A dream come true!

I love my life. I find myself thinking about that a lot lately. When I’m at the fabric store with my mom and Jack, choosing which colors I want to embroider on some dishtowels, when I’m sitting at home with Jack and we’re both giggling at each other’s silliness, when I’m cleaning my roomy (if somewhat outdated) kitchen, and while I sneak a little nap in during Jack’s morning nap. I just can’t believe that I get to do this.Β I get to be Ryan’s wife and Jack’s mom. This is my life!

A year ago, life was a lot different. We were still in Texas, practically broke, living penny to penny, stressing constantly about how we were going to pay our bills. I was pregnant, missing home, missing family. We were undergoing a lot of changes. It was our first time truly living on our own as husband and wife. There was no one to turn to, except each other, when the going got rough.
And even though it was difficult to push through…look where it got us! God has been good. He’s brought us back, he’s brought us “home.” We are bonded together more than ever before, and we’ve got a beautiful boy to love and cherish along with each other. We no longer have to go without meals just to make sure we can pay for electricity. And that was only a year ago! Let me say it again, God has been good.
I feel like I’m living my dream. What an amazing feeling! I’m married to my best friend. I’m caring for my child and anticipating the eventual arrival of many more. I’m a stay-at-home-mom. I’m learning to be more creative. I’m learning to manage my own home. This is the life, my friends.
Though we are dealing with some big adjustments right now, I feel the need to thank the Lord for what we’ve been given. He’s challenging us – if one thing is for sure, he’s reminding us of how desperately we need him, over and over again. That can’t be a bad thing!
And now, I have a question about babies. πŸ™‚ This one is for you, mamas! I’ve just recently started to feed Jack solid food on a regular basis (three small meals a day, with Cheerios, a teething biscuit, and the occasional sippy cup filled with water in between). He’s started to sleep through the night again, which has been great. But I’m having some issues…
First of all, is it important for me to make sure he’s eating both vegetables andΒ fruit? He loves fruit and he’s pretty into sweet potatoes (of course, they’re sweet, Mama!). I just can’t get him to eat carrots, peas, green beans, squash, or basically any other vegetables but sweet potatoes. I’m not sure if I need to be concerned about this. I’m worried that he’ll never acquire the taste for them if I don’t start him early. I’m not worried as much about his being nourished by vegetables as much as I’m concerned that he’ll neverΒ want vegetables. Is this silly?
Secondly…is Jack nursing enough? 5 times a day, sometimes more…I have no idea what the average amount is for a 9 month old. I’m feeding on demand – I really don’t mind if he eats whenever he’s hungry or needing the comfort. But I just want to make sure he’s being nourished. He seems to be gaining weight perfectly fine. We don’t have insurance right now so he hasn’t been to the pediatrician in quite some time. But I’m pretty sure he weighs about 23 lbs.
Lastly…are there any homemade baby food makers out there? I started him off with homemade food – pear sauce, apple sauce, attempted acorn squash, attempted avocado, and of course mashed up bananas. But lately, I feel like it’s too risky to make a whole batch of homemade organic fruit or vegetables in the event that he doesn’t even like it. So I’ve been buying Earth’s Best organic baby food in jars. Since I’ve established that he likes sweet potatoes, I’ve been thinking about making those homemade because I can count on him to eat them. The problem is….I need to figure out a system if I’m going to do the homemade thing. If I don’t have a system, I won’t follow through. Personally, I feel better about fresh food, even if it ends up being frozen or refrigerated. At least I know where it’s coming from and who’s making it. But….store-bought food is easy. I need some tips.
If I can do cloth diapers, I can make my baby food! It’s all about getting into a system that works. I’m sure I can conquer this issue, but I don’t have many (read: ANY)Β friends here who are doing this stuff. Help, mamas!
And now I’m off to attempt to sleep. Last night, regardless of my exhaustion, sleep didn’t come to me until 1am. What’s up with that?
Oh, and my brother is coming to town tomorrow! Hurray for brothers! I can’t wait!
Night night… πŸ™‚


Filed under eating food, on being a mama, things we celebrate

5 responses to “A dream come true!

