Weeks 17-20/2022

End of April and most of May came and went in a blurr. I had so many work issues to deal with, some of them quite demanding, that all the time that was left was dedicated to activities with Toddler and finally crashing out at the end of the day when putting her to bed, especially due to this:

28 weeks

We’ve been hatching a second little one for a while now, and she’s due to arrive at the end of July. Everyone warned me, quite rightly, that a second pregnancy is much more tiring than a first, with a little one out and about. The peak of that, for me, was really after our holidays in Portugal and the whole month of May. Still, we did things.

May brought some sunshine with it, sometimes quite warm, sometimes a bit cold, but all around a great month for going to the park. Parks, plural! We met for a picnic with a friend at the park during Z’s day off and my lunch break at work. After crèche, we stop at the park very often and Toddler has been loving the skate park and improving her bike and scooter riding. She also loves playing in the sand from the beach volley court. We catsat our friend’s cat for a few days and discovered a new park next to their place. We had the first ice creams of the season.

Applauding daddy for the 20km de Lausanne. This is our favourite race: it goes from the lake to the Cathedral and back down to the lake in a really festive environment. Toddler felt it and was applauding the runners enthusiastically. On that day, we walked from home to the train, the metro, down to the lake, and back home again on the same route and she didn’t complain once, even though my watch was counting over 10’000 steps (so she probably did twice as much with her little legs)! The next day, she woke up walking a little weirdly and it took us a while to figure out that she, too, had walked her “20km de Lausanne”!

We went twice to the circus: one in Chaplin’s World, and the other was a show from the local circus school. Toddler spent the whole shows saying she wanted to go and play too. At the end of one of the shows, she went on her own to play on the equipment and the other children came along too.

Our house doesn’t have a balcony and, despite our love for it, has many, many other flaws which are incompatible with family life with two children. So, we have been looking for a new flat. In the meanwhile, we decided to make the most of the little garden space we have been assigned for as long as we’re here. Z cleaned it well, put a sandpit and we’ve had a few evening BBQ, sometimes just between us, sometimes with friends.

In an attempt to take it a little easier on some days, I worked from home. When Z is around, we sometimes go for lunch at our favorite neighbourhood restaurant. The food there is simple, but well cooked. Special mention to the magnificently grilled octopus with caponata, of which I didn’t get a good picture on my phone, but will definitely stay for a long time in my memory.

Speaking of food, a few things I cooked this month that are worth noting: rhubarb crumble pie – I love rhubarb and right now it’s rhubarb season so I’ve made this twice and will make it again – and Bacalhau à Zé do Pipo. This last one I made for the first time in my life, in order to present a portuguese menu with bacalhau to some friends who wanted to try but are not used to eating it. I find that in those situations, it is easier to start with some of these dishes where bacalhau ends up mixed with mashed potatoes, caramelized onions, olive oil all over – especially if children are involved. To go with it, I made Pudim Molotof, which I hadn’t eaten in years! I love this dessert, but it was always made by one of my cousins’ grandmother, whom I hadn’t seen for a long time before she passed away, so making this was also a first for me. It was delicious!

I went to a congress in Lyon for two days. The congress in itself was not as interesting as I’d hoped, but it was still nice to see something different. To walk to the location, we had to cross a beautiful park, which I preferred to public transport despite the heat, swollen legs and a lot of fatigue.

I came back just in time for the Fête des Voisins, and evening in which gatherings between neighbours are promoted all over Suisse Romande. We live in an attic apartment in an old manor house. The neighbours who organised the evening live in the main building, so we got to enjoy the beautiful evening in its court, with the last rays of light shining between the leaves of the ancient linden tree and the sound of the water in the fountain providing the sensory background to some great conversations. We also found that our new neighbours are lovely and one of them was a well known opera singer!

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