Life: August

*Written throughout August, whenever I had a spare moment, the brain power and urge to write.

Ah August. The month of cold, windy days – the winds of change that herald the coming of spring. The month that saw work days lengthen and evolve (oh hello new yoga classes), a toddler discover his love of the word “no” doesn’t extend to hearing it back, watching friends and loved ones step up and embrace new challenges while also acknowledging it’s the end of the era, and the rediscovery of favourite past times. It was a good month, but one I’m also glad is over. For spring is here!

Making: New traditions. Most Fridays my son and I now walk to the library, stock up on new books and go to the toddler song time for some vigorous dancing _ he sometimes joins in too – before heading home via a cafe for banana bread to share. It sounds simple, but we both love it as you can see here.

Cooking: Not a lot. Or actually I should say I’m feeling uninspired in the kitchen at the moment, so I find I’m reaching for quick, healthy and easy recipes that I know will go down well and also help stock the freezer. Mexican, curries and baked dinners are on high rotation. I’ve found this happens every now and again, normally when I’ve had a few busy weeks and land firmly in the CBF stage. Steve then normally steps in and throws a few delicious dinners on our plates (homemade passata over the top of parmagiana made from scratch anyone?) to keep us from getting too stagnant.

But I’ve been flicking through this cookbook recently and have marked a few pages to try. Weirdly enough that’s how I get my food groove back – I flick through some cookbooks and wait for something to catch my eye. And then another recipe. And then another. Or I read a few favourite blogs (I always mention this one and this one, but that’s because they’re amazing). Before I know it, a shopping list for the farmers’ markets has been made and the rumble in my belly – see what I did there? – is back.

That being said, Jman and I have been getting our bake on each week. Turns out he’s an enthusiastic sous chef.

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Drinking: The community garden at our local library is a wondrous thing. A visit on a Saturday morning normally yields a bunch of fresh herbs, or more recently, finger limes. I’ve been putting these fantastic little gems into gin or soda. Cider is also going down a treat right now.

Playing: All day every day. “Mummy, play toys with me?” is a common request starting from approximately two minutes after waking these days. We build blocks, run cars over roads we’ve drawn in chalk on the porch, play in the mud garden (while I wince when the little dude heads to a much abused pot plant to grab some more dirt). It’s fantastic to see his imagination develop. Recently he pulled a throw off the couch and announced it was haircut time.  He got a comb for me, the throw was wrapped around his shoulders and we played barber for about 10 minutes.

Reading: I finished All The Light You Cannot See. It was beautiful and left me in a funk for a few about what to read next. I’d pick up a book, read a few chapters, feel uninspired and put it back on the bookshelf. Now that’s a sign of a good book! But I’ve since picked up where I left off in this series and am slowly getting back into it. Perhaps my break was too long, as I’ve forgotten some key details. Ah well. The King is always a good idea, and his writing is so good it’s easy to get back into it.

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Deciding: What plants to add to the veggie garden in spring. Our tomato and eggplant is going nuts, as are the herbs. I’d love a tea garden, but the lemon balm and peppermint are already being stripped by the toddler, who likes to munch on them while we play in the yard. Perhaps I’ll leave it, as the house hunt continues and it’s going to be hard enough to leave this little garden as it is.

Enjoying: My and Steve’s at home date nights. I know I’ve written about these in the past but I really want to celebrate them. Prior to becoming parents we were big on regularly eating out, movies, concerts, or a quick drink after work… you get the idea. So I’m a little ashamed to say it took us so long  to hit on this idea. With a baby who refused a bottle until he was 9 months old, our solo time was pretty severely curtailed and we were both feeling it. Then about 6 months ago Steve was telling me he missed cooking – our family dinners have meant an earlier dinner time and we normally sit down to eat as soon as he gets home from work – so we decided he’d cook a fancy meal that Saturday night that we’d enjoy once Jman had gone to sleep. And again the next Saturday. And the next. We would sometimes invite friends around or throw on a movie and make an event of it. And it’s now a fave part of the week (for me. I’m sure Steve would still love to head out and grab a Pho in the city before stopping off somewhere for a beer). But his cooking forays have now extended to all weekend and we’re all grateful for it.

Liking: A new foray into bushwalks. This is something we tend to move in and out of, doing a lot of before setting is aside for a few months. In the past we’ve headed up Mt Tibrogargan, and Mt Coolum, as well as the track around our local reservoir. More recently we went bush near Steve’s family’s house on the Gold Coast and I spent the entire time sniffing like a crazy person. It smelled so good!

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Pondering: Where to go for more hikes now. Perhaps around Maleny? Does anyone have any suggestions?

Watching: TV has felt a little…meh lately. We’ve started watching a few series lately, but nothing has really gripped us and had us running to the couch night after night. Wild Wild Country is interesting, as is Dark Tourist. We’ve got the last season of Vikings from the library as well, and are slowly making our way through it. But mostly of a night I read a book while Steve plays a computer game or works.

Cringing: At Australian politics. Enough said.

Questioning: How long much longer the Terrible Two tantrums can last, when they started at 18 months.

Loving: These illustrations. Many laughs are being had at the wry wit and honesty about parenting.

Desiring: For Jman to discover the wonder that is playing with clay and getting fantastically dirty. Most Sundays we’ll head to our local City Farm for a wander, a cuppa and to let the little guy play. The earth arts section is always incredible.

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Smelling: The coffee sitting next to me. Aforementioned tantrums are leaving me feeling pretty exhausted these days, so energy juice is needed, as are walks to blow out the cobwebs.

Wearing: The uniform continues!

Noticing: The budding flowers that mean spring is on its way.

Thinking: I want another tea. But I should probably curtail this endless caffeine consumption habit. Or just get an IV. Although that would take the enjoyment out of wrapping my hands around a warm mug while the house is still chilly.

Feeling: Tired. Busy weeks all around have caught up with me/us. A holiday is definitely in order, although Steve recently mentioned he has seven weeks of intense work already booked in, so we may have to plan for summer. Also inspired by recent yoga classes I’ve been teaching. It’s been a big step out of my comfort zone, but really fun.

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Snacking: I can thank my friend Belinda for this one. Seeded crackers with cheese and a medjool date is amazing. A side of cut up red apple sends it over the edge.

 

Hearing: Lots of ’70s tunes. Spotify has come through with the goods thanks to this playlist. Takes me straight back to my childhood. Also Xavier Rudd’s new album. We went to his concert earlier this month and it was so good!

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