#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.

 

 

#792 Happy about kinder’s return

Absence makes the heart grow… distant. So is the case, proving the popular quote wrong, when it comes to kids.

Kids don’t react to things the way us adults too. The quote tells us that the love and joy we have experienced for something, only grows more when we are absent of it, and proves to us that we did indeed, in moments of blasé attitude and take-for-granted trials, LOVE it.

Not so for the little peeps. They will love something, and love something, and tell you they love it, and it’s the bomb, and the bees knees, and yet after a short absence from it…

What is this horror? What? I never loved this… and I hate you too!

That was my fear going into these school holidays. I accepted the break gratefully, happy about not having to get up so early and not having to rush around so much with baby girl 3 days out of the school week.

But there was this thought at the back of my mind. I had spent so much time building my little BIG girl up, from tentatively entering the classroom, to pretty much strolling in unfazed and excitedly starting her first task of the day, every session – by painting me a picture.

Would all that effort and energy undo itself and take us back to square one? Would I be with a tight smile on the outside, and yet frustrated as hell internally?

I discovered today, that my thoughts were just that – thoughts. They didn’t materialise, and baby girl walked in happily, putting on a smock as if she had just done it the day before, and looked around for her friends, spotting them in the play areas of the room.

She was happy about the return to kinder, and therefore, so was I. I was able to go about my time today, catching up on jobs that had been on my to-do list for months, looking after myself by getting back into working out, and eating more meaningfully and mindfully, and last but not least, I did some writing, which ALWAYS makes me feel happy.

It was a win-win for ALL.

 

#708 Trolley hopping

It wasn’t a ground-breaking or huge a-ha! moment that had me leaning toward the gratitude path today…

But rather, it occurred as it has, many times before, at the grocery store.

It was such a simple realisation. Baby girl was sitting in the carriage part of the trolley as I pushed along, getting bits here, and bits there, to take home. She was making sure I knew the trolley rules: give her the item, before she would then lay it down in the trolley beside her.

And as we headed out of the cereal aisle, in the midst of my pointed shopping list thoughts, I caught a glimpse of her – sitting so casually, with a pleasant smile, looking about her and just generally in a happy demeanour.

And I realised, how much she had grown. How grown up she was this year, compared to last. And how big her life was about to grow. Because her routine was going to step up a decent notch this year, and soon she would be at kinder, more often than she would be in the shopping trolley with me as I shopped for groceries.

And then I felt a little sad. Both our routines were going to change so much, and suddenly it felt like it was all going too quick.

“Baby girl… hey, baby girl?”

She turned to me.

“I love you.”

She gave me a broad smile, and I pushed onwards.

#652 Evening ‘Spring’ time fun

We often don’t have a lot of time at the end of the night. It is always go go go, from 5:30 ’til about 10pm.

Meal prep. Dinnertime. Feeding time – parents will get this…

Bath. Showers. Washing dishes. Getting the house in some kind of ‘respectable’ order.

And then bed – which involves settling, reading, talking… OMG. And yet it all goes by too fast… only to start again the next night, at 5:30pm.

But somehow, in the warmer months, things are different.

Nights are longer; Sunset is later. The atmosphere is warmer. There is less care and emphasis on getting shit done, and more on getting outside and enjoying life.

Which is just what we did tonight. We grabbed some ice cream from the freezer, chased each other around the yard, played a bit of hide and seek, and then leapt for the emerging stars…

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The best things in life are free. Except for ice cream of course. That we will happily pay for 🙂

 

#641 Dancing in the kitchen with my loves part 7

You are doing incredible at life, when you can turn the most mediocre of chores, into something to look forward to.

Taking washing the dishes for example.

I don’t mind washing the dishes all too much. Like, I don’t dream about it or anything, but I certainly don’t go “Ugh! Another fork! Damn you cutlery!” when I have to wash something.

That’s Hubbie. But even he has gotten used to the sometimes mundane duties of life, and has found a way around this…

He connects his phone to YouTube, then turns on the portable speakerand BOOM! Instant concert in the kitchen as he is washing the dishes. He is singing, even dancing (YES, dancing), and then baby girl will join in, as the dishes stay dirty in the sink.

He calls it balance.

Tonight, I cottoned on to this. I was doing the dishes, and likewise hooked up the phone online so I could pump out some old 80s tunes. I was in an old-school kinda mood, starting at Wet Wet Wet, then YouTube suggested some Savage Garden, and I was pondering how the duo did so bloody well in so little a time and then virtually disappeared, when another song I’ve been meaning to play to Hubbie sprung into my mind.

Jon Bon. Man he looks fine in the clip. No wonder women were losing their minds (and panties) for him so many decades ago.

The moment in question that I wanted Hubbie to listen to was 2:12 into the clip, when Jovi yells

“And baby you know my hands are dirty”

and then Richie Sambora shadows the same line before Jovi sings

“But I wanted to be your Valentine”…

It’s nothing about the words, and yet ALL about the way the two voices scream in perfect melody alongside each other… I just LOVE IT.

And then of course, the ‘dancing kitchen’ festivities began because baby girl wanted to be picked up, so up she went in my arms, onto the makeshift kitchen dancefloor we stepped, and I started making out like I was Bon Jovi as I screamed

“I’ll be there for you

These five words I swear to you

When you breathe

I want to be the air for you

I’LL BE THERE FOR YOU!”

I swear, this girl of ours is going to grow up with the BEST music taste. She knows all the current radio stuff, and yet she immediately bops along when Prince comes on, sings “No No No” about Amy Winehouse’s rehab, and shakes her hips to Ricky Martin.

(Lleyton fist-pump!)

Hubbie joined our circle once he had finished observing Jon Bon’s hair, and our dancing in the kitchen moment was then complete.

‘Til next time of course…