Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ethan at Month Eight

Another month has passed, just as quickly as they all seem to do.  Here's my recap on our last four weeks.


While most of this month has been perfect health-wise, E did get his very first full-on cold/virus.  In the middle of the month, he was especially fussy one day so we decided to take his temperature around bedtime.  He had a fever of 102.7, so we gave him some baby tylenol.  Over the next three days, he continued to be very fussy and his temperature would fluctuate between normal (around 98) and high (around 101.3).  We continued giving him baby tylenol the whole time, and while it did help bring down his fever each day, it never really completely went away for more than a few hours.  On day three, in the evening, we took his temperature as we had been to monitor him, and it was back up to over 102.  We decided at that point to take him to Urgent Care, just to rule out an ear infection or something more serious.  After ear checks and a catheter (sorry baby boy!) to rule out any type of urinary track infection, the prognosis was that it was just a run of the mill virus, and it would run its course in two more days at the most.  The next day E was notably better, and after day five he was back to his normal self.


 On the plus side of having to take little E to the doctor's, we did get a weight update - chub chub is 21 pounds! We'll have to wait until his next check up appointment for a current height and head measurement, though.


Ethan has been working on his solid food consumption each day.  I feel like we're not making much progress, but I know it will happen with time.  Part of it is getting into some type of routine with him.  We've always been pretty much on-demand with feeding and sleeping, which really has worked well for us.  The only problem with being on-demand and transitioning to solid food, however, is that we don't have set meal times where I can easily switch out bottles for baby food.  By the time he starts fussing that he's hungry, he's too unsettled to want to eat solid food.  I try to preemptively give him solids when I feel he "should" be getting hungry, but it doesn't always work.  Right now we're up to about 8 ounces a day regularly, and each week I'd like to increase that amount.  We are still sticking mainly to purees, with the chunkiest menu item he eats being greek yogurt.  I offer chunkier items regularly, but they still get rejected.  On a positive note, Ethan enjoys pretty much everything we give him flavor-wise, and he eats his solids well.  I've also noticed him starting to gum things a bit when he eats, which hopefully means he'll be willing to tackle some chunkier textures soon.   He also has a very cute habit of shooing my hand away when he doesn't want any more solid food - not hitting, but gently pushing my hand away when I try to stick the spoon towards his mouth.  Although at that point I'm generally wishing he would eat more solid food, it is pretty darn adorable and always makes me laugh.  :)  His favorite foods are mango, pears, greek yogurt, strawberry banana smoothies, and carrot juice.


Baby boy is all over the place with clothes right now!  For the most part, he's wearing 9 - 12 month clothes.  Onesies have to be 12 months due to length, while t-shirts and tops can be 9 months or even smaller.  Yesterday he rocked a 3-6 month polo shirt and it fit great! I find that I'm starting to like separate tops and bottoms for him as opposed to one pieces and onesies, just because they're easier during diaper changes and the tops don't pull as much in the length.  We just got a few new pieces from Old Navy during their summer sale that should get us through the rest of summer and the beginning of fall.  We let E pick out his clothes each morning by holding up two choices to him and letting him "pick" the one he wants to wear.  He'll consider both items, and then either crawl to the one he wants or hit the one he wants with his hand.  I love seeing what his preference is, even though I'm not totally sure what he's thinking during this whole process!  Mike and I joked that for all we know, he's trying to tell us not to put him in the one he's hitting, and here we are thinking that's the one he wants. Oh well, at least we're trying!


There have been some major happenings in the Wiacek household this past month.  Ethan is crawling all over the house now, to the point that we had to put up two baby gates to block off both sets of stairs.  He can now climb up stairs, and is really good at it.  He loves loves loves to climb, be it on Mama, the stairs, or on top of baskets and shelves.  He can pull himself into a sitting position from lying down, and can stand independently if he has something to hold onto. He can also pull himself into a kneeling position, and from there he can pull himself into a standing position if he has the right object to hold onto.  We also taught him to high five.  Super freaking cute, and so of course we make him do it all the time.  In addition to all of those great things, Ethan can also now feed himself a bottle, although he doesn't always want to do it.  I can give him a bottle in his carseat, for example, and he'll drink it himself while I'm driving.  Oh man, to say we've been waiting for this one is an understatement. Yay for self-bottle holding!

Basket conquered!


