#1178 Getting colourful with Mexican

The last 4 gratitude posts have seen me feature appreciation for food in some way.

Today is about to become day number 5.

You get so easily bored by the same old dinner meal prep routine, that sometimes an easy kit and a whole lot of colour is all you need to feel rejuvenated in the kitchen.

In fact, so easy and colourful, AND simple tonight’s Mexican tacos were, we think we need to make this a once a week thing…

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The meal kit came with the wraps, seasoning and sauce, and well, all we had to do was fry up some mince and chop some salad items, and voila!…

Dinner was served.

The sky’s the limit with how far you want to go, and how high you wanna pile all those fresh trimmings… nom nom nom 😋

#1177 Changing plans

A day where you end up where you didn’t expect, is honestly as good as a holiday.

Away from the routine. Away from the housework. Away from the same old same old, blah blah blah.

Do it on a school/work night, and shock horror… “you are doing what on a Monday night?” (no less)… tee hee hee. 🙂

Imagine you thought you were going to end up in one place (uh, home?) and then, the night brought you to another location?

With family. Cousins.

And vanilla slice.

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Yep, it is that vanilla slice AGAIN. Any day that ends in vanilla slice, good company and a change of scenery, is happy times for me.

(Don’t forget the coffee).

#1148 Balcony reading

I’ll be brutally honest with you… most Sundays I am heavily disappointed.

Yep. Even for this gratitude girl.

My expectations of the day are too high. Too unrealistic. Because it is usually the one guaranteed day that we spend together as a family, I often think, I don’t know…

There will be family fun and fireworks.

Fireworks almost never happen.

Housework happens. Grocery shopping happens. Stuff around the house happens.

“What do I eat?”

“What do we make for dinner?”

“Baby girl get in the bath!”

With a heavy dose of “I can’t be bothered.”

Today I got shitty and took matters in my own hands. I realised I need to schedule some ‘me time,’ no matter how small or short it was… it would help me, replenish me, allow me to do my thing and then return to the monotony of cooking/showering/cleaning.

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Reading time. On the balcony. The sun was bright and warm in the afternoon, and I read a decent amount of pages before everyone decided I had had enough ‘me time’ and joined me out on the balcony…

And of course by then, I didn’t even want to read anymore.

They wouldn’t be my family if they didn’t follow me around. Look for me. Demand I look and talk and listen to them when I am clearly doing something else entirely that demands my sole attention… no, they wouldn’t be my family if they DIDN’T do that.

And I love them for it.

And that’s the thing. Something that becomes tiring and monotonous, boring and routine…

Is much more acceptable, with more happiness at the task and success in achieving it, when you get a little break beforehand.

A little ‘me time.’ Like a book, on the balcony.

And for those playing at home, the book?

Aptly, the Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.

😉

 

#931 The End is the Beginning

Today, on our last day of holidays together as a fam, it was Father’s Day.

Very bittersweet. Baby girl was so adorable, wishing Hubbie a Happy Father’s Day about 17 times. She wrote him a card and helped him open up his little pressie too, bestowing upon him countless of hugs and kisses.

I got really sad though, when we pulled up into the driveway this afternoon after having been out. I’ve been parking my car bang smack in the middle of the driveway, whereas usually when Hubbie is working I have to park to one side, so that he can exit his car from the garage in the mornings, as he leaves for work first.

As I drove up… it hit me.

I had to park to ONE SIDE AGAIN.

I practically cried.

Does anyone else get super depressed when holiday time comes to an end? I guess I find it hard because it happens so infrequently, with his 4 weeks off a year, and add to that, we only really have 1 full day off together per week.

We really need to work out a way to work together. That’ll fix things, or we’ll kill each other in the process. Only one way to find out.

But honestly, the night before the whole ‘going back to work routine’ hits home, HARD. It won’t hit me personally for another few days, and I know, I know… the first time, the first part of the day is the hardest, up until you are actually at work, and then usually you go “oh, that wasn’t too bad.”

I know we need to go back to routine, to life, to all of the things we have been planning to do for weeks and weeks. So while a part of me is mourning the loss of freedom and responsibility-free days on end, another part of me is sooo keen to get cracking and back to the fundamentals…

Getting shit done.

Because at the end of the day, I have worked myself out… I get much more done when I am busy, at work, and checking things off on my to-do list, then I do when I am on holidays and the pause button is on permanent hold.

So, I am keen.

#885 2 nights and 3 days

Sometimes that’s all you need.

Getting away with my family for 2 nights and 3 days, spending uninterrupted non-stop family time together, was… beautiful? Interesting? Relaxing?

How about all of the above.

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It was very quiet, and it was very low-key, but that is exactly how we wanted it. And as much as we loved our family time together, the purpose of our trip has been satisfied.

We are fulfilled. Our energy and enthusiasm reserves are restored once again.

Hubbie will go back to work tomorrow with some renewed vigour.

Baby girl will go back to kinder tomorrow with extra ammo in her step to paint all the pictures and swing as high as she can.

And I will go back to… what do I do again?

Oh that’s right. EVERYTHING.

