Lesson #149: Woah! What happened to April?

While thinking of an idea for a friend’s baby shower, I began to think about my blog. Where the heck have I been? Uninspired – no way! Mila keeps me entertained for sure. Yup, she’s bewitched me…

Lesson: Sometimes you just need to get carried away in life.

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And have fun.

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Lessons #144-146: Back to Food

This seems to be a common theme with babies and toddlers. Here are a few things I’ve learned in the past couple of months.

  • Your food will never again be yours. You will share everything you have only because your baby wants it simply because you have it.
  • First you can’t eat because your baby is screaming for your attention. Then you can’t eat because your baby is screaming for her own. Finally, it gets to the point that you can’t eat because your baby is screaming for your food.
  • Eat the same thing as your baby. Unless you like sharing most of your meal or you don’t want to eat it.

Ew, Gross!

Why would you give your child something that you wouldn’t even eat?

Now don’t get me wrong, I prefer not to eat brussel-sprouts, however, I wouldn’t stop Mila from eating them – or anything that was good for her. However, when it comes to processed foods, I’m not a fan. I prefer to give my child foods that I prepare fresh whenever possible.

I was given a few containers of toddler prepared meals* and thought, oh what the heck, let’s try it. Mila wouldn’t touch it. She turned her head and yelled, “no-no-no!” So, I gave it a shot. Wow. It’s gross!

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*Really, how can this food be any good when it’s sitting on a shelf for who-knows-how-long AND doesn’t need refrigeration?!

Bananas for Bananas!

June 17, 2012 11 months, 3 days

June 17, 2012
11 months, 3 days

By this point there’s no surprise that my daughter likes fruit. Mila took a bite out of a nectarine before I could get it from her at the supermarket, she munched on apples, pears and peaches when we went picking, she went silly for strawberries and now she’s bananas for bananas.

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She loves walking around with a peeled banana and her cheeks puffed out with a mouth full. Try to take her banana away and she screams. She loves them so much, she starts to eat the peel if you can’t get to her soon enough.

November 5, 2012 Almost 16 months

November 5, 2012
Almost 16 months

But what you may not know is that Mila also likes lemons. Yup, lemons. She’ll make faces, but she’ll keep going back for more. If Mila sees you have a lemon in your drink, she’ll point and ask for it, “peeeass”.

This is just one of the many times she’s encountered a lemon, (September 23, 2012 / 14 months, 9 days).

Revisiting Lesson #120: SILENCE ISN’T ALWAYS GOLDEN

Remember this post? Yup, it doesn’t end. I was cooking the other day when Mila got real quiet. I went looking around for her, only to find a pile of shredded cheese surrounding my daughter and this shoved in her mouth.

November 5, 2012 Almost 16 months

November 5, 2012
Almost 16 months

Mila is getting so tall, and I forget this sometimes, that she actually reached up onto the counter and grabbed my cheese. I guess she was hungry.

Lesson #128: Win One, Mom

Some lessons never go out of style.

Remember how I “tricked” Mila? Yep. Apparently, you can do that with solid food, too.

I have been having a hard time getting Mila to eat vegetables. She loved ’em then didn’t. So, today when I already failed with broccoli for lunch, I took what she didn’t eat and tossed it into her scrambled eggs.

Oh yeah, Mila ate her broccoli today.

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Update: Attempted the same thing with the zucchini she didn’t eat at dinner last night. As long as it didn’t fall out of the egg (or she didn’t spit it out), this worked, too. Not as well as the broccoli, though.

October 18, 2012
One year, 3 months, 4 days.

Releasing The Dreaded Bottle

At Mila’s 12-month doctor’s appointment we were told that now is the time to get Mila off the bottle. By 15 months, she should no longer have the bottle at all.

Not only was I flabbergasted by this bomb that was dropped on my reality, (add to that the fact that I’m processing the fact that my baby is now a toddler), I was also told that I wasn’t giving Mila enough calcium. I thought that eventually I would have to ween her off the bottle, so I started to drop the number of ounces I was giving her. Big mistake. I was giving her 9 ounces a day when she should have been getting 16 to 24 ounces. Whoops.

So, I’m determined to correct my error and progress my baby into toddler-hood – kicking and screaming* if need be. I gave Mila a sippy cup full of milk the first few days and she denied it. A big ol’ fat FAIL. She wouldn’t take milk out of anything but a bottle. I tried a different kind of cup, separated her cups, even – juice in sippy cups, milk in cups with straws, but still she wouldn’t bite.

Pffft to bottles!
July 26, 2012
One year, 12 days.

I upped the amount of milk I gave Mila and kept trying to get her to drink out of anything but a bottle. Then one day I cheated. I added a little chocolate powder to her milk. Holy smokes, you’d think it was golden milk! She gobbled it all up. Ok, win one mom.

Great, now I had Mila down to a sippy cup of milk in the morning and a bottle of milk at night – totaling 16 ounces, (she was also getting yogurt for breakfast and cheese snacks to add to her calcium intake). I admit, I wasn’t too anxious to get her off her nighttime bottle. It was part of our routine and I was scared of the consequences: Would she go to sleep? Would it take me an hour to get her down?

So I passed on this and at Mila’s 15 month check up, I confessed to the doctor only that she was still on her bedtime bottle. He urged Mila (uh, me) to get off the bottle completely. So starts the next phase of the dreaded bottle…

Day one: Dan attempted a sippy cup of milk at bedtime. Mila took one sip and tossed it aside. She went down to sleep easily, probably because she was so tired.

Day two: I gave Mila her final milk of the day just before dinnertime. Probably not the best idea since she didn’t eat much during dinner. I gave her a bath and when Dan went to put her to bed, I suggested reading her a book to make up for those few minutes she would have been drinking a bottle. My intention was to calm her into sleep. It seemed to have worked, (knock on wood). It wasn’t quick. It took Dan almost a half hour between reading the book and getting her to finally relax enough to drift off.

What I’ve learned is that everything leading up to this point is what really matters. Getting Mila used to falling asleep by herself really helps when you don’t have a bottle to fill her and drift her off to sleep.

Hopefully this all gets easier. The real challenge will be when Mila’s not with us and we can’t see if she’s getting a bottle of milk or juice.

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*Mila didn’t kick and scream. I did. I may still be kicking.  

Lessons #124 to 126: Food, Sacrifice & Unchanging Eating Habits

#124: It’s difficult to eat when your child is screaming. “mo, mo, mo!” for her own food.

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#125: No matter how much you are enjoying your dinner or dessert, you will give your last bite to your grunting, open-mouthed child.

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#126: You’ll give up things you love for your child.

I gave up beer while I was pregnant. And I give up all my chopped pork in my pork-fried rice (my favorite part), because Mila absolutely loves it.

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I wrote this back in July 2011, not long after Mila was born. I can say that more than a year later, not much has changed.

My eating habits progressed from little to nothing (no time to eat) to actually getting to eat, only it was a cold meal. I’ve learned to even juggle: my right hand with a spoon in Mila’s mouth and my left hand with a fork in my mouth.

The other day Mila and I had breakfast with my brother, who so astutely noted that he hadn’t seen me eat or finish a full meal in over a year. It was actually nice to have done so.