#1430 Home made pizza

I’m trying to set a good example for baby girl whenever I can.

A massive part of that example is teaching her what I learnt growing up…

Home made is best.

She already tells me that my gingerbread and banana bread is better than any bought variety, and just recently even said she loved my pasta sauce… and she doesn’t even eat that much of it.

What I bake and make doesn’t have to receive world-class awards. If baby girl can see that what I made in our kitchen tastes better than anything commercially bought or packaged, my job here is done.

Learning this is a life-long task though. I still fall into traps of buying things that I think might be okay, but then I end up terribly disappointed afterwards. That’s why I’m always teaching, always talking to baby girl about what is good and healthy for her.

I don’t like to be preachy, or all “Don’t eat that!” with her. Rather like today at the shops, I asked her if she wanted me to buy some watermelon, and she said yes. I then threw in the info that they have lots of water and are naturally sweet, and much better for you than sugary treats and chocolate.

๐Ÿ˜‰

But it wasn’t just watermelon on our shopping list today. We were buying pizza-making ingredients, because baby girl asked for us to make a pizza!

Before I get too excited over my good influence on her, it was TOTALLY NOT MY INFLUENCE.

I know because she told me… she had watched her favourite doll role-play channel on youtube and the dolls had made their own pizza with green peppers and brown onion and pepperoni and that’s why she wanted to make it!

Well what do you know? Youtube is actually teaching something.

So we went on a shopping trip. To buy green peppers (I told them in Australia we say capsicums), pepperoni (only to go on Hubbie’s side of the pizza once she realised they were spicy) and some other delicious and fresh toppings like ham, mushrooms and fresh mozzarella.

FRESH MOZARELLA! Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

At home I chopped it up and she helped me top the pizza base… the best bit.

Before…

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And after

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It smelt so good coming out of the oven, and we had created it ourselves!

The only modification for next time…

Make two. We smashed that ‘one’ easily.

 

#1428 Reading together

It was bedtime reading time. But it wasn’t just bedtime reading.

It was bedtime reading the night Hubbie went back to work.

Ohhh. The horror. The agony!ย The sadness.

The day before you go back to work is actually worse than the day you are back at work. Thinking of the routine, the inescapable work days ahead, the hours, the holidays you could be on…

Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh.

Which is why tonight, Hubbie wasn’t even in baby girl’s bed with me as we started to read Room on the Broom. He was up in our room getting ready to go to sleep, while baby girl was eager to read the book that we had only seen the on-stage production of, days earlier…

while Hubbie was STILL on holiday.

Sigh.

I started to read. Then baby girl started to read. We were taking turns. I had told her I would read most of it (wanting to get her to bed earlier) but of course somewhere along the way, she changed her mind. As usual.

She started to read more.

And, Hubbie heard it.

I heard his footsteps coming down the stairs. He couldn’t help himself. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Before long he was on the other side of baby girl, the three of us squished into her king single bed taking turns reading Room on the Broom. ๐Ÿ™‚

And I realised, sure, sleeping in every day as a family IS great… but you don’t need to take time off work to enjoy life. You don’t need to be on holiday to make memories with your loved ones, and set up traditions so that there are reasons to smile every day with them, rather than just a few weeks a year, when you are not working.

Like reading a book together, in bed. ๐Ÿ™‚

#1426 The city trip

We easily could have had a crap day.

We had a few difficult starts that could have turned us sour.

Like the train station parking.

There wasn’t any.

As it was we couldn’t take our regular line into the city because there were replacement buses at certain stops…

And if you have ever had to take a replacement bus in, you will understand why we never ever want to take a replacement bus EVER AGAIN.

So we tried to jump on another train line.

But every car park was full.

We were on holiday time… but the rest of the world was not.

It was a Friday you see. Business hours applied.

We went to one station, couldn’t find parking, before driving up to the next one trying to get lucky.

We did this at three stations before I said “let’s just drive in.”

I remembered the car park I’d gone to with baby girl when we had our Andy show for the last school holidays.

And we just happened to take the scenic route there.

Boy did it bring back memories.

We were driving along Beach Rd in St Kilda, and I was looking at the palm trees, at the houses facing the water…

AND IT HIT ME.

I remembered going there with Hubbie way before baby girl was around, and how we’d look up at the houses and admire them saying “imagine living here by the beach? Imagine that?”

Well we didn’t live by that beach, but now we lived close to a beach.

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All of a sudden our unplanned drive in was becoming a whole lot more.

We arrived at our car parking destination about 2 hours from when we set off. All the pausing and going from one station to the next and then looking for parking had taken ages.

We could have been cranky. We could have been pissed. Instead we stepped out of the old building, so known to us, and went ‘ahhh’ as the humidity of the day hit us and we spied THAT familiar street.

Lygon street. Our old stomping ground.

Oh wow. We were walking and telling baby girl everything. “Mummy and Daddy used to come here all the time… we used to go there… then we would go there… we’ve been there… look that’s changed!”

It was amazing as all the feelings came flooding back. It was a place that at one time in our life we frequented like twice a week… then it changed to once. LOL. We went there so much the trip there was permanently engrained in our minds. The twists and turns of the street, the best parking spots, and who did the best pasta and steak.

(Not necessarily from the pricey side, and if you know Lygon street you know which side of the street that is ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

We stopped to eat lunch at a place we had before, and looking up and down at the greenery on either side of us, I grew misty-eyed.

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I had a revelation.

I even said it aloud: “I could see myself living here.”

Hubbe was shocked. It was a big thing for me to say that. Me, SmikG, so rapt with the beachside that I couldn’t imagine anywhere else.

I clarifiedโ€ฆ “I love where we live… but one day, maybe in 20 years, I could imagine living here.”

The memories. Oh the MEMORIES! Even sitting at that table, I was reminded that we had sat at that very cafรฉ and at that very table and had a coffee, right before going on a little trip together pre-baby girl… I reminded Hubbie and he said “Yes, I remember!”

“Where were we going again?”

After throwing out some names which weren’t right, he said it was at a spot on the Peninsula.

FACE PALM. Where we live NOW.

The symmetry was freaking me out.

Lygon Street made me feel right at home. From the bear-shaped pizza for baby girl and the handmade gnocchi for me that melted in my mouth, I was in heaven. I’ve always said I was Italian in another life. I am more than confident of it after today.

We shared a coffee after our tram trek into the city-centre, where I had the most delicious and iconic Melbourne themed chocolate…

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Before we went to where we had planned to all along.

A children’s theatre show.

It was Room on the Broom, a production based off the iconic Australian children’s book. It was a present to baby girl for Christmas after we saw how enthralled in the book she was last year… and so that was the point of our whole trek in.

We did so much before that to get there, and it had been an adventure.

The show in itself was another great adventure.

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But then like so many times before, shit hit the fan.

Baby girl wanted merchandise. A tiny $40 stuffed toy witch, or a $25 stuffed toy cat.

I shouldn’t even mention the money. The money doesn’t matter. It was the principle.

She has LOADS of stuffed toys. Do you think she plays with them?

Noooooooooooooooooooooo.

She started the hysterics. The tantrum built. Cries and shrieks. “No I want it!” Stamping of the foot. It is almost hilarious if it ISN’T happening to you.

We’d done so much to get there. Spent so much. Travelled so far.

And now THIS.

I looked outside the open doors as she cried behind us. People crowded through the foyer, some looking over and others dealing with their own demanding brood.

I could see it – gone was the humidity that had enveloped me during my delicious Pomodoro gnocchi as I sweated it out at 1pm…

Because now at 4pm, it was windy and raining and people were getting drenched outside.

I put my foot down figuratively, told her “NO!” and stomped outside.

And instead of –

“But how the witch wailed

And how the cat spat

When the wind blew so widely

It blew off the hat.” –ย 

It was –

“How baby girl wailedย 

And how her Mum spat

As the wind blew so widely

and her Mum yelled ‘that’s that!'”

LOL.

She cried as we pulled her along through the rain, pelting down on us as we ran towards our tram stop.

“You don’t need another stuffed toy!”

“Yes I do!”

“No you don’t!”

“Yes I do!”

“No you don’t!”

