Thursday, 24 July 2014

Finally Some Summer Fun!

We have been loving the lighter evenings around here! It actually stays lighter for about an hour longer than we've ever been used to living down South which is pretty cool - going to bed at 10.30pm and it still being light out is kind of crazy! 

It also means that even after By has finished work, we can still head out and enjoy the warmer evenings! Last month sometime we visited Strathaven Park and introduced Ella to the joys of leaves - she was loving it - until she tried to eat it! Everything goes in her mouth these days!!

She was also pretty keen to check out these little flowers - I think her forester daddy is definitely going to make sure shes a nature lover!

I had a birthday! and had a rather exciting amount of packages arrive all week long :) I'm pretty sure our postman hates us!

Ella helped me open prezzies, but mostly just ate the wrapping paper!

I got this amazing Nutella recipe book from my friend Jade, along with a batch of the best Oreo brownies you will ever taste - all the way from London! She knows me too well!

My mom and sisters are the best present wrappers around! and yes that's caramel and peanut butter flavoured popcorn right there...yummm!

We ate at Bread Meats Bread for a birthday treat - I had been wanting to check out this place for ages after hearing great things about it! Plus the fact that they did Poutine made it a done deal!!

No birthday meal would be complete without this little ray of sunshine!

She was having fun as usual!

and check out the size of those burgers!!

Mine was stuffed with a patty, a million pieces of pepperoni, meatball sauce and soooo much cheesy goodness - it was delish!

and you can't get better than sweet potato fries...but when they collide with poutine, now that is something special!

A week later, Byron's cousin James came to visit us from South Africa.  It was his first visit to the UK so we wanted to show him what Scotland had to offer! We headed to Loch Lomond in an attempt to climb Ben was going to be Ella's first mountain climb! but sadly it was short lived, for her and I anyway.  Half way up we got attached by midges, she got bit by some weird fly and she was crying her little eyes out so I had to walk the whole way down with her, singing every nursery rhyme under the sun until eventually 10 minutes from the bottom she fell asleep!!

I guess she's not a fan of mountains?!

By and James carried on up and snapped these pictures on the way!

Isn't this wild Orchid so beautiful?

Amazing views over the Loch...

and those luscious green hills!

We finished off our day with a spot of cream tea at a fancy hotel near the Loch.  Although apparently not fancy enough to serve clotted cream! but the scones were warm and delicious...which almost made up for it, but not quite!

 We headed to Ketchup for dinner because it's pretty family friendly and all the other meat joints in Glasgow we wanted to eat at wouldn't accept babies!


Plus I'm always excited to go somewhere with milkshakes on the menu! When the guy took our order I asked him if the milkshakes were thick, he said he could make them as thick as we wanted so we all said we wanted extra thick - well I'm pretty sure there wasn't even half a teaspoon of ice cream in mine, it was like chocolate milk - sooooo disappointing! I loved that they came in those cute milk bottles, but really if you can't make a milkshake properly then don't put them on your menu!

Ella was happy to chew on her giraffe while we drank our shakes!

Fortunately the food was tasty so it wasn't all bad, my avocado and bacon burger was so good!

and Ella approved of all the toys they had! especially this fun magnet wall - she even created her first ever little sentence ;)

 We stopped at a fro yo place on the way back to the car to make up for the milkshake disaster! Brownie and coconut with white chocolate fro yo - it almost made us feel like we were back in Vancouver!

On Sunday afternoon we walked around the grounds of Chatelheraut because they're very pretty, and James said they don't really have such green wooded areas in Cape Town so he was loving it!

Ella enjoyed the ride on Daddy's shoulders!

On James' last day, we grabbed some tasty brisket sandwiches at Three Sisters Bake, and sampled some of their cake which I wasn't impressed with but our sandwiches were worth the drive.

Ella was a big fan of James, and would smile every time he walked into the room! It was so cute.

We went for a last minute little rowing adventure on a lake down in Renfrewshire...

Ella and I let the boys do the hard work!

Last week we finally got some REAL summer weather! Like, let's break out the rompers and not have to wear a cardigan over them sunny weather! So we took a trip to Calderglen Country Park.

They have a mini zoo so it was Ella's first time at a zoo! I wasn't sure if she'd even notice the animals but she was a pretty good little tracker following them around their cages!

Although sometimes watching other children was more fun for her than watching these pigs!

She liked seeing the bunny! and the fish in their tanks were her favourite to look at - I think she liked all the colours!

She does love a sunny day! and ones spent with Mommy and Daddy are even better! Roll on more weather...and days like these!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

A 5 Month Old Update!


Wow 5 months...who knew you were going to bring so much?! I was already overwhelmed at all the new things 4 months brought but this month has definitely brought about some big milestones!

 Ella is still in snuggling phase, and cuddling everything in sight!

Her feet are also her newest obsession! She started grabbing them at the beginning of the month, then progressed onto putting them into her mouth, and now she's at her happiest when she has both feet in both hands!!

 She's not sitting up you can see from this picture below, we thought that the faceplants during these monthly photoshoots would decrease as she got older...when in fact they are getting more spectacular!

Her favourite trick is stomach crunching! She does it anytime you lay her down! Under her play mat, on the change mat, in her cot! We joke that she's going to get a baby 6-pack pretty soon from all that working out she's doing!

Here she is in action!

Here's a little pic of her raising her head up and straightening out her legs, getting into position! Even the health visitor who weighed her last week was laughing about it and saying she thinks we have a future acrobat on our hands!

She is also not rolling over just yet, but she is doing 'half' rolls and not getting all the way round! and this video showcases a foot in mouth in action too!

I forgot to write in last months post that she is loving books! Last month and at the start of this month she was loving looking at each page, and sometimes touching and grabbing the furry/textured parts of the books - her favourites are the 'That's not my' series...they have fun things to touch on every page!

 However in the past week or so, the teething has really kicked up a gear or two and so books are now just another thing to try and get into her mouth! She especially loves feasting down on that cloth hungry caterpillar book above!!

 I love that she loves books! The local library is running a little scheme over the summer where if you make 3 visits to the library to check books out you get little stickers on a card that can then be exchanged for a certificate!

We've been busy driving across half of South Lanarkshire to lots of different libraries trying to get every book in the 'That's not my' collection! and in the process we're racking up those little stickers! Ella earned her first certificate last week, I was very proud! and she should be getting another tomorrow! There's 10 different certificates to the race is on before we leave to see if we can collect them all!

Just this week she moved over to the sit up part of her pram.  She was starting to stomach crunch to try and peek out of her lying down carrycot part so we knew it was time to make the switch! She is such an inquisitive baby and loves to see what is going on around her so of course she's loving her new set of wheels!


 She is still a big fan of bath time!

and her last few minutes of bath time she gets flipped over onto her belly by Daddy for a spot of tummy time! She loves it, and even splashing herself in the face is apparently fun to her!

 As a big water baby, she is still loving her swimming class too, especially with her jazzy watermelon swimming costume! She used to get dunked by the leader of the class, but for the last 2 lessons Mommy has done the dunking! She's definitely used to it now though and doesn't even shed a tear! Although she still looks surprised when you bring her back up to the surface!!

Along with bookbug, a little singing time that we go to at the local libraries, baby sensory is still her most favourite class of the week!

In the early days of baby sensory, I tried her out in the ball pool and she cried her eyes out! but now she's a fan, and likes to chill in the balls during break time! 

She loves watching the bubbles and reaching out for the coloured ribbons, alongside her little buddy Jackson!

She got weighed last week and is now 13 lbs 7 ozs which is still pretty small for
her age, but check out those chunky thighs - she is filling out for sure!! I love the way she braces them!

Her little feet still can't reach the floor just yet, but we've been putting a cushion underneath her so that she can do more than just swing around in her door bouncer! This was her first time discovering how to bounce! I love her dainty little jumps on her tippy toes! So cute!

Her new found hobbies this month were....


 watching wimbledon! She was engrossed!

 helping Daddy control the laptop!

and shoulder walks through the trees with Daddy!

 celebrating Canada day...


 and then Independence day a few days later! My mom says she's going to be one mixed up baby with all these different nationalities going around!

and she's also following in our footsteps by becoming a bagel lover! Well...she thought the packaging tasted pretty good!

We're not going to start weaning her officially until she's 6 months, but after a particularly delicious roast dinner on Sunday we decided to try out a few spoonfuls of homemade apple sauce!
Here's how it went down...

I love that last face!!

To be honest, there's not really much she hasn't been loving this month! She is SUCH a happy baby, everywhere we go people comment on it! even earlier when she had a particularly bad teething moment, and was crying her little eyes out, we took a drive to the library and next minute she was charming the librarian and beaming her biggest smiles!! She can't help but be happy...teething and all!

So really I guess the only things she hasn't been loving are teething...and she's still not a fan of you pulling her arms through her sleeves when you get her dressed/undressed!

Those two things aside, she just fills our days with so much happiness! We love to watch her learn new skills and love to see her sweet happy personality shine through.  Ella Bella, we just can't imagine life without you!