#453 Photos

My sister always says, that it is so worth taking heaps of photos, for the memories that will come to you later as you look back on them.

She speaks with a lot of experience. She takes, HEAPS of photos.

She doesn’t have many photos of when she was a baby, and so I think she has spent the majority of her life, kind of making up for that fact, and making sure that her kids, will have tonnes of them.

I think I’ve kind of taken that from her. I too, love photos. Currently there are approximately, no exaggeration, 2000 of them waiting to be filed into photo albums at my less than likely leisure. I fell behind before baby girl was born, and thinking like the stupid parentless ‘know-it-all’ I was, that I would catch up while on maternity leave with her…

Yeah, right. Like that ever happened. 3 and a half years later and they’re still PILING UP.

But anyway. I love them, and in the most old school way – hard copy in a PHOTO ALBUM.

I’ve been doing heaps with photos lately, and it’s just reminded me how amazing and beautiful these snapshots into time can be.

In just over a week we’ll be celebrating my parents 50th wedding anniversary. We’re doing a few special things on the night, and one of them, to highlight their 5 decades together, is the photo collage I’m putting together, of one decade each per large cardboard sheet of paper, with as many photos as I can possibly muster crammed into all 5 sheets.

When I took my usb stick of anniversary photos over the years to the photo centre, there were 647 files.

647 photos.

I knew I had to scale that back, BIG TIME.

I told myself I’d only select 150…

then I got to 150 and said I’d select up to 200…

then I got to 200 and said 250 MAX.

Which is how I ended up at 255. Close enough.

Today when I took the developed photos to my sister’s place, for our little debrief over the anniversary party (who would sit where, what we would say, what would go where, what time that would occur, etc, etc), she flipped through the photos quickly, grinning and letting out “oh wow!”s, complimenting the broad selection, and happily going back in time to as far back as the late 60s, as she saw my parents journey again from start to current day.

Seeing the reaction on her face was great, and later at home as I trimmed the photos back, removing blank spaces and tightening it up so I could surely fit 50 photos per large page, I couldn’t help but pause and smile several times, observing my parents youthful looks, almost laughing out loud when my parents were too laughing in the photos, grinning with fondness at family photos through the decades, and just generally reminiscing with warmth in my heart.

I know, I sound like a hallmark card. But really, I loved it. I love photos. And I think the guests at the party, my parents’ family and friends, and my parents especially, will really enjoy the snapshot through the ages.

50 Golden Ages. 🙂

#443 Beautiful things at the Royal Children’s Hospital

Baby girl was only little when we learnt of her hip dysplasia. Her left leg socket wasn’t fitting snugly around her thigh bone, creating the possibility of the bone slipping out, and not forming properly, and in turn hampering her future prospects of walking normally.

Or something to that effect. It’s not that an uncommon thing, as I soon learnt, though at the time I was absolutely distraught. My baby girl had to wear a leg brace from the early age of 8 weeks, for nearly 5 months, with the upside being that she was able to spend the second half of that time wearing it only at night, allowing her the possibility of movement during the day.

This of course pushed back her rolling/crawling/walking milestones. I was still impressed however when she took her first steps at 16 months – that was her willpower to move about and cover as much ground as she could. My trooper girl.

All is good now. She stopped with the brace when x-rays showed the socket wrapping around the bone, securing it more tightly, and follow up x-rays over the years showed further positive progress in that area.

Which is why we were at the Royal Children’s Hospital today. These doctors have a predisposition for cautiousness and check-ups.

I was so pleased to see the halls, walls and rooms in a new light this time when we walked in, about 2 years after our last appointment. The lift interiors had brightly-coloured drawings covering from top to bottom, and on the ground floor there was a windy climbing pipe contraption, with a huge mechanical butterfly upon the top with its wings slowly opening and closing every so often.

In the orthopaedic section there was a craft table set up for the kids, where they could colour in, paste scraps of material on paper, and create some special artwork to take home. Volunteers oversaw this area, helping out the kids where needed, and nearby there was a playmat with building blocks and cars to push around.

Soon, there was a “choo choo” sound, and whether coincidence or not, an odd-looking clown then wandered by to entertain/make fun of the kids. He blew up bubble-type balloons, called children “Nanna” and “Adidas” (“because that’s what’s on your top”), but most importantly, he made them laugh and smile.

He made them forget they were in a hospital. All of these things made the children forget, if only for a bit.

And isn’t that a precious thing… while we wait for a world where children never fall sick, in the meantime let’s make the world a little happier, a little more fun, a little brighter for the ones who do need to visit a doctor for whatever reason…

… and I’m so happy to see an institution like the RCH, doing just that. It makes me proud to be a human.

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And, baby girl is doing well 🙂

#407 3rd row at The Wiggles show

I almost broke my bumper bar driving up steep shopping centre car parks to find a park. In the end I didn’t even get one there, having to park blocks away in the only available spot I could find, with 7 minutes to go.

We walked there in 10. Baby girl was tired after spending most of the night crying from a suddenly-developed sore throat. She was dolled up in her Emma costume, but the vibe wasn’t all there. She wanted me to pick her up at many stages, and somehow I warded her off. Carrying her would have made the walk longer, and as it was I was worried we’d approach the Frankston Arts Centre and hear distinctively catchy music already underway.

We walked in to silence and presented our tickets. And then as we walked further into the bustling theatre, full of kids screaming from laughter and fury, happiness and sadness, I scanned the area to find my sister near the front, waving wildly at me.

Near the front.

3 rows from the front.

I had forgotten just how close we were when I booked the tickets months ago. I had been initially impressed by ‘ROW C,’ when the offer came up online during my mad rush to buy tickets, but until you actually see it, you really can’t believe it.

Sis and I, were rapt. I kept telling baby girl how lucky we were, and likewise my youngest nephew sat there taking it all in, also unfazed by our superstar seating.

The Wiggles show was brilliant. I know the close seating made it all the more special. Not only were we close enough to read their faces and all their expressions, make eye contact and catch every thing that unfolded with perfect clarity, but our kids benefited hugely, though they never imagined it: my nephew had his sign read out by Emma at the start of the show, and his name was read out which made sis and I both madly happy and teary; and later while they were collecting all the gifts made to them from the kids in the theatre, Emma was able to sttrreettcchhhhhh out over the 3 rows and get the card being handed to her, by none other than baby girl.

Awwww 🙂

During the show I had a moment, where I realised it shouldn’t be a given that I will see them again. We’ve seen The Wiggles now about 4 times I think, and each time it’s been beautiful to watch baby girl grow and develop alongside them, and interact differently each time she sees them. She loves them now, but I wonder, when will The Wiggles be just a passing phase? Maybe she will still love them by the time the next big show comes along, but maybe my nephew won’t be interested, and so the little outing sis and I have with our kids, won’t be a reality anymore.

It made me truly grateful for the moment, the day, and the fact that on this show, mine and baby girl’s 4th one, and 3rd one with sis and nephew together, we were coincidentally, 3 from the front.

Lucky 3.

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Kudos to The Wiggles. I can say with such certainty, that I love them as much as baby girl. For someone to devotedly spend their time making children around the world happy, I think is really, something, and some-ones, special.

#400 Watching, she unaware

I don’t know WHY I was tuning into the daft conversation of the other kinder Mums. I stood there in the foyer of the kindergarten this afternoon, my eyes wandering around, hearing what the two were talking about, while myself and all the other Mums in there, pretended we didn’t, in lack of social invitation.

And then I looked over. I realised I could peek through a side window of the teacher’s office, and could see right through into the room where the kids were surrounded around the teacher. They were sitting, and I immediately spotted baby girl: up the front, right in front of the teacher. They were making some noise, a song? They all began to clap and make fast lap actions, the noise escalated, and I watched in happy surprise, the excited demeanour of baby girl, as she moved fast, her face wrapped up in the happy moment, grinning her face off so hard I was sure her muscles would hurt.

I smiled broadly. I could see my princess having an absolute ball, and looking in like this, I knew there was no way it could have been faked for an audience. My heart swelled with love and joy.

That tiny moment, was almost enough to move me to tears. I tried to compose myself in that tiny foyer.

Seconds later she ran towards me, and we headed home 🙂

#352 Catch-up with the folks

I had some lovely moments while at my parents’ house today.

Dad is better. He is more energetic and alert, and I love hearing the love in his voice when he greets baby girl.

Mum is more relaxed, and just chilled. She made us a beautiful lunch and baby girl was celebrating the pasta made especially for her, by applauding and “hooray”-ing for about 5 excited minutes.

I love how baby girl is now one with nature, all barefoot on the grass. Jumping about, wanting to do a picnic every chance she gets, and running at high speed up and down the length of the yard.

Sitting under the trees, the four of us, in the leafy shade, just talking. Playing catch with baby girl. Laughing. Eating fruit. Talking about plums.

There was such calm and peace about the day. It was all about taking it easy, absorbing the moment, and enjoying what we have.

Soon it came time to go home, and baby girl and I departed with contented tummies and hearts.

And that’s the way it should always be, shouldn’t it?! 🙂

 

 

#318 Baby Girl is becoming a Big Girl

Whether it’s her communicative skills, willingness to listen and be (slightly) more mature, or her toilet training understanding… today I’ve seen a significant improvement in all 3, and it is definitely a sign that my little, baby girl, is becoming a Big Girl.

I am so proud and happy. But she will always be my Baby Girl. 🙂

#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.