Thank You, Veterans.

I love this photo. If you didn't know, the man actually just grabbed this strange woman and kissed her. They didn't until recently find out who the woman in the photo was.


chatter box

Audrey is approaching 17-months-old and formerly had a vocabulary of a few words, animal sounds and lots of grunting. Chris and I have been proactive in trying to help her learn words and reading to her constantly (thankfully, this is her choice of playtime too). 

Audrey's comprehension has been pretty sharp for a number of months. I believe this strongly has to do with us always talking to Audrey. I'm the crazy lady in the grocery store in constant conversation with my baby. I like it- I always get the floor to talk. 
Well, now things might be changing.

Two days ago, it was like a light switch turned on. She began saying almost every word I asked her to say. This includes brand-new words like "Minnie" and "berry" as well as words we have been working on for a while such as "please" and "cup." I have thought a lot about why, in one day, she felt like she could now talk. Where did the confidence come from? 

Yesterday, Audrey came up to me and said, "Pooh, now." I said, "Let's take a nap." Then she said, "No." 

I couldn't believe it. I just had a conversation with my baby! Even though it wasn't the best of conversations as it was a shining light into the future of her serious diva-tude- it was in deed a conversation. 

She did this with walking, too. She tried a few steps, then decided she wasn't ready, and it took a serious confidence adjustment. One day, she just started walking everywhere. 

I have seen the interest in learning grow dramatically as she points at things and wants to know what they are, stares at my mouth to watch me pronounce a word and will stay on a certain page in her book until she has tried saying the object/word. 

Seeing this, it is really on now for me as a parent. So, I've done some research on ways that we parents can assist in the healthy vocabulary growth and confidence of our children: 

1. No baby talk. Keep in mind, that although it is so cute when my husband always talks to Audrey in a high pitched, lovey voice, she will repeat it that way. Moreover, use real words - no baby words or slang. 

2. Keep sentences to a minimum. Wow, could God make it any more clearer that I just need to stop talking =) Minimizing our words also helps our babies learn. Instead of, "Are you hungry?" "Would you like some toast?" just simply ask, "Toast?" Too many words can overstimulate them. 

3. Correcting them and intervening in their attempt to say something can damage their self-esteem and therefore hold back a future attempt to try saying something. 

4. Have patience. Play the "What's This?" game and give her plenty of time to respond. If she looks at you not knowing, say the word slowly and have her look at your mouth.

5. Pick a word-of-the-day or week and consistently work on it. 

If something worked well for you, please let me know about it.


these are a few of my favorite things...

taunt, fresh sheets
graham crackers and milk 
the ability a mom has to just pick her baby up and stop her crying 
vacuum marks 
my husband's winter beard 
banana and peanut butter
everyone sitting at the table for a meal
baby smell
a book that I don't want to put down 
Ugg boots 
a glass of wine and a crackling fire 
when a Bible verse gives me chills 
Old Spice deodorant 
Disney music
making forts
date night 
not having television
people who give without expecting back
helping someone
the feeling after a good workout
calls just to say, "how are you?"
eating breakfast
calla lilies 
the roar of the ocean
my sister's singing and guitar playing
sun baked skin 
holding my daughters hand 
watching her dance 
inside jokes
how my husband always opens the door for me
the power of prayer
early to bed, early to rise
educated people
correct grammar 
my grandmother's sign-off: "Oceans of Love, grandma..."
a hot bath 
getting my hair done
watching a dad with his daughter
running farther 
falling snow and how it makes everything go quiet 
creative minds, so I can borrow their ideas
singing loud in the car
zit popping 
tons of blankets and pillows 
cold leftovers: pasta, pizza and Chinese are the best
accomplishing a goal 
being excited to see my husband every day
campfire smell
Saturday mornings 
banana pancakes and Jack Johnson
giving and receiving compliments
spending time with friends 
being able to learn something everyday, no matter how old or smart we think we are
high heels 
over sized winter sweaters 
a good story - good writing
game night 
watching our dogs cuddle together 
seeing new places
striving to always do better 
thank you cards 
love notes just because 
my daughter's first sounds when she wakes up and how she is always smiling
when the laundry is done
be able to say and hear, "Will you forgive me?" over "I'm sorry"
a good deal
egg nog
marriage and the unity it brings 
when a friend sticks up for you 
Christmas time
huge sunglasses
people who do what is right even though it is hard
trying not to cry at a movie and then just letting it go
people who are always smiling
holding hands
when my words influence someones life 
when someones words influence my life
saying "I love you" all the time - it never gets old
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Cor. 13:13
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, 
I have kept the faith." 2 Tim. 4:7

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