Great Expectations II: 17 weeks

How Far: 17 weeks

Weight/ Clothes: An actual maternity shirt in the picture...still normal jeans though.

I looked back at the last time around with Levi because I had an appointment this week and got weighed. I knew I had actually gained something over the past month since my last check up since I'm feeling better and hungry pretty often, but I was curious how it compared with my weight gain last time. Things look pretty similar in that department, I've gained 7 lbs thus far this pregnancy and last time I'd gained 9 lbs at 17 weeks.

I also think I'm carrying a little differently because looking back at the pictures from last time, I seemed similar size I think, but lower....hard to compare since the angles are different, but this time I definitely think I'm showing a little higher, which would also explain why I can still wear and button my non-maternity jeans whereas last time I was already wearing maternity capris and had just bought my first pairs of maternity jeans.

This week I also went ahead and wore a couple of my actual maternity sweaters because I might as well. It's not like they're going to get a lot of use this summer when I'm bigger. I definitely don't fill them out much, but I do look pregnant for the most part if I'm wearing something that clings to the bump...not enough that people would just assume, but they do wonder. I know this from a couple conversations at church with acquaintances who didn't know for sure, but upon my saying something about being pregnant then responded with comments like, "Oh I was wondering if that was the case." I've also already gotten a couple belly rubs...luckily from friends, not random people, which I don't mind.

Cravings: Still nothing to really report this week.

Gender: I emailed the Red Sox people in charge of the jumbo-tron and they said they'd get back to me next week since it was probably a busy time with opening day this week, so it wasn't a no, but not a definite yes yet. I'll keep you posted.

Movement: As of the middle of the week, I hadn't felt anything for sure, but the OB said I probably would any day now. Then over the weekend, while I was coordinating our church's apologetics conference there were definitely a couple instances when I had that charlie horse feeling where at first thought it was just a muscle spasm, but upon second though I realize it was most likely the baby moving.

Symptoms: Lots of eye twitching this week probably because I was very busy with final details for the conference which meant a little more stress and fatigue...nothing I couldn't handle just more of it than usual.

I also am starting to have more heartburn. I'm still managing it with Tums since it isn't always present, but I'm ready with Zantac if it gets worse and more often.

I've had some round ligament pain this week since things are beginning to stretch more and then some sciatic nerve pain Friday night after I'd been on my feet all evening for the conference running around taking care of last minute logistics and details. Luckily it was better on Saturday, thank goodness since it was my longer day to work.

Mental State: This was a very busy week since I was in the final days of coordinating the apologetics conference. It was very eye opening trying to multitask with Levi between different meetings, projects and correspondences. I'm thankful to not be working like this regularly because it was a lot to balance, but I loved the work itself. Adam was very helpful in taking Levi here and there, so I could run to a meeting and get things like name tags assembled and organized. I also had my fair share of last minute meetings in the church's toddler two room, so Levi could play and I could focus on tasks like the final conference budget and logistics for the weekend. Once the weekend rolled around, I was in full conference mode and Adam had Levi. Everything went beautifully. The weekend was well organized and things ran smoothly the whole time. We only had a couple technical issues that weren't really things you could have expected, and thankfully they were taken care of as quickly as possible.

Appointment Updates
: I had an appointment with the OB this week. He was very pleased with how everything is going. I had a few questions about things like my eye twitch, round ligament pain, a bout of light headedness (oh memories of high school) and sciatic nerve pain. He assured me that all these things are totally normal and will naturally happen earlier this time because of muscle memory. Isn't that fun!

The eye twitch is typically associated with fatigue and stress, so I just need to try and get good sleep. The round ligament pain is right on schedule as well. The light headedness only happened once and I just sat down to get the blood flowing to my head since I'd been standing behind a registration table in one position obviously for too long, which took care of things. The doc said to stay well hydrated and that circulation and sugar issues can be normal symptoms, so I just have to be watchful of standing in one place too long like back in the good old choir days and eat regularly things that won't make my blood sugar spike and go down too quickly. My almonds definitely fit that bill. He also gave me some stretches that could help with the sciatic nerve issue which only occurs when I've over done it and gotten myself pretty tired physically, so thankfully it isn't happening often.

