While the natural world is slowing down in preparation for winter and hibernation, it feels like family life has sped up as we prepare for our imminent new arrival. This summer and autumn have been slightly bittersweet, the excitement of our second child has been tempered by nerves about how our firstborn will cope with the transition from only to oldest, and we’ve been trying to give our daughter as much time and attention as we can, filling the last few months with experiences and memories.
We’ve been doing lots of baking together, we’ve finally tried out the bundt cake tin my husband bought me for Christmas to make a ginger cake; a spiced pumpkin loaf to rival anything you could get from Starbucks at this time of year; banana bread whenever we need to use up browning bananas; and our Christmas cake – using a recipe from the BeRo recipe book passed down from my late nanna to my mum and now to me; and whenever we’re feeling lazy and want a quick treat, we make chocolate rice crisp cakes. I have fond memories of baking with my own mum (mostly apple pies and jam tarts), and I’m really enjoying baking with my daughter, she’s a great little helper pouring and mixing the ingredients.
We’ve lit the fire on cold mornings and evenings, and spent rainy afternoons snuggled on the couch under blankets with the cat on my lap watching Disney films from classic animations like The Aristocats to more recent additions like Moana and Encanto, rediscovering some of my old favourites like Robin Hood and Lilo and Stitch along the way. We’ve also had craft sessions around the dining table, painting, handprinting and shaping playdough.
There’s been plenty of time outside too, admiring the autumn scenery on nature walks collecting pocketfuls of conkers and crisp leaves or splashing through puddles. I even found a fly agaric mushroom under one of the beech trees in our street. We had a lovely wander around the gardens at Pollok Country Park a little while ago, where the masses of kale, chard, pumpkins and whole greenhouses full of chilli plants in the kitchen garden gave me a serious dose of envy. The little one loved exploring the little fairy village there too.
It hasn’t been all fun and games though, the start of my maternity leave coincided with my daughter developing Croup, and there were a couple of trips to hospital for steroids, which was scary for all of us. Our second trip to the hospital was the same day we were supposed to go to the Enchanted Forest in Pitlochry, an annual tradition that I’ve really missed during the pandemic and something we’d been looking forward to, but it’s such a relief to see our little girl getting better and back to her boisterous self. Maybe next year…
We did have a surprise trip to Edinburgh that my husband booked to make up for missing the Enchanted Forest. We enjoyed evening and morning dips in the hotel pool, dinner and breakfast at the restaurant, but the real highlight was a morning trip to Portobello beach just 5 minutes away from the hotel, where we took a wander along the shore shrouded in a thick mist, chased each other across the sand, splashed in the waves and combed the beach for tiny treasures.
Between finishing up at work, taking care of our toddler and preparing for a new baby, I haven’t had much time to rest or relax and I’ve felt a bit like a leaf swirling in the wind as I’ve been pulled in different directions, but unusually for us we don’t have much planned for the winter months and I’m hoping we can all slow down and coorie-in. Take care and have a lovely week. X