Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Veggies & Bullets.

Here goes it. I am by no means an expert on baby food. I read a lot on different ways of making it and went with my mom's and sister's advise, and I'm not downing or criticizing anyone who has fed their kids Gerber or any other type of ready-to-eat food. We are also kind of winging it on the veggies. This is just my own view and my decision to do this.

As I mentioned before, I knew even before I was pregnant that I would want to make all of my baby's meals. I saw my sister do the same for my niece and she ate sooo good and so healthy and I wanted my kids to be the same way. I also thought about how Jack and I don't eat a lot of canned/processed foods so it was pretty natural for me (no pun intended) to make my own baby food.

I also had (have) some guilt about having to supplement Elliot with formula at two and a half months old due to me not producing enough breast milk for him so making my own food helps (ha). (The guilt is gone though because -all feelings aside- I know ultimately I did what's best for my baby).

My process is actually super simple. It takes me about ten minutes from start to end to make his purees.

You're going to need a good food processor, or like me, a Magic Bullet. It is damn good if you ask me. Purees quick and you won't even be able to tell the difference between Gerber and what you made. I do not recommend the food processors that are supposed to be specifically for baby food. They're way over priced and if you're going to dish out some cash for a semi-expensive one that you can also use for other things, do it. That's what I think. The baby ones only look pretty and after your baby gets over the puree stage you're going to be stuck with a baby food processor. They probably don't even work as good.

I always only make as much as I'm going to give him for that feeding only. I read that you can freeze portions in an ice cube tray or again, they sell baby food storage sets if that's the route you want to take. It's so quick and easy to make that I haven't had the need to freeze, but I wouldn't have a problem if I had to.

So far Elliot has had carrots, peas, squash and yellow squash. I started with veggies that, when cooked, are easily pureed. I have tried all of them and I can tell you they all taste freaking good. Especially the carrots. I'm totally tempted to make pureed carrot as a side dish. I haven't added any condiments. Salt is completely out of the questions for babies, but I read that you can start adding garlic all the way to a little paprika (probably for older babies) so your baby develops those taste buds, but I think Elliot is still too little for that and honestly, his food doesn't need anything at all. It tastes good as it is. I'm also kind of scared of food allergies and if you mix other stuff with a single veggie, you won't be able to tell what made your kid sick. If you want to do this, I would just consult with your doc first and ask what the appropriate age would be. Also, always dish out only what your baby is going to eat. What I mean is, don't store any leftover food if you were dipping your kiddo's spoon in it after taking it to their little mouths. Their saliva can cause bacteria to grow in the food. Yucky stuff.

So, you start with as little water as possible. wash the veggies really good and don't peel them. I said before that the peel has a lot of nutrients. I was about to do this when I first started giving Elliot carrots, but my sister told me not to (I know it's tempting cause carrots have an ugly, dirty looking skin, but trust me you won't be able to tel), so I left it on. I don't peel any veggies at all.

Cut them into small pieces so that you don't cook them for long since this also defeats the purpose of making your own baby food because you'll end up stripping the veggie from its nutrients. I poke it with a fork often to check the tenderness and as soon as I can take the fork out without picking up the veggie I turn the stove off and pour the veggies into the bullet cup. Don't add all the water at once. Pour very little and puree, add as needed until you get the consistency you want. You can also use breast milk or formula. In my research, I read that a lot of the "fresh" veggies contain a lot of nitrates and frozen ones don't so I found some that I have been using and it's even easier because they're pre-washed and cut for you, making the cooking time (and your life) a lot easier.

To feed him I got the Tommee Tippee Spoons in the 4+ months. I love these spoons because they turn yellow if the food is too hot (not that you're still not going to taste it/touch it for temperature), but they're easy to clean and they're perfect for small feedings.

These Gerber Bunch-a-Bowls are awesome because they have lids and I just throw Elliot's cereal in the diaper bag in these bowls/containers and they're perfect to cool off his food because they're shallow. You know it takes forever in the deep ones.

These Elephant 3-pack PEVA Bibs are not only super cute but practical! They are plastic and have a little bottom pocket to catch all the flying food and make the after cleaning a breeze.

