Sunday, December 26, 2010

Baby Sign Language

Over the past three weeks or so, Luke has been using some sign language.  I have been using it since he was about five months old, and within six weeks of using the signs, Luke began to recognize the meaning of some of them.  That was a wonderful thing for us, to say and sign "milk" and see a big smile flash across his chubby little face. 

It has only been in the last few weeks that Luke has begun to actually use the signs himself to communicate with us.  It started with what appeared to be clapping while in his high chair.  (To make matters confusing for me, Luke learned how to clap and ask for "more" in the same week!)  I wondered if he was asking for "more" food.  When I said, "Do you want 'more'?" while using the sign for "more" he smiled and kicked his legs.  This was the first time Luke used a sign to ask for something he wanted or needed.  It was a great moment for both of us!

That weekend, while baking Christmas cookies with our family at Grammy's house, Luke used all three of our most commonly used signs ("milk", "more", and "eat") in sequence, although he was not actually asking for any of those things.  I believe he finally realized that he was capable of using his hands to do the things I have been doing for months, and he was just practicing.  I confirmed by asking him and signing all three signs.  He looked at me and realized I recognized his signs, but he did not smile or get excited, leading me to believe he was simply practicing. 

Over the weeks that followed, Luke has continued to use his signs, although it is somewhat difficult to interpret at times.  I do my best to confirm what he is saying, but we continue nonetheless.  I am now introducing a few new signs, including "potty", "all done", "get down", "bath", and "play".  We shall see how things progress.

Here are a few of the signs Luke can now recognize and/or use himself:

Milk Milk

Eat Eat

More More

Bath Bath

Water Water

Bed Bed or Sleep

Friday, December 17, 2010

Note to self...

I have 537 different things to get done around the house and for the holidays.  However, I have been the worst blogger that ever blogged, and it has been way too long without a post.  So I am committing to all of you (I know there are only FIVE official followers, but far more unofficial "stalker" types - you know who you are!) that I will post about some of the following topics in the next few days.  Promise!

Speaking of followers, if you're not one and you reading this blog, just officially "follow" this blog already!  I like to know my audience.  It would help keep me motivated to blog, choose topics to discuss, and a light-hearted "comment conversation" would be a welcome addition to this blog.

Okay, my topics:
  • Giving up cable TV
  • Luke using sign language
  • Luke's new physical talents, including standing, climbing, and assisted walking
  • Meeting with a home birth midwife
  • New photos, including Luke's picture with Santa
  • Luke's awesome new and varied diet
  • Experiencing the holidays as a family of three
  • Luke's language development
  • Discipline (yes, for a 9-month-old! Obviously we're not using time-outs yet, but we are gently enforcing limits.  More to come...)
  • More delicious recipes and the creation of my recipe binder
  • (On an entirely different note from the previous bullet) Luke's potty success
I'm sure there are many more things to post, but Luke is close to waking up from his nap, and I just have to get the dishes done.

I feel good back in cyber land.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dear Gummy Smile...

As that first top tooth finally peeked its way through today, we must bid you adieu.  Your gumminess will certainly be missed.  Going with it is that little baby look, and coming instead is the grin of a toddler.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thank goodness for breastfeeding!

I spent the better part of last week sick.  It was just a cold, but wow, was it a bad one!  I tried to keep Luke close to me in order to keep him well.  I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but whatever antibodies my body was making to fight off infection and sickness would be passed to Luke through breastmilk.  I was not sure how this would work now that Luke nurses less frequently, but luckily my intuition was right.  He was bit unlike himself for a few hours on Friday, but other than that, this illness passed him by.  Yay for Mother Nature and her miracles!  This is just one reason I am so pleased that we both took so well to breastfeeding. 
Of course, this is also a timely understanding.  I was beginning to feel disheartened with our nursing.  Luke is so strong and mobile now, and he likes to grab and claw at me during feedings.  Also, his teeth have made nursing less than pleasant for me.  Getting sick and realizing that Luke probably stayed well because of breastfeeding has renewed my sense of what is right about the experience. What a true miracle of nature! 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sick Mommy

Today was not an especially good day for Mommy.  She was feeling a little sick, so we did not play as much as we usually do.  I know she was trying hard, but the day got much better when Daddy came home to look after me.  Mommy went back to sleep to get well, and Daddy and I played and went for a walk.  Because Daddy still had work to do, I watched some Sesame Street, which made it feel like a special day to me!  I hope Mommy gets well soon. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Top Tooth

We are still waiting for that tooth to come through.  Boy, we wish it would hurry.  Our little boy is feeling grumpy!  We can see the tooth - all three little bumps are visible under the gum.  I just can't believe we are still waiting.  Poor Luke.  Maybe tomorrow....

Friday, November 5, 2010

I'm a talker!

Maybe I am not as fluent as this post's title suggests, but today, I said my first word:  I said mama! 

I have made the sound "ma-ma" many times before, just as I have done lots of babbling over the past couple months, but I never meant anything by it.  Today, I looked at Mommy and said "mama" clear as day!  She was so excited, she smiled and hugged me, and made me giggle.  I knew she wanted me to say it over and over again because she kept pointing to herself and saying "mama, mama." I obediently replied "mama" right back to her and got more hugs and love. 

