#460 Dancing in the kitchen with my loves part 4

I still had an ample collection of folk songs on my ipod back from my Dad’s 70th birthday. Yes. I love being super-organised.

I sat on the floor beside the stereo, making sure these songs could definitely play out of there… you know, you do these ‘tests,’ ‘in case,’ before any big event.

Suddenly, loud folk music started blaring out. Pass.

And then baby girl responded in her true nature: she started to dance.

It’s funny how you can completely love a song, or as was this case, songs, and yet never listen to them. Hearing the songs I used to hear around my parents home as a child, brought back the warmest and fondest memories. I love these songs, they remind me of such joy, a naïve and innocent and beautiful time, and yet I never listen to them.

I probably should.

And seeing my daughter dance with such glee to them, well, it touched a very special part of my heart.

Baby girl ran circles around the kitchen, laughing happily, and every so often went over to the stereo to turn the volume dial right up. She then added an action to her circles, and blew a kiss to me, her fingers touching her lips every time she came near me with a loud “mwa!”

I did “mwa!” back, and soon the kitchen was filled with running, delirious laughter, and a lot of air-kisses.

Oh, and also folk music 🙂

 

 

#451 A girl that sleeps

Zzzzz.

Zzzzz.

Zzzzz.

That’s all any parent ever wants, right? A girl that will sleep. A child that will sleep. That has to be the greatest gift, from God to parent.

And if you don’t ‘believe,’ well then that has to be the greatest gift, from your child, to you.

Sleep.

You know you have reached a turning point, a pinnacle of your parenting lifespan, when you start to wake your child.

You get out of bed before them.

You make noise around the house in an effort to wake them up.

And when you walk into their room, their head goes up begrudgingly, before slumping back into their pillow.

Then you walk away, with a laugh. Because you know, the tables have turned.

Mwa ha ha.

Today, after waking up in bed for over 30 minutes, I forced myself out of bed just before 10am. I had gone to bed at 1am, I’ve been under the weather, baby girl has been sick, and this in turn has had her waking and crying from her harsh coughing and rough feeling throat. We’ve had interrupted sleeps for the last 3 nights.

I went downstairs, and was opening blinds, banging cupboards and taking out dishes, when a disheveled looking baby girl, hair all over her face, ran wildly from her room, looking to see where the source of the noise was coming from.

She found me in the kitchen. She beamed, we hugged warmly, and then we started our day.

After 10am.

I love these days 🙂

 

#447 Dancing in the kitchen with my loves part 3

(Apologies for the post delay, it WAS written, just the net was down and I couldn’t post)

It was a big day of preparation, cleaning, then cooking, hosting and entertaining as our close family group came together.

After everyone went home, and we were left cleaning up, a song came on the iPod shuffle – one from my native land that I love, and haven’t heard for a while.

“No, put it back!” I insisted to Hubbie, who had just skipped forward. He pressed a button and it went back to those soft, dreamy guitar notes I haven’t heard for so long. Baby girl came into the room as I swayed from side to side, rinsing dishes, and she held her arms out to me. I knew she was tired, but my mother instinct was turned right up – she wasn’t 100%.

I hoisted her up and danced with her around the kitchen, breaking into song, her exhausted face looking at me with a tired smile.

“Od plavog neba, ljepsi su oci tvoje,

Od svega vise volim te srce moje.”

We waltzed around the kitchen with her high up in my arms, and with Hubbie watching on in adoration, he soon got up from his spot to join us, wrapping us in a hug.

“Zlatne strune, sviraj tebi, ovu pjesmu jace!”

I belted out the song as much as I could, we swayed for a few more moments, and then baby girl’s weight (and wiggling) got too much to bare and I had to put her down.

But, no matter what occasion it is, dancing in the kitchen is most definitely the highlight of the night for me:)

(And, if you don’t understand the above lyrics, as I expect you can’t, go and learn yourself some Croatian… if only to understand the song, it is truly beautiful).

#379 She is growing up

While she was at kinder today, I went through some more boxes. I took out her toddler-sized kitchen plastic play set that has been tucked away since we packed it up, 5 months ago when we moved here.

I know she’d forgotten about it. When I lead her to the play area, and turned her around, she didn’t scream with excitement. Or clap excitedly. Her realisation was more of an increased dawning, so pleased but madly curious about all the odds and ends and rediscovery, that her outward excitement just had to wait. She had to explore, immediately.

I watched her move about ‘her kitchen.’ She turned nobs and dials like a master. She walked behind the ‘sink’ got a ‘pot,’ and with a ‘ladle’ started to spoon out some ‘soup’ into a ‘cup.’

Scoop, scoop, scoop she went. So expertly. She tipped it into the cup and handed it to me, telling me it was a bit hot. It took me hours to realise why she kept repeating this every time she handed me or Hubbie something to ‘eat’ tonight: I am constantly saying “Ouch! Hot!” every time she points at a pan or pot while I am cooking.

She is imitating me 🙂

She used to get frustrated with her kitchen play set, and start to throw things around: a plate here, a plastic fridge door there. She’d chew on the green knives and spoons, so much so that many have her teeth marks on them.

Now she moves about so comfortably. She packs her ‘cake,’ a ‘teapot’ and a cup, carefully into the fridge/pantry component of her kitchen. She adjusts them carefully, and then closes the door.

She is 3 and a half. Her maturity stuns me.

Later she sits with an activity book she is becoming re-acquainted with, after it was discovered after more of my earlier unpacking. It’s one of those ones where you add water to the thick cardboard paper, and watch it transform into colour as it hits the surface. She sits on the floor with a bowl of water next to her, diligently getting to work as she dips her finger in the bowl, and then moves it over the page, bringing the Finding Dory illustration to life.

