Friday, 31 October 2014

Friday I'm in love... with progress

No, not the Take That album, the concept. Sometimes things feel like they're stalling around here. We are busy with things that make it easy to let other little things slip by the wayside. Keeping in touch with friends. Reading that book I got for Xmas. Taking up the curtains that still drag on the floor every time I open them. It's easy to forget the little things when life takes over, and even easier to put them off in favour of crashing on the sofa back to back episodes of The Walking Dead after a very long day.

But slow progress IS progress. That's what progress is. You have to start somewhere. Just start.

This week we've had our spare room in complete disarray, with walls torn down, holes in walls and floors and dust. Dust everywhere. We've both been working, we've had an Arlo who doesn't want to sleep through the night, and had family visiting. So we probably could have been excused for leaving the DIY for a while until things get a little less manic. And believe me sanding and cleaning and painting are not my favourite things to do, but we've forced ourselves to get on with decorating and we're getting there. Yeah we're about one tenth of the way there, but that's got to be better than nowhere, right? I've made a promise to the family (because we all need the room to be functional and not covered in dust, after all) that I'm going to do something every day. Even if it's painting one floorboard. Or another quick hoover to get the day's fresh layer of dust. Just anything to feel like we're moving in the right direction. Because all those little bits of time will eventually add up to a room we can actually use.

And this new ethos (also known as 'just bloody get on with it') does not only apply to floorboards. It applies to everything - work, hobbies, housework, LIFE. It's a new thing I'm trying, instead of trying to do everything at once and feel bad for not keeping on top of it all. Because slow progress is still progress after all.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Walking this weekend #2

We had family staying this weekend from London and we couldn't think of a better way to spend a Sunday than a classic country walk and Sunday pub lunch combo. It was wintry and blustery as we walked along the coast, with Arlo holding his Grandma's hand along the way, and asking to be swung by whoever else was close by enough to hold his other hand. I love the last picture above where everyone is turned to face Arlo, as that's what it was like all weekend really - he had lots of attention and adoration from his Grandma and Aunty all weekend and he loved it.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Proud to be an introvert

Source: 10 comics every introvert will understand

Breakfast conversation this morning turned to someone who was described as 'shy'. I read somewhere this week that 40% of the population are 'shy', (I would link to the piece if I could only remember where I saw that stat - who knows if it's actually true!) because 40% of us are apparently introverts. Cue me trying to explain over eggy bread what it means and feels like to be introverted, and why that's different to just being 'shy'.

I feel like the term 'introvert' used to be a dirty word. Something to be embarrassed to admit to being. I can remember feeling very offended when someone described me as introverted years and years ago when I started uni because I thought of it as a by-word for socially awkward, shy or boring. Until I learned more about how the introverted mind works, I suppose I just thought I was someone who was quite shy around new people and enjoyed my own company. Then I saw things like this that were so spot on that I they felt like they'd been drawn just for me. Next time I get myself in a muddle trying to explain what it feels like, I'm just going to show them that.

Having a little look online about the term 'introvert' and the way introverts are represented has made me a bit miffed actually - it's lazy to just say that introverts are quiet, or like to be alone, without understanding why that is and that it's only half of the story. I love socialising, spending time with friends and meeting new people, but I genuinely find being social tiring. That's why I was always the person happy to leave the party in time for the last tube home (most of the time anyway) and leave everyone else to take the party on elsewhere.

So of course I wouldn't describe myself as 'shy', I'd say quiet. I wouldn't describe introverts as antisocial, I'd say we enjoy our own company. For me, quietness and space is the loveliest.

So then I got to thinking (not a Carrie Bradshaw reference) about parenting and what it means if you're introverted and like your own space and quiet time and not always being around others, because guess what? Being a mum is basically the opposite of all those things. And it changes you all of a sudden and very quickly. Maybe that's why I found it so hard in the first place, having no time to myself whatsoever. I think I'm getting the hang of it now, but it took some getting used to. And I tell you what, having a few mins to myself to write something like this with a cuppa is the kind of thing that keeps me sane. That and nap time.

