Friday, December 7, 2012

Our first month together...

Our first month with Malia has sure flown by.  She is such a sweet little girl with a big personality already!  She is dramatic and at times extreme - either very happy or very upset.  She has been smiling since the day she was born, something I am told is rare.  She is smart (I am not bias at all!), she can hold her own pacifier and follow people around the room with her eyes.  She is strong and can hold her head up.  She loves to kick and stand up with the assistance of her parents.  She is a lover, her favorite past times are cuddling and holding hands.  She is also beautiful, again no bias here.  She has the most amazing dark brown eyes and a truly infectious smile.  We have fallen completely in love with this little baby girl.  We have enjoyed many first with her over the past month.  Having her by our side makes everything that much more special.  Here is what we have been up to as a family through pictures since we arrived home from the hospital...

 When we arrived home from the hospital our house was spotless and we had flowers and gifts from my mom.  It was such a blessing!

 We had meals for 3 weeks from our amazing friends and family!  
 Thank you everyone!!

 Jessica's amazing menu!

 Yummy meal and visiting with Uncle Steve

 First couple nights home were rough but we made it through

 Malia's first Halloween - 6 days old!

 Malia with her mama and 2 best friends and protectors!

 Her first walk

 We only made it around the block!

 Mommy's girl

 After a week of being at home Aaron and I got a little cabin fever... so the animal got mustaches!

Her first bath

She could tell we were amateurs

First photo shoot

Such a beautiful girl

Many faces of Malia
 Can not get enough of her

 First time at church

 Thanksgiving with Aunt Jesi

 Our little family on Thanksgiving

 Getting our tree

 Decorating our tree - she was very excited!

 Happy baby

 Before mom and dad went on a date together 

 First time on her play mat

 Wearing big girl boots
 At church with her buddy Ben

 Wubbanub Love...
 One month old and getting so big

 Had to put her in her crib to convince myself she really isn't THAT big!

 Our angel, we love you Malia!

When a baby is born so is a mother...

My intention was to write this post weeks ago.  As I am quickly finding out, my intentions for each day and what actually gets accomplished are two completely different things.  Becoming a mother has been the single most satisfying and life changing experience.  At the same time, quite honestly, this is the most difficult thing I have ever had the privilege of doing.  

My first day as a mother I realized many things, first, I have lead an extremely selfish life.  Up to that point, life was about me, my ideas, my wants, my needs, my desires.  My only real concerns or worries were my husband and pets.  I could come and go as I pleased and make decisions on the fly.  This is no longer the case.  Every moment of everyday I have to think about this baby and her well being.  I am her lifeline, my body is no longer my own, my life is no longer my own.  

The second thing I realized is how I have taken my own mother for granted.  I have a whole new appreciation for the sacrifices she has made for the past 40 years of raising and supporting my brothers and I.  Being a mother is a tough job that at times is thankless.  Luckily God made me to be Malia's mother, he has specially equipped me to care for her, just as my mom was perfectly designed to care for me.  

The third thing I have realized is that I have an amazing group of mothers around me that have openly welcomed me into this new club of motherhood.  They have supported me, carried me, loved me, answered questions, prayed for me, sympathized with me, encouraged me and helped me to navigate this crazy new world.  

In closing, I have also realized just how blessed our family is.  I have the most loving, kind, caring husband and best friend I could have ever asked for.  Aaron is such an amazing daddy to Malia.  Although incredibly difficult motherhood is everything I ever imagined and more and I thank God everyday for this incredible honor of being a mom.  I love our little girl more than life itself and I can not wait to watch her grow in the Lord and live out His purpose for her life.   

 Our first picture as a family - Malia 1 week old

 Malia and her daddy

 Rockin' her bow and her booties!

 Malia and her grandpa

One of our favorite pictures - Malia 1 day old

Friday, November 9, 2012

Love at first sight

As you may have heard Malia made her grand entrance into the world on Thursday, October 25th, 2012 at 9:36pm.  Before I get into how beautiful she is and how our lives are forever changed I will bring you all up to date on our birth story.  

This is me at our 39 week appointment...
Little did I know our daughter would be here 3 short days later!

I was having contractions all week that were not painful.  I kept googling and asking friends how I would know if they were "real" contractions or not.  All they kept saying was, "Oh, you will know!"  And, come to find out, they were right.  I should have known when we went to sleep on the 25th that something was up.  Our dogs, Floyd and Sugar, had been acting differently for the prior couple days.  On this particular night though they would not leave me side, literally.  Here is a picture of how they fell asleep.  

 Our bed (where I was laying) on the right and the bassinet on the left.  
Sugar's head is fully under the bassinet.  
They have never slept like this before or again.

At 2am, I knew that my contractions were different than they had been prior.  Painful and close together.  I downloaded a contraction app to keep track and laid in bed until Aaron woke up around 6:30am.  He had a professional development training at work so he actually slept in later than usual.  When he started talking about his day I told him I didn't think he should go to the training and that I was pretty sure he was going to meet his daughter that day.  We were both excited but calm.  We took our time getting ready, we showered, I put on makeup, fixed my hair and we arrived at the hospital at 8:30am. 

Around 11am we were finally admitted the labor and delivery.  I was in quite a bit of pain (although none of that yelling and moaning you see on TV!).  Around noon I got an epidural.  What a relief that was!!  I spent the next several hours laboring until around 8:00pm when it was time to push.  Malia arrived shortly after 9:30.  If I could describe our birth story in only one word it would be, peaceful.  Yes, peaceful.  We had such an amazing team of doctors and nurses that made the entire process smooth and comfortable.  I had the most kind, patient, loving coach in Aaron.  He took such excellent care of me.  We had lots of extended family waiting for her arrival.  They showered her and us with such love, and waited all day at the hospital for her to be born.  I could not have asked for a better birthing experience.  The most amazing part was getting to meet this beautiful little girl.  Our daughter, Malia Joy Moreno.  

 7 lbs 2 oz, 19 3/4 inches, perfect...

 That is one proud daddy

Our girl - Love at first sight!

We spent one short day in the hospital and then we were off.  Off to our new normal, our new life.  It is hard to put into words the overwhelming emotions of love that we have for our daughter.  Even as I try to write about her tears stream down my face.  This is love, this is what I was made to do.  I was made to be Aaron's wife and Malia's mommy, to love and respect him and to protect, love and care for this little girl.  For a long time I struggled with what my purpose was, I always tied my purpose to my career.  I thought if I got one more degree, a promotion, a raise that would fulfill me.  Little did I know God had an even greater calling on my life.  I am so thankful for His will and this life that He has blessed me with.  I can not wait to see all that God has in store for Malia and for our family.  Thank you to everyone who prayed for this little girl and for our family.  We are blessed!

Headed home from the hospital, first car ride, first breath of fresh air... 
Here's to many more firsts for this beautiful girl!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wrapping up loose ends... she is almost here!

It is difficult to describe how amazing this pregnancy has been.  When I think about how blessed we are to have amazing friends and family or how God has been so faithful to Aaron and I, I can't help but well up with emotion (something that is quite new to me!).  

One of my favorite things to do it listen to Aaron talk about Malia.  Whether it is that he can't wait to hold her, or he wonders what she will look like, or about coaching her soccer team someday.  He is going to be the most amazing father and I am so excited to get to share this life changing experience with such a wonderful man and husband.  

I have prayed for her everyday since we found out we were pregnant.  I have also prayed that God would give us the wisdom and strength to guide, love and care for her.  I know that God has created her with a specific plan and purpose on the earth and that she is going to do big things in His name.  I am so excited to meet her and get this party started!!  

In the meantime, this is what we have been up to over the past couple weeks as we await our precious baby girl.

We were blessed with another (yes this makes 3!) baby shower.  It was a complete surprise put on by my team at work.  What a blessing it was!  They did such a great job and even got Aaron in on the surprise.  I have been truly blessed with an amazing place to work and incredibly kind people to work with. 

Thank you all for your kindness!

We also had some maternity photos taken.  I am so happy to have captured this special time with a few photos.  We went to a small park in the Pearl District, had great weather and a great photographer, everything was perfect.  These were taken at the end of September so I was about 36 weeks pregnant.  Here are a few of our favorites.  

We have also been adding some final touches to her nursery.  We still have a couple pictures to add to the walls but I love the way it looks so far.  I certainly hope that Malia likes pink! 

 We found this toy chest at an antique shop for $40 - I just love it!
 I also love the banner and poms from her baby shower.  
 We added shelves above her crib.  
We will also add a photo to the right of the mobile. 

More poms from her baby shower.
I really like the different shades of pink and gray.

 All we really need is Malia and this room will be complete!

I am now off of work until at least April of next year.  My days are a mixture of nesting, cleaning like crazy, painting, decorating, napping, relaxing, reading, blogging, praying, pinteresting, wondering when she will arrive, googling multiple times per day "signs you are going into labor" just to see if it says something different this time.  What a blessing to have this time to prepare and relax.  Physically I feel good, I am just so excited to meet her that I hope she comes soon! 

In preparation for the big changes in our lives I found a fun idea on Pinterest for date nights with your husband.  I preplanned dates for us for the next 12 months, starting in November.  I gave these to Aaron as a gift.  He seemed to really like them and the fact that I was thinking about him and our relationship.  If you can believe it, I have been a tad bit focused on Malia.  Anyways, I am really excited to open an envelope each month and see what fun activity we get to enjoy together.  It also gives me an excuse to blog about something other than Malia!  Here are some photos of the gift - stay tuned for the fun part, the dates with my hot hubby!

Each month's date envelope

Thanks to everyone for all your love and support throughout our pregnancy.  Please continue to pray that her birth would  be smooth, that she would be healthy and that God would prepare our hearts for this amazing responsibility.  My next post should include pictures of our baby girl.  

Here is the most recent picture of me at about 39 weeks.  It is fun to have friends pregnant at the same time - Sarah is 23(ish) weeks and having a boy, Christy is 27(ish) weeks and having a girl.