Thursday, May 20, 2010

What To Feed The Baby?

Here are some things I feed my beginning eaters. Use your own discretion regarding your child's readiness for certain foods. Different kids are aready for different stuff at different times.
-Egg yolk; to make it easy just fry an egg without breaking the yolk. Cook all the way through. Cool and peel out the disk shaped yolk and give it to baby as a finger food. It's like a little egg yolk cookie and separating the white from the yolk AFTER it's cooked is alot easier and more thorough. These were a favorite with both of my babies from about 7 months on.
-Toast with fruit babyfood spread on it instead of jelly. Jelly is so high in sugar and a nice babyfood fruit puree tastes just as delicious to your baby. I cut the toast in strips, usually about 5 strips per slice, to make it more baby-friendly. Make sure baby can chew well enough to eat toast before trying this out.
-Popcorn; you should NOT give your baby popcorn in it's freshly-popped glory, or if you do not fully understand my explanation here. The popcorn seed explodes it's fluffy white insides out, but the outer hull of the seed is still attached to the side of the popcorn. The hull can get stuck in anyone's throat, adults included, and cause them to choke. IF you ever feed a baby popcorn, you should REMOVE the hull, and anything that looks like it's related to the hull, and ONLY feed the soft fluffy white part to your baby. So if you're watching TV and baby is mooching your popcorn, don't let her stick her hand in the bowl and have at it. Take a kernel and bite off everything but the fluffy white part. The fluffy white part will melt in baby's mouth just exactly like one of those Gerber puffs will so follow the safety instruction for the Gerber puffs when feeding your baby the "modified" popcorn: Only feed to a baby who can sit without assistance, is seated, supervised, can pick small objects up with two fingers, and can chew cheerios and Gerber puffs with no problems. Again, feed your baby popcorn AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION. Some babies might be ready for it and some might not be ready until they are 2 or 3. You know your baby so use your noggin. ;)
-Shredded meat. My babies ate finely shredded chicken as soon as they were old enough to pinch food and get it to their mouths. I shredded it hair-fine and then spread it around their plate so they couldn't pick up very much at a time.
-Peas. I buy the frozen kind and then when I want to feed baby some peas I use a little juice strainer to scoop out a good amount. I then run hot water over the strainer full of peas for a minute until the peas are thawed through. When they were first learning to eat before there were many teeth to speak of, I would pinch each pea to break the skin so it would moosh when they bit down instead of sliding down the throat whole. As they got proficient at eating I stopped pinching peas and just dumped the strainer out on their highchair tray and let them have at it.
-Bananas. It's tricky for a little tot to hand onto something as slippery as a little cut piece of banana. And if you give them a whole peeled banana they've squeezed the bottom end into slime long before they ever eat down that far. So I devised a trick for bananas. Cut the banana in half. Take one half, and cut the peel away about an inch down so that there are no floppy peel parts hanging out but the banana is peeled for exactly one inch but has the peel on the rest of it. Now, providing your baby doesn't approach bananas like corn on the cob, they will theoretically be able to hold onto the banana and eat that top 1 inch that is peeled. When they've eaten that inch down you can take it and cut off the peel for another inch down. You'll have to supervise them of course so you can peel further before they start gnawing on the banana peel. ;) Leaving the peel on all but the one inch end protects the banana from being squeezed into oblivion by a tiny tot that doesn't know their own strength yet. ;)

-Cheese. My babies loved cheese so much that if I diced it up they would put too many pieces in their mouth and not chew what they had until their mouth was so full of cheese they could not chew or swallow. So I would just cut a slice slab of cheese off the block that was about 1/3" thick, and then cut that slab into 1/3" sticks. My babies did so much better with those because I gave them one at a time and they would have it in their hand so they were not fascinated by repeatedly grabbing and stuffing tiny dices into their mouths, they were instead fascinated with passing the cheese from hand to hand and examining it from all angles - meanwhile they were chewing the bite they had and not realizing it. Sneaky. Plus it taught them how to take a bite off something in a world where all baby food items are mooshy or finely chopped. ;)

A typical menu for my under 1 year babies was,
YoBaby Yogurt & Organic Banana
Baby oatmeal with Peach Babyfood mixed in
Peas & Egg Yolks
Veggie Babyfood and Cheese

Puffs or whatever other Gerber baby snack I had a serious coupon for, Cheerios, Peas, Toast, Rice Rusks, Fruit, Cheese, and/or YoBaby.

