I'm torn between formally introducing myself or just letting this whole nonsense unfold...really its not a hard or difficult story to jump into. There is no time travel or wrongfully accused criminals. There are no interupted plot lines or neat, twisty surprises.
I'm not Lost.
So maybe basics, a for beginners if you will. I live here in the Fairmount neighborhood in Philadelphia with my husband (a dashing, skeptical lawyer) and baby daughter, Emery (aka Emmy). She is a little over six months old and enjoys the Wiggles.
I do not enjoy the Wiggles.
This is a sticking point in our relationship.
I started this blog in the hopes of sharing some of my experiences, issues, and my judgey, judgey opinions. See, when I first found out I was expecting I was dismayed that there wasn't a stronger Philly mom presence on the web. I found out that I base a lot of my personal choices on what the web has to say...I count on it for good pizza and embarrassing video. When I discovered there was no Philly mom blog to point the way, I had to lie, cheat, and bribe high ranking government officials to find a quality pediatrician.
Quite frankly, I don't even like to talk about what I had to do to find my new moms group.
So I'm slowly feeling my way around this city as a lady with a baby. I'm excited to say there are a few things I think I've got a handle on and these are things I want to share with other moms.
Now, this is not to say I know everything.
There are still MANY mysteries out there.
For example, today Emery and I drove across the bridge to Wegmans ('cause I LOVE me some Wegmans) and we were in the baby aisle, searching for Zwiebacks or some other teething type cookie (we didn't find any, but that's another post) when I saw the CRAZIEST baby food in the world.
Take a guess...you'll never guess.
Gerbers makes a "veal meal" for babies.
That's some awfulness.
Why would you ever feed a baby veal?
That's kinda like feeding the baby baby.
Babies don't like the taste of baby. I know because they told me.
Now, my husband and I choose to make our own baby food, mostly because its easy and I like the idea of being able to control exactly what Emery is eating. We have this little food grinder thingy that manages to power through anything softer than an apple with ease. Things tougher than an apple require elbow grease. Many older moms I've spoken with warned me off trying to make my own stuff. I heard a lot noise about how hard it would be and how much time it would take.
I really haven't found this to be the case at all.
Things like peaches, avocados, boiled potatoes, cooked carrots, yellow watermelon, anything soft gets pushed through in seconds. I can make the exact amount I want or I can just strain the whole fruit and freeze what we're not going to use. I think people are hesitant to try things like making their own baby because they have some kind of "Little House on the Prairie" picture of them bent over a stove and frantically canning or mashing as a baby screams in the background. In the time it takes to open a jar you can run a plum through the grinder. The swirling little blades remove the skin and seeds for you. No muss, no fuss.
I've really enjoyed making Em's food. I love going to the grocery store, finding something that just looks and smells amazing. I'm never afraid to taste anything I feed her.
I cannot say this about some the food I fed to my youngest brother. I remember looking at the beef stew meal and thinking I would push that crap out with my tongue as well. And there are so many great places to go in Philly for produce. If you haven't gone grocery shopping with your baby yet-do it! Strap them to your chest and go! The colors, the people, the lights, being OUT OF THE HOUSE, what's not to love?
If you're looking for some bargain basement prices for organic AND regular produce, check out Iovine's Produce in Reading Terminal Market. It may seem like its out of the way, but with four dollar parking, just go. If you're a student (I myself was a medical student pre-baby) they offer a discount on their already incredibly low prices on Wednesday and Sunday. How good are the prices? Two pounds of tomatoes for 99 cents...and not those pale, perfectly round, mealy tomatoes they sell in the plastic sleeves. These are ugly, misshapen, REAL tomatoes from Jersey.
If eating for a cause is more your thing, try out GreensGrow. A non-profit, leading nursery and farm grows an incredibly diverse range of produce hydroponically over a super fund site. They also bring in local cheeses, eggs, meats, and other treats for the surrounding Lancaster area. Now, in accordance with full disclosure, I'm not crazy about this group, but I want to be. I really, really, really want to be over the moon about Greensgrow, but every time I go, something always falls short. The green bell peppers are small and bitter, the cheese isn't as good as I thought it would be, or my bill is much higher than it would be if I just shopped at a chain. Now I understand the point of shopping at a place like GreensGrow is so that I DON'T shop at a chain, its paying a little bit more to support local growers, I get that, I really do, and maybe if it was the cost I could get behind it a little bit more.
But it's not.
I don't know, go, give it a try, let me know if you have a more positive experience.
When I go to chain for produce I will go one of two places, Whole Foods (either on South and 10th or Pennsylvania Ave. and 20th) or Wegmans. Many people hesitate going to Whole Foods because they think its going to be super expensive, and to be honest, yes, some things at Whole Foods are super expensive, far more expensive than at a place like Acme or ShopRite-specifically the meat and seafood. Their produce, however is often times right on par with the other big chains and, at times, it ends up being less expensive because they make a point to buy locally. The quality of the veggies and fruit are always, always, better. I've never bought an icky peach, never gotten a slimy bag of baby carrots, and I never have a problem finding an unbruised apple. They offer a discount if you bring your own bags, the cashiers are friendly, and unlike a certain Thriftway I know, you can actually bring your cart right to your car.
I'm not so enamored with Trader Joe's as far as produce (or bacon-worst bacon I've ever had) goes, but I am obsessed with their bulk nuts and pomegranate limeade.
So that ends my tirade on veggies. I wanted to conclude this in such a smoother way...but I'm tired. Em woke up rather early this morning and has she is one of those special children who is ACTUALLY a thirty year old lady and has no need for a nap.
She also keeps grabbing my wine glass.
We are concerned.