#1870 Kids will be kids

I feel sorry for any neighbours around us who don’t have kids.

Because come 5pm onwards, the kids around our house start mimicking some serious bird life.

You know birds… they make the most racquet twice a day… early morning, and late evening.

Well the last few days, baby girl and the neighbours have been making a racquet like some right old parrots.

Squawking. Shrieking. Flapping their legs and arms around as they propel themselves high into the air, as far as their little legs will send them.

3 trampolines sit back to back on our strip. 3.

Ours is one of them.

And the kids head outside, yelling to each other over the fence trying to get the others’ attention, chattering loud for all to hear, playing crazy games, and peering over fences until dinnertime.

I love it.

It reminds me of my own childhood, only we were less forgiving as kids, and more intrusive…

‘Knock knock knock,’ we’d go on the door.

ALL THE TIME.

The kids are helicoptered more nowadays, but their insane antics stay the same.

Today I caught baby girl and the neighbour passing something over the fence…

Can you guess what it was?

Pegs. They were trading clothesline pegs. 🤦‍♀️

As long as I can still hang my clothes up… I don’t care.

Whatever keeps them happy. Whatever keeps them being kids.

(Whatever keeps them out of my hair!)

#1803 The overdue playdate

How is it nearly back to school time ALREADY?

So I worked leading up to Christmas… then there was Christmas…

Worked some more… then New Year…

A playdate here and there, an outing, bit more work…

Then HOLIDAYS! Getaway, wedding, day trips, go go go!

And here we are!

A week away from starting back… 🤔

I wanted to have baby girl’s school friend over way earlier in the holidays, but alas all of the above, so she came over today, finally.

I think it’s really beautiful to see her find and make friends that she genuinely enjoys spending time with, and more important is for me as a parent, nurturing that connection, and creating opportunities outside of the home for them to bond.

Which is what they did today.

But everything was like, a 10-15 minute activity, so excited they were to just be having fun together in a place other than school.

Checking out our house and all the rooms… 10 minutes.

Jumping on the trampoline… 10 minutes.

Playing dress ups… 15 minutes.

Watching Frozen 2…. 10 minutes.

Playing with dolls… 10 minutes.

Playing with shopkins… 10 minutes.

Writing each other notes… 10 minutes.

Sitting down on the couch to watch something on youtube… 25 minutes, but hey it was the end of the playdate and they were pooped. 😂

Then the Mum came over for a coffee, and the kids got their second wind, making lego tracks all over the floor, doing a speed-run of dress-ups again, eating cupcakes galore, and just screaming and piercing our ear drums.

Finding friends is kinda easy… keeping them is super hard. As I say to baby girl all the time, finding a good, true friend, is so so rare…

Look after your friends, your friendships. The true ones are like diamonds in the rough.

I should know. 💖💖💖💖💖

#1780 Girls come over to play

Man oh man.

Or, should I say, “Girl oh girrrrrllllll!”

It’s been so long that we’ve actually had a playdate, I can’t even.

But surely, the day came today, amidst this post-covid-something-kinda-like-normal that we’ve been living recently (THANK GOD).

Baby girl’s cousin came over to play, and just as they ran amuck, painting each other’s nails, doing massive make-up test-runs, chasing Mister F, playing dolls endlessly, and jumping on the trampoline for what seemed like infinity, so too did us big girls have just as much fun…

Sitting. Talking. Tending to the little girls. 🤦‍♀️🤣

Catching up. Sharing. D&Ms.

It was the best. 💖💖

#1676 Day 178 of getting there: hooray for all the park days

Let’s see… how many ways, can I be grateful for park days?

Get set for a whole lot of park posts, because it’s all we can do for the next few weeks.

We’re lucky in that there are 5 parks within our 5km vicinity, that I know of. We went to the most popular park on Monday…

Today was the park with the super high-climbing net thing that always has me going “Come back down!”

