#659 Setting up the Tree – 4 year old Baby Girl edition

Ok, enough tears and doom and gloom and all round SAP.

I woke today, with determination. ZEST. And most importantly…

Festive Spirit. Because it was the 4th day of December, and this most greatest lover of Christmas did not have her Christmas tree up and decorated!

The insanity.

In my defence, I did BEGIN last week when it was late-November, when I laid down the foundations to the main tree, and baby girl’s tree…

You see, I take hours, even days to get it all done properly – because, OCD. I set up the basis, the branches first. And then I go back to lights, decorations, and then there is a condition known as Perfect Ornament Placement Disorder…. yep.

And then I decorate the house. Banners, Christmas paraphernalia, little lights, Santas in all forms… I am NOT like those people who post their trees on facebook. They have one tree in the corner of their living room with some tinsel and three kinds of same-shaped baubles in varying colours from the same 20 pack box they bought at Kmart.

No. The Christmas decorating is an artform. The Christmas decorating is a tradition. The Christmas decorating, is an experience.

So today in true festive spirit, I donned the traditional Christmas decorating hat (really just a Santa hat but it’s become the norm now) and put on SIA’s latest Christmas album (by the by, AMAZING) and got cracking.

I must admit, the hat got in the way as I was winding the lights around the tree, and for all of 5 seconds I removed it… and then I asked myself “do you like Christmas, or are you a scrooge?” and I put the hat back on, irritating or NOT.

Then some more SIA vibes wore off on me as I went on decorating

until it was baby girl’s turn. See I had the most fabulous idea months earlier, when lo and behold in said Kmart (I never said they weren’t good) I came across a mini Christmas tree… and the Christmas lover in me, clapped her hands excitedly and with much joy at the prospect of a special tree just for baby girl’s room.

I didn’t need to encourage or convince her, AT ALL.

So we got cracking on her one too. I already had some baubles I don’t use anymore (i.e. I got over-excited one year as all Christmas-mad people do, and bought too many baubles before deciding on my Christmas tree colour scheme… yep, the colours are super important) and as well as some other special pieces and a bauble she picked the other day from the shops, she got to it. (She had to wear ‘the hat too… for all of 2 minutes it lasted).

When she was done, I said “baby girl stand next to the tree.”

NEXT TO.

This:

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She cracks me up.

Once a couple of hours had passed, I was fairly pleased with our efforts.

Never mind the house is a complete pig-sty and our fridge is in our lounge room because LONG DRAWN OUT KITCHEN RENOS, but who’s mad, frustrated, pissed off? NOT ME NOT ME NOT ME.

No, we are festive and Christmas-ready, and that’s ALL that matters.

 

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#654 Mills Beach Love… and the ‘true story’ behind the photos

There is a whole other side to the sweet, loving and idyllic photos that people post so often on social media.

And that definitely includes MINE.

I generally do post more happy stuff… I used to sometimes rant about something that might annoy me, and only after reading other rants on facebook, did I realise it was really unnecessary, and negative-drawing. I didn’t really feel much better about myself, my life, or that person when I read such quotes, and it made me realise that stuff like that was not needed online.

Not to confuse a day-to-day ‘I’m so pissed at the traffic today’ rant with a serious issue that needs attention and addressing. No that is fine, pull ALL the support and help from ALL the social media outlets, and gather the troops around as much as you need with your furious words. We need your PASSION.

So, I do post occasionally about our day-to-day lives, more so when we are doing something fun – I mean, does anyone wanna see us sitting on the couch in our pjs eating breakfast and watching Shimmer and Shine? Yeah I thought not.

shimmer and shine

But the story behind the photo often runs so much deeper, it travels something like an episode of Mr. Bean, it can be that frustratingly hilarious and stupid.

Take TODAY. Perfect example.

It was hot, and we went to the beach. I posted a photo of Hubbie and baby girl… for certain reasons I will not repeat that photo here, but instead here is another:

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You get my drift. Relaxation, fun in the sun, blue waters, chilling in the shade as I watch my family in the water…

Good times…

??? Or not?

Here is the REAL story. Because yes I am grateful we went to one of our favourite beaches today as a family on one of our few days off together, but seriously… we were ALL nearly crying at various stages.

