A first taste of carrots

Ice cubed carrot mash
Ice cubed carrot mash

Last week, on the first day of spring, Baby O had his first taste of carrots. At slightly over 5 months old, he decided it was time for that. He had longingly looked at his daddy’s food the day before, and that was a telling enough sign for us. So, we bought some ecological carrots, cooked them and mashed tem with a sliver of real butter. Apparently, the fat from that is needed to help the vitamins being absorbed in the body. You can also use a vegetable oil, but I would say it has to be a cold pressed one. I also used the cooking fluids to smoothen up the mash. Most vitamins and minerals in vegetables are water soluble, so when you boil them, the vitamins will go into the water. Using that, means keeping the valuable nutrients.
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Full of …, or the Neverending Diaper Test

Wonderful present for Baby O from the neighbours: a diaper cake.

Marketing has a strange effect on me. At least, often it leads me to believe that big brand products are really better than the rest. Something to do with innovation, quality assurance, etcetera. And so it also is for diapers. Yes, diapers. When our baby was born, and we spent those German standard few days in the hospital, I was quite happy to find that we were supplied there with diapers from a big brand, which is globally available. Those were the ones our baby would have, because, well, they were the big brand diapers, so the best.

However, we quickly found that the diapers from this big brand maybe indeed absorbed all the things our baby put into them, but they also tended to stick to baby’s bottom. Quite stubbornly. Maybe they were absorbing too much? Research and development going too far, maybe? I don’t think it was because we changed them not often enough. We did that more frequent than the minimum number of times recommended by the experts at the hospital. Maybe too often? Whatever the reasons for the stick-to-bottomness of these diapers, we decided to try some other brands. Just to see which would be best for our boy.
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Special paper messengers to announce a birth

Detail of baby O's announcement card
Detail of baby O’s announcement card

As many proud new parents probably do, we wanted to send out some beautiful announcement cards to tell our friends and families about the birth of our son. And as with many thing these days, a quick search online gives endless opportunities. All sorts of different styles, lots of beautiful, funny, stylish examples. Almost too much, for me. Fortunately, NewMum is a super hero when it comes to finding anything awesome (she’s a super hero in many other fields as well, of course). And thanks to her super powers, we found Letterpress Kaarten from Tiny Risselada, who designs cards to your wishes, and prints them on her jobbing press.
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The Sinatuga Quarters Race

Stella the Buffalo
Stella the very special buffalo

Merry Christmas, everybody. For us, it’s a special one, because it’s Baby O’s first Christmas. Last night, after a traditional family dinner, we unwrapped our presents, and of course Baby O received many wonderful presents. But one I saved for today. His first Christmas morning. It’s one specially made for him, and one he can share with all the chilldren of all ages in the world: the story posted below. But the story is only part of the present: the main characters of the story are the actual present. And now that he has enjoyed the story, read to him by his sweet mother this morning, he can share it with you through this blog. Please enjoy the first adventure of Wandering Knight Gabriel, his faithful dog Duke and buffalo Stella.
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Who cares for your baby?

Zwitsal and Penaten: National baby care brands from The Netherlands and Germany
National baby care brands from The Netherlands and Germany

Yellow packaging, and an orange line drawing of a baby’s face. If, like me, you have grown up in The Netherlands, you know exactly what I mean. It’s recognizable, and if you have recently become a parent (again), you probably have your house full of products from this brand. Because, in The Netherlands, it’s the ultimate baby-care brand: Zwitsal.

Now, fortunately, we don’t live far from The Netherlands. And some of our Dutch friends gave us a parent starter kit, with of course many Zwitsal items in it. Better yet, the kit was packaged in a Zwitsal plastic storage box. So, our baby can, just like we did (did we, really?), grow up with his bottom wiped with Zwitsal wipes, his bath drawn with lavender scented Zwitsal bath soap, his skin oiled with Zwitsal… well, you get the picture.
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The Dutch celebrate today

A letter of chocolate, the S from Sinterklaas
A letter of chocolate, the S from Sinterklaas

Today is a very special day for Dutch kids of all ages, all over the world. Today is the day we celebrate the birthday of Saint Nicholas, or as he is affectionately know among the Dutch: Sinterklaas. Or even shorter: Sint. The fun actually started a few weeks ago, on the second Saturday of November, when Sinterklaas and his helpers arrived in The Netherlands on his steamer. From that day on, every evening Dutch children put out their shoes – filled with a carrot for Amerigo, the horse and some candy or fruit for the Pieten (the Pete’s, the helpers) – and then sing a little song for Sint and the Pieten. The next morning, carrots and candies and fruits are exchanged for little presents. Of course, all the doing of the jolly crew of his Holiness Saint Nicholas, who rides over rooftops on his horse Amerigo while working on filling those little (and big) shoes.

It all culminates in the big evening today, 5 December, when families and friends gather around, and celebrate the birthday of Sinterklaas by receiving gifts. Gifts are brought to homes in a big jute bag. Obviously, only those children who have been nice in the past year will receive the nice presents. The naughty ones will get the ‘roe’ – pronounced ‘roo’ – a birch rod. And in extreme cases, they will be put in the jute bag, and taken back to the residence of Saint Nicholas in Spain, which of course leads to some children in their teens claiming to have been very bad, hoping to get a free trip to sunny Spain.

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