First Foods

The introduction of Food : Something so simple brings me so much anxiety. I guess its because there’s always going to be a fear of whether or not I am doing something “right” as a first time mom. Our pediatrician said that our daughter may be interested in food earlier because she has been teething since she was two months old. I knew then that I would consider food around 5 months which is half way in between the 4-6 month range that is usually given to introduce food. These days 6 months is the most agreed upon target, so for that reason, I tend to not speak of what’s going on in our house. Then I realized, I am not here for mommy shaming therefore, with the approval of her doctor and the joint agreement between my husband and I that was all I needed –
This post is to further share angst that I feel, to find and lend support to those who may be considering the same things.
 
Every little thing when it comes to a baby is so scary for the first time – food included.
My daughter at 4 months immediately figured out how to hold her own bottle. I never had to teach her where to put her hands. One day I was rushing to get her settled and laid her in her boppy with the bottle at her lap. I went to take my shoes off and come back – this chick managed to get the bottle in her mouth and hold it there without my help! SCORE! Go Gracie!
That has been a major relief because now feedings really just consist of getting her the bottle so she can feed herself. And this girl definitely recognizes her bottle. The only time she cries is for that bottle and has a spastic fit when its in sight and she can’t get to it. Its way too cute to see that sweet relief face that immediately is without a whine (because there are never real tears) when she gets that bottle.
 
So now, we have introduce food. The regular 6oz aren’t just cutting it anymore and her hands are in her mouth more than ever thanks to those teeth that won’t be here any time soon.
Thankfully, we didn’t have to rush out to get a high chair. It was given to us during one of our baby showers and I am forever grateful.
 
We registered for the Graco Blossom 4 in One. It grows from Baby to a Toddler seat and also comes with an additional booster seat for when its time for her to sit at the table with the rest of us.
 
 
After reading some tips on some websites, particularly from the company who’s foods we were trying (Gerber and Plum Organics) it said the best way to introduce food was to give her a small bottle first, introduce the food and the close with the rest of the bottle. So that’s what I did… I think she sensed that something was up.
 
For her first feeding, I went with the Rice Cereal and mixed it with her Formula to a really watery consistency since that’s what Gerber recommends and tried serving it with a spoon.

 
Well the spoon didn’t work out so great – because she didn’t understand the concept of opening wide for the spoon. She wanted to lap the liquid off the spoon like a little cat. So that little experiment was over quite soon. The mixture went back and forth from the bottle to the bowl just so she could see that mommy was serving her the same thing and that the spoon equals food just like her bottle does.
 
Of course, you are supposed to wait about three days before introducing another food so that you can look for adverse reactions and have a clear idea as to what it could be.
Well Gracia has eczema and has always had it on other parts of her body but never so pronounced on her stomach. They say it comes from the fact that I have seasonal allergies because neither one of us had eczema.
 
 
Thinking this was a reaction to rice, I decided that no more for a while and gave her an Epsom salt bath with her eczema lotion. However, it wasn’t noticed until a day later and I realized it was not a food reaction but environmental and carried on.
 
I asked a mommy friend of mines, when did she start introducing foods and what was her first food choice. She told me that actually she had started at month 4 and did Oatmeal and Applesauce mixed together with a slightly thicker consistency.
 
So the next day, I went looking in my fridge thinking we had applesauce but we didn’t. But we did have Bananas. I mixed a small piece of banana with the slightly thicker one grain baby oatmeal from Gerber and tried that. Needless to say that went much better than the Rice Cereal.

 

 
She even smiled as she ate it instead of the weird, “what IS this?” face she had been giving me. So I stuck with that … until my bananas went bad on me.
 
So now, I figured I could try the food that I spent money on.
Her daycare provider suggested that I start with vegetables because once babies get on those sweeter fruits, they may not like the veggies so much.
I went to the store and decided Peas and Squash would be the way to go.
It was two vegetables that if she actually liked, I also had frozen in my freezer and could make for her down the line.
 
I got her set up in her seat. A lot easier then before – no bottle needed.
 
 
We are getting the hang of it… She gets her bottle feedings and in between only at dinner time does she get real food at this time.
We tried the Squash first. She ate half the container, which is success seeing as though it was her first time and no reactions to it either.
I am one happy mommy! She is one happy baby!

