Thursday, August 21, 2014

An early love for books

Very urgent expression, asking me to read to her.

Since coming back from holiday Isabella is crazy about books. She won't let me pick her up from her cot whenever she wakes up before I read a book to her. She has a few books next to her changing mat to look at while I change her nappy en she has books downstairs which she can look in herself or repeatedly hold out to one of us to read to her over and over. All board books at the moment so she can look at them herself without damaging them. I hope her love for books continues!

She enjoys lifting the flaps herself.

Daddy's turn to read before bed time.


Monday, August 18, 2014

A Portrait a Week: 33/52 -Accessorising

Isabella received these sunglasses from her Ouma Sarie who got them with a magazine she bought while we were on holiday in South Africa. Now all of a sudden over the last few days she has started asking for her sunglasses -she spots them even when they're out of her reach somewhere and points saying 'da'. She also has pink baby sunglasses and now she carries her two pairs of sunglasses and two sunhats along with a muslin cloth through the house. Some of it in her mouth or on her head while she crawls around. All she still needs are some beads around her neck and a handbag/ purse to complete the look!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Isabella's first real word

Isabella has been saying 'mama' and 'papa' along with the other usual first sounds babies make like dada, nana etc. Sometimes she'll say mamma to me but sometimes she'll also say pappa to me whether she's just making sounds or really asking me where her pappa is. So it's not been clear whether she really are saying these sounds and understanding their meaning.

But yesterday it was really clear that she knew the cat is called 'kat' in Afrikaans and was saying 'ka-ka' over and over when we saw the cat in the garden and again when it came in while she was having her dinner. You have to listen carefully in the video as she only whispers it.

And that after she's been so scared of the cat but also so intrigued by it. We think her next word will probably be 'yoghurt'. That was what she was grumbling for in between looking for the cat in the video. She had a little bit of yoghurt with fruit puree after the risotto she had for dinner. Then gave me such a dirty look when I told her it was finished that I got her a little more. Tried it again after the second lot was finished. There was no more fruit left so I gave her plain (homemade) yoghurt which she finished too. She just loves loves our plain yoghurt even though it's quite tart. So yes, if she could she'll be saying yoghurt soon. Maybe we should put off telling her what it's called as she might drive us crazy demanding it then!

She's understanding so much now too. She can follow most instructions such as come here, turn your toothbrush around (when she's chewing the back of it instead of the front), go find daddy (when he's still lying in bed and I got her up) and of course when we say 'where's the cat' she looks out the window searching for it.

She can now also wave and clap although it still takes her brain quite a while sometimes to get the message to her hands. And can touch her head and her hair when asked (these two words sound quite different in Afrikaans so is easier for her to distinguish between the two I think) and crinkles her nose and sniffs when asked where her nose is. Next we're working on eyes and mouth :-) It's amazing how much she's learning at the moment.

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Portrait a Week: 32/52 -Holiday in South Africa

Thank you to my sister, Simóne, for keeping my blog up to date with Isabella's weekly portrait. And for always reminding me to post a photo every Sunday, even though I still often only get around to it on a Monday!

This week's portrait: one of our beautiful sunny winter mornings on the beach.

We've had an amazing holiday in Cape Town with our family. The weather was fantastic, so good that I managed to get a bit of a tan from walking on the beach, more than I get over here in the UK summer! Even when it's really hot here, the sun is just so much stronger in SA.

Isabella has gotten used to the beach and having her toes in the sand. We had some lovely mornings just playing on the beach after an early morning walk. She also had no problem sticking her hands in the rock pools to pick out shells. Of course sand, shells and rocks all had to be tasted.

We saw all our family and after the initiall shyness Isabella became a little social butterfly. Even though she still didn't like being picked up by anyone but mum, she did start to tolerate it a bit during the second week, but mostly enjoyed friends and family playing with her on the floor. Ouma Estelle's coffee table was a favourite play spot, pulling off the table cloth, books and TV remotes!

Mornings were often spent in Ouma Estelle's bed before breakfast. Isabella enjoyed a few meals out with us at restaurants and tried so many new foods including snoek (a type of fish), calamari, quiche, droeëwors, guavas, oats and tasty wheat for breakfasts, and flings at a birthday party, another first for her.

Snoek in Hout Bay at Mariner's Wharf.

Calamari at Quay Four in the Waterfront.

We enjoyed a picnic at Kirstenbosch and Isabella loved her first visit to the aquarium at the V&A Waterfront.

The 'Boomslang' tree canopy walkway at Kirstenbosch.

In awe of the fish at the aquarium.

She learnt to wave, even though it is a bit delayed sometimes! People have usually given up getting a good bye wave from her and started walking away before she manages a wave! She's also high-fiving everyone now and manages to stand for a few seconds without holding onto anything.

Isabella has always loved bathing but now would stay for half an hour if I allowed her. She pushes your hands away if you try to lift her out the bath and turns away from you. Looking forward to our next visit to the pool where she can stay for half an hour or longer!

Even though we had such an amazing time in South Africa we both missed her daddy. Isabella has been giving him the biggest goofiest grins all the time and follows him around the house constantly. So sweet!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Baby Play: Ice Cubes

It's been really hot here lately so I made Isabella some ice cubes to play with. I filled a muffin tray with fruit pieces and water and froze it overnight. She enjoyed exploring these new icy cold toys. At first we just had them on the tray and later we put them in water to watch them melt quicker. The ice cubes with berries in coloured the water purple.

Ready for the freezer

Of course it has to be tasted

Seeing what happens to the ice in water.

And checking whether it tastes different now!