Sunday, 19 July 2015

Why I can't wait to grow old

I've mentioned before that, since having Joan, I've never been more conscious of the passage of time.  I now realise that the whole rest of my life will be dictated by her and, universe willing, her sibling/s.  Their age, their achievements, the time that has passed since they arrived.

You hear over and over again from parents with grown children that it all goes so fast.  I'm happy to admit that I do look forward to a time when my kids are grown and gone and living their adult lives.  That's why I'm having children.  To see them grow, to watch them become the people they're going to be.  Unless they're going to be psychopathic serial killers.  That probably would not be so cool to watch.  Or deadbeat druggies.  Or bigots or any kind.  Or lovers of mainstream TV such as The Voice.  Blergh.

Hang on.  What was the point I was making?  Oh yes!  All this reflection on the passage of time has really got me thinking about growing up and growing old.

I realise that a lot of people my age in their 30s feel that their best years are behind them, and pine for their teens or 20s, which I think is such a shame!  I SO look forward to growing old.  True story.

Look, I was a seriously nerdy teen so it's not much of a surprise that I don't look back super wistfully on that time.  I was awkward and shy, and, frankly, very plain.  I'm still no great beauty but I don't care.  I love myself sick anyway.  And why is that?  Age.  Experience.  Realising that it doesn't matter.

My twenties were pretty hard, as I expect most people's are.  Hard lessons were learned about friendships, about loyalty, and about relationships.  Betrayals!  Heartbreak!  Ridiculously awful boyfriends!  All of which is pretty miserable at the time but helps you on the road to maturity, self-acceptance, and - dare I say it - inner peace.

For me, every year is better than the last, and not just because awesome stuff keeps happening in my life (although it does).  It gets better because with each passing year I feel better within myself.  I know myself better, I have more empathy for others, I learn how to handle situations better and what to let go of.  I genuinely want the best for others, and for myself.

Having Joan has taught me a HUGE amount.  What a humbling experience, and one that makes me want to crawl back to my own parents saying thank you and SORRRYYYYYYY.

I can't wait to watch my child/ren grow.  I am absolutely not one of those mothers who wishes they would stay small.  I can't wait to have conversations with my grown kids.  And I really can't wait until they have kids of their own and crawl back to me saying thank you and SORRRYYYYYYY.  

I look forward to moving into that phase of life where the "hard part" is over.  Blair and I will probably get a caravan.  We can live wherever we want, not where work dictates.  We can enjoy our grandchildren, and we will have lived through so much that not much can faze us anymore.  

Unless, of course, one of our kids is a serial killer.  That would be very very uncool.



Saturday, 27 June 2015

The month of June

Good morning, friends!

Here we are suddenly heading towards the end of another month.  Less than a week left of June and what do we know, the blog has remained idle for that whole time.  WHOOPS.

So, once again, let's catch up.  Firstly, as usual, let's discuss the baby.

Our petite little peach has motored into 00 sized clothing and I noticed the other day that she's almost too long for them already!  Our long-legged lamb.  She's also decided that she's all grown up now and will no longer be taking a dummy.  Luckily (or unluckily...?) she's discovered her thumb so it's out with the dummy and in with the thumb, thanks very much.  At least I don't have to worry about sterilising her thumb.  Right?

Along with her thumb, EVERYTHING now goes into the mouth for some comprehensive drool action.  She currently wears a bib pretty much all day to save the multiple clothing changes required when she soaks herself to the waist with dribble.  I wish I was joking about this.  It's gross.  No teeth visible yet, just litres of drool.

We're also in no rush to start solids, possibly the only ones left not starting solids at four months (or before!!).  Our CHN told us to wait until as close to six months as possible and I'm happy not to have the hassle of solids till then.  Plus, from six months we can do 100% baby led weaning which I'm all for.

Last time I wrote, we hadn't had any laughter yet, but not long after that Blair did elicit the first chuckle.   Oh what an adorable sound that is. Oh how addicted I am to making her laugh. Oh how hard she likes to make me work for it. 

Blair went away for work again this month which was barely a blip on my radar... Until it was. He was only gone for a fortnight but those last couple of days I think I officially hit burn out.  Everything was a LOT of effort and boy did those days drag.  It didn't help that Joan was going through (ANOTHER) exceptionally fussy stage.  One morning she cried so endlessly that I took her to the doctor who diagnosed her with colic, which frankly I could have diagnosed myself (the definition of colic being "unexplained crying in an otherwise healthy and thriving infant").

