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Originally published at Velvet Kerfuffle. Please leave any comments there.

I had to post this the day after April Fools’ because although I did get a good giggle from this packaging, it is a real product. These came from the local toy shop, which carries some truly dated stuff (I’ve been told they still have some Space Jam games lying around). While the corner cushions inside were actually quite nice, the poor child in the photo is something else altogether. To think, there was a time when that look sold products. Be a responsible parent – pad sharp table corners and do not let them to get a mullet haircut. It’s …

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In addition to the four 4 month+ flavors from last post, there are two 5 month+ ones that contain wheat. I suppose it was the addition of gluten-containing ingredients that added the extra month to the age limit, though I’m not sure how much of a difference it truly makes. We had already moved on to thicker porridges by 5 months, but we gave these a shot anyway since Blob liked the other ones so much. One-grain oat gruel. Ingredients listed: fresh milk whey, milk, wholegrain oat flour (5%), lactose, rapeseed and sunflower oils, emulsifiers (vegetable-based fatty acids), vitamins (A, D3, thiamine, niacin, …

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The first food we tried after the fruit purees was liquefied baby cereal. Gruel, to be exact. A friend pointed out that “gruel” wasn’t a term regularly used in the States, but I’m not sure if there is anything else that quite describes this stuff. The word that comes to my mind is “muay”, which is Taiwanese for rice congee — when we were young, my mom would make a version of this with various broths instead of milk. The Finnish word is “velli” and it refers to a milky, starch/grain-based beginner’s baby food/beverage. Lots of babies get this instead of formula for their …

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So when we started transitioning to solids with Blob (we are going with that as the nickname used for this blog, since it gets used frequently around the house and “Megasuck” is just too long to type every time — even if he isn’t particularly blobby anymore) at 4 months old, I was mostly going off of my mother-in-law’s advice and whatever I managed to glean from the baby forums online. Even though I’d been planning to wait until 6 months, Blob’s insistence on grabbing food out of my hand and stuffing it in his mouth convinced me that maybe we …

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So yes, peas. I’ve been getting more adventurous with my smoothie combinations and wanted to do some spring cleaning with my freezer stash. The baby has mostly graduated from purees, so I figured this was a good way to use them all up. A bit of balancing is still required, of course, since the resulting combination has to be sweet enough to still be attractive for tiny taste buds. To be on the safe side, I went with one the stronger tasting fruits available, and it ended up working quite well. 400 grams of frozen Finnish bilberries. They are like blueberries, …

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In my last post, I mentioned that I had strayed from making pure fruit smoothies for the wee one, so here is one of those examples. Although strictly speaking, a pumpkin is a fruit. Also by the same logic, tofu is made from soy beans, which are also technically a fruit. Not that the baby cares — he’s just all, “Orange goop, yay!” We also gave a couple pouches of this concoction to his little baby bestie, who seemed equally happy to slurp it down with hardly a pause for breathing. With plenty of fruity sweetness and a punch of protein, what’s …

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So yeah, I don’t get nearly enough time online these days but when I do, it’s usually only in 10-15 minutes segments and requires that I browse stuff that is easily left at the spur of the moment should there be any crying in the other room. This has resulted in my becoming a big fan of window-shopping online. There’s lots of cute stuff out there. And lots of weird stuff, too. Right, so I realize there is a justifiable reason why this product exists. I mean, I get tired of holding bottles at 2AM, just like everybody else. And …

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How many of you guys remember that episode of X-Files with the icky fluke guy who had a leech-like mouth and lived in the sewers? Yeah. So I’m browsing through a site with baby paraphernalia, as I am wont to do these days, and I see this: Seriously, please tell me I’m not the only one that sees the resemblance. Maybe it’s just a particularly bad angle, but this thing terrified me when I scrolled by it. Are there people out there who really give this to their child so that baby can look like he’s French kissing a menacing …

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Picspam

Jul. 3rd, 2014 11:53 am
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Somebody’s having a bad hair day. Also, EYELASHES.

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Originally published at Velvet Kerfuffle. Please leave any comments there.

Not really a post, just a blurb with photos. Because The Monkey (aka The Blob, Megasuck, and various other names that are not his officially registered name. I will get around to explaining them at some point.) has two differently colored eyebrows. His right one is blond and his left one is brunet, little weirdo. I noticed it when he was a couple days old, but it was hard to really get a picture without the right lighting because the lighter one is really light. They happen to be the same colors as our calico, Coco. Yeah, I totally just compared our infant son …

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Originally published at Velvet Kerfuffle. Please leave any comments there.

