Monday, February 22, 2010

Look at her go!

Here are a couple of fun videos for Kendra's adoring fans...

Since she was born, we've been eager for Kendra to communicate with us. After some weeks, she started to smile, a few more and she began cooing...and just a few weeks ago, I was standing with her in the back of the chapel at church and she looked right at someone and smiled and did this. It was so cool!

She doesn't do it every time you prompt her or immediately when she does decide to, but it's still fun to have this basic communication.

And you all know she's walking, but she's a full-blown toddler now. She mainly walks and rarely crawls now. So I took a little video to prove it.

Yep, she's my buddy. I love that she follows me around all day.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

More fun from vacation...

These pictures somehow didn't make it onto the post about our vacation...while Grant and his Dad went out shooting, Jackie filled up this fun bouncer for Simeon and Kendra to play in. They had some fun!

Our darling little girl...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Happy birthday!

I didn't figure that I'd get these pictures up so soon, but the birthday girl still has a cold and was ready for bed pretty early.

At dinner tonight, she seemed to sense the excitement of the occasion...

And of course, we stripped her down to her diaper for the crowning event...

She dug in pretty enthusiastically.

But in the end, she was really only interested in the frosting...

Even if she didn't eat much cake, she sure did enjoy it.

And after cake, it was the long-awaited moment:
Okay, so we didn't actually wrap anything. Cut me some slack, she's one. First: something to build the mind, and hopefully teach some colors eventually, too...
She seemed to be having fun with them.
At least, until she forgot about them when I pulled out her other present...

Yes, my friends. That is a 20 inch stuffed Yoda.

And she loves it. As she does most stuffed animals (and Jedi)...
We still can't believe our "baby" is already one year old! My how the time flies...

And don't worry Belky (and anyone else thinking the same thing). We're totally dying to get her a sibling for her by her next birthday.


One year ago today marked the most amazing thing I've ever been part of; Kendra was born. Not to toot my own horn, but I was a pretty significant worker in bringing that to pass (25 hours of labor with the last 2 whole ones spent pushing, to be exact).

I think Grant's statement on it sums the whole thing up: "That was an intense experience." And look what we got in return for it...

She's a pretty awesome little person.

We can't believe we're already celebrating her 1st birthday!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


After a very interesting start (trudging out to the train station with two suitcases, a carry-on duffle, an umbrella stroller and a baby single-handedly) at the beginning of a snowstorm, in Chicago we made it safely to New Mexico last Friday night. Yeay, vacation!

Our first bit of fun was a double date to go see Avatar with (Grant's brother) Seth and Kristina. Unfortunately, Kendra was really rattled by being in a totally new and huge house and doesn't do super well with babysitters, anyway (the flip side of being a stay-at-home Mom, I reckon). Lucky for us, Simeon was there!

She cried until he started playing with her and was fine as long as he was around.

On Monday we headed out to Arizona so that I could meet myself some Richardsons! Turns out, there's a whole lot of them...I'm seriously going to need some more time to get to know them all. But I did have the opportunity to talk to a few of them...
There just wasn't enough time to eat, talk and take lots and lots of pictures. But Kendra managed to charm plenty of her extended family members.

Arizona was awesome for many reasons. Sunny, cloudless skies and my daughter having bare legs, citrus trees, cacti all around, a few minutes to stroll those beautiful temple grounds in Mesa, and two of my favorite people whom I happen to have never met.

First there was Danielle, Grant's cousin and my brotha-from-anotha-motha (only y'know, not a guy) sort of e-pal. And she's only more my hero now that the baby bump she's sporting is Number 4 in five years.

I also got to meet Grant's namesake and grandfather. This was a real treat for me. He's had such an amazing life and he's a sweet, wonderful man. He adored Kendra and she took to him pretty well, too.

We stayed with Grant's sister, Lybi while we were there which was lots of fun, too. The last night we were there, Lybi gave me a piano lesson, which meant that Grant was somewhere taking lots of picture of her boys like this:

These guys totally rock!

A few miles outside of town on the way home, I started feeling kind of weird. By the end of the evening, I was in misery and spent most of the night on the couch outside the bathroom for fear of not making it there in time. Archie and I brought home the stomach flu, which I still haven't completely warded off. But Archie recovered much more quickly and was able to take Grant out for some good father-son bonding.

They brought back the box they used for their target practice, and let me tell you, it was good and dead after they got done with it.

But alas, all good things must come to an end, and unfortunately all too soon it came time for us to return to Chicago. Grant's parents were nice enough to let us do some shopping at the Family Meat Locker (their deep freeze) and we brought home a suitcase full of selections from last year's cow.

Apparently, the baby is pretty excited for roasts, steaks and hamburger too.

The whole trip we kept thinking to ourselves how nice it would be to move out West. The climate, the proximity to (more) family, the small-town life. Oh, we can dream. For now we're grateful we have such a happy life together in Chicago, even if it's a barren desolate wasteland of cold.

Only 5 more weeks of winter left, right?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Post from New Mexico

Well, I did get all my dishes, packing and errands done in plenty of time. Getting to the airport was quite the adventure, and our flight was delayed because a storm blew into town that afternoon, but we made it to New Mexico safe and sound.

And our road trip to Arizona was short, but very, very sweet. Of course, we'll post more on that after we get home.

Kendra has been SUCH a good trooper--a flight that didn't take off until almost her bedtime and then 16 hours in a car all within four days...she's cried a bit but we feel like we've had it pretty good with her. We've also had to wake her up before she was ready almost every single day we've been gone, she's been such a good sport!

As we pulled down the final stretch of road coming back from Arizona, I started to feel not so hot...and I was up most of the night making frantic trips to the bathroom (I ended up just camping out on the sofa next to the door of the bathroom off of the family room) because of stomach bug Archie and I both picked up, though thankfully no else seems to have. Those hardy Richardson immune systems!

But I realized there were a couple of videos I posted to YouTube that I never got around to posting here. This first one seems almost obsolete, but Kendra's walking has really taken off on this trip, in part because of more time going by and in part being surrounded by cousins and second cousins all showing her how. (Thank you, Simeon!)

This next one, however, is a real gem. Though she's gotten a bit better handle on it since this video was taken about a week ago, Kendra has had a hard time figuring out the best way to go somewhere and take something with her...

So there's a little something to tide all of Kendra's adoring fans over until we get home and post the details of our fun, fun, fun (stomach flu notwithstanding--but hey I've probably lost weight since nothing stays in me and I have absolutely zero appetite, right?) trip out West.

And if anyone hears about any job that Grant might be qualified for in the Albuquerque or Mesa/Phoenix area, please let us know where to send his resume. We would totally move out here in a heartbeat.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Gettin crafty...

There is a massive pile of dishes in the sink.

We're leaving for a week-long trip in less than 7 hours and I'm not quite finished packing.

And I have about a million things to do before we leave.

So of course, it's the perfect time to blog!!

(In my defense, I was up at 5am with a certain someone in our house who shall for the time being remain nameless to protect his/her anonymity but it's rhymes with "Bendra" and even though I was back in bed by 5:30, I didn't get back to sleep before the alarm went off at 7:10, thanks to another certain someone in our house whose name rhymes with "Brant" rolling over in such a way that his/her armpit hairs went up my nose, if any of you know how the physics of that works, I'm all ears. So, I'm a little fried and feeling kinda lazy.)

For some background on this post, the Christmas I was 8 my great-grandparents handed each of the great-grandchildren a check for $100--and this was 19 years ago when $100 went a lot further than it does now. So, one day during Christmas vacation we went shopping and I used $25 of it to buy crochet lessons.

Fast forward 19 years and I realize my baby needs a scarf...


Now she's ready for the fierce Chicago winds.
Or to rob a bank, I guess.

This picture isn't particularly relevant, but it's kinda funny because she's clearly squirming away.

I really enjoyed making the scarf, so I remembered I had five or six skeins of yarn laying around (I was going to make myself a little lap afghan for my very first apartment, but 3 weeks later Grant asked me to marry him and I pretty much forgot about it altogether) so I went a'Googling to see if I could find a pattern for something else...

And approximately one and a half seasons of Charmed later, I came up with something I liked.


What is it, you ask?

It's my new movie-watching shawl!

So cozy!

Well. That was fun to share, but I have carefully gone through our folders and there just aren't any more stories to blog. Dang. I guess I should get to my dishes, my packing and other items of bidniz that need my attention...