On that note, I want to have a tiny rant on the subject of contented mothers.  I've heard MANY times that contented mothers make contented babies.  I'm sure that is very reassuring and validating for those mothers who do have contented babies.  But for those of us with wilful, "high needs" babies, the implication that it is our fault that our babies are hard work does sting a little.  I absolutely agree that babies pick up on and react to their parents' mood.  But when I feel happy and relaxed and full of love for my child, and yet she cries and cries anyway, I refuse to accept that it is some vibe I'm giving off that upsets her.  

End Rant.

Anyway, once Blair got home I let him know that I needed some time out for myself, like, immediately.  After all, as you'll recall, I still needed new jeans to go with my new boots that I bought to wear with my new jeans.  So yesterday morning I took off BY MYSELF WITHOUT A BABY to the shops. Oh how I strolled.  Oh how I dawdled.  Oh how many pairs of jeans I tried on.  I did eventually get two pairs of new jeans and I declare them to be excellent.  I can say this with conviction as the stores had those horrible mirrors that show you exactly what you look like from behind.  Which reminded me that I need to do some exercise occasionally, and perhaps lay off the Marvellous Creations.

I was only gone for a couple of hours but it was just what I needed.  I came home to find my peachy baby sitting in her high chair watching Blair making breadcrumbs.  I don't think she even noticed that I was gone.


The cheekiest of monkeys

Being a baby is extremely serious business
In other MAJOR news...

WE BOUGHT A NEW HOUSE!  As discussed last time, we have made that "sideways" move to another suburban place.  I say sideways but this place is so perfect for us.  Grass in the backyard, a fence around the pool and only a few km to the beach.  There's plenty we can do to make it our own and to make it a really nice place to live.

We'll be moving at the end of July and I can't wait.  In the meantime however there is a terrifyingly long to-do list to get our place ready for sale, not to mention organising tradesmen for the new house to get stuff done straight after settlement.

Oh and Blair will be away for three weeks during this time.  I'll need to pack up this whole house, keeping the baby alive in between times.  Excellent.  We'll be fine.  Everything will be fine.

Totally do-able.


I just keep telling myself that this time next month it will all be over.

Oh wait.

No it won't.  This time next month we'll be right in the midst of the chaos.  It'll be fine.  Everything will be fine.  But if you don't hear from me again for a really long time, you know why.



Monday, 1 June 2015

May 2015

It being the first day of June (and pretty much a month since my last post, whoops sorry friends), let's wrap up what's been happening around here in the month of May.


First of all, let's talk about my beautiful baby.  I am shamelessly obsessed with her and my Instagram feed is testament to that.  Don't want to see daily photos of her pudgy little face?  Too bad.  She is mine and I luff her and I'm going to take a billion photos of her until she's surly and difficult.  Even then, photos!  Photos of the surly teen!

For now though, she's getting to that gorgeous happy smiley stage, she's alert and learning, and interacting more every day.  We still haven't had a proper laugh out of her yet, but she thinks Blair and I are the best!  She's probably right.

I challenge you to look at this photo without laughing.  I certainly can't.
That isn't to say that we don't have the odd hideous screaming episode.  Yesterday was a good example of that: I blithely arranged to meet my friend Kate at Joondalup shopping centre, assuming that a dry, well-fed Joan would happily nap in the pram as we strolled leisurely around the shops.  HA.  After 45 minutes of fairly constant screaming (by Joan, not me) I gave up, kissed Kate goodbye and stomped back to the car.

But how do I stay mad at this little gummy shark?
Although she's not a huge fan of tummy time, we're starting to see some action at last.  I think I'm safe to leave her unattended on the bed for a little while longer (err, don't tell my CHN I said that).  She's lifting her head higher every day, just not that bothered about attempting to roll, crawl or move in any direction really.  Yet.

Yo Mum.  Tummy time sucks
Blair did his first trip away a couple of weeks ago, and Joan and I actually got into quite a good little routine.  It wasn't nearly as scary as I had expected, and was almost enjoyable just the two of us.  It took a day or two for her to warm back up to Blair once he returned home which was a bit sad, but soon enough she was happily back in the crook of his arm.  And of course bath time with Dad is far more fun than boring old Mum who just wants to wash your ears and face instead of splashing and playing.


Clever little girl is still doing big sleeps overnight - ten or eleven hours usually which I can't quite believe, and every night I go to bed afraid that tonight is the night it all changes.  She's still little for her age which makes the big night sleeps all the more fantastic.  Still comfortably in 000s at 14 weeks, although she is almost pushing against the toes of her onesies.  She'll outgrow them in length long before she's too fat for them.

