Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like.... ?

Well it's been a while since the last blog update. Lots has been happening, but not a lot if you know what I mean.

Rob is on holidays now till late January and has been in full throttle backyard blitz mode. He is almost finished - just a bit more river stone and some more garden blocks and we are done.

First job off the rank though was one I had been wanting for a good 12 months. The al fresco area. We got Bridget on the job to seal the concrete, earning her board and keep.

I'm kidding - she was just "helping" dad. Rob then painted it a dark charcoal. Looks sooooo much better! We plan to put a couple of 3 seater garden seats in there and some pot plants. I am looking forward to getting back out there at night once the kids are in bed, enjoying a glass of wine and a chat.

Rob has shovelled and barrowed about 10m cubed of mulch, granite base and river stone from the front yard into the back yard. We are drought proofing our yard and I think it looks pretty good! I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel with our backyard - after 4 years of weeds and dirt! Once summer is over we will start the long process of planting it out.

Having trouble finding a good tree that will not grow too big, has great autumn leaves and good shade for summer. I really love the Manchurian pear - but it can get pretty big I think - unless we are good about pruning it. We will have to pay a visit to a few specialist nurseries.

Bridget is doing great. I honestly cannot believe how fast she is growing up. It's exciting but also sad. It's becoming a whole new world both for her, and us, her parents. She will transition into the older room in daycare in the middle of next year. Just listening to the carers/ teachers talk about literacy and numeracy during the orientation blew my mind. It's usually me standiung in front of parents talking about curriculum, yet here I was on the other side of it. Weird. My girl can't be that old!! Yet she is. We also have an interview for enrolment into pre-prep in 2011!! It's getting serious people!!!

This is a photo of Bridget dressed up for her first birthday party outside of her MG friends. Her special little friend turned 3 and had a Fairy party.

Sorry about the weird grin. She has a funny way of grimacing when I ask her to smile for the camera. But, I'm not whinging - 6 months ago I was flat out getting her to look at the camera let alone pull a face for it.

Here she is helping me make gingerbread cookies.

Elke is doing wonderfully. She is such a happy little girl. I just want to eat her up. She smiles and giggles and gives me cuddles - it just makes my heart melt. I hope she stays this way once I return to work. She is rolling over and I cannot wait till she works out how to return from her tummy onto her back LOL. Mums reading this will know what I mean. She is also having to odd day of the grizzles because her teeth are moving around in her gums. Her cheeks get red and hot. I must confess to giving in and dosing her with baby panadol or nurofen.

Here she is all dressed up ready to go to the daycare Xmas party last night.

And, here she is sitting in a"beebo" type seat that a lovely friend lent us. She think she is just IT when she is sitting up at the table with us.

Christmas is going to be flat chat for us all - especially me. I have been out every night this week so far and at this stage won't have a night at home till Friday. Then Saturday and Sunday we are hosting Christmas dinners for various "sides" of the family. Monday is free - no doubt spent cleaning as we are hosting Xmas drinks here on Tuesday afternoon (really looking forward to this one). Wednesday spent cleaning and packing ready to head off to Wagga on Xmas Eve.

I am really looking forward to getting down there and having a few quiet days at mum's. She hasn't seen Elke since she was about 5 weeks old. I wish she didn't live so far away.

Merry Christmas everyone! :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Just some recent shots of my gorgeous girls. All things are going well. Feeling a bit sad about having to go back to work soon. Hopefully I will win Lotto soon and not have to! :p
Elke is almost rolling - she is 4 months 2 weeks old. Bridget is doing great and is very excited about receiving her first birthday party invitation outside of her Mothers Group friendship circle - a little friend of her's in daycare is having a fairy party for her 3rd birthday! How fun! Better get the wings out and track down the wand...or better still it's a good excuse to buy a new pair! :)
Have a good week everyone!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Some inspiration...something old!

This evening I became a member of Blog This. I was after some inspiration and thought it would be fun. The challenge this week is something old. I'm coming a bit late into this challenge but many things in my house spring to mind when I think of "old". I have some lovely old pieces passed down from my grandparents; one of Grandma's old pinnies, a pair of her gloves, a hand embroidered table cloth, pieces of china, a wartime letter sent to my grandmother by my grandfather when they were courting, war medals etc. All of these things have significant meaning to me.

But, no I wanted to find something reaaaaaallllly old :p And, beautiful. Please excuse the shocking picture quality. I covet an SLR. My little digital just doesn't cut it with macro shots.

So here it is!

This fossil of a marine creature has been cut in half to reveal the amazing inside pattern and crystallisation. Rob actually owns it and it is displayed on one of our many bookcases. Surprisingly, Bridget has not fiddled with it (ie; broken it!) and it has survived almost three years in a toddler's house! Well, you would think so wouldn't you - having survived for millenia.

What is it? No idea!
Is it rare? No
Is it old? Most definitely.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

It's November already....?

We received some sad news late last week. My grandfather - Pop - passed away after being unwell and uncomfortable for a long time. He was 3 weeks away from his 91st birthday!!!! That means both my grandfathers lived to be 90! I doubt if I will live that long. I spent pretty much all of my school holidays on my grandparents' farm from the age of 6 till about 14. I have fond memories of waking up in the morning to the sound of Pop jogging the trotting horses around the track in the home paddock. I would lie in the big double bed in the *outside room* - the room off the front verandah - listening to the jog-jog-jog sound approach then fade, approach then fade. I also have fond memories of Pop sitting in *his* chair in the loungeroom, with Uncle Edgar in his chair on the other side of the couch. Old, worn brimmed hats and king gee work pants, morning tea, afternoon tea and supper and the shearing shed. Rest in peace, Norman Alexander.

The girls are going great - growing up too fast though. I think they are going to get up to a lot of mischief together before long.

This photo is one of the only recent ones I have of Bridget standing by herself smiling *for* the camera. I got her dressed and did her hair all ready for the day at Nana and Pop's and told her she looked very pretty. I asked if I could take her photo and she said Yes!! I took full opportunity but still took a lot of the back of her head when she decided to get coy.

Bridget likes to give Elke a cuddle and lke generally likes Bridget giving her one. Elke's head looks huge in these two photos but I am sure it is just foreshortening from the angle I was taking them. Poor little chicken looks huge!

I love the one of Bridget laughing! :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

In the red and running on empty!

The title of this post says it all really.

I am feeling very flat and empty at the moment. Nothing serious, I will get over it. Chin up and soldier on and all that. See that is the problem with me. I am an action person. I see a problem and I solve it. I deal with things and I cope.

I am also a great friend. I listen and I listen and I give support and advice and I laugh with them and cry for them, I worry about them and I spend a lot of time thinking about how I can help them with their problems in order to get them happy again.

I do this also with my partner and with my kids.

When I am at work I do this for the staff and for the kids I teach.

It's crazy!!

I am pretty much in deficit emotionally at the moment. Too many withdrawals and not enough deposits. I'm feeling really jaded about doing all of the above and getting stuff all in return from some of them. A lot of the problem is my own fault. I very rarely ever show my underbelly. I don't often ask for help. I am fiercely independent and stubborn but also resourceful in a good way. I solve my own problems. So, friends wouldn't in fact know that I needed support unless I straight out said, for example "I am a bit sad about xyz".

I did this the other day and got something else entirely in return. Normally I would switch modes and say "Oh really tell me all about that" and listen and support and blah blah blah, but this time I bit down on it. Hard. I was so pissed off. Once I got over that I was left feeling very flat and empty. Who supports me??? When's my turn to sit and have a whinge and have someone listen and solve my problems for me??

Pffft! See. Here's the thing. I can't stand doing that. This whole post is not something that I like to do and I will wish that I didn't do it and try to delete it tomorrow.

But, there is a side of me that is starting to rebel and say "No, hold on a minute! Stuff it! You have a whinge and a cry! Bugger what anyone else thinks!"

So I will leave it there and see what happens. Feel better already.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Going for green!

We have spent the last week getting a garden bed started out the back in our very bare and boring yard. It's been so long coming due to many circumstances - primarily money and climate. We are on Level 5 water restrictions which means no watering systems to be used, no hoses, only bucketing and watering cans. We have kept the garden out the front alive and thriving using bucketed bath water.

Don't let the "cool climate" tag for Orange fool you - it's cold AND dry here! We have been planting drought tolerant plants like flax, protea, irises, aggies, silverbush etc. My one consolation is a dogwood and a magnolia tree.

So, out the back we are going to have most of it done in mulched native garden and only one small area of grass. We hope that will be enough for our two girls to play on. Besides, we are very close to the Botanic Gardens and other green parklands. Below is a picture of the area that will eventually be grassed. We will probably seed it next year - or we may bite the bullet and turf it. Depends on the weather and how the water restrictions go.

