Our Boys

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Babies + Pumpkins = Too cute

I don't know if I ever mentioned that last year in my department at school, we had 5 pregnant mammas at he same time and 6 babies born! Four of the five are good friends and have tried to get the babies together as often as possible. (We aren' leaving the fifth out, but she only works part time and not directly with us so we arent' as close.) Last weekend was the first time we were all able to get together and so Owen was meeting a new friend, Jayden, for the first time.

Side story - Owen and Jayden were born on the same day, 20 minutes apart. When we went to the hospital on tuesday, I jokingly sent Jayden's mommy a text and told her that we beat her to the hospital but if she was quick, she could beat us in the baby race. She did. Jayden was born on 5/11 at 10:30 and Owen was born at 10:51. Our due dates were two days apart - mine on 5/ 17 and hers 5/15. What are the chances?

Anyway, we all met at Johansen's Farm and couldn't have had a better time taking pictures of the babies and enjoying our new roles as mommies and daddies.

Owen (5 months), Jayden (5 months), Camille (8 months) and isabella (10 months)

Birthday buddies!

My new favorite family picture!

Our little pumpkin!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Solids 101

I never thought I would have such strong feelings or emotions connected to pureed food. I also never thought my husband and I would discuss poop via text during the day. ( me: "i cant evn bgin 2 describe owen's diaper 2 u. brett: "dont") Along with baby, comes change.

I am in no hurry to feed Owen solids. I think I mentioned that before and I also mentioned that Owen won and has been eating bananas for over a month now. If I had my way, he could have  a treat of bananas every once in a  while but mommy's milk would be the #1 food for much longer. Unfortunately, I'm not getting my way (for several things, but we won't talk about going back to work because, yep, cue the tears). Owen is/ has been showing all readiness signs to start solids and the recommendation is between 4 and 6 months, although like everything, it's a personal choice. We decided that 5 months would be our starting point so that we could see the funny faces he was sure to make when trying new foods. The plan was to give him rice cereal on his 5 month birthday and start a new food every 3-4 days after that, watching for any signs of an allergic reaction. So that's what we did. On October 11, Owen "enjoyed" his first helping of rice cereal. Mixed with breast milk. Then mixed with bananas. The jury is still out on his opinion of rice cereal. A few days after, we gave him sweet potatoes and then pears, both of which are now favorites in Owen's book.

I decided that at least to start, I wanted to make Owen's baby food. With the help of a friend who did this last summer and the internet, it was a breeze. I found this website - Wholesome Baby Food: Momtastic -which was a wealth of information. I especially like their chart of foods to give baby for each stage. I downloaded and printed mine and stuck it in Owen's section of the Home Binder.Why did I want to make his food? Who wouldn't want to be up to their elbows in steamers, food processors, and purees? Seriously. I just felt that since I am home and have the time I could at least provide Owen with the best possible food to start. I don't know if I will make all of his baby food, but he is now well stocked for a while. Because I made his food, I know that there are no added ingredients, no chemicals, and that it is as fresh (or was before i froze it) as possible and is all organic.

What I did
For starters, Living Social offered a Whole Foods deal several weeks ago that I bought and recieved $20 worth of roceries for $10. So last week Owen and I headed to Whole Foods and purchased some organic fruits and veggies (and maybe a thing or two for mom and dad). I also purchased some packaged food just to have on hand. Here's what we started with:

Organic carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, apples, pears
Earth's Best Rice Cereal and Oatmeal
Earth's Best Sweet Potatoes (jar)
Sprout - Squash, Peas, Pears
When we got home, I got my supplies ready. For the sweet potatoes, squash, and carrots, I steamed them using my steamer basket inside a pot with a lid. After they were very tended, I used a food processor to puree them. In order to get the right consistency, I used the water they steamed in which also ensured we didn't lose any good nutrients. For the apples and pears, I peeled, cored, and diced them and then baked them covered on 300 for about 30 minutes. I then used the food processor for them also. They didn't need much water added because they created so much of their own.

So when I had several bowls of pureed foods lining the counter, I started filling up ice cube trays with all of the purees. I put them in the freezer over night, then popped them out into their own labeled freezer Ziploc bag.

Now, whenever Owen is ready for some food, I simply pop out a cube and let thaw. If we are in a hurry, I will nuke it in the microwave for a few seconds but I then make sure to stir it well and text to make sure there are no hot spots.

There you have it. I have enough cubes to last him until well after i go back to work since right now he is only eating one cube a day.

So simple. If anyone has any questions, I would be more than willing to offer my advice. I'm no expert but found this to be a very simple and economical project.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

5 Months of Baby Love

To my sweet boy! The past month has flown by even faster than the first 4. It must be because my time home with you is finally coming to an end. We have only 4 short weeks left.

