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The Back Porch

David and I let the M&Ms play on the back porch and eat their snack and I brought my camera. This is the result:

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Fighting for food frenzy.

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:rosy lips:

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:juicy fruit:

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:getting sticky, getting dirty:

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Dada is sooooooo cool!

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Love those wispies! ❤

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Sweet Girl in a whine-y moment.

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Baby Girl! So silly!

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Noah was determined to keep a grip on his snack while trying to get into the swing by himself.

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Letting brother push her on the swing.

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Snuggles with Dada.

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Very dirty feet.

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Lots of very dirty feet!

makennacollage

Makenna was being especially photogenic. =)

Happy Friday! =)

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Triplets Want Real Food, Too!

It’s no secret that I’m big on no-GMO foods over here. Even the triplets don’t like GMOs. It’s true! This was their reaction when I showed them some GM corn:

Monsanto

Ok, so really they had no idea what I was telling them. But I do and it’s my job to protect them however I can until they do understand and can make decisions for themselves. Amen?

GMO stands for “Genetically Modified Organisms” and you will find GMOs in just about every item on the shelf in your grocery store.

What’s the big deal? Why should we care?

tomatoBasically, it’s like this. That tomato looks fresh and juicy and should hurry up and jump on your burger, right? Wrong. That tomato has been scientifically engineered in a lab. Way back when it was just a baby seed, it was genetically modified with genes from totally different plants, fungi, viruses or animals! What?! Why?!

To make rich people richer.

How? Well, scientists have modified seeds for many different crops to help them withstand many, many sprayings of pesticides, herbicides, etc. Essentially, the plant lives but the buggies die. This means a better crop for the farmer (or the company that “owns” the farm, but that’s a story for another day!).

Doesn’t sound that bad? Oh, just wait!

cowSee, these seeds – the ones that were injected and cloned with DNA from foreign sources like animals, humans and viruses! – are grown in massive quantities and turned into food that is fed to animals. Corn, for instance, is highly GM and is a big source of food for beef cows, chickens, pigs, etc. These animals eat food they were never intended to live off of (including candy sometimes!!!) and basically their digestive systems can’t handle the new “DNA” strains. Those that seem well enough are passed through to slaughter…and arrive at your dinner table. Yum. Who knows how that meat has been affected and what it will do to your family’s health?

Or take the produce section of your fave grocery store. Most of that pretty produce (unless USDA-certified organic) is GM. Which means that your body literally has no idea what to do with much of it!

And if you’ve ever read a food label, chances are you’re seeing ingredients like: canola oil, soybean oil, cane syrup, corn flour, corn starch, high fructose corn syrup, etc. Am I right? Quick – go check your pantry, fridge or freezer…I’ll wait for you.

Waiting…

Waiting…

You’re back? Ok! I’ll bet you anything there are GM ingredients in just about everything in your kitchen that is not in its original form. If it has to be packaged, and isn’t organic, you can bet there is something GM in it. Ugh!

Some of the highest GM food crops are corn, soybeans, canola, sugarbeets (from which HFCS is made). And lots of other foods are being tested – like a salmon that will grow four times faster than normal!

Getting Sicker

Ok, so we know that GM ingredients are bad and are found in produce, in conventional meats and in most packaged/processed food on shelves. So what does that mean for us? Our families? Well, since those GMOs aren’t recognized by our bodies, they create holes in our gut and leak food into our bloodstream. Yup. So gross. The result? We now have new diseases, and others that are skyrocketing each year, like celiac disease, infertility, food allergies and diabetes. What we eat is making us sick.

We have become a scientific experiment – unable to process the food correctly.

The Big Guns

Who benefits? Companies like Monsanto. They benefit greatly. They hide behind labels like “all natural.” They develop and implement marketing ploys that tout saving the world with stronger, hardier crops. When asked, they refused to label their products with which ingredients are GM. …Of course, because who would buy them? (I hope not you and I!) And then they would lose money. Which would be bad. Of course.

And then Obama recently signed a bill that stops federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of GMO crops and seeds, no matter what health consequences from eating these products may come to light in the future. Gee, thanks, Pres.

