Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bad Christmas Shopping Day

I had a tough morning getting out the of house... organizing Geran to go off to daycare, getting baby ready for shopping day. Looking forward to meeting up with a gf for coffee. Kinda excited to have a semi-normal Christmas Shopping exerience.

We are on a tight budget, like many, and I was planning on using my Sears card for some stocking stuffers etc.
We recently paid it off and it was at zero waiting for a Christmas experience of it's own. When I went to get my card, it was missing, so I figured I could use my husbands, and wanted him to call Sears to see if it was ok.
First they tell us our account will be frozen by 12:30pm if we don't pay $10 min payment, we missed. However, I paid it in full, so they had mixed up something. But needless to say, James had to come with me and skip out on work. So down he came to fix the problem and leave me to my Christmas shopping.
I went about my merry way and he his... until they wouldn't let me pay at the til and I had to call him to come help me pay for the stuff... which he left work AGAIN and came and helped out.
I had girlfriend waiting on me and wanted to hurry and get visiting with her. So I said why doesn't she just drive me and home and you can go back to work, I will take the car seat base with me and she can put me and the baby in her car.
Sounded good, it was then I realized that I LOST my purse!!

It was in the stroller, and fell out somwhere! I was  I ran all over the mall and then back into Sears.. talked to security guards... figured my purse was gone, along with everything , phone, money, cc, ID, daytimer, everything! Someone probably stole it! I was starting to freak out...
Then, as I was getting upset, this perfume lady stopped me and asked what was wrong, I told her. ( I was back in Sears) and she called around to her private guard in the store, and he was currently bringing it up to the lady's department... Some lady handed it in!! Christmas miracle... there are kind people at Christmas time... wish I could thank her!
After that I hooked up with my girlfriend Laura, and told James he can just go back to work and I'll take the car seat base and get Laura to drive me home... we shopped a bit... I was pretty hungry too.
We went into the grocery store attached to the mall and I went to buy my pampers with my 10 dollar coupon off... and there was problem, I had to buy a certain amount to get the coupon off, so they called the manager, held up the line, I felt stupid...the saving grace part was that the cashier was hard of hearing and we got to use sign language and chat the whole time, which was a lot of fun!
The manager came and just said 'screw it' and gave me the 10$ off.! Sweet Christmas kindness again!
There was a cafe in the grocery store so I bought a couple samsa's to eat... so starving... heated it up in the microwave at the grocery store... and proceeded to drop them on the floor... no dinner for me.!!
At this point I wanted to cry. After being tossled and bumped into and shoved aside during the season, which is expected...but after the whole losing my purse, forgetting my sears card, and loosing dinner, I wasn't impressed. I looked at Laura and just wanted to go get my two year old from daycare and go home!
It was then I realized I forgot the car seat base and had to get James to come get me and drive me home! AGAIN!
At this point I got a text from the daycare telling me Geran was having a breakdown at daycare, crying for me and missing me. He had a hard day, not wanting to share, pee'd his pants on the floor and having a missing mommy day... so I had to call and send James to get him before he got me.
Luckily the evening went better. James made dinner and the kids and I watched Christmas shows and had a great night sleep!
Sigh... It is days like these I wish I had a drinking problem!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Why don't children's listen?

Becoming an asking parent instead of a telling parent.

So we have been trying this new way of talking to Geran, my two year old. I was reading up on being an asking parent and it works quite well. Instead of getting into power struggles by trying to chase the two year old all over the house to get him to put his jacket on to go outside. I stopped saying, "Geran, come here and put your jacket on." And we started saying, "Geran what do you need to wear to go outside in the cold?" Geran runs up to me and says, (very proudly I may add) "A jacket mommy!" Then I say, can you show me how a big boy can put on his jacket? and he proceeds to show me and says "Like this!"

It was a miracle, and yet so simple. This doesn't work every single time, but it works a lot. Not only am I getting to do the things I need him to do, I am engaging his brain to do the thinking. He know is practicing small problem solving techniques at two years old.

To invite your child to think...

Ask things like...
"what do you need to do so your hands are not sticky?"
"what do you need to do before we watch the tv show?"

For more information on becoming an asking parent see this utube video below:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Get my two year old to stop hitting, pushing.

Ignorance is a dangerous thing. To be uneducated in one area or more in ones life is quite normal. Nobody knows everything in every area. This is why we have mechanics and air plane engineers. When you don't know enough about a subject, it is best to learn about it and educate yourself or you hire someone who know more than you do. I may not not know much about mechanics or how to network multi-computer system, but I do know about children. I am very well educated when it comes to working with children who may have special needs or behaviour difficulties. I know more than the average person when it comes to speech delays or children with oppositional disorders or children with ADHD or autism tendencies, because my oldest has all three of these disorders and has had them since he was a toddler.

For those out there who don't know. I was a special education assistant for over 11 years in the Langley School District. I have worked in early childhood education and at the high school level for 20 years. For over half my life I have been facilitating programs for children. I was a Mad Science Instructor, Rec n Reading Corordinator, YMCA leader, Boy and Girl Club Rec Leader, Timms Community Child Minder, A tutor specializing in reading and writing, and I have done child minding. As a Special Education Assistant, I have facilitated Austism Social Skill Programs and worked with children with ADHD and many other behaviour and learning disabilities such as children with Downes, FAS, Oppositional Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive, Speech, Sight and Hearing Delays, Anxiety Disorders, children without communication and more.

Before all this I was given a child who was born with over 12 learning disabilities, Opposition Disorder, Anxiety Disorder and ADHD. I spent the last 20 years studying, going to workshops and writing and learning about children with ADHD. You could say I am an expert in this area. It's important to know this, because here I am with my two year old. Who is perfectly normal development and I am freaking out because he is pushing other kids and hits when tired or frustrated.

Every logical, educated bone in my body tells me it is all fine, but my emotional mind doesn't listen and I hear myself say, Why why why? I know why. I know I have a new baby at home. I know he is only two and can't understand, and in fact doesn't even have the brain development necessary at this age to understand what he is doing is wrong. He is struggling with this new thing called, "Emotions." I know I need to be teaching and using these moments to show empathy and understanding. And yet I hear myself say what should I do?

Today, I decided to hold myself accountable by blogging. I am going to stop asking Why? and what should I do? I am going to tell myself and others right now what I will be doing.

Here is one of many excellent links that you may read to discover more about positive discipline for young children. If you also want to read some Piaget, that wouldn't hurt either. Dr. Jane Nelson has a blog called positive disipline. She is an author/mother and a therapist. Her criteria for positive discipline is below:

  1. Helps children feel a sense of connection. (Belonging and significance)
  2. Is mutually respectful and encouraging. (Kind and firm at the same time.)
  3. Is effective long - term. (Considers what the child is thinking, feeling, learning, and deciding about himself and his world – and what to do in the future to survive or to thrive.)
  4. Teaches important social and life skills . (Respect, concern for others, problem solving, and cooperation as well as the skills to contribute to the home, school or larger community.)
  5. Invites children to discover how capable they are. (Encourages the constructive use of personal power and autonomy.)

There is also a great FB site called positive discipline that has many resources, vidoes and information for your viewing as well.

Here are the links:

Facebook Site:

Jane's Blog:

An awesome video to help young children understand you still love them even when new babies come into the picture.

Hope this helps out there. Please check out the links, you will learn a lot about your very normal two year old!

I am going to start by empathizing with my two year old. When he pushes or hit, I am going to hug him and ask him what's wrong? He will most likely not know, but may in fact tell me what's wrong. Which would be wonderful so I can actually help with his emotions and not just be addressing behaviour.

It is important to address the child's feelings behind the behaviour.

Here are some of Jane Nelson's suggestions....


  1. (4yrs and up) Take the child by the hand and say, "It is not okay to hit people. I'm sorry you are feeling hurt and upset
  2. Help the child deal with the anger. 
  3. Ask, "Would it help you to go to your time-out spot now?" Time out is not helpful unless the child has helped create a positive time out spot in advance.  Also, time out is not helpful if the child does not see the benefit and chooses it. If you "make" your child go to time out, your child is likely to see it as punishment and may rebel.
  4. (4yrs and up) After the child has calmed down, ask what and how questions. "What is upsetting you? How are you feeling?" See if you can get to the bottom of what is really bothering your child and then help the child discover what other things he or she could do besides hitting to deal with the problem. (Children under 4 years of age do not understand abstract reasoning. This is one reason why lectures are not effective at this age. There are other reasons why lectures are ineffective at any age.)
  5. With children under 4, try giving them a hug before removing them from the situation. This models a loving method while showing them that hitting is not okay. Hugging does not reinforce the misbehavior. 
  6. Even though toddlers don't fully comprehend language, you can still use words (while removing them) such as, "Hitting hurts people. Let's find something else you can enjoy doing."
  7. When babies hit you, put them down and leave the room immediately for a minute or two without saying a word. At this age, they will understand actions better than words.
  8. When your preschooler hits you, decide what you will do instead of trying to control your child. Let her know that every time she hits you, you will leave the room until she is ready to treat you respectfully. After you have told her this once, follow through without any words. Leave immediately.
  9. Later you might tell your child, "That really hurts" or "That hurts my feelings. When you are ready, an apology would help me feel better." Do not demand or force an apology. The main purpose of this suggestion is to give a model of sharing what you feel and asking for what you would like. People don't always give us what we would like, but we show respect for ourselves by sharing our feelings and wishes in non-demanding ways.
Wish me luck this week.

