Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Homemade Baby Food 101

I am not a cook.  I can make about 5 meals and most involve pre-cooked chicken and hamburger meat.  Apparently all the cooking skills went to my brother (my brother is a fabulous cook) and I was left with nothing. I can barely boil water without burning down the house, so the thought of making my own baby food was extremely overwhelming.  I have spent hours researching recipes/methods and bothering the heck out of my other mommy friends (holla Carrie...couldn't have done it without you!) with questions. I'm just that clueless.  So...I say all because this was truly the easiest thing ever!  Once I got the hang of it-I couldn't stop.  It is so cheap and easy...I'm telling ya...if I can do it-anyone can! 

It is extremely important to me to start Aubrey off on the right track when it comes to food and nutrition. I know that the choices I make for her early on will have a life long effect on her later in life.  My pediatrician told me I didn't have to start solids until 6 months.  I have waited to start Aubrey on solids because she has done so great with nursing and I figured...why rock the boat?

Well she is 5 1/2 months old now so I figured I better get myself in gear!  

We have to introduce one food at a time and wait 3 days in between each introduction.  The pediatrician gave me a list of stage 1 foods and so I decided to start with carrots and sweet potatoes.  

I purchased a bag of organic carrots & three large sweet potatoes from Tar-Jay, total amount about $3.00.
I threw my carrots in a strainer and steamed them for about 45 minutes and put my potatoes in a baking dish and baked for about the same.

Once they were soft, I started by putting my sweet potatoes in a mixer.  I thawed about 12 ounces of breast milk and added that in as well.  You can play with the consistency depending on how much food you have.  I gave it a few pulses and added more milk as needed.

Here are my sweet potatoes and carrots pureed to perfection!  

Then I poured about 2 tablespoons into each ice cube tray.  

Popped those puppies into the fridge for a few hours and here was my finished product!

I was beyond thrilled with myself.  I honestly cannot cook worth a dime so this was a huge accomplishment for me. I say all that not to toot my own horn...but to encourage others who think they can't do it!   I'm telling ya...If I can do it...anyone can do it!  

So the big question is how did Aubrey Lane like her new food?  See for yourself! 

Clean as a whistle!

Whatcha got there mom?

 Um...what the heck did you just put in my mouth?

I'm not too sure about this orange stuff.

Let me think about it for a moment.

I think I like it!  Yay!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Most Definitely NOT a Mundane Monday

I don't think life has ever been busier.  I swear, my feet hit the ground running at 5:30 in the morning and I don't  have a chance to breath until about 10:30 at night.  But it's okay...it's a good kind of busy!  We officially close on our home on Friday so we have been busy packing and moving.  More on the move to come. 

I officially injured Aubrey Lane for the first time and let me just say it was traumatic.  For me.  She was fine.  Barely blinked an eye.  

I had 10 minutes before I had to leave for work and I just knew those 10 minutes would be ideal for cutting Aubrey's fingernails.  Something her daddy usually tackles, but I felt like I could conquer the world this morning, so I thought I'd give it a world.  First finger in...yes...the very first one.  I prick her skin on accident and it immediately begins puddling blood.  

I immediately start crying just because I can't bear to think I've hurt my baby.  Aubrey is oblivious...she just continues on trying to put her book in her mouth.  That dang finger would not stop bleeding for anything.  I swear you'd think I hit a major artery.  I was a mess...so was my bathroom.

Long story short, I was late for work and Aubrey still has 9 long finger nails plus one finger with a band aid on it. I'm not going to quit my day job to become a manicurist.  

On the plus side, Aubrey was fascinated by the band aid and spent all morning staring at it and talking to it!  Bless her heart-perhaps we need some new entertainment and toys!

 This photo has absolutely nothing to do with the post but it cracks me up.  It's her Austin Power's pose.

Happy Monday Everyone!

Monday, March 12, 2012

5 months old!

 My sweet Aubrey Lane you are FIVE months old!  Sweet girl- you are growing up before my very eyes.  I cannot believe how fast time is flying by.  You are becoming such a little person now; interacting and developing like crazy!  

You give smiles like they are going out of style and you have the most adorable dimple on your left cheek...cutest thing I have ever seen!
You weigh about 12.5 pounds and have what we like to call "thunder thighs"!  You wear a size 1 diaper but are fast outgrowing that size.  I just ordered a pack of size 2 diapers because you will need them shortly.  You wear anything from newborn to 6 month clothing.  Mostly 3-6 months.  You are learning to tolerate your bows-score one for mommy!

You are still nursing exclusively, I haven't introduced solids yet, but it won't be long.  You nurse 6 times a day and are still sleeping through the night.  I wake you up at 5:30 to feed you and then put you right back down.  Lately you have been "singing" in bed for about 30 minutes before going back to sleep.  Such sweet sounds...although at 6:00 in the morning it isn't always cute! Ha!

You love to sit in your Bumbo, your swing, and your jumperroo.  As long as there are toys in front of you, you are content.  You hate to lay flat on your back, so the playmat is now in the closet.  You still love bathtime and are fascinated by the rubber ducky.  You cram it into your mouth each night at bathtime!  

