Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sign Language as of 10-17-13 (almost 18 months old)

  • milk
  • more (all uses: food, TV show, etc.)
  • food/ eat
  • bug
  • horse
  • dog (he also woofs!)
  • dada (also uses it for grandparents of both sexes)
  • cow (also moos, his general sign for animals)
  • apple
  • cracker
  • thank you (so cute!)
  • baby 
  • help
  • water (puts index finger in mouth, knows the drinking liquid ) 
  • hat (rubs head)
  • nose
  • ball
  • bird 
  • grandpa (not sure if he's pulling his head away from his head on purpose or just done signing, but uses a sign for grandpa)
  • all done
This morning when he wasn't quite awake, he started waving!  I don't know if he was dreaming or starting his day by saying hello.  Oh my gosh, it was adorable.  He's still continuing to sign "dada" when he's falling asleep, I melt every time.
He is finally signing milk again.  He'll often sign "more" first but does come to me sometimes and clearly sign "milk."  No more wiggling his fingers, but closing his hand with the fingers together.
The other day we were in line at Buy Buy Baby and he was looking at the toys behind us and touching his thumbs together.  I'd never seen this sign before and wasn't sure what he was doing until I looked behind me and there were balls!  He was signing "ball!"  We weren't actively teaching him "ball," just every once in a while so it was so cool that he remembered and used it on his own.  The next day he was standing by our TV that is blocked off with a yoga ball (classy I know) and asked for help and then signed "ball" again!
My parents have some bobble-head figurines from "The Nightmare Before Christmas" that Robbie loves to look at.  Last night he kept signing "help" to Grandpa so Grandpa would lift him up to look at them.  He kept doing it over and over and Grandpa couldn't say no because it's so cute!

We're now working on:
  • light 
  • mama
  • pig
  • cat
  • flower
  • chicken
  • monkey (he sometimes says oo-oo-ah-ah!) 
  • book
I need to get help from one of my friends that is deaf to create a sign for Robbie's name.  Names in sign language are important and the consensus in the deaf community is that only a deaf person can create a name sign.  You could definitely finger-spell a name but creating a name sign is different.  I'm not sure what the specifics are (I'll have to ask her) but I believe as long as a deaf person assigns the sign, the name "recipient" doesn't have to be deaf.  I just want Robbie to be able to call himself something, like he can sign "mama" or "dada."  I think she'll be happy to help!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Bumby Wool Review

My go-to nighttime solution is a Tots Bots Bamboozle fitted diaper with a Thirsties hemp insert, covered with a Bumby wool cover.  I love my Bumby wool!  It easily becomes an obsession with cloth diapering moms and some continue to buy them as pants for their children after potty learning.  I myself use the soakers for all my needs, which most people would call a cover style-wise.  They also come in shorties, longies and my favorite, leggings!  The only reason I haven't bought some leggings yet is our bedroom stays really warm even with the air conditioner running and my son will overheat in a T-shirt and diaper!  So we use soakers/ covers all year long.  It really needs to be "bulletproof" as we sleep together and I don't want to wake up in pee!
I rotate between three covers: Black Sheep (black), Me Want Cookie (a dark blue like Cookie Monster) and Mystique (another dark blue).  Wool is breathable so you won't have to worry about your child overheating in a soaker, though the longies or leggings might be too warm in the summer.  All three covers I own are the Fuzzy style, which is thicker than other option, silky.  It is not overly thick but it is considered more durable and I don't want to worry about damaging my wool, since wool can be overwhelming when first starting out. 
Before I even owned any Bumby wool, I had done a lot of research on wool care and lanolizing.  My favorite resource has been this video tutorial from my online friend Carrie.  It is a very easy to follow explanation about how to lanolize your wool.  I've followed this tutorial every time I've lanolized my wool and I've never had a problem, which is surprising as I've heard some complete lano-fail stories.  I created my own video tutorial with a few tweaks to Carrie's such as adding vinegar to prevent any possible bleeding of the wool dyes.  I also only stir my mixture for a few seconds to combine!  I don't know what my secret ingredient is but I don't have to stir for minutes at a time like some other people.
You'll need:
  • a squirt of baby wash/ shampoo (no need to be precise)
  • 1 tsp of lanolin for one cover, 1 tbsp for two covers
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • a piece of lano loaf (could be optional, may need to stir longer)
  • a piece of wool wash bar (optional) 
  • vinegar
I first wash my soakers in either baby wash or the same wool wash bar I use for lanolizing.  My son never gets the cover "dirty" (aka poop) but it will start to smell like pee after a few weeks (!).  This is because wool is naturally antibacterial and once aired out, the urine smell will dissipate.  When it continues to smell, it needs to be washed and I've found that with three soakers in rotation, this will be weeks!  I like to soak the cover first in warm (not hot) soapy water with a splash of vinegar in our kitchen sink and this is where you can really see how waterproof your cover is.  I will see still spots where the water repels from the cover even after weeks of wear!  I soak the cover for a few minutes to help loosen the urine residue from the fabric and swish and rub it a little.  I don't know about other people but this is enough to clean my child's covers.  If needed, you can focus on "dirty" areas with the wool wash bars or just apply soap on the cover and rub the fabric to loosen the soil.  Once it's washed, I empty the sink and leave the soaker in there and fill a bit with warm water and another splash of vinegar.  I then work on my lano!
I start by boiling some water (makes it easiest to melt the ingredients) and putting the ingredients in a glass measuring cup.  I use glass as it cleans easier in my opinion but you could use an heat-safe container.  I add the baby soap, lano loaf piece, wool wash piece, however much lanolin you need, and then the hot water.  In my experience, it homogenizes (mixes completely) very easily but for others, you may need to stir it for a bit to combine.  Once it comes together, I add a few ice cubes to cool it down as pouring hot water directly on the wool can cause it to felt, making the fabric permanently tighter and not very pretty.  Once it's about body temperature, I add it to the sink and try not to fill it much higher than the wool, to keep it from diluting too much.

