Hospital Bag Checklist for Dads

hospital bag checklist for dads

All you have to do is open Google and search to find countless lists of what a Mum-to-be should pack in her bag for hospital, but what about Dads? I wanted to make sure we were ready to go so I started searching for a hospital bag checklist for dads. The information I was chasing wasn’t as readily available as I had hoped so I decided to put together my own list. After all this is a Dad Blog, so it should have advice useful for Dads!

Why Do you need a Hospital Bag checklist for Dads?

Those who have been following would know that the Down Under Family currently only has one toddler, however that is all about to change see – When 3 become 4 . While I like to think I learnt a lot the first time around, there are others out there with a lot more experience.

With that in mind I decided to reach out to the Dads on Twitter for some advice

While there were a mixed bag of responses, there was also a few common items which I agree with. So without dragging it on, here it is:

Down Under Dad’s – Hospital Bag Checklist for Dads

  • Snacks – this is an obvious one, chances are you are going to be in the delivery room for an extended period of time, and you can’t exactly order room service (although that could be a good business idea?)
  • A Pillow – Not only do you want to do everything you can to make your partner comfortable, but you need to look after yourself too. A simple pillow can make a big difference to your level of comfort.
  • Chargers – Whether its a charger for your camera or your phone that will double as one you want to make sure you have it handy. The last thing you need is a flat battery because you have been playing games for most of the day.
  • Comfy Clothes – While you may feel the need to dress fancy so you look nice in your first photos with your newborn, so one is going to be looking at you. So wear something comfortable, and make sure you pack a change of clothes too.
  • The Push Present – they say it takes 2 to make a baby but lets face it, giving birth is a 1 sided job. Women go through a lot to bring a baby into the world so they deserve to be rewarded.

The list could go on, but here are some honorable mentions:

 

So there you have it, while there is plenty of lists for Mum’s available online, there is finally a hospital bag checklist for dad’s.

hospital bag checklist for dads

 

 

Counting Down to a Newborn

counting down to a newborn

A newborn baby completely changes your lifestyle. You become overtired, your house becomes a mess, and the days all merge together. Counting Down to a Newborn you can prepare for this all you want. Those who have been there before will know no amount of preparation will be enough.

Counting Down to a Newborn

Down Under Dad has been a bit quiet of late. Those who have been around for awhile would know that soon enough our little family of three will become a little bigger. You can read the original announcement here – When 3 becomes 4 .

counting down to a newborn

The Down Under household has been busy lately getting ready for the arrival of Baby Number 2. That means making a list and checking off a little everyday – just kidding, you know you won’t be able to sleep properly until everything on the list is ticked off.

So as we’re busy Counting Down to a Newborn, here’s a bit of a checklist to get you started:

Counting Down to a Newborn Checklist

  • Wash the Clothes – Whether its your first time around and you are trying to make sure you have taken the tags off everything, or you need to sort through all the boxes of clothes you kept from the first time. This can take awhile, but you better get used to it, Newborns go through a lot of clothes.
  • Put the Capsule in the Car – My first time putting our baby capsule in the car took me close to 3 hours (rookie effort I know), by the time he grew out of it I could do it in 3 minutes. If you haven’t done it before or its been a couple of years, I suggest you do this early. I actually had to do it the first time in the rain as I’d left it too late. note, my wife and baby were in hospital at the time, I didn’t have the newborn in the rain.counting down to a newborn
  • Pack the Hospital Bag – When its time to go, its time to go. You don’t want to be frantically trying to pack a bag when your partner is in labour. Pack it early, add to it as you see fit, then leave it near the door. What should you pack in a hospital bag? I’ll leave that one for the Mum blogs out there, but you can check out a pretty good list by Corryn over at Milk and Love here – Hospital Bag Checklist for New Mums . What should Dad’s pack? I’m working on that, watch this space.
  • Clean your House – When counting down to a newborn this is probably the last thing you want to be doing as its not technically baby related. But trust me you want to do it. Your house is going to become messy for at least a few weeks, it happens to everyone, so you should make sure its clean to start off with. Sorry Dad’s this one’s on you, unless they recently added cleaning to the list of ways to induce labour.
  • Spend Time Together – As your spending everyday focusing on whose about to arrive its important to make time for those who are already here. Don’t neglect each other. If you can make time for a Date Night or 2 , if you don’t make the time now, you aren’t going to have the time for at least a month or 2. Also, if you already have children, make time for them too, the attention they are used to is going to be cut down as soon as your newborn arrives so make sure they still feel involved.

