#764 Games with our girl

We spend so much of our lives, rushing from A to K to Z, thinking of the future, reminiscing about the past, and constantly in a state of planning, that we often forget to live, engage and be in the present.

It’s synonym is gift for a reason.

I always have things to do. I guess, duh Fred, EVERYONE’S life story. I guess my point is, in my spare time I rarely am lounging about watching hours of TV on end. I try to limit my social media use when it is just aimless trawling trawling trawling through news feeds. Recently I’ve begun planning out my days meticulously, so I can get in the maximum number of productive seconds, minutes and hours out of it that I can while baby girl is at kinder. This usually involves Zumba, some kind of writing, and then doing some sort of house-related organisational activity, a work in progress that is 18 months growing following our move (still!)

But just as I am always trying to tick things off my never-ending eternal to-do list, so am I realising I need to sometimes, just stop. Sit and DO nothing, for like, 5 minutes. Go through that mag that’s been sitting on the coffee table.

Play with baby girl.

I am very aware of her words to me. I am also aware of phrases I use like “I’m too busy,” “I can’t now” and “after.” I don’t like to use them, and then again, at times you can’t avoid them. You will be in the throes of something, let’s say dinner, and if I were to stop and go and play with baby girl’s barbie dolls, well our dinner would end up being blackened chicken schnitzel with burnt mini pizzas and soggy vegies.

But as was the case today, I stopped. Baby girl asked if we could play an exciting game, and I paused – I am so used to thinking of what I am doing next that I didn’t even realise that there was nothing I had planned for that moment – and said “sure. Let’s play.”

She was to be sleeping beauty, and I was to get her Anna, Elsa, and another barbie doll, and wake her up by presenting to her the Prince. I did just that, getting the dolls to wake her up off of the carpeted floor, but she did her trademark “no, like this,” and showed me by kissing me on the nose, that she was expecting a kiss from Prince charming himself.

I smiled. Okay then.

I instructed her to stay there on the floor, then ran off to her room to get something. Back I came, with her dolls, and doing some pretend doll voices, the dolls then presented the Prince to a sleeping, Beauty. He leant down, gave her a kiss… she woke up…

And it was her Captain Feathersword doll.

The look of wild hilarity and fun spread across her face as she refused his ‘advances,’ and we doubled over on the floor cacking ourselves silly. I took the turn of being Sleeping Beauty then as she presented the feathery pirate to me, and then in my subsequent turns of finding a Prince for her, I presented to her my original 90s Ken Barbie, who honestly I thought was as good a Prince as any, but she said “yuck!” and on second thoughts and looks I realised that in his 90s bow-tie suit he looked more like a 40 year-old Dad figure than a suitor. Fair enough.

The last dude I found for her was also Wiggles themed, palm-sized Lachy doll from the latest group incarnation. “Here you go,” I mimicked the dolls, placing him on her face for a lip smacker.

“No Lachy, yuck!” she squealed, and we doubled over again in laughter, laughing more because we were there watching each other laugh and cry laughing. It was GOLD.

Tonight after all the cooking and cleaning and getting ready for the next day, I miraculously found some spare time. And I didn’t fill it with stuff on my to-do list. I turned to my private ‘me’ list, and sat at the table to read the Peninsula Kids magazine we had received at kinder that day.

Sure, I was reading articles written from fellow bloggers I knew and people who I had read about online. It was kinda like homework. But still, I was reading, I was engaging, and I was growing. And all the while a few metres away, Hubbie was creating his own game with baby girl – chasing her around the table, pretending to be distracted by something else and then running for her, until he would catch her in a bear hug, pull her into the couch, and then it would start all over again.

I sat there, reading amidst the laughter and the love, glad that she had had a full day of games, memories and love. I wasn’t in complete peace amidst the noise, but also somehow, I was.

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#657 A Wiggly Christmas ’17

I’ve come to learn to appreciate a happy moment, because you never know when it will be your last.

Don’t take it for granted, or expect it to always be there. I have matured into this thought, more so after having a child of my own. Moments are fleeting, both good and bad, and when something is good, take stock and hold on and say “thank you.”

Whether it is a milestone, a meeting, a happy coincidence, an event, or a concert… I try to be mindful, aware, and grateful.

And, I’ve been thankful the last couple of years for mine and my sister’s little Wiggly tradition with our kids…

Although the last time we caught up in ol’ Franga-town, it was early in the year and a more intimate ‘do,’ this was the second time that we had gone together to see the Wiggles do their traditional Christmas BIG show, and despite seeing them already so many times before, if it were at all possible, our kids were more excited, with more dancing, more singing, and more smiles than ever before.

