Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Don't Be Picky!

Ryan, Ben, and I just returned from Chick fil a, where we had a delicious family dinner night.  So good.  We rarely eat out (because my cooking is so darn good!) so it was nice to not have to prepare, cook, and clean up after ourselves.  As I was downing my 12 piece nugget with Polynesian sauce and french fries, I started thinking, "hmm, this is really freakin' good.  If Ben ever gets hold of this stuff, he'll probably refuse to eat anything else."  Which leads me into one of my worst parenting fears:  The Picky Eater.

Ben, please oh please, don't be a picky eater!  Don't be one of those kids who refuses to eat anything but white bread and peanut butter.  Or plain pasta and butter.  Or worse yet, fast food.

How does one create in their child a picky eater?  Is it poor parenting?  Bad luck?  I want to understand so I can avoid the situation.  Is there anything I can do to prevent it?  It seems the fast food situation is pretty easy to solve.  If you never give them fast food from day 1, you'll never be put in the situation where "that's all he'll eat!"  Such a lame excuse.  I will not give Ben fast food, not even that of the delicious Chick fil a variety.  But what about the other part of being a picky eater?  I've known kids who would flat refuse to eat anything but peanut butter and white bread (and other similarly bland food combinations).  Did their parents just give up on introducing new foods when they were toddlers?  Its all such a mystery.

Because I'm food crazy, I have been feeding Ben really odd combinations of baby food in hopes of creating an adventurous palate.  For instance, he had green bean oatmeal for breakfast this morning.  Prunes and peas.  Sweet potatoes and peaches.  You name it, I've combined it.  He's a very good eater and usually finishes his baby-sized portions of whatever concoction I give him.  Ryan will eat anything.  I will eat almost anything.  Here's to hoping Ben will as well!  (So long as its not processed!)

Here's Ben, munching on a leaf.  Already an adventurous eater!

Here are some pictures of Ben at Huber's from earlier this week.  He refused to crack a smile!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Teething Can Kiss My Ass

Ben is 7 months old and still toothless.  Apparently, his teeth have decided to torture all of us by making the process of teething long and drawn out.  Maybe he'll be done teething by the time hes five.  He was exhausted after daycare, as usual, so I tried to get him to nap when we got home.  We rocked.  We nursed.  He slept.  The second I lay him in his crib, he immediately wakes up and starts screaming as though being murdered.  We repeat this process three times, and the third time he took a 20 minute nap, just long enough for me to make dinner (but not EAT dinner).  I played with him for a bit, he gummed a teething biscuit, but was still grumpy as can be.  We go through the routine of bath time, then rock, nurse, sleep, I lay him in his playpen and he immediately wakes up as though being murdered.  Repeat 3 times.  Major Mommy Meltdown ensues.  I had to let him cry after the third time.  I couldn't take it.  He finally zonked out after 20 minutes of working his lungs.  My nerves are shot.  My back hurts.  I need a break.

Ben and I spent the past week visiting family. 

There he is with Nanny, his great-great grandmother.  She will be 104 in December!

Eatin' some yogurt.

Ryan and I went to his cousin's wedding.

Reception at The Brown Hotel

They spelled my name right!

Finally, some down-time with his pals!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jamie Oliver Did All the Work

It's no secret I hate chicken nuggets.  I hate all they stand for.  I hate the fact that people feed them to their children like it ain't no thang, because, ya know, thats what kids eat.  It's a chicken nugget, but its the idea, the attitude of the nugget that does harm.  I was going to rant and rave about how disgusting they are and how its not even something I'd feed my dogs and do lots of research about how they're made and present it all on here.  But, it turns out Jamie Oliver already did all the work.  Saved me a lot of time and typing!  Watch the video above to see what I'm talking about.  Then tell me you think its ok to feed that crap to your precious babies.  The disgustingness of the nugget goes far beyond it just being unhealthy.  I mean, what IS that stuff they add into them to make them taste better?  Fillers, chemicals, something called TBHQ?  Whats wrong with frying up a whole piece of meat? (Kudos to you, Chick Fil A!)  

I don't know how everyone else feels about the food they feed their children, but those things aren't good enough for my baby.  Hes a real person and needs real food to be healthy. 


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Tortured Pig

On the days I work, I run run run all day long.  Leap out of bed (ok, grudgingly crawl) early and get Ben ready, fed and off to daycare.  Several cups of coffee later, I get myself ready, fed, and off to work.  After work, stop at the store to get some obscure but necessary ingredient for dinner, come home and wash and/or put away dishes from the night before, and cook dinner before running to daycare to get Ben.  Don't forget about pump pump pumping and washing breastmilk parts 3 or 4 times over the course of the day.  Ugh.

