Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dessert to Go, Please

Last night, we took the little man out to a special meal at our favorite restaurant. Our favorite restaurant is a fancy but cozy modern American place where it takes weeks to get a reservation. We had never considered taking the little man, but the last time we ate there the sommelier told us we should definitely bring him next time. He was very adamant - he just said, "make a 5:30 reservation... we've had other kids here." We were a little dubious, but excited, and decided that the weekend after Thanksgiving would be the perfect time to celebrate as a family.

If you couldn't tell already, we really love food. And we really want the little man to love food too. Our plan is to expose him constantly to cooking and eating, and not just any food, but good food. I try to never feed him food that I don't like myself (even if it is all mashed up, the flavor has to be good). We take him out to eat a lot. We give him a spoon and a bowl and a colander to "cook" on the kitchen floor while we cook up above. We set him on the counter when appropriate to watch what we're doing. And we figured this was the ultimate - take him out to a really nice dinner.

While he did have a side of Mott's that we brought as a delay tactic, he tried several yummy things from the restaurant: fresh house-made apple cider, delicious warm crusty french bread, and risotto with leeks and mushrooms and a veal jus. When he got too sick of sitting at the table (after an hour and a half which I think is amazing patience for one so little), I got up with him to go watch the kitchen. When I got tired of holding him, I traded off with the big man, and sat back down to finish my wine (a wonderful pinot noir from Sineann). I requested the bill, and looked longingly at the desserts being served to the table next to us. That was when genius struck. Order dessert to go!!

While our desserts were being packaged up and I was sipping my wine, my two men were invited INTO the kitchen, to watch the action and chat with the chef. They were both in heaven. And the chef invited the little man back "anytime." It was a wonderful night. We plan to do it again... next year!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happiest Baby

We read a lot of books prior to our little man's birth. I think one of the most important ones was The Happiest Baby on the Block. I do not recommend rushing out to buy this new - just get it used or borrow it from someone. You need about 20 minutes to read it, but it gives you simple, wonderful tools to help calm your fussy newborn. And they really worked! Even though the little man has not responded to any of these methods for quite some time, I still remember the "Five S's" - shush, sway, suck, swaddle, and side. Yes, I promise that will make sense once you take a look at the book.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Stokke High Chair

When it came time to get the little man a high chair, we decided to go with a less traditional choice. We bought him a Stokke Tripp Trapp (shown above), and we've been really happy with it. He sits right at the table like everyone else, and is not off in a corner with his own tray. It's adjustable so that he'll use it for many years (eco-friendly!), and then we can pass it on because it is so well made. With the removeable rail, he was able to start using it before he could really even sit up. And in addition to eating, it's great for art projects and other activities at the table.

We were a little worried about the mess, but even that hasn't been a problem. Yes, he does make a mess, but not anymore than I think he would if he were in a traditional high chair. We also got a couple of these silicone place mats, which really help keep his stuff in one place and are easy to clean up in the sink.
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