#546 After the party

Today Hubbie and I were in FINE FORM.

It was a sunshine-y day. There was NO PARTY. No family, and no friends about.

We pumped the music LOUD. Actually, from two stereos – one from his car in the garage as he stored away spare chairs and tables from inside and tidied up from that end of the house, and me with the inside stereo, throwing up the volume as I washed, and cleaned, and tidied, and sucked every pesky crumb from the carpet I could find as I vacuumed with such jolly, ALL OVER THE PLACE.

And we couldn’t have been happier.

Because as much as we love throwing parties – damn it’s good when it’s over, your house returns to some sense of normality, and suddenly, the pressure is OFF.

No rush, no stress, no freaking pulling my hair out.

Just memories, a lot of mess, and ahh moments.

Ahhh. ‘Til the next birthday…

#501 Couch time

Usually when I drop off baby girl for 5 hours at kinder, it is usually GO-GO-GO for me. Grocery shopping, a Zumba session at home, some kind of cleaning/tidying house stuff, followed by lunch, more clean up, and then hopefully some writing if I can manage it before pick-up time.

Today was very different. I’ve been feeling unusual lately. Out of sorts. I decided I needed a break from the rush and routine, and knowing that it was the last time I’d be on my own like that for a few weeks, being the end of term 2 and all, I decided to really milk it.

I still had a snack and tea when I got home, as is the norm. But then I sat. I read magazines, flipped through the newspaper, all while I sipped my tea and had Bold and the Beautiful on in the background.

Then I moved to the couch, wholeheartedly now devoted to the TV, and watched MORE B&B. Snuggled up under the couch’s throw. This then changed to a recent episode of Shark Tank, a programme I am absolutely obsessed with. I LOVE IT. I have to catch all episodes, and laughing and staring in bewildered shock, even crying at the shows I watched today, was just bliss. So, so necessary. I never give myself proper couch time, because well, Mum-guilt, always feeling like I really should be doing something more time-serving, important and responsible… But, it was just one of those days. Outside it was FREEZING, and snuggling up to myself on the couch, watching some great shows, was the perfect way to spend an hour or so.

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And for the record, I cried in Shark Tank when a man was telling the sweet story of how he has dedicated his life and earnings to an invention that literally, will save the planet (even the Sharks nearly cried), and in Bold I was oh-so-emotional over Liam and Steffy getting back on track in their relationship. I’m about 2 months behind Aus’ episode run, which is already behind the US’ of about 3 months, so bare with me if I sound terribly out-of-date. Let’s just say when it comes to B&B, I’m invested.

I really don’t need shows on my planner, waiting for me to watch them. But also, if I didn’t have anything I NEEDED to catch up on, I don’t think I would ever sit down and give myself some down time. I would always be on the go, and I would never have a proper, wind-down, break.

Ahh. You just need those days every once in a while.

#484 Half-day Happiness

Today, in our fair state of Victoria, we had what’s known as The Queens Birthday public holiday.

It always falls on a Monday, usually I think, the second one of June. It usually has the majority of workers staying at home, giving a well-deserved and much-needed long weekend break from the already overwhelming Melbourne Winter that really started months earlier.

However there are those unfortunate ones, who work at shopping centres, or at petrol stations, and other almost 24/7 establishments, that don’t get a day off on that day.

Instead, they get overtime 😉

One such person to get this, is Hubbie.

Now usually, my primary concern is days off, NEVER the ‘mula.’ As it is we only ever get one day off a week together, and sometimes that day becomes a big, fat ZERO. None. Nada. Nista. We are much too busy enjoying life and going out and drinking coffee like the true coffee snobs we are, and putting $2 coins into every shopping centre ride baby girl wants, than to worry about ‘money.’

However. Things aren’t now as they always used to be. We have a mortgage. We want to renovate the house (and we keep finding things that need renovating too), and then there are the unplanned for payments, like teeth that need to be removed and replaced, and what-not.

So, both Hubbie and I were glad for once, that he was working today.

