Because I’m an Expert: Summer Toddler Supplies

I haven’t done one of these in a while. Obviously I’m joking about being an expert, here are my other posts: SUMMER BABY SUPPLIES, BABY FAVORITES, and NEWBORN FAVORITES. I’m not paid to share my thoughts on any of this stuff…unless you wanna give me something (;

It’s so funny how fast they grow out of their baby stuff. You think all the swaddles and gadget and nipples are sooooo important, and then you blink and they are a big kid and you can put all that stuff away. I will say there are a few items that we STILL use from last year, like our SPACE SAVER HIGH CHAIR which is so fantastic and we take it everywhere we go because Vada eats best in a high chair. We also of course still use our crib, and we still use our changing table/pad, and I still rock the same diaper bag. Other than that, we’ve upgraded or grown out of so much stuff. Some things that were pricey or our favorites we have kept for a future baby, but so much of it I have passed on to friends babies. We got so much stuff handed down to us, and I think it’s such a nice way to keep the giving going. I know when we have another we will be given more stuff. Like the swing we used for maybe a few months, we just borrowed it from a friend, then gave it back to her when she had another baby, it’s so much less wasteful.

Anyway I wanted to share some of our current favorite items as we move into summer.

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1. TODDLER TULA: We just bought this used from a friend and I am SO happy we did. We had a Boba 3G when Vada was born, and I really loved it, and we used it sooo much. It says the Boba can carry up to 45lbs on the back, but Vada is 31lbs and it was so uncomfortable and UN-suportive for her weight. I talked to a few friends about getting a Toddler Tula, and everyone questioned whether I would actually use it to make it worth the price. I ended up borrowing one for  a month from my local babywearers lending library, and was pretty sold on how comfortable it was. When a friend offered me a great deal I went for it, and I am so glad! We have used it so much in the last month. I’ve even started wearing her in places that I had stopped (like grocery shopping) because she is usually way more content in the Tula than on the ground or in a cart. Last weekend we went to a festival and she even took an hour-long nap in it. I know toddler-wearing isn’t for everyone, but we love it! Vada is super independent, and likes to walk (we really aren’t stroller people although I do LOVE our BOB) but sometimes mama needs two hands and to not have to chase after a crazy kid. I can’t recommend a Toddler Tula enough!

2. RADIO FLYER PATHFINDER WAGON: We were given this wagon, and ours has kind of a bum wheel from an adult sitting in it, but it still works great and Vada is obsessed with it. Mr. Gaunt takes her all over the neighborhood with it, to parks, the school, we took it to a parade, and the other day my mom and I used it to grocery shop at Cash N Carry! It has two seats, cup holders and seat belts so Vada and a friend can ride in it (way easier than a double stroller! It fits in the back of my minivan, it’s totally outdoor safe, and Vada has spent many an hour playing solo in it. I HIGHLY encourage this wagon for a toddler!

3. HONEST COMPANY DETANGLER & BRAIDING BANDS: Vada’s hair is finally long enough to put in piggie tails! I had been using some crappy pony tail holders from Clair’s, but when those ran out I bought these Braiding Bands from Amazon and they are soooo much better! I can often use them more than once if they don’t get lost, Even Mr.Gaunt can use them with his big fingers, a major win. The other thing I bought a while ago is The Honest Company Detangler spray. It smells like a creamsicle, and is the best to spritz on crazy bed head, or to dampen hair to get it easily into nice tight piggies. She actually likes me brushing her hair now, no pulling or rats, I love this stuff even for my hair.

4. HELLO HIGHLIGHTS FIRST MAGAZINE: Vada’s Nana subscribed us to these, and they are so cute and always perfect for what she is into. Lots of pictures of kitties and balls and blankets and sippy cups. There are fun little activities and songs. She often thinks the baby on the cover is her, it’s very cute. They are also durable so we can keep all of them. I think it’s the perfect gift for a first birthday!

 

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SWIMZIP & SUNSCREEN & SUN HATS: I’m so crazy about sun protection. Sunburns freak me out! My baby has skin like me, pale and pink, a bad combo for sun. I wont lie, I generally thing rash-guards are dorky. BUT I’m soooo paranoid about sunburns that I love this thing. I originally saw Swim Zip on Shark Tank (HELLO I LOVE SHARK TANK!) and it seemed really smart to have a full zipper on a rash-guard rather than struggle to pull them over their heads! I ordered mine Amazon Prime (FREE FAST SHIPPING) and we have used it a lot. I even throw it on her as a little light coat. It dries super fast too. I got a 2T and it fits Vada perfect (shes a 2/3t). This year we upgraded our sun hat to this Columbia Packable Sun Hat, and I love it. Its got UPF 50, and a good Velcro clasp and its wide-brimmed. We have always done sun hats, and we put it back on if she takes it off so she is use to it. I also think these are so dorky but so freaking fantastic. I don’t worry about her face, neck and scalp now. Lastly we have switched from Badger to Honest Co sunscreen. Partially because its cheaper and I get it in my Essential bundle, and partly because the Badger sunscreen is so thick it makes her look all white and greasy for hours! I much prefer the way the Honest Sunscreen goes on. So overall we are all sun-protected around here!

WATER BALLOONS: Toddlers LOVE water balloons! They aren’t quite old enough to realize they pop if you throw them, so it takes them forever to go through a bowl of them. They are cheap and so fun in summer weather! We bought a tub of 500 and I break them out any time kids come over.

SIPSSNAP LIDS: These are really fun and so easy to use. I ordered the three pack, and now I keep one in my bag, one at the restaurant and one at home. They are a stretch sleeve that pulls over any cup that creates a spill proof (not leak proof as they could shake water out the straw hole) lid for a straw to go in. Vada is really hit or miss on the sippy cup front, she MUCH prefers a straw or real cup, but she can’t be trusted. Plus now I don’t always have to worry about bringing a sippy cup everywhere. I’ve been really pleased with these.

SUMMER SHOES: We like shoes that can get wet, be washed and dry quick. Our go to shoes are our Natives, Salt Water Sandals, and Nock-off Natives from Old Navy (currently not available). They are all easy to get on, The Salt Water Sandals are so cute and can easily be dressed up with a cute dress. Keep in mind there are two kid styles of Salt Water Sandals, we got the ones with the thicker textured sole for traction. I hear crocs are great, but I don’t love the look as much.

That’s all for now. I battled my toddler for at least have of this post so I’m shocked I actually finished it.

