Monday, 23 August 2010

Strawberry Picking

pick your own
This post is a bit overdue. At the end of July, some of my friends and our little ones all went to a nearby farm and did some berry picking. This was a ritual my family performed almost every year where I grew up - my brothers and I would help pick gallons of berries and my mom would fill every free space of countertop preparing them for preserves or freezing. I did the same when I got home too. 

getting ready
 This, of course, wasn't Isabella's first foray into berry picking. We've been picking edible stuff around where we live since she was old enough to walk.  It was, however, her first time at a real vegetable farm. The kids were all so happy just to get together - we certainly didn't need a gimmick to get their attention. But once they saw the strawberry fields, and the rows upon rows of redcurrants, blackberries, tayberries, and raspberries, they began "working" in earnest. Isabella ate every single berry she laid hands on - and they were so candy-sweet, I couldn't blame her.

covering each other in hay 

The girls have been friends since Isabella was 6-months-old, so every time we see each other there is a lot of hugging involved - they're practically sisters. This time, when the two of them hugged goodbye - they embraced each other so hard that they both fell over, mid-hug. They got hurt and there were some tears, but it was so ridiculously cute my heart practically burst in an overwhelming sappy mom moment.  

While the parents took turns paying for the loot, the kids all took off to the park and burned what little energy was left. I hope to go back to the farm very soon to repeat the experience. I love the idea of making these sorts of traditions with her, and I hope that she looks back on these times with the same warm and fuzzy feeling I do.   

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Monday, 16 August 2010


"esa nena tiene fuerza en las manos!"

a BBQ and a tea party all in one day

rainy days ain't gonna get us down! (idea per madebyjoel)

how she managed to stand in these, who knows?

We may be experiencing our last days of summer. We have had a couple of very chilly days: days that if the calendar had read October I would have happily turned the heater on - but I object to using the heater in August! We wore wool sweaters instead - which now sounds at least as bad.

Isabella had her 2.5 year development checkup last week - but she doesn't actually turn 2.5 until tomorrow. (I refuse to let her grow up too fast, even a day - so today she is still 2.4999999!) She did great - here in England one of the big tests is whether they can properly play with a tea set - a game she has had down pat for months. Most afternoons we do a "tea time" following her nap - I have a cup of coffee and she gets some diluted chamomile tea - the proud grown-up look on her face during this little game motivates me to try to do it every day. Anyway, she passed all the little tests administered by the health visitor, was weighed and measured and is growing and learning most excellently.

At this stage, Pedro and I are blown away by the power of her memory - she can repeat the most random, offhand comments we make days after they've been made. Yesterday, she saw the ice cream man pass us on the highway and asked where he was going. I told her he wasn't selling ice cream then but was on his way home to see his family. When she heard the music of the ice cream van today, she told me he was just on his way to his home to be with his kids.

She has times of completely fluency with her speech, but some days she gets caught up on words. Every bit of it is so amazing to witness.