Thursday, March 27, 2014

1st Solids and Our Take on Baby Led Weaning


Weston is 6.5 months now which means

We went with sweet potatoes for his fist big boy meal!



So far he’s had……..
Baked Sweet Potato, lightly mashed
Avocado Sliced or mashed in the Boon Feeder 
Pear, lightly mashed 
Apple chunks in a Boon Feeder, Or a whole apple to teeth on (monitoring a must)
Baked Acorn Squash chunks with coconut oil 
Banana slices  or popsicle style
Teethed on a cold celery and carrot stick
We’ve also mixed combinations of the above foods after he tried them solo a few times.

At this point he hasn’t met a food he doesn’t like!
I think he’s going to follow in his dad’s foodie footsteps.
I just hope he doesn’t have my massive sweet tooth!

Not only does Kent LOVE food but he gets a huge kick out of watching Weston enjoy food.
Seeing his son love food like he does makes his foodie heart go pitter-patter!

We’re only 2 weeks in so we’ve been playing things on the safe side.
This weekend we’re going to load up on some organic greens and veggies and get a little more adventures with is meals.


2014-02-22 05.58.11 1No we didn’t let him eat it!

Our Food Philosophy for Weston:
For the most part we let him feed himself (with his hands, supervised of course). He does great!
He actually prefers to feed himself. Unless we’re running late on meal time. Then he needs a little help to get started. Yes it gets  messy but that’s part of the journey. Weston has no problem scooping up his food with his sweet chubby hands. It’s so cute to watch him in action! Kent’s little foodie in the making!

Our Goals:
We want Weston to have fun experimenting with food, flavor, and textures. 
We’ve chosen not to do purees at this point and try not to over mash things that need to be mashed so they keep some of their texture. Nothing wrong with purees and I’m sure we’ll try some in the future. We just don’t want purees to be the main part of his diet. We want him to work on manipulating his own food, chewing, and getting used to different textures! We hope that he will to grow into an adventurous little eater!

We’ve also decided to say no to baby cereal/grains for the 1st year. After doing some research and per the the recommendation of our pediatrician we’ve decided it was just something want to style clear of at this point. Down the road sure, but not for a while.

There are many opinions about giving babies grains. If you’re interested in more info on why not to include grains in your infant’s early diet do a little online search. You’ll find tons helpful articles on how their bodies do not yet create amylase which is needed to break down grains. It’s not something I want to get into on the blog but if you’re interested in more info it’s out there for ya!

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Our take On Baby Led Weaning Our Formula Fed Baby 
Unfortunately Weston is not exclusively breastfed so the way we’re going about lead weaning differently than others who are exclusively breastfeeding and wanting to keep breast milk the main part of their babies diet. Wish it was different for us but we’re working with what we’ve got! To watch my vlog on our breastfeeding journey click HERE. I loved some of the ideas behind baby led weaning so I pulled a few of the key components that I liked and made them work for us.  
What We’re Doing: 
-Mashing some foods but making sure to keep their texture.
-Preparing fruits and veggies that are 6 month friendly cut into shapes he can feed to himself.  
-Serving his food on the tray of his highchair usually no bowl or spoon for him (at this point).
-We’ve replaced 2 bottle feeds (this is what we’re doing but talk to your pediatrician 1st. Weston was getting too many bottles for a baby his age so our pediatrician recommended we remove 2 and put more focus on solids. This many not be the same for everyone.) with 2 solid food meals a day severed with a little water in a straw sippy cup, this will change to 3 meals at 9 months. 
-Allowing him to explore food and letting him figure it out. He’s actually pretty good at it and is able to eat most of his meal on his own.
I only help if he’s A: Getting frustrated or B:Needing a little coaxing. At this point he prefers to feed himself. Sometimes he gets upset if I try to help.

As he becomes a little more experienced we’ll change things up!
Yes of course we want him to learn how to eat from dishes and use utensils but at this point since it’s all very new we’re not incorporating that just yet.

What’s Different About BLW A Formula Fed Baby: We’re basically doing Baby Led Weaning but since he’s formula fed we agree with our pediatrician that we need to make sure he’s getting some extra nutrition through healthy foods. When he sits down to eat it is about exploring but also I make sure that he’s consuming enough of what we give him to give him to fill his belly with some goodness. For those who do BLW while exclusively breastfeeding they don’t have to be too concerned about the amount they baby eats as they are getting all they need from breast milk. They can play and experiment and if they only take a bite or 2 it’s no big deal.  They also let the baby kind of lead the way making sure to keep breastfeeding the main part of the babies diet. Since he’s formula fed we’re not too worried about him loosing interest in formula. I’m not saying that we’re taking that away by any means but we are not concerned about him loosing interest.

