Soverign Babies: Sign Language

When our daughter Aliana was born one of my very intelligent aunts sent us a book called “baby signs“. This book shows about ten basic signs for babies to learn. I had never thought about how children communicate before becoming a parent, but it seemed like a neat idea, so I decided to try it out.

From about three months of age I made the sign for “diaper” when I changed her, I showed her the sign for “more” when I was feeding her, and basically repeated about four signs over and over. As time went on I read articles about sign language helping prevent toddler tantrums and creating stronger communication bonds between children and parents. This inspired me to keep trying despite her lack of hand-signal response.

At around 10 months Aliana started using the sign for “more” while eating (and to ask for milk when she wanted to nurse.. She still does not use the sign for “milk” now at age twelve months). Suddenly at eleven months of age, Aliana walked up to me and without prompting signed “diaper” when she was finished with one of her epic poopoos. This was the beginning of truly interactive communication with our daughter.

Now when Aliana is upset about something I ask her to communicate with her hands. Sometimes she’s hungry, sometimes she wants her bottle that she threw down from the highchair and other times she wants her diaper changed. In most circumstances, she stops vocally fussing and uses her hands to show me the problem, which I immediately attend to.

Today at the dinner table she was demanding bites of my meal very loudly. I asked her if she could ask me in a more polite manner and showed her the sign for “please”, a sign she had never used before. Suddenly she began rubbing her chest after pointing at my bowl (this is the sign for “please”). John and I were elated and praised her while giving her bites of my meal. She then used the sign about ten more times as the meal progressed.

Her use of the new sign tonight made me realize I only knew one more sign to teach her (“thank you”), which inspired me to get on youtube and learn a few more! Tonight I learned the sign for “you’re welcome”, “tired”, and “sleep”. I chose to learn these three immediately based on Aliana’s needs. She learned how to say “please”, so naturally while I’m teaching her “thank you”, I should respond with “you’re welcome”! Additionally, when she becomes tired she will sign “more”, “diaper”, “bye-bye” or “all done” in any random order as she fusses vocally and tries to express her self without the knowledge of the “tired” sign. Now I know how to teach her to communicate her exhaustion to me in a more constructive way, which will greatly reduce our evening fusses.

I think it is important that pre-speaking babies are able to communicate their needs and desires to us, especially if we are raising them as sovereign individuals. If you’re interested in learning baby sign language I encourage you to buy a few books on amazon and watch LOTS of youtube videos! My favorites are the baby sign sing along groups that sign and sign at the same time to help both momma and baby remember the signs. I also like the channels that simply show the sign and say the word and nothing else. I’ve posted examples of each below:

This is a song called “Please Change Me”:

This is a woman signing “Please”:

Marriage and Sovereignty.

Marriage means different things to different people and now that I have agreed to marry John, I am exploring what marriage means to me.

Part of living as a sovereign individual means taking responsibility for your personal relationships. In the world of marriage this means removing third parties such as government from your union with your spouse, despite the government benefits a state marriage involves.

Today I listened to the most recent episode of Sex Lies and Anarchy which covers the tradition of marriage and it’s roots. They brought up the fact that traditions such as the father “giving away the bride” stem from the idea of male ownership of women. The father is literally giving the groom ownership of the woman, at least it was seen that way at one time.

John and I have already decided we will not involve the state in our marriage in anyway. We do not want a third party involved in our relationship, but we do plan to sign a contract with each othercommitting to a life long partnership.

I can’t decide if I should wear a white dress or not, since I will have two children and white traditionally symbolizes virginity. I also question my ability to change my name, it seems like I would be losing my identity.

I know our wedding will be fun and unique, but I still have lots to explore.

Check out the podcast here and let me know what you think.

What is marriage to you? Is it a celebration of love? A spiritual bond? A contract with your spouse? A license from the state?all of the above?

Here is John proposing ( more family photos at www,blushfamilyfarm.com

 

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Going no-poo.

After hearing the buzz amongst my peers about a shampoo-less method of washing and conditioning your hair, I decided to see if the no-poo method could heal my damaged hair. Today is day thirty and I can honestly say I have never been happier when I look in the mirror or run my fingers through my hair!

I customized a hair treatment plan for myself based on this no-poo method.  Baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and coconut oil are the only ingredients I have used to care for my hair over the course of one month.  I dilute the baking soda with filtered water, this serves as my shampoo.  I also dilute apple cider vinegar in filtered water, this serves as my conditioner.  Finally, and most rarely,  coconut oil serves as my deep moisturizing treatment.

Here is my testimonial and first blog update.  I will try to let you all know how it goes as time passes along!

The problem: growing up my hair was fine, flat and sometimes greasy. I stopped using conditioner, which helped some, but never solved the problem.  To make matters worse, as an adult I failed to take measures to protect my hair from the Texas sun.  I spent hours unknowingly destroying my hair while i gardened, never considering a hat. This resulted in hair that was not only  fine and  flat, but split and breaking. No matter how frequently it was trimmed, I could not win the battle against split ends.
Attempted Solutions: For a long while I used Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Hemp Oil soap to wash my hair.  Even though it is oil based, I found my hair increasingly dry (mostly due to sun exposure). I eventually switched to a coconut oil based shampoo by Cal Ben Soap company that worked great, but could not quench the thirst of my brittle hair.  I used expensive conditioners despite how unstyleable it made my hair.  I stopped using hair ties that caused weak points that later resulted in breakages.  I even stopped using the blow dryer and straightener, but my hair could not find health.

The Solution:  Baking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Coconut Oil. The first day I tried the no-poo method I trimmed off all the split ends I could find and put coconut oil on the damaged tips of my hair.  I let that soak while I prepared my baking soda/water (replacement shampoo) and my apple cider vinegar/water (replacement conditioner).  I washed my hair with the solutions then blew my hair dry.  I was astonished by how soft my hair suddenly felt.  It also appeared and felt more full.  I still had visible damage so I decided to do an overnight treatment of coconut oil.

The next day my hair was, of course, quite greasy.  Even after another wash and blow dry it remained stringy, but the tips looked much healthier.  I didn’t fret because I was prepared to deal with transitional bad hair days.  In fact, many testimonials I read before trying this method indicated a very greasy hair period as their scalp acclimated to not having the oils stripped daily by commercial shampoos. In my case, I created this by loading it up with oil!

By day three my hair was really starting to look good.  I was already receiving comments from friends and family, asking if I had it cut, or simply telling me it looked nice. The transition has progressed quit smoothly and I truly feel my hair looks better after every wash.  Its day thirty and I have not trimmed my hair since day one, but my ends do not look damaged as they did thirty one days ago. I also find my hair easier to style and manage.  I’m excited to see how it is working out six months from now!

I do plan to do the coconut oil treatment every month, so I will be sleeping with it in my hair tonight.  Hopefully this method of shampooing / conditioning combined with outdoor hat use and plenty of vitamins / minerals will allow me to experience healthy hair for the first time in my adult life!

Here is the photo proof!  The first picture is a dramatization in that I had it zombie-ed out for Halloween.  This style would not have been possible without five months of daily garden work.  Notice how dull it is and how scraggly the ends are (they are literally breaking off).  The second photo is on day three of the no-poo method.  Wait until I take one after all this time!
“Ron Paul Zombies” for Halloween. Dry breaking hair makes great zombie locks!
Day Three of no-poo. Already shiny and healthy looking!