I haven't done a very eloquent job of explaining the benefits of being an introvert (there are lots, I promise!) but this beautiful animation does a very good job, have a little look see.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Friday I'm in love... with sofa searching

Clockwise from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

The main event in the Lewis-Wild household this week has been all kinds of demolition happening upstairs. We've ripped down a partition wall that's turned one weird bendy beige-carpeted corridor and one weird tiny room with no window into one big empty room with tonnes of natural light and freshly sanded wooden floorboards. The floorboards are going to be grey, with white walls everywhere (have I mentioned that I love white walls?!)

As well as office space for me when I work from home, we've now got space for a proper spare-room set up with a sofa bed for guests when they stay that can also be a second living room type set up. Which means new things must be bought and much pinterest-ing must happen along the way- we need a sofa, art for the walls, a lovely colourful rug...

...actually, maybe I need to look no further - I just need everything below. The pink sofa. The black and white cushions. My intense love for coffee made official via the use of enormous metal lettering. And the dog. OK mostly just the dog.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Discovering puddles

Because I'm in the middle of a couple of a busy work weeks, and Alex was demolishing certain parts of the house all day on Saturday (walls have come down! Before and after pics will follow, I promise), our family weekend this week has boiled down to one day: today. But what a today it's been. The weather has been ace and we drove across the Island to Bembridge, which although only being about half an hour away, is the furthest you can drive on the Island without hitting water, which for the average Islander might as well be the other side of the world. My mum called while we were over there and exclaimed "Bembridge! That's a VERY long way to go for a walk" as if we were on a different continent or something.

Two thing happened in Bembridge: we ventured out along a long thin bridge that lead out to a building on stilts where they keep the local lifeboat, which Arlo LOVED, and then we went for a wander which is when Arlo discovered the joys of puddles.

Wellies went on. Steps started off gingerly at the edge of shallow puddles, dipping in a toe first to literally test the water, but soon enough he was racing through them, wellies full of water, falling over all over the place, mud on hands, mud on face, mud in mouth... it was brilliant for ages and then it really quickly was terrible in a way things quite often are for toddlers. There were tears and a park bench for a quick change of outfit before heading out for lunch at our favourite place. A whole weekend squeezed into one brilliant day.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Oh HAI autumn

Should seasons have a capital letter? Is it Autumn, or autumn? I'm never sure. Either way, it's here. Arlo and I made the most of a short dry spell in what was otherwise a dreary grey rainy day this week to head out to the park for a run around and explore. It's so nice to have lots of space just around the corner - I've never appreciated space as much as I do now that he likes to run around everywhere!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Friday I'm in love... with hibernation

So it's definitely autumn. There were a number of clues this past weekend: It rained almost continuously. The heating was put on for the first time. We made a big pot of vegetable soup. I started to feel Christmassy.

I'm really pleased to welcome autumn. We had a weekend of hibernation last week - no plans and lots of time to spend together. We changed things around in Arlo's bedroom so it's all cosy and warm for him. Here's some of the things I want to make happen over the next few weeks: cosy reading nooks / blankets books and and tea / collecting for Xmas / fires in the wood burner.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

The thing about weddings.

Image found here, via Pinterest, where else?

We went to a wedding last weekend. Spirits were high, everyone wore their prettiest dresses and shiniest shoes, the bride and groom were a happy and handsome couple, and Alex and I even got to have a baby free night of dancing and prosecco drinking as we had a babysitter. It was the best day.

Except. I lost count of the times someone asked me "so when are you getting married?" a close runner-up was "so when are you having another baby?" as if either of those things are a fait accompli. Because of course they aren't.

We share a mortgage. And a CHILD. A whole human being is reliant on the two of us looking after him to make sure he is able to stay alive and grow and be happy. Rest assured that's not something we chose to do lightly. We can't live without each other and have no intention of doing so for the rest of our lives. But somehow, I feel like people don't think we're "proper" if we're not married.

