experiences, you know your sibling really has your back like no one else does, and that no matter how much they tortured you as a child, that you will be in each other’s lives forever. Growing up together has a way of bonding you to another person in that no one else can ever break.

You did stupid stuff together
One of you was the mastermind behind ideas such as “Let’s string up a flying fox over the swimming pool”, and “Let’s ride around the house on our skateboards – on our knees!”, which resulted in broken teeth and limbs. But you all survived, and these stories have gone down in family legend, getting dragged out and retold every Christmas lunch after a few glasses of wine. These stories will be passed down to your children when they’re older, and they’ll be in awe of how wild you and your siblings were. 

You tortured each other
Is there a family out there with kids who didn’t torture each other? My brother, for example, once dragged me around the living room floor by my foot, because I sat on “his” lounge chair. Yes. Siblings are the people in our lives on whom we take our feelings out on (often bad ones like this), in a way that there is no way they’d treat anyone else. You see your sibling’s raw emotions; uncivilized and unfiltered. Sure it’s not fun to be on the receiving end of it, but it also means that you’ve seen a side of this person that no one in their entire lives is likely to ever see but you.

You know each other’s secrets
Sharing a house with someone means, like it or not, they know things about you that you probably prefer that they didn’t. Your moustache that you bleech. His embarrassing tween crush. Her night braces that made her look like a robot. You’re vulnerable with each other in a way that you will never be with another person. 

You were awkward together
The tweens and teen years are awful. You and your siblings dealt with it together, and emerged as normal looking people on the other side. They’ve seen you at your dorkiest and still love you.

You were parented together
Having a sibling gives you an ally against your parents. It’s a lot harder for them to say no when there are two or more of you ganging up against them wanting to go out for ice cream. Your ally in childhood is also going to be your go-to person when you’re an adult. You can laugh over some of your parents’ “interesting” forms of parenting (“You let me ride a pony in a paddock with dogs running underfoot, and the neighbours on BMX bikes zooming past – really?!”) and share amazement that you’re still alive to tell the story. 

You’ve always got each other
It’s awful to think about, but later in life, when your parents aren’t around anymore, your siblings are going to be the last links to the family you were born into. They’re going to be the keepers of your childhood memories, the ones who drop over just to do nothing together, the people who will love you to the end, no matter what. Fights are forgotten, all is forgiven, as family is always the most important thing.

This article first appeared on MommyNearest.com.

Linking up with Sonia.

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

Golden Ridge Animal Farm: Best Animal Experiences in Sydney

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

We’ve raised Cheese thus far as quite the city kid. She, like our whole family, loves animals and we try to get her out to experience the bush and country life where we can. We had the opportunity recently to enjoy a day trip to Dural for a birthday party at Golden Ridge Animal Farm.

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

Golden Ridge has been running as a children’s farm for 41 years. It has been owned and run by family of the current owner, Alisa Nye, for the past 26 years.

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

The animals at Golden Ridge are all pets (you can see more info on the animals and their names online.) and they absolutely love visitors.

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

A standard visit to the farm follows a path of activities, for which you must be on time to be able to enjoy. The farm opens at 10:30 am weekdays, and 11am on weekends. Activities are guided and hence if you are late, you will miss out.

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

The visit begins with holding baby animals. On our visit, this included ducklings, chicks and rabbits that were only a few days old. We were told how to hold them and asked to assist the children in holding the animals correctly. It was had to tell who was the most excited about holding the baby animals, the kids or parents.

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

Next was a walk around the farm feeding and seeing the larger farm animal varieties. We bought the $5 feed bucket option and had a wonderful time feeding the various goats, lambs, deer, ponies, cows and alpacas, all of whom were most excited to see visitors bearing delicious food for them.

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

Our tour concluded with feeding a baby goat with a bottle. Cheese thought this was awesome.

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

Afterwards, it’s lunch time, which can either be a picnic lunch or a barbecue using the farm’s facilities, or you can buy lunch from the canteen. After lunch the ponies come out and kids can take a little ride on one of the very friendly farm ponies.

