#582 Movie firsts

My sister took me to my first movie. Batman, with Michael Keaton as the man in the cape.

It always was, and still remains, one of my most favourite past-times and memories with her. Our movie nights, our sister days.

Well it wasn’t a ‘movie first’ for either baby girl or my nephew today, as we took them to see the Wiggles Nursery Rhymes being shown at the Vjunior cinemas.

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But it was baby girl’s first time EVER eating popcorn… did she like it? I’ll leave you with these words she uttered: “No mama don’t touch.”

There you go.

It was also my nephew’s first time sitting through a whole movie, happily! The volume was lower than it usually is in other regular cinemas, much easier to take in without the ear-splitting stereo bursting your eardrum.

And it was our first time, ALL together. With the success of today, I think there will be many more movie days, and memory days.

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(The popcorn cup, I could not touch)

♥♥♥

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#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.

#479 (Un) Expected Parcel

Lately it feels like we are BILL-city. We have payments and fees and unexpected notices and amounts outstanding coming out of our every orifice. So it was nice when I received a package today that I’ve been expecting for a few days now…

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I was so happy and surprised to receive a phone call from Harvey Norman late last week, telling me that the photo print competition I had entered only a month or so earlier, when I was printing 200+ photos for memory boards for my parents anniversary party, well, I had won! Well, one of the prizes on offer, which was the above-posted Bluetooth portable speaker!

What a nice and pleasant surprise! We know how cool it is since my bro-in-law has one and positions it around the house depending on where we’re sitting when we’re over, so it’s awesome to think we now have one, and we got it, for free!

Winning a competition! I feel as excited as I did when I won some comps from a kids mag when I was about 11, and got an Ariel doll in the mail…

I’m grateful for unexpected moments like these 🙂 Helps ease bill-tension and stress, too 😉

#460 Dancing in the kitchen with my loves part 4

I still had an ample collection of folk songs on my ipod back from my Dad’s 70th birthday. Yes. I love being super-organised.

I sat on the floor beside the stereo, making sure these songs could definitely play out of there… you know, you do these ‘tests,’ ‘in case,’ before any big event.

Suddenly, loud folk music started blaring out. Pass.

And then baby girl responded in her true nature: she started to dance.

It’s funny how you can completely love a song, or as was this case, songs, and yet never listen to them. Hearing the songs I used to hear around my parents home as a child, brought back the warmest and fondest memories. I love these songs, they remind me of such joy, a naïve and innocent and beautiful time, and yet I never listen to them.

I probably should.

And seeing my daughter dance with such glee to them, well, it touched a very special part of my heart.

Baby girl ran circles around the kitchen, laughing happily, and every so often went over to the stereo to turn the volume dial right up. She then added an action to her circles, and blew a kiss to me, her fingers touching her lips every time she came near me with a loud “mwa!”

I did “mwa!” back, and soon the kitchen was filled with running, delirious laughter, and a lot of air-kisses.

Oh, and also folk music 🙂

 

 

#435 New library

I think, when we collectively call ourselves avid readers and writers, surely then we must be a member of more than a few reading institutions?

The first library membership I got was when I was about 10, and that was a school incentive since they had built a local library in our suburb, up in the North.

I loved it, and thrived on my library membership, for ages. I would bring home the maximum amount (back then 10 books only) of Goosebumps, The Babysitters Club, and then Sweet Valley High series books, up until my mid-teens. This phase lasted long, and had me happily perusing through the library shelves for years on end, maybe until I was 15 or so.

Then boys kind of became more prominent. I would still visit, but much more infrequently, and later in Uni days, a lot of material from my essays would come from those aisles. I would walk up and down, and reminisce about the good old days, where I could read 10 books well within a few weeks time, and come back to borrow more earlier than I needed to, thirsty for more.

Fast forward many, many years, and a brand-spanking new library opened near my work. It is a work of art, and it is my belief even a non-reader would find interest, solace, and a renewed sense of appreciation for the written word, in here.

Of course, I became a member. I borrowed a few books, and then when I realised that reading, taking notes, and then reviewing the book within a few weeks span became a bit too much to take on, I kind of stopped borrowing from there.

It’s temporary, and it’s only because I’m awaiting the day I can devote much more time to fiction books.

However, today baby girl and I ventured to our new, local library. The first time we went there was right after we moved, and so I didn’t have the proper I.D. with my new home address to subscribe. Today however, different story.

At the Mornington library, I am told I can borrow unlimited books at any one time. Woah. Up to 10 DVDs, and there’s a bunch of other benefits of becoming a member too. Baby girl enjoyed the kids nook, sat in a reading booth, and I just happened across (this stuff seriously jumps out in front of me) a couple of books that I just HAD to borrow.

