Monday, February 28, 2011

18 Month Update

How is it possible that a year and a half has passed since this beautiful, sweet, amazing baby boy came into our lives? He has charmed us every day and we fall more in love with him by the minute. We don't have a lot of photos this month, but we sure do have a lot of updates!

Kaden will now (sometimes) smile when asked for photos - while adorable, it doesn't quite make for the best portraits. These were our first couple of tries:

If he's not "smiling" at the camera, this is what you get - he looks dumbfounded, no?

Since I wasn't too excited about how any of those turned out - I mean this is his 18 month portrait for goodness sake, we needed to make it a good one - I made one last attempt. As stubborn as both his mom and dad, Kaden wouldn't even look at the camera...he was entirely too busy reading his books. Reading continues to be one of his most favorite pastime, and his reading chair is one of his very favorite spots. Every morning, as soon as he gets out of his crib, he beelines it to his bookshelf, drags a selection of his favorites off the shelves, and sits in his chair to "read" them. I literally have to tear him away so that he will eat his breakfast. In the lower right hand corner of the photo, you can see some of the stacks. We've taken to monthly trips to the library so that I don't get bored reading the same books over and over and over again. His favorites? You guessed it...any and all books about trucks, buses, or fire engines!

Kaden's eighteenth month started with the Chinese New Year - the Year of the Rabbit, I think. Kaden's Ba Noi and Ba Thuy sent him Li Xi (little red envelopes containing fresh dollar bills). Kaden got very excited about stuffing them, one by one, into his piggy bank. And, after every last one was in, he jumped up repeating his most often used phrase, "more more." Hopefully it was just the act of stuffing his piggy bank as opposed to pure unadulterated greed!

At our local Vietnamese restaurant, Kaden enjoyed his first chopsticks experience. While he didn't manage to get even a single piece of food into his mouth, he loved playing with the new utensils. Unfortunately, because Kaden continues to insist upon a vegetarian diet, eating out is still a challenge.

President's Day gave Kevin a morning out of the office, so he joined us at music class. Kaden was super proud to show off his "Da-Da" to all his friends. Other than to get an instrument, I don't think Kaden left his lap. It was a fun treat for all of us.

Kaden has grown from a baby into a monkey. I briefly left him alone in his room, and this is what I walked in to find. Yep...that is Kaden, standing on top of our filing box and a big box of diapers grabbing at the clothes hanging in his closet. Another of Kaden's favorite ways to give me a heart attack is to climb up on the gliding nursing stool in his room and pretend he is surfing. He is also able to climb up on the couch and the leather toy-box that is serving as our coffee table (yes, sadly our beautiful glass and iron coffee table has been replaced with a more kid friendly decor). Everyday it seems he is able to climb atop something or reach an item that the day before was just outside his grasp; he is definitely keeping us on our toes. Ahhhh...little boys, they just don't sit still!!!

On Valentine's Day Kaden and I had a date with Elmo at Sea World. Kaden was in awe of the big fuzzy guy and kept trying to convince him that he needed to come with us to see the rest of the park.

We also went to the San Diego Natural History Museum to see the Lizard and Snakes: Alive! exhibit. He liked seeing the live snakes and lizards, thoroughly enjoyed the Fossil Mysteries exhibit, but spent most of his time time exploring the bench in the front hallway and the always exciting elevator. I should have known...he can't pass a bench without wanting to take a seat and watch the world go by (my little old man), and any trip to the mall or library requires at least one elevator "ride." Hopefully, one day, he'll gain a little more interest in the culture these museums have to offer. Until then, we'll take full advantage of the free escalator and elevator rides.

The airspace over La Jolla is constantly filled with helicopters, small aircraft, gliders, and an occasional jet. Every time Kaden hears anything that may be an aircraft he stops in his tracks to look up to the sky. The photo below kinda captures his glee when he spots one of those magical flying machines.

Finally, Kaden got his big boy car seat! While he is still facing backwards, he loves the additional space and the throne-like position his new seat provides. He also loved the gigantic box in which it arrived!

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things:

- Kaden spinning around in circles until he gets so dizzy he falls down. Then getting right back up and doing it again.
- How he walks on his tiny tip toes.
- How he loves walking backwards.
- His ever-expanding vocabulary: Truck, Baby (which is anyone in a stroller, no matter the age), Andie (his very best friend and most repeated word), Elmo (until now it was LaLaLa, like the "Elmo Song"), Buh-Bye (said like a Southern debutante), Nigh-nigh, Pop.
- His new sounds all with accompanying arm movements: the choo-choo of a train; the chest-beating ooh-ooh-ooh of a gorilla.
- His idea of playtime: flushing the toilet and waving good-bye to the water; pretend his cars are racing around the living room floor or careening off the cliffs of the couch; cooking gourmet meals with my pots and pans; washing his hands at his kitchen sink; me singing the teapot song as I brew myself a cup of tea.
- How he thinks his vitamins are special treats of some-sort or another.
- His New Routines: at bedtime, after we've had our bath, read our books, and said our prayers, Kaden wants to wave and say night-night to almost everything in his room ("night-night lamp, night-night piggy-bank, night- night Bonzo..."); when Kaden wakes up from his naps, he leans in to get a kiss from me, then he makes sure Mr. Monkey gets a kiss too.
- It's indescribable, but when Kaden squeezes something, he squeezes with his whole body. The face he makes is priceless and one that I hope will be seared in my mind forever and ever.
- But, by far, my very favorite thing is how this tiny little man has absolutely zero inhibitions: he walks into every situation as though he owns it; he'll hug a total stranger just to see their smile; he props his baby feet on you while you're reading to him; and he snuggles in under my arm as if that is right where he belongs, a spot made just for him...and, you know what, I believe it was.

It's the little things...there's nothing bigger, is there?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sea World

Costco had a year pass to SeaWorld that seemed too good to pass up. We took our first trip there recently and Kaden loved it. His favorite parts were watching the dolphins swim right up to the glass where he was standing and petting the velvety sting rays. While he thought the Shamu show was cool, he didn't like that he had to sit still.

The biggest hit, however, was the Sesame Street themed kid play area. They had rides, water games, obstacle courses and everything else a kid could think of wanting to play with. As soon as we arrived he gave Elmo a great big kiss!

I have a feeling we will spend a lot of time with the marine life that inhabit SeaWorld.