Monday, January 31, 2011

Big Girl Bed?

Becca and I made a quick trip to Target last night.  And though it's not really related to this post, I've got to tell to tell you that on the way to the store Becca was chanting, "Yay Tardet!  Yay Tardet!"  I've never been prouder.  BUT - the point is that while we were at the store, Becca picked picked out this:  

It's her big girl bedding set!  

(Please forgive the phone photo.  We seem to have gotten one of the last three sets in the world, as they are not available on Target's website, Amazon or Ebay.  Shoot - maybe I should sell this sucker for a 300% profit!)

Becca got to choose from among alphabet, flower and puppy bedding sets, and she chose alphabet.  She knows how much her mommy loves words.  :)  When I handed the package to her, she tossed it (very awkwardly) into the back of the cart and said, "HOME!"  I felt like was driving her getaway car.  

We are hoping to pick up a toddler bed from a friend in the next couple of days.  We've already got a hand-me-down bedrail, so once we get the bed, we'll be good to go.  

Apparently I'm dead-set on making the switch to the big girl bed.  But I'm not exactly sure why.  I could give you several good reasons why we shouldn't move Becca out of the crib, but I just feel like the time is right.  She doesn't know how to disconnect her feeding tube (on purpose, at least), so she'll be tethered to her pump, which will keep her from wandering around her room.  I'm planning on putting the bedrail up (if it's possible to use on a toddler bed) so that she's semi-contained, since she's not able to climb/crawl over things very well.  She is a good sleeper and usually goes to sleep quickly (with the occasionally restless "naptime" being the exception - but that has gotten better since we started hooking her up to her pump during naps).  

I don't know.  She's 2 1/2 now.  I think she's ready.  I think I'm ready.  I've wanted to do it for a while now but have made myself wait.  But it just feels right.  I think we might just go for it!  

What do you think?

p.s.  This is a good opportunity to see how often SuperDad checks the blog, as he's not fully aware of my crib graduation plans.  He might just be in for a surprise when he comes home from work one day this week.  

Friday, January 28, 2011

I SEE You!

Becca had her yearly visit with Dr. Morrison, her ophthalmologist.  Yes, there is one specialist that we only see once a year!  It was a good appointment.  Because of her septo-optic dysplasia, he always wants to get a good look at her optic nerves.  Becca was exceedingly cooperative (probably because we made the whole exam a game of "I see you!"), and her optic nerves look great - regular size and everything!  She is a little nearsighted and has some astigmatism, but they balance each other out so she doesn't need glasses right now.  He did say that "she's a kid who WILL need glasses; it's a question of when, not if," but since SuperDad and I both have/had glasses, that's no big surprise.  It sounds like she may get them on the early side (between ages 5 and 8) because of her prematurity, but that's no problem!  Still, I am quite glad not to be wrangling glasses on a 2.5 year old.  I'm sure by 3.5 (our next appointment) she'll be completely mature enough to handle them.  Today she had trouble even keeping on the sunglasses they gave her post-pupil dilation.  She did, however, hold on to her lollipop.  :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Downward Dog Dance

You may have heard me talk about Sesame Street a lot lately.  That's because a) it's awesome; and b) we got the best Sesame Street video set ever for Christmas (40 Years of Sunny Days).  We all love it, particularly because there are lots of celebrity cameo musical appearances (like Tony Bennett singing "Slimey to the Moon" and Destiny's Child singing "A New Way to Walk" - Becca's favorite).  Becca particularly loves to dance along.  Here she is rockin' it out with the Goo Goo Dolls.  (And in case you need the translation, at the beginning of the video, she invites (commands) me to dance with her: "Mommy danse!")

