Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Underdog"

Kai's latest word, which I have yet to capture on video, is "underdog". She says "Un. Duuu. DOOOOGGG" while pointing below her and then bellowing, "DAAA DAA... Un. DUUU... DOGGGGG". Can you guess what she is doing while shouting this out? Yup... swinging.

Proof that Kailey is only part me. The other part -- the seemingly dominant part -- all Eric. I despise, detest, and abhor underdogs while swinging. Just watching Eric lift Kai up over his head while she is in the swing makes my stomach turn. It makes her burst into the biggest grin of all time and count down, "UN.... TWO.... TREEE.... WHEEEEEEE." And then, on the upswing, she starts pointing below her and bellowing again, "UN DUUUU DOGGGGG."

I remember the days my family and I went to Disneyland and I sat at the exit for whatever ride everyone else was on, waiting for them all to disembark, because I had no interest in rides. Or thrills. I like to be firmly planted on the ground at all times. Why do I get the feeling that in the not-so-distant future I will once again be waiting at the exit of the rides, waiting for Eric and Kailey to take on their latest and greatest thrill.

But, even though I don't get the thrill-seeking... I'm glad that they get each other in those sorts of endeavors and also, ultimately, glad my child is not the scaredey cat that I always was. I love that she is such a dare-devil. I just don't really get it.

Interview at the Beach


It was not a week that I had the camera very much, hence the lack of posting since last week's interview. But, yesterday we headed to the beach and decided to do our weekly interview at the beach. The wind was a bit strong (it's the beach after all), so it is a bit hard to hear the interview.

Kai was playing with a pile of rocks while singing "happy birthday" -- her all time favorite song, as I've mentioned before. Seriously, I've totally created a birthday monster. She is singing it again as I type this. At least, she sings the song to everyone and anyone. It's not so much her birthday she is obsessed with... she just loves birthdays. Anyway, so she was playing with rocks and singing her song and then she blew on the rocks and we realized she was pretending that the rock pile was a birthday cake. That's when I whipped out the camera and decided to do our weekly interview. The interviews are never as good as the impromptu moments... but, they help me remember what was going on in those impromptu moments.

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On the way home, Kai did what she usually does in the car these days -- she sang happy birthday to everyone she could think of. It's really funny to listen to. We never even bother to turn on music anymore because Kai is her own entertainment. She will sing the song and, when she finishes, call out the next person that she is going to sing to -- as in, "happy day day to Mama, happy day day Mama, Happy day day Mama, happy day day mama.... Dada.... Happy day day to Dada..." and the song goes on. We recorded a little bit of the car singing (and caught the shout outs to "nonny" and "papa"):

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When she runs out of people to sing to, she turns to other things. Yesterday she sang "happy day day" to "wa wa" and to "yum yum" and to "night night". My favorite call out of all time, though, was when she sang "happy day day... poop poop."

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Weekly Chat and Twinkle, Twinkle

This week, rather than doing much in the way of interviewing (one video is a quasi-interview that I like just because she names all the Varela-Halseys... which is cute), I wanted to try to get her to say some words that she has been saying lately -- although, her pronunciation is a teensy bit off. I have always had a love of coffee, but hearing Kai talk about "mama's ca-chi" gives the beverage that extra special something. And, I love how she says Oscar's name. Yesterday, on the drive back from Modesto, she was practicing bossing Oscar around, "Os-Kie.... dowwwnn", "Os-Kie... s*it" (she means "sit", really), "Os-kie... noooooo", she was hollering from the backseat. Maybe we spend too much time yelling at Oscar? Poor dog.

Beyond the "interviews", there's also a song! At soccer they do "twinkle, twinkle little star" complete with hand motions, which Kailey has started singing/signing to herself lately. She doesn't sing in the video, but she does the signs -- which is pretty cute.

