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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 7:48 pm 
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LisaPunk wrote:
i have my big list of questions for the cardiologist when we see him again next week. im terrible at asking questions when they tell you stuff. i have to think about it and research on the internet first and wrap my head around it.

Great that you have a list. I used to write doubts, questions, talking points in a notebook. You can also keep a record of weights, dosages etc in there for future reference. take it to the appt and ask all your questions. write down everything. If you can get someone to go with you, even better, but it's not always realistic. I always was afraid of forgetting something or getting something wrong and the notebook was really handy.
I think when the specialists realize that you're participating [and this kind of participation doesn't seem to be too common, sadly] they stop giving you the least-common-denominator treatment, at least they did in our case.
hang in there!!

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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 8:11 pm 
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Lisapunk, my thoughts are with you as I'm sure this news is hard to process. Thank goodness your family doctor recommended checking this out and punklet is doing alright. I think keeping a notebook (or writing notes on phone) is a really good idea. I know in the weeks after babynut's birth it was difficult for me to think straight or remember anything at the right time.


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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 8:35 pm 
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lisapunk, do you have a good friend or family member that can go with you guys to your doctor appointments? it can be really helpful to have a calm, slightly less stressed/attached person there to hear and process what the doctors are saying. when it's a lot of information and a stressful situation, you are very likely to miss a lot of what they're saying, forget what you wanted to ask, etc. that and it's always hard to listen to complex information while you're also holding or caring for a little baby.

i miss half of what my kids' ped says because i'm juggling the baby, or she's fussy and wants to eat, or whatever, and those are just basic well baby visits. it was even worse when the ped would talk to us while T was in the NICU. it was really obvious what a difference it made when my mom happened to be with me during one visit. i had completely glossed over a whole bunch of information he'd shared, but she was able to help me fill in the blanks later.


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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 9:14 pm 
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Sorry to hear about your stressful doc visit, LisaPunk!

My update on Will is I'm pretty sure he sad his first word... "Bah" (ball). Mrdub has a basketball in his back seat and he said Will has been saying it for the last couple days, so I had to test him today. Sure enough, he said it for me. He's also using more signs, although he's apparently way behind M! He does more, milk, poop (I think this one is for fun)... Less frequently food and bath. We're still working on water and please.

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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 10:38 pm 
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LP, how stressful. I hope it clears up on its own (a lot of that cardiac stuff does) but if it doesn't, you're in a great place for treatment.

Ball is an excellent first word! Go Will!

It's so funny, I keep trying to post an update on E but I don't know where to start. When they're little there are so many discrete milestones to discuss... But once they pass a certain age, it's all more... Diffuse? Hm.

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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 10:49 pm 
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edit: posted in the wrong thread for some reason.

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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 10:19 am 
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oh man the lasix is totally doing its thang
twice last night when i picked her up to feed her she had had a mega pee explosion and had peed through her diaper, outfit, swaddle blankie, sheet, and mattress pad.
we only bought one mattress pad for her cosleeper so i guess ill be ordering another one today

between peeing so much & a poop explosion i think she went through 4 outfits last niught :-p

i think im going to get out some of the diaper prefolds we have that are too big to put on her right now and put them under her at night to hopefully keep from washing sheets and mattress pads daily

and YAY for Will's first word!!!! how exciting!!! ball is a fine word and seems to be a popular one :-)
apparently my first word was the dogs name which cracks me up since im obsessed with animals. i guess it was fate in my case to have a buttload of pets :-P

soon Will will be chatting up a storm!!!! :-)

when did you guys all start introducing the baby signs??

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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 10:45 am 
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LisaPunk wrote:
i guess it was fate in my case to have a buttload of pets :-P

when did you guys all start introducing the baby signs??


Heh. Mine was "kitty cat". My sister's was "ketchup". Pretty much outlined our life interests from the start! I believe the Emperor's very first was "uh oh" and the Magician's must have been "meow".

I signed with E from like, 3 or 4 months onward? It was something to do while I was home and bored. We've been lazily signing with M forever (because we were already in the habit with E) but I don't think he really got interested until around the 1 year mark. He is SUPER interested right now, which is so interesting to me because E was starting to wind down with signing around now (he'd drop signs as soon as he learned to say the word).

