Saturday, December 27, 2008

Liliana's 1st Birthday!!! 12 Months Old??!!!!!!!!!!!

December has been a happily looooooong month.  First and most importantly, we welcomed Kaya Kealani Caravalho to our household on December 18th!  Rachael, Mike, Logan and Kaya are all doing wonderfully, and we're excited to now have photos of 3 beautiful children to share with you all ( :

Now, on to Liliana--This month, it seems like
 she reaches new milestones everyday.  She walks, she talks (okay, not in complete sentences, but watch the video- this is a girl
 who can communicate).  My favorite are please, thank you, and when she does the motions for the itsy-bitsy spider.  She loves the itsy bitsy spider.  She laughs even more now.  She has always been a smiley girl, but she really cracks up, especially at Logan--her cousin, best friend and hero.  They share everything, usually without complaint, and have recently fallen in love with the game of tackling each other (I'm sure that will come back to haunt us one of these days).

And us?  Things get easier and easier, it seems.  As we reflect on this amazing year, we have learned so much not just about parenting, but about our daughter.  We assume that much of what we know is applicable to all children, but really so much of it is just applicable to her--our sweet Liliana.  Logan only eats what he wants to. Lily, on the other hand will eat anything, provided you're sharing it with her.  Logan is extraordinarily patient when figuring out a problem.  Lily, not so much.  I think that's what's made this such a great month- she's telling us so much more, and we can't wait to see what she teaches us next.

This month, we saw more snow in Seattle than in the last 10 years combined.  Lily and Logan built their first (and second) snowmen, sledded down the back steps repeatedly, and generally had a blast, as did their parents.  Our visitors this month included our cousins Justin, Jessica, and Evan, Carrie Russell, and the whole Henrie clan (Gabby, Russ, Cynthia, and Andy). We feel so grateful to be all together again this year for the holidays, especially when it took G-Mo and Pop Pop so long to get here because of this crazy snow!  It's truly wonderful to be surrounded by family in times of change, growth, and joy.

It's a time of year to reflect on the good people in your life, and the good things.  We hope your holiday season has been blessed.  Ours certainly was.

Liliana, Ian, and Marita

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Liliana Walking . . . Take II . . . Live Action Video

Well, here it is. After days of trying to capture her walking on several cameras at different resolution we finally got this one uploaded. Enjoy! Can you believe Liliana will be one year old in just a matter of days! What a wonderful year it has been . . .

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thankful for 11 Month Old Liliana!

What better way to celebrate Liliana's 11 months birthday than celebrating Thanksgiving on the same day.  We could not be more thankful this year.  We have extremely loving and supportive friends and family.  Truly we are blessed to share a home and daily life with Rachael, Mike , and Logan--and soon another sweet baby will join our extended family.   Liliana could not be more lucky to have such loving surrogate parents in Rach and Mike.  And Logan, sweet Logan.  The relationship that Liliana and Logan are creating is just precious, something much more than merely cousins.  They are truly best friends.  Logan takes after Liliana daily showing her new toys and books, as well as sharing yummy snacks.  Logan just loves his "Neenee."

In the meantime, Liliana continues her focused mission to walk.  Those two cute bottom teeth have four friends moving into the neighborhood.  She still eats like a champion even through the pain of teething.  Lily is loving the park more and more and more as she becomes more independent.  Right now she is loving the slide.  You can tell from the pictures that Liliana is loving books.  The first thing she does after her moring nursing is sit up and motion to her books.  We love watching Liliana find new ways to communicate.  She is starting to use more signing for requests like please and more.   We absolutely love her animals noises/signs which include rabbit, penguin, elephant, horse, frog, and our favorite gorilla (she uses her palms to hit her chest and says ah-ah-ah . . .so cute!).  Liliana is also starting to become a bit of a parrot and regularly says up, apple, hat, dad, and most recently mama.   It is simply amazing to simultaneously think about the fact that Liliana is already 11 months old and that Liliana has only been in our lives for 11 months.  What was life like before Liliana?  Not nearly as wonderful . . .

Once again it was great to have so many wonderful visitors--Grandma Alice, Grandpa Tom, Great-Canuncle Richard and Auntie LeeAnn.  It's amazing to think that our next post will mark Liliana's first birthday.  Perhaps it's even more amazing that in the same month we will be welcoming the newest member of our family- Baby Caravalho (due late December).   

This next month we look forward to seeing Auntie Carrie, Auntie Clare, and the whole Henrie clan--G-Mo Cynthia, G-Pop Russ, Auntie Gaga and Uncle Andy, as they help us welcome our new niece or nephew, and celebrate the greatest year of our lives.  We thank you guys for following along, and for the love and good thoughts you send us.  Stay happy and safe this holiday season.  

Marita, Ian, and Liliana  

Monday, October 27, 2008

Could Liliana really be 10 months old?!!

