#659 Setting up the Tree – 4 year old Baby Girl edition

Ok, enough tears and doom and gloom and all round SAP.

I woke today, with determination. ZEST. And most importantly…

Festive Spirit. Because it was the 4th day of December, and this most greatest lover of Christmas did not have her Christmas tree up and decorated!

The insanity.

In my defence, I did BEGIN last week when it was late-November, when I laid down the foundations to the main tree, and baby girl’s tree…

You see, I take hours, even days to get it all done properly – because, OCD. I set up the basis, the branches first. And then I go back to lights, decorations, and then there is a condition known as Perfect Ornament Placement Disorder…. yep.

And then I decorate the house. Banners, Christmas paraphernalia, little lights, Santas in all forms… I am NOT like those people who post their trees on facebook. They have one tree in the corner of their living room with some tinsel and three kinds of same-shaped baubles in varying colours from the same 20 pack box they bought at Kmart.

No. The Christmas decorating is an artform. The Christmas decorating is a tradition. The Christmas decorating, is an experience.

So today in true festive spirit, I donned the traditional Christmas decorating hat (really just a Santa hat but it’s become the norm now) and put on SIA’s latest Christmas album (by the by, AMAZING) and got cracking.

I must admit, the hat got in the way as I was winding the lights around the tree, and for all of 5 seconds I removed it… and then I asked myself “do you like Christmas, or are you a scrooge?” and I put the hat back on, irritating or NOT.

Then some more SIA vibes wore off on me as I went on decorating

until it was baby girl’s turn. See I had the most fabulous idea months earlier, when lo and behold in said Kmart (I never said they weren’t good) I came across a mini Christmas tree… and the Christmas lover in me, clapped her hands excitedly and with much joy at the prospect of a special tree just for baby girl’s room.

I didn’t need to encourage or convince her, AT ALL.

So we got cracking on her one too. I already had some baubles I don’t use anymore (i.e. I got over-excited one year as all Christmas-mad people do, and bought too many baubles before deciding on my Christmas tree colour scheme… yep, the colours are super important) and as well as some other special pieces and a bauble she picked the other day from the shops, she got to it. (She had to wear ‘the hat too… for all of 2 minutes it lasted).

When she was done, I said “baby girl stand next to the tree.”

NEXT TO.

This:

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She cracks me up.

Once a couple of hours had passed, I was fairly pleased with our efforts.

Never mind the house is a complete pig-sty and our fridge is in our lounge room because LONG DRAWN OUT KITCHEN RENOS, but who’s mad, frustrated, pissed off? NOT ME NOT ME NOT ME.

No, we are festive and Christmas-ready, and that’s ALL that matters.

 

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#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:

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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.

Damn.

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.

frozen-let-it-go-photo

 

Which leads me to this next pic.

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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.’

:):):)

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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

“WTF?”

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

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.

 

 

 

 

 

#638 Park… Beach.

I was always going to take baby girl to the park today. She had been pointing at the expansive fantasy-themed park since we moved over a year ago, and STILL we hadn’t taken her there.

It was on the edge of Frankston Waterfront, the beach so to speak, and lo and behold today was also…

Beach weather.

What to do, what to do? Well, we went to the Park…

But a Mum is always prepared. After 10 minutes of watching her sweat it out on the play ground (with me sweating it out as I followed her around), I decided enough was enough.

“Baby girl do you wanna see where the water is?”

(Does a sunflower like to face the sun???)

And just like that, we transformed. Sandals to thongs, dresses to bathers, with towels slung over our shoulders, we shuffled through the sand to the gloriously outstretched clear shallow waters that looked toward the Pier.

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We were only there for a short time – next time I will bring more meter money! – but, my oh my.

What a summer to look forward to 🙂

#600 Lego

Today we took out some toys that baby girl hadn’t played with in a while.

And then my OCD got the better of me.

It always does when we start playing with Lego. Hell, we had to make up for lost Lego time, right?

Baby girl wanted help in setting the track down for her battery-operated trains.

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But then she wanted some bridges, and I thought what the heck let’s do the crane bridge.

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And while we’re at it, let’s take out the Mickey and Minnie Disney Lego, set that up amongst the trains and bridges, Duplo animals, and the Frozen and Cinderella themed Lego that baby girl has subtly (and expertly I might add) merged together?

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And of course, when you have OCD, and you start doing Lego, YOU MUST GO BY THE BOOK.

