#635 KK 2017 edition

Why is it that we wait for an occasion to catch up with those we love?

…with those we can’t get a word in with because the conversation is flowing?

…with those that when ones laughs, so do the rest?

…and when one tears, the others follow suit?

…with those who have been there for far too long?

…with those who know us, inside and out?

Tonight, a tad early in November, me and my high school friends caught up for our annual KK catch up. I wish I remembered the year we started doing this, and who suggested it, and what I got that year and what I bought for someone else… but it has been happening for a WHILE.

Life is busy. We have partners. Kids. Jobs. Responsibilities. Being able to match our schedules with each others is a feat in itself, but with old friends, it shouldn’t be a job… it should be a necessity.

Because it is calming. It releases happy chemicals. You purge. You let out your frustrations. You share funny anecdotes. Like tonight, the top stories were:

Silly husbands

Gorged breasts of breastmilk

“Kids say the darndest things!”

12 year old huskies

Roses

Insane concert tickets prices, and finally –

Meat on steroids

All perfectly NORMAL things to discuss with your besties.

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It was a terrific night, and I love my PA pjs, because you can never have too much Peter Alexander.

“I have too much Peter Alexander!”

SAID NO GIRL EVER.

And a pat on the back for me, as I totally rocked the KK I got for my friend.

Score!

It made me realise a lot of life truths, and the biggest one being, the longer you are friends with someone, the harder it is to separate yourself from them.

And I don’t want to separate myself from these girls, EVER.

And we sure as hell don’t need a reason, like Christmas (though it is a bloody good one!) to make an effort to catch up.

Catching up to see each other is an event in itself.

Happy early Christmas, peeps :):):)

 

 

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#588 The Greatest Show of All

I LOVED going to the Royal Melbourne Show as a child. My parents took me often, and it was always, ALWAYS, a highlight, every single year. As I grew older I remembered one time where I had a great day there with my sister and Mum too, and then after I met Hubbie we went a couple of times, a night session, and a full-on day session as well.

But we haven’t been for many, many years.

What is there to love about the Show? Why, everything. There is truly something for everyone. There are rides of all kinds, for big kids and small; there are games, again, for everyone, that take out the child in you when the lights flash in your eyes and you observe giant oversized toys that suddenly, YOU MUST HAVE; there is amazing carnival food, as trashy and truck-y as you like, or as discerning and Masterchef-quality as you please, kind sir and madam; there are even animals in talent contests showcasing their skills, entertainers singing or performing death-defying stunts, and then of course, at night, the explosions in the sky.

FIREWORKS.

Well, after what seemed like too long of a break, we went today. It was baby girl’s first time EVER, and weirdly, I had known about a month ago, even before I got my free tickets, that this was going to be our first year to go. It hasn’t worked out for us, or her, any other year, but also, this year I knew she was truly ready for the walk-a-thon that was to be the Royal Melbourne Show adventure, and also, this year she could start to appreciate it. Really appreciate it.

And start creating memories. 🙂

It is so exciting when you start to expose your child to fun things you did when you were young. Hell who am I kidding – I still love to do kid stuff! And I was about as excited as her today, as we jumped off the train about midday and arrived at the Showgrounds.

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It was, a BRILLIANT day.

We ate Showground food of fish and chips, coupled with some glasses of beer and wine.

We watched dogs leap over hurdles and fly through tunnels in high-paced canine comps.

Baby girl went on several rides on her own, and with both Hubbie and I: flying through the air in a row-your-boat contraption, spinning round on a floating mini air balloon ride, going round a merry-go-round track in a car, AND she had her first ever dodgem car experience on her own!

She was the bomb 🙂

We played games, and baby girl fished out some prizes for herself.

We stopped for a well-deserved coffee and sweets break, and found some awesome Nutella doughnuts courtesy of the famous food trucks.

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We went on the GIANT Ferris Wheel, and nearly died as we were perched up top of the world, the insane wind rocking our carriage and making us hold hands, while I actually bent over and encouraged baby girl to pray to God that the wind would lessen.

She thought I was hilarious.

And then the big one, the clincher, the reason for even going to the show AT ALL…

The showbags.

They don’t come cheap. Of course she wanted character ones, which are even dearer than some other kiddie ones, so we let her pick two bags and got an extra pup toy as well.

It had been a big day. We were glad to have taken the train part of the way, so it could take us a fair distance out of the city and to our parked location, before we jumped in our car and drove home.

Watching baby girl, and seeing her response to so many fun events of the day, was absolute GOLD. She now knows, what the Show is all about.

And what’s most important, her memories of them have just started… and they are already beautiful 🙂

#566 Messages from the Coffee cup

I have a LONG history with it.

When I was 10, the day after my sister’s wedding my parents threw a huge, informal backyard party at their place for our closest family and friends. There were a lot of people on that sunny January day, and being the excited kid (and flower girl, thank you very much) that I was, I went ape-shit.

