Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Baby Purees O'Plenty!

I've been meaning to write about our adventures in homemade baby purees!! Yes, very, very exciting stuff here. For the baby's record though, I gotta write about this, plus, I'm a lil' proud of my efforts, gotta say. Offering nothing but fresh foods has been great for her health and my sense of accomplishment as a mommie.

So yeah, armed with nothing but Annabel Karmel's "Top 100 Baby Purees," I've spent the last 2 months dedicated to making our baby sweet potato's food from scratch, and I gotta say, it's wonderful! The only time she's eaten any store bought baby food is when we've been traveling out of town. Soon though, as her palate expands to include meats and cheese and more mixed food purees, we plan to be toting a baby grinder wherever we go-go.

Here's a list of her first baby food purees, starting with the first and so forth from there on:

1) Apple - the elementary baby food staple, of course
2) Sweet Potato - tastes like dessert, I swear - she loves it, of course.
3) Carrots and Sweet Potato - likes it fine, no big deal.
4) Petite Peas - her first favorite! No, really! Eat it right up, eager for each bite.
5) Pear - another staple mixed with cereal, likes it fine.
6) Broccoli and Peas - surprisingly, she eats it right up! - but results in BAD tummy bubbles, of course!
7) Banana - absolutely HATED it the first time, I mean really, really hated it = She cried!
8) Mango - can't eat it up fast enough, another favorite...
9) soooo we tried Mango with Banana - - but she wasn't a big fan of the mix, no fooling her.
10) Butternut squash - her very favorite to date! Have to admit it tastes really nummy.
11) Apple and Pear with Cinnamon - very tasty as well, like dessert.
12) Tried not-quite-so-ripe banana mashed with a fork = Success! However, it causes a lot of 'red-faced-n'-grunting' constipation, so we've given up on bananas for now...
13) Papaya, now eaten in tandem with the broccoli mix to help her digestion - she loves it!
14) Avocado - likes it fine, but the clothing stains are awful to treat, so it appears only once a week or less.
15) White corn - loves it, but only if warm... absolutely hates it if served cold.
16) Hodgepodge veggies - immediately HATED this mix = produced angry tears! Haven't tried it again since its introduction. [broccoli, carrots, corn, red pepper]
17) Foursome veggies - a total hit, warm or cold [peas, green beans, carrots, and limas]
18) Mango, Blueberries and Raspberries - may be her new favorite! And this may be TMI, but it's easily identifiable in her diaper the following day.
19) And today, while we're stuck at home together, sick, we're about to try the "Easy Pot Chicken" - - her first meat puree! Includes leek, carrots and sweet potato and some chicken broth...

She's gunna be eating better than we do!

About once every two weeks, I have a baby puree making extravaganza during which I might mix up 3-5 different purees while I'm doing some other kind of cleaning or cooking in the kitchen as well. Some food items requiring steaming while others just get thrown in the blender as is. I use silicone muffin pan forms for easy pop-out removal once frozen, and we just store the muffin cup 'disks' in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. The muffin pan also allows more portion size variance than when using an ice cube tray. One batch typically fills a 12-cup muffin pan, and we fill the muffin cups 1/2 way for some foods, like broccoli and berries, and to the top for larger portions.

When our lil' girlie was at six months of age, we began with one 1/2-disk usually mixed with a little baby cereal given around her dinnertime which is 5pm. After two weeks of that, she moved to a dinner of two 1/2-disks with some baby cereal, amounting to no more than a half-cup of food each night. At nearly seven months of age, she began having a 1/2-disk of fruit puree for 'brunch' around 10am while at daycare, which lasted for only a week. From there on until last week, she'd been given a 1/2-disk of some fruit puree mixed with some baby cereal for her brunch and a 1/2-disk of some veggie for an afternoon snack around 2:30pm. Her portions for brunch and her afternoon snack have both now increased to full-size disks. And for the past two weeks, her dinner has consisted of three 1/2-discs...

This next week, she will be EIGHT MONTHS OLD already?!? Holy schmoly, Batman!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We Can't Help It: We Miss the Boy-O Horribly

Man, I can't wait for Thanksgiving week to get here, dammit! We miss our angel boy-O sooo badly - - Tonight, after dinner, cleaning up around the kitchen, as my honey-man washed the cooking pans and dishes, it just hit me so hard that I yelled out loud at the ceiling that I miss him so much.

Late last month, I'd written over at our family blog that I wasn't going to write anymore about how much we miss him:

"...At the beginning of the October month, [the boy-O] had a 'fall break' from school, which allowed him to fly into Vegas on a Wednesday night and stay through to Sunday afternoon. IT WAS SOOOO WONDERFUL to have him for more than just a couple nights!!! We REALLY, REALLY loved having him for 4 nights and THREE WHOLE DAYS plus half of Sunday - - And of course, we were totally heartbroken when he had to leave us, as usual...

I'm not sure we're ever going to get used to the pain we feel when [the boy-O] leaves. We basically miss him all the time, and for the few days following his return home to [his mom n' step-dad], we actually feel a bit under the weather. It's emotionally and psychologically challenging, gotta say. I think that from now on, it should go without saying that it's ALWAYS hard to let him go EACH AND EVERY TIME, but that's the way it is, and I'm just not going to write about it or mention it anymore."
After the summer's over, we go month to month with one chance per month to see him, and each time we see him, it's just sooo freakin' bittersweet - - long enough to serve as a refresher as to what we're missing out on each and every day, yet never long enough to build upon any kind of family routine or to influence his daily habits. It's hard to find a good balance and the right attitude to take when it comes to our ability, or rather, our inability to parent him and be a family. And for me, it's hard to find my role in it at all, especially now, as he sees how involved I am with his baby sister and makes his own comparisons, although we've tried repeatedly to explain she's a dependent, needy little baby, and she does live with us everyday, so her life is about living with us, etc. etc. Hard stuff.

Man, this is such a loaded subject, I don't know where to go with it really, especially here, blogging, so I'll stop and leave it at this: I'm very happy the angel boy-O will be here for Thanksgiving. Although we saw him in UT for Halloween, he hasn't been to our home since that first weekend of October. It will be wonderful to have him here, sleeping in his bedroom, singing in the shower, getting popcorn all over the couch, hanging on the open refrigerator door, playing with the kids in our development, riding his bike with his dad... and to spend more than a flash-in-the-pan weekend together.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Eureka! We've Got Two Teensy Toothies!

This crazy week of sleepless nights now makes total sense: Our baby sweet potato girl is cutting her first pair of baby teeth, bottom, front and center, of course!

Yesterday morning, last night and this morning, I noticed sumthin' was a little off while we were nursing... I'd felt her gums, but nothing was there, but tonight, I was absolutely certain something was significantly different tonight, and so I stuck a finger inside her mouth again, against her lower gums, and viola, two teeny, tiny teeth have surfaced!

So yeah, tonight, finally --more like, duh!-- we've got baby ibuprofen working its blessed magic! And now? I'm going to bed, and hopefully, get me some sleep! Ga'nighty-night and sweet dreams!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


This morning, around 4am, our lil' baby sweet potato girlie woke up absolutely starving, or so one would have thought with all her squawking, until you turn on the light and see it can't possibly be the case, since she's a total butterball. So yeah, I was feeding her at 4am, lying in our bed with her -- I realize this is sooo not a good habit to get back into - I know, I know, - but she's been waking every 2-4 hours for the past FOUR NIGHTS IN A ROW and I just can't get up and stay in her room every time anymore, I'm so severely sleep deprived. The other night, staggering back to our bedroom from hers, I ran my side into our bedroom doorway with such force, I bruised my right upper arm and shoulder! But I digress...

The point of this post:
At 4:30am this morning, my honey-man woke me to point something out -- I honestly suspect I must have been snoring, and loudly, for him to have been awake. Again, I digress...

He told me I was surrounded: He was at my back, spooning me, the two kitties were lying together behing my knees, between us, and I was spooning our darling lil' baby girl, who was lying on her back, sound sleep; I was surrounded from all sides, and despite how tired I was, it was a perfect moment, and I am so grateful for my life.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Poor Cat Deely

Tonight's S.Y.T.Y.C.D., oh my: How can they dress that darling cutie-pie Brit, Cat Deely, like that? Poor girl.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

What Day Is It?

On Monday, I nearly dozed off while driving to work... my left eye twitched throughout the day (and it's still twitching today, this very moment). After picking up my baby girlie from her preschool/daycare, I fed her a lil' bit of pureed apples while she sat in my lap, the two of us sitting together in the passenger seat of my car, hoping to help her last until we'd get home from grocery shopping at Trader Joe's. Once we were home from our grocery shopping excursion, I began steaming some white corn to introduce a new baby food puree for her to try, and I put away the groceries while my lil' wee flower happily played at my feet, plopped on the kitchen tile. Otis swiped her with the side of his body at least twice and she was utterly delighted with the furry kitty contact. Then I fed her some more din-din (she loved the white corn!), while steaming 2 more batches of food for baby purees; another new one, 'hodgepodge' veggies, and one of her faves, green petite peas. She bathed her in the kitchen sink, and I sang several songs to her while dressing her for bed and rocking her in the glider chair she has in her bedroom. She was out like a light and in her crib by 7pm. To be honest, she was asleep by 6:40pm, but I just continued to hold her and rock her and sing to her. After she was down, I then cleaned all our bathrooms (2.5) from head to toe... the baseboards, tile floors, cabinet doors, drawers, toilets, sinks, counters, mirrors, glass, and light fixtures, and I changed out all the towels and shook all the rugs. I saved the trash for my honey-man, who handles the trash (and diaper pails) on Tuesday and Friday nights. And then I loaded and ran the dishwasher, and I prepped two 5-oz bottles and two baby food containers for the following day. [SEMI-RELATED TANGENT: Yup, for a little more than a week now, our baby girlie's been enjoying a cereal-fruit mix for 'brunch', and now, as of this Tuesday, she began having a veggies-mix for lunch, ready and rearing for more solids. END OF TANGENT.] And then I took a shower and threw myself into our bed around 1/4 to midnight. (Yes, I do need my head examined.) Our sweet potato girl only woke up once that night, to be fed around 2am.

