I’m a little bit in denial that Finn is a quarter year away from one. These days, weeks, months that we’ll never see again. I feel so lucky that I have gotten to see so much of them at home with him, even in spite of everything else that I have gone through, there IS that. :)
I thought last month he exploded, then I don’t know what to call this month… what comes after an explosion? The birth of a star? That sounds good, we’ll go with that. Either way, it’s so wonderful yet sat at the same time watching our baby turn into a toddler right before our eyes.
This month has been so exciting with all of the holidays. His first Christmas and everything that goes along with that. Establishing traditions. Decorating cookies. Holiday lights. Lasagna. Turkey dinner. Love. Happiness. Family. Friends. So much to be thankful for.
This was supposed to be posted a month ago but my computer was, what I thought was, DEAD, until my dear old dad brought it back from the deadafter taking the whole thing apart from screw to screw just to get to the fan! So, better late than never! Pictures will come later. I’m in the process of putting together a new blog once I can think of a name…
Wow, what a month. I feel like Finn has exploded with developments this past month. Maybe it’s because I’ve been home the entire month with him and been able to see and enjoy every one of them? Either way, it’s been such a wonderful month. I was just saying to Dan last night that I absolutely love this age and if I could just freeze it, I would! At least for a little while…
We had a really great Halloween. My brother and sister-in-law, 2 nieces, and my parents came over and we had tacos, decorated Halloween cookies, went trick-or-treating, passed out candy, and enjoyed eachother’s company. It was really a very memorable night and first Halloween for Finn and couldn’t have been better. Dan and I went to bed with our bellies and hearts full and smiles on our faces. :)
Happy First Halloween, Finnegan. Can’t wait for many more tricks and treats with you! Love, Mom & Dad
Yep. And it’s changed our whole world. Everything in it. Can’t turn your head for a second. Can’t leave anything down. It’s all true what they say! And it’s so wonderful! Thank goodness for technology, we caught his very first crawl on video. It was such a joyous night. At one point we both had to put the iPhones down and have a good laugh-cry while we internalized the new notion that our little tiny baby was now mobile. He was so pleased with himself as well. It was a good night. Here’s proof of all 3 of our excitement below as we experienced Finn’s very first crawl (we used books as “bait”):
Well, it only took me a month (literally) due to technical difficulties, but I finally got it done and just before his 8 month update (which I’m also in the process of working on). These pictures are from about 7 months and 12 days due to everything that transpired around the time that he turned 7 months with my second, yes, second, back surgery, and then my computer broke and had to be repaired so this has just been sitting there waiting to be posted for almost a month! I really wanted to stay on top of these for posterity’s sake, but at least I wrote the milestones below before my computer died and right at 7 months. It’s just the pictures that are late and me actually posting them. Totally legit reason though. I have a lot going on! At least I was able to get him in his adorable little Halloween costume, which was fitting as a spider for our little guy who started crawling 2 days after he turned 7 months! *tear*
In high school, my mom started shopping at second hand stores like Goodwill and Savers. She took it up as a hobby more than anything. She would bring home all kinds of clothes for herself (they looked nice) and every once in a while try to slip something in for me. I always turned my nose up at it. I don’t like to think it was because I was stuck up or anything, but more because I already got made fun of or ostracized at school for my lack of “style” or expensive clothing. When we went back-to-school shopping growing up, we went to Mervyn’s or Sears or something like that. Not all the popular places in the mall like Wet Seal or Anchor Blue! Wow, I just dated myself on all 4 of those stores. Anyways, so the fact that my clothes were already, what I thought at the time, not good enough, I wasn’t about to wear anything second hand. AT LEAST I could tell myself my clothes were brand new to feel better about myself. Now, as I look back, I really don’t get why any of that mattered. It’s insane that I even had to think and feel like that about something as simple as clothes. Or what I see, now, as being simple. Who cares where you buy your clothes? It’s so small minded to even take that matter to heart. Kids are so mean. You can look good and in style for next to nothing as I am finding. And anyways, if you’ve been reading my blog, you know that my mom STILL shops second hand at Goodwill (not Savers anymore since they aren’t non-profit), as she has gotten Finn many a things this past year, I don’t know what we would have done without her!
