November 3, 2017

Homemade Baby Food

We are now a month into our food adventures with Cooper and he loves getting to sit down and eat.  As soon as I put him in the high chair, he starts making noises like he wants something and grabbing at whatever is in front of him!

Once I realized we'd be doing some purees mixed in with baby led weaning, I decided to try my hand at making a few of Cooper's foods.  We tried some store bought purees first to see what Cooper liked and what he tolerated before I started making purees in bulk.  There are lots of great resources and ideas for making baby food so I had lots of information at hand.  At his 6 month check up, our pediatrician had recommended a website called Baby FoodE that has a lot of great tips and tons of recipes and combinations of different foods and spices.  So I started there and found so many options and got to work!

The first thing I tried was some meat. He took to fruits and vegetables quickly, but I knew meat would give him some much needed fat and iron.  So I made this recipe for beef and sweet potatoes and while pureed meat is not all that appetizing, this seemed to turn out pretty well.  And Cooper gobbled it right it!

A couple weeks ago, I spent an afternoon cooking up a bunch of different purees.
 Apples and Spinach is definitely his favorite.  Cooper loves apples and pears both, and this one tastes just like apples with the added benefits of spinach with it--win win.
Along with that I made some Immune Boost Puree that includes apples, carrots, ginger, orange, and tumeric.  Cooper seems to like this one as well and will eat it up.  Here it is ready to go in the freezer.  Cooper usually eats 4 oz of a puree at a meal, so I did some 4 oz mason jars for full servings.  I also used a freezer tray for 1 oz servings of the Immune Boost puree--this makes it easy to add a cube to any other meals.  Then I did some 2 oz services of the apples and spinach as well so we can have it alongside other foods--I'd seen the idea of using breastmilk storage bags to freeze purees in and that has worked out well for us so far!

Cooper napped through some of the cooking, but when he was awake he played in the kitchen while I prepared his food.  He wants to be wherever I am--if I'm in the kitchen he does not want to play in the living room, but he is content if he can be in the kitchen with me.  And an added bonus is that he loves the kitchen floor because of how easy it is for him to slide around on it!

That evening I steamed some broccoli for dinner and pureed it with some olive oil and a white potato.  Cooper is not a fan of this one, but he eat broccoli if he can feed himself the florets.

I've also made up some of the Fall Superpower Puree (sweet potato, hard boiled eggs, and pear) and some Chicken puree.  Cooper loves these two mixed together.  He seems to get tired of the Fall Superfood puree by itself, but will eat it mixed with other things.  So far he has liked the chicken with everything (I've given it to him by itself, mixed with the Fall superfood puree, and mixed with the Immune Boost puree)
Our freezer is all stocked with his food!  It's so easy to make several batches of food and I'm enjoying experimenting with different flavors and tastes.

He is also loving feeding himself so many things.  He has had bites of bananas, apples, pears, plums, eggs, bell peppers, broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, asparagus, and bread!

November 2, 2017

Cooper's First Halloween

Our sweet little pumpkin celebrated his first Halloween this week!  I had looked at several different ideas for Halloween costumes, and I actually had one picked out that I was going to make using our Lillebaby carrier.  But then we realized our church wasn't having their usual Fall Festival.  And we weren't going to take Cooper out trick or treating.  So we weren't really going anywhere for Halloween which meant that it seemed silly to have a costume that relied on the carrier since we'd mainly have a costume for picture taking.  So I'm tucking that idea away for next year maybe.  

Then I remembered that Cooper had this monster onesie and a matching hat that we were given as a baby shower gift and it seemed perfect for his low-key first Halloween.

 Our sweet little monster
 On the move!

Cooper had a Dr appointment to get his flu booster shot, so we took his monster outfit for a spin.  All of the ladies at the front desk were a fan of his silly hat.  He kept taking it off, but he left it on for a while before removing it each time I replaced it.

After David got home, we ate dinner and then camped out on our front porch to hand out candy.  We weren't sure what the crowds would be like since it was cold and a little rainy, but it ended up being a nice evening and we had a pretty good group of people come through.

 If I'd thought more about it, I probably would have made David and I some monster costumes too.  Maybe next year we'll have a fun family costume.  This year our little monster stole the show.

Love my little family!  Lily also hung out with us (on her leash) under David's chair.  She actually does really well with people coming up to get candy, especially since they don't ring the doorbell.

Around 7:30 we had finished off one bag of candy and so we decided to call it a night instead of opening the second bag.  We put Cooper to bed and then David and I watched This is Us.

It was a fun Halloween with our little guy!

November 1, 2017

Cooper's Cubbyhole: 7 Months

Weight: 14 lbs 14 oz
Diaper Size: 2
Clothing Size: 3-6 months
Daily Schedule: We get up around 7:30 and you nurse and then play a little. Usually we do breakfast of pureed foods and some fruit or eggs for you to feed yourself.  Your first nap is around 10:00.  The rest of the day varies depending on how long you nap--about 75% of the time your naps are 30 minutes, but sometimes you sleep for an hour or more.  So then you go down about 2 hours after you wake up.  You take about 3 naps a day and go to bed between 7:30 and 8:00 at night.
Things you Love: Mommy, Daddy, Lily.  Trying to crawl.  Bouncing and kicking.  Swimming.  Eating.  Being outside.  Facing out in the carrier
Things you Don’t Love: Being in the car too long.  Being left alone to play.  Being laid down on the changing table.  Being put in your car seat.
Milestones: You started eating foods and you are a big fan!  Now that you are eating foods, you get mad if we are eating and you are not.  You are very impatient and want the next bite of food immediately after the first.  You gobble up your favorite purees--apple and spinach, pears, sweet potato, carrots, chicken, steak.  You are feeding yourself lots of little bites of food as well.

Memorable Moments: Starting Foods.  Your first trip to the State Fair.  Your first stay in a hotel.  Trip to the pumpkin patch.  

Cooper love, we are just having so much fun with you!  You are on the go a lot now.  You are rolling and pivoting and pushing backward to get where you want to go.  You push up tall on your arms and move yourself backward.  You get on hands and knees and rock and you want to crawl so badly but you’re just not there quite yet.  Your smile and your laugh are so much fun and you are always moving, always kicking and always squealing.  You’ve started doing a lot of screaming this month as you experiment with your voice, so we’re having to temper that a little bit--but you just have so much fun!  Starting foods has been the best adventure so far-- you get so excited and so into everything that you eat!  Life with you is always exciting and we love you so much!

October 30, 2017

Girls Trip to Pawhuska

Last week, Cooper and I headed out for a quick getaway with the girls in my family.  My Aunt Carol and I both love the Pioneer Woman so we've been wanting to check out her Mercantile.  We were going to go for my Aunt Carol's birthday, but we decided to wait until a week when they were doing Lodge tours, and last Thursday and Friday worked out well.  I went with my mom and we met my two aunts and a cousin there.

We left early Thursday morning and arrived mid afternoon.  We met my Aunt Carol to have lunch at the Mercantile.  It was 2:45 when we got there and the line was out the door and down the sidewalk. 
We were very excited to be out of the car!  It was warm that afternoon, but luckily the line went pretty quickly--we were seated within about 30 minutes.

 I forgot to take a picture of the food until we were almost done, but we got a few things and shared them.  We tried the Marlboro Man Sandwich, the Turkey Bacon Club, Macaroni and Cheese, Loaded Baked Potato, Carrots and Tomato soup with grilled cheese dippers.  Everything was very good and it was fun eating off the fun plates.

We looked around a little bit and got some dessert from the bakery before heading to our hotel for the evening.  We met up with my other Aunt and my cousin who drove straight to the hotel.  We hung out that evening and headed to bed fairly early so we could get an early start on Friday morning.  It was Cooper's first night staying in a hotel and he did really well sleeping in the pack and play.  He went down easily and only woke up once in the night.  He was up pretty early and as soon as he realized we were awake he wanted to get out, but that worked out well because we had to head out around the time he usually wakes up so it gave him a chance to eat before we left to go back to the Merc.

When we were eating lunch on Thursday we'd asked our waitress how early we needed to get in line for breakfast.  They open at 7:00 and she said the earlier the better but didn't really give much other guidance.  We debated getting there before they opened and waiting in line so we could get in early, but ultimately decided that since the line for lunch had moved fairly quickly that we would be okay if we had to wait a little while.  So we ended up getting there around 7:45 and we weren't sure what we would encounter.

Much to our surprise we pulled up and there was no line.

 We were seated right away and ready for breakfast!
Cooper was not a big fan of the purees I had for him, but he wanted to be eating when we were, so he chomped down on lots of biter biscuits.  They kept him pretty entertained for most of the meal, luckily!  Again, I forgot to take good pictures, but my mom and I shared the Farmer's Breakfast (eggs, bacon, sausage, a biscuit) and a cinnamon roll. 

Then we spent some time shopping around the Merc. 
 It is such a fun store and there are so many neat things!  I ended up picking out a few things that my mom is giving me for my birthday in a month or so.  I also picked up a few gifts for people.

Then we got our tickets and directions to go out to the Lodge.  It's about a 20 minute drive from the Merc and we caravaned out there so we could all head home from there.
 To get to the lodge, you drive about 6 miles down a dirt road on their property before driving down a big hill and then you arrive!
Beautiful view from the kitchen.

 It was so fun seeing where Ree films her show!  It's such a cute house.  It has a huge kitchen and pantry, several guest rooms with bathrooms and then a prep kitchen with a huge storage space for all of the props
 Everything was so cute and well put together

 As fun as the Merc was, the trip to the Lodge definitely made the experience for us.  It was so neat to get to see the space where we usually see Ree on TV, on her blog and in her books.  It was fun to see all of the touches of Pioneer Woman throughout the lodge.
 My sweet boy did so well!  He loved being able to face out in the carrier and was happy as could be taking it all in.
It was a great quick trip with these lovely ladies--and my little man!

October 28, 2017

Our Little Pumpkin

It's Cooper's first Fall, so I knew we needed to visit a pumpkin patch (or two) for some fun Fall pictures.  Last weekend we had family pictures taken, so Cooper was already dressed up so we decided to stop at a pumpkin patch a few miles from our house to grab a few pictures

Cooper was tired and not so sure about what these things were, so this is about the best we got

 He was definitely way more interested in eating hay than smiling for a picture
My boys.  Still no smiles from Cooper.

Luckily, we already had a trip planned to the Arboretum to check out their pumpkins.  My mom and I had been talking about going and I found out that they have Buy One Get One Free Admission on Wednesdays in October, so we planned an afternoon trip 
 Once again Cooper was more interested in eating wood chips than looking at us for pictures, so we tried a few on top of some pumpkins.

 Having fun with his Grandma after she picked him up out of his woodchip eating frenzy

 My sweet little pumpkin!

 Love my little guy so very much!!

Taking all those pictures is exhausting!  So after pumpkin village, we found a quiet place to sit and Cooper took a little nap.  
When he woke up, he did not want to be in the stroller anymore!  Luckily, I'd brought our baby ktan carrier and he got to try forward facing in it for the first time as we finished up our time at the Arboretum!  He was a happy boy looking out and watching everything while I carried him.

Cooper definitely makes Fall more fun!

October 20, 2017

High Five for Friday

We've finally reached a much needed Friday!!  High Five for making it to Friday!  Here's a few things going on around here

{1}.  We've all been fighting colds for the past week or so.  Cooper and I got it middle of last week and David caught it over the weekend.  We've been a coughing, sneezing, congested mess around here.  My nose actually got so stopped up that I couldn't smell or taste anything for a few days which was a new experience for me!  We seem to finally be on the mend, but being sick on top of an already crazy week has us all like...

