#879 Wiggly World Cup

The Wiggly tradition continued today.

Us BIG kids (sis and I), took the little kids along the beachside for yet another mid-year intimate (1500 kind of ‘intimate’) Wiggles Show. It was amazing as usual, and every time I see this group I just love them more and more.

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The karma they are getting from making so many children and their parents happy… that power will be able to bring peace on earth in the near future.

It is, truly something special.

And although there were new memories made, like baby girl handing her bouquet of flowers to Lachy, and my nephew getting his own special signed card from all of the Wiggles themselves… something else is at the forefront of my mind, a small moment, that is actually a pretty BIG moment, that nonetheless has me feeling super grateful and happy.

It also, like the Wiggles shows we attend so reliably, has to do with tradition, family, and love… but this moment can perhaps only happen every 4 years, and even then it is not guaranteed.

This lack of opportunity and the fact of pure chance, is what trumps the other moments of the day.

I am of course, talking about the World Cup 🙂

I was awake early this morning for yet another nail biter, though I didn’t anticipate it was going to turn out that way. Croatia were playing against England, and they were down 1-0.

From the way they were playing, I honestly didn’t have high hopes. I was feeling under the weather, super tired, and was questioning if I should have a TV in the bedroom rather than only the lounge room, just so I could fall asleep easier after the fact… when Croatia suddenly levelled when they scored a goal.

Immediately, things changed. Fast forward to extra time, and they scored yet another goal, bringing them in front of England.

I lost my mind.

Goals are hard to come by in soccer. I jumped up on the couch, throwing the cushion around, whispering “yes yes yes!” in a high-pitched tone. Hubbie had just joined me for his breakfast before heading off to work, and looked incredulously between my out-of-control display, to the TV, his luck at having walked in on exactly the right moment to see the winning goal.

There were 11 minutes to go. It wasn’t over. But like I said, goals are hard to come by in soccer.

As we sat there, Hubbie and I, staring at the screen in stupefied shock and all of my World Cup dreams realising before me, we heard some movement behind a door.

We stared at the closed door off towards the bedroom side of the house, and then saw as the handle slowly turned, and baby girl stick her head out from behind it.

She had found us. My celebration as quiet as I had tried to be, had woken her. It was super-early for her to be up, but there was no chance in hell I was going to put her back to bed when there was history-making soccer to be watched.

So in true responsible parenting-style… she stayed up with me.

I rugged her up with throws and blankets, she stared at Hubbie at I in a kind of shock at us sitting on the couch and reacting to TV as strongly as we were, so early in the morning… and then as I explained to her that Croatia were winning, and what was going on, and that Mummy didn’t always get up at crazy hours to jump on the couch over a ball on the TV… she relaxed a little, started mucking about a bit more, and took it all in.

And it was then, that I realised.

She is almost 5. This will surely be her first World Cup Soccer memory. Walking in to find Mum and Dad excited and Mum losing her shit on the couch, over one of the countries she resides from.

And that there. What a beautiful memory. And it means so much to me now, as I know what it will mean to her in the future. Because I’ve had those same memories, and I continue to.

As I’ve said it before… the outcome really doesn’t matter… because it’s the memories that WIN over everything ♥♥♥

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Photo by Davor Denkovski on Unsplash

#869 Late night soccer

Just as well I brought the hat home last Friday.

It had been in my old room, at my parents house. Just as I have been purging and sorting through my own stuff, so too have my parents been trying to purge – themselves of my stuff. LOL.

I always said I would tend to the big pile of childhood and teenage accumulation and mementos that I had left at their place when I first moved out. That promise turned into a faraway and not very concrete date, and so my parents took it upon themselves to take everything out of hiding and line it up accessible and for me to see in my old room.

Every time I am there, I go through a little more. I came across some carnival hats that baby girl was enamoured with… I thought ‘fine.’ There’s many things I am bringing home, simply because I am not sure of what to do with it, but I feel that I should really be throwing it away.

The hat, is not the case.

Because the hat, is from the homeland. It holds my parents roots, and is an emblem of where I hail from.

The discovery of the hat was so timely, because I was able to hold it near and dear to me, during the viewing of the Soccer, very very late (or very very early, whichever way you roll) last night/this morning.

