[ Tuesday, May 09, 2006 ]
Kate spent a much better night on Saturday, probably because she was so tired. We stayed at Disneyland until almost sundown. She slept quietly in the pack-and-play, and got up relatively late on Sunday. We arrived at Knott's Berry Farm before the gates were open, and found the lines a lot more manageable. Kate had even fewer ride options, but she took full advantage of them. Her favorites were Lucy's Tugboat and the carrousel (she rode a giraffe this time). The best part of the day, however, came after we left Knott's. We drove to Huntington Beach, and Kate experienced sand for the first time - and loved it. She sat there, looking at the ocean, and running sand through her tiny fingers. It was a truly magical moment, and I made sure to grab a handful of sand for her memory box.
The time difference threw Kate off from the get-go. We arrived in Los Angeles at the end of the day, which would be almost bed time for her, but she was wide awake (and not terribly happy). After a quick dinner across the street, we checked in and kind of collapsed. Unfortunately for everyone, Kate refused to sleep in the pack-and-play the hotel provided, and the only way to keep her from crying was to let her in bed with me. She slept most of the night sandwiched between pillows. The next morning she woke up early, and Teresa realized we had left her pack of diapers behind. So off to Target I went, and then we had breakfast at Coco's before taking the hotel shuttle to Disneyland. The last time I visited Dinesy was mid-week in the fall, and the park was empty. So I was completely astonished to see a horde of hundreds and hundreds of people storming the entrance and quickly forming huge lines for every single attraction. There wasn't much available for very little kids, but we did manage to ride the carrousel (Kate loved it) and fly with Dumbo (after a 25 minute wait in line). We also visited the swirling teacups, which I remembered from my last visit, and finally It's a Small World, which fascinated Kate and brought tears to my eyes. It's one of those things that make me feel as if life goes full circle; I remembered that ride from when I first visited the United States, at the tender age of 9. I would have never thought I would share it with my daughter 25 years later. After we exited I bought a souvenir globe that plays "It's a Small World".
The trip started out well. Kate was very interested and not at all afraid during take off, and she was ok during landing at Newark. At that flight we had an empty seat next to us, so we used her car seat and placed her right at the window (lots of pointing and "look" comments). The problems started about an hour into our Newark-LAX flight. First she complained because she was tired, and because the flight was full and she didn't have her own seat, it was difficult to find her a good position to sleep. Finally, we stretched her across two seats, with her head on my lap and her legs resting on Teresa. She slept for about an hour, and then she got really cranky out of sheer boredom. There was a bit of struggling, some crying, and lots of plain whining. I swore I would wait years before doing that again.
[ Thursday, May 04, 2006 ]
Kate took large steps in recent days (figuratively and literally). Her walking went from one or two hesitant steps to full-blown walking in just a day. She also clearly says "look" while pointing at things, and also says "ok". Last night David heard her say "cat" when looking at Zelda. That's quite an increase in her vocabulary very quickly. Tomorrow she will have her first travel experience, when we board a flight to Newark connecting to Los Angeles. I can't wait to see her reaction to amusement parks and beaches in California.