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Archive for March, 2012

of course

2012/03/30 3 comments

just to prove that she is, in fact, my mini-me, the moment i talked about the fact that she refuses to drink from a sippy cup, she did this. and was all, “in yo face, momma!”

one of the qualities that i have that can be either good or bad is that if you tell me i can’t do something? i’ll do my damnedest to prove you wrong. this can be good – leading me to excel at certain things (ahem, A+ in world history just to prove i could do better than my brother!). this can also be bad (not gonna put specific examples here, but will just say that doing something to prove someone wrong, when in fact you have absolutely no desire to do that thing in the first place? is stupid.)

seems like meeka may have inherited this from me. oy. the *fun* we will have in the coming years!

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fragments

2012/03/28 1 comment

Thanks so much for all the advice and suggestions! I’ve tried one recipe from Annabel Karmel and Meeka (and I!) looooooved it… tonight we’ll attempt recipe #2! On the sippy cup front, there hasn’t really been any progress. Upon checking our options at home, I found we already DO have a Nuby sippy cup (which she loves to throw on the floor, but drinking out of it? Eh. Not so much) – so. Yeah. However, in the past few days, what she HAS been doing is trying to drink from MY cup (obviously NOT a sippy cup, heh!) – she’ll reach for it, I’ll hold it and tip it gently, and then she’ll drink from it. Not *quite* the same as a sippy cup, but I’ll take it! (And need I say that I’ll only allow this when it’s water in my cup? Not that she doesn’t try for the coffee, but this little one has enough energy without it, unlike mommy!) (And at least I’m not feeding her mouth-to-mouth like a baby bird!)

On a food-related note, I just got the book “How to get your kid to eat – but not too much” by Ellyn Satter – and though I’m only a chapter in (because a certain little one has decided she wants to get up an hour earlier in the morning!) I’m loving it so far! I heard about it through Amalah, and like pretty much all of her baby-and-kid-and-life-in-general advice, I found it spot-on for my own general life philosophies… And if any of you are looking for an interesting baby-related read, I thought I’d pass the recommendation along 😉

Now for a totally unrelated topic with absolutely no segue – Meeka has been pulling up on EVERYTHING for quite awhile, started cruising moments thereafter and transferring at the same time … but she hasn’t seemed to have any desire to actually walk in a forward direction. Until last night. In an effort to get out some of her excess energy, we went to the building playroom – and all of a sudden, one of the toys she’s ignored up til now suddenly became oh-so-fascinating! Oh, yes – she found a (broken) baby walker:

And it was like a light bulb suddenly switched on – she pulled up, and then was off! She walked back and forth across that mat a good dozen times … though I will admit, about half of those times she was “walking” on her knees (which was also utterly adorable). The other parents in the room were all “oooooh”ing and “aaaaah”ing – and then telling me that she’ll be actually walking in weeks. To which I say, please, no. It can take a little longer. She can cut a terrific swath of destruction as it is! (And then they wanted to know how old she was, and couldn’t believe she’s only 9 months… because this baby? is 1. gigantic, and 2. super coordinated for her age… oh, and 3. very adventurous and VERY headstrong!)

(and sure, I may be bragging on her a little bit, but that’s totally my right as her adoring #1 fan, no? also, in the interest of full disclosure, she’s always been advanced on the physical milestones and dead average on the verbal ones. so. yeah. not exactly super baby over here, just average normal utterly adorable Meeka)

FOOD

2012/03/22 9 comments

While I’ve got a couple of other topics rattling around in my head, they’re going to need more time to become somewhat coherent… But while they are a-cookin’, I figured I’d go with this topic – FOOD! Namely, Meeka’s food.

 

We’re lucky. Meeka LOVES food. ALL food. While she didn’t take to green beans the first time she tried them, she was OK with them the second time, and gobbled them up after that. Everything else? She’s loving from the first taste she gets!

Well, OK. The second. She does this adorable thing where the first bite of whatever she’s eating that meal – no matter what it is, no matter how many times she’s had it before? She takes a bite, wrinkles her nose, and looks disgusted. Then she chews, swallows, reconsiders, and demands MORE! And proceeds to gobble it all up 🙂

Now, I make all of the food she eats (though I’d be lying if I said she hadn’t sampled some jarred stuff – because she has. All four or so jars of it). Mostly this is because it’s cheap and easy, and lets me have fun with what she’s eating ; and some of it is because some of those jars of baby food are so damn disgusting looking and smelling, I can’t stomach the thought of trying to feed them to her – just the smell makes me nauseous, so why would I feed them to my baby?!?! (Some, however, look and taste great. And I know this because I ate some of it through college – mixed fruit purees that are basically fancy applesauce? YUM! … And no, it’s not that I was never weaned from baby food, sheesh! It’s that some of the fruits looked so appetizing when I was wasting time wandering the grocery store in college – damn, I could use some of that free time back now, please! – I’d pick a jar or two up as a snack. And yup, it was tasty!)

My problem right now is coming up with age-and-developmentally appropriate new additions to her diet… So I’m throwing this out there, to see if some of you have any good ideas!

So far, she eats:

Veggies – peas (whole and puree), green beans (puree), carrots (puree and cooked+cut), squash (puree and cooked+cut), sweet potato (puree- one of her favorites!), real potato (cooked+cut), red and yellow pepper (diced into tiny pieces), spinach (puree)

Fruits – applesauce, bananas (puree and cut), avocados (puree and cut), apricots (puree), mangos (puree and cut), pears (puree and cut), plums (puree) … basically what I can get easily here, so mostly what’s in season

Grains – rice, pasta (cut), whole wheat toast (cut), waffles/pancakes (cut)

Dairy – yogurt, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese

Protein – black beans, refried beans, tofu, egg yolks … Now, I am a vegetarian so we don’t have much meat in the house, but my husband is not – so she’s sampled a tiny bit of chicken and a tiny bit of turkey. Oh, and she’s had some of my homemade falafel, so add chickpeas in there, too!

Now, I may be missing a few things, but that’s roughly it, I think…

To give you an idea of a typical eating-day for her, yesterday she ate: breastmilk, duh! and also – breakfast: a mix of banana and ricotta cheese (which she fed to herself) with some cheerios ; in daycare – cottage cheese, sweet potato + green beans (mixed together, puree) ; dinner – black beans, tofu chunks, pasta with parmesan cheese, peas (which she fed herself) … usually there is a fruit mix in daycare, but I’d run out yesterday – typically it would be a chunky puree of something like applesauce-banana-plum or mango-apricot-pear or whatever variety I had in stock…

Now, I think this little girl is eating pretty well – and with some decent variety, too! Each day we do a breakfast with some fruit and toast or cheerios ; she gets fruits and veggies for lunch/at daycare ; and dinner always has a protein, usually a grain, and also usually a veggie. My problem is – she’s such a good – and adventurous! – eater, and I want to encourage this… but I’m running out of ideas!

So – anyone have any suggestions (that are relatively easy to make) ????

Meeka would really love to hear all about the new yummy things that she’ll soon be tasting!

Also… since we’re on the food topic … anyone have a baby who refused sippy cups? If so, any advice on how you got them to take to them? My current strategy is to shrug, put them away for awhile, and we’ll try again in a bit when she might be ready. But if anyone has another suggestion, let me know!

 

 

photo-and-memory purge

2012/03/16 2 comments

Meeka is 9 months old. She is different today than she was just a month ago, and will be a month from now. Here are some memories from now…

Meeka loves picking up a toy, playing with it for a moment, then holding it out for you to take while you say “Thank you!” … before giving it right back to her. To wash, rinse, repeat. Ad nauseum. (At least she’s learning to share? And/or manners?)

This little girl is such a daredevil. She LOVES to be thrown/spun/turned upside down. (Also to climb, explore, and bash her head into things)

Sometimes she takes this pause, and you can just SEE her thinking. My little smarty-pants!

OK, this one is just funny. Total stink face here.  (Also baby faux-hawk. Any chance they go together? Meh)

Baby girl loves her food. Also feeding herself. She’s just… creative… about finding her mouth

Loves to read her Peekaboo books. SO.EXCITING!YAY! She pulls them out and squeals when we start. Adorable!

She’s waving and clapping – the typical baby stuff, I know. But she’ll wave and smile to EVERYONE. She’s quite the social butterfly. (Which she totally did NOT get from me, I’m shy now and was much worse when I was younger…)

Climbing and pulling up on everything? Check. Slapping every surface to make loud noises? Check.

She does this thing where if she’s put down on a mattress/pillow/soft surface, she’ll flop forward to lie belly-down on it… Just to test its softness, ya know? She’ll stay there a moment, smiling up at you, then get back up and go on her way.

(Side note: got a report from daycare yesterday that she did this lying down softness-check on another baby’s tummy. Which? So cute! Because we all know baby-tummies are the softest, squishiest, bestest head rests ever!)

She loves to explore (i.e. grab) everything around her… watching her figure things out for herself is possibly one of the greatest things about being a mommy. That and the cuddles. And her smell. And the cuddles. And, oh yes, the cuddles! 😉

NYC baby

2012/03/16 1 comment

Some days it hits me how very different Meeka’s babyhood is from the one I knew… That here we are, raising a child in the city – and not just any city, but NEW YORK CITY. Crazy.

Categories: big bad city living

My Day(s)

2012/03/15 1 comment

A little while back, Cloud at the Wandering Scientist wrote a post about motherhood and ambition, which led to a post about how her daily life flows, which led to a whole blog carnival over at feMOMhist about How To Do It All.

Which got me to thinking about my daily life, as it is now.

Now, I do NOT currently “have it all.” There are certainly things that I would love to change. I have ambitions that are not yet realized. I have plenty of places to go, people to see, things to do – that I currently cannot manage within the framework that is my typical day.

But? I DO have a pretty damn good life. One I quite enjoy. One that allows me to almost have it all. And one that I can see evolving to a place where I WILL have it all. And until I do? The almost-all I have right now? Is pretty damn sweet.

Life is constantly evolving, and I know that the days that I have now will be changing over time. My husband is currently in the midst of studying for the biggest test of his life, one that is an absolute prerequisite to his getting a job in his field. Until it is over in May, well, I’m doing a semi-single-parent gig. Once that’s over, my daily schedule will change. For the next year, as he completes his fellowship and applies for jobs, it will be different. And then, once he gets that job and we leave the city, it will change yet again.

But for now – today, tomorrow, this month and the next – these are the days of my life:

WEEKDAYS-

5:30AM: I wake up at this time 2-3 days a week, in order to get in some time alone, which I usually spend showering, drinking coffee, etc etc.

sometime around 6:15AM: Meeka wakes up! We cuddle and nurse for about 30 minutes* while she semi-dozes before actually getting up for the day

by 7AM: We’re both UP! And ready to DO THINGS! Which usually means we play in her room for another 15-30 minutes as I finish my coffee and we read stories, she hands me toys over and over again while I tell her “THANK YOU!”, or we empty out her bottom drawer over and over again… or do something else, yes, usually over and over again

around 7:30AM: Breakfast! Typically a bowl of cereal with fruit and almond milk for me, cheerios and cut-up fruit for her

7:45ish: DONE! We clean up, then go get dressed for the day

8AM: Time to walk the dog! Where we go depends on the weather… now that it’s finally nice out again, I think we’ll start heading out earlier so we can enjoy the outdoors longer 🙂

8:30AM: Now, in an ideal world, this is when I’d be dropping Meeka off at daycare. In the real world? It’s usually when I’m putting the last touches of our day’s bags together (cloth diapers, any needed changes of clothes, and daily bottles and foods for Meeka; breast pump with bottles, etc, lunch, keys, phone, ID, wallet, kindle, and anything else I might need for me)

8:35-8:45AM: Daycare drop-off. Can I just take a moment to say how lucky we are? Our daycare – which we LOVE! – is IN OUR BUILDING. Dude. DUDE. We got so lucky! … Now, on a daily basis, the drop-off looks something like this: go downstairs, enter infant room, say hello to everyone, put food away, carry Meeka with me to back of room where cribs and cubbies are to put diapers, etc away, re-enter main part of room still carrying Meeka to fill in daily form (what time she woke, ate, was diapered, etc), chat for a minute with whoever is there, put Meeka down to have her WAIL about her EXTREME DISPLEASURE, wave goodbye, leave room. Because, yup, you got it – we’re going through separation anxiety. Whoo boy are we. Now, SOME days I can plop her down when we arrive in the room and she’ll go right to playing with her friends. But most? Nope. That’s not gonna happen. (However? I have it on very good authority she stops crying within a minute of me leaving. So. Yeah. My heart may break just a little each morning, but hers? I’m pretty sure is doing just fine). It’s 50-50 on whether I carry my own bags with me downstairs and depart from there, or whether I hike back up to our place to grab them and go (it all depends on what we’re schlepping that day)

8:45ish-9 to 9:15ish: commute to work. I either take the walk, take the subway, and walk some more; or take a bus, then a second bus; or take a bus, and then walk. It usually takes about 30 minutes. It’s not a 30minutes I can use to do anything else. It’s not my favorite time of day.

9ish-noonish: WORK. I work in a biological science lab. I do bench research. Each day is different, depending on my planned experiments. Most days, I am able to intersperse my work with checking email, checking blogs, and/or writing – mostly because many of the experiments I do have periods of down-time inherent to the experiment (i.e. incubations, etc) and while I try to plan my days as efficiently as possible and can swing doing multiple experiments at once, some experiments have such short periods of down-time (1-to-5 minutes) that I find the most productive thing for me to do during them is veg at my computer, rather than attempt to push something into that small amount of time and ruin either or both experiments. (For example, this post is being written in 1-minute and 5-minute increments, because my afternoon experiment has numerous microfuges, etc, that are just long enough to allow me to type, but not really long enough to do much else with… including read a paper, etc, which – for me, at least – requires more of my concentration and certainly can’t be done in 5 minutes!)

12-12:30: pump, eat lunch (yes, at the same time), and read a book

12:30-4pm: WORK

4-4:15: pump again, usually read a scientific article at the same time

4:15-5pm: wrap up experiments, get everything ready for the next day

5-5:30: commute home

5:30: pick up Meeka from daycare, head upstairs to apartment

5:30-6pm: Invariably, no matter how happy Meeka is when I pick her up (and she’s usually all sunshine and rainbows), the moment we get in our door she becomes Little Miss Needy. She whines when I take a moment to put down our bags and take off my shoes, screams when I put her down so that I can put the milk in the fridge, and will NOT put up with me attempting to do anything more than these basics. NOT until she’s had some quality time with my boobies. And so we comfort nurse*, until she’s Little Miss Happy again.

6pm-6:30 or 6:45: Dog-and-baby show redux. Though about half the time, the husband does the evening dog walk (when he’s available)

6:40ish: Dinner prep. If the husband is home, he’ll play with Meeka while I cook. If he’s not, she’ll sit and watch me from her highchair (usually while eating cheerios) while I cook. Needless to say, there is a vast difference in what “cooking” means between the two… One means actual cooking, the other is usually soup/salad/bread or pasta (often re-heated)/salad/bread

6:45-7:15: Dinner.

7:15-8pm: Varies; on days Meeka is exhausted, we go straight to her bedtime routine (which is: bath, PJs, lights out, lullabies, cuddles and nursing*, to bed in crib. I want to work stories in there at some point, but at the moment? She gets too excited about reading – as in, she bounces and slaps at the pages – and it revs her up rather than calming her down). Other days, we’ll play for 30ish minutes either in our apartment or downstairs in the building’s playroom before getting ready for bed.

8ish pm-9ish pm: Clean up and prep for the next day – put away leftovers, pack lunches, etc etc. Sometimes have the TV on in the background. Sometimes it’s more in the foreground 😉

9ish pm – 10ish pm: Usually I read and get ready for bed. If I have enough energy, I might try to do something crafty – photo editing, mostly, though I want to get my sewing machine back out sooner rather than later…

10pm: Most definitely bedtime. Sometimes it’s earlier.

Sometime between 12pm and 2am: Meeka wakes up and gets a nightly nurse*. (Roughly 3 nights/week, she’ll wake up only once around 2-3AM ; another 3 or so nights/week it will be once at 12pm and another time at 3AM ; and about once a week, it’ll be every 2 hours from 11pm on…)

*These are times when I often sneak in a little reading. In case you were wondering…

Now, weekends are slightly less scheduled. Wake times are mostly the same (though I sleep through til Meeka gets up). Groceries, laundry, and apartment clean-up all get done on the weekend. We go down to the building playroom most mornings around 8:30-9am, where we see the same families and kids most of the time and have fun playing together. We also tend to go to either the playroom or the local park most afternoons for a bit. Naps tend to be from 9:30-10:30am (or so) and from 1-2pm (or so). Occasionally less, occasionally more. We like to fit at least one long walk with the dog in, usually two (one each day) – often to and around Central Park. I try to have a play-date/meet-up at least once with another mommy friend because, dude. Social life. Each weekend is different, though these elements are usually incorporated into the typical fabric of it.

You might be wondering about where the husband is? Like I said, he’s semi-MIA due to intense studying. He wakes most mornings around 7:30 and is out the door by 8am ; he’s got some intense study-prep going with his co’s and it’s usually from 8am until 6-7pm. We’ll eat dinner and play a bit together, Meeks goes down, he and I chat while cleaning up, etc. Usually while I’m reading before bed, he’s right next to me reading (except his is study-reading). This will last the next few months, which is… OK. I get it, and am supportive. But, yes. I am looking forward to it being OVER. (So is he, obviously)

Now, what would I like to see more of in here? First, running. I wish I had more time to lace up my shoes and take a jog… this is such a great way to decompress, and I miss being able to do so when things feel pressured in my life. I am hoping that now that the days are warmer and the sun’s out longer, I’ll be able to start adding this back in after Meeka is in bed a few nights a week. Of course, that will require me to have enough energy to do so… which brings me to – my downtime/me-time is falling at the end of the day here, which. Fine. At least it’s in there, right? Right. BUT – I am a morning person, and usually by the end of the day I am absolutely dragging. If I could, I’d have my free time in the AM when I’m most awake/creative/etc. Not at the end of the day, when my brain has essentially turned off. So? I wish I could either have more time in the AM (I know I could try waking up earlier, but honestly? I’ve found before 5AM just doesn’t work for me. I’m an early bird, yes, but not THAT early, apparently) or find a way to have more energy at night. Because I have a huge list of things I want to do – but no energy to do them in the limited time I have in which to try…

However, I’m hopeful. It’s only recently (1 month! and counting!) that Meeka actually started sleeping through the night, thus letting ME sleep through the night (and thus getting me out – at least a little bit – of the perpetual sleep-deprived fog I was in). Perhaps once I’m a bit more caught up on sleep, I’ll have more energy. Or perhaps once I am able to start the running, that will GIVE me the energy. I think either is likely, so, yeah. Hope.

And then there’s the hope for May, and the return of my husband! That might help just a bit, too 😉

So, how about you? What are your days like? What do you like about them? What would you change?

Swing!

The weather here in New York has been BEEEEEAUTIFUL this week, and WOW, what an amazing difference that one little thing can make to my mood!

We took advantage of the sun to go swinging this past weekend – a first for Meeka.

As a wee little one, she never took to her baby swings. Which is a polite way of saying, she flailed around and tried to claw her way out of them from the moment we set her in them til the moment we snatched her out, wondering who had switched our happy little girl with one who needed an exorcism. And so we said bye-bye to the baby swing.

So, I was a bit apprehensive about whether or not she’d like actual swings.

Turns out, she does.

Don’t let that finger fool ya… it may be a hidden message, but it’s not about the swings, oh no!

Those? Are totally nom-able.

We’re set to do it again this weekend.

And boy, are we excited!