I remember now why I ended up making most of my baby food for the first two. It wasn't for the top reasons usually cited, such as that the food is healthier (I don't exactly keep a sterile kitchen), or more convenient (it's not) or cheaper (heck no). In fact, making food takes preparation, cooking, and a lot of water and cleanup. But that's true of food I make for everyone else too.
My main reason? Baby food I make just tastes a whole lot better.
Pears are one thing I recall being worth buying in jars, since you can spend $10 on a huge heavy bag of pears and puree it down to a thimbleful. But yesterday I tasted some Earth's Best jarred pears -- yeccchh! Mostly water! Katrina knew the difference too, as I'd been giving her some flavorful fresh mango, ran out, then resorted to the jarred pear. She ate it, but she lost her enthusiasm.
Today I had a pear that was less than perfectly crisp. I'm picky about pears, I like them very firm and if they're soft in the slightest, out it goes. But this was perfect for baby, so I steamed it, peeled it, and zapped it up in my mini-food-processor. YUM. It was so good. (Note to self: it was a Comice pear, not a variety I usually see, but Whole Foods happened to have it. Mm.)
The boys have suddenly developed an interest in baby food, and are constantly pleading with me to try Katrina's. I just smile and spare them the reminder that a few weeks ago, they'd have nothing at all to do with yams or prunes. Today I relented and let them both taste the pear puree, and both liked it so much that the only way I could stop them from hurling insults at me and conspiring to give me a "bad ticket" for not giving them more, was to let them take turns feeding it to Katrina.
Oh dear! They were all over that!!
Before I knew it, Gabriel had thrust the spoon all the way in poor baby's mouth. Katrina didn't cry though, she just gave me a wide-eyed puzzled face, like, "HELP! What are you letting them DO to me?!"
After some instruction, they did fine, and got a huge kick out of feeding her. Gabriel beamed, "Finally! I fed her!" I hope I haven't opened a can of worms here, as when it comes to Katrina, he is less than gracious when not permitted to "help."
(He asks me if he can carry her...! I don't know, maybe if she's in a ceiling-mounted harness, like they use to spot gymnasts....)
Once again, Katrina took a far longer nap than I expected (2-1/2 hours!!), so I ended up not getting Julian down for a nap. When she woke up, I let Julian watch a slideshow of photos on my computer while I nursed her. ("That's Cousin Aidan!" he exclaimed excitedly, "I love Cousin Aidan!") Seems he needed a nap after all, as I found him asleep in my office chair!
Meantime, Gabriel was on timeout for kicking Julian in the face with his hard sneaker, resulting in a big bump and a bloody nose and a lot of wailing. "FINE. I DON'T CARE. Do you want me to put you in jail? You're a BRAT" Gabriel retorted as he dragged his feet into timeout. (Who are these children who actually feel bad about injuring their brother?!) A few minutes later, I found him asleep on the floor, and stuck a baby blanket under his head, conflicted about adding to his comfort after such a severe infraction. Later, he rearranged the blanket on top of him.
These past few days, Katrina has been absolutely brimming with energy and joy. She makes all sorts of funny sounds, flails her arms and legs, reaches aggressively for everything, smiles and laughs at the slightest provocation. She's really been sweet and fun, with only fussy moments at obvious times ("I'm hungry," "I'm tired," etc.) I think good solid naps are responsible for this clear sailing. Good, solid, long, uninterrupted, regular naps. I can't imagine.