Friday, September 24, 2010

The First Meal

Today was the day!

Caitlyn had her very first taste of solid food. Up until today all she's ever had is breast milk (BM) so this was a pretty big change for her.

On the menu:
Sweet potato a la creme (sweet potato with BM)

She did amazing, after a few minutes of uncertanty Caitlyn started to really enjoy her meal. I think this was the most fun I've had with her so far, it was wonderful to see all her reactions to this very new experience.

There are a few things I will change for the next meal of course as we're learning as we go.

I tried warming the food in hot water instead of using the microwave, that took over 20 minutes and I ended up still throwing it in the microwave for 5 sec. Next time I'll try boiling water or the microwave right away, unless someone has another idea that they wouldn't mind sharing.

When I made the sweet potato I pureed it with no water figuring I would add BM before feeding her to get it to the right consistency. Little did I know I would need a lot of BM to get the right consistency, next time I'll add the cooking water to make it runnier and save the BM for her cereal.

Overall this was great! We had a lot of laughs and a little mess so I would say it was a success. Can't wait until her second meal tomorrow.

Here's a video of Caitlyn's first meal. It started out at 24 min but I managed to cut it down to 10 min, I know that's still a little long but I couldn't bring myself to make it too much shorter. I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

6 Months Already

Wow, 6 months already!! This time has gone by unbelievably fast. I wanted to reflect a little on what I've learned in my first 6 months of being a mom.
  • I am capable of loving someone I hardly know with my entire being. Love at first sight isn't adequate to describe when I began to love Caitlyn, more like love at first pee stick.
  • I am capable of functioning without sleep. I may not always be in the best of moods, but I can function.
  • It's okay to be puked on as long as it is my daughter doing the puking. Spit up isn't nearly as gross when its your own kid's.
  • I can have entire conversations about poo and puke several times a day.  Same goes for breastfeeding, it just never gets old.
  • My proudest moment so far: meeting my goal of exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months.
  • My baby's smile is always able to lift my mood. I look forward to seeing her face light up every morning when I go to get her from her bed.
  • I had many opinions prior to being a mom that have totally changed: I don't put a blanket over my kid's head when breastfeeding in public, if sleeping in bed with me is the easiest way for us to both get some rest than I'm happy to oblige and the only person allowed to cry it out in this house is me.
  • My husband is wonderfully supportive and an even better Dad than I could have imagined or hoped for.
  • Cloth diapers are really easy to use and I'm so happy to not be using disposable diapers. I don't even mind the extra 3 loads of laundry per week.
  • I blow dry my baby's bum with every diaper change. I know it seems crazy, but I'll do whatever it takes to prevent diaper rash. No chemical creams on this bum.
  • Caitlyn's laugh is contagious and one of the sweetest sounds I've ever heard.
  • Take everyone's advice with a grain of salt and do what works for us. There are so many ways of parenting out there with no clear right or wrong answers, for the most part anyway.
    • Last but certainly not least, I was made to be a mom. I love being a mother, everything about my relationship with my daughter is amazing. I adore her and the time that we get to spend together and I can't wait for the next 6 months and the next 6 after that and after that, you get the point.  
    Afternoon nap

    The amazing smiling face that greets me after every sleep
    hanging out on her 6 month birthday

    Watching my daughter develop and grow has been amazing and I can't wait to see the changes that are to come in the next 6 months.

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    Growth Spurts vs Teething

    I look back on the early days of motherhood and remember going to the Dr for my well baby checkups. They are often very concerned about the period of PURPLE crying, they warn you that the peak of crying is usually at 6 weeks and don't worry it gets easier.  I don't think they considered teething!

    The past two days have been interesting to say the least. Caitlyn had her 6 month shots on Monday and since then she's been eating non-stop, sleeping more and crying a whole lot more. I don't know if we just hit the perfect storm of growth spurt plus teething or if its a side effect of her shots but oh man, I cannot wait to get back to normal.

    One thing I'm very grateful for is the hubby. Brock works all day and then comes home and willingly takes this crying child in his arms and cuddles her in an attempt to soothe her. Never any complaints from this man, just an honest attempt to help me out in the evenings when I'm the most tired. I love him!

    Given Caitlyn's mood there was no picture taking going on today, but I thought I'd share a little father/daughter action from the weekend. 

    Brock and his baby girl.

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Family Weekend

    Big weekend for little Caitlyn!

    She got to meet her Fabulous Cousin Leah and Steve and their daughter Sophie, Great-Grandma Van Der Molen, Uncle Bill and Aunt Shelley. It was beautiful to see her with all of her family.

    Leah and Steve live in England so Caitlyn won't get to see them too often, but I was so happy the girls were able to meet. Its fun that Caitlyn has cousins the same age.

    Here's some pictures from our weekend.
    My First time meeting little Sophie - she's 3 months younger than Caitlyn
    Sophie and mommy Leah

    She was very sleepy during our visit

    Caitlyn meeting her Great-Aunt Cindy

    Playing with cousin Liam

    Meeting Great-Grandma Van Der Molen for the first time

    Uncle Bill and Aunt Shelley from Kingston

    Grandma Metcalfe LOVES her granddaughter so much that she's willing to have her picture taken.

    Looking forward to a big week ahead. Caitlyn is going to be 6 months on Thursday and we're planning her first solid food for Friday. I'm getting really excited for this so expect to see a video or some pictures of the big event this weekend. I've been thinking about what to give her for her first food for a while now. I know the standard is usually baby cereal but I've been thinking about starting with a veggie, probably sweet potato. What was your first food or the first food you chose for your own child?

    On another note, Caitlyn had her 6 month shots today. Aside from being a little sleepy she's been really great all day. Only a few tears at the Dr's office :)

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Walking Season is back

    I know that as a Canadian I should be completely grateful for any summer weather because the season doesn't last long at all, however this year I'm so very happy for fall!

    I had high hopes to be out walking with Caitlyn everyday while on maternity leave however got a good taste of reality when we had what seemed like the hottest summer ever. Paranoid first time mom that I am I did not want to bring Caitlyn out in the heat or even the sun so we spent most of the summer indoors hiding out in the air conditioning.

    So imagine my delight now that the weather has changed, the humidity is gone and the temperature has dropped. Caitlyn and I can now enjoy the outdoors and walks that I was so looking forward to all summer long.

    Yesterday we hung out with our friends Alycia and Aaron. Aaron is the same age as Caitlyn and we met when both babies were admitted to the hospital for jaundice the weekend after they were born. We've kept in touch since then and have enjoyed getting together and trading stories about what the babies have been up to. It's so nice to have people around who have babies around the same age as Caitlyn. Not only will she have friends when she grows up but it's also great to have so many people around to relate too as I continue along the journey of motherhood.

    A crane hanging out in the river along the path where we walked

    Our walk tired her out
    Aaron hiding out in his stroller
    Beautiful even while she's sleeping

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    Domestic Diva Today

    Today I tried my hand at canning for the first time. Brock is on vacation this week and was home to watch Caitlyn all day while I hung out in the kitchen.

    On the menu: Canned Tomatoes. Thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law I had 2 big bags of fresh tomatoes waiting to be canned. This was my first attempt at canning so I kept the recipe pretty straightforward: tomatoes and a little lemon juice. Who would have thought it would take me over 6 hours to finish this little project. In the end I had 17 jars of tomatoes and 4 of tomato juice.

    Here's a little photo shoot of my journey today.

    Whoever said canning was cheap wasn't talking about the start up costs that's for sure. Here's my new stash of canning supplies purchased today.

    Jars, Canning Pot and Canning Tools

    Lots going on the kitchen. In the end I had a decent system, wash tomatoes, put tomatoes in boiling water, set kitchen timer for 1 min, wash tomatoes, remove tomatoes from hot water and place in cold water, add newly washed tomatoes to hot water, set timer, wash more tomatoes, remove from cold water and start peeling, when timer goes off remove tomatoes from hot water and place in cold. Repeat about 30 times.

    Busy kitchen counter

    Tomato peeling station
     Getting the jars ready to boil for 40 minutes

    The first batch of jars
    The finished product:

    My first canned tomatoes

    By the end of the day both Brock and I were pooped.

    Standing in the kitchen all day left me with sore feet, an aching back and an incredible sense of accomplishment.

    Taking care of Caitlyn all day left Brock yawning and I think with a greater appreciation for what I do all week while he's at work.

    Here's hoping these tomatoes seal properly and last long enough for me to use them all.

    Have a great day!!

    Sunday, September 5, 2010

    My Little Pumpkin

    Talk about a lucky kid! Caitlyn gets two Halloween's this year thanks to Grandma and Grandpa's trailer park. Lakewood Trailer Estates hosts a Halloween for the kids every Labor day weekend so we took Caitlyn out for her first ever Halloween.

    Everyone loved her costume and she got lots of candy that mommy plans to eat so she can enjoy it later in her milk :)

    Our little pumpkin

    Very interested in her candy

    Caitlyn thought her stroller tray was quite tasty

    Daddy's little pumpkin
    and my proud moment of the day...

    Caitlyn won first prize for the 0-5 year costumes
    Can't wait for the real Halloween, I've already got her second costume at home, and yes, I know my daughter is spoiled. I can't help it cause I love her so much!!