Monday, March 11, 2013

Cute Things My Eighteen Month Old Has Done This Week, and a Weaning Update

What's more fun than a non-functioning water fountain?

Daredevil sitting on the water fountain arm without support...
The cupcake hat from infancy still fits! (the velcro on the ugly
green fleece one is on its last legs so we're trying out other options)

Tenderly cradling Baby Annie during a cab ride. I think she may
have been nursing her but I didn't dare ask about such a loaded

  • Calliope, wordlessly garbling, "I'm going to get you!" to the kitchen timer as she menacingly advanced her hand towards it, then tickling it.
  • Calliope coming over and leaning against me before tilting her face towards mine and pursing her lips for an exceedingly rare (read: never happens!) daytime kiss... as I held a series of newborn babies (three babies during the course of two different days). Then she squatted down and started inching her bottom backwards across my lap, insinuating herself into my lap, doing her best to "accidentally" displace the infant located in that prime real estate.
  • Being so delighted to have her very own cloth napkin in her lap for the first time... except when Mommy dares to remove said napkin from said lap for the purpose of wiping a small and dirty face. Cue indignant protests.

    The napkin was replaced and I used my own napkin to wipe her face instead... and then Calliope thoughtfully used it to wipe my face for good measure. After dinner, Calliope gave her new friend Napkin a big hug before taking it off to play in her kitchen.
  • Well, this doesn't make good anecdote material, but now, whenever I am in the kitchen, Calliope runs to the dining area of our kitchen (a few feet away) and asks "this?" pleadingly until I figure out what she's asking, and drag a chair over so she can stand on it to watch the action. It's hard to remember that for a toddler, our most basic tasks are fascinating. Things like slicing an avocado.

I'm hoping to come straight home from work tonight to make carrot muffins with her. She continues to love cooking with me. I made a batch a week ago (without her) and they were a huge hit. I'm hoping she will like them even better when she helps to make them. They are quite healthy, with a limited amount of honey for sweetener (though I'm going to decrease it even more, maybe to half, just 2 tablespoons) and coconut oil and six, count them six eggs (since C refuses to eat eggs, this is a great way to get a little of their excellent protein into her... and they are pasture raised, soy free, and totally organic, so even better).

The muffin project is especially urgent because today was the second morning in a row that Calliope skipped her morning nursing!

I went into her room this morning to wake her -- just turning off the fan (white noise) and opening the shades does the trick -- and she bounced up and asked, "Nastya? Nastya? Nastya?" (that's the nanny). I guess she was excited to see her... and I can officially declare the clingy phase of morning routine to be over! So I scooped her up and we hurried into the kitchen to say hello to the nanny, then I offered the muffin, which she gladly accepted. I'm happy to have a suitable distraction for nursing so I think I will keep the muffins as a special treat for mornings only.

Nastya and Calliope sat at Calliope's little table while I made my tea, then I joined them and Calliope slid into my lap to cuddle while she ate her muffin. I successfully eluded her greasy hands (note to self: use less coconut oil in the muffins next time!) and she chattered away at us, delighted to have the full attention of both of her favorite adults -- a rare thing in a world where Mommy and Nanny trade off.

Calliope asked twice for "neh neh, and holding my breath each time, I answered breezily, "you're having muffin instead."

Amazingly, she accepted this response.

But oh, my heart felt a pang, leaving this morning and seeing her sweet tousseled self toddling around the living room in her pajamas, bidding me a cheerful "Bah bye!" as she got Baby Annie set up to rock in the glider. I haven't yet entered the phase where I'm glad to return to work on Mondays. I miss her each time a weekend ends.

My current idea for eliminating the nighttime and final nursing is to get her a special new cup, a Big Girl Cup (her buddy Eleanor calls her special Big Girl Cup, given to her when she gave up bottles, "BaCup"), and put warm sweetened or vanilla flavored milk in it. And to make a really big deal about the cup. Right now she refuses to drink cow's milk (or breast milk, for that matter) in a cup, and life would be so much easier if I had an alternative to offer her for nursing. So my (distant) hope is that sweetened, warmed milk might do the trick. If I can get her to make the switch, then I can gradually substitute plain cow's milk for the sweetened stuff.

I'm not at all sure this will work, but I'm going to try.

I think I may also try making the switch when we are at my mom's house in a couple of weeks for my spring break. I'm guessing that breaking up the routine might make things easier?

Please, if you have any suggestions, chime in! Particularly on how to get a breastfed toddler to accept cow's milk. But also how to drop the final nursing without tears. Mommy can't handle tears when it comes to weaning. Funny how sleep training didn't phase me (after the first round or two, once I saw how she responded so well to it) but this, well, I'm too soft.

Here's the recipe for the muffins, and a link to Hannah's blog where the recipe came from. Note: they are gluten free, in case that matters.

Carrot Raisin Muffins
(makes 12)
Adapted from the Well-Fed Homestead blog.

Blend the dry ingredients:
1/4 t salt
1/2 t baking soda (omit if doing the GAPS diet)
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 t cinnamon
Generous dashes nutmeg cloves ginger

Add the following:
6 eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil (*** I'm going to try using a little less so Calliope's hands aren't quite so oily -- that's a recipe for mess!)
1/4 cup honey (** I'm going to try halving this, as carrots are naturally sweet)
1-2 T vanilla (** 1 tablespoon is ample)

Mix in:
2 cups shredded or grated organic carrots
1/2 cup raisins (** I omit -- I can't stand cooked raisins!)

Spoon into buttered (or oiled) muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees until the tops are done. (*** I have awesome silicone muffin "liners"-- the muffin slides right out and they are incredibly easy to wash. And I don't have to oil them first. Muffin tins are a pain -- very hard to get clean, in my experience. I just set these "liners" on a foil covered cookie sheet and don't bother with the muffin tin at all.) 

For both recipes, allow the muffins to cool completely, then store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for one week (we have kept them longer and they've been fine).



  1. No advice, sorry. Elena switched from breast milk to cow's milk purely on my persistance tho I started with the cow's milk before weaning.

    When you mention sweetened milk for the night feeding, won't the sugar stimulate Calliope? That would be my concern.

  2. When we switched to cows milk, I had the nanny put half breast milk and half cows milk together in a bottle, and then gradually increase the amount of cows milk. Do you have any frozen milk left, or is it all gone? I did the same thing at night when we finally gave up bedtime nursing - he had that in a bottle, and then a cup, and then we finally substituted water.

    1. Alas, no breast milk left in the freezer -- I just gave away the last two bags. But she always refused to take it anyway. Though your question made me wonder if i should drag out the pump and create a little stash for the weaning process... but doesn't it seem a little crazy to start pumping when I'm trying to wind down my supply?

  3. I made these muffins for Annelise yesterday. They were a huge hit. Thanks for sharing the recipe.