Life: February

*Written over the final weeks of February

Somehow we find ourselves here at the end of summer, looking towards crisper mornings, plates full of hot cross buns and, most astonishingly, baby season.

I’m a spring/summer gal. I always have been. I remember as child deciding the start of spring should be celebrated each year with a walk to smell the flowers, even though here in subtropical Brisbane it’s actually the differing scents that mark the change in seasons, along with a mellowing of the sunshine.

Although I’m grateful for a reprieve from the endless steamy days that have marked this summer I’m still mourning it’s passing a little.

It’s been a good season, filled with lazy home days eating watermelon and ice blocks in the backyard, lots of yoga and reading, swims at beaches, creeks and waterfalls, and underneath it all the emergence of little baby rolls from a rapidly expanding belly.

So here we go:

Cooking: My enthusiasm for food is still missing. Where oh where have you gone? Steve, however, is in full swing and puts his meat smoker to use each weekend, producing roasts, ribs and twice cooked steaks.

Drinking: slow-brewed chai; kombucha; herbal teas like a combo of raspberry leaf, chamomile, rose and nettle; water – lots; at least one “noisy juice” aka green smoothie each day. And trying to limit my tea intake but normally giving in because it’s just so delicious.

Reading: Lots. Normally non-fiction because my brain can’t seem to grasp onto fictional places and beings at the moment. That being said, I’m currently reading Boy Swallows Universe and loving it, and I just returned Normal People to the library. I devoured in 24 hours, so that’s saying something.

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Library reading haul

Wanting: This season to slow down a bit! Although a bit of rain would be lovely too. My poor garden is not happy. Also a final afternoon cup of tea would go down a treat, so let’s start there.

Playing: Probably far too many podcasts, and I’ve got a few Spotify playlists on permanent rotation. I’m currently devouring podcasts like this one and also this one and sneak this podcast in when little ears aren’t around. I find that last one fascinating and a brilliant take-down of crappy diet culture.

Deciding: What to have for dinner. Steve’s currently away for two weeks for work, so I’m thinking something slightly easy and tasty but nourishing. Probably spaghetti bolognese considering Jman has been requesting pasta every night.

Wishing: Single use plastics were entirely opt-in choices. A trip to a favourite cafe on the weekend resulted in single use cups automatically being brought out because we’d ordered the children’s option. It’s hard not to get frustrated at those times.

Enjoying: This period of waiting. I feel like we’ve found a nice groove in our days at home. All of a sudden Jman is happy to play or snack (or watch TV, let’s be honest) while I exercise, meditate or even write in the morning. It wasn’t that long ago that all this had to be carefully timed for naptime or saved for evenings after he was asleep. But although our days together are pretty busy they also feel deliciously lazy. We head to parks or splash in pools, we have morning tea at a cafe, we pull all the arts and crafts out and getting painting, or potter around the garden before having a long nap. I then get to work again for another hour or so until Jman wakes. I think I’m relishing it because I have a vague idea of just how different this will all be in just a few months.

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Morning yoga

Wondering: What new plants to put in the garden for autumn/winter. Something I can neglect, grow in a pot and loves sun preferably. Yeah I’ve got no ideas.

Disliking: The comments about weight gain and “regaining a pre-baby body” (see the All Fired Up podcast above). In both pregnancies I’ve gained less than the quote/unquote “normal” amount of weight, not through dieting and restriction but purely genetics. My mum is small. I’m small. We probably can’t carry the “normal” 11-16kg you’re supposed to put on during pregnancy. Nevertheless the comments about big bellies are there, as are the comments about bouncing back afterwards, or the congratulatory comments about not getting too big. Um, I’m supposed to be putting on weight BECAUSE I’M GROWING ANOTHER HUMAN.

Feeling: Tired but happy. The pregnancy fugue has started to descend so I’m content to potter at home, nest, nap and start to withdraw. Although considering I still have a few weeks left of work – and I write for a living – the depletion in creativity is not brilliant.

Snacking: Chocolate. Dried fruits. Home-baked cakes and biscuits. Yeah, it’s fair to say my energy is depleting in the third trimester so I’m loving on carbs and sugar. Should probs do something about that.

Hearing: See podcasts above. Also I’ve started collating my birthing playlist with plenty of Sacred Earth, Deva Premal, Nahko, Trevor Hall, Xavier Rudd, yoga mantras… you get the idea. Plus something for Steve. Last time he requested Leo Sayer, so I’m sure there will be laughs aplenty.

Relishing: My prenatal and yin yoga classes. In yoga-speak I’m a vata-pitta, which means I can be full of ambitions and ideas one second and then become more than a little fiery and full on to make them happen. Then add in the virgo combination… it can be a nightmare. It also meant for the better part of two decades I’ve loved sweaty vinyasa classes that left me lying exhausted in savasana and sore the next day. I pushed on with this inclination during my first pregnancy, resulting in separated abdominals. This time around I’ve been going to weekly gentle prenatal and yin classes, settling into the nurturing and nourishing side – the Yin side to be accurate and they are the best. I move. I breathe. I expand. I return to my family happy and centred.

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Yin yoga with a soundbath at My Health Yoga

Smelling: The tea sitting in front of me. It’s delicious, although I’ll probably regret it at 10pm tonight.

Wearing: Not a lot, and not just because it’s hot. Second time around I’m finding I’m outgrowing a lot of my clothes far more quickly than I did last time. I’m hoping I can hold out these final few weeks!

Noticing: Just how ingrained presents and giving “stuff” is these days. I opted out of a baby shower this time because we just don’t need anything (and I find the forced fun and games slightly discomfiting), and instead decided to have a baby blessing. Nevertheless the offers of things have been rolling in. To be honest, if you simply offer to make me a hot cup of tea, help clean the house or drop off a freezer meal in those postpartum days I’ll call you a saint and worship you.

Loving: See Enjoying above. Three-year-old quirks and tantrums aside I’m really enjoying this stage. Imaginary stories come from nowhere, as have the start of in-family jokes – lucky we find poo pretty funny! And as a sidekick Jman is pretty awesome to have around.

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Community garden wanders and market days. Shoes optional.

Pondering: Whether to invest in a larger bed. I think we will, purely because there’s three in our bed at some point each night and if you insert a baby we’ll be quite cosy.

Watching: Not a lot. I just can’t seem to concentrate on TV at the moment – it all seems to be drivel and bugs me – and movies are also pretty much out. Steve and I have been watching Sex Education on Netflix and I can almost get through an episode, so let’s go with that.

Marvelling: At the little baby belly rolls. I forgot how much I loved them, and seeing this is the last bubba (according to me. If you ask Steve there’s another 1 or 2 to come) I’m really enjoying them. Also a perk is watching Jman’s reaction to them. And trying not to laugh when they stop totally when Steve touches my belly. #shesstartingyoung

Bookmarking: This blog by my dear friend Belinda. Her words and honesty had me in tears.

Admiring: This instagram account. It’s no secret I’ve loved Owlet Mama and all she and her family do, but lately it’s really been a source of inspiration. I’m also eagerly awaiting their book!

Sorting: baby clothes. So many cute itsy bitsy baby clothes. We kept everything from Jman and it’s been so lovely to go through them all.

Life inspired by Heidi

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