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You guys, I'm finally compiling all my favourite recipes in one place!  I bought myself this CA-YUTE recipe box and dragged all my recipe books out to copy down my most used recipes.


My cooking career started late-ish - for about the first 25 years of my life I cared not for cooking AT ALL.  Over time my interest just gradually evolved with lots of help from my mum and sisters who are all excellent cooks.

I now have quite a range of favourite recipes that I know I can always bust out successfully, some of which I even courted Blair with!!  He courted me right back with some dishes from his trusty Edmonds cookbook, an NZ institution, sort of like the CWA cookbook is in Australia I think.


Those, plus recipes from my mum, my sisters, Blair's step mum Sue, not to mention Nigella, Donna, Ree…

It was well and truly time to compile the lot.  I know it's a few years off, but I can't wait to stand Joan on a stool and rummage through the recipe box together for some afternoon baking.  I can't wait to eventually hand down these recipes for her to cook for her own family.


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You guys, the ridiculously small chevron blanket is finished.  Finished!!  Almost six months to the day since I started it in November last year.  Considering its teensy size, it's probably going to be more of a mat than a blanket.  Or a pram blanket.  Anyway, it's finished.  Thank god.

For those playing along at home, I used Debbie Bliss DK cotton with a 5.5mm hook.  I used this pattern which frankly sucked and I did far better just figuring it out on my own.  The border is just several rows of single crochet around and around until I was satisfied.

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I need new jeans.  I was quite prepared for things to go the other way, but after having Joan (and with the not-inconsiderable calorie burning joys of breastfeeding) I'm skinnier than I've been in a long time and all my jeans are falling off me.  So.  I need new jeans and I need new shoes to wear with my new jeans.

The trip to Joondalup yesterday was a hopeful attempt at finding one or all of the above, which clearly did not happen.  After lengthy discussions with my sister about these important issues, we established that the only comfortable but stylish footwear option that can be worn in winter with jeans, is boots.  I just hate sneakers and jeans, and although I love my Birkenstick clogs with socks and jeans it's actually a pretty cringey combo.  So I have ordered two pairs of leather ankle boots from Style Tread in the hope that one will be suitable and the other I can send back via their excellent returns policy.

Boot option #1
Boot option #2
      
Still does not resolve the jeans issue, however, which was the whole catalyst for the needing of the boots.  Somehow I've done this all back to front.  I now REALLY need new jeans to wear with my new boots.

******************



The last topic that has been on high rotation in our house is whether to move.  Sorry, not whether.  When, where, how much to spend, what kind of place we want, would we rather renovate or move straight in… Around and around we go.

Our current house is awesome, roomy and low maintenance.  However the kitchen frustrates me endlessly with its pokiness, and Blair suffers the same frustration in the backyard.  Our pool is unfenced, which for now is excellent but will very soon be a massive hazard for a certain toddling baby.  The entire (tiny) backyard is paved - there'll be no running on the grass for our kid/s if we stay here.


Our ultimate dream that we have agreed on from day dot is a rural lifestyle.  We want our kids to grow up the way we did - free ranging over acres, building bridges over the creek, being sent outside after breakfast and not coming back in until dark.  Raising chickens, growing veg.  Not crashing their bikes into the outdoor setting in a suburban backyard because there's no room.  Not thinking that meat comes from the supermarket.  Not sitting inside in front of the TV all weekend (actually I think Blair is secretly totally fine with this but he's pretending the thought horrifies him so that's the main thing).


Of course it's not just that easy to pack up and head to the country.  I'm on maternity leave at the moment but I do very much want to return to work.  And Blair does still need to get to work - which is sometimes in Perth and sometimes interstate.  So we need to be within a reasonable distance of his Perth office as well as within handy reach of the airport.  And any land around Perth that ticks both those boxes is extremely expensive.  Oh and we want to be close to the coast, as Blair bought a boat this month too.  So we can add another zero to the end of that asking price.

There are so many pros and cons and risks and benefits all to be taken into account.  I can talk on this topic enough for a whole other post to be created.  I will say that I don't know of anyone who's made the country move and regretted it.

For now it looks that we will probably just make a sideways shift to a bigger suburban block - it would at least be nice for Joan to know what grass feels like underfoot, for one thing.  And I'll carry on dreaming of rolling hills outside my office window instead of, well, this:


Saturday, 2 May 2015

What I didn't expect...

