Nov 18, 2014

Snow Day!!

Mi querida Kenya,

Winter is here early this year!! It's Nov. 18 and the snow days have already begun.  We celebrated this morning with chocolate chip pancakes (with some crushed candy canes from the Christmas parade thrown in the mix) and Christmas music, followed by turkey hand paintings and a play date with your cousin Zoe.  I was thrilled that you wanted to stay home with me instead of going to Ms. Abby's house as usual (I always fear the day when your mom is no longer the coolest).  Here are a few pics of our fun...

Fall has come and gone quickly this year.  October was insanely busy with school, PT conferences, and tons of parties and events but we tried to also find time for enjoying the colors, playing in leaves, painting pumpkins, pumpkin dances (about a million times), and pumpkin anything and everything else.  It's funny how in the DR I would really miss fall (though I did bring Halloween to the orphanage there which people were all out CONFUSED about), but now that we're here I would trade my pumpkin spice lattes in a heartbeat to be back in Latin America...  ahh maybe someday.... but when in Michigan, do as the Michiganders, so that's we've been doing.  Here are some photos of our Fall fun...

Halloween doughnuts at Krispy Kreme

Mama Kenya date at Koiesters

Fall Craft at Nana's house

Pumpkin ball game

Pumpkin painting

The week of Halloween you were at Uncle James and Auntie Lisa's house for Abram and Auntie Pam's birthday party, and fell and split your forehead open.  I can't even explain how much I hate watching these kinds of things happening without being able to stop them and how scary it was watching blood stream down your face.  It made for a very rough week (throw in two 14 hour days of conferences that week, a pie the teacher assembly, Halloween parties, and 9 hour road trip to Indiana that weekend too - your mama was seriously losing it).  You also had an allergic reaction to the steri strips so you had a very nasty looking head wound going on... people actually thought that on Halloween, your head wound was part of the costume (cause I'm the kind of mama that would dress her toddler up in a ladybug costume with a tutu and paint on a head wound).  It was FREEZING this Halloween so we only made it to a few houses, but you were super excited that we did.  We spent the rest of the night eating JB's pizza and doing the pumpkin dance with your friend Asher at the Holleman's house.  

Looks like a band-aid but that is your bare forehead looking like that..

Mama was a domino at school with all the staff

With Asher who was Super Mario

So what else is new?  You are growing up!!  You've been telling me lately, "I'm not a baby anymore Mom", which makes me fight tears every time.  You blow me away with something new everyday and make your dad and I crack up with the things you say.  You come home from daycare now and call us into the living room saying "Mom, Dad, come sit down for circle time" and choose who will be your helper (alternating between me, your dad and your dolls).  Then you teach us the alphabet and ask us about what the weather is like.  You also say things like "just try to be patient Mom" or "no toys at the table Dad".  One time you even ran to your room when you got upset with your dad and announced "I'm running away" and starting packing your backpack - not sure where you learned that one!?  Can you please stop growing up???  Every time we're cuddling, singing and playing together, I just wish I could freeze time and hang onto those moments for forever....

Sleepover night with your cousins
All ready for church after your sleepover
Mom and Dad at the wedding in Indiana
You also had your first sleepovers away from me this month.  I think it just taught me that my separation anxiety is even worse than yours.  We were planning it so we could go to Indiana but then decided to do a "practice sleepover" first just to make sure you'd be okay before we drove 4 hours south.  After never once spending a night away from you for the past 2 and a half years, we were clueless with what to do with ourselves.  Instead of living it up and doing something cool, we drove around aimlessly asking each other what to do and ended up in a Bob Evans at 8:30 on a Saturday night surrounded by a sea of senior citizens, with a waitress blowing snot everywhere and eating food that made us feel sick with ourselves.  Then we wandered around shopping at Target until close looking for a wedding gift that we only forgot to bring to the wedding the next weekend.  Your dad and I promised each other that we never again would eat at Bob Evans or be so lame when we have a Saturday night all to ourselves.  We were supposed to meet up with you the next afternoon but just couldn't wait that long and went to hunt you down in the church nursery where you were hanging out with your Auntie Paola cause you wouldn't let her leave you (I left you in the nursery at your nana's church before that and you'd think there was a fire the way the staff were trying to find me cause of your hysterical crying and gagging and nearly hyperventilating).  This is the reason I now volunteer in the nursery every single Sunday and haven't heard a sermon in ages... sigh...  Most of the time though, you really are becoming more independent but I am glad you are still mama's girl.  The very best part of my day is when you come flying to the front door when I get home from work screaming "Mom, mom, mom" and leap into my arms and hug me so tight that it washes away anything negative I might have brought home from school.  I dread the day when I don't get to come home to those leaping hugs and screams of joy.  And while I do wish you could stay this young forever, there are other days that you are the absolute epitome of a two year old - with your new independence comes lots of tantrums and a desire to partake in and get into everything - limits are hard for you to understand.  Whether it's going through 100 wipes changing all your stuffed animals' diapers, using all mama's body butter giving "massages", dousing mom's hair with nearly half a bottle of "strawberry spray" while playing beauty shop, or going through hundreds of post-its which we find in every room of the house, this is that age where you are into everything.  But I wouldn't trade it for the world.
More fun with cousins... having a princess party!

Hanging with family after church

Okay chica, well you're about to wake up soon and I promised we'd go build a snowman as our last snow day activity today, so just one more fun fact before I close this out.  Kenia Cass (the beautiful lady I named you after) is playing professional basketball now in Nicaragua and is trying out for the WNBA.  How cool is that??  It just goes to show that with hard work and determination, we can do anything we put our minds to (I am reading a book called Mindset by Carol Dweck right now with my book club at school and am all about it - please promise to read it someday?).

 Here are a few more random photos from this fall 2014....

At cousin Gavin's truck themed 3rd birthday party

Always loving Santa

Teacher's night at the Air Zoo - we got to go for free! :)

With Auntie Megan at Uncle Bradley's ginormous extravagant housewarming party

New Bitty Baby doll from the Ward girls

Play date with Sawyer

Reading our favorite bedtime story - The Awesome Book of Love!!

Love you girl - to the moon and back!!!

Love always,
Your mama