Saturday, 23 May 2009

A Day in the Life

Well, this is the beginning of our blog, and I thought it would be an idea to start by looking at what Iona and I do all day.

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!

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