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.


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.


Follow Ups March 15, 2011

Filed under: baby,weight loss journey — hardierlime @ 3:50 am

My Daughter:

We will be going for her pre-op appointment tomorrow, her surgery will be on Wednesday, and her post-op will be on Friday. Those who do, please pray. Those who don’t, good thoughts, vibes, etc. are appreciated as well. Thank you.

My Son:

He is three weeks old today, and is doing great. We’re starting with some tummy time, and just enjoying each other’s company. That is when he isn’t being a bottomless pit. I kid, but there are at least 3-4 hours a day where I’m sure he’ll never finish eating. And then he’ll sleep for 4-5 hours and then go back to a 3 hour cycle. Until he wants to eat for 3-4 hours again. What’s odd is that it isn’t at night, like most books say. Its usually in the afternoon. Guess he didn’t read the books.

My Weight Loss:

I got as low as 223 last week and then I think I fought off mastitis. Chills, fever, pain. I stayed in bed all day even though I felt like I had a lot I wanted to do. When I got back on the scale, I was horrified to see it had gone back up to 228. I’ve been paying a little more attention to my intake, and my “official” post-partum starting weight, as of today is 225.

That’s 23 pounds down from day of delivery, and 80 away from where I want to end up. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’d like to be 200 when I return to work. Less would be nice, but we’ll see. I’ve got 10 weeks to get there.

Today, I also started actually exercising too. I unfolded the treadmill, and hopped on wearing my new Sketchers Shape-Ups. 20 minutes at 2.0mph @ 1% incline. I completed 2/3 of a mile and was sweating at the 17 minute mark.

When I was in high school, I was able to complete a mile in under 8 minutes. Will I get there again? I’d like to think so. I was able to complete a 5K two years ago in 43 minutes. Not the fastest time ever, but decent. So I know I have it in me to push harder. I just need to take it slow. I know I’m still healing.


Our birth story February 28, 2011

Filed under: active parenting,baby,not crunchy,weight loss journey — hardierlime @ 12:51 am

On Monday February 21, 2011, at 39 weeks and 4 days, my husband and I went to the hospital for the scheduled induction of labor so that we could finally meet our son.

For those who have opinions about inductions for convenience, you’re welcome to them. While my induction was medically indicated by high blood pressure that was no longer able to be controlled by medication, it was also more convenient as we needed to arrange for care for our toddler.

As it happened last time, we arrived at the hospital a little after 6 am, but I did not get started on the pitocin until a little after 7:30. According to the doc, I started the day @ 2cm, 50% effaced and a +3 station. Decent enough for a successful induction. Thankfully we did not need a nurse anesthetist to get the IV this time, but I’ve got one heck of a bruise on one hand from knuckles to wrist, due to a nurse hitting a valve in the vein. They used the other hand and I still have a little soreness there too.

This time we did not bring DVDs, even though there was a player and a TV in the room. My husband brought one of his manuscripts to edit, and I brought my Kindle. I know I read a little, and I know I napped a little, but unlike last time, I was not allowed to sit up straight propped up by the bed. Rather, I was relegated to resting on one side or the other. Both of which were very uncomfortable, but again due to my blood pressure, better for me and the baby. The contractions were manageable and regular, but unlike last time, I also had back labor.

Again, like last time, around 1:30, the doc checked me out and I was at 4cm, 75% effaced and a +1 station. Decent enough progress, and she broke my water. This time, my husband wasn’t in the room for it – he had gone to get some lunch. Unlike last time, however, while the baby was unperturbed by the induction up until then, as soon as my water was broken, his heart rate dipped down from the 130s to the 90s. Good that it was still there, but not a good heartrate for a baby still in utero. My husband got back to the room to see the doc and the nurse stabilizing us, working me back into a sidelying position, and pulling out the oxygen mask. I’m sure only a few minutes passed, and both the baby and I were doing just fine.

The harder contractions started coming in, just as they did last time. But, this time I worried about anything else disturbing our son’s vital signs, so I opted against getting an epidural. An hour later and even stronger contractions started rolling in, I decided that I wasn’t going to be able to stay conscious to birth him if I didn’t get one. I will not lie, the contractions were rough, and because I had back labor too, they were pretty much unbearable. I “vocalized” through most of them and was greeted to the news that the anesthesiologist was in the middle of a procedure and I would have to wait at least an hour.

And so I waited. And vocalized. And demanded to be allowed to sit up to deal with them. It didn’t help much, but at least being able to move to figure out how to be comfortable was better than nothing.

