Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Cooking Show

My Mom has been here for almost 3 weeks and left early this morning to return to Maine. We sure miss her already! Zane was very lucky to have a lot of time with her during the visit. They did several baking and cooking projects, and Zane started to enjoy looking through the cookbook. One day when he and I were looking through a Natural History magazine article about bugs people eat, Zane said he wanted to try some. I said I didn't know how to cook them. Zane said I needed the cookbook and came back with the Joy of Cooking! There were no bug recipes in there, though, unless you count lobsters and the like.

I enjoyed the luxury of having someone else make food and clean up! It was also nice to have someone else share our meals, as Michael is usually on a different schedule. I am very uninspired when it comes to food, so I am particularly anxious about this aspect of parenting. Zane generally ate better for Grandma than for me, and I think this is partly due to better food and partly due to knowing he can yank my chain a bit.

We worked a lot on booster seat and table skills (i.e., sitting still and actually eating) and saw a lot of improvement. Most amazingly, one night we had out chop sticks and Zane wanted to try them. I showed him how, and within one minute he had twice successfully maneuvered eggs into his mouth! His grip was all wrong, but he did it with one hand! Later on Grandma showed him how to use a fork to help with cutting, and he caught right on to that, too. Earlier in the same week he suddenly began to use scissors with one hand when before he had been using two. Some major new coordination synapses are firing now! I know some other developmental stuff happened, too, that I can't remember ...

Back to baking. For Thanksgiving we went to my father-in-law's house, and Michael's sister and niece did most of the cooking. Super delicious! We were in charge of pies as usual, and this year Zane helped Grandma make an apple pie. On another day they made pretzels and he really got into the kneading and did a great job of painting them all with eggs. The final project was oatmeal cookies, and I think those were my favorites.

Now that Christmas is coming, I hope to do some cooking projects with Zane. At the very least, sugar cookies with colored sugar sprinkles. Maybe also some gingerbread people, and maybe some sort of bundt cake for Christmas Day. We also need to do pancakes one of these days just because those are so easy. Maybe those for Christmas, too!

Christmas should be really fun for us this year. Tomorrow Zane and I are borrowing a neighbor's wagon and going to the local produce stand to buy some wreaths and garland. We'll go back in another week or so to buy a little tree. I think I need to go through all of the decorations sometime during naptime so that I only show Zane the ones he can put on the tree. No use showing him the pretty, sparkly glass ones and then saying "no."

We've had a number of fun adventures lately. Zane and my Mom and I took a bus to Seattle Center, hopped on the monorail to Westlake, looked around there for a while, rode the carousel, monorail back, then looked at the mini-train exhibit in the Centerhouse, and then back home for lunch. I had hoped to also throw in a carriage ride, but the horses turned out to not be around until the afternoon. All of this cost us about $10 for all of us! Zane and Grandma went on their own on the bus to the aquarium and Pike Place Market one day, all for just a few dollars including lunch. Today Michael and Zane and I went to the Greenwood firehouse's grand opening. The line to sit in the truck was too long, but we still got to see it up close, and we got cookies and a hat!

Zane had a checkup at the end of November, and while he is still on the small size, he continues to be healthy, so we don't have to go back until he is 3. His head is in the 90th percentile, though! Past visits have been very stressful, so this time I prepared with reading about doctors and getting Zane a doctor kit. Zane claimed he was no longer scared, but on the actual day, sigh, it seemed to have no effect. Oh well.

I can think of nothing more! Enjoy a video of pretzel making. When I get photos from Mom's camera, I may post some more.

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