A response I got from one party-goer when I said we had no plans to was "How modern!" as if we were doing something really cutting edge. In truth, getting married just doesn't come very far up the list of priorities for either of us right now; we're not religious, we're busy, we're happy, and things don't really need to change in any way.

And it's not that I particularly mind being asked, but it's just... isn't it a bit rude to assume? "Do you think you'll ever get married?" is a lot different to "so when are you getting married?". People seem surprised when we say that we aren't even thinking about having another baby any time soon. Would everyone be so open about personal questions in other situations? Would it be OK to ask a single person at a wedding "aren't you ever getting married" or "so, do you not want to have kids?" Isn't this kind of stuff ultimately just up to us to decide? As Alex said the day after, it's like people assume that if you choose not to have a second child, it's because you're not that keen on the first one. How about we are basically taking each day as it comes because we're still figuring out this parenting stuff and we have enough to keep us busy right now?

What I've learnt: not to assume everyone wants to follow the same path. There's lots of different ways  to get through life, and agreeing to an (arguably) antiquated, Christian tradition where a woman has to promise to 'obey' her man (ok, ok, I know not all vows are like this these days, but the ones that are - I can't bear it!) for the sake of it, is not the only one.

Tell you what though, there is one true incentive to get hitched - the excuse to throw a massive party with all your favourite people in the world all in the same room just for you. That's a once in a lifetime experience, and every time I go to a wedding I feel so high on all the love that's flying around, it really is ace. So maybe we'll pretend we're getting married just so we can get all our mates over for a big party? Who knows. For now, it 'aint broke so nothing needs changing. Thanks for asking.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Friday I'm in love... with new walls please

As I've said before, I have a thing for white walls. They're clean and crisp, make a space feel lighter and brighter, they make your furniture pop and are very low maintenance. But lately I've been really hankering for some walls with a bit more going on, and I've been losing myself (and lots of time) on Pinterest looking at pictures of lovely wallpaper. I don't even think number five is technically wallpaper, I think they've just stuck lots of colourful tissue circles to their white wall. It's like constant confetti, how lovely is that?

You can find all of the above wonderful walls (and many more) here

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Things I'm thankful for - the London edition

It's 2 o'clock in the afternoon and Arlo is sleeping. As I said in this post, he's not always the best sleeper, so a napping Arlo is definitely something to be thankful for. We're back from a trip to London and trying to get things back to normal, from sleep patterns to washing to food shopping and all those other boring things.

We had such a lovely trip and there's been so many things happening that I want to make sure I don't forget them before I move on to the next thing, so here's Things I'm Thankful for - the London edition:

  • Weddings. God I love a good wedding. It's the best, happiest excuse for a party and it was wonderful to be at Alex's bro's wedding this weekend. AND I'm helping my sis plan hers, to much excitement.
  • Confetti. How can you not be happy when there's confetti around?!
  • Babysitters. Aex and I have had a night of manic dancing, dinner with friends, and a trip to the cinema all in the past week, because lovely people have looked after Arlo for us. 
  • Being mega busy at work. Because it makes you truly appreciate the weekend, welcoming it like an old friend with open arms.
  • Alex and Arlo's relationship. It's been getting stronger and stronger and it's so lovely to see them hanging out. Arlo doesn't need me all the time any more, and it's part and parcel of him getting bigger. That's both scary and amazing, and it's taking a bit of getting used to.
  • TV. The good kind. I've always loved TV, but lately it's been so rubbish (apart from GBBO, obvs) and I've been hankering for something new. But now we've discovered True Detective - it's one of those series that's so good you text each other in the middle of the day just to say "I CAN'T WAIT FOR TONIGHT SO WE CAN WATCH TRUE DETECTIVE" (and yes you write it in caps because it's THAT good).
  • Plus a miscellaneous list of other things that I have been thankful for this week: dim sum, wedding cake, Radio 6, disposable cameras, prosecco, picnics, friends, family.