foodforthebees

An update: A few minutes after I wrote this post, the other mom pulled her baby out of her stroller, and she was even more tiny than the first! Maybe four or five weeks. I was about to go over and tell them both how wonderful they were doing, but out of nowhere the cafe got super busy and they packed up and left. I was really bummed.

And now, onto the adventures of training a seven-month old how to bottle feed. The bottle we are using is this one from Comotomo (associate link). He seems to like it. It is very boob-like and squishy all around. He enjoys holding it, which seems to be the key for him, in terms of wanting to eat from it. 

In terms of strategy, we’re just waiting him out. I go away, and either my husband or his nanny tries to feed him. Yesterday was day three, and our amazing nanny (who–when I got home Tuesday–was standing up and holding him on her knee, Captain Morgan style, in an attempt to get him to eat) left feeling really positive about the situation.

But here’s the weird thing. Both times she has tried to feed him, Tuesday and Wednesday, he has fallen asleep, not once, but twice, during his snack sessions. This is insane because as you might remember, this boy doesn’t sleep. His naps are at best 30-minutes two or three times a day. Yesterday, during her first attempt, he slept for 45 minutes. And then after her second attempt, he slept for another 30. I have two theories. My first is that he is attempting to use the naps as a way to get out of a stressful situation. My second is that the nipple is allowing the milk to come out too fast and that it is causing him a little sugar coma, like it did when I was struggling with oversupply.

Which leads me to my next problem: I can no longer pump. Almost nothing comes out. Has anyone ever retrained their boobs to pump after five months of no pumping? If it carries on, I think we might have to switch him over to formula, or maybe goat’s milk? I have no idea. If all goes according to plan he’ll be nearly nine-months old when I start this position. I can’t imagine he’ll take to formula easily at that point! Advice is, as always, welcome!

And I hope you get some time to yourself lady. I know how that goes. Good luck!

10

the gray blanket of the morning had entirely lifted by the time I walked down the driveway and into the backyard of a little unassuming home in NE Portland. A simple handmade banner that simply read KINFOLK Workshop told me that I was in the right place. When I reached the backyard and saw the little clusters of people engaging in conversation, the table laden in herbs and honey pots, the blankets and rugs spread out on the grass and the hives in the distance, I was even further assured. I arrived exactly on time, just as the clock was transitioning from 12:59 to 1:00, but we waited, nonetheless, to allow for potential stragglers and in the meantime, we chatted in the shade of one the the yards many impressive trees. I met and heard some of the story of Damian Magista, beekeeper extraordinaire and founder of Bee Local which brings fresh honey, harvested from hives all over the Portland area to people all over the country. I met our lovely hostess, Julie Pointer, who, which immense craftsmanship and grace, plans and executes all the Kinfolk events and gatherings, as well as coordinates the satellite events that are held world-wide. I met Laura Dart of Dart Photographie, whose beautifully genuine photographs can be found on the pages of Kinfolk as well as many other platforms. Of course, I also spoke with Julia, a friend, recent graduate of  OCAC and a now an intern for Julie. We talked of art and school, coffee shops in Louisville, travel and islands off the coast of Washington, where Mollie, another workshop attendee, lived.

When we were all assembled, we ventured into the hives, with Damian as our guide and educator. He imparted more information than I can possibly relay; needless to say it was enlightening. All those who know me, which is quite probably most of you who are reading this, no doubt know of my deep-seated love for honey. Indeed, the title of this blog is a testament to it. To be able to see the inner workings of the hive, hear even more remarkable things about bees than that which I already knew, to be able to hold a portion of their hive in my hands, closely observing their incredibly little bodies working tirelessly at the task at hand, was, for me, a transient experience. My fingers were covered in the bright yellow waxy resin sap concoction that the bees use to seal their hives and I didn’t even wish to attempt to remove it. I could have stayed with the hives for hours, watching in awe, smelling the smoke from the smoker, tasting the honey straight from the comb. But the bees were ready to be left alone so we returned to our patch of grass where we sampled honeys from all over the globe. Unfathomably distinct as the each were, it seemed impossible to chose a favorite until I tasted the creamed honey from a nunnery in northern California and then my heart was stolen. Quite possibly the most beautiful thing i have ever consumed.

The sweetness continues with a meal; bread and cheese crackers and rose-hip chamomile infused honey and tea and wine and plums and apricots filled with ricotta and topped with nuts, fresh baked short breads with vanilla icecream and peaches. In true Kinfolk fashion, the presentation of it all made it ALMOST hard to take utensils to it, but the guarantee of deliciousness made it irresistible. And indeed it was delicious. We ate, and conversations continued. I met Tina who was in town from Tokyo and hosts all the Kinfolk events there, and her friend who was visiting from Seattle. And I met two very kind young men here from Japan to study at PSU who spoke beautiful broken English.

We all spoke and ate until eventually, the time came to part ways. We each left with a little burlap bag that contained our own pot of honey in the beginning staged of being infused with the herbs we chose (in my case lavender and chamomile), a honey stick, a sprig of rosemary, a bees wax candle and handprinted cards with a beautiful image of bee & hive on the front and instructions for honey infusions on the back.

I left that back yard full. Of food, of good conversation with good people, of beautiful imagery, of the sweetness of life.