Friday, December 30, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

feeding solids: the hunger games

When Parker was around 3 months old I was so excited to try him on solid foods that I was literally counting the days down until he turned 4 months. I quickly realized that Parker was not ready for solids at 4 months old (shocker...there's a reason they recommend 6 months for most babies) so I would offer him solids every few days. At 6 months he seemed to get the hang of it, but by then I was fully aware of how messy eating solids was.

Sooo being the lazy person that I am, I would feed him one meal a day, on most days of the week. I kept this up until about a week ago, when I googled "feeding schedule for 8 month old." Holy neglectful mother! I almost panic when I read this (from

How much per day
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup dairy (or 1/2 oz. cheese)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup iron-fortified cereal
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup fruit
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetables
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup protein foods
Ooops! Apparently Parker is supposed to be eating more than I feed myself at this point. So I immediately start frantically shoving food in his mouth like the entire time he is awake. Needless to say, he was less than happy about all the food ("where's my babaaaaaaa?!!!").  I backed off and started feeding him twice a day, but this time I offered him two kinds of foods at each feed. This has been working nicely, and I will offer him a third meal in a week or so. In the meantime, I have just been a good mommy and have been cleaning up my messy eater.

Today Parker learned a new trick....i.e playing with his food. See video to follow. We are also working on Parker's next milestone: the coveted pincer grasp. This accomplishment will distinguish him as human vs. a baby ape...big milestone!! You can see from the video that it is a work in progress.

Monday, December 26, 2011

bathroom break goal: 60 seconds or less

So this may be a little TMI, but if you are a mom you can probably relate to this. Since Parker has started crawling, he has obviously been into everything. And have I done any childproofing? Of course not. I figured, why should I childproof? I'll just follow him around and take him away from anything dangerous/disgusting/expensive (read other posts to see how well this method works). So Parker is hanging out standing at the coffee table and I have to go to the bathroom, so I figure I'll just make it a quick one and leave the bathroom door open so I can see him while I'm in there. Parker watches me go in and decides after a few seconds that he doesn't want to be 10 feet away from me. So he crawls from the table to the bathroom.

Here is the funny part (at least I think it's funny): he got my address labels wrapped around his wrist while he was at the coffee table and as he crawled to me he unrolled almost the entire roll:

 Also, note that the cats were chasing and swatting at the address labels as Parker moved with them. It is kind of sweet that Parker likes to be near me at all times. I will remind him of how he wouldn't even let me go to the bathroom without him when he hates me as a teenager :)

the transitional Christmas

This was my first Christmas as wife and mother, not as daughter and sibling. It was totally freaky. I think I'll get better at it as the years go by. One thing I am really glad I did was put up a tree (even though it was really small) and hang stockings over the fireplace and put a few decorations around. I am also glad I mustered up the ambition to send out Christmas cards. I considered not doing all these things this year because I was afraid it might make me more homesick, but I think it had the opposite effect.

Both sides of the family sent gifts which was great, so I made sure anything that wasn't wrapped got wrapped and our tree looked really generous the night of Christmas eve. Maybe the saddest part was stuffing my own stocking. I actually think it would have been less depressing to just leave it empty.

One lucky thing is that Tim was working nights, so even though he worked through the holiday, he was home Christmas morning. So we were able to open gifts with Parker in a pretty normal fashion. The only thing that was off was I'm not used to "playing Santa" in the morning. My brother always does this, so I forgot that we are supposed to open stockings first. After the first gift was opened, I realized we were doing it wrong, so then we did the stockings. Parker is not even 8 months old yet, so he was a good sport for the gift least for a little while.

I also made a really simple dinner this year. I did the whole Thanksgiving turkey dinner this year, so for Christmas I decided to make my life easier, especially since it was only Tim and I eating. I got a small Boar's Head sweet slice ham, glazed it, and baked it. We also had mashed potatoes and asparagus. The ham was every bit as delicious as the commercials make it look. TRY THIS HAM! But don't forget the glaze.

All in all, I say this year was a success. I can't wait for future years when Parker gets really excited for Christmas and for Santa to come. I'll have to make sure I remember little things like setting out milk and cookies...and of course opening the stockings first.

One last thing, mostly so  I don't forget this for next year: My sister and her boyfriend were up here visiting and made gooey butter cookies with this recipe:
Gooey Butter Cookies (recipe by Mathew Rice of Nightwood Restaurant)
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound cream cheese
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped (optional (Tim thinks it is optional, but important))
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Confectioner’s sugar for rolling and dusting
Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese, butter, vanilla bean seeds, and sugar together until fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla extract.

Incorporate the flour mixture.  Chill for at least 30 minutes.  Scoop roughly 1-ounce balls and toss in the confectioner’s sugar.  Place on a baking sheet, lined with parchment, a couple of inches apart.

 Bake at 325° F until they spread and puff slightly, about 12-16 minutes.  They will be really soft in the center.  If they start to brown, they’ve gone too far.  Cool to room temperature.

From this point, Mathew usually refrigerates them on the tray because as the cream cheese and butter get cold, they’re easier to pick up. It is a good tip.  Dust with more confectioner’s sugar before serving.  Mathew always serves these cookies straight out of the fridge. He thinks they don’t taste as good warm.  I agree with Mathew! Store these in the fridge and you can serve them cold/cool.
These will keep for up to a week in the fridge. Yeah, good luck with that.