On The Wagon To Fit Town

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You know when you see a photo of yourself and you go “nope! not how I want to look” well I saw like 20 of them, from our trip to the beach last week, and man would I REALLY prefer to look a little different.

I’m going to address something right now though, I do NOT hate my body, I do not hate how I look, or the extra weight I have on. I think I dress nice, I think I am a strong, attractive person who is doing the best I can, and who feels proud of herself. I do not have self esteem issues. I like women of all body types, big or skinny, I really could care less as long as you feel good about yourself, than Hoorah! for you! This post is not about me hating my weight (which for a long time I did), its just that right now it’s not working for me, so Id like to change it.

Clothing is hard to find at this size, and my legs rub together in skirts, my body doesn’t bend and stretch the way I would like, all those things that make a bigger body less desirable. So I’m going to change some things. I’d like to check in weekly, or every other week on where I’m at in my fitness goals. I joined a gym, I’m starting out slow, but I have the perfect time to go, after Vada goes to bed. I’m going to do cardio and maybe some strength training too. Lots of stretching. I’m trying to get out a lot with Vada and just MOVE my body.

I’m also doing MyFitness Pal to track my food and workouts. If I put it in my phone I’m so much more accountable for what I eat, what I weigh, etc. I’m not doing a specific food diet, just low carb/sugar, high protein and veggies. Lots of water, gotta drink more water.

So that is where I’m at. BODY POSITIVE but working to make my body fit my lifestyle more. Keep me accountable! (:

Raising Vada: The Long Days of Toddlerhood

vvvFirst off, I can not believe how much Vada has change in just 2 short months! I know part of it is her hair, which is growing like a weed…finally, but in the last few weeks she is looking so much like a big kid! She’s also acting so much like a big kid, full of sass and tantrums, but also really funny and quirky.

Here’s how things have changed over the last few months:

FIT THROWER

In the last month or so Vada has learned the fine art of a full on tantrum. Limp body, throw herself on the ground and scream. Preferably in Target, or at the Farmers Market, or anywhere that other people might have a proper view of her total meltdown. It’s a real joy. Seriously though, its FREAKING HARD. It makes me cringe and feel frustrated. I’m not exactly sure how to handle these situations besides A. Give in B. Haul her kicking and screaming away C. Distract/redirect…blah blah blah. We do all of the above depending on what it is. To be honest I try to let her do lots of things. She’s not interested in the stroller anymore so I let her walk everywhere, and I let get SO dirty, and stomp in ALL THE PUDDLES, and I let her eat shit off the ground and throw gravel, but that only entertains her for so long. Mostly she wants to hurt herself or destroy other people’s things, preferably both at the same time. To hell with toys and playground, she’s much rather climb on a strangers bike until it falls over on top of her. Shes not a sweet gentle quiet child, she’s a rowdy adventurous outgoing child who wants to explore everything and destroy her clothes while doing it. We are averaging at least 3 outfits a day right now. Part of me is so in love with her spirit, and the other part of me is flat-out OVER IT. I tell myself that she is learning, that she is not maliciously trying to exhaust me, she’s just testing boundaries and learning what she can get away with, whats fun, whats dangerous. All those things you have to learn eventually, but she’s going to do it full force, no tip toeing into the water, Vada is running into the water fully dressed, “screaming MAMA WAAWAAA!”

vvmThere are days where I drop everything, we pack our bags and leave the house and don’t return until nap time. These are the days where I make no plans, no play dates, have no errands to run, we just hop from the park to a walk in the woods, to lunch in the grass, I take lots of photos and do nothing but follow my busy bee around until she’s rubbing her eyes. These are our BEST DAYS. These are the days I don’t fight with her, I don’t text my husband in tears, I don’t let my house get destroyed (because no one is home, duh), but these days aren’t every day, they can’t be. I have a job, I have lots of errands for home and work, I have emails to answer and bills to pay and taxes to do monthly. I have dishes to do and bathrooms to clean and a lawn to mow. I have to grocery shop, and pick people up, and watch other kids. I have a very busy and very full life, and dropping everything to follow Vada through the woods looking for bugs and sticks can’t be every day. She doesn’t understand this, obviously, and she FIGHTS ME over every task I need to do. She hunts me down and clings to my legs and whines and thrashes and hurts herself anytime I look away from her. These are the WORST DAYS, where I want to give up, where I want to trade places with anyone who works full-time, where I am so angry and so over it, and am such a crappy mom. But I know this is our season, this is toddlerhood, and it is sooooo long and sooooo short, and it will change just when I get the hang of it. My baby is never going to learn to talk again, she is never going to hold an earth worm for the first time again, she is never going to have her first bite of carrot cake, her first stamp for riding on the mall train, her first pair of Salt Water Sandals ever again. So I will drink lots of wine and sob to my husband, and make lots of time for evenings with girlfriends, and I will document ALL the firsts, and ALL the sweet moments between the tantrums, and we will get through this stage and still love each other…mostly (:

THAT DIRTY CHILD

My kid is TOTALLY that dirty child. She’s messy as hell in everything she does. Her clothes are so stained with food and dirt and blood, and snot. She’s got a runny nose and chapped cheeks. Her knees are all scabs from falling down over and over, she never even cries or notices the blood. She’s got a fat lip and a nasty scab on her nose from falling off the patio table. We strictly wear shoes that can get wet and muddy, I collect them in the evening and scrub them and put them in the dish rack to dry for tomorrow. She’s got greasy hair from sunscreen and peanut butter. Her nails are too long even though I cut them once a week, her toes are filled with lint and covered in scratches. She eats holding her fork in one hand, unused, and shoveling food into her mouth with her other hand. She’s got a 2 inch blueberry stain around her whole mouth, crumbs filling her car seat. She’s taking her smoothie down the slide with her, chewing on sticks like a puppy, I’m fishing cigarette butts and snails out of her mouth that she’s picked out of the pea gravel at the playground. She woke up with a puffy eyelid and a sunburn on the tops of her feet, the ONE place I didn’t slather with sunscreen. Shes the most beautiful disgusting child I have ever met. ALL THE HEART EYE EMOJIS.