So Many Things to Love About Baby Led Weaning!
It’s awesome when we all get to share a meal together… the same time!
Yes it is possible! You don’t have to take turns feeding the baby then eat your own cold meal alone after everyone else is finished . I also love that it empowers them to be adventurous eaters. If you think back many, many years ago they didn’t have pre made baby food pureed ready to go.  That takes a lot of the fun and learning out of the “learning to eat” stage. I also think over simplifying what baby eats plays a part in why we have so many picky eaters today; but that’s just my opinion. Again I’m not against purees! We’ll try them at some point I just don’t want his diet to only be purees. To each their own!

I love that down the road we’ll be able to feed Weston pretty much what we eat (with in reason of course). We have a few different stages to go through to get to that point but the idea of us all sitting down to share meal together sounds wonderful even if that includes a massive mess!

We’ve still learning and trying things out but I will keep you updated with our progress!

And I will leave you with one of my favorite Weston faces……..


He soooo didn’t get that from me Winking smile 


Next week I’ll be back with a post full of the things we’ve found useful thus far in our 
Baby Led Weaning journey!

I posted 2 post today! To see our “What We’ve Been Up To” post click HERE


An Update: What We’ve Been Up To

Hey y’all!
Sorry I’ve missed blogging these last couple of weeks!
My carpal tunnel is acting up again.
I’m actually typing this while wearing my super awesome and oh so stylish wrist braces.
I hate wearing these dang things but they help!

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Anyway I’ve been laying low and trying to stay off the computer as much as possible the last couple of weeks to give my wrist a little break. 
Thus I’ve missed our weekly Tuesday/Thursday posts.
Carpal tunnel is just one of the weird things I picked up during pregnancy.
It’s usually not a problem but flairs up from time to time.
If it doesn’t clear up by the end of the week I’m thinking about going to see an acupuncturist.
Anyone every seen an acupuncturist for carpal tunnel?

I pretty much fly solo during the week caring for our 20 pound cutie.
I’m sure lugging him around all day is not helping the carpal tunnel situation. 

ABM_1392940429Skyping with Grandma and cousin in China!

My mother-in-law is coming home this weekend!
She’s left for an extended trip when Weston was 3 months old.
Soooo much has happened since she left!
I can’t wait to see her.
I can’t wait for Weston to see her.
Annnnnd well I’m a little excited to have some help with little buddy!
Okay maybe a lot excited even though I do super feel guilty saying that.

2014-02-21 01.15.02 1Entertaining my chub. Bottles and paper work in my hoodie. And a seflie! If that’s doesn’t say multitasking I’m not sure what does!

Kent works long hours during the week and Weston is not one of those babies that enjoys playing on his own.
He needs constant mama attention!
He and I are attached at the hip.
I love my little hip hugging buddy in fact it’s going to be a little hard for me to let go when Kent’s mom gets back but my adorable hip hugger makes it super hard to take care of other things like…..
You know boring adult type stuff. 
Not to mention work!
I almost took on a few shoots while she was gone but so glad I decided to take off.
There is no way I could have worked without help! 

It hasn’t been easy trying to manage it all without help!
Single parents I tip my hat to you! 
Kent helps as much as he can and he’s awesome about jumping in but we’re both looking forward to having a little grandma support a couple hours here and there! 

If Weston wasn’t such a tough cookie it really wouldn’t have been hard. 
Now that he’s napping, sleeping through the night, and just all around a happier baby it’s a whole new world!
Before then things were a little tricky! 
I’m at a place now where I feel like I got this….kind of.
But it will still be nice to have a little help from time to time!
This means I’ll be able to go back to the gym!
Get my house back in order.
And go to a few doctor visits. Including getting my wrist checked!

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I’ll also be heading back to work towards the middle of April.
Weston will be staying with Kent’s mom (I know, she’s awesome y’all!) for a couple of hours each day while I work.
What a blessing to have family help out!
Extremely grateful for that!

In other news…….
Finally got my hair colored and cut.
It’s been 7 months and it was looking BAAAAAD!
Post partum I have massive amounts of gray hair.
No really a crazy amount!
It’s actually quite sad.
I went in thinking I was going to get highlights to help hide the gray but left with an all over color (dark drown) and a few highlights in the front.
I LOVE it!
The cut!
The color!
I can’t remember the last time I left a salon happy.
If you follow along on instagram you’ve seen the bad style photos!
I don’t blame them though.
Naturally curly hair is hard to deal with!
So happy to have found a stylist……finally!
It only took 5 years. 