Then Mommy started doing the sign for "mommy" again.  I haven't seen her do that sign in a really long time.  She puts her thumb on her chin, and spreads her fingers like she is waving to someone.  That means "mommy" in sign language, in American Sign Language, actually.  She thinks that now that I know the sound "mama" means her, that I will be able to learn the sign.  Perhaps I won't need the sign if I can say the word, but Mommy just likes to teach me all sorts of things that might be useful to me. 

Today is also my 8-month birthday, which means I am carrying on the tradition of hitting milestones on important dates.  Remember all the things I did on Daddy's 30th birthday, September 13th?  Lots!  And, my top tooth is probably going to peek through my gum today or tomorrow.  Wouldn't it be funny if it came through today?!  We will wait and see, and Mommy will keep everybody posted...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cheese Head

Thanks to Aunt Millie from Wisconsin for sending Luke a baby cheese head.  The Green Bay Packers fans wear these to support their team.  We'll pretend that we are Packers fans in order to show off Luke's cuteness in his cheese hat.  How cute!  Thanks Aunt Mil!  We love you!

Thanks for Mommy's dish rag, too, Aunt Millie!

Me, my cheese, and all my cuteness!

What?!  Mommy eats this stuff all the time!

And the underside looks yummy too!

Sharp Wisconsin cheddar.... or foam.... Whatever!  I'm just a baby!

Mommy better watch me closely so I don't actually get a mouthful!

Yes, I'm totally washed out in this photo, but my Mommy thought my eyes were cool in this photo.

Luke's First Halloween

Okay, so I was feeling a little under the weather on Halloween, which clearly relates to the terrible photos taken on the day.  That, and the fact that Luke was grumpy and unhappy with his monkey hat!

I want my monkey slipper!

Okay, I'll smile!

...and eat my slipper.

Did someone put this on upside-down?

Getting a little bored with photos...

Nana tries to show me off, but I'm getting grumpy.

Monkey hat on backwards.  At least I'm warm! 

Twisty Tongue

Luke has begun twisting his tongue in all sorts of ways.  Clearly, this new skill is a recent discovery for Luke, because over the past few days, we almost always find him smiling, chatting, and laughing with a twisted tongue.  He briefly pauses to sneeze or eat, but almost always goes back to twisting it up.  And as with all things baby-related, this might be just a phase, so I wanted to capture it before it is gone forever. 

So here you have it... Mr. Twisty Tongue in all his glory!


And later that same night.... still twisting that tongue!

Friday, October 29, 2010

I love Daddy!

Luke tries to tell Daddy that he loves him in this video.  Can you catch it?

Morning Laughs

If I look at Luke through the holes in his high chair toy, he laughs like he's never seen anything funnier.  I decided to record it this morning while he was in his high chair eating breakfast.  Who knows how much longer he'll find this funny.  Our boy is growing up so fast.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Best Thing

I wanted to make a movie to chronicle the first six months of Luke's life, but now we're closing in on eight months, and this video has just been completed.  It was made with love, even if a little later than I'd hoped. 

The song is by Ray Lamontagne, and special thanks go to Uncle Rick for the song inspiration.

I hope you enjoy my first attempt at a movie.  It's a glorified slideshow, but I plan to create video movies one day soon.

Monday, October 25, 2010

More Scotland

There are more photos and stories of our visit to Scotland to come.  I promise!

Meeting the Dodds in Scotland

Frances, Luke, and Rachel playing shortly after arriving in Dumfries.

Luke fell in love with his cousins!

The Kelly Family - minus Neil and Nancy who were taking these photos.

Can't see it here, but Luke was standing.  He wants to be a big boy and play with his cousins!

Frances took a liking to Luke.

Swinging in the playground just behind Granny and Papa's house.
Rachel enjoyed feeding Luke.  She also fed him his yogurt for lunch.

Time for the Dodds to go home.  More posing before the long journey.

The Kelly cousins together at last!

Auntie Susanne loved her newest nephew!

And Luke loved her, but he was distracted by Rachel and Frances.  Kids always trump grown ups in Luke's book!

After the Dodds left, Luke found another friend in the mirror!

This new friend got a lot of love!

Big kisses!

More mirror time with Mommy.....

Addendum to Crawling Post from September

Back on September 17, I posted that Luke started to crawl.  That was very true.  On that day, he made two little crawling movements, then sat on his bum for nearly a month.  When he wanted to travel, he effectively "scooched and rolled" from one place to another. 

When we returned from Scotland in early October (and yes, I will be blogging about the trip soon, very soon!), Luke began to do more hands and knees rocking, and within a few days, the crawling began.  By mid-October, Luke was crawling around the living room like a champ. 

Now, in the mornings, when I place him on the living room carpet with a toy while I go pour myself a coffee, Luke usually follows me onto the hardwood floor.  He gets a little further each day.  Now I have my puppy following me around!  It's really quite sweet. 

So there you have it.  He's a crawler.  Wasn't quite sure we'd ever see it, but he's now a man on the move!

Dear Daddy

I know you miss me when you work late, so Mommy took this video to show you that I am doing just fine and having lots of fun today.  Don't worry, I will see you in the morning.  I hope you will wake up with me and play.  I always have so much fun when we play in the morning.  I especially like it when it's just us and Mommy stays in bed to get some extra sleep.  That's the best!  See you tomorrow morning.  I'll bring the blocks.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Monthly Photo Roll

These past months have been wonderful!  Here's a look at Luke on his "birthdays" over the past seven months....