You are getting so big! You have reached 16 pounds but I can't get an accurate length because you are alway on the move. Keeping your drawers full of clothes that fit is becoming a job. You are in 6-9 month clothes and can even wear some 12 months. We never know what trick you will show us each day. Last week, October 4, you woke up and rolled over. And that, my boy, has been the end of you spending any time on your tummy. Any time I put you there, you almost immediately roll right to your back you think you're pretty cool being able to do that.
"I'm not staying on my belly long!"
You also woke up one day and decided to try to mimic my mouth. Hilarious!

On September 18, we gave in and gave you bananas because you are so grabby when we eat. You love them. When the spoon gets near, you use both hands to try to force more than I am giving you in. What else has changed this month? Your baby bath tub is packed away. You needed your freedom and so we now lay a hand towel in the bathtub and you kick and splash like crazy.

You've been a traveler again. We visited Washington the first weekend in October and you attended the end of Julie's wedding. Daddy, you and I danced in your PJs to Kenny Chesney and Dave Matthew's song, "I'm Alive". We have decided that it's our family song! Your Gammy, Grandpap, and Uncle Ben were so happy, as always to see you. You even got to spend some time with your Great Grandma Rheba and Great Grandpap Bert. What a lucky guy you are!

You have visited Kuiper's Farm, The Morton Arboretum, the Adler Planetarium, and swung on the swings at the park for the first time. We had almost two weeks of perfect weather that we took full advantage of. We have been a busy family!
In nothing but a diaper on October 7!

You continue to amaze us each day with your bright disposition. You still sleep well during the day and are taking fewer but longer naps. You still wake up once in the night and I think it has just become a habit. We need to break that ahbit. You chew on everything and are drooling quite a bit. I think teeth might be in your future.  You are still very loud at home, in fact your screams are ear piercing, and serious when we are out.
Just like your Daddy. He gave you a tiny taste of cream cheese frosting and you nearly lost your mind!
Owen, your Dad and I just love you so much. We have talked recently about how there was something missing in our lives because and we didn't even know it until you came along.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Perfect Fall Weekend

Could we be more blessed with this weather lately? I mean really, it's October and this man is outside with no clothes on...

What a wonderful weekend we had! We opened our home to good friends, the Hooli's, and had more fun than we could handle. The interesting thing about the Hooli's is that Brett met Brian the same weekend that he and I met in Myrtle Beach. They became instant friends and as both boys moved on, got married, and had kiddos, our families have become wonderful friends. They are the kind of friends that you love to have as overnight guests. They're very much like us and we can have the greatest time doing nothing at all.

On Friday night, we enjoyed catching up playing with their boys, Colin is 3 and Brendan is 4, and they got to meet Owen for the first time.

On Saturday morning, the men went golfing and Claudette and I took the boys to the Adler Planetarium. Brett and Brian met us later on. What a  beautiful day to be by the lake and learn a little about space.  It's wonderful to be grown adults hanging out with your children and still acting like little kids. The joke of the weekend was "five" because so many jokes were made that you would think we were still kids. What planet comes after Saturn? Uranus. Yep! Still funny!
Saturday night we had a cookout, play tag in the dark and all retreated to the basement for some laughs and some good episodes of the Backyardigans. 

Sunday was equally as beautiful so we went to park. This was Owen's first real trip to the park and he enjoyed it immensely already.
Cluadette and I entertained ourselves by trying to learn to juggle with walnuts. "five". 

 Oh, I wish this weather could last forever!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

seasons change . . . and so do babies

i was standing at our kitchen window this morning looking out into the back yard. my coffee was heating in the microwave for the third time and i was chuckling to myself about what had just transpired over the last 5 minutes.

owen is a great napper. he gets squirmy and loud and that lets us know he is ready for bed. all we have to do is put him in his crib on his belly and he falls asleep. he may fuss or talk for a minute, but never longer.

yesterday, owen woke up and decided that he was going to start rolling over from his belly to his back. there went tummy time. he will. not. stay. on. his. belly. also yesterday, we had no problems with naps.

fast forward to this morning. owen let me know that he was ready for a nap. i kissed him and put him in bed. before i even got out of the room, he rolled to his back and was laughing. so i rolled him back over and the same thing happened. he has a mirror on the side of his crib that he started playing with.

as i stand at the kitchen window, he is currently in his crib, on his back, yelling at the top of his lungs playing with his mirror. he thinks this is the greatest thing since breast milk.

so as i look out the window and notice the orange and yellow leaves starting to spot the grass, it's hard not to think back to that the first time i looked out this window when owen was home, it was spring and he was nothing but a swaddled bundle on a phototherapy machine. as we moved into summer, the swaddling stopped because he needed to move. he developed a personality, learned to "talk", and found a way to communicate with us. now it's fall and he doesn't stay put. he's even louder and he loves bananas and his toys. a month from now, (because we live in the midwest) i will stand at this window and there will most likely be snow on the ground. and owen will be different.

and that's the life of a mother. standing at a window, looking at the same back yard and things are always totally different. it's amazing the incredible life lessons you learn in less than 5 months.

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