DOING: sitting at the kitchen bench. It’s 8:23am on a Sunday. Ben is working in the study. Walt is napping on Ben’s chest in the baby carrier. I’ve been cooking - slow-roasting tomatoes, cooking quinoa and chopping pumpkin to roast. We’ll eat these foods over the coming week. Joan stayed at my parent’s house last night and the house is quiet. This whole sleepover thing is new to us. I had a bit of work to do yesterday, and Mum offered to have Joan go to her house. When I suggested this to Joan, she asked if she could have a sleepover. “Absolutely!” I replied, “As long as KK and Pa are free”. To be honest, I didn’t love the idea, as I knew I’d miss her, but she was super keen for it. And in the end, it was SO NICE to have some time with just Ben and Walt. Walt and I had a bath together (something we’ve only done twice) and then we hung outside. Walt touched leaves and put his face in the wind, and I could be there with him, noticing it all - the leaves, the wind and how much he loved it - without any distractions. Later on, Ben and I ordered takeout and watched a movie. It was so good for us. As much as we adore our Joan, three is an intense age and she’s a person who is full of emotions and likes to express them (we’re cut from the same cloth, my girl and I). Though I am so ready for her to be home!
HEARING: Billie Holliday - my cooking music. This is one of my favourites.
DRINKING: a ginger tea.
EATING + COOKING: I just made scrambled eggs, which I served with those slow-roasted tomatoes (stealing a few from the oven before they were fully done). It was really good. Slow-roasted tomatoes + ricotta is one of my favourite dishes to serve when friends come over for brunch. Another recipe we’ve made recently is my banana pancakes. When we did, Joan flipped her first pancake (and only burnt her finger a little)! This past month we’ve also made brownie (twice!) and many date balls, as I attempt to make a nut-free date ball that Joan enjoys (her Kinder is nut-free). She seems to prefer a straight-up date, though, so I may hit pause on that endeavour.
WANTING: a coffee. I might just pause and get one. Ok, I’m back with coffee in tow.
LOOKING: forward to today. My friends are having a baby shower (they’re expecting twins!) and I get to see them and my other university friends and all their kiddos! There’s been a flurry of babies in the last year or so, and because Walt isn’t great in the car, I haven’t spent as much time with them all as I’d like (they all live closer to the city). Today I get to meet two baby girls who were born shortly after Walt. Ben is coming, of course. I don’t dare do long car trips without him in the back distracting Walt. Often Walt will scream so hard he turns red and gags and looks like he’s almost choking. It’s incredibly distressing.
DECIDING: what to bake for my grandparents when they visit for afternoon tea this week. Probably brownies. We’re also deciding what car we may buy. We’re a way off actually purchasing one yet (gosh cars are expensive), but we’ve been looking at Skodas. Ben wants a Tesla, naturally (dream on, Benjamin…$$$$$$$$$). Whatever we get, we want it to be a solid, safe family car - big enough for camping holidays and possibly, if we’re lucky, a third baby in 3 or so years.
ENJOYING: the change of seasons. The weather has been decidedly Autumnal of late and I’m loving it. Autumn is my favourite season, with its cool mornings and sunny afternoons. Bring on the cozy knits and slippers, mugs of tea and hot chocolate, and veggie curries.
WATCHING: Call the Midwife. I treated myself to season 8 from iTunes and I’m trying to ration it, as it’s all I’ve been watching. Nothing else has taken my fancy lately. Oh, I am halfway through Amy Schumer’s comedy special on Netflix (it’s called Growing - about her pregnancy) and it’s absolutely hilarious.
READING: Becoming, by Michelle Obama. I’m finding it an enjoyable read. I like learning about the election process and reading her experience of it all. I take forever to finish books, as I tend to get through a maximum of 5 pages at night before falling asleep.
WEARING: today it’ll be a summer dress (probably the one in the picture at the top of the post). We have a string of warm days coming up. This week aside, I have been wearing lots of cozy knits that were made by my nana years ago. She is so clever.
PLAYING: Joan has moved on from pretending to give birth and now likes to pretend to do or receive surgery. She says things like “I’m going to administer the anaesthetic” and proceeds to do so with her toy doctor’s kit. It’s highly entertaining. We’ve also been using plasticine - Joan likes to pretend to make chocolate chip cookies and pasta (she rolls various pasta shapes and cooks it in her toy kitchen). Oh and earlier this week we pretended to go fishing with a piece of string. That piece of string entertained her for almost an hour. She plays so much better with those sort of “toys” that allow her to use her imagination. Joan has also been loving horsie and shoulder rides with Ben. If she doesn’t want to stop playing to wash her hands, have a bath or get up to the dinner table, an offer of a horsie ride always does the trick. Walt has been having shoulder rides, too, now that he’s more able to sit up.
BUYING: we need to stock up on nuts, seeds, grains, etc. We may get to do it today after the baby shower - we’ll see how Joan and Walt are faring.
PLANNING: a family movie night. I was actually planning on doing it last night but then Joan wanted a sleepover, so Ben and I watched a movie of our own (Bohemian Rhapsody - LOVED it, though we still have an hour to go. Ha. We’ll have to rent it again). So, yes, I’m trying to figure out what movie we could watch with Joan. She is still quite sensitive to anything scary, the sweetheart, but in recent months she’s watched a couple of movies. We may just end up watching Mary Poppins again, as that seems to be her favourite. Though she often cries at the end when Mary leaves. Joan also LOVES this version of the Nutcracker Ballet and could watch it again and again. She will listens to the Nutcracker soundtrack over and over, telling me what is happening at each point of the music. Gosh she’s so like me.
CRAVING: coffee, roasted pumpkin, big hearty salads and chocolate ice-cream.
LOVING: this season. I don’t mean Autumn (though I love that, too), I mean the season we’re in when Walt is happy to play on his own or receive a (mostly) friendly cuddle from Joan while I get the house in order. He’s not yet crawling, so I can place him down on a mat and he’ll stay relatively put. Joan crawled at 6 months and I wouldn’t be surprised if he does too, as he’s very strong and all of a sudden VERY determined to move his body as much as possible. So, I know this season is a short and sweet one. We’re out of the newborn stage, and with Joan at kinder for 5 hours a week and my work slowing down, things are starting to feel easier. I’m savouring it while it lasts!
SAVOURING: aside from the above note, I am savouring the times when the house is quiet and I am free to meal prep or tidy the house with Billie Holiday or a podcast playing. This mostly happens on the weekend when Ben takes the kiddos outside to play on the street. The moment I am child-free I am unpacking, folding, chopping, roasting and de-cluttering. I really enjoy these sort of domestic tasks, particularly when I have the chance to get into a good flow with them. Even 10 minutes is satisfying.
FEELING: We are in a really sweet stage at the moment. Life is good. It also feels incredibly bittersweet at times, as I know how fleeting this time together can be. This world lost a beautiful soul last month. Mostly, I feel grateful. Grateful to have my babes and Ben, and to be living this life together. That’s the truth.
Happenings posts inspired by Pip.