Walking & Climbing…oh my

It’s official.  J is walking.  I’m talking across the room, anywhere and everywhere – walking.  Time for many many baby gates and even more outlet plugs and drawer locks.  Oh boy.  People warned me.  Well, they tried.  It’s funny how something so little and wobbly can move across a room so quickly.  Kinda like a horror movie.  You know, where the scary person jumps from one side of the room to the other in a split second and you jump out of your chair.  Well a newly walking infant has the same effect on parents.  It’s like a scary movie on repeat in our house now.  Man that kid can find the strangest things and get to them way faster than I can…Let the fun begin! Ha.  He is pretty adorable though, walking around like a dinosaur with his arms half stretched out front like he’s about to attack something.

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Oh, and he can climb stairs now.  How the hell he learned that….who knows.  I’ve never had him on the stairs, near the stairs…I didn’t even know he knew the concept of stairs.  Until Saturday when he approached the stairs and promptly climbed up 4 of them without blinking an eye.  It’s like second nature for kiddos to scare the bejeebers out of their parents.

And I just can’t get enough of the hugs he’s giving now 🙂  Love that he’s starting to show affection, melts your heart 🙂

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Family Pets

Izzy, Chloe and Zeke.  Our first children, really.  They are what we used as “practice” for our future parenthood.  We got Chloe and Zeke our first year together. Kitties are pretty easy though, but still gives you something besides yourself to take care of every day.  Then we got Izzy as a puppy the year after we got married.  Izzy was the real practice…a 4 month old puppy.  She really introduced us to sleep deprivation and cleaning up the house every morning (yay potty training).

When J came along, we weren’t sure how the kitties and Izzy would react, when we’d introduced Izzy to the family, Chloe didn’t come out from under the bed for a month and threw up all over the house in protest…what were we in for with a baby?!

Well, we lucked out.  Izzy was a great mama bear and didn’t even budge when J cried at all hours of the night.  She stayed close and made sure everyone was OK.  Luckily Gramma was around to give Izzy a little extra (and needed) TLC the first few weeks we were home with J.  The Kitties didn’t even seem to notice there was something new in the house.  Although they did lay claim to all of the baby gear…”this crib is for us, no?”

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Keeping a close on on baby J 🙂

Chloe was always a little persnickety…she used to scratch the heck out of me anytime I picked her up, and she wouldn’t come too close for too long.  Not a cuddly kitty and she certainly had no tolerance for being snuggled.  Then came J.  There’s something absolutely adorable about a kiddo connecting with a pet.  Chloe will be J’s kitty from now on.  She stays close to him, puts up with him pulling her tail, her fur, her whiskers, and she doesn’t make a peep.  Chloe found her person 🙂

Zeke is starting to realize that as J becomes more mobile, he will be an acceptable source of attention.  He’s coming around, but hasn’t quite warmed up to J as much.

Izzy is a little unsure when J tries to lay on her or give her smooches, but she’s so great with other little kiddo’s that once J gets a little bigger she’ll come around and they’ll be good buddies.

Being parents to pets is a little different that parents to kiddos, but we still hope that we raise them right, that they get enough love and attention, and we spoil them all the same.  We love all of our children.

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Baby Food made easy

When J was 4 1/2 months we started him on solid foods.  I think I was supposed to wait till 5 months, but my Baby Bullet had been burning a whole in my cabinet for months already and I couldn’t wait to try it out.  I started pretty basic – carrots, sweet potato, peas, pears.  We tried peaches but they weren’t a favorite, and banana’s seemed to make him constipated.

I don’t really remember why I wanted to make my own baby food as opposed to store-bought.  I had no problems with feeding him store-bought food, and we are not a family that focuses on purely organic or natural foods.  Honestly I think it had more to do with saving money than specifically wanting him to only have pure foods.  Besides, the store-bought baby foods seem to be much more “pure” than I once thought they were, most of them seem to be just veggie/fruit and water plus some citric acid.  

I did the math and it was going to cost $0.50 to $1.00 for each package of store-bought food per meal.  You figure 3-5 meals a day depending on the kiddo and how much you are still breastfeeding/formula plus an increase in intake as they get older….that’s $1.50 to $5.00 PER DAY…up to $150.00 per MONTH…which is way more than that per YEAR.  Whoa…kind of made me queasy to think of how much money to feed one little mouth.  BUT then I did the math for making all (or 90%) of my own baby food.  HUGE huge huge difference.

I discovered that shopping the sales was also a big help, Costco had some fruits/veggies for cheaper too (For example – Costco has a large bag of 10+/- pears for $4.99.  Kings and Safeway charge $.79 each on sale.  You do have to cook them all at once though otherwise it’s hard to get through them before they go bad.) and Sprouts became my new weekly shopping stop for baby food supplies – they have the BEST prices on produce at all times (seriously, no joke.).  

On average I would spend about $5.00-$7.00 for 7 to 10 days of baby food – that’s 3-4 meals a day.

Here’s an example of what I would get:

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1 bundle of Kale – steamed
1 butternut squash – roasted
1 sweet potato – boiled and chopped
3 pears – boiled and chopped
Some leftover peas
Blueberries
1 lb carrots – boiled and chopped
Oatmeal baby cereal

Total cost = $10.00 including the cereal

Plus these supplies – 

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I used my Baby bullet a lot in the beginning, but once the batches started to get larger, my blender worked just as well.

Also, the bullet cups are a good size, but they tend to crack when you have to warm them up straight from frozen.  I find that the small Ziploc containers work best  and they are a great size for cheap – I think you get 8 of them for around $2.00

This is what we ended up with:

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That’s 40 servings – pretty friggen awesome for $10.00 right!?

Plus J ate better than we did every day…although it does make it easier to eat better yourself when you have to have all those fresh veggies and fruits in your house on a regular basis!

We did experiment with mixing all different veggies and fruits to make some quite exotic looking creations – kale, blueberry, oatmeal sounded great and tasted fine, but looked like brown sludge…In the end we stuck with just one type of food per serving.  J didn’t seem to mind the mixtures, but it does take more time to do and there’s something to be said about the texture and consistency of what you end up with…

Even though now J is eating most of what we eat now days, I still have 1-2 meals a day for him as straight blended fruit or veggie.

 Also, I’m not downplaying the convenience of store-bought and pre-packaged baby foods in any way.  The simplicity of them makes life way easier at times.  I have a good stock of the food pouches (Happy Family, Mom to Mom, etc.) in my cabinet at all times for when I’m not otherwise prepared, or when we are out of the house.  They are a lifesaver.

Happy baby-fooding 🙂