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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Making Baby Food

I breastfeed Maci as her main source of food but she started eating solids just before turning 6 months. I make her baby food at home but I'm not a baby food snob. I make her food because I want it to be healthy and I want control over what's in it. I also think it's super cheap and super easy. I make no-frills food that she really enjoys. I'm not sure why there are baby food recipe books...

This is what I do:

For breakfast, Maci has fruit. Bananas, apples, mangos, watermelon and peaches are what she's had so far. 

With bananas, peaches and mangos I just peeled them and mashed them with a fork. I don't freeze fruits or premake them because there's no prep involved. I gave her chunks of watermelon and she slurped the juice and gummed at the fleshy part. It's one if the messier meals, but easy. Since apples are hard, I give her cold, peeled chunks in a Nuby Mesh Feeder (I got mine for $3.50 at Ross) and she loves to sooth her itchy, teething gums with them. I've also steamed and puréed peeled apples for her and served them warm. They were a little too tart for her so I mashed in a little banana and she ate it up. 

For dinner, Maci has a veggie. She's had pattypan and yellow squash, sweet potato, carrots and avocado. Ya, avocado is a fruit but it's savory in my opinion so I feed it to her at night. When she's having avocado, I just cut it in half, mush up one side and feed it to her directly from the shell. I store what she doesn't eat in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator (with the pit) and give it to her the next day. Storing the avocado with the pit, helps it to stay green longer. Just like a banana or apple, it starts to turn brown after it's opened) One avocado can last us 5 days because she doesn't eat much yet. The squash came from my Mom's garden. I peeled and chopped it into 1inch or so pieces and used the Baeba Baby Food Maker to steam then purée it. I did the carrots the same way. I wasn't at home when I made sweet potatoes so I peeled and cubed one large potato used my Mom's double boiler to steam them. I added the water from the pot to the potatoes after they cooked for about 15 min and mashed them with a fork. One potato was enough for about 2 weeks for us so I froze half of it.

Here's Maci having her first bite of solid foods, a banana! We had no baby spoons so we used this tiny spatula from Walmart that I still like to use. It's soft and flexible so she can gum on it. It's also easy to wipe the food from her face with this. Dr. Brown's has a spatula spoon but i've never tried them. I just ordered some Nuby Weaning Spoons because I really like the flexible tip instead of the hard ones. 

 We use the Stokke Tripp Trapp Highchair in Walnut 
We have the Baby Set in walnut and the Cushion in Silhouette Pink

Here's my pattypan squash that we grow in my parent's garden. It actually has no taste so I only gave it to her for about a week before we moved on. It's good when sautéed with salt and pepper for an adult though! 

Here's my Baeba Babycook. The one I have is from 4-5 years ago,  it was my sister's. They have a double one now which is cool but this one works just fine. It takes about 15 minutes to steam a full basket of veggies. I haven't tried meat in here but you can use it for that too. After it steams, you dump the veggies from the basket back into the container and purée it. You can add the water back in if you need to thin it a little. Only one thing to clean!  I also like the Kalorik Baby Gourmet, which I gave to my sister as a gift a few years ago. It's on a ridiculous discount on Amazon right now for $30!

Here's my Mom's double boiler setup. (I couldn't be bothered to find the right top) On the top, I used the steam pot that has holes in it and the regular pot on the bottom. Here's something similar. I don't have a double boiler but I do have a rice cooker that does the same job. 

I got these 3.5oz containers at Target for $2.19 for 8. They are the perfect size. She only eats half of one at every sitting but I'm sure it'll be a whole one in the next month or so. There's something so gratifying about a set of full containers in an even number all ready to eat!

So for a pack of 8 containers- $2.19
One sweet potato about 1 lb- $1.00
We'll round up to $3.50 even though I also got the containers for 5% off from the cartwheel app)
$3.50 made six, 3.5 oz jars. Gerber sells a three pack of sweet potatoes, 2.5oz jars for $2.94. Can't beat making food!

