Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lots o' stuff!

Well, I've been meaning to update on all the recent happenings, but I haven't had time, especially with my sister Melanie and her daughter Brooklyn here. Here are some pics of what we have been up to in the past week or two.

During the third hour of church (Mark's time with Natalie) he remembered that the stroller was in the trunk. He decided to stroll around the parking lot and this is what happened!
I made a delicious chicken pesto pizza. Click here for the recipe.
Natalie and Brooklyn playing cutely (is that a word?) together. They are so adorable!
Brooklyn is taking walking lessons from Natalie. Natalie is instructing Brooklyn on the fine art of standing from a squat, which Brooklyn has completely mastered.
We went to Kid's Club at the mall today. It was so much fun!

We rode the carousel for free as part of Kid's Club. Although Natalie looks a little woozy in this picture, she really is enjoying it.

Happy Valentine's Day!! The girls woke up to goodie bags full of little toys.

Aunt Melanie got this little necklace for Natalie and a matching one for Brooklyn. She also got a few little toys and a couple of books (yay for the dollar section at Target!).

We even got to go out for Valentine's Day at Chipotle. It was delish! Isn't my husband so handsome in his new shirt?

So there ya go, it's our life. We are doing well. Natalie hasn't gone potty on the toilet again, but enjoys putting random items into her potty and closing the lid. It's ok, no pressure. She'll go again when she's ready. Until then we'll just keep providing opportunities for her to go.

It always seems like babies like things that aren't toys better than things that are. It has always been like this for Natalie, and she is still the same. Her current favorite things to play with are her toothbrush and my old cell phone. Go figure. Ok, mommy brag moment--forgive me. She is learning new words all the time. Most of them don't really sound like they're supposed to, so I get to translate for her. Some do sound right, though. Today in the mall she said "hello" to a lady walking by. It was so perfect! It was more like " 'ello" which is what she calls the phone, but she has never said it to a person before! And the lady understood and said hi back! It was so cute. She can't stop saying "bee bee" whenever she is around Brooklyn, and shouts "bah-pa!" as soon as my dad walks in the door.

I have been signing to her since she was 4 months old so she can learn to communicate with us at an earlier age, thus helping her to not get frustrated and have tantrums in the toddler years. Well, so far the only things she can sign to me are "milk" and "flower" (random, I know). I'm not sure why that is. I know she can recognize more signs because she responds appropriately (such as "more") and she can name animal and people signs (e.g. she says "mama," "dada," "dog," "bird," etc when I make the signs). Oh, she just signed "music" for the first time tonight, and I think she is signing "baby" sometimes. Has anyone had experience with this? I'm wondering if she is not doing the signs because she would rather just say the word, or if she's just still at the stage that she'll do them soon. I know a couple of you have signed with your babies--how old were they when they really started signing?

Well, I'm kinda hungry and I know there's some ice cream with my name on it in the freezer....hee hee. Talk to you all later!


Clark and Stefanie said...

I did signs with both of my kids and we still do occasionally. Audree could sign very well by 18 months, but she would say the word with the sign. I have heard some people say that it hinders the speaking language skills, but I beg to differ. I think it made me more excited to teach her to speak, because I wouldn't give her thing until she would say the word also. Signs definately helped us to know how she felt when she was sad or hurt. Do you guys get the signing time show? We have a tv show that I love to watch with the kids that teaches them sign language. Anyway, Natalie is so darn cute! I am excited to see you guys soon. We will be out the first of the month!

Dieter & Jody said...

That pizza looks awesome! Nice work Alisa! I already printed the recepie and I'm eager to try it as soon as Dieter gets home. Natalie is so stinking cute and so is Brooklyn! When is it my turn???? You all look like such a happy family! I love it!

Bryant + Stephanie said...

SO CUTE! I am so trying the pizza! Also, with the signing--my kids both signed really early. Ashlyn still remembers the signs and says them too of course. Randon signs a lot more than he talks. So I think Natalie is just more of a talker!! It's never a bad thing to teach them more than one language though :) Yes, next week would be fun. We definitely should make it happen!

The Ayers Family said...

I signed early on with Kleven and he would really only use them back at me when he was REALLY serious. Like "more" over and over and over until he got what he wanted. He almost always spoke and signed together. I didn't realize I haven't done it at all with Ezra until I read your post! I'd better get on it!

the terrys said...

i have never done the signing with daphne, probably because i don't know how to do it. but i also heard that it hinders word development. daphne could say at least 10 words by the time she was one, which i think is good. but i am no expert at any of this and i don't know for sure if signing works or doesn't. but good luck with all of that! natalie is sure a cutie pie!

The Simonsons said...

Thanks for all the comments! I have also heard about signing possibly hindering speech development, but it has actually been shown that it does the opposite. Natalie has 30-35 words right now at 13.5 mo so in this case, it definitely did NOT hinder her words. :-) Either way, kids learn to communicate, which is great.

Bryant + Stephanie said...

I forgot to tell you how much I love Natalie's dress in that first picture. Look at that darling little toddler.

Dieter & Jody said...

Alisa, I made that pizza last night and it was so good! I put alfredo sauce with some pesto and added tomatoes and garlic salt. Thanks for sharing the receipe! I can always use new ideas. Dieter absolutely loved it too! Let me know if you come across any other good ones!!

ericandbrookesblog said...

I started signing to alaura right from day one. She picked up on the basics More, milk/nurse, all done, about 7 months, but once she started learning to talk she never really signed them anymore, after a while i stopped signing to her, i wish that I hadn't, although I was showing her a signlanguage book my brother had and she thought it was great fun to sign the words with me, so maybe I'll start signing with her again, it would sure come in handy when I need her to be quiet, like in church ;) I wish we were near to get to know you and your family.

Mandynilla said...

Your pizza does look really good... i want to eat it. as for the signing i think it depends on the child and what the child wants to do with it. I signed with Heather and before sign she said words, during signing she stopped trying to say words even words she had said before, alot. so i stopped signing with her and she started talking again. If your child talks and signs and does both instead of leaning one way. Then sign language works. But not in my case.. man that was a big comment. So whenever you want me to come over and eat you pizza for you let me know. Melanie Smith