Wednesday, March 27, 2013

One Year

One Year...
One year ago I was praying in a hospital room for the health of my sweet baby boy.  My water had broken and I had been admitted to the John Muir Medical Center, but it was over six weeks before my due date.  I had already spent several days in the hospital as they tried to stop labor and administer steroids to help with my baby's lung development.  Those were the longest days of my life...
Waiting to hear if he was stable...
Waiting to hear if he would be healthy...
Waiting to hold him in my arms.
We were scared.
On the morning of March 27th, my amazing doctor informed me that the risk of infection was too high and that they needed to induce labor.  By that evening we had welcomed our perfect baby boy, Daxton, into our family.  March 27th already held a special place in Dallas' heart as it is the anniversary of his mother's passing.  I'm absolutely positive that Grandma Liz was watching over us and was the first to cradle our little angel.
We spent the next few weeks living at the Hospital NICU as the most amazing doctors and staff took care of our baby boy.  I wish I could put into words how peaceful it was to be surrounded by such purity.  Heavenly Father's love enveloped each of those perfect babies.
Holding Daxton in my arms, snuggled close against my skin, I knew there would never be a moment sweeter.
I can't believe a year has gone by since I first met him and fell in love.  I just pray that each year is as wonderful as this first.
I love you, sweetheart.
Happy Birthday

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Happy Birthday Mara

Today Mara would have turned 11 years old.
It's hard to believe that 4 1/2 years have gone by since her passing.
She continues to be a source of great happiness in my life as I remember her love, joy, and sense of humor.  I think of her whenever I see little girls dancing and in every multicolored butterfly.  How honored and blessed I am to be her auntie.
I love you, sweet angel and can't wait until I get to hold you and give you one of my obnoxious kisses again.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Play Date Under the Sea

Since Daxton and I had so much fun with Janelle at the Aquarium of the Bay, we decided that we would take Lisa and Maddie there on our next play date.  The first week of March was a bit chilly in the city, but we bundled up our little ones for our adventure at Pier 39 and the Aquarium of the Bay.
It's so funny to watch these two together.  Maddie is such a naturally smiley and outgoing little girl.  Daxton is also very smiley, but when he is done with the camera...he is done with the camera.
The babies loved looking at all the tulips and other flowers blooming around Pier 39.  Maddie also loved the live music being played.  She immediately lifted her arms and started dancing...yeah she's pretty cute!

Before going to the Aquarium, we decided to stop for lunch.  We couldn't help but go to one of our favorites, The Crepe Cafe at Pier 39.  It is a tradition for all of us New Zealand girls to eat lunch at here when we are together.  It was the yummiest way to start our day of fun.

After lunch we headed to the Aquarium where Daxton was in heaven.  I love how it never gets old for him.  He is constantly in awe looking at all the beautiful fish.  I love to watch his eyes light up as they swim close to the glass.

Daxton has never been old enough to do the touch pools (his little arms are too short to reach the starfish.)  Maddie, on the other hand, LOVED the touch pools.  She loved tasting the water more than touching the animals, but watching her excitement was so sweet.
I love Lisa's expression below!
Neither her or Maddie were too excited to touch the snake.

After the Aquarium, we wandered around the pier for awhile longer.  I love all the sailboats and can't wait for America's cup this fall.

We've started a new tradition that when ever we get back from a fun adventure we make sure to go for a swing ride as well.  Daxton is loving this new tradition.  In fact he loves it so much that we bought a little swing for his birthday next week.  There's nothing like seeing that smiling face and watching his hair blow in the wind.

We are loving our play dates!

9, 10, 11 months old!

Wow, the time is flying by!
Daxton will turn one next week and I'm having mixed feelings about the whole thing.  Can my baby really be growing up this quickly?  And yet each new phase has been so much fun to watch and interact with him.  I sure do love our little guy.

(Birth to 9 months)

Some huge milestones over the past few months include LOTS of teeth; 6 to be exact.  I'm sure he's cutting more since the drool never seems to stop.  It's been so much fun to watch him try new foods and use his little chompers.  He loves puffs, grahm crackers, cheerios, cooked green beans, carrots, corn, black beans, avocado, pasta, string cheese, bread, and yogurt.  He's a great little eater and he will now drink from a sippie cup as well.  He loves sitting in his high chair and dangling his legs free (we have a highchair that connects to the table.)

(Birth to 10 months)

Another big milestone is he is talking all the time.  He is constantly having conversations with himself and those around him.  He says "momma" and "dada" although I'm not sure that he's connected us to those syllables quite yet.  He also LOVES singing. He will stop everything if he hears music.  He taps his toes along and starts jabbering with the beat.  It's pretty funny to watch.  He also loves playing the piano and the "table" drums.

(Birth to 11 months)
Look at all those teeth!

