Monday, November 29, 2010

There was movement at the station...

for the word had got around, that Little E had taught herself to crawl!

I am gradually realising that, whilst I look forward to all the baby milestones, and of course celebrate them and tell E how clever she is, many of them do have their downsides. The downside to this one being, that in combination with her other new skill (pulling self to standing), she is near on impossible to put to sleep.

I mean, why would you go to sleep when you could alternately crawl around your cot (talking/grizzling/crying depending on how long you have been in there) or sit/stand in your cot, hanging onto the bars like a little prisoner (accompanied by more grizzling/crying)? Why would you want to lie still for someone to pat you to sleep? It would be much more fun to turn bedtime into an extremely drawn out production. If you did all of this often enough, someone would probably decide that the only way to make you sleep was to feed you to sleep, theorising that they will just deal with you probably forgetting that you could ever self settle, later. The magical "later", when babies sleep and all things are easy...

Bunbury trip

I approached our Bunbury trip with a sense of trepidation but it wound up being extremely fun!

There was the very nice Mantra Hotel, complete with view...

... and the fact that someone else cleaned it, and produced food for us, and someone else paid for it! I was a lazy Mumma while we were away and mostly fed E food from packets and jars (albeit the expensive organic variety) - she did not seem to object and it was a nice break for me.

Ironically, D being in trial and in Bunbury, away from all his non-trial work, meant that E and I saw more of him than we do at home, as trials start at 10am and finish around 4pm. At any rate, she and I had no trouble amusing ourselves for the two days D was occupied. We went to Big Swamp Wildlife Park, which I had never heard of, but is only a 5 minute drive from the centre of town. Amongst others, it has kangaroos, wallabies, emus, rabbits and chickens, but the hands-down winner for E was the walk-through parrot aviary. The birds were ridiculously tame and complete gluttons:

We all enjoyed the heated swimming pool, and E and I enjoyed the beautifully calm beach on our front door step. It was a much greater success than her first trip to the beach, although she was mainly interested in sitting in the shallows and attempting to eat sand.

E, social little creature that she is, also made a new friend...

On the whole the trip was a real pleasure and rather than regional circuits being a hassle I am quite looking forward to D being told that he has been allocated more Bunbury trials!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Baby food

A record of the things Little E has eaten so far and the more adventurous recipes we have tried that she has enjoyed:

Pear *
Mango *
Rock melon *
Honey dew melon

Pumpkin *
Carrot *
Sweet potato
Spring onion

Chicken *

Rice cereal
Millet & oats cereal
Yoghurt (cow and sheep) (plain and vanilla)
Goat's curd

* = favourite

Baby chicken soup *

1/2 a chicken breast with skin on, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 celery stick, sliced
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
1 spring onion, sliced

Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and cover with water. Simmer until the vegetables are soft (about 20 minutes) then blend.

Baby beef casserole
~150gm beef
1/4 cup of white rice
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 stick of celery, sliced
4 grape tomatoes, halved
2 spring onions, sliced

Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and cover with water. Simmer until the vegetables are soft (about 20 minutes) then blend.

Baby chicken cacciatore *
1/2 a chicken breast with skin on, chopped
A handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 of a small red capsicum
1 stick of celery, sliced
1 spring onion, sliced
1 tablespoon of parsley, finely chopped

Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and cover with water. Simmer until the vegetables are soft (about 15 minutes) then blend.

Fish with cheesy tomato sauce (she had this without the fish for lunch and with fish for dinner)
50 grams of white fish
2 small carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large tomato, skinned and chopped
4 cubes of frozen cauliflower puree
50 grams of cheese
3-4 basil leaves, chopped finely

Put the carrots in a small saucepan, cover with water and cook for about 10 minutes. Then add the frozen cauliflower cubes and cook about another 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in another pan, saute the tomato in butter until it is soft.
Add the basil and cheese to the tomato sauce and stir until the cheese melts.

In a separate pan, fry the fish in butter and then flake it into small pieces.
Drain the carrots and combine the carrots, tomato sauce and fish; puree.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cup trifecta

... the water kind rather than the horse racing kind.

I am feeling smug because Eli will drink water from:
a) a bottle
b) a sippy cup
c) an ordinary cup.

