Sunday, October 30, 2011

An Interesting Sunday

On this Sunday
1. I had a pomegranate for the first time. Yum! I made a salad with the pomegranate (only $1 at Aldi this week), cut apples, fresh spinach, and greek vinaigarette (I like Aldi's "Grandessa" brand best!).  Yum times two!
2. Ada had peanut butter for the first time.
3. Ada broke out in hives for the first time.  I called my Mom (an RN) and she told me to call First Nurse. Turns out, she's mildly allergic to peanuts.  (I bet she will outgrow it though)  No more tasting peanuts until she is a wee bit older.
5.  Ada had baby benadryl for the first time. Yucky.  You know how when you drink yucky tasting medicine, you kind of do a spastic shiver and shake because it's so gross?  She did that, and it was pretty cute. :)
Children's benadryl and a pomegranate on the chopping board.

Ada, Chris, and Charlie (our dog) are all snoozing, and I'm listening to "early jazz" station on Pandora, will be reading books and pamphlets about breastfeeding (learning SO much!) for my job, and flipping through these magazines I borrowed from the library : Mothering (all about natural, simple, and healthful parenting!), Real Simple (Nov. 2009), Martha Stewart Living (Nov. 2009), Better Homes and Gardens (Nov. 2010), and Everyday with Rachael Ray (Nov. 2009).

Fellow moms, what do you like to do when your family is snoozing on a slow Sunday afternoon?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

An Ada update!

It has been a very long time since I've blogged, and here is an update on what is happening in the life of Ada and Mommy!

She drinks out of her sippy cup all by herself like a big girl!  She has also recently loved snuggling with me in our recliner and reading books together.  It is one of my favorite activities every day!

Ada has 3 teeth, with her fourth ready to pop any day.  People still comment (literally, everyday) on her gorgeous blue eyes and sweet spirit.

I made her a Halloween costume...can you figure out what she is???? 

A candycorn!  I had to choose something simple because I am a very amateur sewer (or seamstress?).

Ada started saying "mama," "dada," but not always at the right time.  She also looks for Charlie, and when she finds him she says "DA! DA! DA!" (yes, it does sound different from "dada") She loves to chase Charlie and play with him.  Charlie is very tolerant of her.


I'm an Aunt!  My beautiful niece, Olive Adele Tittle, was born on October 11, 2011.  She is a miracle baby, born premature at 34 weeks, but she has some great loving parents that are pouring their hearts and lives into her.

Lastly, God brought me a new job opportunity!  I will be working as breastfeeding peer counselor for WIC!  With this job I will support, encourage, and educate fellow moms about breastfeeding their babies!  Yay!  This job is a maximum of 6 hours per week, and Ada is allowed to be with me for most tasks, so being a homemaker is still most definitely my full time job.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bye Bye Butt Wipes

Diaper wipes or socks?  Diaper wipes or hat and gloves?  Diaper wipes or book?  Diaper wipes or shoes?

These are the questions that have been running through my mind the last few months.  As Ada has gotten older, she has also gotten more expensive.  Ten months ago all she needed was a warm blanket and her mommy.  Now she needs socks, shoes, booster seat, baby gate, bigger clothes, toothbrush, etc.  We have a baby budget of $30 per month to spend on all things baby.  We are able to do this because we cloth diaper (we buy disposable diapers every 2-3 months).  Now, diaper wipes only cost $5 to $7.  Big deal, right?  It's not that we can't afford to buy wipes, I'm annoyed buying them.  I mean that $5 could make a bigger, long-lasting investment--like socks, or a hat, or a book, or a cute outfit, or potty training seat I found at a garage sale.  I like investments, not throwing my money away.    So began my adventure in cloth wipes.  

Even if you don't cloth diaper, YOU can use cloth wipes!  So easy!

What you need: 
Old t-shirts, undies, onesies, any old smooth cotton cloth
squirt bottle (one that has a misty-spray nozzle, not a super-jet pressure nozzle)
baby lotion (optional)

1. Cut old clothing into  square-ish shapes.   You can cut them into any size you want, but I cut about 4-5" squares.  You will need about 30 or so if you wash your little one's laundry once per week.  
2. Fill the squirt bottle with water.  If you like a little scent, add 10-20 squirts of your baby's scented lotion to the water and shake.
3.  When it's time to change baby's diaper, give baby's bottom a few sprays, then wipe and pat dry with the cloth wipe.
4. Throw the cloth wipe (which will be hardly damp) into the hamper to get washed with baby's clothes, or in the diaper bucket if you cloth diaper.  

I don't use cloth wipes for poopy diapers.  Poopy messes are much easier to clean with wet disposable wipes and you can toss them in the trash when you're done.  Another alternative to cut back on wipe usage is to cut your cloth wipes in half.  I did this for awhile, and I went through a package of wipes much slower.  Switching to cloth wipes you will probably save about $40 a year.  Not a huge amount.  But think of it this way, $40 is about 2 jumbo packs diapers, 4 adorable dresses, 6 board books, or a yoga class for yourself.  

