Wednesday, May 25

Sun, good food and her last days of being an only child. I don't know this feeling when sharing is an option, I don't know life without company, my brother is only a year younger then me. When I look back I see mess I didn't necessarily make myself, I hear my name shouted loud in different tones, I recall mornings I woke up to a voice I will always recognize. And fights I was no stranger to almost daily. So when our every day will be so very different, I'm eager to witness Nadia transforming into somebody else, a big sister, companion and still a child that wants to play on her own, slow-paced, undisturbed for more than half the time. It will be a wonderful transition to witness yet one I'm not fully prepared for. Because what does one teach specifically about sharing, accepting and understanding after years of doing it occasionally and sometimes with a little more encouragement? I'm not so very worried about the sharing part too much though, Nadia is naturally kind and inclined to part with an object of interest almost willingly, what needs redefining is to maintain the space and pace that comes with it. Things will be removed, broken and crumpled. Things will disappear any hour of the day. She will not always be happy with it or accept it this way, she may act cool or totally opposite but I place trust in ourselves to figure it out as we go by.

We're about to introduce an element of the unknown to her. Well, all of us but mostly her. So far she's been totally into everything that comes with this change - talking about it and preparing for her brother's arrival gives her thrills. Her imagination bursts in ideas I could hardly think of the first time round, it feels so empowering knowing she's so in control. And maybe that's the answer to my worries and all? To leave her as much control over daily activities as reasonably possible so anything that shifts slightly aside be still fascinating and taste sweet without adding or taking too much away.

At times I want to freeze this time left to becoming a family of four, to savour her more and enjoy her presence to the silly brim. To shower her with attention not known to a child before. Yet I cannot wait to meet my little man, I refuse to postpone dreaming of those two turkeys meeting, getting to know each other and loving the way only siblings can.

Nadia is a sensitive girl with a big heart but sometimes she tries to cover her true feelings, heads to her bedroom and until I go after her to comfort, she'll be sat there overanalyzing her little worries. He may not understand it at first but walking after her trying to comfort her his way will always bring those two together. I am sure of that. I can picture Nadia smiling shyly then curling her feet on the bed to escape little hands trying to reach her, jumping away or helping him to the bed for some silly activity. It will be both awesome and overwhelming -- new life with a good deal of creative compromise and many opportunities to not take things too seriously. We are ready. x


Monday, May 23

Not long time ago and definitely by accident I've noticed a pattern to some of my photos. Whenever I get the chance to roam further than my doorstep, looking down at my feet seems to have become a habit. There's so much happening down below, it never cease to impress me so pointing my camera that way makes sense. I've gathered here most recent feet images as well as those when socks and warm boots were more than appropriate. And to clarify - it's not about the footwear (mostly used up and worn excitedly for years) but what it stomps on -- beauty of nature and human craftsmanship. I wander a lot so my paths are considered the artwork I take notice of constantly. I may not see you walking past on the street (overwhelmingly deep in thoughts) but I'll definitely notice what you've dropped. So... my feet and a bunch of pretty things that stop me in my daily tracks.

Walking around fallen wisteria petals in Kingston Maurward Gardens

Discovering new friends on daily walks to town

Quietness of space that embodies happiness and peace - on a trip to Poland

Sun, sand and lots of annoying pebbles is among my best experiences
Finding miracles on my routes and leaving them intact
Adding chic and fun to otherwise monochrome background

When the garden tries so hard but it's not its time yet

 And in answering your questions about the baby, the current and most exciting -- I'm keeping myself occupied with household activities (re-planting edibles, maximizing space and catching up on relaxing read), long walks (nowhere too specific) and vivid dreams about my little boy soon pleasantly falling asleep in my arms. I'm due in five days but it's so hard to tell when the actual day arrives and it keeps me slightly anxious. Will it happen on our school run, while I'm driving? On a weekend or late at night? But all I can do is to take it as it comes, have everything ready and... just wait which is what I've been doing lately. Or it feels that way anyway. Happy new week, friends!

P.S. Inspiration for this post came from my dear friend who is just as crazy about taking photos of her feet as sharing them with others. Pretty great activity in my eyes ;)


Thursday, May 5

►► Nadia's creative spirit can be found literally everywhere around here - drawings attached to the fridge, stickers visibly looking down from mirrors and this yellow mobile made for her baby brother... isn't it the sweetest thing you've seen this spring morning? It's made of a star and a little boy in pants or nappy smiling encouragingly. As for her brother, completely unaware of the gifts he will be getting makes me immensely joyful. What else will she come up with next? 

I'm still moving around, happy and taken care of, a little bigger here and there, a little less predictable in last minute decorating decisions. I can see the progress in our small space, much love (and sweat) has been put into so many things I can't stop staring at in awe and relief. Loving every inch means getting closer to when I'm content wherever I'll look around. Or even sooner. With my due date approaching, some projects may be postponed until I'll learn to put socks on again. Who knows. But I'm hoping our boy is not ready just yet giving us enough time to make his home his little haven. And simplifying or slowing down is still not an option but will it ever be? (wallpapering and painting a couple of furniture this weekend is on the list of things not to be put off any longer).

It's easy for me to find inspiration in touching or looking through the drawers of excessive piles of newborn items, it's also a reminder to enjoy the moment. A little sleep deprived, struggling to balance and awaiting multiple paint and brush deliveries is actually a time I'm contently storing away in my head. I step back and let myself take the time before time will be the most sought after notion. So in between taking time and pausing contently I managed to pack my hospital bag including everything a little bear would need. Two bags actually. Mama bear is in the picture too ;)

 Slightly related: For days when I want to look more pulled together I put some mascara on and swipe my cheeks with blush powder. On most days when more than dozen people will see me at the school gates... I don't really care that much. A cat eye each morning seems a task too great to handle and it will probably just melt off anyway on my flushed up face. But my hair is dyed and fringe trimmed, I need to show you my simple beauty routine soon. It's really simple, don't even take your pens and pads out, there will be nothing to note but you're free to try. Happy afternoon, friends! x


Monday, April 25

Hey, we made it! We made it through the weekend! The paintbrushes are clean and put away, walls are drying beautifully, fifth laundry pile has been spinning in the washing machine as I type and milky coffee made it to my desk in a pretty mug so all is looking good. I even had a reasonably good night and Nadia woke up early and refreshed, ready to get the hang of adding and multiplying. Our flat still lingers in a state as if a family has just moved in, I try not to get tense about it but been trying to take note of things that still need tackling while focusing on my ridiculously blooming windowsill garden, that is what exactly matters at this time.

I come home every morning after dropping Nadia off to school, pour myself nice warm drink, browse the internet while the baby washing spins noisily in the background. I read on the sofa, tidy up the mess we made intentionally the day before, read some more. I crave still moments like these, to wind down, get a little lazy, talk to my baby boy in private. I crave lots of sour tastes too - plums, lemonade, fruit sorbets giving my body what it presently needs and plan on continuing to do so all summer long.

I bough first watermelon this year and we all devoured it wildly before and after dinner, it was that delicious. Occasionally while I run errands, I walk about slowly among aisles of baby products and imagine what would make days prettier, not necessarily being practical or essential. But we've already stocked on everything a tiny person can need and more -- blue, corn yellow and cloudy grey so he can start each day knowing he's well looked after.

And unpredictably, I have become an early riser not finding it sweet anymore to linger among sheets longer than for what my idea of heaven is. Then in quiet hushed footsteps I tend to move things around, water the plants and wait for the rest of the household to greet with wet kisses. What a beautiful season in my life.

But now - hanging the laundry to dry is a pleasant priority. Have a great week, friends! x


Saturday, April 23

I haven't answered that many 'how are you?' and 'how are you doing?' questions in my entire life as this past few months. Everyone wants to know how I/we are coping, how things get turned around from completely unplanned to definitely working. It's sweet, it's intimidating, it's just a part of life we're temporarily in. For the most part, I feel we've been in control. Generally on top of things. For some parts destiny's gentle hand was far off and barely seen from a short distance. It ranged from dealing with a whirlwind of emotions, powerful hormones and fast reactions, doubts about the future and the state of our present, finances and energy to handle it well. If done correctly, it's just a phrase in life - overwhelming and potentially never-ending but we all know that nothing lingers for long. Especially the bad as there is so much good to relish and continues to be if noticed and cherished daily. We got accustomed to harder times like bees fly around to expand their territory to forage for food in periods of climate change or loss of natural habitat. And we're busy as them too.

They say (who are they, anyway?) there's never right time to become a parent, that we're never ready to juggle more things than humanly possible. I say, we're always ready to love. I say, we're always ready to give encouragement and hope, that our hearts are never full enough not to fill them up with the best of feelings. And when are we going to be ready if not now? Today, here, at present? Yesterday faded away far too quickly, tomorrow may never come but each breath and blink makes us fully aware of the space we have to fill in great detail NOW. Once a decision is made, a certain vision is tightly affixed to it and one thinks nothing will ever be possible to see it in a different light. Even though time flies and changes perspectives, shifts moods, moves mountains, creates miracles. Or all of them at once.

How I am? How I am doing? I can see a little more clearly everyday what's ahead of us in getting through to the other side. The side of an established routine, enough money coming in each month, relived stress, energy restored miraculously and shared in abundance. The side where sense of having it under a total control is regained. But... how unrealistic does it sound? How optimistic yet surreal? As if having control was ever possible. As if getting it back in order was ever achievable. I say, let's enjoy this moment in time. The good, the bad and the ugly. Not always joyful, more times through tears and speechless gasps, it's a way too.

I'm fine, I'm good, we're getting through. I appreciate your well wishes and concerned looks, I'm grateful for your offerings and feel no need for stopping accepting it. You know who you are - giving me a lift, supporting our budget, picking up Nadia from school, I plan our whole existence around your kindness. Thank you.

And although Damian may be adding his unwanted five pence to the whirlwind of the last 35 weeks making me consider committing a crime at least once daily, he's also been the biggest support with his mind totally fixed on wellbeing of our small tribe. I am a demanding tenant and him trying to cope with everything these days is beyond my comprehension. Taking time to breathe through it he's rarely allowed, there are endless tasks rapidly expanding if not handled on time. He's who I was exactly looking for, I hope I'm still the one he wants to keep discovering. In good and bad, sickness and health, till death do us part... and our bank account regains its strength.

We're getting through.
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