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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 11:22 am 
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We started signing with Henry really early, my husband signs for work so he does it unconsciously a lot of the time. He started signing more and food around maybe 10 months? Maybe 11, I don't really remember. Like the Magician, he signs a ton now, he picks up new signs really quickly. He has a handful of words now, Mama, ball (bah!), uh oh, water and bye bye. But the only one he uses regularly is Mama which he calls both me and mr bap.


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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 1:04 pm 
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Malka's first word was also "ball!" She still loves to say it.

Malka is putting together some really serious sentences and occasionally it feels like she's trying to communicate a really big idea to me. I keep trying to goad her into telling me about her day, but it seems like she only wants to talk about the future (a woman after my own heart).

The other night when she was trying to get out of bedtime she said, "Bao! (bottle) Make it, Mommy, make it!" And then last night she was telling me about how our bikes are on Daddy's care and we all have to wear a helmet to ride a bike and there is a baby's helmet and she's the baby, so she wears the baby helmet. This went like this: "Daddy-car (crazy pointing toward car), Daddy-bike, bike-helmet, Daddy-helmet, Mommy-helmet, baby's-helmet, baby (wild gesticulating toward herself), helmet-baby, baby's-helmet, etc." All of those words, crystal clear.


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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 3:10 pm 
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all these chatty babies sound so cute!!! i cant wait until Charlotte becomes a bit more interactive.
right now she is starting to actually look at us rather than passed us and will maybe whack at a toy if you put it in front of her but that's as far as we've gotten.
she does desperately want to stand for some reason though. it's crazy! she's wanted to stand since week two. she rams her legs out and if you dont hold her up into a pseudo standing position she freaks out. im like "slow down killer you're not even a month old yet!!!"

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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 3:22 pm 
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Lisa, that's called the "step reflex" and it's totally normal. Almost all newborns seem to want to stand up (and there's no harm in holding her standing) and will step down hard as if they can support their weight. They usually grow out of it and then it just come back when they're actually ready to stand.


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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 3:22 pm 
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haha LisaPunk, Westiebaby is a hardcore 'stander' too, it's pretty adorable.

Love the sound of these kiddos saying words and telling stories! I'm thinking I should get on with learning some signs to start using, she'll be five months old next week, eep!


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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 5:12 pm 
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I love the little babies "standing"! Giles did that and then one day out the blue had spaghetti for legs and you couldn't make him stand for anything - now he is back in the wanting stand all the time mode. He cannot stand without hanging onto something/someone but that doesn't stop him from wildly pushing supporting hands away from him...


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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 5:34 pm 
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Love the first word conversation! Leela's first was "dog!" And she loves them so much - pretty much has to kiss all the dogs. And then ""more."

We did basic signs really early (milk, diaper, eat) but she never really repeated them and then did classes starting at 9 months, which kickstarted her signing and I loved, because it was so easy for me to learn. Now we go through her books and I learn all the signs for the words in them (Brown Bear is great for learning color words for example) and some songs, so she can sign along and that helps her pick up even more signs. Its just really easy for her to clarify what she means by using the sign or avoid frustration. Today I signed that we were going out of the swings and going home because it was going to rain, and she signed no, more swing and that she didn't care about the rain. So we stayed out and played a bit and headed home in the rain. And she signed "I like rain." Its so cute to see how much they just want to be heard and understood - L will have conversations with me about the most random things because she has the words to feel like I understand her.

Its amazing watching these littles get so many words! I know Freya has about 300 and Malka has about 200, and I'd say L is still behind them but probably has a good 80 words over English and ASL.

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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 7:25 pm 
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I think the functional use of language is really more important than how many words they have. Malka is having a word explosion right now, but a few months ago she had way, way fewer words than her cousin, but she was clearly better able to express her needs. Malka still only has about half a dozen signs and we use very few of them now (mostly potty and pee). We stopped being invested in that project when she got super verbal. Also my deaf coworker told me I am a sucky signer and that people who speak English shouldn't bother signing sentences because they fork up the syntax and it's offensive and both of those things made me lose my drive to do it!


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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 7:34 pm 
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Aw! That would deter me too.

