#764 Games with our girl

We spend so much of our lives, rushing from A to K to Z, thinking of the future, reminiscing about the past, and constantly in a state of planning, that we often forget to live, engage and be in the present.

It’s synonym is gift for a reason.

I always have things to do. I guess, duh Fred, EVERYONE’S life story. I guess my point is, in my spare time I rarely am lounging about watching hours of TV on end. I try to limit my social media use when it is just aimless trawling trawling trawling through news feeds. Recently I’ve begun planning out my days meticulously, so I can get in the maximum number of productive seconds, minutes and hours out of it that I can while baby girl is at kinder. This usually involves Zumba, some kind of writing, and then doing some sort of house-related organisational activity, a work in progress that is 18 months growing following our move (still!)

But just as I am always trying to tick things off my never-ending eternal to-do list, so am I realising I need to sometimes, just stop. Sit and DO nothing, for like, 5 minutes. Go through that mag that’s been sitting on the coffee table.

Play with baby girl.

I am very aware of her words to me. I am also aware of phrases I use like “I’m too busy,” “I can’t now” and “after.” I don’t like to use them, and then again, at times you can’t avoid them. You will be in the throes of something, let’s say dinner, and if I were to stop and go and play with baby girl’s barbie dolls, well our dinner would end up being blackened chicken schnitzel with burnt mini pizzas and soggy vegies.

But as was the case today, I stopped. Baby girl asked if we could play an exciting game, and I paused – I am so used to thinking of what I am doing next that I didn’t even realise that there was nothing I had planned for that moment – and said “sure. Let’s play.”

She was to be sleeping beauty, and I was to get her Anna, Elsa, and another barbie doll, and wake her up by presenting to her the Prince. I did just that, getting the dolls to wake her up off of the carpeted floor, but she did her trademark “no, like this,” and showed me by kissing me on the nose, that she was expecting a kiss from Prince charming himself.

I smiled. Okay then.

I instructed her to stay there on the floor, then ran off to her room to get something. Back I came, with her dolls, and doing some pretend doll voices, the dolls then presented the Prince to a sleeping, Beauty. He leant down, gave her a kiss… she woke up…

And it was her Captain Feathersword doll.

The look of wild hilarity and fun spread across her face as she refused his ‘advances,’ and we doubled over on the floor cacking ourselves silly. I took the turn of being Sleeping Beauty then as she presented the feathery pirate to me, and then in my subsequent turns of finding a Prince for her, I presented to her my original 90s Ken Barbie, who honestly I thought was as good a Prince as any, but she said “yuck!” and on second thoughts and looks I realised that in his 90s bow-tie suit he looked more like a 40 year-old Dad figure than a suitor. Fair enough.

The last dude I found for her was also Wiggles themed, palm-sized Lachy doll from the latest group incarnation. “Here you go,” I mimicked the dolls, placing him on her face for a lip smacker.

“No Lachy, yuck!” she squealed, and we doubled over again in laughter, laughing more because we were there watching each other laugh and cry laughing. It was GOLD.

Tonight after all the cooking and cleaning and getting ready for the next day, I miraculously found some spare time. And I didn’t fill it with stuff on my to-do list. I turned to my private ‘me’ list, and sat at the table to read the Peninsula Kids magazine we had received at kinder that day.

Sure, I was reading articles written from fellow bloggers I knew and people who I had read about online. It was kinda like homework. But still, I was reading, I was engaging, and I was growing. And all the while a few metres away, Hubbie was creating his own game with baby girl – chasing her around the table, pretending to be distracted by something else and then running for her, until he would catch her in a bear hug, pull her into the couch, and then it would start all over again.

I sat there, reading amidst the laughter and the love, glad that she had had a full day of games, memories and love. I wasn’t in complete peace amidst the noise, but also somehow, I was.



#763 Sunday beach walk

Sometimes you don’t know that you need something, until you do it.

Like a walk. The introspection, clarity and calm that can come with one, more so when you are with loved ones, is something that needs to be practiced often, like meditation.


And even with the crazy Melbourne wind that was today, whipping us, our hair, and the Port Phillip seas about, it somehow added to the experience of it all… knocking sense into us.


It may seem static and reliable, but there is always something new to discover, with a beach walk.


#762 Home, after away

In light of recent work developments, which has led me to many more Friday and Saturday night, late, late, late shifts (i.e. crap shifts), I am still trying to do my glass half-full thing, and look around me at what good can come out of this.

One such thing is Saturdays. I usually have to work during the days, but working these ‘crap’ shifts, means I don’t have to work my usual day shift on the weekend.

Therefore, I suddenly have Satur-days off.

With this in mind this morning, I headed over to the Emu Plains Market with baby girl, full well knowing that it wouldn’t come around again for another month, and also knowing that work shifts may change again suddenly, and then I wouldn’t have Saturdays off anymore AT ALL.


It was nice to get out of the house and do something different with baby girl. We got there late because I had tried to sleep in following my ‘crap’ shift, which meant we only had 90 minutes to peruse the grounds.


Large shadowy enveloping trees circled the Emu Plains Reserve in Balnarring, providing fantastic shelter for the stall after stall of virtually anything you could imagine to be at a market – jewellery, food, furniture, clothes, candles, plants, alcohol, toys, ANYTHING really. We walked through the area quickly, made a toilet stop, I watched baby girl jump on the kids jumping castle and slide, we ate some food truck food, and then she waited her turn to get some paint done on her arms.



By this stage she had had enough, and following said arm painting, decided she then DIDN’T want the arm paint, for reasons I still don’t know. She cried and held her arms at her side rigidly, like they were in a cast or something, and only once we were in the car, after repeated attempts to calm her down and tell her she could actually move them around, did she then decide that yes, she would keep the arm paint.