Sit Back and Enjoy the Ride

As you get closer to Go Day and you finish Counting Down to a Newborn, its important to enjoy the journey. It’s been a long 9 months, but I can almost guarantee you wouldn’t change it. Even if you already have children, your lives are about to be changed again with the arrival of your newborn.

I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, there will be good days and tough days. There will be days where you feel like your going a little crazy, but there will also be days where you feel like you have it all sorted. The Good days always outnumber the Tough days.

 

A Day off with Dad

a day off with dad

For the little guy, Wednesdays are A Day off with Dad each week. It works out well as Ollie goes to daycare Tuesdays and Thursdays, and while Mrs. Down Under is still working until Bub #2 comes along (see When 3 become 4), Dad and the little guy get to spend the day together.

Breakfast with Dad

Whether its a  normal working day, or a Day off with Dad, breakfast it always the first port of call. Literally as soon as we are out of bed Ollie has to drag me to the kitchen to get it started.

Given we have been going through Winter and our house is often cold in the morning we have been having porridge, for breakfast, every day. Although since Down Under Dad has gone back to working days, there have been some mornings where Mrs. Down Under has had to organise breakfast.

That meant today when I tried to make porridge, our 2 year old was adamant that he was having cereal instead. The box of Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut that had been left unopened was in his sights, and while he did finish most of a bowl, the rest did end up scattered around him.

Getting Set for a Day off with Dad

One thing about Wednesday mornings is that they can go very quickly. Our first adventure has a deadline of 9:30am, which may not seem early, but anyone with toddlers will tell you that you can never leave enough time to get ready.

With Mrs. Down Under heading off to work early, if the rest of the household isn’t awake by the time she leaves, then its safe to say we will be rushing to get there on time.

The other thing about Wednesday mornings is that, that is when our Bins get collected. This means that our first adventure on a day off with dad is putting the bins away. While this may not seem like an adventure for most people, it is when you have a 2 year old who has to help with everything.

a day off with dad

Swimming Lessons

Longtime followers of Down Under Dad and the adventures on a Day off with Dad, would know that swimming lessons are a weekly occurrence. We have been taking the little guy for lessons for around 12 months now. You might ask how we managed this in Winter? thankfully we decided to take him to Balance at Wests Mayfield where not only are the pools indoors, but the one used for lessons is heated too.

If you want to read some of our previous experiences with swimming lessons you can check out Swimming Lessons Part 1 and Swimming Lessons Part 2, not only do they document our experiences, but also provide some helpful advice for new Dads (or any parents really) who are planning on taking their toddlers swimming.

a day off with dad

As I’ve been lacking in my posts lately, you might not be aware that the last few weeks Ollie hasn’t really been enjoying his swimming, there have been tears on multiple occasions and he has been going backwards in his skills.

Well today I am happy to report that we made some progress!

  • He showed progress in some of the skills they are taught
  • He only argued during some of the activities
  • and the tears didn’t come out until right at the end.

While it may not seem like much, you have to take the wins where you can.

Note, the tears probably could have been avoided, but given he was finally showing some progress both Dad and the instructor pushed* him a little too hard at the end.

*I don’t mean literally pushed, just let him swim freely for too long.

Coffee Break

Any parent would know that spending the day with a toddler without your other half can wear you out. While this is all part of being a parent, a Day off with Dad often requires multiple caffiene hits throughout the day.

What started as a reward for following instruction during swimming has quickly turned into a weekly routine. After the lesson is over we sit in the sun while Dad has a Coffee and Ollie has a Chocolate Milkshake.

There is always some confusion when I go to order them though as Ollie can’t quite pronounce the word Milkshake yet, and as you can see in Vocabulary of an almost 2 year old, when I say the word Coffee, he proceeds to refer to it as a Hot Tea.

After finishing our drinks and snacking on a cookie, or as he refers to them ‘bickkies’ it was time to keep moving.

