Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!!

Although I'm at home wearing a sweatshirt, it does have sequins on it!!

Stay safe tonight and have a Happy New Year!!

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Baby-Approved Recipe: Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup


I made this recipe for Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup the other night. It's one of my favorites because it's flavorful, comforting, and super easy (the ingredients are pretty much always in my pantry). Since Michael is a big fan of hummus, I thought he might like it. To make it toddler-friendly, I excluded the cayenne and added frozen chopped spinach instead of big fresh spinach leaves which tend to get a little stringy in the throat. I also had some leftover butternut squash so I tossed that in. At first, Michael just picked out the chickpeas and squished them. I decided to mash up his bowl a little more so he couldn't single out peas.

The Verdict: a huge hit! He kept gobbling and gobbling! When he really likes a food, he makes it a point to bathe himself in it. He's had it 2 nights in a row and still loves it. I gave him some pasta on the side and he put it in his bowl and started stirring. Just like mommy does when she cooks. Such a cutie. It feels so good to find a recipe that he really likes because so many things end up on the floor. Also, he's not a big fan of meat, so protein-rich meals are a must!

FYI, his other fave foods include grilled cheese, cheese of any form or flavor, pasta, alfredo sauce, broccoli, oatmeal, yogurt, and any, and I mean any fruit. My little primate.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sleeping Through the Night

Mostly. A couple weeks before Thanksgiving Michael started sleeping through the night. Not all the way through but atleast 4-5 hour stretches, sometimes more.

How? Following a schedule based on the recommended times in Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child as well as Michael's sleep cues and nightweaning. Once Michael's sleep schedule was well-established with naps around 9am and 1pm, bedtime around 5:30pm, wakeup around 7am, I started to log his middle of the night wake-ups. These were getting really bothersome and keeping him from consolidating his sleep. He started waking like clockwork around 11pm, 2am, and 4am. Ugh. He would sit up and tug at my shirt, try to climb over me to get to the boppy. His behavior was clearly habitual and not out of hunger.

After reading some unhelpful stories, including waking the baby up to nurse before he wakes up (why, after working so hard to get him to sleep, would I want to wake him up???), I decided to just say no. But not to every request. If he awoke while I was still awake, basically before 10 or 11pm, I would nurse. I would also nurse at his 4am waking since it was more difficult for him to go back to sleep around this time. So that meant saying no to any other wakings, mainly the 2am-ish. We co-sleep so I was not abandoning him in his crib at this time. When he awoke and wanted to nurse, I would say no and tell him to lay down and go night-night. I made sure he had his blankie and his snuggle-bear. The first few nights he cried, alot. I only picked him up if he really, really couldn't go back to sleep. I didn't want to let him cry, but he was in the bed next to me so he could snuggle up to me if he needed. It only took about a week for him to figure it out. The 11pm nursing soon disappeared on its own. Every once in a while after, he would wake around 9 or 10pm wanting to nurse and I would go ahead. That quickly disappeared too. Even over Thanksgiving, while we were visiting in-laws, he slept through the night. He still wakes around 4am to nurse and I let him, but he is able to fall asleep much quicker at that time, so I'm deciding when to wean that nursing as well. Maybe once he starts whole milk and I can make sure he is getting enough during the day.

Of course there have been setbacks. The day we were flying back from Thanksgiving, Michael came down with a fever. He was drowsy but woke frequently. Poor thing! It was his first fever! I nursed whenever he wanted to. He ended up having roseola which itself is not bad, but the fever that kickstarts it can be rough. Needless to say, night-wakings were back. Then Michael caught a cold! Battles again. But this week, his sleep is getting back on track, even with some other changes. I've always soothed Michael to sleep, in the rocking chair or standing up and swinging. Lately, he hasn't been responding well and started reaching for the bed as if he wanted to lie down, so I let him. I'll write a separate post, but basically we've started an uber-gradual process of learning to self-soothe. The other change, which I've been most resistant to, is the transition to one nap. Ugh. Again, I'm not forcing it. I'm just following Michael's cues. With his improved night sleep, he wakes up full of energy and he doesn't seem sleepy anymore around 9am or even 10 or 11 for that matter! Hopefully, there's not too many changes happening at once, but all I can do is follow his cues and make adjustments if something doesn't feel right.

I just want to let mothers of high needs babies know that your baby can nap on a schedule, be fairly easily nightweaned, and sleep through the night! And hopefully soon I'll be able to add self-soothe!

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Michael's First Birthday

Yesterday was Michael's first birthday! We kept it simple, no guests, a few Elmo decorations which Michael loved pointing out and squealing at, and some homemade confetti cupcakes, two of which were happily smashed and smeared by chubby little hands.

Words can't really express my emotions on this occasion. Becoming a mother to this precious baby has given me feelings that I've never had before. From the first time we made eye contact, I was smitten. I remember him staring at me so quiet and calm, those chubby cheeks and little fists. Everyday since, he has amazed me and made me laugh. I adore absolutely everything about him. I've watched him learn so many things in his first year. Smiling, laughing, rolling, crawling, eating, almost talking, dancing, clapping, and he's even started walking! But I've learned some things too. Mostly I've learned patience. Patience to observe and trust in my baby's abilities so that I can provide a nurturing environment for him to grow. I can't wait to see what the second year has in store for us!

posted from Bloggeroid