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Posts Tagged ‘baby sign language’

Jameson is 21 months, 3 months shy of 2 years old, and like every month before it, it’s hard to believe how fast time has gone by.

This month was a big one for Jameson and I wrote a lot fun things down that he is doing now throughout the whole month.

Singing & Speech – Jameson likes to sing now to the songs he knows. He’s so terribly cute singing the P and Z and Me in the ABC’s song and making an “o” face when singing the wheels on the bus go ‘roooouuund. Among his favorites are Itsy Bitsy Spider, Wheels on the Bus, ABC’s and Old McDonald (Ee ii ee ii oh). He does a lot of imitation now and will imitate during the If You’re Happy and You Know It song as well as during any other activity!

His two word sentences have slowly increased, and we even heard him saying “no no mommy” over and over to himself to help him fall asleep one night, and “mommy bye bye” another night. Some new words are “apple”, “apple juice”, “pouch” (this one is very distinct and is our word for the little baby food pouches he loves), “knock knock” “boo boo”, “brush” (as in brush teeth daddy!), and “watch” (as in Elmo TV).

Food & Eating – He is getting pickier about only eating things he recognizes and knows he likes. It’s a trial every night to get him to try everything on his plate which sometimes involves bribery for Elmo and doesn’t always work. He currently thinks most everything is “hot” and blows on it. Last night at dinner he was blowing and making the symbol for quiet though, and I think he really was trying to show quiet after we told him to use his indoor voice. He likes to stick his tongue out when we wipe his face and eat the paper towel, which is funny.

We did go back to offering milk at bedtime when he doesn’t eat a lot at dinner, and he enjoys it still. We stopped using the sleeper blanket bag toward the end of this month and are using a pillow pet and blanket (he loves soft things!). No signs of molars that we can see, though that doesn’t mean they’re not there, we don’t go poking back amongst those chompers much.

Skills – Jameson now will get on his belly in the bath tub without fear for fun; he has successfully blown his very first bubbles; and he added a new symbol to his bedtime book by flexing his arm for the word “exercise” (dad taught him that).

This weekend he demonstrated his new skill with puzzles, especially the Melissa and Doug ones which show the same puzzle piece after it’s removed for easy recognition of proper placement for the puzzle piece. We also removed the bottom of his Cozy Coupe and he motors it himself. He also does the more advanced shape sorter now instead of just the coin sorter, and he tries to put on his own shoes, socks and clothes on (without too much success… yet)

“All Done Mom!”

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This month, we didn’t have a whole lot of great photos to choose from. Jameson was pretty excited about the blocks!

I started writing down the many new things we observed during the month because I couldn’t remember them all the end! This month, his grandma taught him that grunting is necessary for getting lids on and off; so while he learned how to screw and unscrew lids, he will grunt and groan while doing it. Likewise, he likes to squeeze his food between his fingers, and that deserves a grunt too while his little fist shakes with the effort.

Speaking of food, he consistently eats broccoli (he once at all the broccoli out of the mixed vegetable steam fresh bag), cheese, and most any pasta (not rice or tortellini). Many other foods are hit or miss depending on the day, even fruit was a miss on rare occasions.

He can click his tongue now in addition to these new words: Buckle, Poop, Pee, Moo, Baa, Ee ee ee (the sound the monkey makes, according to grandma), EE ii ee ii oh, Water, Weener, Elmo (pronounced melmo), Duck, Bib, and all of these are used still pretty inconsistently except for Buckle, Bib and Elmo.

Jameson is also making up entire sentences. Babble babble more babble ma mo babble? Whatever you say, Jameson! We have heard his first two word sentences. First was “bye bye doggie” at 18 months, and recently “no no doggie” when she was trying to lick his ears.

“More please” is pretty seamless now; he says “Mo” and signs the word for “please” pretty consistently. “Thank you” is also becoming more frequent though only on request, but it is also a sign.

Lest you think that all is well and communication easy for him, he frequently gets frustrated that he can’t express himself, most often surrounding food. Whining at the pantry is a favorite past-time before dinner as we list through his various snack options (and he doesn’t really understand the word snack).

