#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.’

😉

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 🙂

IMAG1585

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 you ♥

 

#812 Next gen yard play

It was a sweet moment tonight as I watched a handful of kids run around a backyard in the fading light of the evening.

Our should I say, it was a sweet couple of hours.

I was at a relative’s house… well, me plus the rest of the fam-bam. In my cousins large and expansive yard, baby girl and her cousins, all ranging from ages 4 – 10… started to play.

It has always been a bit harder for them all to play together, just because of the slight age gap, and various stages they have all been at. But tonight, that gap didn’t appear so big, as they all ran around playing chasy, throwing glow sticks into the night air, participating in hide and seek, and just all around having a great ol’ time.

IMAG0631

The blur of the lights and movement represents just how fast and go-go-go it was out there.

It was made more sweet, because they were our kids. Me, and my cousins.’ We had our own set of memories and times spent having fun together, and now our kids were all coming to an age where they could more easily interact with one another, giving each other memories that I just know they will hold dear forever… I know that, because I hold mine dearly to my chest too.

And inside I then went, to talk to my own family and cousins about our own reminiscing times, and both memories I had been involved in, and times I had not been around for, were equally fascinating to me, because they all shared the common needle and thread work that is, our extended family.

We were all a part of it, through time, through generations, through blood.

Not only were the kids outside having a ball amongst themselves, but it allowed us to do the most important and relaxing thing of all –

IMAG0634

Cake, and coffee. Vanilla slice YES PLEASE.

 

#790 Rainy day play date

It’s raining. It’s pouring. But unlike the nursery rhyme, the old man ain’t snoring, because he can’t bloody sleep for all of the ravaging and high-pitched wind squeals running around the house.

It was a great day, to stay indoors, yes. That was plainly obvious. You could rug up, put on the heater (first time this year I might add) and just chill on the couch, watch TV shows, play with Lego, you know, all that jazz…

Or.

OR… you could stick a right royal middle finger up to the horrible weather, and say “you won’t keep me down!”

Yes, yes that’s what we did today. We braved the weather with beanies and jackets, and headed on down to meet up with baby girl’s 3rd cousin (yes 3rd, it’s a big family) to the place where I did my first review as part of the local blogger’s group I had then joined… The Hungry Peacock.

Or should I say The Busy Peacock. They ‘busied’ themselves for 45 minutes, going OCD on these swinging bowling bags that could hit pins, balls that sloped down a track, pushing a sequined fabric first in the grain… then against the grain, and also some arts and crafts activities, alongside many many more activities.

IMAG0202

(The highly entertaining ‘swinging bags’)

We rushed to the adjoining cafe through the rain, for some snacks after the fact, and the girls played about some more.

And what I was almost, almost, most grateful for? We received our food and coffee…

IMAG0210

just as the lights went out in the entire café. From the wild storm. I actually didn’t care. I had my coffee. I was good.

To do nothing on a rainy day is so satisfying, hell knows I have done it a hundred times. But to do something, and get out and about, have fun, and still be undercover, even as the lights go out?

There is a certain satisfaction in that. 😉

 

#755 Perfect Princess Pampering

Until you are a parent, I think you can’t really understand how seeing your child happy, makes you so happy. Parents are so selfless in this way, going the extra mile, making that extra bit of effort, and going to all ends of the earth, just to see a smile, on an toddler’s often temperamental, dial.

I mean, you don’t even need a special occasion. When baby girl’s cousin’s Mum (whew!) messaged me and showed me some deets for a place that does little girl pampering sessions…

Well, I was sold as soon as I saw the pink bathrobes.

IMAG9423

OMG. Like, they could not get any cuter. Our motherly hands and feet were not touched, nor was our hair tended to, drinks provided, and no we did not have Sex and the City on in the background. Instead,

IMAG9387

How perfect. Did they know baby girl was in the midst of a massive ongoing Moana marathon?

Watching the girls faces as they got their nails painted, their hair braided, and enjoyed a cupcake and some drink while taking in all of the princess-y comforts, well, it made our hearts sing with happiness.

And the patience? Oh, the patience! They listened and sat still and waited as their female needs were attended to, not once acting like normal 4 year olds who can’t sit still!

What gives? Baby girl, care to be like this at home with me?!

