Pumpkin Patch

It’s official – I am that crazy photographer lady. The one who pulls up to the teenagers working at the local farm and asks where the pumpkins are.

“The pumpkin patch is that way M’am..”

“Ok, but is that like where you pick your own pumpkins, or where you have pumpkins set up in a fall scene to take pictures of your kids with?”

Blank stare.

“The pumpkin patch is that way M’am..”


I never did locate the little “pumpkin picture setup” that I was expecting to find and still don’t know if they had one somewhere and I just didn’t know what to ask for but we did end up wandering around the pumpkin patch with Jasper. For those of you who haven’t been to one yet, pumpkin patches (or I imagine gardens of any kind) are difficult terrain for toddlers with their rows of raised earth and reed thingies sticking out of the ground.

looking at the reeds

Poor Jasper stumbled around for a while and even scratched his face on a reed that narrowly missed his eye,  all the while with me shouting “Jasper, look at mommy” over and over again with my camera in his face.  This lasted a few minutes until Jeff declared that I was embarrassing us and that I needed to put the camera away.

I was sad because even without reviewing the images I just KNEW I hadn’t gotten a great shot – which was even more disappointing because because the light and the setting were beautiful. I just COULDN’T get Jasper to make eye contact, not that I could blame him – most of his attention was directed at navigating around pumpkins and reeds:

But that doesn’t make it any less disappointing.

I did get a few shots of his back though!

and of him making a funny perplexed face:

In other news, Jasper ate almost nothing this weekend and the GI doc canceled our appointment next week and wasn’t able to reschedule until the 22nd.  I think I’m going to try to get him into the pediatrician’s this week to at least have a weigh in and get his take on the whole thing.. like should I give in and let him fill up on snack foods if he wants? Because my theory that if he doesn’t have snacks he’ll eat more at mealtimes hasn’t proven to be true. Is it better that he eats cheerios and goldfish rather than nothing at all?

I hope you all had a great weekend!

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Judy N says:

Ariana, my son is 11 months right now. I have noticed that pants that are a size smaller than his tops fit him better. I think my son’s issue is that he’s kinda got a round belly (even though the rest of him is thinning out)…and so it’s hard to find shirts that aren’ts tight around the belly but aren’t long in the sleeves! Oh well… I think Jasper looks great! The clothes fit him like the model children in magazines!

Jen says:

those photos are sooo cute! I love the one of his back. He looks like such a little man!

ariana says:

Kari, I’ve tried different bars with him – no go (surprise surprise!) I can’t get him to even TASTE them.

Judy, how old is your son? The trick is… get clothes one size too small LOL! No, not really all the time.. but he CANNOT wear pants in 12 month size that don’t have adjustable waists. All his pants are on the smallest waist size and are rolled up at the cuffs!

I guess his arms are longer than his body because the sleeves aren’t usually too long, but the length of the shirts themselves usually are.. doesn’t that shirt look long on him? It’s kinda cute, like he’s a little hoodlum or something :)

GG, totally like he’s about to sneeze. Maybe he did (I can’t remember!

G.G. says:

That outfit is sooooo perfect for pumpkin pickin’! I like his perplexed face – looks like a sneeze is about to ensue! So cute!

Judy N says:

My son was a picky eater, too…and his weight suffered a little, too. Sometimes, though, I wonder if that’s just baby’s way of settling into the right growth curve that he’s supposed to be on…you know? I mean, NO ONE stays on the exact same percentile as they were when they were 6 months old. When he was picky, I let him eat snacks, fruits, whatever he’d eat. We started giving him more table foods…and suddenly one day, he ate spectacularly well. Thought it was a fluke, but now we’re on like week 2 of great eating…I think they just figure it out when they figure it out.

(Definitely get the reflux checked, though…my son had it and has been on Prevacid practially his hwole life!)

On a side note: What size clothes do you get for Jasper?? He is always dressed so cute, but the amazing thing is that the clothes FIT him so well…from your heights/weights, it seems like Jasper and my son have been almsot exactly the same size at each pediatrician visit…but I can’t get any button down type shirts to fit him…the sleeves are all SO LONG? How you do get Jasper so stylin’? :)

kari says:

SO cute :)

hey – i know this theoretically IS a snack food .. but does he like Nutri-grain bars?? They are like BABY CRACK for Liam… he sees the foil wrapper and starts squealing… something to try if you haven’t already :)

and PS… IT is FINALLY cool enough for Liam to wear his kaboogie shoes!!! I put them on him again this morning.. i’ll have to get pics!

