Thursday, 31 March 2016

Currently... March

So I am taking a page out of some other blogger's books to start a monthly "Currently" blog post, in order to write an update on all the things I am doing/reading/watching/loving/hating this month. Sometimes I really want to share a great book I've read, or a podcast I'm listening to, or a recipe I've tried but by the time I get around to writing a post it seems the moment has passed. I'll also use these posts to update what is going on with Ella and post my favourite picture from the month.

Here we go...

Reading:

A few good books over the past few months:

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is all about decluttering and organizing your space. Kondo claims that if you follow her advice you will never have to tidy again! Intriguing... Her main piece of advice is to only keep things that bring you joy. I really want to do a big clean out of our stuff now, but we've only managed to do our clothes so far. Both Andy and I were pretty ruthless and donated a few bags to charity and I can honestly say I don't even remember what I got rid of. Except for one dress. Which I have to stop myself from going and re-buying from the charity shop as I NEVER wore it.

10% Happier by Dan Harris. Harris is a TV news anchor from the US and after having a panic attack live on air he ends up turning to meditation. The book is more of a memoir than a "how to" guide on meditation, and due to Harris' job he interviews many interesting people on the subject. A good book for anyone who is skeptical about the benefits of meditation, or who is curious about it and wants to read something about by "regular person" rather than a spiritual guru.

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter. It's a "girl gone missing" psychological thriller covering some pretty dark subject matter with plenty of twists and turns. It was hard to put down and I looked forward to reading it every night before bed. Recommended but with a warning that it could give you nightmares!

Watching:

The Americans. This was recommended to us by my brother’s best friend who works in TV, so it must be good, right? Yep! I’m loving it so far. The show is set in the early 1980s during the cold war. The central characters are KGB spies who are posing as a married American couple with kids (who don’t know that their parents are Russian spies) living in the suburbs of Washington DC. I’m about halfway through Season 1 and am hooked!

TED Talks. This one by Celeste Headlee on how to have better conversations is my favourite this month.

Listening To:

Serial Season 2 podcast. This season centres around Bowe Bergdahl, an American soldier who walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009, was captured by the Taliban and spent five years in captivity before being released in exchange for five Taliban detainees who were being held in Guantanamo Bay. I don’t love this season as much as Season 1, which had a true crime theme, but I love the sound of Sarah Koenig’s voice and I think she is an excellent storyteller so I keep tuning in.

Cooking:

Mainly Hello Fresh meals, but I did get this excellent recipe from one of my mother’s group friends and it is excellent! Another Jamie Oliver winner… standard. I love him. Very healthy, I highly recommend: Roasted Brassica Salad with Puy-Style Lentils and Haloumi.



Obsessing Over:

Ella’s eating habits. She was an amazing eater until a few weeks ago and now seems to have totally gone off food. I feel like all I think about all day is what and when to feed Ella. I know I should just relax about it as I’m sure it will sort itself out but I’m convinced she doesn’t sleep through the night yet because she doesn’t eat enough during the day. It’s driving me a little bit mad!

Looking forward to:

Easter school holidays with NO PLANS. It is very rare that we don’t holiday somewhere during the holidays but we are trying to keep things simple as the Christmas and summer holidays were a bit much. We just want to enjoy Melbourne with Ella… and without her on the days she goes to daycare!

My birthday present from my parents, a subscription to Babyology boxes for a year. Every three months I will get a box in the mail filled with surprises for both baby and mum. Can't wait to get my first one!

All the babies arriving in the next few months. We have at least one friend due every month until June and I am super excited for them all. Chris and Ness are were due two days ago so every time we get a text from them we think its the baby. I can't wait to see a teeny tiny baby again! (And give it back to it's parents, haha!)

Loving:

Businesses that cater to mums/parents with small kids, such as:
Feather and Noise who do personal styling sessions and have an area for kids to play while mum gets styled.
Angea Acupuncture are starting Mum’s Rejuvanation packages, where you can get an acupuncture and massage session while a nanny looks after your little one.
Care for Kids daycare that offer workspaces for freelance parents with child care onsite.

The weather turning a bit cooler. We've had a good long summer but I'm over the hot nights and love the crisp, clear mornings we've been having.

Canada having a cool Prime Minister.

My Headspace app. I've meditated for 38 days in a row now, and I can feel myself being more aware of my thoughts, and I am really working on trying to not let them fuel my emotions.

Hating:

Constant illness in our family. Ella seems to have a constant cold, I’ve recently had tonsillitis and generally we are pretty run down. The holidays could not have come soon enough.

The whole American election debacle with Donald Trump. What is even going on there? It's like a parody of an election campaign, and scary to think that he is getting such a huge platform to relay his racist, sexist hate-filled views. However it is making me love Obama ripping him to shreds at every opportunity.

Wearing:

Mainly active wear, leggings and TOMS. I am so glad that this is mostly acceptable attire in Melbourne, more so if you have a baby with you. But my jeans now fit and I am back to my pre-baby weight so I should probably try and wear something other than leggings once and a while.

Enjoying:

Watching Ella start to make connections about what is going on around her. Like pulling a rope on the bell at our front door and realising it makes a noise. She looks so ridiculously happy when ringing that bell. Hopefully this has not annoyed our neighbours too much yet.

Needing:

My mom! Becoming a mom makes you really want your mom, more than ever! (Edit: I wrote this before my parents told me some very exciting news: My mom is coming to visit us for three weeks in August! Yay!!)

Sleep. Nearly nine months and Ella has not slept through the night ONCE. I think we did get an 8pm to 5am one time which was the closest, but that was so long ago I think it might have just been a dream. (Another Edit: Last night Ella slept from 10pm-5am!! Woohoo, 7 straight hours of sleep. Seriously hoping this is not a one-off!)

Also, a make-over. The tired new mom look is not working for me anymore.

Wanting:

New shoes. A new pair of TOMS (see Wearing; above) some funky Nikes to wear with my activewear, some new ballet flats and new winter boots. I will probably need to prioritise this list and pick one of the above until I go back to work full time!

Missing:

Breastfeeding. Sometime over the last week Ella fully weaned herself off and I am pretty sad about it. If you had asked me a few months ago I would have told you I was cutting her off at six months, as I didn't love breastfeeding for oh, about the first five months. But once I started mixed-feeding I started to enjoy it more and am now sad that my breastfeeding journey has come to an end.

Working on:

Driving. Charlotte has set me a goal to drive once a week. So far I have achieved that goal for zero weeks but it is definitely something I need to be pushed to do.

Trying to keep things simple and enjoy the little things, like going for a walk with Ella by the river enjoying the beautiful autumnal weather, or snuggling in to watch a good movie on the sofa with Andy (and some Lindt chocolate).

Grateful for:

Our friends here, especially Charlotte who is SO good with Ella. And she has offered to baby-sit on Saturday night so Andy and I can attend a wedding reception so looking forward to that.

Pic of the Month:


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