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Homeschool Education: Leaves

Paulie said, “That Tree!”

Paulie said, “That Tree!”

Happy Monday! Let me tell you a story using the words of Paul Bear.

“I found the perfect tree. Yeah. And I said, “Mama, this tree. This is the most perfect tree. A perfect tree for our perfect home.” Then, mama said, “Let’s look at some more trees.” And I yelled, “THIS TREE!” Yeah. I said, “THIS. TREE!” and then papa cut it down and shivled it home.”

Notice how I am a bad guy in this story. We went to the most adorable Christmas Tree farm, Miller’s Christmas Tree Farm, which had acres of Christmas Trees and seven different species of trees. We walked a few feet in and Paul picked the tree from the “THIS TREE!” story. After I said “sweetie, let’s look at some more trees before we cut this one down” he had a huge tantrum and protested by laying down in front of the tree. Matt and I cracked up because it was probably the cutest tantrum he has ever had. And. Paul was right; the tree is just the perfect tree for our perfect home.

Here are some pictures:

“THIS TREE!” PROTESTING.

Decorating our perfect Christmas Tree:

Thank you for reading! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

Paulie and Chiara’s First Pumpkin Patch, Pumpkin Carving, and Halloween Adventures!

Paulie and Chiara’s First Pumpkin Patch, Pumpkin Carving, and Halloween Adventures!

I know Halloween season has passed, but after uploading the rest of the pictures off of my camera tonight, I wanted to share pictures of these amazing experiences. We went to the most adorable pumpkin patch called Enchanted Valley Acres located on Enchanted Valley Road (How adorable!) and we picked out the cutest pumpkins including Paul’s baaaaabyyyy pumpkin. We came home, and carved and painted these pumpkins. Here are some pictures:


Paulie’s First Time Trick or Treating
Paulie was so excited for Halloween this year! We watched halloween movies and talked about trick or treating and he was sold on the holiday. He really wanted to be Mickey Mouse, and he was super excited when we made his costume! and oh my goodness, Paul cracked me up because he would knock on a door and then run 20 feet away! Here are some pictures!


Paulie Knocks
Paulie runs 20 feet away! 

Halloween was incredible and I am absolutely thrilled that Paulie got to experience his first time trick or treating here in Madison. He had a blast and made so many friends that evening! There are so many children here that everyone is in the Halloween spirit. I am definitely looking forward to next year when I have two babies trick or treating =D

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

Happy 6 Months Beautiful Chiara!

Happy 6 Months Beautiful Chiara!

Good evening and happy Sunday! I can not believe how quickly time is flying; my baby girl is already a half year old! This month was an amazing month for Chi Chi Berra (pronounced Kee Kee), and she is very busy exploring her world these days. She absolutely loves grabbing everyones faces and bodies; every object near and far; and especially her tootsies! She also lifts her arms up and orients her body towards whoever it is she wants to get picked up by.

Over the last week, Chiara has completely mastered sitting up without falling over and also has mastered transitioning from sitting to crawling position. She is able to slitter across to floor with her arms when she is on her belly and there is a blanket underneath her since we have hardwood floors. Without the blanket, she crawls backwards!

Everything is a toy to her, so she reaches for anything in sight. We spend a lot of time talking about the name, function, and attributes of the items she is interested in. She is learning so much by using her senses to manipulate items, so I want to enhance her development by providing her with descriptive language. She is cooing and sing cooing constantly, and she is very expressive with both her face and body. Chiara loves to laugh and smile. Paul is her number one comedian; I swear those two NEVER stop giggling at each other any more. I am so lucky to have these two social babies. 

Here are some pictures:

Happy 5 Months my Darling Chiara!

Happy 5 Months my Darling Chiara!

Good evening and happy Wednesday! Baby angel is 5 month old, and my sweetie is on the move! She is determined to stand up; sit by herself; reach for any and every object and put them in her mouth; and shimmy to appealing toys and people while on her belly =) Baby girl is so sweet and such a happy baby! She loves social interaction: especially cooing, laughing, imitating, and gawking at Paul. She loves peek a boo; and has the absolute cutest laugh when being tickled. We are so in love with her!! <3  Here are some pictures:

 

Thank you for reading =) I hope you have a happy Wednesday! <3

Happy 4 1/2 Months Chiara!

Happy 4 1/2 Months Chiara!

Good morning and happy Saturday! Months 3 and 4 have been incredible months for my little darling ChiChiBerra =) She found her feet and likes to look at them and munch on them. She rolls over from her back to her tummy and lifts her head up using her entire arms rather than just her forearms. She has been shimmying towards the direction she wants to go while she is on her tummy (usually towards Paul) and is moving longer distances every day.

ChiChiBerra reaches for objects and people, and tries to put everything she reaches for and grabs into her mouth. And, my favorite–she puts her arms out and orients her body towards you to express that she wants to be picked up or go to you =)

Baby angel has also entered her sleep regression. My  little angel is pouring saliva and teething =( Some nights, she does not sleep for more than two hours at a time. 

Baby angel is 14 pounds now, and breastfeeding is going strong. She usually just nurses to feed; and she prefers her pacifier and snuggles for comfort =) When she tries to nurse for comfort, she ends up screaming because I produce a lot of milk and it is not pleasant for her =/

My little angel is such a social and happy princess. This little cuddle muffin was made just for me!

3 Month Pictures

4 Month Pictures

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

Baby angel is 3 Months Old

Baby angel is 3 Months Old

Good afternoon and happpppyyyyy Monday! It is hard to believe that my ChiChi Burra is officially 3 months old; and oh my goodness–what a dream baby she has been! She is just the happiest little bean. Developmentally, she is smiling, laughing, ticklish, desiring to be held all the time, trying to sit up and crunch every time we put her down, able to pull herself up when we give her our hands, making impecable eye contact, tracking us wherever we walk to, trying to talk to us by cooing, responding to us with coos when we ask her questions, making the sounds “ahhhhh” and “uhhhhh” and “ohhhhhh” and “mmmmmmm” when she coos, bringing anything the she grabs to her mouth– and if she doesn’t have anything her hand is always in her mouth. She is teething, and she is sleeping 6 – 11 hours through the night! I can’t believe I just said that. She absolutely adores Paul Bear, and her favorite thing to do is play peek a boo with him. We are absolutely in love with this little darling!

Here are some pictures:

The First Three Months with a Toddler and Newborn

The First Three Months with a Toddler and Newborn

The transition to becoming a mother of two was a wonderful, chaotic, and emotional one. The first six weeks were a huge adjustment for all of us–especially for Paul. Paul has ADORED Chiara since the very first time he met her. He loves to hold her hand while they are nursing together; he loves to snuggle with her; he loves to play with her; and he loves to make her smile and laugh. At this point, all Chiara has to do is see Paul for her to smile and laugh. Their relationship is already so beautiful and so strong; and it is nurtured every day to ensure that their bond continues to grow stronger. Even though he has expressed so much love for her from the absolute beginning; the transition to becoming a big brother had a huge impact on my Paul Bear…

I found the first six weeks to be the most difficult. It was very apparent that Paul felt insecure. In a stage where he was now pushing for his independence and autonomy; he was now also struggling with feelings of insecurity. On top of bringing home a new baby, we were also preparing to do a big move out of state. These transitions caused Paul to behave in ways that tested everything that I had studied and practiced thus far in terms of early childhood development and behavior modification…

Paul’s insecurity caused him to nurse more frequently than a newborn–and trying to get him to take breaks resulted in tantrums and melt downs. He also started seeking negative attention since it was a definitive way to get us focused solely on him– and he started to bite, frequently. The way we were handling biting and hitting before Chiara was born was to place him on time out for one minute and then talk with him about the incident–the method worked as a space to provide a teachable moment to talk with him about why he was placed on time out; the words he could use instead of biting or hitting; a time to teach him emotional regulation; as well as a time to teach empathy. However, these behaviors occurred so frequently after Chiara came home that this method no longer provided us with a space for the teachable moments that it once did–and instead strengthened Paul’s insecurity. It was when his happy affect had seemed to diminish that we knew that we needed to take a different approach…

The first steps that we took was to stop putting him on time outs; heavily reinforce his positive behavior; and put all negative behavior on extinction– essentially, we did not provide any reaction to the behaviors that we were trying to eliminate. This caused his biting behavior to occur even more frequently because he was trying extra hard to elicit a response from us– but it was still placed on extinction. The goal was to set him up solely for success.

For nursing, I started using countdowns, which helped him to prepare for the fact that he was going to have to take a break from nursing; and I also provide reasons for the necessity for the the breaks to occur. Implementing this helped almost instantaneously. 

After we moved, we continued to implement these new techniques. In addition, I decided that it was time to encourage him to sleep without nursing for naps. I knew that this would be difficult at first, as prior to Chiara being born, nap time was the only time that he did nurse. To encourage this, we started to–and still do– nurse before we read stories before nap and he nurses again after nap. It took a few days for him to accept this, but he has been successfully napping for up to two hours a day going on two months now. It is an understatement when I say Paul’s favorite thing to do is to nurse; but he has become so much more patient and flexible about it. We have not had any nursing related tantrums in weeks and I do not foresee any occurring now that we have a system.

To eliminate biting took more adjustments and modifications as this behavior turned from an attention seeking behavior to an impulsive behavior. After settling into our new apartment, the frequency of his biting just naturally decreased. While the behavior of biting was occurring less frequently, it was still not eliminated. I decided to reintroduce his Ringley teether, and I made sure to have him bite on it during the times that his biting behavior was to most likely occur; which was when he was tired. Since biting is most likely to occur when he is tired, the two hours leading up to his nap time and the two hours leading up to his bed time are extremely structured. Between providing him an outlet to bite and ensuring a structured nap time and bed time routine, Paul’s inappropriate biting behavior has been seemingly eliminated.

At three months into parenting a toddler and newborn, things have become SO. MUCH. EASIER. As parents, we are constantly learning through trial and error and much reflection to achieve the ultimate goal of being the best parents that we could be to foster our child’s individual needs. We faced so many obstacles in the weeks following Chiara’s arrival, and after much effort, we’ve finally reached a state of equilibrium. This experience and overcoming these obstacles has brought our family so much closer together. In this exact moment, we are all in bliss. 

 

 

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