#455 A smaller Mother’s Day

I had this fleeting thought cross my mind sometime Friday, or Saturday. I was thinking of the upcoming Mother’s Day, and how we had ALL this stuff we were planning to do… go to the shops and buy outfits for ourselves for my parents’ upcoming wedding anniversary; go to visit my MIL on the other side of town; AND of course, visit my Mum also on the other side of town.

This was meant to happen after a late Saturday night, a normal sleep-in, and trying to get a never-sit-still baby girl to go along with it ALL.

Yep. It wasn’t likely to go smoothly.

Still, that was the plan. And yet, with all this impending busy-ness on the horizon, and knowing it was all for fun, a little voice inside me said ‘wouldn’t it be nice to just have a little Mother’s Day, just our family?’

Just baby girl, Hubbie and I. No running around. No 15 tasks. Just us.

Sometimes, you need to be careful what you wish for. Sometimes, little voices make a large ripple.

In a quite funny turn of events: my MIL stayed back late on Saturday night, and with her own plans for Sunday, we kind of had our unofficial catch up with her late yesterday evening; and my sister and bro-in-law were under the weather, and having had an up and down baby girl and Hubbie battling cold symptoms as well, we all decided to keep away from Mum and Dad, especially in the lead up to such a big event next week – which suddenly meant, that on Mother’s Day it was just –

Me, baby girl and Hubbie. Just US. As I had thought, so, so innocently.

And as much as I missed seeing my Mum and my sister terribly today, the quiet was quite nice:)

We had a lovely sleep in – no rushing around trying to madly get out of the house. We took some photos at home, drove to the shopping centre, then spent almost ALL DAY there. Not a brief 90 minute session.  I’m talking over 5 hours. Hubbie got some sneakers and shoes, baby girl got some toys, and I got not 1, but 2 outfit possibilities for next week.

That’s because I’m a Mum, and for us Mums, we can’t just go shopping when we like, and likewise, finding something we like in the limited time we have, is even HARDER. As it was it took 3 hours just to find those 2 outfits, so next time we have another event, at least I know I’M SET.

So, this year, a different kind of Mother’s Day. But it seems like my thought came true…. so a word of warning… be careful what you wish for…!

P.S Happy Mother’s Day to all Mums out there 🙂

#453 Photos

My sister always says, that it is so worth taking heaps of photos, for the memories that will come to you later as you look back on them.

She speaks with a lot of experience. She takes, HEAPS of photos.

She doesn’t have many photos of when she was a baby, and so I think she has spent the majority of her life, kind of making up for that fact, and making sure that her kids, will have tonnes of them.

I think I’ve kind of taken that from her. I too, love photos. Currently there are approximately, no exaggeration, 2000 of them waiting to be filed into photo albums at my less than likely leisure. I fell behind before baby girl was born, and thinking like the stupid parentless ‘know-it-all’ I was, that I would catch up while on maternity leave with her…

Yeah, right. Like that ever happened. 3 and a half years later and they’re still PILING UP.

But anyway. I love them, and in the most old school way – hard copy in a PHOTO ALBUM.

I’ve been doing heaps with photos lately, and it’s just reminded me how amazing and beautiful these snapshots into time can be.

In just over a week we’ll be celebrating my parents 50th wedding anniversary. We’re doing a few special things on the night, and one of them, to highlight their 5 decades together, is the photo collage I’m putting together, of one decade each per large cardboard sheet of paper, with as many photos as I can possibly muster crammed into all 5 sheets.

When I took my usb stick of anniversary photos over the years to the photo centre, there were 647 files.

647 photos.

I knew I had to scale that back, BIG TIME.

I told myself I’d only select 150…

then I got to 150 and said I’d select up to 200…

then I got to 200 and said 250 MAX.

Which is how I ended up at 255. Close enough.

Today when I took the developed photos to my sister’s place, for our little debrief over the anniversary party (who would sit where, what we would say, what would go where, what time that would occur, etc, etc), she flipped through the photos quickly, grinning and letting out “oh wow!”s, complimenting the broad selection, and happily going back in time to as far back as the late 60s, as she saw my parents journey again from start to current day.

Seeing the reaction on her face was great, and later at home as I trimmed the photos back, removing blank spaces and tightening it up so I could surely fit 50 photos per large page, I couldn’t help but pause and smile several times, observing my parents youthful looks, almost laughing out loud when my parents were too laughing in the photos, grinning with fondness at family photos through the decades, and just generally reminiscing with warmth in my heart.

