Oh my god I’m bald! And other observations.

We had a jam-packed weekend. Friday night I had dinner and a movie with my friend Jackie. I had it all planned out, she’d arrive, the fish cakes were all ready to eat, I’d quickly feed and bath Little Man and tuck him in for the night, we’d order Steers chips and settle down in front of a DVD of Emma for the evening with hot chocolate and marshmallows. Except, Little Man chose that night to fight bedtime tooth and nail (at certain points, literally) and 45 minutes later I finally got around to ordering chips. Then I discovered we didn’t have enough milk for hot chocolate and I needed to do nappy laundry. Fortunately Jax had made herself comfy on the couch and had already watched half of the movie…ah well. The company was good!

Saturday morning John carried Little Man on our ParkRunWalk. It’s amazing how much easier the hills are when you are not lugging 10kgs of sleeping baby around! Afterwards we had a lovely Round Table get together. Pancakes with Nutella, bacon & egg rolls, champagne and orange juice. Delightful! It was the most beautiful day too

We digested our large breakfast (a second bacon roll? Don’t mind if I do and if that pancake is going begging….) on the way to Port Alfred where I had a hair appointment.

Yes, I’ve cut it all off. I’ve been looking through my photos to try and figure out when it was last this short and I think it was around 2005. I LOVE it. John isn’t that impressed (he liked my long hair) and Little Man didn’t really notice, which I was quite relieved about! My poor hairdresser nearly fell over when I showed her the inspiration photo! But she’s done a wonderful job and I’m so pleased! It was quite surprising in the shower though, you never realise how short it is until you wash your hair and it feels as though there’s nothing there! I’m bald!

Saturday afternoon was lovely and lazy, we had an early supper at Ocean Basket (Little Man decimated some mussels and prawns) before coming back to the house for bath time. Once Little Man was asleep we settled in to watch a movie (The Fault is in Our Stars – total chick flick and I was sobbing for the last half!).

Sunday morning we headed down to the kiddies beach before the wind really started to blow. The tide was out so it was basically a giant sandpit. Little Man was quite grumpy (dastardly pre-molars!) so we didn’t stay long. He did enjoy splashing around and digging in the sand for a bit and then had a wonderful long nap.

10

Home to Grahamstown at lunchtime, lazy Sunday afternoon and a small braai for the two of us. The marshmallows came in handy after all, they were skewered and toasted for dessert.

How was your weekend?

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A portrait of my child, each week in 2014.

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We went to the beach again. Mom had an appointment to cut almost all her hair off and we decided to spend a little time on the beach before it got really windy and horrible. The tide was out so the ‘kiddies’ beach was a vast expanse of damp sand and little puddles. Later the tide turned and you discovered the joys of splashing through the shallows. You don’t like it when the little waves come rolling in though…

11 months old (!)

Joining in with Jodie at Practising Simplicity

Currently…

I’m feeling quite flat today. Little Man hasn’t been sleeping very well and it tends to catch up with me as the week goes on. I know it’ll pass but I do find myself lying in bed, all tense waiting for him to wake up; which means I seldom fall asleep much before midnight. And then he wakes again around 2am and 5am. If I could choose one superpower, it would be the ability to fall asleep instantly exactly when I want to! On the bright side, when he’s refusing to fall asleep at 2am, I take him through to our spare bed and we cuddle up. Nothing beats the feeling of the warmth of his little body curled against mine relaxing slowly into sleep.

Yesterday we made a yummy “risotto” using barley grains instead of rice. I added peas and fresh mint from the garden and homemade ricotta. The peas are a bit mildewy but quite delicious. I even picked enough the day before to gift a small handful to our neighbour. Absolutely nothing beats freshly podded peas! I shall have to figure out a spot to grow more next year.

So yes, I made ricotta. I’m on a bit of a homemade dairy kick lately. Ricotta is stupidly easy and I can’t quite believe I used to buy it. Basically it’s the product of gently heated and curdled milk with the why drained off. Heat 1 L of milk to about 80C, sprinkle in ~1tsp of salt and about 2 TBLsp of apple cider vinegar. Stir it well and you’ll see the curds form and the whey separate. Pour into a cloth lined sieve and allow to drain. The longer it drains, the firmer it’ll be. My next project is mozzarella…I have visions of homemade pizza.

I also picked up my crochet again last night. It’s been ages. I tried to get some down when we went away to Blanco (huh, I didn’t blog about that) but a critical miscount and my square turned into a pentagon and I got frustrated and put it away. I’m VERY far behind on the 2014 CAL but I am determined to finish. And then I can move on to other fun things! I definitely prefer less intricate projects, crochet is relaxation for me except when it goes wrong and I get frustrated!

Tomorrow is Friday and then it’s the weekend and we have lovely plans!

Beers and Braai-Pies

First up Happy Birthday to my Sister!! Hope you have a super day! xx

I had a few drinks at work on Friday evening. Occasionally we celebrate the last Friday of the week; though in this case it was also in aid of National Bandanna Day. I got home around 8pm and promptly fell asleep!

I didn’t feel so clever on Saturday morning…but I went and did the ParkRun again. Third in a row! I carry Little Man on my back in a meitai so it’s quite the workout! I suspect I need new takkies because my left ankle is quite sore. Anyway, so far I’ve managed to do each one in less than an hour (best time of 55mins!); that doesn’t sound that impressive but there’s a massive hill we have to climb, twice! It’s a great outing and if there is one near you I highly recommend you getting out to go do it!

Afterwards we did a quick, sweaty round of grocery shopping and then I dashed home for a quick shower and to pack a few last minute things and then we went off to a First Birthday party! The first one in our little Mom & Babies group. It was such a lovely morning! I can’t believe that our babies are ONE! It’s such a cliché but it’s just gone by so so fast! It’s amazing to see the babies starting to interact and play together; their little personalities are really starting to shine through! Little Man played his heart out and fell fast asleep in the car when we left for Port Alfred. He slept the whole way down and woke up ready to go again once we arrived.

Not impressed in the pram, it’s too hot!

The beer fest was lovely. Very small but that’s actually quite enjoyable. They had a few stalls out and there was a pirate ship this year! I got to have one of my favourite stouts as well as a few others. But we generally hung out and enjoyed the festivities.

I’m really pleased with the lucky shot of the poi dancer!

 

Saturday night we braaied and sat around sipping red wine and chatting. I was expecting a few more friends to come stay, but at the last minute they cancelled leaving us with a leg of lamb AND a 2+ kg chicken to roast in the Weber. We had a LOT of leftovers and so…the following night, we made a braai pie. have you seen these excellent DIY videos? Hysterical and tongue in cheek!

It was surprisingly good! Ours had chicken, bacon, onion, cheese and an egg wash.

I should say that John and his host made the braai pie, because I stayed home to look after Little Man and spend some time with my friend Jax. We watched a movie and hung out. Much needed for us both. (Love you Sweets!)

Soap doesn’t taste all that great.

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A portrait of my child each week in 2014.

We went to Port Alfred for the weekend to attend a local craft-beer festival. We had a wonderful time. Dad proudly showing off his son; who was very keen to investigate anything and everything! Emerald Vale’s taps were quite fascinating! He had such a fun day that he obliged us by sleeping in until 6:30 the next morning! What bliss!!

10.5 months (ish) old.

Joining in with Jodie at Practicing Simplicity

A favourite treat

I have always loved to read. I thank my parents and teachers for this. Mom always had books around the house and I was always free to pick one up and settle in. Recently I’ve had less and less time to read. Little Man and the demands of daily life make carving out the time difficult and then there’s my discovery of podcasts*. Reading is a treat, I don’t like to waste my precious me time on the mundane. I like to be entertained, fascinated, educated. I have an eclectic wish list ranging from cooking books, to kids books to books on murder mysteries in 1920’s New York. More and more of my reading is done online. I love blogs. I love glimpses into other people’s daily lives. There are some brilliantly talented photographers and writers out there and I love to indulge in all they have to share.

Remedial Eating is one of my absolute favourites. I always get a quiet thrill at seeing a new post appear in my feed. I often save up several entries to read and savour when I have a cup of tea and some time. I scroll through slowly, enjoying the photographs and her wonderful writing which builds up to the recipe which, without fail, makes me want to dust off an apron and make something.

Go have a read, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

 

*This American Life, RadioLab, The Moth, Revolutions, The History of England are a few favourites which make me (sometimes) wish for a longer commute! I frequently have an episode playing as I go about dinner-making, baby-bathing, and bedtime.

A Day in Our Life

This is representative of a typical weekday…but not any day in particular.

Little Man is awake. I can hear him chattering away. The figures on my bedside clock start with a red glowing 5…at least it’s not a 4… I nudge John who pulls on his  tracksuit and goes to get his son. I hear him say “Good morning my boy” and it always makes me smile. I roll over and try (unsuccessfully) to get a little more sleep while they play. Last night was a good night; on a bad night, Little Man and I end up in the spare bed, cuddled up together, the simplest and quickest way to feed him and snooze.

My snoozing is cut short by the sounds of Little Man objecting, with vigour and volume, to the removal of his warm jimjams and the changing of his nappy. I don’t blame him, it’s cold out there! Once dressed, John brings him to me in bed and we cuddle for a bit while he makes me a cup of tea. I pull on my fuzzy blue dressing gown and shuffle through to the lounge.  Little Man and I play a game where he wants to touch my mug and stick his fingers in my tea while I try to satisfy his curiosity without letting him burn his fingers! “Kushushu! Hot!”

The nagging cats (*meow*meow*meow*ankle tap*MEOW!!) prompt breakfast preparations. Little Man usually has half a Weetbix with milk and homemade applesauce. We alternate between muesli and toast. Weekends are for eggs and brunch on Sundays (choc chip waffles, double cream yoghurt and sliced strawberries with honey-heavenly). My muesli of choice probably defeats it’s own health benefits…perhaps it’ time to try some granola? I love the look of this recipe.

John goes off to have a shower & gets ready for work and I wipe down Little Man’s face & hands (and highchair, walls, floor…). We go out to check on the vegetable garden and do a spot of watering if necessary. I want to get a timer-tap to make this step easier! The we go in to brush out teeth and I get ready for work.

“Molweni!” announces the arrival of Nosi (our wonderful nanny). Little Man bounces on my hip and points excitedly and I hand him over. Final bits and pieces gathered for work and John and I walk to our cars together. It’s a lovely sunny morning but surprisingly cold, the dassies (rock hyraxes) are all out sunning themselves on the neighbours verge. They have a colony behind her retaining wall.

My mornings pass in a blur of emails, a bit of Facebook, a bit of blogging, troubleshooting and discussions on how to find an obscure paper with no bibliographic clues (Googling phrases from the abstract finally worked!). Before I know it, my phone reminds me that it’s time for the first of two breaks I take to express breastmilk for Little Man (going on 6 months now…). So I head downstairs to make a cup of tea and grab a rusk before settling at my desk, the gentle brrrt brrrt brrrt of the breastpump somehow still unnaturally loud even after all this time.

I am lucky enough to be able to head home for lunch everyday. One of the perks of small-town life that far outweighs it’s many inconveniences. It’s such a treat to see how Little Man lights up once he realises that I have walked through the door. We have a quick lunch, usually I lay out a variety of cold meats, salad stuff, cheese and fruit and we pick and choose. I consult our kitchen whiteboard, which notes after-work activities, evening meetings and plans as well as our menu (also notes the falling specific gravity of John’s latest homebrew, it’s almost ready to bottle). I’ll dive into the depth of the freezer and pull out a portion of mince to defrost. SpagBol is on the cards tonight, one of my favourites.

I arrive back at work to see that I’ve got a parcel from a favourite online shop YuppieChef. Sneak peek at some things I’m planning for Little Man’s 1st Birthday…a short 40ish days away! I browse Pinterest for more ideas and inspiration…brrrt brrrt brrrt.

The sun has swung across my desk and it’s time to pack up and shut down. I say good bye to my colleagues and head home to collect Nosi. We live quite far from any of the regular taxi routes so I give her a lift everyday to the taxi rank or to the shops in town. She chats about her day and how Little Man has been. He fell over and bumped his head; a bruise above his eye. it’s not serious. The hazards of cruising along the furniture! Once we are home again, I make myself a cup of Vanilla Chai Tea from Woolies and spend some time playing with Little Man. Sometimes he will have a feed, usually when it’s hot; a nice moment to stop and reconnect. It’s warming up and light later so we’ve been outside a lot in the evenings. Playing and pottering around the garden. We erected a safety gate at the top of our stairs. Just need an extra section of fencing to complete it; and a little bit of plastic fencing to fill the gap between the gate and our balcony.

Little Man is starting to get niggly so I set about making him some dinner. If John is home, we play pass the baby. He wants to see what’s going all the way up there on the counter! We are following self-feeding (or Baby Led Weaning) so it’s usually a variation of whatever we are having for supper. His teeth must be bothering because he wasn’t the least bit interested in the mince with onions and garlic, baby gemsquash or pattypans. I consult the notebook that Nosi keeps for us and discover that he didn’t have his usual nap after lunch. Right, time for an early bath then!

I pass him to John who is starting to make our supper while I run his bath and get his jiimjams and bed ready (locating the fuzzy blanket and the dummy are the most important steps!). I sit with him, often listening to a podcast, while he splashes and plays. Wrap him up in a towel and slather him with baby cream. Warm jimjams tonight, winter hasn’t quite left for the year! We go and say good night to Dad and then settle down in the dark room for a final feed. I love watching as he drifts off to sleep.I settle him in the cot that was once mine & my sister’s, tuck the fuzzy blanket around him and tiptoe out, collecting the bucket of dirty nappies on the way.

Nappies in the washing machine, glass of wine in hand, John and I chat about our day as we have supper. After dinner, tidying up the kitchen and then I go have a shower and brush my teeth. It’s probably about 9ish now, and I’m tired, but torn between going to be to grab an hour or two’s sleep and cuddling up to watch an episode of QI or read a bit more of my book. I settle for the book and doze off 4 pages in…here’s hoping for another good night.