One of many challenging foreign waters you enter as a new mom is meal planning. But it isn’t just “what do we have for dinner”. It is much more intimidating. You have this tiny new engine with all brand new and unused parts. And you don’t yet know what he is potentially allergic to or can handle. So you just start by dipping a toe in the water and you start slowly with one food at time. You do countless Google searches, you ask pediatricians, you ask other moms, you talk to nurses, you read blogs and Facebook and you hopefully find a cookbook and kitchen tools that help you simplify this journey.

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I am not an expert on nutrition. I am not a chef with formal training. And I definitely don’t claim to know what I am doing. Each day as a new parent is like diving into the pool and trying to remember the difference between a breast stroke and the butterfly stroke all while balancing a tiny human in the palm of your hand, oh and reminding yourself to have fun in the process.

I love food and I married into a family that reveres food. So more than anything I feel the weight of shaping his life long eating habits and appreciation for food. If I feed him more fruit than veggies will he have a sweet tooth? Should I worry that he prefers Cheerios over other finger foods and would rather suck food from a Plum Organics pouch than be bothered with a spoon? Luckily he will take food from a spoon if he doesn’t see the pouch. And he actually is getting more adept at grasping soft finger foods. He loved butternut squash the other day. He kept shoveling piece after piece into his little mouth until he looked like a very happy chipmunk with squash filled cheeks. And the dogs are loving this new world of solid foods, I don’t have to worry about cleaning up crumbs with them around.

George is actually a good eater. We even tried lamb recently with peas and mint and he loved it. Well he loved it on the first day. The second day after the puree had been frozen and then defrosted I think the flavors were a little stronger and he DID NOT love it. There was gagging, screaming and a very red annoyed face. Guess he likes his lamb freshly prepared!

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Making baby food for George has been a bit of an adventure. It took me awhile to get the consistency of the purees and flavors to his liking. I’m so grateful there are some prepared organic baby food options out there, otherwise I would have lost my mind in the beginning. And even now actually I still use a mix of 50/50 homemade and prepared baby foods. There are just days when you need a meal to happen on the go and you either can’t keep homemade food fresh on your journey, or you just don’t have the time and need to cut a corner, or two.

We started slow with solid foods about four months ago when he was six months old and now that I can breath a little easier knowing he isn’t allergic to all the many things he has tried so far, planning meals has gotten a little easier. I guess like most new aspects of parenthood I need to just take a deep breath and trust that I am doing the best that I can for him, I’m not trying to win a top chef award so just relax and dive in. And don’t forget to sing a silly made-up song while we eat lunch together. These days are so precious, I should enjoy that I get to spend three meals a day with my baby boy. No matter what we are eating, or not eating as some days go.

20130924-101740.jpg I have been blessed. I have been blessed with a beautiful life and the latest adventure has been motherhood. George Augustine was born on November 15, 2012. The past ten months have been a sleepy, amazing journey into parenthood. I could say all those cliche things about how your heart grows and you never knew how much you could love another person this much. And that is definitely all true but mostly I am just struck by how fast it all is going by and I want to hit the pause button just for an instant so I can freeze this memory of his baby days.

I keep saying that if I were to start a new blog on life with a new baby I would title it “Love and Milk”, because these early days are really mostly comprised of these two things. And at the end of the day all he really needs from me is a belly full of milk, my loving embrace and attempt at singing a lullaby. And as I lay him down I tell him “Kali̱nýchta Georgie, sagapó̱” (Goodnight Georgie, I love you). Greek side note: goodnight in Greek is pronounced cahlee-neet-ah, and I love you is pronounced saw-ga-poh.

This first year of his life is full of so many developmental milestones and he is growing so quickly that I can’t help but recognize the reality that someday soon he is going to be an adult with a life and talents all his own. I am struck by this Cracker Jack box kind of feeling. What will he be? What will he look like? What things will he like? I am then instantly transported back to present day and I squeeze him extra tight and soak up his baby smell and sweet babble sounds.

20130924-102701.jpg In the first few weeks of caring for a tiny newborn I could hardly imagine having a second child. But now as I watch his tiny newborn hands transform into toddler hands that grasp everything around him I can understand now why you would crave that tiny newborn presence in your arms again. These early days are so very precious, especially as a first time mom. Mostly they have been an education into everything from breastfeeding to sleep schedules and communication.

If I were to sum it up into a job title it would definitely be teacher. I think that is partially why this current phase is so equally mentally and physically trying. At ten months he is crawling everywhere, and soon to be walking, all at full speed. But he is also so much more aware of everything around him and I know he understands a limited vocabulary, although he has yet to really say his first word.

20130924-101923.jpg So for now I am just relishing these baby days where he just loves me, without hesitation and judgment. I don’t yet have any annoying habits and all he knows is that I love him. And I have milk whenever he needs it. I love my new job. But I also am itching to write again. So now that we have a somewhat reliable morning nap going, it is time to dust off this blog and clear the cobwebs from my mommy brain. Yes, mommy brain is real. I have the list of “oops” moments in the past few months to prove it, but more on that later.

© 2017 The Accidental Greek Allison Creative