#1437 Melbourne Monopoly

I was so excited to come home with the tattered and old board game.

It came from the depths of my parents’ garage, and the game in question was Monopoly.

I had played it oh so many times in my childhood, and I planned to again… with my family, introducing it to a newbie in baby girl.

But then today while clearing out a cupboard, I came across MORE board games, and realised…

I had a newer version – Melbourne Monopoly.

Years ago for Christmas I had gotten it from Hubbie when the special city edition was released. I was so excited then…

But never played it! Never even tried to look at it…

‘Til tonight!

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Monopoly was on the cards alright. We didn’t play until someone was bankrupt (baby steps for baby girl) pulling the pin early because hey, the game takes sooo long anyway… but we already had our first little hissy fit.

Baby girl didn’t want to pack the cards away, wanting to keep the pink strip of cards… Because PINK.

The strip in question? It includes iconic spots like the Chapel Street precinct and the Emporium in Melbourne.

Of course. It had to be shopping related.

#1433 Home-grown cherry tomatoes

As if I couldn’t find yet another reason why I love going to my parents’ house time and time again.

Their backyard is the place to be. No matter what the season, it is a beautiful green abode of relaxation, escape, shade, dreaming, and also…

Food source.

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They have this vine of cherry tomatoes just casually scaling up one side of the fence. Before I knew what was happening my Mum was gathering bunch after bunch for me, and I was like “WOAH!”

They look delish!

Can’t wait to pop them onto one of my home-made pizzas with some super fresh mozzarella… DROOL.

#1430 Home made pizza

I’m trying to set a good example for baby girl whenever I can.

A massive part of that example is teaching her what I learnt growing up…

Home made is best.

She already tells me that my gingerbread and banana bread is better than any bought variety, and just recently even said she loved my pasta sauce… and she doesn’t even eat that much of it.

What I bake and make doesn’t have to receive world-class awards. If baby girl can see that what I made in our kitchen tastes better than anything commercially bought or packaged, my job here is done.

Learning this is a life-long task though. I still fall into traps of buying things that I think might be okay, but then I end up terribly disappointed afterwards. That’s why I’m always teaching, always talking to baby girl about what is good and healthy for her.

I don’t like to be preachy, or all “Don’t eat that!” with her. Rather like today at the shops, I asked her if she wanted me to buy some watermelon, and she said yes. I then threw in the info that they have lots of water and are naturally sweet, and much better for you than sugary treats and chocolate.

πŸ˜‰

But it wasn’t just watermelon on our shopping list today. We were buying pizza-making ingredients, because baby girl asked for us to make a pizza!

Before I get too excited over my good influence on her, it was TOTALLY NOT MY INFLUENCE.

I know because she told me… she had watched her favourite doll role-play channel on youtube and the dolls had made their own pizza with green peppers and brown onion and pepperoni and that’s why she wanted to make it!

Well what do you know? Youtube is actually teaching something.

So we went on a shopping trip. To buy green peppers (I told them in Australia we say capsicums), pepperoni (only to go on Hubbie’s side of the pizza once she realised they were spicy) and some other delicious and fresh toppings like ham, mushrooms and fresh mozzarella.

FRESH MOZARELLA! Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

At home I chopped it up and she helped me top the pizza base… the best bit.

Before…

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And after

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It smelt so good coming out of the oven, and we had created it ourselves!

The only modification for next time…

Make two. We smashed that ‘one’ easily.

 

#1422 ‘Twas the ‘second’ night before Christmas…

What? She must have her dates wrong you say.

No siree.

It really is the night before Christmas… for those of Orthodox faith.

It’s an interesting thing to celebrate two Christmases throughout your life. It’s a privilege now awarded to baby girl as she joins in the doubled up of festivities.

Growing up, although the primary Christmas we celebrated was on the traditional Westernised date of December 25th, due to my Mum’s background and heritage we were always aware of at the very least, if we weren’t helping our relatives celebrate the Orthodox Christmas day of January 7th.

Seeing as Hubbie’s family is also of Orthodox faith, this acknowledgement and acceptance has grown and continued. All of my life, family and friends around me have celebrated this day… I have been to countless Christmas parties and participated in token Orthodox traditions, drank and ate and been merry on this holiest of days.

Which nationalities celebrate this day you might ask? Well there are Macedonians, Serbians, Polish, Russian, and Greek, to name a few…

I think it’s important to respect and value other traditions, even those that we may not be privy to or understand in the fullest.

Just as living in Australia, I believe that Australian customs should be respected and appreciated by all those who choose to call this country their home, so too do I believe the reverse should be norm: Aussies should respect the traditions and heritage of those with customs and holidays from far off our shores.

Including a different Christmas.

Sometimes I hear a bit of ignorance. One side might discount the other, calling theirs the ‘real Christmas.’

