Archive for the ‘Infant’ Category

Kira_02months[Matt] At the end of March, Kerean went back to work on a 4-10 schedule, which means she works Monday through Thursday, 10 hours per day (telecommuting on Mondays, which is nice because her commute is more than 30 miles each way). With Kerean once again very busy with work, I have become the primary caregiver Mondays through Thursdays. By working Fridays and Saturdays I am able to extend my 6-week family leave to cover the entire 10-week Spring quarter, so I do not have to teach. This “Daddy Day Care” has been a great arrangement because (a) Kira didn’t have to start regular day care at the tender age of two months and (b) I get a chance to bond with her at a very early age and learn what’s it’s like to care for an infant — a chance I never had with Maia and will never have again (no, we’re not planning to have any more children).

Kira_03months This schedule is punishing, though, and we only get one day per week (normally Sunday) together as a family. We’re so busy that time is rushing past us. The first month has already gone, and here are two photos to bookend it. At 2 months old, Kira was already smiling, cooing, and looking around. She weighed 14 lbs, 6 oz at her 2-month checkup. She also received the full slew of vaccinations—the afternoon after that appointment was my most challenging experience with her yet, she cried for 45 minutes straight, fell asleep, and then whimpered in her slumber as I held her for 2 more hours.

Now, at 3 months, she has gotten very good at holding up her head and is already trying to sit up. She is a great sleeper—she often takes 2-3 hour “marathon naps” that leave me with time to get other things done, like this blog post! Kira and I enjoy long walks in the morning, usually 3 to 5 miles, and she’ll either have a marathon nap then or be awake for part of the time and looking around. We haven’t weighed her recently, but she is eating very well and certainly growing! Take a look back at Kira’s 1 month photos to appreciate the difference.

During this past month, Kira got to meet and hang out with quite a few visiting relatives: Aunt Lydia, Uncle Romaine, Gram, Aunt Abby, Uncle Scott and Cousin Henry! Like I said, a busy time!


[Kerean] In my quest to find the perfect picture for the email invitation and small gathering we’ll be having for Maia’s first birthday, this one struck me. There is something about it that really captures the always smiling and happy baby we are so lucky to call ours! She is 10 months old here.

[Kerean] Maia has been “walking” about since nine months old. And, she loves it! It’s her favorite thing to do. Putting her to stand up on her own instantly improves her mood from cranky to happy-giggly. Every time. Even if she is sleepy she will some how find the energy to want to stand and be happy about it.

Here she is with Matt walking into a restaurant during our trip to Canada for Mother’s Day this weekend.

[Kerean] Maia hasn’t been very interested in doing most things in “natural” progression. For example, she wasn’t much interested in rolling over. I am convinced that the hand-full of times she did roll over was just to show us that she could. If she wanted to. She isn’t into crawling either. Not even an attempt to show us that she could, if she wanted to.

Much like she prefers to skip the mushy baby food for more adult faire, she also shows preference for walking just like she sees all the big people around her doing.

Maia taking steps...

Maia is very interested in standing up. Totally skipping the crawling phase, which many babies do. She is interested in holding on and pulling herself to her feet and relishes doing it. Giggles and squeals all around. Just last week, she started taking steps while her hands are held. It dawned on me a whole week later how much of a big deal this was. Milestone journal (and blog) worthy.

Happy Spring Everyone!

Springtime with Maia

[Kerean] The weather has been so amazing the last couple of weeks here in Central Pennsylvania. Plants are flowering weeks earlier than usual due to the unseasonably warm weather; it’s already looking and feeling like Summer.

Maia and I have been thoroughly enjoying ourselves. Each day is an adventure of discovery and exploration. It’s really wonderful living my days through Maia’s eyes.

Yesterday we stayed much closer to home because of potential rain showers but that didn’t hinder us from playing at the park. Here are a few photos of Maia and her first time in a swing:

[Kerean] Some gestures are universal. As a parent, I am now convinced that babies invented that side-to-side head shake signal for “no” we all know so well. It’s instinct, and Maia has it.

Like good first-time parents, Matt and I started Maia on “solids” at 6 months old. We were so excited to watch her make a mess! Matt especially because it meant that he would get to feed Maia more often.

We played it safe at first, with baby cereal but that got boring really quickly. I broke out the two baby cookbooks we got from friends and family—Top 100 Baby Purees by Annabe Karmel and Cooking for Baby by Lisa Barnes—to spice things up a bit.

I have not used them beyond the 7-month recipes yet (I am getting to why that is in a minute in case the title didn’t give it away), but both books seem like good starters for parents interested in making their own baby food. They cover allergy concerns, cooking methods and equipment (you don’t need much in the way of equipment to make baby food). My favorite thing about both books is that recipes are organized by the stage baby is at. If I had to recommend one of the two, it would be Cooking for Baby. It’s more approachable overall even though it has about 20 less recipes.

Apples and Yams

I decided that an all-organic diet is the best way to give Maia a great start with food, after being exclusively breast-fed. With this in mind, the baby-food-making began. I started with batches of pear, apple, asparagus and yam purees. I also tried some avocado, banana and carrots as we progressed. I admit I got more into it than Maia did.

I made a couple mistakes along the way. For example, once I gave her too much in one sitting and another time I fed her before a scheduled feeding. Don’t do that. Too much can make baby constipated. You also might want to give baby a bit of pureed something after you breast or bottle feed.

I found it helpful to measure servings. Ice cubes are a great tool to help with measuring: 1 cube = 1 serving. This works great because I make baby food in batches and freeze it so I have plenty on hand.

Three weeks in and Maia just ate it all up—literally. Ah, what fun it was watching her open-mouthed, anticipating her spoon, and trying to get her hand in her bowl. But then suddenly, one day she stopped being interested. She kept dodging the spoon with that familiar side-to-side head shake. She is now eight months old and still not very interested in eating.

I’ve read online forums where other mothers say the same thing about their babies’ lack of interest in eating solids. One mother said her son didn’t become interested until fourteen months. I hope Maia does not take that long. I keep trying with infrequent success and will continue to until she decides food is exciting again. If only she knew all the fun she is missing—not making messes.


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