Firstly, we got there late. 3:30pm, and this was after we stopped at Baker’s for some bread rolls, and Hubbie got a cheap knife from Woolies (more on that later) because he had forgotten to bring one from home, and then because he had a couple of beers for himself, he was ever so kind, through the 30+ degree heat of the day, to head over to the nearby Dan Murphy’s to get me some kind of mixed drink.

Hubbie and I hadn’t had lunch. Baby girl was the only fed one.

Arriving at the hottest time of the day with several bags, 3 beach chairs, a folded up tent, towels, and walking about in the hot sand when we were hungry and starving, is trying enough.

But we did it. We set up the tent, almost stuffing it up (but we made it!) and then I just launched into the water where baby girl was already playing, sitting down immediately it was that bloody beautifully warm.

So, all good. I headed back to the tent where Hubbie was getting some stuff ready, applying sunscreen for himself, etc etc… I went to get the drink Hubbie got for me.

Rekorderlig is not paying me but I won’t say no if they come knocking. 

So I found this cider and I was like “yes!” as it’s been ages since I had one. I went to open it up, looking at him questioningly as I said “screw top?”

“Yeah,” he replied casually, at the same time looking over to the bottle in my hand and his face dropping. Because he just realised that it is in fact NOT a screw top, and it required a bottle opener.

Damn.

I sighed. I hadn’t eaten, Hubbie was getting crankier by the second, I could just feel the waves of irritation blowing off of him, and now we had no opener.

I wanted a bloody drink.

“We have one in the car,” he said, and I relaxed somewhat.

The way I am obsessed about tissue boxes being in every part of the house, scissors and nail clippers and nail filers being both upstairs and downstairs, he is a total fuss-pot and needs to have bottle openers scattered everywhere, house, car and probably his pants, because, IN CASE.

“Can you put some sunscreen on my back?” I asked him.

He raised his eyebrows. “Is that before or after you want me to get the bottle opener and make your lunch?”

I ignored him and smiled. “Yes now.” But we were already getting to that point.

So he went and got the bottle opener. I had a drink, and took the above photo. Fine. I joined him and baby girl in the shallow waters, and we splashed about. Also good. And then he went back to the tent to make my lunch.

Now, I didn’t tell him to make my lunch. We had previously decided on grabbing some of those spinach and cheese/pizza rolls at Baker’s as it was a quick and easy bite especially when we were at the beach. I would have made a pasta salad and brought it with us if our stove was connected – our house and kitchen area is still a mess. So this is what I was thinking, this is what we even said out loud to each other… but then this dude of mine, somehow decided that it would be easier, to buy plain rolls at Baker’s, and then fill them… himself…

You know what he brought with him? Tuna, feta, and tomato. On a 34 degree day amidst SAND.

MORE on that debacle later.

Meanwhile, baby girl and I were in the water. It was amazing, and we were having a ball. I kept asking her, “do you have to go pee?” because I was just getting this vibe off her, I know her so well. She was saying no, so I would let the topic go, but then she’d pipe up “I don’t have to go pee.”

When she says she doesn’t have to go pee, I KNOW she HAS to go and pee.

I finally convinced her to go and pee before coming back. “I promise honey, we are coming back, I wouldn’t lie to you.” She took my hand and off we went.

Now, this is a purely female thing, and I say this because I told Hubbie and he had no idea… but after being in the water for a bit, when us chicks have to pee later, sometimes the urine comes out warm. I know, I’m sorry, using words like URINE and all, bad enough I’m saying PEE. I think it has something to do with our nether-regions being all cold, and our urine isn’t actually warm, it’s our parts that our cold, therefore our urine feels warm.

Enough explanation, if anyone actually knows, please advise in the comments below.

I sat baby girl on the toilet seat, and waited. She immediately yelled “ouch!” and started to whinge/cry. I ascertained that it was her pee, as she has reacted a bit like that before, but not so strongly. I was telling her, comforting her and saying “it’s just a bit warm, everything is ok, it’s not that bad,” but then she suddenly wasn’t peeing – she was holding on – and I was getting worried/upset. Worried because it is not good to hold in your pee (being a Mum shit like this scares you as kids can easily develop infections) but also upset because it is NOT THAT BAD AND SHE IS BEING A DRAMA QUEEN.

