Monday, February 25, 2008

A Taste of Power

When we began sign language class just a few weeks ago, Island Boy took to it almost immediately, picking up the signs for "water", "milk", "finished" and more very quickly. And he has been sooo excited to yield his newfound power!

Previously he could only cry or grunt in an attempt to communicate his needs to us. Now he holds the power to tell us exactly what he wants (as long as it falls within the limits of what we've been teaching him. Fortunately, at this stage in Island Boy's life, his needs are still somewhat basic.).

Water? Ask and Mommy and Daddy eagerly obey! Milk? Mommy and Daddy usually obey. Crackers? Mommy and Daddy are on it!! (Fortunately, this request comes up mostly during snack time thus far, so we're ok with fulfilling it.) He's even building little sentences: "More crackers!".

Perhaps most impressive is his grasp of, and correct usage of the word "HOT". After picking up on this particular sign very quickly, he proceeded to use it when Daddy was using the oven, when Mommy was using the toaster oven and when Daddy was blowing on some food to cool it down. He even signs "hot" when Mommy has her tea cup. Yikes!!

When Mommy and Daddy weren't looking, Island Boy innovated and now his sign for "water" includes a slap on the side of his head so he can make some noise and attract our attention. The "water" sign has become a very popular party trick. Apparently, a little too popular...

A wee problem has begun to rear its head with regard to this entire process. When Island Boy doesn't have a sign for something he wants, he attempts to get it using a sign that works - in this case, "water". Hey, it works for water, so why not try it out for other things??

A little taste of power can be a very dangerous thing...

p.s. I will attempt to post some photos of some of these signs and possibly even a little video clip just as soon as I'm able to capture the bits. Island Boy's love of consumer electronics currently outweighs his desire to focus on the task at hand and he immediately moves towards the camera as soon as he spies it and with surprising speed, thus making for challenging conditions for photography. However, Mommy is determined, so at some point I will prevail. (I hope! :-)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Did you know that the average (yes, the AVERAGE) Emergency Room visit in our local area lasts SIX hours? Neither did I. Hey, you learn something new every day and my day to learn that particular item of trivia was Monday. Where else would we spend a holiday Monday but the emergency room? I couldn't resist what with a temperature of 103.5 and all. Thankfully, hubby is taking very good care of me and Island Boy and I'm now on the road to recovery.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Basic Instinct

We were talking to a friend of ours the other day about how Island Boy claps his hands whenever he hears applause. He does this whether he hears it live, on TV or even simply audio. It's really quite charming.

I had never really thought about it before, but our friend pointed out that clapping is one of the most basic of human emotional reactions and that it crosses all cultures, all ages and all walks of life.

It's amazing what our children can teach us about the world and we never even have to leave home.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Perfect Age

Before we brought Island Boy home people told us we would be bringing him home at the "Perfect Age''. I smiled and thanked them, knowing that they were being kind and appreciating their attempts to make me feel better about missing out on the first months of his life.

Guess what?? They were right!! Those people were not just being nice. Although it certainly was nice of them to say something so wonderful, it was not simply to make me feel better. It was even better than that: it made me feel better AND it turned out to be true.

While I cannot say what he might have been like had we brought him home sooner, and I cannot say what lies ahead, I do know that this little boy is at an age where he has personality plus. Each day brings new achievements, new noises, new activities and even more irresistibleness.

Did those wonderful people in my life that told me about the "Perfect Age" help me appreciate it even more? Yes, I think so.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ready or Not...

Yes, ready or not, Island Boy is officially walking. We were thrilled to see him take his first steps, then terrified at what that meant for us. We've been in a bit of denial as we've watched him getting stronger and more confident each day, but now there's no denying it...whatever we've been facing up until this point, we know that Island Boy is on the verge of "kicking it up a notch" and we know that we're not entirely prepared mentally or physically.

My goodness, can you imagine?? Until this point, we could generally hear the little guy moving about the house and although he's been able to crawl or cruise with amazing speed, I'm sure it's nothing compared to what we will soon face.


I think it's time we got that baby proofer back in here for another go around...

Friday, February 08, 2008


I always find baby milestones interesting and fun. I'm learning along the way as well. The "pincer grip" - who knew??

We're tracking most "official" milestones quite nicely (umm...we're supposed to be mimicking how Mommy and Daddy hold the phone up to our ear by now, but what with modern technology such as it is, baby has learned instead to mimic putting the phone down in front of him and using the speaker phone). As with growth charts and the imperfection of "official" measurements, I find it equally fun to identify and track our own milestones of Island Boy's development.

For example, he's learned to miraculously remove his favorite snuggly toy from the crib using a blanket as a tool. He sometimes accomplishes this when Mommy thinks she has placed the toy well out of reach!! I honestly have not yet figured out how he does this.

He figured out what to do with Mommy's hairbrush when he found it laying near the luggage after seeing me use it just once. (I'm not suggesting that I only brushed my hair once between pick up day and holiday travel - although, come to think of it, that may have been the case! ;-)

He quickly figured out that "his" remote is a decoy, so he lost interest in that almost immediately.

He has cleverly learned how to operate the light within the refrigerator, so while Mommy and Daddy are accessing the fridge, Island Boy is operating his very own light show.
He can feed himself with a spoon surprisingly effectively - oh, that might actually qualify as an official milestone, so we'll have to save more details on that for another post...

He has learned to create some very imaginative games. A recent example of this happened at the dinner table on Chinese New Year's Eve. He amused himself and us for a good five or ten minutes while he pretended to put a blueberry into his mouth but took it back out again just as we were telling him, "Good job!".

I'm not sure if any of these "milestones" matter under any "official" reckoning, but they sure are fun!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Gong Xi Fat Cai!

Happy Chinese New Year! Today marks the beginning of the Year of the Rat (and the conclusion of the Year of the Pig). Be sure to enjoy long life noodles and dumplings today to bring you good food and good fortune throughout the year!

We celebrated last night and yes, our son was far more interested in the money itself than in the red envelope it came in. Smart boy!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Sign Us Up!

Mommy and Me (or the more politically correct and certainly fitting "Parent and Me") classes are quite the thing to do here in LA (possibly everywhere). Unfortunately, a lot of these types of classes involve a fair amount of discussion about breast feeding, wobbly necks and other topics that are of little interest to us at this point.

Still, Island Boy is quite the little socializer, so we like to get him out and about and I'm always interested in meeting other moms. Sign Language class seemed like a perfect opportunity. Not only does it give our little guy an hour a week to hang out with friends, sing some songs and play with some toys, it may also be good for him.

Some research suggests that teaching babies sign language may increase their vocabulary and possibly even IQ scores. I don't know if I buy any of that, but I can tell you that Island Boy is simply delighted when he learns a new sign and so are we!!

Friday, February 01, 2008


Our physician friends and many others have told us that children are little incubators of all kinds of germs. We believed them. We didn't need any proof.

Unfortunately, we've been getting proof anyway as hubby and I have been sick more since November than we've ever been and yes, before I was fully recovered from my bout earlier this month, I got hit again. I am sick of being sick! Arrgh!!

Welcome to a whole new world of germs indeed.

Fortunately, and seemingly miraculously, Island Boy has been faring much better than Mommy and Daddy throughout. How does he do it? We don't know, but we are happy that he's been pulling through ok. Hopefully, we will all soon be back to 100%.