Zayda's First Week (alternate title: People are Awesome.)

Just a few dozen minutes old
This was supposed to be a post about the first week, but it took me about a week to get any photos downloaded. Once I got them off my camera, it took a few more days to get them uploaded here, and then I still never got around to actually writing or posting anything. And now it has been two weeks rather than one, but if I go back to update it of course it will be week three by the time I get caught up to week two. So, week one. A week late.

But a week late still works since the story of week two is pretty a continuation of the story of week one. 
From the beginning, Zayda’s been surrounded by people who love her.

meeting her older siblings for the first time

And actually, for months now I’ve been amazed by people’s kindness and generosity. By this point I shouldn’t be anymore. I know all these people, my friends and family and community, and they are always like this. Still, it’s nice to have occasions like this to remind you just how fortunate you are to be surrounded by so many great people. 

Sometimes I pay more attention than I should to others’ complaints about people who are mean or cruel or all the drama around them.

Those aren’t my people.  

Of course I have to deal with them occasionally, but I give them less and less of my time and concern as I get older. My people are the ones who have taken such good care of me the last few months, and who have gone out of their way to welcome this little person into our lives and community.

The cumulative effect of so many little acts of kindness is sort of overwhelming.

Family taking turns holding her in the delivery room

Azia and her dad working on getting Zayda dressed to come home the next day


Azia's fingernail polish matched Zayda's going home outfit. That may not have been coincidence.

with her sister
and Jenna, too. The girls came to the hospital to bring home the newest girl.

Escaping. It seemed like we'd been hospital a long time by the time we finally got out of there.

She had a whole gang of boys waiting to admire her when we got home.

--> There’s been an amazing flood of people showing up—people who want to meet her, hold her, get to know her right from the beginning.  Tiny people not much older than her and others many decades older all excited to meet this new person. 

The boys had put together a little coming home party, complete with signs (on paper and their bodies) flowers, presents, and an rearranged living room with all sorts of displays. They were so excited. 

They're so creative. . . you can see the "New Baby" written across their chests. They also all have "girl" written across their faces and if they jump up and turn around (see picture above) they also each have a letter on their backs to spell out "G-I-R-L"

First Day Home.
Many people brought gifts and have been so generous in sharing what they have. I was given an entire wardrobe of maternity clothes (I had nothing when I got pregnant & didn’t need to buy a thing).  For the last month people have been dropping off baby things they were no longer using (a bouncer, swing, crib, clothes and blankets. . .) Others currently between babies loaned even more baby gear—swings and chairs and carriers—pretty much any sort of equipment I could think of. I got packages in the mail from friends who don’t live close by and packages left on the doorstep, gift cards, homemade blankets and dresses and booties, packages of diapers and clothes. Friends would randomly surprise me with little hair bows or cute shoes when I’d run into them around town. 

Lettie & Michael & Deva meeting Zayda

Hanging out with Uncle Michael

Grandma Elda was possibly awaiting her arrival more impatiently than any one (except maybe Zoran).

Tami & Sophia came to visit all the way from Florida! :)

Once she was born people delivered meals every day for any entire week—meals large enough to feed my entire, huge crew.  Some even went beyond that. One afternoon as I was sitting in the living room trying to decide how I’d feed the 10 children that were here that afternoon my neighbor showed up with so much food she needed all those kids to bring it in: huge pans of chili, bags of chips, cheese, grapes, strawberries, watermelon, gallons of juice. . . the kids were so excited they couldn’t  decide what to eat first. (I’m sticking by the story that they were excited by the novelty of someone delivering food rather the novelty of actually having all that food. :) )

I don’t think there has been a day since a few days before she was  born that she didn’t receive a small gift or two and a handful of messages from people checking in on how she was doing.

swinging with Ahni

Azia has sort of been in charge since the baby arrived. Sometimes she lets other people hold her. (Not that often though)

Sunday afternoon at Yaya's with all the cousins

Big brother Lex is always picking her flowers

with Gwen and Paisley

Surrounded by cousins. Again.
This first week (and actually the previous few months) have also been a good lesson for me to learn to say thank you, and to enjoy and appreciate the things people want to do for you. It’s much more comfortable for me to help others than to accept gifts and help, but I love that nearly everyone I have anything to do with these days believes babies are blessings and is excited to welcome another one to our community.

I love little baby feet.

She has a lot of brothers, but no shortage of awesome girls to hang out with.

It’s good to know, if nothing else, I’ve done a great job of surrounding myself with good people.  

Visiting with Tami and Zoe

Smiley at 2:00am. . . she's was sort of nocturnal for the first week. Luckily I'm not real bothered by being awake in the middle of the night.

and I much preferred working with this sort of baby bump on my stomach than the one I'd had a week before

All the boys helping with a little photos shoot,
until they got bored a minute later and all the girls took over.

...and Zayda got bored too and needed a little snack break

Taking in some basketball at Day 5--it was part of Zoran's plan from the beginning to make her a ball player.

Lex helping keep her happy while she waits for the doctor at her first check up.

This little girl is in good hands. Dozens and dozens of them.

sunset in St. Ignatius at the end of the first full week. . .


  1. It's crazy. I don't really know-know you other than your blog and FB posts. Hung out a little when you took Sara's new baby girl photos at their house. But, it is very obvious that what you have received in honor of having Zayda is what you have given to many others throughout your life. You thought of my daughter two Christmases ago when she was alone with a newborn and graced her doorstep with gifts. So, I have personally witnessed your giving and kindness to strangers. Not surprised at all by the love and caring you are receiving. You are reaping what you have sown. :) - - Not to mention that your parents have created a family culture with you all that you are sooooo lucky to have. Zayda is lucky and blessed.!

  2. Kathleen Mullins8/10/13, 7:51 PM

    How lucky is this little girl to be born into this amazing, loving family? I so wish every child had the opportunity to start life in such a safe, secure, and loving environment. I'm so fortunate to have raised my children in a place where I am pleased to say, this does happen often. Our love and best wishes to Zayda and her family for a future of nothing but this.