Monthly Archives: September 2010

American Sign Language

I recently read an article that was sent to me by Emily Patterson. Emily Patterson is the Communications Coordinator at Primrose Schools. I really enjoyed this article as it’s about ASL and children learning to communicate in different languages at young ages. Communicating in this big busy world we live in, in different ways is very important to me. It is important to me because I want my children to communicate with other people no matter their language.
I started signing with both Finley and Ezra when they were about 5 months old. It took a while for Finley to actually start using the signs, but she knew what they meant and when I would show them to her she would nod in agreement or verbally let me know with a gleeful shout. Ezra is displaying the same behavior at this time. So I think he will be starting to show me the signs soon. Finley still sometimes uses them while communicating with me, and she also uses them with Ezra.
Now I’m not fluent in ASL. I pretty much only know the basics. More, please, thank you, cracker, milk, and all done. With my experience with sign, even though it’s not a lot, I have felt like it has been a great tool to communicate with my babies. After Reading this article (which I will be sharing with you and posting below)I want to continue with ASL. I want to learn and I want to teach Finley and Ezra more.

Early Childhood Education – Acquiring Sign Language

One of the keys to surviving in a tilted economic system in which opportunities to achieve a decent standard of living will be limited is versatility – and the ability to communicate articulately in a variety of ways with the widest possible audience. This includes bilingual ability as well as the ability to communicate in non-verbal ways for the benefit of the disabled – primarily the deaf.

At the same time, a growing shortage of qualified interpreters fluent in American Sign Language has led to more career opportunities – and if current trends continue, it’s likely that skilled ASL interpreters will have little problem securing lucrative employment in a society where such a commodity is destined to be in short supply.

Signing Before They Can Speak

A great deal of research has clearly demonstrated that the early years – ages 2 to five – are the best time to educate children in different modes of communication and language. This goes beyond the spoken word (though it is an optimal time for children to learn a second language); many young children have an aptitude for signing as well.

This is not as odd as you may think. As you know, many indigenous peoples around the world, including American Indian nations, have used sign language for centuries to facilitate communication with other tribes with whom they do not share a language. Some paleontologists and anthropologists theorize that Neanderthals – who apparently lacked the vocal mechanism to produce many spoken words – depended a great deal upon hand gestures to communicate.

In fact, recent research suggests that sign language is innate. An article published in the Boulder Daily Camera in 2003 presented strong evidence that babies as young as six months old communicate with their hands:

“…by 6 to 7 months, babies can remember a sign. At eight months children can begin to imitate gestures and sign single words. By 24 months, children can sign compound words and full sentences. They say sign language reduces frustration in young children by giving them a means to express themselves
before they know how to talk.” (Glarion, 2003)

The author also cites study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development demonstrating that young children who are taught sign language at an early age actually develop better verbal skills as they get older. The ability to sign has also helped parents in communicating with autistic children; one parent reports that “using sign language allowed her to communicate with her [autistic] son and minimized his frustration…[he now] has an advanced vocabulary and excels in math, spelling and music” (Glarion, 2003).

The Best Time To Start

Not only does early childhood education in signing give pre-verbal youngsters a way to communicate, it can also strengthen the parent-child bond – in addition to giving children a solid foundation for learning a skill that will serve them well in the future. The evidence suggests that the best time to start learning ASL is before a child can even walk – and the implications for facilitating the parent-child relationship are amazing.

Co-written by Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas

Emily and Kathleen are Communications Coordinators for the network of Texas child care facilities belonging to the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose child care schools. Primrose Schools are located in 16 states throughout the U.S. and are dedicated to delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum throughout their preschools.

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Tea Collection Review and {Giveaway}

Tea Collection is one of my favorite children’s clothing brands. They make the cutest clothing for boys and girls from 0-12 and just introduced a women’s clothing collection! Tea Collection started in 2002 in San Francisco, offering children’s clothing with the tagline “little citizens of the world” finding inspriation and beauty from cultures all around the world. The colors and patterns are amazing and the quality of the clothing is equally amazing.

