Wednesday, June 22, 2011

9 months: Say Cheese!

Graham turned 9 months on Spencer's Birthday! Gwen was so excited about getting a cake and ice cream, but only ate some frosting. Graham is super close to crawling. The last few weeks he has been restless at bedtime and rolls over onto his belly, pops himself up on his hands and knees and rocks back and forth. Sometimes he tries to nurse during all this, but Mama has her limits- no acrobatics while nursing. Because of this restlessness (he is actively trying to crawl off the bed), and the fact that Spencer has spent 9 months sleeping on the floor in Gwen's room, we are attempting to move Graham out of 'our' bed. The idea is that Graham will sleep on the futon on the floor in our room so I can nurse him as needed, while everyone has access to their own beds. But so far, this means I sleep on the futon with Graham. Last night was the best night so far, and he went from 3am when I woke up and realized I could hop up to my bed, to 5:15am without noticing my absence. It is doable. But I must say, I was getting better sleep when I just let him nurse in bed with me all night long; alas, that is not a long term solution. Graham is also really starting to take to solids. He loves eating from the spoon and opens his mouth like a little baby bird. He still doesn't eat much in one sitting, but I assume he will eat as much as he needs. He can also feed himself little bits, as well as gnaw on bigger bits. A typical menu is homemade baby oatmeal with fruit, homemade teething biscuit or rice cake, asparagus risotto (yes I made him risotto, seasoned with tarragon no less), Sweet Potato, puffs or Baby Mum Mums. I can't believe my little guy is going to be one at the end of the Summer....

We did a family photo shoot with Julie Kalua in Elizabeth Gamble Park in Palo Alto, Julie did a special through Bright Beginnings Preschool and 10% of our sales will go back to the school. It was great, but Gwen has developed her "cheese" smile which often looks like she is in mortal pain. This is our first time doing professional photos as a family, and it is hard to decide which ones to get. I am looking forward to having some polished photos in which we don't look as ragged as we often feel. Of course the babies are always beautiful. *The photo of us standing in front of the bushes is after spending the day at my Uncle's in Sonoma.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Teething Biscuits, Not Just for Babies

I made teething biscuits for Graham using a recipe online. Gwen loved them and they went fast, so I went to make another batch but couldn't find the recipe, and was out of the baby cereal it called for anyway. Wholesome Baby has a bunch of different recipes, but none fit my criteria (no sugar added, no eggs)- so I made up my own recipe. Gwen enjoyed helping to roll out the dough and she picked out a star shape and a dinosaur shape- the points are great for little teeth (or gums) to gnaw on- but watch out, they sometimes break off in little mouths so don't leave teething baby unattended. And as an endorsement, at our playdate this morning all four toddlers gobbled up a biscuit each, with one asking for seconds. Teething biscuits, not just for babies anymore!

Ambrosia’s Star Teething Biscuit

2 cups whole wheat flour

½ cup wheat germ

½ cup oat bran

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 cup pureed banana (3 small bananas)

1 cup unfiltered apple juice

½ cup vegetable oil

½ teaspoon vanilla

Mix together dry ingredients. Mix together wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir well. The dough will be wet. Add extra flour as needed until dough can be formed into a ball in center of bowl. Refrigerate at least one hour. Roll out dough, cut into shapes. Bake 350 for 40 minutes. For a crispier biscuit, try baking at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Monday, June 6, 2011

End of School Year and Other Observations

Gwen had her last class of parent participation preschool this morning. She is ready to move on to summer activities and go to school by herself two mornings a week in the Fall. There was much merriment, a potluck, and the teachers got out all the special activities the kids love (water table, shaving cream, balloons). At one point Gwen told me I could go talk with the other Mama's (referring to the parent discussion we would normally do after snack outside of the classroom). That has been a sticky area for her bringing up some surprising separation anxiety; but she is ready now. We said goodbye to our schoolmates and teachers, and will hopefully meet up with some of them at some park dates this summer.
On the drive home Gwen asked, "Who is that Man?" There was a young man on the corner with a cardboard sign that read, "Homeless. Hungry. Anything will help." Wow. Everyone else stopped at the red light was ignoring him and he had actually folded up his sign and was just standing there. I told her that he didn't have any money to buy lunch and was asking for some help. I was initially proud of my quick thinking, but then felt a little lost. This was likely confusing to Gwen; why weren't we helping him.... I was two lanes over and the light was about to turn green, otherwise I would have given him the $2 in my wallet. I think he must of also looked like he needed more help than just a free lunch. Or maybe the idea that there is someone out there who doesn't have money, or access to food just doesn't compute in her little head. As we drove away we talked about how maybe next time we see someone who needs help "buying lunch" we can share our snack. Now I need to decide if we really should drive around with a flat of water and box of granola bars to handout at intersections... we just might. Gwen is a girl of action and compassion.
Making a little bit of ocean in a bottle.
For our preschool potluck: black bean and corn quesadillas on her homemade plate.