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A PICKY EATER

I’ll be the first one to say I HATE picky eaters, especially adults, I think it’s weird. I know that’s so rude of me, and who cares if people wanna be picky, but it’s seriously drives me CRAZY. If I raise a picky eater, I will have failed as a mother. Vada has always been a very adventurous eater, right from the get go she would eat anything. These days she has way more of an opinion. She would live off of frozen blueberries if I let her. It’s the only food I could bet money she would eat (besides ice, she’s happily trade in her mother for a cup of ice). Almost every other food is a real hit or miss depending on her mood. Some days she gobbles up all of her food, some days she eats nothing. I don’t worry too much about how much she’s eating, in fact I’m glad that she knows when she is hungry, and knows when she is not. I continue to offer her a similar amount at every meal, and she can take it or leave it. I also continue to offer foods that I know she probably wont eat: raw vegetables, salad, steak, because she does put them in her mouth, she tries them, maybe she eats a little bit of them, maybe not, but at least they are familiar to her, and maybe one day when she has more teeth or her palate changes she will eat them. I’d hate to keep vegetables off her plate because she doesn’t always eat them, because then they become foreign to her, strange, weird, yucky. By offering up all the foods I want her to eat, it allows her to have continual exposure, which I hope makes her more eager to eat them later on. We also don’t make her eat anything, sometimes if she hasn’t touched any of her food we spoon feed her a little and she likes that and will often happily eat a few bites, but if she shakes her head or pushes it away we stop. Her body, her food choices. I will say one of the bigger down sides to Baby Led Weaning is that she is really only interested in eating with her hands. This means she is super messy and very tactile. We offer a fork at every meal, and she tries a little, but so far she prefers her hands, and really who wouldn’t?

Recently I have stopped giving her fruit at breakfast and dinner, only lunch so that she doesn’t become full off of just blueberries. We are also still giving her two bottles a day (first thing in the morning and at bedtime), I know she’s old enough to stop using them, but I just don’t see a problem with it yet. It’s one of the last baby things I still get to do for her, rock her at bedtime in the dark with a bottle. I love it, it’s the perfect ending to crazy days, where it’s just me and my baby and she quiet and relaxed and she strokes my face and has her “bah” and then I lay her in her crib and she falls asleep. I promise to be done with it by 2. (: Another thing that continues to be a concern is sugar. We have let Vada have the occasional bite of sugar (home-made whip cream, a bite of carrot cake) but we still don’t allow her to have any regular sugar. No cupcakes at birthdays still, no ice cream, no juice, no cookies. She doesn’t care at this point, so it’s still working well for us.

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SHE’S SO VOCAL

We get this a lot, people commenting on Vada’s vocal skills. She knows a lot of words, and can repeat most words. I can tell she’s working on building sentences, but they haven’t come quite yet. She blabs all day long to anyone who will listen. She greets everyone with a “hi” and any time she sees someone putting on a “coat” or a “bag”, maybe a “pack pack” she yells “buh bye” to them. She points out all the “puppy, woof woof” “bird” “kitty, meow” “crow” any “baby” walking by, any kid is greeted and chatted at. She talks about animal sounds, about her “shews”, about “poopoo” and “potty”. She wants “water”, wants to “eat”, to have a “bite” of a “Crackuh” a “nack” “pwease” “tank yah” “here yago mama” she wants her own “cup” to have her “bib” put on so we can eat out “side” so she can “slide, wee, side, wee” she sits at the top of the slide and counts “one two weee” and slides down. She knows “eight, five” too. She kicks “ball” pulls “Avey wagdon”. She’s always excited to see any of us, and talks about all the people in her life, lists us in a row “mama, papa, graama, nana, avey, sister, puppy, eba” all she wants to do is go for “walk” pick “fower” and listen to “crow bird caw caw” watch for “car car” tries to open strangers car doors. If her “shew” falls off she promptly tells you “uh oh shew shew shew” until it goes back on her foot. She like to tickle herself “ticky ticky ticky” and give hugs “awwww”.

The words are endless, all the foods and books and numbers and colors and sounds and objects. We tell her everything we are doing, we narrate our lives to her and she repeats them back to us. She has begun to sing the lyrics of songs she hears in the car. When she is upset she spews a mumble of words we can’t understand with snippets of ones we can. She says the same jumble over and over exactly the same, she knows what she is telling us. We just don’t know it yet.

vvbTHE ENDLESS ADVENTURE:

We are busy busy GO GO GO. I don’t want to stay home all day and be miserable having to clean my house over and over and over. If we get out of the house then the house stays clean and Vada is so much happier. often this is just in the backyard, which we are putting a lot of work into. We have built a large play area (which I’ll blog about when it’s done) and put up a brand new fence! We have collected lots of balls and outdoor toys so our backyard is a big kid oasis that we love. Vada plays for hours by herself outside, its like a 180 from the way she plays inside, where she is clingy and needy and bored. Outside the world is our oyster and I get some space from her and she has fun. We also explore our town a lot. We have visited so many parks in the last few months, each unique, some better than others. There is a new “cool” park by our house, that I kind of hate. It is crowded, and there are too many big kids, too many bikes and roads and stairs to be dangerous. Vada wants to explore and not  just play on a playground. I have found other parks that are quiet and have grass and trails to explore that work so much better for us. I’ve also discovered that it works so much better if I don’t go to parks with other people. Vada is so independent, that it feels frustrating going with another mom, because I can’t talk to her, and our kids don’t play together. I LOVE having playdates at our house, in the backyard, but park adventures are best when it’s just Vada and I and no distractions.

EasterBunny

We went this year to the local apple orchard for Easter and Vada LOVED to pet bunnies and do the Easter egg hunt, which she totally got and thought it was so fun to find eggs and put them in the basket. Luckily Vada LOVES a big mascot, so she did great for the Easter bunny too! We celebrated Easter with some friends and she had so much fun running around their yard and blowing bubbles with Nana and finding rocks. We also have tried to keep swimming, we might start swim lessons again soon, but I worry about the schedule commitment. Vada is such a good swimmer, it blows me away. We took a  family vacation to The Great Wolf Lodge water park and she was awesome and had a blast. It was so kid-centric that she just ran wild and loved the water so much.

