kristen-holly » the personal blog of kristen holly

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As I’m typing this, Asher is on Jamie’s lap on the next couch, giggling away watching his daddy play peek-a-boo. The sound of Sunday football fills the background, and Lexi is curled up on my legs. It’s a great evening 🙂  Earlier Asher was dancing up a storm in his jump jump, and had both of us laughing and dancing along. Has life ever been better? Just look at this cutie. I want to bottle him up, I just can’t get enough of him!

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On Friday night, I made my first batch of homemade baby food!  It was super easy, just took a little time. I made enough so that he has another 16 servings in the freezer, ready to heat and serve. I love knowing where his food came from, what’s in it (and what ISN’T in it!). Plus it was fun, and made with love. Aww 😉 After doing some research, I decided to have apples be his first real food (aside from rice cereal and oatmeal, which he’s already been having for a few weeks).  I chose apples because of their nutritional value, the fact that they aid in digestion, and they’re sweet and smooth on baby’s tummy.  I had heard to start with veggies then go to fruits, because if you start with fruit baby will get used to sweet and won’t eat the veggies. But truth is, we’re human and we’re born with a preference for sweet.  And breastmilk is SUPER sweet, so he’s already used to sweet flavor. So, I decided to go with apples first!  He’ll have apples in addition to his oatmeal now for the next few days. It’s recommended to give baby the same new food for 3-5 days in a row so you can watch for allergic reactions.

In case you’ve ever thought about making your own baby food and didn’t know how, here’s a step-by step of what I did. It’s simple, promise!

1. Choose a sweet apple variety – I went with Michigan Gala apples. I used 6.

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2. Fill a large pot with 1 inch of water, bring to boil.

3. Cut the apples in quarters, cut out the core, and put them in a steamer basket. Leave the skins on.undefined

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4. Place steamer basket in the larger pot, cover and let steam until apples are very tender, about 12 minutes.
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5. Pull out the steamer basket and let apples cool. Keep the water in the other pot.undefined

6. Peel the skin off the apples, and pop them in a blender. undefined

7. Add back some of the water until you’ve reached desired consistency.undefined

8. Voila! Applesauce!undefined

9. I poured some into a bowl for him to have immediately, and the rest I put in an ice cube tray, covered and froze. A serving is a cube or two, and can easily be thawed in the fridge or heated in the microwave. undefined

Baby likes apples!!undefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedA couple bites were a little sour!  Haha 🙂  I think he looks exactly like Jamie in this last one. So cute!!

Asher has had a week full of firsts!  I’ll start with the most exciting news – he slept ALL night!  Not just “through the night” which means 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep… ALL night.  Like 8pm – 7am!  This is the first full night of sleep we’ve had in nearly six months!  Yahoo!  I sure hope this stays – he’s been only waking up once, and it’s been getting later and later.  It would be awesome if this was IT – then we wouldn’t have to try any sleep training. Go baby!

More firsts – he started dancing!  He loves his exersaucer (his “jump jump”), and when he hits the buttons that play music, I smile at him and dance and snap my fingers.  Earlier this week, he joined me! He had a big goofball grin on his face as he started bopping side to side, stomping his feet. I about died, it was SO cute!  He keeps doing it, especially if I keep dancing with him  🙂

Also, he is on his absolutely sitting up by himself! I’ve been having him sit on the floor between my legs and play, and over the past week or two, he has gotten a lot stronger working those muscles and is finessing his balance. I don’t even hold him anymore, and he doesn’t even lean on me.  He’s got it! I need to get a picture of him 🙂

For today, some fun pictures in the Jump Jump!

undefinedundefinedEnjoy the weekend!

  • Heather - Yay Asher!!!! He’s so adorable. We must get together soon.ReplyCancel

  • Erin N. - Lucky you, he seems to LOVE the camera. Those expressions are priceless.ReplyCancel

  • Cindi T - Go, Asher! That’s awesome news! And he sure is a cutie! <3ReplyCancel

  • mom - he’s havin’ so much fun…kisses:)ReplyCancel

  • Dickie and Lila - He is getting so big and soooooooo cute. Hope the sleeping pattern stays now. We’d love to see him in person but the photos are wonderful. Good job Krissy.ReplyCancel

  • LeolaK - Oh..what a CUTIE!!!! My goodness! Yay on the sleeping..I’ll keep my fingers crossed for all 3 of you! =) What an adorable little guy you guys have…and he’s a shaker for the dance floor…watch out parties!ReplyCancel

My handsome little man is getting bigger, taller, stronger, smarter and funnier every day!  I love seeing his little personality coming out. I love seeing what makes him giggle, and knowing what is going to make him smile. I even like seeing him get frustrated and mad – not only is it kinda cute and funny, it shows that he’s learning and growing, figuring things out and overcoming obstacles.

