So crabby

Saturday, November 29, 2014

I thought The Big Sis had stolen my heart when we discovered that she loved crab legs. (Like, enough that she declares it’s her favorite food.)

But fast-forward a few years to tonight, when we found out The Little Sis loves them too. This makes me very happy to share that with them.

Well, except for the fact that now I have to share it with them. Which means that I also have to do all of the crab leg opening, and they eat it faster than I can get it out (and I’m pretty fast getting it out). Three times the amount of work for less than 1/3 of the meat. Hrm, not sure I get the best deal in this whole thing…

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Dinner talk

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Things I shouldn’t have to say 1,527 times each night at dinner:

*Sit down in your chair.
*Eat your dinner.
*Let her eat her dinner, and you focus on eating yours.
*I don’t want to see that right now. I want to see you eat your dinner.
*Hold your food over the table or the plate, or you’re going to drop it on the floor.
*Stop getting up.
*If you’re too full for dinner, then you’re certainly too full for dessert.
*Bottom on your chair.
*You need to at least try it.


First-food Friday

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Little Sis started solid foods for the first time today, beginning with some oatmeal to get some practice.

The Big Sis got things started for us (I love The Dog sticking his nose in there to see what’s up):
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Gimmesome!
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Hrm…not really sure about this, you guys.
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Hey, this is great!
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A cheesy post

Monday, November 8, 2010

Baby B’s pickiness with food began around the time she turned 14 months old, and while we gave up the battle long ago and she overall eats better, she’s never really had that one reliable thing (besides fruit) that she’d eat every night for dinner. All of the typical kid foods have been hit or miss (usually miss) — chicken nuggets, pizza, hot dogs, you name it. And macaroni and cheese? Forget about it. She wouldn’t touch the stuff. Yet, as parents are always told to do in cases of food pickiness, we kept offering her foods repeatedly and hoped that maybe one day she would turn the corner with something.

And turn the corner she did. I have no idea what clicked for her, but suddenly she cannot get enough macaroni and cheese of all things! I’m reminding myself not to be annoyed when she asks for macaroni and cheese (I pity the fool who calls it mac and cheese in front of her! It’s macaroni, we’re told) yet again, as there was a day not that long ago that I said I’d give anything for her to find even just one food she liked with such a passion.

Wish granted!


Just two more bites

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

After reading Just Two More Bites: Helping Picky Eaters Say Yes to Food by pediatric nutritionist Linda Piette, I think I’ve come to a better sense of peace about Baby B’s picky eating. I think I was well on my way there anyway after dealing with it for well over a year now, but this book helped seal the deal.

Its basic message is that picky eating — even when it can seem extreme on some days — is very normal for toddlers, and it’s not a cause for concern as long as the child is still gaining weight, which Baby B always has (she even jumped up in percentiles while dealing with all this). The book reminded me that it’s our job as parents to offer nutritious foods to our children, but it’s up to them to decide what to do with that food. We can try different ways of getting them to eat the food, but we can’t push it on them too much, or else they’re going to resist just out of principle. It said (and we’ve learned ourselves) that when you back off a bit and don’t push them on it, they end up doing it themselves.

Again in many cases it comes back to the toddler control/independence thing, and you need to let them make a lot of their own decisions related to this issue. It said not to make a meal for them and then make a new meal if they refuse what’s on their plate (which we’ve never done) as long as you’ve offered some foods you know they will eat. Doing that just teaches them that if they throw a tantrum because they want to eat the first meal, they’ll end up getting what they want by fighting you on it.

The book pointed out that when you look at a single day’s nutrition, they might not be getting all the need, but the book pointed out that if you take a bigger look at, say, a week’s worth of foods, it almost always balances out in the end.

An interesting point in the book was that mealtimes as a family are crucial so toddlers can learn the social aspect of eating, since in our society, eating is more than just putting the necessary energy into your body. It said that studies have shown that kids who do not eat mealtime as a family are more likely to be picky eaters, mostly because they don’t see their own parents and siblings eating food around them, so they have no one to take their eating cues from. It makes a lot of sense to me, and it makes me very glad that we’ve eaten together as a family since Baby B could sit in the high chair around four months old. It also said eating in front of the TV isn’t a good thing to do because it makes them focus on something besides the eating experience, so they don’t pay as much attention to their body signals that indicate when they’re satisfied, thus they end up eating more, which can lead to overweight or obese children.

Overall I felt like this was a good read for someone with a picky eater. I didn’t learn a ton that I didn’t already know, but it was nice to have some reassurance from a pediatric nutritionist to help know what is within the range of normal for this age.


If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

We got a box of Puffins cereal for Baby B’s breakfasts recently, and it has a picture of a puffin on the front of the box. Not familiar with a puffin (what, it’s not in her animal books?), Baby B called it a duck and has since called her Puffins “duck cereal.”

One day she recently decided she didn’t like duck cereal. No reason that we know of…she just decided she didn’t like duck cereal. Almost in a panicked voice, she kept repeating, “No duck cereal! No duck cereal!” So this went on for a few days. One day The Husband picked her up from daycare, and the first thing she said when they got out of the car in the garage was, “No duck cereal!” Apparently it had been on her mind all day. ūüôā I laugh thinking about what her daycare teachers must have thought she was talking about when she proclaimed, “No duck cereal!”

The next morning for breakfast, we asked if she wanted duck cereal, and she was adamant that she didn’t want it. So The Husband cleverly asked her if she wanted “cinnamon cookies,” giving her the previously named duck cereal on her plate next to her breakfast grapes. Wouldn’t you know she ate them right up.

Cinnamon cookies. Not duck cereal.

We should totally receive a degree in child psychology by the time Baby B begins school.


Puffy sleeves

Sunday, January 25, 2009

We’ve got many tricks up our sleeves that we pull out on a nightly basis to try to get Baby B to eat her meals with us, some of which I’ve mentioned here before. We often put her serving of something on our plates so she wants it more, or we’ll pretend to steal something from her plate, which kicks in her “mine-mine-mine” thinking and makes her want it all of a sudden. (Completely unrelated side note: It bugs me when people say, “All of the sudden.” Because, well, it’s wrong.) We also play, “If then,” which usually goes like this: “If you eat a bite of your veggie dog, then you can have a small piece of our potato chip.” If she doesn’t hold up her end of the bargain, she doesn’t get her reward. This works quite well at times.

Recently we’ve come up with a new trick to add to the arsenal. We just pretend to sprinkle a bite of her food with the salt and pepper that are sitting on the table, and suddenly she thinks what is on her fork is appealing and actually eats it. Funny thing is we don’t even have to turn the shakers upside down like we would for ourselves; she doesn’t know any better, so we just make a “chhh-chhh-chhh” sound as we’re shaking the salt and pepper and she thinks something is going onto her food. For a short while anyway, we have outsmarted our toddler.


No hate for ’08

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Boy, and I thought 2007 — the year Baby B was born — was a fantastic one, but it was boring compared to 2008 for us! ūüėČ We had so many adventures throughout the year, and I have to wonder how we can top ourselves next year!

We began the year visiting the in-laws in Connecticut for New Year’s weekend, where Baby B got to spend time with her grandparents and meet her aunt and cousin for the first time. January also marked Baby B’s first birthday, which we celebrated with my parents and a few close friends. She had her surgery for ear tubes in mid-February, and that was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. She has had zero ear infections in the 10+ months since the surgery. Much relief for everyone!

March was a pretty laid-back month, but she was certainly on the march for April, when she started walking full-time at 14 months old. Everyone warned us that we’d hate once she became that mobile, but I can honestly say we’ve loved it. Yes, it forces us to be more active, but is that really such a bad thing?! April treated us with gorgeous spring weather, and we were able to get out of the house to enjoy the outdoors (and all the local parks) much more often. Baby B was also treated to her first ice cream cone on one of our outings that month.

In May, Baby B surprised me with breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day, and we traveled to attend a family reunion of my mom’s family. For Memorial Day, we packed up and flew to Boston to visit with Serenity and her little Baby O, and we also took in the children’s museum, the swan boats, and a nearby beach (Baby B’s first time at a beach!) with them while in the area.

With June came a day trip to the zoo in Cincinnati and my first real race, a 3K. In July, we went downtown to enjoy our city’s Fourth of July festival and parade, and we went back downtown later than night for Baby B to experience her first fireworks display. We also attended our local fair, and even though Baby B wasn’t big enough for most of the rides, she still enjoyed looking at all the fair had to offer. In mid- to late July, we attended two weeks of swimming lessons, then took a daytrip to Gatlinburg so The Husband and I could celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary. At the end of the month, we headed back to Cincinnati to go to the aquarium, which we all loved.

In August, I had my second race, a 5K through downtown. The previous month, I had decided to train for the half-marathon, so my training continued through the late summer and early fall months. In the middle of August, we took a trip to Cincinnati (yes, again) to go to the children’s museum there, our second children’s museum of the year. We hit our third children’s museum when we went to Milwaukee to visit friends over Labor Day weekend, and we also visited the Milwaukee Zoo and observed the Harley anniversary festivities along the lakefront while we were there.

