Tag Archives: mocobabies

Questions Answered

Kari, writer of the Haute Tot and Baby Couture blog recently wrote a great review about our products. She pointed out a lot of our best features but also raised a few questions.  Since I’ve always been told that if one person has a question five other people are wondering the same thing, I  thought I’d take a few minutes to respond to the questions and suggestions here.

Kari writes:

“My favorite product of mocobabies is definitely the signing flash cards.  They are easy to use, practical and perfectly sized to use at home and for traveling.  I think a few of the flashcards are somewhat useless, however, as I don’t think my baby really needs to know the sign for “hippo” or “horse,” for example.  Some other more practical words would be a better fit.”

I have wanted a House Hippo since my husband showed me a genius commercial from The Concerned Children’s Advertisers years ago.    And I suppose my adoration for Hippopotamuses (or hippopotami, if you wish) may have influenced my decision to include the hippo in our flash card set.  It was also, back when I started signing with Jackson, a very hard word to find the sign for.

When I was deciding what words to put in the flash card set I received a lot of input and decided to include a mix of zoo, farm and around-the-house  animals.  Hippo was one of our more exotic animal choices and further inspired by a favourite storybook and stuffed animal at the time.

Would I put hippo in the set if doing it today?  Maybe.  I still think he’s pretty cute.  But it is useless in terms of words your child will likely ever need to use.  They will probably never have to alert you to a Hippo running across the living room floor or explain that they’re crying at night because there might be a Hippo in their closet.

Kari writes:

“Regarding the decals, I like the idea of them, but prefer that they came in words that physically described the object they’re actually stuck to.  For example, I would like to see a decal for the word, “book,” and then be able to place that decal on a book.”

Our decals are  intended to be put directly on items that you use with baby.  We have put the ‘book’ decal on the wall, the bookshelf and on the book itself.

When testing the materials for our stickers I tested each one on a piece of paper.  Even after weeks, when removed gently, the material I chose came off without any damage or ripping.  So to put a decal on the cover of a book, which is typically laminated, hasn’t been a problem at all in our house.

Still skeptical?  Let me know and I’ll send you some testers!

Kari writes:

“These posters are perfect to frame and hang up in your child’s room… Also, I’m not quite sure what the poster as to do with baby signing, if anything, but regardless, they’re adorable and practical to teach the alphabet.”

I have asked myself that very same question, which is probably why it’s taken me so long to push the posters out into the world.  We have had fantastic feedback; after a local baby show I had families contact me for more artwork because they wanted to have a set for their child’s room.  But what does that have to do with baby signing?  Nothing really, but it does have to do with kids.  And fun.

I remember being in line at the grocery store with Jackson many times when he would be  close to losing it.  Doing the alphabet song was often all that got us through the line without screams that would have been heard the next town over.  He would start to fuss but get easily distracted and focus on my hands while I quietly said the letters.  No, not a typo, I said the letters.  For those of you new to the blog – I don’t sing in public.  Even my own children tell me to stop.

So when I was figuring out what I wanted to do next the alphabet seemed like the natural choice.

The alphabet is so much fun – I’d go as far as to say it’s magical and I don’t believe that education needs to be a linear A through Z experience.  This poster is one of my favourite things because there’s something new every time I look at it.   Perhaps it would be nice to have  pictures for each corresponding letter but I thought we could leave some of the fun for you to come up with on your own.

Now, the baby sign tie-in:  each poster will come with the hand signs for the alphabet done in our usual fun and simple style.

Now that some questions have been answered, please head over to check out Kari’s full review and enter the contest! It’s always fun to get free stuff!

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Filed under Baby Signing, Giveaways

It’s all about fun

One of the first things we did when Lily began therapy almost two years ago was go right back to basics.  We filled her world with animal and silly sounds in an effort to encourage her to mimic or make a sound in return.  I pulled out every book we had that had animals in it, used our flash cards and searched for new books and games that would help us on our journey.  Truthfully, it was great for my already well-developed book obsession.

