Friday, 12 October 2007

First Thanksgiving

There is really no way to describe the pleasantly-sedated half-grin and heavy lids of a baby stuffed with Thanksgiving turkey (consumed second-hand via her mother's amazing modified sweat glands). So I'll just show it.

(Sandy and Uncle Fraser, be warned: this little one can really pack it away. You have a strong competitor-in-the-making for the holiday eating contests.)

Monday, 8 October 2007

Passing on bad habits already ...?

A certain physiotherapist viewing the first blog entry pointed out that Kaia's dad needs to improve his posture:

Unfortunately, it looks like Dad's bad habits have already been picked up by the little ape:


But, if the physio is reading, don't worry. We're both working on it. See how much better:

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Does anyone claim these genes?

(This post is addressed to family. However, since it's basically just a thinly-veiled excuse to post more photos showing off our newest flatmate, non-family should also be able to enjoy it.)

It's amazing. One week since she was born, and already Kaia is changing in so many ways. We continue to learn about her every day.

Her head is less funny-shaped than when she came out. The stub of her umbilical cord has fallen off, leaving a belly button that is more outie than innie. We think that might be due to Uncle Fraser.

Her head is nearly too big already for the charming purple tam her dad knitted for her. He is probably the source of that – big heads are common among the Mills.

Her hair remains delightfully dark and rich, like her mom's.

There are some puzzlers, though - traits that we can't immediately ascribe to any family members.

For example, I don't think either of us can really claim credit for her calm demeanor. She generally fusses only enough to get what she needs, mainly food and cuddles.

Here are some other genetic markers yet unclaimed. If you can let us know where else they show up in the tree of her genealogy, please share.

First, toes. Kaia was born with long legs, long feet, and long toes. We can guess pretty well where the long legs and feet come from, but do these Kaia toes really match either parent? They are not as knobbly as dad's toes, and more mobile and dexterous than mom's.

Second, Kaia's profusion of hair extends to sideburns and slightly hairy ears.

Anyone want to claim responsibility for them?

Third, certain activities that should elicit wails (or at least restlessness) are accepted without a peep. For example, nail care (with a cute little baby emery board):

and hair care (this calming effect does not extend to baths in general, just dealing with the 'do):

Such unexpected calm would normally be a blessing to parents suffering from sleeplessness. However, in this case Tim is a little worried what these behaviours might presage about Kaia's future tastes.

Do we have a high-maintenance teenager in the making? Please someone share the story of how some family member started off this way, only to become a sensible bookworm with no interest in fashion, fancy nails, or expensive coiffures!

Sunday, 30 September 2007

The Descendant's Tale Begins...

Introducing Kaia Elizabeth Mills, latest in a long line of carbon-based lifeforms. Kaia traces her ancestry back to an unnamed protoplasmic replicator which lived about four billion years ago. Since inventing sex about 2.5 billion years ago, every member of Kaia's clan has had not one but two burstingly proud parents.

Among that replicator's descendants, most remain single-celled. Kaia's ancestors learned cooperation and have been massively multi-cellular for countless generations. When born, Kaia herself contained 8lb 6oz (3800g) of microscopic cells and was 55.5 cm (22 inches) in length.

One of several branches of the family who have (independently) developed sight, Kaia gazes at the world through deep blue eyes.

Thanks to a relatively recent family development (mammals, 247 million years ago), Kaia spent the first nine months of her development as part of her mother's body, and so the family have opted to celebrate the moment of her emergence from that body as her "Birth Day" - six minutes past noon on the 28th of September 2007.

Though Kaia's family are a relatively hairless part of the ape clan, she was born with her hominid cephalus covered in rich dark hair.

Here is Kaia with some of her most recent ancestors:

Not long after her emergence, this picture shows Kaia with her delighted mother, from whom she inherits all of her mitochondrial DNA.

Kaia's father, pictured here, contributed the decisive chromosome that determined Kaia's sex. Before her birth, in an attempt to determine whether the baby was male or female, Tim was asked which he had provided. He answered, "I gave you millions of each - which one did you pick?"

The ovum that gave Kaia half of her genetic material was already present in baby Deena before she emerged from Kaia's granny (pictured), 378 months ago.

More details will be posted here about Kaia as she begins to explore this biosphere full of her fellow carbon-based lifeforms. Watch this space, or click on "subscribe" at the bottom of this page.