September brought us the annual dog swim at one of our local pools — always a riot to watch! We enjoyed the continued warm weather by visiting parks as often as we could, and at the end of the month, The Husband ran in his first race, the 5K Race for the Cure. After the race, we stayed downtown and visited our city’s children’s museum (#4 of the year), which isn’t as fancy as some of the others we’ve been to, but it still kept Baby B entertained.

In early October, we went to not just one but two pumpkin farms and enjoyed corn mazes, big slides, petting zoos, and fresh-picked apples among other things. We met a girl from one of my parenting boards, her husband, and their son, Luca (who is about a month younger than Baby B), when they were traveling through our parts. It was so much fun to see them playing together! That weekend, The Husband and I went on our first overnight trip without Baby B, going to see Cirque du Soleil and enjoying a nice grown-up dinner in Cincinnati. In the middle of October, we drove two hours for an overnight trip to my parents’ hometown for my third official race, a 10K. We painted pumpkins for Halloween, and Baby B dressed up as Raggedy Andy for her daycare Halloween party.

We went to Indianapolis during the first weekend in November so I could run my half-marathon, which I did significantly under my goal time. The race could not have gone much better than it did, and this ranks as one of my biggest life accomplishments at this point. While in Indianapolis, we visited their children’s museum (#5 for the year) twice, as it’s supposedly the largest in the world.

We played in leaf piles in November, and we watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade together as a family before joining my parents for Thanksgiving dinner. I have so much to be thankful for!

Just because the year was winding down in December doesn’t mean that we were! We made Christmas cookies with Chef Baby B, and visited with Santa. We decorated the Christmas tree together, enjoyed Baby B’s performance of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at the daycare party, and went to a local drive-through lights display. And how could we forget a wonderful Christmas at the end of all that?!

And that’s just a brief summary of our year’s activities. (Whew! No wonder I feel so tired!) That’s not even getting into all the other changes in Baby B over the past year, including an even more developed (and silly) personality and the arrival of HAIR (finally)! She’s gone from being able to say one word to being able to converse with us quite well. Of course, we’ve also seen the introduction of super-picky eating and toddler tantrums, but you take the bad with the good, and I wouldn’t trade all the good we have for anything.

So after a year like that, how could we possibly have more fun next year? I don’t quite know the answer yet, but I can promise we’re sure going to try hard!


Some noteworthy items from our weekend so far

Friday, November 28, 2008

1. Baby B has been wonderful all weekend, not throwing any of the super tantrums of last weekend. Thank goodness.

2. I did not overeat at Thanksgiving dinner. I even did a 60-minute cardio DVD later that night. Go me!

3. I’m pretty sure yesterday was the first time we’ve EVER not made anything separate for Baby B. This probably won’t have too often, but I knew there would be enough variety for her to find something she would eat. And my little vegetarian even ate a little turkey.

4. I’ve still got major nasal congestion from my cold three weeks ago. If this hasn’t cleared up by Monday, I’m going to the doctor about it. This is getting ridiculous.

5. We cleaned out/organized the garage today. I joked that we need to hurry up and have #2 so we can get rid of all of our baby crap that is taking up space in the garage waiting to be used next time around. I can’t wait until that stuff doesn’t have to hang around here anymore.


What happened next?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I realized recently that I talk about a lot of issues that come up in our day-to-day lives but sometimes don’t give updates later, so I’ll take this chance to do that.

Tummy issues: We’ve started the probiotic, and she may be having a mild reaction to it, so that may have actually been our allergy culprit. We don’t know for sure because if it was a reaction, it was very mild, so we’ll continue the probiotic until we have a reaction similar to before. Hopefully it won’t happen, but we’ll have the Zyrtec ready just in case. And more than anything, we just hope the probiotic helps!

Biting: Baby B had one day a couple weeks ago where she bit one child (on the lips! ouch!), but other than that, we haven’t had a problem with this since the week after Labor Day. That was when she was cutting her canines, and now the biting is coincidentally gone. Her last round of biting was when she was cutting her molars. I hate blaming stuff on teething, but the correlation seems too strong here. Just four more teeth to come in. We’ve had a few signs that her two-year molars may be coming in, but I think we’re still far from those cutting through. I can’t wait until she’s done with getting new teeth. (Well, at least until these baby teeth fall out.)

Picky eating: Baby B is still quite a picky eater, but I think we’re getting better about knowing what foods she will eat and how we can trick her into eating those and other things. We still give her new foods, including what we’re eating that night, and sometimes it’s successful and other times it’s not as successful. I feel like it’s not nearly as stressful an issue now, so either she’s better about it or I’ve become better about dealing with it. Maybe a little bit of both.

My running: I seem to have recovered physically; it took about a full week to feel 100% again. I gave myself that week off from any form of exercise (besides walking The Dog), but I started doing workout DVDs earlier this week. My goal is to lose an additional 10 pounds before packing on the pounds with mythical child #2.

Toddler talk: I was afraid that when Baby B learned to say the name of The Dog, it would come out sounding like penis. Thankfully I was wrong on that; it comes out sounding quite close to the actual name, which I would have sworn would be difficult for her to say.

The scary shadow: We seem to have nipped this one in the bud. She had that couple of days where her shadow was very scary to her, but our approach of making friends with it, dancing with it, and acknowledging it before she had a chance to get scared really seems to have helped. She was quickly back to normal and ignoring the shadow as usual. Now if she does notice it, she might stop, but she doesn’t freak out.


Recovery mode

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Woo hoo! This weekend was a super-busy one at work, but our¬†biggest issue of the year¬†is now¬†in the history books! ¬†Usually I’d be off work today, but since I’m off Friday, I figured I should come in and get a few things done. At least a half-day, anyway.

I’m pretty brain-dead still and feel a bit scattered, so it’s probably best if I do a bullet-point post so I don’t have to worry about a logical order to things.

*Four more days until the half-marathon. Two more light training runs. (I scale back the training runs this week in an effort to gear up for the big day.) We’re leaving on Friday after lunch.

*I love Baby B so freaking much. That is all.

*We’ve taught Baby B what “one more!” means, as we say it as a countdown to finishing something she likes to do. For example, if she’s going down the slide at the park and we need to leave, we’ll raise our index finger and say, “One more!” and make her repeat it before taking that last turn. But Baby B is starting to figure out how to manipulate the system. Sometimes when we say “one more,” she’ll hold up both of her index fingers side by side and instead of repeating what we said, she’ll proclaim with big, excited eyes, “Two more!” Sometimes we do amuse her with two more,¬†while sometimes we stick with the original plan of one more. Hey, she has to win some battles, right?

*I’m not sure if it’s because my expectations have been lowered over the last 9 months of eating struggles, but it seems like meals have gone fairly well lately. She’s still immensely picky, but she’s finally at least trying some new foods at times, and we’ve even had a few nights where she’s cleaned her plate.

*The diaper situation doesn’t really seem to be much better. It’s not really worse, but¬†not better, though we were told to give it a month to see if it does any good, so I’ll wait the remaining two weeks before calling them back (unless it does get worse, in which case I won’t hesitate to call before then).

*I feel bad, but Baby B is going to have to miss her Halloween party at daycare on Friday. We’d originally planned to attend it with her, then leave for Indy right after, but I need to get downtown by 7 p.m. to pick up my race registration packet, and it’s at least a three-hour drive from here, so that’s cutting it pretty close since the party is at 3 p.m. They do have packet pick-up on race day from 6 to 7 a.m., but getting up at 4:30 a.m. (because our hotel is about 30 minutes from downtown) to ensure we get down there in time to pick it up before the race isn’t really a stress I need that morning. So to make sure I get it Friday night, we’ll leave after lunch that day. The good news is that the Halloween celebrations¬†will be in two parts on Friday at daycare. In the morning, they’re doing the trick-or-treating, then the party will be in the afternoon. So really she’s just missing the sweets that she probably doesn’t need anyway and will still have a chance to dress up.


Dirty diapers bite

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mom lesson #231: If you’re going to do poo-poo voodoo in the car, roll down the windows FIRST.

This reminder brought to you by Baby B’s mom.

So Baby B is still having diaper issues, except this time, we’ve got pretty much whole chunks of food (beyond just corn) that are appearing. (Sorry, I’ll try to make that as graphic as I get in this post.) The more I thought about it, the more I realized that Baby B hasn’t really had too many truly solid diapers since starting finger foods; they’re of,¬†let’s just say, a¬†less-solid consistency. I just thought that was her norm, but with daycare threatening that they’re supposed to call us to pick her up if she has X number of loose diapers in X amount of time, I called the pediatrician to make an appointment to talk about what’s going on. Her last stool cultures a month ago came back negative, but they ordered another one to test a few more things.

The doctor’s office called me yesterday around 11 a.m. to say they wanted to do the sample. I called daycare and asked them to keep any dirty diapers she might have so we could get the sample down there on Thursday. Usually she has a dirty diaper in the afternoon, so I thought that’d work well. Guess who didn’t have a dirty diaper in the afternoon? No problem, I thought. She is guaranteed to have a dirty diaper after breakfast on Friday, as she does every single morning. Guess who didn’t have a dirty diaper this morning? Yeah. So we sent Baby B to daycare and told them to call us if she had a dirty one. Naturally, just 20 minutes after I got to work, they called and said that we’d hit the jackpot, so I had to leave work, assemble the samples into the various containers, and drive to the lab. Thankfully the daycare teacher gave me a set of gloves, and I got started with the samples in the car. Without rolling the windows down first. Yeah, bad idea! After gagging, I rolled down the windows and circulated the bad air out of the car. The smell, thankfully, did not linger.

