'Muff'in Dome

Evelyn is Baptized!

Yesterday was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. That is the day that Catholics remember Mary’s birth and how she was preserved from Original Sin. When the Angel Gabriel appeared to her and said “Hail, full of grace!” the word “full” means bestowed upon. God bestowed His grace upon her, and she never rejected it. What a beautiful day to have our child baptized! God, through baptism, bestowed His grace upon our daughter that day. As Mary was the first Christian (quite literally saying “yes” to Christ, and accepting Him into her life), we pray our daughter looks to her as as model of faith.

Our friends and family joined us at St. Stephen the First Martyr parish in Sacramento for this momentous occasion, when our daughter entered the Church. We are looking forward to watching her grow! Here are some pictures – click on them to see larger versions!

Advent is Here!

Yesterday, my wife and I brought our daughter to Gram and Grandpa Muff’s house. My dad and I wandered into the woods and we chopped down a little Christmas tree for my apartment. Laurel and I brought it home and decorated it tonight. It’s borderline a Charlie Brown tree. It doesn’t matter, though. With lights on the balcony rail and the tree decorated and lit up, our place is ready for the holidays!

With warm Christmas adult-beverages such as Gluhwein and Eggnog (recipes and descriptions to come later), we need to keep in mind the season. Today was the first Sunday of Advent – a penitential season to reflect upon the coming of Christ into the world. Songs such as O Come Emmanuel and Gabriel’s Message remind us to keep in mind how we want Christ to find us when He comes into the world again.

Along with our other reflections this season, it is time for remembrance of our blessings. This year is my first Christmas with Laurel as my wife. Last year, we were very busy preparing for our upcoming wedding in February. This year, we get to relax. Well, a little bit. Someone else joined us. Evelyn is here! I’m not sure how much relaxing we’ll get, but it’s nice nonetheless. My wife and my daughter are my two greatest blessings this year. I am looking forward to each moment I get to spend with them this season.

3 Weeks!

We have made it through 3 wonderful, although mostly sleepless, weeks with little Evey. In just 3 weeks, she’s developed and grown in great leaps and strides right before our very eyes.

On Thanksgiving morning, I laid her on her stomach for some tummy time and she decided she liked it better on her back. Yep, she’s already done her first roll-over. We have to keep an eye on that girl.

She’s very strong. She practices lifting her head every chance she can get. I caught her staring into Daddy’s eyes while lying on his chest the other day. We have to be on guard though because she also likes to throw her head into the side of yours, which can be rather painful for both parties.

We made an extra trip to the doctor this week because I was concerned about how her bellybutton was healing. Her cord fell off last Thursday, but it wasn’t drying out as quickly  as I thought it should. The doctor placed a bit of sodium nitrate inside which is supposed to desiccate it. While we were there, they took her measurements and she had gained a full pound since her visit the week before. Needless to say, she is a very healthy eater. 🙂

She’s beginning to focus and look more intently at things, especially our faces. I wish I knew what was going on inside her little brain. She seems to think very deeply about things.

Evelyn’s birth-day



It has been difficult to find a few spare moments to write.The feedings, changings, and sleeplessness have contributed, but I must confess, the hardest part of finding time is resisting the desire to sit and watch her peaceful — or, oftentimes, expressive! — face as she sleeps. And the waking hours (minutes, right now) I can never put her down or pull myself away. It is true; I am smitten with my daughter.

Although probably the hardest thing I’ve accomplished in my life, I thank God for the fairly smooth delivery of our baby, Evelyn Rose. After several instances of false labor starts, true labor began about 10 pm on Thursday, November 8th with contractions about every 10 minutes apart. On the coldest evening of the season yet, we tested out its authenticity taking a brisk walk outside. They remained consistent.

Thinking we had some time, we decided to go to bed with me attempting to sleep through as much of it as I could. Shortly before midnight, however, I was brought out of my sleep rather abruptly, noticing contractions were 2-5 minutes apart. I awoke Stephen who, wisely, insisted we head to the hospital, while I protested that we were supposed to wait for 2 hours before we headed over. (Only when they remain at 5 minutes!) As we drove down the quiet streets, passing empty shops on the way to the hospital, I kept thinking, I can’t believe we’re finally here, finally at the point we’re going to meet our daughter!