Below are photos showing the first of our backyard garden beds. The whole lot of the yard apart from the grassed area and some pebbled paths will be mulched and planted out with natives.
Below is a gorgeous white protea I just had to have - we have to wait for it to stop flowering before we can plant it. It will eventually grow quite large (hopefully)

I look forward to the day when our backyard is shady and a little haven for native birds and the occasional lizard. Our aim is to create something that is welcoming, low maintenance and drought friendly. We estimate it will take us a good 5 years to get there and even longer for tress to get up but, we'll get there. The big question is will we still be in the house to see the garden at it's best? By then we could have outgrown the house and moved on, or may have followed work to another town, who knows.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A busy month!

Hi everyone!
Sorry it has been a while - the post title says it all really.
We have been busy but also having a nice time of it. We are still managing to be very social. It;s easy with a little bub. Things will change once she gets bigger and starts fussing about having naps in the pram.

Things are puffing along pretty well. Bridget is doing great - still keeping us on our toes. She is fully toilet trained during the day now which is fantastic! It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

What is hard is the naughtiness and how to deal with it. Rob and I are working on a plan of attack that suits us both. Not that B is naughty all the time though. She just tries it on pretty well in the afternoons especially when she is tired. This afternoon when she walked in after being picked up from daycare she lay down next to Elke on the playgym and promptly bit her on the finger......just for the heck of it!

School holidays are starting soon so I will make sure I have a few girly outings with just the two of us.

A couple of weekends ago we were invited to a friend's parents' farm to see some spring lambs. Bridget loved it. Below is a picture;

Elke has grown out of her baby bath and now has a bath with Bridget - under the supervision of Daddy of course. Elke really enjoys a bath even when her big sister half drowns her with splashes. Look at that gorgeous little fat tum!!

Below is more gorgeousness! A very good friend of mine gave me this outfit when Elke was born. I have been waiting and waiting for her to fit into it. Thanks to a cold snap I got the opportunity last week.

Isn't she just the sweetest thing?

I have no idea what she weighs or how long she is but I do know she is a happy contented baby. Last night she slept through for the first time.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It had to happen....

Just quickly before I give Elke a dream feed - I wanted to share the sad news with you.

After months of sleeping in a big bed Bridget has worked out that she can indeed get out of it :(

Last night she wasn't happy about going to bed in the first place and got up twice. It was infuriating but also a wee bit cute. Each time she got up she came out carrying a pair of slippers, blinking into the bright light and mumbling something incoherent around her dummy about having had a good sleep. What was impressive though was that she got up in the dark, opened her wardrobe really quietly and found a matching pair of slippers in the messy jumble that is her shoe shelf. Hmph! Not likely young lady, back to bed with you!!'

And this morning, an even sadder event - she has worked out that she can get up and come into our bedroom at 6am and get pulled under the covers coz mum it too bloody tired to get up and return her to her bed :(

Ah well, we had a good run. It had to end someday...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Father's Day 2009

Hi there!

Sorry - it's been a while. Been busy busy busy. Elke is doing great. She is just scrumptious and I tell her every day that I could eat her up. She is so laid back and content. She has outgrown her 0000 suits and is well and truly into the 000 clothes now. That was fast. She is getting close to sleeping through, too. She woke at 4am last night and I put the dummy in while I heated a bottle. By the time I got back she was asleep again, so I crept back to bed. She woke me again at 5am so that was pretty good going.

We spent a lovely Father's Day in Bathurst at the All Saints College Spring Fair. Bridget FINALLY overcame her fear of jumping castles and had a great time just before we headed home. Poor chicken is doomed to a life of timidity I think. The last time she got up close and personal with a jumping castle was Australia Day and let's just say that did not end very well at all. I think the whole of Orange, who happened to be in Cook Park that day, heard her tanty and saw two people man-handling a screaming reheaded child out the gate. Not pretty.

She almost didn't get on this one thanks to an over bearing attendant. Bridget does not necessarily like it when strange people grab her under the arms, hoist her onto jumping castles and yell "There ya go love, off ya go and have fun!" Wonder why.... eye rolling smilie here

Bridget has been going really well with toilet training, too. No accidents for a few days now, both at home and daycare. Fantastic! That was relatively painless...phew!