I have some truly shocking news in terms of gear this month.  Prepare yourself - E no longer likes dragon pacifier! We didn't see this day coming, at least not this soon.  Over the last few weeks Ethan began pushing dragon away any time we would give it to him, and it even got to the point where he would get mad if we even offered it.  We eventually stopped offering dragon completely, and E seems just fine with that. Poor dragon! We are also beginning to see the end of the snug-a-bunny; while Ethan will still nap in it occasionally, he mostly wants to be in his crib, which is just fine by us.  I cannot believe our luck that E transitions himself out of these items without us having to do it.  The bouncer is another item we no longer use - all of our old standbys are heading out!

Snug-a-bunny is now used more as a fort than a napper.  My little couch potato! 

Items we have been using a lot are the high chair, the stroller, and the Ergo.  E's favorite toys are kind of random things, like his foam bath letters, this little soft plastic turtle, a toothbrush my dentist gave him to play with, a set of small balls, and his Superman To the Rescue! book.

Asleep with his toothbrush ... isn't he supposed to cuddle with teddy bears?!


We've always had it really good with sleep, so there isn't too much new to report here.  Ethan typically goes to bed sometime between 8:30 - 9:30 at night, and sleeps all the way through til about 8:00 am the next morning.  We still have an early morning wake up for a bottle around 5:45 am about half the time, but E's been phasing those out all on his own little by little.


This month has been a little lower key in terms of activities.  While we miss all of our out of town guests terribly, it was nice to take it easy for awhile.  This month we had a party for the 4th of July/Mike's birthday, and Ethan did great with all of the people and sharing his toys with his baby friends.  He had a play date with his girl baby friend Autumn, and he went out with Mama and Daddy on lots of various outings, including Daddy's company picnic.  He also went to a ladies' night dinner with Mama, and was such a good boy despite the fact that the restaurant didn't have any high chairs or booster seats.  He stayed on my lap the entire time, and despite being active, he was calm enough that I could eat my dinner and chat with the ladies for over an hour.


His toothbrush
Climbing (especially up the stairs)
Ice cream
Rough housing with Mama and Daddy
Sitting in shopping cart seats
Carrot juice
Pulling up to kneeling/standing

Least Favorites

Getting his face wiped off after meals
Having a favorite object taken away
When Mama or Daddy leaves the room and he can't follow
Staying still ;)

Enjoying a real Maryland style snowball at Daddy's company picnic ... I'll say he's a fan!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

{Baby Talk} Solid Foods

Now that Ethan is almost eight months, we are really getting into a groove with this whole solid food thing.  I thought I would recap our experiences up until now and share what has worked for us and what hasn't.  So raise a glass (or sippy cup!) and let's dig in!

When Ethan turned four months we were given the green light from our pediatrician to start introducing solid foods.  While we were excited for E to try new things and experience flavors other than formula, we didn't really push solids at the beginning.  Every few days, we would let Ethan try a new flavor from a pouch (Ella's or Plum Organics), and just let him explore the taste and texture.  At first, we would just feed him in his bouncer, since it was easier and he was really only eating a few spoonfuls at the most.  He did well, and had no problems.  He would open his mouth for the spoon, and really a majority of the food did end up in his mouth.  The flavors he liked best were apples and strawberries.

 Between four and six months I would really just give him a few spoonfuls each day, going off of his signals on when he wanted more and when he was done.  Up until six months, we were really just giving solids as fun, and not part of any nutritional plan.  All of his nutrition was still coming from his formula, so we weren't pushing the solids too much. As we moved closer to six months, however, I really felt like we should start to be more consistent with giving solid food.

At the six month mark, I began to try and give E solid foods more regularly, aiming for a good four ounces every day.  We introduced new foods and texture, started sitting in the high chair for meals, and got on a pretty good routine.

By seven months, I really started pushing more regular feedings with solid foods.  We began switching out meals for solid foods, and E began to eat enough solid foods that he didn't have to consume as many bottles.  He eats about 8 - 10 ounces of solid food a day, on average.

This is where we are now with eating solid foods in terms of quantity.  In terms of flavors, textures, and supplies, here is what we've been doing.

I started Ethan on the pureed stage one foods from Ella's Kitchen and Plum Organics.  He liked them, they were convienent, and for the quantity he was eating they were perfect.  I have to say, I still feed E these pouches.  The cost and ease of use and clean up are excellent, and they are all natural with no preservatives.  Our pediatrician also encouraged us to feed Ethan regular food, food that you or I would eat, just as long as it was a smooth texture with minimal chunks.  I started with greek yogurt (Chobani or Oikos), and Ethan just loved it!  I also give him soups, oatmeal (thinned, of course), and Mike and I let him try anything and everything we have that he can manage.