Get Your March On!

So what do we do now? We march! On Saturday, May 25, you can join thousands of others around the world and fight to keep your food clean, real and in its natural state. And you can do so in your own city or from the comfort of your own home. (Click here to find info on where your city is marching; and click here to find out how to march online.)

no gmo orlando single

So What Do I For Dinner Tonight?

Well, I heard the White House is serving a yummy special – all organic, of course. Maybe you should stop by? Kidding. =)

But seriously, it can most definitelydefinitelydefinitely be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start in overhauling this (and other!) areas of your life. You can read my Baby Steps to Natural Living for how to do so slowly and effectively.

Are you going to join the fight to keep your family out of the science experiment? Where are you marching?

Sources: Eat Taste Heal, Genetic Roulette – Are You Playing?

Photo Credit

 

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Bon appétit, bébé! {How and When to Feed Baby}

In last week’s introduction to this series (Bon appétit, bébé!), I shared some of the questions I am most frequently asked with regards to feeding babies. So, I’ll begin by letting you in on the little journey I have been on for…oh, about 15 months now.

making real food

Once upon a time, when the babies were two months old…

I began dreaming of the day when their nourishment was not dependent entirely upon me. This was mainly due to the immense challenges I faced with breastfeeding all three babies and supply issues (you can read our journey on breastfeeding here). I read somewhere that babies often begin cereal at four months old so I figured I’d better get on this if I’m going to do it right! …Right? I began doing some research and talked with my pediatrician who encouraged me to wait until around six months. I was disappointed but was willing to wait – what harm could there be in waiting?

And so I did more research. (Seriously, how do you do mommyhood and not do research? This mom thing is confusing!)

I discovered two major things:

  1. Babies don’t need solid foods for the first year of their lives.
  2. Cereal (aka, grain) is empty, nutrition-less and potentially harmful for babies at this point!

We’ll discuss the second point next time. But the more I read, searched and asked questions, the more I realized that babies really will tell you when they want to start food – and it’s very rare for this to happen before six months (though we all tend to think our baby is the exception, right? =).

Maybe you’ve heard the saying “food before one is just for fun.” It’s really true! Babies get everything they need from breastmilk (even if the baby is on formula, the bulk of his nutrition is coming from the bottle). The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization even recommend that babies be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life (or bottle-fed for all my mommy friends who aren’t able to breastfeed <3).

Signs of Readinessfirst meal

So how, then, do you know when your baby is ready?! Great question! Here are the current recommendations:

  • The baby can hold her head up and can sit unassisted. This is very important because there is much less likelihood that the baby will be able to handle and control the eating process safely.
  • The tongue-thrust reflex has disappeared. If this reflex is still present, the baby will be unable to swallow foods and could potentially choke. This reflex is God-given to protect the baby from choking hazards and usually disappears between 4-6 months.
  • The baby is able to chew. Yep. This most likely will mean a delay in the eating-adventures… again, probably after the six month mark.
  • The baby has a decent “pincer” grasp. Can the baby pick up small objects or food with his thumb and forefinger? Or is she still trying to pick items up with her fingers and the palm of her hand?
  • The baby tries to eat food off your plate. It is actually not uncommon for the baby to watch your every move at a mealtime. But, remember, the baby is curious about everything and may not be showing actual signs of readiness for eating.

All of the above should be in place prior to beginning solids. In some cases this will mean readiness before six months, but in most cases it will mean the baby is not ready till after their half-birthday. (I know a few one year olds who showed no interest in food!)

Not Signs of Readiness

Some signs that do not (alone) indicate when babies are ready for solids include:

  • The baby is waking up more during the night. There is no proof that feeding the baby solids will enable him to sleep better (or longer) during the night. The baby is simply not yet consuming enough solids (ever fed a baby and watched how most of the food ended up everywhere except in the baby’s tummy? =). The baby may simply be going through a growth spurt (which will end, mama!) and need some extra time breastfeeding.
  • The baby has reached X amount of weight (sometimes it’s recommended by the time he’s doubled his birth weight). This is especially untrue for babies born prematurely! If I had followed this recommendation, my 3 lbs. 12 oz. babies would have been eating solids at six weeks old!!! Even for infants born full-term, though, this recommendation makes no sense. KellyMom states, “It’s the maturity of the digestive tract and baby’s developmental readiness that makes the difference, not baby’s weight.
  • The baby is too small. Nope. Solid foods are quite inferior to the calories found in the same amount of breastmilk! Food simply cannot compare to the quality of nutrients she is receiving from breastmilk…even into the toddler stage!
  • The baby needs more iron than is found in breastmilk. Possibly. An easy way to determine this is through the blood test done at most pediatricians’ offices around six months. If the baby is, in fact, iron deficient, there are wonderfully iron-rich foods that can be given to the baby. But most breastfed babies do not have low levels of iron until well past the six month mark!

At this point in my research, I knew I did not want to start the babies on solids until they were exhibiting the signs of readiness above. They were about seven months old when I finally gave in and introduced solids. Little did I know what lay in store for me: babies eating solids = mess!

Baby-led Weaning or Purees?

A yummy lunch with Granny!

A yummy lunch with Granny!

If you’re unfamiliar with baby-led weaning (BLW), it simply means “letting your child feed themselves from the very start of weaning.” (BabyLedWeaning.com) I would encourage you to check this method out to determine if it is for you and your baby.

I, however, chose to do mostly pureed foods with elements of baby-led weaning (which actually works gloriously, in my opinion! =). And there were several reasons that went into my decision to begin with pureed foods. Our schedule was such that we didn’t eat meals at the same time that the babies did so I would have ended up preparing food twice anyway. And we were in a season where David and I weren’t eating the way I prefer we eat because of…well, having three babies to care for! I wanted them to eat better than we were (no Kraft macaroni for them! =) And, because there were three, I wanted to know exactly what they were eating – to watch for any adverse reactions by spoon-feeding them. So for me it ended up being easier to puree foods for a while.

What I didn’t do was follow a recipe book. I took one look at them and decided that was not for me – no combining broccoli and apple to sneak the broccoli in. (More on this next time!) So I just usually “mushed up” something in bulk for the babies. The time spent preparing foods really wasn’t bad, either. I could make a serious amount of food in a very little amount of time. (I promise I’ll show you how!) And with none of this peeling stuff! Nope. If I could eat the peel, the babies could, too! (Of course I modified how the food arrived to them for safety, but that was way easier than peeling, say, an apple for applesauce!)

So, what did they eat? Well, stop on by next week and we’ll chat about that… ‘cause it’s a very long list!

The poll on making babyfood is currently still open: :nom, nom, nom:

Sources: KellyMom, Wholesome Baby Food

Note: Always check with your pediatrician and do your own research to determine what is best for you and your baby.

 

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Mother’s Day Is…

Mother’s Day Is…

Like you, I was hit by a tsunami of “I love my mother” posts on all the social media sites. It was precious seeing everyone’s baby pictures, all of the “you’re the best mother in the world” declarations, etc. And I loved seeing all the women honored – women who have sacrificed bodies, careers and unending hours of time to produce and care for and love their children.

However, I found myself tossed by different emotions and thoughts. It seems to me that Mother’s Day is actually very similar to every other day before it and after it! (Bear with me here – I have only celebrated a few Mother’s Days, ok? I’m new at this. =) I mean, right? Would you agree that Mother’s Day is:

Breakfast with my three fave M&Ms ever!

Breakfast with my three fave M&Ms ever!

wiping snotty noses.
taking a nap.
picking up sticky, spilling sippy cups out of a puddle of milk on the floor.
having lunch made for you.
breaking up a fight…again.
waking sleepy children from naptime.
giving consequences for disobedience.
getting snuggles.
planning meals for the day.
a sweet card.
midnight-waking babies.
a frozen ice-cream yumminess treat.
changing diapers.
a day to worship with others.
a day to need grace, patience and mercy.
a reminder of blessings.

Mother’s Day isn’t just the pictures of flowers and coffee-retreats, the esteeming and adoring posts or the happy children racing to do our every beck and call. No, Mother’s Day is oftentimes just like any other day: a day to cherish the good, the bad and the ugly. A day to fulfill the calling given us by the One Who helps us each step of the way. A day to appropriate the much-needed grace and to enjoy the tidbits of a break or the sloppy kisses at the encouragement of a husband.

Mother’s Day is over. Until next year. But every day in between I have the opportunity to be encouraged, honored and loved. In a million different ways, if I’ll look for them.

Ohmysoul, I love their sticky, cranky, smiley, giggling faces!

Ohmysoul, I love their sticky, cranky, smiley, giggling faces!

My sweet girl!

My sweet girl!

Baby Girl can whistle. Oh, yes she can!

Baby Girl can whistle. Oh, yes she can!

The babies began passing out the cards to the mommies.

The babies began passing out the cards to the mommies.

Baby Girl took her job very seriously. =)

Baby Girl took her job very seriously. =)

Apparently Noah is confused...

Apparently Noah is confused…

Who knows? =)

Who knows? =)

Oh, how I love the three who made me a mommy!

Oh, how I love the three who made me a mommy!

How do you see your children honoring you on this Ordinary Day?

 

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Bon appétit, bébé! {overview}

One of the topics I receive questions about most frequently (besides “are they natural?” =) has to do with how I made baby food for the babies. Now, I’ve only been feeding the triplets for about a year, but during that year I have made a lot of baby food. A lot. And, if you know me, I’ve done more than a little research on this region of parenting – nutritional aspects, cost analyses, time efficiency, product reviews, etc. So, I am happy to finally be able to share my efforts and experiences with you!

making real food

Some of the most frequent questions I hear from you are:

  • When did you first give solids to the babies and what did you give them?
  • How did you decide what to give them?
  • How did you keep them from being picky eaters?
  • Did you do baby-led weaning or puréed baby foods?

You asked, I’ll answer. =) Additionally, over the next several weeks I’ll be tackling the following topics, as well. Topics like:

  • Organic vs. non-organic
  • Cereal – why it’s not so good for Baby
  • Baby against mommy – how to deal with a picky eater
  • To season or not to season – is salt really bad for babies?
  • Coconut oil – what’s the big deal?
  • The egg question
  • The only equipment you really need (skip the Baby Brezza!)

And of course I’ll share a meal plan, shopping list, baby-friendly recipes…and how to prepare two weeks’ worth of food in two hours. That’s right. Two weeks’ worth or 45 meals…in two hours.

So join us each Wednesday as we dive into the world of feeding Baby…real food.

Did I miss anything? What would you like to see discussed?

 

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Babe In A Mug

Recently my hubby said he was surprised I hadn’t picked up on the “baby in a mug” craze going around. I said, “what’s baby in a mug?” He was even more surprised to learn I hadn’t seen this yet. So he told me to Google it. I did. And ohmygoodness, sooooo cute and so fun! So, of course I had to do it. Heehee! And why stop with one baby? Let’s get TRIPLETS in a mug!!! So, without further ado, here is our snapshot of #babeinamug:

Triplet Mugging

This was obviously a very large mug. Kidding. It’s actually the mug we got from our honeymoon. :sigh: Now I need to go reheat my babies…er, coffee!

And you wanted to vote for us below, right? Cause you haven’t yet today? See, I knew there was a reason I was including this button. =) Thanks so much for the love!

 

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Little Daycare in the Suburbs, part 2

Little Daycare in the Suburbs, part 2

Welcome back! If you’re just joining us, check out the first part of Little Daycare in the Suburbs. And if you’ve found us from Intoxicated on Life, hi!!! Be sure to like us on Facebook so you can get updates on the three M&M’s and each new post that comes along! Oh, and leave a comment so I can “meet” you! Can’t wait! =)

So. Why is it so hard to leave triplets with a sitter? Glad you asked! Here’s why:

It is physically exhausting. Loading three babies into highchairs (12 times), out of them (12 times), onto a changing table (18 times), off of it (18 times), into cribs (9 times), out of them (9 times), into the stroller (3 times), out of it (3 times)…it is exhausting. (That’s a full-on workout!! And mine “only” weigh 22 lbs!) And of course they aren’t all happily watching you cart one kid around…oh no. It often sounds like a daycare class. I challenge anyone who isn’t rattled by crying babies to join a MoM one afternoon. =)

My former boss, Benny, watching the babies with his wife, Sheree.

My former boss, Benny, watching the babies with his wife, Sheree.

It is hard to discern the needs of one toddler, let alone three. Remember that language thing? Yeah, there are three different dialects going on and I oftenoftenoften times cannot remember who says what, or who uses which sign or word for which item.

It is a lot of diapers. One wake-time is six diapers…six. More if you forget you already changed that one. Less if you forget you haven’t changed that one all day. I did this. Last week.

It is necessary to be structured. I have one nursery and three babies. One up, all up. One down, all down. And of course the babies all cooperate with this. Right.

It is confusing. What do you do when one baby wakes and cries? Is another going to wake before she settles back down? If two or more wake, what do you do? These are just some of the questions David and I ask ourselves. Still. It often takes the both of us to settle two babies down.

It is expensive. I’ll be honest. And frank. Frank is good, right? Paying a sitter is a new thing for our skinny budget…paying two sitters is even more daunting.

It is…well, you get the picture, right? =)

Two arms...two babies!

Two arms…two babies!

Of course, the fact that I have breastfed the babies has made it doubly difficult to get out because our schedule is just naturally tight. You can see a typical schedule here – except the 4pm nursing and the 11pm nursing are no longer! Before this, though…my get-out-of-the-house opportunities were even more limited. But, lest you think I’m complaining about breastfeeding and its limitations…I am not. I have loved it. I recognize it is a very short season and am ok with those limitations. David has been incredibly patient with me and was happy to fit in date nights after the babies went to bed and before I needed to be back to feed them at 11pm. Since we dropped those feedings, though, it’s been amazing! Which leads me to:

Sitters

Our friends - Joe & Kristen with their son, AJ!

Our friends – Joe & Kristen with their son, AJ!

Amazingly, we have been able to get out for date nights about 1-2 times a month for about a year! Granted, those date nights were usually just long enough for dinner and maybe an errand. But my parents have been heroes – coming over so often to play with the babies and then shoo us out the door after they were in bed. Other than them, our dear friends, Benny and Sheree, watched them for our second anniversary dinner (yes, you read that right – second). And some other dear friends, Joe and Kristen, kept the babies for a short afternoon and we came back to feed them before leaving again for a couple hours. Of course there was our first overnight getaway that my parents kicked us out for. In the past week or so, we’ve had two amazing teens from our church and then Katherine stay with the sleeping M&Ms (remember – she was a preschool teacher!!!).

Papa walking the grand-triplets.

Papa walking the grand-triplets.

Pretty much that’s it. Four non-grandparent sitters in 18 months. =) And that’s ok! There have been lots of things I’ve had to say no to over the past year and a half, but it means I’m saying yes to what is necessary for our situation. God has blessed us with three babies at once, and with them came unique challenges. But there is grace for these challenges. I definitely have to fight bad attitudes and a “need a break” mentality at times. But for the most part, He has orchestrated in my heart a love for the home and a desire to care for my babies during a season when few others can!

That being said, I’m currently in the process of working with some great girls who will hopefully, some day!, become the M&M’s babysitters! Won’t that be the day!! What should I do? Any suggestions? =)

MoMs, do you have any thoughts or suggestions? For those of you who are still pregnant with multiples, let me encourage you that there can truly be an incredible amount of grace for the massive work and unique challenges your babies will be. Few MoMs get to do what we do and it is a privilege! Amen?! =) Please let me know if you have not yet found an active community of other MoMs online and would like to join one. What a source of help we can be to one another!!!

Oh, and while you’re here…would you take a second and click the button below to vote for us? See, we’re in this contest competing with other blogging moms of multiples and would love your vote. And, if you reallyreally love us, you can vote once a day!

 

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