#875 Sunday funday BIG day

Today’s super BIG day started at the super wee early hour of 5am.

And it wasn’t accidental or by unwanted force – no, the wake up call was all instigated by ME.

Crazy huh? Yeah, I know. I even set the alarm and EVERYTHING.

If it hadn’t been for the mammoth day ahead, my wake up call would have been an hour earlier… but alas, I needed some sleep. I knew what was ahead of us, and yet I also knew that I couldn’t miss out on possible celebrations…

So I left my phone on silent on the bedside table as I went to bed on Saturday night, the FIFA schedule and results up on my internet browser, so that when the alarm did wake me at 5am, I would see the half-time scores of the FIFA game playing right then.

I figured if my team were losing by a big margin, I would keep on sleeping.. anything close in competition, and it meant wakey wakey for me.

It read Croatia – 1: Russia – 1

Damn. Kind of. RIP sleep. It would have to come another day.

So my first gratitude of the day came after several dozen heart attacks through the roller coaster of a match, where FINALLY Croatia won in yet another penalty shoot-out!

Guys! What are you doing to me?!?! :):):)

There was no point in going back to bed. Because there were places to be.

The first show of the day brought with it my second gratitude.

Lah Lah’s Big Live Band 10th Birthday show. Can I just reiterate how amazing they are? It certainly isn’t the first time we have seen them or been up close and personal… but not only did Tom Tom the drummer willingly and of his own accord sign all of the to drums before the show, but Lah Lah added to it with her own signature, on the drum and on the mini doll.
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My third gratitude of the day came with the realisation of an exhibition I have been longing to see. The thought of works from New York being shown outside of the States and in Australia was reason enough on its own, but knowing I could see up close and personal some incredible and influential art, one of which is a favourite of mine in both artist and painting, was an opportunity I couldn’t ignore.

My favourite, (top right) ‘The Persistence of Memory,’ by Salvador Dali. Did you know Dali used the hypnagogic method in helping to inspire his artwork, whereby he would take his daily siesta holding a spoon above a plate… and when it fell, it woke him, taking him from the grey area between awake and sleeping, this pre-sleep stage that provided him with the most fantastical images of the unconscious world.

Crazy. My kind of crazy though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And last but not sleep… the final gratitude of the day. From merely a decade of Lah Lah, to a century of Disney on Ice!

 

The best parts? Discovering our seats were THE BOMB, along with watching baby girl act out with absolute glee all of the Frozen scenes, pure joy for her since she was dressed as the Ice Queen herself ๐Ÿ™‚

And right now, I am pooped. It was an amazing day, a BIG day, but I need balance.

Tomorrow, I might have to do BIG NOTHING.

And I will be BIG grateful for it ๐Ÿ™‚

#872 The school holiday ‘regulars’

To a non-parent, the school holiday period may seem like a generally quiet and peaceful time, lacking any of the early starts and school running around that typically consume the Monday to Friday, 9-3pm timeslot.

Yes, that is true. There are no lunches to pack. There are no early starts, no rushing around like headless chooks, and no shouting “COME AND BRUSH YOUR TEETH NOW!”

The amount of times I yell “come on, we’re going to be late!” during the school term, is mind-boggling.

So, yes, in one aspect, I do relax during this school-free period. L o n g sleep-ins. Bedtimes aren’t rushed. A sense of freedom and ‘who gives a s*!t’ follows in this routine-free part of the year.

But, where relaxation comes in ‘some’ aspects of the school holidays… the busy-ness makes up for in others.

Because during the school holidays, you gotta keep the kids busy. You gotta find novel, and entertaining, and exciting things to do… just the other day baby girl woke up very early morning, calling me from her room, asking

“where you take me tomorrow?”

She woke from her sleep for that? The expectations are HIGH.

And of course, in finding things to do, the catch-ups naturally follow.

Once your child has been in some form of childcare/kinder/schooling for a year or so, you start to develop connections. It’s with other kids who they play with, whose parents you also don’t mind spending so much time with – hey, you might be lucky and have family and friends with their own kids, so you join forces and force your littlies to be best friends as you all whole-heartedly gasbag together.

But at the end of the day, you see a trend forming.

Or should I say, at the end of each term. Because you start to see the same people.

