Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Making Baby Food

Pierce is six months now and with that comes baby food!  There is a part of me that is excited about Pierce starting solids, but I think the bigger part of me is sad.  It has been so easy to breastfeed and I love giving him that nourishment.. Getting food from somewhere besides me is a little heartbreaking and will take a little more effort, as well.  So far, Pierce hasn't gotten much solids due to him being happy with the breastmilk and rice cereal.  I wanted to make Pierce his own food and life has been hectic, so I haven't had the time to make it or to go buy any for that matter.  I was able to give Pierce some avocados, however, he hasn't been much of a fan.  The first time he took it okay, the second time he choked, and the third time he gagged.  There were many days spread between giving it due to him getting constipated.  Luckily, apple juice solved that problem, but it still made us a little nervous to continue with the baby food.  After speaking with his pediatrician, I felt more confident, and so it was time to move on and try something else.  I decided to go with something sweeter and got some sweet potatoes.  I also skimmed through the baby food aisle at the store and noticed Beechnut sweet potatoes were on sale for 88 cents.  I knew I wouldn't have time before work to get his made, so decided to let him try some out of the jar.  He loved it!  Yay!  Now I was really excited to make him some fresh sweet potatoes!  






I knew from the beginning that I wanted to make Pierce his own food.  Im not against him having store-bought, but just felt like it would be special and good for him to have fresh veggies and fruit that I had made.  My mom got me the Baby Brezza as a shower gift and so far I love it!  It steams and purees all at once.  



I literally do not know what I would do without this tool when he comes to peeling potatoes! 




The pieces need to be sliced into 1/4 inches, so I ended up cutting them up into smaller pieces after I took this pic.  I also added about 3-4 ounces of breastmilk.  I chose steam and blend and put it on for 25 minutes.  While I fed Pierce the store- bought sweet potatoes, my home-made sweet potatoes were steaming and pureeing all on their own.  Love it!


When it was done, I got a little out to see how Pierce liked it compared to the Beechnut brand baby food.  Of course, I made sure that it was cool enough to give him, since it had just got done cooking.


 And this was his expression... He started gagging and hated all the little potato bits inside it.  I tried adding more milk and pureeing longer, but he could still feel the different texture.  Hopefully as he gets used to textures, he will like the homemade just as much as the store-bought.  Silly boy!


I had some empty spaces left in the ice cube tray, so decided to go ahead and make him some apple sauce.  I cored and peeled the apples and then broke them off into tiny pieces.  Super easy!


I put it on steam and blend for 15 minutes and the end result was perfect!  So good!


I filled two trays and stuck them in the freezer.  I plan on putting them in ziplock bags and labeling them.  Each section can be thawed and ready to eat for future use.  

I can't believe he is growing up so fast, but I know it is just going to get more fun!  

LOTS OF LOVE,

Christy


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Pierce at 6 Months

Half a year has flown by!  As I have gotten older the time has seemed to pass by faster.  I always heard, "Just wait till you have a baby!"  I guess I knew that it would seem faster, but days have turned into what seems like minutes and months go by like its only been a week.  I try to look forward to the future, so I can be prepared for when it gets here, but it is now June and I honestly feel like it should still be the beginning of May.  I want to enjoy the milestones, the holidays, and every moment.  I try so hard to savor it all, but it truly is flying.  Before long my 6 month old will be a toddler and then off to school.  I already get baby fever looking at his pictures from just a few months ago.  However, I wouldn't go back if you gave me the chance.  I LOVE the little person he has grown into.  He is sweet, silly, shy, and studious.  I couldn't have asked for a better baby.  I swoon over every smile and babble he makes, which is quite often these days.  I have fallen head over heels in love for him.  I was looking through his "baby" pictures yesterday and was thinking how I wish I could have felt the love for him then that I feel now.  I didn't even know him then.  I was definitely in love, but I didn't know his personality.  Now, when I look back at those newborn pictures I feel so close to him and almost know how he is thinking in the pictures.  Those first few months were all about discovering who he is and learning how to be mommy.  I feel like now we are two peas in a pod or maybe the three amigos if we include daddy into the mix.  We are such a happy little family.  I'm sure there will be many times in the future when he drives me crazy, but right now it has been amazing.  I absolutely love the job of "mom."  Russ even said last night how much we love to parent.  I know it'll get harder, but I know with God's grace we are going to be the best parents we can be for him.  He is our everything and we feel incredibly blessed.  

