24 March 2011 by romanin
Nathaniel is now almost 6 weeks (Saturday) and he is starting to build a small network of friends, which include Jonathan (pictured to the right), who is almost double Nathaniel’s age and Isaac (not pictured), who is 1.5 times Nathaniel’s age. Addie is also part of this small network of friends. Addie is around Jonathan’s age, I think. I’ll have to include a picture of them all one day.
We all meet weekly, the moms and their kids, for a “baby massage” session. We’re hoping to turn this into a community endeavor, perhaps transitioning to meeting at the Oberlin Public Library. Our massage and hang out time coordinator is a lady named Alice, who is a doula and a home-birth midwife. It’s so generous of her to volunteer her time to draw all of us new mothers and their babies together. I appreciate it greatly!
The pace of life if very very different with a baby and it requires a different skill/gift than life without a baby. Flexibility becomes a very important skill to learn and appreciate. Learning how to organize your day around your baby’s schedule is also a skill that needs to be learned and polished day by day. In my case, the community of people you hang out with also becomes a very distinct group of people– young mothers and their babies.
In this subgroup of people, topics of conversation change drastically, focusing more on current events of each baby’s development instead of current events of the world, your workplace or married life. It seems like conversations always start off with “How is Nathaniel doing?” (“I’m doing well too, thank you very much”) or “Yesterday, Nathaniel…” New mothers often also tend to learn a baby’s name before they learn the names of the other mothers they’re spending time with. I realized after going to a breastfeeding support group for the first time, that I left the support group not even knowing where any of my new mom friends were from, if they were married or not, what they did before baby came, or any other information I normally would have gathered by the end of a first meeting with someone new. And I realized that I did not like that.
As a new mother, it’s so easy to let your world be taken over by your little one, and it takes time and energy to re-calibrate your life. For me, this includes continuing to pursue my cooking and baking endeavors and reestablish my piano technique. In order to fit cooking and baking (and piano) into my new life as a mom, I’ve figured out how to work FAST! How to use the 2 hours in between Nathaniel’s feeding times to whip up what I want to make.
This week, I found a special deal on strawberries at Aldi’s. One box of strawberries was $0.99! So I bought two boxes of strawberries, thinking that I’d figure out what to do with them later on. I thought, wouldn’t these strawberries be good with chocolate cake? So, I made a two-layered chocolate cake and used my leftover Betty Crocker ready-made whipped cream frosting (I would normally make my own frosting, but I wanted to use the leftovers) and some other leftover lemon confectioner’s sugar frosting. Since I only had 2 hours (read above mention about working in between Nathaniel’s feedings) in the morning that day to do any leisure baking (it was a busy day), I ended up baking this cake at 7:30 in the morning, and frosting it at 3/4 in the afternoon!
I used the Betty Crocker frosting for the filling, but ran out for the top so I used the lemon frosting for the top. If I were to do this again, I wouldn’t use the lemon frosting because the flavor didn’t go that well with the chocolate (I thought this would happen, but wanted to try it anyway), but I felt like the strawberries on top needed some adherent, so lemon frosting…While working on the filling, I realized how much frosting is needed to make a thick enough filling between the two cake layers. Wisdom to impart on the next cake. 😉 But I still felt like the filling turned out looking alright for a first time fruit-filled filling.
The other thing I’ve found very useful, thanks to my mom, is “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.” With this, I’ve started trying different “No Knead” bread recipes. This is the European Rustic Bread Loaf. It’s crusty on the outside and moist on the inside. Good for dipping in olive oil and spices! 🙂