Tag Archives: Baby

My little fruit hugger

As usual, my Friday is out of control. They always are, especially because my alarm goes off at 3 am on Saturdays!

Couple my whack schedule with my lack of camera, and this has been one challenging week of blogging!

I’m trying not to stalk the UPS guy too hard, but my new camera is on its way, and I think I’ll have it tomorrow. Look out for picture mania, comin’ your way! I can’t wait!

So, I’m keeping this short and sweet today with one of the last pics I have from my dear old camera. :cry:

It’s my Hug-A-Fruit Month photo! :D

See how the diaper even matches? I totally didn’t even do that on purpose…

Happy Friday, everyone!

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I had a conversation about fruit with a coworker today. I say fruit should be hugged in all dishes, both savory and sweet. She said, “No way, fruit is fruit, dinner is dinner.” 

What do YOU say?

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Mommy and Me Hummus Recipe

I have been accused of being a little too cautious when it comes to introducing solids to my son.

My response? Well, I’ll let you guess. :x

I care...really care…about the relationship my son has with food, so yes, I’m pretty careful. The way I see it, that’s my job as his mother, so he doesn’t get a bite of french fry or a lick of an ice cream cone just to elicit a cute reaction. He’s 8 months old now, and so far his diet has consisted of:

  • Breastmilk
  • Water, as long as it doesn’t interfere with nursing
  • Oatmeal (at 5 1/2 months), organic
  • Veggies (at 6 months), organic
  • Fruits (at 6 months), organic
  • A total of 4 organic maple oat teether cookies
  • I’ve not yet introduced wheat, dairy, eggs, meats, soy, citrus, juice, sugar, salt …well, you get the idea.

But, I’m not a big meanie, either, and lately I’ve noticed my son noticing my plate. He always has, but it’s getting more obvious and he’s definitely getting more vocal about it. This tells me two things: I have to be super aware of the example I’m setting, and I need to start letting him try some new things.

So, a few days ago, while eating hummus on pita chips, I caved in and gave him a little taste.

How did he like it? Well, I think we may have a little hummus monster on our hands.

It was fun to share my food with my boy. Exploring healthy new foods together is one of the things I’ve been looking most forward to. But, as soon as I gave him a few smidges of my hummus, I immediately regretted it when I remembered that sesame, which is in most hummus, is a common allergen and should be avoided until about 12 months. ACK!

When I snapped back into reality and realized that one taste wasn’t going to hurt him, I set my mind to making some baby-friendly hummus that we could enjoy together, and that I could feel good about.

The recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked organic chickpeas
  • scant 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 drizzle olive oil
  • 1 squeeze fresh lemon

Add all ingredients into food processor and process until well blended and smooth. Add water to thin if needed.

There seem to be different schools of thought about citrus fruits and babies under one year in age. The acid in oranges, lemons, etc. can cause reactions and rashes, but I am not freaking out over a small squeeze in a bowl of hummus. I think WholesomeBabyFood.com put it best:

There is a big difference in using a drop or 2 of lemon juice as a preservative in a fruit purée, as the drop or 2 is spread throughout the purée and your infant will not be consuming the drops with each bite of fruit purée that is taken.  It is entirely different than offering your baby a few slices of oranges or chopped tomatoes for example.

Little did I know when I started making this that my husband had already unearthed our garden garlic and had it drying in the sun. This bulb was so warm and fragrant,  it felt like it had been in the oven! Heaven!

Looks pretty bland, huh? Well, it is. But that’s OK…it’s supposed to be, at least for now. Just a hint of garlic, and the cumin is barely detectable. I believe in introducing herbs and spices early, but little tummies are sensitive so they have to be introduced slowly and carefully. Besides, what seems bland to me is a whole new taste exploration for my little guy.

Since Mommy likes a little kick, we discovered a fun way to share our little pot of hummus so that we’re both happy…he eats his plain and unadulterated, and I keep a bottle of hot sauce nearby and drip a drop each time I pop a chip! Perfect!

The new hummus won rave reviews (or big smiles, at least.) He’ll never go through this whole bowl, but it was a good practice run. Next time, I’ll remove his portion and add some peppadews or sun-dried tomatoes to the rest, to be enjoyed by Mommy and Daddy (with some wine, after he nods off at night. ;)

The best thing about this recipe (besides the fact that it’s cheap, easy and healthy, of course) is that it can grow right along with your baby! Veggies, spices and any other flavors you want to introduce can be added as his palate develops, and for toddlers, it’s right at home spread on whole wheat toast or nestled in a heated quesadilla, served with salsa. 