I’ve completely changed my tune on the second hand shopping. A complete 180. I’ve seen my mom find some really fabulous things (a vintage Coach bag, anyone?) as well as so many good baby items (his bassinet, an exersaucer, a high chair, a glider, etc.). Plus, she’s always dressed very well. My mom has “style”, fo sho! I’ve also really been inspired by one of my co-workers, Meara (Hi!), who gets a lot of her clothing second hand from Goodwill and I would have never even known it, had she not told me! She looks great. I really admire her style sense. I don’t know a thing about style, but I’ll go with “hippie-chic”. She’s a girl after my own heart. We bought most of Finn’s wardrobe from Goodwill (thanks Mom!) and that’s been wonderful. For as fast as he grows out of things, I can’t imagine paying full price for anything at this age! Recently, I really needed a new wardrobe since having Finn. My same clothes I’ve been wearing for the past 1-2 years are starting to get holes and become really faded. You see, I am NOT one of those people that buys themselves a lot of clothes or gets something new on any consistent basis. I do maybe 2 big shopping trips a year. One before summer and one during the winter after Christmas. My last one was for my birthday in May I bought about 6 or 7 dresses from Old Navy and spent over $200! I’m kicking myself now. Dan and I started going to Goodwill. Two weekends in a row. Of course I went with my mom and dad, I needed my mom to show me the ropes! And I realized that those places are hopping with people all the time. It’s now become “cool” and those 6 dresses I bought in May, I could have bought ten-fold there! Unbelievable. I’ve already bought about 6-8 more dresses, 9-10 shirts, and a purse for WELL under $100.
I’m now determined to replace everything in my closet. Gone are the days that I wear the same things weekly or bi-weekly, for years. Maybe by spending less on clothes, I may be more inspired to try things outside of my normal, very basic, comfort zone and find that I *gasp*, like it! And you bet we’ll be buying Finn lots of things there over the years. I’m a proud Goodwill shopper, and make no qualms about it!
Dan and I have delved into the wonderful world of composting. I’m not exactly crunchy granola, I’m more chewy. I try to cloth diaper. I tried to use glass baby bottles. I try to conserve water and energy where possible. I recycle. And now, I’m composting. We do a lot of cooking with fresh produce and have a lot of waste. We also have a huge tree in our front yard with a lot of dry leaves that end up on our ground. We’re hoping to turn all that into some nice mulch in about a year so that we could eventually do the un-enviro-friendly thing of planting grass and a yard for Finn to play in. I know, so contradictory. But we also want to use it to grow some of our own vegetables in our backyard. Hey, we’re trying to keep things balanced here! We’ve been saving all our crap from the kitchen as well as dry leaves from the yard (and friends’ yards!) and it’s building up quite nicely.
So, here’s our process. In the kitchen we have an air tight container (an old crock pot with lid, lined with a bag) to keep smells in. Throughout the week we throw all our unused produce, peels, coffee grinds, egg shells, etc. and then at the end of the week we dump it in our compost bin (free via the city!) and cover it with some dry leaves and clippings. Turn it a little with the shovel and that’s it. Very simple. And awesome.
Here’s a cool infographic I found on Pinterest with the basics of it, I thought I’d share:
As Finn has hit the magical 6 month mark, he has also entered the magical world of eating real food! During pregnancy, I was intrigued by BLW and Dan and I had discussed that we we were going to do that with Finn when it came time. As with the cloth diapering, our parents thought we were crazy (“Won’t he choke?”). But we had decided on it. Fast forward several months and we went through that scary week of trying to wean him off of the hydrolysate formula to the sensitive formula which did not go well at all. We found out from Finn’s doctor that he had an actual milk protein allergy (not to be confused with lactose intolerance), so that sort of scared me off from the idea of BLW.
The biggest component of BLW is in its name, baby led. This means the parent does not feed the child, the child feeds themselves from the start. There is no spoon feeding or purees in BLW. Parents offer table foods in manageable pieces and the child gets to explore and eventually eat. You will often hear the word “offer” in discussing BLW instead of “feed”. This is because parents only offer and the baby gets to choose (remember, baby-led!).
You can read more about the “why’s” of BLW vs pureed food (learning to chew then swallow vs swallow then chew and more important for us, to give him control of what does and does not go into his mouth, and more importantly for us – to encourage him to be a healthy adventurous eater from the start) at the link above. I won’t really attempt to re-summarize every BLW website out there and try to find a more clever way to describe it, I’ll leave you to delve deeper if you wish. I’m just going to talk about our experience and why and how it works for us.
About a month ago I spent an entire day making pureed baby foods because that’s what all my friends were doing and that’s what the books recommended. I still had BLW in the back of my mind but was trying to think of anything that may help Finn’s sensitive stomach digest foods easier. The night before his 6 month birthday, we tried oatmeal cereal. We mixed it in a bowl and shoveled it in to his mouth with a spoon. He did good with it. Made a few yucky faces, got most of it on his face, torso, hands, and the table, but I considered it a success. We did notice that he really wanted to grab the spoon from us every time we put it in front of his face. I fed him with the spoon the next day at my mom’s after his 6 month appointment and shots, and again he just really wanted that spoon. We finally gave it to him and he put it right in his mouth and he seemed to have this sort of satisfied look on his face that HE put the spoon in his mouth, HE was in charge, and that taste on his tongue was from HIM. The BLW idea came back to me. That night I went home and Dan and I discussed it again after feeding him his mushy cereal dinner with a spoon. We decided that we wanted to try it out. (Pssst! Check out his teefs in the photo below!!!!)
The next day we cut open an avocado (nature’s perfect baby food) and gave him 2 pieces of it. He grabbed them immediately and put it in his mouth. And he made a really disturbed face. Then he smiled. Oh, did he smile! We loved it. My mom was there with us and she immediately changed her tune on it and thought it was really cool. From there we knew there was just no looking back. We decided on a feeding schedule of every 2-3 days introducing a new food (since that’s what is recommended by the doctor). Our week was looking like avocado, carrot, broccoli, and banana. And we even got to eat TOGETHER as a family for the first time in 6+ months, all eating *almost* the same thing. Can’t wait for that to be every night!
So, far it’s gone great! He’s tried avocado, carrot, and banana. On Wednesday, I ran out of carrots at my mom’s and she had bananas so we tried them and he loved them, too! He had a really hard time picking them up because of how slimey they were, so I broke the rules a little bit and held it out in front of his face and he leaned forward and took a bite right out of it. I did this only because he started to get really frustrated with chasing the banana around the tray and I didn’t want it to be a negative experience for him. It turned out good and I think he’s a fan of bananas.
Thursday night we had stir fry, so we gave him some steamed carrots and broccoli with rice, just like we had and he loved it! I’m still not sure how much of the food is actually going down (we have seen a little change in his diaper output) as I usually find most of it in his lap afterwards. lol
The other difference we are doing from the “traditional” BLWing is we are offering him some cereal at each feeding. Not for the nutrition, but for the experience of feeding himself with a utensil. We adapted a little nubby teething toothbrush as his utensil and he really loves it. It’s soft and he gums it as he eats which helps him chew at his food. For now, most of his food stills ends up being spit right out. His main source of nutrition is still his formula until he’s one, and we’ve took on the philosophy of “Food is Fun til One.” And boy is it fun! And MESSY, and that’s okay. We want him to get to know the textures, smells, and experience of eating together as a family until then. We are also hoping that eating this way will help lead to a more adventurous and less-picky eater than a lot of kids. So far it’s working for us and we couldn’t be more excited of what’s to come!
If you’re interested, here are some more links to read:
LOVING: That I had the last 3.5 weeks off to not only recover from my very scary and serious back surgery, but for the gift of 3.5 more weeks to spend with my darling Finn. I was just thinking today that that was the biggest positive out of all of it. I had so much fun with him and seeing how he and Dan’s days are while I am at work. Also, I got to spend a lot of time with my mom while she took care of Finn and I, so that was really nice, too. It was a shitty reason to be off work, but I’m also really thankful for it in the end. I was able to just focus on recovering and not have to hobble around work in pain. I’m very thankful that Finn has pretty much had either Dan or I for the first 6.5 months of his life. What a lucky guy and what a lucky family we are.
HEARING: Finn waking up from a nap on the monitor. I’m going to miss hearing that next week when I go back to work! Those first few little whimpers that then turn into him quietly talking to himself. I sometimes like to just listen and try to picture what he’s doing in there.
READING: Blogs on baby led weaning, of course! And looking for inspiration online to start Finn’s first few weeks of the Project Life book that I am still making for him. I’m almost done with week 1… I have set a goal to finish it before this weekend ends. I think once I get the big stuff out of the way, I should be able to do each week more quickly. His birth story and first week are obviously a little bit more special than any other week.
EXCITED: For a date night tonight with my sweetie. We haven’t had one in such a long time. Grandma Jayne is going to watch Finn tonight. I’m going to miss being with Dan everyday, in addition to Finn. He is seriously the best and my heart is just so full of love right now for him. He’s taken such good care of Finn and I this past month – something that was really hard for me to accept since I’m usually the one who wants to take care of others. It was a rough month, but Dan’s been truly wonderful and I think he and I are due, and deserve a little night out.
LAUGHING: At my kitchen. I swear, it’s playing a game with me. I clean it and it tries to get as messy as it can as fast as it can. This past week I have been trying to keep up on it (ha!) so that making dinner at night is easier. Well, I load the dishes every night but for some reason, it’s a big mess in the morning still. But it shall wait til tomorrow when Dan and I deep clean the house. Because tonight I am all about date night!
WATCHING: Well, Baby First TV is on right now. But last night we caught up on one of our favorite shows, Face Off. It’s a competition reality show about make-up artists on SyFy. We love it. Another one of our favorite shows, Work of Art on Bravo, we just found out was canceled! So bummed. Why is it that the really cool and creative shows get canceled and then things like American Idol and all those others can stay on for 10+ seasons. Ugh, it hurts my heart. Work of Art was such an entertaining and quality show. I hear the producers are trying to shop it to other networks and I hope, I hope, I HOPE someone picks it up!
THINKING: That I really hate cancer. Someone so dear, I mean SO SO SO SO dear and special to me was just diagnosed with cancer. And thinking about a world without them is just unfathomable. Like, it’s inconceivable. Totally, utterly, inconceivable. So, I’m thinking a lot about that and it’s really weighing heavily on me.
STRESSING: About work. I wish everything would just settle down and we can move in the new direction and not have any more changes or surprises thrown at us. I’m sick of it!
WANTING: More time to scrapbook and work on house projects. :)