One of the biggest milestones, though, is his mobility.  He is crawling really well now, rolling and sitting up on his own, and is starting to pull himself up onto objects.  We are starting the slow process of baby proofing our apartment.  He loves being able to get to the things that he wants now and especially loves to slide himself backwards on the hardwood floors.  He continues to love his jumper and will jump so high that it has bounced off the ground a couple times.  I'm dreading the day when he learns to run, but at least it will help with the weight loss efforts with having to catch up with him!

The time is moving too quickly.
There are times that I wish I could freeze time and just hold him in my arms; snuggling him close.  But I'm also loving each new phase of his life.  I love how curious and observant he is.  I love taking him on adventures and introducing him to the world around him.  He is a huge sponge just soaking up knowledge and it's so exciting to watch.

He's blessed our lives in more ways than we could ever say.  His joy and bright eyes lift my spirits daily and I find myself overwhelmed with the countless blessings we've been given.  Thank you for being our perfect, angel baby, sweetheart!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Neighborhood BBQ

We have loved living in our neighborhood, not because our apartment is super nice (although you can't find a better cost for the size), but because the people are amazing.  You know it's spring time when the block parties start to happen and the Albrachts fire up their grill.  So many fun memories are made out behind our apartments with friends and yummy food.
One of the downsides to living on Virginia Hills is that there is a high turn around, since most are young families either in school or starting their careers.  It's been hard to say goodbye to so many dear friends over the past few years of us living here.  I guess the blessing, though, is that wonderful friends continue to move in as well.  They can't take the place of those that have moved out, but the new members of our "block family" can teach us different things and experiences along the way.

It's been so fun to see Daxton grow and become more aware of his surroundings.  He absolutely loves watching other children.  He finds them fascinating, especially the older boys running, swinging, climbing, and jumping off of anything.

One of Daxton's little buddies, Kaden, is six months old and continues to be one of the happiest babies I've ever seen.

We were able to have a block Skype session with our friends, the Marshalls.  They moved at the end of October to Cozumel, Mexico.  They are loving life in the sun and at the beach.  We were able to sing "Happy Birthday" to Heidi and let them know we miss them and love seeing pictures of their adventures.

Just a few of the fun faces from our block... Jane might be one of the most beautiful babies ever!  I'm thinking she might like an older man...say 6 months the future.  Not that I'm already betrothing my son...
I just want to kiss those cheeks!

I love baby interactions.
It's mostly just staring at each other, poking and grabbing every once and awhile, with a few grunts and squeals in general directions.  I loved watching Daxton's and Kaden's conversation take place... 

Love the sequence of pics below!

We've loved the addition of Tom and Tasha to our ward.  Tasha is Daxton's babysitter and is so sweet with him.  She is one of the cutest pregnant women and has been such a great friend.  
Aubrey and Shawn holding little Kaden...trying to figure out if they want to add another little one to their brood.

Daxton's most serious moment came as he was watching the swing.  He's grown quite attached to it and was waiting patiently for his turn, although his judgey stare says otherwise.  He's rocking his BYU Tshirt from my New Zealand girls.  I love all the expressions he makes.
Finally got his turn in the swing.
Sarah was such a sweetheart and pushed him for awhile.  She is one of the most loving girls and is going to make an incredible mom someday!
It was such a great afternoon with incredible friends!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Oakland Zoo Play Date

We kept the last week of February busy with two play dates, the second, going to the Oakland Zoo.  We've loved our zoo membership and have enjoyed bringing friends along.  My neighbor and good friend Jules just had an adorable little boy, Kaden, who's now 6 months old.  I can't believe how quickly time goes by!  We figured it would be a super fun play date to bring these two little guys to the zoo.

Our first stop were the giraffes, which as you can see from the pictures below, Daxton was mesmerized by.  He wouldn't stop staring, not even for a quick picture.  I often wonder what he must be thinking when he sees all of these new things for the first time.

I swear Kaden is one of the happiest babies I've ever seen.
He also can make some of the most amazing facial expressions!

The four of us hanging out in front of the elephants.
From L to R (Me, Daxton, Kaden, and Jules)

I love the Oakland Zoo's Children section.  They have lots of fun things for children to climb on and all sorts of animals to interact with.  Jules and I basically used this opportunity to pose Daxton and Kaden on all the different play structures.  They were such good sports with all the picture taking!

Yeah, Jules is gorgeous...enough said!
My favorite was watching Daxton and Kaden interact.  They mostly just poked each other, but it was pretty cute none-the-less.

I love these frogs and couldn't wait to pose Daxton on them.  I adore how his belly is punched out all cute.  Don't worry I was behind him ready to catch him if he started to wiggle off.  I also love all of his different facial expressions!

On our way out we walked by the monkeys and noticed this little guy.  He had a doll that looked exactly like him that he would carry around everywhere.  It was pretty cute.

When we got back to our apartment, we couldn't help but take a quick swing break for a few minutes before calling it a day.

I am loving our special adventures together. 
I've been praying for my little buddy for years and it is such an amazing feeling to have him in my life.
What a great day!

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