#1608 Day 110 of getting there: A trip down babysitters lane

Don’t tell me pruning isn’t therapeutic.

I’ve been going to town on our front yard. Yesterday I was getting rid of weeds from one side of the yard, all these fiddly, annoying, tiny weeds that take all this major wrist action to rip out.

But then I went to the other side of the yard, along the fence, and there were these HUGE MOFO weeds… and yet they came out so easily.

When I told Hubbie last night he said “of course, the soil is softer there.”

Ahhh. That explains it.

So today I returned to the fence side of the yard.

It was soooo satisfying.

I ripped out ALL the weeds alongside the fence. They were massive, and I got them ALL OUT.

After such a massive effort, I went inside, had my babycino and coffee break with baby girl…

And then we sat on the couch, to relax and Netflix.

I was really excited, because not only was it a show I was really curious to see, but I thought it might also kind of interest baby girl.

The Babysitters Club!

When I heard the popular book series that I started reading in the 90s, was coming to the small screen via Netflix, I didn’t actually think I would watch it.

Would it suit me, NOW? This 30-something year old (emphasis on ‘something’) watching some early teen girls go through childhood woes and crushes while looking after little kids?

But then I actually read an article saying that older folk (ahem) would enjoy going back and reminiscing about the characters they loved delving into back then, while also appealing to the new middle-grade, tween audience.

Hmmm.

I know baby girl is only 6, but I felt it might be something we could meet in the middle with, and enjoy together.

I loved Ann M. Martin’s books growing up. I still have original books from the series, stashed upstairs in a box, and I told baby girl today that one day she could read them too.

I gained a lot of joy along with many other things, from reading the series growing up. This led to me appreciating the form of the story, the development of the story arc, engaged in watching the characters grow, and the sheer joy of writing which I obviously developed over the years.

The verdict from the show? I actually LOVED it. Baby girl enjoyed it too, though she asked many questions, like at the start, “where is the Babysitters Club?”

“They haven’t started it yet honey.” (In the first two minutes!)

There are plenty of themes of friendship, some mention of boys, the issues of blended families AND even the hints of eating disorders, which I know to be true to the original, because I remember coming across the theme in the books I read so long ago.

A great Netflix watch, it’s light-hearted for the younger girls in your life… or just for those of us wanting a trip down memory lane…

#1595 Day 97 of getting there: to have like-minded souls

It was wonderful that we got to see some of our dearest friends tonight.

Via Zoom, of course. 😉

We had a great chat with bestie and her hubbie via our computers. I tell you, technology is a Godsend at this phase of our lives.

You can’t be with loved ones, but by seeing them live, hearing their voices, and watching their mannerisms, in their lounge rooms, (with their pets!)… it’s the next best thing to being there with them.

After the video call was over Hubbie and I spoke about how wonderful it’d been to catch up with familiar faces, and people that we cared for. And I don’t know how it came into my mind, but I said to Hubbie “you don’t have to have the same interests. It’s not about that. It’s about finding like-minded people.”

Because we don’t all have to like the same things. Do the same things. Go to the same places. Eat the same food, or sleep the same way.

It’s about how our minds work. And you seek out people who are reflective of your morals, attitudes, and generally your way of life.

I don’t need everyone in my life to love writing. I don’t even need them to love reading. I don’t need them to love cats, yoga, the fact that I can’t stop listening to Queen at the moment…

I just need them to get me, and I want to get them.

It was a really lovely thing to contemplate, after a video call with friends who get us… as we get them.

#1520 Day 22 of getting there: Saluting the Sun

I felt so much better today. Part of it was due to the pressure of the BIG day being gone.

Knowing it wasn’t a day like Easter day, where I would usually see my family, well it made it easier. There was no pressure on what the day should have been, no expectations.

And also, the SUN was out.

We took a walk, because being at home is something we are all growing so tiresome of.

We had to.

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It was so gorgeous. The walk along the Esplanade showed us dozens upon dozens of other walkers alongside bicyclists, and we were all getting out for some much-needed vitamin D.

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I am so aware of the impact on mental health this isolation is causing us. So, so aware. And after the day that was yesterday, I know I need to look after myself more, give myself more time outside, taking walks, spending time in the sun, because the days ahead are only gonna get shorter, darker, and colder.

So once home, MORE sun. I took a book my cousin leant to me, and read it out on the balcony.

