At nearly eleven months, baby M is just starting to indicate he may understand a few words and signs. He can sign "milk" and "more" (sometimes, when he feels like it) and seems to recognize "food" and "drink".
Now that he is responding to the first few signs we have started using more, like "Apo" and "Mommy". This time around, of course, we also need a sign for "sister"! The ASL sign requires too much dexterity I thought so we decided to make up our own. K wanted to know what her sign is. I suggested a one-hand-clapping to indicate spanking, but she didn't like that idea. Then Apo suggested patting the chest over the heart and it was settled.
K had to be reminded of a few of the signs (remembered some), but she is now very helpful in using them with M. She is a very solicitous big sister, when she isn't taking his toys away or telling him off for taking hers. She speaks to him in both English and Czech, but most often English (babies speak English natively, she feels).
I find myself using more of a mix of English and Czech with M than I did with K at his age, mainly because our environment (including the home, since K uses it) has a lot more Czech in it. It's still predominantly English from me, though, just interspersed with a bit of Czech when Czechs are around.
M can also wave, clap, blow raspberries and stick out his tongue (along with other, non-communication-related things, obviously). The last is a bit of a relief as he was born with a tongue tie. The other day he waved after hearing me say "hi" (I didn't wave), showing he recognizes the word by itself, too. He also seems to understand no/nie.
All of this is a slight improvement on communicating with K, who didn't start using any signs or understanding any words until after she was a year old. In general he is faster at some things and slower at others than she was, which makes sense since they are different people.
We're curious to see how his language balance and preferences will compare with his sister's, given the different dynamics in the family and surroundings now. Interested to see what happens next!