Tuesday, September 29, 2009


More pics of Ethan at the park.

His first time in the swing. Looks like he's thinking "What is this?"

"Not so bad"

"WHOOA!" Too fast!

"It's fun!"

Then he discovered the mulch and this is what he did.

On our next trip he was over the mulch and more into the swings.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Building a sandwich

I posted about trying to re-introduce wheat into my diet & it not going well. I was scared to try anything with wheat for fear of being sick again. While browsing the natural food section/organic food section/gluten free section at Wegman's I met Peggy. Peggy works in that section and asked if she could help me find anything. While she was helping me find a few ingredients we chatted about Ethan's allergies and what I've been eating. I mentioned my fear of trying wheat again and she suggested this bread. She thought that since it is made from sprouted grains that my body may treat it as a vegetable instead of a grain. She felt it may be easier to digest while still re-introducing wheat. She was RIGHT! It worked! I tried one slice, lightly toasted. I felt fine and I didn't notice Ethan reacting to it either (YAY, it seems he is not gluten intolerant!). The bread is good. Matt commented that it smells good too. Best of all, it's dairy and soy free!

I was anxious to have a sandwich. I haven't had a sandwich since Ethan was just a few weeks old. I found a safe mustard with only ingredients that I knew Ethan hasn't reacted to and nothing that says 'natural flavor' b/c you have no idea what natural flavor is! The mustard was good but I missed mayonnaise. I searched a few stores for an egg-free mayo but they all contained soy. I finally found this recipe online. I've read about the ground flax seed and water combo as an egg substitute but this was the first time I tried it. It does turn out to be similar to the consistency of an egg! I can see why this works. I LOVE mayo so this admittedly is not mayo but it really does compare on a sandwich.

My next step was to reintroduce tomatoes. I have missed tomatoes so much this summer! I decided to try a BLT. Let me tell you, it was the best BLT I've ever had!

It sounds silly but it's a newly found freedom to pack a sandwich for my work days on the road.

***S-Anon, I've been thinking about you and hoping that things are going well. Have you introduced any more foods into your LO's diet?


Thank you for your supportive comments in my Judge Judy post. There are some things that I don't want to allow to bother me but then they just do. As if being a new mom wasn't tough enough... you have to deal with Jude Judy's too. Part of the job, I guess. Your support is much appreciated.

Speaking of support. I was at a baby shower yesterday and the guests were asked to share new mom tips with the mother-to-be. As I contemplated what I would share the usual came to mind
sleep when the baby sleeps (I'm not a napper and couldn't really do this)
accept help when offered (we did)
let the cleaning and laundry go (still do)
etc, but then I thought about what helped me.

A big help was support from other new moms.

The hospital where I delivered Ethan offers a Breastfeeding Group and a New Mom & Baby Group. I started attending these groups when Ethan was 2.5 weeks old and it's one of the best decisions I've made as a new mom. Some of the ladies there were in the childbirth class that Matt and I attended. Two of them have babies just a few days older than Ethan. A couple of them went through infertility treatments too.

The group has been a place for me to share the joys that we've experienced and the difficulties that we've endured. There are lots of laughs and most of the moms have cried at one meeting or another. A Lactation Consultant leads the group. She has been a wonderful support. There were a couple of times when we were really struggling with Ethan's allergies that she called throughout the week to check in on us.

In the beginning the group was one of the only consistent events that required me to get ready, get Ethan ready, and get us out of the house around a certain time! The first time I went I was in a non-matching sweat-pant & sweater 'outfit' because that is what fit at 2.5 weeks postpartum, I could easily nurse Ethan in it, & that is what I had time to throw together. I also had soaking wet hair (Ethan allowed me to put him down w/o screaming just long enough for me to jump in the shower) and no makeup but we made it there! Afterward I felt better about myself and better about my mothering skills because there were other new moms who looked exactly the same and who were going through the same things as we were. The group has been a confidence booster and a sanity keeper for me :)

So, what I shared with my friend at her baby shower was: Connect with other new moms. They've likely been there and can share their stories about when they felt like their boobs were going to explode too. What worked for them may not be the solution for you, but at the very least you've made that connection.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Months 6-8

I'm far behind on my updates. My little guy is growing and changing so very much. He amazes me every single day. This is what he's been up to:

-Lost interest in rice cereal then flat out refused it. He really only ate it a few times. I often wonder if it made his belly hurt.