Another great idea I read was having your child help you 'make the time out spot.'
Cut a large cardboard box up, so there is just a floor and two walls and have them 'paint and decorate' the inside. It could be a space station, a spring and butterfly set, a car race, or random designs. Then teach that this is their 'safe cool down' spot. They may ask to go to their 'garden, spaceship, race car or quiet spot' when they feel angry, upset or frustrated. What a cute idea.

Monday, December 12, 2011

late nights

What's with late nights and moms. Is it that our babies suck every hour of every day from us and so when they are in bed, we try desperately to attempt at filling up every single minute of that free time trying to boost our fun levels? ;trying to find a way of remembering who we are before children? Or are we just afraid of going to sleep cause then we have to wake up and struggle through another long day?

Even before kids, I was a night hawk. I find that as soon as 8pm rolls around, I am ready and raring to go and party. I use to go out after 8 and get home in the wee hours of the morning. Now I am woke all hours of the night, but I still have a hard time sending myself to bed.

Don't get me wrong, I love my boys and they fill my days with loads of laughter and fun. Like today, Geran, my two year learned how to run and jump into the pile of leaves I made him. It was wonderful. His first time experiencing something I used to do as a kid over and over again. My little 6 month old, Nashville, delighted in watching and laughing as the whole event went down. The crisp, blue sky and chilly air was a beautiful backdrop and I felt like I was in a Norman Rockwell painting. I could imagine the two boys in a year or two just fits of giggles racing to the pile of leaves... and I look forward to many more days like this.

Yet everyone sleeps and I am wide awake at midnight. What is wrong with me? Do any other parents feel this way? I want to sleep, but I love the quiet house, the trickling fish water and the small tapping of the keyboard. Maybe it is a writer thing. I love the peace at night and being alone with my thoughts.

Good night everyone.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bed Bucks to keep lil' ones in bed.

For my eldest son... we used Bed Bucks to help keep him from darting outa bed for 'another pee, another snack, more hugs, another drink of water etc.'
They would get 3 Bed Bucks (play money)
And each time they 'came out or called us into their room' they had to give us a bed buck.
Each buck could stand for (a drink of water, a story, a hug and kiss, a pee etc)
When all three bed bucks were gone, we didn't go in again or do any of their requests.

It worked brilliantly! You must be strong in the first week or so... cause they will 'test' you. If after the 3 bucks are gone, you must NOT go in when they call. If they come out, you gently take them back to bed, say nothing or as little as possible, like, "It's bedtime, I love you." and put them back and leave.

This worked well for our VERY persistent boy.

Thought I would share the idea with others who maybe struggling keeping their little one in bed.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Successful Parenting

Everyone wants to be a successful parent. But ask yourself what does that means?
How does this look?
Is the house spotless, is dinner on the table at 5pm
Are the kids always clean and polite?
Is the laundry always done and put away?
What does a successful parent mean to you?

Do you have time to play with your kids?
Are your kids happy and loving?
Do you include family date night or family day?
Are you showered and well kept everyday?

I am going to let you in on a secret. PARENTS are far from perfect... if your house is spotless, chances are you have spit up on you. If your kids are clean, chances are they wiped their dirty hands on your clothes. If your laundry and dishes are done, your bathroom probably is messy. If your kids are happy and loving, your leaves are probably not raked.

What I am trying to say, is something has to give. Nobody can do it all and have it all. You can have some of it at some point and all of it sometimes, but that's rare.

So if you feel that you fail as a parent today or you yelled, or you didn't clean up or you missed the mail... give yourself a break.

I want all of you reading this and ALL OF YOU! I mean it! You must do this!
Write it down on your computer notepad, text into your phone, use your ipad or use that old fashion paper and pen if you must... but write down your successes as a parent or a person.

Write THREE big sucesses in your life this year and be as detailed as possible... don't write, I am a good person, I have a home. BE SPECIFIC.

Here are mine for an example:
1. I run my own baby sign language business. I am learning and have learned about financial record keeping and business knowhow. I know more about running a business now in my life than ever before.
2. I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy. I make sure he gets 15 mins a day of my personal playtime. I make sure he is well fed, changed and socially happy. I am there for him every day and every night.
3. I am good at interpersonal skills. I am good with people. I am outgoing and fun and I have great ideas. I love planning parties and coming up with fun ways to decorate or play fun games. People like being around me.

I know some of the above may sound cheesy or boastful, but we all need to do more of it. It is easy to write about what we are bad at or what we struggle with... it is much harder to write positive affirmations, but it is necessary.

So go do it and give yourself a pat on the back for the kind of person you are!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Do toddlers need to be held as much?

When your baby becomes a toddler some parents begin to think they don't need to be held as much as they needed to as a baby. Mostly because they don't slow down enough for us to cuddle them.
But especially when a parent has a new baby and a young one still at home. Because they are so independent, the parent may think it's okay to tell them, no, when they ask to be picked up.

But I feel this is a large misconception.
Take them seriously when they ask for 'uppys', they aren't manipulating you, they are wanting to love you!

Try to think of life from their point of view:
They can now climb more, explore more, run around fast... which of course is loads of fun and may be scary if they crash into things and have things fall or break around this large world.
Toddlers need us to reassure them that this crazy, big world is safe with us. They may even need more explanations of new encounters they may not understand. They need to be held and nurtured as they explore this world.

Here are my top reasons you should hold your toddlers more. Even sling wearing at age 2 is common in most cultures around the world.
Hold your toddler...
  1. When your toddler is scared, nervous or upset.
  2. Toddlers need reassurance and they need to feel safe and secure.
  3. Toddlers are very young and holding is important to their emotional development.
  4. Toddler trust parents 100% and they need to know your always there for them.
  5. Holding can help calm them and help them fall asleep faster.
  6. Holding a toddler on your hip (in conversation) builds their vocabulary.
  7. Toddlers are not as independent as they may seem.
  8. They still need closeness and human connection, just like adults do.
  9. Holding your toddler creates safe bonding between parent and child.
  10. Holding your toddler will help lessen any sibling jealously.

Toddlers will sense your mood. If you hold your toddler with resentment or frustration, your toddler will feel the unwillingness and may make them feel more insecure and unwanted. Make sure your holding your toddler with compassion and desire.

Holding your toddler slows you down enough to enjoy his world through his eyes. You can become a kid again. If your child is too heavy for you, ask them to cuddle on the couch or chair with you.

It is healthy to give your child nurturing; those needs are essential to their development.

So do a 'check in' once a week and ask yourself, “Have I been ignoring or neglecting my child's request for attention? Am I too per-occupied with the new baby, work, personal life? If so remember your toddler still needs so much from you. Be that parent you want to be, not just adequate, but a comforting, caring, compassionate one.

Take pleasure in the fact that your toddler feels safe enough to ask for your attention and love.

If it feels overwhelming, remember it is short-lived and soon enough you will be with your adolescence wondering if you could get a hug out of them.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Next Week

Next week is my last class this year for Baby Sign Language Classes. Be part of this new trend of talking to your baby before they can talk. I have to say it is the most wonderful feeling in the world to be able to know what your baby is talking about. They feel so confident and proud when they can ask for something and you can reach over and get it for them. Or when they can just tell you a story and you can talk about it with them. Their little face just lights up and it will make you light up inside.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Free Meet and Greet

Free Sticky Hands meet and greet tomorrow 9:30am -11am at Family Center. No need to register. Learn about baby sign language and socialize with other parents. For parents and babies under 12 months.
Family Center located at
Abbotsford Community Services
2420 Montrose Avenue
Abbotsford, BC V2S 3S9

Just a cute story

It is very often that in the middle of the night my little 5 month old would wake for a feeding. I would try to wait him out a bit and sometime he would fall back to sleep and sometimes not. I bring him into bed with my husband and I and I feed him and then he lays with us a while. After a bit, mostly because I was too exhausted to move anywhere at the time, I put him back in his bassinet. Well, last night was one of those mid-wake nights. I tried to wait it out a bit, hearing him fuss and complain a while... but then he decided enough was enough and he started to wail and cry. I fed him up and he was very nosy about it, slurping it up like a hungry calf. He fed a long time and my husband woke and we lay there enjoying our quiet family morning. When he was done he rolled over and normally he would just fall asleep but today he lay back... stretched his little body out and in the dead quiet he goes, "yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! So satisfied... it was the funniest thing we ever heard. He sounded like a satisfied 4 year old after we told him we were going to DisneyLand. We laughed so hard we woke up our two year old... and well that was that for sleep. But so funny.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Well, I am Canadian, but I am still bombarded with the states and their thanksgiving advertisements. Because of this I have been thinking about what I am thankful for.

