#491 Hubbie’s early homecoming

It’s harder to hitch a ride on the gratitude bandwagon when the days are cold and dreary, and hibernation becomes your key activity. Which is why it’s so important to look closely around you, and appreciate all the little words, events, and actions, surprises and glimpses of happiness that find their way to you.

As such, today. It’s not like Hubbie never comes home early from work. There have been times here and there where he’s been let off a little earlier than usual – because, Winter. Slow days, and when the job is done, well often there is no point sticking around, 3 men to do the job of 1 for the last hour.

So today, as Hubbie approached the front door a fair bit earlier than his usual hometime, and I waved happily at him while baby girl took her position of ‘immediate hide and seek’ game under the table, I was immediately appreciative of his early release from the work quarters.

Hubbie is home earlier, which means we have dinner earlier. We get to sit on the couch for a bit afterwards and just talk to each other, about deep issues and light-hearted things, anything random and significant that pops to mind. We don’t usually get to talk like this when we are working, so it’s a bonus.

It also means I might get 5 or so minutes to put my feet up and browse through my Donna Hay cookbook, getting ideas and inspiration in the midst of these quiet and low-key months ahead.

Or, I can also watch through the window at Hubbie complying to baby girl’s request, and see them jumping wildly in the trampoline against the fading evening light.

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Whatever my reasons are to be grateful to have Hubbie home earlier from work, whether they be small or big reasons, they are ALL worth it… and yet the biggest reason to be grateful, is the simplest one… just to have him home, with us. Just for a little bit more. That’s enough.

 

#473 A Mini Me

Having your own kid is super cool. Apart from the loving them until the depths of the earth, reaches of the galaxy, and ends of time thing… it is also awesome, just knowing that they are a version of you.

They have your DNA. They may look like you. Their hands may be slender like yours. Their eyes the same brown, face the same heart shape, and laugh the same adorable cackle you yourself used to have at 3.

These things are kind of out of your control, just as much as they are out of control for your child. They can’t choose their looks or their predisposition to certain things.

But what they CAN control is themselves. And when they choose to do and be like you…

It’s pretty damn cool.

It’s all in the little things. As it always is. But she will want to wear a dress, when I wear a dress. She sees owls on my pyjamas – she wants owls on her pyjamas.

I’m brushing my teeth, and suddenly, because I didn’t hound her this time, she is reaching out and grabbing for her toothbrush, and we stand there side by side, looking at ourselves in the mirror as foam spills from our mouths, grinning.

She finds me putting on make up before going out, and she is then asking me for make up too. I give her some glittery not-obvious stuff, and she applies it to her skin with such careful precision, yet at the end I can’t even see anything there. I smile broadly and tell her she was beautiful to begin with, but “good job!”

I sing to Ricky Martin and Prince – she bops and hums along.

I drink coffee – she drinks babycino.

🙂

Today, she did the cutest thing. During our daily coffee break after lunch, we were seated at the table and enjoying our little time together. She’ll have her babycino and some other sweet, usually some chocolate, while some cake or chocolate too will accompany my cappuccino. As we sat there, I brought the coffee mug to my lips, my left hand naturally going to rest on my hip, and the action made me aware of the hilarity of it, because in our high school years bestie would often be sitting at a desk with one hand on it, the other on her hip. It was funny, because she was sitting – there was no need to put a hand, or any hand on her hips. It was such a standing pose, and here, one hand always found its way there.

Baby girl must have realised my action as I did, because as she drank her babycino, her eyes skimmed over my arm on hip, and she immediately dropped one hand from her cup, and placed it on her hip.

Just like me.

It was a little gesture, but it was also the grandest one.

Just like Mum. She wanted to be just like Mum, whether Mum’s action made sense or not.

Of course, I then dropped it, telling baby girl to hold her cup with two hands (never-ending Mum worry of spilt food/drink taking over) but of course, she wasn’t going to listen to me now, was she?