Welcome back, folks.  Lots of pictures this month, but then again it was a very, very big month.  Liliana had her first family road trip- she did very well, didn't even ask "Are we there yet?" once.  She did however meet (in no particular order) her maternal great-grandparents- yup, all 4 of them, Aunts Sue, Georgia, Lynn & Ka, Uncles Doug, Rich, Chad & AJ, her cousins Zoe, Maya, Holden, Kayden, Jet, Kael.  She also got to hang out with G-Mo Cindi, Auntie Gabby, Aunt Janine & Uncle Brook.  Whew. . . that’s quite a trip.

Also, Liliana loves camping- hiking, sleeping in tents, getting very dirty- you name it, she loved it- all with a runny nose!  Truly, we had an amazing time and it was great to be able to both spend so much wonderful time surrounded by our incredible family, and to also have a rare opportunity to spend so much time just the 3 of us.  Utah and Arizona are true wonders to explore.

This month, I feel like we also see some of the best shots of Lily playing- you can really see her developing her play habits, mannerisms, and generally starting the trip from infant to toddler.  Having Logan as an example only adds to the speed at which she learns, and the sheer joy that she expresses along the way.  

Anyway, it’s past our bedtime, and tomorrow is a working day.  Enjoy the photos.  Hopefully they provide a glimpse into our pride and amazement as our daughter moves through her day, whether “chatting” with Logan over breakfast, exploring the dirt of our local parks, or (I swear she’s saying this, and it couldn’t possibly be wishful thinking) her calls of “Dad” when I come home from work.  See you all next month- don’t be strangers- she grows quick these days.


Liliana, Marita, and Ian.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Liliana 9 months (and a day . . . or so!)

So Liliana says forget walking, I just want to dance! And, yes, this girl dances. And dances. And dances some more. She dances to any music. A little ditty from Lightning McQueen makes Liliana shake her little tooshie. The 123 Song and we get a one handed raise the roof. Liliana will clap and clap while watching her song DVD (okay so most of the time she sits and stares like a zombie. TV = SCARY.) Hanging with her monkey and dancing to the rainforest music. Climbing up onto the 1st step to hold onto the safety gate means that Liliana is on stage for the entertainment of all in the room. She doesn't need an audience. Sometimes she doesn't even need music. She just needs the opportunity to let her body wiggle.

Liliana also says forget walking, I just want to climb the stairs. Don't leave the gate open or I'm gone! Catch me if you can!

Oh, goodness Liliana is a happy child whose smile is pure sweetness. Her grin has changed from an open mouth awestruck smile to a wide silly grin showing off her two growing teeth. You can't help smiling with her. It is so funny to think I once thought she wasn't a laugher. The sound of her giggle is just too much. Liliana is not just happy she is a total love-bug. She loves to greet people with a little wave hello and goodbye, but all she wants to do is hug and kiss other babies. We admit that she may be considered a little forward for some kids who aren't used to so much aggressive lovin'. Today she was attacking Logan with kisses while he was getting a diaper change. Logan kept laughing because he had her drool dripping down his face. The more he laughed the more she kissed and giggled. Do you remember how much these kids love each other? It is still so true. The kids have been having so much fun on the morning trip to the park. Liliana loves the swings, but can so easily be convinced that the sandbox with all the trucks is the real place to be. She has gone beyond watching Logan and now loves to dig in the dirt, too. We are all learning not to eat the sand. But, a little dirt doesn't hurt anyone, right? We can't even imagine what kind of relationship Logan and Lily will develop over the years. They will be so much like siblings, hopefully minus the competition since they each have a set of spoiling parents.

We know you see a lot of pictures of Liliana eating, but she does spend a lot of her time, well, eating. She loves to eat. Seriously. A few weeks ago we were in awe of how she could finish her plate and then eat Logan's left overs. Seriously she was eating as much as twice as much as Logan. Logan is at that more picky stage and has been teething. The funniest conclusion to all of the daily eating contests has to be that each child had a check-up with the pediatrician, Dr. Danielson and received stunning results concerning weight. Liliana is below the 25th percentile for weight coming in between 16 and 17 pounds. Logan, on the other hand, was in the 90th percentile. Truth be told Liliana is a little shrimpster shorty and Logan is a giant off the charts for his age. At any rate, Liliana seems to be getting over eating in grand quantities. I guess the "people" food has just begun to lose the magic it once had when she switched from baby food. Now, no surprise, Liliana seems obsessed with drinking water from a sippy cup straw--just like her cousin Logan!

Liliana has been blessed with visitors this month, too. You'll notice pictures of a proud Great-Grandma Nana, Gram Alice, Grandpa Tom, Great-Aunt Janet, (Real) Uncle Dan, Canuncle Aaron (Ian's Canadian cousin), as well as many friends in the slide-show album this month.