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What’s your favorite “Past Purees” baby or toddler recipe?

How do you respond when/if others challenge the way you feed your child? Would you ever challenge the way someone else fed their child? 

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Filed under Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food, The Everyday

If you don’t like you, who will?

According to Mothering Magazine, today is Compliment Your Mirror Day!

Seeing as how Mothering is the absolute BEST magazine on the face of the planet, I figure it must be true, and that’s got me thinking about how very few compliments I’ve been paying my mirror lately.

I’m afraid I’m falling into a really harsh period of self-criticism in my journey toward good health. You’d think that establishing healthier eating habits, becoming more in tune with my body, and trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle overall would make me feel pretty dang good about myself. But, I’m afraid the opposite may be happening. But, knowing myself and how self-critical I’ve always been, this really isn’t any big surprise. A positive self-image has never been easily attainable for me, and except for when I was pregnant and my body was doing something absolutely magical, I’ve never liked what I’ve seen in the mirror. 

I think it’s because I only see my weight, and I directly equate my weight with my self-discipline and ability to achieve a goal. So for me, weight=self-worth, whether I like it or not.

Now, I just have to figure out what to do about it.

Here are a few examples.

1. Not long ago, I ran to the grocery store to pick up a few items. I wanted some falafel mix, some whole wheat pitas, dates, all the normal stuff. My husband says to me on my way out the door, “Can you get me a bag of chips, and some frozen chicken pies for my lunch.” 8O (Yes, my husband has a certain fondness for the bachelor food of his past….I’ll just say EW! and save that for another post…) 

As I walked through the grocery store, I filled my cart with my whole grain, all-natural, feel-good picks, and then darted over to the chips and freezer aisles to pick up my husband’s requests. I realized something was up when I found myself darting through the store, sure that someone would see my cart and think, “Boy, that girl sure doesn’t need to be eating those potato chips…” I was on the verge of embarrassment at the checkout, wondering if I should make a comment about how I certainly didn’t plan to eat the offending items…

First, I was angry with my husband. I don’t ask him to buy tampons, so he shouldn’t ask me to buy frozen, processed chicken in a goopy crust made of who-knows-what. Same thing, don’t you think? Then, I was angry with myself. First, I thought, be reasonable…nobody eats perfectly all the time, and second, don’t flatter yourself…nobody cares what’s in your cart!!

2. It’s one thing if I can’t compliment my own mirror, but I just can’t seem to accept a compliment from anyone else, either. My husband, my mom, several coworkers, have all paid me compliments lately, ranging from how my skin has gotten so much better since I’ve given up processed foods to how good I look post-prego. I know that my skin has gotten better, and I know that I have lost all my pregnancy weight and fit into clothes now that I couldn’t even wear before I got pregnant, but it just doesn’t feel right to me to accept a compliment with denying it, or following it up with something like, “Thanks, but it’s really just the clothes that make me look thinner” or  ”I really should be exercising more because I’m so out of shape.”

I know it’s an unattractive way to be. Nobody likes a whiner. “Thank you” is what I should say. Just “Thank you.”

3. Today, I’m heading off to the biggest party of the year among my circle of friends. The 4th of July always brings crowds of people to an old friend’s house along the Susquehanna river, and it could easily turn into a 2-day event. Kegs of beer, lots of food, canoes and fireworks…it’s always a good time and a good chance to see all the people we don’t see all year long, including some who even come from out of state. 

I could be thinking of how much fun I’ll be having, but I’m not. I could be thinking about how much fun it will be to introduce my son to all the people who have not met him yet, but I’m not. My mind is on whether the new shorts I just got do a good enough job of hiding the body flaws I have since having my baby, and what I could possibly wear with them to emphasize the good and de-emphasize the bad. See, last year at this time I was a few months pregnant and I am absolutely terrified that someone at the party might snicker, “Wow, look how fat she got!” or “She’ll never look the same after having that baby.”

I’m so bad at group functions anyway because I get a bit of food phobia in a crowd. As in the grocery store, it goes back to thinking that everyone is going to notice what I eat and comment or wonder why I would possibly think it was a good idea to eat this, or that. I also feel that with my commitment to healthy eating, I might be considered a bit of a hypocrite is I indulge in some party food, I’ll discredit myself, and then all my hard work will be for naught.

