Saturday, February 27, 2010

Solids - The Verdict

A pictoral summary of Carter's first foray into solid foods :

We started with rice cereal first thing in the morning. He sat in his Bumbo chair and as soon as he saw the spoon coming at him he GRABBED it and thrust it into his mouth. The entire experience continued pretty much just like that. Let's just say he's a fan.

In the afternoon we moved forward with avocado. Here he is, looking a little trepidacious...perhaps he wasn't so sure of the bright green slime coming at him.

Mommy, that stuff looks FUNNY. Are you sure about this??

Giving it a try.

He took one bite and BAM - hooked! The boy loves his avocado.

More! More! More!
He finished the first portion I'd mashed (and mixed with breastmilk) quickly, so I made another little serving. He scarfed that up, too.

Avocado overload?

Things are looking a little blurry, but I think I like this stuff...

Eating is fun! Look at me!

I'm a big boy now!

All in all, we couldn't have hoped for a better first feeding experience - he loved them both and ate seconds of each. Looks like he's a born eater, like his mom and dad.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Raves & Faves

And now for some products we've loved since Carter's birth (please forgive me if I've listed any of these before, because I'm far too lazy to review any prior posts and check):
Fisher-Price Rainforest Playgym - he has loved this since he was just a little guy, although now that he's more active it might be losing its luster somewhat, since he just rolls out from under it half the time. However, he still loves grabbing the hanging toys and grappling with them, and it provides me with a short break to, say, use the bathroom, or put on non-gross, wearable-in-public clothes (fancy that).
California Baby Calendula Cream - incredible at clearing up skin irritations. On the few occasions that he's begun to get a bit of diaper rash, this miracle cream nips it in the bud. Safe for cloth diapers, too. Pricey, but worth it.

Ambajam blanket - although every new mother is innundated with blankets, this incredibly soft nubbly one is perhaps Carter's favorite. Every day before we leave for baby school, we put it over his legs in his car seat and tuck him in while cooing "tuck-tuck-tuck-tuck-tuck-tuck" (you get the idea). This never fails to elicit big grins, and it keeps him snuggly warm all the way to daycare. He has it in blue. Note: I would never pay $67 for a baby blanket - this was a prize when I went on the Ellen Mother's Day Show. Thank you, Ms. DeGeneres. And congratulations on your renewal, and all that American Idol hoopla (spoken like a good industry career woman).

g-Diapers - Carter has been wearing these since he was first able to fit into them, at about four weeks old. We don't use the disposable inserts - although they work wonderfully, they are pricey. Instead I use Green Mountain Diapers cloth prefolds tri-folded into the liner of the g-Diaper. In the months that I've been using them, I have had one leak (the daycare forgot to point his boy bits downward so he sprayed out the top) and maybe two poop explosions (when we still used them at nighttime). Otherwise, they contain even the largest messes well. We can't use them at night - our boy is a heavy wetter and they'd never make it through, so we use disposables for sleepytime. However, for daytime these work well and even the daycare uses them without issue. The only downside is that runny breastmilk poo occasionally gets on the diaper liner (though rarely on the outer cloth portion) so I have to scrub it out and air-dry it. This doesn't really bother me, and it should get better when he starts consuming solids regularly and the poop solidifies. I wash the prefolds myself at home (god bless my high-efficiency frontloading washer) and they come out perfectly clean every time. Any stains get hung in the sun and are quickly bleached out. Excellent - and his little bum just looks so cute in them.

The Evolution of Roo

I don't think I've ever mentioned Carter's nickname on here, which is surprising since we use it almost as often as his actual name. He is called Carteroo, or Roo, or RooRoo, or the Little Roo - sometimes variations therein, like Rooby Doo, Rootabaga, Rooski, (appropo for the Russian heritage) Rooble, etc. I personally like to sing the Scooby Doo theme song with his name inserted - "Carter Carteroo, I love you, you're the best boy in the world. When I look at you, Carteroo, you make me such a happy girl."

Thankyouverymuch! I'll be here all night. The 2am show is same as the 11:15.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Birth of a Foodie

Carter will be six months old on Monday (where did the time go?) and we are finally starting him on solids this weekend. Being a bit of a health nut (albeit one who also possesses a fanatical love of cupcakes and See's candy), I have been looking forward to feeding my baby since before I even became pregnant. I would fantasize about making my own baby foods, and imagine all the healthy, nutrient-rich concoctions I would come up with. All organic! All superfoods!

My mother is an incredible cook. Though she swears that when she married my father she couldn't cook a thing, my brothers and I grew up eating delicious, healthy food at each homemade meal. From breakfasts of pancakes, fruit, omelettes and muffins - all made completely from scratch - to dinners of stir-fry, roasts, fish, etc., it was simply good eating.

I aspire to be that kind of mom - to make sure my kids get well-rounded, healthy meals, made by me, every day. I have no idea how I can do this while working full-time (my mother worked only part-time, or not at all, while I was growing up) but I want to try. And so, with Carter's first foray into solids, it begins...

I had bought a box of Earth's Best organic rice cereal with the intention of starting him on that, but I recently started reading about alternatives. Some sources say avocados are a perfect first food; some say you can go straight to banana or sweet potato.

I've been reading Feeding Baby Green, and Dr. Greene (wonderful eco-friendly pediatrician that he is) advocates cycling through all the green veggies before moving on to sweeter veggies (carrots, sweet potatoes) or fruits, on the theory that green veggies are the hardest for children to develop a taste for and if babies get sweeter foods first that's all they will want. I agree with this. However, he also dismisses the traditional, conservative approach of waiting three days (or four, or five...) between each new food in order to identify potential allergic reactions. Dr. Greene maintains that this only makes allergies slightly easier to identify and it comes at a cost - studies prove that children adapt to new foods better and become more adventurous eaters when introduced to them in quick succession.

I'm a little torn on this issue - between our two families, my husband and I only have one relative with a food allergy (an aunt; egg whites), so we are not particularly predisposed to them. The cautious part of me is generally inclined to follow traditional advice, but the freewheeling retro mom part of me wants to throw caution to the wind and just give the baby food already. To be determined...

Another goal is to offer each new food to Carter on at least ten separate occasions whether he likes it or not, as Dr. Greene also cites studies that show that it often takes this many tries to get a child to adapt to a new food. My husband was a very picky eater as a child (and still is about some things), whereas I ate basically everything put in front of me (except vinaigrette this day, I refuse to consume salads with vinaigrettes. Bleeech). Who knows how much control I have in shaping Carter's taste buds? Maybe very little - but I'm damn well going to try.

I did some more research, and discovered that quinoa cereal also makes a perfect first food. Take organic quinoa, do a quick dry-roast, grind it into powder, then cook into cereal on the stove. Fairly simple and packed with nutrients - quinoa is naturally rich in iron, so it doesn't need to be fortified like classic rice cereals. It doesn't hurt that I happen to be a quinoa fiend, too.

So that's the plan as it currently stands...stay tuned for the update!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Frantic Friday

Good grief. It’s already one of THOSE days.

Last night I was so proud of myself – I had everything packed, diapers ready, bottles full, all clean and nice and shiny, for my husband to put in the car before he left to go to court this morning. Best of all, it was ready by 8:30pm, so I was not running around like a headless chicken at 11:30pm, frantically shoving bottles into bags and scrubbing poo out of diaper liners (perhaps the greatest argument for disposables). Cut to this morning: my awesome husband brought me a perfect, steaming, caffeine-packed soy latte from Starbucks before he left. I had taken perhaps three sips when I went to haul Carter, in his car seat, off the kitchen table and down to the car – I heard an ominous popping sound and BAM – soy latte, all over the floor. And this was no tall latte, my friend – this was a GRANDE. All over the wood floor, which I had just mopped three days ago, so it was actually clean for perhaps the first time since the birth of my child. Just then C started fussing, because of course he’d awoken at 5:30 this morning and was therefore exhausted by the time it was 8:15 and time to go to baby school. So there I am, on my hands and knees in my living room, scrubbing soy off the floor and attempting to refrain from cursing and instead to reassure my baby that everything was okay and he’d be slumbering sweetly in the car in no time.

Then I was driving to work with uncombed, slept-on hair, bangs still haphazardly shoved back with a bobby pin, when I attempted to apply mascara while stopped at a red light (yes, I know, irresponsible driving and subsequent bad parenting – guilty as charged). After moderately successful completion of an eye’s worth of lashes with only a slightly embarrassing number of black smudges on my eyelids, I glanced to my left and saw two men in a pick-up truck staring at me. The one in the passenger seat gave me a big smile and a thumbs-up, by which I can only assume he was being ironic and actually thinking “Look at that crazy broad. Damn those shitty female drivers!” And I just gave him a big smile right back, but I really should have rolled down the window and yelled “I AM A MOTHER, AND THIS SHIT IS HARD, BUDDY! I’d like to see you push a watermelon out of your hoo-hah, let it gnaw at your nipples every few hours for months, then drag your sleepless ass to work every day and NOT apply mascara at a stoplight once in awhile. So don’t you dare judge me, Mr. PaunchyBelly! You, with your stained Hanes t-shirt, cackling at crazed young mothers on their morning commutes. Shut it! I WANT MY LATTE!”

Then I got to the office and discovered that I’d forgotten my cell phone at home, so I have no idea how long I’m pumping when I’m in the mother’s room. Every time I go in today it will be like I’ve been sucked into a breastmilk-filled vortex where time doesn’t exist. I wonder how long I could hide in there before they came looking for me. Two hours? Three?

Yeah, it’s one of those days.