Pancakes & broccoli

In my previous post, I noted the new addition of the Baby Bullet and the start of our journey into baby food making. Three weeks after the purchase, it remains in its unopened box. Huh? One key feature to being me is my obsession with figuring out the “best” way to do things {this topic will be expanded upon in my next post}–really, though, I just love immersing myself in information. This is why Baby Bullet might be kept in a box until its next owners remove it. I came across an article on baby-led weaning. Instantly interested. Maybe intrigued and persuaded. The idea is that at 6 months {or when baby is able to self-support their head}, you can introduce solids–but solids in their original form, not pureed. The article led to a book which led to me convincing Ryan that it was worth a shot. And here’s why: the knowledge shared in the book made sense to me. Lu rejected our attempts at rice cereal and oatmeal. Several attempts with those items & the same response each time. She also grabs at anything I am eating; her interest in controlling her food is obvious. Above all, it seemed like a natural transition into eating, one that came without much fuss.

So far, Lu has sampled avocado, banana, broccoli, cucumber, pear, cantaloupe, and pancakes. At this stage, everything is mostly experimental. She’s being exposed to different textures & tastes–I think she likes it. We’re still mashing up some of her food because I anxiously sit on my chair, fearing she’ll choke. This makes me think that this idea, sometimes, is silly and that with its implementation comes a need for extra strength deodorant and some physical restraint.

Banana

Fork it over, Daddy-O

Broccoli

Cantaloupe

Breakfast: pancake + broccoli floret

Pear

Again, I think this works best for Lu. Our best gal is slightly impatient and has control issues {both acquired traits from her mother}, so this method of eating suits her style.

So much more to come–including the “mommy identity crisis” and trudging a no-judging-mommy zone. See you soon!

5 months…really?

I knew this time would come. Actually, I was looking forward to it, knowing that summer’s arrival would tag along. However, I’m still baffled to think lil’ Lu is 5 months.

Baby Bumbo

Hangry

“What do you feed her?”–a question asked often. First, I think it’s awkward to the point where I don’t think you really want to know the answer. Second, is this an attempt to politely imply that Lu enjoys {lots of } meals?

This girl does enjoy her food & holy moses will she make you regret delaying her consumption by even the smallest stretch of time. Because of this, she is known to become “hangry.” Breakdown: hungry + angry = hangry.

Hangry’s consumption was increasing about a month ago & was leaving me to surrender my sleep up to 4 times a night. With the doc’s permission, we introduced cereal into her diet. You saw her reaction to the rice cereal. The following week–and ever since then–we tried oatmeal. Feeding her cereal has been…interesting? She leans to grab the spoon or bowl being used as though she’s being deprived, much of what goes in comes out, & then after 3 minutes, she wails.

I'm, I'm, I'm...HANGRY

With our recent purchase of the Baby Bullet, we’re going to try our first batch of veggies this week. We’ll document Hangry’s response. Her face will likely translate just how traumatizing it really was…for all parties.

Mother’s Day

The week leading up to Mother’s Day, my husband happily announced he had chosen not to pick up a bartending shift on the upcoming Sunday. His smile lingered & I looked back, thinking, ‘Ok. Great, honey.’ He had to remind me that it was because of Mother’s Day. Even though I spent most of that day feeling like a sub-par daughter/granddaughter for not sending out the appropriate gifts to the motherly figures in my life {I promise I’ll send them this week!}, I was treated to a day of surprises–a lil’ breakfast in bed & some sparkly diamond earrings–& some new area rugs to spare ourselves the task of dry/wet mopping every other day. Thanks, Hubster—I bet Lu was the brainchild for all of the day’s events.

Part of the family on Mother's Day 2011

Her cheeks live up to the name of the blog

More photos

At least Daddy's happy

Now baby's happy


PS: I’m beginning to volunteer with Luvaboos to assist with special events {it’s a local store where we purchase our cloth diapers}. They have tons of cool, unconventional goodies that are earth-friendly while also being plain awesome. In my upcoming posts, I’ll share some items I think are worth checking out. I’m currently obsessed with this.

I lost count

Mmmm. Not really. You may have, though. Lu is exactly 5 months come Tuesday.

