Friday, June 29, 2012

In my box #1

I'm not sure if I mentioned it here (I think I did?), but this year we joined a CSA. I have been thinking about doing one for years and this year it just all came together. With Grady starting solids, I wanted our food to be organic as often as possible. I also wanted his first tastes of fruits and vegetables to be the fresh, local, seasonal versions, rather than their watery supermarket counterparts. I could have accomplished this by going to the farmer's market each week (and we have about a zillion to choose from), but I wasn't really looking for another errand to add to my schedule and also? Baby Grady hates farmer's markets. It's true, though we're working on it.

So, when Blue House Farm started a CSA delivery program right to my office, I told Jasper I was signing us up. I really didn't get his opinion. I just told him I was really excited and that we were DOING IT. And he said alright.

We've been getting a box of produce every Thursday for about a month now, and I kept thinking I wanted to photograph our haul and tell you about it, but when I get home from work on Thursdays, that Baby Grady usually attacks me like the remora he is and I don't get a chance to take pictures before Jasper kindly stuffs it all in the fridge. And then I don't exactly drag it back out for a photo shoot. Obviously.

Somehow this week, I made it happen. What you see there in our batch of produce from the farm is rainbow chard, baby spinach, French breakfast radishes (radishes for breakfast? those crazy French!), cauliflower (one little head that we'll feed to Grady), strawberries, summer squash, mini purplette onions, romaine lettuce, and oregano. We still have kale left from last week too.

Thus far, my experience with the CSA is that I love it. I usually get some things I wouldn't buy -- I'm looking at you, fennel! -- but I have fun figuring out what to do with it all. I view it as a challenge to get through the whole box even with just our little family, and not to buy produce we are more familiar with as a crutch. This week should be easy. These are all things I often buy anyway, even if I buy slightly different varieties.

We'll probably have some of the spinach, a little purplette onion, and maybe a little summer squash on our pizza tonight. Ooh... maybe oregano? I had some of the radishes on my salad at lunch and I also finished off the fava beans, beets, and red lettuce from last week. By the way, how delicious are beets? Jasper hates them so I get them all and it's a good thing because I have trouble sharing when beets are involved.

Feel free to chime in with any of your favorite ways to use the treasures from our box this week.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bad news first

I recently mentioned our forced family funtime adventures and you were probably thinking “What’s that?” and “Sounds fun!” and “How can I get involved?” and “Can I have forced family funtime adventures in my own community?”

You can.

Early on in Baby Grady’s life, it was obvious to us that we did not have the sort of baby who would be toted about happily (or sleepily) to brunch, museums, street fairs, races, the movies, dinner, wine tasting, etc., and so on with all the things the other babies on Facebook are doing.

Admittedly, we dealt (and continue to deal) by staying home a lot and going on lots of walks and hikes. But every few weeks or so, I get a bee in my bonnet to try something a little more ambitious. So we go on a forced family funtime adventure and inevitably Baby Grady weeps. Hike and lunch? Weeping before we made it to the lunch part. Indoor birthday party? Weeping. Outdoor birthday party? Weeping. Farmer’s market? Weeping. First Friday? Weeping. MarsBeer at the pub with the other rocket scientists? Weeping. The beach? Weeping.

This past weekend was FFFA time. I announced that we would be taking Baby Grady for his first ride on the Tilden Steam Trains and then out for a snack on the roof deck at Triple Rock. Jasper said okay because he is exceedingly patient with my big ideas and also there’s really no good in stopping me once that bee has gotten into my bonnet.

So off we went. And the steam trains were a total bust. Whether it was the noise, the other people, the wind, or a general distaste for travelling by rail, we couldn’t say. But Baby Grady was not happy and it was sad.

After that we were going to take him to the Little Farm to see if that held greater appeal. He’s started to be highly amused by our dogs, so logic dictates that he would also enjoy goats. When we arrived we discovered that he had just fallen asleep, so we decided to head on to the pub and let him get a little nap in.

When he woke up, we found a perfect shady corner on the roof deck, with an older baby at the next table over. And, well, Grady loved it. He chewed on the menu while waiting for the food, and then he mauled some french fries. I had a drink and no one wept. It was amazing.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Seven Months

It’s been kind of a big month. Nothing groundbreaking, I don’t suppose, but it feels like Baby Grady is just working really hard on doing his baby thing these days. He’s a very busy little guy. Allow me to enumerate the things he is currently working terribly hard at:
  1. Sprouting teeth: He has three new ones for a total of five. I assume he’ll have six soon, because they seem to advance mostly in pairs. But in the meantime, yes, we call him Five-Tooth Fred.
  2. Rolling over both ways: Okay, this doesn’t seem to be that hard for him, but he does it constantly. Sometimes barrel-rolling is his mode of transport. (No more leaving him in the middle of the bed for a minute...) It’s worth noting that his technique for getting from belly to back seems a bit unconventional. It’s mostly about legs and the arms are only minimally involved.
  3. Crawling: He’s not doing it yet, but he spends a lot of time on all fours rocking back and forth. He’s started to pick up a hand or drag a leg slightly forward. Sometimes he’ll pick up both hands at once and throw them forward, landing on his belly. Then he gets back on all fours, in his slightly advanced position. It’s a slow way to get around and he is devoting a lot of time and effort and frustration to improving upon it.
  4. Using his hands: This isn’t new, but he continues to focus on improving his dexterity. Once he figured out how to grab his food efficiently and insert it into his mouth, he determined that there is no reason he needs to wait for the slow-as-molasses-in-January milk lady to getitoutalready. He simply grabs hold with his fists and latches on like a remora.
On that note (the remora), thanks to his increased proto-mobility, it’s very Wild Kingdom around here. Changing his diaper or clothes is like wrestling with an eel. Nursing, particularly with all those new teeth, is like suckling a feral badger. (As opposed to a domesticated badger, which, surprisingly, have very good manners at the breast.)

Oh, wait, this is sort of a major development. (And I am the queen of the elegant segue. You didn’t even know we were switching topics and now here we are.) Baby Grady can now handle some degree of being out and about in a social sense without weeping. It’s a pretty big deal. He attends parties and even went out to the pub. I nearly wept with happiness at the pub success, I’m not gonna lie. I’m pretty sure it was my first forced family funtime adventure that did not end in a meltdown. 

Partying at Auntie V's Baby Shower (photo by Victoria):

Chilling at the pub:

How much Baby Grady weighs: 21 lbs., 2 oz. 
How tall Baby Grady is: 28.5 inches

Size of Baby Grady’s clothes: 6-12 month; 9 month; 12 month (I still stuff him into 6-month onesies for meals and daycare and the like and he looks like a little sausage and I should probably stop doing that.)
Baby Grady’s shoe size: 4, I think... he’s still never worn shoes

Baby Grady’s eye color: brown with hints of blue
Baby Grady’s hair color: blond

Baby Grady’s favorites: the crabby pool, steak, clementines, Rizzle the Dizz, the roof deck at Triple Rock, checking on our plants
Baby Grady’s least favorites: teething, the way the baby keeps ending up on his tummy, the Tilden Steam Trains