Thursday, December 30, 2010

SO LONG 2010!!! Here comes the year of US!


January: We knew that Eliza was coming in 4 short months and we really didn’t know what we were going to do at that rate. We had planned on staying in Kansas City, and little did we know, that we had just met some of the most incredible people on earth (Kylee & Chris, Rachel & Casey). We thought that if I could find a job, we would be able to set up shop in KC and stay for good. We still had our foster dog Abbie (Abigator, aka Gator) and we loved her a lot. She reminded me of a young Slappy.

February: Really nothing happened that was worth noting. We were in the baby preparing phase. We had gotten her bedroom all set up. She ended up never sleeping in it once! She still hasn’t spent a night in her crib, though she will use it soon, and she will use it as a toddler bed!

March: Abbie got adopted and I got bigger and bigger! Notice how little we did this year compared to last? I was not in the mood to leave the house in the ice and snow!

April: On April 18th, our beautiful and amazing daughter Elizabeth Dema was born. I labored for 6.5 hours, and had a completely natural, drug-free birth in a birth center that used to be a college. Eliza came out alert, happy and perfectly healthy. We spent the first hour of her life curled up in bed as a family, with zero interruptions. I am so thankful to the lovely midwives (Rachel and Mountain) and our nurse Megan who treated me with respect and dignity and allowed my body to do what it was made to do. My life is changed, not just by the birth of my daughter, but by the empowerment I was given by my support team, and knowing what I am capable of. I will do what I can to show other women that they are strong enough to do it themselves!
Our little Eliza came home 6.5 hours after her entry into this world and we both recovered quickly in our own bed with my mom taking great care of us. I think my mom held Eliza more than I did after she was born. I needed the rest! I can’t imagine recovering without my mom’s help. She cooked organic chickens down into super healthy soups, brought me different fishes and proteins based on my body’s need and I recovered very fast.

Poor Mark had his boards the weekend after Eliza was born, and he passed them! He deserves a medal for that one!
After Eliza was born (a week early!!!) I had to finish up a few assignments for my Master’s degree. I ended up turning them in and graduating in May. I almost walked in my grad ceremony, but I decided it would be more fun to lay in my bed and recover. Glad I did!
Mark stepped right in as a father, and was an amazing one at that. He made sure we knew how tired he was, but he still went to school every day and finished his homework on time. He missed one day of board reviews in the whole month of April.
The dogs were instantly in love. Okay, Pokey could careless, but Slappy loved her from the moment she first saw her. She has been Eliza’s best friend ever since. One of Eliza’s first intentional movements was to pet Slappy when she was about 3 months old.

May: May was pretty uneventful. I was on Maternity leave and we were learning how to be parents. Eliza was such a great baby, she made it easy, though I was dying to get back to work.

June: I went back to work full time. I was very sad to leave my girl, but I really needed the freedom. I give a lot of credit to the stay at home moms because it isn’t easy!
Eliza made this Mr. Magoo face when she slept. She doesn’t do it anymore. I miss it!

We took Eliza to the lake for the first time with the dogs. She really loved being outside. She just stared across the lake and took in all of the natural beauty of Missouri. I hope that we can raise her to have a deep love for the area she was born. I love Missouri with all of my heart, and if I can show her how great it is, I hope she falls in love too.
July: I turned 30. Holy crap. We spent a lot of time with friends. IMG_0237
We loved our neighborhood this summer. I think we both knew that we were going to end up back in California. I never took a single day for granted.
a href="" title="IMG_0189 by Rachel and Mark H., on Flickr">IMG_0189
Ava Rose Cooper was born on July 17th. Happy and healthy. She is such a strong and amazing little girl. We’re so lucky to be back home with her!
ava rose cooper
My sweet, amazing, smart, handsome, kind and wonderful husband graduated!
We went out on the Leatherman’s boat for one of the most memorable days of 2010. Good times, good friends and sweet babies all born within 7 days of each other!

We had an amazing BBQ that our friends Chet and Aubrey catered. They are so amazing, and did such a great job. We had KC BBQ, good friends, music, and the night went on and on. That night was truly one of the most memorable and fun nights of my entire life. We feel so blessed to have so many great friends. Leaving you was the hardest thing I have ever done. Not a day goes by that we don’t talk about how much we miss you all!

September: We traveled back to California to visit. Having Eliza around our families and seeing how much support we were missing out on, really made us want to come home. We decided to move.
October: This was one of the worst months of my life. Being away from Mark for almost 30 days was so hard. Thankfully my parents let us stay with them. We really struggled to get through it, but we are so blessed to be back together.

