Recently, we have been teaching Lucas sign language for various simple things. He obviously knows a lot of words and understands much of what we say to him, but since he's so far reluctant to speak, we thought that signing would allow him to communicate to us what he wants sometimes. Plus, you know, a baby doing sign language, right? That's pretty cute.

Among other things, we taught him the sign for "more" so that at mealtime when he finishes his food, he can tell us whether he's done or if he wants more. We learned two things: First, a baby signing for more food really is very cute. Second, he always wants more. He is not ever really done eating. What's that, you say? He finished all the food we prepared for him? But that's not all the food in the house, right? There is applesauce in the fridge, right? Yeah. Go get him some applesauce. Kid's not done. He wants... more.

With very inconsistent results, we have been asking him to "be patient" when he wants something that we plan to give him but don't have ready yet (or for some reason don't yet want to give him) if he's fussing for it. Sometimes he will stop fussing, sometimes not. Usually it at least causes a pause of a few seconds (maybe he thinks "be patient" means "ok, I will give it to you, but only if you stop fussing for just 2 seconds, man!" [which, now that I think about it, it sort of does mean]). Still, he can only be patient for so long. Then, if his mood is right (wrong?) he's right back to fussing for it. I guess I can understand. It's not like he can just tell us what he wants. But he wants us to know that he wants something. Telling him to be patient acknowledges that we understand him, but it doesn't always work. However, what's usually more successful is that Sharayah taught him the sign for "please." If he's asking for something and we ask him to say "please," he stops fussing and does the sign, and then looks at us expectantly. Of course, this only works for things that we plan to (or are ok with) giving him anyway, but it's very effective and he seems to like that he can express his desires.

Hold on, though. It gets cuter. Lucas really likes cheese sticks, so sometimes for a snack or (more commonly) with a meal we give him little pieces torn off of a cheese stick. He loves it. A lot. Enough to ask for it frequently. Enough to drive home the "please" sign. He started just walking up and signing "please" instead of fussing and being asked first. Then Sharayah taught him "thank you." So he would walk up, sign "please," get his cheese, and (upon being prompted) sign "thank you." Then. He starting walking up, quickly signing "please" and "thank you" in quick succession and holding his hand out expectantly.

So maybe he doesn't quite understand the intricacies of language. Maybe he thinks "if I do this motion, they get all happy and give me cheese and applesauce!" Still, being played by a polite baby is better (and more adorable) than having him fuss at you. I call it a win.


two things, and then one more

2016. Here we go. Goal: Blog more than once every four months.

So much has been going on, so many good and tiring and exciting and stressful and fascinating things, but Life [read: Bedtime] demands that I only touch on a few of them in this post. I will touch on two of the Things. Two Things and One Random Factoid. 

First of the Things: We live in a house. It is a pretty house. It is the perfect house for Us Now and Us Down the Road. We have a master bedroom [which took several nights to get accustomed to since it felt like "the parents' room"] with a vaulted ceiling so high that Jason's best leap cannot even get him close to the center beam. We have a garage [Lucas loves opening and closing the garage door] and a backyard with a giant play set and two trash cans to drag out each Tuesday and Wednesday and a finished walk-out basement and bedrooms galore for future kpluBlets and so many other good things. We Christmas-ed with just the three of us and our house. We survived the never ending rain and were grateful to not be in a flood plain. We celebrated the beginning of 2016 by going to sleep before midnight. Already, we have had such good times in our new place. It is a good house. We feel at home already.  

Second of the Things: The door leading to the basement has a cat door. It is a perk that has been amazing. We now have all things related to Smelly-Cat-ness located in the bathroom in the basement. This is something we have always wanted to do. Success! Anywho, this cat door fascinates Lucas. He loves to peer through it and see if Puma is lurking on the steps. He loves to stick his arm through and feel around for the fluffy tail. It's pretty funny and cute, right? But then, the other day, Lucas discovered he could meow. The cutest little meow you ever did hear. So now he squats in front of the cat door, opens it up with his little arm, and meows for the cat. You know, because he wasn't adorable enough. Plus, any time Puma meows, Lucas will meow back. Puma is generally unimpressed and I am usually dying from cute overload. 

In case you are wondering, nothing ever really gets done in our house. We mostly just stare at Lucas and try to wrap our brains around how smart and hilarious he is. The floors go un-vacuumed, the dishes go unwashed, and there might be a trail of kindasorta used tissues strewn about ever since Lucas found out he could blow his nose, but boy is there a lot of clapping and laughing and high-five-ing every time the Boy learns something new [basically, every 15 seconds]. It's a grand time. I love my family.

The Random Factoid: **obligatory TMI warning** Earwax. Everyone does not have the same kind of earwax. Truths.

I never knew that earwax could be yellow and wet and sticky and all-around gross. Never knew. The only earwax I was familiar with was my own and, in the past year, Lucas's. We both have, what I always thought was, "normal" earwax, the dry and flaky and whitish earwax. The earwax that doesn't seem any more gross than, say, scraping a dried squash seed off the floor. Jason has always made comments about his gross earwax and he always made a big deal about cleaning off his earbuds before each use. I just figured it was because he's a little OCD about things and made fun of him as was appropriate.

But then, sometime after the arrival of Lucas, we actually had a discussion about earwax [stemming from my obsession with cleaning out Lucas's ears while he nursed]. And we discovered that Jason's experience with earwax was not at all like mine. And so we dug further [ha, gross pun!]. And we discovered that Lucas and I have a different earwax than Jason, in color, consistency, texture, etc. Weird? Well, I kiddingly attributed it to our awesome Asian genetics and left it at that. But the other day, I suddenly remembered that I had wanted to google this earwax topic but had never gotten around to it.

Jackpot: What Your Earwax Says About Your Ancestry

If you don't care to read the article, here's the summary: East Asians [and Native Americans apparently?] seem to have superior genes that allow their earwax to be dry and smell-less and not gross. Not only that, but the same genes are also responsible for the lack of armpit smells. It's going to sound gross but I have to say it here, once and for all: This explains why I only use deodorant MAYBE twice a year. See, it sounds like a gross thing to admit to, but come now, it's actually the exact opposite... Am I bragging? Yes, yes, I am. Don't judge.

Okay. I'll leave it at that. Two Things and One Random Factoid. You're welcome.

Here's a hamster. To un-gross your minds.