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Happy Mothers Day!

Speaking of Mothers Day, if you have 13 minutes to kill and a hanky nearby, watch this beautiful little movie.

I started my day with a lovely breakfast in bed, followed by a lovely giggly baby in bed. And I think this is the first day in two weeks that it hasn’t even threatened to rain!

With the sun out and the ground finally dry, I took Joe outside for some photos. It was nearing naptime so we didn’t get any smiles out of him, but how cute is he:


Yesterday we gathered up two carloads of old clothes, books and assorted “stuff” for the annual Richmond Mommies yard sale. We made about $150 but didn’t get rid of nearly everything.

Creative SignagePatrick’s creativity at work …

We did witness an intersting twist in 21st century bargain-hunting, though: A man sauntered up to our table, pulled out a small electronic wand and begain scanning the ISBN code on the back of each of our books. The wand was connected to his BlackBerry, where he had a program that would transmit the ISBN code online and tell him what the average selling price was. He got three books from us for $1.50, and said he expected to get about $30 for them online. Crazy!

Eat at Joe's

Joe continues to be a good little eater, and he’s trying new things all the time.

I have been making a lot of his food. It’s not only cheaper, but it lets me know exactly what he’s getting. I puree a fruit or vegetable, pour it into ice cube trays, and freeze it overnight. Each cube is about an ounce, so it’s easy to make him a portion of food. Just throw a few cubes into a bowl, nuke it for a few seconds, and voila.

Bananas make me happy!

His favorites:
sweet potatoes

His not-so-favorites:
green beans

His don’t-even-bothers:

yogurt (!!)
hard-boiled egg yolk

Unfortunately, he does seem to prefer the packaged baby food. This is his absolute favorite:

Patrick and I have been eating pretty well lately, too! Last week I made spinach and chicken pie with a lovely phyllo crust:


And last night, in perfect weather, we had a light soup-and-salad dinner on the back porch:
Springtime meal

Tonight, I’m going to try making cashew chicken. Wish me luck!

A Non-Joe Post

It occurred to me recently that this blog has become “All Joe, All the Time.”  It’s understandable — he’s the most interesting thing we’ve ever done, and the camera loves him! But I’m going to attempt one post here that isn’t all about the baby.

First, we saw the most amazing movie over the weekend. “Man On Wire” is a documentary about the French daredevil who walked on a wire between the twin towers of the World Trade Center, shortly after it opened in the 1970s.

Never mind the actual walking part — the amount of planning and preparation and trickery that went into setting up the wire was just breathtaking. He came up with this plan while the twin towers were still under construction, so there’s lots of footage of that. It’s odd to see the innards of those buildings as they were going up — we’re so used to seeing them when they came down.

Netflix users — get it!

Tonight, as part of the National Day of Service, I’m making chicken for 40 and helping to serve dinner at the Petersburg Salvation Army Men’s Shelter. It’s a project my Obama campaign friends signed us all up for, and fits in with one of my new year’s resolutions — to volunteer more. It could become a regular thing!

I’m excited about tomorrow’s inauguration. No matter who you supported in the presidential race, you’ve got to admit it’s kind of cool to see this happening in our lifetime. And I’ll admit, I am dying to see what Michelle Obama wears!

New Year's Eve

I predicted that I’d be asleep by 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, but I bought some champagne to toast with before bed. I didn’t remember I had it until about 9:45, so we sat down to have a glass and talk about our resolutions for the year.

One glass led to a second, and before we knew it, the clock said 11:45!

NYE Still Life

Right about that time, Joe woke up crying with some teething pain. So we all ended up in the living room, watching Dick Clark as the ball dropped.

Here are some of the resolutions we came up with:

  1. Read more.
  2. Watch less TV.
  3. Travel more, even if it’s just a day trip to another town and back.
  4. Have more fun with Joe.
  5. Get more exercise.

We also spent some time talking about how different Joe will be this time next year. On the one hand, I’m eager to see the little boy he will become. On the other hand, I want him to stay as little and sweet as he is now!

Joe Tries Rice Cereal

We hadn’t planned to start giving Joe solids until he was 6 months old, but this morning I had him weighed with me at Weight Watchers (I’m down 0.8 pounds, the week after Thanksgiving, thankyouverymuch) and he was just 14.8 pounds. According to this calculator, that’s between the 5th and 10th percentiles.

It’s not an alarming number (he doesn’t look like this kid!) but at his last checkup he was in the 25th percentile — so he might need to fatten up a bit for winter.