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Croatia has progressed into the second round of finals in the FIFA world cup. I always said if they did get this far, then I would stay up/get up early, and watch. I knew baby girl having school holidays would make it easier – no early start and subsequent running around after a 3-hour sleep due to Soccer match… so very very early this morning, that’s what I did.

I had a preorganised massive blanket on the couch to wrap myself in. Little did I know it was the coldest night of the year, but I was all tucked up and cosy, the only light coming from the guys on the green field and the soft glow of our hallway.

In those 2 and a half hours, I learnt a bit. I didn’t think I would. I picked up strategies and things about the game which I had never noticed before. I got emotional, my head lifting from the pillow in anticipation when a goal was near; I whispered “damn!” at missed opportunities; and I also nearly fell asleep several times.

I am more sleep ambassador than a soccer one.

But it was the memories and the times I had spent watching the World Cup before, that led me to this night. I remember my Dad staying up late, and me sitting with him, trying to work out the game. Asking him questions. Things about the goalie, and how hard his job was. All of this came flooding back to me, the time I spent with my Dad watching this sport, excited about the rare late nights, and the bonding that I didn’t realise I was partaking in, ’til just last night.

And there was more. I remembered World Cup soccer parties at my sister’s place. The excitement of driving across town at midnight to watch the tournament take place. I remember sleeping in my bed at 3am, and the phone ring because Croatia had just progressed into another round, and my sister across town was calling to talk to my Dad, who was watching on our side of town.

“Sorry SmikG,” she said. “I’m calling for Dad.”

So casual, yet so novel. It was fascinating, how this event turned all our lives upside down.

And then when Croatia did make 3rd place in that same year, the happiness the people experienced and devoted themselves to, awoke something in me.

A deep curiosity for World Cup Soccer. Now, it was going to become a ritual.

Years later when Australia made the World Cup, remarkably it was Croatia they faced in one-play off. Although I couldn’t really lose in this scenario – ‘homeland’ team, playing ‘home’ team – I nonetheless went for the regional underdog, while Hubbie, then BF, was happily cheering for the land down under.

Our rules were: take a shot when your team makes goal. And run around the house with the national flag wrapped around you.

We did it.

Meanwhile on the other side of the world, my parents were in Croatia, their native home, watching the very same game. They would wince when Australia faltered, silently cheering and smiling with glee when they moved ahead, noticed by my uncle who said to them

“Why, you’re cheering for Australia, not Croatia!”

That’s because Australia was their real home now.

Or maybe it had to do with going for the underdog in their current location, just as I was doing, cheering for Croatia to win as I sat in my Australian house.

I never remember who won. I don’t even care. All I remember are the memories.

I am not a soccer devotee. I will not claim I know all the players’ names. I will not pretend to watch soccer at any other time for the next 4 years after this event.

But I am a fan of where I come from. And as long as Croatia will feature in this 4-yearly event, so too will I haul my ass out of bed in freezing cold Winter temperatures, and remember, the memories from before.

For those keeping score… my ass-hauling last night DID pay off. Croatia won. In an epic extra-time plus penalty shoot-out setting. They won on the last kick!

Incredible. And if all I remember from this World Cup is…

coldest night

reminiscing on the past

cuddled up on the couch

Hubbie joining me post 6am before heading off to work

and then cheering happily because they had won (and I was going back to bed!)

then that would be enough.

#866 Dancing in another place, with my loves

It’s not a good thing when you stave off dancing for a considerable length of time.

And I don’t mean the boppy, jump up and down kind of baby girl’s fave dance group Pnau. Nor am I talking of the swaying sensations of Hubbie’s preference Sia, or the hip-shaking rhythms of my, Ricky Martin.

No. What I’m referring to here is the funky feet of folk.

Folk dancing. It is a whole other dance, rhythm and culture all of itself. When you grow up listening to it, it surrounds your family parties, and you partake by dancing along to it whole-heartedly at these festive get-togethers, it creates the very important foundation of shared family love, memories and ALL the happy times.

This time however, it wasn’t in our kitchen. Sure, baby girl and I were present, but Hubbie was at work.

