#591 Gutsy Hubbie

He is tough, my love. Inside, he is super soft, like the sweetest marshmallow, the cuddliest bunny, or the sweetest pussycat you could ever feast your eyes on.

Yet still, he is tough as guts.

He has done tough things. Gutsy things. Brave things.

COURAGE GUTS. He woke up one day, and just decided he was going to find a new job. He was going to put himself out there, and into a field he wasn’t especially learned with, and just go for it.

He got the job.

PERSEVERANCE GUTS. He has been working 50 plus hours a week, for about 5 years now. He does this for us, for our family, so we can live a nice life. He gets up early, he works long hours, and he doesn’t complain, or whinge, or moan, when I am at home with baby girl, and he is in a cold meat room working for US.

STRENGTH GUTS. He had to get a tooth out recently. I admit, I was a tad nervous for him, but didn’t dare show it. He went into it with such strength and determination. With his usual wit, humour, and can-do attitude.

Sure, he was scared. I know he was. To know someone will be cutting into your gum, removing your tooth AND the root, while scraping off bits of bone for grafting, while you lie in the chair alert, hearing it ALL, that is freaky stuff.

I have pushed a child out, and still I say, that is freaky stuff.

But he did it, and came out of the surgery room, two thumbs up.

We sang Dora The Explorer on the way home. Her end of episode tune “We did it!”

That is his humour.

And today he showed me some more guts.

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I-CAN-DO-ANYTHING GUTS.

A couple of weeks ago he proclaimed that if the decades long underdog, Richmond team of the AFL, were to be in the finals, he would mimic the out-there hairstyle sported by one of the team’s best players. As it was, the player in question ‘Dusty’ Martin, won the Brownlow medal earlier this week, a medal awarded each year to the league’s best and fairest on field, and this was after it was confirmed that Richmond would indeed be in the final.

Why would he do this? He isn’t even a Richmond supporter. But his Dad was. And in true spirit, a nod to his father, and in acknowledging that his Dad would be excited about his team making it so far, Hubbie made a vow that he was going to get his hair done in this buzz-cut style of Mohawk-Mullet.

I had to sigh. Like when he actually told me this, I just went “mmm hmm.”

Of course I didn’t believe it.

He told me again and I started to think there was more substance to his previous crazy-happy outburst.

And then he told me his work mates knew.

And suddenly, I knew it was serious. He couldn’t back out now.

“Are you sure?” I had asked him.

“It’s only hair. It’ll grow back.”

GUTS.

And so it will. And so he did. He got his hair cut today and the feedback has been pretty spectacular to say the least.

I am proud of my Hubbie. I am proud of his guts, his can-do attitude, and the fact that he doesn’t care what people think… it doesn’t faze him at all.

And what do I think? I think it is not as bad as what I had imagined. Whether I do or I don’t though, I love this marshmallow strawberry-centred man all the same. ♥♥♥

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#482 My sister’s birthday

There are some days, lo and behold, that I get as excited by as I do my own birthday – and apart from Christmas and Easter, these other days are the birthdays of my immediate family.

I mean, who doesn’t want to celebrate one of the most important people in their life, to commemorate the day they were brought onto this earth, and immediately made all things better with their presence?

The day I was so excited to commemorate today was that of my sister’s birthday.

The day was cold and crisp, but the sun was glorious in its strict denial of taking on any Winter gloom. Perfect for her. The rays shone bright on her special day, just as her vibrant and uplifting presence fills those around her with constant joy and happiness.

There were select family and friends. A medium group, but one that knew each other well. Casual combo, sometimes serious, sometimes light, sometimes banter, most times shit-stirring. Food, plenty of cake, drinks and then the few ‘shots,’ a throwback to all the parties we used to down years before we had kids, when we’d go one, after one, after one, after one…

We’ll get to that stage again, I’m sure. This is my family after all.

And then the night ended happily, as is the norm, with baby girl and sister sharing a ride on the egg chair…

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Weee! they went! Round and round, ’til the movements grew slow, the hand went past midnight, and baby girl’s head leant against her aunty’s, eyes drooping as she still tried to watch her fave Explorer on Netflix.

And it was another great night, to celebrate an amazing woman in my life.

Happy Birthday big sis :*

#475 Saturday Night In no.2

Last weekend, I was absolutely HANGING to get to this weekend.

Birthday bash? Big par-tay? Night out with girls? Wait, no – night out with Hubbie?

No, no, no, and NO.

