Posts Tagged ‘baby’

I recently started feeding Julia cheese, yogurt, and regular table food. At her 9 month appointment, her pediatrician advised us that we can start doing that. I was taken back a little since for the past 3 months I have only given her simple purées. “She has never had garlic, or onions, or any spices at all. Is it ok to feed her all those things now?”, I commented. “Go for it!”, she said. So I went for it.


Dinner on the deck!

Her first real food was couscous. I love making it since it is so simple and can be served as a side dish or a main dish. I do not follow a particular recipe… I just make it up depending on the ingredients that I crave. This time I added some olive oil, lime juice, olives, spinach, roasted tomatoes, salt, black pepper, goat feta cheese, and alleppo pepper (I love this pepper! If you have a Penzeys near you, grab some and sprinkle it on anything that you desire. It’s delicious!). I was not sure what Julia was going to make of the dish. She just loved it!!

The next dish that I made was a potato salad. This is another simple side dish that I love to make and it is a little more interesting than your typical potato salad. I found the recipe in the Lucid Food cookbook. It includes potatoes, pesto, olives, and hard boiled eggs. I did not make my own pesto this time. Also, since Julia cannot have eggs, I did not include them in the entire dish. I also added some avocado on top for all of us. Julia loved it since I gave her pieces of potatoes and avocados to feed herself (she loves feeding herself!). Another success!

Next up was a pasta with a chicken broth and shallot based sauce, kale, peas, and goat cheese. Since the pasta was not too soft, I did not think that Julia would be able to eat it, so I chopped it a bit with the rest of the ingredients. She loved this too! I was so excited that she liked the kale! Good thing, since she will be eating plenty of that in her lifetime! :)

The next dish was a little different. I was not sure if I wanted to feed Julia meat just yet. Since I do not eat meat or hardly ever cook it, I could not bare the thought of boiling chicken for her. And there was no way that I was going to get her the chicken dishes in the jar. That sounded even more appalling. Also, I cannot roast a chicken for the life of me. So what to do? Then a few weeks ago I found a recipe that sounded somewhat promising. I decided to give it a try. (I know!! Can you believe it!?!?) The dish includes chicken thighs, a few shallots, a pint of cherry tomatoes, 1/2 a cup or so of olives, fresh thyme, olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh mint, and feta. You roast the chicken with all the ingredients, minus the mint and feta. Once the chicken is done roasting, you add the mint and feta. The dish was delicious!! Since we loved it so much and it was easy to make, I decided to make it again and give some to Julia. She loved it too!

I must say that since I started feeding Julia regular food, my thoughts about dinner have changed a bit. I feel like I now have to think even harder about what dishes to make, since she cannot eat everything that we eat. For example, I tend to use nuts a lot in my cooking… specifically for pesto. But at the same time, I am super excited that she can now eat more of the things that we eat. It will definitely make it easier to not have to make multiple dinners for us. I also feel super lucky that she is such a good eater. Still to this day, she has only disliked bananas, pears, and cauliflower. If that is the extent of it, I have nothing to complain about, no?


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The time has come… Julia is old enough to eat solid foods! It is amazing to me that she is at this stage already. It has come so fast. I was prepared… my friend Marc gave us the Baby Gourmet (Les Petits Plats Français) cookbook and as a birthday present, Joel’s mom gave me the 201 Organic Baby Purées cookbook. Both books are great! Both contain lots of recipes for first as well as upcoming feeding stages. The 201 Organic Baby Purées book even contains a menu to use as ideas for what you can feed your baby. I was excited to start cooking for her.

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Julia’s first solid food… rice cereal.

As a first feeding, we gave her rice cereal. I was amazed! She knew exactly what do to with the spoon… she opened her mouth wide and took the spoon just like an adult. Crazy! She was very enthusiastic about it and she loved the cereal more and more everyday.

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Oatmeal cereal approved but not as enthusiastic as the rice cereal.

Then last weekend, we started feeding her oatmeal cereal. She was not sure how she felt about it at first. She was not as enthusiastic as she was when we fed her the rice cereal. After a few days though, she has grown to love it.

Since we were done with the cereal options, I decided to move on to vegetables. So last weekend I prepared her newest dish… sweet potatoes! I was so excited to feed it to her.

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Puréeing the sweet potatoes.

Uh… what is that orange stuff?

Julia, on the other hand, was not as excited as I was. Her reaction was priceless!

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Bah! I don’t know about this orange stuff!

The funniest part about it was that she was willing to eat it and was excited, but at the same time she was not sure how she felt about it.

I survived sweet potatoes! :)

We fed her the sweet potatoes for a few days and she liked them more and more everyday. Next up are avocados and carrots. (!!) I look forward to her reactions to the tastes and textures as we cycle through the many varieties of vegetables and fruits.