Following their session we walked around the corner to enjoy some pizza and chicken and chips, where the drawings to colour-in just kept on coming. VERY kid friendly.

It was the most perfect of princess pampering days, and the cuteness… please… I can’t, it is so damn cute.

IMAG9443

I love it. I love it so much and I didn’t even get it.

That’s called L♥VE.

Princess Pampering, otherwise known as Harmoni, can be found at 3/5 Gloucester Avenue Berwick, for any of my Victorian friends.

They are actually a beauty bar, specialising in hairdressing, all manner of beauty and spa packages, as well as pamper parties (YES!) for kids, teens, AND adults (next time 🙂 ).

www.harmoni.com.au

And the kid-friendly food atmosphere came from the folks at

Nomadic

74 High Street Berwick

If only all days were as Pretty and Pink like this…

IMAG9402

#748 Making memories with new and old family

How amazing is this sunset:

IMAG9307

Just breathtaking. No water views for AGES here, but instead of the sea, the horizon displayed hills upon hills of wondrous beauty, magical greenery, and the most picturesque trees imaginable.

I got to share this beautiful sunset with my extended family tonight, at my Uncle’s house. There were old cousins, new cousins that I got to meet, and then there was the sweetest part of the night for me, watching my cousin, interact and play with baby girl, probably as he did with me, so so many years ago.

IMAG9305

Hide ‘n’ seek, cat and chicken seeking, and piggybacks were all on the menu. Seeing them together reminded me of my own childhood.

Damn it was a good one. I so want the same for baby girl.

To family, new and old… and making the best memories.

#702 Planned and Impromptu family day

Today was a BIG day. But it was all about LOVE.

Half of it was planned you see, when my beautiful cousin popped over with the recent princess of the family – her daughter – and we bonded all together with baby girl (despite some Diva-esque moments from my little one, still tired from that Wave Pool yesterday!) talking life, family, kids, parenting, and everything else in between.

IMAG8062

And then later on, an unplanned, impromptu visit, by my sister and her family. We threw things together – I made my spicy rice which I have been planning on showing them the recipe for for AGES… the barbeque was turned on, radio up just as high, and there was plenty of laughter and lightness, with a gentle dose of D&M too.

IMAG8066

Like I said, it was a BIG day. I had moments of tiredness, but the great company I was in, the love in the house, and the laughter abounding, inspired me and kept me going.

And one of the best things I heard today? Advice from my 15 year-old nephew. After telling him about my writing and blogs and stuff (I am still letting people know, s-l-o-w-l-y) and expressing some of my deep-seeded fears related to it, he sat next to me and said

“you can’t let your fear of what other people will think or say of your writing, stop you from putting yourself out there.”

And to get such instant emotional support from my family network, filled my heart with such courage, love, and joy.

Don’t you just LOVE family?! I do. 🙂 ♥♥♥

#683 Super Play centre

They’re upsizing everything nowadays. Not just for the adults, but for the kids too.

They are getting fun in huge doses as well, in the form of huge jumping arenas and floor-to-ceiling play centres where anything and everything is possible.

We were in such a play centre today, for those playing from home (Melbourne that is) it was at SuperZu. And, we came prepared…

And that means, WITH SOCKS.

Baby girl and I met up with her cousin and Mum, and us Mums were just as keen as the girls to get in and amongst the fun. There were tube slides, something baby girl and I have recently grown accustomed to, yet which never grows boring, climbing net-like contraptions, motorised cars, mazes and ball pits and shooting platforms and ALL kinds of activities you can imagine, scaling 2 to 3 levels, maybe even more, I can’t say, that’s how much of a web the centre was.

And then there was a volcano-like climbing wall. It was pretty steep, and I watched baby girl try to scale it a few times, sliding down the slippery surface each time.

IMAG7706

She was growing frustrated, and was hard on herself as she generally is when trying to do something new. I encouraged her and told her to keep holding on to the white steps with her hands and feet, and bit by bit, she worked her way to the top, teetering ever so closely to the edge as she got there and giving me a fright as I willed her to throw her legs over, but once she had I was breathing a huge sigh of relief.

She then proceeded to climb the wall confidently at least another 25 times in the next few hours.

IMAG7709

My monkey. She had fun, her cousin had fun, us Mums had fun because they were having fun, and everything was just FUN.

Here’s to places designed to keep our kids happy 🙂