Paul is 18 months old

Paul is 18 months old

Good morning and happy Saturday! On august 7th, Paul turned 18 months old; and now that he has reached this stage, this will be my last monthly update. Here are some updates!

  • He says “wawa” or “awah” when he wants  to drink water.
  • He says “dopp dopp” when it’s raining (which he learned from the book Mr Brown can Moo.
  • He brings us a diaper and says “diap diap” when he needs a diaper change; then he lays on his back to get his diaper change. 
  • He likes to choose his breakfast when he is given a choice between two items.
  • He sleeps in his crib from 8pm to 6am straight through.
  • He points to sheeps and says “baaaa” and he points to horses and says “neigh neigh” 
  • He is really interested in animals and their sounds.
  • He point to P and says “pah” and he points to B and says “Bah”
  • He still loves to clean up “yucky” things and put them into the garbage. 
  • He puts dirty laundry in the laundry bag, helps clean up his food tray and puts his toys away.
  • He loves the playground; and he is super interested in other kids. He points and waves and says “boy” when there are boys on the playground. He likes to follow and observe what other kids are doing. He will play next to other kids (parallel play). 
  • He is very interested in numbers and identifies the difference between numbers and letters.
  • He likes to play in the kitchen sink and pretend he is washing dishes. 
  • He is climbing everything; and he climbs into his high chair. 
  • He dances! And it is so cute!!
  • He is almost completely feeding himself; he is still perfecting his ability to take small bites and small scoops.
  • He is a great eater; some of his favorites include yogurt parfaits, pasta with sauce and meatballs, brown rice and beans, avacado and eggs, etc. 
  • He loves to read. 
  • His favorite activity is still pretending to cook. 
  • He can say a lot of sounds and put together a lot of two and three syllable words. 
  • He mimicks sounds and words we make; and also facial expressions. 
  • He smiles when asked to “smile”
  • He gives kisses with the sound and puckering his lips; as well as asks for kisses.
  • He blows kisses.
  • He does not like blood. Whenever he gets a scrap and it’s bloody, he keeps pointing to it and says “boo boo” and asks for kisses. 
  • He is amazing with the cats; and he loves them! He plays with them, and he lets us know when their food and water bowl are empty. 
  • He loves going on walks, especially to the park. He is a little dare devil and loves climbing up to go down the big slides. 
  • He is able to hold on the railings and walk up steps!
  • He loves playing “you cant get me” and doing wrestling moves! 
  • He loves helping with every chore. 
  • His water is his security item; he likes to always have it with him. 
  • He is really asserting his independence! When we tell him not to do something and he starts crying; We work on identifying his feelings, letting him know it’s okay to feel his emotions and that it’s okay to cry (which is when we take a step back and let him work through it), when he calms down, we tell him “I am sorry you are upset” and then give him options of things he can do. He is always successfully redirected.
  • He loves dumping and balancing items. 
  • He is really working on letter sounds and words.
  • He interacts with songs.
  • He absolutely loves to give kisses and get kisses.
  • He loves and becomes giddy when we say we love him and that we are proud of him; and he claps when we say these phrases to him.
  • He has a complete understanding of the vocabulary and language we use with him.
  • He still breastfeeds at lest 3 times a day =) he loves his skin to skin contact tome!
  • He has an incredible sense of humor; he loves to laugh and he understands jokes.
  • He loves being chased!
  • He had a lot of energy =)

This was a wonderful month! Paulino is a big boy now =) This will be my last monthly update; now I will be focusing on educational activities that will strengthen his cognitive, language, literacy, gross motor, fine motor, and social emotional development! Thank you for reading! I hope you have a happy Saturday =)

Homemade Applesauce

Homemade Applesauce

Applesauce is another one of my favorites to make for my son to eat for breakfast or a snack because of how nutritious, delicious, and filling it is. It is also easy, quick, and cost effective!

Ingredients

  1. Two (organic) Apples
  2. (Purified) Water

Optional Ingredients

  1.  Rolled Oats
  2. Chia Seeds or Hemp Seeds

Step 1:

Peel and chop two apples of your choice.


Step 2:

Boil (purified) water for a few minutes. Then pour boiled water into a bowl and add chopped apples. Let soak for five minutes.

Step 3:

Scoop all of the apples out of the water and into the blender. Then add some of the water that the apples soaked in and pulse until it’s a consistency of your liking. 



Step 4 (optional):

Add toasted Rolled Oats, Chia Seeds, or Hemp Seeds for additional nutrition. 

I hope you enjoy this homemade applesauce recipe! 

