It is almost 9:00pm on Sunday night, and I am just sitting down to write.
We are watching a really interesting documentary on how climate change has influenced history.
I am almost tempted not to continue, but then what.
I suspect this will be a quick chronical, but who knows.
Perhaps I will come back and fill in the blanks later.
However, for now, this will have to do.
I had planned to start this week’s post earlier in the day when Emily would be asleep.
However, the best laid plans…
Guess who didn’t sleep.
We were so sure she would go down after our busy morning, but we were wrong.
Oh so wrong.
Admittedly getting her down of an evening has been easier this week. However, the afternoons are another matter.
Therefore, instead of her sleeping, and my writing, we sat on the kitchen floor and ate vegemite toast, frozen peas, and pasta infused with truffle oil.
I have to give it to her, the girl has taste.
Pasta is not the most nutritious option, but it is a great vehicle for introducing new flavours to baby girl.
We have a million types of flavoured oils, from which to choose.
I am obsessed with condiments.
This week has been full of exciting events and developments.
Monday started out quietly enough, where I thought Emily and I would be spending the day at home.
Daddy went for a swim as he often does.
I had tried to put madam down, but no luck.
I was just gearing up for a long afternoon when daddy rang us with an offer to go to the library with our friend Seyran and her baby girl Ronya.
It was a mad rush to get everything organised, but somehow we made it.
I felt terrible about not giving Emily a proper lunch before we went, but I had dressed her so beautifully, I did not want to make a mess, and certainly did not want to wrangle her into another pretty dress.
That girl is happiest without a stitch of clothing on her cutie cute cute cute body.
I reckon her nappy wearing days are numbered.
The moment she figures out how to take that thing off, we are in trouble.
However this was not just any trip to the library, this was a trip where I got to push the pram.
Michael had wanted me to use the carrier, even though Emma, my orientation and mobility instructor and I had done that exact walk less than a week earlier.
However, I wanted to use the pram.
I mean why wouldn’t I.
After all that is why I had asked to learn the area. Otherwise, what was the point?
If he thought walking with Emma was an exercise in appeasing my ambitions, he had another thing coming.
I had decided I would take the pram without his direct knowledge, and simply tell him about it upon our return.
However before I could do any such thing of the sort, he rang back, and informed me Seyran was coming to get me, so we could go to the library together.
I am not sure whose idea this was, given it could have just as easily come from either of them.
Each having their own motivation, but each being equally satisfied with the arrangement.
Although it was not ideal. As in how I had imagined it, I let the situation unfold as it would.
After all, it was not as if I had planned to leave the house before this proposal, so what was I complaining about.
Therefore, Seyran came and picked me up, and we walked together.
One after the other.
We hung out at the library for a couple of hours, where baby girl made some new friends.
She was so busy with her playing, that she missed most of lunch. Only catching the last mouthful, and a slice of cheese.
By 2:00PM, she was practically delirious with exhaustion, and I knew giving her a bottle would put her out cold.
However, she was having such a good time with her big girlfriends, that I offered the bottle for them to give it to her.
Oh my God, they practically fell over themselves at the chance.
As predicted, sweetie pie was asleep within minutes.
Seyran was so surprised when she looked over and saw Emily sprawled out across a little girl’s lap.
I guess that is one way to get them to sleep, I thought, as I watched them.
Nothing like allowing her to run herself into oblivion.
Not even putting her in the pram, and doing up those loud clippie buckles woke her from her slumber.
I had noticed when packing baby girl’s bottle before we left, that the we cannot live without you magic tin of formula was running uncomfortably empty.
Therefore, I asked Seyran if we could drop by the supermarket.
I knew there was no chance of her allowing me to tackle that one on my own, let alone walk home, so after a quick argument in my head, I surrendered to the inevitability of company.
To be honest, it felt more like being baby sat, because I cannot help but wonder if I could see, would she have insisted on walking us home.
I tell myself I should be less suspicious and more grateful. However, my independent streak, accompanied by my paranoia about being a burden sometimes creates havoc in my inner world.
Sometimes it is better merely to accept people’s kindness for what it is.
Now if only I could do that with more grace than I currently possess, things would be a lot less taxing in my brain.
I mean imagine how much more energy I might have had, if I were not weighing up motivations I cannot possibly expect to know.
Maybe I would not have run into a particular pole, person, or plant.
Oh whom am I kidding, the fact that I did not run into more things is a miracle in itself.
We successfully negotiated the supermarket, before stopping to grab the most expensive, yet crappiest coffee I have ever tasted for the walk home.