As a side note: I disagree that these taste better cold. I think they are amazing when they are warm. But they are disturbingly delicious either way. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

eye of the tiger balm

Today Parker was being really good. He slept pretty well last night and I attribute his good mood to being well rested. He had just finished pulling everything out of a basket on the coffee table and putting it on the ground, and he was now playing in Fort Parker (underneath the coffee table, where he likes to play with his toys). I sat down on the couch to eat a sloppy joe...the first thing I ate all day (at 2 pm, and come to think of it the only thing I ate all in I just kept eating them for lunch, snack, and dinner). Then Parker started to cry. I thought he must have bumped his head while moving about in his fort, but when I pulled him out from under it I realized that he found a tin of tiger balm and managed to get it open, scoop it out with his fingers, and get it to his mouth and face.

In case you don't know what tiger balm is, it is basically the Chinese version of Icy Hot. And like most things designed by Asians, it is better and more potent than it's American counterpart.

So I scoop Parker up and do what I always do when I don't know what exactly to do...I wake up my husband. Was I genuinely concerned about my son consuming tiger balm? Mostly yes. Did I think it was going to really hurt him? No. Did I want my husband out of bed after he slept 15 hours straight (ok to be fair he works nights, but he was off the previous one)? Bingo.

Is it so wrong that I wanted him up for moral support with my adorable but crazy son so I grabbed hold of the first semi-legitimate reason to wake him up? Maybe. But, in my own defense, I just wanted him to hang out with me before he had to go to work. He works a lot and works very hard, so I often miss him. I felt like he got enough rest and it was okay at that point to get him out of bed :)

We ended up giving Parker a bottle to wash the tiger balm down and giving him a bath to try to get it off his face and hands. All was well afterward and Parker's mouth didn't appear ulcerated or anything.

I can't be the only wife who sometimes looks for reasons to wake her husband!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

my son and God have ESP

I borderline almost believe this is true. I would like to provide some examples:
1. At night, God tells Parker when I have just entered the stage where I am committed to transitioning to sleep. Right at that moment, God whispers "...NOW!" in Parker's head, and Parker (who is obviously in on the prank...I mean no one is going to argue with the big man) starts to wail. Then, when God is in a particularly gregarious mood, he will wait until I get back in bed after I've soothed Parker and then he will repeat the cycle.
2. God also tells Parker exactly when we are 5 minutes from leaving the house. I'm pretty sure this is ubiquitous among God and infants, not just with Parker.
3. Parker is an angel in church. This is crazy to me. We live less than a block from the St. Louis Cathedral now, and today we decided to go inside to check it out. Parker had been super fussy while we were out and about prior to going in the cathedral since he missed his nap. He turned into Mr. Perfect the instant we were inside.

Friday, December 16, 2011

my son has learned the wtf face

Parker had two teeth erupt a week or 2 ago (yes I've already forgotten this milestone) and I wouldn't say he is more interested in chewing on things as much as now it has actual consequences. For example, I think Parker has chewed on bottle nipples for a long time now, but since the teeth came in he is close to gnawing holes in them. At first I thought, well I'll just buy more nipples. Then a thought occurred to me...why not try to wean the bottle and switch to a sippy cup?

In my mind this was the PERFECT solution. Get Parker on the sippy cup early so he isn't all defiant at 12 months and demanding the ba ba (or as my brother used to howl "I want my badoooooooo").

Here is my thought bubble prior to buying the cup: I buy the perfect size, unbreakable, leak proof, crack laced spouted sippy cup and Parker is unable to resist it's awesomeness. Parker eagerly takes the sippy cup from me and, without any hesitation, holds the handles himself (gasp!) and leisurely drinks his formula with no leaks. He refuses the bottle from now on.

So here is what actually happened: I open the cup, read the instructions, and activate my sippy cup by making sure I "squeeze the valves." I already know this is going to be a disaster. It's a cup, not a f-ing car engine (those have valves, right?). Then I fill the cup with formula and hand it over to my dying-of-starvation infant. He manages to get it in his mouth and then, here it is, the "WTF is this crap" face. This lasted all of 5 seconds before major meltdown ensued.

The lesson here: I should have just bought more nipples.

And I need advice on how to wean from the bottle to the sippy cup...any would be appreciated!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

omg what do you have in your mouth?

I decided to start a mommy blog after an incident that happened today. I have a 7 month old boy who started to crawl really well about a week ago. Obviously my days of propping my son in front of Sesame Street while I do whatever I need to do are over. Today I set him down (right in front of me, I swear) and sat on the couch to check my email. In the corner of my eye I see him bring his hand to his mouth. I didn't really think about it until I actually looked over and see him playing with something in his hands. Upon closer inspection I realize it's cat vomit.
Yes. There is my son happily indulging in tasting and smearing cat vomit all over himself. I jump up and I'm yelling "no no no" and when I pick him up and start wiping the vomit off him and his face, he has a total meltdown.
"ROAR! Whyyyyyy are you taking me away from the cat vomit????" (similar type meltdowns have included: why are you taking me away from the electrical outlet? why are you taking me away from the fireplace? why can't I go inside the litter box? why can't I eat the tube of Lotrimin? why can't I grab my scrotum that is covered in poop while mommy changes my diaper? etc, etc.)
So for Christmas I have asked for Grandpa to buy us an octagon play pen.

I am wondering what is the worst thing other parents have seen their child eating??