We were in a lounge room. Not our lounge room. My OLD lounge room. And the third person present was my Dad.

We were at my parents place.

🙂

Baby girl loves to put it on. There is a small stereo in the lounge room, with a permanently placed folk cd inside. She turns it on, winds up the volume, and happily starts jumping along.

How happy that makes me, that at only 4, that type of music is already engrained into her.

“Come on Mama, dance!”

I tagged along.

I should warm up, right? When ever there we do any kind of ‘warming up’ as we call it, it’s usually because some big family event is coming up, and we need to get our cold dancing feet fired up and ready.

But today the only warming up was done for just thatwarming up. It was cold, there hadn’t been a get-together to get us jumping in ages, and yet I still felt the urge to get the blood pumping, knowing it would help the chills of this, our June day.

I started jumping beside baby girl, with no real rhythm, just to make her happy.

“Come on Deda!”

I looked at my Dad, all comfortable and cosy on the couch. There was as much chance of him getting up to join us as there was in the day moving above 20 degrees.

“Baby girl, leave Deda, he is resting.”

He looked to agree with that statement as I said it, but then as I kept on leaping in the air with baby girl, I saw him get up, and start to –

one two, one two three, one two three, one two three

He was dancing!

“Good job Deda!” I yelled to him.

Baby girl smiled in happiness, and on he, and now I, inspired by his professionalism in the act, kept on going, doing it the right way

one two, one two three, one two three, one two three

Our feet kicking the in air, moving from left to right and left again, and baby girl telling me all the while –

THAT I WAS DOING IT ALL WRONG.

Sure honey. Because she’s the folk-dancing boss.

So I copied her kicks in the air from side to side and left to right, and suddenly she was much more impressed.

(Face palm).

But for those few moments, the three of us mucking about, folk music in the air, legs kicking around wildly…

I reckon the room temperature DID reached 20. 😉

 

#855 Singing on the way to family day

Monday morning. Cold, but still. I had dropped off baby girl at kinder, and was now driving along towards the freeway, the music blaring through my car…

I was heading to the city, with George. George being of ‘Michael’ fame. 😉 And ‘the city’ being 40 minutes out of the Peninsula, which let’s face it is more city than anything in the south beachside where we are.

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Not only did I have THE BEST TIME EVER singing out loud to music from my ipod as the sun streamed on down through the windows (think Bruno, old school Christina, and the best reggaetón from Daddy Yankee) but I was heading towards a much looked forward to destination.

I was having lunch with my parents and sister today. It was a month late, the occasion being us girls taking our folks out for a belated anniversary date… but better late than never, and to be honest I’m pleasantly surprised it didn’t take us ’til Spring time to organise.

We have busy schedules. All of us live on opposite sides to one another. But we pushed all of life to the side for a couple of hours today, where we celebrated my parents marriage by talking about their 50 years plus together, from all of those years ago when they first made the move to Australia, all the way to today, where we made plans for more fun and parties that will surely follow.

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We always say that we should do these catch-ups more often… let’s hope that we do, as I am all for the awesome foursome getting into some more food, some more family memories and laughs, and lastly, some more singing in the car.

#829 Follow the yellow brick road…

There’s nothing better than sharing a special evening with the people you love the most.

Tonight was something magical.

I don’t go to musicals all that often, and the last one I went to was to The Lion King a few years ago.

I guess when you go, you go to something big and great and monumental, right?

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But with musicals, they are ALL like that. Night after night, with sometimes day performances too, these amazing professionals get up in front of a full theatre, and they perform – singing, dancing, creating – a fantasy and imaginative world in front of our very eyes.

And each time they do it, it is done with such enthusiasm, energy and gusto, that you would be forgiven in thinking it was the first time they were doing it, for YOU.

Well tonight, we got to witness just that. We headed on over to the Regent theatre, both sister, nephew and I, and along with witnessing some amazing performers acting out a classic movie on stage, we walked around the city streets, grabbed some fine dinner, and in doing so created some wonderful memories to cherish together forever.

That mojito in the middle there that we had during dinner was the BOMB. It was the BEST MOJITO EVER, that I have EVER tried. There was a special sugary syrup which masked any alcohol that was in the drink…. dangerous.

