Jan 28, 2014

19 months - and snowed in!!!

19 months!

Hey Kenya Kay,

You are sleeping away this snowy snowy day!!  It is snow day #6 this year and I haven't been into work since Thursday.  Of course I love the extra time with you but I think we're all getting a little stir crazy being snowed in for so long!!  Plus you are sick so your daddy and I are sleeping in shifts since you wake yourself up coughing about every 5 minutes, and if we don't catch you quick enough you cough and cry so hard that you puke all over the place... i.e. you know how to keep snow days from getting boring chica. ;) This is like the millionth time you've been sick so finally this week we decided to pull you out of daycare for good.  Since you were totally healthy we thought you'd get one last day to say good-bye to your teacher and friends but it wasn't the best idea cause you just got sick again.  While you'll surely miss your awesome teacher Mrs. Cadence and friends, you are a lucky girl to have the best stay at home daddy in the whole world.  He has been using our new Ninja all the time to make you power smoothies (not as intense as Auntie Pam's green flashes though) and is becoming a regular at the health food stores trying to boost your poor weak little immune system.  We're glad you are a fighter and have such a positive attitude through all of the struggles and we can still have a good time even on sick, snowy days...  and with with all of the garlic oil, oregano oil and all the holistic remedies we're trying, you're smelling like a little Italian kitchen!! Here are some photos of you staying busy on these snowy days:

"Babies" are your new fascination - you love putting them to sleep, patting them on the back, crawling around like a baby while saying "baby", and "animal babies" is your new favorite video!

Here you are baking cinnamon hearts - this is right before you dumped a cup of water all over them - oops!  They still turned out okay :)

Pulling an all-nighter with dad and hijacking Mommy's phone while she was sleeping

Playing with some new Charlie Brown stuffed animals from your Auntie Julie

Such a daddy's girl - he can always make you laugh!

Making homemade jello play-doh

Orange, which you call "non" (with a long o) is your very favorite color and always your first pick!
In addition to the four batches of play-doh and baked goods, we've also been making lots of paintings and valentines (but mostly we've just made a lot of big MESSES).  Dad says going to the basement is the most exciting part of your day since we can't leave the house.  We are up to 15 birds now (Daddy has been helping your grandpa sell birds as a side business) and you love going to say hi to them all.  Some of their names include Mr. L (L for loudmoth), Tuki (after the burrito song), Juan Pablo (after the Bachelor, we're ridiculous), Chicharron, Fiesty, Hothead, Chevron, Threads, Twinkletoes... I can't remember the others.  We switch out which ones we keep upstairs and have decided that Tuki definitely sings the best tunes.  You also love going down in the basement to bang on your daddy's drums - you are getting really good.  When you were the flower girl at cousin Casey's wedding, we couldn't keep you away from them, you kept running to the front of the church and trying to play them til the pastor there told us no more.  I know when you see them at our church you are always itching to get up there and play too.

Some other fun trips this month have been your first time to the Tarry Hall roller rink and first time to Chuck E Cheese's.  My students won a skating party for raising the most money at our Fun Run so we all got in for free.  We started by pushing you in a stroller around the rink but you were so adamant that you wanted to get up on skates of your own.  The smallest they had was size 7 which was way too big and we just couldn't make it work.  So you hung on the sidelines with Daddy while I did laps with my students (they were holding me up after 20 years off skates) and I gave you high fives each time I came around (which you were always ready and waiting for).  My students all looove you like crazy and you love soaking up the attention by giving them hugs and blowing them kisses.  And I just loved the FUN quality time with them and you - it sadly is a rare occasion when my mind isn't flooded with thoughts of test scores, data, planning, grading and the like - all part of being a teacher these days.

Chuck E Cheese's trip was to say good-bye to your nana before she went to Florida and to celebrate the engagement of two very special people - your Uncle Bradley and soon to be Auntie Jenna!!  Your favorite part was driving the race car (just like your dad).  Uncle Bradley won you lots of tickets so we got to bring home some cool prizes like an air rocket which you love shooting at your mom, dad and Santa (thankfully it's made of foam so it doesn't hurt).  Their wedding is set for September 6th and you get to be a flower girl again! 

You were okay driving the car with this mouse...

but you were not a fan of the real Chuck E Cheese and were really nervous about all the characters dancing on stage

having fun with Nana
Photo with the lovebirds - soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Dorr!!!

Okay well this is the 2nd time I've written this blog and it keeps deleting for some unknown reason (I should move to handwritten letters one of these days) so I'm going to try and publish.  The snow day calculator is predicting 91% chance of another snow day tomorrow!  Crazy crazy... see you soon when you wake up - hope you are healing in your sleep!!!  Love you more than anything in the whole wide world - to the moon and back!!!

