four months.

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Today, our little lady turns four months old!

She is such a happy girl. We just got our pediatrician bill for the past few months and I was laughing when I noticed that I took her in to see the doctor around 8 times in the first month of her life. She was just so sad and miserable, and we were so lost! Everyone always said, "It will wear off around 4 months." And, it did!

Today I looked down at my baby girl and realized, "We made it!" Over the past few weeks, this little one has just transformed. It's like her body finally caught up with her. She is just so happy and content. This girl will absolutely always return a smile. And, it's not just a smile. It's a SMILE. It's like her face might explode she is so happy. She smiles at me. She smiles at Daddy. She smiles at anyone on the street who gives her one first. One of my favorite things to do is smile at her in the mirror, and see her face just completely light up. She is so beautiful.

I'm just enjoying this time so much. I love to see her move and wiggle and figure new things out every day. And I love feeling that I am figuring things out, as well. It's not such a guessing game anymore. It's not about "getting through" each day, hoping that I can keep her sad crying at bay- trying every trick in the book to make her feel better. Our days are full of teaching and learning, and giggling and chatting. I feel like we understand each other, and it's so fulfilling.

If you have ever met her in person, you would probably agree that it looks like she wants so badly to take in everything all at once. Her head bobs around wildly as she looks at everything around her, and her tiny body never stops moving. I always get the feeling like she just wants to be a real person. I have this recurring dream that we look over at her one day and she just stands up and starts running around in circles. I love my crazy, little girl...

Eliza at four months:
-monster mouth smiles
-constant stream of drool
-finally graduated from her newborn diapers!
-sporting 0-3 months quite nicely
-entertains herself happily
-rolls from tummy to back
-wiggling and rotating
-so, so chatty
-squawking at extraordinary decibals
-taking regular (short) naps!
-growth spurt = nighttime feedings x 10
-tough girl through her first cold
-plays with her feet and monkey toes
-chubby legs
-sits in the Bumbo for long periods of time
-wants to be outside all day long
-grabby, grabby
-still loves her sling- especially at the park, gardens, grocery store,
and brightly colored clothing stores
-favorite spot: sitting on the porch, staring at the pink roses
-will always return a smile
-so strong it's scary..
-making her way through all the picture books at the library
-likes it when you blow on her face
-loves it when Daddy nibbles on her legs and feet
-favorite toy: color links
-"walks" across the table
-the sweetest voice
-talks to herself in her crib after naps
-huge variety of crazy noises
-communicates her wants and needs
-male pattern baldness / nappy hair
-new hair is much lighter
-puts everything in her mouth
-baby crunches
-such a happy girl.

labor day.

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That little hat. It kills me.

For Labor Day, my mommy friends and I planned a staycation poolside in Vacaville. Kate's in-laws live in Vacaville, and were nice enough to host us. There's nothing cuter than babies in swimsuits and sunhats. These are Eliza's boyfriends- Nolan and Baby Stephen. They are big boys. Like, BIG boys. The other day, Nolan wouldn't stop trying to stuff Eliza's tiny fist in his mouth- like a lollipop. Kate seemed pretty flustered and kept trying to pull him away, but I thought it was pretty hilarious. Eliza seemed pretty oblivious.

It was nice to jump into the pool, for the 5 seconds that the babies allowed. But, really- it was so nice. I realized that between New York, pregnancy, and raising an infant I hadn't been swimming in over a year. The water felt great, even if Eliza didn't agree. She allowed me to dangle her legs in the water but, when Sam tried to pull her in farther, she protested. After that bit of trauma, she spent most of the afternoon in Daddy's lap chatting and giggling happily. I'm glad that Sam could have some time with her this weekend. He has been working very hard, and I know he misses her. Thank goodness for holidays. I love my little family.

A dip in the pool, and burgers on the grill- I couldn't have asked for a better Labor Day!


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Last week, we took a little tour of the Northwest. My friend Whitney came out to Berkeley from Madison, WI so that we could all drive up to Emma's wedding in Eugene, OR. Oh, you know- no big deal.

Are we insane?

YES. But, we honestly didn't think it would be that big of a deal. Eliza had made the Santa Barbara trip without a hitch. How awful could it be to sit in a carseat for just a couple of more hours? AWFUL. Poor thing screamed all the way up to Oregon. Also, Sam had pulled an all-nighter at work so that he could make the trip, and I was up every hour (on the hour) with Eliza the night before. So neither one of us was in any sort of state to drive 7 hours. 7 hours, HA! It took us almost 11 hours to get to Eugene. And, poor Whitney had to drive the entire way with a screaming baby and two delirious, sleep-deprived parents. 

Oh, and that wasn't the end of it. Throw in a couple of speeding tickets (Ahem, Sam Gray), a nasty cold for mama and baby, and a delightful tour of every meth town in the Northwest--thanks to Eliza's cleverly planned freak-outs.

Poor, poor Whitney.

And, poor Eliza! It was hard to see her so miserable. And on top of everything, she is also teething. So, she was basically one slobbery, snotty mess. But, she's a tough girl- we still saw plenty of smiles through that river of snot.

Besides all of these setbacks, we actually had a great time! We got to see Emma married off and partied at her family's beautiful home in Eugene. It was a gorgeous reception. On the way home, Eliza made it up to us by cleverly planning her freakouts in some pretty awesome places. Thanks to her timing, we discovered a huge wild blackberry patch on the side of the road, had the freshest fish and chips in a tiny harbor town on the coast, and saw some beautiful views. We also drove most of the coastline, hiked Fern Canyon, and explored the tidepools in Trinidad. We even had a rather spontaneous detour, and spent the night at a friend's ranch in Middletown. A perfect tour of the Northwest.

It just goes to show that having a baby changes your life in many ways. But, it doesn't mean you have to give up the things you love. Once upon a time, I hiked up and down the English countryside with Whitney, spent the last three years adventuring with Sam- and suddenly I find myself standing on the side of the road in foggy, green Oregon stuffing my face with wild blackberries beside Whitney, Sam, and our new, little travel buddy- Miss E.

farmers market.

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One of the best parts about Eliza arriving in Spring, were the Summer visitors! We have had so much fun the past few months hosting family and friends, all excited to meet Eliza and explore the Bay Area.

Two of my good friends, came out a couple of weeks ago. I'm a little bummed that I literally only took maybe 10 photos the entire time they were here. But, we had so much fun! These girls were crazy patient. I am very impressed with how much we got to do and see, all while carting around a newborn. Between the three of us, we had a great system- someone grabs the baby, someone pops open the stroller, someone grabs the bags and pays the meter- and we're off! The Dream Team.

We went all over San Francisco and Berkeley, and apparently the only time I pulled out my camera was the morning that we went to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. You just can't beat California produce, especially when you grab it from a basket under a tent at a farmers market overlooking the Bay. It was one of my favorite things that we did together. We snacked all morning on concord grapes, ripe raspberries, fancy chocolates and donuts, rustic batard and creamy cheese. I washed it all down with freshly pressed cherry-apple juice. Eliza loves grocery stores and farmers markets. There are so many colors and shapes, and people to smile at. 

I'm so glad that the girls could come and stay with us- we miss you!

Also, this post is making me nostalgic for this farmers market...