{healthy} Whole Wheat, Dairy & refined-sugar-free, chocolate cake

Say that 5xs fast!

Yesterday, we made this ah-mazing cake.  Oh my goodness, really.  It is so good.  And much healthier than your average homemade of boxed cake.

Healthy, whole wheat (dairy and refined sugar free) chocolate cake- Better then regular homemade chocolate cake. And easy!

It doesn’t take long, and makes either two round cakes, or one 9×13 cake.

Whole Wheat, Dairy-and-refined-sugar-free chocolate cake {with Marriage and Menu Monday linky}

20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

See Detailed Nutrition Info on

Ingredients

  • This recipe is adapted from the Better Homes and Garden chocolate cake recipe
  • 3/4 c coconut oil (not melted)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking sode
  • 3/4 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp real salt
  • 2 c sucanat
  • 2 tsp real, organic vanilla (or homemade)
  • 1 1/2 c rice milk (or you choice of non dairy milk)

Instructions

  1. Grease your 2 round, or 1 9x13 pan(s)
  2. In a medium bowl stir together: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt- set aside
  3. Preheat oven to 350*
  4. In a large mixing bowl beat coconut oil on med-high speed for 30 seconds
  5. Gradually add sucanat 1/4c at a time, beating at med speed until well combined
  6. Scrape side of bowl; beat 2 minutes
  7. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition (trust me, it makes a difference)
  8. Beat in vanilla
  9. Now, Alternately add flour mixture and rice milk to coconut oil mixture, beating on low speed until combined
  10. Beat on medium to high speed 20 seconds more
  11. Spread into pans
  12. Bake 30-40 minutes, check doneness with a toothpick in center.

Notes

**If you want the healthy recipe but don't mind the dairy, replace the coconut oil with butter and the rice milk with cow's milk. 1:1


The Best Natural Peanut Butter {with Marriage and Menu Monday linky}

Today, I am not bringing you a recipe.  Mostly, because I forgot to take pictures of all the things I cooked this week.  Haha  But, I do want to mention an easy way to add healthier options into your family’s diet, without breaking the bank.

I don’t buy all organic, all the time.  Right now, it just doesn’t fit into out budget, but I do buy what I can.  When I can.  And that is all any of us can ask for, right?  To do our best.

So, I am going to start with my very favorite, never gets old and I could eat it at every meal, food- PEANUT BUTTER!  haha

Note: My kids probably have peanut butter once a day, in some shape or form.  Lexie doesn’t eat eggs (not matter how I disguise them… it’s a texture thing.  no squishy foods allowed).  So often times I smear peanut butter on her toast, sourdough pancakes, or whole wheat waffles. This adds protein and good fats to what would otherwise be just complex carbs.

My favorite peanut butter is Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter.

Best Natural Penut Butter- no additives, sugar, or dangerous chemicals

Why, you ask?   The ingredients: peanuts, less than 1% salt.  That is why.

It is absolutely the best peanut butter I have ever tried.  I can’t eat regular Jiff or Peter Pan anymore- all I can taste is overly sweetened chemicals and unhealthy oils with no real flavor or texture.  *blah*

Smucker’s Natural has no unhealthy vegetable oils, no refined sugar, and no chemical additives.  It is just peanuts and a little salt.  And man, is it good.

The best part is, you don’t have to go to a specialty grocery store to get it!  I find mine at our local Walmart, it is usually on the very top shelf of the peanut butter section.  You do however, need to stir the peanut butter, and then keep it in the fridge.

This is something, that although it isn’t organic, I can feel good feeding it to my family, especially my young children who don’t need any more refined sugars in their little systems than necessary.

If you aren’t quite as ready to make the leap to just peanuts and salt for your favorite spread, you can try Skippy’s Naturals.  This peanut butter contains: peanuts, palm oil, and salt.  Again, no sugar, and no bad vegetable oils.  Palm oil is a relatively healthy oil, and many people use it in place of coconut and olive oil in recipes.  This is the brand my husband prefers, so I buy it just for him, and sometimes the kids have it.

Buying a natural peanut butter is a small, healthy change that isn’t going to break the bank!  I didn’t link to these products on amazon because right now they are outrageously expensive.  But at you local grocery store they should run between $4-$5 for a big jar.

Try it, and let me know what you think.  I bet your family will like it!

 



How to Make Your Own Baby and Toddler Finger Foods- Made Easy!

So, apprently there is this whole thing called “baby led weaning,” where rather than introduce pureed foods, you let baby just start eating appropriate sized/cooked finger foods.