I think she has something called toddler’s diarrhea, which she seems to have nearly all the symptoms of (I will spare you the list). The only problem is that this is something that most commonly happens because the kid drinks too much juice, but Baby B doesn’t drink juice. She does eat a lot of fruit, so perhaps that’s the issue. We’ve cut back on her fruit intake this week, but so far I can’t tell a difference.¬†Toddler’s diarrhea is¬†diet-related — it’s not caused by a virus or bacteria –with the solution being to give a higher-fat diet. Of course, she hasn’t been diagnosed with this yet, but I’m almost willing to place a bet on this being her diagnosis. And I dread having to limit her diet, as she already limits it so much because of her picky eating. But we’ll cross that bridge if we come to it after we see what the doctor has to say on Tuesday morning.

We’ll also be addressing the biting issue (again) with the doctor, as Baby B has had at least 4 incidents this week at daycare, two last week, and she got me hard (enough for bruises) on each of my shoulders. My suspicion is that it’s teething-related; her top two canines are just about to¬†pop through the surface, and her last round of biting happened when she was getting her one-year molars.

Her past two days at daycare have been better, but we need to see if there’s anything else we should be doing. I think we’re doing well in approaching this, but it can’t hurt to at least have some reassurance from the pediatrician.¬†I feel like we need to do what we can because at some point the daycare is going to say that enough is enough and kick her out if we can’t control her biting. On some level she does understand that what she is doing is wrong. She gets upset if we tell her that teeth are not for biting, and she’s got a book about biting that we read every night, then she flips through it and says, “No! No! No!” while pointing to the kids biting. I really don’t know that they’ll have anything else to suggest, as we’ve done a good amount of research on this issue ourselves, but it can’t hurt to address it while we’re there anyway.


Tricksing our little hobbitses

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

So,¬†that’s enough posts about running for this week, I think. Turns out there’s still¬†a cute little toddler to talk about. (Oh yeah! Her!) I’ll still include some running stuff over the next few months, though. I briefly considered starting a new blog to track my journey through this process, but then I realized that I was crazy for even having the thought! I sometimes feel like it’s hard enough to keep up with this one, so I really shouldn’t branch out. So my compromise is to include some stuff here so I can document it, but don’t turn it into a blog of its own.

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I’m finding that our level of success with getting Baby B to eat well at dinnertime often hinges on how easily we can trick her into it. There’s definitely an element of reverse psychology in dealing with a toddler, and we’re not above using such tactics. Some examples:

*I don’t know why she likes this, but she’ll eat green beans that are frozen. I don’t mean that they were previously frozen, but that they are just out of the freezer and still hard. I’ve learned that she’s not as likely to eat them if I just put them on her dinner plate, so I take out the bag when I’m putting together dinner and give them to her one at a time when she comes into the kitchen asking for food. I hand one to her and she gets a huge grin on her face, then runs back to the living room to eat it before coming back for more. Sometimes I pretend that she really shouldn’t be having them, that it’s going to ruin her appetite for dinner. In reality, I count it as being part of her dinner, just served in a different manner.

*She is definitely more interested in the food that’s on our plates than the food that’s on her plate, even if it’s the exact¬†same thing. Typical “grass is greener on the other side/I want what I can’t have” syndrome. So occasionally I’ll make room on my plate for her serving of a dish so she’ll want it more and will actually eat it. She doesn’t realize that it was intended for her all along.

*Meet the Evil Claw. He’s a little monster that you make with your hand, and he comes and steals your food from your plate with his mouth. (Put all five fingers onto the desk and lift up your middle finger so it’s parallel to the desk. This forms E. C.’s head, and¬†the other fingers on your hand stay on the desk to form his legs). We’ve tried this only once, but it was funny how eager she¬†was to eat her carrots when she saw they were being stolen from her! (E. C. dates back to The Husband’s childhood, when his aunt was the puppetmaster.)

*Along those same lines, if she’s resisting a certain food, one of us will pick it up off her plate and pretend to eat it. That person will offer it to the other person, who also will pretend to eat it. Again, the idea of her food being stolen from her is enough to make her want it sometimes.


Tidbits and tales o’ toddlerhood

Thursday, June 5, 2008

On non-bath days, we’ll sometimes have to get sunscreen from daycare out of Baby B’s hair (they put it on her head because she doesn’t have much hair, and what she does have is very thin, so her scalp is pretty exposed. And trust me, a hat would not stay on her head longer than¬†10 seconds while playing), so we have The Husband hop in the shower with her since it’s faster than a bath. She really likes the water splashing down on her, and I’m¬†glad we do a combination of baths and showers so she can experience both early on. Anyway, when The Husband turns off the water, she looks up at the showerhead, raises her arm, and waves her hand up and down at the wrist, saying, “Bye-bye” over and over to the water that has¬†disappeared. She never does this when the faucet is turned off during a bath.

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Our post-story (and song) time ritual each night goes like this: The Husband holds Baby B as she says goodnight to her stuffed kitties, stuffed raccoon, and stuffed lion (each individually)¬†on the bookshelf. Then we open the door and let her hug The Dog and say goodnight (“nigh-nigh!”) to him. I ask for a mommy hug and she acts like she’s going to come to my arms, but she fakes me out and dives back into The Husband’s shoulder. I pretend like I’m sad, and she eventually comes to give me a hug. I give her back to The Husband, we turn on the crib aquarium, and I go to the door to leave, turning around to say “bye-bye” (this has helped tremendously with the brief bout of separation anxiety lately) and blowing her a kiss. I shut the door most of the way but still make my presence known by opening and closing the door a little or making a funny noise. After about 10 seconds of this, I open the door quickly and burst into the room, walking silly over to Baby B, who giggles in The Husband’s arms. I open my arms wide and give them a big group hug, one arm over The Husband and one arm over Baby B.

So here’s the funny part. When I go in to give the group hug, I keep my arms around them both. Baby B then takes this time to put one hand on my cheek and one hand on The Husband’s cheek and push our heads away from her and facing toward each other so we’re thisclose¬†to kissing. We do a silly little kiss and she giggles. We turn our heads toward her, but she does the same thing again, pushing each of our faces toward each other until we kiss. It’s such a fun little game that she invented! ūüôā

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Have I mentioned what we call Baby B’s Big Cheesy Grin? She does this all the time and it just cracks us up (even when it probably shouldn’t). She does it at many different situations, but the most sneaky is when she’s just done something wrong. For example, if she throws her food on the floor, the first time we’ll say, “Unh-uh! No food on the floor! Don’t throw!” The second time it happens, we’ll say, “Unh-uh! We said no food on the floor. Eat your dinner!” She looks all serious at first, and we think she might be really getting our point, and then she busts out the Big Cheesy Grin, and it’s all over. I’m much better about not bursting out in laughter when she does it, but it’s very hard not to. But it’s not just times like these when she does it. She’ll pull the Big Cheesy Grin when she’s also doing something really fun and wants to show her complete satisfaction; it’s not just when she knows she’s being rotten. Though she sure does like to bust it out then.

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You know how it’s always depicted in movies and TV when someone is electrocuted…they have this surge that goes through their body and causes them to convulse? That’s exactly what it looks like when Baby B has one of her Surges. A Surge happens in our house when Baby B either does or eats something that she really, really, really enjoys. A bite of blueberry pancake? SURGE! Time for a banana? SURGE! We get to go for a walk? SURGE! She puts her arms out like she’s going to give a high five, then her smiling¬†face gets red and she does her little mini-convulsions. It cracks me up every time, but so far I haven’t tried to get it on video because I think it would come out too subtle and you wouldn’t really be able to tell what she’s doing. Still, it cracks me up every time she does it.


Maw. MAW. MAWWW!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

So, as picky as Baby B is about eating, you know what she seems to love? Raw bits of onion. This video is from last night, when we were making dinner. Baby B indicated she wanted some, and we let her try it, thinking that she’d spit it out. Well, she loved it and kept asking for more. (Incidentally, you can also hear her saying her newest word, “more,” in this video, as well as her signing it. Or rather, she sort of squeak-honks it!)


Tonight’s menu: Increased pickiness with a side of self-induced vomiting

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ug, I’m so frustrated and just need a place to get this out. I rarely use this space as a place to genuinely vent, but I really need to right now. I thought we had Baby B’s eating issues figured out to the point of being reasonably happy with how meals were going, but we’ve taken a few steps back in the past week. At first I thought it was because she had that stomach bug last week that threw things off, but I’m not so sure now. I think we’ve got another layer of the independence thing emerging, and I feel like I’m at the end of my rope in dealing with it…and we’re only just beginning.

So here’s how a typical dinner has gone for us over the past week. I spend about 45 minutes making probably 4-5 different items for Baby B’s dinner (in addition to whatever I’m making for dinner for me and The Husband, which we also offer parts of) because I have no idea what she’ll want to eat that night due to her pickiness. And just because she’s liked a food before doesn’t necessarily mean she’ll eat it again that night. If I make just one or two things for her and she doesn’t eat them, then that leaves her with nothing, so I feel like I need to make a variety of items so it increases the chance of her liking something.

We sit down to eat and¬†first offer her the food that she’s least likely to eat; some kids are more receptive to these types of food when they’re the most hungry. Either she’ll pick it up, put it in her mouth, and promptly spit it out accompanied by a disgusted face, or she won’t even give it a chance and automatically throws it on the floor. We try again. Same result. We try again. Same result. You get the idea.

We move on to food #2. Usually this is something she likes a little better and she’ll eat a few bites of that before either deciding that she wants nothing to do with it or trying to give it to The Dog. We gradually offer foods #3 and #4, as well as some more of #1. Probably 90% of it doesn’t ever make it into her mouth, and the of the 10% that does, probably 1% is actually swallowed.

Baby B then decides to become eager about eating. We get excited but suspicious. She’s eating corn. She’s eating beans. She’s eating carrots. She’s eating oyster crackers. Next thing we know, she decides that instead of drinking milk and chewing and swallowing this food, she’d rather stick her finger in her mouth and make herself throw up. What little food she actually had swallowed comes out. We clean up the vomit and the high chair tray. Sit down for round 2.

She’ll pick at a few more things, but round 2 generally consists of throwing food off her tray. The Dog is very happy. We quickly¬†decide her dinnertime is over and move on to her fruit, which she always eats. (Perhaps her antics are just a plot to get to the fruit, and maybe we’re just encouraging her by still giving her the fruit after all this instead of withholding it. I can see how that’s true, but since she eats so little, I also feel like I need to let her have the few things she’ll actually eat.)

So, she eats her fruit eagerly. Fruit is gone. We begin cleaning off her hands and face and she seems to have this urge to put her fingers in her mouth and make herself throw up again. I’ve read that you’re supposed to completely ignore this behavior as it’s just a means of getting attention and/or asserting their independence, but I honestly don’t see how that’s realistic when 1) we have to clean up the mess that would ensue, and 2) she already hasn’t eaten much in the first place and I’d prefer it stays in her tummy. So we take turns deflecting her hand from her mouth and saying, “Uh-uh!”¬†as her finger seems to gravitate toward it as though it’s possessed. Usually she does not manage to actually throw up during this charade.

Thus ends dinnertime, with stresses high and bellies not full. I really, really try not to show my stress to her and give her that attention that she’s begging for because I know she just feeds off of that, but it’s so hard. We’ve tried so many approaches to this, and I just don’t know what to do next. We’ve tried cutting back on her afternoon snack and how close to dinner she has it. We’ve tried ignoring her at dinner (other than to offer her more food; we can’t give it all to her or she’d toss the whole plate off the tray) and just letting her do her own thing without us hovering. We’ve tried micromanaging dinner. We’ve¬†hoped that once she went without much dinner one night that she might be more eager to eat the next day. We’ve tried feeding her, and we’ve tried letting her feed herself. Nothing has worked, and it’s becoming more frustrating than probably anything we’ve dealt with so far. Seriously, there’s no way we can take her to a restaurant and have her put on this show for others.

And this comes on top of a week when Baby B seems to have more of a preference for The Husband than for me. She’s thrown multiple fits to end all fits for me when I’ve been in charge, but as soon as Dad comes back, she’s pretty much all smiles and laughs. I’d say it’s again the assertion of her independence thing, and she’s feeling the need to assert it against me more right now, but it’s so hard not to take it personally. I know I just need to suck it up and get used to it, because the rest of her life is going to be spent edging herself away from me and needing me less and less, but it’s such a hard transition after the first year when they need and want you for everything.

So yeah. I don’t really know where I’m going with this other than just getting it out and hopefully clearing my head of the frustration. The last time this happened, it lasted a couple weeks, so I hope this passes quickly and we get back to enjoying dinnertime. I love to cook, but I hate making all that food if it’s just going to end up on the floor. The Dog sure loves us right now, though.


It’s like this and like that and like this and uh

Thursday, March 6, 2008

*I’m pretty sure that the child locks on our bathroom and kitchen cabinets fool me 98% of the time.

*I’m glad to report that Baby B’s eating has been much better since I dropped the nursing session right before bed. There are some things she’ll still refuse to try, but she’ll actually¬†give more things a chance¬†now and she hasn’t made herself throw up. Thankfully she loved the tomato basil tofu, and she’s really enjoyed peanut butter on crackers and peanut butter sandwiches, so those both make me happy. She also gobbles up fruit like she’s afraid we’re going to take it away from her.

*I am so, so glad we don’t have to deal with a pacifier when I hear Baby B’s daycare teacher talking about the trouble she has with the other toddlers and their pacis.

*Baby B’s teacher said yesterday, “I just can’t believe how active she is for her age! She’s not hyper, just very, very active and wanting to be involved in what others are doing.” Very true.

*Baby B is¬†a¬†biter, and I’m hoping we can get this stopped before it becomes an issue. She mostly does it with us at home (do you know how much it¬†hurts to¬†have your cheek bitten? or your stomach fat?) and we try to catch her before she even does it (you can generally tell when she’s leaning in to do it). Her teacher told me that a couple days ago, she nipped her friend Big Buddy on the hand when Big Buddy thrust it in front of her face. They said it’s the first time they’ve seen her do it, but I’m hoping this is not a new trend. A kid isn’t thrown out of daycare on a first offense, and the teachers and director will make every effort to discourage the child from biting, but it is something that she could technically be thrown out for.

*Baby B loves to give us zerberts on our bellies, and she has the sound down so perfectly that if my eyes were closed,¬†I’d never know it wasn’t a real fart sound. She does this and then giggles right before doing it again.

*Baby B is fascinated with The Husband’s nipples when it’s his turn in the bath. She’ll reach up and pinch them (ha! finally she’s doing it not just to me!) and then look at him all confused as if to say, “But why don’t they¬†work?” She’s tried to latch on once or twice while The Husband squirmed away, which of course had me cracking up.


She don’t eat meat, but she sure likes the bone

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I’m definitely beginning to think that Baby B’s dinnertime woes are related to asserting her independence against us, Mom and Dad. Not only does she (allegedly) eat just fine at school, but she put on a show of eating eagerly when we had company last night; she couldn’t shove her carrots in her mouth fast enough.

But alas, we cannot have dinner guests every night, so we must still try to think of ways to get her to eat dinner (without it being toasted cheese sandwiches every night). It’s funny because when we first started feeding her table food, I’d scour the labels of all the foods carefully, making sure there wasn’t too much sodium, too many processed sugars, etc. But, you reach a certain point where you think, “I don’t care anymore, as long as she eats something!”

Baby B has had a pretty strong preference against meat pretty much ever since we moved beyond pureed meats. We’ve tried beef, fish, chicken, pork–all of various preparations–but she will have nothing to do with it. I often¬†joke that she’s my little vegetarian baby. However, since meat is a major source of protein, we’ve tried introducing other foods that are high in protein to make up for it. Scrambled eggs generally go over well, and beans (various kinds)¬†are hit or miss. We tried edamame, but she wasn’t too crazy about that, though we’ll try it again shortly. We decided to go ahead and let her try peanut butter to open up some food options, but so far she’s turned her nose up at it. Again, we’ll keep trying with that.

Armed with frustration over the whole eating thing, I decided to go to Wild Oats (soon to be Whole Foods) last weekend and see what kind of goodies I could find. I’d never been there before since I know it’s pricier than the regular grocery store, but if it means finding something that she’ll eat, then it’s worth an occasional trip there. Fifty dollars and a whole cartful of food later, I’m hoping that we have some options that Baby B will go for. Among many other things, I got her some veggie burgers, organic soups, organic diced carrots (which she seems to like), and baked sun-dried tomato and basil tofu. Here’s hoping we find a few things beyond toasted cheese sandwiches that Baby B will gobble.

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I swear Baby B has a special radar that draws her directly to The Dog’s toys, and something about them makes her prefer those over her own toys nine times out of ten. We sometimes let her play with The Dog and his toys (she’ll hold a ball and try to keep it away from The Dog, or she’ll throw it for him) as long as she doesn’t put it in her mouth, but the one thing that’s always off limits is The Dog’s bone. I’m sure it’s a matter of her wanting it even more because she sees we don’t want her to have it, but it really is amazing how much she wants to get her little baby paws on that thing!

And naturally The Dog is drawn to pretty much any of Baby B’s toys that are lying around. The good thing about this is that it forces us to clean up her toys many times throughout the day (after playtime), so our house is never a wreck with toys scattered about if we’re not actively playing.


Fright night

Friday, February 22, 2008

Have you ever scared someone so much you make them puke? I hadn’t before–until tonight. LOL

We were done with Baby B’s bath and were having fun playing our usual peekaboo with the shower curtain. We were on our last time doing it and I peeked out from the curtain extra fast and¬†lunged for her arm with my mouth, ready to eat it up from her wrist to her shoulder. But that plan was altered when, after I¬†popped out from the curtain,¬†we heard a hiccup and then a¬†quick, “BLEHHHH!” and realized that Baby¬†B had thrown up. It sucked that she threw up the three bites of dinner that she’d actually eaten, but we all laughed at the situation, especially since it happened after Baby B had poured water all over The Husband’s jeans (the puke ended up on his shirt and the floor).

