Me, a year ago. Probably munching on a Pret breakfast pot (the acai ones were my faaaav) sitting at my desk, slurping my hazelnut latte and dealing with the usual Monday morning office catch up that no one could be bothered with last Friday. Probably Radio One was blaring in the background. Me, a year later. I’m home, munching on an unusually healthy homemade granola bowl. It’s a rainy morning and my cats are snuggled indoors. The only noise comes from the washing machine and the tip tip tap of my fingers on the keyboard. Oh, and I now have an almost nine month baby belly sticking out to the world. It’s a strange but peaceful feeling knowing that this time last year, I was desperate to be where I am now- a longed for baby on the way. I’m in the middle of writing a massive post about infertility and my story of it, as my Insta Story poll was at 100% to post about it (until 1 person voted no…there’s always 1) but in the meantime- please to enjoy this life lately thank you.
Over the weekend, we bought our pram. The last important item on the list. I wasn’t expecting to actually physically come home with one, but thought maybe we’d just test a few out and get an idea of what we wanted. We parked up outside a big Mothercare in a retail park and an hour later we were driving home with everything! I say an hour, but it felt a lot longer. Pram shopping is overwhelming. It was fun for about 5 minutes and then I just wanted to go and sit in the car. The choices! Too many! Bugaboo I’m looking at you especially. Model? Colour option? Stokke? such a cool brand but not meant for short little hobbits like me. iCandy? Pretty but I felt the handles were too chunky to push and manoeuvre around London comfortably. But it was strangely Silver Cross that came to save the day. I disregarded Silver Cross because I assumed it was out of our price range but but BUT Mothercare were doing a ridiculously good deal on the Wayfarer model. We got the very last one in store…in fact, all stores. It wasn’t in the colour I wanted, but I was happy with the navy they did have. And that was it. By Saturday evening, Robin had assembled it. By Sunday, we had found a cheeky mister trying to sleep inside it already.
The weekend also meant getting out for something to eat- this time down the road to try My Neighbours The Dumplings- a pop up turned permanent restaurant that we’ve been meaning to try forever. Was it worth it? Kiiiiind of. Portions were small sadly. Some of our dishes were nice- the smacked cucumber salad was lovely with a sesame, ginger and coriander dressing. The har gau dumplings were plump and juicy with prawns. The crispy prawn wontons drizzled with sweet chilli sauce were also really tasty.
I liked our steamed sea bass fillet with ginger- even though it took ages to arrive and our bowls of rice were about the size of a shot glass. I was disappointed with the Chinese BBQ glazed chicken- it was so salty- and the siu mai dumplings were a little bland. We perched at a window seat and watched the world go by, and the queue for dinner become longer- we paid up and left, curiousity satisfied but to be honest, there are a list of restaurants that I’d go to first to get a fix of dumplings and good Chinese food (and at a better price point)
Robin’s bench mark for a decent restaurant? His dad. As we left, he muttered “Dad would hate that place”
Speaking of going out to dinner, I feel like a a bit of a social butterfly at the moment. I had a meal out with my NCT friends earlier this week too. It was at a local Turkish place- and I’m so happy to have gelled with a group of people that until a couple of months ago I had never met. The other mummas to be are so lovely AND CALM and I’m glad we have a Whatsapp group that I know is going to get a lot of use in the oncoming weeks ahead. Eek.
Going into NCT was always a little bit scary- a room full of strangers, being thrust into a classroom style environment learning about babies and birth. But I’m really glad we went although truth be told- it wasn’t so much for the education but for the chance to meet other parents to be. I was debating about joining a Hypnobirthing class, but in the end, I chose NCT because it seemed to have a stronger local link in my area.
My sisters. There’s nobody else that can make me belly laugh so hard. Also, HELLOOO the 80s in this picture. They’ve been a massive help throughout my baby growing nine months- whether it’s advice on nappy bins and changing mats, to making motherhood look easy and plying me with extra baby supplies. IN FACT, I felt like the A* student at NCT because I already knew how to change a baby gro and had some fun facts stored in my memory from watching them over the years. I’ve loved being an Auntie to my nieces and nephews and now I get to thrust my own baby at them when she’s here! Yay!
And I know. I’ve already got the blogger-look-away-to-the-side face thing happening.
As well as counting down the last few weeks until Baby arrives, I’ve been counting down the days until Spring is here. Properly here. From last year when I discovered I was pregnant at the height of summer, to giving into morning sickness throughout Autumn and watching my bump grow and grow (and grow) throughout Winter, watching out for signs of Spring means our own new arrival will be here soon. Actually, probably any time now as she is more or less fully cooked in there.
My lavender planters are waking up, their leaves turning a bright green. The popcorn tree has started to bud as has my neighbour’s pear tree. Even my olive trees are looking perkier after a long winter. I’m hoping that by the time my popcorn tree bursts into a cloud of puffy white kernels, our daughter will be born.