I am thankful for technology. I love that my dishes wash themselves in the dishwasher, my clothes go for a ride in the washer and dryer, my favourite shows can be taped and wait for my presence to resume, my phone & computer connect me to loved ones and keep me in the loop of the outside world. Skype allows my sons to visit their grandparents up north. I love technology.

This last one is especially true for the stay at home parent. I use to chat about the daily news in the lunch room with my colleges in the Langley School District when I was working outside the home. I'd even get a chance to read a newspaper or listen to the news on my way in on the radio. Now I listen to "Zoom, zoom to the moon and Over in the Meadow." My newspaper is only used to cover the floor so the kids can paint or carve pumpkins.
The internet has allowed me to still have adult conversation on forums I enjoy. It lets me twitter about who wants to be in politics and where to buy the latest of this's and that's. Facebook keeps me in the mommy world and lets me buy crap online I don't need.
All seriousness, I love technology and I am thankful it is in my life.
The time saved from doing washing by hand or dishes all night allows me to have time to wrestle with my two year old or blow raspberries on my babies tummy. I can cuddle with my hubby and watch Dexter online while my self cleaning oven does the 'dirty' work.
Thank you technology for giving me time and connection with family.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nursery Rhymes

Isn't it funny how nursery rhymes seem almost unimportant until you have children. Then they become baby kryptonite! If you want your baby to stop screaming, crying, whining, melting down... just start singing.
It doesn't even matter if your bad at it. Keep going... don't stop.
Not only will this sooth your tearful baby, but it will calm your heart as well. You can be soooo annoyed at your whiner and frustrated with your crying baby, but if you start singing and you don't stop. You find you stop feeling angry, and start feeling happy. Start dancing too, it throws the kids off enough for them to forget why they were crying and it gives your neighbours something to laugh about when the walk by your window.

The most fun times in my life is when I watched my mom or dad be really silly. Give them a great memory, calm your own spirits and make your babies laugh.

Here are a rhyme to get you started.

Sign for CROCODILE (hands together & open them like the jaws of a croc opening and closing)
Sign for SLEEP (hands together and rest your head on your hands)

Crocodile, crocodile, nip your nose (CROC sign and use it to nip at babies nose)
Crocodile, crocodile, nip your toes (CROC sign and use it to nip at babies toes)
Crocodile, crocodile, swim around (CROC sign and swim it around in the air)
Crocodile, crocodile, ly right down (CROC sign swimming around and SLEEP sign)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Third babies get little journal room

Poor third child... I checked out my journal today. And yes, it is true the more children you have the less info you put in your diary about the experiences. I feel bad for Baby Nash today. I haven't written anything in my journal for over 3 months. I need to start, so maybe starting here isn't a bad idea. So bare with me while I gush.

My heart feels like it may explode from the love I have for this little 5 month old. He is so sweet. His smile melts me, his giggles make me giggle, his eyes soak love and show love so deep I could drown in his love.

Ok, that's it gushing over. But seriously, this little guy is awesome. He hasn't rolled over, sat up on his own, or crawled yet. He is grasping objects pretty quickly, manipulating his pull down vibrating toy, turning pages on his exersaucer, pushing himself up off his belly, back crawling with his feet, and making all kinds of conversation. The best part though is Nashville finally showed me his first sign. UP

He puts his hands up when I go to get him from the crib. He puts his hands up when I ask him, "Do you want upie?" I show him my hands up. He mimics me. He puts his hands up when I walk by his play mat and he's telling me with arms he wants up. If I don't stop he reinforces this request by a little scream cry complaint. So cool. Geran's first sign was MILK at 5 months and Nash's is UP.

I am sad to see a lot of Geran's signs leaving as he talks so much more each day. He will be two and a half in December, but talks like a 3 or 4 year old. I beg him to sign to me, like trying to hold onto his baby-ness, if that's a word. But alas, he is growing older each day and with that he uses less and less signing. Luckily I have baby Nash to relive the amazing world of signing baby. I am so excited for our journey together and I know Geran will help on the way. He always signs MILK to Nash when he cries. Geran knows what's going on. So cute!

Hope you will enjoy the journey with me.

Check out my website for class information if your in the Abbotsford area.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Treadmill weight loss or headache?

Why do I feel like I am running around on a treadmill not getting anywhere? I mean I am sure running on a treadmill may help me loose a few pounds and therefore I could be doing more of it, but I mean as a mother and a business owner, I often feel I am running around and not getting any results. I work through my day trying to keep up.

I keep up with channel updates on the computer such as twitter, blogging etc, keep up with household chores, keep up with business stuff, keep up with children, keep up with friends and family, just constantly keeping up.

Today I realized that is my lack of routine and procedures. Large, successful companies have procedures, they have routines and they often write these down for staff to follow and check off throughout opening, during and closing procedures of their day.

Why am I not doing this at home? I know I only have two kids under 2, but does that mean we can fly by the seat of our pants and just chase our tail and try to get things done and survive the day. I feel this way too often. I took one small step to change this tonight. I made a nighttime routine. I mean we do one already, not always in the same order of course. We always end up brushing teeth, having a snack, going potty etc.

How healthy is this for our kids? I was reading online about how routines are vital to the development of children and how having a night time routine triggers parts of the brain to help produce melatonin to get our body ready for bed. Children especially crave routine and they will have better sleep in the process. Read more on my favourite website for new parent information:

So tonight I wrote down the nighttime routine. I wrote PJ's, Brush Teeth, Book etc... and then beside each word I put a picture of a cartoon signing that word. (the SIGNING mom I am) That way my son can read what each one is, as he knows all the signs. He loved it! We tried it out tonight and he felt so proud that he could tell me what was next.

Just like adults children crave predictability. Remember your first day or week at a brand new job. You didn't know the routine, you felt like a fish out of water wondering what to expect next? After a few weeks, it felt better to know where to have your lunch, what time work starts and ends, who to go to for questions, and where to store your lunch. In fact after a month, adults pride themselves in knowing the procedures at work and are apt to want to help out new comers and show them the ropes.

Why would children be any different. They crave that same routine. I saw the pride in my son tonight when he could tell me what was next on his bedtime routine. We keep it in the bathroom as most of the routine is in there. I also laminated it so it would last longer than just paper.

Maybe this small change in my home life will spill over and we could get a routine for mornings or even midday. I am thinking about having some goal setting and weekly planning on Sundays to help get through the week more smoothly.

Then I can take that treadmill time I was wasting running around on deadlines and use that time to play with children, spend more time with my hubby, or heaven forbid, take time for me!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sign Language for naptime with toddler

Now that I am a mom of two under two... I have discovered something... my two year old's version of 'an inside' voice or 'baby is sleeping' voice is NOT the same as my adult version.

I was thinking, why not use sign as a special discussion between my toddler and myself while baby is sleeping. This way he feels included and all grown up, cause he doesn't nap when baby is napping, he gets to hang out with mommy even if it is practicing his inside voice with signing.

Teach important words for this special time, like:


You can play with dolls and have your two year old put 'his baby' to sleep and tell mommy to be quiet with sign language. Remind him when you enter the baby's room, to only use sign and tug on each other for attention. He'll love the game.
You can lay baby down and ask for "BLANKET" in sign. Let your two year old put the blanket in the crib.
Ask him to sign "NIGHT NIGHT BABY" and "LOVE" and "SLEEP"
You can sign "LIGHT OFF" and then pick your two year old up to shut off the light. Sign "THANK YOU"

Be sure to tell your toddler how proud you are that he is such a 'BIG BROTHER.' Remind him baby's don't know how to use inside voice or sign language, you need to teach your little brother this. You're very important to his family.

It is a great opportunity to help your toddler feeling included and important, especially with new babies in the house.

Use these dictionaries to find new words that work for your family.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Life Long Learning

We teach our babies to sign, our toddlers to walk, our two year olds to clean up, our three year olds to read ABC's and it keeps going... write your name, read a word etc... if we are teaching our children to be continual learners... why does this stop with some adults?

Today we all realize our children must finish high school, and we try to teach our teens to attend university... but how many adults, if after we get our 'jobs' do we just stop learning? Stop researching, stop studying? We loose the habit we spent our whole lives doing.

Great motivational speakers have one thing in common, they all believe in hard works, self discipline and life long learning.

So take a moment today and teach our baby a new sign, if not for them, for you to learn and keep on learning. Let's instill the habit of life long learning on ourselves and make it easier for our children to understand the benefits and delights that go with that.

Want to learn to sign to your babies?
Contact me through my website
Find me on Twitter!/AmandaMinchauFind me on FB

Keep learning!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mean People Suck

You never know how you affect another, so remember MEAN PEOPLE SUCK, don't be one of them. The next time you feel upset, angry, frustrated don't take it out on the Timmies girl or the flaggers or the gym girl or the coffee guy... just breathe... usually things get better after a few moments. Most bad moments don't last too long, try to ride it through before lashing out and regretting it. It may make you feel better in the moment, but ultimately you'll be affecting someone else for a longer time afterwards and they may take that anger and take it out on another and so on... it travels fast and it's dangerous.

