Saturday, September 30

Who's Driving Now

A few weeks back we were gently berated by a woman at farmer's market for not having a hat on Matilda. It was an overcast day so we were not too concerned about sun exposure, plus Matilda rarely tolerates hats lately. I said something to that effect and the woman replied, "remember, you're the one driving here." The kind folks over at Herrmania gave Matilda this cute hat for her half birthday, which conveniently ties on. Matilda is clearly upset to see we are bending to the advice of random strangers.

Thursday, September 28


Tim got me the most exciting birthday gift: a cooking class at The New School of Cooking. It is going to be awful to decide which class to take though. The course descriptions all sound wonderful and the foods we get to make are all tempting. Here are my top contenders:

The Root of the Matter: Introduces farmer's market roots and ideal cooking methods for each. A few featured items include Young Turnip and Apricot Salad with Toasted Walnuts and Creamy Greens Dressing, Celery Root and Apple Salad with Tarragon and Roasted Almonds, Parsnip Galette with Winter Greens, Roasted Fennel Bruschetta.

Gifts from the Hearth: Features homemade gifts and tips on presentation. I am interested in the Kansas City Barbecue Sauce, S'mores Kit with Homemade Marshmallows and Graham Crackers, Spiced Bourbon Hot Fudge Sauce, and Mango Chutney.

Winter in Tuscany: Includes rustic, seasonal dishes such as Potato and Artichoke Tart, Bread and Swiss Chard Gnocchi, Lasagne with Black-Eyed Peas, Renaissance Style Baked Cauliflower, Lobster Fra Diavola, and Mascarpone Ice Cream!

Autumn Pies: No explanation required - Cardamom Pear Pie with Pistachio Crumb Topping, Pumpkin Meringue Pie, Bourbon Pecan Pie, Cranberry Orange Lattice Top Pie, and Sweet Potato Pie with Candied Pecan Topping.

Any votes, or advice on how to decide??


"No thanks Dad, I've got my own."

"No really, give me that spoon back."

Matilda's reaction to us feeding her seemed much stronger than her reaction to the food itself. We got the distinct impression she wanted to do it herself. I am not sure if she just wanted us to feed her faster, or if we were doing it wrong. She does always seem to have strong opinions about the certain way she wants things done. We gave her a spoon so she could help too but that backfired. She just sucked on her spoon and wouldn't open up for Dad's spoon so we had to take it away again.

We got some smiles and some looks of disgust in reaction to the avocado. It was a really fun experience overall and I am excited to see what happens at lunch today. Adam was surprised to find out we diluted the avocado with breastmilk to get the right consistency - I think he will forever be suspicious of guacamole at our house now.

Wednesday, September 27

6 Month Update

First here are some pictures from the past month:

Matilda maintains her sunny disposition despite red eyes and a runny nose from her first ever cold this month. This shot was taken at 4 in the morning on her worst night with the cold.

Taken this morning - she is so ready for food!

M is now getting into the crawl-ready position. She doesn't go anywhere yet; just rocks back and forth once up on her knees like this. While she is not technically crawling yet she is getting around quite well with her commando-creep style of transportation.

She still loves to stand and survey the landscape from her new perspective. This month she has started pulling herself up to standing also.

Matilda had her 6-month check up yesterday. Here are her stats:

17lb 11oz, 75% weight for age

25 3/4", 50% height for age

Her weight gain has slowed the past two months, which is to be expected. She is much more active and burning more calories. Plus she is really easily distracted from nursing by all the interesting things in the world. She did well with her shots and doesn't seem too sore today. The pediatrician thought she is doing really well and was impressed she went so long before getting her first cold. The nurse and doctor were both quite shocked with all her movement and both laughed as they said we are going to have our hands full with her soon. The nurse said, "oh, you guys went and had your boy first," commenting on her disposition.

We will start Matilda on solid foods today and are very excited for her reaction. It is amazing to me to see how she has grown and thrived on just breastmilk so far, what a wonder. Matilda is getting more fun everyday. She thrills her dad now by getting really excited when he comes home. She is babbling more with long strings of consonant sounds and consistently says mama when she is complaining about something. Her nubby rattle still seems to be a favorite toy but she is now fascinated with any kitchen utensils we give her. We are looking forward to another trip east soon to see Grammy and stimulate Matilda with more new sights and adventures.

Monday, September 25

It's a Sick World

And an even sicker household.

The sick-fest started last week when I got mastitis for my birthday. This was really a thoughtful gift and I wish the responsible party would step forward and take credit. Some neat features of my gift included a two-day relaxing stay on the couch, a fever of 102 degrees complete with chills and aches and weight loss (yea), a five-day course of antibiotics, and a physician endorsed exemption out of running the 5 mile race that I had been nervous for Sunday. On the bright side, I already got my other gifts (which were markedly nicer) but felt like I slept through my actual birthday and am looking forward to celebrating next week. Yea, it's my birthday next week!

Next up for sickness was Miss Matilda, who woke up Friday with a stuffy nose and her first cold. I blame the snotty little boy at Toddler Reading hour at our local library. We have decided Matilda is no longer allowed in libraries, regardless of how this affects her SAT scores I am sure she will be healthier for the choice. She is handling the cold really well. The most interesting discovery of the weekend was that the only way we could get her to sleep when she was really congested was in the shower. She would fall fast asleep on my shoulder in the shower - leaving me with the delicate situation of how to then get her dried off and diapered while still maintaining the sleeping state.

Not wanting to be left out, RD Papa joined in on the sick-fest fun Friday evening with his own beginnings of a cold. He left for the weekend for much bachelor party revelry and returned Sunday night with the full-blown death rattle in his chest. Looks like we need to invest more in Kleenex stock around here, or find a bigger one of these for Tim.

Tuesday, September 19

Dirtiest Day Yet

Grubby little hands.

Pleased with the mess.

Matilda got dirtier than ever yesterday while playing on the little mat area in our communal courtyard. It belongs to a 2 year old neighbor whose parents have encouraged us to use it. The darker spots on her belly are where she drooled and then picked up even more dirt. I was almost equally dirty from chasing her around and we both went straight into the bath after. I am sure in the not too distant future there will be messes that make this look like nothing. But for now just humor me in my thinking this really constitutes a mess.

Monday, September 18

No Scurvy Here

Abbott has issued a recall on several varieties of formula, or as we liked to call it at work, artificial baby milk. Chalk this up as yet another reason to breastfeed. It appears the bottles are missing a special layer, which keeps air out. Without this protection the vitamin would be destroyed by reacting with the environmental oxygen. I am sure my former comrades at work are having a ball with the chaos which erupts at each recall.

Just this weekend we had been discussing formula use. We ran into a dietitian colleague of mine at farmer's market who recommended I use some to mix with Matilda's cereal. This stemmed from my concern over the hassle of pumping milk while traveling next month in order to dilute her cereal. I was considering just using water, which many people do all the time. I admitted I am kind of militant about formula and was unlikely to do that. Tim smartly said we should find some way to make our own formula........ to which I replied that is exactly what we are doing.

Thursday, September 14


Imagining what Matilda will look like with her daddy's hair.

Monday, September 11

Tales of Fluffy

Meet Fluffy.

Matilda was given Fluffy by her Grandpa Hugh, aka G-pop. Before residing here with us (as pictured below), Fluffy had an idyllic life on the farm with the rest of his flock (as pictured above). Unfortunately for him (but lucky for Miss M) he was sent off to the butcher and we got a lovely, soft sheepskin out of the deal. Matilda loves all manner of fabric and textures and is always intrigued with examining new items. She will carefully inspect a material's pattern and then rub her face onto the new specimen. Fluffy is like the Holy Grail of textures for Matilda and sends her into a special kind of frenzy. She can be in the worst of moods and when presented with Fluffy she will forget her worries.

Tim wishes that Fluffy had his head attached still, so we could have a sheepskin rug, in the fine bearskin rug tradition. When a package from G-pop showed up Saturday we all joked that it was the missing head. I am more than happy that this is not the case, and keep trying to convince him sheepskin rugs are cooler with out the head. He won't buy it.

Matilda seen in ecstasy lying on her sheepskin.

Caught in the act: jamming fistfuls of wool into her mouth. Poor Fluffy would be bald soon if it were up to Matilda.

Thursday, September 7

Call Arnold

Key nutrition bills are sitting on the Governor's desk and he has until September 30th to act. AB 2384 (Improved Access to Fruits and Vegetables) and AB 2205 (Three Connections to Healthy Eating) could make a big difference in the health of kids and families throughout our state. The California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA) has a campaign to call on Friday, September 8th and show support for these bills. If you Californians have a moment to call and let him know your feeling on these please do so. For details on how to call or email support see the CFPA flyer.

Tuesday, September 5

Belated Dessert

I am working on Tim's Dessert of the Month today, not getting a head start on September but actually trying to catch up on August. He was having a really difficult time deciding on his choice and the month just slipped by. Inspired by all the fresh figs at the market he found two fig desserts that he couldn't choose between, so we will have figs for both August and September desserts. Today I will make the Fresh Fig Tart with Rosemary Cornmeal Crust and Lemon Mascarpone Cream. Later in the month we will have Baked Figs topped with homemade Honey-Whiskey Ice Cream. And his Mom says that he is spoiled - imagine that.

Friday, September 1

Change Gears

Ladies and Gentleman, hold on to your hats. Matilda is now moving forward. It is not pretty, and not what you would call a traditional crawl, but by sheer force of determination she is getting herself forwards. It is pretty amazing to witness.