Elijah Clark Zermeno is here! He arrived on November 2, 2013, at 7:49am. 7 lbs, 8 oz and 20.5 in long! It was a moment I will never forget, and would relive a thousand times if I could do it without reliving labor. Ha! I’m sure many mothers feel this way. They put Eli directly on me on his left side and facing Jason. Jason snapped a few pics on his phone and got some video at this point, and I’m so very glad he did. Eli was red and crying the newborn cry, and practically baa’ed like a lamb a few times. I was exhausted but it was such a high to give birth that I couldn’t have slept if I wanted to. I didn’t feel like anything else was a big deal at that moment. I was so relieved labor was over and so happy everything went well. I held Eli for almost an hour before they took him and weighed him and cleaned him up. He was so small and precious. My hand covered practically his whole upper body. After they cleaned him, weighed him and put the vitamin K gel in his eyes, they gave him to Jason. It wasn’t until this point he told me he wasn’t feeling well. I knew that was the case from the night before, but from all the, ahem, distraction, I completely forgot. He later told me he thought the stress of me being in labor made it worse. Funny how close the mind and body connection is. So he was worried that he might get Eli sick, but the nurses told us Eli would be protected by me nursing him, but Jason still wanted a mask just to be cautious. Hey, we’re first-time parents and are figuring this out as we go.
Taking this boy home!! Eli, we love you more than we can say!
A note on his name: Jason and I loved the name Elijah for its meaning “my God is Yahweh.” I also just loved the sound of the name. We knew we wanted to call him Eli, but give him the full name Elijah if he ever wants to go by it. The name Clark is my dad’s maternal great-grandparents last name, his middle name and my brother Daniel’s middle name.
May the Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.
35 weeks pregnant. We can’t wait to meet our little guy!
Thanks to my wonderful sister Leanne for these photos!
Here I am at 38 weeks – the obligatory selfie
And here is my pregnant belly at 39 weeks, 2 days..November 1, 2013, hours before going into active labor. It was a gorgeous fall day and I went for a walk.
Had to bend forward to see my feet!
It was 4:30 in the afternoon when I left for the walk. …had been in pre-labor for a week but didn’t recognize it until afterwards. In fact, Jason wasn’t feeling well so I went to Kroger to get him some theraflu. Felt (pregnant) normal. By 10 that night I knew I couldn’t sleep so I watched some TV. Still normal because insomnia and pregnancy go hand in hand for me. By 11:30 things were different…dealt with it for a while. Finally took a long shower went it was no joke anymore. A little after 1:30am I was waking Jason up to take me to the hospital. We learned in our birth class to head to the hospital when contractions are 5 minutes apparat for 1 minute for 1 hour. Hahaha. That stage never happened for me. When I started counting them (there’s an app for that), they were 2 minutes apart for about 30 seconds. That’s why I took the shower…try to stay calm, water helps manage pain, see if they’re consistent for a long enough period of time. So I knew I had enough of a pattern. Then I panicked a bit, woke Jason. I forgot he had been feeling sick. We threw things together, I ran around crazy trying to remember everything…diaper bag, car seat, birth ball, clothes for us, protein bars for Jason…why did I not have this together already?! Oh yeah, I thought I’d be late…(kill me contraction…Jason timing on his app now)..and were out the door by 2am. The rest, as they say, is history.
Josh and Kaitlin got married!
It was so beautiful to see how happy they are together! What a wonderful wedding for my brother and sister-in-law. A few pics I snapped from the big day…
Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Zermeno!
A gorgeous day for a wedding…a little rain, but that never hurt anyone, and in my opinion it was a beautiful touch. An August wedding in Tennessee could have been sweltering for those of us pregnant, but it was a nice cool temp outside of Chattanooga. I even heard in Memphis that weekend it was cold. But it was perfect at the wedding. The rain started as the wedding ended and we all ran inside! So glad for my brother-in-law Josh, and so happy to have Kaitlin as my sister!!
The day my nephew Michael Banning Frazier entered the world! He stole my heart right then and there.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 6:46pm, Michael was born to my sister and brother in law, Tim and Valerie Frazier. He was 9lbs, 2oz and 21 3/4 in long. Val rocked it!!
………BOY!!!! Jason and I are the parents of a baby boy! We are so thankful to report he is healthy and growing strong, and that our ultrasound tech told us everything looks good. That is such a blessing, and one that I do not want to ever take for granted. I loved seeing him on the ultrasound, and I can’t wait to see his little face.
Jason and I were given this exciting news on June 13, 2013, our 4th anniversary! In honor of both occasions, we celebrated at a restaurant called Alchemy that Jason had been talking about wanting to take me to. So, actually the way we found out ourselves was to have our ultrasound tech write down the gender on a piece of paper and take it with us. She was so sweet and into the fun, and folded it up into a tiny piece of paper and then taped it up for us…no chance of peeking. Funny sidenote: after our ultrasound, we waited for our appointment with my OB. Jason told me at this point that he thinks he knows what “it” is. I was like, “oh, pleease.” thinking…who but the specialists can look at these pics and see anything besides the head and certain limbs if they’re spread out? Haha…well we’ll come back to this topic later.
When we arrived at Alchemy, we slipped the taped-up piece of paper to our server, who then passed it off to the chef. We knew this restaurant to be awesome and creative and delicious at the same time, so we set all this up ahead of time with a friend who works there. Then we just ordered our food and gave the chef creative license to write it on a plate or in any way he pleased! Looking back, and while typing this, this sounds like such a strange way to reveal your baby’s gender, but at the time it was fun and we knew we’d always remember our 4th anniversary!
Out came our food, and there, staring us in the face was the news about our child! There was so much build-up in the anticipation waiting for our food that it was somewhat surreal when they brought our food out to us.
Mine was a delicious mocktail. Couldn’t tell you the name, but it was just the right amount of sweetness. Jason’s, I think, was a mojito.
From my angle…;). Then we dipped the fried green tomatoes and crabcakes in the sauce and they were amazing! I had never had fried green tomatoes, so it was a treat for me. What can we say, we like to try new food at new places, and Alchemy did not disappoint. Don’t even get me started on the steak and mashed potatoes I had. In-sane.
Back to the issue of Jason saying he could tell the gender while we were watching our baby on the sonogram. It was about this time that he told me he knew it was a boy. Seriously? Seriously. He said he could tell. I got such a kick out of that! so funny.
We enjoyed ourselves and later had a time with our family to share the news. I had made a cake the day before, so when we got home, I dyed some icing blue and then iced the middle layer. Then I dyed icing green for the outer layer. It was fun for our family to guess! Unfortunately my dad was flying, my sister Ali was at the ranch for the summer, and my other siblings live out of town. My mom, Val (who happened to be in town, yay!), Dan, and Jason’s parents, John and Karen, were the ones in town and so we had a little party with them.
Dan helped me out with documentation. He was in a photography class at school and trying out his skillz. Here are our new ultrasound pics from that day! Thankful and so overwhelmed by the blessing of a healthy baby! He was 19 weeks and a few days.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” 1 Samuel 1:27-28
Praise the Lord!
In March, Jason and I were so happy to tell our families that I am pregnant! At this point, we were thinking late October/early November as a due date. Jason had to leave town one last week for work, and we were both so ready to wrap that up and have him home.
My birthday is March 15th, and Jason brought me this thoughtful gift from Hilton Head’s Janie & Jack outlet. I was so impressed and really loved the thoughtfulness! He chose giraffes because we fell in love with them in Uganda!
It’s so soft! It’s a winter heavy-duty sleeper for baby, a matching bib and matching socks. SOOOO soft!
SO- here’s how it happened. In the middle of March, my family had planned to rendezvous in Perdido Key because we haven’t taken a family vacation in probably a decade, and Leanne has very little time off working at a ranch in Colorado. While the ranch is awesome, we really miss her! She doesn’t have time to come home for Thanksgiving and has very little time at Christmas. But March seems to be more flexible, and miracle of miracles, those of us in or working at schools had matching spring breaks! That’s 4 different schools!
Jason and I were so excited/thrilled/amazed/happy/walking-in-a-fog that we were pregnant, and wanted some time to ourselves with it for a bit. Like I said, Jason had one more work week in Hilton Head, so he was gone and I especially wanted to cherish the time with him before we told people, even though at the same time I was dying to tell my family. We decided I’d tell my sibs at the beach because it’d be in person. We’d tell my parents right beforehand because Jason would also be there by then, and his parents right after because at the time they were out of town themselves. We were super bummed Jason couldn’t make it to Perdido because he had to work. He had just been out of town for about 7-8 weeks, including several weekends, and I knew he was exhausted. His company was bought by another company the year before and this is part of the many changes that go with that. I was just SO disappointed he wouldn’t be there. We rented a beach house that he would have loved, but I especially wanted him with me to tell my sibs we were pregnant!!
