Sunday, June 28, 2009

What's Cookin'?

I am not sure if I posted about this earlier, but Will is dairy-sensitive. We are not sure if he is dairy-allergic, because blood and skin tests are about 50% accurate until age 2. All we know for sure is that, since stopping all dairy from his diet, we have not had any stuffy nose issues or ear infections (both of which are common food-allergy symptoms). The only way to tell for sure is to eliminate the offending food-group and wait until he gets older for more definitive testing. We are also consulting with a pediatric allergist. So, just to be clear in this post, I am not a doctor, nor am I offering any medical advice.

I do get a lot of questions about what we feed Will, now that dairy is "off the table." Gosh, am I glad that he is a child of the 2000's. When I was a baby and had a dairy-sensitivity, there weren't a lot of options. Now, there are so many, that it's mind-boggling. Of course, do keep in mind that many of the non-dairy options are nut-based, which is also off-limits to the under-1 set.

We have been fortunate, in that Will does not seem to have a reaction to soy-based products. Many babies that are dairy-sensitive cannot tolerate this great alternative. I do all of Will's "cooking," and have found a lot of inspiration and recipes at the following sites:

Weelicious - Fast, easy, and fresh babyfood (and toddler, kid foods, too). This is a great site, regardless of food sensitivities/ This link takes you to their main site, you can then look for whatever tickles your fancy.

Kids With Food Allergies - Self-explanatory, handy site if you are dealing with any sort of food-sensitivities/allergies.

Wholesome Baby Food
- This site has always been my "guidebook" to making my own baby foods, long before food-sensitivity came into the mix.

So, this is a sample menu of our days*:


1/2 banana, cut into small pieces

1 flaxseed, non-dairy blueberry waffle
3 whole wheat, organic, non-dairy mini-pancakes

1 turkey breakfast sausage, cut into small pieces

small bowl of blueberry-banana oatmeal (I am now making the "adult" kind for him and blending it ahead of time, then mixing with blended bananas and blueberries)

1 sippy cup of plain (non-sweetened) soy milk^


Graham crackers

Mango, cut into small pieces



Peas (whole)

Deli turkey, cut into small pieces

1 slice of soy-cheese, cut into small squares

Chicken salad* sandwich on whole wheat bread, cut into small pieces
(*finely diced, cooked chicken breast, plain soy yogurt, cauliflower puree)

Blueberries (cut in half)

1 sippy cup of plain (non-sweetened) soy milk


1 Mochi "cookie"

1 sippy cup of plain (non-sweetened) soy milk


Peaches, cut into bite sized pieces

Green beans

"Pasta a' la Mommy"
(whole wheat angel hair pasta, mixed with low-sodium chicken broth, hummus, and oregano to make a "sauce" - I also toss in pieces of shredded chicken breast)

Chicken "nuggets" (from the Deceptively Delicious cookbook-adapted with only egg yolk and omitting the Parmesan and salt)

1 sippy cup of plain (non-sweetened) soy milk

*We do make every effort to use organic produce, when available. We are HUGE fans, and, fortunately, they have a lot of options when it comes to organics.

^Be sure to double-check your soy milk for added sugars. I purchased a "plain" soy milk once, that contained high fructose corn syrup.

If you would like more information, don't hesitate to e-mail me. Oh, and be sure to check with your pediatrician before creating a meal plan for your own child.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Love Conquers All

So, in my ten month post for Will, I said that things were pretty routine. They are so routine, in fact, that I don't even feel like knocking on wood or throwing salt over my shoulder after typing that. The thing is, that stuff comes up all of the time that disrupts sleeping, eating, and/or playing. But we get through that challenge with less and less rebound time these days. And he can skip a nap or delay a meal and all hell doesn't break loose. Our lives are getting easier and I don't even feel nervous that I've put that out to the universe.

Yesterday, I was out to lunch with a former coworker who I became really friendly with after we both suffered a miscarriage around the same time. She is now five months pregnant with her second little girl and I am so pleased for her (even if she is the most ridiculously cute and tiny pregnant woman EVER!). Will was being his normal charming self and she asked what my secret is to having such a good eater/sleeper/baby.

I told her that there is no secret. I think they pretty much come out into this world the way they are gonna be. I mean, sure, we do some things to influence their behavior one way or the other, but for the most part, I think Will is Will. He is easy going, likes his eats, likes to sleep in his crib, and I don't really know how much credit I can take for any of that. And I am not too smug to think that the next baby will like those things. I could have a non-eater/sleeper next time around and not have done a thing differently.