We did this.

On accident.

We did do pureed foods for a few weeks, but then it was so easy to just him some dried blueberries to snack on while I made Lexie’s lunch.  Blueberries became avocado, and that led to other soft foods.  

Within a few weeks, Max was refusing the spoon.  Refusing as in, if it isn’t warm, smooshy avocado, or warm, runny egg yolk, he isn’t eating it from a spoon.

He spits it out and tried to pick it up with his fingers, and when he cannot, he gets furious!  Which in turn leads to me giving him finger foods instead ….

So, how do I make appropriate finger foods for the mister to eat exclusively, at only 9 months of age?


1.  I clean and peel the fruits and veggies (so far we have had: sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, sweet peas, lima beans, cauliflower, apples, pears, but the possibilities are endless, really).

2.  I place a steamer basket like this one inside a pot:


3.  Fill the pot with water until it sits just below the bottom of the steamer basket, place your food inside, cover it, and let them steam for about 10-20 minutes.  Potatoes and carrots take longer than say, apples or peas.  I usually do 20 mins for carrots and potatoes (that are chopped in big chunks).


4.  After they are cooked through and soft enough for baby, I take the basket out and let them cool a bit.

5.  Then I put them on a cookie sheet lined with butcher or freezer paper.  Pop it in the freezer so they can freeze through.  After they’re frozen I put them in labeled bags.

That’s it!  Fresh finger foods for baby and toddlers, ready at a moments notice.

I’ve also done chicken breasts, but I didn’t steam them. I sautee them in a pan with coconut oil, garlic, onion, paprika, salt, pepper, and parsley.  After the chicken was thoroughly cooked, I did the same as with the veggies for freezing

Now I have lots of healthy veggies and meats for Mister (and Lexie, too!) at lunch, snack, and dinner when he can’t have what we are eating.

A few tips: I rough chop the veggies, and slice the fruit into wedges.  Don’t cut them up into bite size pieces for the steaming process because A)they will become mush, and B) when you pull some out of the freezer for meals, you can cut them into smaller pieces for baby at meal time after they thaw.

But what if my baby likes pureed baby foods, and can’t eat finger foods yet?
Then you do steps 1-4, just like I did.  But instead of freezing them whole, place them in a food processor or blender with some breastmilk, formula, or filtered water, and puree away!  When it is the consistency your baby likes, poor into ice cube trays, cover with plastic wrap or foil, and freeze! Then, pop the frozen cubes into labeled bags!  Very easy.

I still give Max egg yolk and avocado from a spoon, just to keep him eating something off a spoon.  Egg yolks (preferably free range, organic) are the most nutrient dense food a baby can have, and it is most like mother’s breastmilk than any other food.  It’s very easy to make egg yolks for baby, and SO good for them:

Place eggs (as many as you’d like, I do 3-4 at a time) in a pot
Fill the pot with water until it just covers the eggs
Bring to a boil, boil for 3.5 minutes
When you crack the eggs, the egg whites should be cooked (or mostly) and the egg yolk will be nice and warm, but runny.
Crack the eggs into a bowl for baby, spoon feed baby the egg yolks

I use the left over cooked egg whites in chicken and tuna salad. J.Tom will also eat them with sal and pepper with his lunch.  **Do not feed your baby egg whites, it is considered an allergen for after their first year.  Talk to your doctor before giving egg whites to baby.  I have given Max egg yolk that had a little egg white get in it, and he was fine, but do what you and your doctor are comfortable with**

For avocado, I just smash a ripe avocado up with a fork, add a little of his formula, warm it for 10 seconds, and then mix it together with the fork.  It makes a nice, warm, creamy food for baby full of healthy fats.  He also eats them with his fingers cut into bite size pieces.

Benefits of Making Your Own baby Food

The wonderful thing about making your baby & young children’s food at home, is it doesn’t take long at all, and it’s so much more nutritious!  Baby food from jars is cooked at such high temps, there is very little, if any nutrients left in it.  High temps like that may kill the bacteria in a huge facility, but it also kills the nutrients.

You can season the foods just like your baby/toddler likes.  Max loves seasonings already, at only 9 months.  I can add a little cinnamon to his carrots and sweet potatoes, salt and pepper to green beans, and mix fruits together like apples and pears for a sweet fruit treat.

Frozen finger foods can be used for teething also- you can get one of these super awesome feeders: 


And place the frozen apple, banana, or pear wedges (or any other food baby likes) in the net, and let baby teeth away!  Max especially enjoys grapes, cut in half and frozen, in them.

