Our little family

Our little family
Our little family

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mini pick: Making Baby Food

I just wanted to do a quick post "mini pick" (not going into too much detail) on how easy it can be to make baby food and some of the items I use to do so. I try to make as much of Jackson's food as I can...why? well for starters it is cheaper, and my other main reason is I know exactly what is going into his food. The only time I give him the baby food pouches are when we are out, most Sunday's here lately he gets them for lunch because our church is so far away, it's lunch time before we can get home and I don't want to leave food in the car unless it is sealer properly and meant to be shelved. (we buy Ella's Kitchen and some gerber organic pouches, We prefer the organic pouches because they do not use ingredients you can't pronounce, they only use what is needed/the fruit or veggies).
As far as recipes, I don't really use them. I just kinda wing it as I go and try new things, however, There are tons of recipes online for all kinds of baby foods if you want to follow recipes or have some guidance at first.

The site I do use for baby food questions is wholesome baby food. They, to me, have been the best resource and answer pretty much every question that I have had regarding baby food.

Here are the tools I use to make baby food.

Pictured is a rice cooker/steamer, a ninja blender, and take and toss brand containers. 

I LOVE these take and toss containers. They are a perfect size for a single serving of food for J. (we don't toss them). They wash great in the dishwasher and I love how they are microwavable too. (at least they haven't melted yet, never really checked to see if they really were). You can find them at most "big box" stores for around $2-$3 for a 6 pack. 

A closer look at my cooking "tools". Both I purchased at Walmart...the rice cooker/steamer for around $30 and the Ninja mixer for $100. The Mixer comes with two individual "smoothie" size cups that can be blended right in the cup and a large 40oz. drum mixer. I use the big mixer for my weekly baby food making and use the smaller ones when I need to blend something for him that we are eating so he can have some of that. 

I also use a food scale to make sure I have equal measurements of food for each serving. (yes, I am OCD) This one was also purchased at Walmart, I think around $15. 

And that is it. All the items I use for making and storing baby food. I normally make a week's worth at a time so there is no need to freeze. I use to freeze his food and make a lot more but started to notice the food seemed watered down and the consistency was different after it was frozen. So I switched to one week at a time. It takes me anywhere from 30 min to an hour to make his food, for both lunch and dinner for the week. J eats oatmeal for breakfast so no prep there. (We feed him Oat Revolution brand oatmeal.)  
There you have it, baby food mini post on the ease of making baby food.

Come back next week for some finger food/toddler meal ideas!!

Until Next Time...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Letter To The Formula Feeding Mom

This is part two of this series, part one can be found Here (A Letter To The Breastfeeding Mom).

This is a letter to the formula feeding mom, from a formula feeding mom. As I asked in the first post of this series, if you leave feedback I ask that it be polite and respectful. You do not have to agree with what I say, But rude comments can be hurtful to those this letter is for (myself included). I agree that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and respectful disagreement is accepted.

Dear Formula Feeding Mom,

After 10 months of exclusively formula feeding my son (he is almost 11 months now) I feel that I can say I am almost out of this topic all together on a direct level. Most toddlers wean off formula after their first birthday, and seeing as we have one month left I almost feel a sense of weight lifted of my shoulders. It's unfortunate to call it a "weight" when all it really is, is feeding my child. So after being almost on the other side of things I wanted to share some things with you, the formula feeding mom. Let me say, as I said in the other letter, I support you 100%, weather you formula fed from day one or spent months trying to make breastfeeding work and choose to use formula when you weren't successful. I support You!

First, and most importantly, remind yourself and tell yourself everyday that how you feed your child is 100% your decision. If you choose to formula feed from day one, or spent 3 months fighting trying to make breastfeeding work and then made the switch to formula, It was the right decision. The world does not have a say in how you feed your child. You do. It isn't easy I will say that, watching friends and other mothers succeed at breastfeeding while you pull out a bottle of formula wondering inside what they might be thinking of you. I really wish there were more formula support groups out there. I understand the struggle within to struggle breastfeeding and am so happy there are breastfeeding support groups out there. But what about mothers who can't breastfeed. It's almost like people just assume we are perfectly fine formula feeding and there is no emotional issue there. Wow, are those people wrong!

I struggled for months on the inside with how I wasn't able to breastfeed. I still today have times where I go back to that thinking and question what I could have done different to make it work. Here is the answer, nothing! There was nothing I could have done that I didn't or anything I could have done differently. It just wasn't meant to work for us. And there is nothing you could have done differently either! You are a strong beautiful mother who loves her baby! If you have to write that on a post it note and stick it to your mirror, phone, or even the can of formula then do so. Tell yourself everyday that the decision you made for you and your baby is the best one you could have made.