Tea Collection sent each of the kids a pair of pajamas to review. Of course they are adorable, soft and the most perfect pajama. I love the way they fit them. Not too snug, not to baggy. Just perfect. The pjs also wash and dry very nicely, the colors stay vibrant and they are holding up nicely to all of Ezra’s rough play before bed.

Tea Collection has graciously offered one of my readers the chance to win a set (2 pair) of Pajamas, your choice of print.

Girls Blossoms & Songbirds Set

All you have to do to enter is go to Tea Collection’s website Here look around at all their amazing clothes then come back here and leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite peice of clothing is.
For Extra Entries:
1. Follow H is for Hillman Publicly (if you don’t already go click “follow” on the right hand side bar)
2. Go “Like” Tea Collection on Facebook here
3. Blog about this giveaway and link back to your post in your comment or Post about this giveaway as your FB status!
Leave a seperate comment for each of these you complete.

Giveaway ends September 30th at midnight pst. A winner will be chosen at random and annouced Oct 1st. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or I will chose a new winner.

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Hard Time

I’m having a hard time with Ezra turning 1 in just 2 short weeks. I don’t remember feeling this way when Finley turned 1. But then again 3 weeks after her 1st birthday we found out we were pregnant with Ezra. I have horrible baby fever, and have been looking at photos of when I was pregnant with Ezra and of his newborn photos. I seriously cannot believe how fast this has gone by. And on the other hand, I have enjoyed every moment of this first year with Ezra and don’t really even remember what it was like without him. He is such an amazing blessing, him and his sister both. Finley adores him and he adores her. I love this age he is at, love to watch him toddle around after his sister, giggle and laugh with her and copy some of the things she says. But I miss my sweet tiny little newborn.
But do I really want to be pregnant again right now? No. I want to run and play and enjoy Finley and Ezra at this time. Do I want a newborn? Well I want to hold a newborn and snuggle a newborn. But I’m finally getting some sleep, so no, I do not want a newborn right now. I don’t know whats I wrong with me. I really don’t know what I want, so don’t listen to me. Because I don’t know what I’m talking about.

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I didn’t know weaning Ezra from breastfeeding was going to be this hard. I knew it would be a bit of a challenge but with a little work we could do it without any problems. I’m very proud of myself for nursing Ezra for this long, almost a whole year. And it has been an amazing, wonderful bonding experience and I’m so happy we went this route. With Finley I only breastfed for 6wks. She seemed to have tummy problems so we went with soy formula, then senesitive formula and by the time I figured out that none of those were helping and wanted to go back to nursing my supply had dried up. So then I vowed to nurse Ezra for 6 months, but as soon as I started nursing him, I knew I wanted to keep nursing for a full year. He wouldn’t take a bottle and to be honest I hated cleaning bottles, warming bottles, and the yucky smell of formula. I’m so happy that I was able to nurse my son and have this amazing bond with him. I’m sad to be weaning Ezra, but I do need my body back, so this is very bittersweet. Ez is having a little trouble weaning. He has always been a comfort nurser, since the day he was born. When his reflux would act up he would sometimes spend hours nursing to soothe the pain. Now whenever he falls or bumps his head he comes straight to me and get in the nirsing position. I have been trying to cuddle him instead but he just screetchs until I give in. So I have been trying to quickly replace the nursing with a 1/2 cup of yogurt and blueberries or handful of cheese crackers. It does seem to help a bit, so I’m hoping we can get on a routine of distracting him with something else and soon the cuddles will soothe him and the food will satisfy him. I know we are on the right track and we will get there. It’s just a hard thing to let go of, for both of us.

Couple of cuties playing under the table while I was making dinner

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Ezra Exploring the newly fallen leafs, by eating them of course!

