Wednesday, 25 November 2009
I''ve also been astounded over the last week or so that when Iona points to her tummy (while saying "tu") she often then signs "food" and says "f". Likewise, just after breakfast today she said and signed food, then pointed to her tummy and said "tu". The really strange part of it is, I don't remember either David or myself ever telling her that food goes into her tummy! I guess we must have done at some point, and that for some reason it's stuck in her brain.
Monday, 16 November 2009
Then, just before she went to bed, she started saying "see" very pointedly. I couldn't relate that to any of the words she's been trying to say, so I asked her several times to repeat it and eventually said I didn't understand. She then pointed upwards towards the ceiling, and it dawned on me that several times lately she'd been asking, amongst a score of other things, what the ceiling was called. She obviously had finally remembered our answer. It's amazing to think how even the smallest words, that almost seem throwaway to us, are becoming really important to Iona's quest to understand every aspect of her world!
Monday, 2 November 2009
I tried the same procedure again today, and then in the early evening Iona suddenly said "poo". To begin with I wondered what she was referring to, then, thankfully, I realised and whipped her nappy off. She barely sat on the potty, struggling and crying, but when she got away from it I found a "small deposit" left on the side. OK, she did the rest in her nappy shortly afterwards, but I praised her to high heaven anyway for telling me before she did it. It'll probably take a good few months yet, but at least the journey has begun!
Postscript - later in the evening Iona sat sideways on her potty, still wearing both her nappy and a great big cheeky smile directed at me, as much as to say "See, I can do it when I want to!".
Friday, 30 October 2009
Anyway, we went to the home education group at the soft play centre for the first time in several months today. It was nice to see everyone again, and Iona really enjoyed it, even though it was so busy with loads of other kids (apparently there was a party on, too). She was more confident than ever on the slide, and still loves the ball pool, although as it was the afternoon she was starting to get tired. During one of her stints in the ball pool there was a boy of about 8 playing in it with a younger girl (probably about 3), and Iona seemed to really take to him. She kept smiling at him, which he reciprocated, then when she slid down the slide and landed near him she leaned herself against him, smiling up at him with a winsome look on her face. Luckily he seemed amused, as Iona seemed to think it would be nice to rest against him, and she seemed quite happy to settle herself there, until Daddy and I decided it was time to be off. She definitely seems to have a thing for "the older man" - I think we'll have to keep an eye on her as she gets older!!
Friday, 11 September 2009
Sunday, 30 August 2009
With a bit of help Iona got into the toddlers' ball pool, then a little girl of about 4 joined her in there. Iona was a bit uncertain of her at first, but quickly accepted her, and I was so proud that she played so well with her. Prompted by me at first, she passed balls to her, and copied the little girl crawling around in the balls. On a couple of occasions I was a bit concerned that her little friend was starting to get a bit rough, and was tempted to intervene to remind her that Iona was only little, but I restrained myself and found that Iona was able to push past her quite well, with no worries on her part. This is really the first time that Iona has properly "played" with another child, really taking notice of her, and not just as another plaything.
Sunday, 16 August 2009
As Iona seems so interested in letter sounds, I have begun to help her make her own A, B, C book, using a presentation folder, paper, and cut-out photos. The advantage (besides cost) is that we can concentrate on words that have a meaning for her, so under "B" we have Boots and Backpack, and "D" contains Dora and Diego. 2 days ago we added the Asda logo, as we go shopping there quite a lot, and yesterday when we went shopping she was very interested in the logo. When we read the book she says her version of "Asda" when she sees the logo, so she is definitely beginning recognising written logos, a first step in reading.
Saturday, 8 August 2009
Later, at home, the living room was a total tip where she'd been practising the "taking out" behaviour, so I started putting her building bricks away in their bag and asked her to help me. Incredibly, she put several bricks into the bag, before she got bored and started throwing them around the room. I even managed to persuade her back onto task again several times, before she started trying to empty the bag again. Okay, it wasn't just the bricks she was trying to put in the bag, but other toys too, but it's definitely a major advance in Iona's ability.
It seems to have been a day of advances, as she was asking during the evening about the ITV4 logo on the TV, and she was so taken with it that she spent the rest of the programme asking about it, then repeating "IT, IT, IT". She also got the idea that mice say "eek", which she also repeated copiously, and was very amused by the piano playing on "Show Me, Show Me".
