Friday, November 30, 2012

Food is Fun

In my pre-parenting days of food obsession I used to worry about whether I'd end up with picky eaters in my family. 

Turns out, I've learned that there are many other things to worry about as a parent, and Cora's picky eating doesn't top the list.

Things seemed to go well when we introduced Cora to solids, but with severe food intolerances, significantly delayed teething, and possibly some sensory issues, eating isn't always the smoothest thing for her.

There are a couple of things that Cora will usually eat, but you can never be sure. Something that has her yelling with glee one day often hits the floor the next.  Homemade soup is a big hit, and the only way I can mix textures in a way that my girl finds acceptable. If it's all cooked together the texture must be similar enough to keep it in her mouth. And soups are a great way to get in the veggies. 

We still make it a priority to enjoy our meals together as a family every day.  It's messy and sometimes it feels like work to plan, shop, cook and clean.

But it's still fun.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Torture Disguised as Fun

As a child, my family never got our Christmas tree early.  Nope, we waited until on or after December 15th, my birthday.  I insisted upon it.  No Christmas festivities until my birthday got proper celebration.

I also had a lot of very disappointing birthdays, since the sheer anticipation made for a day that could never quite live up to my expectations.  I've tried to change, really I have, but that part of my personality still comes through sometimes.

Since Nick and I have been together, we choose to get our tree right after Thanksgiving.  We want to have it for as long as possible, especially since we never spend Christmas at home.

Last year we started our first Christmas traditions with Cora.  And instead of going to a nursery lot in town, we went out to a tree farm for our own little tree.  It was a blast.  Beautiful blue skies (not sometimes to take for granted this time of year around here), lovely trees, and a great family tradition was born.

Sunday, after coming back in town after thoroughly celebrating Thanksgiving, we bundled up and headed out to the same farm, happy that the sky was shining bright and we were going to have the kind of fun we had last year.

Cue the sad girl.  Of course.  The second we plopped her in the baby backpack she started to whine.  Soon we came back for the cuddly front pack that she loves.  Still more tears.

We spent most of the time cuddling her, singing to her and trying to make her laugh.  Successfully, for short periods.

Our trip was abridged.  No time for making ornaments or enjoying the hot chocolate or apple cider (which Cora spit out like it was poison, anyway).

But we still managed to find the perfect little tree: a small 6 foot noble to hide in the corner between the couches where Cora can't get to it, perched on a little table. 

So much for expectations....  We'll see how the rest of our festivities go.  Since we've got a few more days before December even arrives we have time for plenty more merriment.  Or tears.  Most likely a little of both.

The closest thing to a family Christmas photo. Tortured baby style. And the only pic that shows Cora's true feelings.

Saturday, November 24, 2012



For free-range organic turkeys, brined and roasted just so.  For smoked turkey breast, for broccoli with cheese sauce and for yam pomegranate salad.  For homemade pies.  For incredible food made with love.

For good times with family and friends. 

For a surprisingly mobile little toddler, scooting around the house, climbing up stairs and getting into things her grandparents hadn't thought to baby-proof yet.

For the Pacific Science Center and the butterfly house.  For the toddler play area and water table that a certain girlie is finally strong enough to stand and play with.

For a sassy little, sweet little, sometimes grumpy little girl, pigtails a-kilter.

For a warm, comfortable home, for people that we love around us, for all the joys in our lives.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I guess 31 days of straight posting left me needing some breathing room, since it's been two weeks since my last post.  Probably the longest break in quite some time.

The space has been filled with rain, not nearly enough sleep, a gazillion appointments for both Cora and for me, and a couple of writing projects for our local Down syndrome association; one for a booklet on heart surgery, the other a speech for an event this weekend.

Right now I am waiting for Nick to bring Cora back for her pre-bed nursing session.  I love that time, but I am so coveting a little time alone on the couch right now.

Trying to find space around here has become an oxymoron.  

Of course, one of the cats is crawling around on my lap, desperately seeking some love.  And I feel horribly guilty every time I keep pushing her off.  She needs Mommy too, right?

But sometimes Mommy needs to be Leah.  Sigh.  Without a child/two cats/a husband pulling at my ankles.  I don't get to be just Leah very often these days.

But I've taken a step.  Yes, I've put out an ad for a babysitter a couple hours a week.  Not much, I know.  But it's a start for my terribly attached almost-two-year-old girl, and probably more of a step for me.  Dependency must run both ways.

I've had a few posts running through my head for the past two weeks, with imaginary photographs I haven't taken to accompany them (yes, it's hard these days when Cora seems to hide from the camera or frown at me when I point it at her).  I'm sure I'll get around to updating you all soon enough.

But even without a great deal of substance to say, I needed to come back.  Just a little.  But that's okay, I've decided.

So, for those that need their own Little Beanie fix, since I sometimes forget that you don't all get your own little Beanie girl every minute of every day and night. (Yes... almost every minute of every night.  That may be a slight exaggeration, but I swear, this girl does not sleep all that much.)  Here is a little sample. 

Cora the artist.

What brush strokes!

Working so hard to swish that brush around in the water.... 

"Look what I did, Mama!"

So proud!