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

One of the best things about the farm is the space. While the activities are guided, kids can return after the tour to see the larger animals, pat and feed them, or just run around and enjoy seeing a range of other animals roaming around, like ducks and a very friendly little dachshund.

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

 

For a day of hands-on country activities, Golden Ridge can’t be beat.

Golden Ridge Animal Farm
686 Old Northern Road,
Dural NSW 2158
(02) 9651 1028
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:30am-2pm, Sat & Sun 11am-2:30pm.
Prices: $15 per person entry. $5 extra for a pony ride or a bucket of feed. Babies under 1 year free.
BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL.
Get directions.

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

Barbie Princess Power High Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

I was a Barbie kid myself, so it’s been an enjoyable case of history repeating to see my own preschooler getting out my old Barbie dolls and playing with them at the same age that I did. Barbie and I experienced so many adventures during our time together, and I love watching Cheese take the same Barbies (and a few new ones who have much better hair than mine) on her own magical outings.

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

One such outing that almost too good to be true was the Barbie Princess Power high tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney. The Langham has recently re-opened after a significant renovation and this was our first visit since the launch. Boy does it look good. The old hotel was beautiful, and the renovation has given everything a facelift to make it brighter and shinier.

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

The Barbie high tea was held over two weekends during the school holidays. It was more than just a high tea, it was a special event for kids who love Barbies, and their parents who love good food.

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

The high tea was split into two rooms. One with activities and one with tables set up for enjoying the high tea. The activities room had a paparazzi style media wall set up for some photo ops, a nail salon and an activity table with stickers for the kids to decorate their own superhero masks.

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Inside the dining room, the new Barbie movie was set up to play on a large screen while we enjoyed our high tea. At each child’s place was a gift bag containing a Barbie doll, plus a blank mask for colouring in, and a poster that, when turned over, had more colouring and activities. The tables had containers filled with textas and pencils, so the kids has plenty to play with while waiting for their high teas to arrive.

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

The thoughtful staff confirmed who at our tables were vegetarians, and asked the girls if they would like a hot chocolate? With TWO marshmallows? Would they ever.

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Next came the platters of food – top tier full of sweet delights like red velvet cake, pistachio cake, and macarons, the next tier plan and raisin scones with jam and cream, and the bottom tier savoury, with sandwiches, wraps, mini burgers, pumpkin tarts and heart-shaped fairy bread.

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

With one vegetarian adult and child, and one non-vego adult and child, we had quite the variety of food. It was hard to tell what was meant for who, so we let the girls choose what they felt like eating, and then ate the rest ourselves.

As you’d expect from a hotel as gorgeous as the Langham, the food was exquisite. The scones were some of the best I’ve ever tasted. The sandwiches were fresh and light, and the desserts full of flavour, with perfect pastry crusts and light creamy fillings. It was a delicious high tea.

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

As the event wound down, the girls were getting tired from all of the excitement, which was our cue to leave. Cheese was getting over a bad cold and was very tied and grumpy – hence the next pic we asked the concierge to take outside the Langham as we were leaving, where she refused to get in the picture. A big thanks to the concierge with the wicked sense of humour who captured my cranky daughter in the photo anyway. Does this sum up life with a threenager, or what?

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

We had a wonderful time at the Barbie high tea, and will absolutely be back for the Langham’s next event for kids.

Barbie Princess Power High Tea at The Langham Hotel
89-113 Kent St, Millers Point,
Sydney NSW 2000
Prices: Children’s high tea is $65 children with gift, $70 adults with glass of bubbles
Get directions.

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

Circus Factory: The Best Of Sydney For Kids

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

The Powerhouse Museum is one of my favourite places to take Cheese in Sydney at the moment. Not only does it have the fantastic Wiggles exhibit at the moment, it also is home to Circus Factory. We finally got around to seeing the exhibition during the school holidays (and if you want to see it you’d better be quick as it closes May 3, 2015).

