Illuminating Stella

Stella First 3 Months

Dear Stella,

The first three months with you have been incredible. Your Dad and I are so proud of our beautiful girl. Your smiles make us melt. You have already grown and changed so much since June 29th. You love your hands and we can’t keep your fingers out of your little mouth. Occasionally you will take a pacifier but the digits are your favorite. You make lots of noises. The newest one sounds like a rude little monkey and you use it at the most comical times, like when your Dad makes a suggestion on what we should eat for dinner. You love your Dad and the crazy noises and faces he makes for you. He entertains you like no other. You have mixed feelings about your swing and prefer to be held and rocked to sleep. You love books, we read every morning and night before bed. You have just come to appreciate taking baths, I knew you would come around. You have been on a few adventures, The Sawdust Festival, The Aquarium, Oktoberfest and to several pool parties, BBQs and birthday parties this summer. You spend a lot of time with your cousins Maddie and Genna. Your Aunt Ally and I cannot take enough pictures of the three of you. We love you to pieces!

Mom & Dad



Non-Dairy Queen

In Stella’s sixth week she became extremely fussy and cried for several hours each afternoon. It seemed she had some colic/gas issues, but who knows?? Since John is lactose intolerant I decided to limit dairy and see if that made a difference. I also read that a lot of infants have a tough time digesting cow’s milk via breastfeeding. I decided to also cut caffeine, another possible culprit. Once I did the two hour crying jags dried up. My pediatrician advised I keep it up till she was four months and then try to reintroduce dairy and caffeine. It wasn’t too hard to give up dairy as there are now so many plant based dairy substitutes and vegan products. I have been interested in switching to a more plant based diet ever since watching the documentary Forks Over Knives, so it was a really good excuse to try this out.  I occasionally cheat, mostly with cheese and sauces in some meals. Here are my favorite substitutes for desserts, yogurts, etc.  I think I will stick with some of these products, even if Stella reacts well to dairy in the future. Right now, I am feeling good and Stella seems to have minimal gas and inconsolable crying fits. The only negatives are that the sugar content is still pretty high and they cost more than their dairy counterparts.

Also, Paradis Ice Cream on 2nd Street in Belmont Shore has several vegan flavors every day- usually 4-5, including yummy flavors like, Watermelon, Strawberry/Chocolate Chip, Pear and Lemon.

For coffee, I have been drinking the Fresh and Easy, Water Method Decaf.  During conception/pregnancy I tried lots of different decafs and have found this to be the most flavorful (still not as good as the real stuff, but better than most). I try to drink Swiss Water/Water method Decaf coffees after reading about the chemicals normally used to take the caffeine out of coffee beans in most decaf blends. When out and about I try to get Coffee Bean or Peet’s because they use water method.

Anything for the Non-Dairy Princess!!



On Sunday we took Stella to her very first Oktoberfest.  It was a lot of fun, just a bit too warm at 94 degrees. We met up with my sister and bro-in law and their daughters. My niece Maddie was the cutest thing ever and went up on stage for the chicken dance and the yodeling contest. She’s 2.5 yo and she bravely hung out on stage with everyone trying to keep up with the dance.  She waited her turn, but in the end was not ready to actually yodel with a mike in her face and a huge crowd out there. Oh, to be a kid in this big world. It’s just so sweet to watch her taking it all in. Here is a shot of John and Stella with the requisite beer stein. Stella seemed a bit ho hum on the whole event. She prefers Belgian Beer -haha. Can’t wait till she can chicken dance.