Free Food

… well almost. You can sign up and join Earth Fare’s “Welcome Home” program. Even if you already subscribe to their weekly newsletter (which I do), you create a new account and receive a coupon for a free meal: Free whole, natural chicken (or veggie burgers), organic baby carrots and rustic mashed potatoes. All you have to do is spend $10 in the store on other items (which is easy for most people). Once you sign up, you also get weekly emails about other great coupons. This week, I received one for free organic chocolate truffles with $5 purchase. Most of the time to get your free item, they require a minimum of $5 purchase. I figure it’s worth it because if I’m going in there to get some groceries, I am likely spending $5, and I might as well get something free out of it.

While our family doesn’t do our regular grocery shopping at Earth Fare, I am a big fan of theirs. They implemented a no paper or plastic bag policy a while back to cut down on waste, and our family has taken advantage of their deals numerous times. They have a great program, the Boot Challenge, where they offer to replace certain household items that aren’t so awesome with all-natural or organic items; this is regardless of how full the item you’re trading in is. This week, you can trade in your yucky (maybe not, I don’t know what you use) toothpaste for an all natural variety. Our guest bathroom may actually still have some old toothpaste I haven’t replaced, so I think I will be taking advantage of this one while also getting my free truffles and meal. Hmm, can anyone say awesome Valentine’s meal for only $15?!

6 months

A few weeks ago, I posted about Harrison’s 6-month check up and how big he was. Well, I’m back for another update on little man and all the latest developments.

  1. Legally Blonde?: The hair keeps on growing. It remains fullest in the front, but the bald spot is filling in more and more. It’s still anyone’s guess what color it will eventually turn out to be because David and I both had some blonde going on in the early years. Right now Harrison’s got a sandy blonde going on that has a slight tint of red in the light.
  2. Handsy: Harrison gets better each day at manipulating objects (from toys to pacis to food) with his hands and fingers. He has a tendency to rake at smaller items like puffs, but has a pretty good grasp on his toys and pacifier. It’s fun to sit and watch him try to figure out how to pick something up and to move objects toward and away from his mouth. My favorite is when he grabs a stuffed animal with both hands and growls as he excitedly moves it toward his mouth to chew on.
  3. “Careful, I may bite…”: Not on purpose, of course, but Harrison is developing a good bite on things. He now has his two bottom central incisors. Last Wednesday, I noticed his right middle gum was a bit red and swollen and on Friday I felt a tooth popping out. Then on Saturday morning I felt the left one. It’s amazing how quickly it happens. The good thing, is that it didn’t seem to bother him at all. Sometimes teething can be a little painful, but Harrison made it through the “worst” part (the teeth erupting from the gum) without any complaint. Not to say he doesn’t want the closest object in his mouth to chomp on.
  4. “Sit up straight”: Harrison’s working on that anyway. Again, I know all along he has been developing the precursors for sitting up, but it seems like it was maybe a week between the time we were sitting him up and he was toppling over and him being able to stay put for a few minutes. Sometimes he still immediately falls over because we laugh when it happens and then he thinks it’s a game.
  5. Momma’s boy: I have heard numerous times that boys love their mommy, and that has turned into some crying lately. At least I think that is what’s going on. Harrison has started to cry when I am out of sight and then stop once I reappear. He also wants to be held a lot. The good thing is that he loves his care taker so much that he doesn’t get upset when we drop him off at her place in the mornings.
  6. Blabber mouth: Harrison started out producing what sounded like “muh” and “buh” occasionally, and now he’s transitioned to “lingual” sounds. There’s a /jɑ/ and /ŋɑ/ sometimes, but recently (as in the past 3 days) what should start coming out but /dɑ/! I knew this would happen because I’m a speech therapist, but I hoped in my heart of hearts he would start reduplicating “muh”. Granted the “dada” does not mean what David interprets it to mean (sorry but I had to inform him of this because I’m so cruel), but it’s still a tiny dagger in the heart, or maybe the back. The funny thing was that right after David got all giddy about Harrison looking at him and saying “da-da-da-da”, he then looked at Truman and said the same thing :). I had to smile to myself.
  7. Creepy-crawly: My little man is already trying to crawl around. I noticed last week that when he was on his stomach he was raising his upper body and rotating to get to things that were out of his reach. Then he would try to grab onto something to help push himself forward. The other day, I noticed the same thing on our bed, but he was pushing his knee and arm forward after he twisted. He wants to move toward things on his own so badly, and lately it turns into frustration :(.
  8. Shut-eye: Harrison has been such a good sleeper from the beginning, really, but we have recently started transitioning to an earlier bedtime (or at least trying). He still wants to hold onto that “prevening” nap sometimes, and that can make it hard to try to push him through until a 6:30 dinner and then nursing before bed. For the most part, it’s working in our favor, though. Harrison is starting to go down more like 7:45-8 instead of 8:15/8:30 and sleeping through until 7/7:30 depending on the day. It seems during the week when David and I are up and about getting ready for work Harrison wakes up a little earlier.
  9. “Feed me”: Harrison continues to be our big eater. He has moved on to a wider variety of foods (added in raspberries, mangoes, peaches, and squash) and just started mashing puffs. This is in addition to nursing and bottle feedings. I’m so proud of the good eater he is and how much he loves to eat and try new things. I’m sure we will run into a food he doesn’t like at some point, but so far if he can eat it, he will.

