Monday, September 19, 2011


Wow, we haven't updated in a while... Shows how busy our life has been! We've done a bit of camping over the past two weeks and I thought I'd share our pictures. Eliza had a blast and is a pretty great camping baby. We didn't bring any toys with us and she was content running around playing with pine cones, rocks, sticks and just about anything else she could find. Rachel and I had a great time too! Our first camping trip this year was three weeks ago and we went to a campground on the Mokelumne River for Joey's (Rachel's brother) 30th birthday. The campground is seriously in the middle of nowhere:
View Larger Map We had quite an adventure finding it, as did most of the other people we were camping with, but we ended up having a great time.
Our second trip, was to the Eastern side of the Mendocino National Forest. The East side isn't really the side that people go to because it's supposedly not as nice looking as the West side, but we found it to be very beautiful. We stayed at a campsite that was a short walk to the river. Eliza had so much fun throwing rocks into the water! She picked up a rock and said her usual, "Dat!", and I said, "that's a rock", so now she calls them "a rock". So cute. We went camping with our friends Lydia and Adam and we all had a lot of fun exploring the different areas. IMG_1596 IMG_1595 Slappy chasing the ducks IMG_1590 IMG_1582 Playing with sugar packets at the only place to get breakfast in town IMG_1573 Eliza telling ghost stories IMG_1571

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Trip to Denver

We got back from a weekend trip to Denver for Mark's management group seminar. We had a great time and a pretty easy flight there.

Once we were there, we met up with our friends Chris & Kylee and their kids. Eliza was very excited to see her birth friend Bob who was born the day after her.




Eliza made a best friend- Alex: IMG_1014

The weekend was fun. Good friends, good food, a nice hotel. The flight home was awful... seriously awful, but we learned some traveling with baby lessons. Don't travel with a baby-

My child is a HAM!






Monday, June 20, 2011

RIP Sassy "Potato Pig" Hanses 1997-2011



Sassy "Potato Pig" Hanses was 14.5 years old. She was 11 when we began fostering her. We saw that she was morbidly obese, unable to walk and missing a ton of fur. We adopted her with the caveat that we could not afford medical bills, and that if we moved back to California, we couldn't take her with us. MABBR agreed and we took her into our house. The first year was good, she loved our dogs and they loved her. She began getting comfortable and old in her new home and promptly lost weight. She began getting weekly walks down the street and back and a very strict healthy diet. Soon she was running around the house like a puppy jumping up on people. With this new found energy came some dog aggression. After multiple scuffles with Slappy and Pokey, we decided to keep Potato separated. She lived in her own apartment for the remainder of her life.

We had no idea that dog would give us 3.5 good years. We thought we had 4-5 months with her MAX. Dogs are amazing creatures and man is not evolved enough to see the worth of such a devoted pet.

Sassy was the nicest dog that has ever lived on this earth. To this day, I have never known a dog that loved a petting more than Sassy. She smiled with her entire body and waggled at you whenever you approached. She was also one of the most stubborn dogs I have ever known. She climbed over a baby gate that was 3 ft. high. She headbutted the baby gates to get them down, just so she could lay down on the couch with the other dogs.

We loved our Potato. Its been a long time coming for her, but she is at peace now. We knew that she was ready to go, and she gave us her blessing.

If anyone wants to donate in Sassy's honor to MABBR, we would love to know that her passing can save another life.

We love you Sassy, you're amazing!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Family Portraits

My cousin's beautiful wife Nikki Marshall took some family portraits of us. They are utterly amazing. Eliza just smiled the whole time because she loves Auntie Nikki so much. Having a photographer that your toddler is comfortable with is essential.

Hanses Family <3

My very favorite picture
My absolute favorite picture of the day!

Check out her boat shoes! Thanks uncle Mick!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New website!

I forgot- Mark's website is up and ready

His clinic is located at 841 Arnold Drive Suite D, Martinez, CA 94553.

He is thinking that July 1 will be his grand opening!


Mark's clinic is absolutely beautiful. He has worked so tremendously hard on it. I cannot believe how fast this has come together! He is in the process of finishing up the paint and getting his xray installed and then he can open for business!!!

Here are the walls with primer on them!

Mark's Clinic

Clinic 2.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Eliza Dema!