So far, Ethan's favorite foods are greek yogurt (especially mango flavor), pear oatmeal with cinnamon, carrots (pureed, in soup, or in juice), soup (tomato or cream based), apples, mangos, and the apple and carrot pouch from Plum Organics.  He also loves ice cream, natch.

In terms of products, we had a little hit or miss as we were figuring out the differences between bottle feeding and solid food feeding.  His terry cloth bibs could really not stand up to the onslaught of solid food purees and drips - they would be soaked in an instant.  We switched over to the waterproof bibs, and found that Bumkins Superbibs worked the best.  The food that hits the bib slides down into a little pouch, and, best of all, they are machine washable.  Other waterproof bibs that have a clear plastic pouch work well, too, but they can't stand up to the washing machine - the plastic pouch starts to warp and crinkle.  You could hand wash them, I suppose, but ain't nobody got time for that!  Bumkins Superbibs are really the way to go for us.  We pop them in the washer on a quick cycle with other kitchen towels and small loads and then let them air dry on a clothes rack.  I will also admit that on occasion a Superbib has ended up in the dryer from time to time, and they held up perfectly.

Our high chair seems to be great, and I have no complaints.  I don't have anything else to compare it to, but I really like it and it seems to be a good value.  We went with the Graco Blossom 4-in-1 system (in the Vance print) because it had high ratings on Amazon, we liked that it would grow with E, and it seemed to match the style we were looking for at a decent price.  At first I had the extra padding and everything on the high chair, but by now I've taken the extra padding off of the back to give E a bit more room in the chair.  He doesn't mind the high chair at all, and it is easy to get him into and out of it.  The chair is on wheels so I can move him around the kitchen, and the trays pop off easily for clean up.  A bonus, too, is that the straps can easily be removed and thrown in the washing machine, because let me tell you, they get super gross.  The "leather" back is also a nice feature, since it wipes down easily and doesn't seem to stain, despite the onslaught of carrots and such E smears on it.

While bibs and the high chair were pretty easy picks, we struggled with sippy cups over here.  It was really hard for me to find a sippy cup that Ethan used with relative ease and that didn't spill all over the floor.  Finally, after trying about 5 different types, we went with a Nuby.  It has handles, which are good for early sippy cup users, and the spout doesn't spill when the cup gets turned upside down or pushed onto the floor.  Also, liquids seems to come out of the spout fairly easily, so E won't get frustrated trying to use it.  He isn't a master at it yet, for sure, but I feel that this sippy is giving him the most success.

Solid foods have been an adventure so far, and really so much fun.  I can't wait until Ethan enjoys eating things with more texture, and eventually all of the foods we eat.  It is exciting to see which flavors he enjoys and which he doesn't; things like that are some of the first little peaks we get at his ever-budding personality.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

{Delicious Dinners} Chicken Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries

I know what you're thinking ... Sara posting a cooking recipe? What is happening here?!  Well, Mike and I are trying to lose some weight and get healthy is what's happening. Mike wants to get more fit for Ethan, and I have a few more pounds to lose from being pregnant - and yes, that was over seven months ago.  I know.  Therefore, the springform pans are being replaced with skillets, and the sifting is being switched for sautéing.  Never fear, baking recipes will still be posted, but for now, here is the first entry in my Delicious Dinners segement!

Chicken Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries*


2 Sommers Organic Chicken Burger patties
1 slice red onion
1 Roma tomato
1/2 avocado
4 - 5 slices butter lettuce

2 servings Ore Ida Sweet Potato Crinkle Cut Fries (approx. 26 pieces)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees for fries.  Once preheated, stick fries in the oven.
2.   While the fries are baking, grill, bake, or cook chicken burgers until cooked through, with an internal temperature of 165 degrees.  Make sure to season with salt and pepper while cooking!
3.  While burgers and fries are cooking, chop red onion, de-seed and chop Roma tomato, and slice avocado.
4.  Wash and dry 4 - 5 slices of butter lettuce.
5.  Your burgers and fries should be done.  Put your burgers on lettuce leaves instead of a bun, and top with chopped onion, tomato, and avocado, and mustard, if desired.

Nutrition Information: Calories (310), Fat (13.5g), Carbohydrates (21g), Protein (22g). [For one chicken burger with toppings and one serving of fries, approx. 13 pieces]

* I am fully aware this isn't really a recipe, more like a dinner idea.  You've gotta start somewhere, right?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Ethan at Month Seven

This month has been one of the most crazy ever - crazy busy, but crazy fabulous.  Here is a peek at our adventures!

