Oct 31, 2011

Adelaide - 10 Months!!!

Dear Adelaide,

You turned 10 months old nine days ago! Only just now do I have a minute to sit and write to you all the wonderful things you're doing and how much we really love you! Life is crazy busy now, with you being such an active little girl and with me going back to work. It's really hard to find time to do, well, anything!


At home, you love to be with your daddy and me. You cling to me, but call for Daddy! It's really sweet. You say "Dada" now, with purpose! Of course, you repeatedly say it all the time as part of your "talking"... but you also will just say "Dada" and we know for certain that your talking about your father. He loves it, and talks right back to you! I can't wait for the day when you're able to say "Mama"!


You can walk now! Earlier this month you took a couple of steps, waited a week or so, then took more. Now, you are walking halfway down the hall before you stumble. You take very sure, yet very fragile, little baby steps. It's so cute! You have amazing balance and are able to correct your wobbles very consistently to keep yourself upright, but when you do fall, you have a nice cushion-y cloth diaper to pad your bottom! And your daddy and I think it's so sweet that you love to walk, even though crawling is so much faster.

You clap now, all the time. The first time you did it, I was nursing you down for a nap... or so I thought. You were drinking your milk, and I was laying next to you. We were both still and quiet, and it was dark. And all of a sudden, you're clapping! Although I really wanted you to go to sleep, it made me smile - my big, happy girl!

[We tried to bribe you with a puff to get you to at least not cry for the
traditional laying-down shot, but you weren't having it!]

You also wave bye-bye (most of the time)! In the mornings, after we get ready for the day, you and Daddy stand on the porch while I walk out to my car to go to work. This is something I made your daddy do, and I'm so glad, because it's a nice way to say goodbye to you. And you're waving bye now, too, which makes it much sweeter.

Speaking of work, I am on week four of being back at work full-time. So far, I'm not enjoying it. I think about you all day long and miss you so very much. I've cried a few times when coworkers will ask about you, or on my way to pick you up in the afternoons after a long day of teaching. You, on the other hand, are loving day care. Your daddy drops you off in the mornings, and he tells me that you get excited walking down the hall because you remember where you are, and you reach out for your teachers to hold you. This makes us so happy. We're very glad that you are thriving and enjoying your days. You are one of the older babies in your classroom, and your teachers love you very much. They take really good care of you, and you have a lot of fun playing with the other babies. You're such a big girl!

Oh, and we've hit a very independent stage when it comes to eating! You don't much care for being spoon-fed anymore. Sometimes, if I have oatmeal or something, you'll take a bit, but you love, love, love to feed yourself. I was worried at first with giving you finger foods, because I was scared that you'd choke, but you have done just fine with it! It's really cute how you grab a cube of steamed veggie and shove it in your mouth. Right now, you're loving potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, mangoes, apples, pears, puffs, and graham crackers.

[Silly girl!]

Your personality is really coming through. It's amazing. Each day we see more of the little girl that you're becoming. You're silly, laughing all the time. You are so smart, making connections and figuring out how things work. You love to play peek-a-boo, read, take apart piles of things (like clean cloth wipes), and you've started to play chase with your dad. Sometimes he'll chase you, sometimes you'll chase him. You're a very happy girl, super social, and beginning to really show affection.


It's so much fun being your momma! I get overwhelmed with all the to-do's sometimes, but it's all so worth it. No matter how tired, stressed, or bogged down I am... at the end of the day I think of you sleeping in our bed and whisper to your dad: "I love that little girl."

Love, Momma

Oct 3, 2011

How and Why to make Homemade Baby Food.

Last night I spent a couple hours in the kitchen making baby food for Adelaide. When little miss began eating solids at six months, we already had quite a bit of store-bought baby food, mostly Earth's Best Organic baby food bought by my mom when Harris Teeter was having a good deal and she had coupons. We used them first, and now I reuse those jars to store homemade baby food. I love making her baby food at home. Coming up with different food combinations and then seeing what she likes and doesn't like is so much fun! And I like knowing what she's getting. So...

Why make your own baby food?


Reason #1 for homemade baby food: Cost.
A jar of organic baby food is about a dollar at best. Sometimes it goes on sale and you can use coupons to bring the cost down to maybe 70 cents per jar. I can instead buy a pound of organic carrots for $0.98 from Walmart (I wish I could afford Earth Fare all the time, but right now money is tight, so off to Wally World we go.). That pound of carrots can make at least 3 jars of baby food, bringing the price down to $0.33 per jar. That's a savings of $0.37 per jar working from the sale/coupon price. If that's all she ate, two jars a day for a week, I've saved $5.18 for the week. When you're working with a budget, those five bucks can be used for a lot of other stuff, like more food to make for the baby.

Reason #2 for homemade baby food: Control of ingredients.
Now, the Earth's Best Organic baby food is pretty good about keeping the baby food pure. It's rare that a jar of that stuff has added preservatives or fillers or anything else but the food. And it's organic. If you feed your baby non-organic food, you are exposing them to the pesticides and herbicides that were used to grow the plants. And non-organic meat, if that's what you feed to your child, transfers those antibiotics, hormones, and all that other nasty junk to your baby. So, if you make your own organic baby food, you know exactly what's going in that precious baby of yours.

Reason #3 for homemade baby food: Make what your baby likes.
Here's another way to control what your baby gets. If you know your baby likes carrots, you can use carrots with a myriad other vegetables in different combinations to introduce new tastes. Carrots and zucchini were a big part of last night's cooking. I know she likes those two veggies a lot, but instead of just mixing them together only (same old, same old), I mixed carrots with potatoes, zucchini with potatoes, carrots with celery, etc.

Reason #4 for homemade baby food: It's easy! Here's how:
All you really need is a pot, stove, and blender. That's what I use. Last night, after chopping up all my veggies, I got a few pots of water boiling, each with a different veggie. Let them come to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until soft (some veggies take longer than others). Transfer to a blender, puree, and BAM! You're done! So easy. Transfer to jars, label with food and ate, and pop those suckers in the fridge or freezer.

So, each week, that's what I do. Make a batch of homemade baby food for Adelaide. And each night, if we're having some veggies that I know she likes, or maybe hasn't tried yet, I set aside some for her before I add salt and too many spices and puree them up on the spot. That way she eats what we eat, when she can. Don't forget the pasta, couscous, and fruit, either. She eats pretty much whatever we do.

Do you make your own baby food? Any tips or favorite combinations?