Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Weddings and Flower Girls


My sister, Katie, and her person-and-love-for-life, Becca, had a party at the beginning of March to celebrate their union and the journey they've been on the last four years and the journey they're continuing on together. In other words, a wedding! But, they weren't so focused on the label or thinking that the event signifed the start of anything new, just the continuation of something very special. No matter the label -- it was a terrific party and ceremony, and I'm glad we got to be a part of it.

Kai especially enjoyed the festivities. She really enjoyed being the flower girl. Who doesn't like to have a basket of petals and the chance to dump them all over the floor? I really thought that she would freeze and refuse to drop the petals when there was a room full of people staring at her, given the fact that Kailey rarely performs on command. But, this time, she decided that being the center of attention with her petals was just fine.


Unfortunatley, once Kai's part of the ceremony was done (meaning she was no longer the center of attention), she decided to remind everyone that there was STILL a NEARLY TWO YEAR OLD in the room, for all of you who missed the munchkin wandering around aimlessly in her little blue dress.

So, the ceremony started, and Katie and Becca's friend, Liz, who was officiating, started off the ceremony by saying: "It has been said that talking about love is like dancing about architecture. However, in the spirit of the day, we are going to give it a try." At which point, Kailey, as if on cue, shouted, "UH-OH".

Uh-oh indeed. It went downhill from there. One of the readings was a children's book, "I Like You," which was divided up between about five of us, including Eric and me. Every time it got to be my turn to read a passage, Kai started screeching. Seriously. SCREEECCCHHHHIIINNNNGGGG. In a way that she has never really done before. Not on airplanes. Not when whining to get her way. Not at restaurants. No, it seems she saved this brand of screeching for when her mommy had to stand up in front of a crowd of people at an important event and read a passage. The kid has skill. And timing. That's all I'm saying.

However, as soon as the ceremony was over (and we missed most of it, unfortunately. We tried to hear everything, but we were busy in the very back of the room covering Kai's mouth and hissing at her to "beee QUIET"), Kai got into the swing of the party. And what a party it was! Kai danced, did mule kicks, ran into people, twirled, stuffed her mouth with food, and rode the elevator about 100 times. She liked the elevator. 17 floors in a tiny, claustrophobic box that creeped along... whats not to love? And, every once in awhile, the number "9" would light up (her favorite number).





video

As midnight approached, my parents took Kailey back to where we were all staying and Eric and I stayed and partied like we haven't partied since looonnngggg before Kai was born.

Congratulations Katie and Becca!! Here's to many, many years of happiness and adventure! And thanks for a terrific party!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sentences

We've entered the world of two-word sentences. Kai's first two-word sentence was coached. She wanted more of something -- probably some sort of fruit -- and kept saying "more, more" (no, that's not the sentence) while signing emphatically. "More, PLEASE" I reminded her. "MEEAAS" she said (for some reason her "p" is an "m" when coupled with the word "please). "More please," I said. "More MEAS" she replied. A sentence!! We cheered her on and gave her the fruit (or whatever it was).

So far, she has yet to say "more please" without be reminded about the please part. This morning in bed, she kept wanting more videos and I kept reminding her to say "please." At one point, after about the 15th "MEAS" I said, "Please, Kailey -- as in puh-puh-puh PLEASE". She responded, "puh- puh- puh- MEAS". At least we know she can make the "p" sound.

Yesterday at the park Kai said her first uncoached two word sentence. Kailey was climbing things that no nearly two-year old should be climbing on the play equipment that was designed for the 5 - 12 year old set. Eric was spotting her. She was on one of those ladders that curves up from the ground, with each circular rung the width of a broomstick, and separated by about 10 inches between rungs. Kai has to really reach to step between the rungs, given she is only 32" tall. Eric had his hands ready to catch her, but not touching her (almost touching her, but not quite) and Kai said, "NO, MOVE" while batting away his hands. Classic, Kailey. She is such a dare devil (although, the car wash this morning started to freak her out... but then we reminded her that the car was just getting a bath, and she was OK with it. Afterwards, she asked for "more" -- so it wasn't too traumatizing).

At lunch today, Kailey had finished the main part of her meal (spaghetti) and had refused to eat any of her "vegetable" (avocado... I know, it's a fruit, but aren't they all fruits, really?) and was asking for a strawberry (I cannot spell how she says it... only Eric and I would ever know what it is she is saying when she asks for a strawberry). I said, "eat some avocado and you can have some strawberry". She ate one bite of avocado. "More" I said. She ate another. "One more", I said. She ate one more bite, and I went to get some strawberries. I brought back two, thinking I could bribe her to eat more avocado with the second one after she finished the first berry. I handed her one strawberry, and she pointed at the other. "Later," I said. She grabbed a slice of avocado and ate a bite, "one more" she replied, smiling. I gave her the other strawberry. The next go around (after she had finished both strawberries) she tried to get another one just by flashing her winning smile. It didn't work.

