Thursday, November 20, 2014

Isabella's communication skills at 1 year old

Isabella is communicating SO much with us now and by spending some time teaching her and learning from her we manage to understand most of what she 'says'.

She uses a combination of sounds (animal sounds like moo for cow and sounds she hears in words we say like 'ca' for cat) and baby sign language. The sign language is a combination of signs from a book we got from her favourite and only aunt ;-) signs she makes up and signs I make up as we go along. So it's really a 'secret' language only we can understand! 

It's amazing how quickly she learns. Earlier this week I made up a sign for fish, I don't know what the real sign is, I didn't have the book with me at the time when we saw a fish in one of her books, so just made up a logical and easy one to show fish movement, and she got it right away. I asked her later when her dad came home what a fish does, not expecting her to have remembered, and she did. Clever girl! Of course we do repeat sounds and signs over and over and over- for her to learn but also for her to feel she's really clever by showing us what she knows.

Some signs, like the sign for 'more' I used to use a lot when she was eating, but it was when she was much younger. At that time she didn't use any signs yet and I kind of gave up on it and stopped using it and one day she just started signing 'more' correctly and using it at appropriate times when she wanted more food, or wanted me to read more of a book, or her program on tv finished and she wanted it again. So either she really did take in what I signed long ago when she was not yet able to use her hands that way or she read the book when I wasn't looking! 'More' is now her most used sign!



Isabelle says/ signs:
Meaning:

mama
mummy

papa
daddy

rubs nose/ mouth + sound
looking for muslin

hand to mouth
eat/ hungry

hand to mouth and sniffs
flower
should sign hand to nose
fingers of both hands together in front of her
more

hand on head
wants or sees a hat

fingers of one hand around opposite wrist
wants bracelet

opens and shuts hand
milk

sucks hand
water

t-t
tissue

tutu
tutu (pink tulle skirt)

thumb and forefinger together open/ shut
bird

wiggles hand
fish




Isabella can touch these body parts when asked in Afrikaans Not tested in English :-)
Working on:

head, hair, eyes (blinks), nose (sniffs), cheeks, tummy, feet, toes, clap hands
knees, bottom ;-) back, mouth/ lips




Animals


‘mmmm’ / ‘moo’
cow

‘qua-qua’ (quack)
duck

snorts
pig

blows raspberries
horse

ffff’ or ‘wwww’ (woof)
dog

ca
cat

a-a-a
monkey

claps hands together (snap-snap)
crocodile

opens mouth wide
hippo (yawning)

roars 
lion/ tiger

raises one arm in air
elephant
should be arm to front as trunk
raises one arm in air
giraffe





We have since for fun tested her a little bit in English and she will touch her head, nose, toes and feet correctly when asked in English. We have't tested her English comprehension really with any other words, but I will try some more out of interest. We try not to speak any English to her so she learns to only speak Afrikaans to us. She will soon hear and speak English everywhere else in her life. Now that she spends time with her nanny (who is English) three mornings a week I'm sure she's picking up so much more. She even started saying 'moo' instead of 'mmm' for cow sometimes and it sounds much more 'English' than when we say 'moo'!!

I will try and catch her signing on camera.

Pasta Sensory Play

I don't like using food for art or play, but at the moment Isabella will put everything in her mouth. Repeatedly. So it needs to be safe in that way. I bought the cheapest pasta I could find and let her explore.




Things she (hopefully) got from this:
- texture
- capacity (filling and emptying containers) She loved tipping the bowl over and I'm hoping she learnt that she shouldn't do this when she's eating her food!
- the sound it made on the tray which she really enjoyed too and
- properties of the shape such as rolling.

What I got from this: something different to entertain her with minimal mess and a few minutes to sit back and watch her! Although she still plays best when I play with her demonstrating what she can do with various things. Occasionally she will come up with her own ideas ;-)
And I got that I need to get Andre's camera out more to get better pictures!!

video

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Portrait a Week: 46/52 - Ballerina



I already posted quite a few of these photos I took this week on facebook, but it was definitely my favourites of the week. Isabella loves her tutu and already knows where to find the mirror when I tell her to go look in the mirror. She hardly ever keeps any hair accessories in her hair for longer than two seconds, but this headband won her over after I pointed out the flower it has. She's loved flowers since spring when she watched Andre plant flowers in our garden and I showed her the sign for flower. It was probably one of her first signs she learnt. 'Tutu' is also one of the few words she actually uses.




Last week's portrait: 45/52 - Windsor



We had a lovely day out in Windsor last Sunday. We got there fairly early in the morning and it was quite cold. Isabella was so bundled up against the cold she didn't move. But it was a lovely sunny day which defrosted us all and Isabella was her busy self again soon.



We had lunch at an Asian restaurant and Isabella got her first meal ordered from the kiddies menu. I knew there wouldn't be much on our plates for her to eat with it being noodles or rice with often spicy sauces. And I didn't pack her a lunch. So we ordered her a lovely grilled chicken breast which was even cut up in perfect strips for her to hold and was so soft. It came with corn and shredded cucumber with a sauce on the side. Isabella ate the corn. Only the corn. It is still quite a struggle to get her to eat meat.

"Yes it looks lovely, but I'm telling you now I'm only eating the corn, daddy."




Monday, November 3, 2014

A Portrait a Week: 44/52 -Enjoying Autumn

It always takes me about a week to settle back into life at home after any family visit. Isabella and I tried to keep busy, but it often happens that our friends are busy or ill and can't visit when we return from a holiday. Even our Baby Sensory class had the week off due to half term. Luckily we had some lovely Autumn days, cool but sunny. This photo was taken on our way back from a visit to the Children's Centre. We stopped to look at different autumn leaves.



We do have a busy week planned this week. I have started work which I'm very excited about and Isabella had a great time with her new nanny and her little boy today. I'm so proud of her for being such a good girl without me. We made up with friends' visits today having three friends over for tea and a play with all the little ones. Baby Sensory is back on again this week -yay! We also have a play date with another little friend we haven't seen in a while. And we might go for another play at the Children's Centre again too. Isabella always enjoys playing there. So lots of exciting things happening this week.

A Portrait a Week: 43/52 -First Birthday!



Isabella celebrated her first birthday in Germany with one of her Ouma's and Opa. She had a lovely time,  got spoilt with lots of presents* and was treated with a visit to the zoo which she still 'talks' about! We have to look at the zoo pictures every day with her favourite being the lion. She also discovered she really likes cake (she had a few small tastes) and that she would like to either become a ballerina or a princess so she can prance around in a pink tutu every day.




*Isabella enjoyed birthday presents nearly every day for more than a week! Parcels arrived for her in the post from before her birthday until just after with more on her actual birthday too. She quickly got the hang of opening presents and learnt she needs to bring it to us to help her get started on opening it to see what's inside. This weekend we ordered a few bits off amazon which arrived today, nothing exciting for her, but she now gets very very excited each time a box arrives and will bring it to me to help her open it. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Isabella discovers she likes ice-cream

A couple weeks ago we went for a walk and there happened to be an ice-cream truck! We've been really good about not giving Isabella any sugary treats before she turns one, but she's so close now, we let her have a little taste.

At first she wasn't much impressed, but after the second lick of ice-cream she realised that this is actually really good and then really got her mouth around that ice-cream!