i have another guest post over at parentsavvy.com of a list of thankfuls. check it out here!
this little ball of seriousness turned 7 months yesterday. i can’t believe he is 7 months already–i know every parent says this, but where has the time gone! oh bastian, how mama loves (pretty much) everything you do!
everyday he amazes me with how adorable and sweet he is. it gives me warm fuzzies all over inside
i hope everyone has a happy weekend! this is a photo from bastian’s 6 month shoot. we are using some for our christmas cards so i don’t want to share too many. i just love this one. it’s one of the only photos he is smiling in. that little stinker, turns sooo serious when he gets outside. this weekend we are laying low and getting ready for a busy holiday weekend next week. stay warm and happy weekend!
my sister of taura horn photography took these amazing photos of bastian’s first trip to the zoo. she, my mom and bastian all decided to go to the zoo on raining day while i was at work. she captured his excitement so sweetly, i really love these photos. i can’t wait to take him myself! i think it goes to show, your children are never too young to be exposed to things like the zoo, reading, videos, dancing, etc. i have read how important it is to communicate with your baby. even when you don’t think they understand you, you are building the foundation for their verbal development. it’s easy to baby talk with your munchkin, but what i have read is to tell them everything you are doing. for instance, “mommy is going to change your diaper” “we are going to take a bath”. so bastian and i have many conversations, and someday he will be able to respond to me :).
one of my girlfriends who is expecting a boy in december asked me the other day if i have ever done a post on breastfeeding. i was kind of shocked that i haven’t devoted anything on this blog to the one thing that has consumed most of my time since bastian was born. i am no expert, and i will tell you that it didn’t come easy for me, but i have stuck with it and thought maybe i could share some of my ups and downs of the whole process. there is just too much to write in one post, so i decided to split them up into a few milestones i had.
i always knew that i wanted to breastfeed – my mom did it, my girlfriends did it and hey, it saves you a ton of money. in all the research i did throughout my pregnancy it became clear that it was the right thing for me to do. i had heard horror stories about being sore, baby having a hard time latching, baby having allergies, but as a pregnant women you never think it will happen to you. i remember thinking, ‘hey it’s so natural, this is going to be a piece of cake!’ we went to a breastfeeding class where we learned about breastfeeding…but there is so so so much more to learn. breastfeeding to me is all about experience – you can spend hours in the class room, but that real world experience is what gets you in the know. i am not saying classes are bad, because i loved the class i went to and without it i would have been even more clueless, but until that baby gets here you can’t really know what it’s going to be like.
when bastian was born, we immediately tried to breastfeed. he seemed to be doing great! the nurses and lactation consultants all said he had a great latch. the hospital has you log all their feedings, peepee and poopy diapers. they said that if he fed for over 10 minutes that it was considered a “good feeding”. by the end of day one, i was sore. the next day his pediatrician said he had a short/tight frenulum (the little tendon that attaches your tongue to the bottom of your mouth), so when she did his weewee snip snip she said she was going to cut his frenulum a bit too. by the middle of day two i was scabbing. i kept asking the nurse, “is it supposed to hurt this bad? is this something i am just going to have to get used to?” it was a toe curling pain the second he latched on and started sucking. the nurses kind of looked at me like “honey, yep, get used to it”. so i sucked it up…i mean i just had a natural labor and i am going to sit here and whine about a little scab?
the day we left the hospital they weighed bastian and he had lost weight like all/most babies do. we were so full of joy, tired, excited, nervous to go home. that first night home my milk came in. everyone has told me, including the nurses at the hospital, what to expect. it feels like rocks in your boobs, hard rocks. the thing no one ever told me was that my baby didn’t want to nurse off a rock hard boob. he kept waking up at night and i remember struggling to get him latched on. he would cry, i was probably crying haha, and my boobs were so confused! the next morning we went to his first pediatrician appointment. we were so excited, first time parents, getting ready to take baby on his first trip to the doctor! they weighed bastian and they said he lost too much weight. well what does a hormonal tired mother do, she just starts crying. i felt awful! i felt like i was starving my baby. the pediatrician gave us an intensive feeding and pumping regimen to follow the whole day and i would have to bring bastian to the hospital (the ped office would be closed) the next day to make sure bastian began to gain weight. i spent the whole day crying, pumping, feeding all while i had cabbage leaves (yes, weird but it is suppose to help engorgement) and hot towls on my chest. i was literally a mess. i kept thinking ‘i want to stop this, i want to just stop breastfeeding’. it became so clear why some women stop, because in those moments i wanted to so badly.
