Friday, December 19, 2008

One moment that will always make me laugh

So I was thinking back on how such an amazing year this has been with little Kaio. He's brought many joys into our lives (and a couple sleepless nights, but sometimes he cannot help it ;)
But one moment that stood out was when we were in Brasil back in February/March: Kaio was about 5/6 months at the time, starting to change from a tiny, helpless baby, into a more-mature baby, learning to express himself, focusing on objects, learning to use his hands, etc. This particular moment, we were at a mall in Porto Alegre; Annelies, her mother, Kaio and I went shopping. I put Kaio into the Baby Bjorn (it's the carrier where he is held tight to your belly, facing forward). As Annelies and Fanny were discussing the intracacies of some particular haute couture, I had to run to the loo. After washing my hands, I reached for a paper towel to dry them. As I grabbed a paper towel, Kaio BURSTED into an uncontrollable laugher! I'm not sure if he thought that was the funniest thing he had ever seen or if he was still just learning how to control that whole "laughter-as-one-of-my-expressions" sort of thing.
So, pushing the issue, I grabbed another paper towel. More hilarity and giggles from Kaio! Another paper towel, sure enough, more laughing! Of course, with this little 6-month old creature hanging on my belly, laughing like a little madman, I started cracking up too. There was another guy in the restroom who started laughing as well (you just don't see that every day).
Anyhow, wanting to share my laughing son with the world, I grabbed a few paper towels and headed back into the mall to show Annelies and Fanny. By that point, all I had to do was grab a few paper towels and smack them between my hands - and he would burst into a hearty belly laugh. So I found Annelies and Fanny, quickly trying to get their attention. "Uh oh, is everything OK?" they said? "Watch THIS!" I responded as the little man started giggling again like crazy.
Well, this carried on for about 5 minutes in this little jewelry shop in the mall; the shopkeepers were cracking up, Fanny & Annelies were having a hoot, little Kaio thought those paper towels were the funniest thing since sliced bread, and I was giggling away the whole time.
As Kaio has grown up a bit more and learned how to control his emotions a bit better, he is no longer overcome by a 7-minute bout of the giggles. That said, when he's in just the right mood (usually just a bit sleepy, but not to the point of being flat-out tired), the randomest things will trigger a good 45-seconds of laughter - the other day, it was Vinny getting rambunctious in the house, other times it's a loud noise, etc...
The belly laughter of Kaio is certainly one of the big joys in my life now :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sick family!

Kaio's personality is coming out more and more. He has a fake 'cry' and a fake 'laugh' - it is so cute and I can only laugh! He is also very playful and loves to get attention. He does play by himself nicely, but he also comes to play with us when he realizes we are in the same room.
He walks (or crawls - depending on his mood) and comes to our legs, stretches out his arms and opens and closes his hands... it is impossible not to pick him up!!!! He is walking more and more by himself and is realizing it is easier to hold something and walk then crawl and drag something along!!!
The sign language is also going well and we are currently teaching him 'help' (when he squeaks and cries to get something done - open or reach a toy/box, something is stuck, etc) and he picked it up in 2 days!
We had a nice weekend and Kaio and mommy went Christmas shopping. This included a nice break at Starbucks for some cake, playing and recharging. Overall it went really well, Kaio behaved for 3 hrs and I got the majority of my Christmas shopping done!
On Tuesday morning Jason and I woke up feeling poorly (British version of saying - sick!) Jason called in sick at work but I had to go into work due to some important meetings. On Wednesday the same story however this time Kaio also has a slight fever. I just hope we will all feel well to go to Brazil on Saturday!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Last shots ----- until 4 years

