Life Lessons and Lactation Cookies for New Moms

Are we Baby-Led Weaning? September 12, 2011

Filed under: active parenting,baby,not crunchy — hardierlime @ 4:54 am

Short answer? Yes and no.

Long answer?

It turns out that Jacob absolutely loves spoons. Playing with them, banging them on things, and of course putting them in his mouth in an attempt to copy the rest of us. He also enjoys feeding himself. Since I don’t fancy cleaning up that much of a mess (I know BLW is supposed to be messy and fun), he is getting some purees and some handheld food.

First thing first, he was totally ready at 5 months. *I* wasn’t ready. So we waited an additional two weeks. His first food was steamed carrot, which was served both in baby carrot form, and smooshed up on a spoon. He liked it both ways.

He has had since then, in no particular order:

Whole foods:

asian style (spicy & gingery) chicken rice soup, broccoli, toast, multigrain cheerios, banana, oatmeal, blueberry, breakfast sausage (fed to him by his 3 year old sister, fished out before he could actually eat it), beet, peach, mango, apple, pear, papaya, kiwi strawberry juice (oops – I also found out that he knew how to work a straw too!), mashed potatoes – homemade with milk and butter, pork chop, grilled chicken, cantaloupe, spaghetti noodles from a stir fry, squash, peach, plum, green beans, rice noodles and homemade gnocchi (with chia).

Organic Purees:

Apple, butternut squash & carrot; banana, beet & blueberry; spinach, mango & pear ; Banana, mango & peach with salba.

We still have no food allergies. I still don’t have the patience to do the “wait 3-4 days” thing. I don’t love spoon feeding, but Jacob does. And if I can get one good eater, then I’ll be happy to give him food however he’ll take it. We’re still on one big solids meal a day – usually dinner, with a smallish snack earlier in the day. The rest of the time, it is all mama milk all the time.

We’re on the horizon of a (yet another) new way of eating. But the good news is that it is the whole family on board with the new eating, and I’ll have another post about that coming up including some meals that we’ve already tried and loved.


Two Weeks of Dukan and Kid Checkups June 29, 2011

Filed under: active parenting,weight loss journey — hardierlime @ 4:28 pm

It’s official. I am a Dukan Diet Convert. This week’s weigh in? 205.8


I am now at pre-(this past)-pregnancy weight.  Well, at least according to the doctor’s office. They recorded my pre-pregnancy weight as 206. Next stop, waving a (not at all) fond farewell to the 200’s. Then, working on pre-(my daughter’s)-pregnancy weight. That was 168.


Next topic: My kids doctors’ visits. My daughter at 3 years weighs 31 pounds. My son at 4 months weighs 16. Let it sink in…Yes, 16 pounds. I’m almost scared of how much he’ll weigh at 6 months, but suffice to say that as soon as he’s mobile, he’ll be able to sit on his sister. I love it! Not only because I know he’s healthy, but because we have been exclusively breastfeeding from the start. No formula. No solids. Nothing but my milk. That isn’t me bragging, mind you. Just proud of how well we’re doing.


And can I say how much I love our Family Doctor? When my daughter went for her 4 month visit, her pediatrician handed me a pile of feeding information. I told him that we weren’t planning on feeding her until she was 6 months old. He said “We have to give this out, because people are going to do it anyway and we need to be sure they have the info.” That was really strike one for that doc’s office, but I figured it was inconsequential at the time. In hindsight, it should have sent me away faster than when we actually left that office. Anyhoo, this doc not only didn’t even ask me what formula he was on (something the other doc’s office could never get right no matter how many times I told them “NO, my child is not on formula, thank you”), she didn’t tell me I could start feeding him solids. Not a peep. She did counsel us on our dairy-disliking 3 year old, so it isn’t as if she didn’t have an interest. It was that she saw him and didn’t even think to ask because she knew we knew what the ready signs were and that he didn’t have them yet.


