Monday, January 20, 2014

Happy 10 Months, Parker Campbell



Happy 10 Month Birthday, Baby Parker! 

Height: 29+ inches

Weight: 18+ lbs.



Hair: More and more! It’s hard to remember that P used to be a baldy little baby!

Diapers: Huggies Little Movers Size 3

Clothes: 12 month



Health: Working on tooth number five! Parker also had his first official illness this month: Croup! He woke up the week after Christmas coughing and sounding like a baby seal! A call to the doctor’s office and we were armed with ways to comfort baby, though Parker never ran a fever and was pretty happy the whole time.




Sleep: Little man has not had the greatest month of sleep (and by turn, neither has mamma or daddy!). Parker spent most of the month waking up several times a night, most often screaming. Our poor baby was experiencing teething pain, but even after that passed he kept his middle-of-the-night wake-ups. Right around his ten-month birthday, things started to get better though, and we are now back to sleeping through the night (8:00pm to 7:00am or 8:00am). Parker is also very consistent with needing a morning nap shortly after breakfast, and an afternoon nap after lunch. He goes down for every nap so happily!    



Diet: Parker eats three meals (and sometimes a snack) each day, and still nurses four times (when he gets up, after his naps, and before bed). At Parker’s nine-month check-up, we got the go-ahead from Parker’s pediatrician to basically start giving Parker foods that we were eating. It has opened up a whole new world! Daddy especially is having a ball with this! We started with bites of our baked ziti, beans from our burritos, beef from our noodle bowls, and carrots from our stew. New foods this month included grapes, oranges, and waffles. Parker had his first home-cooked real meal of Chicken Tikka Masala and loved it. I mean, looooved it. It’s a current favorite still. Other favorites right now include banana (eaten whole like a monkey), blueberries (cut in half to prevent choking), any and all citrus fruit, Delicata squash, and anything mommy or daddy is eating. By the way, little man can eat. You’d never guess it looking at his lean frame, but two nights ago for dinner, little man put away an entire orange, a full adult portion of Chicken Tikka Masala, a quarter cup of green beans, and half a potato. And that was an hour after having a snack of applesauce. So on his 10-month birthday, we went out to dinner at Canteena Laredo and decided Parker was ready for the Kid’s Menu! He had a beef enchilada, rice and beans, and finished more than half the plate!



New Experiences: Santa brought Parker a big boy car seat for Christmas so little man has been riding in style! He also (at his insistence) had his first tour of the garage with daddy’s project car inside. He made a beeline for the garage door while leading the way “walking” holding daddy’s hands, so of course daddy obliged and showed him (safely) around. Lately, Parker does not like to see mommy laughing, and gets a very concerned face, which sometimes leads to crying!



Likes: Cutie mandarins (baby boy polished off two whole ones on the flight home from Dallas), swatting at dangling banana peels, watching the clothes dryer, playing his xylophone, flicking buttons on shirts, examining his own hands, splashing the bath water, trying to eat electrical cords, watching the fish in the den, being read to (especially Little Blue Truck, Goodnight Moon, and Where’s Baby?), being tickled under his arms, riding on daddy’s shoulders, being sung to (also playing Patty Cake or Three Little Piggies), and catching glimpses of television screens that are on (we are following the AAP’s advice to limit screen time before age two so Parker doesn’t see the television on at home, but whenever we are out he is fascinated when he sees them!).



Firsts: We had baby’s first Christmas and little man was spoiled with love! Mamma, Daddy and Parker all wore matching Christmas pajamas for the big day and celebrated with Omi and Grandpa in from California.



Social: Parker makes a “gee” sound (rhymes with “knee”) when he’s happy, and has also started doing head tilts when he’s having fun or doing something he enjoys. He has also babbled complete phrases! Parker likes to help turn lights off when we leave rooms. He presses the switch and then watches the light and is oh-so happy.

Milestones: Parker waved for the first time at 10-months! He had practiced doing it sporadically the day before, then just as daddy was taking him upstairs for his nap, he looked at mommy in the kitchen and waved bye-bye! Parker is also standing holding onto furniture, and “walking” holding onto hands. He is showing the first signs of “cruising” (walking holding onto furniture) and can take a couple steps autonomously this way.



Dear Parker,
Happy New Year! 2014 will be your first full calendar year, and my it’s going to be a busy one! You have already visited Texas this year (for Grandpa’s 70th birthday), and will be headed to California later this month (for Auntie’s bridal shower). In fact, you have a round-trip flight planned once a month for the first half of this year! You earned an A grade on the way out to Dallas and back, so keep it up, little man! You are turning into quite the traveling buddy! Your daddy and I are having so much fun with you. We live to see you smile and giggle; our hearts just melt when you give us your precious grins. Your face lights up with joy when you see your daddy walk in from being at work all day; it’s the most precious sight. You continue to be quite the observer, looking at lights, people, windows, and ceilings whenever we are out. You always get tons of comments on how cute you are, and boy can you ham it up! Yesterday at Whole Foods you tilted your head back and forth and gave smiles to all the ladies! We are continuing to sign with you, and while you haven’t done any signing on your own yet, you understand when we sign “more”, “drink”, and “milk”. You also get very excited when we mention bananas or oranges in conversation (so we have to make sure we only say these words if we are giving them to you!). You have been super close to waving on your own lately and finally did it today – twice! We can’t wait to see what the next month will bring, baby boy! You are the light of our lives and we simply adore you.
Love, Mamma and Dadda


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Adventures in Homemade Baby Food!


We are four months into solids and what an adventure it has been! We began solids soon after Parker turned five months. Baby boy was ready and gobbled up anything I made him. At first, I pureed and pureed and pureed the foods (and added water) until what he was getting was almost whipped air! But over time, the purees got thicker and thicker. 

As little man began eating more and more, my system for making and storing food changed. I would still use the  Beaba Babycookor  Baby Bulletfor small batches, but to make larger quantities, I would cook up the fruit or veggie on the stove and then use our food processor to puree. 

I also started keeping the food in glass canisters from Crate & Barrel, and would choose a little of each for his meals. Below Front: Sweet Potato, Parsnip, Blueberries Back: Squash and Carrot


Typical meal at six months (Peas, Sweet Potato, Parsnip): 

I took advantage of all the organic squash that was in season and prepared lots of it for Parker. Since his purees were getting thicker and thicker, I didn't even need to use a food processor! I'd simply cut the squash in half (a golden acorn squash is pictured here): 

 Scoop out the seeds:

Wrap it in foil and bake at 425 degrees for an hour.

The squash would be nice and soft when I took it out of the oven.

All I had to do was scoop it into a container - the consistency was perfect!

Yummy golden acorn squash!

Sweet potatoes could also be done this way (below a golden acorn squash, sweet potato, acorn squash and pumpkin!). I think I sampled almost all the squash I could find! Parker really liked Butternut, and Delicata was the easiest to work with because of the thin skin. I would prepare them all the same way at the same time - easy peasy!


At seven months, we introduced finger foods. We started with Organic Puffs. Little man knew exactly what to do with them, though it was his first time picking up something so small. His success rate was maybe one in five, but he was trying his hardest to get them in his mouth! His dexterity improved over the next few days and weeks from the practice, and he perfected his "pincer grasp" in no time! Seven months was also when Parker began "chewing" (is it called "gumming" if you have no teeth??). We followed the puffs with Teething Wafers(which were followed by Parker's first two teeth!).



Around seven and a half months, we started seating Parker in restaurant high chairs when we went out to eat. Little man loved it. He'd be content for most of the meal just observing his surroundings, then we'd pull out a snack of puffs or a teething biscuit for a snack. 

At eight months, I began putting herbs and spices in P's purees and smashes. Think apples + cinnamon, avocado + cumin, pear + ginger, potato + dill... little man was especially fond of cinnamon!  

By this time, Parker was sampling various finger foods including banana, avocado, potato and (below) broccoli! 


This is around when Parker really started "dining out" : ) If we are out and about, we now feed him organic baby food packets(with these oh-so-handy screw on spoons) since it travels well (we just throw it in the diaper bag and it's good to go whenever). This is Parker's first meal with a buddy! 

And here getting ready to dine at Cantina Laredo with mamma and daddy!

Munching up some puffs while mamma and daddy eat their lunch:


Around eight and a half months, I gave Parker his first dairy: plain, organic, whole milk yogurt! He couldn't get enough!

Just before Parker turned nine months, we gave him whole wheat toast. Right around then is when his two top teeth made their appearance (bringing his grand total to four), which made biting into toast that much easier!
At Parker's nine-month doctor's appointment, we got the green light to basically feed little man whatever we're eating. Max took this literally and that night when we went out for Vietnamese food he shared his beef noodle bowl with Parker (chopsticks and all!).

Since then, Parker has been sampling from our plates (pieces of Baked Ziti, carrots from our stew, chicken from a lettuce wrap). Just this past week, Parker actually had his first whole meal of mamma and daddy food. I was making slow-cooker Chicken Tikka Masala and just decided we'd give it a go with Parker. I added the brown rice that Max and I were also eating and threw in some pieces of cooked apple for finger-food practice. 


I wasn't sure how it was going to go over but little man loooved it.

He loved it so much that he needed seconds and thirds, and finally daddy just fed Parker from his own bowl - this made little man way happy. (Yes, this was a dinner-in-jams, eat-at-the-counter night!)

So as of now (nine and a half months) I'm doing a hybrid of baby food. I'm still making purees, but they are to accompany table foods and finger foods. I'm loving that Parker has been gobbling up such varied tastes and textures (Indian food! Onions! Vietnamese cuisine!) though I have been told that once babies hit the toddler stage they become quite picky. Here's hoping my precious little eater keeps his awesome appetite and mamma's love of food!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Parker would like to wish everyone a Happy 2014!


He is especially excited as this will be his first full calendar year...



... the year that he will learn to walk and talk! 



Mommy and Daddy are pretty excited about this as well!


Farewell to 2013, the fastest, most amazing year of our lives!


(And the one with the fewest hours of sleep, ha!)


And hello 2014! We can't wait to see what fun you will bring!


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