Now that the dust has (mostly) settled after our big upheaval, we’re working hard on establishing our new routines. Julian is doing great here in New York, is happy as can be and is growing like a weed. We’ll meet his new pediatrician next week, and find out just how much he has grown since his last checkup. I’m sure I’ll be startled by the numbers, though there’s no denying that my little baby can more accurately be described now as my little boy.
He’s got charm that radiates, and the most incredible, winning smile that reaches right through strangers’ stolid subway faces, garnering smiles in return. He loves to laugh, and more now, to make us laugh. He loves his kitties, squealing with glee whenever they’re around (“ka” was his second word, after “da-da” and before “ma-ma”). He crawls like a flash, zooming across the room like a little wind-up doll, but he’s more interested in standing these days – and he’s good at it, balancing on those solid little legs without assistance, blocks or wooden spoons in hand, for a good minute or more before lowering himself down to the ground, or using the table’s edge to maneuver to another spot. He’ll be walking in no time, I’m sure.
He’s got six teeth now – four on top and two on the bottom, and he loves to chew on anything he can get his hands on. And he loves, loves, to eat with us. We’re still nursing, cruising along to our one year goal, but he has embraced solids with gusto, and demands at least a taste of anything we eat.
He still loves eggs and avocados, applesauce and plain yogurt (which he sometimes gets with a bit of jam), and any kind of cheese, but his diet has broadened to include all sorts of vegetables (garlicky sauteed chard or kale are favorites, as is this broccoli, roasted carrots, fresh sweet corn and buttery peas). He’s had, and liked, cherry tomatoes, roasted down until sweet and jammy, blanched and sauteed broccoli rabe, eggplant roasted and layered with sauce and cheese, and German butterball potatoes mashed with lots of local sweet butter and cream. Peaches and strawberries are favorites among the summer fruits flooding our farmer’s markets right now, and, like his mama, he loves beans.
He also loves any kind of meat – chicken, beef, lamb, duck, and pork, in just about any preparation – and to my delight, he has really dug the seafood we’ve given him. Wild salmon? Loves it. Sardines? More! Anchovies? Can’t get enough. We finally got back to Russ and Daughters last weekend, and brought home some beautiful schmaltz herring for him (and us, too). And now that it seems he’ll eat anything we put in front of him, we’re adding whole grains – steel-cut oats in the morning, a little whole-grain pasta (wheat or farro), and the occasional bite of bagel or bread.
I can’t believe Julian’s first year is already coming to a close. He’ll be a year old in September, just a little over a month from now. Feeding him has been a joy and a delight, by far the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done, and we’re only just beginning. Mike and I are thinking about how we’ll celebrate Julian’s first birthday, how we’ll ring in his next year, and you can bet that a meal – and a cake – will play a big part in it. It’s how we celebrate in this family, after all.