This is certainly a case of what we say haunts us.
Three days before school holidays commenced, I innocently said to Miss Five "sure, we can go to Build-A-Bear soon". Literally every. day. since. I have heard nothing but "when are we going to Build-A-Bear". So today, I made good on my "promise".
With my husband away, it was a perfect time to roadtest our activity trackers, get some shopping done with my two and not have to hide the haul in the boot for weeks claiming "this old thing" every time a new purchase was uncovered.
So, with Addison, Miss Nine (and a half), and Berkley, Miss Five (and half too Mummy) we took Lakeside Joondalup by storm.
Sadly, my purchases were completely boring with all 4 tyres due for replacement on my car, there was nothing left for shoes, bags or fun stuff for mummy. However, I have to say I was VERY IMPRESSED with the service I received at Kmart Tyre and Auto (go see Wade there, he is a LEGEND) and was even more thrilled to learn they offer to price-match, so my car's "new shoes" didn't hurt as much as I originally thought None-the-less, I am sure a nice pair of ballet flats would've been far more fun to shop for. So, with the car safely getting sorted, we didn't take our girl's shopping day task lightly.
With Berkley going into grade one, I had her eyes checked at Spec Savers. They were so thorough and really great with my nervous little girl. Somehow, she thought eye-testing involved poking her eyes out and once Optomotrist Craig made her feel safe (and she got an eye stress ball - eeeeew) we were off and racing for the "important" things.
Straight to Build-A-Bear where Bella and Snuffles were quickly added to our (excessive) family of stuffed toys. It really was fun for the kids where they selected their bear, filled it with the softest of stuffing and even added beating hearts, a scent and something else that cost me a small (well-spent) fortune. We styled the bears in their best threads and created their birth certificates and BAM. I was MUM-OF-THE-YEAR!!!! Who new so much joy could be found in one store?
All smiles we ventured to Lakeside's Great Space - the big open area where all the fun stuff happens. We had a Nerf War (which I was not having any part of as I am one of those "no guns in my home" mums) but I got conned and whined at so I gave in. Then, in the blink of an eye the kids were harnessed and tumbling with FlyMotion where both the girls did back flips high in the air with the help of some pretty awesome trampolines and even better staff (who aren't scared to have a pic or two).
There was toy department after toy department. With the release of a whole new Lego Friends series, the girls were determined to grab a bargain. This involved going to Big W, Myer, Kmart and Target to get the best deal. Despite there being just $1 difference, we had to go all the way back to our first stop Big W to get the best deal. Berkley obsessed over baby dolls that we don't need and Addi swooned at just about every new Shoppy (Shopkins) Doll ever created and every Beanie Boo we passed.
We stopped for a bite to eat (lots of nutritious fries) outside and despite it being a belting hot day, we found a nice shady table at Grill'd where they were able to accommodate Addi's ridiculous burger request of bread, bacon and cheese and Berkley picked off every minuscule fleck of rosemary from the fries.
There was more shopping, including Build-A-Bear clothing from Best and Less for $4 an item (size 0-3 months fit them perfectly for anyone wanting to accessorise theirs - go on, I know you want to), hair glitter from pavement, Looney Tune clothing from Cotton on Kids and yet another bath bomb from Lush and some must-do nail painting for the weary shoppers.
Smiggle of course came up with the back-to-school goods with the most diverse range of fabrics, but Kmart had really good affordable options too for those not holding shares in Smiggle. Typo had THE BEST drink bottles and lots of pretty distractions for frazzled mummy too.
There was uniform shopping at Target and Big W and then, in a split second, I realised my baby is now a big girl when she tried on her first pair of school shoes. Not knowing what to expect and how much destruction the shoes would face, I went for an all leather pair from Target as I really think their quality was amazing and for $35 I couldn't go past them.
Lunchboxes - Check
Drink bottles - Check
Backpacks - Check
There was a quick pitstop past a squishy shop (if you don't know what these are, do yourself a favour and NEVER show your kids - they are really expensive stress balls that your pets will eat and you will spend every working hour trying to replace so they don't notice) and then..... We were done!
Seven and a half hours spent at Lakeside Joondalup, one very full trolley, three ice creams, one impressive bathroom break (they have great Parent's Rooms that are incredibly clean) six very tired feet, and a combined total of 38 972 steps we were done (and my car was ready)!