Tag Archives: milestones

Sparrow, my little foodie baby

The longer I parent, I find myself adapting and reworking various parenting practices depending on the situation or kid and what it/they requires.

When I was pregnant with Bean, I was so dogmatic about attachment parenting and co-sleeping. I thought every practice was the holy grail of right parenting. And then several things did not work for our family at all.

And then Sprout came along and I found a whole different kid requiring a whole different way of parenting in some ways.

So slowly over the last 3 1/2 years the dogma has been chipped away at.

Bean is a very sensitive kid in many ways. On everything from her food allergies early on to disciplining her (with her, a certain tone or pitch can put her in tears) to having everything just right to certain textures of foods and spices.

Sprout is very independent and physical and mischievous. Disciplining him requires physical intervention. We have to go to him, make him stop, put him in time out, etc. and a simple “no” or “stop” never seems to have much of an effect.

Their differences also have come out in their eating. Bean has always been very picky and particular about her food. We did the traditional method of baby feeding with her. Around five months when she started watching our every bite at meal times and reaching for our food, I started her on rice cereal and went on to the various puréed foods, then puffs and yogurt melts, etc. Then there was a month where the only food I could get her to eat were yogurt melts, puffs, freeze dried fruit and the chicken and star pasta toddler soup from Earth’s Best. And she’s been just as picky ever since. Getting her to eat and try new foods is still almost always a challenge.

With Sprout I had read a little about baby led weaning where you just feed the baby what you are having once they show an interest in your food without puréed foods or rice cereal. It seemed like the best fit for Mr. Independent. Even though he had teeth, he had a very strong gag reflex and, I now believe, some pretty serious reflux problems. I even tried puréed foods a few times and he would have trouble with those. So it was probably not until around about 10 months old that he actually started eating solid foods.

And Sparrow is just as different from his siblings. Physically, he doesn’t seem as coordinated as I remember his siblings being at this age, especially compared to Sprout. He doesn’t quite sit up very well, he still has very jerky, flailing arm movements like a newborn, he just barely started rolling over, etc. He has started to seem more observant and interested in us and what is going on around him the last few weeks. I honestly didn’t really think he was at all interested in food and wouldn’t be for quite awhile based on these observations, and then he chomped down on one of my sweet potato fries and started sucking food off my fingers.


So with Sparrow I’m doing a bit of traditional meets baby led weaning. He clearly wants and likes our food, but his lack of coordination is not conducive to just throwing chunks of avocado or banana on a tray and letting him pick them up to gnaw on. I mash a lot of soft stuff like that with my fingers and he will grab my hand, open his mouth and put it in.


I am also doing some puréed foods. But not really in the traditional way of just one food at a time or rice cereal. He eats pretty much the same stuff as what we are eating. Of all our kids, Sparrow certainly seems to be the most enthusiastic about food and eating. He gets so excited and giggling during meals sometimes.

One morning we had oatmeal and smoothies. So for Sparrow I took a little cooked oats, raisins and pears and blended that with a little spinach to hide some greens in easily. He loved it.

I made lentil soup the other night with root vegetables and grilled sausage. So I just took a portion out for Sparrow and blended it up in the VitaMix. Another win for our little foodie.

This weekend we went down to Disneyland again. So since I knew I would not have my blender or be able to transport my perishable baby food delicacies, we wound up picking up a few jars at the Whole Foods in Tustin. What other baby gets this excited and happy to eat mashed peas?

His attitude is so great. It makes me look forward to feeding him. Trying new things and eating is so fun for him!

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Week Forty Six

* Quick unrelated note: If you missed the Facebook announcement last night, I took down yesterday’s post because I didn’t really want people to start stuff on here. A couple people sent me some good research/information, but most of what I got was personal stories and opinions which wasn’t what I was really looking for and which I knew could potentially turn into a train wreck among my friends. So in an attempt to avoid that I deleted all references to the issue put out by me. If you still want to send me something privately, feel free to do so, but I don’t want my blog or my Facebook page to turn into a war zone. Thanks. 🙂

Bean is 46 weeks old today. I don’t know why, but it always seems like Wednesdays are her hardest days around here and that’s when I usually write and then it ends up sounding like I’m always complaining about how hard she is being or cranky or whatever. Before sitting down to write about each week’s milestones and things I want to remember, I think of stuff throughout the week that would be good to write about. Then Wednesday comes and she starts being cranky and I forget all about it. So I need to remedy this. I am thinking that maybe I’ll try to either physically write down the stuff I think of in a journal or keep an open draft post on here to jot down little things into so that every week doesn’t sound so negative! Because really, my life with Bean isn’t that hard and she can be quite cute, joyous and chipper most of the time. Everyone who’s ever watched her says she’s one of the easiest babies to deal with and probably thinks I am up-the-wall-crazy with all the complaining I do on here. Besides I don’t want to just remember negative stuff. So that needs to end.

