#790 Rainy day play date

It’s raining. It’s pouring. But unlike the nursery rhyme, the old man ain’t snoring, because he can’t bloody sleep for all of the ravaging and high-pitched wind squeals running around the house.

It was a great day, to stay indoors, yes. That was plainly obvious. You could rug up, put on the heater (first time this year I might add) and just chill on the couch, watch TV shows, play with Lego, you know, all that jazz…

Or.

OR… you could stick a right royal middle finger up to the horrible weather, and say “you won’t keep me down!”

Yes, yes that’s what we did today. We braved the weather with beanies and jackets, and headed on down to meet up with baby girl’s 3rd cousin (yes 3rd, it’s a big family) to the place where I did my first review as part of the local blogger’s group I had then joined… The Hungry Peacock.

Or should I say The Busy Peacock. They ‘busied’ themselves for 45 minutes, going OCD on these swinging bowling bags that could hit pins, balls that sloped down a track, pushing a sequined fabric first in the grain… then against the grain, and also some arts and crafts activities, alongside many many more activities.

IMAG0202

(The highly entertaining ‘swinging bags’)

We rushed to the adjoining cafe through the rain, for some snacks after the fact, and the girls played about some more.

And what I was almost, almost, most grateful for? We received our food and coffee…

IMAG0210

just as the lights went out in the entire café. From the wild storm. I actually didn’t care. I had my coffee. I was good.

To do nothing on a rainy day is so satisfying, hell knows I have done it a hundred times. But to do something, and get out and about, have fun, and still be undercover, even as the lights go out?

There is a certain satisfaction in that. 😉

 

#770 Making memories and finding comfort in a topsy-turvy day

I’m not going to lie.

I’m not going to sit here, and tell you my day was great, my day was fantastic, when there were many parts of it, that weren’t.

I can’t just pretend all went well, when all didn’t.

I can’t just focus on the good, because I feel like that would be lying, and I think you would appreciate me telling you the frustrating, shitty parts too. The ‘Life’ parts. The pros, as well as, the cons.

Even with this being a gratitude blog and all.

So in short, let me tell you this:

Today we got to catch up with some of our closest friends for a birthday. It was well overdue (pro).

We drove over 3 hours there and back, and after this weekend, we are OVER driving (con).

We had fun (pro), and we made memories (pro). We danced (pro), the kids played (pro), and baby girl got her leg stuck in the hole of a portable basketball base (con, but a funny one).

I got this cappuccino made for me by our friend (pro)… he is a former café owner and works for a coffee company…

IMAG9672

PRO PRO PRO.

And this day would have truly been perfect, even with all the little cons up to this point, if the highlight of the day were just this: good coffee amidst polaroids of my girl dressed as a cowboy.

But it went on, as days do.

Driving home, Hubbie developed some kind of gastrointestinal infection (CON).

We stopped twice. (CON).

When we got home eventually, the windy weather appeared and started lashing us as we ran for the front door… but we got inside quickly, and I reckon somehow the Universe held it off slightly until we were indoors, only because we had such a sucky ride home (pro).

I ordered pizza because (insert Hubbie incapacitated on couch), and I was so grateful for the convenience of it all… pro – but it took an hour to arrive (maybe because of the wild weather – con).

Before and after said pizza, I sat on the couch with baby girl, me actually watching Bachelor in Paradise in peace, and she watching YouTube videos of dolls playing with toys, as the Wicked Witch of the West flew around on her broomstick outside in this cyclonic wind (pro).

Everyone is in bed now, and Hubbie is feeling better (massive PRO).

I know I am a glass half-full gal, but I wanted to show you both sides of the coin, to prove a point.

We can be aware of both good and bad, happy and sad, positive and negative, pros and cons… because it is all in the greater picture. Seeing the greater picture balances us out, makes us humble, and helps us to appreciate the pros more.

Because if all we had were pros, well the above would have been a very boring (albeit hugely satisfying for me) story.

And every story needs a villain, doesn’t it?

Today’s villain? Driving time, stomach viruses and wind from hell.

Today’s hero? Friends, couch time, and…

COFFEE 🙂

 

 

#763 Sunday beach walk

Sometimes you don’t know that you need something, until you do it.

Like a walk. The introspection, clarity and calm that can come with one, more so when you are with loved ones, is something that needs to be practiced often, like meditation.

IMAG9582

And even with the crazy Melbourne wind that was today, whipping us, our hair, and the Port Phillip seas about, it somehow added to the experience of it all… knocking sense into us.

IMAG9605

It may seem static and reliable, but there is always something new to discover, with a beach walk.

IMAG9578

#623 Ice-Cream Truck joy

It was the perfect thing to do on a sunny Sunday. Especially after the late night that was, which is why we ended up at the Community Kinders Fair just before 1pm.

It was a gathering of a whole bunch of kinders from the area, with many of them holding stalls where the respective teachers sat beneath the shade of their tents, activities out for littlies of all ages to enjoy, while a few major attractions were positioned here, and there. Like the animal cage where the kiddies mingled with goats and chickens; or the massive tent in centre-field that housed magical performances and tricks and games for both young and old; there was a small stage set up for local up-and-coming singers to put their vocals to the test amidst the family-friendly crowd; and then there was the long, LONG line leading to…

The Face Painting.

After a quick stop over at the animal cage

and then a hello to baby girl’s teachers in their tent stall, we headed over to the stage area where we knew a friend of hers was nearby.

Upon them meeting it was immediately agreed that both wanted face painting. NOW.

So, I stood in line with baby girl, her friend, and her friend’s Mum, for a good hour. In the strong sunshine-y wind.

Thank God we had company. We talked kinders, life, jobs, kids, and all the in-betweens. We even made friends with a lady in front of us, all the while silently and loudly willing the line to go faster.

The thing that puzzled us though, was the fair ended at 2pm, with stallholders packing up and the crowds dissipating quickly from that mammoth scenic park we were in. But at no stage approaching 2pm, at 2pm, or even just after 2pm, did the two ladies, slowly and meticulously and precisely doing the face painting, look up at us to indicate they were done.

For sure they would call out at some stage, and tell us ‘beyond this line, no more!’ We waited and waited. But also, surely they wouldn’t tell us they were done, and we all had to go home, after we had waited so very long to fulfil our kids desire?

IMAG6516

They didn’t. The two ladies worked brilliantly, not taking face painting shortcuts just because it was now 2:20, and they were still there, while 4/5 of the grounds had up and gone. Baby girl and her friend made their way to the star seats soon enough, and we were all VERY happy that we had waited, for something.

After my profuse thank yous to the woman who had painted baby girl, we said our goodbyes to her friend and her Mum, and started to make our way to the car. I looked longingly at the seemingly empty ice cream truck still on the ground, next to a hot food truck. I had been in line and watching people all about me eating ice creams for the past hot, windy hour, and wishing that I too was indulging in some cold and sweet goodness.

Occasionally a man passed the interior window of the truck, but there were no other signs or activity to support the fact that it was still operational. For all we knew the dude was going to rev the engine and drive off the park grounds at any moment.

“Man, I would love an ice cream,” I wished out loud.

“Let’s see if he’s still open,” Hubbie responded. We followed, myself not too confident of the sweet-treat outcome.

He called out as we approached, the man now visible again behind the open window. “Can we still get ice creams?”

The man smiled, and responded in a way that made me think both yes, and no: “what did you want?”

We quickly placed our 3 orders: Hubbie’s gelato, baby girl’s soft serve with sprinkles, and my soft serve dipped in chocolate.

IMAG6527

It was heaven. Never has an ice cream tasted so damn good.

I’m putting it out there. You don’t need no fancy-schmanc ice cream café to have me flocking to their doors. Just give me an old-school truck, and I’m as happy as a lassie.

The consensus amongst us, was we were definitely in agreeance. Hubbie’s comments of his gelato being “insanely good,” and baby girl’s slurps and “mmmm’s” told the rest of the story.

Oh, and just so you know… baby girl is currently more a hand painter, than a face painter type of girl.

IMAG6522

Butterfly and bee. The bee is a bit shonky, but the waiting in line was worth it, if only for the ice cream at the end…

 

#588 The Greatest Show of All

I LOVED going to the Royal Melbourne Show as a child. My parents took me often, and it was always, ALWAYS, a highlight, every single year. As I grew older I remembered one time where I had a great day there with my sister and Mum too, and then after I met Hubbie we went a couple of times, a night session, and a full-on day session as well.

But we haven’t been for many, many years.

What is there to love about the Show? Why, everything. There is truly something for everyone. There are rides of all kinds, for big kids and small; there are games, again, for everyone, that take out the child in you when the lights flash in your eyes and you observe giant oversized toys that suddenly, YOU MUST HAVE; there is amazing carnival food, as trashy and truck-y as you like, or as discerning and Masterchef-quality as you please, kind sir and madam; there are even animals in talent contests showcasing their skills, entertainers singing or performing death-defying stunts, and then of course, at night, the explosions in the sky.

FIREWORKS.

