Sunday, December 30, 2007


We received a truly amazing e-mail from Marita's Grandfather the other day, and thought we'd share it with you:

Dear clansmen,

My mother, Marita Butler Brimhall, was born on December 27, 1902 in Colonia Morelos, Sonora State, Mexico. She was delivered by a local midwife who was paid for her service with a ton of lime. The lime was used to make mortar for building a brick house. The little village no longer exists. Then it was less than one hundred miles south of Douglas, Cochise County, Arizona. The Butler family moved there when Mom was about two years old. Mom was born one hundred and five years ago yesterday. The generations of the clan move on!

Grandpa Dwayne

So, amazingly enough Liliana shares a birthday with her mother's namesake, whether by fate or by chance I'll let you decide. She also carries her ancestry in her own name. Liliana Neva comes from her maternal great grandmothers.

My Grandma Lillian was an amazing woman- first on her block to drive, first to have a job, extraordinarily smart- as shown in her command of pursuits as varied as Scrabble and the Stock Market. Marita wears her engagement ring, and my grandfather and mother speak of her reverently. Also, the ana in Liliana pays homage to Lillian's mother, Anna Suvall, as we happily reailzed after choosing it.

Marita's Grandma Neva is an equally amazing woman. As written by Cynthia, Marita's mother: If she takes after great-grandma Neva (dec 25) at all, she will have an amazing ability to "make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" and will always bring beauty to her surroundings. Also, the name Neva means fallen snow, a beatiful and fitting name for a baby born December 27th.

We are blessed to come from amazing women- strong, intelligent role models for our daughter, including not only Neva and Lillian, but our paternal grandmothers Edith and Evelyn as well. We are proud to bring a daughter to the world who carries our admiration and love for the women in her name and in her life.

aloha. marita, ian, and liliana neva.


Hello friends and family. We have posted a new a slideshow with lots of pictures from the past few days. Here's a link to the gallery, as opposed to the little versions shown on the blog:

Also, to our Seattle friends mostly- we've had a few days to get our feet under us, and we want to invite you all to stop by to meet Liliana. Just give us a call or drop us an email (calls are probably better) and we'll figure it out.

To our out-of-town friends- feel free to give us a call or email us- I know we've been somewhat difficult to reach the last few weeks, but we appreciate your well wishes and patience, and we'll do our best to be available from here on out. Also, we'll try to start figuring out some of our travel plans for the coming months- we'd love to come see you all ( :

aloha. marita, ian, and liliana.

Friday, December 28, 2007

An important correction

I stated Liliana's birthweight as 15 lbs. 15 ozs. . . twice. I was a victim of the same typo/misspeaking both times. Her actual birthweight is 5 lbs. 15 ozs, thus the stringbean comment.

Marita is a champion, but there's no way she pushed out a 16-pounder ( :

ian, marita, and the very slim liliana.

