#469 First taste of Filtered Coffee

It was while being grateful for a LONG overdue catch-up with Best Man and Fam today, that later on in the evening I had another reason to be grateful.

Filtered coffee.

Hubbie’s bestie asked if we wanted a taste of a special blend, and of course there wasn’t much chance of us saying no, being all coffee snobs and all. Off to the kitchen he went to begin the ‘process.’

The ‘process’ went for a good 5 minutes. There was a large jug, something like a fine sieve up top, hot water that went into this, and then ground coffee on top, to just sit. For a good few minutes.

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Finally it was brought to the table, and we had our first taste.

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Did I tell you Hubbie’s bestie is a coffee rep? How bloody convenient for us. Like, seriously. He told me that if that coffee were unfiltered, there would be earthier notes coming out, but this being filtered, there were fruiter ones. I asked him why exactly the coffee is filtered, and he went on an explanation saying you can have coffee in a variety of ways, and offered a detailed explanation, but the music in the room was too loud, and the kids were running around us and having the time of their lives, so the message got lost in the air. I nodded and drank.

It was watery, quite light, yet still strong. I could get used to it, as it is different, and I like different, but still pleasant. He said it’s a good morning coffee, and I could see why.

Tasting different coffees, one day at a time.

All hail different ways to drink coffee.

‘Hail different ways to drink coffee.’

😉

#464 A new way to Write

I had it REAL good when baby girl was in fact, a baby.

I mean, aside from the not-knowing what the hell I was doing, second-guessing every decision, crying a fair bit, being sleepless and fatigued most of the time, and just wondering when this confusing and struggling never-ending stage would pass.

But then, came the naps. That’s how I had it good.

During her day naps, baby girl would sleep for hours. Sometimes her day naps combined, would equal about 5 hours of sleep time for her, and non-baby time for me, a day.

This was really good. At first it was all catch up on this, maybe I should meal prep for dinner, pay an online bill, make that important phone call I’ve been putting off for 3 months, and wash that pile of soiled baby clothes that will re-fill by the day’s end.

But then, she settled a bit…. while the naps remained.

And as she settled, so did I. I relaxed into Motherhood, and so began journalling again.

I really wanted to capture as much of parenthood and her early months and milestones as much as I could, and so recommenced a fave past-time of mine that I hadn’t done for quite a while, a past-time that I both love and loathe simultaneously. I feel like I HAVE to do it, and that is exactly WHY I loathe it. Because I feel it needs to be done.

And I can’t stop.

And then, I relaxed MORE into Motherhood. And I began to do some food reviews, here and there, read some books, start notes on them that would eventually become my book reviews… and hell, I even started my parent blog, SmikG.

And years later, that followed with this one.

Now as the years have passed, her nap durations, as her naps, have significantly reduced to just one a day. It’s still allowed me some great ‘me’ time, to do whatever I need to do, and yet I always try to do what I feel I need to: write in some capacity, however I can.

However recently, I’ve come to a realisation. With baby girl getting cheekier and cheekier at bed time, her hyper-activity shooting through the roof, I decided I had to do the only thing that made sense.

Drop the nap altogether.

It was doing me good, because it meant she was more tired (or so we hoped) at bedtime, since she hadn’t napped at all during the day, and would be ‘out’ quicker. Well yes. She is ‘out’ a bit faster, a bit less reluctant to drink 15 sips or water, go to the loo 7 times, jump on the bed 10 times, and then ask for a tummy, hand, arm, leg, foot and back massage, following her 3 books read to her by lamplight.

Yeah, a bit less.

But anyway, bedtime routines are somewhat better. She does go to bed slightly earlier now. But it means my writing time during the day, IS GONE.

R.I.P precious writing time.

Or so I thought.

She’s 3 and a half, I thought today. Often, she is quite happy to play on her own, build some blocks, or watch some Paw Petrol.

Surely she would let me do some writing. She’s not 2 and climbing over me to grab at the laptop as I pay a bill or buy the one concert ticket I’ll be going to that year.

A year and a half, makes a difference.

And so, today, I tried. We had had our coffee/babycino/cake break, she was fuelled, she had Nickelodeon shows on in the background, a whole family room full of toys including her new Sofia the First mini figurines, and I sat in the same room as her, and began to do what I started all those years ago, so tentatively, while she was out cold in another room –  I began to write.

