Monday, August 16, 2010

All turkey, all the time

What is it with the Chicklette and homemade baby food? Last week we had the Great Zucchini Drama. This week -- Turkey Gagfest 2010.

I thought I was being efficient -- I bought a pound of organic ground turkey at Whole Foods, and would use 1/3 of it for baby food and the rest for Mommy/Daddy food (Turkey Bolognese -- yum). I gently cooked/poached it in a nonstick pan with water, and then lovingly pureed it in the Cuisinart until it was smooth and, if I may say so myself, quite tasty (for pureed meat).

At dinnertime, I assembled a veritable buffet of turkey, avocado, sweet potatoes and green beans. I thought it looked awesome. First we tried avocado. Then the veggies. And then....

Turkey went in. Bottom lip went out. A wail emanated, and then I swear to God my baby gave me the universal sign for choking. She wasn't really choking, but OH, THE DRAMA. I mean, really? It's TURKEY. Poached in WATER. Organic and pure and all that crap.

The good news is, the Turkey Bolognese was delish, so after we put the Chicklette's cranky, turkey-hating ass to bed, we enjoyed that with a nice Super Tuscan.

Tonight we'll try again. Because there are a dozen itty bitty containers of turkey in the freezer, and they will be eaten!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fabulous Food Friday (um, well, Sunday): Baby Food Edition

I have been ridiculously changeable when it comes to the whole baby-food-making thing. First I was all gung ho about doing it. Then I had the baby and realized that I would be lucky if I had time to bathe (myself) daily. And then I started to feel guilty, so thought I might do it. Then I went back to work.

We started solids about six weeks ago, and were on grains for the first 3-4 (our ped is VERY conservative about what to offer and how long to wait before offering different things). Then we started veggies, and inevitably the little Gerber plastic packs entered our lives. I've been tasting along the way -- most are OK, but after trying one pretty putrid pack of green beans (honestly, it tasted like someone opened a can of beans and threw them in a blender), I decided that I was going to give food making a try. How hard could it be? And I wouldn't make everything -- we'd just try one item and see how it went.

As of today, she'd had sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, peas and the aforementioned green beans. Zucchini seemed like a logical next step. Mild, easy to find this time of year, nice and watery. So I steamed some up, and threw them in the food processor. The result tasted pretty good, I thought. Certainly as good or better as any of the Gerber stuff. I mean, I would have liked to add salt and maybe some garlic and a spoonful of parmesan, but it will probably be 2 years before our pediatrician lets us feed any of those things to our baby. So plain zucchini it was.

My daughter? So not into it. And this is the girl who's eaten pretty much everything so far with aplomb. There was spitting, and crying, and just general misery. Baby torture, apparently. So, now I've got a vat of zucchini sludge in the fridge. I'll try again tomorrow, but somehow I think that Project Turkey Puree is going to be put on indefinite hold. And I was so looking forward to blended meat.

Well played, Gerber. Well played. I don't know what kind of crack you put into your nasty little plastic packages, but I suppose I will have to continue buying it.

For now.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sleep Training.....

...also known as, how many glasses of wine does it take before the sound of my child crying doesn't make me clench up and huddle in a fetal position on the couch?

The answer? About 2.5.

So, we went up to Portland to visit some friends last weekend, and after witnessing how (relatively) docilely their 18-month-old son went to bed at 7:30 each night, we decided the Chicklette's whole "hey, maybe I'll go to bed at 8, or maybe I'll go to bed at 11:30" thing wasn't really doing it for us anymore. It's not that she's not a good sleeper -- she almost always sleeps through until 7:00, no matter what time she does down -- it's just that the fact that my husband and I haven't gone to bed at the same time in 8 months is starting to take a toll on our marriage. And the unpredictability is sort of terrifying to me.

I read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems at the end of my pregnancy, but I'll be damned if I remembered ANYTHING except some vague concepts of "crying" and "extinction." Sounds fun, no? I mean, philosophically we've always been on board with the concept of "crying it out," (please don't hate on me -- I know it's not for everyone) but the mechanics have always sort of eluded me. And frankly, who the hell wants to hear their kid cry? It's like, hey, can I please have an extra pelvic exam?

So. We did a little research, talked to some other friends, and decided last night was the night to put her down and let 'er rip. We'd do our little routine (dinner, bath, some quiet play time, then into the nursery for a bottle and in the crib soon after that), and go cry it out ourselves in the family room for a while. I put her in her crib at 8:58 (a little later than ideal, but hey, baby steps), sort of asleep. She started crying at 9:04. And kept crying. At about 9:21, I started to lose my will. My husband restrained me, and we turned on an episode of Top Chef. At 9:27, we noticed that she was no longer crying. Sleepy baby. Aaahhh.

She was happy this morning, so not scarred for life (at least not yet). So, all in all, not bad. We'll try again tonight, a little earlier. But the feeling of triumph at 9:27 was pretty awesome. We put our baby to bed!

(Oh, and by the way, the sleep section in Baby 411 suggests parents who are waiting for their kids to cry it out to try "making love with earplugs" to pass the time. Apparently I am 12 because I begin snickering uncontrollably every time I think about it. Making love! With earplugs!)