#597 A well-read break in the afternoon sun

I had many options.

1, I could wash those growing stacks of dishes that had accumulated in the sink throughout the day.

B.  I could write, in any of my writing projects – just pick an avenue: book review, journaling, updating my SmikG page… I would not be bored.

c) I had emails to send, and phone calls to make, regarding our upcoming kitchen reno project.

8: There were also messages to be sent out, to various professionals and also close friends.

Z – I could even dedicate some learning time to baby girl, or break out the sports bra and Zumba away.

But I chose to do NONE of those things.

I looked out at the GLORIOUS day, as Macklemore sings it, and also, baby girl’s new favourite song to sing…

…and I thought, how could I possibly stay inside on a day like today? I had to shirk all my responsibilities and to-dos, and do something else…

I don’t just love coffee. And aside from baby girl, my family, and shopping, and heading outdoors, and looking at sunsets and dancing in the kitchen, there is something else I love, that I don’t get to do as much as I wish to, but it will always and forever remain an intense, deep, reliable, faithful LOVE of mine.

Reading.

I took a new book from the bookshelf that I hadn’t yet opened, and sat outside on our bench, the afternoon sun warming me right up as I turned a couple of dozen pages.

Baby girl found me and brought out a sticker book, sitting on the concrete before me and getting to work.

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Sure, she interrupted my reading every 30 seconds. Sure, at the beginning I got up more than I was sitting down and enjoying the moment, either to help her or get ourselves some sunnies and hats for protection.

Sure, it wasn’t ALL peace and quiet.

But sitting there with my girl at my side, the sparkling water before us, and with Spring putting on a quite stunning show, I felt so relaxed. So at ease. And so ‘me’ again.

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#564 Spa ‘me’ day

I have had the most splurgiest of splurgee splurge sessions today.

I went to the Peninsula Hot Springs.

For anyone that doesn’t know what the Peninsula Hot Springs are, they are a collection of thermal mineral waters that flow into pools and private baths in the Fingal location on the Peninsula, that make it the prime real estate of bathing, and other luxurious treatments such as massages.

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I not only bathed today. But I massaged. AND I ate.

It all started with the voucher I received from Hubbie for my birthday… last year. Yep, I am continuing my wait-’til-the-last-possible-second tradition of fulfilling a gift voucher by waiting until the last day possible to use it. And today I used it before its expiry date of tomorrow, so at least I’m being consistent.

Not due to lack of want, NO. I love the Peninsula Hot Springs. I’ve been there once before many many years ago, and now that we are locals and an approximate 30 minute drive away, I’d love to make this as common a luxurious tradition as humanly (and monetarily) possible.

For me it’s always been about the TIME. Finding time to do something for myself, and making sure baby girl is occupied or there is someone to look after her, and simultaneously trying to find ‘me’ time outside of ‘family’ time, because DON’T GET ME STARTED on Mum guilt…

So today I put Hubbie’s voucher to good use. I followed a lovely lady into a hut within the trees occupying this forest oasis, and had an hour-long Peninsula vine massage…

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Followed by a lunch in the Bath House café, where I sat unapologetically in my white robe, with only a pair of disposable knickers underneath, true story.

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Because nothing says relaxation like not removing your terry white robe to eat a very distinguished lunch menu. Tee hee hee.

And then I had about an hour to spare before kinder pick-up, so I went through the Bath House pools, intimate bathing spaces for those only 16+, and tried out some steaming hot baths, one of which was a mere 40-42 degrees Celsius.

Thin branching leaves and trees enveloped the entire Bath House area, so that it felt like a little private piece of watery heaven.

I had been all on my own, and it had been a day for me. I left feeling clear, fresh, rejuvenated, and seriously, those minerals had really changed me. They had done something to me internally, and I felt lighter for it.

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I felt all brand-new. And that is certainly something to be grateful for.

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#552 The facial

I can easily refer to it as ‘the,’ rather than ‘a’ facial, since the duration between facials has been so long, I almost forgot WHAT IT WAS.

I think I had a series of treatments before I got married, you know, to get my face all ‘getting married ready.’

That was over 8 years ago.

I received a voucher for a beauty salon from my beautiful cousins a year ago for my birthday, and today I was finally able to redeem it, one day before it expired.

Actually, the fact that the salon is not even open tomorrow, means I actually got in at the last day.

There are so many excuses as to why it took me so long to get there, and furthermore, why I don’t do facials anymore: lack of time, attention elsewhere (more ‘important’ things), Motherhood, WIFE-hood, both a.k.a putting myself last, and the worst of it all, the guilt that I should be doing more worthy things, rather than splurging on myself.

All a bunch of bull.

As I lay there in the darkened room, moisturiser getting lathered and massaged into my face and neck and shoulders, I vowed to myself I had to do this more often. I had to put myself first, look after my own body and mind and wellbeing, and then when I did, I would come back to my family all –

Rejuvenated. Fresh. Alive. Ready to take on the world. And with a restored sense of calm.

And isn’t that the best way to be with your family? The best person you can be? I, and YOU, owe it not just to yourself, but to them.