Jill says:

Those are just adorable! I love the perplexed face. I say let him eat as many healthy snacks as he wants. Kendall has gone through phases where he’s much more interested in snacking than eating an actual meal. It’s tough to not feel guilty at the end of the day when his diet mainly consisted of puffs and Cheerios and a fruit leather or two, but I remind myself that at least he’s eating something. Hope the appt. goes well!

hayley says:

my oldest is 3 now–and still doesn’t eat. :) he would just rather play than eat…or talk with us. that’s our new challenge, getting him to be quiet long enough to eat at lunch and dinner time. the ped isn’t too concerned, he says kids don’t normally starve themselves (they’ll eat if they’re hungry unless there is a correlating health issue) and he’s otherwise a really happy and healthy kid…so there isn’t likely an underlying issue. he apparently is just a busy body.

my youngest (turning 1 in a week) on the other hand, LOVES to eat. it leads me to believe maybe its a personality thing.

i would pursue what you’re concerned about, though. :) moms always have a great sense about what’s going on with their babies.

Samm Ivri says:

I think those photos are great. It doesnt matter where Jasper is looking. All that matters is the beauty of the moment, captured.

I have an unrelated request. Can you do a post discussion about toddler shoes, if you havent written about that topic already? Before Mia walked I bought her shoes at Target. They were cheap and cute replicas of expensive brands. Now, she just started walking and I’m at a loss for what kind of shoes to get her. The cute ones aren’t always comfy looking (Vans). The comfy ones are about as much as I spend on my own shoes (Stride Rite). And the cheap ones seem really tough to walk in (Sears). I really want to spend less than $40 and get a pair that is cute & good for walking. Any ideas?

ariana says:

Stephanie, thanks for all the info! I haven’t been able to get him to drink much of anything except breast milk and ONLY while nursing (and water from a sippy). I have thought about smoothies though and will try more often.

I think he needs over 1k calories a day and is getting around 500 a day from breast milk. He’s definitely not eating the other 500 worth in food I don’t think.. but I guess maybe he is if he isn’t LOSING weight?

Michelle says:

okay… THAT is the pumpkin patch I was looking for this weekend. I think your photos are great as always. My husband is so impressed with your work! I am sorry to hear that Jasper is having eating problems… I hope you can get in ASAP and get this all cleared up.


Stephanie says:

Sorry for the multiple posts, but will Jasper drink a smoothie?

There’s a recipe in the book “Raising Vegetarian Children” designed for picky eaters – it tastes good, it’s easy to make, and it’s good at filling in some nutritional gaps. Both my girls love it.

One caveat – it calls for nut butter. I don’t know if Jasper eats nuts.

This makes two servings – you can easily cut the recipe in half though for a one year old, give half in the morning and half at dinner if he won’t eat solid food.

1 cup orange juice with calcium
1 cup milk (or fortified soy or rice milk)
1 1/2 bananas
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 or 2 teaspoons of flaxseed oil
1 tablespoon nut butter (almond, cashew)
optional: 1/4 peeled avocado

Just throw everything in the blender and puree the heck out of it until it’s smooth enough to drink from a bottle, straw or cup.

One half of of this recipe (about 1 3/4 cups) supplies 300 calories, 8 grams of protein, 8 grams of fat and 6 grams of fiber. If you add the avocado, calories jump to 341, fat jumps to 12 grams and fiber goes up to 7 grams.

You can use a different type of berry if there’s another kind he prefers (blueberry, raspberry, etc.) and if you aren’t comfortable with the nut butter, you could substitute brown rice protein powder: http://www.veganessentials.com/catalog/brown-rice-protein-powder-by-mlo-gluten-free.htm

Peanut butter tastes too strong – it makes the whole smoothie taste like peanuts – almond is better because it’s mellow and you can actually tast the fruit. The rice powder doesn’t have much taste at all (or texture for that matter.)

I usually throw in a squirt of lemon juice too – it’s not necessary – they just like the taste.

You could probably also subsitute sunflower seeds or sunbutter for the nut butter, although I can’t tell you exactly how that affects nutritional content.

Stephanie says:

The pediatrician probably won’t do allergy testing – he/she will probably refer you to an allergist. You might hold off on looking into allergists until after you meet with the GI – they are pretty knowledgable about food allergies. The GI may or may not think testing is necessary.

It definitely doesn’t hurt to get a current weight and compare it to his last weigh-in, if for no other reason than to calm your nerves. :)

The other thing to remember is that a one year old has a stomach about the size of his clenched fist – little! They can’t fit that much in there.

Recommended daily calorie intake for a one year old is about 45 calories per pound in weight, give or take 20 PERCENT. In other words, many 20 pound babies can eat just 720 calories a day (or 1080 calories a day or anything in between) and be healthy and normal. It depends on the baby.

They say breast milk has about 20 calories per ounce (it varies from mom to mom) so one cup (8 ounces) supplies about 160 calories.

I don’t know how much pumped milk he drinks at daycare, or if you supplement with formula ever, but four bottles in one day puts you at 640 calories without a single bite of food. Five bottles puts you at 800. So, obviously, you want him to eat, but if he’s willing to drink four bottles a day, he can make up the difference in calories by eating very little.

One other thing my GI told me when Chloe was little (because she used to drink like a fiend – 40 ounces a day – yet not too interested in food – although to be fair, she threw up a lot of what she drank!) is that reflux babies often like to drink A LOT (milk, formula, water, whatever) because it’s soothing going down. If their throats are really irritated from stomach acid, drinking warm or cool liquids feels really good, whereas swallowing solid food can hurt. :(

kiran says:

These are great pics and I love your blog.

Kimberly says:

Oh, and I forgot to add…
I think the pics you posted are beautiful. :)

Kimberly says:

Ha ha…. we went to the pumpkin patch this weekend, too, and I struck out on photos, too!!! It was a gorgeous day, but the sun was high and harsh, and I think my sister got better photos on her Lumix P&S camera…. I got tired of hearing myself say, “look at Mommy, look at Auntie!” Ah well… I too sometimes have a hard time just stepping away from the camera and enjoying the day. sigh.

Is Jasper still eating well at daycare? Is he still nursing well? If so, then as stressful as it is, I would probably just let him eat what he will… he will get what he really needs from your breastmilk… until you can get in with the GI doc. That said, I would probably check with the pedi in the meantime, too… but try not to stress yourself and Jasper too much about it. Let him have the Cheerios… they’re not the worst thing he could eat! Hang in there… I know feeding is probably the #1 stress-inducer for moms when kids aren’t good eaters. It will all turn out… promise. :)

ariana says:

@Kate – I wish he had his hat too!!! The shirt is from BRU, the new “Cynthia Rowley” line. It’s SOOOO cute, it has little pearlized buttons just like a real cowboy shirt. And the jeans were a gift from our friends Sarah & Jay who got them from baby gap. I love the little skull applique.

Don’t be fooled by any pictures you’ve seen of me here.. I may have lost most of the weight but my stomach is DEFINITELY not flat. Sorry, I know that’s not what you want to hear ;) I gained a lot in the beginning too but it did slow down a bit at the end.

Kate says:

All I have to say is that is one fashionable tot! That outfit is too cute!!! I wish he had his cowboy hat for one of them.
And, by the way, who are you to envy anyone’s flat stomach? You are thin as a rail! ;-) I feel like I will never be thin again- at 20 weeks I’ve gained 16 lbs and my stomach is absolutely enormous. I do keep in mind though that you gained something like 40 lbs and you are tiny again.

Sarah says:

Kaity does the SAME thing and I’m unable to take pictures of her head on. She makes funny faces in the ones I do catch miraculously though. Even her 1 year pics I took at the park have her looking to the side. It WILL get better as they get older. I just don’t know how I managed to get them to look when I use to get their yearly pictures done at Walmart. I think the pictures came out great. I love candid pictures the best anyway.

Heather says:

The pumpkin patch photos are adorable, including the ones of his back!

As for eating…my son is kind of huge, and eats a LOT. I think really, he’s eating something on average every three hours. Here are some of his favorites, in case Jasper would like these too…
-whole grain waffles (nothing on top)
-Whole Foods makes these organic chicken and veggie potstickers and he LOVES them.
-quick lasagna (I make it w/ whole wheat pasta, meat sauce and ricotta cheese mixed in)
-Baby Yo (or whatever the brand is…you’d think I’d remember!)
-Annies whole wheat pasta mac and cheese

AND, he’s a year and a half, and I still hand him spoonfuls of baby food veggies as he’s eating, and by the end of the meal, he’s eaten the whole container w/o protesting.

I only give him water or milk, since my sister warned me about the “nasty Juice habit), so as far as I know, he’s never had juice.

I do know the weight gain drops at about a year, and Jasper looks cute and healthy, and from what you’ve written seems to be doing and saying everything he’s supposed to by this point.

Hope this helps!

ariana says:

Good advice Sarah..so how much does your 15 month old eat?

Interesting about the spoon, but what do you do if purees are one of the only thing he actually will eat and he can’t/won’t use a spoon capably to feed himself? “Food” for thought for sure..

ariana says:

Meggan, all I have to say is that I visited your site and I can’t believe that is the stomach of a woman who has carried a child. I hate you. (just kidding, but I AM jealous of your postpartum body! :)

@heartartz -he is so big isn’t he?? Your right, that’s what Jeff said -can’t we just ENJOY the day? :)

@Stephanie, that’s just what I plan on doing (got an appointment to see the pedi tomorrow) to weigh him. I’m wondering what I should ask him about tomorrow:
1) how much snacks
2) how much water (he’d drink his own body weight in water if I let him but I also worry that will fill him up)
3) RAST testing?
4) reflux

Hayley, how old is he now, does he still not eat?

Sarah says:

We are heading to the pumpkin patch on Saturday — I can’t wait.

For the photos, try to remember that the perfect picture doesn’t have to be perfect — he can be facing away from you, he can refuse to smile, etc. and you’ve still captured a beautiful day out with your child. My kid has never posed for photos — in 15 months! — and we still have some beautiful shots of him in lots of different surroundings — i just click and worry about smiling later.

As for the food, the advice our pedi gave us was that toddlers eat less as they get past a year. They don’t need as much food because they aren’t growing as quickly (which isn’t a problem usually). They will eat as much as they need. We were advised to limit snacks, limit caloric drinks between meals (juice and milk), let him decide how much to eat, not make meal times into fights for another bite, and to relax. It has helped. It also advised against attempting to spoon feed a child who is capable of feeding himself. I’m working on it and as I get better, he takes more bites independently.
Good luck!

hayley says:

My oldest never eats either. Its so frustrating–I know! He has always been at about the bottom 3% for weight and about the 10-25% for height. Under our pediatricians advice we had him drink a Pediasure (Target makes a generic) everyday until he was about 18 months old. He didn’t gain any more in the %s, but at least my mind was at ease that he was getting some nutrition/fat/calories. Its worth asking about. :)

Stephanie says:

Looks like a gorgeous day at the pumpkin patch!

Mommmmmmmmmmm – you’re embarassing me! :)

I know every doctor’s advice is different, but when we went through weight gain issues with my girls, the advice I was given was that even if they won’t eat, make sure they are getting enough to drink (weight-loss is gradual over time but dehydration can happen relatively quickly and can be dangerous) and if there’s something they will eat – let them eat it – better to be eating SOMETHING than nothing.

Also, our pediatrician was always cool about letting us come in to use his scale so we could weigh the girls on the same scale every time and get an accurate/consistent reading. Then I’d check in with the nurse and we could keep a running weight record and if we saw a significant dip, we’d know for sure there was cause for concern and could get in to see the doc right away. (And the doctor’s office never charged us for the weigh-ins, just for doctor visits.)

heartartz says:

The pictures of Jasper are adorable.
He is definitely a big boy now!
When he is older you will look at the pics and remember that beautifully sunny day and how hard it was for Jasper to get around the field…but he did … and he did it on his own! And in the future, you will marvel at just how much he has grown up since then.
As for eating…”Let him eat Cherrio’s”… At lease it is somewhat nourishing.

Meggan Mills says:

I can’t wait to take my son to the pumpkin patch for the first time this year! :D