I love going away, but coming back home is great too, because it gives you back some of that oomph! often lost in Winter…

#872 The school holiday ‘regulars’

To a non-parent, the school holiday period may seem like a generally quiet and peaceful time, lacking any of the early starts and school running around that typically consume the Monday to Friday, 9-3pm timeslot.

Yes, that is true. There are no lunches to pack. There are no early starts, no rushing around like headless chooks, and no shouting “COME AND BRUSH YOUR TEETH NOW!”

The amount of times I yell “come on, we’re going to be late!” during the school term, is mind-boggling.

So, yes, in one aspect, I do relax during this school-free period. L o n g sleep-ins. Bedtimes aren’t rushed. A sense of freedom and ‘who gives a s*!t’ follows in this routine-free part of the year.

But, where relaxation comes in ‘some’ aspects of the school holidays… the busy-ness makes up for in others.

Because during the school holidays, you gotta keep the kids busy. You gotta find novel, and entertaining, and exciting things to do… just the other day baby girl woke up very early morning, calling me from her room, asking

“where you take me tomorrow?”

She woke from her sleep for that? The expectations are HIGH.

And of course, in finding things to do, the catch-ups naturally follow.

Once your child has been in some form of childcare/kinder/schooling for a year or so, you start to develop connections. It’s with other kids who they play with, whose parents you also don’t mind spending so much time with – hey, you might be lucky and have family and friends with their own kids, so you join forces and force your littlies to be best friends as you all whole-heartedly gasbag together.

But at the end of the day, you see a trend forming.

Or should I say, at the end of each term. Because you start to see the same people.

You might catch up at their house, or they might come over to your place. You might frequent the play centres, parks, and shopping centre activities where the favourite character of their choice pays a visit…

The kids will usually love one another, and ask about each other repeatedly during non-school holiday time. They are never far from each other’s minds, and when you ask your child for an inventory on their birthday invites, you know who their close friends are from the names that pop out of their mouths.

You also get along with the parent. You will catch up over coffee and tea, pizza and chips, and find things to do with the kids that are fresh and inventive each and every time.

Oh, and the important one… you BOTH make an effort to catch up.

Because that’s what it is, isn’t it? It’s not just one party chasing after the other. We all have shit going on and problems and things that just aren’t working out the way we like. But the mature and adult thing is to freaking push it aside for the sake of our little prides and joys, and make a damn date to make our little sunshine’s happier than ever over a catch up with their ‘bestie.’

😉

Baby girl has been lucky this week. Two days ago we had a play date at our house with one old kinder friend, and today she caught up with her third cousin… safe to say, both girls are firmly planted on her birthday list 🙂

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And that is who I pay tribute to today. The ‘regulars.’ The ones who are always there. The ones who think of us when we are not around, and who make plans with us long into the future, knowing that sometimes we may not see each other for months – and that is ok. That is life. And that is comforting.

To the people we think of every time we think of our kids having a good time… I salute you ♥

 

#837 Kitchen moments

I don’t know what YOU think, and what the general consensus, if any, out there is of me… but this gratitude thing doesn’t always come super-easy.

Sure, I am able to find happiness in smaller things, and that I attribute to being so self-aware. I am aware that outside of our square worlds, there are lost lives; damaged lives; sad lives; sick lives – and so the littlest things, the smallest joy, the slightest thing to put a smile on my face – well that makes me happy.

It isn’t always so easy to find new and novel things though. Come the colder months. The day to day. It all rolls from one to the next – in fact, is there anything discerning from one 24 hours, to the other? Unless you make a concerted effort to find an event to focus on, that’s all your days will amount to… one long 168 hour week.

Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. There’s appointments. Classes. Kinder. Buy groceries. Make lunches. Wash dishes (repeat by a trillion).

The monotony has my mind asking me several times a day… “what will I write about today?”

Think of what to make for dinner.

That’s it.

Dinner time prep.

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I started on dinner tonight. And I found gratitude for a moment of it. A moment that truly represented where I am in my life right now.

Chopping vegies. Baby girl was nearby colouring in, her textas and pencils and crayons spreading out to the greenery that was going to go in the steamer soon.

I had Ricky Martin’s self-titled album on. One of my faves, and yet I haven’t listened to it in yonks. And then, you know that moment, when a song you love, and yet have forgotten about, comes on, and just BLOWS YOUR MIND?

Be Careful (Cuidado Con Mi Corazon) – Ricky Martin and Madonna.

It was never released as a single, but the music and lyrics of this amazing medley by two of my most favourite-st of artists, is just… magical. It’s haunting, romantic and dark, a truly unique collaboration. I started to sing along as I cut my cucumbers, with baby girl in the background telling me about the plot in Beauty and The Beast.

“If I could reach out to you…”

“Mama! Old lady comes to Beast’s house…”

“Yes sweetheart… take your head, in my hands – “

“Me not scared of old lady. Me fine! Old lady make prince into beast!”

“Yes honey… kiss your eyes, sing you to sleep – “

“Why Gaston want to kill Beast?”

Sigh. “Because Gaston is upset that Belle loves the Beast. But Gaston wants to marry Belle. It’s not nice that Gaston wants to hurt the beast… Here’s my heart to keep- “

“Yes, very cheeky.”

“Please be careful…”

I actually found it funny rather than frustrating. And it’s all about perspective and gratitude.