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    Chiropractor Mama Dr. Dolly and professional photographer Elisa B. share about adventures in intentional and natural parenting while living in Virginia's beautiful Blue Ridge.
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CB106363Yesterday, we had a wonderful adventure at our local Charlottesville Fire Station.  I can’t wait to share the details with you.  Not only can little ones sit in the driver’s seat of the fire engine, but they can experience the lights and siren, too.  Oh, boy! Stay tuned for this week’s Tuesday Travels post when I post photos and details of one of the best kept field trip secrets in Charlottesville.

Thanks for those of you who showed up to the “Make Babyfood from Scratch” class at Whole Foods on Thursday evening.  We’re going to have an encore class soon at a time that’s more convenient for moms with young’uns.  There was enough demand for more information that soon enough I’ll either create a series of posts with the class information on this blog, or I’ll write up an article for a magazine.  Either way, I’ll definitely let you know.

Before this month is over, I will feature an exclusive interview with nationally-acclaimed folk music artist/song writer Ellis Paul of The Dragonfly Races.  Learn from a professional music artist the beautiful and subtle differences in writing quality songs for children compared to adults–but, even better, writing music that can be shared by both.  Also, learn how to help your children instill a love of music from an early age.

I’ve received numerous comments and e-mails about the “41 weeks and 1 day pregnant…seriously” post.  Thank you to all of you who share your past-“due” pregnancy stories and triumphant birth stories with me.  I love it.  Yes, I know I never posted the conclusion to the seemingly never-ending pregnancy.  But as you can see, my son, now one and 1/2 years old was born healthy and happy.  I’ve responded to many of you individually through e-mail with my birth story.  I’ve hemmed and hawed about whether to post something so personal, challenging, and amazing on my blog.  And, I’ve decided to not put it “out there” for anyone to read at any point in time.  However, if you e-mail me, there is a strong possibility that we may end up sharing our very personal and significant birth stories through e-mail.

I’m always interested in learning more about what YOU would like to read about on Traveling with Baby.  I read and heart every comment and e-mail.  So, keep the feedback coming, and I’ll continue to keep it real.

Baby Food Action

Butternut squash is finger-lickin’ good!

Calvin got bored with me feeding him his food with a spoon.  He’d fish it out of his mouth, look at it and palpate it with his fingers, then he’d put it back in his mouth once his obersvation was satisfied.  He did this same routine with ev-e-ry bite.  So, I dumped the entire portion onto his tray and let him have at it.  I knew it’d be a bath-worthy mess to clean up later, but I knew his curiousity would be satisfied and he’d have one heckuva fun time with it.  He even got squash on his eyelashes.

Heck, he even wanted to grab the camera!

Calvin’s first solid food was avocado, and he still loves it!

My son isn’t very happy here, but I was so thrilled that he was eagerly communicating in sign language.  Steve brought him to me right before bedtime for his night time nursing.  Calvin was repeatedly doing the sign for “milk” and fussing that I was taking his picture instead of giving him what he wanted.  I couldn’t resist.  It was just too cute.

Ask the Doctor

Dear Dr. Dolly, What foods does Calvin like? — Jiyeon

The short answer is, he likes what I feed him.  This baby doesn’t have options, and even as a potentially fussy toddler, he’ll have 2 choices: eat, or don’t eat.

He’s actually a very good eater.  Sometimes flavors surprise him.  He’ll give me that initial wince which seems to say “WHAT did you just put in my mouth?”.  Usually, he’ll give it a couple bites and then happily accept the rest.  The rare occasions when he doesn’t like to eat typically means he’s not feeling well.  I can count on one hand those times and there was a direct correlation to croup or teething.

My son has tried a variety of fruits and veggies, and I hope to increase his palate over time.  But, I stick to the staples because they’re plentiful and in season, inexpensive, and laden with great vitamins and minerals for his developing little body.

Calvin’s faves are bananas, sweet potatoes, yellow squash, butternut squash, peaches, plums, and Korean style Jangjorin brisket with nori and basmati rice.  When he was younger, his only food (aside from breastmilk) was watered down avocados.  Since those are kinda pricey right now, we’ve moved on to other healthy options.  He’s also tried and loved mangoes,  kiwi fruit, and hormone-free chicken.  He also loves plain whole milk yogurt, if mixed with fresh fruit.  I also sometimes mix it in with sweet potatoes and ground liver from free range cows.

Recently, I was introduced to an Asian-style bone marrow soup.  It’s served with rice and red bean and diced green onions.  It’s creamy and delicious, and it’s awesome for babies or post-surgery patients who are trying to heal and recover.  I don’t know if my mom fed this to me when I was a baby, but it is a very common first baby food in Asia.

I’m looking forward to introducing Calvin’s tastes to acorn squash, pumpkin, and other late fall and winter produce varieties.

Baby Food Woes

The first 4 days of avocados were . . . interesting. Calvin enjoyed eating like us and helping me with the spoon. Unfortunately, Calvin got dry skin on his chin and cheeks and they turned red. He’d get a similar reaction if I drank orange juice before nursing him.

We weren’t sure if he was reacting to the avocados, the water, or if he just wasn’t getting enough hydration. So, yesterday, we went back to just breastmilk–and he had another restless night (waking up every hour until 11:30pm, and then every 2-3 hours all night). Obviously, this kiddo needs more to eat than just breastmilk. My other suspicion is that he hadn’t eliminated any bowel movements in 2 days–so, I thought it was manifesting itself as extra ruddy and dry skin on his cheeks.

Seems like his skin cleared up today completely, and so did his bowels. Steve woke me up for poop show-and-tell in Calvin’s potty this morning. I changed 2 other diapers that were jam-packed. He got EVERYTHING out of his system today.

So, we gave it another go at solid (deceiving word) foods, but this time we used sweet potatoes and limited it to 1 teaspoon instead of 1 tablespoon. Like every other day, he gobbled up the food eagerly. I noticed he was much better at swallowing the food compared to the first day we tried feeding him with a spoon. Yet, he still wanted to nurse frequently. I took it as a cue that he was actually thirsty, so we went back to the sippy cup. He figured out how to suck on the sippy to make water come out, but he was more interested in chewing on the spout for his sore gums.

I hope his body reacts better to the sweet potatoes, and I think I’ll continue to give him more than the recommended 4-6 ounces.