Dad’s Visit to the Doctor

Now before you start worrying, Dad’s visit to the Doctor was nothing serious. With Bubba #2 not far off, Down Under Dad needed to get his Whooping Cough vaccination updated. Don’t worry, I’m as happy as you are that it wasn’t serious, after being Hit for 6 and Out earlier in the year, the last thing I want to deal with is another Week with a Sick Toddler

Every parent would remember when they had to take their newborn babies along to the doctor for their first set of immunisations. You know walking into the room that it isn’t going to be pleasant for anyone involved, and when your baby starts screaming afterwards, it can bring a tear to your eye.

Just to clarify, today’s appointment was for Dad, not for the little guy. However when they Doctor came into the room to give Dad his injection, Ollie burst into tears, despite it having nothing to do with him. The Doctor was even nice enough to give him a lolly afterwards to help settle him down.

Dad can we stop for Ice-Cream

Located beside the Chemist where we saw the Doctor is a Baskin Robbins Ice-Cream Parlour, which depending on which way you look at it can be a good or a bad thing.

One method often used by parents to calm their kids is bribery. Given I’ve said I will always be honest on this Blog, Yes, Yes I did resort to bribery, but to be fair, I also wanted the Ice-Cream.

While he still hasn’t mastered some of the skills he needs to swim safely in the pool, he does a pretty good job of not making a mess when eating an ice-cream.

a day off with dad

The Remainder of the Day

Heading home after ice-cream it was time to wind down. While according to the clock we were only halfway through the day, again anyone with a toddler will tell you sometimes that’s enough for them.

Without even making lunch, the little guy promptly told me it was time for a ‘bot bot’, which roughly translates to “I’m ready for a nap”. I say roughly because despite him telling me he was ready, the 35 minutes we lied there before he fell asleep says differently.

By the time he woke up, Mrs. Down Under had returned home from work, which meant a day off with dad had come to an end.

 

Reblog – 16 Hilarious Parenting Memes

parenting meme

Reblog from Father-Hood.co.uk

As I was doing some nightly reading to catch up on what every other Parenting Blog (and more) have been up to I came across this one that I felt the need to share with everyone.

16 Hilarious Parenting Memes

Anyone who is connected to the various social pipes knows what a meme is and appreciates and values their humor.

While non-parents may still get a laugh out of this list,

Only parents will truly understand them.

parenting meme

Enjoy!

Fatherhood.co.uk’s 16 Hilarious Parenting Memes

1/8/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

spontaneous dad joke

any resemblance to actual kids is purely coincidental

A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption.

One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named Amal. The other goes to a family in Spain. They name him Juan.

Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Amal.

He responds, “They’re twins! If you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Amal.”

spontaneous dad joke

For more Dad Jokes check out Dad Jokes of the Day

or follow me on twitter @DownUnderDadbg

 

Weekly Wrap Up – Sunday 29th July 2018

Weekly Wrap Up

Ready for the week to start all over again? me neither.

My work roster gives me a 4 day week and a 6 day week, unfortunately this week was the latter of the two. That means less time spent with the family, less adventures, and less time writing for my readers, it doesn’t mean it was a quiet week though.

We should always spend some downtime reflecting on our day to day happenings, that’s what this is about,

Down Under Dad presents – The Week that Was.

The End of our Quick Escape

After a busy couple of weeks I finally got around to finishing my account of our short getaway, you can check out Our Quick Escape – Part 3

In case you haven’t been following, part of the reason for our little holiday was our family is about to become bigger, you can check out the details here When 3 become 4. . . . The other part was to celebrate our little guy turning 2 and Mr and Mrs Down Under Dad surviving 2 Years of Parenthood.

The main focus of day 3 of our getaway was our visit to the Hunter Valley Zoo. While we didn’t spend a full day there, it was well worth it to see Ollie’s reactions to finally seeing animals that he had only ever seen in books, in real life!

20180713_1129221649452515.jpg

Down Under Dad is Famous

Well, not in the traditional sense of the word, but hey, you gotta take the small wins when you can get them.

I was invited by Chris of Dad of Divas to be featured on his segment Dad’s in the limelight. A series of interviews with various Dads around the world answering questions to give you a deeper understanding of them.

You can follow the link to check out the full interview Featured – Dads in the Limelight

featured dad

How many Parties is Too many Parties?

You already know that our little guy recently turned 2 and the celebrations were out of control (well, as out of control as you would expect for a 2 year old).

What you might not know is that he has group of friends all with birthdays within 2 months of each other.

What does this mean? every year around this time the Down Under Family spends at least 1 day of most weekends attending a child’s birthday party.

You can check out our adventures at 2 of them here 2nd Birthday Bonanza

toddler playground megamania

If you can’t tell already they were pretty wild too.

And it Wouldn’t be a Dad Blog Without?

Dad Jokes of course!

If in need of a good laugh you should check out 25/7/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

and there you have it, the week that was!

Stay tuned for the week ahead!

or if you have been away for awhile and want to see what we have been up to, check out Weekly Wrap Up – Sunday 22nd July 2018

2nd Birthday Bonanza

toddler playground megamania

With a title like that you’re thinking one of 2 things, either:

  • I am one of those (insane?) parents who not only celebrates the birthday of their children but the entire month, or
  • We somehow had another child born within a couple of weeks of our first – now that would make for a good story.

note, you could be forgiven for choosing option 1 as we did go away for 3 days leading up to the little guy’s 2nd birthday, you can read about it here Our Quick Escape – Part 1

Or I could be wrong and its something completely different, either way I’ll offer up a third option;

More 2nd Birthday Parties to Attend!

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before but my wife has a group of Mum friends that she is really close with. They all met during antenatal classes before babies came along and stayed good friends, the Dads became friends too, albeit not as close as their other halves.

Anyway that means they have a group of friends all with kids around the same age. That’s means the kids all know each other and are growing up together (to a point). This also means that their birthdays are around the same time of the year.

Last year that meant every weekend for almost 2 months there was a 1st birthday party to attend – if we’re honest it was the most social any of the group had been in 12 months.

This year the calendar isn’t quite as fully booked, but there has still been some fun to be had, you can check out the celebrations for Oliver’s 2nd birthday here 2 Years of Parenthood

Want to see how we celebrated his friends birthdays?

Party Number 1

Well 2 if you count ours as number 1.

So our Party was held at a Pub, Party number 2 was held at a local Play Centre called ‘Megamania’ – Think Multi-Story indoor playground.

As far as a venue for a kids party goes, this would have to be right up there. Its secure so your kids can’t escape – not that they would want to, they provide party food, drink, and cake – because you can’t have a party without cake, and the fun is physical enough that your toddler will be worn out enough by the end to have a sleep – at least you hope so anyway.

toddler playground megamania

The playground itself is imposing enough for an adult (would be close to 3 stories tall), let alone a toddler.

No, don’t worry, the playground doesn’t have some inbuilt spy cameras, to give Ollie enough confidence to play by himself, Down Under Dad had to play with him for the first few times.

You can see below just how high the playground is

toddler playground megamania

After being forcefully removed by his Dad as cake was being served, the little guy ended up going back inside all by himself – #proudparentingmoment right there.

If you look closely you can see him up the top

toddler playground megamaniaIf you look over the right of the photo you can also see the large red slide. While this was the cause of much joy and laughter, it wasn’t without some bumps.

At some point Ollie decided to go down on the slide by himself. Long story short he ended up with a small friction burn on his chin. Like a true toddler though he continued playing like it was nothing, he did however drag Dad back up to the slide each time after that though.

Overall the Party was a success, although it didn’t quite wear him out as much as we would have thought.

Party Number 2

or is it 3??

The next party was something completely different again. The venue? a local park, if you have been following you would know that this is a dream come true for the little guy, check out Weekend Adventures .

Luckily at the moment we are going through a surprisingly warm time for the middle of winter. Not only is it warm but the sun is out and there is little wind. Perfect for a day at the park.

One of the bonuses of this park was it was also only a short drive away, no major planning needed and anything we forgot was a short trip back home.

note, not that we did, I did see that as a bonus though in case we needed it.

A feature of the park was a large network of paths connecting BBQ areas and playgrounds. This proved to be the perfect chance to try out one of Ollie’s birthday presents.

toddler bike

Before you say anything, yes he does have a helmet, but it was left at home – only a short drive away. Not that we did go get it, #parentingfail ,  to be fair he didn’t actually spend a lot of time on the bike.