Come the fading hours of sunlight, and my tummy was aching. It was a phase of life where if I jumped or ran about too much after eating, it all came up.

And so it all came up.

While everyone was singing and dancing into the night, the sounds of a folk accordion echoing out to me from the garage, I lay in my room feeling like absolute shit. Not only did I actually feel horrible, but I felt even worse to be missing out on ALL THE FUN.

Oh the agony.

My parents brought me a cup of black coffee. No sugar. The plan?

“Drink it. It’ll make you better, one way or another…”

Yep, it was the other. I threw up some more.

My first taste of real coffee. Coming up.

I grew acquainted with it in another way when I was 13, and on my first overseas trip with my parents. Coming from a fairly superstitious European background (and at that age being absolutely obsessed with what the future would hold) I was delighted to no end to find out that my new most favourite aunty over there, could read coffee cups.

Basically an espresso-sized coffee would be prepared for you, using really fine freshly ground coffee beans, and then it was combined with water and brought to a boiling heat before serving.

This was more pleasant. It had sugar. Sure it was bitter and very strong, but I mean, I had to know if that guy I had just met I was going to EVER SEE AGAIN, so I would have drank a sample of someone else’s saliva if necessary for that information.

My aunty would peer into the base and sides of the coffee cup once it had been turned upside down. You see, the thick syrupy part of the coffee that remained on the bottom once it had all been drank, well that was the bit you worked with. Because you would grab your all-important saucer (they have a use, yes), place it on top of your coffee cup, and then with a swift 180 degree turn flip it over and rest, allowing the thick coffee syrup to gently drip its way down the walls of your inverted coffee cup.

I loved the information I got. It was mostly what I always wanted to hear. Some favourable ‘love’ news. Oooooh! Did it come true? I’m not sure, probably not. But it made me happy, made me believe, and I never stopped asking for coffee readings.

Fast forward to today. I actually drink coffee for enjoyment, not just for the sake of knowing my future. I think it’s better that we don’t know some things… that I’ve learnt the scary way. But tonight while at my parents place, Mum made me, Hubbie and my Dad a coffee, and as I drank it, I just couldn’t help myself…

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Flip!

It’s not that I necessarily know what every sign or symbol means in coffee reading. I try to decipher them based on my own knowledge of dream symbols… I figure they might be the same. You scan the walls and base of the cup once the grounds dry, and try to make out any figures…

I immediately found a person on a motorbike. Leaning forward as if trying to get away. And closely next to it is a sweet dog’s face.

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Can you see what I’m looking at? That cluster of black near the top, that is a person leaning forward in a motorbike. And beside it near the bottom of the bike, are some dots: two perfect eyes, a nose and a mouth, and the nose is even within a darker area, representing the muzzle of the dog. The dog is smiling, which is good.

I looked it up in my parents old-school dream journal (of course they have an old-school dream journal) and I couldn’t find any mention of a motorbike or bike for that matter, but it was noted that a dog was good, and if it was at the base of the cup, it suggested a good friend in your home.

There was also a tiny heart which I was unsure of… look again to the left side of the cup, tilt the photo 90 degrees to the right, and there it is… tiny love heart.

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Also a good sign.

I like good signs.

(Can you see anything else? Let me know!)

Anyway I love it. I love what this little tradition reminds me of. Wonderful events, memorable people, and particularly, one of the best times of my life…

Why wouldn’t I want to keep returning to it?

Yes, it is all a bit of fun, but I do strongly believe that there is some truth to it too…

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See that photo? This was taken a month before I found out I was pregnant with baby girl.

A BIG HEART.

Take that as you will 🙂

#494 Her manners

Baby girl continues to astound me. Sure, through all these years of her growing up, I’ve encouraged her to say “Ta” to whoever deserved it – the kind lady at the grocers offering her a free biscuit just ‘because’; her grandparents when they slip in a note for any future babycinos; and anytime food or drink is brought to her, she knows to smile and give thanks.

Yet it still comes as a surprise to me that she is now saying “Thanks!” so much, so often. Well, it sounds like “catch!” but same same. I’ve been telling her to give appreciation for the last few years, whereas now she is doing it of her own accord, which I had absolutely no expectation of at her age – and yet I am rapt.

Tonight for example. Today while in the post office, I came upon the most fantastic surprise for her. One of her many, many loves at the mo, is Paw Patrol, and so when I saw a nightlight in the shape of one of the characters, Skye (I mean, baby girl was even wearing her Skye hoodie to kinder while I was eagerly rubbing my hands in anticipation of this purchase) I knew I HAD TO buy it.

Hubbie and I told her there was a surprise, but she wouldn’t get it ’til after dinner. You never give a child anything before they eat their vegies. NEVER EVER EVER.

She did well though, and we sat her down and gave her the paper bag to peek into. She fished out the nightlight pup, her grin still painted on her face, and took in all of its pink, girly, doggy glory.

