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The Fantastic T’s Go On Holiday!

Holiday! Yay! After months of hard work, savings and planning, the time finally came – we were going on holiday! Oh, wow – it was going to be so much fun! The bags were packed and we were on our way on a wonderful trip around the top end of the North Island of New Zealand.

Here’s the thing about New Zealand – it’s a stunning country. We are so lucky to have it within our reach, and Mr T had never traveled north of Auckland before. So, we reasoned, why spend money traveling to other countries when we could tourist in our own country! Great plan, Mrs T. Practically foolproof.

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Holidaying in today’s day and age, photos get plastered all over social media and people think, “oh wow, you guys are having such an amazing time!”. And we are. Kind of.

But, truth be told, holidaying with three small kids is hardly a holiday. It’s more of a normal-life-in-a-different-place-with-slightly-more-anxious-kids-and-no-bath.

I can tell endless tales of the fun we are having, but then, that wouldn’t be true to my blog now, would it?

So here is our holiday so far – the unedited version.

Long car rides are boring. Of course they are. I know they are. That’s why I normally fall asleep (not when I’m driving, obvi). Kids? They moan. “Are we there yet?” “How far till we get there?”. And, courtesy of Princess – “THESE KIDS ARE SO DUMB! LEAVE THEM BY THE ROAD! WHO INVITED THESE SILLY KIDS?”.

I’m relatively confident she isn’t including herself in that.

We see lots of amazing sights along the way

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Yes, that is a public toilet. Nestled next to a very lovely river. That we didn’t see because Princess then BoyChild then Princess then BoyChild needed to pee/poop/pee/who-knows-what.

We decided to stop en route for a lovely picnic at the exquisite Lake Taupo. I had even packed a picnic for us to share (yay me! Mum Win).

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What you can’t see in this lovely pic is (a) BabyGirl is crying (b) we are sitting in bird poop (c) there are literally six BILLION ducks and pigeons and geese and swans and seagulls hovering, just waiting for us to drop a teensy bit of something for them to swoop in and (d) the tourists all sitting at the picnic tables, looking at us and thinking, those morons.

As soon as a table was free, we took it. And to Princess’s credit, she was an awesome bird-shoo-er. “GET AWAY YOU STUPID DUMB HEAD BIRDS!!!”. Such a lady *gush*

After our picturesque (read: hell no) picnic, we let the kids go and look at the lake. OMG PHOTO OP!

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Literally SECONDS later, BabyGirl took a step into the water and belly flopped in, face first. Princess immediately copied her and also “accidentally” fell in (read: not). And BoyChild? He’s all like, “hey, they are swimming, I’m IN!” and was naked before we could stop him.

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And so we have, an awesome pile of saturated clothing, three naughty children back in the car, and we are on our way, far, FAR away from any bodies of water (or birds, for that matter!).

We had a lovely stopover in Auckland, we saw many, MANY parts of the city that we didn’t plan on (turns out we aren’t very good at motorways). Or roads in general.

We went to the Zoo which was actually really fun (well, I think it was!). We saw an Elephant

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Note – no BabyGirl in the photo. The Elephant frightened her so much she was literally trembling. No idea what the kids are looking at. “Hey! Guys! Elephant is over there!

The Zoo really was great. Even though it literally poured with rain. And when BoyChild asked for a jersey, I realised I’d left his in the car (Mum Fail).

Special mention to Princess and her Zoo Navigator skills. “Is this the path to the shop, Mum?”

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Today we left Auckland and headed further North to the beautiful Bay of Islands. I know they are beautiful because I’ve been here before. Mr T is yet to be convinced, since it started pouring with rain the minute we arrived. The drive up was four torturous hours of hell, I won’t lie. Twice we had to change the seating arrangements. And I blame BabyGirl entirely. She is a little minx in her car seat – hair pulling, kicking, throwing toys. My goodness. I might have nodded slightly when Princess exasperated, “JUST LEAVE HER ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD TO WALK, GEEEEZ”.

We had no less than eight toilet stops.

Yet somehow we missed the famous Kawakawa toilets.

We stopped at a New Zealand war site, to let the kids run around while we got to look at it and appreciate the history of it. Amongst yells of “get out of the hole” and “don’t stick your face in the historic cannon please”. Of course.

