Things have been busy over here, with Christmas, moving house and overseas visitors in amongst the general business that comes with raising a little human. We had a lovely summer break with lots of sunshine, fish and chips and family cuddles in bed. And we've had fun settling into our new home, finding space for our furniture, scoping out the local shops and learning the route to the bathroom in the middle of the night without making noise. Joan has had a virus, poor bubba, which meant lots of nappy changes, naps and extra snuggles. She's feeling much better and things are getting back to normal, in the sense that Ben is up for work at 6 and I'm home with Joan, organising and washing and cooking and making appointments. I'm doing a bit of writing too and have finally started reading books again. I've also had an urge to blog. I've missed chatting in this space, sharing what's happening in our world, so here I am, with a page of happenings. I came across the idea of listing what's been going on lately via Linda. The original "taking stock" idea comes from Pip, and I wanted to bring it to my space in an altered, personalised form, as I found it to be an enjoyable way of documenting and reading our "latelys". I might do this every now and then, we'll see. Here are our happenings in the middle of January, 2016, with our four and a half month old baby.
DOING: right now? Sitting outside on our deck with Joan. She's in her pram and I'm drinking sparkling water with my computer on my lap, typing and quietly giggling to myself as Joan talks to the trees and tries to kick her toy rabbit off the pram. She either tries to ferociously eat her toys or throw/kick them. No cuddles for bunny.
HEARING: Joan talking. She sounds like a dinosaur these days when she talks and it's hilarious. A pterodactyl, to be precise. Also, who knew that's how it was spelt?! I typed terradactle into Google. Wrong.
COOKING: one pot beef stews with carrots, potato, canned tomatoes and red wine. I cook it for hours, let it sit in the fridge for a day, and then serve it into two-person portions before tucking it away in the freezer for those "it's going to be a busy one" days. It's inspired by a similar recipe in Apples For Jam.
EATING: Greek yoghurt with chia seeds, walnuts and honey. It's my new favourite snack.
READING:It's Not About Broccoli. Bubs and I are going to be entering the world of Baby Led Weaning in the coming months, and I am hungry (he he) to absorb all the information, or, more accurately, inspiration I can. It's Not About Broccoli came to me via an Amazon recommendation, I believe, and so far I am enjoying the read. It encourages parents to allow their children to develop a healthy attitude towards food, which is a good and important thing.
WANTING: A king size bed. No explanation necessary.
LOOKING: at trees. Every day, the view from my window is green and I adore it. Bubs does too and feedings are now taking twice as long, as she'll stop halfway to talk to the trees outside the window while gazing lovingly at the shadows.
DECIDING: on ways to convince my husband we need a king size bed.
ENJOYING:Coffee. Slowly sipping my morning coffee may be my most favourite part of my day.
WONDERING: when we may get to travel as a family of three. We'd love to take Joan to Italy. I'm also wondering when we will buy a house. The latter answer will dictate the former dream, so I guess we're real grown ups now.
LOVING: when Joan rolls over on her mat, pushes her torso up with her arms and looks for our eyes..."Well done, Joanie!"....enter the biggest, most proud grin! She'll do it again and again and again, always searching for our reaction and always smiling so bright. It's the best. I'm also loving weekend mornings with my family of three. They involve feeding Joan in bed, coffee, and walks around the neighbourhood to look at trees and flowers. I suppose that's what I do every morning, but on the weekend Ben is there too and that makes it all the more sweet.
BUYING: Bananas. I let them go ripe and then slice them, pop the pieces in a snaplock bag and freeze them for smoothies (see above).
PLANNING: my return to work at the end of the month. I'm feeling a little anxious about starting up at the clinic again, even though it's only for a handful of hours each week and I luckily have my mum to look after bubs while I consult with clients. I am aware that it's not really a big deal, it's only for a short time and bubs will surely be fine (I'm also aware that she picks up on my vibe so make sure to manage any stress about it with a hearty dose of perspective). The thing is she already has a bit of separation anxiety, so it's on my mind. Nana KK will be ready to distract her with all her favourites - a walk amongst the trees, toys to put in her mouth and belly kisses, and in between clients she'll get the boob. What a life.
WATCHING:Making a Murderer. I don't know what's wrong with me but I've been loving murder shows lately. The Fall, The Killing, Broadchurch... So good, so awful.
CONSIDERING: starting a weekly menu plan. I tend to go on my mood regarding "what's for dinner?", but these days I find myself scratching my head when starting meal prep after breakfast (so as to avoid an 8pm toast situation) and I feel that a menu plan will help in numerous ways. It'll assist my less sharp than usual brain in knowing what task to tackle first, now that I'm (pretty much) a stay-at-home mum. It'll also make food shopping less wasteful (though I rarely waste anything and am proud of that) and importantly, it will allow me to perhaps be a bit more adventurous in trying recipes that have been on my mind for some time (like this one).
WEARING: leggings and singlet tops. As a rule, my daily uniform is grey leggings and a white singlet. If I'm going to the shops I swap the leggings for jeans or shorts because pregnancy left me with a little more junk in my trunk and even though I like the junk, I don't fancy people staring at my booty, which invariably happens when you wear leggings, am I right?!
CRAVING: barbeque. The Aussie style (though Texas BBQ gets me going too), with snags, lots of salads (green salad, potato salad, tabbouleh, tomato salad, coleslaw!), a big bowl of cherries, beer and cider. Lately, whenever Ben and I take Joan for an evening walk we smell sausages on the barbie coming from at least one backyard, leaving us with severe cravings. Last weekend I bought some preservative-free sausages (that were demonstrably less delicious than preservative-full ones - does anyone have a good brand or butcher they like?!) and we had ourselves a little backyard barbeque. Side note: did anyone else grow up calling tomato sauce "dead horse"? My grandpa got me calling it that and I never questioned the name until I asked Ben to "pass the dead horse" one day.
SAVOURING: these moments when I get to know my baby girl. It's after the newborn stage but before she starts to talk (well, properly talk), and I'm getting all these little hints at her personality. She's bright and sensitive and shy around people she doesn't know, she's ruthlessly determined and curious and intense, and she's also sweet and patient and funny. And Joan is getting to know me in new ways, as her brain grows and those neurons develop and she makes all these glorious connections. We're figuring each other out and falling even more in love, and it's so sweet.
FEELING: blessed. I look around our new home and I cannot handle how blessed I feel. I love and am loved, and I have the most beautiful gift, a healthy baby. These are the days, folks. These are the days.