Category Archives: feeding

He has to eat eventually, right?

I’ve got a tiny kid. He’s skinny, and just average height. When people see him they say, “Oh, look how cute he is? He’s walking early isn’t he?” And I say, “He is cute, isn’t he? But no, he’s not real early…he’s 13 months.” And then they gasp, and say, “Oh, he’s tiny, isn’t he?” Yes, yes he is.

At his 12 month well-baby visit he had gained less than a pound since his 9 month visit, which was done at 10 months. So in 2 months he had gained almost, but not quite, 16 ounces. Ya’ll, that’s not even a pint of beer.

I’m not too worried about it. I was a tiny kid, my sister’s kids are tiny…he’ll be fine. But since I can’t pass up an opportunity to obsess about something; it has become my mission to make my kid eat food. (I spent the first 11 months of his life obsessed with his sleep, or lack thereof, it only seems fitting that once I made peace with that, something would replace it, no?)

Wanna know what my kid eats? So glad you asked. He licks the cream cheese off the toast, he’ll suck the sauce off any pasta he’s given, and he cannot get enough canned mandarin oranges. That’s right folks, my kid exists on orange slices.

moar oranges

He will sign “More! More!” while grunting and pointing for the bowl of them. Until the bowl is all gone. And then he will yell.

And maybe eat an Oreo.
Oreo collage

By “eat” I mean, “Smash it around, rub some of it on body, throw rest on floor.”

We offer him everything we eat. Some of last night’s tuna casserole, a little hamburger, broccoli, rice, pasta, bread, cereal, chorizo, eggs, potatoes, cheese….there’s very little he hasn’t tasted. There’s just not much that’s clicking right now, I guess.

He’ll eat when he’s ready. That’s what I keep telling myself. And in the meantime, I’ll just wait for him to turn into a little mandarin orange.



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No menu Monday.

It’s very avant garde, don’t you think?

Okay, so I thought having Menu Plan Monday would be great for me. It would be a place for me to put our menu (duh!) but also a place to talk about the food we eat. Turns out, I don’t want to talk about the food after it’s been posted as a menu.

So I’m going to try posting about what we eat after we eat it. Novel, no? This way I can talk about what we eat, how we modified it, what we ate with it, whether we’ll eat it again…the sorts of things that are useful when considering whether or not to make and eat something.

I’m going to start with a recipe that has become my absolute favorite chicken and guacamole tostadas. Seriously ya’ll, we’ve had these once a week for the last month. They’re THAT good.

The recipe is incredibly basic – some tostadas, guacamole, shredded chicken and pico de gallo. Layer it all together and wait for the yummy to roll over your tongue.

I fry my own tostadas because our grocery store doesn’t seem to sell them, and we add a layer of refried beans. I also use a lot of chopped garlic in the pico de gallo because that’s how we roll in this house. GARLIC MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER. (I also go heavy on the lime.)

If I could take better pictures of my food it would look stunning, but since I can’t…

crunchy fried corn tortilla, layered with refried beans, guacamole, shredded chicken, topped with pico de gallo

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Filed under Cooking, feeding, Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday – Week 2

This week we’re recycling two dishes from last week, as well as shifting one that got bumped.

Monday – Sweet Italian sausage sandwiches, with a side of bacon quinoa (from Food & Wine November 2009)

Tuesday – Chicken & Guacamole Tostadas (from Cooking Light). We had these last week, and they were DEEEE-LISH-OUS. So delicious. GO MAKE THEM.

Wednesday – Sweet and Spicy Citrus Tilapia (from Cooking Light, again). We were supposed to have this on Saturday, but it got bumped because we had county fair food instead.

Thursday – Stuffed Eggplant – Hippie Style from my vintage copy of the Moosewood Cookbook.

Friday – We’re going out!

Saturday – Pizza using whatever’s left in the fridge.

Sunday – CORN (Clean Out Refrigerator Night) I love that acronym.

Later today I’ll put up my review of last week’s menu plan. Until then, what are you eating this week?

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Filed under feeding, Menu Plan Monday


In a fit of MUST-HAVE-IT-NOW I made pesto Thursday night to go on our pizza. I’ve never made pesto before, despite planting several basil plants every year, while saying, “I’m going to make and freeze pesto with these!” HAHAHAHA. It’s okay though, because I really like the way they leave the dog smelling after she wanders through the garden foraging for tomatoes.