Our First Family Adventure to Central Park

Our First Family Adventure to Central Park

My family spent a beautiful day at Central Park; and it was many firsts for Paul. Paul loves anything and everything that is buses, so when we got on the bus to go to New York; he was ecstatic. Whenever we go somewhere, he is attached to papa bear; so Paul snuggled right next to papa and looked out the window while all nestled into papas body. It’s just so sweet.

When we arrived at New York, Matt placed Paul in our baby Bjorn and we started our walk to Central Park Zoo. On the way, Paul got to see everything that he loves; which is everything vehicles: fire trucks, taxis, steamrollers and the list goes on. He probably would have been completely content if this walk was the conclusion of our adventures! But then, we entered the zoo; and right on time for the sea lion feeding.

He calls sea lions Boo Boo because they have whiskers like our furry little kitties at home. Then we visited the penguin exhibit, where there were so many baby penguins to see. After, he really enjoyed observing the monkeys and playing peek a Boo with the birds. The best part of the experience was the petting zoo, he got to see and feed sheep and goats; animals that he has only seen illustrations of in his children’s books. He was wiped out by the time we arrived at the petting zoo, so Matt and I found a quiet (for manhattan standards) place in Central Park where I nursed Paul and he fell fast asleep for 30 minutes.

When Paul woke up, we spent beautiful time together at the park walking along the pond in Central Park. Paul got to see ducks playing in the water and observed a little boy feeding them. We ended our adventure by sitting in an area where we watched horses and people on bikes pass by. Paul initiated a game where he was pretending to dump his food over the fence so that we would chase him; he just couldn’t stop laughing. He is such a cutie. After 20 minutes of playing, the entire family was wiped out so we started our walk back to the bus terminal and got on the bus to Jersey City. It was the perfect day.

Here are some of my favorite pictures:


Thank you for reading, I hope you have a happy day!

 Four “Put Me in the Zoo” Learning Activities that Enhance Cognitive and Language Development

 Four “Put Me in the Zoo” Learning Activities that Enhance Cognitive and Language Development

As my son is growing older, I am creating educational activities based around his interests. Put Me in the Zoo has been one of his favorite books for some time now; so I created four activities based around the creature that is featured in this book with the purpose of teaching him:

1. to recognize the colors red, blue, orange, green and purple

2. the word of each color

Materials:

Preparation:

In the book, the creature is depicted standing in many different positions; I chose the stance below because it was the easiest for me to sketch out and copy. I used nine pieces of yellow construction paper to create the creature. I cut out, arranged, and taped each piece on the wall. Then I taped the contact paper over it.


The creatures spots changes colors in the book, so I traced the top of a mug to create circles on red, blue, green, purple and orange construction paper. I also traced a separate batch of circles in each color and wrote out the word of each color within the circles. I cut the circles out and laminated them. As a teacher, I have found that laminated material has a much longer life span than those that are not; and it works especially well with contact paper. Laminated material can easily be placed and removed from contact paper without damaging any of the material.

I also created word cards for each color. I wrote out the name of each color using a crayon in the appropriate color. Next to the word, I traced an outline of a circle in the same color.


 These word cards can be differentiated by:

1. eliminating the outline of the circle all together

2. shading in the rest of the circle with the appropriate color

3. tracing an outline of a circle in the appropriate color (as depicted above)

4. writing the word of the color within the outline

________________________________________________________________________

Activity 1: Matching Color to Color

Pictured below is the completed activity:

Ask the child to point to or say the color of the spots depicted on the creature on the specific page in the book. Then, ask him to pick the appropriate color circle (as seen on the creature on the specific page in the book) and match it to the spots already placed on the creature. Do this every time the creature’s spots change in the book.

Activity 2: Matching Color to Word

Pictured below is the completed activity:

Ask the child to point to or say the color of the spots depicted on the creature on the specific page in the book. Then ask him to pick the appropriate color circle (as seen on the creature on the specific page in the book) and match it to the word that represents the color. Do this every time the creature’s spots change in the book.

Activity 3: Matching Word to Color

Ask the child to point to or say the color of the spots depicted on the creature on the specific page in the book. Then ask him to pick the word that represents the color (as seen on the creature on the specific page in the book) and match it to the appropriate color. Do this every time the creature’s spots change in the book.

Activity 4: Color Selection

Ask the child to point to or say the color of the spots depicted on the creature on the specific page in the book. Then ask child to pick the appropriate color from a selection of two or three colors before putting them on the creature. Do this every time the creature’s spots change in the book.

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I hope you enjoyed reading about the four super fun Put Me in the Zoo learning activities that I created for my son. Please comment and let me know if you tried any of these activities and how it turned out! I hope you have a wonderful day!

