Baby Led Weaning Journey #4

To say I do baby led weaning seems so trendy! I read up on it quite a bit with my third baby because it was a buzz issue. With my first two babies I did not know my philosophy of introducing food to babies had a name. It was kind of neat to read about the third go round.

My philosophy started with some research into the Weston A Price diet and what order they suggest food to be introduced to babies. So at about 9 months we started with bits of meat and then soft cooked green beans, carrots and the like. I tried to be normal and feed the first baby rice cereal, once I even gave her a jar food, but it just was not my style so those foods took a nose dive.

With our first three babies, we traveled all the time and we had to order our diet around foods we could easily make. Cost, ease and availability suggested that I use unsalted or un-sweetened canned veggies and fruit in addition to boiled eggs, bananas and avocados. We would order meat somewhere or buy a rotisserie chicken and split our food with the babies. It was also easy to find cheese, crackers, pretzels, apples, oranges and the like when the children were old enough. When we had to eat out, we tried to east cost effectively at Cracker Barrel, Chick Fil A, Sarku Japan, and local restaurants (Asian or diner style). Not all these foods were high on my list of ‘healthy’ foods, but the healthiest I could provide with our lifestyle.

Baby #4, Felicity, came along last year and shes been eating solids since December already! She is 12 months now and quite the pro! Her favorites are cut tomato and cooked carrots. She really only needs spoon fed if I am serving her my applesauce (which took some serious convincing for her to try!), I even put her yogurt in a snipped bottle so she can feed herself.

I think what draws me naturally to this philosophy is both the desire to breastfeed primarily for the first year and the idea of fostering independence. There is also a bit of insecurity of knowing how much a baby needs to eat and not wanting to over feed (maybe it is just me, I over worry). So I give the child the power to decide how much is enough. Like magic, when they are done they clear that tray onto the floor so fast!

Baby Led Weaning is a bit of a mess, but my absolute favorite part is watching those tiny fingers manage a pincer grasp with all the focus and dedication of a surgeon and put that food in their mouth with pride.

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My biggest hook up is cleaning avocado, but I have made it through 4 babies unscathed

 

The Natural Force of the Toddler

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Water is arguably the most powerful force on the earth. If you pour a glass of water on a surface, you can watch it roll, flood and drip away in an instant. When water meets a steadfast obstacle, it immediately flows another direction with the same intensity. With water there is no thought process, no hesitation and no undo button.

Such is life with a toddler. Strong and fierce, there is no stopping a tiny trotting human. Toddling this way and that, the little human never stops until it has worn so thin, it passes out involuntarily. These still developing humans, leave no cabinet left un-opened, no shelf left un-cleared and no basket left un-dumped.

As you can hear the sound of a rushing flood, the toddler alerts innocent bystanders of advancing attacks with loud, “aaaaaaaaaaa,” and “awwwwww,” alarms. But, beware of the silent battle. When you are least aware, water can damage your cabinets, floors and furniture. The small munchkin also employs her sneak attacks on unsuspecting possessions, doing the most damage when you feel safe and unsuspecting.

Have you ever tried holding water? Water is impossible contain and control without a vessel. Similarly, little people can often (but not not always) be contained in baby wraps, high chairs, swings and strollers. But once a child has been released from safety straps, he or she may quickly turn to fluid, making themselves difficult to detain.

Water is pure, stunningly beautiful to behold, and absolutely vital to life. Likewise, little cherubs are our life’s future, and quite lively themselves. Beautiful though they may be, the power of water, or the tot, is awe inspiring and dreadfully terrifying. If you find yourself in trust of such a force, handle with care and behold the fierce power and beauty with patience, caution and admiration.

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^What even happened to the sheet?

Kidversations ~ Baby and Cake

Felicity was about to turn 1, so I made her a cake (interjection – Addy says she made it and I helped, haha). With some leftover batter, I filled a tiny cake pan and we all sampled a tiny piece. Little light bulbs went off behind Felicity’s eyes when she had a piece and she gave a happy dance as I held her on my hip. After her bite she laid her head on my shoulder for a long hug.

