#736 Cherishing the “Mama”s

“Help me Mama.”

“Mama can you come play with me, pleeeeaaaasssseeeee?”

“Mama where are you? Mama?!”

“No Mama, me do it by self.”

“Thank you Mama.”

(In the middle of the night) “Mama!”

I find it hard to remember the transition. The transition from when baby girl was a baby and not yet saying “Mama,” to when she was older and then suddenly, it was ONLY Mama.

Maybe because it is so swift a change. They say it a handful of times and you clap your hands in glee, with tears welling at the corners of your eyes, and then in a few days time they are following you with repeated “Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama…”

And you sigh a little and grumble under your breath “great.”

But today, on another quiet and down day, I took the time to try and be present in the moment, and in doing so, I heard her sweet voice.


I hope she calls me like that for the rest of our lives.

And then at some point today…

“Mama… I like you best.”



Photo by Arleen wiese on Unsplash



#718 The beginning of 4 year-old kinder and freedom

Today was baby girl’s first day at 4 year-old kinder, good and proper. We got out of the car 10 minutes before drop-off time, I plopped on her backpack, and then prepared myself for 5 hours of ‘me’ time.

But then, I saw another car. People were coming out of this car too, getting ready for kinder, too. The Mum. The Dad. The little girl kinder-goer, and her little brother, still too young to attend. And then the clincher, the grandparents.

I hadn’t expected it. The wave of emotion. I was happy to see such a beautiful family, all-encompassing supportive sight. But it made me immediately think of my own parents, and how far they were from us, and how dropping in to see off their grand-daughter as she attended her first 4 year-old kinder session, was a difficult endeavour to see through.

I blinked past the emotion, and charged on through, following her inside.


I mean, this was the same kindergarten she had attended last year. One of the teachers was the same. As it was, there was no difference to her in this year and last – okay sure, there were new kids, and a new teacher… but that was much of a muchness. Nothing was really different.

Except for the beginning of 3 kinder sessions a week. She was starting a proper routine.

I had to turn away from the picture of happy families inside. Sooo many Mums and Dads abound. I kept thinking of Hubbie, and how he was at work, and not there. ‘It’s ok,’ I told myself. ‘He was here last year when she started 3 year-old, and she didn’t give a shit when we walked off, and then I bawled my eyes out in the carpark while he went back to work.’

He had been there, sure. I just wasn’t expecting all those parents. It gave me wobbly feelings.

I followed her around the yard. Watched her slide down. Swing. Jump. Played shop with her, exchanging bark food, for bark money. Paint.


She drew the water from the beach. I felt myself choke up as I asked the teacher to take a shot of us together, and soon after that I asked baby girl “is it okay if Mummy leaves now?”

“No!” she said. I told her I would then let her decide, and sure enough not even a minute passed and she said “you can go now Mama.” That’s the truck with her you see. She has to be in charge of everything… her terms, even if you mentioned it a moment ago.

We engulfed each other in a flurry of hugs and kisses. And as I walked out the door, I looked back and gave her a little wave. She waved back… and then I watched as she turned away.

See, the ‘freedom’ in the above post title? It’s not mine I’m referring to. It’s all HERS.

I walked back to the car, trying to suppress the sob rising in my throat, not understanding why I was acting this way. My face screwed up in protest.

It was simply, the act of growing up. She was becoming a big girl. I was grateful that she had walked into the classroom easily, as too often last year she played the ‘reluctance’ game, hanging back while other parents and kids walked on by, while I played good cop/bad cop, trying a variety of tactics to force, beg, reason with her to go inside.

Is that why I was so up and down? My nervous emotions at her entry going into today? Everything was the same, right?

No. She was older. And only a year away from prep. I can say now with certainty, I won’t be able to cope when that day comes.

I have all this extra ‘me’ time on my hands now. I should be ecstatic. I was initially. But now all I can do is think how I have even more time to think, about my girl, still so dependant on me, becoming more independent as the year goes on.

I took her straight to the bathroom as we entered the house in the afternoon. Stood her in the bathtub, shoes and socks off. Explanation? Sand pit. Say no more.

She stood there, one hand against the tiled wall, the other hand washing her foot of debris, and then alternating feet, the other in the air to be washed. I went to hold her steady, to help her.

“Noooo Mama. Leave me alone.”

I stood back. “Awww. Honey you can’t say that to me, not today of all days.” Still I let her do her thing, and as she finished her foot slid a little in the bathtub – not dangerously so, but enough to make her jolt a bit.