Where is he right now? Well, he can sit in a Bumbo, and can sit in the high chair pretty well. He rolls like a champ, and scoots around by pushing himself forward with his legs. But he can’t sit on his own, and he still has his tongue thrust. Which means everything that I could coax in (because he hasn’t shown much interest in our food) would come right back out. My daughter was ready around 5.5 months, and had sweet potatoes as a first food. It was hilarious and fun. I expect the same for my son, except he might get carrots or bananas. I’m still deciding on what. What? No rice cereal or cereal in general? Nope. I think the stuff is gross, so if I’m not going to eat it, I’m not going to make my kids eat it. Plus I’ve pretty much come around to the idea that we’ll be baby-led weaning again. No jarred stuff, no slaving over a stove and the freezer making my own. Just fresh fruits and veggies prepared so that he can pick it up and play with it or eat it. I’m pretty excited.


Still working on my packing list for the August trip. Definitely sure that I will not do anything but gate-check the carseats. So, will need to figure out how to get everything through, including the umbrella stroller.


Just a quick update: May 28, 2011

Filed under: active parenting,life,recipe,weight loss journey — hardierlime @ 3:10 am

1. I’ve been back to work for two weeks now, and it has been interesting. I’m learning new stuff and getting up to speed. I miss my babies, but what mom doesn’t when she returns to work?

2. My daughter wound up with an allergy attack that morphed into an ear infection (the usual MO for drainage that happens before we can catch it) my second day back. We will be having allergy testing for her 3 year check up, so that we can pay more attention to what she’s actually allergic to, and not have to keep giving her Claritin or Zyrtec just in case.

3. I suspect that my son is allergic to the oatmeal I’d been eating to up my supply as he’d been snuffly with watery eyes for about a week, but it has been tapering off since I stopped eating it. I suspect allergies, as he had no fever at all, but he may have had his first cold for all we know. We will be doing blood test allergy testing for him at his 4 month checkup. We won’t be starting him on solids until he’s 6 months old, so it will be good to be prepared.

4. I had a radical shift in thinking for my future plans literally 3 days before the end of my leave. Suffice to say the full steam ahead superconductor train that I was planning on jumping on has become an Amtrak. I’m slowing down and doing what is best for my family. Granted I could get there quicker my original way, but at what price? I’m happy and at peace with my decision, and I will be ok if my plans need more time to mature. What am I talking about??? Everyone needs a 5 year, a 10 year and a 15 year plan. I’d like to just lay them out in 5 year chunks, and all of the blather in this bullet is just the first 5 years. I’m a year in so far, and despite the shift in thinking, I’m doing great for all of the milestones.

5. Quick Cocktail Recipe:

1 Italian Ice (I like pomegranate)

1 splenda

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 shot vodka

1/2 cup cold water

Mix until italian ice is melted and enjoy!

6. I’m gearing up for my solo trip with both babies. Once I have tickets and a car rental, I will lay out my plan here just like I did last time!

7. My goal weight for May was 200lbs, but my “I’m ok with it for now weight” was 205. This morning I weighed myself and the scale read 209. So, I’ve lost 39 pounds in 13.5 weeks. Its definitely slowing, and I definitely need to exercise, but the numbers keep going down, so I’m ok with that.

New Goals:

May 2011 (current): 209

Mid August 2011: 195

End December 2011: 175

End May 2012: 155


That’s my girl April 29, 2011

Filed under: active parenting — hardierlime @ 9:59 pm


When I look at my daughter, I see so many things. I see a funny and smart kid. I see her growing independence coupled with a sharp sensitivity and a healthy dose of perfectionism and determination. Add to that the normal almost three year old stubbornness and attitude. I see her crazy hair, her beautiful blue (sometimes green) eyes behind her glasses and a gap-toothed grin. I see her good heart and the fierce love she shines on all the people that make an impact on her life on a regular basis. It’s hard not to attribute everything about her personality and her looks to ancestry. Sometimes, I need to remember that while she’s made up of people that I know and love, she’s her own person too.

We are lucky enough to be able to have one parent stay home with the kids, and together we try to foster the type of learning that she would get if she had been going to daycare right off. She knows her letters, her numbers, animals and colors. She still uses some of the sign language she learned, even though she can now say the words. We try to go along with her interests as far as she’d like to take them. She has favorite shows, toys and games. We try to introduce more things for variety. She loves her alphabet blocks and her pink elephant, her wooden train set and her play kitchen, Thomas and Dora, Angelina and Word World, Cars and Tangled.

She has trouble interacting with kids she doesn’t already know. For this reason, and for preparation for school (in just over two years!), we’ve been thinking about possibly getting her started in some rec center classes soon, and preschool next year. Preschool and school scare me. Not for the academics, because I doubt they’ll be a problem, but for the culture. Yes, I’m worried about bullying, and yes I’m worried about peer pressure. Yes, in preschool.

I recently read a few chapters of “Cinderella Ate My Daughter” by Peggy Orenstein, and she described how her happy and confident little girl went to school on her first day in overalls with her Thomas lunchbox and within a short amount of time, began demanding a princess lunchbox and refusing to wear pants.

I can say honestly that the princess thing never hit me in kindergarten or beyond. What stands out most in my memory was NKOTB in 4th grade. I never listened to the radio, because I didn’t have one (another story for another time) so I never knew they were the greatest thing ever until all the girls in school started wearing band t-shirts every day and discussing their favorites – group members and songs. Luckily my best friend didn’t live under a rock, and I got to listen to them when we hung out. I started nagging my mother for clothing and music too. And I was devastated when my friend got to go to a concert, but I didn’t.

When I finally got a shirt, it was the best day ever because I could wear it to school and be cool too. Girls rushed up to me asking me which was my favorite. Not being as up on current events as everyone else, I wound up saying the name of one who wasn’t as cool/dreamy/hot as everyone else’s top two or three. Instantly, I was uncool again.

This wasn’t the only thing that happened growing up. Give me a school year and I’ll tell you how uncool I was. Finally, a few more things happened in 7th grade that solidified my understanding that going along with the crowd or wanting to be “popular” was stupid. I stopped trying and started to feel a little more comfortable in my own skin.

Picking up Ms. Orenstein’s book wasn’t a chance occurrence. As soon as we found out we were having a girl, I eschewed all pink and frilly things. I insisted on browns, blues, greens and purples. Her toys have always been a mixed bag, and given the opportunity to pick primary ‘boy’ colors or pink/purple ‘girl’ colors, I went for the primary colors most of the time.

It goes beyond colors, and choice of lunchbox, I know. Someone once asked me “What will you do if she decides that she likes pink and wants to be a princess?” and my answer was “I would support her, but it won’t be my fault.” And here is a disclaimer: I have no opinion about what choices people make for their daughters when it comes to all of this. If pink, frilly and princesses is what someone wants for their daughter, that’s fine too! My preferences for my daughter are not a commentary on yours. I don’t live in your house, and I don’t presume to know how and why you make the choices you do. I’m just explaining my own rationales. Mostly to get them out of my head and to examine them for myself a little more closely.

I follow many different pages on Facebook that advocate a broader perspective for girls including 7wonderlicious, Pigtail Pals and Princess Free Zone, to keep up on ways to make sure my girl always knows what opportunities are out there, and to have good ways to show her that princesses can be mechanics (like Queen Elizabeth was when she was a princess) or whatever else they want to be.

I know I can’t protect her from every hurt or disappointment, but I’d like to give her the the tools to help herself if she finds herself on the “wrong” side of the crowd. Most of all, I want her to grow to be who she wants to be because after consideration and logical examination she’s decided that it’s what SHE wants. Not what the media, her peers and anyone else (including me, eventually) may try to impress upon her.


What am I doing differently this time around? April 22, 2011

Filed under: active parenting,baby,not crunchy,weight loss journey — hardierlime @ 10:04 pm

This post was inspired by this post over at attachmentparenting.org about Resolutions for Baby #2. This is also somewhat in the vein of my previous posts about how we’re doing on broad topics.

I must preface this with the statement that I am NOT THAT CRUNCHY. I weigh things and prioritize, and do what feels and works best.

1. I am holding the baby more. My daughter, from her first night on this earth, preferred to be left alone to settle herself rather than be picked up and consoled. As she gets older, she still picks and chooses when she wants our comfort. So, I did not get to hold her as much as many 1st time moms hold their babies.

