Learning to serve the Lord and my family one day at a time.

Learning to serve the Lord and my family one day at a time.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Feeding Baby

Stumped what to feed your baby? Here are some ideas for simple, homemade baby food that don't require pureeing veggies in a food processor. I did not give Laura purees and instead went straight to simple finger foods that were soft enough for her to gum. Canned pureed foods became popular when it was recommended to feed baby solids as early as 3 months and are not necessary when starting solids after 6 months.

Bananas are a great first food that babies can hold in their hands and gnaw away at. It may take a month or so for babies to learn to feed themselves and the first months more food ends up on the floor for the dog to clean up or on baby's face but it's an excellent way for babies to develop hand eye coordination. Breastfed babies have been essentially feeding themselves at the breast for months, you are only offering food when the baby is hunger. They determine how much they eat and learn to stop when full.

This is the same idea behind what's termed "Baby Led Weaning" (weaning meaning eating something besides breastmilk) Offer baby food and let them determine how much they will eat instead of coaxing one more bite of peas because it you want to empty the jar.

I also have a baby food mill that I put harder to chew foods like green beans, meats and leftovers into, grind up and hand to Laura to eat. Healthy, easy to eat leftover or food off your plate are great foods for baby as well. Total confession: I give Laura waffle fries when we go to Chick Fila.

I also make cubes of veggies and fruit and freeze them either on a tray, egg carton or ice cube tray. Baked, steamed or microwaved sweet potatoes, soft veggies such as squash, broccoli can be gnawed on even by a baby without teeth. Laura loves apples that have been steamed and peeled. Shredded and steamed carrots are easy to make and feed. She's also obsessed with peaches this summer. She can easily eat half a peach or more at one sitting.

Laura loves to fed herself messy foods such as greek yogurt and hummus. They are thick enough I can place a blob on her tray or hand her spoonfuls at a time. She grabs the spoons and feds herself. She doesn't let me put the spoon in her mouth!

I highly recommend a highchair that is easy to clean without nooks and crannies and washable bibs. I was not pleased with the Circo brand ones from Target, they aren't meant to be machine washed and they fell apart when I washed them.

What have you cooked for baby? 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

California Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

California Grapefruit and Avocado Salad
This recipe is passed down from my dad's mother, Margaret who passed away last month. 
My Grandmother Margaret holding me as a newborn

Lettuce of your choice - I prefer spring mix or baby spinach
Large avocado
Large grapefruit  
Oil and vinegar salad dressing

Cut avocado in half with a sharp knife. Whack the avocado pit with your sharp knife and twist to easily remove the pit.

Slice the avocado into cubes and scoop out with a spoon.

Cut the ends off the grapefruit and stand it on the cut off end so it is stable on the cutting board. Sorry I don't have pictures of this, I didn't actually have a grapefruit on hand.

With a long thin knife such as a boning knife, slice of the skin as close to the flesh as possible.

Then take the knife along the sections of membrane and cut out the flesh leaving the membrane behind. Here's a helpful tutorial with directions and a somewhat long winded video if my directions are terrible and just confusing you even more. Whatever you do, remove the grapefruit membrane before serving the grapefruit. Unless you are a goat, they are terribly chewy and hard to eat.

You can use any type of vinegar to make a vinaigrette but I would steer clear of white for this recipe and choose white wine vinegar. Balsamic or specialty flavored vinegar make for nice dressings as well.  All you ever need to about about vinaigrette is the magic ratio of oil to vinegar is 3 to 1. 

Layer grapefruit and avocado on your bed of greens and top with oil and vinegar dressing.

Happy Eating  

Check out Life as Mom for more tasty summer salad. Do you have a favorite hot weather recipe? 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My Favorite Baby Items 
A friend recently asked me for recommendations for baby items. What is a must have (at least for us) and what to borrow. Less the obvious items like a carseat and crib here my recommendations for items I have enjoyed using.

Ergo Baby carrier, I just bought this and love the ease and simplicity of using it. I have a Moby wrap as well but I don't like it for running errands or travel. I find it comes loose when I take her in and out and I have to take it off compleltely to nurse. The Ergo has two buckles and takes just seconds to put on.

It's very comfortable for you and baby and allows the baby to sit in a natural sitting position as opposed to the dangling position forward facing carriers like Baby Bjorrn have, which also puts pressure on their hips. Can be worn front, hip or back.

Pack in play- I just bought a simple one without all the bells and whistles. Perfect for trips to grandparents or a second sleeping place when the baby still sleeps in your bedroom.

Swaddle I almost always swaddled Laura in the swaddle these instead of a blanket. Get two for when one is in the wash.

My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow. I preferred this over the Boppy pillow, it allows you to adjust the height at which the pillow sits around your waist and bring baby higher to you  and the Boppy was too low for me. 