November: Mark came home! My brother Mickey married his beautiful wife Allie and Eliza took her first vacation to Lake Tahoe.
December: Only good things to come for us!

Looking forward to 2011! This will be our year!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Eliza's first Christmas!

Eliza had a really great Christmas! She was completely spoiled and loved every minute of it.

Mark and I were terrible and gave her most of the things we bought for her ahead of time.

She got lots of music stuff, books, toys and other great things!

chewing on a snowman ornament

nugget gifts

Eliza rockin' her tutu on Christmas Eve
tutu nugget

Eliza being a total ham
nugget xmas

Eliza's first crawl!

I can't believe we got this on video!!!

She is now crawling all around the house and getting into things like the dog dish and water bowl. We're laughing at her and frantically trying to get baby gates up!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


She didn't cry... but she wasn't pleased!

This kid smiles even when she is upset!


Eliza had a good night last night!

She took a bath!



Then she read a book with daddy!




New teeth pic!


Tearing into a baby Mum Mum!


The ham!


Daddy's girl


And last but not least!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dear Eliza

Please, for the love of God, sleep tonight.

Thank you!


Your mom

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

While mommy is at work, nugget and daddy are up to no good!

These are the pictures that Mark sends me while I am at work. I love them so much, I wanted to share!

baby nugget

laundry nugget

Why yes, that is Eliza balancing on a potty sitting on top of a chiropractic table. What else would you expect?

potty nugget

To quote my mom: "Eliza always comes over mismatched, wearing whatever Mark found on the ground". In this case she'll just stay in her nighty all day.

smile nugget

crazy baby

I love their shenanigans. Most dads don't get the opportunity to spend this much time with their children. I am so happy to get a little glimpse into their day!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Santa and Christmas Trees!

This weekend we had a lot of firsts for Eliza and one second. She drew her first picture on Saturday. She got her second tooth yesterday 12/5/2010. She went to visit Santa on Sunday, and we went and got a Christmas tree after.




Straight to the mouth:



She didn't hate Santa, but she certainly didn't love him either. She faked a smile until she couldn't hold it anymore. She almost cried and kept reaching out for me. I felt terrible standing there saying "yay!" while she reached for me urgently. Needless to say she stayed on his lap for about 45 seconds. I give her credit though, she isn't screaming!

Christmas Tree Shopping:


Cutest picture ever:



Other fun stuff from last week/end:

Eliza got to spend lots of time with Ava on Friday. She even tried to share her persimmon with her. Pretty cute!

Thursday night we went to Petaluma to see Dr. Michelle at her holiday party. Eliza dressed up and walked all around the room smiling at people!



Eliza and her best friend:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Eliza & Family updates

Not a whole lot of updates. Eliza got her first tooth. Its a sharp little thing. Its pretty cute, but you really can't see it unless you're very close to her mouth. She is still not crawling, but she loves to walk around holding my hands, so I have a feeling she may just skip the crawling phase and move right into walking. She loves to stand at her toys and pet the dogs, so her balance is pretty good.

Mark gets his diploma on the 10th. Once he gets it, we can start the process of his licensing and formation of his business. So far he really hasn't been able to do much. He is in the process of getting a part-time job to help out with our finances.

The dogs are doing well. Slappy is enjoying being back out in Martinez and celebrated by getting two ticks that Mark had to remove. He was very pleased, and a little grossed out.

All in all, we're happy to be home, but we miss Kansas City a lot!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Mark saw two lines today. I have only seen one on the bottom. She has been crying more lately and I know its from pain. She got her baltic amber teething necklace in the mail yesterday and we put it on her immediately.

Wish us luck... teething sucks!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Eliza updates

eliza being cute

Eliza LOVES music. She has been banging on drums for the past month. She hears music and bangs on things. Mark gave her these maracas yesterday and she knew exactly what to do with them.

She is now waving at people when she sees them. She is also clapping. She has started reaching out to get picked up.

She is also teething. It sucks, and she still hasn't cut a tooth, but she is sure drooling, crying and sneezing!

No crawling yet. She gets on all 4's and rocks.

Playing catch up!

So much has happened lately.

mickey and allie

First, Mickey got married last weekend. We all drove up to Tahoe for a lovely ceremony on a boat on Lake Tahoe. It was perfect and the weather couldn't have cooperated any better. The sunset at the wedding was amazing! tahoe

We had fun!

mark and i

The babies were amazing!
eliza and ava

We also moved into our new place. Its small and we have too much stuff. The next week is dedicated to purging, donating and moving things to our storage unit. Rough!