#547 The Penguin tradition

I was about 8 or 9 when I went with my parents, sister, her then boyfriend (my soon-to-be brother-in-law) and a whole lot of extended family and cousins, to Phillip Island, where as tradition has it, we saw the Penguins.

Today, for the first time in about 25 years, I went back… with the first-timers, Hubbie and baby girl in tow.

I may as well have been a first-timer, it has been that long. Being a Monday we thought it would be quiet. Like, I actually thought, there may be like, another group of people beside us… something like, 25 or so?

Try 25 HUNDRED. Or so.

There were soooooo many people. So many tourists, and buses, and guides, it was like OMG.

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Despite the crazy, we waited in the stands in the surprisingly calm Wintery air, and saw a few groups of penguins approach from the crashing night-time waves. After seeing half the crowd up and suddenly disappear within 20 minutes, we decided too to investigate and see if we could find any penguins who had made their way back from the sea, heading into their burrows and bushy-homes for the night.

We saw heaps. Baby girl was up close and personal with several of them, pressed against the barbed fence that separated the humans from the penguin track, saying “awww, so cute,” as they waddled past, and even waving goodbye to them as they made their way further and further in-land.

It was very sweet. And then once we had had our fill of penguin cuteness, some more adorable overload.

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I mean, when there is something so exceptionally life-sized, it is a MUST to pose alongside it, yes?

Penguin joy passing from generation to generation. I promise I won’t wait 25 years until next time.

#540 Her phrases

We are driving home from Spotlight. In the car, and it has just started to rain.

“Mama! Wipe wipe wipe!”

Baby girl wants me to put the wipers on. I flick the wand, and the wipers move across the window.

“Good job Mama.”

(!)

We are driving to another shop.

“Mama, one more toy, and finish.”

She says this ALL the time. Every time she says “one more toy, and finish,” it actually NEVER EVER EVER finishes. It’s the never-ending finishing toy story, which never actually finishes, unlike the movie, which DID.

I give her a look, trying not to smile. “Baby girl, don’t be cheeky.”

She cocks her head to the side, imitating my amused smile, and laughs. “Mama,” with the same tone I used on her.

(How do I win with this super-charming and cheeky girl?)

I am cleaning up after having made a cap and babycino for baby girl and I this afternoon. She takes the empty milk canister I have on the side, placing it in the sink.

“Be careful! The milk can drip.” I try to convince her, with my own hands full, to get her to leave the canister alone. She doesn’t.

She places the lid on top, in an act of ‘packing up,’ and then starts to walk away.

“Thank me Mama.”

She wants me to thank her.

“Thanks baby girl… not that I asked you in the first place,” I mutter.

(Sigh).

She has just finished brushing her teeth. We make a HUGE deal out of this, every single time.

“Great job honey! You did so well! You are a superstar!”

“No, a rock star.”

Geez! Where did that one come from?! ;-D

(LOL LOL LOL)

Sitting on her Dad’s lap, drinking her nightly milk. She is slipping off his lap, and repositions herself on him, resulting in extreme discomfort for him. He winces, but he is well-used to this wiggle worm by now.

“Ahh,” she says, taking the milk cup from me, now that she is more comfortable.
“Much much better.”

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I write these things, not only because they make me happy, and grateful for these moments that display her growing humour, personality and maturity, but also as a snapshot into our life, into her life and world, and in particular the moments captured on August the 7th 2017.

It’s the reason why I write and document life so much. I want to remember, and for my children to one day read back, and go “wow… that happened? Wow.”

Life is precious, and life with a child is a wild adventure and bag of tricks that is almost necessary to note down… because they are memories to treasure forever.

#530 End Friday, end week, end July

Oh man. You know that feeling when you get to the end of something, and you just sigh?

Ahhhh.

Yeah, but mine is a little like ahhh brrrr ahhh.

With everything that has been happening lately, (and by everything, I mean EVERYTHING), I’m just glad I’ve gotten to the end of it all.

The end of Friday. I love Fridays with their beautiful weekend promises, but after keeping with appointments and driving all about the place today, I’m just glad it’s all over.

The end of the week. In fact, it has been exactly one week that I have survived with no ducted heating! Such a 1st world problem I know, and yet as I cast my mind back, I can’t ever think of a time when I didn’t have proper heating to nestle back into… even when we holidayed overseas in July of 1997, it was Summer, so there was absolutely no need for it. I’ve got my eye keenly planted on the day in which the gas heater man will come over and reinstall our new heater (roughly 6 days time) so the countdown is ON. You can be sure I’ll be damn happy and super grateful when that happens.

The end of July. Sure sure, it’s not THE END, yet. But we are days away, and guess what peeps? We have survived 2 months of Winter! I barely consider August a Wintery month. I know it’s still cold, and the mornings are still icy, but I’m adamant a Spring-like change starts to appear around my birthday (of course I would proclaim that) and anyway, I am usually so busy celebrating all kinds of August-fun festivities, I have no time to even feel the cold.

End Friday, End week, End July. I am happy for these closing ceremonies, because where one door closes, another one opens… and today I have 3 exciting doors to peek through…

 

#516 Meeting Skye

Another one was added to the list as baby girl came into arms reach (or should I say, Paw’s reach – total Dad joke I know) of one her latest Paw Patrol idols.

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She was full of energy and happiness, no hesitation in meeting such a BIG STAR, and went straight in for a hug, an adorable photo, and then even turned around to get a hi-five from the Pink Pup.

It was too cute, yet over very quickly, considering we had been standing in line to meet the character for over an hour.

We had delightful company though, which made it very bearable.

You see, coincidentally and lucky for us, we were in the shopping centre¬†‘hood of baby girl’s 3rd cousin,¬†where we saw Skye today.¬†They are two months apart, which makes them adorable to look at together. Can you just imagine 2 almost 4 year-olds running up and down and around the length of the queue, feigning drama at the long wait, and policing each other around, to our extreme amusement? Our smiles did not leave our faces ūüôā

They are different, and yet so much the same. They compliment each other really well, and because of that get along great. They spent some time after the meet ‘n’ greet making their own Paw Patrol badges

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before a little play date at her cousins house. It is actually a joy to watch them two together, and as well as being grateful that baby girl put another notch on her celebrity/idol/character meet ‘n’ greet list, I was so happy she got to share it with her cousin, someone I have no doubt she will be very close to, and share special memories with, as the years go by.

Love love love.

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#489 Dancing in the kitchen with my loves part 5

Loves Loves LOVES. ALL my LOVES.

It was actually my sister and bro-in-laws impromptu visit late this afternoon that made me first go ‘this is heading to my gratitude blog today.’ We had had no real, or proper, or concrete (and for that case, ‘fun’) plans for tonight, so when they called and said they were coming – like literally, in the car and on their way – we knew it was going to be one of those nights.

Those great, spontaneous, super-memorable and fun nights.

Of course, they weren’t gonna stay late. Of course, they said they would leave, the early statements¬†starting¬†from 8pm.

Of course, Hubbie wouldn’t drink much – after all he had a really bad chesty cough, and was under-the-weather.

Of course it would be low-key.

Yeah, right.

They left at 11:30pm.

Hubbie drank alright.

And we sang and played music all night long. Oh yeah, and danced.***

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As sis said tonight, “baby girl had no choice being born into our families.” We all love to party, and dance. And tonight, we boogied and jumped and carried each other around, stood on stools and yelled our lungs out, with¬†a few choice and memorable¬†songs being

“Love is All Around Me” – Wet Wet Wet

“Lido” – Boz Scaggs

“Shape of You” – Ed Sheeran

“Come said the Boy” – Mondo Rock

“Groove is in the Heart” – Dee-lite

and sooo many more, all blasting out of our new portable speaker!

Love the songs, love the new speaker, and love all of these people, making memories in our kitchen… :):):)

 

***Can you tell I’m going for the award of best blurry photos on the net? My disposition for unclear and hazy photos has nothing to do with trying to remain anonymous, I promise ūüėČ

 

#488 The tree in Their yard

Still on nature.

There are many things we take for granted in life, and many that we act as if it will be there forever.

For me today, that forever thing is my parents’ home.

It was the place I was brought home to when a newborn, days after coming into the world. I grew up in that house, and only left years and years and years later, when I got married. It may seem confined and claustrophobic to some, but the years I spent there were some of the most memorable and happiest years of my life. I love that house.

Likewise, their yard. I’ve never really taken much refuge, notice of, or practiced much gratitude towards it, only because well, ‘taking things for granted’ note as above. Assuming it will always be there. Thinking that I will be able to visit it FOREVER.

Things don’t always turn out the way we envision them to be in our little fantasy-lands. Often our fantasy-lands are just that, images in our head.