Harrison has come such a long way, and it continues to be an exciting adventure. We can’t wait to see what he does in the next few months, or weeks.

Feed me! Feed me!

Come here so I can eat you

I wrote about how much Harrison is enjoying solids, so I thought I would let you know what some of his favorites are. He will slurp down as many bananas as we will give him, but he’s also loving some of the combinations Mommy has made for him. Most of what Harrison eats is just steamed and pureed and features one fruit or vegetable. When I do combine things, I have been using recipes from a cookbook I picked up in the bargain section at Barnes and Noble when I was pregnant entitled, Organic Baby and Toddler Cookbook. I think the edition I have is an older one (hence, bargain section), but I would highly recommend it.
The two recipes I have used are for Baby’s First Vegetables and Bananas and Berries. The first recipe calls for carrot, potato, peas and corn cooked in olive oil and then pureed. Harrison loves this! The second recipe has you boil water and then add bananas and any seasonal fruit with some rice cereal (for thickness). I have been adding blueberries. Since it has bananas, Harrison cannot get enough of this.
I have been doing all organic with Harrison, so most of the fruits and veggies I buy frozen unless I see a good deal on fresh, in season produce (like a bag of carrots for .89 at Trader Joe’s).
Oh, and I must say, I know you can just as easily use a food processor or blender but I splurged and bought a Beaba Baby Cook baby food maker. I was hoping to get it for a shower gift, but that didn’t happen. It has been well worth the investment in just the 2 short weeks I have had it. I love that it can steam and then blend and there is little cleanup. David was all about the purchase after watching me cook the veggies and then blend them and then take the entire blender apart to clean it. The Beaba baby cook is awesome because it’s an “all-in-one” and all I have to do is run it under some water and occasionally do a descale with vinegar.
Anywho, those are just a few of Harrison’s favorites right now. We just introduced avocado yesterday and he loved it! That doesn’t surprise me at all, though. I love how my little man loves to eat :).

*I was not asked or paid to gush about the Beaba Baby Cook. I was just talking about my own personal infatuation with it.

