Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Size issues

I recently bought a ton of clothes for Caroline at the March consignment sales. I bought about half 12 month and half 18 month sized clothes for this summer - even though she won't actually be 18 months old until November.

Several of the shirts I bought are too short! Two of them are 18 month shirts! I'm telling myself that's because they are second hand and have been washed so much.

Pants are not a problem. Caroline has short legs like her mommy, but I don't know where she gets her long torso.

Over the weekend I bought some pajamas for Caroline. I went ahead and bought 18 month size. These pajamas pretty much summarize our size issues.

Torso fits nicely, with a little room for growth. (arms are a little too long)

Legs and feet - not so much.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Fashion Advice from Caroline

A white flowy skirt is going to be your staple.

I just love colored capris. These are a soft green with pink lady bugs on them.

Bubble dresses are so fun.

Flowery shorts? Yes!

Hoodies are always in.

Barrettes are the hottest hair accessory - I just love the way the stay in my hair.

For evening wear, animal print! Thin footy pajamas with kitties and puppies on them. Yup that ought to do the trick.

And don't ignore your signature color...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Baby Food

Well, I haven't made any baby food in over a week. Caroline has moved on to all finger foods now. I'm really enjoying this new stage, but decided I just had to blog about baby food making before I forget all about it.

Making Caroline's baby food was one of the most fun things I got to do this year. I really enjoyed it. Adam, Caroline and I would go to the farmers' market on a Saturday morning - with a cup of coffee, of course. We would pick out fun veggies and fruits we wanted Caroline to try - some that we wanted to try ourselves. Then we'd go back home cook it and store it.

I never ever imagined that I would make Caroline's baby food. But when she was about 3 months old I began preparing myself for solid foods and reading about it. I found some websites which swore it was easy and fun (www.wholesomebabyfood.com is by far the best!). So I thought I would give it a whirl. They were right. Adam and I probably spent 2-3 hours every 2-3 weeks. We would make enough of a few things to last several weeks. That gave us a good variety.

< The Money >
We also saved some money, which wasn't my purpose, but was a nice bonus. I calculated that I spent on average the equivalent of about 10 cents a jar (a Stage 2 sized jar). That would vary based on what I was making. For example, sweet potatos were always super cheap because I could buy a whole basket of them at the farmer's market for $5. That $5 would make 100 servings. However, if I was making mangoes. One mango would cost $4 and would only make 4 servings. We didn't make very many mangoes - they were also out of season. I tried to buy produce that was on sale to help my costs.

< The Health >
Sometimes I used frozen veggies and fruits. I've read that frozen produce can often be healthier than regular produce because it is frozen at the peak of freshness. Health was another cool bonus of making my own baby food. It was nice to know I was using the freshest veggies and organic pears and I was cutting out all the bruises on the apples and so on. My pediatrician and I discussed it. Jarred baby food is under so many regulations these days so it is very healthy. So if health is your only reason for making baby food - it may not be worth it.

< The Texture >
One of my favorite things is the texture of the baby food. When you make it yourself, baby gets to taste food with it's real texture. Stage 1 baby food is so watered down that it all has the same texture. I think this is why Caroline has been so successful with finger foods at an early age. I never pureed her sweet potato - I just mashed it so she's had the thick texture from the beginning. I also never pureed apples. It was just applesauce. I fairly quickly moved to pureeing nothing but green beans. Everything was mashed. Big Caveat: We never pureed meat - yuck! By the time Caroline was old enough to eat meats (9 months), we just cut it into tiny pieces.

But my absolute favorite thing about making your own baby food, is the option of baby eating what you are eating for dinner. This was actually really good for Adam and I. I began cooking healthier things since I knew Caroline would be eating it too =)

I could go on and on about making baby food. I had so much fun doing it. And I learned so much about produce (picking good produce and how to cook it in order to retain the most nutrients). If you ever want to try it, hit me up. I would love to help!

Here is a list of all the things we made:
Sweet Potato
Green Beans
Butternut Squash
Acorn Squash
Yellow Squash

Friday, March 26, 2010

Being a mom has taught me

As I begin to approach Caroline's first birthday, I am overwhelmed with emotions. From "Finally, she's walking because my back can't take this anymore." to "Please don't get any bigger, I just want to squeeze you."

