Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I still don't know

Joely turned nine months today. I thought I would be able to post everything that has transpired the past week and a half. Most of you who read this blog know what happened with Joely's former daycare providers. It is still hard for me to put in words. It is still hard for me to accept that Joely was not cared for the way he deserved. I don't know how long it happened. What I do know is that Joely knows he's supposed to be loved. He knows what love looks like, sounds like and feels like. He knew he wasn't getting that there. He let everyone know it! Even though my mommy-heart breaks each time I think of the situation, I feel a sense of relief now that he is in a safe, nurturing environment. My mommy guilt whispers, "I should have known sooner." The irrational part of me wants to home-school Joel and never let him out of my sight. The rational part of me learned that no daycare - licensed, unlicensed, home or center- is good enough for our children. Murad and I decided that Joel will never attend a daycare again. We know our situation is rare and that there are good day-cares out there. Despite this, we feel there are a lot of myths that are told to convince people to send their children to daycare.Until there is longer maternity leave (like at least a year) for women like me who need to work and raise a family and until fathers have more paternity leave, daycares seem necessary. I heard so much about how children gain social skills in daycare and develop better than children of stay-at-home moms. This is so not true. In fact, children learn social skills from their parents!!!
Our ultimate goal is to have me teach in the evening and Murad work during the day. I still really want to work, but I really want to raise Joely. Until that is a reality, we have a sweet deal. My former students' mom is watching Joely and my best friend's three year old. Joel loves it there. He knows he's loved and he loves them back. He's thriving there. He eats more, and he's starting to pick up the baby sign language. He's chatty and squealy again! He's just a happy, happy boy! I just want him to be that way all the time, but I know there are more hard times to come. My dad said things will get better and worse as he grows. I just want to protect him from everything bad and it kills me that I can't. I don't want to end this post on a sad note, so I'll end with the positives: Joely is nine months old and thriving! He is in a place where he is loved and nurtured. He's just about the cutest baby around!!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fun Foods!

Since we got the okay to decrease formula, we need some more foods to feed this boy. His new fave is kale, spinach, black beans, rice and chicken. I meant to buy some black beans today, but I forgot. I blame my forgetfulness on the fact that I had one cranky, teething boy with me. I usually don't take Joely shopping with me, but he needed to get out of the house. He's easily entertained by all the stuff and loves flirting with the ladies. Despite this, I knew I had to get in and get out before he had another meltdown. So, I forgot the black beans. I decided to try a new recipe. New recipe for today:

Brown Rice and Vegetable Medley

Cooked Brown Rice
Red onion
(I'm not putting no, but basically I put a little of each and add some water, blend)

I know Joel will love this as his favorite veggie is carrot. I know he will love it because I tasted it and loved it. I finished the remaining bit in the blender! I'm a pretty good chef!

Joel likes smoothies. Here's one I came up with:

Joel's Wildberry Smoothie
1 banana
apple juice
2 baby spinach leaves

Okay, so here's a recipe for the adults! It's not alcoholic, so don't get your hopes up!I absolutely love the Genova pizza at Urban Crust. Since I can't eat there everyday, I decided to make my own. I was surprised when it tasted just as good as Urban Crust's. I even brought some to work for my co-workers! Yum!

Ashlea's Urban Crust Pizza
Pizza Dough (homemade or Pillsbury thin crust is just fine!)
Red Sauce (I bought Ragu Pizza Sauce)
Basil Pesto
2 containers of crumbled Goat Cheese

Cook dough for five to ten minutes at 400 degrees
take out dough
spread 2 tablespoons of pesto across dough (crust)
spread 2 table spoons of red sauce on top of pesto spread
sprinkle cheese on top of spread
place eggplant on top of cheese
cook for 7 minutes
add as much argula as desired

*I also added red onion to mine (can you tell it's my favorite?)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Joel Update at 8 months

We made it through January without any ear infections! We're hopeful that this means no tubes for our little man!

We discovered that Joel is lactose intolerant. As a result, we've changed his formula. Not too excited about that, but I'm really sick of having to change his clothes after every feeding and sending multiple outfits to daycare. It made laundry time oh so fun! Joel has always been a spitter-upper, but when we went to exclusively formula feeding, we noticed that he was spitting up a lot more. He was almost throwing up as much as he was taking in, which is not good. Fortunately, switching his formula solved everything! Despite all this at 8 months, Joel is a healthy 16.4 pounds! He's such a big boy!

Dr. Ramirez also told Murad that we need to start giving him more food-food and decreasing his formula feedings. Right now, we're introducing pasta. We've started adding black beans, spinach, and rice to most of his faves. We also let him have little cookies. If we let him, Joel will feed himself (and the dogs who hover near his highchair).

Joel's top two teeth are starting to come in as well. He's putting everything in his mouth and has replaced spit-up with drool!

Joel is perfectly content with playing by himself. He can easily entertain himself with his toys and books and for that I'm thankful. We've noticed that having the TV off really helps his independent playtime. He vies for our attention more when he thinks we're watching TV. When the TV is off, he's content and will let us know (usually with a smile) when he needs some attention.

Even though Joely is crawling or walking yet, he's good at getting where he needs to be. He's mastered the art of scooting and rolling. I'm hoping that the formula change will allow him to be on his belly more, and eventually do some crawling. Then again, he may decide to skip crawling altogether!

Dr. Ramirez said that Joely is the healthiest that she's seen him. She told us to skip his 9 month appointment and come see her when he hits 12 months. Yep! That's right, folks. We're closing in on one year!

Tomorrow is Joely's In/Out Birthday! I don't have any pictures of me at 37 weeks, but I have this cute picture of Joel and me at 37 weeks out (okay it was taken last week, but you catch my drift!) Happy In/Out Birthday, Joely!