Wednesday, December 26, 2012

So this is Christmas...

I’m still relishing in the post Christmas bliss we experienced the last two days. I do love Christmas, everything about it. The excitement, the hustle and bustle, the reminiscing, the spirit of it all.
Whitney is still entirely way to young to “get it”, but for me, just the extra day off with Andy and her and getting to spend time together is what I love best. Since we spend the holidays with our families in early January, that leaves Christmas Eve and day all to ourselves, making memories and traditions as a family. Here is a small recap of Christmas 2012:

I was thrilled to find out Andy was getting off work early on Christmas Eve, this allowed me to go to church at 6:00, rather than 10:00 pm. Andy opted to stay at home with Whitney while I went to St Andrews Catholic Church, the first time I was able to attend one of their Christmas masses. It was beautiful and packed, as I suspected it would be. Mass lasted only an hour and they sang beautiful traditional Christmas hymns. I surprised myself by not even needing a hymnal to sing along to all the songs, since I've been getting much practice listening to Christmas music the past 1.5 months. This was a great way for me to kick of Christmas Eve and the holiday in general.
By the time I got home we still had time to play with Whitney together and be silly. We took some photos and had time to relax.

Christmas day Whitney woke up around 8:15 and we immediately skyped with my parents, since they were going to go to church in the morning and would then be preparing for their 40+ guests that afternoon. They had shipped a few presents to us to open on Christmas day and we had such fun opening them. Whitney got a puzzle and a picnic basket and some clothes, she was a happy little girl. She loves skyping and I think she is starting to think Grandpa and Grandma live in the computer! She puts the computer right on her lap and usually puts on a show for them, always being silly while on camera. She then walked over to her highchair and signed to “eat”, so I guess that was our cue it was time to go and have breakfast. Getting to see them on Christmas morning is the next best thing to being there with them. Merry Christmas Mom and Dad.

We then ate breakfast and skyped with Andy’s Mom, who was at his sister’s house in Florida. They have three kids, ages 4 and under, so they were up to their elbows in Christmas cheer as well. She opened up a few more presents, a rocking chair from Grandma JuJu and a “worm” crawl through toy from her cousins – her favorite new toy. She opened a few more things, and the present we got her, a shopping cart. We will try to milk this period of her not “getting it” for a few more years when she doesn’t understand Santa and feel no need to spend too much on her, she gets spoiled enough as it is with family and grandparents.

All in all, a great day, a really special day to spend with our small, but growing family. I treasure the memories we have already made and look forward to so many more Christmases together. Next year will surely be different with two children in the house, a 2.5 year old and 6 month old. Being with Andy and Whitney make me so happy I could burst. I wish I could capture every smile, smirk and silly thing she does. Obviously I try to take many pictures but she’ll do something and I just say to myself, “man I wish I could remember this forever.” And days like Christmas are days I wan to remember forever.

(Whitney is 18 months old)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

17 months - December 2012

This morning I am posted up in a new spot in the house. Instead of sitting at my work desk, I'm relaxing by the soft glow of the Christmas tree and morning sun breaking on the horizon. Mornings like this, when I wake up early (it doenst happen often), and the house is quiet and waiting for the busyness of the day is when I feel most content. And hey, who doesn't love sitting by a Christmas tree?

Wow, OK, Whitney is already 17.5 months, it's so cliche, but so hard to believe. So what is new this past month. Whew.
These past few weeks I've seen a big change in her and her vocabulary. She is very consistently saying Mama, Dada, Tilly, ball, one, byebye, night night, hi and Grandma. Her vocabulary is something I have always kept in the back of my mind and have working and working on with her. I know some kids have upwards to 50-100 words at this point, so her measly 10 or so words is just killing me. However, she is making more and more sounds each day and is try to hard to say things so I am thrilled about that. Both Andy and I were late talkers, not until after 2 did we really start, and I know heredity plays a fairly big part in speech too, so I'm trying to not let this bother me too much.

She continues to love to climb and is comprehending things like crazy, another thing that makes me feel as if she is "learning". She may not be saying many words, but she understands throwing things in the garbage, retrieving certain items and what she should and should not be doing.

She's learning how to dress and undress herself and most recently getting pretty good at using a fork when eating. She enjoys taking our hand and leading us places. Whether it be someplace she knows she should go (like up the stairs) or to her room to play or to the kitchen, wherever.

The one thing about her getting is older, is my fear of her falling behind. Despite her slow start we have been blessed with her meeting or exceeding all her milestones during the right time frame. I have always felt that she was right on pace with where she should be. Now that she is getting older, there can  be more of a separation of how kids are developing. I understand kids develop at different times, but no parent wants their child to be behind. I know my personality and although I would never push her to do something she's not ready to do, I also like the fact of knowing she is doing what she is supposed to be doing or is where she should  be.

Take for instance, her head size. I feel silly just saying this. No one would ever think she has a small head by looking at her (maybe from her massive amounts of hair!) I do know though the doctor wants to see her head growing proportionately to the rest of her. I measure her head circumference 2 days ago and noticed it had not gotten bigger since her 15 month appointment. Boom. Instant worry. Her 18 month appt is the 28th, so I'm sure we'll be talking about it, but c'mon, am i going insane? Is her brain growing? Will she be OK...the never ending question.

So anyway, here we are less than 2 weeks away from Christmas. We're in the wake of a horrific, tragic event and I'm rambling about head size. One thing I noticed are so many comments on Facebook about holding their babies tighter during this time of morning. Shouldn't we be holding our babies tight all the time? Sure it's easy to get caught in the daily routine, but these are precious beings, we need to handle with care, each and every day, despite what is happening in the world around us.

This is the time to be so extremely thankful for what we have, and having Whitney here and with us each day is on the top of my list. Forget all the milestones and charts and graphs, she has already done more than I could have imagined and certainly a miracle from above.