It’s a beautiful thing to catch up with old friends. It’s even better, when your child welcomes them with open arms.
And jumps all over them.
And plays with them.
And tells them they are her best friends in “whole my world.”
Not ‘my whole world.’
WHOLE MY WORLD.
That is more special. Or should I say, special more.
It was a great night for us all, and every time we vow we won’t leave it so long ’til the next catch up… and then LIFE catches up, but still, we keep on trying. That is the thing with real friends, no matter what, you always try.
You are together for the night, and time flies and you don’t realise how much time has passed, because time feels like nothing at all when the company is so precious.
There was talking, laughter and music, and baby girl took photographic evidence to document IT ALL.
See, this is our Christmas tree all lit up
Then this was some of our song selections for the night
This is the side of Bestie, her hubbie Hubbex, and Hubbie all chilling on the couch.
This is her foot
And this is me, with her lego so conveniently sprawled along the coffee table, the tree behind me so beautifully hiding the inconspicuously placed fridge that has still not been moved into place following the kitchen reno (have you ever tried to move a fridge?!?!)
I know, right? You will have to all form an orderly line and wait to see the entrepreneurial photographic genius that is my daughter. Go on. Take a ticket.
Who else posts blurry photos online? NO ONE. See, we’re already winning.
Happy New Year’s Eve EVE everyone. Hope yours was lit up with joy and friendship too.
I was in a ‘zone’ – a zone to clean the house as deeply and thoroughly as I could.
The house has not had a proper clean since the kitchen renovations started, so I was really keen.
I walked from the bathroom to the laundry with an arm-full of cleaning products. Because of this, and also, because of SmikG clumsiness, my protruding elbow collided with the handle of the door.
“Ahhh!” I gasped, half-wheezing, half-shrieking, throwing the products onto the nearby bench so I could clutch at my elbow. The impact had sent shock waves into my bone, and it was reverberating, there were pins and needles, and deep, deep agony. I rubbed it wildly, trying to get a grip of myself, but the sounds still came out.
I knew what would come as soon as I became vocal, and sure enough in amongst my canine-like yelping, came the sound of small running footsteps.
Thud thud thud thud thud.
Baby girl flew past the laundry door, before coming to a halt and backtracking when she saw where I was. She came over quickly and looked up at me all wide-eyed as I held my elbow, grimacing.
“Mama you ok?”
“Oh, Mama hurt her elbow very bad, it hurts!”
She held my arm and kissed it once, looking up at me all patiently and calmly, full of love, the way I look at her when I am trying to calm her down.
“Oh, a little bit. Here kiss it some more.” She immediately obeyed and planted more sweet kisses on my elbow.
“Oh honey, that’s much better, thank you so much my darling.” It still hurt like hell, but my heart was now brimming with love and joy, and that kind of outweighed that pesky elbow pain 😉
They’re upsizing everything nowadays. Not just for the adults, but for the kids too.
They are getting fun in huge doses as well, in the form of huge jumping arenas and floor-to-ceiling play centres where anything and everything is possible.
We were in such a play centre today, for those playing from home (Melbourne that is) it was at SuperZu. And, we came prepared…
And that means, WITH SOCKS.
Baby girl and I met up with her cousin and Mum, and us Mums were just as keen as the girls to get in and amongst the fun. There were tube slides, something baby girl and I have recently grown accustomed to, yet which never grows boring, climbing net-like contraptions, motorised cars, mazes and ball pits and shooting platforms and ALL kinds of activities you can imagine, scaling 2 to 3 levels, maybe even more, I can’t say, that’s how much of a web the centre was.
And then there was a volcano-like climbing wall. It was pretty steep, and I watched baby girl try to scale it a few times, sliding down the slippery surface each time.
She was growing frustrated, and was hard on herself as she generally is when trying to do something new. I encouraged her and told her to keep holding on to the white steps with her hands and feet, and bit by bit, she worked her way to the top, teetering ever so closely to the edge as she got there and giving me a fright as I willed her to throw her legs over, but once she had I was breathing a huge sigh of relief.
She then proceeded to climb the wall confidently at least another 25 times in the next few hours.
My monkey. She had fun, her cousin had fun, us Mums had fun because they were having fun, and everything was just FUN.
Here’s to places designed to keep our kids happy 🙂
At our home currently, we do NOT have air conditioning.
