#612 Beach visit, and Fish & Chips in October

We’ve just had a heat wave. It’s not going to last too long with a colder front and rain due to arrive by tomorrow, but even though we are only mid-Spring, everyone came out to play today.

And so did we.

We grabbed some take away fish & chips for dinner, and went to the beach for the first time this season. The chips were crisp on the outside and soft in the middle.

The water was freezing!

And I soothed my mind, by staring out at the endless ocean in front of me.

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#611 New neighbours, old neighbours

A pair of brothers, primary-school aged, live next door. Confident, direct, interested. They sat perched on the fence bordering our homes as I put up the washing this afternoon, baby girl on the ground floor trying to scale up our side of the fence to reach them.

“Can we play with her?” the younger one asked.

“Ahhh,” I stalled. I didn’t have any reason to say no, but I had a headache, I needed to start dinner, and I didn’t know where they would play… I hadn’t even met their mother, and so I couldn’t just unceremoniously dump baby girl on her to play with some older boys at her house.

“She’s having an early dinner soon, so I’m not sure,” I bluffed.

“Is that because she’s going to bed earlier?” (I told you, interested).

“No, not really…”

“Maybe we can come over and play after dinner?”

“Yeah.” Push things to after. “We’ll see what happens.”

I then took the washing basket in thinking it was all resolved and nothing would happen, while baby girl jumped on her trampoline and let off some steam.

Well then, I actually started on dinner. And about 45 minutes later, with things well underway, Hubbie home from work and now my splitting headache also far along, I was sitting for a moment on the couch, doing a Bold and the Beautiful catch-up, when something caught my eye out of the front window, some figures coming up the footpath towards the house.

Boys. Barefoot. Bowed heads.

But ready to play with Baby Girl.

I turned to baby girl who hadn’t yet seen them, and when I asked her if she wanted to play with them, here and now, she almost couldn’t believe her stroke of luck.

She led them to the backyard and they jumped away like mad, performing all manner of tricks in the trampoline.

The boys came inside, spoke to us. Looked at our nearby photos, played with her toys. They slam dunked on a basketball hoop we have hanging off a nearby door, and we asked them about their primary school.

They were really gentle and kind with baby girl.

They all played together, just perfectly. And the level of respect they showed to her, just blew me away.

Even besides the impressing me part, I was reminded, and led back to the good ol’ days when I was that young kid. At my neighbours’ house – and I had three friendly neighbour houses who I frequented daily back then – that I knew back to front.

I knew their lives and their families. They knew mine. It was the perfect, best upbringing. Four houses in a row, and all four houses with girls of the same age. It was the stuff of stories. Not even writers could write this stuff and get away with it.

But so too, it ended the way stories do. People grow up. Parents separate. Kids go to private schools and remove themselves. And soon they all moved away.

It doesn’t take away from my awesome childhood memories, and honestly, I have too many. I am still in contact with 2 out of those 3 girls, and even went to their weddings, and they mine, so I think that is a fabulous effort considered.

But I sometimes think, and ponder, how nice it would be for baby girl to grow up amongst that kind of setting. Neighbours her age, where they could spend their days together, outside as kids should, running and bike riding and playing hide and seek within a one block radius, ‘park permitted.’ 🙂

Freedom, and yet safety. Where the parents know each other, know the kids, and all can play together, alternating houses, and yet the parents can still tell their kids friends to ‘go home because we’re having dinner now.’ That kind of honest, direct, freedom.

I thought of all that today. I thought of what I had growing up, and I looked at what was happening now in our house.

The noise, the kids, the neighbours. Her new friends 🙂

The ball rolled over to me as I was chopping cucumbers. I kicked it back to the young boy who took it and slam dunked against the hoop.

Later, Hubbie interrupted their jumping party outside and told them it was now our dinner time. Baby girl waved them off, “bye boys!” while he hoisted them OVER THE FENCE.

Now that’s, a real neighbour. I freaking love it :):):)

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Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

#609 1st year celebrations

It is the loveliest thing, when the town that you move to decides to throw you a welcoming party in honour of your presence, and then at each anniversary they throw more parties, just to remember how amazing it is that you decided to regal them with your being to reside in their locality.

Yep. That, or it happened to be the Main Street Mornington Festival, which falls on the third Sunday of October and has been happening for 22 years now, and it just so happily coincides with the time of year you decided to move.

Same same. A lucky coincidence either way.

And so the gratitude and happiness at our 1 year long Sea change continued today at the Main Street Fest. It was a stunning day, with a very fresh, strong sea breeze, and yet still, the people were out in force, packed like sardines in the middle of the street as they squeezed their way through amongst the countless and endless food stalls on either end.

After moving very slowly for what seemed like too long, we ended up deciding to just sit down and watch everyone else idle on by, and so we happened across the best spot at one of our most favourite-st of places to eat, drink, do anything really: The Winey Cow.

(I had the best Laksa!)

A spot of ice cream was required from Vespa’s afterwards

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And then once some more fun and drinks were had, we headed off back to the car a good few blocks away…

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Oh, to be a kid and be able to hitch a ride like that. She is so damn lucky. I had to walk.

And then, poor Hubbie’s shoulders.

But all in all, the day was splendid, and we had spent it as intended – us, our family, just doing what we came here to do a year ago…

Enjoy life 🙂

 

 

#608 1 year on the beach

Today marked exactly one year since we moved across town to live a different life.