I know I am a shiitake signer, because I forget to do things with my dominant hand and end up signing the wrong half of the turtle with my left or whatever. And, we make up signs occasionally too, or simplify ones I can't get the hang of the whole sequence for (like toast)x

M started answering questions yesterday with "yeah yeah yes!" It is the cutest thing ever.

I have no idea how many words or signs he uses, but I should make a list... I have one from when E was this age and it's really funny and sweet to be able to look back at it.

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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 10:35 pm 
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I was inspired to make a list C&S! Do you just use words they use or ones they recognize? L recognizes so many more than the ones she uses (our list is now at about 100 and so many of them are signs). Its kind of exciting to go through the list and see them. Thank you for the idea!

When do you start worrying about foul language? We were having a rap dance party and it was all the N word and "bisques and hos on my dick" kind of stuff. She isn't repeating it and its hard enough to catch, but I would be mortified if she used any of those words. I am fine with her learning the F word or usual swear words, but those are just really offensive to me.

As far as signing, I guess I can see how someone might be offended or critical that you're not doing it right, but when I look, there are so many ASL variants on signs and things are always changing. Plus L really loves being able to communicate. It is true we couldn't have a deep conversation, but we can sing Itsy Bitsy Spider, 5 Little Monkeys and go through our books and stories together in sign and that is cool. Plus if I sign "Silly" she breaks into giggles and if I sign "happy" or "grumpy" she will start beaming at me. So yeah - its good stuff :) Oh and she made up a "taking my vitamin" sign to ask for her multi in the morning. She pretends to be swallowing a pill and then beams at us.

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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 10:25 am 
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On the language development front, there's a neat tool here, for estimating vocabulary size: http://babylab.psy.ox.ac.uk/research/oxford-cdi. There's also a graph illustrating the "word explosion" that Ariann describes, which often happens in the second half of the second year. The Baby Lab at Oxford is a really really interesting place. I went there with one of my nanny girls to participate in several studies.

Our tally for Freya, in English, is about 400 words, near as we can tell. About 1/4 of them, I'd guess, are super clear, recognizable to most everyone sort of words (cat, ball, fish, pappa, eat, bus, dog....mostly the words she learned early, but some that I suspect are just easy to say). Another 1/2 are pretty close approximations that we understand readily and some others get, but often with context. A lot of these are words with consonant blends which are just too difficult for her yet (tuck for truck, seep for sleep and sweep, etc.) The last quarter are words that are only vague approximations (something like Jeyemba for Jemima her doll) or even "made up" words ("hass" means "side" in reference to nursing..have no idea on that one). Her Norwegian vocabulary is just starting to grown a lot too. We've about 50-60 recognizable words, and some others that we suspect, but my ear isn't well trained to hear those sounds, so I may be missing some. She started easing back on signing, but just then this week has become interested again (not sure why). I think there are maybe 40 that she uses and another 20 or so that she recognizes, so not too many, but they are helpful in communication.

I don't worry about doing signs the "right" way necessarily either, especially with regard to the dominant hand (my helicopter blades switch back and forth between the right and left hand for sure :p ). As long as you are consistent with your munchkin, that's the important part I think. It's nice when kids are able to communicate with each other though, too, so perhaps that's a bonus to doing it in a standard way. Both of her regular playpals uses a different sign that we do for "all done", and I keep waiting for one of the kids to "correct" one of the others, heh. My absolute favorite sign ("remember", making a circle motion with a finger on your temple) is one that we just made up. We use it every single day and Freya often uses it as a cue that she's going to tell us a story.

When I was a student-type, I was focusing on bicultural families, and I've just started (now that I'm getting more than like 15 minutes of sleep a night) to read about bilingual development again. Most of what I see still says that multilingual children develop late, so I'm curious to see if I can figure out what caused Freya to blossom early. I suspect, only partly tongue-in-cheek, that her lack of gross motor activity when she was say, under 10 months may have had something to do with it, but I can't prove it. She's been immersed in Norwegian and English since before birth and has a healthy dose of French (from one of the playmate's mom). Karl and I both speak third languages (German and Spanish, respectively) and part of the reason I started reading more again lately was to see about children who grow up with more than two languages. We've not yet introduced much German or Spanish at all, but I also don't want to miss one of the "windows" that researchers are so fond of promoting.

