#280 Setting up the Tree – 3 year old Baby Girl edition

Tonight, we put up the Christmas tree base, on its own. I’m doing it in stages, you see.

Or should I say, we’re doing it in stages.

Like everyone at this time of year, there is just so much to do. Everyone is in a mad rush, trying to get everything possible accomplished by year’s end. Yes, it is a generally busy period, what with close of business, Christmas parties and festivities and fun abounding, and then of course, sweet sweet Summer makes everyone that much more crazy for going out, getting insane and making the most of life.

However, if you break down your end of year jobs, you’ll find that they may just be achievable, despite mad insanity. Yes you’ll need to plan, yes you’ll need to stay focused, and yes you’ll need to just keep going no matter what. But, broken up into stages, it is very achievable to go into Christmas Day a very happy Larry/Sally.

Which is why I do my Christmas decorating in stages.

Also, I have a 3 year old daughter. That is explanation in itself I think.

If I were to attempt to put up the tree base, decorate the tree with lights, and baubles, and then go on to decorate the house with various Christmas paraphernalia, I would lose my marbles, or in this case, quite literally my baubles. Also, that huge and long task, accompanied by baby girl, would seem so hard that I would put it off for too long, even though I love Christmas and want to decorate the house as soon as is allowable/acceptable.

Breaking up the festive job is best enjoyed in stages. Like sipping on a hot coffee. It needs to be savoured – not thrown back to scald your throat in one huge lug.

Hubbie had set the heavy tree box in our lounge area for me. I positioned it against where the tree would go, before starting to open it. Baby girl gasped in recognition at the photo on the box, and came over to help me.


She handed me branch by branch, until the tree was sitting tall in our living area. She clapped and yelled “YAY!” before leaning in to give the Christmas tree a hug, almost knocking it over in the process.

She takes after her Mum. She too LOVES Christmas.

And then if that weren’t enough, she leant in to kiss it.

Awww. Shucks.

Christmas alone is a wondrous thing, a beautiful experience, a memorable yearly event to be cherished with your loved ones. But when you have a child, you can start to compare your Christmas’ against how much your child has grown, and evolved, and developed, and learnt, year by year… and I watched with satisfaction as this girl of mine, took clear delight in a big green tree taking residence in our home, for a semi-permanent period anyway.

I love this time of year. Christmas makes you take heed of what you have, how far you’ve come, and what you are grateful for in your life… and for this appreciative gal writing this blog, it kind of makes sense I love it so much, doesn’t it?


#279 2 nights before December begins…

…and I have more Christmas gifts, down.

I just counted. Out of the 26 small, medium and large gifts I’m buying for family and friends, I have already purchased 9 (and a half) of those. That is over a third.

AND December has not even begun!

AND I have a daughter who sometimes does, most times DOES NOT let me shop!

How did I then achieve this fantastic feat? Even I don’t know.

But I’m rapt. Grateful, even 🙂

#278 Catch-up posts

Very simply, I am relieved that I have finally caught up on some posts that have been gathering electronic dust on my laptop, instead of here on my blog for all to see.

You see, right before we moved house, our internet connection was disconnected prematurely. This meant that I actually didn’t post in full for 3 of my carcrashgratitude entries: #230, #231 and #232. Instead I still wrote a little caption of what the entry was about, and kept the full-length post on my computer to publish once we had moved… (the only post I didn’t write in full was #232 – I did that only minutes earlier, now – but I maintain I didn’t cheat as I still placed my gratitude thought down for the day) however I didn’t realise how long it would take to actually get internet connection at our current house. Let’s just say, thank goodness for mobile phones, because that’s how I managed to maintain my gratitude blog for a good couple of weeks.

But, now they are up, and if you’re slightly curious over them, you will find

#230 is about the surprising nostalgia of leaving the place you’ve always wanted to leave behind,

#231 is about an awesome dentist, AND

#232 is about a perfect moment, found in the most insane of times.

I’m just rapt that for one of my many pending writing projects, for this one I can say –

Tick. Complete.


#277 The start of Christmas shopping

I’ve been stressing lately over how I am going to get anything done for Christmas – traditional baking, present buying, and just general decoration and festive prep, when baby girl is currently disallowing me from entering any shops that don’t comply with her standards. Unless there is a Dora the Explorer in the shop, that puts any store without one of her fave characters on the ‘naughty’ list.

She downright refuses. She screams. She even throws herself down on the ground. She will not enter, and if I do, she makes it very difficult for me to do any kind of shopping. It’s made me very tense and anxious at what is meant to be a very happy time of the year for me. I love Christmas.

So it came as a pleasant surprise when earlier this evening I realised while we were down at the bottle shop, (getting some beer and cider top-ups) that I could buy some presents while there, for Christmas. They had great hamper-style packages, and I mean who doesn’t like a free glass with their favourite coffee-liqueur beverage?!

