More eating adventures

Since the beginning of our BLW adventure, Leo has become wiser. He recognizes vegetables now, for instance, so he knows that they go on the floor, and don’t deserve a trip to the mouth to be tasted first. He is quite clever about this, even if it is a new vegetable. He is a smart baby, although frustrating. We are on occasion able to trick him with something that looks sufficiently leaf-like, like kale, but not too often. Basically the only things that he still really likes are Cheerios and rice cakes. And meat, of course.

The sad thing is though, he has stopped eating fruits, and we have been puzzled and a bit sad, because he used to really seem to enjoy them. This I think I may have figured out, and here Leo gets points for the insight, and not his parents. I think the key is that the fruit has to be ripe. Who would have thunk it, right? But I believe it is true. As an American, of course, I usually buy my fruit at the supermarket and just plop it right in the Fruit drawer of the fridge, and I am starting to think that this is entirely wack behavior, and that Leo is training me. I have learned that fruit doesn’t really ripen well in the fridge, and that they don’t really sell ripe fruit at the supermarket. Is this totally common knowledge? Am I alone in my befuddlement?

The first times that Leo had fruit it was Farmer’s Market fruit, or those apricots off of the tree I discussed a few posts ago. Those led me to believe that he liked fruit, but the last few days, as I have plied him with plums, peaches, and apricots, all purchased from the supermarket, cold and crisp from the Fruit drawer, he has been practicing his throwing arm. The only fruits he still seems to like are apples and watermelon. Today, though, I went to see Mommy at work, and they have a small farmer’s market right on the grounds there, where they had some amazing peaches and nectarines ($4 a pound amazing, but I digress). He ate a couple nectarine chunks, warm, ripe, and juicy, no problem. And then later, as we were walking to the supermarket, I noticed a very nice house with a very nice apricot tree in the front yard. Upon closer inspection, they had actual apricots growing on it. I have to confess, I felt a twinge of my morals when I decoupled the baby from his carseat and just waltzed into someone else’s yard for fruit, but jeez, I could tell from their Amazon box on the porch that they weren’t at home, and there were rotting apricots all over the lawn (lucky bastards), so I went ahead and committed the crime.

And as before, Leo selected a fruit that was pleasing to his eye, took a bite and found the taste likewise pleasing, and when I put him back in his carseat, he happily devoured the entire fruit before we got to the supermarket. It was a pretty large fruit, too, larger than his fist. He ate virtually every scrap of that thing, he had a huge hunk of apricot in each fist and just switched fists until it was all gone. I was amazed.

So that’s it. Leo has taught me something about eating fruit, something that I’m sure everyone knew back in caveman days, but that I unaccountably just did not know – keep the fruit on the counter, and eat it when it is ripe.

Also, we had steak again last night.

show.JPG
Look what I have daddy!

eat.JPG
It is so delicious!

Some minor blog changes

So as all four of you might have noticed, our blog is loading a little snappier today. That is because I broke out some of my nerdly powers. RAAAAUGHHHH!

Also, I fixed a couple of other little things that I would like to introduce to you. Over here on your right, you may notice two new jammies in the sidebar: one is recent comments, so you can easily determine whether you care to clicky-clicky, and also Johanna and I have been finding it fun to go back through the archives from time to time and exclaim to each other about how much cuter/bigger/smarter Leo is than he was just a few short months ago, so I added a thingy (Posts from the Past) that is just links to three older posts, picked at random. So now you grandparents can also be so shocked about the swiftness with which l’il Leo is embiggening.

Miss America Wave

Leo is perfecting his beauty pageant wave.

It is actually really sweet. He seems to understand what a wave is and will wave back when you wave. Caleb said he waved at all sorts of people in the park today.

Leo is also able to play catch. We’ve been throwing this pink rubber ball back and forth. Well rolling. Leo has a matching blue rubber ball that he barely even likes. He takes after his Daddy who also loves pink. Caleb has always had pink cigarette lighters. He claims this is so that no one will steal them but I know the truth. Daddy loves pink.

Here is Leo chasing his ball:

And back to the topic of veggies. Baby led weaning is so successful that this week Leo ate one piece of Spinach and no other vegetables.

Bye bye!

wave.JPG

Apricots: They’re what’s for dinner

We have four or five apricot trees growing in our backyard – although they all appear alive, we don’t get a lot of fruit from them, and what fruit there is, the squirrels are pretty quick at finding. I am not that big of a fan of apricots, so I don’t pay too much attention to the crop and the squirrels can keep them for all I care. Today, though, Leo and I were having a bit of a walk in the backyard, which we do when he gets a little cranky – I usually just move him around from tree to tree, he grabs at leaves and generally enjoys it. Today I spotted one lonely apricot on a tree and took him over to it, and he just grabbed it off the tree and ate it! He really ate it, too, at least three-quarters of the actual fruit went down his gullet, which is pretty impressive. He only has little tiny stubs of bottom teeth, but he makes good use of them. It was so fun to watch him grab a tree-fruit and eat it that we hunted all around at dinner time for another one, and found two, one of which he ate. I hope the squirrels don’t beat Leo to the last apricot!

Also, today Leo enjoyed his first pork chop, which he applied his teeth to vigorously, succeeding in tearing the meat into little shreds, some of which he may have eaten. It’s hard to say. We know something for sure about Leo’s preferences, though: Meat and Fruit. Not necessarily in that order. He’s a real cave-baby. I feel like I could let him loose on the African savannah and he’d be crawling right up next to the lions for his share of bloody gazelle, and then crawling off in search of a nice peach tree.