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The Light Between Oceans. I’m still at an early part of the novel, but it’s getting to that addictive point where the characters are infiltrating my thoughts. I love them already and am already future crying for what’s to happen next.

Baby girl, and then Hubbie soon joined me. All we needed was the cat, and the bird. 😉

And then I snapped this up on the balcony. Clear, blue, crisp views.

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As a contrast, this later tonight.

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I felt it quite telling, metaphoric even. The clouds crossing the sky. Half clear, half murky.

And it made me think…

I think we might be half way there. Through hardship comes clarity.

Or just, the sky was part-cloudy?

You be the judge.

#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 naïve 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.”

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#1459 The book to remove clutter

I was looking up books of interest at the local  library a while ago, and when I came across a particular title I thought “I must have it.”

I put it on reserve and was happy to finally go in and pick it up today.

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Although it says it’s about de-cluttering (and it is) it’s managing clutter based on the principles of feng shui, a topic I’ve been looking into a lot lately.

While baby girl was at school, and Hubbie was beside me watching basketball, I got through about 80 pages of it… sure it’s a small book, but I think I’m making up in my lack of fiction reading by overdosing on non-fiction (that and the subject matter is so intriguing to me).

There’s a lot of psychological issues tied up in accumulating items, being unable to throw things away, and allowing dirt to build up in your home, as well as not tending to things that need repair in the house, all things I’m discovering as I turn page by page.

I’m going to have most of the book read by the end of the week I’m sure, and along with it I’ll have a sure-fire plan to organise and throw out heaps of unnecessary stuff in our house. Watch this space!

And just, not-so-quietly… how great are libraries? Like, you borrow something, enjoy it, and then return it for somebody else to gain satisfaction from…

And it’s all for free! 😁👍

#1453 Balcony reading no. 2

I’ve worked out the best time of day to sit on the balcony in Summer.

Before midday.

The sun has not yet passed the roofline, meaning I’m not getting fried like an egg on the timber planks below.

I made a cappuccino, took some home-made biscuits, along with my book, my notes, and my phone, and basked in the morning summertime bliss.

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And got myself inspired. ♥

#1428 Reading together

It was bedtime reading time. But it wasn’t just bedtime reading.

It was bedtime reading the night Hubbie went back to work.

Ohhh. The horror. The agony! The sadness.

The day before you go back to work is actually worse than the day you are back at work. Thinking of the routine, the inescapable work days ahead, the hours, the holidays you could be on…

Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh.

Which is why tonight, Hubbie wasn’t even in baby girl’s bed with me as we started to read Room on the Broom. He was up in our room getting ready to go to sleep, while baby girl was eager to read the book that we had only seen the on-stage production of, days earlier…

while Hubbie was STILL on holiday.

Sigh.

I started to read. Then baby girl started to read. We were taking turns. I had told her I would read most of it (wanting to get her to bed earlier) but of course somewhere along the way, she changed her mind. As usual.

She started to read more.

And, Hubbie heard it.

I heard his footsteps coming down the stairs. He couldn’t help himself. 😉

Before long he was on the other side of baby girl, the three of us squished into her king single bed taking turns reading Room on the Broom. 🙂

And I realised, sure, sleeping in every day as a family IS great… but you don’t need to take time off work to enjoy life. You don’t need to be on holiday to make memories with your loved ones, and set up traditions so that there are reasons to smile every day with them, rather than just a few weeks a year, when you are not working.

Like reading a book together, in bed. 🙂

#1369 Just one more book

Tonight she read Moo Dog.

I sat in my usual position next to her bed, Hubbie on my other side. We listened as she fairly confidently read the book that we were reading to her only at the start of the year. Words she wasn’t sure about then, she was flying through now.

It made me think about her reading journey, and I had to wonder how much of it was tied up with me. Sure we read books a lot while she was growing up. Even as a baby she would sit on my lap where I would read her Goodnight Moon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar or That’s Not My Bunny.

I did it with her, but I didn’t force it. I made sure to make that distinction. I wanted her to read, not so she could be like me… more so because I believe being well-read really can help you more. It helps in education, at school, and in life in general.

I knew she might very well grow out of it one day. I mean for many years, I did too.

But I didn’t care. I just wanted her to have beautiful memories of us.

She has passed my expectations. She still continues to read, to want to read, and loves bringing home massive chapter books from our local library that are 6 years too early for her (big dreamer).

