#764 Games with our girl

We spend so much of our lives, rushing from A to K to Z, thinking of the future, reminiscing about the past, and constantly in a state of planning, that we often forget to live, engage and be in the present.

It’s synonym is gift for a reason.

I always have things to do. I guess, duh Fred, EVERYONE’S life story. I guess my point is, in my spare time I rarely am lounging about watching hours of TV on end. I try to limit my social media use when it is just aimless trawling trawling trawling through news feeds. Recently I’ve begun planning out my days meticulously, so I can get in the maximum number of productive seconds, minutes and hours out of it that I can while baby girl is at kinder. This usually involves Zumba, some kind of writing, and then doing some sort of house-related organisational activity, a work in progress that is 18 months growing following our move (still!)

But just as I am always trying to tick things off my never-ending eternal to-do list, so am I realising I need to sometimes, just stop. Sit and DO nothing, for like, 5 minutes. Go through that mag that’s been sitting on the coffee table.

Play with baby girl.

I am very aware of her words to me. I am also aware of phrases I use like “I’m too busy,” “I can’t now” and “after.” I don’t like to use them, and then again, at times you can’t avoid them. You will be in the throes of something, let’s say dinner, and if I were to stop and go and play with baby girl’s barbie dolls, well our dinner would end up being blackened chicken schnitzel with burnt mini pizzas and soggy vegies.

But as was the case today, I stopped. Baby girl asked if we could play an exciting game, and I paused – I am so used to thinking of what I am doing next that I didn’t even realise that there was nothing I had planned for that moment – and said “sure. Let’s play.”

She was to be sleeping beauty, and I was to get her Anna, Elsa, and another barbie doll, and wake her up by presenting to her the Prince. I did just that, getting the dolls to wake her up off of the carpeted floor, but she did her trademark “no, like this,” and showed me by kissing me on the nose, that she was expecting a kiss from Prince charming himself.

I smiled. Okay then.

I instructed her to stay there on the floor, then ran off to her room to get something. Back I came, with her dolls, and doing some pretend doll voices, the dolls then presented the Prince to a sleeping, Beauty. He leant down, gave her a kiss… she woke up…

And it was her Captain Feathersword doll.

The look of wild hilarity and fun spread across her face as she refused his ‘advances,’ and we doubled over on the floor cacking ourselves silly. I took the turn of being Sleeping Beauty then as she presented the feathery pirate to me, and then in my subsequent turns of finding a Prince for her, I presented to her my original 90s Ken Barbie, who honestly I thought was as good a Prince as any, but she said “yuck!” and on second thoughts and looks I realised that in his 90s bow-tie suit he looked more like a 40 year-old Dad figure than a suitor. Fair enough.

The last dude I found for her was also Wiggles themed, palm-sized Lachy doll from the latest group incarnation. “Here you go,” I mimicked the dolls, placing him on her face for a lip smacker.

“No Lachy, yuck!” she squealed, and we doubled over again in laughter, laughing more because we were there watching each other laugh and cry laughing. It was GOLD.

Tonight after all the cooking and cleaning and getting ready for the next day, I miraculously found some spare time. And I didn’t fill it with stuff on my to-do list. I turned to my private ‘me’ list, and sat at the table to read the Peninsula Kids magazine we had received at kinder that day.

Sure, I was reading articles written from fellow bloggers I knew and people who I had read about online. It was kinda like homework. But still, I was reading, I was engaging, and I was growing. And all the while a few metres away, Hubbie was creating his own game with baby girl – chasing her around the table, pretending to be distracted by something else and then running for her, until he would catch her in a bear hug, pull her into the couch, and then it would start all over again.

I sat there, reading amidst the laughter and the love, glad that she had had a full day of games, memories and love. I wasn’t in complete peace amidst the noise, but also somehow, I was.



#757 Reading books at bedtime

A small realisation today. Because quite often you don’t realise you have succeeded in a vision you used to have a while ago, long after it has come true, and you are actually living it.

I have always loved books, to read, and to write, and I knew that I would make sure books and reading were a big part of baby girl’s early life… I couldn’t control what she did later on, but I wanted to expose her to as much fun, imagination, creativity and wonder that I knew books could bring to her, as I could in this still early stage of parenthood.

And so tonight, as I finished her second book of the night at bedtime, and she then said to me “one more book?” at first I said no.

1, it was getting late and she had an early start for kinder tomorrow.

2, she had had a BIG day.

And 3, well she was stalling – plain and simple.

But, I succumbed, as I always do, because I too, love books. She shuffled onto my lap as I started to read ‘Good Night, Sleep Tight,’ by the Australian children’s writer Mem Fox. We turned page by page, and I sang the rhymes with gusto and enthusiasm, maybe a bit too much for bedtime!… and it was in this moment, I had a pull-back.

