Ben's birthday

Ben, about 30 minutes old

We found out (for sure) about Ben the day after Nate's 1st birthday party.

Before the pregnancy test, I think Rodgers was still hoping I wasn't pregnant just yet. He wasn't ready to go through pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum again so soon (it was rough the first time around). I knew I was pregnant and was glad. We wanted to have a second child, and I wanted to get all the having-the-baby part over with!

Ben, 2 days old

Turns out it wasn't quite so bad the second time. Pregnancy was better; my morning sickness only lasted 2 trimesters instead of 3. Delivery was infinitely better, with a wonderful scheduled c-section. That also made those first weeks and months postpartum so much better, as did my decision to formula feed from the start, rather than to try to force my body to produce sufficient milk, which I did with Nate until my body decided we'd had enough and stopped producing altogether, but I don't really think I'm bitter about that anymore. Anyway, moving on...

We had friends and family over for Ben's birthday. Nate has been looking forward to it for 6 weeks, at which point he had asked me if he could play with balloons, and I said, "Yes, at Ben's birthday party."

We grilled hot dogs, made homemade hot dog chili sauce and french fries, and bought a cake. I designed Ben's decorations, inspired by a helicopter on one of his bottles.

His Aunt Claire sent birthday gifts with a Kenyan girl who spent the summer in Texas. Nate helped open gifts, and had to run and show each one to Rodgers. I think Ben got into it because of Nate's excitement.

Gigi and Grandpa gave us money to buy him a chair, since he has been stealing Nate's little chair. The first one was super cute, but led to two bumps on the head and a fat lip in the first day, so we traded for the one he's sitting in that's harder to tip over.

His friends gave him some money and big box of cookies! The blue and white box is the cookies. Sidney (the baby) was supposed to give the money to Ben, but he wouldn't take it and Ben wouldn't look up from his package of cookies. Then when Samuel was ready to give his gift, Ben was occupied playing with other presents. Ah, well, I'll take it!

We gave Ben a rug for his and Nate's room that has roads on it for driving toy cars. Nate picked out a set of cars to play with on the rug. They wasted no time getting started playing with the cars and rug!

Ben was sooooo sleepy by cake time. He did put in a good effort, considering the sleepiness. the US it's rude to tell someone you are coming to their event and not show up. In Kenya, it's rude to say you won't be coming unless you have a very specific excuse (such as if you have to go to work). If you don't, you just say you're coming to be polite, then don't go. Or you can say that you have to work even if you really don't, but I think our friends are starting to realize that Rodgers doesn't accept that from them. Thus, we prepared for 20 people and had 3, one of which was only 8 months old. So a la Matthew 22, Rodgers went out to the street and called our neighbors' kids to come in and eat hot dogs and cake! Those in upper primary school were just getting home from Saturday school, so it was the perfect time.

And they watched Lion King. Rodgers said that once we open the children's home, this is what our living room will always look like.

Ben had a blast. He was laughing and playing all day long, except for his nap, when he crashed hard! Rodgers' niece was supposed to come, but there was no one to bring her, and we were too busy getting ready for the party that we couldn't go pick her up. So, when her mom got off work, she stopped by, and we sent some of the leftovers home with her so that they could have a mini party of their own. :)


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