I will admit, I make a lot of the work for myself by insisting on cooking dinner most every night.  To me, its not optional.  I love to eat and I love to cook even more.  I can't come home and pop something frozen in the oven and hang out on the couch while it cooks itself.  I've never eaten like that and I don't want my family to eat like that.  Tonight's dinner was mac and cheese with bacon and butternut squash and homemade tomato soup.  Bacon was the obscure but necessary ingredient I needed for dinner that made me detour by the grocery on my way home from work.  Which brings me to the tortured pig...

I like to eat happy animals.  I have absolutely no reservations about being omnivorous, so long as the animal portion of said omnivorousness comes from humanely raised animals.  Sometimes its very difficult to know exactly what kind of meat you are eating, but in our society, if you don't know, odds are it came from a feedlot.  The occasional slip-up is ok because our culture makes it so difficult to eat humanely raised meat ALL the time.  But for the most part, I use my money to buy the good stuff.  Certified humane.  Grass-fed.  Pasture raised.  Sure, its more expensive, but I am of the opinion that you are eating too much meat if you buy so much that the higher price is an issue.  Red meat?  Twice a month max.  I can count on one hand the number of times I've bought bacon in the past year ( I'm getting to the poor piggie!).  And chicken is almost nonexistent in my kitchen because its near impossible to find pastured chicken.

Today I had a slip up.  I REALLY didn't feel like going out of my way to Whole Foods for some tasty, certified humane bacon.  So I stopped at the regular old grocery store and bought regular old bacon.  I felt guilty all afternoon.  Until I ate this.

Porky was pretty tasty!  Although I am sorry he had to suffer just so I could have a delicious dinner.  I appreciate his sacrifice, but in the future I vow to better plan for meals so I am not put in this position again. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fire Trucks and Vanilla Scented Farts

First, the formula.  I decided to get Ben Nature's Own Baby's Only Organic Formula.  Its marketed as toddler formula (even though its nutritionally adequate for infants, I checked) because the company puts a huge emphasis on breastfeeding being the first best choice for babies.  I like that.  I also like that the company is small and privately owned.  They do very little advertising which makes me feel like the money I spend on their product is being put towards things like quality control as opposed to heavy marketing.

I thought it'd be a good idea to give Ben a little formula today and tomorrow, just to be sure he tolerates it ok before I send him off to daycare on Tuesday with 4 oz.  I mixed 2 oz. of the formula with 3 oz. of breastmilk, and let me say, formula STINKS!  According to the google reviews I read, this stuff smells better than most and its still foul.  Just like a vanilla scented fart!

Here is Ben's lunch, all deconstructed like some odd baby bottle science experiment.

Little man didn't mind the stuff.  He chugged his bottle as though nothing were amiss.  Contrary to my fears, he didn't become violently ill, sprout acne, or turn into a frog.  It's been hours since he had it and he's normal as can be.  When he was a brand new baby, I had serious fears that formula would make him very sick and he'd end up allergic to everything under the sun.  One of THOSE babies.  The ones with allergies and rashes and perpetually upset stomachs...ugh... but I knew most of those fears were just crazy, even as I was having them.  Millions of people (myself included) were nourished solely on formula and we turned out ok.  It's just that he's MY baby.  I want the absolute best for MY baby, especially as far as nutrition goes.  These are dangerous times nutritionally speaking, and I still feel like the slightest misstep on my part will turn him into a walking case of Type II diabetes.  Overweight.  Junk Food addicted.  Vitamin D deficient.  Oh the anxieties of a new Mom....

Ben had a good time today with Daddy.  We walked to the Fire Department and took his picture in the trucks.  He wanted to drive but we told him he's too young and maybe when he's older.

Wearing his Little Hero fire truck shirt.  He had to be festive for the occasion.

Ol' Blue Eyes

 He was dead set on driving!

 So serious!

Here we go, Daddy!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ben's Day Out

Ben had a fun-filled day mostly spent outside in the gorgeous weather.  It all started with a mini-photo shoot with Mommy. 

He's a big ol' ham.  

 He rocks his blue jeans!

 Me and Mommy, we're a team.

Like pea's and carrots.

I also let Ryan take a full body shot of me for the first time in forever.  I'm slowly getting back to where I can live within my own body and not feel like an enormous cow.  I've consistently been losing weight since Ben was born.  I'm down 56 pounds from my highest pregnancy weight and have even lost some of the weight I put on pre-pregnancy.  It's a good feeling when all your pre-preggo jeans are too big!  I also wanted to model my super cute new outfit.  I'm diggin' the shorts-with-tights trend, because pregnancy was not kind to my legs.  I'd love to lose another 25 lbs, and at this rate, that is totally doable.

Ben had his first taste of chocolate cake at the luncheon, courtesy of Grandma!

He loved it and really  had a blast being there and flirting with all the ladies.  He was tuckered out towards the end.



