#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 😉

 

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#599 Cucumber love

Always about the time I start dinner prep, baby girl comes looking for a snack.

She came excitedly over as she saw me cutting something over on the chopping board.

What was she expecting? What could she possibly want as a toddler, for a snack?

Chocolate?

Biscuits?

Chips?

No.

“Cucumber?” she asked as she looked at the onions being chopped up before her.

I laughed. “No honey. But I’ll chop some up RIGHT NOW…”

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I feel like I am seriously winning in some part of the Parenthood game, when my child is excited at the thought of eating cucumbers.

Sure, it could be because it’s a fairly neutral, non-offensive taste.

Sure, it could be because she knows cucumbers are always somewhere on the menu.

Sure, it could be because she actually doesn’t mind the taste, and let’s face it it’s not a vegetable that people tend to hate.

Still, WINNING. And feeling really grateful too.

Because I’d much rather she be getting excited, and asking for a vegetable, than a non-healthy snack…

(because she has plenty of time to get excited over non-healthy snacks over our daily babycino breaks, shhhh).

I’ll steep in the gratitude as long as her cucumber-eating days let me…

#555 Mindful swinging at the park

Baby girl has just learnt how to swing on her own. Today was the second time she had the opportunity to practice it as we headed on over to the local park.

We had just had a babycino and cap, and a salted caramel ‘something’ to share at the nearby cafĂ©, so we were properly fuelled. As we got closer to the park, I let go of her hand and said “go, run. Be free. Frolic. Be 4.”

Soon she was headed over to the swing, the place of her new-found confidence and extension of never-ending playfulness. She wanted me to give her a big push to get started, and then said “let go Mama.”

(Oh darling. I will never let go).

But then as life would have it, as our children grow up, she wanted me beside her. ( 🙂 ) She motioned to the swing beside her and told me to “sit.”

Soon we were both swinging, sometimes going back and forth simultaneously, other times in opposite directions. It was a still day, the sun sometimes coming out from behind the prevalent clouds of the day. We were silent for the longest time, going back and forth at our varying paces, and my mind wandered over to something I had read the other day.

Mindfulness. What was the quote?

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”  – Bil Keane.

The article had mentioned 7 habits to cultivating a happier life. And one of the points that had captivated me had been the act of living in the present. Not worrying about what had passed, and not stressing about what may, or may not come… but concerning oneself solely, with the NOW.

The technique mentioned was to be aware of your palms and feet, and clenching both while becoming aware of your surroundings. It said to try and concentrate on where you were, and if your mind naturally wandered, to not judge yourself too harshly, but to simply gently steer your attention back to where it needed to be.

So that’s what I did. As we swung back and forth, in the quiet of the local park, I clenched the hands that were around the swing chain, and tensed my feet below me that were swinging back and forth in my white sneakers. I observed my body in the almost-too tight swing seat, breathed in the fresh air, felt the warmth on my face, and tried to think of NOW.

A young teenager was nearby, walking home from school in their uniform, and the image before me made my mind go elsewhere. Suddenly baby girl was also a teen, and there were a multitude of concerning issues flooding my mind. How would I help her with her problems? Would she ask for help? Would she be happy? Would she like school? Would she like her Life?

I suddenly realised my scattered thoughts, and ever so gently removed myself from them, taking myself back to the present.

The beautiful present. Of me and baby girl, swinging at the park, with no concerning cares in the world.

🙂

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#520 Coffee time with my girl

“Out,” she said. “Go out.”

I could have quite happily stayed at home and put on the coffee machine: but alas, I listened to my daughter, and decided to make her happy on this occasionally grey day.

Occasionally, because as we headed out the door, the clouds parted and the sun peeked through, helping us along on our babycino break.

We ended up at The Filling Station, where we have been many times before, and which is slowly becoming a favourite. We were actually headed for another café, but its one-week closure decided on the aforementioned café instead.

The coffee is strong, the cakes are unique and delightful, and though the interior space is small, it is cosy, and baby girl had her babycino in true little-girl café-ready style, as we have taught her so many times before.

Her routine:

Eat one marshmallow.

Pop the other marshmallow in the babycino.

Drink some of the babycino.

Fish out the marshmallow with the spoon and eat it.

Drink more babycino.

Eat some cake.

Finish off the babycino.

Eat more cake.

Let Mum wipe my face, patiently.

I love her ‘I-know-not-to-argue’ face as she allows me to wet wipe her mouth, cheeks and forehead (yes it gets there too) from any milk/marshmallow/chocolate dusting remnants. Gold.

And she enjoyed a read while there too. So much a mini-me, combining written material and coffee, tsk tsk tsk. She will be a big Smiggles fan one day no doubt.

🙂

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#495 Shopping with my girl no.4

Today was a day, that could have gone either way.

I had a long moment of frustration this morning. There is an aspect of my life that I’m struggling with, that I’m unable to talk about at the moment – hopefully I’ll be able too, sometime in the future.

I walked into the bathroom about midday, and had to breathe. I didn’t physically cry, but there were tears in my eyes, I had tension all about me, and all I wanted to do was give up. Give up, give in, and let the sorrow wash over me like the crashing waves in the horizon.

But then something happened. A little voice, tiny tiny, made a noise in my head. And it was enough to snap me out of my disillusioned haze to ask “how is your day going to be?”

And in that moment, I decided my sadness was NOT going to rule. It was NOT going to be the defining moment, feeling or event, of the day.

