I am so behind, and with no good excuse. Life has been full of Luca and baby prep and work lately, and Darrick and I haven't had a lot of time for much else. The GREAT news is, his break starts next week, so he'll get lots of Daddy-Daughter time in, though this will probably be his last break alone with her. I can't believe I am due in 3 months, which means about the time Darrick's on spring break we could possibly have a new baby at home. It's almost surreal to think about it that way. Three months seems like a LONG time to me, especially given how big I feel already, but it's going to be here before I know it. Once the holidays are over, I imagine it's going to FLY by!
Speaking of the holidays, it's taken some work for me to get into it this year. I am usually the annoyingly hopped-up-on-holidays person, but this year has been so busy I haven't had much time to even think about it. I finally put up some lights inside the house (on the banister, and a wreath over Luca's little table) this past weekend, and we hung our stockings. We need a new one for Luca, since the only one she has is a "Baby's First Christmas" stocking from last year. She's obsessed with the lights. She'll point to them and say "Pretty", and then ask us to "Turn on". She does this the most with the wreath above her table, which I think she views as 'her' lights. It's pretty stinking adorable. We still need to get a tree (our plans of doing it last weekend were nixed by holiday parties, rain, and football), so that needs to happen this weekend. Darrick tried to talk me into a 3 foot artificial fiberoptic one on sale at Walgreens. Lucky him, my sense of humor was intact that day and he didn't lose a limb for suggesting it. And, yes...he WAS serious. Back off ladies - he is MINE.
Baby is moving a lot more these days, and the other night Darrick felt him/her kicking for several minutes straight. He was in awe over how strong the kicks are. I am in awe of the fact that this baby seemingly enjoys bouncing off one hipbone, up into my ribs, and back off the other hipbone. Over. And. Over. I've also started to experience what I believe are Braxton Hicks (practice) contractions, though I'm not sure how anyone's ever 100% sure that's what they are. The aren't painful, but they do take my breath away for a few seconds. Several friends suggested I feel my belly to see if it's hard when I get the possible BH contractions, but I think that's a conspiracy by the skinny pregnant people of the world. I have a bit too much extra padding to feel if my uterus is tightening, TYVM. I've also started listening to my Hypnobirthing CD every few days. I should listen to it every day, but I find it makes me fall asleep, and it's not every day I can get a chunk of quiet time to lie on the couch and listen to the CD and possibly fall asleep.
In other news, our friend Meredyth was in town last weekend, and she and Luca finally met. I was starting to worry the first time Mere would meet Luca would be at Luca's high school graduation, but turns out I worried over nothing. Luca and Meredyth took to each other immediately, as two beautiful blondes are apt to do. And once Mere shared cookies with Luca, the deal was sealed. They are friends forever now.
We also had some professional pictures taken by a friend who's starting up her own photography business just this past weekend. The focus was on Luca (because why WOULDN'T it be with how stinkin' cute she is?!?!) but we ended up in a few. The pictures turned out great!!! If you're looking for a photographer for baby, family, maternity, etc pictures in AZ, I encourage you to visit her blog (http://noyanphotography.blogspot.com) for some samples of her pictures and her contact information. Here's a sampling of some of my favorites:
Finally, in Luca news, our 'baby' is 19 months old and more a kid every day. She is so lucky to be able to spend 3 afternoons a week with her Grandpa Rick and Grandma Cyndy, which has been awesome. They pick her up from daycare and play with her for a few hours. She's learned to sweep and rake up leaves (thanks, Grandma!), as well as helped back cookies, sorted shapes, and discovered that she loves cats. Her Grandpa in particular adores her, and she adores him in return. It's been really amazing watching them bond, especially since Luca doesn't really have much of an opportunity to bond to my Dad, who has dementia and doesn't really know how to interact with her. We are SO fortunate that Grandma and Grandpa S. (who both, by the way, are known by Luca as 'Grandma') are able to spend lots of time with her.
Luca has also finally decided that mommy doing her hair is fine because she's 'pretty' when we give her a ponytail. It's really rather adorable, and you can see evidence of this in some of the pro pictures above. One random thing that the ponytail causes, however, is strangers commenting on how she looks like, "Those Olsen twins when they were on Full House!". I guess I can see it, can you?
Luca's language has also taken off in leaps and bounds. She's always had a pretty good vocabulary for he age, but it's getting better by the day. She comes home from daycare knowing new words and phrases ("Beep beep" for the sound a car makes, "Turn on" for toys and lights) which I always thought would sadden me, since *I* didn't get to teach her those new things. Instead it makes me really happy and proud that my kid is thriving and learning so much. She's also getting more and more independent, wanting to dress herself and feed herself. She's started eating Cheerios out of her own bowl, with her own spoon, which goes well most of the time. ;)
We're feeling very blessed this holiday season, and hope you all are too!!