Watching baby: Day 1 and birth stories

Welcome Liliana, indeed. We are awed, amazed, delighted and completely in love with our little girl. Thank you all for the support, good thoughts, and overwhelming love you have showed us as we waited for her to arrive.
For those of you looking for quick details:
5:57 PM. 5 lbs. and 15 ozs. 21 inches long. Think stringbean ( :
Mother and child are extremely healthy and happy, as is Dad. Now, the whole story:
Wednesday afternoon our midwife Tracy came over. She came to discuss induction and birthing in a hospital, as 42 weeks is about as far as they're comfortable with for a home birth. We were disappointed, and scared- we've done a lot of preparation to be able to birth naturally in our own home, and we'd come an awful long way to give up. So, we didn't. Marita had taken castor oil on Christmas, to no avail- Wednesday, she took it again. We went for a walk, ate dinner, laughed and cried, and were probably the most relieved people in the world when Marita went into labor late Wednesday evening.
We spent the night shuttling between the bathroom and our room- castor oil is some nasty stuff, y'all- and finally got some sleep when we walked downstairs at around 4 in the morning and Marita realized just how comfortable the recliner is. A couple of hours later, we would transfer the chair upstairs- Marita labored in it pretty much the whole time and we highly recommend it for comfort, although we think we broke it- so not necessarily for durablility ( :
In the morning, we had some breakfast- those of you who know Marita should not be suprised that she was able to eat, even in labor ( : Marita is a champion. She was amazingly relaxed and completely at peace throughout the labor. At around 1:00 PM, with contractions getting closer, and after a brief bath (which brought on intense contractions that were VERY close together), we called Tracy and told it was time for a midwife to arrive upon the scene. Until that time, it had only been Marita, Ian, and the most extraordinary support of Cynthia and Rachael, Marita's mother and sister, who were present throughout the birth and are 2 of the most wonderful people we could hope to have with us- they were beyond awesome.
When Tracy showed up, we decided to examine Marita's cervix- only one problem, though- it was gone! Fully dilated! She was amazed, not just at how patient Marita had been with the pressure and pain of contractions, but also at the beauty of being ready to give birth, less than 24 hours after our difficult and emotional conversation about giving up on our plans for a home birth. Time to push!
After about 2 hours of pushing, we were ready for the baby to come, but there was a problem. The baby was having trouble coming out. We could see her head, but that last little bit was proving a struggle. To compound the difficulties, the baby's heartrate was dropping each time we pushed (we would later find out this was most likely caused by her arm being across her chest, applying extra pressure). Tracy is unbelievable. She completely took charge without causing stress, nor adding undue panic to the situation. At the same time, she was assertive and clearly conveyed that it was VERY important to follow her directions closely at this point. First, she cut Marita's bag of waters, creating a little bit more space. When that didn't help, she gave Marita oxygen on the next push, to help her push more strongly, all the while gently encouraging Marita to push harder - "the next push is the one that will bring your daughter into the world". After the next contraction, she had us all help Marita move from the chair to the bed, where Marita, now on hands and knees, was finally able to push Liliana into the world. Marita was amazing throughout, staying relaxed and focused, and making sure that our daughter was able to free herself, and slide into her father's waiting hands. I have never been more simultaneously nervous, excited, and ecstatic in my life.
The rest is pretty anti-climactic. We relaxed in ber with our child feeding her and fawning over her while people cleaned and fussed around us. Mike brought us taco bell, Uncle Andy and Aunt Gabby came to meet their niece, as did Grandpa Russ, and we slept a whole 2 hours before Liliana woke up hungry again. It should also be noted that this child had more than your average amount of poop (okay, meconium) in her. But we traded our castor oil for olive oil to clean her up and fed her some more- after all she's kind of skinny- she needs to eat.
We've attached a slide show to the blog with 27 pictures (for Dec. 27th) of the girl herself. They can also be seen by following this link:
Enjoy. Marvel. Life is a little bigger today than yesterday.
marita, ian, and especially liliana.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Meet Liliana Neva Grunfeld!!

After testing our patience, Liliana has decided to join us!! She was born around 5:57pm and is doing great!! She is absolutely gorgeous!! I'll let Marita and Ian share their story when they are less awestruck, but thought you would all want the update.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Babywatch: 1:52 PM

There are currently 11 people staying in our house, and none of them is our baby. Not yet- there were some promising contractions yesterday evening and into the night, but they had disappeared by morning. We're now officially 2 weeks past due. Today we had another ultrasound, and everything looks- you guessed it- completely normal. Also, Marita had an accupuncture appointment this morning, which was very relaxing ,but alas- not even needles have been able to dislodge our daughter from her hiding spot today.

So. . .we wait. And relax. And enjoy our dreams of our daughter- Marita had one last night in which she was born with a completely squished nose, so quickly the midwife didn't arrive in time, and then we all ate BBQ ribs. If there's any signifigance to that, we simply can"t find it ( :

Anway, I hope you got everything you wanted or didn't want for Christmas. Thanks for tuning in.

aloha. marita, ian, and liliana.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Babywatch: Christmas 3:02 PM

Merry Christmas everyone! Posing for what will hopefully be the last picture with baby on the inside. Why, you ask? Two words- castor oil. Marita has bravely served herself a smoothie seasoned with the stuff, recommended to help jumpstart contractions, and if not clean her out real good. Too much information you say? Okay, I digress.
In the meantime, don't get your hopes too high for immediate results, its not like we're in labor yet- just enjoying a wonderful holiday with the family. It's snowing here, and join us in hoping for one more miracle before we're done, although this one not global warming related. Happy holidays, all.
marita, ian, and wondering-what-in-tarnation-this-gross-oil-stuff-coming-her-way-is Liliana.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Babywatch: 10:15 PM

Still no baby. However, our midwife appointment went very well and Liliana is still happy as can be--inside the womb! We think she may have been waiting for her Uncle Mike's Puerto Rican rice. She knows she is too young to eat it herself so she wait in the womb to enjoy it. She remembers the Puerto Rican rice from Thanksgiving and has been waiting in hopes she would get another taste on Christmas Eve. She was right! We had a wonderful dinner of Puerto Rican rice, salmon, and salad. We then followed our family tradition and each opened one gift. Everyone recieved special gifts, but none as special as Ian's. Here is a fun photo of Ian in his new PJs and Logan in old stand-bys. Yes, they are footy PJs! Now we know he is truly ready to be a dad.