The possibilities and choices are endless when making your own food.  It also allows you to customize foods for babies with allergies.

Lastly, it is CHEAPER than buying baby food, espcially if you buy in bulk from a co-op, buyers club (like Sams or Costco), or local farmer’s market.  And, if you grow your own in a garden, even better!

I really hope if you have been intimidated by the process of making your own baby food, that this helps you in some way.


Baby Summary Weeks 35-36

Max hit the 37 week mark yesterday, so this is a post for the last two weeks of his life.

To say Max ha started eating is an understatement.  The boy is devouring finger foods.  Everything from dried blueberries and apples to sausage and sauerkraut!  He ate the sauerkraut like it was running away from him!  This weekend he enjoyed my cucumber and tomato salad in oil and vinegar … with garlic!  We still do pureed foods just because sometimes I don’t have a meal made that doesn’t have dairy in it, but he is eating a LOT more finger foods.  I can’t wait for him to try watermelon and cantaloupe this summer.

We still only have two teeth, but I think he is working on the top two.  They’re a little white but not puffy yet. He has been napping great!  Most days are 2 1.5 hour naps, sometimes a cat nap at 4:30 if he is really tired.  But we usually just do early bedtime at 6:30pm instead.


Crawling … well, he is moving about 2 feet at a time before he falls on his belly and decides to roll over.  So yes, he is crawling, but not for long distances.  He rolls and scoots around a LOT more than he does crawl.  **EDIT: he crawled all the way across the living room floor today!  I know, it’s a 37 week update, but had to add it!  YAY MAX!**


He enjoys being outside, and playing in the water.  We have had beautiful, warm weather as of late.  So Mama has been laying out while the kids play.  He sits in the baby blow up bath tub and Lexie plays in her kiddie pool.  Speaking of which, they are finishing our fence!  Woo hoo!  I am so excited.  It should be complete tomorrow morning.  They did most of it today.  Lexie is so excited, she has been waiting on her fence for a very long 3 months.

Helping mama make the salad …


Last weekend was Mother’s day; we went to church at the Methodist church (which I liked a lot, surprisingly, coming from a full gospel girl.   It was really homey).  JTom got me a bread maker for Mother’s day- woo hoo!  We have already used it several times and LOVE it.  way better than doing it by hand, any day.

This past weekend we stayed home and worked around the house.  JTom and Lexie got the garden in and JTom got the sprinklers set up in the flower bed.  He cut into the sprinkler system and put little sprayers in the flower beds.  They’re really cute.  Our garden this year is just: tomatoes (roma, big beef, early girl, burly boys, and cherry), red and green bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, and butternut squash. We put the bed in on the south side of the house, where they dug out for flower beds.  It’s the perfect spot, and J.Tom may cut in some sprayers for the garden as well.  I sure hope so.




I got some petunias for the back porch and filled the hanging baskets for the front, like I do every year.  Lexie and I planted some giant impatience in a big pot for the front porch; they smell SO good.  (I love having a front door that we use to come into the house)  

JTom also got some new burners for the inside of his grill, so we can get back to grilling again soon.

Overall it has been a low key couple of weeks.  Some how things have seemed really busy, but in all honesty we haven’t been super busy. 


How have you spent your last few weeks?  Anything exciting happening?

water play


she couldn’t resist; we didn’t have a kiddie pool yet




Mmm  blueberries





Our record heat one day last week- 100 degrees here in lil ole York (we had snow on the ground the week before …)


Daddy and Mister


Reading a gymnastics books while waiting on class to start.




My morning Yoga





Mmmm Cucumber!


My Mister’s curls



wearing Daddy’s hat and looking like my cousin Wesley’s twin when he was this age.  Like, if she didn’t have on the lace night gown, she would look exactly like him.


wearing daddy’s hat



34-36 Weeks Baby Summary

*I have been building this post all week, so “today” isn’t actually today ….*

Max has grown by leaps and bounds in the last 5 days! He suddenly went for a bitty baby to a big boy! He is almost crawling (edit: AAAAh!  He crawled 2 knees worth today!), waving hi, giving wide, slobbery, open mouthed kisses, and laughing more than ever. Tonight for bedtime was the first time he put his head on my shoulder and his arms around me while we sang for night night. I usually hold him like a baby while he sucks his thumb and winds down. He’s such a sweet bear.  Today, he also went from the crawling position to sitting position for the first time. 

…. see, lots of firsts!