I had Hubbie, baby girl was sitting on the bottom of the trolley using it as a free ride, and I went around quickly grabbing things and using the awesome opportunity to just do as much as I could. I got 5 gifts for some of our friends, and I left feeling so relieved.

Maybe I’ll get there after all.

3 days before the start of December and things ain’t looking too shabby…

#276 That reaction, and fireworks

It became a bit of a rushed, bull-crap kinda night after all of the longing and counting down for the day to come.

As soon as I saw the huge billboards on the freeway promoting the Frankston Christmas Festival of Lights, I knew we just HAD to go. I love Christmas. Baby girl loves Christmas. Well she loves presents, and Santa, and trees, and brightly-coloured things, so same same as far as she’s concerned. It was on our side of town too, so it just made perfect sense.

I counted down, for about a month.

Then, a last-minute additional plan meant we couldn’t spend as much time at the Festival as I had originally hoped. Suddenly we were somewhere else for a couple of hours, leaving my dreams of a Festival of Fun, dashed, and long behind me. In its place, walking, starvation, queues, and just plain indecision. We came later, we were hungry, we were rushed and looking for where best to go in very little time, and after some twisted potatoes on a stick (best new festival creation EVER), watching some fairies on stilts, and a quick ride on the teacups, it was time to view the lighting of the Christmas tree and then –


It wasn’t her first fireworks viewing. But tonight they were closer, so they were brighter, louder, and being older, she just gets more. I prepped her beforehand, telling her there would be big bangs in the sky followed by pretty coloured light…


Her face, was priceless. Serious, awe-like… and then tears.

Only for a second! The intensity of the fireworks, both in noise, and just the fact of their sudden ‘being,’ got to her momentarily, and we quickly soothed her by assuring her it was ok, before we oohed and ahhed and then decided best we leave immediately.

I know it wasn’t the night I expected it to be (don’t you hate it when you’re looking forward to something and it all goes horribly awry?) but when I saw that ‘oh’ shaped face of shock, surprise, wonder…

It made it all worth it.

Here’s us on the teacup ride:


Happy weekend folks 🙂

#275 Busy days

There was no particular thing that struck me about why I was in such a good mood today. The underlying unifying factor though, was that I didn’t stop moving.

Busy busy busy.

Baby girl had an appointment. Then I had an appointment. Driving, more driving. Rush home so air con guy gives us a quote. Back in the car, fill it up with petrol. Quick stop at the shops. Back home, clean, cook, eat, clean up again.

Busy busy busy. Didn’t stop, and if it weren’t for the 2 hours I was on my butt at the hairdresser’s, I’d be even MORE buggered now than what I currently am.

Busy busy busy. Nothing in particular, nothing extra spesh about the day. But just the movement, the constancy, the fact of having to always have something to do, confirms for me yet again, that I am at my best when I am busiest. And today I didn’t stop.

Moving makes me happy, and of course, that is something to be grateful for 🙂

#274 Allure-d by coffee in yoghurt

This, is the shit.


Not too long ago while grocery shopping, I made the most interesting discovery.

Coffee, in yoghurt. Coffee yoghurt. This I had to try.

And I did. And I loved it. Love it. Put simply, it is really yummy, while still giving you that little bit of caffeine kick.

Dairy, and coffee? Why… someone is after my heart aren’t they?

Bloggers, I ask you is there any kind of coffee-food/drink hybrid that you’ve discovered and fallen in love with? I also have heard about coffee facial scrubs which I must try, and even, I think I’ve heard mention of coffee baths!

Why, I never… I don’t know what to take of that. I mean, part of me wants to try it, but the other half feels horribly guilty for wasting perfectly good coffee, just to bathe in it…

For now, it’s all about gratitude for the yoghurt. Coffee yoghurt. Allure. If anyone knows of anything equally as good or better, please let me know…


#273 Declarations of love no.2

It’s the little things that are the big things. And so as I came home from work tonight past midnight, I found Hubbie yet again asleep on the couch, waiting for me. And it made me feel very loved and wanted.

The first time he did it I wasn’t expecting it at all. His work starts are early, now even more so that he’s doing the big commute across the city from our Sea change destination. So when I crept into the house on that first post-midnight arrival, to hear movement from downstairs, I was a bit apprehensive. Then to find that he had been sleeping on the couch nearby, faithfully waiting for me, struck me hard. His sleep is precious, and he works long days.

It didn’t matter one smidge that he immediately got up and went to bed after giving me a quick peck. It was the waiting that counted. He later joked that he was like a devoted dog waiting at the door for its owner to come home.

I found that both incredibly funny, yet incredibly sweet.

Tonight, again. I found him there. Through a sleepy haze he smiled at me before we whispered a few things and then he was off. But I am grateful. Grateful to have him in my life, and grateful that he waits for me… I think to have someone wait for you, shows an intensity of love that cannot be questioned. It just is, true and pure in the action itself.

It’s a prized and precious thing, to have someone wait for you.

