Yummy smoothie for two

Del’s breakfast this morning was so good I ate some of it myself.

1/2 c diced frozen mango

1 fresh banana

1/4 c whole goats milk yogurt

1 inch cube of tofu
Blend all ingredients in the blender till mangoes are thoroughly blended. Share breakfast with baby.


Like father…

We use our X-Box for the majority of our television/movie viewing, so we use an X-Box controller as our “remote”. Del is convinced this must be the greatest thing ever to play with, mainly because he is not allowed to play with it.

But a few days ago, Zach found an older controller, and Mr. D is a happy, happy camper.


Tea and sympathy

My son is flinging Melissa & Doug wooden magnet letters off the refridgerator door and onto the floor, in one efficient stroke per letter, an emotional and wordless protest of the cough that just took over and didn’t let up until he cried.

I am not going to stop him. I felt the same way this morning when the same cough, or at least the cough from the same bug he’s got, hit me at 7 am, so instead of staying snugly asleep with baby and husband, I was up making lemon tea with honey, and used the very last, squeezing-pleading, drops of honey… farewell elixer of relief. One more reason I have to go out and run errands instead of napping this morning.


A photo essay on month 8

My child, you are almost nine months old. In the last three months you’ve gone from a wobbly sit to a confident crawl; from still to constant motion. You’ve gone from only ever mama’s milk to fruits, veggies, yogurt, and Cheerios. You’re growing! Here are some of my favorite pictures from this month.

 

Preparations for winter: knitting sweaters. Del models.

Continue reading


Feeding baby

I have a ton of pictures and an 8 month update to write – you know, right before my child turns 9 months old. But this is a quick one because I am 1) tired and busy and 2) inspired to write this at this moment.

image borrowed from thedeliciousrevolution.com

Thank you, Trader Joes, for helping me feed my baby.

I know that sounds silly – especially given the cultish devotion of much of my generation to TJ’s – but this morning I went shopping for just a few days worth of easy-to-make meals to tide us over till we leave for the beach. I also needed some staples and a few new additions to Del’s diet. Staples: bananas (perfect because he eats half and I eat half!) and a sweet potato to steam and puree. Steel-cut oats to make his oatmeal. New items: freeze-dried banana slices with no sweeteners or additives! Goat milk yogurt! Tofu!

Making Del’s food is both challenging and very satisfying. For far less than the cost of jarred babyfood, I prepare and feed him real food that isn’t laced with chemicals and additives. Because it’s real food, it’s part of the family diet too (bananas, oatmeal, and holy cow – pun intended – is that goat milk yogurt delish!!). It’s easy to cook a small pot of lentils because I keep lentils for our meals. When I make green beans, I can steam and puree a handful for Del and freeze them. I have to stay on top of what’s prepared and waiting for him, portioning it and providing him with suitable variety of tastes and food groups and nutrients. Lucky for us that while he’s still breastfeeding, portions and nutrients are incidental – which gives me time to get used to thinking about my baby’s menu before the day comes that he relies entirely on the foods I give him.

At any rate, in a busy week, the day after a rough night of teething, I was grateful for a pleasant shopping experience that afforded an array of quality real food options for my little guy.


Kimchi and company

My phone is dead so here is a picture of someone else’s kimchi.

So I’ve been on the fence about most of the meet-up gatherings I have attended. To clarify, meetup.com is a website where folks can create groups and gatherings (meet-ups) around any kind of topic, interest, motivation you can imagine. Not surprisingly, there are lots of moms meet ups, because, let’s face it: it can be lonely without a good network of friends who also are home with their kids, and it can be hard to find friends in a new place. More here on my saga in that regard. I’ve gone to a couple of local mom group meet ups and found them tolerable, even mildly enjoyable, but in the end, they’re an inorganic and forced way of finding people to spend time with. But finally I think I have come across a group where I feel comfortable and can do genuinely interesting things with other moms.

The group is about a half-hour away, but in a neighborhood on our target for our move next summer. And the group has a definite bias toward attachment parenting style, so the cloth diapers and breastfeeding and baby sleeping in my bed are all things no one there is at all surprised by. (You can’t really commisserate about the challenge of getting a good sleep with your little one under your arm with folks whose answer will be “so sleep train!” or about nursing a wiggly almost-9-month-old to folks who think you’re odd to be still nursing at all.)

The first gathering that fell on a day I could join was today – a get-together to attempt making kimchi. Five moms attended, along with about nine little ones. A couple of women had already chopped and brined overnight a significant quantity of napa cabbage. Together, we chopped shallots, green onions, garlic, ginger, and carrots. And in big mixing bowls we each combined ingredients for a total of about (i’m guessing here) 3 gallons of kimchi, divided into jars of various sizes for us to divide up and take home. Those who contributed more supplies took home more, but even those of us (me) who came with only green onions and some apples and peanut butter for snacks got a couple of jars. I can’t wait to try it – it smelled insanely good in preparation.

While we worked together the kids played, and it was easy to step away from a task to nurse or play. Most of us had a baby in a carrier for all or some of the morning. Del played on the floor and later fell asleep in the mei tai on my back. Conversation was comfortable. I felt like these were moms I would want to see again.

In fact, we all felt that way. And made plans to meet every two weeks for some kind of productive cooking project – baking bread, canning fall produce, making some bulk meals to take home and freeze. Or, as my friend Kristi put it: better living through hippies. Hear! Hear!


A little more on sleep

Sometimes you come across sentiments so in line with your own heart, and so much more eloquently written, that you need to share them. As we continue to work out what sleep looks like for Del, and tangentially for me and Zach, I find this mother’s “sleep method” to be the ground on which I will sit. The entire post is worth reading, but here are some parts that particularly resonate for me.

“Sometimes we want comfort because something bothers us. Sometimes we’re rocked by the waves of life and battered by stresses. Sometimes we cling to those we love because we seek solace in comfort. Sometimes we cry because of pain or discomfort but find peace and calm in the arms of someone that we are close to. This applies to adults who have all the words in the world to communicate their needs and to understand them. To adults who have had years to fine-tune their ability to self comfort.

Since you have no words, I do not know the meaning behind your cries. And since you are an infant, I do not choose to attribute malice or aforethought to your cries that soothe as soon as I pick you up. I do not view you as a cunning little creature that wishes to interfere with my life by insisting on being near me.”

Think about the last time you wanted or needed the physical comfort of another person’s nearness. If snuggling, spooning, or otherwise linking your body to your spouse’s in your sleep is not something you desire, you might not understand – but you’re in a very small camp if  you don’t. There is no manipulation involved when I lay my head on my husband’s chest. Likewise, there is none involved when my child – who not too long ago lived nestled within my body – reaches for me.

“I cannot think of any reason why I should feel okay letting you lay there screaming. Yes, I need sleep. Of course I need sleep. And I snatch that sleep where I can. Yes, I like sleep. I love sleep. I’ve acquired that taste for lazy days of lounging around in bed. Lazy days that I can’t remember the last of. I have words to vocalize these needs of mine. I have people that I can speak with, and I can even make a stab at  saying it eloquently. “I need sleep.” Sometimes I’m so tired that I could cry with that need for sleep.

I am grown. I am strong. I understand the passage of time and that THIS will pass. You will sleep. Your infancy is the briefest part of the brief time that you are a child in need of my arms.”

There is really nothing I do that is so important I cannot either do it while a little bit tired, or pause it now to help my child and later again to take a nap myself. Were I a president, or a doctor, or a a genius with a gift the world needed it might be different. My talents and skills will still be there, and the pleasures and activities I enjoy will still be there … this few months to be tired is not too much for me.

“You learn that your bed is a safe place to be while awake. When you fuss or cry I pick you up and tell you “I know, you want to be held right now.” You learn that your bed is not a place where you are abandoned, but rather a place that you can happily be while awake.

I nurse you when you need to nurse, trusting you to know your needs and your hunger.

I smile at you and talk to you about how snuggly and warm your pajamas are. How sleepy and relaxed you look. I stroke your cheek and let you savor the sleepiness as you drift off feeling safe.”

I am not “ruining” or “spoiling” my child. I am teaching him how to sleep, how to trust that the world around him is safe while he sleeps, how to enjoy and appreciate sleep. Del’s crib is beside our bed now, and he is learning to wake, see us, and be comforted with a quick touch during the night. I know when he wakes from hunger because my breasts are full. He nurses and falls back to sleep as if he never woke, and I can move him back to his crib. And then I snuggle up to Zach, and our family sleeps.


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