#157 Genuine excitement

It’s always a great night when we get together with our best friends. Tonight we told them our big news.

Our big news. Expecting it just to be our big news. I mean we’re not stupid, self-absorbed, or jaded. It’s happening, going to happen to us, and therefore we should be most excited about it.

But no.

What we saw in their faces when Hubbie told them where we were moving, that we were going to Seachange… wow.

Excitement. Shock. Awe. Happiness. Genuine good will.

It’s a mark of a good friendship when you can be deeply and wholly happy for one another’s happiness without any hint of resentment or jealousy. And we didn’t feel anything but love tonight.

We haven’t moved yet, but still… knowing these people who are so deeply intertwined in our lives, who¬†have our back, and are encouraging us to go full steam ahead, despite the distance it will evidently cause in our visits… I’m touched.

But hey. It’s not that bad. I give it 3 years, tops. And they’ll be joining us by the bay too ūüėČ

#156 Sibling

I hope you at least have one. Some of you might have many, and that’s rad.

But I’m here to say, you don’t necessarily need, let’s say, 5 of them. It may make life that much more interesting (and frustrating at times), but all you really need is one good one.

I know, because I have one. One good one.

It’s been an interesting day. It’s been an interesting month. I know I’ve said along those lines a lot lately, but it’s true.¬†When I say that¬†something is ‘interesting,’ I usually mean one of two things:

*things have been interesting

*things have been shit.

The latter.

Today, I put baby girl down for a nap, took my cappuccino upstairs, closed the door, and called my sister.

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Sitting on the floor of our ‘crap’ room – you know the room where you put all the stuff that you want to keep, but either doesn’t belong anywhere, has no storage room for an spot in the house, or those items that you’ll just deal with eventually? (never) – leaning against a hard wooden tallboy, baby girl’s old dusty walker on one side, a huge wedding print of hubbie and I leaning against the wall staring at me, with a tower of teetering photo albums housing 1000s of photos next to it, sis and I both drank coffee on our respective ends, and purged.

I realised in the fading afternoon light, that despite our stressful circumstances and conversation, that this was good. When you have a sibling, you have someone who is like you. Someone who understands you, gets your life, gets everything around it, and importantly, gets your parents. You can’t really talk to anyone the way you do to your sibling. I have friends who I’m close to… and then there’s my sister. And I realised in that moment, not only am I so grateful to have her, and grateful to have her as my sister (another post), but I’m grateful to have a sibling.

It may sound one and the same, but it is different.

 

 

#155 Fort

We were housebound. I had no access to my car, which meant that on yet another miserable, grey and windy July day, there was not much to do.

I racked my brain. I pulled out a toy bus with wooden passengers I’d bought for baby girl about¬†a¬†month ago. We played, put blocks on its roof, pushed it around, and made her other toys fall off it when we accidentally pushed it too fast.

Lunch.

Clean up.

Washing.

What to do, what to do…

Aha!

While baby girl was watching some Mister Maker, I got 4 chairs and arranged them in a square. Threw a big blanket over the top that came down to the sides. I grabbed one of her quilted throws and placed that underneath the blanket and between the chairs, on the cold tiled floor. I placed her foam fold-out couch atop, then softened the surrounding chair legs with cushions. And then watched baby girl’s face as she discovered this makeshift house, right in the middle of the kitchen.

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She eagerly jumped inside, getting comfortable. I brought in her toy teapot and cup set, her plastic slices of cake, and we got set pretend eating and drinking in the warm surrounds of the fort.

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She was thrilled beyond words. As we sat there, silent, squished against each other as is the norm in forts, she whispered “shhh.”

We were taking in the fort more than anything, looking at each other, and smiling. It was beautiful. The close proximity to each other meant we were forced into each other’s space no matter what, but this only meant that we felt the awe, peace¬†and love we were both feeling, two-fold.

Suddenly, the day wasn’t so boring after all. It reminded me of when I used to imagine being a parent, and partaking in silly games like this. Only they aren’t silly. They’re magical. And I’ll be that parent, for as long as I can, who climbs trees and dances along to the daggy actions, who builds forts and races their child in shopping centres, who sings along with them in the car, and who does all the things that makes her children happy, even if it makes her appear, not so grown-up.

So bloody what.

Because her happiness, is my happiness too. The magic of her youth as she experiences the exciting highs and discoveries of a fun, make-believe, happy world, will make me feel like a child again. And that ain’t too bad.

#154 New tan boots

Simple and materialistic today, but I got some boots and I’m not even excited. I’m relieved.

These boots have been about, let me see… one, two, three, FOUR years in the making.

I didn’t put off their purchase for lack of anything… well kind of.

At first, I was pregnant. I thought ‘I won’t buy boots now. I’ll be practical and buy me some new shoes after baby, next Winter.’

Then, I was with new baby. And I thought ‘I have no time to go looking for freaking boots! Next Winter.’

Then, I was busy adjusting back to work, while still busy at life. ‘Boots, what boots? Next Winter.’

Then I had time, but ‘All the boots are crap? Why do they have sky-high heels or flat-arsed soles? Happy medium, anyone? Next Winter.’

Now, I was DETERMINED. And this Winter, today, I got these beauties on sale.

cognac-web-image

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful. But seriously, this thing took way too long. I should have just bought the damn boots four years ago, and gotten myself a brand new pair today. No yesterday. I’ve done the very¬†thing I never do anymore: put off any type of joy or fulfilment or happiness or satisfaction of any kind in any medium, just because I think it’s best to save it for later/a better day/a perfect scenario.

*cough (bullshit) cough.*

The moral of this story? Next time I’m preggers, I’m buying a pair of bright red super-high and shiny heels, just because.

 

#153 Playing in tents and singing to Halo

I was pretty cranky as I washed the dishes tonight, and that’s an understatement. I don’t even know why I was cranky, and thinking of what to write for my daily gratitude gave me no inspiring or enlightening moments, making me feel helpless.

And then Hubbie started mucking around. After one of my moody outbursts, he proceeded to pretend to hide from me with baby girl eagerly following suit. They peeked at me from the other side of the kitchen bench, ducking their heads low every time I looked over. These two, cheeky, encouraging, silly smiles beaming at me.

Then they decided to run to various corners and peer at me from the laundry, around the corner, and behind the kitchen table. Each time, gasping and quickly hiding in obvious glee when I caught them.

Their joy was contagious. How could I not smile? I was thinking ‘you two are the best.’

Suddenly they disappeared. Moments later, Hubbie yelling out “Mama!”¬†on behalf¬†of baby girl. I followed the voice to see movement inside baby girl’s little tent under the stairs. I poked my head in and found these two bodies squished inside. Baby girl patted the floor, telling me to hop in.

With the stereo blaring my ipod from the kitchen, that’s how the above title came to fruition. Beyonc√© came on and we were just singing out loud, squashed against each other, pushing the limits of this tiny tent with mine and Hubbie’s legs sticking out the front.

Hubbie: “What would someone think if they saw us like this right now?”

Me: “I think they’d think we’re having the best time.”

I love these moments.

#152 Almost Goodbye July

Today is July 25th, which means that we are 6 days away from seeing the arse end of this miserable month.

You can’t blame me for hating on July. I know it’s kind of against the whole point, expressing gratitude in seeing the end of something, but it really has been a whirlwind, and not the positive, holidaying in Europe kind of whirlwind. I mean the kind of whirlwind you get when you step outside into the freezing air and the wind smacks you silly and throws your hair everywhere kind of whirlwind. Throw that scenario into a dryer, and that’s exactly the kind¬†of whirlwind I mean.

It’s not just to do with the cold. Family issues, health issues, work issues, and things being turned upside down and on its head have been taking centre stage this month. Oh, and we’ve all been sick. All of us, a few times already. It sucks.

I am also rapt that with the nearing of the end of this month, it means we are over half-way through Winter! YAY! We do have a bit of an icy cold spell blasting its way through at the moment, but just think… next week, August.

Birthday month. ūüôā

That makes me feel better already.

Sayonara July.

 

#151 Home Doctor

It’s hard enough working on a Sunday, albeit an icy cold FREEZING one, without having the difficulty of then finishing work and receiving a phone call from Hubbie saying baby girl won’t stop crying.

5 minutes later, another phone call: she still won’t stop crying.

What do you do? You still have to drive all the way home. I couldn’t teleport myself, though the invention of one would be greatly appreciated by many, not just me.

At home, not even my hugs and kisses could settle her. I could tell she was upset, and as she pointed to her runny nose and right ear, I was concerned she had some kind of infection.

We called the Nurse-on-call who suggested we either try to get her to take some pain relief (good luck to us, baby girl hates it) or see a doctor within 12 hours. So we did both.

After organising an at-home doctor visit, we unfortunately, had to force the syrup down her throat. Not a 5-star parent moment. It was all tough love, tears and tantrums, but despite the horror of it all, once it was down, she actually gave us high fives for having endured it. That girl still loved us, I was chuffed.

