stinson beach.

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On Memorial Day Weekend, we took Eliza out to Stinson Beach for a little afternoon trip. It's her third day trip, so she's already a seasoned traveler. She actually loves car rides. It's a little traumatizing getting strapped in to the car seat, but once the car is rumbling- she's out. And, she loves fresh air. 

We are huge fans of the Moby Wrap. (Or, any wrap, I'm sure.) It takes awhile to get it all set up- but it's a life saver. Sometimes I wear it around the house all day just because it's a guarantee that Eliza will fall asleep almost instantly once she is burrowed up against you.

Sam always thought it looked ridiculous, but on the day we went to Stinson he decided to give it a try because he figured he could zip his jacket around it and nobody would know. At first he was legitimately worried that she was getting squished inside of there- not understanding that the point is for her to feel like she's back in the womb. Then, he just kept exclaiming, "She's so happy in there!" Now, I think I might have to fight him to get to wear the wrap myself.

We love Stinson Beach. It's our go-to day trip for visitors or Sunday drives. It's only about an hour from Berkeley- and you drive through Muir Woods to get there. It's not a warm beach, but it is one of the most beautiful. The redwood forests run right up to the shore, where the waves crash against huge boulders that jut out of the water. Oh, and by the way- this is where all of our Utah, New York, and Texas friends can gloat about how much warmer it is over there. I think I might have to carry a sweater with me year-round! 


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Thank goodness for mamas.

My mom came and stayed with us for two weeks to help out with Eliza. She actually arrived on the first day I started having contractions, and she was right there beside me in the hospital all the way until the end. I remember holding onto Sam with my right hand, and my mom with my left. I know I wouldn't have been able to get through it without both of them there to support me. 

And, for as long as I can remember, my mom has always shown her love with her sewing machine. So, while I was recovering for those couple of weeks Mama made Eliza everything she was missing. She made her hats and burp cloths and pillow covers. And, she finished up all of the projects that I didn't get to before I went into labor, one of which was this quilted blanket. She pumped this thing out so fast! I love how beautiful and bright it is and it's perfect for playtime with Eliza. Sometimes, I lay her on the quilt and she will just entertain herself by kicking her little legs and staring around the room.

We were really sad to see Grandma go home after those two weeks. It finally sunk in how difficult it will be to raise a family so far from home. Love you, Mama.

Only a day after my mom left, my mother-in-law swooped in. I think it's fair to say that Nancy shows her love through food! Bay Area grocery stores are like amusement parks for this woman- so much fresh produce and fun specialty items. And we've been spoiled by all of her daily cooking.

So grateful for the strong women in my life, and the example they are for my little girl.

bath time.

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So, I am officially one of those people who posts a million photos of their kid. Get used to it. I am just going to assume that everyone wants to see a million photos of Eliza because she is just so beautiful!

We just had to snap a few of her first bath awhile back. It's one of those firsts that makes you want to cry and laugh at the same time. It feels like you're torturing your child, and you can't quite help but laugh a little at how worked up they get. You try and get them in and out of the tub as fast as you can, bundle them up, and then watch as they give you the most accusing eyes with that shaky lower lip. What a traitor. I made Sam do it because I knew I wouldn't be able to handle it. And, Eliza got her revenge when she pooped all over him right after he took her out of the bath. 

Poop is her weapon of choice with Sam. When she first came out, the first thing she did was poop all over Sam. And, just the other day, we had a slightly stressful drive in the car and I made Sam pull over on the side of the road so we could cuddle with Eliza a little to calm her down. Right as we buckled her back in her seat we heard what sounded like a triple blow-out. I told Sam he had better change her diaper before we get going, and he insisted that we were almost home and, "He didn't want to lose time." When we got home Eliza revealed the most epic poop canon that we had ever seen- all over her clothes and the car seat. Take that, Daddy.

Oh, and how proud am I that I can actually brush her hair? I just love it.


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They say that when your baby is born, your memories of the pain of childbirth melt away. Not true.

Don't get me wrong. When I held baby Eliza for the first time, I did really feel like I was melting. It was a very surreal experience where the world seemed so fuzzy. As someone laid this tiny human in my arms, so many different emotions bubbled up--fighting their way to the surface. But, two hours, two days, or two weeks later- I can still very clearly remember every moment of that labor. All I can really say is, it was a hard thing.

It was a very hard thing.

After  three days of labor, two hours of pushing, and no epidural- all I could say when they handed me my baby was ... "I did it. I actually did it!" I was stunned. I honestly thought that I wasn't going to be able to do it in the end. They placed her on my belly with the cord still attached and the whole room just spun around me. I remember wanting to cry but found there was literally nothing left in me. And when I finally got to hold her in my arms she stared at me so intently with those big, bright eyes and I was just in such awe.

Birth is pretty crazy. It amazes me what the human body is made to do. It amazes me what I was able to do that night. They say you forget everything, but that's a load. I remember every minute. I remember very distinctly lying there for those brief 30 seconds before the next wave of contractions started, and thinking, "I will never do this again. Why would anyone want to do this again? We are going to ADOPT."

And that's where the difference is. If anything, you don't know. Now, when I hold Eliza, I can't get over how much I love this tiny thing. Sometimes I have a hard time sharing her, even with Sam. She's mine. I made her. I love her more than I can describe. 

And now that I know what birthing this child was like, if someone was to tell me the only way I could have Eliza was to go through that experience again- I would do it.

I would do it because I love her. And, I would do it because I know I can. I'm not proud of the fact that I was definitely crying for mercy at the end of my labor- but I am proud that I somehow made it through the other side. I did it. It gives me a huge sense of accomplishment. And, I continue to feel it every day. Three weeks of successful nursing. Check. Surviving our first growth spurt. Check. Sleeping three hours at a time. Check.

Raising this baby is a hard thing. But I do it every day. And I'm good at it. I'm Eliza's mom.

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If you're interested, Sam kept a journal of photos on this great new app, Days. (May 6 and May 7.) A good friend of ours created it, and it has been fun looking back at some of these moments from the past few weeks. You can follow us @spgray and @roxannemgray.

eliza roxie.

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Miss Eliza Roxie Gray.

She joined us on May 7, at 9:19 pm- weighing in at 6 lb 10 oz, and measuring 19 inches long.

Sam and I are obsessed with this little girl. It's hard to believe that she could be so perfect. She's a week old, and I have already had minor meltdowns because I feel like she is growing up too fast. We have about a million photos of this sweet babe, and it is amazing to look back and see how her face has already changed so much from day to day. 

She's such a beautiful girl. She came with a head full of dark hair, and big, bright eyes. She is an absolute angel baby, and has been learning and adjusting like a champ. I spend all day just staring at her and listening to those sweet, little noises she makes. 

I love it when she studies my face so intently, or when she wraps her little fingers around one of my curls while she feeds. My heart breaks when she uses that little, raspy cry where her bottom lip trembles. And, I love cuddling up next to Sam, while he holds Eliza with her cheek pressed against his chest. We are a little family. I couldn't be any happier than I am right now.