Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.

I slept through the calendar flip


Happy New Years! Sorry for the lack of attention to my little blog but I’ve been busy enjoying the last of the holiday season, wiping noses, feeding aggressively, and what not.

Steve was this many yesterday:


I hope everyone had an exciting New Years Eve. I was in bed at 10:00 after a wild and crazy glass of wine with dinner.

My mom was in town for a few days. Sabrina enjoyed climbing all over Abuela despite the fact that she has an awful sounding cold (Sabrina not Abuela). I neglected to take any photos of them together. Sigh. Sabrina has been having loads of fun with her toys from Christmas – it seems she was lacking enough things that light up and make too much noise age appropriate toys. We cleaned out the toys she has outgrown (Amy? That damned Pooh car gets a vacation until Tessa can enjoy it. I will find a way to pay you back for that. Does Emily need a drum set?) She loves to play her kids MP3 player (I don’t even an MP3 player) at full volume while playing with at least 2 other singing toys at the same time. Mommy should have received Advil in her stocking this year.

As for Tessa, she continues to be a much happier baby since starting on the Zantac.


But at her doctor appoint this week, we discovered she only gained 4 ounces this month (wish I could say the same) which means she fell from the 9th to the 3rd %tile in weight. My 5 month old still hasn’t quite reached 12 lbs. The doctor laid out an “aggressive eating plan” for her. Basically, it is my job to shove food into her during each minute of the day that she is awake. She is supposed to eat cereal twice a day and nurse 5 times a day with each nursing session followed by a bottle. The poor girl can’t possibly consume all of this food but she is certainly eating more than she had been. I feel horrible that I have been apparently starving the child but she never complained so I didn’t know. Sabrina learned to eat from a spoon from her foster mom. I had no idea how difficult it would be to begin feeding Tessa cereal. If even a quarter of it ends up in her tummy, I am doing well. And she needs hosed down after each bowl of cereal. Any tips on getting her to eat it instead of expelling it back at me?


posted under family
19 Comments to

“I slept through the calendar flip”

  1. On January 2nd, 2009 at 9:38 am DD Says:

    It will take Tessa a bit before her tongue doesn’t automatically push anything remotely solid back out. It takes practice and patience and plenty of extra laundry.

  2. On January 2nd, 2009 at 9:44 am Kim Says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who neglects taking pictures. 🙂 I got NONE when my parents were here.

    Happy Birthday Steve!

    Eating – I remember it took FOREVER for us to get Alex to actually eat his cereal. He was constantly spitting it back out at us. We kept at it and he eventually figured it out. He didn’t start on cereal until he was about 6 months (when we got him home) and even at that age it took a little while. Keep at it – she’ll figure it out. My guess is that her little tummy was so upset from the reflux that she didn’t want to eat. Now that you guys have that under control, I bet she will figure out that food is good. 🙂

    Happy New Year!!!

  3. On January 2nd, 2009 at 10:16 am Melissa K. Says:

    Michelle, please don’t feel guilty. MANY babies with reflux are slow to gain weight because they associate eating with pain. You are were NOT starving her, and she certainly looks very healthy in the pictures if it’s any consolation.
    Also, just a suggestion, but you may want to ask the doctor if you can give her something like avocado instead of or in addition to the rice cereal. Rice cereal is high in starch and carbs, but not so much on the fats. Avocodo is very rich in the “healthy” fats as well as many other nutrients that something like rice doesn’t have. Just wanted to throw that out there, because that’s what finally plumped Ryleigh up when she was having trouble gaining weight.
    We NEVER had luck getting Ryleigh to eat rice cereal. If you think about it, your breastmilk is flavored with whatever foods you are eating so they are used to having some “taste” to what they eat. So why would they want something dull and bland like rice when they are used to sweet, flavor rich breastmilk?

    Good luck finding something that works. You are doing a great job. Your value as a mother is not dependent on how many rolls your baby has ;D

  4. On January 2nd, 2009 at 10:21 am Ashley Says:

    Have you tried pumping and adding the cereal into a bottle (more liquidy then thick). You might need to make the holes in the nipple of the bottle larger to get it out but it could work a little better for you. HTH

  5. On January 2nd, 2009 at 10:28 am Pattie Says:

    Happy New Year! Glad to hear that Tessa is getting some relief from her reflux. My boy was a projectile barfer when his reflux was bad…not fun. Honestly, I think that if she is using her tongue to expell a lot more than is going in, she might not be ready for spoon feeding yet. Or, do try very soft banana or avacado and see if it works better. Rice cereal can also be added to bottles (that’s how they make the anti-reflux formulas thicker). Seriously, don’t add any guilt to yourself that you aren’t doing something right. Remember too that bottle fed babies are typically fatter, and that the growth charts, especially at her age, would be heavily based on “bottle fed babies.

  6. On January 2nd, 2009 at 10:30 am cass Says:

    It took Lexi a week to figure out that the spoon was her friend and the stuff on the spoon was good. Now she sees a spoon (even if it’s mine) and she assumes it’s for her and she grabs it….at first I thought it was a bad thing but now that I stepped on the scale this morning I see that she’s diverted 1lb’s worth of food from my mouth.

  7. On January 2nd, 2009 at 10:34 am Ashley J Says:

    They have bottles ( I have only seen them at Walgreens) that are made for feeding cereal through them. I cannot speak to their ability or ease, but I have family that swear by them as early as 6 weeks.

    I am sorry she is having weight issues and reflux. It stinks when you have all this mommy guilt, but are doing your best.

  8. On January 2nd, 2009 at 11:46 am Jess from FTC Says:

    What worked best for me in terms of teaching to eat off a spoon is to make the cereal a little thicker than the directions say, and to hold the spoon in the mouth a little bit longer. If I took the spoon right out, the tongue would just push the food out. But holding the spoon in gave them some time to swallow before that tongue thrust kicked in.

    Good luck!

  9. On January 2nd, 2009 at 1:21 pm P Says:

    Mia either liked cereal very very thin or super thick. Can’t remember which but I know Lucy did one or the other to get her to eat it. Mia is and was a wee little peanut and had to start early on the cereal…some girls are just svelte from the get go! Judging by Miss T’s cheeks, she looks fab to me, and Sabrina is cute as ever (despite the lack of pics!). Happy b’day to Steve!

  10. On January 2nd, 2009 at 1:49 pm Abby (from JM) Says:

    We use Dr. Brown bottles and put cereal in them for bed. They have nipples (as do Avent bottles) for thicker liquid-they work fine! Be careful if you put cereal in the bottle though (we do it)…lots of people will tell you it is bad for them-NOT SO! At least not bad for any baby I have ever met!

    Tessa will take to the spoon in no time though-Ryan already loves it more than the bottle! He is a lazy morning eater! Good Luck!

  11. On January 2nd, 2009 at 2:32 pm Anne Says:

    Your New Years Eve sounds about as wild as mine was:) No mommy guilt, you are doing a great job, and Tessa looks healthy and beautiful in her pics.

  12. On January 2nd, 2009 at 3:18 pm Samantha Says:

    Cereal in the bottle!! 5 months old they are not ready to eat yet IMHO. i’m emailing you too…

  13. On January 2nd, 2009 at 5:27 pm Dawn from old AB Says:

    Spencer wouldn’t eat cereal until he was nearly 7 months old. He was in the 20th percentile or something like that, (I realize this isn’t quite the same) and the 95% in height. Honestly we just gave him more bottles. I don’t know how to talk a baby into eating cereal if he/she isn’t ready for it.

  14. On January 2nd, 2009 at 9:40 pm Bobbi Says:

    My goodness, her belly is going to EXPLODE!! I am glad the meds are making her feel better. I used to put the spoon WAY back in the girls mouths when they first started. It is not easy or fun at first. She’ll catch on. Don’t feel guilty. It’s not like she was screaming and you denied her food. Her cheeks are certainly plump enough!!

    Happy NEw YEar, and birthday, Steve

  15. On January 3rd, 2009 at 9:11 am Amy Says:

    The Winnie the Pooh car is forever yours and judging from some of the XMas presents the kids probably got, you know it could have been soooo much worse. And if you get Emily a drum set I will hunt you down and make you watch Trainspotting over and over and over again.

    You have two gigantic packages of clothes coming your way. I cleaned out Emily’s closets and drawers and you are the only one with little ladies. There is one jacket in there that Steve will particularly like and a ton of stuff that hasn’t even been worn, tags still on. Enjoy.

    As far as the weight thing. I know you didn’t ask but since when has anybody ever had to ask for my opinion in order for me to give it. Obviously, Emily was a little on the small side also. The doctor hounded me to get her to gain weight. She all but suggested that I follow Emily around with a tub of Crisco mixed with peanut butter. And for awhile I did. I was obsessed. Oh yeah, and miserable. Finally, I looked at my kid and realized that she is healthy and happy, even the doctor said that. So, screw it. She will get on the growth chart when she gets on the growth chart. As long as she is healthy and happy, do percentiles really matter?

    What I am trying to say, is don’t make yourself crazy. You have two beautiful, happy, healthy kids and you are doing a great job.

    Happy belated birthday Steve! Happy Holidays to all!!


  16. On January 3rd, 2009 at 6:58 pm Tonya Says:

    Hi! Sounds like you had nice visits all around! Hope you got your spaghetti somewhere!
    I think of you each Christmas eating your spag. I found it helpful to make the cereal pretty runny and let them sorta “nurse” or suck it off the spoon instead of just sticking a glob in their mouth. Is Tessas hair red? Happy Birthday Steve and Happy New Year!

  17. On January 3rd, 2009 at 8:05 pm Gibb Says:

    Okay, I’m on my way down with Cole. That boy would eat all day if I let him. 90th %tile for weight. If anyone can teach her to eat…he can!!! I doubt you were starving her. Have you ever known a baby who didn’t let you know about it if they were hungry? If she wasn’t complaining she wasn’t hungry.

    Happy New Year!

  18. On January 3rd, 2009 at 8:05 pm Gibb Says:

    Oh, and Happy Birthday Steve!

  19. On January 4th, 2009 at 1:00 am RhondaFTC Says:

    LOve your post. It is difficult we she was colic and had acid reflux before she came home I so loved seeing the beautiful pictures

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