You made your grand, albeit loud, entrance into the world on November 1, 2007. The fact that you joined us on All Saints Day makes me laugh - a lot.
Your birth was a fairly uneventful, easy, planned C-section, because you were already 9 pounds 7 ounces a week before your actual due date - and if we recall correctly, your sister was only 8'6" and got stuck en route into the world. I didn't want to do that again. So one spinal block, one huge incision, and at least 15 of the OB staff kneeling on my chest in an effort to remove you from my abdomen later (I'm pretty sure you had crammed yourself into my rib cage and had your arms and legs wrapped around my spine), you emerged - screaming. And you didn't stop for three days.
Karis Layne, you continue to make your presence known in this world in such an unbelievable way. You explode into a room and bring so much life into it. I don't think I have the words to accurately portray you. You are sensitive, emotional, willful, opinionated, hilarious, engaging and adorable.
I'll start with sensitive and emotional. I'm not sure if this is a girl thing or a Daddy thing, because your sister excels in this area as well. A recent example: "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" was on TV the other night. There's a random scene where Snoopy is dancing to the music Schroeder plays on his toy piano. Suddenly, the music becomes melancholy and Snoopy begins to weep. A few moments later, you broke down into soul-wrenching sobs. When I asked you what was wrong you said, "That doggie is so sad! He's cwyin'!" And then you periodically cried and whimpered throughout the rest of the evening and went to bed sobbing over the "pouw doggie." It broke my heart that you were so sad!
And then there are the strong opinions and willfulness that have been the source of many battles so far in this home. But I'm holding on to hope that some day that will be channeled into something productive and positive because I'm watching it happen slowly. It is amazing to watch as your sense of right and wrong evolve. And this willfulness is a large part of that evolution.
For example, when I first explained to you that in our home, we choose not to say, "Oh my God or Oh my Gosh" but "Oh my goodness" was okay, I thought my head was going to implode. You would emphatically say, "OH. MY. GOODNESS! Dat's not da bad word, right?"
"That's correct honey. 'Oh my goodness' is okay to say."
Then you'd turn around with a look of pure mischief on your face and whisper just loud enough for me to hear, "Oh my Gosh."
After many trips to the Time Out Chair, I think you've learned your lesson on this. Because now, whenever Candace (of Phineas and Ferb fame - something I never would have let your sister watch at 3 years old - oh how things change with each child...this is why we're stopping at two...out of fear that any other children I have would be X-Files fans by 6 months old), says "Oh, my Gosh!" you declare emphatically, "MOM! She said a bad word! We don't say that!!!!"
And believe me this is only a very minor example of the willfulness. The blatant naughtiness that goes on in this house is unreal. But as I said, you're learning. And it is really cool to watch this sense of right and wrong develop.
I previously mentioned that you are hilarious, engaging and adorable. Anyone who knows you can attest to this. And its not just because you're my kid. I'm not a big fan of kids and if you were not my own, I'd still think you're hilarious, engaging and adorable. I could go on for pages and pages! I'll only give you a few examples:
You're fully potty trained now (another display of willfulness, let me assure you). The other day you finished your business then peeked into the toilet at what you had wrought and declared, "My poop looks like a SHARK!!!!"
I love to kiss your neck and will attack it any time I see it exposed. I call it your "kissy neck." You've taken to playing the game with me now. "Look up at the ceiling," you say in a delightful sing-song voice. And when I do you yell, "KISSY NECK" and basically attack my jugular. Its unbelievably amusing.
Karis, I can say without a doubt, that you feel life very deeply and choose to squeeze every last drop of it out of every day. You don't waste a second. I admire that. You are teaching me so many new things about myself.
And then there are those huge, brown eyes that have pierced deeply into your daddy's heart.
You are an amazing little girl and I love watching your life unfold piece by loud, exuberant piece.
I love you Boo Boo. Happy Birthday.