#729 I love Main street, and let me count the ways… no. 3

Today was the first time since our holidays began, that after dropping baby girl off at kinder, Hubbie and I looked at each other and went

“Now what?”

The ‘what’ was to come in the form of Main street. Amidst the grey and drizzling weather, we found our way to a café for some brekkie. It was so quiet in Dr Fox’s, we didn’t know what to do with ourselves. It was a Monday morning, the streets outside were still waking up, and in the absence of baby girl, it just felt weird.


We looked at each other across from the table, both still part asleep. Hubbie was trying desperately hard to blink himself awake, even after downing two lattes… meanwhile I was trying my damn hardest not to die coughing after I swallowed a not so tiny chunk of pepper that was sitting precariously on the spinach of my Veggie Big Breakfast.

By the time we headed outside, the rain had temporarily ceased, and it felt a little milder.

“Now what?”

Down the street we headed, hand in hand, like some love-struck newly hooked up teenage couple who were wrecked from partying out late on the weekend – only we were about 17+ years past that, sans child, tired from trying to cram too much into life and not giving ourselves enough sleep in the process.

We headed into the Mornington Newsagency. Got cards. Read mags.

We headed into Cotton On Kids, thinking of baby girl, and got her a cute dress that would lead her straight through Autumn and all the way to Winter, while Hubbie and I then picked a top each for her for the season ahead – 2 for $25, you see.

Farrell’s bookstore on the corner brought us the Richard Branson biography and a Ned Kelly book. With more purchases in hand we headed further down, stopping to peruse a tiny something for her at the toy shop but deciding then that she had way too much already, before finally I surprisingly scored a $10 stripy cardigan at a second-hand type op/retro shop.

We had gone as far as we could, and then the rain picked up again. Time to go home (and stop spending money).

We had started the morning off quite aimlessly, floating here and then wafting there… and though we try so hard to plan our days and be as productive as possible, we find that we too need some time to just…


And the shops on offer on Main street made it wonderfully possible for us to do just that today.

♥ number 3 ♥



#709 The spider and the moth

Gratitude can often be found, in the strangest of places…

I have a non-visual story to tell, one that was the briefest of moments, and one that made me gasp in disbelief. But first, let me show you my day in photos.

Some days I stay home and do the washing. Other days are FULL.

This such day, was FULL. And visual.

We did lots of things, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have done them all. The first included a visit to the Circus that is currently in town:


The first and last time I had been I was 8 or 9, so my visits between have been non-existent. Baby girl has never been, so combined, my desire to see it when the ol’ Silvers sign popped up in town, was deep.

However despite all this and the magic and jazz and what-not, baby girl spent the first half of the show begging me for popcorn after seeing others eating it, and then after the interval as she ate said-popcorn, she then proceeded to ask me repeatedly to go home.

Sigh. That’s my girl for you. Sitting for a couple of hours for Frozen on Ice was difficult for her, and that’s one of her favourite movies.

But the best part of the morning? When I took a handful of her popcorn, and she calmly and firmly said to me “no Mama, no more, that’s enough.”


Oh how I LOLed and LOLed.

Second up after lunch was a café and park visit. These I love as they are merely a short walk across the road and down a street to a local strip of shops that sit near a park. I feel so local, so integrated in the community when we head over like that. First we stop for a caffeine injection


And then we head over to the playground to get her play off some steam


It was hotter than expected though, so we didn’t stay too long.

The evening gave us an opportunity to cool down and unwind, as we got super close to nature. Boneo Maze and Mini Golf are doing a special month-long Summer event that ends in about a week, called Lantasia, which showcases lit-up lanterns and light installations along their park grounds and tree walks, as night falls.



This was also interesting and inventive, chilled and relaxing too, and would have been more so if baby girl didn’t have to go to the toilet twice while in the middle of one such long walk, and since there is only one lot of toilets in the café, it meant we had to go ALL the way back down the walk to get there. But there was a Vintage Carousel too, so that kind of made us forget the annoying-ness of the former.


All of today’s events were super exciting and fun and made for a very tired and spent baby girl by day’s end, leaving me grateful for a multitude of reasons… but one thing stood out to me today, and it was the most unexpected thing, that I am still in awe of the memory in my head.

In between the park and the Lantasia lantern walk, baby girl and I were chilling at home, doing this and that, and I went to head outside and hang some washing. (I even do it on FULL days, you see).

I got to the door, and could see there was a moth sitting on the security door which was outside of the glass sliding door I was about to open. I scrunched my nose in disgust, as saying that I have a strong unpleasant aversion to that gross insect is an understatement, but I also wondered why the hell it was there then, since it was about 5:30 and there was still hours left ’til sunset – they were more a dusk/night insect.

As I opened the sliding door, the sudden movement made it fly away, and I was satisfied until I saw with dismay another moth fluttering crazily nearby the wall of the house, near a window.

What, another one? What was this? I watched it carefully as I stepped out, careful in case it flew towards me, or worse still for the long-term, in case it flew inside the house. It hovered, fluttering gently though erratically as moths do, and I kept my eyes trained on it, holding my washing with me, as I slid the door closed behind me, this moth flying in the bottom corner of the window frame… until suddenly there was a movement of black. And a spider suddenly crawled out of an indistinct hole in the corner of the outside window frame.

I watched as it grabbed hold of the moth – it all happened so quickly I can’t actually believe what my eyes saw – and then the fluttering came to a slow halt. There was a fellow scurrying of black legs, and the spider disappeared with its catch, back into its invisible-to-the-human-eye, hole.


