Category Archives: Helpful information

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

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.


Pins Pins Everywhere

Here’s what I’ve been pinning lately.

Haba brand toys from are absolutely beautiful, clever and environmentally-conscious. My toy philosophy is simple: fewer and better quality trumps cheap quantity.

Source: via Katie on Pinterest


Handmade toys naturally fit the bill!

For when Del’s a little older. I love the idea of making his drawings into small stuffed pillows!

Source: via Katie on Pinterest

When the time comes for Del to have his own room, cubbies like these will look great and hopefully help us stay tidy.

I also think this would be really cute in a little boy’s room!

Nice touch for the bathroom – it both provides a place for bath toys AND limits you to what will fit in this space. We all need boundaries.

What are you pinning lately?

Link: Parenting tips from Harry Potter

This post on Babble blogs by Kacy Faulconer is exactly what I needed today. That, and a butterbeer and a few hours with Goblet of Fire.

My favorite tips:

 Embrace their quirks. Celebrate, encourage, embrace, and love the quirkiest of their quirks. No one knows this better than the Lovegoods and even Seamus Finnigan’s penchant for fireworks comes in handy in the end.

Warn them about evil in case they encounter if face to face. You have to prepare them. You don’t do them any favors pretending you-know-who isn’t real.

Love your children’s friends. Hug them, cook for them, help them shop, give them Christmas presents and good advice. Obliterate any nasty death eaters who lay a hand on them–also knit them sweaters.

Encourage them to read and do their homework. Knowing things really does come in handy some times–Could even save the world!

Treat all living things with kindness and respect. “Dobby is happy to be with his friend. . . Harry Potter.” Giant tear.

Which tips would be your top 5?

Great Tips on Flying with Baby

Ann found this post about flying with baby. I think it’s great!

We had no problems at all flying with Del. I admit, my kid is the Best Baby In The World, so possibly I have it easy.  A few tips gleaned after  our experience:

The most interesting baby in the world: “I don’t always fly, but when I do, I fly with Dis Mommie.”

1) Take direct flights if at all possible. Ours required flying out of an airport a bit farther than usual, but it was worth it to avoid the whole connection bruhaha.

2) TSA allowed me to leave Del in the Moby wrap both times through security. Possibly because it was a soft/fabric wrap vs a structured carrier? Some things I read said they would make me take him out but that was not the case, and it was VERY helpful to be able to leave him slung on. Zach managed all the rest of the security nonsense, right down to putting my shoes on the floor for me to slip them back on.

3) Using the Moby on the plane was really helpful too. Del was snugly in my lap. I had my hands more or less free. It was not hard to go from wrapped to unwrapped for nursing, and back to wrapped.

4) We gave ourselves oodles of extra time getting to the airport so that when we got to the gate, we had time to sit down, let Del play on a blanket on the floor, and change diaper for boarding. Having that time also helped me feel relaxed and in control. Just leave too early – it’s worth it.

5) Rental car infant seats are terrible. We had decided to leave the car seat/stroller behind to avoid the charges (turns out, a lot of airlines don’t charge to check your stroller plane-side). And we added an infant seat to our car rental. First off the seat was really too big for an infant. Secondly, it took us almost 40 minutes to figure out how to install it (even with the help of the rental agent) which was NOT fun at 1 am with a baby who, after sleeping like a, well, baby, during the flight, was now WIDE awake, in need of a diaper change, and had two very cranky parents. Once the horrific thing was installed, I had to put my child in it. It sat up too far so his head fell forward if he fell asleep, it had no head protection on the sides, no padding on the straps so they left red marks on his neck. Every time I put him in it, I apologized that he had to ride in this seat. Next time we’ll definitely take our own car seat.

Overall, things went smoothly. And to the woman in front of me on our departing flight, who said loudly into her cell phone as the plane was boarding, “Oh my god, I’m surrounded by screaming children.” (Yes, four babies on a prop jet. And not one was or ever did scream, cry or even talk too loudly…), you are old, and not that far away from incontinence, soft foods and a caretaker. I suggest you rethink your outlook on babies. And lower your voice.

And we’re off…

This morning I’m scouring Babble for tips on traveling with a baby. There’s not a ton…

baby in air port

image from, selected for the hand-knit outfit this adorable kid is wearing.

