Friday, May 31, 2013

Little Green Pouch Review

You guys have seen those little baby food pouches, right? They're super cute, and Evie loved them when she first started eating solids.  I made a lot of her baby food too, but the pouches were convenient when I didn't have a lot of time, or we were out and about.

Recently I was in Whole Foods and saw a similar concept, but apparently for all ages. These Mamma Chia pouches are made with fruit puree, fruit juice and chia seeds. They are 100% organic, so I grabbed one for a "treat" for Evie. I froze it halfway so it was like a slush, and busted it out while at the mall with my sister. Evie LOVED it! Which got me around $1 each, I'd much rather be making my own pouches to be able to control the ingredients.

After some Google research, and reading a TON of product reviews, I found the Little Green Pouch. These little babies have great customer feedback, and were exactly what I was looking for.  They look a lot like the disposable pouches, but there is a zipper closure at the top that allows you to fill the pouch with whatever you (and baby!) want.  I love that! I'm pretty particular about what I let Evie eat, and I really like that I can get creative with hiding chia seeds, hemp seeds, spinach, kale, and whatever other nutritious ingredients I come up with.

I was so excited when they arrived. The packaging is pretty cute!

I also decided to order a four-pack of these. They are little nipples that you put on the top of the pouch so that it doesn't irritate baby's mouth. Remember eating so many Otter Pops as a kid that you'd get those tiny cuts on the sides of your mouth where the sharp edge of the plastic rubbed it? Yeah, that.

When these arrived, we hadn't eaten lunch yet, so I decided to make a smoothie for me and Evie to share.  I used a banana, frozen blueberries, frozen blackberries, a little organic grape juice, kefir, hemp seeds, and chia seeds.  I blended it all up in our Magic Bullet and poured it in the pouch. It was actually easier to pour in than I though it would be.

The Verdict: She loves 'em!
In fact, I didn't end up getting any of the smoothie because Evie downed her pouch and then drank the rest of what was in my glass.

Price:  These aren't terribly expensive, but also are not the cheapest reusable pouches on the market. They are $14.99 for four on the Little Green Pouch website. I got mine on Amazon for $19.99 for four, but I had free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime, so it was all the same in the end, and I got 'em faster.  I figure that after buying 20 disposable pouches at around $1 a piece, these little guys pay for themselves. Not to mention how nice it is to control the ingredients.

Pros: The Little Green Pouch is really well made. With the zipper at the top (other pouches put the zipper on bottom) there is little chance of an applesauce explosion.  They are a good size for older kiddos too.

Cons:  The plain green design isn't super eye-catching. I sort of wished they were clear, but then it occurred to me that some kiddos might be less likely to eat it if they can see what's inside (green smoothie, for instance!) It would be neat if they made different designs with animals or other bright patterns.  Also, they currently only come in one size, which may be too much for a younger babe. I'd suggest that they make a smaller size for small fries.

Overall, I'd highly recommend the Little Green Pouch for mamas on the go! It really works for our busy lifestyle!

Oh, and I almost forgot to show you my favorite detail:

A spot for their name! Too cute!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My Triggers

Our Infant Loss Support Group moderator talks about our "triggers." The things that catch you unexpectedly during the day that "trigger" an emotional response. For me, the only response there is so far is crying. And there are so so many triggers.

Yesterday I was at Wildflower Bread Company, having a cup of coffee by myself and studying for an exam.  In walked a mom, with two little girls, maybe four and five years old. Each girl was carrying a toy car seat with a baby doll inside. They sat down next to me while their mom went to the counter to order, and I sat watching them play dolls together. And then it began. That all-too-familiar burning in the nose and eyes, my eyes starting to well. The rock that suddenly forms in my throat. The pit in my stomach.  I had to consciously tell myself to get a grip and pull myself together to keep from crying in the restaurant.  In that moment, I couldn't help but grieve Evie's loss. The loss of not having a sister to grow up with, as close in age as these two little girls were.  I grieved for Evie, and what she lost when Celeste went to Heaven.

Recently, my sister (who is 19 weeks pregnant) mentioned that her husband felt their baby kick for the first time. Oh. Like a punch to the stomach. I hadn't thought about it until now. Kemi never felt Celeste kick.  I did, but he just never got to feel it on the outside. And suddenly, there I am again. This time, grieving Kemi's loss.  Feeling that sting again.  Broken for him that I got to feel our sweet girl kick in my belly and he never had that intimacy with her. And I'm right back in that headspace and can't shake it.

See? Triggers. There's tons of them. And it doesn't get easier. I pray that through time, they might fade a bit. In those moments of grieving for Evie, or grieving for Kemi or myself, I try (and sometimes it's all I can do to just TRY) to remember all that we have. How insanely blessed we are, how much we have, and how little we deserve. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much and longs for us the way we long for Celeste.  Father, give us peace.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Target Love

Every time I'm at Target, I find at least a dozen things to throw in my cart that weren't on my list. Does that happen to you, too?

