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Wednesday
Jul242013

Homemade Baby Food – Getting Frisky The Second Time Around

 

We are on to real food with Reid – Yeah! Well, I guess yay and boo since I’m making his food as I did with Elle and it is much trickier finding the time to do it with two kids. We’re mainly doing purees right now so the most efficient (and tastiest) way to do these is by roasting the ingredients. I just wash the ingredients, pop ‘em in the oven, set the timer and puree when done. I love that I can puree right away with my glass Oster blender which I found super cheap at Costco but works even better than my previous more expensive plastic blender.

 My baby food cookbooks I have on hand make it easy and actually fun. My two faves are Tyler Florence’s Start Fresh and Kim Laidlaw’s Baby and Toddler on the Go. I love the fun flavor combos each of these books offer. So far Tyler Florence’s Roasted Bananas and Blueberries has been the biggest hit with Reid but he hasn’t turned his nose up to anything. Other yummy ones (that I even eat) are roasted broccoli with parmesan and green bean, kale and potato puree. What’s also awesome about this book is that the recipes grow with the kids and eventually it offers recipes that the whole family can enjoy together.

Baby & Toddler On the Go was an awesome find. It gives explicit directions on roasting, steaming, baking and sautéing different veggies so any mom can figure it out no matter if they cook or not. This book also offers different recipes by age so I can whip up something for my baby or my toddler, and the flavors are really fun. Check out these neat combos they suggest from recipes in the book:

Southern Style Pork – shredded or finely chopped braised pork, peach puree+ braised greens+ cooked barley

Curry Chicken & Veggies – Shredded chicken, sweet potato or carrot puree+ apricot puree + cooked brown rice drizzle of coconut milk +mild curry powder

Now these are a little more exotic than the others but I loved the suggestions. It may seem intimidating at first but creating the purees is super simple and it’s best to make a bunch at one time and either freeze it in the mumi and bubi trays or save it in the fridge for a couple of days.

What’s also great about this cookbook is that is has tons of recipes and combinations for healthy meals on the go for you, your baby, toddler, really anyone, that are also super easy to make. One of the recipes is for frittata bites where she offers five different recipe variations (with directions) including spinach and cheese, asparagus and mozzarella, Mexican chicken and jack, cherry tomato and feta and on it goes. She has a similar format for other recipes like mac n cheese bites, muffins and quiches. You make them in mini muffin pans, making them fun to eat and portable.

This cookbook is a great tool for moms looking for different ideas for healthy lunches for school. She has a section for juices/smoothies, dips, sammies, pinwheels and much more. Forget just baby and toddler – these recipes would be great for any kid or adult. I love that it’s not just a cookbook for the infant years but that it’s a cookbook that I know I will go back to for years.

 For now I'm loving seeing my lil guy eat it up and his sis loving feeding him. 

Monday
Jul222013

A Week of Transitions

 

I don't think we could have squeezed any more into last week. A big birthday, bye-bye to nap time and hello to a big girl bed. 

Reese turned 3 and we celebrated with several little parties. I had a blast planning because this is the first year I knew she'd really 'get' the whole birthday thing. The night before her birthday I decorated a table with sparkly wrapping paper, party hats & whistles, balloons and a few gifts. I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve and couldn't wait for morning. Sure enough, she loved it all. 

Along with her turning 3 we decided to transition her long late afternoon nap to "Quiet Time." She was taking these late afternoon two hour naps and then playing in her crib for one to two hours at night before finally falling asleep around 9pm-10pm. Too late for me! I didn't mind except she'd be so tired in the morning. Now, with no nap we put her to bed at 7pm and she wakes up rested at 7am. The only thing is that with no naps, it makes for a really tough evening. On the flip side, my husband and I have our nights to ourselves. 

Lastly, we finally moved her into a 'big girl' bed, which is really just a toddler bed. We just took off the side of her crib and now she can climb in and out. She's handled it really well. Last night within the first 30 min she got up 3x and we just kept walking her back to bed. She finally fell asleep and stayed there til morning. Tonight she got into bed and was fast asleep within minutes. Phew!

Anyway, tons of transitions happening over here. Any suggestions on how to keep a toddler in her room for a full hour during "Quiet Time?" Reese can do 30-45 minutes but then likes to come out because....well, now she can. 

