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How to teach baby to communicate faster? 1. Sign language

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Hello readers!

I used to serve as a volunteer who teach hearing disabled children maths. It happened that the skill is also useful for mothers and babies, especially if babies cannot talk so well yet.

Being able to communicate is an essential form of survival skill and can make babies HAPPY.

A testimonial from Bennett & Melissa Z., CA: “Sarah learned her first 10 signs at six month and it made our lives much easier. Instead of screaming, she could tell us when she was hungry, thirsty, or tired. She learned another 50 signs by nine months and that was a blast. Now she is talking much earlier than the other children in her preschool and we think it is because of her signing.”

I learned how to sign Dad, Mom, Eat, Milk from
Dad / Daddy / 爸爸
Mom / Mommy / 妈妈
Milk / 母奶

WORDs that I think as important to learn to sign for:
pain / HURT
ITCH / 痒

hungry : use MILK / EAT sign.

I need DIAPER change / though I usually can smell & hear baby farting!

I need burping : try to use the sign for WIND, inspired from 肚子进风.

I am COLD / HOT.

I need HUG 抱抱.
Dually useful to mothers, the sign for HUG is useful to stop breast milk from leaking.

MORE : for I am still hungry
ALL DONE / finished : for I am full (do not over feed me).

Thank you
It is almost like you are blowing a kiss out, to thank the person – but the sign is a bit lower.
The thank you sign is also a great way to remind older kids to be polite when out in public without being overbearing or embarrassing them.

Think of the lucky cat (招财猫).
Seriously, no is a wonderful way for a baby to avoid frustration by enabling them to communicate when they object to something. You can teach no whenever you ask questions to give your baby an option. Say you offer your baby their pacifier and she does not take it. You can then say, “No – you don’t want the pacifier.”

Parents can also name the emotions that babies experience.
Sad : The sad sign looks like you are making tears fall down your face. Take both hands with fingers outstretched, and pull them from above your eyes down to about chest level.

Angry : Teaching more complex emotions signs like angry is a for more advanced babies. It is a useful sign, because it helps you identify and acknowledge an emotion that a child is feeling.

Sleep : To sign sleep, start with fingers extended and spread apart. Beginning with your hand over your face, move your fingers down to end with your hand below your chin and your fingers touching your thumb.


More resources:
# Wordsbythehandful
# I also love the illustrated books by Mimi Brian Vance, a U.S. Diplomat for nearly a decade.
Hopefully, your and my babies learn to be diplomatic as well!

Besides sign language, how to promote speech development in our children?
2. Talk to them until we are blue in the face.
3. Read aloud to them from books (e.g. story books, poems, idioms).
4. Sing to and with them.
5. Engage with them in conversations, even when they aren’t yet talking.
6. Respond when they try to get your attention. My first son cries when he is ignored, while he was 2 months old, he wants a chatting mate in the middle of night, a challenging baby!
7. Reward their efforts.
8. I also use a pre-recorded voicenotes / lectures / prayers.

I started teaching my baby sign language when he is 1 month plus.
It is never too early to learn.
Bye-bye & Good luck!

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Written by blueroselady

March 18, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Dear baby, welcome to the highly competitive world! Being creative is better than being competitive

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Dear baby

Do you know that there are courses out there that keep on telling Mommy “teach your baby or toddler [insert any of these: to Read / Math / Music]”? To accelerate the rat race, the advertisement goes “You can start when your baby is 3 months old.”

Yes, Mommy started to teach you things that Mommy thinks as necessary, such as praying, sign language, idioms, texture exercise, mirror exercise to increase self-worth / self-love and awareness of body parts, vowel exercise. You responded by happily producing sounds that Mommy still does not understand: baby language.