-More babbling ... Ba-Ba-Ba, Bla-Bla-Bla, Bob-Bob-Bob (love this one!)but no ma-ma-ma despite my efforts to get him to mimic. His favorite is still A-Da-Da-Da.

-Acquired two front top teeth when he turned 7 months old (both came through within a week of each other). Then another top tooth came through less than 3 weeks later. The 6th tooth (4th on top) is still working on breaking through as of today, September 21.

-Tried several different foods. He had allergic reactions to avocado and banana. Refused applesauce/apples then liked them a few weeks later. He ate sweet potatoes and winter squash. He has LOVED pears, peas, and carrots.

-Started smacking his lips when eating. He grunts to tell us that he wants more and spits when he's done. Sounds barbaric, doesn't it? :) We're working on sign language to help communicate these.

-Started drinking breast milk from a sippy cup. For the first time in months I didn't have to plan my day around going to the daycare to nurse him! We started with water and a splash of apple juice to introduce the sippy. It worked very well. He wouldn't take it with breast milk at first.

-Started having some separation anxiety. He plays independently with toys or books very well but he likes to have us near while he's playing. Sometimes he'll cry when we put him down/leave a room.

-Seems to be happiest when both mom and dad are home playing with him.

-Started reaching for us to pick him up!

-LOVES to slap "high fives". If you put your hand out he'll continue slapping it. It's his favorite game and a great distraction.

-Has started having little temper tantrums.

-Was sleeping for consistently longer stretches of 9-11 hours, but teething is wreaking havoc on that this week.

-Dropped his third nap of the day and stays awake for longer stretches between naps. If he's home he'll nap for 1-1.5 hours twice a day. If he's at daycare he may nap for an hour. We keep him home in the morning to make sure he gets a long nap in. He is too interested in what is going on at daycare to sleep.

-Learned to crawl in his own way. He uses his hands to pull and his feet to push off of. He looks like a frog or inchworm and it's adorable. He's gotten pretty quick with this method too!

-He loves to blow raspberries on anything and everything including his arm, my cheeks, my shoulder, the kitchen floor, etc. We're a slobbery mess but he loves it and it makes me laugh!

-Learned to give a BIG, cheesy smile :)

-LOVES to play in/with water. He loves to watch his bathtub fill up and nearly leaps from our laps into the tub. He also loves to have his hands washed and attempts to grab the water. Water play at daycare and in his high chair are a huge success.

-Still loves music. ABC's and Wheels on the Bus are losing their magic but Matt's rendition of Guns and Roses Patience (he'd love for E and I to be more patient) is a huge hit during diaper changes. Three Little Speckled Frogs and Baa Baa Black Sheep are working. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star during bath time is a favorite too.

-Despises his changing table, which is a huge shock b/c he used to love it. When he was tiny one of the only things that would calm him was to lie on the changing table. Needless to say diaper changes are more work now.

-Went to the park for the first time! He isn't sure about the swings yet but there were a few smiles. He was more interested in staring at the mulch.

-Is amazed by grass. He loved comparing the textures of grass and our driveway while sitting outside this past weekend. He went back and forth between the two with his hand.

-He lost interest in his exersaucer and is losing interest in his jumperoo, both of which he used to love but crawling is much more fun!

-Started riding in store carts instead of in his infant seat/stroller/carried/worn. He loves it!

-Has grown to 22+lbs and about 28 inches long!

-His hair has grown so much too! We are thinking about taking him for a haircut already because it is growing over his ears.

-He loves to play with his toys, open and close books, and explore our house. His new favorite find this week is the refrigerator. He's amazed when the door opens and tries to quickly crawl over before we close it!

{Exploring the grass}

{First time in a cart}

{Crawling, reaching, and showing ALL of his rolls!}

{Showing his new teeth}

{At the park with his daddy}

{At the park with his momma}

{Happy to be 7 months old}

Monday, September 14, 2009

Judge Judy's

I will preface this by saying no matter what choices you make, someone out there will make judgments. I feel if we are choosing to do what is best for our family then we shouldn't worry about other judgments. It's still difficult to brush some judgments off though. I know that some comments are not intended to be hurtful but they are still bothersome. I've been trying to keep in mind that we're all guilty of making judgments of others.