Booster/highchair  I'm all for inexpensive and simple so I have a simple hand me down booster instead of a full sized highchair. Get one that is easy to wipe down or wash. The full sized ones take up a lot of space.  

Ultimate Crib Sheet Goes on top of your crib sheet to protect from stains. Love this especially since Laura spits up all day long. Also get a waterproof mattress protector for under the sheet.

Sound machine and night light for the nursery. 

Wipeable bibs for eating solids 

Baby food mill- grinds up the food your are eating for dinner for baby to eat.

Stroller- I originally had a travel system and a jogging stroller that were  given to us. If I could do it again I'd buy a carseat and base that would snap into my jogger. Many jogging strollers sell an attachment that allows for a infant car seat to snap in. That way you only need one stroller for everyday and running. Plus the travel system strollers don't feel very sturdy on anything but indoors or smooth concrete. I didn't even like walking in the neighborhood with ours. I finally got rid of both strollers and bought a Baby Trend jogging stroller that my carseat snaps onto. Also I wish we had bought two car seat bases, one for each car. 

Cute diaper bag that doubles as a purse. I splurged and bought a very nice bag from JJ Cole that looks like a purse. You won't want to carry a diaper bag and a purse, it's just too much to carry plus trying to wrangle a baby. 

Things to borrow-
Bumbo seat - she loved this for about two months, luckily it was a hand me down.

Swing- can be a life saver if your having trouble getting baby to sleep but they are pricey and bulky to store. I'm sure you have a friend in town who is itching to get hers out of her house.

Bouncy seat- super useful for the first few months but again, someone probably has one you can borrow. 

Three book recommendations for sleep- 
Healthy sleep habits happy child
The secrets of the baby whisperer 
The baby whisperer solves all your problems.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Laura 8 Months

Laura turned 8 months yesterday and she is on the move! She has been crawling army style with her arms for about six weeks and gets around quite fast. About a week ago she started crawling on her hands and knees a few steps at a time. She loves pulling up on furniture and cruising around the living room.
Couldn't get a smile out her 

She still nurses four times a day plus a bottle before bed at 7 pm and eats "meals" with us as well. I usually just give her soft food or grind up meat and veggies in my food mill.  She loves Greek yogurt but I am wondering if she is sensitive to dairy because she ate half a cup at breakfast and was spitting up more than usual all morning so I guess I'll have to cut out the dairy for now. Poor me poor girl still spits up all day long.
"Helping" Mommy with the dishes

Much of her food ends up on her face or eaten by Lilly but she loves feeding herself, even if it is messy. I caught her trying to give Lilly and my parents dog Lucy food off her tray the other day. She was grinning and throwing food on the ground to the dogs. 
Playing with Pop Pop's hat

Playing with her new walker/noisy toy from Grandma

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Our Summer and the Move

Many people have been asking if we are in Colorado yet and as much as I'm ready for a respite from the Southern heat we are currently in Texas. David has been at Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC) since June 11 in San Antonio. I stayed in Augusta until the movers came June 29 and supervised the move of our household goods. Our items will go into temporary storage until we arrive in Colorado July 27. David's brother in law will drive my car to Colorado at the beginning of August.
Moving day June 29

I drove to David's parents last Saturday only to have my radiator burst an hour from their house. The Lord's hand was over Laura and me that day, it was 109 degrees and I was just leaving  Zaxby's in Greensboro when I noticed the car thermostat rising and suddenly steam pouring from the engine. After calling my brother for advice and waiting for the car to cool off, several employees from the restaurant looked at my car and it was evident that the radiator was cracked and wouldn't hold any water.

I was able to stay in the cool, air conditioned restaurant while I waited for my father in law to come and pick Laura and myself up. I am so thankful my car didn't break down on the side of Interstate 20 with a baby and 100 plus degree temperature. 

After spending a few days with David's family I flew to Austin where I am currently staying with my parents while David is at BOLC. David is able to take the weekends off and had two days off for Independence Day. We also enjoyed a long, hot but fun day at Sea World today. Laura was a champ and even took a few naps in the Ergo carrier. If you are considering a baby carrier check out the Ergo. I just bought it last week and I loved the simplicity and ease of use plus it is much cooler than the Moby wrap. 

That's all for now! If you are in Austin I'd love to catch up. 

A Long Overdue Update

I logged onto Blogger today to find that my last post was from February 22! I have many excuses but I shall leave those aside and just write a post. Here's a recap of David's graduation from Dental School on May 11. 

Hooding Ceremony

Love this handsome doctor

My brother Brian was able to fly in from Texas

David's promotion to Captain in the Army

Laura had had enough of the festivities 

Tooth cake decorated by David 

Slightly weird but fun dental themed food at the party. My nephews loved them! 

Look at those gorgeous eyes

Party on the deck

Laura's sweet cousin Lizzie