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:

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!

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

Capturing and Embracing Happiness

Capturing and Embracing Happiness

I have always been a strong believer of embracing the positive of every situation; it has always been a defense mechanism of mine. Even in the darkest, most unbearable and [seemingly and sometimes] irresolvable of situations, there are happy and positive moments around you waiting to be captured and embraced. Getting stuck in a vortex of negative energy and pessimistic thinking can happen rapidly, especially if negative situations continuously arise; and when this happens, it is so important to search and find the happiness waiting to be embraced around you–as little as it may be. Every day that we wake up is a fresh start; an opportunity to approach the day with a positive mindset; an opportunity to create and discover new options to change undesirable circumstances; an opportunity show respect, love, kindness, appreciation and admiration for those around us as well as ourselves; an opportunity to seek forgiveness and forgive; an opportunity to reflect on yesterday’s experiences with the goals of making a happier life and a happier you. I am sharing some beauty that I captured today and some happy moments that I had with my family  =D What beauty and happy moments did you embrace and capture today? If you would like to share the happy moments that you have embraced today on instagram, use the hashtag #embracehappymoments

Fashion as seen in this post:

Paul: Jacket: Burt’s Bee’s Baby Similar One , Burt’s Bee’s Baby Similar Two , Burt’s Bee’s Baby Similar Three // Sneakers: Stride Rite Shoes // Pants: Hand-Me-Down

Sandra: Blouse: Express // Leggings: Forever 21 // Sneakers: Adidas

 Thank you for reading =) I will keep a lookout for your hashtag #embracehappymoments on instagram =D I hope you have a happy day!

Paul is 15 Months Old

Paul is 15 Months Old

Good morning and happy happy happy Sunday!! My little button is 15 months old, and month 14 was absolutely amazing. It’s hard to believe that just one year ago, this little, curious, energetic, strong willed boy was so dependent on his mama that the majority of the day was spent nursing. Time has been flying by, and it is because something new is constantly happening. Month 14 has been so much fun; He wants to learn and explore everything =) this month, we have been trying to go on walks everyday, and he has been super interested in vehicles, their function, and the name and function of the parts of the vehicle; when he hears sirons from inside the apartment, he stops what he is doing and runs to the window and vocalizes to us until we pick him up to look out the window and explain to him the sounds he is hearing. Paul reached many developmental milestones this month. He

  • Makes word connections in songs and books to reality. For example, if we read the word light in a book, or he hears the word light in a son, he will look and point at the light in the room he is in and shows it to us. 
  • He is learning how to wash his hands in the sink. He washes his hands in the sink before every meal. 
  • He is very gentle with the cats (most of the time) hehehe =)
  • His language development is amazing. He tries to copy all sounds and words. He tries to use language that he does know to communicate. He is babbling for sentences and carrying on conversations with us in this adorable babble. He now says the words bubba, diaper, baby, bubble, and din din. He is copying sounds mmmm, tssss, and puh.
  • Waves when he is greeting or saying goodbye. 
  • Blows kisses when he says goodbye.
  • Blows bubbles.
  • Wakes mama and dada up with adorable kisses on he lips. 
  • Love loves loves going outside for walks and pointing and inquiring about everything around him. 
  • Is cutting all 4 molars and 2 canine teeth. (It has been a hard month for sleeping…poor baby).
  • Understands the pronouns yours, your, mine, my, and me.
  • Wants sympathy when he gets hurt or becomes sad. 
  • Pretends to get hurt so we can give him sympathy. 
  • We are teaching him empathy by asking him for a kiss when we get hurt. He is learning to become aware of others feeling.
  • Points to his and other people’s ears, eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, tongue, chin, head, nostrils, hair, curls; and understands when we say point to my other ear or point to my other eye.
  • Points to his shoulders. 
  • Thinks it is hilarious when we perform the song head, shoulders, knees, and toes. 
  • Understands when We say your nose is for smelling; your ears are for hearing…
  • Loves to smell everything.
  • Follows two and three step directions. 
  • He tries to put on his socks and shoes; and tries to put mamas socks and shoes on as well!
  • He is able to find his circles and pentagons.

Month 14 was a blast. Paul is so much fun, I just love his personality, and I am so so so so excited for next months adventures! =D happy 15 months baby boy! 

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

Here are some pictures from this wonderful month:

Body Progression: Everything You Want to Know

Body Progression: Everything You Want to Know

Good morning and happy Wednesday! Over the past 23 months, my body has gone through incredible changes. During this time, it was difficult to find information discussing the changes of a postpartum body, so I wrote the blog What Every Woman Should Know About Her Postpartum Body to share information about these significant changes. In this blog post, I shared research in addition to my own experiences with the postpartum changes (and if there were any) with my pelvic muscles, muscle mass loss, breasts, and vagina; as well as my experiences with diastatis recti, weight loss and fertility.

Pregnancy Progression

Week 1 and Week 17

Week 20

Week 23

Week 25

Week 27

Week 34

Weeks 36

Week 37

Week 39

Postpartum Progression

3 Hours Postpartum

 3 days postpartum

    feb 10thfeb 10th side

5 days postpartum

    Feb 12th front Feb 12th

18 days postpartum

        Feb 25th side  Feb 25th

28 days postpartum

         March 6th side  March 6th

47 days postpartum

march 25th side March 25th

3 Hours Postpartum and 14 Months Postpartum Comparison Pictures

At 47 Days Postpartum, I lost all of my pregnancy weight, but I still needed to continue to strengthen my pelvic muscles, close my Diastasis Recti, and tone my body. I started consistently working out 3 days a week when Paulie turned 9 months, and by 13 months, I increased my workouts to 4-5 times a week (all completed at home). I will talk about my workout regime in an upcoming post.

Thank you for reading, I hope you have a very happy Wednesday! =D

Diary of Mama Bear: Paul is 14 Months Old

Diary of Mama Bear: Paul is 14 Months Old

Good morning and happy Friday! Month 13 was a super fun month =D 

Paul

  • practices blowing
  • says the sound of the letter P
  • Says the sound “ts” 
  • Says the word jump and then tries to jump
  • points to his and others eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, hair, and head
  • imitates putting objects on top of head and nose
  • is able to find a hidden object that was moved
  • Starting building with blocks (he practices balancing them)
  • Rolls cars
  • Bounces balls
  •  copies actions such as sweeping, using Q tips, pouring cat food into cat bowl, cleaning litter box, and flushing the toilet
  • calls all food num num, all cats boo boo, calls mamas milk nom mom
  • Sniffs food and objects to smell them. 
  • Say “mmmm” and “yum”
  • points to the body part that hurts when he falls or bangs it
  • tries to put socks on his feet
  • tries to put socks and sneakers on mamas feet
  • drinks from a sippy cup
  • eats with a spoon out of a bowl
  • wipes his hands and mouth with wet ones when asked
  • wipes his tray to help clean. 
  • Rubs his head on his cats (like they do to him)
  • Pretends to eat, drink, cough and laugh
  • Hides behind doors and wants us to find him
  • Plays peek a boo
  • Copies whispering
  • Copies yelling
  • Crawls under tables
  • Combs hair
  • Kisses cats
  • Understands the commands “stand” “sit” and “lay down” 
  • Pretends to be tired by laying down
  • Climbs up the stairs
  • Makes a raspberry sound when we say someone farted 
  • Loves loves loves sensory activities 
  • Adores his cats 
  • Says “nooooo” jokingly
  • When he play with water, he will walk really slowly with water in a cup to dump it in another bowl 
  • Copies and imitates sounds and actions that mama and dada do
  • Tries to say “dump” while he dumps water or toys outs of buckets 
  • Uses the words jump and dump consistentently and appropriately 
  • Runs 
  • Requests to go in his crib when he is tired and lays down
  • Tries to imitate humming

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

Limiting a Baby’s Exposure to Toxins: Sharing Research on Toxins Found in Crib Mattresses

Limiting a Baby’s Exposure to Toxins: Sharing Research on Toxins Found in Crib Mattresses

Good evening and happy Wednesday! After Matt and I decided on which crib we were going to buy, our goal was to find a safe, nontoxic, and organic crib mattress with as little material as possible (an organic mattress does not mean it is non toxic). In a typical crib mattress, toxic chemicals may be added to the filling of the mattress to make it firm, and on the mattress to make it flame retardant and water proof.

Toxins Found in Crib Mattresses:

1. Mattress Filling

Many typical crib mattresses are filled with polyurethane foam to make the mattress firm. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, there is no level of safe exposure to polyurethane; and exposure to it may cause asthma, endocrine disruptions, lung damage, skin and eye irritation, and allergies to isocyanates. It is important to know that polyurethane filling may also contain other toxic chemicals, such as formaldehyde.

Also, polyurethane filling is highly flammable.

2. Flame Retardants

Flame retardants are added to crib mattresses to prevent the risk of fire. According to the United States Enviornmental Protection Agency, flame retardants may cause reduced IQ, cancer, learning disabilities, thyroid disruption and reduced fertility.