Lily has progressed beautifully through her therapy and can now make a whole farmload of animal sounds, yet I still find myself getting excited whenever I come across a book that would have helped her through the beginning months of therapy.  More excited still when the book also lends itself to baby sign language.

This morning, while working at a beautiful local baby store, I came across a book by DK Publishing, Inc., called Animal Talk.  It’s a large board book with lift up flaps for baby and it provides opportunities for being silly and making lots of noise.  It also compliments your adventures with baby sign language showing animals that are  included in the mocobabies’ flash card set (substituting ‘bird’ for parrot).

Our flash cards are a fun aid, helping you play and sign with baby but don’t forget to use your voice!  The wonderful thing about baby sign language is that you’re building their verbal vocabulary while giving them the opportunity to communicate back before they’re developmentally able to speak.

Looking at and reading books to baby is a great way to integrate sign and verbal language.

We didn’t create the flash cards, or any of our products, with the intent of making your baby smarter or to be used as a testing / memorization tool to prove how much your baby knows.  We designed them with fun in mind.  We manufactured them so you could play with and start a conversation with baby.

Use the animal cards to make animal sounds, say the word, sign the word, name them, make up stories about their wild adventures (I heard that Martha Pig recently slipped while dancing to her favourite song and fell into a huge mud puddle.  She wasn’t hurt but was more than a little embarrassed) and, most importantly, have fun.

Pull out a book like Animal Talk and play matching the cards to the animal on the page.

Fill their world with giggles, encouragement, verbal language and sign.  Having fun is the best way for baby to learn.

***

If you’re local to the Owen Sound, ON area, drop by Sweetpea Wholesome Baby where both our flash cards and Animal Talk are available.

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Filed under Books we're signing to, My Favourite Things

Updates and Gratitude

We posted on  April 30th about giving back  and promised to donate 10% of  sales until May 15th to McMaster Children’s Hospital.  We are so happy to annouce that, thanks to you, we have donated $156.00 to Mac Kids.  It felt  really, really good and I thank you.   And I loved all of your kind words and support. 

Secondly, from all of your comments and emails I know that many people visiting here also have children with speech delays yet it’s been ages since I’ve updated about Lily’s progress.  I will.  I promise…soon. 

For now, I just want to say Thank You.

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Cleanin’ up

I’m doing a bit of spring computer cleaning;  purging  my email and  files in an effort to restore some of the pep my computer once had.  

In cleaning up my ‘notes’ in email I found this: 

Jackson said ‘mommy’ to his Grandpa today just after I’d yawned.  Grandpa said ‘where’s mommy?’ to which Jackson pointed at me and made the sign for sleep.  Grandpa asked ‘is mommy tired?’ and Jack said (verbally) ‘yeah’.  
It’s so fun having little conversations with him now as he mixes his signs and his words.

My kids have grown so much (and talk so much) that I forget it  wasn’t all that long ago that it was their little hands that were doing most of the communicating.

We recently received an email from someone who is using our Signing Stickers.  They included a picture of their gorgeous baby wrapped in a bath towel laying on the change table.   Three signing stickers were placed above the table to help everyone remember a few bath-time appropriate signs. 

I miss those days getting to know baby –  I find myself thinking of all the fun firsts they’re about to have and all of the ‘lightbulb moments’ they are going to share with their beautiful son.   

It makes me  happy to get emails showing how you’re using the stickers and flash cards with your babies!  The pictures along with the stories I’m finding as I purge help me remember how much I loved signing with mine.

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Where has the time gone?

Last week Jackson turned six –  something he’s been looking forward to since his fifth birthday.  Wednesday night I tucked him in bed and told him, with a touch of sadness hidden behind my smile, that this would be my last time hugging my five year old.  He beamed and gave me the biggest hug he could muster, promising it would be bigger in the morning when he was six.

He seemed to grow three inches overnight.  