Here's some things from my last trip that I realllly wanted. But resisted :)

A romper with flamingos on it. 'Nuf said.

 A realllly sweet bathing suit for my girl.

Sheryl Sandberg's book. Anyone read it? I am fascinated by her.

The SWEETEST elephant for Evie :)

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Day in the Life-12 Months

Now that Evie is ONE YEAR I thought I'd do another "day in the life" post.  Boy, things have changed since she was teeny tiny.

Today is Monday so my alarm goes off at 5:30.  Because Kemi's out of town, I have no one to pass Evie off to so I can get ready in the morning, so I have to be ready to walk out the door before she gets up, and her wake-up time is a little unpredictable, ranging from 6-7:30.

5:30 am:  My alarm goes off and I get up and shower, get dressed, and make Evie's bottle and eggs.  My mom is watching Evie this morning, so I need to pack up her bag, formula, bottles, sound machine for naps, blankets, etc.  I already prepped all Evie's food for the day last night in little containers, so that's set.  I pack my bag for work-laptop, wallet, phone, charger, and my lunch.

6:30 I hear Evie start whining in her crib. She's awake, and luckily I had enough time to get myself ready and get all her stuff packed up. I make her a bottle and head in to get her up. I love this--the first time I get to see her for the day. It's the best.

7:00 am: After feeding a bottle, changing her diaper, and new clothes, I load up Evie into the car, and make a few trips to and from the car for the million things I need to bring to my mom's house.  Look at that hair!  Dang, girl!

We don't pack light. Her diaper bag, plus her lunch, my lunch, her sound machine for naps...Yikes.

7:00 am: I drop Evie off with my mom. I hate leaving her, but if I have to leave her with someone other than Kemi, at least its family.

7:30 am: This morning, I have a meeting across town with a public school district, so I'm meeting a coworker at SDSA so we can drive together.

But before that meeting, I have an important meeting with this guy. Keurig, I think I love you.

8:00 am: We're on the freeway in rush hour traffic. In the car, we go over how the meeting should go and take the time to discuss students, the classroom, and other happenings at SDSA.

10:00 am: The meeting is over, and we race back to school.  Having one staff member gone is tough enough, let alone two.

11:30 am: My lunch break. I have 30 minutes, and I normally run home to see Evie. With Evie being at my mom's house 20 minutes away though, I don't have time today. Instead, I run home to check on the progress of the kitchen demo.  Oh yeah. We're remodeling our kitchen this week.

The kitchen is completely torn apart. I'm super excited that we're finally getting to remodel the kitchen, but a little concerned about how I'm going to get through the evening alone with Evie with no kitchen sink or countertop.

12:00 Back at school.  I'm in the classroom until 3:00 pm, when the kids leave. I have a few impromptu meetings with a few staff members after school. I call my mom to check on Evie. She says Evie is losing her mind because she won't go down for her second nap. I promise her that I'll be there ASAP.

3:40 pm: On the freeway again, this time to pick up Evie. I get to my mom's at 4:00 pm and Evie is indeed about ready to pass out.

4:00 pm: My mom invites us to stay for dinner, and I would LOVE to not try to figure out dinner in my makeshift kitchen in the living room, but I'm worried it's not fair to Evie. If I get her home fast, there's enough time for her to get one last nap without ruining her bedtime, and I know she needs it. Bad.

4:15 pm. Back on the freeway again. Evie is asleep in about 10 minutes.

4:45: We get home, and I CAREFULLY pick her out of her carseat, lay her down in her crib, and go back out to the car to bring everything in. Remember the diaper bag, laptop bag, and two lunch boxes? Yeah all that stuff.  Back in the house, I hear her. Screaming. She's awake, and not going back to sleep.

5:00 pm: Evie's up, but miserable. I look around the house and it takes everything I have not to cry too. I have to come up with something awesome for the next three hours.  It's still 100 degrees out, so taking a walk (her favorite thing) is out of the question.

5:30 pm: I sing every song, make every animal noise I know, and we play hard. These are the type of days that I really struggle with. This is the time of day I look forward to the most, because I haven't seen her all day. All I want is a magical couple hours of playing on the floor and making her laugh, but instead, she's just crabby. And there's nothing I can do about it. She just needs a good night's sleep.

6:30 pm: Bath! Luckily Evie loves the bath, so this is usually a good time.

7:30 pm: Evie gets her bottle, changed into jammies, and I put her down to bed.

7:30-8:30: I wash Evie's dishes from the day (in the bathroom sink, remember? FUN), clean out the diaper bag, and make her lunch for tomorrow. I cut up a million foods and pack tiny containers into her cooler for tomorrow, pack the diaper bag with fresh diapers, change of clothes, etc.

8:30-10: I get on my computer to work/mess around online. This is my downtime to answer emails, get any work done that I need to for tomorrow. Kemi usually calls around this time once he's done playing, and that's it, folks! All in a day's work. Whew!