Thursday, November 8, 2012


I believe we are all hard on ourselves as parents.  Constantly questioning whether our decisions are the best for our children.  Sometimes we need a little reminder that we should forgive ourselves for all of the "wrong" decisions we make.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

"The Mom Stays in the Picture"

I just wanted to pass along this wonderfully written article from another Mom who wrote some words that resonated with me.  Anyone who has had a baby knows that your body goes through some crazy changes during pregnancy.  It has been difficult at times for me to look in the mirror to discover my body changed so much in order to bring our daughter in to this world.  I am not ashamed of how I look, but I am hard on myself when my postpartum pictures are concerned.  No longer will I be because I know how much I treasure the few pictures I have of my family growing up.  I want that for my daughter as well.  Thank you, Allison Tate, for writing such a beautiful article!

Read Allison's article here:

P.S.  Grab some tissues before you read this one!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Baby Food Basics

It could have been our lack of enthusiasm for the rice cereal, or it could have been that it tastes awful to out daughter, either way the rice cereal was a complete whammy at our house.  We did, however, find some things that she simply adores!

I never though I would be so very excited to make baby food for our daughter.  We knew from the beginning that we were going to, I just never though I'd find so much joy in it.  Though watching Little Bean eat the things she likes is adorable and makes my heart flutter.  Even better is watching her tell us she dislikes something. 

At 7 months she is very adamant on the flavors she is not so fond of.  For instance she could not get enough of the avocado and banana Hubby made for her the other day.  She slurped it off of the spoon and kept practically begging for more.  It was not the same experience with peas and carrots.  She tried one bite (which she was so very excited to get in her mouth) and instantly spit it back out!  Then she tucked her chin to her chest, wouldn't look at either of us and refused to open her mouth for more.  I caved after trying to coax her for 5 more minutes and gave her some butternut squash with pears - which she loves!

The next concoction will be something with apples in it.  We've got a few that are in need of using before they are no longer good to eat.  I'm thinking of putting them with some pumpkin because we know she really likes that already.  Plus it is fall and those two are made for each other!

Prior to our baby-food-making experience we searched the internet for tips and hints on the basics.  What to put together.  How to prepare the food so it is safe.  How long to store the food.  How to properly store the food.  Then we realized if we're feeding her what we are eating we do it all the same!  It was like some sort of epiphany! 

Here's what we do to make our baby food:

1.)  Cook anything to the normal specifications.  Examples: I boiled 2 cups of fresh carrots until they were soft.  I boiled peas until they were the temperature we would normally eat them at.  Fruits I left raw because that's how we eat them.  We have not yet introduced meats.  When we do I'll post about it.

2.)  Put the cooked or raw food in to the food processor or blender.  *I feel a disclaimer is needed here.  There are a few very cute baby food machines on the market.  They are expensive and come with many, many pieces.  We use our food processor (which we already owned) or a blender (which we already owned).  Either has work perfectly and I know you can get regular blenders for less than those fancy pants baby blenders.*

3.)  Push that button until your baby food is mashed sufficiently!  That's right.  Make it good and mushy.  We discovered our daughter does not currently like the chunks so we just make sure that there aren't any.  Once we reach that point it is blended well enough for us.

4.)  Scoop the baby food in to ice cube trays and freeze.  Once frozen remove from the ice cube tray, put in to a storage container of your choice and label when you made it so there are no questions.  For us plastic freezer bags work perfect.  I can write on them what is inside and the date. 

5.)  When it is time for baby to eat thaw a cube or two.  Stir and serve.  Baby will thank you for putting in so much effort and for making such good food for them!  We take out some cubes in the morning which allows them to thaw in time for lunch and dinner.  I warm her food to just above room temperature that way it isn't cold.  We've saved money, time and effort since we're just making extras when we cook for us!

Have you got any other tips or tricks you'd like to add?  Please share!

Here are the combinations that we have tried. I'll make a separate post about all of them later so it will be a quick resource for anyone interested.  If you add any combinations I'll put them on, too (just leave your name and/or link so I can give you credit!!)

