On St. Patrick's day, Matt and I found out we were going to be parents! I remember feeling completely overwhelmed with anxiety and fear but also excitement. I made it through the next several weeks of sickness okay and then I started to get very excited about everything.
We're having a girl!! People kept asking me before I knew what we were having if I felt one way or the other. I honestly didn't know how I felt and I had no idea if it would be a boy or a girl. Our friends and everyone in our family had their own guesses but when the ultrasound technician said it looked like a girl I thought, "of course it's a girl, that just feels right." I knew right away that she would be daddy's little girl from the start and sure enough, she was!
Matt and I went on an awesome summer vacation because we knew it wouldn't be happening again for a long time once we had our baby. We flew to Raleigh, North Carolina to stay with Matt's grandma for a week. She actually lives in a little town called Hampstead which is about 2 hours from Raleigh. I had never been to the Atlantic ocean before - it's beautiful! It's so different than going to the beach in southern California. Grandma Barnes lives not too far from Topsail Island which is where we went to the beach. My only complaint is that I was not used to the weather back there. Matt said it reminded him of his mission in the Philippines. Talk about hot and humid! Every day we were there it was at least in the 90s and close to 100% humidity. Being pregnant didn't help much either. I think the only time I wasn't uncomfortably warm and swollen was when I was standing in the ocean. I have to say though, we had a wonderful time. North Carolina is so beautiful and historic and there's nothing like hearing that great accent everywhere we went.
I was very blessed to have such an easy pregnancy. I didn't have any complications and aside from the usual sickness and some aches and pains, everything went great. After I had felt about every emotion possible for 9 months, Eliza decided she was ready to join our family on Friday, November 10th, 2006. I was scared, excited, anxious, and in pain! After our three hour stay at the hospital at 2:00 am we were sent home to wait things out. I miraculously got a few hours of sleep and then we grabbed our bags and headed back at 8:00 am. Our nurse and our doctor were awesome and so understanding of all my worries. Mostly it was a lot of waiting (all I can say is thank goodness for epidurals) and then around 12:00 the hard part started. After about 3 1/2 hours of pushing, our sweet Eliza Kay made her grand entrance at 3:41 pm weighing in at a whopping 9 lbs. 2 oz. No wonder it took so long to get her here! She was the most beautiful thing Matt and I had ever seen and we were instantly in love. I've never been so tired but so happy in my life. I don't think we knew how much having a child would change our life but also how much more meaningful and wonderful it would become. This picture makes us laugh even now when we look at our little "Jabba the Hut," only a couple of hours old.
Matt has a close friend who had recently joined the church getting married in the Los Angeles temple on November 17th so he left just a week after Eliza was born to be a part of that. Needless to say, I was a mess! I was so worried about being on my own but I should have known that my wonderful family wouldn't let me stay by myself with a brand new baby. I stayed with my parents for the weekend and everything went just fine. I even got to sneak in a couple much needed naps while grandma and grandpa gladly watched their new granddaughter. Matt got home safe and sound in just a couple days and we went back to figuring out this whole parenting thing. Matt had 2 weeks paternity leave from his work which was wonderful. I don't thing I could have made it through those first few days without him. I was nervous to be on my own when he had to go back to work but we made it through and I have loved being a stay-at-home mom. Those first few baths were pretty traumatic for Eliza though. What a sad face!
Eliza's first Christmas was probably not as exciting for her as it was for us but we had so much fun visiting with family and enjoying the spirit of the season. She got some fun presents including a pink stuffed elephant that she loves now. Whenever I hand it to her she starts laughing and snuggling with it. Hopefully for Christmas this year she'll be a little more involved. Something tells me she'll be more interested in the paper and boxes rather than what's inside.
January was a rough month for our little Eliza. She developed thrush which is a yucky yeast infection that shows up on the tongue and then she got a sinus infection on top of that! We had to take her to the doctor almost every week until we could find a medicine that worked. She was so good and patient and wasn't too fussy even though I'm sure she didn't feel well. We finally got everything all cleared up after a few weeks and she was given a clean bill of health from her doctor. This picture is one of Matt's favorite and it makes him chuckle everytime he sees it. She looks so serious, gotta love the double chin too!
