Friday, June 5, 2015

Frankie signs // favorite memories with our one-year-old

It's amazing to see Frankie turning into more of a little boy and less of a baby. It seems like every day, he gets a little older: his limbs are longer, he is more alert and focused on adult activities, his gestures and expressions are becoming more deliberate, and he understands a lot more than we realize!

I taught him sign language to ask to "nurse" and for "more" food the week he turned one. I'm working on teaching him the signs for "all done" and "water," but those haven't caught on yet. Still, with just those two signs, he's managed to have some hilarious communications! Here are some of my favorite Frankie signing stories:

It makes me laugh to see the serious, intense face he makes when he signs, like he is focusing all his energy on this communication.

Last week I was feeding him cherry tomatoes cut in half (a favorite snack around these parts). He was holding one in his hand when he started signing for "more." I shook my head and responded, "No, Frankie, you're holding one in your hand. You can't have more until you finish that one." So he promptly shoved the entire tomato half into his mouth and with cheeks bulging looked up at me all innocently and signed for "more! more!" Little stinker.

Another time I kept giving him carrots when he really wanted a Cheerio. When he thought I wasn't looking, he started surreptitiously dropping the carrots down the far side of his high chair.

Recently I traveled with my family to Champaign for my younger sister's university graduation. Frank wasn't able to come because of a work trip, so I ended up sharing a bed with my youngest sister. She was already asleep before I finally got my wild baby settled down and nursing to sleep. Right before he fell asleep, he turned away from me and rolled to face my sister.. whose elbow happened to be right next to his face .. so he tried to latch on to her elbow! But it was just a little bit out of his reach, so he reached up one little arm and sleepily signed to her, "Nurse…" before he drifted off to sleep. I was laughing so hard and couldn't believe I was the only one awake for it!

Like most babies, he absolutely loves dogs. He used to say "Doe!" every time he saw one, but now he says "Gog! Gog!" He will spot a dog two blocks away and start urgently saying, "Gog!" Which is cute at first, but less cute when the gigantic mastiff starts sniffing his feet and he wriggles and squirms trying to find a way to poke it in the head.

He says "Cah!" for "car"—we joke he has a Boston accent.

He says "Bah" for ball and "bah-bee" for baby. He loves babies! Whenever he sees a baby younger than himself, he puckers up his lips and blows kisses, which of course melts my heart. But he blows kisses from about a foot away, and is not interested in getting any closer!

He loves to play catch. We throw him a ball and he tries to throw it back, but usually he gets so excited that he doesn't want to bother throwing it and crawls over to put it in my hand instead, laughing the whole time.

Like most babies, he is obsessed with ceilings, especially lights and fans. (One of his first words was "Fffffaaaa" for the box fan in our bedroom that he loves to watch me turn off after naps.) When something on the ceiling catches his attention, he will let out a loud gasp and dramatically throw back his head to stare, often while pointing upward (and he always points with his thumb and a closed fist).

I put him in a box on the patio and he thought it was the funniest thing that ever happened to him!

He says a bunch of words already. The doctor commented at his one-year check-up that he's very verbal for his age. Hmmm, I wonder where he gets that from? :)

He loves "going for a dangle", as we call letting him dangle his head backwards off my lap. It always makes him laugh.

Similarly, nothing makes him laugh quite like when someone imitates him.

He is getting so good at understanding what we are saying. Yesterday I pointed to my nose and said, "Nose" a few times. Now whenever you ask him, "Where's my nose?" he will point to it and say "Nuh-nuh." But he won't point to his OWN nose, only yours. I think he's in doubt that his exists!

Similarly, yesterday we were in the bedroom and I asked him, "Frankie, would you like to go have breakfast?" He began signing for "more"! I was shocked since I'd given him no context clues, but he knew what I was saying!

His favorite thing in the world is waving "hi" and "bye" to absolutely everybody. One of my sisters commented, "Frankie thinks he's a parade float." He does this hilariously genteel little wave, rotating his wrist, that we call his "royal wave" because that's exactly what it looks like.

And because I want to remember this too, here are some funny stories about the sweet little girl (the same age as Frankie!) who lives next door to us…

She is obsessed with this one bottle of balsamic vinegar that we keep on a shelf in the kitchen. Whenever she comes over, she goes to find it and then carries it around with her everywhere. I've tried hiding it behind other things, and that clever little girl will move whatever is in her way to get to it! I'm impressed with her perseverance and problem solving … but I'm still hiding the bottle somewhere else next time. ;)

She also is obsessed with this one mini crock pot we have. I think she likes that it has a plastic lid and is small enough for her to tote around. She loves to take it off the shelf and play that she's cooking with it. It just cracks me up that with all the toys and books we have in our house, her favorite things are the balsamic vinegar and mini crock pot!

Her favorite word is "Hi!" and she has the most perfect comedic timing with that one word. Every time I catch her doing something she shouldn't (opening the cabinets or whatever), she looks up at me, smiles sweetly, and shouts "Hi!!!" almost like she is trying to distract me. It makes me laugh every time. She also notices whenever there is a lull in the adults' conversation, and will give us all a big grin and "Hi!" into the silence. So, so funny. We love having her around to play with Frankie and entertain us with her cute ways.

Speaking of our neighbors, I figured I would update you all on how that is going since our friends moved next door in March. In brief, it's going awesome. :) The running joke (and it's pretty accurate!) is that it's like being in a college dorm again. We live down the hall from each other, we "study" and "do homework" together (because both wives work part-time from home), and we each have a tiny and very clingy little roommate. :) We take the babies on all kinds of fun "field trips" during the day, like going hiking, or swimming, or to the park … or grocery shopping… whatever that day brings. It's great.

A recent trip to the grocery store:

Well, there are some fun memories of Frankie from his first month of being one. I am still absolutely obsessed with this age (even as Frankie is currently hitting my knee and yelling for attention). So much personality! So much nighttime sleep! So entertaining and sweet and fun! One-year-olds are the absolute best, I will say it again and again. I've heard things will get a lot harder when he hits those terrible twos (or more accurately, 18 months) so I'm just enjoying this sweetness and good behavior while it lasts.

What's your favorite age to parent (if you have one)? Mine so far is definitely a one-year-old. Here's hoping that each new age becomes the favorite when it comes!


  1. Frankie is so cute! I might say that he's THE cutest one year old boy but my little brother holds that position right now. ;) It's amazing what children can do with just a few signs. The story about the cherry tomato was great! So was the one about your sister's elbow and Frankie wanting to nurse.
    May God bless you and your family!

    1. Aw, thanks, Catherine! I bet he would have a lot of fun with your little brother :)

  2. Goodness, those are adorable stories. I agree - one is the best age!! I'm obsessed with it right now (even though Kate is already showing signs of tantrums/terrible twos...uh oh...:)).

    1. Aw yay, glad I'm not the only one! I feel a little bit bad that I'm not obsessed with the newborn stage like most people seem to be, haha. Oh man, I am NOT looking forward to the twos with our very stubborn and energetic boy!

  3. with just those two signs, he's managed to have some hilarious communications! Here are some of my favorite Frankie signing stories: chicago signs