Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving!

No, I’m not American, but people forget that Thanksgiving is the last of the harvest festivals, stemming from a time when giving thanks for a harvest was literally a gratitude for survival. Hence the feasting, from Lammas in the late summer to Thanksgiving in late November. And while our own bounty has been distracting me from writing about it, I do have a lot to be thankful for.

Thankful for my ever-loving partner, all she does and all she is.

Thankful for my extended family, and my friends who support us.

Thankful for finding my true self.

And, of course, most thankful for our little bundle of endless joy. Even when she’s robbing us of sleep, we couldn’t be luckier or happier to have her in our lives. And for that we give thanks.

And pie! I give pumpkin pie!

I essentially use the recipe from Libby’s Canned Pumpkin and it works every time. A few notes though:

  • Don’t bother using fresh pumpkin, it’s more effort than it’s worth. But don’t cheap out on the canned stuff, Libby’s is great.
  • You can buy a shortcrust pie shell to save yourself a lot of stress. This year I used pre-made sweetened shortcrust pastry; it worked, but not perfectly, pastry doesn’t come easily to me.
  • Instead of the separate ginger, cinnamon and cloves, just use a tablespoon of mixed spice.
  • Consider going 50/50 granulated (caster) sugar and muscovado sugar.

That’s it! Enjoy! And… thanks.

33+3 or 46 days to go

Back in January, the due date seemed a lifetime away. My partner’s nausea was pretty much daily and constant and seemed interminable, the year stretching out ahead of us, filled with uncertainty, indigestion and endless days. Now though, it feels so different. We’re 33 weeks and 3 days in; there’s a maximum of 46 days to go as my partner won’t be allowed to go over her due date. So, in a maximum of six and a half weeks, she’ll be here with us. The pram has been bought, the cot is ready to be assembled, the baby bag is pretty much packed, gifts of clothes are piling up by the boatload, and a nursery has been chosen. All of us, baby included, feel almost ready for what’s about to happen. All except the dog, he’s as clueless about this as he is about most things.

Some will tell you that you’re never really ready, and that’s probably true; there are so many unknowns that you just can’t plan for. But because you can’t plan for them, we’ve mostly been focussing on dealing with the things that can be controlled. And, by that measure, we feel just about ready. All we have to do now, other than picking up a child seat for the car, is wait for the number of remaining days to continue shrinking, and hope for an easy birth.

At least it’s not another mummy blog

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against mummy bloggers. It builds a support network, passes on valuable information, and is an excellent release, a way to express and discuss the daily frustrations of being a new mother or mum-to-be. But things are a little thinner on the ground for dads, and so many articles are along the lines of: ‘Have you considered helping out by doing the dishes occasionally’, ‘Try asking your partner how she’s feeling’, and ‘You are aware everything’s going to change, right?’.

I┬ácan only assume that those articles get written, because there are some men that really need to be told, that they have to semi-patronisingly be goaded into showing an interest and making things easier for mum. Well, I don’t need to be told, I help out where I can , I keep myself as informed as possible, and a semi-patronising article telling me to maybe do the cooking once in a blue moon isn’t really relevant for me.

So here we are, London Daddy was born. I’m not a father yet, that’s still a little under 10 weeks away. But while this journey began six months ago, it starts online today.