The hand stayed on her hip, and I let it be. I love my girl 🙂

#418 Lazy-daze Sundays

Sleeping in ’til 9:30am, after averaging 5 to 6 hours of sleep the last few nights

Doing a family grocery shop together

Eating breakfast, lunch and dinner together

Small home improvements in the way of adding door stoppers around the house where necessary

Indulging in Easter cakes and chocolate-y goodness

Hot showers

..

All these little moments have made this lazy Sunday, extremely blissful. I couldn’t be more grateful, to have just been doing not very much at all.

These moments with my family make me truly appreciative, and what’s best, it’s all the simple little every day routines and tasks that make our lives so special.

That is magic.

#397 A forever spot on my lap

It’s the little things…

As baby girl grabbed my outstretched arm and tore me down into the rumpus, promptly telling me to “sit” on the floor, I could only wonder at what she had in store for me. For us.

She grabbed the remotes and plonked herself on my lap, as if I were a trampoline. She pressed a few buttons, and scurried herself further into my lap, cosying herself deep just like a joey would find comfort in her mother’s pouch. She grabbed my arm and wrapped it around her body, for extra support.

And so we began to watch Frozen. We watched a few scenes, and since I’ve never watched it from start to end, rather just heard bits and pieces from the movie here and there as I did stuff around the house, I found it interesting to watch some key scenes: as I conveyed this, I could sense baby girl’s intense pride at ‘Mum taking notice.’

Soon enough though, she was up and off my lap again, re-enacting the scene in front of us as it played out, of Anna singing to her sister through a closed door “Do You Want To Build a Snowman?” I watched in amusement as she acted this all out, shyly yet very happily, and I showered her with praise. Once that song was over, back on my lap she went, cuddling up again.

…that are in fact, the big things.

You might be able to tell, if you frequent this space often, that I write quite a bit about baby girl, and the grateful moments I have with her, by watching her grow, joining in with her fun, and taking pleasure in these precious moments of her youth.

And it comes to stand, that although parenthood is full of trial and tribulation, with more than its fair share of headaches, anxiety, stress and uncertainty, it is something that gives the biggest payback. It is something that gives, in and of itself.

Baby girl is the light of our life. She is a little thing, but she is in fact, the BIGGEST THING.

 

#386 The age of Innocence

Tonight, baby girl hugged and kissed a star lamp. How much more delightful can she possibly get, at age 3?

When she gets presents for an occasion, usually in bulk, like at Christmas, or her Birthday, it’s not too hard amongst the frenzy of new ‘things,’ to pop a gift or 7 away, for a later date.

I like to draw things out. I can see the insane joy in her face when I later take out her presents, all fresh and brand new and exciting, as it’s suddenly something interesting to play with. She has no idea it’s been sitting out of reach on the top drawer of her cupboard the whole time. The only thing she knows is “Oh! New toy!”

I can get away with it at this age.

She received this star lamp for Christmas. And because she had a little fairy lamp that we were using in the meantime, I popped the star one, you guessed it…

Her fairy lamp was going dim. I mean, I could have just changed the batteries, as I’ve done so many times before. But I needed an excuse to take out the star lamp, albeit another battery-operated one, but what the hell.

It looks a lot like this:

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Only in red.

Hubbie and I put in some batteries and set it up in her room, and then as bedtime approached I asked “do you want a surprise?”

Of course a 3 year old wants a surprise at bed time. Stalling is what they excel at.

So we took her into her pitch-black room, I fumbled with the switch on the lamp, and

Ta-da! The room was alight with a warm glow from her new lamp.

She was rapt. She looked at it in admiration. She held it, carried it about. She hugged it, even doing her “awww” bit as if she were hugging a baby. She then kissed it.

She hugged and kissed her lamp.

And you know what? It was freaking adorable. It was beautiful. She is at such an innocent stage, so naïve to so many of life’s treasures, experiences, and discoveries, and it is precious. She is amazed and takes great joy in the smallest of things, and I find it inspirational.

She sees Nutella on the table during breakfast and exclaims “Oh!” before clapping excitedly.

