Wednesday, July 28, 2010

1 Year Old!

Kaleia Shalom at one year:
  • Weight: 18# 6oz. (10th percentile)
  • Height: 29.5 inches (50th percentile)
  • Teeth: 6 (two bottom and four top), but working on #7
  • Words: Shoosh (soother), Bye-bye, Uh-oh, (Mama, Papa, Kiss have made an occasional appearance but are not consistent)
  • Signs: All Done, Milk, More, Nigh-Night, Bye-Bye, Change
  • Kaleia is not walking yet, but she rapidly scurries across the ground by either bear-crawling or with a knee-foot-combo crawl. When she pauses, stands, neck out-stretched, she reminds us of a meerkat surveying her land before taking off again.
I'm not sure about her developmental checkpoints, because her doctor's appointment is not until September. I do know that she loves to throw things. Her interest in books is increasing. She now points at objects that interest her and can point to family members correctly. She pretends to talk on the phone and LOVES babies! At one, Kaleia is sweet and laid-back until something does not go her way, then she passionately lets the offender know of her displeasure. We're looking forward to the adventure of year 2, with all of its special moments and parenting lessons.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

This girl loves her chocolate cake!

For more pictures from our family birthday celebration, go to our flickr site or click on the slideshow on the sidebar.

Friday, July 23, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you are inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

California Adventures!

Last Thursday, the girls and I flew to California to visit Brian. The weekend happened to be the halfway point in our time apart, but we primarily went to celebrate his 30th birthday.

We stayed in Brian's APU housing which is a two bedroom modular home, i.e. "the mods." I didn't want Magnolia to think Papa had another home, so I explained to her that is was his hotel while he was at school. She loved staying in Papa's "Who-tel."

Brian got a lot less sleep with us early risers and his late school nights. But he loved having his girls around to read to him and "put him to sleep."

Luckily, our visit coincided with a few days of lighter school responsibilities. We walked around APU and enjoyed each other's company.

We took Brian out for Thai food and frozen yogurt on his birthday. Then the following night we had a potluck with friends from his program.

I brought in my suitcase a still-in-the-box snap-up kiddie pool and some sidewalk chalk. We spent hours trying to stay cool in the pool and filling the walkway with pictures. The families of a few of Brian's classmates joined us a couple of times and we all made new friends.
Sad to leave, Maggie and I filled Brian's porch with messages and pictures for him to remember us by.

While the flight to begin our trip was a breeze, the flight home was more of an adventure. It was a packed flight, which meant Kaleia couldn't have her own seat...which meant I was her jungle gym and restraint system. After wrangling her for an hour she also decided to blow out her diaper. Thankfully, I packed an extra change of clothes this time. The three of us -- Magnolia wanted to go potty too -- crammed into the phone-booth sized airplane bathroom. Luckily, it was equipped with a change table. Unluckily, we hit turblence as I was trying to keep squirmy Kaleia on the table without sliming me.

We survived and we're happy to be home, but we're definitely wishing Papa were here too.

Friday, July 16, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you are inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in the comments for all to find and see.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Kaleia Shalom Turns 1!

We celebrated your special day first with a present...

You got to talk to your Papa on the phone. He wished that he could be with you on your birthday. We missed him too, but in a couple of days, we get to celebrate with him in California.

Later, Mama and Maggie took you out to lunch. Then, Nana joined us for some ice cream at Mallard. Banana-Blueberry was in your cone, but you sampled all of ours.

(Pointing your finger at your mouth is how you sign eat. You loved the ice cream!)

After a good rest, we brought a party to Mama's soccer game -- pizza and cupcakes! All the kids at the game made you cards and were very excited to celebrate your birthday!
You did not meticulously pick off the frosting like your sister did, but instead shoved the entire mini-cupcake in your mouth. Unfortunately, we had camera (operator) failure so we don't have any good pictures.

Happy Birthday Gremmi-Bear!
You have brought so much joy and happiness to us in your first year!

