2012/04/09 7 comments

A new baby has many firsts – first tooth, first step, first… everything.

A new mother has many firsts as well … Some good (first time back into your pre-pregnancy pants!) and some less so (first time you realize that, yes, your hair really does fall out!)

A few days ago, I hit another first …


***WARNING: girly talk ahead !!! ***


First period following childbirth.


In the 18-ish months since the last, I’d managed to forget how much I HATE this mother-effing part of womanhood.

(In case you couldn’t tell, menstruation and I do not get on well. Sure, there is the bloating and wacky emotions. But it’s the C-R-A-M-P-S that I find nearly intolerable…)

I know I’m lucky that breastfeeding has managed to put off this return to woman-body-normalcy for so long (and yes, I *am* still breastfeeding…) – I know there are those out there who breastfed and STILL got their period only weeks after giving birth… But still. I am mourning this first. I could have easily been happy for it to hold off a little while longer…

How about all of you? What firsts after child(ren) did you (do you) wish you could have held off on?



2012/04/03 1 comment

4AM – that’s when I got up yesterday. I then spent a very effective few hours working on my lab meeting, which I hadn’t had a chance to do yet because of other demands on my time (also known as “my baby” and “sleep”). Got it done, went to work, presented, and all was well.

Except now I’m EXHAUSTED.

So let’s try to distract your attention away from the black circles under my eyes with a picture of my adorable daughter:

(Photo taken by a friend at our story hour play-date yesterday…)

Tangentially related story: the play date was held in Barnes and Noble (home of Sunday morning Story Hour!). The container Meeka is holding is cheerios. She was very good at reaching in and getting the cheerios out … and then dumping them on the floor. Let me remind you, this is the floor of a public Barnes and Noble (granted, a little used corner of it. But still). Then, she would grab her floor-cheerios- and eat them. Eventually (OK, after like 3 times), I just gave up trying to stop her. She was too fast and squiggly for my efforts to be at all successful… So I just shrugged and chalked it up to “building up her immune system.” Mother of the Year? Yes, indeed 😉

And on a totally different topic – I read 24 books in March! I may have accomplished very little else, but that, that I did! (I guess its not totally unrelated, if you take the jump from a play date in a bookstore to talking about books in stride)

My “good” aka “thinking” books for the month were –

  • Naughty Secrets by Joan Elizabeth Lloyd: meh. I picked this one out thinking it would be something of an anthropological/sociological review of why people act the way they do (the topic was sex, btw). Instead, it was just the verbatim transcription of what people wrote in response to a survey. Which, yeah, somewhat interesting… But not totally what I was expecting or hoping for.
  • Macachiavellian Intelligence: How Rhesus Macaques and Humans Have Conquered the World by Dario Maestripieri: similar experience. Guess I wasn’t on my A-game for book-picking this month. Once again, this book took a look at the nitty-gritty details of monkey life and behavior – which was interesting. But I was hoping for a good anthropological wrap-up of monkey vs. human behavior, and nope. This was not it. (Can you tell I’m a closet soc/anth geek?)
  • How to get your kid to eat – but not too much by Ellyn Satter: a nutritionists take on feeding your child from infancy through teenagerhood. Granted, it’s a bit old (um, 1980s anyone?) but still a good- and useful! – read.

The rest of my monthly reading consisted of a lot of YA Fiction, for the most part (Meg Cabot and Tamora Pierce are two favorite authors, in case you were wondering) … and let’s not even discuss how the rest of my 2012 goals went, mmmmkay?

Now I’m off to mainline the rest of my coffee in the hopes of feeling slightly less bleary this morning…

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!


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)


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