I rarely deviate from my usual breakfast provisions. Most mornings I’ll reach for our jar of rolled oats, then some nuts and seeds, Greek yoghurt will come out of the fridge and I’ll create a meal using these reliable goods, whether porridge of varying flavours or stovetop granola. Or I might have some regular granola on hand (that is, if Ben hasn’t eaten it all).
Yesterday, while in the shops picking up parmesan cheese and a coffee for Ben, I spotted some sweet potatoes looking perfectly sized for one hungry pregnant lady. There were a bunch of avocados on sale (and by “on sale”, I mean they were $3 each instead of $6), so I grabbed two and danced like it was Christmas morning. Last night, after bolognaise on the couch with the final season of Mad Men (sniff), I peeled then roasted that sweet potato in the oven for 40 minutes, wrapped in foil and seasoned with sea salt, black pepper and extra virgin olive oil. I closed it tight for the first 30 minutes then opened it up to crisping opportunities in the final 10 or so. This morning I added a bunch of Transition Farm spinach and, together with the sweet potato, threw it in the microwave at Ben’s work for a couple of minutes, before decorating my plate with toasted pepitas and some of that prized avocado.
These days with you.
We’re in the midst of a really sweet stage. It’s been just the two of us for 14 and a half years, and in four and a half months there will be three of us. We’re halfway through growing our baby. But for now, it’s all about these days with you.
We were school kids when we met. Holding hands and growing up, messing up and studying for exams. And then I moved out of home to go to University and you started wearing a suit. We did grown-up things, like pay rent and cook dinner and go out to concerts. In the holidays I worked at a homewares store and cafes and I learnt how to save money. Some days when I wasn’t at uni I’d catch the train into the city with you and work from the library. We’d meet for dumplings and spicy pork noodles during your lunch break. Over the summer holidays when I was 21 we went to Paris and Prague and it snowed. We became adults together.
We survived when my big brother died. Mum, Dad, my younger brother, you and me…we survived it together. You picked me up from work and told me David had had a seizure and was on the way to the hospital with mum. You were in the room with mum and I when they told us he wouldn’t wake up. You were there with us when they kept him breathing for hours, hooked up to machines, waiting for his organs to be donated. You took Jackson and I home to my apartment to get a few hours sleep and then took us back in the morning. You waited while I screamed at the top of my lungs in the car outside the Alfred Hospital. You sat beside me outside his room when I didn’t want to be held. And now you reach for me whenever someone says his name, and when we see the colour orange you smile at me. You hold me when I want to be held and tell me you miss him too. You helped me survive.
Mum and Dad’s fig tree was particularly fruitful this season. On Monday I took some home from my Mornington clinic, where I worked with the folks and now, for Wednesday Breakfast Club, I am enjoying two fresh figs at my new Richmond clinic. Together with yoghurt and muesli, they make a sweet morning meal.
I’ve started consulting from Richmond, which is right near Ben’s office, gradually building up a workload. I’ll need a break from September, as our baby will be making his/her arrival and will no doubt keep me busy. Then I hope to reopen in full force at Richmond at the start of the year, perhaps consulting once a week or once a fortnight, we’ll see. I’ll continue consulting from Mornington as soon as I get into the groove with bubs – as I work with my parents my hours are very flexible and can just duck in for a consult, coordinating with Mum and Dad for babysitting duties. My goodness, it’s starting to feel very real. Tomorrow we hit the halfway mark. And yesterday we had our big scan! I’ll go into more detail at my next pregnancy update, but everything went really well, bubs looks beautiful and healthy and so snug.
Happy Wednesday, friends. We’re off on a road trip for Ben’s work tomorrow after dinner with friends tonight. Bolognaise is on the menu (our friend makes a mean bolognaise sauce). I hope your Wednesday is equally delicious.
We all need a reliable muesli bar recipe in our repertoire.
I’ve made my fair share of bars over the years, stocking our freezer with my snacking experiments. It’s a favourite past time of mine, one that I get a bit carried away with. But the whole family benefits. Before going to bed it’s a case of asking a question and defrosting an answer. “Do you want a brownie or muesli bar for tomorrow’s snack?” Though there is now precisely zero space in our freezer for ice-cube trays, so we are on the hunt for a good standalone freezer. And so, along with “brownie or muesli bar?” we’re deciding on “chest or upright freezer?”. Please send any recommendations you might have your way. I’m a little lost in our options. Though one question I’m no longer asking is “when will I find my perfect muesli bar recipe?”…
For a fast, peanutty bar I adore Dana’s no-bake version, and after weekend ice-cream escapades, leftover egg whites get repurposed into my cardamom and dark chocolate bars. But neither of these bars were my “ideal, everyday bar”. While the no-bake version is wonderfully simple, I tend to be pro-bake when it comes to muesli bars. And though delicious, I don’t always want chocolate chips in my muesli bar, nor do I always have leftover egg whites. So I kept searching, combining and creating, freezing and snacking. Well, friends, I think I’ve found my ideal, everyday muesli bar.