1/2 of an Avocado + 1 Banana (made about 6 ounces, not an ice cube tray full)
1.5 cups Peas + 2 cups Carrots (made more than an ice cube tray full)
1 Avocado + 1 Pear
2 cups Butternut Squash + 1 Pear

Have you got any great combinations to share?  Please do!  Don't forget to leave your name so I can give you credit!

Happy baby-food-making!


After a very different few weeks here at the house I think we may just be able to fall back in to our routine again.  Which means more time to get to the things I have been wanting to do - like catch up blogging : ) I've got some pretty stellar Pinterest posts.  I'll get them up as fast as possible because I'm sure your mouth will be watering when you see what I've cooked up.  There is also a couple baby related topics I'd like to get out there for some advice and to possibly help other parents out in the process.  So after too long of a break let's get to business!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

As a Mom I'm Quite Crappy!!

After this photo sparked a gigantic debate for being posted on Life with Levi's Facebook page an astounding number of Moms (and a few Dads) have spoken up about the awful, ignorant and downright rude comments that came from other parents.  The comments were directed towards any parent who had chosen/would choose to circumcise their son.  The comments were hurtful.  The comments were disgraceful.  The comments were unnecessary.  I completely understand that there are parents out there who choose not to circumcise for their own personal reasons, but there are also parents out there who choose to circumcise for their own personal reasons.  Who is anyone to judge whether or not a parent is a good parent based solely on this practice?  I agree that everyone is 100% entitled to their own opinion, but those opinions DO NOT need to be so blatantly hurtful to other individuals.  I feel that as adults we should be able to support each other, especially in the parenting community, through our differences in child rearing.  The purpose of this photo was to highlight the different choices these four particular women made in raising their children and how each is still loving their child unconditionally.  I feel like this is an easy task for any parent - loving their child unconditionally.  "Let's celebrate that."

Joining the other inspiring "Moms who are Crappy" here is my list of why I just don't cut it as a perfect Mom:

-  I had a mostly all natural birth. 

-  Labor and delivery for me was 4 hours and 45 minutes from first contraction to holding my daughter.  I'm happy about that because I don't know if I could have gone all natural if I had had a long labor.

-  I yelled at my husband (which made the doctor laugh) during delivery.

-  I needed stitches (because my daughter came out in 4 pushes) and while I was getting them I cried (it hurt so much worse than actually having the baby) and had to hand off my daughter to my Husband.

-  My daughter was away from me after birth for over an hour (Hubby was with her) and the nurses took her both mornings for inspection by the doctor for about an hour.

-  I stayed in the hospital as long as they would let me.

-  I asked for and received help from lactation consultants.

-  My daughter had been exclusively breast fed up until last week when we tried solids.

-  I plan on continuing to nurse my daughter until we both feel it is time to stop.  At which point she will most likely have pumped breast milk in her diet.

-  My daughter dislikes rice cereal so we are not going to make her eat it anymore.

-  I try very hard to eat healthy because whatever I eat, she gets through my milk.

-  My daughter had to be in the hospital for jaundice at 3 days old.  After the worst night of my life - watching her scream and cry herself hoarse and not being able to hold her or console her (yeah, try nursing a baby you aren't supposed to hold) - I yelled at the head doctor of the hospital and two residents.  They were a little more understanding after that and finally made her a little more comfortable.  

-  The first food our daughter had was pumpkin (because I had some left from the can I used to bake with).  Which she loves.

-  My daughter wakes me up every morning.  Sometimes, after I nurse her in the morning, we sleep a little longer snuggled up in bed together.

-  My daughter's first night in her own room was 3 nights ago.  I cried like crazy!

-  I shower (or take a bath) with my daughter every single night. (YAY for conserving water & time!)

-  My daughter is sleeping by 8:00 every night.

-  My daughter sleeps about 11 hours a night....

-  My daughter wakes up 2 - 5 times to nurse during the night.  I do not make her cry herself back to sleep hungry and alone.  I nurse her and she happily goes back to sleep with a full belly.

