#799 (Tiny) kitchen hand

I was preparing dinner. One of the things on tonight’s list were these too-easy mini pizzas I make using puff pastry, and they work just as well as a side dish as they do in baby girl’s kinder lunchbox.

She spied me, making them.

“Mama me help?”

I must have grumbled, or made no response. I was in one of those moods. You know that mood where you just want to get shit done, instead of entertaining someone and being all patient?

Sadly in that moment, I wasn’t the ‘let’s do this together honey!’ Mum I try to be. Rather I was the short-tempered and cranky ‘I’m busy!’ Mum.

I must have realised this though, because even when her back was turned as I got to a part that she could do, instead of quickly finishing them off myself, I called her over.

“Do you wanna help me sprinkle cheese?”

And after she did that, narrating “sprinkle sprinkle sprinkle” as she went, she then asked

“Can I roll?”

I breathed in deep for that one. God help me how would they turn out? … But sure, why the hell not? It was just rolling.

They turned out beautiful. One broke in the middle half-way through, but I didn’t even care. I had suddenly seen ourselves through my eyes 5 years earlier, and realised that she was helping me – wanting to help me in the kitchen – something a pre-Motherhood SmikG would have clapped her hands with joy for. Something a pre-baby me would have thought was the most cherished and beautiful thing in the world to share.

And so I pushed my busy-ness to the side, and stood in the glow of gratitude.

#793 Home cooked cheat food

Tuesday nights usually find us not reaching into the pantry or the fridge. It’s our almost mid-week break, where we find reason, any reason to go out for dinner (“it’s a nice day,” “I’m craving that pasta,” “I need or break,” or the good ol’ “it’s Tuesday” simply makes the cut).

When the weather is crap, we need time out from running around, or we are just feeling uninspired, we get takeaway and chill.

So as tonight approached, it was initially option 1 of the above. In fact, we were planning on going out tonight since last Friday, and this decision was probably made more so by my unfortunate late night Saturday shift – we needed something to look forward to.

But then came yesterday, and we both went “it’ll be dark by the time we head out to dinner… why don’t we just take away?”

And so suddenly, option 2. This was great. We would stay home, we could lounge in our trakkies, it was night 3 out of the 4 weekly Bachelor in Paradise eps (only slightly obsessed), and still, we weren’t going to any effort.

But then, between last night and today lunchtime, something happened.

My temperamental husband happened.

“I think I just wanna make a home burger, and some of our home made chips.”

What? This would require cooking? And prep? Cooking every day is something I’m long accustomed to, but when someone tells me I’m not cooking, and then SURPRISE! I’m cooking!” I get a little bit crabby.

However, as the evening arrived, things just flowed. There was actually minimal prep. We shared the kitchen, something we often struggle with as we both need our space in there. He seasoned the chicken, pan-fried it, and cut up the salad fillings, while I did the chips… seasoned with VEGETA, mmmmmm.

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We weren’t rushing. In fact, we were early. We had the music going, baby girl was painting, and then as the volume went up, we got to some good ol’ dancing in the kitchen. Artists today included Amy Winehouse, Justin Timberlake, and The Doors, along with baby girls favourite song “Go Bang” by Pnau, which had ALL of us jumping.

We were really happy, and relaxed. And then as we sat down to eat, things got even better.

Our meal was delicious. Amazing. We had created a version of a cheat’s meals – a junk food meal if you will – and it was more tasty, healthy and clearly, WAY cheaper than anything we would have gotten if we had gone out or ordered take away.

It was just win-win-win all around. We were together in the comfort and warmth of our home, enjoying quality family togetherness. We were chilled. We had saved $$$. We had eaten a dinner that was healthy, which was tasty and as close to being junk food as possible, without actually being junk food… and it was all done by the time Keira and Jarrod arrived on screen.

Score.

 

#743 2 years and 2 days

I totally missed the celebration boat. Because, you know, LIFE. I actually thought the day was today, or tomorrow, but alas, I wrote “#1” 2 years and 2 days ago.

That is because on February 24th 2016, I wrote my first ever gratitude post.

YAY! For 2 years I’ve been doing this gratitude game. A game where I as recipient, always win. Because if you can find something to be grateful for, no matter how small or insignificant you may think it to be, as long as it does something for you and lifts you up, that is all that matters.

It need not matter if your neighbour doesn’t appreciate it. Your work colleague. The green grocer, taxi driver, hell even your kids or partner don’t have to agree – if there is something in your life you are happy for, pay attention to that, and then watch it GROW.

I’ve been constantly amazed at the amount of material I still manage to find to write about and be grateful for. Sure, I have a decent portion of posts with infinite ‘parts’… like my shopping posts, my dancing in the kitchen posts, even ones about coffee…

It was always a question, and a challenge for me to see if I could write every day about something novel that I was consequently grateful for. I have managed to do that for all of these days, despite also having hard days, trying days, boring days, uninspiring days, sad days, and depressing days. Despite all of life’s crap, I have tried as my own personal challenge, to find something.

I sometimes wonder if I should stop here and now – ‘thank you very much’ – and give this whole gratitude game a rest. Not for lack of gratitude or tiring of writing. I have done this for 2 years now and I know I can find gratitude, I know I can find something different to write about every day.

For now, I am happy to stay in this gratitude game and keep practicing it via this online forum. I am enjoying this process, and I think, as is the nature of Life, I still have a lot to learn.

And, if I ever do decide to finish up on this blog (insert shameless self-promotional plug here) there will still always be my parent blog smikg.com – where I talk everything and anything Life, gratitude or not-inspired (things that shit me, anyone?)

Ta for sticking around folks, and let’s see how far we can get.

Further more, why don’t you see how far YOU can get?

🙂

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Photo by Pineapple Supply Co. on Unsplash

 

#704 How to Survive no Air Conditioning at home in 35+ degree heat

Step 1: At the beginning of the day – keep blinds/curtains CLOSED.

Step 2: Same goes for opening doors and windows. Preserve the indoor coolness all you can, while you can.

Step 3: Go and buy some groceries. Decide you need frozen peas, cream, butter, milk… ANYTHING cold.

Step 4: Come back home. Try not to make anything that requires the oven being turned ON. (Doh! my leek and mushroom frittata….)

Step 5: Realise you need stronger relief, in the form of cold treats…

…so you go out for ice cream, and iced coffee. Perfect.

Step 6: Back at home for dinner, don’t put any hot appliances on. Not EVEN the stove. Ok well one pot is allowed, MAXIMUM. Make a salad.

Step 7: Go to the beach.

We may not have air conditioning at the moment, but we do have some other things… like awesome ice cream shop proximity, as well as unbelievable access to some of the best beaches adorning Port Phillip Bay. So if we don’t have cooling at home…

I figure I can still count my blessings and appreciation… because we still have something. AWESOME.

 

 

#690 Coffee/Park/Beach break

Long story short… I was pissed off.

Short story long… following the splashback tiles going on in our kitchen just before Christmas, I still hadn’t had a chance to apply the grout sealer/protector, to keep them cleaner and protected against any guaranteed future splashes, squirts and splatters that would occur while cooking.

It had been bugging me, as not only was the tile grouting not sealed, but the oven was still moved forward because of this, and we were only allowed to use the front stove points. Also, certain corner and nearby cupboards were made harder to access, and all in all I just wanted to seal the tiles and move the oven back so everything was nicer and easier to use.

But when I sprayed the sealer on, and then as ‘per the bottle instructions,’ went to wipe the excess off the tiles an hour later… it came off, kind of. Remaining on the tiles were these annoyingly faint spray marks, ALL over the tiles as they had dried. I soon learnt they did not come off easily, AT ALL.

So after several hours, of first using paper towel with water, then paper towel with vinegar, and then a soft scouring non-scratching sponge with vinegar, I got MOST of it off.

Stuff that. I honestly couldn’t care anymore. I had probably removed most of the grout protector with my cleaning too, but I HONESTLY DIDN’T CARE ANYMORE.

I sat down at 3pm on the couch with a huff. I could hear baby girl in the nearby room playing with her toys so I sat breathing for 5 minutes. Still getting over being seriously pissed off. Then I got out our shoes, with baby girl asking me “Mama, where you take me?”

“I don’t know honey, let’s just go somewhere.”

Somewhere, led us to the Main Street with holiday-makers galore. I had to wonder if Hubbie and I were such sore thumbs when we used to weekend it over here…

And first, was the caffeine/sweet-tooth break.

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Ahhh, my sweet. As I stirred my coffee salaciously, I started to unwind.

Next, a short walk down the block to the big park by the bay. Baby girl swung for what felt like forever, and I let her. She too had been stuck inside as I had gone ape-shit on the kitchen tiles.

But I needed that BIT more ‘ahh’ time. I convinced her into a walk up to the water views at the end of the street… and then as we approached the ice cream van parked along the street, she convinced me into an ice cream.

What the hell. It was Summer, January, I had had an annoying few hours of the day, and although we weren’t on holiday just yet, I sure as hell was feeling those holiday vibes rubbing off on me from everyone else.

We wandered over to the lookout, sitting on a nearby bench, with the clifftop drop just metres away from our feet.

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Baby girl slurped her quickly melting ice cream, I helped her, we clutched on our hats as they both almost flew off our heads, and then I turned my attention to the vast expanse of water in front of us, breathing in the negative ions of the water, which if we’re being honest and literal, is actually POSITIVE.

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The wind nearly swept me away, but where I didn’t go, my problems and worries and all my annoying moments of the day, went. And then back to the park, for some more swinging fun…

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#685 Baby girl and besties

It’s a beautiful thing to catch up with old friends. It’s even better, when your child welcomes them with open arms.

And hugs.

And kisses.

And jumps all over them.

And plays with them.

And tells them they are her best friends in “whole my world.”

Not ‘my whole world.’

WHOLE MY WORLD.

That is more special. Or should I say, special more.

It was a great night for us all, and every time we vow we won’t leave it so long ’til the next catch up… and then LIFE catches up, but still, we keep on trying. That is the thing with real friends, no matter what, you always try.

You are together for the night, and time flies and you don’t realise how much time has passed, because time feels like nothing at all when the company is so precious.

There was talking, laughter and music, and baby girl took photographic evidence to document IT ALL.

See, this is our Christmas tree all lit up

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Then this was some of our song selections for the night

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This is the side of Bestie, her hubbie Hubbex, and Hubbie all chilling on the couch.

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This is her foot

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And this is me, with her lego so conveniently sprawled along the coffee table, the tree behind me so beautifully hiding the inconspicuously placed fridge that has still not been moved into place following the kitchen reno (have you ever tried to move a fridge?!?!)

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I know, right? You will have to all form an orderly line and wait to see the entrepreneurial photographic genius that is my daughter. Go on. Take a ticket.

Who else posts blurry photos online? NO ONE. See, we’re already winning.

Happy New Year’s Eve EVE everyone. Hope yours was lit up with joy and friendship too.

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#684 My little doctor

I was in a ‘zone’ – a zone to clean the house as deeply and thoroughly as I could.

The house has not had a proper clean since the kitchen renovations started, so I was really keen.

I walked from the bathroom to the laundry with an arm-full of cleaning products. Because of this, and also, because of SmikG clumsiness, my protruding elbow collided with the handle of the door.

“Ahhh!” I gasped, half-wheezing, half-shrieking, throwing the products onto the nearby bench so I could clutch at my elbow. The impact had sent shock waves into my bone, and it was reverberating, there were pins and needles, and deep, deep agony. I rubbed it wildly, trying to get a grip of myself, but the sounds still came out.

“OW! Oh oh oh, ouch, ohhhhhhh!”

I knew what would come as soon as I became vocal, and sure enough in amongst my canine-like yelping, came the sound of small running footsteps.

Thud thud thud thud thud.

Baby girl flew past the laundry door, before coming to a halt and backtracking when she saw where I was. She came over quickly and looked up at me all wide-eyed as I held my elbow, grimacing.

“Mama you ok?”

“Oh, Mama hurt her elbow very bad, it hurts!”

She held my arm and kissed it once, looking up at me all patiently and calmly, full of love, the way I look at her when I am trying to calm her down.

“Feel better?”

“Oh, a little bit. Here kiss it some more.” She immediately obeyed and planted more sweet kisses on my elbow.

“Oh honey, that’s much better, thank you so much my darling.” It still hurt like hell, but my heart was now brimming with love and joy, and that kind of outweighed that pesky elbow pain 😉