I turned into mush and was all, “You are such a sweetie, do you loooooove Momma?!!”

Felicity picked her head off my shoulder as she looked me in the eye, shook her head in a way that swayed her entire body and points to the cake plate to say,

“I wuv dis!”

Goodness gracious child. That stings a little. But its also hilarious.

Addy’s 7th Birthday

It is so cliche to say that time flies, but sometimes it is the only phrase that comes to mind. My oldest child, Addy, is 7 years old and it is amazing how much a little person can change in that amount of time.

This angel is my kindred spirit in so many ways, and challenges me at every turn. I told her the other day that she is teaching me how to be a mommy. I still have an incredible journey ahead of me, but we are making headway with lightning speed. The last 7 years has been full of excitement. The two of us learning how to work together is interesting enough, but Addy has followed us to 35 States, Canada and moved to another continent.

Addy is blessed with good health, a quick mind and lofty ambitions. I feel insecure sometimes that I am not doing or being enough for my children, but my husband is quick to defend me to me and I rest in my faith that Jesus will fill in the gaps they need. She and I are are trying to make the most of this short time-frame called childhood, singing, baking, cooking, sewing, crafting, hiking and cuddling.

Here are a few pictures of the birthday girl!

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Of all the hobbbies and titles this little one enjoys, I think ‘Big Sister’ is a favorite!

The bottom photo Addy is rehearsing for my brother’s wedding, she was a very eager flower girl for a 1 year old!

Dear Mom,

When I was 10, I knew all about this parenting business. I always thought my mother was amazing, but there were a few things I was going to do differently. My parenting vows as a 10 year old:

  1. I am not going to serve my children silly things like peanut butter and jelly, or pizza bread.
  2. I am not going to make my children miss out on movies and activities the ‘other’ kids get to enjoy.
  3. No bedtimes in my future house. Bed times are silly, why not just wait until you are tired?
  4. I am going to enjoy every second of meaningful conversation from my children. After all, children have very important things to talk about and valuable insight to offer.
  5. I will not cry over silly things. Seriously, it’s just kindergarten, what’s the big deal?
  6. I am going to trust my future children with issues concerning moderation. We know how much cake we can eat without getting sick.
  7. I will not humiliate my children by being over involved. Cake for the class for every birthday? Embarrassing. Being the only parent to show up for in school field trips? No way.
  8. No excessive excitement over milestones. Calling Auntie over my first crush was a bit overboard.
  9. No forced hugs or kisses. Really. I will love my kids, but won’t need to hug them all the time to show them.
  10. Big sisters know how to keep charge. I will trust my oldest to handle sibling disputes. Older children know how to handle things.

Haha!

Mom, I just wanted you to know that I made pizza bread yesterday.

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S’mores Snack

We had the privilege of going to the Cincinnati Zoo and I enjoyed getting to know some ladies from one of the churches that has partnered with us in ministry. As we dove deeper into the zoo, some of the young children became a bit cranky, and one lady came prepared with snacks.

The kids who knew her were excited to for the goodness she gave out in individual zip-lock bags, and the missionary kids soon joined in with their delight.

She gave out small bags with a S’mores assortment. I didn’t need a recipe to copy her, but did inform her that I would replicate the deliciousness for future snacks to go.

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I used the off brand golden graham cereal, semi sweet chocolate chips, and small marshmallows when I made it the very next week. I filled a gallon zip-lock bag 3/4 of the way with the cereal, added 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1 1/2 – 2 cups of marshmallows.

This is perfect for children of all ages. I do have to warn you though, it did seem to turn off my ability to snack in moderation. Divvying the snack after mixing it is a great idea to prevent such a problem.

Oh, and I found this to be the perfect s’more ratio ;)20131111-145859.jpg

I will gladly take any other snack recommendations, I’m sure there are many more awesome snacks I will never think of on my own :)