While I try to limit the snacking to just half a bag of animal crackers (his current favorite) before dinner (and try to suggest blueberries often as an alternative), one night it was so bad I allowed him to pick out his meal in the fridge. He chose a leftover grilled cheesy bratwurst (I doubt he knew that it was more than a hot dog!) and a yogurt. He ate them both, no complaints.

Bed time: Though he doesn’t do a great job, we do let him brush his own teeth. On the days he doesn’t want to, I force it. I’ve become an expert at holding the face properly so that I can brush his teeth. He is thrilled that he can do this himself though, reaching his toothbrush into the water (later, we will concentrate more on water conservation, haha)!

On the other end of the spectrum, diaper changes are much less fun, often with him screaming the entire time unless we’ve given him sufficient distraction, like a particular book, the buckle on the table, or mobile remote; whatever it is, he needs to pick it out.

This month, in a very anticlimactic way, we stopped bottles. Now, we read about 10 books at night instead of 1 to allow him time to drink his milk. It takes him longer, but he falls asleep without issue. Except for naps, which he has refused on rare occasions. This makes me nervous that we will lose naps in the near future, but so far, so okay.

 

Overall, discipline is still pretty light. We say no sternly (and fairly frequently), and physically stop him from whatever he is doing wrong. It’s typically just because something is dangerous. If it’s excessive (like biting, which only seems to happen during teething — but for some reason happened twice this weekend in excitement!), then we put him in a corner. But we don’t otherwise restrain him, so he quickly gets over it and moves on. I wonder when we might have to bring out a timeout chair, or a gated area, but for now, he is listening okay most of the time. He actually doesn’t try to run away outside often anymore if we tell him no.

If he gets himself too worked up over something (like wanting a snack, and not taking our no for an answer) and tries to throw a mini tantrum (mini because he is so careful and funny about it), then we take him into the bathroom with the lights off and shut the door (with us there holding him). Usually that’s enough to snap him out of it, which is all that’s needed and a moment of quiet.

Jameson is a little helper, both at home and at daycare. His teachers comment how he is the only one who will help pick up toys (and we only reinforce this lesson every once in a while at home, so I am excited to see that he seems to come by this naturally; I will take no credit for it). At home, he will help me put away the dishes (I let him, yes, but take the breakables from him pretty quick. He has yet to drop anything).

He also threw a pair of shorts in the washer. Yesterday, his teacher told me that he wanted to help check for messy diapers and tried to lift one of the boys who can’t walk yet out of the wagon. Recently, he held one of the new kids’ hand and walked him around the room, like he was showing him around.

 

It’s been such fun watching him grow, but I can’t believe that next month we’ll hit a big 2-0.

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Yesterday, I was excited to try a new recipe (yes, I don’t do the cooking usually, but I can bake and do so on occasion. Rare occasions.)

The recipe was for cheesy zucchini biscuits, and I was hoping that Jameson would actually take to them and in doing so, happen to ingest some zucchini along with it.

Instead of the warm, cheesy, zucchini goodness, or the perfectly moist baked pork chops, or even the fresh buttered green beans (he ate a little of one of those raw just minutes before, but cooked is not as good. apparently)… yes, instead, Jameson insisted that we definitely had something else for him to eat.

It happened that we sometimes held back the mac and cheese or other excellent treat for Jameson while he wailed at his vegetables and meat. We stopped doing this a couple weeks ago, because it wasn’t working, obviously. He never wants to eat his meat unless its bologna or sometimes hot dog, and only occasionally wants to eat broccoli or peas.

Jameson was convinced that we had something else up our sleeves.

I wheeled him around in the highchair to see everything on and around the stove. The only thing he wanted was a whole slab of pork chop, which I know better than to give him.

Back to the table, screaming away… Brian and I just tried to eat the rest of our dinner. Meanwhile, Jameson is now reaching for Brian’s slab of pork chop which he just got from the stove. We offer Jameson the rest of his own pork chop instead, which is half a slab from the cutting board.