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Ok Mamas ( and dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts and uncles too)get ready for a GREAT review and giveaway coming soon. I’m really excited about this one because not only is it one of my favorite brands, this giveaway is a must have for your little ones with the cooler weather coming soon. So go tell your mommy friends and have them come join my blog for a chance to win something awesome from one of my favorite “collections” **Hint, Hint**

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11 Months

I just typed 11 months. Can you believe my baby boy is 11 months old today? This is pure craziness. One month away from being one year. I remember this time last year, I was 36 weeks pregnant, hoping and praying this little boy would be here soon. Now I wish I could just savor those moments and soak them all back in. Those little knees sticking out my sides, and a foot in my ribs. Painful at times? Yes. But truely the most amazing and wonderful moments of a pregnancy.
Ezra is such a wonderful little boy. He is full of love and joy. I can’t get enough of his smiles and adorable babbling. He started walking at 9 months and hasn’t stopped there, he is now attempting to run and it is so cute to watch. He says “Uh oh” and he has been saying “Mama” here and there and his waving hello and goodbye is absolutely precious. I love my sweet boy to pieces and can’t imagine my life without him (and his beautiful sissy) and that contagious giggle. My baby is almost a toddler and really showing signs of it. It is so bittersweet, I think I may even cry on his birthday. I didn’t cry on Fin’s 1st birthday, I think because it’s different with your first, everything is just so exciting. But Ezra is my baby, although I love atching all his changes and achieving his milestones, it’s also so hard to see your baby go from tiny little newborn to a walking and talking, toddler.

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Fall :)

I love fall. I mean, I really really love fall. Everything about it. Those cool crisp mornings with the sun shining through my windows are my favorite. There is just something about fall. The changing colors of the leafs are amazing. Beautiful deep reds, vibrant oranges, bright yellows. The changing colors and the leaves falling give me a feeling of change, new beginnings. Like a clean start. Everything feels new, new cozy sweaters, new smells of pumpkin and spices, new meals on the table. Kids are going back to school and starting fresh in a new grade. I love this feeling, I love the feeling of actually wanting to cook a meal. Fall is my time where I try lots of new recipes, bake and cook lots of comfort foods. In other words, I eat a lot in this cooler season.
Another thing I love about fall is Halloween, and I’m very excited for this Halloween. Finley is going to be Minnie and Ezra will of course be Mickey. I have ordered most of their costumes from different Etsy sellers and I can’t wait to put the costumes together. They are going to be the cutest Mickey and Minnie ever.
This morning was a perfect fall morning, I enjoyed a nice walk with a new friend and her cuties and of course we made a stop at Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Happy Fall!!!!

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I currently watch a little boy in our home 3 days a week. I have been watching him for about 4 months now, and to be very honest I’m wondering if I took on too much. At first I loved the idea of watching another child in my home, earning money but still being home with my kids and contributing to the income a bit. It felt good, and I felt less guilty buying a few extras for us. Clothes, make-up, shampoo, you know the nicer stuff.
The little guy I watch is a month younger than Ezra, he is a very sweet baby. But very different from my kids, and he is very clingy. At first I was fine with it, but now it is getting a lot harder to get things done around the house and to get things for Finley and Ezra. Ezra is turning one in a month as you know, and he is starting to talk and learn new things everyday, I really would like to spend more time with him and take in every bit of him before he is no longer a baby. And Finley, she is going to be 3 in about 4 months and I really want to spend time with her on preschool work books, art projects and her ABCs and 123s. I just feel like this time in my kids life is important and they need a lot of extra attention. The time goes by so fast and before I know it Finley will be in school and Ezra in preschool. I don’t want to miss one little thing with them.
So here is my dilemma, I committed to 15 months of watching the little boy, but his mom came to me this last week and said that the preschool their daughter goes to changed their age policy and are now excepting babies at 9 months of age, so if I felt like I couldn’t watch him anymore, she had a back up. So what do I do? I really do love the extra income, but I really really love my time with my kids. And I feel so worn out with the 3 kids at the end of the day. Is it worth it?

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