AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers

Monday, June 27, 2011

Starting and Making Solid Food

I wanted to make a separate post about this one. As I mentioned in my 6 month post below, we have officially started solids. So far everything she's eaten has been made by me. Well, except for formula or course. I only wish I was making her milk too, but that's a different story ,involves a pity party, and I'm not going there. And also grains. I probably would've made rice cereal too, but we skipped rice cereal altogether and did oatmeal instead, because of her constipation issues.
First taste of Oatmeal. About 4 months old.

I started feeding her some foods off and on, no real schedule around 4 months. Kind of just a trial, practice and for fun. We tried certain foods here and there, but nothing very consistent. If I had the time that night we'd give her something. If she wasn't into it, we'd skip it. If she was cranky I wouldn't even go there. In the past I've let her try sweet potatoes, bananas (but stopped after my mother-in-law told me they are part of the BRAT diet and cause constipation), oatmeal and avacado. I was really putting it off until closer to 6 months, mostly due to her constipation issues, which we have now seemed to get under control after switching her formula back from Enfamil Gentlease to regular Enfamil.
Sweet potatoes! Just a couple weeks ago. And yes, that's sweet potato on her forehead.

Now she's eating solids consistently every day, twice a day. We're giving it to her morning and night. Kind of like a breakfast and dinner type thing. She's a lot better at swallowing now instead of making the sucking motion w/her mouth and ultimately spitting everything out. So she's actually ingesting most of it now. She's now eating everything listed above, and we've added pears, green beans, and carrots recently. I do stick to the one new food every 4 days/week deal to make sure she's not allergic. Looking at that I know it sounds like a lot, but it's been a couple bites here and there since she was 4 months old, not all in this past week. Thought I'd clarify. This past week the only new thing she's tried was green beans, which she's HATED. I mean, she was literally gagging on them, how dramatic is she?! I ended up mixing a little bit of pear in with it, and then she was able to tolerate a few bites. We'll keep trying!

Like I said, I've made all of her fruits/vegis myself. It's seriously SO easy. It's so simple. It pretty much just consists of steaming and blending/pureeing. I puree in my Black & Decker food processor, which I recently purchased for just $29.99. It works great! Once I'm done cooking/pureeing, I freeze. When freezing, I  usually don't add any water or formula to thin it out, I freeze it just the way it is. I add the formula to thin it out when I defrost it and am ready to feed it to her. You can freeze the food in ice cube trays and then store them in freezer bags. I have a freezer food system that I had registered for from Babies R Us. Someone bought it for me for my baby shower. I love this system! Unfortunately I don't see it on their website any more, so I can't link it, but it comes with like 2 dozen 2oz plastic jar type things, and even little trays that are great for storing in your freezer! So you can just grab a "jar" to go if you're going to be out. I've done that once now for her "dinner" when we were out at a family party this past weekend. It also comes with little sticker labels so you can write down what it is, and when you made it. Works awesome. I love it! The baby food lasts about 2-3 months in the freezer, so you can make big batches at a time, and it will last a while.

I get mostly all of my recipes and food guides from It's such a great website, with all sorts of information about feeding your baby, as well as a ton of recipes! I especially love their food charts. For example, I'm pretty much following this chart right now:

Things I've learned about making food so far:
  • Make sure to read and follow the recipes on There may be things you should know. For example; Do not reserve any left over water to use for thinning out the carrots if baby is under 8 months old as Nitrates may seep into the cooking water. Also, they give tips as to which foods have more pesticides in them, so you can use organic if you choose.
  • You can use frozen fruits/vegis, but not canned.

    That's really it. I'm no expert, I'm still learning. It's pretty easy though. Cailin has liked everything so far, except Green Beans, which so far she will not eat straight up. I taste everything before feeding it to her too.I made plums this weekend, and they were so sour there was no way I was feeding it to her. I did let her taste and she definitely made a sour face. I even mixed them in with pears and the sourness over powered the pears! I may just have to buy plums/prunes from the store.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Weekly Meal Planning

I only have three meals this week, because we didn't cook a few of those meals last week.