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Frustrated in the evenings with Baby B’s continued dinnertime standoffs, I decided to bite the bullet and drop the nighttime nursing session. Part of me thinks that maybe she doesn’t eat at dinner because she knows she’ll be nursed a short while later. I really need to completely wean from nursing before long, but it’s just an emotionally difficult thing to do. It’s a weird position to be in where I feel pretty strongly about wanting to quit but have the attachment that keeps me from doing it. In a way, it feels like I’m addicted¬†to a drug, where I know it’s not something I want to be doing for much longer, but I lack the ability to break the emotional attachment I have to it. Dropping the night feeding first will be easiest since she does eat dinner about an hour before that feeding, and I’ll continue the morning feeding for a little while longer. (Not yet sure how long.) We replaced the nighttime feeding with a bedtime story (we read to her often, but just haven’t ever made it part of a regular routine…we just do it whenever it fits into the day). She went to bed easily like normal tonight, so we’ll see if she wakes up at the same time or if she wants to get up earlier because of the dropped feeding (and the aforementioned puking of the dinner).


A bit of this and a bit of that

Friday, February 8, 2008

Still have troubles at dinnertime–now Baby B is actually eating a few things, but then will stick her finger down her throat and up it comes–but she did have fun today feeding herself yogurt with a spoon. She was a MESS, but she actually did really well, eating more of it than what she was wearing. It was a lot of fun to watch!

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Baby B is so close to doing a real kiss. For a few weeks now, she’s made the “smack” sound of a kiss but without puckering her lips, keeping her mouth wide open after making the sound. In the past few days, she’s figured out how to do the puckered fish lips to go along with the sound. So cute.

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Baby B’s latest favorite game is playing with the diapers in her changing caddy. She takes them out. She “bangs” them together. She puts them back in the caddy. She takes them back out again. She sits on them. She puts them back in another compartment. I swear she could do this for an hour without getting bored. I could do this for an hour with her without getting bored.

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Baby B’s last day in the infant room was today, and she’ll start in the toddler room on Monday. The only thing that makes me a little nervous is the lunch thing since she’s not doing too great with eating. I suspect she’s not the first picky eater they’ve dealt with before, though.

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Baby B has made the transition to just one nap a day over the past couple of weeks, but the good news is that it consistently seems to be at least two hours long (and it hit 3 1/2 hours once). She’s always been more of a catnapper, so this switch to a longer nap, even if it’s just one, is a nice change of pace. Plus she’s done some of her weekend naps in the crib lately, so that gives The Husband and I some free time during the day, which we typically do not have. We still occasionally will have her nap with one of us in the recliner or on the couch; those days are numbered, and I want to take advantage while we can.

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No new developments in the area of walking. Baby B will lead us throughout the house if holding onto our hands, but she isn’t quite brave enough to do it on her own. Sometimes she’ll hold onto us one-handed if she’s holding a toy in her other hand.


Trickery dickory dock

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I talked to the teachers at Baby B’s daycare yesterday evening about her eating habits at school and if she throws the same fits and refuses to eat there. Part of me was relieved to find out she usually gobbles up her food and eats really well, especially if it’s something she likes. That definitely gives us some clues into the mystery of why she’s doing it at home.

Part of it could be asserting her independence from us, her parents–that age-old struggle that I didn’t really expect to deal with until a little later, but perhaps this is when it begins. She probably doesn’t have as much need to assert that independence from her teachers, plus she has the added incentive to do the same things her peers are doing, so that could explain it.

Another possibility is that she’s just not hungry come dinnertime. She eats as much as she wants at lunch around 11 or 11:30 a.m., then gets an afternoon snack, so I figured she’d be hungry by our dinnertime at 6:30 p.m., but one of the teachers reminded me that she still gets her milk throughout the day, so that could be filling her up. We’ll be sending our last milk tomorrow since she moves to the toddler room on Monday and won’t need breastmilk there. (It’s very interesting to note that the milk we send tomorrow will completely deplete my frozen supply. The timing could not have worked out any better, and I am very pleased about that.) It’s possible that her evening appetite will increase once she’s on a definitely three-meals-a-day, two-snack schedule without as much filler milk (and just has whole milk with meals). I’m not holding my breath, but it’s possible.

So last night we took a more relaxed approach to feeding her. We offered her plenty of choices and still made her feel included during our mealtime together, but we didn’t concern ourselves nearly as much with how much she was eating. When she’d throw things on the floor, we wouldn’t even acknowledge it. (The dog sure did, though!) If she would pick something up to try it, we’d say, “Mmmm! I bet that’s good!” to offer positive reinforcement. I wouldn’t say she ate as well as she has before, but it was much better than it’d been on Tuesday night. She ate some bits of ham steak, tried a few bites of the carrots she’d completely ignored previously, sampled some hard-boiled egg, and ate a few bites of a biscuit. While our approach didn’t completely turn her around, I can see how it might work over a longer time period, so we’ll probably need to stick with that for a while.

We’re not really at a point where we can reason with her and convince her why she needs to eat; it’s pretty much all about the trickery at this point. So I’ve been trying to think of ways for her to get her nutrition without always having to give in to a toasted cheese sandwich or waffles. I really don’t want her to think that throwing a fit equals always getting what she wants.

One thing that came to me this morning was to try other kinds of toasted sandwiches, incorporating foods that she might not otherwise eat on her own. I’m thinking things like toasted tuna salad, turkey, and chicken sandwiches, but who’s to say I have to stick with things that are considered “normal” sandwiches? I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t try to offer her a toasted pea and cheese sandwich, for example. Might sound gross to adults, but most kids like some kind of weird combination of foods, so maybe we just have to find hers.

I also think it’s time that The Husband and I read “The Happiest Toddler on the Block,” which I’ve had several good recommendations for. We got it for Christmas but hadn’t read it yet because we (ridiculously) thought we wouldn’t need it for a little while longer. I’m not really into parenting books, per se, but we loved “The Happiest Baby on the Block” and have seen so many good reviews of the toddler version that I think it’s worth a shot. We obviously have a fiesty, indepedent one on our hands, and we need to learn how to balance her need to express that with our need to make sure she doesn’t get out of control.

All current eating frustrations aside, we really have had an easy time with Baby B overall, and I know we’ll continue to go through various cycles of “easy” and more difficult. It just comes with the territory. I try to keep things in perspective as best I can, while always remembering to have fun at the same time. I never want to lose sight of that.


Gag me with a spoon finger

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Thank god for the Internet. This isn’t the first time I’ve had that thought, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. But it’s just the latest in many situations where I’ve been glad to get a¬†good sense of other people’s experiences with children to know if what we’re going through is well within the range of normal.

For a week or so, Baby B has been putting her index finger in the back of her mouth. We figured that either she was just exploring her mouth (hey, gotta learn somehow) or that she was cutting molars and was trying to touch where she felt the pain. (We’ve suspected another round of teeth for a few weeks now, so that theory was consistent with that possibility.) Usually she’d end up gagging herself with her finger, but last night it escalated into full-on vomiting. First, it happened once before dinner when I was holding her and she had her finger in her mouth. We try to take her finger out whenever we see her doing this, but she’s very quick with it and can do it before we’re able to stop her. She proceeded to vomit on herself and on me.

Then at dinner last night, she started out eating her food pretty well. She had some scrambled eggs, rotini, and edamame on her tray. (She doesn’t really seem¬†to be a meat¬†fan, so we’re trying to find some good sources of protein.) The scrambled eggs were a hit, and the rotini went over well at first, but then she developed¬†a sudden distaste for it. (The edamame was very seriously ignored from start to finish.) She’d put some rotini in her mouth, then stick her finger in there and gag herself, making herself throw up two different times. I’m sure it’s not a coincidence that she did this when she was trying to eat the foods she didn’t want. As soon as I gave her crackers and some cheese (two of her beloved favorites), this whole gagging act “mysteriously” went away. Obviously she’s doing it on purpose, though we’re not yet certain of the reason. Perhaps to get a reaction out of us. Perhaps to get out of eating the foods she doesn’t want. Or both. I’m not quite as convinced about the teething thing now since she stopped doing it once she had foods that she wanted to eat.

So, a little worried that she had some kind of stomach disorder or something, I consulted Dr. Google and found a Q&A at BabyCenter where someone wrote in asking how to get their toddler to stop gagging himself. BINGO! After reading probably half of the 19 pages of user-submitted answers, I now feel better that this is a normal thing that some¬†toddlers go through, and we don’t need to make a reservation with the eating disorders clinic. It’s just funny that I’ve never heard of anything like this, though admittedly my first-hand¬†experience with toddlers is limited. The general advice seems to be to ignore the behavior–don’t panic about it or make a big deal of it–and they’ll eventually stop doing it. I just hope that “eventually” means sooner rather than later.

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In non-puking news, Baby B spent most of the day in the toddler room at daycare today (all of it except her nap and lunchtime). When I went to pick her up, I entered the infant room and the teacher said, “Do you know where your daughter is?” I laughed and said, “Well, I’m hoping she’s up in the other room!” I went to the other room, opened the door so she could see me, and she dropped her jaw and¬†let out¬†a big gasp. (This is a very¬†favorite behavior of hers, and it cracks me up every time.) There she was playing with her old pal Big Buddy, and her other friend Curly was on the other side of the bookcase. The three girls reunited again! She doesn’t officially begin in the toddler room until next Monday, but they’re going to take her down most of this week as long as they have room. The teacher said she did great in the toddler room, and everyone there still seems to think she’ll transition just fine. She’s already doing much better than Big Buddy, who cried and cried and cried for the first couple of weeks. Sometimes it’s a little sad to see my girl so independent because it makes me feel like she doesn’t need me as much, but there are other times that it really is to her advantage to be like that.


Veggie tales

Monday, February 4, 2008

You know, I thought we were soooo fortunate when Baby B loved pretty much every pureed food we put in her mouth. “Oh, look! She’s not a picky eater! That’ll make it so much easier on us!” we beamed to each other, proud of our little eater.¬†

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!

What we didn’t count on was the fact that her tastes would change when she started finger/table foods. She loved pureed green beans, but eating real green beans? Um, not so much. She loved pureed sweet potatoes, but sweet potato chunks? They typically find their way to the floor during mealtime, which of course the dog loves, but it’s not exactly the best for her.

And what makes things even more complicated is the fact that she can change her mind on a whim. One night she will gobble up black beans, but the next night, she wants nothing to do with them. Each night for dinner, I have to prepare a wide range of food items for her meal, not just to give her good nutrition but because I just don’t know what she is going to eat that night. If anything. Some nights recently, she’s eaten not much at all, which is okay is since I’m still nursing her, but at some point that’s not going to be the case.

Five foods are nearly always winners: yogurt with fruit, waffles, toast, cheese, and toasted cheese sandwiches. *sigh* Anything else is up in the air.

I don’t think it’s an issue with feeding herself, either. She loves to do that when it’s a food she likes. Sometimes we’ll try giving her things on a fork, and that’ll raise her interest somewhat. Other times we’ll pick up the food and hand it to her. But other times she wants us to do nothing and will eventually do it herself, on her own timetable. It definitely gets frustrating after a while, but we just clean up dinner and vow to try again the next night. I was just hoping to avoid having a kid that hates her vegetables, but it looks like we’ve got one on our hands.

Of course, that’s just how it is this week. I swear if you give it a week, things will often change course drastically. I can only hope that’s true at this point.


Eating us out of house and home

Friday, January 18, 2008

My baby has become an eating machine.¬†Over the course of about three weeks, she has gone from a baby who would gag at anything chunkier than applesauce to an eating machine that¬†gobbles up most everything on her tray. This is NOT a complaint, as I was a little worried that she was slow in making the transition to adult foods and would have trouble when it was time to switch to the toddler room at school, where they don’t get bottles.

Her favorite thing right now seems to be toasted cheese sandwiches, with just plain toast as a close second. In fact, she loves toast so much that when we make it for dinner, we have to hide it in the kitchen and save it until the very end because if she sees it, she won’t eat anything else until she’s had the toast.

She also quickly went from a distaste for cheese to quite a love for it. Other favorites at home include (so far) black beans, peas, pasta,¬†cut-up pears, and mandarin oranges. They’ve been giving her the school meal at lunchtime for about two weeks now, and she’s had the opportunity to eat chicken nuggets, tuna salad, mixed veggies, fruit cocktail, and green beans (not all on the same day, obviously!).

The transition to the sippy cup (instead of bottles) at daycare seems to be going fairly well considering she’s just a week or so into it. She took all of her milk from the cup (as opposed to from the bottle) yesterday, so here’s hoping she keeps up with that. I feel like she’s right where she needs to be in this area.

During the week, I’m nursing Baby B once each¬†in the mornings and in the evenings, and for some reason I always thought it would be the morning feeding that she would drop first, just because so many babies use that evening feeding to relax¬†before bedtime. However, judging by how she’s acted this week, I have a feeling she’s going to drop that evening feeding first, because I can hardly keep her eating for more than 5 minutes (total for both sides) and she’s always squirmy and more interested in playing than in eating. Of course, now that I think about it, it makes sense that she’d drop this feeding because it falls so close to her dinnertime, so she’s probably pretty full after all that toast. (Dinner is at 6:30 p.m. and the nursing time is at 7:30.) I’ll still continue to offer a feeding at that time, but I suspect that is going to be the first one to go.


Attention! Read all about it! Get all your cute Baby B stories here!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

No real unifying theme to this post other than just a few cute stories that I want to capture here so I don’t forget them 20 years from now.¬† (Note to self: Must make backup copy of this blog lest anything disastrous happen to WordPress or its contents.)

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Baby B has (quickly) figured out how to get rid of food she doesn’t like–more specifically green beans–so she doesn’t have to eat it. She has discovered that if she places them down in the chair beside her, then they’re gone and she’s that much closer to eating her beloved toast (which, by the way, we have to hide in the kitchen and save it for last, otherwise she won’t want to eat anything else but the toast if she sees it). One green bean after another she directs from her tray to the chair, and so far she’s only done this with green beans. (Though, last night she finally ate a few, so maybe she’s made it past the ick factor.) It’s hard not to laugh when she’s doing this, but I must say I’m impressed with the cleverness of this scheme.

*****

One of Baby B’s new favorite games is to play “Doors,” as we call it. She’ll go on the other side of a door and shut us out of (or into) the room, then will open the door back up (she rarely latches the door all the way and can open it by digging her fingers into the door frame) and laugh at whoever is on the other side of the door, then shut the door again. We do this over and over and over. And then some more. And then again. She really loves Doors. (Who knew she’d be entertained by such a cheap game?) Oh, and she’s also figured out how to play with the door stops on the wall behind the doors. BOING!!!

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Baby B was¬†playing “Kitchen” the other day when The Husband told me to come and see something. I peek around the¬†corner from the real kitchen and saw what Baby B was doing: using the¬†utensil to stir something in her play pot, then would put it in her mouth as though to taste it. Then she’d go back to stirring it, then taste it again. With so many things she does, I think they might be flukes…that she’s just doing some combination of things that¬†I then interprete as something more meaningful¬†than it really is.¬†But when I see¬†her doing things like this repeatedly, it’s hard to deny the nature¬†of her actions. And it’s really¬†awesome to see!¬†I’m sure she doesn’t fully get it yet, but I love being able to see the beginnings of her make-believe play.

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This kid is amazingly independent a lot of the time when she plays. We still don’t leave her out of our sight for more¬†than maybe a minute or two when she’s playing,¬†but she can play with her toys (or the dog) on her own across the room from us and not even notice that we’re there. So many times when I go to pick her up at daycare, she’s off in one of the activity corners enertaining herself, yet she’s by no means anti-social. In fact, she’s the official welcoming committee for the other babies in the infant room, as she always goes over to greet or send off anyone who arrives or departs. I love that so far she has a good mix of independence but without being a loner. (I first typed “loser” in that last sentence. Yeah, I’m glad she’s not a loser, either.)

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Baby B still isn’t walking–at least not by the normal “walking” definition. But she does have a nice Spider-Man kind of walk-crawl going on. She’ll propel herself forward as usual with her hands, and she keeps her left knee on the ground like in crawling, but she takes her right leg forward and steps with that foot. It comes off looking like this gimpy spider/crab/lizard kind of walk.


Seat & eat

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Further proof that Baby B is moving from infanthood to toddlerhood:

¬†1. She took her last ride in her infant car seat yesterday morning when The Husband dropped her off, then used her new convertible seat for the first time when I picked her up. It’s definitely going to take a little practice to get her in there while the seat is still rear-facing, at least without bonking her head. I’m not sure yet when we’ll turn her forward-facing (I know she’s going to love seeing everything), but as of right now, she’s not going to meet the weight requirement (20 pounds) by the time she turns a year old, so we’ll have to wait for that at the very least. We may wait longer since rear-facing is still safer at her size.

2. We sent Baby B’s bottles to daycare yesterday along with a sippy cup, with instructions to offer her milk in the cup first, then give her the bottle if she doesn’t drink it all from the cup. So, in theory, she’s on her way to dropping her bottles. I feel like we’re doing well in our transition to adult food only. We¬† have established three definite meal times, with grown-up food for¬†breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day, so I’m hoping that dropping bottles (and later nursing) shouldn’t be too much of a problem. We’ll find out before long.


Transitioning the tummy

Friday, January 4, 2008

As I’ve mentioned before, Baby B has been a little slow in enjoying some finger foods because she’ll gag a bit (and sometimes throw up from the gagging) when she gets a chunk of food near the back of her mouth. It’s been a little frustrating, but whenever she does that, we just put up the food in question and try again another night, then continue feeding her things we know work for her.

We had a mini-breakthrough over the weekend when she ate toast and pancakes for the first time without hesitation or any kind of gagging. I thought maybe we’d made it over the hump, so on Wednesday night I tried giving her peas as a finger food. Generally one of two things happened. Either she picked them up and threw them on the floor (I think because it amused her) or she’d try to bring it to her mouth and she’d lose her little grip and accidentally drop it. So not too many peas were eaten that night.