She jumps up and down when we tell her we’re going to walk  to the park.

She hugs a friggin’ lamp because it’s red, it glows, and it’s a star.

How much more simple can you get? How beautiful life is, when things like this make you happy? When you appreciate them to the degree that they bring you irrepressible joy?

I hope to nurture those innocent qualities in her for as long as I can, for as long as she will let me.

In fact, I hope to keep it alive in me while I am at the task. I actually think this gratitude blog, is helping me to do that too…

 

 

 

#361 The note

I didn’t realise there was such a thing as a ‘sad surprise’ until it was staring me in the face early this morning.

It was a really weird feeling.

After spending 20 minutes going through work emails, at about 7:30 I headed on over to the communal kitchen with my cereal container and fruit to organise my breakfast. Alone in there, I set about getting a bowl, spoon, knife, and then opened my container with my weetbix inside….

And staring back at me was a note.

I just stared, shocked. I read it. And then I read it again.

I stood there, still waking up, still unsure of how to react to this surprising note Hubbie had left me.

After standing like that for what seemed like a while, I finally took out my phone and took a quick snap before anyone ventured in to see me photographing my dry breakfast biscuits.

It was this:

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And my bittersweet feelings and confusion were so, because when I traced back the events of last night, I realised with a heavy heart, that Hubbie must have written the note and snuck it into my container…

before we had our very decent argument.

Sigh.

It made me so sad. I loved surprises like these. I lived for them. I do things like this for Hubbie, setting up unplanned events and leaving notes and gifts for him in places I know he’ll find them, sometimes to see his face when he discovers it, and other times with the knowledge that even though I’m not there, a smile will spread over his face and will touch his heart with the realisation that I’ve gone to such effort to make him happy, even when I am not around.

I couldn’t even enjoy the note properly, because as it was, we hadn’t really resolved anything from our disagreement. We had gone to bed dissatisfied and angry, and really it wasn’t a lovely way to go to bed on a Saturday night.

Still, I sat back at my desk with the note, my phone, and my breakfast, and messaged him a heartfelt thank you, expressing my surprise and love. Despite the fact we had not cleared the air, I was still touched.

And hours later at the end of my shift, when I got home, we solved things fairly quickly… that’s because we compromise well and choose peace, over our stubborn stances of being right… but maybe the note that ‘Future’ Hubbie left me had a role to play in that too.

It was as if ‘Future” Hubbie had gone back in time, planted that note to help ease our future woes, and then jumped back into the present to wait for the air to clear.

A bit Back to the Future-esque I know, but an interesting thought none the same.

It certainly explains why he added an ‘e’ to the end of ‘wait’… you know, ‘Future’ Hubbie rushing and all to leave the note before present-day SmikG and Hubbie walked in, making an unforgivable spelling error that all partners of writers should NEVER make.

But, I forgive him. The note. I had felt sad when I first saw it, but earlier as I dated it and tucked it away to keep forever, I cherished the thought of love and happiness that he put into it.

And I am so grateful.

It is the little things… for they are, the big things.

All is good again 😉

#338 Taking a break

I’m fortunate enough to be able to work alongside some pretty cool views. It’s not often that I am able to appreciate them though.

You know, ‘work’ and all.

You know, temperamental Melbourne weather and all.

Which makes the converging of Summer, and holidays, all the more exciting. Warm and comfortable days, relaxing walks due to not-so-pressing work matters, makes for some… ahhh moments.

While heading out to grab a coffee at work today, I was on my own and without any of my fellow work colleagues/coffee lovers, so I took a longer than normal break to just, you know.

Sip coffee and watch.

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Breathe in.

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Observe the glistening water.

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And ponder that while I’m at work, I’m by the water.

And when I’m at home, I’m also, by the water.

And yet I’m a Lion that loves to bathe in the sunshine.

Always the contradiction.

It was a small, yet tranquil moment, and I took it in while it lasted. Then back to the office I went with my Blended Beard firmly in hand.

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It’s all about the small things. It always is. Because they add up to the greater whole.