Using Purees in Baby Led Weaning

As soon as Elliott reached six months old, we started introducing solid foods to her.  After extensive research on my part we decided that baby led weaning was the best approach for our family.  While we don't feed Elliott purees with a spoon, that doesn't mean that purees can't be used if you decide to try baby led weaning.

One of my favorite purees to get are the Gerber Lil' Bits.  I really like these purees because they have little bits of fruit or veggies to help baby learn how to master chewing.  Gerber also carefully selects their ingredients to meet high quality standards and does not include any added starch, artificial colors or flavors.

I use Gerber Lil' Bits to make yogurt parfaits for Elliott.  The baby yogurt on the market has so many additional ingredients and sugar added which I am just not comfortable feeding my child.  Therefore I buy organic plain whole milk yogurt and mix the Gerber Lil' Bits into the yogurt.  It is also much more economical to make a huge batch of it this way rather than buying the pre-made sugary stuff.

I put it directly on her highchair and let Elliott go to town.  As you can tell, she loves it!  She also works on her fine motor skills by picking up the lil' bits!

Some other ways we use Gerber Lil' Bits in baby led weaning:

Added to pasta sauce for additional nutrients and protein.  Our favorite flavor to use is the Herbed vegetable, pasta and chicken

As a topping for pancakes or waffles instead of syrup.  Our favorite flavor to use is the Apple Blueberry

Mixed with water and yogurt to make popsicles.  These are great for teething and the lil' bits add a fun surprise as they melt!  Our favorite flavor to use is the Banana Apple Mango

What are some ways your baby enjoys purees?


Elliott's Birth Story

Elliott's birth was sudden, unexpected, and truly an amazing experience.  I wrote this down a long time ago and want to {finally} share it!  

I had a doctors appointment on Monday, November 23rd.  I was 1cm and 50% effaced.  The doctor asked me if I wanted her to "sweep around in there" when she checked me.  Without thinking too much about it, I said yes, not realizing that meant she was about to sweep my membranes.  The doctor told me it would be at least 72 hours before anything happened though because I was supposed to still work Tuesday and Wednesday that week.  Well that night I started having what I now know were contractions.  They were very mild but were timeable.  They were coming about every 2-3 minutes but were not very painful and only lasted about 30 seconds each.  I took a bath and then called the hospital about 1 am but they didn't think I needed to go in yet.  I was able to fall asleep for a few hours.  When I got up at 7 the next morning they were still there but not too painful.  I drove Chris to work and was having a contraction about every 5 minutes.  I still wasn't convinced I was in labor.  I then went to work myself and just worked through the contractions, still not sure that I was in labor.  

I went out around lunchtime to grab something to eat and while I was driving they got considerably more painful and I started thinking that maybe this was it.  I called the hospital and they said I should come in to get checked.  I knew that the attorney that was "on call" to cover for me wouldn't be able to get there for my 1:15 appointment so I handled that appointment (quickest appointment I've ever done) and headed home to meet Chris.  I didn't have a hospital bag packed, we didn't have the car seat installed, it was a crazy mess!  We rushed to the hospital so of course there was bumper to bumper traffic about 2 miles from the hospital.  I was honestly worried I would have the baby in the car because the contractions had escalated so quickly.  I was 4-5 cm dialed when we got to the hospital at 3:30.  I immediately asked for the epidural but it would be another hour and a half by the time I got it and felt relief.  Those 1.5 hours were the worst because, unbeknownst to me, my body was transitioning.  Transitioning contractions are no joke people!  By the time I got the epidural I was 10 cm and had labored all the way through the very painful "transitioning contractions." It was so much worse that they were having me lie flat on my back to try to get my IV in (the first one they placed hit a nerve and was more painful than the contractions) and having me "practice" holding still for the epidural.  In the future I will insist they let me sit up or move around.  When they place the epidural you have to kind curl your body around a pillow to arch your back and as soon as I got in that position the contractions were so much more tolerable (still bad but by this point I was crying, screaming and thought I couldn't do it haha!). 

The epidural was wonderful and didn't hurt a bit.  I could still move my legs but the internal pain from the contractions was gone.  It was GLORIOUS!  Elliott's heart rate dropped right after I got it so they had me moving all around until they found it again.  That's when they checked me and I was 10 cm.  They had me just rest for a few minutes to give her a chance to recover from the heart rate drop and then it was time to push. In that time I got a bit of the shakes from the epidural and from the fact that all I kept thinking was "oh shit this is happening!"  About 20 minutes of practice pushing and I felt pressure and could tell she was about to come out.  Three pushes later, at 6:34, and she was out and screaming.  It was the best moment ever!  They let me have immediate skin to skin with her and breastfeed her for about an hour before they took her to weigh her and clean her up.  She was 6 lbs 10 oz and 20 inches long.

It was truly a dream birth experience!  I went in with pretty much no birth plan.  The only things I requested were immediate skin to skin and delayed cord clamping.  While those transitioning contractions were absolutely horrible, it was so great that I had just enough of an epidural to take the edge off but not too much that I was affected for long afterwards.  Within the hour after her birth, I was able to get up and move around.  I feel like I recovered pretty quickly, which I am so thankful for.  It was a whirlwind but I think that it was best for me to not have too much time to think about it or dwell on what was about to happen.  The rest of the stay in the hospital was pretty uneventful.   They were worried about her small head, in proportion to her weight and length, and did an extra test to make sure it wasn't due to some virus but it was all negative.  My mom drove up the next day and Chris' mom came that morning to see her.  I wouldn't have minded visitors but it was nice to just have it mostly be me and her in the hospital (Chris spent much of the next day at home cleaning and putting things together since we were so unprepared). 

We went home two days later, on thanksgiving, and my mom cooked us a true thanksgiving dinner. She stayed with us the first two weeks which was nice, especially at first.  Elliott has been a dream baby and I am so thankful for such a wonderful birth experience!


How Do You Say Hello?

How does one begin a blog post that is about 9 months overdue?  I am not really sure how to start.  I never intended to take such a long break but here we are and it is already the middle of July.  I kept putting this off with the intention of re-launching the blog with a new facelift but that hasn't happened yet.  I figured I should jump back in, regardless of what it looks like around here, and get to re-decorating later.

For those of you who are new around here, my name is Kristyn.  I live in North Carolina with my little family.  Chris and I have a beautiful daughter named Elliott Grace who we welcomed into the world last November.  We also have three dogs, Lilah, Kinley and Bear.

In addition to being a girlfriend and mama, I am also an attorney.  That all makes for some very busy days, but I wouldn't change a single thing about it.

I strive to cultivate a beautiful life for my family filled with meaningful people, things, and experiences.  I hope to share those things in this space and hopefully inspire others to fill their lives with what matters as well.

There will be a lot of updating over the next few weeks, especially to catch up on everything Elliott related, so bear with me.  I have so many fun things planned and I can't wait to share them!  I am also still searching for a few people to collaborate with in August so if you are interested, please email me at carolinafireflies {at} gmail {dot} com.

Also make sure you are following along on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat for more behind the scenes action!