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The White House Easter Egg Roll Expierience

We were fortunate to get tickets to attend The White House Easter Egg Roll this year. I knew that my daughter may be a bit young, but I also knew that I wasn’t sure when the opportunity would present itself for us to be able to go again. After doing a bit of research online of other people’s experiences, I felt like I was prepared with enough information to be able to enjoy it. I am going to share my experience so that others who might be going for the first time, or just for those who are curious would know what to expect.
 
First, we were given tickets for Group A, which was a 7:30am to 9:30am time slot. Getting my 4 month old up and dressed in order to be at The White House on time, proved to be pretty good that morning. We watched the morning news and checked the weather and noticed that it was going to be a little chilly so it would be appropriate to dress in layers. Also because the Egg Roll is geared more towards physical activities for the kids, we knew that this was not the event to wear your Sunday best to, but rather a nice little casual outfit that you wouldn’t mind sitting in the grass if you had to.
 
Gracie has on her wonderful Easter Monday attire, complete with bunny ears. I was given a tip that media outlets look for little cute kids in “costume” like attire to take pictures of.
They were right too because a few photogs asked for close up pictures of my daughter and of course we received several compliments on how cute she looked.
 
 
We arrived at the grounds of the White House at about 7:45am once we parked. Garage parking was the way to go. We tried to find street parking but that is nearly impossible when you have 2000-4000 people converging at once to a location not to mention, its not a holiday so you also have those persons who are at work that day looking for parking spaces as well.
 
Arriving about 15 minutes after the time where they let people in was THE BEST thing to do. You bypass standing in line forever waiting for the doors to open. We literally walked right up to the metal detectors and was let right in. Those with children, TIP #1 – You can bring your stroller. Do so, there will be a lot of ground to cover. Also, umbrella stroller is not the way to go. You need something that will handle rugged terrain (ie. hills and plush grass).
 
 
There are really nice trailers that have bathroom stalls and even a diaper changing station for your needs, so no fear! Because I kid you not – thought I would have to change her in her stroller before I knew.
 

 As soon as you come in, there are nice volunteers along the way to give out free little tattoos for your little one. You keep on the path and pick up your choice of your free Coca Cola sponsored beverage (juices, waters and energy drinks only). Now there is no food served but of course you are able to bring small sealed snacks in the baby bag because outside food isn’t allowed.

So even though we were about 15-20 mins late, everyone was already let on the grounds. There were lots of people, but there were was plenty of space where it never felt overcrowded.

 
We walked and made our way to get as close as we could to The White House. It was the first time that either one of us had ever been that close.
 
As we made our way, I was telling my daughter that we were where her President lives. (as if she understood me) but it was a great moment.
 
 
We were able to take pictures with some of the popular characters that were there. All of these characters that were in movies that we have taken her to see or have watched ourselves.
 
 
Since she was not yet able to participate in the physical activities like, tennis, football, they even had Yoga for the kids and of course the Egg Roll, she was able to see the characters and we were able to take her to Storytime where books were read by kid celebrities, like the characters from Yo Gabba Gabba.

 
We were able to take her to the soundstage where Sesame Street characters were performing songs and getting the kids moving. This was great because Gracie watches Sesame Street every morning!

Mostly because the kids would not be able to see behind the standing adults, most of the kids were being held while we danced with our kids.

 

 My daughter’s favorite character turned out to be Sophia the First.
I waited to take a picture with Sophia, who by the way was actually spotted by my husband who quickly felt ashamed that he knew who she was on sight. But hey, he is the one who gets Gracie ready for daycare in the morning when her show is on.

 As soon as I walked her up to Sophia she leaned all the way back so she could get a better look and started talking to Sophia. It was too cute.

 
Needless to say, we had a ball! It was definitely fun for all ages and I would take her again if I have the chance.

 

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Easter Sunday & Another Birthday Party

Gracia attended her second birthday party ever on this past Saturday. It was for the son of one of our good friends who was turning one years old.
 
 
Within our circle of married friends, three of us each had our first children fairly close to each other. As you see, Gracie is the only girl among the baby’s.

Gracia was this close to sleeping through the party, poor thing, but eventually I woke her up and she was such a good girl and had fun with her “aunties” and “uncles”.
 