Tonight I wasn't feeling great, my family has been sick for days, but I needed to get out, so I decided to take my boys for a nice leisurely walk down our street to visit the "BIG HUGE RASPBERRIES" which are a new statue given to Abbotsford on the corner of Marshall and Clearbrook. They are my two year old son's favourite things ever. He always says he wants to "Eat them right up!" Lately, there has been construction near our place, as they are paving new roads and sidewalks, finally. We have been looking forward to having a real sidewalk for a long time. I have been taking my two year old to the site often showing him the BIG DIGGERS and excavators and rollers and cement mixers and telling him all about it. He loves it! He always says, "Big diggers working right mommy?" Anyhow... so tonight...

We are walking (on the road) beside the sidewalk... which looks wet, but finally filled in... and I am talking about how exciting it is going to be to walk on the new sidewalk and I stop and bend down and point to the ground and then to the wet part, saying to my two year old, "See, almost dry. This part is wet and this part is all finished." and suddenly this guy behind me starts screaming at me... "DON'T TOUCH IT! DON'T TOUCH IT!" Scared the crap out of me and my son. As if I want to put my fingers in the gross cement and get my hands all yukie and wreck the brand new sidewalk I have waited for like two years for.

Anyhow. I said, "I didn't touch it, I was showing my son." He screams again, DON'T TOUCH IT! DON'T TOUCH IT! 4 PEOPLE ALREADY TOUCHED IT! I said, "I told you I didn't touch it, I didn't touch it... quit screaming at me!" He continues as he walks towards me... "DON'T TOUCH IT!" I mean he must be deaf or something. I said, "I didn't touch it, I was talking to my son explaining how it's all wet." He screams back, "YOUR SON DOESN'T KNOW WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT, HE'S TOO YOUNG!" Oh my gawd... I wanted to loose it, snap... there was a sign in my American Sign Language I did remember and wanted to show him sooo badly at this point. How dare he tell me what my son does and doesn't understand. Why is he freaking out on me? My son has been communicating with me since he was 6 months old with sign and now talks like a 3 year old and understands plenty.

I wanted to scream back at him. I wanted to tell him my son is smarter than you are! I wanted to ask him why he finds it necessary to scream at people on the side of the road? Was his job of yelling at people all he could get with his grade 9 education? I wanted to tell him to take his cement and shove it when the sun doesn't shine. I suddenly had the urge to wreck his precious cement with a large stick! I was livid. How dare he ruin my evening by screaming at me in front of my children.

But I took a deep breath and all I did say was, "Please stop screaming at me in front of my kids." And how did he reply?... "I'LL WRITE YOU UP! I TOLD YOU NOT TO TOUCH IT!" At this point I was sure he was crazy. I began to walk away and threw my hands up in the air and just as he was leaving my earshot, I couldn't help myself, I yelled, "I DIDN'T TOUCH IT!" It felt kinda good to do that.

But you know, it kinda ruined the rest of my night. I kept replaying over and over. It was sticking to me like old gum to a dirty shoe. That frustrated me. I was sure he went on with his night, yelling at his next victim of circumstance and instead I am festering over this and feeling like crap. No one likes to be yelled at and I felt sad for my curious little two year old who was listening all these weeks about the Diggers, Excavators, Machinery and how cool it will be to walk on the new sidewalk. And instead he looks up at me and says, "I didn't touch it!" This guy made me so angry for ruining something so great I was doing with my son. We have had nothing but great experiences over the last few weeks with all the crew there. We chatted with flaggers and workers and have had such a great time and now all I have is this to remember every time I walk on that stupid sidewalk. Boy did I want to wreck it!

That man had choices and he didn't use them. When we first walk right by him, he could of calming said, "Hey ma'am watch out for the wet cement on the sidewalk when you go by it's not dry yet." or "When I said I didn't touch it (the first time) He could of said, "Oh sorry, we've had some kids wrecking the cement tonight, just trying to keep it intact."
or hey, how about this... why not use a dollar and go to the Dollar store and buy a long roll of yellow tape and tape off the whole area?? Put up a blockade until it's dry... how much are they paying that guy to scream at people?

I usually don't vent or complain on here, but I wanted to remind people that we are all here together, whether we know each other or not. You affect others and your attitude and behaviour affect others, so if each of us just take deep breathes and be the big person, maybe we make this world a little nicer to be in. Thanks for listening.


I have recently been listening and reading about Brian Tracy and boy does he open your eyes on the life your leading. If any of you have read The Secret or know about 'postive thinking' etc... Brain Tracy takes this one more level and actually begins to guide you along on your path of success. He is very motivational and practical. Finally, someone who is successful business man and someone who believes in changing your life with thoughts turned into action. I highly recommend you give his blogs a read. He has traning modules as well. I am currently trying out his 'schedule your daily goals and to do's' to get a hold on my every changing life. It take the acts of writing out your goals for the next year, but you have to rewrite them everyday. The act of rewriting them keeps you more focused on them.

As most of you know I have three kids and my husband runs his own business and now I started running my own business as a Baby Sign Language Instructor. Brian Tracy is about to help me balance this all while keeping my sanity intact. Is this possible? I will keep you informed.

I am excited about my new journey and I hope I have the 'self discipline' it takes to 'stay on target' as Obi One from Star Wars would say.

That's all for today. I have to check my schedule and see what's next... wish me luck!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bad Mondays

There are some days I wish I was invisible... I feel frustrated, alone, overwhelmed... the kids are loud, whiney, the housework is overfilling the sink, laundry room, the job demands are at me and I want to run off to Vegas. I am trying to smile and out comes a growl and my two year old, says, "what's wrong mommy?" I can only answer sorry honey, I am just frustrated. He says all better and moves on. I hide my struggles inside, trying to put on a happy face and get through my day. Some days are just like that. It is just normal. But ALWAYS and yes always at night. When I get to snuggle with my kids, my only job is to read books, tell the same stories again and again. Snuggle and love them, I forget all about my day. And then I sneak in later when they are fast asleep and wow... I am so lucky, they are healthy, sweet, wonderful boys and my life is so blessed.

I must remember my Mantra... I am too blessed to be stressed!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Warm Fuzzies

Who remembers warm fuzzies...

We use to give and get these little animals called Warm Fuzzies in school. They were flat, round, fuzzi creatures on a piece of cardboard shape feet with googly eyes. We would pass them around the class if someone did something nice.

If you said or did something kind to another person, then they or another would give you a warm fuzzi. Or you could give the warm fuzzi away and not say anything, just to pass the love on.

I just got a virtual warm fuzzi today from my hairdress / friend on facebook. She said kind words about me and I feel so good inside.

If we can all teach our children to give away warm fuzzies, then the future earth will be a great place to live!

Sunny days

These are my favourite days. Babies are quiet and sweet, the sun is out and hot, the leaves are dancing in the wind. The Baby Sign Language class went very well. Everyone is healthy and happy. It's a good day.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Sometimes you need to just stop 'working' on house on business etc... and just be... with family.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Baby Sign Language - a business

Today I realized that not everyone can run a business. It takes passion at first, some risk second, and then you start. Most people can make it this far. But when it gets slow, messy, busy, difficult, lonely, a lot of people bow out. The passion fizzles and you let it go. To really run a business, you have to stick to it. Even when your feeling rotten, you have to Blog, even when you have no one calling you for business, you have to pick up the phone and convince them to come to you. Even when its crazy busy and your kids are all around you pulling you in many directions, you have to return emails, order product, post and file your work. The business doesn't care what workload you have, nor does it care how you are feeling, you still need to be persistent and never give up yourself. This is why not everyone can run a business.

So if your like me, a stay at home mom, trying to run a business... never sell yourself short. Never punish yourself because it isn't perfect yet or your not rich yet... just Congratulate yourself that your still plugging along and your doing the job no matter how hard or how your feeling.

Celebrate yourself today! This week is Home Business Week.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Play groups

I am off to Langley Child Development Center tomorrow as a guest speaker at a parent playgroup as Sticky Hands. This will help teach parents the importance of using sign with their babies to help increase the ability to learn to speak sooner.

I am feeling nervous and hope to dazzel them with my knowhow and my fun Bear, BeeBo.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

First Class

Well after a long 12 weeks off with baby, I had my first baby sign class today. Geran went to daycare with his friends and had a blast. Nashy got some mommy one on one and my students learned their first 6 sign words. They all caught on fairly quickly. I think I have a great class with very attentive moms who are familiar with the benefits of sign already, so no sale, just learning.

I loved having a space just for my class, no more living room disruption. James has worked so hard on the room, it was nice to finally be in there. I know it will morph and grow with the weeks to come. Each weekend we will be adding to the classroom. I am just so happy to finally be able to show it off to some great moms!

Nashville learned a lot too. He really enjoyed the songs. All the babies and toddlers stopped and danced or looked or listened when the music was on or the parents were singing. It is amazing how much music effects kids. We should be using this more and more as a behaviour strategy for kids in school.

Even high school kids respond to music... hello... should this not be in every classroom redirection program?
Just a thought.

What a fantastic first class and I know I will only get better with time... like wine.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Go to Sleep

I must go to sleep, but I am so excited about my first class in 12 weeks and in my NEW Classroom that my husband and I have worked so hard on. It is 'ready for now'... with still lots of tiny things to do, but here I go... diving in.

