I remember this time last year, feeling like I wished the big day would just be over with, so that Gabe and Dante's insane excitement would finally abate. I feel that way a little bit this year, but not quite so much. They're definitely insanely excited, but either I'm handling it better, or they're acting slightly less crazy. Either way, they're still driving us a little batty, but I'm mostly excited to see them so excited and happy.
They are particulary excited about all the lights I have up around the house. The first thing they do when they get up is turn them all on, and when they turn the tree lights on, they do a countdown first. It's so cute! And of course we're listening to all our Christmas music on the iPod whenever we're in the car, and I love hearing them sing along to them all - including, as Dante calls it "Harp the Herald Angels Sing."
I took Gabe out yesterday to buy a present for Dante, and took Dante out last week to buy a present for Gabe. They made very good choices, and I think they'll both be very happy with what the other bought them. It's fun to do that with them, because they do try to think of the other person to some extent, but they're also very clearly thinking about stuff that they'll like, too - which is fine, since they end up sharing all their toys anyway.
This past weekend was the Christmas pageant at church. Dante had decided a few weeks ago that he didn't want to do it (much to Gabe's dismay), but Gabe stuck with it, and was an angel who had one line to speak. He looked so adorable, and he did great. He said his line, stood very nicely where he was supposed to stand, and sang along with all the songs. It was really cute to watch. Hopefully next year we can get Dante to be in it, too.
I was pretty much done shopping a few weeks ago, but as always, there were some last-minute things that I forgot about, so I got half of them bought today, and will finish up the last couple of things tomorrow, and then that is IT! I spent the rest of this afternoon wrapping. Scott took the day off today, and he took Dante out for the afternoon, and Carmine took a 2-hour nap, so I just wrapped and wrapped and wrapped.
I was very proud of myself, too, when I looked at the stuff I got for the boys, and realized that I actually bought them much less this year than I did the past couple of years. I absolutely love buying them stuff, and I have a hard time holding back, but they really and truly just do not need a lot of stuff, and I've spent so much time this fall and winter getting rid of stuff that they never play with, I just don't want to end up right back where I was, feeling buried in toy clutter.
I chose wisely, and got them stuff that I know they'll really like, and will get a lot of use out of, and I feel good about the amount of toys they'll have to open. It's enough that it will be fun and exciting for them, but not so much that they'll be totally overwhelmed - a very good plan, I think, especially since Dante's birthday is just three days later!
Holiday baking is done, too - Lemon wreath cookies, chocolate gingerbread bark, chocolate pecan meringues, cranberry coins, and chocolate raspberry thumbprint cookies. And for our Christmas day dessert I'm making eggnog pound cake and a pear/almond tart. I am really looking forward to all the eating!
Carmine is walking, walking, walking, and walking some more. He doesn't even do much crawling anymore, and is already trying to stand up without holding onto anything. I think it'll be a little while before he masters that skill, but he's getting around just fine - and subsequently getting into everything, and I'm realizing that I need to start telling him "no," especially since electrical cords have become one of his favorite things to play with.
He's really getting vocal, too. Still not saying any actual words, but he has entire conversations with us just by grunting and saying "da" and "ga" and making all sorts of other adorable noises. He absolutely adores Gabe and Dante, and loves nothing more than sitting on the living room floor and playing with them. He's so thrilled just to sit and watch them play, and pick up one of their toys and chew on it, and yell and gesture like he's part of their game. Sometimes they get annoyed with him when he knocks stuff over, but other times they egg him on, and they all end up giggling hysterically at the huge mess he's making - no greater sound in the world : )
Continuing to make really good progress with the injury - so much so that I've decided to cut back to only running 2 times a week, instead of 3. Why cut back when I'm making progress? I figure that if I can run 3 times a week and still make progress, then if I only run 2 times a week, the progress I make will be that much more dramatic. So I'm being very disciplined and savoring every single step of those twice-weekly runs, and enjoying all the cross-training, too.
I'm now a regular (three weeks and counting) at a Friday morning yoga class at the Y, and I'm loving it. It's exactly the kind of class I was looking for - relaxing and calming, but a decent workout, too. And I'm going to try to get to a spinning class once a week, too. And of course still doing the elliptical and some weight training, and swimming here and there. I'd love to say I'm swimming regularly, but I know myself, and I know I'm just not going to swim regularly until it gets closer to triathlon time.
So that's where we are. Finishing up the final preparations, counting down with much anticipation, and looking forward to a fabulous holiday with our families.