On Easter Sunday, I was able to find Gracia a cute little outfit complete with a homemade bow and dress shoes that she can’t kick off. If that was not a blessing within itself. Now I know that the dress shoes with the elastic strap are a no-go but Velcro straps across her foot can not be undone!

 
We had a mini-photo shoot so we could send pictures to her grandparents.

 
Here is a close up of her homemade bow.

 
I made this bow way before I conceived. I just knew that I wanted little girls and I was blessed to get one. I love making bows and overaccessorizing little kids, especially for special occasions.

 
We went to church with daddy which I love because he is the Pastor of Worship there. So he chooses the set design each Sunday. I love that they have a replica of the tomb on Easter Sunday. It makes me feel like we are having Resurrection Service at the foot of the cross.
 
Never mind my flats, Gracie decided that Easter Sunday would be the Sunday where she would want to talk loudly in church for the first time. That’s not a good look when I am usually seated with her in the pulpit with the rest of the Elders. I had to take her out the sanctuary and walk around with her so I missed most of the service once she woke up and so.. flats it is. I am hoping that was not going to be the start of how she plans to be in church from now on.

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Gracia’s 4 months old


Happy Four Months Baby Girl!

How Big Am I?

Weight/Height/Head: 

Gracia didn’t have a wellness check this month because we missed it by accident, getting her ready for daycare. We only scheduled a shots only visit so she was not measured. I don’t know how big she is but if I were to guess she is closer to 17lbs now and very long – like we are convinced that its time to make her growth chart for the wall so that we can measure her growth because she is getting up there. If I get any measurements this month, I will definitely come back and add it.  

Clothes: 

Gracia is still in 3 month sized clothing now across the board. There are times where she will wear 6 month sized pants just because of the thickness and length of her legs. Our favorite brands are still Carters and Osh Kosh. I stay buying things on clearance and off season for her size. This little outfit she is wearing above only cost me a total of $8.00. What I have also found is my favorite socks! As you can see, Miss Gracie loves to move her feet to get her socks and shoes off. These Babies R Us brand socks are the best! She cant get them off to save her life. I will buy these over Target brand socks, now that I know.

What’s My Routine?

Routine: 

Gracia started a new daycare and we are starting to feel more and more comfortable. She now goes to daycare at 10am to 4pm, three days a week. I will pull out her outfit for the morning and pack her daycare bag. Her dad will get her dressed and takes her there and I will pick her up. He also does the nightshift if she wakes up so I believe that is a great trade off, since I am out the door by 6am.  When I pick her up from daycare, I can tell that she is loving it. Her disposition is the same and all the kids either flock to her or me to say goodbye to their little friend or to tell me about their day. I am glad that she gets some time to socialize. We can already see the influence that is having on her trying to do things that the big kids are doing.

Eating: 

Case in point, Gracia is a bottle holding pro at 4 months old. It all started after her trip to stay with her grandparents. Since then, she has been reaching for her bottle and knows how to put it in her mouth and keep it there until she is full. This has been a great help to her tired parents. She still eats about 6oz of Similac. She may eat 8oz or 10oz at times. But the time between bottles are about 4 hours still. She pretty much is dictating how much and when she eats with no exact schedule anymore.

Sleeping: 

We have hit a milestone with sleeping!!! Gracia used to wake at least twice in the course of the night where my husband and I would trade off feedings. This month, Gracia only wakes once to eat and if then. She actually slept through the night this week from 11pm to 7am. Here’s hoping that she keeps that up. She slept 11pm to 5am last night and probably would’ve stayed sleep. But after eating, she stayed up blowing bubbles for about 15 mins before she went back to sleep until about 9am. We are making progress!

What Milestones Have I Hit?

I think she is going through the attachment phase. She definitely is grasping for things on purpose and knows how to reach for what she wants. Problem is she wants everything, so we are constantly making sure that the inappropriate things are out of reach. Apparently this day, she needed her Binky, blanket, cloth and Elmo to go to sleep.

Blowing bubbles is her favorite thing to do. Babbling of course – and she really thinks she is communicating with us and tummy time is no problem for my baby genius. LOL.  
She is very active! I swear her nap time has diminished greatly. She loves her activity center and so do we! It keeps her occupied when we need to cook or eat dinner. 