This may not mean much to an Eskimo, Santa, or any person currently not experiencing an Australian Summer.
However, in Melbourne tonight at the time of approximately 10:30pm, it is about 28 degrees in the city centre.
And it ain’t dropping heaps overnight my friends.
Earlier when I spoke to Hubbie he told me it was boiling in our house. There is no breeze, and there is sweat on baby girl’s face, reminiscent of that time we went to Port Douglas and she was mostly cranky pants in the 40 degree heat, only satisfied when in a pool/ocean.
And yet, I am grateful. Not for the sauna awaiting me at home when I leave here shortly, no. But for the fact that in this moment, I am in a cool climate of possibly 18 degrees, the industrial work air con working brilliantly in my surrounds.
You need a champion breakfast to set yourself up for a big day ahead.
A big, Boxing Day breakfast.
A breakfast such as this allows you to make the most of the day and fill it to the brim with as much activity and fun as you possibly can.
It helped us put together this INSANE barbie van
It helped us get to some post-Christmas day shopping, and work the crowds.
And then later on it helped us perform some interesting ballet moves.
Ok, so the toys were baby girl’s not ours, and she had basic weetbix while we indulged in the above-shown breakfast… but with energy like hers, we sure as hell need a special boost every once in a while to keep up with her…
I don’t care how many times I post the same heading. Because I will always be grateful for it.
Each time there will be joy, but each time it will be different too – the fun will come from an unexpected avenue, we will sing different songs, eat different food and our time together will always be more cherished than the last time…
Because all of life is fleeting. We don’t know what is around the corner, and so when we are given something precious, a beautiful moment, or a special someones
Take stock, grab hold, and run with it.
This morning at our home, there was loads of presents…
and in turn plenty of wrapping paper to show for it.
Baby girl assisted Hubbie in their present to me –
And I LOVED the personal red touches and care given by baby girl, as much as the present itself.
The tree at my parents house is now smaller than it used to be…
But the same joy and love and good times remains. The alcohol still ‘goes’…
VERY quickly. But that is how we do things around here.
And there is dancing alright… not in the kitchen. But the GARAGE. Parents house, old school style.
And I love it all. I hope you too had an amazing and memorable Christmas with your loved ones… and if you don’t celebrate, well I hope your day was special anyway 🙂
I like the fact that on Christmas Eve I do baking.
But to be honest, it’s not all smooth-sailing and joy and festive cheer and “Deck the Halls!”
It’s more “baby girl, don’t put your hands there!”
“No you cannot have another one you’ve already had 3!”
“For the love of God can you let me finish mixing before I play with your barbie dolls?”
And yet still, the fact that it has become a baking day tells me that I kind of have my shit together for Christmas, when all I am doing, isbaking.
Well actually, not really. I was still running around buying last minute things, and have been in a state of constantall day as I tick off jobs on my to-do list. But still, predominant baking, means some kind of Christmas Eve celebration and relaxation, right?
I didn’t bake MUCH. Aside from some gingerbread to hand out to family and friends, I also did a new reindeer inspired treat
I hope they taste as good as they look, but just going on the melted chocolate which I did taste-test, well they should be delicious.
But the best part of the night was right at the end. Not because I had done most of my jobs – but because we did something with baby girl this year that we never have before.
We put out some treats for Santa.
A mug of milk and some of my homemade gingerbread for him, a carrot for Rudolph, and baby girl wanted to show Santa the snowflake decorated with pom poms she made today.
It’s all very simple, and yet the entire act of setting it up, getting her to bed because Santa “won’t come otherwise!” and preparing her for tomorrow made it so satisfyingly joyful.
Yes, the presents make this time of year a tad exciting, more so if you have little ones. But the best part, for me anyway? The look of wonder and fascination on their faces, making special family traditions together that only YOU do, and spending quality time with your loved ones where you enjoy one another, show your appreciation for all that you have, and tell each other how much you care.
I can’t wait to see baby girl’s face when she sees the gingerbread gone tomorrow morning 🙂
If you’ve just tuned in, clearly we are in the midst of Christmas season.
I knew there might be a decent show of people at the local carol-fest down by the beach this evening, but until I arrived there with baby girl, I had no idea how much.
There were people and cars, EVERYWHERE.
They had brought with them rugs, chairs, takeaway food, picnic hampers, blankets, jackets, and to top it all off were sipping bubbly in champagne glasses.