So honestly, I need to get a facial every couple of months, for them. Good point, good point… 😉

#522 Kinder days no. 4

“Hooray!” shouted every single parent that existed, at the beginning of this week as term 3 commenced. “Hooray!”

I was one of them. I love baby girl, yet I also love my ‘me time,’ and was looking forward to spending time on my own-some once again.

It was terribly biting and windy, but THAT DIDN’T STOP ME this morning. I walked up and down the Main street, going into shops here and there and getting bits and pieces, as well as a bit of sticky-nose and research that was required.

Look for keep cup in tea/coffee shop – nope not in that one.

Check out pants for baby girl – not Wintery thick enough.

Check out possible cake at The Cheesecake Shop, for baby girl’s upcoming birthday – TBC…

Buy a tattslotto ticket

Go into party shop, ask about balloon deliveries.

Go into herb shop, and come out with brazil nuts at $50 a kilo (no really, there is a shortage and the Unicorn teeth are in at an impressive $59.95 a kilo!)

Take out $$$

Ask Vinnies if they want toy donations – yes they most definitely do.

Bread, groceries…

And ahh, the best moment in my everywhere-morning… THIS:

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For under $10, I got a sensational chai latte and nutty/seedy bar at a nearby cafe, both of which were delicious and filling, and kept me going for even more of the morning, well up until lunchtime. Again I was at the Corner Counter, where I had my first proper chai latte in Mornington a while ago, and so it made sense that I should go there again.

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The sun was shining brightly as I positioned myself by the window, read the daily paper, indulged in some delightful café fare, and totally catered to myself. Catering to oneself, when oneself is also a ‘Mum,’ is more than an indulgence – its almost a necessity, something that must be done time and time again, to fill up ones reserves. Ones dealing with every life and crap and annoyances and jobs and chores and responsibilities and drama and stressed and everything reserves.

It was bliss, and I look forward to more fill up reserve days 🙂

 

#512 Bullshit stories to feed to your child…

…or as some like to call them, little white lies.

Up until a little earlier, I had no inspirational, sunshine-y, happy-go-lucky or renewed vigour for life post to mention here in this little gratitude blog of mine.

But then, as all the other nights before it, the bedtime routine happened.

And as I stood there, counting slowly, breathing deeply, and making occasional bribes to baby girl that all her toys would be gone in the morning, in between warning her that my angry face was going to turn on soon, something suddenly occurred to me.

Just like the sun rising from the dark horizon to fill the world with light, so too did an incredible thought emerge from my fury, giving me Hope that I could remove myself from this shithole.

A bullshit story.

I’ve mentioned this here before. You know, those stories we as parents tell our kids, to get, I don’t know, anywhere?

To get them to listen.

To get them to comply.

To stop them crying.

To shop them whinging.

To distract them.

Hell, to make life easier.

“We have to leave the beach now, because it closes at lunch time. It actually closes.”

“Yes the park is also closing for lunch, everyone is going home to eat.”

“You can’t leave the house without brushing your teeth. The shop people won’t let you buy a kinder egg if your teeth are yucky.”

“Paw Patrol will wait until you’ve had a nap, and then they will come on TV.”

“You have to wear a jacket on the trampoline (in 11 degree weather). It’s the Rule.”

And we get away with it because we can.

Why do we do it? Well as you can see from the above list, sometimes it’s for their sake – cleanliness or health. Sometimes it’s for convenience.

Sometimes it’s for OUR sanity.

And tonight once again it was the latter. Because for some reason, baby girl’s room was too dark. In amidst stalling with a variety of ways to not sleep, she kept pulling this nifty excuse out of her bag of tricks. And all I wanted to do was rest, and have some kind of ‘me time.’

She has two lamps in her room, albeit battery-operated ones, so perhaps the room was getting dimmer from the gradual battery strength lessening. However when I was getting her to finally lie down, and again she complained too dark, I just ripped out –

“We can’t have too many lights, you know why? The bugs will catch us. The bugs and spiders will find us because there are too many lights. So we can’t have too many lights. Goodnight!”

And you know what I got in return?

“Goodnight!”

Thank Fuck. I love Motherhood, but I also love that she is at an age to still buy these stories…

 

#501 Couch time

Usually when I drop off baby girl for 5 hours at kinder, it is usually GO-GO-GO for me. Grocery shopping, a Zumba session at home, some kind of cleaning/tidying house stuff, followed by lunch, more clean up, and then hopefully some writing if I can manage it before pick-up time.

Today was very different. I’ve been feeling unusual lately. Out of sorts. I decided I needed a break from the rush and routine, and knowing that it was the last time I’d be on my own like that for a few weeks, being the end of term 2 and all, I decided to really milk it.

I still had a snack and tea when I got home, as is the norm. But then I sat. I read magazines, flipped through the newspaper, all while I sipped my tea and had Bold and the Beautiful on in the background.

Then I moved to the couch, wholeheartedly now devoted to the TV, and watched MORE B&B. Snuggled up under the couch’s throw. This then changed to a recent episode of Shark Tank, a programme I am absolutely obsessed with. I LOVE IT. I have to catch all episodes, and laughing and staring in bewildered shock, even crying at the shows I watched today, was just bliss. So, so necessary. I never give myself proper couch time, because well, Mum-guilt, always feeling like I really should be doing something more time-serving, important and responsible… But, it was just one of those days. Outside it was FREEZING, and snuggling up to myself on the couch, watching some great shows, was the perfect way to spend an hour or so.