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I’ve tried to shoot Weston’s 6 months photos twice!
The weather is not cooperating but IT’S ON this weekend!
The high is in the 70’s and the sun will be shining!
I’m planning on taking some in the studio as well but I really want some great outdoor shots!
He has 3 new teethers that just broke through the gum line.
2 on top and he’s getting his 3rd bottom tooth.
How is it possible that my 6.5 month old will soon have 5 teeth?!?
His 2 front teeth are looking like they will be coming in soon!
I’m feeling the pressure to document the heck out of his current smile before he has a mouth full of pearly whites.
This round of teeth were way kinder to us then the bottom teeth were!
Thank goodness for that!
Kent doesn’t buy it but I’m thinking it’s the Amber necklace!
Maybe a post on that soon!



We got our birth photos back!
I know, I know Weston’s birth was almost 7 months ago.
A friend of mine shot them for us as a gift.
I told her we weren’t in a rush to get them back.
Now that we have them I can’t wait to share them with you and I think…..I think…..I’ve talked Kent into recording our birth story with me.
He hates being in videos but I really need him to help me fill in the blanks.
He remembers the whole thing! 
I was waiting for the photos before I shared our story with y’all.

That’s about all I have to update you on!

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I’ve posted 2 post today!
To read my post on our  take on Baby Lead Weaning click Here

Be sure to follow along on Instagram.
Most of the photos in this post were previously shared on our Instagram account. 

I update our account daily with random photos and things we’re up to! 
I’m not a huge facebook fan so I’m not on there often but Instagram is my blog away from blog!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Weston’s Newborn Photos

Weston turned 6 months yesterday! I figured it was high time to share his newborn photos with y’all! The image quality is tons better over on my photo blog so I’m going to direct you over there so you can take a gander. I promise they are full of squishy cuteness. If you’re a Weston fan you’ll want to take a look!

I also blog about the session and what it was like taking my son’s newborn photos. A little squishy of my own to photograph!

To see Weston’s newborn photos click HERE!

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Our Journey with Baby Sleep Training


Weston is 5.5 months old and riddled with sleep issues. They've been with him since he was an infant. Many we helped form as a means to survive the 1st few months with a very fussy reflux baby who then turned into a very fussy early teething. These sleep issues have now been picked up as  habits, a lone vehicle to sleep.

Sleep experts call them “Sleep Props”

The Swaddle: This is a BIG one for us and one that he relies on the most. If we want him to sleep longer than 20 minutes a tight swaddle is a must. 

The Paci: It soothes him and helps him drift off to sleep but it only works when he’s in the right mindset. If he’s not in the paci mood the second it falls out of his mouth he flips out until we put it back in. Then the whole cycle repeats.  

The Booty Pat and Rock: I cuddle him close to my chest rock him while patting his tush. Works usually but often backfires when it’s time to put him down.

The Sound Machine: It helps to settle him and keep him in a deep sleep. Without it he wakes often.

The Boob: Possibly his favorite way to fall asleep; while nursing.

The Mama Daddy Bed: Weston loves being close to his 2 favorite people. He’s been that way since the second he was born. He takes the best naps and sleeps the longest stretches when he’s cuddles up with us. My husband can sleep just fine when Weston is in bed with us but I cannot. I’m a light sleeper so every move he makes I wake up. I also worry about my husband who is a deep sleeper rolling over on him so co sleeping while it works for some and is precious is not ideal for us.

All of these things work together to help our little nugget drift off to la la land and until now it really hasn't been much of an issue. It worked, so it’s what we did. He was going down around 9:30pm and sleeping until 8am. It was awesome and we often told people that he was a great sleeper! Until it all started backfiring!


I’m not really sure what caused things to get all out of whack. A growth spurt? Teething? A mixtures of both? Our perfect little sleepy concoction was no longer working. Weston was going down and taking us with him. 

Naps become nonexistent which lead to an irritable baby during the day.

He stared waking every 1 to 2 hours during the night.

He used to sleep a 9 hour stretch without eating then started taking 2-3 5oz bottles during the night which caused his feeding schedule during the day to decrease since he was eating so much in the middle of the night.