I was able to see with clarity, almost in an out-of-body experience, that this is what I had always wanted. The reading to my child at bedtime. The interaction. The fun. The genuine willingness of my child for me to read to them, again and again and again.


So when I finished that book and got out of her bed, and she asked “one more book?”

With all of the above in mind… I had to read one more 🙂


#738 Bedtime reading/singing

It’s going to be a mild night. We lay stretched out on her bed, our legs pushing back the blue sheets that will be even too much for a night like tonight.

She rests her head on my shoulder. The battery-operated ballerina lamp glows nearby.

“10 little ducks went out one day

Over the hill and far away

Mother Duck said ‘Quack Quack Quack Quack’

And only 9 little ducks came back.”


We do this page by page, and she sings along with me, emphasising the ‘one day,’ ‘far away’ ALL the ‘Quack’s, and bops along to the sing-song-y tune.

I then have an idea. All we do is read at night in her bed as she is winding down for sleepy-time. But she has been singing a song ever since coming home from a kinder class the other day, so I put the books aside and face her.

“GALUMPH! went the little green frog one day, GALUMPH! went the little green frog!”

And so the song goes. For those that need a refresher or don’t know what the hell I’m getting all delusional about:

Is it GALUMPH? GARUMPH? PATOOF? Maybe even just WOOF, hell it’s a kids song, so anything goes.

But the slow build-up of the frog bouncing, the fun actions, leading to the jazzy “la di da di da” bit, makes the song so much fun to sing and dance to in its absolute entirety.

Even more so when you have a very cute 4 year old beside you, singing the song with absolute delight and gusto 🙂




#730 Mornington Pier

I have the fortunate problem of having too much to be grateful for today.

Nah. NEVER too much gratitude to be had.

It was a truly blissful and relaxing day. It really did feel like we were on holiday. Aside from the quiet reading I did at the park while Hubbie played some b-ball


And the great time we had at my Uncle and Aunty’s place taking in mother nature, her finest and most organic produce, and the surrounds of heavenly greenery


(My Uncle’s bees drinking water around the large bowl)



It was what we did at 10:30am that had us in absolute awe.

We started off once again with no real plans after the kinder drop off was done… Hubbie mentioned coffee, it was to be guaranteed to follow on Main street, and when we appeared to be reading each other’s minds with the same café – Store Fifteen – I had to add, due to proximity’s sake –

“Why don’t we walk down to the pier?”

This man of mine loves sitting down to drink his coffee – not many takeaway cups there. But, the water called.


We took our large latte and regular cappuccino, and wandered down the path in between the curving coastline and huge park that baby girl loves to frequent, until we reached closer water.



From here on out, I think I’ll let the photos do the talking.





It was so incredibly peaceful. There were people about, yes. But it was still. It was quiet. We stayed at the tip of the pier the longest, looking out at the world beyond.


A nearby fisherman spoke to us, telling us he had waited for this perfect Summer’s Day for weeks. Mid 20s, 6km winds… it was the perfect day for fishing.

And we had stumbled upon it.


We listened to the fishermens banter about bait, took in some more sunshine and pristine water views, I made small talk with a seagull… and off we went, making thanks for such a tremendously glorious sight, and vowing that the Mornington Pier walk would become a part of our wanders and visits, a bit more often.



#642 Library sessions no.2

The purpose of today’s library visit was primarily to get another sticker sheet for baby girl in her 1000 books before school reading challenge. She hit the 200 mark a week ago, and so off we went to the library to get some more sheets to fill in.

But then… I hadn’t had caffeine. It was 11:30am, and there WAS NO caffeine coursing through my veins. Also, we had no other plans for the day, other than to just go back home…

“Baby girl, do you want to have a babycino at the library?”

Short pause.

“Babycino, and biscuit?”


I think it is THE MOST FABULOUS premise that a library should have a café within its walls. I mean, it should almost be a prerequisite in EVERY reading institution. Once we had gotten some more reading challenge sheets, I made our order up at the counter, and soon we were drinking, eating, baby girl was going crazy bringing me all manner of DVDs/books that she absolutely had to borrow, while I went into my most favourite-st of aisles, and managed to find a book about writing that I HAVEN’T browsed through yet.

And I think it is one of the most simple and beautiful luxuries of life, to be sipping on coffee, your child is nearby and happily entertained, and you are reading about a deep personal passion of yours.

Finding the simple things, in the every day 🙂


#621 Laugh fest no.1

Because there will undoubtedly be more.

You know those awesome laughs? The ones where you go all ugly face and you cry/can’t breathe/go silent as you gasp for breath, all in one?