“See?” I said matter-of-factly, my eyes welling up again. “You do still need me! You’ll still need me for another 15 years at least.”

And then I smiled, as I again tried not to cry. “You’ll always need me,” I whispered.

That afternoon, I called my Mum.

#701 Shimmer & Swim

Like clockwork. A few minutes after we opened our eyes this morning, and baby girl asked me:

“Where you take me today?”

Me: A broad smile.

“Do you want to go to a shopping centre…”


“And meet Shimmer, and Shine?”

Pause. “YES!”

Several hours later, and in the words of her fave Nick Jr genies…


Boom Zahramay! First wish of the day…


It was sooo darn cute. She has the ‘Shimmer’ dress-up costume, something that for a then recently turned 4 year-old was a big deal, as she had specifically wanted the purple/pink dress-up, NOT the green/blue one. Nonetheless, both genies did get a hug, and she posed ever so sweetly with them.

Following that we headed into the Shimmer & Shine genie-inspired marquee…


where baby girl got to decorating her very own genie bottle to take home.


So cool. Mood lighting and ALL. Great idea, and it sure beats colouring in a picture of the two.

After a bit of walking around the centre and some lunch, baby girl was now asking me for ice cream. With our following play date now slightly delayed, guess what happened…


Boom Zahramay! Second wish of the day…


LOL. You really need to hear the genies shout out that wish line. Go and do yourselves a favour and look it up. Or better yet…


There you go. So bloody catchy, right?

After she had her rainbow ice cream, we headed off to our second destination for the day, being the Monash Aquatic and Recreation Centre, to meet my sister and nephew for a bit of a swimming play date.


Baby girl didn’t actually realise how good a time she would have until she saw the centre. Because I had mentioned my sister, she kept thinking we were going to her house to swim in her pool. But no. Her eyes widened and she went slightly insane as she saw what was before her…

The Wave Pool.

And just like that…


Boom Zahramay! Third wish of the day!

Oh man. It was hectic let me tell you. It was really fun and hilarious too, but also, an absolute work out for me as I tried my damn hardest to keep a crazy 4 year-old water-loving girl on top of the crashing waves around us (and they did CRASH!) while she tried her damn hardest to flop around and be consumed by it all!

I don’t have any photos of the event, because you know, keeping my daughter afloat and all, but here is a photo I found online…

wave pool

It was only 100 times more fun than the above picture shows you, and about 1000 times more insanely dangerous too!

By about the 4th wave pool segment (they are about 10 minutes long with half hour breaks in-between) I had worked out my shit with her and was able to keep her much more above water, with subsequently much less drinking of the chlorinated water too. Score for Mum.

What a day! Zahramay…


#691 Sleep-ins with my pre – 4 year old kinder girl

Something dawned on me just this week.

And it wasn’t the pretty colours of the sunrise kind either.

You see, as we are getting closer and closer to the time, a month away now, when baby girl starts to attend three 5 hour sessions of kinder a week, my dominant phrase has been this:

“15 free hours a week! YAY!”

ALL THE TIME. Anyone who asks if baby girl is at kinder, I apply with an immediate “yes” and then an almost as fast incomprehensible “15freehoursaweekYAY!”

Sure, I will have a whole lot of adult responsible life things to do in that time, like bills and grocery shopping and house stuff, and then there is Zumba that I want to return to, and those 1000s of photos I want to place chronologically in photo albums, and then print out the 1000s more I need to get up to date.

But then, the realisation.

I was in bed with baby girl the other day, after 9am, and we were just snuggling, chilling, doing a whole lot of nothing, as we laughed and giggled and talked about how we slept, and I kept trying to will myself out of bed, but I just couldn’t.

Something made me stay there longer.

Yes, I was getting these 15 hours of child-free time a week. But to get there, I would be getting up at 7am three times a week too. Gone were my sleep-ins with her past 9am, the lazy relaxing mornings, even my 1:30am bedtimes… yes, I have gone THAT FAR.

Suddenly, her three sessions of kinder, my Wednesday and Saturday work days, and Fridays usually spent catching up with appointments, that only left ONE definite day to sleep in…


I was going from sleep-ins MOST days, to sleep-ins… 1 DAY.


And there was no stopping it. Even with another child, it didn’t matter – because baby girl would be going from kinder, to primary school, to high school – the wake-ups would only become harder and more frequent and demanding!

