Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Got This!

We interrupt this segue into our first vacation with late breaking news: eating solid food!
Well, sort of....

During our week in Arizona, Zoey turned 6-months old. And let me tell you, from the second she went to bed as a 5-month old then woke up a 6-month old, it was like night and day (ok, some of that may have had to do with the ExerSaucer I broke down and bought for her because I could tell she was missing her's at home). From the moment she woke up, she was cheerful, constantly smiling, and emitting the most beautiful belly laughs you've ever heard; and it hasn't let up since. It's almost as if she decided she's going to be a grown-up now.

Exhibit A:

We had tried giving her baby oatmeal when she was between 4 and 5 months old, but she had zero interest in the spoon, clamping her mouth shut when we'd tried to feed her. Jacob and I thought she just needed some guidance, so there we sat with our mouths agape hoping she'd follow suit. She did, not quite understanding why, and most of the oatmeal wound up on her chin. But looking back on the many bottles of formula with oatmeal she didn't finish, and looking at her wholeheartedly enjoying her baby food, perhaps she just didn't like oatmeal. It's ok, that's how most of us feel about oatmeal - eating it simply because we're supposed to. So, about a month after starting oatmeal, we stopped (it made her pretty gassy, anyway).

I was a little hesitant to start solid food last Sunday simply because we got back from vacation very late the night before so her schedule was completely out of whack. But she woke up around 9:30am and ate around 10am so it didn't take long to at least feel like we were back on track.

I was also hesitant to start because Jacob wasn't at home. I figured we'd need 2 hands to feed her, and 2 hands to take pictures; somehow I managed both but I still wish he'd been there. He was picking up Louis and Durbin from their vacation with their other grandparents. From what I understand, they were AMAZING, so much so that barely-tolerant-of-dogs-and-their-hair Grandma spoiled them by putting blanket on the sofas and allowing them to get cozy. We were, of course, happy to have them back - home isn't quite the same without muddy dog-prints everywhere and incessant crying - but I was glad they weren't there for our first foray into solid food, either; entirely too much to handle because I know their noses would be going crazy.

We don't have a highchair yet - something we'll need rather shortly - so I plopped her in her Bumbo on the table (de-clench, there was 110% parental supervision) and wrapped one of her new bibs around her neck, which ended up covering most of her body. Does that mean she stayed relatively clean? Nope. But somehow food got everywhere BUT her bib. Even before we started, she was a little confused, but ultimately pleased.

And off we went with Ella's Kitchen organic baby food!

In case anyone was wondering, it looks and smells exactly how you'd imagine it coming out the other end. Between formula and baby food, I'm surprised we're not accused of child abuse. But she loved it and that's what matters.

Our pediatrician instructed us to start introducing one new thing a week, and to start with vegetables so it's not the uphill battle to get her into eating greens as it possibly could be. So we started with broccoli, pears, and peas.

It took a couple of tries, and even prying her mouth open with the spoon once, but she was into it pretty quickly, advancing to feeding herself after only a few tries.
So much so that she began to bend down towards the bowl.
But I'd load a spoonfull, she'd grab the handle and put it in her mouth, like she knew exactly what went where and when.
I fed her this way until she didn't want anymore.......
And/or we had made too much of a mess to where it didn't resemble mealtime anymore.
It's a bit hard to tell from this picture but, like I mentioned before, the only thing that remained clean was the bib. She had broccoli, pears, and peas on her legs, the Bumbo, both hands, cheek, chin, lips, eyebrow, eyelashes, and the table. I hosed her off, she sucked down a 7oz bottle, then played while I called everyone I could think of to regale them with stories of my genius baby.
We tried solid foods - the same broccoli, pears, and peas - the next evening but she wasn't as into it. For starters, it wasn't her mealtime so she wasn't particularly hungry; just more interested in playing that doing anything constructive (not that playing isn't constructive). And Daddy was sitting next to her eating his dinner, which she was way more interested in, so that complicated things as well.

He eventually moved into the other room, but Zoey wasn't fooled. I've found that the most difficult part of parenting so far is remembering she's isn't a dog; I can't change her focus and expect what she was consumed with only moment before to be gone. She's my little Sponge Baby. So we called it a day when everything - including the bib - was goopy.

What super-interesting concoction should we have next week??

(P.S. I've told the solid-food story quite a few times already and get an interestingly similar response each time: "that will be a fun poop!" Like I've been enjoying them all so far. On the plus, though, Aunt Rachael is subjected to most poopy diapers and since she went down this road 3 years ago, nothing fazes her. Even still, as her mother, I welcome all poopy diapers. As my mother always told me, if you love 'em, they don't stink.)