Okay, so it's no secret that pretty much nothing about motherhood has been as I expected.  It's not that I prided myself on being clueless about parenting or babies, it's just that I wasn't a baby person and didn't know what I didn't know.  If that makes sense.



I did know that for the first few months I would be tired and drained and that it would be somewhat monotonous.  I knew that I would experience a STEEP learning curve.  Lots of mothers say that they fit their baby into their life, not the other way around.  And superficially, I suppose that's true for me too.  Other than staying at home instead of going to work each day, I still generally do the same things.

UH, EXCEPT I DON'T.  Everything is different.  And in lots of ways that I quite simply could never have expected, or would have believed had you told me.

So without further ado, here is my list of fourteen things that I didn't expect about motherhood.

1.  The joy of showering.
Before I had Joan, I enjoyed a shower as much as the next person.  It was a pleasant and necessary part of my day.  Nowadays it is like my ten minutes of time out from life.  Is the baby crying?  I don't know!  And it's not my problem if she is, because I'm in the shower and I can't do anything about it.  La la la la la.  I am absolved of all responsibility as long as the water is running.



2.  Time: changeable.
Nap time?  Short.  Arsenic hour?  LONG.  The other night I ran out of things to do to keep the tiny dictator happy before bath time, and ended up rocking her in my arms while I stood in front of the clock and literally watched the minutes pass.  Mother of the Year moment, people!

3.  WAH.
Something that started when I was pregnant was that I went from being, you could say, quite cold-hearted to becoming a soppy sentimental wreck who needed tissues to watch a Qantas ad on TV.  I thought once I had the baby and my hormones returned to their normal levels that I could go back to rolling my eyes and snickering at anything overly emotional.  Not so.  I don't even want to admit to all the things that bring tears to my eyes.  It's embarrassing.  WHO EVEN AM I ANYMORE?



4.  Not being able to remember anything.
Did I have a shower this morning?  Or was that yesterday?  Which side did Joan last feed from?  When did she go down for her nap?  Did I submit that grocery order?  Is the hose still running?  When did I last ring my mum?  I don't know okay!!  I don't know!

5.  Singing makes me cry.
This is so weird.  So weird.  I can't even sing "twinkle twinkle little star" without getting a lump in my throat.  It's some kind of physical reaction to singing - especially high notes - that I cannot explain, because they are not emotional tears but they are tears.  Big tears.  Like the other day I was singing along with Don't Stop Believing (judge away!) to Joan in the car, but I couldn't because then I was crying.  I can't believe I'm even admitting to this stuff.




6.  Skin flaking off my face.
Seriously.  As if I could feel anymore attractive right now, apparently changing hormone levels (bless those hormones) can cause "non-specific dermatitis" in some lucky people.  Yes, try not to be envious but I am one of the chosen few!  My eyelids have dandruff.  I could not make this up if I tried.

7.  Being so superstitious about sleep.
The first rule of the sleeping baby is that you don't talk about the sleeping baby.  I shouldn't even be discussing this right now.  Forget I said anything.



8.  What works one day won't work the next.
Call me clueless but I truly had no idea just how true it is that each day is a fresh start - and that can be a good thing and a bad thing.  Just because Joan was a screaming inconsolable terror yesterday doesn't mean she'll be like that today.  What she liked yesterday might just send her into a tiny red-faced fury today.  Every day she likes to remind me just who is in charge.  And, much as I pretend to the contrary, it's not me.

9.  A perfect day doesn't mean a perfect night (and vice versa).
Following on from point number 8.  It's amazing how quickly things can unravel and I will be left wondering what exactly tipped us from Huggies commercial perfection into the screaming pit of hell.  Alternatively a baby who screams all day is often exhausted and sleeps peacefully all night.  Not exactly the most stress-free way to get a good night's sleep, though.



10.  The books don't always work.
Oh my word, how I now laugh at my naivety.  I trustingly read Gina and Tizzie and their comforting promises that if you do X then Y will result.  I believed that if I put my baby in bed at certain times and fed her at certain times that she would do exactly what the book said that she should.  HAHAHAHAHA.  Of course, some days she would do as the book promised (see points 8 & 9).  Other days she would be like, "Book?  What book?  I don't remember reading no book" and I would be reminded that a tiny meatloaf that poos her pants every couple of hours is now in charge of my life.

