For the last 7 months, we've been working with James on sign language in the hopes that it would help him communicate with us earlier and help avoid some frustration. There's also been a lot of studies done about how toddlers who sign have better vocabulary skills overall into later childhood. And I also figured it would be fun for us to learn a new language!
So here we are, 12 1/2 months old, and he's finally doing a LOT of signing without prompting most of the time. His favorites are "play" and "doggie," but I've also recently taught him "1" so he could answer the question about how old he is. He uses that one a lot! If I say "growing," he puts his arm up in the air. And of course, "hi" and "bye bye" all get a wave. :-)
James also says "da da" now when he sees Eliot, but he hasn't ever uttered anything close to mama. He likes "yayayayaya" for some reason we haven't figured out quite yet (we think it may be because I say "yeah" all the time).
In other developments, James stands holding onto objects with one hand, and once in awhile he'll let go for a second before sitting down and he'll actually be standing on his own! He's also been pushing his little car around the living room, so I think we're maybe a month or so away from walking. I can't believe it's gone so fast!
We took James today to Cabela's for the first time (It was our first time too since they just opened it). They had an unbelievable amount of fishing poles, James looked pretty amazed. We stopped in the gun library to see the antique guns (why not?), and then wandered over to the duck hunting gear (just to check out what they had). They had some amazing taxidermied animals there, and James gazed wide-eyed at the male and female moose, and wouldn't stop pointing and smiling at the display of two bears (a grizzly and a black bear) facing off over a dear. We also saw soooo much camping stuff that we would love to have, which just made me miss camping a ton. Maybe next year?
I've attached a few pictures here of recent events. Included is his first EVER box of disposable diapers (for summer vacations when mom needs a break!). James though the box was great fun and I had him hold up a "1" to symbolize it being his first sposies (and probably close to his last, I really do prefer cloth myself).
I also threw in some pics of all three of us on a bike ride to nearby Alton Baker park. We rode all the way from our house and back, and had a little picnic when we got there while watching the geese wander around. The trail is beautiful, winding by a lazy stream, then a lake, then the Willamette river. It was a lovely afternoon.
Lastly, I included some pictures from us eating spaghetti on the porch tonight. It's the first time James has ever had meat that wasn't pureed, and he LOVED it! He ate a big bowl! I then said "you must be growing" and he put his arm up in the air for the word growing. :-) He also pointed to the flowers outside and then signed "play," meaning he wanted to go explore the flowers (we didn't indulge him in this one, but I was proud of him for understanding.
Oh, and I must include that, while reading a book tonight, James preempted all my signs that I do for a particular story we read often. He knew when it was time to do "Hat" by putting his hand on his head, and then the sign for "juice" on the next page, all without me doing it first! I can't believe it. He's such a smart kiddo.
Anyway, enjoy the pics!
Oh, and here's a super-short video of him playing with his push-car: