#1841 Mummy-daughter dinner date

It was Monday evening, therefore Hubbie was off to his basketball game.

It left baby girl and me alone. I had made her fave… who am I kidding, OUR fave, spaghetti bolognaise.

We sat across from each other and ate, slurped, and talked.

The dynamic was completely different. And by no means do I mean it’s because Hubbie was gone. Rather, because it was 2.

Us two.

I have no doubt the same would have occurred had I been out, and Hubbie had been home with her.

But we really talked. I asked her about school.

“What’s your favourite part of school?”

“Snack time and lunch.”

🤣🤣

Well OF COURSE. It was always going to be play time. But I prodded some more. Learnt some things about their class. Their teachers. Her friends. And when I asked her to pick her favourite classes, she replied ‘art’ and ‘French.’

Awww. She’s already a young creative. I love it. 😍😍

I told Hubbie about it when he got home. I hope you too, can take something away from this.

Because it’s all well and good when you’re a family unit, together… but something changes when it’s just you and them. Maybe they feel more heard? Maybe they feel they can open up more? Whatever it is, I strongly encourage you to have a little dinner date, whenever it may be… with your littlie. 💖💖

#1823 Better family time

Today I realised with amusement when we put Cobra Kai on, that baby girl is pretty much watching it too.

Hubbie and I pop it on, get excited by whatever 80s track they put on at the start, and then proceed to escape into the world of KA-RA-TAY for the next 30 minutes or so.

And lately, baby girl is joining us.

Why? On Sunday she got grounded… from playing on her ipad.

It was all Hubbie’s doing, and I’m not saying that like I disagree with his decision. Yes, she definitely had it coming after acting up majorly on the weekend. But when it comes to removing things from her, I am on the softer side.

If we’re at the shops and she asks for a toy – “No!”

She wants another chocolate? – “No!”

Wants to repeatedly bounce the basketball in the house? – “NO!”

But when it comes to removing things, I balk. I withdraw. Because if I remove something, most likely I’ll be the one paying for her upset state, since I AM home with her the majority of the time.

But this happened when I was out of the house, you see. Almost like a blessing in disguise.

Amazingly, it’s been a bit of a novelty for her. She talks about how she is grounded, and I think it makes her feel grown up, like a teenager. She hasn’t even asked for it back earlier… I would have caved in, without her even asking. Hubbie has been so tough, so strong… like the way I am usually! But this time, I’m like “aww, I feel sorry for her” (not in front of her of course, you can’t let your kids see your weakness, or else they’ll know they OWN YOU mwa ha ha).

She is meant to go without ’til Sunday… but I think she may get an early reprieve come the start of the weekend. 😁

But it’s seriously been good. She keeps herself busy with other activities, and I think it’s given her an appreciation and understanding of all the other creative things she can do with her spare time, and helped her to realise she actually CAN go without the bloody device.

And it means she spends more time with us, watching Cobra Kai.

Another device. 🤦‍♀️🤣

You get my drift. 😉

(Can someone confirm for me that Cobra Kai remains mildly kid-friendly for the rest of Seasons 2 and 3?)

#1713 Day 215 of getting there: back to baking

I found a bit of my old self today.

Amazingly, I was happy to spend the day in the kitchen.

I enjoy cooking. I enjoy baking. I like finding new recipes, experimenting, and watching it all come together, the product of my hands putting it all to work.

I’ve been devoid of passion as of late, but I’ve been working through it, and getting by, bit by bit. This makes me proud, as having significant setbacks, it is then no mean feat to get up and keep trying. It has been freaking hard, but like my whole covid series, I am ‘getting there.’

Today, I made a yummy lentil soup that I got from my bestie’s nutritionist facebook page. I’ve made it before, and I’ve been wanting to make it again, but like I said, the whole lacking passion thing was a bit of a killjoy for getting anything done, much less making a soup I enjoy.

But I didn’t stop there. I made this apple cake recipe that I found months ago, and back then I even bought the granny smith apples I needed…. only to have Hubbie eat them when I never made the recipe, because you know…

LACK OF ALL PASSION.