11.  The never-ending thirst.
Joan is pretty much exclusively breastfed, except for one bottle a day.  I never realised that other than making the skin flake from my face and the baby weight suction off me like the best diet EVER, breastfeeding makes you SO THIRSTY.  Like that kind of thirst when you wake up in the middle of the night after a few too many drinks.  It's like that all day long, to the point where I snarl at Blair like a rabid dog if he so much as glances at my water bottle.



12.  Babies crying on TV should not be allowed.
This is pretty much torture.  I've been trained like some twisted version of Pavlov's dog so that whenever a baby whimpers on TV I sit bolt upright like I've been electrocuted.  Unlike Blair, who calmly tells me without even lifting his head, "That was on the TV sweetie".  Humph.

13.  The love I feel for my daughter hurts me.
It's such a cliche but the love I have for Joan totally overwhelmed me.  It's not at all what I expected.  It hurts how much I love her.  When she smiles at me with her gooby little toothless grin my chest clutches and it hurts.  Before I had her I wondered, if she was - shall we say - a homely baby, whether I would know or whether I would be too blinded by love to realise.  I realise now that the point is that I wouldn't care.  I love her desperately and I don't care whether other people think she's cute or not.


14.  The community.
I've said a billions times already that I had a hard time adjusting to being a mother.  Blah blah blah.  But one of the things that got me through and touched me to my (very soft) core was how nice everyone is.  That sounds stupid so let me explain.

Right from the very first day we brought Joan home from hospital, in fact even as we were walking out of the hospital, I have been effectively showered with support, compliments, just lots of thoughtful little gestures and remarks even from total strangers that buoy the spirits.  I never would have even noticed let alone commented on a tiny baby before so I had no idea that if you sit at a cafe with a small baby in a pram you will attract a veritable stream of people who will all smile and offer a kind remark.  For no reason at all.

Or the fact that it would suddenly become so easy to make friends.  Hey, you have a baby, I have a baby, let's be mates.  I've made more friends in the past two and a half months than I made in the preceding five years, easily.  And these are good friends - people I can see myself staying friends with for many years to come.  What a treat it will be to watch our kids grow up together, to see new ones arrive, to look back and see how far we've come.

Okay, see, now I'm tearing up again.

Far out, you guys.  What a freaking trip being a parent is, and I'm less than three months in.  All that crap that made no sense to me before about how it's simultaneously the hardest worst best most rewarding incredible thing.

Yup.  That.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Life lately

Sorry you guys…  As you can probably imagine I've had plenty of awesome real life stuff keeping me absent from here.  Unfortunately I've also now come down with a raging cold in the last couple of days, and am crossing all my fingers and toes that by some miracle I don't pass it on to Joan.

In typical lazy time-strapped sick blogger style, I'm going to use a bunch of photos off my phone and camera to remind myself of what we've been doing these past few weeks.

My beautiful baby is growing up so quickly.  I was never a baby person before I had her so I never really realised how short the baby stage is.  So much changes so fast.



Like so many new mothers I obsessed from day one about when, when, would she sleep through the night.  She has been sleeping a good six-hour block from 7pm most nights from about five weeks old, bless her.  The middle of the night feed kept getting later and later until she slept through from 7pm to 5am just the other night.  Of course, by now I'm so used to waking up in the middle of the night that I didn't even care that much about it anymore.  Which isn't to say I wasn't thrilled, just that it didn't matter to me as much as it would have when she was, say, two weeks old.  Typical!

I finally finished this cardigan for Joan, and not a moment too soon.  It's not going to fit her for long! >SOB<
I WILL finish this blanket before the end of winter
Biggie Smalls has been enjoying the change of seasons which means that not only is the nice soft quilt back on the bed, but the sun comes in through the bedroom window making the perfect napping spot.
Hello gorgeous!
Joan is becoming more smiley by the day.  I often look over at her in her swing to see that she's having a wonderful time grinning up at the sheep on her mobile.  She is so close to laughing I can't stand it.  I have not a shred of dignity when it comes to the silly things I will do trying to coax that first chuckle out of her.

I love this, our first family photo, with our dear little cross-eyed baby.


Oh my goodness, eight weeks old.  I barely got a chance to get used to that before suddenly she was two months old, then nine weeks old.  Next Monday she's ten weeks old.  How?  How?

How did we get here already?  
Most exciting for me recently was my sister Hazel coming to visit for a long weekend with her eight month old daughter Emma who is squishy baby heaven on a stick.  For Hazel's visit we agreed that eating responsibly was a waste of our time.  In the spirit of that I bought a whole block of Marvellous Creations and a ten pack of Coke cans.