I tell Karl that he'd better say anything important that he needs to say soon, because by the time Freya's two, he's not going to be able to get a word in edgewise. Once kids hit that phase of seemingly exponential word development, it can happen sometimes as fast as ten new words a *day*!

(Lard, did I just talk about my baby turning two?)


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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 10:58 am 
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I think using signs, whether ASL ones or made up ones, to encourage baby communication, is a totally different thing from learning real ASL. It is an actual language, with a specific grammar and syntax, and I could totally see why someone who uses it as their primary language would be justifiably offended by someone acting like they spoke ASL when they were using signs with a spoken English syntax. I don't think that is something to take lightly if there's a desire to expand beyond baby signing to using it as a full language.


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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 11:07 am 
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rennifej that is awesome! 400 words! I kind of want to introduce you and Freya to my ASL doubting friend! And thank you for the links to babylab - so interesting. I've been trying to do a German baby playgroup but its been hard to get the time and the participation, esp because I spend most of the L's best hours (when she is calm and attentive) walking the dog.

re Ariann: I don't think any of us should be language purists and try and make people feel bad for not speaking a language properly, whether ASL or any other language. I don't want to conflate ASL and baby sign, which is its own thing. L is learning words to help her communicate with us (rather than a deaf community) and it serves us well. She is learning words the same way she is learning English - without much syntax or grammar, I am just happy if I can figure out what she is saying. We may very well expand to proper ASL and I hope that people who speak better than we do, won't discourage us because we're not perfect at it.

When I was doing my French law degree in Paris, some people were very dismissive about my mistakes (and would automatically switch to English rather than continue to speak to me in French), and others were kind and helped me along. I really appreciate the second group and many of them are my very dear friends, because they accepted me when my speaking wasn't perfect and didn't make me feel discouraged or like I was giving offense by making mistakes.

But of course, if you would prefer not to use ASL with Malka out of deference to your friend, that is your choice!

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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 11:26 am 
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And yes, we do variants as well - first because there are often variants in ASL itself and because she isn't yet dexterous enough to make the sign. So for more, I've seen so many kids do more as index finger to palm rather than the proper sign, and she can't bend her middle and ring finger down whilst her pinkie and index are up (plane, I Love You) so she does those without bending her fingers.

We've met people who use ASL as their primary language and they've always been super-sweet with L.

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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 11:34 am 
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We are starting the Baby Signs now and I think he is already wanting to learn... He looks so intently at our hands and the baby enstein DVD we have. I cant wait til he can communicate with us. But yes, there is major difference between ASL and baby signing. But really, if you know your purpose, it shouldn't matter... as long as you don't go try conversing with a deaf/hard-of-hearing person who uses ASL, with your baby signs, ya know? As for the proper way to do the signs, Sam never did. His "more" was different, but I understood. Some are hard to do with little fingers.

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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 12:33 pm 
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For my word list, I only do the ones they actually say or sign. M understands practically everything, I'd be listing all day!

It's interesting... We all definitely think he talks less than E did at this age. But I sat and made a list last night and compared it to E's list at this age, and it's actually bigger.

Also discovered a surprising amount of words in common. E was also obsessed with saying and signing bathroom!

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 Post subject: Re: Baby & Kid Updates Thread
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 3:29 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
re Ariann: I don't think any of us should be language purists and try and make people feel bad for not speaking a language properly, whether ASL or any other language. I don't want to conflate ASL and baby sign, which is its own thing. L is learning words to help her communicate with us (rather than a deaf community) and it serves us well. She is learning words the same way she is learning English - without much syntax or grammar, I am just happy if I can figure out what she is saying. We may very well expand to proper ASL and I hope that people who speak better than we do, won't discourage us because we're not perfect at it.


Yes to all of this. And in regard to made up signs and variants, I think we do this with English all the time, too. At least I know I am guilty of making up words for my own purposes. Languages are alive and used differently all the time.

I made a word list several weeks ago (only words she says) and asked my partner to do the same. When we compared lists, they were completely different! It was funny how she says different thing to each of us.


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