Carrots are also great for teething babies! (as long as they don't have teeth-I peeled this one since he was going to put it in his mouth)

This monkey has loved all the veggies he's tried so far and I hope he continues that way!

Hope this gives a little insight and some tips for new mamas thinking about making your own baby food. It's so simple and quick that you won't regret it! And let's face it, if this is too hard on your schedule you can always go back to your regular feeding ways, but you can always give it a try! For more cute baby pics and other stuff, follow me on IG @shadiabrown.

Have a great week!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I Have A Five Month Old.

What have we come to? Since when does time fly like this? Not cool. Not cool at all.

Today my baby boy is five months old and it completely blows my mind. I feel like I had him just yesterday! Without the effects of a C-Section of course. I just can't believe it. Five months is almost half a year old.

Button does so many things now that make me want to slow time down. Somehow. Just the other day I had my first Oh-shit-this-kid-is-gonna-fall-off-my-bed moment and I will tell you, it scared the shit out of me. I almost had a heart attack. I was sweeping the bathroom (all my hair loss is causing me so much extra work ha) and I left Elliot on my bed with his head facing the headboard (keep in mind we have a queen size bed) instead of the other way to have more space to roll around. Well in two turns he was at the edge of the bed and as I turned my head and looked at him, I dropped the broom and ran to catch him. Thank God I did. One more turn and he would have tasted the floor. My heart was racing and my eyes were watery with a knot in my throat while Elliot had no clue of why I was holding him telling him it was okay and kissing him like crazy. He was probably thinking what the hell is this lady doing. I went into the kitchen where Jack was and told him with my horror face on what had happened and told him I almost had a heart attack. I laugh about it now but although we have carpet in our room, the thought of me finding him on the floor just freaked me out. I know this happens and probably will happen to me, but that doesn't take the I-almost-shit-my-pants effect away.

Anyway, he is now in his jumperoo and loves it. I put him in it and just watch him in awe at how he's finding things, turning them, flipping them and touching everything in sight then looks at me to make sure it's ok for him to do that. Yeah kid wait until you do something you're not supposed to when you're older and then look at me like that with a smile on your face. It's the cutest thing though.

He's also tried three different veggies so far, carrots, peas and squash all of which I've pureed myself. He has loved them all! I will write a blog on my process to making them. Next on his menu will be either butternut squash or broccoli. Not sure which I'll be giving him yet. Maybe even sweet potato.

I have yet to officially give him anything for his teething, but I did try one of the Hyland's Teething Tablets yesterday and they really do melt immediately after touching their little mouths. He did stop itching I could tell because he stopped putting his hand in his mouth for a while. As long as he has something to bite on (usually his hand) he's happy, so I think as long as he's not crying in pain, his hand or a teether do the trick.

Elliot loves tummy time now! So if your baby is giving you a hard time with tummy time like mine did in the beginning, I assure you, once they can prop themselves up with their arms, they will enjoy it more. He rolls and rolls on his tummy just so he can look at us then smile and laugh and do it all over again then lay his little head down on his side.

He's definitely making and imitating more sounds now. Sounds that I hadn't heard before and I keep telling him to say mamamamama or dadadadada (I probably sound like an idiot) in hopes of him actually repeating that, but I know it's a little too soon. Let a girl dream. I read about all these babies calling their parents mama or dada for the very first time and I cannot wait to hear that, but all in due time and I can wait just a little longer to be able to enjoy my little baby as he is right now.

I started party planning for his first birthday because I know it will be here before I know it and it makes me sad but so excited to see what's coming from this little guy as he gets older.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day Weekend.

We had major relaxation time this weekend. This wasn't your typical Father's Day cookout, dinner, or any type of celebration. It was just our little family, in our home, and I can say it was our own way of little fun without having to get all done up to go somewhere. Loved it.

Friday night we were debating whether we would actually have a cookout for Jack or what he wanted to do. He wasn't too sure so we just kind of left it up in the air and said we would figure it out the next day. I know Father's Day was Sunday but if we did anything we wanted to do it on Saturday to be able to stay up late and rest on Sunday.

Saturday morning he decided he didn't feel like doing anything so we just relaxed. I'll be honest I didn't even shower! We grabbed some takeout and went back home. After we put our Button down to sleep we started our usual beer drinking and hung out. I had a couple of gifts I bought for him and knew that I wasn't going to have time to wrap them and give them to him even though I had this whole plan on the wrapping and how I was going to give them to him but oh well. Sometimes things just don't work out how you plan them so I busted them out Saturday night and he loved them!! He was so surprised because he had no idea he was getting anything.

Sometimes you're not in the mood for what everyone else is having.

Sunday morning, the actual day of,  I got up and took Elliot upstairs to let Jack sleep in a little. After Elliot ate his cereal, I put him down for his morning nap and went to the kitchen to start a surprise breakfast for Jack. Hummus, eggplant, veggies and fruit were on the list.

I also cut some watermelon (awesome summer fruit) in heart shaped pieces with some blueberries and put them on his nightstand for when he woke up.

This man deserves this and much, much more. To him, his family always comes first. I love seeing the way Elliot loves him and how happy he gets when he hears daddy's voice and when he sees him, his smile is the biggest. I know our little boy is soo in love with his daddy. I love watching that. The way Jack looks at him and talks to him is so incredible to see, the bond and the love for each other is greater than anything I've ever seen and witnessing that has made me fall in love with the man that much more. I know they say boys will be mama's boys but this one has Jack wrapped around his little finger. Jack was seriously made to be a great father. He's been taking care of his little boy way before he was born. He took such good care of me when I was pregnant that I knew he would make an amazing father. He always said our kids would never be spoiled, and oh yeah, that went out the door when this baby was born. We will never be perfect parents, but the love for our son will only continue to grow.

Button surely is happiest when daddy is around and I wouldn't change that for the world.

Happy Father's Day to all the great dads out there and the mamas who play both roles. This is your day too! But like Jack says, everyday is Father's Day (Mother's Day too!). Couldn't agree with him more. I love you Jack. And Elliot loves you too.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Dust Bunnies and Wind.

Dust bunnies, dust bunnies everywhere! If you're a Stephen King fan you know what I'm talking about.

In this allergy season, my hubby and I have been suffering from allergies for a couple of weeks now and Button has been as well (thanks to us). They are not fun at all. We as adults can deal with them but it's much much harder to see your little one going through them. They suck. He is congested, coughing and sneezing like crazy. All you can do is make it a little more comfortable for them (if that's even possible).

This windy and dusty season is the worst! I cannot seem to dust my house enough when I already have another layer setting in. It rains (the whole two-minute rain thing), we have dust, it's hot, we have dust, if it's windy? Forget it, we have five-point-two pounds of dust per minute. Ok, I'm exaggerating but seriously, this city should be named Dusty, Texas.

We have also had our house a little cooler than usual thanks to the hundred degree weather we have been having the last couple of weeks and that hasn't helped at all.

Here's what we have been doing (and using) to minimize the effects on Elliot:

Humidifier- We turn this on every night with a cool mist and leave it running all night to help with the dryness of the room and Elliot's little nose and throat.

Simply Saline Baby Sterile Saline Nasal Mist- I like the mist because it is easy to use and goes in better in his little nose. I wait about 15 seconds and use the suction bulb as much as he will let me before crying, pushing me away and rolling over. We were using the drops (which my hubby used for him and emptied the bottle) but I didn't really like them anyway because they were hard to administer and I would end up wasting a whole lot just to get one drop in his little nostril. Total waste of time and money.

Suction Bulb- I use the one I was provided with at the hospital when I had him and it's the best one out there for me. I'm sure there's other good ones, but we love this one. Squeeze all the air out before bringing it to your babe's face and point it towards his septum and suction. It works great.

My mom taught me how to get all the yucky stuff out of their systems by doing some patting (lightly) on their chest, back and sides and that works too!

We also put a couple of blankets (you can also use a pillow) under his play pen mattress to prop him up a little when we put him to sleep. This has helped A LOT with his coughing and sleeps soundly through the night (with the occasional cough, bot not nearly as bad as before). We did this without any doctor's consent at first but after calling her, this is exactly what she suggested to do so we were good to go. This also works if your little one suffers from reflux.