I know, I sound like a hallmark card. But really, I loved it. I love photos. And I think the guests at the party, my parents’ family and friends, and my parents especially, will really enjoy the snapshot through the ages.

50 Golden Ages. 🙂

#448 Early night

So, it’s 11:40pm as I write this. Clearly, I’M still up.

But, what makes the difference is I have had alone time since 10pm. This hasn’t happened in a LONG TIME.

For the first time in Forever… wait, I sound like a Disney movie. Start again.

For the first time in a LONG TIME, I managed to put baby girl down earlier than usual, since she missed her nap today, went to bed LATE last night, and also spent the previous night restless and unwell since she was complaining of a sore throat.

She went to bed with chills last night, she had two doses of medication during the day to thwart that and her sore throat off, and on top of all of that, being so unwell, she ate very little.

All in all, after her warm bath, she was tired. She was ready for bed.

So my reasons for being free don’t come from the best circumstance. But, now with her sound asleep (fingers crossed), I have been doing my thing – drinking camomile, writing lists, messaging sis, journal writing, and googling, and I haven’t even finished yet.

Just a bit more. A bit more of ‘me time.’ And then I too, will have an early night.

12am instead of 1am. It’s a Mum’s life.

#421 Kinder days no.2

….. and we are BACK. Back from school holidays, and back to kindergarten.

(Mwa ha ha).

Even though baby girl only goes one session a week because she is 3, those 5 hours mean a lot to me, let me tell you. If only for sanity, for catch-up, for myself, those few hours make such a difference, and the absence of them over the past few weeks has been sorely felt.

Today I did grocery shopping, alone.

Today I recommenced Zumba – my body needed and wanted it, BAD. (My left leg not being able to perform a particular movement towards the end of the session, showed me how badly my body was out of whack).

I ate well, having extra time to prepare a healthy lunch.

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(No that’s not cucumber, that’s broccoli stalk – shop your vegies finely, pop it into a Microwave safe container, fill 1/4 to a 1/3 with water, and put in the microwave for about 2 minutes with the lid ajar, or if you have the above Tupperware contraption, even better. Mix with tuna, carbs, or all of the above – done).

I cleaned the house – let me tell you it was very necessary.

I completed and ordered online invitations for my parents 50th wedding anniversary – sis and I are extremely excited.

Ahh, there’s nothing like catch-up. Getting ahead. Feeling accomplished.

I love Kinder.

#408 Meeting Dora

I was about 5 or 6 when my sister took me to go and meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse. It was the late 80s, and back then, it was a BIG DEAL. The photo is hanging out somewhere in my parents house, but I remember the awe of it all, and the humongous queues to get a photo taken with them. It was really, really momentous.

Apart from that, that is my only brush with kiddie fame. And I was thinking today, what a difference a few decades make.

Back then, Minnies and Mickeys only ventured out of Disneyland, like once in a blue moon. And if you met them, that was like the holy grail, the Christmas of Christmases, the highlight of your sweet, sweet childhood.

Nowadays though? Baby girl has been to 4 Wiggles concerts, been in close contact with Lah Lah’s band and posed with the accordion player, had photos with both Bananas in Pyjamas, Upsy Daisy and Iggle Piggle from In The Night Garden, and today, the latest addition.

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And she is only 3 and a half.

She met Dora at Westfield Southland today, and it was amazing. I mean, for her. I watched proudly as she confidently walked up to the top of the stage steps, to wait her turn for a meet ‘n’ greet, and then strode purposefully towards one of her idols for a big all-encompassing hug and photo op.

When I saw the size of Dora, a little part of me went ‘Yikes.’ I mean, this was a super-sized Dora! I was concerned baby girl would cower slightly and need strong nudging before hesitantly making her way towards her.

But nope. This seasoned professional, who has already seen so much, and so many of her favourite entertainers, did me so, so proud.

And the best bit? The novelty HASN’T worn off. She is still as excited and thrilled seeing Dora today, as she was 2 and a half years ago when she went up to Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy in the shopping centre and happily gave them warm hugs.

It is still sweet. And I will encourage that sense of wonder and innocence, of youthful exuberance and gratitude in her, for as long as I live.

