kim photo of jeanhee kim

June 18, 2006

Buh Bye!

Friday morning, Luke planned to leave early in the morning to play volleyball at the gym. He came into the bedroom to say goodbye and chiara and I were in bed but awake. I was groggy and chiara was using me as a jungle gym, crawling all over and up and down the bed. I said, Bye, Luke and said to Chiara, say, Bye. Luke smiled, stood at the doorway and waved good bye and then left and just as he disappeared, Chiara raised her hand, squeezing it open and shut and said, Ba Bye.

I yelled after luke, Chiara said Bye and waved her hand at you!!!

wow. i am so impressed with my little girl. She seemed to really understand what she was saying and doing. She’s done it a few more times this weekend so I know that it’s not just a random utterance.

Today we went to Long Island to celebrate Grandma Mimi’s (Luke’s mom Melanie) birthday. Chiara has been to their home many times and so has seen Nikki, their black lab, many times. But today, i think she processed Nikki for the first time. She is a bigger-than-a-baby jet black dog who walks on four legs and has teeth! Chiara stared at her with eyes wide as saucers. At one point nikki came over to where Chiara was strapped into a feeding chair, then walked away. A moment later, Chiara burst into tears. I’ve never seen her react like that to anything. It was the first time I’ve ever seen her express fear. She remained mesmerized with Nikki and craned her neck and turned this way and that in her chair whenever she caught a glimpse of her. And gradually, she became calmer around her. At one point, Chiara was standing on the ground, walking with Luke holding one hand when Nikki passed by. Chiara backed away from Nikki but kept her cool. A few minutes later she was sitting on the ground with nikki lying a foot away and Chiara was cool. She’s a fast learner!

we haven’t been taking lots of pictures lately, so nothing to show from recent days, or even weeks. Tomorrow is father’s day so I hope we’ll have some photos to show for it!

jeanhee @ 1:29 am

June 10, 2006

Chiara at 9 months

What an incredible little human being a 9 month old is!

This week, one week after Chiara turned 9 months, we’ve seen her do an incredible assortment of things:

1. Luke was holding her in front of the fridge and spotted a group photo that I appeared in. He asked, Where’s Oma? And Chiara pointed her chubby little finger at my face!

then he went around the apartment standing in front of photos and asking, Where’s Apa? and Where’s Halmoni? Chiara pointed correctly to Luke’s picture, and she clapped and smiled in front of Halmoni’s.

2. She’s been verbalizing repetitive sounds like ba ba ba ba ba and mm, mm, mm for a few days now and today, luke said she climbed onto his lap, looked up into his eyes and said, Apa!

I am amazed at her fine motor skills, which she’s actually had for a few weeks, such as, being able to pull single hairs out of my head (I know, ouch!), picking up tiny objects like a single pea or nut. Also, she claps and actually produces sound, she opens and closes her fingers as though waving hello in Italian, and she has begun to shake her head back and forth, like no, except she doesn’t seem to intend no right now, she seems to be emphasizing.

Her ready smile is so amazing. I think more than ever, her smile is a genuine communication of happiness. In the past, it was just a message that she’s a happy child in general, but now I feel she’s trying to say, Mommy, I want you to know that I’m happy. That’s a subtle difference, but it’s really important to me.

She is showing preferences now, too. For more than a month, she’s been pulling her hat off her head. And she’s becoming impossible at diaper changing time because she’s so distractable. But the other day, i noticed her actually shrugging something away, maybe it was a spoonful of food, or a bottle of water, which she would have in the past turned her head away from. But in this instance, she actually pursed her lips in an expression of No, and turned her head away at the same time. Like an offended Frenchman!

The flip side of all of these rapid skillsets is that Chiara hasn’t been sleeping well at all. Why sleep when there are fingers to open and close repeatedly, sounds to make, places to crawl to, things to reach for, foods to eat? She is so curious and awakened/aware of the world we live in now that it’s impossible to get her to lie on her back and close her eyes simultaneously. I do hope this passes soon enough!

jeanhee @ 1:22 am