When Mommy told a friend, he said that Mommy is highly . competitive. However, Mommy thinks that it is good & essential to introduce you the joy of learning early in life. Since you received a lot of (second-hand) toys and was given a few new toys, Mommy will not buy you any toys. We are a frugal family and Mommy wants to save for more important things for your, e.g. healthy fruits & vegetable. However, Mommy shares with you the joy of our world through play in the nature (including parks / beaches / hills / mountains / lakes) enforced with powerpoint slides to help you remember the words, beautiful books, shopping groceries in the supermarkets / markets (Yes, the markets are your playground).

Sometimes, Mommy wonders if Mommy if a competitive person. Recently, Mommy learned from Uncle W that being creative is better than being competitive; and Mommy thinks that Mommy is a creative, instead of a competitive person. Do you know what are the differences between being competitive and being creative? Mommy will write another post in the near future.

Since you are my dearest, Mommy aspires to gives you only the Best that Mommy can afford to nurture creativity, independence, and happy learning in you since your early days.

In fact, Mommy acknowledges that Mommy learned and shared a lot to you through voice notes about many lifelong skills while being pregnant with you. That perhaps explains why you are a happy baby, as observed by Aunt Flower who helped to care for you when Mommy was too weak to carry you around.

Mommy wants you to grow in a happy, healthy, harmonious baby, toddler, child, and then adult. They said it takes 10 years to grow a tree, 100 years to nurture a human being (十年树木,百年树人).

Mommy happily takes on this challenge. Mommy feels that while nurturing you, Mommy also benefits because Mommy has a chance to learn new things that Mommy did not learn as a kid, and re-learn beautiful things that Mommy has experience.

May your life be abundant with joy, happiness and generosity.


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Written by blueroselady

March 31, 2013 at 7:18 am

A prayer for my baby in Aug 2012

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Please help my baby to grow healthily and happily.
Please help my baby to have positive outlook of life, always think positive and solution-oriented.
Please help my baby to find a role model from maternal grandmother who is persevered and calm in the face of difficulties, disasters, and death.
Please help my baby to find a role model from paternal grandfather who is a big dreamer and multi-talented (a former entrepreneur, martial arts teacher, impromptu designer and engineer, and a lifelong learner).
Please help my baby to grow kind, sweet, polite, gentle in words and actions especially towards parents and the weaker ones.
Please let baby to grow into a beautiful child and adult, with innocent, kind, encouraging eyes and charming smiles.
Please help my baby to grow up to be multilingual (at least 3 languages), to respect people of diverse backgrounds, to have many friends and few close lifelong friends.
Please let my baby to learn about internally generated happiness and peace, because many times people cannot expect too much from the world.
Please let my baby to grow inner strength, not easily affected by bad peer, if any, and negative influences from media.
Please let my baby to grow up to like reading books and appreciate nature, to dislike watching TV and playing computer games.
Please let my baby grow up to like healthy food hailed from worldwide, to dislike junk food, to care about his nutrition.
Please help my baby to be proactive and responsible at his study and work.
Please let my baby to find the love of life, just a person, no multiple partners, no divorce, but a person who deeply loves my baby and allows my baby to live and grow happily together till old ages.
Please let my baby to live passionately.

Written by blueroselady

August 27, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Posted in God

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Oxfam Charity Walk 2009

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I could not remember when I have done something for charities in my study here. In undergraduate days, I used to be a mentor for primary school students or the hearing impaired, but I forget all my sign language now. Another involvement was with the largest fund-raising in the university, but honestly a lot of things to deal with (logistically, administratively, diplomatically, politically), the fun thing was being able to listen to the 6-digits worth of coins sound for the night long – like Uncle Scrooge McDuck, the Richest Duck in the World, in his massive money bin.