So this morning, as baby girl came upstairs at 9:15, and I slept on and off another 30 minutes, before opening my eyes properly… and she asked me “you have good sleep Mama?” and we hugged and tickled each other, and talked about what we would do today, and I took a good 15 extra minutes to haul my behind out of bed…

I relished. Because these days won’t last forever. In fact, their days are numbered…

#679 A new Christmas Eve tradition

I like the fact that on Christmas Eve I do baking.

But to be honest, it’s not all smooth-sailing and joy and festive cheer and “Deck the Halls!”

It’s more “baby girl, don’t put your hands there!”

“No you cannot have another one you’ve already had 3!”


“For the love of God can you let me finish mixing before I play with your barbie dolls?”

And yet still, the fact that it has become a baking day tells me that I kind of have my shit together for Christmas, when all I am doing, is baking.

Well actually, not really. I was still running around buying last minute things, and have been in a state of constant all day as I tick off jobs on my to-do list. But still, predominant baking, means some kind of Christmas Eve celebration and relaxation, right?

I didn’t bake MUCH. Aside from some gingerbread to hand out to family and friends, I also did a new reindeer inspired treat


I hope they taste as good as they look, but just going on the melted chocolate which I did taste-test, well they should be delicious.

But the best part of the night was right at the end. Not because I had done most of my jobs – but because we did something with baby girl this year that we never have before.

We put out some treats for Santa.


A mug of milk and some of my homemade gingerbread for him, a carrot for Rudolph, and baby girl wanted to show Santa the snowflake decorated with pom poms she made today.

It’s all very simple, and yet the entire act of setting it up, getting her to bed because Santa “won’t come otherwise!” and preparing her for tomorrow made it so satisfyingly joyful.

Yes, the presents make this time of year a tad exciting, more so if you have little ones. But the best part, for me anyway? The look of wonder and fascination on their faces, making special family traditions together that only YOU do, and spending quality time with your loved ones where you enjoy one another, show your appreciation for all that you have, and tell each other how much you care.

I can’t wait to see baby girl’s face when she sees the gingerbread gone tomorrow morning 🙂

#654 Mills Beach Love… and the ‘true story’ behind the photos

There is a whole other side to the sweet, loving and idyllic photos that people post so often on social media.

And that definitely includes MINE.

I generally do post more happy stuff… I used to sometimes rant about something that might annoy me, and only after reading other rants on facebook, did I realise it was really unnecessary, and negative-drawing. I didn’t really feel much better about myself, my life, or that person when I read such quotes, and it made me realise that stuff like that was not needed online.

Not to confuse a day-to-day ‘I’m so pissed at the traffic today’ rant with a serious issue that needs attention and addressing. No that is fine, pull ALL the support and help from ALL the social media outlets, and gather the troops around as much as you need with your furious words. We need your PASSION.

So, I do post occasionally about our day-to-day lives, more so when we are doing something fun – I mean, does anyone wanna see us sitting on the couch in our pjs eating breakfast and watching Shimmer and Shine? Yeah I thought not.

shimmer and shine

But the story behind the photo often runs so much deeper, it travels something like an episode of Mr. Bean, it can be that frustratingly hilarious and stupid.

Take TODAY. Perfect example.

It was hot, and we went to the beach. I posted a photo of Hubbie and baby girl… for certain reasons I will not repeat that photo here, but instead here is another:


You get my drift. Relaxation, fun in the sun, blue waters, chilling in the shade as I watch my family in the water…

Good times…

??? Or not?

Here is the REAL story. Because yes I am grateful we went to one of our favourite beaches today as a family on one of our few days off together, but seriously… we were ALL nearly crying at various stages.

Firstly, we got there late. 3:30pm, and this was after we stopped at Baker’s for some bread rolls, and Hubbie got a cheap knife from Woolies (more on that later) because he had forgotten to bring one from home, and then because he had a couple of beers for himself, he was ever so kind, through the 30+ degree heat of the day, to head over to the nearby Dan Murphy’s to get me some kind of mixed drink.

Hubbie and I hadn’t had lunch. Baby girl was the only fed one.

Arriving at the hottest time of the day with several bags, 3 beach chairs, a folded up tent, towels, and walking about in the hot sand when we were hungry and starving, is trying enough.

But we did it. We set up the tent, almost stuffing it up (but we made it!) and then I just launched into the water where baby girl was already playing, sitting down immediately it was that bloody beautifully warm.