Pierce's 6 month appointment went great  today!  I am amazed at how God cares for my family.  Our pediatrician is a lady that goes to our church and led a small group that Russ and I participated in.  We met her through her husband, who actually works with Russ.  They are such a great Christian couple.  I was trying to figure out a pediatrician (while pregnant) when Russ' boss' daughter-in-law asked me at a UT game if I knew her and recommended her.  I had totally forgotten that she was a pediatrician!  It has been such a blessing to go to her.  However, I have been a little reluctant to keep going because of a certain nurse that works there.  I didn't like how she gave Pierce his shots, which is a big deal to a tender hearted mama.  I was also concerned with the facility.  My NICU nurse brain (I'll never get rid of it) wanted the scale to be digital, so I could have an accurate reading.  After we moved, I thought about moving offices for one closer to home.  However, a nurse that I had worked with in the NICU and is extremely experienced had started working at my pediatrician's office.  There is now a digital scale and she was able to give Pierce his six month shots.  What a difference that made for me!  I felt much less anxious knowing she was giving him his shots and that changes were being made to the office. I truly feel God has been placing people in my life for a reason.  My NICU job allowed me to meet so many wonderful people.  I was able to be surrounded by doctors, clinicians, and nurses that I knew to take care of Pierce and me during my pregnancy and delivery.  Now, I have a doctor and nurse continuing to care for him that I trust and know.  I also have some great mommy friends to have playdates with from working at the NICU as well.  And now my new job has allowed me to be so much more knowledgable at how to care for Pierce while allowing me to spend more time with him.  I know all this doesn't really have to do about Pierce's appt, but I just wanted to praise God for always helping me along life's way.  

So back to Pierce... Like I said he did great!  Stephanie was impressed at how well he could sit up.  She said him not rolling over much was just because he didn't want to and he was definitely fine neurologically.  He looked great and healthy!  She said there wasn't much fluid with his hydrocele and his eardrums looked great, which have been my two biggest concerns since his birth.  She said I could start feeding him foods and that I could continue doing what I was doing.  Yay!

Pierce's 5 month measurements:
Head: 46.3 cm 98%
Weight: 20 lbs 4.5 oz 92%
Height: 26 1/2 in 48%



Development

Pierce is continuing to develop into a little boy.  He has learned a few new tricks this month. He can pick up toys, pass them back and forth between his hands, put them to his mouth, and throw them across the room.  I have a feeling we are going to be going through the phase of "let me throw the toy and you pick it up for me."  He is imitating his mommy and daddy now.  I have taught him to hum/blow through his lips and his take on it has his tongue sticking out too, so there is spit going everywhere these days.  haha.  He has started practicing patty-cake.  He can take his paci in and out of his mouth, which I'll admit made my heart hurt a little knowing he is growing up so fast.  He has started babbling more.  The high-pitched shrill he is practicing is quite impressive and I wonder if he is going to be singing like Justin Timberlake.  JK.  He also has learned to grunt and whine when he isn't getting his way.  For instance, I was at the store and he wanted my paper that had my shopping list on it.  As soon as I took it away the whining grunting started.  I gave it back and he was a happy camper, but then he ripped my list to shreds and I was trying to piece it back together to see what i needed haha. He can roll from his back to his stomach, but would prefer to just lie and kick.  His jumping in his jumper/exersaucer has improved as well.  He moves around to the different play stations with no problem.  He can play independently.  I have been amazed at how much better he does with rattles.  He loves his ball rattle the best.  I love to put toys around him on the floor and watch his mind work as he picks which toy he will play with first.  His arms and legs are still very strong and just getting stronger.  I have to watch out for those kicks and flailing arms or I might get bruised!  He also has enjoyed discovering my face.  He will touch my face, which is fine until he decides to pinch it.  Ouch!  Sometimes when he gets really excited he will bury his face into my chest like he just can't handle it.  I think it is so cute!  I've also noticed he really watches television.  Maybe that isn't something I should be proud of, but hey a little educational disney junior can't hurt.  During bath time, his play has developed as well.  He will try to catch the floating ducky and much of the time grabs it in his little hands while studying it's every detail.  I love watching his wheels turning.  I'm amazed at the progress he has made in just six short months.