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Weekly Weigh-In: The You're-REALLY-Not-Going-to-Believe-This Edition

Last week: 9.3 kg (20 pounds, 9 ounces), 31.5 inches
This week: 9.6 kg (21 pounds, 2 ounces), 33 inches
Weeks change: +300 grams (9 ounces), + 1.5 inches
Net change:  +1900 grams (59 ounces = 3 pounds, 11 ounces), +4 inches 

I knew this was going to be a big week.  But I didn't think it was going to be this big again!  Even though Becca threw up 3 (or maybe 4?) times, she has been looking v.e.r.y chubby.  So chubby in the cheeks, in fact, that the possibility of mumps crossed my (hyper-vigilant) mind more than once.  In lighter moments this week, though, I taught her to play the old youth group favorite "Chubby Bunny".  (She's been "packing" a lot this week - filling her cheeks with food like a chipmunk without actually eating any of it.)  She's a champ.  And again, I don't think she grew 1.5 inches in a week, but I think the past few weeks have been short.  She's definitely been getting taller lately.  

Dr. Rawls still isn't worried about the pace of the weight gain.  (Because of her risk of metabolic issues, I'm a little nervous when she puts on so much weight at once.)  He is quite proud of her, though, and made a point to show her off to a resident who was in clinic today.  Sure, he's impressed with her medical history/recovery/story, but he is mostly impressed with her awesome monkey impression.  The girl's got skillz.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Things I Forgot To Say: Becca's First Boat Ride

I've mentioned before that my parents now live in a magical fairyland of old people active retirees on Tellico Lake.  Originally, they bought a ski boat to take out on the lake, but the soon traded it in for a pontoon boat because, according to my mother, "It's hard to drink wine in a ski boat."  I love everything about that statement.  Pontoon boats, as luck would have it, are also a lot better suited to the youngest of passengers, which is important because Becca's got 7 cousins on that side.  Several weeks after her g-tube surgery, on Labor Day, we finally got to take Becca on her first boat ride.  Enjoy - we did!

All suited up (in double layers to stay warm) and ready to go! 

Gotta protect those eyes!

Y'all take a break.  I got this.

And now I'll take a break.

Becca liked lying on the floor of the boat.
I joined her and counted it as sensory integration therapy -
lots of vestibular stimulation throughout the ride!

Getting her first driving lesson with Granddaddy

Now we're having fun!

But not as much fun in the water.
The kiddo has so little meat on her bones that she gets cold REALLY quickly.

The view from the boat.  And, no, Grandma and Granddaddy's
house is not *quite* as nice as these.  :)

This picture makes me smile.
SuperDad and his mother-in-law, lounging on the noodles.

Granddaddy rescued Becca from the water and helped her warm back up.

She then went about exploring the boat a bit more...and found this storage cabinet.

SuperMom was worn out and took advantage of the
opportunity for a nap in the sun.  Nice.

Back at the house, hanging out on the porch...and trying to decide
 if she should let Mommy open the door to join her.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Transfusion Bingo with RESULTS!

I've been having a little fun on, which gives neurotic parents/patients like me 24/7 access to lab results, vitals and other info from the patient's clinical record.  (It also lets you message your Vanderbilt doctors, which is why I got on there initially.)  I got curious and counted up the number of blood transfusions that Becca had while in the NICU.  So let's play a little game: Transfusion Bingo!  Guess how many transfusions (whole blood, platelets or plasma) Becca had in the course of her stay, and if someone gets it, I'll shout, "BINGO!" wave my arms around so you can see my bingo arm flab.  (Thanks to cousins Jana and Jessica for that lingo.)  So, have at it!  Leave your guess in a comment.  If someone gets it on the dot, there may be a prize involved, but I make no promises.

The answer is 26 transfusions: 20 whole blood, 5 platelets and 1 plasma.  
Nobody got it right on, but the Jessicas came close!  Jessica Miller Kelley guessed 23, and Jessica Mulvaney guessed 29.  Average them together, and you get a winner!  I have to wonder if this is some kind of humanymn scam.  (Did anyone listen to "Says You" this week?  They decided that people with the same names are called humanymns.  Or was is humaphones.  At any rate, it was some nice grammar nerd humor.)  Jessica and Jessica, I may dig up a prize for you...partly because you came close, but mostly just because I love you both!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday Weigh-In: The You're-Not-Going-To-Believe-This Edition

Last week: 9.0 kg (19 pounds, 14 ounces), 31 inches 
This week: 9.3 kg (20 pounds, 9 ounces), 31.5 inches
Weeks change: +300 grams (11 ounces), + 0.5 inches
Net change:  +1600 grams (50 ounces), +2.5 inches 

Yeah, WHAT THE CRAP? Up 11 ounces in one week?  We weighed her twice to make sure - and got consistent results.  Same scale as every week.  Stripped down totally naked, like always.  And she gained 85% of her birthweight in one week.  Wowzers!