You take a morning nap for about an hour and a half, and afternoon nap for the same and usually an evening nap for about 45 minutes.  You are a great napper!

Daddy felt it was necessary to interrupt our photo shoot to clean out your ears.  Just keeping it real! 

You are our sweet little doll, Aubrey and we cannot get enough of you!  You light up our lives and make every moment special!  We love you, Bre!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Park Fun and a WINNER!!

Miss Aubrey and I were hanging out on Sunday (Christian was at work) and we just couldn't contain ourselves.   We absolutely had to go to the park.  The weather was just too beautiful!  I knew I was supposed to wait and go to "Aubrey's First Park Trip" with both Christian and myself...but I just couldn't wait any longer.  The park was calling our names!  

I called my sweet sis in law to join us and we had the best time! Aubrey loved just watching the busyness of all the other kids, and she loved the swing as well!  

Christian couldn't stay mad too long when he saw how much fun Aubrey had...he forgave me!

I can't even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed reading everyone's comments on fear.  I loved the verses and encouragement that ya'll had to offer...each one ministered to me in different ways.  Ya'll are amazing as always!

SOOO... I entered all 7 numbers into a bowl and I had Christian pull a number.  Our lucky winner of the book  is...drum roll please...ANGEL at The Mustard Seed.  Sweet Angel is a gal I met when I was pregnant with Aubrey.  She found my blog because someone told her I was naming my daughter Aubrey Lane and she has a precious little girl named Aubrey Lane too!  Turns out, our husbands went to high school together too!  Small world.  So Angel...email me your address and I'll get this book to you right away!  

Happy weekend everyone!  

Sunday, March 4, 2012

What Women Fear, Laundry and a Giveaway!!

My best friend Kayce gave me the book What Women Fear by Angie Smith for my birthday and I have been unable to put it down.  It is one of the best books I have read in a long time.  The book is broken up into chapters based on various fears, such as fear of the "what if", fear of failure, fear of death, fear of rejection and many more.  Angie has a way of writing so honestly and with complete vulnerability.  Her lack of perfection and humor at herself is so comforting and easy to relate too.

As far back as I can remember, I recall being a fearful person.  My parents had to tell me there was no Santa at age 5 because I was petrified of waking up to a stranger in my house.  Presents or no presents...a strange, fat man is not my idea of fun!  And don't even get me started on the Easter Bunny.  Talk about being scarred for life at the thought of waking up to find a huge, 8 ft bunny at the foot of your bed...I mean...that's traumatic people!

Darkness was another one of my fears.  I honestly slept with a lamp on all night long up til my teenage years.  I refused to sleep with the lights out, and a small nightlight would just not suffice.

Now days, my fears are different but no less profound.  I find myself fearing for my family.  I fear losing my husband or child and being left without the ones I love.  I fear sickness.  I can't imagine myself or one of my family members having to deal with a life-threatening illness.  Shakes me to the core.  I fear financial burdens.  Myself or my husband losing our jobs or our security. I fear failure and rejection, the possibility of messing up or making a wrong decision.

 I fear not being able to live up to the faith that I proclaim.  It's easy to have faith and dedication when things are good, but what about in the hard times...am I going to fall flat on my face or will I have the strength to cling to my faith and stand firm?  Those are real things I struggle with and fear on a daily basis.

While contemplating these fears and thoughts, I've felt God repeatedly saying, "Ashlee, I'm not in those fears." I feel the Lord gently telling me that He isn't a God of uncertainty or insecurity. He isn't a God of doubt or distrust.  He is a steadfast God who longs to prove Himself faithful.  Yes...I may fail and I may falter throughout life but He won't.  He may allow one of my darkest fears to come to pass and I will probably fail to demonstrate my faith properly, but overall He will remain.  He will be my rock when I'm not capable of standing.  His truth remains no matter what. He is not going to let me down and that my friends is the only things that remains certain in a world filled with changes, uncertainty and trials.

I am confident in Him alone.  I'm definitely not putting my trust in myself.  I can't even put it in my family or friends because we are all human-we mess up.  But God remains who He is.  He won't change or let me down no matter my circumstances.  Even if I don't want Him to be there...He will be...and I'm so thankful for his steadfastness and commitment to me.

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7

You ought to read Angie's story if you have a moment.  She is one amazing woman. I can only hope to have faith like hers in difficult times.

Since I've found this book so amazing, I want to bless one of my readers with a copy of the book What Women Fear!  I've never done a giveaway so this is new to me!  I only have about 5 readers...so you have a good chance of winning!!!  All you have to do is leave me a comment and perhaps share a little about what you fear and how you overcome those fears.  Maybe a verse you find comforting or uplifting. Even if you don't have a blog...you can still leave a comment and your email address so you can be entered!  That's it!  I'll set the deadline to enter for Thursday, March 8th.

Whew...that was a bit heavy but it's a truth I want to be able to read again and remind myself of in the future.

So just to lighten the load a little (no pun intended) here is Miss Aubrey Lane's laundry progression.  Sweet girl is fascinated with her feet so as you can see they are in route to her mouth.