Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sign language and a new dress

That first photo just cracks me up. I'm not sure what it LOOKS like Makayla's doing - but what she's actually doing is signing "drink," while watching "Baby Signing Time." Hard to tell, I know - it doesn't really resemble the true sign that closely - but it's her own version, and it's pretty darn cute when she does it!

If you've never heard of Signing Time or Baby Signing Time, you really are missing out - these videos are so awesome. Anthony LOVES - LOVES - LOVES them, and was so sad when they stopped showing Signing Time on PBS last year. He was thrilled when I bought some videos for our recent 4-week road trip (more on that in coming posts). I also decided to try a couple of the Baby Signing Time videos, and the twins are totally hooked.

We had already been doing some sign language with the girls...mostly the basics...please, thank you, more, eat, bottle, milk, etc. Mackenzie's Early Intervention teacher does a bit more sign language with her when working on language skills, as well. But we took the Baby Signing Time videos (the first 2 that came out) with us on our trip, and I am amazed at how many signs the girls have picked up. Words they regularly use include: more, milk, eat, drink, please, thank you, all done, sleepy, baby, hat, car, and shoes. When prompted, they can do many more, including strawberry, water, bus, diaper, and bath. Today they were asking me for grapes and crackers using sign language! As an added benefit, the girls love the videos so much that on our trip, when the girls were screaming in the car, the videos were the one thing that would definitely calm them down! Darrell and I got to listen to Baby Signing Time a LOT on our road trip!

Anyway...I'm NOT fluent in sign language, and I'm learning right along with them, but I'm a huge advocate of these videos, because I see what a difference it makes already for my kiddos when they can communicate to me what they want. Rather than screaming and crying and me playing a guessing game to figure out what the problem is, they can tell me exactly what they want/need, and it makes things much more peaceful. Don't get me wrong - we still have our share of chaos - we DO have 18-month old twins, after all! But anything that helps reduce the number of tantrums - I'm all for that!

I stayed up late last night trying out a surprise gift my sweet hubby got me while on our road trip - a new sewing machine! I had recently bought the Pink Fig Sophia Dress and Swing Top pattern and wanted to try it out, so I decided to make a dress for the girls. I simplified it for time's sake and because it's just too hot here in the summer to have two layers of fabric on a long dress like this. I'm still happy with how it turned out, especially considering it was my first time ever doing any shirring OR gathering, both of which I had to do on this dress!! I am in LOVE with Melissa Averinos' Sugar Snap fabrics, which I used for the dress. They are so bold and vibrant and just gorgeous...the pictures can't possibly do them justice.

Makayla was a little unhappy with me taking her photos here because all she really wanted to do was nurse. That's all she really wanted to do ALL DAY LONG today. She's trying to get 2 molars in right now, and I suppose it's soothing to her to nurse. But really? I don't have time to sit around ALL DAY LONG and nurse her. Alas - how could I refuse those big, huge brown eyes filled with giant crocodile tears???


Karyn Reed said...

Matthew learned to sign long before he talked which was great until we picked him up from the nursery at about a year and a half and the nursery worker said he cried for the entire hour and did motions she didn't recognize. Turned out to be "more milk please" and he was very mad that she didn't understand. So make sure those that watch the girls know their signs!

Sally said...

I didn't have a chance to tell you when we were visiting, but I did want to mention how very impressed I was with yours, Darrell's, your mom's signing because you are all doing the signs correctly! I even commented to Melinda :-) Mainly because when most people are new to any signing at all, then tend to do them somewhat incorrectly--whether it is hand shape that is wrong or the motion or whatever! Anyway, you all are doing great and I was so happy to see the girls using the sign. It was completely cute, too!

karin said...

What a beautiful dress you made.. and a beautiful little lady showing it. And I completely understand you melt seeing those big brown eyes. I think anyone would :-)

.:Heather:. said...

gorgeous dress! And I love how you have M's hair! Soooo cute!

Does Signing Times use ASL? Or just 'baby' sign language?

Glad you are back!

Rachel said...

We have been big fans of Signing Time with Alex and Leah! I am deaf, but cam communicate with speech and lipreading... but our kiddo knows much sign language for his benefit as well as ours.

It's wonderful to see little ones be able to communicate instead of being frustrated!

And your little cutie is ADORABLE in her new dress!

Jen Clark said...

Heather - Signing Time uses ASL. The creator of it, Rachel, has a daughter, Leah, who was born deaf, and they had to learn ASL. Then her second daughter was born with spina bifida and cerebral palsy, and she has also used signing to communicate. :)

Thanks, everyone, for your comments. :)

Ashlyn said...

How cute baby :) Love her beautiful dress!! I have made similar kind of for my little princesses...


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