Monday, April 27, 2009

One Year Check-Up

Kailey had her one year check up today. One year! I still cannot get over how fast this last year went. While the nurse was walking us back to the room she asked me, "does she stand on her own?" "yes," I responded. Then she walked us over to the scale - the adult scale - and told me to stand Kailey up. Ummm... yes, she stands on her own. But, no, she won't do it on command. Kai did her spaghetti leg maneuver a few times while the nurse raised an eyebrow at me. We weighed her on the baby scale.

Then the doctor examined her, balling up a little piece of paper and holding it out for her to grasp. Kai looked at the paper, looked at him, looked at the paper, looked at him... this went on for awhile. She had her raised eyebrow, "what are you trying to do to me, trick me? entice me? don't think I'm falling for your little games, buddy" look on her face. The same look she has whenever we offer her a bite of food. She sniffs it, opening her mouth just enough to get the slightest taste of whatever is on the spoon, all the while keeping one eye trained on whoever it is that is trying to feed her. If the food is a vegetable, she throws her head back, squinting her eyes, and HOLLERS. At that point, the meal is over. As if she has determined that the feeder is, indeed, the traitor she suspected and she will have no more of the trickery. It doesn't matter if you offer up a blueberry (her favorite food at the moment). She will not be fooled again. If it's anything else, she often engages in the same drama-queen behavior, but then decides, "well, i really should try another bite" and the meal proceeds.

Anyway, she evaluated the doctor and his little rolled up paper with the same sort of suspicion... clearly not wanting to fall for any of his little tricks. She didn't take the paper. After many minutes analyzing the situation, she reached her hand out and touched the paper, every so slightly, then withdrew her hand and cocked her head as if to say, "a piece of paper? you think that's interesting?" When it was clear she wasn't going to engage, the doctor asked, "can she grasp small objects?" Um... yes. She feeds herself a million Cheerios a day. He seemed satisfied with that. "Can she clap?" he asked, clapping his hands. Kai looked at the clapping, looked at me, and set her lips in this thin-lined pout that she gets when she is tired of people asking her to perform. She didn't clap, although, we assured the doctor she was, indeed, capable of clapping. He nodded. "What about pointing?" he asked, pointing at her. Kailey spends her day with her pointer finger on the ready. She points at anything and everything. When the doctor pointed at her, she looked away, while we tried to convince the doctor that pointing was among her favorite activities. "Waving?" he asked while waving. "yes..." we responded. Kai threw her head back and wailed. "Well, it looks like she's doing great." He said. Isn't he a nice doctor?

As we walked to the elevator, Kai started clapping, waving and pointing simultaneously at everyone and nobody. She waved and waved and waved and waved. A two handed wave, followed by one hand, then some quick clapping, a few quick points and back to the waving. This went of on until we got in the car. Yes, Kai... we know you can do it. The doc, though, he doesn't believe you.

But, the truth is, despite Kai's unwillingness to confirm how well she is doing while being evaluated, she is, in fact, doing great. She is learning new words so quickly these days -- she understands way more than she can say. The only words we have been able to discern are "daddy" "doggy" "maaaaa" "baaa" (for Abby) and, of course, grrrrrrr (her go-to sound whenever she wants to introduce herself to someone she finds particularly fetching). But, despite her limited ability to actually say words, if you ask her to wave, clap or point, she can do it (as long as there are no "strangers" around assessing her skills, of course). She also gives hugs and kisses on request, as well as high fives. If you ask her to bring her ball, she obliges. And, when eating, if we say, "are you done?" she'll throw her hands in the air in eager agreement.

Ahhhh... the joys of eating. Kai LOVES berries and quesadillas and has decided there is little point to eating much else (except Cheerios). She tolerates pizza crust, bananas, oatmeal, yogurt, string cheese, crackers, most other varieties of fruit, honey sticks and veggie bites. But, it all seems a little limited. When we tried to get her to eat wild salmon last night she acted as though we were torturing her. I do manage to squeeze in a few bites of whatever offensive food I am forcing her way at most meals. However, as noted above, I have to be strategic about when to introduce such foods in the meal, since the introduction of the food tends to end the meal. Kai was only in the 20th percentile for weight today -- so, having her get the calories she needs trumps my desire that she eat a full serving of spinach (at least for now).

After the doctor, we went to the NICU to drop off the donations from her party. The nurses ohhhed and ahhed at how big Kai has gotten. It was fun to see old friends. The nurses also tried to engage Kai in some waving or clapping. She was much less suspicious about their motives, smiling and laughing at their antics. But, still, unwilling to engage. As with the doctor, she spent the walk to the car waving at everyone she passed. That's our girl!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Birthday Weekend Extravaganza

Kai's birthday weekend was jammed-packed full of activities and fun. My parents, Katie and Becca arrived on Wednesday night, and Thursday we dug right in. We started the day having breakfast at Tumble & Tea so Kai could play while we ate:

Then we headed to Tilden Park and took in a steam train ride. The steam train freaked Kai out a little bit, but she didn't cry. She just had a look of terror on her face. She is so good at holding it together though. She had a tight grip on me the whole time we were on the train.

After the steam train, we went to Little Farm (also in Tilden Park). She LOVED the animals at Little Farm, of course. This is Kai we're talking about!! Animals continue to be one of her very favorite things. She pointed and growled at the pigs, chicks, cows, ducks and other critters.

After Tilden Park, Kailey took her afternoon nap and that afternoon we headed to the playground and let her take off with her walker and crawl around the play structure.

Friday, Kai's birthday! Kailey started her day by waking her aunts up at the very pleasant hour of 7 AM. They didn't mind.

Then, we went to breakfast at our local breakfast spot and told our favorite waiter that it was Kai's birthday! At the end of the meal, they brought out a waffle with a candle and everyone sang happy birthday to Kailey.

After breakfast, we headed to the Discovery Museum, and Kailey had a blast climbing around and splashing in the water. She got so wet splashing around. Total water baby!!

After the museum, we headed to Costco to get the party food while Kailey napped. Once we got home, it was present time. Kailey loved opening her presents. She would carefully rip the paper off one present, check out whatever box she had unwrapped, and then turn her attention promptly to the next gift. Such a task master! She made her way through each present, which was a little shocking. We expected that we'd be opening most of the gifts! Such focus!

After the unwrapping was done, we unleashed the bag of 100 balls that we had bought for the party next day. Kailey adores balls, and we thought her little head was going to explode with the excitement of it all. In fact, the next day at the party Sarah told me that she had asked Penny what they should get Kai for her birthday and Penny responded, "Kailey likes balls. She likes to play with my big girls balls." Penny is very observant and Kai was entertained for quite a long time by the balls.

We have a video of the balls being unleashed:

In fact, the next morning, she insisted on eating her breakfast with one of her balls. It was so funny, she'd get a ball or two in her hands and then get frustrated because she couldn't do anything else, but she refused to let go of her precious balls.

Saturday was party day! The party was lovely. We had a great group of friends and colleagues come celebrate with us, all of the kids had a blast, and the weather was ideal.

After the party (and a long nap) we opened some more presents, and then headed to my parent's hotel room for some swimming. Kailey is such a California girl -- she LOVES the water, and had a blast splashing around and cracking up at Eric blowing bubbles and doing cannonballs.

When we got back to the hotel room after swimming, Kai decided to take her first steps! The look on her face was pure determination. She didn't get far before falling, but she tried repeatedly and - any day now - she'll be toddling all over the place.

Sunday morning we headed to San Francisco to go to the Park Chalet for brunch. The weather was remarkable -- almost too hot. After breakfast, Kai played on the beach for the first time ever and had fun scooping up the sand and cracking up at Oscar as he dug holes.

Wow! Looking at this post and all the pictures, it's clear that in subsequent years we are going to have to set the bar MUCH lower. I don't know if I could top this birthday weekend. She'll be expecting trips around the world by the time she's 10!! Happy Birthday, Kai!!!