He did however choose to eat freshly cut fruit over crackers and dip, already choosing the healthy option, that has to be a #parentingwin right there.

toddler playground park

Did we mention at earlier that this party was held at a park? part of the reason not a lot of time was spent on the bike was that he was distracted by the play equipment.

Here you can see him climbing up the netting, the first couple of times he got stuck at the top but once we showed him where to hold on, he did it all by himself, over and over and over.

Unfortunately our time at this party was cut short as Down Under Dad had to work in the afternoon, however a great time was still had.

 

Reblog – The Ultimate Australian Bucket List – Travel Drink Dine

Nobbys Beach Newcastle

Reblog from Travel Drink Dine

Want to know more about the Land Down Under? Check out this bucket list of Australian Destinations from Travel Drink Dine.

Want to know more about where Down Under Dad comes from? Check out my submission under NSW – Newcastle

Are you travelling to Australia? This list has been created with a number of travel experts to become your resource for the ultimate Australian bucket list.

Source: The Ultimate Australian Bucket List – Travel Drink Dine

Our Quick Escape – Part 2

quick escape hunter valley

While Day 1 was only really a half day, it was still a long one and had taken it out of all of us. Day 2 started a little earlier then we would have hoped, but that’s the life of a parent.

A quick escape into the Hunter Valley was the perfect way to not only celebrate our little guy turning 2 (and us surviving 2 years of parenthood), but it was also the last chance before our little family becomes bigger – When 3 become 4. . .

If this is your first stop and you have just read that this is ‘Part 2’ then you probably should check out Our Quick Escape – Part 1 first. Don’t worry ill wait for you. . . OK your back? Let’s move on. . .

Day 2 – Early Rise

Yesterday was a long day that ended up with the family in bed by 8pm, the next day started however with the family awake at 2am. Whether it was Toddler Sleep Regressions , a sick child, sleeping in a foreign environment, or simply our toddler deciding that Mum and Dad were not getting a good night sleep. We aren’t sure why the little guy decided to wake up and not go back to sleep for 2 and half hours. Fortunately once he did fall back to sleep he didn’t wake up until around 9am.

So what started as an early rise, ended up being a late one with us not leaving the hotel until close to 10am.

Breakfast

On holidays its important to not only enjoy the time with each other and the places you go, but also the food you eat. Keeping this in mind we found another cafe advertising that not only were they open for breakfast, but they had Coffee – Habit or Necessity – Definitely a Necessity at this point.

The place we found was “Oscar’s Hunter Valley”.

Note, I must be honest with you, it wasn’t so much that we ‘found’ the place, we had been given some vouchers for various places around the Hunter Valley by our family, 25% off of the total bill was reason enough to go searching.

Hunter Valley Breakfast

Was the food as good as it looks? Absolutely!

Was the experience as smooth as the Coffee? Not exactly

As I mentioned earlier, the little guy didn’t sleep the best the night before. As any parent would tell you, a tired toddler who at this stage we actually think is teething (when does it end?), doesn’t mix well with waiting for breakfast. Not that we had to wait that long, again the service was pretty good.  However as soon as our food came out, our toddler decided that something else needed to come out too and Dad and Son went searching for a more appropriate place to clean up.

Snow? In this part of the Country?

One of the reasons we decided to visit the Hunter Valley for our Quick Escape was that the Hunter Valley Gardens were running their annual “Snowtime in the Hunter” event.

What? Snow? I thought Australia was warm and sunny, not cold and snowy. Well that’s true most of the time however like the rest of the world we still have a winter. Although in our part of the country, snow is almost unheard of. Normally if we wanted to enjoy it, it would mean a 7 hour drive. While it isn’t the same, its still a good bit of fun for kids.

snowtime in the hunter While it wasn’t much, the little guy had a bit of fun playing in the snow. There was also a ice skating rink setup, however given the extra cost involved and our toddler’s mixed emotional state, we gave that a miss.

We did however try out the toboggan slide, and while the time to line up was longer then the experience itself it was still fun, at least for Dad, there was no way the little guy was having another go.

As day wore on, more and more people arrived, given the relatively small area that had ‘snow’ we didn’t hang around there too much longer.

snowtime in the hunter

We did manage to build this little snowman though – you can tell we don’t see snow often.

Ride and Slide

Outside of the ‘snow’ area had a few rides and food places setup. Our little guy was fascinated watching some of the rides as they activated, unfortunately for him but fortunately for our wallets, at the age of 2 he is still too small to ride them.

Thankfully they did have an area setup for kids in this situation – an inflatable fun zone! Of course our child being the child he is wasn’t content with simply climbing and sliding on the areas he could do himself. He needed Dad to help him climb up the biggest and slide down with him – over and over again.

slide

When we eventually were able to drag our toddler away from the inflatable fun, we did so by taking him on the merry-go-round. This was a ride the entire family could go on. While it was short lived, we did manage to get a few smiles from the little guy.

A couple of hours in the sun meant it was time for a cold drink, and? you guessed it, fresh coffee. Coffee for Dad, Hot Chocolate for Mum, and a Baby-cino for the little guy.

While enjoying our drinks we also noticed a stall selling various balloons. Now you probably know by now that our toddler is obsessed with dinosaurs. He also knows a few different animals like cows and dogs.

Afternoon Exploring

One place we had driven past a few times but not stopped at was the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company. A small cafe with a chocolate shop attached where they make there own fudge onsite. If you like your sweet stuff then it is definitely a place to visit. While Mum was having a look around it was time for another energy boost.

coffee

As we still had some daylight hours left we decided to pop into shop that advertised a huge selection of beers from around the world, along with a range of local wines, and tastings on them everyday.

This stop was purely for Dad as none of this interests a 2 year old, and as you know Down Under Mum is pregnant. This allowed me to sample a couple of Hunter Red Wines. At least that way we could say we tasted some wines while staying in the heart of the Hunter Valley Wine Region.

Nighttime Adventures

When we returned to the hotel we noticed a sign saying every night at 6pm (just after dark) the dancing fountain light show was on. Given this was our last night and we were free we thought we should check it out.

 

[wpvideo lERur8MI]

While relatively short lived, it did hold the attention of our toddler until we decided the cold was too much.

It was then time for dinner, which after the previous nights attempt we were a little nervous about. It did go off without a hitch though! Turns out we must have got there just at the right time as our food came out relatively quick, and when we went back to order some dessert, there was a wait time of over an hour – so we skipped dessert and ordered it from room service instead.

As it was still early at this stage and we had now eaten we decided the little guy could have another go at driving the arcade games since he enjoyed it so much the night before. I think we underestimated how much he enjoyed them because we were there for awhile – again not actually playing them, just pretending (although he didn’t know that).

Eventually it was time for bed, and while he wasn’t overly impressed at leaving them, he was too tired to fight it.

Day 2 was a full day, but it wasn’t the end of our escape into the Hunter Valley. Stay tuned for Part 3.

Our Quick Escape – Part 1

NEW-Dreamteam-badgeglobal-blogging-feature

Our Quick Escape – Part 1

quick escape hunter valley

With baby number 1 turning 2 this week and baby number 2 fast approaching When 3 become 4. . . A few days off in a row was the perfect excuse for our little family to enjoy a break before our lives get a whole lot busier. It just so happens that our little guy also turns 2 this week so what better way to celebrate then a family holiday.

Day 1

As all parents would know, it doesn’t matter how well thought out your plans are, more often then not those plans will never go exactly how you want them to. Today Mrs Down Under had a checkup to make sure everything was going alright with Baby number 2, again as most parents – and anyone who has experienced a waiting room knows that there is no way to tell exactly how long you will be there.

Without going into too much detail we didn’t end up leaving our place until lunchtime.

Luckily our destination was the small town of Pokoblin in the heart of the Hunter Valley. For those reading abroad this is just a short 45 minute drive from our hometown of Newcastle.

Long Overdue Lunch Break

After driving past our hotel as lunch was more important then checking in, we arrived at the village attached to the Hunter Valley Botanic Gardens. A short stroll around and we found exactly what our stomachs were looking for.

taste of the country

The place was only small but the fireplace in the corner was definitely welcoming given its still the middle of winter.