Love, Your mama

Jan 6, 2014

18 months

18 months!!!
 Dear Kenya,

It is the last day of Christmas break and you and Daddy are sleeping like babies as the snow falls down outside - there is a TON of it!  I am itching like crazy to get in my classroom and get some work done but know you both need your sleep (and so do I but I'm way too anxious to sleep with all that needs to get done).  We just got home at 10:30 last night after two weeks out of town - in both the east side of the state visiting family and for 10 days in California seeing your Auntie Pam!!  We are all beyond exhausted now and my fingers are double crossed for a snow day tomorrow.  We can all sleep with our pyjamas on inside out tonight (we always did that in Owosso to bring snow day luck).  Since it's been a while since I've written you last (Halloween I think?) - here's a little recap of the last couple of months...

For Thanksgiving we went out and stayed at your Nana's house in Waterford to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Sadly you were sick as a dog and didn't eat much at all but still had a good attitude.  We ended up canceling all of our plans for the weekend and just doing lots of snuggling on the couch all weekend long which is one of my very favorite things to do with you anyways.  Before becoming a parent I never really understood how hard it is to see your child sick - it is the worst thing in the world!  Here are a few shots of you having fun with family on Thanksgiving weekend....

Playing legos with cousin Landon

Here on some shots your Auntie Lisa took of us for our Christmas card - she did a great job!  Your dad thinks that keeping you outside without a coat for the pictures may be what got you sick... but they did turn out cute! (even though you were kinda a grouch that day)

the winning photo that made it on the card

Kenya with the mistletoe

Rocking on the piano

Pulling Mama's hair
Sticking out your tongue :)
Then onto December, the craziest month of the year!!  Even though we were planning to go on vacation, Daddy still got us a beautiful Christmas tree and hung stockings up for us.  I don't ever want to take it all down!  He loves doing the 12 days of Christmas and filled our stockings everyday with fun little treats.  Sometimes he just found random things from around the house for you but you were excited nonetheless.  I wasn't as good as Dad about filling his stocking but thankfully he still loves me anyways.

As soon as school was out, the Christmas parties began!  First party with the DeYoung's at Uncle James and Auntie Lisa's with the fam then over to the east side with your mommy's fam.  You had fun jamming out to a Christian sing-along DVD with Landon at the Bradshaw/Hartman Christmas and running laps around the house with a big bunch of balloons with Gavin yelling "Hi!" through the fireplace at our Dorr Christmas celebration.
Hanging out with Sawyer and Auntie Tracey before we left town
Jamming to the music with Landon
Running laps around the house with all your balloons!!
On Christmas eve, we flew out to San Diego!  I kept you quiet by letting you nurse for the majority of the plane trip.  You refuse to stay under any kind of apron or blanket now so I think the poor teenage boy sitting next to us got quite a show.  ;) When we hit the ground Auntie Pam had a quite an itinerary planned for us.  Unfortunately you got sick again so we spent a good part of the trip nursing you back to health (literally you nursed probably 2348790 times all day and all night long), going to the doctor, health food stores, and anything to avoid anti-biotics (which we ended up having to put you on anyways :( .  It was a bit rough, but we did have a lot of fun too.  I think my favorite part of it all though was just being able to spend so much quality time with you and some of the most special moments were the simplest ones... sitting on the kitchen floor early in the morning feeding each other blueberries, playing make believe with your new dolls and feeding the ducks at the park (your absolute favorite part of all).  It was amazing to see how much you have grown up lately.  I kept saying you learned so many new things over the break but I realize that with teaching 60+ hours per week I really just miss so much!  You are saying 2-3 word phrases now and just soak up everything like a sponge.  My favorite phrase of course is "I love you" and you are super affectionate, always coming up and surprising me with your pronounced kisses (with a loud "MWAH") out of nowhere.  You are amazing.  Spending all this quality time together makes me look forward to summer even more... I already have a long list going of all the things we will do together.  One of them is turning this blog into a long overdue book for you!  I can't wait to make the most of every single moment with you!

But back to San Diego... some of the other highlights were the beach, watching the sunset, Lego Land (with like a trillion legos in it, seriously), the San Diego Zoo, the Safari Park, and much more.  We spent Christmas day with a really nice Venezuelan family who spoiled you with gifts and we rung in the New Year at Panda Express (PF Chang's was full) and started our own dance party at YogurtLand.  You also jumped off the couch about 100 times yelling your own version of "Happy New Year's!" (if only I could attach the videos!)  Here are some photos from the trip...

Your pretty Christmas dress didn't last long - you kept screaming "OFF!" 
You were much happier with this Christmas outfit - Daddy says you're a t-shirt and jeans kinda girl

Opening your new Dora doll - you can come teach in Spanish all day with your mama soon!

Kenya in Lego Land

With a Lego mama and her Lego baby

Safari park

Feeding the ducks - your favorite thing to do everywhere we went

Meeting the sea lions up close and personal on the beach

Hanging out at the San Diego zoo

The beaches were our favorite places (besides the duck ponds of course!)

Family shot at Balboa Park

Watching the Cheetah Run
Okay well I think that's it for today.  I started writing this yesterday and now it's Monday and I'm home with a snow day and you're napping again.  It is a total blizzard outside and Daddy made a big pot of Sancocho for us for lunch to warm up!  I'm thankful for electricity on this wild winter day and for one more day with you!!  Wishing you the BEST 2014 ever full of many more special memories together.  Love you chica - to the moon and back!!!

Love always,
Your mama