We had a great time in Perdido! I’ll soon post some pics from the week, but here’s one of my faves for now. I made the preggo announcement to my sibs with this cookie cake I had made at Publix!! I wrote out the calendar with a pen on a piece of paper, estimated my due date, and she scanned it on there for me. I thought it was fun, and wanted to see if they’d get it. Our baby would make 2 grandkids for my parents within 3-4 months of each other, and both by Thanksgiving! I was so pumped about cousins, and DYING to just show them the cake already! I had to sneak to Publix in Mom’s car to pick it up and sneak it back in the house! Leanne was sleeping because she had just flown in from CO and was exhausted…it was raining…Dan was playing pool and we were all just kinda resting in their room. Finally, Leanne woke up, and eventually everyone migrated to the kitchen for lunch. I casually pulled it out and told them to all I had something I wanted them to see!
They got it pretty fast! I just remember Ali gasping right next to me, Val saying, “are you pregnant?” and looking at Leanne and her eyes getting big!!! Woo-hoo!!! We were all hugging, Dan was pumped…he told us when we found out about Val’s baby that he’s been wanting to be an uncle. Andrew couldn’t make it to Perdido so I called him right after. He said, “Well, well, well,” in his classic humor that makes him so easy to love. I have so much to be thankful for in my family. I can’t get enough of my 5 sibs.
It says, “Ever’body needs a cousin!” I’m pretty sure I wrote “everybody” on my paper, but who knows. Ha! Er’body.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Jason and I are so thankful for this little life!
Jason kicked off 2013 by having to travel several weeks for work; in January, he went to St. Petersburg, and in February he was sent to Hilton Head. February is not the best time for a vacation on HHI, but it was definitely too much time apart, so time for me to go see him! I took advantage of a 3-day weekend, which happened to be Valentine’s Day as well. I was pumped that it worked out that way!
We had a great time! I walked on the beach while he was at work on Friday, although it was definitely cold and windy. I saw gigantic jellyfish all over the place, and the coolest piece of driftwood. I wanted to lug it home with me! Jason even got to fish one day that it wasn’t as freezing. He loves fishing, off the coast or deep-sea. We enjoyed the island’s restaurants and such a cool lighthouse. Jason is one to read everything at museums.
This is the “must you take my picture right now” look. I’ll admit, I was a bit camera happy. This pic is at restaurant we really enjoyed called Sam Sneads’ Oak Grill and Tavern in Savannah, GA. It’s right near the airport, so if you get the chance, definitely go. We had the most delicious bruschetta with goat cheese. And steak! But I’m a steak girl.
I was sad to leave Jason after just a few days and return to our empty house. But we had fun, and fortunately he came home a few weeks after that. All in all, such a great weekend!
January 2013 came, and with it some wonderful things! Namely, my good friends Lindsey and Josh welcomed baby #2 on January 15, 2013!! Henry James Hughes! What a precious, sweet snuggler he is.
January saw school going well. I taught in 2 different interim positions at Presbyterian Day School, an all-boys elementary school, since returning from UG in April 2012. Beginning in August ’12, I taught 5th grade Reading, which is to every 5th grader in the school. I then worked in the tech department for about 2 months, learned a lot, and jumped into 4th grade Language Arts right around Thanksgiving ’12. I stayed in that position until April ’13, which was only to 2 of the 4th grade sections. In both the 4th and 5th grade positions, I was also a homeroom teacher. This was great because it’s a quick way to get to know the boys!. Below you see the fun mail system we used in class to write notes in 4th, a sweet gift and note I was given. That cookie was superb, by the way.
February continued with thoughtful surprises from my students. I received more notes and gifts than I could count! I wish I had pictures to show you. As a Language Arts teacher, this valentine below was the Valentine of Valentines! It made my day and completely brought all the hard things about teaching into perspective. I love kids! They are perceptive and smart, and if you show them you care about them, more often than not, they will reciprocate in kind. I could not believe the time and thoughtfulness that went in to my student making this! His mom told me he googled it and did it all himself. But that still means he had to come up with the idea!
Needless to say, he has set the bar pretty high for all future students. He was definitely the write one for me!!😉