On Wednesday I took Kaio to get his last two shots before he is 4 years.
I tried (unsuccessfully) to get Jason to go since I have always taken him for his shots and I did not want him to get 'upset' with me.
We got to the Dr.'s office and he was smiling to everyone, playing, being curious - being Kaio. When we went into the examination room, he was playful and did not recognize the nurse that has given him his previous shots (he kept smiling at her). He was fine when we weighed him (he is now 9.4kg - 9% - which shows he is 'recovering' from his low weight.) When I exposed his thighs and held him tight, he still smiled at the nurse and it only 'struck' him when the needle went into his thigh! He screamed and cried for only a couple of seconds. I hugged him and he felt better. Then a second shot went into his other thigh and he looked at me - "why are you allowing her to do this to me... AGAIN!" After crying a bit longer (30sec) he was fine and was back to his old self.
He did not have any major reaction this time around and he is now protected!
He has been SO much fun. (as usual!) We play hide-and-seek, building blocks (until a couple of weeks he would only destroy what we build but now he is actually building things), reading stories (he has is favorite books), etc. He is so smart and really understanding so many things!

Monday, December 08, 2008

smart baby!

I read somewhere that a baby around 14 months understands around 25 words. I first thought - 'oh no, Kaio is behind!!! We need to catch up!' but then I started thinking about the words he "knows". He is (of course) not able to actually say them, but when you say the words he acknowledges and reacts to them. He clearly understands the following:

  1. flor (flower)
  2. luz (light)
  3. Kaio (his name)
  4. doggy
  5. mamae (mommy)
  6. daddy
  7. Vinny
  8. food
  9. water
  10. more
  11. all done
  12. escovar os dente (brush the teeth)
  13. aviao (air plane)
  14. baby
  15. passarinho (birdy)
  16. uva (grape)
  17. sapatos (shoes)
  18. bola (ball)
  19. not for the baby (yes, he does understand this and he stops and started doing a 'fake' cry for a couple of seconds and then just does something else!)
  20. not in the mouth
  21. beijo (kiss)
  22. abraco (hug)
  23. livro (book)
  24. yogurte
  25. Tchau (good bye)
  26. Milk
  27. Dance (he bends his knees and actually dances!)

There is a fare share of English and Portuguese words and it might lead to confusion in the future, but it seems to all make sense in his little head!
This weekend we went to a Christmas craft market an hour by car form London. Kaio behaved marvellously. However, on the way back, buckled in his seat, he did the 'all done' sign. He was 'done' with the whole care trip and wanted to get out of his seat. It really showed he understands what 'all done' means, but now needs to understand that not everything can be ' all done' when we want it to be! (wouldn't life be easy!?!)
In two weeks we will be on our way to Brazil for Christmas. We can't wait! Kaio absolutely LOVES his bath time and will have such a blast in the pool! It will be great to spend 3 weeks with him!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Mussels in Brussels...

This past weekend Kaio and I went to Belgium (without Jason). It was a very interesting adventure travelling alone (on the Eurostar) with Kaio. He was a lot of fun and behaved really well, however I had to be creative to keep him entertained for 3 hours! On the way to Belgium we were placed in business class so I was able to entertain him with food as they served a nice breakfast. On the way home, Sunday night, he loved just playing with me and looking at himself in the ‘mirror' (the window) Moeke turned 89 and Oma was also in Belgium. It was so nice to see the cousins together again. Kaio is now actually able to play with them and they really had a great time. Oma was also very happy to see the grandchildren all together and she got to sleep with all three in the same room! (which was a bit of a challenge but adorable!) Kaio really likes Moeke, he kept smiling at her and sat on her lap nicely. We also saw some of my friends and other family members, everyone was so impressed in how well behaved he was (he was very independent and happy to play with his cousins while I was catching up with everyone). They also believe Kaio is starting to look more like me! On Sunday, for Moeke's birthday we went to a local restaurant and I, as a good Belgian, had mussels. Kaio was offered some chicken from Ana Julia, which he refused but when we offered him French fries and mussels, he devoured them! Such a good Belgian (the only thing missing was a Duvel) and before we left Belgium he had a good chunk of a waffle. Kaio started to play around with facial expression, frowning his brows, fake laughing and crying. He is also doing really well on the sign language. He clearly uses (and understands):
- all done
- more
- food
- airplane
- milk
We are still working on 'drink' and recently started 'sleep'