#502 Snuggling up with my cub

One of the best milestones your child reaches is the one where they sleep through the night in their own bed. And once that happens, you are okay with them joining you in yours, in the morning.

If it’s super early, well I’m like “you sleep on Daddy’s pillow,” since he is usually at work by then. A little bit of “this is your dance space, this is my dance space” – style. However if she comes up at a ‘decent hour,’ once we are both well-slept, she will reach out and cuddle in close and we’ll kiss and hug.

This morning however, it WAS a decent hour, but we were both sooo tired, still. She snuggled in close, and I did not protest. She found a nook, a groove in me, and lay there, breathing peacefully, her eyelids closed and creaseless, and I had my arm around her and holding her tight.

Like a little baby bear, cuddling up close to its Big Mama bear.

Or like a lion cub, finding support and comfort, strength and solitude, in its Lioness of a Mother.

Or like baby girl, finding love and affection and fondness and attention, with her Mama.

Same same. The snuggles are all the same. I love them so, and cherish them always XO

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#501 Couch time

Usually when I drop off baby girl for 5 hours at kinder, it is usually GO-GO-GO for me. Grocery shopping, a Zumba session at home, some kind of cleaning/tidying house stuff, followed by lunch, more clean up, and then hopefully some writing if I can manage it before pick-up time.

Today was very different. I’ve been feeling unusual lately. Out of sorts. I decided I needed a break from the rush and routine, and knowing that it was the last time I’d be on my own like that for a few weeks, being the end of term 2 and all, I decided to really milk it.

I still had a snack and tea when I got home, as is the norm. But then I sat. I read magazines, flipped through the newspaper, all while I sipped my tea and had Bold and the Beautiful on in the background.

Then I moved to the couch, wholeheartedly now devoted to the TV, and watched MORE B&B. Snuggled up under the couch’s throw. This then changed to a recent episode of Shark Tank, a programme I am absolutely obsessed with. I LOVE IT. I have to catch all episodes, and laughing and staring in bewildered shock, even crying at the shows I watched today, was just bliss. So, so necessary. I never give myself proper couch time, because well, Mum-guilt, always feeling like I really should be doing something more time-serving, important and responsible… But, it was just one of those days. Outside it was FREEZING, and snuggling up to myself on the couch, watching some great shows, was the perfect way to spend an hour or so.

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And for the record, I cried in Shark Tank when a man was telling the sweet story of how he has dedicated his life and earnings to an invention that literally, will save the planet (even the Sharks nearly cried), and in Bold I was oh-so-emotional over Liam and Steffy getting back on track in their relationship. I’m about 2 months behind Aus’ episode run, which is already behind the US’ of about 3 months, so bare with me if I sound terribly out-of-date. Let’s just say when it comes to B&B, I’m invested.

I really don’t need shows on my planner, waiting for me to watch them. But also, if I didn’t have anything I NEEDED to catch up on, I don’t think I would ever sit down and give myself some down time. I would always be on the go, and I would never have a proper, wind-down, break.

Ahh. You just need those days every once in a while.

#500! Rum balls

Bloody sweets, again? This girl is crazy, you’ll say. All she does is bake!

Well, I didn’t bake. I rolled. And it just so happens that by pure coincidence, this week is heavy on the sweet-making front, because my cappuccino cupcakes I made half for us, half for some family earlier on in the week…

and the rum balls I rolled today, is for a shared plate I need to take to baby girl’s kinder tomorrow, for their end of term 2 PAR-TAY…

(and a little for us too).

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I mean, it would be pretty cool if I had heaps of time to just bake, and roll, and cook, and spend a heap of time making sugary-sweet-time in the kitchen… but by the same token I’m more than just a creative kitchen enthusiast, and I don’t like to be defined by just one thing. I like to spend my time outdoors, taking in sunshine, reading, shopping even when the account kind of doesn’t allow me, and jumping on trampolines… with baby girl of course.

Of course.

Oh, and writing. That little hobby too 😉

It makes sense to talk about the things I do and what makes me happy today – after all it’s a monumental post, the big 5-0-0! Woohoo! I say, make the cake, and eat all the cake!

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Well, leave some for the kiddies too. They are child-friendly in case anyone is wondering, totally rum-less.

So what exactly am I grateful for today? A whole bunch of things. I am grateful for easy recipes like rum balls, yes. I am grateful for milestones. And a big shout out to Hope too. Hope keeps my feet taking one step in front of the other. Hope keeps my chin up when things are down. Hope keeps me a glass half-full gal, and Hope is there to tell me that everything eventually works out, and everything is for a reason.

Celebrating sweet things, big numbers, and things to keep us wishing…

Thanks to you all for joining me on this ride, and here’s Hoping this 500 is the tip of the iceberg for the lifelong Gratitude Journey I am on. 🙂

#499 Baking: cappuccino cupcakes

Still on the theme of baking for Winter warmth: baking, more so, baking sweets.