The anesthesiologist finally came in and unlike last time, when I was asked to scoot to the edge of the side of the bed, she wanted me to move to the middle of the bed to do the lean-over. But with the bed in sections, I wound up sitting on one of the sections so I couldn’t sit perfectly straight, and the contractions were getting ever worse. I couldn’t move through them, and moving when they weren’t coming was hell, since the symphysis pain I’d been suffering since week 17 or so had risen to crazy to match the back labor. It took three tries and 45 minutes for the epidural to be put in, and start working. So, in all I had about 3 hours of the bad labor. My husband was a real hero. He held my hands through each contraction, motivated me when I was sure I couldn’t move and moved me when I really couldn’t.

Once the drugs were flowing, I was much more comfortable. The contractions were still pretty strong, and I could feel the pressure start from the front and continue to radiate through my lower back, but no pain. At this point, it was 4:30 and it had been 9 hours since the induction started, and despite the doc being sure that this birth would only take 7 or 8, I was pretty sure even going in that it was going to get to the double digits.

The contractions got stronger and stronger, and like last time, started to hurt even through the epidural. I pushed the “more drugs please” button, and like last time, it didn’t do anything. So, anesthesiology was called in to give me the “push boost”. I started to feel like I really needed to push. But the doc was assisting another delivery on the floor that required a little more intervention than mine. The nurse checked me and told me I was at 9cm, so I needed to wait anyway.

Doc came in and let me know that it was time to push. She hadn’t checked me yet, but by all outward appearances, I was definitely ready. Fifteen minutes later our son was born. My husband cut his cord, and they went ahead and weighed and tested him. APGAR scores were 8 and 9, and despite her worries throughout the latter half of the pregnancy, doc assured me that the placenta hadn’t suffered any for my high blood pressure.

He was a super quiet baby, and didn’t make too much noise. Not a surprise, since he was super chill throughout the pregnancy. They only wiped him off a bit, and we were able to nurse for a bit. This was an extreme victory for me, considering that I could count on one hand the number of successful nursing sessions I had with my daughter. I also checked for a lip or a tongue tie, and it would seem that unlike his sister (who has a well defined lip tie), he has neither.

They took him to the nursery to get really cleaned off, measured and observed. In my birth plan I stated that I wanted him with me at all times, but they did need to do these things, so I wasn’t too worried. At the same time, my husband went home to get our daughter and my stepdaughter so that they could meet their baby brother.

So, fast forward almost a week, and we’re home and doing well. Nursing has had some rough times, and some really good times, and I’m really happy that we haven’t had to use any formula. But, I can see where it can be so tempting. We’ve had our first weight check, and he was down 12% from his birth weight of 7lbs 15oz, so we have another tomorrow to see if he’s gained over the weekend.

Now to the weighty matters. On Monday, I weighed myself before we left for the hospital. I weighed 248lbs, for a grand total of 43lbs gained from this pregnancy’s starting weight of 205lbs. Better than the 65lbs gained with my daughter, but not as good as I was hoping for.

I was discharged on Wednesday, and weighed myself on Thursday. 240. Disappointing, considering that told me that the only weight that I lost was the baby.

On Friday, I weighed 237. On Saturday, I weighed 234. Today, I weighed 233. If only regular weight loss could be this easy! 15 pounds in 6 days! I am logging my food and if I can find a way to link to it, I will post the link as a permanent link on this blog. I’m also counting a 300 calorie a day deficit for nursing. I’ve read in a thousand places that it can burn 500 a day, but I don’t want to bank on that.

I plan to set my “starting weight” a week from tomorrow – 2 weeks post delivery – where I can be cleared for some light exercise. My next post will come sometime around then.


100 Reasons to avoid Formula like the plague February 4, 2011

Filed under: active parenting,baby — hardierlime @ 7:38 pm

From “Job Description: Mommy”


My favorite reasons:

  1. Formula for one year costs in excess of $1200.
  2. Formula feeding costs the government and it’s taxpayers over $500,000,000 per year in formula given to WIC  recipients.
  3. Formula is often recalled for things like bug parts, to jet fuel.  Not kidding.  Breastmilk has never been recalled.
  4. Formula can become contaminated with bacteria.  Fresh breastmilk cannot.
  5. Formula feeding moms have to pack a bunch of extra stuff in the diaper bag when heading out and about.  Nursing moms, pack less.

There can be nothing to convince me that formula feeding is ever superior to feeding a baby as nature intended. Unless of course, it is medically contraindicated – chemotherapy in the mom, or other medications that are necessary for her survival but harmfully passed into breastmilk, or deadly disease which cannot be prevented from passing through.

But, ANY amount of mother’s milk is better than none, and every mom who has fed her baby even once with her own milk should feel proud that she tried. One whole day is better than one feed. One week is better than a day. One month is better than a week. Every bit helps and counts!