Thursday, December 18, 2014

Dessert, Defined

On Tuesday after dinner Kailey said to me, "Mama, can I pleeeassseeee have dessert?  I haven't had dessert in SOOO long."

I replied, "Kailey! You just had cookies and brownies after your winter performance last night."

She agreed and added, "And today at our Jazzerettes celebration I had skittles and cookies and popcorn!"

"OK, then what do you mean you haven't had dessert in so long?" I asked.

"MAMA," she retorted, "Dessert is something you have after DINNER.  It's a treat after you eat your DINNER.  Those were just treats I had for other things.  They were NOT dessert."

Dessert.  Defined.  This kid is a lawyer in the making.

(I should add, I looked up the definition and she's right -- it is the final course of a meal so, technically, those other treats were not dessert. Glad to see her mastering the English language!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Kai is not really a performer.  Some kids will dance and sing and act for just about anyone.  They like to show off their tricks and regale an audience.  Not Kailey.  She likes to perfect her skills behind closed doors and, even once perfected, she isn't one for putting them on display. 

That said, school has been helpful in drawing Kai's performing abilities out.  Since Kindergarten, she's been in settings where she was able to perform as part of a group.  Kai is emboldened by having her friends and classmates around her.

Her first few drama performances in Kindergarten, she was still timid when she was on stage.  But, as she got more performances under her belt, we started to see her let loose when on stage.  During Kai's Opera Performance at the end of her Kindergarten year, she didn't seem nervous at all.

That trend has continued this year.  Over the weekend, Kai had her Jazzerettes performance and - seriously - she was on fire.  She attacked those songs.  One of the other moms said to me, "your little white girl has RYTHYM."  She really did.  I'm trying to get a copy of the video so I can put it on the blog.  She owned that performance. 

Then, yesterday, she had the winter performance at her school.  They recited a poem "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow" -- and, again, Kai was effervescent on stage.  She was having such a good time.  And one of the dads said, "Kai could be a talk show host!"  Her charisma was shining through.

Not sure this link will be good for all of time -- but this is the link to her performance: 

I'm so glad she is learning how to get up in front of an audience and perform.  It's not easy.  It took me until I was well into adulthood and having to do public speaking on a regular basis that I got comfortable with being the center of attention.  And, Kai still hasn't moved to being the sole performer or speaker.  But, she's come a long way. 

After the performance Kai told us she was scared but that being scared helps her to be even better.  She has always been a kid that can overcome any challenge -- since her earliest days as a 3 pound baby surrounded by the lights and noises in the NICU to her now 6-year old self that can command a stage and draw everyone's eyes to her.  She is a remarkable kid. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Crawling and Eating and Kissing

Alden is such a fun baby these days -- except at night.  At night he is not a fun baby.  Although, to his credit, he keeps a VERY precise schedule.  He goes to sleep at 7:30 PM.  I transfer him to the pack and play so I can go downstairs and finish cleaning and hang out with Kai and Eric for a half hour before she goes to bed.  Then, at 8 PM, I return to our room to have some down time/iPad time while Eric puts Kai to bed.  Alden wakes up and wants to come into our bed at about 8:30, but snuggles right in and falls back asleep.  Then, he wakes up wanting to eat at 12:30, 3:30, 5:30 and is up for the day at 6:30.  I swear, I don't even need to look at the clock.  He is like a clock.  A clock that is slowly driving me batty. 

Last night he actually missed his 12:30 wake up but he has ME programmed, so I woke up anyway and then couldn't get back into a deep sleep because I was just waiting for him to roust.  He finally woke up to eat at 2 AM and then was up again at 4 AM and 6 AM.  So, he threw himself off a bit too.

The nights have definitely been rough.  But, the rest of the time he is a joy.  He's so happy -- although loud.  He is LOUD.  You cannot ignore Alden.  He doesn't cry when he wants something.  He reserves his cries for being hungry or tired or hurt.  That's it.  If he's crying, it's definitely one of those three things.  But, when he wants something (another bite of food, to be put down, to get out of whatever contraption he's in so he can crawl around, etc) he YELLS.  He just hollers.  And he keeps hollering until his wishes are granted.  We had friends over this weekend and he was hollering and they said, "is he upset?"  Well... not exactly.  But, he does want something! 

Usually these days he wants to be let loose.  He is serious about practicing his standing skills and annoyed when he's trapped in the bouncer, the high chair, or someone's arms and unable to practice getting up on his own. 

These videos are about a week old -- now he can pull himself up on almost anything and no longer has to search for the perfect place to accomplish his stunt!

He can also crawl now.  Not the commando crawl he's been doing since he was just shy of 5 months.  The regular crawl on his hands and knees... although, he still prefers the commando but, just as he reaches his desired destination (usually some object), he pulls himself up onto his hands and knees and does a proper crawl in order to get to where he's going.  Not sure why he only ends with the hands/knees crawl -- but, that's his style.

The other thing he is really into right now is feeding himself.  I am so paranoid about babies and eating.  I know, I know -- he's SUPPOSED to learn to eat.  He has 7 teeth.  He can crawl on his hands and knees.  He can pick up his own food and get it to his mouth.  He's ready for something with a bit more consistency than a finely blended milkshakes.  I know.  But, I don't like it.  I finally gave him so puffed cereal yesterday and he was STOKED.  I would only give him one at a time, but he was so happy to get to pick up his own food, get it into his mouth and chew.  He entertained himself for an hour eating one puff at a time.  I also let him eat a banana without mushing it up first and he quite enjoyed that as well.  Letting him eat something that can't just slide down his throat is not my favorite thing, but it is one of his!

Alden is also starting to say a few words and understand language.  He says, "mama" and "dada" and it's clear he is referring to us when he says it.  He also gives me big, open mouthed kisses when I say, "Alden, can I have a kiss?"  They are slobbery messes of kisses -- but I love them. 

This year has gone so fast -- I cannot believe he's closing in on nine months.  But, the eating, standing, kissing, and first signs of speech are clear indicators that this baby is zooming towards toddlerhood.  I wish I could just bottle his babyness -- he's been the sweetest of the sweet babies.  I'll miss it when it's gone. 

Family Pictures

For the first time, we got professional photographs taken of our family.  Since Eric and I never had a wedding or any other formal event, we've never had professional pictures even of just the two of us.  And, we haven't had them with the kids either.  My boss is a great photographer and she took baby pictures of Kai and Alden, but this is the first time we have pictures of all of us. 

I never get around to these kinds of things -- but, another mom at Kai's school organized a "photo party".  Basically, each family reserves 20 minutes of time for their photo shoot.  You just show up for your 20 minutes, pay the photographer your portion of the sitting fee, and then get a cd with all the prints from your sitting.

Now I am kicking myself for never having gotten around to this before -- I love the pictures she took!  My goal is to do this much more often in the future. 


Looking through these -- it is craazzzyyyyyy how long Alden is! In the picture where Eric is holding him -- he's the size of a two year old, practically.  8 months.  He's 8 months in these pictures.