My Baby is 17 Months

My Baby is 17 Months

Good evening and happy Friday! Paulino is 17 months today, and I am emotional as ever. He is not a baby anymore; but rather a thoughtful, loving, and happy little toddler. Here are some developmental highlights that occurred this month:

Sleep

The day that Paul turned 16 months old was the day he started sleeping through the night. On the first night that this happened, I remember falling asleep at 10:30pm and waking up at 4:30am feeling refreshed for the first time in two years. Currently, Paul is falling asleep around 7pm and sleeps until 5am (which he then nurses and sleeps until he wakes up at 6am or 6:30am) OR he falls asleep at 7pm and wakes up once to nurse before 4:30 am and then sleeps until he wakes up at 6am or 6:30am. If he falls asleep at 8pm, then he will sleep through the night until he wakes up around 6am. This month, he also fell asleep for the first time ever without mama and instead while cuddling happily with dada.

Language development

  • He picks old food and fuzz off the ground or on mama and says “yucky.”  He loves this word and always uses it appropriately. He always throws what he picks up into the garbage.
  • His three new words are yucky, boy, and die. To give you a little context on why he learned the word die: whenever I’m dehydrated or hungry, I would joke and say “if mama doesn’t drink water, I’m gonna die” and I would say it in a funny accent and he would laugh hysterically. Well he picked the word die up really quickly and uses it to make me laugh.
  • He says the sound of the letter y very well in addition the the letters he learned last month.
  • If Paul sees the letter B he will say it’s sound.

Cognitive Development

  • Paul follows routines and completes tasks such as flushing the toilet, throwing garbage in the garbage and the recycling in the recycling, eating, drinking water, etc independently and when asked. He loves to help with chores.
  • He is able to put his shoes halfway on his feet.
  • He pulls his pants up and down when getting dressed.
  • He plays with toys functionally independently.
  • He likes to play with cars and roll one or two at a time; as well as play with his garage set.
  • He loves pretending to cook!! He pretends to mix and scoop and sniff and taste and he will either say nun nun or yucky. He adds different toys in a bowl to cook with; it’s incredible.
  • If he does an inappropriate behavior (like pulling hair) and you show him an appropriate behavior (petting or kissing hair) he will do the appropriate behavior.
  • He claps for himself and others when a task is completed or when something nice or thoughtful is done.
  • He puts items back where they belong when he is done with them or when he finds them on the floor.
  • He traces shapes on pages with his finger.
  • He identifies the words in a story as well as the pictures.
  • He know to wash his hands at the sink after we come in from playing outside and before we eat.
  • He knows to go in his chair for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • He knows how to sit on chairs.
  • He covers mama up after he is done drinking milk.
  • When we go outside, he picks up his shoes and tries to put them on and then he picks up mamas shoes and tries to put them on me.
  • He knows the difference between sneakers, boots, and Sandals.
  • When someone tells him no, he also moves his pointer finger to express the word no.
  • He could tell the difference between males and females. He calls all males dada and all females mama.
  • He puts items away nicely or puts them back where they belong. 
  • He’s starting to tell us when he needs a new diaper. If I say “did you go pee pee?” he point to the front of his diaper and if I say “did you go poo poo?”he points to the back of his diaper. 
  • He picks up garbage off the floor and throws it in the garbage and he picks up dirty laundry and puts it in the laundry bag. 

Fine motor/gross motor

  • He has been practicing rolling his wrists.
  • He climbs on all furniture.
  • He spins.

Social/Emotional

  • Paul loves playing social games such is peek a boo, hide and seek, i’m gonna get you, tickle love, and copy/imitate.
  • He loves to do things to make us laugh.
  • Paul still loves to nurse, but he is definitely starting to ween himself.

Thank you for reading, I hope you have a happy Friday!

Here are some pictures:

Recipe for Healthy and Nutritious Scrambled Eggs

Recipe for Healthy and Nutritious Scrambled Eggs

Good afternoon and happy Thursday! This is one of my favorite recipes to cook for a quick healthy, nutritious, and delicious breakfast for Paul. Click on the ingredient whose nutrition you wish to explore further: 

Recipe

Ingredients

  1. [Organic] Eggs
  2. [Organic] Avocado
  3. [Organic] Butter 
  4. [Organic] Tomatoes
  5. [Organic] Mushrooms
  6. [Organic] Fresh Spinach or [Organic] Frozen Spinach 
  7. Scallions
  8. Hemp Seeds

Part 1:

    Sautée spinach and mushrooms in a pan with butter. 

    Part 2: 

    Add chopped tomatoes when mushrooms and spinach are sautéed to your liking. 

    Part 3:

    Add eggs and scramble until they are cooked to your liking. 

    Part 4:

    Sprinkle hemp seeds on top of your eggs. Serve with avocado for your little darling to enjoy =)

    Thank you for reading! I hope your little one enjoys this recipe! =D

    Paul is 16 Months Old

    Paul is 16 Months Old

    Good afternoon and happy Friday! It is unbelievable that my little Paulie is 16 months old =) Here are some milestones that he reached this month:

    Language/Communication:

    • Paulie is able to imitate the sound of the letter A, B, C, D, F, H, K, L, M, P, and T.
    • He understands everything that we are saying and follows directions very well.
    • If we say, “I’m putting your left arm through the sleeve; transfer/switch the (item) to your other hand” “wipe your hands and then throw the napkin away” or “put the bucket back in the cabinet under the sink” he does it.
    • He understands the pronouns mine, your, his, and her.
    • He babbles sentences and makes new combinations everyday.
    • Here are some of my favorites:
      • He will get food items from the refrigerator if we ask him to get it.
      • When I say “mama wants chocolate milk” he will go take out the milk and Hershey syrup and bring it to me.
      • He disciplines the cats!!!! If they scratch at the door, Paul will run to them, say “tsssssss” and then wave his hands and say “dump dump.” They listen to him too!
      • We call him Bubba and he now refers to himself as Bubba.

    Gross Motor Development:

    • He loves loves loves to climb and he tries to hard to jump!
    • He loves to run!

    Fine motor:

    • Paul rubs, squeezes, and rips items with his hands.

    Cognitive Development:

    • He can identify and sort circles, triangles, stars, squares and x’s.
    • He understands the concepts of the following words: over, under, inside, outside, in, out, in front of, behind, next to, the other one, other, another, one more, another one, etc.
    • He will do an appropriate action when asked; for example “rub dada’s eyes”
    • He identifies hands, feet, shoes, socks, eyes, nose, cheeks, chin, hair, top of head, mouth, tongue, teeth, cooking utensils, etc in books and on TV on humans and animals.
    • He makes inferences from books and tv to real life; for example, if brushing a cat is depicted, he will go brush his cat.
    • His favorite activity to do is engage in pretend play. He loves to pretend he is cooking, and puts blocks in a bowl and mixes them with a scoop and pretends to try it and also asks whoever is in the room to try it. He will either say “mmmm” “nom nom” or “yuck” after he pretends to take a taste. It is adorable!
    • He loves cars; when we go on walks he wants to stop and point at the wheels and other parts of every car we pass.
    • He loves exploring sounds that he hears; he is currently interested in car sirens.
    • He understands that we smell with our nose, hear with our ears, taste with our tongue, feel with our hands and bite with our teeth.
    • He loves reading and being read to!
    • He loves to do whatever mama and dada do, such as: sweeping  (he will sweep and actually throw it in the garbage), flushing toilet, turning bath on, cleaning, etc.
    • He is able to sit down and flip through pages of a book independently.
    • He could play hide the shape where, when asked, he hides a shape under one of his bowls. 

    Social/Emotional

    • He loves to make us laugh! He is a little goofball! If we laugh at something he does he will laugh and keep doing it.
    • He laughs when we laugh and he smiles when we smile.
    • He responds to us when we ask him questions and speak to him.
    • He makes a cute little whimper when he dislikes something, is skeptical about something, or doesn’t want to do something.
    • He says “na” when he is very interested in something or wants to do something.
    • He mimics movements and speech.
    • He loves waving, blowing kisses, hugging, and tickling and being tickled!
    • My favorite is when I’m breastfeeding and I rub my eyes and he will then rub my eyes with his hands. Also, when he plays with my hair while breastfeeding. I just love breastfeeding him; we crack each other up!
    • He loves asking for kisses when he gets hurt or when he pretends to get hurt; and he gives kisses when we get hurt!

    These are some of the milestones Paulie has reached this month! Thank you for reading, I hope you have a happy Friday!

    Activity of the Day: Object Permanence and Memorization Fun

    Activity of the Day: Object Permanence and Memorization Fun

    Good evening and happy Monday! Today, Paulie had so much fun engaging in an activity that really enhances his cognitive development. The activity involves placing an item underneath a bowl and asking the child to find the item. This is not a new activity for Paul; when he was younger, I used to place an object under one of two bowls. Now that he is older, I use three bowls. Paul watches me place the object under one of the bowls, and then he watches me mix them. The way I line them up varies. After I mix them, I ask him, “where did the (for example) ball go?” and then he looks for it. After we engage in the activity for a while, I add another object; so now he has to remember where two objects are. He watches me place one object under one bowl, the other object under another bowl, watches me mix the bowls, and then looks for the item that I ask him to find. This activity offers a great opportunity to enhance language development. Use as much language as possible. Explain what you are doing; what he is doing; and use as many descriptive words as possible. The language that we used during this activity was: yellow, ball, under, red, bowl, red, triangle, smaller, larger, bigger, mix, mixing, mixed, round, circle, over, in, out, ridges, bumpy, smooth, watch, lift, find, etc.

