Monday, September 3, 2012

Brentwood~Who Knew?

I'd like to give credit where credit is due and mention that Greg is an adventurous, spontaneous, and charming spirit. Where I reach for routine, he reaches to explore. 'Opposites Attract' comes to mind when thinking of our relationship ;)
That said, he had recently heard of a new restaurant on the west side that he wanted to check out. We do not have a day off together (that's getting real old, real quick by the way) yet we do have Sunday afternoons together, as I'm off and he works 6am-2pm.
So one Sunday back in August, we decided to hit the road and check out this restaurant in Santa Monica. Of course, my initial thought (oh, who am I kidding; thoughtS as in plural) were: That's kinda far away...Ideally we'd be home by 7pm....We'll have to eat dinner so early...What if she doesn't nap on the way there & is cranky at the restaurant....What if she naps on the way home and then doesn't want to go to bed....What if it's cold...the list goes on)
I decided to snap out of it and let things be. Yes, maintaining her bedtime is extremely important to me. But I'm sorry, we also need to 'have a life' and get out of the house once in awhile. We'd make it fun for her. Sure enough, she was an angel.
Yet unfortunately, a simple drive-by of the restaurant made it clear to us that it wasn't baby-friendly. More like a bar. A small bar. Full of super hip fancy peeps...and not a highchair in sight, I'm sure.
We ended up a neighborhood over, in Brentwood, in seach of Sweet Rose Creamery which I kept reading about. We stumbled up on a SUPER delicious Mexican Restaurant, and followed it with the best icecream. So it all worked out, of course. Plus, we got some cute photos in the closed-for-the-night Farmer's Market area.
A very fun & successful family outing.

The Boob Debate

I read an interesting blog post recently. I'm currently following one mother's journey in LA with 4 kids (the last two being one-year old twins). She's a beautiful, and hilariously candid, writer, and I learn a lot from her.
Anyway, she wrote a post recently about her insecurities of publically feeding her babies with formula. I admit, as a nursing mom, I think about my own insecurities (breastfeeding in public or even just around friends, pumping at work, etc) and don't often consider what formula-feeding moms go through. Namely, she talked a lot about the social stigmas revolving around formula. It's so true that we're bombarded with the idea that 'breast is best,' practically deeming non-nursing moms as failures. It's so tragic to think that formula moms could potentially feel that they're not doing the absolute best thing for their children. When, really, we should NEVER judge another because we never know their reasoning. This particular blogger has had two breast-reduction surgeries which resulted in her inability to nurse. So, she chose to correct a 'problem' with her anatomy that was causing backaches, insecurity, and wardrobe challenges...and in the end was dealth with a nursing impossibility. Tried as she might, it just wasn't going to happen for her, yet she couldn't help but feel mom guilt. She writes about hiding in the shadows while mixing bottles in public, so as not to be judged by others. Her post really opened my eyes to the insanely vast amount of differences each mom & baby has. As a new mom myself, I VALUE my fellow moms. I learn everything through them. I find comfort in them. Shame on me for ever judging another. Our stories are all so different. Ultimately, as long as we're trying our best, what more can we do? We follow our hearts, we trust our instincts, we raise our children to be individuals because we are individuals ourselves. Babies raised on formula are healthy and happy, just like those raised on breastmilk. As moms, we should be forming a community, not casting others aside. I vow to always have empathy and compassion for the other ladies who are simply trying their best....Ultimately, it's no secret that being a mother is the most self-less thing anyone could ever do.
This all ties in heavily, for me, to the recent debate over the Times cover story of a mother breastfeeding her older son (I forget his age...4?) Anyway, the worst part about it was the title; 'Are You MOM Enough?' Such a title suggests that only mothers whom nurse their 4 year olds are 'mom enough.' Only mothers who nurse to begin with are 'mom enough.' I call bullshit. I can already tell you I will likely wean Mila off of nursing by her first birthday party...and shame on anyone who would suggest I'm not doing enough for my daughter if I do indeed cut her off.
There's more where this came from but I'm starting a tangent so I'll stop myself here, for now.
(If you want to know the name of her blog let me know)
(Above photo of Mila, just because)

Eating Solids!