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

I wasn’t planning on taking Cheese as the Powerhouse recommends it for kids ages five and over, but after seeing some adorable pics on Instagram I decided to give it a go anyway, and was so glad we did. At age 3.5 Cheese was a fantastic age for the exhibition. No doubt older kids will et even more out of it, including areas of the exhibition Cheese was too little for, but we spent three solid hours in the exhibition and I had to drag her out at the end, which says that this exhibit was a smash hit for the preschooler set.

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory celebrates the daring, absurd and curious nature of circuses. It focuses thankfully on the human element, such as clowns, acrobats, circus acts, etc, rather than the sad history of animals in circuses.

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

The Circus Factory is set up over three levels. The top floor has costumes and the bottom one has a fantastic collection of automatas – the later you can also see when you purchase a general exhibition pass. An automata is an interactive artwork, where you wind a handle and it moves the subjects inside. They automatas are kind of creepy to be honest, and they really freaked Cheese out. The subject matter includes things like freaky looking monkeys and skulls. Fascinating for adults, but some of them are a bit scary for little kids.

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

We spent our entire visit on the main floor of the attraction. The massive space is broken up into many interactive areas for kids to just go wild and really experience elements of the circus for themselves.

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

 

Cheese highly enjoyed each of these areas: clown costume dress ups, colouring in, a mirror maze, hula hoops (they were a bit heavy for her but she made her own game out of them), clown faces, balancing tricks (again, a bit hard for her but she enjoyed trying), the balloon room and carousel.

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Her absolute favourites were the carousel (we had three rides) and the balloon room. The carousel is a hand-carved 100-year-old beauty made in England around 1900. It is paired in this exhibit with the original Luna Park 89 key Gavioli organ. Absolutely magical.

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

The balloon room was basically a netted area with a wind tunnel blowing into it, and many brightly coloured helium balloons floating in it. AKA paradise for kids, little and big. Cheese spent around an hour just in this one area chasing balloons. Thoughtfully placed couches inside give parents a place to sit while keeping an eye on the balloon activities.

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Depending when you visit there are a range of live activities to enjoy, too. As we visited on a Friday during school holidays, we were lucky to see a range of short performances called “Amuse Bouche”, especially created by Circa for the Powerhouse Museum. Every hour on the hour, two performers delighted the crowd with a 6 – 10 minutes acrobatic performance involving balancing, contortionism and the vertical rope. Each hour there is a brand new performance to witness, so we kept going back for more, wanting to see what amazing tricks we would be surprised with next.

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Here is their schedule for live activities:

Amuse Bouche by Circa
Shows on the hour, 4 Apr to 19 Apr

Science of Circus Show
Explore the physics behind circus acts like plate spinning.
27 Jan to 3 Apr, and 20 Apr to 3 May
Weekdays: 11.30am, 12.30pm and 1.30pm
Weekends: 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm and 2.30pm

April school holiday activity: Clown carnival
3 to 19 April
Make your own juggling balls, contribute to our giant fabric bunting, play carnival games and get a balloon animal to take home (weekends only). On weekdays, learn how to hula-hoop, juggle and more from circus experts. (Free with general admission.)

Planning on eating while you’re there? You’ll love the Black Star Pastry outlet that’s set up in the cafe area. They serve sandwiches and lunch foods, plus their famous desserts and kids’ shakes. It’s worth going for the Black Star pastries alone!

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

We had the most amazing time at Circus Factory and will absolutely go back. It helped that we were able to get in for a bit cheaper care of finding a Groupon voucher for adult general admission $7 (instead of $12). At the entrance I was able to upgrade the voucher to include Circus Factory for an extra $8, making it $15, and significantly cheaper than the full admission price of $35.

Last notes before you go:
No strollers inside the exhibition.
The Powerhouse advises that you prebook your tickets (particularly on weekends) to ensure you get in on a busy day.

