Friday, January 27, 2012

Baby Signing Update!

I bet you weren't expecting an update so soon!

I don't know if it's because Saul is older or WHAT but he's really picked up quick!

I'm not an expert by ANY means, but let me tell you what worked for us.

To teach "more" what I did was this ...

Since our living room is kind of a play room, I periodically switch out toys from ones I keep in his closet so he doesn't get tired of what he's playing with or overwhelmed by like, a gazillion toys.

Yesterday, I got out a shape-sorting box he's had since he was about 6 months old.  I sat him next to me on the couch and emptied the box of shapes on the far side of me so that they were out of his sight.

I would hand him one and let him put it in the box.  When he was finished, I'd ask him to say "more" and do the sign.  He was a little confused and frustrated at first because he just wanted the toy.  Sometimes, I wouldn't withhold and I'd just give it to him.  I think that kept his frustration level down enough to try to understand what I was trying to get him to do.  Each time he finished one shape, I'd ask him to say "more." 

After a few rounds of the game, HE GOT IT!! He would occasionally even do the sign without me having to ask!

A key point here was that I SAID the word more, while doing the sign.  I had initially been skeptical that he would just learn the sign and that might inhibit the talking.

After he mastered "more," we took a break. 

Later, we added "please."  In this case, I would SHOW him the toy, and when he grabbed for it,  I'd say, "Saul, say please," and do the sign.  That way, he knew that he was asking for something I had (that he could see) and was learning manners instead of just grunting, whining, and grabbing.

I taught him "again" by reading his favorite book - Hop on Pop by Dr. Suess - about 1 million times.  When I finished the book, he would want me to read it again, so I would have him do the sign.  That one didn't take long.

Here's the kicker - When Todd got home, we wanted to show him what we had learned (aka  ... I wanted to). So we got out the shape sorting box, and played again.  Except about halfway through the game, SAUL STARTED SAYING MORE - OUTLOUD!!

It started off sounding like "ma-ma" then slowly transitioned into "mo-ma" then "mo-rahhh" in this deep voice of his.  I was out-of-my-skull excited.

This morning, he's already used please a few times.  His milk was out of reach at breakfast, so he started grunting.  I looked at him, and it was like he regained his composure and BAM - he's saying please.

Then he brought his shoes to me and asked me to "please" put them on.  So cute.

I am officially pro-signing.

ps. sorry this one is so wordy. I'm just so proud!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Baby Sign Language?

I always kind of thought baby sign language was kinda pointless.  I know, judge me.

Well, I'm about to give it a go.

Saul is not TERRIBLY behind on speech, but I'm starting to give it a little thought.  He knows all his animal sounds, he "sings" with me, he knows a few words and phrases, but I recently read that by age two, you should be able to understand 25% of what your child says, and they should know 50+ words.

We're not quite there.

Another reason I was skeptical was because he knows everrryything we say.  He totally understands us.  You can tell him to pick up his blocks, go find his shoes, close the door, "are you hungry?" and tons of other stuff.  You can tell him it's time for night-night, and he goes to his room, and brings back his blanket, paci, and a diaper.  I mean, tell me he doesn't know what night-night means! 

He says things like ball, good bye, hey, "naaaa" for banana, "all-gaw" for all gone, and a lot of phrases that have the same pitch as we say them.

But also, I've noticed Saul getting really frustrated.  He went through a talking spree a few weeks ago, but he's kind of quieted down lately.

I found an awesome site that is a huuuge dictionary of baby signs. Just before I put him down for his nap, I taught him the sign for "more." He got it in about 3 minutes.  He loved how happy I got when he did it right when I asked him to.

So I think I'm going to work on just a few basics - more, please, all-gone/finished, and again.  They're all relatively easy.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

He's my Son vs. I'm a Mom

Daily, I look at my son, and think to myself, "Oh, my gosh.  Look at this precious child."
Or, "I can't believe he is my SON."  
I have these moments of striking clarity.  He is a child that we have been blessed with.  He's a living, breathing soul, that is learning about the world around him daily. 

I know that I'm his mom, but less often, I have these moments where it hits me like a ton of bricks - I'M A MOM.

They hit at weird times.  Here's some examples:
  • Today, after being outside, I put him down for a nap.  I went to the kitchen and started cleaning Georgia Red Clay off his shoes.  I felt like a mom. 
  • The first time we got to buy band-aids for a booboo. (They're Sesame Street).  Felt like a Mom.
  • Putting Calamine Lotion on bug bites. Totally Mom.
  • The first time I made him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  I felt like a Mom. 
  • Each time he hurts himself, and the way he comes to me and asks me to kiss whatever he hurt.  Seriously.  He's learned that he should go to momma to get a kiss - no matter what.  I feel like a Superhero/Mom. 
It's the small stuff, guys.  I love love love being a mom!!! Even if I pull my hair out sometimes. Even if he's hitting terrible two's.  Even if his eye teeth are coming in.  I love it.

