6 Months: Baby Food

A very merry Half Birthday to my little peanut!

This not-so-little kiddo is now weighing in at 19lbs 3oz and measuring 26 inches long. His 12 month clothes are fitting him shockingly well… it’s madness! There are a few other babies I see monthly FB updates on… they’re all older than he is, but still smaller (I see your 17lb 7 month old, and raise you a 20lb 6 monther). It must be kind of nice to have a kid who doesn’t outgrow their clothes quite this fast…

Wesley is currently sitting up unsupported (and providing most of the muscle to pull himself into a sit if you offer him your hands). He’s also discovered his feet, which is actually stupidly cute. Still no teeth, but he’s chomping on everything like crazy so I’m sure it won’t be long.  We now have to keep an eye out for what’s within arm’s reach of this kid because everything is going straight to his mouth.

Besides mouthing everything, this dude loves dancing (with help) and his current favorite song is Michael Jackson’s Rock with You. He may also have his first crush since Matt frequently catches him eyeing up one of the girls at daycare when he drops him off. In the stubborn department, Wesley also recently decided he hates breastfeeding.  It’s weird because you hear about babies having a hard time adjusting to bottles. Not this guy, about a month ago he started screaming bloody murder anytime I tried to nurse him. He was fine with nursing first thing in the morning, but after that it was a no-go.*

We’re also in the process of transitioning Wesley from his bassinet to his crib at night. I didn’t think it would be difficult since he naps well in his crib, and sleeps through the night in his bassinet. Wrong. He apparently associates his crib with naps only. Awesome. I ended up rolling up a couple towels and putting them under the crib sheet to frame out a smaller, cozier sleeping space for him.  That seems to have helped, but it’s only been a couple nights so far.

Cuteness overload: I was snuggling with Wesley and Schmutz wedged herself onto my lap as well.  Wesley’s hand brushed her fur by accident, but his brain definitely registered “soft kitty!” so he started “petting” (read: grabbing and and bopping) her.  I thought she’d be annoyed and get up and leave.  Nope, crazy girl just sat there and took it.  And started purring!

Right around Christmas we started introducing solid food to him.  Our pediatrician recommended “Baby Led Weaning” so we’ve been giving that a shot and just moving slowly.  He’s still getting all the real nutrition he needs from formula for a while yet, so we’re treating everything else as a low-stress flavor introduction. There’s a bunch of info on Baby Led Weaning out there (I’m definitely not an expert), but these have been our experiences so far:

  • The little mesh/silicone “baggies” with handles are awesome! (we have a bunch like these) They’re easy for the baby to grasp and you don’t have to worry about choking. We’ve been using them with strawberries and oranges.
  • Despite all the comments you read that choking isn’t a big issue with BLW, you WILL still be paranoid about it.
  • We’re offering Wesley a combination of “real” foods and purees. With the pureed food, I put a tiny bit on a baby spoon, but he’ll usually grab the spoon and put it in his mouth… occasionally being VERY disappointed with his life choices.
  • Mashed sweet potatoes may make your child projectile vomit on you with disturbing accuracy. But he’ll happily nom on sticks of baked sweet potato without incident.**
  • Larger raw carrots are big hit for him to just teeth on (but too big/hard for us to worry about him breaking a chunk off that he couldn’t mash down with his gums).
  • We use a combination of steaming and baking to cook food for him.  “True” BLW is just giving him whatever you’re eating (although making sure it’s soft enough to mash), but I’m still picking fairly traditional foods to start him on*** so I’ll cook it separately but offer it to him while we’re eating. So far I’ve been steaming things I plan to puree and baking other things in sticks that are sized for him to grab, but leave some sticking out over his fist.