#272 Random $2 kindness at shops

Baby girl was the recipient of a very little, yet very significant act of kindess today. I immediately saw the “pay it forward” in the action and thanked the lady, even though it wasn’t directed at me… but kind of, it was, because I am baby girl’s Mum.

I had just popped a dollar into a trolley while baby girl had run to a nearby shopping centre amusement ride, this one a pirate ship. I knew it would be hard to tear her away – she loves these rides, and being a pirate ship, when it is her current obsession what with her love of Captain Feathersword, it was to be almost impossible. Not only did I have a bit of shopping to do, but I had put my last gold coin into the trolley. As I tried to explain this logic to baby girl (always to no avail but I still try) she just sat there pressing the buttons in front of her, while two women walked to the neighbouring ‘Claw game’ (you know the game where you try to manoeuvre the claw to pick up a stuffed toy or lolly?)

One of the women looked over as I tried to convince baby girl to leave, and then holding out a $2 coin, she said “do you mind?”

She popped the coin into the Pirate ride. I was surprised and gave a combination of “really?” and “wow thanks,” before encouraging baby girl to say “ta” too, which she did before eagerly turning back to her ride.

The woman walked off seconds later with her partner who was done with the claw game, saying “enjoy your day!” while I reciprocated and gave many more thanks. I saw what she had done, and she had done it well, the proper way: without hesitation, without expectation of anything in return, and with happiness. Baby girl was temporarily appreciative while on the ride, while my appreciation has lengthened and deepened over the course of the day, with acknowledgment that this is what I used to do on occasion, this is what I NEED to do again, and this is what the world needs more of.

I will definitely pay it forward, in more ways than one. Thank you kind lady 🙂

#271 Laying in bed together

‘I think’ I may have mentioned that some things have been difficult as of late. One of these things has been the changed routine to baby girl’s bedtime.

You see, before we moved, I would go into her room with her… we’d do a little sing-song of the ABC displayed on her drawers, followed by her turning off the light and subsequently finding me in the dark… then I would stand by her cot and gently prod her to come over… when she did I would pick her up, put her in the cot, and then wait another few minutes while she got the last shred of energy she had out by jumping about the cot like a maniac… and then she would request some water, so I would bring some to her…

And then, she would lie down, I would kiss her forehead, whisper I love you, and creep out of the room while she fell asleep on her own.

Any non-parents wanna become parents after that description?!

Wait, it gets better…

After moving, things have clearly changed. Not only are we in a new house, but she is in a new room, downstairs, while we are upstairs. And also, I decided to start afresh and plonk her straight in a proper bed and out of her cot.

When I tried to leave her room in this house, she would simply follow me out. Well, she could. So why not? It’s a game of course, bedtime that is, and staying up and aggravating your parents is the most natural thing for a toddler to do…

So I had to change things up. Introduce a wind-down routine. We read books. At the moment, our nightly quota is 5 books. Here’s how it goes:

We read 5 books… then I tell her I’m getting her a sip of water… I get the water, while she looks around disinterested, pretending to read, staring at her Dora bedsheets… when I leave the room, she suddenly comes charging after me, now wanting the water…  I go back in her room, giving her water… she reacts very slowly, as if she has just had 10 litres of water… she eventually has water after I threaten her with something, like no more babycinos/no more beach/flies will come into her room if she doesn’t behave… one of these tactics works and after her water she lies in bed… I then turn off the light and sit at the edge of her bed until she falls asleep, and I only can guess at this by the sound of her breathing… and then I proceed to creep out of the room as stealthily as I can, Tom Cruise Mission-Impossible style, my heart racing intensely and breathing a sigh of relief when I am out.

Don’t ask me what happens if she wakes up while I’m creeping out. It’s happened twice, and it’s so frustrating.

You know, the above would actually be funny if it weren’t happening to me.

The huge difference between the two, other than the obvious varying routines from old house to new, is the fact that in old house, I could leave her to fall asleep on her own since she was in a cot and couldn’t get out… in the new house, if I leave her to fall asleep on her own, she follows me because she can… so to counteract I sit there until she is asleep.

I lose about 30 plus minutes sometimes waiting for her to fall asleep, and then subsequently acting like Tom Cruise on my exit out. That’s 30 plus minutes of writing time, catching-up-on-anything time, me time, lost. It’s not like I’m spending those 30 plus minutes doing something special, or bonding with her. I’m just hunched over, getting cramps in my legs and thinking there is no way I can keep this up when I am eventually pregnant again.

But, lately we’ve been doing something different that makes it all the more bearable.

The last couple of nights I’ve climbed into bed with her to read, instead of sitting on her toybox beside her bed. And tonight, she moved over to make some room, and patted the spot next to her as if to say “here Mum.”

It didn’t change anything about the routine itself, it still played itself out like every other night… but somehow, lying next to her and pointing to animals and letters and colours in her books, was made that much more special by our heads being so close by.

You know non-parents, you should have kids… moments like that are what we live for, and they’re the sweetest gifts there are to receive.