#867 Saturday night at Southland

Balance. It is key. We have had our fair share of ‘Saturday nights in,’ in this cold and Winter-y weather… so that as soon as Hubbie and I were done with work for today, we were like “let’s go out!”

Baby girl echoed our sentiments. She’s the boss, so we had to obey.

Over to Southland it was. We gorged on delicious and comforting food at TGIs, a parent’s restaurant delight, as there is so much kid-friendly food, a kid-friendly atmosphere, and their desserts and cocktails are pretty damn strong awesome.

We happily lapped it up, before taking a stroll towards…

Totally Games.

It was Saturday night, and the first weekend of the school holidays, so of course it was packed. Baby girl went all psycho, running from game to game, yelling that she had to play them all, squealing at the subsequent tickets that came cascading out, and letting it be known to all in the store that SHE HAD ARRIVED.

It was hilarious, and yet so heart-warming at the same time. I took such pleasure in watching her run around and be so happy. We all participated a bit, but she was the main conductor, shooting hoops, squirting ducks with water guns, and bowling to her hearts content.

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It was beautiful to see, amidst the lights of the shop, how much her face turned animated and bright amongst it all.

And then of course Hubbie went all OTT and threw the bowling ball so hard it nearly went through the store window.

Like, calm down Hubbie. Let the girl play. Geez.

At the end of it all, we probably spent about $13 in games, that resulted in her getting a squishy tomato and two mini yo-yos, all of which was probably only $.75 cents worth… but that’s the store for you.

Seeing her face, feeling her joy, and joining in with her, was priceless. ♥

#866 Dancing in another place, with my loves

It’s not a good thing when you stave off dancing for a considerable length of time.

And I don’t mean the boppy, jump up and down kind of baby girl’s fave dance group Pnau. Nor am I talking of the swaying sensations of Hubbie’s preference Sia, or the hip-shaking rhythms of my, Ricky Martin.

No. What I’m referring to here is the funky feet of folk.

Folk dancing. It is a whole other dance, rhythm and culture all of itself. When you grow up listening to it, it surrounds your family parties, and you partake by dancing along to it whole-heartedly at these festive get-togethers, it creates the very important foundation of shared family love, memories and ALL the happy times.

This time however, it wasn’t in our kitchen. Sure, baby girl and I were present, but Hubbie was at work.

We were in a lounge room. Not our lounge room. My OLD lounge room. And the third person present was my Dad.

We were at my parents place.

🙂

Baby girl loves to put it on. There is a small stereo in the lounge room, with a permanently placed folk cd inside. She turns it on, winds up the volume, and happily starts jumping along.

How happy that makes me, that at only 4, that type of music is already engrained into her.

“Come on Mama, dance!”

I tagged along.

I should warm up, right? When ever there we do any kind of ‘warming up’ as we call it, it’s usually because some big family event is coming up, and we need to get our cold dancing feet fired up and ready.

But today the only warming up was done for just thatwarming up. It was cold, there hadn’t been a get-together to get us jumping in ages, and yet I still felt the urge to get the blood pumping, knowing it would help the chills of this, our June day.

I started jumping beside baby girl, with no real rhythm, just to make her happy.

“Come on Deda!”

I looked at my Dad, all comfortable and cosy on the couch. There was as much chance of him getting up to join us as there was in the day moving above 20 degrees.

“Baby girl, leave Deda, he is resting.”

He looked to agree with that statement as I said it, but then as I kept on leaping in the air with baby girl, I saw him get up, and start to –

one two, one two three, one two three, one two three

He was dancing!

“Good job Deda!” I yelled to him.

Baby girl smiled in happiness, and on he, and now I, inspired by his professionalism in the act, kept on going, doing it the right way

one two, one two three, one two three, one two three

Our feet kicking the in air, moving from left to right and left again, and baby girl telling me all the while –

THAT I WAS DOING IT ALL WRONG.

Sure honey. Because she’s the folk-dancing boss.

So I copied her kicks in the air from side to side and left to right, and suddenly she was much more impressed.

(Face palm).

But for those few moments, the three of us mucking about, folk music in the air, legs kicking around wildly…

I reckon the room temperature DID reached 20. 😉

 

#865 Beanie weather

Look. I am no Winter ambassador. I have said that on many an occasion.

But when you come equipped with the right goods, suddenly all of those cold and miserable starts become a hell of a lot more manageable.

Meet my new beanie. This beanie not only looks great and has a pom pom on the top (a prerequisite for any decent and cosy Winter beanie) but it holds special significance too. It is part of the Carrie Bickmore carriesbeanies4braincancer collection, a campaign founded by the Australian personality to create funding and support for this most vicious and highly under-funded of terminal diseases.

She has been personally affected by this. Her late husband died of this horrendous cancer.

Our family has been affected by this too.