Yeah those are THE BEST. I just had one with baby girl, and what makes it even more satisfying was that I was getting really shitty just moments earlier.

It’s something you need to learn, and adapt to in parenthood. The whole aspect of turning things around, not only to save your child, but to save yourself. It is easy to be angry, and harder to make the conscious shift to change things around. But when you do, boy you get the rewards in leaps and bounds.

And ugly faces too.

Baby girl does not sit still. Like, she will be eating her dinner, getting off the chair, adjusting her clothes, climbing back onto the chair, decides to then come over and hug one of us, back on the chair, nope she positioned her clothes wrong, back off… and ON and ON and ON it goes.

Sometimes I find her sitting and watching some show, and even then she is teetering on her little couch, letting it swing back and forth; her legs moving all around as if she has ants crawling all over her; and at the very least, her fingers are moving, picking at her skin, any loose piece of anything on her that she can get her hands on.

She does not sit still. I mean, you’d think she was 4 or something?!?!

So I am putting her to bed and getting her settled before reading time. I am trying to tuck her in, then suddenly… she doesn’t want to sit up, she wants to lie down.

“Fine, lie down.”

She does so as I get the books out. She asks to be tucked in, and I do so, and then she points to me beside her, my legs on top of the covers.

“No I don’t want to be tucked in, I’m hot. You’re fine ok? Let’s read.”

I pick up the first book, The Very Cranky Bear. I know she is shitty, because she wants me to be tucked in too, like her. As I start to read, she gets the other two books and flings them across the bed in a defiant action.

I pause, and breathe. I stare at her silently, and then ignore the action to start reading again.

She waits a couple of seconds until getting out of all the covers I have just tucked her into, to reach over at the end of her bed and fish the other books back to us.

I stop. I breathe. Why must this routine take so bloody long???

“Ok. Now get back into bed.” I tuck her in once again, knowing I’ll probably do it another 7 times, and go back to reading the book. I’m a tad frustrated as I read, and in a sudden movement, I alter the book to match my mood.

“… None of them had noticed, that someone else was there,

sleeping in that cave was a very cranky… Mummy!”

She absolutely roared with laughter. Suddenly the ‘Mummy’ and not the ‘Bear’ was going “ROAR ROAR ROAR!”

She laughed so hard, so addictively, so insanely, that I could barely read the book. She now knew the game, and was laughing for the future pages, knowing I’d be replacing the ‘Bear’ with ‘Mummy’ at every turn. She was laughing so deliriously, without control, that I stopped every few pages to ugly laugh with her. I couldn’t help it. What a good belly-aching time.

And as I reached the end of the book, I realised that a bear and a mummy have a lot more in common than just being cranky.

“As (Mummy) stormed back inside the cave, (s)he turned and roared at sheep,

‘All I really want,’ (s)he said, ‘is a quiet place to sleep!'”

Ahh bear. I feel ya. I’ve got my own monkey keeping me awake here 😉

cranky bear




#597 A well-read break in the afternoon sun

I had many options.

1, I could wash those growing stacks of dishes that had accumulated in the sink throughout the day.

B.  I could write, in any of my writing projects – just pick an avenue: book review, journaling, updating my SmikG page… I would not be bored.

c) I had emails to send, and phone calls to make, regarding our upcoming kitchen reno project.

8: There were also messages to be sent out, to various professionals and also close friends.

Z – I could even dedicate some learning time to baby girl, or break out the sports bra and Zumba away.

But I chose to do NONE of those things.

I looked out at the GLORIOUS day, as Macklemore sings it, and also, baby girl’s new favourite song to sing…

…and I thought, how could I possibly stay inside on a day like today? I had to shirk all my responsibilities and to-dos, and do something else…

I don’t just love coffee. And aside from baby girl, my family, and shopping, and heading outdoors, and looking at sunsets and dancing in the kitchen, there is something else I love, that I don’t get to do as much as I wish to, but it will always and forever remain an intense, deep, reliable, faithful LOVE of mine.


I took a new book from the bookshelf that I hadn’t yet opened, and sat outside on our bench, the afternoon sun warming me right up as I turned a couple of dozen pages.

Baby girl found me and brought out a sticker book, sitting on the concrete before me and getting to work.


Sure, she interrupted my reading every 30 seconds. Sure, at the beginning I got up more than I was sitting down and enjoying the moment, either to help her or get ourselves some sunnies and hats for protection.

Sure, it wasn’t ALL peace and quiet.

But sitting there with my girl at my side, the sparkling water before us, and with Spring putting on a quite stunning show, I felt so relaxed. So at ease. And so ‘me’ again.