when you are the one responsible for your child’s food, the level of stress and responsibility is like i have never experienced. despite all my hardships, i kept on truckin’. the next morning we went to the hospital and met with a lactation consultant who weighed bastian. he had gained 4 oz in one day. we passed with flying colors! so we made it through engorgement, and he began to gain weight, but after a week of continuous toe curling pain every time he latched on and a baby that was hungry all the time, i needed an expert opinion. we contacted a pediatrician who is also a lactation consultant and specializes in cutting frenulums.
when we met this doctor we immediately loved her. she looked at bastian’s mouth and knew right away that his tongue wasn’t able to extract milk efficiently. she told us she could cut it a little more right there and have it done. there was absolutely no hesitation on our end and after a couple of seconds it was done. she had him latch on and asked me what that felt like, i replied that i didn’t think he was eating, and she assured me he was, and that this is what it is suppose to feel like. i wanted to jump up for joy and scream hallelujah! i couldn’t believe the difference, night and day. we were so impressed with this doctor, we decided to switch pediatricians, and to this day we are so thankful we made that switch.
with all the initial difficulties out of the way, i figured it would be smooth sailing from then on out. well with kids, you realize it’s never smooth sailing, and as soon as you get one thing figured out another thing changes. bastian was extremely gassy and cried a lot. we tried gas drops (didn’t work) we tried colic calm (a homeopathic drop that didn’t work either) so the last thing i tried was my diet. i cut out dairy (milk, butter, cheese, yogurt) and gas producing foods like beans, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. it seemed to work! most babies have a hard time digesting milk protein. to this day i am not sure if he was really intolerant to dairy, but when feel like you find something that works, you won’t chance it.
now if you have made it this far in the post…thanks haha. after two months of breastfeeding, and a happy healthy baby i felt pretty comfortable. the time you spend feeding your child is so special. you have their full attention and the connection you make is priceless. if bastian had his way, he would have spent 23 out of the 24 hours of the day eating…wait i take that back, he wouldn’t be eating he would just be using me as a pacifier. bastian was a slow eater, very very slow. it took close to an hour during those first couple weeks to eat. morning, noon and night i was breastfeeding and getting about an 1-1.5 hour in between feedings. he would fall asleep and i would try every trick in the book to try to get him to stay awake, and in the end i just had to succumb to the hour long feedings. it did get quicker every week and now it takes him around 10 minutes to eat.
bottom line, breastfeeding was way harder than i could have ever imagined. i thought, ‘hey it’s natural, it should be easy!’ but for me it wasn’t. every mom is different, but if you stick with it and push through all the challenges, it’s so worth it. ask for help, don’t be afraid to go see a lactation consultant. talk to your family or friends when you feel worn down and ready to quit. although all those long nights seem like they will never end, they do. although you feel like you haven’t left the couch or the rocker in 10 days, you will. although you now feel like a milk machine and less like a human, you will look back on those moments and long for them. i promise. the feeling of being held down won’t last. cherish those times of having a sleeping baby on your chest, and most of all, relax.
i know this is extremely lengthy, but breastfeeding is such a huge part of my life and there is so much to say! my next journey was returning to work, which will be another post. i hope i didn’t bore any of you and most of all, i hope maybe i inspired at least one person to push through the hardships and find that happy place that breastfeeding brings you and your child 🙂
i really wanted to share this crescent moon pillow i made for my girlfriend kate’s baby boy. she found a similar pillow online and i fell in love with it. i figured it wouldn’t be too difficult to make myself, and thought it would be the perfect gift for her baby shower.
if you know how to sew, and i am talking sewing straight lines nothing complicated, then you could totally make this yourself too. i did some embroidery work for his eyes, mouth and on his nighty cap, again embroidery isn’t hard either and is something that if you have a little bit of patience you could do yourself. i have kind of become obsessed with embroidery every since i did these DIY leggings and my family and friends made me the most amazing quilt known to man. there are about 3 sewing/embroidery projects i have in my mind…now to just find the time. i thought it would be cute to add a little start dangling from his hat too. i just love this little moon man.
i think the color looks great in her nursery, especially with that awesome turquoise accent wall. her son’s nursery is going to be so adorable, i can’t wait to see the final product!