We like to take Vada to the mall to run around, it’s a fun open space for her to explore. We also love the museum, Perch and Play, anywhere that lets her be a kid. Eating out with her has taken a bit of a backseat, shes a bit too wild to sit in a high chair for long. We will probably be going to picnics in the park as the weather gets warmer. Our bedtimes have slowly crept back to 8 or 8:30 because we are having too much fun in the evenings with friends. I’m excited to do all the fun family summer things, but I have to remember that Vada is unique and that we need to do fun things for HER and not just for us. If we try to fit her into a box of playing with other kids nicely then we will be frustrated and disappointed. We need to remember she needs freedom, open spaces, less structure more exploration. I should make a reminder every day about this, lol, its easy to fight it. I also have to remember to slow down too sometimes, to blog, to take time for me. Mr. Gaunt is good about letting me get away with friends in the evenings after Vada goes to bed. He knows I need the break to keep me sane. I also have to remember to spend money on me, to buy myself new clothes, to be ok with putting on a 20 minute episode of Little Bear so that I can get ready without a screaming baby at my feet. If I feel good about myself then I feel good as a mother. Me First. (:

vvySo that’s where we are at. Our lives are so boring and so thrilling all at the same time. We are parents of young children, and I know that the only people who can understand how that feels are people who are currently going through it. As soon as it’s over you wont remember the struggle, you forget, you look at moms of toddlers who look so so exhausted and you think “I don’t think it was that bad when my kids were little” and it was, you have just moved past it, you don’t remember it, thank god. (;

PS: This blog was brought to you by a solid 2 hour nap. THANK YOU JESUS.

 

 

Raising Vada: 15 Months, She’s A Toddler?

v1Vada turned 15 months old on the 12th of February. Remember when she was just one? Ahhhh! Her brain is in super power mode right now. She is busy busy busy, chatting, singing, dancing, playing, exploring, eating, and soooo much sleep. Today Mr. Gaunt said to me “It’s so sad that she is going to grow up and be her own person and move away from us.” and it is sad. Every single day I think how freaking true that saying about motherhood is:

“THE DAYS ARE LONG, BUT THE YEARS ARE SHORT”

Every day that statement echos in my head. Those long whiney days where it’s a struggle to keep her entertained, to plan all the meals, to wash MORE dishes, to change a million diapers, fight naps, make messes, change clothes….” and then you blink and they are suddenly responding to the words you say “should we brush teeth?” and she runs to the bathroom and says “ahhhh” pointing to her mouth. Where she picks up a hairbrush and runs it through her hair. Where she pulls your high heels out of the closet, dusty, and slips her tiny feet into them “shew shew, bye, mama, mama, shew” and you can see her mind expanding as she grows and grows and grows. Like lighting. I was thinking today about how important it is to me to keep an updated log of her growth and changes, which is what this blog is for me, a glorified baby book. So here is what’s going on in our world.

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Working Mama:

I had to work a lot more in December and January than normal. We had some employee turnover, and some maternity leave, and vacations I had to cover. Vada went to a new nanny for a couple of months that worked out really well. Childcare is a HUGE pain in the ass. It’s so expensive, especially if you need part-time childcare. It’s basically a wash, what I pay out and what I bring in. It’s also hard to find people who you trust and are available for my somewhat unpredictable schedule. I could probably qualify for some state assisted childcare, but I do not have any desire to put Vada in childcare full-time. I want to stay home with her 80% of the time. I love to get away sometimes and I often need alone time to get things done for work or around the house, but when it comes to the day-to-day stuff, I want to be the one to teach her things. We have been really lucky to have had such great childcare. In both our nanny experiences I chose to have Vada go to someone else’s home, who also had children. This way it felt small and safe, but they were already equipped for babies, and there were lots of toys and other children to play with. I’m a HUGE advocate for exposing children to lots of people! Build trust away from mom, learn to share, to explore, to communicate with other people. I want Vada to feel safe without me, and to trust and respect other adults and children. Exposing her to lots of people has been one of the BEST decisions I have made with her. Anyway we are now taking some time to decide what kind of childcare I want, how often, and where she will go. I don’t have to have it right now, so I’m in no rush. I’ve also tried to be better with setting boundaries for myself, not take on too much and be really clear about how much I want to work. It’s really nice though feeling like I can take Vada nearly anywhere to be babysit and she will adjust fine. I know lots of moms struggle with STRANGER DANGER or their children simply being uncomfortable without them, this is not our case. Unless she’s crazy awful baby and her babysitters just aren’t telling us, I think she’s a pretty good kid and easy baby to watch.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my purpose in life, and my career. I’ve definitely decided that RIGHT NOW I’m a mom first, and everything else is coming 2nd. This is what I want, and what I believe is best for our family. I know that I am smart and that there are lots of work and creative opportunities out there for me, but right now my role is mama/wife. Let me be clear that’s not in some yucky 1950’s sort of way, its in a strong independent, I DO WHAT I WANT sorta way. (; I know there will be a time when all my babies will be grown and I will have time and energy and spark to do some great things in my professional life, but I’m not going to beat myself up that I want to take a step back from that right now. I’m not dead, I’m just being a mom for a bit. This has also relieved some of my anxiety about having a second baby. A second baby will be much less frustrating if I have fully embarrassed the mom roll instead of fighting it all the time. Let’s just get all these nursing/diapering/playdate days out-of-the-way in one decade. (:

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Talkin’ the talk:

Vada’s vocabulary is bursting at the seams. Besides her near constant baby talk rambling, she can say so many real words. As of 15 months Vada can say:

-mama

-papa

-grandma

-nana

-maggie

-ball

-slide

-jump

-bottle

-balloon

-straw

-help

-hot

-hello

-hi

-bye

-up

-down

-shoe

-pretties (necklaces)

-sister (Hula)

-eat

-no

-kitty

-puppy

-See Yah

-ice

-water

Plus she does signs for “more” and “all done”

She can also repeat things if we ask her, they just don’t always stick. And she can understand so much. The other day I asked Vada “Where’s your hair?” and she ran her fingers through her hair. If I ask her to sing, she will sing one of two songs “Hello To The Grandmas” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, if I ask her to dance, she will dance. If I ask for a hug or love, she will hug me and rest her head on my shoulder and give me a pat and say “awwww”. She follows direction pretty well, and understands “no”, and “follow me” “lets get jammies on” “do you want to eat”…the list goes on forever. I can’t wait until all her gibberish become real words. We try to talk to Vada all the time, repeat words a lot, not use baby talk. When her and I are running errands I narrate where we are going and what we are seeing or doing. I show her things and call them by name over and over. We try not to do too many flash-card style exercises, and are just letting words come naturally to her. She doesn’t know what a cow says because we flat out don’t talk about cows much in this house. She does however know how to get a paper cup and fill it with ice at the restaurant…priorities people.  It’s really a fun thing to watch someone learn to talk. Every single week she is saying more and more things and showing that she understands so much. I know everyone thinks their kid is really smart, but seriously folks…