Then of course there were things like monkey bars, swings, a climb on tractor, and that bouncy thing, like a sit on animal seat on a spring that just flies backwards and forwards.

There are kids everywhere. It’s nice to be out in the fresh air. Of course, baby girls makes friends. They exchange names. Probably never to see each other again… but who cares?

They’re having interactions with others, and it’s what they’ve been craving for months now.

It makes me so happy 💖

#1674 Day 176 of getting there: the return to play

What do you think I’m grateful for today?

The return to playgrounds, of course!

I never knew how much I loved playgrounds, until it was announced that one of the restrictions loosening from the coronavirus pandemic, would be playgrounds and parks reopening.

Wow. Just wow. Nothing else was changing much, nothing that would affect us anyway… but suddenly, I could see this light.

And it was totally surrounding baby girl.

Kids have had it the toughest during this whole ordeal. And yet amazingly, they have been the most resilient.

I was so happy for baby girl when I heard she could soon play outside again, in a park, amongst nature, feeling the sun on her face…hell, being outside anywhere that wasn’t her home!

Nothing was gonna stop me, especially on what was such a gorgeous day today. Not even my work. Not even her unfinished school tasks. Not even the fact that I felt off.

We got to the park in the late afternoon, and it was to be expected that we weren’t the only ones enjoying the newfound freedom.

How could the trees be so green? How could the air feel so fresh? How could the bay, beckoning in the background, be so blue?

Everything looked and felt, so beautiful.

And it can only get better. 💖

#1650 Day 152 of getting there: happy to be locked up

Today, in our town?

Freezing. Squally winds. Sheets of raining pelting down at an angle.

It was NOT NICE.

I thought all this as I sat with baby girl in her room, after my work shift. We were playing with her dolls, as the weather outside ravaged the environment.

“You know how lucky we are, to be inside?” I told her.

We started running through the list of what we’d have to do, if we were at work, if we were at school.

“I’d have to run to the station.”

“Then run to the car, probably getting soaked even with my umbrella.”

“Then you’d have to pick me up, at after school care!” she chimed in.

“Yes! And the umbrella might break, we’d get soaked – again…”

We looked outside. We looked inside.

You know, if iso had been lifted today, there was no chance I would have gone out.

None.

Lock me up on days like these, I really don’t mind. I’d rather be inside.

#1611 Day 113 of getting there: someone to hug

Today my gratitude is a bit weird.

Because it’s got to do with death. Death has been creeping into my thoughts.

A person doesn’t have to die for you to think about death. I think at a certain age we start to think of it more and more. Hell, with all this coronavirus around us, it’s a wonder that we don’t talk about it ALL THE TIME.

Past trauma can remind you of death. The process of life can remind you of death… it is guaranteed we will all end up there at one point or another.

Sometimes for me, just the simplicity and beauty of life can remind me of it.

Today though, it was death that reminded me of death.

My mouth dropped open when I heard the news that Kelly Preston, John Travolta’s wife, had died on July 12th following a 2 year private battle with breast cancer.

She was 57.

Floored, was an understatement. Even though I saw it on a reputable news network, I had to look it up to confirm it was true. I watched the news report on it later that night. Tears welled up, my mouth turned downwards.

It was so unfair.

Did I really know Kelly Preston? No, not really. I knew her as Avery in Jerry Maguire, one of my favourite movies of all time. She plays the classic high-brow, over-achieving, sexy, sassy and totally bitchy fiance to Tom Cruise’s sports agent character.

She played the role so well, I almost forgot it was Kelly Preston. In real life, she seemed so sweet, happy, her face was so gentle. I knew she and her husband had lost their 16 year old son to a seizure, and they had been able to have another child some years later.

John Travolta’s wife.

Maybe it was because of him that I liked her so much. I grew up loving John in Grease… another one of my fave movies of all time. Scenes will play, and I will recite, word for word from that movie.

