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    Month 6 Letter


    2013 - 07.17

    Dear Nadia,

    You are now half a year old. 6 months. 26 weeks. 182.5 days. 4,380-ish hours. Over a quarter million minutes.

    This month we started official sign language classes. We have been signing at you for most of your life (milk, change [your diaper],  mommy, daddy, bears [for your bear mobile] and a few other ones) but have started being much more consistent about it. On our first day of signing class, we’re pretty sure that you signed “milk” to us! One of the other moms in the class noticed, and was astounded that you’d learned it so quickly, but I told her that you had over 5 months of practice by then. Considering that most books say to not even bother STARTING sign language until 6 months, that’s pretty darned good! I’m starting to think that you’re also signing “change” sometimes. Those are both signs that are fairly easy to do, and they’re DEFINITELY things that need to happen a LOT, so we aren’t totally sure if you are doing them yet. You are, however, extremely mature and responsible, so it could be happening.

    On the somewhat less mature and responsible front, you’ve started biting while we’re nursing. It’s now been over three days without any biting, so I’m hoping that you’re finished that particular experiment. I think the data collection portion has now been completed.

    I’ve been doing a lot of sewing at your Oma’s house, so you’ve been spending a lot of time with her, Grandad and Honey, their corgi. I’ll be downstairs at the sewing machine and I’ll hear you and Oma laughing at each other. :)

    Your Grandma and Grandpa are in New Mexico right now for a calligraphy conference. You don’t appreciate it right now, but your Grandma makes the most amazing letter art. If you’re lucky, maybe she’ll teach you one day.

    You still love music!! We got you a second mobile, so that you can have one on your playpen and one on your crib. Sometimes you’ll be fussy and all you want is for the music to start up again, then you’ll be happy. Dad bought you a fancy clock radio that plays music from my iPhone and from the computers so that you can listen to your favourite songs without me having to leave my phone with you. You also love something called The Frame channel on TV. It’s a slideshow of nature and city photographs set to music, and you also still like the music channels. You’ve also started making your own music! You love your musical garden that lights up (and we need to change the batteries on it…it’s kind of acting weird right now), and we bought you some egg shakers from Long and McQuade because you liked them so much in our music classes. It was just this month that you started showing an interest in shaking things. I bought you a rattle when I got your teething rings a few months ago and you couldn’t care less. It wasn’t until this month that you really started getting into them. You can also make your Sophie giraffe squeak. The first time you did it, we were in the car, and your Dad and I couldn’t figure out what was going on. It turned out that she was under your leg and you were banging your leg to make her squeak!

    Speaking of music, we took you to your first Highland Games. You LOOOOOOOVED it. There was so much to see and hear. You even loved the bagpipes, something I wasn’t sure you’d be too thrilled with yet. We have a video of you moving your fingers while the pipe bands were marching and it looks like you’re playing along with them.

    We have the geckos back in our house for the summer. We had them over spring break but you didn’t really notice them, and vice versa. Now, whenever you’re on the floor, you try to get over to them and get confused as to why you can’t reach for them because they’re in a clear glass terrarium. They’re pretty fascinated with you as well, at least when they aren’t terrified that you’re going to eat them (they don’t know that you still don’t eat solid food). They keep a pretty watchful eye on you when you’re rolling around on the floor. They know better than me how quickly you can move, even though you aren’t quiiiiiiiite crawling yet.

    Your newest trick is to get all the way up on your hands and knees. You’ll rock a bit, and sometimes you can lurch forward. Between that and rolling, you’re getting pretty good at getting where you want to be. Once, I was trying to see if you would crawl, and put out one of your toys pretty far ahead of you. You reeeeeeeeached for it, and then grabbed it without moving your body! Whoops…I’d forgotten how tall you are!

    This month, you were quite a party animal. My best friend’s son, Quinn, turned 1, and we went to his birthday party. You were desperate for some of my cake and took me by surprise when you swiped at it, getting a handful of icing on your first try…and icing is my favourite part! We also went to your Aunt Susy’s bridal shower. You behaved yourself very well, and visited with all the ladies.

    I mentioned that I’d been doing some sewing. So far I’ve made you a cloth story book, a green and blue tutu, some cloth wipes and a diaper cover. I’ve got lots of plans for other things for you, and I’m excited for you to see them. I’ve even been working on the knitted blanket that I started when I was pregnant with you.  I’ve only got about 100 rows or so to go…so since I knit one or two rows every couple of days, I MIIIIIGHT just get it finished in time for your first birthday.

    This month you also travelled as far east and as far west/northwest as you’ve ever been in a car. Your Dad, you and I went on a quick day adventure to Mission looking for a special glass thermos for me, and a few days later your Grandad, you and I went to Whistler for the day. We had ice cream (well, you didn’t get yours directly…) and took a picture of you and Grandad with a bear, but don’t worry. It wasn’t a real one. Oma said that it was Bearpaw (Grandad’s nickname), a bear, and Baby Bearcub (you!). :D

    The moment you turned 6 months, you and Dad and I were at Mom ‘n’ Toes, a baby art class. We painted a picture together of a little forest with a pond. I did the background, then you helped by putting your toes on the painting for turtles, owls and goldfish. It’s super cute, and I can’t wait to see what we make in the next three sessions. Your Oma sent you a text message at exactly 11:40 am, which is the time you were born. Six months has gone by so quickly and you’ve changed so much, but you’re still my little Nadia.

    I love you,

    Mum

    Baby Signs


    2013 - 02.06

    Just wondering if there’s anyone we know who has some experience with Baby Signs or Baby Signing.  It seems as though there’s a few different options out there, and perhaps a few schools of thought.

    The original book that started it all seems to indicate that you should see what signs your baby is already making when they are trying to communicate and to largely adopt those as the language you use (this is a gross simplification).  We probably all at times growing up either had secret languages, or fantasized about having them.  That said, secret languages are most useful not in communicating but in keeping secrets, and that’s counter to our goal here.

    Other advocates seem to use primarily ASL (American Sign Language which is the official sign language for English speaking Canada), which makes sense to me since it would be a larger life skill for both the baby and us, if we started to become fluent in it we could actually use it for something else, whereas the secret language wouldn’t provide this benefit.

    One thing that I found especially odd is that as far as I can tell none of the programs are endorsed or provided by Deaf organizations.  It seems at least on the face of it that would be a natural fit, good outreach and a valuable revenue stream.  Also the fact that those organizations don’t seem to be involved at all triggers some cynicism for me at least.  Regardless, at this point we’re still planning on going forward with it.

    So I guess the questions that we’d like answers to are:

    • have you tried signing with your baby, and would you recommend it?
    • what resources if any did you use?
    • did you use ASL based languages or something else?
    • did you take a course, and would you recommend it?
    • did you teach everyone in the family the various signs? how about baby sitters?