Thursday, October 31, 2013

Emerson's First Halloween

Emerson's first Halloween was a busy one! He was dressed as a Lumberjack and I am quite proud that I actually pulled the whole outfit together.

The idea was inspired by his bearded hat that I found on Etsy. The beard part comes off so he can wear just the hat once it is finally cool enough to wear it.

The weather here in Houston was rainy almost all day and muggy, but the rain cleared away and it ended up being a beautiful evening.

Here is a glimpse of the busy lumberjacks day.

Dress rehearsal first thing in the morning (when I knew he would be the most cooperative).

Made an appearance at story time.

 Chopping down wood all day is tough, but reading is hard work also.

 Yummy treats that E could not eat. No teeth + too young = more for momma.

Hanging with story time friends.

Dad had to put on a flannel shirt also.

Emerson's duck friend (aka Charlotte) had nothing to do with him. She is older and wiser than E so probably best she learns early to stay away from those lumberjacks : )

After visiting a few friends it was time to head home and hit the hay. Can't believe we let that boy stay up until 8:30 p.m.! Whew, I am exhausted.
Happy Halloween, everyone!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Homemade Baby Food- The Journey Begins

I have decided to attempt to make Emerson's own baby food! This was my first time experimenting.

I found a wonderful website about baby food that I just love,

It has all the information you will ever need to know about making your own baby food. So great!

Anyway, here is what we started out with:

The food line-up: avocados, sweet potatoes, pears and bananas

The avocados and bananas can be served up fresh. Just mush them up and add a little water/formula/breast milk in it to thin it. I am making things in bulk so I just went ahead and froze them.

The equipment line-up: freezing trays (special baby one a friend lent me and just plain ice trays), press n' seal wrap, food processor, boiling pot and steamer basket.

The great part is, I had all of this at home already, minus the baby food tray on the far right that my friend let me borrow.

I didn't snap any pics of the process, but if you are really curious, just check out YouTube (that's what I did).

Here is the finished product! The ice cube trays are perfect because each cube is about 1 ounce, which is all baby needs at first. So all I do is grab a cube and thaw it when it is time to eat.

The food is good frozen for up to three months, so I have enough here to at least get me started. I also plan to make butternut squash and several other veggies.
My conclusions:
  • It was pretty simple to make his food
  • It was messy
  • Next time (yes, there will be a next time) I will do bigger batches
  • It was somewhat time consuming. It took most of the morning, but I did have to stop a bunch to entertain and feed Emerson
  • Way cheaper than buying jarred baby food from the store. I made weeks worth of food and only spent about $6. Jarred baby food is $1+ per jar 
  • I had to learn the hard way, but peel your fruits/veggies BEFORE cutting them into tiny pieces.
There are so many rules (it feels like) when it comes to baby food, but slowly I am getting the hang of it.
I can't wait to post pics of Emerson tasting this yummy food! 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Six Months Old: Happy Half Birthday!

Time keeps marching on, I can't believe he is already six months old. And even more hard to believe is how much he has grown in six months.

Probably the most fun thing about Emerson this month is seeing his personality come out (you will be able to tell from his photos). He is such a happy little guy. He is also not afraid to tell you how he feels, loudly, when he doesn't like something. But overall, he gives out smiles and laughs all the time. And when he smiles real big, you can see little dimples in his cheeks.

I love his laugh! He is super ticklish and easy to make smile. My new favorite thing is how he sticks out his tongue to smile. So cute. 

"Deer caught in the head lights" look. Classic.

Here is a breakdown of his activity this month:

Sleeping: I hate to say it, but I broke down and we started to let him cry it out a little at bedtime. I read six different books on sleep training (several non-cry it out methods), and the one thing they all agreed on was that it was important that all babies learn to go to sleep on their own without any props (rocking, paci, bottle). I still believe you should do whatever works best for you and your baby, but rocking, swinging, walking, eating to sleep stopped working for us months ago. It felt like a battle to get the kid to sleep. So after trying many methods (shush pat, pick-up-put-down), I realized that Emerson does not like to be touched and would rather be left alone.
 He responds much better to just my voice. So we just let him fuss one night and it only took 20 minutes before he went to sleep. It was a hard cry at times, but then he would just talk and then silence! I couldn't believe how well it worked. Now we just lay him down and he goes to sleep (knock on wood). I still rock and sing to him ( I love that), I just make sure he doesn't go to sleep in my arms. It has fixed so many of our sleep issues. Instead of dreading bedtime, I now look forward to and enjoy our time together.

Naps are a whole other ball game. He still gets rocked to sleep for that. He takes 3 to 4, 40 minute naps a day. Can't wait until we consolidate those more. Having a cat napper is exhausting. 

Eating: eats every 3-4 hours and gets 1 oz of solid food once during the day. We started cereal first and Saturday he got to taste real food, sweet potatoes! He is indifferent about them. Took a few bites and then he was done. I thought they tasted pretty good.

He does OK playing by himself, but the key is for him NOT to see me or he wants to be picked up. I now let him play in his pack n' play in our bedroom while I do things around the house that way I can get a few things done. 

 We continue to work on sitting up. If you prop him up just right he can sit tripod style for a few seconds by himself. And we are doing better with tummy time. I found the perfect toy to keep him busy while on the floor.

Daddy making us smile.

Doctor visit stats:
  • Weight: 16 lbs 12 oz (37%)
  • Height: 27.25" (76%)
  • Other: We got the first round of the flu vaccine. He goes back in a month for the booster. Jesse and I need to get ours. We also got a referral to see another pediatric surgeon for a second opinion. Can't wait to make that appointment.
We were a little fussy on picture day. I blame the shots.

Likes, dislikes and other milestones:

  • Likes to stick out his tongue.
  • Went to the Children's Museum for the first time and loved it. He especially loved all the mirrors.
  • Wakes between 6-7 a.m. and goes to sleep between 7-8 p.m.
  • Likes playing Peek-A-Boo.
  • We no longer use the car seat in the stroller. He gets to ride around like a big boy, or be carried in the BabyBjorn carrier.
  • Sometimes makes the sound "mama" when crying. No association to me...yet!
  • Changing Emerson's diaper these days is impossible! He moves around so much. Same goes for getting him dressed.
  • Emerson went to Gramma and Pops house in TN for the first time and had a great time!
  • Has been experimenting with his voice tones. He loves to give a high pitched squeal.
  • Took a sippy cup for the first time. He instantly put it in his mouth and chewed on the lip, but had no clue how to get the water out. Just for practice now.
  • Loves bath time still, but now hates to get out. He is learning that he can splash in the water.
  • He started to shake his head "no." He has no clue what it means, but I am trying to also teach him "yes." He just laughs when I do it.
  • Had his first taste of rice cereal and liked it! Saturday we tried sweet potatoes.
  • Emerson and I both love these silicone mesh feeders. You can put any piece of fruit/veggie in it and let them chew on it. It pulls out all the juices, so there is no harm in choking. I put an ice cube in it and it kept him busy. Jesse and I actually got to eat our dinner while he sucked on the ice cube. It's a win/win.
"I'm just so silly"

Things to look forward to:

  • Going to the pumpkin patch
  • First Halloween
  • Celebrating Great-Granddad Connie's 80th birthday
Can't stop laughing at this pic. 
He is either belting out a tune or screaming. Take a good guess which : )

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Emerson's First Trip to Tennessee

We recently made a trip to Tennessee to visit Jesse's family. This was Emerson's first visit to Gramma and Pops house. This was also the first time Emerson got to meet Uncle Evan. And sadly I didn't capture a very good picture of them, but I think the one below is pretty funny  : )

Just love both their faces, as if they were saying  "what do I do with this guy?".

Friday night was the only night the whole McKee family was able to be together so we snuck in a quick family picture.

Get ready for tons of other photos...

Playing a classic, croquet.

Wearing orange for the TN game.

Meeting new friends!
Jesse's best friend from high school, Michael, his fiancĂ© and his family. Emerson was quite the charmer.

Emerson, Jesse and Michael.

These three headed to the TN vs. Georgia game. A great game, but we all had wished for a different outcome.
Story time with Gramma before bed.

Hanging with Aunt Molly.
Goodbye hugs.

Jesse and I headed back to Nashville to catch our flight, but first we made a stop at the greats house.

Emerson got to meet his great-granddaddy and great-grandmomma for the first time. He loved spending time with them.

But we ran into a nap time issue and he had enough of being charming :)

What a great trip! Can't wait until the next one.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

First Food: Change of Plans

I had a grand plan to skip the rice cereal phase and go straight to real food (pureed of course). That is why I have waited so long to start foods. I didn't think he was ready at four months to start on pureed foods.

Unfortunately, when I called to double check my plan with my doctor, the nurse I spoke with advised against it and said rice cereal was a better choice for "practicing". I am still not sure if I agree with her, however I am not one to break the rules. Besides, Emerson's doctor and nurses do this for a living, so I thought it best to go with their best judgment than mine...this time anyway : )

So today Emerson got his first taste of "food" and had a few bites of Nature's Best Whole Grain rice cereal.

He loved it!
Here we go!

Haha, can't stop smiling at this face.

More please!

We are only doing rice cereal for a few days then moving onto real food. I have a whole other post ready to show on my baby food making process, so more food posts coming soon.
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