Saturday
Jul132013

The Second Time Around

 

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. Maybe because every time I sit down to my computer I hear my toddler ask for “Milkie” or a baby crying. Ha! But, I can’t complain. I’m blessed with two little fireballs that make every day exciting. That said for me the transition to two has been mindblowing. First things first recovery from my VBAC has been extremely hard. I so wish I had just done the repeat c-section. So for anyone thinking a vaginal recovery is easier than a c-section, think again. Its recovery time is much longer than the 6 week time period in my opinion because a lot of ligaments have been stretched and are weakened that aren’t damaged as much by the c-section. I think it would have been easier had I not had a c-section before where my uterus has been sliced open as well as my ab muscles which are all key to pelvic floor health so it’s prob a lot different for women who just have vaginal births. Anyways that has been an emotional and physical roller coaster not to mention all the new tricks I’ve had to learn/try since my little boy is a completely different baby than my daughter.

My daughter was the easiest baby ever. Never really fussy, took a paci from the start, nursed well, slept well – I mean really, my husband and I thought “man this isn’t that tough. What’s all the fuss about?” Somebody must have been listening because our little guy has a cry that can be heard a block away. He won’t take a paci and just recently got on a schedule and is sleeping much better. Hallelujah! When he is a happy baby, he is the happiest little guy on the planet and so sweet but when he’s mad, he’s mad! So far  he’s liked all the opposite toys that my daughter did. But, one of the things both agree on is that they like to eat. He’s already 20 lbs at nearly 6 months!

After having this little guy I feel like all the things I learned with Elle could have been pretty much thrown out the window and I also felt like an idiot for ever offering advice to anyone. Who knew babies could be so different?! How about you? Are your little ones different? Did you have a tough transition to two or even three?

Thursday
Jun132013

Cheers to Sleep Training

 

Greyson sleeping in his mini cribThe facts:

  • Greyson is 12 weeks old
  • He sleeps 11-12 hours every night without waking up
  • He takes 2-3 naps during the day
  • He’s rested, happy and thriving

I feel rested. Relieved. But mostly thankful that my household is getting the sleep it needs. I shared how we sleep trained my toddler Reese when she was nearly three months and to this day at almost three years old she sleeps well at night and still takes an afternoon nap (although I hear that goes away around age three). Anyway, with Reese, the sleep training was difficult. To put bluntly, it sucked. But looking back I can confidently say it’s been worth the three years of amazing sleep my family has gotten.

Sleep training child No. 2:

We realized it was time to sleep train Greyson after a week of only short 10 min cat naps...having previous weeks of great sleep.  My normally happy, easy going baby was so tired and I felt awful for him. Not to mention I was exhausted from the holding, rocking, nursing, baby wearing, trying to get him to sleep and stay asleep. But I didn’t mind all of this because as long as he was in my arms he was happy. What I minded was that my nearly three year old daughter was in desperate need of my attention and was acting out in any way she could to try to get it. She was anything but happy. It was physically, emotionally and mentally taxing. I knew it was time to get Greyson sleeping.

What we did:

So we brought in the big guns and worked with Vivian Sonnenberg, an infant sleep consultant who had helped us get Reese sleeping. She’s amazing! Her style is firm but ever so kind. She’s been working with babies for more than 20 years and knows what she’s talking about. I already knew her techniques but I needed the support and her years of knowledge behind me to give me the confidence to do this all over again. Plus as we know, all babies are different and she’s been great at helping me troubleshoot any and all hiccups.

I feel comfortable with her techniques because it’s not a full-on let your baby cry it out (CIO) but more of a limited CIO that provided Greyson just enough time to allow himself to self soothe. I feel lucky that Greyson didn’t cry much at all throughout this ‘training’ period. He’s been sleeping consistently through the nights and taking naps. Gone are the nights where it would take me sometimes 1-2 hours to get to bed.

The strategies in Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy child are somewhat similar to the strategy I’m using with Greyson but I definitely didn’t let him cry as long as the book suggests.

I’m glad my husband and I decided to move forward formal sleep training. I know it’s in the best interest of everyone in our family and I am already seeing the results. My baby is happy. My toddler is happy. My husband and I are happy. And we are all well rested.

I understand that sleep training is not for everyone. I am just here to share my experience and the awesome results!

 

Saturday
Jun082013

City Living: Closet Nursery

 

I wrote about turning one of our closets into a little nook for my second child. It’s working out better than expected. I’d like to get a mobile and some art work at some point. Shown here is the Babyletto Mini Crib, which I found on sale on onekingslane.com. It’s the perfect size and the mattress can be lowered so we’re planning to use it for as long as we can.

 

 

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