Dr. Rawls thinks that part of the massive gain is due to the fact that she had been sick (perpetual cold), but has been feeling better this week.  You naturally drop weight when you are ill, but you pick that weight back up pretty quickly.  

I, on the other hand, chalk it up to the Olive Garden!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Baby Rosie

Santa brought Becca a very special baby!  Meet baby Rosie, the newest Bitty Baby in the Hill house (the first, of course, being Becca).  (And yes, the Reverend Cheap-O (that'd be me) did actually purchase a brand-name baby doll.  I mean, how could I not?  They named the entire line after our Itty Bitty!)  Becca loves baby Rosie and, frankly, I love her, too.  Maybe if this whole conception thing never does work out, I'll get one for me, too. But I digress.  Actually, that's about all I have to say about Rosie.  Can you believe that?  Few words from me...who knew it was possible?

In sum: Rosie is pretty swell, and her presence somehow makes Becca even cuter.  See for yourself:

She's fascinated by Rosie's fancy open-and-close eyes.

And she loves to de-clothe her.  Theoretically, she likes to change her clothes, but she
hasn't figured out how to put them on she gets her nekked, and I dress her.

The moment before Becca, of course, tipped over backwards.

Again with the eyes...or maybe doll CPR.

Recalled stroller or user error?


I can't get over how old Becca looks here!

What every newborn needs: a cup of water, a spoon, and a hamburger bun.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Things I Forgot To Say: TennCare Decision

Not sure how I forgot to tell you all this one, but Becca gets to keep her TennCare!  I went for our interview last month, waited forever, then sat in a cubicle while the agent typed a bunch of numbers into the computer without even looking at me.  After a few minutes, he turned to me and said, "She's accepted!"  I said, "What?  Just like that?" and he smiled and said, "Yep.  She's good for another year."  I'm not even kidding when I say that he looked like Santa Claus in that moment.  This news is SUCH a relief to us.  When I told John, he was so happy he felt like doing this:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Snowy Observation

With our massive snowstorm this week (wink, wink), our street became home to several snowmen of various sizes.  There was Becca's Itty Bitty Frosty, about two feet tall, one that had four layers, with swimming "noodles" for arms, standing even taller than I, with a few more snowmen of moderate stature.  It was fun to see the neighborhood celebrating winter like that (and celebrating being out of school for four whole days!).  

The snow was slow to melt, finally disappearing almost entirely from our yard today.  As the week wore on, though, I noticed that the snowmen were feeling the effects of the sun.  The bigger snowmen fell first, even though they had the advantage of sheer freezing mass on their side.  But they toppled under their own weight, heads (literally) rolling off their bodies prematurely.  Becca's snowman, compact and plucky, was the last standing, proudly.  

Moral of the story: being itty bitty makes you stronger!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Food, Food and More Food

At our weigh-in on Wednesday, Becca also had a quick check-in appointment with Dr. Rawls, our general pediatrician.  Have I mentioned how much I love him lately?  Or how much I love general pediatricians in general?  So often the specialists get caught up in trying to solve the particular problems in their respective areas that they don't stop and look at Becca as a whole, real patient.  And they aren't really concerned with solving the problems we, as a family, see as problems.  Our peds, though - Dr. Collins in Gallatin and now Dr. Rawls - have been AWESOME about listening to us (mostly me!), looking at the big picture, and trying to figure out what is truly best for Becca - not just how to fix what they see as an isolated problem - or something that I think is a problem but isn't to them, medically speaking.