Also, this is my last baby. This pregnancy was hard on me physically, and I’ve always had a stance about a dependent-child free retirement. Since we’ll get there in 25 years (going by my husband’s age and the minimum retirement age in the U.S.) I think we have a comfortable buffer zone. If we waited a decent amount of time to have another, not only for my health and for good spacing, we’d not only be falling into age related issues in conceiving, we’d also run into the retirement zone.

So, as sad as I am about not having more (because when I was younger, I wanted LOTS), I’m content with two. But I am clinging ferociously to every moment of our time together. I’m making sure to imprint in my mind every new thing he does. I am appreciating my maternity leave not only because of getting to spend time with my son, but because I get to spend a ton of time with my daughter. I wouldn’t miss any of it.

But I am holding the baby more. Because they’re only this little for so long. And then they grow up before you know it.

2. Exclusively breastfeeding. There were many reasons why I exclusively pumped for my daughter, and I worried about not being able to breastfeed again this time around. I still have had to pump for bottles here and there, but over 8 weeks in and I don’t see us stopping until its time to wean. I even have a bit of milk saved up in the freezer, but nowhere near as much as I had with my daughter.

For my daughter I pumped for two years, and started Baby-Led Weaning at about 5.5 months so that I could be adherent to the WHO’s recommendation of exclusively breastfeeding until 6 months, and then having my milk be a significant portion of her nutrition until a year and a good contributor through her second year.

For my son, I plan to do the same. IF he weans in his second year through no intervention on my part, I’d be sad, but we’ll see.

Ok, so I don’t have seven, but for her list, I was able to stick to most of those the first time around.

Ok, stats.

Baby boy:

Birth: 7lbs, 15oz. 20″

Two months: 11lbs 14oz. 22″


Delivery: 248lbs

Today: 215lbs

The weight loss is slowing down, but its steady. I need to step it up if I want clothes to wear when I return to work next month though. 🙂


To BLW or not to BLW April 16, 2011

Filed under: active parenting,baby — hardierlime @ 5:40 am

That is the question.

Granted, my almost 2 month old is at least 4 months away from entering into the realm of solids, but the idea of transitioning to them is now not just a theory.

With my daughter, we BLW (baby-led weaned). I’m fond of telling people that she was fond of steak at 7 months old (with 4 teeth), and that my husband made ribs for her first birthday which she ate and enjoyed.

I’m also sad to say that somewhere around 18 months she just stopped enjoying a variety of food. Much to my dismay and chagrin, she began refusing her previous favorites, in favor of the limited list I’ve posted before.

She’s begun asking to taste food, only to refuse it when it is offered to her, but I’m going to count that as a step in the right direction. She will also cautiously sniff food that she won’t try. Also another tiny step.

I’ve theorized that she would likely be this way whether we weaned to purees or whether we baby-led weaned. Luckily she doesn’t seem to have anything but a milk protein allergy – which we will test out again after she’s 3 – so we had that option.

Enter the new kid. My son doesn’t seem to have any issues with the foods that I eat, which is a plus and an encouraging sign toward having the option again to decide whether to wean to purees or to BLW.

Please do not get me started on the ridiculousness of rice cereal. That stuff is like paste, and if I won’t eat something, I’m not going to force it on my kids – mixed into expressed breast milk or straight up.

Also, for those doing the math, I did say that I am waiting until he is 6 months old to see if he’s ready for solids. Of course, my daughter had her first taste of sweet potato at Thanksgiving when she was 5.5 months old. but she was definitely ready – she could sit up unassisted, tongue thrust was long gone, and she was definitely interested in what was on our plates always! Same goes for my son. He’ll likely be a few days shy of 6 months as well.

But back to the question. To BLW or not to BLW? One could argue that nature won out over nurture with my daughter, and that the outcome will not be the same for my son.

I LIKED BLW. I’ve described it as a gloriously lazy and easy way to transition to solids. Whatever we have – toss some easy to grab and handle bits to the baby and let her have at it! Also, we did not wait a few days in between single introductions of food – she got to experience meals as we did. It was truly awesome. I dislike the idea of spoon feeding and spending time away from my own food to spoon feed. But, I don’t dislike the idea of making purees, and in fact I think making my own would be kinda cool, so I guess that is what this post boils down to.

