Homemade

WIC and 7 month food list

We visited the WIC office today yesterday.  I love the county health department, awesome folks!  I also like WIC for the services they provide – weight & measurements, answering basic questions that your doctor never takes the time to address, etc.  Not a huge fan of the coupons, mostly because there isn’t much we can use & I tend to buy non-WIC stuff… like almond butter* v. peanut butter (though sunflower butter* is far better & hella cheaper) and absolutely no hydrogenated anything.  I also forget to take the packet with me & just end up handing the coupons back.  I’m lucky if I remember to bring my cloth bags when I shop, heck, I’m lucky if I remember to put my wallet in the diaper bag.  I do like the produce coupon, $10 can go a long way for fresh fruits & veggies if you buy smart.
*You can basically make nutbutter from any kind of nut/seed if you just chop it & grind it enough to make the oils come out and emulsify.  You don’t have to add anything.  It’s a lot of work, which is why we don’t really do it much today, but Once Again Nutbutter is local – and NOM!  How to make it  You do need a good food processor, which I don’t have, which is why I buy the jars.

Anyway, he’s at 8% for weight & 10% for height, and on the breastfeeding charts he’s 50% height-for-weight, which is awesome.
His now former doctor had me absolutely freaking out about his weight, even though I knew he was on his curve & perfectly fine.  Hopefully NewDoc will be better.
WIC dietitian was thrilled with our food intake.  She says she wishes all her clients would eat the way we do.  She also reassured me that the baby weight will eventually come off, and no, I don’t need cholesterol medication, just go for a walk with the kid every day and eat sensibly; no I’m not going to drop dead tomorrow.  Apparently FormerDoc is horrible for ALL of her breastfeeding mommies and apparently we’ve all been frustrated/infuriated rats jumping off that sinking ship.  So, stay on course with the breastfeeding and homemade foods & maroon the doc on a rock.  My husband has a bit of a joke that goes “What does Dr. — say?  Quack! Quack!”
The kiddo is also talking, a few words here & there – so WIC lady says – because we don’t employ the mouth plug.  His binky is a toy, like all other toys, not a pacifier.  We do use the binky on long car rides, but he’s actually happier with the Links attached to his straps because he can’t lose them.  He also likes having a cup where he can reach it to drink.
The MommyWalkMe thing is good exercise.  He’s really REALLY crawling as of this morning.  Not just 2 scoots & done, but distances of 2-4′ then a sit-down, then 2′ more.  Easier on the knees with pants, so I’ll have to make sure we stuff him in them, not just a onesie or diaper cover.

WIC – totally awesome program.  Have I mentioned how awesome WIC is?   WIC is awesome.

 

At 7 months, here is his food list:  (we’re at 8 months now, but this is what I had typed out).

JR’s Food List
Fruit:
Bananas
Applesauce
Pears
Peaches
Apricots
Prunes (1 tbsp ONLY)
Tomatoes

Grains:
Oat Cereal
Cream of Wheat
Soft Bread
Naan bread
Pancakes
French toast bits
Bread pudding

Vegetables:
Sweet Potatoes
Peas
Carrots
Squash
White potatoes
Cooked celery
Cooked onions
Asparagus
Summer squash
Green beans (mixed w/ other)
Beets (mix w/ applesauce)

Meat:
Salmon (oat cereal & carrots)
Turkey (mix with veggie)
Beef broth
Chicken (mix with veggie)
Venison
Egg yolk (whole eggs are fine, mix w/ banana)

Beans:
Tofu
Humus

Juice:
apple juice w/water

Dairy:
butter is OK

 

 

No

Fruit:
Avocado (2 yrs- allergic)
Berries (1 yr – safety)
Grape juice (Puke)

Grains:
Rice (9 months – tummy upset)

Nuts:
Peanuts (2 yrs – safety)

Dairy:
Yogurt (allergic – 1 yr)

Other:
Honey (2 yrs – safety)

 

 

Dandelions Are Edible

Dandelions are edible

Hello Tasty Flower

So it’s spring here in West Podunk NY (lovely- really it’s pretty enough to make a calendar photographer cry tears of pocket change) and our yard is basically composed of wildflowers… if we lived in the burbs they’d be called weeds but we never have to water our lawn; let’s hear it for tried & true vegetation… but no mater what you want to call that greenery – purplry? Whitery? yellowblossomsofnummygoodness?, my kid is going to eat it.