Merry Christmas!

Babywatch: 11:16 AM

Good morning. No baby. No contractions. Marita took a wonderful, long bath last night (aromatherapy provided by G-Mo). We have an appointment with our midwife Michelle today, which is nice. It's a much nicer feeling to be waiting for our little girl when we know that she's healthy, rather than when we suppose that she's healthy.
Anyway, we're going for a walk, and then to our appointment. If we don't post again, have a wonderful Christmas- and hopefully there'll be a little girl waiting for all of us, although not necessarily under the tree ( :

aloha. marita, ian, and the elf they call Liliana.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Babywatch: 9:10 AM

Still no baby. No labor contractions. But, we should admit that there have been lots of Braxton Hicks/ practice contractions. We had a wonderful day yesterday with our family. We had a super fun walk around our neighborhood, a yummy dinner, a musical performance from Ian, and several hilarious games of Cranium. I was sure the belly laughs created from Cranium would put me in labor, but Liliana must prefer other games. Maybe tonight we will try Balderdash. ;)

For anyone concerned, I have also been resting a lot. I had a nap yesterday and went to bed fairly early. Plus nothing relaxes me more than listening to Ian play his guitar and sing. (Although, I did have competition for greatest fan because both our fathers were singing right along with Ian last night.)

My pops also found this beautiful card that has really been an inspiration to me. Ian read it to me several times yesterday.

PATIENCE (7 of Rainbows)
There are times when the only thing to do is to wait. The seed has been planted, the child is growing in the womb, the oyster is coating the grain of sand and making it into a pearl. This card reminds us that now is a time when all that is required is to be simply alert, patient, waiting. The woman pictured here is in just such an attitude. Contented, with no trace of anxiety, she is simply waiting. Through all the phases of the moon passing overhead she remains patient, so in tune with the rhythms of the moon that she has almost become one with it. She knows it is a time to be passive, letting nature take its course. But she is neither sleepy nor indifferent; she knows it is time to be ready for something momentous. It is a time full of mystery, like the hours just before the dawn. It is a time when the only thing to do is to wait.

So patience everyone. Liliana will be here soon. She certainly can't stay in the womb forever!

aloha. ian, marita, and sooner-rather-than-later liliana

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Babywatch: 7:53 PM: on comments

No baby. No contractions. We have not made a phone call in three days- its funny what always having to start a conversation with the words "No baby! No baby! No baby! I'm just calling to say hi!" will deter you from making phone calls.
However, we've loved having the lifeline of all your comments. We constantly log on just to check who's said what about our posts- I mean, after all, until Liliana poses for her first photo shoot, if we're not entertaining you, what good are we? Besides, you guys are funny. Truly. Thanks for keeping us smiling, and thanks for loving us so good. One day, we may even have a baby story to share with you all.

ian, marita, and liliana

Babywatch 10:16 AM- More haikus!

Good morning. No baby. No contractions. No coffee. Okay. . . Ian's about to have coffee, but first, new haikus. Kudos to everybody who sent back their own poems in the comments last time, and thanks everybody for the beautiful thoughts in our comments section in general. It's truly wonderful to be surrounded by friends and family as good as all of you.

Under pretty tree
Presents are not yet opened
Like Liliana.

Grandparents to be
Come to town to meet our child.
Maybe a movie?

Baby pools are lost
when babies take their sweet time.
Who bet on Christmas?

ian & marita

P.S.- Liliana- don't bother bidding on the Wii. Your mom won't let you play video games anyway ( :

Friday, December 21, 2007

Babywatch: December 21, 6:47 p.m.

Um, this is getting ridiculous!

Babywatch, 10:11 AM

No baby. No contractions. So. . . Goodbye Saggitarius, hello Capricorn. Assuming Liliana doesn't show up by midnight, we have now switched signs- maybe this is what she's waiting for- or maybe she wants to be right on the borderline, like her cousin Logan (a Taurus by a matter of hours). I can't believe they're getting competitive already ( :

Anyway, today's horoscope, courtesy of
No matter what happens today, stay on course. The odds are good that things will go your way, but you need to be sure to keep pushing even if circumstances are against you at some point in the day.

That's right- keep pushing, Lily! We're with you. Stay on course. See you soon.

ian & marita

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Babywatch: December 20th 12:50 p.m.