this past weekend my girlfriends and i threw a baby shower for one of our best friends, kate. she is due with a little boy at the end of december and we couldn’t be more excited to meet him. it was a great little gathering of friends and family with lots of yummy food. she received some adorable gifts, i found myself asking “where did you get that?” because i want one for bastian…but that kid really doesn’t need anymore clothes that’s for sure. i designed the cute invites and was really pleased with the way they turned out. i wish i would have snapped more photos of the decorations because they were really cute, but when you are trying to host and take care of a wiggly 6 month old, there is no time for pictures. we had a onesie craft project that people weren’t totally thrilled about at first haha, but soon realized it was simple, easy and just about anyone who can hold a pair of scissors can do it.
we are all so happy and excited for her! can’t wait to meet that little guy and see what he looks like. i am ready to hold another newborn again 🙂
now that bastian is 6 months we have introduced solid foods. brian and i were both just counting down the days until we could let him try “real” food. my aunt gave us the most awesome baby food maker called the beaba. this gadget makes baby food making super easy and quick.
we decided to start with sweet potatoes because they are healthy, a vegetable, cheap and kind of sweet. i peeled one large sweet potato and then chopped it into about .5″-1″ cubes. the beaba steams the raw food which makes less mess in the kitchen. i poured water in the little steam hole, and then put the chopped sweet potato in the steam strainer. the beaba comes with a little book that tells you the proper amount of water and time you will need to cook different vegetables and meats. you just click the steam button and walk away!
once the sweet potatoes were cooked i poured the excess water into a little dish so that i could add as little or as much water to get the consistency i wanted. the cooked sweet potatoes get poured into the blender and just turn the dial to blend. once i had the consistency i wanted i poured the food into portioned containers made by beaba. they are 3 tablespoons portions that can be put in the freezer and easily popped out when you need them. you can use ice cube trays too. i made the food a little on the thick side so that once i thaw them out (i just use the microwave for 20 sec or so) i can add water, breast milk, or juice.
so far bastian has had: sweet potatoes, avocado, chick peas and butternut squash. my pediatrician wants us to try as many vegetables before we introduce fruits. she says that baby’s tend to love fruits because of the sweetness and then don’t want anything to do with the vegetables. she didn’t want us to give him rice cereal due to the fact that it’s just empty calories and contains no nutrients for baby, but i know people that do the cereal and like it. she gave us a list of foods that are great ‘baby’s firsts’ and then encouraged to feed him what she called “super foods”. this consisted of chick peas (garbanzo beans), pinto beans, kidney beans and lintels which all contain protien, zinc, iron and vitamin c. one thing that she told us that surprised me was it’s ok to use spices in your babies food. i would have thought the more bland the better, but she said don’t be afraid to try things like cinnamon, salt & pepper, even spicy spices. i think you don’t want to use too much, and it’s probably better to try out the food first to make sure they don’t have any allergic reaction to it. you are suppose to wait 3-5 days in between adding a new food to your baby’s diet to assure that they aren’t allergic to something.
we feed bastian twice a day, lunch time and dinner time. he is a really good eater and just loves to open his mouth big and hold his big boy spoon. side note: he didn’t initially just love solid food – we had to keep trying for a week or so before he finally took to sweet potatoes. the one thing that we didn’t anticipate with starting solid foods was…what goes in…must come out. i have heard their poo starts smelling worse and becomes more like ‘real poo’. but no one ever told bastian that and he was pretty mad about it. poor little guy was struggling to push his doodoo out and i know it was kind of painful for him. i asked my pediatrician and she said to give him 2 oz of water or diluted apple or prune juice every time he eats. some moms have told me adding pears or apples to their food can help with poopy problems too. well turns out he loves prune juice…i mean who wouldn’t 😉 well the poopy problems seem to have passed…pun intended. i think until your little one gets the hang of pooping solid foods, it’s best to keep your baby food pretty runny with water or breast milk. they say if your baby is having a hard time taking to solids, start by adding a little solid food to your breast milk and then slowly add less.
i know some people think making your own baby food would be too time intensive or too much work. i find it to be super easy, and it will ultimately save you money. we are excited to start making meals in the beaba, like turkey dinner, yum. here are some good baby food cookbooks that i have found:
there is still a lot i have to learn about baby food and making baby food, but so far i really like it, and so does baby bashie!