Sunday, 25 May 2014
For some time now I've had all the best intentions of starting a gratitude journal and jotting down a few things to be thankful for on a regular basis. Aside from being a boost to overall wellbeing, I figure that embracing this mentality can only help keep my spirits high on those odd crappy days that inevitably roll around every now and then when domestic matters and child rearing get a whole lot more of a chore than a pleasure and that little feeling of discontent threatens to creep in, followed hot on the heels by the niggling question of "Life...is this it?'
A pen and a notebook with its pristine pages still untouched have sat waiting patiently on my bedside table to be used for this very purpose for about a year now. It's probably safe to say at this point that approach is clearly not going to work for me so instead I thought I'd try making a little happy list here at the end of every week (or as often as I can manage!) For the past several months this has been a place I've come to write when I've felt inspired and particularly strongly about a topic or wanted to share something poignant but I like the idea of also recording the small pleasures and moments in our everyday routines that often go unnoticed. After all, it's the little moments of joy- and the ability to stop and recognise them, just as much as the big celebratory events and milestones which cumulatively make a life a happy one. So in the name of gratitude and thankfulness, here are some things that have put a smile on my face this week
1 // Sharing a mid-afternoon treat with Rose when she wakes up from her nap- a mug of hot cocoa with added vanilla and cinnamon and a pinch of brown sugar, with a biscuit or two for dunking and some stories.
2 // My new English Garden candle filling the house with the scent of lavender and cedarwood is getting me excited about our upcoming trip to the UK and afternoons spent in my parents beautiful garden.
3 // Re-reading some of my old, eternally favourite novels during quiet hours spent on the sofa feeding Pearl, including Little Women and its sequel Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott. I've been lured back to them by a slightly lazy desire for familiar, reliable pleasures. Plus I've yet to find any literary family as comic as the eccentric Radletts and the force of nature that is Uncle Matthew in Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love.
4 // Making batches of homemade granola with oats, almonds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds and coconut flakes mixed with olive oil and maple syrup before baking. So good with a bowl of natural yoghurt, chopped fresh fruit and honey. I like it for breakfast, or lunch or a snack (or all of the above), this would explain why it doesn't hang around for long before it's gone.
5 // Managing to pull off throwing two birthday parties in two weekends for my two biggest girls, both held at home and at insanely short notice. It was worth the effort to see how happy it made them, and a good reminder that kids don't need a lot have a great time. If there is a game of pass the parcel, the chance to run around outside and play with bubbles and a cake involved then it's hard to go wrong.
6 // Beautiful mild Autumn days that beg for brisk walks and are chilly enough for a scarf but bright enough to need sunglasses. Being able to still hang the laundry outside is a bonus as I always seem to shrink the childrens clothes when I have to use the drier.
7 // Having the mother of one of Lila's school friends comment that our house was 'homely and cosy' as soon as she walked in for the first time. This is the best home related compliment she could ever have given me and made me more happy than is probably normal. Hopefully she didn't actually glance too closely at any of the surfaces to see the layer of dust settling there.
8 // Seeing how much love Lila and Rose have for their baby sister already and they way their eyes light up when I carry her through into the kitchen every morning (they then proceed to smother her with kisses, strokes and demands to hold her). This little girl is going to be so well cared for.
Photos...Hot cocoa and stories with Rose...Homemade granola in the making...Pearl enjoying a sunny spot...Still small enough to sleep in Daddy's hand...The party table before the carnage...Front porch hang outs...Birthday cake excitement...Enjoying her party morning tea...Our homely home :)
Wednesday, 14 May 2014
My Pearl Clementine. Just when I thought my heart was already full to the brim, I am blown away once more by the fierceness with which I fall head over heels all over again. Twelve days after you arrived in the world, and I can't imagine our lives without you here. Though my attention will always be divided three ways now, I am more aware than ever just how precious every second of your fleeting newborn days is.
I never want to forget the warmth of your tiny body curled up on my chest, secure and content as you feel my heart beating against yours. Sitting on the cosy spot at the end of the sofa watching the sun go down through the big windows and the dusk turn to twilight while you feed nonstop during the early evening hours. The way that you are so small that for the moment you will only sleep at night lying beside me nestled safely in the crook of my arm. Your soft perfectly shaped head with your miniature ears and thoughtful eyes. The firm grip of your fingers holding onto my own so tightly. Washing the bed linen can wait. I have a whole lifetime ahead of me to do laundry but tomorrow you grow bigger before my eyes and when autumn turns to winter again you will be running around with your sisters. Leaving me watching in awe, proud and slightly in shock that your babyhood days have ended so soon. A bittersweet feeling of excitement for your future and all that is yet to come tinged with sorrow that I will likely not cradle another baby of my own in my arms.
So we take the days slowly for now, doing as little as we can whilst still keeping the household just about functioning. This is exactly where I want to be, watching, holding and getting to know you and enjoying being together. Venturing out here and there to fill our lungs with fresh air and show you glimpses of the world. Your big sisters cannot be kept from your side and every chance they get you are passed between their eager sets of arms, being sung to or rocked enthusiastically if not always gently in your swinging chair. Know that you are so loved by all of us. I still can't believe you're actually here, but every day the sun shines that little bit brighter now you are with us.
Love always, your Mama xxx