The Stress of Finding Appropriate Childcare

July 15th, 2010 by jody 11 comments »

As parents of a one year old, one of the days that you dread the most is the first day that you are away from your child.  Especially if you are traditional like myself.  I have to admit, I am having a difficult time with placing Elias in childcare at the tender age of one.  It just does not seem right.  He’s just too little, he cannot communicates (sans crying) and fend for himself.

Good childcare is hard to find.

Tracy did an amazing job of interviewing candidates and we ended up selected on who met our criteria.  So we tested it for a few time with Eli going to this day home for an hour here, hour there.  The first few times, the experience was not that bad.  However as the sessions became longer, Elias was not comfortable in that environment.  In fact the last time he was there, after 45 minutes, the lady who owned the day home called Tracy to come and pick Eli up… after 45 minutes.  She said that he would not stop crying.  So Tracy went and picked him up.  I have a couple of issues with this.

  1. First we interviewed this lady on multiple occasions and I purposely stated to her that, “…Elias will be one and he will require extra attention at times as a result.  Are you prepared for this (being that she had three other children to take care of)?  She replied confidently and as I probed to see how she would handle the situation, I was comfortable with here response… so fast forward to the last incident and calling Tracy after 45 minutes?  What gives?
  2. If I am entrusting you with my most prized possession (i.e. my child) and am paying you good money, you had better be able to handle some crying and be able to comfort my child.   Especially if you call yourself a professional.

So needless to say we pulled the plug on this early.  This is not the environment I want my son in.  So as we had paid for the full month of child care we received a full 45 minutes… wne have yet to receive our money back.  Talk about frustrating.The bigger stress is now what do we do with regards to childcare?  We are fortunate that our families are close by and our moms will be helping out temporarily until we can find some appropriate childcare.  Quite honestly I prefer having family members look after the little guy.  He’s so little, and he likes his routine.  He needs familiarity.  I’m not trying to shelter the kid, he’s one year old, he has only been around for just over 365 days.  He should be aroud his family.  I understand that some parents don’t have any options and I feel for them, I really do.  For moms that go back to work, I now see the stress of having to try and find appropriate baby care.  It is not fun.  There is a lot of stress with trying to find appropriate childcare.  For me personally, I think that at the age of one, that the child’s family should be the one’s to deliver the childcare, not some stranger who treats your child as a number.

Baby Routine: Establishing Baby Routines Sooner Rather than Later

June 13th, 2010 by jody 9 comments »

For any new parent, you know that establishing a routine for your little one is a must.  From sleeping habits, to eating, to play time, babies need a routine.  They love routine and in fact they need routine.  It makes sense as to why babies like routine… as with anything in life, practice makes perfect.  The thought of repeatedly doing something over and over is comforting to us.  Think about a baby and what they accomplish in their first few months.  Everything that they see is new to them.  Establishing a routine is one way that parents can help their babies learn, develop and grow.

Tracy and I worked hard at establishing a baby routine with Elias.  You know what?  Eli loves his routine, and he’s a much happier little person for it.  He is such an amazing little guy.  He’ll be a year old in two weeks and I cannot believe that a year has gone by already.  He is so bright.  He understand and expects his routine.  Eli’s day is full of his routine, it looks something like this:

Our Baby Routine @ 11 Months

6-7:00 am: Elias wakes up (usually about 6:30 ish)

7-7:30: Breakfast – Tracy does an amazing job of preparing Eli’s breakfast.  We’re big on organic foods and Eli pretty much eats anything, so we’ve been lucky.

9 – 9:30: Snack time – a quick little snack for Elias.  Could be fruit and yogurt or some cereal, again Elias will pretty much eat anything.

7:30-10:30 – play time/adventure time – depending on the day, we take Eli for walks, on errands, visiting or just have play time.

11:00  Relax/Quiet time – Eli starts to get a little tired by this time… since we cut his morning nap out, we like to have some quiet time for him to relax.

11:30-12:00: Lunch time – a healthy lunch to help Eli get the nourishment he needs for the afternoon.

12:00-2:30 or 3:00ish:  Nap Time – Eli usually has a good 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hr nap to help get him through the rest of the day.

3:00 – 4:30: Play time/Adventure time – Eli plays with toys or we go for walks.  Sometimes we visit with Grandma or Nona.

