#457 Sweeping Autumn leaves

I’m loving Autumn more and more each year.

Not only because the season reminds me of when Hubbie and I wed. But it’s often been an under-rated season for me – I’m always too busy dreaming about Summer, dreading Winter, and getting excited at any ray of sunlight that decides to peak through the clouds in Spring.

Although we are less than half a month away (yikes!) from the coldest time of the year, I’ve come to realise, as years go by, that there is something so magical and beautiful about Autumn.

Autumn brings us the boldest and brightest of colours, shining and then fading as they roll majestically to the ground. Even the way the leaves fall, there is no hope lost in their descending action, only pristine beauty, with the promise of even brighter leaves and trees, in the far-off future.

Days may be slightly colder, but the sun is still warm, and the days are calm and peaceful, allowing for silent reflection and contemplation about what the future holds, and what actions we can take now to make our dreams come true.

That’s how Autumn feels for me.

Baby girl and I have been doing something for a few days now, which is, sweeping leaves by the side of the house. I noticed how peaceful this activity was on a crisp yet sunny Autumn’s morning last week, and was amazed that I actually enjoyed it: being outside, sweeping leaves that had fallen from our neighbours fig tree, and not even minding that they weren’t even OUR leaves. Not even OUR trees.

There is a reason why baby girl is so fascinated with the sweeping leaves process – in doing so I am literally paving the way so she can ride her scooter, leaf-free. So today, amidst baking like mad for my parents’ upcoming anniversary party, I took some slight refuge amidst the busy-ness of it all, and while bringing in provisions from the garage, I stopped to ask baby girl, who was already turning the scooter around “do you want me to sweep the leaves?”

I was so busy, but a part of me wanted to do it. A part of me has found real solace in the gentle, cleansing action, the scraping of the broom against concrete, bristles against crackling leaves. In fact, I adore it.

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Finding gratitude, everyday, in places I’d never expect…

 

#456 Baby girl’s comic timing

Baby girl ran into the family room, wearing only her birthday suit. I looked up at her.

“Too too hot” she told me, waving her hand in front of her.

Hubbie had been running her a bath, and she must have just tested the waters. Meanwhile I was on my hands and knees, picking up all her toys and quickly trying to stuff them into somewhat appropriate places before I met them in the bathroom.

“Yeah?” I said. “That’s ok, Mummy’s just packing up a bit.”

“Good good job!” And baby girl outstretched her hand with a big thumbs up and a grinning smile to me.

I immediately burst out laughing. I wasn’t annoyed that I was packing up her things, or shitty that she was congratulating me on a job that was hers… it was the perfect timing of a quote that I use often with her in encouraging good behaviour (obviously packing up isn’t one of them!) and to see her return it to me, in so hilarious a way…

It was comedic genius. My little girl 🙂

I laughed all the way to the bathroom…

#455 A smaller Mother’s Day

I had this fleeting thought cross my mind sometime Friday, or Saturday. I was thinking of the upcoming Mother’s Day, and how we had ALL this stuff we were planning to do… go to the shops and buy outfits for ourselves for my parents’ upcoming wedding anniversary; go to visit my MIL on the other side of town; AND of course, visit my Mum also on the other side of town.

This was meant to happen after a late Saturday night, a normal sleep-in, and trying to get a never-sit-still baby girl to go along with it ALL.

Yep. It wasn’t likely to go smoothly.

Still, that was the plan. And yet, with all this impending busy-ness on the horizon, and knowing it was all for fun, a little voice inside me said ‘wouldn’t it be nice to just have a little Mother’s Day, just our family?’

Just baby girl, Hubbie and I. No running around. No 15 tasks. Just us.

Sometimes, you need to be careful what you wish for. Sometimes, little voices make a large ripple.

In a quite funny turn of events: my MIL stayed back late on Saturday night, and with her own plans for Sunday, we kind of had our unofficial catch up with her late yesterday evening; and my sister and bro-in-law were under the weather, and having had an up and down baby girl and Hubbie battling cold symptoms as well, we all decided to keep away from Mum and Dad, especially in the lead up to such a big event next week – which suddenly meant, that on Mother’s Day it was just –

Me, baby girl and Hubbie. Just US. As I had thought, so, so innocently.

