Friday, March 30, 2012

Homemade Baby Food

I must admit, that when Noah was a baby and our pediatrician suggested I make my own baby food, I blew it off and thought she was nuttier than squirrel poop for suggesting it.  I was comfortable with feeding him jarred baby food, and didn't even give it a second thought when I had Ammon.  When I had McKenna, I started doing some research into it, however, and felt it might be well worth it to give it a try, but my friends all thought I was nuttier than squirrel poop for attempting it with 3 kids.  Even being a busy mom with 3 kids ages 5 and under, I have found that making my own baby food has been easy, doesn't really take that much time, and is well worth it! Not only is it WAY cheaper than buying commercial baby food, I have the comfort of knowing EXACTLY what McKenna is eating, she gets no added salt, processed sugar, preservatives, additives, or food coloring, plus it gives me the personal satisfaction that I am making everything she eats.

You don't need any special gadgets (ie a baby bullet,etc) to make the food.  I use a steamer basket (which I already had) that fits into one of our pots to steam most of the food, (some of it I bake in the oven in a glass baking dish) I puree it using my blender, (which I already had) and pour it into ice cube trays which I freeze and then transfer to Ziploc freezer bags.  I make the food in pretty large batches so I have quite the freezer stash, and I don't have to make the food all that often.  The only gadget I really wish I had for making applesauce is one of these: It would make peeling and coring and cutting up the apples so much less time consuming, but it really isn't a necessity.

So far Miss McKenna has tried carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, apples, bananas, peaches, pears and avocado.  Her absolute favorite has been pureed bananas and avocado together.  Mike thought I was crazy, that bananas and avocado couldn't possible be good together, but McKenna eats it at record breaking pace then cries for more every time.  I think next we are going to try plums or pumpkin.

I have been using the website for most of my research and recipes, and have learned a lot about what foods are good and bad for babies at certain ages, and why.  For example; we have decided to hold off on broccoli because it is known to cause bad gas in young babies, and spinach because it contains, and can build up a lot of nitrates over time.

The only food I decided I was not going to make was baby cereal.  Breastfed babies at 6+months start needing iron from another source, and since I cannot fortify my own baby cereal with iron, I thought buying it was probably better, and our pediatrician agrees with me.

I had my heart set on waiting until McKenna was 6 months old to start her on solids (a) because she was nursing so well and b) because that is what the current recommendation is) but little Miss McKenna is a very stubborn girl, she knows what she likes and what she doesn't, she refused (and still refuses) to take a bottle of expressed milk and weaned herself off the binky at 2 months.  It is because of this stubbornness our pediatrician suggested we start her on solids sooner rather than later, so we started her at about 5 months old.  The first couple weeks were tough, she wouldn't eat more than a couple of spoon fulls at a time, and would make these horrible faces like we were feeding her the most disgusting thing in the world, but now she LOVES to eat the only food she doesn't really like to eat plain by itself are green beans, but she will eat them if they are mixed with something else.

I would recommend that everyone make their own baby food, or at least try it out and see if it works for their family.  I find time to make it while my kids are napping, distracted by another activity, eatcing lunch, etc, and it doesn't take as much time, effort, or equipment as most people think.  Plus I think you would be plesantly surprised to find how much cheaper it is too.

I am claiming Temporary Insanity

Don't get me wrong, I love each and every one of my kiddos, they each carry a very important special role in our family, that being said, sometimes I wonder if maybe some one slipped some crack into my drink when I decided 3 kids under the age of 5 was a good idea. :)

There was a day last week where I woke up a little grouchy, and tired, (probably due to the fact that McKenna was going through a period of sleep regression and was waking up 3 times a night) but I remember having the distinct thought that I didn't even want to get out of bed that day, and well, reflecting back on that day, I probably should have just stayed in bed.

I went and woke the boys up, got their breakfast ready, Noah was eating, I was finding him clothes for school, and Ammon was laying in bed, grumpy, refusing to get up.  I went about the morning, Ammon grumbling every time I told him to go eat breakfast, or go to the bathroom.  I have learned its usually best to just let him be and let him decide when he wants to get up.  Well, after getting McKenna up, changed, and fed, Ammon comes toddling out of his bedroom to show me a "lump" in the ankle of his footie pajamas....which he cheerfully informs me is "poop."  Quick sniff check confirms he is telling the truth.  Some how, this very talented child of mine (I think he gets THIS particular talent of mischievousness from his FATHER) managed to poop in his diaper, than dump said contents into the feet of his footie pajamas all whilst keeping his diaper and footie pajamas on and intact.  Yup.  Impromptu bath then ensued, almost making Noah late for school.