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I always wonder ‘when will it grow old?’ ‘when will they move onto other things?’

‘When will we grow tired of the same old ‘Hot Potatoes?”

The answer is below. Because we found it the most amazing of coincidences (which I don’t believe in!) that we both arrived in the arena, through the same door, at the exact same time with only a few people in between us, and when we got back to our cars parked in a multi-level thousand car capacity car park, we found our vehicles positioned directly opposite from each other.

If you know the capacity of these end-of-year Wiggles shows, you will understand the insane slim chances of that happening, TWICE.

And so, I think our kids have as much chance of getting sick of the Wondrous Wagging Wiggles anytime soon, as we have of losing our Sixth Sisterly Senses.

So sis, get comfy with your mashed bananas and cold spaghetti. 😉

Toot toot, chugga chugga.

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#656 Long drives lead to Friday Night

Friday nights are the epitome of Dreams Manifested.

It always signals the end of something tiring, mundane, routine, demanding or difficult.

In my case today, it signalled almost the end of driving.

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Photo by Michael Coury on Unsplash

I’ve been driving all over the place for 2 days. All good things, but it is getting exhausting and frustrating at this time of year. I have some more set up for me tomorrow, but having this little in-between break called Friday Night, where I chill-axed with Hubbie and baby girl, eating takeaway and reminiscing about SIA, it was just what I needed.

And tomorrow’s driving road leads to… The Wiggles. If the insane storms that have been predicted by the weather bureaus fall flat on their winds, that is…

#619 New TV

We didn’t get anything fancy. God knows we can’t afford it. But the reasoning to getting it was, if we had just added the sports package and Hubbie couldn’t bloody well see the players, stats, shots, ANYTHING on the left side of the screen during his much loved NBA, then what was the bloody point of an extra $29 a month?

You see, our TV never had any issues. Until…

Dum da dum dum.

Baby girl came along.

Don’t turn your nose up at me. Until you have a child that wants to ruin ALL of your things, don’t say ‘it can’t happen to me.’

I used to say that. And guess what?

It DID happen to me.

You know what’s worse? It always occurs with the ‘sleepers.’ You know the ones, the kids that are oh so darling, flash their bright whites at you, give you hugs and kisses, eat their vegies… all that jazz.

And then when you are not watching, they take their toy maraca and smash it against the TV.

There is only so much you can do when a child takes to TV with strong object. See, by the time you get to them to stop them…

… The TV has copped a few good bangs. You think, fine, I’ll confiscate the maraca. Tell off your child. “Don’t do that!”

And nothing happens for weeks.

Then BANG! They have gotten hold of some festival light-up stick, and BANG BANG BANG! Again against the TV.

And you’re like “what is wrong with you? I thought you liked Dora the Explorer?”

You can confiscate all the hard, stick-like objects, and do your best to keep it from happening again… but it happens so infrequently, you kind of think, ‘I can’t just stay here watching her watch TV, ALL the time…’

And that is the beginning of the TV undoing. Because just as you think they have gotten over the TV bashing stage –

BANG!

And that my friends, is how the left side of our TV came to stay a blurry black, for about 2 whole years.

We got used to it, but really, it was soooo annoying.

I mean, TV entertainment was just not the same. Action scenes? They are fighting, and then disappear to the black.

Drama? Watch someone arguing into blank space.

Romance? There is no point in watching love scenes when all you can see are arms.

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This is our new beauty. Of course, within 10 minutes of set up it was already on baby girl’s old fave.

I just hope she still likes The Wiggles, or else she’ll go to bat with them too…

😉

#582 Movie firsts

My sister took me to my first movie. Batman, with Michael Keaton as the man in the cape.

It always was, and still remains, one of my most favourite past-times and memories with her. Our movie nights, our sister days.

Well it wasn’t a ‘movie first’ for either baby girl or my nephew today, as we took them to see the Wiggles Nursery Rhymes being shown at the Vjunior cinemas.

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But it was baby girl’s first time EVER eating popcorn… did she like it? I’ll leave you with these words she uttered: “No mama don’t touch.”

There you go.

It was also my nephew’s first time sitting through a whole movie, happily! The volume was lower than it usually is in other regular cinemas, much easier to take in without the ear-splitting stereo bursting your eardrum.

And it was our first time, ALL together. With the success of today, I think there will be many more movie days, and memory days.

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(The popcorn cup, I could not touch)

♥♥♥

#510 Lah Lah’s band has heart

I am really fortunate today that I have a lot to be grateful for. But to keep things nice and easy at this super late hour of 1:16am (late because I have to be up at 6:30am tomorrow morning, only hours away – photos will explain why in due course) I will pick the first thing I was grateful for today… and that was, the heart and soul of Lah Lah’s Big Live Band.