  1. Katie

    Ok, well you asked so I’m going to be opinionated ok? πŸ˜€

    Yes, you should feed Jack vegetables and mostly vegetables over the fruit. Very little fruit. Why? Because fruit is sweet and yummy, and if you let him decide he’ll never eat vegetables πŸ™‚

    Do you have the book Super Baby Food? She goes over this well. And, just because a baby refuses something does not mean he will not eat it if 1)you keep giving it to him and he learns “hm, this is my option” or 2)you don’t give him a second choice, he can finish later when he’s ready and hungry. I know that sounds HARSH – but I didn’t stick with my guns with Nora, I don’t know why.. third time around I got soft πŸ˜‰ She was ok around 12 months but had learned she could boss me around and at 16 months old she refused to eat anything but hot dogs, salami, or chicken nuggets from McDonalds only. Bad, huh?

    When the pediatrician told me what to do, I said “yeah, I did that with my first two.” He asked why I stopped and I said “I thought I might have been too tough on them, they’re only babies.” And he said “You are the parent, you’re teaching them to love what is good for them.”

    Interesting thought, huh? Kind of like God, He tells us in His word what is good for us and we can learn to love it – or learn the hard way He is good, true, and right πŸ™‚

    If Jack has a really hard time, you can do this. Say he likes pears but not peas (those are nasty smelling, I admit, but the kids did learn to love baby peas) mix half and half. Then slowly add less and less pears until he’s eating just peas. It works. πŸ™‚

    So my opinion is, sure – make a bunch of food and freeze it. Then teach him to like it πŸ™‚

    You don’t need a baby food maker if you have either a blender or a food processor, they do the same job!

    Hmm.. and again, I highly recommend Super Baby Food – it’s really good.

    At 9 months my kids would nurse like that and the pediatrician said 5 feedings was ok – but then they all ended up weaning by 11 months ( the 2 that went even that long, that is). I’m not saying he’ll definitely do that. But.. if you want to nurse longer, you really should cut back some of those solid foods. I have several friends who only nursed their babies at 9 months, and around 10 months their babies would have an occasional finger food snack.

    One of those is Carole, and she is very kind to reply back to e-mails about nursing πŸ™‚ But just beware that she may tell you he’s eating an awful lot of food for so young just like me. Not that it’s wrong, just realize what part of the choice in weaning your baby food makes.

    That’s what I did with all the kids (baby food), but I plan not to this time with Shiloh. We’ll see how it goes!

    Dr. Sears says “In many cultures a baby is breastfed for two or three years. Our western culture is accustomed to viewing breastfeeding in terms of months. This is not the norm the world over.” So if feeding Shiloh other foods takes away from breastfeeding too much, I think I’ll just cut back on the foods.

    After all, God’s design was best! And he did not design blenders in the garden πŸ˜‰

    OK, that’s it – I’m done being a bossy friend!

  2. ladyofvirtue

    Dear Rissa,

    This is what works for me:

    If I am breastfeeding, then the food thing is just for interest and fun. I have very healthy children, and have never stressed over whether or not they have eaten vegetables, and pretty much they all love them (my 23yo son has a few objections).

    As far as foods–I have not relied heavily on any jars of anything. Have you ever tasted that stuff? It’s worse than cardboard–even the organic stuff (except for the cereals with fruit). I have always just fed them off of whatever we are eating–beans, mashed potatoes, etc. (and yes, I do use a little butter and salt and pepper for them–they do notice those things).

    My kids always love canned green beans, mostly because they can hold them and eat them, and they aren’t chokey because they break up so easily. They also love canned peaches and pears.

    Yogurt is another good thing–although it usually contains so much sugar! My little dear likes puffed kamut or brown rice, flavored with kefir (much better than yogurt, anyways). Also, you can buy some good quality plain yogurt and mix your own fruit in, such as applesauce, etc.

    In my humble opinion, unless there is a specific health issue, food is not one of those things to stress over. Children are human beings, and as human beings God made them hungry! They will eat, and they will have their own specific tastes about things–no matter how many jars of nasty-tasting peas we try to give them when they are babies.

    Just some no-nonsense advice from a mom of 14.


  3. lalalauren

    Hey Rissa,
    I enjoy reading your blog too. =)
    I’m trying to keep mine updated and I’m slowly finding time to write… I’ll do my best!

    On the food issue… not that I have much experience yet, but I would say keep introducing vegetables. Maybe as you cook them for yourself at dinner set aside a little and mash them with a fork or put them in the food processor. I just had the thought too that maybe blending them with a little bit of breast milk might help since he is still nursing. It sounds like you are doing good though! I think it would be natural for little ones to prefer fruits because all they’ve had is sweet milk for so the taste is palatable. With my niece (she’s two now) we had a lot of luck with mixing carrots and sweet potatoes together. Good luck and keep us updated on how it continues!

  4. Lindsey Elizabeth Burke

    Hmm. I started feeding Eli 3 meals a day at 7 months. And I didn’t make his food *gasp*, so I am unfortunately no help there! But, I will say that even when I was feeding him 3 meals a day he was till nursing 5 times.

    He had MAJOR objections to BANANAS! Of all things! But, I just kept giving them to him when John would eat one or one of the boys I Nanny. And now he sees them and gets excited and squeals!

    When I started him on solids, I started him with vegetables. Someone suggested I do that just to get him accustomed to eating non-sweet food first. And he has always loved his veggies! Now that I am giving him table food and no longer pureed food, he eats EVERYTHING! I attribute it to giving him more veggies than fruit. Now I will give him both on his tray and he’ll eat one thing at a time till they are both gone! So, hooray!!

    If Jack has teeth he can start eating table food too! Whatever you and Ryan are eating. Although, I tend to make Eli his own meals. Pasta with homemade spaghetti sauce. Fresh green beans, peas, potatoes. But, he loves to feed himself. So I have started phasing out the baby food πŸ™‚

    This was REALLY random. My brain is all over the place, trying to stave off the sleepiness that surrounds the first trimester!

    You are an awesome Mom! No matter what you do with Jack you are doing an AWESOME JOB! Buying baby food jars or making it, either way babies love it! So, don’t stress out too much over it! He’ll be eating the same food you eat soon anyways πŸ™‚

  5. BJ

    Hi Rissa! My little munchkin is 9 months old now too! πŸ™‚ They’re only a few weeks a part- July 20th for me… anyway, I’m mostly breastfeeding still, a few times a week I’ll have her taste foods, but no real set schedules/meals yet. (and also waking up to eat often still!) I make the foods myself too, and plan to do that more as we go along. I got a baby mill which helps grind it up well. So far she’s eating/tasting (organics) brown rice, applesauce, bananas, berries, and sweet potatoes (SO EASY! Just bake and peel the skin!). We’ve also tried mangoes (undecided), peas (not a fan), green beans (kinda liked it). Anyway, my main thought is that I would mix everything with breastmilk, but so far, I’ve been too lazy to do that most the time- but have done it on occasion. I bought these individual cubes you can freeze- I was hoping to find freezable glass jars, but haven’t found any small enough, so I’m using the plastic one’s I found at onestepahead. Veggies versus fruit… hmmm, well… I guess I’m not too worried about it myself… I’m actually a fruity myself, but love a great salad and a few other things. I figure, they’re both really good for you, so, if she ends up prefering fruit, that’s ok. She’ll still have to eat a bite or two of veggies when the time comes to eat full meals with us! Darin recently read that sweet potatoes are the most nutrient rich veggie out there, so, that’s nice. -Even though it’s sweet. -Brooke Soukup

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