#1429 Sharing the beach love

Okay, so it’s not MY beach. But when your friends visit you from across town and ask for a beach-playdate-destination-recommendation, you kinda feel like a part of you is being exposed, on show for all to see.

I was pleased, because it was a pretty perfect beach day.

Still, sunny, but with some cloud cover at times. The water was mild. The kids had shallow waters.

Us Mums were (mostly) happy. Kids make that sentence ‘mostly.’ ๐Ÿคฃ

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But it wasn’t just the fun and frivolity of being on sand, or wading on water that made today fun and totally chillax-worthy.

I felt there was a lot of meaning attached to the day. Sure we were on the beach and all, but I couldn’t help thinking of how we had come to the beach that day.

I was thinking of friends, and friendship, A LOT. It was two of my oldest friends that I was with today. They with their brood, me with mine. And it had nothing to do with watching the kids play, fight, argue over who had the body board next or lie in the water and float, things we used to imagine way back when in high school when we’d say to one another that our kids would be friends just as we were.

It was more about the ‘time.’ That all-too-important commodity that everyone argues they have little to none of. I was thinking of how we were all there on the beach, dedicated to the task of spending time together, our kids having fun together, while there were so many other things in our life distracting us, so many other things we could do, and so many other places we could be.

But we chose to be there.

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It was humbling. It was heart-warming. When someone chooses you to be the place they spend their time with, it is something special. In a world where the word ‘busy’ flies out of our mouths all too often, it was a day where we chose each other, and in doing so made one of the best sacrifices of time and best decisions possible:

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Because we made memories for not only us, but THEM. โค๐Ÿ–

#1427 Saturday Night In no. 8

A Saturday night in, but a loud, passionate and fun one with the best company.

It can get a little crazy.

It can get a little noisy.

And it can get a little rowdy, but that’s how things are when we combine, us with sis and bro-in-law, and best man and fam.

The kids will be running around the house at full speed, (and I don’t know how they don’t collect themselves on corners more often) flying past us adults gathered around the kitchen island, clicking glasses and listening to the latest tune selected that is blasting out of the portable speaker.

It’s love.

No really, it is. We were singing “That’s Amore” with booming voices, swaying to and fro and laughing at ourselves.

“When the world seems to shine

Like you’ve had too much wine

That’s amore.”

It sure is. โค๐Ÿท๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿป๐ŸŽถ

#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

 

 

 

 

#1409 Anticipation for Santa

It’s so much fun looking forward to Christmas day with a 6 year-old.

Everything is so dramatic, and so passionate.

Because as soon as December arrived, it was –

“Oh, how many days until Christmas? That’s too long!”

And today it was the complete opposite –

“YEAH! SANTA IS COMING TONIGHT! I CAN’T WAIT TO OPEN MY PRESENTS!”

(With a lot of jumping up and down and diving into the couch for added effect).

I don’t know how baby girl (and we) lasted the past month with her questions about Christmas and how far it was… but we made it.

Tonight we sprinkled sparkly oats on our lawn to guide the reindeers to our house.

And then as night fell we took a quick drive around the neighbourhood, gasping and pointing at anything shiny and reflective in the night.

There are some seriously cool light displays out there.

Tonight, it’s the traditional spread for Santa and his red-nosed reindeer.

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I don’t suppose I’ll be the only parent tonight downing milk, chomping on carrots and sneaking in gingerbread? (I say as I wipe away my milk moustache… ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Merry Christmas Eve all ๐Ÿ™‚

#1405 And, here we are

The journey starts with school tours, hope and anticipation

And, here we are.

You cross your fingers and fill in the forms

And, here we are.

 

Iron on name labels and school lunches

And, here we are.

Nervous smiles and a heart full of dreams – theirs AND ours

And, here we are.

 

There are good days, full of playground fun and new friends

And, here we are.

There are days where you make a meeting with the teacher

And, here we are.

 

There are mornings when they do all their chores!

And, here we are.

And then there are those where you both cry before walking out the front door

And, here we are.

 

On cold mornings you count down to school holidays

And, here we are.

On sunshine-y days you count down to school holidays

And, here we are.

 

You do their hair 17 different ways

And, here we are.

You make their lunchbox 84 different ways… longing for a break

And, here we are.

 

New friends and play dates

And, here we are.

Birthday parties and lollies galore

And, here we are.

 

Colourful posters and a million artworks

And, here we are.

Scratches all over their arms and legs

And, here we are.

 

Grumpy moody tired children

And, here we are.

Grumpy moody tired parents

And, here we are.

 

They learn so much and grow even more

And, here we are.

But all things, eventually come to an end…

And, here we are.

 

I sat in the car this morning, looked back at baby girl and said –

“And, here we are!”

And as I walked her to school for the last time of her prep days,

I felt myself get choked up, emotional and teary.

 

And I thought, just like that.

Here we are.

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#1397 The hair can wait, but the help can’t

Today I attended a Parent Helpers Morning Tea at baby girl’s school.

I wrote some time ago that I got the invite to the tea and happily accepted. To be honest, I was feeling a bit shit this morning and actually contemplated pulling out.

On top of my hesitation, I had called my hairdresser this morning to cancel my upcoming appointment with them, since it clashed with me helping out baby girl at swimming.

Why was I going?

I was busy already.

What was the point?

What made me say yes in the first place?

I had these questions circling through my mind, but at the same time the thought of not going didn’t sit right with me either.

So I wentโ€ฆ and oh man am I glad I did.

Firstly, I had a really great time. I caught up with other parents and baby girl’s teacher, and it was lovely to be in a slightly different social setting without our kids screaming “Mum look at me!” from the playground at pick-up.

Oh, my THE SPREAD. It was this insanely long table with all kinds of sandwiches, rolls and wraps, fruit and snacks and chocolate and cake and sweets and crackers and everything in between… it was amazing. The coffee and tea window was set up and moving quickly despite the long line, and all in all it was a really well organised morning tea.

But then the principal spoke, and thanked us… she pointed out and spoke about an elderly gentleman, telling us that despite his flailing health, he had been volunteering and helping kids at the school with their reading for 11 years now. I looked at the sombre-looking frail man hanging his head, wishing he would hold it up high. Tears gathered in my eyes and I willed myself to not be a sook by taking a big sip of my tea.

What a man.

Then there were two students who had made up poems for all the helpers. They read them out, and though they were simple, they were so, so sweet, and totally pulled at my heart-strings. I was standing there thinking “damn it, I’m not supposed to cry.”

And then I realised. I realised that all of us in there, all of the helpers really did deserve this special morning. We deserved the thanks. I was reminded of how only that morning I had cancelled my hair appointment as I had forgotten over a month ago when I booked it, that it clashed with the last swimming session baby girl had through the school.

Baby girl wanted me there at swimming, and I couldn’t let her down. I cancelled my pre-Christmas hair appointment instead.

But secretly, someone was looking out for me. Because when I called to cancel, the hairdresser was able to fit me in next week with her… at a better and more convenient time than the original one would have been anyway.

So, winning.

I made the morning tea. I gratefully accepted the thanks amongst so many more.

I cancelled the hair appointment and made that tiny sacrifice for baby girl…

And I was thanked.

These sacrifices we make, big or small, are all eventually noticed… if not by friends, family or your child’s school… then by the Universe. โ™ฅ

#1392 Front row at The Wiggles

You know the other day when I said “I’m done,” because I was so happy and grateful to be part of a writing group?

“I made it.”

Well today I made it in another way.

We did.

It’s only taken us 9 shows. But today we were front row at The Wiggles concert.

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๐Ÿ˜ฎ

It was the best. It was an incredible experience all on its own, without the Wiggly high-fives, smiles, and don’t forget that repeated eye contact.

๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฉ

Baby girl had Emma, the yellow, and also ballet and Scottish dancing, bow-wearing, goat-loving wiggle, high five her and point that she saw her flashing bow from up on the stage.

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OMG. Talk about a total childhood high.

How the hell am I meant to top this experience?

Just as well. Sis and I never know which show will be the last with our kids, and so every moment shared together is so precious and such a beautufil blessing.

And so if it is, it was the biggest highlight EVER.

(Just between you and me though, I think today raised the bar and made them even bigger fans than before…) ๐Ÿ˜‰

๐Ÿ”ต๐Ÿ”ด๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ”ฎ

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