#893 “Oh, Nothing!”

As a parent, when your child’s usually raucous self-entertainment and high-level amusement comes to a s-l-o-w silence… 

It can mean no good.

Silence, and kids, is never a good combination. Only when they sleep can they be forgiven for it (and the parents that beg for it, well it is a God-send).

The absence of noise can only mean – disruption, and damage.

There will be drawing on the walls.

Barbie dolls will suddenly go bald.

And your prized collector’s edition DVDs will suddenly become frisbees as they fly across the room and smash into the wall.

And apart from silence, I have another indicator that baby girl has been up to no good.

She will say, randomly out of nowhere, in a naively revealing way “Oh, nothing.”

If I’ve just entered a room, and she has uttered this phrase, I know without doubt that the ‘oh, nothing,’ actually means… something.

It is hilarious, because every time she is announcing it and dobbing herself in, without me even being aware of anything happening.

Her Dad sneaking her sweets after I’ve said no – “oh, nothing!”

Grabbing my phone and doing a runner – “oh, nothing!”

Giving her barbie doll a ‘trim’ (I had to get the above example from somewhere)“oh, nothing!”

It is so comical, that I can never be upset, even if she has gone directly against something I’ve said. Her honesty and delivery of the words make it highly entertaining.

And the best part of all?

When I use it on her.

If I have some surprise for her, I’ll just call out casually “oh, nothing.”

Watch how she runs! Because as we all know, nothing, always means, something.

Two can play at this game. 😉

#867 Saturday night at Southland

Balance. It is key. We have had our fair share of ‘Saturday nights in,’ in this cold and Winter-y weather… so that as soon as Hubbie and I were done with work for today, we were like “let’s go out!”

Baby girl echoed our sentiments. She’s the boss, so we had to obey.

Over to Southland it was. We gorged on delicious and comforting food at TGIs, a parent’s restaurant delight, as there is so much kid-friendly food, a kid-friendly atmosphere, and their desserts and cocktails are pretty damn strong awesome.

We happily lapped it up, before taking a stroll towards…

Totally Games.

It was Saturday night, and the first weekend of the school holidays, so of course it was packed. Baby girl went all psycho, running from game to game, yelling that she had to play them all, squealing at the subsequent tickets that came cascading out, and letting it be known to all in the store that SHE HAD ARRIVED.

It was hilarious, and yet so heart-warming at the same time. I took such pleasure in watching her run around and be so happy. We all participated a bit, but she was the main conductor, shooting hoops, squirting ducks with water guns, and bowling to her hearts content.

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It was beautiful to see, amidst the lights of the shop, how much her face turned animated and bright amongst it all.

And then of course Hubbie went all OTT and threw the bowling ball so hard it nearly went through the store window.

Like, calm down Hubbie. Let the girl play. Geez.

At the end of it all, we probably spent about $13 in games, that resulted in her getting a squishy tomato and two mini yo-yos, all of which was probably only $.75 cents worth… but that’s the store for you.

Seeing her face, feeling her joy, and joining in with her, was priceless. ♥

#781 The heart symbol

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What do you think the symbol for the above heart represents today?

My heart-to-heart with Hubbie where I spewed all my troubles onto him, and I didn’t feel I was worrying him, he just listened and heard me? That was heart.

Baby girl serenading me at bedtime, singing “I love you you you you you, I love you you you you you…”? That made me laugh, and it was ALL heart.

Playing Frozen Bingo with my family? Memories – heart.

Actually, the heart moment happened this afternoon, when baby girl caught up with an old kinder friend today at the park, and her friend handed her this envelope. It contained a card inside, with a drawn picture of the two of them holding hands, and the word ‘Love.’

And although all of the above things gave me some hope of heart today, it was this little gesture of growing friendship and reciprocated love, that made my heart swell.

Oh, my heart. ♥♥♥

 

 

#764 Games with our girl

We spend so much of our lives, rushing from A to K to Z, thinking of the future, reminiscing about the past, and constantly in a state of planning, that we often forget to live, engage and be in the present.

It’s synonym is gift for a reason.

I always have things to do. I guess, duh Fred, EVERYONE’S life story. I guess my point is, in my spare time I rarely am lounging about watching hours of TV on end. I try to limit my social media use when it is just aimless trawling trawling trawling through news feeds. Recently I’ve begun planning out my days meticulously, so I can get in the maximum number of productive seconds, minutes and hours out of it that I can while baby girl is at kinder. This usually involves Zumba, some kind of writing, and then doing some sort of house-related organisational activity, a work in progress that is 18 months growing following our move (still!)

But just as I am always trying to tick things off my never-ending eternal to-do list, so am I realising I need to sometimes, just stop. Sit and DO nothing, for like, 5 minutes. Go through that mag that’s been sitting on the coffee table.

Play with baby girl.

I am very aware of her words to me. I am also aware of phrases I use like “I’m too busy,” “I can’t now” and “after.” I don’t like to use them, and then again, at times you can’t avoid them. You will be in the throes of something, let’s say dinner, and if I were to stop and go and play with baby girl’s barbie dolls, well our dinner would end up being blackened chicken schnitzel with burnt mini pizzas and soggy vegies.

But as was the case today, I stopped. Baby girl asked if we could play an exciting game, and I paused – I am so used to thinking of what I am doing next that I didn’t even realise that there was nothing I had planned for that moment – and said “sure. Let’s play.”

She was to be sleeping beauty, and I was to get her Anna, Elsa, and another barbie doll, and wake her up by presenting to her the Prince. I did just that, getting the dolls to wake her up off of the carpeted floor, but she did her trademark “no, like this,” and showed me by kissing me on the nose, that she was expecting a kiss from Prince charming himself.

I smiled. Okay then.

I instructed her to stay there on the floor, then ran off to her room to get something. Back I came, with her dolls, and doing some pretend doll voices, the dolls then presented the Prince to a sleeping, Beauty. He leant down, gave her a kiss… she woke up…

And it was her Captain Feathersword doll.

The look of wild hilarity and fun spread across her face as she refused his ‘advances,’ and we doubled over on the floor cacking ourselves silly. I took the turn of being Sleeping Beauty then as she presented the feathery pirate to me, and then in my subsequent turns of finding a Prince for her, I presented to her my original 90s Ken Barbie, who honestly I thought was as good a Prince as any, but she said “yuck!” and on second thoughts and looks I realised that in his 90s bow-tie suit he looked more like a 40 year-old Dad figure than a suitor. Fair enough.

The last dude I found for her was also Wiggles themed, palm-sized Lachy doll from the latest group incarnation. “Here you go,” I mimicked the dolls, placing him on her face for a lip smacker.

“No Lachy, yuck!” she squealed, and we doubled over again in laughter, laughing more because we were there watching each other laugh and cry laughing. It was GOLD.

Tonight after all the cooking and cleaning and getting ready for the next day, I miraculously found some spare time. And I didn’t fill it with stuff on my to-do list. I turned to my private ‘me’ list, and sat at the table to read the Peninsula Kids magazine we had received at kinder that day.

Sure, I was reading articles written from fellow bloggers I knew and people who I had read about online. It was kinda like homework. But still, I was reading, I was engaging, and I was growing. And all the while a few metres away, Hubbie was creating his own game with baby girl – chasing her around the table, pretending to be distracted by something else and then running for her, until he would catch her in a bear hug, pull her into the couch, and then it would start all over again.

I sat there, reading amidst the laughter and the love, glad that she had had a full day of games, memories and love. I wasn’t in complete peace amidst the noise, but also somehow, I was.

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#725 Game ticket freebies

We’re back, we’re back.

We did a lot to fill the day today. Because as I said to Hubbie amidst severe cold/flu conditions days ago, almost as a forewarning to the world: “when I am better, we are painting the town red.”

Well, I AM better.

After kindergarten we took baby girl down to see a cinema screening of Paw Patrol in the Village Vjunior lounges, complete with a huge slide going down the length of the room. If that wasn’t enough to keep her happy during the forced 10 minute interval, running after other kids and jumping on the floor keyboard lights at the front of the room, well there was also popcorn.

I kind of had to enforce her to stop too much of that, too… because we had dinner plans later…

We love going to TGIs, so much so that baby girl will ask us “TGI?” on various occasions just when she remembers she needs her fix. She gets crayons and colouring paper, she gets her cheesy pasta, and it is noisy so that any loud outbursts by her are completely muffled, and EVERYONE is happy.

After a spot of shopping because ‘why not?’ on a weekday night while on holidays, we headed to the store that baby girl had been eagerly asking us about since we had passed it.

Totally Game is like my generations old-school Intencity or something, where basically you play games, get tickets, and then transfer like, 100 tickets for a packet of chewing gum.

Some things NEVER change, even though the names do.

But this is where the gratitude game rose a bit, because there is nothing like being happy for holiday time, family time, being grateful for health and everything time, and then someone does something unexpected and selfless and just raises the bar a whole lot.

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Because we were playing at various games as you do, collecting tickets, and at one point while looking for another game to play suitable for baby girl to help out Hubbie, she almost crashed a neighbouring game where a group of people were already playing. We called her to come back, and in that party of people a lovely girl looked over and smiled. I thought nothing of it other than to think just that, she looked so happy and friendly… and I found out how much so about 10 minutes later, when we were feeding our game tickets into the machine to find out via receipt how much we had, when this girl popped out of nowhere and said to us

“Here take our receipt, we were just playing for fun.”

Really? We thanked her and I looked at the receipt, which read along the lines of 240 tickets.

240?!?!

My $10 of credit had resulted in about 80 tickets, and she was giving us 240, just like that?

“Are you sure?” I called out to her.

“Yeah,” she replied with a smile as she walked off.

And if that kind generosity wasn’t enough, when we were looking at a prize for baby girl in the window case, she came back and gave us a roll of other tickets.

“We’re just killing time before our movie!”

Another 60 tickets!

We thanked her again and again, and baby girl was fortunate to be able to pick from a lot of toys there…

You think she got something good?

Nah. A little wind up lady-bug and a wind-up pony is all she wanted. And can you believe, the wind-up lady-bug is stuffed already.

Like I said, some things NEVER change. Like gaming stores ‘prize toys.’

But regardless, the moral was there. The kind message and offering. It was the icing on the cake of a very happy day…

There are really nice people out there. 🙂

#593 Stupid time-wasters…

I feel soooo guilty.

I actually don’t have all that much time to spend doing what I wanna do. I am constantly in a state of ‘must-write,’ and yet having a little girl and a part-time job, a fussy (yet so lovable) Hubbie, and constant 24 hour responsibilities OF LIFE, mean I don’t get to write as much as, or when, I’d like to.

I don’t even get to watch the TV shows I love. My Foxtel planner is currently full of 50+ unwatched Bold and the Beautiful eps, and the only reason I get to watch the current season of The Bachelorette is because I practically demand it.

I haven’t even watched any NEW movies, for about 5 years now, let alone an old fave, in soooo long. I am hanging.

Which is why, to do a totally useless thing, a completely time-wasting activity, feels so horrible, and yet at the same time, so so good…

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Hangs head in shame.

I know. I am sooo late to the party. I think this was huge 5 years ago, and yet for some reason still unknown to me, when I saw the link on my computer as I was adding up sums on my laptop calculator for ‘boring as bat-shit’ bills, I thought “is this a freebie?”

I didn’t expect it to be a full-blown game. I thought it would be ‘meh,’ and not only ‘meh,’ but it would immediately lead me to a section where I would have to go online to pay before I could gain full access to the game.

But it didn’t.

And so for nights now, after doing my obligatory writing projects (gratitude post, personal journal) I have been moving up stages in Candy Crush Soda Saga.

God Help Me. I am up to Stage 17. And even earlier today, as I had 20 minutes or so to wait until my cauliflower soup had simmered to a ready stage, instead of doing something useful online, say, like ANY writing…

I moved up 3 stages. Damn.

I am getting really addicted. I feel bad to be doing something so trivial, so useless, and so inconsequential to the progression of LIFE, but I think at the same time that is what is so appealing about it all …

Because as Women, Wives and Mothers, our lives are full to the brim with responsibility and jobs and routine and drop-offs and lunches and cooking and cleaning and bills and paperwork and work work work work work of ALL KINDS.

So although there are so many things that need constant doing…

Sometimes, not doing anything important at all, feels like the most freeing, and therefore important thing to do.

Yes, this post is about my gratitude to Candy Crush. Yes, I know. I never ever ever EVER thought…

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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 🙂