Today has so far been another one of those days, but I do remember one thing I wanted to mention… words! Bean says the following:
• Papa: There are different inflections and tones that she uses when she says it, but mostly it is Pa!Pa! in a kind of high pitched cheery voice. When she hears the key in the front door she says it. When I’m changing her diaper she’ll arch her back to look out her bedroom door and say it as if she’s expecting him to walk through any minute and entertain her (which he usually does when he’s home). She’ll say it as I’m taking her up for bed at night. And sometimes she’ll say it during the day and proceed to look around the house or at the front door for him. She LOVES her Papa.
• Mama: This one is mainly only said when she is in tears and needs to be comforted or when she’s hungry.
• Nuh Nuh Nuh: I don’t really think this is a word or that it has meaning, but she starts doing it over and over and over again when she’s getting tired in a very husky voice. She’ll wander around the room aimlessly saying it or she’ll come up to the couch or chair where one of us is sitting, rest her head on the cushion and say it.
• Yeah: More like, “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” Ask her any question and if she isn’t feeling shy the answer is almost always, “Yeah!” Sometimes she says it just once really loud, other times she’ll say it in a whisper several times. If she doesn’t wake up fussing from a nap, usually my clue that she’s up is a pretty loud, “Yeah!” from her room upstairs.
• Oh: This one is new this week. She mostly uses it when she’s playing with toys, but occasionally she’ll combine it with, “yeah,” for an “oh yeah.”
• Oooo: This is also new this week. When something is really interesting she says it, like when Papa holds her up to watch Mama cooking.
• Mmmm: During solid mealtimes she’ll say this. I think mostly because we try to say it to her to encourage her when she’s eating or trying new foods. But sometimes she doesn’t even have to have food in her mouth to go, “Mmmm.”

I realize the fact that she’s chewing on/playing with wetbags may be kind of gross. I realized this after I took the picture of course, but I loved her facial expression here and couldn’t get rid of it. These did just get washed and haven’t been in contact with any soiled diapers. So it really isn’t gross. Just the same, I took them away from her, folded them and put them up in the changing table where they belong shortly after this photo.

Here she was telling me a big story all about something. Not sure what she was saying. She was also having fun removing dirty clothes from the hamper. Taking things out of boxes, baskets, etc is one of her favorite things to do right now.

The story continues… but this time I am thinking it has something to do with her rocking horse.

This and the shot above were taken literally within seconds. And that is when I realized, after several similar breakdowns throughout the morning over very silly stuff, that even though it was only 9am it was definitely time for a nap.


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Week Forty One

I have had a trying couple of days around here. Bean has decided to test out this new defiant streak of hers, but sometimes I feel unsure about whether she’s truly being defiant or I don’t know what.

She has recently discovered a gap in the railing at the bottom of the stairs that she can fit through even though we have a gate across the actual opening of the stairs. So once again I am constantly on alert about the stairs and her climbing up them. I’ve received many suggestions that I should just teach her how to go up and down them. She’s pretty good at going up, unless of course she gets distracted midway. She is not good at going down at all. I’ve tried to show her, but she just doesn’t seem to get it. Until I feel comfortable that she can go up and down them without hurting herself though I just can’t let her have free reign of them.

Anyway, back to the defiant streak, or what I think is a defiant streak. So I remove her from the gap in the railing about 50 times a day. She does understand “ah-ah” and “no” and will stop doing something if I use those words with a corresponding vocal tone that says I mean business. I will say “ah-ah” or “no” when she gets close to looking like she is going to go up the stairs. She’ll turn around to look at me and stop in her tracks, but then a couple seconds later she is right back at it. Sometimes when I say “ah-ah” or “no” she turns around and looks at me lips scrunched up into kiss position, nose scrunched, brow furrowed and breathing very heavily in frustration through her nose. And I’m sure in that moment that if she could figure out how to fold her arms and stomp her foot for dramatic effect she totally would. I guess this is what raising little girls is like?