I leave it soaking overnight and then gently squeeze the excess water out (being rough can also cause felting.)  I then place the cover on a folded towel and roll the towel to remove even more water.  Watch the video (at 7:33) if this sounds confusing.  I then just hang the cover outside or inside in the sunlight or in front of a fan to quicken drying.  It may take a while for it to dry as wool is pretty absorbent!
There are times when my wool needs a little more waterproofing between washes but isn't quite dirty and that's when I'll use spray lanolin.  You can buy some from Kissed by the Moon, or make your own using products you already have!  The recipe I use was posted on the GMD (Green Mountain Diapers) Mamas Facebook page and it works well for me.  The ingredients are 
  • 1 cup of water
  • a squirt of baby wash
  • pea sized amount of lanolin
  • essential oils of your choice (optional)
This recipes uses the microwave but I used boiling water again.  I used an old glass mason jar and shook to combine the ingredients.  When it cooled, I poured it into a small spray bottle.  For me, I seem to use at least half of the bottle each time I "refresh" my cover so making my own is more cost effective.  It's a really easy refresh method and some mamas only use spray lanolin but for overnight, I need to use the soaking method every couple weeks or it wouldn't be waterproof enough.
When I wasn't using wool, I would often have nighttime leaks (in my bed!) or if I used a PUL cover, it would smell strongly of pee after the first use.  I don't have either of those problems when using wool and it doubles as clothes, even the soakers!
One last thought:When my son was a newborn, we used Kissaluvs fitteds with a Thirsties cover but for our next baby(ies), I will use wool from the start.  It is so much more convenient and do I have to mention cute!
Silky Cornflower at 3 weeks (left) and 12 weeks (right)
Image used with permission of Karin Kameya

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Sign Language Update (10-3-13)

So I have more to add!  It's so exciting!  The ones highlighted in grey are ones that have been included in the previous two posts about his sign language:

  • milk
  • more
  • food/ eat
  • bug
  • horse
  • dog (he also woofs!)
  • dada (for sure, also uses it for grandparents of both sexes)
  • cow (all the time! his general sign for animals)
  • apple
  • cracker
  • thank you (when showed how)
  • baby 
He's been reluctant to sign "milk" as he has been in the past for some reason, but will consistently sign "more" when he wants to nurse.  I don't know what it is about the sign, maybe some strange association with it.  He'll do it when prompted, though it's not as clear as it was months ago.  Instead of all his fingers closing at once, he alternates closing them.  And also strange, he'll sign it to other people that are around and not to me, as if telling them he's going to have milk.  Just strange!
One adorable thing he's been doing is when he's falling asleep nursing he slowly signs "dada."  Maybe he's trying to call him or maybe just associates "dada" with falling asleep.  It is so cute!

We're now working on "grandpa" as he's obsessed with my dad these days.  He'll stare at a Christmas card on the fridge and sign "dada" over and over.  We're now working on:
  • thank you
  • light 
  • water
  • mama