So life with two little ones is crazy and most days there’s at least one episode in which I think of giving the whole parenting thing up and decamping to the moon. I feel that the moon is at least a respectable place to run off to... Anyway, David always steps in and comes up with an idea to save my sanity, and then peace is restored and I can get back to serene thoughts about how nice it is. Seven Quick Takes is probably the closest I can get to summing up the last bit of forever. In no particular order:
--- 1 ---We celebrated our three year wedding anniversary, which is a pretty amazing feat (I mean the celebrating, not the fact we’re still together) given everything that happens in August. On the actual day my mum watched Walter for a bit so that we could go out for mid-morning tea at Peacocks. It was lovely. I then decamped to the spa, where I got so relaxed that I thought I was finally unwound enough to go into labour, and subsequently spent a good chunk of the middle of the night in the hospital, hooked up to various machines because Emily’s heart rate was being wonky. Left at 4am, still pregnant.
The big part of our anniversary celebration, since I failed to bring home a baby on the day, occurred on August 20th where my mum once again stepped in to watch the babies while David and I went out to meet Neil Gaiman. It was hosted by the local, and one of the world’s best, bookseller, Topping & Co., and due to the size it was held in Ely Cathedral. Neil Gaiman is hilarious and it was so nice to get out and do something relatively grown-uppish and belonging much to live before children, when we used to go out to things like this all the time. And did I mention that there was complimentary wine and I could now drink??? Due to the number of books being signed there was a long intermission, in which we brought home thai food, checked on the kids, ate supper with mum, and then returned to the cathedral for the world’s longest wait (ok, it was 2 hours but since I’d given birth four days before it was really painful for me), and I was starting to regret coming back to meet Mr Gaiman but then, even tho’ he’d been signing books for close to four hours, when we met him he was funny & nice & drew a heart in our copy of his latest book & generally made us feel like individuals instead of just one of many cogs on the Victorian assembly line. And the walk home was moonlit and full of fairy lights on the cathedral green. Win all ‘round.
My mum was here for a month. And it was lovely. And every time she comes out to visit me/help with the baby birthing, it’s like being an only child again which is lovely (no offense, Johnnykins). I don’t think I was very good company, what with the being tired and grumpy and spaced out most of the time, but I think getting a whole month of Walter made up for it. He’s the only person on the planet who can get away with waking her up before 7am (he even got breakfast in the bargain. My main regret is that Emily came so late that Mum only got a few days with her before her flight back. David’s main regret is that the nightly stream of desserts to his office has stopped...
The English summer has reached my favourite point, and hopefully it stays relatively like this until November. The days are warm-to-hot but the nights are cool – this seems to be the weather that housing and heating was designed for in this country, meaning that we don’t need to use the heating (which is good, because I’ve yet to find a place in Europe with heating that works like it does back home!) but the house isn’t too cold or too hot. There’s an apple tree ripening outside the north windows of our flat. Walter likes to look at it when he has his naptime bottle. I’m really glad we have one more English autumn to look forward to.
With the colder nights we’ve taken to relaxing with a cup of hot cocoa (and an episode or two of Seinfeld) before turning in. For convenience, and for the sake of our waistlines, we buy instant hot chocolate. But every once in awhile, when a particular treat is in order, I turn to my favourite recipe (which nothing I’ve found in store can compare to). It’s particularly good with some whiskey added for extra warmth:
- 6oz. dark chocolate, chopped
- ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons hot water, divided
- 3 cups hot milk (or 2 cups hot milk + 1 cup light cream)
- Optional: 2 tbsp almond liquer OR ½ tsp almond extract or 2 tbsp whiskey (or any other good warming alcohol)
- Sugar, to taste
- Whipped cream
Using a double boiler or a heat-safe glass bowl over simmering water, melt the chopped chocolate into ¼ cup of the water. Stir in the 3 tablespoons hot water and milk (and almond if using) until the chocolate mixture is smooth. Taste and add sugar as necessary. Whisk again until smooth, then pour into mugs and top with whipped cream. Serves 3-4.
Carrying on with the chocolate talk, Cadbury’s has come out with a new chocolate bar that is full of jellybean coated pop rocks. It’s weird and delicious and now that Walter is napping I can really enjoy my chocolate break without having to fight off a toddler.
And finally, life around here, or the scene five seconds after I caught Walter crawling on top of his sister/the bouncy chair to take her soother. “Oh, was this the soother you wanted me to leave in her mouth?”
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!