Friday, October 28, 2011

Voicing his complaint

Today Cyprian's fussing took on a kind of complexity.

Cyprian tries rice cereal

Cyprian has been grabbing at our food with excited vocalizations and facial expressions for a couple of weeks. I was going to wait until he turned 6 months old to have him try food (beyond an occasional lick of apple, etc.), but we decided to let him go for it at 5 and a half months old.

For convenience's sake, I fed Teresa boxed cereals and jarred purees her first few months of eating. This time I'm more committed to making baby food at home. It helps tremendously that my friend loaned me her Baby Bullet. Yes, it's gimmicky (a regular blender or food processor could probably do everything it does) but it's also very helpful. Making baby food with it is straightforward and easy thanks to its guide book.

First I ground organic brown rice to a powder, cooked up a batch of cereal, and froze it in tiny portions. I put a smidge in a little jar, watered it down, and gave some to Cyprian last night.

As you can see in the video, he seemed excited and pleased by the experience. We're not sure whether he liked the cereal so much as the spoon and the jar. I don't remember Teresa guiding the spoon to her own mouth right away. Cyprian WANTED THAT SPOON! But he consistently let go of it so I could put more cereal on it.

About an hour after the eating adventure, Cyprian spit up about as much as he seemed to have taken in. We'll see how it goes tonight!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Daily Feats

A $10 Starbucks gift card arrived in the mail today, and I did a happy dance.

A post on prompted me to join DailyFeats on August 25th. After registering you can "check in" various "feats" you accomplish each day. Some examples: caring for your baby, eating fruits and veggies, taking a walk, cooking a meal, cleaning the bathroom. I spent 20-30 minutes on the site each day for the first 3 days, figuring out how to use it efficiently. After that, I logged in for 10-15 minutes about 4 days each week (usually just before falling into bed at night) to log my accomplishments and rack up points.

On October 7th, I had enough points (5,000) to redeem for a $10 Starbucks gift card (my prize of choice - I like to treat myself to peppermint mochas once a month when I have gift cards). And today (less than 2 weeks later) it came. It really worked, I thought.

Hours of time on a website for a measly $10 gift card? you might be thinking. I really do try to be efficient with my time, so my efforts on DailyFeats had to be worth more to me than just the monetary/coffee reward. Here's why they were: logging my daily activities on DailyFeats made me feel like my efforts at home - the little stuff of my vocation as a stay-at-home mom - were being recognized and rewarded. I was earning points; I was working toward a greater goal and every bit added up! I began to want to do more...I found myself motivated by the prospect of getting to log in my accomplishments.

Yes, I will eat salad with lunch so I can check in !leafygreens.
I'll let Teresa help me make supper so I can check in !cooktogether.
I won't splurge at Target so I can check in !thinkb4buying.
I will prayerfully meditate on today's Mass readings so I can check in !dailyreading.
If I run that load of diapers I can check in !laundry.

When I participate in "challenges" on DailyFeats I am pushed to do more so I can earn extra points. And the activities are all really good for a person and/or her community: practice mindfulness, donate to charity, include someone who seems left out, express love, go on a date night.

I am not sure how long I will continue to use DailyFeats, but for now it's really working for me. I have struggled with the thanklessness of my vocation (and I have a very appreciative husband!) - I really miss the recognition I received in school and work. I know that, ultimately, I should strive to do everything for God alone and find contentment in seeking to please Him in all things. This is just a step toward that goal. :)

PS If you decide to try DailyFeats and like it (or if you're already on it!), let me know and we can be teammates.