Picking out the right underwear.
Avi learning to wipe her sisters bottom (which she wanted to do) then wash her hands afterwards - she's so proud of herself!
Mila grabs the babies first thing at parent participation class!
I can't love on this girl enough, knowing that she'll be big sooner than I can realize.
Passing out "Mr. Sun" to me and others!
Avi sits at the front with the teacher to help teach the littler kids how to do the motions.
She's happy and excited if her tongue is sticking out!
Mila's concerned with what is happening to Llama Llama.
She loves hugging the animal goodbye!
Avi ran straight towards our tree this year. I could literally smell it before we got to it. She found the best smelling tree on the lot!
Decorating just in time - Ziah came not that night but the next night!
Mila sleeps like an angel. She hardly ever wakes up, but tonight - the last night before Ziah was born, I walked in to check on her when I awoke in the middle of the night. She always just sleeps through this (as I often check on both of the girls several times in the night), but this night she woke up, sat up and silently raised her hands up to me. I picked her up and we hugged. We hugged and hugged and had this special, silent, yet knowing moment between us. This was our chance to say goodbye to each other in her role as "the baby." It was weird, it's like she knew. I treasure her so much, and I'm so glad she was wise enough to wake so we could have this moment. Oh, how I love you, Mila. You will always be my Baby Mila.
My last day on the town - we went to coffee at Krutzberg, then the children's museum, then to sushi, then to thrift store shopping. I was exhausted when we got home!
This is the day that Ziah was born. Avi had to have 3 of her lower teeth pulled by "magic" to make room for 2 larger adult teeth that were coming in. She wanted a stuffed animal for being so brave, so we went to Whiz Kids and then to Starbucks to get some soft yogurt as a snack. We then drove to Gigi's house where we at some Thai food and then Mila and Maren took a nap until it was time for Maren and Avi to leave and go to Tessa's. Mila was still napping, so she spent the afternoon with Mimi until Michael got home from work around 4pm.
Avi had to have three lower teeth pulled for orthodontic reasons the day that Ziah was born. In a way, it was a great preparation for her - the parallel between her teeth and Ziah's birth: the lesson about bleeding safely & appropriately, and the removal of "something" from one's body. The tooth fairy left her presents over the next few days (she wanted to spread the teeth/gifts out), but Michael & I got our present the minute Ziah was born.
Avi at Tessa's for the second annual gingerbread house decorating party!
They are growing up so quickly. They all sat there for about an hour contently decorating (and sneaking in a bite or two of treats)!
Katelyn, Fiona, Kendall, Tessa, Avi and Macy!
Is there something yummy on your finger, Avi?
(...and about 5 hours later I went into labor with Ziah! She was born at 2:15am in the middle of that night.)
The next morning Avi sees her sister in the daylight! Avi loved her from the very fist moment!!!
Mila is happy, too!
So tired after about a total of one hour of sleep all night (plus labor), but in ecstasy of happiness!
Boppy's getting good at being a grampy! He was afraid to hold Avi - his first grandchild. But he's pretty into the swing of things with Ziah - his fifth! Look at his grinning expression!
Michael napped with Ziah in the chair so that I could sleep. I couldn't really sleep with her because I felt like I had to watch her since she was so new and her breathing was sporadic. When he took her that morning I was actually relaxed enough to nap!
So happy she has 10 toes and 10 fingers. It's important to be grateful for even the most "normal" or "obvious" of things. Be grateful for the small things and the big things!
About 6 hours after she was born, my first daylight picture of her. She was holding on to my finger while we slept. Sweet baby! (I didn't even realize the blood on my index and middle fingers - the aftermath of birth, I guess!)
Look at that fresh umbilical chord!
Ziah gave Avi a gift - a super soft stuffed owl she'd been wanting for a while! She was happy!
Mimi and Boppy took the older girls to the annual Pismo tree lighting event that has snow! Avi saw lots of her friends there!
I caught Michael staring at his newest love. That blanket Ziah is wrapped up in was Avi's gift to her. It was a great gift - we used it literally everyday for the first month and beyond!
Gigi came to see her on her first day alive!
Mila is so proud! She's more gentle than we expected and more respectful. She knows that Ziah is special. She asks for Ziah every time she sees me, like if I come downstairs and Mila's playing there, the first thing she'll say is, "Where's Baby Ziah?"
Boppy got to hold her the first day, too!
Her second day alive, Michael had bought tickets to Babes in Toyland, so he left me and Ziah alone and took Avi on a date to the Clark Center. Mila was napping in our house and Boppy stayed with us.
… what Michael missed while he was at the play! I texted him this. He replied, "thanks."
Michael caught us sleeping!
Mila's favorite "doll" ever!
In bed with daddy!
By this point I hadn't left my bed for much in 4 days! I had just been so cared for - everything came to me: the girls, midwife, food, love… So grateful I could rest and bond with Ziah!
We are so grateful for all the friends, neighbors and acquaintances that brought us food!
Getting ready for the photo shoot!
Ziah's gift to Mila: a Minnie Mouse stuffed animal.
Mila's gift to Ziah: a cool book with a sweet and true message titled, God Gave Us You.
Avi took this picture of Mimi and Mila's parent (errr… GRANDparent!) participation class.
First chiro adjustment - had an atlas that needing aligning but otherwise good! Amazing how God formed all her parts perfectly together. A-mazed!