Flash forward through the various "normal" craziness that usually fills our day, to after lunch.  I tell the boys it is time for nap time, and Noah goes into the bathroom, while Ammon insists he wants to finish his lunch even though he has taken no interest in eating for at least the last half hour.  Noah is in the bathroom for quite sometime.  Finally I decide that his time in the bathroom is surpassing a "normal" amount of time, and go to check to see what he is doing.  I peek around the bathroom door to see Noah kneeling on the stool in front of the up...hands placed on either side of the toilet bowl...face emerging from the toilet....lips dripping....for a moment I have NO WORDS.  Impromptu bath, mouth rinsing, and teeth brushing ensues....along with a lot of shouting on my part.  Still don't know what he was doing...I don't know if he was drinking out of the toilet or giving himself a swirly...either way, not something I expected my five year old to do....maybe Ammon, not Noah.  Good thing I had just cleaned the toilet.

Days like this my wonderful husband comes home to my rant of "Do you know what YOUR son(s) did today?!?" And then I usually have to laugh it off with him....after all if you can't laugh at yourself (or your crazy children) they will have to cart you off to the nut house eventually.

Some other things I have had to say this past week:

"Noah! Quit licking that! That is disgusting! Do you know how many peopl touch that with their germy hands! That is how you get sick!" (said when I discovered Noah licking the handle to the door at Taco Bell....maybe he was trying to build up his immunity??)

"No, Ammon! Don't touch that! You cannot eat something laying in a puddle in a parking lot!"

"Ammon get your hands out of your pants.  Noah get YOUR hands out of YOUR pants!"

"Noah get off the floor! That is so gross!" (in a public restroom...)

I could go on, and on, but you get the idea :)  Having kids is so utterly disgusting some times...

Here are a couple pictures of my crazy boys doing silly (and luckily not disgusting) things:

They did this all themselves...daddy would have let them sleep in the linen closet like they wanted to, but mean old mommy put her foot down.

Ammon fashioned himself a tortilla hat, and Noah followed suit. (Ps....Ammon is in pajamas at dinner because he had an impromptu bath after he BATHED himself in daddy's cologne, while daddy was in the shower, and I was feeing McKenna...)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Snow Days!

We got more snow so far this spring than we ever did this past winter.  Here are a few pictures of the kiddos enjoying playing in the snow!

Noah's First Play

Noah had the great opportunity this year to audition for, and be a part of a production put on at his school by the Missoula Children's Theater from Missoula Montana.  This year they did King Arthur's Quest, and Noah was a knight in the "mini cast" which was literally a "mini-er" version of the older kid cast in the play.  The had auditions that Monday, rehearsals everyday that week, then 2 performances on Saturday.  Noah had a blast! He couldn't wait to go to rehearsal on the days he had it, and he did an awesome job!  Here are some pictures from the play, and hopefully one day soon I will be able to figure out how to get the HD videos of it off my camera and onto the computer to share.

Noah's Fifth Birthday

Noah Andrew turned 5 years old on January 17 this year!  I cannot believe it has already been FIVE years since I first became a mom!  Every year he grows up more and more, and it seems like time is just flying by.  At five years old Noah is enjoying going to preschool.  He loves drawing, reading simple books, pointing out words he knows how to read on signs and packages, etc. He LOVES going to primary and he amazes me with how much he retains from church.  I love hearing him singing new songs they have learned or telling me what he learned in class.  He is an awesome big brother!  He loves playing with Ammon, and helping cheer him on with potty training.  He can always make McKenna smile and laugh by being his goofy little self.  He is very smart, and very loving.  He still is not embarrassed to give me, and Ammon, and McKenna hugs and kisses goodbye in front of all his friends at school, every single day.  He is a very special part of our family, and we love having him here with us!!

These are the cupcakes I made him to take to school :

Christmas 2011

Here are a few pictures from Christmas 2011.  Unfortunately we did not get to have Noah with us this Christmas (he was at his dad's this year) but he did get to come home and have his very own special second Christmas.  He was very sweet with Ammon too, letting him help unwrap presents because he didn't understand why he wasn't getting presents then too.

McKenna's Blessing

We had McKenna blessed the first Sunday in December of 2011.  It was an amazing day.  We had lots of family come to support us that day, and Mike was able to give our baby girl a beautiful blessing.  I made McKenna's bow, headband and bracelet and our friend Ashely made her little shoes.

Halloween 2011