Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Our Girl is really eating up a storm these days! Despite a little hesitation on her part initially, she now whole-heartedly devours her meals. It brings us both great joy.

She has been eating 3 meals a day since about 7 months of age - now about half a cup of food per meal. I still have trouble finding guidelines about how much she "should" be getting, but she seems satisfied.

We are on to almost all finger foods, although she still gets fruit purees mixed in with her morning yogurt. Mainly because it is much easier for me to thaw 2 cubes of fruit and mix it with yogurt than to chop up a bunch of stuff for her to eat. I'm trying to store up some frozen plums and peaches/nectarines for the Winter months, since apples and pears and bananas get kind of boring.

I really waited to introduce meats until after 9 months, mainly because I thought it would be annoying to prepare and I thought she might not like it. I was wrong on both points.

My first meat attempt was to broil a chicken thigh and shred it very small for her. While it was very simple to cook, the shredding was irritating. I have a major fear of her choking and stringy meat was just too much.

So ... on to other recipes. I found some great ones at Nurture Baby that she really likes. I had a whirlwind weekend of cooking and made the Baby Bolognese, the Gobble Me Up Turkey, Lovely Lentils, Pork Chops and Applesauce and Vegetable Lasagna. She loves it all! And, it truly all tastes good - I would eat any of it.

Since she eats larger portions now, I froze everything in muffin tins. She can eat a whole portion of pasta for a meal, or I'll split the meat between two meals. My mother-in-law gave me a VeggiChop and it works GREAT for meat. I had used it some for fruits when she would eat them a little chunkier, but it shreds meat perfectly in small bites. A blender or cuisinart would puree the food too finely, I think, and she isn't quite ready for very small cubes.

On a related note, I am becoming much more aware of food issues as they relate to children. I love food, I love cooking and it is becoming increasingly important to me to pay attention to what I am eating and where it is coming from. I try to buy local or organic when possible, especially for Girly, and I really try to buy seasonal food (so, sniff sniff, then end of tomatoes and corn and all manners of tasty fruit is right around the corner).

The idea of "school food programs" is especially worrisome to me and something I am learning more about. They aren't all bad, but GOOD is also not a word I would use.

Here are some resources and websites that I find helpful / interesting:
Eat Well Guide: search for local farmers markets and sustainable food resources
Raising Foodies: this is a fun blog from a Dallas-based mom who is trying to get her girls to eat foods that don't come from boxes
School Lunch Talk: good updates on the status of school lunch and related legislation around the country
The Lunch Box: resources for healthy lunches - aiming to create a "tool box" for schools
Slow Food in Schools
Better School Food

Also, if you are at ALL interested in food and/or the environment, you should read The Omnivore's Dilemma. I am way late to the game on this one, but I had been reading about the book forever and finally picked it up. Truly eye-opening. I am by no means perfect when it comes to eating and the food we bring into our home. I have a serious weakness for fast food and french fries. BUT, I am paying attention and that is a good start.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Check it out

The nicest friend volunteered to lend us her daughter's old crib so our Girl would have a place to sleep at Grandmother's house while we are in Hawaii.

(Yes, Hawaii! I know I already gloated, but I'm doing it again. HAWAII!)

There weren't any instructions to put it together, and because I am anal and OCD, I needed some type of picture to show me where the 6 bolts went.

I googled the make and model to find an instruction book, and low and behold, the crib had been recalled this year.

It never would have occurred to me to check for that.

While it probably would have been fine, you just never know. And now, through a pretty simple process, I can get a brand new crib for FREE!

Something ridiculous like only 15-30% of recalled items are ever actually returned/fixed. The system to notify parents is not at all straightforward or comprehensive. YOU are the one who must be vigilant and pay attention.

Especially for the bigger baby gear that gets shared among friends, just do a quick search when the item rotates to your house. You will be protecting your baby and the ones down the line ...

US Consumer Product Safety Commission

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The world according to me

My current philosophy of parenting is as follows ....

Equal parts:
1. You are growing up too fast! What happened to my baby?
2. I love this age more than the one before! I am so proud of you!
3. This? What is this? I'll tell you what ... THIS is a pain in my ass.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Perfect Storm

Weaning + Development + ?Growth Spurt + Poor Naps = WHOA.

I'm finding 9 months to be a challenge. I think it is really the first glimpse into the rest of our lives - "constant vigilance" appears to be the theme. Those babies are full of trickery - just when you get past the sleep deprived stumbling and reach a place of relative calm, everything changes.

Don't get me wrong, I'm obviously thrilled that she is exploring and moving as expected, but it does take some getting used to. We finally rearranged all the furniture to make things more Girly-friendly. I'm happier not to have a running dialogue of "No. No. Don't touch that. On your bottom please. No Ma'am. You'll hit your head. That's not for you. Please don't touch that. No."

The weaning is going well. Really, better than expected. I'm also feeling fewer pangs of sadness that breastfeeding is coming to an end, and more excitement that the baby acrobatics, nose-grabbing and hitting me in the face while nursing is coming to an end. She is showing me that she is ready. I am, too.

I set up this prolonged weaning schedule, which has been fine, but may need to be expedited. On the days that I've dropped a feeding, I've usually had to pump once just a little bit for relief, and then the next day has been OK without pumping, and by the third day everything seems normal. One factor that I hadn't considered is that my milk supply also seems to be lower for the remaining feedings. So, this coupled with the baby distraction and acrobatics, makes me really question whether Girly is eating enough.

Exhibit A: Our Gal is waking up early. Early. I think it really started before I was full-on weaning, but she is routinely up in the 4's or 5's, which is just not tolerable. It's not everyday, but more days than not. And, she is screaming and mad, not her happy normal self. This usually indicates hunger, and when I've fed her, she will often go back to sleep, but not always. So, I don't know if this is a growth spurt, or that she isn't getting enough milk, or a sinister combination of both. I do know that I want it to be fixed.

Exhibit B: Naps are sucky these days. My former excellent napper has been ruined by daycare, I think. While she has always napped poorly at school (at least 1-2 hours less than at home), it never affected her home napping schedule. Now, it has. She is too young to go to 1 nap, but some days only takes two 30 minute naps. Not enough for me or her. I really feel that her explosion of developmental milestones is playing a role here: when she used to wake early, she might lay there and talk to herself and fall back asleep. Now, it becomes sitting up and crawling around and general "get me out of here-ness". I'll ride out the storm and hope it passes soon.

I hadn't mentioned the biting before, but should. Yes, biting. She bit me while nursing about a month ago for the first time. YEOWCH! After I hollered out in pain, I gave her a firm "NO!" and smacked her arm. I sat her up and she cried big, fat crocodile tears. Then smiled and giggled. Stink-er! It has happened fewer than 5 times, none of which were pleasant. I watch her mouth really closely and can see when she is about to bite me and I pull her off. I think it is boredom on her part.

Again, not something I'll miss.