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Friday, April 20, 2012

For the Love of Food

I am finally getting around to putting up a new post. My hand is out of it's partial cast and I decided that the dishes & floor can wait! Since its been quite awhile since my last post, there has been more opportunity for change, or rather, more new beginnings.

Today I've decided that I want to blog about a particular new beginning in the Schartner household: food.
Food is something that both Ben and I LOVE. We love to try new foods, we love old favourites, we love both savoury and sweet, we love healthy food, we love some not so healthy food. We love to spend time eating food together. That being said, it should be pretty obvious how much we desire for our kids to love food too, and for it to be a delightful experience for them. So we've begun our food adventure with Adelynne, and well, so far it's been a little adventure, with much trial and error. I never in a million years would have imagined myself with such a sensitive little baby; but that's what I have. And I am learning to be, not only OK with it, but exceptionally good with it.

Now, be warned, you will probably read some things (and quite possibly in every post) here that you disagree with, and that is just fine. You don't have to be OK with everything I write or everything I believe. I am finding though, that the more I read and research, the more confident I feel in my beliefs.

To continue....I have begun to trust in the Lord that He created my daughter to be sensitive for numerous reasons, and those reasons apply to a broad spectrum of areas in both my life, my husbands life, and of course, Ady's life. There is a lot out there that we tend to consume that I believe wasn't meant to be consumed. Added sugars, preservatives, chemicals, pesticides...the list can become exhaustive. We put so much into our bodies, and far too many people have no clue that it is actually destroying their bodies, and that they weren't meant to live sluggish and overweight; that they weren't designed to feel gross and bloated, etc. after eating. OK, I won't get far into this right now...we'll save some for later...when I have that "magic piece of paper" and you'll actually listen to what I have to say =p lol...

So Ady, my beautiful, sensitive baby. Dairy, bananas, oats, over-ripe foods...wheat, eggs, fried foods. So little, and so pure!! It's been a challenge from the beginning!! Cutting dairy out was tough! No cheese, no yogourt, no butter, no milk, NO ice-cream, no milkshakes, no products that contain whey, no soy products (it has the same effect as dairy). I usually read labels fairly well, but now I was reading them extra carefully. It sucked to have a tiny little one keep spitting up because of what I was eating; no fun whatsoever. And now that Ady is eating food, we have begun the trial and error challenge, while I don't feed her jarred or boxed baby food, I'm still concerned with what's on those fruits and veggies that she is now consuming fully herself.

It's been both fun and disappointing: Watching her grimace the first time something new is put into her mouth is priceless. Watching her go for more food that she really enjoys is delightful. Watching her learn to pick up foods and actually get them into her mouth is pure joy. Seeing the "aftermath" of certain foods not clearing up for a week or more is painful. So this new beginning is like so many new beginnings: full of discomfort, challenges, heartache, pure joy, laughter, relief, excitement. I LOVE giving her new foods.

And so now I want to share something that brought me such joy, and a realization of how much I've grown. If anyone truly knows me, they will know that I am "somewhat" O.C.D. My clothes are colour coordinated, usually put into categories; my books are categorized and alphabetical; my music is alphabetical; everything has its place; I can't get past shortening words (ex. our new email: I couldn't make something simple out of "Ben & Rebecca Schartner" so I used all of it); there is a certain way to eat;  a certain way to drive; I need to be in control. Over the years I have relaxed a lot on this, but some would say that I have a ways still to go. I actually really feel that I just like to be organized, and clean, not O.C.D... 

OK, so here Ady is, 9 1/2 months, eating new foods, drinking out of her own cup, and has a new desire to take matters into her own hands...I now feel like a "real" mom because my floors are COVERED in food!! It feels like a losing battle; but then, one day I realized, who the heck cares. It is such a joy to watch her learn about food, so so what if she wants to try the spoon herself; so what if she wants to inspect the bowl and it lands up on the floor; so what if most of the water from the cup ends up all down her instead of in her mouth. It's just brilliant being able to watch this happen. And I don't mean just watch, I mean a full on taking every moment in kind of watching. Paying close attention, watching her little hands move about her food and in her mouth and picking up food. Brilliant. Just brilliant.

This series of photo's is from that particular eating session where I just learned to let go a little bit more. Ady was having trouble eating the little pieces of melon so I baby-bulleted them up instead for her...she then wanted to drink it herself...

She knows how to eat it out of a cup!!

Mmmm...tasty goodness...



And the real mess begins....
Always looking to touch the camera ~ beautiful baby

MMMM....the rind tastes delicious...mmmmm....



The mess just seemed to get bigger...







Ady really enjoyed the melon, and making the mess. A couple days later I saw that not only had the melon get all over the floor when Ady threw the cup down behind her: it splattered all over the wall too...ahh such is life :)



We hope you're all doing well ~ thanks for reading and we look forward to hearing updates from you as well. With love & grace, Rebecca, Ben, Adelynne