Look at the Child, not the Scale

I love our pediatrician, but I really wish doctors in the US were more well-versed in breastfeeding, and that they followed Dr Jay Gordon’ advice to “look at the child, not the scale.” To be honest, I often had that complaint in the UK, too. Leo had his well check today, and I knew they’d ask about his feeding habits. I breastfeed him on demand, and he also eats three meals and snacks. Actually, he’s the only one of my children to eat so much solid food at 12 months, in part because he doesn’t like to comfort nurse.

Before the doctor ever came in, she’d looked at his growth chart. His weight is still between the 5-10th centiles, and now his length is down to the 10-25th centiles. His weight has held pretty steady along that curve since he was 6 months old, so to me that’s not a concern. His length has tapered off since he was 6 months, but again I don’t have a concern with that (perhaps in part because my other children didn’t have their length measured at all until 12 months, so there was no way to know the growth pattern).

So anyway, after I’d said there were no concerns on my end, the doctor asked if Leo had “graduated” to whole milk. I explained that he has a dairy intolerance and so doesn’t have cow’s milk. That prompted a question of what he does drink, to which I answered that he has breast milk and water and is still breastfed on demand. Perhaps I should’ve omitted that bit, as I was then told to get him down to breastfeeding only twice a day! Twice a day?! It’s normal to mostly breastfeed at 12 months!

Well, I was feeling defensive then and asked her why she said to nurse only twice a day. The answer didn’t help: she told me that if he were drinking cow’s milk he’d only be getting x number of ounces (can’t remember the number now, I think she said 8-12) and so he should only get that amount of breast milk. See the problem? Cow’s milk was used as the standard, not breast milk. She also said his growth showed he needs more calories, which should come from solid food, not liquids. I, of course, countered that breast milk is calorie-rich, and that the slower growth is easily explained by how active he is. While she somewhat agreed with breast milk being calorie rich, she still wasn’t convinced, but the conversation ended there.

The most upsetting part for me isn’t that the conversation took place, but that that conversation will happen with other mums who aren’t as confident in their breastfeeding and/or aren’t as knowledgeable about it, and thus will cause them to wean before they or their children are ready. I really wish pediatricians, or any medical practitioners dealing with infants and toddlers, had to IBCLC certified.

I wonder what the chances are of having a very similar conversation in a couple of weeks when we see his GI specialist. She’s never been concerned with his growth before, but did recommend cereal at 4 months, so I’m going to guess that it’s rather likely. Hopefully I can get through he conversation without being defensive, though.

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Book Nook: The Secret Message

While the kids were browsing for books, The Secret Message by Mina Javeherbin caught our eyes. A Persian merchant acquires a parrot on his travels and keeps the parrot in a gilded cage. The parrot, however, misses his home and wishes to return. As the merchant prepares to go on another shopping trip, the parrot asks a favour: to tell his brother parrots about his situation. The merchant promises, and when he tells the free parrots about his parrot, they respond in a very unexpected way. Unbeknownst to the merchant, this is a secret message, so when he tells his parrot what happened, the parrot understands how to escape. Kieran didnt quite understand the secret message at first, so I did have to talk through it with him.

I also have to say that I was somewhat reminded of the dead parrot sketch, even though this parrot isn’t dead.

Sunday Snippets – a Catholic Carnival

This week’s question: Who is your favourite Saint?

Hmm, well, I like St Monica for her incessant prayers for her family. St Jean-Baptiste Vianney was following me for awhile. St Helena is the patroness of archaeologists. The more I read about Padre Pio, the more I like him, too. And of course there’s Mother Mary, who is a constant source of strength and inspiration.

This week I’ve looked at a Hawaiian folk tale, discussed our adventures in EC, talked about our new favourite family game, shared my latest knitting project, participated in 7QT, and wished my youngest a happy birthday. Have a good week and God bless!

Check out RAnn’s for the full carnival.

To Leo on His Birthday

Dear Leo,

You’re one today! Though it’s cliche, the year really has flown, and yet some parts were very long. I thank God that we made it through without major surgery. You are amazing, and I can’t imagine life without you. You came into this world in a whirlwind labour, and you’ve kept us on our toes ever since. You’ve taught me so much and shown me how I can stretch and adapt and sacrifice more. Despite the health issues, you’re the happiest baby I’ve known. Your laugh and smile are infectious. Your love for your siblings is so sweet. Your determination and stubbornness get you where you want to go. I love you, mon petit lion, and I can’t wait to see how your second year goes.

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Seven Quick Takes: My Week


Here’s a look at my typical week.

— 1 —

Sunday

Usually I’m up by 6.30 to empty the dishwasher and start breakfast. We all get ready for Mass and are there around 9.00 so my husband can get to choir practice before Mass. After Mass we’re home for lunch and then watch the football game. The Jags may not be winning this year, but we watch them anyway and sometimes yell at bad plays, bad calls, etc. We also read, play games, etc, before family dinner, more playing, baths and bed. A low-key day.

This Sunday started off a bit more exciting as we were awakened at 5ish by the sound of breaking glass. Cosmo, our Maine Coon, had knocked a glass off the counter. My husband cleaned that up while I tried to keep Leo asleep, but he needed the toilet so we got up, too.