Last night I decided to cook up some pasta for her, offering cut-up rotini and spaghetti. She’d rejected pasta before, but I figured it was time to give it another try. This time I put a tiny dab of butter in it and sprinkled some parmesean cheese on it and tossed that together. At first, she wasn’t too impressed. She’d pinch the rotini between her thumb and forefinger and either throw it on the floor for The Dog or put it in her mouth and take it right back out.

She did this four or five times and I was about to give up on it yet again when something happened to cause a light switch to go off in her head: “Mmmmm! Yummy! Want pasta!” She DEVOURED her pasta and the peas I’d also offered on her tray. She couldn’t get enough (we only gave her a small amount at a time) and started trying to stuff whole handfuls of pasta and peas in her mouth. It was hilarious.

After she’d ravaged the pasta, I decided to push my luck and offer her some cheese (a mild monterrey jack blend), another food she’s not been particularly fond of. To my great surprise, she gobbled that up, too! This girl was an eating machine last night! I just hope this isn’t a fluke and she’s well on her way to eating grown-up foods because she needs to make the switch before she can move to the toddler room at daycare after she turns a¬†year old.

It’s funny because I’ve spent the better part of the past year worried about maintaining my milk supply so I could nurse Baby B for a year. Now that my ultimate goal is within sight and it looks like I should be able to accomplish it, I’m kind of caught without a plan for weaning. I feel pretty strongly that I want to wean before she’s old enough to ask for it–something about that makes me uncomfortable–and before nursing becomes just a comfort thing instead of a nourishment thing. I don’t plan on cutting her off at a year to the day or anything, but I would like to wean at some point in the coming couple of months, so I’m trying to figure out the best way for us to go about it.

Since she’ll be dropping bottles around the one-year mark, I’m thinking I’ll continue to nurse at home while she’s making that transition; I don’t want her to undergo too many changes at once and freak out. The morning feeding will be the easiest to drop first, I think, then we’ll work on that bedtime feeding next. I’m not sure yet how I’m going to make the switch on weekends, when I nurse her for all four feedings.

We’ve at least begun a switch away from breastmilk by introducing whole milk to Baby B this week. We’ve given her a couple ounces each of the past two nights with dinner, and she seems receptive to it. Until now, she’s had only water in her sippy cup since neither The Husband or I are crazy about the idea of juice.

Last night I took off the sippy cup lid to let her drink from the side of the cup while I hold it, which she loves to do,¬†and she surprised me by putting both of her¬†hands around the cup to do it all by herself. She was a little messy with it, but more of the milk (and later water) ended up in her mouth rather than on her bib.¬†Looks like that’s yet another thing we’ll keep practicing with her.


We’ve got to hand it to her

Monday, December 17, 2007

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usDinnertime has always been a fun, pleasant time together as a family once Baby B started solids, as she’s been receptive to every new food we’ve tried. We’ve actually been very fortunate with just how eager she’s been during the whole process. So it was a bit confusing and frustrating on Sunday night when Baby B would throw a fit every time we’d try to spoon-feed her apples and chicken or her side of carrots, a meal she’s previously loved. Then we noticed that she would be just fine feeding herself crackers and Goldfish. Hrmm. At first we thought maybe there was a soft food vs. crunchy food thing going on, but that just didn’t seem to be it. So we let her try to feed herself with her spoon and sure enough, she was back to her happy eating self. We’d feed her again and she’d bawl. We’d let her put the spoon to her mouth herself, and she beamed from ear to ear.

For some reason, this milestone caught me a little off-guard. I really didn’t expect she’d show signs of being ready to feed herself with a spoon until after she was a year old, but sure enough tonight’s dinner went quite the same as last night’s: She’d fuss if we tried to feed her, but as soon as she had the spoon in her hand to feed herself, her eyes would just light up and the spoon would go right into her mouth. Most of the time she’d get most of the food in her mouth on her own, but sometimes we’d still hold our hand on the spoon to at least guide it a little, and that seemed to help keep the mess down somewhat. I guess I’ll be looking for some toddler spoons this weekend.


100% chance of scattered stories

Monday, December 3, 2007

Warning: I can almost guarantee this post is going to be scattered, but I’m worn out and don’t have the clarity to organize it in any¬†fashion.

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I wish I could say the break from blogging this weekend was because I was recovering from the NaBloPoMo challenge in November, but unfortunately it’s because I was on 100% baby duty along with taking care of a very sick husband (on top of still being sick myself). On Saturday I was very concerned about him and was keeping a close eye on things in case I needed to rush him to the ER. It’s probably the sickest I’ve seen him in the nearly eight years we’ve known each other.

Thankfully he started acting more like himself on Sunday (though still not great) and was able to make his way to work today, which was necessary because his company has a policy against a certain number of unscheduled absences within a certain time period. (Personally, I think if you have a note from the doctor regarding your medical status, you should be exempt from this. Also, people always complain about their co-workers coming to work and spreading their sick germs around instead of staying home, but the only thing that these policies encourage is returning to work too soon.)

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On a good note, I was able to spend a lot of time with Baby B since I was the one in charge of her. Thankfully she was a perfect angel for me, even taking a nap in her crib each day without any protest. (Usually napping is a challenge with her since she likes to be on the go all the time, and often attempting a nap in her crib means Major Meltdown City, so usually we let her nap on our chest on either the couch or in the recliner. But I tried the crib over the weekend, and it was a success!)

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We discovered that¬†Baby B¬†can wave on command now, though she still usually needs to see us do it first (as opposed to us just saying, “wave!”).

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On the solid food front, I gave her pureed brussels sprouts for the first time, and she really seems to have liked them.¬† (Yay, because I love them.) I’d kept a couple aside to give her as finger foods, but she did the gagging thing again. I’m starting to wonder if she’s having an issue with the texture of mushy bits of food. We’ve tried chicken, turkey, rotini, banana, and now brussels sprouts with no luck. She’ll gag and/or throw up when she’d previously eaten. But, over the weekend, I let her try graham crackers and regular goldfish for the first time since she’s always been great with puffs, and she did¬†perfectly with both of those. (I was especially proud of her with the graham cracker, taking nice, small bites each time instead of stuffing the whole thing in her mouth like I expected.) So, she does fine with the crunchy stuff and not so well with the softer stuff. Hrm. I’m not really sure about a solution to it yet other than just being patient and trying it again periodically.

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You’re going to laugh at me, and that’s okay. We finally gave up logging Baby B’s diaper and feeding times this weekend. Yes, we were told to do it about two weeks and continued until she was 10 months old. [waiting for laughter to stop before I continue] I really liked the sense of control I got from it, and it was especially helpful in reminding me how long it’d been since I’d nursed/pumped and what side I needed to do next since sometimes it was hard to remember. But with me not pumping anymore and just nursing in the mornings and evenings, it seems like a wasted effort. Over the weekend, I felt a little lost when I couldn’t remember how long it’d been since a dirty diaper, but it wasn’t a big deal. And of course that’ll be a non-issue on weekdays when the daycare teachers keep track of such things.

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I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned how Baby B likes to take her hand and pat our backs repeatedly when we’re holding her, just as we’ve done to her since she was born. She first started doing it to The Husband a couple months ago, but she finally started doing it to me over the weekend.

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Nursing twice a day has gone well so far, as I seem to have enough milk left to at least do that much. I do not miss having to pump or clean pump parts and bottles. I’m glad I did it for so long and have no regrets about that, but I don’t miss it.


BAM! for babies

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Since we’ve been through most of the fruits and veggies, we decided it was time that Baby B move on to meats. We tried giving her little shredded bits of chicken, but she’s not quite ready for table food yet. Although she didn’t choke, she did gag when we put the piece of chicken in her mouth and had done the same with a small bit of banana. She does the chewing motion but doesn’t yet feel comfortable with the mass of solid food in her mouth and doesn’t fully know what to do with it. We’ll give that another try next month.

But in the meantime we’re able to puree meats, which probably sounds as gross to you as it does to me. Logically, meat shouldn’t be served in a pureed form, period. I consulted my homemade baby food recipe book and found a few ideas, so we got started a few nights ago, trying chicken and apples first. I have my “rule” that I won’t feed Baby B anything that I won’t try myself, yet I was incredibly nervous to try the chicken and apples (with cinnamon).¬† Kind of surprisingly, it wasn’t that bad…and I might even venture to say it was pretty good, and Baby B must have agreed because she finished all of it eagerly.

Chicken and cinnamon apples went over well last night, too, so I decided to try chicken and carrots pureed together tonight. I was even more skeptical to try this one, as it looked like pale orange pudding. Even though it was primarily orange in color, the dominant flavor was instead the chicken, and that was pretty good, too! Some subtle sweet notes from the carrots to complement the flavor profile of the chicken. Baby B quite enjoyed this combination, as well.

If they start a baby food cooking show on Food Network, I’m so auditioning to be the host!