The final update is probably more exciting for mom and dad. Liliana now sleeps in her own room. Yes, this big girl is sleeping through the night like a champion and likes to take two long naps a day instead of 30 minute cat naps. It is amazing how much changes when you get sleep and begin each day well-rested. Liliana is happier and so are mom and dad! Wish us luck this month when we take Liliana on a camping road trip where she will meet her maternal great-grandparents, including her namesake Neva, as well as the whole Brimhall Clan and the infamous Tommy O! Who would be able to sleep with all this excitement ahead?!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Our sweet little 8 month old, Liliana!

I know this shouldn't be a surprise to any of us, but the fact that Liliana is currently working on learning to walk just blows us away. Our daughter. Our tiny, little baby. She is just 8 months old! She is already 8 months old!! It is amazing how she changes daily. They tell you babies do that, but still it is incredible to witness it. I know that we have been waiting for Liliana to be a laugher and, now, she laughs. Mostly Logan cracks her up when he plays with her by the jumper. Oh, how she loves that jumper. Oh, how she loves Logan. No, really she adores him. She used to just watch and watch him. Now she chases him, takes his toys, and actually tackles him as she tries to use him to stand up. It is hilarious to be telling Liliana to share with Logan. Logan, by the way, is simply the most loving and patient cousin. He adores her, too. He tries to pick her up and brings her toys. Yes, he brings her toys. Rarely does he take toys from her, though she takes from him. He does have a bit of personal ownership over his car-Lightning McQeen. But, truly Lily would rather push him in the car than ride it herself. At any rate, Lily and Logan are the best of friends. Such good friends that they have decided to teethe together. Logan is getting his molars and Lily is getting her first front teeth. The front left tooth on the bottom has already cut through. We can't wait for her toothy grins. We have already witnessed the sharpness of that tooth in a piece of string cheese. She is quite pleased with herself. The teeth will certainly help her with her new found love of "real" food as apposed to baby food. She loved eating out at the neighborhood Caribean resteraunt and chicken enchiladas. We think it is mostly beacause of the black beans. She is a true Henrie now. Truly she loves to feed herself, sometimes with two spoons and definately with both hands. Yup, she's growing up fast. Too fast for her parents, I might add. But, as always, we adore her even when she is up teething at 3 a.m. We adore her always.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Liliana is 7 Months old already?

Next time you're half-awake at 5:45 am, and you roll over sleepily, half-squinting in the sunshine coming in your window, imagine your 7-month old daughter, who probably shouldn't be awake, and shouldn't really be standing yet, and definitely shouldn't be looking over the railing of her crib at you with the biggest smile she can muster. Yup folks, our daughter is a motivated little girl- much to our delight, and to the disruption of our sleeping patterns. However, since she's also the sweetest child in the world, it's extremely easy to forgive her.

This month, we had her first camping trip, first meat (albeit blended in a baby food jar), developed a love for cheerios, banana puffs, and "veggie booty," and first road trip (to the Oregon Country Fair, which somehow we escaped with no pictures- not sure how we failed there). Liliana still isn't much of a laugher, but can smile with the best of them. She is crawling faster and farther, and she's still in love with her cousin Logan.

Us? We're very much enjoying our summer, with less visitors but still busy, and we look forward to seeing most of you as we head into the fall. Enjoy the pictures- we should have some videos posted soon, too.

liliana, marita, and ian

Friday, June 27, 2008

Liliana 6 Months from g-MO!

Aloha Folks

I wanted to update everyone on "Life with Liliana", as I just got to spend a week with her in Hawaii. I was so excited to get to finally "meet" her again. It seemed like such a long time ago, that I witnessed her birth in Seattle. I have loved her blog, and look at her online pictures all the time. Does it get better than having your grandbaby come to you in Hawaii? Wow...there is nothing like being able to snuggle with such a warm little bundle. I really got used to seeing her big bright smile first thing in the morning.

Her Hawaiian heritage was really showing in her LOVE of the ocean. I've almost never seen a baby so comfortable and smiley in the water. She was like a regular at all the great north shore beach spots..Rocky Point, 3 Tables and Waimea. (Not to mention the bonus rounds at the pool at Turtle Bay Hilton.)

Did I mention that Ian and Marita's Hawaiian vacation was an Ohana event with Tom and Liz also on Oahu? It was terrific to have several delicious "Double Adoring Grandparents" -dinners with the whole extended Family. Lucky Lady, this little Liliana. Plenty LOVE going round.

One of the highlights for me was having Marita, Ian and Liliana hang for a Summer Solstice Party at my new Tribalteaz Dome in Waimanalo. (kind of a long term ag project and art studio) We had a great work party in the garden, a sumptuous potluck and a great Fire for the Solstice. Ian was the total hit of the night, gracing us with the most incredible 2 hour guitar song set. There were moments of pure poetry and some pretty awesome community singing if I say so myself. Thanks Ian! You Rock!

Well... there is a little mini Hawaii report. Gabby left yesterday with M, I & L, to hang with the posse in Seattle for a few days until I get there on July 1st. See you soon Liliana!

