These days, most of the books I'm reading come from Juniper's library, but I did manage to finish one grownup book (that I didn't want to put down it was so good.) I loved the book Bringing Up Bébé. It has me thinking (still) about kids and autonomy, different ways to discipline (or educate), and about how sad it is that the United States does so little in the way of helping families with childcare costs. The book also highlighted many of the behaviors you so commonly see with American kids — like kids who never say hello or thank you to adults or won't try anything being served for dinner. And it made me take a step back to think about my views (and anxiety) about the idea of taking a vacation without little Juniper. I don't think there's one right way to parent, but the book definitely has me thinking that the terrible twos don't have to be so terrible.
We've been lucky in that Juniper has loved trying out new foods and it's incredible to watch her expressions and hear her make this "mmm" noise when she's eating something she likes. I picked up a second baby food cookbook, and I've been working through many of the recipes (all of which I've loved so far.) Tyler Florence's Start Fresh book shares unique combinations for purées (love how he incorporates olive oil and parmesan in some) and then he moves you into finger foods and recipes that work for the whole family. Juniper is happiest when she's eating what we're eating these days, and it felt very freeing to make his one-pan lasagna last night and have all three of us eat the same dish. The lasagna dish is probably my favorite recipe from the book, especially since it takes just 25 minutes to make! I also tried the peach rice pudding yesterday, which was a hit.
Speaking of food, we found out recently that Juniper has a peanut allergy. After a couple trips to a pediatric allergist, we've now determined that being a nut-free household is the best option for us. It feels scary to need to carry around an EpiPen everywhere, and while there's a small (20 percent) chance she'll outgrow the allergy, most likely Juniper will never get to experience Thai food or a simple PB&J, which feels so crazy to me. If any of you have dealt with peanut allergies, I'm looking for any great sites, books, or tips on raising a child with one. So far we've read a couple books including The Peanut Allergy Answer book, which we found really helpful.
And a few of our favorite bedtime reads: Petunia, Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late, and Freckleface Strawberry (by Julianne Moore — I found a signed copy at the John Derian shop.) The illustrations in these books are amazing. I don't mind at all reading them everyday to my sweet Juniper.