We had a wonderful day at the zoo yesterday, despite waking up at 7am and not setting foot past the tollbooth at the entrance until midday, it was more than I could ever have hoped it would be. After getting the children fed, washed and dressed we drove with tangible excitement in the opposite direction to the zoo to go and find a McDonald’s for Luca after Millie and I had had toast for breakfast and Gabriele was fast asleep in his baby seat in the back of the car. And so we all sat in Lucas car parked next to a hedge eating french fries and sipping orange juice watching ‘The Transporter’ on Lucas in car DVD and in a ridiculous way, just that moment on its own was priceless. With our tummies doubly full we headed to the zoo and much like a well-oiled machine we all took our role to ensure everything was taken care of.
Millie was in charge of the map and decided she’d like to see the meerkats and flamingos, Luca was in charge of plotting our route and getting us completely lost, and I was in charge of smiling like a fruit cake and making silly faces at Gabriele. In all, we were at the zoo for five hours and two minutes and I can honestly say I enjoyed every second. Despite Millie ‘struggling’ to walk the forty minute route back to our house from school without needing to be carried or in a pushchair, she walked FIVE HOURS on foot without complaining, if anything instead of dragging her heels and hanging her head she was bouncing from one enclosure to the next looking for weird and wonderful animals despite the sun being scorching hot at almost thirty degrees.
Now when I was pregnant with Millie who was born in October I spent the whole of that summer being hugely pregnant and sweating profusely, so I developed a system to cool myself down. I would keep a bottle of scented water in my handbag, much like you would a perfume, and when I got too hot I’d take it out of my bag and spray any skin that I could find. On a hot day it’s indescribable the relief you feel to have a cool refreshing mist of water across your face, neck, shoulders, arms or legs and I dare say it may even be more satisfying than eating chocolate straight out of the fridge! So, knowing that it would be a scorcher of a day and we would all be wearing clothes as opposed to swimwear next to a pool, I decided to take a spritz with me to keep the pack chillaxed; but as it was a few years ago now that I had my pocket rocket, the best thing I could find was the water gun that I use to spray our bonsai tree, which is about the same size as a cookery book. So when I pulled my gardening pump from out of the bottom of the pushchair Luca and Millie looked at me with shock and embarrassment as I sprayed the most beautifully quenching mist of ice cold water across my sweating brow, neck and shoulders right in front of the thousands of other zoo dwellers. ‘Ye have little faith’ I told them as they raised their eyebrows and stepped away for fear of what others might say. But when my icy mist descended upon them you could actually see the frown lines on their faces melt away into pure ecstasy and before you know it they were both like pretty little ballerinas twirling in front of me so that I could spray them all over, completely oblivious to the public around them. We spritzed all day, everywhere and anywhere and smiled and laughed and skipped and jumped dripping with water as everybody else stood scorching hot, dried out and over heated. We were fine dolphins in the ocean surrounded by heat stroked sunbathers. And when we stood next to a bouncy castle in the children’s playground to feed Gabriele and take Millie on the slides a member of the zoo staff observed us misting one-another and asked if he might join in; he was so delighted to get shot in the face with water his actual words were “Thank you so much, you guys have made my day I’m so glad I met you!” Well, what can I say? We try!
Our feet and legs were covered in orangey-brown dust and sand and no doubt some sort of animal poo mixed in for good measure. Our hair was sweaty and mistified sticking to our faces, and our clothes damp from sweat and/or water. You could be forgiven for thinking we had been stranded in the jungle for a fortnight for how trashed we looked as we crawled back to the car at the end of the day. But our smiles remained infectious throughout and grew bigger by the end even as we had such a beautiful day as a little family and it’s something that will stay with me forever. There is no greater feeling in this world than to be together and I am so glad that we had this special time. On the way home in the car Gabriele, Millie and I all fell asleep with our heads back, mouths open and faces pressed up against the windows for all of the passing motorists to see. When we got home like a herd of elephants we waited in line for a bath, jim jams and bedtime. And as I lay in bed with aching heels, a suspiciously sun burnt forehead and the low battery on my phone beeping because of the sheer amount of pictures that I took, I slept like a log and so did Gabriele for what seemed like forever.
Gabriele has been absolutely fantastic at sleeping for the past three nights and I don’t know if I’ve just jinxed myself by recognising this fact in writing as opposed to simply acknowledging it in my head so far. He’s managed to sleep for several hours at a time and I’m literally bowing down and kissing the bedroom carpet each morning when I wake up and the clock doesn’t say 3am when I look at it! I don’t know what’s changed, he’s eating as normal, going to bed around the same time each night give or take half an hour, and wearing the same amount of clothing and covers. Perhaps he’s having a growth spurt and needs the extra sleep right now, or perhaps my desperate prayers have been answered, but all I know is it’s 7am on Monday morning and Gabriele, Luca and Millie are all still fast asleep upstairs and I’m wide awake doing housework and updating my blog after a full nights sleep. I never thought I’d see the day!
So here is this weeks sleeping pattern for Gabriele, which is looking so much healthier and long may it continue:
I actually can’t wait until Gabriele wakes up, because as you may have already realised, today he’s four months old ,which means we can wean him onto solids and I’ve been daydreaming about this moment since the day he was born. In my dreams I’m laying on a puff of white cloud clasping squishy flexible baby spoons and whipping up super fluffy and creamy baby porridge. I can’t wait to see his little face when he tries his first taste of food and spits it back out down his chin in slow motion. Eee our little baby is becoming a young boy before our eyes!
And now for my weekly weigh-in. I’ve been good-ish I suppose, I can’t actually remember the totality of what I’ve eaten as I can just about recall my own name on a good day. But I did make a nice courgette stroganoff the other day, jacket potatoes and a mushroom risotto loaded with double cream. We had a McDonald’s breakfast yesterday followed by ice cream for lunch and a Chinese take out for dinner, and a grab bag of doritos and dip for afters! Oh lord, I also recall burgers in a bun with that plastic tasting cheese that comes wrapped in individual slices, and four bags of minstrels from the petrol station because they were on special offer when I got to the till! Wow, maybe it’s best I stop looking back over this week incase the bathroom scales become aware of my bad behaviour and decide to move the goalposts. So it’s safe to say I wasn’t expecting miracles when I stepped up to face the scales this morning, if anything the most I could really hope for was a one pound gain and I doubt I’d even get away with staying unchanged. But I was pleasantly surprised as I stood like a proud penguin barefoot and with baited breath, to see that I had a three-pound loss! THREE POUNDS!? Seriously!? Without question as it is now set in stone because it has been said, I jumped off the scales before it could change it’s mind and I’ve felt tip top ever since. I WILL start being healthy again, I know I say it all the time, and I know I’m a sucker for temptation but I’ve been given a lifeline here and I really won’t waste it this time. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!
Well, I’d best get on with the rest of the housework and chores before the others wake up, I’m possibly going to shake the baby porridge packet on my way through the kitchen to hear the lovely noise it makes and more than likely open up and sterilise Gabriele’s baby spoons and place them in line like little soldiers ready for his presence at the breakfast table. Whoopie! x x x