So, all good. I headed back to the tent where Hubbie was getting some stuff ready, applying sunscreen for himself, etc etc… I went to get the drink Hubbie got for me.

Rekorderlig is not paying me but I won’t say no if they come knocking. 

So I found this cider and I was like “yes!” as it’s been ages since I had one. I went to open it up, looking at him questioningly as I said “screw top?”

“Yeah,” he replied casually, at the same time looking over to the bottle in my hand and his face dropping. Because he just realised that it is in fact NOT a screw top, and it required a bottle opener.


I sighed. I hadn’t eaten, Hubbie was getting crankier by the second, I could just feel the waves of irritation blowing off of him, and now we had no opener.

I wanted a bloody drink.

“We have one in the car,” he said, and I relaxed somewhat.

The way I am obsessed about tissue boxes being in every part of the house, scissors and nail clippers and nail filers being both upstairs and downstairs, he is a total fuss-pot and needs to have bottle openers scattered everywhere, house, car and probably his pants, because, IN CASE.

“Can you put some sunscreen on my back?” I asked him.

He raised his eyebrows. “Is that before or after you want me to get the bottle opener and make your lunch?”

I ignored him and smiled. “Yes now.” But we were already getting to that point.

So he went and got the bottle opener. I had a drink, and took the above photo. Fine. I joined him and baby girl in the shallow waters, and we splashed about. Also good. And then he went back to the tent to make my lunch.

Now, I didn’t tell him to make my lunch. We had previously decided on grabbing some of those spinach and cheese/pizza rolls at Baker’s as it was a quick and easy bite especially when we were at the beach. I would have made a pasta salad and brought it with us if our stove was connected – our house and kitchen area is still a mess. So this is what I was thinking, this is what we even said out loud to each other… but then this dude of mine, somehow decided that it would be easier, to buy plain rolls at Baker’s, and then fill them… himself…

You know what he brought with him? Tuna, feta, and tomato. On a 34 degree day amidst SAND.

MORE on that debacle later.

Meanwhile, baby girl and I were in the water. It was amazing, and we were having a ball. I kept asking her, “do you have to go pee?” because I was just getting this vibe off her, I know her so well. She was saying no, so I would let the topic go, but then she’d pipe up “I don’t have to go pee.”

When she says she doesn’t have to go pee, I KNOW she HAS to go and pee.

I finally convinced her to go and pee before coming back. “I promise honey, we are coming back, I wouldn’t lie to you.” She took my hand and off we went.

Now, this is a purely female thing, and I say this because I told Hubbie and he had no idea… but after being in the water for a bit, when us chicks have to pee later, sometimes the urine comes out warm. I know, I’m sorry, using words like URINE and all, bad enough I’m saying PEE. I think it has something to do with our nether-regions being all cold, and our urine isn’t actually warm, it’s our parts that our cold, therefore our urine feels warm.

Enough explanation, if anyone actually knows, please advise in the comments below.

I sat baby girl on the toilet seat, and waited. She immediately yelled “ouch!” and started to whinge/cry. I ascertained that it was her pee, as she has reacted a bit like that before, but not so strongly. I was telling her, comforting her and saying “it’s just a bit warm, everything is ok, it’s not that bad,” but then she suddenly wasn’t peeing – she was holding on – and I was getting worried/upset. Worried because it is not good to hold in your pee (being a Mum shit like this scares you as kids can easily develop infections) but also upset because it is NOT THAT BAD AND SHE IS BEING A DRAMA QUEEN.

For at least 5 minutes I stayed with her in the loo as she got upset at not peeing/holding it in. I tried to console her, then I played bad cop and was like “we’ll go home if you don’t go toilet, you have to go!” But she was STILL upset and said “go home.”

Go home? This girl LOVES the water! Something must not have been right if she was happy to go home.

I got her out of there, REALLY mad. I stomped/limped across the hot sand, baby girl limping too behind me, as we got to Hubbie…

slaving away in the tent.

“I am not happy!” I told him, proceeding to go on about how she wouldn’t ‘go,’ but she had to ‘go,’ but she was holding it in. I told him that we were going home. You know… reverse psychology?

And he went “yeah let’s go… it’s been a shit day.”


He continued. “I’m never doing this again!” He had his newly-bought $3 knife, wrappers, a plastic bag as a rubbish bin, food and tins and all kinds of crumbs all around him, and he was SWEATING. “I’m here making YOUR sandwich, it’s a mess, I’m hot, it’s at least 10 degrees hotter in this tent…”

Meanwhile, I was trying SO damn hard to keep my cool. I ended up convincing baby girl to try and pee in the grass behind the beach boxes, as maybe the novelty would help her relax.