Well, back to today. Initially, I was posted in the registration hall at the typical-English-wooden CHilford Hall, where I was grateful for as it was raining outside. Half-an-hour before noon, the volunteer coordinator, G.W. asked me if I could be a marshall until 3pm. There was another gap-year girl with me, which were good as we kept on talking to endure the three more hours stands. G.W. kindly lent me his jacket and waterproof pants, but it did not rain at all. Only a bit of drizzling when we were walking to our lollipop lady stand. Our stand also has a stunning view, a rapeseed field with white early summer flowers, and ever-changing cloud formations. Happy. I fulfilled my dream to photograph the yellow rapeseed field (just very few shots, but the best ones, as I have been waiting at a spot for the right sunlight), and my blue gloves made a nice contrast. Even though the weather is gloomy, a field of rapeseed made us feel like we are in the sunny land. On the free Stagecoach bus, we also saw white ostrich and an air-plane show.

I am glad to be part of this historical Oxfam Charity Walk, since 1967. 82-year-old Corpus Christi Fellow takes 25 miles in hi stride (Cambridge Evening News, 8/03/76). For those who fancied an alternative to walking, there was a five-mile punt race from Cambridge to Grantchester.

Also got some fund-raising ideas for my upcoming trans-continental charity hitch-hiking. Thanks to my partner for the discussion as well, we were talking and swapping across road, till the Stagecoach driver recognized us (perhaps 2 pretty girls, who can forget?)
# Smile, we should not feel awkward about asking people (for $)
# write a press release (guide at, compliance with Charity Law.
# Use a bit of psychology – because people will often pledge the same as the previous sponsor, start off with a generous (but affordable) amount for your audience.
# The best way is online (e.g. justgiving – quick, efficient, SECURE, cost-effective, and we can keep a cumulative record of who’s giving us what (along with their personal message!)
# Business cards – make up some biz cards with brief details of what we are doing, and our online donation site. Distribute our biz cards liberally.
# See if some local shops / biz can support us by donating prizes.
# Film night. Romantic movies marathon on V-Days. Free entrance, but sell popcorns, etc.
# Bath of beans (get people to sponsor us for every minute in a beany bath).
# Matched giving (ask employer if they will pledge the same total again as what we raise for charity).
# Games night / computer games knockout tournament, charge people to enter and have a prize for the win.
# Fancy dress car wash.
# Training. Get people to sponsor us for our training distances or times e.g. 1 pound per mile over a particular week.
# Suppliers sponsor us. Yes! Yes! I am going to ask airlines to fund our flights.
# Guess baby photo competition.

Below are not so feasible, but still worth noting.
# Dog walking. Only applicable in the West, where dogs enjoy better lives than many children in poor countries.
# Kisses. Issue: Darling is likely to disagree.
# Sell some of our old stuff. Problem 1. I don’t have many things to sell as I don’t shop a lot 2. I normally just donate my old stuff to Salvation Army.
# Sell food e.g. ice cream / hot choco, cakes, biscuits. Issue: need food vendor licensing?

Back in time for a mass, followed by a delicious dinner of cold jerk chicken, with excellent companionships. I am getting comfortable living here, yet it’s time for me to say goodbye, for another challenge in life.

I added Linton to places visited on my tripadvisor profile, hurray.

Written by blueroselady

May 17, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Posted in experience, travel

Focus on positive things in life

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I went to attend a conference, with a hope to contact the person A.R., who would later unwilling to give even 30 seconds. It reminds me again on who I am here. Not an elitist, I am more like a peasant’s child who managed to penetrate the system. It’s okay, I move on. There are many things in life worth-better to pursue. While cycling back, my mind thought of successful people who are friendly to me. They are my role models. I made a stop at the Trinity gate, for the purple flowers have blossomed into a beautiful purple carpet, with a bit of yellow ones.

At least, I learned a bit about coaching – where one of the attendees is doing unpaid research, she said she got a paper accepted yesterday. The 2nd funding I applied to was rejected yesterday.

