Apr 17, 2013

8 & 9 months

After exactly 125 attempts, I think this was your best shot....
Here are some runners up....

And since I'm squeezing in 9 months in this blog too, here is the winning photo followed by the runner-up...

Dear Kenya,

This blog post is long overdue.  I started it a long time ago and never finished so it's kinda a mix of old and new.  It seems like you have grown up SOOOO much since the last time I wrote.  You weigh over 19 pounds and are 28 inches.  You are crawling on your own now AND walking with help (and have taken 2-3 steps on your own!) The first time crawling was at your Auntie Tracey's baby shower and we got it on tape!  Since then you have crawled across living rooms at different people's houses and even crawled to Grandma on Skype. (the computer and cell phone are your biggest motivators to crawl to)  You also are clapping on your own now - you laugh and smile clapping along with our "after dinner concert" (we always sing a song together after dinner as a tradition).  You LOVE the Curious Buddies DVD your Great Aunt Diane got you for Christmas, we've tried other DVD's from the library but this is the only one you really like (you are so over Baby Einstein now).  I swear you could watch it everyday and never get tired - you laugh and clap and sing along with the babies on the screen, it's so cute!!  Some other new things you are doing is waving and saying "ba" for bye, giving me tight hugs and pats on the back and you give high fives (but you've been doing that with your dad for a while).  You also scratch my back all the time when you're nursing and even try to tickle and pat my belly and you think it's hilarious.  Your favorite toy lately is your Leapfrog Learning Drum and you love to hit everything like it's a drum.  Your other favorite game is dropping everything on the floor, especially off the side of your high chair (which tries our patience at times, but Santa loves it!)  Sometimes you will just reach off the side of your high chair and try to feed Santa whatever you are eating.  You two are really funny friends and have a love-hate relationship.  You also are talking a lot more now too!  You had been saying "Dad" for a while but now you are finally saying "Mom", it is the sweetest sound and I love hearing it every time.  You also say "Santa" (which sounds more like anta) and "Bob" and lots of other sounds too!  When I hold you up to the mirror it sounds like you're trying to say "Kenya" too.  I can't believe how much progress you've made - you are one smart cookie!  You have 7 teeth now and are working on number 8 as we speak!

You and I have both been pretty sick lately so that's why I'm so behind on things and we've missed a lot of our normal stuff the past couple of months.  I actually even took my first ride in an ambulance to the ER - they wrapped my head in towels cause it was snowing that night and the paramedics didn't want my hair to get wet so they said I looked like Laura Ingalls Wilder and your dad wanted to take a picture but I told him that he would be in big trouble if he did.  They said I have had colitis for the past 9 months but it all was actually a good thing because they got me on the meds that I needed, the colitis has healed now, and I actually feel much better and for the first time in 9 months I can eat without getting sick which is great!  Your dad is happy cause it means he can eat pizza whenever he wants without having to sneak it or wait til I'm out of the house.  I'm sure someday you will hear about all the craziness this year has brought and maybe I will still have a lot of health issues when you're older or maybe I won't, I don't know now, but I want you to know that NONE of it was ever your fault and I wouldn't take back anything because it brought me YOU and YOU are the greatest gift I could have ever asked for in all of this.  I don't know what God's plan has been in all of this (trust me, I ask Him all the time) but I think sometimes in our lives we have to go through great suffering and pain to prepare us for bigger plans and give us compassion for helping others.  Try to keep that in mind someday if you ever have to experience suffering - you will be strong enough to get through it and you can turn any and every bad thing into good.  Like I said, I don't know what God's plan is but I do know that some way, somehow, I want to use this experience to help other women and babies, and I hope that in twenty or thirty years when you read this I will be able to say that I did that, even if it was just a little bit.

 In other news, it seems everyone I know is having a baby boy! (you will have lots of good options with great in-laws someday, just saying...)  You got to meet baby Asher Hollemans this past month for the first time.  It was so CRAZY to think you were that little not that long ago.  I could say it a million times but I can't believe how fast you have grown.  You loved seeing him and kept wanting to touch him the whole time....
You and Baby Asher
We also made our way out to the east side of the state for your Auntie Tracey's baby shower (who is also having a baby boy).  I didn't know if I would make it because I was so sick but it was good to be out there cause your grandpa and grandma helped nurse me back to health with the most amazing chicken noodle soup, you loved it just as much and ate about 10 bowls I think while we were there!  (your Grandma B also came out here and helped us too - we are lucky to have so much support!)

Hitching a ride on cousin Gavin's bike - you loved it! (maybe something to keep in mind for your 1st birthday)
Girls day out with friends at Panera (with Mommy's friend Sandy who is also pregnant with a BOY)
With Auntie Tracey at the baby shower - hope you forgive me for the outfit I made you wear :)
Since I was sick, we didn't really do up the holidays like we planned, but for St. Patty's Day you did eat some green food, including brocolli, avocado, and peas. That was the extent of your first St. Patrick's Day.  But we did do an Easter egg hunt and Easter basket and Daddy took you to church and Great Grandma's house where you got to do ANOTHER Easter egg hunt.  I stayed home in bed and watched Francis Chan's Easter sermon on youtube.

Meeting the Easter bunny in Battle Creek with Auntie Melissa (I think he made us sick though - we called it the Easter Bunny virus)

With cousin Zoe at the Easter egg hunt
Playing on Easter at Great Grandma Meints's house

Kenya bunny
Okay so I swore we would never use your name and the word princess in the same sentence BUT this video from your Auntie Paola made me rethink it.... 

And so Beatriz and I took you to see the Disney princesses at the mall here...

You loved learning how to fly from Tinkerbell
Not so sure about Rapunzel...
Pretty happy with Belle
Even though you are such a beautiful girl on the outside (everyone tells me, it's not just me!), I hope you always focus on your inner beauty first and foremost and strive for character traits like strength, determination, and compassion over anything you can put on or wear on the outside.  Also... someday I can't wait to watch all these Disney princess movies with you.  Beauty and the Beast was always my favorite. :)

We also celebrated some birthdays.  Here you are at cousin Zoe's 2nd birthday...

Auntie Lisa was super creative with the very hungry caterpillar cake
Rasta Kenya
Hanging out at the party
Riding on your cousins' bike
We also celebrated your Great Grandma DeYoung's 90th birthday!  What an amazing lady she is - with 17 grandkids and 17 great grandkids!!  It was quite a bash with lots of yummy Qdoba food! 

Happy birthday Great Grandma DeYoung!

Not much else is new this month.  Mama has been busy doing some more Half the Sky screening events - someday you'll definitely have to see the documentary and all it is doing to bring change to girls around the world.   Since your grandma and granndpa have been in Mexico, your mama has also been trying to get better at the whole housewife thing, but haven't been too successful so far.  Your dad wants me to start a blog just about all the things I cook and all of the disasters, cause there are a lot.  Mostly I specialize in burning things, but there have been a couple of things so creatively screwed up that only your mom could have done it. ;)

Here are some more pictures from your 8th and 9th months... 
My pretty girl
Lots of days hanging out in Grand Rapids with your cousins
Santa is your BFF fo sho

1st time brushing your teeth

You grew out of your snow bear outfit this month!  We will miss seeing you dressed up as a little snow bear!

Still loving bath time - you are always trying to drink the water
You always insist on feeding yourself and are a VERY messy eater!
Look at that rockstar hair!Okay well I think that's all for this very long, overdue update!!  We love you more and more everyday - to the moon and back!  
Love, Your Mama