Happy 22 Months 

Happy 22 Months 

Good morning and happy Thursday! Paul bear is 22 months old today =) Month 21 was incredible. He tries to say every word; he communicates using two to three word sentences; he is practicing using manner phrases such as please, thank you, I’m sorry, and you’re welcome; and he says the words for fruits, vegetables, animals, colors, numbers, vehicles, household items, letters, etc. Matt and I constantly encourage him to use and practice language. While he is always using words to communicate, we are always encouraging him to use more words in his sentences to expand his vocabulary and his understanding of sentence structure. He is learning the English alphabet as well as the sounds that go with them. He can identify all of the letters in his name, and produce the sounds that each individual sound makes. =)

Paul still loves to engage in pretend play. I love watching his imagination play out in his play. He also loves company when pretend playing.

He also absolutely loves social games with mama and dada. 

He loves being Outside and exploring his enviornment. Walking is probably his favorite thing to do… Next to eating =)

Here are a few pictures: 

 

Poor Latch, Bloody Nipples, and Insufficient Milk Supply? This May Be the Resolvable Reason Why.

Poor Latch, Bloody Nipples, and Insufficient Milk Supply? This May Be the Resolvable Reason Why.

The first three weeks of breastfeeding were completely disheartening and discouraging. Breastfeeding is something that I thought would come naturally to me, but at that time, it was for me the most difficult part of being a new mother. I find that there are two components to breastfeeding, the emotional and the physical. Emotionally, I have an innate desire to nourish my baby with my milk from my breast, so when I was faced with the necessity to both supplement with formula and pump my milk and feed him with a bottle, I felt like a complete failure. Then, there is the physical component where I just want my baby to be nourished, even if the nourishment does not come from me. I just want what is best for my son.

My husband and I met with two lactation specialists during the two days that we spent at the hospital after the birth of my son. We had issues with latching from the beginning, which caused my baby to lose 10 ounces during our hospital stay. It was devastating to us. Both specialists said that he had a posterior tongue tie as well as a lip tie. The lip tie was preventing him from opening his mouth wide enough to latch on correctly and the posterior tongue tie was preventing him from maneuvering his tongue correctly to efficiently remove milk from me. The poor latch caused breastfeeding to be painful and he would try to drink for up to four hours at a time every 30 to 60 minutes because of his inability to remove milk from me.

The two lactation specialists presented me with three options: to continue trying to breastfeed with the lip and posterior tongue tie, to get the tongue tie and lip tie released with a laser by going to see a dentist, or to get the lip tie and posterior tongue tie released with surgical scissors by an ears, nose, and throat doctor. I tried to continue breastfeeding with the ties for three weeks, but I felt defeated. He was constantly hungry, I was in pain, my nipples were bleeding and my ducts were always clogged which as a result prevented my milk supply from increasing. We found ourselves supplementing with one to two bottles a day and I had to pump directly after breastfeeding to unclog my ducts. Since his appetite was increasing and I was already unable to satisfy his hunger, I decided to make an appointment with the ears, nose, and throat doctor.

Going into the office, I was very hesitant about the procedure. The doctor spent a lot of time with us during the consultation explaining everything we would need to know and answering our questions. We felt comfortable with her, so we decided to get the procedure done. She did not use any anesthetics. The procedure lasted about three minutes. She cut the lip tie, and she made four cuts underneath his tongue. To me, there was a lot of blood, but he stopped crying almost instantly. The doctor then spent time with us working on his latch, and there was an immediate noticable difference. For the first time, breastfeeding was painless. He chugged until he was satisfied and he passed out for the first time after 30 minutes of nursing. I cried with delight–this was the first time I was able to satisfy my son’s hunger; it was the first time my milk ducts were not clogged; and to my delight–no more bloody nipples! 

For seven days following the procedure we had to massage the area to ensure that it did not heal back into the tongue tie. If you are having difficulty with breastfeeding; if its painful, if your bleeding, if your ducts are clogging, if your baby is never satisfied, he may have a tongue and/or lip tie. There are different types of ties, but they all impact a baby’s ability to eat efficiently. I highly recommend taking him to an ears, nose, and throat doctor who can perform a frenulectomy.

Three and a half months following the procedure, my breasts were producing enough milk that I was able to discontinue supplementing with formula and solely exclusively breastfeed. My son cluster fed for hours each day which increased my body’s supply. Now, my son is twenty months old and we are enjoying every minute of extended breastfeeding. Our journey with breastfeeding has been incredible. 

Our Bittersweet New Nighttime Routine

Our Bittersweet New Nighttime Routine

Until four days ago, nursing has been such a prominent part of our nighttime routine. Paulie loves to nurse, and I love to nurse him; and he shows no interest in weaning–which is perfectly fine by me. I absolutely love every moment of extended nursing. However, because Paul has been exhibiting tooth decay on his top front four baby teeth for months with no signs of improvement; we decided it was best to wean Paul off of his bedtime nursing. Nursing is not causing his teeth to decay, but my inability to clean his teeth properly after he falls asleep is causing the sugar from the milk to harm his teeth. In addition, Paul did not start taking any fluoride supplements to help strengthen his teeth until he was 16 months old.

Previously, the bedtime routine was as follows:

1. Brushing his teeth with all natural fluoride free toothpaste after dinner.

2. Taking a bath.

3. Putting on PJs.

4. Preparing his room for bedtime; covering the window, turning on his noise dome and air purifier; and bringing the fan into his room.

5. Mama and dada reading bedtime stories while he sits on our laps until Paul was ready to nurse.

6. Paul says goodnight to dada and nurses with mama until he falls asleep.

7. Paul slept from 8pm to 6am.

 

Now, steps 5 – 8 have changed:

5. Mama puts Paul in the crib with his bedtime bottle full of purified water.

6. Mama and dada read stories to Paul while he is in his crib.

7. Mama says goodnight and dada lays next to the crib either reading or singing songs until Paul falls asleep.

8. Paul currently sleeps from 8pm to 4 am and nurses from 4am to 6pm.

On the first night, I tried to put him in his crib and give him the opportunity to fall asleep on his own without me in the room. He ended up calling for me for a half hour until he fell asleep; but then slept awfully for the rest of the night. He woke up with a night terror an hour after falling asleep; which I attribute to him knowing he was alone when he fell asleep.

For the last three nights, I put him in his crib and papa reassured him he was going to stay. Paul didn’t cry but he kept calling out for me. On nights two and three, he rejected the water, but accepted and drank the water tonight. Under this new routine, he has been sleeping from 8pm to 4am and then nursing from 4am to 6am. Since he drank his bottle of water tonight, i’m expecting him to sleep through to 6am tonight.

The change in the nighttime routine has caused him to nurse more frequently during the day. We were only nursing three times a day; morning, before nap, and before bed. Over the last four days, he has been nursing frequently and for longer durations; so we have been having lots of daytime cuddles =)

I knew for some time (about a month) from the Individualized Nighttime Parenting Sleep Training Program that Paul was ready to sleep in his crib; but he preferred to nurse to sleep. While I am happy his teeth will improve, I wanted Paul to wean himself off of bedtime nursing. The abrupt change has also been difficult for me, since I loved spending these last wonderful minutes of his day watching him relax while gazing into my eyes until he drifted off into a comfortable sleep.

This change is bittersweet; and while it happened prematurely and I am sad about it– I have 18 beautiful months of bedtime nursing memories to treasure =)

UPDATE: On the fourth night, after drinking his bottle of water, he slept from 8pm to 6am. =)

Paul is 18 months old

Paul is 18 months old

Good morning and happy Saturday! On august 7th, Paul turned 18 months old; Here are some updates on month 17!

  • 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 =)
  • When he sees letters, he makes letter sounds.
  • Whenever he gets hurt he asks for kisses by making the kissy sound, and whenever someone else gets hurt or becomes sad he gives kisses!!
  • I can’t get enough of his kisses. They are the best.

This was a wonderful month! Paulino is a big boy now =) 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!

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!

    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! =)

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