It’s that sweet time of year, my favourite, when the mornings are crisp and cold, sometimes sunny and always invigorating. Everything is undeniably Autumnesque, from the quince in our fruit bowl to my cravings for curries, pasta bakes and soup. It’s gentle weather, Autumn. As long as you’re prepared for it.
Last week I opened the chest at the end of our bed and pulled out our Autumn wool jumpers. They’re pure comfort, and, along with the prospect of porridge, help to coax me out of bed the morning. As soon as I wake I’ll slip on one of Ben’s big jumpers he throws over the chest when getting ready for bed. His larger tops are in high demand now, as this belly grows and anything too tight feels uncomfortable. I just need to be sure not to spill bolognaise sauce over them, which is my constant night-time struggle. Though I do have a few favourites of my own, which I spill food over freely. For example, this green number above, knitted by my mother-in-law a couple of years ago. Armed with woollen jumpers and thick socks, as well as bolognaise sauce (and a bib), these April days are nothing but nice.
To complete this cozy picture I would have made porridge, but today I wanted Greek yoghurt and so I deferred to stovetop granola (recipe link), which I made with almonds, walnuts, oats, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, honey and sea salt. Mid-morning I’ll need to swap my wool jumper for tights and a dress (my standard maternity work-wear), and head into the clinic. And in the afternoon, I get to visit the library and renew one book that Ben is reading and look for others. We’re Jo Nesbø fans in this house and I quite fancy a good crime novel right now. Books from the library… more things making these Autumn days sweet.
Monthly pregnancy posts – not too much, not too little. Hopefully I’ve found my Goldilocks blog posting equivalent. And in case you have a sudden craving for porridge, I refer you to this post. Besides itching to share more myself, I’ve received some lovely emails from people who are keen for more pregnancy posts. I think it’s nice to read what others are going through. So, here I am, sharing month 4 (weeks 14-17) as I enter into month 5.
The past month has been a pretty sweet one, with a definite little pregnancy belly and hurrah (!!) improved symptoms. I’m a little obsessed with my bump. It constantly reminds me that I’m pregnant (which may sound funny but is totally something I appreciate). My growing belly means my little one is growing also. The veins across my stomach and sides tells me that my body is working to nourish bub. They’re like a map to our baby. It’s magical, comforting, warm and exhilarating.
We had the most glorious long weekend over Easter. It was a time of home and hot cross buns, Dad’s bread and eggs of the chocolate variety, beach walking and bump growing. She’s grown a lot this week. He or she has grown, I should say. Week 17 has been a big one. I’m still 50/50 about the gender, leaning no way in particular. Though I did have a dream last week that it was a boy, named our favourite boys’ name. He was a little cherub. We’re so in love already.
On Saturday we visited my grandparents for lunch. Ben did a few little jobs, including helping Nana with her iPad Air (she’s the coolest), and we made salad rolls with English cheddar, my favourite. We were gifted a knitted chick that held a chocolate egg, as well as chocolate Lindt bunnies and a darling knitted doll for bubs. We adore our grandparents, and their home.
It’s been a sleepy and sunny start to the week in my world.
I’ve been spoilt with a number of lovely catch ups with friends over the past 4 days, and it’s kept me buzzing. I always get energy from other people, whether friends or clients (and I’ve definitely felt a burst of energy recently, which is common in the second trimester of pregnancy). But then I come home and crash. Yesterday, after a battle with the fax machine at the clinic, I crashed into my food processor and some nuts to create this spread. Followed by the couch.
When crafting this nut butter I fancied throwing walnuts into the mix, as I’m even more keen on getting my healthy fats these days. So into my shopping basket they went, along with some hazelnuts that were on sale. Almonds were waiting for me in a jar at home, as I rarely make a nut butter without my faithful almonds, and together they made a lovely blend. I was going to keep the preparation plain, maybe adding a dash of maple as is my usual style, but then glanced at my jar of cacao powder and felt, in lieu of my morning coffee, that future Heidi would appreciate the energy hit come breakfast time. You know, to make me less sleepy and more sunny, to help keep me bright.