There’s nothing like the scent of freshly baked sugary foods wafting out of your oven, filling the house with comforting joy. Today was such the case, as I baked one of my ol’ faithfuls, my cappuccino cupcakes.

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It certainly was a while since my last endeavour, and in a new kitchen with last-century appliances, it took some oven tweeking until they were ready… but when they were pulled out, were just as deliciously sweet as always.

And there’s nothing quite like the warmth of a freshly baked cupcake, to remove any previous winter chill that was lingering in your home 🙂

#498 Food: Winter Warmers

I’m actually in the midst of writing a blog post about all the wonderful things YOU, and I, should LOVE about Winter.

Todays gratitude post is a sneak peak, and it divulges one of my ideas.

Winter Food.

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Curry just isn’t the same unless it’s eaten on a cold Winter’s night, now is it? It’s been way too long since I made my vegetable curry, in fact we think at least 2 years… and why the wait? Well this thing called having a baby happened. And when something so monumental happens, everything changes… life, when you sleep, how you go out, how you react to things, how many people you see, and oh, what you eat.

And what you cook.

Once baby girl was of a certain age to start experimenting with food, well of course I was going to be making fairly safe, baby-friendly inoffensive tasting food. Which meant the curry we used to eat so much and so often of in Winter, was gone.

Yeah, I could have made two meals. But you could get two jobs too, couldn’t you?

😉

Yep. So it’s been a while. And as we ate it tonight, Hubbie swore it was like we were in our old house in the Northern suburbs. I think that means it was good 🙂

And as for baby girl? Well she gorged on the rice that was underneath the curry, in fact she completely overdosed on it. Did I mention my girl loves carbs? She does. I’d rather she overdose on rice than chocolate, so massive parental win there.

Winter Foods… get yourself into some warming curry and feel the heat 🙂

#497 Mt Eliza (Freezing) Farmers Market

The Mt Eliza Farmers Market occurs on the 4th Sunday of every month, and it only took 8 months after moving to the Peninsula, and diving into the depths of freezing-arse weather, to get on down there during our hibernation cold-spell.

We rugged ourselves up and headed over this morning. A $2 per adult ‘voluntary’ donation applies per entry, however there is no sign telling you you can make a choice either to, or not to. It goes to a local rotary club, so it lessens the impact of robbing you of your free will, I guess.

It was a brief and biting visit. The wintery winds steered us around quickly, but really, it isn’t much of an hour long walk unless you are of course, talking to all of the stallholders, trying all of their produce, or stopping at a nearby café, or the food and drink stalls within the market, to satiate your appetite.

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The stallholders we spoke to were lovely and friendly, providing plenty of info, and we walked away from it with a couple of little goodies:

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From top clockwise: a bag of pink lady apples from an orchard in Red Hill; organic free range eggs from Willow Zen (I have an obsession with ‘proper’ free range eggs from free range hens, and hearing that these hens have a couple of doggies guarding them from fox and coyotes, sounded about as farm-like and free as you can get); salted caramel coated popcorn from Crack[le] Corn; and finally, Manuka Honey 30+ from Pure Peninsula Honey.

I’m really curious to see how the apples taste straight from a farm, rather than a supermarket shelf. I love the idea of having produce from within the state’s region accessible for all to enjoy, and am proud and grateful to live in a part of the world where markets like this encourage and support the fact.

Wandering the market grounds in the Mt Eliza township on a Sunday? Yep, grateful. Yep, tick.

#496 Unexpected Sex and the City re-runs

Another Saturday night, another LAZY night in.

Cold, wind whistling outside, and freezing icy air, so takeaway (noodles) was necessary.

Blast the heater up and put on trakkies.

Hot showers and ultra-bubbly bubble baths: I had the hot shower – baby girl was fortunate enough to have the bathtub full of foamy bubbles.

A little bit of “Hokey Pokey, and then you shake it all around…”

Some warm milk, TV channel flipping –

Oh. Hang on. What do I see here?

Sex and the City eps back-to-back on Foxtel.

🙂

Why do we glean such pleasure from watching our fave shows/movies on TV, when in fact we have the DVDs at home? This continually puzzles me, why something I haven’t watched for ages, suddenly becomes a must when your old-time characters are staring back at you from the small screen.

Suddenly, you must drop everything and watch. Like you DON’T KNOW what’s going to happen.

And I happened across a repeat SATC, in fact, one of the most brilliant ones… I happened across the Finale 🙂

And so I watched. Hubbie and baby girl also chimed in and watched Carrie chase Big up the stairs, and then they came crashing down on the floor in a fit of laughter.

I saw Big say to Carrie “you’re the one.”

I heard him also say “Abso-fucking-lutely.”

And then I saw her walk into a New York café where her friends were sitting, unexpectedly screaming in excitement as she walked in.

And I was sitting there, just beaming.

Just great. Great 🙂 Love this show.

For anyone in Melbourne, reading this right now, and who has Foxtel, they have followed this up with more back to back SATC eps – starting from the very beginning: S1, E1.

I mean, if you want to. Or you could just pop on your DVD player, or Netflix. But that’s too hard…