But I bought those 4 granny smith apples again this week. I was feeling better, my mental clarity was improving, my emotional stability was settling, and it was all coming together, very slowly, once again…

So I made this today:

I actually wasn’t sure if it was baked properly, and kept it in the oven perhaps longer than I should have, until I read the facebook comments on the video and realised it was kinda like an apple crumble, and therefore was allowed to have that gooey kind of soft texture running through it.

Anyway…. YUM.

I am absolutely pooped from baking and cooking and washing dishes most of the day, but I feel really good too.

Because some of my passions are coming back.

Baking is coming back. 🥧💖

#1630 Day 132 of getting there: Show them what you love

I think one of the best pieces of advice I could give to any current or future parents, is this:

Show them what you love.

In particular, music.

Baby girl is exposed to a whole range of styles. From 70s/80s Queen, 80s Prince, Madonna of ALL ages, pop Justin Timberlake, melodic George Michael…

to contemporary music like The Weeknd, SIA, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Tones and I, and then there’s folk music, rnb music, UB40, songs from movies…

There’s a lot of different styles that she hears from us.

When you show your child what you love, you’re showing them what makes you happy. What makes you sing. What makes your heart soar.

You’re not actually sitting them down and saying “this is what makes me happy!”

It’s in the everyday moments. Putting the volume up for a song on the radio that makes you smile. Dancing in the kitchen because Funny How Love Is came on. Laughing along to that really annoying/catchy tune “Pump it Up,” and then turning everything into that song…

“You know clean it up, you have to clean it up!”

You’re making everyday moments come alive, you’re making them more fun, and most importantly, you’re making memories.

Like today for instance. Following a week of letting everything fall to the wayside in light of more important things, I was on a cleaning frenzy. I had Queen on, FULL VOLUME as I went about the house doing my thing.

I was in baby girl’s room changing her bedding, when Bohemian Rhapsody came on.

As the pivotal moment drew near…

“Oh mama mia, mama mia

Mama mia let me go…”

I quickly threw some things in her wardrobe –

“…Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me…”

I ran out of her room –

“…For me…”

And ran down the hallway

“…FOR ME!” I squealed as I skid into the kitchen, with baby girl charging in from the lounge room.

And then we proceeded to do THIS:

Oh it was fun! The hair clip in my hair was knocking my head we were jumping and head banging so much.

And it was so cool, that I knew I could depend on her to run in to meet me near the stereo… just as she knew she could find me rocking out to a classic tune.

It’s got nothing to do with making your kids like what YOU like. That I am totally against. Children should be allowed to make up their own likes, dislikes, interests and passions, without their parents, or anyone influencing them.

I am fascinated to see what kind of young woman baby girl will grow into of her own accord, not from someone else she has tried to be like, or from someone who has made her feel she should be like them.

NO.

It’s about showing them your passions. They should be their own people. At the same time, it’s no wonder there are so many kids out there who followed in their parents footsteps, either by doing a similar profession, choosing a similar path, a like-minded interest… because they watched them obsess, fixate, and enjoy that thing, while growing up.

Baby girl doesn’t need to write. She doesn’t need to read. She doesn’t need to love Queen all her life.

But by sharing what it is that you love with them, you show them what a meaningful, purposeful, and beautiful life is.

At the end of day, whether it’s a life path of not… Creativity.

The arts.

Passion.

Inspiration.

Love.

These are the things that make the world go round. Teaching our kids about them can only bring beautiful things.

At the very least, really funny head-banging memories. 😉

#1628 Day 130 of getting there: when she understands

I have no time to write, because I am writing elsewhere.

I’m trying to hit a deadline, and that deadline is tomorrow, by about midnight, though I hope to God I hit it by evening.

I’ve made soooo many sacrifices these last few days, but I’m so busy I can’t even write about them.

The biggest sacrifice has been from baby girl. I have even cut back on her schoolwork and tasks, so important this deadline is to me.

She’ll catch up, it’s cool.

But she has been unreal, and so understanding. I had to meet her in the middle though… as soon as I finished work today, we had a coffee break, we played dolls together for several minutes… and then my butt hit the couch to write on my laptop.

She didn’t whinge. She didn’t complain. She didn’t bug me. She even left me in peace to write and edit and re-think EVERYTHING, and I am so grateful.

But, it’s not over. Even though I’m grateful for her understanding today, I’m praying some of it extends to tomorrow, since I have to review and rewrite two more chapters, go over my entire manuscript again, write a freaking 1 page-synopsis condensing approximately 88,000 words, while trying not to LOSE MY MIND while doing it.

Here’s hoping.

#1531 Day 33 of getting there: homemade sweet potato gnocchi

I haven’t been writing as much as I like, and that’s got a bit to do with this cv business and balancing working from home with schooling baby girl from home, but it’s more to do with the OTHER.

The other is me fuelling all my creative energy into cooking new recipes.

It isn’t hard to find them after all. So many more people are putting together live recordings and sharing extra recipes to help us deal with this isolation, and just as well because we need something to do with all the extra time we aren’t going out.

And just the other day, I fell in love with a recipe idea I have been toying with for years now.

It was gnocchi. Rather, it has always been gnocchi. But this version was a sweet potato gnocchi.

Nom nom nom.

You know, some time ago I bought a packet of gnocchi from the shops, at the height of the shopping-covid frenzy when pasta was getting low to nothing on shelves… and I thought, being from a nice grocer and all, that this gnocchi would also be, nice.

I have only ever had, smooth, delicious, pillowy puffs of homemade or restaurant high-grade quality gnocchi.

So imagine my disappointment when this gnocchi tasted like plastic.

It was NOT nice. It honestly had a fake, manufactured taste, and I was spurred by the idea of homemade gnocchi even more.

So earlier this week when I saw Leah Itsines, self-taught cook, post on facebook that she was doing a live and making sweet potato gnocchi, I knew that soon, I would be too.

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How great is technology? I knew I couldn’t follow her to make it at the exact time she did, but she was posting the video on YouTube later, so all I had to do was go to her channel today and voila!

The instructions were all there.

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My gnocchi was deliciously homemade. It was so refreshing, to have it not taste like plastic! What do you know??? In fact, it tasted anything but. I think I made a pretty great first time gnocchi, and I even have extra that I have frozen for another time so that is SUPER EXCITING.

But that’s not even it. No folks. Topping that homemade sweet potato gnocchi was Jamie Oliver’s 3 minute tomato pasta sauce… another food guru I have started following lately!

And just as well that I had a 3 minute sauce recipe, since it took me hours and 26 dishes to make the gnocchi.

(All hail the dishwasher).

It’s so satisfying to make your own food. It’s amazing to experiment with different dishes, flavours and ingredients, and even to go out on a whim and try something you’ve been scared to for so long.

I can’t believe I made gnocchi, I am still so excited about it!

Next on my experimentation list? Well Leah has also made dumplings, and I LOVE DUMPLINGS… Marion Grasby has an egg drop soup that looks incredible… and Jamie Oliver and Oprah Winfrey recently made his Singapore-style fried rice together, over video call of course… ahh.

Ain’t technology just the best. 🙂

 

#1525 Day 27 of getting there: I dyed my hair, yeah yeah

So, I have NEVER coloured my hair on my own, at home, alone.

That statement suggests that I may have coloured my hair at home, but in the company of someone else… and that is totally right. Years and years ago I had bestie do it for me, before baby girl entered the picture, and I am pretty sure it was during my “save money/I can do that” phase.

But only I wasn’t actually doing it… bestie was.

Fast forward to several years later, and now Coronavirus is making me dye my hair at home, properly alone.

Let’s just stop to think about that for a moment. The isolation caused by this virus is making people look within themselves to build things, create things, change things, and be inventive in ways they never imagined they would, or could.

Although it’s not a situation anyone of us want to be in… there’s something exciting and thrilling about that thought. The thought of all of us looking within ourselves to make something in our lives happen, to make something in our lives better.

Including, hair.

Look, I love my hairdresser, and I will happily go back to them after all this is over.

But I totally smashed the hair colouring tonight.