4:30:  Relax time – just hanging out doing whatever

5:00:  Dinner Time – another one of Eli’s favorite times of the day, have I mentioned that this boy likes to eat?

5:30 – 6:15 – Play time – we practicing walking, kicking the nerf soccer ball, or reading books.

6:15: Bedtime Snack – a little nourishment before bath and bedtime.

6:30:  Bath Time – Elias loves his bath.  We typically give him one every second day.  He loves splashing and playing with his bath toys.  We play a little “tick tock” game where we swing him like a pendulum as we take him out of the tub.  He loves it!  We dry him and put some cream on him, put his pajamas on and shower him with some more attention.

6:45:  Reading Time & Into Bed – Eli loves reading books, so we usually read to him a couple of times a day.

7:00 pm:  Mommy and Daddy Relax – or do the chores around the house, sometimes we sneak a hottub date in there as well.

Baby routines are critical for the well being of, not only your child, but for you as parents as well.  If you have not yet established a baby routine, try it, you won’t be sorry.

Mother’s Day BBQ: Happy Mother’s Day

May 12th, 2010 by jody 32 comments »

Mother’s Day BBQ: Happy Mother’s Day

It has been a while since I’ve been able to blog.  About four weeks ago I went for a quick bike ride with Emma and ten minutes into our ride, I took a jump, wiped out and separated my shoulder.  Sheesh the timing could not be worse, right before softball season.  So needless to say, with an arm in a sling it has been difficult to blog.  I am actually sitting at Sea-Tac airport in Seattle on a return flight home from Chicago.  With a couple of hours to kill, the timing for a long overdue blog post seemed perfect.

I wanted to throw up a belated Mother’s Day post, because really without our moms, where would we be?  This year, Tracy and I planned to have our moms over for a Mother’s Day BBQ.  This was also Tracy’s first Mother’s Day since Elias was born, so this year was extra special.  It has been a great ten months since Eli was born, but it has also been a lot of work.  Although I think that it should be Mother’s Day everyday, I wanted to ensure that Tracy had a nice relaxing weekend.

We spent Saturday doing what we typically would do.  We get up at about 6:00 am with Eli and I make breakfast for us.  Usually breakfast on a Saturday consists of bacon and eggs, tea and toast and some fruit.  This Saturday was no exception, we like to call this “The Trucker’s Special” named after the great big breakfasts that you normally see at truck stops in the middle of nowhere.  After breakfast, we did a little yard work and clean up then we prepared to go to Emma’s soccer game (I’ll discuss here soccer season in another post…).  So our Mother’s Day weekend featured a typical Saturday, which is cool because we love doing that stuff.

Sunday, I got up with Elias, hoping that Tracy would be able to grab an extra hour of sleep.  She has been sleeping better, but is still a little sleep deprived, so I like to help out with Eli in the mornings as much as possible.  So I woke up at six (Eli was already up of course), changed his diaper, played with him and then got him some breakfast.  In the meantime I started on making breakfast for Tracy.  I wanted to serve her breakfast in bed.  So as Elias was in his highchair, I gave him the task of warning me when he sees mommy coming down the hallway.  (Of course he’s only ten months old, so I really had to keep an eye open myself.)  Truth of the matter is, after a few minutes Eli started his cooing and ahhing and I noticed that he was looking in the direction of the hallway.  Sure enough here comes Tracy, he actually completed his task very well.  It was about 6:40 am so the surprise was ruined.  That’s ok I managed to have her tea ready and breakfast was only a few minutes away.

I was also able to have her present ready.  Tracy is actually really hard to buy for.  So this year I decided that she could use a spa treatment, so I managed to get her a gift certificate to one of the local spas that she had been discussing earlier in the week.  I know that gift certificates are kind of impersonal, but quite honestly this was the best gift for Tracy because she could decide on the exact services that she wanted.  Plus I wanted to get her something that would help her relax and enjoy some “me-time” for herself

After breakfast we got Emma up a little earlier than normal on a Sunday because we wanted to go to the nursery to pick out something for my mom.  I wanted Tracy to pick something out as well because she loves flowers and gardening.  She managed to pick out a rose bush, something that she has never tried to grow before.  The rose bush spawns these beautiful pink roses (which is cool because pink is Tracy’s favorite color).  So the trip to the nursery was a great success.

After the nursery, we went back home to put Elias down for his nap.  While sleeping, we were able to do some yard work in the back as we had started to redesign our waterfall.  We needed a couple of additional rocks to complete the waterfall and managed to find some up behind our house as they have been blasting to clear area for some additional homes.

Next thing you know it, it was time to come in an clean up and prepare for our Mother’s Day BBQ.  What a great idea that Tracy had.  We invited both of our families as well as Tracy’s sister and her husband.  On the menu for our BBQ was:

  • BBQ’s burgers
  • Corn on the cob
  • Tossed salad

For desert, we wanted to do something different and prepared a chocolate fondue where we dipped strawberries, pineapple and vanilla wafers in the chocolate.

Everyone visited and just hung out; the moms didn’t have to lift a finger for a change.  Our Mother’s Day BBQ was a success.  Our day ended with Tracy and I enjoying a nice relaxing hot tub date.  I then had to pack for my trip to Chicago, but I really enjoyed our Mother’s Day weekend.  More importantly I think that Tracy enjoyed her Mother’s Day weekend as well.  I think that this is the start of a new family tradition.

Where To Start…

April 27th, 2010 by tracy 3 comments »

Crawling, Dropped Nap and Teeth.

Our household just got busier this past week or so.  Elias is crawling! And can he ever move fast.  In a blink of an eye he is gone.  There is no way he will play with his toys, why would he when he has a whole house to investigate and destroy.  It is amazing how he can find that one thing hidden way back or under something and manage to get to it and chew it, rip it, throw it.  Needless to say my days are spent trailing after him picking up the mess and constantly saying “no”.  Which does not go over very well, as the lip starts to quiver and a cry soon follows.  We have baby-proofed pretty well, but he always finds something he shouldn’t and I am forced to sternly say “no”.  Poor guy!  Life is rough!

Eli has also “almost” dropped his morning nap.  I cherished this nap more than most anything and now I am having a hard time adjusting myself to accomodate not having this time.  I use to use this time to do things like: clean up the house, shower, check emails, blogging and preparing for any outings later that morning.  Now I find myself scrambling around trying to do these things while chasing after him and only getting things half done.  I think I might have to start getting up before the rest of the house to get these things done.  This is a hard change to make as I find sleep a very cherished thing too.  Aaahh, parenthood.  Gotta love it!

And last but not least… a 1st tooth has finally popped through.   A little late at 9.5 months old, but at least he has some.  I was starting to think maybe he wouldn’t get any teeth, which I said to my husband might be a good thing afterall if Eli is going to play hockey because then he won’t have any to get knocked out.  Silver lining in everything.  So now I think they are all coming in late and at once.  Which it a good thing, I think.

The next week should be a breeze! (knock on wood)

Baby Feeding: 9-12 Month Baby Feeding Schedule

April 10th, 2010 by jody 33 comments »

Today we complete our series on baby feeding schedules.   At that stage your baby has transformed into a beautiful little person and you can see the change from the previous 6 months. Your baby is most likely rolling and crawling around.  Some will even be walking by now, so these little people are now experiencing things for themselves.  This includes what they are eating.  Some new developments for your baby at the nine to twelve month stage include:

  • Puts everything in his mouth
  • Picks up objects with thumb and forefinger
  • Can transfer items from one hand to the other
  • Moves jaw in a chewing motion
  • Is trying to use a spoon
  • Swallows food easier
  • May be spitting food or water out more
  • Has teeth

What to feed baby:

  • Breast milk or formula
  • Small amounts of soft pasteurized cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese. Cows’ milk is not recommended until age 1.
  • Iron-fortified cereals (rice, barley, wheat, oats, mixed cereals)
  • Mashed fruits and vegetables (bananas, peaches, pears, avocados, cooked carrots, squash, sweet potatoes)
  • Finger foods (toast, lightly toasted bagels, small pieces of ripe banana; well-cooked pasta, teething crackers, low-sugar O-shaped cereal)
  • Small amounts of protein (egg, chicken and poultry, boneless fish, meat or tofu

With Elias, we have even given him things such as kiwi fruit which he loves, broccoli, apple, and quinoa.  He is a really great eater and has been open to almost everything that we have given him, although he is not a big fan of avocado.

0-3 Month Baby Feeding Schedule
3-6 Month Baby Feeding Schedule
6-9 Month Baby Feeding Schedule

Baby Feeding: 6-9 Month Baby Feeding Schedule

April 9th, 2010 by jody 32 comments »

The third installment of our baby feeding schedule is the 6-9 months time frame.  Again another exciting time as baby should now be consuming his initial solid foods in addition to breast milk, formula or rice cereal.  At this stage, Elias was developing preference for things such as banana, sweet potato, carrots and broccoli.

What to feed baby:

  • Breast milk or formula
  • Iron-fortified cereals (rice, barley, oats)
  • Pureed or strained fruits (banana, pears, applesauce, peaches)
  • Pureed vegetables
  • Strained vegetables (avocado, well-cooked carrots, squash, and sweet potato)

Remember that baby is still learning to chew, so be sure to puree any fruit or veggies that you may be serving them.  If your baby still does not have teeth, as is the case with Eli, you will want to make any solid food pieces small or “liquidy” in nature so that baby can “chew” them without issue.

At his stage we also introduced pieces of puffed wheat and plain Cheerios to Elias.  They are great finger foods that help him with his hand-mouth coordination.  The 6-9 month feeding stage is fun for baby and parents.  It is exciting to see the little ones grow and learn how to feed themselves with this new food.

0-3 Month Feeding Schedule
3-6 Month Feeding Schedule

3-6 Month Baby Feeding Schedule

April 8th, 2010 by jody 29 comments »

Continuing with our series on baby feeding schedules, today we examine the 3-6 months baby feeding schedule.  This is an exciting time for both parents and baby as baby will have been introduced to some solid foods.  Unlike the 0-3 month baby feeding schedule, where all baby eats is breast milk or formula, the 3-6 month time frame marks the introduction of things like finger foods and the like.

What to feed baby:

  • Breast milk or formula
  • Rich Cereal
  • Banana (at around six months)

Begin with about 1 teaspoon dry rice cereal mixed with 4 to 5 teaspoons breast milk or formula (it’ll be very runny).  Monitor to see how baby likes this new food.  Remember that baby’s digestive tendencies are still being established so do not try to introduce too much too soon.  Gradually thicken consistency and increase to 1 tablespoon dry cereal mixed with breast milk or formula, twice a day.  We did this with Elias and he loved it.  We actually started giving him rice cereal at about four months and he has been eating it ever since.

How to Tell When Baby is Ready for some Real Food

So how do you know when baby is ready to try some rice cereal?  Here are a couple of items to look for.

  • Can hold head up
  • Sits upright and can sit well in a highchair
  • Can close mouth around a spoon
  • Shows interest in food
  • Makes chewing motions – with Eli he was like a little bird opening his mouth wanting to try something new!
  • Is teething

The 3-6 month baby feeding schedule is not much different from the 0-3 month schedule with the exception that you should now be introducing rice cereal to your little one.  They key is to monitor what baby wants.  You do not have to force them to eat solids, but by the six month mark, they should be taking interest in some “finger foods”.

0-3 Month Baby Feeding Schedule

April 7th, 2010 by jody 13 comments »

We have discussed the importance of baby feeding schedules, but these feeding schedules change as baby gets older.  This week we are compiling a series of posts about baby feeding schedules from birth to twelve months.

0-3 Month Baby Feeding Schedule

What to feed baby:  Beast milk or formula only!

At this stage, your baby’s digestive tract is still developing, so solid food is not yet an option.  Some suggest that solids can be introduced as early as four months but ideally solids can be introduced at the 4-6 month time frame.  The only thing that you should be feeding baby at this time is breast milk or formula.

Your baby will let you know how much to feed him.  Babies eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re full.  Sources suggest that the general rule of thumb is to offer him 2-2.5 ounces of formula per pound of body weight each day.  If your baby weighs 10 pounds, he should drink about 20-25 ounces in a 24-hour period.During growth spurts, typically within the first couple of weeks after birth, your baby will be hungrier than normal.  Growth spurts with Elias seemed to occur at about two weeks, six weeks, three months and six months.

Baby Feeding Schedule: The Importance of Regular Feeding

April 6th, 2010 by jody 20 comments »

Like any parent, you probably understand the importance of routine for your little bundle of joy. Babies need routine, it helps them learn and adapt to their environment. Baby schedules are a must.  Whether it is with baby sleeping scheduled or baby feeding schedules, routine is key.  Regularity in terms of feeding is also important.  Establishing a baby feeding schedule can help ensure that your baby is getting the nutritional value they need to grow into a healthy toddler and child.