Lucy Bubbles

‘Where have you been?’ you ponder. I never left–just seems as though everything is on fast forward. Let’s see how I can catch you up…

Roadies

The tot & I hopped in the car to trek on out to my home state of Ohio. What, under “normal” conditions, would’ve taken 6.5 hours took about 10. Looooooong. Lu did her best to withstand her car seat confinement. Being all too familiar with her previous bouts of severe disdain toward being placed in the car seat {screaming inconsolably and only increasing the volume whenever she heard my voice}, a large knot in my throat lingered as we coasted through state lines. I pimped out her car seat with an attached mirror, teethers x’s 789706, and a blanket trimmed with satin {she is totally her mother’s daughter here} whilst knowing it could all be in vain.

It was her first visit with most of my family. The babe was immediately covered with kisses & hugs. Although it happened later than I liked, having her meet everyone at this age was nearly perfect. She’s an animated lil’ bean with a knack for capturing your attention with her gummy grin.

Lu with her great aunt

Uncle Sam

My cherished friends: D, Chels, Em with the two of us

New friends: Ava & Lu

Jeffpa

Uncle Troy

With Paw Paw

Bunny Day

When we returned, Ry was coming back from NOLA & it was time for Bunny Day. With his parents out of town, our day was pretty simple. Fun fact: it was this holiday last year when I learned I was carrying this lil’ dollop of joy. We stayed local & dressed Lu in some themed attire. We also tried rice cereal. The fun times can be found below.

Some thoughts on the side

Lately, I’ve been a body that houses a mind of dissonance. My astrological sign already heavily hinders me from making decisions & at this stage of my life, I’m almost unable to make a decision outside of anything routine. While plucking weeds today, I think I arrived at the possible catalyst of this. Having perfectionist tendencies, I allowed myself to become boggled with the idea of trying to make beyond perfect choices. With the new attention coming my way, I feel more vulnerable. And it doesn’t help my cause to be a person so fearful of failure. So after thinking about this & now typing it, I’m ready to start making some choices and learning to handle mistakes. Yes, life is moving fast, but most days I feel like a passive participant. Ahh–that was a cathartic release. Thank you for listening.

One final note: I got accepted to the MSW program that my career counselor, Lu, pushed me to consider. Cue: Mary Tyler Moore theme song ending–me turning about & tossing my hat up high while kicking one back. We’re gonna make it afterall.

xxo

10 + 3

Equals 13 & that’s the week that just passed, friends. Totally keeping up with this blogging thing {gulp}.

Hmm, what to share, what to share?

Work

I always fancied myself to be the breadwinner for my future family. “Girl power” themed songs offer a nice soundtrack as I envision myself, briefcase in hand, walking briskly from meeting to meeting so purposefully. Let us now travel to reality: briefcase is replaced by company-provided messenger bag, business dinners are at my dinner table and the “business” is grading 7007065 homework assignments + essays, & I might blow-dry my hair before work–depends on if I’d rather sleep an extra 20 minutes. With both of us giving relentlessly to the glorious field of education, surviving on a single income would reduce us to one 1/2 notch above living within the poverty bracket—and I would never consider spending more than $40 on any piece of clothing or accessory! This video fairly portrays the outcome of working in the most important, yet most under-appreciated field in the US:

February 28 came way too soon this year. That Monday I made my return to work. The week leading to my return was the winter recess across NY, so I, thankfully, had family time with Lu & Ry. Although we accrued several more hours doing one of our favorite activities–lounging in bed, it made returning more difficult. Hard to reestablish a routine whilst wearing pajamas & using coffee breaks + soiled diapers as the only acceptable excuses to move out of bed.

I was ok with returning to work until Thursday of that week. Starting that Thursday–tears. Lots of them. And the uncomfortable kind that transpires into a ball in the back of your throat and then you cannot speak without sobbing. Plain messy. I’d change Lucy & then cry. I’d cut her nails and cry. I’d see her smile. And cry. And now I know that it wasn’t really the thought of separating from her that made me turn into the “Coffee Talk Lady” {Remember? Mike Myers in drag?} and become vaclemped. It was the idea of resuming a part of my life that leaves me feeling internally conflicted: my job. If anything, I think Lu has enabled me to get that kick in the pants I needed to start an official path toward having the career I want and has moved me to go after opportunities I kinda pushed aside in the past because of having arrived at a strange feeling of “comfort”… even though I wasn’t content. Thanks, Lu.