Dandelions are tasty

Nom nom tasty flower! Daddy ate one too.

Honest to God I have uprooted and Googled more flora in the last month than I did when I was studying herbalism 300 yrs ago.

Yes, dandelions are edible.  No, you may not eat 5 at once.
Clover is fine.
While purslane should be OK, kid you only weigh 17 lbs, so no.
Violets are cool.
Pansies are nummy
DO NOT EAT THE DAFFODILS NONONONO!
The roses aren’t blooming yet, but he can chomp on the petals when they do.
Lilacs smell and taste delicious – go for it.
No tulips. (they are yes/no sorta edible, but I’d rather he skip them)
Grass?  Really?
Thankfully by the time he can reach our (edible) day lilies they will be done blooming… One flower might survive the grazing habits of my pint size son.

Now, the downside to this floral binge that it has put the whole 4-day-wait food schedule in disarray.  I have things like “dandelion” in the slot where “white potato” should be.  Grapes got put on hold in favor of lilacs.

So, all that scheduling angst aside, it’s horribly cute when he goes tripping outside towing the Mommy Walker behind him, then does a dead stop&drop to nosh on one of those delightful yellow weeds that my father-in-law tries so hard to irradiate in his own yard… in these parts we just enjoy the sunny view & blow the seed heads in the wind for wishes! (or my kid tries to eat those too)…

 

Oh, I forgot to mention, all that chewing on chewy dandelion heads has helped break a tooth through.  Thank You!  We’ve been waiting for that sucker since he was 3 1/2 months old!  Now if the other 3 would come in we might get a break from the Mr. Droolbuckets for a bit.

Homemade Children’s Books

(This is a bit of a cross-post, plus a little).
Original post at http://artbeautyandwell-orderedchaos.blogspot.com/2013/12/cloth-book-for-baby.html

cloth book

NOM cloth book!

Cloth books from the store range from $8-$30, and our Puddin’ Heads are going to gnaw on them, drool on them & probably puke on them.  If you are crafty and want to bulk out your baby’s library with some “made with love” books, here are a few options.

(0-2 yrs. estimate)

Pick a theme:
Colors, numbers, a nursery rhyme, animals, an activity (playing with a ball, eating), etc. and go with it.  Keep it simple.  Don’t fret.  Kids this age just like colors, contrast, things to touch and most importantly, things to chew on.  As long as everything is secure and there are no choking hazards it’s all good.  Double-stitching is good.

For the colors book, I used scrap fabrics in colors and little sections of lace or ribbon and sometimes a shape or two.  I tried for some texture but not a lot.  For the numbers book I just wanted enough contrast between the fabric & the number to be able to see it.  The flat binding was not my favorite.   For the cardboard texture book I used a lot of glue & some duck tape (more texture!)

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Colors book:
Each panel here is cut 7×7, made up of different fabrics, lined with cotton for more bulk and it helped reinforce the squares.  I made binding strips for the spine, then stitched right sides together with the binding strip flipped to the inside, clip the corners, turn and topstitch.  The binding strips were sewn together in nice sloppy lines.  Pin those buggers, that much fabric likes to squish and slide.  This is my favorite type of cloth book binding as every page opens evenly, the adult has something to hold onto and it’s kind to your sewing machine.

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Numbers book:
No lining (didn’t turn out as well as the color book), used the buttonhole setting on my sewing machine with a regular foot to applique the numbers & counting shapes.  There are turning tabs made from ribbons that he totally ignores.  The pages were “stacked” in order open in the middle, sewn flat to their counterpart (5/6, 4/7, 3/8, 2/9, 1/10, f/b), then layered right sides together (cover + 1/10, 2/9 + 3/8, 4/7 + 5/6) , stitch-clip-turn-press-topstitch and then all re-stacked & stitched down the middle.  I won’t do it this way again as it makes the book difficult to handle and always opens to the middle pages (5/6).  My sewing machine also complained.(9/10 not shown).

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The Texture book:
I used old Macy’s boxes from Christmas for this, but any clean cardboard box would do.  Cut them to size, marked the middle, glued random texture things on the pages, then glued the pages together & pressed them between 2 phone books.  Once the book was assembled, I rounded the corners and added a duck tape binding over the spine for ease in handling and more texture.  He pulls things off once in a while, but I just set them aside & glue back on later (or throw away).  The fuzzy fabric & tissue paper are favorites.  He also likes the corrugated cardboard.

Pre-printed cloth books:
You can also buy pre-printed cloth books from quilt shops, etc.  He has The 3 Little Pigs and one on Animals in Antarctica (that I’ve yet to sew together, hurum-um).  These actually end up costing more than store-bought books once you figure in the book fabric, interfacing & other materials, but they have the words and the instructions right there, and anyone who can operate a sewing machine and iron can make them.

Paper books:
You can also print paper books for your slightly older kids out of cardstock, or have them printed in a local shop or online store.  Snapfish & a few other photo printing sites do a great job (not cheap, but worth it for an individualized story).  Laminated pages would make a good cleanable toddler book.  Binding can be anything from staples to tape, spiral or even stitched.  Because kids like simple stories & smaller books, you are looking at maybe 10 pages front & back.  If you need to save on ink, do black & white line illustrations.  I highly recommend scanning in & printing any original drawings while reserving the “master copies” for when the current book gets munched.  Please be polite and don’t steal stuff, this is a great opportunity to write original stories for your children, take advantage of it.  Another option is to use their own drawings and paintings as the illustrations, but take care here because art is precious to children.  Before you do this, get their permission and respect their rights as artists, same as you would an adult.  (This may also be an option for out-of-print books that are too damaged to continue reading, but please check with the publisher first.  Some things are in the public domain, others are not).

Cloth Diapers

Let me just take a moment to say AAAAAHHHHHRRRGGGHHH!  And Yay!

Which sums up cloth diapering.  It’s awesome and confusing, and frustrating, and great and he’ll be potty trained before I get the hang of it.
If you want to learn about what diaper systems are available (ha), go to Mother Ease website.  They have the clearest summary I’ve seen so far (not a product endorsement, though I do like the product).

The saga thus far:

Pocket Diapers, NB
We started out using the Babyville diapers that we made with many changes & adjustments.  These are a pocket diaper or 2 piece diapering system with a PUL cover & stay-dry liner sewn together and an insert that is removable for washing.  The supposed leg gusset is great in concept, but is rendered useless by the absorbent layers being outside of it.  One touch of cotton onesie or bed sheet & it’s Soggy City.  Also, I-Hate-FOE.  Fold-over elastic wicks “water” like nobody’s business, making the diapers leak like a garden sprinkler.  The “right sides together & turn” version is the one to go with here.  Hands down, it’s the better design.  Make it front or back loading (for the insert) and you’ve got a decent diaper.  It’s also much more affordable, about $4 cheaper for materials than the FOE style.  Aplix (velcro) for NB up to 4-6 months is perfectly fine.  After that go with the snaps because the little darlings learn to take that off & they WILL finger paint (avoid the patterned snaps – they break, go for the smooth ones).
OK, so that was great.  We used them for a week or so & he grewIMG_4039 out of them.

Babyville Pocket Diaper

Original Babyville diaper with the liner & kinda leg guards that totally don’t work.

Altered Babyville pocket diaper

After saying to myself “self, that won’t work” I got to altering. Back loading, no more leg guard & in the final version I nixed the FOE and added velcro covers.

And we had a gap.  The Mother Ease that we had purchased (used) didn’t fit my skinny baby at that point, and I was still clueless about how the prefolds worked.  In fact, the prefolds my husband’s grandmother made for us (beautiful, using now) I honestly thought were burp cloths.  We used disposables, Target’s Up & Up and Premium Diapers, Dollar General brand – awesome diapers BTW, few leaks, very few blow-outs, no diaper rash, no latex, no dyes, no perfumes, biodegradable though not advertised as such, super-affordable – same diapers different packaging.

IMG_0746

Which brings me to… Mother Ease!
It’s a 2 pt. diaper & cover system, so you need the absorbent diaper and a fitted cover.  I do not yet have the covers.  So I can‘t really give you a good review.  But they FIT him now!  He’s 6 months old & 15 lbs.  They fit him OK at 14 lbs, but being totally clueless I didn’t realize we needed a cover & needless to say there was major leakage.  People who use them love them.  They are bulky, which is the only downside I can see, but less bulky than the prefolds with an insert.  (hiatus from these)
Update: We have the covers!  We got the Airflow covers, which are uber-cute and very, very bulky.  Forget slender pants with these babies.  However they are awesome and it’s a great opportunity to have your kid wear all those shirts he otherwise would not ever get to wear.  Most onesies fit over them, but not all.  It’s a good heads up on which ones will be outgrown soon.  I love the 3 snap adjustable leg & waist, which do not have to match up to work, which is good because my kid has killer thighs & a teeny tiny waist (gee, wonder where he got THAT from?).  No complaints, just be aware they are work-horse diapers, and not subtle about it.

Tiny Tush!
So, after using disposables for several months,  I bought some Tiny Tush Perfect Fit diaper covers because I got tired of trying to make something that fit this child (whole other saga – you try finding time to sew with this kid.  I mean, I’m a seamstress for goodness sake!  You’d think I could manage a simple diaper cover.  Apparently not with MommyBrain, it’s like sewing while drunk.  And with a kid crying?  Neurons scrambled like eggs I tell ya).
Anyway, Tiny Tush!  Made in USA! Fabulous.  I bought 4 covers to use with my prefolds & flats.
I’m still not keen on the flats, but like the prefolds.  I’m a bit clumsy with the snappi closure, but have the pins down pat.
So, again, a 2 pt. diapering system, the prefold & the cover, and a closure – snappi or pins.
Put the prefold on, with the snappi (which should be much tighter), then snap the cover closed, tuck any diaper bits in & wa’la! Diapered kid!
The leg gussets are awesome (they work), and it fits over any flat or prefold.  They do not fit over the Mother Ease, unfortunately, so I will be ordering from that company soonish.  He can sit like a champ in them, but the prefolds are bulky between the legs.  He doesn’t complain at all.  I change him when he’s wet, usually every 2 hours, but I check more than that.  Poo was not a problem, even the sticky ones dumped out in the toilet and a little swish-n-spray took care of any ickiness. Usually he’s a solid poo kind of guy, so no big deal.  Wash prefolds on hot, dry hot, no problems.  When it’s above freezing (ha) I’ll hang them out in the sun.  (Sun?  I’ve forgotten what that is).
I think I have about 15 prefolds & flats, which is enough to get me through a day & a half (this child doesn’t wet at night, how lucky can I get?).  As any number of people change his diaper, it’s anyone’s guess if he’s in cloth or disposables, but I’m a fan of the Tiny Tush diaper covers either way.  They’ll keep any kind of diaper on without aid of a onesie, which is awesome in my book, and he gets to be “nearly naked baby” which thrills him to pieces.

Update: More of the same really, but we are about 40/60 between cloth & disposables.  I’m really the only one who is interested in the cloth diapering, so it is what it is.  He’s cool with it either way & still loves his diaper covers.

So, there it is.  The diaper saga so far.
Really, if I’d heard about it before all this began, I’d have tried EC (Elimination Communication or Baby-led Potty Training).  I find that fascinating, but my 6 month old is a bit confused by the idea.

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Prefold diaper with Snappi closure

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Tiny Tush Perfect Fit diaper cover closed