Had I been 5 seconds later, I would have missed the whole thing. And instead, here I was, watching two insects I care very little for, suddenly become a David Attenborough documentary before my very eyes!

Had either insect been in our house, I would have ‘gotten rid of them’ without concern. Both cause me alarm, more so moths, because with their erratic flying they can cross a room in seconds, and I don’t like that. Spiders are somewhat easier to contain.

But when I saw that spider today, not only catch its prey, but in doing so, rid the exterior door of moths?

I was impressed.

I said to Hubbie later on, as I retold the story, “when you next spray bug killer around the house, avoid that window frame.”

My buddy lives there.

My buddy the spider.

He looks after the moths for me. 🙂

And so concludes the story of the spider and the moth.


#668 Barefoot and carefree

If you don’t live in our fair and highly unpredictable weather city of Melbourne, you may not know that today was a hot day.

really hot day.

After dinner baby girl and I walked to the front yard of the house. I was hoping to catch some, any, light sea breezes that may decide to grant us with their airy-ness.

I tread across the grass in my thongs. I observed baby girl’s feet.

“Honey you don’t want to put on your Frozen thongs?”


“You wanna be barefoot?”


“You’re a hippie child.”



We laughed, and I soon remembered a time not so long ago and yet it also felt very far away. So much can happen in a ‘toddler year,’ and even though ONLY a year may pass, that one year can bring so many changes to both child and parent.

But I do know it was a year ago, because I remember the scene. It was summer, we were at our new Sea Change house location, and I was walking with her to the nearby park and café. She had closed sandals, but as is the case with these style of shoes, there were still holes in the sandals to let her feet ‘breathe.’

And back then, this 3 and a half year old would shriek in unimpressed shock when she felt any strand of grass graze her foot as she walked beside me. Walking in these shoes, on a hot day, through the grass, was so difficult, made more so by the flies.

She HATED them.

She would scream just as loudly for the flies hovering around her as the grass strands grazing her foot. She wanted to be outdoors and have fun and go on the swing, and yet she did not like the feel of grass, and freaked out at the sight of any flying insects.

So then, fast forward to today. She is not fazed so much by flies. Sure she swats at them, and like Mother like Daughter – she is not a fan of any bugs, AT ALL.

And then also, she goes barefoot, all over our grass.


How a year can change things. I always love my girl, but I am grateful that she is feeling more one with the Universe, and enjoying the feel of greenery beneath her feet…


#632 Melbourne Cup coffee

So, a little while ago in a post far, far away, I said I would count all the ways in which I love coffee, and I would happily spend my life doing so and expressing it here in this gratitude blog.

Enter today peeps.

I mean, I didn’t plan on going down Main street. I promise I didn’t. But a chore I had to do fell through, and here baby girl and I were on Cup Day, dressed up, in the car, with nothing to do.

She asked me as I turned into our fave strip “Mama why go here?”

I was silent for a long while. I wanted to surprise her. “I just want to see what’s open.”

In true literal and toddler fashion, she then proceeded to point out every single shop that was open.

After circling the block a couple of times, I made up my mind. And we headed on over to a local fave for a quick stop on this public holiday.

We missed Hubbie/Dad very much. Baby girl expressed her desire to share a biscuit with him. But somehow she managed to get by, and downed her babycino, while I treasured my chai latte, and then together we smashed an Oreo muffin, NOT pictured because you know… smashed Oreo muffin.

It wasn’t life-altering, it wasn’t squealing with excitement fun, and it wasn’t the bestest thing I had ever done. But it was a precious moment that I was grateful to be sharing with baby girl, and as long as it is something to be enjoyed, it is enough.

And then also, as I always say, it’s the little things.

We then went home, and discovered with happiness that Hubbie was on his way home, let off his work shift earlier that day.

We didn’t win in the 3pm race, but we won in the most important one 🙂


#625 Library sessions

Baby girl and I have a thing. Every couple of weeks or so we head over to the local library.

She browses the picture book section, engages in play with some other toddler, also kind-of interested in the books, kind-of-not…

She finds a bunch of books and DVDs that she MUST take home, high on the endless possibilities of borrowing more so than the actual act of following through with reading or watching any of them at home…

I stand in the aisle on ‘writing,’ browsing titles and looking for those I haven’t seen before. I flick through their pages, gaining inspiration for my own creative endeavours, while checking around the corner every so often to make sure baby girl is still in the interactive kids reading booth, watching the digital pages turn.

And aside from all of these habitual activities, there is one thing that we always, without fail, MUST do.

We coffee.


Even if I don’t mention it, baby girl always asks me for a babycino from the corner café within the library. The great thing is, they can deliver to the reading area, and so we always sit at one of the round tables, sipping our warm beverages, flicking through books, and just enjoying the moment.

#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 café, 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.




#543 Café-ing with Hubbie, ALONE

Oh wow. Like this has not happened, ever ever ever, since before we had baby girl.

In 4 years, have we not sat down at a café opposite each other, just us.

But today, it happened.


It only happened because Hubbie and I are on leave together, and today was baby girl’s kindergarten day. Score. It was a quick stop, as we were super busy and in the midst of weekend birthday preparations for baby girl… but still, it was a great break, just the two of us, as we sat outside Store Fifteen feeling a decent breeze, with a stronger sun pulsating on through, and a stunning and shimmering beach horizon in the very close distance.

It was amazing, and I can only imagine what we’ll get up to next week during her kindergarten session, when we have NOTHING to plan, and NOTHING pressing to attend to.