The visit was short, intense, and relaxing, all at once. I would love to visit that market again, with more time on our side of course. But there was another visit today that had me relishing the company of.


A visit with my couch. I realised, that I appreciated the Emu Plains day out, more so because we were having a Saturday night in, and in turn I was appreciating our Saturday night in, because I had already gone out that day with baby girl to the market.

I’m getting philosophical now… but ‘whole’ appreciation almost couldn’t be there without the other. Yes, both activities existed on their own and both had their merits, but their joy was amplified by the existence of the other.

It was all a balancing act.

You need to have it well-rounded, and tonight I realised this, while sipping on some cider in the March Melbourne mugginess.

I was happy to be home, but only after I had been away. And reverse.



#761 The nectarine crumble

I’ve found myself doing a bit of baking lately. Maybe it’s the slightly cooler weather, maybe I’ve found some more down time, or maybe I just found myself with a lot of nectarines these past few days.

Maybe I ‘accidentally on purpose’ found myself with a lot of nectarines. Anything to make…


This nectarine crumble. The recipe is originally a peach one, but really, anything goes. And when you eat it, the sugary sweetness of the nectarines complimenting so well against the soft baked pastry crumble, oh. Oh man…

Nom nom nom. Better than any bought sugary treat, because let’s face it, I know what went in there, as opposed to all those other things on the shelves.

Winning 🙂


#760 Sales

Don’t you just love a good sale? Oh, the excitement that follows an email link, a mass sms notification, or a postcard invite in the mail, telling you to put a certain day aside, because –


I got one such sale invite a while back, in the form of a postcard. And what made me more excited, than the realisation I could possibly get some things I’ve been needing to, and the fact that it was on a day baby girl was at kinder, was the further realisation that…

It was the day after pay day.


So today, after kinder drop off, I headed over to Adairs. It’s a huge shop in our town, with an ultra-modern fit-out, and very on-trend. I think even men can be supremely overwhelmed and impressed by what they have on offer (it’s true, Hubbie said so, true story) and so knowing I would be in such a store on my own, lapping up all the beautiful sights and decorative inspiration, well it made me go, ahhh.


What made me even more ahhh was the purchases I made. I was really good and only got one other thing other than what I went in for, which is a feat in itself. My main goal had been new toilet brush and toilet paper holders, and as lovely as they look, let’s face it I ain’t taking photos of toilet accessories to post online.

So instead I have for you my impulsive buy, which was really a good one since it was in a big basket of other like-things up near the counter – bargain:


A new set of pillow cases for our bed. Because what’s better than actually living more and dreaming big?

Oh that’s right. Having it imprinted onto your face while you sleep.




#759 Driving home, alone

I was thinking hard about a novel thing that I was grateful for today. I was at work, doing a late shift, and so my happy moments amidst coffees getting stuffed up, were at a kind of minimal. 

But then, when I got in my car to drive home, I was suddenly at peace.

And it wasn’t the fact that I was headed home… sure, that helped. But rather…

It was the ACT of driving home… alone.


I could do what I wanted, how I wanted, when I wanted.

There was no Hubbie taking over the CD player with his music. Baby girl wasn’t telling me “my song!”

It was late. There were few cars around.

I was alone with the ipod.

I was alone with the CDs.

I was alone with the stereo.

I was alone with my thoughts.

I was driving home, heading home, alone in my car, and I gotta tell you, the peace and tranquility that comes with it, is worth driving to work for 🙂






#758 Her encouraging nature


See that light? You can see the setting sun creating a circle, a halo, far on the water of Port Phillip Bay.

There is a reason why I say that.

Today I did the usual at kinder drop off. I hung around while baby girl settled in, watching her paint, observing the kids around her, looking around while parents came, kissed their little ones goodbye, and then left.

Still, I stayed behind.

A boy saw baby girl painting, and decided he too would paint at the easel next to her. On the smock went, and he reached over to grab a paintbrush sticking out of a cup of blue paint.

He painted somewhat haphazardly, not really sure of what he was doing, glancing over at baby girl, while also distractedly looking around the classroom to see what else was happening. A few minutes passed, and while baby girl was carefully painting with her fourth colour, he took off his smock, and walked off, leaving his painting hanging there.

Baby girl, suddenly noticing his absence, leant over to his easel. (It was a plain piece of paper, with a few streaks of blue. I know kinder art is very preliminary, but this didn’t resemble much of anything).

And viewing his artwork, she said happily “oh, he did a great job!”

My heart SOARED. No, my daughter was not misguided. She was not ignorant in her paintings. She was not daft, and didn’t know the difference between what was good, and what was not.

She had compassion. She held encouragement in her soul.

It was something that lacked in others. It was something that lacked in a similar girl her age, who had seen baby girl drawing a picture at a party, and said to her out loud, in front of me, after I had complimented baby girl on her “great work!” –

“I don’t like it, that doesn’t look nice.”

You see, it’s not about the artwork. Rather it is about the character. For me, it is not whether baby girl turns out to be a Picasso or not. For me, it is about whether she has a heart or not.

I was initially worried when baby girl received that negative comment from that girl. I was worried that the girl’s negativity, rudeness, and mean manners, would rub off on baby girl, and turn her usual bright happy and smiley soul, into a cranky, angry, and negative one.

But then when she said about that boys picture, with the same encouragement as those she looks up to “great job!” I knew we had done something right.

Like a light, encouraging Hope, amidst the darkness.

And here, for arts sake, baby girl against the sunset. Hubbie reckons the power lines kill the photo. But I know what makes it 🙂