Remember how cold it was last winter? We were so worried about taking Eliza anywhere I think we may have bundled her up a little too warmly. Does this picture remind anyone else of Randy from "A Christmas Story?" "I can't put my arms down!"
We decided to wait a little longer than usual before having Matt give Eliza her baby blessing. We were too nervous to have a new baby out and around a lot of people in the winter. She was almost 3 months old but we chose February 4th, 2007 as the big day. We didn't realize until shortly before that this day was also Super Bowl Sunday. We didn't have to worry though, our friends and family we care about were there to share our special day with us instead of watching the Colts beat the Bears. What a wonderful day!
Eliza has always been such a good girl and and easy baby. We're definitely spoiled. She slept for 8 hours at night when she was 3 months old and since she was about 6 months old, she has slept for 12-13 hours at night. It's wonderful! She has always been a good eater too. She is a special spirit that brings such a light and love and happiness to our family. We should send this picture to Anne Geddes, don't you think? Eliza gives those babies a run for their money!
Here is Eliza getting ready to go for a walk on a nice, sunny spring day! She loves being outside and looking at all there is to see. It must be so interesting for a baby to try and figure out what everything is and how different outside looks.
We began the fun process of getting Eliza to eat solid food when she was about 6 months old. It took some patience but she caught on pretty quickly and likes almost all the different fruits and veggies we give her. It does make quite a mess though!
We took our first vaction as a family in June. We drove to Manti, UT with the intention of seeing the Mormon Miracle Pageant. We didn't realize, however, that the pageant didn't even begin until around 9:00 pm and Eliza usually goes to bed at 7:00 pm. Seeing as there wasn't a good chance of her being happy for much of the evening, we decided to go out to dinner at Fat Jack's Pizza in Ephraim and just stay in instead of fighting traffic and crowds with a grumpy baby. We stayed at the Yardley Inn in Manti which is such a nice little bed & breakfast. I was worried about how Eliza would sleep in a new place but she did great. She slept good the whole night and they fed us a wonderful breakfast in the morning. It was a nice weekend getaway for us. Here's Eliza just lounging on the nice comfy bed.
Eliza's first experience with swimming and she loved every minute of it! I don't think she stopped kicking her legs the whole time. The pool was a good place to be because our air conditioning went out during (of course) the hottest month of the year. Eliza couldn't sleep and neither could we so we packed up and stayed with Matt's parents for about a week and a half until it got fixed. We all slept so much better in their nice cold basement. What a treat after being in our condo which was 90 degrees inside (no I am not exaggerating).
Eliza's also got her first tooth this month! I think I should be worried - Matt tells me he was a 'biter' when he was little. Unknowingly, his mom used to put him in the playpen to play with other children. Yikes! Let's hope Eliza doesn't take after her dad in that respect.
Our first camping trip with a baby! It turned out to be not as bad as I thought it would. Although, there is nothing quite like packing for a baby. I think I brought everything but the kitchen sink. You just never know what you might need! I was so concerned about keeping her warm and comfortable and clean but we did great. She probably slept better than Matt and I did. I think our tent was on an incline and our sleeping bags were on rocks. Ah, nothing like an authentic camping experience. It was so nice to be up in the mountains in the cool, clean air and sitting around the campfire at night making s'mores. We had a wonderful time! I think she had enough layers on, don't you?
Eliza finally started crawling pretty well. For the longest time she was an army-crawler and would just drag herself to where she wanted to go but she's finally gotten the hang of it! Everyone told us that once she started crawling she would really thin out. I guess she has a little bit but to me, she is still my adorable, chubby baby. I love those thunder thighs!! My mom calls Eliza her little "cherubic baby." By the way, Eliza likes her baths much better now than when she was brand new. It's always a wild, splashing party in there!
In addition to crawling all over the house, Eliza has now started pulling herself up on everything. I mean everything. We no longer have things on bottom shelves because she pulls them off, and we really have to watch her in the kitchen because it's hard to get good traction in footy pajamas so she slips a lot. She's had some 'bonks' on her little head but I guess it's all part of learning how to balance and walk. I remember some advice my pediatrician gave us at her last appointment. He said as she becomes more mobile we should "live scared." I think that is good advice. It's incredible the things they find to put in their mouths around the house!