Career Counselor

Itchy and scratchy

Ugh—this winter has been looooooooooooooooooooong. Baby products, like strollers and baby carriers, leave me craving warmer weather & sunny skies. Now that we have that extra hour of blissful sunlight & somewhat warmer temperatures {The weatherman said a high of 50 today? Where are my shorts?}, I’m developing a routine of an outside activity each day. The stroller {we ended up with the BJ City Mini Elite–super in love} is usually our go-to form of transportation as we roam about the streets in our cozy neighborhood. We attempted the Ergo baby carrier despite not quite meeting the suggested age range & even though I had to lend some support to keep her upright, we shared a happy, casual walk on a Friday afternoon. I bought a MOBY wrap after reading what seemed like 6986464653 reviews proclaiming its beauty. Mmmm…not officially a fan, mostly because the wraps recommended for Lu’s size have her tucked up, facing me & the girl is quite particular about how she likes to be positioned. The times we’ve tried it, Lu burrows her head into my chest & starts sqwaking.

From the mouths of babes

The best thing happened around the middle of week 10: Lucy began to babble. It began as a conversation with her playmat pals, Ollie the Octopus & Peggy Pillar, and has transformed into mini dissertations on everyday topics–her belly button, the Jersey Shore cast, and her family that she has yet to meet. Come back soon for a video of one of her first conversations.

What you want

Are probably photos of the cherub. I shall oblige. We’ll talk soon–I’ve already begun thinking of what to share in another enthralling edition of cheeks-of-rose-and-tiny-toes.

10 wks

 

10 wks

10 wks

11 wks

12 weeks

12 weeks

Someone cut you-know-who's finger when trimming nails

9 wks

“Lucy likes it…”

“Rockabye Baby” & “Hush, Little Baby” —Lucy thinks these are so passe. What does this baby want sung to her in the wee hours of the night? Only classics like “I Like It” by Enrique Iglesias and “Baby” by the J. Biebs.

Great pop lyric feature–they can be personally tailored to suit what appeals to you. What appeals to Lu? Her name, the names of pets, & dope beats.

Our version of “I Like It” is called “Lucy Likes It” and goes like this: Don’t stop Guin-Pin, don’t stop Guin-Pin/Just keep on shaking your butt/Don’t stop Lucy, don’t stop Lucy/Until you get enough

9

Lucky number? No. Well, maybe. That would be the number of pounds I have to lose until I’m at pre-preggers weight. And the weight loss is moving rather slowly. Maybe I held on too dearly to the claims that breast-feeding would do the trick {rats!}. I make it to the gym, but I’m deprived of motivation. I found motivation when I saw a friend from school @ a Cardio Kick class; it brought me back to trips to the Y in PHX with friends (I miss little memories like that–they’re rare in Upstate). So, I learned of her workout schedule & planned to join her. Alas, my Bellagio Fountains & Lu’s hunger dictate my workout schedule and it’s not very flexible. I make it out when I can which is averaging 2.5 times a week. Spring, you shall be my inspiration. Get here now.

Alright, folks. We’re now on week 10. 2 1/2 months…wowza!

 

8 wks

First, a note to my daughter

Dearest Lu,

One half of you is made up by that man you scream at between 5-7 pm, nightly. I believe in my ability to select a suitable mate. I need you to believe the same. Your father willingly (and lovingly–even in the twilight) ensures you have a clean rear and works 50-60 hrs each week to provide you with multi-colored thingys that make ridiculous (perhaps, intolerable) noises. And for me to forego mentioning the purchase of your mac daddy stroller would just be wrong.

Please appease me by smiling or cutely cooing at least once an hour when he is home.

Xxo,

Mommy

Updates

Hippy Hippy Shake

  • She has symmetrical hips, just asymmetric fat rolls. All that fuss for an extra roll of flab.