We have made one trip since Del was born, an overnight stay in New York City (that included a visit with our friends Amanda and Jordan, who were expecting then, and now are at home with their beautiful daughter Alison!) We took the train, which was heavenly. Del was about three months old then, and we took turns holding him in our laps or in the sling. He slept most of the way. We used our fantastic hybrid diapers with the disposable inserts. Del slept with us in the bed at the hotel. I carried him in the sling everywhere we went because NYC’s subways have no elevators. I don’t know how mamas there do it. Three cheers for DC’s metro. Continue reading

Maybe you want to read something else?

Part of the delight of the annual blogathon is coming across other blogs by writers you really enjoy. I know I will like a blog when I find both the content and the writer’s unique voice suit my taste – that is as indivually governed as choosing friends, so just because I like it doesn’t mean you will. But, it never hurts to introduce your friends to your other friends, so readers, here are a couple of writers I’m enjoying these days.


Doña of Aubergine

Ok, I admit I just like saying “aubergine”. And I like reading the warm, relaxed and writerly musings of Doña Bumgarner. Her “About Me” says a lot: “Doña Bumgarner is a freelance writer, artist, photographer and mama who lives on the central coast of California with her family. This blog is where she writes about her journey into new mamahood at the age of 38 and learning how to weave her old self with the new one. She has been a maker of stuff since her first watercolor class at age 8. She believes there is good energy in things made from scratch and that the smell of baby heads and freshly-made bread are possibly the best things in the world.”

A few posts I’ve recently enjoyed include how to spring clean your life (can be applied to any season, so don’t wait!), and her post on things she said she’d never do as a parent, which has a particular resonance in light of the Ann’s recent post about Elmo, and my new committment to being completely honest about parenthood in this blog. Doña is also a writer and artist, and her posts on writing are really inspiring and practical. I look forward to following for a long time to come.


Jennifer Derryberry Mann is a mom and yoga instructor who focuses her practice on helping expectant and new moms ease into the postures of motherhood. Her description of Mamahhh is inviting: “a meditation on self-care for the wondrous, winding journey through the labyrinth of motherhood. The blog has a simple yet profound purpose: It’s a daily reminder to {breathe, mama}. Through the amazing moments and the awkward ones, and in times both sublime and stressful, there’s nothing quite like a sweet deep breath to bring you into the marrow of the present moment.”

The marrow of my present moment: I am wearing a skirt and nursing bra because my beautiful boy spit up on me as I held him; he’s now cooing happily on the floor, locked in a contest between his left hand and his right over which will carry the teething ring to his mouth; the fan hums in the window and my fingers click away at my keyboard. It’s a good moment. *breathe*

I have particularly enjoyed Jennifer’s persuasive invitations to practice self-care as part of sane parenting. It’s a series of posts which are almost self-care in and of themselves, but I’m sure Jennifer would agree that the best self-cre (no matter how much you enjoy writing) takes place away from screens. Her web design is also beautiful, and she includes Karen Mazen Miller in her list of favorite blogs. *loves*

Speaking of moments: while I finished this post, my baby rolled from back to tummy for the first time. He learned tummy to back a few days ago. What a day!

It’s not all or nothing: Our adventures in Elimination Communication, Natural Infant Hygeine, or plain old pooping in the toilet.

Anna writes Murphybaby, one of my frequently visited blogs. As part of the Blogathon we are both doing, we were encouraged to do a Guest Post Swap, and I was really glad Anna agreed to swap with me. She lives on the West Coast, in Canada, on an island! She also has curly hair and is not afraid to write about poop.

It started ages ago, really. I read an article about elimination communication and thought ‘who has time for that? it sounds terrible’.

But the seed was planted, then. I began to take notice of blog posts and articles about going diaper-free, and to think about the logic. I found myself talking about the concept at mommy group. But still, it wasn’t for me, no way. I’m busy, I don’t have time for this stuff. I’m already using cloth diapers, I’m on the hippie parenting train about as much as I can be.

But a couple of weeks ago, I met a mom at mommy group whose daughter was wearing no diaper. She wore cute, tiny little panties and doesn’t even wear a diaper to bed. At six months old. My mind was blown, and the competitive part of myself was activated. If she can do it, I can, too. Continue reading