Anyway, we had a morning of this new ‘tude of hers and I was pretty worn down by it. I’m also just worn down in general lately because of the pregnancy and the fact that even though Bean hasn’t been waking up at 2 or 3am, I still do and can’t fall back asleep afterwards. So I’m usually going on about 4 or 5 hours of sleep. I need to figure out how to get my sleep cycle back in order. But I am thankful that she’s usually now only waking up at 4 or 5 and sometimes not even until 6 for her first feeding and she usually goes back to sleep after that for a few more hours. She’s been doing this for about a month now.

At some point in the morning, however, a switch flipped and Bean became all sweetness. I was laying on the floor and she started climbing on me, snuggling here and there and playing with my clothes and being really sweet. Then she started doing her new trick where she lets go and stands without holding on. I always make a big deal about this and she laughs so I think she was hoping for that.

And then even more sweetly she started giving me kisses. She’s been doing this awhile now, though her idea of giving you a kiss is to mash her face into you for a second and then pull away. If you ask for a kiss though this is what she does and she does seem to understand it. She was doing this to my shoulder without even being prompted. She loves it when I tell her “thank you” after a kiss and gets excited and does it some more. Then we did a little tickle fest and she took a nice long nap.

She is increasingly interested in books, which I absolutely love. Her favorites right now are the kind with touch and feel textures in them. She also likes to chew them. But she also likes to look at the pictures and hear us read them to her. She’ll also just pull one out to look at play with on her own.

Her top two teeth broke through this week to join the bottom two and there are a couple more, one on top and one on the bottom, that are getting really close.

Oh and thank you everyone for your suggestions and tips on the sippy cup issue. I mostly was just persistant and patient. The straw cup never did work out, she just didn’t get that one at all. Since she would drink from one of her starter sippy cups with my help, I kept giving her those and encouraging her to hold it up. She could only do it laying back though so I finally figured out that if I pulled out the Boppy and put her in that she would hold the sippy cup and drink from it all by herself. The only thing about her doing it herself though is that she often gets distracted and wants to play and then after a couple seconds of going off to do whatever it is that caught her attention she is frustrated because she’s still thirsty and wanting her drink. Then we have to start over with the laying back down and whatnot. But she is getting it and it is nice to be able to read a chapter from a book or do some knitting while she feeds herself.


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Hydration woes…

I’ve debated whether to talk about some of this on my blog for a couple weeks now, but I’m in a bit of a conundrum and needing some advice from moms that have been there and done that. There’s a bit of background on the issue, so hopefully you’ll stay with me.

A couple months ago, Bean started waking up in the mornings completely dry. She’d also do it sometimes during naps. While I was slightly concerned about this, I figured that maybe it meant she would potty train early or be easier to potty train. She was still making plenty of wet diapers throughout the day and about 15-20 minutes after waking up she’d have a super soaked diaper like she’d been holding it all night long.

Then, a month ago when we went to Tahoe we had another “scare” with this. The morning we left for home, Bean woke up dry as usual. I gave her a bath, we packed the car and headed out. For the most part Bean slept the whole way. A couple hours later when we stopped still no wet diaper. This went on for two or three more stops. I was really freaked out. I had nursed her several times during the previous night and at every stop we made. So I started to think that something must be wrong with my milk supply. This is also when I was starting to feel pretty gross in the pregnancy so I worried that I wasn’t staying hydrated enough due to my morning sickness.

I contacted my midwife from the road and she said that it sounded like I needed to get some more fluid into Bean. We stopped at a Target somewhere on I-5 to get a bottle and some juice. I gave her a bottle of watered down juice and by our next stop she had a wet diaper and at every stop thereafter. My midwife said that I might have to consider supplementing, but that it might just be a fluke thing because of all the travel and sleeping.

After that car trip we really didn’t have any issues. She was still skipping wet diapers during naps and at night from time to time, but still having plenty of wet diapers otherwise. I had several friends that said their girls did this from a very early age and that it would make potty training easier. So I stopped worrying about it.

Since dealing with our diaper funk issues I’ve added an extra step to my diaper laundry routine, and that is rinsing out my diaper inserts in the sink prior to tossing them in the washing machine. During my last two loads of diaper laundry, I noticed that the wet diapers were highly concentrated (I could tell by the smell and the discoloration for those that are wondering). While this is pretty normal for a diaper that has been sitting at the bottom of the diaper pail for a day or two, it is not normal for a diaper that just came off her.