I thought I would be cool; I thought I would be happy. And I was. When I saw him for lunch though (he drives home since it is so close) I felt a bit sad that he was going to be heading back to work soon, and it would be hours ’til baby girl and I saw him again. Sure, I could go out. But it was so grey and dreary, drizzly and uninviting outside of the windows, that home was the only place I could imagine being.

And yet, it was simultaneously making me depressed about being on my own.

Yeah. You know all those posts I wrote recently about being sooooo happy to have downtime and be on my own? I think it’s already worn off. So when about 30 minutes after Hubbie headed back, I got a message from him, my spirits started to lift.

‘I’M NOT STAYING ‘TIL SIX.’ (Various happy and celebratory emojis followed)

I, was rapt. WE, were rapt. And when he walked through the door, just before 3pm, baby girl and I did a huge “YAY!”

Gratitude comes often when your expectations are low, and when you practice being grateful in the midst of what you do not have. Case in point today. It’s the little things, but they sure did make our afternoon a very sweet one 🙂

 

#483 Unpacking and Organisation

Today, another Sunday, and another really cruisy and chilled let’s-walk-around-the-house-and-see-what-we-can-find kinda day.

At some point, while Hubbie was taking a nap, and baby girl was watching some Paw Patrol, I decided to head into the wardrobes and check out my unpacked boxes. I didn’t actually unpack any – to be honest, these things sitting in these cardboard boxes, actually make it neater. Out of the box, and a lot of miscellaneous things lying around would only do my head in.

Eventually, I will organise properly, and group ‘like’ things together, also do a MASSIVE culling of ‘things,’ and put the remaining ‘stuff’ into pretty little boxes that make me all warm and fuzzy inside.

I’ve had random boxes in various rooms stacked up on top of each other for a while, those keepsakes that you want to keep, but don’t look at too often; those things that you need, but also, you don’t NEED too often.

All I did today, was go through every box, make sure there was a clear label on the front displaying what was in it, and stacked them up again neatly in the wardrobes.

I cleaned up a little. I condensed a bit. I found some things of interest too. A cute Japanese-style coin purse that I love. Pink wands for baby girl. A crystal candle holder I’d forgotten about. Everything else is neatly waiting in cardboard boxes now for Unpacking Boxes Judgement Day, but just knowing that at a glance, I know where EVERYTHING is, makes me really happy and in control.

Shit like this is super-important for a control freak.

And then at the end of the day, I found a purpose for an empty storage box I had, and turned this pile of baby girl’s DVDs sitting atop our bookcase

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into this neat pile

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It’s not a huge feat, and it didn’t require me to spend hours searching or organising. But in my ‘organisational travels’ today, I discovered where everything was and what I had, including some empty storage boxes, and so when I walked back into the family room hours later and happened to glance upon the pile of awkwardly piled DVDs in a place they shouldn’t be, I was reminded of the felt box that had made me think earlier ‘what can I put in that?’

Some people might balk at my excitement over organising the house, but outer order equals inner peace. I know this, because I am so rapt right now. It is addictive, and I can’t wait to get stuck into MORE tomorrow…

 

 

#481 The Trampoline

I mean, of course I was going to be grateful we had bought baby girl a trampoline, right?

Right???

Well….. (breaths out) let’s discuss the last week.

Firstly, last Sunday as we finished putting the ‘thing’ up over 3 hours, Hubbie said to me “I never had a trampoline as a kid,” and then proceeded to jump as high as he could in the middle of the mat while baby girl and I bounced around crazily around him.

“I know, right?” I said. “it’s like we’re fulfilling our childhood dreams through her!”

So bloody cool. When you give your kids things you never had as a child, you feel more than proud… you feel fulfilled. Special. You feel like you’ve come full circle, and now that you have a 10 foot trampoline in your backyard, you are somehow complete.

I had also thought, now that her day naps were mostly gone, that the trampoline would give me that little bit of ‘me’ time while baby girl went crazy outside, prepping herself for the most awesomest of awesome sleeps that night. I was like ‘this will be great, I can write again.’