I know there has been a lot of scandal surrounding them, especially John over the years. I know there was speculation about their relationship, and I know the way John was perceived in his younger years started to change drastically, for the worse, in these recent years.

But today, all I could think of was his tribute to his late wife.

All I could think, was how they had experienced so much pain, to have to lay their child to rest, and they got through it, somehow.

All I could think, was how their relationship stood the test of time, through scandal, through sadness, through HOLLYWOOD.

So many relationships out of there don’t last months, let alone years and years and tragedy.

And it just makes me want to cry.

These stories are sad. They are true. They aren’t taken from a movie, and then lo and behold, surprise miracle cure! The person is alive again. They beat the disease.

They beat the bastard cancer.

Some real life stories do take a turn of events, like in a fairytale. Many don’t.

Today, after hearing the sad news of Kelly Preston, I hugged my daughter, tightly.

We sat on the couched, rolled around and tickled each other, and I didn’t mind one bit as our heads collided, my nose bumped hers, and she swatted my kisses away playfully.

I didn’t mind it at all.

Because I had someone to hug.

#1471 ‘Guess Who?’ told her???

It’s after school pick-up, and baby girl and I are playing an impromptu Guess Who game.

I tell her that we’ll only play a couple rounds… so we play one game, and I win.

One down.

We start the second game. I am nearing the end, with far more of my people down, while she has loads left. I go easy on her, as she asks really specific questions that stall her progress, like “does your person have a headband?” when there is only ONE person with a headband! But also, I don’t avoid winning.

I ask a question and knock down a few more. I have 1 left. She is totally Megan. I have this in the bag.

But now it is her turn.

And she has LOADS left.

But then she asks… “is your person, Rebecca?”

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What the actual F*&%????

She had 18 people up, but still completely fluked the question and picked the right person.

Rebecca it was! She won!

I was flabbergasted, asking “how did you do that?” She said she just knew, and still in total shock, we went on to play another game.

I went first. I asked a question and she responded, before I knocked a couple people down.

Now it was her first shot of the third game.

“Is your person… Lisa?”

FUCK OFF. No special characters either.

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It IS Lisa!

How the $^%*$*$&#&(#()(???????

I couldn’t speak. I was actually staring at her, ‘like what is going on?’ I went to her side of the rug to see if she could see through my card somehow… nope. I look at her dead serious.

“How did you do that? Did someone whisper it to you? Or was it a feeling?”

“It was a feeling.”

I just can’t get over this. Someone is messing with me. Is someone messing with me? What is going on?

I ask her a series of specific questions. If she can tell the future I want the answers.

“Am I going to write a book?”

“Yes.”

(Hold on, I actually have written a book).

“Am I going to have my book in bookstores?”

“Yes.”

“What am I thinking now?”

She laughs. “I don’t know!”

We played two more games after that which I won… either her EXTREMELY lucky streak ran out, the ‘feelings’ stopped, or whoever or whatever was whispering in her ear ran off… either way… it made for a truly entertaining Guess Who session… I won’t be forgetting those games for a while.

#1464 Mills Beach Love no. 4

Baby girl runs over to me after the bell rings. Kids descend upon the gates and parents come to meet them half way.

“Baby girl…”

“Yeah?”

“We’re going somewhere.”

“Library?”

(She is so my child).

“Ha ha, no.”

She’s thinking.

“Look at what I’m wearing. Look closely.”

“Hmmm.” The sun is shining down on her as she looks up and I can see she has missed the small detail.

“Look at my neck.”

Her eyes move over. She jolts.

The halter neck strap from my bikini is poking around my top.

“King Swim? I mean the beach?”

SHE KNOWS.

“Yes!”

“Yeah!” she yells, running over to the lollypop man to share with him the good news.

We were there in minutes. I changed her from school gear to swim wear in the car park, slip slop slapped, and off we went, to jump and play and be one with the Bay.

It was sublime. ♥

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#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.