I was hooked up to the monitors and checked right away after our arrival. Only 2 centimeters and about 50 % effaced. We still had a ways to go. About 3:30 in the morning, my doctor came in and I was at 3 centimeters. She decided to break my water to move the process along. It certainly did the trick. Contractions were constant, nearly unbearable. Although we had aimed for a drug-free birth, I decided to get a bit of Fentanyl put in my IV in order to take the edge off and give me a little reprieve before transition.

Somewhere between 6 and 7 in the morning, I announced that I was giving up and needed the epidural. They began setting things up and contacting the anesthesiologist. I started to feel this urge to use the toilet. I asked the nurses for some assistance in getting up and they suddenly became excited, and began turning on the lights and calling other nurses into my room. Little did I know, I had reached transition. Too late for the epidural. Time to push.

I had a wonderful team of nurses and my doctor coaching me through each contraction, telling me how and when to push. You’d think it is pretty straightforward, but I found a little coordination was involved and with each contraction I became a little more effective. After about an hour, my beautiful, healthy baby girl was placed in my arms by my husband where she happily stayed for two hours until the nurse came to measure and bathe her.

Although we were greatly blessed with an excellent staff during labor & delivery and recovery time, my greatest ally during the whole process (before and beyond) was my husband. He coached me through each contraction, even holding us up when I was standing every time a wave of pain overcame me. He stayed constantly by my side, praying with me. He helped me focus on breathing well and bringing her further down with each contraction. Even when I rapidly changed my mind from one moment to the next about what I needed, he was patient and worked through it with me. I could not have done it without him and I’m certain his support contributed to my relatively short labor.

Turning the Page!

Laurel is still carrying the baby, but this time, IN HER ARMS! On November 9th, Laurel gave birth to a beautiful 7-pound-11-ounce, 20-and-a-half-inch Evelyn Rose Muff. It’s been a while since the last post, but now you know why. The tiny little girl made us both too exhausted to write, but what a blessing! I am finally regaining enough energy to communicate and attempting to return to work tomorrow.

We chose the name Evelyn because it’s the name of one of my all-time favorite people. My grandmother. Evelyn Pervier passed away last year after a long struggle. Before the health issues arose, she was the funniest woman, full of spunk and life. Let me tell you – our little Evelyn is probably going to be quite similar! This will be a grand adventure and Laurel and I are looking forward to every minute.

What a whirlwind! After all that, in short, Laurel and I are doing well. God has blessed us abundantly and we have much to be thankful for this season other than turkey and pumpkin pie.

Almost Done? We Hope So!

If you have ever baked anything, particularly muffins, you will know what it’s like to stand by the oven and hope they finish just a few minutes early. That is how it is with our little ‘Muff’in. I stand next to Laurel, who is starting to show signs that we’re in the final countdown. When that timer goes off, we’ll be on our way out the door in no time. We’re excited, and rightfully so.

Laurel and I have had a big year. We were married nine months before tomorrow, and our baby is due on the 11th. We’re considering the possibility of purchasing a home, and we have other great things in store (but we’ll get to that on a post after Wednesday night)! In any case, while the two of us have traveled all over California and went to Spain and Italy together, our greatest adventure is going to show up at around 7 or 8lbs, will make a lot of noise, and will keep us occupied at all hours of the day (and night).

Halloween fun

We didn’t attend any Halloween parties this year, but Steve had the occasion to dress up in costume for work. Once he had settled on a Clark Kent/Superman costume (due to a number of comments on his resemblance to the superhero), he discovered his desk mate at work would be donning the same attire.

So, no go.

We scouted out the local Halloween store and ran across an Angry Bird beanie. Turned out to be a win-win situation — great Halloween costume and excellent head cover in the upcoming winter months. It’s always a plus when you can get more than one wear out of a costume.

We both decided that the red sweatshirt and beanie combo was a stellar choice to the expensive, round polyester version for sale.

He pulls off the Angry Bird look pretty well. 😉

Step By Step

We’re working through our design layout, slowly but surely. WordPress is a new bag of tricks for me (I’ve been a Blogger gal up til now).

Our newly minted banner is from a photo we took with our favorite Bay Area photographer, Jasmine Lee. Check out her website here. We met her while doing an impromtu  family and engagement photo shoot in San Francisco last October. Since then, she’s done an amazing job photographing both our wedding and a fun maternity shoot!

Welcome to ‘Muff’in Dome!

Welcome to our family’s little corner of cyberspace!

We’re still determining exactly what we will be posting (and it will likely change as we go along…), but it is certain to include adventures and shenanigans, ramblings of the heart, and a little bit of a lot of what we love in our family.

Join us on the journey!

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