Watching him now I can’t  believe he’s the same child I held in my arms six years ago.  He no longer emits that intoxicating baby smell that I can’t get enough of.  Nowadays he smells of strawberries or lavender depending on the type of  shampoo he has used that morning.  Gone is the sweet newborn smell that seems to cling to each strand of a baby’s fine hair.

And his hands are now the hands of a little boy.  Gone are the pudgy little fingers and non-existent wrists.   As a six year old, flush with verbal words both appropriate and unfortunate, he rarely talks to me with his hands.  I know the time is coming when he will again sign but I try not to think about the kinds of gestures he’ll be making when he’s a teen.  For now he sticks to ‘please’ when I’ve said no to something and he thinks the Cute Factor might just swing me over to his way of thinking.  

 ‘I love you’ is another nice one that he still uses quite regularly and it makes me smile every time.

These days our non-verbal communication  consists mainly of reminders for both kids to use their manners or my gesturing across the room advising them to behave nicely and share.  It ‘s why the outside world congratulates me on having such polite children. 

Oops, now you know our little secret.

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Filed under Baby Signing, kids

Mom. Bird. Please.

I love Spring and thought I’d share a little bouquet of flowers  signs with you.

Mom because it’s one of my favourite signs.

Please  because you asked (and it’s another of my favourite signs).

Bird because I have had a great time, along with the kids, watching the birds come out to play in the warm weather. 

Spring brings with it a lot of opportunity to play and sign with your baby.  Remember, you don’t have to set aside special time or have lessons – just make the sign as you’re talking with baby.  Easy Peasy.

Have fun!

   

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Filed under Baby Signing, kids

Swingin’ my hips like yeah

There’s nothing like a forthcoming weekend working a booth at a Baby Expo to make you focus on just how bad your hair looks.

On inspection I noticed that my grey strands were no longer strands.  They’d become clumps so this morning was spent colouring and cutting. 

And it felt really good having some much-needed upkeep.  A couple hours of indulgence with lots of time left to finish my errands.  Sweet.

With three o’clock approaching I left to get Jackson from school.  I entered the play area with my internal soundtrack blasting.  The little bit of pampering had added an extra bounce to my step: I was shakin’ my hips like yeah . (I hate it when I get Miley stuck in my head)

Although school pick-up comes  too early most days,  it’s still always my favourite part of the day.  Jackson doesn’t come running out greeting me with hugs anymore but he still beams when he sees me and always wraps his free arm around me. 

The doors flew open just moments after my arrival and out poured the wave of children.  Jack walked towards me and with a smile said “you got your hair cut.”

“I did”

“I don’t like it”

My soundtrack faded to the background as I rubbed his head “Oh, it’ll grow out buddy”

“That looks disgusting” 

There was a loud screech as the DJ scratched the needle across the record silencing my song.  I stopped noddin’ my head like yeah.

With a wave of his hand in front of his nose he giggled and said ‘It stinks mom.  Ohhh, I do not like that’

I’ve often doubted whether I’m mature enough to raise two children.  Today I confirmed that I’m not.  A five-year old was sticking sharp pins in my esteem and all I wanted to do was stick my tongue out and call him a Stupidhead.

I walked away.  Jack asked me to carry his backpack.  I didn’t.  He followed a few steps behind me sensing something had gone awry. 

His footsteps stopped and I heard him yell out for all to hear  “Mom!  I’m allowed to not like your haircut. It doesn’t look nice”

My rainbow of balloons, that had been flying high all day, popped one by one and like any mature 7-year-old I replied: ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all”. 

Oh sure, I’ll be strong and not go into hiding for the next 6 to 8 weeks.  The show must go on.    

The kids slept through our long drive to Hamilton tonight and Justin helped me get some sexy back.  I’m still fragile though.  If anyone visiting my booth thinks it might be funny to wave their hand in front of their nose…I’ll charge you double. 

Ah, but the first person to visit booth 47 who wants to throw their hands up like I’m playing their song, well, you my friend will get a free Alphabet poster.

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