I think this is a bit sad. I don’t think we should be arguing over religion and politics and trying to up our own stance by discounting the other.

Why can’t we all respect each other’s traditions while still enjoying our own?

THIS GOES BOTH WAYS.

Baby girl went to bed tonight excited. She was asking if Santa would come again… I told her he only makes one stop a year, but that there would still be PRESENTS.

We did the majority of presents on the Westernised Christmas day, but I have an inkling she will get something. πŸ˜‰

A second Christmas for a kid? That’s like a second birthday!

She, and we, are fortunate to have double the Christmases, every year. β™₯

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

 

#1411 Guess… who?

The day after Christmas is usually spent –

nursing a sore head.

nursing a swollen tummy

nursing a tired body –

and as such not much happens.Β 

Around here anyway.

There are new presents to play with and find homes for, a lot of cleaning, breathing out a sigh of relief that Christmas is over, yet simultaneously feeling sad that Christmas is a whole 364 days away…

It’s a well-intentioned catch-up and family day.

And what better family way to end the day than with an…

Old-fashioned game.

Guess which one?!?!

‘Santa’ got this as one of baby girl’s few presents. I LOVED this growing up and as she’s at an age where she’s getting a lot out of board games like this one.

I sat opposite her while Hubbie helped her work out the best questions to ask to eliminate the most people, and we got to work –

slamming the faces DOWN.

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The best bit? The times I won, she was so rapt, thinking that by me guessing correctly she had won.

LOL LOL LOL.

The end of night scoreboard? 2-2.

πŸ˜‰

#1406 The Christmas carols

My first intention for tonight was to head on down to the local carols in the park for some festive cheer and fun.

‘Twas not to be. Hubbie was tired from work and not ‘feeling it.’

We settled in for a night of carols on TV instead – if I couldn’t have them in person I had to have them someway, right?

“Don’t they do those on Christmas Eve?” Hubbie asked me.

Automatically I responded –

“Channel 7 do Carols in the Domain the Saturday before Christmas, in Sydney… Channel 9 do Carols by Candlelight on Christmas Eve from Melbourne.”

BAM! Just like that. All Christmas worded-up and everything.

Well I have been watching them all my life, I SHOULD KNOW.

Knowing the Wiggles were on in the first part of the night, we all sat down while baby girl asked repeatedly when they were going to be on.

She totally made up for it when they did arrive on screen, and she danced along to them while we watched her, revelling in her happiness and joy.

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There wasn’t a lot of quiet in our house tonight. We weren’t all seriously watching the carols and singing along with our flashlight features turned on on our phones… we were talking over one another, tuning in and out to songs on telly, singing along to some and talking about our goals for next year and just having the best time together.

We didn’t need no community park concert. We were all we needed.

And then I looked outside and – YES! – our new solar Christmas light was working!

It looked magical πŸ™‚

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My memories of Christmas carols stem way back. Growing up on Christmas Eve I’d sit in the lounge room with my Dad as they played, and Mum would come in and out, busy in her preparations for a big family Christmas lunch the next day. We would then wait up ’til midnight and exchange presents, wishing each other a Merry Christmas, and go to bed excited and buzzing that Christmas was finally here.

They are the best memories.

Well we made some of our own tonight. And though the night actually started out pretty average and flat… as soon as the carols started, something magical occurred in our lounge room.

It was, Christmas magic. β™₯

#1361 The first Piano Keys

When I was about 7, I started swimming lessons.

This was a big deal. Back when I was a kid (I feel sooo old saying that) there weren’t so many kids around me doing after-school or extra-curricular activities. I did swimming for a couple of years. I know Hubbie only started playing basketball when he was about 12… and that he had to FIGHT FOR.

Today it is a whole different ball game. Parents are booking in their kids to things that they have absolutely zero interest in, let alone what they actually like.

They book them in to activities that they themselves failed at, so that they can live vicariously through their offspring…

They book them in to lessons so that they can become the next musical/sports/arts prodigy…

They book them into classes that they think are cool, or that they think they need, like a foreign language for when they have to travel overseas in 30 years time as a political minister or something…

😏

Baby girl currently does swimming. She also wants to do gymnastics (and I am holding off with all I can until next year for that one).

And today, she started piano.

I can’t keep up.

I feel for her. I mean, she loves doing these things, but if I am tired taking her to and from these places, how the hell does she feel?

It is a great opportunity to learn, I must admit. After sis and bro-in-law passed down their piano-keyboard to us, Hubbie saw the potential in setting her up young, and looking to see if she had any musical inclinations within her.

Yep. It is all Hubbie πŸ˜‰

But she surprised me. Following her lesson today she came home, ran to her piano-keyboard and proceeded to copy the simple keys she had learnt during the lesson.

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I was impressed.

Who knows where this road leads her. But if she lets me, I’m more than willing to take her for the ride. 🎹 🎼🎢