Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy 6 Months, Baby Clara!

I know nothing about the fancy new camera I've had for 3.5 hours now, so these shots aren't impressive.... but I had to get some shots of my sweet girl on her 6 Month Birthday!

It's past my dinner-time, Mommy.

Um yeah... that's not Clara... but it's the best shot I've gotten yet with the camera so Bailey can have his fifteen minutes now :-)

Three things:

1. I almost always "warmify" (in Picasa) my photos. I like the old-fashioned look of that effect. The photos of Clara above were all warmified. The first photo was taken with a flash, and the others without. I think the flash+warmify combo is a bit sharper.
2. I need to figure out the ideal photo size for photos I plan to put on the blog. Sometimes reducing huge photo files a lot makes them look crazy. (In case you can't tell, I am not very tech-savvy.)
3. I hardly ever post twice in two days, so if you missed yesterday's post on baby-led weaning, please scroll down!

Now, for the updates:

I don't know how much Clara weighs, since we don't have a scale and she hasn't been to the doctor in 2 months. We're going on vacay next week, so she'll have her 6 month appointment after that. She wears 9 months clothes in Carter's and size 3 Pampers.

She sleeps an average of 11 hours a night without waking up. She takes 2-3 naps a day, varying in total length from 1.5-3 hours.

She's drinking about 32 ounces of breastmilk a day, and is offered solids twice a day.

Her favorite things are Daddy, the pets (who don't reciprocate), swinging at the park, baby-led weaning, and things that aren't toys (magazines, glasses cases).

She smiles almost all the time and usually giggles for us once a day. The sound of her giggling is so precious that I would give up wine AND cheese to hear it more often.

She is the light of our lives and we love her so, so much.

Happy 6 Month Birthday, BOOga aka Baby Bizzle!
Love, Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Baby-led weaning, days 1-3

Clara will be six months old tomorrow (and I am so sad at how fast time is passing, but that's another post). At her four month appointment, her doctor gave us the go-ahead to try solids if we wanted to. Between then and last weekend, she'd had bananas, sweet potatoes, plain baby yogurt, brown rice cereal, mangoes, pears, applesauce with cinnamon, carrots, and combinations of those -- all prepared to a puree consistency and fed to her with a spoon. I'd made all of her food (except the Yo Baby organic yogurt) and really enjoyed both making her food and feeding it to her. She especially loved the tangy yogurt with a bit of one of the fruit/veggie purees mixed in and was pretty cooperative with the spoon-feeding.... but then she started acting really interested in our grown-up food, and it got me thinking.

I'd heard of baby-led weaning but honestly thought it was a bit out there. On recommendation from another blogger, we bought the Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook (this was advised in lieu of the original BLW book, since it contains the same basic info. + recipes). After reviewing the materials from the infant CPR/choking class we took before Clara was born, we decided to give it a try - thinking "why not?"

Day 1 - We gave her large matchstick-shaped pieces of mangoes and apples. She quickly figured out that they were food and got them to her mouth. She was able to gnaw off some apple, but it eventually fell out of her mouth.

Day 2 - We gave her more apples and some whole grain cinnamon bread crusts. She loved and managed to gnaw off pieces of both. Not sure if she swallowed any.

Day 3 - Bananas (too slippery) and more bread crusts for breakfast. For dinner, she had pre-salted pieces of some of what we were eating (roasted yellow squash with parmesan, broccoli steamed in homemade veggie stock, roasted red potatoes with olive oil and rosemary). She loved all of it - especially the broccoli - and maybe even swallowed a little bit. (We'll see tomorrow. Ha ha)

She already knows veggies are best with cheese.

Broccoli is serious business. Seriously delicious business.
A few observations/facts:

1. She absolutely loves this way of eating. She's content in her high chair for the longest time!  I may still spoon-feed her yogurt once a day since it's so healthy and she can't use a spoon well yet, but other than that, we won't be spoon-feeding her anymore.

2. She needed a pillow behind her in the high chair to sit up straight/slightly-forward. This means we can't use the 5-point harness. I don't feel like this is a risk since we're right next to her.

3. The BLW people say this doesn't increase the risk of choking over the "normal" way of feeding babies solids, because their anatomy doesn't allow them to swallow chunks until they can first figure out how to chew. It hasn't been an issue for us, but we're staying vigilant nonetheless. I highly recommend an infant CPR/choking class if you haven't had one. It gave us some additional peace of mind before trying this method out.

(Apologies for the awful cell phone pics. My new camera is coming tomorrow!)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What really matters

Scott is playing in a poker tournament out of town this weekend, so Clara and I are enjoying some girly bonding time! I was planning to take a lot of photos this weekend and did so...until I had a complete camera meltdown this afternoon. %^%$#$*(!        I've never loved my camera (a Canon Powershot SX20 IS) because while it took DSLR-quality photos in bright natural light, lower-light photos were pretty dismal. And it was slow.  I don't know if the issue I experienced today is really a problem with the camera or just the memory card, but I found someone else online who'd experienced the exact same (very strange and specific) problem with the same camera, so I'm going with this being the camera's fault and upgrading to a DSLR (the only upside to permanently losing a ton of photos - sigh).
Toys are lame. Give me your magazine.
Luckily, I also took these cell phone photos today to send to Scott, so the weekend is still documented somewhat. 
How about a little less picture-taking and
a lot more Yum-Yums?
Having Clara has changed me for the better. I check my emotions when I'm around her, as I don't want her adopting my anxiety. Instead of yelling at the dog when he's being annoying, I lower my voice. Instead of totally flipping out about this camera issue in front of her, I stepped back and thought about what really matters. And that, of course, is not taking photos of the time we spend together, but the act of spending time together itself.
Hi Daddy! Win some money so you can
buy me lots of toys and Yum-Yums!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Though my (dismal) productivity at work is not to blame, I've felt so busy lately. Summer is almost over, and Scott will be starting night classes 5 nights a week in August. This means I will need to either go to work early so I can leave early, be super productive when I'm there, or plan on working at night after Clara goes to bed. Not a big deal, but I need a serious motivational kick in the rear to get there. In the meantime, we're getting ready to go to the beach and getting ready to put our house on the market sometime this fall.  I only think I'm busy now!

Mommy loves me so much that she's willing to show her frizzy weekend
hair to the world so you can see a cute picture of me swinging.
 Clara has started napping better during the day and also sleeping even longer at night. She always sleeps at least 11 hours overnight now.  This sounds great in theory, but it means I spend even less time with her, which is lame to the max. I've slacked badly on picture-taking as of late, and on organizing/printing her photos. I haven't touched her baby book in months. It's hard to commit time to those things that I could spend hanging out with her, and when she's asleep, I'm usually doing something else like blogging or planning her birthday party for January (embarrassing but true). 

 My stroller fan can't cool me down because I have my
hands in it all the time.
 So sadly, I only have a couple of photos from this past week.  I promise to reform!  We're probably going to move away from spoon-feeding purees and try some baby-led-weaning soon, so that should provide lots of interesting (and funny) photographic and video evidence for the blog. Oh, and I must capture how well she's sitting up now for y'all. It makes me so proud and sad at the same time!

Hope you're all having a great week!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Adventures in Solids

Clara has been getting 1-2 servings of solids per day for the past month. Likes: mangoes, mangoes and peaches, bananas, roasted bananas and pears, applesauce with cinnamon.  Dislikes: plain sweet potatoes.  Hates: brown rice cereal.

She always wants to control the spoon, though at least half the puree ends up in her lap or on her face that way.

 Today we tried baby yogurt for the first time, and it was a huge hit! I mixed YoBaby organic yogurt (plain) with homemade mashed sweet potatoes, apple sauce and a bit of cinnamon. It probably doesn't look very appetizing, but I tried it and it's quite good (and I hate yogurt).
Next up is an apple-carrot-mango puree (recipe from Weelicious). That sounds totally weird to me, but Clara doesn't know any better :-)

Grandparents' visit and another trip to the park

Scott's parents live 6 hours away, and get to visit Clara every month or two. They came last weekend for the first time since Easter and were astounded at her growth and how fun she is now.
 They brought a bunch of hand-me-down (though, like-new) toys from Scott's cousin's kids. Clara instantly loved this piano thing (obviously!).
Giving grandmother a big smile!

My grandmother loves to get down on the floor and play with me

Enough photos, Mommy.
Sunday after the grandparents left, the three of us enjoyed some quality time at the park.

I can't believe this doesn't scare her.... she's going to like The Scary Rides At The Fair like her Daddy!

Hope y'all are having a great week!


Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!

Today Clara went on her first picnic to LeFleur's Bluff State Park, a great park just minutes from our house where I spent many weekends as a child - swinging, flying kites with my dad, etc etc.  We met my friend Lisa of A Shower Fresh Garden there, and had a delicious spread of frittata, almond croissants, strawberries & grapes and mimosas (and a bottle for the baby, of course).

Hmmm.... why is it I'm in my highchair but I'm not getting any mangoes?

I brought her highchair - a Joovy Nook - but she preferred a blanket on the grass. (This highchair is awesome - I can literally carry it, unfold it and refold it with one arm, while carrying Clara and her diaper bag with the other arm.) 

Toys are for babies... I kept inching over and getting handfuls of grass and dirt to play with.

Miss 4th of July
Clara also got to hang out with her grandmother (my mom) this holiday weekend. A great chance to show off her patriotic outfit (and big smile). You may notice she's pulling her ear in this picture. Next post will be about that. The teeth are finally here! Or at least the bloody gums, ear pulling and hysterical crying that immediately precede them (yikes!).

Hope y'all had a fun 4th and have a great week!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Clara's First Museum, Trip to the Park and Overalls

There is still one more day to go of this holiday weekend, and it's already been filled with new adventures for Clara. Yesterday, we took her to the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science -- her first ever museum.
She loved the aquariums.

Dinosaurs interested her as well.

 They have a cool frog exhibit going on right now.

Checking out clawed frogs with Daddy

Calling frogs to hear their unique songs
Not too interested in Mommy's prize-winning photo!
Today, we met our friends the Thurmans at a great, free park about a mile from our home. It was unbelievably hot even mid-morning (the heat index here today is 105... I am ready to move to Alaska now), but we still had a good time. Clara and our friends' daughter Riley were slathered in my favorite natural sunscreen (California Baby SPF 30), and they didn't seem to mind the heat as much as we adults did. 

First ever time in a swing

I liked it!
(Cool insert is a Hugga-Bebe)

Another recent first? Overalls, courtesy of Uncles Bob and Jon!

Playing blocks with Daddy

Up for the 4th: Clara's first picnic.   Happy Independence Day, y'all!