Some variation of what we were having for dinner. I would usually take out some meat and noodles and veggies for the baby before I put whatever sauce or seasoning into the meal for the rest of us. When they were teeny I used babyfood or ground up our meal (minus sauce/spices) in the Magic Bullet, but they love to feed themselves once they can pinch things up so after that I just let them as much as possible.
One thing I learned was that babies don't really mind the repetition, it's us grown ups that do. I have fed my kids a banana or YoBaby for (and later as a side dish to) breakfast almost every day since they were born and they gobbled up their banana this morning like it was ice cream, not like it was something they are tired of. I think there are things they don't like, and they might tolerate them for a while before staging a revolt, but I also think that strategic repetition can get babies who hate a food to like it eventually. Of course that theory did NOT work for my kids with baby cereal. No kidding I tried and tried and you'd have thought I was trying to poison them the way they acted. I could get Chicklet to eat ONLY the oatmeal kind and ONLY if it was mixed with a heavy dose of peach puree, but that only lasted so long before she refused to eat even that. Bug wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole no matter what. But then he pretty much didn't like food at all until... well hey come to think of it he's still not overly fond of food. It's a good day when he finishes one whole meal over the course of the day. He'd rather play with it, which I won't tolerate (another post altogether!) so it's lucky for him I offer lots of snack opportunities if he's only gonna eat 5 bites each time before I have to remove the leftovers to save them from floordom. He's probably healthier than the rest of us with his 5 bites every 2 hours. I read somewhere that grazing is the healthier way to eat...
But I digress... what I was getting at was that we have to be careful not to accidentally make our kids picky by stressing out about giving them more variety lest they get sick of something. I know it's hard, and we get bored seeing the same thing go in their mouth all the time, but really eating alot of a few healthy things is not going to make your kids picky or not picky. But if they see you worrying that they'll reject something because it's the 7th morning in a row that you've fed them some flavor or another of YoBaby, they'll start to pick up on that and think they're supposed to reject it. And if they eat all fruit one day, all protein the next, all starch and dairy the next, and all veggies the 4th day, well then that really is fine. They covered their bases just fine over those 4 days. No big deal.
And another thing I've been thinking on is a mistake I made with Chicklet. I would encourage her to finish her jar of babyfood if she had only 2 bites left and was acting full. I should have just let her stop when she acted full and tossed the 2 bites. Really. She's doing much better at listening to her own fullness cues now than she was 6 months ago, I'm pleased to say. ;) Although tonight we had corn on the cob for dinner and I think ALL of us, Bug included (little mister 5-bites ate almost a whole cob! Yes a whole one! Himself!), got a little carried away just because it was sooooo delicious! So moral of the story, if they're acting full it's best to just throw those last 2 bites away or save them for next time. Better to learn earlier than later how to stop when you're full.

This post is linked up to my Thursday Question! Please go HERE to see the original question and add YOUR post or read others' thoughts on this subject!

Question Thursday!

Just because your blog isn't as well-known as some thousand-plus-follower blogs out there doesn't mean you don't have good ideas and good advice! And I want to hear it. It's question Thursday! ;) There are 2 ways to participate.
1) Answer in the comments! Just comment on this post with your answer. Simple. Easy.
2) Participate in the Blog Hop! Blog a post that answers this week's question and then click "get the code!" to add the SAME Linky list to the bottom of your blog post. When you're done, add your own link to the Linky list and it will show up on ALL the participating Linky lists. That way if someone enjoys the topic being discussed, they can "hop" from blog to blog using the linky list and might decide to follow some blogs they didn't follow before.
-You may answer or link any time within the week following the question post- for as long as the Linky is still open you may still add posts/answers. If you have an old post/posts that answer the question and you would like to link those up that's fine, but please come back for a future question Thursday with a fresh post, to be fair. ;)

~Question Thursday!~
Topic: Meal Plans, Infants/Toddlers
Do you meal plan? What does a typical menu plan look like at your house? Do you plan breakfast and lunch too or just supper? These are just to get you started. The question I would like to see addressed is what to plan/ meal ideas for little kids, particularly babies and toddlers, and more specifically for breakfast and lunch as I think those are where people get the most stuck. What are some safe, healthy, yummy, bitty-finger-friendly meal and snack ideas for the learning-eaters and/or preschoolers?


