View our family photo gallery. Each thumbnail below takes you to the full album! If a video or blog post is available, you can access that here too!
|Thanksgiving in Indianapolis
Getting Ready for Santa
|Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of our friends and family! Here's all the major happenings! Enjoy.|
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of our friends and family! We want to share with you all some of our experiences from the past year. We hope you enjoy our Christmas letter. Stay tuned to mancascafe.com for updates throughout the year. We promise to update it more frequently in 2011!
What was your biggest accomplishment this year?
Jessica: Somehow, I've managed to continue to be a top performer at work since being back in July. After having a year off, going back was a difficult transition for me. My identity, the way I work, my expectations all had to be reset. I still work hard and long hours but it's all worth it to support my family while Mark takes on new challenges and his life-long dreams.
Mark: Being a father and helping Milo grow through his first full year. It is an amazing experience to see him change. Each day with him is a special treat. Every day he does new things! He is learning how to talk. One of his latest words is "play." He says it when it is time for us to have fun together.
Tell us the best moment of 2010 so far.
Jessica: Milo's first steps during his uncle's wedding rehearsal on the 14th hole in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho. I was absolutely speechless.
I admit it. I'm a Michael Jackson fan! And I have Jessica to thank! I don't know what it is, but over the years, and especially since he passed on, I've become a big Michael Jackson fan. I don't know why. But I love it! I'm a manly man, so I can admit the next part -- once in a while I'll tear up during some of his slow songs.
If you have any history of growing up in the 80's -- the white glove, the red leather jacket, moonwalking, and all the rest, you most likely have a place in your heart for Michael too.
2009 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.
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."
To 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)
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
Friday, May 15 was my last day in the office before the baby arrives. I am officially on holiday/maternity leave and won't be reporting back to work until June 2, 2010!
Ontario law was only passed in 2000 for women to have one year of maternity leave. There is a catch - depending on where you work, you get a percentage of your salary and not the full salary. At my company, I get 17 weeks of pay at 100%. After that, I qualify for what amounts to as unemployment as well. It's not a bad trade off.