Monday, June 28, 2010

Makin' a baby is hard!

So, back when we were young and naiive about pregnancy and childbirth, Casey and I decided to take a Bradley class to assist us in the labor/delivery process.

It was a wonderful experience, even though I didn't exactly get to use the labor techniques we practiced...

Recently, we had our Bradley class reunion.

It was SO FUN to go from a room full of pregnant women to a room full of beautiful babies!

Here are some stats from our class:

*We started with 9 couples, and (thankfully!) ended with 9 gorgeous babies
*Of those babies, 8 were boys, and 1 was a girl (weird, right?)
*Of the 9 "natural" births we all had hoped for, there were...
*3 C-sections (1 - mine - was scheduled, 2 emergency)
*2 inductions because babies were at least a week overdue
*Only 3 natural, unmedicated births

It struck me that this whole "natural" process of making and having a baby is not as easy as it's cracked up to be!

Thank goodness we live in the 21st century. Three c-sections?! That means that a hundred years ago, at least 1/3 of us would more than likely have had tragic ends for either mommy or baby or both. Yikes.........

It seems counterintuitive that the process of baby making would be so difficult. Fortunately for all of us, though, the ends totally made whatever we went through worth it.

As a bonus, Leah was hillarious. She is too precocious for her own good!

My favorite memory of the day was when she was standing on Casey's lap, looking around the room at all the other babies, grinning like the adorable little show-off she is, and talking, as if to say, "Hello, I'm Leah! Look what I can do!"

It was so cute and funny. I wish I had thought to get pictures of the whole scene!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Watch out, Ace of Cakes

Who loves Daddy?

We do!

To my wonderful husband on his first Father's Day:

On Christmas day nearly 8 years ago, I got on an airplaine bound for San Antonio. If I had only known then how that flight would change my life!

In the seven and a half years that have followed, I have experienced more joy than I would have imagined possible, and you have been with me every step of the way.

One of my favorite days:

From the very beginning, you were an amazing father. You took care of me and Leah, even before we knew she was Leah. From the avocado wraps you made nearly every day for months on end, to holding my hand through each and every doctors appointment,

to the beautiful nursery you built for our daughter,

to bearing with me through the ups...

...and downs...

...of pregnancy, I am grateful that you were always by my side, supporting me and our daughter.
Since her birth, I have continued to be amazed by the poise, pride, love, wisdom and generosity you have shown Leah and me. From the first breath she took, it is obvious that she is the joy of your life. Nothing makes my heart happier than to watch the two of you!

I cannot imagine a more beautiful and perfect life than the one you and I have created together! Thank you for always being my partner and my friend, and for walking with me on this incredible journey called life.

We love, love, LOVE you!!! Happy (belated) first Father's Day.

(By the way... who made and decorated that awesome chocolate oreo cake from scratch? Somebody must REALLY love Casey!)

Your biggest fans.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Growth Spurt

Okay, mommies everywhere, this one is for you. And, also, perhaps a little TMI, so don't let me offend your delicate sensibilities. You've been warned.

Leah is 3 months old... and I think (and hope!) going through a growth spurt.

I know this because we went from nursing roughly every 4 hours, and waking only twice through the night and going immediately back to sleep... nursing every 2 hours again! ARGH!

Not to mention, just like a newborn, she isn't going back to sleep right away. I don't know if she's not getting enough milk, or what the situation is, but I have to say, I'm not loving it.

Not much else gets done when you're attached to somebody every two hours!

Is this normal??!? More importantly, how long does it last? I'm exhausted - and sore!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Happiest Place on Earth

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who thought she was a princess.

Okay, so she wasn't so much a little girl. She was 17.

And she wasn't exactly a princess. But, she was the drum major of a marching band that was performing in the Rose Bowl parade.

As part of her trip, that little girl was extatic that she also got to perform at the happiest place on Earth.

As you may have guessed, that little girl was me. And this was the last time I was at Disneyland.

And even at 17, that little girl looked forward to the day she would bring her own family to Disneyland. At the time, it seemed like a beautiful, elusive and far-away dream.

Recently, though, that dream came true.

I got to take my daughter to Disneyland! Yes, she is a tiny little pumpkin, and clearly this is not a trip she will remember.

For me, on the other hand, it was a trip I will always cherish. It literally brought tears to my eyes to walk down Mainstreet with my husband and our daughter!

It was a truly wonderful experience.

As per my usual, I was worried... perhaps it would be too much for Leah and a terrible outing for us all. But, in typical Leah fashion, she was smiling and delightful the entire day.

We had to take it slow, and we didn't ride very many rides. To me, though, that was never the point to begin with. Every time I looked into my husband's face, or my daughter's, I was almost overcome with joy.

I couldn't help but feel immense gratitude for the sheer wonderful-ness (wonderosity?) that is my life!

My favorite memory was during our drive home after what was without doubt the busiest, most over-stimulating day of Leah's life, and still, that sweet baby was smiling and chatting away with me as I sat in the back seat of the car.

At 17, I ran around the park as fast as I could so that I could be sure to ride each ride. At 26, I was perfectly content to do more walking than runing. Everything we did was so much more magical and exciting because of the handsome man at my side and the beautiful little lady in my arms.

The only thing that remains the same is that I can't wait to go back next time... especially since next time, I'll really get to enjoy the magic through Leah's eyes!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

5 down, 45 to go

Where have we been?

View Larger Map

At the ripe old age of 3 months, Leah's list of states visited now includes: Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California!

As a former resident of California himself, Casey still has a fair amount of family in the state. His cousin Charlie graduated on June 16th, so what better time to take our first family road trip?

I was extremely apprehensive about the drive, since Leah's distaste of driving still hasn't let up. To my immense surprise and relief, she did beautifully in the car!

The drive was a simple one, although it took 2 days to complete. From Denver, we took I-70 west through the mountains to Grand Junction; Green River, Utah; St. George, Utah; Mesquite, AZ/NV; Las Vegas, NV; all the way along I-15 to Los Angeles.

I couldn't be more delighted with our first family vacation. Highlights of the trip include:
-Getting to meet Casey's grandma for the first time, and showing off her very first great-grandchild-

- My first trip to the Hoover Dam-

-Visiting Santa Monica pier, and Leah's first trip to the ocean-

-Watching Charlie graduate!-


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Good things come in threes

Today, our sweet little pumpkin is 3 months old.

A few things about Leah at three months:

We now get *TONS* of smiles, especially in the morning.

My favorite smiles are the ones where she smiles and scrunches up her shoulders as if to say, "I know I'm just too darn cute!"

She hasn't really laughed since the "Sweat drips down my balls" incident, but I feel she is constantly on the verge of it these days.

She has been putting her chin to her chest and trying to sit up for about a week. She loves it when we help her sit up.

She also adores standing - which is mildly terrifying to her mother!

She still has a great bedtime routine and will sleep about 5 hours in her crib before waking and coming into Mommy and Daddy's room.

Her naps are getting to be more consistent, although not always in her crib

She now enjoys the time spent in her bouncer (especially if she can "talk" to her friends!)

When I hold her, her favorite position is lying diagonally in my arms, especially if she can suck on my arm while she's at it.

She loves to get kisses, and will turn her big, wide-open mouth to me when I tell her I'm coming to give her kisses. (sooo cute!)

She is now a constant drool factory... Daddy always says she's left the faucet on.
She does wonderfully on her play mat.

She still has no hair, at least on the top of her head... and if she is anything like her mother, she probably won't for a while!

She has taken to trying to shove both hands in her mouth (at the same time!)

She will swat at and investigate toys hanging in front of her, although she doesn't often grasp them yet.

She still hates the car, but loves to go on outings.

She has been going through a pretty "mommy-only" phase of life, which I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, it is amazing to me to know that I can (and do) comfort my daughter! She often smiles when she hears my voice from another room, and I can, with very few exceptions, calm her when she is upset. On the other hand... I'd certainly like her to share the love!

Casey and I feel so lucky to have this sweet, funny, strong, content little lady in our lives. It is a joyful and amazing adventure to be her parents, and we enjoy every minute of it!!

I changed my font at