I hope that I encourage and nurture his spirit and give him confidence.  Unknowingly, in his innocence, he builds me up, too.  I love him.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mad Mom

When I was young, my mom would go on cleaning rampages.  When she cleaned, she'd get mad.  Real mad.  It was kind of a code between us kids - "Mad Mom" - and we knew she was cleaning.

Her and I joke about it now, so I don't think she'll worry about you judging her since I've shared this.  She innocently says, "Well, with five kids, your dad on the road, and a house in a perpetual state of commotion, getting mad was the only motivation I had to get deep cleaning done!" I think it's funny. 

I also made silent 8-year-old vows to myself that I would never "Mad Mom" clean.

So today, after I had finished typing 115 pages of a deposition (that I'm only half-way done with, btw) and put Saul down for a nap, imagine my sheer delight when I looked around and saw ... disgusting floors, a sink full of dirty dishes, toys, shoes, etc all over the place! 


Maybe it's one of those days, but my inner four-year-old had a temper tantrum screaming "I DON'T WANNAAA!!!" for a few moments. 

I can only clean when Todd's not around because I feel bad, and Saul has to be asleep, too, because ...  I mean can ANYBODY sweep with a curious toddler running through your dirt piles?  Didn't think so. 

So I'm sweeping.  I'm sweeping a pile of dog hair that's roughly the size of my head.  I look over at Colston.  Just laying there.  Watching me.  

I started channeling "Mad Mom" in my head.  "Yeah.  It must be nice, PUPPY.  You make the mess; I clean it up! You just lay there while I sweep.  That's AWESOME." 

Approximately two minutes later ... it hits me - I AM CHANNELING MAD MOM! 

And I laugh.  And I go pet my dog.  Poor guy doesn't know that he was a victim of several strings of mental expletives.  Sweet boy.  

So I'm over it.  I finished cleaning the house with a genuine smile on my face.  I guess I'd rather live in a happy, messy house than a rigid, clean one, right?  


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Computer Pie

Here's a little sample of what goes on around this house on a Sunday night.

Setting:  Watching football.  There's a Ford Focus commercial on, and the owners of the vehicle are talking about how great the car is - "It's like driving a computer!!"

Todd:  Oh, GOSH!! They want you to play on computers, work on computers, DRIVE the computers. Next thing you know, they'll want you to EAT computers

Me (getting slightly philosophical):  You know, Baby, they're already doing that - figuratively.

Todd:  Yeah, but I mean literally. 

(Then, in his best Bubba-from-Forest-Gump voice...) Fried computer, Raw computer, Computer Spaghetti, Stewed computer, Computer sandwich, Computer Pie ...

Then, I die from laughter.

If you know Todd, you know how funny this is. Maybe. 

... Maybe I'm the only one that thought this was funny.  I guess that's why I'm his wife-ish.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Okay! We did it.

Todd cut if off last night.  It took about two and a half hours, so I'm pretty sure he cut each hair individually.

It's so awesome.  It actually looks a lot like my favorite hairCUTE.  A Mandy Moore 'do that I've kept bookmarked on my computer for years because I love it so much.  

Hey Mandy!

Source: via Molly on Pinterest

As I sat down to get cut, I said, "Okay.  You know what I like.  Do what you have to do.  No more; no less."  He said he knew that already.

Well, turns out he had to cut it ALL off.  He said it's a little shorter than what he likes on me, but it's what best for my hair. 


I love it. It feels so "me" 
A shaggy, longer pixie cut.  

 But if in 3 years my hair isn't long and HEALTHY, I'm going to be very, very angry.  I will totally miss my long hair, but this is great for a change! 


Sunday, January 15, 2012

On Getting Chopped

Warning.  This post is mostly inconsequential and has lots of useless backstory.

So did you know that before Todd was the love of my life, he was my hairdresser/coworker??  I'm sure you did.
Literally, the first day I met Todd - my second day of work. Long hair.

Flash back to 2007.  I'm a 18-year-old frontdesk girl at a fancy salon.  When I started, there were a few whispers of "Oh, my gosh. That's Todd.  He's so cute.  His haircuts are so good it's nuts!" A week or so into working there, I got my first "Pool-ee-oh," as our friend, Joe, calls them. (Sidenote: not the pronunciation of his last name).