After reading this, you might be worried that I've given up on all things disposable--like toilet paper.  Let me reassure you, we will definitely continue to use toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, and q-tips.  In fact, I bet my husband will say this to me after he reads this post: "If you dislike disposable products so much then why don't you cut back on the amount of toilet paper you use?!"  It's true, I tend to be a little wasteful with toilet paper, but I'm getting better at it, OK?! 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Playtime with Baby

I love hearing Ada giggle.  Let me say that again.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE hearing Ada giggle, seeing her flash a big gummy grin lights me up, and I think it's adorable when she chases me down (army crawling) and pulls at my toes to play with me. Playtime with my daughter is one of my favorite things about my job.

Sometimes though, I have no idea what to do with her!  I can't wait for days when we can play the Wii together as a family, spend Chris' money at the mall, paint our nails, do arts and crafts, play hide and seek, etc.  But right now, she's a baby.  Our options are very limited.  And TV is not an option for entertainment for her at this age.

This book, "Brain Games for Babies, Toddlers, and Twos" by Jackie Silberg has come to the rescue!   It is filled with very intentional brain-development games that coordinate with their milestones and abilities.  It is organized like a reference book and contains games from 0 months to 3 years you can play with baby.  It also gives a brief description of the science/research behind the purpose of the game. Currently I have the book checked out from the library, but I am DEFINITELY going to buy this book sometime this year.  Amazon is selling it for $3.99 (older versions for cheaper).  I wish I would have known about this book when Ada was just a newbie!

But I've found that when all my tricks and games are exhausted (or I'm just exhausted), sticking Ada in front of the mirror keeps her entertained for quite a while!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nuffin but a Muffin

I'm not a big believer of muffins or fruit breads for breakfast.  With all the sugar and oil that's in them, they are actually cupcakes with fruit.  And you just shouldn't eat cupcakes for breakfast, unless it's your birthday.  I'm not saying to never enjoy banana bread or blueberry muffins, but they are more suitable for dessert or a treat. Don't feed you or your kids junk for the most important meal of the day!

 It is possible to tweak the recipe in muffins and fruit breads, to make them more healthy, filling, and acceptable for breakfast.  Many muffins and bread call for a LOT of sugar.  Try adding HALF (or eliminate completely) of the sugar the recipe calls for, and add a little more fruit instead, and you'll notice that the bread or muffin is still pretty sweet and enjoyable.  In fact, fructose (sugar in fruits and vegetables) is actually sweeter than sucrose (table sugar)  Use whole wheat flour, oat, bran, or add flax seeds to add more fiber, iron, folic acid,  protein, etc.  It is also good to add nuts, unless your baby or toddler will be eating the treat too (choking hazard).  Nuts are full of protein and good fats for your heart.  Nuts can be expensive, but buy them when on sale and freeze them to extend their life.

I came up with this recipe (part of it is adapted from a Quaker Oats recipe) after Ada and I were so sick of eating Cheerios for breakfast.  Ada doesn't eat a lot for breakfast in the morning, and will usually just eat about 1/3 c of Cheerios.  I wanted to feed her something that was more healthy and hearty to start off her day.  You can totally eliminate all the sugar from this recipe and your baby would still devour them.  I kept some of the sugar (though I reduced the sugar about 90%) because Chris and I may enjoy one from time to time too.  There is less than 1 teaspoon of sugar per muffin, so I feel comfortable letting Ada eat it.  Your baby is ready to eat this muffin if they are self-feeding with finger foods, and has no allergies to wheat, eggs, or dairy. These muffins would also be great for a preggers lady who is experiencing morning sickness.  Eat one of these with a big glass of milk before you go to bed to help hold you over until the morning.

Baby Breakfast Muffins

Topping (optional):
1/4c oats (quick or old fashioned)
1/2T brown sugar (or less!)
1T butter or margarine, melted (or less!)
1/8t ground cinnamon

"Dry" ingredients:
1/2c oats
1 1/4c whole wheat flour
1t baking powder
3/4t baking soda
3/4t cinnamon

"Wet" ingredients:
2 4oz. jars unsweetened applesauce (or about 3/4c unsweetened applesauce)
1 4oz jar pureed banana (or 1 mashed very ripe banana)
1/2c grated carrot or zucchini (optional)
1/2c skim milk
2T brown sugar (optional)
3T vegetable oil
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Line 12 medium muffin cups with baking cups.  Combine ingredients for topping and set aside.  Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix wet ingredients in medium bowl, then add to the dry ingredients all at once.  Stir just until moistened, do not over-mix.  Fill muffin cups almost full.  Sprinkle with the topping, patting gently.  Bake 20-22 minutes.  Cool muffins in pan on wire rack 5 minutes.  Remove from pan.  These muffins freeze well.

Enjoy! Ada sure is!