6 posts Posts by Josh

Baby Led Parenting

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Baby led weaning has been a long road for us.

We started back in October of last year when Hen was just over seven months old.

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For the most part “eating” was still just a matter of picking things up, maybe (maybe!) putting it in his mouth and then spitting it out.

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And slowly but surely we moved onto bigger and better things.

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Flash forward nine months and I worried that Henry was getting bored with what we were feeding him. He had done great and was now eating 3 meals a day, but he had started getting tired of the tiny, cut up pieces of pork and vegetables we’d give to him; I’d make things into small, bite size pieces and he’d casually wipe them to the side, pushing them off his high chair and demanding something else.

And then the other day I had an idea, and I gave him a whole apple. Not the sliced and de-peeled pieces I’d been giving him and that he’d slowly grown bored with, but a whole apple. And he loved it. Granted, he didn’t eat the whole thing (it looked more like a hamster had taken a few chunks out of it at best), but he loved holding the whole apple and taking bites out of wherever he wanted.

A few days later, when he was pushing aside the corn pieces I was giving him I decided to try the “whole food” idea again.

And waddayaknow, suddenly he loved it.

Beyond that I’ve done the same thing with chicken, giving him a big piece for him to hold with two hands and take bites out of, and it’s renewed his love for poultry.

So it turns out he wasn’t getting fussy after all, he just wanted to be a little more in control of handling his food and taking better advantage of his teeth. And just like that Henry reminded me that as soon as I get used to one thing with him, he goes out and grows and evolves and I’m going to need to do that right along with him. Go figure.

He works hard for the money apple slices

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Clearly we don’t believe in child labor laws here at our house.

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Window Boxes

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This past week we’ve finally “dressed up” the side of our house that was looking a little boring.

With only nine inches between the driveway and the house we didn’t want to put in plants that would require a lot of watering and lead to us soaking our foundation. So we opted for window boxes.

In the two boxes outside the living room window we put a variety of flowers including some petunias, snap dragons, marigolds, dichondra, and a few others, with some tall guys in the back and some hang-down guys in the front.

Then, in front of the kitchen window we planted some basil, mint, cilantro and parsley. This way we can just reach out the kitchen window for fresh herbs without having to go outside.

Out on the patio we also planted a selection of other herbs; some thyme, and a variety of mints (chocolate mint, apple mint, pineapple mint – think of all the mojitos and ice cream toppings!).

And last, but not least, our neighbor no longer has to stare out her kitchen window and look at our drab, blank wall.

Papa’s got a brand new cup

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On Friday nights we watch Shark Tank. Now you know what all the hip people are doing to ring in the weekend. You’re welcome.

If you’re unfamiliar with the show, five millionaires/billionaires sit and listen to pitches by entrepreneurs and inventors and if the richies (or Sharks, hence the title) like the idea then they invest their own money and go into business with the person. It’s pretty simple, and surprisingly addictive to watch.

A few weeks ago two parents were on featuring a cup they had designed for kids. It had a straw, which, to paraphrase the speech pathologist community is a good thing because sippy cups are the work of the devil (their words, not mine). And the straw is weighted, so it bends to get all the liquid in the bottom corners of the bottle, not just straight down. Smart, right? Throw in the detachable handles/base, the fact that it’s made in the USA and the great design sense and we were sold on the Lollacup (and so were Shark investors Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec).

Oh, right, and the bird’s head flips open and closed to prevent spilling in the diaper bag or on the go. So smart.

We bought two of them immediately after watching the show and so far Henry loves them.

You can find out more at lollacup.com

No product or monetary compensation has been given for this post. It sounds like a sponsored post but I really just like the cup.

Meatless

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For the past month we’ve been cooking only vegetarian meals for dinner. It’s not some kind of grand and symbolic stand against the meat industry and all that it stands for. It’s more that we’re just trying to save a few bucks and eat a tad healthier. We still grill the occasional burger and order bacon when we go out for breakfast, but we’ve gone vegetarian for our nightly dinners.

The most difficult part of this deal is finding interesting stuff to cook. More than half of the recipes out there are just pasta, and that gets old (and unhealthy) fast. I also try to keep the “let’s just top a lot of veggies on a pizza” pizza to a minimum too.

So after all my scouring for good, tasty, healthy vegetarian meals I thought I’d share some with you so that you don’t have to slog through all the bad recipes I did to find these. Or, if this isn’t your thing at all, move along.

The highlight of last week’s recipes was the gruyere and tomato grilled sandwich. “A grilled cheese?” you may ask. Kind of. But much more.

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 sandwich)

Total: 20 Minutes

 

Ingredients

1 (8.5-ounce) jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

24 pitted kalamata olives

3 garlic cloves

8 slices sourdough bread

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

12 thin slices of large tomato

4 ounces Gruyère cheese, shaved

Butter

 

Preparation

1. Remove 8 sun-dried tomatoes and 2 tablespoons oil from jar. Combine tomatoes, oil, olives, and garlic in a mini food processor; process until mostly smooth, scraping sides of bowl once.

2. Brush one side of each bread slice with butter. Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons olive mixture on each of 4 bread slices, butter side down. Top each bread slice with some of the parmesan, 3 tomato slices, and some of the Gruyère. Top each with remaining 4 bread slices, butter side up.

3. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sandwiches to pan. Place a cast-iron or other heavy skillet on top of sandwiches; press gently to flatten sandwiches (leave cast-iron skillet on sandwiches while they cook). Cook 2 minutes on each side or until cheese melts and bread is toasted.

 

A cop out for my first vegetarian recipe share? Maybe. But I know that you’d rather be reading about this than some quinoa and kale dish.

A Cat on the Prowl

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Because of this crazy hot and cold weather in Chicago, the plants that we bought the other day (they were on sale!) are not doing so great.

Yesterday morning I brought them in out of the cold, only to see Ernie prowling around them shortly afterwards. And I couldn’t help but think…