#407 3rd row at The Wiggles show

I almost broke my bumper bar driving up steep shopping centre car parks to find a park. In the end I didn’t even get one there, having to park blocks away in the only available spot I could find, with 7 minutes to go.

We walked there in 10. Baby girl was tired after spending most of the night crying from a suddenly-developed sore throat. She was dolled up in her Emma costume, but the vibe wasn’t all there. She wanted me to pick her up at many stages, and somehow I warded her off. Carrying her would have made the walk longer, and as it was I was worried we’d approach the Frankston Arts Centre and hear distinctively catchy music already underway.

We walked in to silence and presented our tickets. And then as we walked further into the bustling theatre, full of kids screaming from laughter and fury, happiness and sadness, I scanned the area to find my sister near the front, waving wildly at me.

Near the front.

3 rows from the front.

I had forgotten just how close we were when I booked the tickets months ago. I had been initially impressed by ‘ROW C,’ when the offer came up online during my mad rush to buy tickets, but until you actually see it, you really can’t believe it.

Sis and I, were rapt. I kept telling baby girl how lucky we were, and likewise my youngest nephew sat there taking it all in, also unfazed by our superstar seating.

The Wiggles show was brilliant. I know the close seating made it all the more special. Not only were we close enough to read their faces and all their expressions, make eye contact and catch every thing that unfolded with perfect clarity, but our kids benefited hugely, though they never imagined it: my nephew had his sign read out by Emma at the start of the show, and his name was read out which made sis and I both madly happy and teary; and later while they were collecting all the gifts made to them from the kids in the theatre, Emma was able to sttrreettcchhhhhh out over the 3 rows and get the card being handed to her, by none other than baby girl.

Awwww 🙂

During the show I had a moment, where I realised it shouldn’t be a given that I will see them again. We’ve seen The Wiggles now about 4 times I think, and each time it’s been beautiful to watch baby girl grow and develop alongside them, and interact differently each time she sees them. She loves them now, but I wonder, when will The Wiggles be just a passing phase? Maybe she will still love them by the time the next big show comes along, but maybe my nephew won’t be interested, and so the little outing sis and I have with our kids, won’t be a reality anymore.

It made me truly grateful for the moment, the day, and the fact that on this show, mine and baby girl’s 4th one, and 3rd one with sis and nephew together, we were coincidentally, 3 from the front.

Lucky 3.

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Kudos to The Wiggles. I can say with such certainty, that I love them as much as baby girl. For someone to devotedly spend their time making children around the world happy, I think is really, something, and some-ones, special.

#401 Wiggles Band-Aids

I should really be grateful for my parents and my sister coming to visit us today. It has been way too long since my parents were over, and I was so excited to show the fam around, and head out by the bay into the still and fresh air, and say “here’s home.”

But no. Instead I am grateful for freaking Wiggles Band-Aids.

Because not even 15 minutes after their arrival, baby girl decided to bolt, Usain style, around the corner of the house, for no other reason other than she is a toddler and running is as normal to her as is refusing bedtime, wanting to eat chocolate, and deciding that Mum must not shop in peace. (For any non-parents that are confused, that means all of the above are NORMAL).

She tripped and fell on the uneven path out the back (one of our 1 billion to-dos on our no-existing to-do list) and scraped both her palms, so much so that skin was now missing. It didn’t look too bad – sure there was blood – but still, knowing that the skin had ripped off, even if ever so slightly, I knew it would be stinging.

And then there was the crying. Sure, she is a dramatic one, but she is also a trooper. She is tougher than some boys, and will normally get up after a fall, dusting herself off. That is how we raised her – ‘no fuss, up you go.’

But she would NOT stop.

I don’t think she was use to the constant stinging pain. Nothing would help, yet eventually after screaming the house down, we tried washing her hands, and also, applying Band-Aids.

She has never to this day, allowed Band-Aids on her. Which has made my life hard at times, because when I want to help cover a wound she’s gotten, she will scream “no!” ’til red in the face, and continue to wail. And cry. And moan. And scream.

While I rip my hair out trying to figure out how to help a girl that doesn’t want help.

But, after the application and removal of 8 Wiggles Band-Aids (this was due to the fact that as soon as they were on, they had to come off), we succeeded. Her last pair went on about midday, and thank God they’re still on. She’s napping with them.

Thank F&^% for themed Band-Aids. I don’t know what I would have done without them today.