Eat

Pierce is still exclusively on breastmilk.  He eats every three hours and half hours usually.  However, I swear he would nurse every hour if I let him.  If I sit him on my lap he will nose dive into my chest and try to start nursing through my shirt.  I tell him it has only been an hour since you ate, but I guess I would be hungry if I smelled my food all the time too.  He is still a fast eater (just like his dad).  5-10 minutes and he is done.  The spitting up has gotten much better.  I have stopped his Zantac for good.  I remember when I was giving him gripe water, mylicon, and zantac religiously, so it is nice not to have to give him any of that anymore.  He is also off of the probiotics.  One of his rice cereals does have probiotics in it, but I prefer the organic brown rice one, so he doesn't get the probiotic one much.  Rice cereal is going well.  It has made his poop and gas very smelly, but that's to be expected.  He gets one tablespoon at five o'clock everyday.  I gave him his first real food of avocados on Friday.  He did good for the first few bites and then started gagging.  I kind of dread the baby food, although, I love making it for him.  I just dread the poop, the gas, and the extra work that goes into it.  I also hate that he is a big boy now.  I'm going to make sure breastmilk always comes first, though.  I really want him to get as much breastmilk as he can.  I am going to have to start using my freezer stash since it is six months old now.  It is going to hurt my heart for sure!  All breastfeeding mamas will understand this.  I am a milk hoarder, but I am pretty sure its natural.  Anyways, after the avocado, Pierce didn't have a dirty diaper for few days.  I gave him 1/2 strength apple juice on day three with no BM.  On day four, I was really getting concerned.  I gave him 5 ounces of straight apple juice and it was like magic.  The results were impressive!  And nasty!  I'm talking from belly button to the back of the neck impressive.  TMI?  Maybe so, but I was happy that my little boy felt better.  I asked the ped about this and she said it is very normal and that the juice was fine to use to help him go.  I'm excited to start making Pierce baby food and start on this new adventure with him.  

Sleep

I wish I could sleep as well as my husband and baby.  haha.  Pierce is doing great with sleeping!  Most evening he gets his rice cereal at five, play, bath, massage, feed, and bed with the sound machine on.  He sleeps in his crib all night long and we no longer get up for a feeding.  Sometimes he gets up at 5, but lately it is more around 6 or 6:30.  I am so proud of Pierce and am thankful that all my hard work of getting him to be a good sleeper paid off. 
He goes to bed usually around 6:30 to 7 every evening.  If he doesn't take an evening nap then he goes to sleep at 6, if he takes a longer evening nap then he goes to bed at 7:30, so 7 is his usual bedtime.  I like having the evening to get things done and spending time with Russ.  Russ gets Pierce out of his crib in the mornings and I feed him then Russ takes care of him until he leaves for work.  This allows me to get some extra sleep, which is nice, especially when I've work till late the night before.  Naps have been great as well.  Sometimes they are 45 min and sometimes they are 2 hours.  He goes to sleep easy in his room or in his carseat.  We have a routine in the mornings of napping in my bed.  I put on tv, distract with a rattle, and he is out.  I don't have consistent nap times, but I know he doesn't stay awake longer than two hours in the morning.  I watch him for his sleepy cues and put him to sleep before he gets fussy.  I love knowing his needs and making sure he gets the rest he needs.  

Favorites and Dislikes

Favs - giraffe lovey, NUK pacis, dog blanket lovey, all his toys this month, he likes anything that crinkles or makes music or lights up or rattles... he loves it all!  bath time (and now pool time), aquarium soother, carseat toy, mommy and daddy, jumper, nursing, eating cereal
Dislikes - some strangers (especially ones with beards), crowds, going to sleep at times

Mommy's 6 Month Letter to Pierce:

Oh my goodness, Pierce Russell, you are six months old!  How did that happen?!  I seriously feel like I could eat you up all the time!  You have made my life Heaven on Earth.  I will never be able to thank God enough for you, sweet boy.  He knew how much I would need you.  My wonderful Mamaw is gone for now.  My heart has hurt so much knowing I no longer have her here with me, but Pierce you have helped me so much.  You have given me hope and healing.  Mamaw loved you so.  Some of her last words was to you, telling you that, "You're a doll baby if she ever saw one."  Oh how I agree.  You bring everyone so much joy.  I know God has big plans for you and your life has a purpose, but I had no idea that I would already be seeing that purpose this early on in your life.  I hope to nurture you and give you the best of my everything for forever.  You'll never know the difference you've made in mine and your daddy's life.  You are our greatest adventure.  You are our greatest accomplishment.  You take our breath away, keep us laughing, and bless us with your presence every day.  Your daddy and I are closer than ever and love how you have made us into a family.  We feel like we have won the lottery since having you.  You are the best baby ever!  We could not ask for anything more.  I am so proud of you!  I love how sweet you are, how you smile so easily at me, how you stroke my chest while you nurse, how you get so excited to see your daddy, how thoughtful you are, and your studious nature too.  I love everything about you.  Thank you for loving me so deeply and you know I will always be there loving you right back.  You have my heart forever.


XOXO
LOVE,

Mommy


I'm not ready to be six months, mommy!


Why did I think a chalkboard was a good idea again?..