Back to Ploughing

Monday, September 30, 2013


She's here! She's here! Our wonderful daughter born on September 23rd just a little after 10pm after a fantastic labour (if such a thing can be said of labour). We cocooned ourselves together, her and I, in the hospital for 4 nights before coming home to the welcoming arms of all the duyvkens.
She weighed 3.16kgs at birth and was lovely and squooshy with wrinkly hands. She's still lovely, of course, but even after just one week she has lost some of that newborn wrinkliness.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Heart (very) full.
Why 'Back to Ploughing'? In Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth the main character's wife, Olan, delivers all her children on her own in their little house and then gets straight back to the fields.I figured that if Olan could do that then I (despite feeling a little nervous in the early stages of labour) would be fine delivering my baby with the support of Mr Duyvken, lovely midwives, the ob who has delivered all the duyvkens and great medical facilities right there just in case anything went awry. And, even though I didn't get right back to ploughing I kind of felt like I could. Our bodies are amazing.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Our freshly painted bedroom walls make a pretty good photo backdrop for blue-eyed boys.

Counting Down

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I think I just filled the car for the last time before Little One arrives.

A Final Flourish

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I started this little stroller quilt a long time ago when little Hugo first made his appearance but, as usual, it has taken ages to get it completed. I sewed the final stitches into the binding today and will pop it in the post to him tomorrow. I hope his big sister and two mums like it. It's like my own little 'screw you' to Russia.
No doubt Putin is shaking in his boots.
Welcome to the world Hugo Knox, may it grow in tolerance and acceptance as you grow in height and shoe size. With lots of love from me.

39 Weeks Pregnant

Monday, September 16, 2013

...and so ready to go. Please excuse the stain on my portable shelf and my pointy old lady elbows.

We did the big bedroom shuffle over the weekend so now everyone is where they need to be. I breathed a huge sigh of relief once we'd done that. It took all weekend to get the clothes/shoes/etc sorted and there is still a lot of stuff lying around that needs to find a home. I am hoping that doing a couple of hours each day will see things in much better shape by the time next weekend rolls around.

We also celebrated C's birthday (a few weeks ahead of schedule) over the weekend with some school friends and wonderful cousins. She had a ball. I had my traditional struggles with icing subsidence but I used a new recipe for the butter cake and it was delicious. I'm posting it here so I don't lose it.

Butter Cake Recipe from Sarah Hobbs, Food Editor, Taste.

  • 250g butter, softened1 cup caster sugar1 tsp vanilla extract3 eggs2 cups (300g) self-raising flour1/2 cup milk
Before starting, make sure all ingredients – eggs, milk and butter – are at room temperature. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line the base of two 20cm round cake pans.
Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the flour and milk, alternating, in batches, until just combined. Divide mixture evenly among the prepared pans and use the back of a spoon or small palate knife to smooth the surface. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centres comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool in pan for about five minutes before turning on to a wire rack to cool completely. Place one cake on a serving platter. Spread with icing and jam, if desired. Top with remaining cake and decorate with more icing and icing flowers.

There is not long now until this little one arrives, I get my body back and our family transforms once again. I welcome it with open arms!
      Breathe in.
        Breathe out.
          Heart full.


            Tuesday, September 03, 2013

            Happy Father's Day

            Monday, September 02, 2013

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