#903 Westfield Doncaster shopping day no. 4

Sometimes you just need to go back to your old hood to get any shit done.

That was my intention and thoughts as we headed to Doncaster this morning.

Chaddy last week? Yeah, it had been seriously so-so. I know I know. First World Problems.

The plan was to get all of this stuff for baby girl’s and mine upcoming birthdays.

The day was NOT as expected.

I unexpectedly got avocado in my brown rice and spicy prawn sushi rolls, and that is a big NO-NO for me as it usually ends in me being sick for a good while after. It’s my stomach’s choice, not mine that I can’t eat avocado. I picked it out as best I could, but was still feeling all tummy topsy-turvy for hours later.

I deliberately held off on the coffee to counter this fact, but even so, when I did have my cappuccino, once again my tummy did a little backflip and belly dance as it mixed up the coffee with any ill-feeling avo pieces that were left.

Great.

This lasted the entire visit.

Add to that feeling achy, and then there’s this cough I’ve had for a week now, which I’m sure wants to CHOKE ME TO DEATH at the most inopportune time.

But there was some good. (I mean I am writing this post, right?) We got baby girl a very cute outfit for her birthday, and she loved it so much she carried the shopping bag around the centre for almost the whole time.

That is HUGE for a 4 year-old who was adamant she was going to hold her Elsa doll the whole day, and then as we got out of the car when we arrived, was already handing her to me to put in my bag.

And the slime. She loves slime. Slime makes her happy.

Dear-y me.

Doncaster Shopping day fun and games.

#877 Shopping with my girl no.8

It is so true that forcing yourself to get out and about when you’re not up for it, can really do wonders for you.

And having a convincing baby girl on board to coax you along, helps too.

As a parent, it’s really hard to say no when your kids are so damn cute and clever.

So, feeling under the weather, light-headed and all spaced out, we headed over to Southland today, amidst headache, crankiness, and cramps…

ALL MINE.

It was great though. After our argument within 10 minutes of being there. We got the shouting out of the way (what will happen to me when she is 14, and not 4?!?!) and then proceeded to actually have, the best day.

Spending money is a really great way to feel better. I know I’ve said this before, but it is so true. We made use of our time, eating and cafe-ing our way throughout the centre, and getting a few bits and pieces along the way too.

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She got a couple of books that she loves, from discovering them at kinder/the library; I got a book on handling fear, something I desperately need as the necessity to share more of my writings and work grows, and with it the inevitable audience which quite frankly SCARES THE SHIT OUT OF ME; some Lego, and a dress for her; and for me/us, a Queen album.

But none of that quite compares to the highlight of our shopping day, which cost absolutely nothing, and gave both baby girl and I insurmountable laughs and joy. Because as we were lunching, I somehow decided to open up my messenger app and show her the filters you could place over our selfie portraits.

What a can of worms… and a fun one at that! We went through filter upon filter, checking them out, watching our faces and features change and distort upon the application, and we roared and shrieked with laughter. We had our lunches half-eaten in front of us, and here we were in a room full of people, cacking up like we were the only ones in it.

It was, absolutely the best. And well, that kind of ruins my earlier hypothesis…

Because it was FREE.

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#846 Finding myself, Mind Body and Spirit

It seemed like we wouldn’t make it.

We were meant to go to the festival yesterday, but then, shit happened. I got sick. I’d mentioned to my sister that I may stop by the Mind, Body and Spirit Expo on my way home from work today, but even then as I struggled with my sinuses this morning, the sense of weakness overcoming me, that reality seemed far from probable.

Even so, when she said she was eager to come and meet me there…

Suddenly my symptoms eased. Funny how that happens when something interesting is around the corner.

I truly think this festival is going to become our thing. We attended together years ago on her actual birthday, and we shopped ’til we dropped. Man, we have a photo we coaxed someone into taking of the two of us, and our hands were full of bags. Bags bags bags.

It’s almost hilarious when you put two women together who are on similar but yet very differing missions. We started off together, supporting each other at each stall:

“Just ask him – get him to spray that turmeric on your hair.”

“I don’t like his tone of voice.”

“Yeah sure, I’ll drink that shot of beetroot juice with you.”

But, overwhelmed with the colourful stalls, lights, crystals and energy-healing spiritual folk all around us, we soon amicably parted ways to discover the secrets of the soul, solo.

Bags weren’t so much on my agenda this time. Sure I got a few things, but something else was calling me.

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I’d been toying with the idea of getting a psychic reading since I knew we were going. I walked past the large psychic reading area, and decided on a whim, I must do it.

I’ve never done it before. Had any part of my future or otherwise told to me..  if you’re not counting my late aunty reading my coffee and beans. That’s another story for another day.

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But I sat there, awaiting my turn, before going to meet the chap himself. His name was Peter, he looked like a regular outback Aussie, and with his relaxed and friendly nature he put me immediately at ease.

As he said from the outset… there were no straight yes’ or nos. He laid out cards for me, whereas really I would have liked for him to tap into the spiritual universe… but that would be for another time. I concentrated on two specific things in my life, and shuffled the decks twice accordingly, before he presented it all out to me in the drawing of them.

I’m still working it all out in my head. Life is complicated – the cards match that. I’ve even drawn myself a little diagram so I can study it further. But still, what did I take away from it all?

We have the ultimate final say in all that we do. The cards may present to us one thing presently, but our actions can change that at any time. We are in charge.

The power lies within me.

He accurately pinpointed that I think too much – I’m always as he put it, “in my head.”

And he posed a rhetorical question to me, that was so unbelievably spot on, that I couldn’t help but grin. He asked:

“Are you the author of your own life?”

Oh dude. You have no idea.

My prized possessions, equal to the positive reinforcement Peter gave me, came in the form of the crystals I got. The two small ones I bought myself, and the orange one was gifted to me by sis – she said when she saw it and read the meaning, she thought of me 🙂

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Time to become Master, Author and Creator of my world..  and start creating some magic me thinks 😉

#845 Words and Action

First, it was the words.

They came from baby girl, as she stood beside me where I was blowing my nose for what seemed like the 17th time in the last 10 minutes. I sighed, my eyes heavy, my nostrils scraping like concrete against the 2ply.

“Mama you OK?”

“No honey, Mama feels crappy.”

“Don’t worry Mama, you’ll feel better tomorrow. It’s ok, you’ll be ok!”

BIG SMILES.

Just how does a 4 year old hold the empathy, support and consideration to console an adult 30 years her senior? Where does this heartfelt sensitivity come from? Despite my nasally conditions I still managed to give her a warm hug as thanks.

The action.

An hour later and Hubbie came home.

As he walked around the corner to find me lying on the couch, so too came baby girl, holding a bunch of flowers.

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I smiled tearfully. My loves were LIFTING me.

And then I realised… well, she has to get it from somewhere, someone, right? 🙂

#844 Sick days

On the 7th day of Winter, the snowman gave to me…

My first cold for the season!

Humbug.

Sure it is a tad early to be getting all Christmas in July jovial, but apparently it ain’t early at all to be copping colds and flus from every direction I turn.

It is inescapable, really. And all the while, it is so easy to fall into the whinging and crying trap, the ‘woe is me’ and ‘I hate Winter fan club!’ (I have a list to counter that!)

But really, despite our colds, despite our flus, we are so lucky.

There are people who are really sick. I was reminded from different sources today that life is not fair, and heard repeatedly of death and serious illness and misfortune. I also received a phone call from the children with cancer charity, asking me to purchase some raffle tickets off of them. I humbly accepted.

And while I have felt worse for wear, I actually have it good. I have a roof over my head. I have heating at the touch of a finger. I have an electric kettle that boils water for my steaming lemon, honey and ginger teas, a stove for warming up milk for hot chocolates when the teas becomes mundane, and… I have blankets.

I lay down this afternoon on the couch, and baby girl came right on over to promptly cover me with the throw. She then found some more blankets from her bedroom, layered me in those, before saying with an adorable smile “Mama me look after you to get better,” before turning on her heel and leaving me to… recuperate?

What? Was this legit? I relished the feeling of peace and calm… for 2 minutes.

She came back, adamant that she was going to lie down beside me on the couch, and I shuffled over, getting squashed against the back of it. I lay there like an awkward sardine in a can, one hand outstretched over me, the other on her, as I drifted to and from sleep, both the TV in the background and the YouTube videos she was watching of kids playing with barbie dolls, drifting over to wake me up every so often.

I was awkward, I was sick, and I wasn’t really at peace. But I’d take this version of ‘sick’ any day.

#843 Beneath blue skies…

Blue skies peeking from beneath the leaves of trees:

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The pristine expanse of water, stretching out around boats and travelling up the horizon of skyscrapers, for as far as the eye can see:

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And then a bridge in lights – the glow representative of the stunning day that was, or IS.

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Noble, worthy, and wonderful things to focus on and remember about today, especially as only hours after that last photo, I went home early from work because there was a golf ball stuck in my throat.

I’m not well. 😦

I am reminded of my Mum’s words. Whenever I have expressed to her deep frustration or complaints about life, she has responded with this:

“You have to grow thick skin, and be hard, like a rock. So hard, so nothing can get you.”

This soft girl needs some thick skin then. I need it so that the ball in my throat pales in comparison, and I need it so I can focus on those blue skies with more appreciation…

 

#842 Scones and Schnitzel

It’s kinda hard to look for gratitude and try to find small things that make you happy in amongst shitty days, even more so when those shitty days reveal even worser days for others.

How can one complain about smaller issues when they know of family or friends in ill-health or distress?

It actually reminds me of what I used to say after my father-in-law passed away. Here I was, a new Mum to a beautiful baby girl, yet still completely overwhelmed by my new parent role and the life that came with it; and then there was Hubbie, equally besotted by her, while simultaneously still in deep grief over his father’s passing. And sometimes, someone, somewhere, would tell me they were having a bad day.

They would quickly realise their words in my company, and apologise for complaining. They saw in me, in us, in our family, that there were far harder things to go through. To manage. To overcome.

But you know what I would say to them?

“Everyone has their own problems. You shouldn’t feel bad about yours, and feel guilty that they aren’t big enough to cry over. You are allowed to be upset, it’s your life, your problems.”

Sure, little problems in light of big problems become an awareness of the bigger picture, and that enlightenment is major in itself.

But we can’t all be in woe at the same time, can we? Then we wouldn’t have those others around us, less in woe, to pick us up from our sadness…

At this time of my life, I think I’m in a state of ‘less in woe.’

So I’m grateful.

But that isn’t what this gratitude post is about. That in itself is actually huge, more so because I know, and I have felt the comparison of being WHOLEHEARTEDLY in woe.

This is perhaps about the most trivial of things in light of today… baking.

For a week now I’ve been planning on making scones. They seem to make them for any given reason at baby girl’s kindergarten. Parents getting to know each other afternoon tea? SCONES. Mother’s Day? SCONES. Neighbourhood primary school visits? SCONES.

A possum jumps from the gum trees into the yard and shits all over the kids play equipment?

SCONES.

Ok so clearly I am bullshitting with you but you get my drift. I have not made scones in ages, well since we moved here really, and part of that has to do with

  1. kitchen reno, AND
  2. having half my kitchen stuff still in boxes upstairs because I’m waiting on one more damn cupboard (COME ON kitchen guys!) to get made.

I’ve forgotten half of what I do own in the way of bakeware and pans and the like, it’s been that long I’ve seen half of my things. But after repeated reminders by the kinder that both baby girl and I, really enjoy them, well I said to myself “I’ll damn well making them.”

You require next to nothing to make scones after all.

I really wanted to be grateful for them, really I did. And at the end, I was, for some brief moment at the end as I indulged in jam and cream upon pillows on doughy lightness that were apparently ‘café-style’…

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But the ‘before’ was hard, because baby girl was sick you see. I held her back from kinder, quite rich since THAT IS THE PLACE SHE CATCHES ALL HER WEEKLY COLDS FROM.

Not shitty much.

She was weak, tired, and developed a sudden ear ache during the day which had her retreating to the couch often to lie down. I had imagined us making these together with happiness… the most she did was brush the tops with milk.

And then the ‘after’… because as I was trying to enjoy my coffee/scone break, breathing slowly, ALONE, in peace, once baby girl had finished her babycino… I somehow spilt my coffee.

No, it gets worse. ON MY PHONE.

I swore better than a sailor out at sea. OH MY. Baby girl knows her Mum too well, and wasn’t afraid. In fact she came up to me and asked “Mama, you ok?”

Awww.

So instead of being grateful for my scones, the preparation time with baby girl which wasn’t special, and then the clean up which was devastating (I’d let dishes pile up half of the day), I instead became appreciative of something else.

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Hubbie cooked a killer chicken parmigiana tonight. He cooked it fresh, placed passata and ham and freshly grated cheese on top, grilled it in the oven, and it was THE BOMB.

The best part to him making it for us?

I didn’t have to clean it up.

(That wasn’t agreed to from his original contract, but from the day I’d had, there was no other choice).

Every time I complain about something going shitty, really I am grateful… because I do know better… I know better, that there is worse.

P.S My phone survived