For at least 5 minutes I stayed with her in the loo as she got upset at not peeing/holding it in. I tried to console her, then I played bad cop and was like “we’ll go home if you don’t go toilet, you have to go!” But she was STILL upset and said “go home.”

Go home? This girl LOVES the water! Something must not have been right if she was happy to go home.

I got her out of there, REALLY mad. I stomped/limped across the hot sand, baby girl limping too behind me, as we got to Hubbie…

slaving away in the tent.

“I am not happy!” I told him, proceeding to go on about how she wouldn’t ‘go,’ but she had to ‘go,’ but she was holding it in. I told him that we were going home. You know… reverse psychology?

And he went “yeah let’s go… it’s been a shit day.”

?!?!

He continued. “I’m never doing this again!” He had his newly-bought $3 knife, wrappers, a plastic bag as a rubbish bin, food and tins and all kinds of crumbs all around him, and he was SWEATING. “I’m here making YOUR sandwich, it’s a mess, I’m hot, it’s at least 10 degrees hotter in this tent…”

Meanwhile, I was trying SO damn hard to keep my cool. I ended up convincing baby girl to try and pee in the grass behind the beach boxes, as maybe the novelty would help her relax.

Nope. Instead I ended up with something that resembled a small leech on my leg that wouldn’t come off until I scratched it off, and off we went back to the tent, MORE MAD/SAD.

I pretty much ordered her to stay in there, and not move until she went to the loo first. She resigned herself to this, and I sat down to eat this God-damn roll Hubbie had prepared for me, as he sooked and moaned. He pushed the side of the tent away from him as a sudden strong breeze blew the tent wall against him, swearing loudly, and a nearby girl looked over at us as she heard it.

We are European-descendants people. We don’t swear/argue in public. How EMBARRASSMENT. I unleashed.

“Can you fix your f*&king attitude? Honestly all day today, can you just look at yourself? Did I ask you to make me a bloody sandwich, NO, I don’t know what is wrong with you, who brings tuna and feta and a tomato they have to cut at the beach?! There is sand everywhere!”

Like, what the actual fuck.

He went quiet, as I went quiet, chomping on this odd combo of tuna/feta/tomato that somehow worked in a seriously strange way which I would NEVER TELL HIM, picking out the chilli piece in the tuna that he FORGOT TO REMOVE.

Baby girl chomped on a bread roll, Hubbie just sat, and in a few minutes I was back in the water, trying to make her all jelly that she wasn’t allowed to go in. Mean parental tactics maybe, but I was trying to prevent an infection damn it!

In the end, this stubborn girl (wonder where she gets that from?) won. Hubbie ‘let’ her come down to the water, and though I contested it at first, I let it go.

Just like Elsa. LET IT GO.

frozen-let-it-go-photo

 

Which leads me to this next pic.

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Don’t they look serene? Isn’t the water just so sparkling and magical? Oh the joy to go to the beach with your family? Oh, WHAT LOVE! ♥♥

?!?!

You see? You see the shit we had to go through? Hubbie swearing against the tent, the beach, the weather, the sand, about ALL MANNER OF SHIT, baby girl refusing to take a shit or anything else for that matter, and then me, trying to hold the insanity together, and trying so damn hard to ‘think positive.’

:):):)

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Not f*&king easy! :):):)

Yes, we did end up having a really great day, eventually… we were kind of like an overseas commercial at one stage, the one promoting the family having an awesome time on a beach getaway as they all go crazy splashing each other and laughing like mad. We were so Hawaii.  But don’t get too jelly, because when we got home, we were tired and cranky, ate dinner late, Hubbie was a yo-yo as his mood swung from relieved to cranky to funny to shitty, and I was there like

“WTF?”

Both my babes are sleeping now so I love them sooo much. But before.

Before…

Just a reminder that not all things are as they appear in the photos. I still love Mills Beach. I loved our day together. But I think I could have done without the Mr. Bean dramas…

And closure for those keeping score. I realised once we were much happier later on in the afternoon that there is an opening at the back of the tent that can be zipped open, allowing cool air to waft through, keeping it at the same temp as outside. Hear that Hubbie?