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And for the record, I cried in Shark Tank when a man was telling the sweet story of how he has dedicated his life and earnings to an invention that literally, will save the planet (even the Sharks nearly cried), and in Bold I was oh-so-emotional over Liam and Steffy getting back on track in their relationship. I’m about 2 months behind Aus’ episode run, which is already behind the US’ of about 3 months, so bare with me if I sound terribly out-of-date. Let’s just say when it comes to B&B, I’m invested.

I really don’t need shows on my planner, waiting for me to watch them. But also, if I didn’t have anything I NEEDED to catch up on, I don’t think I would ever sit down and give myself some down time. I would always be on the go, and I would never have a proper, wind-down, break.

Ahh. You just need those days every once in a while.

#481 The Trampoline

I mean, of course I was going to be grateful we had bought baby girl a trampoline, right?

Right???

Well….. (breaths out) let’s discuss the last week.

Firstly, last Sunday as we finished putting the ‘thing’ up over 3 hours, Hubbie said to me “I never had a trampoline as a kid,” and then proceeded to jump as high as he could in the middle of the mat while baby girl and I bounced around crazily around him.

“I know, right?” I said. “it’s like we’re fulfilling our childhood dreams through her!”

So bloody cool. When you give your kids things you never had as a child, you feel more than proud… you feel fulfilled. Special. You feel like you’ve come full circle, and now that you have a 10 foot trampoline in your backyard, you are somehow complete.

I had also thought, now that her day naps were mostly gone, that the trampoline would give me that little bit of ‘me’ time while baby girl went crazy outside, prepping herself for the most awesomest of awesome sleeps that night. I was like ‘this will be great, I can write again.’

Then on Monday, she was jumping… and wanted me to jump with her.

On Tuesday, I sent her out there on her own, and yet again – she wanted me to jump with her.

Wednesday I started work late, and sure enough, as Hubbie was checking out our gutters around the side of the house that morning, she was pleading with me: “please please!”

Now, I don’t know about you, YOU being any other person out there, or if YOU is a fellow Mum or parent, but I ALWAYS have shit to do around the house. Cleaning, food prep, washing, do this, sort that, we still have boxes here, catch up on writing, grocery shopping, and the list goes on and on and on. I don’t really have time for jumping. I wish that was all I had to worry about – how much bloody jumping I can cram into one day. But I don’t. I start with a rough list, and if I’m lucky I complete it. I don’t usually have time for much more.

Today, AGAIN. Now on all these other occasions I complied, and jumped with her for a little. I told her I was cold, sick, had to go to work, whatever. And all those times I wasn’t lying. But I also told her that she had to jump on her own – we had bought this trampoline for her to jump, not for Mummy to jump!

(Just thinking those words again makes me realise how lonely that thought is. Jumping alone).

I was going to try and sneak in some writing while she watched TV in the other room. And of course as soon as the laptop was fired up, round the corner she came, saying “Mama?”

She wanted to jump. It was after 5, and darkness was falling upon us. She only had a little bit of time left, and quite frankly I was concerned she would rope me into it.

“You can jump, BUT… Mummy is staying inside, alright? I’m not jumping. Just you’re jumping. Mummy is sick, she has a sore throat, she’s cold… ok? You understand me?”

She nodded obediently at me, just as she had every other time before eventually pleading with me to jump with her.

She headed out and I turned back to my laptop, and after a minute or so, she started to intermittently call out.

“Ma! Ma!”

It was more sing-song than anything, so I ignored it. But soon she came to the door again, knocking loudly, and opened it so I could see her.

“Jump?”

“NO!” I had had it UP TO HERE (the sky). I went over to the door and locked it behind her so she couldn’t go back out. “Baby girl you just don’t listen, you can’t always have your way!” I seriously was feeling under the weather, and besides, this girl needed to learn rules! This was not on, we couldn’t cave in every time she wanted something.

I headed back to the laptop with her throwing a tantrum behind me, yelling, and then crying in a pleading tone. As I sat back at the desk, she came from behind, and poked her head forward from the side, trying to get me to look away from the laptop.

I turned to her. These big, brown, pleading eyes, tainted with tears, a hopeful face, parted mouth, wishing and praying that Mum would not be upset, and Mum would come around and jump.

Fuck Me.

How could I say no? I followed her out and strictly told her I would stay seated on the mat while she jumped around me – I wouldn’t jump myself.

(What follows are some highly-skilled and photogenic shots baby girl and I took of each other)

And yet it was pretty fun. She jumped around me, into my lap repeatedly, and I ‘ate her up’ with kisses. We had an absolute ball, and then it turned dark, and it was time to go inside.

So in answer to my question… yes. Yes I am grateful we got her a trampoline… I just don’t know what we’ve created in the process.

A jump-a-holic, stubborn, cheeky and clever girl who will go to any lengths to get what she wants.

We’re in trouble.