DOING: Once again, bubba is napping and I'm typing away. She's in the Ergo carrier after a quick morning walk before the rain came. I've got a fresh coffee to one side and am in one of those chatty moods which happens when a good night sleep mixes with a good cup of coffee.
HEARING: the rain outside. It's solidly feeling like Winter at the moment. We're popping the heater on most mornings to take the chill off and when Joan and I wait outside to greet Ben as he arrives from work we are rugged in a woollen blanket knitted by my friend. Indeed the white noise app "rain" setting that we use at night is becoming little redundant.
EATING: lately I've been loving on almond butter. I'm a nut butter fiend, devouring spoonfuls before bed to help me avoid waking hungry in the early hours. As a rule it'd be peanut (have you tried Mayver's Dark Roasted?!?!?!), however lately I've wanted a break from spoonfuls of pb (call me crazy). I still adore a peanut slather on toast (with extra virgin olive oil and sometimes maple syrup, as photographed above), however in relation to my spoon + jar antics, I am presently firmly focussed on almond butter. Sometimes I'll dip it in the tahini too, creating an almond, sesame spoon sandwich.
DRINKING: water (loads of it, as always); coffee, one or two cups a day (those moments make me so happy, it's not even funny); and the occasional ginger tea for some warming, late afternoon comfort.
COOKING: Curries, lentils, baked falafel (see below) and granola. Legumes are on my mind, apparently. Oh, and roasted cauliflower.
READING: a bunch of online articles: I so agree with this advice and appreciated this article via Megan. High-fiving this article over here (via Joy) - that Nigella quote is so right on (though I appreciate Ella and Madeleine and find they're two of the more "balanced" wellness folk out there, seeming to only restrict foods that truly make them feel ill). I HATE the whole "clean eating" thing. I find it dangerous and agree completely with Nigella... "I despair of the term 'clean eating'...it necessarily implies that any other form of eating – and consequently the eater of it – is dirty or impure and thus bad." What else... I've almost finished All The Light We Cannot See - I've adored it, I'm just a slow reader And lastly, I was interviewed for the Body Ice blog (man, I wish I'd known about their maternity line when I was pregnant. Their perineum strip sounds awesome), and a previous blog entry on their site is Lydia's birth story. I love a good birth story.
WANTING: I'm still wanting an upright vacuum cleaner. Big purchases make me nervous, you know? I spend far too long looking up reviews and end up lost in the world of online opinions before deciding to abort the mission completely. I don't see us buying one anytime soon.
LOOKING: for a nice, easy-to-clean placemat that stays put in front of Joan's place at the dining table. I'm thinking an IKEA visit may be on the cards next week!
PLAYING: You know I love a good podcast, and my recent favourite is Mystery Show, with Starlee Kine. I find Starlee incredibly endearing (did you hear her story about never being allowed to visit Disneyland on a recent episode This American Life?). So far I've listened to Britney, Vanity Plate and Source Code. I'm also halfway through Michale Pollan's epidose on Here's The Thing.
DECIDING: what I'll cook for friends who are coming over for brunch this weekend. Brunch dates are our thing these days, as Joan usually wakes from her morning nap around 10:30, making it the perfect time to welcome guests with coffee and food. Eggs are a happy choice, as are croissants stuffed with chocolate or cheese then warmed in the oven, or served simply with jam. Big batches of bircher muesli or granola is another thing we do, but I kinda feel like I've exhausted those options and find myself hungry for new ideas. Our everyday eats are safe and simple, but I do like to jazz it up when guests come. However I worry I don't have the mental capacity to try new things without overcooking something or being completely incapable of carrying on a conversation, both of which is never fun. Do you have any favourite brunch options that are simple and delicious? I suppose I could just see these dates as an excuse to splurge on extra nice cheese (haloumi!) or buy a new jam.... That makes it special too.
ENJOYING:Nutty Bruce almond and coconut milks in my coffee. I went cow's milk protein-free for a couple of weeks a few months ago when Joan had some eczema crop up and I thought it may help. Her skin issue turned out to be environmentally triggered (by soap) and she's now totally fine, as we know how to care for her skin, but I kinda fell in love with coffee made with dairy-free milk. I used to adore full-fat milk lattes, but now they taste kinda guff (I totally made that word up but I feel it conveys the correct emotion). At home I'll heat some Nutty Bruce almond or coconut milk and add it to my coffee - just a little, as it is expensive (I consider it a daily #treatyoself) and if I'm at a cafe I'll be that person who asks which type of almond milk they use. If it's one of the small-batch brands or one with minimal added sugar and additives, I'll order it. Anything too sweet takes me back to my younger years when my thirteen-year-old self would sneak 5 teaspoons of sugar to my cups of tea. True story.
WONDERING: when Joan will cotton on to the fact that her toy phone is not the real deal. Recently bubba has developed a fascination with our remote and will NOT stop playing with it (out of sight is no longer out of mind), so I bought her a toy gadget set, with a toy phone, keys and remote. They look pretty authentic and have buttons and make sounds. It's impressive. And though I'm quite strict and intentional about having my iphone away from her when we're together so she cannot see it, I do use it on occasion in the car when she's screaming (I'll throw it back to her and it stops her crying - a bad habit to get into but it's totally happening). Prior to having kids and even in the early days, I thought toy phones were ridiculous. "As if I'd ever buy my baby one of those", I'd say. Pfft, lesson learnt. They freakin rock. I might whip a gadget out in the car or in transit (they came in handy at the airport last week), and in cafes when I'd like her to sit still and need her mesmerised. I'm ridiculously invested in keeping her interested, and so will use a certain tone with these toys and say "That's mumma's phone, Joan, be careful", and "You can't eat that sweetheart" - just like I do with my real phone and the remote, because otherwise bubba will realise that she can play with them, they must be different and she will no longer be interested. Baby only wants what she can't have.
LOVING: sweet baby Joan kisses. The way she leans in with her mouth open and plants one on my cheek or chin or lips or nose or neck. She's always got loads of kisses for her mumma. Her Daddy, yeah not so much, the poor guy. Though Ben shaved his facial hair recently and for the first time she gave him a kiss without even asking. He was so happy he cried (sorry, Ben, it's true). I catch her kissing her reflection and her bear, too. It's entirely too cute.
BUYING: Not a lot. Or at least, that's the goal. We're trying to save for a house, and while it's not an immediate goal (more like a few years away), I've put my saving hat on in the last few weeks and tightened the spending strings. Thinking of buying a house excites me and leaves me like this. I'm absolutely the type of person to get emotionally invested in a place too early, and so the thought of going through the looking/assessing/trying to buy process makes me, well, refer to that link again. Side note: man, I've got to start watching The Simpsons. In my family we weren't allowed to watch Neighbours or Home and Away, it was The Simpsons and Star Trek (gah) for us. Now The Simpsons reminds me of my older brother, as he was a huge fan of the show and was loud like Homer and wise cracking like Bart and smart like Lisa. Ben didn't watch it growing up, so I'm excited to introduce him to its brilliance. We've watched season 1 together, after randomly finding the box set super cheap in Palermo during one of our overseas trips, (how good is this episode?), and we must get started on the following seasons.
PLANNING: which cake to make for baby Joan's first birthday. What's that, you say, it's far too soon to think about those kinds of things when her birthday is not for three months? Nahhhh, I know you get me. It's never too soon for cake trials. We didn't have a wedding cake as Ben wanted ice-cream, which I thought was a neat idea, so we never trialled cakes. Perhaps I'm just making up for lost cake.
WATCHING: Season 2 of The Sopranos. We're slowly making our way through the episodes of this great show. As I mentioned here, I'm in bed super early these days, as Joan is very wakeful if I'm not snuggling her and I've decided to give into it and get my booty to bed at 7:30pm. While I usually read, on the weekends we get all cozy (sometimes with dessert balanced awkwardly on my belly) and watch The Sopranos (one mute, mind you, but it's still good).
CRAVING: right now I could go a vegetarian lasagne and/or pumpkin ravioli with brown butter sage sauce. And for dessert the olive oil chocolate chunk ice-cream from Emma's new book (all her recipes look ridiculously good, actually!).
SAVOURING: the moments when it's sunny and chilly and rain-free. Joan and I get outside for walks at least twice a day, usually three times, and when it's raining it makes it tricky. We still go (unless it's torrential), bub is always rugged up and I put on gumboots, plus we take an umbrella... however one of the reasons we love getting outside is it helps to chill Joan out and keep her happy, and when we take the umbrella she just wants to hold and eat it (and these days when she wants something she lets the whole neighbourhood know that she wants it NOW and will not give in). This leaves us either wet (while she plays with the handle) or crying (if I try to hold the umbrella behind us and won't give it to her) or juggling two umbrellas (one for her to hold and one to keep us dry). It's not really a problem, I know...and the rain is good and important. It's just so much easier when there's bursts of crisp, rain-free sunshine. So, we're savouring those moments.
CONSIDERING: enrolling bub in swimming lessons...it's getting to be that age, right? The kind where I get in and float and kick with her, not throwing her in the deep end and demanding laps, of course.
WEARING: jeans + sloppy joe jumpers + converse sneakers is my uniform these days.
FEELING: at the moment, and on most days, I am feeling bright and sleepy and content. It's a really sweet and peaceful combination of feelings. Who knew you could feel bright and sleepy at the same time? It's odd and lovely. I've learnt to give myself grace and not expect too much of myself at the moment. Right now, a great day is one where I am a good and present parent, the house is relatively clean and organised, I have been able to cook/eat nourishing meals and I am feeling healthy and well within myself. I like this peaceful, slower stage of life we find ourselves in. Stopping whatever I am doing and getting on the floor to play with Joan has been very grounding for me, and helps to set my priorities straight when I find my mind wandering towards tasks I feel I should be doing. When I start back at work this month (I'm taking on clients again - more on this soon!) I want to be very intentional about starting slowly and not taking on too many things. As much as I can, I want to keep this content, present feeling. Because this, I'm realising, is what life is all about. This is the good stuff.
Picking items out of our farm box and putting them back in, twenty seven times in a row....