So once again I started worrying about my milk supply. I think it is a pretty valid concern since it is highly probable for one’s supply to decrease during pregnancy. I called my midwife yesterday and after talking to her about it I really don’t think my supply is the issue. If Bean wasn’t getting anything during nursing she wouldn’t nurse for as long as she does. When we offer her other forms of food or drink she would likely gulp them down as if she was starving, which she does not (she’s actually pretty picky and slow when it comes to that stuff). I know I still have plenty of milk because I can hand express it even after she’s just nursed, I can feel my letdown still and I can see the stuff in the corners of her mouth when she’s nursing.

The best conclusion we can come up with is that for whatever reason my milk doesn’t have as high a water content as it used to. This totally makes sense to me because when I have pumped I noticed it is way thicker looking, almost like cream. So the need has arisen for Bean to get additional hydration throughout the day. Which isn’t that big of a deal really except that I have to spend what sometimes seems like hours and hours of my day glued to the couch between nursing and giving her bottles of watered down juice (we’ve tried plain water and she won’t have anything to do with it). And it doesn’t usually help things that she takes FOREVER to finish a bottle, much, much longer than it does to nurse her.

So I’ve been a bit jealous lately hearing about friends who have babies younger than Bean that can hold a bottle or sippy cup all on their own. Gah!

I’m thinking this is probably a consequence of the fact that she hasn’t had that many bottles in her lifetime, but I’m not completely sure.

I’ve been trying to introduce Bean to a sippy cup or at least to holding her own bottle for some time now, but I haven’t had much success. We’ve tried the starter, no-spill sippy cups that require sucking to get out the liquid and even the more advanced ones that just spew liquid when put at the right angle. She just doesn’t seem to get it. Taking my sister-in-law’s advice about how straw cups seemed to go so much better with her girls, I tried that today as well. All Bean wanted to do was chew on the straw. So then I reverted back to the starter sippy cup for another attempt. This is how it went:

I actually got her to drink out of it and even hold it a couple times but if I tried to put her down or let go of the cup for too long she’d throw the thing down in frustration and errupt into a mess of tears and red cheeks. So she is capable of doing this, she just doesn’t want to.

Anyway I guess that is my long winded way of asking for help from my fellow readers and moms. When did you introduce sippy/straw cups? How did you go about getting them to accept it? And any other tips you have for me on this subject would be greatly appreciated.


Filed under Family, Natural Living, Parenting, Pregnancy and Birth

Week Thirty Two

Today it was more apparent than ever that I hate my camera. Bean is go-go-going and the lag time on this thing, even on the “rapid fire” setting, is just killing all the moments that I want to capture. By the time the thing actually decides to take the picture she’s already too close or not smiling or a lot of other stuff. But spending at least $700 on an SLR isn’t exactly part of the plan in the next year or so.

Yesterday when I was helping Bean take steps around the livingroom she turned her head towards my hand that was holding hers and started trying to suck/bite my fingers. I immediately discovered that there is a razor sharp tooth in the front that has finally broken the gumline. It isn’t really visible, but you can definitely feel it.

Anyway thanks for all the concern, offers of help and prayers. I really am going to be fine, I know. We all are. Also, it really is amazing how much a good night’s rest two nights in a row can make a difference. That and not being at odds with your husband and your best friend.

I think this is about all the drama you’ll get from me for awhile.

I’m still feeling really great, which still is weird to me. But I guess I can’t complain after the way I felt last time. If this is how the next nine months are going to be then bring it on. Pregnancy isn’t so scarey afterall. 🙂

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Week Thirty

Life just got a whole lot more interesting around here. Bean is crawling!

Luckily she’s still at the point where she has to really be convinced to do it and you have to have something she really wants otherwise she’ll just sit there and stare at you, but basically I need to babyproof the apartment tonight.