Much Love,


ps more pix @

p.p.s. from ian and marita

Um, we thought you should know that Liliana started crawling yesterday. Really crawling. She has been creeping in a 360 for a few weeks, but now we see butt up forward movement. It is CRAZY how fast she is growing and learning. She also found her talking voice in Hawaii and babbles more and more. If only we could say the same for her sleeping . . .

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Alice's Visit (Liliana 5 + months)

A tale of two (amazing) children.

I sneaked in a brief visit to the beloved Seattle Group this past weekend--arriving as May 31st rolled over into June 1st, most graciously retrieved from SeaTac by Ian, and then delivered back to catch the redeye Tuesday night, June 3rd. Not the most leisurely trip, but worthwhile in every way. As usual the 43rd Ave. South Collective warmly welcomed me, and included me in their lives with generosity and love.

Now--the children! Logan is in perpetual motion, the most curious child ever. He gets into anything that isn't nailed down, and a few things that are. The most fun is watching him figuring things out. You can almost see the wheels turning as his gaze flicks from one part of a process to another, and then: eureka! He turns to you with his crooked little grin and points, as if to say:"I got it!" Case in point--I was rooming in the back "nursery" and my suitcase was tucked in a corner. When it comes to zippers, buttons and straps, Logan is like a little Houdini; he just keeps at it till he solves the puzzle. So of course, he scampered right past two dozen books and fifty toys to get into my luggage and pull out the little Delta Airlines headphones I schlep around with me so I can plug into whatever passes for in-flight entertainment. He looked at them and immediately put them to his ears; but there was nothing to hear, of course. Marita, characteristically looking to reward his curiosity and tenacity, grabbed an Ipod and plugged the headphones into the set so that Logan would hear music. As soon as he heard the music he started trying to figure out how that all had happened. He took the Ipod, yanked out the plug that connected it to the headphones; looked up at us; then, in one smooth, completely confident motion, he inserted the plug back into the correct jack and grinned as the music started up again. Folks--this boy is just a little past one year. Let me say it now: we are going to hear from him in years to come, and it's going to be worth hearing!

And then there is Liliana. She has the sweetest face and the happiest personality. It is a joy to watch her attack the spoonfuls of carrots and bananas, splash in the bath, rock and roll in her saucer seat as she spins herself from one toy to the next. There was one priceless moment when Marita had her absolutely giggling, really belly-laughing--and then in a second the hilarity tipped right into a full-throttle wail, tears and all. But I have to say, what I love best is what I think of as "the Liliana scan." When you come into her line of sight she gazes deeply at every feature of your face, studying it; almost, it seems, searching for clues: Who are you? Do I know you? She holds this utterly serious, unwavering inspection for long enough to make you a little uncomfortable as you wonder what it is she sees there. And then--your reward. Her face lights up with a dazzling smile and she reaches out to grab your nose, or hair, or whatever is within range. She seems to forget--or ignore--the fact that she is only five months old. Whenever possible she pulls herself to a standing position. Her dexterity is incredible, and what was just recently random grabs at whatever came within grasping distance, is now determined, targeted reaching for the item she wants. I was amazed to watch, in the span of just a few days, as she transitioned from one developmental stage to the next. When I arrived, every time she was placed on her stomach she would sort of collapse, and snuffle her face into the carpet and cry with frustration. By the time I had to leave, when placed on her stomach she just hoisted herself up on her elbows and arms, looked around with a kind of "up periscope" motion and tried to pull herself toward the toys just beyond her reach.

Life is a miracle, to be sure; and in Logan's and Liliana's stubborn, insistent, headlong drive toward growing, you can watch it unfolding minute by minute. What a privilege it was to see.

Grandma Alice

Saturday, May 31, 2008

5 Months!

All she wants to do is stand. I know she's little for this, and you might think I'm pulling your leg- but really people- stand, stand, stand. We're not quite sure whether to be proud, or nervous or what, but we're hoping Liliana will take the time to crawl before she walks. We're not sure she will, though. In the meantime, as you'll see from the pictures, Lily loves eating solid foods (and her Grandpas love feeding it to her), taking baths with her cousin, and being outside. It's been amazing to watch the little changes- how much better she's getting with her hands when she's playing, how strong her legs are becoming, how much more she's able to interact with Logan and with the rest of us. They're simple changes, but they mean so much from day to day. Other news? Liliana and her Mom are taking swim classes in preparation for our big trip to Hawaii. Visitors this past month include Grandpa Tom, Grandpapadopolis Russ, Uncle Andy, Aunt Gabby, our friend Chris Bentzel from Boston, and a total of 4 random skaters who were all lovely (courtesy of Uncle Andy, of course). Coming up next, Grandma Alice, Uncle Richard and Canuncle Aaron, followed by Lily's first trip to Hawaii. Stay tuned!

