Saturday, June 28, 2008

Kaiya Update- 3 weeks home

Here are some things I want to remember about this time... Kaiya has been home 3 weeks now. I have been with her a little over 1 month. She is amazing to me. I am truly blessed and blown away by how fast she is developing and making progress.


Here are words Kaiya can say in English. Keep in mind this kid refuses to perform and will only bust out with these words when and where she wants to use them. It's quirky and cute. It is definitely baby talk but you can understand her clearly.
Mama, Dada, Kaiya, up, all done (sounds like all gone), hi, look, yogurt, night night, more

She can do baby signs for these words (we just make up our own for what works for us)... all done, hungry, more


When we first met her she could walk but was EXTREMELY wobbly. She fell every 5-10 minutes. She did not know how to bend her knees. It is apparent that she had done the majority of her "walking" around a crib... holding onto the crib rails and shuffling her feet without bending her knees.
She is at this moment zooming around my house like a little expert. We are feeling less and less petrified that we will spend every day at the ER due to her wobbliness. We do still have to be careful putting shoes on her. We will wait till she is a full fledged expert to do that all the time.
When we met Kaiya she could hardly sit on her own unless she was on a hard surface. Her core muscles were very weak. If she was on a chair WATCH OUT! Disaster could happen at any time. If we had her on a couch we had to put pillows around her.
She had no concept of gravity and would dive off of any couch, chair, bed at any time. Fortunately she also had very little concept of how to move past a boundary so you could put a pillow in front of her and she figured she had to stay put. :0)
Now she can sit with no problem anywhere. She can scooch off of a bed and down the stairs and off couches on her belly. No sad little pillow boundary is going to stop this firecracker anymore. She seems to be grasping the concept of cause and effect very quickly. Don't close a drawer on your finger.... don't dive forward when you are sitting on a couch. You get the idea.

Here is Kaiya going down the stairs now... (check out that cute new belly she is sporting!- OH! Don't mind the raisins on the floor and the wreckage in the background. That's just what our house looks like now. It's been Kaiyanized.)

When we met Kaiya I could immediately tell she was bright. She was observant and she wanted to touch everything. From the beginning you could tell she was going to be fun. She was adorable and funny yet very volatile. She did not understand the word no very well- though she learned very quickly. She was confused and upset.

Volatile temper in China....:0)

Still though, we got to see lots of giggles and smiles really quickly. It was funny though- the smiles would only last a fraction of a second for the first few days. Then they slowly got bigger and longer.

Glimpses of her personality in China..(note the ever present spoon that had to be available in China)

Kaiya is a little scientist. You could see her purposefully bang on a table to hear the noise, then touch it, then put her face down on it and then YES, lick it.... Then she would move into the couch with the same process. TOO CUTE!

She is now HILARIOUS!!! She does a little jig and giggles about 20 times a day. She is USUALLY smiling. She knows what a camera and the flip are and will usually ham it up when I pull them out. She is a complete cuddle bug. She LOVES to snuggle!!! She is almost ALWAYS paying attention- looking, thinking, experimenting. She is very obedient and sweet but does know how to throw a good old fashioned temper tantrum occasionally.

She now think being trouble is adorable and funny!

When we first got Kaiya she was dehydrated. She hardly peed and did not poo for the first few days. I could tell there were times she had been hungry. Now I am not saying she starved. I don't think she did. I just think there were many times when she would have kept eating and the meal was over. :0(

I could tell she had almost all her nutrition through a bottle with the nipple cut off. Her tongue still had the reflex to push all the food out of her mouth. She had to learn to eat. The first 2 days she could do one to two grains of rice at a time. She would still choke sometimes.

She was obsessive about food. If she woke up and we didn
't have yogurt- no wait- 3 yogurts ready to shovel into her mouth at break neck speed she would melt down into sobs. This was challenging since she could only eat a TEENY bit at a time and most of it still went down her shirt or out her nose. YES OUT HER NOSE! She still has a hole in the roof of her mouth remember? ;0) So while she was still learning to eat we had a lot of food coming out the nostril. LOL!!
Things like raisins I would tear into two parts or she would choke on it. She could not eat anything that wasn't teeny tiny or mushy. She also had an obsession with spoons. I am not kidding. She wanted to hold every spoon. This included when we went into a restaurant and they had soup spoons on every table. She would YELL at the top of her lungs to hold every spoon. It was as if she needed to be ready to eat at a moments notice. FUN TIMES!

In China... (note the spoons! LOL!)

She also wanted to feed herself but was not yet capable. She had could hold things just fine but had linited coordination in her arms.
The food would just FLY when she got frustrated. SOOOO MUCH FUN while you are in hotels, restaurants, trains and planes in CHINA! Rice and egg would be flying EVERYWHERE!! If I tried to feed her and wouldn't let her feed herself she would YELL at top volume. Kaiya would also yell if she didn't get my food, my mom's food and the neighboring table's food too. She got more food all over the floor and all over herself than in her mouth. I left a lot of big tips and spent a lot more time teaching her how to act than eating during the China trip. It was so embarrassing!

She also has no suction because of her cleft palate. This means she can't suck out of a sippy cup if it has the suction part in it, or through a straw. She can't drink out of a b
ottle unless the nipple is cut off. This made for an interesting job for momma for awhile. :0)

In China... Could only drink a sip of water at a time.
Now Kaiya is a different kid when it comes to food. She has put on about 2 or 3 pounds in the past 4 weeks. She still freaks out if she gets very hungry but we don't have to shovel food first thing in the morning. She will actually turn food down now and say she is all done when there is food on her plate. AWESOME! She can feed herself. She is still a messy two year old but most of it gets in her mouth.

