Saturday, April 24, 2010

Genetics

I mentioned in my last post that Kai is a good eater, except for her bizarre disinterest in sweets and desserts. In reality, she gets that from me. In fact, she seems to get all of her culinary likes and dislikes from me. Here I thought it would be fun to pass on my determination, persuasive abilities, sense of humor (come on, you know I'm funny), or debate skills (although, really, maybe it's better if your child does not have the inclination to debate every little point. Now that I'm a parent, I can see how that particular quality might have been a teensy bit annoying as much as it has served me well in my chosen profession). I suppose it remains to be seen if and to what degree Kai has inherited those traits, but one thing is clear -- she and I both like the same foods.

I have never really had much interest in sweets. I don't like chocolate; although, I tolerate it more as an adult than I did as a child. I have never cared for cake, cookies, brownies (well, chocolate... already mentioned that). And candy? What's the point? I used to save any candy I got at some holiday and, weeks and months later, bribe my sister one m&m or skittle at a time to do my bidding (fetch the mail, make my bed, etc). SHE has a sweet tooth (or did). But, the only sweet thing I REALLY liked was whipped cream, and it was more for the cream than the sweetness. Real whipped cream was the best for that reason. The canned stuff a distant second. And, I like fruit pies (rhubarb, apple, peach, marionberry) -- but those sorts of pies are among the least sweet of the desserts. So, really, no sweet tooth for me.

At the last of Kai's birthday celebrations this week at her daycare (yes, the child got 3 parties and an outing to the beach for her birthday... being an only child rocks), she was so excited when Lauren brought out the cake. But, not because it was CAKE, like the other children were excited about, but because it had CANDLES and it meant people would be singing to her... again! Once she had her helping of cake and ice cream, she took a bite or two and then asked to get down so she could go read a book. The nearly-two-year old sitting next to her cracked us all up when, having finished her own bowl, she looked around to see if anyone was going to claim Kai's dish and then started inching it towards herself... ever so slowly. She was foiled in her plan, of course. But it was hysterical to watch her try to sneak that extra piece of cake.

Kai's tastes run more towards condiments... of course! The title of the post is "genetics" after all. I think one of the reasons she is such a good eater is because she has discovered all the wonderful condiments that accompany food. Chicken and bbq sauce. Rice and soy sauce. Salmon and butter (and salt and a little lemon). Artichokes and mayo. Fries and ketchup... or mayo. Potatoes and sour cream. Cucumbers and blue cheese. Hamburger and mayo. Have I mentioned mayo? That is my favorite. Kai's too. Well, that or butter.

Kai says, "butter", "pepper", "salt" and emphatically points and whines at whatever condiment is on the table to indicate her interest in trying some. And, so far, I don't think she has met a condiment she doesn't like. She even likes pickles. Pickles! What two year old munches on pickles but won't eat ice cream?

I guess what I'm saying is I now see the power of genetics. My poor daughter has inherited the culinary sensibilities of a third grader (minus the sweets). Poor kid. Maybe she'll grow beyond me. Isn't that what we hope for our children? She'll learn there's more to life than mac and cheese with ketchup? right?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Second Birthday


Kai turned TWO this last weekend, and we had a good time celebrating. Compared to last year, we were pretty low key in our celebrations this year. But, we still made a weekend out of it and had a great time together.

Kai understood her birthday this year -- at least she understood that because it was her birthday, people were going to sing her "Happy Birthday" and she would get to blow out candles. Kai LOVES having people sing "Happy Birthday" to her. She walks around the house singing, "haaapppy..." to prompt us to begin the song. So, we made sure she got to have the birthday song sung to her several times. First, there was her party with my mom who was here for a few days the week before Kai's birthday:

.

Then there was her party with Sarah, Doug, Penny and Max (we kept it small this time around... turns out you only need one other kid for it to be a party!)



And, finally, the entire restaurant at Fenton's Ice Cream Parlor sang to her at lunch the day after her birthday.



Kai never has any real interest in the dessert that accompanies the song. But, she asks for a repeat performance of the song and candles everytime. With my mom and with Penny we went through several renditions. The folks at Fenton's thought once was enough.

The disinterest in the dessert is so strange, though. At two, Kai is an excellent eater. She'll eat most vegetables and all fruit. She loves spaghetti, salmon, rice, avocado, hamburger, hot dogs, chicken, baked beans, mac and cheese, eggs... she eats almost anything. She has even gotten into chips and salsa recently (she used to scream if she ate salsa). But birthday cake, ice cream sundaes and pie? Nope. She won't even really try them. She has no interest in dessert. I suppose I shouldn't complain, but I find myself cajoling her, "Kai, just TRY a bite, you'll love it" as though it's broccoli or something. Maybe it's because I want her to eat it that she won't... ahh reverse psychology. Such a powerful tool!