He said Mama while we were playing downstairs, hiding out from the rain.  I was so excited.  He is trying really hard to talk.  A lot.  The past few days I have had the living room fan, he is mesmerized; and I know all babies love fans.  But this boy like instantly smiles and is hypnotized by the fan!  He likes to play games now, like throwing his head back so you will hold him upside down, and putting his chin up so you can tickle his neck.  It’s so funny.  These are all things Lexie was doing long before 8 months.  But it’s like he just decided, “Hey, I think I’m ready to move and have fun!”  Before, he was so lazy and laid back.  He is still laid back, just enjoys moving around now.

He gets so excited and is so proud that he can get up and rock on his knees, push up on his toes, and crawl backwards sometimes. He will be crawling more by the weekend, we are sure! Lexie gets very excited with him.  She likes to show him how to do it. 

He really enjoys playing in the grass. One of the great things about having a real lawn, is he can play and feel the grass without the fear of stickers.

I have him his first asparagus this week.  He loved it!  He also likes dill pickles (did I mention that last time?) and blueberries.


Lexie has been the sweetest most affectionate two year old ever this last two weeks. She is constantly telling me how much she loves me, hugging my neck tight, kissing me, playing and teasing, loving on her bubby even more, and just growing more kind and loving every day. Lexie has a tender heart; she doesn’t like for other people to be hurt or upset, but has had her share of not being so nice (like a typical two year old)… Pushing, chasing the dog, hitting Max … terrorizing the chickens comes to mind too. 


But lately she has been so affectionate. Last night we were doing bedtime routine, and she just wrapped her arms around my neck, hugged me and said, “i love you more than this much!”


I’m sure my monster toddler will return soon, but until then i will take all these loves i can get!  Her new favorite *obsessive* topics to talk about are the things that make God happy, and being grateful.  It’s wonderful to see Christ in your child’s life, even before they completely understand the implications of their relationship with Him.


sweet Mister Bear

reading her Bible outside

talking to her buddy

I can do it, I can do it!

Heh

She is crazy about her umbrella! 

Mmmm Blueberries!

Yes, I like them!

monkey girl

Mama, look where I can climb!

I’m doing it!

Did you see me?!?!

Mommy and Lexie

water play!

Max Week 32/33 Summary.. and a huge photo bomb!

I wrote this entire post, and then it somehow was replaced with a duplicate of another post?!  And now I am feeling very frustrated.  So it’s going to be an abbreviated version of the original.

Max has just finished his 33rd week of life, and will be 34 weeks old (almost 8 months old) on Sunday.

Eating
He is eating better; I got his medicine flavored differently, and he takes it no problem now.  He is eating everything except bananas.  They still bother his tummy

Development
Max is standing better, sometimes without holding onto anything, and has become brave enough to take a few steps in the same spot he is standing (in other words, he doesn’t move, just picks up his feet).  He has learned to fall onto his booty instead of his back, so there is a lot less crying going on now!  Woo hoo

He says dada and has started trying to say mama.  But it comes out na-na.  He does this especially when he is hungry/while I’m making his bottle or food.  Since he has started talking, he has stopped all that screeching.  YAY  He is still signing for milk, and has not picked up the sign for “more” or “please” yet, but I haven’t been very consistent.

We are in wonder week 37 territory.  Naps have been short, but he isn’t too terribly cranky… it could be worse.  This is supposedly a tough wonder week, so we will see.  After this mental leap he will be able to categorize things in his environment, like milk and oatmeal are foods, jtom, lexie and I are his family at home vs people he doesn’t recognize, etc.  He will start practicing crawling sometime after this leap (*edit* during the cat nap he refused this afternoon, he was up on his hands and knees rocking… so I guess the urge to start trying has begun).

It’s funny how different he and Lexie are; at this age she was raring to go, 24/7!  She wanted to move, was loud, and wanted to talk to/get attention from everyone she saw.  I remember my friend Whitney saying how determined Lexie was, and that’s true to this day.  Max is more timid, laid back..  and you could say he is lazy.  =)  He is getting more and more excited about standing though; it’s really cute when he starts flapping his arms, smiling, and cheering for himself.  He’s just a really sweet baby and is sensitive; but I do remember Lexie being sensitive too.  She was scared easily by certain toys, noises, or faces.  Max is the same in that aspect.

Lexie Raye
I had so many updates on her before I lost the original post, and now I can’t remember any of them!  Ugh!

We still have engine friends, though the dinosaurs haven’t been back.  She has been showing more interest in dinosaurs, so we may do a unit study on them this summer just for fun.  Oh yea- she has finally stopped fighting baths.  No more screaming or crying hysteria; and I was able, after many weeks, to convince her washing her hair in the sink would be fun!  So now she will lay on the counter and let me wash her hair in the kitchen sink- I told her how my memaw washed my hair like that when I was a little girl.  She really liked that and mentions it every time we wash her hair.  She also enjoys bath time now; I plugged the hole in all her bath toys with hot glue (pinterest is useful, sometimes!)  The black mold that came out of them freaked her out (uh … it would freak me out, too.  but there was no way to keep them cleaned out).  So, that is no longer a problem.

Mommy and “wittle Baby Essie”

Now I know how my parents felt when I sent my water back 7 times at a restaurant because there were “floaties in it.”  She is the same way about anything she deems should not have dirt on/in it.  But playing in or throwing dirt outside, laying down in mud, and eating bird seed are all A-Okay!  

Suddenly, the crying at bedtime every night stopped.  The first night we waited a few hours then went and checked on her.  She had climbed into her rocking chair to sleep.  We always put her down in her bed, but then she moves to the rocking chair.  At bout 8:30 every night I go move her to the bed.  I don’t care if she sleeps in the floor, as long as she stays in her room, off the couch, and out of our bed!  Anyway, so that’s how she has been falling asleep for the last 2 weeks.  Hopefully it is a phase that ends soon, and she will be comfortable falling asleep in her bed again.  We don’t know what freaked her out about her bed, suddenly.  She has started talking about things getting her.  We have prayed with her about it, and emphasize that in our home she is safe; nothing is going to get her and that most of the things she is talking

about are pretend, not real.  I’m sure it is part of a developmental phase; she is starting to realize there are real dangers in the world, but doesn’t know how to rationalize that idea yet.


Spring is finally here!  YAY!  Yesterday we went to the park for a lunch and play date with JTom. After nap we walked to the school and played on the playground there.  This morning we went to the library for story time, then after lunch we went for a run.  It is the first time I have ran since I was pregnant with Max, so it’s been about 16 months…?  Yea.  So, my calves were sore 10 minutes after we got back home!  But a good sore and I enjoyed every minute of my run.  I pushed them in the double jogger.  We went to the disc golf park across from the house.  There is a wide, paved track that goes all around; it’s very wind-y and has lots of inclines and hills.  It was a good workout.  We ran/walked 2 miles.  My goal is to run 6-8 miles a week, more if weather permits.  I love running and it makes me feel good.

proud Mister Bear

Yea, what’s up?

Hey, what’re yooou doing?

Hrm, I landed on my booty … what do I think of this?

Hey, Na-Na… what just happened?

Hrm…

Oh well, I’ll just rest my eyes a bit

Ha- just kidding!

putting her engines to night-night in their “hallway bed Tidmouth Sheds”

patting them and tucking them in to bed

night night engine!

“are you still in there?”

oh there you are!

Are you ready for wake up time?

upside down- washing her hair in the sink


Tomorrow we are going fishing!  Woo Hoo!  As much as JTom and I LOVE to fish, we have never taken Lexie.  So tomorrow is the day!  There is a really nice lake on the west side of town, so that’s where we are headed tomorrow.  This next week we are going to keep tweaking our routine until we find something that really works best.  I’m trying to get up earlier in the mornings to start my day, and be sure everything is picked up and in order before bed (which I’ve always done, but I’ve been slacking lately).

Here are a ton more pictures of our last week or two.




Dada!


this is a different day than all the other red diaper pics.  This was the first day he stood with the activity table




April 26, 2013

Week 15/16 Baby Summaries

Max is 15 weeks old-OMG how did that happen?  He is almost 4 months old- that’s crazy.  I feel like we spent so much time trying to fix his reflux that the first 3 months just flew by!

Eating
Max has been feeling pretty good, reflux and eating wise.  We have started eating oatmeal- he loves it!  The child just took it right off the spoon like he knew exactly what to do.  We started oatmeal because he just didn’t seem satisfied anymore.  He was taking so much formula, and would then spit up a lot of it, but still wanted more to eat.  So, I tried the oatmeal and he loves it! So at 10, 1, and 640 he nurses, then get some solid food, then takes 4oz of formula.  He is a growing boy!  =)

Development
Mister has really started talking more.  He does it mostly when he is by himself playing in the pack n play w all his toys.  He likes to roll onto his sides and kick.  He is raising his shoulders and chest way off the mattress- but still hasn’t found any interest in his feet yet.   He seems much more laid back than Lexie was.  She was a determined little thing, and he just kinda doesn’t care … If he is fed and dry he is a happy boy.