I’ve been looking forward to this weekend, all week, because all I’ve really wanted to do was nothing.

Absolutely, positively, NOTHING.

I have embraced Winter in its entirety and officially started hibernating, you may think. And this is part true. In fact, a post about how great Winter is will follow in due course (true story).

But all I wanted this weekend, was to have no plans. Nothing to do. Nothing to rush and be busy about. I’m actually feeling quite anti-social, in that I’ve been looking forward to nothing else but hanging out and spending some quality time with Hubbie and baby girl. The madness of May, with all of its big celebrations and festivities, and just as many stresses and headaches, although all for a good cause, has just left me tired. Just needing me time. Just needing, ME, to do NOTHING.

Just for a little while. I know that in a week or so, or a few if this cold perseveres, I’ll be up and at it again, and partying just as hard as any 21 year old, as hyped up as any kid that’s just eaten a bag full of smarties, and buzzing just as hard as a beekeeper’s pants. I assume they buzz sometimes, you know.

But tonight, was bliss. It was so much nothing, that it really was the perfect remedy for any previous party sores and shenanigans.

I made a herbal tea when I got home from work, and sat with baby girl on my lap, watching Paw Patrol. She leant her head back against me as we sat watching animated dogs on TV. I breathed.

Later we got takeaway – where along with my Pad Thai I snuck in some cheeky Nutella Puffs (basically deep-fried pastry filled with a slab of yours truly), and along with a delicious glass (or two, or more) of 2014 cab sav, I inhaled. Again.

Later again, baby girl sat on the couch with me after I had taken a hot shower, and now while watching Dora, leant her head on my shoulder. Awww 🙂

A picture perfect night. Just what the doctor ordered. And still, the night ain’t over yet…

 

#463 The calm after the Partay no. 2

It was so nice, just to be.

No rushing. No pressure to get things done by a certain time. No anxiety. No stress. No intense planning and strategy to cram as much into one day as possible.

No. Just a casual grocery shopping trip with baby girl. Some lunch. Cleaning. Washing. Putting away stuff that has been piling up. Sorting her old clothes away. Sweeping some leaves. Sitting out in the yard, on a glorious day where Autumn was trying her damn hardest to remind us of impending Spring, watching baby girl simultaneously manoeuvre both her scooter and Dora the Explorer bike, while I sat and looked towards the beach end, the huge tree we have prominently in my vision with its pretty pink flowers.

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Nothing to remind me of what has passed, of all the stresses and intensity gone… except for the cakes in my kitchen.

Today was a great day. So calm, so peaceful, and right now, I can’t get enough.

#408 Meeting Dora

I was about 5 or 6 when my sister took me to go and meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse. It was the late 80s, and back then, it was a BIG DEAL. The photo is hanging out somewhere in my parents house, but I remember the awe of it all, and the humongous queues to get a photo taken with them. It was really, really momentous.

Apart from that, that is my only brush with kiddie fame. And I was thinking today, what a difference a few decades make.

Back then, Minnies and Mickeys only ventured out of Disneyland, like once in a blue moon. And if you met them, that was like the holy grail, the Christmas of Christmases, the highlight of your sweet, sweet childhood.

Nowadays though? Baby girl has been to 4 Wiggles concerts, been in close contact with Lah Lah’s band and posed with the accordion player, had photos with both Bananas in Pyjamas, Upsy Daisy and Iggle Piggle from In The Night Garden, and today, the latest addition.

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And she is only 3 and a half.

She met Dora at Westfield Southland today, and it was amazing. I mean, for her. I watched proudly as she confidently walked up to the top of the stage steps, to wait her turn for a meet ‘n’ greet, and then strode purposefully towards one of her idols for a big all-encompassing hug and photo op.

When I saw the size of Dora, a little part of me went ‘Yikes.’ I mean, this was a super-sized Dora! I was concerned baby girl would cower slightly and need strong nudging before hesitantly making her way towards her.

But nope. This seasoned professional, who has already seen so much, and so many of her favourite entertainers, did me so, so proud.

And the best bit? The novelty HASN’T worn off. She is still as excited and thrilled seeing Dora today, as she was 2 and a half years ago when she went up to Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy in the shopping centre and happily gave them warm hugs.

It is still sweet. And I will encourage that sense of wonder and innocence, of youthful exuberance and gratitude in her, for as long as I live.

