#36 The A-Z April challenge

I’ve seen many of these challenges since starting my blogging adventure. I guess it was a combination of none of them really speaking to me/it not being the right time to partake in one, due to life/time/whatever.

Last night, I saw a blog post on my Reader by Daily Write. It mentioned the A-Z April Challenge, and as I scoured over it quickly, something, I can’t even remember what, for some reason, caught my eye.

I did a bit of research, read into it, and because I was feeling low, decided to sleep on it. But still, as I lay in bed, I knew I had made up my mind.

Today I’m feeling crappy and tired and all crampy, so making this decision, even though it’s not far from the direction of this blog, has been hard. It’s hard to motivate yourself and get excited about something when you’re not in the right mindframe for it. Nevertheless I’m partaking in this challenge for the month of April, so beginning tomorrow, my posts’ direction will slightly change…

Being a gratitude blog, I will combine my everyday blog posts with the April Challenge, by posting a different item of gratitude for every alphabet letter… so tomorrow will be something of gratitude starting with the letter ‘A,’ then Saturday I will post something of gratitude starting with the letter ‘B’ and so on. Because Sunday is the only day in the week considered an ‘off’ day for the challenge where you do not post, it does not mean I’ll be doing the same! I’ll just continue on with my normal gratitude post on this day, and then resume with the challenge in my gratitude theme on Monday.

I’ve always tried to look for an item of gratitude in the day I am blogging about it. I don’t know if it will be hard to do this when it is wired alphabetically, so to speak… I mean, when I get to ‘W,’ how hard will it be to think of something I’m grateful for starting with that letter on that particular day? What if the Weather is shit that day? Whales? What is the likelihood I’ll end up at the Aquarium? I don’t do White water rafting. Hmmm.

But, that is why it’s called a challenge. I’m excited to jump on board, and look forward to the people and amazing blogs¬†I KNOW I will come across.

Thank you challenge, for kicking me up the bum. As busy as I am, I think I need something like this.

#35 Playing made-up games with her

There’s this little game I created spontaneously with baby girl, about a week or two ago. In trying to get her to talk some more, I use this little man on a carriage, and he carries in his cart behind him some corn and some lettuce. I get her to do the “ready, set go!” action for him to begin his ‘delivery’ trip, and I also prompt her to action “open” for when he is in front of a ‘closed’ gate. Then he goes around to her various leggo friends and stuffed toys that I’ve spaced around the floor, and he asks each of her toys which they would eat: corn or lettuce? Sometimes they devour it. Sometimes he mows them over with his cart. And other times he chases baby girl around! I also get her to action “more,” if he suddenly stops his delivery.

What is so special about this is that this random game I created gives her endless entertainment. She LOVES the game, and not only do I gain gratitude from playing with her, but in knowing that something I created, makes her so happy.


#34 Ducted Heating

I swore I wouldn’t put on the heating until at least April. But damn you, Melbourne. You just had to dip to below 18 this week, blowing your strong-ass winds into me as I hurried over to get¬†my daily¬†coffee near work.

So at home, I put on the heater. And then I felt warm. And then I forgot about my silly pact… ūüôā

#33 Eating hot cross buns with baby girl

The smile spread across her face as I brought the plate to the lounge room. She hopped up on the couch beside me, sitting forward in anticipation as I brought the warmed up choc-chip variety to her mouth.

We’ve been eating a little bit of extra chocolate/sugary sweets/cake lately, being Easter and all. And although I’m still very aware of my earlier commitment to take it easy overdosing on the sweet stuff while ingesting caffeine, it IS the long weekend, and I didn’t slave away Easter Saturday night,¬†only to wake up on Easter Sunday and bake this in the morning:

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to not then eat, and enjoy my own creations? With my baby girl no less?

Come on.

I’m grateful for our hot cross bun moment today.