So far we’ve offered him:

  • Bananas (using the stem as a handle): win
  • Applesauce: win
  • Strawberries: win
  • Carrot: win (both raw for teething and cooked for actually eating)
  • Bell peppers: ok
  • Oranges: ok
  • Cucumber: ok
  • Sweet potato: debatable (see projectile vomiting comment above)
  • Pasta: uninterested
  • Rice: poison

 

*I’m sure other moms will relate to this–despite the fact that I have never judged another women for formula vs breastfeeding, I can’t help but feel like a bit of a failure for breastfeeding not working out. I know it’s stupid, but because I always just expected to breastfeed, having it not go well has always been particularly hard for me. Stressing out about it doesn’t do me any good either though.

**Please tell me this isn’t just my kid?

*** Sometimes I have to wonder what the cashier thinks when I show up with a one cucumber, one sweet potato, one pear, one apple, and one zucchini…

Happy Thanksgiving!

We’re off to our annual FriendsGiving with one of my BFFs.  We’ve been crashing her family’s Thanksgiving for so long that it’s become a tradition.

And that little foot-turkey up there?  That’s Wesley’s very first piece of (heavily-assisted) daycare art.  I am so. damn. proud.  I don’t know why I’m “proud” exactly since in all reality he probably didn’t contribute to much to this… but proud I am, so don’t burst my bubble.  Am I going to turn into an artwork hoarding parent? Yeah probably.

This year my buddy M is taking the day off from cooking and ordered Thanksgiving-inna-box.*  She’s pregnant and tired, but still wants to host so hey, compromise.  I, on the other hand, had Wednesday off of work so I left Wesley in daycare and got my Thanksgiving bake on. I didn’t go crazy since we have to tote this + a baby + baby gear with us, but I did make pecan pie bars and a homemade orange-cranberry sauce.**

I caught Schmutz trying to help with the pecan pie bars. Then Mort lost his tiny-kitty-mind when I dropped a cranberry on the floor.  It rolls! I CAN HAZ TOY! See why the boy stayed in daycare? I can only take so much help.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  May it not be filled with political arguments over turkey.

 

*Not to be confused with CMOTD’s sausages-inna-bun.

**I actually zested the orange, peeled off the remaining pith, then blended it all together.  I also started off with 1/3 cup of sugar, then slowly added more to taste (maybe another tablespoon?). Some may like it sweeter or tarter, so just start small and build up.

Lisa Meets Leesa

Hey hey, we’ve actually got some bedroom progress! At the time of writing this we don’t currently have a bedroom door,* and we have a house guest because that’s how we roll around here.

We’ve been meaning to replace our mattress for some time now.  Not just because our existing mattress is older, but also because we’d like to upgrade from a full to a queen size bed. Both Matt and I have always had traditional inner spring mattresses, but this time around we were a little intrigued by the mail order, vacuum-packed, foam mattress trend. We ultimately narrowed it down to Leesa and Tuft & Needle (Casper and Purple were the others we looked into).  Leesa had the benefit of also being in West Elm showrooms so we could actually test it out before it showed up on our door step.  Now, pretty much all these mail-order mattress companies have a risk-free trial period so you can return it after trying it out at home too.** I still wanted to do a pre-test since I really had no idea what to expect with a foam mattress. We were ultimately swayed toward Leesa because West Elm was having a 20% off bedroom furniture (and mattresses!) so we got a pretty good deal on it.

We ordered a bed frame the same day (saaaaale!) and chose to pick it up at the store rather than paying the $150 delivery fee. This also meant we had to assemble the frame ourselves***, but since we’re IKEA pros we didn’t think that would be a problem (spoiler alert: it was super easy).

There’s really nothing to unpacking the mattress. Open the box, pull off the plastic wrap, unroll an unfold, cut away the vacuum packing, and watch it inflate. It actually inflated faster than I expected and looked more or less full size in a couple minutes (although you are supposed to leave it alone for an hour).

