What to feed your 9-12 month old.

These recipes are from one of my favorite cookbooks; The Healthy Baby Meal Planner by Annabel Karmel.

Here are some recipes for your pre-toddler that will allow them to assert thier new found independence. We know from experience that when our girls were this age they wouldn’t allow us to spoon feed them so we had to let them use their fine motor skills to learn how to use their hands to feed themselves.

Follow these tips to make mealtime enjoyable for everyone:

  • Let your baby experiment by using a spoon. It is a good idea to have two bowls of food and two spoons; one for your baby to play with and one you use to feed them with.
  • Have lots of patience; learning to eat is just that–learning. The experience will take time and be messy!
  • Eat something with your baby at mealtimes; they are more likely to eat if they see you eating too.

Homemade Teething Biscuits

Cut a thick slice of wholewheat (cracked wheat or rye) bread into three strips. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven preheated to 350 degrees for 15 minutes. You could try adding a little grated cheese. These will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Yum!

A Grown-Up Breakfast

(Makes one portion)

  • 1 tablespoon graham crackers
  • 1 small banana
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt or milk

Finely crumble the graham crackers and mash the banana. Combine all the ingredients and serve.

Multicolored Casserole

  • 1 tbl olive oil
  • 1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 c. diced red pepper
  • 1 c. frozen peas
  • 2/3 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 c. vegetable broth or water

Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the shallot and red bell pepper, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the peas and corn, pour over the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 3-4 minutes. It would be yummy to stir in cooked pasta noodles too.

Chicken and Apple Balls

  •  1 large dessert apple, peeled and grated
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 tablesppon fresh parsely, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or sage, chopped
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube, crumbled (for babies over one year)
  • 1 c. fresh white bread crumbs salt and freshly ground pepper (for babies over one year)
  • all-purpose flour for coating vegetable oil for frying

Using your hands, squeeze out a little excess liquid from the grated apple. Mix the apple with the chicken, onion, herbs, bouillon cube, and bread crumbs and roughly chop in a food processor for a few seconds. Season with a little salt and pepper. With hands, form into about 20 balls, roll in flour, and fry in a shallow oil for about 5 minutes until lightly golden and cooked through.

**Always supervise your child while eating**

Kalisha and Reneca

Speechless Sunday

Remember when ice cream tasted that good! 🙂

How to Lounge: Tip #5

Taking care of your hair is another step that we as Mother’s can take to give ourselves a confidence boost. No matter your style (or lack thereof :-)) Giving yourself a good conditioning will do wonders for your hair. This week’s lounge tip is to treat your hair. While the conditioners are setting in your hair, grab a book or magazine, or make it a point to watch your favorite show. Treat yourself!

HOME-MADE HAIR CONDITIONERS
Avocado and Egg Yolk
Mash a small avocado and combine with an egg yolk. Apply to hair for 15 minutes, then rinse and wash your hair as usual. This is a great moisturizing mask for your hair.

Castor Oil and Egg Yolk
Mix an egg yolk with 2 teaspoons of castor oil and massage into your hair. Rinse and wash your hair as usual afterwards.

Sunflower and Wheatgerm Oil
Mix 1 cup of sunflower oil and 1 cup of wheat germ oil. Warm the mixture and massage it on the head and hair. Wash off with lukewarm water in which one tablespoon of lemon juice has been added.

Mayonnaise Conditioner
Apply 1/2 cup of mayonnaise to damp hair. Work into hair and then cover with a shower cap or towel for up to 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and then shampoo as usual.

We made it through another week! Hope you have a good weekend! Here is an essay that we found hilarious and wanted to share with you… 

The Cult of Motherhood

Come, join us…

By Kristen Chase

I hate to be the one to break this to you, but we moms have more in common with Katie Holmes than we’d like to think. That’s right. Because when we popped out that kid, we got an automatic membership to a special cult of our very own.

It’s called “THE NAP”.

Don’t try and tell me you don’t know what I’m talking about because I’ve seen you. And it’s sucked you in too. Hell, I’ve been a card-carrying worshipper since 2004.

Sure. We don’t wear crazy white sheets, sport bad blue running shoes circa 1982, or shave our heads, but on some days, I’m thinking those would look better than my 3-day old gauchos, Old Navy shirt, and inside-out underpants.