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Wow - I just realized this is my 11th post this month. I usually average around 5. So much easier to post with some frequency when all I need to do is follow Kai around with a camera. She provides all the material these days. I love it!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

More pretending

Apparently, Kai has it in her mind that the little blue martian is her baby. When she says, "baby" around the house, that's who she is referring to. And, this morning she deicded her baby needed a little snack.

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Reading to Herself

I caught Kai playing music and reading this morning, and had the camera nearby. I think this might be one of my favorite Kai videos ever, which is saying something given the 1000s of Kai videos that we now have! But, I love how she has the book memorized and, when she loses her place because she is focused on that page's activity, she carefully gets back to where she left off. And, of course, she finishes the whole book. Of course, the flip side is that she generally doesn't let us hold her books while we read to her anymore. Nor does she really want us to read to her. I think she has most books memorized, and she prefers to hold them herself and flip through the pages. At night when I am trying to get her to settle down and go to bed, it's exasperating. This morning, it was adorable. Observe:

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Just one more...

I've mentioned that Kai never wants to leave daycare when we pick her up at the end of the day. At first, when we would arrive, she would see us but then turn back to whatever she was doing - trying her best to ignore us and, clearly, hoping we would go away. Some days she would take off in the opposite direction. These days, when we show up, she gives a shout out ("MAMA") and then becomes rather frenzied, running from one thing to another, doing each activity as quickly as possible. Jacob, one of the people who works at Kai's daycare, narrates as she springs into action: "I just have to do a quick swing, and some digging... then the playhouse... let's not forget the balls, a little dribbling... oh, and a quick ride on the trike, and a little bit of drawing... and, and..." It totally cracks me up. This is not only EXACTLY how Kai is, as she tries to cram in each ounce of fun before we snatch her up for the evening, it is also EXACTLY Eric. Genetics strike again.

Despite the fact that Kai never seems to want to leave, and never once has come up to me ready to go, when I finally snatch her up after letting her try each activity one more hurried time, she always sticks her hand down my shirt (Kai's go-to comfort move) and puts her head on my shoulder. Pure sweetness.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pretending

Kai is starting to get more into make believe, as most two year olds do. But, I just find it so enchanting to watch her "cooking" us a meal, or talking to her toys (I can't understand what she is saying most of the time). Yesterday, when I came in the living room, she was putting her "baby" - a little blue bath toy - to bed and, i think, talking about "nap". Luckily, I happened to have the camera on hand - so I got it on video:

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What I find remarkable about this is that she even knows what swaddling is to begin with. We don't have another baby (obviously) and Kai hasn't really spent time around babies -- particularly babies that are being swaddled. The other kids at daycare are all about two (or nearly two) or older. She probably saw one of the other kids at school swaddling a doll, and she has decided that this is the proper thing to do with one's "baby".

Also, maybe we should get her a doll so she doesn't have to baby little blue martians? Although, he is pretty cute.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Weekly Chat

Ahhh.. no posts between the weekly chats this time around. It's been getting busy at work and busy at Eric's work... so, no time for writing things down (and not much exciting going on... unless you want to hear about the budget cuts in California or the excitement of trying to settle one of my cases)

So, a quick update before posting the weekly videos (and, really, let me just say how very impressed I am with myself that I am on week three of my video project and I am keeping at it... I love these videos, even if they don't capture the spontaneity of Kai busting out with a new word or sentence as I had initially hoped. She busts out with new words and sentences daily -- but, what I get on camera tends to be what she is most comfortable with, which obviously makes sense. Still, it is fun to be recording her each week and seeing what she comes up with).

Anyway - the update. Kai seems to be in a bit of a growth spurt. She is eating non-stop lately. Last night she ate half a chicken breast, a bowl of blueberries, two bowls of corn, an entire avocado, and several slices of watermelon for dinner. And, as I sit here typing this, she has polished off a yogurt, half a sandwich (butter and jam), half a banana, and some string cheese (and she just ate breakfast a few hours ago). The running joke at daycare is that Kai doesn't miss a meal, and she really doesn't. She loves her food. Maybe this means we'll finally be moving into her 2T clothing.

