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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!

Happy October!

I’ve been meaning to post all week but I’ve been working like crazy. I was tempted to turn down some assignments so I could spend more time in this beautiful weather with Joe. But if you’ve been watching the news, you know that now is not the time to turn down money!

We had a nice visit with Joe’s Grandma and Grandpa last weekend. Joe’s teething pain eventually settled down and we all went to the state fair. Joe spent the day studying his hand, so it really didn’t matter where we were to him, but the rest of us enjoyed the exhibits and the atmosphere.

Joe’s Grandpa got him a Radio Flyer Roadster, which you can tell Patrick really wishes came in adult size. Joe will be toodling up and down the sidewalk on this before we know it:

On Tuesday Joe and I met up with the other Baby Mamas (and their babies) for a stroll around Maymont. He slept through most of the walk but was wide awake for some play time in the grass afterwards.

His new favorite thing is what we call his “Command Post,” an exersaucer handed down from his cousins. His feet don’t quite touch the bottom yet, but he likes to be spun around and shown the different toys on it. One of the rattles makes him laugh so hard he can’t catch his breath!

The Glider Is Here!

It arrived yesterday. After Patrick set it up, Joe and I hopped in for a little story time.

It’s so comfy and looks really great in his room. This is where Joe will get his nighttime bottle and story from now on!

I spent the rest of yesterday afternoon knocking on doors for the Obama office in Petersburg. I haven’t done that since I was 17, working on the Clinton/Gore campaign. We went to 50+ houses and only met one crazy person. Even he was friendly for a crazy guy; he just wanted to make sure we had a heads up on the race war that will ensue if Obama is elected and assassinated. OK, thanks dude!

Today Patrick and Joe are heading out to a car show while I finish up some work here at home. It’s HOT today, so I don’t even think we’ll do our usual Sunday-paper-on-the-porch thing. I’m so ready for fall …


Still no Joe. He seems quite content in there, wiggling around a lot and poking me in the ribs. What are you waiting for, child?!

We’ve resorted to reverse psychology, loudly yelling towards my belly things like, “IT’S A GOOD THING HE’S NOT HERE YET SO WE CAN TRY THAT NEW RESTAURANT!” and “I HOPE HE DOESN’T COME TODAY BECAUSE THERE’S A LOT WE NEED TO GET DONE!”

He’s not falling for it.

Every week, has been sending me an email to explain what’s happening in that week of pregnancy — the baby’s size, what organs are developing, what symptoms I might have, etc. Here is this week’s e-mail. So helpful!

Amy and the kids woke up with nasty colds today and so won’t be visiting after all. They may be here on Wednesday — if Joe doesn’t get here first!


After sleeping in this morning, we went to the Petersburg Farmers Market to browse the veggies and herbs. We came home with a parsley plant and a basil plant. We also zoomed up and down the cobblestone streets in the hopes of shaking Joe loose. It didn’t work, but I like to think he was in there going, “Wheee!”

A quick stop at the stationery store (to look at baby announcements, which are absurdly expensive) and then the Wawa (to pick up lunch, which is delightfully cheap) were about all the public appearance I could handle — everywhere I go now, people stare and say “OH MY GOD, WHEN ARE YOU DUE?!” So then I have to say “Last week,” and they start in with the well-meaning advice. What cracks me up is that at least three total strangers have said, “Oh, you have definitely dropped.” Uh, do I know you?

Anyway. Tonight for dinner we finally went to The Phoenician, this new Lebanese place I have been dying to try. Oh, it was so good! Our friend Lisa and her friend Dan joined us, and the four of us tore into a whole spread of baba ghanouj, tabouleh, hummus and about a dozen other yummy things. Dessert was namoura cake, which was like a honey-soaked, coconutty piece of cornbread. So good!

Tomorrow we’ll probably just kick around the house — I really need to clean again before the kid gets here, and Patrick is probably going to mow the lawn. Plus we have new herbs to plant!

On Monday, my sister and her kids are coming to visit, which will be a nice distraction for me. We can walk down to the playground and listen for the ice cream truck, or sit on the patio while Lola licks the children to death. Good times!