Lexie loves to pay with Max.  Today she had an empty wrapping paper roll, declared herself a “sheepard” and then said, “Max is Baby Jesus.”  It was hilarious!  We have all been enjoying the fire, Max and Missy Cat especially.  He loves to watch the fire, and Missy loves to lay in front of it.

This past week was Christmas- we had snow!  It started Christmas afternoon, and didn’t stop until the next morning. We literally had 8″ of snow.  I will post pics later.  Lexie didn’t like it much- she just enjoyed walking in it.  haha  But, we lost power.  There was a lot of ice before the snow fall.  We heard limbs snapping one after the other, and about 7:45pm we had no power!  So we toughed it out that night, with a fire.  The next morning we went to the inlaws a stayed the day, and night.  The next morning we had power.

I will try to get a post in on what our Christmas was like.  Things are just really busy here, and about to get even more busy.  So, it may be a while before I get it up!

Happy New Years!

Week 13 Baby Summary

Mister was officially 3 months old on December 2nd (also JTom’s birthday)!  But because of how the weeks fell, he is 13 weeks old.

Sleeping
Max has been sleeping from about 7:15pm until 5:30-6:30am.  Today (December 4th) I let him cry it out when he woke up at 5:20am.  I went in and checked on him, calmed him down, then put him back in the crib and left the room.  He cried and fussed on and off for about 30ish minutes.  But he went back to sleep until 6:50am!  So we have been CIO today.  It’s not easy, but he is getting it.  After his first nap he only cried (on and off) for 10 minutes before falling asleep.  I am keeping one arm unswaddled, because he can use that hand to soothe himself if he needs to.  (Oh yes, he is in love with his hands this week!)  If it takes him longer to relax and fall asleep, I go in after 10 minutes, pick him up until he is calm, then place him back in the crib.  I know today is pretty much going to mean very little sleep for him, but after a few days, he should be sleeping on his own.  I think he is ready; I feel that way because when I try to get him down he struggles, wiggles, and fights me.  He just can’t settle with me holding him as well anymore.  So, I think it’s time he tries to settle himself.  I will update at the end of the week on how it has gone.

*update*. It has been 3 days now and Mister is doing great with his day time sleep!  We have rough patches through the day, but overall he is putting himself to sleep with very little crying or fussing. I watch him in the monitor, and he usually is just sucking in his hand, with his eye closed, while he rolls around some until he settles.  He has been paci free for 3 days, and I think he is nursing better as a result.

Eating
He seems to be feeling better, reflux wise, so it looks like the dairy free is helping!  One week of no dairy and he is like a different boy during the day.  Looks like we have a dairy protein allergy.  (I will make another post on that later). 

Devleopment
Max is starting to try to raise his shoulders up, and he can do it pretty well.  He rolls from his tummy to back easily and Lexie LOVES to watch him do it!  He is already rocking/rolling onto is sides, and can almost make it to his tummy from his back!  Im sure this will happen before the end of the month.  I am still not sure if he is teething…  I really want to say yes because of all the chewing and drooling (oh my!) but developmentally this is when babies’ saliva glands start producing more (it was part of evolution to help break down food/breastmilk as it changes with baby’s growth.  Also to help build the stomach flora as baby grows bigger).  And since that falls right in line with baby discovering his hands and enjoying chewing … I just don’t know!  His gums have looked like he may be teething since the middle of October, and he started chewing in the middle of November … so we should have something happen by the end of this month if he is in fact teething.  They do seem to be a bit more puffy and white there at the middle bottom, than the rest of his gums.  So we will see.

Max is laughing, smiling, and starting to find his voice a lot!  He is squealing some, especially when he is tired and ready for a nap, he starts really jabbering.  He blows bubbles non stop and spit just flies every where!  Lexie thinks this is a serious problem, “He’s dwooling, Mama.  He’s dwooling!”  She is so serious!  It’s sweet.


Love Bug
Lexie has started napping again at home!  We seem to have found her sweet spot during the day for tiredness, and now that those molars are in and she is no longer scared of going poopy in the potty, things are getting back to normal.  But who knows how long that will last before we get more molars, or something else changes and throws her off for a while.  Regardless, I will take any sleep she can get!  =)

She’s enjoying gymnastics, and can do her bridge, straddle, pike and tuck. She really enjoyed the foam pit last week, and got brave enough to kick her leg up in the balance beam.  It will be interesting to see what she does this week (tomorrow, Friday).  We are doing Advent activities each day, and taking about Baby Jesus, Christmas, love, being kind, and God’s love for us.  Sue Sue has given us some really great resources to use during the month of Advent.  She has really enjoyed the Christmas stamps I got out.