God help your toddler if they should wish to deviate against the Lego pamphlet, hell no!

Anyway, I had a ball… and baby girl did too.

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#483 Unpacking and Organisation

Today, another Sunday, and another really cruisy and chilled let’s-walk-around-the-house-and-see-what-we-can-find kinda day.

At some point, while Hubbie was taking a nap, and baby girl was watching some Paw Patrol, I decided to head into the wardrobes and check out my unpacked boxes. I didn’t actually unpack any – to be honest, these things sitting in these cardboard boxes, actually make it neater. Out of the box, and a lot of miscellaneous things lying around would only do my head in.

Eventually, I will organise properly, and group ‘like’ things together, also do a MASSIVE culling of ‘things,’ and put the remaining ‘stuff’ into pretty little boxes that make me all warm and fuzzy inside.

I’ve had random boxes in various rooms stacked up on top of each other for a while, those keepsakes that you want to keep, but don’t look at too often; those things that you need, but also, you don’t NEED too often.

All I did today, was go through every box, make sure there was a clear label on the front displaying what was in it, and stacked them up again neatly in the wardrobes.

I cleaned up a little. I condensed a bit. I found some things of interest too. A cute Japanese-style coin purse that I love. Pink wands for baby girl. A crystal candle holder I’d forgotten about. Everything else is neatly waiting in cardboard boxes now for Unpacking Boxes Judgement Day, but just knowing that at a glance, I know where EVERYTHING is, makes me really happy and in control.

Shit like this is super-important for a control freak.

And then at the end of the day, I found a purpose for an empty storage box I had, and turned this pile of baby girl’s DVDs sitting atop our bookcase

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into this neat pile

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It’s not a huge feat, and it didn’t require me to spend hours searching or organising. But in my ‘organisational travels’ today, I discovered where everything was and what I had, including some empty storage boxes, and so when I walked back into the family room hours later and happened to glance upon the pile of awkwardly piled DVDs in a place they shouldn’t be, I was reminded of the felt box that had made me think earlier ‘what can I put in that?’

Some people might balk at my excitement over organising the house, but outer order equals inner peace. I know this, because I am so rapt right now. It is addictive, and I can’t wait to get stuck into MORE tomorrow…

 

 

#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 🙂

 

 

#363 Play-doh

You end up doing ALL kinds of things when you are a parent, and participating in ALL kinds of activities to amuse the little ones.

Often you do this, kind of chaperoning and looking out for them during these times, because they are still quite young and naïve, and just need a watchful eye over them as they –

draw on that a4 sized paper with red texta as they lay on your carpeted floor

OR

throw the ball wildly around in the backyard as two of your birds watch above from their cages in slight horror

OR

practice riding their new bike on and around your steep driveway.

You hang around, for their safety, for other’s safety, and also, for cleanliness.

That’s a BIG one for me.

Many of the times I hang around and make sure baby girl is in line is simply to make sure she doesn’t make more mess. Sure, she is rapt and thinks “Mum is playing with me!” And, I am. But I scold myself that I don’t live in the moment more and appreciate the time spent with her, instead watching warily to see if any mess will be made.

I just can’t handle the thought of having more stuff to clean up, when already I am the primary person who cleans up SO MUCH. It bothers me to an infuriating point, to think there is some kind of mess or disorganisation made, and to someone who already spends so much of their day doing it, to do extra when it could have been avoided…

well it just really gets my goat.

Play-doh is one such activity I have to be right there, next to her, ‘helping’ her make creations. I get all OCD and make sure she doesn’t mix up the colours so she can use them again. And then I think ‘these things are dirt cheap, I could buy more tubs at the supermarket if she blends them all into one dough-y heap!’

But then today, after promising her for half the day that we would take out her play-doh, when we did, I found myself not just getting into OCD mode, but Lego mode too.

‘Lego’ mode is when I get soooo into the Lego making, that when she deviates from the instructions and wants to make her own block creations, I get exasperated and exclaim “baby girl! why do you want me here if you don’t want to do it properly!”

So OCD, I know.

But, we had a lovely moment with our play-doh date. I lost a bit of my OCD, and though we were keeping the colours separate, we both got really into the art of making play-doh flowers, play-doh icing, play-doh fruit, and other kinds of cupcake toppers using some tools from a recent set she was given.

She loved it, and I really loved the creativity we both got into, expressing ourselves with colourful, dough. I actually lost myself in the moment, several times.

Doh! Appreciating the Doh.