May Giveaways! 
First, here are some awesome giveaways I have found! Check back frequently as I will be removing the ones that are over and adding new giveaway links as I can! Please click on a date to see a few select giveaways ending on that date.
Giveaways By End Date:
May 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
June 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Linky Time!
••Other blogs' Linky lists of giveaways:
- (Ongoing) Ice Fairy's Treasure Chest
-(Sunday) Take Time To Smell The Rose and A Giveaway Everyday
-(Tuesday) Two Of A Kind Working On A Full House, Real Heart Prints and Shawn Anne's World
-(Wednesday) Wee Finds
-(Thursday) Piece of ME and I Thode You So
Your turn! :) MckLinky up!
In the space that says Link Title, remember to include 3 things: YourBlogName - Giveaway Title [End date]. Does not have to be in that exact order but I do need all three in some order or another please. Link to the giveaway post specifically, not just to your blog in general.
PLEASE make sure you follow these easy instructions so it is easy for me to maintain and easy for people to view and use. Alot of people have not been doing this and it makes maintaining the list much harder and more time consuming for me. This is not an unreasonable request in the least: most giveaway linkups require this same format. You can use proper format and copy and paste it the same (proper) way to all the linkys you use. If this gets too hard for me to maintain due to people not doing this as I have asked, I will stop fixing them and have to instead delete any that I don't have the time to fix. So you see why it's not only courtesy but is also important to use the BlogName-GiveawayName[EndDate] format. (In any order. You can do End Date - Blog name - Giveaway or Giveaway - End date - Blog name or whatever as long as they are all in there.)
ALSO please note: I will immediately delete any entries that are innapropriate and further links from that blog may be deleted if I don't have time to screen them. A good way to look at it is if you wouldn't want your 13 year old daughter to have one or read the review in your words then DON'T LINK IT HERE. This is supposed to be a family friendly blog and when I've got people posting giveaways for 'romantic props' or something it is extremely embarrassing and upsetting to find that on my blog where my friends' innocent children could see it.
Your link WILL BE DELETED IF it links to a post that:
**Contains profanity, nudity, or inappropriate inuendo.
**Does not contain a blog giveaway.
**Endorses abortion, divorce, adultery, or things that are anti-God, anti-moral absolutes, anti-ten commandments, etc.
**Endorses a product/company that endorses abortion, divorce, adultery, or things that are anti-God, anti-moral absolutes, anti-Biblical commandments, etc.
**Is not appropriate for an innocent child to view.
This is what I believe in, and to allow links on my blog that go against that is something that I cannot do in good concience.

Entries will stay on the list until they expire (until the giveaway ends).
I will try to delete expired giveaways daily to keep this list fresh and easy to view.
I will create a new list each month. This MckLinky list will run May 1st-31st. Check back June 1st for a new list.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My monitor is going out, modem too.

So just before Christmas when my husband got me a new computer to replace my old dying one, I declined to have him get me a new monitor too. I like my monitor and it was familiar and reliable! So I thought. Well the last couple weeks my modem has been overheating and my monitor starts getting all twitchy like it's having a seizure and then blacks out. *sigh* So despite a new and working computer tower, I may be vanishing soon and for an indeterminable amount of time due to monitor and/or modem issues. Just thought you should know. *sigh*

"I yie you, Mama!" - Toddler Tales Tuesday

5/9 - 5/12 we were out of town visiting family. That is why no Toddler Tales Tuesday got posted last week - sorry about that! I didn't feel comfortable announcing that we'd be out of town before it happened. Our neighbor spotted a prowler in the yard between our houses the previous week so we've been a bit more cautious than usual lately. ;)