And on Tuesday, um, Tuesday was loaded with stuff and I can't remember what right now... except that I'd initially eaten microwave popcorn as my dinner until my honey-man came home around 7:30pm, and said "oh no ya don't" and made us a real dinner. Oh yeah, I did the usual "pick-up-and-claim-my-darling-baby" thing after work, and once she n' I were home, we did the usual "feed-and-bathe-the-baby" thing, except she had a teething biscuit for the first time, which was a real hit, and then she and I, we had a bath together. She was soooo tired -and so cute- she actually began to nod off while in the tub! I tried to keep her up so my honey-man could see her when he got home, but by 6:30pm, she was totally limp-limbed and soundly asleep before I could even place her in her crib. After giving her up to her crib, I went downstairs to unload the dishwasher and to hand wash all her bottles n' food containers. I also swept the kitchen and downstairs tile, wiped down all the kitchen counters, and prepped her bottles and baby foods for preschool the next day, and took an early shower. As I've already mentioned, my honey-man came home and made us dinner, and then I tried to watch "So You Think You Can Dance," but I missed most of it while talking on the phone for nearly 2 hours. I think I was in bed by 11pm, and our sweet potato girl woke up only once that night, to be fed around 3am.

And yesterday, we did the whole "pick up, go home, feed baby, and bathe baby" thing, and then I tried, tried, tried to keep my baby sweet potato girlie up. And this time, she was totally up for it, happy to quietly play, waiting with me for her daddy to come home, even though she was seriously tired... here and there, she would lean forward to rest her head on my leg, or on my arm or in my lap or on my shoulder. My honey-man came home early though, 'round 6:30pm, and so we all had about 30 minutes together, playing and cuddling on her bedroom floor together. And she went to bed at 7pm without a single baby utterance of protest. Thereafter, mah honey-man and I, we had our dinner together, after which, we ate cookies, too many cookies. And soooo, I vacuumed the entire house, including the stairs. And I washed 3 loads of laundry. And some other things.

We were both in bed by 10pm last night - - a true rarity for either of us! Our sweet potato girl woke up twice, at midnight and 4am... arrhhhgg! The 2nd time she woke, you would have thought it was a bright sunny day underway, as she seemed ready for action, talking and squirming around and all smiling and all perky, but I knew too well what she was really doing... See, she doesn't like to miss out. My honey-man, he had brought her into our bedroom, and after I'd fed her, I had hoped she'd fall asleep right there where she laid beside me, but she knew she was there with the both of us, so she wanted to play with her mommie and daddy, patting our faces, trying to twist and turn herself so she could climb onto our sides. And then I caught her yawn not once, but twice in a row, confirming my suspicion, so I scooped her up to take her back to her bedroom. She was sooo darling! Once in my arms, on the way to her bedroom, she shut her lil' chattery yap and simply cuddled into my chest, ready for it and willing. I laid her back down in her crib and she smiled at me as she took her binky into her own hand and placed it in her mouth as she turned her head to right, away from me, and closed her little sleepy eyes and she was gone.

And tonight? It hasn't been quite so busy. I had planned to run to Smith's for some of our non-Trader Joe's items we like, but after picking up my lil' babe, holding her in my arms as we entered the lobby of her preschool, I just wanted to take her home and do nothing but be with her. Not until after she had eaten and bathed did I touch anything else. She was in her crib, fast sleep by 6:30pm; almost every part of her little being was begging to go to bed as early as 6pm. At one point, mid-bath, she actually began to whine and then cry, wanting to be on closer on her way towards bedtime.

My honey-man came home 'round 9pm, and because I was already upstairs, I didn't yell down to him, but waited for him to come up. Can I tell ya, he looks exhausted, as do I, too, apparently... I think last night's baby wakings really tapped us, but I think they may have really done one over him a bit more so because he said this to me as he flopped beside me on our bed, me with my laptop: "Two words... Go to bed early!"

It's now 10:27pm, and I can hear my baby girl's breathing is stuffed up, and for the last half hour, she keeps letting out a pained lil' moan every 10 minutes or so. Hmmm... I'm going to hop in the shower, after which, I hope to finally go to bed. I imagine she'll be up a couple times tonight.

P.S. Yesterday morning, my honey-man called me on our way to work to ask me if I'd remember to take my coffee with me to work... I hadn't... nor had he. We'd left behind a brand new, fresh, full pot of coffee.