Establishing a Baby Feeding Schedule

In order to establish a baby feeding schedule, you will need to determine how you will be feeding your baby.  Your baby schedule might differ if you are:

  1. Nursing your baby
  2. Feeding your baby formula
  3. Combination of the above

Tracy decided that she would be nursing Elias as we felt this would provide the best nutritional value for him.  However many mothers go the route of formula as they believe that it is easier to establish a feeding and sleeping schedule.  The choice is yours, either way, establishing a baby feeding schedule becomes increasingly important to help establish the routine that your baby needs.

Depending on the age of your baby, establishing a feeding schedule may be dictated by your little one more so than you as parents.  This is natural.  When baby is hungry, they will let you know.  Trust us on that one.

Tips for Establishing a Baby Feeding Schedule

  1. Understand the feeding habits of your baby early on – pay attention to how often your baby desires to gain nourishment in their first few months, this can help with setting the frequency of your baby feeding schedule.
  2. Talk to Other Parents – a great source of reliable baby feeding information can come from your friends or family members who have children.  While all babies are different, there may be similar habits that you can incorporate into your baby feeding schedule.
  3. Introduce new foods one at a time – as your baby gets older, you will want to introduce new foods.  Work on introducing solids at around the five month mark.  When introducing new foods, do so with at least three days in between.  By doing this, you can test to make sure your baby’s not allergic It was once considered important to wait until age 1 or even age 3 before introducing highly allergenic foods like eggs, fish, and peanuts. Experts now believe that postponing these foods doesn’t prevent food allergies. Careful monitoring of the foods that you introduce to your baby will help identify any potential allergic reactions.
  4. Do not overfeed your baby – yes it is possible to overfeed your baby.  Once your baby is on solid foods, you will notice that if you overfeed with formula or breast milk, they will not eat as much solid food.  The reason?  They may be too full from all of the formula and breast milk.  Depending on the age of your baby they require differing amounts of formula or breast milk.  What we have researched is that normal weight gain for a 0-4 month old is about 5-7oz a week, for a 4-6 month old is 4-5 oz a week, and for a 6-12 month old is 2-4 oz a week.  Again all babies are different, but this appears to be a good guideline.
  5. Create a Baby Feeding Schedule based on the seven day week – babies have no concept of time, so in order to establish routine, their feeding schedule should be consistent every day, that is at least until you are able to introduce additional foods with regular occurrence.
  6. Base your Feeding Schedule on a 24-hour clock – again babies have no sense of time and may require nourishment at any hour.  Establishing a feeding schedule can help you “control” when and how much baby eats.
  7. Control the frequency of a given food – when establishing a feeding schedule work to ensure that baby is not necessarily eating the same thing day in and day out. Of course there will be staples such as formula or breast milk, but providing the same food over and over is too boring even for a baby. Not to mention they may develop a dislike to the food when they are older although this can be difficult to trace back. Be creative with your feeding schedule.

Establishing a baby feeding schedule will help ensure that your baby is eating regularly and still make sure they are getting all the nutrients they need.

Sleeping Through the Night… NOT!

April 5th, 2010 by tracy 22 comments »

Yah, that was fun while it lasted.  A couple weeks ago I was all excited about the fact that Elias was sleeping through the night.  Well that couldn’t be farthur from the truth now.  The last week or so he has been getting up 2-5 times a night.  YUCK!

We are pretty sure it is his teeth coming through that is waking him up.  He doesn’t have any yet and from what I have read and been told the older they are when they get them, the more painful it can be (0r they just realize it more).  I feel bad not going to him when I know he is in pain, so I go.  We have done the “cry it out” thing too many times to start that again.  But this getting up so often at night is starting to wear us down again.  It will turn around again soon and he will be back to sleeping most of the night again… but each time this happens you wonder when this will be.  Tonight? A week from now?

Until the wonderful night comes of undisturbed sleep arrives again for us… I will get up with Eli and comfort him back to sleep.  Cause thats what we mothers do.

One of my dearest and oldest friends dad use to rant and rave at us when we were very young and driving him crazy.  He would say, “I don’t have money, I don’t have time, I don’t have food, beacuse when you got kids, thats all you got!”  I didn’t know what he was talking about back then, but I sure do now.  Well, I am going to add another to his list.  “I don’t have sleep.  But I have 2 beautiful kids that I love with all my being!