She loves her daddy getting her up in the mornings, and doing her bed time routine at night.  My favorite part about her being in a toddler bed now, is climbing in bed to snuggle with her when she wakes up!  She makes me a spot, says “here, Mama, you need lovie.” and we snuggle.  It’s wonderful!  She walks around talking on her phone like a grown up (and Im never on the phone in front of her?), and loves to cook in her kitchen.  Now she wants to play with Max all the time, which is basically just them laying on the floor together.

Baby Summary Weeks 8-9

I know, I’ve been slacking. I am running behind on Max’s updates.  Things have been very … crazy around here.  But crazy good!

For the last week, Mister has been waking at 4:00am in the morning!  Sometimes as early as 3:30am!  I knew this was a possibility, that he would go from sleeping so well, to waking early.  I also read that sometimes before babies start sleeping through to wake up time, they may teeter-totter going from 3:00am, to 4:30am, back to 3:00am, etc.  That’s exactly what Mister did for the last week.  Then suddenly, at 10 weeks old he slept through to 6:00am!  Woo Hoo!  
Now, the last two days he woke at about 4:00am or so, fussed for a minute, then went back to sleep before I even got to his room.  I think this also has to do with us starting some CIO. At first I let him cry during the day for anywhere from 10-20 minutes, depending on how he was crying.  And so far, things are going really well; he is only waking for about 3-6 minutes now, fussing and falling back asleep.  It’s amazing!  I’m not doing hard-core CIO; I didn’t do it until 8 months with Lexie, but i didn’t really have to until then.  With Max I need him going to sleep on his own sooner than she did, so that’s why I am trying it earlier.

Anyway, for his weeks 8-9 everything was pretty much the same as before.  Week 9 he started eating more at each feeding.  He will nurse and now takes about 4-5oz after nursing… So he is a hungry little Mister!  His schedule is the same, based on a 3 hour routine…  He is talking a LOT, super snuggly, laughs at mommy, daddy, and Lexie all the time.  He is staying awake for a little longer now.  His wake time is about an hour to an hour 20 minutes, depending on what we did during wake time.  If he was super stimulated (ehum, by Big Sister) then he may go down earlier.  His wake time includes: diaper change, eating, burping, playing, talking, diaper change, and swaddling/wind down for nap.  That’s a lot to fit into an hour and 20 minutes, so there isn’t much “playing” quite yet.  I am anxious for the day he is awake longer, but I know it will come.  I’m just ready for him to get to interact with all of us more.  =)

I’m making Mister’s summary shorter this time, because Sissy has MUCH bigger news going on these days than Bubby does!

playing with Mister

Love Bug is back in school, two days a week.  We were getting read to put her in gymnastics when JTom remembered that we put aside a rather large chunk of his paycheck at the beginning of the year for mother’s day out.  Our plan was to have her home w me after I stopped cleaning houses, which was at 7 months pregnant, until max came.  After Max came we would do mother’s day out one-two days a week for Lexie’s sake and mine.  Well …. we FORGOT!  So, to use up the rest of the money (because it’s a cafeteria plan we will lose it if we dont use it) she is going 2xs a week through january.  Then she will drop to once a week.  However, we are still doing gymnastics- and she LOVES it!  We went last Friday to try it out.  She was already a beginner tumbler, she’s had so much practice in her crib and all … so she fit right in!


Speaking of cribs … we are in a big girl bed now!  Scary I know- but so far so good.  She loves it, the transition was an easy one.  She is still in her sleep sack, not sure when we will discontinue it, but she can’t get out and roam as long as she wears it.  =)  Plus, she loves her “night night gown” … i think she feels secure in it.



A few weeks ago Payne came to visit us, and then the next weekend Granny and Mia came to visit.

Payne and Max

Just a singin’

curls

gymnastics

wasn’t so sure about the foam pit

Life is Good!

Granny and Max

Mia, Max, and Lexie

Granny and Lexie cooking “greens”

Bed head

Lookin like her Mama

Counting her “monies”

New clothes from Granny

Such a precious girl



Comparing schedules

Ive been going back and looking over my blogs from when L was Mister’s age.  Turns out they are so much alike it’s unreal.  On my Nov 12th post, when Lady was 2.5 months old, she was sleeping exactly as long as Mister is, about the same size, and eating about the same amount.  The biggest difference is with her, I didn’t start meds for her reflux, and I didn’t have her napping quite as well as M does.  I think that just has to do with A) him being no meds and B) me knowing what to look for as far as him being sleepy.