I weighed him today, and he’s about 15.5 lbs!  He’s started rolling around in his crib, so the blankets are out, and he’s back in a Halo Sleepsack wearable blanket. That way he stays warm and cozy, and doesn’t get all tangled up. Nor can he accidentally kick off his blankets and get cold. It’s good!  He sleeps about 12 hours, usually from 7:30 – 7:30, with one or two nighttime feedings.  Some nights he’ll be extra rolly and we’ll have to go tend to him repeatedly… he’ll roll and wiggle and get stuck against the wall or in some crazy position.  But for the most part, he’s a pretty good sleeper!  Every now and then, if he wakes at like… 6am, I’ll feed him and take him back to bed with me. There’s nothing like that morning snuggle, watching him drift back off to sleep, and both of us sleeping in!  Of course, can’t do that every day… mama’s gotta work!

We’re still nursing, but have added oatmeal to his diet! Once or twice a day, he’ll get a little bowl of baby oatmeal, and he LOVES it! We tried at 4 months under the advice of our pediatrician, but he wasn’t too interested.  He wasn’t a fan of the rice cereal and would make a gag face and spit it out.  So we waited a bit and tried it again, and then tried oatmeal. Winner!  Now he opens his mouth really wide when he sees the spoon and lunges towards it.  We’re going to start veggies next week!  I’m planning on making my own babyfood. It seems pretty simple, and I like the idea of fresh food vs canned. Also less packaging/environmental impact. I’ll check in later to let you know how it goes 😉

In other Earth Mama news… I’m going to try cloth diapering. I wanted to from the very beginning, but I didn’t know how to do it, and the choices were a little overwhelming.  Plus I’d never actually seen it in action. Yesterday, my friend Aletha was here with her 6-month old, Eames, for a playdate / coffeedate. I knew she had recently switched to cloth, and I knew she’d done her research, so I asked her for a tutorial. She showed me how it all worked, and it seems easier than I thought!  Right after she left, I got an email from zulily that the deal of the day was for… you guessed it… cloth diapers! They were even the kind that she had (pocket), in a brand she mentioned that was really good (Fuzzi Bunz).  $20 diapers for $12.99 each?  Yes!!  I bought six diapers, 12 liners. If this goes well, these diapers will fit him until he’s potty trained!  I already feel good about this.  I feel guilty every time I empty that diaper pail and chuck another heavy bag in the trash.  Asher’s cute little Fuzzi Bunz should arrive in the next week or two.  I’ll update on how this goes too!  😉

What else is new… Oh! We’ve started sign language! We’re starting with just a few words, like milk, food, more, all-gone, and dog. Speaking of dog… he really likes Lexi.  He smiles when she walks by, and he knows that he’s supposed to pet her. She comes and lays by him, and he rolls to reach her and touches her fur. He’s also grabbed fistfulls of fur, pulled her ears and stuck his fingers in her eyeballs.  She’s VERY patient and gentle with him!  Thank goodness!

Playwise, he’s loving the exersaucer!  His little legs are getting so strong and he loves all the stuff he can grab, chew and bang around. He is working his muscles and getting ready to sit up on his own! He loves being outside on the deck, loves going for walks in the stroller. We’ve had some really nice days and have spent a lot of time out there before it gets cold! He’s smiling all the time, and giggles at us a lot. He loves when we make funny noises, and he loves anticipation.  He gets all excited knowing that something is going to happen. Like last night, he was going nuts for his rubber ducky going underwater and then boinging back to the surface!  Jamie did it over and over and over, and he just giggled and giggled and giggled!  He sure brings a lot of laughter and happiness 🙂

He really is amazing.  He was hard at first, and he still has his moments, but man… he sure is turning out to be the best thing ever.  We knew he would be 🙂  He makes us smile, giggle, cuddle and coo. He turns us to mush. Can’t wait to see what this next month will hold!

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  • kammi - I cant believe he is 5 months already!! adorable Kristen!!ReplyCancel

  • Cindi T - Yay for an adorable update! If you have any questions about cloth diapering- I’ve been doing it for 2 years and LOVE it!ReplyCancel

  • Lila - Seriously, that is one cute baby boy you guys have there!!ReplyCancel

I lost count of how many times I got up with baby last night. It’s a blur of nursing, rocking, and dragging my listless body back out of bed to do it all over again. It’s funny how interrupted sleep can mess with your brain.  I woke up a couple times in our bed grabbing onto Jamie, thinking it was Asher, “to keep him from falling off the bed”. Which is ridiculous, because Asher doesn’t sleep with us. Never has. Or I’d wake up and think I was in the nursery rocking chair, only to find I was actually in bed. Then I’d panic, not remembering when, how or IF I’d put the baby down. A couple times I DID wake up in the rocking chair, with baby asleep at the boob.

