DOING: lounging next to Joan while she has a nap. It's 1:31pm on Thursday 31st March. I should have documented this for While The Babe Naps with a snap...ah well. I've got the white noise app playing on my phone and if I go to take a picture, the noise stops, so it's not worth it. She's been asleep for about 10 minutes. We're lying in our bed, having given up on cot naps. Joan still falls asleep in my arms and when lowering her into the cot (which needs to be on the lowest level because little miss is already pulling herself up), she wakes and not fall back asleep. Every time. The bed is easier for us both. We are in a bit of a transition stage, where I want her to know that I'm still here, but she can nap in the bed by herself and it's all good. This involves a bit of hanging out by her side until she's in a deep sleep and I can sneak off. But not too far!! As before she even wakes fully and knows who she is, she has rolled over and is crawling. It's risky business. I need super high bed rails. Tell me, is that a thing?! Google searches have been fruitless...
HEARING: womb noises via this app. We're white noise fans over here. Joan doesn't need it to sleep, but it helps block out the noise of me typing and any knocks on the door.
COOKING: We recently purchase 1/2 an organic, completely grass-fed lamb from Colin & Sally (after a blog reader kindly suggested their produce), and we are absolutely loving it. We are thrilled to be feeding our baby girl (and ourselves!) such quality meat, and to be supporting a family farm. We love it because the health benefits are significant (I try to always buy organic animal products), the animals are treated far better than mass produced meat, and the flavour is incredible. And though it was expensive upfront, the actual cost per kg is ridiculously low compared to what you buy in the supermarkets or butchers for small portions. We will most certainly continue buying meat from these wonderful folk (they also farm cattle so we can buy beef). Oh, and it takes up far less freezer space than you might imagine when you receive it all portioned up.
EATING: besides lamb, eggs! We introduced Joan to eggs when she was around 7 months old, in small bits over a few days - scrambled eggs, frittata and banana pancakes (without the salt). Joan tolerated them well and is handling increasingly challenging textures. I feel a bit more free with what she's eating, like we can move away from the practice of altering our meals to be more Joan-friendly, to basically just eating the same thing as a family. We've cut down our salt usage for the little one (I'm a bit of a salt-fiend) and she's yet to try rice and quinoa, but beyond that she's eating veg, eggs, nut/seed butters and ground nuts, yoghurt, oats, fruit, chicken and red meat, and it's a whole lotta fun. She's even tried some of her Pa's famous homemade sourdough, made with mainly spelt flour. We toasted some strips and she munched on them with avocado. I'll be sharing some recipes that she's loved in the coming months (I want to remake a few dishes and actually take note of the specifics for you all), including slow-cooked beef cheek and chicken soup. We've also been eating lasagne, this delicious slab that my mother-in-law brought over, and the leftovers!
DRINKING: coffee. I seem to be saying "it's a two cup day" more and more lately. Man, I love coffee - the taste, the buzz, the ritual, everything.
READING:All The Light We Cannot See, slowly, and loving it. I'm also reading my friend's new blog - Almost Dutch. Peta moved to Amsterdam a couple of months ago, and I am so pleased she's started writing about her life there, because it feels as though I'm not missing so much.
WANTING: a long, hot bath, with candles and a face mask and a favourite show ready to watch on my computer, propped on a chair next to the bath. I haven't managed to have a long bath in a while, the best I get is 5 minutes before Joan hops in with me. And while that's pretty great, the water is never hot enough and instead of a candle I'm looking at a bath toy. The image is far removed from my previous, indulgent baths and it doesn't give me the same relaxed feeling, so I must schedule in a good bath session.
LOOKING: for a good quality, non-toxic mattress protector. Any recommendations? We had a great, organic, woollen one from Nature Baby when Joan was in the bassinet. I wish we could put it in the microwave and have it grow in size like those little things that came in chip packets when we were kids. Am I mad? Or was that a thing? Has this sleep deprivation officially made me insane? Someone, please let me know.
PLAYING: podcasts! I churn through them, listening to a bunch on walks with Joan and sometimes in the car or when cooking. I've mentioned favourites before, but lately I've been loving The Longest Shortest Time (especially the episodes "Accidental Gay Parents"), Death Sex and Money, and a recent find, Alec Baldwin's podcast. Hearing Sarah Jessica Parker talk made me remember how much I adored Sex and the City and how I should really re-watch the series.
DECIDING: what to defrost from the freezer for dinner tonight. Or I could make something, I guess, but it's Friday (I write these posts over a few naptimes, you see, we jump around a bit), and I feel like something super easy. Ben is at a work dinner so Joan and I are solo, and usually that just means I down a big bowl of pasta, eating while hiding from Joan as she plays. If she sees me she'll want it and baby, on these solo nights (especially a Friday!) I cannot handle cleaning red sauce off your face and getting you ready for bed on my own. Sometimes I just want to eat in peace. Edit: I made roasted pumpkin and ate it with leftover quinoa, sauteed greens and toasted seeds, plus a can of oil-packed salmon. You ate roasted pumpkin too. Later, as you slept beside me, I had bowl of yoghurt with honey in bed while watching half of The Trueman Show on Netflix, but not before spilling the entire bowl on the bed and scooping it back into the bowl with my spoon. So, so classy.
ENJOYING: wearing jeans and boots and knits. Bring on this cooler weather, with crisp mornings and sunny days. I adore Autumn. I'm also enjoying watching Joan figure out this walking business. She's already pulling herself up exquisitely, and even steps side to side holding on to the playpen. Golly, she's strong.
WONDERING: When I'll get around to poaching those quince on my counter (speaking of Autumn).
LOVING:Pana chocolate. I was recently sent some bars from the kind folk at Pana and I adore them all, but particularly the orange and eighty varieties. I know the choc/orange combo is a polarising one, but I love it. When going to the cinema and filling my bag at the lolly station, I'd always get a big scoop of Jaffas. And pineapples and milk bottles. Definitely not freckles or chiccos, blegh. And clinkers? Gross.
BUYING: We've made a few big purchases recently. Stellar timing, what with me not going back to work and stating how frugal I can be. Ooops. We've bought a playmat, a high chair and that 1/2 a lamb I mentioned above. I hesitated on each of these purchases for a while because they've expensive, but honestly, we are so happy with them all. The lamb I explained above. The playmat is the large polka dot Dwinguler from softmats.com.au. $300 for a playmat? I know, I know, it's kinda mad. But we found it online from a different stockist for $50 off the full price, so that helped, and truthfully it has been such as great purchase. It's so easy to clean, it's super padded so Joan can topple and roll over without me worrying she'll hurt herself, and it's made with non-toxic rubber. Many reviews boast how good the longevity of the product is too, so, I decided to fork out the big bucks and we have zero regrets. I was a bit more hesitant when it came to the high chair. Initially we wanted to buy the Stokke tripp trapp high chair because it looked cool, but after looking at the pricetag ("Are you kidding me? $300!! pffft! no way"), we said no way. Soon after, our neighbours gifted us a Childcare brand highchair that was basic and not too dissimilar to the popular, reasonably priced IKEA one, and we thought not further on it. But the thing is, we found that highchair frustrating to work with. I didn't love the straps, because in my admittedly slightly paranoid state, I wanted easy access to Joan if I needed to belt her on the back during a choking episode. And then the tray was super annoying, sitting too far from our little baby so she had to lean forward to reach her food. We propped her up with inserts and towels, etc, but she never seemed comfortable and it was a mess to clean, the tray and the seat. Plus the tray was hard to remove and I also didn't feel like I could leave Joan in the chair to wait before/after a meal because it didn't seem safe - she moved around and squirmed too easily and one time nearly slipped right down. So I spoke with Ben about the Stokke again, knowing that their design meant bubba could sit at the table with the family and we didn't need a tray. Reviews were mixed, but one lady said how for her baby who hated to be restrained (which is Joan in a nutshell) it was perfect. We looked on gumtree for a second hand chair, but they get snapped up so quickly and Ben said he'd prefer a new one, so we decided to stop questioning and just order the chair. We went via this website, which had it at a cheaper price. I felt sooooo indulgent afterwards, thinking we were spending unnecessarily like mad people who maybe just needed a good nights sleep to help us start thinking properly again. But then it arrived. We assembled the chair, popped Joan at the table for a meal and instantly knew we'd made the right purchase, expensive as it was. She was so comfortable and secure, her posture was great and she could reach her food easily. It is a dream to clean and will grow with her, adjusting the chair as she gets bigger. So I got over the cost and just resolved to eat a lot of lentils for the next few months.
PLANNING: my return to work! Haha, this sounds familiar... A few months ago I wrote the same thing, but it's different now. I have decided to take only Skype clients for the forseable future, and to focus on pre and post natal nutrition. This works in line with my true passion, which is helping women feel their best and nourish themselves. These women may be close to (hopefully successfully) conceiving or that stage might be a few years away. And of course, I will be working with women to help them eat well during pregnancy, and then, importantly, making sure they are nourishing themselves after they've had their baby. I was not feeling confident in keeping up to date with the huge range of health conditions that is often required of dietitians in private practice, and so I decided to focus on my passion area. And what do you know? I'm super excited to take on clients in a few months. This is the work I love doing, and I am so pleased I had the opportunity to stop and think and redirect my focus. This time away from work has made it all clearer. Before taking on new clients I will be up-skilling, preparing resources and curating my services. Watch this space!
WATCHING: Last night while in bed with Joan I watched the season 4 finale of Girls. I must get the new season off iTunes! We've also started watching The Sopranos, after loving season 1 but having a brief hiatus. I love that show so much, it's good quality, you know? There's so much crap on these days, watching something well-made is a real pleasure. And even though we are usually watching it in bed with the volume mute and subtitles on, with Joan lying asleep next to us, we are really enjoying getting back into it.
CONSIDERING: considering deleting this prompt, as I have no idea what to write.
WEARING: zing! I answered already via the "enjoying" prompt.
CRAVING: Porridge. These cool crisp mornings have me heading to the stove to stir a pot of oats for baby Joan and myself. I'm also craving crispy roast potatoes (what's new?), steamed broccoli (Transition Farm has been killing the broccoli game lately, they're amazing!) and after seeing Mrs Hughes and Carson eating crumble on Downton Abbey, my mum's apple crumble. Update: I ate the lasagne and it was gooooooood. And we have the leftovers in our freezer, woohoo!
SAVOURING: naps when baby Joan sleeps in the carrier on my chest. It's sooooo special and dear and soft and sweet. And I know it won't last forever, so I'm savouring each and every nap.
FEELING: buzzed. Happily buzzed. And that is only partly due to my love of coffee. I'm feeling buzzed by life and future prospects and how our little family's world is evolving. Gosh, that makes it sound like I'm pregnant again, which is most certainly not true. Things are looking bright, that's all. Having a child invariably means rearranging and shifting of priorities, and having done that, Ben and I are presently feeling good and solid and yeah, buzzed, about where we are and where we will hopefully be headed.