Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Feeding a Baby

Around the 4-month mark is when you can start introducing solid food to a baby.  It's as nerve-racking as it sounds.  What do you feed a baby?  I can split these fries with him?  No, not exactly.

We started off with the traditional rice cereal.  We kept that recipe going until I thought perhaps he was getting too tired of the same old things; formula and rice cereal.

My mom, who watches Noah while I'm at work, started feeding him foods she made.  She made our food growing up so I wasn't too shocked to see her making his foods.  It started off with potatoes, squash and carrots and gradually moved to adding bananas (his favorite), blueberries, strawberries and apples.

I didn't initially start off parenthood with the intent of making my son's meals.  (Well, aside from breastfeeding.)  In all honesty, it was something I hadn't thought too much about.  However, watching my mom make his meals and realizing that Noah had yet to eat some of the jars of Gerber food found in our pantry, that someone had gifted to us, made me stop and think long and hard about it.  What did I want to feed my son?  What would be in his best interests?  How about my own?  A happy, healthy baby is the ultimate goal of any parent so what can I do to achieve that?  My mom, a woman ahead of her time, made most of our meals.  What she didn't make was pizza only because she didn't know how.  She's a Mexican first.  My father's side is Italian and even still, we don't know enough to make our own pizza.  Also, I can honestly say that I have yet to eat a Happy Meal from McDonald's.  My mom never went out and got them for us instead telling us, "Oh, you want a Happy Meal? I'll make it for you."  And suddenly, here I am, making my son's food and I am still alive.  Why didn't I put more thought into this before I decided to have a baby?  Why did I think it was going to be hard?  Why would it have mattered if it was going to be hard?  It's my son's health and well-being.  What the what?

I spent this weekend making my son chicken, squash, pears, plums, peaches and apples.  All of them pureed of course and, according to the BNC, all of them yummy.  I surprised myself very much this weekend not only with the fact that I was able to carve out time to do this, as well as pre-make some dinners for the week four ourselves, but also about how calm I was about it.  I didn't know I had it in me to be a mother who makes her son's meals.  I am that person now and while I was a little ashamed that I didn't put too much thought into this before and after my life as a parent, I'm glad that I snapped to it and did something about it.  My son, who just turned 6 months old, is happy and healthy and just got all good marks from his pediatrician.  And, at the risk of jinxing it, he has yet to get sick.  Keeping him clean must help but there has to be some truth about your immunities being found in breastmilk.  Turns out, there was a payoff to all those times I got sick as a child; they went to my son instead.  Yay!

Look at this face.  How could it not have been worth it?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How Do You Raise a Boy?

How do you raise a boy?

I've struggled with this question since we found out we were having one so many months ago.  How do you raise one?  One that is respectful, kind, generous and loving?  Hmmm...I guess that is how you raise a girl as well.  No difference except for when puberty hits and you have to help them navigate the scary, confusing overload of emotions.

One of my ideas all along was to not push Noah into loving what I love.  I've seen so many parents push their children to love what they love and I refuse to do that to my son.  I would be ecstatic if  my son loves Spider-man as much as I do but, if he doesn't, I'll survive.  I just want to see that smile of his doing exactly what he wants to do.  Also, I didn't want to push him into being a man like John Wayne.  It's hard to be a man just as it's hard to be a woman.  It gets harder when you become a father and/or mother.  The pressure is tremendous.  I want him to be strong and thoughtful and kind and generous and respectful.

This what I want from Noah, and I hope to get to get it.

To Noah, my son...

Love Yourself

I want you to be happy with the person you choose to become and love yourself for it.

Be an optimist 

You will be happier when you look at life as in a positive light rather than a negative one.

Be a survivor and not a victim

God forbid you suffer something horrifying, don't wear it as something  to use to solicit pity or as a crutch or a hindrance preventing your life from moving forward.  The saying is true;  Shit really does happen.  It happens to a lot of people each and every day.  Some overcome them and others don't.  Try your hardest to not let it defeat you.  Don't let it define you.

Ask and/or seek help

Don't be afraid to ask for it as well as looking for help.  This goes with the aforementioned bullet point.  There is no shame in seeking professional help.  I sought professional help and I'm not ashamed to admit that.  I'm glad I did because I feel so much better about myself.

Become a Drummer

March to the beat of your own drum.  It's hard to actually do in this day and age when, sometimes, all you want to do is belong.  It's human nature to want to fit in and while it's normal, I hope you stays true to yourself and do what makes you happy.

Gender Roles

The gender roles have changed.  No longer are women "required" to stay home, raise the kids, make the yums and cater to men.  The same can be said about men.  They are not "required" to change the flat, smell like Old Spice and eat nothing but meat.  Don't ever think it is beneath you to do a load of laundry, make a meal or change a diaper.  In fact, it makes you a pretty remarkable person if you can do things and not be concerned about it being a "woman's job" or a "man's job".


It's quite the conundrum.  How do you raise a son in this world?  It's hard work being a parent when he's 5 months old so imagine trying to parent a boy who is 15?  But, I guess, in the end, we will cross that bridge when we get there.

I really hope and pray he is happy.  In the end, this is what I want.  I want my son to be happy.  If he is happy, then I will take it as a success story.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hello 5 Month Old

My son has been doing marvelously.  He's 5 months old now and, at the risk of being hated and envied, he is one easy and happy baby.  I have no idea what I did in my life to be rewarded with such a marvelous child but I'll be sure to do it again next time.  I just hope I can remember everything.

Seriously.  I've stopped asking and started accepting that yes, I got this awesome kid who thinks I'm the funniest person alive.  I put on one of his little hats and sing, "Fat Guy in a Little Coat" from Tommy Boy and I get the loudest, breath stealing giggles from my now favorite person.
Noah, you are awesome.  I love you.  If you're reading this and it's well past 2013, just remember that I always have and always will.