And anyway, he turns 6 months old next week!

So tonight Patrick and I gave him his very first taste of solid food. I use the term “solid” loosely here — the rice cereal (which looks like fish food, or instant mashed potatoes) is mixed in a 1 to 4 ratio with milk, so it’s more like egg nog than food.

He seemed a little perplexed by the whole thing, but he got most of it down before completely losing interest.

Tomorrow, he gets pizza!


I made my first Thanksgiving meal today, and I’m proud to say that it came out pretty tasty!

We had a citrus-rosemary turkey breast, plus a whole assortment of side dishes to go with it.

Ooh, and a chocolate bourbon pecan pie, which we started on yesterday. We were too full to touch that or the pumpkin pie after dinner.


Click on the photo to see what’s on the table.

Joe has discovered the joy of blowing raspberries and kept us all entertained with that between naps. He’s such a funny kid.

Tomorrow, we start on the leftovers!

A Day in the Life of Joe

6:30 a.m.

Wakes us up with his baby-talk version of “Hello? You guys up yet?”

Patrick gets up to give him the bottle I pumped the night before. I sit up to pump the next feeding.

7 a.m.

Morning PT – I help Joe with:

  • Tummy time. This helps him learn to push up on his elbows. (He hates it, but if he’s ever going to crawl he has to do it!)
  • Rolling over. He can get onto his side, but then he gets stuck. He’s such a calm kid that he would probably stay like that for days if you didn’t help him follow through.
  • Sit-ups. I pull him by his hands up to a sitting position and make sure he’s holding his head steady instead of flopping it back. (He’s already the world champion of this, so we don’t really need to do it anymore. But it makes him smile!)
  • Sitting without support. He’s getting less wobbly all the time! If you balance him just right, he can sit like a champ for a few seconds. Then he starts to topple over sideways, backward or forward. (Forward is the funniest because, again, he would stay like that for days – with his face down between his feet – if you didn’t come get him.)

8 – 10 a.m.

Nap time! (Lately he has not been using this time to sleep, but he will stay in the crib and enjoy talking to himself for a while.) This is when I get some work done, tidy up the house a bit, or just goof off.

10 a.m.

Another bottle for Joe, another pumping for me.

Then we might do any of the following:

  • A play date. We have a regular group of moms and babies that we get together with. Sometimes it’s at someone’s house, or it might be at one of the local mom hangouts like Cartwheels & Coffee or Chat & Play Café.
  • A walk. Joe loves it outside. If he’s fussy, all you have to do is step onto the porch and he goes all quiet and serene. Even if we don’t have time for a walk, we do go out and say hello to the trees. And there’s a big yellow “children at play” sign at the end of our driveway that makes him smile every time he sees it.
  • Some shopping. I usually try to do groceries on a weekend or evening, so I’m not distracted from my complicated coupon system, but Joe is a lot of fun in the store. He loves the bright lights, and I like to show him things from the produce department and say their names.
  • Lunch. We might go out to meet a friend (we had lunch with Patrick one day last week!) or we might stay in. While I eat a sandwich, Joe sits in his exersaucer or kicks around in his baby gym.
  • Weight Watchers. I still go once a week, and Joe is a big hit with the ladies there. He stays perfectly quiet for the meetings and patiently tolerates a lot of cooing and cheek-pinching afterward.

2 – 4 p.m.

Nap time! This might be earlier and longer, if he blew off his morning nap or got worn out with whatever we did around lunch time. I get a little work done, maybe pump another feeding, whatever.

4 p.m.

Another feeding for Joe, and pumping for me if I haven’t already.

A little play time, maybe a swing on the porch if it’s nice out.

5 p.m.

I start dinner while Joe plays or swings. Sometimes I put him in his Bumbo seat on the counter so he can watch me make dinner.

6 p.m.

Daddy’s home! He plays with Joe while I get dinner ready. We eat while Joe swings or watches us from his perch on the table.

7 p.m.

Bath time! Patrick bathes Joe while I hover and coo at him (he’s just so CUTE in the tub!)

Once he’s dry and PJ’ed, I feed Joe while we listen to music in his room. Then we read a book. Smooches from both of us and he’s down for the night.

He rarely falls asleep right away, but within an hour or so he’s usually conked out. Patrick makes fun of me because I check the video monitor every 10 minutes just to look at him sleeping.

What an easy, sweet baby!