When Will was first born, and for about the first three months, I thought that if I held him too much (or too little), let him cry too much (or too little), or if he ate too much (or too little), it was all my fault and the world would end. I worried that he would be spoiled or not feel loved enough. Every parenting decision I made seemed fraught with pitfalls, primed for disaster.

My dad gave me some excellent advice. He told me that kids don't remember every decision, "good" or "bad." They remember feeling loved, being loved. And I do. That is what I remember from my childhood. I don't remember what time I went to bed, if I ate my green beans, if I watched t.v., or even if I skinned a knee. I only remember the constant love that I felt from my parents. The love smoothed over the occasional "bad" times and made the good times even better. So, my dad's epic parenting advice: Love the pants off of my kid and let the rest come as it may.

So, I guess, ten months into this game, I think that is probably some of the best advice I have been given. I have been given a lot of wonderful guidance for sleeping and eating. Some has worked, some hasn't. There have been nights of 12 hour sleep and nights when I have gotten 12 minutes of sleep. There have been meals where I laughed as my son ate an entire turkey sandwich and the next mealtime when he just played with the food on his tray.

But the love thing? Well, that comes naturally anyways. And it always seems to work. Up in the middle of the night for the fourth time? Love helped. Bumped his head learning to stand on his own? Love soothed that little hurt.

And for me? Well, love helps me, too. When I have a bad day as a mom, feeling tired from those 12 minutes of sleep and kissing all of the boo boos? Well, love from my little guy tends to make it all better. I guess it works both ways.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What's In A Word? Everything.

Will has the following words in his vocabulary bank:

Nana (for the fruit)
Jack (dog's name)
Kitty (he is fascinated by our cat)
Quack (from the book "Barnyard Dance", where he says the Quack part along with me)
Caw-Caw (which is like a bird noise that our friend makes)

and, as of yesterday. . .


There are no words to describe the way my heart melted when he uttered those longed-for syllables. When he first said it, I was changing his diaper. I stopped and looked at him in disbelief. His whole face lit up and he was so proud of himself! He started saying it again, and I picked him up, dirty little bottom and all, and hugged him to me with such ferocity.


He has since said it quite a few times and I can't get tired of hearing it. There were so many times that I wondered if anyone would ever call me Mama. This one little word encompasses so many big feelings.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Will turned 10 months old today.

Double digits.

I can't even really believe that in just two months, we will no longer even have an infant in our house. He will be a toddler.

Life has gotten "easier" again, in that it is predictable and routine (for the most part). Our days have a pattern that we roughly stick to. We have been so blessed with an "easy" baby. He eats, he sleeps, he hits his milestones on time. He has the sweetest little personality and the cutest laugh. He laughs and smiles constantly and is such a happy Little Man.

And I am the happiest Mommy.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Announcing Toodle

Busted and her husband welcomed Toodle today. Please go over and give your congratulations to this very deserving family.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

In My Next Thirty Years

So, I am now officially thirty. Plus two days.

Like any other birthday before it, it came and went, and I don't feel any different now that it has passed. Age is just a number, right?

We did most of our celebrating last weekend with our friends who came to join us in Leavenworth. When we got back to pick Will up, my MIL had made a cake and we opened our presents (M's birthday is today) from his family there. My parents live three hours south of us and my younger brother is going through a rough time, so my mom has asked that we refrain from a visit until he is out of school. My birthday was on Thursday, so being that it was a workday, it was also pretty quiet. But it was a nice day with lots of fun treats.

I got a coffee and sweet card delivered by my good friend, C. My other good friend, C, brought a beautiful gift basket filled with bath goodies, a bottle of wine, and an amazing piece of tiramisu (my all-time favorite dessert). Most of my friends called to wish me a happy day and so did my mom. My sister sent a text, which I would have found somewhat odd if I didn't like texting so much.

M and Will took me to my favorite seafood restaurant, Ivar's, which has an outdoor fish bar. Eating from the outside bar makes it less expensive (though it's still pretty spendy), and since the day was gorgeous, we took our food to a bench and sat looking out at the sound. It was beautiful. Will had his first french fry. . . and then his second. . . and third. I am not a huge fan of junk food, but he eats so well and healthfully other days, I figure a rare treat isn't hurting anyone. That is how I eat, so I am hopeful that he will follow my example. I also don't want to make foods off limits so they become more tempting. We took a walk after our lunch and then a drive while Will took his afternoon snooze.

M made me dinner that night, grilling carne asada on the bbq and bought me a black & white cake and champagne. We met our neighbor's over our back fence and shared the cake and toasted to my birthday. Since we both have kids, it was a fun way to get to celebrate after they were in bed.