You might catch up at their house, or they might come over to your place. You might frequent the play centres, parks, and shopping centre activities where the favourite character of their choice pays a visit…

The kids will usually love one another, and ask about each other repeatedly during non-school holiday time. They are never far from each other’s minds, and when you ask your child for an inventory on their birthday invites, you know who their close friends are from the names that pop out of their mouths.

You also get along with the parent. You will catch up over coffee and tea, pizza and chips, and find things to do with the kids that are fresh and inventive each and every time.

Oh, and the important one… you BOTH make an effort to catch up.

Because that’s what it is, isn’t it? It’s not just one party chasing after the other. We all have shit going on and problems and things that just aren’t working out the way we like. But the mature and adult thing is to freaking push it aside for the sake of our little prides and joys, and make a damn date to make our little sunshine’s happier than ever over a catch up with their ‘bestie.’

๐Ÿ˜‰

Baby girl has been lucky this week. Two days ago we had a play date at our house with one old kinder friend, and today she caught up with her third cousin… safe to say, both girls are firmly planted on her birthday list ๐Ÿ™‚

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And that is who I pay tribute to today. The ‘regulars.’ The ones who are always there. The ones who think of us when we are not around, and who make plans with us long into the future, knowing that sometimes we may not see each other for months – and that is ok. That is life. And that is comforting.

To the people we think of every time we think of our kids having a good time… I salute youย โ™ฅ

 

#855 Singing on the way to family day

Monday morning. Cold, but still. I had dropped off baby girl at kinder, and was now driving along towards the freeway, the music blaring through my car…

I was heading to the city, with George. George being of ‘Michael’ fame. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And ‘the city’ being 40 minutes out of the Peninsula, which let’s face it is more city than anything in the south beachside where we are.

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Not only did I have THE BEST TIME EVER singing out loud to music from my ipod as the sun streamed on down through the windows (think Bruno, old school Christina, and the best reggaetรณn from Daddy Yankee) but I was heading towards a much looked forward to destination.

I was having lunch with my parents and sister today. It was a month late, the occasion being us girls taking our folks out for a belated anniversary date… but better late than never, and to be honest I’m pleasantly surprised it didn’t take us ’til Spring time to organise.

We have busy schedules. All of us live on opposite sides to one another. But we pushed all of life to the side for a couple of hours today, where we celebrated my parents marriage by talking about their 50 years plus together, from all of those years ago when they first made the move to Australia, all the way to today, where we made plans for more fun and parties that will surely follow.

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We always say that we should do these catch-ups more often… let’s hope that we do, as I am all for the awesome foursome getting into some more food, some more family memories and laughs, and lastly, some more singing in the car.

#837 Kitchen moments

I don’t know what YOU think, and what the general consensus, if any, out there is of me… but this gratitude thing doesn’t always come super-easy.

Sure, I am able to find happiness in smaller things, and that I attribute to being so self-aware. I am aware that outside of our square worlds, there are lost lives; damaged lives; sad lives; sick lives – and so the littlest things, the smallest joy, the slightest thing to put a smile on my face – well that makes me happy.

It isn’t always so easy to find new and novel things though. Come the colder months. The day to day. It all rolls from one to the next – in fact, is there anything discerning from one 24 hours, to the other? Unless you make a concerted effort to find an event to focus on, that’s all your days will amount to… one long 168 hour week.

Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. There’s appointments. Classes. Kinder. Buy groceries. Make lunches. Wash dishes (repeat by a trillion).

The monotony has my mind asking me several times a day… “what will I write about today?”

Think of what to make for dinner.

That’s it.

Dinner time prep.

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I started on dinner tonight. And I found gratitude for a moment of it. A moment that truly represented where I am in my life right now.

Chopping vegies. Baby girl was nearby colouring in, her textas and pencils and crayons spreading out to the greenery that was going to go in the steamer soon.

I had Ricky Martin’s self-titled album on. One of my faves, and yet I haven’t listened to it in yonks. And then, you know that moment, when a song you love, and yet have forgotten about, comes on, and just BLOWS YOUR MIND?

Be Careful (Cuidado Con Mi Corazon) – Ricky Martin and Madonna.