Journalling in fact. And there were times I stopped, and she called my name, repeatedly, and I looked back over my shoulder. Repeatedly. And she left the room and came back, and even walked on over and yelled “O” multiple times after looking at the keypad. But after about 90 minutes, I had written 3 pages long.

3 pages! I was a bit surprised, yet pleasantly so. Had I just learnt a new way to write? Multi-tasking, with child in room, interrupting me every so often?

And I did it?

I did it. Yes it wasn’t smooth sailing, but it was done. My quiet writing time may be over, but that’s not to say, I can’t write if I don’t want to.

Where there’s a will there’s a way.

No excuses people. That’s what I take from this. No excuses. And I’m pretty chuffed with that 🙂

 

#453 Photos

My sister always says, that it is so worth taking heaps of photos, for the memories that will come to you later as you look back on them.

She speaks with a lot of experience. She takes, HEAPS of photos.

She doesn’t have many photos of when she was a baby, and so I think she has spent the majority of her life, kind of making up for that fact, and making sure that her kids, will have tonnes of them.

I think I’ve kind of taken that from her. I too, love photos. Currently there are approximately, no exaggeration, 2000 of them waiting to be filed into photo albums at my less than likely leisure. I fell behind before baby girl was born, and thinking like the stupid parentless ‘know-it-all’ I was, that I would catch up while on maternity leave with her…

Yeah, right. Like that ever happened. 3 and a half years later and they’re still PILING UP.

But anyway. I love them, and in the most old school way – hard copy in a PHOTO ALBUM.

I’ve been doing heaps with photos lately, and it’s just reminded me how amazing and beautiful these snapshots into time can be.

In just over a week we’ll be celebrating my parents 50th wedding anniversary. We’re doing a few special things on the night, and one of them, to highlight their 5 decades together, is the photo collage I’m putting together, of one decade each per large cardboard sheet of paper, with as many photos as I can possibly muster crammed into all 5 sheets.

When I took my usb stick of anniversary photos over the years to the photo centre, there were 647 files.

647 photos.

I knew I had to scale that back, BIG TIME.

I told myself I’d only select 150…

then I got to 150 and said I’d select up to 200…

then I got to 200 and said 250 MAX.

Which is how I ended up at 255. Close enough.

Today when I took the developed photos to my sister’s place, for our little debrief over the anniversary party (who would sit where, what we would say, what would go where, what time that would occur, etc, etc), she flipped through the photos quickly, grinning and letting out “oh wow!”s, complimenting the broad selection, and happily going back in time to as far back as the late 60s, as she saw my parents journey again from start to current day.

Seeing the reaction on her face was great, and later at home as I trimmed the photos back, removing blank spaces and tightening it up so I could surely fit 50 photos per large page, I couldn’t help but pause and smile several times, observing my parents youthful looks, almost laughing out loud when my parents were too laughing in the photos, grinning with fondness at family photos through the decades, and just generally reminiscing with warmth in my heart.

I know, I sound like a hallmark card. But really, I loved it. I love photos. And I think the guests at the party, my parents’ family and friends, and my parents especially, will really enjoy the snapshot through the ages.

50 Golden Ages. 🙂

#421 Kinder days no.2

….. and we are BACK. Back from school holidays, and back to kindergarten.

(Mwa ha ha).

Even though baby girl only goes one session a week because she is 3, those 5 hours mean a lot to me, let me tell you. If only for sanity, for catch-up, for myself, those few hours make such a difference, and the absence of them over the past few weeks has been sorely felt.

Today I did grocery shopping, alone.

Today I recommenced Zumba – my body needed and wanted it, BAD. (My left leg not being able to perform a particular movement towards the end of the session, showed me how badly my body was out of whack).

I ate well, having extra time to prepare a healthy lunch.

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(No that’s not cucumber, that’s broccoli stalk – shop your vegies finely, pop it into a Microwave safe container, fill 1/4 to a 1/3 with water, and put in the microwave for about 2 minutes with the lid ajar, or if you have the above Tupperware contraption, even better. Mix with tuna, carbs, or all of the above – done).

I cleaned the house – let me tell you it was very necessary.

I completed and ordered online invitations for my parents 50th wedding anniversary – sis and I are extremely excited.

Ahh, there’s nothing like catch-up. Getting ahead. Feeling accomplished.

I love Kinder.

#414 The Crew unites

Tonight, Good Friday Eve. It’s not often that me and my high school friends get together. I mean, the original group. Although the last time it was December, before that, it was years. And before that, more years.