The baby's heart rate was between 152 and 155 and is always wonderful to hear. I had my second blood draw for the series sequential, which is a screening for the potential for Down Syndrome. The results came back the next day and my midwife said everything looked perfect, just as it should be. i could not have had better results, so that's good.

Best Moment of the Week: Coordinating the apologetics conference and seeing things go off without a hitch.  This is the first time the church has hosted an event of this sort, so we weren't sure exactly how many people to expect beyond the almost 400 that pre-registered. We probably had well over 500 throughout the weekend. God is good. It was very exciting for things to be as successful as they were.

AND

Purchasing our new double stroller on sale. We went with the Baby Jogger City Select in black. I'm very excited for it to arrive. It's one of the few items we'll need this time around.

Great Expectations II: 16 weeks

How Far: 16 weeks

We're representing for UVA this week in our orange and blue since my HOOS are in the sweet 16!

Weight/ Clothes: I'm starting to show a little higher and friends have confirmed that I indeed am beginning to look pregnant, not just chubby. I did pull out my first maternity items this week...leggings and a new maternity shirt that I picked up at H&M. It was the style of one of my favorites the last time around just in a different color scheme. Otherwise I'm still wearing my normal jeans and can even still button most of them comfortably based on where the bump is falling.

Cravings: Nothing in particular. Boring I know.

Gender: I figured out what I think I want to do for our gender reveal this time around. Adam had requested a smaller scaled event where it would just be the two of us rather than a big party, so I've been brainstorming cute ideas for the two of us finding out since I'd rather not just find out at the ultrasound. What have I landed on you may be wondering?? Well we are headed to a Red Sox vs Yankees game the night of our ultrasound...so I have to look into whether this is even possible or reasonable to attempt...but I'm going to see if I can get the gender posted on the jumbo-tron at the game. You know the way they post happy birthdays and such. I wouldn't even have to know ahead of time because I could just deliver the envelope to the office of whomever takes care of those announcements. I also plan to have a back up envelope since I won't know the person posting this news and I'll want to be able to double check what the doctor wrote.  I'll keep you posted as I find out if this will become a reality or if I need to go back to the drawing board.

Movement: Nothing yet.

Symptoms: I'm feeling pretty good this week. The sickness stage of things seems to have passed and I'm getting my energy back, which was great timing since I had an overnight trip to New York planned by myself to attend my cousin's bridal shower.

My eye twitching has ALREADY returned!! I can't believe it since this didn't come on as a symptom until the last month or so with Levi, but here we are at week 16 and it's already started. It happens periodically in either eye...not usually at the same time thankfully. At least it's not painful, just REALLY annoying! I'm pretty sure it's related to fatigue, so I'm trying to rest when I can...nap when Levi naps and sleep well at night between trouble dozing off and waking to pee two-three times a night. At least I'm still perfectly comfortable sleeping once I manage to fall asleep.

Mental State: This was an exciting weekend! It was my first overnight away from Levi. He has pretty much weaned because my milk supply has changed drastically since becoming pregnant. This meant Adam could keep him overnight easily and I didn't need to worry about pumping. It was a great practice run because I'm planning a trip in late May to visit my friend Lindsey who is having her first baby and without Levi along for the trip I'll be able to truly lend a hand. It was so nice to know that I married Superdad...he checked Levi into the nursery during youth group Friday night (and it helped that he wasnt preaching that evening), sent me a morning video, took Levi to the park, a triathlon convention at MIT after which Levi took a 2.5 hour nap...we don't see many of those around these parts...and then they went grocery shopping, hung out, had dinner and Levi even got a bath. I got home late that night and was so thankful that it all went well. I don't foresee too many more trips on my own coming up beyond the May trip when my mom plans to come and lend a hand since I'll be gone for a few days and Adam works weekends with youth group Friday night and church responsibilities Sunday morning.

Appointment Updates
: My next appointment is coming up next week.

Best Moment of the Week: Hearing how well things went for Adam and Levi while I was away celebrating my soon to be cousin Paola. It was wonderful getting to catch up and spend time with my aunts and cousins on my Dad's side. The wedding is going to be so much fun in June!

Oh and I scheduled my maternity photos for this summer too!! They'll be in July right before Adam leaves for the Columbia missions trip at one of our local beaches on the North Shore. Adam was surprised I thought we should have another set done, but I explained that it's different this time because Levi will be in these this time around and this baby needs the same treatment as our first right!

Great Expectations II: 15 weeks

How Far:
15 weeks

Weight/ Clothes: Still in all my normal clothes except one pair of my jeans are in need of a bellyband in order to wear them comfortably. They're my oldest skinny jeans and sit a little higher on my hips than my more recently purchased jeans, which all sit just below my small bump. I can button and wear the rest comfortably still, which is so nice since my maternity jeans are probably the clothing item that got the most wear and I'm most tired of compared to my maternity tops and such. I didn't even wear a bellyband with Levi because I jumped right into comfy maternity pants whereas I'm in no rush this time around, so I'm loving the bellyband. It's a GREAT invention!

Cravings: Nothing special this week. Still loving Mexican and soup.

Gender: Name suggestions anyone? We have a few boy names we're pretty excited about, but again girl names are throwing us for a loop...why are they so much harder for us to find, agree on and fall in love with. And none of the names we had left over from our pregnancy with Levi are even in the mix this time around. Isn't it funny how that happens? PLEASE COMMENT WITH NAME IDEAS!

Movement: Still feeling the occasional bubbles...could it be movement...still seems too soon to me...but perhaps.

Symptoms: Guess what's already back...MY EYE TWITCH!! Ahhh not this soon...but low and behold there it is every now and then with one eye or the other. Thankfully it's more a pain than anything else.

I've also started having trouble falling asleep. It doesn't matter how tired I am, falling asleep is a challenge and this is NEVER a challenge for me. It's interesting to say the least and means I'm staying up way later than I should, which is making the mornings that much more challenging. Talking with a friend, she had the same issue when she was pregnant and we both agreed it had to be hormonal. Hopefully my body adjusts and things get better.

Mental State: Same as last week. Thinking a bit about a double stroller (we're going to get a City Select...I've been debating between red or black...Adam convinced me to go with the black).. and thinking about life with two in general. We even washed and put the infant car seat away after using it one final time in California. Now it's all set back to its smallest settings for the new baby since Levi has just now officially outgrown it according to its height requirements (He was just at the max height in Cali). Adam commented on how crazy it is how small Levi once was to fit in the seat with the straps at their smallest setting and how crazy it is that we'll soon have a new baby that's that tiny to fit in it all over again.

Appointment Updates
: I had my ultrasound where they screen for Downs Syndrome. Everything was looking good thankfully. I have one more blood test to get in a couple weeks before we receive the results. This test is just a predictor with no guarantees but it's a nice chance to see the baby.

Best Moment of the Week: Seeing Jellybean squirming all around at the ultrasound. This baby is VERY active already maybe that's why I feel bubbles already, but I still think the baby is too small for me to really be feeling any sort of movement.

Great Expectations II: 14 weeks

How Far:
14 weeks

(Weeks 13 and 14 are kind of blended together since we were on vacation in California for part of it and then we got back and started taking bump pictures.)

Weight/ Clothes: Pretty much normal though this week I saw the first signs of a tiny bump...I am officially entering the "I look like I ate too many donuts" phase of pregnancy. I have to be wearing a really tight shirt for you to really be able to see a bump otherwise you would never know anything was going on.

Cravings: Man oh man did I have a craving for hot and sour soup! Luckily I got to eats LOTS of it at a great restaurant in Chinatown while we were in LA.

Gender: Won't have news until after Easter...we shall see...EVERY guess so far is that I'm having a girl. It's so fun to hear what people are basing their predictions on since it can't really be based on the manner in which I'm showing yet. We'll see!

Movement: Occasionally I feel bubbles but I feel like it's too soon to be feeling the baby.

Symptoms: At times I can be very sensitive to smell this go round. I also had some sciatic nerve pain while we were in LA. I literally couldn't walk at one point, but after getting some rest it calmed down. Thank goodness cause not being able to walk comfortably is THE WORST!

