#877 Shopping with my girl no.8

It is so true that forcing yourself to get out and about when you’re not up for it, can really do wonders for you.

And having a convincing baby girl on board to coax you along, helps too.

As a parent, it’s really hard to say no when your kids are so damn cute and clever.

So, feeling under the weather, light-headed and all spaced out, we headed over to Southland today, amidst headache, crankiness, and cramps…

ALL MINE.

It was great though. After our argument within 10 minutes of being there. We got the shouting out of the way (what will happen to me when she is 14, and not 4?!?!) and then proceeded to actually have, the best day.

Spending money is a really great way to feel better. I know I’ve said this before, but it is so true. We made use of our time, eating and cafe-ing our way throughout the centre, and getting a few bits and pieces along the way too.

IMAG1889

She got a couple of books that she loves, from discovering them at kinder/the library; I got a book on handling fear, something I desperately need as the necessity to share more of my writings and work grows, and with it the inevitable audience which quite frankly SCARES THE SHIT OUT OF ME; some Lego, and a dress for her; and for me/us, a Queen album.

But none of that quite compares to the highlight of our shopping day, which cost absolutely nothing, and gave both baby girl and I insurmountable laughs and joy. Because as we were lunching, I somehow decided to open up my messenger app and show her the filters you could place over our selfie portraits.

What a can of worms… and a fun one at that! We went through filter upon filter, checking them out, watching our faces and features change and distort upon the application, and we roared and shrieked with laughter. We had our lunches half-eaten in front of us, and here we were in a room full of people, cacking up like we were the only ones in it.

It was, absolutely the best. And well, that kind of ruins my earlier hypothesis…

Because it was FREE.

msgr_photo_for_upload_1531194721919.jpg

 

#857 Running late to the skies

My alarm goes off at 5am. I sleepily turn it off, in an effort to not wake up Hubbie any more than I need to, because he, unlike me, can sleep in.

I tell myself I will get up. I will get up. Just a few more minutes. It is sooo cold. I’m warm now, but when I get up, the icy air will hit me hard. Just a few more minutes…

I look at the clock. It is now 5:27am.

“F^&k!” I whisper, throwing the covers off me.

If it was just the 15 or so minutes later I’ll be, that’s fine, I think. I will at worst be at work 5 minutes late. No biggie.

But then, something happens.

THE MONASH FREEWAY happens.

There are two incidents, both near the start and end of my Monash journey, so that I end up anticipating a good 30 minute late start to work.

It’ll be ok, and I won’t get in trouble… I just hate it.

Even so, when I park my car before the 10 minute walk over to the building, I spot something. I have to take out my phone, and SNAP!

IMAG1432

Being late was worth it, for that sky.

Soon, it is the end of the day. I jump into my car eagerly. I want to go to a nearby shop on our side of town that closes at 5:30pm. If I get home by 4:30, we have about an hour.

But then, something happens… again.

Yep, you guessed it… the freaking Monash freeway.

Multiple incidents and who knows what else forecast my trip as taking an extra half an hour to get home, so I take an alternative route, that gives me all manner of stress and hell, but I manage to make it home, a bit later than thought, but still, we all run out to the shop.

We come back home after 5:30. I am tired. I have been out of the house ALL day. I am cold. I am hungry. I just want a moment to myself. Baby girl won’t stop talking to me, Hubbie is in a good mood and just can’t stop repeating himself, and all I really need is to sit down and have a few minutes of peace.

But then, I see this:

IMAG1434

And I SNAP!

And once again, being late is worth it, for that sky 🙂

 

#770 Making memories and finding comfort in a topsy-turvy day

I’m not going to lie.

I’m not going to sit here, and tell you my day was great, my day was fantastic, when there were many parts of it, that weren’t.

I can’t just pretend all went well, when all didn’t.

I can’t just focus on the good, because I feel like that would be lying, and I think you would appreciate me telling you the frustrating, shitty parts too. The ‘Life’ parts. The pros, as well as, the cons.

Even with this being a gratitude blog and all.

So in short, let me tell you this:

Today we got to catch up with some of our closest friends for a birthday. It was well overdue (pro).

We drove over 3 hours there and back, and after this weekend, we are OVER driving (con).

We had fun (pro), and we made memories (pro). We danced (pro), the kids played (pro), and baby girl got her leg stuck in the hole of a portable basketball base (con, but a funny one).

I got this cappuccino made for me by our friend (pro)… he is a former café owner and works for a coffee company…

IMAG9672

PRO PRO PRO.

And this day would have truly been perfect, even with all the little cons up to this point, if the highlight of the day were just this: good coffee amidst polaroids of my girl dressed as a cowboy.

But it went on, as days do.

Driving home, Hubbie developed some kind of gastrointestinal infection (CON).

We stopped twice. (CON).

When we got home eventually, the windy weather appeared and started lashing us as we ran for the front door… but we got inside quickly, and I reckon somehow the Universe held it off slightly until we were indoors, only because we had such a sucky ride home (pro).

I ordered pizza because (insert Hubbie incapacitated on couch), and I was so grateful for the convenience of it all… pro – but it took an hour to arrive (maybe because of the wild weather – con).

Before and after said pizza, I sat on the couch with baby girl, me actually watching Bachelor in Paradise in peace, and she watching YouTube videos of dolls playing with toys, as the Wicked Witch of the West flew around on her broomstick outside in this cyclonic wind (pro).

Everyone is in bed now, and Hubbie is feeling better (massive PRO).

I know I am a glass half-full gal, but I wanted to show you both sides of the coin, to prove a point.

We can be aware of both good and bad, happy and sad, positive and negative, pros and cons… because it is all in the greater picture. Seeing the greater picture balances us out, makes us humble, and helps us to appreciate the pros more.

Because if all we had were pros, well the above would have been a very boring (albeit hugely satisfying for me) story.

And every story needs a villain, doesn’t it?

Today’s villain? Driving time, stomach viruses and wind from hell.

Today’s hero? Friends, couch time, and…

COFFEE 🙂

 

 

#726 Date with the folks

I can’t remember exactly how long, but going into today it felt like it had been ages between catch-ups with my parents.

As in, a face-to-face one. We met up with them today at a local shopping centre on their side of town for some lunch, where we ate in a little cafe, chatted, caught up on some stuff, and just generally enjoyed their company.

It was so chilled, and yet so necessary.

We had things to do during the day, but had promised that when we were done we would then stop by their house on our way back home. What was meant to be a half hour visit, turned into a 4 hour “let’s just stay for dinner now” visit.

The backyard was the best bit. Sitting around the small table, chilling under the fruit trees, enjoying the cool breeze wafting on through, and talking about goals, dreams, life, and making plans and exploring ideas about it ALL.

IMAG8650

I swear their backyard is THE BEST. The greatest memories have been had amidst those trees. Baby girl went a bit rampant with my phone and took the above photo of Hubbie my Mum and I, and then as I wasn’t watching went ahead and took a whole lot more…

Topping off the night was an impromptu visit to Gino’s pizza to grab our dinner, and unless you’re from the North will you only understand the institution that Gino’s is – that it still is, even after the owner’s have changed! If you don’t get it, I’ll just tell you this: people go out of their way to pick up the pizzas as Gino’s don’t do delivery, which is what we had to do tonight even though I started off with saying “let’s just get a pizza delivered.”

!!!

Having a classic pizza you haven’t had in ages, in your old hood, is pretty damn awesome.

Under the Pear tree, Parents, Pizza… Ahh. Pretty Perfect 🙂

And just for show, check out the photos baby girl took in the backyard while we weren’t looking:

IMAG8658

(The garden duck she bathed)

IMAG8665

(Legit she took this, it is soooo beautiful)

IMAG8666

(In an art gallery this one would be called ’80s Flashback – The Clothesline against a sea of Corrugated Plastic’)

 

 

#709 The spider and the moth

Gratitude can often be found, in the strangest of places…

I have a non-visual story to tell, one that was the briefest of moments, and one that made me gasp in disbelief. But first, let me show you my day in photos.

Some days I stay home and do the washing. Other days are FULL.

This such day, was FULL. And visual.

We did lots of things, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have done them all. The first included a visit to the Circus that is currently in town:

IMAG8245

The first and last time I had been I was 8 or 9, so my visits between have been non-existent. Baby girl has never been, so combined, my desire to see it when the ol’ Silvers sign popped up in town, was deep.