The talk given by Christina Dodwell was interesting, she has the style of story-teller. I enjoyed it. She had a broken relationship, lost her job, so decided to travel to Africa for a year in late 70s. Her dream was scattered when her land-rover was stolen in a month there. She had been initiated into manhood in Papua, jailed, robbed, what a life experience! Losing everything is not the end of world (there’s time in her life that she lives in caravan). She also established the Dodwell Trust, to aid in English teaching in Madagascar. I want to do similar stuff too, to promote education in my birth country and my ancestor country.

I also learned about portfolio career.
A portfolio career is the pursuit of more than one income source simultaneously, usually by applying the various skills you’ve developed throughout your career to different types of work. For example, you could combine consulting with part-time work, teaching at a local college and freelance writing. You could use your speaking and facilitation skills to lead workshops at companies or educational institutions. You could even develop your own product or service.

While avoiding boring-for-me talks, I read about tips on work-life balances. I am going to put here on this weekend.

Strategies for busy researchers
For being a successful researcher and also for having a life outside of research.
There are always unexpected emergencies and opportunities that can knock us out of balance.

Ten strategies to keep our work in balance
So if we look ahead to the next year, what are our plans? What would we really like to achieve by the end of the year? By the end of 3 months? By the end of this week? By the end of today? What is the most important thing you need to get done today?

It’s more important to be doing the right things than doing things right.
A massive teaching load is not going to help your research career.
Of course some things will be out fo our control, but not everything. Are there things on our list that are taking up time but are not really helpful?

It’s suggested that we set aside two hours, e.g. between 9 and 11am, that we dedicate to writing or analysis.

4. Learn how to say NO
A good one is learn how not to say YES so readily. When someone asks us to take on a new commitment, we might answer, “That sounds interesting. Can I get back to you?” or “I’ll just need to check my diary and I’ll give you a call back”.


We are often critical of our own work leading to a lot of self-doubt and concerns about our ability. We can try to get an objective opinion from someone else.

There was an experiment in which a PhD student was put on a regime of writing for two hours three days a week. He achieved  more in six weeks than he had in the previous six months.

We can increase our daily productivity by about 20%.

do it.
do it later (put in diary / organizer).
discard it (do not care).

~ Don’t answer our phone at certain times. Let it go to the answering machine when we are trying to concentrate / writing.
~ Turn off the ‘bing’ in our email program. Even better, turn off our email program.
~ Go to a quiet place if we need to do concentrated work.

Ten strategies to keep the non-work part of our life in balance:

It’s good to be off duty sometimes. That’s when we recharge, catch up with family, and attend to the other parts of our life.
A senior academic said, “In the past I used to procrastinate about things because I knew I’d do them on the weekend. Now I focus on finishing things when I’m at work because I know I’m not going to work on the weekend. It’s helped me focus on the important things”.

e.g. go church (honestly I often daydreaming), pursue arts (photography, movies), learn languages and interesting travel destinations, read books.

It’s interesting to think that  many of us give our best to people we don’t know very well and the people we do care about see us when we’re tired and worn out.

It’s important to distinguish between problem-solving and worry. Problem solving is a fairly structured process of working out what can be done. Worrying is recycling the same thoughts over and over. It’s a pretty destructive activity because not only does it not solve the problem, it wears out our neurons.

One early career researcher described how she would feel guilty about taking a holiday so she always brought her data with her so she could analyze it. Of course she never looked at it which made her feel guilty too.
Give holidays to our laptop and paperwork too.
My personal note: It’s useful to bring some of our notes for learning (not those require complex thinking ones), for waiting on the public transports, etc; good when we are returning from trips 🙂

e.g. babysitter

It’s tempting, when we’re under pressure from looming deadlines, to work late into the nights and sleep less. This might work in the short term but it becomes counter-productive.

Looking after ourselves works better if we have a routine. e.g. go for a walk at lunchtime.


Because everyone else has the latest labor-saving gadget, you get one. And the you have to work harder to pay for it. And it doesn’t seem to save you much labor.


Written by blueroselady

February 25, 2009 at 3:31 pm