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Jess's picture

Season's Greetings from the Ottawa Mancas!

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Jessica, Milo and MarkJessica, Milo and Mark

Happy Holidays from Mark, Jessica and Milo!

This year, we wanted to send each of you an extra special greeting! To give you insight into our thoughts and feelings as we finish a spectacular 2009, we hope this letter sums it all up nicely.

Written on December 12, 2009.

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Milo's a Fan of Booster Juice

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Milo and his Booster Juice: Milo and his Booster JuiceMilo and his Booster Juice Our neighborhood Booster Juice at Elgin and Waverly see Milo and I several times a week for lunch. I would often give him a little taste of Citris Swirl which he loves.

Across the last few visits, Mark and I noticed that he likes it so much that he motions for more when we give him some. So, we took some great snapshots of him today with his BooJu.

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The full circle of life

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Jessica and Samuel Christmas 2008Jessica and Samuel Christmas 20082009 will always be remembered in my family as the year we gained a son, grandson, great-grandson and nephew named Milo Samuel Manca. It will also be remembered for the loss of my sole remaining grandparent - Milo's namesake, Samuel Ortiz.

I won't go into all the specifics other than to say my grandfather lived a very full life. The last few years and the condition of his health by no means diminish the love, life and laughter he brought to this world.

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The early months

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Milo in his swingJessica, Milo and Pooh in the morning

This summer was a blast and filled with many firsts for Milo. Every child grows at their own pace. We quickly learned that reading up on what was happening now that Milo was in the world wasn't as interesting as it had been when he was in the womb. He seemed to be on a good schedule, so we put the parenting book aside and just watched him grow!

Here's some of our favorite moments during July and August. There's also some candid photos taken from the laptop which are easy for mom and bebe to pose for!

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Catching up on photo albums

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Milo and Jessica about to head out on a rainy dayMilo and Jessica about to head out on a rainy dayI dare say it's been a little busy that we haven't updated Manca's Cafe in a few months. Do not worry! We have been capturing lots of Milo moments at every step. Our challenge has been that downloading from the camera, organizing in LightRoom and storing on the external harddrive make the task of just creating photo albums a bit cumbersome. Then, we have to upload to Manca's Cafe AND write a post or change an existing page layout to make sure the links work the way we want. Since we're very mobile in the house, these things - power cords, harddrive and camera aren't necessarily all in the same place. Not good excuses, but valid points as to why it takes so long. Sigh.

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Growing up fast

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Milo Samuel Manca - 1 Month oldMilo Samuel Manca
1 Month old

Time is passing quickly! Remembering how small Milo was when we first brought him home is a distant memory. Milo's much bigger and longer now at one month of age - see his latest photo album. He's alert and very studious of his parent's faces. He also enjoys being outside, bumpy stroller rides and being swaddled with both arms in (a little trick we have learned to help him sleep).

He's become more aware of his hands, and his movements are all around more deliberate. He even slaps his mama in the face when hungry. He reaches for things and sometimes holds his pacifier. We've even heard him say "a-coo."

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My sweet Prince Milo

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Milo Samuel MancaMilo Samuel MancaTo even begin to describe the last 9 days would require volumes of blog posts. The last "week" has been the most physically challenging thing I have ever gone through and with the greatest reward - my beautiful son Milo.

So many people told me that I would never know a love like this. They were right. Milo is unbelievable and so much a part of me. I am in love with him and will do anything to keep him safe and happy. I have a connection to him that exists with no other human being on this earth.

(Click any of these photos to see the complete photo album)

Mark's picture

Wow, I'm a Dad

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Mark and Just Arrived Baby MiloMark and Just Arrived Baby MiloAfter 9 months of waiting, I'm a Dad! We've uploaded a photo album of his first week. Like most proud parents, we've probably included too many pictures in it (45ish). Take a look. There are some good ones!

Jessica did a tremendous job bringing baby to term. It is a boy! Baby Bun is now Baby Milo. Milo arrived in this world just over one week ago on Friday, May 29, 2009 at 3:43am. He weighed 3730g (8lb 3.5oz). Jessica and I were so excited to meet him!! Jessica labored for over 27 hours, and then had to deliver via C-Section because Milo's head was not quite aligned properly.

Even though Milo came in to this world the modern way, Jessica and I were old-fashioned when it came to knowing whether our bundle of joy was a boy or a girl. The few moments between hearing the baby cry and knowing the baby was OK and the time when we found out what we had were filled with great anticipation! Even though it is clichéd, I'll never forget when the doctor brought the baby around the curtain and I announced to the world that it was a boy!

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Waiting is the hardest part

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So it's Wednesday, and Bun is due in 5 days. More symptoms keep happening to us, and it's hard to say if this is getting really close or just kinda close.

Whatever happens, the end result I'm looking for is the same. I just want to hold my new baby . I'm anxious, excited but not too scared. If I think I'm scared, imagine what Bun will go through!

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Finding my Constant

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In preparing for early labor which still could come on at any minute (or as delayed as 3-4 weeks from now), my midwife suggested that I find something that balances me - my Constant. It could be music. It could be a photo or imagery, meditation or snuggling with a pet.

How do I find my constant? What is the one thing that I go back to when I'm sad, lonely or in need of a recharge? It's hard to identify just one thing, since I must have this mechanism to cope with life, stress and being overwhelmed and reach for it automatically without thinking.

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