Then on Monday, she was jumping… and wanted me to jump with her.

On Tuesday, I sent her out there on her own, and yet again – she wanted me to jump with her.

Wednesday I started work late, and sure enough, as Hubbie was checking out our gutters around the side of the house that morning, she was pleading with me: “please please!”

Now, I don’t know about you, YOU being any other person out there, or if YOU is a fellow Mum or parent, but I ALWAYS have shit to do around the house. Cleaning, food prep, washing, do this, sort that, we still have boxes here, catch up on writing, grocery shopping, and the list goes on and on and on. I don’t really have time for jumping. I wish that was all I had to worry about – how much bloody jumping I can cram into one day. But I don’t. I start with a rough list, and if I’m lucky I complete it. I don’t usually have time for much more.

Today, AGAIN. Now on all these other occasions I complied, and jumped with her for a little. I told her I was cold, sick, had to go to work, whatever. And all those times I wasn’t lying. But I also told her that she had to jump on her own – we had bought this trampoline for her to jump, not for Mummy to jump!

(Just thinking those words again makes me realise how lonely that thought is. Jumping alone).

I was going to try and sneak in some writing while she watched TV in the other room. And of course as soon as the laptop was fired up, round the corner she came, saying “Mama?”

She wanted to jump. It was after 5, and darkness was falling upon us. She only had a little bit of time left, and quite frankly I was concerned she would rope me into it.

“You can jump, BUT… Mummy is staying inside, alright? I’m not jumping. Just you’re jumping. Mummy is sick, she has a sore throat, she’s cold… ok? You understand me?”

She nodded obediently at me, just as she had every other time before eventually pleading with me to jump with her.

She headed out and I turned back to my laptop, and after a minute or so, she started to intermittently call out.

“Ma! Ma!”

It was more sing-song than anything, so I ignored it. But soon she came to the door again, knocking loudly, and opened it so I could see her.

“Jump?”

“NO!” I had had it UP TO HERE (the sky). I went over to the door and locked it behind her so she couldn’t go back out. “Baby girl you just don’t listen, you can’t always have your way!” I seriously was feeling under the weather, and besides, this girl needed to learn rules! This was not on, we couldn’t cave in every time she wanted something.

I headed back to the laptop with her throwing a tantrum behind me, yelling, and then crying in a pleading tone. As I sat back at the desk, she came from behind, and poked her head forward from the side, trying to get me to look away from the laptop.

I turned to her. These big, brown, pleading eyes, tainted with tears, a hopeful face, parted mouth, wishing and praying that Mum would not be upset, and Mum would come around and jump.

Fuck Me.

How could I say no? I followed her out and strictly told her I would stay seated on the mat while she jumped around me – I wouldn’t jump myself.

(What follows are some highly-skilled and photogenic shots baby girl and I took of each other)

And yet it was pretty fun. She jumped around me, into my lap repeatedly, and I ‘ate her up’ with kisses. We had an absolute ball, and then it turned dark, and it was time to go inside.

So in answer to my question… yes. Yes I am grateful we got her a trampoline… I just don’t know what we’ve created in the process.

A jump-a-holic, stubborn, cheeky and clever girl who will go to any lengths to get what she wants.

We’re in trouble.

 

#471 The Box of Barbie Memories

“Why don’t you take home that box of dolls you have?” Mum had asked me. “You said when she was younger that you wanted to wait a bit more, but now she might enjoy it.”

I could see where she was going. When she had asked me about a year ago if I wanted to take home with me an old box of Barbies I had packed away at my parents house when I was a pre-teen, I had said that I’d rather wait until baby girl was older, and ‘into’ dolls more. Also, I didn’t want to be adding another box of stuff to our household, when we already had so much ‘stuff.’

But I realised today, that baby girl was not only older, but she was definitely into dolls: she had two of her own Barbies, given to her as pressies over the last 6 months, and she loved the whole figurine, dress-up, pretend-play games she did with them. It was actually, perfect timing.