Papa, Mama, and Magnolia love you very much.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Wandering the Farmer"s Market

We weave our way through the crowds of people drawn out by the late-t0-arrive Northwest summer and the prospect of fresh local goods. My eyes jump from stall to Magnolia, stall to Magnolia, trying to see what is available this week at the farmer’s market while not losing sight of my independent toddler.

“All-by-myself” is her theme lately. I have the double stroller just in case, but as I expected she wants to walk.

A woman steps between us, oblivious of our invisible bond. “Mama, where are you?” I lean around. Her head moves side to side, scanning for me. Our eyes reconnect. Safe.

Magnolia doesn't wander. In new settings, she is practically glued to my side. Slowly, she warms up and her shyness wears off, but she always checks in. Brian and I laugh at the idea of using the monkey backpack/kid leash we were given when she was born. It is still in her closet unopened.

A couple more times the gap between us widens as musicians, colorful flags, and other kids enjoying treats distract Magnolia. Each time I pause, call her name, and she rejoins me by the stroller.

We wander through the market this way until the girls get hungry. Pizza with pineapple is Maggie's choice and I feed Kaleia a jar of babyfood from home. We watch two young girls, armed with cello and ukelele, attempt to entertain the feeding throng. It is obvious this is their first time playing together and I find their conversation more entertaining than their music. "Want to try this one?" "It's okay if you sing in a different key than I play." "You know how to beat box! Let's do it!" "Want to make up a song about strawberries?"

Now, it is my turn to eat, but Kaleia’s awake time is nearly up. So to make my decision easier with less zigzagging down the busiest aisle of the market, I choose to go to the cheapest vendor with the shortest line. Hempler's Hot Dogs it is -- no line up and $2.75. I order my polish dog and hand over my money.

Kaleia starts crying so I reach down to give her a cup of milk, and look around for Mags. I don’t see her. "No worries," I think, "She can't be far." Casually, I call her as the hot dog man gives me my change.

No cute blond head appears.

I call again. Now the hot dog man is trying to hand me my unimportant hot dog as my head bobbles around searching the sea of people for my daughter. I take the dog and try to position the stroller in such a way so I can see the crowd better, bumping into the man behind me. He smiles at Kaleia and makes some comment about me having my hands full. I apologize and explain that I am looking for my two-year old. I continue calling, calling.

No answer.

My cries turn to panic as my little girl that doesn't wander off is lost. This is the scene in the movie where the audience knows what happened to the little girl, but the mom does not. I wish someone would just tell me which way to look.

A nice family offers to watch my stroller while I go look for my two year old. I take off into the crowd heading back the way we've just come, imagining that she's wandering scared, looking for me. Our eyes don't meet. No, she's been taken! What will I tell Brian? I'm going to be one of those moms with their kid on a milk carton. Now, I've left Kaleia with complete strangers. What if I lose them both?

Magnolia! Magnolia! Maggie!

I'm not shy anymore, nor am I polite as I shove my way through looking for my little girl.

I round the corner, heading for customer service. I'm almost to the opposite side of the market now! An older woman says "Here she is." And I think, "How would you know?" But she's right! There she is! How did she get so far, so fast?!

As I scoop her up, I hear "Do you want to see another magic trick?" from the teenage busker entertaining my little wanderer. She was his only audience -- besides the older woman who was probably his mom -- but I don't care.

Making the way back to my stroller, my eyes well up. "You scared Mama." My mind flits to my approaching visit to California, the airport and that monkey leash.

We return to the hot dog stand where Kaleia is happily sipping her milk and I thank the family for watching her. I retrieve my cold hot dog from Magnolia's stroller seat and place her securely in her place. Then we make our way to Ralf's Bavarian Bakery. I need some chocolate. Sitting on the pavement sharing a treat with my special girl, I am thankful.

Friday, July 9, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you are inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in the comments for all to find and see.