Baby Tweedle- 36 Weeks Old

April 16, 2014

At 8 months and one week old, Nora FINALLY rolled! She is so proud of herself and so are we. I thought she would never do it and then on Sunday, she was playing on the bed and suddenly she was on her tummy. She did it about 100 times after that just to be sure and now she's a rolling machine. I took the funniest video of her blowing raspberries and rolling across her bedroom floor in the nude which I promptly sent out to my entire contact list. She's a movin' and a groovin'!

When I went to  get her up from her nap, I saw little fingers poking up from the top of the crib for the first time! 
Flipping right over during a diaper change.... Things are getting interesting!
This week we also took a little trip to Whitefish, Montana which is a short drive across the border from here. It was a really nice little getaway. We had some nice meals in good restaurants, did some shopping and soaked up some spring sun. Nora was a pretty good little traveller. When I booked the hotel, I wanted to make sure there would be a separate room for Nora to sleep in and instead of booking a suite, I called the hotel and asked if the bathrooms would be big enough for a play pen. The woman at the front desk thought it was a bit of a strange question, but she assured me they likely would be and they were! Ha! We set Nora's bed up in the bathroom and she had her own room to sleep in and we could enjoy the TV, etc. after she went to bed. However, if we had to use the toilet in the night we had to tip toe around the crib! It was pretty funny. 

What's a holiday without wearing your bathing suit on the hotel room bed and playing with your new toys!?

Dining out in my Bluebird Bonnet!
She has also started shaking her head for "no". At leasts it seems she is doing it appropriately for "no". When she is finished eating or doesn't want what is being offered to her on the spoon, she will shake her head and she also does it when I take something away from her that she shouldn't be playing with. She is so smart!

When we got home from our trip, Nora was so excited to see all her toys that she spent a good 45 mins "sorting" them. She pulled everything out of her toy basket and looked at and chewed every toy and then placed them all around her to look at!

She has also started to clap! If she is really happy and worked up, she will try and clap her hands together or if someone does it to her, she will copy them. I have been working on this one and she is getting the hang of it now too! So much learning going on in that little head of hers. 

Our big purchase of the trip was a backpack carrier for Nora. We took it out on two little hikes over the weekend to test it and Nora LOVES it! She sits up there smiling and giggling and she loves it when the wind blows in her face. 

Perhaps the learning overdrive is what is causing her nights to be all screwed up still. It is really starting to BUG ME! I can't remember the last time she slept through the night and nothing I have tried seems to be working. I have powered through and fed her multiple times in the night, let her scream her head off for upwards of an hour and even sat in the room talking to her to try and coax her back to sleep instead of feeding her or rocking her. She STILL wakes several times. For the record, I wasn't able to outlast her crying the few times we have tried it. The little bugger is much better than I am at getting her way, I guess. I am going to keep at it, feeding her once and then assessing the situation and HOPE it finally goes away. Something tells me I may have a fight on my hands though which I am so not happy about. Where is my 12 hour a night sleeper?!

It is pretty hard to be upset about it when it is morning though. Nora is adorable. The end. 


DIY Snuggle Bunnies for Easter (or anytime!)

April 14, 2014

I have two of those magic rice bag things that you can put in the microwave and heat up like a heating pad and I love them. I bring them to bed with me many nights and lay with them under my back, of just set one in my lap while I am reading and they make me so warm and cozy. A few times this winter I put one of them in Nora's snowsuit while we walked and it really kept her warm and toasty. I have been meaning to make her a warmy bag for a while now and I finally got around to it. 

I decided to make hers a little more fun and do a "snuggle bunny"- Mr. Tweedle actually came up with the name! I got it done just in time for easter and it's going to look cute sitting in her easter basket this weekend. We will be able to put it in the microwave to warm up her bed when she is a little older or the freezer to use as a cool ice pack on a hot day in the summer. I think she will like playing with it too.

After I made Nora's, I got a little carried away and made 6 more! I started a little assembly line and had all my fabric scraps out and different cute combinations of patterns and colours were jumping out at me and I had to keep making them! Ha! Nora will have gifts to give some of her little friends when the occasion arises!