My question is how on earth does a girl balance a cup of coffee, and push a pram?
Do you think Michael will get me a coffee cup holder?
I was so proud of myself for surviving our adventure intact.
So proud in fact, I wrote a nice eight and a half thousand word post about it for Blind Mama.
Talk about the longest post ever!
Admittedly it took me most of the week, which is why I have not worked on this week’s Blunder week.
However here we are, six weeks off baby girl turning a year old.
How does that even happen?
When I got home, it was lovely to see my husband celebrate my happiness with me.
I really ought to know better.
All he ever wants is for me to feel empowered, happy, and as though I am contributing to the wider world.
Sometimes he knows more about what it will take to achieve such lofty aspirations than I do.
I am Sorry for not taking your efforts at face value honey.
The rest of the afternoon was spent with Michael cleaning the back yard, and me playing with baby girl.
As is her habit, she woke up several times through the night for a much-needed snack, but thankfully went down again with no argument.
Tuesday morning daddy went for a swim with his best mate while Emily and I pottered around the house.
She is getting better at playing by herself again, although she really does prefer company.
I have come to accept that when she is awake, the chances of my getting any writing done are minimal.
Therefore, my words are reserved for the evenings after she is in bed.
When Michael returned home, we tagged teamed via a kiss, and he took charge of one happy climby crazy cheeky cutie mountain goat. Allowing mummy to hijack the kitchen, make love to a bottle of wine, and prepare the marathon that is moussaka.
We have had a deep fryer in our cupboard for the best part of two years, and never used it.
Yes, I am ashamed to admit it, but it has been that long since this particular dish has graced the table of café Meg.
Last time I embarked on the journey, which is almost as long as the Kokoda track, I swore I would never do it again without a deep fryer, as I was sick of being spattered and splattered with flecks of burning oil as I worked.
Moussaka is one of those culinary creations, I only ever make as an act of love for my husband. Because to do it properly, and do it justice, it has an awful lot of steps involved.
Oh, do not get me wrong, it is definitely worth it, but not something a girl would make if she were unhappy with said amazing handsome husband.
I cannot be sure if red wine is in the original recipe, but oh boy does it make the process smooth.
How the hell have I been parenting without this?
It was lovely to be cooking, listening to a good book in the foreground, and have my happy family go about their chores and activities in the background.
Every now and then Emily’s laugh would punctuate my consciousness, and I truly could not have been happier.
Michael continued on his pilgrimage to rediscover the corner behind the barbecue, while Emily floated back and forth between us.
I did not like her being in the kitchen while I was working with oil, and thankfully, she did not venture in my direction too often, but it was anxiety provoking nevertheless.
It is not enough that she can move faster with each day, but she is growing taller. Therefore, just when I have my head around what she can and cannot do, reach, or find, she changes.
No longer is the kitchen cupboard where the glad wrap and dishwashing tablets kept safe.
Nor is the drawer under the television cabinet where her nappies are stored.
It will not be long before she can reach the dining room table, and then we are screwed.
Maybe it was the wine, coupled with my new chocolate mousse obsession, but as if moussaka was not enough, I then went on to create a chocolate mousse type cake with a slightly salty dark chocolate biscuit base, and topped with a sweet vanilla infused whipped cream.
Hindsight tells me this combination was not as successful as the chocolate cake base from three days earlier, but what is café meg for, if not bending the rules and experimenting a little.
After all, I am fairly certain sweet potato does not belong in moussaka either.
It was almost as though the bitterness and texture of the base was too much of a contrast for the creamy fillings.
However we are happy to report, this is a dessert, which like moussaka improves with age.
My original plan was to cook on the Tuesday in preparation for our guests on Wednesday.
I had even harboured the idea of giving my friend Kris a moussaka to take home.
However, I promptly abandoned that idea in favour of eating it ourselves.
Have I mentioned just how spectacular it was, or just how in love with the deep fryer we now are?
Luckily, for my ass, the idea of cooking in all that oil, regardless of how good something tastes, is fairly off putting. At least on a regular occasion.
However, Michael says there is nothing better than sipping a beer in the backyard, playing with his baby, while his wife fries potatoes.
He is a man of simple pleasures.
Emily was a bit restless going down on Tuesday night, but the warmth of my wine made it seem more cruisy than usual.
Wednesday we had our wedding conspirators over for lunch.
Therefore, Michael commandeered the barbecue, and showed that steak who was boss.
Oh, my God it was gorgeous.
I cannot remember the last time we have had steak, let alone lamb cutlets.
