Sunday, February 5, 2012

Welcome, Baby Maren! Any time now. . .

Today is the due date for my sister, Annika's, first baby.  I have never gone over a due date.  Jared was five days early, and Eloise was one day early. The last few weeks of pregnancy are definitely long enough with that due date looming large in the future.  I can't even begin to imagine the strain of having the due date checked off and no baby to snuggle.  Come on, already, Baby Maren! I promise you will learn to like it out here.  You have a couple of cousins who are very anxious to meet you.

Jared, Eloise, and I went to Utah on January 21st to help Anni and Ryan get ready for their new arrival.   It was Eloise's first time on an airplane.  Here is her official first plane ride portrait, complete with airplane cookie all over her jacket.  For future reference, giving a baby a cookie on an airplane is a very messy idea.
 This was also Jared's first time riding on an airplane with his own seat.  He was totally fine with that, except for the part where he had to keep his seat belt on.
 When we arrived in Utah, we made a quick stop at my grandparents' house, but Jared and Eloise had collapsed to sleep as soon as they got in the car, so we didn't wake them up.  We hurried up to Logan since we brought the snow storm with us from Seattle.  They were having a warm, dry winter until we arrived.  You are welcome, Utah.
Shortly after we arrived in Logan, Uncle Fred came.  He was in Salt Lake for a work conference, and he managed to find the time to spend Saturday evening and Sunday with us.  Here we are in the newly remodeled kitchen.  We are standing near the front door, for those who haven't seen the remodel yet.
 Jared started out a little bit shy around Uncle Fred, but Fred turns out to be very good (read: tireless) at games that a two year old likes, so they were getting along fine in no time.  Here they are together sitting on the foot of the reclining portion of the sofa to make themselves fall to the ground.
Eloise took significantly longer to warm up to anyone.  Flying gave her a big bubble in her stomach, and it took her three days to feel normal again.  Getting a new tooth our first day in Utah certainly didn't help.    She didn't want to be held by anyone except for Mom for a few days.  Here she is not loving being held by a very cute, very pregnant Aunt Anni.
We got to spend a little time visiting with friends in Utah.  Yeon Mi came over to chat and play memory with Jared.  Yeon Mi has been my friend since elementary school.  I was very excited to learn that Yeon Mi and her husband, Chase, are expecting their own little addition next August.  Congratulations!
We also got to see Jordanne, but we were so busy going out for Mexican food and having a great time that I forgot to take pictures. Boo.

Eloise eventually did warm up to Aunt Anni and Uncle Ryan.  I think Anni won her over with a rousing game of chase the flashlight beam.
Ryan charmed her by letting her chew on his watch.
On Thursday we had a visit from Grandpa Michael. He took us out to dinner, and then, when Jared suggested dessert, we went out for ice cream.
I love how no one in these pictures is looking the same direction.
Anni and Ryan enjoying our Logan Charlie's tradition.
On Friday, Aunt Marie stopped by on her way to Idaho Falls.  She brought presents for all of the babies and stayed for dinner.  It was great catching up with her.  I haven't seen Aunt Marie since Anni's wedding, three months before Jared was born.
Jared was very interested in Aunt Anni's baby belly.  When he learned that his cousin, baby Maren, is in there, he started to give the baby hugs, love pats, and even sing lullabies.  His spontaneous outpourings of affection for his unborn cousin were really sweet.  
The week went by way too fast.  Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the airport and home to Daddy.  In spite of our secret hopes, baby Maren was still high, breach, and comfortably curled up inside  with no plans to be born anytime soon when we left.

We made a quick stop at my grandparents' house on our way to the airport Saturday morning.  We were surprised to find Uncle Paul, his friend Joy, and my cousin Abby also visiting.  Jared saw that Uncle Paul had juice and climbed right into his lap.
He was a little more wary of his great grandparents, although he was happy to take Grandma's cane right out of her hand and run off with it.  I think that Eloise is just shy around strangers.

By this time, Eloise was perfectly happy to let Uncle Ryan carry her around.  This gave me a break before becoming the human jungle gym on a plane for two hours.
We were happy to get back to Daddy, our new house, and some slightly warmer weather in Washington.    Come soon, baby Maren!  We are looking forward to seeing your tiny, sweet face.  

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