Five Minute Fridays: Enough

Friday, July 20, 2012

Another Friday!  Why is it that Fridays are always anticipated? Doesn't matter what it is that keeps us busy all week, Fridays always seems to have a special allure.

And since it is Friday that means it's time for five minutes of writing, thanks to Lisa-Jo.
Here are her rules. Find five minutes and join in the fun!
Five Minute Friday
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
OK, are you ready? Please give me your best five minutes on:::


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I was taught that phrase as a kid - "I am enough." Meaning I don't have to be someone else's enough. What I do, as long as I am doing it to the best of abilities, is enough. It's perfectly enough. And sometimes it worked. I felt happy because I did my best. 

Then came those wonderful days of standardized tests - ACT, GRE, LSAT - and it was filled with I am not enough. The scores were not what everyone else had. The schools didn't see me as enough. 

I was crushed. Sure I had been told I don't test well, I need a different method - it was on paper that I was different. Yet with those standards, enough didn't fit with me. 

How many times do we find that the standards of the world do not allow us to be enough? Too often to count I think.

How often are kids crushed because someone in the world says they are not enough? How often to teenagers feel the over-inflated ego that comes with being told they are better because they fit these standards perfectly while the teenager next to them barely makes the cut? How often do moms feel discouraged when their kid doesn't fit into the percentile of most kids? This list can go on and on. 

Why do we feel we need to have these standards? Why can't our best just be enough? Why can't we ask for help with the areas where our best isn't as good as someone else's without feeling like we failed? When will we really feel like we are enough just as we are? Because it is in those moments, when we feel we are enough that we are excelling at our full potential and somehow those moments of enough become more. Even more importantly, how to do we teach and model this for the next generation? 

If only the answers were as easy to come by as the questions are to ask. 


Cozy book hop: three

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I am guessing you've seen these amazing books advertised around the holidays - the Hallmark recordable story books. My family has greatly enjoyed them. There are currently six of them in our home and my boys are entranced by them quite often. I love them because the stories are read by different family members who do not live near us. 

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For Christmas I decided to to get as many of our out of state and out of town relatives these books so they could record a story for our little guys (granted I couldn't get too many because these books aren't cheap!). After my grandparents passed away I was really upset that my boys would never know them, sure my grandmothers were here for pictures with my oldest when he was a tiny baby, but he won't remember that. If I had only had them record something then... but that will not be the case for any more of my family. We have their voices recorded into stories that my boys cherish.
Our current favorite is Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star read by my boys Oma (my husbands mother). It's adorable. The boys will sit next to each on the floor and slowly turn the pages to keep the story going.  That is a heartwarming moment on so many levels! The story is super simple, but adorable. Plus there is an introdcution page where Oma greets them and she has a little personal message at the end of the story as well. Honestly it is priceless!

Do you have any of these adorable books? Share some of your heartwarming moments!


Oh and it's time for another Cozy book hop!  I love reading your posts about books of all kinds. It's so nice to see this pastime of reading isn't going away in a world so full of flashier entertainment!  

Please link to your direct book or reading post. 
Also grab the button below so others can join in on the fun.
And maybe stop by some of the other posts and see what others are reading and enjoying! Who knows you might just find a new friend to share your thoughts on the book you are reading!


Linked up with: http://lifewithtwinsandadramaqueen.com/http://www.beholdingglory.com/http://www.whatjeanlikes.com/http://www.nictomsmom.blogspot.com/http://www.foundthemarbles.com/2012/07/thursday-blog-hop-0719/http://www.michellederusha.com/http://www.thebettermom.com/,http://www.whatjoyismine.com/2012/07/mondays-musings-22.htmlhttp://amamastory.blogspot.com/http://www.aboverubies.net/search/label/Domestically%20Divine%20Link-Uphttp://www.cornerstoneconfessions.com/,http://www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com/http://www.lessonsfromivy.com/2012/07/encourage-my-heart-link-up.htmlhttp://www.deeprootsathome.com/http://www.goodmorninggirls.org/

American Sign Language

Baby Sign Language Basics

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

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Baby Sign Language Basics
By Monta Z. Briant

I'll be honest, baby sign language wasn't really on my radar for a long time. Then I didn't think it was necessary when I had my first (mostly because he was a preemie, and there were a million other things on my mind). However my pediatrician recommended giving it a shot with my second. She said he would probably love it, and it would allow my older son a chance to teach him something. So I headed to the library to look for a simple book. Let me just say there are a ton, and I didn't know where to start...

After asking a librarian for a suggestion I landed on Baby Sign Language Basics. It was a great choice.

We got started right away. Yep just jumped right into the deep end, so to speak. Mostly because at least sixty percent of this book is a picture guide to many baby signs.

Anyway, back to the book. This book was a great introduction book for us. Briant does a great job of getting to the point of each chapter, because really the objective is to start signing with your baby and communicating, which doesn't happen if you are reading and reading and reading (to yourself that is). Briant explains why she decided to teach her babies American Sign Language, and then reassures the reader that you don't have to become fluent in this language to teach your baby. Briant makes the point that as parents teaching our babies sign language we only need to know enough to communicate on the baby's level. So start with just 6 - 10 signs (her suggestion) that you can use daily with the routine you have already established. Then add as you feel comfortable.

The biggest point is to make sure you use sign language as often and regularly as possible. Which makes sense right? The words you speak the most are the most likely to be in your child's vocabulary first. With that in mind I started signing before I finished reading the book! I started with mommy, daddy, eat, more and drink.
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We soon added milk, dog, cat, ball, play and dance. I choose these because they are the things my little guy seems most interested, which Briant refers to as motivating signs. She suggests that these signs are the ones that will grab your child's attention and get him (or her) signing quickly.
If your baby is hungry or wet, all he has to do is cry - you'll run through the 
short list of possible causes and figure out which one it is fairly quickly. No let's say,
 for example that you take your baby for a walk around the neighborhood, and at one
 point you visit with a neighbor's cat. The cat is very friendly, and your baby really
 enjoys seeing and touching it. Later (perhaps even a couple of days late), your
 baby decides that he'd like to see the cat again or maybe just hear more about 
cats in general. How can he bring up this topic of conversation?... Using Motivating 
Signs will teach your baby the power of signing and get him interested in 
all the signs you're showing him. - 43
That made sense to me, so I added in play, ball and dance as quick as I could. 

This book was a nice starter because the chapters were super quick reads, which let's face it, is a must when you have a baby to take care of! Plus her writing style was very conversational, and for me, that was great. 

After about three week of signing as regularly as I could (which was usually just a meal times) I started to feel a little discouraged. My nine month old would look and me and watch my signs, but that was it. Then one day the phone rang during lunch, and while I was on the phone he signed "more"! I was thrilled, he got it!  I started to realize that I was just not giving him a chance to sign his response - which is actually something Briant addresses (Over anticipating Baby's needs). 

I realize teaching your baby to sign is not on everyone's to-do list. But I'm enjoying it. We have started having times each day where we get out toys or some picture books and just practice the signs, mostly for me to learn more. But both of my boys really enjoy this play time, so that's good! 
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Some other books we are using to add to our vocabulary of signs include: The Parents' Guide to Baby Signs,  The Everything Baby Sign Language Book, Baby Sign Language, and Signing for Kids.

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