#770 Making memories and finding comfort in a topsy-turvy day

I’m not going to lie.

I’m not going to sit here, and tell you my day was great, my day was fantastic, when there were many parts of it, that weren’t.

I can’t just pretend all went well, when all didn’t.

I can’t just focus on the good, because I feel like that would be lying, and I think you would appreciate me telling you the frustrating, shitty parts too. The ‘Life’ parts. The pros, as well as, the cons.

Even with this being a gratitude blog and all.

So in short, let me tell you this:

Today we got to catch up with some of our closest friends for a birthday. It was well overdue (pro).

We drove over 3 hours there and back, and after this weekend, we are OVER driving (con).

We had fun (pro), and we made memories (pro). We danced (pro), the kids played (pro), and baby girl got her leg stuck in the hole of a portable basketball base (con, but a funny one).

I got this cappuccino made for me by our friend (pro)… he is a former café owner and works for a coffee company…

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PRO PRO PRO.

And this day would have truly been perfect, even with all the little cons up to this point, if the highlight of the day were just this: good coffee amidst polaroids of my girl dressed as a cowboy.

But it went on, as days do.

Driving home, Hubbie developed some kind of gastrointestinal infection (CON).

We stopped twice. (CON).

When we got home eventually, the windy weather appeared and started lashing us as we ran for the front door… but we got inside quickly, and I reckon somehow the Universe held it off slightly until we were indoors, only because we had such a sucky ride home (pro).

I ordered pizza because (insert Hubbie incapacitated on couch), and I was so grateful for the convenience of it all… pro – but it took an hour to arrive (maybe because of the wild weather – con).

Before and after said pizza, I sat on the couch with baby girl, me actually watching Bachelor in Paradise in peace, and she watching YouTube videos of dolls playing with toys, as the Wicked Witch of the West flew around on her broomstick outside in this cyclonic wind (pro).

Everyone is in bed now, and Hubbie is feeling better (massive PRO).

I know I am a glass half-full gal, but I wanted to show you both sides of the coin, to prove a point.

We can be aware of both good and bad, happy and sad, positive and negative, pros and cons… because it is all in the greater picture. Seeing the greater picture balances us out, makes us humble, and helps us to appreciate the pros more.

Because if all we had were pros, well the above would have been a very boring (albeit hugely satisfying for me) story.

And every story needs a villain, doesn’t it?

Today’s villain? Driving time, stomach viruses and wind from hell.

Today’s hero? Friends, couch time, and…

COFFEE 🙂

 

 

#762 Home, after away

In light of recent work developments, which has led me to many more Friday and Saturday night, late, late, late shifts (i.e. crap shifts), I am still trying to do my glass half-full thing, and look around me at what good can come out of this.

One such thing is Saturdays. I usually have to work during the days, but working these ‘crap’ shifts, means I don’t have to work my usual day shift on the weekend.

Therefore, I suddenly have Satur-days off.

With this in mind this morning, I headed over to the Emu Plains Market with baby girl, full well knowing that it wouldn’t come around again for another month, and also knowing that work shifts may change again suddenly, and then I wouldn’t have Saturdays off anymore AT ALL.

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It was nice to get out of the house and do something different with baby girl. We got there late because I had tried to sleep in following my ‘crap’ shift, which meant we only had 90 minutes to peruse the grounds.

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Large shadowy enveloping trees circled the Emu Plains Reserve in Balnarring, providing fantastic shelter for the stall after stall of virtually anything you could imagine to be at a market – jewellery, food, furniture, clothes, candles, plants, alcohol, toys, ANYTHING really. We walked through the area quickly, made a toilet stop, I watched baby girl jump on the kids jumping castle and slide, we ate some food truck food, and then she waited her turn to get some paint done on her arms.

 

 

By this stage she had had enough, and following said arm painting, decided she then DIDN’T want the arm paint, for reasons I still don’t know. She cried and held her arms at her side rigidly, like they were in a cast or something, and only once we were in the car, after repeated attempts to calm her down and tell her she could actually move them around, did she then decide that yes, she would keep the arm paint.

FACE PALM.

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The visit was short, intense, and relaxing, all at once. I would love to visit that market again, with more time on our side of course. But there was another visit today that had me relishing the company of.

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A visit with my couch. I realised, that I appreciated the Emu Plains day out, more so because we were having a Saturday night in, and in turn I was appreciating our Saturday night in, because I had already gone out that day with baby girl to the market.

I’m getting philosophical now… but ‘whole’ appreciation almost couldn’t be there without the other. Yes, both activities existed on their own and both had their merits, but their joy was amplified by the existence of the other.

It was all a balancing act.

You need to have it well-rounded, and tonight I realised this, while sipping on some cider in the March Melbourne mugginess.

I was happy to be home, but only after I had been away. And reverse.

 

#604 Shopping with my girl no.6

Yes, material things were bought today. But none that stand out, even close, amongst the heart-warming, funny and charming moments I had with my baby girl.

She held my hand without question and skipped with me through the car park as we headed into the centre, pointing out all the different coloured cars around us.

As we had a bite to eat, she sat on my lap so I could help her with her food, turning to me and kissing and hugging me tenderly as I did so.

As we left the food court, she saw some ice creams with lollies advertised in a Wendy’s: she turned to me, and did her whole routine – “Mama, Mama, Mama, stop, stop, stop. No babycino, coffee, Mama have ice cream, me have ice cream!”

I actually died laughing, walking off and assuring her that yes, coffee would most definitely be had, and we would come back with her Dad and have ice cream all together another time.

And then later as we were having said coffee with sweets, and I pulled out my phone to take some snapshots of my darling girl enjoying her babycino, she pulled one of her adorable

I-am-so-cute-but-cheeky-too-and-I-know-you-still-love-me faces:

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Argh, this girl. She makes me so happy. She is at a stage where outings with her like this have become easier, and even, are enjoyable. We never stopped going out at any phase of her ‘toddler growth,’ but I have to say, being the stage and age she is at, she just gets things more. She listens more. She needs less coaxing and prodding, there are less arguments and tantrums, and much more happy faces while sucking on chocolate-y spoons like the above.

It’s a beautiful stage, and the precious moments from today I will hold with me dearly forever.

I still have my frustrating, want-to-bang-my-head-against-the-wall moments at night when she won’t go to bed, but as in Life, always, BALANCE.

Glass half-full gal tries to focus on the positives. And there are A LOT of them.

You should too 😉

 

#584 Beautifully treacherous lookout

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

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They say. And they are right.

Moments before I took this photo, I was crying. Not from happiness at the gloriously serene, glistening, and picturesque bay water before me.

My tears stemmed from fear. Intense, sudden and wild fear, that manifested into acute anger and overwhelming sadness.

It all started after our lunch. We were spending the day together as a family, mid-week, which was reason enough to celebrate. So we lunched of course, on pretty meals like this one:

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and then we headed over to Mornington Park, where baby girl let off some toddler-steam on the slide and swing… and after a while we let our feet lead us off into uncharted territory some more, and followed the sea view, all the way to the point of the pier, heading up up up to the rocky lookout which faced the beautiful image of serenity above.

Hubbie had to go as close as humanly possible to the edge. Baby girl followed him. I instructed firmly, that he MUST hold her hand. I couldn’t keep up with them because I had small heels, and was trying not to break my step in amongst the uneven dirt and rocky path. They headed on towards the edge, as I watched helplessly, yelling out to him “hold her hand!”

He did. But I was slowly dying inside. Here was a 4 year-old, curious toddler, letting go of her Dad’s hand every so often to peer over the rocks at the edge of her feet, rocks that in my mind could give out at any moment. She didn’t understand danger: as a toddler, they are not wired that way. It’s the reason toddlers get into so much trouble, they have an inability to judge what is before them, and the obvious consequences that come with it that usually, adults are equipped with by the time they are, you know, adults.

Usually, adults. I say that because Hubbie, is STILL a child.

This is why I was so concerned. He laughs in the face of danger: hangs over far too much over a 25-storey railing; he’ll walk along a brick wall where one side is a path, the other a dangerously high drop to breaks-ville; he will jump and climb up and off of any kind of climb-worthy apparatus, without so much as a care, second thought or slow deliberation.

Also, he had just had two double-shot coffees – and that with his childish and wild genetic composition, was a BAD combination.

Here he was, with our pride and joy – MY pride and joy – standing casually, a bit too TOO close, to the edge of a rocky drop where the other side of the steep descent was dangerously pokey rocks, and smooth, still, ENDLESS water.

I was dying.

As I approached them, I was in a serious state of panic. They were so calm, so chilled about it all. Peering over the edge, getting closer to the descent. I started to cry. And I yelled out some choice words to him. I painted a stark picture, and it got his attention.

He took baby girl’s hand, and they started to walk towards me. “Come on baby girl, Mama is upset,” he said.

“Sorry Mama,” she said.

“Just go over there,” I said breathlessly, as I ordered them back up the wooden steps and to the stable, safer, lookout point.

I turned back to the water, and breathed.

And breathed.

And soon after, I snapped that picture.

And I was grateful. Because the beautiful image before us, could turn ugly in an instant. l am an eternal dreamer, but a realist too. And though I am a glass- half-full gal, I have seen too much sadness to stick my head in the sand anymore.

Life and everything in it, terrifies me to no end, ever since baby girl entered our world and made it so precious. I am grateful for the beauty in it, but I always look behind me, I always check my footing, to check there are no uneven rocks.

I love views like this. And I will continue to photograph them. But under still, calm waters…

 

 

 

#559 Done and Dusted Saturday

People all over the schooling/working world LOVE Saturdays. It is perhaps one of the most celebrated days of the week.