Here is something else you have to remember... You don't owe anyone an explanation or answer to any question regarding how you feed your baby. I felt for a long time I owed people more than a simple "it didn't work" when they asked (I don't know why i thought that, but I did). To be honest I will never understand why people think it is any of their business how or why you feed your baby the way you do. People don't go around asking about intimate details of your marriage (at least I never have been asked) so why do they think it is any of their business how you feed your baby? It isn't, so don't feel like you owe a response or answer to any question regarding your baby. (This is the reason why I choose to leave the personal details of my breastfeeding journey out of this series, it isn't really anyone's business but mine and I plan to leave it like that. This series isn't about one person's journey, it is for many to relate to)

I want to also remind you, as I remind myself often, the majority of breastfeeding moms are not out to get you and do not think negative thoughts about you. There are a select few that believe the whole "breast is best" to the extent that they make you feel like feeding formula to your baby is poison, (some do think that, for some reason, and I will never understand why). However, the majority are not thinking that at all. I really believe that with all the "breast is best" campaigns and little support for those who go the formula route it can feel like an attack for sure. I know that none of my friends were thinking I was a bad mother, or thinking I didn't try hard enough. I'm sure that even strangers who saw me feeding formula to my son didn't have evil thoughts towards me either. Often times it is the battle within ourselves that we fight the most. That is why support is so important. Everyone enjoy's hearing that they are doing good!

I encourage you to seek out other formula feeding moms in your area to have that support. Find support through those who understand. Sometimes venting about our feelings can be the best from of therapy. well, that and chocolate ;). I hope that this letter encouraged you to not only stand strong in your decision but also reminded you that you are not alone in this.


A Formula Feeding Mom

Until Next Time... 

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Letter To The Breastfeeding Mom

Before I start this I just want to say this is not an attack at breastfeeding moms at all! This is a letter to breastfeeding moms hoping it will shed a little light on how formula feeding moms feel. I have (as well as myself) several formula feeding moms and talk to many I don't personally know and I feel these are the things we struggle with the most, in a nutshell. I have been wanting to write a post about this topic and now after almost 10 months of exclusive formula feeding (son is 11 months) and deciding how to approach this topic, I finally feel like I can. Remember, This isn't an attack on anyone, please don't feel that way. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and this is mine. Having said that, if you choose to leave feedback, I ask that it is polite and respectful, even if it doesn't agree with what I say. I can only speak for my side of the story and would love someone out there who has been successful at breastfeeding to share their side in the same way. *This is a 2 part series (see bottom of post)

Dear Breastfeeding Mom,

Please understand from the beginning that I support you 100%! I am so glad that breastfeeding has worked out for you and your baby no matter if you has zero trouble from day one or if you struggled for weeks before finding success. This is simply a letter to you from the other side hoping to share how many formula feeding moms feel. Also, this letter isn't for those that feel breastfeeding is the only way to feed your child. It's not one of those letters, I'm not trying to convince anyone that one way is better than the other (Honestly, the way you feed your child that keeps them healthy is the best way, regardless of what you use).

Let me start by saying most of the time, it's not you, its me (I know, cliche right!). Personally speaking, I struggled for months within myself over how breastfeeding didn't work for us. It sucked seeing all my friends succeed at breastfeeding while I had to keep telling myself inside that I was doing the right thing for myself and my baby by giving him formula. (don't worry, I don't have some grudge against breastfeeding moms, not at all). I struggled wondering what people thought of me every time I pulled out a bottle and formula in public. Did they think I was a bad mother? That I didn't try hard enough? Were they going to come pour salt in the wound by suggesting trying something I had already thought of? (yes, most "suggestions" are just salt in the wound). All those thoughts went through my head for months. And honestly I don't know how many people, even family, really understood the battle I was having within myself over this. I kept quite, smiled and thanked those for their advice and said "We just weren't able to make it work for us but he is doing great on formula." So, like I said, most of the time, it's me, not you.

There are times that it is you thought, and I can say for myself (and a few others) the one thing that hurts the worst from breastfeeding moms is this....when you say "I understand". Not to hurt your feelings, but you don't! You succeeded at breastfeeding, I didn't. Remember the salt in the wound? That is pouring the entire shaker of salt in there. If you struggled with it then you understand struggling, you don't understand having to break down and stop altogether. You don't understand the battle within yourself about not being able to do what is considered "the most natural thing" for a mother to do. If you take anything away from this letter take this...Please don't say "I understand" to formula feeding moms. If you do ask, be a listening ear and offer support. (Honestly, the best support is simply saying..."your baby is healthy, and that is what matters". Even though I know I told myself that everyday, it's nice to hear, especially from breastfeeding moms, It shows no judgement). It isn't easy to open up to those who don't understand either, or those who have found success. There were very few (3!) people I really felt 100% comfortable with talking about my choice to formula feed. It isn't easy but with understanding on both ends, mutual respect can be earned and felt.

