Cali McDonald Chen was conceived on November 22nd, 2001 on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
Cali was born on August 19th, 2002, Monday at 12:25 AM. It was an amazing birth, Janel had decided to give Cali a natural birth, so we had a midwife and a horse trough in our master bedroom, filled with hot water from the water heater twice.
We had spent time as a family learning about natural child birth, and Tyler was the youngest in the class. We had learned about the timing and the amount of dilation during labor and was prepared to spend the many hours going through this difficult process. Cali was the exception in this as in many things, For those that know, 10 cm of dilation is when you are ready to start pushing out the baby, many times it takes up 12 hrs to give birth, for Janel, Cali came very quickly, as soon as she was 2 cm diliated, she gave birth within 2 ½ hrs following.
Cali’s first expression was to stick her tongue out at Janel.
Cali was a great traveler, infact, she started her expeditions the very next day. We went strollering as a family to the Carlsbad Country Stores. She was so alert and so intense. Cali had this extreme focus in life, she was our little inspector gadget, and yet unlike many A personalities she had always with her this inner peace. Like she had already been studying the martial arts for many decades.
We took Cali to many places, Las Vegas, Maui, Cambria, Palm Beach, she flew well in airplanes and was a great socializer often starting many interesting hide n seek conversations with her fellow passengers.
Cali loved exploring, she loved opening drawers and inpecting everything in them, she loved exploring the outdoors, often looking for new rocks to add to her collection.
Cali was a great naturalist, often living only on a fiber diet, consisting of newspapers and fathers business cards.
Cali was a physicist, often testing the laws of gravity by throwing things down on the ground to have people pick them up for her.
Cali loved the water, she loved taking baths, showers, and going to the beach. She loved playing with the bubbles in the waves.
Cali was also a chemist, often creating pools of water around her by reversing mini water bottles and sqeezing them till empty, she improved on this technique, as she started her love of flowers, especially plumerias, and pouring the water bottles on the flowers as she held and twirled them.
Cali loved helium balloons, she often held the string in her hand, as she did a 360 scoot on the floor, clapping.
Cali loved music, she loved to play the piano , and the triangle, she especially loved wind chimes.
Cali was a great technologist, and we often had many conversations about what she thought would be the hot new trends, she loved anything digital, cell phones, remote controls, stereo equipment. She especially loved the ceiling fan remotes, she loved pressing the buttons and seeing the fan come to life.
Most importantly CALI was a happy baby. Tyler perhaps made her laugh the most, Cali loved Tyler’s great expressions. Cali loved playing with the cats, especially when she started understanding the importantance of the baby bottles , Ziggy perhaps was the most impressive, Ziggy protected Cali against all strangers, we had never thought that our Jack Russell could be mean sounding and acting, and it was a shock to us, Ziggy often sleep at Calis door watching over her.
Cali was a great communicator, and started speaking in her own sentences almost from the very start, she was so very content with herself. Calis first word was IGGY short for Ziggy. She could wave goodbye and say bye bye, and often said dada, mama, baba, not knowing for sure what name she had chosen for us.
Within the first month, Cali sleep in her own room. She was always so confident and self assured.
Cali taught me many things about life, most importantly how precious it really is. Cali lived a great life, and I am thankful that she decided to she her time with us.