All Things Kate - archived



Kate is growing in leaps and bounds in communicating. She's picking up more signs and words every day. What's really fun for me is teaching her how to use the words she can say. Like, early this week I was reading a duck book and Kate started saying, "Quack! Quack!" so I taught her to answer "What does a duck say?" with "Quack!" There's a lot more important things I'd like Kate to say than animal sounds, but when she does say random things, it's fun to give them context for her. And non-verbal communication is a hoot. While I was typing this, Kate walked in and started whining. "What's the matter, Kate? What do you want to play now?" And she started dancing. "Do you want me to put on a fun CD for you to dance to?" and she smiled, grabbed my hand and led her into her room where she has a CD player. Then I put on They Might Be Giants and we danced to her delight.


Toys Kate Digs (or, what to buy for a first birthday)

The Classics
* A bouncy ball. I got Kate a medium-sized purple bouncy ball (about the size of a basketball) from a drug store for a few bucks. She loves it! She spends time every day kicking and chasing it, playing catch, rolling it, etc. She has other balls, but none are as fun (or cheap!) as the traditional bouncy ball.
* A doll. She enjoys playing with the doll, carrying it around, cuddling it, and kissing its little face. I recommend a soft doll with embroidered facial features so they can't hurt themselves (or others, or the doll...) by throwing it around. My parents got one for Kate that's a good size (about 12") at Target or somewhere for about $10. The soft ones are hard to find, but worth the hunt.
* A red wagon. This is a big gift, but I think of it as a classic. Kate has a radio flyer discovery wagon and she LOVES riding in it (and pushing it inside.) It's absolutely huge: big enough for Kate to sit in in with her legs out and me to sit Indian style without touching each other. We could definitely haul 3-4 kids in there!

The Educational and the Imaginative
* a bead maze. I bought one similar to this at Target a few months ago, and Kate likes to sit and move the beads. It had three different wire loops and 7 or 8 beads per loop, which makes it interesting enough to use for at least another year. It's been neat to see her progress to moving them further and further along and through more complicated loops. She likes someone else to sit with her while she does it, but she certainly does get a lot of use out of it.
* haba dream journey. Kate just got this and it's already a hit! Haba is a German toy manufacturer that makes high quality wooden and fabric toys that are classy and classic. Anything you buy from them is going to be top notch quality, interesting to kids, and the sort of thing that people save for their grandkids. I am lusting over the nativity set currently.
* a playsilk. If you want to get a REALLY cool gift, get a playsilk! Kate loves her playsilk, she will walk around with it playing peekaboo, stroking it and rubbing her face against it (what can I say? The girl knows her fabrics) and hiding things under it. It's definitely in the top three most played with toys. She has a really pretty starflower from in orange, pink, purple and blue. It folds up way smaller than my fist, so it's great for stuffing in the diaper bag or purse for entertainment when out and about. I'm sure it'll get lots of use in the future as a superhero cape, a doll swaddler... Barb at supersilks is awesome (the pictures don't do her justice). She just had a really big sale so her in stock store is pretty empty, but just email her about a custom silk.

And when all else fails...
* books. No kid can have enough books. Kate loves them and is building her library aggressively.


Beach Pics are Up!

See Kate the beach bum here.



In the last couple weeks, Kate has started saying "Whoa!" and "Wow!" all the time. It's hilarious. For example, this morning, I gave her a big ball to play with and she said, "Ball!" "Yes, Kate, that's right! That's a ball!" Then she proceeded to throw, kick and roll the ball around the room, chasing it and saying "Whoa!" over and over.


What a nut

Kate is such a funny kid. She's quite the bruiser and rarely cries unless she really hurts herself. This presents problems when I am in the kitchen and she's gated in the "safe" area but she grabs the edge of the air intake vent in the hallway and cuts herself profusely and is bleeding all over the place. Having a high tolerance for that sort of pain runs in the Stewart family.

She's really getting into language, both sign and verbal. Signing is hard because I often forget to be consistent, and rarely signed on our vacation, etc. But she's still managed to pick up nursing and all done. She says "maaaaaaahr" so she never signs that. She says a lot, just not consistently. When she sees things she likes, she'll bust out with what they are, like "cup" or "doggie," without any prompting and then not say it when we try to get her to later.

She's an excellent climber and runs around the house like she's been walking forever. She even resists being carried in favor of walking everywhere on her own. What happened to my baby?



We have some really fun pictures from the beach but they are all on my sister's laptop in North Carolina and I can't upload them :o( When my other sister comes home from her second week at the beach, I'll see if she can email them to me.

Kate had the best time at the beach. She loved the sand and the ocean. Her first few minutes at the beach, GP dug up a sand flea and was showing it to her and she grabbed it right out of his hand and held it! It was nearly as big as her hand! She didn't try to eat it, which would have freaked me out. She spent a lot of time with a shovel and pail, shovelling sand and doing things like putting shells in the bucket, dumping them out and putting them back.

Kate figured out the ocean pretty quickly. She hates feeling out of control, so she would run right for the water and then stop when she got ankle deep so the waves wouldn't knock her over. For the most part, she had good self-regulation, except when the waves were far apart and she got impatient! She also liked going out in the deeper water being held by a grown-up.

It was really neat to see her interact so much with my parents and siblings. She said "Nana" and "War-uh" (an improvement from "La-la") frequently and spontaneously. They took her on walks and she loved on them and begged big bites of popsicles from them. I really got to relax while they enjoyed Kate, which was great for everyone.

I'll post the pictures as soon as I can!


A more thorough account

Kate's birthday party was very laid back and a lot of fun. The pictures have been uploaded. Our friends, the Grosses, hosted it, which was awesome. GP, Nana, Aunt Laura and Uncle Robbie came up from North Carolina. "Aunt" Beth was there before she took off for Covenant Seminary. "Uncle Chris and Aunt G'eve" were present, as well as the Maddoxes. Only one of Kate's favorite families couldn't make it (the Constantinos) because they were on vacation.

The cake eating was hilarious. I made Kate her own sugar-free apple cinnamon raisin carrot cake with cream cheese frosting (which was actually pretty good, believe it or not.) She attacked it with style and the rest of us got a kick out of watching her.

Kate received some really fun toys, cds and books at the party but I'm especially excited about her new wagon (thanks GP and Nana!)


They Say it's your Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Kate!

She had a fun party last night and got some really fun stuff. We're off to the beach...


What a Difference a Year Makes

52 weeks ago:

This week: