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.
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="http://www.flickr.com/photos/runaroundrachel/4778461545/" title="IMG_0189 by Rachel and Mark H., on Flickr">
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!
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!!!!!!!!!!!