Monday, 13 July 2009
Monday, 29 June 2009
Thursday, 18 June 2009
When we went swimming today I decided to risk trying to persuade her to float a bit towards the side bar. She was a bit clingy generally, so not too keen, but I was thrilled that, with a hint of support underneath, she managed to "swim" virtually on her own a short distance to the side. Now I have an aim for the next few sessions (not sure how many it will take): to decrease the amount of support until Iona is able to float / swim to the side from a couple of her lengths away.
Monday, 15 June 2009
Sunday, 7 June 2009
Consequently, I got the kit out of the spare room, and found the large, red "mummy" flashcard, which is the one you're supposed to begin with. I showed it to Iona a few times yesterday and the day before and told her what it said. She was very interested, and pointed to individual letters, asking about them. Although I don't want to use phonics, as English isn't very phonetic, I felt I should answer her questions and tell her the letter sounds that she was asking about, while trying to maintain emphasis on the word as a whole. I also broke the kit's rules and showed her "head", as she's been extremely keen on that word for the last 2 or 3 days, and "daddy", which is one of her favourite words. We'll have to see whether that confuses her.
Today I got the "mummy" flashcard out and before I even had a chance to ask what it said she said "mmm"! Mind you, she did the same with the "daddy" and "head" cards.
Thursday, 4 June 2009
It's been a couple of days of physical progress for Iona - yesterday she was standing up holding on to me and a couple of times I managed to let go of her for a very short split second before she wobbled and landed on her bottom!
Saturday, 30 May 2009
As seems to be usual with a little one (well, that's my excuse!), we didn't get away 'til nearly 11, but it was only a 10-minute drive. We got out all our picnic and baby stuff, paid £2.10 to park all day, and walked across to the play area. It was absolutely packed with screaming kids, and David, in particular, wasn't keen to stay there, but there was so much that Iona could play on if we were prepared to wait for our turn. First we had a go on the see-saw, with Mummy on one end and Daddy holding Iona on the other. Then, after a little wait, Daddy pushed Iona on the swing. I've been to the park with her a few times, but this was Daddy's first time to do so, and I think he enjoyed it. We also gave Iona a couple of goes on the smallest slide, as she can just about go down on her own now.
I'd brought a lunch, which we ate in a shelter by the duck pond, then Iona was very keen to have a go on the panda ride. She'd never tried one before, as I wanted David to see her first time, and all of them around here seem to cost a pound. They also say the minimum age is 3, but nearly 2 years seems a very long time to wait for her to have a go, and this one was only 20p, so I persuaded David to let me try her on it, with me holding her tight. Once she got used to it she really enjoyed it, humming "brrmm" as she rode, and even starting to sing.
Afterwards it was back into her pushchair then we walked through a much quieter part of the park, towards the craft village. There was a lovely view as we crossed a bridge over a little brook:
A little beyond it there was a lovely open space with benches where people were sitting and feeding the ducks and geese, so we joined them. Iona enjoyed watching the birds. although I think she misheard me saying "goose" and insisted on calling them "mmm" (i.e. "moo")! The craft village was lovely, with a honey shop, a gift shop, and some other shops that we didn't go in, such as "Paint a Pot". We passed through, then went to the tea room at the Orangery and bought some ice creams. We sat in a shaded spot by a lawn and enjoyed some lovely soft ice cream, David and I in cones and Iona in a bowl.
Iona then had the chance to crawl around on the lawn, although she preferred to sit, smile at the lady behind us and look cute!
Iona and I have been looking at, and talking about, trees lately, and she's even begun to call them "tr", so this was an ideal opportunity to reinforce it. She pointed at one while we were sat on the lawn, so I reminded her it was a "tree".
By now Iona was beginning to get tired, so we headed back to the play area, where we went past the donkeys and had a look at them. Iona has lately begun to click her tongue in a horse's hooves sort of way when she sees pictures of horses and donkeys, so I thought she'd like them, and she did. When I pointed out what they were she joined in clicking her tongue with me.
I changed her into a swim nappy and tried to get her into the, by now incredibly full and noisy, paddling pool, but as soon as she felt the cold water she screamed and insisted on getting out. She wouldn't even sit on the side with me, but flung her arms around me and wasn't happy 'til she was up in my arms and going back to Daddy at the bench. We were all feeling the heat now, so decided to give up and go home after a coffee. However, there was the world's longest queue at the kiosk, so I suggested we go and have a look at the farm and cafe we'd seen on the way.
