Wednesday, October 29, 2008


On Monday, Ben and I had our very first post-baby date. My Mom watched Eleanora for an hour while he whisked me off for a romantic lunch for two. I'll admit, I was a little nervous about leaving her for the first time but she slept in the "magical sling" the entire time and didn't even notice I was gone. Ben and I feasted at a nearby restaurant on yummy Greek food and some quality alone time. It was a perfect first date!

Over the weekend, Ben and Eleanora showed their University of Arizona pride together for the first time before Ben headed off to the Homecoming football game with John.

While he was gone, Erin came over to have a little ladies night with my Mom, Eleanora and I. The night started off great, but Eleanora neglected her hostess duties in favor of a good old-fashioned crying fit. Erin was a great help - putting together the swing, doing dishes, and spreading her cheerfulness around. Hopefully next time, Eleanora will be a little more polite to our company!

Today was Eleanora's two week check-up. She's in the 5oth percentile for weight and 90th percentile for height (up 2.25 inches since birth!). Ben is already making plans for her volleyball career!


I have been so blessed to be surrounded by various members of my immediate family for the last three weeks. My Mom arrived in Tucson a week before Eleanora, allowing us some sweet time together to finish my last few nesting projects, taking long walks, and just being together.

Both my Dad and Natalie arrived within 24 hours of Eleanora's debut. Mom, Dad and Natalie were able to visit with us each day in the hospital. Introducing Eleanora to her new home for the first time surrounded by adoring family was so special. Our house was literally glowing, it was so clean (thanks, Mom!), and I can't imagine a more excited welcoming committee! The many hands to help in those first crazy days was invaluable. There was always someone willing and able to soothe, burp, or just cuddle our sweet girl while I caught a nap, had a meal, or just rested.

Natalie's visit was brief, but I'm so glad she was here to witness Eleanora's first few days. We are already counting the days until she returns for a blissful week over Thanksgiving!

In addition to being a super baby soother, Dad was also an amazing help around the house with a million little projects Ben hasn't been able to get to with school. He hung a multitude of pictures and paintings, bookshelves, and just generally tinkered around to make our house better. His week here was wonderful and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Sad to see Opa go!

My Mom just left this morning (sniff, sniff) to head back to Erie. In her three glorious weeks here, it was like there was a magical spell over the house. Every time I'd wake from a nap or time in the nursery, I'd find the house sparkling, dishes done, laundry folded and put away, and the next meal ready to go. She is also a fountain of practical baby advice, tips and tricks, and is an expert at keeping Eleanora happy.

I am beyond grateful for such a loving, supportive and unselfish family who made this transition to parenthood so wonderful.

We have a couple weeks just the three of us before we welcome Ben's parents for a visit. We can't wait to introduce them to Eleanora!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Head Over Heels

The past week and a half has been the most amazing, wonderful and exhausting of my life. I've spent my days in a protective bubble of baby love, supported by amazing help from my husband, parents and sister. I'm not sure I'm ready to rejoin the outside world just yet, because I've so loved this time in the cozy cocoon of home.

Eleanora is completely amazing. She's alert and sweet, with an intoxicating smell and is just oh-so-snuggly. She's a champion eater - already back at her birth weight only 5 days after her birth. She has more than compensated for her difficult delivery by being such an easy and wonderful baby. Every time I look at her face, I'm amazed that she is actually ours and that we get to keep her.

Right now she is snuggled up to her Dad for a mid-morning nap. Ben is a natural, already an expert diaper-changer, soother and general sweet-talker. Eleanora loves the sound of his voice and always responds to it. Seeing them together makes me so happy it's overwhelming. I've never loved Ben more.
I am so blessed and so in love.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Our Beautiful Miracle...

It has been a few trying but amazing days for us. On October 15th at 9:45 PM our precious Eleanora Dawn came into the world. She is the perfect combination of beauty and spunk, although her delivery was far from perfect. Since Kara was past her due date and the baby was getting bigger, her doctor recommended that she be induced Wednesday morning. After a long day of labor, it was finally time to push. Kara quickly showed the makings of a pushing champion. Despite all her hard work, after over 2 1/2 hours of pushing, little Eleanora still wasn't ready to introduce herself to the world. After a trying time with the vacuum, the doctor made the decision to do a C-section.

After a whirlwind of getting ready (who knew I would get to wear a spacesuit), Kara was whisked to the OR and our beautiful miracle made her debut soon thereafter. It was a very trying time for Kara, who didn't really get any quality time with Eleanora until almost 3 hours after she was born. After a difficult initial recovery for Kara, they were finally reunited. Kara was amazing throughout the whole day, never complaining despite some very difficult moments. I have never loved her more and am so proud of her.

Yesterday was a much better day: introducing her to Opa and Gigi Gibson and Auntie Natalie as well as Grandpa and Gram Hoffman and Auntie Erin over the phone. We also were able to give the good news to Great Grandma B and Great Mena, both of which are some of our greatest inspirations and therefore inspired Eleanora Dawn's first and middle names. Most of all, it was a wonderful day of just getting to know my daughter. I have never known the feeling of loving someone the very instant you meet them; it is indescribable and has changed my life.

Thanks to all of you for your supportive thoughts and prayers. We love you and are so glad you're in our lives.

Sleeping in Mom's arms

Getting to know the Gibsons

Our New Family

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Marvelous Mom!

Today is a glorious, fabulous, wonderful day for us! My Mom is arriving this afternoon after traveling all the way from PA to spend a few weeks helping us make the transition to a family of three. Not only has she selflessly sacrificed time and expense to be here, she also made the cross-country trek on her birthday!

I am so lucky to have such a fun-loving, beautiful and gracious Mom. She gives extravagantly, loves unabashedly, and is one of the best listeners on the planet. She's got style, impeccable taste (her table decorations would put Martha Stewart to shame), and is an amazing cook. She's also incredibly driven and intelligent. She excelled academically when earning her undergraduate and masters degrees, all while running a busy household and caring for her family. I love that she can be prim and proper if the occasion calls for it, but deep down would rather be lip-syncing in the kitchen to Michael Jackson's Greatest Hits album with spatula in hand. Her laugh is a total body experience. Once she gets going her entire body goes limp and she quickly becomes a puddle of gasps and shakes.

She lives like she laughs...with total abandon, completely beautiful, and with her whole heart and soul. I'm so grateful to have her as a model of the mom I want to be.

Happy Birthday Mom!

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