Sunday, 6 December 2015

Taking stock: November 2015.

The countdown is on until we fly out. In roughly four days' time my boy and I will no doubt be discussing what we still need to do/pack, probably in a rather heated manner. Thankfully, Little Red will be in daycare, so we can argue in peace without her hanging off our legs demanding bubbles or tea, or bubbles in her tea (the struggle is real).

A couple of weeks ago, my folks came to visit for their Little Red fix, and she delighted them with her large vocabulary, drawing ability and often violent tantrums. No seriously, my parents think it's hysterical, probably because I treated them to the same delights as a child. We also spent a lovely weekend away with my boy's family in Sorrento, where his parents lovingly called Little Red a Wild Child and told us she was very independent and feisty, and has endless energy. Yes, no question there. She also stared Santa down good and proper yesterday (I'm told she has inherited my 'look') and has developed the uncanny ability to wake from her nap the moment I finish my housework and make a cup of tea. Sometimes I doubt my parenting skills (until she demands tea, chocolate and a coaster for her bottle, that is).

It's been a full few weeks, with pre-Christmas festivities, work, harvesting the bounty from our garden, last minute travel bookings, and organising the house and garden for the house sitters (who we get to meet tomorrow). I've whipped the garden into shape (on the surface, anyway) and almost finished the dusting. I just have to convince my boy to clean the fridge and freezer now. Here's what else I've been up to.
  • Making: Lists. Lots of lists.
  • Cooking: Salad (it’s too hot to cook at the moment). A slow cooker version of a kale and lentil dhal without tomato or capsicum for my boy (it was cold last week). These two rather moreish slices for a pre-Christmas Christmas lunch with the in-laws – healthy peanut butter chocolate fudge and peanut butter rough. (They were delicious. I ate about four-fifths of them. Seriously.)
  • Drinking: Spicy chocolate rooibos tea, lemon myrtle-flavoured black tea, fizzy water, detox tea. I’ve run out of chai.
  • Reading: Not much. I’m the epitome of a working mum: time-poor and tired. But I have been flicking through the Lonely Planet’s Hong Kong guide book (at work, shhhh) and skimming the odd page of Buddhism for mothers of young children when I crawl into bed some nights (it’s actually an easier read than the first one). On the sidelines, waiting for the overseas trip, are The tea chest, Big magic and The lightkeeper’s wife. I’m pretty excited about these books and have high hopes that Little Red will sleep the entirety of each and every flight so I can read to my heart's content.
  • Wanting: More tea and chocolate. More down time. More interesting things to write here, but my wants are simple. 
  • Looking: Forward to a white Christmas (and Gluhwein).
  • Playing: Bubbles (still) and Talking Tom (iPhone ap that keeps Little Red entertained for minutes). As a side, did you know that in Aldi you can buy a Talking Tom soft toy that talks to you? They’re $50! I had to drag Little Red away from that aisle quick smart.
  • Deciding: What really needs to be done before we leave (and what can wait – like repainting the fire guard).
  • Wishing: I (and my boy) had more patience.
  • Enjoying: Spicy chocolate rooibos tea. Some peace and quiet.
  • Waiting: To see what my job will look like when I get back from overseas (if I have one). Still.
  • Liking: How much Little Red wants to help me.
  • Wondering: Whether or not I’ll ever finish a blog post in one go. It usually takes three or four sittings to complete one.
  • Loving: Our new family Christmas photos with Santa.
  • Pondering: A good daily routine that includes specific writing (and meditation and exercise) time.
  • Considering: Upgrading just my plane tickets to Business Class.
  • Buying: The bare minimum of Christmas presents for colleagues and neighbours (our family can wait until we get back for their exotic gifts from overseas (read: cheesy touristy airport souvenirs)). Lots of things to keep Little Red entertained on the planes. Herbs aplenty to keep everyone healthy while we’re away (my least favourite travel experiences have mostly related to travelling with my boy when he had man flu). 
  • Watching: Limitless and Quantico (not so taken with them anymore); Blindspot (I LOVE a show where girls kick butt); Home Fires (started watching it last night – it might grow on me). Can’t wait to watch Downton Abbey season 6. I will have to cram it all before the Downton Christmas Day special, which will be watched in front of the fire at my brother’s house, wine, whisky and chocolate in hand. (This makes it sound like I watch a lot of TV. I actually don’t.)
  • Hoping: There’s still snow when we get to England for Christmas (it’s snowed early this year) and that my garden is still alive when we get back.
  • Marvelling: At Little Red’s endless and speedy development. She’s one smart cookie. (I know, I know, every parent thinks that about their kid.)
  • Cringing: At my early attempts at literary genius.
  • Needing: To remember how to spell genius without spell checker.
  • Smelling: Pretty bad probably. I'm pretty sure I gave myself heat stroke weeding and pruning at lunchtime (hot tip: between 11 and 3, sit under a tree – don’t stand under the blazing sun pruning one).
  • Wearing: Short shorts, baggy singlet. It’s pretty toasty outside.
  • Following: I’m trying not to follow so much stuff online at the moment. It’s such a time and energy sucker.
  • Questioning: The value of a detox. I did one for three days the other week. I didn't prepare properly for it but seemed to manage ok. Apart from the lack of chai and chocolate.
  • Noticing: That Little Red is rather stubborn. (She gets that from her father.)
  • Knowing: I’m a good parent for not taking phenergen to drug Little Red on the plane.
  • Thinking: I’ll probably regret not taking phenergen to drug Little Red on the plane.
  • Admiring: My boy for working so hard to get his new job.
  • Sorting: Out the ever-increasing pile of recipes that I keep printing and have the best intentions of making in my quest to become The Perfect Housewife and Mother. They mostly just sit on the kitchen table and at each mealtime, I have to convince Little Red they’re not scrap paper for her to draw on while I feed her another piece of toast.
  • Getting: Equal parts excited and anxious about our trip (mainly anxious about the flying with a 20-month-old bit of it – the rest I’m super excited about).
  • Bookmarking: The aforementioned peanut butter-related slices, and this recipe for five-ingredient muffins 15 different ways. I’m clearly going through a peanut butter phase.
  • Coveting: A child who sleeps through the night. Every. Single. Night. That and patience.
  • Disliking: All the violence and gore on TV – real and fictional. 
  • Opening: Christmas cards.
  • Giggling: At the girls who went out of their way to make Little Red smile for our family Santa snap (well, they got her to stop crying at least).
  • Feeling: Tired. Little Red has more teeth on the move, which means she wakes up randomly during the night and it’s pot luck whether or not she (and the rest of us) goes back to sleep. 
  • Snacking: Chocolate Yogi frothy toffee and caramel chocolate bars. Actually, many, many different types of chocolate thanks to an early birthday present from my brother and his family. The aforementioned peanut butter-related slices. Smoothies. Rye fruit toast.
  • Helping: My boy prep for his job interview last week. Well, kind of. In the ad breaks of Limitless.
  • Hearing: Silence (almost). Little Red has been at daycare all day and I’ve been home actually getting stuff done. It’s been very quiet. Bliss.

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