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You can totally tell which are for me, and which are for baby girl, right? I mean, I’ve been hanging to read Dr Seuss’ take on fish for yonks now.

😉

Seriously though. Am I the only writer that has tonnes to read and write, a whole book shelf at home just crying out to me “read me! read me!” and yet I still go out and borrow/buy MORE books?

I think the novelty of the library, is the fact that if you do not read a book in your borrowed time span, not to fear – just re-borrow, or read it at a later stage. There is no commitments, and I think in my case, for now, with so much fiction for me at home just STARING at me whenever I go past my shelves, I can happily borrow reference books and the like, and then pick what content will serve me best from within its pages.

And while there, I registered baby girl for the ‘1000 books before school’ challenge, where she will aim to read up to 1000 books, and track her progress on a chart with stickers, with little incentives as she hits big milestones along the way. This number can include any books read at home or school or her grandparents house, and even the re-reading of favourite books. They can all be counted, starting from today. If you’re interested in doing so for your littlies, I understand many libraries are partaking in the challenge.

The end of the challenge is either the commencement of school, or when she hits 1000.

Do you seriously think I will let baby girl, the daughter of a writer, not get to 1000 books within these two years?

To answer your question… she already has 4 stickers today.

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God Bless the Library.

#408 Meeting Dora

I was about 5 or 6 when my sister took me to go and meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse. It was the late 80s, and back then, it was a BIG DEAL. The photo is hanging out somewhere in my parents house, but I remember the awe of it all, and the humongous queues to get a photo taken with them. It was really, really momentous.

Apart from that, that is my only brush with kiddie fame. And I was thinking today, what a difference a few decades make.

Back then, Minnies and Mickeys only ventured out of Disneyland, like once in a blue moon. And if you met them, that was like the holy grail, the Christmas of Christmases, the highlight of your sweet, sweet childhood.

Nowadays though? Baby girl has been to 4 Wiggles concerts, been in close contact with Lah Lah’s band and posed with the accordion player, had photos with both Bananas in Pyjamas, Upsy Daisy and Iggle Piggle from In The Night Garden, and today, the latest addition.

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And she is only 3 and a half.

She met Dora at Westfield Southland today, and it was amazing. I mean, for her. I watched proudly as she confidently walked up to the top of the stage steps, to wait her turn for a meet ‘n’ greet, and then strode purposefully towards one of her idols for a big all-encompassing hug and photo op.

When I saw the size of Dora, a little part of me went ‘Yikes.’ I mean, this was a super-sized Dora! I was concerned baby girl would cower slightly and need strong nudging before hesitantly making her way towards her.

But nope. This seasoned professional, who has already seen so much, and so many of her favourite entertainers, did me so, so proud.

And the best bit? The novelty HASN’T worn off. She is still as excited and thrilled seeing Dora today, as she was 2 and a half years ago when she went up to Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy in the shopping centre and happily gave them warm hugs.

It is still sweet. And I will encourage that sense of wonder and innocence, of youthful exuberance and gratitude in her, for as long as I live.

#370 50 + 1 Play School years

It’s definitely a milestone. Growing up in this fair country of ours, if you are about 60 and under, you most likely grew up watching this show. And if you are anywhere near the 70 and above mark, well then you probably watched it alongside your kids.

It’s a pretty sweet deal, when your child ends up watching what you did growing up.

And even better, when she gets to see it LIVE, on stage.

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I am such a sap. Today at the local theatre, I got all teary-eyed as Teo and Emma jumped onto the stage to greet the kids watching with wide eyes below… and baby girl was ecstatic, almost couldn’t contain her wild energy, as she crazily waved back at them.

I can’t be the only Mum who gets emotional at these things… am I?

Maybe it’s because I’m a deep thinker. Maybe it’s because I want to bring as much childish, innocent and joyful times to her life as I can. Maybe it’s because as time goes on, some things stay the same.

Like the staying power of Play School in young children’s lives.

And that in itself is a wondrous and amazing thing, that amidst a world of new technologies, changing lifestyles, and the fast fast fast, busy busy busy pace of life, that children can play, jump, clap and take great joy in song and dance, all while learning about life, and everything around them in it.

Play School celebrated 50 years on our screens last year. And live shows such as the one I saw today, along with their constant on-air presence, inspired to teach and help children have fun, well, I think it will be around for 50+ more.

From baby girl, Big Ted, Humpty and I – cheers Play School.

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