As money is tight I’ve been trying new recipes instead of relying on old favourites that may cost more, but one I had wanted to try for a while was risotto. It’s fairly labour intensive or rather it is kitchen intensive so it had to wait for a time when Tony was home and could stop Freya wrecking the place. It turned out really well. We had to use the loaded spoon technique, but she could pick out the chicken bits herself and I cooked some veg to go with it. It wasn’t actually any cheaper to make than some of the other things we have but it was so nice that we may have it again.
On the cooking front I have also been making soups. I haven’t tried the bread soaked in soup for weaning yet and there’s no way Freya is steady enough for loaded spoons of it so she had the chunks of meat and veg with a rice cake which went down very well. It was Thai chicken noodle soup so I dread to think how much salt ended up in it, but I didn’t add any extra salt (even though the recipe said to) and since she didn’t drink the soup itself I think it was ok. Besides, when you look at it over the course of the week, or even the day, I think it all evens out.
We are having a little trouble with our carpets. I have been sitting Freya on the floor for lunch as she has been pretty good at not making much mess, but unfortunately all those little bits of mess have added up and now our carpet is in a terrible state. Blame the lazy woman who can only wash up once a day and so the Bumbo is never clean for the lunch times. The worst culprit by far has been plum. It’s not helped by the fact that Freya often drops it and then skilfully sits in it. Really, her bum shifting accuracy scares me sometimes.
On the teething front we have two bottom front teeth and definitely something going on at the top. At the weekend we were woken up by screaming at 3am on both Friday and Saturday nights and it took much rocking, feeding and finally firmness to get her to go back to sleep. I know we are really lucky in that Freya has always slept through from an early age and so I never feel too bad about it. I know there are many unlucky parents out there with very wakeful babies.
Now although we follow a Pagan path in our household, we enjoy Christmas dinner as much as the next person, and presents, and lights, and decorations etc. So we were obviously excited about Freya’s first Christmas. We had bought her a few present, but didn’t go overboard as at 9 months I don’t think she was really aware of anything except that there were all these boxes that she wasn’t allowed to touch. Dinner was going to be a simple affair as we were having Christmas day alone and then seeing family on Boxing day. I got a large chicken breast joint thing from Sainsbury and did mashed potato, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. Tony isn’t that keen on roast potato so I didn’t see the point and I don’t mind mashed potato. The idea was to have this at lunch time but we didn’t dressed until late so by the time I was ready to cook Freya was already begging for food so instead we put her out of her agony with some lunch and did it for the evening meal. It was almost perfect. The mashed potato was creamy and smooth and the chicken well cooked, but I couldn’t help thinking that there was something missing. It wasn’t until three days later, when we had come back from visiting relatives, I realised that in the oven lay some roast sweet potatoes now all cold and shrivelled. Never mind. Freya really enjoyed what we gave her anyway.
Boxing Day we went to my sister’s house for a party. I had to be more careful about what she ate there as it was mostly processed snacks and crisps. She was a little tired and overwhelmed to eat properly anyway, but I think she had a mini sausage, some bread and some pineapple and cheese on sticks. My sister in law was very impressed that she was drinking from a cup, but remained sceptical about baby led weaning even though Freya did demonstrate that it was perfectly safe. She even showed her a little gag and was very surprised to find herself being patted on the back.
That night we stayed with Freya’s great grandparents and she decided that this was so exciting that she couldn’t possibly go to sleep before 11.30pm and even then she tried to put up a fight when I realised she was getting grumpy. I had packed a small selection of foodstuff so that if she got hungry I had something for her. A banana, some plums and a rice cake. As she hadn’t eaten much at my sister’s, she ate the plum before bed and I think I gave her the banana in the morning. The poor old rice cake didn’t get a look in.
Although I’m glad I took the extra snacks, it was really liberating to have her just eat what was available and enjoy it. She really isn’t that fussy and will eat whatever is put in front of her with minimal fuss. We had taken the Bumbo with us so wherever we were we could sit on the floor with her. She certainly doesn’t mind sitting at the table but until I can get hold of one of those seats that you can strap to the dining chairs it’s the floor I’m afraid.
The only other thing to report is that Freya is now showing signs of preferring certain foods (pasta) over others and we are also getting to the stage of her eating things one day and then not touching them the next. I’m not worried. All I can do is offer it and, if she doesn’t want it, I eat it or it goes in the bin. It’s not like I’ve gone to any extra effort making food just for her. That’s the beauty of baby led weaning.
Freya is teething. This time we’re sure of it. There are no teeth appearing yet, but she has had a rough few days. I think she may have a tummy bug too, but she just hasn’t been feeding from me. Last night she was picking up pasta and shoveling it in with the dexterity of a pro. I’m not sure if this is officially pincer grip but each individual piece is put into her mouth and chewed until it is no more. Hooray!
The ouch wasn’t for her necessarily though. With Freya not feeding very much yesterday, and not even having a milk feed last thing at night, my boobs are so engorged that it isn’t funny. We didn’t realise that it was teething though. This morning when she still wouldn’t latch on we tried a smear of Bonjella and about half an hour later she rooted for me and I was able to feed for a while before she fell asleep again. The scary thing is that was about 9.30am and she is still asleep now at 12.30pm. I have been checking on her and she is snoring gently but I can’t help worrying. Plus, one feed has done very little to alleviate my huge, solid, painful boobs!
Plums are the new favourite food by the way. Excellent for teething and juicy and sweet. Yummy!
I hoped to get some seasonal fruit for us all to eat, as in these times of soaring food prices, I suspected that they may be cheaper. When I looked at what was in season there seemed an awful lot of vegetables and not a lot of fruit. There are apples obviously but I’m still not sure about giving Freya apples yet. Plums and blackberries appeared to be in season but these are two fruits I haven’t really tried except in jams or sauces so thanks to Freya I now have. Freya loves them both. Really the blackberries were for Tony as I thought Freya would have trouble with them, but she actually loves them. The mess, well, you can imagine! Bananas are still going down well although I did buy the lunch box sized ones. They looked much riper and nicer.
We tried cucumber which didn’t go down very well and we also tried one of Aitch’s recipes from the babyledweaning website of pita bread with melted cheese and carrot. It’s a good way to get babies to eat vegetables apparently and Freya really thought they were yummy.
Of course the most exciting news of the week has nothing to do with baby led weaning. Freya said ‘Daddy! Yeah!’ on Monday. It was in response to Tony saying ‘Who’s a silly sausage?’ so it’s even more amusing. She hasn’t said it quite so clearly since, preferring the classic ‘dadadada’. She is also pushing herself to her feet while in the bath. When she managed it she was so happy. It was great! She is also moving around the floor very fast now. It’s not a crawl as such, but it’s very effective.
One problem that we have noticed with baby led weaning (if you can call it a problem) is that whatever we eat and whatever we drink Freya wants some too. That’s fine with most things but it gets a little surreal when you’re trying to drink a nice cup of tea and this tiny hand appears up from your lap and pulls your mug down to her lips. She really is too adorable, but even we stop her sometimes!