Circus Factory
Circus Factory FAQs
Open 20 December 2014 to 3 May 2015
Powerhouse Museum
500 Harris Street, Ultimo NSW 2007
Hours: Daily 10am-5pm
Circus Factory entrance (includes general admission into the Powerhouse Museum):
Up to 3 kids free with each adult ticket

Adult: $35
Member adult: $25
Family: $65
(2 adults and up to 6 children)
Member family: $45
(2 adults and up to 6 children)
Concession: $20
Additional child (4—15 yrs): $8
Free entry for children under 4 years

Exhibition tickets include same-day entry to Powerhouse Museum. Transaction fees from $3.95 may apply.

Get directions.

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

30 Reasons We Love Nap Time

30 Reasons Why we Love Nap Time via christineknight.me

Naps are the BEST. Seriously, there is nothing better than a happily napping child. Who knew that you could accomplish so much in such a short period? The benefits of naps are almost endless. My favourites include:

 

  1. You can check your email.
  2. You can update your Facebook.
  3. You can make breakfast/lunch/dinner.
  4. You can catch up on The Bachelor.
  5. You can take a nap too.
  6. You can make that urgent phone call you’ve needed to make all morning.
  7. You can do 30 mins of home yoga.
  8. You can read a book.
  9. You can vacuum or clean up the house.
  10. You can fold that giant pile of laundry.
  11. You can write a blog post (like this one!).
  12. You can download the photos from your phone and back them up.
  13. You can give yourself a mani/pedi.
  14. You can bake cookies for afternoon tea.
  15. You can clean out your wardrobe.
  16. You can drink your coffee while it’s hot.
  17. You can take a long shower.
  18. You can use the bathroom uninterrupted.
  19. You can Skype a friend.
  20. You can do your hair and make up.
  21. You can shop online.
  22. You can eat a cupcake without sharing it.
  23. You can share a photo of them asleep on Instagram.
  24. You can play Candy Crush on your phone.
  25. You can unpack the dishwasher.
  26. You can meditate.
  27. You can clean all the crap you don’t need out of your handbag.
  28. You can sit down and do absolutely nothing.

 

And the two very best things about naps:

 

  1. Your child wakes up happy and smiley.
  2. The rest of the day is a breeze.

This article was first published on MommyNearest.

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

Easter Sunday + Easter Egg Hunt 2015

easter-sunday-1

Ahhh it’s Easter Sunday, one of the best days of the year. I managed to turn it into a week-long chocolate fest this year by eating a chocolate bunny a day. There is something about Easter chocolate – it just tastes BETTER than regular chocolate, even if it’s a plain milk chocolate bunny by Cadbury.

This year was our first back in Australia with Cheese, and I wanted to make it a lot of fun. After opening her Easter basket in her jammies in the morning, she then dressed in her Elsa costume to enjoy her chocolate spoils before we head out to our friends’ house to enjoy Easter brunch and an Easter egg hunt.

#Easter Sunday & Easter Egg Hunt #easteregghunt via christineknight.me

At my friends’ house, the girls decorated cupcakes with chocolate shavings and mini chocolate birds’ eggs. They made the cutest little nests.

#Easter Sunday & Easter Egg Hunt #easteregghunt via christineknight.me #Easter Sunday & Easter Egg Hunt #easteregghunt via christineknight.me

#Easter Sunday & Easter Egg Hunt #easteregghunt via christineknight.me

#Easter Sunday & Easter Egg Hunt #easteregghunt via christineknight.me

We indulged in a”brown feast” of hot cross buns, pancakes and French toast (don’t worry, there was some fruit in there too), before it was time to release the girls on the Easter egg hunt. We used a mix of tiny and small chocolate eggs, plus plastic ones filled with fluffy toy chicks, tiny chocolate eggs and some Easter gummy lollies.

