#510 Lah Lah’s band has heart

I am really fortunate today that I have a lot to be grateful for. But to keep things nice and easy at this super late hour of 1:16am (late because I have to be up at 6:30am tomorrow morning, only hours away – photos will explain why in due course) I will pick the first thing I was grateful for today… and that was, the heart and soul of Lah Lah’s Big Live Band.

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Now, they may not have as many followers or as public a profile as that other well-known children’s group, The Wiggles, but I don’t think they are trying to be like them, either. They are about educating children through music, and expressing their passion for singing, as well as bringing to light the real music-makers – the instruments.

We haven’t seen Lah Lah in a while, and it’s not a regular DVD that baby girl watches at home, though she knows most of the songs fairly well. They have catchy tunes that are super-cute and stick in your head: like the much appreciated “Brush your teeth, up and down, brush your teeth, round and round,” song about that task we all BEG our children to do, which they have helped us through song; the ‘Sneezy song’ which baby girl and I especially love, about their accordion player sneezing oh too much! and playing a lovely little solo piece with his beloved instrument throughout; and then that cheeky song that Lah Lah sings, “I like to wash my hands and wipe them on my pants” – great, thanks sooo much Lah Lah.

All in all they are pretty awesome, and baby girl and I happily headed off to another beach location to see them this morning.

And she was rapt, and she danced, and she made friends with other random kids bopping along near the stage… but above all what made my heart melt, was seeing again just how much they give back to the kids.

It’s a tradition of theirs to hang back after their performance is finished, and come down from the stage to let the children have a go at looking and touching their instruments, or having a much-anticipated photo with their favourite band member… or all 5 of them if they can’t decide.

And so it was, again. We had no plans initially to partake in any of it, as all the other times before we saw them, baby girl was younger and not too fussed about getting up close and personal with The Band. But today when I asked her if she wanted to meet anyone, she told me passionately that she wanted to give a hug and kiss to Lah Lah.

And who am I to say no to an adorable almost 4 year-old in stripy socks?

After 45 minutes of doing the rounds, we had photos with ALL 5 MEMBERS of the band. I couldn’t believe it myself. We just kind of floated from one to another, and went here, went there, played some drums here, and then some strings on the cello there, pressed buttons on the saxophone and posed alongside Mr Squeezy, along with the cream of the crop position, a photo sitting on Lah Lah’s lap.

They are a kids group, they make kids happy and smile and dance and sing with their songs, but to give back so wholeheartedly and happily to those who look up to them so, giving so much more when they have already provided endless entertainment and learning and happiness to their young fans, and also giving when that recipient today was my baby girl… well I was truly happy and grateful indeed. Thanks guys.

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#476 The Joy of Jumping

Today was a fabulous day. And the most of it was spent at home.

My wish of having a real low-key, family-fuelled and catch-up weekend at home was fulfilled these last two days. Last night was super-chilled, and likewise it was all about us three even before the blinds were opened on this lazy Sunday morning.

Cuddling in bed, even taking silly selfies! Laying about ’til 10am.

Then doing not only a fun but family-oriented task, but ticking off a huge, massive, GINORMOUS to-do that has been staring at us in the face since we packed the 3 large boxes into the garage about 3 months ago.

We finally put together baby girl’s trampoline.

It’s not that we didn’t want to – as always, it was lack of time and opportunity. Always busy, always working. You need two people to construct it, and finding a spare 2 hours to do it, when we didn’t already have plans or there was something more pressing, especially in light of daylight savings ending (pardon the pun), was proving really, really hard.

But today… we did it. 3 hours worth of constructing, some light snacks in between, baby girl stealing springs from us, and then nearly screwing up the poles in the final installation… but we did it baby.

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This girl, is going to jump to the sky in that thing. It’s not just the fact that I’m so grateful this big job is finally complete, but that huge yellow thing in our backyard, is tangible proof that today was enjoyed by all.

It was actually, the BEST day.

#465 My special greeting no.2

I received the most golden of gold greetings today, and it came from none other than my shining light, my guiding star…

I was slowing down as I approached the house, being on the tail end of an hour long drive from work to home. As I started to turn into the driveway, I saw baby girl, jumping and scrambling up onto the brick pillar that contains the mailbox up front, trying to stand up – and then in pause, spotting my red car.

She stopped, her face serious, peering in. As I came closer I smiled at her, and her face went into a shocked frenzy, before breaking out into a full, whole face, smile. 🙂

“Ma! Ma!” she yelled with excited agitation, turning around to also call her Dad who was now walking up to her from the house.

As I brought the car to a stop, she jumped off the pillar and came around to my driver’s side, running into the door with a deliberate thud. I looked through the window to see her beaming at me.

Oh, my girl. All that, for me? She was that excited, to see me?

Heart melting.

Hubbie then added moments later, after repeated hugs and kisses and lots of laughter, that she had been calling out my name, and singing it out all day…

My sweet princess. My heart sings for you, too.

 

#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 🙂