Saturday, 26 March 2016

End of 2015 (recap...more soon...honest!)

Hello again, finally feeling inspired to get a post done. It's 10pm, C is out at a friend's house, K is at his Grandma's house and A is sleeping peacefully across the room. Just playing The Beatles with the fan cooling me as it's approx 24 degrees - it's been waaaay to hot for March and we're all predicting a scorching summer. Just hoping we get a nice summer monsoon to counterbalance the rays...

I left you with a full birth story and a 1 month old A, he's now 6 months! To be honest, it's passed in a blur of busy-ness and extreme highs and lows.

Highlights of November were the beautiful monsoon that started 2 days after A's birth and finished in early Dec. His name means 'rain bringer' in Arabic and he certainly did! It was lovely to have such a full and continual rain, I get such pleasure from enjoying the rain. I never appreciated it living in the UK. I also love that K's middle name means 'Sun' and he was born in the UK where the sun is needed and A is our 'rain bringer', born in India where the rain is a precious gift. Am planning a rain cloud tattoo on my right foot to compliment the sun tattoo on my left.

Anyway, I'm rambling now. I also met a kind of vinegar spider/scorpion for the first time. It was bundled up with the dirty washing, luckily I saw it before putting the machine on and saved it.

For scale

Most of my days passed like this, cuddling and nursing a cuddly chubby A:

C and K also enjoyed a spot of 'rain bathing' one night when the rains were particularly heavy. Needless to say they didn't last long in the freezing wet!

Dec was spent preparing for Christmas. I was excited to decorate this year with it being A's first Christmas but couldn't be bothered to spend too much time shopping in Pondy with a newborn so we had a Xmas Palm this year:

I also learned the benefits of ergonomic baby-wearing and have become very interested in the different types of carrier. A friend here lent me a few and it's a practice that I sorely wish I'd done with K. It provides so much security to a small baby as well as promoting good posture for mother and baby, you can even secretly nurse in some! Luckily, I can't afford to build up a huge collection because there is less of a baby-wearing culture here, most Indian mothers just carry their babies in their arms. I do love that I can put A in a carrier and do the dishes or water the garden etc!

I snapped a few nice shots too...I love photography and would love a fancy camera one day. In the meantime, my phone camera will have to do:

These ones were from a morning visit to the Matrimandir with me and the boys, I love the pics from under the Matrimandir by the lotus pond...

K's Kindergarten had an end-of-year song recital/open house which provided me with lots of beautiful things to photograph:

6 days before Christmas saw the annual Christmas Fair at the Youth Centre. We missed it last year as we were in Goa but we were excited to attend this year. C decided to work there making BBQ chicken and corn on the cob so he spent the whole time sweating in the midday sun over a barbecue. 

I have a small reputation as a baker and was asked to bake a cake for the annual cake competition. I was happy to do so, especially as the cakes are sold by the slice following the competition with the proceeds going towards the Youth Centre, a place very dear in our hearts. I decided to pimp up a recent favourite vegan chocolate cake recipe (the original can be found is seriously good and you cannot tell it's vegan. I'm not vegan by the way, I just like baking cakes that everyone can enjoy and I think that eggs are weird) by turning it into a sandwich cake with a marmalade filling with caramelised peel decoration:

It didn't win but went down well and we had a really fun day out.

Christmas was in all honesty, stressful. K, after the initial excitement of having a new brother, was struggling with sharing the parental attention/affection. Totally understandable but his way of dealing with that was to act out, which when combined with sleep deprivation, made all of us miserable. We spent most of the festive season wondering why we were giving presents to someone who was trying so hard to piss us off. We found it tough but his reactions have been teaching us to look at how we are/what we do/why we do what we do etc. K is our biggest teacher in many ways. He's a challenging child but bright and charismatic. A true contradiction and we love him for it.

Still, we tried to ensure he had a special time. His favourite present was a cheapy £3 MP3 player with a variety of songs/genres put on it by me. Sadly now, the cheapy player has broken but it was such a joy for me, as an eclectic music fanatic, to see my boy with headphones on, absorbed in a song that he'd play on repeat for a day or two before moving onto the next. His favourites include, Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie, Daddy Cool by Boney M, Free Bird by Lynard Skynyrd and Invaders Must Die by The Prodigy. I want to replace it but he's a bit destructive at the moment so I'm reluctant to spend much.

We saw New Year in with a couple of couples that we enjoy the company of. Both the guys in these couples are old friends of C and it's so nice to see him reunited with his old friends who moved back to AV to raise their kids like we did. I guess it validates our choice in a way.

Right then, I've now spent 2 hours typing/choosing photos and I need to stop. I have the beginning of 2016 to cover which I'll return with when I get a chance.

Glad to have written this, speak to y'all soon.

With love, Laura.