Walking around this city with my baby. We covered many miles in October including a few museums and a long stroll around the Red Light District.
Welcoming no fewer than eleven members of friends and family to Amsterdam as they flocked to meet Baby Bird for the first time. Not all of them stayed with us and not all of them stayed for very long, but every single visit was so enjoyed and so appreciated.
Going out for dinner with good friends no fewer than three times, and all on weekend nights. I felt strangely human again and incredibly grateful to NewMan for holding the parenting reins those evenings. (If you're interested I spent one night in our favourite brunch spot as their evening menu is also seriously good, another Saturday night was spent at CT Coffee & Coconuts and one Friday night I got to hang with the cool kids in a new Japanese tapas-style restaurant where my friend and I ordered twice as much as what the waiter recommended, but happily ate it all.)
Going to baby yoga once, sometimes twice a week and on my walk there seeing this view change as the leaves changed colour and then left the trees completely.
Finally becoming a member of Amsterdam libraries. Why I didn't do this sooner, i.e. when I had ample time to read, I don't know. But I'm excited for plenty of library trips and soon!
Picking up Ian McEwan's first short story collection from a "help yourself" library around the corner from my house, There's something so raw and original about the stories it reminds me to seek out the first works of more well established authors.
Taking my brother and his girlfriend to Winkel for apple pie. It was busy, noisy and I had to change Baby Bird's (very dirty) nappy at our table but the apple pie really is totally worth it.
Going for a bike ride with NewMan while my parents looked after Baby Bird. It's these very simple, mundane, "normal" things I miss most now we have to factor in a baby into our transportation plans. I cannot wait for when he's old enough to sit on the front of one of our bikes.
Stopping at a new noodle restaurant we noticed in the Jordaan during that bike ride. I've never been a huge fan of ramen but their miso flavour broth has already changed my mind.
Going out that night for dinner at a fancy Moroccan restaurant - our first date in over three months. There was candle light, there was delicious food, there was grown-up conversation without a single raspberry blown or a coo-ing with wide eyes. It was a wonderful evening. Of course, I was exhausted and in bed by ten, but that's not the point!
Learning that Baby Bird likes listening to The Beatles when out walking in his pram. Thanks to my own dad for discovering that!
Watching the leaves turn bright gold then fall into Amsterdam's canals. Autumn rocks in this city.
Feeling my confidence as a mum grow and grow and grow. And feeling the doubts and anxiety shrink a little.
Finishing the first draft of a short story that sort of ran away with me and needed a lot more structural work than I first anticipated. That's why it's not with you dear newsletter readers. I hope it's worth the wait.
Letting things like sending out the newsletter, finishing stories, writing regularly on the blog and occasionally my personal hygiene slip in order to stop and savour moments with Baby Bird that I've learned pass as quickly as they come... I hope you're doing the same with the moments of happiness that pop up each month in your life.
Frances M. Thompson
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