Sunday, 20 March 2016

Daddy daycare: Mama's first day off.

Ladies and gentlemen, last Wednesday we reached a humongous milestone!

It was my first time in baby Bear's almost twelve months of out-of-the-uterus life that he and I are not spending the entire day together. Sure, there have been moments where I'd go to the supermarket or someone would take Bear on an afternoon walk, but other than that we've spent every waking moment together. Come to think of it, I've never even left the house while Bear was sleeping.


Let me start by explaining that I'm not necessarily the type of mother who can't stand to be away from her child, trust me there have been more than enough times that I needed my space, but we've stayed together out of necessity. During pregnancy I had a mild case of gestational diabetes and Bear was said to be above average at his growth scans which he technically speaking was at 3800 grams and 50 centimetres, but was by no means a large baby. However after three months of being above average in every measurement he suddenly dropped to below average in about a month or two.

This started a whole cycle of appointments with paediatricians, dieticians and we even had to draw some blood to check his thyroid, liver, kidney, allergies and some things I can't even remember. Scary, even when you know that there really isn't anything wrong with your child. Since Bear was never really a regular drinker and we gave him milk on demand, this sometimes meant up to twenty (!!!!!) feeds a day. Exhausting, but luckily I'm very headstrong and was determined to breastfeed until at least his first birthday. Around the nine month mark we asked the paediatrician about possibly switching from on-demand to scheduled feeds but we were advised not to "push" Bear into a schedule even though he had finally started picking up along the below average line and we were no longer worried.

Now we're just two days away from his first birthday we've finally managed to cut back on a lot of his milk feeds:
-No more night feeds
-No breastmilk with lunch
-Other feeds are actually on a regular schedule
With his morning snack feed out the window we're now down to just three feeds! Life is amazing.

Anyway, I finally had the time to just sit down for lunch with a friend, actually eat my own food and take my time to eat it too. (Non-parents: cherish these things!) But the very best thing? Baby Bear and papa Bear finally had the opportunity to get to know each other and enjoy one of daddy's favourite things; the zoo. They had so much fun which made the day perfect to me.

Well, I'm busy adapting my vegan banana bread recipe for Bear's birthday cake, more on that later but for now,

Enjoy and have a great Sunday!

Do you have any fun "first day off" experiences to share? I'd love to read them in the comments below!

Monday, 14 March 2016

Battle food: vegetables

Vegetables, how on earth do I get my son to eat them??

Wow. I did not mean to take over a month to write my next post but baby bear is going through so many changes and growing so rapidly that I just haven't found the time to write. Constantly thinking about it though!

With baby bear being eleven months old now it's time to start weaning him off his booby juice and getting him all he needs out of his "real" meals. A thing I was recently discussing with one of the mums in bear's swim class. We already knew from our visits with the paediatrician that bear was quick with how many meals he was eating but her son is at the other end of the spectrum; six months older, already weaned off breastmilk but still only eating babyhood. The kid has recently started refusing anything that isn't porridge or a purée. It makes me glad that the only thing bear refuses to eat as a solid is vegetables. As a purée for breakfast it goes right in, as a chunk for dinner: NOPE!

"Ha! Adding bits of courgette and grated cheese to macaroni? I think not!"

And I hear what you're thinking, "well can't you just give him a purée for dinner too?" nice try but anything other than applesauce may not be fed to him during dinner. Dinnertime is when bear must feed himself. Where a month ago he would happily let us shove a fork or spoonful of spaghetti in his mouth he now has to just eat the pasta himself. Fantastic, of course, but it does mean that he just does not eat vegetables for dinner. Even on rare occasions when he wants us to feed him, we put a piece of pasta and a chunk of sweet potato in his mouth... guess what stays in and what comes out?

Yep. Our son is an evil genius.

"Oh, fruit and schnitzel? Sure, I'll eat that!"

Luckily, pasta is an easy one to hide a vegetable purée in, however reluctant I am with that one, it's when we eat potatoes (which he now finally eats, yay!) that we really have a problem. Potato goes in, schnitzel or sausage depends on his mood, anything more vegetabley than a cucumber is unacceptable. Even yesterday when I thought I had found the perfect solution: quiche, baby bear would not have it. He'd eat the pastry and tried a few bites of filling shoved in his mouth but apparently squishy textures are not something he wants to touch. Fun.

"Eww... squishy!"

So, aside from his morning vegetable purée which is currently limited to just sweet potato (another fun setback), what's a mum to do to get some vegetables in her kid?

First of all pasta of course:
Bear loves all things pasta with creamy, cheesy sauce and also red pesto. Simple fix, add puréed root vegetables; squash, carrot, sweet potato etc..
For some reason Bear will eat small pieces of mushrooms, so those are easily tossed in with pasta.
Green pesto and cream sauce is not his favourite, but put it on spaghetti and we're good to go, excellent for hiding greens: puréed broccoli, spinach etc..

Tagliatelle Alfredo with some roast squash blitzed in: success!

My second trick is one I'm only just developing: scrambled eggs.
Like any human really, Bear loves scrambled eggs on his afternoon sandwich so he gets them about twice a week. I've recently started out with a small change of adding a fruit; some diced tomato, topped it with cheese, dumped it on his sandwich... Success! Hopefully I'll be able to successfully try more actual vegetables soon!

Until then, it's really just trial-error-trial-error-trial-success-trial-a crap tonne more error.

Do you have any parenting pro-tips on the vegetable fight? I'd love to here them! Please drop a comment below the post.