#973 Taking to the pedal

My deep and heartfelt gratitude did not come from our family event outing, nor during the bonding we spent there, the down time at home, or that cheeky ice cream we squeezed in on the Main Street afterwards..

No. It came later on in the day, after much tiredness, frustration, raging emotions, and passionate tempers.

It came when baby girl hopped onto her bike.

She got her first bike after our first Christmas here in our Sea change location. She was almost 3 and a half, and was more than excited about riding a bike that had her fave character, Dora the Explorer plastered all over it.

But, it was HARD. She found the pedals difficult to circle. A couple of attempts here and there, and though we regularly went back to it at the start, the bike soon found its place in a corner of the garage, gathering dust, while baby girl still didn’t have a good grasp on how to ride it.

😦

As it happens often in life, doesn’t it? We buy something, and it just sits there, unused and unwanted. We think something will be a peace of cake, but it isn’t.

Baby girl had said she would ride her bike all the time… and we thought so too… but she didn’t.

It’s always been there in the back of her mind though.

Like the streamers peeking out from the handlebars in the corner of the garage, so too did bits and bursts of other bikes pop into baby girl’s mind, or in front of her eyes, reminding her that she did not ride a bike.

She had one. She didn’t ride one.

It’s been picking up momentum lately though. Kids from her kinder will ride to and from the pre-school. Littlies will ride past our house with their parents. She even watches Disney dolls riding bikes on youtube.

She would say “when can I ride my bike?”

And we would say “you need to practice honey.”

So today… we practiced.

Sure, it was hard at first. The whole motion of turning your legs in opposite directions in a circular motion, combined with steering the handle, and looking ahead, is a very multitasking job! We had to keep helping her with her feet, pushing them around, trying to steer her at the same time, reminding her to go “forwards, not backwards,” and “look ahead,” and “don’t go into the grass”…

She started to get it.

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Just a little bit of encouragement, praise for her getting it, and she was off and running! Or should I say riding! There are still quite a few stops and starts, riding into bushes of flowers, and random sudden brakes… but to see her so happy, riding along in glee, telling me “watch out Mum I’m coming!”…

It just clutched at my heart strings in the strongest way.

And it made this funny, interesting and mixed up day, the best one. 🙂

#870 Winter Sunset

Do you know there are people who think it is pointless to move to the seaside, unless you are a surfer?

Do you know that this very sentiment has been expressed to us, since our move?

“Do you swim everyday?”

The haughtiness drips.

My personal response?:

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You don’t need to swim everyday when you have a view like that.

There are many ways to enjoy living by the sea. Yes, one of them is to swim in it. Other things can be the calming effect of just looking at the water; walking by the water; and taking your daughter to the park where the water looms at you from below.

There’s a meditative aspect. It is soothing. It is spiritual. The beachside locale usually means a community feel is present, a real authentic and meaningful connection in all that you do, and the places that you go.

And of course, there are the water views such as the above. Living by the water you can be assured that there will be some kind of spectacular sunrise/sunset visible in the horizon, and fortunately for me, on this side of Port Phillip Bay, it is the latter. I am not a morning person.

In the warmer months we swim in it, and in the colder months we appreciate it.

That is called BALANCE.

And it is striking to me that at this, the coldest time of the year, the sunsets have been beautifully drawn and more amazing than what I would have imagined them to be at Winter time.

And that my friends, is called WONDER.

#785 The fam bam catch-up

Just recently I was reminiscing about the days when my parents would just up and – SURPRISE! At my front door they would be, with baby girl squealing about their blue car through the window.

A surprise visit is easy when you live 7 minutes away. Not so when it suddenly extends to 1 hour and 20 minutes.

So those memories, are a bit long gone. Sadly for me.

But then wait! Apparently, the surprise visit is back! Ok well not with a full-on, unexpected SURPRISE! at the front door… today’s one came with an 8:30am sms forewarning, and then several hours later they arrived at my door with even more visitors, my sister and nephew in tow…

But like I said, things have changed. 1 hour 20 minutes changed.

And that is what I am grateful for today. Sometimes with a change such as a Sea Change move like ours, it takes a long while to fall back into some kind of normalcy, some kind of routine, something I will always argue we ALL need for the sake of getting our shit together.

And then when things settle…

the SURPRISE!s come back.

And I expect a lot more of them too now. ;););)

Life is fluid, it’s in a state of constant progress, always changing… but if you’re lucky enough, sometimes you can hold onto what you had before, in some form, during its transition…

 

 

#737 35 minutes from company, makes for excited Hosts

At our closest, we have family that lives 35 minutes away. Most of the family are a cruise-control freeway length of 40-45 minutes, while the rest of them, well…

TAKE YOUR PICK.

We can be driving for hours to see someone. An hour? Yep. 90 minutes? For sure. 2 hours?

Yep even that far.

Our own parents, who used to live 7 and 15 minutes away from us, are now a day-trip length of 80 minutes.

We aren’t really catching up with anyone on this ‘side’ of town yet. In this town. We haven’t been here long enough to form those kinds of bonds, just yet.

I mean, we knew what we were in for. It wasn’t as if we didn’t know where everyone lived, or we didn’t know that we knew absolutely no one in the town we were moving to…

Still, it can get a little lonely. We wouldn’t change our location or house for the world, we genuinely really truly love it. However when we got home from our little Barwon Heads getaway on the weekend, after being just the trio of us for days already, we so desperately were seeking company, and needed to be with someone other than ourselves…

But locally, there was none to be found at our immediate disposal.

