Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
More peas, please.
You might have heard the rule about introducing babies to new foods. Given the heightened fear about food allergies, it's recommended you start new foods one at a time and continue with the same food for a few days before adding another. That way, if baby has a reaction, you'll immediately know what the offending food is.
On Friday night, we introduced homemade pureed peas. And there was a clear reaction. B couldn't get enough of them. She grunted and made "mmmm" sounds and bounced up and down in her highchair. It was the first time she finished a whole serving of veggies.
What's more, that night she slept 6 hours. In a row.
...Now, I took a lot of science courses in college, and I understand the difference between correlation and causation. But for those who have been following the blog, you also know that B hasn't slept all that well since she was 2 months old. After taunting us with 9-hour stretches of sleep at 8 weeks, she went on a slumber strike that has only just recently improved. As sleep-deprived parents often will do, Kris and I have been grasping at straws, trying to figure out the magic solution to get her to sleep longer. Naturally, we jumped on this pea correlation.
Saturday night, we offered peas again. Again, B laughed, grabbed for the spoon, and smiled as the bright green mush dripped from her chin. She cleaned her plate, again. And that night, she logged a 7-hour sleep stretch.
Tonight marks 5 nights since we introduced the peas, and according to the feeding rule, we could introduce another new food. Heck, we could have tried something new last night. But we're afraid. I've felt more rested the past few days than I have in months, and I'm not ready to give that up.
So there you go. Our daughter will be eating peas every night for the rest of her life. Or at least until she goes off to college.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
DIY Baby Food
A few people have asked me about making baby food for Bronwynn. "Isn't it a pain?" No...So far, it's been super easy to do, and I really enjoy it, more so than cooking for the grownups!
"Isn't jarred food okay?" Totally. I still use organic jarred food when out and about for its convenience. I just like giving B homemade food whenever possible for its freshness and so I can customize her meals.
"Does it take long to make?" Nope. I thought I'd walk you through how I make a batch of apple puree. The process is basically the same no matter what fruit or veggie you want to turn into baby food.
Start with your favorite organic, baby-friendly fruit or veggie. Apples were on sale this week at Safeway :) Cut and core the apples.
Put them in a steamer with just a couple inches of boiling water beneath. Let them steam for about 12-15 minutes, or until soft. While you're waiting, you can...
...load the dishwasher
...have a cup of coffee
...or change your squirmy baby's diaper!
Here's what the apples look like after they've been steamed. They smell so yummy. (you'll have to take my word for it!)
Scrape the apple off the peel and into the food processor. Add a little water if the apples are too thick.
All done! I freeze it into cubes and just pull out a couple cubes to thaw before meals. It keeps for about 3 months in the freezer and retains nutrients better than jarred foods. Plus, it saves money, and I know that B is eating something I prepared just for her!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Drunk Guys & IguanasThere are certain dangers that new parents expect to worry about: SIDS, choking, falls, deadly diseases. ...Drunk college kids aren’t among them. (At least not yet!). However, in the past two weeks, we've had to protect Bronwynn from intoxicated idiots not once, but TWICE.
Location: Key West, FL
Time: 6:45 a.m
The Scene: The first gentle rays of dawn’s light are breaking through the windows of the guest cottage, darkness lifting as the sky takes on a pale blue glow. It’s the first morning of our long-awaited trip to visit my aunt and uncle in Key West. Kris woke up early to go fishing with my uncle Nick, leaving B and I cozily asleep—-me beneath the crisp cotton sheets on the bed, Bronwynn nearby in her crib. I hear Kris get dressed and leave, the door squeaking closed behind him. Not 5 minutes later, it squeaks open again. In my sleepy haze, I assume Kris has returned because he’s forgotten something. I open one eye to see a young man standing at the foot of my bed, sporting khaki shorts and a blue t-shirt. Not Kris’ clothes. The guy is looking around. He has a beard. Kris does not have a beard. I sit straight up and stare at the guy in disbelief, half expecting this to be a dream. The man begins to take his clothes off. This is not a dream.
A little background: Key West is a popular Spring Break destination. We were there visiting Suzie and Nick during prime Spring Break season. Their house is only a block away from the main strip of bars and restaurants. It’s also adjacent to a hotel that has several guest houses where many of the college kids stay. However, Suzie & Nick’s property is gated and secure on all sides by a tall fence. To get in, you’d have to scale the fence.
Praying that this is just a stupid, drunk kid and not a homicidal maniac, I yell “This is not your room! You have to leave.”
The guy stares at me blankly. I repeat, “This is not your room, you have to leave!”
“Are you Ellen?” the guy slurs.
“NO! You have to leave. Let me show you the door.” I approach the door, heart pounding, thinking that if necessary, I can run out of the cottage and scream for help. Thankfully, the guy backs off, grabs his shorts and leaves willingly. I slam the door shut behind him, lock it, and call my aunt at the main house, who calls the police. About this time, I hear a knock on the door. I ask who’s there, and hear “It’s Kris. Open up!”
Turns out Kris had forgotten his camera and returned...He missed the intruder entirely and had no idea why I wouldn’t open the door up for him!
A while later, Suzie finds the guy passed out on a couch by the pool and the police cart him away. Only slightly more sober, the guy is very apologetic, though he’s still confused as to how he got on our property. I hope he had the mother of all hangovers and learned his lesson.
Location: Keystone, CO
Time: 6:30 p.m.
The Scene: In the mountains for a weekend ski trip with my dad, stepmom, and sister, we decide to grab a bite at the local Mexican restaurant. The NCAA Final Four basketball game is broadcasting throughout the dining room, and it’s drawn a mixed crowd of sports fans, après ski party animals, and families with small children who like to eat dinner early. We’re seated at a table next to a television and a pool table. Bronwynn and I have our backs to the pool table, and she’s nursing.
A few minutes after we sit down, a couple guys come over and begin a game of pool. I hear the clanking and crashing of pool balls behind me, but think nothing of it...until the blunt end of a pool cue is shoved in my face. A tipsy ski bum looks at me as if he expects me to move and says “c’mon, I’ve gotta get this shot to beat this guy.” He can clearly see I’m holding a baby and can’t move easily, but he persists. So I reluctantly shuffle over to the side so he can make his shot. Our server sees this happening and tells the guy to leave us alone, and she leans in and tells me that he’s been at the restaurant drinking all day and I should try to ignore him.
A few more minutes pass. Bronwynn is now asleep in my arms while I eat. Again, the pool cue enters my periphery. But this time, it’s poised less than two inches from B’s head. The drunk guy has his arm cocked and ready to shoot, and I yell “hey, watch it!” shielding B’s head with my arm.
Drunk guy’s friend: “Dude, you’re about to bash that baby’s head in!”
Kris jumps up from the other side of the table, ready to intervene if the guy doesn’t back off. Thankfully, he does. But to be safe, Kris switches seats with me, getting B and I out of harm’s way.
The guy lost the pool game.
And, what about the iguana?
As if the drunk intruder wasn’t enough, later that same day in Key West an overly friendly iguana wandered onto the property, frightening the tails off Suzie’s dogs and catching us by surprise, too. Bronwynn wasn’t fazed, though. She thought it was a new pet.