And yet for me, this glass half-full and gratitude gal, I couldn’t wait for it to be over.

And now that it is, I am now, finally grateful.

I worked. It was one of those days. And then stomach cramps and spasms thrown on top of it definitely didn’t help. But for me, my weekend begins sometime tomorrow, and after a good long sleep in, I know I will feel better.

Sometimes we just need to go to bed, and start again. So I am grateful for that. The end today, means a new beginning tomorrow…

#551 What he said no.2

“I just want you to know.” He held my hand tightly as I drove, and I looked at him. “If you are ever unhappy with anything I do or say, I want you to talk to me about it. I never want it to get to the stage where you want to leave, but you never spoke to me where I could help…”

It wasn’t the most romantic thing I’ve heard from Hubbie, but tears welled in my eyes. I needed to hear that for some reason, and I didn’t even know why at first.

It followed a really crappy morning. Whinge whinge whinge, moan moan moan, sook and cry and life is crappy. All from ME. I’d been having a crappy week, holidays and all, BIRTHDAY INCLUDED, and I just felt like giving up. It was nothing major, and I was well aware that there were more important things in life to actually worry about…

But I had gotten to the advanced stage where I just wanted to vent about everything, no matter how small or insignificant it was. Trying to start the day afresh, plant a smile on my face, Hope for the best and “make the most of it!” had fallen on Deaf Universe Ears, as day after day I had been disappointed in some way. Enough to really frustrate me.

Even for a glass half-full gal as myself, I had seriously had enough. There is only so much hanging on I can take

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before I say FUCK EVERYTHING. Screw it. No asterisks or exclamation marks to hide it either. *!

Of course, as the day wore on, I lightened up. Some things made me happy and not stress so much. But still as we were driving in the late afternoon, and the attention somehow drew to a couple who had since separated, he grew solemn, and gave me the above sweet words.

Why did I appreciate them? It’s because he was realistic… not about the possibility of our relationship not being – no, I don’t even want to entertain that fact. That is an idea so far from my/our reality, that the sky turning a permanent purple, UFOs landing on our roof, or a Money Tree literally growing up out of our yard, all seem more plausible than that very unattractive and sad, sad sad proposition.

He was realistic that life was hard. Relationships were hard. Marriage was hard. He was realistic and understanding that shit happened, issues would come up often, and WHEN they did, he wanted me to talk to him about them. Not necessarily about he and I. But about anything. Knowing he wouldn’t stick his head in the sand, tell me to forget about it, say I was crazy, or dismiss my genuine feelings, made me feel incredibly relieved.

He cared. He cared enough to put me, before us. And that meant that WHEN the shit-pile avalanche started its descent down the hill, he would be there in the middle of it, pushing it up and getting the brunt of it, helping me to run away from it all.

And then I would be waiting for him, with a hose. And water him off. Because we are in this occasional shit-storm of life together. So I said to him

“The same goes for me.”

The real Happily Ever After’s don’t end in the nicely dressed Prince and Princess heading off into the sunset into their white carriage and gold-chauffeured horses.

It’s a guy and a girl in trakkies, covered in poo, walking down the street. One of them has a hose, and they’re holding hands.

That’s real. That’s life. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Photo by Sebastian Pichler on Unsplash

 

#545 Face paint at almost 3(4)

When you write a gratitude blog, you are looking at the happier things in life.

Brighter moments.

Uplifting times.

A flower blooming bright amidst grey concrete.

The rainbow that follows a dark storm.

The perfect coffee to perk you up on a cold Winter’s morning (of course, coffee).

But when it comes to Motherhood and kids, life is soooo off-kilter. There is a lot to be grateful for, but there is also a lot to bang your head against the wall in frustration too.

Take today for instance. We celebrated baby girl’s 4th birthday.

Do I mention how she hid under the table and didn’t come out as visitors came forward to wish her a happy day? No.

Do I mention how she only wanted to stay outside, away from everyone inside, and only came in when she fell and grazed her knee and I forced her to? No.

Do I mention how she screamed with fury when everyone started singing happy birthday to her? No.

No No No.

Because I’m also a glass half-full gal, which makes writing a blog like this, a bit easier, amidst challenging times. Diplomatically speaking.

So, I am grateful that I got a little face ‘decorating’ done today. Of course baby girl refused her face and got her hands painted instead (of course, it’s her birthday after all), but as soon as I organised the face painter to come for the kids, I immediately thought ‘I’m getting something too.’

I thought that, because I am young at heart, and baby girl brings that out in me, even more. And not only do I enjoy her birthday and the fun that these events bring to her, but it is double the fun, because actually…

Baby girl and I share a birthday. What do you know. Double the trouble.

So any excuse for a big party for her, is an excuse for a big party for me. And any excuse to get face painting for her…

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Is an excuse to get face painting for ME.

Bright flowers and blooming butterflies. We focus on the positive things here.

Eternally youthful… I don’t care for growing up.

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