Even though those two sentences are literally about Caroline's size, that is exactly how I feel. I'm so excited about watching Caroline learn and grow. I love teaching her new things and watching her interact with other babies. But, I remember those days on maternity leave when she and I would take the morning nap in the recliner - her little body on my chest - and I want those days back too.

I'd like to do a few different kinds of posts to review the year.

I really can't think of another life event that has taught me so much in such a short period of time. In this post, I'd like to share 52 things I've learned this year. This is just the cusp. So here are the 52 things Caroline has taught me all about:

1 - Breastfeeding
2 - Reglan
3 - Fenugreek
4 - Decorating a first birthday cake
5 - Dosage sizes of infant Tylenol
7 - Bake-even strips
8 - Medela
9 - Storage rules of breast milk (6x6x6)
10 - Diaper Rash
11 - Desitin
12 - Eczema
13 - Hemangioma
14 - Heat Rash
15 - the Witching hour
16 - Taking a rectal temperature
17 - Tot Trade
18 - Belles and Beaus
19 - Labor and Delivery
20 - Cost of professional portraits
21 - Countless new songs
22 - Babies love mirrors
23 - Babies love music
24 - Babies love the outdoors
25 - 6 pound 8 ounces at birth is smaller than average
26 - 22 pounds 4 ounces at 10 months is bigger than average
27 - When babies first say "dada" or "mama", they have no association with it.
28 - Making homemade baby food
29 - Storing baby food as ice cubes
30 - Using a food processor
31 - Picking a great mango and squash
32 - Baking peaches
33 - Roasting squashes (mmmmm...I'm getting hungry)
34 - Cooking vegetables in order to retain the most nutrients
35 - Baby cereal flakes
36 - Tongue reflex
37 - "Sleeping through the night" - it really means - when the kid isn't sick, isn't teething, isn't going through a growth spurt, doesn't have an ear infection, and hasn't been traveling within the last week - that is when the kid sleeps through the night.
38 - Babies are always teething
39 - Stranger Anxiety
40 - How hard traveling is with a baby
41 - How scary change is for mom and dad (sleeping changes, switching to sippy cup, switching to solid foods, switching to finger foods, etc)
42 - How easily babies adapt to change
43 - de Quervain's Tenosynovitis
44 - Typical ages for baby milestones
45 - Typical ages for baby shoe sizes (with clothes it is on the tag - not so with shoes)
46 - How all babies are different
47 - How we are born with a sinful nature
48 - How fun it is to watch my parents and Adam's parents be grandparents.
49 - What an amazing dad Adam is
50 - What an amazing husband Adam is
51 - How much God must love me - more than I love Caroline
52 - How awesome God's sacrifice - to give His son - was

Thursday, March 25, 2010

First word

(Other than Mama and Dada)

She's been saying it for a week now. Bananas are her favorite food for sure. I love hearing her say it!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The new toy

I've been doing some damage lately at the spring consignment sales. I've bought way too many clothes for Caroline, but I also bought some other cool stuff.

One of the new additions is a wood peg animal puzzle. There is a sensor in each of the puzzle holes. When you plug it with the right puzzle piece, it makes the corresponding animal sound. Such a cool puzzle for $2!

A couple of days ago we lost track of the sheep. No big deal. Caroline probably tossed it under a couch or something, but who cares because the puzzle only cost $2. We were heading to bed for the night. We turned out the light in the family room and heard "Baaaahhhhh".

So we can't plug the puzzle hole with the sheep because we can't find the sheep. And apparently those cool little sensors aren't just touch sensitive - they are light sensitive. Now every night when we turn out the lights we hear "Baaaahhhh".

Friday, March 19, 2010

Every night we save the world

Little do you know it, but every night Adam and I save the world. It's another small quirk to our house. The other quirk being the light switch OUT-side the master bathroom referred to in this post.

About a month after we moved in, after Caroline was born, the house alarm began to go off once a day. Since we are avid fans of the show Lost, we can only assume that this is another form of the alarm in the hatch. Every night - sometimes very late in the night - or very early in the morning - Adam or I will stop the alarm by hitting the Cancel button on the alarm - thus saving the world.

You're welcome.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Running for Mayor

I hereby declare my candidacy for mayor of the City of Columbia.

Ok. Not really. I actually can't because: #1 We don't live inside the city limits and #2 The deadline to file for candidacy is already passed.

