Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Learning curve

I am trying out two new things today. They are not going well.

One is my first attempt at baby food making. Going partially off of a Pinterest post and partially winging it, this morning I set about the ambitious task of cooking brown rice and quinoa, steaming carrots, peas, apples and pears, and baking three sweet potatoes, to then be cleverly combined in pleasing fruit/veggie/grain combos much like the squeezy bags we currently utilize. Well. First problem is my craptastic blender was not at all up to the task, and immediately began emitting a harsh burning plastic smell. I do have a hand blender, but it wouldn't have been able to handle this level of chunky food; I also have a combo steamer/blender baby food maker, but the directions say you have to run it through three complete cycles and meticulously clean it with vinegar before even one use, and in the words of Sweet Brown, ain't nobody got time for that. I also discovered I'd made WAY too much food - my two sets of plastic baby food containers were full before I even got through the first combination (quinoa, sweet potato, and apple). And surprise - I only had a couple of ziplock bags left (and not even freezer bags), so I had to shut down operations pretty soon after. I made a brown rice/pea/carrot combo and a blueberry/yogurt/pear one and had to put everything else in the fridge, including the unused quinoa, brown rice, and sweet potatoes. I suppose if B actually likes this food I can consider today a success, but I don't know - apart from the dessert-y yogurt one, they didn't seem all that appealing to me. And then I figure he's just shy of one year old and can probably start eating my food very soon anyway. Most of what I eat can easily be modified for a toddler. Since I got such a late start on this whole solid food thing I've kind of skipped the purée era more or less. But I have to say I don't feel good about what I made today. It was a huge pain in the ass and left a giant mess to clean up and I don't know if B will even eat it. Oh, and for the hour + this took, he whined and screamed the whole time. Sigh.

Ditto my attempts at spending time in the attic space so B can have some "free play" time. So far all he's done the last two days is: pull out and chew on my laptop cord; try to climb his walker and fall and smash his head into the bottom cabinet and scream; find the full to the brim glass of water I poured myself and spill it into the carpet; and stand at the edge of the rollaway bed and whine. Yes. This has been our "free play" time, with all his toys spread all over the floor, ignored. I keep pulling him on to the bed and nursing him in the hopes that he'll nap or be content and play, but neither of these things have happened. He's been exceptionally fussy for days, our sleep has been terrible, and I am exhausted and cranky. Can't you tell?

I'm not sure what the fussiness is about. He's been extra clingy and needy. Probably more teething. I gave him teething tablets last night but they didn't seem to do anything. He's been nursing a lot more (or maybe I'm nursing him more in an attempt at making him happy, and failing). There have been a lot of changes lately. Maybe, like me, he's just trying to adjust.

I belong to a single mothers by choice Facebook group that sprouted from the WTE app. They are mostly in the thinking or trying phase - and mostly younger. I really hand it to those gals in their early thirties and even twenties who decide this is the route for them; part of me thinks they're a little crazy, but then when I'm reminded how often I wish I'd done this earlier so I would have had more options, it makes sense. I guess for me I had to be sure I wouldn't meet someone in time, I had to know my fertility would never survive dating/engagement/being married for a little while/then trying for a baby. But these young gals - I guess they know what they want! There is a thread going on right now about how many kids everyone wants, and I was surprised that only one other woman and I said "one", although not surprised we're the only ones in our forties, which has everything to do with it. Most wanted two or more...some a lot more. And at that point I feel like they're just young and inexperienced and have no idea how hard, and expensive, being a single parent actually is. They all gave the reason that they want their children to have siblings. And I want that, too, but I recognize it's not practical for us. Still I feel guilt about that, especially when B just will not play by himself in his new fabulous play space. He wants a playmate. And he's not going to have one. And I feel like a bit of a jerk for not being willing to suck it up and provide him with one. Still, not enough of a jerk to make me change my mind, though.

I also posted my baby food making fail on FB and a fellow new mom who always has to one-up me wrote simply "I make my baby fresh organic veggie and fruit purées every day", to which I felt like responding, "well, la-dee-frickin' dah!!!"


  1. Screw the one-upping mom (wow, that is pretty strong language for me). Facebook has a way of making people feel less than. I hate that part of it. Hopefully that mom has something she won't post about that will put her in her place. No one is perfect.

    Sorry the baby food making, free time, and sleeping didn't/haven't been working out. Parenting is freaking hard work and at times there isn't anything to show for it. But I am confident in saying that all your efforts will make a long-term difference in B!

    I happen to be the age group you were speaking about. I began trying at 29 and delivered three months shy of 33. I was only going to have one baby because that seemed most feasible, but my meddling with nature resulted in two at once. :) I was confident about my choice (I am not sure I would want to have children with a partner; I have a really hard time trusting anyone not to desert me, let alone my child/ren). I am about 10 years older than when most of my cousins became parents, which is not a bad thing by any means. But it makes me feel old (the generations in our family tend to only be about 20 years apart).

  2. I always thought that I would at least try to make some baby food, but so far I haven't bothered. I figure I'm doing good to stay on top of other household chores.

    As for the one-upper, have her look closely at B's right hand in the photo of this post...I think he might have a message for her!

  3. The one upping friend probably doesn't have a very full and interesting life. In my personal opinion.

    As for the baby food... this was a very good experiment. You found out that your time is better spent doing things that make the two of you happier and less stressed! But it's not a total waste... try giving B the food, but not pureed. No reason he can't eat regular un-pureed quinoa!

  4. That was very ambitious for your first (& maybe last? lol) baby food making session! Don't be so hard on yourself! My first attempt was just sweet potatoes & that was overwhelming for me! It was pure cheapness that kept me at it, I just couldn't afford jarred food! The quinoa/apple/sweet potato sounds delicious!!!

    I too carry a lot of guilt about not giving Elena a sibling. I desperately want more kids but know its not the best thing for Elena & I. Knowing what's right for us doesn't make it any easier to accept. I sometimes wish I'd tried sooner but realistically I was never in the right place sooner.

  5. I also wish I had done it sooner, but not too much sooner - i had a good life/career first and am in a financial position to be able to cope now, so it is very different to how it would have been if I did it younger.

    I made about one batch of baby food too. Then I tried baby led weaning and never looked back!

    The new room is looking fab btw!

  6. I started thinking at 29 and was almost 35 when my son was born. I do Wang a second eventually, but since I'm going adoption I don't feel that race against the clock.

    Long long ago and far far away, I too dreamed of making baby food. It's not gonna happen. When he outgrows the vegetarian purées available, he'll start eating what I eat for dinner.