Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Dream Doctor: 6 Month Check Up

If there is one thing we are sure of with regard to this parenting thing, it is that we selected a pediatrician that is exactly the right fit for our family. Our 6-month check up just reinforced this in a big way.

Robert Minkus is an attachment parenting parent's dream doctor. He is extremely supportive of (but does not force or look down on your for not) 1. breast feeding (extended breast feeding, even) 2. cloth diapering 3. co-sleeping 4. alternate vaccine scheduling (delayed Hep B and MMR shots) 5. baby led soliding 6. natural "remedying" before medicating. If this weren't enough, he is also the most reasonable, caring, compassionate, uplifting, knowledgeable doctor we have ever met. How lucky we are to have found his practice.

Our visit was great! Dalia weighs over 17 pounds and is in the 80th percentile for weight. She is 25 1/2 inches tall, which puts her in the 46th percentile for height. We talked about solids, waiting on administering the MMR vaccine until she is two or three, sleeping habits, and the hot "organic vs. not" topic. My preference (this is Sarah talking, and please do not think that I think my personal preference is right for you or your family) is to buy local over organic any day of the week. So much of the organic food sold comes from around the world, and while the idea of eating less chemicals is appealing to many, including me, is the process of buying, selling, and stocking these foods really in line with the supposed message of being environmentally friendly? It takes just as much energy to fly an organic mango around the world and into Whole Foods as it does an inorganic one. Perhaps the chemical free aspects do outweigh this for some people, but for me, the better option is local (which is often organic anyways, but that is another story all together).

We can't WAIT to start shopping at our local outdoor market-we can actually meet the people who grew our food. Now THAT is worth the extra buck or two (or four).

The one thing our pediatrician did say is to stick with organic milk (he listed tons of research and reasons, but I will spare you). So we will likely start buying a different, more expensive milk, but in the end, I think the extra money spent will be well worth it. H is having a hard time with this idea, but as always, he will come around. It is all about what works for you and your family, and that is the most important thing to take away from all of this.

Unfortunately, (but also fortunately) we are moving in July and are in the process of finding a new pediatrician (and place to live) for the year. No plans are set in stone, but we will probably venture back to the good old midwest after our year in DC. Not only will it be great to be near my family for a little while (we will probably end up on the coast again within 5 years), Chicago also wins for having the best "cost of living vs salary". The housing prices are affordable here, even for something in a hip and diverse neighborhood, such as East Roscoe Village, or a Jewish area close to Lake Michigan, such as Rogers Park. Perhaps we can be real suburbanites and get a nice place in Northbrook! Preliminary searching shows that we could get something fantastic in a great area for much less than what the costs are in the greater DC area.

So, if anyone out there knows of a Dr. Minkus twin practicing in the DC area let us know!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Breakfast at the Doula's House

We loved everything about the birth of our baby, Dalia. One of the best decisions we ever made was to hire a doula, or labor assistant. Our doula came to our house and helped us labor at home in our tub, selected music, and used various techniques to help facilitate the natural birth that we desired (including massage, whohoo!). We attribute much of our success in natural childbirth to having an amazing doula. She advocated on our behalf and provided consistent guidance and support. She told us that we could do it when others around us doubted it. She believed in what we were doing and reminded us that the decision we made was worthwhile. She was refreshing for us. She listened, cared, and was empathetic. She even came by our home on Thanksgiving for our post-partum check-up--now THAT is dedication!

Yesterday she and her husband invited us for breakfast at their lovely condo in Chicago. We had a wonderful time sipping lattes and eating a scrumptious meal. After a lot of solid food talk, sleep schedule talk, and mommy talk, we called it an afternoon and said thank you. Fortunately, they live quite close to Lake Michigan, so our family of three took a stroll to the icy blue water in the Sunday sun. Mommy had her camera in hand:

Marvelous Mommy Giveaway

One thing I love about blogging is that there are often lots of giveaway events. A blog I enjoy very much, Marvelous Mommy, is giving away one "Sweet Pea" hat . Not only are these hats adorable, they are hand crafted! Lets hope I win!

She is also doing a give away for an awesome looking sippy cup called the Tommee Timmee. I like the weaning cups (though we aren't weaning for a long time) and the drinking cups :) Lets hope I win this one, too!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Shabbat Shalom

Shabbat is a very special part of our Jewish family's weekly events. We usually light the shabbat candles, say some blessings, and eat challah. This past week we made sure to go through the iPod and pick out several holiday songs to sing around the table. The added music made our holiday extra special. While this is not in line with orthodox practice, we have adapted shabbat in a way that works for our family--in a way that is meaningful for us. Dalia loves shabbat and we love celebrating it with her. We hope that our traditions make an indelible impact on her childhood memories.


With the introduction of solids comes the introduction of our beverage of choice, H2O. Water consumption is essential in helping little ones digest solid foods, but just how do parents introduce water into their baby's diet? Drinking is as much a learned task as eating solids, and starting them together is simultaneously exciting and daunting. We spent a good amount of time researching and thinking about this momentous time in little Dalia's life.

We decided to follow the advice of Ruth Yaron's "Super Baby Food" book. We are doing home made baby food and keeping her diet vegetarian for the time being. A few days ago, we went to the store, cash in hand, to gather the beginning materials needed to really start solids. We opted for a cheap and simple rice cooker/steamer and a blender, the latter of which we already had. Simple and cheap, nothing fancy--just something that does the job. In addition, we purchased two sets of covered ice cube trays (covering, in our opinion, is important), one set of freezable/microwavable cups with lids, and the last thing, some food.

Dalia had already tried avocado (happy face), sweet potato (sad face), pear (she could take it or leave it face), and banana (um, gas issues despite a happy face, so banana is off the list for now). We wanted to get her started on whole grain brown rice, or "super porridge" (this stuff is packed full of nutrition--why not get the baby on board with good nutrition up front?).

We put 1/2 cup of rice in the blender for 2 minutes until it became a fine powder. Then we put that into a just boiling cup of water on the stove and whisked away. We covered it for 10 minutes and, voila, it was done. Once done, feel free to add some spices, for breast-fed babies are already used to interesting tasting food--no need to "dumb" it down for them! We added cinnamon and a bit of nutmeg--it was actually pretty good.

The porridge lasts about two months in the freezer or two to three days in the fridge. Needless to say, Dalia's reaction was a "take-it-or-leave-it face."

Of course, as we mentioned, having some water is important to help Dalia digest her new foods. So, after some quick research, we ended up purchasing a thermos sippy cup (tear), which she loves more as a teether than a cup, but hey, she is getting used to the idea of a cup and that, my friends, is the point!

So here we are--6 months later. Dalia is growing so quickly and we just can't believe she is ready to add food to her previously nursing-only diet. She still loves her nummies, but her tummy is ready for some new tastes and flavors!