I'm talking, of course, about Becca's vomiting and lack of weight gain.  Which is a problem (or two problems, depending on how you look at it).  It's a problem for Becca physically, but I'm afraid that it's also becoming a problem for her in other ways.  For example, Becca got a baby doll for Christmas.  She LOVES Baby Rosie and wants her to do what Becca does.  Baby Rosie eats a snack while Becca eats, she reads books while Becca reads, and she goes "night night" in her crib when Becca goes to bed in hers.  Pretty typical (and adorable).  But the other day, she tipped Baby Rosie over and made her throw up, then her lifted up to shoulder and patted her, saying, "It's okay, baby; it's okay."  

Well.  It seems throwing up is as much a part of Becca's routine as getting dressed.  Or sucking on a paci (though mean old mommy and daddy are making this less and less a part of her routine).  Or, oh, eating.  Yeah, eating.  And since, in Becca's world, what goes down must come up, the puking doesn't exactly encourage the eating...which then doesn't encourage the weight gain.  

The GI doesn't seem to see this as a problem.  Which is baffling to me.  But they are, apparently, useless on this issue.  

Dr. Rawls, though, agrees that this is not, um, optimal and helped me work up a plan.  The biggest change is that we are going to hook her up to her feeding pump during naps, since these are usually puke-free.  She's still a good napper at home, so that's a chance to get another 2-3 hours of feeds in her during the day.  We're also going to be more aggressive and consistent with bolus feeds throughout the day.  (And by "aggressive," I mean that I'm not supposed to be afraid that filling her up with formula will mess up her oral feedings (i.e. real meals).  The girl needs calories, and getting good nutrition actually stimulates your appetite, since without it your body goes into starvation mode...and this is the frustrating cycle of the failure to thrive issue.)  We're not going to get into taking the feeding pump to school, but I did teach her teachers how to do a bolus feed this week.  (So much for being able to go to a regular preschool!)  Unfortunately, Becca threw up during her bolus feed today.  I'm really hoping this doesn't become a pattern because in one bolus we can get an extra 90 calories in her - a significant part of the 980 calories she needs every day.  

On the upside, though, Becca is eating orally more and more.  She's (obviously) still not a true oral feeder, but she's trying some new things and increasing her volume of things that she likes.  She's particularly fond of meat these days, which is GREAT because she needs a high-protein diet.  Generally speaking, she likes strong flavors because she can taste and find them better in her hyposensitive mouth.  Her taste buds need a little waking up.  

For example, last night we cashed in some Olive Garden gift cards and celebrated my birthday (thanks, Jen!).  Becca is a really, really big fan of the Olive Garden, and it never ceases to amaze how much she will eat there.  She even cried big tears when we were leaving because she wanted to stay and eat some more.  (We left anyway because what she wanted at that point was to eat more Andes mints...which are neither optimal nutrition nor conducive to a smooth bedtime, which was next on her agenda.)  She started off her meal with a lemon slice, chomping on the middle part and eventually taking bites out of the rind itself (not uncommon).  She then moved on to gobs and gobs and gobs of grated Romano cheese.  Seriously, every time a server walked by, she asked for more cheese.  I'm guessing she ate a good 3 ounces of cheese.  When the salad arrived, she had some onion, a few bites of pepper (banana peppers?  I don't eat peppers, so I don't know what kind they are or how spicy they are.), and...her olives.  When our entrĂ©es arrived, she ate some of my chicken marsala and a bite of John's braised short ribs.  And then she was back to the cheese.  And the Andes mint.  And she did NOT want to leave the "Ah-yiv Darden!"  Big.  Tears.  

I take this as a good sign, both that she WILL eventually learn to eat enough orally AND that she actually is my daughter.  I do so love a good Italian meal.  Perhaps in the future, Becca will, too, sauce and all.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wednesday Weigh-In

Last week: 8.95 kg (19 pounds, 12 ounces), 31.5 inches
This week: 9.0 (19 pounds, 14 ounces), 31 inches (Seriously, I might just stop posting the length, though it's handy to keep track of it in the long run.  This was measured by the same woman and on the same table as last week and two weeks before that.  In the past 3 weeks, she's "lost" a full inch and a half...and yet is taller than ever.)
Weeks change: +50 grams (2 ounces), - 0.5 inches
Net change:  +1300 grams (39 ounces), +2 inches 

Up a bit!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Things I Forgot To Say: Becca's Garden

While I can remember freakishly minute details of things that happened years ago, I am horrible at remembering practical things.  You may say I'm much too young, but I, with startling regularity, will walk into a room and not remember why I am in there.  Lately, I've even been forgetting a thought mid-sentence.  I chalk it up to mommy brain, but feel free to diagnose me otherwise.  

But the point is that this forgetfulness has affected my blogging.  There is so much that I meant to tell you about in 2010 that I simply forgot to mention.  I mean, I definitely remembered these things a lot, even writing posts in my head, but I never remembered then at a time when I could actually sit down at the computer and write.  Oops.  Some of these thoughts and stories will fall by the wayside, but there are some that I'd like to document - like, say, Becca's 2nd birthday!  (Yep, never got to that caught up in the hospital drama, then traveling, etc.) So for the next few weeks, I'll be running an oh-so-creatively-named series called "Things I Forgot To Say."  Might as well call it like it is.  :)  So first up:  Becca's new bedroom.

When we moved to Spring Hill in June, we bought a house, which meant that, unlike living in a parsonage, we could do whatever the heck we wanted to it.  And what I wanted was for Becca to have a cozy, magical room for her pre-school years.  Lucky for me, our friend Jeannie has the talent and kindness to make my dream come true!  For Becca's birthday present, Jeannie painted a mural in her room - on all four walls!  John and I painted the walls "twilight purple" and Jeannie transformed it into a gorgeous garden at dusk.  

It is so beautiful.  It's cheerful and calming at the same time.  I love it so much that when Becca isn't home, I sneak in there to sit in the rocking chair and read.  When I was rearranging Becca's furniture last week, I took the open-walled opportunity to snap some photos of it.  It's a small room (and I'm not a great photographer), so I wasn't able to get pictures of entire walls, so you'll have to use your imagination to picture how it all comes together.  But trust me, it's awesome.  

First, let me tell you about the decorations.  Since the walls themselves are so beautiful, we choose not to hang many of the pictures that were in Becca's room in Bethpage, but we kept a couple of things.  Here are the BECCA letters that Aunt Robyn made for her (and Becca can name each of the letters now!):  

And this next piece of artwork makes me cry a little (in a good way).  You've heard me say before that we had the BEST primary nurses when Becca was in the NICU.  One of these five amazing nurses, Stacy, is also amazingly crafty.  Since she worked nights, when the NICU is calmer, she had a little more time to "play" with the babies.  Every month, she took footprints of Becca's tiny feet, heels touching to make a heart shape.  She matted and laminated them and left them for us to take home.  I saved everyone of the them and had them matted and framed, along with her crib card that I count as a badge of honor, bearing Becca's tiny statistics at birth.  I love how it turned out, and I will be forever grateful to Stacy for taking the time to make such a special keepsake for us!  Here's a picture of the entire piece:

And one of the crib card:

And one of her first footprints next to my thumb for size reference:

And then the last footprints taken shortly before we brought Becca home:

Okay, without further ado, here is Becca's garden!  (The pictures go around the room clockwise.)

(I'm posting this one mostly so you can see the funky cut-out over her closet.  What do you call that?  When I get my act together, I'm planning on draping some flower garland off of it.)

(Note the gorgeous curtains that were passed on to us by my friend Scottie - so perfect!)

Becca's crib now sits right under this tree.  
I think it will be especially cozy when she moves to a big girl bed!

 See the handprints at the bottom of that bush?  Here they are up close.  Jeannie and Nana Dana surprised me with this detail, which is SO precious!  Becca loves to put her hands on them and give herself five.