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Now, they may not have as many followers or as public a profile as that other well-known children’s group, The Wiggles, but I don’t think they are trying to be like them, either. They are about educating children through music, and expressing their passion for singing, as well as bringing to light the real music-makers – the instruments.

We haven’t seen Lah Lah in a while, and it’s not a regular DVD that baby girl watches at home, though she knows most of the songs fairly well. They have catchy tunes that are super-cute and stick in your head: like the much appreciated “Brush your teeth, up and down, brush your teeth, round and round,” song about that task we all BEG our children to do, which they have helped us through song; the ‘Sneezy song’ which baby girl and I especially love, about their accordion player sneezing oh too much! and playing a lovely little solo piece with his beloved instrument throughout; and then that cheeky song that Lah Lah sings, “I like to wash my hands and wipe them on my pants” – great, thanks sooo much Lah Lah.

All in all they are pretty awesome, and baby girl and I happily headed off to another beach location to see them this morning.

And she was rapt, and she danced, and she made friends with other random kids bopping along near the stage… but above all what made my heart melt, was seeing again just how much they give back to the kids.

It’s a tradition of theirs to hang back after their performance is finished, and come down from the stage to let the children have a go at looking and touching their instruments, or having a much-anticipated photo with their favourite band member… or all 5 of them if they can’t decide.

And so it was, again. We had no plans initially to partake in any of it, as all the other times before we saw them, baby girl was younger and not too fussed about getting up close and personal with The Band. But today when I asked her if she wanted to meet anyone, she told me passionately that she wanted to give a hug and kiss to Lah Lah.

And who am I to say no to an adorable almost 4 year-old in stripy socks?

After 45 minutes of doing the rounds, we had photos with ALL 5 MEMBERS of the band. I couldn’t believe it myself. We just kind of floated from one to another, and went here, went there, played some drums here, and then some strings on the cello there, pressed buttons on the saxophone and posed alongside Mr Squeezy, along with the cream of the crop position, a photo sitting on Lah Lah’s lap.

They are a kids group, they make kids happy and smile and dance and sing with their songs, but to give back so wholeheartedly and happily to those who look up to them so, giving so much more when they have already provided endless entertainment and learning and happiness to their young fans, and also giving when that recipient today was my baby girl… well I was truly happy and grateful indeed. Thanks guys.

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#478 Turning bad news, into a good day

Anyone who would have seen Hubbie galloping alongside baby girl this afternoon in a playful fashion, laughing excitedly as we all headed hungrily towards the Westfield Doncaster glammed-up food court, would not for a moment have guessed that less than an hour earlier, he was receiving not-so-favourable news.

It wasn’t good news.

You see, he had seen an Endodontist this morning, and had been told that the front tooth he was experiencing some sensitivity with, this tooth that had been hit in a basketball game over a decade earlier, was slowly dying from the root, and his body had been slowly rejecting it all this time.

The tooth, could not be saved. It had to be removed, a denture put in for a while, and then eventually a false tooth to be permanently drilled into his gum.

All for a fair bit of $$$.

As he laughed alongside baby girl, I observed them and you couldn’t really tell who was sillier, who was more childlike of the two. I had to wonder ‘had he just been given bad news?’

Yes, he had. And yet he turned the day around, accepted it for what it was, and despite the knowledge of what was ahead, and the realisation that he could not save his damaged tooth as he had hoped, he looked at the positive and moved forward.

So we had a delicious Schnitz lunch.

We splurged on some clothes from Dangerfield – his and hers.

We had some coffee and cake at Zumbo café – sharing a cronut, and taking no heed of the advice from the Endodontist that sugar can rot your teeth in as little as half an hour after eating it, and that no, brushing your teeth twice a day does apparently jack sh*t towards preventing decay. Yay.

And then later at home, we got some pizza for dinner, danced with baby girl around the kitchen to Wiggles songs (that could have been a gratitude post in itself) and then drank red wine and ate some more doughnuts (you only live once, so screw advice)

It was a great day, and we had a lot of fun.

I feel especially lucky and fortunate to have a man like Hubbie by my side. It wasn’t me instigating the turn around of negative to positive energies today. It was him. ALL him. He was certainly dismayed by the news, and it WAS NOT what he was hoping to hear, at all. But having gone through some serious, heavy shit these last few years, he knew, that in comparison, this was a pebble drop into a pond compared to some boulders he’s seen smash through the smooth surface of pristine waters.

His attitude shift and positivity inspire me, and the fact that he turned something bad, into good, is kind of the point of this blog, isn’t it?

Ain’t love grand 🙂