I must sleep... hope it turns out good. Still need to put some little things up on the wall... in fact my friend, Shannon gave me this beautiful addition to my classroom... I will take pictures and post it soon! It is awesome!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

First Tooth

Sometimes I am so caught up in everyday life. The struggles with housework vs business vs personal vs parenting that I loose myself in 'business' of it all. I run around picking up laundry, picking up babies, wiping, cleaning, the house, the children, the fish tank. I organize, shuffle papers. I blog, Twitter, Facebook, Meetup, and post, post, post as I struggle loosely in the social media cesspool of internet identity.

I balance, trip, fall into and out of relationships with mothers, husbands, friends, family, clients. It feels like I'm tossing a small floating ball into the open sea of life, screaming out, "I'M HERE!"

I climb through books on Writers Marketing and tease my inner child as I sift through publishing companies to see who is accepting writing for publication. I jot down a few picture book ideas and leave them floating around the ether. I am certain they will be lost along with the passion they were once intended.

I make a card, hang a picture, buy a shelf and tack up a new to do list. All this running around doing the thises and the thats makes it very difficult, almost impossible, to sit down. My mind races most nights until I fall alseep. I wake up with my brain already on caffeine, shouting, "I've got yet another great project idea. Wake up and get going!”

I button, tie, comb, wash and clean myself, babies, home, business and forget to slow down, to read, to look up at the night sky and say, "wow." As usual, in the middle of the storm, once you reach this eye of the craziness, that is when it happens. Right in the middle of, "no, no, it's your turn to change him,” and you do the baby shuffle. Right in the middle of, “Can you hold him while I pee, or Can you put his pj's on, while I try to shower or shove something down my throat for survival purposes.”

It happens. Right when you're overwhelmed, exhausted, and you think that one evil thought you try to push out of your brain when your low on self assurance, love, passion and energy; that thought that says why did we decide to move into a larger house, get a dog and have babies?” Right then, it happens. When the most magic happens. You watch your tiny 4 month old baby laugh and you see it... his first tooth!

His first tooth... while I ran around with bibs under his chin, cold teethers in his mouth, pacing the floor at 3am, he did it, he cut his first tooth. What a champ! I felt so proud and excited for him. Little baby Nash cut a tiny tooth. A huge discovery in his life. I thumbed it all night and let my two year old feel the new tooth. We showed it off on the web, to grandma, to loved ones. Everyone celebrated. Nashy's first of many firsts.

This is when it all slows down. This is when everything is worth it, cause I was there. I discovered it. I may be running around like a tornado, most of the time, but tonight, I found my son's first tooth. I didn't miss it and I was HERE!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Welcom Wagon Baby Shower Trade Show

What a great time we had at the Trade Show. I love when the moms bring in small babies and I can use BeeBo and sign with them. it captivates them and show parents how easy and fun it is to sign with babies. My favourite age is about 7-10 months...the crawling age. They climb all over Beebo and try to copy signs. It is sooo cute to see. James, my rock, my love, was such a great support. He is so open and honest about his feelings on signing and how it helped him bond with his sons.

Many moms were interested in sign.... and many of them will be taking classes with me in the future. I learn so much about how to pitch this essential idea and at each event I learn more and more. I learned that saying less and asking more questions engages more interest. I also learned that each mom is so different than another, but all the have one thing in common... the desire to have less frustration and stress when they have their baby. Signing will do this for them.

I love that I have the ability to change their lives!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Trade Show

I am so excited about going to the Welcome Wagon Baby Shower Trade Show tonight!

My husband is coming with me to support me and help out. My amazing friend Myra is watching BOTH babies... that is right BOTH! What a great friend she is.

Wish me luck! I have all my materials organized and packed! Benefit sheets, product displays, laptop and DVD video etc...


Saturday, October 1, 2011

hard being mom

Sometime it's hard being mom. A mother of three boys, juggling all the responsibility and loosing yourself in your family. Many friends falling away who are not traveling up current with you. How do you say please don't loose touch with me? Please don't think I have the plague or some rare skin disease. I am a mother, yes, but I am still a person. A person with feelings and dreams and the capacity to do more than one thing at a time. Sometimes it is hard to be abandoned as a girl to be left with motherhood only. Luckily children give so much love and distraction, you mostly don't notice until you look behind you at the river you just traveled and realized there are not that many fish left.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tips for working at home

With my Baby Sign Language business. As the owner of Sticky Hands, I have had to find time to learn how to work from home with two small children... NOT an easy task. For those of you who are thinking of attacking such a task, I thought I would share my top 10 tips on how to work from home effectively.
These are my favourite ideas:

1. Have your own space or office with a door. Make sure everyone knows when it is WORK time - no interruptions!
2. Get up and shower and put on makeup. That way you 'feel' as if you are getting ready for work. People will notice in your voice if you are in your PJ's... and you won't feel as productive.
3. Keep three lists - to do today, what you'd like to get done, and what can wait for next week.
4. If you pick up a piece of paper - DO SOMETHING WITH IT! Don't waste time pushing papers around. If you pick something up, file it, post it, call that person, add it to your data base... shred it... whatever. Finish your job!
5. Schedule your day and schedule your breaks. STICK TO IT!
6. Eat, drink water and stay healthy... good sleep etc...
7. Start early and set out realistic expectations.
8. Keep a list to 'check off' or log or blog what you have done in a day... to realize you did accomplish something in the day and not feel the need to work all night.
9. Try to leave the house everyday, even a 15minute walk with the kids.. keep you sane!
10. Set boundaries with the family, make sure they know when it is work time, ask for help. You are human!

For more tips and ideas go to this great site:

Have a great day!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Mind of a 3 Month Old

Yummy, that mommy person smells goood! Good morning! See how cute I am smiling at you! coo cooo.

Feed me, change me, love me!

What your trying to clean up?... no no no... feed me now!
Yummy, slurp, slurp... good stuff... mmmm.

Ok I can see your just about to start a project... now change me!

Now I'll talk and be cute and call you over to watch me... ha ha ha!
Now hold me while you clean up... hmm... getting heavy for you... too bad, I'll cry if you put me down lady.

Trying to do laundry... I cry cry cry.

I hear that brother of mine needs you... ha ha... ok I'll wait and coooo and be cute.

I see he needs... potty time, feeding, changing, book, bed.

You think your about to sit down? HA HA HA
Now ME again!!

Hold me, feed me, change me.

Oh you wanta work on the computer? k, give me your boob, I'll stay on your lap... ha ha... now I have peed on you and thrown up on on you! Go change your clothes lady.

You are my puppet!

That brother of mine is now sleeping so hold me, hold me, play with me, feed me again.. nothing left?
Make me a bottle... ha ha ha!

Yummy, yummy... slurp slurp... ah... drifting to sleep... NO NO! Not crib, I want to fall alseep in your arm, lying down... yes... perfect.

Falling asleep... so peaceful... I hear that brother of mine calling you, it's best you go now...

Good night my puppet!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Baby sign language and transistion to speech

Many parents ask me the same questions when it come to signing with babies. One such popular question is, "Will my baby rely too much on signing and delay their speech?"

Answer: Absolutely not. In fact signing to your baby will encourage your baby to talk sooner and speed up the process compared to babies that are not signed to. This was scientifically proven in a research conducted by Drs. Acredolo and Goodwyn. They have over two decades of scientific research on the use of sign with hearing babies, including a longitudinal study funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Federal Government.

This study took 140 families with babies at 11months old. Each family was randomly assigned to a signing or non-signing group. The groups were equal in sex, birth, order of children, tendency to vocalize, parents education, and even income levels. To make the test fair.

The study proved without a doubt the following information to be true.

Babies that were signed to:
1. talked earlier (24 month old babies were talking like 28 month olds - a 4 month lead)
2. had larger vocabularies
3. were putting together longer sentences
4. (36 month old signers were talking like 47 month old - that is almost a full year ahead of the average age mates)
5. at 8 years old, those who had used sign language as babies scored an average of 12 points higher in IQ on the WISC-III than their non- signing peers. (remember the groups were equal in parent education, income, sex, order of children etc...)

If you think about it logically... why would a baby continue to sign once learning to talk?

Several situations will promote and rely on verbal communication such as:
New mobility... climbing playgrounds, running around corners, behind chairs, in closets, children will engage in calling out and have less and less eye contact with their parent as they wander about.
New activities... bikes to ride, puzzels, crayons, sidewalk chalk, painting etc... signing is not as convenient as talking. Most toddlers will not put down their projects to sign, they will simply use words.
Complex Ideas... children want to discuss stories, tell about the world around them, they have complex thoughts and will not resort to using one sign to describe what they see anymore, they'll use many words.
New people... children will meet new kids at a park, new people in a store etc... most of the world speaks around us, conversing with all these people will require words.

It is much easier to say words than sign for these little guys, so no worries about transition to speech. In fact I am quite sad that my son doesn't use as much sign as he did before and I am looking forward to baby Nash signing his little heart out to me. I already started teaching him MILK. We'll see.