We ate the whole block, drank many cans of Coke, and gorged on cheese and crackers and McDonalds and pizza.  I realised after Hazel and Emma left that we didn't actually cook a single meal the whole time she was here, which was a pretty awesome effort I think.

Probably the cutest baby in the whole world.
Joan has A LOT to live up to if she isn't going to be the ugly cousin.
I love to think how these two, born six months apart, will roll their eyes together about us in years to come.
Blair and Emma.  HEAVEN.
After Hazel went home and I was feeling a little melancholy about my family being so far away, what should be on TV but my all time favourite movie, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.  I don't think I could ever get sick of this movie.  It was the perfect pick-me-up.

Why is there a cork on the fork?
The only better pick-me-up than Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is these two, napping on the couch together.

So that's what's been going on here.  

I sneezed approximately 3,294 times during the writing of this post.  Am now off to forage in the kitchen for chocolate.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Taking Stock: Newborn Edition

She does spend some time awake, I swear
Crocheting again - all is right in my world
Cheese muffins - first baking effort since becoming a mother
The chins, oh my...
Lemon Ricotta Cake… looks good but I have to confess it was a Fail Cake, not even close to cooked :(
You guys bought this thing for me, right?
You guys, I am so happy right now.  Sleep deprived?  Yes, extremely, and in need of a hairbrush, and often splattered with baby spew, and ignoring the pile of washing to be folded.  But, just really happy.

Making : a very overdue baby blanket for my pretty girl, now that my pregnancy puffiness has FINALLY left the building.
Cooking : cheese muffins - the first thing I cooked following the arrival of Joan!  It took me a good few weeks to get my mojo back, but gosh it felt good to get back in the kitchen.  The other day I also tried to make this Lemon Ricotta Cake, but failed dismally :(
Drinking : litres and litres of water.  I had no idea how thirsty breastfeeding would make me.  Someone said "she will suck the marrow from your bones".  YES.  That.
Reading : not much of substance, but lots of back issues of Country Style that I bought on eBay months ago and never got around to reading.
Wanting : to have another go at the Lemon Ricotta Cake with a few recipe tweaks suggested by a friend.  Thanks Von!
Looking : at the rain-drenched garden glistening in the sunshine.
Playing : back to back episodes of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills while Blair is at work.  There's something to be said for this stay-at-home-parenting business.
Wasting : plenty of time staring at my beautiful baby Joan sleeping.  I am OB.SESSED.

Sewing : not much, but big plans for lots of clothes for Joan in the coming months.
Wishing : that Blair didn't have to go away for work.
Enjoying : the fact that he isn't going anywhere just yet.
Waiting : for my two mothers' group catch ups next week.  Bring on the ladies with the babies!
Liking : the seven hour stretch that Joan has starting sleeping at night (I now need to knock on wood.  First rule of the sleeping baby: you do not talk about the sleeping).
Wondering : why I always forget one important thing from the grocery order, every damn time, and then remember it about five minutes after clicking the "Submit" button.
Loving : groceries ordered online and delivered to my door.  LOVE THAT.
Hoping : that Joan's sleep continues to improve... but knowing that we probably have many regressions ahead of us... so may as well just enjoy it while it lasts.
Marvelling : at how quickly the weeks pass by.  I don't think I've ever been so conscious of the passage of time as I am now.
Needing : an open log fire to really get the most out of this weather.
Smelling : the freshly baked loaf of bread on the kitchen bench.  Smug?  Why yes, yes I am.
Wearing : my pre-pregnancy jeans!  Breastfeeding: best diet ever.  EVER.

Following : anyone living a simple country life.  Feeling so ready to start our own life in the country.
Noticing : that I am not at all the kind of parent I expected to be; I'm softer, more relaxed, and don't care about the things I thought I would care about.  Remember this post?
Knowing : that I'm going to need to order yet more yarn to finish this blanket.  Fourteen balls of yarn at $7 each… no need to do the maths I think.
Thinking : about my sister coming to visit in a couple of weeks and how much fun we're going to have.
Feeling : excited to watch our baby grow.  I have officially packed away the 0000s!
Bookmarking : patterns for baby clothes on Etsy.
Opening : so many parcels that have arrived from all over the place, containing beautiful gifts for our little girl.
Giggling : at how little room I have in my brain for anything that's not baby-related.  Hopefully only a temporary state of affairs…?!  Otherwise I'm going to become a pretty boring person.
Listening : to The Simpsons.  Blair has found a marathon on Fox8.  EYEROLL.