And as we ran, our feet sploshing through puddles and water sinking through our sandals, our arguing turned into banter, and the water on her face was suddenly from the rain, not her tears, as baby girl started to laugh.

“Yes I do!”

We got some much appreciated shelter from a woman holding an umbrella as we waited to cross the road, and within moments, all was well again.

The wild weather could have thrown us off.

The tantrum, the crying and yelling could have put us in a real sour mood.

But it didn’t.

And all of a sudden, we were full circle in our feelings again. ๐Ÿ™‚

It was one of those weird days where it was a little bit of everything, but mostly a lot of fun and crazy.

We didn’t let anything unexpected throw us off our main task of having fun, whether it was a long drive, no parking, wild weather or a demanding 6 year old…

Our task was to make memories, with the added bonus of reminiscing past memories.

It was a happy day. โ™ฅ

 

 

 

 

#1425 Mills Beach Love no. 3

We timed our beach visit for the warmest part of the day.

It was all about the body board today.

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We clearly need a bigger one for baby girl. Nonetheless, she held on tight, shrieked with joy, and had 75 litres of water thrown at her face as Hubbie and I took turns pulling her through the water.

A hell of a workout, but lots of fun.

And Mills Beach Love. ๐Ÿ˜โค๐Ÿ–๐ŸŒ…

#1424 Strawberry picking

Oh, it was a strawberry-sweet day to go picking at Sunny Ridge.

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It was certainly sunny. The cafรฉ and outdoor area were FULL and yet the fields were sparse.

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More room for us ๐Ÿ™‚

We got us some good stuff ๐Ÿ˜‰

Look, a bee!

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It was a beautiful day wandering the fields, selecting the brightest fruit to gather home.

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And at the end of the day, after dinner, we ate them.

They were strawberry-sweet. โ™ฅ

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#1423 Christmas and cake

Not only was today great to celebrate our second Christmas…

But it was doubly great to end on a birthday.

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And THIS cake, was the absolute bomb.

I will not rest until I make this myself.

A sweet, to end a pretty sweet day with Hubbie’s family?

Why, you know I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true.

It’s true. ๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿฐโค

#1422 ‘Twas the ‘second’ night before Christmas…

What? She must have her dates wrong you say.

No siree.

It really is the night before Christmas… for those of Orthodox faith.

It’s an interesting thing to celebrate two Christmases throughout your life. It’s a privilege now awarded to baby girl as she joins in the doubled up of festivities.

Growing up, although the primary Christmas we celebrated was on the traditional Westernised date of December 25th, due to my Mum’s background and heritage we were always aware of at the very least, if we weren’t helping our relatives celebrate the Orthodox Christmas day of January 7th.

Seeing as Hubbie’s family is also of Orthodox faith, this acknowledgement and acceptance has grown and continued. All of my life, family and friends around me have celebrated this day… I have been to countless Christmas parties and participated in token Orthodox traditions, drank and ate and been merry on this holiest of days.

Which nationalities celebrate this day you might ask? Well there are Macedonians, Serbians, Polish, Russian, and Greek, to name a few…

I think it’s important to respect and value other traditions, even those that we may not be privy to or understand in the fullest.

Just as living in Australia, I believe that Australian customs should be respected and appreciated by all those who choose to call this country their home, so too do I believe the reverse should be norm: Aussies should respect the traditions and heritage of those with customs and holidays from far off our shores.

Including a different Christmas.

Sometimes I hear a bit of ignorance. One side might discount the other, calling theirs the ‘real Christmas.’

I think this is a bit sad. I don’t think we should be arguing over religion and politics and trying to up our own stance by discounting the other.

Why can’t we all respect each other’s traditions while still enjoying our own?

THIS GOES BOTH WAYS.

Baby girl went to bed tonight excited. She was asking if Santa would come again… I told her he only makes one stop a year, but that there would still be PRESENTS.

We did the majority of presents on the Westernised Christmas day, but I have an inkling she will get something. ๐Ÿ˜‰

A second Christmas for a kid? That’s like a second birthday!

She, and we, are fortunate to have double the Christmases, every year. โ™ฅ

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash