Ciao Dominic!

Well off we all trooped to Italy, myself, the babs, the hubbie & his parents for a friends wedding.  It was to a be a last hurrah before I abandoned Dom went back to work.  I had high hopes for the eye-talians (as my Great Auntie calls them) – they make the best finger food, and they love babies.

First up we flew to Bologna and stayed there 2 nights.  The hotel we stayed in (highly recommend, especially for the fact that they have a resident cat, who I named Luigi for the purposes of making up stories about him and following him around with Dom) recommended a local restaurant.  When we arrived and no highchair appeared I was a bit nervous – doesn’t scream family friendly. As soon as we met the waitress & waiter all worries were appeased as they “ciao’ed” and italian baby-talked away to Dom.  Italian food is very well suited to BLW – they keep things simple – something Mark appreciates, he’s not a big fan of me shoehorning extra veggies into stuff.  It means baby can try individual new flavours and stuff cools easily! So Dominic ate some of Mark’s pasta and mince.  Minced what I don’t know, but it was Bolognaise on the menu, um…beef?  Lamb?  Incidentally, Bolognaise never seemed to involve any sauces, tomato-based or otherwise at all.  Then, for a treat, cos he was 9 months old on the day, and because we were on our holiers, he tried pannacotta.

sugary creamy stuff…mmm

Big hit!  I gave him some of my baked pear, after sucking the choccy sauce off it. Not quite as interested, unsurprisingly.  I don’t mind giving him the odd taste of sweet things that aren’t fruit from around this age, just not as a habit.  Ha!  I’m such a hypocrite…

Olives! Incoming!

If all else fails, the Italian bread basket offers the king of fingers foods – breadsticks & olives.  He was distracted by flaky seed covered sticks and round hard crunchy breadstick-rings in several restaurants and at the wedding.  (I must buy some actually.)  Olives are great for the emerging pincer grip.  Obviously they’re de-stoned, and I might have been more nervous about them as a choking hazard up till a month or so ago.  Since then he’s been pulling out food he’s finished with, and we don’t really need to stick a finger in to retrieve half chewed mandarin segments anymore.  In fact he’s taken to rejecting grape halves after the most cursory of sucks, ready for a fresh one.  He’s like a mini decadent Roman emperor.

On saturday out in the hills of Fiesole where we supped prosecco on the lawn overlooking Florence, Dom played happily beneath our feet, and had a bit of craic with the other little kids.  Then we carried him about to show him the views and watch the jazz trio.  He seemed to be particularly fond of the sax & saxophonist who waved and winked when the jazziness allowed.  This is an aside to the main subject of the blog – but this was a great wedding to have a baby at (though its also our first).  Being outside in the warm autumnal sun instead of being a crowded hotel meant he could have a play and a good look about instead of us trying to shield him from swiping peoples glasses and knocking over stuff!  Kept me nice & relaxed about the whole thing anyway, but that may have been the prosecco too!   Then at dinner, where he had his very own placecard, he ate a good quarter of Mark’s wild mushroom risotto.  We’ve given him several risottos but none have been as well received as this one.  It was creamy but light rather than stodgy.

No trip to Italy could be complete without a pizza or 6.  We even returned to one place it was so good -ristorante DR OETKER.  No, Borgo Antico, on the square by the Santo Spirito over the river in the Oltrarno area.  Their ‘Borgo’ pizza had a basic tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes and masses of milky buffalo mozzarella torn onto it when it comes out of the oven.  My selfish husband ordered a cured ham & gorgonzola topped one, so that he didn’t have to share with either me or Dom.  I didn’t give him too much mozzarella as I guess it’s not pasteurised.

Also, this place had a really cute highchair, just like a plain wooden woven seat chair, but tall with a simple wooden bar in front.  Actually, when we did get highchairs they were this ‘rustic’ like this one, those hook/clamp onto the table ones,  or the trusty Ikea Antilop.  No chunky slumpy seated chairs, and none with trays at all – he was always up at the table right with us.  This cements my view of Italy as a child friendly country.  Despite the fact they’re a low birth rate themselves, they totally dote over babies (maybe from novelty value). Italy with baby FTW!

mini heart attack on the mini break.

Well the whole family trooped off to the wesht at the weekend for a little break.  Okay, the cats stayed home.  They had to guard the house. It was early mornings & early nights due to us all sharing a room again.  But it was lovely and relaxing for us all.  Dom ate well for the most part,  probably because we fitted 3 swims in in under 48 hours.

On the first night, we ate in the bar of the 12 Hotel in Bearna.  Dom had slept the whole way down to Galway so we thought we’d take our chances with staying out a bit later than bedtime.  Oh bedtime wasn’t the issue.  We’d the first proper gag/puke incident.  So, eh, there’s no photo of that. But here he is, before it happened…

They had lovely wooden sturdy highchairs there, no slumping, and no propping required.  But they were also the type with no tray, which is fine because thats just like our beloved tripp trapp, and yet they weren’t anywhere near tall enough for the tables there.  I’m guessing whoever ordered them for the bar (and when I say bar, they’ve an extensive and very nice food menu and it’s very family friendly – there’s lots of highchairs available) doesn’t have a small child.  Fine for a small kid being spoon fed, but not great beyond that.

We decided Dom could have his first chip.  *shock* *horror* Someone call Jamie Oliver, I’m poisoning the child!  Once we saw they were big fat fluffy potatoey wedges with skins still on, and not some sort of overseasoned reconsituted fries we reckoned we weren’t going to be making him screech for McDonalds just yet.  So he did really well, he seemed to be enjoying it, and then he went quiet.  And then a bit spluttery, and a bit red.  If we’d been at home I’d have been calm and cool.  Understandably I didn’t want the situation to escalate, especially in a public place.  I’m kinda kicking myself, because I really do think he was dealing with it.  He was coughing, and that always has worked.  I think it was his initial pause that freaked me out.  So I stuck my little finger in to hook out the food and as I did, he threw up some of the previous milk feed, and little lump of fluffy spud.  Had I not stuck my finger in, I think he would have puked anyway, and at home I would have given it another 2 or 3 seconds before I intervened.

It unnerved me a bit, because we’ve been *fingers crossed* quite lucky with Dom so far in that he isn’t a big gagger.

But little incidents like this help I guess – he might learn what he can and can’t manage size wise, and to use his 4 little teeth to chew more and I need to be alert and aware that it isn’t plain sailing. But persevere we will, it can’t turn us off the whole BLW concept because at some point puree fed babies have to progress to textured food, and finger food so all babies have to go through these physical challenges at some point.

– Jill

public display of ingestion

i had my first big fud challenge at the weekend. me and mama and dada went to oma and opa’s house. they’re dada’s parents. and auntie rachel and phil were there and uncle peter and jenny too.  so there was a big table in the kitchen. it was bigger than normal because opa magicked it bigger, he’s very good at things like that.  i sat at the corner in my new chair between mama & dada.

on our way to oma & opa’s we stopped in ikea.  oma & opa and mammo have highchairs for me already, but you have to shove towels around me to sit up, and i’m still all slippy and slumpy, and i won’t eat well and i’m grumpy when i’m in them.  so i got 2 new chairs for their houses.  my parents are very happy with them even though they’ve a very fancy stokke tripp trapp for me at home, mama says its her very 2nd favouritist high chair.

so there i was with all the people looking at me in a place i’m not used to eating in, in a new chair – mama didn’t think i’d really eat much but i did!  Oma is very excited by BLW so she had put aside some food for me specially.  mama made sure there was lots of newspaper down because oma has carpet in her kitchen but i dropped hardly anything.  I ate roast parsnip for the first time it was nummy and sweet.  I had some carrot too, and some tomato from mama’s salad, and some roast pepper from her dinner too.  then because everyone else was so slow eating, I had a good play with my shaky stacky froggy toy auntie rachel & uncle phil got for me.  i had a lovely day.


eating carrot in Ikea

I went to Ikea today with mama and that Auntie Fiona one today.  I got to sit in the famous Antilop highchair.  Though i think its only famous to mama who reads everything about babies on the internet.  I ate carrot & cucumber while they chatted and drank tea and coffee and ate muffins.

Mama says to daddy that they should be eating the same as me and setting a good example, but I see her all day and she eats all kinds of things that I don’t get to eat, like chipsticks and chocolate biscuits.  As soon as I can reach them i’m going to try them too if she doesn’t stop me.  Auntie Caca wanted to give me cake at KK’s birthday party picnic yesterday but mama said no.  I think she’ll say no a lot.  Caca bought me a smashing new sunhat to the picnic too, i’ll have to do a pose in it.  I do like presents.

Then for dinner I ate straight from the table.  I think Mama’s already fed up of extra washing up. I had avocado, green bean & broccoli. 

After a bit I decided I wanted to hang out with daddy, and we ate green beans together.  He might be a better influence than mama for eating.  I hear he has 2 dinners sometimes.

eating outside

today mama met auntie fiona and her 2 nieces, Carla & Ciara.  she’s not my real auntie, but thats what mama calls her and thats okay by me because she gives good cuddles and is very nice. 

I’m used to girls now,  Carla & Ciara are nearly exactly the same ages as my cousins Ella & Rio.  C&C are getting a new brother or sister soon too, it’s going to be called either Ciaraciara, or Domelick, after me.  We ate outside.  I don’t know why, its a bit silly.  I got hummous on my forehead.  That might be because I was in my bumbo seat and the whole thing was a bit more squishy than in my highchair at home.

trying it out for size

I got a lovely new chair to go with all the other things I sit in – the rocker, the jumperoo, the bumbo, the car seat, the buggy the parents laps.  I think I fit pretty well.  Mama didn’t think i’d be able to go in it for a bit longer, but I got really good at sitting there the past couple of weeks, so Daddy built this while Mama was at her friend’s party last night.

I’m not sure why I need another chair.  When I was in it earlier, Mama was sitting at the table like me and she was playing like I do putting things in front of her in her mouth.  She said I could have the same things soon.

I hope Tyra the meowcat can get up this high so I can still give her rubs like when I’m in the bumbo.