Over the next few years, I got a ton of Pool-ee-oh's.  I can't tell if it's because I actually wanted my hair cut, or if I just wanted to be in his chair.  He would do nothing but make fun of my "punky" persona and tell me cold, hard truth.  I would have never believed you if you told me that in a few years, he'd be my fiance.
Todd's favorite haircut.  He still talks about it.  I remember after he was done he said he wanted my head to carry around because he love the cut so much.  Weird?  Maybe.
I remember we became really good friends when we were both going through some tough stuff.  I remember I was supposed to be going on vacation with my then-boyfriend, but stayed behind (we broke up. duh) and came in on one of my scheduled days off to get my hair cut.  I remember that Todd hugged me after that haircut.  I was pretty excited about that.  I know that me made fun of my neon orange shirt and skinny jeans, but I was butterfly-ish in my stomach because - hello - this man is GAWgeous and he just hugged me.  Wasn't I supposed to me mourning a lost relationship?  Nope.  This man loved Jesus and wanted me to be the best "me" I could be. I wanted someone like him.
Right after he cut it that day.  Of course, I had to come home and change and take pictures.  What else is a Myspace Girl to do?
A few months later, we were dating.  It was a wonderful time of growing up and finding myself.

The first night Todd and I hung out - outside of work.  I know he's not in this photo (I'm blocking him, of course), but I love how the cut looks in it.
Getting back to haircuts, I remember he would come to my house (driving 30+ minutes.  Sweet man) and we would sit on my front porch.  I'd pour him a few rum-and-coke's and he'd give me some of the most ballin' haircuts I'd ever had.

Oh, and during these few years, my hair got progressively shorter and shorter - per my request 

Then he left the salon and I got fired.  I was down and out and looking for a job.  I wanted a change! We basically said,"what the heck!" and lopped off my hair.  Boy short.  I rocked it for a few months, and then we started growing it out.

Boy Short. Despite the look on my face, I loved it!
 Fast forward 3.5 years, and here I sit with my hair long-ish.  I love it. It grew so fast when I was pregnant.  It was healthy and shiny and beautiful.

Then I gave birth.  And my hair went on strike.  It seriously hates me. I killed it with a cheap hairdryer.  Last night, Todd literally said to me,  "I have never seen someone ruin their hair like this."

So basically, Todd said we have to start over.  RIP Molly's hair.

I've gone back and forth on it.  I want it long for my wedding, but let's be serious here - I have no clue when that will be.  Short, it shall be.

And thanks for letting me be vain in the sense that I just posted about 47 photos of myself with hair at various lengths and styles.  'Preciate it.  No one reads a post without pictures.  I know you all too well.


Oh, and as you can see, I used to think I was really cool and interesting, so I took a lot of pictures of myself. Sorry about that.  Had to come to grips with the fact that ... I'm a nerd. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Garden '12?

So it's just about that time of year.

Look at me ... I wish.
Source: via Molly on Pinterest

When I get a moment of down time - aka - during naps, while trying to distract myself from all the typing work I should be doing, I've started pulling out my gardening books again.

It's been an extreeeemely mild winter thus far, so who's to say that it won't continue to be mild? (Ahem, my luck)

And now that we (may) have found our new home, I need to have my ducks in a row.  Once we move (again, fingers crossed), I'll need to unpack ... then get down to business in the garden.

I'm serious. Every year, my passion is growing.  I know that by July, I'll be dragging my sweaty behind out to the jungle to water plants at 10:00 a.m. and whining to Todd about how "I'm DONE with the gardening thing," but HEY - WHO CARES?!! I'll be feeding my family good, whole foods grown with the Good Lord's grace and some favorable weather conditions.

I pulled out my garden notebook and looked through it today.  It was so cute.  I didn't know what in the world I was doing.  I was just throwing everything in the dirt in one of those little plastic greenhouses you get from Home Depot and sticking it in front of a space heater.  I was so pumped! It's cute.

So with a very small amount of experience under my belt, I have better ideas.  I cannot wait to get started.  I have some goals that I was going to share with you, but this is already too wordy.  I'll just contain myself.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Hey, Detroit!

Saul has one thing to say to you:  Who Dat.

But seriously, it's Wildcard Saturday.  
Red Beans are on, and my honey will be home soon.  
Oh, and no matter what the outcome, I just want to shake hands with Jimmy Graham.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Looking Back on 2010

All the blogs seem to be trending this style of ... blog this past week.  Let's take a look back at 2010!

Yeah.  I think it was a blessed year. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year!

I know it's a bit late, but - HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
I'm super cheesin', but hey, I can't be ashamed.  I was happy.  We had a wonderful time bringing in the new year at our friend's restaurant surrounded by people we love so much. 

Saul's making a serious face, and Todd is being silly, too, which few get to see. He's a pretty serious guy. ;)