Mr. Fussy Pants turned into The Hulk on a rage binge. He was happy one second screaming in frustration the next. Besides being in my arms nothing really kept him happy for longer than a couple minutes.

He started taking tons of little mini naps. 10min here. 5min there. He was always falling asleep the second we got in the car but only for a few minutes (remember the swaddle issue).

We didn’t know what to do but decided it was time to make some changes. I made it a priority to do some sleep training research: sleep schedules, night time routines, how to break the swaddle habit, tricks of the trade.

After researching I realized we were pretty much doing everything wrong.


If I’ve learned anything of value in these last few months of parenthood the one thing that I’ve learned that’s been golden is that every baby is different. It’s not typically a one size fits all type of thing when it comes to raising children. I knew this would be true with sleep training as well. Weston wasn’t going to respond to this transition the same as Sally Sue’s kid. Nope!  So I took several things I liked from several different sources and mashed them all together to form our “Sleep Training Plan”. I hoped it would work but knew it may need some tweaking along the way. I talked the plan over with the hubs to make sure we were both on the same page and prepared him for a week of little to no sleep. 

Our sleep training journey was underway.  To start us off I decided it was time to transition Weston to his crib. Maybe having more room to stretch out and a dark quiet place to fall asleep would help some of the sleep issues we were dealing with.

He’d outgrown his Rock and Play (which is what he slept in until this point) and we felt it was time to break him of his swaddle habit. I wasn't comfortable moving him to his crib while swaddled and the swaddle was just one more thing he relied on to sleep.

When we decided it was time to move Weston to his crib we started to notice all the “sleep props” he needed to be able to fall asleep and how they we’re actually hurting NOT helping the main key for a successful night’s sleep…….

The ability to self soothe.

We were creating the prefect recipe for him and bundling it all up in a nice tight package so he didn’t even have a chance to learn how to do it on his own. How do you teach a baby to self soothe? You don’t, but you can give them the opportunity to learn!

20140226_164304Picture of our baby monitor

6 days in and I’m happy to repot that……

*The swaddle is no longer needed. High five! I can NOT believe I’m saying this.
*He’s napping 2 to 3 times a day. The 1st and 2nd nap are around an hour and the last nap is 30-45min. We were lucky to get cat naps before so this is huge!
*He’s sleeping in his crib! There’s been some good long stretches mixed in with the not so good but that’s all part of the process. He does seems to be much more comfortable in his crib. 
*When we started it would take Weston around 20-40min for him to fall asleep. He now typically falls asleep within 10 minutes of being put down!
*His night feeding has cut back. He wakes around 1ish for a bottle and goes right back down after he’s finished.
*He’s back to a regular eating schedule during the day.
*Things don’t seem to rustle his feathers as easily as they did before and he’s just all around a happier calmer baby. He still fussy but it’s leaps and bounds better! He’ll actually let me put him down for more than 2 min stretches! I’ve been able to wash dishes, do laundry, catch up on email all while he happily plays with his toys which he would not do before. 

For only being 6 days in I think we’re making great progress. It hasn’t been all puppies and roses. I’m tired. The hubs is tried. I’ve spent hours hugging our baby monitor. Thank goodness for video monitors! Someone (not naming any names Kent) almost threw the towel in. We’re still trying to overcome a few hurdles but we’re trucking right along. I’m super happy with our progress! Weston has really shocked us both with how fast and how well he accepted the transition. The fact that we haven’t used a swaddle in 5 days is pretty big! Ummmm and naps….HELLO! I’ve never really benefited from them in the past. Let me tell ya they’re good for baby and mama!

I’m not naive in knowing this isn’t the end of the road. We still have more things to work through and I’m sure as he hits growth spurts, teething, and all that jazz things will change we’ll have to revisit “sleep training” but at least we’re starting down the right path!

Disclaimer: Sleep Training is one of those things that comes with tons of different opinions. People are passionate about methods used to break bad sleep habits or getting your baby on a sleep schedule. I say whatever works for you and your family! It’s important to educate yourself on the topic but it’s also important to take what you learn and make it work for your specific child as they are all so different. Unfortunately each child is not born with a handbook. It’s all about trial and error. Due to this I chose not to share exactly how we tackled our sleep training plan in this post. I’m not an expert on the topic and I’m in no place to say “This is what you should do….” With that being said I am happy to share a few things we did to break the swaddle habit, start a nap routine, and make the move to the crib in another post if there is interest in it. Again it’s not a one size fits all kind thing. If you would like to know how we decided to go about it let me know and I’ll work on getting a post together.