Beef – it’s what’s for dinner

That’s right, baby led weaning has Leo eating steak. Not ground up in a Gerber style bowl, but big hunks of meat. The new eating style is going great but it takes Leo a while to wind up for each meal. Tonight for dinner Leo had yellow pepper, sweet potatoes, and steak. Dinner went like this. Pick up the steak. Throw it on the ground. Mommy pick it up. Throw it back on the ground. Throw the pepper on the ground. Daddy pick it up. Throw the sweet potato on the ground. Throw the pepper on the ground. Throw the steak on the ground. Pick up. Pick up. Pick up. But then at one point Leo started gnawing on the pepper calmly for quite some time. And then the full piece of steak was in his mouth. Chaw chaw chaw. Mmmm.

Caleb doesn’t often come across as a meat head or the kind of guy that is all hyped up on being manly, but today when Leo dug into his steak, boy was Daddy proud. Get the camera mommy, my boy is chawin’ on some BEEF.

Mmmmm …. Steak.

steak.jpg
We actually think Leo swallowed a fair amount of steak, but can’t be so sure. In the clean up, there seemed to be far less steak than we started with. I have to say, so far, baby led weaning is awesome. It is so fun to watch Leo eat. The only problem has been less pee in the diaper than usual. I’m not sure if it has anything to do with the BLW (an acronym even!) but we are keeping an eye on it. Anyway, we’re psyched. It feels like finally Caleb and I will have our own weirdo parent hang up. We’ll watch other parents feed their babies ground up peas and smugly think to ourselves, “Hah, *our* baby eats steak!”

Because I’m so much more of a professional blogger than Caleb, and bloggers link to other bloggers I’ll leave links BLW sites.

Nana is also here. She has been fortunate enough to watch the second full day of BLW and has not been too critical, even though she raised children of her own. Here is Leo bouncing on Nana.

nana_jump.jpg

Nana brought some toys. A car that papa made for Johanna when she was a little girl.
car.jpg

A plastic mirror that Papa cut and filed for Leo so he can drag it around the house.

mirror.jpg

Our final exciting topic for the day is that the daycare search may be over. Wally’s world here we come! I probably shouldn’t get so excited about a day care before Leo starts and we confirm that he really likes it. But … Wally’s World just seemed so great.

We were starting to get fairly scared. Silicon Valley seems to offer two options, corporate childcare and home day care. Corporate places come with reliability (day care is still open when the teacher is sick) and bigger classrooms. But they are full of wait-lists out the wazoo, stories of parents kissing butt and using other enticements to get off lists, and generally a lot of preparing children to be the next CEO in the best case, or in the worst case, well that is left up to the imagination. We went visited a place that many folks at Google seem to like, The Children’s Pre-School Center. And it seemed a great. The particularly stunning aspect was that they have extremely low turn over in teachers. Our tour guide had been there 16 years. It was everything we wanted in a daycare and more. But the “more” seemed a bit extreme. Our child would be entering the rat race at 9 months old. Learning sign language, getting every developmental milestone tended to, and eating catered jelly (no peanut butter) sandwiches from San Francisco. Nevertheless, we paid our $50 to join the 38 others on the waiting list and crossed our fingers. Home daycares sounded promising, but then we went to one for a day that was out of a lady’s small apartment where Leo cried the full day. And you hear stories, like that of Dan and Becca, whose home day care lady had a stroke. And at the most promising home daycare in our neighborhood the woman running it had a botched hysterectomy recently and was unsure when she’d be ready to think about another child. Reliability.

So through some magical Google searching I found Wally’s World. It was about 1 mile from our home and with openings. Caleb and I visited today. From the outside it seems like the best of both worlds. A home daycare that has been around for 20 years. Our guide has been there for 12 and two women in the infant room had each been there for 10. In the infant room there are 5 children and three teachers! All the kids seemed happy. There was tons of space in the yard. And even pets, an old friendly dog, birds and bunnies. Although, they don’t get food catered from San Francisco, they have folks there cooking meals. Today, albondigas and rice. Mmm …. And althought it didn’t seem like Leo would be learning sign language, the teachers do talk to the children in Spanish. What’s better, baby sign language or Spanish? We talked to a mom who commutes there from Menlo Park and was quite happy. The brochure came with the phone numbers of *all* the parents who send their kids there as references. Anyway we visit a final site tomorrow morning, but we are pretty much sold. Hopefully I’m not jinxing Wally’s World to write about it.

Vegetable Victory

So I feel exceptionally victorious as a parent today. One of my major struggles, which Johanna has begun to see the tip of since I made her feed Leo last weekend, is Leo and Vegetables. I’d like to get him eating human food as soon as possible, so I’ve been upping his food-feedings (vs bottle-feedings) over the last few weeks to three, of which the first is usually fruit, which he loves in any permutation, and the next two as vegetables, which he used to not mind but in the last three weeks or so has rejected completely. He does an amusing “ick” face whenever I slide a bite in, and once in a blue moon will open his mouth for a bite and then razz it all over me. I try distracting him with teething biscuits or other cut up foods on the tray, and that worked for a while, but not the last couple of days.

I’ve been Googling away for a couple of weeks with no luck – a lot of bad and/or useless advice. I called the pediatrician today, and she had the same bad advice – give him little chunks of food, maybe try mixing his peas with applesauce (gross), but what I was hoping to hear, that I could just feed him fruit and forget about the vegetables, wasn’t part of the advice. So back to Google, I came across this link to an article I think from Sweden (not as an actual link on Google, Johanna take note, but as a link in the comments of a blog post on the third or fourth page of results) about “baby-led feeding” which apparently means to give the baby big-ass hunks of food. And it worked!

Here is Leo puzzled by his cornucopia:
puzzled.jpg

Here, enjoying some squash:
squash.jpg

Sucking on a green bean:
bean.jpg

And masticating some broccoli:
broccoli.jpg

And of course, the movie: