Thursday, July 9, 2009

Baby C

Kate Huffman Vaughan
a.k.a. "Trouble"
born July 10, 2008 at 2:48 pm

It is true that Kate is a trouble magnet and has rightly earned her nickname. She knows exactly where she's not supposed to be - whether it be the dog dish, the litter box, the toilet, or any other number of baby-free zones - and she heads straight there the second the opportunity arises, it's as if an alarm goes off in her head the minute someone leaves a door open that should be closed. On at least two occasions we have found her outside on the back patio, inches away from the top of a very steep staircase that leads down to our yard. And John or I will spot her, yell out a sharp "Kate!!" and she will stop, turn slowly to look at us, give us her big beautiful, mischievious smile, and gleefully continue on.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, Kate is the bonafide leader of our pack. She has been from the very beginning. Although she was born last, and was second in weight at 4 pounds 1 ounce, she was the healthiest from the get go - no help breathing, no extra oxygen. She was only in the NICU long enough to gain a little weight and figure out how to drink from a bottle. She was the first one that we were able to hold and feed. We would go into the NICU several times a day to visit the babies, and more often than not I would spend most of my time with her. I loved to hold her. She was so alert, and had these big bright eyes always looking for mine. No matter how nervous or stressed I felt (I did not enjoy my stay in the hospital!) she was always able to calm me. I could sit there and stare at her for hours. She was the first to hit all of the milestones, and the first to come home, after two weeks. I remember very clearly how incredibly easy she was to take care of that one week when we had just her - she was perfectly content, never cried, slept beautifully. So serene.

Oh boy, how that has changed. She is such a crazy child - and I mean that in the most loving and positive of ways. She is loud, and fearless, and curious, and so funny. And despite the fact that she gets mad every time she doesn't get her way, she exudes happiness. She loves to laugh, and smile, and clap, and wave, and is incredibly quick to pick up on things. She hardly ever cries (yells alot, but doesn't cry), and she is constantly on the move. She has never liked sitting still and playing with toys - she wants to be everywhere at once. She crawled at 7 months, and is so close to walking now. She drives us a little crazy with her relentless desire to walk with us - she will climb up our legs until she is standing, and reach up and grab each of our hands, and force us to walk with her. We bought her a walker several weeks ago, and she just flies through the house in it - running over the other babies (or dogs) who get in her path. She is a little whirlwind.

But despite all of her craziness, she is still the one who can calm me down. If I've had a tough day, or I'm upset about something, I can grab her, and take her with me into another room so it is just the two of us for awhile, and she will look up at me with those huge, twinkling blue eyes (we still don't know where those blue eyes came from), and laugh, and I'll know things really are okay. Kate has a beautiful, carefree, joyous spirit, and I already admire it so much. We all love to be around her - her brother and sister especially look up to her and follow her around loyally. Trouble, yes, but so much fun and so loved.

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