**Quick tip: Freezing veggies is really convenient for us. I can defrost the containers in hot water bath half an hr before i want to feed Maci. What's even more convenient is storing the veggies in breastmilk storage bags. We don't have a large freezer so the back take up only a small amount of room and can be frozen flat and stacked together neatly. When you're ready to thaw, place the bag in a hot water bath for 10 min then empty it into a bowl.**

Friday, September 19, 2014

Dry, Tangled Hair Rescue

Since about 2 months into my pregnancy, I noticed that my hair texture was changing. It became really straight and extremely easy to manage. It also grew very long, even though I used heat every month to straighten it. I straightened it because it normally takes me a looooong time to detangle my curly hair in the shower. When it's not straight, I wet my hair in the shower every few days, if not every day. (Because it's relaxing, not for any healthy hair reasons) I wet my hair often but don't comb it often...see where I'm going with this... Tangles tangles tangles when it's finally time to comb! Well, I had no patience for that while pregnant because back hurt, tired, rather eat, shower can't be as hot as I want etc. Straight was just easier. I could wash, dry and straighten it an hr because it was unusually easy to manage. Bun at night, waves in the day.

 Fast forward to my postpartum self. My curls are growing back, and my hair is very long but the ends of my hair are dry and straight. (I will be getting my ends trimmed next week) I also have less time in the shower because baby...see where I'm going with this... Tangles tangles tangles.

Here's my hair straightened after baby.

You can see my dry, straight ends here.

The product that I can 100% count on in the shower to detangle my hair (so I can comb it) is Macadamia Oil Deep Repair Mask. I wash or rinse my hair, squeeze it out a bit, GENEROUSLY apply the mask then shower shave etc. After I shower, I comb my hair with a wide tooth comb while the water runs through it. I use my trusty Denman brush next to really get all of the tangles out. Done! Some days, I leave the mask in for a day or 2 before I rinse because I'm just a conditioner junky. When I rinse this stuff out, my hair feels really soft and moisturized. I love it and I'm positive it will help me have healthy hair again. 

Here's The denman brush I use. I got mine from Sally's for about $10

Ulta and CVS sell the repair mask for around $36 for a 8.5oz jar. This stuff is expensive and worth it but I buy mine on Amazon. $16, comes to your door, order more when you start running low. Perfect. I've also seen the line at Marshall's and TJ Maxx but I've yet to find the repair mask there. 

**Ever since about 3 months postpartum my hair and hairline have been falling out like crazy. I read it would happen so I'm ok with it, although it's really not cute. It's starting to grow back so hopefully soon I'll have a hairline again. I haven't done anything to try to grow it back because it's hormonal and I'm just gonna wait it out.**

You can see how much has fallen out in this picture :(
**Yes, I'm nursing in this picture and I'm one of those people who feels comfortable feeding my baby in public. There's a whole seperate discussion surrounding that**

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I Have A Baby...

The last time I posted, I was anxiously awaiting a little bundle of joy. She was chillin and came almost a week late 3/4, 7lbs 3oz. at 12:24pm via C-Section. I was geared up to push but after an overnight hospital stay with contractions as close as 4 or 5 minutes, and a subsequent epidural, progress stopped and baby's heart rate was dropping with each contraction. I turned from anxious to worried in .2 seconds as I was scared for her life and mine under the knife. My family was with me and we cried and prayed together for a healthy baby and it all turned out fine. Seeing her little face was the best day of my life and it was the beginning of my new life as a mommy! 

I joke to my cousin (who encourages me to keep writing) that this will basically be a baby blog because I literally never shop for myself anymore. So if you get tired if seeing my baby's picture or hearing about her, forgive me, she consumes my thoughts. I love her unconditionally. She literally keeps me from sleeping, eating, exercising, staying up late with my husband, going out with my friends, traveling and fitting cute clothes but I would not trade my new life for anything.

I love being her mommy and those things it mentioned aren't lost, just occur less frequently in my life. I have noticed that I can do more the older she gets and that's encouraging. Also, I have tons of mommy friends now and it's great because they don't mind if I cancel because "we had a rough night" "I don't want to put on pants", "I haven't showered", " we're napping"...they get it! They are the lamest excuses but they're real. Ok enough about me, here she beautiful, sweet Maci Eden.

**Will carry out the list of posts I promised from my previous post...just maybe not as fast as I'd planned. Maybe during naps?**

If you're still out there, still reading and still care, thank you.