    Here are some pictures! =D

    Thank you so much for reading! I hope that you have a happy day! =D

    Recipe for Quinoa Guacamole Salad 

    Recipe for Quinoa Guacamole Salad 

    Good morning and happy Saturday! Quinoa Guacamole Salad is one of my favorite recipes to make for Paul for lunch or dinner because each of the ingredients are packed with nutrition. =) The recipe is as follows (click on the ingredient whose nutrition you would like to explore):

    Recipe
    Ingredients: 

    1. [Organic] White quinoa 
    2. [Organic] Frozen Spinach
    3. [Organic] Tomatoes 
    4. Scallions 
    5. Lime
    6. Salt
    7. Pepper
    8. Two [Organic] Avacodos 

    Part 1:                    


    Place 1 cup of [organic] white quinoa, frozen [organic] spinach (it is my preference to use frozen spinach for this recipe) and 2 cups of [purified] water into a pot over medium heat. As soon as it reaches a boil, cover the pot and lower the heat as low as possible so that it is simmering. Let simmer for about 15 minutes or until the water is completely absorbed into the quinoa. 

    Part 2:


    While the quinoa cooks, prep your quacomole. The ingredients for this recipe should be based on your preferences. Place two ripe [organic] avocados in a bowl and mash them with a fork until the consistency is smooth. Then add in the ingredients of your choice. In this recipe, I added and mixed [organic] tomatoes, scallions, salt, pepper, and one lime into the avocados.  You can add jalepenos, cilantro, onions, etc. Then cover and cool in the refrigerator.

    Part 3:


    When the quinoa is done cooking, serve with the guacamole for your little munchkin to enjoy =D 

    Tip: for extra nutrition, add a tablespoon of [organic] hemp seeds. =D 

    Thank you for reading! I hope you have a happy happy happy Saturday! =)

    Modeling and Encouraging Healthy Eating Habits and Lifestyle 

    Modeling and Encouraging Healthy Eating Habits and Lifestyle 

    Modeling and encouraging Paul to learn healthy eating habits and teaching him how to live a healthy lifestyle is a top priority of mine. The way we shop, the products that we buy, and the recipes that we make are all carefully considered to ensure that Paul is getting the nutrition that he needs in his daily diet primarily from products that do not contain preservatives, coloring, hormones, antibiotics, etc. If you are looking to buy products that are free of these potentially harmful components, the label to look for is organic. Other labels, such as “all natural” and “farm raised” are labels that do not necessarily mean that their products are preservative, hormone, antibiotic and color free; so it’s best to buy the regular inorganic products if you can not find the organic products.  

    Paul not only watches Matt and I cook, he helps us! I usually give him a small task to do, like wash a few pieces of spinach off in the water and then place it in the pot. While we are prepping and cooking, we talk to him about the ingredients that are going in his food and why these ingredients are nutritious for our bodies. He helps us do tasks like mix the ingredients together or scoop them into bowls. Then, he watches mama and dada enjoy healthy good eats which makes him want it too. 

    Along with eating healthy, Paul also watches mama make fitness a priority. We go on walks every day that it is not raining; and he sees my interest In living an active lifestyle. I try to workout during his nap time every day, but he usually wakes up before I finish so he ends up spending the last 10 minutes working out with me. He is very interested in my weights, and tries to lift them; but they weigh almost as much as he does!

    Teaching relaxation is another priority of mine when teaching him how to live a healthy lifestyle. I have been working on teaching Paul how to take deep breaths in through his nose and out through his mouth (which he thinks is hilarious). Now that Paul only takes one nap a day, we take 30 minutes a day to relax together by doing breathing exercises and reading. Yoga will eventually be added on to this routine. We also work on breathing exercises when he becomes upset and emotional. 

    Finally, I have been on a mission to avoid and eliminate as much toxins as possible from our home environment. This includes furniture, cookware, toys, etc.

    Paul is my miracle. There are no words to describe how much I love him. I want to teach him the skills that will help him live a happy, relaxing, conscious, and healthy lifestyle. Thank you for reading, I hope you have a happy Tuesday! =D