I drew out my own pattern on freezer paper and labeled the pieces. Because these are made from fabric scraps and meant to look cutesy and imperfect, it didn't matter if everything was completely symmetrical. You will need 6 different cotton fabrics and a large piece of felt or cotton quilt batting for the liner. 
Cut out your pieces. You'll need 4x arms, 4x legs, 4x ears, 1 back, 1 top body and 1 bottom body. With the liner, you need 2 arms, 2 legs, 2 ear pieces and 2 body pieces. The lining isn't necessary, but it adds a little weight to the arms, legs and ears and insulates the body pieces a little to keep it warm/cold longer when it is being used. 
Sew together the top and bottom front body pieces and add a face of some kind. For this one, I cut some felt pieces and sewed them on and then used a satin stitch on my sewing machine to to the eyes and nose. I wanted it to durable enough to withstand Nora playing with it, so I didn't do the faces by hand. 

Here are all the pieces ready to be put together. 
In order to do the arms, legs and ears, place your fabric right sides together and add your lining piece on top. Stitch all the way around leaving the bottom open. 
Turn right side out and iron. 
For the ears to have a folded look, just fold each bottom corner over as pictured and sew across the folds to hold them in place. 

Place the bunny front right side up and lay out your pieces as they will appear on the finished bunny. Both the front and back lining pieces are on the bottom. Once you have everything in place, lay the back piece, right side down (so that side sides are together) and pin all the pieces in place. 
Sew around the entire thing, leaving a 1.5 inch space to turn right side out.

Now it is ready to be filled with rice! You can just use regular rice. Don't fill it too full because you want it to be a little floppy and able to be draped over a shoulder or in your little one's lap. Remember to pour the rice in between the two pieces of lining. I put 1 cup of rice in mine. After the rice is in, you need to sew the gap shut by hand. 

 To make one bunny, set aside about an hour or an hour and a half. It is not very difficult and I'm sure your little ones will enjoy a snuggle bunny in their easter basket too! If you decide to make this project, I would love to see it!

Use the hashtag #misstweedle on Twitter or Instagram to share any Tweedle projects with me!

Follow me on Instagram for more daily photos and project updates- @misstweedle.


What Nora Eats:
How to Make Your Own Baby Food

April 11, 2014

As you know, we have had a lot of fun feeding Nora and watching her learn to feed herself. We started out thinking we would try Baby Led Weaning exclusively and after a couple of weeks, decided, after much debate to do a combination of purees and finger foods. It has worked out really well for us and Nora seems to like it too. She is growing like a weed and loves all food and she does a great job of "chewing" and swallowing finger food safely too.

The first food Nora had was banana and it just happened! It wasn't planned at all. Just before she turned six months old, we were having supper and she was watching intently and I turned to Tom and said "should we give her something?!" The banana was sitting right there, so I peeled it and handed a chunk to her, just like that. She sucked on it and gummed it a little and ended up spitting it out and mashing it up and making a mess of it with her hands. After that, each night we gave her a little something- banana, avocado, toast, potato, steamed broccoli, sweet potato, apple, chicken, etc. Whatever we had in the fridge or what we were eating, a little of it went on her tray. She seemed to LOVE eating. We didn't abide by the rule that you have to check babies for allergies by introducing one food at a time. When we read up on this, it wasn't necessary to do unless allergy ran in the family, which it doesn't for us. She was dying to swallow and chew and SHOVE the food down her throat. She gagged several times and I ended up scooping food out of her mouth many times and my heart would skip a beat every time it happened. You can read more about this in this post.

When she eats anything slippery, like avocado or mango, I give it to her with the skin on as then she has something to hold onto. She manages quite easily to scrape the food off with her teeth and leaves the skin behind. 
After a few weeks of this, we decided to try giving her some purees too. We started with applesauce and she DOWNED a whole bowl in 2 seconds flat. After that I knew we had made the right choice to fill her up with some baby food. She was hungry! And she liked eating.

A while before Nora started eating, Mr. Tweedle picked up a book on cooking baby food at the local bookstore. It is called 500 Baby and Toddler Dishes. You can also buy it here. It is a great resource. Not that we couldn't have thought of these things on our own, but having extra ideas always helps. Babies shouldn't have salt or sugar, so feeding her a lot of our food and what we cook was a little more difficult. However, we still feed her finger foods from our plates (veggies, fruit, etc) as well as purees with every meal. I also make all of Nora's food myself, which you may think is a lot of work. It is actually really easy and I think it is fun to think of recipes and combinations of things she might like. She has had baby curry chicken (she loves it!), baby beef stew, baby goulash, tons of different fruits and veggies in different combos, baby pork roast dinner, etc.

At 8 months, a typical day of eating for Nora is as follows:

7:00 Wake and nurse 6-10 mins
8:00 Breakfast - Fruit and baby oatmeal cereal with banana or berries on the side
9-11:00 Nap, wake and nurse 6-10 mins
12-12:30 Lunch - Sweet potato puree and/or pita with hummus, slice of avocado, slice of pear, slice of cheese, etc.
1-2:30/3 Nap, wake and nurse 6-10 mins
5:00 Supper- puree with chicken or beef followed by steamed veggies and fruit to nibble on
6:45 Nurse 20-30 mins before bed at 7:15

I have Baby Mum Mum rice crackers and Cheerios on hand if I need to keep her occupied in the kitchen (she loves them both!) We also have those mesh teething bags which are kind of weird, but they work really well for babies to feed themselves small things like berries or grapes.

Here is the way I make Nora's food:

Usually on a Sunday, I will set aside a couple of hours to prep, puree and freeze Nora's food. I do about 4-6 dishes in one day and this lasts a month. 2 hours once a month isn't much in order for your baby to have homemade and preservative and chemical free food! (A couple of weeks ago when I went to Calgary I bought store bought baby food to take with us, because I thought it would be easier. I tasted it before I gave it to Nora and it tasted so badly like bland paste that I couldn't bear to feed it to her!)

All you need is a few herbs, spices, veggies, fruit and meat of your choice as well as a few casserole dishes with lids. A food processor makes it easier to mix up big batches, but you could use a blender as well.

Into each casserole dish place a mixture of meat, veggies and flavourings that go together, add about an inch of water to keep it all moist, cover and bake for about 25 mins at 375.

This one was Carrot and Chicken dinner: 1 chicken breast, 2 carrots, 1/4 onion, 1 garlic clove and a tbsp of dried parsley. 
Chicken and Turnip Dinner: 1 chicken breast, 2 turnips, 1/4 onion, 1 garlic clove and 1/2 tsp dried thyme. 
Pork, Quinoa and Apple Dinner: 3 small pork chops, trimmed of fat, 1/2 cup dry quinoa, 1 apple, 1/2 onion, 1 garlic clove and 1 tsp dried rosemary and pinch cinnamon. I added about 1-1/1/2 cups of water to this one because of the quinoa absorbing most of it. 
Curry Chicken Dinner (I only did this one on the stove because there was no more room in my oven! It could be done in the oven as well): 1 chicken breast, 1 carrot, 1/2 onion, 1 garlic clove, minced ginger, 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp coriander, pinch cinnamon. 

Once they are done baking, you don't have to let them cool at all, just dump the whole thing, liquid and all in the food processor one at a time and blend. Afterwards, I transfer them to ice cube trays and freeze them. When they are frozen, they go into ziploc bags in my kitchen freezer. I have one ziploc for fruits, one for just veggies and one for veg/meat dishes. At mealtime, Nora eats 3 cubes of whatever we decide to give her, pulled right from the freezer and reheated in the microwave.

Each of her meals is completely edible by anyone! They taste really good! 

In order to make her fruits, I either throw raw fruit into the food processor as is, or cook it down for a minute with water before blending. Right now in the freezer I have cubes of pureed raspberry and mango, cooked pears, blueberries and blackberries, cooked apple and cinnamon. 

As well as doing the meat meals I will do a couple of veggies at the same time. The veggies are really easy. For sweet potato and butternut squash, just poke holes all over each one as is and pop it in the oven for 45 mins or so. Let them cool on the counter and when cool, the peels slide off. You don't even have to use a knife! Put each veg in the food processor separately and whiz them up and transfer to ice cube trays. This week I also did roasted root veggies because I wanted to use up a bunch of things from my fridge. I chopped up beets, sweet potato, carrot and turnip and put them on a cookie sheet with a sprinkle of olive oil for about 30 mins. They went into the food processor with a little water when they were done.

Whenever possible we try to feed Nora some of the same food we eat at each meal also. She will eat her puree and then something that we are having. If we can, we cook separate bits for her. Last week Tom made burgers and set aside some of the meat before adding BBQ sauce and spices to make Nora burgers. She ate them up in no time!

A lot of the time, at lunch I just give her finger foods. Because I eat a lot of what she can have for lunch, she enjoys looking at what I have and eating the same things! Here is a typical Nora lunch: Leftover mini burger, pita wedge with homemade hummus (without salt for Nora) a cantaloupe wedge and a slice of tomato. She will eat all of this with about a 1/4 of it ending up on the floor or mushed up into bits.

I hope Nora continues to love healthy and homemade food!

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