You know when you are so busy, that pre-confirmed plans just bug you? Well sorry to say, that’s how I felt about tonight.

The house is a mess,…I need to get ready for weekend work… I need to clean… I need to put clothes away… and I have a tonne of Easter baking to do…

These were my thoughts. They kept whirring around my head up until about 4pm today.

And then I went ‘screw that.’

I got dolled up, embraced the girl club spirit, and headed on over to the Fitzroy Social to meet up with the other 5 gals of the crew. It was a great catch up, and we of course had the required end of night photo, both smiley, and goofy faces present.

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18 year old me would have been in shock horror at my stupid excuse of ‘the house is a mess’ to even contemplate not going out for a catch-up… and yet my 33 year old self was just feeling like it was all too much.

But I realised something as I drove home later from this great night out. I thought:

If my house is a mess…

If I’m late getting ready for work on the weekend…

If my house remains dirty for a day or two longer…

If the clothes hang around unfolded a while longer…

And even if I don’t bake all that I intend to for Easter…

IT WILL BE WORTH IT, because I had a great night catching up with dear friends. My time will feel well-spent, as I would have had fun in my precious time – not spent doing some boring household chore, but instead, reconnecting, bonding and having the bestest of convos and laughs with my high school friends.

I am still baffled by how our minds and thoughts change as we grow older. Sometimes for good, sometimes for stupid! I mean, worried about a clean house as opposed to a catch-up? Come on.

We need to think more like teenagers, like children. Then maybe the world’s problems would be solved. Then maybe the world would be a happier place 🙂

The boring stuff can wait. The boring stuff should always wait.

Screw the responsibilities. Have fun!

#352 Catch-up with the folks

I had some lovely moments while at my parents’ house today.

Dad is better. He is more energetic and alert, and I love hearing the love in his voice when he greets baby girl.

Mum is more relaxed, and just chilled. She made us a beautiful lunch and baby girl was celebrating the pasta made especially for her, by applauding and “hooray”-ing for about 5 excited minutes.

I love how baby girl is now one with nature, all barefoot on the grass. Jumping about, wanting to do a picnic every chance she gets, and running at high speed up and down the length of the yard.

Sitting under the trees, the four of us, in the leafy shade, just talking. Playing catch with baby girl. Laughing. Eating fruit. Talking about plums.

There was such calm and peace about the day. It was all about taking it easy, absorbing the moment, and enjoying what we have.

Soon it came time to go home, and baby girl and I departed with contented tummies and hearts.

And that’s the way it should always be, shouldn’t it?! 🙂

 

 

#310 The verge of holidays – Dec ’16 edition

I am soo bloody excited. As simple as that. Today was my last day of work for the year. I am now looking forward to 18 days off! And tomorrow afternoon, Hubbie will join me, and together we’ll have 15 days off together.

What?! A holiday, together? It seems impossible. It feels so long ago…

Our last approved leave requests was during our big house move months ago… and by no means was any of that a holiday. We did not feel settled for ages, things were difficult, and it stayed that way for a while even after we went back to work following that ‘break.’

I know Hubbie has had a week or so during the year, but it must have been at a really busy time, because I have little recollection of what we did. The only holiday I can remember us having fun, like a proper holiday-goer, was almost exactly this time last year when we boarded a plane with first-time flyer baby girl and went to tropical Port Douglas.

Absolutely stunning location and holiday spot, I might add.

So really, that equates to approximately 365 days of no proper down time together.

365 days?! Can you see why I’m so bloody excited?!

We don’t have any plans to go away – hell, we moved to our favourite holiday spot so we could feel like we are away all year round – so we just want to enjoy our town, properly explore it and the surrounds since we haven’t had the time, and just live like a local. A local on holiday.

 

Things I plan on (us) doing:

Breakfast-ing, brunch-ing, lunch-ing, and dinner-ing, A LOT.

But first, coffee. Like on the hour, at every café possible.

Shop ’til I drop.

Beach myself like a whale.

Let baby girl go beserk at parks while we sit on the sidelines sunning it and laughing.

Bed

Catch-ups with friends

Late nights laughing and toasting

BBQ at yours truly looking out at the water

Staying up late with Hubbie

Talking to Hubbie… like, really talking. I miss this man. He’s been working too much.

 

I have specific things in mind, but they very well could end up being individual gratitude posts, so I’ll just keep them close to my chest until the day comes…

And now, it is nearing, so you won’t have to wait long. So grateful right now 🙂