However, everyone was shocked when I wanted to give my only cutlet to baby girl.
I could not help it.
It was just so tasty, that I wanted her to experience it also.
Sure daddy could have foregone one of his for her, but that was not on the cards.
If anything, he wanted to swipe mine as I passed it across to the cutie cute cute cute.
We compromised by my eating most of it, then handing her the bone.
She is not a puppy dog, I thought as I watched her gnaw on my leftovers.
However, I managed to sneak her some steak without anyone noticing.
As it turns out, baby girl likes barbecue along with the rest of us.
I hope that this will inspire Michael to fire that bad boy up again in the near future.
He often talks about it, but rarely follows through.
I would have thought cooking outside would appeal to him, but apparently he is so tired and uninspired by the end of the day, that we are lucky to get the creativity with our meals that we do.
I know he likes to cook, and I see glimpses of his genius and enjoyment on a somewhat semi regular basis, but I think he is just so exhausted by parenthood at the moment, that dragging the barbecue out from under its cover is all too much.
Rather like how sometimes I cannot walk for a cup of coffee when I am at work, because the gazillion decisions which need to be made between me and that caffeine hit are a gazillion too many. Therefore, it is easier to go without.
Mind you, now my friend Susan has re-introduced me to my favourite coffee shop in the entire city, it could be a different story.
However more of that later.
Of course, Emily was the star of the show, and kept us all entertained with her antics.
We do not normally allow her on the dining room table, but given it was pushed up against the wall, and all four seats were occupied, it meant she could bounce from one to the other of us as she explored the view.
After lunch, Michael’s best mate made his customary quick exit, and daddy quickly followed.
Apparently, my husband was way too full for his own good, and needed to go walk it off.
So how many lamb cutlets did you really have honey?
This left Emily, my friend Kris, and me to our own devices.
This can be interpreted as Kris on one couch, me on the other, and Emily crawling and climbing between us.
Thanks for visiting Kris; it was fantastic to catch up.
Remind me why we don’t do this more often?
Oh, yes, because you live too far away.
Once again, a certain baby girl who will remain nameless did not have an afternoon sleep, which meant she was exhausted by the time daddy returned from his amble among the gum trees.
Wednesday evening unfolded much as it always does, with Emily sitting in her blue rocker by the window having her solids.
Follow this up with a bath; accept this was not any ordinary bath. Because our big girl has decided, she no longer likes her newborn baby frame with the towel on it, and can sit up, slide around, and generally get very slippery all by herself.
However, after her bottle, she went down without a peep.
This left mummy to enjoy her tea and coffee cake for dinner.
As usual, Thursday saw mummy back at work, while Emily stayed home to look after her daddy.
Michael kept busy, as if chasing our almost toddler is not busy enough, by building her playpen.
He had endeavoured to do it on Tuesday afternoon, only to find when we opened the box that the bolts were missing.
Needless to say, the man was livid.
Baby Kingdom at Castle Hill leaves a lot to be desired in terms of customer experience.
This is not the first time we have had a problem with one of their products.
At first, Michael wanted to go out there and sort it out. However, after sleeping on it, he decided it really did not matter, and what were the million bolts sitting in his garage for, if not solving a problem such as one of this very nature.
We are now the proud owner-occupiers of a rather overpriced playpen, but that is the way it goes with baby paraphernalia.
Now daddy will be able to garden, and know that madam butterfly bottom will be safe.
We are more than happy to let her explore the outdoor area of café Meg, but those pavers are rough and scrapy under little knees. And then there are those stupid gum nut things.
It was delightful to sit down late on Thursday afternoon and watch her play on her nice soft mat in the confines of her new space.
One of her favourite games is to put something inside the bars, and then outside the bars. Inside the bars, outside the bars. Inside, outside, inside, outside…
It had been way too hot to go to the park, so into the clamshell pool we hopped.
Mummy was too tired to trudge upstairs and get her swimmers, so in I flopped fully clothed.
Emily thought this was oh so much fun, and insisted on jumping back in with me even though daddy and she had just dried off.
Normally it is Michael who does most of the pool support.
Rarely if ever is the weather hot enough for me to enjoy it.
However now we have taken to putting loads of warm water in there, in order to make it more comfortable and long lasting for baby girl, mama is more than happy to indulge in the recreation.
Friday was another workday, but with a twist.
I met my new friend Susan for coffee, and coffee we did.
Three hours’ worth of coffee. And I am fairly certain if I had not needed to get to work, we would have sat there for longer.
As I was saying earlier, she reintroduced me to my favourite coffee shop that I thought had closed down.