However despite all this and the magic and jazz and what-not, baby girl spent the first half of the show begging me for popcorn after seeing others eating it, and then after the interval as she ate said-popcorn, she then proceeded to ask me repeatedly to go home.

Sigh. That’s my girl for you. Sitting for a couple of hours for Frozen on Ice was difficult for her, and that’s one of her favourite movies.

But the best part of the morning? When I took a handful of her popcorn, and she calmly and firmly said to me “no Mama, no more, that’s enough.”

IMAG8268

Oh how I LOLed and LOLed.

Second up after lunch was a café and park visit. These I love as they are merely a short walk across the road and down a street to a local strip of shops that sit near a park. I feel so local, so integrated in the community when we head over like that. First we stop for a caffeine injection

IMAG8277

And then we head over to the playground to get her play off some steam

IMAG8283

It was hotter than expected though, so we didn’t stay too long.

The evening gave us an opportunity to cool down and unwind, as we got super close to nature. Boneo Maze and Mini Golf are doing a special month-long Summer event that ends in about a week, called Lantasia, which showcases lit-up lanterns and light installations along their park grounds and tree walks, as night falls.

IMAG8296

IMAG8358

This was also interesting and inventive, chilled and relaxing too, and would have been more so if baby girl didn’t have to go to the toilet twice while in the middle of one such long walk, and since there is only one lot of toilets in the café, it meant we had to go ALL the way back down the walk to get there. But there was a Vintage Carousel too, so that kind of made us forget the annoying-ness of the former.

 

All of today’s events were super exciting and fun and made for a very tired and spent baby girl by day’s end, leaving me grateful for a multitude of reasons… but one thing stood out to me today, and it was the most unexpected thing, that I am still in awe of the memory in my head.

In between the park and the Lantasia lantern walk, baby girl and I were chilling at home, doing this and that, and I went to head outside and hang some washing. (I even do it on FULL days, you see).

I got to the door, and could see there was a moth sitting on the security door which was outside of the glass sliding door I was about to open. I scrunched my nose in disgust, as saying that I have a strong unpleasant aversion to that gross insect is an understatement, but I also wondered why the hell it was there then, since it was about 5:30 and there was still hours left ’til sunset – they were more a dusk/night insect.

As I opened the sliding door, the sudden movement made it fly away, and I was satisfied until I saw with dismay another moth fluttering crazily nearby the wall of the house, near a window.

What, another one? What was this? I watched it carefully as I stepped out, careful in case it flew towards me, or worse still for the long-term, in case it flew inside the house. It hovered, fluttering gently though erratically as moths do, and I kept my eyes trained on it, holding my washing with me, as I slid the door closed behind me, this moth flying in the bottom corner of the window frame… until suddenly there was a movement of black. And a spider suddenly crawled out of an indistinct hole in the corner of the outside window frame.

I watched as it grabbed hold of the moth – it all happened so quickly I can’t actually believe what my eyes saw – and then the fluttering came to a slow halt. There was a fellow scurrying of black legs, and the spider disappeared with its catch, back into its invisible-to-the-human-eye, hole.

WHAT?!

Had I been 5 seconds later, I would have missed the whole thing. And instead, here I was, watching two insects I care very little for, suddenly become a David Attenborough documentary before my very eyes!

Had either insect been in our house, I would have ‘gotten rid of them’ without concern. Both cause me alarm, more so moths, because with their erratic flying they can cross a room in seconds, and I don’t like that. Spiders are somewhat easier to contain.

But when I saw that spider today, not only catch its prey, but in doing so, rid the exterior door of moths?

I was impressed.

I said to Hubbie later on, as I retold the story, “when you next spray bug killer around the house, avoid that window frame.”

My buddy lives there.

My buddy the spider.

He looks after the moths for me. 🙂

And so concludes the story of the spider and the moth.

 

#699 Photos of a Saturday night

They are becoming more and more the norm, but I love them.

Nothing about them is ‘normal’ though – each Saturday night that I spend with my family and friends, is exceptional, unique, hilarious, entertaining, and sentimental in its own amazing way.

Music IS the norm. So is the best company. Everything else alters and shifts, but it’s all the best kind of fantastic which makes these nights so damn unforgettable.

IMAG8018

#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…

SUNDAY.

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

Sniff.

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…