(To see the full essay click on the link above)

Run errands without melt downs

 Duan and I are planning a formal marriage ceremony, which is only 3 weeks away! Things have been so crazy that keeping a schedule has been very hard to do. Here are 3 tips on how to maintain some sort normalcy when you are on the run.

1. Keep all meal times the same.  Warning:  a hungry child can explode at any moment! Try to keep snack times, lunch and dinner close to the time you would normally eat.  Bring easy snacks along with you, such as carrots, fruit, cereal, or crackers to help curb them till lunch or dinner.  If you do have to be out during the normal lunch or dinner time, pack a simple meal in a cooler such as sandwiches and fresh broccoli and grapes. 

2. Allow them to nap.  We all know a sleepy baby/child, is not a happy one.  By giving them their nap you will be able to get things done smoothly. For an infant bring a sling and but your baby in when they would usually take a nap.  As you are walking around the motion will put them to sleep.  For your toddler or preschooler, bring a stroller that lays back and lay them in it during their nap time. Explain to them that it is nap time and they need to get some rest.  Put a light weight blanket covering the stroller (so they don’t have many distractions).  Don’t forget to bring their lovie if they have one.

3. Be realistic.  In a perfect world we would get all our errands done with out any melt downs.  Remember our children love to be free to run and play.  Keep this in mind.  If you are making a day of errands plan some time to stop at a park or the play place in the mall.  Letting your child have some time run off that built up energy, the day will run a lot smoother.

You know your child. Plan for everything. You know the deal: Fail to plan, plan to fail. I hope these tips help.  If you have anymore, feel free to leave them!

 

Much love, Reneca

 

 

Why should you rhyme all the time?!

Have you ever noticed how much your kids seem to love nursery rhymes and songs? How they can hear them over and over again without getting bored? The rhythm, rhyme and repetition in poems make it easy and fun for children to develop language skills.

There are benefits to nursery rhymes and songs:

  • Rhymes & songs help children develop oral language skills
  • Poetry helps children pay attention to the sounds & patterns of language & encourages vocabulary
  • Poetry is easy to incorporate into everyday activities

Poetry is an effective way to encourage language development because of its simplicity and brevity of thought. You can convey a lot with a few words. It is closest to music and encouraging musical ability in children, especially very young children, is known to encourage complex thinking patterns in the brain.

In order to scaffold the various sounds in a language and help children make the connection that these sounds actually make meaning, rhymes are helpful. Children learn the form of a language through the rhymes and patterns that they can repeat. Through rhymes they begin to recognize and transfer these meanings into language use in other areas.

Poetry for young children is very rhythmic, has a lot of words that rhyme, has a simple form and may tell a simple story. Mainly poetry for young children is words put together in a somewhat meaningful string so the patterns in the sentence will help children develop and remember the oral language. Poetry for young children is meant to be read – aloud, sung-along, and repeated often. They are, simply put, exercises for the tongue, that later connect to complex patterns of meaning-making in the brain.

Children like hearing rhymes and songs repeated often because it is a re-affirmation of their newly learned skills of language and it offers a familiarity with the culture that they identify and find security in.

Here is an activity to turn favorite nursery rhymes into a fun game:

What you need:

  • Poster
  • markers
  • magazines
  • scissors
  • plain white paper (to draw pics if you can’t find the ones you need in the magazine)

What you learn:

  • Phonemic awareness
  • rhyming skills
  • uses of poetry

Let’s Play!:

All you need to do is choose a nursery rhyme or poem and begin writing that poem on a large poster board.

Try to identify at least one keyword in each line of the nursery rhyme which your kids could easily find a photo in a magazine to symbolize that word. As you are writing the nursery rhyme in large letters on the poster, leave blank spaces for these certain keywords.

Then present the poster to your kids and begin reading the nursery rhyme or poem to them. If they know the nursery rhyme already, ask them if they know what the missing word is. Then have them go through old magazines you’ve gathered and see if they can find a photo representing that missing word. Have them cut the image out and glue it to the poster board.

If they can’t find a photo to represent the keyword, then you can encourage your kids to make a drawing of the keyword.

Continue with the nursery rhyme until you and your children have filled in all the missing keywords.

Remember to choose keywords which are concrete and children are able to understand and find images of. For example, using the nursery rhyme, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” you might want your poster to have the following keywords missing:

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
Twinkle, twinkle little ___ (star),
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the ___ (world) so high,
Like a ___ (diamond) in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle little ___ (star),
How I wonder what you are.
This activity works really well in a group setting, especially in a circle time situation. It becomes an activity where all the kids participate at the same time and help one another figure out what the pictures are.

Instead of a poster, you can also make a smaller version using construction paper. You can put one line of the nursery rhyme on each page and then bind all the pages together to make your own picture poem book.

Source: http://www.aplaceofourown.org/index.php

 

My thoughts today…

Yesterday, it seemed like at every moment Journey and Faith were in sisterly harmony. There were moments where they both played peacefully together, neither one snatching toys or being selfish. Moments when Journey would playfully grab Faith’s cheeks, smile and say “chunky one!” Which would cause Faith to laugh out loud. There was also a moment that through my guidance at the park they shared with each other someone else’s toys! These are moments that I love to see. They are always pretty much sweet to each other. I think I noticed it more today because I had more patience and I was feeling much better.  When I was sick over the weekend it was hard for me to give them my full attention because I was so under the weather. I was grumpy, impatient and irritable.  But yesterday with my patience and energy was back I really appreciated the work I had put in to Motherhood.

I haven’t been giving myself enough credit. Has this happened to you? Sometimes as Mom’s we have this ideal of what perfect motherhood should look like, we compare ourselves to other moms, we compare ourselves to our Mother’s. When other people don’t matter. I guage my success at Motherhood by the happiness and love that I see my daughters express. What really matters is that my girls are happy, loving, affectionate, respectful and intelligent.

What will always matter is what will make Journey and Faith happy. What made Faith happy yesterday was that I let her plop down out of the chair 6 times to come toddling back to me with a different book each time. We even read a couple books twice! What made Journey happy today was that I let her play in the pool before bedtime and we went and got strawberry milkshakes (and she ate the cherry first!). I want that to be what my love means to them. I want them to be happy and to know that my love is always unconditional.

My love isn’t about the money I spend on them. My worth as a Mom doesn’t depend on the “gym classes”, “music classes”, or “art classes” that they belong to. I have decided to give myself credit and realize that I am a good Mom. I have restructured my household duties so that I spend the majority of my day just focused on them and our activities. I have learned how to entertain them without the material things. They have been shown so much unconditional love….and my girls are happy. I am a good Mom.

I found a list of Child Commandments and I will list all of them but one because I don’t agree with it. It is the one about going to church in order to learn about God. I don’t think that someone needs to go to a building to learn about God or be “Godly.” But that is another post 😉 Reading these made me look at my Mothering different. It brought up some really simple points. Our children just crave the simplicity of life, not all the hoopla. Just our love, patience and time.

My hands are small; please don’t expect perfection whenever I make a bed, draw a picture or throw a ball. My legs are short; please slow down so that I can catch up with you.

My eyes have not seen the world as yours have; please let me explore safely. Don’t restrict me unnecessarily.

Housework will always be there. I’m little for only a short time – please take time to explain things to me about this wonderful world, and do so willingly.

My feelings are tender; please be sensitive to my needs. Don’t nag me all day long. (You wouldn’t want to be nagged for your inquisitiveness.) Treat me as you would like to be treated.

I am a special gift from God; please treasure me as God intended you to do, holding me accountable for my actions, giving me guidelines to live by and disciplining me in a loving manner.

I need your encouragement to grow. Please go easy on the criticism; remember, you can criticize the things I do without criticizing me.

Please give me the freedom to make decisions concerning myself. Permit me to fail so that I can learn from my mistakes. Then someday I’ll be prepared to make the kind of decisions life requires of me.

Please don’t do things over for me. Somehow that makes me feel that my efforts didn’t quite measure up to your expectations. I know it’s hard, but please don’t try to compare me with my brothers and sisters.

Being a Mom is a lot of hardwork. We should give ourselves credit for the work we put in, but don’t get lazy on the job either. Raising a child takes a lot of time, patience and love. If you are giving one hundred percent of all of those things then you will see the reward staring you in the face every morning for the rest of your life (hopefully for only the next 18-20 years–they gotta move out sometime!). I am a good Mom. My proof is in my two sweet, loving, caring, funny, happy girls!