My main reason for running is that I would get to see my hubby more. Adam has been very busy the last few months with the mayoral race. The City of Columbia is his beat for the newspaper. Adam has to attend debates, forums and campaign events. Of course all of these happen in the evenings. He then has to go back to the office, do interviews and put out a story about the event.

Lately, Adam gets home after Caroline is in bed most nights of the week. He eats a cold dinner. And he's downright tired. Caroline and I miss him a lot, but we are proud.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Doubly Dedicated

Sunday, March 7th was Baby Dedication at church. This was actually Caroline's second dedication service. And, I would love to do it over and over again. I think baby dedications are now going to be like weddings and baptisms for me.

At baptisms, I am always sweetly reminded of my own salvation and my baptism - the decision I made in my family room on the couch with our pastor and then we prayed - I was 7. At weddings, I always remember my wedding day - the vows that I spoke to Adam and how completely smitten we were with each other - not another person existed that day - I was 21.

And now at baby dedications, I will always think about dedicating my baby - committing to tell her about God and His love for us - His great love for us, committing to bring her to church, committing myself and my parenting to God.

On October 3rd, Adam and I publicly dedicated Caroline. Shortly after the hoorah of finding out I was pregnant. I quietly remembered that this baby belonged to God. The baby was a miracle that God created. Adam and I were to be her parents. What an awesome responsibility. So to say that we are "dedicating" her to God - really she is already His. We are simply acknowledging that and we are dedicating ourselves to teaching her about His truths. And, that is what we did.

It was beautiful. It was at Sesquicentennial park. Caroline's Papa (Adam's dad) - led the service. He read the story of Hannah dedicating her son Samuel to the Lord - the very first child dedication. Caroline wore a very special dress. The dress was bought in 1958 and was first worn by Caroline's Nana (Adam's mom). Since then, it has been worn by many babies in the family. After the reading, we all sang "Jesus Loves the Little Children" and then we enjoyed a picnic with our friends and family.

This is the special dress Caroline wore.

On March 7th, we stood before our church family and got to repeat our vows to God and to Caroline. Our families joined us for both special days. I feel so incredibly blessed!

Everyone who was there to support us and Caroline.

Caroline showing off for everyone at home afterward.

I forgot a few!

I forgot a couple of things about Caroline's 10th month. And they were fun ones too - so here goes.

  • We started brushing her teeth this month and she LOVES it!
  • We also started sign language. I read the book Baby Signs during my pregnancy with Caroline and loved the idea of helping her communicate. I had kind of forgotten about it. Well, about a month ago, Caroline started whining and groaning and so on. I knew she wanted to tell me something, but just didn't know how to communicate so I broke out the baby signs. She hasn't signed anything back to us yet, but she understands a few of the signs - "all done?", "eat", "drink". She will nod vigorously when you figure out what she wants.
  • And Caroline has favorite foods now. She's always seemed to like everything about the same, but she goes bananas for bananas now. She starts waving her arms and panting when she sees me peel one. And if she goes bananas for bananas, I guess she goes yo-yo for YoBaby Yogurt. I bought some at the grocery store the other day and after whining that I didn't feed it to her right there in the store, she turned around and stared at it the whole time. Her hungry eyes followed it while the cashier rang it up and bagged it =) It's good that these are healthy things.

Monday, March 15, 2010

10 Months

Double digits!! Caroline hit the big 1-0 (months, that is).

It's been a crazy fun month too. So where do I begin? I'll start with the not-so-fun things from the month.

Not so fun things this month:
  • Caroline started biting people! I'm guessing that her molars are coming in. We were able to nip this in the bud in a few days. She still acts like she's about to bite you, but then she restrains herself. When she does that, I give her a teething fish and she goes to town!
  • Caroline had a tough head cold. It ran its course in about 2 weeks, but not without a trip to the doctor. We wanted to make sure there was no ear infection since she had also been pulling on her ear. Doc said her ears were "perfect". And the weigh in put her over the edge to 22 pounds 4 ounces.
  • Caroline fights naps like you wouldn't believe! I thought she was fighting them before, but man alive!
  • The drop game is in full force and Caroline loves to play it from the high chair. 
  • Caroline just started growling when she is unhappy. I guess this is our first form of back talk and I'm pretty sure she learned it from Evil Mommy.