These are things we have been doing that work for us but I think they would pretty much work for any baby. Hope they help a little!

Have a safe and dust-free (yeah right) weekend!

Go away dust bunnies!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Oh baby, weight!!

Nope, I didn't misspell anything. I didn't mean wait. I really meant weight. As in "I can't seem to lose the last of this baby weight".

Before I was pregnant I always told myself that I would be in the best shape ever before getting pregnant. Did that happen? Nope.

I got pregnant and thought, ok, I will gain only the weight you're supposed to gain during a normal pregnancy, no more, no less, (well, yeah, maybe less). And once again, no dice. I started off nice and small gaining a few pounds...ended up gaining about 40 pounds. Holy moly.

Is that a basketball or are you just happy to see me?

It was so freaking hard not to give into a lot of the cravings. I always ate (or tried, my hardest) to eat healthy, drink lots of water and exercise, but I have ALWAYS hated the gym, running, lets face it, anything that has to do with working out in general. Why can't we just eat what we want and not ever gain a pound? I guess in a perfect world that would work. Not here. I always wished (wish) I could be one of those that LOVE working out. I mean LOVE LOVE. You get up early in the morning and say "I'm going for a run" EVERYDAY what.the.hell. Those of you out there who are like that, I don't like you!! Not really, I admire you. I had a membership to the gym that I hardly ever used and I'm one of those that starts off going for a couple of days saying hell yeah I'm gonna keep this up and feeling good then after a week you're like to hell with this shit. I'll stay home and watch TV. Ugh. Hey does watching people workout on TV help? No? Fine, I didn't think so.

You would think that being married to someone who loves going to the gym, working out, eating healthy would rub off on someone whom the only thing out of those three things they do is eat healthy, so far it hasn't. Doubt it will. Ok, now that I have professed my hate for working out we can move on.

My doc told me that as long as I ate a  balanced diet, walked, and drank a lot of water I would be ok. I did work out a little bit and I already ate healthy and drank a lot of water. I was on the right track. Then once I got over all the nausea and feeling shitty, the hunger set in. I ate everything and anything in my path. Ok, Ok, not everything but boy was I hungry. This baby was sucking the life out of me! The cravings didn't help because I did what I said I would never do, the whole oh-I'm-pregnant-I-can-eat-whatever-I-want deal because I just wanted everything.

I really gained A LOT of weight. So much that my doc told me to slow my reigns down and start eating better. It was kind of a wake-up call and I started slowing down on the cravings and went to the gym a few times. I also started doing prenatal yoga and that made me feel soo much better. That was the only workout I liked and could tolerate for more than twenty-thirty minutes. The workout is perfect for all stages of pregnancy and all you need is a chair and a mat or a blanket. The poses felt really good because they teach you stretches for every part of your body especially your back to relieve some pain. The instructor's voice is so soothing and the sounds they play are relaxing, but it does make you break out in a sweat so you do feel like you're working out without much of the strain. You can find that DVD here.

When I had Button, of course I was swollen and felt pregnant all over again, but the swelling slowly went down. Breastfeeding helped a lot and I quickly lost a few pounds. Then I couldn't go back to my healthy eating ways right away because of my milk. I needed to produce as much as I could and when I tried eating smaller portions and healthier stuff my milk supply would decrease. My breastfeeding story is here.

Now that I have stopped breastfeeding it has been hard to go back to my normal ways of eating and I've been having such a hard time getting rid of the last few pounds. My mid section has always been my major problem area and gaining all that weight didn't help at all. 

I still drink a ton of water and will be turning our garage into a workout space and with the help of Shaun T I know I can do this. I will keep you posted on my journey to losing ALL baby weight and some (crossing my fingers) as well as some recipes for healthy dishes I make at home. Stay tuned!

As I always say, I would do it aaaaall over again for this little monkey (minus all the extra pounds).

I'm hungry now :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Our Weekend.

Well hello there Monday...I don't like you very much, but I'm not minding you too much this week either.

