Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Halloween.
Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Halloween.
For so many reasons Berlin hasn’t been the happiest camper lately, let’s just say a combination of lack of sleep, teething and overall developmental changes are making her more fussy and clingy than her average self. Ryan and I were all hyped to take her to her first pumpkin patch and share the same memories with her as we experienced growing up, but it turned out to be more tears than cheers.
As it turns out, Berlin is a bit more skittish than we expected when it comes to all things holiday. She lost it when we sat her by the ghost at the pumpkin patch and last week at Home Depot she broke into tears as I rounded the corner to the Christmas aisle (who knew angels were scary!). I’m assuming this fear is simply a phase. We shall see how trick or treating goes, she may not survive all the ghosts and goblins of Halloween night!
Lentil & Squash Stew
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 diced small onion
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 cup red lentils
1 half of a cooked butternut squash (bake at 375 for 50 mins)
1/2 cup minced kale
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
1 teaspoon organic tomato paste
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
In a large pot heat olive oil. Add onions, garlic and ginger and saute for approx 5 minutes on medium heat
Add lentils, coconut milk, water, curry powder and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and cook for 10 minutes
Add cooked butternut squash and kale and cook for an additional 10 minutes
I just adore the change of the season because it brings on a new perspective to cooking. Just as I was getting bored with the summer seasonal fruits, fall arrived and renewed my excitement in the kitchen.
Berlin has been the pickiest eater the past several months, so I proceeded with caution on this recipe and cut the ingredients in half. I have spent many an hour slaving over dishes for Berlin lately to have her simply turn her nose up at them. However this recipe, I can proudly (finally!) say was a hit! She totally loves it. Hallelujah!
This is a perfect fall dish for the entire family-not just your little one (of course). Enjoy.
Recipe adapted from here.
A bit blurry, but too cute
This weekend was an attempt to reclaim my youth by attending the Treasure Island Music Festival (with baby in tow). Taking Berlin was not such a bad idea, not for her at least. She seemed to thoroughly enjoy it, but for me, having a baby at a music festival was not my idea of cutting loose. But we had a brief, fun time, and was home in time for her bedtime at 7 PM (wild night!).
On Thursday I did get some baby free time and snuck out for a night at the Academy of Sciences and even met up with the hubby for a late night movie-if you haven’t seen Gravity yet I highly recommend it.
Hope you had an enjoyable weekend!
The decision to write this post was actually a rather difficult one for me, mainly because I feel like I failed Berlin as a parent in some shape or form. As most of you that follow the blog know, Berlin has been a bit slower than most at developing her gross motor skills. It wasn’t until eleven months that she learned to be mobile, and even then she learned how to scoot rather than the traditional crawl. Leading up to the eleven months she mostly just sat (and sat and sat…). She learned how to roll over at four months of age, but didn’t really practice it all that much, and she didn’t particularly enjoy tummy time all that much either. So pretty much she just sat.
Around eleven months suddenly her sit turned into a scoot. I assumed at the time this scoot was the precursor to her crawling, but then here we are three months later and she has yet to master the crawl. She attempts it at times, mostly while in a safe, padded environment (such as the bed) but its only for a few short steps, then she returns to her scoot.
Initially I wasn’t concerned by her lack of crawling, after all each baby finds their own unique way of moving and develops at their own pace (or so I’m told). Unquestionably it wasn’t until her one year checkup, when my pediatrician (who is extremely laid back about developmental milestones) suggested we see a physical therapist. It was then that I became a bit uneasy (to say the least).
As a mother, I want only the best for my child (who doesn’t?). I want her to be healthy and to develop to her full potential. So naturally, when given this news, I couldn’t help but feel that I had done something wrong, somehow failed Berlin.
I went through a mental checklist in my head, considering all the things I had done “right” for my daughter; I exclusively breastfed her for the first year of her life (I still am in fact), I fed her all organic, homemade foods, I practiced tummy time and did lots of floor time with her…But then I looked back in fear and considered all the time she spent in her car seat or stroller, then there were the hours in the motorized swing…I couldn’t help but feel somewhat responsible for her slower motor development.
So upon the advice of my pediatrician, I immediately called the physical therapist and set up Berlin’s first appointment.
The first appointment was of course the scariest, not knowing what to expect, and fear they were going to tell me something was physically wrong with Berlin. But took only moments into the session to realize it was going to be okay. I was instantly put at ease by the therapist. She was warm and gentle with Berlin, and in no way appeared alarmed by Berlin’s lack of efforts to crawl or pull herself up. She worked with her to understand her strengths and sent me home with a list of exercises and activities to work on with Berlin.
The second visit was much the same, but this visit I was actually given reassurance that she felt nothing was physically wrong with Berlin. She was merely lacking in strength and needed to develop her hips through daily exercises, but as far as she could tell there was nothing of concern. This was extremely reassuring and gave both Ryan and I the confidence we needed as well as the tools to progress Berlin to the next steps; pulling her self up and cruising.
In just a few short weeks Berlin has already begun pulling herself up, climbing stairs and standing for longer periods of time.
For those of you experiencing the same issues, these are the exercises provided by our therapist. The first were warm up exercises from our first visit.
Providing Pressure: applying deep pressure to feet, calves and heels. Applying pressure to hips while seated
Encourage reaching: while Berlin is seated on a chair or my lap encourage her to reach forward for toys
Encourage Standing: either encouraging Berlin to pull up and stand herself or placing her in standing position to allow her to get used to the sensation on her feet
Exercises from our last visit:
Weight shifting: either on knees or standing position, encouraging Berlin to shift her weight from side to side by reaching for objects slightly out of her reach
Rocking: on a ball, pillow or on my lap allowing Berlin to rock side to side strengthening her hips
Push toy: providing a push toy or having her push around a couch cushion while on her knees
I honestly was a bit hesitant to see a physical therapist in the beginning, but I do believe she helped accelerate Berlin’s development. Yes, I feel like Berlin would have reached these milestones on her own with due time, but it most likely would have taken much longer. So I’m very happy that we were able to receive this treatment and ultimately give me the relief I needed to stop stressing over her development.
I will provide a recap as her visits go on. Wish us luck, hopefully Berlin will be up and running around in no time!
A bit out of focus, but this is Berlin’s first bite of pure sugar. Must be documented!
Celebrated a wonderful three day weekend full of birthday festivities. Saturday we dropped Berlin off at her auntie’s house and enjoyed a baby free night for the first time since she was born. I’m not going to lie, it was pretty amazing. Sunday we celebrated with friends by having a laid back brunch at a local bar. And Monday (my actual birthday) we had breakfast at this little spot in my neighborhood, the Stable Cafe. Attached to the cafe is an awesome florist, Lila B that does beautiful work. I highly recommend checking them out.
It was the most mellow birthday I’ve ever celebrated, and the first time in years I haven’t been hung over the next day. So cheers to that!
I’m always trying to figure out new ways to make healthy finger foods for Berlin since she refuses to eat anything that involves using a utensil. I love using the mini muffin tin to make her meals, but I’ve lately been experimenting with making anything and everything into rolled balls (why does that sound so weird!?).
Sweet Potato Spinach Balls
2 large organic sweet potatoes
1 cup organic finely chopped spinach
1/2 small onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon garbanzo bean flour (or flour of choice)
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking sheet with olive oil or use parchment paper to avoiding sticking.
Boil chopped sweet potatoes for approx 10 minutes or until soft
Saute spinach and onions in a skillet for approx 3-4 minutes
Mash sweet potatoes in mixing bowl and add all other ingredients, mix well, adding more flour if necessary
Roll into small balls and place on baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes
These are perfect finger foods for the littles while sneaking in some veggies-yahoo!
Ryan and I were discussing this past weekend how sad it is that we can’t even remember what Berlin’s first word was. We have an idea, but we truly don’t recall which word it was or when it happened. Very sad. So in lieu of my sweet baby girl’s 14-month birthday I’m going to start documenting her development. Happy fourteen months baby girl!
Growing / Feet are growing quickly suddenly. She is almost in a size 3. She seems to be getting taller, but is still very thin. However she finally fits into 12 month clothing. She now has 4 teeth (her front teeth) and seems to be sprouting another.
Eating / Anything protein and fruit. Loves tofu, chicken and almond butter. Obsessed with green juices and oat bars.
Speaking / Favorite words include; baby, bye bye, hi, bubbles, and up. Says “uhm uhm” while pointing at objects to communicate what she wants.
Learning / To pull herself up on furniture and climb up the stairs.
Mastering / Knowing and pointing to her body parts; head, feet, belly, ears…Repeating sounds of her favorite animals; dog, cat, duck, bird (and monster).
Loving / Drinking from straws, bath time, going to the playground, scooting around at lightening speed, and reading (loves reading!).
Loathing / Eating with utensils (only likes finger foods), being carried, napping (nap times are tough lately), being in her carseat, pooping (she is terribly frightened of going number two!).
Laughing / Laughs each time I say “yucky” or snort like a pig. Laughs when she grabs my nose, ear (and lately) my love handles! Laughs every time I enter her room after nap time.
Playing / Enjoys playing in the kitchen; pulling items out of the fridge and drawers. Infatuated with bags & purses; dumping all my belongings from my purse onto the ground multiple times a day. Loves pulling all her clothes out of the bins and scattering them around the house.
It was an amazing weekend of sand, surf and lots of heat this weekend.
How I love San Francisco in the fall.
Most mornings I enjoy the homemade oat bars at our local coffee shop, which are mainly healthy, however they do have a generous amount of brown rice syrup, making them a bit sugary. And since Berlin only wants to eat what I’m eating as of late, these are not the healthiest option for her. So rather than fending off her insistent pleading I resolved by making her own sugar-free oat treat.
These bars can be modified to anyone’s liking by adding various kinds of dried fruit, nuts and even applesauce. I chose to increase the fiber by adding plums and ground flax to the recipe due to Berlin’s constant battle with constipation.
Banana Oat Bars
3 large, ripe bananas
2 cups Gluten-Free Oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1 tablespoon ground flax
3 large pitted dates (softened in water for 10 minutes)
1/4 cup chopped plums
Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease baking dish
Mash bananas well in mixing bowl. Add oats, then flax and mix well. Add the remainder of the ingredients and then spread evenly in baking dish. I made my bars quite thin so it only took approx 25 minutes to cook, if you choose to make the bars thicker it will take up to 30 minutes.
This recipe takes no time and is a healthy snack option for all children. In my opinion they are far tastier than any store bought energy bar. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn