I'm sure some have been wondering why I haven't returned e-mails & messages, and I do apologize, things have just been a little hectic around here. We ended up moving last minute; we found a place, packed up our house, moved to the new place, and cleaned the old place all within three days. Needless to say the time before we moved was busy with work, Christmas and deciding what we were going to do, and the time after has been busy with work and unpacking. And all this is/was being pregnant and with an active toddler...so I'm sorry if you've been waiting for an e-mail response from me; responding is on my list of things to do!! I will be sending out "change of address" cards soon, but if you'd like our new address sooner, then please don't hesitate to ask :)
So as mentioned, I have an active toddler. Adelynne is now 18 months old, and well, is busy, has an attitude, is particular, and just plain old lovely. And at 18 months her vocabulary is growing each day - both her verbal vocab and her signing vocab.
I love the fact that Ady signs; it's incredibly helpful for when she is asking for something and trying to communicate. The other day she asked to go swimming; and she is able to ask for a bath when she wants one (other than just running to the bathroom pointing at the tub). She's also able to tell me some of the foods she wants to eat, like an apple or popcorn (she asks for popcorn A LOT), or if she prefers milk or water. She signs sleep if she is tired and wants to go to bed. And recently she has learned the sign for help and for hungry. These two signs are super helpful...but...she does use "hungry" to stay up later hahaha. I have found that signing is helpful for teaching manners. Please and thank-you go a long way. It's also fun when she does the actions to songs, and then she tells me when she wants to sing certain songs, like the "Slippery Fish" song. She can show me both of the different fish signs, as well as shark. Signing is fantastic and I highly recommend it to anyone to teach their little ones. But it can also be confusing because there are so many signs that are very similar for babies, (like water and eat can come across very similar in the beginning), as well as if the sign isn't done exactly how you've been trying to teach it, it can be quite the guessing game. For example when Ady first signed book she was holding her hands way out to the side, almost like she was saying 'I dunno' or something; but book is hands together in a prayer like position and then open and close them. Needless to say, she was VERY excited when I finally clued into the fact that she was asking me to read her a book :)
Some people don't want to teach their babies sign language for fear that it will delay their actual speech. But, I would disagree; in my experience I'm positive that sign language has actually helped with Adelynne's speech. She is literally adding new words everyday to her vocabulary, and with clarity. We can understand so much of what she is saying. And she has now learned to add the end of words, for example she use to only say the beginning of 'duck' as in, 'du' but she says the whole word, and quite clearly too. She also now says "daddy" in it's entirety too. Recently we bought an alphabet puzzle that has pictures underneath each letter, and so we've been teaching Ady the ABC's. It's been a ton of fun; she picked up quite quickly where many of letters go and the pictures underneath them. She can say 'a' 'b' 'd' 'e' 'g' 'i' 'k' 'l' 'm' 'n' 'o' 'p' and she knows where the 'q' 'r' 's' 'd' 'e' 'o' 'a' and 'f' go for sure. Adelynne can now also say some of her body parts: eye (and shoves her finger in who's ever eye she is pointing to), arm (and grabs onto each of her arms), knee (touches her knees), and of course she knows where several of her body parts are when asked :)
It's a lot of fun watching Adelynne learn and repeat things. I am amazed at how much she picks up in a day and at how much of a copy-cat she is. This month alone seems to be a big growth period for her: she says "um" when asked which song she wants to sing, and sits there thinking about it; she can say "two" and hold up two fingers to match it; she says "uh oh" when something has dropped; she says a very pronounced "nnnnoooo;" she puts her hands on her face and says "oh no!" and in just the past couple of days she has learned to say milk, bib, and mango, as well as the letters and words I mentioned above. She also says "YAY" very excitedly, and "varoom" for a car sound (and crosses her arm across her body in the action too), and she also knows "hoo hoo hoo" when asked what does an owl say. It's really cute too because she knows her name, and she points to herself as well as to pictures of herself and says very excitedly says her name :)
Well, clearly I could go on and on about my incredible daughter, as I'm sure I've mentioned before ;) She truly is a sweetheart with a humungous personality and a growing vocab. These little adventures in her ever growing speech have been delightful :)