Joan brought a new kind of joy to this year’s festivities and gatherings. Usually, let’s be honest, it’s all about the food with my family. And while mum cooked an incredible spread, possibly her most delicious yet, with goose fat potatoes and killer gravy (see here for the usual menu), baby Joan was undoubtedly the most scrumptious thing on Christmas day.
Ben, Joan and I started our morning at home with presents and snuggles in bed. We then went for a walk by the beach, with Joan in a little Santa suit (sorry/not sorry), before heading to mum and dad’s house for fruit salad, coffee and presents by the Christmas tree. More family arrived a couple of hours later and we all sat down to Christmas lunch. Have I mentioned how much fun it is to indulge a breastfeeding appetite? It is.
Joan napped through lunch, clearly not aware of how delicious mum’s overnight pork and stuffed, rolled turkey breast were. Next year she’ll be eating the feast with us and I wonder what she’ll like best…the potatoes, perhaps? Or the ham? It was all outrageously good, the plum pudding too. As a child, I remember feeling genuinely perplexed as to how my family could find plum pudding tasty. Though with each passing year, I found the fruity, spiced pudding and sweet, boozy cream would appeal more and more, until suddenly I was in love and longing for the pud in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Mum gave us a pudding portion to take home and that evening Ben and I ate a little plum pudding with a lot of boozy sauce, two spoons on the one plate as we watched Elf with baby Joan asleep in our arms.
My, what a sweet Christmas.
Just a little post for you before Christmas. There’s pictures of pancakes and sweet baby Joan doing pull-ups, taken one perfect Saturday earlier this month. And to end, a recipe, for any last-minute Christmas gifts you may need. Or simply for yourself. We’re busy moving house at present, so I need all the date balls in every variation, please and thank you, including these festive ones I gifted to friends on the weekend. But let’s get back to those pancakes…
Our family of three had just been to visit our new rental, checking measurements and planning where furniture would go, and dreaming up all the wonderful things we’d do in this new house that already feels like home. It was time to move on and despite the task ahead (moving *ugh*!), we’re excited. I think this will be the fifth or sixth house I’ve lived in since starting this blog. There’s a lot of good that comes with packing up and relocating, a cleansing and reaffirming of possessions and intentions. We are keen to settle in our new place for a good while and to start fresh, with less stuff. A simple, clutter-free life is what we want.
I think Joan was about five or six weeks old when I felt the fog lift. There’s a sweet, swampy, sleep-deprived fuzziness to that first month, with so much learning and growth happening. You’re living moment to moment in survival mode. But eventually things became clearer.
After that first month or so I could move around during the day without feeling like my lower body needed a rest (hot tip: don’t google “what does it mean when you feel like things will fall out of your vagina?”). As much as one can, I adapted to living on less sleep. I began to feel spectacularly rested after two and a half hours of straight slumber. And Ben and I got to know our little baby; her favourite activities, how to get her wind up, how she likes to be calmed, when to cuddle her and when to let her play and explore, when she wants the boob (most of the time) and when she just needs sleep (most of the time). Bubs and I have learnt how to breastfeed together, I’ve learnt how to change nappies and she’s learnt how to fill them. I figured out how to tie my shoelaces while wearing Joan in the Ergo carrier and not disturbing her “just drifting off” stage of sleep. Later on I learnt I should just put my shoes on BEFORE putting her in the carrier… Yes, we’ve learnt a great many things these past three months, our little family of three. And even though all babies and parents are different, I know it can be helpful to read about what other mums and dads are going through, so here are some (oh, just a few) thoughts and ramblings on where we’re at.
Breakfast isn’t so much about food anymore. Pre-baby Joan I’d look forward to lingering over a morning meal of oats, toast, eggs, pancakes and catching up on favourite blogs and articles. I’d wake early just to satisfy whatever craving I had, usually of the porridge variety. It was a sweet time and I loved it, the morning solitude and my carefully prepared meal.
Now my breakfast-time is very different, though still sweet. I’ll assemble some sort of bowl containing the same kind of ingredients as before – oats, milk or yoghurt, nuts and seeds… but my choice of meal is all about speed, how swiftly I can put things together and get back to baby Joan, who will usually be sitting in her bouncer chair. You see, she’s particularly sweet and chatty in the mornings, playing with toys and staring at the sun coming through the blinds, talking to me and herself and her toys…and I don’t want to miss a moment. There are usually dishes in the sink and clothes to be washed, but I ignore the chores in favour of chatting. Recently, bubs has been grasping toys and watching me shake noisy props with wide eyes. This carrot rattle, gifted by a dear friend, is her new favourite.
And so, for breakfast this morning we had a yoghurt bowl, with greek yoghurt, rolled oats, hemp seeds, toasted sunflower seeds and coconut flakes, honey and banana. A yoghurt bowl and a carrot. And it was the sweetest thing.
What did you have for breakfast today?