I purchased the beanie months ago, primarily for this reason. Any amount or donation towards prolonging life, and finding a cure, should be made paramount.

And the fact that it is also cute and fashionable, makes it all the easier to wear proudly.

If you too would like to check out Carrie Bickmore’s head range, go to the website:

https://www.carriesbeanies4braincancer.com/

I don’t need to try and promote the cause to you any more. The stories and the lives impacted speak for themselves.

And these are the kinds of things I ponder as I walk around the streets of the bay, coffee in hand, pondering life and all of it, and how lucky we are to be here.

It may be cold. It may be icy. We are in the middle of Winter, bang smack! in the middle.

But somehow this morning was also beautiful.

Breathtaking.

The stillness of it all.

The momentary pause of seasons.

Nature stops, takes a breath, and halts its growth, as this is necessary for renewal… lying dormant until the first seeds start to sprout, sunshine is prolonged, and the World begins its natural pull towards rebirth, once again.

It is miraculous.

And we are alive. Think of that next time you are having a bad day.

We are alive, and blessed. ♥♥♥

#864 June Full Moon

I know not why things are as they are.

I know not why the skies are darker, and the stars shine brighter over our house.

I know not why some people have it easy, and others hard.

I know not why things come to us when we least expect them.

And I certainly know not why when you search and yearn and forage for others, our discovery remains lost.

Tonight there is an approaching Full Moon.

I know not why I felt vibrations within my body. Was it the Shaman running her energy over me, or something greater?

I know not why I left work in such a hurry, horrified by privacy breaches and in shock over possible exposure.

And finally, I know not why there was fuel in our house, fire and explosions and all manner of drama.

I know not why these things happened tonight, out of all nights.

There are many things I can’t explain.

But I can only go by how I feel, and what I do KNOW. And I do know that the presence of the Moon, so big and bright over our house, our town, our city, has this effect on not just me, but on everybody.

So, Full Moon. Cast your spell. Shine your light bright. But make it worth our while.

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#863 Shark Tank

sharktank

I’m surprised its taken me this long to pay a grateful homage to the above TV show. I have only been watching it from the very beginning, season 1 ep 1, and this latest season you will find me reliably sitting on my couch every Tuesday night from 8:45 to 9:45pm, arguing with baby girl that Mama needs her ‘me time,’ and that she can go do whatever the hell she wants.

Parenting at its finest.

But honestly. All I ask is for one uninterrupted hour. I don’t even get that.

Tell her to go to bed you say.

You obviously DON’T have a 4 year-old child.

I do my best anyway, with what I get. And what I get, I L♥VE. I sit on the couch with my tea, all comfy in my pjs, recently-converted Shark Tank watchee Hubbie beside me, in my nicely heated and cosy abode.

Ahhh.

What is it about this show that I love sooo much? Hubbie has asked me this question several times, and I have thought long and hard about the answer, curious myself.

Quite simply, it is fascinating. Watching some of our countries most successful and wealthiest businesspeople, assess the every day person’s entrepreneurial dreams, and determine if they are worthy and valid enough to be given a cash investment… that is exciting stuff.

It is explorative. You see things from a ‘Shark’s’ viewpoint. You will think an idea will surely get the team fighting for a bite of the money pie, but then slowly, all 5 of them turn it down for various reasons, and their individual reasons offer you a window into their very experienced and business-minded world.

I enjoy the journeys presented, I love the banter between the Sharks themselves… but most of all I gain some courage, some inspiration, some insight into both those people coming into the ‘tank’ and laying their ideas and hearts on the line, and also from the Sharks who offer invaluable feedback and insight for each individual.

Maybe I too, see myself in the entrepreneurs.

And maybe I also see myself in future, like a Shark 🙂

 

#862 K2 Swimmer

It’s such a simple thing that has me feeling grateful today. It is about growth.

Baby girl has been doing swimming lessons now for just under 2 months. She shares the class most of the time, with a boy, and a fellow girl, who I can only say is slightly younger than her just based on her size. Although younger, this girl can swim with her head in the water, legs kicking furiously, for almost half a lap. She has clearly been doing this for a while.

Monday nights are crazy, in that half of the Peninsula is there at the swim school between 3 and 6pm, all the lanes packed full of classes containing kindergarten and primary school-aged kids, all with varying levels of skill and ability.

And as these lessons take place, so too do you see the ‘walkers.’ The swim teachers who aren’t in the lane, but they are doing their rounds, their walk-a-bouts, checking attendance when they approach each teacher, and also, from time to time, checking the children’s progress.

It was baby girl’s class’ turn today.

She approached baby girl’s teacher, and from my position I could see them exchange some words – suddenly baby girl was in the water, and demonstrating how she could push off and kick with her kickboard. They nodded in understanding, but then I didn’t see the rest of baby girl’s progress, as she moved from my view behind a huge brick pillar.