And baby girl held her pee in until she got home… and then went normally.

So I actually don’t know what was wrong earlier, or what in fact happened. Much like ALL OF MOTHERHOOD.

 

 

 

 

 

#606 Being able to Give

I feel lucky to be a part of a community that cares so much about those less fortunate around them.

And I am grateful, that like them, I am able to give what I have to those that are in need.

It need not be heaps of money, pricey items or even the most expensive of commodities, TIME.

Helping how you can, in the smallest of ways as what it may seem like to you, is help enough.

I have been following an ongoing facebook thread in a local page I follow, of two women who take in unwanted/unused household items and clothing, to give to those unable to afford it, because they are experiencing some horrible hardship. The most common of unfortunate circumstances has been when someone in the family is sick, and therefore all of their money goes to medical treatments, rather than other things which usually a necessity, become a luxury.

So when the call out went to Summer clothing in girls items aged 3-4, I knew it was time to step up.

I went through baby girl’s wardrobe, looking for specific items to donate. As it is I have kept most of her clothes and parted only with some, for the main reason that there is a possibility that I could one day have another girl, and she could use many of these beautiful items.

Now having said that, I know that if I were to really have another girl, I would probably only use a very minute amount of these ‘recycled’ clothes, and buy the rest, from sheer want of getting pretty new things for her. I think really, I find it hard to let go of these clothes once baby girl grows out of them due to the memories attached, and I use the ‘recycle’ excuse as cover.

But I did what I could anyway, and popped some pretty things in a bag. I stalled at two dresses, and so thought best I call in baby girl for help.

“Baby girl, these two dresses… do you think they’re too small? Mummy was going to give some of your small things to a sick girl.”

Baby girl looked at the dresses, thinking.

Finally she settled, letting me know that yes, I could give away the two smaller ones, yet definitely do not give away the one on the right Mum.

Such a girl.

And that’s it. I was humbled by the presence of sickness and health, of love and sadness, and of introducing an important topic to baby girl… that of giving to those less fortunate, and the stark nature of Life as we know it.

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Photo by ORNELLA BINNI on Unsplash

#567 Father’s Day Wine-ing time

I did good today.

Hubbie was rapt with his Father’s Day pressie.

It came on the back of him telling me a while back that he was seriously over the accumulation of things. I had to agree. We still have unopened boxes from our move, and I just want to go through them and cull what I can… and even then I will still have stuff that I have no proper home for.

Following on from a Facebook question from a member in a group I’m in, about kid-friendly wineries on the Peninsula, my ears immediately perked up and I formed a plan. I have been hanging to go to a winery in these parts since our move, and now with Spring upon us, and then the addition of ‘what to do for Father’s Day,’ I went through the list to see where we could go as an experience, rather than just get Hubbie a present for the day.

It was meant to be Hickinbotham. It was the first number I called from the list of kid-friendly wineries listed, and they were able to book us in for a set lunch.

Well, the weather was not Spring-like, not one bit. It was very windy, there was sudden rain at times, and it was cold.

But the winery, was wine-like. Authentic and vintage, relaxed and unpretentious. It was perfect.

And Hubbie LOVED it. Absolutely loved it.

And we kind of decided that experiences are the way to go. Yeah, sometimes you don’t mind a gift, and sometimes you even really want something really bad…

and then other times, you just want to splurge. And we did.

Hubbie is one fussy man, so to get points off him…

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was present enough.

#523 Meeting like minds

It’s been 9 months and 1 week since we moved here. A lot has changed in that time but also, very little.

On our first night we slept on solely the mattress on our bedroom floor, and I felt what was the first gust of cold seaside wind as it wafted on by from under our ensuite door.

Tonight we are freezing our arses off, because our heater has broken.

Like I said, same same. (You can be sure I’ll be damn grateful when that ancient monstrosity of a heating system is repaired).

But then, other things are beginning to change. Have changed. Hubbie found his groove, and a group of locals from the area, once he found work here. Likewise, baby girl started her first year of kinder by the beachside, and has also found little playmates here and there. They’ve both solidly positioned themselves in our new ‘hood, and meanwhile, here I am.

Here I am.

