Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Healthy Family Meals & Using the Last of The Harvest

I cannot believe that Finley is already 6 months old! I am really enjoying this age. She hasnt started crawling, but she can make her way across a room in a short amount of time. Her stomach crunches has been modified into her lifting her upper body up on her elbows. She is on her way to sitting up on her own. In a sitting position she can balance for a little while, but still mostly needs support. The bumbo chair is about to be retired because she can almost roll herself out of it. This is sad because I love the bumbo chair!

We have been using our signs that we are learning in our baby sign language class. We are trying to teach her diaper change, hurt/pain, milk, eat, bath, going home, sleep and a few others.

I have been struggling with the decision about how, what and when to start feeding Finley solid foods. There are so many theories about what to introduce first and foods that should possibly not be fed right away. Im also not sure if I want to even feed her pureed food at all. This is very frustrating, especially knowing that as a dietitian I should have a better idea about how to feed kids.

My realization is that there isnt a lot of great information and there isnt much explanation for why most Americans start with rice cereal. Heavily processed, fortified rice cereal doesnt seem much better than formula or any other processed food. Im not sure if grains are a great first food at all. It makes sense to me that fruits and vegetables and meats/eggs should be the first foods. Since I havent completely figured out how I want to feed meat and eggs, Im starting with fruits and vegetables.

Ive given Finley both partially pureed and whole steamed fruits and vegetables. So far she has tried sweet potato, acorn squash, banana, avocado, blueberries, pineapple, mango, apple, broccoli and green beans. The favorites were blueberries and pineapple so far.

We have been having Finley sit with us at meals and plan to serve her a baby friendly version of what we are eating. It is definitely important to start family meals as early as possible and include baby in the family meal. It is also important to start introducing lots of flavors, spices and textures as early as is safe. Babies dont need their food to be completely tasteless and plain.

I've been unsure about which direction I want to take my nutrition career. Im starting to think that maybe I should focus on filling the void of information on feeding babies. We will see....

25 weeks

Chewing on a teething ring

First bite of pureed food was a surprise!

Not so sure about sweet potatoes

26 weeks

Goofing off after taking pictures with Owl

We did not get a large amount of anything from the garden this year other than zucchini. I decided to take the rest of the tomatoes, shallots, garlic and lots of herbs and make Tuscan White Beans. I made enough to put 6 large containers in the freezer. I have found that dishes like this are much more likely to be used in our house than the standard tomato sauce. This dish is a great side dish with pork chops or Italian Sausages.

Tuscan White Beans with Fresh Herbs

For the Beans:
1 cup dried white beans
6 cups water
2 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
4 thyme sprigs
1 large sage sprig
1 large rosemary sprig
1 tsp kosher salt

For the Sauce:
3 bacon slices
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup minced garlic
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 lb tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped thyme

Soak beans overnight covered in water, then drain. Bring beans , water, carrot, onion, and herb sprigs to a simmer in a heavy pot (4 qt), then simmer, partially covered, until beans are mostly cooked about 45 minutes. Add kosher salt, then simmer 45 minutes more.

While beans cook, make tomato sauce. Cook bacon in large pot until crisp (6-8 minutes). Add oil and onion and cook , stirring occasionally until onion is golden, about 12 minutes. Add garlic, salt and pepper and cook until garlic is soft, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato puree and thyme and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until sauce is thickened, about 30 minutes.

Discard herb sprigs from beans, drain, reserving cooking liquid. Mix beans with sauce and 1.5 cups of bean-cooking liquid. Simmer, stirring occasionally about 45 minutes.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Just before we left for our road trip, we took these cute pictures of Finley at the dinner table. We gave Finley a few pieces of steamed broccoli to chew on while we ate dinner. Im pretty sure she has just started teething and likes to chew on anything she can get her hands on. She is also getting better at grabbing things and is starting to be able to balance better when sitting up. We are excited for her upcoming 6 month appointment to see how big she is!

I have been looking forward to going to flyball nationals for a long time & when I had the opportunity to go with Indigo and Epic, I could not pass it up. We teamed up with my friends from Massachusetts and put together two very solid flyball teams. I had so much fun watching the best teams in the country and some amazing dog athletes.

Because I had so much fun at the tournament, I wouldnt say that I regret going. The drive there and especially the drive back were pretty horrible. Finley actually did much better than I expected. She slept in her portable crib through the night in the trailer and she was quiet in the car most of the time. When she cried in the car, however, it was extremely upsetting and stressful because I felt horrible for her. I learned several important lessons from the whole experience and probably wouldnt do it again under the same circumstances.

hanging out in the trailer in the evening after a long drive

the bunkroom in the trailer is used as a dog room

after a bath in the trailer

stopped at a rest stop along the way for dog exercise and baby stretching time

we camped at a place called Al's Oasis in South Dakota and decide to try their restaurant for breakfast. It was nice to have a hot breakfast. Finley did very well in her Bumbo chair while we ate.

23 weeks with Pig instead of Owl

Indigo's family: her 1/2 sister Ezri, aunt Prancer, Grandma Brita and mom Dazzle

we stopped to visit Ignited Border Collies on the way there and got to play with puppies

Ben flew in to Indiana for the weekend to run his dog and help out with Finley

We were one of many trailers lined up at the fairgrounds

We went out to dinner with our friends from Massachusetts one night and forgot to pack a change of clothes in the diaper bag. All we had was a shirt and some baby leggings. Ooops!

The crowd watching the final races

Finley watched some Fraggle Rock while we drove. She was mildly entertained.

24 weeks with pig instead of owl

Joy holding Finley in Montana on the side of the road when we ran out of gas

Our new dog Pax! He is from Kentfield Whippets in California. He is in puppy class now and is starting flyball and agility. He is a very good boy and is fitting in well with the border collies.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

new oct video

Here is some video that I took before we left, a few clips while we were on our trip and one from today. I plan to write a few posts in the next few days about our new dog Pax and our crazy drive to Indianapolis.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I have a pretty substantial backlog of video footage that I need to post. Here is the first installment.
Finley thinks it is very funny when Indy brings her toy back and shakes it up. She was really hooting and hollering but of course she stopped when I grabbed the camera. You can get a glimpse of it at the end of this video.

When Grandma and Grandpa came for a visit we took advantage of their hotel pool. Finley had a blast swimming around with Mom and Grandma!

Finley decided she wanted to practice sitting. She has the most luck in her changing table because she can hold on to the sides. What a big girl!

More to come soon!

Friday, October 1, 2010

weight gain during and loss after pregnancy

I had the worst morning sickness during my pregnancy. I was nauseated all day, everyday for several months. Our trip to Eastern Europe was a nightmare. My options were to get on bus everyday and drive on windy roads or stay in the cabin and smell all the nasty smells on the boat. A cruise is officially the worst place for someone with morning sickness.

The only thing that made me feel better was eating. I needed to run to the kitchen the second I woke up and eat and I had to keep eating to avoid any drops in blood sugar. The food that made me the least sick was anything spicy and anything carb loaded, with the latter being particularly bad for avoiding excessive weight gain. After several months of eating lots and lots of ice cream and scones and pasta and bread my weight started climbing fast.

When morning sickness was over, I had another issue that made it hard to keep my weight gain on track. I had severe pain in my pelvis and couldnt move around much. Exercise was out of the question. This was probably caused by my weight gain in the beginning of my pregnancy.

Here I am at the beginning of my pregnancy at a flyball tournament. I had to stop at 7-11 and get food to keep the nausea away!

When I was admitted to the hospital, I was 60 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight. After giving birth, when I got home and weighed myself I had lost about 15 lbs. I was pretty overwhelmed by how much weight I had to lose. Its been a great experience (only a dietitian would say that about having to lose weight) and I think it will help me as a dietitian. 45 lbs to lose is a pretty daunting task. With breastfeeding, following a whole foods/low carb diet and exercising I have managed to lose all but 10 lbs in 5 months. Im still working on it. Its really true that the last 10 lbs is the hardest, but Im determined to keep at it.