It’s nearly mid-February and I’m feeling the urge to settle as deep as possible into winter before March, when it still is very much winter but everyone seems to have spring on their minds. February is still true winter so I’m embracing the hot chocolates, movies, diving into books, flannel pajamas and plentiful cups of tea and coffee.
Our little M suffered from a a particularly wretched cold in Week 5 so we kept our activities to almost nothing besides some daily fresh air. You feel so bad for the little ones who don’t know how to blow their nose! Fortunately that’s done and we’ve been able to do our usual activities all week long in Week 6. I’ve been thinking about filming and posting a Day in the Life as it would be fun to look back on this particular “maternity leave” chapter of our life and what we get up to! Usually it’s a lot of walks, errands, swim classes, meet-ups, baby cafes… but also plenty of sitting around at home and reading book after book after book. Mouse’s favorite toy? Books.
We got a beautiful cushy new rug last for the living room/Little Man’s room! It looks lovely and feels really good to walk on. Since beginning of autumn (when Mouse was 15 months old) we transitioned from everyone sleeping in the bedroom to Mouse sleeping in the living room in our one-bedroom flat. It has actually worked out so well! We made little living spaces in each room that can be enjoyed at any hour, no matter if someone is sleeping or not. We kept the couch in the living room as it just works so well there, portioning out the room and it’s the favorite place for all of the book reading. We moved the two armchairs in the bedroom where there also is now a television (!!!) since December. It gives the bedroom a hotel-like feel which is kind of fun, actually. I’m proud of us for working with what we have.
One of my favorite things to do here in Budejovice for Valentine’s Day is a proper coffee and cake outing at Café Háječek. I truly can’t recommend them enough – they always go above and beyond to ensure we have a really nice time. Last year they brought out a high-chair, dog bowl and stuffed teddy bear to keep the baby happy. The winter garden vibe, from the chandelier to the vintage tiled floor is just winter perfection to me. We also had a surprisingly smooth dinner out to Chinese to celebrate Lunar New Year. Happy toddler in his high chair engaged in eating for most of an hour (along with us)… it was unexpectedly the most relaxing dining out experience I’ve had since Mouse was a newborn. An auspicious start to the Year of the Dragon?
This week I go back to work one morning a week at my day job! It’ll be the first time I’ve taught in front of a classroom of students for almost two years and I think there’s a bit of rust that will need to get shaken off.
What We Ate
Roasted Brussels Sprout Rice Noodle Salad from My Darling Lemon Thyme. Boy, do I love a fresh and crunchy noodle salad. More than most things.
Taco night! With soft corn tortillas from Malinche. Little Man used to love tacos a few months ago and this time he threw the tortilla on the ground. Will I give up? Never.
Butter Chickpea Curry. I followed the recipe from the Toddler Healthnut Cookbook, as you do.
Chicken Noodle Soup on repeat. Because when your kid is sick and viruses are kicking around the house, it seems like the best thing to do.
My Valentine’s Day Wishlist
I am considering buying myself a little Valentine’s present this year. It seems a little extra somehow, but there are some great deals going on and gosh, I think I could just use it.
Now this is coming from a Taurus who thinks the finer things are worth it, so always at the top of my mind are products that are made with beautiful, natural or sustainable ingredients.
The top thing for me would be something from Sóley Organics, one of my favorite skincare companies I discovered in Iceland. I am completely devoted to their amazing shower gels and facial serums, but I’m thinking of trying one of their two moisturizers. They’re doing a 20% Valentine’s Day promotion, just sayin’.
I’d love some new (nice) underwear and a less wintery but still warm pair of pajamas. I love this pair on Etsy or with a better price point, this pair from M&S is giving a fresh early spring feeling, especially when you still really need those long sleeves.
On My Mind
It’s now been six months since the death of my father and I have been processing it a lot this week, much to the help of a special meditation for healing trauma (as part of a feminine leadership course I’m taking) in which all of these realizations and emotions just poured out. This sort of unresolved grief is so strange because most of the time I am normal and doing absolutely, totally fine. Then there are these really painful moments of attempted reconciliation that pop up sporadically. This tends to happen especially when I am rocking my son to sleep right before bed. Every morning when we cuddle up in the beautiful baby blanket he got us. Every night when we use the silver hairbrush with M’s name engraved on it.
The fact that there was never a funeral and communication has been so poor have made it nearly impossible to find closure. I realized that I’m actually really angry about a lot of things. Things that could have been different, that should have been better. This anger got covered up with grief when last summer. But. That under the anger is love and the reason that the anger burns so hot is because the love is so strong. Acknowledging that there are strong, unpleasant emotions sure makes people uncomfortable, but I’ve realized it is important to acknowledge it so I can release it and know that in the end, it’s (still) just all love.
We did have a beautiful family memorial for him the day before I left Washington last summer and I keep that close in my heart with all of my happy childhood memories.