What’s your recurring thought?

It’s been an exhausting week. Ella has had German measles and fluid trapped behind her ear – a double whammy, as the doctor said – so she’s been super grumpy and not sleeping well. Poor poppet. I am not used to a grumpy baby! I feel like the whole week has been a single note plucked on a guitar: ‘sick baby, sick baby, sick baby’. Alternated with ‘I’m so tired, I’m so tired, I’m so tired.’ But aren’t we all walking around with a recurring thought on repeat?

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The joy of an ordinary life

I’ve just finished the most remarkable book, and read a beautiful essay, and a lovely blog post. And they’re all saying the same thing: let’s find joy in the everyday. Because really, what’s the other option? Hanging on for a big break, or something epic to happen, or a holiday? No thanks!

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What I’ll miss about having a baby

While I will not miss the frequent night wakings – not one little bit – I will miss Ella being so excited to see me when I get back from work that she grabs my face and tries to eat it.

I’ll miss the funny little cooing garbledy sounds she makes before she learns how to talk properly.

I’ll miss the way she falls asleep while I’m breastfeeding and I carry her floppy little conked out body to her crib.

I’ll miss the way her eyes light up when she sees her brother or her dad… they’ll still light up when she’s older, I know, because Arty still gets so excited when his dad comes home. But there’s this delicious disbelief in her eyes at this age – a kind of, ‘you’re here! I love you so much! What a bonus!’

I’ll miss putting her in one place and having her stay there (a lot).

I’ll miss her absolute wonder at her toes.

I’ll miss the way she sticks her tongue out when she’s delighted.

I’ll miss her ridiculously chubby thighs: fat roll upon fat roll upon fat roll.

I’ll miss how I can make everything better just by picking her up: that being in Mom’s arms is the cure for all ills.

I’ll miss her first attempts at hugs – arms round my neck, snuggling in.

I’ll miss her snuffles when she sleeps.

I’ll miss her being so sweet, and so stable – not like the inevitable ups and downs of toddlerhood that lie ahead.

I’ll miss my little baby.

Sleep deprivation torture

Torture is a big word. I do not use it lightly. If you haven’t had kids yet, maybe don’t read on…

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Let’s talk about food

I love food. I always have and I dare say I always will.

I’m by no means an adventurous eater – I was the fussiest child ever – but food brings me a huge amount of joy. I can (and usually do) get excited about dinner at breakfast time, and there are few things better than a cup of tea and a piece of chocolate for lifting my mood.

Lately, though, I’ve been feeling a little guilty about food…

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The gratitude of absence

I’ve been thinking a lot, lately, about how the things we should be most grateful for are often defined by their absence. Do you know what I mean?

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How I learnt to be a Mom

I’ve never been a particularly maternal person. I like kids and babies when they belong to people I love, but I won’t walk up to a stranger to coo at their children, and I’ve never felt that motherhood would be my defining role in life. Still, that was before I met Arthur and Ella (who are, without doubt, the most remarkable children the world has ever seen – of course!) and at the moment life is all about mothering, all the time. I think this is probably true of anyone with a baby and a toddler, but I’ve been thinking, lately, of how I learnt to be a Mom… And the answer, of course, is from my mom.

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What I’m grateful for (right now):

Because I just skimmed an article that said when you’re feeling kind of grouchy (which I am, for no particular reason other than Monday morning drudge that is too boring to detail) the best way to snap out of it is to summon some gratitude. So here’s mine, in no particular order:

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Living in Hout Bay

When we moved to Hout Bay from the Cape Town City Bowl, I kept waiting to miss our old ‘hood. I had loved living in town so much – the vibe, the constant stream of things to do, the feeling of being in the heart of Cape Town with a lovely view of Table Mountain. But then we moved to Hout Bay, and a year and a half later, I’m still waiting for the day I wake up and wish we lived in town again.

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The beautiful ordinary

When I was younger, I was all for extremes.

I remember one of my favourite quotes in my late teens and early twenties was from Jack Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’:

The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”

Now? Oh my goodness that sounds exhausting. Doesn’t it? I’m all for the beautiful ordinary. (more…)

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