It was a great day and I am honestly okay with being in my thirties. First off, the alternative isn't great, so I might as well accept aging gracefully. Secondly, most of my girlfriends claim that this decade has been the best of their lives so far. I hope that is also true for me. I do feel a sense of peace and happiness that I haven't for a very long time. I think a lot of that has to do with finally becoming a mother and getting to take some time off from the rat race. I also think there is some maturity in there, more of desire to do things to make my family and myself happy, and less about competiting with or trying to please others. Either way, there is a lot to look forward to in my next thirty years.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Party Time, Excellent!

One thing that I love about having a blog is that I have a ready-made panel of experts, reading and willing to offer their advice. And, no, it is not assvice. Not from you guys.

I know it's only June, but I am a type-A person who needs to get started on things in advance. We have reserved the picnic shelter for Will's first birthday party and I am now in planning mode. I have already gotten some good advice from friends who have thrown a first party before me (which is why it is at a park instead of our house, for starters), but now I want to open things up for your suggestions.

Please let me know what you did or didn't do? What would you do differently? What was a disaster? What was a success? What was funny?

So far, this is what I am planning:

  • A Monkey Themed Party (for my lil' Monkey)
  • 11:30 AM start time (to go around the birthday boy's nap schedule)
  • "Easy" foods such as premade sandwiches, salads, fruit and veggie trays, etc.
  • I am hiring a photographer (friend of a friend, so it's inexpensive) to take candids and some posed pictures of the day

That's it, so far. What I am specifically wondering about are the following:

  • Do I put a finish time on the invite to keep things moving? Everything I read says to keep in short and simple. . . two hours max.
  • Should I do cake or cupcakes?
  • Should I bother with treat bags (and if so, fun things to put in them)?
  • Should I bother with games (there is a lake and playground at this park)?
  • Should I do the cheesy "sign the picture frame" thing (it's cheesy, but I like it)?

And, again, anything else you want to throw out there!

Monday, June 8, 2009


So, this last weekend was my first entire one away from Will. M and I dropped him off at his Grandma's on Friday afternoon and didn't come back until Sunday.

I will admit, I had a bit of a rough time leaving him for two days. We were three hours away from him at a little resort town in the Cascades. But I was really glad that we didn't bring him, because what I thought was a romantic weekend getaway for the two of us was actually a surprise birthday party in honor of my 29-Again Birthday (on June 11, so I am still only 29 right now)!

We drank wine, we ate a lot of really good German food (it is a Bavarian-themed town), we had a lot of fun. And so many of my good friends came. One of my best girlfriends came all the way from San Francisco! The three mom-friends that I hang out with pretty much every day came too. It was so wonderful to see everyone and humbling that they would take an entire weekend to help us celebrate.

Even though I had an amazing time, I was very eager to get home to Will. And he missed us, too. Last night, when M put him to bed, he nestled his little face against his shoulder and chanted, "Da-Da" for five minutes until he fell asleep. Precious.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Summer Days

This post really needs pictures, but there is some sort of problem with my memory stick, so the SIX HUNDRED pictures on our camera are stuck there for the time being.

I love summer.

I have always loved summer, but it is not until this summer that I have fully realized how amazing and wonderful it truly is. I worked a job where I was inside for most of the day, wearing a long sleeved business suit most of the time, and so a tan was something I only got on vacation or perhaps after a string of sunny weekends (a true rarity even in summer in the Pacific Northwest).

It is barely June and my arms are already tanned and I have a smattering of freckles across my face. In fact, I am even sporting a bit of a light sunburn, despite my SPF 50 application, because Will and I have hardly been in doors these past few weeks. We have been out and about, enjoying the wonderful weather and the fun outside activities it brings with it.

There have been so many firsts. . . first dip in a lake, first toes in the sand, first Memorial Day BBQ, first tree-planting, first slide, first time looking at tide pools. . . and I have pictures of it all to share. Silly memory stick.

I have a little almost-blond boy now. Everyone's first comment upon seeing him if they haven't for a little while is, "Look how light his hair his." With his cleft chin, cornflower blue eyes, and constant smile, I have to say, he is quite the little charmer (I am hardly biased, right?). Despite my ever constant applying of SPF 50 to him, plus hat, plus protective swimwear, Will is also sporting a little tan, too. It looks really good with that blond hair, blue-eyed look.

He is such a happy boy. And I am such a happy Mommy. I am still sad when I think about losing another baby, but that aside, I am the happiest I have been for a very, very long time. Being a parent isn't easy, but it can be such fun. The newborn days are but a distant memory and the terrible twos are in the hazy horizon. He is sleeping, eating, laughing, playing, and capturing my heart more and more each day.