Nights around here aren’t usually like this. I can usually expect him to get up once at night to eat, maybe twice. Lately, with the teething and infamous Four Month Wakeful, its been twice more often, with a three thrown in here and there. At least on those days he sleeps in later too. (Which means mama sleeps in!)

But yesterday, he had his 4-month vaccinations. I’m sure this was what did it. He has a fever, a normal reaction to the shots. So there’s a good chance he has the chills, a headache, and sore little porkchop legs where they stuck him with those huge needles.  🙁 Poor baby, can’t blame him! And if he still has the teething pain… oh man. Recipe for disaster. Hence the sleepless night. Yesterday he wouldn’t nap in his crib, he had to be snuggled. (I love letting him nap in my arms – I was secretly excited for the excuse to do so all day!)  But I think he wanted the same treatment last night, I’d feed him, rock him, get him down. Tiptoe to bed. Only to hear him wailing before I even pulled my blankets over me. I sigh, listen to Jamie breathing heavily in his deep sleep, fight a wave of jealousy, and stagger back to the crib. Scoop up tired, sore little baby. More snuggles. More rocking. More swaying….

Wake up to baby crying. SHIT! Where am I? Where is HE?! Did I drop him? What time is it? Oh. Jesus. I’m in my bed. Thank God. I don’t remember putting him down, but I obviously did, successfully, 2 hours ago. (Yay mama!)  Wait, 2 hours ago? (Pout, grumble, tear up in frustration) Here we go, time to start all over again. I rub my achy, bleary eyes, slip on my robe, and stagger back down the hall.

k.holly ~ grand rapids photographer

It reminds me of when I used to sleepwalk as a kid. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and take a shower, thinking it was time to get up for school. One of my parents would gently direct me back to bed, and I’d wake up to my alarm clock, wrapped in a towel under my covers with wet hair stuck to my face. It’s a strange feeling knowing that you had been up, but don’t really remember the details. It messes with you.

Well, I hope this post made sense. I’ve been typing with one hand, snuggling and rocking baby with the other. By the way, he’s 14 lbs, 10 oz. 25.5 inches long as of yesterday’s appointment. Small but long for his age. Oh hey, he just fell back asleep. I’m going to go do the same. G’nite!

  • Leda - We’ve all been there at one point or another…with our first it was his first 5-6mths, I hardly remember them. It’s hard on your days and nights. Hang in there. ((hug))ReplyCancel

  • kelly braman - awe…takes me back for sure! know that these days will pass..I promise! lol you are doing a great job comforting your sweet babe and napping when he does! Finding balance with work and baby is tough! I still do not have it mastered…not many mamas do. Our babes have minds of their own and don’t fit into a neat little schedule:) (boy..don’t we wish they did:) ha Hugs to you!ReplyCancel

  • Morgan Crane - I’ve been there! I’m there again this week with our recent move and a one year old getting canines and molars. I laughed when you mentioned grabbing your husband thinking you were preventing the baby from falling out of bed. I’ve done that so many times!
    The four month wakeful was brutal for us. Good luck! You’ll be so glad that you wrote these blogs because it is so hard to remember the first year when you’re so sleep deprived. Thank goodness for nursing, huh? I don’t know what I would’ve done if I couldn’t just pop her on the boob to get her back down. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Keri - Hey! I used to sleepwalk and shower in the middle of the night too! Interesting… I had never met anyone else who went as far as showering in the middle of the night.

    Sorry to hear that Asher’s going through a rough patch with the sleeping. I obviously don’t have any words of wisdom. I can offer cyber hugs though: *hugs*. Hope he gets back on his old schedule soon!ReplyCancel

  • Dickie and Lila - Glad you are perfecting the “art” of sleeping while Asher is down. When you need rest the most it usually backfires. Hang in there Mom and Dad. There are restful days ahead. We just don’t know when! We closed cabins this past weekend. Don’t know where the summer went. Jenna and Abby both busy with volleyball now. Abby was voted the only 10th grade Homecoming Attendant by the kids in her grade. We are so excited. Now she needs a full length gown for coronation on Oct. 3rd. Luke has a babysitting job after school for the brother of volleyball player, so he is busy. Sam and Mark still have mowing jobs with Papa after school and soon it will be getting all the leaves up. Take care. Lots of Love.ReplyCancel

  • Dickie and Lila - Glad to hear you are perfecting the “art” of sleeping while Asher is down. Hang in there Mom and Dad. There are better days ahead–we just don’t know when. We closed cabins this past weekend. Don’t know where the summer went. Kids are busy–Abby and Jenna in volleyball, Luke taking care of a neighbor kid after school & Sam and Mark doing lawn mowing with Papa after school. Abby was voted 10th grade homecoming attendant by here class. So exciting. Now she gets to shop for a full-length gown for coronation on Oct.3rd. Take care and love you lots.ReplyCancel