Granted it’s still the dead of winter here, with temperatures at the bottom of the thermometer or even in the negatives, with noses and fingers and ears threatening to fall off. Not to mention the dry cracking skin. But there’s something different in the air, and I’m looking forward to spring!
Mostly I’m looking forward to incorporating healthy changes into our lifestyle with the changing seasons. (And the flowers..flowers everywhere)
I’ve already told Eric I want to try a vegetable garden again this year (last year didn’t happen because I was large with child at this point), and I’ve been making plans to join the Y and take Zumba as well as swim lessons with Aria. I’m also looking forward to taking Aria on jogs or walks in her stroller.
I guess all this planning is really possible with my new job. I’m still with the same company, just a new role that is less chaotic, less travel, and much more manageable. So thank you God for that.
Aria is sitting up by herself!!!! I mean, getting to the sitting up position all by herself. She was already managing to stay sitting up once put into place.. you get the idea. Anyway, how exciting!
Unfortunately I haven’t actually seen it yet. Rather, I saw the results the very first time while at Bible study. She was in the middle of the floor on her mat, rolling around, playing with (violently beating) her toys and squealing and interjecting her baby thoughts into our discussion. I watched her pushing her butt up into the air as she’s been doing lately, and then looked down at my notes. When I looked up again she was up on her rump and holding a toy… no big deal. I inhaled, “she’s sitting up!” The girl next to me asked, “is that the first time she’s sat up by herself?” and I said, “yes!” In concert they all exclaimed, “Take a picture!!” So I did. A few, actually.
The next day (yesterday) I told Denise to be on the lookout for it, that hopefully she would remember how to do it, and apparently she sat up over a dozen times. She has a very particular procedure that she follows each time which I guess takes a little time and effort. However, she was a cranky mess by the time I got home, as she hadn’t taken a good second nap. So I tried to get her to take a little nap, as she was clearly very unhappy and didn’t want to play, be set down, sit in her highchair, be held.. she didn’t want anything so I said, “naptime!” Then when she woke up 30 min later she was a little better, but still didn’t want to be set down so I never got to experience the sit-up 😦 Maybe tonight!
This leads me to my next story – dinner!
A favorite dish of my sister and myself that our mom used to make when we were kids started with Uncle Ben’s Broccoli Cheese Rice. Mom would would add chicken to it and call it a meal, and it was so yummy. Mmmmm. So yeah, I still love it. Guess what we had for dinner last night! And I decided to make a baby version for Aria so she could “eat what mommy’s eating” at the dinner table with us!
And since I was trying to be efficient, I used one saucepan for our meal, and one cooking utensil for hers – the steamer! I just chopped up a bunch of chicken into cubes, cut a bunch of broccoli into chunks, and then divvied both between hers and ours. I did make the chicken cubes smaller for hers because I was nervous about it getting cooked the whole way through, but a recipe I had read, where I got my inspiration, said to steam the chicken, which I had not considered before, so I decided it must be a good idea. I made her entire meal in the steamer, steaming the broccoli and chicken in the top and putting one of those boil-in-a-bag rice bags into the bottom (whole-grain brown rice for my healthy little eater!). Once cooked thoroughly and pureed and mostly cooled, my little Aria ate Broccoli Chicken “Casserole” with me at the dinner table, and seemed immensely happy. It actually tasted fairly similar, minus the cheese.
I do realize, when I’m feeding her, that she’s a much healthier eater than myself and Eric. Not that she has any choice, but her food is all whole grain or fresh produce with no added anything (except maybe some cinnamon or other spice)… no artificial anything, no added salt or sugar or preservatives.. I wish it was this easy to cook for us. I even told Eric that I feel bad that I cook way more for her than I do for us, but the difference is her food is soooooooo easy.. and makes multiple meals at a time. It’s one or two (or in this instance three) ingredients, bland as all get out, just baked or steamed, and pureed so texture doesn’t matter a whole lot. I told him, “if you were willing to eat bland mushy food I could cook more often for you too” to which he replied that my food was bland. Psh. But really, she doesn’t know the difference and is getting to taste the fruits/veggies in their natural state, which really are flavorful, so there’s no need to add butter or oils or salt… If only my taste buds weren’t corrupted by sugar! Mmmmm sugar… mmm cheese…
I wish I could find or think of more recipes like this and the chicken noodle soup, where I basically make all of our food at the same time with baby-fying options.
About once every week or so I figure out what next foods Aria will be having and cook them up, puree them and put them in the little freezer cubes. She’ll be 7 months this week and already has quite the experienced palate!
