#1594 Day 96 of getting there: the overdue kids hair cut that grew her up

As a bit of an end of term/school report celebration/’in case’ moment…

I called up a hairdresser’s this morning and booked in baby girl for a hair cut.

The ‘in case’ was just that… in case things shut down again amidst growing coronavirus cases in Victoria, and having not had a hair cut since before she started school at the start of this year, she was really overdue.

I told the hairdresser to cut a fair bit off. She cut, a bit more off.

Neither of us was concerned. Baby girl looked so grown up, so mature. Even with the glittery hair spray and everything. ✨

I took her around the shop later to pick something small to buy. I’ve written about Amazing Toys before, on our first trip there during a school holidays… this place is a haven for kids. Part hairdresser/part pamper place/part workshop play centre/part MASSIVE toy shop.

Just as she suddenly looked so grown up with her shoulder length hair, so too was she mature in her toy choices.

That is, she didn’t really know what to buy.

Have you ever reached that age with your kid, where they want to buy toys, but a part of them is realising that

a) they’ve played with them all before, and

b) it’s all a bit childish now?

I think she knows this, but yet she sees TOYS! and just wants something. I try to encourage her to think about what she would actually play with, remind her of the baskets of stuff she has at home, but still let her make the final choice.

You will be surprised how often they make the right one.

Anyway… love that hair. Love that girl… My big girl. πŸ₯°β€

#1591 Day 93 of getting there: HER gratitude journal

I picked up baby girl from school today, and she started telling me the most amazing thing.

“I was drawing in my gratitude journal!”

WHAT?

She went on to tell me that they’d all been given journals that day to record, by writing or by pictures, things that they were grateful for.

She drew. No surprise there.

The picture? A grassy field, a sun in the sky… and the three of us.

Baby girl, Hubbie and me.

Playing together.

She didn’t get to finish the picture. But she intended for there to be a rainbow, some wind, rain and clouds in the sky, alongside the sun.

Some may think that is silly. I for one think that is highly realistic.

For you can’t actually get your rainbow, without going through some wind and rain first.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

#1577 Day 79 of getting there: She’s back!

Baby girl has spent 11 weeks at home.

This was comprised of 6 weeks of home schooling.

2 weeks of school holidays.

3 weeks of bullshit.

11 weeks done. Dusted.

But today, baby girl was back at school!

Yes!

She had the best day! Her teacher told me she couldn’t stop smiling.

She told me countless times, that she had the most amazing day.

Hey, I even felt amazing!

Yay! Finally a feeling other than frustration, despondence, sadness.

And there was also, sunshine. 🌞

πŸ₯°β€

#1576 Day 78 of getting there: the best, bittersweet, bedtime story

“Come on, you have to go to bed! You’re not gonna get as much sleep as usual.”

Baby girl is bouncing on the bed tonight, full of energy.

“I am so excited!”

She is standing on her bed, and is a touch taller than me as I stand on the ground next to her, and envelope her in a big hug.

“I’m excited too!”

She leans back, eyeing me. “Can you tell me a story?”

ERRRR.

MASSIVE stalling technique.

“No book, not now… you want me to tell you a story?”

“Yes!”

“Well go on, sit down…” And as I sit down myself, I am realising I have the best bedtime story of all.

But, names are modified… as per usual. πŸ˜‰

“Once upon a time, there was a girl called Kandi. And she had the most beautiful daughter, called Karisa.”

Baby girl gasps in happiness.

“But one day, this terrible, horrible virus, took over THE WORLD…”

I find myself getting majorly choked up.

“People can’t go anywhere. They have to stay home. They can’t go to work…”

I am trying to gather myself, but it is too late.

“…They can’t go to school.”

And I am full on sobbing. I am acutely aware of baby girl sitting there watching me, and I’m hoping like hell she isn’t going to break down herself.

“But – ” I force myself to continue. “Karisa is so amazing. Her Mum works from home, and Karisa is a trooper, she’s a superstar. She makes her own breakfast, she brushes her teeth, gets dressed, even brushes her hair some days! She does this every day.”

“She puts on the TV on her own… she does her homework. She is, the best, and her Mum is soooo proud of her.”

I am smiling at baby girl, my cheeks stained with tears.

“Is that the end?”

“No! After all of that, she goes back to school, and she has the best day, no – she has the best DAYS ahead of her ever. She is the best student, and she goes on to change the world.”

The End Beginning…

#1569 Day 71 of getting there: Enjoying Winter mornings… for once

You know, stuff them.

Stuff everything.

We are isolated, sure. But if you’re gonna be isolated, there is no better time like the present.

And I am revelling in it.

I wake up, at a generous 8:30am.

I put on my trakkies.

I head downstairs, and I start work, at 9am.

Bang. Done. No traffic. No trains. No people filing out onto the city streets, men with briefcases stuck at their sides, women click-clacking with fancy coats.

Baby girl sleeps in.

I don’t even need to get her up for school.

She then gets dressed.

Makes her own breakfast.

And proceeds to do WHATEVER SHE LIKES.

Meanwhile, the wind blows outside.

The rain drizzles.

Winter, descends.

And we stay snuggled up in our comfy clothes, heater blasting, watching everyone else get on with it.

Let them get on with it. There is time.

There will be plenty of time to catch up.

But for now, we hibernate. πŸ™‚

Photo by Fredrik Ohlander on Unsplash.

#1566 Day 68 of getting there: A pat for my back

Day 68, and who knows how many more?

I had no idea how long we would be isolated for when this all started.

I still don’t know.

A few days? A week? Several weeks? Months?

Let’s be honest with ourselves. This could all change again IN AN INSTANT.

While everyone has gone about their business, starting to return to some kind of new normal, kids back at school, seeing family again, going out and about more, and more…

We are still isolated. Baby girl cannot go to school because she is coughing (a whole other story).

I am coughing.

We haven’t been to school.

We haven’t seen family.

We are still living entirely from home, and not going out.

Balancing working from home. Schooling from home. Doing freaking everything from home.

But this isn’t only about me. This post is totally about YOU.

It’s time we all pat ourselves on the back.

In some way, we have all been affected through this crisis… that we can’t deny.

Some days have been so hard. So, so hard. Many hard days will continue to come at us.

But I’m here to tell you (and remind me) that we’ve got this.

We’ve come this far! This far!

68 days and counting.

Look how strong we are. Look how capable we are.

We all deserve a pat on the back. Go on.

#1560 Day 62 of getting there: the 2 night countdown

Tonight I got her to bed.

So it’s only 2 nights left.

2 nights left before… normality begins again.

Before school begins again.

Photo by Black ice on Pexels.com

Baby girl’s bedtime routine used to be sooo much easier pre-corona. She would be tired from the school day, after-school activities, and with our general life and running around, that falling asleep happened quickly.

Now? Now she gets up whenever she wants.

She goes to bed late.

Sleeps on average 11 hours, if not 12 some days. And when I’m trying to get her to sleep, she is stalling with every thing she can.

“One more game?”

“Can you do the puzzle with me for just a minute?”

“Just a quick story.”

“Can I tell you a quick story?”

“Can you lie in bed with me?”

Let me tell you, nothing is ever quick. Something that is meant to take 2 minutes, will always take 10.

Even when I get her in bed, and lying down…

Suddenly, there are life questions she has to ask.

She will reveal something I didn’t know, so of course I need to probe with “when did this happen?”

Or there will be a funny story that she has to share.

And the heart tugger… “Mama… I love you.”

She’s a clever one. She manages to steer the topic away from sleep constantly, and gets me sidetracked a lot.

I’m getting tired of it. I’m tired, of her not being tired at night.

I am ready for her to be tired again.

Let’s do this! 2 nights to go…

#1531 Day 33 of getting there: homemade sweet potato gnocchi

I haven’t been writing as much as I like, and that’s got a bit to do with this cv business and balancing working from home with schooling baby girl from home, but it’s more to do with the OTHER.

The other is me fuelling all my creative energy into cooking new recipes.

It isn’t hard to find them after all. So many more people are putting together live recordings and sharing extra recipes to help us deal with this isolation, and just as well because we need something to do with all the extra time we aren’t going out.

And just the other day, I fell in love with a recipe idea I have been toying with for years now.

It was gnocchi. Rather, it has always been gnocchi. But this version was a sweet potato gnocchi.

Nom nom nom.

You know, some time ago I bought a packet of gnocchi from the shops, at the height of the shopping-covid frenzy when pasta was getting low to nothing on shelves… and I thought, being from a nice grocer and all, that this gnocchi would also be, nice.

I have only ever had, smooth, delicious, pillowy puffs of homemade or restaurant high-grade quality gnocchi.

So imagine my disappointment when this gnocchi tasted like plastic.

It was NOT nice. It honestly had a fake, manufactured taste, and I was spurred by the idea of homemade gnocchi even more.

So earlier this week when I saw Leah Itsines, self-taught cook, post on facebook that she was doing a live and making sweet potato gnocchi, I knew that soon, I would be too.

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How great is technology? I knew I couldn’t follow her to make it at the exact time she did, but she was posting the video on YouTube later, so all I had to do was go to her channel today and voila!

The instructions were all there.

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My gnocchi was deliciously homemade. It was so refreshing, to have it not taste like plastic! What do you know??? In fact, it tasted anything but. I think I made a pretty great first time gnocchi, and I even have extra that I have frozen for another time so that is SUPER EXCITING.

But that’s not even it. No folks. Topping that homemade sweet potato gnocchi was Jamie Oliver’s 3 minute tomato pasta sauce… another food guru I have started following lately!

And just as well that I had a 3 minute sauce recipe, since it took me hours and 26 dishes to make the gnocchi.

(All hail the dishwasher).

It’s so satisfying to make your own food. It’s amazing to experiment with different dishes, flavours and ingredients, and even to go out on a whim and try something you’ve been scared to for so long.

I can’t believe I made gnocchi, I am still so excited about it!

Next on my experimentation list? Well Leah has also made dumplings, and I LOVE DUMPLINGS… Marion Grasby has an egg drop soup that looks incredible… and Jamie Oliver and Oprah Winfrey recently made his Singapore-style fried rice together, over video call of course… ahh.

Ain’t technology just the best. πŸ™‚

 

#1499 Day 1 of getting there

So, pardon me as this blog turns all “Oh, corona!”

(To the tune of ‘My Sharona’ like that funny vid doing the rounds πŸ˜‰ )

I’m going to be doing a lot of ‘how to get by in the midst of coronavirus isolation’ type gratitude posts, because, well it’s what’s currently happening to not just me right now, but…

TO ALL OF THE WORLD.

Day 1 of proper lockdown. Although I started isolating from work last Thursday, being at home all day with your child who is also now self-isolating from school, well that is TRULY SELF-ISOLATING.

I am totally kidding… or am I?

I have a bit of weird humour with me tonight, so let’s just go with it.

The day was interesting in not just the two of us being in the house together all day, but of course, I was also working from home.

Oh. Man.

But I took it in my stride. I knew there would be times when she would need me.

She came for hugs.

She checked out my keyboard.

She poked her head in during an online Zoom meeting and ‘virtually’ met everyone (when I told her not to!)

She cracked the shits when she didn’t want to talk and had a massive sob.

She had a lie down.

She sang at the top of her lungs behind me in the last hour.

And then when my ‘shift’ was done with, I called her over to the couch and got her to sit on my lap.

And I proceeded to make the afternoon all about her.

We played with her dolls.

Had a coffee and babycino break.

Jumped on her trampoline.

Ventured to the front yard to see what was happening with civilisation.

Played ‘eye spy’ as I prepared dinner.

And then we had a massive laughing fest during bedtime (check out my fb and insta pages!)

Today was a massive undertaking for me mentally, emotionally and physically, and it subsequently left me with not much time, if at all for myself.

Like all of my life, this stage is still a work in progress.

Some days will be great and easy, others will be long and hard. But I guess I wanted to point out some really simple things you can do to make your kids happy. Whether you are working or not, try to do some simple things to keep them, and you, sane… because it really is the simple things that make them happy.

Like being with you. β™₯

#1492 Turn to simple things in times of stress

Seriously… this stuff can’t be written.

Though you could maybe imagine a great sci-fi book running along the lines of –

“mega virus spreads across the globe, sending people into a panic as more and more towns, cities and countries self-isolate, close borders, cancel all events and people go mad buying EVERYTHING in the shops.”

Yep, you could imagine that on a book’s blurb.

But not the toilet paper. No one could EVER have foreseen the toilet paper.

It truly does feel like a very weird dream. So unbelievably surreal.

I sway from ‘this can’t be happening,’ to ‘oh f*^$ I don’t want to use public transport tomorrow.’

Everyone and everything is coming to a halt. Forcibly. Never have I witnessed such a thing, and the unpredictability of the beast has us all scratching our heads, yelling out loud, or running around like chickens with their heads chopped off.

I was happy then, to try and make life normal today… if only a bit.

One of those things was being a parent helper at baby girl’s school. I know, I know. Even Hubbie was like – “wash your hands well after.”

It was something I promised long ago, and not being at work today, made me all the more available for the reader-helper task.

Baby girl was rapt. Soooo rapt. I wandered into her class at the end of the day and listened to first her, and a few other kids read to me.

It was so beautiful. The simplistic nature of the task, helping them sound things out, listening to the rhythm in their voice, and just being in the presence of such innocent and naΓ―ve natures, made me feel like slowing down, in the best way possible.

But they are so honest aren’t they. One boy who finished reading for me randomly said at the end “Mum said we have to be careful of coronavirus.”

Oh F*%&. Yeah, Mum’s right.

The best thing though, was having my girl read to me. She was beyond excited to have me in her class. And although I don’t know how much my other commitments will allow me to visit the classroom in future, baby girl, whether by coincidence or not, made her sentiments pretty clear through the book she chose to read to me today…

“Mummies are Amazing.” β™₯

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