Thursday, January 18, 2007

Playgroup and Wee Sign

Luca and I attended a new playgroup yesterday. We had gone to another one in December, but neither Jacquie or I were too thrilled with it. Jacquie heard about a different one in town so we thought we'd check it out.

It is held at Parentlink here in Ponoka. Parentlink is a place that offers programs and resources for families. (Anyone interested should check it out in their community- I think that they are in most communities in Alberta). The playgroup runs from 10-11:30 on Wednesday mornings. They start with free play and the moms can visit, then they have story time, snack time, singing, and crafts, then more free play. It is somewhat structured, yet still relaxed. We will be trying to attend as often as we can. It was nice to be with other moms and Luca loved watching the other kids play, and he liked the singing part, too. Soon he will be in all the commotion as well!

Also offered at Parentlink is Wee Sign. It is a sign language class for parents and babies. I had planned on doing sign with my children while they were still just a dream in my heart. Having taken sign, I felt that I could do some basics with them onmy own. But, I heard about this course last year when Donovan was born, and then this year it happened to be offered at the optimal time for Luca (I think that 6 months and up is the preferred age). So, tonight was our first class. It is a 3 week class. I really enjoyed it (it really refreshed my memory of signs that I had forgotten). Luca was laughing at the instructor- he liked what she was doing, so that is good news! He was at least interested!

Basically it incorporates simple signs into your everyday routines, and is in no way meant to be a substitute for speech. Parents are encouraged to speak while they sign (as are hearing people that sign to the deaf, often encouraged to do), but rather to add simple signs such as eat, drink, mom, dad, etc to their lives. Since children can produce movement before speech, this empowers them to be able to communicate earlier and reduces frustration in parents and children. Studies have also shown that children that are introduced to sign tend to have larger vocabularies sooner than those not signing. Simply for the reason that they are able to put actions to words (and vice versa) earlier than if they did not learn sign, as that is what it is (actions to words).

Anyway, so we are doing that on Thursday evenings for the next 2 weeks. Should be fun, and with any luck, Luca will be able to learn a few signs in the next few months. Of course, he is not expected to start signing right away, but if he is signed to regularly, he will eventually come to understand that a sign represents an event/person/activity and will associate it as so. SO, we'll see. I'll keep you all posted.

Jacquie and I are also doing a "moms" activity next Friday and the centre. Child care is provided there while we will be making jewelry- fun! A nice hour or so with other moms to do something for us...imagine that!

Not related to the Parentlink centre, I am also planning on taking a few community cooking courses in the next few months. One is Thai cooking on February 13th and the other is "The art of cooking" in April. They are just 2 hour classes on one night each. I have been into cooking lately, so this should be fun!

Now that Luca is a little older and I am comfortable in our routines, I am feeling a little more ambitious to get out and try things with and without him. Plus, being at home all the time makes me a little stir crazy!


Karyn/Mom said...

Wow! you have become busy! Sounds like a lot of fun.

When did you take signing? How much did you take? I took 2 levels back when Robert was a baby. He used a few signs - I know "nice" was one of them. I loved signing, although I had a hard time understanding the deaf - they sign too quickly. I have forgotten alot of the signs, but I often sign to songs...esp. worship songs. The idea of teaching a baby sign language intrigues me - I'll be very interested to hear of Luca's progress.

Did you know that Thai food is Vinjelu and Kathryn's favorite food? Having spent 2 1/2 months in Thailand, eating with the locals, really gave them a taste for it. In fact, we hunted all over the place for a caterer for their wedding that would make Thai food for our supper. Kath loves to cook Thai.

Now you know who to invite over to try out your new skills! :)

The Grahams said...

I didn't know that they were in Thailand. With YWAM I am assuming? That's cool. They might be harsh critics if they've had "real" Thai food, though!

I did sign when I was at UofA. I have forgetten a lot of it, but I did use it when I managed group homes. The deaf are soooo fast at it, I always had to ask them to slow down for me. I am looking ofrward to seeing if Luca takes to it...should be fun!

megan said...

Hey, what kind of high chair do you have again?? I saw a thing on the news that there is a recall for Graco Contempo high chairs, and I though it looked kind of like the one you have for Luca.

Here's the link, just in case :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Jan, that sounds so intresting (like mom said).
It sounds like somthing I would like to do in the future with my babies.

And the Thai food, I was actually thinking I could come out to that cooking class. Can you just go to one? I've been looking for a Thai cooking class. vinj loves it (and like you, I can't get the exact taste we had in Thailand.) Let me know.

Oh ya, sorry for not phoning. I was really sick and the truck and everything, it slipped my mind. We'll come by anytime we're passing through though.


The Grahams said...

Megan- thanks for the highchair info. Ours is close, but not the "Contempo". I did check the model #s just in case, but we are safe. Thanks for thinking of us, though!

Kath- You for sure can come to the cooking class. It is on Feb 13th from 7-9pm and it is $20 (It's here in Ponoka). Let me know in the next few days and when I register myself, I will register you also. I am looking forward to it! (Anyone else reading that might be interested, let me know- the more the merrier!)

Don't worry about not stopping by- Luca has a cold again (still?) and he hasn't been very happy the last few days. He is back to throwing up when he coughs, and he has a really runny nose. HE cries cuz his nose is running, then he cries when you wipe it- I can't win! Needless to say, it has been a long few days! Today is the worst so far, so hopefully it is going to start getting better from here. (Cross your fingers!)

Anonymous said...

Janice you can sign me up, I'll come out for it.

Sorry to hear Luca's sick, I think thats the hardest thing about babies, not totaly knowing what their going through and how they feel...

Looking forwad to the cooking class.


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