When at my parents place, they started looking for them in a wardrobe, and it almost looked like they wouldn’t be found for a little while. When they almost gave up, Dad stumbled across the box.

Just looking at the box, brought back memories: both the box, and the packing of it. With the latter, I actually had the faintest memory of packing it – in that room where it was found, my old ‘first’ room (before my sister moved out and then I moved into her room because it was front-facing and bigger), I remembered placing the barbies neatly against one another and on top of each other, before gently packing it all away… for good.

For another day, another time. I didn’t know then what I would be doing with it in 20 years time. That I would be giving it a new lease on life.

Secondly, the box.

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The Kraft box. My Dad worked there for a good couple of decades, and each year for their annual Christmas party, each employee was invited to the party for a lunch, bringing home a festive box full of Krafty goodies – cheeses, spreads, biscuits, and any other new product that wasn’t even on the shelves yet. I was always so excited when Dad came home from these Christmas parties – I’d come home from school, looking around the kitchen and dining room table, hoping to see a Christmas-y coloured box, with tinsel bursting from the sides. And Dad knew I’d get so excited about it, smiling just as much as me when I finally saw the box. Going through the contents of the box, was a happy, pre-Christmas tradition for me.

Even after he stopped working there, he was still invited, along with other long-standing employees of the company, to a former employees Christmas Party… that sadly, soon stopped fairly soon after, after new management came along. I remember the sadness and disappointment I felt in discovering the goodie box, was good, no more. So this box that I was staring at today, was quite possibly, one of, if not the, last boxes he ever received.

And I’d put my Barbies into it. Memories upon memories.

The only way I got baby girl into the car today was the promise of playing with Barbie dolls at home. So once there, I complied.

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Finding all my dolls, some just that, plain dolls, ‘wannabe Barbies’ and others the very real deal, was seriously like stepping into a time capsule that I myself had buried 2 decades ago. I found dolls I had forgotten about, costumes and shoes I didn’t know I had, and also the barbies that I faintly remembered – and then of course Ken. Who could forget when one got a Ken doll? That was a special thing back in the day.

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(Some funky outfits they had)

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(Check out the blonde ‘fro – yeah yeah!)

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(I won this Ariel doll in a kids mag comp, and I was STOKED… but one of her legs broke as soon as we lifted her out, maybe she should have stayed in mermaid form…)

I told baby girl that she must take extra care with these dolls, and pack them away gently as they were found. I think she knows what to do, but still, I have to make sure these Barbies are under supervision by me or Hubbie when she is playing with them. Even he agrees, saying “they’re old enough to go on club reg.”

Too right.

But even though I’m happy for baby girl to play with my cherished old Barbies, there is one thing I think I’m going to have to change – the box. Old and flimsy as it is, and with the addition of a piece of paper that was on the bottom of the box, where my Mum scrawled Dad’s last day of work at Kraft… I don’t know, but I think I need to put away this box, this special box of so much history and memories, and use it for my own good, and get a new box for baby girl to put all her old/new barbies in.

I know it’s just a box, but it’s what it represents that is priceless.

#463 The calm after the Partay no. 2

It was so nice, just to be.

No rushing. No pressure to get things done by a certain time. No anxiety. No stress. No intense planning and strategy to cram as much into one day as possible.

No. Just a casual grocery shopping trip with baby girl. Some lunch. Cleaning. Washing. Putting away stuff that has been piling up. Sorting her old clothes away. Sweeping some leaves. Sitting out in the yard, on a glorious day where Autumn was trying her damn hardest to remind us of impending Spring, watching baby girl simultaneously manoeuvre both her scooter and Dora the Explorer bike, while I sat and looked towards the beach end, the huge tree we have prominently in my vision with its pretty pink flowers.

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Nothing to remind me of what has passed, of all the stresses and intensity gone… except for the cakes in my kitchen.

Today was a great day. So calm, so peaceful, and right now, I can’t get enough.