#472 Tea made for me

“Hey, can you do me a favour?” I asked Hubbie. I had just been welcomed by him and Anna from Arendelle, otherwise known as baby girl in Frozen costume, and she had let me go for long enough to take off my shoes and change into trakkies.

“Yeah?”

“Can you make me a camomile tea?”

Hubbie’s face said it all, though he did not say it out loud: ‘what’s wrong with your hands?’ Instead he smiled and said sure, and headed off to the kitchen. All I had been talking about since the day before even going to work, was how I was going to sit on the couch and do NOTHING once I got home.

He came back shortly with a steaming mug of tea, and in the .5 seconds that I was able to sit back and enjoy it before baby girl got me up, looking out towards the water, well, it felt good.

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#471 The Box of Barbie Memories

“Why don’t you take home that box of dolls you have?” Mum had asked me. “You said when she was younger that you wanted to wait a bit more, but now she might enjoy it.”

I could see where she was going. When she had asked me about a year ago if I wanted to take home with me an old box of Barbies I had packed away at my parents house when I was a pre-teen, I had said that I’d rather wait until baby girl was older, and ‘into’ dolls more. Also, I didn’t want to be adding another box of stuff to our household, when we already had so much ‘stuff.’

But I realised today, that baby girl was not only older, but she was definitely into dolls: she had two of her own Barbies, given to her as pressies over the last 6 months, and she loved the whole figurine, dress-up, pretend-play games she did with them. It was actually, perfect timing.

When at my parents place, they started looking for them in a wardrobe, and it almost looked like they wouldn’t be found for a little while. When they almost gave up, Dad stumbled across the box.

Just looking at the box, brought back memories: both the box, and the packing of it. With the latter, I actually had the faintest memory of packing it – in that room where it was found, my old ‘first’ room (before my sister moved out and then I moved into her room because it was front-facing and bigger), I remembered placing the barbies neatly against one another and on top of each other, before gently packing it all away… for good.

For another day, another time. I didn’t know then what I would be doing with it in 20 years time. That I would be giving it a new lease on life.

Secondly, the box.

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The Kraft box. My Dad worked there for a good couple of decades, and each year for their annual Christmas party, each employee was invited to the party for a lunch, bringing home a festive box full of Krafty goodies – cheeses, spreads, biscuits, and any other new product that wasn’t even on the shelves yet. I was always so excited when Dad came home from these Christmas parties – I’d come home from school, looking around the kitchen and dining room table, hoping to see a Christmas-y coloured box, with tinsel bursting from the sides. And Dad knew I’d get so excited about it, smiling just as much as me when I finally saw the box. Going through the contents of the box, was a happy, pre-Christmas tradition for me.

Even after he stopped working there, he was still invited, along with other long-standing employees of the company, to a former employees Christmas Party… that sadly, soon stopped fairly soon after, after new management came along. I remember the sadness and disappointment I felt in discovering the goodie box, was good, no more. So this box that I was staring at today, was quite possibly, one of, if not the, last boxes he ever received.

And I’d put my Barbies into it. Memories upon memories.

The only way I got baby girl into the car today was the promise of playing with Barbie dolls at home. So once there, I complied.

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Finding all my dolls, some just that, plain dolls, ‘wannabe Barbies’ and others the very real deal, was seriously like stepping into a time capsule that I myself had buried 2 decades ago. I found dolls I had forgotten about, costumes and shoes I didn’t know I had, and also the barbies that I faintly remembered – and then of course Ken. Who could forget when one got a Ken doll? That was a special thing back in the day.

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(Some funky outfits they had)

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(Check out the blonde ‘fro – yeah yeah!)

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(I won this Ariel doll in a kids mag comp, and I was STOKED… but one of her legs broke as soon as we lifted her out, maybe she should have stayed in mermaid form…)

I told baby girl that she must take extra care with these dolls, and pack them away gently as they were found. I think she knows what to do, but still, I have to make sure these Barbies are under supervision by me or Hubbie when she is playing with them. Even he agrees, saying “they’re old enough to go on club reg.”

Too right.

But even though I’m happy for baby girl to play with my cherished old Barbies, there is one thing I think I’m going to have to change – the box. Old and flimsy as it is, and with the addition of a piece of paper that was on the bottom of the box, where my Mum scrawled Dad’s last day of work at Kraft… I don’t know, but I think I need to put away this box, this special box of so much history and memories, and use it for my own good, and get a new box for baby girl to put all her old/new barbies in.

I know it’s just a box, but it’s what it represents that is priceless.

#470 Coffee with Cinderella

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Straight up, that was my coffee experience today.

It was special because my parents have been staying with us for a little bit, and so today while out and about, showing them our ‘hood,’ we stopped for a café latte break.