Talking is getting more fun every day!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Training Days

A couple of months ago, I bought Kai a little potty. She was about 20 months at the time, and she sometimes "talked" about going to the potty (and by "talk" I mean she would slap her diaper and point at the changing table to indicate that she needed to be changed). Beyond a general awareness of having a wet diaper, Kai has a general disdain for diapers. Seriously, I think she has hated diapers since day one. She has never been easy to change, squirming as much as possible to avoid having a diaper on. And, as soon as she figured out that the diaper is easily removed, she started taking off her diaper and running free through the house. Given all these factors, it seemed like purchasing a potty and introducing the concept of not peeing on the floor was prudent.

But, beyond buying the potty, neither Eric or I were actually very keen on doing any actual potty training. We figured we'd let her sit on it a few times a day and otherwise continue our futile attempts to keep her diaper on her to spare our floors and furniture.

Well, that was our "plan". The problem with the plan, is it didn't really account for the subject. The thing about Kailey is - once she knows how something is supposed to happen... well, she is going to make sure it happens. In other words, we are now, unwittingly, in the full swing of potty training.

The first day or so that we had the potty, Kai didn't really get it. She sat on it, nothing happened. She left the bathroom and peed on the floor, and by the time we would run her back into the bathroom, nothing else would happen.

But, on the second or third day, we got lucky.... she peed in the potty!! And, seriously, that is all it took. A light bulb went off. You could almost see it. Since that point on, Kai has been able to pee in the potty pretty much on command. For awhile there, she'd go four or five times in a row because each time earned her a sticker. We reigned the sticker distribution in a bit, in an attempt to get her to focus more on when she needed to go rather than her bizarre ability to will herself to go.

Why, you might ask, were we not more interested in potty training once we realized that Kai understood the concept and demonstrated the ability to not only use the potty, but to use it any time we asked her to? Well, just because a person understands what a potty is for and can use it appropriately does not mean that they also understand that the rug, couch, and bed are not also appropriate places in which to relieve oneself. In other words, the fact that Kai was peeing in the potty 10 times a night did not mean that she was avoiding accidents throughout the house. What we quickly realized is the vigilance required to allow Kailey to run around in underwear was quite exhausting. So, instead of bucking up like the dedicated parents we are supposed to be, we decided to be entirely half-assed about it. We would let her go diaperless one night, reminding her every 5 minutes to tell us if she needed to go to the potty. And then we'd take a break for a few nights, opting instead to put her in a sleeper that is not easily removed to ensure that the diaper remained on. I know, we are lazzzyyyy parents.

Unfortunately, our efforts to limit potty training to a couple nights a week are no longer working. Now Kailey yells "PEEE PEEE" as she clutches her diaper.** Eric is much more accommodating, letting her attempt to go potty whenever she shouts at us a few times in a row. And, almost without fail, whenever she tries to go - she succeeds. So, she has been wearing us down, demanding to go longer stretches of time in her underwear and without a diaper. On the plus side, she has also been having fewer accidents and going longer stretches of time in between using the potty (even though the "phase" only lasted about a week and a half, I was sick of following her into the bathroom every five minutes.... 15 - 20 minutes without a bathroom break is much more acceptable).

It's funny, I always imagined we'd be the ones potty training Kailey... but, somehow, I feel like we're the ones going through the training.

** As I was writing this, Eric was attempting to put Kailey to bed. Which means she was in bed, in her diaper and her sleeper, enjoying her milk... when she started hollering "PEE PEE". A few moments later, they both emerged from her room so that Kai could go potty, which resulted in Eric saying, "OK... good job, you did have to go. Now will you go to sleep?" And Kailey responding, "YEAH".

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Daycare - Week 2


Kai is now in her second week of daycare. Week 2 has proceeded much as week 1 did. It is clear that Kai truly views this as her "home away from home" (the name of her daycare).

Yesterday, Eric and I dropped her off together. She walked up the steps in front of us, pushed the door open, stepped inside and looked around. There was no one to be seen. We were first to arrive and Lauren and Jacob were in the kitchen working on breakfast. "NUM NUM," Kai shouted to announce her arrival and also let them know that she was ready to eat.

Lauren came out of the kitchen and said hello to Kailey, who promptly turned to the door of the playroom, which was closed, and pointed at it with some purpose. Lauren opened the door for her, and Kai marched right in and started making herself coffee at the pretend kitchen. "Bye bye" we said to Kailey, kissing her head while she proceeded to ignore us and tend to the coffee pot.

We turned to leave, but another family was coming up the steps. So, we stopped in the hallway to chat a bit and introduce ourselves. About two minutes into our conversation, Kai walked out of the playroom, coffee in hand, and saw us. She raised her eyebrows and said, "BYEEE?" in this tone that was both questioning and accusing. The other parent burst out laughing and said, "you're cramping her style."

2 going on 12. That's our Kailey.

Little Traveler



In her short life, Kailey has flown 6 times, and three of those journeys were cross-country trips. Although I know I am jinxing myself and inviting all sorts of bad karma by putting this to paper, I am just going to come out and say it... Kai is a great traveler. On all of our cross-country flights, she has been amazing. No meltdowns. The only meltdown she has ever had was on a trip to Portland, and I think she was sick... so, we're not counting that. Kai loves planes, shouting out "PAIN" whenever she sees one flying over head. PAIN. Really, that is oh so appropriate because while she is an excellent traveler (which is defined as not crying on airplanes and keeping the screeching, even when it is happy screeching, to a minimum), the truth is that anytime anyone travels with a toddler, there is quite a bit of PAIN involved, particularly for the parents of said toddler. We get to endure the squirming that results in elbow jabs to the face, punches, kicks, hair pulling. And we get to constantly remind Kailey that, no, she cannot kick the seat in front of her, or touch the TV screen, or throw her food. And, also, the people behind you who are sleeping do not want to say, "HI". Which results in frequent walks up and down the asile. Followed by more snacks, and more toddler hands spreading all variety of crumbs and juice and other partially digested food remanents all over our clothes. PAIN... that is a good word for it.

Kai has started to get a bit more self-sufficient about traveling as well. She wanted to help pack (and unpack, and then pack again, and unpack...) her luggage the night before the trip. Let's just say most of the packing happened after she went to sleep. She happily greets the individual who checks us in and takes our bags, and then greets everyone else we encounter through the airport. And, she has now noticed that everyone has a bag that they pull through the airport on the way to their flights. So, naturally, Kailey also insisted on pulling her luggage through the airport:

video

This is adorable and funny for about 3 minutes, and then it gets tiresome because it takes about 10 times as long to get to the gate. But, it's nice to see the independence and self sufficiency. I just look forward to the day when she has the strength, balance, and coordination to back it up!

And the best part about traveling with Kai is that as much as she loves being on the road, she loves her home best of all. She was all smiles and giggles when she woke up in her own (and by that I mean, our collective) bed on Tuesday morning. It's nice to get away to remember how much we like being where we are.

NOTE: our trip this last week was to NYC for Katie and Becca's wedding which I will write about later. I want to get pictures from Katie to go along with the post... so this is just about her traveling. More to come on our actual trip!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New Daycare

This is Kailey's first week at her new daycare -- she now is with 11 (11!!) other children during the day and three new caregivers. I thought it might be a teensy bit traumatic for Kai, despite her legendary fearlessness (which, really is legend -- I saw fear in her eyes the other day when we took her to a pool with a water slide. She hesitated for a moment and grabbed onto my finger... right before she nodded her head in determination and launched herself down the slide. Fear, I saw it... even if it was fleeting). Anyway... so, she has exhibited fear in a moment and, I thought, maybe a new home, 11 (11!) new kids, and new caregivers might be a little intimidating. But, no.

Over the last two weeks, we did three visits to the new daycare. The first day, I just hung out with Kailey at daycare; although, I don't think Kailey really registered that I was there. We walked in the door, she saw kids, toys and an open backdoor leading to a backyard with a lot of play equipment, and that was that. She squirmed to get down, checked out the various rooms, and proceeded outside. The "big" kids (you know, the 3 and 4 year olds) were playing with the balls, and Kailey joined right in. She rode a trike. She swung. When it was snack time, she followed the other kids inside, sat at the table, and demanded "more" crackers when she ran out of her portion. But, I was there -- so, I wasn't sure how it would go without me lurking in the background.

A few days later we went back. I needed to go buy a dress for Katie's wedding (woo hoo!) and so I decided I would just drop Kai off for an hour or so, get a dress (aren't I very ambitious) and then return. We walked in, and it was deja vu. Kai squirmed to get down, and ran to where the other kids were playing to see what they were doing. I followed behind and told Kailey, "ok... mama is going to go to the store. I'll be back." No response. "Kailey... I'm leaving... I'll see you soon." Nothing. "Ok Kailey. Bye." She looked at me with a hint of irritation and said, "BYEEEE." Alright then. She seemed to be OK with me leaving. When I returned 75 minutes later, Lauren (who runs the daycare) said it was a repeat of last time. She played. She snacked. And, when I came through the door, she saw me and ran the other way... determined to get outside before I could make her leave.

Eric took her for two hours a couple of days later and it was the same thing. No issues. No worries.

But, yesterday was her first FULL day. Nine and a half hours in a brand new setting. I dropped her off, and it was the same as the other times, complete with the "BYYEEEE" when I explained to her that I was going to work. I called during naptime and was told that Kai was having a grand time. And, at naptime, she watched the other kids pulled out their mats, and pulled out a mat. She saw the other kids lay down, so she laid down. Then, she got back up and was told by Barbara that it was naptime so everyone was laying down. Kai nodded, got back on her mat, closed her eyes and went to sleep. I'm telling you... the things kids do for other people!! When I arrived that evening, she just continued playing. I picked her up, she squirmed to get down.

Today it was the same story. Three different parents remarked to me this evening on how well Kai was doing (apparently, they visit more during the day than I do). But, it's true. Kailey is very confident. Very adaptable. She likes new things, new people, new places. She loves to play. Lauren said tonight that Kailey is "extremely proficient at keeping herself occupied... she goes from one thing to another. She never stops." Kailey... our little energizer bunny. Ready to take on the great big world.