I watched the other children partake – both the boy with permanent goggles on his face, and the younger, feisty girl. They both did longer laps, kicked for a decent duration, and were able to travel a greater distance than baby girl. I mean, it made sense. They had been doing this longer.

Sure, she could put her head under water. She didn’t get worried when her face got splashed on. And she was getting amazing at her floating, even doing it by herself! She just wasn’t as skilled as the other two yet, in travelling a lap-type distance.

I watched the ‘walker’ give some positive encouragement to the kids when they were done. She high-fived each of them, and then headed on over to us parents, to give us the update.

I was the last parent to get the news.

“She’s doing great!” she exclaimed to me. “She’ll be moving up a level!”

Really? I thought. I’m the first to praise my child, but also I am not blind.

“Wow!” I said out loud. “That’s great!”

She went on to explain that from baby girl’s K1 level, her goals had been to make four kicks with a kickboard – that was achieved today, and with her other skillsets, was now able to move to K2.

“She’ll still stay in that class, as it is both K1 and K2,” she went on. “But she will be going home with a certificate today.”

Oh. Now it made sense.

As the ‘helper’ headed off to review more kids, I was beaming. Rapt. Next time baby girl looked over at me, I gave her not 1, but 2 thumbs up.

I was so proud.

It was such a simple thing, yes. But as I always say, the simple things are the most important.

And though it may seem like an everyday, average event…. the feelings I got were far from. 🙂

#861 Buy and purge day

It wasn’t the best start to the day.

We’ve all had those days. Those days where upon opening your eyes, it is immediately shit. You lift your head off the pillow with heaviness, dread weighing your feet down as you try to swing them over the sides of the bed. Eyes downcast in sorrow.

It doesn’t matter what the reasons are for these crap starts. I’ve had them. You’ve had them. We’ve ALL had them. And collectively, we could fill a book, or 2, or 20, with all the ways in which a day can start soooo wrong.

On the flipside, we could also create 600 books and more, on ways to turn it all around.

That’s what happened today. You see Hope, it’s a funny thing. It drives me crazy, because no matter what, there is always that little part of me, that is against all odds, HOPING. Hoping for the best. Hoping it all works out. Hoping that my luck will improve.

I rely on Hope heavily. And other times, like today, I HATE it. Sometimes I want to lose it. Sometimes I want to throw in the towel. Sometimes I want to curl up into a ball and shy away from the world.

But then, this freaking little annoying thing called ‘Hope,’ this tiniest of glimmers, pops its head up and asks “but, what if?”

It drives me MAD.

But it also saves me.

Step by step, I turned my day around. Isn’t that what we all do? We have no choice, and on we go…

STEP. STEP. STEP.

And then through the haze and confusion, two separate events helped me to move on.

BUY

Retail therapy. I mean, for such a heavy post, this really is a materialistic no-brainer. If you can, buy your way out of misery. I didn’t go mental or anything, though when I saw a nearby lady about to dig into a huge milkshake/ice cream/sundae, I had the insane urge to borrow my head into her gross and overwhelming dessert.

But I did buy some clothes, and since I’ve been wanting to get some new pieces for my Winter wardrobe, ticking this off the list on such a low day, started to really help.

PURGE

If by some chance you can’t buy your way out of unhappiness, there is one thing you can most definitely do that is FREE. And I think we are all screwed up and over-consumerised in our lives that we can ALL do this:

Get rid of STUFF.

After our shopping visit, I started to head at random, from room to room in our home, getting rid of stuff. There is a pile of ‘stuff’ we had in the corner of the top of our stairs, placed in such an odd spot because I think we thought putting that pile in the already crowded spare room of ‘stuff,’ would somehow overcrowd it.

(Huh. Get that logic. Put stuff in weird place near corner of stairs, but not in the room of actual ‘stuff.’ Anyway).

I worked at getting this pile out of there, using two categories.

Donate

Find a proper home (in the house).

I removed the entire pile, and honestly the donate to keep ratio was about 40/60. I was impressed.

I then moved to other areas of the house, with the added category of

Throw away

This was particularly handy when going through baby girl’s play area. I actually have a work in progress post about toys, the mental anguish parents go through, and how to tackle the problem of space and moving on from them. Watch my SmikG space. But I found it interesting that I didn’t tell baby girl what I was doing as I took various bits and pieces of hers to the bin, yet she somehow knew, because if she saw me pick something up that she liked, she called after me and made sure she retrieved it, yet for the other items, she didn’t say a word.

Interesting.

I did bits and bobs, even putting some things away in our new cupboard adjacent to the kitchen, and by the end of it all, boy did I feel rejuvenated.

Fresh. Lighter. Freer of junk, and freer of unhappiness.

I felt better.

BUY and PURGE. Take your pick, or do both, and get on with it…

STEP by STEP.