To My Special Kensie Jane,
A few days ago, the calendar rolled around to April 29th, marking the 9th month of your life. Many have said that attempting to record the lives of children beyond the firstborn is futile, that those following that first child often get slided when it comes to projects like scrapbooking and documenting milestones. I’ll admit, I’ve tried hard. I’ve tried hard to keep up, but it’s just one thing that hasn’t gone the way Momma envisioned or hoped. Last time I wrote you were barely six months old, and now you’re nine months old. I think that’s your funny way of trying to pull a fast one on me. You succeeded. Despite my unsuccessful efforts to keep up, one thing I can say for certain: your content, lively, happy, adventurous self is not lost on me!
Your personality has manifested itself these last few months, showing you are a unique, priceless baby girl created by a God who wanted to blow my socks off with you! There is rarely a morning or an afternoon that I approach your crib without 1) you having a smile on your face; 2) you having at least one leg hanging over the edge of the crib; 3) your head backed into a corner bumper; 4) your being rosy-cheeked; and 5) your smelling a tad sour on your head because you are a sweaty hot head.
No one can quite place who you look like. As your Pops wrote in a poem to me nearly 30 years ago, “So no one can say just who you look like? God’s made you His own, inside and out. You’re His limited edition, a one-of a kind; an original creation, a whole new design.”
That said, some of your distinguishing features are from your namesakes. Your big eyes are hands-down from your Mees. And shockingly (!!!) you have red hair! It’s coming through a strawberry blonde, and we are ever beside ourselves with jaw-dropping wonder at where that came from. The only thing we can think of is that it came from my Gaga, who had auburn hair before she went prematurely grey in her 20s.
Over the last few months, you have:
- Started clapping
- Started waving (Mees and I were slightly concerned because at first you just waved to yourself in the mirror, taken with your beauty.)
- Gone from the boring rice cereal and not knowing how to swallow, to enjoying a whole assortment of pureed foods like roasted pears and spinach, to eating a few finger foods. You don’t mind eating different textures, and there has not been one thing you’ve refused or turned away.
- Decided your favorite food so far, hands down, are avocados. I’ve even put some salsa in it to make guacamole for you, and true Texan that you are, you devoured it.
- Been on your first airplane (to North Carolina)
- Said your first words: “Momma” and “Bye Bye” (in a very Southern accent)
- Swung on a swing, which you thoroughly enjoyed (unlike your brother who still does not like them)
- Reached out for me to hold you and made my heart swoon
- Determined your tongue is one of the best toys ever
- Taken your first bubble bath
- Become mobile by scooting on your pa-tooty! We’re not sure you’ll actually crawl because you still despise tummy time. But you figured out a way to get to your destination. And you’re fast. “Scooter” is a nickname that’s sticking.
- Ridden in the front of the grocery cart for the first time
- Started crying when someone turns their back on you (using that funny, fake cry)
- Grown two teeth: your front bottoms. And we noticed today that you have two teeth buds on top getting ready to protrude. They’re not your two front teeth but the ones on each side of the two fronts. I have no idea what the technical names are for those teeth.
- Celebrated your first Easter in which you gave this face to every passerby that resulted in two different families coming our direction saying the exact same thing: “You’re in trouble with that girl!”
You are a mimicker! Sounds, hand movements. We’ll do them a few times and soon you are our echo or mirror. One of your favorite games in the car is to “parrot” different sounds I make. Clicking your tongue is a signature Kensington greeting. You delight in various games we play with you like peek-a-boo and a “don’t look at me, I’m too bashful” sorta game Daddy made up for you.
Still, nine months in, your brother is your world. And he’s a mighty fine big brother. He’s learning to share. Not to grab. To be more welcoming when you invade his personal space, which can be tough because you are one handsy/full-on/in-your-face kinda gal! You’re learning not to grab and pull and pinch and yank. To give Brennan a bit more space and focus on something else. The three of us were very quick to realize one key solution to many of the sibling issues (and the crucial component for our own sanity in general), was to make sure you have something in your hands at all times.
Pops and Mees gave you music classes for Christmas, and you act like they were invented for you. The squeals, the waving of the arms, the exuberant smiles: you throw your whole self into those forty-five minutes.
I wasn’t much a player of dolls growing up, but you, my Sweetness, are so fun to dress up! But very, very much unlike your brother who still won’t finger paint, you like to get down and good ol’ dirty and messy.
Precious, you are the poster child for one who “lights up” whenever someone walks in the room. Laid back, chill, content are a few descriptive words for you. There are few times when you melt down either when you’re exhausted or very hungry. You have started arching your back in a defiant way, and those legs go kickin’ when changing your diaper.
Pops came into town for Easter and this picture of you is quite indicative of your personality. Again with the tongue. Again with the legs that if it were up to you, would be hanging over your high chair and the table and some day, the car dash or even outside the car window, heaven forbid <grin>.
You enjoy being tossed around in the air and don’t seem to be scared off by adventure. However, you groan and wince around any animal besides Molly, even at Popsie and Mees’ home, you had to get used to Dapples every single morning.
Some days you take three naps, some days two. You’re flexible with the schedule on days we take Brennan to school, and those days are some of the most valuable to me as we have mother-daughter time. But you’re always very eager to pick up Brennan, and his first question is, “Where did you and Kensie go?” Thankfully (!!!!) you can transfer well from the car to the crib. And you are able to take a little snooze in the car on the days we hang around Brennan’s school.
Girl, you are a tall, lanky one with long, long legs! You are wearing nothing less than 18 month pants/shorts and dresses. But everywhere else, you’re fairly petite. You weigh 18 lb. 8 oz. (50th percentile) and are 29 inches long (90th percentile).
One of my and Daddy’s favorite times with you: holding you in our arms feeding you your last bottle of the day and rocking you to sleep. Some nights, we can’t part ways and hold you a long time. You still sleep very well through the night, and I’m most grateful! On the rough nights though, there’s a quickness to my step in wanting to hold you because your baby days are hanging on by a thin thread.
I’ll close with something that I can’t and won’t shake. I’ll be telling you this till you believe it in the core of your being. A few weeks before you were born, I laid in bed awake, restless, and unable to sleep (not uncommon during your pregnancy). Very distinctly and clearly (something that doesn’t happen all that often to me), God very sweetly relayed to me these words in my heart, “I can’t wait to give you this little girl! She is very special!”
And that you are baby girl.
That you are!