 I mean, seriously, you want to move into her room, too, don't you?  Stacy, Robyn, Scottie and, most of all, Jeannie, thank you SO much for making Becca's space special!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Snowy Day

For the third time this winter, we've gotten a few inches of snow on the ground!  It seems like this is going to be one of the snowiest winters in Tennessee's recent history.  Or maybe I'm just noticing it more this year because Becca actually likes to play in the snow this year.  When she and I went out in it today, she even walked in the snow without me!  This is a significant improvement in her perception of the snow (remember, anything getting on your hands, clothes, etc is taboo) and in her motor planning, since it takes a bit more coordination to walk on a surface that shifts beneath you.  I was very proud of how she played today!  

We built a snowman,

Whom she "hugged,"

And "kissed," 

And to whom she said, "Ho ho ho!"

(Becca learned to sing "Frosty, the Snowman" at school, and she loves snowmen now.  Note the carrot nose - that was very important to her.)

We made a snow angel, after which she kept requesting (via signs and words) "more sho-andel!"  

So Mommy made one beside her:

 But then she realized she was "duck," which is Becca-speak for "stuck."  Actually, she was eventually able to get up on her own - another great PT workout!

And we explored (after the dogs dug up the mulch through 3 inches of snow!):  

(And, yes, that was "Uh-oh, Dettios!" you heard her say!  I'm not sure where she learned how to (kind of) say, "Uh-oh, Spaghetti-O's," but I never tire of hearing it!)

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Becca has been asking to watch Elmo all day.  John has been enjoying the NFL playoff game and didn't want to watch Elmo.  

Becca gets more and more insistent as I'm playing with her.  "Elmo?" she says.  "Elmo?  Elmo!  ELMO!"  I (passing the blame) say, "Daddy won't let us watch Elmo."  Becca pauses, and then says, tentatively, "Ear drops?"  

It takes me a minute, but then I say burst out laughing.  When we give her eardrops, she has to lie on her side for 10 minutes, which is i.m.p.o.s.s.i.b.l.e to accomplish without an Elmo video player (and only fractionally possible with one).  I ask her, "Becca, do you want ear drops so you can watch Elmo?" to which she slyly responds, "Yeeeesss..."  

And SuperDad finally relents.

The little stinker!

Friday, January 7, 2011

I Am Job.

I totally stole that title from my friend Sarah.  And Mrs. Doubtfire.

But I am job!  I mean, I have a job!  One that totally fits me!  

As of January 18th, I will be the Family Teams Specialist at the Music City Division of the March of Dimes.  That means I'll be working with families like ours, recruiting March for Babies family teams, helping them meet their fundraising goals, and making sure they have a wonderful experience on the day of the Nashville March...which, by the way, is April 17 in Centennial Park.  Mark your calendars - and go ahead and register your team!  

I'm so excited!  It's a part-time position that will work with Becca's school schedule (with some extra flexibility and help from SuperDad), and I'll be doing what I love and helping babies.  The only downside is that it's a temporary position, just for the March for Babies season, so come May I'll be looking for jobs again.  For now, though, I'm just super-excited!  

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas in Pictures

Our Christmas celebration got off to a rough start, what with 352 miles to drive after Christmas Eve services and a significant (for the south) snowstorm that hit us just as we hit the road.  Even after our sage senior pastor suggested we skip the second service and leave a few hours earlier than planned, we ended up in the middle of the storm.  It was a heckuva drive, with the car loaded down, 2 dogs in the back, Becca on her feeding pump (she threw up, of course), and (eventually) several inches of snow on the interstate.  Though we were really hoping to make it to Ashland, Kentucky (John's home town) before Christmas morning, we ended up giving up on the east side of Lexington and spent the remainder of the night in a not-so-Best Western in Winchester.  We didn't have a crib for Becca, so she and I (tried) to sleep in a double bed together, while John attempted to keep the dogs in the other bed with him.  That didn't work so well...any of it...the dogs, the beds, the sleeping.  I think the low point was when Becca and I were laying in bed together, and she threw up on my face.  Merry Christmas, y'all. 

