Happy eating with baby

At around 4 months, Emily started showing interest in food - but she was not quite sitting up well, plus I was following current recommendation to start at 6 months. Even then, every time she sees us eat, she would stare so hard as if wanting to eat and I would feel so bad (I remember seeing her mouth move in a chewing motion as I eat in front of her!) So as of her half birthday, we celebrated by giving her first meal. We were looking forward to this day. My husband was to feed her as we were not successful in getting her to take the bottle. We were beaming with excitement, and as my husband was about to give her her first spoon, she took hold of the spoon before it reached her mouth and took it in her mouth instead! So this baby is very interested in food right off the bat, we’re lucky in that department. Here are some things we do on the daily basis that I believe help foster happy eating with baby.

  1. Eat together as a family - it may not be possible at all times, but for the meals that you can, eat together at your dining table if it's breakfast and/or dinner. I am currently on maternity leave which I am fortunate to have time to dedicate to making warm meals 3x a day. It is not easy but I am enjoying the process. Most days, we all get up around 7am based on baby’s wake up time and we’re usually able to sit down and have our breakfast. Baby knows that once we put her in her highchair that it is eating time. She also knows that I or both my husband and I will be beside her eating as well.

  2. Eating time - dedicate these moments as eating time. I have once recorded Emily eating from start to finish for one of her meals, and it only took about 10 minutes. I wish it was longer! She is eating mostly puree, at times playing with her food, swinging the spoon, banging the spoon on her table. Mess on the floor, leave it for now. Just enjoy these moments - this is them learning.

  3. Give control to baby - I have only observed my child. I find the best outcomes when we give her control of how she eats. We scoop a spoonful of puree food for her and leave it on her table, she picks it up and feeds herself. It is such a joy to watch! I do feel a bit sad that she doesn’t need me to feed her, but on the other hand, I can respond to what food she seems to like more of, stopping when she is full, etc. I feel it is my job to allow her to experience the best meals (health wise as possible, now taste wise - that’s a different story, as I am still levelling up my cooking skills :D)

  4. No distractions - Turn off TV or devices. Cultivate an environment that is relaxing for eating. Babies are just like us, if we are plopped in front of a device or tv, we’re not really paying attention to what we eat or the process of eating. We also miss out on the joy of the company of others.

  5. Celebrate - it is such a joy to watch your baby eat that we can’t help but praise her. We probably look overbearing to others, but every time baby feeds herself, I can’t help but jump up and down (I usually clap and say “bravo!” or “such a good baby”, “super baby!”, “woohoo!”)

Would like to learn more tips on happy eating with baby, feel free to share.

About 1 week into eating solids…she doesn’t look that happy here, but she is a happy eater!

About 1 week into eating solids…she doesn’t look that happy here, but she is a happy eater!

Potty training at 7.5 months?

Nope not trying to be controversial here in the potty training world. But this afternoon, my sister dropped us off back at our apartment, and she noticed some tell tale signs of baby needing to go. She took her diapers off and took her to the toilet just like that. Baby just went and went and voila…joined my sister to do a happy dance and that was it. Baby looked so happy!

I tried to get baby another time in the toilet but I was too late.

So I’ve been looking up some potty toilet for the little one.

Am looking at the IKEA one and on this one from Amazon.

My criterias:
a) easy to clean (least amount of parts),

b) easy to store/travel with

Update: Writing this update Jan 24, 2019 (about 2 weeks since I’ve been putting her on potty). I try to catch her when she is grunting/quiet with a long stare and I take her diapers off and let her sit on the toilet. So far, everyday except 1 day she has been going to the potty.

Here we go 2019!

Hello 2019! I am looking forward to 2019. A few themes I want to live by in 2019 (FFF! my three Fs below)

Feeling Fab

  • Do things that make me feel fab both physically and mentally - top of mind on this is cleaning my closet. I have this thought of going to an even smaller wardrobe size. I don’t want to get carried away and not have anything, but I am leaning towards a capsule wardrobe . I already have a relatively small wardrobe, but I feel change is inevitable.