Anyway. Pesto is surprisingly easy to make. I’d heard this before, but wasn’t convinced because all the recipes required a food processor, and until I got married, I’d never owned a food processor. For realz.

Thursday night I asked the internet for recipes for pesto and picked the one with pictures. Then I ignored most of what it said because I have trouble measuring when I cook. I’m more a “pinch of this, dash of that” type cook. (Which is why I don’t bake. ‘Cuz you can get by with that attitude for a casserole, but not a cake.) And, I forget to put all the ingredients in ALL THE TIME. This pesto, for instance, called for lemon juice, which I’m JUST NOW remembering.

Essentially, I threw a pile of this:

In with a bunch of this:

Added some toasted walnuts (I didn’t have pine nuts), and some olive oil (which I sadly ran out of, so augmented with canola oil – I’m sure this is heresy, but it was all I had) to produce this:

I don’t recommend that you use my recipe because I’m pretty sure I STILL smell like garlic, but here it is if you’re feeling daring:

About 3 cups packed basil leaves. (Wash it first. And maybe blot it dry with a towel, or salad spinner.)

Probably about 2 tbsp. chopped garlic. (I used all those cloves you see. Maybe 6?)

Half a cup toasted walnuts. (I toasted them in a skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. I didn’t chop them first, just threw them in the processor.)

And somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 cup olive oil. (Or in my case some olive oil, some canola oil.)

Put the garlic, nuts, and oil in the food processor and chop. Once it’s mostly blended add the basil a bit at a time until blended. Then puree for 30 seconds or so. (Maybe longer – the baby wasn’t pleased with the noise while he was trying to eat, so I stopped when the yelling got loud.)

I’m not sure I’d put it on pasta as the garlic is VERY strong, but it worked well on the pizza. Which I’ll tell you more about on Monday.


Filed under Cooking, feeding

Nursing strike – Part 2

This breastfeeding thing is hard. Seriously. I thought all the hard stuff ended at 18 weeks. Ha! So, SO wrong.

Last week O took a 2 day breastfeeding “break.” From 10 a.m. on Thursday until 3 a.m. Saturday morning, he nursed twice. This is a kid who usually nurses every 3-4 hours. He missed about 7 feedings. I spent most of the day on Friday trying to get him to drink expressed milk from a sippy cup, because I was so worried about him becoming dehydrated in the 80+ degree weather. (For the record, he wasn’t really interested in the sippy cup, or the bottle N tried to give him. All the literature I read said to try to avoid bottles during strikes, but I finally relented because I was so worried about the TWO wet diapers he’d had in the past 24 hours.)

What was more striking than worrying about him, was how devastated I was by this sudden shift from breastfeeding. I was very surprised by my reaction. I’ve spent many, many hours over the past 11 months thinking about weaning. I thought about it a week after we came home from the hospital. I thought about it when he was 7 months old and still waking up 3 times a night to nurse. I thought about it when he would nurse for HOURS in a day. I thought about it when N started giving him a bottle at bedtime a few weeks ago. All that thinking did not prepare me for how invested I’ve become in this nursing relationship.

If you had asked me last week how important breastfeeding was to me, I would have said, “Eh…it’s just what I do. I don’t really have any feelings about it.” In fact, thinking about it right now, I don’t feel anything special about it. I do not wax poetic about the mother-baby dyad. I don’t talk about the special bond breastfeeding creates. Which is, apparently, because I’m in denial.

After he took a bottle from N Friday night, I spent a few hours sobbing in bed. I kept thinking that how weaning was going to happen. The suddenness of it was awful. To offer to nurse him, only to have him turn his head was heartbreaking for me. While I understood, logically, that this wasn’t my fault, it was very hard for me to understand it emotionally. Of course this was my fault. It was me he wouldn’t nurse from. (It didn’t help that a lactation consultant I had emailed for advice suggested that the bottle he’d been occasionally getting at bedtime, or the sitter he goes to for 4 hours a week might have caused the strike. Both of these things were instituted because I was getting to the point where I just couldn’t take it anymore. Had I put my own needs ahead of my child’s, and was now paying the price? (Which is a whole ‘nother mind fuck – how much of my existence do I owe my child?))

O woke up to nurse around 3 a.m. Saturday morning, but that was a feeding he had taken the night before, so I didn’t get my hopes up that he would resume nursing as usual once the sun came up. Around nap time, he and I went into his room turned the lights off, got comfy in our nursing chair and I offered to nurse him. He latched on without hesitation. I felt such a sense of relief. It literally flooded through me – this relaxing wave of security.

Though the strike is over, I’m still nervous every time I offer to nurse. I’m scared he’s going to turn his head again, rejecting me.

(Plus, on Saturday night he bit me. He drew blood. It hurts every time he latches on. Worse than any pain I experienced in the early months. I’m afraid if he doesn’t turn his head, he’s going to bite me. I’m walking a delicate line right now.)


Filed under breastfeeding, feeding, life balance, O

Nursing strike

I’m afraid O and I are in the beginning of one. 😦

Yesterday he nursed, as usual, just before his nap around 10 a.m.. He didn’t nurse again for the rest of the day. I offered several times, and each time he would turn his head.

I was perplexed by it, and a little worried, but not overly so. I figured when he went to bed he’d definitely want to nurse, since he nurses to sleep. But he didn’t. He put his mouth near my nipple and started to cry. Big, mouth open, frowny lips crying. So I put him on my shoulder and patted his back for a little bit, and then offered again. Same response. It broke my heart, and I started to cry too.

Instead of nursing to sleep, I walked with him. With tears running down my cheeks, thinking to myself, “I am so sorry that I ever wished this away.”

I don’t know what precipitated this. I remember that he bit me a few times today as I offered, but I don’t remember having an extreme response. I’ve read that a dramatic response can scare babies, and cause a nursing strike. Maybe I wasn’t as calm as I thought I was. Maybe he’s teething, or doesn’t feel well.

I’ve been thinking about weaning lately. Not in any serious manner, just knowing that’s it’s potentially on the horizon. I’ve assumed that I wouldn’t have any overly sentimental feelings about it. That I might miss it, but that I would welcome the end. And maybe I will. But not like this.

I’m trying not to think about tomorrow. I’m hoping that by the time this post is up, he will have woken and nursed eagerly, as if nothing had happened.

I’m hoping…

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What’s for dinner?

broccoli and cauliflower salad, with bacon and sunflower seeds, in a yogurt vinaigrette

No, there’s no menu plan here today. But there is the thought of a menu plan, and that’s almost as good as one, right?

Earlier this year, N and I undertook weekly menu planning. For about a month we were really good about sitting down Saturday morning and pouring through all the back issues of Food & Wine we had, (The subscription was good for more than catching drool!) and finding recipes to cook. Then we’d make a grocery list and go shopping for the week.

homemade pizza dough, topped with pesto, ricotta, goat cheese, black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and artichoke hearts

I had been resistant to menu planning because I thought, “But what if I don’t want chicken on Wednesday?” whine, whine, whine, “What if I want a burrito?” whine, whine, whine. Well, as it turns out – if chicken was on the menu for Wednesday, chicken was what I wanted. Shocking, I know.

stir fry with tofu, red bell peppers, water chestnuts, snow peas, baby corn, carrots, and mushrooms - served over quinoa

It was so easy to look at the fridge and see that Tuesday was Spicy Soba Noodles with Garlic Lime Shrimp, and have the recipe right there, and all the stuff to make it in the house. There was no 5 o’clock dithering about what to have for dinner. No opening and closing the refrigerator a dozen times, hoping that this time there will be a lasagna ready to go in the oven.

We got lazy about planning when N started a job with an awful commute, and this summer it’s been too hot to cook. Our kitchen gets lots of sun and is warm to begin with. Add a lack of a/c and a stove and it’s unbearable. We’ve been eating basic stuff that can be cooked on the grill.

Lately though, we’ve been talking about getting back to planning. We ate healthier when we had a menu for the week because there was no throwing our hands up in the air and getting Chipotle because it was easier than finding something to cook.

So, while I was grocery shopping yesterday I shopped with a plan in the back of my mind to get us through the weekend. We have enough meals to get us through to Monday. And on Monday, if all goes according to plan, you’ll see a menu for the rest of the week. Maybe I’ll even inspire you to plan your own menus. (Or you can totally steal mine – I’m cool with that!)

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Filed under family time, feeding