However, I’m worried his Zantac isn’t working anymore … The last two days have been horrible.  He’s been in a lot of pain and only naps well in his swing. I’m not sure exactly what’s going on but I’m going to give it the weekend before I call the dr about upping dosage (for weight increase) or changing meds; he has started pulling off while nursing again, and after eating he will cry out and then gulp/choke/gasp for breath.  So I know the reflux is hurting him; and I don’t think the rice is helping.  I can’t make it any thicker and it go through the nipple, so I’d have to spoon feed it to him, and I think he’s just too young for all that.  Anyway, after the weekend we will see.  The Coliccalm doesn’t seem to be doing anything for the reflux, not sure about his gas?

My days now are a bit more structured, mainly because I understand what baby whisperer and baby wise are saying and also because I have a 2 year old smack dab in the middle of her terrible-ness.  At that time, I had L on a great routine, but looking back she was definitely way over tired by the time I was putting her down for naps, and therefore wasn’t napping well.  But she always had good night time sleep (thank goodness!). So that was an okay trade off!

But, at almost 8 weeks old, here is what Mister’s routine looks like:

  • 5:00-6:00- Wakes, Zantac, small feed, goe back to sleep (either in crib or with Mama in chair)
  • 7:00- wake for the day, regular feeding, nurse then 3-4oz bottle
  • 8:05- Down for nap- rests on and off depending on gas/reflux until
  • 10:00- Eat, nurse 3-4 oz
  • 11:05- down for nap- rests on and off depending on gas/reflux until
  • 1:00pm- Eat
  • 2:05- down for nap (however he usually has not slept well at this mid morning nap, and therefore goes to sleep closer to 1:30pm, sleeping until about 3:30 in the swing if necessary)
  • 4:00 Eat
  • 5:30pm Cluster feed
  • 7:00pm last feeding of day
  • 7:35 asleep in crib
SO, that is typically what our routine looks like, but with him being so young and having the reflux and gas, it tends to be more flexible in the naps department.  Eating, however is always the same.  After his 10:00 feeding, we usually go for a walk and/or play outside.  If it is a day we plan to go grocery shopping or run errands, we do this about 8:30, home by 10:00 for him to eat and L to have a snack.  At 25 months, her routine looks like this:
  • 6:40-7:00- wake, daddy gets her from crib, she demands milk
  • then snuggle time with Mommy and “my Max” while mommy nurses and daddy gets ready for work
  • 7:30-  breakfast (yogurt, toast, oatmeal, fruit, etc)
  • play time
  • 11:30-12:00- lunch depending on am wake time
  • 12:00-12:30- down for nap depending on am wake time  (here is when she usually poopies in her pullup (this whole potty training thing has us all out of whack), I have to go change her, then put her back down for nap… but because this interrupts her getting ready for sleep, I’ve been going back in at the hour mark and rocking her to sleep.)
  • 2:30- if she didn’t nap I get her out of bed at the 2 hour mark
  • 3:00- if he napped, she is awake by 3:00
  • play outside, crafts, etc if napped… relax and keep it low key if she didn’t
  • 5:45pm- dinner
  • 6:30-7:00- bedtime depending on morning wake time
Right now, L needs a total of about 12 hours of sleep.  Her naps are usually 1.5 hours, which leaves 11.5 hours of night sleep on days she naps.  If she does’t nap, she has a very early bed time to prevent over tiredness the next day.  It’s all a numbers game..
So, big plans for the next few weeks.  This weekend we are going to a family reunion in LA.  Then next weekend my dad comes to visit, the next weekend my mom comes, then a few weeks later we have Thanksgiving!  ALREADY!  That’s insane.  I think we are going to Memphis for Thanksgiving… that should be a fun challenge.  Our first overnight trip wrangling two!  Fun Fun!  Of course halloween is this coming week.  Ew.  I’m not a fan of halloween, and until my kids are old enough to stay up late enough, we aren’t celebrating.  And yes, I will be one of the moms that takes the candy and exchanges it for something cool, a toy or new clothes, etc… like the tooth fairy only for crappy, overpriced junk food.  =)
OK, well I am going to bed now.  It;s 9:17pm, that’s about 20 minutes past my bed time!

 

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