She knows and loves her family-
She spent four days without us this month with her grandparents. All parties involved love every bit of it!

Then she came home and was up underneath of us and told us all about her days with them.

 

She is making it through Wonder Week – Leap #4 with great spirits. I can’t wait until the next set of milestones.

Events: 

Gracia’s First Sleepover with her Grandparents 

Her shirt said “Life is Good at Grandma’s”

 

Gracia was introduced to Books –
I am not sure if she was squinting or unsure of the people on the page but her facial expression had me dying laughing. Its so interesting to see the world through her eyes.
Eventually she wanted to read to herself.

 

She skipped to the back of the book – just like her mother.

She has since added a book about Frozen to her collection as well that has a magical wand that makes noise when you tap the page.
Gracia’s First Easter Production –
We took Gracie to the Easter play this year. She loved seeing the dancing and performances but if it was her normal nap time, she was out like a light.

 Gracia’s First Palm Sunday

The shoes on her feet did not last long at all.. she was able to hold her own Palms though and waved them in the air for the both of us.

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things!

Baby Gear/ Toys: 

This exersaucer is absolutely one of my faves. She has not gotten bored with it yet.

If I could put non-toy products on the list, it would be: Babies R Us brand socksAquaphor – Gracie has baby rash under her neck because of her drool and this has truly helped it from spreading and the discoloration from getting worse. Pampers Brand Diapers with the wetness indicator

Paparazzi Got Me!

My Favorite Pics from this Month:
 

Gracia at Howard seated at the marker for her Great Great Grandmother at the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Plot.

Gracia’s “posed” smile

She loves to attack mommy’s face!

And when she is not feeling well, there will be no smiles.

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Daycare Woes

I know I am not the first, nor will I be the last new mom who has anxiety about letting strangers watch their children. I am one who has anxiety even letting family members watch her, but that is a little more easy to overcome. 
My husbands job changed where he was required to do more office hours and wouldn’t be able to watch our daughter from home anymore. We took some time thinking about where we would send her and made a decision to take her to a in home daycare for the benefits of not having a whole lot of children around her at such a young age. 
She had a great first day at day care. She goes part-time and almost only half days because our schedule allows it and also because we are still just “cautious” since this is so new to us. I was so excited for Gracie’s first day. We got all her supplies like the first day of school. They wanted to us to label each bottle with the date and how much water should go in it. I found these awesome labels called “My Bands” made by Dr. Browns. 
They are erasable rubber bands where I can use a permanent marker and at the end of the day, it comes right off by rubbing it off. 
She had a great first day at Daycare and the center gave written reports so that we can know what she did all day and how much she drank or ate. 
She played and was so stimulated that she only took cat naps. So of course when she came home she went to sleep for hours.
Well, here is where the woes come in… 
The next day, on Gracie’s second day at Daycare, the owner told me that she has accepted a full time mom and that she no longer had space for my daughter to attend. Prior to that day, she said that she would give part time moms “first preference” if she ever had an interested parent in full time. I took that as she would contact me prior to taking enrollment fees. She took that as, as soon as she said it was her warning me apparently. 
That put a bad taste in my mouth with the business of Daycare. Its already hard enough to say ok, I will trust you with the care of my daughter. Now you hit me with the news that she can’t come back because you have no space for her on the second day of Daycare. 
I felt so heartbroken and somewhat betrayed. I felt like our deal was not even considered. Especially since that afternoon I was coming to talk to her about going full time but I didn’t want to be full time out the gate since I wanted to see how my daughter liked it. 
Well I scrambled for about an hour over that news looking for more options within our neighborhood. We even reconsidered day care centers with hopes that perhaps we would just take her there despite all of our previous reasons as to why we didn’t want her there just out of necessity. But when we were quoted $275-$371 per week, we knew that it was not for us AT ALL! In the end, I called the woman who I considered taking her to before she was born. Thankfully, she was able to meet with us within a few hours of calling and was able to take Gracie. Otherwise, one of us would have to take leave to watch her until we found another sitter. I had to just say it was an answer to my prayer because in either case, I didn’t want to have to pay more money at this time.
So tomorrow is Gracie’s first day at Daycare … AGAIN!
I will hopefully feel less anxiety once I pick her up.

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