For those breastfeeding moms who do show support or even those with good intentions in offering advice, Thank you! I know and acknowledge your support or effort to help. Please remember though, formula feeding moms didn't come to that choice lightly, it came with much thought and time. We do not need advice on ways to try to get breastfeeding to work, what we need is support that we made the right decision for our self and our baby.


A Formula Feeding Mom

*Next week I plan to write a letter to formula feeding moms! (part 2 of this series) Come back to read that one, especially if you are a formula feeding mom!!
Until Next Time.... 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

You Can Only Be My Friend If...

Friendship Questionnaire:

Do you clean your house daily?
Do you leave your kids toys everywhere?
Do you buy your kids clothing second hand?
Do you buy your kids clothing new?
Do you serve only organic food at dinner?
Do you buy drive thru dinners?
Do you breastfeed?
Do you bottle-feed?
Do your kids eat school lunch?
Do you pack your kids lunch daily?

Wait, don't answer any of them..Why?? Because I don't care. And it is none of my business.

Lately I have seen a lot of blog posts from people about how mothers shouldn't feel bad for not doing everything under the sun with their child. At first glance I, like many, was happy to see them and was encouraged with the thought "yeah, why should I feel bad for not doing crafts every single friday, or not having a special note in their lunchbox every single day along side a warm fresh baked cookie". With all the "pressure" out there to do all these things I totally see and understand (sometimes even feel) that discouragement, thinking my kid is missing out on something.
But then I had another thought and it has me thinking...Why are we putting those mothers down? Why are we saying it's ok to not do those things but in turn making those who do them feel bad?

***(I know some of them are saying "hey don't feel like you have to do all this for me, I don't care". But remember...some people like doing those things, and also....Personally speaking...I'm not cleaning my house for you, trust me, it's for my sanity!)***

Honestly I am somewhat offended by some of the posts I have read and feel like I need to call them out on something. Maybe I enjoy keeping a clean house (I'm what you would call OCD), maybe I like doing holiday crafts with my kid. I will let you in on a little secret of mine...one of my biggest pet peeves in my house is my microwave being clean. I hate a dirty microwave, I must clean that thing every day, but that is how I like MY microwave. Why should I feel bad for doing those things just because other moms don't do them. Guess what, I'm not over here sitting in my "clean microwave" house talking bad about how "so and so" doesn't clean as often as I do. I'm not sure if it's a way to make ourselves feel better or what, but I don't understand how putting down one group of people makes you feel better. Because honestly that is what these posts are, It's putting down mothers who do those things in an effort to make others feel better about what they choose to do or not do. How is that right?

Instead of targeting a certain "group" of moms, here is my challenge to all moms...


If God didn't give you the drive to do crafts every friday...Don't do them!!! And if he did then have at and get to crafting! We should never discourage another mom from doing those things, just as we shouldn't make mothers feel discouraged for not doing them. There is so much pressure from the media and world to live a specific lifestyle and be a specific way. The last thing mothers need is discouragement regarding what they do or don't do. Guess what, It doesn't bother me if you let your kids toys stay on the living room floor, I don't care if you have never done a single craft, and I am not going to walk in your house and go straight for the microwave to see how clean it is. There is only one thing I care about when it comes to you and your kids...that you love them with a Christ like love. That's it!! If you are loving your child/children then you are a great mom! I know right, how can it be that simple? you mean I don't have to bake fresh homemade cookies every weekend and make pancakes and bacon every saturday morning while everyone else sleeps in? Nope! You sure don't. (but if that is you than by all means, bake your heart out!) Just love your babies and show them God's love.
There is a Steven Curtis Chapman song called "Do Everything" and it talks about whatever you do, do it for God's glory. How many times do we find ourselves wondering what someone else will think of us based on how clean our house is or what we do/ give our kids?? Now, how many times do we ask ourselves what God thinks about those things?? Seriously, weight it out and see if the numbers are in God's favor...because they should be!! You were not created to measure up to Sally down the street's life or opinion, you were created to honor God. Every aspect of your life should reflect that.

So let's all make a resolution to stop pinpointing things that others do or don't do and focus on loving our kids, showing love to others, and living for God's glory in our life. I hope that maybe someone is encouraged to start asking themselves what God thinks and not what others think, or maybe it was a good reminder of that (I know I have to remind myself daily of that).

Closing thought:
Galatians 1:10-- For do I now Persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of God.