When the doc came over the pain relief had already kicked in. She was dancing, beating her drum, singing out loud, playing with her toys. I felt bad, explaining to the bearded man that she had actually been very bad up until recently.

Luckily he believed us. He checked her out, said she had no ear infection, and just that her cold was making her ear passage inflamed or expanded or something like that, which is where the pain was coming from. Pain relief would help.

He had been checking her out slowly as she hid behind me¬†on the couch. Even I was looking up at him as this tall figure loomed above us: he was huge, quite intimidating for a doctor.¬†As Hubbie said later, even HE was scared of him. He had checked her chest and back, got her temperature, and felt her tummy. She had started to loosen up. He had then proceeded to shine a light in both ears and even got her to do “ahh!” so he could look inside her mouth. She had been scared, but now she was a star pupil.

And then the clincher. After he told us what he thought, his simple diagnosis of cold-causing-ear-ache, he got her hand and took out a pen. Baby girl watched in careful fascination as he drew this:

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It was a little gesture, and yet it meant the world to her. After doing one hand she looked at it in awe and then pointed to her other hand. He was to draw a flower on that one too¬†ūüôā¬†It was at this point I told baby girl that this man was a doctor, and that he had helped her (I had¬†deliberately put off this info until she was settled). She high fived him and waved as he walked out of our house happily.

Appearances can be so deceiving. This man seemed a little scary to all of us, and yet he dealt with baby girl’s fears beautifully and even gained her trust, I think even her trust in ALL doctors. That’s a pretty big thing. She would have loved him even more if she had heard him tell us that we could give her any food she wanted, even junk food, to keep her energy up.

So to you home doc, cheers. You made our baby girl a little better tonight.

 

#150 Random drop-in at Sis’

I want to preface with this:

Moments ago it is 1:20am and I am lying in bed. Thinking of the full and fun day and night we just had, and of what I will do tomorrow, with random thoughts and images just popping into my head as my mind starts to slowly drift off and my body gets heavier as it sinks deeper into the mattress, covers all warm and snug and cosy around me.

You know those random thoughts. Some song you’ve been trying to remember for days suddenly decides to grant you with the name. You get a smashing story idea and in your sleep-inducing state¬†you hope Dear God can you please help me remember this tomorrow? (it rarely reappears the following day, disappearing with the mist of the night as soon as you close your eyes). I often get really good poetic or character dialogue when I’m in this state, yet 99% of the time I never remember what it is the next day.

I was lying there and it occurred to me: I haven’t posted in my grat blog today!

Shock horror!

Despite getting less than 6 hours sleep as I’m working yet another Sunday, I still got out of my cosy bed to creep downstairs and write this post. Albeit a hefty post, I might add.

THAT IS MY DEDICATION TO YOU. (Not yelling, just passionate).

And this post totally counts because I haven’t fallen asleep yet, post-midnight or not post-midnight.

But the following appreciation section will be short and sweet. Because we stopped by my sister and bro-in-law’s place on the way home from yet another visit to our Sea Change location, and sometimes, really, these impromptu on-the-spot visits are the best kind. There’s no fussing about, no pre-planning, everything is a surprise and a bonus and a joy, and it’s all very fun and casual.

I think, what if we had just driven home and gotten there at a decent 8:30pm? We would have gone to bed at a decent hour, and I would probably be sleeping already, with a completely different gratitude post instead of this one. I don’t know what I would’ve written about, but it wouldn’t have been about this spontaneous visit.

Instead, we had a great night, and lots of fun and laughter and singing and music and coffee was had as usual. And yes baby girl lost her shit as I changed her into her pjs post-midnight when we got home. But now she’s asleep. And soon I will be too. I know my rest will be significantly short tonight, but hey, we had fun, we made memories…

And that’s what it’s all about, right?

 

#149 No op

My Mum had her check-up today, and from all reports it appears that she won’t need to have an operation.

(Hooray!)

I don’t want to celebrate too loudly, because

a) we still need to do one more test

b) we’ve had a crap spate of bad luck lately so this feels a little unreal, and

c) it is July.

If you don’t understand what I mean, I mean that¬†July is generally a shit month. (I’m sorry if your birthday falls in this month, I really do, but for your sake I hope your July is on the other side of the hemisphere and filled with sunshine and birds singing, not savaging winds and Antarctic blasts). Not only is July shit weather-wise, but for me personally, it is always crap-ola city prior to my birthday month. So right now, I’m going ‘what? Reprieve?’

I will however revel quietly in the moment that on this Friday, my Mum is happy, the family is happy, and finally we have something happy to smile about.

ūüôā