Beyond her impressive appetite, Kai is definitely saying more two word sentences. They are not really captured in this week's video -- she decided to use her interviews for a bit of goofing around, as you will see. But, these days, rather than just identifying the noun at issue (tree, cat, dog, dirt, etc) Kai has added the possessive -- usually "MINE" or "ME" or "KAILEY'S".... "KAILEY's DOG", "MINE Diaper" (as she tries to change her own diaper). We keep reminding Kailey that very little in this world is actually hers at this point (just you wait, I can hear her answering in her head in response). But, this morning she said, "Mama's Coffee" which sounds more like "Mama's ta-chi". And as we were coming home from breakfast this morning Kai shouted out, "Cookie... C... Cookie". We're pretty sure she was referring to the song C is for cookie.

Kai was excited, as usual, for her weekly camera time -- but, not really very into answering questions this week. So, we just went with it and let her do most of the talking/babbling.
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Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Weekly(ish) Chat

OK -- it's week two of my so-called "weekly" chat, and I'm already a few days late posting! I actually filmed these BEFORE they were due to be posted, but, alas -- we were away this weekend (Yosemite - kick off of Paddle to the Sea -- Kai realized a newfound love of hammocks... they SWING, after all), so... excuses, excuses. Also, the interviews sound a bit like the interviews last week. OK - enough of my excuses. I'll get better at this. But, for now, here are the interviews Kai and I did this week (one with Eric's help because Kai wanted to be interviewed sitting on my lap):

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In addition to our interviews, I also managed (after many, many tries) to get some of Kai's rendition of "Happy Birthday" aka "Happy Day Day" on film. She goes around singing this ALL the time and it is heart-meltingly cute (if I do say so myself). This isn't her best performance -- but, it captures the spirit of her favorite song:

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Adaptable

(tricycle picture, since I didn't have one for the birthday post... totally unrelated to the rest of this post)

Kai has proven to be quite the adaptable child over and over again. Although she is quite intense and focused as she attempts a particular task or engages in an activity, she is amazingly adaptable when it comes to her core schedule and routine. She has never had an attachment to any particular object. And, while she likes a routine and likes to know what to do next, if you change the routine and explain to her that you are changing it -- she'll go along with that as well. Daycare was a good example. There was, literally, NO adjustment period. Na-da. It was like she had been hanging out with a dozen other kids and four other adults her whole life. She just joined right in with the other kids and quickly mastered the routine of the day.

Another example? Her bedtime routine. Eric and I have been letting Kai go to bed with a sippy cup of milk for about a year (ever since Kai was weaned). She doesn't fall asleep with it - just drinks it while we read stories and then she finishes it, hands it to whoever is putting her to bed, curls up and goes to sleep. Our doctor advised some time ago to replace the milk with water so that she doesn't have any milk after brushing her teeth. We resisted, dreading putting Kailey to bed without the milk. We, it turns out, were quite attached to the milk and our notion that it made bedtime easier. Kai, on the other hand, wasn't so attached. This last week, I decided I was willing to deal with the hysterics that I assumed would accompany an attempt to go to sleep without the milk, and handed Kai a glass of milk BEFORE brushing her teeth. "Here's your milk for bedtime... drink it and then we'll brush your teeth and go to bed." Kai looked at me, looked at the milk and then grabbed it and drank a few sips. One thing that helped is that the milk was in a regular plastic cup, not a sippy cup. Kai LOVES anything that is more adult-like. So, she was all about drinking her nighttime milk from a real cup. She drank it and headed into the bathroom, where we brushed her teeth. Then we turned out the lights and headed into her bedroom. "Milk?" Kai asked as she got into bed. Here it comes, I thought. "No. You just had milk and then you brushed your teeth -- so now we'll just read a story." Kai climbed into bed, grabbed a story and bedtime proceeded without another peep about the milk. She was asleep in her usual time. I was amazed.