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It has been almost 4 weeks since Julia arrived. I love having her around. She is a good baby and is super cute. :) The postpartum period has been a bit frustrating though, since I was told to take it easy (I know… I’m crazy!).

I hated being in bed after I delivered Julia (I had to settle for a c-section, since she was breech and was unable to turn her). I could not wait to walk around, which was encouraged. As soon as the leg compressions were removed, I was up and walking. In fact, during the second day of my hospital stay, the nurse commented that she has seen me more out of bed than in bed. She added that my goal for the day was to rest. But I hated just sitting in bed. I did rest for a bit that day but walked at least twice a day for the remainder of my hospital stay.

As soon as I came home, I became a little more active. Going up and down the stairs was a little challenging at first, but it got better fast. Also, I started to walk outside with Julia. I love taking walks with her. Joel never liked to walk with me, so now I have a companion. :) I went from walking for 10 minutes to power walking for an hour. It feels so great to be out!

During my 4 week checkup on Wednesday, my doctor gave the ok to start exercising. In fact she told me that I am completely healed and that I can do anything. “Anything”, I said. “Yes, anything.”, she said. “Biking, running, yoga, pilates… no restrictions whatsoever.”, she added. I could not believe it!!

So yesterday I went on the most amazing hike. I was not sure how I would feel, but I felt so good during and after the hike. The trail was fairly hilly, but that did not matter. I even ran for a bit and felt fine. I am so excited!!

Dear bike and running shoes… oh how I have missed you!!

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I have embarked on a new adventure: pregnancy. (!!!) After being on the fence for about 7 or 8 years, Joel and I finally decided to have a baby.

My nephew played a huge part in our decision. We had a few opportunities to spend time with him over the past year: 10 days in St John in February, 5 days in Chicago in October, and another 7 days in the beginning of November here in Rochester. As soon as my brother and Jack left Rochester, Joel and I looked at each other and we immediately knew that we were ready. A few weeks later, I found myself in Wegmans shopping for a pregnancy test. I knew that I was pregnant (so much for it taking up to a year to happen per my doctor’s comment… HA!). Apparently all the planets aligned and it was the right time. I was ready in every possible way.

My nephew Jack... now does it make sense? I mean... just look at him. :)

My pregnancy has not been too bad so far. I did not experience any morning sickness, which I feel very lucky about. One thing that I have had is food aversions, which has been making my culinary experience a bit challenging.

I am unable to eat any meat, since it smells and tastes horribly. I realized this as I was feeding my kitty his chicken in gravy dinner. His food smelled appalling. Then that same evening, I cooked some chicken. Just disgusting! I am pretty bummed by this since I can no longer eat Bánh Mì sandwiches.

Another thing that I cannot eat is green peppers. Joel and I met for lunch at Chipotle one day and I ordered my usual: two tacos with brown rice, sautéed green peppers and onions, corn salsa, guacamole, and lettuce. I took one bite of my taco and my entire lunch was ruined. I have not had peppers since.

The same happened with nuts (walnuts, cashews, pecans, and almonds). Just no good! Luckily pistachios and pumpkin seeds still tasted ok, since the Matchstick Pasta recipe is on my dinner list pretty frequently and my favorite cereal contains pumpkin seeds. I tasted an almond two weeks ago and it actually tasted good, so I have been snacking on a few lately.

Cooking onions and garlic is also appalling, which is not good since most dishes require these two cooking staples.

The last thing that really bummed me was the aversion to chocolate. Just sad!! I really hope that this changes soon, because I really miss chocolate.

Aside from all these aversions, food still does taste good. Especially Bosc pears, clementines, avocados, blueberries, Pirates Booty Veggie snacks, fish, and salad just to name a few things. So my culinary experience is not completely in ruins.

My belly at 14 weeks.

The last thing that I would like to mention is my growing belly. I frequently find myself rubbing it and talking to the baby. Don’t get me wrong… I have my moments. Sometimes when I look in the mirror it looks like I’ve just eaten 10,000 donuts. But then I remember that it is not true and I feel better. Also, the fact that I have a baby growing in my belly is just mind-blowing! I still cannot believe it. I have experienced a few strange but also amazing things during the past 14 weeks. For example, I knew right away that I was pregnant. I cannot explain the feeling that I had… I just knew. Also, slouching is not too comfortable since I can feel this thing pushing up towards my ribs. I have been told that it will get even worse once the baby gets bigger. Same goes with leaning forward. My bathroom mirror is fairly far from the sink so I have to lean forward to look into it. Whenever I do that, I can feel this ball like thing falling forward towards the front of my belly. So strange! And when I try sucking my stomach in, nothing happens. HA!

My favorite moments so far have been the ultrasounds. I love seeing the baby. The fun part is that the baby was constantly moving during every ultrasound. It is getting ready to pedal, run, and dance. :)

My sweet pea. :)

I look forward to the future experiences that this new adventure will bring. I am sure that there will be many.

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