We’ve gone though a number of single fruits and veggie purees so I’m ready to start combining for new flavors and as much vitamins packed into each meal as possible. I’m getting a lot of ideas from weelicious.com, which is super cute and she makes her own food look super yummy in her videos (quite the sales lady!).
I figured out how to make applesauce on my own (however Denise informed me later that the reason it probably turned out so good was that my apples were really (overly) ripe.. I’ll keep that in consideration). But I’m adding my applesauce recipe to blog, because I can.
Otherwise, I literally went to Aldi’s and picked up a bunch of fresh produce and then started looking to see what I could make with it. I found recipes to use the mango and zucchini, and also a way to use up the other chicken breast that I thawed when making the chicken noodle soup but didn’t use. Also, I purposefully sought out bananas and pears because of this recipe I had already read about that looks so good.
Well today I made the Mango Apple & Carrot puree and Aria was screaming at me to hurry up before it was cooled off enough to feed it to her any faster. It was still warm from being steamed so I was blowing off each spoonful before giving it to her and she was bursting into tears of frustration before it would make it to her mouth. And then she would hold her hands straight up, like “ahhhhh” (reverent music). I think she really liked it. I really liked it.. it was yummy..
(I set the bowl down on the counter so I could film which is why all the movement)
While on my business trip I started feeling bad… and then worse… and then just plain awful. I tried to hold it together because there’s nothing worse than being stuck with co-workers who are sick and can’t do a darn thing about it because they’re on a business trip with you, and locked in the same room all day with you, and they can’t exactly just go and work from home, and they’re touching everything and breathing in your space. Ugh, gross, why did you come on this trip??? Yup, that was me. So I tried to act as un-sick as possible and wash my hands and not touch anything. I did have to share a car with someone for four hours (both ways) and tried to not do the fever pass-out in the car. I’m fairly confident I fooled everyone, except for maybe the car-pool lady who hopefully just thought I had some sniffles and not a woozy-head-causing fever.
So upon my return home I wanted nothing more than to go to bed. Unfortunately, Eric and Aria also were sick. Eric doesn’t have a cold, per say, but has some head thing going on causing debilitating headaches and upset tummy and whatnot. Aria has snot running down her face which she has discovered tastes interesting, so her little tongue is constantly out. She’s so gross.
Last night was probably the worst of it. When I got home at roughly 5:00 we all agreed upon a nap. Aria agreed because she fell asleep nursing. We just piled into the big bed and dozed off. However, it’s one of those head colds that wakes you up and you feel so stuffy and sore you can’t easily fall back asleep. I heard Aria was having trouble sleeping while I was away and kept crying in the middle of the night. I know I was waking up in my hotel room and having a heck of a time going back to sleep.
After about an hour Aria and I were awake, Eric was dead to the world (and stayed that way until the next morning). So we got up and went downstairs to “play”.. this involved Aria playing and screaming at things while I lie semi-conscious on the floor next to her.
When it was close to her regular bedtime we went and started getting her ready. She was ok with changing into a night outfit, with reading books, and with nursing. She was not so ok with me trying to wipe her nose – man can she make it impossible if she doesn’t want her nose touched! – nor with the actual putting to bed. I went downstairs and made myself some packaged soup because I was hungry even though I didn’t feel like eating, and I watched her in the monitor trying to lift herself up on her elbows high enough to peek over the edge of her crib. I have the edge facing the door blocked by a blanket on the outside of the crib so that when I come into the hallway to go to my room, or to check on her, she doesn’t just see me and start crying. Well she really wanted to see into the hallway… it was really cute to watch. I kept talking to the monitor and telling it how cute she is.
She finally went to sleep, and it took me much longer. I managed to get comfy enough propped up on pillows on the couch to finally doze off. After waking somewhere in the middle of the night I went to bed and have felt better today.
So today I thought I’d make us some chicken noodle soup for lunch. I made it pretty bland with only four ingredients (broth, carrots, noodles, chicken) and then took hers out and made mine a little more flavorful. I’ve also decided that I want to get good at this whole recipe thing, so started a page of recipes. My Baby Chicken Noodle Soup is posted here. The recipe says celery was involved… it wasn’t in this batch. I would have liked for it to have been in there, but alas I didn’t have any.
Now she’s taking a nap and I would love to do the same but I chose to work from home today instead of taking a sick day.
Aria had a rough day yesterday. I was packing to go on my business trip and kept leaving her in a room unattended; I know shame on me. The first incident she was playing on the floor with her toys, super content and fine without me, but left alone for literally less than a minute managed to pull a blanket over her head and get stuck. I walked in to see little legs sticking out from under the blanket and her arms flailing around trying to get out from under it.
