Saturday, August 29, 2009

Back to Soup

I'm not one to make soup in the summer. It just doesn't seem right somehow - summer is for fresh salads and grilled meats. Fall and winter are the appropriate times for long cooked soups and roasted meats with root vegetables. I'm pretty staunch in this belief, so it was surprising to me that I made up a batch of soup tonight. A couple of reasons contributed to this unseasonal turn of events. First, it is rather cool here in Ohio for late August (like windows open, debating throwing a sweatshirt on cool). Second, the butternut squash in our garden is doing quite well and I needed to start using it. So soup seemed like the logical conclusion. Although I've enjoyed squash soup, I've never made it before, so I made it to taste like I thought it should (while cutting out all dairy). It turned out quite tasty, so here is the "recipe":

1 onion roughly chopped
5 slices of bacon
2 cloves of garlic
2 carrots
1 small potato
1 butternut squash peeled and cubed
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1 carton of stock
the following spices to taste: cinnamon, cayenne pepper, black pepper, rosemary

Chop bacon and add to preheated heavy stock pot. Cook 2 minutes. Add chopped onions and sweat out in bacon grease. Add garlic. Add spices (I used a lot of cinnamon). Add chopped carrots and potato. Continue cooking for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add maple syrup. Add stock. Bring to boil. Add squash. Cook until squash is soft. Use immersion blender to puree to desired consistency (I left some small chunky bits). Enjoy!

Friday, August 21, 2009

A New Level of Guilt

I'm not stranger to guilt. I escaped the whole Catholic guilt thing, but geesh oh peesh do I have the Liberal guilt thing going. Eat meat and feel badly about factory farming or don't eat meat and starve. Give money to every environmentalist at the door or pretend I'm not home and then fret about dodging the issue. Try to keep up with local bands or just keep on listening to my Mom's old James Taylor albums. Buy a hybrid and conserve gas or keep my car and conserve my own money. Try to eat more fish, but end up worrying about the disappearing ocean population. Recycle at home and in the office and then try to go unnoticed whilst picking cans and bottles out of the trash at the boss' cookout.

So, yes, I am well acquainted with guilt. To be honest I didn't think it could get any worse and then came along Working-Mom-Guilt. Otherwise known as the mother of all guilt. When I am at work, I feel like I should be at home with Milo. And when I am home, I feel like I should be working to otherwise escape the eye rolling that I imagine is going on in the office when I need to call in sick (again) or take the little guy to the doctor.

Oh the guilt...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

5 Months

It is so true what new moms hear starting from the moment their little bundle of joy is born. It really does go fast. We're already looking back on the early photos and remarking on how small Milo was, all skinny limbs and wide eyes, now reminding me of a bird rather than the little person he is now. At 5 months, Milo is somewhere in the 19 pound range and his limbs can no longer be described as skinny. He's a solid package of little boy sweetness, looking less and less young baby like each day.

We're now old pros at grabbing items and feel more comfortable holding something soft for nap time (a blankie, a lovey toy or even a wash cloth). When Milo wants to he can roll over from both tummy to back and back to tummy. He can also stay in an unsupported sitting position for about 30 seconds before starting to be the leaning tower of Milo and slowly falling to the floor.

Milo continues to be a smiley and alert baby. Whenever he is in a new place with new people, he looks around and takes it all in. We can almost see him thinking about his surroundings. He has a smile for just about everyone, but he continues to think Grandpa Gatto is the funniest human alive. Whether it is my Dad's big and dark looks or his deep voice, Milo just convulses into giggles each time they get together.

Together we survived Milo's first ear infection this past month. He didn't give us many clues his ears were infected, so I'm glad we took him to the pediatrician to check him out. The pediatrician continues to think he has some food allergies, so I've cut dairy, peanuts and tree nuts out of my diet. I also limit eggs and soy. Consequently, Milo spits up less, but we still have some spots of eczema. Due to the possible allergy issues, I've put off solid foods. Today will be the rice cereal day.

This month (6 months!) we'll look forward to Milo's first road trip and meeting some of Chris' extended family over Labor Day weekend.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

An Everyday Moment

Chris walks into the bathroom carrying Milo, they stop and play the baby in the mirror game. Then, with shampoo suds still in my hair, I peek out around the curtain to greet my boys. Milo is freshly changed and dressed in his school clothes. It tickles Milo that Mommy appears from behind the curtain all soaking wet. We get big gummy smiles and little boy giggles. Leaning over I kiss Milo's cheek while breathing in his sweet baby smell. Chris and I kiss goodbye. Wishes for good days are exchanged. I return to my shower with a sense of contentment and ease. Another day in our life has begun.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Makes It Easier

Milo has been in daycare for about two months. While it was tough in the beginning, I've gotten used to him being there during the day. Chris does the dropping off in the morning and I've come to anticipate the morning e-mail letting me know how the little guy did. This week I read just about the cutest thing ever: Milo was happy and all of his friends flocked to see him when he arrived.

Although I miss being with Milo every day, I can appreciate that he is being socialized. I think it is great he is spending time with other babies and learning how to be part of a group. It just makes me feel better about the day care arrangement.

What makes me feel even better is that the teachers at the day care really like Milo. They seem to agree with us that he is someone special. I try to go visit once a week during lunch and I like to hear about all the things Milo does during the day - recently he has started to hold his own bottle. When I'm there I can tell he is comfortable and at ease with his caregivers. He gives special smiles to his teachers - one teacher even has a special dance she does for Milo and he explodes into laughter.

Know that Milo is well liked by the people - both big and small - who is shares his days with makes it a little easier for me to spend my days away from him.