Here we are at Chili's. She is having her first ice cream ever.

She no longer has an obsession with spoons. She likes them but doesn't panic if she isn't holding one. We can go to restaurants with no major issues now. She still will fuss a bit about someone else's food- especially other small children- but for the most part eats her food happily.

Eating in the car by herself now...
She can eat almost anything now. She will chow down on hamburger meat, hand her a slice of turkey or cheese, a box of raisins- whatever. She is awesome.

She has a sports bottle and she can chug water like a champ. Super cute!

When we met Kaiya she was very interested in toys but wasn't sure what to do with them. She also only knew how to play alone. She would smile and laugh but only for a second at a time. Now she will wrestle, giggle, tickle and play with us. She has even started doing imaginary interactive play where she will pretend to give us food and take food and eat it. SO stinking cute.

Kaiya is an awesome sleeper. I ADORE this quality. :0) When we first got her she could NOT be touched when she was trying to sleep. She would yell at me if I tried to touch her when she was sleepy. If we were out during nap time and she could not be laid down she would melt down hysterically. AWFUL!! I would place her on the bed and lay next to her and she would get on her hands and knees and rock her self back and forth furiously and then collapse. Or she would just sit on the bed staring until she just fell over asleep. Most every time she woke up she would just weep. She would look around SOO terribly confused. You could tell she just could not understand where she was. It
was crazy sad to see her.

Fussy in China. I am not allowed to touch her. (note the ever present spoon... LOL!)

Now Kaiya loves to cuddle. She sleeps from about 9pm to 9am if she gets a nap which is about 2pm-3:30pm. She can skip nap sometimes and then she will go to sleep at about 7:30pm. She will still just drift off to sleep by herself. I hold her a minute and then put her in her crib- it's in our room. She will do this objection yell- it's not really upset- it's more like she is just stating her case. It cracks me up... she will do that little yell and then lay down and crash. Sometimes if she is upset or overtired she will do the rocking thing. If she doesn't go to sleep easily we will pull her out and snuggle with her. She is so precious. She just loves to snuggle with mama. She will curl right up against me and smile. Every morning we snuggle. She just giggles and curls up in my arms and says, "mama, mama, mama." It is just the most precious thing.
OK that is all I can think of right now! Any questions about our sweet Kaiya and how she is developing?


elizabeth engelhardt creations said...

Wow, Angel. It's very evident that God wanted her in your family. I am so happy to hear that all is going well. She also sounds quite a bit like Teagan in her 2 year old phase.

We love to hear (read) the updates, and Perryn especially likes them as well. Blessings.

Tricia said...

Hey girl! She is doing so AWESOME and I am just so thrilled for you and your precious family!!

I LOVED the video of Kaiya signing HUNGRY! And her lil happy dance!!


SO precious to snuggle with MaMa!

Tessa said...

Amazing ... amazing ... AMAZING! I can't believe the progress she has shown in 3 weeks! Just imagine what she will be like in 3 months! God is so good ...

Brandi said...

No questions here. . I think you covered everything! ha ha! She is such a cutie pie! Can't wait to meet her in person. Tell her we're waiting!

PS I think you should do a commericial for the Flip!

Nikki said...

Aww, she is precious. I am so glad to see an update on how she is doing! Any pictures of the three girls together yet? Have a great weekend!

Amy said...

I love this post. It gives such a picture Kaiya. What a blessing your family is to her and what a blessing from the Lord she is to your family.

Candy said...

Ok girl you know I have TWO Kids to get up with in the morning RIGHT??? HAHA...Girl I am addicted to the PROGRESS of Kaiya and I watched every video and hung on every word in this post....Love the SPOON ADDICTION. So AWESOME to see what an AWESOME mommy you are and what an AWESOME learner Miss Kaiya is. Sure wish you knew Chinesse because I think she might have been sayin @##^&$& and %^$@#*^ when you were trying to touch her at bed time in China...HA

I think I love most watching her go down the stairs and the Ice FUNNY you all are having a conversation and Kaiya is LIKE totally focused on the ICE CREAM.

Love ya

hope to see you on the 4th you tomorrow

TNKerry said...

Her obsession with spoons cracks me up. And her little wiggle jiggle dance is just the cutest!!!! But, man, that "don't touch me tantrum" on the last video breaks my heart. I am so glad she loves snuggling with you now :)

Jacques & Tara said...

OH are just too awesome at articulating, observing and concluding about your little ones! I LOVE this post... it really gave me great ideas of what progression to watch for when it is our turn. Also... the little video clip of you not being allowed to touch Kaiya - is just too sad. To think that children do not know touch and cuddle is so saddening....

I can`t wait to have more little ones to cuddle with!

Thanks for the awesome update!

Anonymous said...

So interesting to read about all the big changes in such a small amount of time. You must be so proud of little Kaiya!
Isn't it amazing how much a child can accomplish when given the right opportunities? It makes me feel bad for all of the children in the world who won't ever receive the care and love of a family.
Kaiya is precious- what fun to see her grow and change! Thanks for sharing.


HoustonMamaJenn said...

She is so awesome Angel. What a cutie.

Billie said...

thank you thank you for this. i am actually printing this out to read to my hubby and take along to china. not that our child will react the same but it will be encouraging to read progress in the midst of an all out tantrum.

thanks angel for all of your time doing this!