For one, we ended up doing beef tacos w/93% lean beef, because I did my shopping at Trader Joe's and they didn't have tostada shells. I also grabbed frozen orange chicken w/brown rice from TJ's as well and had that for dinner one night. And for Father's Day we grilled steak. So I still have a few of those meals left from last week, for this week.

This week's menu is:
  • Tostadas again. I really want a bean covered shell! haha!
  • Whole Wheat spaghetti w/turkey meatballs & maranara + garlic bread and side salad.
  • Nacho Bake Casserole

Wordless Wednesday aka A Late Happy Father's Day

And because there is just something about this picture that I adore so much...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

To Helmet or Not To Helmet. That IS the Question!

Well, we've decided.... NOT to helmet, after much deliberation. God, this was such a hard decision. Here's why. As I'm sure you remember around 2 months old, I noticed her head shape was pretty messed up. I mean, it was bad. At that time, I wouldn't have hesitated in getting her that helmet. Problem is, at that time she was too little for one. We went to Cranial Technologies and they took the measurements. Gave me homework - neck stretches and lots of tummy time. Come back in 4-6 weeks if you feel she still needs it. She looked like this at that time:   

We followed the doctor's instructions, got her to stop favoring the one side, etc. And by four months old I really noticed a significant improvement. I wanted to know what her pediatrician thought before returning to Cranial Tech. At her 4 month well visit, her pedi said that although she can see the improvement, she thinks she might still benefit from the helmet. She told me to go back to Cranial Tech and have them retake the measurements and see what they have to say. That she may not even qualify for one now, but to go see. So I did. She was 5 months by the time I got in, and by 5 months her head looked like this:
As you can see, a HUGE improvement. The back of her head didn't even bother me at all. At this point the only thing I'm personally worried about is that little tiny bit of flattening on her forehead (as you can see in the picture on the right there). What did the head doctor have to say? Not much! She was just like, "Hmmm...Eh, well it's up to you. It's mild at this point, so she could go either way." Techinically she was within the measurements of qualifying for a helment if we chose to do so, but she made it seem like no big deal, and gave me absolutely NO direction at all. She would only have to wear it for a short period. About 7 weeks. There is NO medical need for it. It's completely cosmetic. She does NOT have Torticollis, nor will not getting the helmet affect her health in any way. Like I said, completely cosmetic. So what do I do? Do I go ahead and pay $3800 for something she may or may not need? My insurance covers it, but they reimburse us. So either way we'd have to come up with that money up front, then it's covered 90% after our $500 deductible. Where are we going to get that? Pull it out of our asses? Off our money tree? Probably not. Unfortunately we don't have that type of money laying around. We had  savings at one point, but me being a "Carpenter's Wife" and the economy being as shitty as it is, means my Husband has been in and out of work (mostly out), for almost 2 years now. Our savings is gone. I mean, if it were absolutely necessary we'd find a way to make it work. But it's not. What do we do? If money were not an issue we wouldn't hesistate. Or if the insurance company covered it up front as well.

Husband of course thinks she's perfect. I'm thinking of little things, like knowing she's a girl, and what it's like being a girl. I know no one has a completely symmetrical face but if hers is completely off, it's going to suck when she's older and all the issues girls have with themselves and self esteem already. How much would it suck for your makeup to never be just right on each side. For her hair to be a little fuller on one side. Ugh! What do I do?!

Last week at her 6 month doctor visit the doc asked me what we were planning on doing. At this point, by just looking straight at her she even asked if we've already done it! I explained to her my feelings, and she took a closer look. She actually specializes in this type of thing. She agreed with me. She probably wouldn't pay the $3800 either at this point. It's very mild now, and her head will continue to get better and better. She still has some time before her soft spot closes, and her skull is completely solidified. She offered for us to come in once a week for the next 4 weeks for her to manually manipulate her head shape. Basically she will reshape her head with her hands. It won't hurt Cailin. She explained it to be like a massage. The worst part is keeping her still for 20 minutes! She didn't offer it before, because she can only do it with mild cases. She said she's certain she can get it perfectly round in the front, but the back may not end up completely round. I'm SO okay with that! Of course I'll have to pay a copay for each visit, $120 total sounds much better than $3800. So with that, and the fact that she's only on her back for bottle feedings at this point, I know she will be pretty darn close to perfect! Thank God!