Charlotte begged for lasagne for dinner, so I made lasagne for the family, and a white pasta for Leo and me, plus garlic bread and salad, of course.

— 2 —

Monday

Start with Mass, then home for school. This is a freer day in that we don’t have to go anywhere. It’s a good day for the zoo or a play date. Also a good day for whatever errands I might have.

This past Monday I wanted to try out the new crockpot and so I made pineapple chicken. It turned out okay, but I wasn’t thrilled. I think it’s because the last crockpot pineapple chicken I made had cayenne in it, and I haven’t tried to make it since giving up nightshades. I used a different recipe that didn’t call for nightshades, but I missed that kick.

— 3 —

Tuesday

This is our busy day. We start with Mass, then off to gymnastics. It’s just open gym, so nothing formal, but the kids love it. There are usually a few other kids there, mostly younger. Charlotte loves the balance beam, and Kieran loves the foam pit.

After that, we’re back for lunch and, if I’m lucky, a nap for Leo. Then we’re back out for Kieran’s group violin lesson. We get home from that around 5.30, so there’s just time to put the finishing touches on dinner (usually a crockpot meal) and eat.

This week, though, we got a break because Kieran didn’t have his group lesson. This also gave me more time for making dinner, so I made pizza. My uncle used to have a pizza place, and I have his dough recipe. I do different pizzas for all of us: roasted garlic white sauce base for me, tomato base for my husband, and no sauce for the kids. I have wilted spinach, caramelised onion, sautéed mushrooms, and avocado on mine (I share with Leo); my husband has the onion, mushrooms, sausage, pepper, and fresh mozzarella; Charlotte wanted mushrooms and mozzarella; and Kieran just wanted mozzarella.

— 4 —

Wednesday

This day can be long, it just depends. We don’t usually go to our parish for Mass this day, because it’s the school Mass. Instead, I like to go to a neighboring parish on Wednesdays, but we haven’t been getting up in time for it. Sometimes we go to the library or to children’s adoration for a Holy Hour, though this week we did neither. The kids were having a grand time just playing with each other. Kieran has his private violin lesson that afternoon.

I broke out the crockpot again and made a roast chicken stuffed with an apple, and roasted sweet potato and carrot. I made some quick rolls, steamed broccoli, and gravy to accompany it. While I can’t eat the skin on the chicken (or maybe I can now, but I haven’t tried lately – it did bother Leo as it’s fattier), Charlotte loves crispy skin, so I popped the chicken in the oven to crisp the skin.

— 5 —

Thursday

A lighter day for the morning. Mass, then home for school. We recently started having FaceTime conversations with grandparents.

The afternoon and evening get interesting, though. My husband has choir practice after dinner, which means I get the kids to myself. We have lots of fun, and I get them ready for bed (that’s normally his job). Usually I have them in bed and read their stories, then he gets home around 9.00 to take over with the Rosary. If Leo’s awake he keeps trying to get Charlotte or go upstairs, and if he’s asleep I just have to listen for him.

Since I had the carcass for the chicken I made yesterday, I spent the morning making stock so I could make mushroom risotto for dinner. We’d not used all the apples from the veg bag, so I even made an apple crumble (whether it feels fallish or not, I will eat like it does).

We also bought our pumpkins: two for carving and a pie pumpkin for Leo’s birthday pie.

— 6 —

Friday

On Fridays our parish has Adoration before Mass. Lots of homeschoolers attend this Mass, in part because a neighboring parish has their school Mass on Friday. This means there are plenty of kids to play with after Mass, so we often stay awhile. Home for lunch and some school before heading out for a weekly play date.

— 7 —

Saturday

One advantage of homeschooling is being able to do work on Saturday. Often it’s Kieran’s idea. It’s also a good day for gardening and outdoor play. It’s also a good library day if we haven’t been.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Crafty Thursday

On Saturday I commented that Leo would be 1 in exactly a week; I then panicked about not having knit anything for his birthday. No matter, I thought, I can do it, and proceeded to browse Ravelry. I’d already gone through the yarn stash and knew I wanted to use a hunter green yarn from Wildflower (actually, I’d been between that and an aqua yarn, but the green was the right weight). Being in Florida, I wanted a sleeveless top. And since I needed to do it on the machine, given the deadline, I needed a fairly plain pattern. Ravelry delivered with this pattern for a sleeveless hoodie. I just need to sew up the sides, and knit the ribbed edges for the hood and armholes. I might knit a little something to decorate it if I have time.

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Family Game Night

Do you have a family game night? We don’t have a set one, but I recently got a fun game that the kids are loving. It’s called “Enchanted Forest”, and the premise is that you must search the forest for various fairy tale items and report their location to the king. It’s actually more difficult than I thought it would be, as there’s a fair amount of strategy and memory involved. It is fun, though.

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Before we got this game, we weren’t really in the habit of playing board games together (unless you count the occasional game of Parcheesi on my iPad). Charlotte’s still a bit young for them, for one. But they had such fun, that we really need to make a habit of this. Charlotte can just be on my team.