Thursday, February 27, 2014

Good Day.

Tomorrow is Friday already.
We made it.
There were some tough moments and our new lifestyle is not easy, but 100% necessary and temporary. 

I missed Lilly, especially at bedtime and I missed Matt so much. It has been 2 years of being home together everyday pretty much all day. That was hard too but in a different way. We will adjust to this. Lilly will adjust to this. It is weird not seeing Matt until I'm home from teaching around 7pm. I don't even see him in the morning because he leave so early. And then on Tues/Thurs he's at school until 10pm. It's just weird to not have him around. I'm not a fan. 

I was off today (taught tonight) and am off tomorrow during the day and will bring Lilly with me to class in the evening then Saturday/Sunday 100% off :) 

Lilly and I had such a great day together!
Girlfriend woke up super early (I think she heard Matt leaving) and we were up for our day at 6:50am. Usually we don't wake up until 8am. We played together and then she went down again and I ate breakfast and worked a bit. When she woke up again, we went and hung out with Cogsy at the studio and got him all ready to go stay at Haley & Liam's. Then we went to the bank and headed to Gilman Village. We walked around the shops for a good half hour before heading to music class :)

Hehe, I love this. Right after she woke up from nap. I sat her on the bed and she just plopped over and stayed like this looking all cozy & smiling at me. Then the second I got my phone out...I got this lol!

Lilly was so freakin' cute in there today! She was "singing" and smiling at everyone almost the whole time. It was so much fun!   

After music class, we went and scooped up Cogsy to bring him by Haley & Liam's. Then we were off to Seattle. We hung out by Haliam's for about 2 hours before going to the city to pick daddy up from work so he could see Lilly today. It was so much fun to have Lilly there and hanging out with the kids. She hasn't been to their house yet and it is such a special place to me. I always feel like I'm going home when I go there. It's always like I never left. I loved snuggling up with Lilly on their couch to nurse her :) And it was so much fun to see her eating her snack with Maclin & Suzy Lou! 

Best Friends like Haley & I :)

For anyone reading this that doesn't know: I nannied for their family for almost 2 years when we first moved here. And now that was almost 5 years ago.

After we got Matt and he left for school I had to go to teach and Nana & Papa had Lilly for the rest of the night. :)

It was a great day!! I soaked up every second of the little things with my sweet girl. So many smiles today! I so needed today. I'm so excited to do it all over and have another full day with her tomorrow...and I get to do bedtime tomorrow! Yay!!

This was on Tuesday, we text this picture to Daddy :) He loved it.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

On My Heart & Mind

Lots of thoughts on my mind today. This week is going to be a big one for our family; one for the books. It will be the first week that both Matt & I are working parents. It will be the first week that Lilly spends time with anyone other than us. We are so thankful that on Mondays and Wednesdays that will be her Papa L. and that on Tuesdays that will be my dear friend, Jodee. Lilly Belle is lucky to get to spend time with both of them. I'm just a little nervous because of her separation anxiety...and mine. 

Being Lilly's mom is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I tell her that every single day. Matt and I love her so much; more than I could ever try to explain in writing. I soak up every second of being her mommy. I soak up every nursing session, every bath time and even every little hair pull. I try to soak in her sweet baby smell and the way she puts her sweet little hands on my face to pull it closer to hers so she can give me a "kiss". All the small little details are my favorites. Like how when looking at her jackets hanging in her closet, I notice that all the sleeves of the left arms are rolled up so she can suck her fingers. All of it, everyday, it is just the best life. 

Since she has been born, the favorite part of my day has always been her bedtime routine. And recently I have grown to love it even more as she is just growing more and able to participate more. Each night at 6pm I nurse her and then feed her solids mixed with rice cereal. Then we do bath time which is a huge hit around here, especially now that she loves to splash and play with her toys. So much so that she cries when we take her out of the bath (adorable). After bath, we get her jammies on, give her her medicine and then I nurse her again while I sing to her. Depending on her level of tiredness, we try to get a story or two in there as well. It's just at the best time; full of laughs, music, snuggles & smiles. 

Since we have started to try to get her on a schedule these past 11 days while I've been off, her 6pm time of starting bedtime is set. Any later than that and she's out. Sometimes, we even have to start it a bit earlier if she's off on her naps. 

Well...for the next 4 Tuesdays, I won't get to be with her for bedtime. I will drop her off by Jodee at 2:30pm and I won't get home until 7/7:10pm...she will for sure be asleep already. She will have to have formula. Matt will do all of her bedtime routine. I won't get to nurse her or snuggle with her. I'm afraid that she won't understand why I dropped her off and then didn't see her again. It is breaking my  heart. It is times like these where I hate working. It makes me so angry, stuck & frustrated. I don't want to miss any time with her. I don't want to miss any laughs or snuggles. 

Then again on Thursday...I will miss out on all of it again; for the next 2 Thursdays. Thankfully, we live with Matt's parents currently, so Nana will do bedtime/bath time on those nights while Matt goes to school. He will have to go straight to school from work on Thursdays. He won't get to see Lilly at all on Thursdays :( that breaks my heart, too. 

For the next two weeks, I'll miss bedtime/bath-time on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

Then for two more weeks, I'll miss Tuesdays.

It's not fair. 

Here is what I am thankful for:
*Lilly Belle is healthy and thriving
*Matt has a job and will be working
*Matt is doing well in school
*After just 2 more weeks, I will just teach M-W
*Lilly will always be taken care of by people who love her very much, even if that's not me or Matt
*In between my 5 classes I teach on Tuesday, Lilly & I have her music class together
*I am thankful - so very thankful - that I don't have to leave her M-F from 9-5. I know I couldn't do that and feel for those mamas that have to and feel sad about it. Breaks my heart. 
*I am thankful that we were blessed to have a baby and to have the gift of being parents.

I know this is just another bump in the road. A bump on the way to where we want to be. One step closer to me being a stay-at-home (more) mom. One step closer to this quarter being over and then I have 3 weeks off. One step closer to June 13th after which I'm off until October! Off...100%. It will be the best summer of my life. One where I get to spend so much time with Matt & Lilly and focus all my time and energy on family. 

Matt has been reminding me how much Lilly Belle is going to grow from this. It's going to be so good for her to be with other people. She is so incredibly attached to us right now. 

I'm attached to her though, too. I know how precious of a gift it is that I have a child. I know quite a few families who thought they would have a house full of children and unfortunately were only able to have one. For this reason, I soak it all up. She is changing before our eyes. She is doing new things every single day. It's amazing to watch her grow, but we are reminded daily how fast time is going. Matt pointed out to me that in just about a week, Lilly Belle will already be 7 months old...7! 

I know I can do this and I know Lilly will be okay. 
One day at a time... 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Baby Food Recipes {6 Months Old)

1 Month of Baby Food
{6 Months Old}

Lilly Belle has already had quite a few fruits & veggies so because of that I am able to start mixing them together for her. If your baby has not started solids yet, make sure to stay with each food by themselves for a few days before trying anything new. This is to make sure your child does not have any specific food allergies. 

For 1 month of food, I only spent about $20.00. 
It would have been less if I hadn't shopped at Target and if I hadn't purchased any pre-cut food.

Butternut Squash $2.99
Bag of Organic Carrots $1.09
Zucchini $1.49
2 Avocados $2.98
Pumpkin $1.89
5 Fuji Apples $3.95
5 Bananas $.90
Frozen Peas $2.99
Frozen Mango $3.29
TOTAL = $21.57

I will feed Lilly 1/2 a container for breakfast and 1/2 of another for lunch. For dinner, I will give her 1/2 of a container mixed with rice cereal to fill her up before bed (I keep hoping this will give me a night of sleep luck so far) ;) Without having time to get to the carrots or peas, I was able to make Lilly Belle 24 containers of puree today! 

This was a lot cheaper than buying organic baby food. And also, have you ever seen a picture of fresh babyhood next to a container or jarred food? The difference in color just isn't right. Don't get me wrong...Lilly has been chowing down on Gerber prior to me making all of these lol so I'm not judging!

After lots of research, I decided the best storage solution for us at this time was to use Glad Mini Round BPA-Free storage containers. I purchased 4 packs of 8 at $3.49 each ($13.96) and I can reuse these all throughout her eating purees and can then use them for her snacks as she gets older. day I'm sure I will be doing this all over again :) They are okay in both the freezer and dishwasher. Works for me!

I used my last bag of pumped breast milk throughout my cooking shenanigans today. It was frozen when I took it out and each time I threw something in the blender, I poured whatever was thawed right on in. One day (in my dreams) when I'm lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom, I will have tons of pumped milk and would have used all breast milk instead of water in my purees. But, for now, for this month, it did feel good to know there was a little in each blend even if sometimes it was just a few drops lol.

Lilly went down for her nap and I got to work prepping all the food for the blender.

Blend #1: Avocado & Banana
-Cut your banana into slices
-Cube your avocado (Matt and I like to score our avocado halves into cubes before we peel the skin off as it is then really easy to peel and you can divide it up easier)

-You can use as much as you would like depending on how much you want to make. Use your judgement and put equal parts of each in the blender. You will need liquid for this as I found this blend to be super mushy; almost sticky. 

It was really good! I tried to get Matt to try some but because there was about a tsp of breast milk in it, he refused lol. 

Blend #2: Avocado & Pear

-Cube your avocado just as you did for blend #1
-I used Gerber Organic Pear for this just because we had it. It was out on the counter and I thought it might be yummy so I went for it. 

(Lilly Belle ended up having this for lunch and gobbled it right up!)
Such a pretty color green. I love how fresh it all looks.

I peeled and chopped the apples. It is okay if you leave a little skin on. Not a ton, but some is okay. It is good for them as long as there are no chunks your baby could choke on if you didn't blend well enough. 

I baked my apples in a little roasting pan for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. I did not put anything other than the apples in the pan. It worked perfectly to get them soft enough to blend.

Lilly has not had zucchini yet, so I decided to just buy one for her to try alone. 

Zucchini Puree
-Cut your zucchini into slices and then quarters
-Boil water (just enough to cover the zucchini)
-Once boiling, put the zucchini in the water and cook until soft
-Blend (you won't need to add water as it is already watery, you can if you'd like to though)

**Be careful with the blender as the zucchini is super hot (boiling) and could burn you if you are not careful.

-Once blended, be sure to not put into the freezer until it has cooled down as it is not good to put hot food into the freezer/refrigerator.

Mango Puree
-I used one bag of frozen mango chunks that are meant for smoothies
-I added a bit of water just to get the blender going

Yum!! I love mango. I craved it like mad when I was pregnant and I still love it.

Blend #3: Banana & Mango
- Add equal parts mango chunks and banana slices into your blender
-Add water until it gets to the smooth consistency you prefer

-Enjoy. I was about to pour myself a glass ;) Girlfriend is going to love this. I'm really excited about all of this!

For a few of my recipes today I decided to add the rice cereal right in. When I make rice cereal, I just pour the rice cereal into a bowl and add formula until it's the consistency I like for Lilly. I would prefer to use breast milk but schedule is dumb and sadly (very sadly) pumping is no longer a part of my life. I cringe pouring that formula in, but I know she'll survive ;) 

Butternut Squash Puree
-Cut your squash into cubes (or cheat like me and find a bag of pre-cubed squash) ;)
-Boil a pot of water, just enough to cover the squash
-Once boiling, add squash to pot and cook until smushy
-Drain a bit and then add to blender
-Blend until smooth. Add water to get to your preferred consistency. You probably won't have to add much because squash is already pretty watery. 

**Be careful again with blending hot food**

Blend #4: Apples & Bananas
(And cue the Barney song...)
-Add equal parts banana slices & your baked apples to the blender
-You'll need to add some water for this one as it didn't get smooth alone


(I could have gotten this one smoother but I got impatient with the blender.)

Blend #5: Apple & Avocado
-Half of an avocado & equal amount of apples 
-Add water until smooth

*I also added banana to this and made an Apple, Avocado & Banana blend. Mmmm!

Feels like it should be September on this one.

Blend #6: Apple & Butternut Squash
-Equal parts baked apple and cooked butternut squash
-Add water until smooth like baby food :)

Once all your food is prepped, the thing that takes the longest is washing the blender out in between. Other than that, they're all so easy! I made sure to wash everything so well just because a few of these foods, Lilly hasn't tried yet and I want to be careful with allergies. 

I tried a spoon of this one and ended up making a ton. It was delicious! 

Then I got out my pumpkin! I love everything pumpkin :)

Blend #7: Banana & Pumpkin
-Equal parts banana slices & pumpkin puree
-Add water (or breast milk) until smooth

Then my little taste tester woke up from her nap and she got to eat the avocado & pear blend. 

Safe to say she loved it...

She loves when I let her play with her spoon when she's done. It is fun to let her get dirty & experiment and learn with her food :) 

Once she woke up, I never got to do anything with the peas or carrots. I'm going to make those tonight. I would have liked to mix the carrots and apples together. Next time :) 

A few more mixes that I made that I do not have photos of are:
-Pumpkin & Apple
-Pumpkin & Butternut Squash
-Mango & Apple

I loved doing this for Lilly. I told Matt it made me just as happy as when I nurse her. I love knowing where her food is coming from and it feels good that I took time to do this for her. A lot of love went into her meals this month. I cannot wait for her to try them all! 

-Don't be afraid to add water to make the puree smooth (we have the okay from our pediatrician to give LB water so I went for it)

-Use Avery file folder labels to label each container. The stuck so well even when wet. They were just $3 at Fred Meyer and I have a pack of over 200. 

-Have everything clean and ready before you begin. Pre-chop, cut and peel everything first. It helped so much to just fly through the blending process!

-Put some music on and enjoy some mommy time pouring love into your sweet baby's food!

Baby Food! (Planning)

Now that Lilly is 6 months old, I have been having so much fun feeding her solids! 

I have been spending a lot of time researching and decided that since I have the week off, I'd like to make her some yummy recipes. 

Based off of a ton of reading on various websites and a very helpful chart from, here is what I have decided to try.

Here is what I created tonight for Lilly. On the left you will see a chart I made of all the different foods I can introduce to her in the next 6 months. On the right hand side I created some "blends" I want to make and freeze for her.

So I realize the bottom of the Dairy section is cut off - add cream cheese to that. 

This is all just recipes I thought might taste good, recipes I found online & also me trying to give her a mixture of color in each recipe.

We'll see how tomorrow goes! Wish me luck. I'm super excited!

Next post on this will hopefully be that I actually made a bunch of these ;)