#32 Easter Day with all of my family

This is a really special one for me. Even though year after year, I am fortunate to spend the ‘occasion’ days with those that I love most – my Daughter, Husband, Mum, Dad, Sister, Bro-in-law and two Nephews – I am still grateful when such an occasion day comes around and we can¬†spend it together yet again.

It never grows old, nor tired, nor boring. Gratitude and heartfelt thanks is exuded from me at all times, knowing how lucky I am to spend the day with people¬†I love so much, as the years go on, as health sometimes fails, and as we all grow older. Being with these people, no matter the occasion, even on any ‘regular’ day… is perfect.

Happy Easter everyone. I hope you spent yours doing what you love, with the people that you can never get enough of.

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#31 Dancing in the kitchen with my loves

We’ve done this a bit over the last year. And every time I just know I’m going to look back fondly, thinking ‘that was gold.’ In fact, it’s so precious to me that even as we are dancing I have a sense that something special is occurring.

We are a dancing family, and it has definitely rubbed off on baby girl. Whether we are Getting Jiggy with it, slow dancing and Thinking Out Loud, or getting down and dirty to Don’t Tell Them, baby girl always happily joins in with her crazy run/hop/bounce as she does circles around us. And then we’ll spin her around and around ’til someone falls on the floor crying. (Not me, or Hubbie). And then we’re back up again.

I’m grateful for these memories we’re making, and the lessons we’re imbedding in baby girl – to always have fun. And I’m grateful for her teaching us too, to stop and just let our hair down, at least, once a day ūüôā

#30 The Good Friday Appeal

Since I was as young as I can remember, Good Friday for me has always been synonymous with the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal.

And how could it not? Being a Melbournite, the appeal for donations to the children’s hospital is broadcast on Channel 7 all day – from 9am to approximately 12 midnight. Being the public holiday that it is, there has been many an occasion where I’ve turned the telly on and ended up watching a couple hours of the fundraiser.

My heart was always sad for the stories I saw broadcast. I would usually shed a tear for the kids, and even though the stories had generally good outcomes, it was so devastating to see a 1 month-old baby hooked up to tubes in a little hospital bed. Driving around on the public holiday, if there were volunteers holding tins for the cause, Hubbie and I would pop some coins in. I always thought it was worthy – a state-wide appeal to raise funds for a children’s hospital, in order to give kids going through whatever they were, the best chance at survival through the best equipment, technology, doctors, nurses, and of course, prettying things up in there so that they could put a smile on a sick kid’s face, and make their time there much more manageable.

When I had baby girl, 8 and a half weeks in, we were told she had hip dysplasia. It was easily treated, but it meant that she would have to wear an external brace for a good few months, in order to correct the bone that wasn’t sitting correctly into its hip socket.

I was devastated. Still sleep-deprived and learning all I was about motherhood, this news¬†threw me. I was just so, so sad, and upset. Thinking of how she would handle the brace, how she would function, and how it would hold her back in her development of crawling and walking… I was beyond shattered.

The first night with the brace, was mildly put, hell. Yes, it was hard. But, within 24 hours she had grown accustomed to it. She wore the brace 24 hours a day except for bath time, for a couple of months… then for the next couple of months, she wore it only at night. All up she wore it for just under 5 months, and her follow-ups since being off the brace¬†have been positive, with only one more¬†check-up¬†required in about 2 years time.

Our baby girl, the trooper. She was amazing in my womb when we were going through so much sadness at that time in our lives, and now outside, she was ripping it up again. You go girl.

I was relieved. I was ecstatic. She was walking by 16 months, which I thought pretty awesome considering she was held back by her brace for 5.

But most of all, I was grateful.

I was grateful, to the various doctors and nurses who hadn’t given up, and kept referring me to more check-ups when they weren’t sure if she did or didn’t have the hip dysplasia. If it had gone untreated, it could have caused problems when she started walking, which would have then resulted in surgery.

I was grateful to the specialists at the Royal Children’s Hospital for tending to my baby girl, assisting us in our worries, our fears, and for basically, making her hips normal.