v7

Bed Time, and All the Lies

I can’t believe how many people warned me about sleep, or lack there of. Even when Vada had proven she was a good sleeper, people would still say “it will probably change, be prepared, teething…blah blah blah” Its been 10 month since Vada moved into her crib, and 8 solid months of sleeping through the night. Since Vada hit about 11 months old she upped her sleeping to nearly 14 hours a night, and it’s stayed there. The girl LOVES her shuteye. She goes to bed at 7:30 every night, I rock her with a 6oz bottle, when she is done with her bottle I put her in her crib, awake, turn on her white noise machine and put a blanket on her and she goes to bed. Every single night. Am I lucky? Yes I suppose, but I also think that we made some choices for her sleeping, we didn’t coddle her too much (we didn’t cry it out either) and we really just trusted her to be ok in her room all night long. And she is, she’s the best damn sleeper of any baby I know. Shes also gotten really good at nap time. We can generally lay her down at 2 every day and she will sleep until 4 (MOMMY HAPPY HOURS!). She’s also proven that she can go to bed at other people’s houses just fine. In fact twice now I’ve put her down at other people’s homes and then woken her up around 1am, drove her home and laid her back in her crib and she goes right back to sleep, no tears. I think all this sleep keeps her happy and healthy and her mind open to growth. Sleep deprivation is so bad for you, sleep is your bodies time to rejuvenate! We recently went on vacation and I was so worried about the hotel room, where she would need to sleep while we were still awake in the same room watching TV. Vada did excellent, with the exception of night two she woke up at 5am and was up for two hours (we wandered the hotel) but then went back to bed for 2 more hours, so not too shabby. I guess my point is that don’t believe what everyone says. Kids CAN be good sleepers, just like they can be good eaters, and good socializers. Have faith!

v6

Don’t Feel Sorry For My Big Girl

Vada is big. She’s super tall, and sturdy. She’s 98th in height and weight. The doctors have no concern because her growth has been even and is proportionate. They say it will slow down, but at 14 months she was 30 lbs, and I’ve started buying 3T clothing. I know we live in a society where people don’t appreciate a big girl. They for whatever god forsaken reason think petite wisp girls are cuter, and sweeter, better? It’s sad, but it’s true, and its a stereotype that THIS FAMILY will not tolerate. We promote strong healthy smart nice girls, that’s what we care about. I will do everything I can to tell Vada every single day to be proud of her body, her strength, her stature. She is such a perfect powerful human being, and she will conquer the world in that big body. We are doing our best to show body pride, and to teach Vada how to eat well, and play hard. We will encourage her to play sports, to be creative, to dance, to perform, to express herself. We will teach her to respect her body and to respect other people’s bodies. We will lead with example, show her how wonderful a life, and how happy and loved and successful you can be in any body. So I hope other people will teach their own children that different is perfect too. I hope she towers over everyone, with height and personality.

v10The ‘Tude

Now that I’ve bragged about her sleeping and talking, lets talk about her attitude. One is a challenge. She has so many opinions, but she can’t communicate and she can’t understand me. It’s a constant battle of the “no’s” and the “please sit down” and the “no you can’t eat that” all day long. Vada has good weeks and bad weeks. Sometimes she’s mostly chill and we can go to the store and she will eat a little snack in the cart while I shop. Other times she will arch her back and twist around and scream and throw a fit until I let her out of the cart, only to throw herself onto the ground when I make her hold my hand. She wants to walk everywhere! But she still just rips stuff off of shelves, and goes up to strangers and asks “up” and eats shit she finds on the floor. She would throw herself into traffic if I let her. She also has days where its whining allll day long. Where her and I just battle each other on everything, and by the time Mr. Gaunt gets home from work I nearly sprint out the door to get away. It’s super hard sometimes. When she was 7/8 months old we could go to a restaurants and she would sit in a high chair and eat and be happy. Now she wants to get down and yell and grab things and drink our water and make a huge mess. We are definitely limiting the places we go now. She wont sit on my lap anymore, we get about 30 minutes of good behavior before she melts down and we both leave feeling exhausted and sad. The last month was SUPER tough, but then about a week ago she settled back into her mostly sweet self and things have been better. That’s how babies are, they go through these crazy phases and then one day they are back to normal, just in time for you to cancel those adoption papers.

So what is one suppose to do? I’ve read a bit about child discipline, and I have a pretty good understanding of what I want my kids behavior to look like. Yes Vada is a baby and babies do not understand or care about societies rules. She is here to learn and explore and no one is going to convince her that she shouldn’t. And that’s a good thing, I want her to be smart and curious and fearless, that being said, I don’t want her to be an asshole. We respect people and their things. We respect other patrons, wait staff, and property. We pick up our messes, we wipe down our high chairs, we leave if we can’t stop yelling. Vada needs to hear NO and to listen.  We try to get down on her level when she is frustrated and explain to her why we need her to stop doing something. We talk about how we are sorry she feels sad or mad or upset, but that sometimes we can’t act the way we want. And when all else fails we let her lay on the grown and have all her feelings out until she stands back up and is better. Sigh. Mr. Gaunt and I want to discipline her with education. We want to show her how to be a respectful member of society by making her understand the way things work. Is she too young to get it? Maybe, but if we start now, eventually it will make sense to her. As for us, we have to keep our cool, which is so so so hard, especially for me. I’m someone who doesn’t like to disappoint or upset strangers. I’m the mother picking up all the food she drops under her high chair at a restaurant. I’m the mother that will up and leave a store if my kid is crying. I’m the mother that apologizes and cancels play-dates if my kid is in a bad mood. So its hard for me to be patient and sensitive to Vada’s needs and struggles. I work really hard to keep a loving calm voice when she’s being crazy. Mr. Gaunt and I consistently talk about being on the same page with her behavior. We both agree that loving her and educating her will be our best bet when teaching expectations. We are not push over parents, but we are not jerks either.

v8

So here we are, in the thick of parenthood, and not feeling too bad about it. Vada is funnier than ever, and a total smarty pants (at least we think so). I’m looking forward to summer when we can get OUT of the house more without getting soggy soggy. We have HUGE backyard plans, and so many adventures (and alcoholic drinks) planned too! I hope nice whether will let her explore the world a little more, and make me feel less cooped up, less like a maid cleaning up after a tornado. Im excited for her to continue to learn new things, to impress me and make me smile. Happy 15 months crazy.

v9

 

2015 Goals, and how I never really accomplish much.

Lets take a quick hop back to the end of last year, and the goals that I wrote here. I just started thinking about this post a few days ago, and I honestly couldn’t remember if I had written any goals for 2014, so tonight when I pulled it up I was genuinely saddened. I had in fact made some goals, and I honestly didn’t accomplish any of them. A quick recap: I wanted to focus on my health, my job, my finances and finally take a family vacation.