Lenten Season

  • A good friend perfectly framed my way of life (the part where I try to nix certain items out of it) as being a year-round version of lent. Good one. Still sticking to a mostly vegetarian diet & still loving cheese (feta’s my current go-to cheese treat + I happily own my choice to splurge on organic cottage cheese on an outing to Wegmans) & still choosing not to categorize my eating habits with such rigidity. What does that equal? A happy girl.

  • Basic–BASIC–cable is still on at our home. If you’ve kept up with this blog since it’s origination or you’re a dear friend, you won’t be surprised to know that we still have cable just so we can watch…the Daytona 500 (I can hear the engines starting now!). Our tradition of watching Daytona all began during one of Ry’s visit to Arizona (that trip ended with a new beer pong table–NASCAR can be inspirational) & we ain’t about to stop watchin’ it now. Bring on the trash plates, cut-off shirts & denim, & PBR in a can.

New

You’re so vain

  • That’s partly true. Ok, it’s really true. I can’t mask my vanity. Stop judging. Why is this a potential problem? Blame the hemangioma (google it) docking on Lu’s head. It appeared around week 3 and is flourishing. Doctor B assures me it will be a thing of the past around year 4 when it outgrows its blood source. I agree that this should not be even a minor concern because it offers no serious medical implications, but it has posed me with a teeny conflict: to cover or not cover. No lie, this is something I ponder during quiet moments. The hemangioma is a teachable moment, I (attempt to)convince myself. “Lu, your imperfections make you perfect.” Is this something you can say to a small child? Or would we go with, “That’s where the angels kissed you”? What happens when the pint-sized petri dishes make fun of it on the playground? Ahhh! Covering it would keep questions & stares at bay, but what emotional damage might we be increasing if she ever learns that we’re trying to mask a part of her? Right now, it’s out & about…free for all inquiries and concern from others.

Birthday

  • Valentine’s Day is not celebrated here because we show love all year round (haha). Seriously, though, we don’t celebrate it because there’s actually a bigger holiday (haha, again) that day–Ry’s birthday. However, this year, we mutually agreed to be especially loving on Feb. 13 and announced that date as our Valentine’s Day. Ry outdid himself by presenting me with two vases of tulips, whipping up breakfast, & cracking open the bubbly for morning mimosas. That night, we celebrated Ry with his family; the celebrating continued with sushi on 2/14 @ our favorite japanese restaurant.

Boston Creme Cake

Lu with Gramps T

Last time you'll let your parents consult your wife for birthday present ideas. Cheers to white t's free of yellow pits!

What’s next?

I’m so behind. Lu’s 9th week just passed…I’ll be back soon to share those goodies. Until then–Go 88! Dale JR 4EVA!


7 wks

Stats

Last week brought our 2 month well visit with the pediatrician. Our lil’ one is flourishing–she’s nearly 11 lbs. & 22.25 inches. She also received 4 immunizations (I will not entertain discussions regarding immunizations & their benefits/harms;that is one topic that gives me an instant headache when mentioned) which brought us 6 hours of intense fussing. Her wails were painfully loud, but nothing was more painful than knowing there was little we could do to make her feel better. I’m not keen on giving her medicine, like infant acetaminophen, if the situation isn’t dire, so lots of rocking and “shhh”-ing occurred. We learned that our peach may have asymmetrical hips, so she has an appointment for an ultrasound this week. One remedy, per our doc: wear her like the eskimos wear their children. I’ll fill you in on what that really entails if that’s suggested.

All that progress for a lil' one who began life like this

Let’s see if we can survive without…

We all have our quirks. One of mine: abolishing something from my life (i.e. a food group). Yeah, I get how this bewilders some because they wonder why I make a proclamation to forego something when it seems to be complicating, but I think most people have had a moment (for whatever reason) where they decided to nix something from their life with reason. Whether it stuck or fizzled–we’ve all been there.

The major item I have given up is meat of the furry or winged variety. Long story as to why, but I attribute my primary influences to mold on an Easter ham in 2003 & my Sociology of Minority Rights course during undergrad. I was pretty fierce about staying true to this in the first 2-3 years (ask my college roommates about my contribution to “taco bar night”). I found myself straying when I reconnected with a childhood friend: the hotdog. Since then, spring’s arrival and the aroma of a hot grill + my pregnancy made me yearn for meat. Hamburgers, chicken wings…I ate them with a heavy heart & a happy tummy. However, spending all my time with an individual who sometimes coos has left me with a lot of time to think & my thoughts concluded that reinstating vegetarianism (pescatarianism, really) into my life was going to be my new mantra for 2011.

Add some veggie dogs to that grill, honey!

And then, I decided that dairy should be omitted from my plate, bowl, and cup. Although not confirmed, I think Lu’s exposure to it via me has led to some discomfort for her. Plus, I gag at the concept of humans drinking another mammal’s milk. So, it seems like moving myself one step closer to veganism (still trying to reduce my intake of fish) could work…if cheese was never invented. Darn you, cheese. Craving cheese is a new thing & I have an obvious love/hate relationship with it. This led me to apply these two common ideologies: everything in moderation & there is no need to define yourself with labels. I am consuming what I think my body needs & anything that I really want, but typically avoid, will be mine in a very small amount. I will not leave myself to mull over this action and I will be done with it.

Oh, yeah–there is one more thing on the chopping block: cable. We reduced to the basic channels (i.e. ABC, NBC) & kept Showtime (we are minorly obsessed with “Dexter”, “Californication,” & “Weeds”). Now, we’ve concluded these will be a thing of the past. We felt zombie-like upon recognizing that the tube was on for most of the day & we would stare aimlessly at it if anything was on. Adios, cable–we’ll spend our time reading, playing with Lu, being (more) active, & sometimes including a show or movie from Netflix/Hulu into our evening.

Go, Pack, Go

Thank you, karma, for hitting Ben Roethlisberger in the nose & delivering a victory to the Packers! Having roots in WI (where my dad’s family is based), cheering for the cheeseheads comes naturally. Plus, I once thought Brett Favre was dreamy at the ripe age of 11 (so gross in retrospect) & partly took to rooting GB on just to irk my step-father in a home that avidly cheers on the Cowboys (I owned the 1996 Superbowl champion shirt and collected Favre’s figurines). Lucy asserted her allegiance to the Pack (though a Bills fan at heart) this weekend by wearing her green diaper.

Even Stella supports the green + yellow

Next week

Hmm, well, our plates don’t seem full this week, which is ok by me considering my return to work is looming in the very near future. You’ll just have to stop by then to see what adventures we encountered. One fun thing: Ry’s official 28th birthday!

Our party animal is gearing up for Dad's big day!

6 wks

6 wks = 6 hrs?

This week introduced a whole new world to us: 6 hours of solid rest. On Monday, Lu decided to sleep blissfully from 10 pm-4:40 am (so, actually we almost had 7 hours). The excitement on my end came in hindsight–when I awoke naturally at 4:40, I recognized that Lu had not howled through the night. I nudged my sleeping husband to tip toe into her room to assure us she was ok. He not-so-eagerly complied & it was found that she was still snoozin’. The enthusiasm for that night carried into the following night, and the rest of the week, where we were not as lucky in the sleep department.

Work it

With 6 weeks bringing an official medical clearance to return to the gym, I wanted to attach myself to an eliptical & sweat in multiple group ex classes. I had visited the gym prior to my 6 week mark to walk on the treadmill (I tried to make it rigorous by doing a 12 incline and 3.4 speed). When I returned this week, my entire being was lifted to a level of elation–working out can alter my psyche tremendously.

I made it there three times & each time I said to myself, “You will run.” Running, although my least favorite exercise, is something I press myself to do because of the larger sense of accomplishment that comes after (can’t quite extract that from a Zumba class). Running is also on the agenda because I want to justify that a jogging stroller ($$$) is worth the purchase; I vividly imagine Lu & I running lakeside as the weather warms & it’s this vision that fuels my desire to own one. Plus, I want to run the 10k in July & possibly the 1/2 marathon in September. Annnd, I think this (coupled with strength training + a clean diet) will get my body back into a stronger state. “So,” you wonder, “did you run this week?” My answer: Hardly. I tried–oh, I tried–but I could not get into it. I’m forcing myself this week to do at least three miles twice. Maybe now that I’ve proclaimed this to a group of people, I’ll hold myself to it.

