Vale at 11 Months

At this stage in life, it is apparent Vale has opinions about things. She does not like putting on clothes (let’s see how this plays out when the weather gets cooler, kiddo!). She does not appreciate being dragged away from things and “goals” she intends to pursue, e.g. breakable dishes, electrical sockets, bottles of wine, picture frames, etc.

She remains quite social, but tends to be much more charmed and interested by older kids, as opposed to babies closer to her own age. She had a grand time playing with a 3 or 4 year old boy and a couple of 12 year old girls at Crack Shack. They played with giant Legos and made fast friends.

She made her second trip to Mexico (TJ), and accompanied the adults on various taco and beer adventures, where she enjoyed a few bites of taco meat, washed down with yummy Horchata.

She loves toddling around, exploring her environment, and being outdoors. She’s starting to get quite a tan, and mom has restricted direct sun exposure to after 3:00 p.m., especially since she refuses to keep a hat on her head. Her favorite toys are constantly changing, and recently, she enjoys taking things in and out of a small makeup pouch.

She’s eating more and more solid foods, though unfortunately, this includes some junk food, such as cheese balls. Dad got her a gigantic tub of these at WinCo. One questions why these cheese balls only come in a 3 gallon tub, but then you eat one and remember¬† they are about as addicting as crack. After a stint without cheesy poofs, she will walk over to the container and pound on the lid to demand more.

 

A Little Perspective

I’m not big on frozen desserts, but sometimes I’ll have a couple of ounces of frozen yogurt topped with fresh blueberries, mangoes, and raspberries. My favorite ice cream is Hagen Dazs Rum Raisin, but I probably only buy the smallest sized carton of this once a year, if that. Being a frequenter of Yelp events, I’ve also had the opportunity to taste various craft ice creams and gelatos, most notably and recently sea salt caramel and Himalayan pink salt flavors that were lovely and memorable.

However, we were hanging out at South Street Seaport in New York over the weekend and stopped for refreshments in the heat. I was drinking a juice, and Kyle had a pretty decent IPA. My brother came back to the table with French fries and vanilla soft serve from McDonald’s. I never go to McDonald’s, but if I did, these would be the exact two items I would order. He offered me some of the ice cream cone, which was quickly becoming softer and drippier in the summer heat.

I took a few licks and handed it back to him. Maybe the heat and hours of walking made the soft serve that much more enjoyable. Maybe the section in my Mindful Birthing book about practicing “mindful eating” and paying deliberate, intentioned, attention to texture and flavors during the eating experience had made its way into my subconscious. I suddenly had a realization about how simple, cheap, forgotten, and underrated MacDonald’s soft serve was.

He had a few bites then offered me the rest. As I finished the familiar, melty, sweet, cone, I considered that this fast food classic could easily compete with hipster caramel and exotic pink salt.