#Easter Sunday & Easter Egg Hunt #easteregghunt via christineknight.me #Easter Sunday & Easter Egg Hunt #easteregghunt via christineknight.me #Easter Sunday & Easter Egg Hunt #easteregghunt via christineknight.me #Easter Sunday & Easter Egg Hunt #easteregghunt via christineknight.me

The kids all crashed out and opened their spoils. The plastic eggs were a great hit – they gave an extra fun element to the hunt, as opening them afterwards prolonged the anticipation.

#Easter Sunday & Easter Egg Hunt #easteregghunt via christineknight.me #Easter Sunday & Easter Egg Hunt #easteregghunt via christineknight.me

It was a day for family, not just friends. My parents joined us, as did my friend’s. We’ve been close friends since we were 12, so we’re all basically family at this stage.

#Easter Sunday & Easter Egg Hunt #easteregghunt via christineknight.me #Easter Sunday & Easter Egg Hunt #easteregghunt via christineknight.me

With my girlfriend who hosted us – I can’t believe we’ve been friends for over 20 years.

#Easter Sunday & Easter Egg Hunt #easteregghunt via christineknight.me

With the sugar high still going strong, the girls bounced it out on the trampoline. Haven’t things changed since we were kids? I remember placing a trampoline next to a swimming pool and using it to springboard into the deep end.

#Easter Sunday & Easter Egg Hunt #easteregghunt via christineknight.me

It’s always hard to head home after such a wonderful day with loved ones.

#Easter Sunday & Easter Egg Hunt #easteregghunt via christineknight.me

Last Easter gifts for the day from Nana and Pop, and a big hug, and then it was all over for another year.

#Easter Sunday & Easter Egg Hunt #easteregghunt via christineknight.me

 

Happy Easter!

Do you celebrate Easter? if so, how did you spend the holiday?

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

Dinosaur Zoo: Sydney’s Best Shows For Kids

#Dinosaur Zoo at the #Sydney Opera House via christineknight.me

While Cheese and I often see shows together, it’s rare that Alec comes along too. He’s just not usually interested in princess shows (what a surprise) or shows based on cartoons. But when I mentioned the new show at the Sydney Opera House, Dinosaur Zoo, he was in. Finally a show he could enjoy as well as Cheese and I.

Because, who doesn’t love dinosaurs? Dinos are fascinating for people of all ages and gender. They make a great subject for this new show playing at the Sydney Opera House April 4 – 19, 2015.

#Dinosaur Zoo at the #Sydney Opera House via christineknight.me

Dinosaur Zoo is a fun blend of beautiful puppetry, impressive sound effects and comic humans driving the storyline.

The narrator, Graham, takes the audience on a an educational and fun journey where we learned about several dinosaurs that were discovered in Australia. None of the generic T-Rexes here. Only Aussie dinos, thank you very much. I found it refreshing to learn about these dinosaurs, none of whom I’d heard of before, and to see puppet replicas of them come to life before our eyes.

#Dinosaur Zoo at the #Sydney Opera House via christineknight.me

The show could very easily have been too scary for little kids had a different approach been taken. However, with the high level of interaction and frequent humour, the show was never going to freak out the littlies.

Graham introduced each dinosaur to the audience using the correct scientific terms the entire time. This is not a show that dumbs down science for kids. I was interested to see how the kids would respond to this, as there were a lot of younger kids in the audience, like Cheese. The kids, however, were rapped by the dinosaurs and there was very little fuss during the show that would indicate loss of interest. In fact it was the opposite, The kids were all hanging off Graham’s every word, desperate to be called down to the stage for their chance to pat a dinosaur.

The lesson here: never talk down to kids. Use big words. Kids will absorb them like the little sponges they are.

I was impressed by the quality of the puppets. They were incredibly done, and I found them to be very lifelike. I also liked the variety of dinosaurs used in the show. Babies, insects, carnivores and a big herbivore gave the show a good coverage of dinosaurs in general.

Cheese wasn’t selected to go up on stage, no matter how straight she stuck up her arm, but it didn’t matter as after the show two of the handlers brought out the babies to meet the audience in the foyer.