One thing about this place that really stood out was the service. By this stage our little guy was approaching the danger zone AKA past his usual nap time. This was made easier by the waitress who didn’t make him sit in the high chair (a phase he is going through) but rather got him a cushion so he could sit on the normal chairs, then gave him some coloring in to do. When she found out it was his birthday this week she also gave him a car!

note, the car was a matchbox car that had been left behind by a previous customer.

Given that this is a parenting blog and any parent readers know just what toddlers can be like, I feel it important to mention that none of the over and above actions of the waitress actually improved his mood – but it was still a nice touch.

country breakfast

As you can see the food was just as good as the service. Pancakes for Mum and Son, and Corn Fritters with a home made sweet chili jam for Dad.

Afternoon Exercise

After lunch it was time to visit the park that Mum and Dad (but thankfully not son) had spied on the way in. Regular readers would know by now that our little guy loves using the play equipment in parks Weekend Adventures so this was a required stop in our eyes.

park fun

While it does look like he has the run of the grounds to himself, what you can’t see off camera is half a dozen other children sharing the park. Keyword there being sharing, something we are still trying to teach our little guy.

After we got bored, or sick of sharing – you can decide which. It was time to check in to the hotel. While the hotel did have one of those big fancy driveways where you stop right out the front (its the little things in life), it was full when we arrived, so we simply parked and walked with our suitcase. To an adult a suitcase with a pullout handle and 2 wheels does make life easier when travelling. To a toddler who feels the need to drag it by himself, it does not. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture for that one as it didn’t last long. Instead Dad had a toddler in one arm and the suitcase in the other.

The Hotel

When we eventually walked in we had 2 options, left or right. Right allowed us to deposit our bags while we checked in on the left and have them brought to the room for us. Hotels should consider this service for children as well, allow parents to deposit them while they sort out the paperwork and take everything out of the mini bar so the kids don’t accidentally open the $10 bottle of water.

One thing the hotel did give us – or rather the little guy was a stuffed animal frog with their insignia printed on the foot. While this might not seem like much to you and me, to a 2 year old it was amazing.

I do need to describe our room to you though.

  • 2 double beds – we had the illusion that at least one of us might get a good nights sleep each night which would have been great given the recent Toddler Sleep Regressions but more on that later.
  • Bath Tub – this is a big deal for us, as our bathroom at home lacks this feature. While we have perfected the art of showering a toddler, nothing beats a bath in his eyes.
  • No Microwave – something we should have considered, but more on that later.
  • A View – when we booked the room it was described as having a view over either the golf course the hotel was situated on, or the pool area. What they didn’t mention was the pool area wasn’t due for completion until 2019

balcony room

 

Our little guy got so excited about the presence of a bath tub that he decided then and there that he needed a bath, immediately.

Given the fact the only time our toddler had rested today was in the car (which is no replacement for a proper nap in my opinion), an early dinner was in order. On the way we thought we should check out the ‘games’ room we had seen on way in.

Pro-tip for parents – unless you know exactly what is in said ‘games’ room, don’t go anywhere near it, don’t even mention it.

arcade game

The games room was full of arcade games, AKA money drains if your kids understand them and want to play them. Or if your kid simply wants to sit in the car and pretend he is driving like ours, good luck getting them to leave.

It was at that time we reaching breaking point in the danger zone, While Mum and Dad tried to order a meal and then enjoy it. The little dude was not having a bar of it. Without sugar coating it, it wasn’t the most pleasant experience.

As soon as dinner was done it was straight back to the room for bed. Given the last 45 minutes or so we had no grand ideas about how this was going to go down especially given we were in a foreign environment. What made this more difficult was the delay in warming up a bottle. No microwave made this difficult, as did the fact the plug in the sink didn’t actually stop the water from draining away.

note if anyone has an easier way to warm up a bottle then running it under hot water from the tap when you don’t have a microwave I’d love to hear it for next time.

But Surprise Surprise, A warm bottle, a dark room, cuddles with Dad, and 15 minutes of your favorite movie, was all it took to get him to fall asleep.

That was Day 1 of a 3 Day adventure – you can find Part 2 below,

Our Quick Escape pt 2