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I couldn’t wait until this isolation blew over, no I sure as hell couldn’t. As it was I was scheduled for my hair appointment the weekend when the virus crisis started to peak… and so I ended up cancelling.

Regrowth and split ends galore. I could deal with the split ends indefinitely, but the regrowth was NOT TO MY LIKING AT ALL.

You know what colour I picked? Bittersweet chocolate. I told Hubbie I picked it because I liked the name and said it suited me at this phase of my life, and he said that sounded just like me, ha ha.

Things are bitter at the moment, but I always try to remain sweet.

And who doesn’t want their hair the colour of dessert?

Hair colouring night… success. 🙂

#1518 Day 20 of getting there: Easter cookie decorating

I’m happy to report it’s another support local post! And you can not any more local than across the road, DOWN THE STREET, local.

I’m proud to say that Flock Café is our local coffee joint, and so conveniently close to home. However today was not one of those usual days that we could have walked there, what with the hellish weather and all.

So we jumped in the car and drove the very short distance over, to grab one of their cookie decorating boxes.

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I saw they were promoting them some days ago, and amidst shop closures and takeaway ONLY, thought it was a great way to support local business, all the while finding something fun for baby girl to do, because God knows I need ideas!

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She had so much fun, and I loved watching her get creative.

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Ahh, creativity. I just love it. Those piles of sweet candy tasted insanely great upon the deliciously soft cookie base too. 🙂 ♥

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#1515 Day 17 of getting there: Supporting small business – the fairy house

I am always on the lookout for ideas to keep baby girl busy at home, now that we are in the middle of this indefinite isolation period.

So I love when I find ideas that are not only fantastic, but support small business too.

Insert, Billie’s Place.

They’ve joined other businesses in creatively looking for ways to keep running by providing certain home deliveries to customers in the light of shop lockdowns happening all around.

I found out about these mail-out fairy houses on social media… and thought it was a fabulous idea. I jumped on board and ordered one for my own fairy princess.

Today, on this still and sunny Autumn’s day, we set about putting it together.

Painting.

Gluing.

Decorating!!!

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It was the perfect hump-day activity… though to be honest, every day kind of feels like hump day at the moment, right?

Here’s some more sparkle.

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And done. It was as much fun for us, watching baby girl’s excited expression as she got creative and added bling and greenery everywhere, and anything that makes us forget what is going on in the world right now… is priceless.

Fairy houses are pretty magical like that. 😉

#1511 Day 13 of getting there: a little bit of everything makes Saturday sweet

The day started off, drawing with baby girl.

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Next was the brownie baking.

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The triple choc brownie baking, I might add. 😉

There was taste-tasting, coffee making, and puzzle doing… it was relaxing, and with the wind howling and sheets of rain coming down outside, there was really no better place than to be at home.

Our cat Mister F slept for about five hours on the couch. It was that type of day.

Then at night, on random we started to dance in the kitchen.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while you’ll know that’s a common event in our household. Somehow though, we just haven’t had much of a chance or opportunity to dance all together on a Saturday night.

It seems for the moment though, we will have an indefinite amount of time to dance in the kitchen.

What made it better, was I started off reluctant. All I wanted to do was settle back on the couch. It was like I was so used to doing nothing, that I just wanted to go back and do NOTHING.

But as the saying goes… if you can’t beat them, join them.

Which is what I did. I participated in baby girl’s little dance-off contest, and before I knew it, was galloping and pirouetting across the kitchen floor and almost colliding with Hubbie and baby girl but doubling over with laughter.

And I was so glad I caved in. So glad we mucked about and went stupid and got warm amidst a really freezing day. And though we aren’t all tik tok savvy to have recorded it for the world to see, there is something else I captured…

Our little tennis match. I saw the best idea on facebook a while ago. Take two wooden spoons or other long-shaped utensils, tape it to the back of some paper plates, then using some stools/chairs, drape a blanket/tablecover over it to create…

A tennis stadium IN YOUR HOUSE.

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Oh, and the ball? A balloon. It even acts like a ball if it’s been hanging around the house for a few days, flying irrationally and without care through the air, making it more challenging to hit.

Let it howl. Let it rain. We’ve got the home isolation entertainment down pat.