#Dinosaur Zoo at the #Sydney Opera House via christineknight.me #Dinosaur Zoo at the #Sydney Opera House via christineknight.me #Dinosaur Zoo at the #Sydney Opera House via christineknight.me

If you arrive early, kids can enjoy the free creative play set up by the Sydney Opera House in the foyer, called “Echo Table”. By waving their arms over tables, kids can control the emerging patterns and reveal large pictures, like the Mona Lisa, hiding underneath.

School holidays at the Sydney Opera House

For a pre or post-show meal, if you’re after an option out of the theatre, downstairs is the newly-refurbished Opera Kitchen. The food is pricey ($17.50 for a small piece of quiche and fries, $22 for Alec’s OK burger and fries), and the choices for kids aren’t very healthy ($15.50 for a kids’ meal, all of which contain a small soft drink, chips and an ice cream).

Opera Kitchen at Sydney Opera House Opera Kitchen at Sydney Opera House

While the food was okay, it wasn’t spectacular, so unless you really want to sit and admire the view, I would suggest getting cheaper sandwiches (and a much healthier kids’ pack) from the theatre bar next to the drama studio in the Opera House instead. They offer a $7 Kids’ Box including: White bread cheese sandwich, brown bread vegemite sandwich, a banana or apple, Uncle Toby’s mango & passion fruit yoghurt bar, cheese stick, juice, and a party blower. Check out all the kids’ meal options at the Opera House here.

Dinosaur Zoo is playing at the Sydney Opera House April 4 – 19, 2015.
Suitable for children 5+
Tickets: $39 – $55
Run time: 50 minutes
Parking: If it’s a wet day and you need to drive, use the code “Opera” for discounted parking. Ours cost $9 instead of $15 on a Saturday.

Thank you to the Sydney Opera House for hosting us for this performance and for use of some of these images. All opinions are, as always, my own.

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

Easter Saturday at The Grounds Of Alexandria

#Easter at The Grounds of Alexandria via christineknight.me

Our first Easter back in Sydney we have been enjoying everything Easter-y possible. It’s no secret that the chocolate holiday is one of my favourite times of the year, and I like to indulge in it – not just eating too many chocolate bunnies, but also enjoying Easter egg hunts, craft days and whatever activities I can find.

I found out The Grounds of Alexandria were hosting an Easter Fair and put it straight on our calendar. Even the prospect of an 8am start didn’t deter me. Nor did the weather when we woke up and it was pouring rain. It didn’t deter many people, it turned out, as the Grounds was packed with many other soggy families determined not to let the rain ruin their Easter.

#Easter at The Grounds of Alexandria via christineknight.me

The wonderful folks at The Grounds had gone to a lot of effort to make the place special for Easter. We visited a few weeks ago on a sunny day and took some photos of their new bunny, “Kate Moss” and the other decorations. I’m using them here because it was way too wet this morning to post for photos.

#Easter at The Grounds of Alexandria via christineknight.me

#Easter at The Grounds of Alexandria via christineknight.me

This morning, however, looked a bit different. The Grounds staff had hidden 5,000 Easter eggs all over their backyard, including one special golden egg that I don’t think anyone had found when we left later in the morning.

easter-grounds-of-alexandria-1

They had also created Australia’s biggest chocolate Easter egg, which will be cracked open and shared tomorrow afternoon.

After a bit of waiting around (it turned out Channel 9 were there to film the hunt, so everything was a bit delayed), the Easter egg hunt began, and, despite the rain, it was a really fun morning for all of the families who made the effort to go.

easter-grounds-of-alexandria-2

The eggs were liberally spread everywhere, including all over the ground. Pro: everyone went home with plenty of eggs. Con: people were treading on the eggs. I didn’t pity the guy who had to clean up the squashed remnants of chocolate on the round at the end of the day!

easter-grounds-of-alexandria-3

While the Grounds folks had the most adorable little pails for kids to use, Cheese brought her old favourite from home.

easter-grounds-of-alexandria-4

easter-grounds-of-alexandria-6

easter-grounds-of-alexandria-7

easter-grounds-of-alexandria-8

 

After the egg hunt was over (it was over when Cheese decided she had enough eggs – there were still eggs strewn around everywhere!), it was time for face painting and crafts. Channel 9 were there to film the festivities too.

easter-grounds-of-alexandria-9

easter-grounds-of-alexandria-10

Easter At The Grounds Of Alexandria via Christineknight.me #sydney #easter

 

And then it was time to take our sodden selves home!

Happy Easter Saturday to you and yours! What are you getting up to for Easter this year?

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

The Love Affair Of Motherhood {Uberkate Giveaway}

The Love Affair That Is Motherhood {#Uberkate #Giveaway!} via christineknight.me
When I think about how to sum up what motherhood means to me, I keep coming back to “it’s a love affair”. Not the same kind that I have with by husband, but a relationship of the heart nonetheless. Let me explain.

It all started when I was trying to get pregnant. The hope of a new person to love and be loved by was an ache in my heart that I didn’t know how badly I wanted until it seemed like I couldn’t have it. The idea of a brand new love that I could nurture and grow was a dream that just wouldn’t go away.

Dearest child, I loved you before you even existed.

And then, I was pregnant. The anticipation of starting our lives together as a family of three was too exciting to have to wait those nine months to begin.

When you were born, we started what felt like dating. Getting to know each other slowly, through good times and bad. Through sleepless nights and gurgley smiles. There were days when you felt like a stranger who had been left on my doorstep, and I wasn’t sure that this motherhood thing was going to work out. There were absolutely days when I wanted us to break up so I could go back to just being me. But we didn’t break up. I didn’t give up.

You were getting to know me too. Seeing if I would care for you and love you no matter what. As a baby, you were up all night long for many months, giving me such sleep deprivation that I’m pretty sure I was hallucinating half the time.

As a toddler you pushed my buttons to see how I’d respond. Testing my parenting skills and commitment to being as good a mum as I badly wanted to be. Through tantrums and food throwing and hitting-in-the-face, I stuck it out, knowing that being your mum was worth it. I think I passed the test because here we are today, seriously in love.

Our days are filled with comfortable companionship – the kind that comes with knowing the other person’s heart as well as your own. We hold hands and walk together, picking flowers, singing songs and fluttering our pretend wings. I paint your toenails blue and braid your hair like Elsa. You tell me I’m your best friend and that you love me. The feeling’s mutual, kid.

Darling girl, you’ll always be, along with your dad, the loves of my life. The best, biggest, most amazing love that a woman could hope for.

MOTHER’S DAY GIVEAWAY WITH UBERKATE

uberkate - necklace-1

With Mother’s Day just a few weeks away, I’ve teamed up with the wonderful Uberkate to give one lucky reader the chance to celebrate their own family love affair with a piece of Uberkate custom jewellery. I absolutely love my own Uberkate Expression Pendant because it lets me keep my family close to my heart.

uberkate-1-2

One reader will win their own bespoke Uberkate Expression Pendant piece worth $255, customisable with names of their choosing. The Expression Pendant is a flat, embossed solid sterling silver pendant 3.3cm long x 2.2cm wide and 1.5mm thick. Includes 45cm sterling silver curb chain. Below you can see my customised piece with our names on it, written in my husband Alec’s handwriting. For the chance to win your own Uberkate Expression Pendant, enter via the form below.

uberkate-6 uberkate-9

uberkate-3-2

Entry open to Australian residents only. The most creative answer will win. This is not a game of chance. Competition is open Wednesday April 8th 2015 to 11:59pm Tues April 21st 2015.



Thanks to Uberkate for my beautiful Expression Pendant. All opinions are, as always, my own.

Opening image by Saving Grace Photography.

Linking up with Grace.

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