Happy Half Birthday!

Holy 6 months old, Batman! My little bitty baby is turning into a big baby!

Weight: 17lbs 7oz -75th%
Height: 26.5 inches - 75th%
Head: I think they said 16inches?

Fun Facts:
  • She loves Daddy! She's definitely a Daddy's girl. She just lights up when she sees him. 
  • Loves the Doggies, especially Lily(our Boston Terrier). I'm assuming it's because Lily moves around a lot more than Gizmo, who is just a lump on the floor. Plus Lily licks her and lets her touch her. Gizzy runs away from her and doesn't pay her any attention. She tries to go after those dogs though! She's on a mission. As soon as she starts crawling, those dogs better watch out! We let her touch and pet the dogs, and she loves them! She giggles at Lily all the time, and watches them run back and forth all day. The dogs are great with her as well. Like I said, Gizmo doesn't really care for the baby much, he runs away when she starts squeeling at him. Niether of them have been aggressive at all. 
  • She's in size 3 diapers and 9 month clothing. 
  • Eats 6oz of formula every three hours.
  • Has officially started solids. I have let her try a few things here and there, but nothing consistant until this last week. Now she's eating solids twice a day. Breakfast and Dinner. She's had sweet potatoes, pears, bananas, avacado, and we just tried green beans yesterday, which she did NOT like. She was gagging on them! So dramatic, I tell you! So I ended up getting out some pears and mixing those in and then they were tolerable. We'll keep trying with them. I make all of her baby food, by the way. It's too easy not to.
  • She's starting to reach for me, I love it!
  • She's also starting to become more emotional. Crying at strangers and wanting Mommy/Daddy. Daddy yawned and she didn't like the sound of that, and it made her cry. Husband and I were wrestling and I yelled "STOP!" and that REALLY made her cry. So yeah, we need to be more careful now. Not sure how I feel about that.

I don't know about this bear, Mommy.... Pick me up?
  • She's super grabby. We've reach the point of no return. If we go out to eat, I have to move everything away from her. She grabs for everything! She knocked off something off our table already. Thank goodness it was Texas roadhouse and she had knocked off that tin of peanut scraps, which already cover the floor.
  • Oh! She completely STTN! She has been for a little over a month, I would say. She goes to bed at 8pm, and sleeps until 7AM (when I wake her up). Yay! And ::knock on wood::: I don't want to jinx myself here!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Weekly Meal Planning

This week's menu:

  • Tostadas made with fat free refried beans and ground turkey + Spanish Rice.
  • Skinny Chicken Cordon Bleu + light ceaser salad.
  • Baked Chicken Nuggets w/French Fries (from the frozen section of the store) and homemade honey mustard.
  • BBQ chicken on the grill w/corn on the cob. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Weekly Meal Planning

I've been wanting to do this for a while. I just never get around to posting my weekly meal plans. I'm lazy. haha. Plus I don't really have a set day that I go grocery shopping. It's usually between Tuesday and Thursday. I really hate the crowds on the weekends and Mondays, so I go during the middle of the week. So I can't really do a "Meal Plan Monday". But I'll try to post this weekly.

I meal plan every week. Not only is it healthier, but it saves money. I try to do 4-5 meals a week at home. Usually we'll eat out Friday & Saturday. Family dinners on Sundays every once in a while, maybe a BBQ at the next door neighbor's or a friend's house. Oh and the day I go grocery shopping usually a "fend for yourself" type of night, meaning husband can make himself sandwiche or something, because it's late and I just lugged a 17/18lb baby around in the Moby for an hour while grocery shopping and I'm exausted and my back hurts, and I can't wait till she can sit up on her own so I can put her in the damn grocery cart!

Anyhooters, my weekly meals usually look something like this: Mexican food one day, Italian/pasta one day, some sort of grilled or baked meat w/vegis, casserole or crockpot meal.

Here are my meals for this week's menu:

     So there you have it. That's four meals on this week's plan.

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Wordless Wednesday

    A Cute Video

    I have nothing else to blog about right now... So here's a vid of Cailin and Daddy playing. Notice how when she sees me with the camera she stops what she's doing? That drives me crazy! Makes it nearly impossible to get cute pics/videos.