Where am I going with this?

Recently, after overhearing a conversation about the extent I've gone to with my diet in order to continue breastfeeding, someone said to me "There's a time to stop breastfeeding". She is correct, there is a time to stop breastfeeding but that time is different for everyone. Her intention was to tell me that she thinks I've reached that time. She's wrong. She doesn't know all of the details and I didn't feel the need to share any more information with her so I ignored her comment. Obviously I'm still giving her comment thought though. It's difficult not to. I'm sure others have had negative thoughts about what I've done too but I'm HAPPY with MY CHOICE.

At one point it seemed like there weren't any other options besides continuing to breastfeed and I was completely OK with that. First of all, we couldn't make the switch unless we wanted to continue the bottle battle. I wasn't going to put us through that. Ethan has done so well breastfeeding and it comforted him very much. Why would I take that away from him? I love the way breastfeeding has contributed to our bond. Why would I give that up? Other factors were that Ethan would need to be on prescription formula. There is a chance that after time he could become intolerant to that special formula. What the heck would we do then? Search for allergen free breast milk through a milk bank? Can you imagine how expensive that would be? Even if these weren't factors, it works for us and that's what matters.

Others have made negative comments about the sacrifices I've made. I'll be the first to admit that the giving up so many foods part of this hasn't been the easiest thing in the world but it certainly hasn't been the hardest either. Aside from waiting for him, trying to figure out WHAT he is allergic to has been the hardest.

I'm sure that I'll run into Judge Judy's when it comes to many other areas of parenting (I already have when it comes to sleep, cloth diapering, his allergies, etc). I don't think they're all out to intentionally judge. Some judgments stem from having different ways of doing things. We make different choices and that is a liberty. It doesn't mean that one is right or wrong. I choose to do things one way and another mom chooses to do things another way. If they're judging my choice then maybe that is their issue to deal with. Parenting choices are tough (I'm sure tougher ones will come with time) but I hope to be confident in my choices the way I am with my choice to continue breastfeeding. It's a beautiful thing to HAVE CHOICES!

I've said it on here before ... I feel very fortunate that breastfeeding worked out for us even with the challenges/sacrifices. It has been an amazing experience. I'll take the saggy, lopsided breasts as badges of honor.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Professional photos

We had our photos taken by Elaine Gates a few weeks ago and she posted a few of them on her blog.

It was hot and E was tired so he's giving his scowl in most but she managed to get some great ones of him smiling.

I'd highly recommend her if you are local.

Also... I read this blog and tried her recipe for fruit roll-ups since Matt's mother brought over some peaches. They turned out great. Matt said that if I hadn't told him they were 'home made' he would have thought I had gone out and bought fruit roll-ups. I thought they were better than store-bought but I was biased ;) Super easy and you know exactly what's in them!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What a week!

It's amazing HOW quickly babies change. Over the past week Ethan has been working on his 5th and 6th teeth!! His gums are swollen and the white bumps are visible. He weighs 21 pounds and is 27 3/4 inches long. He learned to use his hands and arms to spin himself around while he's on his belly. He is VERY close to crawling too! He looks like a frog swimming but it gets him where he wants to go. Ethan also tried and actually ate pureed pears! He's getting better at drinking from his sippy cup too. I have to put water with a splash of apple juice in it but I'm hoping he'll eventually drink breast milk from it.

Last week we gave the daycare sweet potato in the mesh feeder to feed Ethan. He loved it! Later that day and for the next few days the skin around his mouth was all pink & red :( We'll have to try the sweet potatoes again in the future to see if it was a reaction to them or something else.

I've been trying to eat less rice. I worry that Ethan has been sensitized to it since I have eaten so much of it. For breakfast I've been eating Buckwheat Pancakes. I've used this recipe from Kathy's recipe box. I used applesauce instead of pureed squash. I omitted the milled flax combo (egg substitute). I also used 1tsp baking soda instead of the baking powder. They don't smell great but they taste good!

I picked up this book and whenever I've had a free moment I've been paging through. So far, it has some good, helpful info.

Ethan has a new found love for electronics... phones, remote controls, and the laptop. He reaches for them all.