I’m leaning towards BLW, but I think I’ll open up the variety of foods even more than I did with my daughter. Sure she had steak, but she never had avocado. She had ribs, but didn’t see squash. She had apples, carrots, broccoli and grapes, but never an orange or a grapefruit. So, in a few months I’ll be chronicling our solid food adventures in addition to all the rest. I may change my mind again, but we’ll just have to see what time will bring.


Some parenting and life tricks don’t work for us… March 27, 2011

Filed under: active parenting,baby,life,weight loss journey — hardierlime @ 11:56 pm

My daughter is fastidious to a fault. She does NOT like to get messy/dirty/yucky. And she is a picky eater. I’ve posted before, but here is her list of foods:


Breakfast sausage, smoked sausage, chicken nuggets (except McD’s. She HATES them), hot dogs, kolaches, hamburger patties (on occasion), peanut butter (thin schmear on bread), scrambled eggs (sometimes)


Bagel thins (w/butter), Toast (w/butter), Bread from bread baskets at restaurants, Multigrain Cheerios, (Beef Fried) Rice only from our favorite sushi place, pizza crusts with no sauce or cheese on them


Apples, pears, bananas (sometimes), berries, grapes, carrots (raw), broccoli (steamed), french fries, hash browns (on occasion)


Goat milk, about 2oz tops at a time. She’s allergic to cow milk, and refuses all other dairy items.


Raisins, chocolate covered raisins, M&Ms (plain or dark chocolate), goldfish, crackers, storebought chocolate covered mini donuts, potato chips (plain only), tortilla chips (plain only), milanos (occasionally), chocolate chip & oatmeal raisin cookies (also occasionally).

This may seem like a lot, but for non-picky people who eat everywhere and almost everything, it’s a logistical and nutritional nightmare. She will refuse sauce, dips and anything messy. We do offer her our food all the time, and 99% of the time, she will refuse to try anything new, but that’s how we made the peanut butter discovery. She will not have jelly (too messy), and she doesn’t like to hold the sandwich herself sometimes, but it was a new food and we were excited. Forget about the “kids” menu at every restaurant though.

We did Baby-Led Weaning, and she loved steak at 7 months, and we had ribs for her 1st birthday. My husband is a great cook, so she tried everything and most things we put in front of her. And then somewhere, around 18 months, a switch flipped and she decided that she liked nothing else but what I listed above. So, she has had dinners of cereal and broccoli, and breakfasts of mini donuts and goat milk. We make sure the foods that she does eat have as much good nutritional content as we can find and that’s the best we can do.

The trick that won’t work for us? Hiding things in breading or in sauces. Also, offering things 15 times seems to not work. Maybe with my stubborn kid, it will take 45 or 150 times. My hope is that that switch that flipped will do so again, and she’ll rediscover that she likes food. She is still young, and can’t possibly eat this way forever. And for those who say “She needs to suck it up and eat, or you need to put your foot down and make her eat new things”? I invite you to try that for yourself.

I surmise that my daughter would have been picky no matter if we’d started on purees or BLW, so I don’t blame BLW, and will try it again. I look forward to when my son can “show up” his big sister by being a more adventurous eater.

The other trick? Couponing. I live in extreme jealousy of those who can slash a $100 food bill down to $4 just by using coupons against the grocery store. But, it only works if you actually use and ENJOY the products purchased for pennies on the dollar, and buy the food from a store that accepts not only the coupons diligently clipped from the papers, but those downloaded from the internet. We shop at Costco for diapers and food items that we eat a lot of, and we do save over grocery store products.

Though I said that we’re non-picky, we’re also varied in food tastes. When I by chance look at the coupons in the Sunday paper, out of 100 there, I see maybe three products that we actually use. And our local grocery stores, where we make mini food runs, or buy things either too ridiculous to get at Costco, or can’t be found there, do NOT accept internet coupons. And Costco doesn’t accept any manufacturer’s coupons. So, couponing is out. Which means, we need to be better at meal planning and budgeting when shopping. We’re getting there.

And just because I’m blogging, I thought I’d throw in a weight check. As of yesterday, I was down to 217. 31 pounds in 33 days. Pretty good.