-  My daughter is dressed in a little girl outfit, with matching bow and socks, every single day.

-  I wear my daughter as often as possible when we are out.

-  My daughter wears an Amber Necklace around her neck and has worn it on some body part since she was two months old.

-  My daughter loves her binkies (pacifiers).

 -  My daughter is, and will continue to be, vaccinated.  

-  I plan most of my outings around her nap time (though we sometimes run late getting home).  I do this because she sleeps better at home than in the car seat (plus she is a social butterfly so she won't sleep if people are around!). 

-  I do every silly thing I can think of just to make my daughter smile.

-  I sing every song, read every book and recite every poem I can to my daughter because she responds to it and it makes her smile.

-  I give my daughter hundreds of kisses a day.

-  I say "Please" and "Thank You" to my daughter as often as possible so she learns her manners.

-  When I need a minute (or 15) from my daughter, and Hubby is not around, I put her in a baby toy (exersaucer, bouncy chair, swing etc.) and go about my business while she is contained.

-  I cry when I pack up my daughter's clothes that she has grown out of.

-  I buy only clearance or used toys and clothes for my daughter.

-  I don't have a calendar dating every milestone my daughter has reached.

-  I don't have a baby book filled with pictures.

-  I don't plan on hovering over her when she gets bigger.

My daughter is only 6.5 months old so I know this list will get much, much longer as time goes on.  For now it really appears that I am one "CRAPPY" Momma!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Little Bit of Rice, Please.

Our daughter has finally reached the point where she needs more than breast milk.  We had visions of being part of the Baby Led Weaning movement, but our daughter has had plans otherwise.  We do still intend to feed her whatever we are eating, we may just have to mush it up a little more than we had originally planned.  We also had not planned on using rice cereal - at all.  Studies have been done that prove it disintegrates much faster in breast milk than in formula.  Thus, baby is hungry again sooner even with the rice cereal.  We just wanted to skip over it like so many people we've read have done.  Even our doctor was behind us on the decision.  Well, as all parents should be aware, plans changed.

Our little lady decided about a month ago that she wanted to eat more during the night.  No more nights of almost 6 hours straight before she woke up the first time.  She was getting up around 5 times and it was becoming more and more the longer time has gone on.  Last night she woke 7 times in 11 hours.  This is not a good sleep pattern for anyone and it makes for a very cranky Momma, Baby and Daddy.  I need more than 1 - 2 hours at a time, otherwise I just feel ill when I do have to get up and function.  I don't need much, 4 - 5 hours of solid sleep would be a blessing. 

When the doctor asked us today at our well baby visit if we had any questions I posed this one to him.  He gave us the same remedy we had heard from so many others - rice cereal.  Just for a few nights before bed mixed with some breast milk then add in veggies and switch it over to just the veggies once she has the hang of it.  So, tonight, we're giving it a go.  Hopefully we all get some much needed rest tonight.  

We do both realize there is nothing bad or wrong with rice cereal.  We just did not see a point of giving her something to help her stay full if it would disintegrate so quickly and she'd be hungry again within the same amount of time as if she had only breast milk.  (You should check out the videos on You Tube documenting the tests.  It really is impressive to see the difference!)  We would rather it be something with a little flavor and those wonderful healthy vitamins to help her stay full longer.

Here's to using that old Scientific Method way of determining if it will work for us ; )

What plans change for you and your little ones regarding the starting of solids?  Did any of your visions change or were your plans carried out exactly as you had foreseen?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mom Art

Sometimes we just need a reminder.  I may not have as many years or children under my belt as so many other ladies out there, but I do need the words that it takes time.  Before our daughter it was so easy to be selfish with my time.  Now to give it all up, in the quest to find what works best for us here, in our home, is a rather humbling experience.  Even at 6.5 months old our little girl has taught us the importance of taking our time, moving slowly and above all patience - like we had never needed before now.

What are the virtues your little one has helped you to find again and again?