NO BABY, YET! Sorry for delaying my morning blog, but it does feel wonderful to know so many of you are reading! So here's the update. Liliana passed all her tests with flying colors yesterday. The ultrasound showed a beautiful, healthy girl who is happy and active. We even got to see her tongue moving! They think she is just over 7 pounds and doing just fine in the womb with plenty of amniotic fluid. We also did a nonstress test with the midwives which basically measured her heartrate and movement. Again, Liliana passed the test showing a healthy range of heartbeats associated with her movement. Actually she seemed to be showing off a little because my belly was visibily changing shape and ungilating with every movement. Her grandparents, Tom and Alice, were quite impressed with her performace all day. We really were so lucky to have Ian's parents along for both the ultrasound and midwife appointment.

So I guess you could say that we are quite happy to know Liliana is healthy and happy, though I feel a little sheepish for all the natural induction techniques I've been trying. I have to admit our midwives laughed A LOT about all the things I had tried. In the end, I guess we really are waiting for Liliana to be ready. Until then we will just continue waiting. I mean it didn't stop me from watching The Simpsons Movie last night. A little laughing never hurt anybody. And I have already been on two walks this morning. But, that is for my general health. ;)

Anyways, unfortunately Ian's mom, Alice, left this morning to go home to New York after a 10 day visit. She has plans to spend the holidays in Mexico, but will be back to Seattle in January to meet Liliana. Ian's dad will be by this afternoon for a visit, and my parents and little sis will be here tonight. I think I will have plenty of entertainment and distractions until Liliana is ready. Though she should know that we are ready any moment. Right now, even. Seriously Liliana. We are ready. Whenever you are ready. Anytime. (I just want to make sure she doesn't get the wrong message just because I am being so patient about all of this).

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Babywatch: Decemeber 19th 1:30 p.m.

Okay, so here is Liliana at different stages in her life. Can you guess which one is from this summer, Halloween, and last week?
hee hee. I just figured that since we are still waiting to see Liliana outside of the womb, we might as well enjoy a few pictures of her in the womb. I have to admit I am pretty proud that I can say I could fit into my wedding dress while pregnant and almost 8 months pregnant to boot. Pretty crazy, huh!

Babywatch, December 19th 11:57 AM

After unsuccessfully trying to concentrate on work, I have spent a portion of the morning thinking how best to entertain our blog-listening audience, and here's the best I've come up with. The first installment of Babywatch haikus. . . You are encouraged to add your own poems in the comments:

Thanks for visiting.
Liliana feels your love,
But still won't come out.

Licorice, walks, baths,
Pineapple, funny movies.
She's just not ready.

Voicemail, email, texts.
Phones ring unanswered. Sorry.
We still love you all.

Seven days feels long.
So excited we can't wait.
Solstice or Christmas?

aloha. ian & marita.

Babywatch: December 19th 11:39 a.m.

Still pregnant! Except for a few gas pains last night, there is no action here at the moment. I am officially 41 weeks pregnant today (according to the original ultrasound at 12.8 weeks). I just got a call from my midwives and it looks like I will be going in for another untrasound to check things out. I think they are just checking for the amniotic fluid levels and to see that baby is doing well. We have an afternoon appointment at Seattle Ultrasound Associates and then a midwife appointment later this evening.

Ian is at work and actually covering for a sick receptionist. I am lucky enough to spend my morning doing laundry and hanging out with Rack, Mike, and Logan. Ian's mom, Alice, will be here in the next little bit to keep me company, too. I have to admit that I am truly blessed with all the love and support I have all around me. Living with Rach, Mike, and Logan couldn't be more of a pleasure. Logan is a constant reminder of the joys of motherhood ahead. Plus, I have been able to spend the week with Alice just getting to know her better as we walk and talk about life, love, motherhood, and frienships. I couldn't be more blessed than to have this time with her. I think Ian is starting to truly understand he married his mother incarnate. Alice and I both think this is the greatest compliment. ;)

Today also starts the influx of visitors we will be having for the holidays. Ian's dad, Tom, will be here this afternoon--hopefully in time to join us for the ultrasound. Then my parents and little sis, Gabby, show up tomorrow. On Christmas Day Mike's sister and nephew will join us, too. Just because there is a new baby coming doesn't mean anything changes around here in the Grunfeld-Caravalho Home. Perhaps, Liliana is just waiting for a crowd to make her grand entrance into the world. ;)

Thanks again for all the wonderful comments and support. I have to admit I check this blog rather obsessively all day long. It feels so good to know how many people love and support us!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Babywatch: 8:36 a.m.

No baby. No contractions. Dang licorice! ;) I guess I'll just let Liliana take charge now. She will come when she is ready. She has the hiccups right now if anyone is interested. It is funny when she has the hiccups. Perhaps after her hiccups I will go into labor. hee hee. Just kidding. I'm being REALLY patient. I do think our midwives are going to laugh when they hear about all the natural inducements I have tried. Mike even bought me some blue cohosh yesterday at the natural pharamacy (the same place he got that blasted licorice). I will wait until I talk to my midwives tomorrow before I am willing to take that step. Wow, tomorrow I will be officially one week overdue. 41 weeks pregnant. Unless, of course, I go into labor. I guess I can go on hoping. ;) Really I am not so emotional today about not being in labor because we have tried just about every natural inducement we have read about. Liliana must just not be ready. So we will continue to wait. This is fun, huh! hee hee. I have no choice but to have see some humor in this. Can you tell I am still anxious? I feel like it's obvious, but I thought I 'd just be honest here. Oh, well. I'll find plenty of things to do today. Perhaps a few more walks, spicy food, a funny movie. Oh, wait I guess I said that Liliana was in charge. Um, so I guess I will . . .well, a short walk wouldn't hurt anyone . . .

Monday, December 17, 2007

Babywatch: 10:22 p.m. December 17th

Still no baby . . . BUT we have been working hard to encourage Liliana to join us for the holidays. I walked around Seward Park with Alice before lunch. After lunch Alice, Logan, and I took a stroll around Columbia City down to the Safeway and back home. We had spicy enchiladas for dinner. After dinner Ian played the guitar while I took a bath in our big downstairs tub. Oh, yeah, and I ate the licorice. Seriously, Rachael ate a whole box of Panda licorice the night before she went into labor with Logan. You might think I would have tried this candy inducement earlier. However, I happen to abhor--HATE--licorice. BUT, I have eaten about 6 out of 7 ounces of Panda licorice in the past three hours. That's a lot of licorice. I almost vomited several times and actually gagged. Licorice is gross. But, I am really anxious to meet Liliana. So, I sacrificed. I guess I am learning to be a mother. Unfortunately, no contractions. Yet. I guess I am also learning that Liliana is in charge. So yeah, I have tried just about everything I can think of to encourage little Liliana to be born. Now I will just continue to wait. We'll let you all know if this all works. Unfortunately because I have tried everything at once we will never know what works. If anything works. Dang, this waiting stuff is, well, sucky. But, at least I'm feeling really relaxed. Throughout history, the licorice root has been used for relaxing the body and reducing stress. That's what it says on the Panda box. Just look how beautifully relaxed I am in this picture. It's loverly. Um, I think I should get some rest just in case Liliana does decide to kick start us into labor tonight. So until tomorrow . . .

Babywatch 12:23 PM, December 17th

Since I'm posting from my cubicle at work, you should be able to guess that there's no baby yet. However, this is a very nice distraction from trying to concentrate on work (which is nearly impossible right now, anyway). Thanks to all of you who have passed along well wishes by email or by comments on the blog (which are public, now- sorry for the original restriction). We'll update tomorrow- hopefully sooner ( :

To hold you over, here's a picture of Marita with somebody else's baby- our nephew Logan.

Aloha. ian & marita.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Babywatch: 4:02 PM, December 16th

So. . . no baby yet. Not a problem, though. Instead of subjecting you all to my sense of humor for yet another post, enjoy this picture of the onesies that some of Marita's closest friends made us. They range from cute to special, and we love them all ( :

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Babywatch: 11:37 AM, Saturday, December 15th

No baby yet. Still waiting. Ian's cold, which has plagued us for 2 days, is getting better, which is very good news. We'll both need all our strength. Currently, Marita is on the phone with her Mom, chanting prayers to the going-into-labor goddess. Did I mention we're really ready to have this baby? My Mom should be here shortly, and we're all going to go for a walk. Think good thoughts for us, 2 minutes apart.

ian & marita

Friday, December 14, 2007

Daily baby check-in ( :

So. . . . We've been receiving so many calls from our dearest friends and loved ones, that we've decided to introduce a new tactic. Welcome to BabyWatch. We will post daily updates on labor status until the baby arrives, complete with fun facts about things we did to help her along ( :

For example:
December 14th, 3:04 pm - No baby yet. Marita had spicy huevos rancheros this morning for breakfast, and we walked up four flights of stairs afterwards. I've been humming the song "Get ready, cause here I come. . ." all day in a show of support. See y'all tomorrow!

love. ian.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

No more help- just let people know!

We've decided to just make the blog public for now- no need to send me emails, just send people to the blog if they're interested.

ian & marita

Welcome- please help us!

Hi all,

Welcome to our blog. This is the best way we've found to keep everybody up to date on our happenings, pictures of the (expected any day now) baby, and anything else. We need your help- please let us know who else needs to be invited to view the blog- send us their email addresses via the comments section, and we'll keep adding people!

ian & marita