Dear Eliza,

One year ago today you came into our lives. I had never seen your little face, or held your little hand. I wasn’t expecting you to be early because everyone told me to expect you late. You were born on a Sunday morning at 4am. I went to work that Friday before your birth feeling huge, bloated and tired. I was determined to work until the end because I didn’t want to lay around the house feeling huge. I showed up for work and my students took great care of me. If I dropped something or needed something, they waited on me hand and foot. My ankles were swollen to the point that I could only wear crocs and it was very hard for me to walk any sort of distances. That night your dad and I relaxed at home and I kept my legs elevated. The next morning we woke up early (I had trouble sleeping because of how big I was) and I felt a pop. It was a strange pop, but it felt just like my birth instructor said it would feel. I thought “that felt like my water breaking” but I didn’t feel any water so I just laid in bed. Your dad was in the shower and I was going to hop in after him, so I laid in bed waiting. When I could tell he was almost done, I sat up and I felt wetness. I went to stand and it gushed out. Needless to say I soaked a comforter, the sheets, your dad’s robe and I ran into the bathroom with a towel between my legs and I said “HONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and he said “what?” and I said “my water just broke”- and he jumped out and had a crazy look of panic. I said “I feel fine, I am going to get in the shower and hopefully this will stop” and needless to say, it didn’t. When your water breaks, it breaks and doesn’t stop. Your body keeps making more water, and you keep on leaking.

Your dad asked me what to do. I told him to call the midwife and your grandma Hope. We had to go down to the birth center because I was Strep Type B positive and needed an antibiotic injection. I felt fine. I kept expecting to start feeling contractions and go into labor, but I didn’t. Honestly Eliza, I was feeling 100% fine, and it was making people nervous. By the time your grandma arrived from California, your mom still hadn’t gone into labor. We had taken the dogs for a walk, gone to the grocery store, gotten 3 injections of antibiotics, and then the dreaded “if you don’t progress by tomorrow at 7am, we have to transfer you to a hospital. I am so sorry, but its policy” I was terrified of birthing in a hospital, and I would have had you on the side of the road in a ditch before I let you be born into a hospital, so I did what I had to… Castor Oil. I drank 6 oz. of castor oil. I won’t go into details, but needless to say your grandma and your dad are assholes for laughing at me. That was still the single worst part of giving birth.

Once I had that oil down, the labor started almost immediately. I had a few contractions and they were fine. I actually laughed through them in the beginning. I started to feel really strong contractions around 11pm, and your dad decided it was time to take me in for a shot of antibiotics and to see the midwife. Rachel, your midwife, said that we should plan on staying. I got there, and the contractions were increasing rapidly. I jumped into the water birth tub and tried to relax. I dilated from a 3 to a 9 in less than an hour. Transition hit me hard. I had a contraction last for about a minute, then another hit on top of the other one. I would have about 5-10 hit at once giving me a 2 minute break in between. At one point I couldn’t handle the water splashing me, so I got out and labored on the floor on my hands and knees. I was coerced up on the bed and I was able to rest my head on a birth ball. During this, your dad gave me sips of Gatorade and wiped my face. The nurse Megan was telling me that I was doing a good job, but I was frustrated because you were nowhere near. I remember the urge to push happened and I couldn’t control it. It took all of my energy to push. Eliza, I pushed for over 2 hours. Had I birthed in a hospital, they would have ordered me to have a c-section because they limit the time they allow you to push. You were born 2 hours and 15 minutes after I started pushing. I felt you coming and Rachel told me to give you a push. Your head came out and I got so excited I pushed for as long and as hard as I could until you came out and landed in Rachel’s arms. I remember collapsing on the bed and asking if you were a girl. I rolled over and they stuck this tiny, wet, sticky little thing on my lap. I still can’t believe that was you. I looked at your dad, and he was teary. We just sat with you and took it all in. The moment you came out, my body went back to normal and I felt great. We cuddled together in that bed as a family for an hour uninterrupted. Your dad leaned down and kissed you. We let your umbilical cord stop pulsing and turn white. Your dad proudly cut the cord. You nursed about 20 minutes into life, and never looked back. You were a true champion and fighter. We did this together. I can’t imagine having to do things according to other people’s rules and regulations. I can’t imagine someone telling me that I wasn’t doing it right. I can’t imagine someone standing by and waiting to put drugs in to my system to make you come out faster, or to take away part of that experience. I remember being in the midst of transition and being uncomfortable and thinking “I can’t imagine someone taking me right now and offering to jab me in the spine with a needle to get rid of this” – I wanted you to have the most natural, amazing, pain-free birth that you could possibly have. This was your birth, and your day. We we’re put on this earth to support each other and to be as one at those moments. If it wasn’t supposed to be intense and uncomfortable, then it wouldn’t be. Eliza, I would do it all over again for you 100x. You had no monitors, no ivs, no nurses rushing to prick you with injections or measure you before you and I got to bond. You came into this world and sat immediately upon my chest. We sat there to love each other as long as we wanted.