  • Back strengthening exercise 15 minutes daily

  • Swim 1x a week

  • Write 1x a week

  • Sew 1x a month

Family

  • Home made meals: I want to cultivate a home that is cozy and where myself and my husband are eating well. So far my go to meals are ginger beef, veggie kale soup, and coronation chicken. I have also tried a few new dishes - ramen, spaghettini with pesto sauce, broccoli tuna casserole. Also tried baking sugar cookies for the first time (now why I waited until 2018 is a shame :D). For the upcoming year, I would like to try: freeze make ahead pizzas, garlic prawns, overnight oats, granola bars and make more snacks.

  • Family trip - am planning a trip to Japan with my husband, baby and my sister and her family in early May. This is the only big trip planned for the year and also prior to me returning to work.

  • Memory keeper - take longer videos, talk less in them and let the voices around me be captured.

  • Connect - call and connect with my family better. I deleted my facebook app recently, and I already feel less of a slave to my phone, of course there are still other distractions in there, but I look forward to filling my time with phone calls/facetime with loved ones.

Finances

  • Budgeting - track our budget better. So far we have made improvements in simplifying finances. 2019 will be the year of Hawkeye watching since I am still on mat leave.

  • Saving - listing out our savings goal for the upcoming year..and guess what, crushing them!

That is all for now :D

Thank you 2018!

What an incredible year it has been! So many to be thankful for. I am deeply touched by the blessings I have experienced this year:

  • First, my daughter is now 7 months old…she is growing very well and that is all I could ask from the universe. I am also grateful that I was able to exclusively breastfeed her for all these times. There were of course many vulnerable moments where I felt low - the recovery pain for weeks, thought my guts were going to spill out (sorry tmi!) post C section, cracked nipples, sleep deprivation, being unable to get out of bed. But all of those are becoming distant memories and the love continues to grow as she grows.

  • We’ve purchased and renovated our home. Wow as if having a kid is not a big enough life event, but these things fell right and more so now that we are settling into our home. Grateful for family - both side of mine and my husband’s who made this all happened for us. Corey, with a big help from his dad and mom, they tackled on the renovation for a month and a half. This makes it so much more special for us. I had a moment where I teared up when I saw my mason jars have their own home. LOL. But in seriousness, I was touched by my husband’s thoughtfulness.

  • Memorable travels. Prague for my sister’s wedding in August, Washington D.C. and North Carolina visiting relatives in October.

  • My husband and life partner. He made our house, but he also makes it our home. I don’t say it, but when he and I put Emily to bed together…when he cleans up every night (even after my mess :D) he does so wholeheartedly and with eagerness (and efficiency). Meegwetch.

This evening, after Emily’s last nap, we went to Lonsdale Quay and explored the area. My husband wanted a family outing and North Van is always a treat with the seabus portion especially. We were actually at the tail end of the Quay hours, Corey had wanted to explore the upstairs of the Quay - I was, as usual, overly cautious and already shutting down the idea, thinking that all the stores would be closed. But we did explore the upstairs and first thing was a play corner. What a treat! I mean in our pre-parenting life, this would have been out of our radar, but what a joy that place was and the children and parents there. We quickly got Emily out of her bear suit and she knew it was game time! She is such a social baby and she doesn’t go for toys, but she loves to greet other babies with her squeals. The one boy close to her age was in tears however when the said squeal perhaps was too much for him. Anyways, the parents have a laugh. There was another baby that didn’t seem to mind. Babies are funny. My highlight were the other girls (about 4-5 years old) and one of them had pretty braids and immediately shown Emily so much love…asking her to play, carrying Emily..it just warmed my heart the same way I see Emily with her cousin.

We went home, put Emily to sleep, ordered pizza and called it a night. I really could not have asked for anything better!