I’ve been sleeping really well on it so far. I happen to like a soft mattress and you do feel like you’re just sinking into this. Matt thinks it’s ok, but not great, so it all depends on what you like in a mattress.  If you prefer a firmer mattress you could try Tuft & Needle since the reviews say they’re on the firmer side.  One thing that’s been especially nice is that the foam has been awesome at absorbing movement so if Matt moves around at all I don’t feel anything (and vice-versa). The only weird thing is that the side of the mattress don’t have the same structure as an inner-spring so if you sit on the edge you sink down more than you would expect

 

*I mean, we have the door but it’s sitting on the porch getting painted.

**If you order from a third-party seller, like Amazon, make sure the trial period still applies.  Apparently sometimes it does not.

***I’m supposed to give a shout-out here to our house guest who took over baby watching so Matt and I could deal with the bed frame and mattress (and obsessive photography). Thanks E!

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Refinishing Wood Part 3: Staining

(or painting)

If you’re staining…

Supplies

The hardest part of staining is getting the final color/finish that you want.  I had to experiment a bunch with our doors so our first one took forever.

Round #1 was gel stain over the existing finish–fail. It didn’t cover well… it may have with enough coats, but it would have been really opaque.

Round #2: strip door, 2 coats of gel stain + polyshades–too opaque, splotchy, not lovin’ it.

Round #3: strip door, 2 coats of traditional stain + polyshades–still splotchy and uneven, whomp whomp.

Round #4: strip, traditional stain, “wash” of a darker shade of stain, and a regular polyacrylic–we have a winner!

I ended up going with a traditional stain because it will let the wood grain show through.  It’s also super easy to use!  Seriously, you can’t mess this up unless you walk away for the entire day.

I applied the stain with a foam brush (mostly because I’m lazy and didn’t want to deal with clean-up of an oil-based product).  Working with the grain, brush on the stain in a heavy-ish coat.  You don’t want to glob it on, but you don’t need to be super careful about evenness either.  The longer you wait, the more the stain will penetrate the darker the finish will be–I waited about 5-10 minutes or so after I had covered the whole door.

Then you’ll want to come in with a clean rag and wipe off all the excess. You want to take off everything that hasn’t soaked into the wood.

To get the color I wanted, I did another coat in a darker stain.  This one I rubbed on a thin coat with a rag (as opposed to brushing on then wiping off) because I didn’t want it getting super dark.

I followed up the stain with 2 coats of polyacrylic (I chose a satin finish to match the sheen of our trim paint). Like the first coat of stain, I used a foam brush to apply it. Unlike the stain, you will want to work in thin coats and try and apply it as evenly as possibly.  You may see some bubbles in the poly, do your best to smooth them out, but small amounts will smooth out on their own.

 

If you’re painting…

Supplies

For the bedrooms and bathroom with opted to paint the inside white like the trim.  I always stained first because the stain is more likely to drip to the other side the of the door.  I also chose to stain the edges of the door, but that shouldn’t make a big difference either way.  I used a small foam roller (and a brush to get into the trim details) to prime and paint.  If you’re doing a two-toned piece go carefully along the edges without too much pressure and you should get a pretty smooth edge.  If you get too much paint over the edge you wipe it off with a rag.

Our doors took 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of paint (Benjamin Moore Advance, like our trim).  I didn’t bother doing a poly coat on the doors because the paint I use already has a really nice finish on it’s own.

We now have all the upstairs doors refinished!  I have no desire to change the downstairs doors so I completely done with doors! Wheee!

I would love to refinish the floors in the house to be similar in color (I love me a dark wood floor with white trim!*) but I honestly don’t know if we’ll ever get around to that.  I do want to darken up the stair railings though since I think they look a little odd with the dark doors.

 

*Plus, based on the finish on our stairs I think the original floor color was quite dark.

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We’ve Moved!

Looky!  We have a shiny new domain name that actually makes sense!  Cool, huh? I am still working on updating the redirects from the old site but you should update any bookmarks you have and probably update Bloglovin if you follow me there.

If you notice any funky happenings, please let me know, but fingers crossed that won’t happen.