Well despite our fear that we would not make it to any of our usual fall activities this year, we did manage to find the time and energy (and good weather too I suppose) to make it out to Whittamore’s Farm to visit their pumpkin land! We have been going to Whittamore’s farm for 5 years now and every year we go they always have something new they’ve built or a new activity they’ve added! I have to say it is definitely our favorite activity every fall and we always come home with a great big pumpkin to carve! This year it was our first time going with two children and we also had my mother-in-law join us for the day! I could not have asked for a better day in regards to the weather and both of our children were in a particularly beautiful mood….although we did have to create a “naughty” bench when Jacob started throwing a minor tantrum about not wanting to go away from an activity he was doing….it’s amazing how much easier it is becoming to find a time out space just about anywhere these days!
I am always in awe of the infant mind and its ability to absorb and learn from the world around them so quickly and easily. We started signing with Violet at around 7.5 months old and in the past week or so she’s really been taking off with her own signing and especially with her signing. I still can not believe that when I first had Jacob I was such a skeptic and even after he proved us wrong and picked up on it quickly I still wondered if it was a fluke but not it seems Diva V is picking up the signs perhaps even faster than her big brother did. At 9 months old Violet is regularly signing back to us using eat and more and occasionally she will sign all done and milk but she also has a comprehension of other signs. I am particularly excited about using even more signs with Violet than we did with Jacob and its amazing to see that while she can’t sign it back yet, all I need to do is the sign for Cat and she is off looking for her four legged companion whom probably wishes I’d stop sending the baby after her!
I can already tell the positive impact that signing is having on our relationship with Violet because it is much easier for her to simply sign to us that she is hungry rather then start crying her head off and have us scramble to find out what it is that she is trying to say. It is at times like these, when I see one of my children so confident and responsive to a decision that I made for them, that I feel so great about our choices in parenting our children. I like the feeling that Mike and I have been able to make well thought out decisions about what is important for our family in regards to raising the children and then we get to see their marvelous personalities blossom and develop right before our eyes, under our guidance.
We get a lot of comments when we tell people that we use baby signing with our children and have found it to be helpful in developing their language skills as well as helping us have a more peaceful relationship with our kids…mostly, people are skeptical until they witness it for themselves. I think its hard to believe that a baby as young as Violet might be capable of communicating their exact needs to an adult but it’s scientific knowledge that babies do have the brain abilities to think it but no clear way of expressing it – baby signing helps Violet express her needs to us and relieves her of feelings of exasperation and frustration. When people ask about baby signing with a tone that implies that they think we are crazy, I simply tell them that they have to see it for themselves….come on over and spent a couple of hours with my kids and you’ll leave completely convinced that it works, it’s effective and is nothing but a blessing in both the child and parents lives.
I have been doing a lot of thinking and research since I heard on the news that it was recommended for children in the United States to remain rear facing for at least two years. I was quite curious about why they felt this was necessary because as soon as Jacob hit the age and weight limit we were quick to turn his seat around and what I came across was a substantial amount of information that proved beyond a doubt that children were much safer when facing the rear of the car. It is because of the research out there that we have decided to keep Violet rear facing for a longer amount of time than Jacob was – we’ve decided to keep her that way until at least 18 months old and then I suppose we will decide from there. I encourage you to do a google search for yourself and learn all you can about the importance of rear facing but for now I leave you with a little something I saw on a message board that I frequent.
That’s right, remember that song from when you were a kid? I do.
I was trying to take a decent picture of my kids in their skeleton jammies and guess who was incredibly irritated by it all!! You’d think his sister had cooties!
I have barely any pictures of my children together because it is near impossible to get the Dictator to take any pictures at all these days, never mind sitting next to his sister and being patient while I get her to look at the camera!!
I did manage to get one decent shot, however.