5/13 Put Buggie (1 yr, 9 mnths) to bed and Chicklet (3 yrs, 8 mnths) asked out of the blue if she could go play in the basement. Now, the basement is fully finished and the main room down there is full of the kids' larger toys. I haven't taken the kids down there to play in months because they have toys upstairs too and I just rotate with the ones in the basement when things get boring. So I was kind of caught off guard when she asked to play in the basement, but didn't have a problem with it. Maybe it would keep her busy and quiet until she was tired enough to join her brother. I took her down there and we did a spider-check and turned on all the lights and I went back upstairs to work on laundry from the trip. 20 minutes later she still hadn't surfaced but the sound of her happy humming could be heard from the top of the stairs. I called down to her to ask what she is doing, and she told me she's cooking some yummy food in the toy kitchen. :) She walked to the bottom of the stairs to show me her plastic culinary creations and then dissappeared back around the corner. After a bit, I was in the living room at the computer and I heard her come up the stairs. She walked past me, telling me she's going to bed now, happily blew me a kiss and went to bed. If you know my daughter at all you know bedtime is almost always a big drama production so I sat there with a perplexed look on my face for a good while wondering who was this child and what did she do with my daughter! Lol!

5/14 Went for a drive as a family and at a stop sign on the edge of town, we were next to a home with a nice big peacock pecking around the front yard near the road. I told Chicklet to look out the window and see the big blue peacock! She looked out and I could tell the second her eyes found it because they bugged out in amazement and her mouth hung open! Lol! I really wish I'd had my camera to get a shot of her expression. :) The next morning, 5/15, Chicklet started out the morning by drawing pictures that she informed me were peacocks.

5/17 As I'm typing this up right now for tomorrow, I looked down at Buggie, who is laying on the floor at my feet in a pile of toys, slurping on his sippy cup. I smiled at him, he smiled back. I took some pictures. I told him "I love you!" and he replied, for the first time ever, "I yie you, Mama!" *melt*

If you have a sweet, cute, or funny Toddler (or kid) story, I'd love it if you'd share it! :)
If you would like to post a Toddler Tales Tuesday on your blog, please leave a link to your post in my Linky below, AND post the code for this blog hop in your Toddler Tales Tuesday post! Commenting on at least one of the other linked posts would delight the writer of said post I'm sure - hint hint! ;) The linky will remain open for 2 weeks following the date of this post in case you want to add a post late.
If you don't have a blog or would prefer it, you may share your toddler tales here in the comments.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Camera found, Family visited, Memories made!

It's been a very busy past week and a half here! :) First of all, my husband took last week off work because Monday was our anniversary! Mother's Day was, as I'm sure you know, on Sunday. I am not sure if I mentioned this on here or not but it seems the second I hit 20 weeks pregnant, that's when the contractions started, and sometimes they HURT like crazy. Now you should know this is typical for me to spend the last few months contracting. With Buggie I spent pretty much the whole pregnancy scared that he was going to refuse to wait and be a preemie. There were alot of real bad scares . Then I hit the magical "safe zone" of 36 weeks and the contractions just... stopped. He wound up being born 2 days "late." This time it kind of caught me off guard when the contractions got so painful at 20 weeks because they hadn't been very often or painful during the first half. It made me realize that I need to make it a priority to go see my mom ASAP - before I'm too far into my incessant-painful-contraction phase to be driving through miles and miles of uninhabited prarie. So we made our plans to drive up on Mother's Day and stay for a few days so I could spend some quality time with my mom.

The drive on Sunday went better than expected. Buggie does not ride in the car well so we had some ...moments... and he wouldn't take a nap for longer than a few minutes at a time. But I was expecting way worse so I'm thankful it went as well as it did. We arrived at my parents' house at dinnertime and there was a family BBQ in progress for Mother's Day. My inlaws, and my sister's inlaws were there, as well as us and my sister's family. My baby brother lives out of state now so he was not there. The BBQ was great and it was nice to see everyone at once. The only bad thing was how bad it seemed to wear my mom out. The last "guests" left at nearly 11pm and by that time my kids were already in bed and hubby and I were eager to join them. My poor mom sleeps in a chair in the living room so she looked absolutely exhausted by the time she was able to go to sleep.