Again, I don’t know why I think anyone even cares. In fact, I know that no one does. 

I am starting to become very aware of how observant my son is now that he’s not a newborn anymore, and how he is going to start really following my lead soon. I’m not kidding myself for one second into thinking that because I have a boy, I don’t have to worry about things like body image issues or self-love. My attitudes and behaviors will help mold the man he grows up to be, and I want the lens through which he views himself to be much, much more positive than mine, so I’d better get working on this. Nothing brings a bigger smile to his face right now than that baby in the mirror, and I’d like to keep it that way.

First step? I’m going to see how hot it is outside today, and I’m going to dress accordingly, so that I’m comfortable enough to wear my sling to carry around that perfect little being that this body created. If I don’t look perfect, so be it. And if I’m hungry, I’m going to make the best choice I can given the options at hand. 

And finally, if I pass a mirror in the course of my day, I’m going to tell that it doesn’t need to be perfect, because it’s pretty flippin’ remarkable the way it is. 

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What do you think when you look in the mirror?

Do you ever get self-conscious in the grocery store?

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Filed under Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food, The Everyday

Lovin’ our Luve! Baby Bathtime Giveaway!

Since becoming a mommy, my “bathtime” consists of a quick hop in the shower, just long enough to rinse away the drooly kisses, wayward drips of milk and splats of sweet potato that have accumulated on me throughout the course of the day, and then decide whether to wash my hair or shave my legs, because I certainly don’t have time to do both.

I treasure my few moments alone under the steamy water, because they are few and far between, and because they rejuvenate me just enough that I feel like myself again, ready to take on the next few hours entertaining a very energetic baby. 

But even more than my own, I treasure my son’s bathtime. 

I can’t wait for those nights when, after dinner, we start to wind things down with a warm, bubbly soak in the tub. Little man is just starting to learn what water is, and that you can’t grab it and hold it in your hand, and the look of wonder on his face when I sprinkle it on him is just priceless. The way he looks at me, you’d think I’d invented it.

We use Nature Babycare Eco Sensitive Wash, which leaves the back of his soft little head smelling fresh and absolutely delicious. Sometimes when I wrap him in a towel and snuggle him dry, I feel like I could just inhale his whole sweet little self. There will come a day when he won’t allow me to nuzzle his neck anymore, and the bathroom door will be tightly locked with mommy on the outside, so I’m going to take it while I can. We splash, we sing, we count piggies, and we share moments that will give me a big warm fuzzy every time I look back on them.

Ever since his second real bath in the baby tub, my son has loved bathtime. I say the second real bath because his first one wasn’t so much fun. See, my son was born in November, and by the time he was a couple weeks old, lost his cord and graduated up from the sponge bath, it was pretty darned cold. I figured I’d try to keep most of his body covered in water, but he just screamed. As a first time mommy, I felt terrible. I thought bathtime might end up being a battle…and we had a lot of baths in our future… :(

So I was out shopping one day, browsing for something to get with a baby shower gift card, when I happened upon a simple, yet ingenious little baby item called the Bath Luve. It was basically a big washcloth, shaped like a frog. I read the packaging, and it was obvious what it was–a cute little cover that you wet with warm water and lay over your baby in the tub to keep him warm and secure–and it was obvious that I needed one!

I grabbed a frog, and tried it out that night. What a difference! I’d describe it to you, but I’d rather just show you.

Just submerge the 100% cotton Luve in warm bathwater, and drape it over baby’s torso. No more crying!

I no longer had to take my warm, swaddled baby out of his comfort zone and upset him with a bath in the cold December air. (My house is warm, but there’s always a draft, and he just didn’t seem to like being so exposed after being swaddled and cuddled all day.) I went back shortly after and got another–the blue fish–and we have used our Bath Luves for every single bath for nearly 8 months now. They are a little worn after so many washes, but holding up well. They now sell Bath Buddies, too, which are cute spongy little critters that help you keep the Bath Luve warm and wet without having to remove it. I’m thinking we may need to get one or two of those!

Bathtime has been an absolute pleasure, with no tears at all. When we’re done, we have a smiley, happy, shiny clean baby.

These days, we use the Bath Luve as a sort of “cape” to keep my son’s back warm, since he no longer lays down in the tub. (Although he is cutting his 4 top teeth right now, so the Luve often finds itself stuck in his mouth, serving as a teether!) 

I have since picked one  up for my sister-in-law, who had a baby in January, and for the two other mommies-to-be in my office. They have been a big hit with every baby so far! (Bonus: They have all been boy babies, and their mommies especially love not getting sprinkled with a tinkle when baby hits the bathwater!) It’s definitely my go-to baby shower gift!

I’ve heard some say that a plain old washcloth would serve the same purpose. I guess I can’t argue, but as any new mommy or expecting mommy knows, the cuteness factor is important! Plus, these are bigger and shaped to fit your baby’s body. And, if you’re one of the many that washes baby items in a different laundry detergent, the Bath Luve is easily recognizable and won’t get mixed in with the rest like one of your washcloths would.

What is bathtime like at your house? Would you like to try out a Bath Luve for yourself? Or, give one as a gift to an expecting mommy?

Amy, the smart mommy behind the Bath Luve, has offered to supply one lucky ABCGP reader with the Bath Luve of their choice! 

To enter (mandatory entry): Visit the Bath Luve website, check out the 3 different styles (duck, fish or frog), and leave me a comment about the one you’d like to win.

For two extra entries, mention this giveaway on your blog or any online message board, and leave me a comment with a link.

Limit three entries per person. Please leave a separate numbered comment (#1, #2, #3) for each entry.

I will choose a winner at random on Sunday, July 4th. 

Good Luck!

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Note: I received no compensation for my review. Review is based solely on personal use of Bath Luves purchased by me :)

Congrats to our winner, Patti J, with comment #27!

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Filed under Parenting & Family, Product & Service Reviews, The Everyday

The rest of the day has to be better, right?

Ugh! What a morning!

Let me tell you one thing I know for sure: Automatic door locks are NOT as much of a convenience as you would think. I was at the gas station today, in the midst of a mayfly swarm, and I shut my door, only to hear a click and realize my keys, phone, wallet, etc. were locked inside. 

Again, ugh. 

Needless to say, I was an hour late to work and now I am in super-overdrive. I apologize if this post seemed a but rushed…

Silver lining: Baby was NOT in the car. See…something to be happy about :)

Anyhoo, let’s rewind to the much more relaxing yesterday:

My little man and I got up early and shared a smoothie! Well, he only licked the spoon because he can’t really have strawberries yet (they are a common allergen, so the recommendation is 1 year.)

The mash-up: Kale (from Grammie and Pop Pop Garden Pea’s garden!) strawberries, fresh bloobs from the yard, a nanner and some coconut milk.

Sideshow included a Food for Life sprouted grains bread heel spread with coconut butter. Dipping: YUM!

It had a few more chunks than I’d like, but pretty, I think. I had to make it in my food processor since I broke my faux Magic Bullet-ish puree machine. I’m thinking that what I need for a truly smooth smoothie is a Vitamix, but not so sure one is in the budget any time soon. I’d like to get the healthy smoothie habit started early with my boy, though, so I may have to do some shopping…

During naptime, I cut up this watermelon to snack on after dinner. Not fancy, just functional. Kind of feels like summer…

After naptime, we were both ready for playtime! You just can’t beat a blanket in the grass and a $.99 bottle of bubbles. 

Dinner included these zucchini fritters, adapted from a recipe in this month’s Food Network Magazine. (I’ll always take a new zuke recipe!)

  • 1 beast of a zucchini, shredded
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, shredded
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 small onion, chopped

I shredded the zuke and tossed it into a colander with the salt for 10 minutes, then pressed out the liquid. I then combined all the ingredients in a bowl, mixed well, and dropped the batter by the large spoonful into a bit of olive oil to pan fry until brown and crispy. Easy as that!

I’m thinking these would be good with a yogurty dipping sauce, or served with a dilly salmon. Next time…

Fritters alongside a plain old tuna salad, served in Belgium endive leaves, and some kale massaged with lime and sea salt. A simple, satisfying dinner that did not require a trip to the store.  :D Goal accomplished yet again!

Sadly, the lovely lunch of leftovers I packed for today lost its life in this morning’s keys-in-the-car-for-4-hours-on-a-hot-morning debacle. So, I ended up with chocolate chip cookies for breakfast (I was not entirely disappointed… ;) ) and this “veggie bowl” from the convenience store for lunch. Can you believe this was $6.65? It was totally plain–not even salt or anything–so I added a packet of Parm. This time, I was entirely disappointed.

…and hungry. :(  

I will not be locking my keys in my car again!

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What kind of appliance do you use to make a smoothie? What are your favorite smoothie ingredients?

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Filed under Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food, The Everyday