It turns out; it had moved only half way down the block. However, in my teeny tiny world, that may as well be to the moon.
Quite literally if I do not know where something is, I am unlikely to find it.
Thanks for breakfast and banter lady, let’s do it again soon.
You are fabulous company.
In the meantime, Michael and Emily went to the library for not story time story time, and played with lots of kids.
As per our habit, Michael and Emily met me at the station on Friday afternoon.
Again, it was too hot for a trip to the park, so we came home to the clamshell pool instead.
Saturday morning I got a much-needed sleep in while Michael got up with our early bird baby girl.
Once again, he disappeared for a swim, while I managed to sneak in a fitness test while Emily napped.
After our customary ladies long high-low lunch, there was nothing else for it, but to get back in the clamshell.
We were in there for at least an hour before hunger prevailed, and we needed to get out for dinner.
How we lived without that thing, I will never know.
It is like a new and improved version of watching washing being hung or taken from the clothesline.
When all else fails, it will calm a grizzle bear baby no problem.
Not to mention it physically tires her out, so she seems to sleep more soundly.
Either that or we are just having a reprieve from those teeth.
This morning it was all hands on deck, as we went to Michael’s sister’s house to celebrate the twenty-first birthday of Miss Ellen.
When we saw the family before Christmas, baby girl was not crawling as much. However, this time she was confidently standing up and holding on to furniture.
Sorry I forgot to offer you the bottle grandma, I just was not thinking.
Emily had not slept in the car the way she usually does on the drive over, so by the time it hit 11:00AM, she was ready for a nap.
I knew giving her a serving of milk would most likely put her out, and once that happened, there would be no getting up.
It did not make any difference to me, as I had not planned on moving from my seat, however in hindsight, I probably should have given grandma the honours of a sleepy cuddle.
One of the things I find most difficult about being around loads of people is not being able to make eye contact.
It can be somewhat overwhelming to be sitting surrounded by seventeen conversations, and wanting to contribute to one or more of them, but not being confident to get up and move around for fear of knocking something over. Which is why I usually find a spot, and plant myself as a wallflower.
Unless it is a professional setting, or something I know really well, I am better with smaller gatherings.
The time flew as everyone sat chatting, and Emily played.
We had intended to take Emily for a swim in the big girl pool, but it was just too hot and sunny for such frivolity.
Besides, Michael had already planned to meet his best mate down the beach for a swim after dropping us home.
Again baby girl did not sleep in the car as we drove home, so we were absolutely positive she would drop the moment we put her in the cot.
Oh my God no!
And this brings us back to the beginning of our story.
Emily’s words have taken a turn toward the more obscure this week.
I thought I had almost every word in her vocabulary under my belt, but she has taken it to a whole new level.
On Wednesday morning, she quite clearly told me we were having breakfast, as she stuffed vegemite toast into her mouth. While this afternoon as she found her dummy, and as she picked it up, she told me something along the lines of she found it in her bed, so it was ok for her to have it. Because she knows it is only for bed, but she also knew I had been looking for it a moment earlier.
Whatever she said, it was very deliberate, and very conscious.
However most of the time I do not understand.
What on earth could wawawawawawawa be?
We have had mixed results with project potty. However, a big part of that is me reading the signs, and having everything we need immediately to hand.
Cheetah has made a comeback, along with Moosie, Big Bear, and her new favourite, Dragon.
Naughty Dolly has disappeared again.
I hope we did not lose her somewhere on one of our recent outings.
I know she is pretty big, but I have not come across her all week, which makes me worry.
Apart from that, everything is rolling along nicely.
On Thursday or Friday, Emily learned how to put some of the different shaped blocks into their matching shaped cutouts in the bucket. While deconstructing her nappy station is still a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
For now, I have put the puzzles away, just to mix things up a bit.
She has taken to once again picking up a toy, and flinging it behind her with boredom.
More often than not, she can be found under the dining room table or crawling across the lounge chairs.
Speaking of which, daddy broke the lamp, as he was trying to rescue it from someone else’s little grip.
Funny, because now she is not interested in climbing on that particular side table at all.
I am still waiting for her to fall off one of those things.
I can feel her feet have changed shape, and although she does not step forward if we hold her hands, I do not think she will be far off walking.
This is a girl who dances to her own music, and we are quite happy to let her body logic lead the way.
Quite often when she is upright, and occupied with whatever task is at hand, she will move those feet one at a time. Alternatively lifting them off the floor, twirling her toes, and putting them back down as to practice.
More and more I find myself wondering what is going through her pretty little head.