You really are growing up quickly! You crawl laps now like Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the races. Your track is kitchen, living room, dining room, kitchen, living room…You like to climb up and stand next to us when we are sitting. You are starting to wave your hands a bit to say, “Bye,bye!” You are laughing and smiling more than ever. O, about that…
Kaylee, you are in your ninth month now, and this is when your brain is growing quicker than it will at any other time in your life. We have talked about how your brain is wired for “joy” before. Well, this means March and April are the joy months! As much touching and hugging and playing and also soothing and reading and rocking as possible. You see, it’s not just the high energy joy over-the-top fun we are having, it is also the move to quiet and soothing to which we return.
Of course, Grandpa has to learn that quiet part along with you!
I bought a really great calendar for your mom called, “Joyful Beginnings.” Part of the calendar are age appropriate joy-inspiring activities. Well, during the ninth month it said something about pots and spoons and earplugs for moms and dads and nanas and grandpas.
Nana decided to try this out today! I guess, you are ready…
What an exciting day this is turning out to be! It is St. Patrick’s Day, which is a special day when we remember a pastor like Grandpa who did many brave things so he could teach people about how much God loves them. His name was Patrick. Some of the people he taught, taught other people and they told more people about Jesus, and one of them, Boniface, showed the German people God’s love, and because you are part German, you can trace your Christian family tree back to St. Patrick!
This is a lot of people for over 1000 years who love you enough to keep bringing the joy of God. Now you have it, too!
It is also an exciting day because you were at our house with your mommy and we had a big earthquake! We haven’t had one of those in a loooong time. I was holding you when the earth went,
“BOOM! Rattle, rattle…”
You just looked at me and started laughing because Grandpa shakes you once in awhile, like we are on a boat, so I guess you thought we were sailing…
We stood under a center doorway and your mommy and Nana were laughing, too, because you were laughing. Right away, your mommy wanted to make sure she was hugging you lots.
Kaylee, we have earthquakes where you live. In fact the second strongest earthquake ever recorded (measured by total energy released in smallest area) was back when your mommy was a little girl. It was called the “Northridge Quake” and the epicenter was about two miles from our house.
Yes, we were in the same house! You and your mommy had your first earthquakes in the same house. Now, this morning it was scary and rumbly but nothing fell over around us. The Northridge earthquake was shaking everything and it was like a train was coming through our house, with loud noise and everything! Fortunately your mommy was laying next to me because she had waken up a bit earlier and wanted to snuggle. So when the shaking started, I put her under my arm and ran to the dining room and put her under the table, so I could run back and get one of her brothers. Nana had her other brother. I remember your mommy was saying,
“Shaky, Daddy, shaky! Shaky, Daddy, Shaky!”
We all stayed under that big table for awhile. We pretended we were camping…
So, Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Kaylee, and Happy First Earthquake Day!
How exciting to have your mommy’s grandma out to visit! Since your mommy’s mommy is “Nana,” your great grandma is “Nana G.” Just like a rapper…
It is so much fun watching you interact with all these special women in your life. Your joy and their joy grows and this is so important for you, your family and, actually, for the world.
You see, Kaylee, you get to take on the same key role your mommy, Nana, and Nana G. have in their lives. “Joyful daughters.” I am reading a book (Joy Starts Here) about how joy is wired into our brains and how being a “joy starter” is what we do when we follow Jesus together. Jesus said his teaching on earth was so we could be filled with his joy and spread joy (John 15:11). Here is where you come in, Kaylee. I am quoting from the book:
“Joyful group identity grows where there is regard for the weak. One of the best tests for a joyful group identity is a high concentration of hopeful daughters. More gentle protector skills pass from one generation to the next through daughters than any other way. Joyful little girls who love the way that babies, women, mothers and wives are treated by both men and women in their culture will look forward to starting joyful families of their own. Hopeful daughters will grow a joyful generation and joyful group identity…Hopeful girls will raise hopeful families (p. 79).”
Well, Kaylee, Grandpa’s little joy starter, you sure are off and running!
One of the funniest things that happens now is seeing where you end up when you are crawling and squirming, which is really exploring. For example, you always climb up Nana from the ground up, like she is some kind of tree, when she is sitting on the floor by you. Or when I am holding you on my lap, if I am wearing shorts, you start pulling my leg hairs!
I don’t know what it is that fascinates you with my leg hairs, but when I know I am going to see you, it is long pants time from now on! Wait until your hairiest leg uncle David comes back from school- then you can pull away…
The most hilarious thing, though, happened when you were exploring on your own in your crib. You were letting me know it was time to get you out of you crib after your morning nap, and I couldn’t believe what I saw…You had squirmed your leg out of one pajama leg and put both you legs side by side in the other pajama leg. I guess it made complete sense to you!
Well, can’t wait to see what you’re going to come up with next, Kaylee the Explorer…