Liliana, Marita, and Ian

Friday, May 9, 2008

Liliana 4 Months . . . a little late

This was an incredibly busy month for Liliana. Like always she handled all the new adventures with patience and smiles. Lily went on her first plane trip to New York City! Not only did she get to see her grandparents, Great-Aunt Janet, Uncle Dan (not to be confused with all her fake uncles/funcles), Liliana was able to meet her Great-Grandpa Ben for the first time! It was truly incredible to witness the joy of connecting generations as Liliana smiled up at her Great-Grandpa Ben. She enjoyed her first Passover Seder and her first taste of food beyond milk--matzo! She will have to spend the next year trying to learn the four questions for next year's Seder.

She also went on her first road trip to Boston. It was amazing to see our friends Gretchen and Chris, and to meet their daughter Ramona (Liliana's Lao Tung), who's less than one month younger than Lily. They were such amazing hosts that we were even able to have a dinner party at their house so that Marita could catch-up with an old high school friend. It was also fun to expose Liliana to her first political debate (between auntie Carrie and Ian, of course) on the drive up.

While in the city Liliana got to meet lots of new friends, too. We just can't believe how incredibly lucky we are to have such an easy and pleasure filled child. She was such a good sleeper that she even put herself down for a nap on the kitchen table one day while mom and dad folded her laundry. No really, she did. We have the picture to prove it! Truly it is amazing to have seen her grow and change even over the few days we were away from our home and family in Seattle. Liliana is alert and super strong. She loves to sit up on her own and would be standing if she didn't need help to do it. It's fun to watch her drool as she puts EVERYTHING in her mouth. It's even funnier when she gets her binky into her mouth herself, only to pull it out and then fuss about how someone stole her binky. She is just so funny. And we love her, of course. It is such a pleasure to watch her grow and develop even though it is hard to accept how fast it is all happening. You'll be laughing next month when you see the pictures of her eating solid foods for the first time. Can you believe it? Liliana is already trying solids by 4 months and she LOVES to have her daddy feed her. I can't even imagine what other updates we will have next month!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

3+ Months . . . from Liz

Liliana has so much hair, i can't even tell you. There are photos of it - one moment - okay, here: (um, scroll down a bit).

Also she's showing Erica up and rolling over plenty often. (For the uninitiated, Erica is three months older.) And Lily smiles at you and god, i love it when babies smile at you. And she has the cutest crinkly little smile and she peeks up at you and it's just absolute perfection. And you know you look at the pictures and you think she's cute, but then you meet her and she's so much cuter. (I totally meant to get a million pictures but then i got there and was too busy being awed. I have come to the realization that i am in love with baby noses. So small! So nuzzly!) So we got to their house (because they are so talented with the direction giving, those Seattle folk) and we all traded babies and cuddled for a bit and Liliana is so zen that Marita could go off to an appointment (well, leaving us with Mike still home, but busy) and we got to completely monopolize all the babies - both Liliana and Logan (who is shockingly running around awfully well at not even one yet, making one think about babyproofing very very soon and up to at least three feet), plus Erica - which was a little chaotic, but fun - and Liliana could just cuddle us strangers and be perfectly happy. Wow. And then Marita came home and we had more musical babies and cuddling, and then we went for a walk because their neighborhood has a nice park and a lake and whatnot (albeit at the bottom of a very large hill) with us two and our matching Ergos. Heart. (Tie dyed baby clothes. More heart.) And then - then! Marita is a hero.

Did y'all get that? A hero.

Because only a very extraordinary person could make many pans of lasagna, enough to serve, what, a dozen people, even sending some of them home with more lasagna and still having leftovers, while having a three month old. (Especially a three month old this cute, who you just want to cuddle and cuddle and cuddle.)

Let me also mention the insanity that is having lots of kids close in age all in one room: you realize exactly how short this all is. That, sure, we're carefully combing through The No-Cry Sleep Solution right now, but when she's eight or nineteen she almost certainly won't still be waking up at two and wanting to nurse. That Logan is able to do all these things, walk, run, terrorize the dogs, show motive and decisiveness, throw things across the room, and we're more than halfway there with Erica, agewise, and Lily is more than halfway to Erica's chattery wigglebutt stage. And while they are people now, they are very rapidly growing and becoming and turning into toddlers and real kids. This is all so vastly different from a year ago - back then none of us knew what was coming. Quite honestly i don't think we know what's coming now, either, but you get these daddies and they look at their babies and smile because everything is completely different, now, and i always say everything is like the sun coming out but it's like the sun coming out. And you never knew there was a sun. And Marita is glowing with it (official MILF inauguration, right there) and Ian is pretty glowy himself - whenever Liliana is near either of them they get that goofy, unaware grin. Did i say yet that they were great parents? Great parents, and great lasagna-makers, i should point that out.

I just have to marvel again (because i have a new space for it, whee: i tricked them into letting me on their blog! king me! captured! Borg wins! ahahaha, everything is my blog!) that people have been feeling this way about their daughters since the beginning of time, right? They must have. And people said we'd love our kids, but noone mentioned that we'd feel like this. And people said everything would change, but nobody told us everything would change. And someone might have said how nothing else would matter, but nobody commented on the crashing irrelevance of all that had gone before. Um, Other People? Where are your communication skills?