Hope I ease any doubts or fears you may have had.

Find more interesting benefits and information at

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Never Enough

So, I got off from blogging, helped my older son find something to eat.... rocked and sang my little one to sleep, played mega leggo with my two year old and how come I feel like I should be doing more for my kids.

Is this a mother thing or a parent thing?

Baby in lap

One hand blogging... now that's motherhood. Thought I would get lots done on my baby sign language business today, while the children slept... only the two year old went to bed and the baby thought... PLAY TIME WITH MOM! Then my 20 year old came over to eat. So here I am trying to blog with one hand while baby is on my lap demanding mommy time and my old son is over my shoulder asking questions on what he can eat. A mom never gets her time.

My little rant for today.

On good news I had a girl recommend me to her Youth Parent Group as a speaker. It is a great opportunity to get my name and business out there. She also had some wonderful things to say about my workshop. I asked her to send me the testimonal via email and I want to post it.

She said that signing to her baby was life changing. She said she didn't know why every parent isn't doing this. It reduces so much frustration and makes you a better parent. She said it was an essential service.

Thanks Ashley, your amazing!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Night out with baby

Finally a night out without my 3 month old. I thought I would be elated. I did in fact enjoy my time away, but after 2 hours I was iching to go home and check on them.

So unfair, I feel guilty when I am not spending my every moment being with them, teaching them, holding them, reading to them, signing to them, playing with them, taking them outside... and yet I feel bad when I am not being with my friends, spending time with my husband, working on writing, working on my business, or spending time reading. How do you balance it all?

One day at a time.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Language beliefs

Many parents believe that by 18 months a child should be speaking a lot. But in fact, an article found under Baby Center and toddler language development, states that toddlers at the age of 18 months, toddlers speak about 5 words. However, they understand near 50 words.

If you were a parent who chose to teach baby sign language, then your toddler could be communicating up to 50 words at this age. That is a 6 month head start on most children, as most toddlers begin speaking 50 words at around the age of 2.

I know with my own son, he was communicating approx 50 words by 18 months. It made our relationship stronger and he didn't have any meltdowns or frustrations due to lack of understanding and communication.

Something to think on.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Facebook and me

So, I'm in the learning curve again... here I am on a Sunday morning, while daddy takes care of the boys so that I can work on my baby sign business... which means, I have my two year old at my leg asking for attention and the baby on the floor wanting to be breast fed, while hubby is trying to keep up with breakfast and children... ha ha... I need an office with a door.

Anyhow, I am attempting today to build a facebook page and learning about 'likes' and credibility on FB. So far all I have learned is...If you leave the page for a while, it get's disbanded by facebook, if you go to the baby sign site you can click on everyones page at once and 'like' them all.

Wish me luck on this endeavor. I will keep you posted. (minus the pun)

love my two year old

Whats better than a two year old asking for more more... and signing it instead of yelling... to tell you they want you to sing that dumb song you made up over and over?

I have written so many kids songs and books, just by making crazy stories up that my two year old can't get enough of. I think that they should be child publishers instead of old men. They are, in fact, the direct audience.

Today I made up this song to the tune of  "5 little Indians" That went something like this:
going to the zoo
and gunna bring a bucket,

going to the zoo
and gunna bring a bucket,

going to the zoo
and gunna bring a bucket,

what's inside
let's see...


banana's for the monkeys
and chimpanzee's

banana's for the monkeys
and chimpanzee's

banana's for the monkeys
and chimpanzee's

 watch them eat, eat, eat....

There are more versions of this simple, stupid song... but Geran loved it!

So cute...

I even use the sign for banana and monkey's in the song. He loves the hand gestures.

Use songs to help support your goal to teach your baby to sign.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Baby Sign

I have a lot to say about how baby sign language helped and changed my life... but I think Claire Vallotton says it best in her child development article. Take a peek at this!

The jist of most of what she says is that babies are capable of knowing and communication their emotions and feeling before they can verbally tell us. Scientists are still researching this and they are not convinced, but Claire Vallotton and I am!

I've personally seen Geran sign sad, when he could not talk at the age of 10 months when he saw another child cry. That is EMPATHY my friends. They are smarter than the scientists believe, let me tell ya!

Keep signing... and help your child show the world they know how to express themselves!


Monday, September 12, 2011


Sigh... when do duties stop... when do chores end... never?

So the real question is how to feel good doing them and getting through them.

Sometimes I feel that my duties are just stealing time away from my babies.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


There is something to say about these early birds, getting up before the kids at 5:30am. The sun kissing the tips of the Willow out front. The creeks of the floor, the tippy taps of puppy following you around as coffee is brewing the background. It doesn't just have to live in a magazine or tv commercial. We can live this life for real.

We are getting ready to go away this long weekend, and it is a nice morning. The truck is packed, the tweet and blog will be done. The kids are sleeping. The husband is puttering. Amanda is happy.

What a peaceful, lovely life I lead.

I feel blessed today.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Baby Sign Language

Baby's need more than just a language, they need the opportunity to explore. I know I am the first to promote sling wearing, so that the baby is up on your hip or chest in the middle of conversations, but I also a believer in allowing your child to lie on the floor and explore. My baby Nash now at 3months old as of two days ago, woke up in his playpen sideways. He is already learning to move about at such a young age. My husband reminded me that you don't always have to be wearing baby. It is important to allow them to grab for toys, roll about and develop those new muscles. You can also be signing to your baby as they are on the floor. I sign play or toys as I put him down and say thing like, "It's playtime, Nashy. Would you like to reach for your toys?" I sign PLAY and TOYS only. I usually wait until he is gazing at my hands. This is a good age to have them realize that your face and hands are communication a language.

For more information on Baby Sign Language visit

Ciao for now and keep signing!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sad Panda

How is a mother suppose to do anything with this much pain.
I woke up with a soar neck... I can barely move. Luckily I don't have any baby sign language classes pending. But still, how am I suppose to be a good mother when I can't bend over, pick up my babies, colour, play, read, sit, do chores, make dinner or smile without being in pain. How come I can't call in 'Sick??'

Signed, A Sad Panda

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thumb Sucking

 So... my Nash is a full on THUMB SUCKER! I am not sure how to feel about this. I prided myself on not having a soother or thumb sucker... but now my third is? Does this mean I don't hold him enough?, cuddle him enough? Is he feeling he has to self sooth cause mom isn't there enough? Oh... the terrible irrational thoughts a mother has. Now logically I KNOW he's fine, it's normal and has nothing to do with my parenting skills... but WHY do we do this to ourselves? The guilt, the self blame, the worry... for what? I saw the doctor today and he's 100% healthy and there's no problem with thumb sucking. (except the dentist maybe later?) But still i worry and frett. Anyone else feel this way ever?

He is an amazing baby and rarely cries, but do I take advantage of the fact he's so sweet and calm and easy going?

Lord help my thoughts.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pretend Play

I had mentioned before that I was fascinated by the fact that my son was engaging in interactive play with his friends. What is really important to realize here is that he is using his PRETEND play abilities he learned at a younger age.
Let me mention again how important pretend play is. When a parent plays with their child and uses their imagination, they are using rich language that helps that child learn to talk soon and have a wider vocabulary. Having a pretend tea party for instance allows you to introduce words such as: saucer, teapot, "scolding hot, teaspoon, mug." When you play tea party with your child you can add these words in and allow them to talk about who is coming to the party or which animals want cream and sugar in their tea. Parents will enrich their children with more language as well as have fun and build a close bond with them.

Try pretending to take a train to the zoo and fill up the couch with animals.
Have a tea party and invite all their favourite toys to join you.
Play store and buy and sell lots of items to talk about.
Talk to grandma on the play phone and discuss weather, the daily activies or adventures
Take a spaceship ride on the comfy chair and visit planets with strange creature.

Imagination is only as limited as you allow it... and follow your child's lead when they change the story. This will engage them longer and you may be surprised how much they know or want to talk about.

The age they begin to use pretend play is about 15-18 months, but I have experienced this sooner with my little signer, Geran. Geran would sign fly, moon, light and be 'signing away' tell me his stories. I would take his lead and talk about it. For example, "oh, you see a fly on the light? Are his feet hot? Did he find something good to eat? Does he think the light is a moon?" I liked to stir Geran's imagination and see what he would do next.

Know that when you engage in pretend play, you are boosting their IQ and building a strong language base.
For more information on how baby sign language and pretend play are important language building exercises go to

Monday, August 29, 2011

Burst with Love

Have you ever felt so much love that you could just BURST? I really really pray that each and every person in the entire world gets to feel that at least once in their life. I felt that today (again). I had so much fun with my two boys. My two year old and my soon to be 3 month old. My two year old is so adorable and fun... I love him so much, I could burst. From little moments of 'I wanta sleep in the crib" to, "little bit, little bit" when he asks for just a bit more milk. Here he is running about learning to take his own shoes off, brush his own teeth, go on the potty on his own all day long, sing the alphabet and read little words. Geran is growing up so fast, and yet I cherish the comments that keep him my baby just a "little bit" longer. I love watching him play in the sandbox with his friends. Each day I giggle or smile to myself at yet another cute thing he does. He had a friend over today and they were manipulating these tiny toys.... ( a puppy figurine and a kitty figurine) She's meowing with her kitty and saying "hi" and Geran's barking and talking with a high voice with his puppy. They move from parallel play to interactive play... such development right before my eyes. I am so blessed to be able to stay at home with my children to not miss out on these amazing moments. And when bedtime comes and he's about to be put down, he asks for 'potty' time... I know he probably doesn't have a big pee or another, but he squeezes one out just to spend a few more minutes with me. It puts a frog in my throat to see his big brown eyes look at me after potty time as he says, "snuggle with mommy in mommy's bed?" How can I resist... so I ruin bedtime routine and let him "snuggle with mommy"... only to have him 4 minutes later, say, "crib crib" I ask him if he's tired and wants to sleep and he says yes. What an amazing son I have. Kissing his baby brother and being placed down into his crib, he falls asleep within minutes and it isn't even 8 o'clock yet. I am just bursting with pride and love. I then nurse my 3 month old as he smiles at me and drifts off to sleepland as well. I stare, in delight at my children and thank God once again for blessing me. I don't know if there are many that have this kind of love in their life, but I sure as heck am going to indulge in mine.

Friday, August 26, 2011

days like this

Days of bubbles, books, playdoe and love... with my little ones happy, my yard healthy, toys everywhere and giggles galore.

I love it!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My home

I just looked out my back bedroom window as I was sitting there creating my craft thankyou cards and realized... this is my life... I glanced back at my sleeping 10 week old... so sweet, healthy, honest. I could hear my two year old stir in the next room, talking to himself, pretend play alive in his world... and I noticed the blue flower on my bushes... and tiny blades of grass... the new fence pannels that my hard working husband put in and I thought to myself... this is my life... I'm blessed!

baby signs

There I go again... I had USC come out and I gave them my gov't grant of 100 towards Nashy's future... now both my boys will have at least 50,000 towards University in about 17 years... hope this helps baby. As he's here... chatting away, I am sharing the fact that I run Baby Sign Language Classes in Abbotsford and he mentions that he knows his kids did that with his grandchildren. It is such a small world I am finding and everyone around me is getting more and more aware of this amazing trend. Teaching Geran, my two year old, to sign, has improved his vocab and IQ. Even Robert, who has grandkids now and knows his stuff was amazed that Geran, who just turned two... can count to 10, recite the alphabet in order and can recognize all the letters... he can even read small words! I know I will be using their future monies towards University.... cause my babies are so smart... spoken from the Mother... smiles.


Monday, August 22, 2011


Hey, why are you not all yelling at me to get my blog going? You'd think I just had a baby... oh yeah.. I did!

It's been wonderful, exhausting, exhilarating, balancing, dirty, messy, lovely, sweet, soft, confusing, daunting, rewarding and beautiful.


Sunday, June 19, 2011


exhaustion has a whole new level with a two week old baby and toddler... do I feel like working on my business after a day with my two boys... will i survive? The verdict is out at this point.

Too tired to form words.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

New baby and business

Finding it difficult to weed through the dirty diapers and find my desktop to conduct business... socially I'm stuck in the house, can't drive for 4 weeks due to surgery, can't run after Geran or pick him up or clean as I did before... 6 weeks until I can take longs walks and exercise again.... no baths either... how can a girl relax, socialize and build herself up enough to want to sit in front of the computer catch up on bookkeeping? My body is leaking, bleeding, aching and sagging more every day after birth. My babies want my attention I can't give them and I divide myself between good wife and good business owner... sigh.

Random thoughts, I know, but sometimes talking to this blank screen is like cleaning out ones purse... It's got to be done and you still can't figure out how all this random shit was put in there in the first place and after you feel clean and ready to go out again and face the world.

Somehow I make time... correction STEAL time to get it all done and still find time to snuggle my two year old before bed and cuddle with my two week old.

Until next time, good night.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

History of Sign Language

Sign language is a language which, instead of acoustically conveyed sound patterns, uses visually transmitted sign patterns (manual communication, body language) to convey meaning—simultaneously combining hand shapes, orientation and movement of the hands, arms or body, and facial expressions to fluidly express a speaker's thoughts.
Wherever communities of deaf people exist, sign languages develop. Their complex spatial grammars are markedly different from the grammars of spoken languages.
Stokoe, William C. (1976). Dictionary of American Sign Language on Linguistic Principles. Linstok Press. ISBN 0-932130-01-1.Stokoe, William C. (1960).

Hundreds of sign languages are in use around the world and are at the cores of local deaf cultures. Some sign languages have obtained some form of legal recognition, while others have no status at all.
ASL is what is commonly used in North America, but even from BC to Toronto, you will find that the signs can and will differ based on what is culturally accepted in that area. But don't worry, the Deaf community will correct you, if you get a sign wrong or if it differs from their area.
Even with the most basic signs, you can communicate with the Deaf and they LOVE it when you try to communicate with them. I have always found people who are Deaf are very patient and enjoy teaching sign, even if they don't know you.

I have taught baby signs to my son Geran since he was born 23 months ago, he has over 70 signs and is well ahead in his literacy skills. I have already started signing MILK to my new 2 week old, Nash. Geran started signing back to me at age 4 months, mimicking the sign MILK and then spontaneously using it at 6 months. I am curious at what age Nash starts. With Geran helping teach sign as well, will he be even more accelerated? In the meantime, I hope Geran doesn't loose his passion for signing. It would be great if he could sign simple sentences with the Deaf community. We will see.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Baby Nash

Well we now have a name to our baby... Born May 31st at 8:09am baby Nashville Jeffrey Minchau was born at 9lbs 4oz and was healthy as was mommy.

Life has been busy in the last two weeks with lots of visitors and guests and family staying with us. My little boy Geran has adjusted very well to the new baby, showing love and kisses only to baby Nash. He looks for baby each morning and asks to hold him at least once a day.

I am excited about my new journey with my two boys... Geran is already teaching baby Nash the sign for MILK. I can't wait to witness how signing will influence the new baby with Geran's extensive vocabulary.

He is still 1 years old and knows the entire alphebet including how to recognize them on billboards, paper, tv, books. He even tells me a word that each letter starts... like D is for dog. He can count to 10 and recogizes his numbers as well. Signing has boosted his literacy abilities and I expect the same for Nash.

So exciting!

Monday, May 30, 2011

New Baby

We are having our baby tomorrow at 7:30am. I am so excited to find out what the gender is. Daddy is excited and I am anxious... can't wait to hold this new baby in my arms and just stare at it. I remember not sleeping and watching Geran all night long. I hope I can sleep a bit with this one.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Smart Babies

Nothing better than seeing my 23 month old waiting inside the truck for me to go and grab his diaper bag, only to see him signing "MILK PLEASE" through the window on my way. His way of making sure I don't forget his milk bottle on my way back. Oh my, how smart are they?


Friday, May 27, 2011

One Day at a Time.

In the last week, I was contacted by the Langley Developmental Society and Down Syndrome Society, a radio talk show and I feel a bit overwhelmed. I am so excited about the new contacts, but I feel unprepared at this time, as I am about to have a new baby next Tuesday.

How do working mothers do it? I am so in awe of the working mother that makes it look 'easy' to run a business and manage the home while raising her perfect children.

I wonder if any at home working dads find it a challenge, or if it is only use mother's that put so much on ourselves?

I just finished my last Baby Signs Class before taking a short leave and I have parents asking when I am resuming classes and they want MORE MORE MORE.

Which makes me excited as I want to GIVE GIVE GIVE... but I have to be careful, not to GIVE all of me away.... must save some energy for my family... my number one priority.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Baby signing

Check out this video of a baby signing. If you don't believe that babies are smart and know what going on around them, watch this.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Signing and ADHD

My older son has ADHD with a myriad of other learning disabilities and broken executive skills. I found that visuals along with signing helped up cope throughout the years. Especially at school, as a teacher assistant, I have seen many boys who rely heavy on visual and signing supports. Children who live with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, have a difficult time trying to concentrating on following directions. If given a list of exercises at school or chores at home, they tend to hear the first or last instruction only and the middle get lost in translation.
Having these tasks in picture form on a list, help them to refer back to the list without disruption to those around them or fighting with parents about expectations. Signing from across a classroom with slight gestures, help these children stay focused without being reprimanded in public. This is especially helpful in a quiet learning environment. They see and hear everything around them, so anything to keep them on task, is helpful.

Signing is also another way for the fidgeting fingers to find something productive and fun to do while learning. Most children with ADHD tend to like learning new ideas through a game. They are also very smart and catch onto ideas quickly. Signing can keep this distractable guy on track.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sunny days, new signs

Finally the sun has come out to play. With that in mind, let's take advantage of the nice weather and learn some PARK signs. Great first words for babies to learn while outside playing are:


Here is a video link to the sign WATER:

There are tons of fun songs and rhymes you can practice and sing with your baby.

One Little FLOWER, One Little Bee
One little FLOWER, one little bee.
One little blue bird, high in the TREE.
One little brown bear smiling at me.
One is the number I like,
you see.