Soooo. Short version? We have one of these now: Long version? Here we go. Not for the squeamish, be forewarned. Tuesday, May 13th, 6PM or thereabouts. Hubby had just got home from a grocery run after work and we were settling down to watch the latest Game of Thrones (we are now two episodes behind, thanks to bubs) when I felt something go *pop* and a slight trickling started. Nothing dramatic or gushing, thank goodness, but definitely something different from the normal routine. I sat there for a moment, with a look of “huh, that’s new” on my face, before …

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Rauma does not have an Indian restaurant. Nor does it really  have any place where you can conveniently get the ingredients necessary to make most Indian dishes at home. So, like I do for most Asian ingredients, I stock in bulk whenever we make it over to an ethnic grocer in Turku or any other larger city. I’ll also tend to this if we visit a restaurant — a practice that once ended in a plastic takeaway bag filled with a mixture of three different types of curry when the containers upended halfway through my drive home. Still, I stubbornly …

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Right. So today is the baby’s supposed due date. No, he is not here yet. Yes, I’m getting rather impatient with waddling around in circles like a stoned penguin. Yes, I realize that only 40% of babies are actually born by their due date. No, that really doesn’t make me feel any better. Yes, I’m happy that he’s reached a very healthy full-term size and we’ve had no complications to date (knock on wood). Yes, I’ll be happier when my little freeloader checks out of Hotel Me and starts pulling his own weight. Literally. In the meantime, belly pictures, as …

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This smoothie was the result of wanting to make something without additional sweeteners that the hubby would also like, since he’s been kind of eyeing the pitcher when I make these now. And this one tastes like fruit punch! For the mango, I wash it thoroughly but leave the skin on. There’s lots of nutrients and fiber in the skin, which I’d prefer not to just throw away. Plus it looks like pretty multi-colored confetti in the finished smoothie Just make sure you scrub the fruit down thoroughly with a safe fruit wash before using it, then slice around the …

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Yet another quiche! This one, because I happened to find canned crab meat at the supermarket when I was out shopping the other day. Although that might not seem like anything special in, well, just about any other country, it was a huge and pleasant surprise to me. I use crab meat in lots of dishes and I was vastly disappointed when I found that most Finnish supermarkets simply didn’t carry it back when we first moved here. I’d have my out-of-country friends load up on it when they came visiting, which I’m sure got them all kinds of weird …

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I like clothes. I like shopping for clothes. Heck, you don’t end up in my line of work otherwise. What I don’t like, however, is shopping for clothes that will be used so often due to lack of options over a short, intense period(s) of time that I will hate the very sight of them, only to have that followed by their gathering dust in the back of my closet for the rest of their lives because their single purpose for existing is done. That problem, combined with Rauma’s relative sparsity (read: NONE) of maternity boutiques, led me to find other options …

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Originally published at Velvet Kerfuffle. Please leave any comments there.

No, this is totally not one of those posts where I weigh the pros and cons of childhood vaccinations. Because really, if you don’t know by now, I’m very squarely in the “yay, science and medicine!” camp. No question about it. Rather, this is the post where I share what I’ve learned about the differences in vaccination schedules between what my kids will be getting in Finland versus what they would have gotten if they were born in the US. Also, how that differs from what I got as a kid born in Taiwan. And then I show you guys …

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Originally published at Velvet Kerfuffle. Please leave any comments there.

Sure, there’s the obvious things. Wash and store all the baby clothes, blankets, small toys, etc? Check. Make and freeze enough food to feed a small army? Check. Buy and practice using the pram/travel system/car seat? Check. Clean the house. Check. These are the smaller things that flit through my head under the “that’d be a really good idea; I should remember that” category. Not completely necessary, but things that would make life that much easier. 10. Manicure and pedicure. Given, I haven’t really been in contact (I occasionally see a peek when I’m lying down, but mostly they’re obscured by …

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Originally published at Velvet Kerfuffle. Please leave any comments there.

I popped by my favorite grocery store yesterday to refill my asthma meds and grab a few small items to keep us until our big supermarket binge later this week. They had moved things around since I was last there, so I spent about five minutes stalking up and down the frozen foods aisle, looking more and more perturbed with each round. There was not a single tub of Ben & Jerry’s in sight, you see. This was highly unlike them, since this is the one store that can always be counted on to have a lot of non-Finnish specialty …

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Originally published at Velvet Kerfuffle. Please leave any comments there.

One of the big things on my list for pre-baby prep has been to make and freeze as many meals as possible so that we have a wide variety of easily-reheated homemade food to last through the first months when we’ll (well, let’s be honest — I’LL) be too tired to cook. To this end, I try to double everything I make now and freeze the leftovers as fast as possible so we don’t end up eating them all ahead of time. It encourages me to keep cooking rather than rummage around for the easy stuff. With the whole gestational …

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