A month of good eats

This is way late, but they say “better late than never”, right? In February, our family decided to not eat any meals out. We would make everything. It worked very well with just a little bit of planning. Plus, February was a great month to start since I was headed back to work and we have a new baby eating up some of that budget we use to allot toward eating out. Most of the things we did proved to be good ideas to practice on a regular basis.
1.) David has a habit of either grabbing something quick (i.e., fast food and unhealthy) or not eating lunch at all, so I made sure he had meat, cheese, bread, and some type of side to have at work. This works well because they have a fridge there. We did learn that maybe David needs to write his name on stuff b/c someone appeared to be helping their self to his bread. We knew this because I got him those thin sandwich buns (no, he was not counting bread slices).
2.) It’s not unusual for someone at my work to order or go get lunch somewhere on a daily basis. This makes it hard for me to not do so, too, even when I bring lunch. This required a little more prep on my part. Yes, I could leave things in a fridge at work, too, but I am bad about not wanting the same thing day after day. I need to break up the monotony. This was even harder since David was away on business the first week. I had to be good about prepping my lunch in the evenings from leftovers or make something. This did help me out in the mornings with everything I had to do.
3.) We had to have quick and easy meals in mind for most of the week, or at least things we could have for back-up in case David was home late from work and Harrison didn’t nap well in the late afternoons for me to prep dinner, or just in case we didn’t feel like prepping a bigger meal because we were tired or wanted to spend that time with our little man. This was huge! It is very easy to decide you are too tired to make something because all your meals are very ambitious and they take too long, or you’re hungry RIGHT NOW and CANNOT wait 30 more minutes (funny, because it would usually take at least that to go somewhere, wait for the food, bring it back, etc).
4.) Prep work: I tried to prep some components in advance. If I knew there was another chicken dish during the week, for example, I would make enough chicken breasts for both meals and that way one component was already done and we could spend less time making dinner.
5.) Not being too picky. Some evenings, we just had to bite the bullet and have something that wasn’t that awesome because we didn’t want to make something, but we knew we shouldn’t go get something. That meant cereal a few times or just pb and j. This was rare, though, and overall we were very good about actually making a meal.
It was very nice to enjoy a meal that we “made” each night and to also not give in during lunch time, as hard as it was some days. Weekends were also tricky because it’s so easy to want to enjoy a breakfast out or to grab lunch somewhere if you’re out and about. We stayed strong, though, and it proved very fruitful.
I think my favorite part was cooking together. David and I had that time (usually Harrison was asleep) to just make dinner and talk to each other. I don’t know about David, but I love when we cook together. I enjoy spending time in the kitchen and making good food, no matter what the ingredients are or how long it takes. We were able to try several new dishes, and I think they were all keepers. This challenge was certainly worth it, and it has helped us be more conscious since.

Eating in: Part 2

Well, we’re 3 weeks into our month of dining in, and it’s going great. As we sat down to our chicken stuffed with Jarlsberg and prosciutto last night, David and I talked about how much we were enjoying all the meals we’ve been having and how none of them have been too difficult to make or time-consuming (which is key now that little man is around). Most of the meals we’ve made, we’ve made together, and that is probably the best part. I love making a good meal for my man, but it’s nice when we do it together. The food just seems to taste better :).
Anyway, besides being budget-friendly, we were talking about how nice it’s been for lunches during the week. Unless we get pizza during the week, we usually don’t have leftovers from getting take-out, so then we’re left figuring out what to do for lunch the following day. We have out peanut butter and jelly and lunch meat and cheese, but you don’t want that for lunch everyday. Leftovers are always nice because you just put them away into a bowl for your lunch and then just pull it out of the fridge the next morning. There’s a sense of pride when you take a delicious dinner from the night before for lunch and your co-workers ask you what it is because it looks yummy and/or smells delicious.
Just one more week left for us, and it’s clear we will make it to our goal. For that, I am excited and overjoyed. It was easy and delicious. Look for a wrap-up of our meals and sorts at the end of the month.

Roly-Poly

Our little man is rolling over! Can you believe it! I can hardly believe all the growing up he is doing as of late. In the past week, Harrison has started to hold himself up for longer periods of time when on his tummy, “talk” constantly, roll over (as of yesterday), and eat solid foods. Man oh man, this is all happening way too fast for Mommy! (Can’t you tell. That’s my 3rd exclamation so far :).) My co-worker, Jamie, says Harrison is going to be like her 2 little men and eat us out of house and home. I don’t doubt it. I couldn’t give him his cereal fast enough last night. He was trying to grab the spoon, had both hands stuffed in his face sucking cereal off of them, and even leaning over trying to get cereal off his bib :). Good thing he’s not picky. And, of course, he needed a bath after all of that. I just love it, though.