And as much as I missed seeing my Mum and my sister terribly today, the quiet was quite nice:)

We had a lovely sleep in – no rushing around trying to madly get out of the house. We took some photos at home, drove to the shopping centre, then spent almost ALL DAY there. Not a brief 90 minute session.  I’m talking over 5 hours. Hubbie got some sneakers and shoes, baby girl got some toys, and I got not 1, but 2 outfit possibilities for next week.

That’s because I’m a Mum, and for us Mums, we can’t just go shopping when we like, and likewise, finding something we like in the limited time we have, is even HARDER. As it was it took 3 hours just to find those 2 outfits, so next time we have another event, at least I know I’M SET.

So, this year, a different kind of Mother’s Day. But it seems like my thought came true…. so a word of warning… be careful what you wish for…!

P.S Happy Mother’s Day to all Mums out there 🙂

#454 Hide and seek

Baby girl LOVES LOVES LOVES playing hide and seek. We do it at least 3 times a day, and at night she ramps it up, trying to score another 6 hide and seek sessions.

Sometimes, when all we want to do is get her to bed, it can be annoying. We finish one game, and she wants more.

Alright then, we give her one more… then she wants ANOTHER one.

But tonight, Mother’s Day Eve, I thought to myself ‘this girl loves playing with us. She wants to play hide and seek, with US.’

So we played. We all had turns hiding, and seeking. Baby girl gets so over-excited, she can’t contain herself, and in the process of hiding, will just stand there losing her shit, and yell “boo!” at you, with no trying at all to keep herself hidden.

It is HILARIOUS. We really need to sit her down and explain that she needs to stay hidden, at all times.

We do this thing, where we will deliberately hide in an obvious spot – like tucked into a corner, or in the pantry but with our hand holding the door closed from the outside – and she will squeal with excitement when she sees it, but will do the ‘done thing’ which is  pretend that she hasn’t seen us, acting like she is actively looking in all other spots, when it is just a diversive tactic that she has seen us do with her… and she will do this until she returns to where she first saw us.

But a lot of the time, as she moves onto another area, we too jump out and hide elsewhere, so that by the time she opens that pantry door with a “Boo!” it is empty, and instead we are behind the kitchen island, giggling our arses off while she goes “huh?”

LOL LOL LOL.

On a Saturday night, playing hide and seek with our girl? Pretty freaking rad if you ask me. By the way, I top the leader board with the best and inventive hiding spots to hide in the house;)

#453 Photos

My sister always says, that it is so worth taking heaps of photos, for the memories that will come to you later as you look back on them.

She speaks with a lot of experience. She takes, HEAPS of photos.

She doesn’t have many photos of when she was a baby, and so I think she has spent the majority of her life, kind of making up for that fact, and making sure that her kids, will have tonnes of them.

I think I’ve kind of taken that from her. I too, love photos. Currently there are approximately, no exaggeration, 2000 of them waiting to be filed into photo albums at my less than likely leisure. I fell behind before baby girl was born, and thinking like the stupid parentless ‘know-it-all’ I was, that I would catch up while on maternity leave with her…

Yeah, right. Like that ever happened. 3 and a half years later and they’re still PILING UP.

But anyway. I love them, and in the most old school way – hard copy in a PHOTO ALBUM.

I’ve been doing heaps with photos lately, and it’s just reminded me how amazing and beautiful these snapshots into time can be.

In just over a week we’ll be celebrating my parents 50th wedding anniversary. We’re doing a few special things on the night, and one of them, to highlight their 5 decades together, is the photo collage I’m putting together, of one decade each per large cardboard sheet of paper, with as many photos as I can possibly muster crammed into all 5 sheets.

When I took my usb stick of anniversary photos over the years to the photo centre, there were 647 files.

647 photos.

I knew I had to scale that back, BIG TIME.

I told myself I’d only select 150…

then I got to 150 and said I’d select up to 200…

then I got to 200 and said 250 MAX.

Which is how I ended up at 255. Close enough.

Today when I took the developed photos to my sister’s place, for our little debrief over the anniversary party (who would sit where, what we would say, what would go where, what time that would occur, etc, etc), she flipped through the photos quickly, grinning and letting out “oh wow!”s, complimenting the broad selection, and happily going back in time to as far back as the late 60s, as she saw my parents journey again from start to current day.