On reducing waste

I saw a post about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and what an incredibly shocking thing. If you haven't heard of it or read about it - read about the clean up here.

As clean as most streets of Vancouver are, there's so much excess and waste around us. Anyone else feeling this way? I was already feeling guilty about this - that cup of coffee, those excess plastic covering, the packaging from take out. Now I feel even more mom guilt about this between those diapers that we go through like hotcakes. 

I am making changes in how we live. 

  1. Bring your travel mug - I don’t know why I haven’t done this in the past, but bringing your travel mug everywhere is simple. My first thought is to actually only drink coffee if I can sit down and enjoy it. However now I do value having that to go mug not just for portability but also to minimize spills. I make sure to clean it and prop it in my baby stroller every evening so that I don’t forget it.

  2. Dining in - by default, it is hard to eat out with a newborn - so I upped my meal prep game weekly. I already see the benefits both on waste and  Gone were the days that me and my husband would eat out or order take out 3-4x a week, on certain occasions we still do, but not in the frequency we used to. This has an immense impact already in the single use packaging and throw aways.

  3. Buying bulk-ish - stocking up on certain cleaning items and purchasing larger quantity where storage could fit them rather than purchasing these items every so often. My recent bulkish purchase was a dish soap (4L) and laundry detergent from a local small business owner. 

  4. Refill - about 6 months ago, I've started to purchase refill for soap, shampoo and etc. at refill stores in Vancouver. I have only been to the Soap Dispensary. There is another store that opened recently called Nada. My trips to these stores are limited in that I allocate time to go there as it involves 10 minute drive, therefore I need to be as precise in what I buy and only go there first thing when they open.

 

 

 

Vancouver Public Library - a gem!

A library review here! I know right, who reviews libraries? me! I was simply blown away by the services offered at the Vancouver Public Library - what a gem! Today, when baby woke up after her mid-morning nap, I quickly looked up the schedule for baby play/sing time. There was one at 11:30am at the Central Branch and so I was able to get ourselves ready and get there in time. I’ve been to a sing/play time, but the 11:30am one has more attendees. It was great! I remembered some of the songs from last time. Most especially, I got to sit beside another mom and our babies were looking at each other as if mesmerized that another one just like her is here on earth. Babies are miracles! It was such a fun thing to watch - babies excited to see other babies. What do babies think? What if we as adults get just as excited to see each other, wouldn’t that be a great thing?

I also just found out today that there are baby books in different languages and one of them is Tagalog. I quickly looked for the Tagalog section and borrowed a handful to read to Emily. I got some of the French books as well, will have to learn how to pronounce the words.

Finally, we checked out the newly opened rooftop. What a gem! It was a beautiful fall day, warm sun, bright blue sky, trees with golden leaves that are just about to let go in the wind.

We are definitely coming back again. The great thing about baby time is there are different times at different days that may fit outside of baby’s nap time.

Happy Thanksgiving

Today we celebrated thanksgiving weekend. First, a trip to my sister where my niece showered Emily with affection. It really is the best thing in the world. I would always remember my niece’s reaction when she saw baby “enemy” (she pronounced Emily as “enemy”) on a video chat and my niece said “wow” under her breath. Ever since then, she constantly asks for baby Emily - to hold her, spend time with her. She adores her! My brother in law also always cooked amazing meal - roast beef, and the perfect chicken. I am quite inspired to make whole chicken after our lunch.

In the evening, we went to my husband’s brother’s place - where everyone brought a dish. Where to even start, we had some Chinese food, turkey, perogies and appies. We had a great time catching up with families we haven’t seen in awhile. And thankful for the love they shower to Emily.

I want to thank family, friends near and far as I feel so blessed to have wonderful people around me. I can’t help but feel overjoyed as well that this thanksgiving is my daughter’s first thanksgiving - it truly is life changing that though thanksgiving happen every year, this year is all the more special because she is in our lives. I pray for more moments such as this. Thank you. Meegwetch.