Mental State: Not much to report this week...Levi has thankfully been sleeping well which has really helped my brain fog...we had a short disruption this week when he had a major molar teething spell...but that too has passed thankfully, so I'm feeling good mentally.

Appointment Updates
: We had a second appointment with the OB this time. My normal OB is out on maternity leave herself, so I saw a new guy to the practice. He was very jovial and even let Levi sit on my lap (more like hips) while he did a quick ultrasound on my belly. With finding out later this time I haven't had to have any internal ultrasounds, which has been pretty nice. This is the first picture we have in print, so I was able to use it to send out some messages to friends and family with the good news! Then we made our news Facebook official, which was pretty exciting.


Best Moment of the Week: We had a couple for this installment...Visiting the San Diego zoo with Levi, Adam and my parents! Such GREAT memories! AND....

Getting over 300 likes on our Facebook announcement and 85 comments on our announcement photo and over 200 likes and 54 comments on the photo of our parents finding out the news. Isn't social media fun! Thanks everyone for all your love and support.

Great Expectations II: The First Trimester

12 weeks along
How Far Along: 12 weeks

(The bump photo series didn't fully get started until week 14, next post...in the meantime enjoy this eclectic compilation of photos that were taken while I was pregnant but for many of which I didn't know it yet. So fun!)

So we found out quite a bit further along that we were expecting this time (probably around 8 or 9 weeks along..so bump pictures started a little later). I conceived sometime in December before the holidays but didn't find out until a couple weeks into January that we were indeed preggo for the second time when I started having symptoms and realized that I had yet to get my period. It was quite exciting since I didn't have any spotting this time around! I'll write a separate post about finding out and telling Dad we were pregnant again. 

Very early on...and Christmas Eve
Weight/ Clothes: I'm happily in my everyday wardrobe even at 12 weeks, which is nice since I continued to wear my maternity clothes a number of months postpartum rather than purchasing in between sizes of things. I have actually lost a couple pounds starting out this pregnancy because I haven't been feeling good. Lots of nausea this time around, so the good news is I made it back to my pre-pregnancy weight which I had been holding onto 3 or 4 pounds with nursing still and such, but those pounds are no longer. I don't feel like I'm seeing changes to my body as early on this time around either probably because my stomach isn't as tight as it was prior to my pregnancy with Levi...wonder why;) haha.

Joined the club!
Cravings: I'm all about some Mexican cuisine this time around. If it's tacos, enchiladas, chili or Chipotle I'm all about it. Thankfully I've been making most of this food myself so I can watch what goes into the food and be healthier with it than if I was eating it out all the time.  Thankfully chicken chili and turkey tacos aren't foods I have to worry too much about packing on the pounds.

In VA for a shower and gender reveal.
Gender: We plan to find out again, but we're going to do something fun just the two or three of us this go round. We'll have that ultrasound soon after Easter...so still a ways away. I am so curious this time around because I feel like there have been some major differences in this pregnancy, which could mean it might be a girl or another boy just affecting me completely differently. We'll see.

Movement: Too early for such things...but I know what to be on the look out for.


Found out this week in VA!
Symptoms: I've actually thrown up a hand full of times this go round and not because I made the mistake of taking my vitamins on an empty stomach like last time. I've also been nauseous ALL THE TIME for a few weeks. This nausea and fatigue is what made me first wonder if I could in fact be pregnant.

I have to eat fairly regularly to keep the nausea at bay and in the morning only a high protein source like eggs will keep me full enough to stave off the sickness. I've also been keeping almonds handy AT ALL TIMES because they help in a pinch if I've waited to long to eat. I even had to eat a few almonds in the middle of the night one night because I couldn't get back to sleep on an empty stomach...WEIRD!

Levi's first birthday party
Mental State: Had a funny pregnancy brain moment at the youth group pancake breakfast where I had black coffee in one cup and syrup in another and I poured coffee on my pancakes before realizing I'd picked the wrong cup. Oops and at that point people weren't in the know about my pregnancy, so I just looked REALLY silly.
We told all the grandparents, Tati and Chris this weekend.
Appointment Updates: We had our first office appointment with the midwife (Adam, Levi and I) and because I found out a bit later this time around, I didn't get into the office until about 10 weeks along, so there wasn't any anxiety involved because there was a beautifully strong heartbeat from the get go. We even got to take a peak at the baby on the ultrasound. Everything looked good and I didn't have many questions having just been down this road a year ago. After this appointment we decided it was safe to start sharing our news with extended family and friends, but we'd hold off until the second trimester to share our news more broadly...facebook...but it has been really fun finding creative or in the moment ways to tell friends and family we're expecting #2.
Fun bump series coming soon!

Best Moment of the Week: Best moments of the first trimester have been telling Adam, telling the grandparents, choosing the nickname Jellybean, and hearing/seeing Jellybean's heartbeat for the first time. I'll probably write a few posts about each of those fun moments in the days to come.

The Business of Being...Levi

Well I've been hanging around this world for  TWELVE MONTHS now and here's what I think about things so far...That's right folks, I'm ONE YEAR OLD
I started this month off with some crazy teething. I have 8 teeth now that have fully come in. I ran a fever and everything. It was so bad this month, that Mom actually bought some cherry flavored stuff that helps numb my gums. I like that stuff. It really dulls the pain. Getting teeth is NO joke let me tell you! I have also started brushing me teeth. I got this really fun banana tooth brush for Christmas and I love it. Mom even started putting a tiny bit of toothpaste after the doctor told her to go ahead.
I am using those all my nice new teeth to eat, eat, eat. I love chicken chili. It is so delicious! I am also obsessed with fruit. Mom and Dad threw me a Very Hungry Caterpillar party for my first birthday and you'd think I was a caterpillar as much as I love apples, tangerines, bananas and grapes. I also love bread and pasta of course...what person doesn't...and I'm Italian, so it's in my blood. I've become pretty interested in utensils lately. I try to use spoons and forks, but I have yet to master it. Plates and bowls are another thing, I would rather use them as a toy and spill whatever is on them rather than let them contain my food, so I'm still eating from my highchair tray and Mom got this cool suction place mat for when we're out since I keep trying to toss the plates on the floor. I don't know why she won't let me. The Greek do it when they're excited and it looks like fun! Oh well.
In Levi fashion, I got to travel again this month. Mom and I headed back to Virginia for a couple exciting parties. We threw a baby shower for Mommy's friend Amanda in Northern VA who is having twins. We got to hang out at Amanda and Andrew's house the night before the shower and I was so excited about my soon to arrive new friends that I didn't go to sleep until almost 11pm. I was a party animal. I thought the party was already started, no one filled me in on the fact that is was actually the next day. The next morning we decorated for the party with all sorts of cute Two Peas in a Pod themed stuff and celebrated Madison and Austin. I was the only boy at the party, but even I had fun. How cool would it be to come into the world with a best friend.
Then later that afternoon, Mom and I drove to Richmond for Aunt Haley and Uncle Justin's gender reveal party. Mom was sure they were having a girl, but guess what?!? I'm going to have another boy bud!!! I am so excited! We are going to have SO MUCH FUN when we hang out. Just wait till me and Liam and the younger guys are old enough to explore at the cabin! Better bring extra clothes Mama because we're all going to be wet from the creek like when Tati was little. I can't wait to meet my new buddy Aunt Haley!
I have also become really comfortable with all of my grandparents. I mean I did get to hang out with them a bunch at Christmas and then I was back for another week long visit a few weeks later. As soon as I see them, I reach for them and want to say hi. They really like that. They all came for my birthday too, so I've gotten to see them a lot and I love it! We're all spoiled. My next visit will be California when Nana and Papa come along and then a spring break visit with Grandma and Grandpop. Of course I see them all weekly on the computer and I'm getting more excited about that too.
So last month's big news was my first steps...well I am walking EVERYWHERE now! I LOVE WALKING and I'm getting pretty good at it. I hardly ever crawl. I'm not running yet, but I'm working on my speed. Watching these Olympics are giving me a need for speed. Watch out Mama and Dada, I'm going to be running before you know it. PROMISE! For now I'll enjoy the cheers and claps as I toddle around.

My favorite words are still dada and mama and I am finally saying both pretty regularly. I've also made it pretty clear that I know who's who. This month I've also started practicing all sorts of other sounds like Nnnnn and Bbbbb. I babble all the time. A friend from our small group is always saying what an extravert I seem to be like Mama. I've also learned to scream, not sure where I picked that up, but it's lots of fun. Lately I've also started pointing and making noises to communicate when I want something. Mama keeps using the words then as she gives me what I've asked for. Don't worry Mama I'll be talking too before you know it.
I'm FINALLY sleeping through the night. It only took 11 months and a couple tough nights where I had to fuss a little. It was just so much fun waking up around 4am for a quick hello with Mom, but I guess those days are gone since she didn't come in to say hi, so I guess I might as well stay asleep. I wake up pretty consistently at 6:40 in the morning, but then I snooze till 8 with Mom and Dad.  I'm still a bit of a stinker when it comes to naps though. I hate going to sleep, but I do get cranky so I guess I still need a couple naps a day though Mama has tried one nap days to see if I'd sleep any longer. I still slept an hour and fifteen minutes, so we're back to two naps since I still get sleepy in the morning. 
The month wrapped up with my birthday celebrations. Nana came to town earlier in my birthday week and baked me a vanilla cake with chocolate frosting. I loved seeing the candle! Mom made me pancakes to kick off my special day and we did some shopping because I needed a spot to keep my new birthday toys. Mama got a cool shelf thing to keep my toys in the living room. The rest of my grandparents, Tati and Uncle Chris got in town for my birthday weekend and helped get everything ready for my party. Like I mentioned earlier, I had a Very Hungry Caterpillar party and it was really fun. So many of my friends and my parents' friends came to celebrate my special day. I could tell it was all about me and I was in such a good mood the day of my party. I napped well and was ready to party. I had 12 little friends at the party and we played with my new toys from Christmas and enjoyed all the party food. Then everyone sang Happy Birthday to me and Mama gave me a red cake (the Caterpillar's head). I was a little tentative and didn't dive into my cake, but it was fun to touch the icing. It was so sticky! I'd never felt anything like it. I'm told this cake stuff will really grow on me. I felt so loved by everyone who came out to celebrate. Even my Great Uncle Victor made a surprise trip from Pennsylvania with our cousin Maryann for my party. It was really nice to spend some time with them since I'd only gotten to hang out with them briefly at Tati's wedding really.
Thanks everyone for all the love, support and excitement this year for both me and my parents. It has been an amazing year and I have a feeling things will only continue to get more and more interesting!
Of course this has been another month of firsts...
             Baby Shower.
             Gender Reveal Party.
             Birthday Party.

Overall,  in my TWELTH MONTH I've enjoyed the business of being A TODDLER!

The Business of Being...Levi

Well I've been hanging around this world for  ELEVEN MONTHS now and here's what I think about things so far... 
I started this month off by meeting the man with the big white beard...Santa. Mom, Dad, Nana, Poppy, Tati and Uncle Chris all took me to Macy's in New York City to meet Santa Claus. To be honest, he was SCARY! I loved seeing all the twinkling Christmas decorations in the Christmas village while we waited to meet Santa, but as soon as we walked in I FREAKED out! I calmed down once Mom and Dad sat with me as long as I wasn't right next to HIM! The rest of the day we spent wandering around NYC seeing the holiday decorations. It was a fun way to kick off this the Christmas season. Mom and I took a train home to Boston that night. It was my first real train ride outside of the T or subway. 
In other BIG news...I took my first steps this month! I side stepped to start off and it brought Mom to tears. I guess she doesn't like her little boy growing up so quickly. Who can blame her really. Then throughout the month I began taking more steps usually a couple at a time. I still prefer to crawl because I get places quicker, but when Mom and Dad are sitting across from each other we play this fun game where they stand me up and the other person holds out their arms, so I can walk to back and forth to them. It's a really fun game and I feel safe giving this walking thing a try since I know they're right there to catch me. I think the most steps I've taken at once has been between four and five while we were playing this game of theirs. I have yet to venture out on my own though. I'm sure I'll get around to it any day now.
I have developed quite the appetite this month. I'm really enjoying solid food now. I'm still eating baby food now and then depending on what there is for me to eat and I love my oatmeal for breakfast, but I'm also loving chicken, cheese, bread and a variety of veggies and fruits. When I was in Virginia for Christmas, I ate all sorts of good stuff from pasta and meatballs, to cheese, scrambled eggs and pancakes and much much more. I'm a growing boy and I love food!
Related to food, I still love Cheerios and lately I've been trying to get everyone else hooked on my favorite snack. How, you ask? Well, by sharing of course. I love to share my Cheerios. I eat one and then I like to give you one to eat too. Sometimes I even like to share the one I've just tasted...gotta make sure it's good before letting you try it. Right?!