Here is a great photo of Rob and the two girls. Happy Father's Day!! Bridget made him a keyring at daycare which was very cute and he actually uses it! Proud daddy. He also scored a Darrel Lea Dad's bag from Elke and a pair of Maui Jim's from me.

K xox

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Growing Up

Bridget seems to be growing up all at once!
This week she has initiated toilet training. Thank the lord!

She had her nappy changed in the middle of the day last Wednesday then said she wanted undies on. I said OK but explained (again) that she had to make sure she told me when she wanted to do a wee.

10 minutes later she did. So, playing along with the "game" I took her and was very surprised and pleased when she did a wee!! :) I gave her a sticker and praised her up and all that afternoon she went back and forth to the loo doing little wees. Rob made a chart for her ( see below) and when she got up to the prize square she was to get a little something. Lucky for me one of our local shopping centres has some new vending machines that swallow a $2 coin in return for a piece of cheap plastic crap (read: worldly treasure for a toddler). We are collecting Strawberry Shortcake bracelet charms now :) So cute. I am so proud of her.

Sorry the above photo is so blurry - for the life of me I cannot get a focused shot of the chart.

Bridget is also cementing friendships! Another sign she is growing up. She and her little friend Molly were enjoying cupcakes one day last week (see above photo) and were cracking each other up with the mess they were making of their faces. Molly's mother and I were in turn laughing at them. It made my heart sing to see Bridget laughing her head off and having such fun with a friend. I don't know if you can see in the photo - they are both wearing fairy wings. I can imagine them getting their ears pierced together in several years time.

She is in her big bed too and has been since about May this year. I was feeling all precious and nervous about the transition but when it came to the crunch it went fine. The bed was in her room for a good few months before she was ready to go into it, so it wasn't a new object for her. The guard rail must make her feel nice and secure because to this day - touch wood - she has not gotten out of bed either of a night or of a morning. Some evenings it has taken her an hour to settle. She lies in there howling and growling and fighting sleep but has never gotten out of bed!! I am not sure whether she is not game to or whether it has just never occurred to her that she can.... I don't care and I am not going to ask. Which brings me to the next milestone for Bridget.
The evening bedtime fuss is something that Rob and I can do without now that Elke has come along. We decided that Bridget could probably do without the day sleep. She has hardly had a nap at daycare for the past month and we just bring the routine forward to cater for that. She has hot lunches at daycare anyway, so a sandwich, yogurt/ fruit and some milk for dinner is enough and we pop her in bed around 7.30. Bliss. This week she went without a day sleep from Tuesday through to Friday. I picked her up from her grandparents on Friday afternoon and she looked knackered. As I expected she fell asleep in the car on the way home. I got her out and woke her up, plying her with sugary foods in an attempt to get her going again - a chocolate biscuit and her fave juice. Below is the result. Not exactly what I intended and not such a big girl that she can completely go without day sleeps, it seems.

Have a close look at what is going to waste in her hand!

And so onto my next little treasure. Elke is just gorgeous. I could eat her up! She is generally very easy going but she can really let you know she is pissed off! Her howl is much louder than Bridget's ever was. She is growing up too - reaching her first milestone this week by learning how to smile. Love it! I spend many minutes trying to get her to smile more for me. Below is a photo of her smiling - which is very hard to capture!

Rob and I are blessed.

Friday, July 31, 2009

State of War

I know, the post title sounds a bit dire, doesn't it!! Everything is going fine really.

But, what is it with the cluster feeding?????
Last night Elke fed from 5pm till 9pm straight - well practically. There were brief little "I'm so tired/ drunk on milk/ windy/ I have no idea what's wrong with me" moments in there too. She fed again at 12.30, then 4am then 6am (reasonable). From the 6am feed, however, till about 11am, she fed almost constantly again!! Arrgh!


I caved and bought a tin of formula.

I bathed her and dressed her this evening as usual, then breastfed her as usual. I then gave her a bottle (60mLs) of formula and ...

she was settled and out like a light by 7pm.


I don't know. I feel mixed up about the whole thing. On the one hand I feel like a failure. On the other hand I feel relieved. I am determined to keep on breastfeeding though. I will just add the odd bottle of formula in to the mix.

It's a slippery slope though, comp feeding.

Ah well.

On a brighter note, my two girls are just lovely and we are all clicking a way as a family of four.
Bridget is starting to really respond to Elke now. She demands to cuddle her at least twice a day. She talks to her and kisses her and even on the odd occasion tells her she loves her. So sweet.

Below is a photo of Elke at 3 weeks. She has just had a bath and is having a nudie kick. She loves this time of the day.

Below is a photo of Bridget holding Elke. Elke is having a good old cry and Bridget looks less than impressed - poor thing. She finds Elke's howling to be a little stresful and often gets upset too.

The photo below was taken last week and again, Elke is crying. Poor Bridgy. She hasn't stopped asking to hold Elke though.

Rob just brought Bridge into the kitchen and put a bandaid on a little bump on her forehead. Are all toddlers fascinated with bandaids like mine is? Any bump, bruise, scratch or imaginary injury requires one. They last about 20 minutes before they are peeled off.
OK. Off to phone my mum.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Well it's day 11 and all things are still going well. Elke in fact gave me a "one feed night" - which I don't expect to happen again for a while. She was fed at 1am, I was back in bed at 2.30 (I think I dozed off in the rocker) and I woke up to Bridget calling out at 7am!! My boobs were killing me!

Of course, Elke made me pay for it today. This morning she fed almost hourly and cat napped in between. Ah well.

Elke is in her cot at night now and therefore I am sleeping a whole lot better! yeehar! Some of her sleeps during the day are in her rocker bed. We will get there.

Bridget is going alright. She was very sweet this morning and read a couple of stories to Elke while I had breakfast. Sometimes, however, she can be a real ratbag. There have been a couple of occasions where I have had to lay down the law about what she can and can't do. Definitely can't go banging her little sister over the head with a maracca!

Newborn days are so easy - we have been out a few times as a whole family and E has slept the whole time. We went out for dinner with my cousins on Saturday night, then to my cousin's Nanna's 80th Birthday Lunch on Sunday. E just slept.

I expect her to "wake up" soon! LOL

Monday, July 13, 2009

Introducing sweet Elke Mae!

Here she is! Isn' t she the sweetest thing?
She was born 9th July at 8.50am after an amazing labour and birth.
I wont go into the details here - I will post my birth story on EB soon.

Elke about 6 hours old.
1 Day Old
First Bath
In her cot 11th July

With big sister Bridget 12th July
With Bridget 13th July
Things are going well - it is a lot easier second time round. Bridget has been a bit tricky at times. I think time will improve things there. Poor chicken has been the absolute apple of our eye for 2.5 years and now Elke is here to share the limelight. It must be hard for her.
I am getting enough sleep so far but it is early days yet. Fingers crossed Elke turns out to be a good sleeper like Bridget was. Currently we are co-sleeping but I will start having her self settle in her cot soon.
I have been spending a lot of time just cuddling her while she sleeps, which I didn't so much of with Bridget. I was so anxious about making sure she was sleeping in the "right" place. Right now Elke is asleep beside me on the couch after having had a big feed. I am just going with the flow and taking each day as it comes.
I plan on enjoying it all a bit more.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

3 weeksish to go!

Can't believe how fast these last 6 weeks are going! We don't even have the nursery set up yet!
I'm feeling alright. I think the bub is posterior though as I have been experiencing a lot of pressure in the bot area - really really painful! I have been told to do a lot of leaning forward to encourage bub to turn.

My feet look like little pillows.

But, apart from that all is well. I will see my Ob on Wednesday after not seeing him for 4 weeks (business/ holiday). I feel fine so am not guilty about not persuing the Midwife clinic or the GP just to get my BP checked.

I started maternity leave last Friday thank god - I was ready! I caught a cold in the middle of the week and have felt really tired. I popped out to work yesterday to do some catching up on things but, today I took it easy. Bridget went to day care, I went to a cafe and had raisin toast and a decaf latte, read the paper, browsed around the shops for a bit, picked up some parcels from the PO then headed home. Lovely.

When I look at this photo and compare it with the one taken at 34 weeks (a few posts ago), I don't think my belly has gotten any bigger - but, it could be the angle of the photo. It certainly feels heavier! Plenty of movement and plenty of Braxton Hicks, so I feel confident all is well.

Just hoping that the threeish weeks turns into four. Now that I can stand still I am getting my head around the fact there will be another little bub in our lives very soon.

a scary old fellow is Humphrey!

Humphrey was given to Bridget when she was a tiny baby by a well meaning family member. I was a bit taken aback - I mean, he is not cuddly at all is he! So he sat around for a while for appearances sake, then he was tidied up and relegated to the bottom of the blanket hamper.

About a week ago I was pulling some sleeping bags and blankets out of the hamper to wash in preparation for the new baby when B spotted Humphrey. "Who's that?" she asked. I said "That's Humphrey - he's been sleeping in the blanket hamper for a while". She insisted I get him out. She eyed him dubiously but wouldn't hold him. I brought him into the loungeroom and busied myself with what I was doing again when I heard a scared little yell from the loungeroom. Apparently Humprey "hurt" her (B gets scared and hurt mixed up). So, Humphrey was banished to the spare room and the door closed.

Everytime we go into the spare room she eyes Humprey off but won't touch him. I have explained that he is a nice bear etc and gradually he has been let out of the spare room and allowed to sit on the couch.

She still won't touch him though! I don't blame her - he stands about 3 foot tall, has big eyes, a hard shiny nose and is as stiff as a board! Not the kind of fellow you would want to take to bed! apart from the last part but this font is so small you can't read that anyway can you!!

Imagination is the highest kite you can fly....

I have a banner with that saying pinned up in my library at school.

Bridget's imagination has really taken off in the last couple of months. It's just fascinating to watch and be involved in it. She is right into role play. Her favourite role play is to do with dollies. She picks up so much of what is going on with the babies in her Day Care room.

About a month ago she spread a blankie out on the floor in the loungeroom, scavenged around in the bottom of her toy box for some "baby" toys, grabbed her dolly and sat down to have playtime with her. I should have taken a photo but didn't want to ruin the moment by disappearing - she loves an audience these days.

Just a couple of days ago though I was able to catch her having "toilet" time with the dollies. I was wandering round doing things while talking to mum on the phone, so picking up a camera wasn't too much of a distraction - although I only got off a couple of shots before she demanded the camera so she could take photos herself. Miss Independent!!

Here's one of them.

Whilst Happy Dolly was busy on the potty, another dolly (that has no name) is having her bum seriously wiped!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's gonna blowwww!!!!

OMG!! Can it get any bigger?? Well, yes it can peoples. I've got, like, about 8 weeks to go!! I am feeling really well though - as happened in my third trimester with Bridget's pregnancy I seem to lose weight from my actual body and put it into my belly. Little bubba is getting fat! I have a scan on Monday to check placement and size then, hopefully it is full steam ahead to another natural birth....well, as natural as it can be when you are begging for as many drugs as you can get! :p

Here is a pic taken of me last night. Excuse the tired look - I have a little head cold thanks to Bridget.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Anzac Day March 2009

I've always liked to be involved the march with the school kids but, ever since my Grandad passed away it has become even more important for me. When Bridget starts school and gets into the marching thing I will make sure she has a set of replicas to wear.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Canberra Zoo

Last week we took a family trip to Canberra. We had planned to pop in to Cockington Green on the first day but, we arrived way too late for that. Instead we met up with a couple of friends of mine for a cuppa, chat and most importantly for the kids, a play a Monkey Mania. What a fantastic place that is! Bridget loved it and showed uncommon bravery in going down the really big slide twice!

We stayed the night with some lovely friends of ours that we met through Rob's school. The next day we did what we had been wanting to do for years, and that was, visit the Canberra Zoo and Aquarium. I must say, Rob and I were pretty impressed. We were able to see more big cats close up than we have ever seen in our times at Taronga or Western Plains (excluding the cougar/ tigers at Dreamworld).

We got to see a tiger being fed, a tiger walking back and forth along a fence about 1 metre from us, a big male lion roaring it's head off then having a smooch with his mate, and a couple of gorgeous snow leopards up quite clese too. The cheetahs were as elusive as always.
Bridget had a great time! It was a great zoo for a kid her age as it is small and enclosures allow close up peeks at the animals. The aquarium was pretty cool. Bridget got to see Nemo and Dory and Gill!! We were blown away by the massive groper!! Heeeeuuuuuge!

Below is a really really brief pic of the groper. Honestly, I've never seen a fish that size before, apart from sharks.

Here are some pics of other, probably more exciting, animals!

The roaring lion

Cute but smelly otters

They have such long tails, snow leopards

Where to after lunch?

Wombat sleeping with it's back resolutely turned towards the pesky public

Red panda having lunch

Tired little chicken

Daddy bought Bridget a gorgeous tiger to cuggle. She was absolutely knackered, and so was I. She was asleep in the car when we got back to Laura and Darren's. I plopped her into her portacot and we both slept for about 3 hours!

I love this photo!