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Thursday, June 23, 2011

NINE MONTHS



Bobblehead turned nine months old the other day, and I almost missed marking this milestone!  Thankfully his nine-month well baby checkup reminded me to post an update here.

His height curve is BARELY above the last visit, and weight curve has actually moved DOWN, since he only gained 2 lbs in the last three months. He is now 17 pounds, and 24 inches long...so he is pretty small for a nine month old.  The doctor isn't TOO worried about this, since his head growth is normal, and at least THAT growth curve still shows upward movement on the chart.  But he did suggest that maybe I should start adding BUTTER to Bobblehead's diet.  Yes, BUTTER.  I think, before I get that drastic, I will try giving him more avocados, and other 'healthy' foods that are high in UNsaturated fat. I know he needs fat for brain growth, but am also reluctant to give him something as 'bad' as BUTTER just yet.  One good thing the doc said about the weight issue, is that Bobblehead's motor development is excellent, and its likely that he will just need more calories because he is so active.  AND HOW!  I can't even get him to hold still for a diaper change lately.

He's crawling like a pro now, and LOVES to pull himself into a standing position using any piece of furniture (or my leg). He also cruises along the furniture, but not quite as confidently as he crawls.  The cruising thing has led to numerous falls, most of them without injury. I do catch him when I can, but I also know that he will learn much faster if he actually experiences some of these falls - so I don't beat myself up about the times I can't quite catch him, and he bumps his head or simply startles himself.

Sleep is still a myth...or at least NAPS are.  Nighttime is pretty routine, and he's bathed and down for the night, in his own room, between 8 and 9 every night.  He occasionally wakes up to nurse in the middle of the night, but then goes right back to sleep.  And he definitely KNOWS his limit during the day, with his 2 to 3 hour periods of wakefulness....anything longer and he becomes a cranky MONSTER.  Unfortunately, a 20 minute 'power nap' seems to satusfy his need for rest more often than not.  I remember three times last week that he actually took a REAL nap (1 1/2 to 2 hours) and I celebrated each time.  I am hoping we can get to a point where he takes two REAL naps every day. Someday.




For now I just keep my camera and my Flip handy to catch all the silly stuff he does. He just started shaking his head, like "NO" the other day...only he's not saying "no"....he's just enjoying the dizzy sensation.  What a nut!




video

He enjoys the pool now - enough to make me REALLY wish we had our own pool here!  But my brother lives nearby, and lets us use his backyard pool.  We also go visit my sister often, about 20 minutes away, and they have a really awesome comunity pool, complete with kiddy-splash-park.

He's feeding himself more finger foods, and LOVES playing with his food.  Sometimes when I am spoon-feeding him in his high chair, he grabs for the spoon with his little hands, resulting in a blob of pureed veggies on the tray.  This, of course, necessitates a long finger-painting session each time.  I absolutely LOVE seeing the look of wonder on his face as he makes designs by smearing his little finger (usually just the index finger, but sometimes his whole hand) through the mess. I don't love cleaning it up, but I know if I don't I won't get a chance to see THAT LOOK on his face again the next time he eats.  :)

His favorite foods right now are Pears (still), cheerios, peach flavored puffs, diced fresh apricots, VEGGIE STRAWS, and anything Mommy is eating.  I'm thrilled that he's begun to enjoy some of the food from my plate, and can't wait until he's really eating ALL table foods.  Last week we went on a two-day vacation to Disneyland and I had to pack SO MUCH BABYFOOD.  Totally not looking forward to that with our family reunion next month.

I know the table food thing will get even better if he can actually CUT those two top teeth that have been trying to push through for like a month now.  The two bottom teeth look lonely. Maybe he should ask the tooth fairy about this?  We know her...she lives down the street.  Bobblehead even borrowed her wings and wand for a few minutes:


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

home-made baby food

I've been making about half of Bobblehead's baby food at home, and its easier than I thought it would be!  Here's a step-by-step guide if you'd like to try it:

1. Clean/peel fresh fruit or veggies.  If this already sounds like too much work, buy some pre-cut and pre-peeled baby carrots.  I bought a 5 lb. bag at Costco for about $5, so these are a good CHEAP food.

2. Steam (or boil) your fresh *OR FROZEN* veggies or fruit.  Costco also carries a 5lb bag of frozen organic green beans that my whole family enjoys steamed.

3. Use a strainer spoon to place the cooked food into your blender or food processor.  You will need to add at least a few tablespoons of the water from the pan, so DON'T dump that out yet!

4. Add just a little water to the mixture and puree.  If more water is needed, YOU'LL KNOW, trust me.  Add more water from your pan if needed, and puree again if needed. Younger babies will want a VERY smooth consistency, while older babies will enjoy some texture/lumps to begin some "practice chewing".

5. TASTE IT.  Yes, it will be incredibly bland.  Depending on your baby's age, you might be able to experiment with adding a little onion in step 2, or at least some sea salt.  First foods are supposed to be bland, though.  If something is wrong with the food, i.e. it was not as fresh as you thought it was, your tongue will alert you and you can now discard this batch and start over.  If it tastes 'normal', proceed to the next step.

6. Pour the puree into storage containers.  I like to pour some into an ice cube tray, so I can freeze it.  The frozen cubes then go into a labeled ziplock bag for long-term storage.  This allows me to make one kind of food, say, every other night, and still have plenty of variety on hand.  The little snack-size disposable gladware containers are also great for refigerating individual servings for use within the first 2 or 3 days after the food is made.
fresh baby food poured into an ice cube tray

frozen cubes of mango-strawberry puree



7. SERVE! If you use the ice-tray method, it's best to take out a day's worth of food at night before you go to bed - thaw them in covered containers (like the gladware or tupperware). If you forget to do this, or your little one's appetite suddenly spikes, you CAN thaw the frozen baby food in your microwave...just know that this does degrade some of the nutrients in the food.




8. EXPERIMENT with different foods! Combine a fruit with a vegetable - apples seem to blend well with everything, and take the harsh edge off of things like sweet potatoes or broccoli.  I still can't get meat to come out right in the blender, so we buy a lot of the chicken and turkey dishes ready-made. Last week I made Shepherd's Pie for the older boys, so I decided to throw some of those ingredients into the blender.



Cooked ground turkey w/onions, green beans, corn, and mashed potatoes.


Doesn't look all that appetizing, but he ATE it.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Life's a Beach

Yesterday was Baby Bobblehead's first trip to the beach.

He had a BLAST, but I don't know for sure how soon we'll be doing this again.....so much work just to pack all the necessary gear into my little tiny car, then to drag it all out onto the sand, and then pack it all back up a couple hours later. We also live about an hour's drive from the closest 'nice' beach, so yeah. Probably not happening as much this summer as it did last summer, but oh well.

We definitely have to go back at least a couple more times, if for no other reason than to get more pictures like these:


fascinated with the sand


feeding himself a 'veggie straw'




he could pick up and release fistfuls of sand ALL DAY



Could his eyes BE any more blue?