She sits like that, for a while. Here was a girl who could barely stay focused on any one task for 5 minutes. And yet she does page after page, showing me her artwork in between, proudly smiling as I exclaim “did you do that?!”

A lot of it is kindergarten. Much of it is age too. And time must also play a factor. But I am flabbergasted, truly lost for words at the developmental progress, and the maturity that baby girl is displaying. Sure, she is still her cheeky self. Sure, there are times she will try to get away with more than she should. Sure, she still knows how to get a rise out of us.

But I can just see the difference. See this observational, particular, independent, creative and go-getting girl, developing.

And I couldn’t be prouder.

And sure, parenting is hard. Really, really hard at times.

But then it is amazing. Joyful. Unbelievably rewarding. It can have you feeling higher than a kite, falling to your knees in blessed wonder, and shedding tears of happiness and hilarity at once.

It is the best thing, EVER. And it’s because it is LOVE, manifested.

I love that description.

A child is LOVE, manifest. And watching that LOVE grow and develop into something beyond your wildest dreams…

Words cannot describe. Although I have done my best to. I will now stop.

Grateful, is an understatement of the highest magnitude.

 

#332 Dancing in the kitchen with my loves part 2

Last time, it was Hubbie, baby girl and I, dancing in the kitchen of our old home. So many memories there. So sweet, so happy. So full of wonder, joy and gratitude.

This time: dancing in our new (albeit old) kitchen in our new house, with Hubbie, baby girl, and my sis and her hubbie.

Baby girl spotted the boppy song. She turned up the volume on the radio that had been on an intermediate level as we chatted casually in the kitchen, snacking on bocconcini, crackers and pickles. We all responded in unison, our hands in the air, waving them about.

Seconds later, we were on the floor with her.

Crocodile Rock, Elton John.

“Laaaaaaaa!” we yelled to her. “La la la la la.”

“La la la la la…. la la la la la!”

Hands waving about, jumping up and down, dancing like crazy.

If only I had gotten the video recorder out to capture such a loving and happy time… it was one of those moments, where we were having too much fun to remember anything organised like that.

Good thing I have this online journal though 😉

 

#320 3 generations on the bed

A continuation of an earlier post.

Last night Mum stayed with my sister during Dad’s first overnight hospital stay.

Tonight, it was our turn.

We had already passed on our “sweet dreams” and well wishes for the night to her, with baby girl repeatedly confirming that Baka, was indeed sleeping next door to her, and followed that with several hugs and kisses.

I was tidying around the house and went into baby girl’s room when I heard my Mum’s loud laughter. I moved around the room, and it happened again. I grinned. “You ok in there?”

She had done her bid: she had caught my attention.

I went into the dimly lit room and sat on the bed with her as she proceeded to tell me some things that had been on her mind, kind of funny, kind of not, but nonetheless I listened and lended her my ear.

Baby girl soon realised I was missing and came charging into the room. She disappeared during our conversation to bring along some Wiggles figurines to the party, and soon, there were 3 generations on the bed… alongside Emma, Lachy, Simon and Anthony of course. Talking to my Mum like that reminded me of our conversations of old, when I would have 3 hour D&Ms with her on a Saturday morning as a teen, sitting across from each other at our old round kitchen table.

I smiled with much content, as baby girl repeatedly hugged her Baka, watching their reflection in the opposite dresser mirror, while my Mum casually returned the embraces and kissed her while not missing or pausing for a forgotten word. When my Mum laughed, so did baby girl, mimicking her characteristic tone.

I was very happy. It is lovely indeed, when you find precious and beautiful moments amidst such uncertainty. It was heart-warming to see such love between them, and seeing how they related to one another, along with the physical resemblance, makes it all the more appropriate that baby girl is her namesake 🙂

 

 

#265 I’m bringing baking back… YEAH

It’s been a good day, even though we stayed home… half imposed upon, half because I needed it. I decided to do something with baby girl after lunch, both to excite us a little and also because like the above, I needed it.

imag1857

If there is a blogger out there who continually and repetitively posts pics of the same dishes they make, over and over, well let me know. Kindred spirit. These baked cinnamon doughnuts with Nutella filling are super easy, which is why it’s so fun to bake them again and again. And they’re great to make with a little one who possesses curious fingers, curious eyes, and a curious mind (or in other words, an impatient and sweet-toothed toddler!)

But I also had to make them, to prove a point to myself. I recently crammed all the kitchen items that were worthiest and used most by me, into this old 80s-style kitchen in our new home. I was feeling down when I still had all my kitchen stuff packed in boxes and shoved to one corner of the room, and then when I found out our kitchen reno may be further away than we thought, I was shattered. I felt out of control. I couldn’t cook how I liked, my stuff was everywhere, and now I felt like it was going to remain that way for months to come.

But then I firmly took matters into my own hands. I unpacked what I could, and in doing so regained control. And though its not an everyday task for me, I took out my most used baking instruments, therefore assuring myself that I COULD do, and bake, whatever I liked, whenever I liked.

It was this small yet large action that helped me. And the icing on the cake? Actual baking. Today.

Baby girl couldn’t contain her excitement, with those cheeky fingers getting into the mixing bowl a few too many times. It was great. I did it for her, I did it for me, and I did it for us. And knowing there will be many more cakes and muffins and doughnuts makes me excited that I have control of my life back and things will be getting better. Sooner than we even know it 🙂