Love from Vienna,
Liz, Matt, and Tiny-But-Now-Slightly-Larger Erica

Sunday, March 30, 2008

3 Months

Since we last spoke, it snowed in Seattle- twice. Liliana rolled over- more than twice- I think we're up to seven or eight times now. She took a bath and dunked her head under the water. More family came to meet her, and more friends. I'm not sure if its how quickly Liliana passes milestones, but its been a very long and amazing 3 months. This installment includes the first shots of Logan and Liliana really getting to play together. There's pictures of Liliana in a very special gown sewn by her namesake Grandma Neva (We have heard that this gown was sewn from seven antique linen pillow cases!) Tonight she laughed- I mean really laughed- for the first time. Every day brings new richness, new marvels, and new ordinary moments, and they're all wonderful. Enjoy the pictures!

love. marita, ian, and liliana

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Week 11 - Nana!

We all waited anxiously for this birth and on Dec. 27th the waiting was over. A little Princess was born and the world became a better place. I watched her grow and develop from pictures and on March 6th I got to meet her, hold her in my arms, and my heart melted- My Great Grand Daughter. She looked at me seriously for a while and then. . . a big smile saying you are welcome, great grandma- and this is what Heaven is all about. It is hard for me to describe how I felt in those first moments holding her.....I was waiting a long time for this. I will try to describe that unforgettable weekend spent in Seattle. Marita and Ian, Rachael (Marita's sister), her husband Mike, and their adorable happy little boy Logan live in an environment only to be admired and envied. Not many family members can create this warm and secure place for children to grow unless they are as compatable and respectful as they are towards each other. Logan at 10 months is a very happy and funny little boy who runs all over the place giving his parents a work out, and in not so far distance Liliana will follow suit. I am confident she will grow up to be a strong, independent women given the kind of parents and grand parents she has. Good role models, but to me and in my heart she is always going to be my little Princess. Marita, Ian, Rachael and Mike I want to thank you for your kind hospitality. Special thanks to you Ian and Marita for arranging that surprise brunch which made me feel special and loved, and this whole experience unforgetable. I apologize for nagging you about the heat in the house, but at my age I feel more cold then you guys. It is a senior thing. One more thing, the house, one word fantastic. Beautiful as it is and lots of potencial if you need change. Take care of each other and my little princess and keep up the good work. I love you all very much.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

10 Weeks- Words from Grandma Alice

Hi everyone, Ian and Marita have instituted a visitor’s toll: if you visit them in Seattle, you have to offer up a guest blog entry. Let me assure you: it is the smallest of fees for the greatest of experiences. So here goes a blog from Gram-Alice:

I returned from Seattle on March 3rd and have been thinking a lot about my visit. It was especially wonderful for being so ordinary: I camped in the guest room, went to a Frisbee game, helped with the dishes, shopped at the mall, made my own coffee, sat in on Marita’s book club meeting. More than usual, I had the chance to be part of Ian and Marita’s everyday lives. As many of you know, they have a unique and, I think, enviable way of living. They live in a big, friendly, comfortable and welcoming house with Marita's sister Rachael and brother-in-law Mike. From what I could see, they share responsibilities and purchases and household chores, not in a self conscious, ideological, split-down-the-middle with everyone doing their exact fair share way, but more through an easygoing, generous and reciprocal sense of support. And, it is not that they are all just like each other---their styles and friends and priorities are different. But they each seem to have simply moved over a little to make room for one another's values and preferences, with love being the single constant. It is truly a loving household. Even as a guest arriving at the tail end of a long string of weekend visitors, I felt embraced by the easy generosity of my hosts and their warm home.
Then there are the children. Rachael and Mike’s boy Logan is the funniest, flirtiest, smartest, most curious little guy on the planet. He makes you forget that he’s ten months old: he just gets everything so immediately, you can see the gears turning as he figures out every single thing he comes upon. And about Liliana—what can I say? I am unabashedly astounded by the powerful feelings I have for my grandchild. Many new grandparents "warned" me, but I still got blindsided. Now, some people (ahem, my children) won’t believe this, but despite my tendency to cry easily and watch “Sound of Music” reruns, I actually think of myself as someone who doesn't go too overboard. Well, I am overboard and drowning in love. Don't save me! Liliana is amazing, a peaceful and contented baby whose default mode is joyful. She has a way of solemnly and thoroughly scanning your face as if reading the fine print; and then suddenly, sunshine! Her happy smile just lights you up, and captures your heart. She is a delight. And Ian and Marita are incredible parents. They are so natural and easygoing in the way they care for Liliana, and so obviously in love with her. When I see them leaning down together to tend to their baby girl, I feel the presence of all the generations--the Grunfelds and Neustadts, the Gallants and Shechters, all the elders of Marita’s mighty family lines—all gathered to have a peek at this child that their lives conspired to create, and to offer their many blessings.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Liliana is 2 months old!

Okay people, here are the newest set of pictures just a bit shy of her 2 month birthday. Notice how much closer in size Liliana is to her sock monkey already! Also, don't be confused about the change in pattern on her special monthly picture outfit . . . It's reversable!! We thought switching from one pattern to the other would be a fun way to distinguish her growth from month to month. We are also trying to post some videos (wish us luck)!

Also notice the pictures of her with her Aunty Meredith who visited us last weekend. We took Liliana on her first hike! It did turn out to be more of a walk in the snow, but it was still her introduction to the beauty of the outdoors. Plus, I guess it was her first true introduction to snow, as well. We also went on a road trip to Tacoma to take Meredith to Wintergrass. It is one of the big bluegrass festivals in Northwest. We had a lovely time listening to the many jam sessions in the lobby of the hotel. We are sure Liliana will be a musician like her daddy. Ian even bought his first banjo while we were there thanks to an early birthday present from his parents. So, Liliana will certainly be surrounded by music in her life. Anyway, thanks for visiting us Aunty Mer . . . we miss you already!

The nest blog will of course be written by Grandma Alice who has been visiting this past weekend! We hope you are all still enjoying Liliana's newest adventures!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Liliana Week 8

Hello there, how are ya? I’d like to take a minute to talk with you about my visit, with my travel companions, Gabe & Joanna. I could start by telling you about all the things we did here. Like visiting the Locks, or staying up playing Scattergories & what “elusive bus” means. I could tell ya jokes that you wouldn’t get, cause ya weren’t here, like “elusive bus”. Or about great pizza in Seattle (that’s right… I said it, in Seattle!) Maybe we could talk about pork chops & its importance. Or I could share with you how wonderful our family dinners were over pasta, sausage, salad bread & laughter. I could write about our visit to Pikes Place, & our walks around town. And sure I could thank Ian, Marita, Mike, Rachael & Logan for puttin us up in their great new home, feeding us & showin us around.

Or perhaps you’d like to know a about the newest member here, Liliana. Well, look, we could get into how incredibly beautiful she is, which is true. Or how sweet she gets, true too. Or maybe ya were hoping to read about how awesome it is to hear her gurgle, & coo & giggle & wriggle around in our arms. Or how bout those strange, adorable, funny faces she makes when she’s sleeping & awake; all true. Maybe you’re hoping to hear about how that she’s so small that she fits right in between your hand and bi-cep, or how she can look at you so seriously & it still melts your heart.
Well sure, I could talk about that all day, but me, I’d like to talk about something else, I’d like to talk about…me. Ok, so I ain’t one of them fancy pediatricians, but I know a thing or two about babies. I mean I saw “3 men & a baby”. So I expect a few things; cute, sure, small, ok, bald, perhaps. But what I never expected was this…

This child cried… that’s right, I mean really, really cried, like a good ol’ fashion, I’m a baby & I got somethin’ to cry about cry… ONCE! If ya count those 15 minutes on the last night right before she was about to be fed & then to bed. That’s right, ONCE! 1 time in all our 5 days here. Who’s ever heard of such a thing? Oh & when she wasn’t crying, which was always, she was doin’ all that other jazz I wrote about above. Unbelievable! I mean here I come, all the way across the country to make sure that my best friends were having a helluva time with their new baby girl & what do I find? Sweetness, the most, bestest, sweetest baby I’d ever seen! Didn’t seem real to me I tell ya! And to make matters worse, Liliana’s cousin, young Logan is… The happiest 10 month old in the universe. Nothing could make this kid unhappy. Bonk his head on the floor “Yeah”, really hungry for food “Whoopee!”, time to go to sleep “Hurrah!”, play with mommy & daddy “Weee” (ok, well that one makes some sense). All I saw was Logan walkin about, arms stretched proudly to the sky, grin from ear to ear, making the happiest sounds. Everything was always fun with him. Especially his adoration of his baby cousin. You remember her, Liliana, the completely content one.

I mean what’s going on in this world where people as caring & loving as Ian & Marita have such support & love from people like Mike & Rachael & Logan… and not 1 day of tears. Not even a half hour of them. I thought babies cry! What’s the point of calling someone a “crybaby” any more if Liliana’s around to contradict it!

Anyway, as you can probably tell by now, I’m thoroughly distraught. A perfectly good trip, ruined by happy babies who only know to laugh, sleep, play & never cry. I believe it’s time we started taking a closer look at these parents who are caring for these kids to see what exactly what it is they are doing here.

I’ll tell ya, it was a “helluva’ trip we were havin’, huh!” and it was fantastic.

Thanks & love ya lots, Jakes, Gabe & Joanna.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Liliana Week 7

Uncle Dan, here - guest blogging after visiting Seattle, in the interests of bringing a little objectivity to this site, lest anyone think Ian and Marita are being less than impartial in their unfailing adoration of Liliana.