A more caffeinated life:

A more explorative life:

A more beach-y life:

And definitely, a more sunset-y one:

It has been an amazing year, and here’s hoping it only gets better.

It started out as a dream, progressed into a waking nightmare as we dealt with moving, unpacking, and adjusting to life in a older house, with things going wrong, no time for ourselves, and endless renovations/to-dos/life changes.

Once that spell was over (and boy was it a LONG one) things went on the improve, bit by bit.

A year later, we can never, EVER look back. We knew, even in those most difficult of days, trying of times and curse-filled moments, that we had made the best decision for US.

And aside from all of the above pros of moving, the other major one has been the closer proximity to most of our family.

So today baby girl was that touch closer in distance to her third cousin, to attend her 4th birthday:

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(Yes they are wearing the same skirt, it was totally not intended yet so cool when we realised they were twinsies. I CAN’T EVEN).

And then later we made an impromptu visit to my sister’s place , something we never used to do, but a favourite new past-time that is becoming more and more common, from both sides.

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(Baby girl and her Aunty making coffees 😉 )

And suddenly, there are so many beautiful reasons to be happy today. Happy for our move. Happy for this 1st Anniversary. Happy for Life.

Cheers 🙂

#606 Being able to Give

I feel lucky to be a part of a community that cares so much about those less fortunate around them.

And I am grateful, that like them, I am able to give what I have to those that are in need.

It need not be heaps of money, pricey items or even the most expensive of commodities, TIME.

Helping how you can, in the smallest of ways as what it may seem like to you, is help enough.

I have been following an ongoing facebook thread in a local page I follow, of two women who take in unwanted/unused household items and clothing, to give to those unable to afford it, because they are experiencing some horrible hardship. The most common of unfortunate circumstances has been when someone in the family is sick, and therefore all of their money goes to medical treatments, rather than other things which usually a necessity, become a luxury.

So when the call out went to Summer clothing in girls items aged 3-4, I knew it was time to step up.

I went through baby girl’s wardrobe, looking for specific items to donate. As it is I have kept most of her clothes and parted only with some, for the main reason that there is a possibility that I could one day have another girl, and she could use many of these beautiful items.

Now having said that, I know that if I were to really have another girl, I would probably only use a very minute amount of these ‘recycled’ clothes, and buy the rest, from sheer want of getting pretty new things for her. I think really, I find it hard to let go of these clothes once baby girl grows out of them due to the memories attached, and I use the ‘recycle’ excuse as cover.

But I did what I could anyway, and popped some pretty things in a bag. I stalled at two dresses, and so thought best I call in baby girl for help.

“Baby girl, these two dresses… do you think they’re too small? Mummy was going to give some of your small things to a sick girl.”

Baby girl looked at the dresses, thinking.

Finally she settled, letting me know that yes, I could give away the two smaller ones, yet definitely do not give away the one on the right Mum.

Such a girl.

And that’s it. I was humbled by the presence of sickness and health, of love and sadness, and of introducing an important topic to baby girl… that of giving to those less fortunate, and the stark nature of Life as we know it.

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Photo by ORNELLA BINNI on Unsplash

#604 Shopping with my girl no.6

Yes, material things were bought today. But none that stand out, even close, amongst the heart-warming, funny and charming moments I had with my baby girl.

She held my hand without question and skipped with me through the car park as we headed into the centre, pointing out all the different coloured cars around us.

As we had a bite to eat, she sat on my lap so I could help her with her food, turning to me and kissing and hugging me tenderly as I did so.

As we left the food court, she saw some ice creams with lollies advertised in a Wendy’s: she turned to me, and did her whole routine – “Mama, Mama, Mama, stop, stop, stop. No babycino, coffee, Mama have ice cream, me have ice cream!”

I actually died laughing, walking off and assuring her that yes, coffee would most definitely be had, and we would come back with her Dad and have ice cream all together another time.

And then later as we were having said coffee with sweets, and I pulled out my phone to take some snapshots of my darling girl enjoying her babycino, she pulled one of her adorable

I-am-so-cute-but-cheeky-too-and-I-know-you-still-love-me faces:

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Argh, this girl. She makes me so happy. She is at a stage where outings with her like this have become easier, and even, are enjoyable. We never stopped going out at any phase of her ‘toddler growth,’ but I have to say, being the stage and age she is at, she just gets things more. She listens more. She needs less coaxing and prodding, there are less arguments and tantrums, and much more happy faces while sucking on chocolate-y spoons like the above.

It’s a beautiful stage, and the precious moments from today I will hold with me dearly forever.

I still have my frustrating, want-to-bang-my-head-against-the-wall moments at night when she won’t go to bed, but as in Life, always, BALANCE.

Glass half-full gal tries to focus on the positives. And there are A LOT of them.

You should too 😉

 

#603 Meeting a princess…

Ten little fingers, ten little toes,

Two little ears and one little nose…

And so goes the nursery rhyme.

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And Pink. Pretty as a Princess Pink.

We met one today. A beautiful little girl that had all of the above, slept so sweetly as countless visitors came to meet her, and even smiled a little as baby girl and I posed for a photo beside her.

I was so beside myself in happiness that I nearly bawled like the baby in the room.

Happy tears, happy tears.

Because how beautiful is life, when anther precious being enters it and fills the world with joy?

What a happy time it is.

… Pretty as a picture, a Doll to hold tight,

An Angel from heaven, to make everything right.

                                                                                                                – SmikG.