Monday, January 27, 2014

Kate with Critters and Milestones at 23 Months

Photos taken in September at The Farm about ten minutes from our home. Kate was 19 months old.

Last week for the first time, Kate came up to me and said "poo poo." Once I confirmed it, I told her to go lie down. "Change you?" she asked, and then lay down and patiently waited for a diaper change.

While in the bathtub a week or so ago, Kate was holding the duck and started saying "Ga Ga" for quack quack (usually she says "dah dah"). I was so excited because she's been fronting all her velar sounds (/g/ and /k/ become /t/ and /d/ and sometimes /b/). We started some vocal play, and Kate imitated all kinds of /k/ and /g/ syllables and words. It was so fun. That particular phonological process isn't always an easy one to break, so I'm glad she's starting to figure it out on her own.

In the past couple days, she has really taken off with monitoring her own sounds and correcting herself. Milk has gone from "moots" to "mick," Book was "buh" and is now "book", Blanket has gone from "baby" to "baybit" to "baykick" to "baybick" (still figuring that one out). Duck went from "dut" to "duck," Pig from "p p p" to "pid" to "big," Cow from "dow" to "gow," and Doggy from "dod" to "doggy." It's really exciting to the speech pathologist in me, but it's a little bittersweet. For the moment, she still calls herself "Tate," though, so that makes me happy. 

She has started saying some phrases. For the most part, they only count as one word utterances because she always uses all the words together, but they are still fun. She says there she is!, open it, change you, all done, and all gone.

This morning after her dad left, she walked around the kitchen saying, "Daddy home? Daddy home?" She does put two words together on occasion--it's happening more and more often--and this was a new combination. Very sweet.

She is starting to grasp the concept of conversations more, and she'll use whatever words she has to engage people in conversation with her. Usually this takes the form of her labeling things, the person repeating, and her saying "yeah!"

Kate is intensely agreeable. She says "yeah" to just about anything. Even though it's usually a back-channel response (when she MEANS it, you can tell), it makes saying things to her a delight because she always affirms your statement.

Jay's parents gave us a beautiful kitchen table as a wedding present, and, in keeping with the current style, it is counter-height. This means that anyone shorter than Jay or his likewise freakishly tall relatives looks like a hobbit when perched on our kitchen chairs. I've gotten used to feeling like a foot-dangling five year old during meal times. In the past month or so, Kate has taken to scaling these mini-Everests and wreaking havoc on whatever goodies were ill-advisedly left out on the table. Once, she created fractals with fistfuls of sugar, and the creases in her pants caused her to literally spread sweetness all over the house.

In a recent coup toward freedom and independence, she has also taken to dragging the heavy chairs across the dining room and all over the kitchen, their wooden legs screeching in protest against the tile floor, Kate's eyes barely peering over the elevated seat. She explores cupboards, counters, sink, and pantry with equal interest and ignorance of danger. We've had many a close shave with knives in drawers, raw chicken bits in the sink, and open pill bottles on the counter. 

Parenting is an adventure.

Friday, January 10, 2014


{October 2013; 19 months}

On a fiercely hot October day, Jay and I took Kate to a pumpkin patch. For a couple bucks, we got a ticket for the petting zoo and a little cup of food pellets, so Jay braved the sheep, goats, and chickens with Kate while I watched outside, camera in hand. 

They were immediately set upon by an eager sheep and goat. A couple of times, the sheep tried climbing up Jay to get to the food. Luckily, they were relatively gentle with Kate (which is good, because there is a place somewhere deep in my psyche that is scarred by aggressively hungry animals in petting zoos).

Kate gleefully baa-ed indiscriminately at the sheep and goats and, when in reach of their woolly bodies, she ran her hands across their coarse fur saying "soft, soft" ("sah, sah").

After Jay had had his fill of dodging animal poop and keeping Kate from being trampled, he signaled the worker to open the gate to let them out. Kate followed him at first, but then she planted her feet defiantly, said "no, no!" and ran back toward the animals. Jay tried a few more times, unsuccessfully, to herd her through the gate, but Kate toddled after the sheep calling "baa! baa!"

We eventually got her through the gate and away from her new animal friends. 

We attempted a squinty-eyed picture in the blazing sun, then loaded ourselves back into the car. I'm pleased to report that none of the overpriced pumpkins found their way home with us. (Good luck to us next year when Kate inevitably decides she HAS to have one and the reasonably priced grocery store models just will not do.)

A couple days later, in the spirit of celebrating fall, Kate and I again braved the ridiculously high temperatures and met up with the Simmons' at Gilcrease Orchard. We hitched a ride on the tractor-pulled trailer and feasted on fresh apple cider donuts, our fingers burning from the hot oil on their crisp exteriors. 

While my fall-loving soul yearns for vibrant dry leaves and crisp October afternoons, we made the most of things. It was a lovely October.