The Wizard of Oz was superb. Very true to the original movie with a few little differences here and there, just to keep it modern and fresh and inventive. And the contribution of the special effects ramped up the production and key components of the story in a whole other way, positively so.

I didn’t realise how much I loved the following song…

“The house began to pitch, the kitchen took a slitch

It landed on the Wicked Witch in the middle of a ditch,

Which was not a healthy situation, for the Wicked Witch!”

… until it was in front of me, LIVE! Oh, how that catchy tune I had heard so many times in my childhood, grew on me as the performance by Dorothy, the munchkins and Glinda the good witch was performed.

There are too many amazing parts to mention, so really, you should just go and watch it yourself if it is playing in a city near you.

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And then as Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman and Lion got to the Emerald City to meet the Wizard of Oz, with the sheets of green background, green dancers, green sequins, green lights, and green set just emanating out to the audience, all I could think of was –

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Mint…

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Lime…

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The mojito. That bloody brilliant mojito had gone to my head. Damn.

I was a sook as is typical and teared up at the end, even though I know the ending and have seen it before… but not like this. A sign of a great show. Or just a super softie, you decide. But the Universal message and underlying thread of the story is something that is so true, so real to all of us – there is no place like home.

Sure we often think the grass is greener on the other side. We look at the world through rose-coloured glasses, with our Instagram filters on when observing outside things, but looking through the microscope when dissecting the little annoyances of our own lives.

When something upsetting happens, it is a reminder that the support and comfort of home, is all you really need.

At the end of the show Glinda is telling Dorothy how to get home. She tells her to tap her shoes three times and say

Glinda: “There is no place –

Dorothy: ” – like home.”

Dorothy finishes the statement for her. It is not a question either. She knew it in her heart all along. ♥

And at the end of the night, after the pivotal after-the-show discussion, catch-up, and coffee, I headed home too…

Because as we all know, there is no other place like it ♥♥♥

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#812 Next gen yard play

It was a sweet moment tonight as I watched a handful of kids run around a backyard in the fading light of the evening.

Our should I say, it was a sweet couple of hours.

I was at a relative’s house… well, me plus the rest of the fam-bam. In my cousins large and expansive yard, baby girl and her cousins, all ranging from ages 4 – 10… started to play.

It has always been a bit harder for them all to play together, just because of the slight age gap, and various stages they have all been at. But tonight, that gap didn’t appear so big, as they all ran around playing chasy, throwing glow sticks into the night air, participating in hide and seek, and just all around having a great ol’ time.

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The blur of the lights and movement represents just how fast and go-go-go it was out there.

It was made more sweet, because they were our kids. Me, and my cousins.’ We had our own set of memories and times spent having fun together, and now our kids were all coming to an age where they could more easily interact with one another, giving each other memories that I just know they will hold dear forever… I know that, because I hold mine dearly to my chest too.

And inside I then went, to talk to my own family and cousins about our own reminiscing times, and both memories I had been involved in, and times I had not been around for, were equally fascinating to me, because they all shared the common needle and thread work that is, our extended family.

We were all a part of it, through time, through generations, through blood.

Not only were the kids outside having a ball amongst themselves, but it allowed us to do the most important and relaxing thing of all –

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Cake, and coffee. Vanilla slice YES PLEASE.

 

#806 Bubbles

Bubbles.

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There is something magical, a surreal quality to them. They appear out of seemingly nowhere, transformed from liquid with the assistance of a simple breath, and float like transcendent clouds around you, transfixing you with their iridescent reflection and amplified view of the surrounds, until, quite suddenly –

POP!

I spent some time with baby girl today out in the yard, getting excited over these beautiful clear baubles. We used all manner of bubble instruments. First a battery-operated bubble machine that pumped them out at high volume; next was the bubble gun that responded to your finger trigger, shooting them out wherever it was pointed; and lastly, the basic and simplest of them all, the wand.

I showed her how to get the large bubbles out, by waving slowly yet with strength from side to side, to produce the big bubbles you see above.

I kept telling her I was going to go inside and start dinner, and that each time I spent waving the wand, or watching her wave it, would be my last…

But I couldn’t go away. There was something beautiful in the moment that made me stay.