Still at the birth center. Only 5 hours old with Daddy

This year has been a tremendous year for us as a family. You have been all over the place, and seen many different things. You spent a horrible month away from your daddy, and I am so sorry for that. It will never happen again, I promise. You are truly the greatest thing that life has ever given me. Your smiling face, your amazing demeanor, the fact that you look like your dad are a few of the amazing things about you.

7 hours after she was born

A year ago today, you became a person and I became a mother. I will never stop being your mother, and I will never stop loving you. I will continue to sacrifice for you, advocate for you, and do things that others don’t agree with for you. I make choices for you because I feel they are best, and though others may not agree, honestly, I don’t give a damn. You got your first adjustment at just hours old. You never had an ear infection in your first year of life. You are such a healthy and happy little girl. I truly hope that when you have children, you get a pleasant birth experience, no forced vaccinations and people telling you that you’re irresponsible for the choices you make. I have a feeling you’ll be fighting the same fight, but I hope that my choices open some doors for you to make your own decisions.

I love you so much. Thank you so much for being you! Happy birthday!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Dr. Hanses adjusting 2 day old Eliza!

DSC00403 by Rachel and Mark H.
DSC00403, a photo by Rachel and Mark H. on Flickr.

Here is a picture that I love. Dr. Hanses adjusting his two day old daughter!

I can't believe this was almost a year ago!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Donate to help babies!

We are walking in solidarity with parents who had to deliver babies early and lean on the support of hospitals and amazing doctors. We are so fortunate that Eliza was born healthy and on time. We walk to support those who were not so lucky!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Eliza the ham!

  by Rachel and Mark H.
, a photo by Rachel and Mark H. on Flickr.

Eliza updates. Her birthday is coming up!!!!!!!!!! Holy cow. We're celebrating on the 17th at my mom's house. Eliza's grandma Nancy will be in town to celebrate.

She can now bark, meow and moo. We're working on quack, but its slow going. She likes to click her tounge and sing along to whatever song is in her head. She has started rockin' out to music and has the one legged jig down. She sort of dances like her daddy!

She has been super fussy the past few days. We think more teeth are coming in. She had a slight fever last night 99, but it was gone by this morning and she was in a great mood. She isn't eating very well either.

Normally though, this baby is a hog. We sort of skipped the cereals and purees because she didn't want them and we're following "baby led weaning" where you let the baby tell you what they want. We just hand her what we're eating and she eats it. Its pretty simple. Last night she shared my chicken burrito. She also loves citrus. She has been eating oranges off the tree at my brother's house. She is still nursing like a little pig. She loves it. I hope that food starts to become her #1 source of food and I can become #2 and slowly phase out, but we'll see what she wants.

She is doing really well at her daycare. Things are good there.

My new job is going really well. I am happy, and that is important.

Thats all for now!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Eliza the happy and smiley little gal!

  by Rachel and Mark H.
a photo by Rachel and Mark H. on Flickr.

Eliza updates!

She is now talking. She can say "dog" "mama" "dada" and she can bark. It sounds more like "ahh ahha" but she does it. She can also wave bye bye. She points to parts of the face if you say them. Nose is her favorite. She can point out the cat and dog in her favorite book. She is also turning book pages front and back when she reads with you. She climbs down and sometimes will sit in front of the book shelf and read by herself for up to an hour!

She is learning how to pet the dogs. I can say "pat Slappy" and she pats her, then I say "rub slappy" and she rubs her. I am working on high five, but she doesnt slap, she just sticks her hand up to yours.

Her birthday is about a month away and we're super excited. We're planning it at my mom's but if the weather is nice, we'll move it to the park. Lots of people are planning to come!

She is so much fun!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A lovely San Francisco day!

The family took a drive to see the beautiful Baker Beach in SF. The sky was clear, the ocean was beautiful and we loved playing in the sand!

This is a perfect picture- poor Eliza had the sun in her eyes, but its cute nonetheless!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Is it bad to compare?

Happy Slappy


Park date with cousin Ava Rose *picture heavy*

It was 77 degrees and sunny, so we took full advantage!

Eliza met some friends:






I don't know why, but this picture reminds me of a picture we have of slappy