At our six month appointment, which we had a couple of weeks late (oops), Ethan weighed in at 19.4 pounds and 27 inches.  He is in the 75% for both height and weight, and in the 90% for head size (!).  He is happy and healthy, with all developmental milestones on track.

This is how E sleeps at night - feet crossed, on his tummy, butt as high up in the air as he can manage!

Time to Baby Proof!

Ethan can now officially crawl.  He can move his little body across the room at a speed that can only be described as lightning fast.  And of course, he wants to play with everything and anything he isn't supposed to, like Daddy's laptop wire or the flashing lights on our Tivo box.  The baby gate has been installed and the outlets have been covered, much to E's dismay.  We also had to move the baby monitor to a higher shelf in Ethan's nursery, because Mama woke up one morning to see a certain somebody pulling on the monitor camera, which was attached to his crib.  Sigh. ;)

Look Who's Coming to Town

We had the wonderful gift of having two sets of very important visitors this month.  First, my bestie from Maryland and her fiance came to visit for a week at the beginning of the month.  We got to do some sightseeing and Auntie Dawn got to meet Ethan.  It was wonderful to see them getting to know each other and have fun together.  Ethan even lasted an entire trip to Alcatraz, which lasted for several hours.  By the end he had fallen asleep in the Baby Bjorn, mouth open and arms flailed out. Super cute!

Our next set of visitors were Pop Pop and Gigi, otherwise known as my dad and stepmom.  They got to stay for almost three weeks, which still goes by way too fast for our liking.  Pop Pop and Ethan are truly BFFs, and it is the cutest thing in the world to see.  Pop Pop always sits in the back of the car on our outings, and we call him Ethan's backseat buddy.  When they left, E kept craning his head around in his carseat, looking and looking for Pop Pop!  Ethan just loves his Pop Pop and Gigi, and they totally dote on him.  Gigi even taught Mama how to sew, and we made Ethan a quilt together.  We can't wait for them to come back (September, can you get here faster?!).

Yummy Yummy Solid Food in the Tummy

We've been having Ethan eat solid food more and more over the past month.  He now eats, on average, about 10 - 12 ounces of solid food a day.  His favorite foods are pears, oatmeal, greek yogurt, carrots, and ice cream. We also let him try everything we eat at restaurants and at home to get him used to as many flavors as possible.  At restaurants, we'll order him soup and he gobbles it right up, especially if it is tomato or vegetable soup. His very favorite thing in the whole world is the carrot juice from a restaurant in our neighborhood.  He'll actually pull our hands to his mouth to get the juice in there faster!

The Worst Day Ever

At the beginning of the month we had a terrible, horrible, absolutely no good day. :(  E slept horribly the night before, tossing and turning, like he just couldn't get comfortable.  I finally brought him downstairs and put him in his Snug-a-bunny swing around 6:30 am to see if the rocking would help soothe him.  He settled, but just looked very lethargic, for about an hour.  Since he wasn't sleeping, I went to take him out of the swing and he screamed and cried when I picked him up.  Over the next hour or so, I realized that every time I picked him up or put him in a new position (sitting from stomach, etc.), he would scream and burst into tears.  I decided to take him to Urgent Care, and we headed over asap (Pop Pop and Gigi were with me; Mike was out of town).  After several hours, having blood drawn twice ( I had to literally hold him down while he screamed and cried), and getting an X-ray, the diagnosis was - nothing.  They couldn't find anything wrong at all, even though the doctor completely agreed with me that something was definitely bothering him.  The doctor was able to pinpoint the source of the discomfort to his clavicle area, but the x-ray showed nothing, and the blood test showed no obvious inflammation or infection.  Our best guess is that he had a really bad stiff neck from falling asleep in his stroller the day before, but we really don't know.  The good news is that by the evening he was feeling much better (with the help of some baby tylenol), and by the next day, he was back to his normal, happy self.  Phew!


Carrot juice
Flashing lights on the Tivo box
Foam letters and numbers
Straps (stroller, changing pad, Mama's purse)
Itsy Bitsy Spider with Mama
Riding on Daddy's shoulders
Strolling in his walker
Pop Pop and Gigi

Least Favorites

Staying still
Being on his back
Anything chunky in food

Those are our crazy adventures for the last month! Can we slow down time, pretty please?!  Love you little Grey!

He put the blanket over his head himself.  The sun rays? Pure magic. :)