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Oh, not to mention the fact that, give BabyGirl an inch of freedom and she is off like a rocket.

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I was NOT wearing a suitable running bra today.

And there it is. We arrived at our motel in the pouring rain, just before tea time, with three sleeping angels in the backseat.

Which of course means it is after 9pm and we are still trying to settle them into bed. At least they aren’t all singing “All about the bass” like they were at 11pm last night.

Ah, holidays. Truth be told, we are having fun. We have laughed and laughed, we went for a lovely family walk after tea tonight, and Mr T and I are currently relaxing and reading up on what we can do while we are here. Holidays. They are what you make them. And dammit, this holiday is gonna be awesome.

Can’t wait to plan the next one. Although, I won’t lie – I’m not sure the kids will be invited.

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Let’s Go Driving In The Car-Car …

My Mum and Step-Dad, my Aunty and my in-laws all live a 4 hour drive from our house. It’s handy that they all live in the same city, but the travel is a bit of a hassle sometimes. However, we try to make the trip at least once every month or two if we can.

In fact, Princess was a mere 5 days old (and not even at her due date yet!) the first time we made the trip with kids. I know, right?! Insane. What the heck were we thinking? Actually, I know exactly what we were thinking – babies aren’t that big of a deal. She’s a baby, it’ll be easy. Boy, I wish we’d taken a photo of our car for that trip. For two adults and one newborn, we wouldn’t have fitted another person in our roomy, 5-seater hatchback. It was so full. We took absolutely everything we could possibly need on that trip.

Change mat. Baby bath. Baby bath support. Baby bath thermometer. Bassinet. Bassinet stand. Outfits for every season possible. Nappies. Nappies. Nappies. We were away for four days.

We have come a long way from that first trip, we have the packing down to a bare minimum – one small suitcase each. Of course, with three kids, it’s the only real option.

And so, this weekend, we packed up the car and headed off on a fun filled, 4 hour drive north. Only, I think the kids missed the “fun filled” part of the memo.

Now, BoyChild is recently toilet trained. So, this was our first trip with two kids out of nappies (and, of course, one in nappies). But really, how hard can it be? She laughs.

BabyGirl fell asleep almost instantly when we got in the car – you see, that is trick number one to a successful long car ride – timing. It was dead on her nap time, so she will easily sleep well.

With the kids music blaring and BabyGirl happily snoring, we drove for a short while in peaceful bliss. A very short while.

“MUM! I need to go to the toilet!”

Stop the car at the closest public toilet. “Who else needs to go??”

Take both kids in, business done, back on the road.

“DAD! I need to go to the TOILET!” Seriously? You literally just went.

One hour down, we stop at McDonalds because the kids are restless, BabyGirl is crying, BoyChild is playing I-Spy but, according to Princess, is “DOING IT ALL WRONG”.

Nice lunch, and back on the road.

15 minutes later, as far away from any public toilets as we could be.

“NEED GO WEEEEEEEEEEEES”.

“Ok, just hold on, won’t be long”.

“Need go weeeeees now, Mummy. NOW.”

Pull over on the side of the road.

“No wees, Mummy – poos. Need do poos.”.

Crap. Literally. Crap. I grab the wipes and wait, cringing.

“No poos, Mum. Just wees.”

Get back into the car.

I’m sure that by now, you get the idea.

I’m pretty confident that, during our 4 hour drive, we stopped no less than 25 times. Each child swore they didn’t need to pee, then did. BoyChild did wees roadside, so Princess wanted to as well. Princess went into the toilet that talked to you (oh yes, we frequented even the fanciest of public loos) so BoyChild wanted to. I drew the line, however, at stopping at the public loo who charge 20c a go. That’s just ludicrous. Loo-dicrous (see what I did there?). And, poor old BabyGirl. By the end of the trip, I’m sure she was saying, “WEEEES!! POOOS!!” as well.

We arrived safely, albeit exhausted (well, speaking for Mr T and I in particular!). And, the first thing the kids said when we arrived at the in-laws?

“WE NEED TO GO TO WEEEEEEEES”.

Next time, I think I might fly.

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