Every night we read a book. At least one. It’s not even a question anymore.

Every night… “just one more?”

I smiled. Tonight the book was about a dog that moos, and everyone laughs at him because he is a dog, he can’t moo…

But surely, he moos. And shows them, huh, dogs CAN moo.

“Cock-a-doodle doo!” Baby girl screamed at the last page.

I covered my ears. “Okay… time for bed.” ♥

#1345 A cloudy walk to clarity

My head matched my surroundings when I woke this morning: cloudy, dreary, flat.

It was so grey. And today, I couldn’t just do what I’ve been doing every other day… I just couldn’t. Every other day I come back home from school drop off, sit down in front of the computer, and I BLEED FROM MY FINGERTIPS.

Okay, clearly I am making that up. Rather, I pour all of my head out onto the screen before me, consequently judging it, questioning it, and believing after all that it is ALL CRAP.

So, same same.

I do this rain, hail, or shine. All three things we’ve had in the last week, so I’m not even being melodramatic over that one either.

But, I was spent. Done. After sending off my second submission for my online course last night, I needed a break.

I needed to walk.

But first… (what else but? – )

Coffee.

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I walked down the street to a great local cafe. I grabbed the paper and a mag as I waited for my coffee fix, surprised that everyone was sitting inside and not outside like me!

Sure it wasn’t the brightest of days… but I needed the air. The freshness. The stillness and the birds landing on the nearby chair to see if I had left them any crumbs.

I sat there for a while without a care in the world, sipping my cap which was well past lukewarm, and turning page after page.

Ahh. I really needed this.

But I wasn’t done. Not by a long shot. I kept walking straight and hit another vision… the water.

I paused at one lookout before randomly deciding to walk down a bushy path amongst the trees, with a lookout of the water to the left of me.

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I walked down that path… and then I decided to head down a narrower, bushier, steeper path.

THE WHOLE TIME I was making sure I wasn’t going to walk into a massive spider web, or there wasn’t a snake about to slither by my feet. Alongside those two very natural, very Aussie fears was the realisation I was truly off the beaten track, and there was no one else around.

NO ONE.

It was both terrifying, and thrilling. Anything could happen, and no one would know…

I ended up at one lookout.

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Then another.

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And another.

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I kept winding and switching paths, trying to keep my orientation clear in case I got lost and had to go back… but I managed to make it back out onto the main street, ALIVE.

And that walk through the wilderness had made me feel alive. My head was no longer heavy, or cloudy, or messed up.

I soon got back home, changed into my trakkies… and sat at my computer.

Ready to bleed again. 🙂

 

#1303 Homer in hiding

The other day while at the MILs, Hubbie went in search of some personal items he had left behind in his old bedroom, what seemed like eons ago. Baby girl went up to search for him… and came back with an additional, someone.

Something.

Homer.

This massive stuffed Homer doll that was almost as tall as her, had been hiding out in Hubbie’s wardrobe all this time. I have no idea where he got it, only to say that I was definitely there when it happened, and it was probably at some Melbourne festival like Moomba.

Baby girl was rapt.

At some point last night a game developed… it was nearing bedtime and as she left her room to get something, I remained behind with a firm grip on Homer…

But alas, as things happen in sitcoms and cartoons, so too do they happen in real life.

Because I ‘conveniently’ (as all TV plot points are, convenient) fell asleep… and this led to Homer creeping out of my arms and into baby girl’s bed!

D’oh!

She loved it. We repeated the game a number of times in a variety of ways, all with him ending up in her bed, reading a book, and the sight of him like that in her bed made her crack up in laughter every time.

It was funny. We did it this morning. We did it again, tonight.

I ramped up the game when she went to grab a book from her school bag…

I grabbed some ‘friends,’ a blanket, book and beanie, and voila –

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Homer was now fully decked out in her bed.

She could not contain her excitement and laughter as she re-entered. I was meant to be ‘accidentally asleep,’ and yet I couldn’t keep the grin off my face.

He was wearing her beanie, her slippers were now his, and he was covered by a small blanket as his friends gathered around while he read “Thelma the Unicorn.”

It did look very amusing if I do say so myself.

Your kids being happy is one thing… but being the reason that they are laughing is an entirely different feeling.

It left me feeling incredibly chuffed and grateful tonight. ♥

 

 

 

Do, d’oh.