3. Water Proofing

Polyvinyl chloride is added to crib mattresses to make it water proof. According to Tox Town, polyvinyl chloride may be harmful to the reproductive system and respiratory system; cause endocrine disruptions; and cause cancer.

We chose to purchase a crib mattress that was not waterproof (instead, we use organic cotton mattress pads) and consisted of only three materials: organic wool (because it is a natural flame retardant), organic cotton, and 15.5 gauge 260 unoiled steel coils/intersprings with a 6 gauge border rod (because I was confident that the quality of the intersprings would create the firmness that I was looking for). If you choose a mattress consisting of these materials, you should ask the suppliers the following questions:

1. Are the sheep sprayed with any pesticides? If the mattress is made from wool that was cut from sheep that were sprayed with pesticides, the wool is going to be toxic whether or not it is organic.

2. Is the cotton sprayed with any pesticides? Organic or inorganic cotton that is sprayed with pesticides is toxic.

3. How many coils does the mattress have? Are they oiled? What material are they made from? How thick is the gauge of the coils? The firmness of the mattress will depend on the thickness of the coils, how many coils are in the mattress, and the material that the coils are made from. I wanted the coils to be unoiled (to avoid any toxic oils) and to be made from steel (because steel is a good quality metal). I wanted the thickness of the gauge to be 15.5 or less; the lower the number, the thicker the coils are. I also wanted a mattress with a lot of coils, so I chose one that had 250.

This is all of the information that I have learned from researching what toxins are found in crib mattresses and how these toxins impact a baby’s cognitive and physical development. I hope that this information was insightful and will help you find a crib mattress that works best for your family.

I hope that you have a happy day!

Limiting a Baby’s Exposure to Toxins: Sharing Research on Wooden Baby Products

Limiting a Baby’s Exposure to Toxins: Sharing Research on Wooden Baby Products

Good morning and happy Saturday =D

When I found out that I was almost 3 months pregnant with my son in July 2015, I drastically changed my lifestyle after researching the impacts that environmental toxins could have on a developing fetus. Then, as his arrival was rapidly approaching, my research transitioned from learning about how toxins impact a developing fetus to how toxins impact a baby. I extended my research to products such as cribs, crib mattresses, bassinets, bassinet mattresses, diapers, wood toys, plastic toys, teethers, baby food, formula, cookware, etc. It was astonishing to learn that every item that I researched had commonly used brands that contained added toxins; too much to cover in one blog post. The purpose of this post is to share research on the toxins found in wooden baby products and how these toxins could impact a baby’s cognitive and physical development.

Wood is used to make many baby products; most often it is used to make cribs, teethers, and toys. The type of wood and how it is treated will determine whether the products are toxic. I recommend calling companies to ask the following questions to inquire about specific items:

1. Are your [cribs/teethers/toys] made from certified sustainable wood or hardwood; or pressed or engineered wood?

  • It is important that [cribs/teethers/toys] are made of certified sustainable wood or hardwood. If you see that the wood is pressed or engineered (i.e. fiberboard or plywood), it most likely contains formaldehyde as a bonding agent.

2. Do you sell wood that is unfinished; or are they finished and if so, with what? Does the finishing contain VOC’s, lead, phthalates, or polyurethane?

  • Ideally, [cribs, teethers/toys] should be purchased unfinished.
  • Most finishes contain Volatile Organic Compounds’ (VOC’s).
  • Some finishes contain lead. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, children who have exposure to lead could develop the following complications:
    • ataxia, coma, convulsions, death, hyper irritability, stupor, neurological effects, decrement in IQ performance, ADHD, and hearing impairment.
    • The Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry also states that lead could impact the developing fetus because it crosses the placenta and as a result could negatively impact the fetus’ viability, fetal development, and early childhood development.
    • In addition, lead could also cause renal, hematological, endocrine, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and reproductive damage.
  • Some finishes also contain phthalates.
    • According to Tox Town, phthalates may cause cancer. The may also be endocrine disrupters and could cause harm to the human reproductive system.
  • Some finishes also contain polyurethane.

3. What do you use to bind the parts of the [crib/teethers/toys] ? Does the bind contain formaldehyde?

4. Does any part of the [crib/teethers/toys] contain formaldehyde, lead, phthalates, or polyurethane? 

This is all of the information that I have learned from researching what toxins are found in wooden baby products and how these toxins impact a baby’s cognitive and physical development. I hope that this information was insightful and will help you find wooden baby products that work best for your family.

Thank you for reading, I hope you have a happy day =D