While my third is learning how to breathe air, the first is learning how to ride a bike! Boppy actually taught her after he got her the right safety equipment to give her the confidence to take it to the next level. Go AVi!!!
Skinny little legs getting ready to "chunk up!"
She'll pass out anywhere and at anytime!
Amy happy to hold Ziah!
Today's advent event was Christmas pajamas and pizza and a movie!
Sitti came and helped for 5 days after Mimi and Boppy had kept the older girls for 6 days. That 2 weeks of help was amazing as it gave us time to bond with Ziah, sleep and for me to heal up!
Christmas cookie time
Lots of skin to skin time just sitting on the couch!
Michael took the girls to see James at the Oceano Library. I love how our girls are so smiley in this picture. They really are happy joy-filled creatures. That's the most I can ask for. And that's what matters more than anything really: that they feel God's love and our love, and are happy!
Our first "big" outing with Ziah to SLO! A stop at the hippest coffee shop and then off to get her birth certificate!
The amazing sky on the drive home.
Ziah lost in our bed... found in dreams.
Mila ready for a bike ride with Daddy!
Look what I walked in and saw!
The Lebanese tradition of kissing the babies feet. Grandma Carmen always used to say, "kiss the baby's feet for me!"
Family of five selfie. Watching Zachariah's video of our family!
tea party hosted by the older girls!
Making Christmas cookies!
Mila's asleep upstairs, Michael was running an errand, and Ziah's sleeping on the chair in the kitchen.
Mila woke up and got to decorate the cookies!
Michael kept "messing" with Mila (really just loving and kissing her) but she wouldn't take it because she was so into decorating (i.e., eating her cookies)!
A Mila creation!
She got a little crazy with the sprinkles!
All our creations!
My favorite meal this time! Thanks, Pam. Chicken soup with cilantro! Butterleaf lettuce salad with beets, oranges, avocado and orange vinaigrette dressing. Fruit plate side. Homemade chocolate truffles! Yummmmm!
An organized trip with our Nature Gang to the Cal Poly Equine unit. Here we are sitting on about $40,000 worth of hay!
Mila tries to keep up with Avi running downhill.
A game of Duck, Duck, Goose!
The toddlers: Mila, June and Charlotte
A common scene around our house lately. So many girls, so much pink! (Mila set her doll down next to Ziah so they could catch up, I guess!)
The TN Lantern walk and caroling!
Ziah's frist bath! She really liked it, and so did I - until she pooped in the water and I had to hop up real quick and get out!
Content and amused and maybe a little confused...
TN Christmas party with Santa visiting to read a book!
Here's a real life moment with Avi crying (because a little kid accidentally splashed some water on her). She's five, but she still has lots of emotional moments. I think this is just her way of dealing with things, or it may be that she's just five. Since she's my first, I just don't know!
I caught a picture of her smiling!
Sometimes she likes to suck on my pinkie. Look at her tiny head compared to my hand!
Avi wore this dress at the Christmas Merry-Go-Round, now Mila is wearing it!
Benny, Vienne, Avi, Eva, Mila, June
Avi and Ziah were not afraid to tell Santa what they wanted! (I think Avi told Santa she wanted a white cat and an avocado picker.) Ziah just wanted to sleep!
Mila was still a little weary of Santa, but she stood next to him! Last year she couldn't even look at him without crying!
A Christmas canoe ride with Eames on the Oceano Lagoon!
The first time Avi vacuumed had to be documented!
Our annual tradition of building Sandy the Sandwoman. It's sorta silly, because you can't build a decent sized person from sand, but it's just an excuse to get to the beach and play in the sand. This year we also did a mini beach clean-up!
Michael's, Avi's, Mila's, and Maren's
They got to wear their special Christmas dresses to open their first Christmas presents on Christmas Eve with Mimi and Boppy! It was a nice, low-key, but special night!
A toast! Avi got sparking cider!
Mila got Avi a really cool cat dress!
Mila got a baby doll from Avi!
A rugboard gift from Mimi and Boppy!
Ziah sleeps and Mimi swoons!
We both got masks!
Mila got this tent from Mimi and Boppy!
My favorite gift of this year was in my arms!
We got Avi the game Headbandz and we played it at Eric and Pam's house on Christmas night!
dessert time means everyone is focused!
Ziah can get really fussy when she is tired and we are changing her diaper.
She's laying upside down, hanging off my thigh. She can sleep anywhere!
waking up faces - these span about 15 seconds.
Avi is learning more and more how to cook!
Mila is giving daddy belly kisses!
Growing up! Over 3 weeks old here!
Michael secretly caught this picture of us reading one night.
Dune cruising and crashing!
Michael rode down that hill on the sand board!
Mila led daddy all the way out there! On the way back, Michael got splashed by a wave that went up to his mid-calves! Luckily he was holding on to Mila!
They really have so much fun together!
Avi's first online review on Amazon. Boppy was thrilled!
Mila loves swimming so much she smiles the whole time! Even when she goes underwater! She her mouth open in this picture above?!
Ziah's first walk on the beach - just mommy and her!
Avi acts much older than five when she cares for Ziah!
Found this eclectic material bird nest in the persimmon orchard. See the little piece of green cloth? Avi said, "oh, a blanket!"