Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dinner at Padrino's House

Phil and I are very lucky to have the summer at home together. The timing has worked out better than we could have planned. Phil graduated in May, Ellie arrived in June, and we will move to Princeton in August. (We are not afraid to throw all our life transitions for 2009 into four months!) So during the time between Ellie's arrival and the move, we are both able to stay home with her. We are getting to know her and able to spend this time together as a family. It is quite incredible. It makes me think of something a friend told me during my pregnancy. She said once you have a baby, you know what it is like to carry a piece of your heart outside yourself. We are starting to understand that sentiment.

Although most of our time is (happily) spent at home, we have also been taking Ellie to her "home away from home", Uncle Steve's house. Steve is her godfather, or padrino, godfather in Spanish. Steve's other godchild, Ema, calls him padrino, and we like that name, too. Phil is also lobbying for ochránce, godfather in Czech, but I'm not sure that's as easy to pronounce:) Maybe we'll just let Ellie decide what she wants to call Steve. Here are a few pictures from her first dinner on the back deck. She definitely likes being outside!

Dressed up and ready to go out (A special note to Will and Elizabeth, thanks for the cow onesie!)

"Where am I?"

Safe and sound with Uncle Steve

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

One week old

We were so blessed to have our parents stay with us the week after Ellie was born. It was extremely helpful to have everyone here to help us with anything and everything. Gung did all the cooking for a week, and Nannie and Grandma did the laundry and cleaned (not to mention all the extra hands to hold Ellie.) Phil and I were able to get some much needed rest and focus on figuring out how to be new parents. Moms and Dad - Thank you for coming and staying with us! We love you guys and Ellie loves you very much!

Posted by Picasa

Posted by Picasa

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 21, 2009

First Days Home with Nannie, Gung, and Grandma Connie

Ellie's first night at home - She's sleeping in a Moses basket (Phil thinks the name Moses basket is absurd, but hey, I think its cute). Here she is with her Blabla, an adorable knitted animal from her godfather. We are slowly learning the art of swaddling, although Ellie is determined to get her hands up and out of the swaddle as soon as possible.

Evenings seem to be a time for Ellie to be awake and alert, so we were able to snap a few photos with her big eyes wide open.

Nannie, Gung, and Grandma Connie stayed with us for the whole week after Ellie was born. They were so incredibly helpful and we were thrilled to have them share this time with us. Ellie spent lots of time in Nannie's arms, hearing stories, songs, and poems. Nannie also knit her very first project for Ellie, the gorgeous white, brown, and blue blanket in these photos. (Good work, Mom!)

Grandma Connie gave her a million kisses and hugs every day, too.

Love from Uncle Steve

First visitors: Bob and Danielle and Mur and Katie
Ellie had some special time with Gung on Father's Day. He sang her the Marine Corps Hymn. She seemed to like it!
After some quality time with Ellie, Gung celebrated becoming a grandfather by smoking a Cuban cigar on the deck. Everyone celebrates in their own way:)
It's exhausting for Ellie to be the center of her grandparents' attention! So she also found some time to sleep in Dad's arms and on his chest.

Friday, June 19, 2009

In the Hospital

Grandma Connie arrived on Thursday, June 18th after her two day drive from Massachusetts. Ellie charmed her right away as she proclaimed her the most beautiful baby in the world. We couldn’t agree more.

Phil is quite taken with his daughter, too.

And her Mom has already taken hundreds of photos of her gorgeous baby to share with the world. She really is incredible.

We could not have had better care at UVA Hospital. Our doctors were incredible and very supportive. We had one-on-one nursing care, and the labor and delivery nurses in particular were outstanding. We felt so well cared for from the minute we walked through the door. Phil and I stayed at the hospital until Friday (with Phil making due on a hospital cot!) On Thursday, we had lots of friends come by to meet Ellie and see us. The support was so appreciated. The grandparents held down the fort at home until we were ready to take Ellie home on Friday morning. I couldn't resist dressing her up in a sweet onesie that has a panda on the front and says "Keep Life Wild". (Thanks Jason and Jamaica!) I think (and hope) we are ready for the "wild" life ahead of us...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Welcome Ellie Maria Haberkern!

Ellie Maria Haberkern arrived into the world at 4:48pm on Wednesday, June 17, 2009. She weighed in at a sizable 7 lbs. 8 oz. and was 19 ½ inches long. We can’t believe she’s actually here and bringing us so much joy already. We are in love.

I went into labor early on a rainy Wednesday morning, about 3:45 a.m. I woke up with contractions, coming at regular intervals during those early morning hours. By around 6 a.m., Phil and I decided to start timing them and they were about 10 minutes apart. It seemed that this might be the real thing! By 8 a.m. we had called both Connie in Massachusetts and Hank and Ann in NJ and said, “It’s time!” One funny side note: when I called my parents, I woke my Dad up around 7 a.m. (In his sleepy stupor, when I told him I was in labor, his first response was, “I have to go to the police station to tell them that we’re going to be away for a week.” ?!?! Hilariousness if you know Hank…)

At 8 a.m. we were at the hospital and by 9, we were in our labor and delivery room. I labored for a few hours and decided that at noon, I needed a little more help with the pain. I had an epidural and was able to sleep for a few hours. Things kept progressing and by 3 p.m., I was ready to push. At 4:48 p.m., Ellie Maria Haberkern was born and placed immediately on my chest. She was perfect in every way! Phil was (as always) the best ever during this whole experience.

The hours after Ellie arrived were so special as we got to meet our daughter and the three of us got to spend some time alone together. Here are a few of the pictures from our first hours together.

Hank and Ann arrived around 8:30 p.m. after driving (in the pouring rain) from NJ. Gung (Cantonese for maternal grandfather) and Nannie (what all of our family called my Mom’s mom) were also fell in love at first sight with Ellie.

Around 10:30 p.m., Ellie had one more VIP to meet. Ellie’s Godfather and uncle, Steve, also drove back early from his vacation to see family in New York to meet his goddaughter. We were so happy to see him and lucky to have such a loving godfather who would travel many hours back to Charlottesville for her.

June 17th was one of the most beautiful days of our life.