Better than cheese fries

“She almost put a Cheerio in her mouth!”

I said that today to my husband, full of enthusiasm and pride.

I guess after several months of having a lump for a child, any kind of intentional, directed action is exciting to see.  Really, really exciting.  I am genuinely surprised about how excited I am.

Baby E can now clap. And stand with the help of furniture for about ten seconds.  And roll over in both directions.  And almost put real food in her mouth.

Look, I get it.  I just listed a bunch of things that most of the world’s population can do without any trouble.  In fact, some people can even stand without the help of furniture and actually put real food in their mouths. My child is not that impressive in comparison.

And yet, here I am: impressed.

It’s amazing how much of a difference having someone come out of your body makes to caring about what they do.

I didn’t believe people when they said things like, ‘they grow up so fast,’ and I’m sure I still don’t really get it, but at this point, I can seriously see changes and developments from day-to-day.  It is really awesome – and I mean that in the true sense of the word, not just in the “these cheese fries are awesome” sense.

Who am I kidding? Cheese fries are pretty awesome.


Peas? Yes, peas

There was a time when broccoli was my arch nemesis. Not just the taste or the smell – the sound of its name was enough to make my crinkle up my nose in disgust. That time was before I lived with Ryan.

Ryan loved broccoli.  He loved it so much he ate it almost every day.  Oh, it’s dinner time? Of course Ryan is cooking chicken and rice and broccoli.  And filling the whole house with putrid broccoli stench.


Except, it turns out, over time, it became less gross.  I became accustomed to the smell.  In fact, I became so used to it that I actually started enjoying it. And then I enjoyed the smell so much that I decided to actually put broccoli in my mouth. The review?  Not as terrible as I remembered.

As I continued to be exposed to broccoli, my tolerance level continued to increase.  Now, I love broccoli.

Mr. B loves onions.  I used to hate onions.  But as I continued to prepare onions to add to his meals, a similar thing happened.  They became less gross, then tolerable, and then even enjoyable.  My relationship with onions has developed to the point that they are often the starting point of meals for me.  Yum, onions!

So really, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to me that as I expand Baby E’s selection of solids, I am starting to develop a taste for other previously hated foods, too.

Miss E really likes food.  A lot of the resources suggest that it might take over a dozen attempts to feed an infant a new food before they develop a taste for it (in that regard, infants and I are a lot alike, it seems).  Not E, though.  Every new food she’s had so far, she gobbles up with enthusiasm.

That makes my job easy.  I’ve been making all my own baby food because we’re cheap.  Peas, carrots, chicken, tomatoes, avocados, green beans, pears, apples, bananas, sweet potato, regular potato, rice, apple, oatmeal, you name it.  I cook it (if necessary), puree it, and shove it in her mouth.

The trick becomes when I prepare things ahead of time.  If you cook six apples, for example, you have to store it because they will go bad before a baby can eat them all.  I dole them out into ice cube trays, freeze them, and then put them into freezer bags after for easy portions.  So when meal time comes along, I just pick out a few cubes of whatever combination she’s going to get, pop it in the microwave to defrost and/or warm up, and serve.

But because I’m not a terrible mother, there’s another intermediate step: test the food to make sure it’s not too hot.

This step has led to me putting every combination into my own mouth and slowly developing a taste for things like green bean-chicken mash and creamy banana avocado.  Even sweet potatoes, a food that I previously found not just offensive, but down right odd, has been growing on me.

However, there is an exception: peas.

I have really tried with peas, I promise.  I have been cooking (and enjoying!) sugar snap peas and snow peas.  I tried making a split pea soup, but it was not my best effort (even Mr. B, who eats everything, passed on consuming it). Peas were Baby E’s first “real” food, and she enjoyed them from day one.  That means for the past three months, I’ve been regularly getting a taste.

But still, they do nothing for me.

In fact, they insult me.

I don’t really know what conclusions to draw from this.  I just want the world to know I still don’t like peas.  You might say I can’t hold my peas any longer.

Ice, ice baby

The title for this post is not only a subtle and hilarious tie-in between early 90s culture and the general information to be presented in this post; it’s also an excellent break down of how I spent my time over the past couple of weekends.

Winters, it turns out, are kind of long in Northern Ontario.  Long winters, it turns out, can kind of make people crazy.  And crazy people, as we all know, do crazy things.

So every year, Cochranites celebrate winter.  That’s right – they celebrate it.

(Read a history of the Cochrane Winter Carnival here. I wrote it!)

They bundle themselves up to the point that the whole town looks obese, and they go outside and dance and play and fish and jump in holes in the frozen lake and crash cars and go on horse sleigh rides.  They eat chicken wings and drink hot chocolate and burn torches in the middle of town in a fire fighter-sanctioned event.

From the Cochrane Times Post.


They play hockey and skate and build really good snow sculptures on the annual theme (this year’s was super heroes).

And we did it all too – we put on as many layers as we could fit under our coats and we named tunes and burned fires and even built a snow sculpture.

A hero police officer riding an extremely wide polar bear. Thank goodness we have a few more years here to hone our skills.

Call me crazy, but I loved every minute of it.


The fourth little piggy

If you like having a clean house, owning two large, hairy, shedding dogs is probably not for you.

If, however, you take great satisfaction in the cleaning process, maybe you should consider getting a couple big mutts.

Here’s why: They shed fur constantly, which means that even if you sweep your floors every day, there will be a monstrous amount of hair waiting for you the next day.  I like seeing a visible before and after with anything I do – be it ticking items off a to-do list, wiping down a counter, or sweeping the floors.  If you can’t tell that you’ve done something, what’s the point of doing it? That’s what I always say.

Having a baby has provided me with a few extra ‘satisfying’ tasks to add to my list.  Some were expected, like wiping of baby’s butt.  I figured that would be both horrifying and fascinating, and I was right.

Something I did not expect, though, was how satisfying it can be to give Baby E a bath.  She’s still far too little to really get dirty unless I spill cookie batter on her head (which admittedly happens on a weekly basis), since we make a concerted effort to keep her butt clean on an ongoing basis.  But she is now eating quite a bit. So she’d getting bigger.  And wider.  And chubbier.  And there is one part of her body that has grown to such a size that it has developed its own gravitational field and pulls any crud within a certain distance towards it, then hides it for us to find later: her chin.

Specifically, her second chin.

At this point, that thing hangs down like Santa Claus’ beard, and giving its underside a good wipe in the bath yields almost as many dust bunnies as sweeping the floors.

I know that as she grows a bit and moves a bit more, her extra rolls and creases will probably subside a little (or a lot).  But for my own selfish reasons, I don’t want her to lose her extra chin – not by the hair on (or rather, under) it.