I had found my camera to take on the trip but, other than snapping a few scenery pics out the car window on the way, I was so used to not having it that I sadly forgot to take pics of most of our time up there. :(

Monday, our anniversary, we visited my husband's parents in the morning and then drove an hour to another city so hubby could visit his brother and I could meet up with a friend. Actually I've known this friend for years but only on the internet and telephone so it was a real treat to finally get to meet her in person. :) Her kids and mine had so much fun together and I really enjoyed our visit! Here's my car all packed full of kids, aren't they cute? My 2 are on the left and my friend's girls are on the right. I was walking around the front of the parked car to buckle Chicklet in as my friend snapped this pic. :) (So in case you're wondering why she's the only one not buckled in, that's why- I hadn't waddled my preggo self all the way around the car yet!)

After that we took a drive across the state line to see the house my sister is trying to buy. Then all the way back to my inlaws, and left the kids with them for an hour or so while hubby and I went out to a quick Chinese dinner for our anniversary. Happy 8 blessed years to us! :) Then we zoomed back to the inlaws to pick up the kids and drove back up in the mountains to my parents' house and went to bed. It was a reeeeeeeally long day but a a good day! :)

The next day my hubby was in and out. He went out varmint hunting and took a drive and went to town for milk. Me and the kids spent all day just hanging out with my mommy (and my dad when he wasn't working!). It was so wonderful to be able to spend a whole day with her! Again, I wish I'd been better about remembering my camera and taking more pictures! I did get some of Chicklet doing a puzzle with Grammie and Grampy:

And hubby got a few of Buggie and I -Buggie was "flying" in case you were unsure. ;)

Bug got a tremendous kick out of the hummingbirds at my parents' feeder. He was running round their front yard giggling and shouting "Zoom! Zoom! Catch 'em! Catch 'em!" while clapping his hands in the air in the general direction of the zooming hummingbirds. Of course I forgot I had my camera until we were all back inside and Bug was busy with the toys and had forgotten the birds. I did take a couple pics of the hummingbirds once I finally remembered the existence of my camera.

The next day, Wednesday, we made the long trip home.

I took this pic at a rest area because the cloud shadows looked really awesome on the prarie below. Don't let the snow fool you; it was a nice warm day with a cool wind.

The kids did AMAZING on the drive! I think Bug only had one meltdown the whole way home! And Chicklet didn't have a single potty accident the whole time we were away from home! We were so proud of them!

I hope you enjoyed my little recap with a boatload of pics! Or perhaps you did not; so sorry to have bored you half to death! ;)

P.S. Don't forget tomorrow is Toddler Tales Tuesday! I'd be tickled pink if you would join me in posting the cute things our toddlers say and do!

If I gain their hearts but loose the war on clutter...

~Mommy Moments Monday~
Lessons learned and memories made.

Last night I should have been making supper. I should have been unloading the clean dishes. I should have been switching my load of laundry to the dryer. I should have been vacuuming the stairs. I should have been sweeping the bathroom. I should have been getting after the kids to pick up their toys.

But I wasn't. I was sitting right here in this chair with some music plaing on my computer, holding my 21 month old son. My sweet little snuggle-Bug. He was drinking his sippy cup and leaning against me contentedly and I was swinging the chair slowly side to side, humming along with the music into his fuzzy hair. I did this for about 20 minutes, just smelling him, enjoying him, cuddling him.

And you know what? I don't feel it was 20 wasted minutes at all. I don't regret not getting half the above list of should haves done until after the kids were in bed, and I don't regret not getting the other half done at all. I don't regret making a less-complicated dinner. I don't regret waking up to a messy bathroom. Because that sweet precious little 21 month old soul snuggled up close to my heart for 20 minutes is worth more than it's weight in gold to me. I hope all my children grow up always knowing how much I love them. If they grow up remembering always having a messy home, but always being loved and knowing what real love means, then it's worth it to me.

(*I have tried off and on to make this a meme but there has been no interest. If you have a precious moment, an ah-ha moment, a juicy piece of advice, or a story or photo that captures the essence of motherhood, and you would like to share it with my readers, please let me know you're interested in getting that meme started back up again! *)

Sunday, May 16, 2010