#277 The start of Christmas shopping

I’ve been stressing lately over how I am going to get anything done for Christmas – traditional baking, present buying, and just general decoration and festive prep, when baby girl is currently disallowing me from entering any shops that don’t comply with her standards. Unless there is a Dora the Explorer in the shop, that puts any store without one of her fave characters on the ‘naughty’ list.

She downright refuses. She screams. She even throws herself down on the ground. She will not enter, and if I do, she makes it very difficult for me to do any kind of shopping. It’s made me very tense and anxious at what is meant to be a very happy time of the year for me. I love Christmas.

So it came as a pleasant surprise when earlier this evening I realised while we were down at the bottle shop, (getting some beer and cider top-ups) that I could buy some presents while there, for Christmas. They had great hamper-style packages, and I mean who doesn’t like a free glass with their favourite coffee-liqueur beverage?!

I had Hubbie, baby girl was sitting on the bottom of the trolley using it as a free ride, and I went around quickly grabbing things and using the awesome opportunity to just do as much as I could. I got 5 gifts for some of our friends, and I left feeling so relieved.

Maybe I’ll get there after all.

3 days before the start of December and things ain’t looking too shabby…

#271 Laying in bed together

‘I think’ I may have mentioned that some things have been difficult as of late. One of these things has been the changed routine to baby girl’s bedtime.

You see, before we moved, I would go into her room with her… we’d do a little sing-song of the ABC displayed on her drawers, followed by her turning off the light and subsequently finding me in the dark… then I would stand by her cot and gently prod her to come over… when she did I would pick her up, put her in the cot, and then wait another few minutes while she got the last shred of energy she had out by jumping about the cot like a maniac… and then she would request some water, so I would bring some to her…

And then, she would lie down, I would kiss her forehead, whisper I love you, and creep out of the room while she fell asleep on her own.

Any non-parents wanna become parents after that description?!

Wait, it gets better…

After moving, things have clearly changed. Not only are we in a new house, but she is in a new room, downstairs, while we are upstairs. And also, I decided to start afresh and plonk her straight in a proper bed and out of her cot.

When I tried to leave her room in this house, she would simply follow me out. Well, she could. So why not? It’s a game of course, bedtime that is, and staying up and aggravating your parents is the most natural thing for a toddler to do…

So I had to change things up. Introduce a wind-down routine. We read books. At the moment, our nightly quota is 5 books. Here’s how it goes:

We read 5 books… then I tell her I’m getting her a sip of water… I get the water, while she looks around disinterested, pretending to read, staring at her Dora bedsheets… when I leave the room, she suddenly comes charging after me, now wanting the water…  I go back in her room, giving her water… she reacts very slowly, as if she has just had 10 litres of water… she eventually has water after I threaten her with something, like no more babycinos/no more beach/flies will come into her room if she doesn’t behave… one of these tactics works and after her water she lies in bed… I then turn off the light and sit at the edge of her bed until she falls asleep, and I only can guess at this by the sound of her breathing… and then I proceed to creep out of the room as stealthily as I can, Tom Cruise Mission-Impossible style, my heart racing intensely and breathing a sigh of relief when I am out.

Don’t ask me what happens if she wakes up while I’m creeping out. It’s happened twice, and it’s so frustrating.

You know, the above would actually be funny if it weren’t happening to me.

The huge difference between the two, other than the obvious varying routines from old house to new, is the fact that in old house, I could leave her to fall asleep on her own since she was in a cot and couldn’t get out… in the new house, if I leave her to fall asleep on her own, she follows me because she can… so to counteract I sit there until she is asleep.

I lose about 30 plus minutes sometimes waiting for her to fall asleep, and then subsequently acting like Tom Cruise on my exit out. That’s 30 plus minutes of writing time, catching-up-on-anything time, me time, lost. It’s not like I’m spending those 30 plus minutes doing something special, or bonding with her. I’m just hunched over, getting cramps in my legs and thinking there is no way I can keep this up when I am eventually pregnant again.

But, lately we’ve been doing something different that makes it all the more bearable.

The last couple of nights I’ve climbed into bed with her to read, instead of sitting on her toybox beside her bed. And tonight, she moved over to make some room, and patted the spot next to her as if to say “here Mum.”

It didn’t change anything about the routine itself, it still played itself out like every other night… but somehow, lying next to her and pointing to animals and letters and colours in her books, was made that much more special by our heads being so close by.

You know non-parents, you should have kids… moments like that are what we live for, and they’re the sweetest gifts there are to receive.