We had a good time when we got home too.  Daddy put Ben's favorite UK blankie in the yard and he rolled around with his Pooh toy. 
There's Panda making a rare appearance.  Poor little guy doesn't get his picture taken like he did in the pre-baby days.

I finally picked out a formula for Ben.  I went with something other than Earth's Best because I could only find it in the monster cans and I won't be using that much.  I'll update on all that jazz tomorrow.  Time for dinner!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Problem of the Human Pacifier

I'll get to the title in a minute.  Because my body has failed to produce enough of this

I will be sending Ben to daycare on Tuesday with 3 oz. of this.

Fantastic.  I haven't yet made the purchase as I'm still hoping for a miracle.  I spoke with Miss A (the lady who keeps Ben at daycare) about why he is consuming so much milk while there, and she thinks hes got a monkey-see-monkey-do mentality.  Apparently all the babies in his room are doing it because they are roughly the same age.  It being they see another baby getting a bottle and they immediately want one as well even though they may not be hungry.  Also (this is my theory), when you've got 4 babies screaming for your attention, the easiest way to get them to shut it is to pop a bottle in their little mouth.  At least its not a supply issue on my part, but more of an environmental issue.  If he were home with me all day every day, he wouldn't need the formula, but I've already beat myself up over that one.

Back to the title.  Ben thinks I am not only a food source, but also a pacifier.  Like a REAL pacifier.  Only a human one as opposed to a plastic one.  Its getting to be kind of a problem.  He wants to be latched on to me all night long but  hes not nursing, hes using me for "non-nutritive sucking."  This has been worsened by the fact that hes on the verge of getting teeth.  His little gums hurt so he wants the extra comfort.  Not cool, Ben.  You're keeping Mommy up all night.  He would never take a real pacifier, and who can blame him when hes got a nice warm Mommy to use instead?  Not cool, Ben.  Mommy hasn't slept through the night since sometime last December.  We're going to have a Mommy-is-not-a-pacifier intervention, but I have no idea how to go about it.

In  more delicious news, check out these pumpkin whoopie pies I made last Fall.

Mmmmm I see more of these in my future!

And of course, heres the nightly dose of cuteness!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Life in Ounces

15 ounces.  That's what I pumped today while Ben was at daycare.  15 ounces is not 16 ounces, but its also not so little that I'm going to run out and buy formula.  Boobs - 1,  Formula Companies -0.  Oh, and if anyone has been keeping up with the news, breastmilk is not contaminated with bug parts.  Another win for the boobs.

I'm super excited about Fall even though it doesn't feel like Fall because its still so friggin' hot.  I'm over it.  Stop being hot!  I want that Fall chill in the air!  In celebration of Fall, I have started my cooking of all things Winter squash.  Today it was pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.  Yesterday I baked a butternut and an acorn squash and pureed them for Ben.  Babies get to enjoy Fall foods too. 

Very soon, I may launch my war on the chicken nugget via this blog.  Stay tuned.

Here's some cuteness to get you through the rest of the evening.  This is Ben being held by his daddy at the Locust Grove Slow Foods Picnic.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jumpin' on the Blogwagon

Everyone has a blog these days.  Why not me?  I've been toying with the idea for a while, but, like I do with many things, I kept coming up with reasons NOT to do it.  It's just one more thing to do.  I'm too busy.  I'll never keep up with it (We'll see!) blahblahblah.  Well, here I be.  I can blog about my mundane life as well as any of you jokers.  Mama's going to let loose.

 If you're reading this, I'll assume you know me at least a little bit, so I'm going to avoid giving any background information.

Topic of the week for our household has been the dreaded F word.  We try not to drop the F-bomb around here, but its been floating around the air ever since yesterday when I realized my backup supply of frozen breastmilk was running low. That's right, I'm talking about formula.  Ben has never had a drop of the stuff and I have major issues with him having any starting now, or ever.  I have a lot of reasons for not giving him formula, the least of which being the worry that he'll turn into an overweight couch potato with acne who is addicted to Cheetos and other forms of junk food.  Obviously, breast is best nutritionally, but I have major issues with the formula establishment in general.  It's profit driven.  What kind of cows milk is it made from?  Powdered formula isn't sterile and practically has a poison symbol on it.  Etc etc.  I prefer that Ben eats "off the grid"  as much as possible and I hope to accomplish this by exclusively nursing him and making him as much baby food (and home cooked meals in the future) as I possibly can. 
So all of this culminated in me having a mini  panic-attack in the formula aisle at Target today (after some very intensive label-reading) and stomping off without buying any.  I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet, as my last 4oz pouch of back-up breastmilk is in the fridge thawing out for him to have at daycare tomorrow.  Hopefully my body will cooperate and put out the requisite 16oz he requires each day at daycare during my pumping sessions tomorrow.  Come on boobs, don't fail me now!