In addition to singing her Happy Birthday many, many times over the weekend, we had a little party, as I mentioned above. Kai got an easel that can be used as a white board, chalkboard, or for painting and drawing. Penny and Kai had fun painting together.



We also got Kai a trike, that she didn't take any interest in until the next morning. She is a bit small for it still. A few more inches, and she'll be tearing up the playground. I'll have to post pics of the trike later -- apparently I don't have any!

Penny got her some cleaning supplies. As soon as we opened them, the girls started cleaning up the deck. What an awesome present!!



But, her favorite toy by far? The $4 bubble blower that I bought to make the party a bit more festive. Kai LOVES the bubbles and spent most of the time saying "bub - bowl".




It was a really fun party!





And, the next day, we headed to the beach with our California girl. I have to say, we definitely named Kai appropriately. This child LOVES the ocean. She was scampering on the rocks, trying to get out deeper, and everytime a wave would come she would yell, "WHEEEEEEEE" with a HUGE smile on her face. She had fun collecting shells and climbing on the small dunes.









One of the funnier moments was when she decided to start walking down some fairly steep stairs onto the beach. These stairs:



They are not the easiest things to navigate, but she was doing it by herself, not even holding a hand. At one point, she hesitated, so Eric scooped her up and walked down a couple of steps with her to get her closer to the bottom. "NOOOOOOO" Kai screamed. As soon as he put her down, she turned around and scampered back up to the step she had been struggling with, shooting Eric a look that said, "I will do this myself." And, she did... she got herself down. All. By. Herself.

She's TWO afterall!!



Happy Birthday, Kailey!! We love you so very much!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Videos Galore

We've taken so many awesome (in my humble opinion, of course) videos of Kai recently that I haven't gotten around to posting here -- and they capture what a daring and happy child she is (and also how incredibly quickly she is shedding babyhood!) So, I thought I would just post them all at once, and catch myself up a bit.

First up -- climbing. Have I mentioned that Kailey likes to climb things? Like the windows in our house (did I not mention this already? I was just looking for a post where I wrote about how she scaled the windows in our living room, and couldn't find it. So maybe I haven't mentioned -- she climbs windows. And, not any windows. THESE windows: Do you see how the window sills are like a half an inch?! She climbed these... seriously. Half way to the ceiling. And there was no couch in front of the windows to give her a boost, as there is in the picture.) Or play equipment that she shouldn't really be climbing yet. The child loves to climb:



And, if climbing isn't an option - she'll swing from a bar before launching herself down a slide. Like this (although, we didn't get a video of the launching part... I dug out the camera after she had done the trick a few times, and we had to ask her for a repeat performance... and she decided to skip the launching part. You'll just have to trust me that there was also launching involved):



Kai's daredevil spirit results in frequent bumps and "boo boos" (as Kailey likes to call them). I've mentioned before that when Kai gets hurt, she may cry for a moment or two, and then she becomes rather accusatory towards the offending object, be it the chair that dared fall over while she was balancing precariously on it, or the wall that jumped in front of her when she was spinning around like a madwoman or jumping off the bed. I promised in that previous post to get a video of her tattling on the offending object -- and here it is:



Despite an increase in bumps and bruises -- Kai's enthusiasm to try things that no nearly-two-year old should be trying usually results in her having a really good time and proving to us that she can, indeed, take on the challenge. Take her recent outing to the park where she demanded to try to the tire swing with the 3 and 4 year olds that were clearly having a mighty good time spinning about:



And, when there's nothing to climb or swing on -- Kai loves to dance. Her favorite dancing tune continues to be "Jump Around" and she has increased her repertoire of moves (beyond running in a circle):



And, then there's her laugh. I love her crazy little laugh:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

ABCs Part II

The newest rendition of ABCs with Kailey:

Kai: A B C (to the tune of ABCs) and points at me

Me: D E F G H I J K

Kai: elmennemno pppppppp

Me: Q R

Kai: sssssssss (as in the sound, like a hiss)

Me: T U V W X Y Z

Kai: NOoowwwwwwwww

Me: I know my

Kai: A B Cssssssssss... Nex

Me: Time Won't You Sing With

Kai: Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

clap * clap * clap

Kai: MOooooeeee (while signing more)