Spring Breaking

The first full week of April offered plenty of time to stay at home with Mom and our twins, thanks to good ol’ Spring Break.

It was sorely needed too, because the first month of coaching Spring Track has been exhausting.

Before my track season began, I would come home right after school, just in time for all of us to hang out on the floor for a few hours, while Mom squeezed in her first “uninterrupted” pump of the day.  It was the best part of the day.

I would be debriefed on the funny things that happened that day, how well the babies ate, what happened at Mom’s Group, and other important matters of business.  We would have a little snack together and unwind from a long day.

scout and griffin
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But now it’s different.  By the time I get home each night, my interaction with the babies is limited to giving them baths and putting them to sleep for the night.  Then Mom and I will hurry and have dinner, while she pumps, of course, and she’ll give me the play by play on what happened while I was gone for 13 hours.

This well-timed Spring Break allowed me to do all of the things I’ve missed.  And I had no idea just how much I was missing, so here’s a little update.

Scout Finoula seems to finally be coming around to this radical idea of eating foods that do not come from a bottle.  Her champion-eater brother has been a spoon feeding whiz, but because of her tongue-tie, she has had major issues.  With some suggestions from a speech pathologist friend, we’ve begun using some OT techniques to make her more receptive to the idea of eating from a spoon.

Each feeding begins with a little “warm-up”.  We have a little tool that looks like a spoon, but with no spoon on the end.  It’s just a handle with little rubber nubs on the end.  We use the tool to wake up her mouth by rubbing it on her lips, tongue, and the insides of her cheeks.  When she’s all primed and ready, we try the food.

And guess what?  She likes it! She’s been eating well and we’re so proud of her!

scouty eating
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scouty eating
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Other than this, our little 8-month old daughter sits up like a pro, talks with a raspy monster-voice at times, and loves sitting on Dad’s shoulders.  She’s quiet and has a pensive face most of the time, like she’s constantly judging us.  And she waves at us whenever we enter the room, which never gets old.

Then there’s Griffin.  Our madman son.  He’s still a ball of energy and likes to scream.  He has a smile for everyone he meets and he’s the clear crowd favorite when we go out.  Why waste your time smiling at a quiet girl who stares right through you, when you can get a huge smile and leg-kick from the boy-twin?

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griffo
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griffin
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He’s a great eater and loves to watch the dogs.  He spends most of his time sitting on the floor, patiently waiting for a dog to come sit by him so he can pet them and poke their ears with his little fingers.  He bangs his pacifier on his crib rails when he’s ready to get out of bed, and he loves his Mama above everything else.  I’ve also made the bold claim that he’ll be crawling in one month.

Both babies only wear their corrective helmets at bed time and they still enjoy seeing Mom and Dad sing silly songs.  They sleep for 5-6 hours straight, and we love it.

Our twins had their first verbal exchange too!  While eating dinner in their highchairs, Griffin looked at Scout and made a fart noise with his mouth. She smiled at him, and fart-noised back.  He laughed and they exchanged fart noises for the rest of mealtime.  Their previous interactions had been limited to Griffin taking Scout’s binky whenever she was in reach.

babies!
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Although it was way too fast, Spring Break was just the thing I needed.  It reminded me how lucky I am to have two babies and an awesome wife.

megg and babies
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Adventures in Making Baby Food

After getting the green light from our pediatrician when the babies were four months old, we decided to start solids.  Before our twins had even arrived, I decided that I was going to make all of my own baby food, so I know exactly what’s in it.  And honestly, making baby food is easy!

We decided to start with sweet potatoes, because really, who doesn’t like sweet potatoes?  We’ll try it for four days in order to rule out any possible allergies.  After that, we’ll continue introducing various fruits and veggies over the next few months as the babies become more familiar with the spoon and new textures.

I found a few “recipes” online.  All of which were super easy.  If you don’t have a food processor to puree the food, you can just use a blender, or a potato ricer to reach the desired consistency.

After running the sweet potatoes through the food processor, I froze the mash in Green Sprouts food storage containers (only $6 on Amazon).  Once they were completely frozen, I popped the cubes out and stored them in an airtight container in the freezer.

Stored this way, the baby food sill be good for up to three months.  When it’s time to use them, I just have to defrost a cube or two and mix it with breast milk.  I don’t think it could be any easier.

 

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Give a quick scrub to clean the sweet potatoes or yams.

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Wrap each potato in a piece of foil and place on the middle rack of your oven and set it to 400 degrees. Place an extra piece of foil on the rack underneath, just in case some juices leak out.  You really don’t want that sugary mess burning inside of your oven. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the potatoes are soft when squeezed. Let potatoes cool and then peel off skins.

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Slice cooled potatoes into pieces and place in food processor.

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Blend until it reaches the desired consistency.

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Spoon into ice cube trays or food storage trays.

 

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We did the same thing with some frozen peas.  You just boil them in hot water and then puree, mush, or mash until they’re smooth.  And just so you know, frozen peas are just as good as fresh peas, and they’re much more accessible.  In an episode of Good Eats, Alton Brown says frozen peas are fine, which means they’re fine with me!

The baby food turned out really well, and I’m sure that once the babies get used to the spoon and this whole eating-something-that’s-not-coming-from-a-bottle idea, they’ll love it too!