When I tried to leave her in her crib so I could go take a shower I was convinced she was tired and would go to sleep soon. She had other plans, and spent the time rolling around in her crib. This time when I walked into the room, the two little legs were sticking out of her crib between the slats. Poor baby had tried to backwards crawl and had gotten stuck. She wasn’t crying, but was definitely not thrilled with the predicament and was super happy to be picked up.
Unfortunately both times I rushed to rescue her instead of grabbing a camera, so no proof.
I will say, I was having a heck of a time figuring out what to do with her when I was trying to have both hands free. Since she’s old enough to want to have something to do, potentially able to crawl or roll off of surfaces, not completely trustworthy sitting upright without risk of falling over, and too big for the bouncer or swing, there’s not a whole lot of places I can leave her. I even tried setting her upright in her crib while I put her clothes away, but after a couple times of falling over and almost hitting her head on the back or side, or even her interest in pulling herself up on the front to see what I was doing, I decided it wasn’t the best play yard either (at least not yet). I guess we need a rug in her room… Right now it’s either the high chair or play mat or baby carrier.
I do love how she watches me and smiles back as I do chores, so I’m sure I’ll manage while she takes her time learning to sit up on her own. It’s funny, she can and has sat up for really long periods with no issue, can even lean way over in any direction and come back to upright, but when she gets excited is when she throws herself back and loses balance. So she does better when I’m not interacting with her. But I’d rather constantly sit her back up than not make her laugh or smile 🙂
Last night when it was story time we read one of Aria’s favorites, ‘Pat the Bunny.’ It has things like, “Judy can look in the mirror, now YOU look in the mirror”… Well one page has Paul’s face covered by a tiny square of fabric and you’re supposed to play peekaboo with him. The last time we read this, about a week ago, she finally got the reference when I lifted it and there was his face and I said “peekaboo!” She smiled and got excited and I did it a few more times before moving on. Last night when we got to that page she reached out and lifted it herself before I had a chance! So I obediently “peekaboo!”ed and told her how smart she is 🙂 Then we did it a few more times before she pulled the whole book into her face so she could taste the little piece of fabric.
The milestone markers are speeding up! I have a notepad on my phone to quickly capture when something happens so I don’t forget, and Feb has been a busy month! On 2/3 one tooth broke through, then about a week later on 2/11 another made an appearance. She’s starting to be able to pick up her little puffs and get them into her mouth..I’d say 2/15 was the first time she was accidentally successful at getting it from her hand to her mouth. On 2/14 she decided to make her escape from her play blanket…backwards.
I’m pretty confident that by the end of this month she’ll be fully crawling and picking stuff up with those tiny fingers and getting at least half of it into her mouth. She’s come so far with that already in just the couple of weeks since I introduced them to her.
Sooooo I guess we have to consider baby proofing…
Back stories for each big event:
I was at work one afternoon when Eric called with a calm, ” I think Aria has a tooth.”
“Yeah she’s chewing on me and I feel something jagged.”
Sure enough I felt it too when I got home. So excited but a little surprised at how little of it was there. I guess I never realized how much the tooth has to…grow?.. into place. Even now its not fully in place, just kinda poking out. So this was her bottom right tooth.
Aria was nomming on me one morning and it felt like the tooth was wider. I had a sneaking suspicion that it might be a second tooth, and sure enough, I got a peek when she was holding her mouth open waiting for a spoonful of whatever I was feeding her for lunch. So I called Eric to tell him the awesomeness. Now when she bites me (mouthing) it actually is starting to almost hurt a little..
Aria’s Aunt Bobbi gave her baby Puffs cereal things for Christmas and this month I started giving her some. At first she didn’t seem to like them all that much, squishing her face up and sometimes even spitting them back out. But now they are becoming the go-to when she’s crying as they make her go “waaaaaaaahhhhhhh…mmm.” She has so far only been able to get them into her palm, but from there can’t figure out how to get it into her pie hole. Last night she did though, which shocked me. I do think it was a happy accident, though.
So Valentine’s night we were all hanging out on the couch watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. Aria was in the L of the couch surrounded by pillows and blankets and toys, and enjoying herself. Later she decided she was squirmy so Eric put her on the floor. She sat there for awhile playing and eventually fell over. She fussed a tiny bit, but otherwise didn’t make a big deal out of the fact she can’t sit back up on her own. A while later we realized we hadn’t heard anything from her, and at about the same time we both realized she was not on her play blanket anymore…. she was about five feet away, on her belly, but facing it. We practically said to each other at the same time, “do you see where Aria is?” As we were watching she pushed herself further away and disappeared behind the sofa, now in the doorway to the dining room. I jumped up to grab a camera and Eric called his mom. It was all very slow, but it’s definitely the beginning of mobility!