Thursday, June 25, 2009

Communicating

Kailey is getting better at communicating. Not always with words, mind you. But, she is improving in that department as well. But, she knows how to tell you what she wants with very few words. For example, a couple of nights ago she asked to go to sleep. Well, sort of. She came over to me, rubbing her eyes, and put her head down on my leg and looked up at me and whined. So, I said, "Kai, do you need to go to bed?" She lifted her head from my leg, nodded and said, "yea." I was a little stunned -- did she just say yes? So, I asked again, "Kai, do you want to go to bed?" I am convinced that it is interactions like this that make children wonder why adults are so dense. Kailey cocked her head to one side, clearly thinking about the fact that I had not appeared to understand her initial response, and then she thrust her hands into the air (Kai's sign for yes, I agree with what you are saying). So, I scooped her up and put her on the changing table to get her into her PJs. Kailey HATES being changed, and started squirming and crying. I told her, "Kai, you have to get your diaper changed and get into your PJs, then you can brush your teeth, we'll read a story, and you can go to sleep." Kai looked at me and stopped crying and squirming. I was amazed. I have no idea how much of that exchange was pure coincidence versus how much she understood, but it felt like the beginnings of real communication.

She is also expanding her vocabulary. She has started to understand that not every round object is a ball, and Doug had her practicing saying "balloon" yesterday. She also barks now, which is so cute! I have to get that on video.

But, her newest forays into the world of communication are mostly exploratory... as in, I have no idea what she is saying. Kailey likes to babble, try out new sounds, and has recently discovered her tongue. Observe:


Kailey wanders around "talking" like this for most of the day. Either that or screeching. She has really perfected the screech. It's like living with a crazy person -- babble, babble, spit, stick your tongue out and babble, screechhhhh, spit, babble, babble, DOG, DOG, BAAALLLLLLL, babble... you get the picture.

Friday, June 19, 2009

New York City



Kailey made her first trek across the country this month, to visit her aunts in New York City! I have to admit, I was pretty nervous about the long flights there and back. I scheduled them to more or less correspond with naptimes, which is a great idea in theory, but requires the airlines to be on board with my little plan (ie take off and land on time). Ha ha! Not so much. The first leg of our journey... well, no. The FIRST leg of our journey was from our house to Sacramento. We flew out of Sacramento because we got to use a free ticket. The flight was at 8 AM on a Wednesday, so we loaded up the car on Tuesday night and hit the road at right about Kailey's bedtime. We gave her a big bottle of milk, turned on the Music Together CD and headed for Sacramento. Perfect, right? We'd have a sleeping baby, we'd check into our hotel and then the next morning, we'd fly across country. Not 10 minutes into the drive, Kailey threw up everywhere. Multiple times. Poor baby. Note to self: Big bottles of milk in a moving vehicle... bad idea. Apparently Kai is prone to car sickness. Who knew? We pulled off the road into some random parking lot, changed her clothes, rocked her a bit, and hit the road again. This time, she fell right asleep and we made it to Sacramento without further incident.

The next morning, our first flight was uneventful. It was during Kai's morning nap, and on time - so she slept most of the way. I even got to watch a few episodes of 30 rock on the flight! Woo hoo! In Denver, we ate lunch and then found an area with some televisions and couches and let Kailey run around during our (supposed) 2-hour layover. Which became a 6 hour layover... crap. Kai slept in the airport, of course, and we boarded the flight right as her nap ended. A four-hour flight.

Kailey was actually an excellent traveler. But, she is only a year old, so being an excellent travler means she doesn't cry. However, she also doesn't sit still. She likes to move - and when it became clear to her that walking around was not going to be an option, she decided to take to jumping between Eric and me and kicking us vigorously most of the flight. Love kicks, of course. That, and standing on our legs and waving and shouting at all of the passengers behind us, "HI! HI! HI!" she yelled out to a mixture of smiles and menacing glares. She also snacked on her crackers and generously offered to share with our seatmate. Repeatedly. He declined. Repeatedly. Luckily, he was a good sport about it all. And, when we walked her up and down the aisles to give her a change of scenery, she held out her hand to high five everyone we passed (most people obligingly reached out in return). She continued to do this throughout the trip, actually - waving, greeting, and offering to slap hands with everyone we passed. It was hysterical walking around the streets of NYC with Kai in the backpack waving like a little princess and saying, "HI! HI! HI!" Here she is greeting a stranger we passed:



The flight from Denver to NYC was exhausting, even though there were no tears and no meltdowns. It was just a lot of time spent entertaining Kailey in a VERY small space. But, as I said, she did great.

And Kailey loved NYC. She liked seeing all the people, and had a great time exploring Central Park. She also LOVED the Natural History Museum. Her favorite part was the IMAX movie on the Wild Ocean. She clapped and growled at the dolphins, and when the whales appeared she let out this huge screech in excitement. It was so funny (and, I'm sure, annoying to everyone else in the theater... but, I've never seen Kai so excited). She loved looking at the frogs, but got a bit freaked out by the planetarium (maybe because the show was about cosmic collisions and involved... well, collisions!) I didn't really think a one year old would have as much fun at a museum as she did, but she thoroughly enjoyed it.

And, of course, she loved seeing her aunts. On our third or fourth morning, we woke up and I said, "Kailey, do you want to go see Katie and Becca?" and Kailey threw her arms in the air (her signal for YES! I originally tried to teach her to use that sign to signify when she was all done, but she has decided to use it to express her earnest agreement with something she is asked. As in, "Kailey, are you all done?" and she responds "YES!" by throwing her hands into the air. Or, Kailey, do you want to go outside? same response. You get the picture).

I'll post pictures later today (from my other computer). But, all in all, NYC was a success. Thanks Katie and Becca for showing us around!

Oh, and the flights home were much smoother. No delays. Still a lot of greetings, offerings of food, and high fives. On our first flight, the entire row behind us was taken up by these old ladies who were in a bowling league together and LOVED Kailey. She would high five one after the other, flash huge smiles, and babble away with them. They were all very entertained, and kept commenting on what a social baby Kailey is and she would agree with "HI! HI! HI!"

Ohhh... and she also has learned to say "BYE!" Which she used upon our return when we stopped at Sarah and Doug's to pick up Oscar. As soon as Kai saw Penny and Doug (she was in her carseat in the car... they were just saying hello) she started screeching and kicking her legs with such force that I swear she thought she could propel the carseat out of the car if she just kicked hard enough. So, of course, we let her out to say hello and run around a bit (she had just endured two long plane trips and a car trip from Sacramento). We got inside and let her play for about 10 minutes and then said, "OK, Kai. We have to go now. We're going home." And Kailey responded by turning to Eric and me, waving her hand and yelling, "BYE! BYE!" We all cracked up. Kailey was clearly not interested in going with us... bye, bye!! We loaded her into the carseat to much crying and headed home. Toddlerhood is upon us.