Iona was pretty sleepy, but perked up at the cafe, when I gave her her milk. We then walked 'round the farm, which only cost £1 each. It was quite small, though, and smelled really acrid. The animals were lovely, and Iona loved them all, especially the cows (she's always saying "mmm" for "moo" when she sees a toy or picture of a cow). We also saw some gorgeous piglets, one of whom was very lively and mischevious - it jumped up at the sty wall when I held Iona up to it to look over, and almost got her. I don't think it would have bitten her, as it kept sniffing and nuzzling at me, but it certainly surprised us all! We also saw a wonderful, huge Shire horse and her young foal. She was very friendly and happy for me to fuss both the foal and her, but David was quite nervous of me touching such a large creature who towered about a foot and a half over me!
By half past 3 our parking on the road was up, and we were ready for home. We were exhausted, but Iona enjoyed a great day out (as did we), and hopefully learned a bit more about the natural world in particular, as well as improving her physical abilities.
Thursday, 28 May 2009
Anyway, we went swimming today as usual. The main pool was really busy, with half-term, but the teaching pool, where the toddler session is, was quite empty. We met one of the families we know from the Salvation Army, and Iona also enjoyed meeting a 10-month-old girl and playing splashing games with her. Each time we go now I try to play "Ring a ring a roses" with her several times, going underwater with her on "We all fall down". It surprised her the first few times, but she doesn't get upset and today she even seemed to know what was coming. I try to encourage her to "swim" on her front - since the first time she went she's been doing quite a good breaststroke-style kick and occasional arm movement too. Lately I've only had to support her with one arm under her chest, although today she was a bit more clingy. I'd been wondering how to move her to a bit more independence, and today when we got to the side of the pool I encouraged her to hold the bar. She got the idea of that, so when she seemed to be holding on with both hands I tried letting go. She held on, and was pushing against the side with her feet, too. I was really chuffed! I wasn't able to leave her for more than a few seconds, as she tended to let go, but it certainly bodes well for future attempts at independence. Watch this space!
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
The library gave out circles or squares of silver or gold card, and large card pieces to stick them on, then there were plenty of ways available to decorate them. First I put some sticky jewel stars around the edge of the mirror. Then Iona chose some pictures for Mummy to stick on (a cat, a dog, a tree frog, an elephant, and a dragon that Mummy persuaded her to use in honour of her old family name). I tried to help her to stick them on herself, but she tends to prefer to eat pictures at the moment. I also helped her stick a couple of silver hearts on, as she's been fascinated by the heart shape in a shapes book we've just returned to the library. Finally, she chose between a pink and a purple pen, and drew a few scribbles with only a little help from Mummy. To top it off, I used some glitter glue to write her name, and "pretty baby", as that's what I usually end up saying to her when she's looking in the mirror. I've left a little space to print out some pictures of Dora and Diego and stick them on when I can.
The mirror is a great success. She loves sitting with it on the floor, staring into it, and hugging and chatting to the baby she can see! It's great, as it's nice and big, and unbreakable. Best of all, it was absolutely free. Three cheers for our libraries and the activities they run!
Sunday, 24 May 2009
Saturday, 23 May 2009
9:00 Iona was awake in the night again several times - I think her teeth are bothering her again. Consequently, not only were David and I shattered this morning, but she woke up late, too. While I was in the bath, and David had gone off to his New Deal, I heard Iona chatting away to herself, so at 9 I went in to get her up. Very quick breakfast and get ready, then we hurried out at about 9.45. Unfortunately, for the first time in ages, there wasn't time to do Iona's Bible reading and prayer time before we went.
9:50 Mostly Mums Bible study at our church. Today, as it's half term, one of the other mums had her little boy there, too, so Iona had company. He's a couple of years older than her, though, so they didn't play together as such. While we worked through a study on prayer, Iona played with some of the church's toys, looked at a couple of home-made books I'd brought, and crawled up and down the aisle, as well as charming everyone there (the Bible study group and those preparing for the lunch club).
11.30 Arrived home before Daddy did. Put on a Dora the Explorer DVD for Iona - she adores Dora and Diego, and with some of her birthday money I bought her a set of DVDs, as we now can't get Nick Jr. I gave Iona the soft toy Dora and Diego that I made her for Christmas, and she squealed with joy throughout the programme. As I did Spanish at 'O' level, and I've spoken Spanish on holiday, I'm using Dora the Explorer to begin teaching Iona Spanish, both reinforcing the Spanish used in the show and speaking Spanish to her about it. I also made her the soft toys and am trying to insist that we only speak Spanish to them, to try to make bilingualism less confusing for her. While we watched the DVD I worked on setting up this blog.
12:00 Daddy arrived home, and one by one we had lunch. When I started weaning Iona I tried to insist that she had all her meals in her high chair in the dining room, but it gets quite lonely in there and is less comfortable than the living room. Consequently, most of her meals these days are taken on the run, which is far from ideal. She ate most of her cheese, avocado and potato salad, then carried on playing with her toys, especially her car. She got this from her Uncle Graham and Auntie Hiroko for her birthday, and loves sitting on it, going "Brmmm" while I push her to and fro.
1:45 By now, Iona was getting really tired, lying herself down on her chair, so Daddy took her up to bed, while I continued work on the blog.
3:00 While Iona was asleep, I took the chance to take the dog out for a walk. I try to take Iona out with Lori a few times a week, other activities allowing, but it's not easy as Lori is not keen on other dogs. The path in the local woods is quite narrow, so if we meet another dog we really have to go off the path into the undergrowth. Lori and I quite like doing that, but it's virtually impossible with a pushchair - roll on Iona being able to walk herself!
4:00 After getting a little shopping on the way, Lori and I arrived home to find Daddy had got Iona up, although she hadn't wanted her milk. She was playing on the floor, making mooing noises about her toy cow. This is one of her definite "words" lately, being used consistently for cows. I sat on the floor with her and we looked at the "Farm Animals" book I made for her, featuring laminated photos of animals we've seen, along with some photos off the web, all with hand-written labels. I sang "Old Macdonald Had a Farm" to her, illustrating it with the book and her toy cow, then we read "Poppy Cat's Farm", which we've borrowed from the local library. She enjoys going to the library, and it's really handy, although it's a bit awkward when she now is beginning to get over-fond of any particular book. After all this hard work, Iona was ready to drink nearly all her milk, then back to the serious business of playing with all her toys, with a little help from Mummy.
6:30 David made himself dinner, while I kept an eye on Iona, then I microwaved a chicken stew David had made earlier, for Iona to have. Once again, she ate in the living room, occasionally being distracted by her toys or the TV, which we have on more often than I am now happy with. Pudding was some strawberries, which she loved, and she had a little very diluted red grape juice for a change. After Iona had eaten, David kept an eye on Iona, and played some tickly games with her, while I made and ate my dinner - the problems of having a veggie and a confirmed carnivore in one family!
8:00 After dinner, Iona continued to play with her toys, climb on Mummy, ask for her bubbles ("Bu"), and look at her library books, then it was time for her bedtime milk drink. Virtually since her birth I have tried to sign to her, using Makaton, which I trained in when I worked with adults with learning difficulties for 18 years. It was originally devised, not merely to enable people with learning and speech difficulties to communicate, but also to help them develop their spoken language, so I always figured it should do the same for babies. Then, lo and behold, along comes Baby Sign, saying the same. Anyway, Iona did initially try to sign "Daddy", and it looked like the signing would come on well, but she seemed to decide to go straight to talking! These days, the only word she deigns to sign is "milk", which she does whenever she drinks it. After milk it was time for teeth cleaning then bed, although Iona was still bouncing with energy. For the last few weeks, since she figured out how to stand up in the cot, no sooner have I put her in her cot than she's up holding on to the bars again, while I read her her bedtime story. At the moment we're reading "The Phantom Tollbooth", which I loved as a kid, and which I started with Iona, a chapter at a time, 3 days ago. Although Iona still seemed to be raring to go when I finished the chapter, I said her prayers for her, laid her back down, tucked her in, and got all her teddies to kiss her goodnight, followed by me. Then, fearing an imminent summons from a lonely toddler, I headed back downstairs.
9:15 Finally able to get some time to myself and with David! Surprisingly, Iona seemed to go to sleep really quickly tonight, so David and I were able to watch "Off by Heart", about children learning poetry, and go on the computers. Can't stay up too late, though, as I'm expecting a couple of summonses from Iona during the night again!