This weekend was great. It actually went by kind of slow if that's even possible. 

I got home from work to this.

I love them both so so much!

What a great start to the weekend.

I whipped us up some breakfast the next morning bright and early. Eggs with mushrooms and jalapeƱo, hash browns and pineapple with blueberries.

It was Elliot's time to start on his first veggie! I decided to start with carrots. I don't know why I just did. I mentioned that I wanted to make my own purees for him and that I did. While I worked on our breakfast, I washed a couple of carrots really good and cut them into thin small pieces. I left the skin on because it has a lot of nutrients! I boiled them in the least possible water (almost burned the shit out of them, and my pot) until they were soft. Since there was no water left from the almost burn, I used formula to mash it. I began with a glass and that didn't work very well so Jack used the blender which wasn't as good to really puree but it did the trick. Elliot loved them! He hardly spit any of it out and was happy and smiling and talking as he was eating. I didn't give him too much because I wanted to see what the reaction on his little tummy would be. And man those diapers stunk!! Like really, you could literally smell the carrots but in a rotten way. I threw the diaper in the trash can in our bathroom and Jack had to throw it away immediately cause the bathroom smelled of rotten carrots. (TMI?) I followed this feeding with an 8oz bottle and Button was happy.

The second day, I said to hell with this, I need to get something that will work better to blend everything really good so we made a trip to Target and got the Magic Bullet. My mother-in-law had given us one when we got married and I used it so much that one day it just broke. It works great though so we bought it again. I boiled the carrots again with a little bit more water and at a lower heat this time. I used the water and still had to use a little bit of formula but the Magic Bullet is bad ass and this time the pureeing was a success! Elliot ate it like a champ. This kid is just like his dad.

I gave in and ended up buying him his first security blanket from Aden & Anais and I love them! They come in a two-pack for when you have to throw one in the wash he will always have one with him. He just won't let go of it. I hope it makes him feel at home or at least like mama and daddy are around when he's at daycare. 

It was his first time sitting in his high chair and I swear he held on to it for dear life and wasn't too impressed. It will probably take a while for him to get used to it.

This one also learned to roll over! Now that's ALL he does. As soon as I put him down he gets on his tummy then on his back, on his tummy, then on his back. He loves it. He even decided that the sleeping on his back deal is old news and he sleeps on his side now. I know it's not the safest and kept me up most of the night last night just constantly checking on him, but I would put him on his back, five minutes went by and on his side he went. Well, already this old with a mind of his own (sigh). He actually slept better though! Jack and I swear we can train him to know that when he's on his tummy face down, he needs to roll onto his back so he can breathe. We will see how that goes, but they probably have that sense already in them that lets them know when something isn't right? I'll Google it.

I am so proud of him cause he also doesn't complain as much when we do tummy time! He used to absolutely hate it, but he actually stays without crying for a good five minutes and believe you me, that is record time. He's also doing the "mini-push ups" that all the baby articles talk about. I was so worried because he was supposed to be doing this much earlier, but he wasn't. You read all that crap your baby is supposed to be doing at certain months and I would freak out when Elliot hadn't reached that milestone until I thought, shit, I'm his mom, I know better and he will do it on his own when the right time comes. I was right. I think sometimes we need to stop reading so much stuff trying to stay informed because it makes us paranoid (I know I get like that) and go with the flow. You know your baby, you do what you gotta do.

I guess tummy time isn't so bad after all mama!
 (Note the excitement with the big line of drool)

Sunday we got up really early and went grocery shopping, I couldn't wait to get that out of the way. I hate, hate, hate it. It's my least favorite thing to do, but we did it and it felt damn good. Then it was movie time! We watched Dark Skies and I can say that it was pretty good. Not your typical cheesy alien movie. Then, we finally got some rain! (A whole 7 minutes) but at least it was something! It felt and smelled sooo good. Too bad this happened after we finished watching the movie. It could have added some extra suspense! 

I just love spending time with my little family so much! I hope everyone had a great weekend. :)

Oh, and in case you're wondering, the garage cleaning deal never went down. Ha!

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