Look what turnip in her bowl

Thursday, October 4, 2007

We’ve been through most of the major fruits and vegetables with Baby B, and now we’re branching out to some of what I call the more “exotic” foods before really getting started with introducing finger foods. When I went to the grocery store the other day, I checked all of the stage 1 jarred foods to see if we’d skipped any that we’d forgotten about, but it looks like we’ve covered all of those. So now we get to have some fun with making foods that aren’t really offered in jars, which is one of the advantages to making our own food.

Baby B¬†recently finished a round of fresh papaya, which she really seemed to enjoy, and the¬†last two nights she¬†enjoyed turnips (which I didn’t even¬†try myself for the first time until a few years ago when I went to visit The Husband’s family for Thanksgiving). On the heels of that will be pumpkin (probably with nutmeg or cinnamon added), and maybe parsnips after that. So far she’s been very receptive to trying all these new foods, so we might as well let her¬†try as many as she’ll let us give her.

It’s funny to think I was ever nervous about starting solid foods because it’s really been quite fun. Of course, now I’m nervous about feeding her finger foods because we introduce the dangerous possibility of choking. Not coincidentally, we’re finally taking our hospital’s infant CPR class this weekend, which includes instruction on choking,¬†as well.


When all else fails, shovel it

Friday, September 28, 2007

The other day, we gave Baby B some cut-up pieces of banana as her first real finger food, just to try it out and see how she did. She’s got a real good pincer grasp, but since her fingers get wet from putting them in her mouth and because the bananas are slippery to start with, she sometimes has trouble picking it up. (Yes, I know about the trick of rolling the pieces in ground-up Cheerios or graham crackers, but we had neither at the time.) Rather quickly, Baby B figured out on her own that all she had to do was get her face down near her tray and push the piece of banana directly into her mouth without needing to pick it up. The Husband and I looked at each other in amazement as she did this not just once (which could have been a fluke), but two or three times in a row.

Is she very advanced, or what? ūüėČ

We also recently gave her one of those mesh infant teething feeders, in which you put baby-appropriate foods (we used banana first and did papaya next) and they can eat them without fear of choking on big pieces. That went over very well, even though it is a pain in the rump to clean well.


Miss Independent

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I like to (jokingly) ask Baby B when she’s going to start pitching in around here: “When are you going to start making your own bottles?” “When are you going to get a job and pay for your own diapers?” “When are you going to drive yourself home from daycare?” Obviously the humor in all of it is that it’s so ridiculous to expect such things from an itty-bitty baby.

But, she’s on the verge of being able to feed herself, so we got her some Gerber Puffs to test out, since she can practice her pincer grip and chewing, but the Puffs melt in her mouth, so they dissolve if she can’t quite figure it out. We started giving them to her a few days ago, and already she’s made a big improvement. Her grip, while clumsy at times, is right on at other times. If she has the Puff between her thumb and forefinger, she can get it in her mouth pretty easily. However she’s hilarious when she gets it in the middle of her hand and puts her whole hand in her mouth trying to get the Puff–yet somehow the Puff stays outside her mouth. Once she gets it in her mouth, she usually does attempt to chew it, so that makes me feel a little better about introducing real table food at some point (we’re still undecided when we’re going to do that, but probably when we introduce meat after going through the major fruits and veggies).

Who is this child who’s starting to feed herself and who is crawling all over my house trying to explore every nook and cranny?


It’s not easy being clean

Monday, September 17, 2007

We’ve had pretty good luck with removing various stains–from diaper blowouts to spitup to fresh food–from Baby B’s clothes by pre-treating with Shout gel. However, we recently met our match in the war on stains when we learned that fresh bananas are nearly impossible to remove from clothes, even with our beloved Shout. At the recommendation of a parent from one of my message boards, I tried Oxiclean (though a little skeptically).

There are several ways you can use OxiClean, and I started by adding a scoop to the stained laundry, but that didn’t seem to remove the ick. Yesterday I tried method 2, which was soaking the clothes in a bowl with hot water and OxiClean, then running them through the washing machine again. I transferred the laundry from the bowl to the washing machine after a three-hour soak, and I was still a little skeptical because some of the stains still appeared to be hanging around. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find that the stains had disappeared when I pulled them out of the dryer! I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that Baby B wouldn’t be able to wear these clothes out anymore, but I’m very glad to have them back again.


Dormant geyser

Monday, September 10, 2007

I must say how nice it’s been lately with Baby B having virtually no reflux issues. At one point, it was hard to imagine there’d ever be a time when we’d let Baby B go bibless during the day, but she pretty much just wears them to eat now. The pediatrician wants us to continue the Zantac until her nine-month appointment, but we’ve cut the dose in half and she seems to be doing well so far.

Baby B loved the peaches we gave her last week (actually, *I* loved the peaches, too), and we had our first night of carrots tonight and that went well, too. I had to add a little extra milk when I was blending the carrots, but I got it to a good consistency that Baby B was able to handle. We’ll do a few more nights of carrots before tackling pears late in the week. We’re really chugging right along on the food front.


Almost human

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Um. Well. Without getting too graphic, Baby B’s dirty diapers have finally turned a little too human-like, if you get my drift, in the past few days. Ewww.

That’s it…we’re going back to feeding her only milk from now on! ūüėÄ


Can we have an update, peas?

Monday, August 13, 2007

The visit with The In-Laws went well (except for the broken deck), though it went by too quickly. The were of course smitten with Baby B (but did we really expect it any other way?), as she was completely entertaining for everyone. She came close to crawling several times, but she still hasn’t quite figured out how to move her arms forward. Once she does that, I think she’ll start to take off!

We’re looking at our options with the deck, and it looks like it might be easiest to fix it without making a homeowner’s insurance claim. A friend of my family has built many decks over the years, and he’s offered to come over and look at it to see if it can be repaired, then help with fixing it, and all we’ll be responsible for is the cost of the supplies. He’s probably not going to charge us for his labor, but of course we’ll give him something to show our appreciation if he’s able to help. Hopefully we’ll know something more this weekend.

It looks like it collapsed because the bolts that secured it into the house were way shorter than they should have been. I have my suspicions that the previous owner of the house (who built the deck when he lived here) did the job on his own and did not hire a contractor or anything. I also suspect he did not get it inspected, but I have nothing really to prove that. We’ve tried to contact him to find out more, but have yet to hear anything back.

Anyway, back to Baby B news. We had her try peas for the first time today, and I was expecting it to taste more bitter to her, thus more funny faces. The camera was at the ready. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find out that she loved the peas and didn’t once contort her face!

It’s funny because with every batch of baby food we’ve made, I’ve found myself taking a bite of it before giving it to her, just to see how it tastes. I realized today that it’s probably a good way of deciding what foods to give her…I shouldn’t give her anything that I wouldn’t eat myself. Seems kind of obvious in a way, but I hadn’t really thought about it in those terms.


How do ya like them apples?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Last night was the first night of apples, and it was amusing, to say the least. With nearly each bite, she’d make a funny face as though she were eating something sour and then would make a fake gagging face. We were using red delicious apples, so I’m sure they were a little sour compared to, say, squash, but it’s not like we were using genuinely sour apples. Pretty funny to watch, though I personally love sour things so much that I proclaimed that she must not really be my child.

We tried apples again tonight, and it went perfectly! She leaned in to each bite, as usual, and was ready for the next bite before I could get the spoon back to the bowl. So far we’ve had quite a bit of fun with this new adventure.


Bumpers and knees and gourds

Saturday, August 4, 2007

We decided not to buy a bedding set when putting together the nursery because we didn’t want to use the traditional bumpers since we did not want to worry about the SIDS and suffocation risks associated with them. We decided we’d wait and see if a bumper became necessary, and if so, then we’d get one of the breathable bumpers. In the past couple weeks, Baby B has managed to wedge her little legs and arms (but mostly her legs) in between the slats of the crib to where she couldn’t get them unstuck, so the time came to get a breathable bumper, which we did today.

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Several times today Baby B managed to get her knees underneath her when she was on her tummy. She can also lurch forward a few inches at a time, but so far she hasn’t put those two actions together yet. Once she figures that out, then it’s Crawl City for this baby. We bought many babyproofing supplies while we were out today, so we’ll start putting those around the house in the coming weeks (or sooner if necessary).

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Tonight was the first night of yellow summer squash, and it went really well. In fact, she finished a whole squash all by herself (it was a pretty small one, though).


Just wait until…

Friday, August 3, 2007

One of the things that bugged me when I was pregnant was when I would mention something about my pregnancy, and the instant response I often got was, “Just wait until…” or “You think that’s bad? It’ll be much worse later.” I did understand that people just want to share their stories, but at the time it felt like the experiences I was going through at that particular time were being minimized or brushed aside when someone would say that.

Then a couple days ago, I caught myself about to do the “just wait until…” thing I used to dislike so much. Thankfully this happened in an IM conversation and I realized what I was doing before I sent the message, but it still annoyed me a little that I did this. I’m definitely going to have to keep an eye on that; my intentions, of course, are good, but I don’t want what I say to be misinterpreted as brushing off another person’s current experience.

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Avocado was a HIT tonight! She fussed a few times, but went right back after the spoon–and actually finished the whole thing! A whole (though very small) avocado, all by herself!

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Also, she was really pushing herself up a lot earlier tonight. Not all that much forward movement tonight, but she was quickly proving that she has way more arm strength than me!