#545 Face paint at almost 3(4)

When you write a gratitude blog, you are looking at the happier things in life.

Brighter moments.

Uplifting times.

A flower blooming bright amidst grey concrete.

The rainbow that follows a dark storm.

The perfect coffee to perk you up on a cold Winter’s morning (of course, coffee).

But when it comes to Motherhood and kids, life is soooo off-kilter. There is a lot to be grateful for, but there is also a lot to bang your head against the wall in frustration too.

Take today for instance. We celebrated baby girl’s 4th birthday.

Do I mention how she hid under the table and didn’t come out as visitors came forward to wish her a happy day? No.

Do I mention how she only wanted to stay outside, away from everyone inside, and only came in when she fell and grazed her knee and I forced her to? No.

Do I mention how she screamed with fury when everyone started singing happy birthday to her? No.

No No No.

Because I’m also a glass half-full gal, which makes writing a blog like this, a bit easier, amidst challenging times. Diplomatically speaking.

So, I am grateful that I got a little face ‘decorating’ done today. Of course baby girl refused her face and got her hands painted instead (of course, it’s her birthday after all), but as soon as I organised the face painter to come for the kids, I immediately thought ‘I’m getting something too.’

I thought that, because I am young at heart, and baby girl brings that out in me, even more. And not only do I enjoy her birthday and the fun that these events bring to her, but it is double the fun, because actually…

Baby girl and I share a birthday. What do you know. Double the trouble.

So any excuse for a big party for her, is an excuse for a big party for me. And any excuse to get face painting for her…

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Is an excuse to get face painting for ME.

Bright flowers and blooming butterflies. We focus on the positive things here.

Eternally youthful… I don’t care for growing up.

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#535 Pre-work cafe

A lot of times the photos I display on my SmikG blog as part of my Food Reviews, look something like this:

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And not often do people get to witness the beautifully imperfect behind-the-scenes pics, like this

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The above happened earlier today, a couple of hours before I headed into work. And as I sit here at my desk eating reheated food, I look back fondly, and am grateful for the wayward, spontaneous and cheeky hand that is my daughter’s, representative of all that is¬†crazy, interesting and truly amazing about life.

And those imperfect moments, are actually… pretty damn flawless in my books.

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#531 Dancing in the kitchen with best man and fam

Ahhh. Kitchen. Dancing. It’s become a synonymously SmikG thing, huh?!?!

But today, we were fortunate to spend the best evening ever with some of our besties. It’s always so easy and entertaining – we have fun, we are relaxed, and all of this even more so because our kids are having fun, and they are relaxed too… so relaxed they ran around the house in circles trying to freeze each other with ‘Frozen’ wands repeatedly.

Like I said, relaxed.

It’s a win-win.

And the end of it brought the perfect culmination of the night, when we took to the kitchen dancefloor (because let’s face it, that’s what it is) quite spontaneously, and started to move.

Hubbie and Best Man got personal… man love all the way.

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There was standing on stools, Elvis Presley poses

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Kids screaming in excited fury!

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And just all kinds of colourful feet moving about on the dancefloor.

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It was freeing, it was happy, it was wild and it was irrationally crazy… yet mostly the vibe was PERFECT.

As it always is in the Best company. Best man and fam. Makes sense ūüėČ

 

 

 

#516 Meeting Skye

Another one was added to the list as baby girl came into arms reach (or should I say, Paw’s reach – total Dad joke I know) of one her latest Paw Patrol idols.

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She was full of energy and happiness, no hesitation in meeting such a BIG STAR, and went straight in for a hug, an adorable photo, and then even turned around to get a hi-five from the Pink Pup.

It was too cute, yet over very quickly, considering we had been standing in line to meet the character for over an hour.

We had delightful company though, which made it very bearable.

You see, coincidentally and lucky for us, we were in the shopping centre¬†‘hood of baby girl’s 3rd cousin,¬†where we saw Skye today.¬†They are two months apart, which makes them adorable to look at together. Can you just imagine 2 almost 4 year-olds running up and down and around the length of the queue, feigning drama at the long wait, and policing each other around, to our extreme amusement? Our smiles did not leave our faces ūüôā

They are different, and yet so much the same. They compliment each other really well, and because of that get along great. They spent some time after the meet ‘n’ greet making their own Paw Patrol badges

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before a little play date at her cousins house. It is actually a joy to watch them two together, and as well as being grateful that baby girl put another notch on her celebrity/idol/character meet ‘n’ greet list, I was so happy she got to share it with her cousin, someone I have no doubt she will be very close to, and share special memories with, as the years go by.

Love love love.

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#511 Frozen Fun

It was always going to be a grateful day when we went to see Disney’s Frozen On Ice. None more so grateful that baby girl herself.

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She dressed up in her finest character-gear – the ‘Anna’ costume (which I secretly revelled in because she was going against the grain of every other girl dressing as Elsa);

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we jumped on a beachside train and had a fun trip into the city alongside other little people dressed as Frozen characters (baby girl became best friends instantly with a girl her age dressed as Elsa);

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and after the show, took a token piece of heavily-overpriced Frozen merchandise home, because you know, Disney marketing.

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Isn’t baby girl the one grateful for all this? Why would I even mention these things when all of the above points would have made HER excited and happy?

It’s because what makes her happy, makes us happy too. Thrilled. It was all done for her, but when you do something for someone out of love, the love just multiplies, until you too, are obsessively in love with¬†Anna and¬†Kristoff,¬†and do a Lleyton-style fist pump when Anna smashes one across Hans’ face.

(Yes).

Such a beautiful day for baby girl, that made us smile, bonded us more as a family, and has left us absolutely pooped TO NO END.

Ahhh. Bed is looking good…

 

 

#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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#470 Coffee with Cinderella

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Straight up, that was my coffee experience today.

It was special because my parents have been staying with us for a little bit, and so today while out and about, showing them our ‘hood,’ we stopped for a caf√© latte break.

Parents, baby girl, me… and Cinderella.

Because that’s how the coffee breaks are nowadays. And it’s important that I capture them as they are, now. Because these days of mini figurines, kinder surprises, play-doh creations and smiley-face biscuits, will not last forever. Baby girl will grow out of it, and soon will be way too cool for any of that kiddy ‘stuff.’

The stuff that now makes her clap her hands with unrestrained glee, a wild smile spreading across her face in the moment that she comes face to face with a little packet-ed princess wearing a blue gown.

So, it was a cool little coffee date we had. I share these moments with baby girl, but my parents being there as witness to it all, is extra, extra, cool.

That’s a coolness, I won’t ever¬†grow out of.