It was never released as a single, but the music and lyrics of this amazing medley by two of my most favourite-st of artists, is just… magical. It’s haunting, romantic and dark, a truly unique collaboration. I started to sing along as I cut my cucumbers, with baby girl in the background telling me about the plot in Beauty and The Beast.

“If I could reach out to you…”

“Mama! Old lady comes to Beast’s house…”

“Yes sweetheart… take your head, in my hands – “

“Me not scared of old lady. Me fine! Old lady make prince into beast!”

“Yes honey… kiss your eyes, sing you to sleep – “

“Why Gaston want to kill Beast?”

Sigh. “Because Gaston is upset that Belle loves the Beast. But Gaston wants to marry Belle. It’s not nice that Gaston wants to hurt the beast… Here’s my heart to keep- “

“Yes, very cheeky.”

“Please be careful…”

I actually found it funny rather than frustrating. And it’s all about perspective and gratitude.

 

 

#833 The Craft Table

What do parents want most from their kids when they are out at a function/party/catch-up?

To behave? Well yes that is to be expected…

To not go psycho/over-dramatic/warped in a tantrum-throwing way? Duh.

To eat their food so as not to be left irritated, flat and needy? Hell yes.

To not overdose on the sweets and be high as a kite for hours afterwards? (We want this but try avoid sweets with clever kids around).

But let’s really think. What would make parents the MOST happiest at a function with their kids?

Why, something to keep their curious hands BUSY.

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There is possibly no greater sigh of relief (other than the closely-contested exhale we do when we see kid-friendly chips, chicken and pizza on the party menu) than when we see our children will be kept happy, entertained and BUSY, for an infinite amount of time.

Because it means us as parents get to chill out too.

Today at one such function, it was just the basics: play doh; colouring in; and stickers. Nothing fancy, all old-school.

And yet it kept my girl entertained for the ENTIRE time.

All together now… EXHALE.

#820 Kinder sickie

Use them while you can.

The sick days.

I was more than ready to take baby girl to kinder today – sure, ready as in preparation wise, even though I wasn’t quite sleep ready.

But let’s face it, I’m a Mum… when am I ever sleep ready? When do I ever get ENOUGH sleep?

But even so, when baby girl woke after 2am last night, yet again complaining of her throat/teeth, I soothed her enough to doze off again, and heading back into bed, made the call.

I turned off my alarm.

She is 4, after all. It isn’t even a sick day, if you must call it that. But she had been unwell, she had had a really big weekend with us, and in that groggy post-midnight hour, I realised with utmost clarity, that if I were to take her to kinder today, it might just be too soon, and therefore it might stuff up her entire week.

And let’s be honest here… the kinder sickie was as much for me as it was for her…

Early morning lunchbox making in a cold house?

The constant rushing and pressure of moving her to get her out the door?

The post-kinder over tired crabbiness that I cop almost every single time?

Yeah. I’ll take a sickie too thanks.

#799 (Tiny) kitchen hand

I was preparing dinner. One of the things on tonight’s list were these too-easy mini pizzas I make using puff pastry, and they work just as well as a side dish as they do in baby girl’s kinder lunchbox.

She spied me, making them.

“Mama me help?”

I must have grumbled, or made no response. I was in one of those moods. You know that mood where you just want to get shit done, instead of entertaining someone and being all patient?

Sadly in that moment, I wasn’t the ‘let’s do this together honey!’ Mum I try to be. Rather I was the short-tempered and cranky ‘I’m busy!’ Mum.

I must have realised this though, because even when her back was turned as I got to a part that she could do, instead of quickly finishing them off myself, I called her over.

“Do you wanna help me sprinkle cheese?”

And after she did that, narrating “sprinkle sprinkle sprinkle” as she went, she then asked

“Can I roll?”

I breathed in deep for that one. God help me how would they turn out? … But sure, why the hell not? It was just rolling.

They turned out beautiful. One broke in the middle half-way through, but I didn’t even care. I had suddenly seen ourselves through my eyes 5 years earlier, and realised that she was helping me – wanting to help me in the kitchen – something a pre-Motherhood SmikG would have clapped her hands with joy for. Something a pre-baby me would have thought was the most cherished and beautiful thing in the world to share.

And so I pushed my busy-ness to the side, and stood in the glow of gratitude.