Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Little Spoon

This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own.

Feeding solids has been a fun adventure for us so far.  Making my own homemade purees has also been fun and relatively easy, but when Little Spoon contacted me to try their organic purees I took them up on the offer because the flavors sounded amazing and I love that it's a customizable meal plan that gets delivered every other week.  Hello convenience!

So in the midst of all the chaos that has happened over the last few weeks since my father in law passed away, I had zero time to make any homemade purees, luckily my Little Spoon box came at the perfect time so we had fresh, organic food on hand that we could just pop the lid off and start feeding to Georgia.  I was extremely impressed with what I got in our first box.  It came packed with a bib plus a small cooler bag filled with 8 different Babyblends.  Blends are chosen based on baby's age which is another thing I like about what they offer.  Babyblends start with Step 1 - Single Ingredient servings for 4+ months, Step 2 - Fruit & Vegetable Blends - 6+ months, Step 3 - Textures & Superfoods - 9+ months, & Step 4 - Whole Chunks & Textures - 12+ months.  

A few of the blends we got were Kale, Carrot, & Pear, Beat, Banana, & Mango, and Carrot, Apple, & Ginger.  Each little container comes with 4oz of food and a little spoon attached to the lid so you don't need any kind of utensils of your own.  I ended up freezing about half of what I got because the foods have to be eaten within 14 days after you've received them because there are no preservatives in them and they are not processed.  

Our first experience with Little Spoon has been nothing but positive.  Georgia has enjoyed all of the flavors that she's been able to try so far and, once again, that word convenience just keeps coming to mind when I think about ways to describe their service.  I think we all want food that is safe for our babies, but that may not always be an option, with Little Spoon you know the food you're feeding your baby is made from quality organic ingredients, super-foods, and healthy fats.  This helps create healthy habits from an early age and encourages our little ones to hopefully make health choices when they are old enough to pick foods for themselves.  

As of right now the website in in pre-launch but you can request an invite (and they open it up to you very quickly) to get started with their delivery program.  

I also thought I'd share a quick list with you guys of my favorite feeding accessories so far.
Fisher Price Space Saver Highchair - we love this because it just attaches to one of our bar stools, its easy to assemble and to clean.
Silicone bib - easy to rinse off and clean each night rather than putting a cloth bib in the washer each time!
Feeding spoons - love these because they're colorful and are easily rinsed and reused. 
Bowl with Lid - these are a must for us, easy to put a couple frozen sticks of food into the night before daycare, then by the next day they're thawed and ready to go in a reusable container.  
Milkies Milk Tray - this is actually used to freeze breastmilk into one ounce sticks but I've used it to freeze my purees so I know exactly how much she is getting with each feeding. 
OXO Tot Glass Baby Food Blocks - these are also nice containers for freezing baby food for those of you trying to avoid plastics.  

This post may contain affiliate links.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Georiga June - 7 Months

Wow you guys, I have been a HORRIBLE blogger!  I apologize for the lack of posting, I've been in a little bit of a rut and honestly, I've been busy being a mom and enjoying my time with my girl.  It's amazing how little time I feel like I have in the evenings after I pick her up from daycare, get home, change her, get myself in my comfy clothes, make dinner, straighten the house, take the dog out, do a load of laundry, give her a bath, etc. etc. then it's pretty much time for bed!  Even though our routine doesn't change much and our days are pretty ordinary, the time has felt like it's absolutely flying!

Georgia is officially 7 months now as of the 22nd.  Each month that passes she gets spunkier and funnier, and her personality grows by leaps and bounds.  This last month was one of our more challenging months as she is growing like a weed and evolving more every day.  She's not my great sleeper that she once was, although she's not terrible either, the last thing the girl wants to do is nap or sleep, she's just afraid she's going to miss something.  She's extremely strong now too, she'll stiffen herself and arch her back when I try rocking her to sleep if she's not having it.  We battle most days and I know that this sleep routine is definitely not the best for either of us, but it's what I'm choosing to continue to do for now.  I think that she is probably ready for her crib, but mama isn't quite ready for her to be in her own room yet.  I'm still enjoying room sharing and co-sleeping with her and I'm not ready to give that up quite yet.

Georgia has been eating tons of different solids, we typically stick to purees, but she's also eaten French fries, eggs, peaches, banana slices, potatoes and other various types of food and has loved all of them.  Not only does she have FOMO during nap time, but when we are eating, she her FOMO generally kicks in if she is not given a piece of whatever it is that we are having.  She also continues to nurse like a champ and I've now officially been breastfeeding for 7 months! 

I bought her a walker for $5 at a garage sale and that has been her new favorite toy.  She also loves to roll around and she loves putting her feet in her mouth.  Some nights she gargles and blows raspberries for what seems like hours.  Sometimes she smiles so much I just think to myself, her cheeks have to be killing her!  But we love that she's a little social butterfly and that she is such a happy girl.  She also loves her puppy and kitty and when they are near her she has to pet them and stare at them.  We are hoping soon she will start crawling but she seriously loves to stand and to walk in her walker so I would not be surprised if crawling is something she only does for a short period of time.

At her last doctors appointment mid-September she was about 16lbs 1oz and she was 2'6".  At her 6 month check up her head circumference was in the 95th percentile, she's got a large head for sure, which I think means she's going to become a doctor or maybe is some kind of child prodigy.  ;-) Right now she's wearing mostly 6 month stuff, or 6-9 month, but some of her footie PJ's are getting to be a little tight on her.  She still wears a bow every day and dressing her up in her cute outfits is still one of my favorite things to do.  I cannot wait to dress her in some of her fall outfits and for Halloween. 

Just when I think that she can't get any more amazing, she does something that completely awes me it's truly amazing to watch her develop as a tiny human.  We love this stage she is at now and how fun and interactive she is, we know it will only get better.  We know our love for her will only get stronger, and she continues to make us smile every day.  Happy 7 months GJ!

Monday, September 11, 2017

In Loving Memory

On Sunday September 3rd my father in law, Joe Sr. passed away after a 6 month battle with small cell lung cancer.  I never really mentioned that he had been diagnosed because it was just something that was almost too hard to even believe.  Now that he is gone it still just seems surreal that we will never get to see him again.  It's been a very tough few weeks, but things are finally beginning to settle.  

So a little backstory for you guys, Joe had been feeling a lot of back pain since late last fall.  He had initially started seeing the chiropractor who adjusted him for a few weeks, but when he wasn't improving, the chiropractor told him he should go see his regular doctor for some blood work.  That blood work came back showing elevated white blood cells so CAT & PET scans were ordered which revealed a spot on his lung.  This was right around his 61st birthday and right at the end of February.  After the spot was found a biopsy was scheduled but during Joe's birthday weekend he was having a really tough time breathing so his doctor suggested heading to St. Francis in Peoria to the emergency room in hopes that they could get him feeling better & maybe expedite the process of having the biopsy done.  Joe went into the hospital the day before I went into labor with Georgia.

It was roughly a week later they found out the diagnosis, 5 days after Georgia was born they FaceTimed us from St. Francis to tell us that Joe had been diagnosed with small-cell lung & bone cancer.  It was so hard to hear, but we were glad that they were going to be aggressive with treatment and had planned to start radiation and chemo soon.  With an unplanned blood infection caused by hospital staff during an IV placement, his treatment was somewhat delayed but they eventually got him started and the radiation helped.  

I was lucky that in the early days of his diagnosis I was on maternity leave so I got to spend a lot of time with him, as did Joe.  Once we heard what his actual diagnosis was, Joe decided to get laid off for 3 weeks so he got to spend those 3 weeks at home with Georgia and I and he got to spend some good time with his dad.  

Over the course of the next several months Joe endured chemo and I had never seen someone handle it as well as he did.  He did lose his hair and it did give him fatigue, but he never got sick from it and was able to have all the rounds that they had anticipated.  He got to walk his youngest daughter down the aisle in June and he seemed to be doing pretty well, all things considered.  

His next treatment type was immunotherapy which they started towards the end of summer.  You could visibly tell that Joe was in pain, and it was so tough to watch him, but he continued his fight and did whatever he was told by the doctors to do.  The plan was 6 rounds of immunotherapy, but they only got through 2 before they were told that there was nothing more that could be done for him.  On August 22nd Joe's parents sat us all down and told us that this news.  They said we had about 2-4 more months with him and that we might be called to help at any given time.  Little did we know that less than 2 weeks later Joe would pass away quietly at home surrounded by all of his family.  

Seeing how aggressive cancer can be was absolutely heartbreaking to watch.  You never think that it's going to affect your family, even though you hear so much about it and hear of so many that seem to have some form of it these days.  When we got the news I couldn't believe it and I felt so terrible for Joe and his other siblings that they would have to watch their dad go through this.  The Ridley's are probably the closest family I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  Although it was hard to see them all hurting, it was amazing to watch them all be supportive of each other and their mom through Joe's entire illness.  

Joe leaves behind an amazing wife, Linda, a women I could only dream to be as strong as.  I seriously do not know if I could handle a situation like this with as much grace and strength as she has.  He also leaves behind 5 children, Melissa, Joe, Jon, Logan, and Delaney.  All of the kids are now married but he will be missing out on the lives of his current grandchildren and the grandchildren to come.  We will be sure to keep his story and spirit alive by telling them stories of what an amazing man their grandpa was.  

I could go on for days about the type of man that Joe was and the memories that I have of him over the last 10 years of being a part of this family.  I know that the memories that I have don't compare to the lifetime of memories that his kids and wife and mother & siblings have, but what I do know that I think everyone can agree on is that Joe will be truly missed every day.  His warm smile, soft voice, and eagerness to always help others are qualities that I think many people admired about Joe.  I know his sons feel like they've got some big shoes to fill, but what they probably don't realize is that they are all already like him in so many ways.  His daughters will miss their daddy and I hope one day that Georgia has the relationship with Joe that Melissa and Delaney had with Joe Sr.  

I have now seen first hand how hard your fight can be, and I watched someone endure the pain and the heartache of knowing their life was ending but still continued to fight to beat the disease.   His strength and determination through the entire process was admirable.  Although he did not win this fight we are relieved that he is no longer suffering.  He will be truly missed.  
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