So, objectively speaking... she's totally amazing. And how shall we define amazing? Well, amazing in that she managed to sleep like a rock through three separate restaurants, the Washington State Democratic caucuses, and the entirety of a screening of Pootie Tang (for which I seriously envy her). Amazing in that I got to witness her inaugural wearing of pants, if only because some judicious padding ensured that said pants would stay on (and some judicious pooping ensured that said pants were a short-lived experience). Amazing in that she managed to spit-up with impeccable comic timing all weekend. And especially amazing when she smiles. Not just because it's a beautiful smile, but because her typical waking hours seem like a never-ending restivestate, clawing and fidgeting for better comprehension, or endlessly trying to discover her comfort-zone. I realize this is all normal behavior, but when she breaks character in the middle of all that,with one of those expressions of unbridled glee that only babies can pull off... I trust you've all seen the pictures. I'll testify hereand now that they don't do her justice. And that's a completely objective observation, of course.

Overall, a splendid weekend: everyone paid a visit to Liliana's new pediatrician, who seems to be a big hit. And Lily herself appears happily preoccupied with the assortment of vibrating chairs that populate the house. Ian and Marita are doing a fabulous job, with some able assists from Rachel, Mike and Logan. One cautionary note: rhyming Liliana's name with "banana," no matter how unintentional, appears to be a bit of a touchy subject in the household (correct pronunciation rhymes with "Obama"). But for now, I don't think she minds so much.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Watching Baby: Weeks 5 & 6

Our little Liliana is growing each day. She is truly a pleasure. She is still sleeping well and doesn't cry very often--though, honestly, her parents still don't really like hearing her cry at all. It is such an amazing thing to see the developmental growth of such a little girl. She is no longer wearing her newborn disposable daipers. She fits into her small FuzziBunz washable daipers, although we do have to cross it over to button it tighter around the waist. She's been growing, but she is still a skinny little thing. Even though the FuzziBunz help her fill out her clothes she is actually quickly growing out of her newborn outfits! We love that Liliana is even more awake and aware of things day by day. She has been focusing not only on black, red, and white, but all bright colors on her play mats, toys, and general surroundings. Our favorite, of course, is when she focuses on our faces. It is simply mesmerizing to have your daughter staring back at you--especially when you smile down at her and she smiles back! Yes, Liliana has learned to return our smiles. It brings us the most incredible happiness. We have tried to capture the smiles on camera, but none seem to capture the true thing. This picture at least captures her enthusiasm. You will all just have to visit us to experience her personality in the flesh. We think it might just melt your heart--it melts our everyday, multiple times over. Can you tell we love being parents?

Monday, January 28, 2008

1 month and growing

Liliana has been with us for 1 month and 1 day. We're proud to report that Liliana is perfectly capable of sleeping through "The Kite Runner". In fact, we keep pinching ourselves to find out if we're awake since she sleeps 2-3 hours at a strectch, hardly ever cries, and loves her binky (pacifier). She also took a bottle on the first try. Anyway, before I get all carried away telling you about our wonderful daughter, let's just show you some pictures. Here's a link to a new slideshow- note the picture of Liliana in the huge overalls with the sock monkey-it's a twelve month outfit, and we'll be posting a picture in the same overalls, and with the same monkey every month, so you can all see how she's growing:

Thursday, January 17, 2008

3 weeks

So, our baby is turning into a little person. I guess we knew it would happen eventually, but in just 3 weeks? She loves her binky. . .LOVES it. Liliana has made a new friend, her reflection. She's taken her first shopping trips, to U-Village and to Right Start, and she's had her first party- with our ultimate frisbee team, and all of our babies. I'm back at work, so Marita has to call me every time Lily does something funny or cute, and I sit in my cube and miss them both. Liliana is my screen saver.

Still, I'm not complaining. Marita takes incredibly good care of me, and her daughter. Liliana hardly ever cries, and sleeps 3-4 hours at a time. . . most of the time. We have Logan to remind us of what we have to look forward to, and Rach and Mike to remind us of how great our support network is. And the guests! Last weekend we had a truly wonderful visit with Grandma Alice and Aunt Janet, and Grandpa Tom will be here this weekend. It's amazing how your life can slow down and speed up at the same time. Anyway, I'm babbling. I hope you're all well. Enjoy the new pictures and video, assuming that I can get it uploaded properly- its not much, but we've gotten requests to hear her voice, so here it is. New pictures available at:

love. aloha.

ian, marita, and liliana

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Watching baby: 1 week and growing

We've been parents for seven lovely days. Liliana has been to the supermarket, the pediatrician, and to visit friends (it was 3 in the afternoon, but technically it was her first new year's party). She's perfect, but don't take our word for it- that's what our midwife said on her first check-up, and the sentiment was echoed by our pediatrician, who called her the most relaxed baby she's ever seen. Which is true- she has discovered her hands and sucks on them constantly. She only cries when we change her, and then only sometimes.

We feel like she's grown a bunch- at the very least her face has filled in some, but don't take our word for it, here's the link to a new gallery of pictures:

liliana, marita, and ian.