My first Christmas was magical. I attended my first Christmas party and slipped a gingerbread cookie past Daddy. It was YUMMY and I think the red icing traces that gave me away were a nice touch.
Mom and Dad kept a gate around our Christmas tree because it had lots of fragile ornaments, but I did enjoy starring at the twinkling light and trying to reach for ornaments. Then right before we left for Christmas in Virginia, we celebrated our own little Christmas at home and the gate got packed, so I had a whole hour of fun looking at our tree and all the ornaments close up. My favorite ornament to play with was the jack in the box because mom would spin the crank and a gingerbread man would pop out. Then I would try to push him back into the box. We played this game for a long time. Life with the tree only got better once we got to Virginia because my grandparents would actually let me touch the ornaments and play with them. My Grandma put all the ornaments at the bottom of the tree that I could play with and she made sure there weren't any hooks, so I went to town pulling them off. Playing with them and then trying to put them back on the tree.
I love watching Christmas movies like Rudolph, especially if it has songs. There's even a Veggie Tales Christmas movie that explains where Santa came from. Did you know he was actually St. Nicolas and he would give gifts out as a way of showing thanks for God giving us his Son, Jesus. Mom spent a lot of time this month reflecting one what Christmas traditions she wishes to start with me to keep Christmas focused on Christ, the real reason for the season. I was a little small this year though, so it gave her some time to figure out what we'll have fun with next year...like the elf on the shelf that encourages random acts of kindness and baking a birthday cake for Jesus. One tradition we did start this year was she did a Christmas craft with my little piggies...she painted my foot green and stamped it on paper to make little mistletoe cards to give to the family. My mistletoes were a big hit and fun surprise for everybody.
I must have been a very good boy because Santa and my family gave me lots of amazing toys from my very own back ho and huggable Elmo to my own sled that Poppy refinished for me and grocery cart complete with all sorts of play food some of which I haven't even tried in real life yet! Like tell me, what is this thing you call a donut? It looks pretty tasty! Mom took all sorts of pictures and she'll post them all later, so you can see how special my first Christmas really was. I got to spend lots of time with my amazing grandparents, aunts, uncles and extended family!
My favorite word is still Da-da...and I am pretty sure it refers to my dad because he gets pretty excited when he walks in a room and I point at him and say dada. Mom keeps working on mama with me, but I still only make the mmmm sound when I'm fussy. I'll keep her on her toes a bit longer...I know I'm a stinker;).

I'm also a stinker when it comes to sleep. Last month I showed Mom I could sleep through the night, which I know excited her, but I like to keep her on her toes with that too. I sometimes decide to sleep right through and other times I like to get up one or two times. There really is no rhyme or reason to it. Friends keep reminding her I won't go to college still waking up...haha...I'm sure they'll be right.
I'm doing better when it comes to the car these days. Mom and Dad have some good tricks that help too...like Mom downloaded Elmo's song and the whole Sesame Street CD. They also put a couple Baby Miracle videos about Jonah, Noah and creation on their iPads, so I can watch those in the car when I'm not sleepy. I love the music and seeing the animals moving around. It really helped keep me entertained especially on our 12 hour road trip back to Boston after Christmas!
It's crazy to think I'm going to be a year old next month! Wow how this year is flying. I have grown and learned so much already and there's only more fun to come!
Of course this has been another month of firsts...
          Steps.
          Christmas.
          Long road trip.

Overall,  in my ELEVENTH MONTH I've enjoyed the business of being FESTIVE.

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