Nesting time

Needle felted Mama-to-be

Here I am, under the weather…again.  This massive cold/sore throat extravaganza comes on the heels of a recent not-so-lovely stomach virus that tore through our household. So today I am doing what I can to perk myself up and to keep the children entertained. It is positively blazing outside and I feel totally unable to leave the house, let alone open the door for some fresh air.  I suppose that would kind of be like opening a hot oven and sticking your head inside – more than counterintuitive at best! Popping outside and watering the lemon tree and the rosemary plants was all I could muster this afternoon, and those small tasks took all of five minutes.

As I sit and type and await Vietnamese takeaway (nothing makes you feel better like a generous bowl of steaming, brothy soup), I am going through the mental check list of all we have accomplished this week, and what still needs doing.  With 5.5 weeks left until #3 arrives, nesting is in full swing. I am proud of our family because I think we have been relatively organised so far.  I have been sure this time not to leave things til the last minute. To our great surprise, #2 arrived one-month early and he ended up sleeping in a laundry bin (I kid you not!) for the first week of his life – not something you necessarily wish to repeat! This time, I vow to be prepared, even if it means starting a wee bit early. I have even needle felted myself a little Mama-to-be. For the moment she is looking quite pale and I will have to get some flesh-toned wool so that I can finish her soon. I plan on bringing her with me to the hospital and using her as a focus object during labour. Doll in one hand, grasping Grant’s hand with my other…

Taking time to smell the roses…and lilies!

Grant and I celebrated our 8th anniversary several days ago and he brought me home the gorgeous flowers you see above. I ordered him a brand new cookbook that had just been released for publication in the US on May 27th – luckily, it arrived in time for the 31st. Despite always being on the culinary pulse, Grant didn’t know about this volume, and I was very pleased that my crafty research paid off. It’s not often that I can beat him to the punch, especially where cooking is concerned, and I hold these small triumphs close to my heart. The book is incredible: if you are interested in modern molecular gastronomy, it’s a must-own.

Here’s what we are reading at our house this week:

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

Mugaritz: A Natural Science of Cooking by Andoni Luis Arduriz

Bedtime reading for the grown-ups 
Bedtime reading for the little ones

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
(The children vastly prefer this book to DiCamillo’s The Tale of Despereaux. It is much less frightening and more engaging on the whole. Confession: I actually bought this book years ago and shed so many tears reading it. It’s a kind of Velveteen Rabbit for the modern age – simply wonderful!)

Up and Down by Oliver Jeffers
(We love all books by Jeffers, and this one is among our favourites.)

Trains Go by Steve Light
(For the young train enthusiasts of the world!)

Comet in Moominland by Tove Jansson
(Classic series by Swedish-Finn writer/illustrator Jansson)

Preparing for baby – art prints by Kit Chase of Trafalgar Square

Mary Cassatt is ever-present to adorn our walls

As far as readying the house for #3, we have dedicated half of our bedroom as an area for the baby’s crib. For some reason or another, this little square of the house is causing us immense irritation. We have bought some artwork to hang above the crib from one of my favourite Etsy shops, Trafalgar Square. While I adore the prints, I am somewhat disappointed in the paper matting that came with these frames I bought (it seems as though the humidity is getting to them), so I am on the hunt once again for some replacements. In addition, in the course of our last move, we lost a few nuts and bolts for the crib, which has prevented us from being able to complete our set-up.  I fear the replacement pieces we just bought online are not quite big enough – eyeballing it we can already tell that something is askew, and it is definitely not an option to jerry-rig a crib!

Needs finishing!

It’s at times like these when I wish we had a car and could just run over to the hardware store to take care of these small matters, which unfortunately, end up becoming big on frustration. Sometimes I ought to suppress my desire for things to be perfect – advice I always give to others but never seem to heed myself. The irony is that neither of our children were ever willing to sleep in that crib, and therefore we have always had a family bed – something that will no longer be possible with 5 of us! If anything, it will serve as a quiet place for the baby to relax, and an area to put him down so we can manage all-important tasks like showering and putting away laundry.

Our house tends not to have a tonne of natural light, and so I’ve ordered some new drapes to brighten the bedroom in anticipation of baby.  Our local West Elm was out of the ones we’d chosen, but I managed to find them in their online store.  Other than that, I’m trying to keep it fairly simple décor wise. If we’ve learned anything from A+F it’s that you need a lot less gear than you think you need. We were also excited to receive the Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker Napper in the mail this week. It’s a brand new product and incorporates both a rocking baby bouncer seat and a cradle in one – a very well-thought out design that seems extremely practical and will last baby a good while.

Rocker Napper in upright, inclined position

Rocker Napper in cradle mode

An array of baby toys, both old and new, and always all-natural! I love going through these well-loved pieces, re-visiting memories, and looking forward to new moments to cherish.

Friends from Maileg, Haba, Kaloo, N&N and Manhattan Toy

The mostly packed hospital bag, including favourite newborn organic basics from Zutano and ultra-soft bamboo muslin swaddling blankets from aden + anais.

Who’s this cutie with that toothy grin? My baby boy, soon to become a big brother!

Mid-afternoon antics

Newborn clothes, washed and put away

The excitement around here is palpable and we almost feel ready. While we most likely have no idea of the chaos that is going to hit us in a few weeks’ time, for the moment, we can breathe a little easier. A loving home, a safe and cozy place to sleep, and a nurturing family – sounds like a perfect place to start for all of us.

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