As far as I can gather, by comparing her to other babies we know, this is quite an accomplishment for 7 months.

But regardless of her water drinking proficiency, and initial willingness to have expressed milk, she will take milk only direct from the source.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Simple things (or How to Know You are Old)

How to Know You Are Old:

1. The baby had two daytime sleeps, one for two hours, one for an hour and a half;
2. You went to the swimming pool, the baby did not scream, and you got to do 16 laps yourself;
3. In the afternoon you went to the local primary school fete and bought herbs and ridiculously cheap second hand toys;
4. You had extremely delicious pressure cooker lamb shanks for dinner, thrown together whilst your lovely husband fed and bathed the baby;
5. The baby went to bed without any fuss or trouble;
6. You are sitting on the couch drinking red wine - now permissible as (fingers-toes-and-other-appendages-crossed) the baby has consented to give up night feeds;
7. You are watching Gardening Australia;
8. Your lovely husband is sitting next to you on the couch;
9. Rather than seeming sad or boring or old, all of the above makes you stupidly happy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Summer garden update

We have finally cleared the vegetable bed of its winter hangers-on and planted most of the summer vegies. So far these are: tomatoes (cherry and roma), pumpkin (feral, sprouted from vegetable scraps), zucchini, watermelon, capsicum, corn, parsley, basil and chives. The passionfruit we planted last autumn is taking off with the warm weather. I also have a few savoy cabbage to add when I get a moment. I had not thought of these as a summer vegetable (a friend who had too many seedlings gave us her leftovers) but apparently they will grow year-round in Perth - we shall see!

D, with the help of our two Dads on respective weekends have now, we hope, solved the reticulation problem. (One of the lawn sprinkler cycles was not coming on, and unfortunately the wires for it ran through the vegetable bed.) With the digging-up of wires and pipes complete I was able to finish the last of the mulching. To help our crummy sandy soil, I dug in vegetable scraps as I removed the last of each of the winter plants. Then, as we planted the summer ones, I added cow manure and soil improver. We had laid a thin layer of bark mulch a month or so ago but we have now largely dug that in as we were told that straw based mulches are the best for Perth soils. The last of the mulching involved spreading a thick layer of sugar cane mulch on top of everything.

The last thing I will do before sitting back and waiting for it all to grow is to plant some cucumber seedlings. We bought some a few weekends ago but I then held off planting them because of all the digging I knew was going to occur. Whilst I was waiting for that to happen they died. Oops.

I am thinking of joining Diggers so that I can order a bigger variety of vegetables, and experiment with growing them from seed. So far everything has been from seedlings, aside from the feral pumpkins, broad beans, dwarf beans and a few lettuces. Now that the lattice is up, the vegetable bed cleared of all non-vegetable plants and the soil improved enough that we can just keep adding to it each year, I feel as though we will have more time to be adventurous.

But as for the great broad bean crop of 2010, the least said the better...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Trials and tribulations of travelling

We bought a portacot yesterday, beacuse D's work is sending him to Bunbury for a week at the end of the month and Little E and I are going with him. I thought it would be a good idea to get E used to sleeping in said cot before we go. Yesterday afternoon I set it up and stuck her in it with a bunch of toys to play with and she thought it was great. (I also thought it was great as I set it up next to the piano, which meant I got to play the piano for a bit without an excited baby on my lap alternately struggling to thump the keys randomly and with all her strength play too, pull the lid closed on both our hands, and pull pages out of the folder of sheet music).

Today I moved the cot into the spare room, waited until Little E seemed tired, put her in her sleeping bag, handed over Pooh bear and walked out. She screamed. And screamed. And screamed. As though someone was torturing her. She normally manages a bit of grizzling and fussing at nap time, but this was quite impressive. I sat in the lounge room alternately calling myself a mean and nasty parent and thinking that I was glad I tried it at home, during the day, rather than in a hotel at night. I sat on the couch staring at the clock. She screamed for 12 minutes (the magic figure that Save Our Sleep claims babies of this age should scream for before you go in to comfort them or they fall asleep). There was then abrupt silence. After another minute I very cautiously stuck my head around the door. She was fast asleep, looking completely angelic and peaceful.

I still can't decide if it's mean and nasty parenting or a necessary stop on the sleep road.
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