The FUN:
  • Caroline just gets more and more active. She flaps her arms in excitement all the time and squeals with delight.
  • Caroline loves the copy game. Just start copying every sound she makes and she just cracks up!
  • She is soooo ticklish.
  • Caroline has taken a few "half" steps on her own. I wouldn't call them full steps because it's only one foot.
  • Caroline can bend over while holding on to something to pick up just about any object. This comes in handy because she drops things a lot.
  • She can cruise on ANYTHING. She can even walk down our hall scaling the wall! She thinks she needs something to hold on to and she will grab anything in sight. One time she grabbed the skin on my neck and walked around holding it - youch. And make sure you wear a belt around her because she loves pant legs.
  • She loves to read the latest in the newspaper.
  • We've had guests this month! Aunt Amber (Adam's sister) got to come stay with us for a week while she got some training at work. And Papa (Adam's dad) came down for 2 days while he was on Spring Break. Caroline loved it! I needed to get pictures =(
  • I've discovered Huggies Baby Wash. It works so much better than Johnson and Johnson for Caroline's eczema. After just a couple of uses, her eczema was almost gone.
  • Caroline eats a ton of finger foods. Everything from grilled cheese sandwiches to fruit cups, from macaroni and cheese to corn. She eats finger foods anytime she eats a meal at home, which is every night for dinner and lunch on the weekends. I haven't sent finger foods over to my aunt's house yet and we don't take it to restaurants. 
  • What Caroline thinks about feeding herself...
    She put some banana in her hair - deep conditioning I guess.
  • Caroline has had a lot of hair growth. It is completely covering her hemangioma on her head. Not that I want it to - I'm actually worried I will forget to ask the doctor about its progress at Caroline's next appt.
  • At night, we can put Caroline down in her crib and she will go to sleep without crying. She doesn't use a pacifier or anything! Now, if only that were true for naps =)
  • Caroline has forgone the bottle at my aunt's house. She is now using a sippy cup, which caused a lot of burping the first few days.
  • Wearing 12 month clothes almost exclusively and STILL in a size 2 shoe

    Our beautiful baby is growing way too fast! She still absolutely loves outside. Too bad this is a blurry picture. On this particular day, she tried to eat everything!

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    So still no crawling...

    So she still can't crawl and here is the proof...

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    How do you spell that?

    Every month Caroline's baby book wants to know her new sounds for the month. Well, here's a new sound that she started a few days ago. I have no idea how to spell it!

    Saturday, March 6, 2010

    Injuries as of Late

    I’ve had a few injuries as of late. I don’t like injuries, but who does?

    Injury #1: Two Sundays ago, I fell down the stairs at church. Nothing was permanently injured – not even my pride. However, I skinned my knees and shin pretty good. One of my first thoughts was “Thank goodness I shaved this morning.” I knew it would be a while before I could do that again. I’ve also been glad that it is winter and most of the time we wear pants. I’m hopeful that my knees and shin will look miraculously better this Sunday so I can wear a dress to Caroline’s second dedication service.

    Injury #2: My left wrist has been hurting for a while. The week after I fell, the pain worsened and on Saturday my wrist and forearm began to pop every time I moved my thumb. I attributed this to my fall down the stairs. I went in to see an orthopedist on Monday. He was convinced it had nothing to do with the stairs, but could be completely blamed on my 22 pounder (Caroline that is). I’m pretty sure he is right. My wrist hurts the worst when I get her out of the carseat (which is in the middle of the backseat of the car) and pull her across the backseat to myself. And it has been hurting like that since before Christmas. So I got a cortisone shot to reduce the swelling in my tendon and a splint which wraps around my thumb and down my arm.

    To say that I don’t like asking for help is an understatement. I don’t even like asking my husband for help. Instead of just asking, I usually give lots of clues. For example, if I’m doing laundry and he’s watching TV, instead of asking for help, I will bring a big pile of clothes into the family room, set them on the floor right in front of him, and begin folding so that I’m blocking his view =) Another example: if he’s reading the paper and I’m doing dishes, I will sigh and complain about how I always do the dishes. Most of the time, Adam doesn’t get my hints, I finally crack under the pressure angrily, and Adam says “why didn’t you just ask?”. I wish I could say that it’s because I don’t want to bother anybody, but I think it is more of a pride thing – “I can do it myself.” Either way, these 2 injuries are keeping me humble and teaching me to just ask.