Parents, baby girl, me… and Cinderella.

Because that’s how the coffee breaks are nowadays. And it’s important that I capture them as they are, now. Because these days of mini figurines, kinder surprises, play-doh creations and smiley-face biscuits, will not last forever. Baby girl will grow out of it, and soon will be way too cool for any of that kiddy ‘stuff.’

The stuff that now makes her clap her hands with unrestrained glee, a wild smile spreading across her face in the moment that she comes face to face with a little packet-ed princess wearing a blue gown.

So, it was a cool little coffee date we had. I share these moments with baby girl, but my parents being there as witness to it all, is extra, extra, cool.

That’s a coolness, I won’t ever grow out of.

#469 First taste of Filtered Coffee

It was while being grateful for a LONG overdue catch-up with Best Man and Fam today, that later on in the evening I had another reason to be grateful.

Filtered coffee.

Hubbie’s bestie asked if we wanted a taste of a special blend, and of course there wasn’t much chance of us saying no, being all coffee snobs and all. Off to the kitchen he went to begin the ‘process.’

The ‘process’ went for a good 5 minutes. There was a large jug, something like a fine sieve up top, hot water that went into this, and then ground coffee on top, to just sit. For a good few minutes.

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Finally it was brought to the table, and we had our first taste.

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Did I tell you Hubbie’s bestie is a coffee rep? How bloody convenient for us. Like, seriously. He told me that if that coffee were unfiltered, there would be earthier notes coming out, but this being filtered, there were fruiter ones. I asked him why exactly the coffee is filtered, and he went on an explanation saying you can have coffee in a variety of ways, and offered a detailed explanation, but the music in the room was too loud, and the kids were running around us and having the time of their lives, so the message got lost in the air. I nodded and drank.

It was watery, quite light, yet still strong. I could get used to it, as it is different, and I like different, but still pleasant. He said it’s a good morning coffee, and I could see why.

Tasting different coffees, one day at a time.

All hail different ways to drink coffee.

‘Hail different ways to drink coffee.’

😉

#468 Churchies give me coffee and a muffin

Ahhh. Hot, sweet, hot, sweet (did I say hot?) coffee, accompanied by a perfectly executed warm egg and bacon muffin.

I almost didn’t have this. If I didn’t act precautionary and stuff extra coins into my coffee purse (yes I have a coffee purse), I totally wouldn’t have had it AT ALL.

At the usual time this morning, I grabbed my work pass, my phone, and my coffee purse to head off on my coffee walk to get my Saturday morning coffee while at work. Having the scratchy and dry throat that has decided to reappear in my life for a few days now, and feeling also slightly sickly, I looked at the fruit waiting for me on my desk, and decided ‘this will not do.’

Sure, I would eat them today, at some point, eventually. But I needed something solid, something hearty, something to go fantastically with my morning coffee and help me get through the day and way into the night, as we were expecting visitors at our place later on. I threw in a couple more coins from my ‘regular’ purse, into my ‘coffee purse’ (I know, right?!) and with my bomber jacket headed on down the road through the chilly air.

The Asian lady greeted me warmly as I walked up to the counter, smiling happily. I like her. I like my Saturday morning coffee place. I hoped I would like her more in a few moments time.

“Hi,” I started. “I wanted something like a coffee – “

“Yes we have coffee!”

“- yes but, with something like toast? Like a coffee and toast deal?”

Not more than $6.50, not more than $6.50, I repeated in my head. In my quick skim through the contents of my coffee purse earlier, I thought I had that amount for sure, but any more, and I would have to check.

“We have a coffee and egg and bacon muffin for $7.50.”

Hmmm.

“Regular coffee?” I enquired.

“This one,” she pointed to the smallest size, not the medium size as I had anticipated. She repeated regular, and I got confused with the sizes as I started to count out my change.

“Let me check…”

It is usually the case that with coins, there is a tad more than what you initially see with your eyes.

4.50, 5, 6, 7… 7.50!

“7.50!” I said happily. “And for a medium?”

“This one” she again pointed to the small size, and my heart deflated a bit. “It’s a bit extra for medium…”

I started doubting whether I even wanted this egg and bacon muffin. I mean I did, but not enough to sacrifice the size of my coffee. I stared into my much lighter coffee purse, and observed 45 cents worth of coins.

Don’t say more than 45 cents, don’t say more than 45 cents…

“An extra 40 cents.”

!

With 5 cents in my purse to spare!

I emptied all the coins onto the counter like a girl who had just raided the church donation baskets, and minutes later, I was walking back to work very happy. And then at my desk, enjoying my hot coffee, and my warm muffin, I was immediately grateful for all my coins.

ALL THE COINS.

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Don’t throw away your churchies people. You never know when they will make your day.

#467 A coffee break in my Parents backyard

It’s a lovely full circle moment when you are a visitor in your parents’ house, enjoying it in away that let’s face it, you never really used to enjoy it.

My parents have a pretty beautiful back yard. Lots of fruit trees, lush green grass, plenty of shade from the old trees’ branches to protect you on sunny days, and just a serene place to relax, and appreciate nature.

Do you think I spent that much time ‘taking it in’ when I was a teen? Hell no. Sure, I have plenty of backyard memories, of climbing up trees, jumping in piles of leaves my Mum had just swept into a pile, picking an apricot straight from the tree and devouring it. Playing with my cats, having my friends over, and then ALL of those parties!… the list goes on and on and ON.

But it’s not until you don’t live at your parents house anymore, that you start to really appreciate the little things.

While over near my parents side of town today for an appointment, following that baby girl and I swung on by to visit, and after the customary lunch upon arrival, we all headed out to the back.

The Autumn skies were clear, and sunny. Still, not a wisp of wind. Soon Mum was manoeuvring a garden table into the middle of the lush green grass, positioning chairs, taking out sweets, and I was making coffee.

Dad, Mum, baby girl, and I. All 4 of us, sitting in the middle of their backyard, having a great family moment.

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(Check out original Ridge on that soap opera mug – MINE!)

Of course it didn’t last long. The sitting I mean. I was up and at baby girl, following her or something. But it was still bliss.

Moments with your family are never enough, not for me anyway. I always feel like I need more, I want more, want to appreciate and experience and enjoy and live through MORE. I guess that’s just how it is with those you love. It makes me  grateful for these moments, these moments that are never enough, so much more.

Soon after the skies turned grey, and we all headed inside…

To more FUN. Dancing in your parents house with your loves, well, that’s another gratitude post right there…

#466 When they say her name

Hubbie and I still clearly remember the first time we heard another child call out to baby girl. Well, I’m a bit hazy on the place, but I remember the feeling. A friend’s daughter called “baby girl!” in a playful, happy, inclusive and friendly tone, and my heart melted a little. Later on Hubbie said to me “Did you hear such and such’s daughter call out ‘baby girl?'”

He too had melted. I guess there’s something that pulls at the heart strings when a fellow child calls out to yours. Parenthood has a lot of fear and stresses in it, and one of the zillion of them is hoping your child will be liked. That they will have friends. That they will be included. That people will be kind to them.

And every time since then, when a child has gone “baby girl!” my heart beats a little more.

It’s been a big thing for me since our Sea Change. All of us are starting again in a new town, and I’m keen for baby girl to meet as many people as possible. Sure, we have lots of family and friends scattered all over the place, but this is the town she will grow up in. This is the town she’ll make those crucial childhood and teenage memories in. These are the times that will shape her, and I hope to God she has a few decent friends during her journey.

But in the meantime, we are all just getting to know each other, aren’t we? And I’ve already heard a couple occasions where a child from her kinder has called out “baby girl!” to my surprised and delighted observation, to which I usually lowly instruct “baby girl, say hi to your friend!”

Today it happened in the sweetest way.

I had picked her up from her kinder session, and as she had at the start of the day when she had prolonged walking into the foyer for sign-in, so too was she now walking slowly along the step in the railing on the side of the footpath, while I held the child-proof gate open up ahead for her.

“Baby girl, come on,” I willed her. She eventually followed, and we were both on the other side of the fence, when I heard the faintest “baby girl.”

I turned, unsure I had even heard her name, when I saw a girl from her class behind the gate, her Mum still talking to the teacher behind her.

She stepped closer and held out a little pink pony, and baby girl stepped forward to claim it. I was hesitant, trying to work out if it was baby girl’s or this other girl’s, as I didn’t want her taking a toy from another child, but also, trying to figure out if somehow it was baby girl’s, since the kids aren’t allowed to take their personal toys to kinder – in case they get lost.

Baby girl was sure it was hers, and we walked off while I worked out eventually with baby girl’s indication, that it had been in her coat pocket, and fallen out. As that became clearer and solved, the previous encounter came forward in my head and –

Melted My Heart.

Not only was it the kindness of this other young girl to return the pony toy to baby girl, but it was the sweet and gentle way with which she said her name. It struck a cord so deep, and I was happy even more so, because I have seen this girl in class and she is as cheeky as baby girl (also as cute as!), and I have spoken to her Mum on a brief occasion and gotten along with her well enough to think

‘we could be friends.’

Which feeling do you think I liked more, that I might get a friend, or that baby girl might already have one which I didn’t know about?

What do you think???

The answer is in the above. That little girl melted my heart when she said baby girl’s name, and I think it will be melting for a while yet during these school years…

I think it might be butter by the time she’s 18.