Tag Archives: life with baby

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!


Del at 6 months

This might be my favorite stage yet, in spite of the new set of challenges of changing sleep patterns and teething that strike about now. Del is getting so playful, opinionated and “interactive”. His interests and personality are beginning to emerge and every day reveals some new little thing he learns or discovers. Also, I did a set of 6 month photos that I am very proud of.

A few new facts about you, Del:

  • You’re sitting up! It’s just the most adorable thing ever, and happened almost overnight. After just a week or so of helping you balance, you had the whole thing down. The coolest part is watching you fold all the way to the floor, then lift yourself back up.
  • You weigh 17 lbs 8 oz. – staying right in that 50th percentile range.
  • You are getting too chubby for your Bumbo chair, but it’s still in use. I think we’re going to need a full on high chair soon though!
  • You are Mr. Social, always interested in people you meet, and you hate to go to sleep when people are over. You like to be in on the action.
  • You are still nursing – which I think puts us in the minority of moms and babies who nurse past 6 months. I love nursing and you’ve gotten very good and comfortable with it. It’s very easy and natural, and I look forward to several more months of this.
  • You’re eating solids now and you seem to love this new adventure. So far you’ve had sweet potatoes, bananas, avocado, pears and carrots. You loved everything but carrot – the carrots made you grimace and spit.
  • We have to much more deliberate with your sleeping these days to make sure you get enough sleep. You’re a light sleeper during the day – I blame the construction across the street, but it might just be your little Rabbit temperament. And we’re working on getting you to accept an earlier bedtime. It has not been easy.
  • You love swimming!  Thanks to Dad’s bathtime practices, you are so relaxed and happy in the water that you lay on your back and kick like mad. With Dad’s help, you are even  beginning to float on your own, to the amazement of your parents and the other parents at the pool.
  • You still love Somebunny for naps and bedtime. And now that you’re rolling around and sitting up, even more toys are fun to you. You especially like the mirror on your playmat, and a set of fabric blocks that Don & Linda brought to you.
  • You’re a little jabberer but no words yet. I am pretty sure you know some words though – when I say or sign milk, you nestle down to nurse. We are going to begin working on some more signs now.

My little Red Bean, here you are at 6 months:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A to Z: day in the life of Del

image from grassrootsmodern.com

A is for a.m, when you drag me from sleep, cooing and smiling till I am giggling and trying not to wake your dad.

B is for breastfeeding in bed, lying side by side while you contentedly suckle.

C is for coffee with almond milk, fixed while you sit in your Bumbo chair on the counter, watching my every move.

D is for diapers. Dozens of diapers.

E is for ears, I talk to you all day long so your brain stays busy learning.

F is for feet, your favorite toys.

G is for gagging – you suck on your fingers till you gag yourself at least once a day.

H is for happy. You smile and laugh so easily.

J is for jumping when dad startles you with his loud sneezes.

K is for knitting you lay on the floor beside me, kicking.

L is for laundry, there is always more to be done.

M is for meals, you always seem to want your meal just when mine is ready.

N is for naps – short cat naps all day.

O is for onesies – piles and piles of onesies.

P is for Pumpkindoodle, a silly nickname, I know. Sorry.

Q is for how quickly you grow.

R is for rolling over – you’re so close, but not quite. More tummy time for you, Mister.

S is for stroller and sling, two things you love. And for sun, one thing you hate.

T is for toys, which all go straight to your mouth.

U is for undressed – which you seem to like because it’s easier to get your feet into your mouth that way.

V is for vomit that runs down my shoulder about a dozen times a day. Gross.

W is for water in your nighttime bath with Dad, where you float and kick and come out smelling sweet and clean.

X is for all the names you didn’t get stuck with.

Y is for yawning – you have the cutest yawn in the world.

Z is for the zzz of your little sleepy snore.

Del at 4 months

My baby is changing so fast! I just managed to shoot his 4 month pictures and wow! (Ok, I also got a new lens for my camera today so am not only gushing over my baby but also over the lens.) But this is the mommy blog, not the photography blog, right? Here’s our little guy – look at the differences since last month!

A few new facts about you, Del:

  • You are STRONG! You like to stand on your chubby little legs with someone helping you balance.
  • You weigh 15 lbs 3 oz.
  • You really like your Bumbo chair, and sit in it on the kitchen counter while I clean or cook.
  • You’re interested in almost everything, and look intently at trees, television, pictures of yourself, and your mom and dad.
  • You are still nursing like a champion, and love to snuggle in bed to nurse and nap.
  • You’ve been much more restless at night lately, waking often to eat. But still just cat naps during the day most of the time. Which can make it hard to get housework or photowork done sometimes.
  • You hang out with dad when I go to photo shoots, and you kind of give him a hard time sometimes. But you take your bottle well, and you like when he takes you on walks.
  • You like lots of toys now! Your special ones are a soft white bunny from Auntie Kristi (named Somebunny), a cloth rattle with bright pictures on each end, and the playmat on loan from your friend Violet.
  • You’ve started making a whole new sound: screeching. You love to do it, it’s loud, and sometimes you scare yourself. Other times you make yourself laugh.
  • And you laugh A LOT! Things that make you laugh: if someone screeches back to you, being bounced on the bed, being bounced while you stand up with help, and sometimes just mom making silly words and faces to you.
  • You can hold and chew on your toes, and you love doing it. It’s so adorable.
  • You still don’t really care for long photo shoots.

So, Red Bean, you, at 4 months:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Contributing writer Ann Croft: Balancing the Blue Box

I met Ann years ago in a book club. I got too busy to keep up with the club but a few months ago Ann and I crossed paths again when we discovered (thanks, Facebook!) that I had hired the same midwives that Ann had used for her daughter Violet’s birth. Violet was just a few months old and I was a few weeks pregnant when Ann and I met up for coffee. Since then, we’ve met up regularly, and Ann was one of Del’s first visitors after his birth. For so many reasons, I’m a lucky woman to know Ann – not the least of which is that she is hilarious. I’m super excited she’s writing for Woah Baby!

Could *you* pull this off? I don't think so.

My 11-month old daughter is obsessed with wearing things on her head.  It all started with a blue gift box that someone left on the floor.  Violet discovered it and somehow managed to put it on her head. . . it was a perfect fit. She now puts everything on her head to test whether or not it will stay put.  She has discovered a black Fedora that used to be mine and pink baby sunglasses that she will only wear on her eyes for a few seconds before attempting to put them on her head.  These, along with the original blue box are her favorite accessories to wear while she plays.

Watching her figure out how to open the glasses and put them on her head or how to maintain the balance of the blue box while playing with her blocks fascinates me.  I could watch her do this for hours.  And it’s not just me.  My husband sits and stares at her playing for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.

We realized the other day that our television is almost never on anymore.  There is no need for the mind-numbing drone of the boob tube.  I can instead watch Violet yell into her stacking toy and press the on-button of her Elephant popper over and over until the batteries slow the music to a creepy carnival crawl.  We sit like a sit-com audience, and watch as she flips through the board book “Peek a Who” upside down and backwards for the 10th time in a row cheering when she tosses it aside with a flourish to move on the next thing.

Its repetitive, unstructured play and it fascinates me.  My sister says she is mapping.  And I suppose that’s what she’s doing.  Mapping – learning – figuring out the world around her and how it works.  Then tossing aside the round block and moving on to the green ball – all the while rocking those pink sunglasses precariously perched on her head.