BUT - by the time we left the next morning (after a grand total of 3 hours of sleep), the mysterious Christmas plowmen had cleared the roads, and we had a fabulous trip from there on out.*  Here are some of the cuter moments of our week in Ashland.

Even though John's, you know, calling from God kept us from Nanny's house on Christmas Eve (and, believe me, a calling from God is about the only thing that gets you an excused absence from Nanny's), we did make it to town early enough on Christmas morning to join John's extended family for the tail end of the traditional Christmas breakfast and stocking-opening.  I intentionally left Becca in her p.j.'s when we left the hotel because every kid should open presents in their "jammies" (as Becca says) on Christmas morning.  

Becca loved playing with Nanny's decorations!

She was WAAAY into her stockings this year - literally and figuratively!

Becca is ALWAYS happy to see her Aunt Jen Jen - and to eat a lollipop!

We finally got to meet our newest cousin, baby Jillian, who was kind enough to
share one of her many Sing-a-ma-jigs with Becca.  Jillian is so adorable and cuddly!

As you can tell from this picture of John and the one of me above it, SuperDad and I were not feeling
so Super after our super-fun Christmas Eve.  Didn't phase Becca, though - especially since she had so
many other folks to pay attention to her!  She's in the background with Nanny and cousin Jayden.
After breakfast, we went back to Nana and G.G.'s house to open presents.  There were, um, a few packages to be unwrapped, especially in Becca's pile.  

Don't mind the reflective dog in the middle of the shot.  With 4 of them in the house,
they were in the middle of everything (but were very well-behaved, surprisingly!).

Becca liked all of her presents (and the process of opening them), but she really, really liked these
adorable slipper socks from Aunt Jen.  She just had to get up and dance around in them - so cute!
(It's not the greatest shot, but YOU try to take a picture of a dancing toddler!)
That evening, the extended family got together again for Christmas dinner at Nana and G.G.'s.  (The Hitchcock family doesn't mess around with holidays!  They like to celebrate as much as possible! :) )  I love this picture of Nana and her sister, Aunt Robyn, and their youngest grandgirls (as Nana likes to call them), Becca and Jillian.  (They may kill me for putting them on the blog, but I think they look sweet!)

The rest of the week was spent in general family togetherness, very laid-back.  It was wonderful!  John and I even got to sneak out and see TWO movies at the Ashland theater - where it's only $3 a pop for first-run movies!  Love that bargain!  Here are some highlights:

On Sunday morning, we got to attend church as a family, like normal people.
It was nice to  be back at South Ashland UMC, John's home church.
 Becca got to wear her Christmas dress again.  Here she is posing after church.

Aunt Robyn runs a salon and is great about making us beautiful when we visit.  This time,
 Becca got her first-ever Aunt Robyn haircut!  She did great - she really liked it!  Robyn
didn't take off much but she did rescue Becca from the emerging mullet.  

Again, Becca had fun playing with the decorations, especially the jingle bells.
You can also see how much better her hair looks now!

There was lots of lazing about, and Becca bounced from lap to lap.  If you were sitting down,
you could bet that you'd have a dog lying near you in about 2 seconds. I think that's Katie,
one of the scotties, behind John, and Sasha T. Dog on his right.

There was also lots of eating out, during which Becca cooperated less and less
as the week progressed.  I mean, who wants to sit still long enough for us slow
grown-ups to order, wait and eat?  Guess I can't blame her.

And this is unbelievable - there is a ROCKET in the Ashland mall!
Who knew that Eastern Kentucky had such a well-developed space program?
Needless tosay, this ride was definitely worth its 75 cents!

 * I should say that we had a great trip from here on out even though all 3 of us ended up sick.  I mention it because it means that every single time we have travelled with Becca, she has gotten sick or sicker than she was.  What's up with that??  John and I had nasty sinus/cold stuff, and Becca's cough and cold got even worse, which made for a good bit of middle-of-the-night vomiting.  But at least it wasn't in my face anymore.  I count that a win.