But most of all… I was grateful that she only had that. I was so grateful, that she had something so easily treated, something that didn’t need invasive surgery, or serious ongoing medical treatment. Because all those times we were in the waiting room awaiting our check-ups, I saw kids with broken arms, legs, all manner of things… I saw young children being wheeled around in the hospital, tubes coming from their arms, their nose, smiling sweetly at baby girl and I as we stepped out of the elevator… and it just put everything into perspective.

I just… I just can’t. There are so many sick children out there, fighting serious, life-threatening diseases… it’s just not fair.

I feel bad to say it, but I really am grateful, hip dysplasia is all it was.

So now, I donate to the Good Friday appeal, every Good Friday. It’s my way of saying thanks to the hospital, to those that make it work so well, to those who help save children’s lives, and to help support the¬†amazing work that the Royal Children’s hospital provides.

Children should not be sick like this. But I am so grateful that this appeal exists for them.

The children are our future. Give so they may grow.




#29 Restaurant colouring-in

I was looking forward to heading out all week. Nowhere fancy-schmancy, just a local bustling place that we enjoy. We enjoy it more, because there are things for the kids to keep them occupied.

Sometimes you go out; it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes¬†you look forward to something; it¬†works. Again, sometimes it doesn’t.

Tonight, it worked.

The atmosphere, food and vibe were all great. And for the first time ever, when baby girl got her regular crayons and colouring in paper in front of her, instead of idly scrawling, losing crayons under the table or snapping them in half, she actually got to work.

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She did so well, that we asked for another piece of paper that she demolished as well. We had an awesome night, and it was so much more peaceful because she was busy for most of it.

I’m so grateful for these restaurants that cater to kids. They’ll always get my vote.

#28 Kind stranger at Aldi

I came across this woman roughly half an hour after having a massive monster-Mummy moment.

If my neighbours had been anywhere near our vicinity, they would have heard the roar of the devil as I tried to wrangle arms and legs into baby girl’s car seat. It was not my finest moment.

I calmed down on the way over to the shops with her to grab a few things, but I wasn’t impressed. Yes, baby girl has been acting up lately, but the one I wasn’t happy with was myself. After apologising to her (something the older generation would have NEVER done with their kids) we headed into Aldi.

We were standing behind this woman in line, and she first smiled at baby girl, and then baby girl caught on to the Mummy-vibe (something she does so well) and started playing peek-a-boo with her from around my legs. The lady said she was adorable, before adding that yes, she could see she was cheeky, going from my earlier comment.

“Enjoy this stage,” this lady I had just met told me. “It passes too quickly.”

“Yeah,” I said with a little laugh. “It just seems to last too long when we’re going through terrible twos!”

She smiled. “You’ll love it. Trust me.”

I could tell this lady was speaking from experience, but she reiterated it when she mentioned she had an 11 and 13 year-old of her own.

We waved to the lady after she paid, baby girl beaming at her.

I find it funny that so many mother’s with older children are telling me “enjoy this phase.” I feel like asking them ‘did you¬†enjoy waking up all hours, dealing with tantrums, random whinging, and clinginess throughout the whole day?’

No, I answer for myself. But they have seen both stages, and so really I should take heed of their advice, given their wide-ranging experiences, right?

I think I know the answer myself. There is such innocence and wonder about a young child’s life, their newfound perspective and excitement at everything, the learning, the incredible development, the wanting ALL of your attention because they love you so damn much…

Yep, I answered it for myself.

Thanks Aldi lady. I’m grateful I bumped into you today. I think I was meant to… you reminded me¬†of a few invaluable home-truths.



#27 Park Days

Today was difficult in many aspects. I could sooo count the ways for you, but this is not that type of post (go to my Things That Shit Me tag on my SmikG blog for that).

But, sometime in the morning, I had this:

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It’s nice to just sit in the sun on a park bench, enjoying the March warmth beaming down, and just taking a moment to just be. I’m grateful that I least had that, today.