Kai has done that over and over again in her short years. She is willing to go with a new routine or try something she has never tried before. She is more than willing to change things up.

In this way, she and I are polar opposites. Like any good Taurus, I am quite set in my routines. I like to know exactly what is coming, and if you try to change the routine at the last minute -- like the bedtime routine AS I'M GOING TO BED - I will, to this day, throw a bit of a tantrum.

Kai's way is much better. I am trying to be more like her.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Stories from Daycare

Kai continues to love her new (well, not so new anymore -- she's two months in!) daycare, which we have started to referring to as school (although, maybe that is a bad idea... she'll be in for a rude awakening when she goes to real school someday and realizes it involves more than playing all day with as many trips outside as her little heart desires!) But, anyway, "school" continues to go well. Kai has several friends at this point that she talks about all the time. Her best little friend is a little girl named Ava. When we drive to school in the morning, Kai starts yelling "AVVVaaaaa" "AVVVVaaa" as soon as we get off the freeway at the exit that takes us to her school. And, most evenings when I pick her up, Kai and Ava are in the living room, lying head to head, each with a book and their legs crossed. When you ask Kai about Ava, she says "book" -- I think their favorite thing is to read together. And, both girls have taken to throwing tantrums as we try to extract them from school to go home for the evening. It's cute, minus the tantrums.

Some evenings when we pick Kai up, she's playing outdoors (especially the days that Ava is not at school). It's fun to head out back and play "find Kailey" -- she can be hard to spot among all the children, particularly because she tends to be incredibly absorbed in whatever she is doing (playing on the trikes, building a sand castle, playing basketball). She just blends in with all the other kids... and she is SUCH a KID all the sudden.

One of my favorite parts of school is hearing stories about all the other kids. The other day we picked Kai up and Lauren told us a story from lunchtime. Apparently they were eating chicken for lunch, except the children who are vegetarians who were eating tofu. The little boy eating tofu said, "we don't eat chicken. Chicken are our friends." In response, a little girl said, "not when they're cooked" as she put a big bite of chicken in her mouth.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

HAP-PEE PURT-AY Momm-EEE

Kai's first three word sentence was just shouted from the backseat of the car to wish me a happy birthday... "HAP-Pee PUR-TH-AY MOMM-eeee" she shouted over and over until we realized what she was saying.

Isn't that the sweetest three-word sentence ever?

The Weekly Chat

I've decided to start a weekly feature -- the weekly chat with Kai (although, really, we'll see how long it lasts). But, I want to try to record one (or a few) of our conversations every week, and putting them on the blog will help me to remember to break out the camera. Kai is at that age where her vocabulary is expanding by the day -- every day brings new words that we've never heard her utter before. This week she started saying, "sit" although we aren't totally certain she isn't actually saying "s**t", which is what it sounds like and she doesn't always say it when she seems to be wanting us or anyone else to sit. So, hmmm... (I knew my potty mouth was going to get me into trouble eventually... although, I don't use that particular expletive very often). For the moment, we're treating it as a "sit". Problem solved! In addition to possibly swearing, she has also started talking about colors. She has been able to identify the different colors by pointing to the correct color for some time -- but now she talks about the "blue sky" and "yellow flower" or "orange shoes".

What else? I am not very good at remembering all the new words she is saying -- which is one reason I'm starting this weekly feature. To capture this language explosion and, record some of the conversations we have around here. So, yesterday, when I got home from work, I grabbed the camera and said to Kai, "let's do an interview... mama will ask questions and have the camera to film you -- you answer them." I swear she understands every little thing we say -- she was excited to be the interviewee and when I finished the first video wanted to do it a second time (my goal was to keep it at about a minute). So, without further ado, the first of Kai's weekly chats with Mama:
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