Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We’re Expecting... TWINS! Sorta...

Well, I promised you big news and here it is... we are adopting two little girls from the Ukraine. They aren’t really twins, in fact they are a couple years apart in age, so it is really more like a two-for-one special ;-)

We invite you to follow along on our adventures.

(And now you know why I have been a bit of a blog slacker for the past two months.)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I'll be there...will you?

Guest post by Kelli

The National Down Syndrome Convention is fast approaching...July 16th-18th in Orlando, FL. I'll be there...will you?

Last year Monica over at Monkey Musings designed badges for all moms that attended and blog about their life with Down Syndrome so that everyone could be easily identified. This year, as she is expecting their 5th child (brave, brave woman)...she has passed the baton, to me! So, if you are attending and would like a badge, please let me know by commenting on this post or emailing me at livinglifewithes (at) yahoo (dot) com.

I hope many of you do attend...I cannot wait to meet you and shake your hand...oh, who am I kidding, I would love to give you a big fat hug... you have become an extention of my family through your encouragement and support. I can't wait to see your smiling faces in person and tell you how much I appreciate you sharing your lives through your blogs.

If you haven't registered yet..make sure you hurry over to the website and do it now, you have to register before June 10th to get the early bird rate (it sounds like I am talking about a meal, doesn't it!). If you haven't decided whether or not you are going...well consider that it's in ORLANDO where there is always an abundance of sunshine and fun, especially for the kiddos!

I would like to make sure that everyone that plans on attending gets a badge so if you woudn't mind helping me spread the word, I would really appreciate you linking back to this post from your blog or mentioning it in some way so that I can make sure that all DS bloggers receive a badge if they want one.

Hope to see you all in July!!!

(Note from ds.mama... Well, we were planning on going and then something big, something huge happened (I'll tell you about it later this week ;-) and we had to change our plans for this summer. We'll miss you guys and Mickey too.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Purees, the First Foods

Stage two feeding is so exciting... it’s the introduction of real foods. Mushed up, watered down pureed foods, but cereals, fruits, and vegies just the same. Really, who isn’t totally psyched to run out and buy that first box of rice cereal and a couple teeny tiny jars of apples and sweet potatoes?

You don’t have to limit yourself to the baby food aisle though... you could make your own purees. It is easy and cheap. It is also healthier since the high heat processing in commercial baby food depletes the nutrient levels in those jarred foods. The best reason to make your own is because it tastes better and it tastes like real food... the real food your baby will be feeding herself in a few months.

A Few Guidelines
When introducing a new food, wait three to four days before introducing another. Having your baby eat the new food for three days will help you to figure out if your baby is going to react to it. Allergies will show up as a rash, hives, diarrhea, gas, congestion, or puffy, watery eyes.

Always cook vegies and fruits before you puree them, with the exception of bananas and avocados. Why? Because it makes the food easier for your baby to fully digest it.

What is a proper serving size for a baby? The first couple times you introduce a new food, do not give your baby more than two tablespoons per serving. Once you know your baby is not allergic to the food, you can feed her a serving somewhere between an 1/8 to a 1/4 cup, which is 2–4 tablespoons, or 1-2 ounces. However, if your baby turns away or acts disinterested, trust that she is done eating and do not push her to eat more. In this beginning phase of eating real food, it is more about exposure and practice rather than nutrition and calories. Your baby is still getting her nutritional and caloric needs met through nursing or bottle feeding.

To make some of these recipes it would be helpful to have a steamer basket and a food processor of some sort... a blender will work too.

5 Yummy First Purees
Baby Rice (15 servings, can freeze) B&T
1/4 cup white rice (short-grain like Basmati)
breastmilk or formula
Rinse the rice under cold water. Put it in a pan with just enough water to cover it. Bring it to a boil and stir it. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Puree the rice in a blender with the breast/formula milk until smooth.

Pear Puree (2-3 servings, can freeze) B&T
1 small, ripe pear
2 tbsp. water
Wash, peel, core and cut up the pear. Put the pear chunks in a pan with the water and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes until the pear is tender. Cool and then puree using a little of the cooking liquid.

Carrot Puree (1-2 servings, can freeze) B&T
1 small carrot
1-2 tbsp water
Wash, peel (or scrape) and slice the carrot. Steam the carrot for 10 minutes. Cool and then puree in a blender with a little of the cooking water.

First Applesauce (8-10 servings, can freeze) MM
3 Medium sized Golden Delicious apples (or other low acid mild apples)
water as needed
Wash, core and slice apples but leave the skin on during cooking. Place slices in a steamer basket and set in a pot of already boiling/steaming water. Cover tightly and steam for 10-12 minutes (add more water as necessary). When the apples pierce easily they are done. Set them aside to cool and save the cooking water. Scrape the skins off and puree the apples with a tablespoon of cooking liquid for each apple.

Avocado Puree (1-2 servings, doesn’t freeze so you can eat the extras ;-) B&T
1/2 small avocado
Peel the avocado and remove the pit. Scoop out the flesh and cut out any dark spots or hard spots. Mash until it is smooth and creamy. Serve right away.

5 Combo Purees
Pear, Apple, and Banana Combo (4 servings, doesn’t freeze) HB
2 tbsp. pear puree (see above)
2 tbsp. apple puree (see above)
1/2 small ripe banana, mashed
Mix all three ingredients together and serve immediately.

Broccoli and Pea Puree (2-3 servings, can freeze but is better fresh) B&T
3 broccoli florets
small handful of fresh or frozen peas
a little breastmilk or formula
Steam the broccoli for 7-10 minutes, adding the peas 1 or 3 minutes (depending on if they are fresh or frozen) before broccoli is done. Cool and then puree in the processor, adding a little bit of breast/formula milk to counter any possible bitterness from the broccoli.

Butternut Squash and Pear (4 Servings, can freeze) HB
1 medium butternut squash
1 ripe pear
Peel the squash, cut it and take out the seeds. Chop it up and steam the pieces for about 12 minutes. Peel, core, and chop the pear. Add it to the steamer pot and cook for 5 minutes longer, or until the squash is tender. Puree in the processor.

Mashed Banana Flambe (2 servings, doesn’t freeze) HB
1 tsp. butter
1small banana, peeled and sliced
a pinch of cinnamon
2 tbsp orange juice, fresh if available
Melt the butter in a small skillet. Stir in the sliced banana, sprinkle with cinnamon and saute for 2 minutes. Pour in the orange juice and cook 2 minutes longer. Mash with a fork and serve once it has cooled enough.

Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon (7 servings, can freeze) HB
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
pinch of cinnamon
3 tbsp breastmilk or formula
Put sweet potato chunks in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about a half hour or until tender. Drain and puree in processor with cinnamon and breast/formula milk until smooth.

Baby Cookbooks
These recipes come from a few of my favorite baby cookbooks. I can’t fully endorse any of these books because in each there are some suggestions that I personally don’t agree with for babies with Down syndrome or typical kids, but every one of them has an array of super recipes and food ideas for little ones.

Mommy Made, Home Cooking for a Healthy Baby & Toddler by Martha and David Kimmel (MM)

The Healthy Baby Meal Planner by Annabel Karmel (HB)

Wholesome Meals for Babies & Toddlers, Parragon Books (B&T)