There were even food trucks lined up nearby for those who hadn’t come prepared or weren’t ready to give up decent coin for an average sized-meal.
Even the park playground was packed out, with about 30 kids trying to go down the slide at once, no joke, and there was an ongoing line of children trying to use the swings too.
It was an amazing vibe, and I vowed that next year, we would come prepared AND with Hubbie too, who was today working late in the busy lead-up to Christmas. But none of the above was the real reason why we came. They were all bonuses, but nothing compared to the main event drawcard…
Why, Jimmy Giggle of course!
The ABC Kids entertainer, of ‘Giggle and Hoot’ fame, was born and bred in the Peninsula, hence his regular appearances along the bayside, including tonight of all nights. Our timing was perfect as we arrived, as no more than 5 minutes passed and he appeared on stage, and we were right there for it, singing “Hoot Hoot, the Giggle-mobile!”
Ahh the things you do for your kids. You start becoming a critic of children’s performers, like you’re reviewing Grammy awarding winning artists, instead of a dude that talks to an Owl for most of his day.
But having said that, he rocked the stage, and owned his presence, delighting the kids in the process.
Ok, well not all the traditional kind, but you know what I mean.
And so started the one hour 20 minute journey to the other side of town today. With my 6 stack cd player filled with 5 Christmas albums (I decided to let the Dirty Dancing soundtrack be the only non-festive number there), I popped on, one of the biggest royalty songs of this time of year –
I mean, who hasn’t yodelled along to this and thought they were the next Messiah, I mean Mariah, in waiting?! What a terrific song and very clever money-maker. Ka-ching! $$$
But then baby girl chimed in and decided she needed her festive dose of Hi 5. So on they came
It comes from a So Fresh compilation album I have, and seriously, there are times I wonder whether I should have shown her this song. It is sooo catchy, so just a word of warning to not let your toddler hear it, or else you’ll be hearing it in your head for days and days and days.
So that happened, and because I am all Christmas-savvy, I already had my ipod plugged in and set up to play George Michael of Wham! fame, the one and only, and of course what should then conveniently come on?
Last Christmas we lost one of the best musicians around, but we will remember him each time this year comes around, as he is immortalised in this song especially.
So after yodelling some more, baby girl wanted some more Hi 5. Fine.
A different version, different cast, just because I know you want to hear ALL the versions.
I then turned it onto side 2 of the So Fresh compilation to an absolutely brilliant and poignant song, a song that makes you think of the true meaning of Christmas, and appreciate all that we have in the world that we live in:
I fell in love with this song even more after watching a documentary on the making of it, many, many years ago, where I learnt many fascinating tid-bits, one of which being that Bono initially didn’t want to sing his famous solo line
“But tonight thank God it’s them instead of you.”
Geldof insisted his singing it would make the message all the more important and meaningful. A doco that I highly recommend and that I need to get my hands on once again. And then also, sending the message of charity at this time of year is more important than one of presents and materialistic objects.
Getting into a lighter mood, I thought baby girl might appreciate an old favourite, a group I haven’t listened to for years, but when Christmas rolls around I pop on their ‘Snowed In’ album
It was Hanson, in all their youthful and Mmm Bop glory. She complained of course and said “me no like,” and I couldn’t help but think she had been brainwashed by a member of my family to say that, but come a few more songs and she was happy to hear their rendition of “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” and also the other old school tune, “Run Run Rudolph.”
Then some more “Santa Claus is coming!” Oh woe is me.
Come on, get up. I know you want to.
Then I was like fine, I need some proper crooning in the final part of our car trip, by the guy I have been missing from Christmas festivities because he is going through some family turmoil, which I will not mention in this fun and frivolous post, but Buble I am thinking of you and sending you my love, especially to your boy.
How amazing is he? I just love it, one of the best Christmas albums around, I tell ya.
Even baby girl sings this song along with me:
I kid you not, we were there singing “Feliz Navidad” together, and I reckon all her Dora the Explorer viewing gives her a good dose of proper pronunciation.
And there you go. How can I not be grateful after an hour and 20 minutes of such festivity and fun? We turned a long car trip into a party, and now even more than ever, I can say that “Santa Claus is coming! Santa Claus is coming!”
“Santa Claus is coming, Santa Claus is coming!”
“SANTA CLAUS IS COMING, SANTA CLAUS IS COMING, HE’S NOT VERY FAR AWAAAAYYYY!”