You can look up (ASL dictionary) and sign the words I put in CAPS to practice.

Happy signing!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Invisible Learning

It's hard to sell new parents on signing to their babies, if they have never been introduced to this idea. The benefits of signing will be unseen to them, if they never tried it. They may go along and 'guess' at what their babies needs are. They will try to 'interpret' what their babies is sharing with them. They will sit and watch their 'toddlers' have meltdowns and may have a vague idea of why, but not fully know what is going on in their little minds.

Why do parents feel they have to suffer through the first few years not understanding what they baby needs and wants are? It may take a few weeks or months, but when your baby starts to sign with you, and you begin to build this incredible relationship; you will be pleasantly surprised how much more balanced, peaceful and fun parenting can be with only a few signs to support you.

Some great reads are Baby Signs, Baby Hearts and Baby Minds by Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn.
The founders of The Baby Signs Program. They have done over 25 years of extensive research on the effects of signing with your baby.

Not only does signing with your baby take the guesswork out of knowing what your baby wants, it will build a closer bond between you and your child. It will increase their IQ for years to come. Signing also allows babies to share their minds and show you how smart they really are. Even as young as a 6 month old baby can tell you when they want 'MORE MILK' or when they are 'DONE' being tickled.

Do yourself a favour and read up on the benefits of signing with your baby today!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sick mothers

I've been sick and I want to know who it was that said mothers can't be sick. It is so true and so unfair. We work our butts off with the kids, house, hubby, friends, family etc... and then we get sick... well life doesn't just stop and wait for us to get better.

The laundry still piles up, the dishes still accumulate, the dogs and kids need feeding and attention and of course there's no one around to help you... so we march on and on.

I am using the sign ALL DONE today for sure!

On a sweet note, Geran still signs,even though he talks non stop. At the end of this favourite book of his, "That's Good, That's Bad," Geran always signs the word LOVE when the grandma loves and hugs her little grandson. He says love too, but always, always signs it. I hope he never looses his zest for expression and signing.

Friday, May 13, 2011


What kind of mother's would we have without our girlfriends. If you are one of us, then you realize without your sister, mother, best friend, whoever your Girl is... you realize that you couldn't be the great mom you are without them. I am extreemly blessed to have such great women in my life and I believe they make me a better mother. With their support, energy and understanding of my every mood and whim, I am balanced and at peace so that I can be strong, peaceful and ready for anything with my children.

So thank you my many girlfriends... in the form of friends, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, mothers in all forms... I am blessed to know you.

Tonight my girlfriends gave me a pedicure and painting my pregnant belly and then took pictures. They made me feel special and part of a great club of special women.

To all those women out there who has done something special for another women, your gift never goes unnoticed.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Take Action Today

Check out the following website:

Save a life, donate your phone.

"What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others is immortal." ~Albert Pine

I think it's important when you make snap decisions each day as many of us do. Decisions in business, personal, as a parent, as a lover, partner, child, or adult, theses decisions define who we are in character.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Interesting enough, when I took a writing course at UFV, we received an assignment about gender stereotyping. It hit home to one particular mom in our class. Her son loves to dress up, wear jewelry, play with dolls etc... She was hard pressed to find a doll house that wasn't pink, dress up clothes for boys, and boy dolls. I remember how frustrated and hurt she was when a friend of hers was horrified that this mom would allow her son to play with dolls, wear jewelry etc...

My own son, at 22months, loves to dress up, wear high heals, my jewelry and he loves to play with dolls. He has a couple girl dolls at home, a crib for them and a kitchen set. He loves to cook with daddy and dance around in my jewelry to bubbles. I find no harm in this. Luckily I have a supportive husband who isn't worried about our son's exploration. In fact, do we not want to raise sensitive, confident fathers, who can cook! And hey, if they can pick out some nice jewelry for us too, then great!

Geran also loves to throw footballs, ride and climb and slide at the park, play with his fire engine. He drums, plays the piano, guitar and kicks soccer balls. I don't know who my son will become, but I know who he is now, and I wouldn't change him for the world.

His signing has made his communication so amazing for his age. He is recognizing so many letters already and reading small words like cat, dog and turtle. He still uses his sign for clarification, which is helpful to me. When he is chatting up a story, he uses his signs and I can figure out what he is on about. Like tonight, daddy was telling stories and then it was Geran's turn. He signed helicopter, tree, birds, and was saying, "fly, daddy, mommy, mountain." It was cute, he was copying daddy's story from earlier. I love that he can tell stories and express himself with sign language and some words.

That's all for now.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Don't forget to take time to relax.

Simple isn't it?

Say's the busy stay at home and work from home mom.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

good nights

Good nights are when daddy is able to rush into Geran's room and save him from bad dreams, comfort and settle him back down again. Geran is so lucky to have such a wonderful daddy. He fell back asleep without mom being the wiser.

To all the daddy's out there... Love your children and fall in love with them again and again.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Baby wearing and Sign Language

A note or two on baby wearing. There is so much to say on this subject that I urge you to read this link about baby wearing: Scroll down and scan if you must, but read Benefits of Baby Wearing under these sections:

Sling babies are more organized
Sling babies learn more
Sling babies are more humanized
Sling babies are smarter

Let me point out the important points I know to be true, having carried my son Geran in a sling for months after he was born. And still at 21 months I periodically carry him on my hip sling while out and about.

I did notice the following:

People talked to my baby more and not just to me. Engaging him in conversation and allowing him to share his thoughts, feelings, memories and ideas with everyone he met. Luckily he had sign language to help bridge the gap between baby babble and real conversation. I could interpret for those who wanted to know, "What baby was saying." They were fascinated and intrigued with this interaction and soon found themselves asking, "How do you say... this? or How do you say ... that?"

Wearing my child up in the face of conversation engaged him into the adult world. This allowed his quiet awake state to learn about his environment. Sling wearing allows babies to have a safe familiar feeling. They can listen to mom's heartbeat, feel the rhythm of mom's walk, and snuggle in the tight sling. All these things mimic the same feeling of being in the womb.

Having Geran so close to me increased our interpersonal bonding. I was able to notice any movements he was making, or watch his eye gazing more closely to help communicate in sign what was going on in his world. This early learning pattern, I believe, has made Geran the intelligent, calm soul he is today.

Geran is very bright and loves to communicate with others, telling stories and asking questions with sign and verbal communication. I credit this to having taught him language early and having him in the sling, experiencing his world and engaging him in as much conversation as possible.

Just a thought.

For more information go to

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Zoo Day

Taking Geran to the zoo has been my highlight of the year so far. It was great to see him using all his animal signs and his words together when seeing his favourite animals. Signing babies become signing toddler and signing talkers... It works so well for clarification. If Geran is saying tur, tur... but signing the word turtle, I can say, that's RIGHT, turtle Geran! When he says tur, tur, but is signing train, I can say, that's RIGHT train! Always giving him the correct sign and word together, building his language skills and helping him feel proud that he is sharing his world with me.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Baby Sign Class

Like a small miracle in my simple life I showed up for a fun day signing with Geran and Mattea at music class. And suddenly I found myself three moms sigingin up for Saturday signing course I so desperately wanted to run. I was so excited and like a school girl I had to call my hubby and tell him right away, fishing for that "I am so proud of you." comment, I love to hear. It feels good that all this effort I put into my business may actually pay off.
The weird part is I haven't considered that I could make money doing this. I really love having people to teach. I love the whole aspect of teaching. The excitement they feel when they are successful, I feel to. The small milstones I notice and the confidence I see in the parents as they progress. I know what it feels like, in their seat, excited, hoping to learn and have fun and knowing in my heart that is exactly what I give them. I know so much about child development and milestones and I keep learning everyday, I want to pass it off to everyone and hope that something small that is said may impact and change how a person feels about being a parent. I hope with each class they leave feeling a bit more at ease. I hope with each week, they notice something amazing about their babies and they revel in how smart they are.

Babies can teach us so much about ourselves, if we are patience and quiet enough to notice.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Signing and Babies

It is amazing when your new baby, as young as 6 months old begins to ask for "milk" by signing it to you. No more tears, tantrums and frustrations. When your baby can communicate before they can talk, it brings a calm energy to the house and creates a happy family. Don't underestimate the bonding power your little one has over daddies, grandparents, aunties and others. While your baby is waiting to talk, they are busy taking everything in and are completely capable of communicating their wants, needs and desires. They can share a special moment and tell you "light" when they see a sun rise, or sign the word "love" when they see grandma.

It's true, having your little one sign to you is 'cute', 'trendy' and you love to show them off to others. But they don't just sign to get needs met. Babies sign for all kinds of reasons!
  • Babies sign to share their world and tell you what they see all around them.
  • They share their memories, tell you that an airplane reminds them of a bird.
  • Book reading -babies love to point to pictures and look to you for the signs.
  •  Reveal emotions such as 'frustrations, anger, love, happy'
  • Ask for clarification by pointing at something like the family dog and then looking to you for the sign.
Any age is the right age to begin signing to your baby.

I know from personal experience how rewarding signing has been and how helpful at the early toddler age. (between 12 months and 2 years old)

Keep Signing!