As a follow-up to my notes in the previous post, starting solids has gone like this:
Too much hesitation on my behalf. Looking back, I wish we had started at 5 months. I was just so nervous. Didn't know where to start, couldn't imagine pureeing foods....freezing food, working the baby food maker, deciding what order to try everything in, making sure I had the best spoons, wondering if we'd have to buy a microwave, worrying that she'd get constipated not knowing how much to feed and how often, blah blah BLAH. I'm my own worst enemy. It just felt so.....huge. Different. New. I was almost mourning the loss of my little baby. Couldn't imagine a life of toting around purees and little snacks and sippy cups. Stomping my feet, much like a little girl myself, about having a big girl. Get Over It! So I did.
What really woke me up was her 6 month check-up, when we realized her weight had dipped (by a matter of ounces). That day, she had her first taste or oatmeal...and loved it! Big success with actually swallowing it (as opposed to just pushing it out with her tongue) (Though of course much a mess was made....Great photo ops if nothing else)
We're still getting the hang of it. Still figuring out the baby food processor. Still don't know what to serve from one day to the next. Yet once we introduce a nice variety of foods, we'll be able to start mixing which will be fun (carrots & peas, for example)
Two months after her 6 month check-up, we went back to check on her weight again. No dip, but no gain either. So we've been instructed to bump up the amount of food we give her at each sitting (by a lot) plus bump up the frequency. And even add olive oil, canola oil, or butter to veggies.
We have her health (i.e. weight gain) in mind, yet we don't fee comfortable force-feeding her, so we're taking it slow. She gets full quickly and starts turning away from the spoon, at which point that meal time is done.
All in all, it's a new thing for all of us, but we're having fun with it! (Except for when avocado makes her gag, like in the last photo)

6 months!!

As 5 months was an indication of, these 'photo shoots' are getting harder with a squirmy wormy.
She wants nothing more than to gnaw on the small dry-erase sign. At least I worked a couple smiles out of her. I love the one where it looks like she's really reading, despite the fact that it also looks like she's missing a leg.
6 months has marked the start of many new beginnings. In many ways, she seems like a completely different baby than she did in July (do I say this often?...)

One day, I perched her up to have her try and sit on her on, and voila! She had gained the ability to do so overnight. Suddenly, there she was, solid and sure of herself, and while of course more often than not she falls to the side or behind, she sure has a strong set of abs and great posture; she's a sitting-up master! It's really opened up the world to/for her. Suddenly, she can really see what's going on around her. It's easier for her to play with her toys. To watch the cats walk by. She's so content.

She's also finally eating solids. We started with oatmeal...then worked in avocado...and now we're on blueberries. Is she a California girl or what?? ;)
I admit there was much hesitation on my part. Selfishly, I 'put-off' starting solids for a couple reasons: 1. I was afraid of the change. 2. I didn't want to cross that milestone b/c it meant my little infant was growing up. I didn't know where to start. I agonized over the options; traditional rice cereal (recommended b/c it's not known to produce an allergic reaction. Yet more recently frowned upon as an empty carb). I leaned towards oatmeal. I heavily considered skipping even that, and going straight to avocado. In the end, I think it all worked out for the best, and I'll write more about it in a post dedicated to starting solids.

Also in the same week that we started feeding her solids, she went back to sleeping throughout the night. Hooray! She's always been an excellent sleeper, yet it seemed like all of 'month 5,' she was waking twice a night. Welp, either it's a true coincedence, or solids really do help; I'm afraid she was simply hungry.

Mila continues to be a happy, mellow girl. She's laughing more and more (sometimes at nothing in particular; often when we simply look at her-it's hilarious). She's still great at restaurants, whether in a high chair (that's a new thing!) or simply sitting in the booth next to someone.
She's even being a trooper with this extreme heat and humidity that we've had for about a month now. I look forward to Fall, when she sleeps in footed PJs and isn't sweaty when I pull her out of her car seat.
I've always said I like this age! 6 months is SO fun!

Recent Sleeping Photos

Sleeping-Mila photos are simply my favorite.
That's all.