I will say the one thing that kind of ties into these goals would be that after almost 9 years Mr. Gaunt quit his job and got a new job that will hopefully have more long-term opportunities for advancement. Mr. Gaunt also started DJing weddings, and worked his ass off this summer to make more money for our family. This of course helped our finances temporarily, but overall we are still in the same place. We are still living paycheck to paycheck, and we are still nowhere near even looking into buying a home, or a new car, which we so desperately need. I struggle with this a lot, especially around the holidays, especially with my own job and my own purpose, financial shit bogs me down. I feel lost, and ashamed that at 29 I am still not on a path to success. I don’t know why this is, and I don’t know why some people seem to find their path sooner than we have. I worry that things will never change. I worry that I will let the “not enough” cloud my overall happiness. I worry that I am not thankful enough for what we have, which is true, I’m not….add this to 2015’s goals, be more thankful.

Another thing that I didn’t work hard enough on is my health, and lets boil that down to my weight, which is up. I will say though that 85% of the time I don’t give two shits about my weight. It doesn’t define me, it’s not something I want to focus on, and I genuinely think the people who care about me don’t think of me as just a big body. I feel good about the lifestyle I am raising Vada in, and I will NEVER present anything but body pride to my kid. That being said, I’m not exactly thrilled when people tag me in candid photos on Facebook, and that suck, that is lame, that is not something I want to let ruin my day. I have no dreams of being thin, but I wouldn’t mind taking some weight off just so I feel a little bit better about the way I look. Physically I don’t feel too bad. Post birth my lack of ab strength and sore back from nursing genuinely felt scary. My body felt wrecked. Now I feel like myself again, I feel healthy, I feel like I have good digestion, that my body doesn’t feel too achy, that I’m generally in good health. So it’s a catch 22, feel good, look good, make changes, be proud. All that stuff is tricky.

One of my biggest goals of last year, in which I BOMBED at, would be finding passion and success in my business. I will say that the business is doing fine (anyone in the restaurant business understands what “fine” means) and we are busier than ever before. Our business has grown organically, and we have a great following. That being said, this business has been the hardest thing that has ever happened to my relationships, and my self-worth. I have never felt as crappy about myself as I have running this business. I’m in a constant struggle, there are just not enough words for me to describe it. I also have damaged a number of important relationships this year over this business. I won’t get into details, because it is overwhelming and too complicated, and would be a therapist dream to dig through. So what does this mean? Is it not working? Yes and no. It is what it is. We have learned so much about ourselves, our relationships, and what this sort of business requires financially and emotionally. The sheer time. It’s all been a really tough learning lesson. Are there good parts? Yes. Is this business the best path for us? I don’t know. There will always be more that I should be doing, I am never enough. That is the overall feeling of shame I get from the business. Morgan, you are never doing enough. You are not enough. Its heartbreaking really. I avoid talking about the overall struggles with people because it just isn’t worth it. There are many breakdowns, but the goal is to hold it together, to get through the days, to not focus on the struggles. Just do what you can, and let the rest run off your back. We are thinking about having more kids, the financial burden, the lack of space, time and energy are nothing compared to worry that my getting pregnant would simply me that I would be even less available to my business. That I would be even MORE of a let down. Would I be able to support that guilt? I don’t blame anyone but myself for this guilt by the way. These arefeelings that I have put upon myself and feelings I let my own mind drown in. It is me, and lord am I a struggle.

Now that I’ve been a total debbie downer about all my shortcomings this year, I will toot my own horn and say that I have done a few things right this year. These were not on my list, and yet they are things I need to share (with myself).

1. We’ve managed to maintain our home. This sounds silly for someone who is 30 years old, and should have been maintaining their home for a while now. But seriously the learning curve of accomplishing all our daily chores, cooking, cleaning, laundry, yard work…with a baby seemed really daunting. I bet this year my house has been cleaner and more home cooked meals on our table than ever before. I think Mr. Gaunt and I have really developed an ok system, and I’m proud of us.

2. I made REAL friends. THIS is a huge deal, I actually made some real friends that I spend real-time with this year. Do you know how hard it is to make real friends when you are a grown up?! I feel like this year, being a new mom, that I really needed a community around me that supported me. I feel like I put a good amount of energy into nurturing relationships, being social, getting together, going to play dates and trading childcare, being a good friend. It’s so hard not to be flaky, to just stay home every day, look at Facebook for socialization. But I succeeded, and I feel really proud of myself!

3. I made my social media a positive place for me. I deleted any and all groups that made me feel not good enough. I unfriended people that I was “hate reading” or that I found myself regularly wanting to pick fights with. I made my Facebook and IG very private and only approved friendships with people who really made me happy. I also stopped comparing myself to anyone. Social media does not make sad, it only makes me happy. I have a number of mom friends on social media that are so damn beautiful and positive and supportive, I love it. I feel genuine love and support from so many people who like and comment on my photos of Vada. I get and give advice. I share peoples causes, and promote as many local business as I can. I genuinely feel like I have developed a good healthy relationship with it all.

4. The BEST thing I did this year though, was raise Vada. I have put so much time and energy into being loving and patient with her (AND WITH MYSELF!) in this first year of motherhood. It has been so so challenging. Every day I wake up and I try to be the best mom I can be to her, and some days I’m a crappy burned out, kinda yelly, super annoyed mom. And some days I wake up and I am an adventurous, nurturing, goofy mom. I cut my self some slack though, and I know I’m a good mom. I know I am always there for her, and she is always on my mind. I have given her as many tools as I can to help her little mind grow, and as much love and joy as I can to blossom her spunky personality. Vada is seriously awesome, even when we have crappy sad days, she is still overall super awesome and smart and fun. I feel so much pride for her. She could not be any greater than she is in my eyes. I beam with pride for her, and I have to hope that I helped create that little personality.

With that, I’m moving on to my 2015 goals!

1. TO BUILD UP MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MR. GAUNT: phew, babies are hard on marriages! Also new businesses, money struggles, lack of vacations, job changes….my list could go on. Mr. Gaunt remains my best friend, but I don’t always treat him that way. This year I want to find focus and strength in his words, in his hugs, in his spirit. I want to speak kindly to him and about him. I want to have fun with him. I want to trust that he is doing his best, that his short comings mean no harm, and that he will always be there for me. I want to hear the good things he says to me and not just criticism. I want to date him. I want to me more passionate and more romantic. I want to build a stronger physical relationship with him. I want to strengthen the shield of our family, to always be a united front. I want to be proud parents together. I want to end this next year more in love with him than ever before.

2. I WANT TO NOT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT PUTTING FAMILY FIRST: Mr. Gaunt and Vada are my #1 priorities, and always will be. I need to let the guilt and judgment of others wash away. My JOB is to be a mother to Vada first and foremost. She depends on me for everything, and I need to feel good about that job. Being a mom is my choice, my current path, and what I am doing right now. I will not make Vada take a back seat to anything else. Mr. Gaunt and my relationship is the backbone of our family, and it needs to be strong. I can’t let outside relationships interfere with our bond and strength. I want to feel pride in my family and in my role in our family. I may not work as much, make as much money, look as productive as other people, but if the year ends and we are all healthy and happy and thriving, then I know I did a good job. I need to temper my constant guilt about all of this.

3. BUILD A BEAUTIFUL BACKYARD: I have so many goals with our yard. I want to replace the fence. I want to build an outdoor play area for Vada and friends. I want to plant gardens, and beautify my yard so I can throw my sister a beautiful bridal shower. I want to do a small vegetable garden too. I also want to not be self-conscious about my small old house, and actually invite people over this summer to enjoy backyard parties. Cocktails and babies playing, what more could you want?

4. TAKE 3 MINI VACATIONS: It’s hard for us to spend a bunch of money and do a big vacation, so I’m trying to be more realistic and plan 3 mini vacations. In February we are going to The Great Wolf Lodge for two nights. In May I want to take Vada for a long weekend to Portland and do a bunch of fun kid things! For our 4 year wedding anniversary I would like to take a trip to the coast with Mr. Gaunt and Vada for a few nights.

5. GET OUT AND DO STUFF: Like lots of stuff, festivals, parks, ballgames. All the stuff. We love to do fun things, and I love sharing stuff like this with Vada. We did pretty good this last year, so lets keep the momentum going!

6. Be healthy…yah know, try to. (:

I leave you with our 2014 Christmas Card

Gaunt Xmas Card

Raising Vada: Eat All The Food

I’ve been meaning to talk about Vada’s food eating for. like. ever.

You know I love to take some photos of food, and share recipes, and promote healthy-ish eating. Kid nutrition is probably in my top 3 “causes I bitch about” along with yah know, gender equally and LGBTQ rights. It’s something that OBVIOUSLY not enough people research or put time into, and I think it’s so so important. Proper nutrition and good eating habits will shape Vada’s long-term health, so we are on top of it!

(WARNING, I’M CLIMBING ON MY SOAPBOX)

Before Vada was born I researched Baby Led Weaning (which I wish was called something else, because it has nothing to do with weaning) it’s the method of feeding babies solid food, that the whole family is eating, instead of purees or baby food. Basically they eat what you eat, maybe softer smaller pieces, but they learn to gnaw and suck and chew real food. I watched a ton of YouTube videos and read a lot of Pro and Con (and the in between)  blogs about it. I also researched what kind of foods babies can have, what are allergens we should watch out for, what were good starter food, easy and nutritionally dense. I also researched when to start solids, how that effect nursing and milk consumption, and all that good stuff. I like to research, and I really don’t understand people who don’t when it comes to their kids. That probably makes me sound kind of snotty, but its true. RESEARCH WHAT IS BEST FOR YOUR KID! Don’t just buy whatever is at Target, or use whatever you mom and grandma used, don’t do whatever it is your doctor tells you. I hate that so many pediatricians tell people to start with rice cereal, what the hell is nutritional about rice cereal? Nothing! Its total processed crap! There are so many better option, and I think its parents responsibility to research that stuff. Be informed. Know better, do better. Feeding kids healthy food is NOT one of the mommy-war points, it’s not breast milk vs formula, it’s not organic vs not, it’s not baby wearing vs stroller, it’s not even vaccination vs not. No one can argue that they are against healthy food, there is no argument. So get the sugar and the processed foods out of your kids diet, really don’t ever let it be there. Get it out of their lunchbox, out of their birthday parties, and out of their heads. KIDS ARE SUGAR OBSESSED, unless they don’t even know what candy is. This is a battle I’m willing to fight. When Vada goes to a new nanny the first thing I say is “She doesn’t eat any sugar” bam, conversation over, its pretty clear. If Vada goes to birthday party, she’s not getting a cupcake, sure I’m the mean mom, but she’s 1, she doesn’t even know or care as long as she gets some food, and I ALWAYS have a healthy snack on hand. Not that Vada hasn’t had sugar, she has. I gave her a marshmallow to sit on Santa’s lap. I’ve also given her a little bite of pie and whip cream, and she had part of a rice krispie treat at her birthday. This is because as important as I believe the no-sugar rule for children, I also know I can’t be perfect forever and always, and that sugar is part of our culture, and I don’t want her to miss out on some of those fun things. But again, she’s one, she doesn’t even know or care, so until she does care, nope no cupcake at birthday parties, no juice box at play dates, and no candy at Halloween.

So now that I’m done bitching about what I don’t let Vada eat, lets talk about what I do let Vada eat, and ways I avoid junk food with her. We started Vada around 5 months, in hindsight I might have waited until 6 months, but I’m not getting worked up over it. We started with occasional tastes of food every few days. At first I watched for allergies, but I didn’t wait a week between foods because she has never shown any signs of allergies, and no one in our family has food allergies, so I was pretty lax about it. First foods we did were banana, hard boiled egg yolk and avocado. I gave her hunks that she could hold and eat with her little hands, or that I could help her take a bite.

vada eat 1FAVORITE STARTER FOODS:

-Hardboiled Egg Yolk

-Steamed (very very soft) broccoli

-Canned (homemade, no syrup) pears

-Avocado

-Homemade Sweet Potato Fries

-Mum Mums (store-bought snack food. So easy on the go!)

-Hummus

Once Vada got some teeth things change a bit because she could take bites. This made things a little scarier because she could bite off chunks of vegetables instead of just sucking on them. It also made things more fun because she stated to learn to chew! This opened our food world up a lot. We also stopped worrying about allergies as she had shown no sign to any of the danger foods. We also started letting her eat whatever we were eating at restaurant, like sushi, ribs to chew on, anything she hold on to and gnaw on. Vada has only ever choked on a tortilla chip (and that was like 2 weeks ago!) she was not a gagger, and had she been I may have had a harder time with this feeding method. Please research the HUGE difference between gagging and choking though, they are different things, and one is normal and safe (Good job, get the food out!) and one is scary and dangerous (do you know how to clear food from a choking babies airways?)

vada eat 2FAVORITE FOODS 8-9 MONTHS:

-Salmon

-Scrambled Eggs, hardboiled eggs

-Sweet Potato

-Peaches, plums, banana, watermelon, berries…etc.

-All cooked vegetable: peas, beans, asparagus, broccoli, etc

-Squash

-Turkey or shredded chicken

-Hardboiled Eggs

-dried fruit (no sugar added)

-Lara bars.

By 9 months I decided to start making sure she had at least 2 meals, if not three meals a day. In hopes to comfortably wean her (from using milk as her main food source. I don’t encourage weaning from the breast until you both are ready) around a year. This was a little challenging for me, because I don’t always eat 3 meals at the same time, I found it easy to forget to do a meal, and because she was still getting enough milk to really sustain her, it wasn’t like she would go hungry if we skipped lunch. So I tried to adjust our schedule and focus more on meal time. I got a small divided plate and made sure she has lots of veggies, fruits and meats, and would let her feed her self completely. She loved it!

vada eats 3

FAVORITE FOODS 9-12 MONTHS:

-Everything. Seriously, everything.

-Kale, Collard Greens, Spinach (sauteed)

-Homemade pizza

-Ground turkey, meatballs

-Eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, grilled onions

-Apples, figs, grapes,

-Wafles, pancakes (topped with cinnamon and coconut oil

-Brown Rice, pasta, beans, quinoa

-Fish, meatloaf, gyros

-Grilled cheese, soup, tacos

-Plain Greek Yogurt

vada eats 5 vada eats 4

Now at 13 months, Vada eats it all. We waited until a year to do any honey or peanut butter. She now sometimes has a peanut butter (or almond butter) and banana on whole wheat sandwich, which is easy and fun. She can drink smoothies too. I try to do plain greek yogurt a couple times a week, but I wont lie, Ive NEVER spoon fed her so I find the process of spooning her greek yogurt to be terribly boring #lazymom . Sometimes I just let her eat yogurt or applesauce with her hands, whatever. We’ve also given her tuna, and egg salad, which were both a hit. We sometimes do convenience “kids food” too, here are some of my tips for things like that:

NO SYRUP: I do not put any sweetener on Vada’s waffles or pancakes. When they are warm I smear a little Organic coconut oil and do a shake of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice on them. I sometimes add banana, pumpkin puree or pear to the batter to make them more interesting too. You can also top them with unsweetened applesauce or yogurt and berries.

NO JAM AND HONEY: Both are basically sugar, and right now she doesn’t have a sweet pallet, so she doesn’t care if things are sweet. Vada is happy to eat plain nut butter, or plain yogurt. If I feel like making yogurt more interesting I will put some thawed frozen organic berries in it. For nut-butter sandwiches I throw thinly sliced banana or pear on it.

NO JUICE: Vada only drinks Organic Whole Milk and Water. Sometimes I let her have sips of my sparkling water, or I squeeze grapefruit into her water, or float some frozen blueberries, but 99% of the time she is happy with water. I make sure she has water all day long at her disposal.

NO CUPCAKES: At birthday parties, if everyone is having cupcakes I’ll give Vada at Lara bar, or an organic fruit leather. At her birthday I made sugar-free banana muffins topped with cream cheese mixed with a little honey. She loved it.

NO KIDS MENU: Kids menus are awful! AWFUL! They usually offer buttered noodles, mac n cheese, grilled cheese, chicken strips, or pb&j. Total GARBAGE! There are a few restaurants in town that have awesome menus. Boundary Bay has the BEST I can get a piece of salmon, grapes and mashed potatoes for Vada for $5! A lot of restaurants that serve breakfast foods have good options. Eggs and steamed veggies, or a kids teddy bear pancake (hold the syrup and powdered sugar). I hate when I go somewhere and ask for steamed veggies, or Avocado, or whatever, and they act like I’m crazy and offer me nothing. I am 100% willing to pay for food for my kid, you should have at least SOMETHING I can feed her that isn’t cheesy bread. Gross. So I try to have healthy things on me. String cheese, cut up fruit, some leftovers, just in case.

SPICES AND FLAVOR: I’ve never thought babies needed bland food. I don’t give her things that are super spicy, but herbs, and spices are so fun and wonderful! This is a great post on how to spice up your babies food with mint and vanilla, and ginger and garlic, and ALL THE FLAVOR!

WEIRD VEGETABLES: Vada doesn’t even know that “kids don’t like their vegetable” why would she? At every single meal I offer vegetables. There isn’t a single vegetable I wouldn’t offer her unless it is too spicy (jalapeno, etc) or too hard (raw carrots, etc) or raw (lettuce and other raw vegetables she struggles with). Vada eats dark leafy greens sautéed and cut up small at least 5 times a week. She eats onions, and beets and peppers and eggplant and all the vegetables you are supposed to “hide” in kids foods. Nope, not hiding them. They are a huge focus of our meals, nothing to hide, we enjoy them, we appreciate them. She doesn’t know any different.

Now we are working on silverware, and real cups. They are messy, but she loves practicing. I’m hoping her love of good food grows and grows. Right now I wouldn’t even say she has a favorite food, she loves all food. She loves to sit in her high chair and be apart of meal time. She doesn’t throw food on the floor, and although she is messy as hell, she eats so much. Plus she is tall and healthy and strong and so so smart, so it must be working. I cant recommend enough offering up all kinds of “adult” food to your baby. Throw away your own preconceived ideas about what kids eat, about what you didn’t like as a child, about what you like to be sweet, those are things you have learned over a lifetime of eating, your baby doesn’t have any ideas about that stuff. They are little sponges that will love and absorb what feels good to them, and I promise a healthy diet, and healthy offerings will create a healthy eater. I know some kids aren’t very interested in food, or go through periods where all they want is noodles, but that doesn’t mean you cant keep offering good foods. Picky eaters aren’t going to starve themselves (please note the importance of researching eating disorders! And keeping on top of a possible resistant eater).  Give them time, and options. I read somewhere that its a parents job to decide WHAT a child eats, and its a child job to decided HOW MUCH. Keep that in mind, and happy meal planning!

A few blogs i love about healthy eaters:

What Marlow Eats (Oh Dear Drea) Great for Vegan and Veg families!

100 Days of Real Food: School Lunches!

My Lovely Little Lunch Box: Baby Led Weaning Recipes

Raise Healthy Eaters