Baby Kai


Yummy cake made by Tanya

Apple Salad in my hands, I went to a baby shower today for my nephew/godson’s wife. This is their first child and their anticipation for parenthood and jubilant love for the yet-to-be-born babe in glorious to see. Somehow, while I had absolutely nothing to do with the making of the baby or all the preparations involved to get that special room ready, I know I already love this little boy to come.

He will be named Kai. Not a name we’ve used before in our family but very reflective of this little one’s parents. The name is of Scandinavian origin which reflects the ancestry of his parents. It means “strength.” That’s a character trait to live up to. Since I studied Chinese for many years while I was in graduate school, the name also means “triumphant” and is often paired with Li which means “strength.” My wish for him is he has an abundance of both to get him through the pitfalls and joys of life. We all have them.

I also thought about how different pregnancy is now and the whole act of labor and childbirth compared to when I had my children, back in the dark ages. Births can be taped now, growing bellies get photographed, babies are presented in black and white within the womb. We had to wait until a baby was born to know what we were having; so always you had a boy’s and girl’s name picked out.  So many new theories abound for parenting, preparing for parenting, having the right equipment with all the proper safeguards. Sometimes I’m amazed my children and the children of my friends lived to their first birthday.


The start of Kai's library

For example I held my babies in my arms in the front seat of our car while my husband drove us home from the hospital; today you need a very special seat which faces the rear back set and is buckled into the back seat. No nuzzling into mommy’s breast these days—at least not in the car. If we had a car seat, it went over the front seat, between the driver and the passenger and had little restraints other than the hand or arm of the driver or passenger and blankets tucked securely around the baby. Scary, isn’t it? Fortunately, we never had a close call.

Back then disposable diapers were yet to arrive as a parents’ helper. With my first child I did regular diapers using a wringer washing machine and the clothesline to dry those white pieces of cloth.

And parenting is different is some ways now. For example, dads didn’t generally take an active interest in the whole parenting thing until the baby was much more self-sufficient. Sure there were exceptions, but with my first two births their father was relegated to the waiting room and I pushed and panted and brought those babies into the world with strangers around me. Much different from today where these soon-to-be-first-time parents are going to birthing classes and parenting classes and Scott will be as involved with this baby as Melissa will be. I wish that might have been so when my babies were little.


My donation to Kai's library shelf

We can’t wait to welcome to our family, little Kai.

As part of the celebration today we guests were asked to bring a book for Kai. I could have chosen many but I have a dear friend who makes soft, washable books for little ones. I chose the one that gives colors, shapes and animals in 3 languages: French, Spanish, and English. We were asked to sign it with a note. I did in three languages:

                  I love you.
                 Je t’aime.
                 Te amo. 


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4 Comments on “Baby Kai”

  1. Congratulations to you and Kai’s parents! What a beautiful cake, and that Colors book is gorgeous. I hear you on how different things were, even when I was younger. We never had to wear seatbelts, and we could all pile in the back of my stepdad’s pickup and drive around town without a problem. My mom drove home from the hospital with Darrin (my baby brother) in her arms in the front seat. But I remember Paul and I had to run out for a special car seat for Alyssa because she was a preemie, and the car seat we had wasn’t good enough…sigh.

    Hugs & looking forward to seeing you soon!

  2. caseyclifford Says:


    You don’t know how happy I was to see you check in! I think of you every day and send positive thoughts your way. I look forward to seeing soon also and lets hope we have a spring like day when next we see each other.

  3. Deb Says:

    What a lovely post, and pics! ‘Tis the season for babies, and they always make me smile. Sounds like Kai is being born into a wonderful home, and will have lots of fun, and LOTS of useful tools and gadgets.

    Car seats, seat belts….When my mom drove with my younger brothers seated next to her in the front seat (no seat belts then, not on our older model car), she would occasionally come to a sudden stop. Her right arm would swing out rigidly in front of my brothers like a school bus stop sign. Well somehow, I acquired the habit, despite the fact my sons rode in the back seat with seat belts. Took me years to break the habit. 🙂

  4. caseyclifford Says:


    Ah, yes, that right arm rigid to save the child in front. I still have that reflex though now it’s used for Oreo if she’s being Naughty which she rarely is.

    Kai will be much welcomed when he sees fit to arrive.

    Thanks for stoppping by. 🙂

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