{2}.  Cooper is trucking right along with his solid food journey.  He is not a big fan of the pureed vegetables (who is!) but he will feed himself when we offer vegetables in the baby led weaning style.  Last night he ate some broccoli--he didn't seem too sure about it, but he ate quite a bit.  I also made him some purees this week so we've been having fun experimenting with those!

{3}.  We all know I love Fall.  So we're enjoying all the fall fun with Cooper.  There are times when I walk through baby stores and see all the cute girl clothes and think--man it would be fun dressing a girl up.  But I am having a lot of fun with little boy clothes and my little man!  And I've had some fun making a few Fall onesies for him to sport too.

{4}.  I had to have a medical procedure this week which made it kind of a crazy/off week.  David was home on Wednesday instead of Thursday so he could take me and that makes the end of the week feel long.  Luckily, the procedure went well and we got good news--grateful it was so easy and it is over with now!

{5}.  Next week Cooper and I are heading out of town with my mom, aunts and cousin to visit the Pioneer Woman Mercantile.  It'll be his first time sleeping in a hotel room, so hopefully things will go okay.  Looking forward to a few days away and to checking out all the fun that the Merc has to offer!

Happy Friday!

October 14, 2017

Starting Foods

With his 6 month "birthday" came a big milestone--it was time to start introducing some solids!  When we went for his 6 month check up, his doctor talked through several options and gave us lots of great advice.  We decided to do a mix of some Baby Led Weaning (where Cooper learns to feed himself a variety of foods) and purees.  Our pediatrician said that's what she's done with her boys and she gave me some good resources.  She also recommended starting with some higher calorie foods like avocado, sweet potatoes and bananas.  Since Cooper is a tiny guy and his weight percentile has fallen again, she thought some of those would be good starters.

We were so excited to try it out! 
The first night at dinner we gave him some avocado slices (sliced up big enough for him to hold and handle on his own).  He liked playing with it and got some in his mouth.  He also just wanted his pacifier a lot of the time.  We did mush a little bit up and gave it to him on a spoon.  He seemed pretty indifferent to the avocado.  Unfortunately, after we finished dinner we gave him his bottle and then he threw up, so we've put a hold on the avocado. I plan to try it again soon, mashed up with a little breastmilk to see if he has the same reaction.  But not a great start to our feeding journey

Sweet Potatoes
After our experience with avocado, I decided to try offering the pureed version of food earlier in the day and then if he tolerated that well we could offer slices for dinner.  This method has worked out well--this way I can sit with him for the purees and we do it as part of our daily routine.  And then at dinner we don't have to feed him--he just plays with the food and sucks on the slices of whatever we offer while we eat.
Not so sure at first...
 ...he realized this is pretty good, so he started bending his head forward to meet the spoon when I brought it toward him...
 ... I love sweet potatoes!  After we finished the jar, I gave him the spoon to hold and play with and make a mess with :)
That night for dinner, he had roasted crinkle cut sweet potatoes and did well with them!

 He did pretty well getting some bites off as he held it with the peel to keep it from being too slippery
 And then he enjoyed some smaller slices that he could feed himself

 These were definitely a favorite!  Between each bite he would starting making a "m, m, m" sound and move his whole body.  This was also the first one that Daddy got to feed him which was fun
 Apple slices for dinner!  He did end up choking on these, but was able to get it back up with a little pat on the back.  I read a lot about how to offer apple slices for baby led weaning and we tried them peeled and steamed, but these slices were too wide for him.  We've since tried thinner slices and he has taken those like a champ

We've also now tried carrots, pears, pears & blueberries, peas, and spinach & pear.  So far the only thing he hasn't liked is the peas (which I don't really blame him for!), but we'll try them again someday.  We had originally planned to do more baby led weaning and less purees, but honestly Cooper loves the pureed food and he gets more with the purees, so we'll probably stick with them

This is how he feels when the food is all gone ;)

It's been a fun adventure trying out new foods for him!  I can't wait to see what he discovers next.