Sunday, March 20, 2011

She's a fickle pickle.

Chicken is one fickle gal. She loves something one day and dislikes it the next day. This happens all the time. She eats practically an entire cucumber so I go to the store to buy another, slice it up and she tosses the slices on the floor one by one. She eats three broccoli florets and wants more, so I quickly steam some and she ignores them.
I guess I should get used to it, right? I'm sure she'll be no more predictable when she's 8 and switching best friends daily or when she's 13 and telling us we're the worst parents ever.
It is interesting to observe her though. I made this risotto last week and Chicken devoured it. She couldn't get enough. She looked the broccoli as if to say, "Who invited you?"
The next night, we had leftover risotto with some sauteed zucchini and carrots. She shoveled the vegetables into her moth and starting tossing risotto until her dad moved it away.
The following day, I served her the leftover vegetables at lunch and she didn't even touch them. Is it possible she just doesn't like leftovers? I hope not, because we love leftovers around here!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Self Serve

Chicken is becoming an independent woman. She's mobile, communicative and somewhat demanding. A few weeks (or more?) ago, she started gesturing at what she wants. Of course, most of the food options are in the same general location on the table, so I tend to guess wrong more often than not.
Lately, she's very interested in serving herself food. She has started trying to put her spoon in the yogurt container (sometimes losing the spoon and just digging in with her hands...) and likes choosing her own pieces of food. I'm excited to see her exert her independence, but it does mean lots of messes to clean up. She likes to dig her around in a bowl of peas, name it. Sometimes she takes some out and eats them and sometimes she just plays with them, but either way, she's learning about making choices and having fun too.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Straws Save the Day!

I know I've been slacking. Sorry! I think my mind is occupied with thoughts of 1st birthday parties, our wet basement and Bethenny Every After.
But, we've had some great developments around here! Chicken can drink through a straw! Hooray! As Chicken gets closer to one year old, it's important that she be able to drink from a cup. I bought a number of sippy cups and they just didn't work. She couldn't tip them back far enough, especially in her high chair. When I gave them to her out of her high chair, she could tip them back, but had trouble getting anything out if the cup had a valve. If the cup didn't have a valve, she could get sips, but the water would go everywhere. I decided to teach her how to drink from a regular cup (no lid) first. I don't mind mopping up a bit of water and it helped her to learn how to control how much water would get to her mouth. We tried sippy cups again and it didn't work well for us, because I think the need to mash down on the spout of the cup translated to some problematic nursing sessions. Then we moved on to straw cups. Kids need to learn to drink from straws anyway, so I figured we'd just skip the sippy mastery. I bought a few different kinds of straw cups, but Chicken just chewed on the straws. We started giving her sips from our water classes when out at restaurants, but plugging the top of the straw with a finger and releasing the water once the straw was in her mouth. We did this a bunch of times and continued offering the straw cups at home. We used these three kinds of cups:

This pink one, Playtex Lil Gripper Straw Trainer, was recommended on some mommy forums because you can squeeze the cup to get liquid through the straw to help your child get the idea of the straw. We use it now, but it didn't do the trick. The First Years Take 'n Toss were on sale so I got them, figuring they'd come in handy. They're flexible, so you can squeeze them too. We like them a lot now also. I haven't tossed any yet. We'll just reuse them until the lose their luster. The last one, by Zo-li, is awesome because the straw is weighted and flexible the whole way down. So, if there's any water in the cup, Chicken get suck it up. With most straw cups, she'd tilt them and then suck in a bunch of air because of the angle of the straw.
Chicken's dad and I have no idea what clicked with Chicken. One day she was chewing on the straw and the next day she was drinking water. She now "demands" water with every meal. I try to limit it to a few sips with food, because I don't want her to fill up on water rather than food or breast milk.
I'm thrilled about this development because it helps Chicken to be more independent and, although I'm getting sad about the prospect of weaning her to cow's milk, at least now I know she'll be ready to use a cup when she needs to.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Big Apple

I have been neglecting my blog. I'm not sure that anyone, aside from my loyal friends, is reading. I keep meaning to write a post and then get distracted by other responsibilities (and episodes of Top Chef All-Stars...). Here's a post to make up for the past few weeks.

We took Chicken to NYC for a long weekend and had a great time. It was a perfect example of why BLW works for us. We didn't have to bring any special food for Chicken or plan our meals especially for her, aside from considering bedtime. I did pack fresh fruit because I wanted to make sure we all got a few servings in over the weekend, but otherwise, Chicken ate what we ate. Here's a bit about our meals.
We ate lunch one day at a delicatessen near our hotel. I ordered matzoh ballsoup, a reuben and a fruit plate. Chicken's dad had a chicken sandwich (ha ha ha). Chicken had matzoh ball, chicken and veggies from the soup and fruit. We also ordered her a mini bagel because she loves bagels...
That night, we weren't all that hungry and it was getting too late to take Chicken out to eat. She snacked on an apple. (I take a few bites to reveal some of the flesh and then she scrapes away at it with her teeth.) Then, we ordered room service and each had a bit to eat before bed. We ordered the kids' chicken fingers and an eggplant panini. Chicken ate bits of chicken, eggplant, tomato, multigrain bread with pesto, and a pear that I'd brought from home. Her dad and I ate the amazing fries that came with the chicken fingers. Just because she can eat what we eat, doesn't mean she should. She looks like a greasy little piggy in this picture, but she was busy chowing down! Our room had a huge window seat with a wipeable cushion so we perched chicken there and scrounged around the room for a non-breakable "plate".
The next morning, we'd planned to meet family for breakfast, but since we wake up very early, we had "1st breakfast" in our hotel room. We'd gotten gourmet rice pudding the day before. Since it's all natural and basically just rice, cream, sugar and eggs, I felt like we could all splurge and enjoy some. We also had blueberries from home
Later that morning we walked around and met family for brunch. I'd been worried that we wouldn't find high chairs around the city, but Chicken quickly reminded me how flexible she is. She ate sitting on my lap and right off of my plate. We had scrambled eggs, fruit and english muffin. I don't have a photo of us eating, but trust me, she did a great job!
That night, we met friends for dinner at a tiny Greek restaurant. Luckily we got there early and snagged the table by the window. It had a little window seat that Chicken could crawl around. We got hummus with pita that Chicken devoured. She got tired by the time our food came so she just picked at rice, lentils, vegetables and feta.
The next morning we went to brunch at a nearby hotel. Chicken had some of her favorites: fruit, bagel and scrambled eggs. We stopped at Chelsea Market on the way home to check out. We tried some yummy gelato. The woman who waited on us gave us a spoonful of vanilla just for Chicken. She tasted it and was so surprised by how cold it was. She cracked us up because she was just as surprised with every little taste. She loved it, of course!
I realize that some people might be critical of how much Chicken indulged over the weekend...Rice pudding! Gelato! Keep in mind that she's still nursing and getting her nutrition from breast milk. We feel that she can try all sorts of foods, in moderation, as long as they aren't dangerous (e.g. no nuts, popcorn...).