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 www.stickyhands.ca

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