#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?”

“No.”

“You wanna be barefoot?”

“Yeah.”

“You’re a hippie child.”

“Hippie?!

“Hippie!”

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.

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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…

 

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#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.

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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.

🙂

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#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.

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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.

…!

#535 Pre-work cafe

A lot of times the photos I display on my SmikG blog as part of my Food Reviews, look something like this:

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And not often do people get to witness the beautifully imperfect behind-the-scenes pics, like this

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The above happened earlier today, a couple of hours before I headed into work. And as I sit here at my desk eating reheated food, I look back fondly, and am grateful for the wayward, spontaneous and cheeky hand that is my daughter’s, representative of all that is crazy, interesting and truly amazing about life.

And those imperfect moments, are actually… pretty damn flawless in my books.

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#522 Kinder days no. 4

“Hooray!” shouted every single parent that existed, at the beginning of this week as term 3 commenced. “Hooray!”

I was one of them. I love baby girl, yet I also love my ‘me time,’ and was looking forward to spending time on my own-some once again.

It was terribly biting and windy, but THAT DIDN’T STOP ME this morning. I walked up and down the Main street, going into shops here and there and getting bits and pieces, as well as a bit of sticky-nose and research that was required.

Look for keep cup in tea/coffee shop – nope not in that one.

Check out pants for baby girl – not Wintery thick enough.

Check out possible cake at The Cheesecake Shop, for baby girl’s upcoming birthday – TBC…

Buy a tattslotto ticket

Go into party shop, ask about balloon deliveries.

Go into herb shop, and come out with brazil nuts at $50 a kilo (no really, there is a shortage and the Unicorn teeth are in at an impressive $59.95 a kilo!)

Take out $$$

Ask Vinnies if they want toy donations – yes they most definitely do.

Bread, groceries…

And ahh, the best moment in my everywhere-morning… THIS:

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For under $10, I got a sensational chai latte and nutty/seedy bar at a nearby cafe, both of which were delicious and filling, and kept me going for even more of the morning, well up until lunchtime. Again I was at the Corner Counter, where I had my first proper chai latte in Mornington a while ago, and so it made sense that I should go there again.

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The sun was shining brightly as I positioned myself by the window, read the daily paper, indulged in some delightful café fare, and totally catered to myself. Catering to oneself, when oneself is also a ‘Mum,’ is more than an indulgence – its almost a necessity, something that must be done time and time again, to fill up ones reserves. Ones dealing with every life and crap and annoyances and jobs and chores and responsibilities and drama and stressed and everything reserves.

It was bliss, and I look forward to more fill up reserve days 🙂