DOING: sitting next to Walt while he naps.
HEARING: Joan singing in the next room. Last night, while we were in bed, I couldn’t stop looking at her. Joan was to my left, Walt was to my right and I was in the middle feeling fiercely grateful. She’s four (!!) and just seems so big now.
Joan sleeping in my bed is a new development. Ben usually sleeps in her bed, you see, and that works well except for the days he works from the office (which is at least 3 days a week). On those mornings he’ll rise at 5am and, invariably, Joan will wake with him. “We’re early birds!”, she’ll say, gleefully. And that, of course, means I need to get up, which leads to Walt waking, which equals three tired, easy-to-grump people. But when Ben was in Hong Kong last month, that all changed. At night Joan would creep into my bed and the three of us would sleep until at least 6am (twice she made it to 7am!) It felt life changing. And so, our routine is now that when Ben is due in the office, Joan will come into my bed. It’s mostly working out well. Last night she kept kicking me in her sleep and Walt was waking constantly, so today I feel like a zombie; but overall we’re better rested. Walt is now big enough that I don’t worry about Joan bed-sharing with us from a safety point of view (I speak about bed-sharing safety in my book), though I make sure I’m always between them. And I love it - particularly following a day filled with intense feelings and needs, and when everything has felt loud and wild. To lie together, peacefully snuggling, is completely lovely.
I thought I’d share this new development, as I continue to receive messages from people letting me know they have found my sleep chatter helpful - not in the sense that it encourages them to do as we do, rather, to do what works best for their family.
DRINKING: A coffee. I’m now fully on the oat milk train, as is Ben, and do plan on attempting to make it at home. We’re both keen on reducing our dairy consumption for environmental reasons, and while we’re certainly not a dairy-free house (we still buy some organic cow’s milk, yoghurt, butter and ghee, as well cheese every now and then), and don’t necessarily plan on being completely dairy-free, we are trying to consume less.
LOOKING: forward to the book events we have coming up. So far we have the launch at Farrells on the 1st October and a party Ben & I are hosting on Sunday the 13th October. Click here for more information on the events and to book a ticket. I’d love to see you there! We’re hoping to do some additional meet-ups in later October/mid-November.
DECIDING: whether it’s possible to do some events interstate. I hope so!
ENJOYING: spring. The garden is colourful, and the air smells light and floral.
EATING + COOKING: I’ve fallen back in love with cooking chickpeas. I’ll soak dried chickpeas in water overnight and then in the morning, when they’re all plump, I’ll give them a rinse before cooking them for a few hours in a big pot of simmering water. When they’re done, I’ll store most of the chickpeas in a container with the cooking liquid to eat throughout the week. The rest will be added to whatever dinner I’ve planned for that evening, be it a chickpea curry (like this one), a soup or a salad. Cooking beans from scratch is a slow process and satisfying process. And the texture is delightful; these chickpeas are perkier than the canned variety, holding their shape a little more proudly before yielding to your bite.
I’ve also been cooking a lot of pesto pasta. After seeing how much Walt adores pesto (how much he adores everything, really) Joan now says she loves pesto, too; and I’m making the most of it. We’re still having lots of eggs, sourdough bread and roasted cabbage. And Ben has been cooking stir fries fairly regularly, much to our delight.
What else? Oh, I made brownies! Not proper brownies, these ones. It’s a recipe I’d been eyeing for some time but never used because it requires HEAPS of dates, which aren’t the cheapest ingredient. But when I saw a box of dates on sale that needed to be used quickly, I knew precisely what to make. Instead of peanut butter I used almond butter, as I much prefer the flavour of almond butter in baked goods or smoothies. And, WOW. They were great! I wonder if the recipe would work using dried dates if you rehydrate them with boiling water…?
WATCHING: I recently treated myself to season 5 of Line of Duty from iTunes. I’ve also been watching Derry Girls on Netflix, which is good for when you need a giggle. Just thinking of Clare’s facial expressions makes me smile.
READING: I’m still going on Educated. I’m really enjoying it, it’s just that these days I’m such a slow reader. I seem to get through an average of three pages at night before falling asleep. I’m looking forward to reading Three Women once I do eventually finish. Oh and I really enjoyed this piece of writing, which was mentioned in one of Rachel’s instagram posts. Good food writing makes me happy.
WEARING: jeans & jumpers, mostly. Sometimes dresses and jumpers.
BUYING: we’re still deciding what sparkling wine to serve at our book party on the 13th, but once we do we’ll be purchasing that. For food we’ve gone with Smell The Cheese and Johnny Ripe, and I so looking forward to diving into those platters and pastries.
PLANNING: the book events!
PLAYING: Walt’s favourite thing is to pick up a treasure (be it a small car or a block) and hold it firmly in his hands, while moving it all around the room - over the floor and chairs and up the wall. He’s incredibly determined and I find it adorable. Joan continues to love playing Vets and doctors. She also likes putting on grand picnics with her toy food. She’s really into reading books. Most of the time when Walt is napping the two of us are snuggled up on the couch reading a story. Another favourite game of hers seems to be taking whatever toy Walt is enjoying and labelling it “her special thing”, which means he’s not allowed to touch it.
CRAVING: coffee, Pana chocolate, roasted veggies & rich, tomatoey pasta sauces.
SAVOURING: this last week or so before the book is officially released. It’s going to be a bit of a whirlwind, I think, & while I’m tremendously excited, I’m not quite ready yet.
LOVING: the days that Ben works from home, as he will take Walt first thing, change his nappy and get Joan dressed, while I get a moment to myself to use the bathroom in peace, do my pelvic floor exercises, have a quick shower and get dressed. After a really wakeful night he’ll boil the kettle for me, and swap whatever pop music he and Joan have been listening to for Billie Holiday (my favourite). It makes such a difference to my wellbeing to have that time to care for myself.
FEELING: Grateful, excited, proud, sleepy. And a whole lot more but I’m too sleepy right now to articulate it.
Happenings posts inspired by Pip.