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SHE. WAS. RAPT. I don’t know who was more excited, she from her surprise present, or us from anticipating, and receiving, the sheer joy that was so apparent. She then hugged the light, and said

“Catch Mama, catch Tato!”

Oh My God. Where does she get these things? Does she have to be so freaking adorable so we buy her MORE presents? Darn it kiddo, you get away with tooooo much.

And then moments later, because she just couldn’t contain herself, again

“Catch Mama, catch Tato!”

LOL. Oh man. I just love this girl. And truly, really, completely, I do not lie when I say watching your child grow and develop, is about the greatest thing in the world…

 

#382 First face painting

Today was a monumental day for baby girl – she got through her very first face painting.

This is a BIG deal. For about a year, every time we came across any kind of face painting artist, be it at a festival, street fair, shopping centre, or a Christening, she has ALWAYS wanted to get it done.

But… she has never followed through. She would stand in line, watch the other kid’s faces get painted, even tell me that she wanted to be a butterfly, lion, tiger, dog…

And then she would be up next, and MASSIVE cold feet would ensue. She would yell out, run off, and protest as if we were making her do it.

I was seriously pissed when one time after one such denial of face painting, the tired face painter who was nearing the end of her 15-hour shift it seemed, said that we couldn’t force it on her, and that we should let her decide on her own.

Um, lady. This girl was telling me she wanted face paint for 3 blocks, so don’t tell me I’m forcing my own daughter. Do you think I like standing in line?

So after a few many failed attempts, and then a lot of months spent talking about face painting, just you know, whenever, along with much watching of other kids getting their faces painted on youtube (ahhh youtube) it appears someone got over their fear…

Today at a family fun day at Mercetta for the Labour Day weekend, baby girl stood in line behind 4 other girls, first saying she wanted to be a Lion, then a Tiger, then a Butterfly, and then a Cat.

Frankly I didn’t know if we would get to any of those. But I kept her in the line and hoped for the best.

I was surprisingly amazed that she happily sat in front of the artist when it came to her turn, and let the lady get to work… making her a DOG!

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She squirmed under the ticklish paint brush, and moved about A LOT, but she did it, with no protests!

Just another indication, our little girl is growing up 🙂

It was as big a thing for her, as it was for us 🙂

 

#342 Blissful views opposite Kirks

Last time, it was cold, windy and daylight savings was not on our side.

This evening, there was a mild warmth. It was still. And daylight savings in summer, is still around.

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After dinner at Kirks, with the extended sunlight on show, we headed on down the sandy steps below, to find a secluded piece of outstretched beach. It is called Royal Beach.

I was royally unprepared. I had wedges on, and simply watched, clenching baby girl’s hand as we walked down the steep decline to the beach, while Hubbie pranced about deliberately on the sand far below us, waving to us and making us both totally jelly.

He came back and asked baby girl if she wanted him to carry her (“why of course Dad, that is no question!” – she hates stuff getting in her sandals!) and then I stood on a patch of grass at the bottom of the decline and took some pretty snaps of them in the distance.

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Apparently it’s a dog beach. It is beautiful. I’d love come back with them one day soon and walk along the beach when I have more appropriate footwear.

The Peninsula. Discovering beautiful beaches, one blissful day at a time.

The Peninsula. Discovering that you need a pair of thongs in your car boot AT ALL TIMES.

#317 Family moments no.1

If you haven’t already noticed, I have a great deal of love, respect, and profound appreciation for my parents, and my sis and her fam. Not to mention Hubbie and Baby girl.

And today was a wondrous family day.

Again, like an earlier post, I need to list a few things for today’s gratitude. It’s just too much of a pity not to. I can’t leave anything out.

Firstly, the pool. Splashing about in my sister’s brand-spanking new pool with my family: sis, nephew, baby girl, Mum and Dad. Hubbie, bro-in-law and elder nephew looking on in amusement.

Secondly, my Dad. I had this moment tonight where I caught him. He was sitting peacefully at the table post-dinner as Hubbie and bro-in-law yapped at one end, talking music and life, and sis and I were in the kitchen cleaning up. I looked up at him, and he was smiling at sis and me. A smile of contentment, appreciation, pride. He was happy. He was thinking something just then, and I caught the beautiful moment of its manifestation. And the most beautiful thing is, I believe he was thinking it of his daughters.

I will imbed that memory into my head forever.

I smiled back, and pulled more glad wrap over the bowl.

Third, the beer-spitting incident. As we were leaving sis’ house, baby girl sat next to her best friend (the family dog) and did a little sneeze. As I walked past her, there was a second, extremely loud noise, and a tremendous splatter of liquid happened along one side of my body. Bro-in-law had taken a swig of drink from a can, and had a tickle in his throat that he couldn’t contain, resulting in a huge cough splurting out. Although I was the one spat on, I laughed just as hard as the others, while the dog looked up at us like this was perfectly normal. I laughed so hard, my belly hurt.

What a way to end the night.

Splashing, meeting loving smiling eyes, and laughing. A pretty perfect day. I sure am appreciative.