I work on the city fringe which took any meet-the-locals opportunities away from me immediately. And though I know Hubbie’s workmates, and I sometimes chat to the kinder Mums, I really wanted to find something for myself, here on my own, FOR ME.

A while back, I very accidentally stumbled across a local bloggers group on Facebook. I’d joined many local FB groups, for that whole intention: to learn, be in the know, and perhaps learn something novel, or even make new friends along the way.

I didn’t even think a group for local bloggers existed: but, so it was.

Cue today. Today I met up with some of these bloggers and their kiddies, in a post that will appear over at SmikG very soon. The kids ran amuck, while we as bloggers, positioned our cameras (who am I kidding, my phone) into every nook and cranny of the establishment we were in, taking shots here, there and everywhere. 

It was out in the open, nothing at all like any of my previous posts based on life experiences or food, or anything ever that I have written ever was.

I was OPENLY OUT as a blogger. It was fantastic. And made even more so, by meeting people, who like me, had turned online to promote a medium, for whatever art they deemed interesting to themselves: whether it was life, children, providing a service, or promoting a business, I came in, with nothing to lose, no one who knew me, and I felt as light as a feather.

Not nervous. Curious.

Not scared. Excited.

Not shy. Questioning.

Not only a blogger… but a Writer.

I loved the day, and the meeting of all of these people. I don’t know what will come of it, and how this group, or these people, will play a role in my life, or if they will play one AT ALL… but I’m excited at this new beginning our Sea change has brought us, and am hopeful that after today, many more experiences of being OUT as a Writer/Blogger, will abound.

Actually, I’m pretty damn sure this is only the beginning.

I am exceptionally grateful, indeed. 🙂

 

#442 Hubbie the handyman – the beginning

I am so confident about this, that I’m calling it the beginning. Of course, I have never before used the words ‘Hubbie,’ and ‘handyman’ in the same sentence… oh no, I lie. It was just in a negative tense: “Hubbie is NOT a handyman.”

So this is a big deal. This is actually GREAT. After weeks and weeks and months and absolute yonks of putting it off, Hubbie finally gave a go of changing our current old and wonky en-suite doorknob, to a new and fresh and certainly more modern looking one.

It took a while. I sat nearby on the bed most of the time, staring at the instructions blankly, holding the door and the handles when required, finding extension cords, and scrolling through my facebook feed intermittently – that is to say, I was practically of no use. That’s fine. My talents lie in other fields…

However, if not even one of us can do kind of basic reno stuff, our house is going to cost us a God-damn fortune. Sure we are gonna get professionals to re-do our kitchen and other major things, but like, a door handle? If we are getting tradies in to change stuff like that, we’ll need to grow ourselves a money tree or just wait forever, whatever comes first.

But, HE DID IT. After much scratching of the head and heavy pondering, Hubbie changed the door knob, and it looks great, AND it actually works!

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I’m so proud of his perseverance, I knew he had it in him ;*

#436 Tea and reclaimed Easter egg muffins

You know how some days you just need a tea? I’m talking to you coffee drinkers out there. I don’t have to reconvert a tea aficionado to know how good a drink of little-itty-bitty leaves can be.

But today, I knew from the morning, on this cold and dreary day, that I would eventually need a tea. My soul was asking for it. And how rude of me to ignore the inner wishes of my psyche, so of course, I complied.

But I went further. I had seen a fellow facebook ‘friend’ post a photo of some muffins she had made using some box mix, and thrown in a whole heap of chopped up Easter chocolate, to use it up.

‘What a great idea!’ I had thought. Hubbie and I are way more cake people than we are chocolate ones. However if I left baby girl to her own devices, she may just block herself up on all the Easter treats she received this year, let’s be honest. So I have most of it stashed away, and like all the other years before it, it would eventually get to a crumbly white faded texture, and then we’d throw the poor chocolate away.

But this?! Popping chocolate into a plain old muffin mixture? I could do that every week!

So I found a reasonably simple muffin recipe I had, that used orange and strawberry as an afternoon treat, and instead substituted that with a bunch of Easter eggs chopped up.

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I was surprised at how good they were. And as per usual, my soul’s wish for tea, was touched indeed. Ahhh 🙂