Cloth diapers

*Just a note: The choices and products I prefer are only because they are what I believe as best for myself. It is not my intent to diminish anyone’s opinions by sharing my own.

Ry & I came upon Luvaboos when we went to a massive yard sale put on by a local moms’ group. After being intrigued with the simple, eco-friendly items on display, we find our interest being particularly piqued by the cloth diapers. We heard the spiel regarding their recent advancements (not the cloth diaper you may be envisioning–quite evolved) and their benefits for consumers and our planet. I attended a class on the topic, sponsored by Luvaboos, & the decision was made to raise Lu in cloth diapers.

Through Luvaboos, we bought 14 diapers as a part of a trial which gave us a chance to sample different brands to find the ones we preferred. I postponed the start of this trial so Lu could gain some weight; unfortunately, some of the diapers we bought in XS were too snug. Because of this, 6 diapers were out of commission which meant it wasn’t cloth diapers 24-7 throughout the trial. Final verdict: we love them! We certainly are still trying to adjust the absorbency to decrease the frequency of her blow-outs becoming leak-outs & we aren’t on the same page when it comes to preferring the snaps over the velcro (my opinion: snaps-1, velcro-0). They may not be feasible for some. We are not doing a cloth diaper service that takes and cleans the diapers for us; rinsing out soiled diapers & gagging is a new normal. I used to think (and still on occasion do) that cleaning poo out of a diaper was foul, but I can do it when the moment asks demands.

Don't let the pout deceive you--Lu likes cloth diapers, too

Guests

We hosted two sets of guests: Marilyn & her daughter + Danielle & Jake.

Marilyn’s family has known the Teeter family before Ry entered the world. My fondness for Marilyn developed out of our attempt to cut the cake at my ROC shower. 

Here’s Marilyn with her daughter Kristen, Grammy Sally, & Lu:

Our other visitors, Danielle + Jake, came over from Columbus. D is one of my favorite people that I’ve known since our sorority days @ Witt. Memories abound when it comes to our friendship: 607/609, holey jeans, Kelleys Island, etc. Her husband, Jake, might be in the running for Top 10 Most Humorous people. I think everything he says is laughable and it makes me envious (I need to find out how his mind functions that way).

Being their first trip to ROC, we made the obligatory rounds to the Pittsford Wegmans & Dinosaur BBQ. We also had a night in on Friday that featured italian foods, the best red wine EVER: Sweedish Hill’s Svenska Red (if not socially frowned upon, I’d have a glass for breakfast), an episode of Wipeout, & Catchphrase. Here are some memories from their visit (so sad to see them off):

Responsibility

Is that their baby?

It's love

Still in love

Breakfast on the last day/Jake making Lu do something inappropriate

Tis the end of 6 weeks. Now in week 7, here’s what we have in store: giving up cable & dairy, Lu’s 8 wk appointment, and other goodies.

See you next week!

 

Lucy @ 7 wks--my best girl

Switch it, change it, rearrange it

Blogging is kinda fun. It certainly helps to have something to write about.

I aspired to become a more frequent blogger; however, I realized that there are lulls in our life that don’t call for documentation. Or there are times that one event doesn’t necessarily call for a blog post.

So, I’ve come to decide upon a new blogging format that I think seems more sensible for a blog that chronicles the adventures of  life with a baby. I will now have one post per week that will be titled as Lucy’s age in weeks. It will include thoughts, occurrences, and a photo or several from that week of her life. For example, she is currently in week 6 of her young life, so expect a post about all things Lu & her mother-in-training sometime this weekend, which will be titled…uh-huh…“6 weeks.”

Some possible topics for the upcoming post include cloth diapering, returning to the gym post-baby, visits from Rochester friends, and Lu’s first play date!

xxo,

Ashley

PS: Here are photos from a visit back in December when some of Ry’s friends returned home.

 

Eliz & Lu (Eliz is a natural with small beings. I was impressed.)

Lu & (awkwardly terrified) Uncle Wes

Lu & Uncle Mike

Obvious selection for the role of godfather