So today while over there visiting on yet another Friday, drinking a coffee my Dad made me out in their yard, from a coffee pod machine I bought them one Christmas (of course I would buy them something coffee-related) I came upon, and noticed for the second time that day, the spectacular nature of a tree.

It’s the only one in their yard that still has part of its leaves on, and visually striking is the fact that it is prime-centre in the middle of the yard, surrounded by all the other leaf-less, stark grey branches around it from neighbouring trees. I looked at this stunning hybrid Pear tree (my Dad is a supreme Gardener and Handy-Man, so don’t ask) and observed to myself, that it was beautiful. Stunning even.

‘Pear, hold on.’

#471 The Box of Barbie Memories

“Why don’t you take home that box of dolls you have?” Mum had asked me. “You said when she was younger that you wanted to wait a bit more, but now she might enjoy it.”

I could see where she was going. When she had asked me about a year ago if I wanted to take home with me an old box of Barbies I had packed away at my parents house when I was a pre-teen, I had said that I’d rather wait until baby girl was older, and ‘into’ dolls more. Also, I didn’t want to be adding another box of stuff to our household, when we already had so much ‘stuff.’

But I realised today, that baby girl was not only older, but she was definitely into dolls: she had two of her own Barbies, given to her as pressies over the last 6 months, and she loved the whole figurine, dress-up, pretend-play games she did with them. It was actually, perfect timing.

When at my parents place, they started looking for them in¬†a wardrobe, and it almost looked like they wouldn’t be found for a little while. When they almost gave up, Dad stumbled across the box.

Just looking at the box, brought back memories: both the box, and the packing of it. With the latter, I actually had the faintest memory of packing it – in that room where it was found, my old ‘first’ room (before my sister moved out and then I moved into her room because it was front-facing and bigger), I remembered placing the barbies neatly against one another and on top of each other, before gently packing it all away… for good.

For another day, another time. I didn’t know then what¬†I would be doing with it in 20 years time. That I would be giving it a new lease on life.

Secondly, the box.

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The Kraft box. My Dad worked there for a good couple of decades, and each year for their annual Christmas party, each employee was invited to the party for a lunch, bringing home a festive box full of Krafty goodies – cheeses, spreads, biscuits, and any other new product that wasn’t even on the shelves yet. I was always so excited when Dad came home from these Christmas parties – I’d come home from school, looking around the kitchen and dining room table, hoping to see a Christmas-y coloured box, with tinsel bursting from the sides. And Dad knew I’d get so excited about it, smiling just as much as me when I finally saw the box. Going through the contents of the box, was a happy, pre-Christmas tradition for me.

Even after he stopped working there, he was still invited, along with other long-standing employees of the company, to a former employees Christmas Party… that sadly, soon stopped fairly soon after, after new management came along. I remember the sadness and disappointment I felt in discovering the goodie box, was good, no more. So this box that I was staring at today, was quite possibly, one of, if not the, last boxes he ever received.

And I’d put my Barbies into it. Memories upon memories.

The only way I got baby girl into the car today was the promise of playing with Barbie dolls at home. So once there, I complied.

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Finding all my dolls, some just that, plain dolls, ‘wannabe Barbies’ and others the very real deal, was seriously like stepping into a time capsule that I myself had buried 2 decades ago. I found dolls I had forgotten about, costumes and shoes I didn’t know I had, and also the barbies that I faintly remembered – and then of course Ken. Who could forget when one got a Ken doll? That was a special thing back in the day.

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(Some funky outfits they had)

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(Check out the blonde ‘fro – yeah yeah!)

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(I won this Ariel doll in a kids mag comp, and I was STOKED… but one of her legs broke as soon as we lifted her out, maybe she should have stayed in mermaid form…)

I told baby girl that she must take extra care with these dolls, and pack them away gently as they were found. I think she knows what to do, but still, I have to make sure these Barbies are under supervision by me or Hubbie when she is playing with them. Even he agrees, saying “they’re old enough to go on club reg.”

Too right.

But even though I’m happy for baby girl to play with my cherished old Barbies, there is one thing I think I’m going to have to change – the box. Old and flimsy as it is, and with the addition of a piece of paper that was on the bottom of the box, where my Mum scrawled Dad’s last day of work¬†at Kraft… I don’t know, but I think I need to put away this box, this special box of so much history and memories, and use it for my own good, and get a new box for baby girl to put all her old/new barbies in.

I know it’s just a box, but it’s what it represents that is priceless.