Nope. Instead I ended up with something that resembled a small leech on my leg that wouldn’t come off until I scratched it off, and off we went back to the tent, MORE MAD/SAD.

I pretty much ordered her to stay in there, and not move until she went to the loo first. She resigned herself to this, and I sat down to eat this God-damn roll Hubbie had prepared for me, as he sooked and moaned. He pushed the side of the tent away from him as a sudden strong breeze blew the tent wall against him, swearing loudly, and a nearby girl looked over at us as she heard it.

We are European-descendants people. We don’t swear/argue in public. How EMBARRASSMENT. I unleashed.

“Can you fix your f*&king attitude? Honestly all day today, can you just look at yourself? Did I ask you to make me a bloody sandwich, NO, I don’t know what is wrong with you, who brings tuna and feta and a tomato they have to cut at the beach?! There is sand everywhere!”

Like, what the actual fuck.

He went quiet, as I went quiet, chomping on this odd combo of tuna/feta/tomato that somehow worked in a seriously strange way which I would NEVER TELL HIM, picking out the chilli piece in the tuna that he FORGOT TO REMOVE.

Baby girl chomped on a bread roll, Hubbie just sat, and in a few minutes I was back in the water, trying to make her all jelly that she wasn’t allowed to go in. Mean parental tactics maybe, but I was trying to prevent an infection damn it!

In the end, this stubborn girl (wonder where she gets that from?) won. Hubbie ‘let’ her come down to the water, and though I contested it at first, I let it go.

Just like Elsa. LET IT GO.



Which leads me to this next pic.


Don’t they look serene? Isn’t the water just so sparkling and magical? Oh the joy to go to the beach with your family? Oh, WHAT LOVE! ♥♥


You see? You see the shit we had to go through? Hubbie swearing against the tent, the beach, the weather, the sand, about ALL MANNER OF SHIT, baby girl refusing to take a shit or anything else for that matter, and then me, trying to hold the insanity together, and trying so damn hard to ‘think positive.’



Not f*&king easy! :):):)

Yes, we did end up having a really great day, eventually… we were kind of like an overseas commercial at one stage, the one promoting the family having an awesome time on a beach getaway as they all go crazy splashing each other and laughing like mad. We were so Hawaii.  But don’t get too jelly, because when we got home, we were tired and cranky, ate dinner late, Hubbie was a yo-yo as his mood swung from relieved to cranky to funny to shitty, and I was there like


Both my babes are sleeping now so I love them sooo much. But before.


Just a reminder that not all things are as they appear in the photos. I still love Mills Beach. I loved our day together. But I think I could have done without the Mr. Bean dramas…

And closure for those keeping score. I realised once we were much happier later on in the afternoon that there is an opening at the back of the tent that can be zipped open, allowing cool air to waft through, keeping it at the same temp as outside. Hear that Hubbie?

And baby girl held her pee in until she got home… and then went normally.

So I actually don’t know what was wrong earlier, or what in fact happened. Much like ALL OF MOTHERHOOD.






#627 Plaits

The mornings are usually a rush. Even though baby girl is not yet in primary school, we are usually somehow rushing for something.

But in these hectic moments, furtive glances towards the clock, and agonising begging for baby girl to “just sit down,” there is a time-consuming activity that slows us both

A-l-l  T-h-e  W-a-y  R-i-g-h-t  D-o-w-n.

It’s when I sit to do her plaits.


She likes when I do two plaits for her, like the character Anna from Frozen. And today was no less an exception, since it was dress-up day at kinder, and who should she choose to dress up as of course?

None other than the fiery freckled brunette with plaits.

I realise often as I’m doing this activity, that we both pause, and go very still. And it has less to do with the fact that I actually need her still, and more that we are in this beautiful moment, where she is allowing me to get to work, and I am relishing the crazy, busy, and yet so so precious moment where she is dependant on me to make her hair all pretty. Where I can help her, and she needs, and wants my help.

I remember the days when my Mum would do my hair (my Dad even took to the task a few times when Mum was not around!) and I see with clarity how fleeting, and transitory life really is.

And so I sit there. I ignore the clock. I divide her hair into parts. She goes quiet.

And we sit in this moment of Plait-itude.