Saturday, February 15, 2014

Six Months

Rae turned six months old this past weekend.  She is still the most amazing thing in my life and I am astonished that she is already half a year old!   

It is so incredible to think that she is already this old but at the same time I find myself thinking that she's only been in my life for six months yet I can't imagine it without her.  Estevan and I are head over heals in love with her!

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Weaning from the pump

I have reached my breastfeeding six month goal!!!!!

I'm so thrilled to have made it this long after the emotional start and the grueling journey through exclusively pumping.  It has been very hard on my body, my emotions, and my job but I have finally made it.  I'm so proud of myself for making it this long but then I start to question myself for quitting now that I've come this far.  I keep tricking myself into thinking that it isn't THAT hard.  Don't I want to give my daughter the best?  My supply is good, there are so many moms out there that would give anything to feed their babies breast milk; so why am I calling it quits?  I'm still an emotional mess about the whole thing and every few minutes I change my mind about quitting and continue to beat myself up about it.  

So why am I stopping?  I need to stop analyzing my pumping output and stressing about whether I will have enough milk for the next day even though there is plenty in the fridge.  I need to allow myself the time to sleep in past 4:50am.  I need to socialize with my coworkers instead of sequestering myself in a tiny little room with my pump.  I need to go to bed again without so many layers.  I need to give myself the opportunity to do anything that I want for longer than 4 hour increments. 

I'm stopping because I need to feel like myself again.

I'm so much more than a source of food for my daughter.  I am a wife, a teacher, a daughter, and a friend.  I have forgotten some of those aspects of myself along this emotional roller coaster.  It's time to step off and stop worrying so much.  

I'm going to start being proud of myself for achieving my goal.  Besides, I have one amazing little girl who is thriving and happy.  THAT is the important thing.

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Baby Food Making

I miss you, it has been too long.  I fear that it will be like this for a while, me taking crazy long breaks from blogging and then showing up out of the blue with a bazillion new photos to share.  So let's get the photos out of the way first...

Now that I have that out of my system we can move on to the exciting stuff like baby food!  Ok, maybe it's not that exciting for you but it was big news in this household.  Rae loved every part of her first time eating food like a big girl.  Cue another photo (sorrynotsorry).

A lot of people like to start out with rice cereal, making it as thick as their baby likes it while still being able to spoon feed.  The rice cereal is great for getting baby used to putting something in their mouth but does not provide any nutrition  Some people like to start out with whole pieces of food that can be easily held and gnawed on by their baby, i.e. baby led weaning.  We decided to do a combination of both, skipping the rice cereal completely but still spoon feeding her.  Our reasoning behind choosing to skip rice cereal was that, either way, she will be getting used to putting something in her mouth besides a bottle and with actual food she might glean a small amount of nutrition.  

Rae's first food was yummy avocado, mashed up and smoothed out with a little bit of breast milk.  She has been very eager to put whatever I have been eating into her mouth, this made it very natural for her to open her mouth and accept a spoonful.  Of course, she barely swallowed and most of it was just pushed around by her tongue but she seemed to like the whole experience.

My goal is to use fresh foods to make all of Rae's foods instead of buying jars of baby food from the store.  It might be a lofty goal and I will soon figure out if it is achievable but I feel very strongly in the benefits of making fresh food.  Have you seen the color of jarred green beans?  

So far, I have made pureed butternut squash and green beans.  No outrageously priced baby food making equipment necessary, just a stove top for boiling or oven for baking and a food processor that I already owned.  I make her food in large batches and freeze the rest in, get this, ice cube trays!  Ice cube trays are the best!  They are perfectly sized little one ounce containers for freezing any kind of puree.  I pop them out once they are frozen solid and place in freezer baggies like this...

All I have to do at meal time is place one in a bowl and microwave it for about 20 seconds.  Voila, a perfect little portion for dinner!  These will stay good for a couple of months but once we get into eating them every single day they will be eaten at a faster pace.  For right now, it's very easy to make a batch every other weekend.  We will see how this whole experience goes, I'm taking it one day at a time.

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