Seeing the reaction on her face was great, and later at home as I trimmed the photos back, removing blank spaces and tightening it up so I could surely fit 50 photos per large page, I couldn’t help but pause and smile several times, observing my parents youthful looks, almost laughing out loud when my parents were too laughing in the photos, grinning with fondness at family photos through the decades, and just generally reminiscing with warmth in my heart.

I know, I sound like a hallmark card. But really, I loved it. I love photos. And I think the guests at the party, my parents’ family and friends, and my parents especially, will really enjoy the snapshot through the ages.

50 Golden Ages. 🙂

#452 First Mother’s Day celebration at kinder

Oh man. Another Phil Collins moment.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment, all my life.”

True story. Like I have literally been looking forward to the day that baby girl brings home artwork and painting, after artwork and painting, from her kinder days. Like, actually, the very first painting she did at kinder, Hubbie and I were so excited, we decided we would FRAME IT.

So it comes to reason that when I heard they were doing an afternoon tea in celebration of this Sunday’s upcoming Mother’s Day, well, I was in my element.

And so that afternoon happened, today. Upon arrival, I was first given a hand massage by baby girl (heart tearing open)

We then did a shared hand-painting exercise, where we painted each others hands in varying colours and pressed it onto some paper as a future keepsake (our hand size comparison – so darn cute!)

We shared in some scones and biscuits as a little mid-activity treat (because sugar makes everything better)

The kids ran around, before they sat down with us parents to hear a story of a Mummy, turning into a monster when her kids don’t listen to her (highly, highly appropriate)

The kids then sang an “I Love you Mum” song, and I nearly burst out into tears at baby girl’s actions of hugging and blowing a kiss to the song’s words (I was tickling the roof of my mouth like CRAZY here*)

And then finally we got goodie bags, which contained a pot plant, and a handmade card from our kids (finally, presents!)

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There was also the portrait our littlies drew of us, and can I just say ‘Picasso!’

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Totally, no. She is 3. Still, I will cherish those squirls on a round face as my humanly representation, for a LONG time.

And like she really knew what it was all about… at two moments during the book reading, baby girl left her spot on the floor with all the other kids, and came to sit on my lap, and gave me a deliberate, and distinct, KISS on the cheek, accompanied by a great big warm hug.

And just like she does so often, in every day of our lives, she stole my heart all over again.

My heart is all torn up today, in the absolute bestest way possible :):):) And tonight’s sunset is a perfect metaphor for its blushing state.

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(*To prevent yourself from crying, tickling the roof of your mouth with your tongue is said to keep you from bawling like a baby… does it work? I think I am always too busy trying to inconspicuously do it, that my mind immediately becomes preoccupied with being so-not-obvious, and in doing so I forget I’m an emotional wreck… so there’s your answer) 😉

 

 

#451 A girl that sleeps

Zzzzz.

Zzzzz.

Zzzzz.

That’s all any parent ever wants, right? A girl that will sleep. A child that will sleep. That has to be the greatest gift, from God to parent.

And if you don’t ‘believe,’ well then that has to be the greatest gift, from your child, to you.

Sleep.

You know you have reached a turning point, a pinnacle of your parenting lifespan, when you start to wake your child.

You get out of bed before them.

You make noise around the house in an effort to wake them up.

And when you walk into their room, their head goes up begrudgingly, before slumping back into their pillow.

Then you walk away, with a laugh. Because you know, the tables have turned.

Mwa ha ha.

Today, after waking up in bed for over 30 minutes, I forced myself out of bed just before 10am. I had gone to bed at 1am, I’ve been under the weather, baby girl has been sick, and this in turn has had her waking and crying from her harsh coughing and rough feeling throat. We’ve had interrupted sleeps for the last 3 nights.

I went downstairs, and was opening blinds, banging cupboards and taking out dishes, when a disheveled looking baby girl, hair all over her face, ran wildly from her room, looking to see where the source of the noise was coming from.

She found me in the kitchen. She beamed, we hugged warmly, and then we started our day.

After 10am.

I love these days 🙂