Well, after what seemed like too long of a break, we went today. It was baby girl’s first time EVER, and weirdly, I had known about a month ago, even before I got my free tickets, that this was going to be our first year to go. It hasn’t worked out for us, or her, any other year, but also, this year I knew she was truly ready for the walk-a-thon that was to be the Royal Melbourne Show adventure, and also, this year she could start to appreciate it. Really appreciate it.

And start creating memories. 🙂

It is so exciting when you start to expose your child to fun things you did when you were young. Hell who am I kidding – I still love to do kid stuff! And I was about as excited as her today, as we jumped off the train about midday and arrived at the Showgrounds.

IMAG6017

It was, a BRILLIANT day.

We ate Showground food of fish and chips, coupled with some glasses of beer and wine.

We watched dogs leap over hurdles and fly through tunnels in high-paced canine comps.

Baby girl went on several rides on her own, and with both Hubbie and I: flying through the air in a row-your-boat contraption, spinning round on a floating mini air balloon ride, going round a merry-go-round track in a car, AND she had her first ever dodgem car experience on her own!

She was the bomb 🙂

We played games, and baby girl fished out some prizes for herself.

We stopped for a well-deserved coffee and sweets break, and found some awesome Nutella doughnuts courtesy of the famous food trucks.

IMAG6021

We went on the GIANT Ferris Wheel, and nearly died as we were perched up top of the world, the insane wind rocking our carriage and making us hold hands, while I actually bent over and encouraged baby girl to pray to God that the wind would lessen.

She thought I was hilarious.

And then the big one, the clincher, the reason for even going to the show AT ALL…

The showbags.

They don’t come cheap. Of course she wanted character ones, which are even dearer than some other kiddie ones, so we let her pick two bags and got an extra pup toy as well.

It had been a big day. We were glad to have taken the train part of the way, so it could take us a fair distance out of the city and to our parked location, before we jumped in our car and drove home.

Watching baby girl, and seeing her response to so many fun events of the day, was absolute GOLD. She now knows, what the Show is all about.

And what’s most important, her memories of them have just started… and they are already beautiful 🙂

#568 Monday sleep-in

I love Monday sleep-ins. I love them more when the wind is howling outside and rain is splattering against the window. I also love them when I know I am somewhat happily past the waking-at-random-hours stage with baby girl, in the calm knowledge that most of the time, she sleeps ’til the same time that I do.

It’s these little things that keep my head up in the face of adversity, challenges, and other things that turn my smile, upside down. All things that have happened today.

And you just need to breathe…

and try to keep on, keeping on.

 

#549 Making the most of a special day

Let me tell you, birthdays can be deceiving.

There is a whole heap of expectation placed upon the ‘special’ day, to be better and greater and more superb than any other day.

This ‘deceptive’ day is placed in the same category as any large celebration, also including Christmas, Easter, and MOST ESPECIALLY the most cunning culprit, NEW YEARS EVE.

We think we must have some kind of exceptionally amazing day, and then when it is just… ordinary, at best, we feel sad.

Disenchanted.

Frustrated.

Mad at the world.

Pitiful.

Glum.

Today the winds were raging like hell. It was cold. I had an argument with Hubbie that brought me to tears. A small one, but I was pissed nonetheless.

I spent a good portion of the day packing, and then unpacking as we came back home from our San Remo short stay.

Hubbie was still suffering side effects from the antibiotics he took after removing a tooth, so he was pretty lowly and flat himself.

We hadn’t eaten proper healthy meals in days, and felt crappy as a result.

And it was my birthday.

The expectation of amazing, compared to the dismal reality, wore me down HARD.

I did feel sorry for myself for a while. But then when I realised that a Birth-day, is just like every other day, I dragged myself out of the rut…

You see, all days are the same. Birth-days, Christmas-days, New Years-days. All require you to do something about it.

We can’t be sitting around and waiting for stuff to happen. Or waiting for people to come in and make our life and day better. We need to do it ourselves, but also be mindful, that sometimes, life goes up…

and life goes down…

and sometimes this happens on a ‘special’ day.

And that’s ok.

There was nothing remarkable about my birth-day today, and yet I spent it the best way I could, enjoying my downtime with Hubbie and baby girl.

And in the end, my changed mindset, made the day better. That’s all it was. A changed, and accepted mindset. Because I realised that although I was going to make the most of the situation in the day as it was, I was also accepting of the fact that sometimes days don’t go to plan, and we don’t get what we want, and we just need to breathe in…

Breathe… Inhale

and breathe out…

Breathe… Exhale

and say “tomorrow’s another day.”

And in the end, I ended up having a lovely day 🙂

(But just saying, I have a party this Saturday and I’m going to rock it mofos. Like, watch out).