No dice.

The pork chop on the stove, whole and untouched, is WAY better than cutting board pork chop.

I decide to get sneaky and get up for seconds myself, quickly taking the cutting board pork chop on my own plate and prepare to eat it. Jameson at this point it near inconsolable, so I unbuckled him and put him on my lap. He immediately gets quiet, grabs mine his pork chop and gnaws away at it.

Yes, that is probably a strained smile on my face, the weird top teeth only grin.

He ate a quarter of a whole pork chop, or nearly half of that piece in his hand. I can’t figure out this kid who hates pork and chicken…

 

P.S. Jameson has increased his repertoire of songs to include” ee i ee i oh” from Old McDonald’s Farm, and making the rain sign for Itsy Bitsy Spider along with his “baby” in Baby Beluga. I also heard him say a distinct “beep beep” the other day, imitating one of his toys.

He is doing all kinds of imitating. Like grabbing at my boobies after Brian did (that is the last time that will happen. In front of him). And also saying a lot of words, like “water” last night, and Brian’s favorite. “Weener”. Way to go Jameson.

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It’s official, Jameson has reached a year and a half. 18 months.

This month, he started saying two word phrases. For a couple weeks, he was saying Daddy-o, which I am pretty sure means “Daddy Go” (or, where is daddy? or, can I go where daddy is?). More distinctly, Saturday and Sunday both he said, “byebye doggie”!

He is saying a lot more words in general: he no longer signs for “more”, he says “Mo” and signs “please” to go with it. He is starting to say “Uh” for “Up” and sometimes he’ll repeat words when I say “Can you say yellow?” (His word for yellow was pretty accurate!). His words are all distinct, and he clearly knows what he saying even when we don’t (which is often). He currently whispers “pst psh psssss” with his lips, and we all respond back to him the same which he thinks is the best!

Hearing the word “No” from us doesn’t deter him at all, no matter how loudly it’s said. We will get a sneaky look when he is doing something he knows he is not supposed to do. What works is stopping his motion by grabbing his arm or removing him from the situation entirely.

This weekend, he stood on his rocking Elmo toy with no hands. We are very proud of his balance, but we had to make him sit down physically. He doesn’t seem sad or mad when we do it (except if I hold onto his hand and make him stay for a moment), but it distracts him. I’m sure soon we’ll need to set up a specific time out point for him, and it will probably need to have a seat belt or be fenced in.

Sometimes, when he is focused, he will help us pick up and clean up. I had him put away his plastic dishes yesterday from the dishwasher. And, completely on his own, he went to go wipe Sasha’s face with the towel after she drank some water, and Brian had asked me to do it. Jameson standing there holding that towel up to Sasha’s face was the cutest moment!

We let him give Sasha her cookies when she comes in from outside, which could be his first real chore. He’s very good at it!

Jameson has started watching some tv when we let him. Saturday mornings are Sesame Street mornings right now. He will not sit for more than a moment, but he will play and glance up to watch now and again during the show. Last night, Brian and his dad were very pleased that he was enjoying David Gilmore (Pink Floyd) on tv. He would sway and point at the guitars and lights!

Food is still hit or miss. One day he will like something, and the next he will refuse it. Last week, he refused breakfast most of the week, including fruit which was always a hit! But this weekend, he ate blueberries and raspberries like crazy (made some stellar diapers!)

We now cut his hot dogs into slices rather than chopped up, so that he will eat some. He also has started wanting to eat at the table with us. A couple nights last week, he refused all food until he was sitting in our laps. He may just be testing the waters, but when we sat him in the highchair and pushed him up to the dining table last night, he did really well and ate broccoli! I was so excited.

This month, his naps have gotten a bit shorter. He was usually a record-breaking nap taker of 2-3 hour naps at home and at daycare as long as he wasn’t too overtired, but this month it’s been closer to 1-1/2 to 2 hours. However, he is still sleeping well in general. A couple months ago, he appeared to have his first real nightmare, screaming for no reason at night, but it was only one. Since then, he’s been sleeping like a baby ;)

His eczema is all but gone! We started a new regimen of the Aveeno baby eczema lotion (the key ingredient is that it’s an oatmeal colloidal cream) morning and night; and unscented non-comedogenic Cetaphil lotion at the daycare. The oatmeal lotion did the trick! We definitely still see where it was/is. It still occasionally flares up with irritation, so we maintain the schedule even with it mostly gone, but we are so happy we don’t need to use the hydro-cortisone creams anymore after almost 3 months of alternating the cream on and off.

 

Happy 1-1/2 birthday Mr. Jameson!

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Without any ado: Happy Birthday Mr. Husband, sir. Together we make 60 years now of wisdom and awesomeness. :)

And now, Sweet Sunday.

JP, Lisa & Jonathan came over last Sunday for a small get together. We had ribs, beans, coleslaw and potatoes. Fresh salad greens from the farmers market the day prior.

And a whole lot of fun!

These were some of my most successful outdoor photos yet. I love the pictures of Jonathan, splashing away in the water table. They’ve both tried to climb up in it, so this weekend we are thinking of breaking out Jameson’s water bounce house since it is expected to be so nice and warm!

Jonathan adored the slides, over and over. He didn’t mind going too quickly down the slide. Jameson is quite a bit more hesitant on the slides now, wanting to hold mom or dad’s hand.

Jameson seems to be our climber, and Jonathan, the daredevil!

The boys are interacting quite a bit, though it takes just a little while for them to warm up to each other. Meanwhile, Jameson sees Lily nearly every other day during the week, and they are becoming quite familiar with each other. He gave her a “hug” the other day, by laying his head against her chest. He was too shy to wrap his arms around her like he does mom and dad!

New words this week is saying “Hi” and “Bye Bye” He could say bye bye over and over and over, it’s a new favorite word. At school, they are learning to sign “water” (how appropriate!)

 

In a bit of related, but unrelated news, our play equipment is all in the front yard, due to what’s going on in our back. Our HOA (Home Owners Association) sent us a rather formal, scary note about removing “unsightly objects”.

I don’t know about you, but I think those photos don’t lie. The play equipment doesn’t seem the least bit “unsightly” to me.

 

P.S. This weekend is going to be packed with fun! We are planning a zoo trip with JP, Lisa & Jonathan tomorrow morning; and celebrating Brian’s birthday with family on Sunday! And Monday? It’s expected to be hot, so it might be a great time to bring out that water bounce house (which should be big enough for adults too, no joke, I’m excited!).

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At some point, you stop counting the months and start rounding. It’s starts at half years, and then eventually it’s just full years. As an adult, I don’t go around telling people that I’m 27 and a half. (I’m not, I’m just 27, just turned so a month ago if you’re counting)

Jameson is 17 months. A neighborhood lady asked me, and I said “a year and a half.” He seems so grown up! (Don’t laugh)

This month was a special growing up month for Jameson since he began sleeping on a cot for naptime, lost his very first tooth and got his first real haircut!

In addition, he gave up the bottle, for the most part. We are still giving him a bottle at night before bed. Our intention was over this next month to wean him from that, but since our vacation was canceled so we could attend Brian’s grandfather’s funeral yesterday, we are waiting until vacation next month. Brian’s parents will be watching him, and we want to make the bedtime routine easy for them!

He has started using utensils more consistently. His teacher at school told me they think he is left handed since he grabbed a spoon with his left the other day. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she is wrong on a few counts.

He has been switching back and forth on hands for utensils that we have been giving him all this month; and children don’t settle on a hand for sure until they’re 3. So I read, anyway. Regardless, he’s getting pretty good and messy with the spoon and has fun with the fork. Jameson still doesn’t like us to help him a lot, he is very independent.

Jameson does let us help him up and down high places and stairs, thankfully. He is also getting good making those steps, but he needs to grow a bit more before that will be comfortable for him. By that time, I’m sure he’ll be off and running up and down stairs like he’s been doing it for months (because he has, with our help!)

He loves to wave now. When I tell him to “wait” he often “waves” instead, mistaking my direction. When I tell him to say “hi”, he waves! I think that may count as a sign in addition to his “more”, “all done”, “no” (shaking head) and “eat” regular signs.

Yesterday, we discovered that Jameson also signs “please” now. He must have learned it at school, since we haven’t had sign language classes in a while. It was so gratifying to see that “please”, and so unexpected. Of course, he got more teddy grahams!

As for regular words, we can identify a lot of words when he is repeating us, but it is so much harder to tell what he is saying when he is babbling (though it seems he knows what he is saying). Words we have identified that he says with some regularity:

Cheeeeeese (for pictures, this is our newest and I think school taught him that), Yes/Yeah, Bath, Bottle, Bear and/or Blanket, Dog has turned into Doggie, Daddy which often sounds like Doggy, Mommy, Juice, Milk, Uh Oooooh, Yucky/Dirty

Jameson has been blowing kisses now for a couple months, but I love these pictures that capture him doing it.

Jameson is walking around everywhere confidently. He outgrew his very first pair of walking shoes, which he also made a hole in the toes last week (we thew them away, not a whole lot of sentimentality here). We bought him the same Stride Rite kind, in a different color half a size up. He’s now a 5, and in 5-1/2 shoes.

He recently likes to walk on his tippy toes which makes us laugh, though we are hoping he’ll stop that soon. We try to let him be barefoot more often at home since he’s in shoes all day at school.

Jameson has finally started mastering the real shape sorter instead of just the coins in the faux piggy (cow) bank which he mastered months ago. He used to give up, impatient with it, after the first try. We are starting to see some maturity (yes). He will sit still with it for longer periods of time, and he has begun putting his toys away when asked! He gets less distracted on the way.

He’ll even bring me books with or without prompting, and return them to the book basket when we’re finished. Right now, I have a singing book he loves. It is the longest book he’ll sit through that doesn’t have a touch and feel feature. It is the baby belluga book based on the Raffi song which I grew up with. I don’t need Raffi to help me sing along with this book, and Jameson will sit through me singing the whole thing, asking for more two or three times.

Shall I go on? I really could, he develops so much every day. Those are just a few highlights. I can’t wait to see him at 18 months, a true 1-1/2; it seems like each month is better than the last.

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A while back I mentioned that Jameson and I were doing a sign language class associated with Signing Smart. Well, that class ended on Saturday. No, my child is not a signing genius. He actually doesn’t sign at all.

I did expect that though, so I’m not too disappointed. And to be honest, Jameson has never really imitated me at anything. He doesn’t wink, blow kisses, wave hi, or anything. I think Brian’s mom taught him out to blow raspberries  spit at me, so there is that.

Check it out, all the babies are actually looking at the camera. That is once in a lifetime!

I had a lot of fun. 10 weeks was a big time commitment, but I only missed one class. I am glad I did it, even though I am not sure that I have stuck with the signing enough to get benefit out of it from Jameson later. However, I heard there was a lot of improvement in the older kids, so I am considering returning to take the class again after the New Year.

Here’s what I did get out of it:

  • Interacting with other adult human beings with children
  • Seeing Jameson improve in his motor skills over the course of 10 weeks (and people commenting on it)
  • Loved watching Jameson interact with his environment, the children, and the toys. He does this all day at daycare that I never get to see, so this was my opportunity
  • Singing stupid songs as a group without feeling embarrassed
  • Learning a few signs (a lot didn’t stick with me, but more will next time, I am sure)
  • Watching other kids grow and develop – particularly the teacher’s son Ian closest to Jameson in age.

All in all, it was worth it. I’m happy it’s done for now though, and I have free Saturdays. It was rough at 10am every Saturday because that is always when Jameson needed to nap.

As Brian and I discussed this while driving to my friends Joni and Justin’s new house on Saturday, Brian thought it might be a good idea to do some swimming lessons with Jameson.

My immediate response: But of course I’d love to jump in my bathing suit once a week. Are you going to take him every week?

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