Teaching My Baby Sign Language

2010
05.11

When my daughter was about 9 months old, I decided that I was going to start teaching her some sign language.  I feel that it is a great way for her to communicate with those who takes care of her.  She is now 1 and so far things are going pretty well.

I’ve heard that there are great benefits to children learning sign language.  Their vocabulary and speech grow faster than they would without sign language.  I believe it is very important to help my child learn as much as possible.

When I was taking care of my nephew as an infant, we learned that he had a hearing impairment.  My sister and I started teaching him a few sign words and he picked it up after a while.  The frustration began to melt away when we could understand that he wanted to eat, drink, or was all done.  After seeing first hand that teaching a baby some basic words really helped, I decided to try this out with my daughter also.

I showed my husband some of the signs that I wanted to use, and we use them as much as possible.  A few of the words that she has learned so far are “all done”, “eat”, and “more”.  I know it won’t happen over night, but if everyone caring for her is consistent then we will see improvement. 

It is very exciting to see her use the words that we have worked on and we will continue practicing words with her in the future.  Now that we have some basic communication started, I believe she will be able to learn the signs easier as she gets older.  We’ll see how things go.

Weekend Fun and CJ’s Birthday

2010
05.03

Monkey Joe’s Fun!

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CJ’s 1st Birthday

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Tipping

2009
10.14

MoneyI will be so excited when people learn how to properly tip!  I myself am a waitress, and I really work hard to keep my tables happy.  It dampens my spirits when I try so hard to provide good service, and get no recognition.  I can understand that if you go out to a restaurant, and the service isn’t all that great, then you can leave a so-so tip.  On the other hand if you have great service, then show your server that you appreciate them providing you with a great experience.

I am one to say that I cannot stand when I receive a “verbal tip” only.  The guest will tell the server how wonderful the night was, and go on with the compliments to make the server feel great, but when the server goes to collect the payment the tip doesn’t reflect those comments.  I can understand going to a buffet or a fast food place, and not tipping.  What the hell did they really do that they aren’t already getting paid for?  You can leave them a tip for the work they did, and the type of attitude they had.  If someone goes out of their way to accommodate you with a pleasant attitude, then sure tip them.

Actual restaurants pay the servers around $2 to $3 an hour plus tips, but there are “tip-outs” taken out at the end of the shifts.  Servers don’t get to keep all their hard earned tips.  A share has to go to bartenders, host/hostess, and bussers.  No matter how much the server gets tipped they have to automatically tip-out a percentage of their sales for the shift.

WaitressTipping 15% of your total bill would be the recommended gratuity.  Another point to be made would be when you get comps or guarantees to still tip as if they weren’t ever taken off.  If you receive one because there was something wrong with your meal, and it is the kitchens fault, then do not take it out on your server.  It isn’t their fault if your food came out with the wrong side or not cooked to your liking.  If it wasn’t the servers fault, then tip them as if the problem wasn’t there.  You have already been taken care of by the manager so don’t take it out on the server.

I used to work at a restaurant where there were $20 or $25 comps sent out to promote and get them to come back again.  Every so often when guests would come in with these comps, they basically got their meal for free or had to pay a few dollars, and almost always didn’t tip.  That is definitely the wrong attitude to have.  Serving is my job!  I don’t go in for $2.13 an hour to take care of your every need. I go above and beyond to keep you happy!  I depend on you to feed my family basically.  If I don’t make enough in tips, then how am I suppose to provide the basic needs for my family?

Why even go out if you don’t have the money to tip your server.  I know everyone deserves to get out of the house, enjoy time with friends and family, or celebrate something, but don’t short your server.  Go to a fast food restaurant if you want a cheap meal, and don’t want to tip someone.  Now for the people who know how to tip and appreciate all the hard work most servers give, thank you.  Those kind of people make this job worth the effort.

First Words

2009
10.06

Yesterday my daughter said her first repetitive word! Usually babies start off with “bababa”, or “dadada”. My daughter decided to make me happy, and started off with “mamama”! She will be 7 months old on October 12th, and this is only the beginning of her getting vocal. Pretty soon she will be a never ending chatterbox, and I will probably be praying for a moment of silence from her. For now I welcome her “talking”. I look forward to every milestone that my daughter meets, and can’t wait to see/hear what comes next.