#464 A new way to Write

I had it REAL good when baby girl was in fact, a baby.

I mean, aside from the not-knowing what the hell I was doing, second-guessing every decision, crying a fair bit, being sleepless and fatigued most of the time, and just wondering when this confusing and struggling never-ending stage would pass.

But then, came the naps. That’s how I had it good.

During her day naps, baby girl would sleep for hours. Sometimes her day naps combined, would equal about 5 hours of sleep time for her, and non-baby time for me, a day.

This was really good. At first it was all catch up on this, maybe I should meal prep for dinner, pay an online bill, make that important phone call I’ve been putting off for 3 months, and wash that pile of soiled baby clothes that will re-fill by the day’s end.

But then, she settled a bit…. while the naps remained.

And as she settled, so did I. I relaxed into Motherhood, and so began journalling again.

I really wanted to capture as much of parenthood and her early months and milestones as much as I could, and so recommenced a fave past-time of mine that I hadn’t done for quite a while, a past-time that I both love and loathe simultaneously. I feel like I HAVE to do it, and that is exactly WHY I loathe it. Because I feel it needs to be done.

And I can’t stop.

And then, I relaxed MORE into Motherhood. And I began to do some food reviews, here and there, read some books, start notes on them that would eventually become my book reviews… and hell, I even started my parent blog, SmikG.

And years later, that followed with this one.

Now as the years have passed, her nap durations, as her naps, have significantly reduced to just one a day. It’s still allowed me some great ‘me’ time, to do whatever I need to do, and yet I always try to do what I feel I need to: write in some capacity, however I can.

However recently, I’ve come to a realisation. With baby girl getting cheekier and cheekier at bed time, her hyper-activity shooting through the roof, I decided I had to do the only thing that made sense.

Drop the nap altogether.

It was doing me good, because it meant she was more tired (or so we hoped) at bedtime, since she hadn’t napped at all during the day, and would be ‘out’ quicker. Well yes. She is ‘out’ a bit faster, a bit less reluctant to drink 15 sips or water, go to the loo 7 times, jump on the bed 10 times, and then ask for a tummy, hand, arm, leg, foot and back massage, following her 3 books read to her by lamplight.

Yeah, a bit less.

But anyway, bedtime routines are somewhat better. She does go to bed slightly earlier now. But it means my writing time during the day, IS GONE.

R.I.P precious writing time.

Or so I thought.

She’s 3 and a half, I thought today. Often, she is quite happy to play on her own, build some blocks, or watch some Paw Petrol.

Surely she would let me do some writing. She’s not 2 and climbing over me to grab at the laptop as I pay a bill or buy the one concert ticket I’ll be going to that year.

A year and a half, makes a difference.

And so, today, I tried. We had had our coffee/babycino/cake break, she was fuelled, she had Nickelodeon shows on in the background, a whole family room full of toys including her new Sofia the First mini figurines, and I sat in the same room as her, and began to do what I started all those years ago, so tentatively, while she was out cold in another room –  I began to write.

Journalling in fact. And there were times I stopped, and she called my name, repeatedly, and I looked back over my shoulder. Repeatedly. And she left the room and came back, and even walked on over and yelled “O” multiple times after looking at the keypad. But after about 90 minutes, I had written 3 pages long.

3 pages! I was a bit surprised, yet pleasantly so. Had I just learnt a new way to write? Multi-tasking, with child in room, interrupting me every so often?

And I did it?

I did it. Yes it wasn’t smooth sailing, but it was done. My quiet writing time may be over, but that’s not to say, I can’t write if I don’t want to.

Where there’s a will there’s a way.

No excuses people. That’s what I take from this. No excuses. And I’m pretty chuffed with that 🙂

 

#463 The calm after the Partay no. 2

It was so nice, just to be.

No rushing. No pressure to get things done by a certain time. No anxiety. No stress. No intense planning and strategy to cram as much into one day as possible.

No. Just a casual grocery shopping trip with baby girl. Some lunch. Cleaning. Washing. Putting away stuff that has been piling up. Sorting her old clothes away. Sweeping some leaves. Sitting out in the yard, on a glorious day where Autumn was trying her damn hardest to remind us of impending Spring, watching baby girl simultaneously manoeuvre both her scooter and Dora the Explorer bike, while I sat and looked towards the beach end, the huge tree we have prominently in my vision with its pretty pink flowers.

IMAG4239

Nothing to remind me of what has passed, of all the stresses and intensity gone… except for the cakes in my kitchen.

Today was a great day. So calm, so peaceful, and right now, I can’t get enough.

#462 Cake for dayyysss

When one goes to a celebration, one gets to enjoy cake.

When one goes to a close friend/family’s celebration, one gets to take home, some cake.

When one throws a celebration…

One has cake… for DAYS.

In case you missed it, we celebrated our parents 50th wedding anniversary this weekend. And once the balloons start to deflate, dust gathers on the decorations, the wine glasses are washed and the leftover food is dished out amongst us all, there is one thing remaining that just stares at us from every angle of the kitchen.

CAKE.

And in today’s edition of this special series, we have ‘Prespani,’ a soft and crispy blanket of delicious pastry encasing a ground walnut mixture, surrounded by lots of icing sugar;

IMAG4234

we have Cake Pops, finished off in white chocolate and an edible golden dust (for a Golden anniversary);

IMAG4235

we have a slab of Continental Cake (it is much larger than what the photo shows, much like your side car mirror);

IMAG4236

and lastly, a little plate of miscellaneous, some as mentioned above, with the addition of a mini pavlova cup, a chocolate nutty cake, and a vanilla slice.

IMAG4237

DROOL DROOL DROOL.

(And I’m eating a cake pop as I write).

Zumba help me. I’m going to need it this week.

This week, of cake.

🙂

#461 Celebrating their 50th

I can’t tell you how grateful I am now that it is ALL OVER.

There was sooo much work. And besides that, sure, there are even regrets for the night. I wish I had taken more photos. I wish I’d have spoken to my parents that bit more. Mingled more. Danced more (no, my feet don’t think they could take any more…) drank more.

But what we gained tonight is a true blessing compared to all that.

Because finally, after months of planning and organising, and then a final rat race to the finish line in the last week, we celebrated our parents 50th wedding anniversary tonight.

It felt like a WEDDING in the lead up. That was the pressure and intensity we felt to succeed and get everything just right.

And I think, we did. But not without a lot of work.

IMAG4222

See that? Those cakes are made by European woman. Hours upon hours goes into making them.

Anytime a wog European woman offers you cake, do not waste it, do not reject it, and by all means please, saviour it, because it’s a freaking task and a half to make.

We don’t want our creations half-eaten and sitting on a paper plate getting old somewhere. Not after all the work that has gone into it.

Those cakes are representative of the effort that went into tonight. All that hard work. Hours upon hours.

But you know what? The hard work and effort and planning that went into tonight, well, that’s not even the tip of the iceberg for all that our parents have gone through, and done, for us.

And so, we are bloody blessed, to have been there tonight, celebrating with them, yelling the house down in glee, and sharing in such a special moment on their 2nd Wedding Day/50th wedding anniversary.

For that, I am truly, truly, deeply, grateful.

#460 Dancing in the kitchen with my loves part 4

I still had an ample collection of folk songs on my ipod back from my Dad’s 70th birthday. Yes. I love being super-organised.

I sat on the floor beside the stereo, making sure these songs could definitely play out of there… you know, you do these ‘tests,’ ‘in case,’ before any big event.

Suddenly, loud folk music started blaring out. Pass.

And then baby girl responded in her true nature: she started to dance.

It’s funny how you can completely love a song, or as was this case, songs, and yet never listen to them. Hearing the songs I used to hear around my parents home as a child, brought back the warmest and fondest memories. I love these songs, they remind me of such joy, a naïve and innocent and beautiful time, and yet I never listen to them.

I probably should.

And seeing my daughter dance with such glee to them, well, it touched a very special part of my heart.

Baby girl ran circles around the kitchen, laughing happily, and every so often went over to the stereo to turn the volume dial right up. She then added an action to her circles, and blew a kiss to me, her fingers touching her lips every time she came near me with a loud “mwa!”

I did “mwa!” back, and soon the kitchen was filled with running, delirious laughter, and a lot of air-kisses.

Oh, and also folk music 🙂

 

 

#459 Local help

Everywhere I turned, I seemed to run into them. People at the shops, bumping into their friends. Acquaintances. People from down the road. A local they hadn’t seen in a while.

Two women stood in front of the apples talking about how it was when they ‘showed’ so early for their second child. The grocer guy sang out to his buddy stocking up corn, and they chatted loudly about people they knew from other stores.

Another older woman held her arms out in an embrace as she came across another woman, and then the woman being hugged pointed to a third woman and said “this used to be my neighbour.” I saw them picking out groceries together and helping the older woman later on.

Two old ladies stood at the entrance to the biscuit aisle, whispering lowly about God-knows-what, but their faces were so solemn I nearly hung out a second longer to catch a word or two about the latest scandal, I could only assume.

I felt a bit left out. I couldn’t just bump into someone I knew in our town. Not yet. I didn’t know anybody. Baby girl was slowly making friends at kinder – soon she would know people out and about. Hubbie was also now working locally, so he too was recognising faces here and there. I was still based out of town, WAY out of town for work, so I wasn’t really based in any such way in our new town, not yet.

Not yet. I told myself this. I told myself, as I smiled at the exchanges I came across, wishfully thinking that my time would come, and soon enough, I would be bumping into people, and saying “oh hey! How have you been?” Maybe I would talk about how the corn was in season. Or maybe I would indulge in some scandal/gossip or two.

Or maybe all of the above. If I was lucky.

And this I pondered, as I searched for fresh yeast.

It was becoming extremely difficult to find. Back where we used to live in the Northern suburbs, I knew exactly where to find, and where to go for the fiddly, specific, random items I sometimes required. Fortunately for me, where I used to buy yeast was just around the corner from me, at a continental deli in the large shopping centre in town. There were that many wogs, (ahem) Europeans there, of course they had fresh yeast for sale, frequently. It wasn’t odd to look for it.

Here however:

“No we don’t sell it,” said one gourmet deli cashier to me, as she genuinely looked quizzical, adding that she didn’t know where I could buy it while looking around to serve the next person and get rid of me.

“I don’t know where we get it from,” said the bakery lady who had walked out to place bread on the shelves in Woolies, implying that yes they had it, but no, they did not SELL IT.

Where was I going to get fresh yeast from? It almost seemed like I was asking for a Unicorn’s horn, or something. People looked at me like “Wowzee, geez, good luck.” I was making a bunch of bread-like cheese rolls for my parents’ upcoming anniversary, and I was going to make them tomorrow. So I needed to buy the yeast, NOW.

I decided nothing was lost by asking the cashier who had put through my items a previous time at Woolies. She seemed like a really lovely person. As she weighed my apples, I asked, “do you know where I could find fresh yeast around here?”

She thought for a moment, throwing a bit of a clueless look as so many before her had thrown when I had posed my question, and then turned to the Mum with two kids behind me who was placing her groceries on the conveyor belt, and without hesitating asked “where can you buy fresh yeast around here?”

They knew each other.

This Mum was lovely and started rattling off heaps of names. One on the Main street, and then the cashier jumped in and mentioned a grocery store in town.

“My Hubbie works there actually” I said. “I’m just waiting for him to get back to me on that.”

The Mum then remembered a gourmet/organic grocer that was a few shops down in the little centre we were in, and immediately I was like “of course!” How could I have forgotten that little unique and quirky-buys place?

I high-tailed it out of there after thanking them, and upon walking into the gourmet grocer, came across a very smiley lady at the counter.

“Do you sell fresh yeast?”

“You know who would know that? Our chef. And she so happens to be a few doors down. Follow me.”

And just like that, she left her post in the grocer store at the counter, and walked off, me following her with my trolley full of groceries, containing almost everything BUT fresh yeast. She kindly introduced me to the chef who was chatting with another shop owner, and then left to resume her post, while I asked wide-eyed “was there any fresh yeast around here?”

The chef, was super-friendly. She was surprised Woolies hadn’t just given me some, but said to try all the bakeries in the area… she mentioned the Baker’s Delight just several stores down, and Banjos on Main street, and then another fine foods deli off the Main street. She was so friendly and helpful, and placed confidence in me that I WOULD find it.

I still tentatively walked to Baker’s and when it was my turn to be served, asked all high-pitched “do you sell fresh yeast here?”

“Yeah” responded the cashier with no confusion or Unicorn horn- questioned look.

Finally!

And so, I got my damn fresh yeast. The locals had been lovely, and gone out of their way to help me, just as you would expect in a village-type seaside town.

And just as I had been wondering how long it would talk to get it, the fresh yeast came across my path quite suddenly, as it had been there in front of me, all along…

And I realised that like the yeast rising, hopefully so too would my ‘locals’ friend list also go up… much sooner than I expected.

 

#458 Impromptu Pho

I was busy at home when Hubbie charged through the doors this morning, high on his new hair-cut and wanderings through our humble-yet-bustling town, and declared “we are going to About Thyme for lunch!”

Really, we should have gone out last night, instead of this morning as I hurriedly made sweet treats in preparation for my parents anniversary on the weekend, prior to my late starting work shift this afternoon. So what do you think I did?

Amidst rolling 50 cake balls for my cake pops, I rushed through the batch (with attention-to-detail, of course) got ‘properly’ dressed, before we ran out the door.

We hadn’t been there in quite a while. And I immediately knew what I was going to have on such a still, yet grey day.

Pho.

IMAG4168

I was looking forward to the prawns also listed on the ingredients menu, but alas, I think not in season. Never mind. It was still warming, and tasty, and when I popped in a sliced chilli piece into the broth, so, so, sooooo spicy.

It had me watering at the eyes and gasping for breath, and then Hubbie over-confidently declared he would finish my chillies for me…

30 seconds and 4 chillies later, and HE was gulping down water with watery eyes.

Advantage of almost over-combusting? The heat almost totally cleared up my stuffy nose and sore throat that has been just hanging around for almost a week. So BIG points there.

(Note to self: bite into hot chilli next time I am sick).

A quick bite to eat out, with my family, unexpectedly on a dreary Wednesday before work…. Un-Pho-gettable.

(Sorry, I had to).

IMAG4169