In other Bean news I’m trying to find some kind of balance between being the anal-scheduled-mom that sounds like this (overheard at the park prior to Easter weekend):

“What are you doing for Easter? Oh. Well we’re supposed to go to my brothers house, but I’m really annoyed. I mean it used to be that when Max was a baby nothing in our family EVER got scheduled between the hours of 10 and 4. That was like holy, sacred nap time that you couldn’t mess with. But ever since Max isn’t a baby anymore the whole family schedules stuff whenever. It’s so frustrating. So I told my mom that we might show up, but if we do it will probably only be for like 30 minutes because then we need to go back home so Elijah can take his nap. And I don’t really care if it pisses them off. I’m tired of everyone not caring about our nap schedule!”

and being the flakey-anything-goes mom that lets her kids run wild and if they don’t get a nap and are having meltdowns everyday well who cares they are kids and we should just let them be free spirits. But in trying to find that balance I sometimes feel like I am bipolar. One day I’m setting off alarms to try and make sure she only gets to eat every two hours and the next I am letting her sleep for 4-5 hours during the day and then she’s staying up until 11 that night because she got most of her sleep during the day.

Part of me longs for the schedule so I know what to expect and part of me wants to rebel against any form of a schedule and just let things be. Anyway, that probably sounds like a whole lot of jibberish. So I’ll stop.

But wow, she’s crawling!


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Big wheel keep on turnin’

I never thought I would be one of those moms that got super excited over every little milestone, but apparently I am.

I was letting Bean play with her toys (aka kind of ignoring her) while I checked out my fellow bloggers and left comments. Just as I was leaving a comment on Kourtni’s page about her little one’s milestone, I looked down and was very surprised to see that Bean was on her tummy! So I did what any obsessive parent would do and got out the camera to document everything.

Pictures from just after the first success:

You did it! Yay!!

Once I was done taking those photos I rolled her back to see if she could do it again. The second time around:


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Already? No way!

I think Bean is teething. She’s been having all these signs and I thought that she was getting sick, but she wasn’t actually getting to the sick part. Stephen asked if she could be teething and I was like, “No way! She’s only two and a half months old.” I just wouldn’t even consider it.

Well this morning I let her chew on my finger and I totally felt a place where the gum was bulging. I pried open her mouth to take a look and sure enough there is a bulgy spot and there is even a VERY tiny little hard white spot where the tooth is already cutting through. It all makes sense now. So here’s the story from the beginning…

Last week Bean started drooling a bunch and blowing spit bubbles all the time. I thought it was really weird because she has NEVER really drooled before. I just brushed it off though as a new thing she was doing.

Well then on Sunday while we were in the mother’s room her cheeks kept getting all rosy and staying that way. I brushed this off too because it was cold outside and we’d been coming in and out. It was also a bit toasty in there.

Monday night she woke up twice in the night. So then I thought, “Oh great, she’s going through another growth spurt.” But both times she barely even nursed. Just for a couple minutes and then she was back asleep.

Wednesday when Andrea came over in the afternoon she was starting to be a bit of a grump. She didn’t want to lay on the floor and play with her toys. She didn’t want to nurse. She was just kind of upset the whole day. Finally Andrea got her to go to sleep for awhile. She brightened up a bit at church. When we got home that night we noticed that she just couldn’t keep her hands out of her mouth. Stephen even got a little scared because she was practically choking herself trying to stick the whole thing in her mouth.

Yesterday she was mostly fine in the morning, but in the afternoon she was pretty fussy. She wouldn’t let me put her down. She’d be fine and happy as long as I was distracting her for the most part, but if I tried to lay her down to play with her toys she’d have a fit. And we’re talking major cry-fest melt down here which is completely unlike her. I also noticed yesterday that her cheeks were really rosy and warm again. She kept chewing on her fingers the whole day.

We went to Bible study and she was pretty unhappy while we were there too. I finally put her in the sling and just stood up the whole time, swaying her until she fell asleep. Stephen asked the other couples about the possibility of teething while we were there and they all confirmed what I thought, five months. So then I figured that I was right and she was probably getting sick. She fussed a bunch when we got home.

I nursed her at 11 and she bit me really hard, at which point I broke suction, said “No bite!” and put her in the swing. I felt pretty bad about it afterwards because I’m not sure she even understands “no” at this point. She fell asleep a minute later anyway though.

Her cheeks were all rosy again this morning so I took her temperature and she’s not actually running one. After I nursed her all she wanted to do was chew on her hands. So then I let her have my finger for a minute and that’s when I noticed the bulge.

I tried giving her a teether, but she didn’t really want it. I also tried rubbing an ice cube on her gums, but that caused a melt down. I nursed her again and she didn’t really eat much, but she did fall asleep. So I guess I’m going to head to the store with her and get some of that numbing stuff.

Poor dear! No wonder she’s been so upset. Probably didn’t help that Mama was ignoring it either.


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