Still, it was a bit of a Let It Go day. Elsa sings it about letting go of her powers that she’s been holding in and hiding from everyone for so long. But I was using the term to not care. To just be. To not think too much, to allow myself to over-indulge, be free, merry and stress-free.

After baby girl and I surprised Hubbie with a little visit at his work, we headed on down to Bayside for some retail therapy. I am mindful that I shouldn’t be purging the account in light of important renos that need to be made to the house soon, but still, a little focused spending was necessary.

I Let It Go when we had Maccas for lunch (I had a chicken salad, but still ‘helped out’ with her Happy Meal)

I Let It Go when she got yet another toy, a doll that she was so happy to hold and hug (wait for it…)

and finally, I Let It Go when we sat down for coffee and a babycino, and instead of just coffee, I also got cake mofos:

Yep, that’s her new doll, Rapunzel. By the way, I forgot to mention that I Let Her Go, and leave the house in costume, Rapunzel-style herself. Because when else in life do you get to leave the house as a princess? I totally would have done Wonder Woman today if it were at all acceptable.

So yes. A bit of food, a bit of drink, a bit of toys, a lot of costume… and IT DID make me feel better.

But that was my attitude too. Deciding ‘we’re going to move on from this. We are.’

And WE did. For now…

#494 Her manners

Baby girl continues to astound me. Sure, through all these years of her growing up, I’ve encouraged her to say “Ta” to whoever deserved it – the kind lady at the grocers offering her a free biscuit just ‘because’; her grandparents when they slip in a note for any future babycinos; and anytime food or drink is brought to her, she knows to smile and give thanks.

Yet it still comes as a surprise to me that she is now saying “Thanks!” so much, so often. Well, it sounds like “catch!” but same same. I’ve been telling her to give appreciation for the last few years, whereas now she is doing it of her own accord, which I had absolutely no expectation of at her age – and yet I am rapt.

Tonight for example. Today while in the post office, I came upon the most fantastic surprise for her. One of her many, many loves at the mo, is Paw Patrol, and so when I saw a nightlight in the shape of one of the characters, Skye (I mean, baby girl was even wearing her Skye hoodie to kinder while I was eagerly rubbing my hands in anticipation of this purchase) I knew I HAD TO buy it.

Hubbie and I told her there was a surprise, but she wouldn’t get it ’til after dinner. You never give a child anything before they eat their vegies. NEVER EVER EVER.

She did well though, and we sat her down and gave her the paper bag to peek into. She fished out the nightlight pup, her grin still painted on her face, and took in all of its pink, girly, doggy glory.

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SHE. WAS. RAPT. I don’t know who was more excited, she from her surprise present, or us from anticipating, and receiving, the sheer joy that was so apparent. She then hugged the light, and said

“Catch Mama, catch Tato!”

Oh My God. Where does she get these things? Does she have to be so freaking adorable so we buy her MORE presents? Darn it kiddo, you get away with tooooo much.

And then moments later, because she just couldn’t contain herself, again

“Catch Mama, catch Tato!”

LOL. Oh man. I just love this girl. And truly, really, completely, I do not lie when I say watching your child grow and develop, is about the greatest thing in the world…

 

#485 I love Main street, and let me count the ways…

Number 1 ♄. Random babycino stopover leads to fantastic find.

After our lovely library visit only a few blocks down, we headed down the main strip where again I spied upon the gorgeous blue and green scarves with pom poms I had eyed off only an hour earlier. If I hadn’t read that book about minimising your stuff and the challenge of only having 100 personal items, I might just have gone in to purchase it. Oh well, another day.

As I then observed another shop, which through the windows looked amazing with the clothes that seemed to be yelling “SmikG! SmikG!” I turned to baby girl and said “let’s go in here honey.”

Only she was heading for the shop next door. The café next door. And she was fairly intent on one thing.

“Babycino.”

What had we created? Sure, I won’t lie, Hubbie and I are all for cafes, and got her cafĂ©-savvy VERY early on in the game so we could go to them frequently, often, with no dramas or hesitations from her. But now, she had her own agendas, her own routine, her own requests. She decided, now was the time she wanted a babycino, and there was no getting around it.

I walked over hesitantly, using all manner of excuses.

“Mummy will make you one after lunch.”

“Daddy will be home for lunch soon, let’s go.”

“You need to eat lunch first honey.”

She completely ignored me and placed her library bag full of newly borrowed books on the bench beside her, as she positioned herself permanently there. A waitress from within the café came out to us, holding a bottle of water and two glasses.

“You sitting here?”

“Actually,” I started. “I’m trying to get her to keep walking with me, but I think she’s intent on a babycino.” I sighed and looked at baby girl.

“Do you want me to quickly make one?”

I hesitated for a second before looking back at the friendly waitress. “Sure.”

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And so it was, that we came to be sitting at Dr Fox’s, proverbially smelling the roses, with baby girl sniffing the sprinkled chocolate and marshmallows alongside her drink of choice.

In observing this girl of mine with a mind of her own, I discovered some other little facts. The café was open for dinner a few nights a week; a nearby board told me about their inviting new menu for the colder months; and upon paying inside, I discovered the friendly service continued, with the girl inside being as amazing as the one serving us outside had.

It was only a little place, but it had some awesome character. You don’t need a big space, to make a huge impression. They stole mine and baby girl’s heart today, and we WILL BE BACK.

And the friendly, genuine, and warm nature I’m coming across, from within many of these local cafes, shops and services… I am just loving.

LOVING. I ♄ my town.