Friday, June 28, 2013

Stress & Blessings

Today was hard. Well, this week has been hard. We've been hit with some blows this week, in our friendships, our faith, our finances. Prayers/thoughts would be appreciated for us.

I've recently started working outside the home again, only a few hours a week, but now we have to decide it it's time for me to leave. Which is upsetting.

Don't get me wrong! My calling is to be a stay at home mom, I've always known this. For this season I took this job to help in some other areas. But it may be conflicting with some things. And we don't know what to do now. It's disheartening, I'm really enjoying my work and my new co-workers and I'll be sad to leave if/when it comes down to it.

As my emotions were high today my exceedingly active daughter did not want to be still, and wanted to be constantly touching me if not playing, sometimes both at the same time actually haha. I'm more and more understanding the mom term of being "over-touched." By nine p.m. as we were waiting for Daddy to come home, I was crawling out of my skin from my want to not be touched.

Bree is working on her seventh (7th!!!) tooth, and is a biting, teething, stinker because of it. She is allll about biting right now. Biting your face, your shoulder, your toes.... biting mommy while nursing... its been a joy. And she is getting into head butting (where this came from I do not know). Today was literally CryingBitingTeethingNursingTOUCHTOUCHTOUCH.  I was pretty frustrated, and that is okay because it totally happens.

At one point I just broke down crying. I hadn't eaten all day (not good for my supply), had a raging headache, a child who wouldn't be sat down... it wasn't seeming to end. Bree looked up at me and apparently found my breakdown hilarious, as she started clapped and laughing hysterically! When she realized how well she was clapping (something she's been working hard at) she was so pleased with herself she clapped and laughed even harder out of sheer glee.

Which of course made me smile and laugh too.

The tides are hopefully changing. I've been a very unhappy person this week, and I don't like how it affects myself and my family. I am so incredibly thankful though, that no matter how hard the day is, I have a little bundle of happiness who can cheer me up and brings me such joy. She is worth everything, and I wouldn't change a thing.

Pray for us, think positive thoughts, whatever it is you do. We can use them.  But even in our hardships we are filled with joy, its so wonderful, I really am blessed.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Our 1st Adventure With Sippy Cups!

Today I decided to see if Bree would drink water out of a sippy. She enjoys water (including drinking it out of a water bottle if mommy holds it for her) but doesn't seem to like drinking it out of bottles, so at our most recent grocery trip we bought a sippy with handles for her to try. We also have a sippy at home for friends with kids visits (regular old sippy style) and decided to try both to see which works best!

Pictures below tell the basic tale, however be aware that the sippy with handles, bought thinking it was a training cup, is in fact a "stage three" sippy, not a beginners. Which makes sense that she had a difficult time with it. We will be buying a beginner's sippy soon!

Hey Mom! Let's do this!

We tried the sippy with handles first. Bree absolutely loved that she could hold it herself and stick the "straw" in her mouth on her own. She is quite independent and prefers to do things on her own. Points for the handled sippy! But upon discovering it was a sippy for older babies/kids, it made sense why it was so hard to draw up water.

This one was a bit frustrating for Bree. She got the water out more easily, but this was harder to grasp and put in her mouth. She definitely needed mommy's help.

Overall, after a lot of playing and DependenceOnMommy tears (who wants help?! I can do this myself!), the favorite seems to be the bright, colorful, handled sippy. It wins the award from an independent baby! The old-school sippy wins my vote simply because she could get more water from it.

We will be finding a middle-ground sippy soon, or Bree may surprise me and gain better skill with the big kid sippy!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Homemade Baby Food Tutorial

Today I decided to make some baby food, and I've documented the steps to show you how I did it!

Since Bree was born I wanted to make my own food for, and do baby led weaning. Before Bree began eating foods she was exclusively breastfed, and is still predominantly breastfed with complimentary foods as infants should get most of their nutrition and calories from mama milk before the age of one.

Many BLW parents like to skip pureed foods and let babies finger-feed themselves off mommy or daddy's plate, and while that works for lots of people, after a few choking episodes we decided to do pureed and mashed foods until the little one gets more teeth for chewing.

We have given mashed avocado and mashed banana before, and Bree wasn't a fan. At the grocery store one day we happened upon a pouch of food called Happy Baby Organics.

One of the reasons I wanted to make our own food was because of all the unhealthy fillers in most baby foods, GMO ingredients, and the fact that many have been recalled for various things, including glass being found in the food.

But when we spotted this pouch (Dr. Sears approved btw, love that fellow), the only ingredients are the ones on the cover! No additives, no preservatives, just whatever fruits/veggies were used, and vitamin c. So we got a few. And Bree loved them! Totally scarfed them down. So we have totally been enjoyed the ease of store-bought baby food from a pretty decent company (I hate Gerber).

Recently however I decided I still want to try homemade, because it does save money. A wonderful cousin also gave me a baby food mill/grinder with jars as a baby shower gift, so I decided to put them to the test as you will see below.

For my first baby "recipe" I chose to stay simple and just do pear and banana. I got my Green Sprouts food mill and my other tools ready.

I peeled the pear, and diced some with banana and threw it in the bottom of the grinder.

I used Ball brand plastic, freezer safe jars to pour the mixture in when it was down. It took some elbow grease to grind the pear, and the mixture came out with a chunky texture. Some babies like that, some don't, so do whatever is best for you. I assume if you used steamed veggies and fruits, or just more ripe ones it may have been easier too.

For the heck of it, I decided to use the ingredients in our Bullet to see how it worked.

Definitely much smoother and quicker, something I would definitely recommend for someone short on time, or for a baby just starting purees.

All in all, the process didn't even take half an hour, and I got nearly a week's worth of meals for Bree! I enjoyed the "cooking" time, and it was easily done while Bree napped, and I'm sure I could do it with her crawling around or playing as she does now.

Next time, we'll be trying some broccoli!

If you want to make your own baby food, it is so easy, just use whatever veggies or fruits you wish, you could use a bullet, grinder, food processor, blender, or even just mash with a fork! It is pretty simple and the possibilities are endless.

~The Crunchy Mama

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Family photos!

One of my Mother's Day gifts this year {other than my Kindle and chocolate chip pancakes} was breastfeeding and family pictures done by a friend. She is a fantastic photographer if you're in the market, and can be found here, at Jamie Lamson Photography. I have always loved the gorgeous breastfeeding photos you see everywhere, and wanted a few to treasure myself for when the babes are older. Here are a few I'm excited to share with you!

I love my photos and cannot wait to decorate our home with the prints!

I will hopefully have some pictures up soon of our house. The baby is keeping me busy and prevents picture taking and blogging sometimes ;)