That’s why we are so happy when friends and family pop by for a visit. We had such friends pop over tonight, and we went to all efforts to make it a fabulous night.

We genuinely enjoy having people over and hosting, and being the fact that we are now further from many of them, we make the concerted effort when they do arrive on our doorstep.

Whether you have friends popping by unexpectedly, driving a long distance to see you, or you need to organise the meet up weeks in advance…

Having someone want to come and visit you, is happiness in itself, without all the food, the drink…

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Even the CAKE.

Feeling grateful for those in our life who make time for us, and more so the wonderful friends who came through our door tonight.

 

 

 

#695 Sand Creations by the bay

I had really wanted to take baby girl last year, following on from our Sea Change move… but alas, time, and circumstance just didn’t allow it to happen. Even though the entire event ran for a good 4 months.

This time however, I was set. Following on from the Christmas theme in December, baby girl and I ventured over to Frankston Sand Sculpting to view their ‘Aladdin & The Arabian Nights’ display.

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The sculptures were impressive and exquisitely intricate, however to a 4 year old, the most excitement was when she saw the Aladdin and Jasmine character on the magic carpet. I mean, she is 4.

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(Baby girl going all Sia-esque on me again).

Off to a sand pit to play with some buckets for a bit, into a nearby marquee where there was some free face (hand) painting to be enjoyed, and then I soon discovered the other marquee, where she could reap the benefits of the Supa Pass I had purchased for her…

Sure, the floor in there was all sand. Really, other than the beach, I would never willingly take my daughter to a place where the floor is replaced by this texture. But it was all for a purpose. Tables were assembled, coloured sand of all kinds was on each table, and on it you could create sand art and sand bottles.

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This was GREAT. I didn’t realise until I sat down with baby girl, how much fun it was. We strategically peeled back stickers off of the yellow paper, revealing a sticky substance underneath, so that sand was applied, and then shaken off… voila! The sand colour of your choice remained.

Parents were close by to their kids, enjoying the art and creativity as much as their children did. And children sat so patiently, so happily, so willingly, choosing their colours and applying the sand where necessary. We happily made baby girl’s choo-choo train picture, and also took home a sand bottle which she had filled herself.

I know the drawcard of the event are the sculptures themselves, but the sand colouring bit was by far the most entertaining part. Baby girl said to me as we left “thank you for taking me to sandcastles.”

Awww, sweetheart. You are WELCOME. I had the best time too. 🙂

 

#668 Barefoot and carefree

If you don’t live in our fair and highly unpredictable weather city of Melbourne, you may not know that today was a hot day.

really hot day.

After dinner baby girl and I walked to the front yard of the house. I was hoping to catch some, any, light sea breezes that may decide to grant us with their airy-ness.

I tread across the grass in my thongs. I observed baby girl’s feet.

“Honey you don’t want to put on your Frozen thongs?”

“No.”

“You wanna be barefoot?”

“Yeah.”

“You’re a hippie child.”

“Hippie?!

“Hippie!”

We laughed, and I soon remembered a time not so long ago and yet it also felt very far away. So much can happen in a ‘toddler year,’ and even though ONLY a year may pass, that one year can bring so many changes to both child and parent.

But I do know it was a year ago, because I remember the scene. It was summer, we were at our new Sea Change house location, and I was walking with her to the nearby park and café. She had closed sandals, but as is the case with these style of shoes, there were still holes in the sandals to let her feet ‘breathe.’

And back then, this 3 and a half year old would shriek in unimpressed shock when she felt any strand of grass graze her foot as she walked beside me. Walking in these shoes, on a hot day, through the grass, was so difficult, made more so by the flies.

She HATED them.

She would scream just as loudly for the flies hovering around her as the grass strands grazing her foot. She wanted to be outdoors and have fun and go on the swing, and yet she did not like the feel of grass, and freaked out at the sight of any flying insects.

So then, fast forward to today. She is not fazed so much by flies. Sure she swats at them, and like Mother like Daughter – she is not a fan of any bugs, AT ALL.

And then also, she goes barefoot, all over our grass.

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How a year can change things. I always love my girl, but I am grateful that she is feeling more one with the Universe, and enjoying the feel of greenery beneath her feet…

 

#609 1st year celebrations

It is the loveliest thing, when the town that you move to decides to throw you a welcoming party in honour of your presence, and then at each anniversary they throw more parties, just to remember how amazing it is that you decided to regal them with your being to reside in their locality.

Yep. That, or it happened to be the Main Street Mornington Festival, which falls on the third Sunday of October and has been happening for 22 years now, and it just so happily coincides with the time of year you decided to move.

Same same. A lucky coincidence either way.

And so the gratitude and happiness at our 1 year long Sea change continued today at the Main Street Fest. It was a stunning day, with a very fresh, strong sea breeze, and yet still, the people were out in force, packed like sardines in the middle of the street as they squeezed their way through amongst the countless and endless food stalls on either end.

After moving very slowly for what seemed like too long, we ended up deciding to just sit down and watch everyone else idle on by, and so we happened across the best spot at one of our most favourite-st of places to eat, drink, do anything really: The Winey Cow.

(I had the best Laksa!)

A spot of ice cream was required from Vespa’s afterwards

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And then once some more fun and drinks were had, we headed off back to the car a good few blocks away…

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Oh, to be a kid and be able to hitch a ride like that. She is so damn lucky. I had to walk.

And then, poor Hubbie’s shoulders.

But all in all, the day was splendid, and we had spent it as intended – us, our family, just doing what we came here to do a year ago…

Enjoy life 🙂