Archive for December 2nd, 2008
First Thanksgiving and other firsts

On Sunday night we returned from a fun and relaxing 4-day trip to Maine.  I think the break was good for all of us on many levels.  I needed adults to interact with, Rob needed to get away from work for a bit, and H needed a change of scenery.  Rob, H, Uncle Steve, and I set out on Wednesday afternoon.  We made the entire 5-hour trip without stopping and somehow managed to be lucky enough to miss the traffic.  Wednesday night we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Saltwater Grille.  Holden was fascinated with their aquarium as he lounged in a lobster Adirondack chair:

Thanksgiving Day was relaxing and quiet (or as quiet as could be expected with a 4-year-old, a 3-year-old and a 5-month old).  Rob had a 23-lb. ham shipped up from Caw Caw Creek in South Carolina.  We became acquainted with the farm when we took the “Farm to Table” cooking class at Charleston Cooks during our trip to South Carolina last spring.  The class was organized by the pig farmer from Caw Caw Creek, who shared with us his impressive knowledge of organic farming practices, business, local economy, and nutrition:

 The ham was from an heirloom pig that had lived its life roaming a 90-acre farm, interacting with other pigs, and enjoying a diet of grasses, acorns, and other goodies.  The ham tasted unlike anything we had ever had before—the meat was dense and was more like a pork chop than ham in terms of consistency and flavor.  It was excellent!

I made homemade pumpkin pie for dessert.  I actually roast the pumpkin…I’ll never use the canned stuff again!  Did you know that the first pumpkin pie was actually a pumpkin filled with milk, honey, and spices, roasted over a fire?

Holden got to enjoy lots of new things.  He LOVED the little activity mat.  I think it’s the only time I’ve ever seen him actually relish being on his back:

He also got to try the fancy jumper.  This jumper has music, toys, and lots of colors—a lot of bells and whistles for our little guy:

And of course, Holden got to spend quality time with his cousins.  Colby LOVES his cousin Holden and of course jumped at the chance to get his picture snapped with his new favorite cousin.  Seconds after the picture was taken, Colby jumped up to preview the picture.  The suddenness of Colby jumping caused Holden to topple over.  But I caught him just in time!

Cousin Dylan worked off some energy outside while dinner was being prepared:

We enjoyed a few childless trips out around town thanks to Oma’s willingness to spend some special time with Holden.  We visited L.L. Bean in Freeport, Coffee by Design, d. cole (where we purchased our wedding bands 8 years ago), and ended our visit with a dinner date at Katahdin in Portland.  Plus, Oma treated me to a body scrub at Inn by the Sea.  It was so relaxing!  Here is a big cyber hug for Oma:)

While in Maine, Holden effortlessly rolled from tummy to back for the first time.  Of course, when Rob started the camera to capture it on film, Holden acted like he had no clue how to do it.  After we got home, he started rolling over from tummy to back constantly.  He just dosen’t seem to want to do it for his Papa!  Holden was also intently observing everyone while they ate.  With each bite of food I took, Holden would open his mouth.  While at Flatbread, Holden watched Dylan devour some Cheerios:

And grabbed at slices of pizza:

And when the food was all gone, he stared longingly at the empty plates while smacking his lips together.  All of these things coupled with the fact that he has been nursing like crazy led us to conclude that he is finally ready for solids.  A few weeks ago he started nursing more often and had even picked up a few feedings at night.  He was up to 3 or 4 feedings per night.  Exhausting.  Again.  I decided to see whether it was a growth spurt or a true readiness for solid food by simply giving it some time.  The extra feedings went on for over 2 weeks, which is way in excess of his normal growth spurts.  When we got home on Sunday night, we gave him his first taste of organic brown rice cereal mixed with breastmilk.  At first he wasn’t too sure about it:

But he knew exactly what to do.  He would open for each bite, close his mouth around the spoon, and gradually work the food to the back of his mouth.  And whatever excess food got on his face, he managed to push into his mouth with his fingers.  He was even grabbing for the spoon to try to feed himself:

He seems to be tolerating the food just fine and is back down to a more reasonable two-feeding-per-night schedule.  He is learning some new motor skills and experiencing novel tastes and textures.  And I too, have to learn a whole new set of signals regarding his level of hunger and satiety.  I don’t want to overfeed him so I definitely don’t make him eat everything.  I just wait until his attention wanders or till he starts squirming to get out of his seat.  Then I consider him done with his meal.  On Friday we are going to try carrots.  I am really excited to see what he will and won’t like, although the feeding process is a level of messy that I am decidedly not excited about.